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Sample records for functional link structure

  1. Linking structural features of protein complexes and biological function.

    PubMed

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Breen, Edmond J; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2015-09-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) establishes the central basis for complex cellular networks in a biological cell. Association of proteins with other proteins occurs at varying affinities, yet with a high degree of specificity. PPIs lead to diverse functionality such as catalysis, regulation, signaling, immunity, and inhibition, playing a crucial role in functional genomics. The molecular principle of such interactions is often elusive in nature. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of known protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is essential for the characterization of structural interface features to determine structure-function relationship. Thus, we analyzed a nonredundant dataset of 278 heterodimer protein complexes, categorized into major functional classes, for distinguishing features. Interestingly, our analysis has identified five key features (interface area, interface polar residue abundance, hydrogen bonds, solvation free energy gain from interface formation, and binding energy) that are discriminatory among the functional classes using Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test. Significant correlations between these PPI interface features amongst functional categories are also documented. Salt bridges correlate with interface area in regulator-inhibitors (r = 0.75). These representative features have implications for the prediction of potential function of novel protein complexes. The results provide molecular insights for better understanding of PPIs and their relation to biological functions. PMID:26131659

  2. Linking structure and function: Information processing in the brain

    SciTech Connect

    Gremillion, M.A.V.

    1990-01-01

    Traditionally, theories of function in neuroscience have emerged from physiology. Physiologists have suggested a number of means by which information in the brain can be processed, yet the principles underlying the generation of these phenomena are not well understood. A complex systems approach would be to examine the overall structure and function of the system and to attempt to establish a common framework for information processing interactions. This paper will use the structure-function relationship as a basis for exploring units of information processing. It will examine the brain as a whole, first providing the non-specialists with an short overview of the structure and some of the functions or outputs of the brain. It then very briefly reviews three of the prominent theoretical concepts that have emerged in the last few decades: receptive fields, feature extraction, and parallel processing. Next, it addresses the question of information processing and outlines the structures which have traditionally been proposed to be the basic unit of information processing. An alternative unit on which information processing in the brain might be based is then proposed, and data outlined to support it. Finally, the implications of this different mode of processing are discussed, both for the brain and for other complex systems. 40 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  3. Linking vegetation structure, function and physiology through spectroscopic remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serbin, S.; Singh, A.; Couture, J. J.; Shiklomanov, A. N.; Rogers, A.; Desai, A. R.; Kruger, E. L.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem process models require detailed information on ecosystem states and canopy properties to properly simulate the fluxes of carbon (C), water and energy from the land to the atmosphere and assess the vulnerability of ecosystems to perturbations. Current models fail to adequately capture the magnitude, spatial variation, and seasonality of terrestrial C uptake and storage, leading to significant uncertainties in the size and fate of the terrestrial C sink. By and large, these parameter and process uncertainties arise from inadequate spatial and temporal representation of plant traits, vegetation structure, and functioning. With increases in computational power and changes to model architecture and approaches, it is now possible for models to leverage detailed, data rich and spatially explicit descriptions of ecosystems to inform parameter distributions and trait tradeoffs. In this regard, spectroscopy and imaging spectroscopy data have been shown to be invaluable observational datasets to capture broad-scale spatial and, eventually, temporal dynamics in important vegetation properties. We illustrate the linkage of plant traits and spectral observations to supply key data constraints for model parameterization. These constraints can come either in the form of the raw spectroscopic data (reflectance, absorbtance) or physiological traits derived from spectroscopy. In this presentation we highlight our ongoing work to build ecological scaling relationships between critical vegetation characteristics and optical properties across diverse and complex canopies, including temperate broadleaf and conifer forests, Mediterranean vegetation, Arctic systems, and agriculture. We focus on work at the leaf, stand, and landscape scales, illustrating the importance of capturing the underlying variability in a range of parameters (including vertical variation within canopies) to enable more efficient scaling of traits related to functional diversity of ecosystems.

  4. Linking structure and function in food webs: maximization of different ecological functions generates distinct food web structures.

    PubMed

    Yen, Jian D L; Cabral, Reniel B; Cantor, Mauricio; Hatton, Ian; Kortsch, Susanne; Patrício, Joana; Yamamichi, Masato

    2016-03-01

    Trophic interactions are central to ecosystem functioning, but the link between food web structure and ecosystem functioning remains obscure. Regularities (i.e. consistent patterns) in food web structure suggest the possibility of regularities in ecosystem functioning, which might be used to relate structure to function. We introduce a novel, genetic algorithm approach to simulate food webs with maximized throughput (a proxy for ecosystem functioning) and compare the structure of these simulated food webs to real empirical food webs using common metrics of food web structure. We repeat this analysis using robustness to secondary extinctions (a proxy for ecosystem resilience) instead of throughput to determine the relative contributions of ecosystem functioning and ecosystem resilience to food web structure. Simulated food webs that maximized robustness were similar to real food webs when connectance (i.e. levels of interaction across the food web) was high, but this result did not extend to food webs with low connectance. Simulated food webs that maximized throughput or a combination of throughput and robustness were not similar to any real food webs. Simulated maximum-throughput food webs differed markedly from maximum-robustness food webs, which suggests that maximizing different ecological functions can generate distinct food web structures. Based on our results, food web structure would appear to have a stronger relationship with ecosystem resilience than with ecosystem throughput. Our genetic algorithm approach is general and is well suited to large, realistically complex food webs. Genetic algorithms can incorporate constraints on structure and can generate outputs that can be compared directly to empirical data. Our method can be used to explore a range of maximization or minimization hypotheses, providing new perspectives on the links between structure and function in ecological systems. PMID:26749320

  5. Linking Microbial Community Structure to Function in Representative Simulated Systems

    PubMed Central

    Marcus, Ian M.; Wilder, Hailey A.; Quazi, Shanin J.

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria are generally studied as a single strain under ideal growing conditions, although these conditions are not the norm in the environments in which pathogens typically proliferate. In this investigation, a representative microbial community along with Escherichia coli O157:H7, a model pathogen, was studied in three environments in which such a pathogen could be found: a human colon, a septic tank, and groundwater. Each of these systems was built in the lab in order to retain the physical/chemical and microbial complexity of the environments while maintaining control of the feed into the models. The microbial community in the colon was found to have a high percentage of bacteriodetes and firmicutes, while the septic tank and groundwater systems were composed mostly of proteobacteria. The introduction of E. coli O157:H7 into the simulated systems elicited a shift in the structures and phenotypic cell characteristics of the microbial communities. The fate and transport of the microbial community with E. coli O157:H7 were found to be significantly different from those of E. coli O157:H7 studied as a single isolate, suggesting that the behavior of the organism in the environment was different from that previously conceived. The findings in this study clearly suggest that to gain insight into the fate of pathogens, cells should be grown and analyzed under conditions simulating those of the environment in which the pathogens are present. PMID:23396331

  6. Geochip: A high throughput genomic tool for linking community structure to functions

    SciTech Connect

    Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liang, Yuting; He, Zhili; Li, Guanghe; Zhou, Jizhong

    2009-01-30

    GeoChip is a comprehensive functional gene array that targets key functional genes involved in the geochemical cycling of N, C, and P, sulfate reduction, metal resistance and reduction, and contaminant degradation. Studies have shown the GeoChip to be a sensitive, specific, and high-throughput tool for microbial community analysis that has the power to link geochemical processes with microbial community structure. However, several challenges remain regarding the development and applications of microarrays for microbial community analysis.

  7. The Structurally Plastic CH2 Domain Is Linked to Distinct Functions of Fimbrins/Plastins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ruihui; Chang, Ming; Zhang, Meng; Wu, Youjun; Qu, Xiaolu; Huang, Shanjin

    2016-08-19

    Fimbrins/plastins have been implicated in the generation of distinct actin structures, which are linked to different cellular processes. Historically, fimbrins/plastins were mainly considered as generating tight actin bundles. Here, we demonstrate that different members of the fimbrin/plastin family have diverged biochemically during evolution to generate either tight actin bundles or loose networks with distinct biochemical and biophysical properties. Using the phylogenetically and functionally distinct Arabidopsis fimbrins FIM4 and FIM5 we found that FIM4 generates both actin bundles and cross-linked actin filaments, whereas FIM5 only generates actin bundles. The distinct functions of FIM4 and FIM5 are clearly observed at single-filament resolution. Domain swapping experiments showed that cooperation between the conformationally plastic calponin-homology domain 2 (CH2) and the N-terminal headpiece determines the function of the full-length protein. Our study suggests that the structural plasticity of fimbrins/plastins has biologically meaningful consequences, and provides novel insights into the structure-function relationship of fimbrins/plastins as well as shedding light on how cells generate distinct actin structures. PMID:27261463

  8. Linking Functional Connectivity and Structural Connectivity Quantitatively: A Comparison of Methods.

    PubMed

    Huang, Haiqing; Ding, Mingzhou

    2016-03-01

    Structural connectivity in the brain is the basis of functional connectivity. Quantitatively linking the two, however, remains a challenge. For a pair of regions of interest (ROIs), anatomical connections derived from diffusion-weighted imaging are often quantified by fractional anisotropy (FA) or edge weight, whereas functional connections, derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, can be characterized by non-time-series measures such as zero-lag cross correlation and partial correlation, as well as by time-series measures such as coherence and Granger causality. In this study, we addressed the question of linking structural connectivity and functional connectivity quantitatively by considering two pairs of ROIs, one from the default mode network (DMN) and the other from the central executive network (CEN), using two different data sets. Selecting (1) posterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex of the DMN as the first pair of ROIs and (2) left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and left inferior parietal lobule of the CEN as the second pair of ROIs, we show that (1) zero-lag cross correlation, partial correlation, and pairwise Granger causality were not significantly correlated with either mean FA or edge weight and (2) conditional Granger causality (CGC) was significantly correlated with edge weight but not with mean FA. These results suggest that (1) edge weight may be a more appropriate measure to quantify the strength of the anatomical connection between ROIs and (2) CGC, which statistically removes common input and the indirect influences between a given ROI pair, may be a more appropriate measure to quantify the strength of the functional interaction enabled by the fibers linking the two ROIs. PMID:26598788

  9. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web

    PubMed Central

    D’Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d’Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named ‘green’ and ‘blue’ - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the ‘adaptive’ responses of plankton communities to perturbations. PMID:26883643

  10. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web.

    PubMed

    D'Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named 'green' and 'blue' - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the 'adaptive' responses of plankton communities to perturbations. PMID:26883643

  11. Crystal Structure of Human Senescence Marker Protein 30: Insights Linking Structural, Enzymatic, and Physiological Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Chakraborti, Subhendu; Bahnson, Brian J.

    2010-05-25

    Human senescence marker protein 30 (SMP30), which functions enzymatically as a lactonase, hydrolyzes various carbohydrate lactones. The penultimate step in vitamin-C biosynthesis is catalyzed by this enzyme in nonprimate mammals. It has also been implicated as an organophosphate hydrolase, with the ability to hydrolyze diisopropyl phosphofluoridate and other nerve agents. SMP30 was originally identified as an aging marker protein, whose expression decreased androgen independently in aging cells. SMP30 is also referred to as regucalcin and has been suggested to have functions in calcium homeostasis. The crystal structure of the human enzyme has been solved from X-ray diffraction data collected to a resolution of 1.4 {angstrom}. The protein has a 6-bladed {beta}-propeller fold, and it contains a single metal ion. Crystal structures have been solved with the metal site bound with either a Ca{sup 2+} or a Zn{sup 2+} atom. The catalytic role of the metal ion has been confirmed by mutagenesis of the metal coordinating residues. Kinetic studies using the substrate gluconolactone showed a k{sub cat} preference of divalent cations in the order Zn{sup 2+} > Mn{sup 2+} > Ca{sup 2+} > Mg{sup 2+}. Notably, the Ca{sup 2+} had a significantly higher value of K{sub d} compared to those of the other metal ions tested (566, 82, 7, and 0.6 {micro}m for Ca{sup 2+}, Mg{sup 2+}, Zn{sup 2+}, and Mn{sup 2+}, respectively), suggesting that the Ca{sup 2+}-bound form may be physiologically relevant for stressed cells with an elevated free calcium level.

  12. Allocating structure to function: the strong links between neuroplasticity and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael L.; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2014-01-01

    A central question in brain evolution is how species-typical behaviors, and the neural function-structure mappings supporting them, can be acquired and inherited. Advocates of brain modularity, in its different incarnations across scientific subfields, argue that natural selection must target domain-dedicated, separately modifiable neural subsystems, resulting in genetically-specified functional modules. In such modular systems, specification of neuron number and functional connectivity are necessarily linked. Mounting evidence, however, from allometric, developmental, comparative, systems-physiological, neuroimaging and neurological studies suggests that brain elements are used and reused in multiple functional systems. This variable allocation can be seen in short-term neuromodulation, in neuroplasticity over the lifespan and in response to damage. We argue that the same processes are evident in brain evolution. Natural selection must preserve behavioral functions that may co-locate in variable amounts with other functions. In genetics, the uses and problems of pleiotropy, the re-use of genes in multiple networks have been much discussed, but this issue has been sidestepped in neural systems by the invocation of modules. Here we highlight the interaction between evolutionary and developmental mechanisms to produce distributed and overlapping functional architectures in the brain. These adaptive mechanisms must be robust to perturbations that might disrupt critical information processing and action selection, but must also recognize useful new sources of information arising from internal genetic or environmental variability, when those appear. These contrasting properties of “robustness” and “evolvability” have been discussed for the basic organization of body plan and fundamental cell physiology. Here we extend them to the evolution and development, “evo-devo,” of brain structure. PMID:24431995

  13. Functional topography of band 3: specific structural alteration linked to function aberrations in human erythrocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Kay, M.M.B.; Bosman, G.J.C.G.M.; Lawrence, C.

    1988-01-01

    Band 3 is the major anion transport polypeptide of erythrocytes. It appears to be the binding site of several glycolytic enzymes. Structurally, band 3 is the major protein spanning the erythrocyte membrane and connects the plasma membrane to band 2.1, which binds to the cytoskeleton. In the present study, the authors report an alteration of band 3 molecule that is associated with the following changes: erythrocyte shape change from discoid to thorny cells (acanthocytes), restriction of rotational diffusion of band 3 in the membrane, increase in anion transport, and decrease in the number of high-affinity ankyrin-binding sites. Changes in erythrocyte IgG binding, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, fluorescence polarization (indicative of membrane fluidity), and other membrane proteins as determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis were not detected. Cells containing the altered band 3 polypeptide were obtained from individuals with abnormal erythrocyte morphology. Two-dimensional peptide maps revealed differences in the M/sub r/ 17,000 anion transport segment of band 3 consistent with additions of tyrosines or tyrosine-containing peptides. The data suggest that (i) this alteration of band 3 does not result in accelerated aging as does cleavage and (ii) structural changes in the anion transport region result in alterations in anion transport.

  14. Linking human brain local activity fluctuations to structural and functional network architectures.

    PubMed

    Baria, A T; Mansour, A; Huang, L; Baliki, M N; Cecchi, G A; Mesulam, M M; Apkarian, A V

    2013-06-01

    Activity of cortical local neuronal populations fluctuates continuously, and a large proportion of these fluctuations are shared across populations of neurons. Here we seek organizational rules that link these two phenomena. Using neuronal activity, as identified by functional MRI (fMRI) and for a given voxel or brain region, we derive a single measure of full bandwidth brain-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fluctuations by calculating the slope, α, for the log-linear power spectrum. For the same voxel or region, we also measure the temporal coherence of its fluctuations to other voxels or regions, based on exceeding a given threshold, Θ, for zero lag correlation, establishing functional connectivity between pairs of neuronal populations. From resting state fMRI, we calculated whole-brain group-averaged maps for α and for functional connectivity. Both maps showed similar spatial organization, with a correlation coefficient of 0.75 between the two parameters across all brain voxels, as well as variability with hodology. A computational model replicated the main results, suggesting that synaptic low-pass filtering can account for these interrelationships. We also investigated the relationship between α and structural connectivity, as determined by diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography. We observe that the correlation between α and connectivity depends on attentional state; specifically, α correlated more highly to structural connectivity during rest than while attending to a task. Overall, these results provide global rules for the dynamics between frequency characteristics of local brain activity and the architecture of underlying brain networks. PMID:23396160

  15. Linking Microbial Community Structure to β-Glucosidic Function in Soil Aggregates

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Vanessa L.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Stegen, James C.; McCue, Lee Ann

    2013-10-01

    To link microbial community 16S structure to a measured function in a natural soil we have scaled both DNA and β-glucosidase assays down to a volume of soil that may approach a unique microbial community. β-glucosidase activity was assayed in 450 individual aggregates which were then sorted into classes of high or low activities, from which groups of 10 or 11 aggregates were identified and grouped for DNA extraction and pyrosequencing. Tandem assays of ATP were conducted for each aggregate in order to normalize these small groups of aggregates for biomass size. In spite of there being no significant differences in the richness or diversity of the microbial communities associated with high β-glucosidase activities compared with the communities associated with low β-glucosidase communities, several analyses of variance clearly show that the communities of these two groups differ. The separation of these groups is partially driven by the differential abundances of members of the Chitinophagaceae family. It may be that observed functional differences in otherwise similar soil aggregates can be largely attributed to differences in resource availability, rather than to presence or absence of particular taxonomic groups.

  16. Fluorescent structural DNA nanoballs functionalized with phosphate-linked nucleotide triphosphates.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jon P; Reynolds, Bambi L; Baum, Kristin; Williams, John G

    2010-03-10

    Highly labeled DNA nanoballs functionalized with phosphate-linked nucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) were developed as a source of dNTPs for DNA polymerase. The particles were prepared by strand-displacement polymerization from a self-complementary circular template. Imaged by atomic force microscopy, these functionalized particles appear as condensed fuzzy balls with diameters between 50 and 150 nm. They emit a bright fluorescent signal, detected in 2 ms exposures with a signal-to-noise ratio of 25 when imaged using a TIR fluorescence microscope. PMID:20158249

  17. Fluorescent Structural DNA Nanoballs Functionalized With Phosphate-Linked Nucleotide Triphosphates

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Jon P.; Reynolds, Bambi L.; Baum, Kristin; Williams, John G.

    2010-01-01

    Highly labeled DNA nanoballs functionalized with phosphate-linked nucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) were developed as a source of dNTPs for DNA polymerase. The particles were prepared by strand-displacement polymerization from a self-complementary circular template. Imaged by atomic force microscopy, these functionalized particles appear as condensed fuzzy balls with diameters between 50–150 nm. They emit a bright fluorescent signal, detected in 2 msec exposures with a signal-to-noise of 25 when imaged using a TIR fluorescence microscope. PMID:20158249

  18. LINKING COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS DEGRADED BY MOUNTAINTOP MINING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Clean Water Act and its subsequent amendments recognize the importance of protecting biological integrity, a concept synonymous with preserving structure and function within lotic ecosystems. This research will improve current taxonomically based risk assessment models,...

  19. The application of a mathematical model linking structural and functional connectomes in severe brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Kuceyeski, A.; Shah, S.; Dyke, J.P.; Bickel, S.; Abdelnour, F.; Schiff, N.D.; Voss, H.U.; Raj, A.

    2016-01-01

    Following severe injuries that result in disorders of consciousness, recovery can occur over many months or years post-injury. While post-injury synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and functional reorganization are known to occur, the network-level processes underlying recovery are poorly understood. Here, we test a network-level functional rerouting hypothesis in recovery of patients with disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury. This hypothesis states that the brain recovers from injury by restoring normal functional connections via alternate structural pathways that circumvent impaired white matter connections. The so-called network diffusion model, which relates an individual's structural and functional connectomes by assuming that functional activation diffuses along structural pathways, is used here to capture this functional rerouting. We jointly examined functional and structural connectomes extracted from MRIs of 12 healthy and 16 brain-injured subjects. Connectome properties were quantified via graph theoretic measures and network diffusion model parameters. While a few graph metrics showed groupwise differences, they did not correlate with patients' level of consciousness as measured by the Coma Recovery Scale — Revised. There was, however, a strong and significant partial Pearson's correlation (accounting for age and years post-injury) between level of consciousness and network diffusion model propagation time (r = 0.76, p < 0.05, corrected), i.e. the time functional activation spends traversing the structural network. We concluded that functional rerouting via alternate (and less efficient) pathways leads to increases in network diffusion model propagation time. Simulations of injury and recovery in healthy connectomes confirmed these results. This work establishes the feasibility for using the network diffusion model to capture network-level mechanisms in recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury. PMID:27200264

  20. Linking Remotely Sensed Functional Diversity of Structural Traits to the Radiative Regime of a Temperate Mixed Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, F. D.; Morsdorf, F.; Furrer, R.; Schmid, B.; Schaepman, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of functional diversity reflect the inter- and intraspecific variability of plant traits and are linked to other aspects of biodiversity, environmental factors and ecosystem function. To study the patterns at plot and stand level, spatially continuous trait measurements are required. Remote sensing methods based on airborne observations can offer such continuous high-resolution measurements, resolving individual trees of a forest at a regional extent. The study was performed at the Laegern forest, a temperate mixed forest dominated by deciduous and coniferous trees (Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies; 47°28'42.0" N, 8°21'51.8" E, 682 m asl; Switzerland). Canopy height, plant area index and foliage height diversity were derived from full-waveform airborne laser scanning data. These structural traits were used to calculate functional richness, functional evenness and functional divergence at a range of scales. A Bayesian multiresolution scale analysis was used to infer the scales at which functional diversity patterns occur. The radiative regime of the forest was simulated using the 3D radiative transfer model DART. Using a voxel-based forest reconstruction allowed us to derive top of canopy, bottom of canopy and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. The results of this study will provide new insights on linking forest canopy structure to the radiative regime of the forest. Light availability is a critical factor determining plant growth and competition. Within canopy light scattering is mainly driven by the arrangement of leaves and their leaf optical properties. Therefore, we expect a link between the structural complexity of the forest as encompassed by functional diversity and the light availability within and below the canopy. Ultimately, this information can be used in dynamic ecosystem models such as ED2, allowing us to predict the influence of functional diversity and radiative properties on ecosystem functioning under current conditions and

  1. N-Linked Glycosylation in Archaea: a Structural, Functional, and Genetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yan; Meyer, Benjamin H.; Albers, Sonja-Verena; Kaminski, Lina; Eichler, Jerry

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY N-glycosylation of proteins is one of the most prevalent posttranslational modifications in nature. Accordingly, a pathway with shared commonalities is found in all three domains of life. While excellent model systems have been developed for studying N-glycosylation in both Eukarya and Bacteria, an understanding of this process in Archaea was hampered until recently by a lack of effective molecular tools. However, within the last decade, impressive advances in the study of the archaeal version of this important pathway have been made for halophiles, methanogens, and thermoacidophiles, combining glycan structural information obtained by mass spectrometry with bioinformatic, genetic, biochemical, and enzymatic data. These studies reveal both features shared with the eukaryal and bacterial domains and novel archaeon-specific aspects. Unique features of N-glycosylation in Archaea include the presence of unusual dolichol lipid carriers, the use of a variety of linking sugars that connect the glycan to proteins, the presence of novel sugars as glycan constituents, the presence of two very different N-linked glycans attached to the same protein, and the ability to vary the N-glycan composition under different growth conditions. These advances are the focus of this review, with an emphasis on N-glycosylation pathways in Haloferax, Methanococcus, and Sulfolobus. PMID:24847024

  2. Structure and function of phosphonoacetaldehyde dehydrogenase: the missing link in phosphonoacetate formation

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Vinayak; Peck, Spencer C.; Chen, Jui-Hui; Borisova, Svetlana A.; Chekan, Jonathan R.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Nair, Satish K.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Phosphonates (C-PO32−) have application as antibiotics, herbicides and detergents. In some environments, these molecules represent the predominant source for phosphorus, and several microbes have evolved dedicated enzymatic machineries for phosphonate degradation. For example, most common naturally occurring phosphonates can be catabolized to either phosphonoacetaldehyde or phosphonoacetate, which can then be hydrolyzed to generate inorganic phosphate and acetaldehyde or acetate, respectively. The phosphonoacetaldehyde oxidase gene (phnY) links these two hydrolytic processes and provides a previously unknown catabolic mechanism for phosphonoacetate production in the microbial metabolome. Here, we present biochemical characterization of PhnY and high-resolution crystal structures of the apo state, as well as complexes with substrate, cofactor and product. Kinetic analysis of active site mutants demonstrates how a highly conserved aldehyde dehydrogenase active site has been modified in nature to generate activity with a phosphonate substrate. PMID:24361046

  3. A linked electron pair functional.

    PubMed

    Knowles, Peter J; Cooper, Bridgette

    2010-12-14

    A modification of the variational configuration interaction functional in the first-order interacting space for molecular electronic structure is presented. The modified functional is a fully linked expression that by construction is extensive and invariant to transformations of the underlying orbital basis and is exact for an ensemble of separated two-electron subsystems. In addition, an approximation to variational coupled cluster is generated through truncation of the exponential cluster operator. When combined, these methods demonstrate accuracy that exceeds that of the standard coupled-cluster method, in particular in situations where the reference Slater determinant is not a good approximation. PMID:21171682

  4. Exploring Protein Dynamics Space: The Dynasome as the Missing Link between Protein Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Hensen, Ulf; Meyer, Tim; Haas, Jürgen; Rex, René; Vriend, Gert; Grubmüller, Helmut

    2012-01-01

    Proteins are usually described and classified according to amino acid sequence, structure or function. Here, we develop a minimally biased scheme to compare and classify proteins according to their internal mobility patterns. This approach is based on the notion that proteins not only fold into recurring structural motifs but might also be carrying out only a limited set of recurring mobility motifs. The complete set of these patterns, which we tentatively call the dynasome, spans a multi-dimensional space with axes, the dynasome descriptors, characterizing different aspects of protein dynamics. The unique dynamic fingerprint of each protein is represented as a vector in the dynasome space. The difference between any two vectors, consequently, gives a reliable measure of the difference between the corresponding protein dynamics. We characterize the properties of the dynasome by comparing the dynamics fingerprints obtained from molecular dynamics simulations of 112 proteins but our approach is, in principle, not restricted to any specific source of data of protein dynamics. We conclude that: 1. the dynasome consists of a continuum of proteins, rather than well separated classes. 2. For the majority of proteins we observe strong correlations between structure and dynamics. 3. Proteins with similar function carry out similar dynamics, which suggests a new method to improve protein function annotation based on protein dynamics. PMID:22606222

  5. Hubs of knowledge: using the functional link structure in Biozon to mine for biologically significant entities

    PubMed Central

    Shafer, Paul; Isganitis, Timothy; Yona, Golan

    2006-01-01

    Background Existing biological databases support a variety of queries such as keyword or definition search. However, they do not provide any measure of relevance for the instances reported, and result sets are usually sorted arbitrarily. Results We describe a system that builds upon the complex infrastructure of the Biozon database and applies methods similar to those of Google to rank documents that match queries. We explore different prominence models and study the spectral properties of the corresponding data graphs. We evaluate the information content of principal and non-principal eigenspaces, and test various scoring functions which combine contributions from multiple eigenspaces. We also test the effect of similarity data and other variations which are unique to the biological knowledge domain on the quality of the results. Query result sets are assessed using a probabilistic approach that measures the significance of coherence between directly connected nodes in the data graph. This model allows us, for the first time, to compare different prominence models quantitatively and effectively and to observe unique trends. Conclusion Our tests show that the ranked query results outperform unsorted results with respect to our significance measure and the top ranked entities are typically linked to many other biological entities. Our study resulted in a working ranking system of biological entities that was integrated into Biozon at . PMID:16480496

  6. Balanced translocation linked to psychiatric disorder, glutamate, and cortical structure/function.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Pippa A; Duff, Barbara; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Romaniuk, Liana; Watson, Andrew; Whalley, Heather C; Li, Xiang; Dauvermann, Maria R; Moorhead, T William J; Bois, Catherine; Ryan, Niamh M; Redpath, Holly; Hall, Lynsey; Morris, Stewart W; van Beek, Edwin J R; Roberts, Neil; Porteous, David J; St Clair, David; Whitcher, Brandon; Dunlop, John; Brandon, Nicholas J; Hughes, Zoë A; Hall, Jeremy; McIntosh, Andrew; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic variants of large effect can help elucidate the pathophysiology of brain disorders. Here we expand the clinical and genetic analyses of a family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation multiply affected by major psychiatric illness and test the effect of the translocation on the structure and function of prefrontal, and temporal brain regions. The translocation showed significant linkage (LOD score 6.1) with a clinical phenotype that included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depressive disorder. Translocation carriers showed reduced cortical thickness in the left temporal lobe, which correlated with general psychopathology and positive psychotic symptom severity. They showed reduced gyrification in prefrontal cortex, which correlated with general psychopathology severity. Translocation carriers also showed significantly increased activation in the caudate nucleus on increasing verbal working memory load, as well as statistically significant reductions in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex glutamate concentrations. These findings confirm that the t(1;11) translocation is associated with a significantly increased risk of major psychiatric disorder and suggest a general vulnerability to psychopathology through altered cortical structure and function, and decreased glutamate levels. PMID:27602385

  7. Balanced translocation linked to psychiatric disorder, glutamate, and cortical structure/function

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Pippa A; Duff, Barbara; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Romaniuk, Liana; Watson, Andrew; Whalley, Heather C; Li, Xiang; Dauvermann, Maria R; Moorhead, T William J; Bois, Catherine; Ryan, Niamh M; Redpath, Holly; Hall, Lynsey; Morris, Stewart W; van Beek, Edwin J R; Roberts, Neil; Porteous, David J; St. Clair, David; Whitcher, Brandon; Dunlop, John; Brandon, Nicholas J; Hughes, Zoë A; Hall, Jeremy; McIntosh, Andrew; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic variants of large effect can help elucidate the pathophysiology of brain disorders. Here we expand the clinical and genetic analyses of a family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation multiply affected by major psychiatric illness and test the effect of the translocation on the structure and function of prefrontal, and temporal brain regions. The translocation showed significant linkage (LOD score 6.1) with a clinical phenotype that included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depressive disorder. Translocation carriers showed reduced cortical thickness in the left temporal lobe, which correlated with general psychopathology and positive psychotic symptom severity. They showed reduced gyrification in prefrontal cortex, which correlated with general psychopathology severity. Translocation carriers also showed significantly increased activation in the caudate nucleus on increasing verbal working memory load, as well as statistically significant reductions in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex glutamate concentrations. These findings confirm that the t(1;11) translocation is associated with a significantly increased risk of major psychiatric disorder and suggest a general vulnerability to psychopathology through altered cortical structure and function, and decreased glutamate levels. PMID:27602385

  8. Coxiella burnetii glycomics and proteomics--tools for linking structure to function.

    PubMed

    Toman, Rudolf; Skultety, Ludovit; Ihnatko, Robert

    2009-05-01

    Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, is an obligate intracellular bacterium and a highly infectious pathogen. The disease is a widespread zoonosis and is endemic throughout the world. An easy aerosol dissemination, environmental persistence, and high infectivity make the bacterium a serious threat for humans and animals. Lipopolysaccharide is considered one of the major factors of virulence expression and infection of the bacterium. Detailed glycomic studies enabled to better understand structural and functional peculiarities of this biopolymer and its role in pathogenesis and immunity of Q fever. Recent proteomic studies of C. burnetii have brought new approaches in accurate detection of the infectious agent and offered new insights into the inter- or intra-species relatedness. Thus, structure/function relationship studies are currently of utmost importance in the field. This paper will focus on glycomic and proteomic approaches providing information on unique glycan and protein species of the microorganism as the candidate molecules for the use in detection/diagnosis, therapy, and prophylaxis. PMID:19538265

  9. The structural and functional effects of the familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-linked cardiac troponin C mutation, L29Q

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Ian M.; Sevrieva, Ivanka; Li, Monica X.; Irving, Malcolm; Sun, Yin-Biao; Sykes, Brian D.

    2015-01-01

    Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) is characterized by severe abnormal cardiac muscle growth. The traditional view of disease progression in FHC is that an increase in the Ca2 +-sensitivity of cardiac muscle contraction ultimately leads to pathogenic myocardial remodeling, though recent studies suggest this may be an oversimplification. For example, FHC may be developed through altered signaling that prevents downstream regulation of contraction. The mutation L29Q, found in the Ca2 +-binding regulatory protein in heart muscle, cardiac troponin C (cTnC), has been linked to cardiac hypertrophy. However, reports on the functional effects of this mutation are conflicting, and our goal was to combine in vitro and in situ structural and functional data to elucidate its mechanism of action. We used nuclear magnetic resonance and circular dichroism to solve the structure and characterize the backbone dynamics and stability of the regulatory domain of cTnC with the L29Q mutation. The overall structure and dynamics of cTnC were unperturbed, although a slight rearrangement of site 1, an increase in backbone flexibility, and a small decrease in protein stability were observed. The structure and function of cTnC was also assessed in demembranated ventricular trabeculae using fluorescence for in situ structure. L29Q reduced the cooperativity of the Ca2 +-dependent structural change in cTnC in trabeculae under basal conditions and abolished the effect of force-generating myosin cross-bridges on this structural change. These effects could contribute to the pathogenesis of this mutation. PMID:26341255

  10. The proton-linked monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) family: structure, function and regulation.

    PubMed Central

    Halestrap, A P; Price, N T

    1999-01-01

    Monocarboxylates such as lactate and pyruvate play a central role in cellular metabolism and metabolic communication between tissues. Essential to these roles is their rapid transport across the plasma membrane, which is catalysed by a recently identified family of proton-linked monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). Nine MCT-related sequences have so far been identified in mammals, each having a different tissue distribution, whereas six related proteins can be recognized in Caenorhabditis elegans and 4 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Direct demonstration of proton-linked lactate and pyruvate transport has been demonstrated for mammalian MCT1-MCT4, but only for MCT1 and MCT2 have detailed analyses of substrate and inhibitor kinetics been described following heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. MCT1 is ubiquitously expressed, but is especially prominent in heart and red muscle, where it is up-regulated in response to increased work, suggesting a special role in lactic acid oxidation. By contrast, MCT4 is most evident in white muscle and other cells with a high glycolytic rate, such as tumour cells and white blood cells, suggesting it is expressed where lactic acid efflux predominates. MCT2 has a ten-fold higher affinity for substrates than MCT1 and MCT4 and is found in cells where rapid uptake at low substrate concentrations may be required, including the proximal kidney tubules, neurons and sperm tails. MCT3 is uniquely expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium. The mechanisms involved in regulating the expression of different MCT isoforms remain to be established. However, there is evidence for alternative splicing of the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions and the use of alternative promoters for some isoforms. In addition, MCT1 and MCT4 have been shown to interact specifically with OX-47 (CD147), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily with a single transmembrane helix. This interaction appears to assist MCT expression at the cell surface. There is still

  11. The superficial white matter in temporal lobe epilepsy: a key link between structural and functional network disruptions.

    PubMed

    Liu, Min; Bernhardt, Boris C; Hong, Seok-Jun; Caldairou, Benoit; Bernasconi, Andrea; Bernasconi, Neda

    2016-09-01

    Drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy is increasingly recognized as a system-level disorder affecting the structure and function of large-scale grey matter networks. While diffusion magnetic resonance imaging studies have demonstrated deep fibre tract alterations, the superficial white matter immediately below the cortex has so far been neglected despite its proximity to neocortical regions and key role in maintaining cortico-cortical connectivity. Using multi-modal 3 T magnetic resonance imaging, we mapped the topography of superficial white matter diffusion alterations in 61 consecutive temporal lobe epilepsy patients relative to 38 healthy controls and studied the relationship to large-scale structural as well as functional networks. Our approach continuously sampled mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy along surfaces running 2 mm below the cortex. Multivariate statistics mapped superficial white matter diffusion anomalies in patients relative to controls, while correlation and mediation analyses evaluated their relationship to structural (cortical thickness, mesiotemporal volumetry) and functional parameters (resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging amplitude) and clinical variables. Patients presented with overlapping anomalies in mean diffusivity and anisotropy, particularly in ipsilateral temporo-limbic regions. Diffusion anomalies did not relate to cortical thinning; conversely, they mediated large-scale functional amplitude decreases in patients relative to controls in default mode hub regions (i.e. anterior and posterior midline regions, lateral temporo-parietal cortices), and were themselves mediated by hippocampal atrophy. With respect to clinical variables, we observed more marked diffusion anomalies in patients with a history of febrile convulsions and those with longer disease duration. Similarly, more marked diffusion alterations were associated with seizure-free outcome. Bootstrap analyses indicated high reproducibility of our

  12. Sex Differences in Mental Ability: A Proposed Means to Link Them to Brain Structure and Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Wendy; Bouchard, Thomas J., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    Recent work with the 42 mental ability tests administered to participants of the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA) has suggested that there are important dimensions of mental ability that function independently of "g". Two of these dimensions, rotation-verbal and focus-diffusion, appear to involve trade-offs: greater residual rotation…

  13. Linking structural and functional connectivity in a simple runoff-runon model over soils with heterogeneous infiltrability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harel, M.; Mouche, E.

    2012-12-01

    Runoff production on a hillslope during a rainfall event may be simplified as follows. Given a soil of constant infiltrability I, which is the maximum amount of water that the soil can infiltrate, and a constant rainfall intensity R, runoff is observed wherever R is greater than I. The infiltration rate equals the infiltrability where runoff is produced, R otherwise. When ponding time, topography, and overall spatial and temporal variations of physical parameters, such as R and I, are neglected, the runoff equation remains simple. In this study, we consider soils of spatially variable infiltrability. As runoff can re-infiltrate on down-slope areas of higher infiltrabilities (runon process), the resulting process is highly non-linear. The stationary runoff equation is: Qn+1 = max (Qn + (R - In)*Δx , 0) where Qn is the runoff arriving on pixel n of size Δx [L2/T], R and In the rainfall intensity and infiltrability on that same pixel [L/T]. The non-linearity is due to the dependence of infiltration on R and Qn, that is runon. This re-infiltration process generates patterns of runoff along the slope, patterns that organise and connect differently to each other depending on the rainfall intensity and the nature of the soil heterogeneity. In order to characterize the runoff patterns and their connectivity, we use the connectivity function defined by Allard (1993) in Geostatistics. Our aim is to assess, in a stochastic framework, the runoff organization on 1D and 2D slopes with random infiltrabilities (log-normal, exponential and bimodal distributions) by means of numerical simulations. Firstly, we show how runoff is produced and organized in patterns along a 2D slope according to the infiltrability distribution. We specifically illustrate and discuss the link between the statistical nature of the infiltrability and that of the flow-rate, with a special focus on the relations between the connectivities of both fields: the structural connectivity (infiltrability patterns

  14. In situ infrared spectroscopic and density-functional studies of the cross-linked structure of one-dimensional C{sub 60} polymer

    SciTech Connect

    Takashima, A.; Onoe, J.; Nishii, T.

    2010-08-15

    We have examined the infrared (IR) spectra of electron-beam (EB) irradiated C{sub 60} films, using in situ IR spectroscopy in the temperature range of 60-300 K. The irradiation-time evolution of the IR spectra shows that two highly intense new peaks finally appear around 565 and 1340 cm{sup -1} when the EB-induced C{sub 60} polymerization was saturated. To determine the cross-linked structure of the polymer explicitly, we have compared the IR spectra with theoretical spectra obtained from the cross-linked structure of all C{sub 120} stable isomers derived from the general Stone-Wales (GSW) rearrangement, using first-principles density-functional calculations. Since each C{sub 120} isomer has the same cross-linked structure as that of its corresponding one-dimensional (1D) C{sub 60} polymer, the IR modes obtained from the cross-linked structure of C{sub 120} are close to those obtained from the corresponding 1D polymer. Comparison between the experimental and theoretical IR spectra suggests that the 1D peanut-shaped C{sub 60} polymer has a cross-linked structure roughly similar to that of the P08 peanut-shaped C{sub 120} isomer.

  15. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, E. U.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Mencuccini, M.; Malhi, Y.; Stahl, C.; Wagner, F. H.; Bonal, D.; da Costa, A. C. L.; Ferreira, L.; Meir, P.

    2014-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models applied to Amazonia is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability commonly observed within and across forest communities, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of Amazon forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions which are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites across Amazonia. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, which then lead to variation in plant water use and growth dynamics. The model accounts for the buffering effects of leaf and stem capacitance on leaf water potential at short time scales, and cavitation-induced reductions in whole-plant conductance over longer periods of water stress. We explore multiple possible links between this hydraulic trait spectrum and other whole-plant traits, such as maximum photosynthetic capacity and wood density. The model is shown to greatly improve the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as response to drought, as determined by comparison with sap flux and stem dendrometry measurements. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of Amazon tropical forests.

  16. Linking plant and ecosystem functional biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Kattge, Jens; Baldocchi, Dennis D.

    2014-01-01

    Classical biogeographical observations suggest that ecosystems are strongly shaped by climatic constraints in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand, vegetation function feeds back on the climate system via biosphere–atmosphere exchange of matter and energy. Ecosystem-level observations of this exchange reveal very large functional biogeographical variation of climate-relevant ecosystem functional properties related to carbon and water cycles. This variation is explained insufficiently by climate control and a classical plant functional type classification approach. For example, correlations between seasonal carbon-use efficiency and climate or environmental variables remain below 0.6, leaving almost 70% of variance unexplained. We suggest that a substantial part of this unexplained variation of ecosystem functional properties is related to variations in plant and microbial traits. Therefore, to progress with global functional biogeography, we should seek to understand the link between organismic traits and flux-derived ecosystem properties at ecosystem observation sites and the spatial variation of vegetation traits given geoecological covariates. This understanding can be fostered by synergistic use of both data-driven and theory-driven ecological as well as biophysical approaches. PMID:25225392

  17. Testing the link between community structure and function for ectomycorrhizal fungi involved in a global tripartite symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jennifer K M; Cohen, Hannah; Higgins, Logan M; Kennedy, Peter G

    2014-04-01

    Alnus trees associate with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and nitrogen-fixing Frankia bacteria and, although their ECM fungal communities are uncommonly host specific and species poor, it is unclear whether the functioning of Alnus ECM fungal symbionts differs from that of other ECM hosts. We used exoenzyme root tip assays and molecular identification to test whether ECM fungi on Alnus rubra differed in their ability to access organic phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) when compared with ECM fungi on the non-Frankia host Pseudotsuga menziesii. At the community level, potential acid phosphatase (AP) activity of ECM fungal root tips from A. rubra was significantly higher than that from P. menziesii, whereas potential leucine aminopeptidase (LA) activity was significantly lower for A. rubra root tips at one of the two sites. At the individual species level, there was no clear relationship between ECM fungal relative root tip abundance and relative AP or LA enzyme activities on either host. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that ECM fungal communities associated with Alnus trees have enhanced organic P acquisition abilities relative to non-Frankia ECM hosts. This shift, in combination with the chemical conditions present in Alnus forest soils, may drive the atypical structure of Alnus ECM fungal communities. PMID:24320607

  18. Linking sediment structure, hydrological functioning and biogeochemical cycling in disturbed coastal saltmarshes and implications for vegetation development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, Kate; Harvey, Gemma; James, Tempest; Simon, Carr; Michelle, Morris

    2014-05-01

    Saltmarsh restoration undoubtedly provides environmental enhancement, with vegetation quickly re-establishing following the breach of sea walls and subsequent tidal inundation of previously defended areas. Yet evidence increasingly suggests that the restored saltmarshes do not have the same biological characteristics as their natural counterparts (Mossman et al. 2012) and this may be in part be due to physicochemical parameters at the site including anoxia and poor drainage. Hence, restored saltmarshes may not offer the range and quality of ecosystem services anticipated. These environments will have been 'disturbed' by previous land use and there is little understanding of the impacts of this disturbance on the wider hydrogeomorphic and biogeochemical functioning in restored saltmarshes and the implications for saltmarsh vegetation development. This study examines linkages between physical sediment characteristics, sediment structure (using X-ray microtomography), sub-surface hydrology (using pressure transducers and time series analysis), and sediment and porewater geochemistry (major and trace elements, major anions) in sediment cores collected from undisturbed saltmarshes and those restored by de-embankment. Sub-surface sediments in restored saltmarshes have lower organic matter content, lower moisture content and higher bulk density than undisturbed sites. Using X-ray tomography a clear horizon can be observed which separates relict agricultural soils at depth with less dense and structureless sediments deposited since de-embankment. Ratios of open to closed pore space suggest that while undisturbed saltmarshes have the highest porosity, restored saltmarshes have larger void spaces, but limited pore connectivity. Sub-surface hydrological response to tidal flooding was subdued in the restored compared to the undisturbed site, suggesting that porewater flow may be impeded. Time series analysis indicated that flow pathways differ in restored saltmarsh sediments

  19. Satellite Ecology (SATECO)-linking ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology, from plot to regional scale, for the study of ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing requirement for ecosystem science to help inform a deeper understanding of the effects of global climate change and land use change on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, from small area (plot) to landscape, regional and global scales. To meet these requirements, ecologists have investigated plant growth and carbon cycling processes at plot scale, using biometric methods to measure plant carbon accumulation, and gas exchange (chamber) methods to measure soil respiration. Also at the plot scale, micrometeorologists have attempted to measure canopy- or ecosystem-scale CO(2) flux by the eddy covariance technique, which reveals diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles. Mathematical models play an important role in integrating ecological and micrometeorological processes into ecosystem scales, which are further useful in interpreting time-accumulated information derived from biometric methods by comparing with CO(2) flux measurements. For a spatial scaling of such plot-level understanding, remote sensing via satellite is used to measure land use/vegetation type distribution and temporal changes in ecosystem structures such as leaf area index. However, to better utilise such data, there is still a need for investigations that consider the structure and function of ecosystems and their processes, especially in mountainous areas characterized by complex terrain and a mosaic distribution of vegetation. For this purpose, we have established a new interdisciplinary approach named 'Satellite Ecology', which aims to link ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology to facilitate the study of ecosystem function, at the plot, landscape, and regional scale. PMID:18958540

  20. Linking microbial community structure and function to characterize antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistant genes from cattle feces

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is widespread interest in monitoring the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in agriculturally impacted environments, however little is known about the relationships between bacterial community structure, and antibiotic resistance gene profiles. Cattl...

  1. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, M.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Sevanto, S.; Xu, C.; Jansen, S.; Choat, B.; Mencuccini, M.; McDowell, N. G.; Meir, P.

    2015-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of tropical forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions that are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites where community-level distributions of stem and leaf trait spectra (wood density, leaf mass per area, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus content) are known. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, while accounting for the counteracting effects of increasing hydraulic path length and xylem conduit taper on whole-plant hydraulic resistance with increasing tree size. Using existing trait databases and additional meta-analyses from the rich literature on tropical tree ecophysiology, we obtained all necessary hydraulic parameters associated with xylem conductivity, vulnerability curves, pressure-volume curves, and hydraulic architecture (e.g., leaf-to-sapwood area ratios) as a function of the aforementioned traits and tree size. Incorporating these relationships in the model greatly improved the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as in response to drought, as determined by comparison with field observations and experiments. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of tropical forests.

  2. Linking structure to function: The search for active sites in non-platinum group metal oxygen reduction reaction catalysts

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Holby, Edward F.; Zelenay, Piotr

    2016-05-17

    Atomic-scale structures of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) active sites in non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) catalysts, made from pyrolysis of carbon, nitrogen, and transition-metal (TM) precursors have been the subject of continuing discussion in the fuel cell electrocatalysis research community. We found that quantum chemical modeling is a path forward for understanding of these materials and how they catalyze the ORR. Here, we demonstrate through literature examples of how such modeling can be used to better understand non-PGM ORR active site relative stability and activity and how such efforts can also aid in the interpretation of experimental signatures produced by thesemore » materials.« less

  3. Patterns in benthic biodiversity link lake trophic status to structure and potential function of three large, deep lakes.

    PubMed

    Hayford, Barbara L; Caires, Andrea M; Chandra, Sudeep; Girdner, Scott F

    2015-01-01

    Relative to their scarcity, large, deep lakes support a large proportion of the world's freshwater species. This biodiversity is threatened by human development and is in need of conservation. Direct comparison of biodiversity is the basis of biological monitoring for conservation but is difficult to conduct between large, insular ecosystems. The objective of our study was to conduct such a comparison of benthic biodiversity between three of the world's largest lakes: Lake Tahoe, USA; Lake Hövsgöl, Mongolia; and Crater Lake, USA. We examined biodiversity of common benthic organism, the non-biting midges (Chironomidae) and determined lake trophic status using chironomid-based lake typology, tested whether community structure was similar between the three lakes despite geographic distance; and tested whether chironomid diversity would show significant variation within and between lakes. Typology analysis indicated that Lake Hövsgöl was ultra-oligotrophic, Crater Lake was oligotrophic, and Lake Tahoe was borderline oligotrophic/mesotrophic. These results were similar to traditional pelagic measures of lake trophic status for Lake Hövsgöl and Crater Lake but differed for Lake Tahoe, which has been designated as ultra-oligotrophic by traditional pelagic measures such as transparency found in the literature. Analysis of similarity showed that Lake Tahoe and Lake Hövsgöl chironomid communities were more similar to each other than either was to Crater Lake communities. Diversity varied between the three lakes and spatially within each lake. This research shows that chironomid communities from these large lakes were sensitive to trophic conditions. Chironomid communities were similar between the deep environments of Lake Hövsgöl and Lake Tahoe, indicating that chironomid communities from these lakes may be useful in comparing trophic state changes in large lakes. Spatial variation in Lake Tahoe's diversity is indicative of differential response of chironomid

  4. Insights into mRNA export-linked molecular mechanisms of human disease through a Gle1 structure-function analysis

    PubMed Central

    Folkmann, Andrew W.; Dawson, T. Renee; Wente, Susan R.

    2013-01-01

    A critical step during gene expression is the directional export of nuclear messenger (m)RNA through nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) to the cytoplasm. During export, Gle1 in conjunction with inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) spatially regulates the activity of the DEAD-box protein Dbp5 at the NPC cytoplasmic face. GLE1 mutations are causally linked to the human diseases lethal congenital contracture syndrome 1 (LCCS1) and lethal arthrogryposis with anterior horn cell disease (LAAHD). Here, structure prediction and functional analysis provide strong evidence to suggest that the LCCS1 and LAAHD disease mutations disrupt the function of Gle1 in mRNA export. Strikingly, direct fluorescence microscopy in living cells reveals a dramatic loss of steady-state NPC localization for GFP-gle1 proteins expressed from human gle1 genes harboring LAAHD and LCCS1 mutations. The potential significance of these residues is further clarified by analyses of sequence and predicted structural conservation. This work offers insights into the perturbed mechanisms underlying human LCCS-1 and LAAHD disease states and emphasizes the potential impact of altered mRNA transport and gene expression in human disease. PMID:24275432

  5. Patterns in Benthic Biodiversity Link Lake Trophic Status to Structure and Potential Function of Three Large, Deep Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Hayford, Barbara L.; Caires, Andrea M.; Chandra, Sudeep; Girdner, Scott F.

    2015-01-01

    Relative to their scarcity, large, deep lakes support a large proportion of the world’s freshwater species. This biodiversity is threatened by human development and is in need of conservation. Direct comparison of biodiversity is the basis of biological monitoring for conservation but is difficult to conduct between large, insular ecosystems. The objective of our study was to conduct such a comparison of benthic biodiversity between three of the world’s largest lakes: Lake Tahoe, USA; Lake Hövsgöl, Mongolia; and Crater Lake, USA. We examined biodiversity of common benthic organism, the non-biting midges (Chironomidae) and determined lake trophic status using chironomid-based lake typology, tested whether community structure was similar between the three lakes despite geographic distance; and tested whether chironomid diversity would show significant variation within and between lakes. Typology analysis indicated that Lake Hövsgöl was ultra-oligotrophic, Crater Lake was oligotrophic, and Lake Tahoe was borderline oligotrophic/mesotrophic. These results were similar to traditional pelagic measures of lake trophic status for Lake Hövsgöl and Crater Lake but differed for Lake Tahoe, which has been designated as ultra-oligotrophic by traditional pelagic measures such as transparency found in the literature. Analysis of similarity showed that Lake Tahoe and Lake Hövsgöl chironomid communities were more similar to each other than either was to Crater Lake communities. Diversity varied between the three lakes and spatially within each lake. This research shows that chironomid communities from these large lakes were sensitive to trophic conditions. Chironomid communities were similar between the deep environments of Lake Hövsgöl and Lake Tahoe, indicating that chironomid communities from these lakes may be useful in comparing trophic state changes in large lakes. Spatial variation in Lake Tahoe’s diversity is indicative of differential response of chironomid

  6. Structure-Property Relationships in Porous 3-D Nanostructures as a Function of Preparation Conditions: Isocyanate Cross-Linked Silica Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Capadona, Lynn A.; McCorkle, Linda; Papadopoulos, Demetrios S.; Leventis, Nicholas

    2007-01-01

    Sol-gel derived silica aerogels are attractive candidates for many unique thermal, optical, catalytic, and chemical applications because of their low density and high mesoporosity. However, their inherent fragility has restricted use of aerogel monoliths to applications where they are not subject to any load. We have previously reported cross-linking the mesoporous silica structure of aerogels with di-isocyanates, styrenes or epoxies reacting with amine decorated silica surfaces. These approaches have been shown to significantly increase the strength of aerogels with only a small effect on density or porosity. Though density is a prime predictor of properties such as strength and thermal conductivity for aerogels, it is becoming clear from previous studies that varying the silica backbone and size of the polymer cross-link independently can give rise to combinations of properties which cannot be predicted from density alone. Herein, we examine the effects of four processing parameters for producing this type of polymer cross-linked aerogel on properties of the resulting monoliths. We focus on the results of 13C CP-MAS NMR which gives insight to the size and structure of polymer cross-link present in the monoliths, and relates the size of the cross-links to microstructure, mechanical properties and other characteristics of the materials obtained.

  7. Structure-Property Relationships in Porous 3-D Nanostructures as a Function of Preparation Conditions: Isocyanate Cross-Linked Silica Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Capadona, Lynn A.; McCorkle, Linda; Padadopoulos, Demetrios S.; Leventis, Nicholas

    2007-01-01

    Sol-gel derived silica aerogels are attractive candidates for many unique thermal, optical, catalytic, and chemical applications because of their low density and high mesoporosity. However, their inherent fragility has restricted use of aerogel monoliths to applications where they are not subject to any load. We have previously reported cross-linking the mesoporous silica structure of aerogels with di-isocyanates, styrenes or epoxies reacting with amine decorated silica surfaces. These approaches have been shown to significantly increase the strength of aerogels with only a small effect on density or porosity. Though density is a prime predictor of properties such as strength and thermal conductivity for aerogels, it is becoming clear from previous studies that varying the silica backbone and size of the polymer cross-link independently can give rise to combinations of properties which cannot be predicted from density alone. Herein, we examine the effects of four processing parameters for producing this type of polymer cross-linked aerogel on properties of the resulting monoliths. We focus on the results of C-13 CP-MAS NMR which gives insight to the size and structure of polymer cross-link present in the monoliths, and relates the size of the cross-links to microstructure, mechanical properties and other characteristics of the materials obtained.

  8. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community

    PubMed Central

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil. PMID:24067258

  9. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community.

    PubMed

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-03-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil. PMID:24067258

  10. Cross-linked structure of network evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Wymbs, Nicholas F.; Porter, Mason A.; Mucha, Peter J.; Grafton, Scott T.

    2014-03-01

    We study the temporal co-variation of network co-evolution via the cross-link structure of networks, for which we take advantage of the formalism of hypergraphs to map cross-link structures back to network nodes. We investigate two sets of temporal network data in detail. In a network of coupled nonlinear oscillators, hyperedges that consist of network edges with temporally co-varying weights uncover the driving co-evolution patterns of edge weight dynamics both within and between oscillator communities. In the human brain, networks that represent temporal changes in brain activity during learning exhibit early co-evolution that then settles down with practice. Subsequent decreases in hyperedge size are consistent with emergence of an autonomous subgraph whose dynamics no longer depends on other parts of the network. Our results on real and synthetic networks give a poignant demonstration of the ability of cross-link structure to uncover unexpected co-evolution attributes in both real and synthetic dynamical systems. This, in turn, illustrates the utility of analyzing cross-links for investigating the structure of temporal networks.

  11. Cross-linked structure of network evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Wymbs, Nicholas F.; Grafton, Scott T.; Porter, Mason A.; Mucha, Peter J.

    2014-03-15

    We study the temporal co-variation of network co-evolution via the cross-link structure of networks, for which we take advantage of the formalism of hypergraphs to map cross-link structures back to network nodes. We investigate two sets of temporal network data in detail. In a network of coupled nonlinear oscillators, hyperedges that consist of network edges with temporally co-varying weights uncover the driving co-evolution patterns of edge weight dynamics both within and between oscillator communities. In the human brain, networks that represent temporal changes in brain activity during learning exhibit early co-evolution that then settles down with practice. Subsequent decreases in hyperedge size are consistent with emergence of an autonomous subgraph whose dynamics no longer depends on other parts of the network. Our results on real and synthetic networks give a poignant demonstration of the ability of cross-link structure to uncover unexpected co-evolution attributes in both real and synthetic dynamical systems. This, in turn, illustrates the utility of analyzing cross-links for investigating the structure of temporal networks.

  12. Inverse structure functions

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, Bruce R.; Water, Willem van de

    2005-03-01

    While the ordinary structure function in turbulence is concerned with the statistical moments of the velocity increment {delta}u measured over a distance r, the inverse structure function is related to the distance r where the turbulent velocity exits the interval {delta}u. We study inverse structure functions of wind-tunnel turbulence which covers a range of Reynolds numbers Re{sub {lambda}}=400-1100. We test a recently proposed relation between the scaling exponents of the ordinary structure functions and those of the inverse structure functions [S. Roux and M. H. Jensen, Phys. Rev. E 69, 16309 (2004)]. The relatively large range of Reynolds numbers in our experiment also enables us to address the scaling with Reynolds number that is expected to highlight the intermediate dissipative range. While we firmly establish the (relative) scaling of inverse structure functions, our experimental results fail both predictions. Therefore, the question of the significance of inverse structure functions remains open.

  13. Small-Sample Equating Using a Synthetic Linking Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Sooyeon; von Davier, Alina A.; Haberman, Shelby

    2008-01-01

    This study addressed the sampling error and linking bias that occur with small samples in a nonequivalent groups anchor test design. We proposed a linking method called the synthetic function, which is a weighted average of the identity function and a traditional equating function (in this case, the chained linear equating function). Specifically,…

  14. Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Panek, John

    2010-01-01

    Polyimide aerogels with three-dimensional cross-linked structure are made using linear oligomeric segments of polyimide, and linked with one of the following into a 3D structure: trifunctional aliphatic or aromatic amines, latent reactive end caps such as nadic anhydride or phenylethynylphenyl amine, and silica or silsesquioxane cage structures decorated with amine. Drying the gels supercritically maintains the solid structure of the gel, creating a polyimide aerogel with improved mechanical properties over linear polyimide aerogels. Lightweight, low-density structures are desired for acoustic and thermal insulation for aerospace structures, habitats, astronaut equipment, and aeronautic applications. Aerogels are a unique material for providing such properties because of their extremely low density and small pore sizes. However, plain silica aerogels are brittle. Reinforcing the aerogel structure with a polymer (X-Aerogel) provides vast improvements in strength while maintaining low density and pore structure. However, degradation of polymers used in cross-linking tends to limit use temperatures to below 150 C. Organic aerogels made from linear polyimide have been demonstrated, but gels shrink substantially during supercritical fluid extraction and may have lower use temperature due to lower glass transition temperatures. The purpose of this innovation is to raise the glass transition temperature of all organic polyimide aerogel by use of tri-, tetra-, or poly-functional units in the structure to create a 3D covalently bonded network. Such cross-linked polyimides typically have higher glass transition temperatures in excess of 300 400 C. In addition, the reinforcement provided by a 3D network should improve mechanical stability, and prevent shrinkage on supercritical fluid extraction. The use of tri-functional aromatic or aliphatic amine groups in the polyimide backbone will provide such a 3D structure.

  15. Chip-SIP: Stable Isotope Probing of RNA combining phylogenetic microarrays and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to link structure and function in microbial systems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayali, X.; Weber, P. K.; Mabery, S.; Dekas, A.; Pett-Ridge, J.

    2013-12-01

    A primary goal of microbial ecology is to understand the biogeochemical role of individual microbial taxa in the environment. Our approach to tackle this challenge (Chip-SIP) involves the combination of high-density phylogenetic microarrays ('chips') and Stable Isotope Probing (SIP) to directly link identity and function. Microbial communities are incubated in the presence of substrate(s) enriched in 13C or 15N, RNA is extracted and hybridized onto a microarray synthesized on a conductive surface, and the array is analyzed with a NanoSIMS imaging mass spectrometer to quantify isotopic enrichment of individual probes. After testing the method with mixtures of stable isotope labeled laboratory isolates, we have investigated organic and inorganic carbon and nitrogen incorporation by microbial taxa in various ecosystems including San Francisco Bay, the coastal Pacific Ocean, California soils, and the hindguts of wood-eating beetles. We will summarize the methodology, describe the types of questions it has allowed us to investigate, and discuss some testable hypotheses about biogeochemical cycling in various environments that can benefit from this approach.

  16. Functional and Structural Analyses of CYP1B1 Variants Linked to Congenital and Adult-Onset Glaucoma to Investigate the Molecular Basis of These Diseases.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Antara; Chakraborty, Subhadip; Chakraborty, Abhijit; Chakrabarti, Saikat; Ray, Kunal

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness, appears in various forms. Mutations in CYP1B1 result in primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) by an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance while it acts as a modifier locus for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). We investigated the molecular basis of the variable phenotypes resulting from the defects in CYP1B1 by using subclones of 23 CYP1B1 mutants reported in glaucoma patients, in a cell based system by measuring the dual activity of the enzyme to metabolize both retinol and 17β-estradiol. Most variants linked to POAG showed low steroid metabolism while null or very high retinol metabolism was observed in variants identified in PCG. We examined the translational turnover rates of mutant proteins after the addition of cycloheximide and observed that the levels of enzyme activity mostly corroborated the translational turnover rate. We performed extensive normal mode analysis and molecular-dynamics-simulations-based structural analyses and observed significant variation of fluctuation in certain segmental parts of the mutant proteins, especially at the B-C and F-G loops, which were previously shown to affect the dynamic behavior and ligand entry/exit properties of the cytochrome P450 family of proteins. Our molecular study corroborates the structural analysis, and suggests that the pathologic state of the carrier of CYP1B1 mutations is determined by the allelic state of the gene. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to dissect biological activities of CYP1B1 for correlation with congenital and adult onset glaucomas. PMID:27243976

  17. Functional and Structural Analyses of CYP1B1 Variants Linked to Congenital and Adult-Onset Glaucoma to Investigate the Molecular Basis of These Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Saikat; Ray, Kunal

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness, appears in various forms. Mutations in CYP1B1 result in primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) by an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance while it acts as a modifier locus for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). We investigated the molecular basis of the variable phenotypes resulting from the defects in CYP1B1 by using subclones of 23 CYP1B1 mutants reported in glaucoma patients, in a cell based system by measuring the dual activity of the enzyme to metabolize both retinol and 17β-estradiol. Most variants linked to POAG showed low steroid metabolism while null or very high retinol metabolism was observed in variants identified in PCG. We examined the translational turnover rates of mutant proteins after the addition of cycloheximide and observed that the levels of enzyme activity mostly corroborated the translational turnover rate. We performed extensive normal mode analysis and molecular-dynamics-simulations-based structural analyses and observed significant variation of fluctuation in certain segmental parts of the mutant proteins, especially at the B-C and F-G loops, which were previously shown to affect the dynamic behavior and ligand entry/exit properties of the cytochrome P450 family of proteins. Our molecular study corroborates the structural analysis, and suggests that the pathologic state of the carrier of CYP1B1 mutations is determined by the allelic state of the gene. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to dissect biological activities of CYP1B1 for correlation with congenital and adult onset glaucomas. PMID:27243976

  18. Surface-Based fMRI-Driven Diffusion Tractography in the Presence of Significant Brain Pathology: A Study Linking Structure and Function in Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Cunnington, Ross; Boyd, Roslyn N.; Rose, Stephen E.

    2016-01-01

    Diffusion MRI (dMRI) tractography analyses are difficult to perform in the presence of brain pathology. Automated methods that rely on cortical parcellation for structural connectivity studies often fail, while manually defining regions is extremely time consuming and can introduce human error. Both methods also make assumptions about structure-function relationships that may not hold after cortical reorganisation. Seeding tractography with functional-MRI (fMRI) activation is an emerging method that reduces these confounds, but inherent smoothing of fMRI signal may result in the inclusion of irrelevant pathways. This paper describes a novel fMRI-seeded dMRI-analysis pipeline based on surface-meshes that reduces these issues and utilises machine-learning to generate task specific white matter pathways, minimising the requirement for manually-drawn ROIs. We directly compared this new strategy to a standard voxelwise fMRI-dMRI approach, by investigating correlations between clinical scores and dMRI metrics of thalamocortical and corticomotor tracts in 31 children with unilateral cerebral palsy. The surface-based approach successfully processed more participants (87%) than the voxel-based approach (65%), and provided significantly more-coherent tractography. Significant correlations between dMRI metrics and five clinical scores of function were found for the more superior regions of these tracts. These significant correlations were stronger and more frequently found with the surface-based method (15/20 investigated were significant; R2 = 0.43–0.73) than the voxelwise analysis (2 sig. correlations; 0.38 & 0.49). More restricted fMRI signal, better-constrained tractography, and the novel track-classification method all appeared to contribute toward these differences. PMID:27487011

  19. Surface-Based fMRI-Driven Diffusion Tractography in the Presence of Significant Brain Pathology: A Study Linking Structure and Function in Cerebral Palsy.

    PubMed

    Reid, Lee B; Cunnington, Ross; Boyd, Roslyn N; Rose, Stephen E

    2016-01-01

    Diffusion MRI (dMRI) tractography analyses are difficult to perform in the presence of brain pathology. Automated methods that rely on cortical parcellation for structural connectivity studies often fail, while manually defining regions is extremely time consuming and can introduce human error. Both methods also make assumptions about structure-function relationships that may not hold after cortical reorganisation. Seeding tractography with functional-MRI (fMRI) activation is an emerging method that reduces these confounds, but inherent smoothing of fMRI signal may result in the inclusion of irrelevant pathways. This paper describes a novel fMRI-seeded dMRI-analysis pipeline based on surface-meshes that reduces these issues and utilises machine-learning to generate task specific white matter pathways, minimising the requirement for manually-drawn ROIs. We directly compared this new strategy to a standard voxelwise fMRI-dMRI approach, by investigating correlations between clinical scores and dMRI metrics of thalamocortical and corticomotor tracts in 31 children with unilateral cerebral palsy. The surface-based approach successfully processed more participants (87%) than the voxel-based approach (65%), and provided significantly more-coherent tractography. Significant correlations between dMRI metrics and five clinical scores of function were found for the more superior regions of these tracts. These significant correlations were stronger and more frequently found with the surface-based method (15/20 investigated were significant; R2 = 0.43-0.73) than the voxelwise analysis (2 sig. correlations; 0.38 & 0.49). More restricted fMRI signal, better-constrained tractography, and the novel track-classification method all appeared to contribute toward these differences. PMID:27487011

  20. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-05-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbially-mediated processes. Soil amended with biochar has been demonstrated to reduce N2O emissions in the field and in laboratory experiments. Although N2O emission mitigation following soil biochar amendment has been reported frequently the underlying processes and specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in decreasing soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. To investigate the impact of biochar on the microbial community of nitrogen-transforming microorganisms we performed a microcosm study with arable soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature wood derived biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative real-time PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil.

  1. The Neutron Structure Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Roy

    2013-10-01

    Knowledge of the neutron structure function is important for testing models of the nucleon, for a complete understanding of deep inelastic scattering (DIS) from nuclei, and for high energy experiments. As there exist no free neutron targets, neutron structure functions have been determined from deep inelastic scattering from the deuteron. Unfortunately, the short-range part of the deuteron wave function becomes important in extracting the neutron structure function at very high Bjorken x. New methods have been devised for Jefferson Lab experiments to mitigate this problem. The BONUS experiment involves tagging spectator neutrons in the deuteron, while the MARATHON experiment minimizes nuclear structure effects by a comparison of DIS from 3H and 3He. A summary of the status and future plans will be presented. This work supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Physics, under contract DE-AC02-06CH11357.

  2. The Structure of Tip Links and Kinocilial Links in Avian Sensory Hair Bundles

    PubMed Central

    Tsuprun, Vladimir; Goodyear, Richard J.; Richardson, Guy P.

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that the tip links and kinocilial links of sensory hair bundles in the inner ear have similar properties and share a common epitope, and that cadherin 23 may also be a component of each link type. Transmission electron microscopy was therefore used to study and compare the fine structure of the tip links and kinocilial links in avian sensory hair bundles. Tannic acid treatment revealed a thin strand, 150–200 nm long and 8–11 nm thick, present in both link types. Fourier analysis of link images showed that the strand of both link types is formed from two filaments coiled in a helix-like arrangement with an axial period of 20–25 nm, with each filament composed of globular structures that are ∼4 nm in diameter. Differences in the radius and period of the helix-like structure may underlie the observed variation in the length of tip and kinocilial links. The similar helix-like structure of the tip links and kinocilial links is in accord with the presence of a common cell-surface antigen (TLA antigen) and similarities in the physical and chemical properties of the two link types. The spacing of the globular structures comprising each filament of the two link types is similar to the 4.3 nm center-to-center spacing reported for the globular cadherin repeat, and is consistent with the suggestion that cadherin 23 is the tip link. PMID:15377520

  3. Structure function monitor

    SciTech Connect

    McGraw, John T.; Zimmer, Peter C.; Ackermann, Mark R.

    2012-01-24

    Methods and apparatus for a structure function monitor provide for generation of parameters characterizing a refractive medium. In an embodiment, a structure function monitor acquires images of a pupil plane and an image plane and, from these images, retrieves the phase over an aperture, unwraps the retrieved phase, and analyzes the unwrapped retrieved phase. In an embodiment, analysis yields atmospheric parameters measured at spatial scales from zero to the diameter of a telescope used to collect light from a source.

  4. Linking network topology to function. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin, A. Krzywicki and M. Zagorski

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Bernardo, Diego

    2016-07-01

    The review by Martin et al. deals with a long standing problem at the interface of complex systems and molecular biology, that is the relationship between the topology of a complex network and its function. In biological terms the problem translates to relating the topology of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) to specific cellular functions. GRNs control the spatial and temporal activity of the genes encoded in the cell's genome by means of specialised proteins called Transcription Factors (TFs). A TF is able to recognise and bind specifically to a sequence (TF biding site) of variable length (order of magnitude of 10) found upstream of the sequence encoding one or more genes (at least in prokaryotes) and thus activating or repressing their transcription. TFs can thus be distinguished in activator and repressor. The picture can become more complex since some classes of TFs can form hetero-dimers consisting of a protein complex whose subunits are the individual TFs. Heterodimers can have completely different binding sites and activity compared to their individual parts. In this review the authors limit their attention to prokaryotes where the complexity of GRNs is somewhat reduced. Moreover they exploit a unique feature of living systems, i.e. evolution, to understand whether function can shape network topology. Indeed, prokaryotes such as bacteria are among the oldest living systems that have become perfectly adapted to their environment over geological scales and thus have reached an evolutionary steady-state where the fitness of the population has reached a plateau. By integrating in silico analysis and comparative evolution, the authors show that indeed function does tend to shape the structure of a GRN, however this trend is not always present and depends on the properties of the network being examined. Interestingly, the trend is more apparent for sparse networks, i.e. where the density of edges is very low. Sparsity is indeed one of the most prominent features

  5. Predicting missing links via structural similarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyu, Guo-Dong; Fan, Chang-Jun; Yu, Lian-Fei; Xiu, Bao-Xin; Zhang, Wei-Ming

    2015-04-01

    Predicting missing links in networks plays a significant role in modern science. On the basis of structural similarity, our paper proposes a new node-similarity-based measure called biased resource allocation (BRA), which is motivated by the resource allocation (RA) measure. Comparisons between BRA and nine well-known node-similarity-based measures on five real networks indicate that BRA performs no worse than RA, which was the best node-similarity-based index in previous researches. Afterwards, based on localPath (LP) and Katz measure, we propose another two improved measures, named Im-LocalPath and Im-Katz respectively. Numerical results show that the prediction accuracy of both Im-LP and Im-Katz measure improve compared with the original LP and Katz measure. Finally, a new path-similarity-based measure and its improved measure, called LYU and Im-LYU measure, are proposed and especially, Im-LYU measure is shown to perform more remarkably than other mentioned measures.

  6. Linking Long Noncoding RNA Localization and Function.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ling-Ling

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have revealed the regulatory potential of many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Most lncRNAs, like mRNAs, are transcribed by RNA polymerase II and are capped, polyadenylated, and spliced. However, the subcellular fates of lncRNAs are distinct and the mechanisms of action are diverse. Investigating the mechanisms that determine the subcellular fate of lncRNAs has the potential to provide new insights into their biogenesis and specialized functions. PMID:27499234

  7. Spin structure functions

    SciTech Connect

    Jian-ping Chen, Alexandre Deur, Sebastian Kuhn, Zein-eddine Meziani

    2011-06-01

    Spin-dependent observables have been a powerful tool to probe the internal structure of the nucleon and to understand the dynamics of the strong interaction. Experiments involving spin degrees of freedom have often brought out surprises and puzzles. The so-called "spin crisis" in the 1980s revealed the limitation of naive quark-parton models and led to intensive worldwide efforts, both experimental and theoretical, to understand the nucleon spin structure. With high intensity and high polarization of both the electron beam and targets, Jefferson Lab has the world's highest polarized luminosity and the best figure-of-merit for precision spin structure measurements. It has made a strong impact in this subfield of research. This chapter will highlight Jefferson Lab's unique contributions in the measurements of valence quark spin distributions, in the moments of spin structure functions at low to intermediate Q2, and in the transverse spin structure.

  8. Spatial Colocalization and Functional Link of Purinosomes with Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    French, Jarrod B.; Jones, Sara A.; Deng, Huayun; Pedley, Anthony M.; Kim, Doory; Chan, Chung Yu; Hu, Haibei; Pugh, Raymond J.; Zhao, Hong; Zhang, Youxin; Huang, Tony Jun; Fang, Ye; Zhuang, Xiaowei; Benkovic, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Purine biosynthetic enzymes organize into dynamic cellular bodies called purinosomes. Little is known about the spatiotemporal control of these structures. Using super-resolution microscopy, we demonstrated that purinosomes colocalized with mitochondria, and these results were supported by isolation of purinosome enzymes with mitochondria. Moreover, the number of purinosome containing cells responded to dysregulation of mitochondrial function and metabolism. To explore the role of intracellular signaling, we performed a kinome screen using a label-free assay and identified that mTOR influenced purinosome assembly. mTOR inhibition disrupted purinosome-mitochondria colocalization and suppressed purinosome formation stimulated by mitochondria dysregulation. Collectively, our data suggests an mTOR-mediated link between purinosomes and mitochondria and suggests a general means by which mTOR regulates nucleotide metabolism by spatiotemporal control over protein association. PMID:26912862

  9. Force control for robotic manipulators with structurally flexible links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latornell, Douglas John

    1992-01-01

    This thesis reports on the development of strategies for the control of contact forces exerted by a structurally flexible robotic manipulator on surfaces in its working environment. The controller is based on a multivariable, explicitly adaptive, long range predictive control algorithm. A static equilibrium bias term which is particularly applicable to the contact force control problem has been incorporated into the control algorithm cost function. A general formulation for the discrete time domain characteristic polynomial of the closed loop system has been derived and shown useful in tuning the controller. Kinematic and dynamic models of a robotic manipulator with structurally flexible links interacting with its working environment are derived. These models include inertia and damping effects in the contact dynamics in addition to the contact stiffness employed in most previous work. Linear analyses of the dynamic models for a variety of manipulator configurations reveal that the controlled variable, the contact force, is dominated by different open loop modes of the system depending on the effective stiffness of the contacting surfaces. This result has important implications for the selection of the controller parameters. The performance of the controller has been evaluated using computer simulation. A special purpose simulation program, TWOFLEX, which includes the dynamics models of the manipulator and the environment as well as the control algorithm was developed during the research. The configurations investigated using the simulation include a single flexible manipulator link, two link manipulators with both rigid and flexible links, and a two link prototype model of the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) manipulator for the proposed Space Station Freedom. The results show that the controller can be tuned to provide fast contact force step responses with minimal overshoot and zero steady-state error. The problem of maintaining control through the discontinuous

  10. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  11. 4,6-α-Glucanotransferase, a Novel Enzyme That Structurally and Functionally Provides an Evolutionary Link between Glycoside Hydrolase Enzyme Families 13 and 70▿

    PubMed Central

    Kralj, Slavko; Grijpstra, Pieter; van Leeuwen, Sander S.; Leemhuis, Hans; Dobruchowska, Justyna M.; van der Kaaij, Rachel M.; Malik, Amarila; Oetari, Ariyanti; Kamerling, Johannis P.; Dijkhuizen, Lubbert

    2011-01-01

    Lactobacillus reuteri 121 uses the glucosyltransferase A (GTFA) enzyme to convert sucrose into large amounts of the α-d-glucan reuteran, an exopolysaccharide. Upstream of gtfA lies another putative glucansucrase gene, designated gtfB. Previously, we have shown that the purified recombinant GTFB protein/enzyme is inactive with sucrose. Various homologs of gtfB are present in other Lactobacillus strains, including the L. reuteri type strain, DSM 20016, the genome sequence of which is available. Here we report that GTFB is a novel α-glucanotransferase enzyme with disproportionating (cleaving α1→4 and synthesizing α1→6 and α1→4 glycosidic linkages) and α1→6 polymerizing types of activity on maltotetraose and larger maltooligosaccharide substrates (in short, it is a 4,6-α-glucanotransferase). Characterization of the types of compounds synthesized from maltoheptaose by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), methylation analysis, and 1-dimensional 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that only linear products were made and that with increasing degrees of polymerization (DP), more α1→6 glycosidic linkages were introduced into the final products, ranging from 18% in the incubation mixture to 33% in an enriched fraction. In view of its primary structure, GTFB clearly is a member of the glycoside hydrolase 70 (GH70) family, comprising enzymes with a permuted (β/α)8 barrel that use sucrose to synthesize α-d-glucan polymers. The GTFB enzyme reaction and product specificities, however, are novel for the GH70 family, resembling those of the GH13 α-amylase type of enzymes in using maltooligosaccharides as substrates but differing in introducing a series of α1→6 glycosidic linkages into linear oligosaccharide products. We conclude that GTFB represents a novel evolutionary intermediate between the GH13 and GH70 enzyme families, and we speculate about its origin. PMID:21948833

  12. Structure comparison of human glioma pathogenesis-related protein GliPR and the plant pathogenesis-related protein P14a indicates a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system.

    PubMed

    Szyperski, T; Fernández, C; Mumenthaler, C; Wüthrich, K

    1998-03-01

    The human glioma pathogenesis-related protein (GliPR) is highly expressed in the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme and exhibits 35% amino acid sequence identity with the tomato pathogenesis-related (PR) protein P14a, which has an important role for the plant defense system. A molecular model of GliPR was computed with the distance geometry program DIANA on the basis of a P14a-GliPR sequence alignment and a set of 1,200 experimental NMR conformational constraints collected with P14a. The GliPR structure is represented by a group of 20 conformers with small residual DIANA target function values, low AMBER-energies after restrained energy-minimization with the program OPAL, and an average rms deviation relative to the mean of 1.6 A for the backbone heavy atoms. Comparison of the GliPR model with the P14a structure lead to the identification of a common partially solvent-exposed spatial cluster of four amino acid residues, His-69, Glu-88, Glu-110, and His-127 in the GliPR numeration. This cluster is conserved in all known plant PR proteins of class 1, indicating a common putative active site for GliPR and PR-1 proteins and thus a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system. PMID:9482873

  13. Structure comparison of human glioma pathogenesis-related protein GliPR and the plant pathogenesis-related protein P14a indicates a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system

    PubMed Central

    Szyperski, T.; Fernández, C.; Mumenthaler, C.; Wüthrich, K.

    1998-01-01

    The human glioma pathogenesis-related protein (GliPR) is highly expressed in the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme and exhibits 35% amino acid sequence identity with the tomato pathogenesis-related (PR) protein P14a, which has an important role for the plant defense system. A molecular model of GliPR was computed with the distance geometry program diana on the basis of a P14a–GliPR sequence alignment and a set of 1,200 experimental NMR conformational constraints collected with P14a. The GliPR structure is represented by a group of 20 conformers with small residual diana target function values, low amber-energies after restrained energy-minimization with the program opal, and an average rms deviation relative to the mean of 1.6 Å for the backbone heavy atoms. Comparison of the GliPR model with the P14a structure lead to the identification of a common partially solvent-exposed spatial cluster of four amino acid residues, His-69, Glu-88, Glu-110, and His-127 in the GliPR numeration. This cluster is conserved in all known plant PR proteins of class 1, indicating a common putative active site for GliPR and PR-1 proteins and thus a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system. PMID:9482873

  14. Introduction: Links between Social Interaction and Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Charlie; Carpendale, Jeremy I. M.

    2009-01-01

    The term executive function is used increasingly within developmental psychology and is often taken to refer to unfolding brain processes. We trace the origins of research on executive function to show that the link with social interaction has a long history. We suggest that a recent frenzy of research exploring methods for studying individual…

  15. Parkin structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Seirafi, Marjan; Kozlov, Guennadi; Gehring, Kalle

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the parkin or PINK1 genes are the leading cause of the autosomal recessive form of Parkinson’s disease. The gene products, the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin and the serine/threonine kinase PINK1, are neuroprotective proteins, which act together in a mitochondrial quality control pathway. Here, we review the structure of parkin and mechanisms of its autoinhibition and function as a ubiquitin ligase. We present a model for the recruitment and activation of parkin as a key regulatory step in the clearance of depolarized or damaged mitochondria by autophagy (mitophagy). We conclude with a brief overview of other functions of parkin and considerations for drug discovery in the mitochondrial quality control pathway. PMID:25712550

  16. Insulin structure and function.

    PubMed

    Mayer, John P; Zhang, Faming; DiMarchi, Richard D

    2007-01-01

    Throughout much of the last century insulin served a central role in the advancement of peptide chemistry, pharmacology, cell signaling and structural biology. These discoveries have provided a steadily improved quantity and quality of life for those afflicted with diabetes. The collective work serves as a foundation for the development of insulin analogs and mimetics capable of providing more tailored therapy. Advancements in patient care have been paced by breakthroughs in core technologies, such as semisynthesis, high performance chromatography, rDNA-biosynthesis and formulation sciences. How the structural and conformational dynamics of this endocrine hormone elicit its biological response remains a vigorous area of study. Numerous insulin analogs have served to coordinate structural biology and biochemical signaling to provide a first level understanding of insulin action. The introduction of broad chemical diversity to the study of insulin has been limited by the inefficiency in total chemical synthesis, and the inherent limitations in rDNA-biosynthesis and semisynthetic approaches. The goals of continued investigation remain the delivery of insulin therapy where glycemic control is more precise and hypoglycemic liability is minimized. Additional objectives for medicinal chemists are the identification of superagonists and insulins more suitable for non-injectable delivery. The historical advancements in the synthesis of insulin analogs by multiple methods is reviewed with the specific structural elements of critical importance being highlighted. The functional refinement of this hormone as directed to improved patient care with insulin analogs of more precise pharmacology is reported. PMID:17410596

  17. Structural Determinants of Arrestin Functions

    PubMed Central

    Gurevich, Vsevolod V.; Gurevich, Eugenia V.

    2015-01-01

    Arrestins are a small protein family with only four members in mammals. Arrestins demonstrate an amazing versatility, interacting with hundreds of different G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) subtypes, numerous nonreceptor signaling proteins, and components of the internalization machinery, as well as cytoskeletal elements, including regular microtubules and centrosomes. Here, we focus on the structural determinants that mediate various arrestin functions. The receptor-binding elements in arrestins were mapped fairly comprehensively, which set the stage for the construction of mutants targeting particular GPCRs. The elements engaged by other binding partners are only now being elucidated and in most cases we have more questions than answers. Interestingly, even very limited and imprecise identification of structural requirements for the interaction with very few other proteins has enabled the development of signaling-biased arrestin mutants. More comprehensive understanding of the structural underpinning of different arrestin functions will pave the way for the construction of arrestins that can link the receptor we want to the signaling pathway of our choosing. PMID:23764050

  18. Preclinical Dose-Escalation Study of Intravitreal AAV-RS1 Gene Therapy in a Mouse Model of X-linked Retinoschisis: Dose-Dependent Expression and Improved Retinal Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Bush, Ronald A; Zeng, Yong; Colosi, Peter; Kjellstrom, Sten; Hiriyanna, Suja; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; Santos, Maria; Li, Jinbo; Wu, Zhijian; Sieving, Paul A

    2016-05-01

    Gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases has been shown to ameliorate functional and structural defects in both animal models and in human clinical trials. X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is an early-age onset macular dystrophy resulting from loss of an extracellular matrix protein (RS1). In preparation for a human clinical gene therapy trial, we conducted a dose-range efficacy study of the clinical vector, a self-complementary AAV delivering a human retinoschisin (RS1) gene under control of the RS1 promoter and an interphotoreceptor binding protein enhancer (AAV8-scRS/IRBPhRS), in the retinoschisin knockout (Rs1-KO) mouse. The therapeutic vector at 1 × 10(6) to 2.5 × 10(9) (1E6-2.5E9) vector genomes (vg)/eye or vehicle was administered to one eye of 229 male Rs1-KO mice by intravitreal injection at 22 ± 3 days postnatal age (PN). Analysis of retinal function (dark-adapted electroretinogram, ERG), structure (cavities and outer nuclear layer thickness) by in vivo retinal imaging using optical coherence tomography, and retinal immunohistochemistry (IHC) for RS1 was done 3-4 months and/or 6-9 months postinjection (PI). RS1 IHC staining was dose dependent across doses ≥1E7 vg/eye, and the threshold for significant improvement in all measures of retinal structure and function was 1E8 vg/eye. Higher doses, however, did not produce additional improvement. At all doses showing efficacy, RS1 staining in Rs1-KO mouse was less than that in wild-type mice. Improvement in the ERG and RS1 staining was unchanged or greater at 6-9 months than at 3-4 months PI. This study demonstrates that vitreal administration of AAV8 scRS/IRBPhRS produces significant improvement in retinal structure and function in the mouse model of XLRS over a vector dose range that can be extended to a human trial. It indicates that a fully normal level of RS1 expression is not necessary for a therapeutic effect. PMID:27036983

  19. Linking soil functions to carbon fluxes and stocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olesen, Jørgen E.

    2014-05-01

    Farming practices causing declining returns and inputs of carbon (C) to soils pose threats to sustainable soil functioning by reducing availability of organic matter for soil microbial activities and by affecting soil structure, and soil C stocks that contribute to regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Declines in soil C also affect availability and storage capacity of a range of essential plant nutrients thus affecting needs for external inputs. Soil degradation is considered a serious problem in Europe and a large part of the degradation is caused by agricultural activity with intensive cultivation in arable and mixed farming system contributing to several soil threats. About 45% of European soils are estimated to have low SOM content, principally in southern Europe, but also in areas of France, UK and Germany. The European SOC stocks follow a clear north to south gradient with cooler temperatures favouring higher stocks. However, SOC stocks strongly depend on soil and land management, and there is thus a potential to both increase and lose SOC, although the potential to increase SOC strongly depends on incentives and structures for implementing improved management. Understanding the role of soil C may be better conceptualised by using a soil C flow and stocks concept to assess the impact of C management on crop productivity, soil organic C stocks and other ecosystem services. This concept distinguishes C flows and stocks, which may be hypothesized to have distinctly different effects on biological, chemical and physical soil functions. By separating the roles of carbon flows from the role of carbon stocks, it may become possible to better identify critical levels not only of soil carbon stocks, but also critical levels of carbon inputs, which directly relate to needs for crop and soil management measures. Such critical soil carbon stocks may be linked to soil mineralogy through complexed organic carbon on clay and silt surfaces. Critical levels of soil carbon

  20. Cross-Linked Conjugated Polymer Fibrils: Robust Nanowires from Functional Polythiophene Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Hammer, Brenton A. G.; Bokel, Felicia A.; Hayward, Ryan C.; Emrick, Todd

    2011-09-27

    A series of poly(3-hexyl thiophene) (P3HT)-based diblock copolymers were prepared and examined in solution for their assembly into fibrils, and post-assembly cross-linking into robust nanowire structures. P3HT-b-poly(3-methanol thiophene) (P3MT), and P3HT-b-poly(3-aminopropyloxymethyl thiophene) (P3AmT) diblock copolymers were synthesized using Grignard metathesis (GRIM) polymerization. Fibrils formed from solution assembly of these copolymers are thus decorated with hydroxyl and amine functionality, and cross-linking is achieved by reaction of diisocyanates with the hydroxyl and amine groups. A variety of cross-linked structures, characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), were produced by this method, including dense fibrillar sheets, fibril bundles, or predominately individual fibrils, depending on the chosen reaction conditions. In solution, the cross-linked fibrils maintained their characteristic vibronic structure in solvents that would normally disrupt (dissolve) the structures.

  1. Linking models and data on vegetation structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurtt, G. C.; Fisk, J.; Thomas, R. Q.; Dubayah, R.; Moorcroft, P. R.; Shugart, H. H.

    2010-06-01

    For more than a century, scientists have recognized the importance of vegetation structure in understanding forest dynamics. Now future satellite missions such as Deformation, Ecosystem Structure, and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) hold the potential to provide unprecedented global data on vegetation structure needed to reduce uncertainties in terrestrial carbon dynamics. Here, we briefly review the uses of data on vegetation structure in ecosystem models, develop and analyze theoretical models to quantify model-data requirements, and describe recent progress using a mechanistic modeling approach utilizing a formal scaling method and data on vegetation structure to improve model predictions. Generally, both limited sampling and coarse resolution averaging lead to model initialization error, which in turn is propagated in subsequent model prediction uncertainty and error. In cases with representative sampling, sufficient resolution, and linear dynamics, errors in initialization tend to compensate at larger spatial scales. However, with inadequate sampling, overly coarse resolution data or models, and nonlinear dynamics, errors in initialization lead to prediction error. A robust model-data framework will require both models and data on vegetation structure sufficient to resolve important environmental gradients and tree-level heterogeneity in forest structure globally.

  2. DNA structure and function.

    PubMed

    Travers, Andrew; Muskhelishvili, Georgi

    2015-06-01

    The proposal of a double-helical structure for DNA over 60 years ago provided an eminently satisfying explanation for the heritability of genetic information. But why is DNA, and not RNA, now the dominant biological information store? We argue that, in addition to its coding function, the ability of DNA, unlike RNA, to adopt a B-DNA structure confers advantages both for information accessibility and for packaging. The information encoded by DNA is both digital - the precise base specifying, for example, amino acid sequences - and analogue. The latter determines the sequence-dependent physicochemical properties of DNA, for example, its stiffness and susceptibility to strand separation. Most importantly, DNA chirality enables the formation of supercoiling under torsional stress. We review recent evidence suggesting that DNA supercoiling, particularly that generated by DNA translocases, is a major driver of gene regulation and patterns of chromosomal gene organization, and in its guise as a promoter of DNA packaging enables DNA to act as an energy store to facilitate the passage of translocating enzymes such as RNA polymerase. PMID:25903461

  3. Identification of nonlinear dynamic systems using functional link artificial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Patra, J C; Pal, R N; Chatterji, B N; Panda, G

    1999-01-01

    We have presented an alternate ANN structure called functional link ANN (FLANN) for nonlinear dynamic system identification using the popular backpropagation algorithm. In contrast to a feedforward ANN structure, i.e., a multilayer perceptron (MLP), the FLANN is basically a single layer structure in which nonlinearity is introduced by enhancing the input pattern with nonlinear functional expansion. With proper choice of functional expansion in a FLANN, this network performs as good as and in some cases even better than the MLP structure for the problem of nonlinear system identification. PMID:18252296

  4. Linking Models and Data on Vegetation Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurtt, G. C.; Fisk, J.; Thomas, R.; Dubayah, R.; Moorcroft, P.; Shugart, H.

    2008-12-01

    Forested ecosystems consist of a dynamic mosaic of patches on the landscape at different stages of recovery from disturbances. Recent studies have addressed this heterogeneity by combining remotely sensed measurements of vegetation structure, and advanced ecological models that track the dynamics of vegetation structure, to produce accurate estimates of both carbon stocks and fluxes at a set of important study sites. Now future satellite missions such as DESDYNI hold the potential to provide key data on vegetation structure needed to reduce uncertainties in terrestrial carbon dynamics globally. Here, we developed and analyzed a set of models to quantify the effects of limited sampling and/or coarse resolution averaging of structure measurements on model predictions. Generally, both limited sampling and coarse resolution averaging caused model initialization error, and led to subsequent prediction uncertainty and error. In cases with representative sampling, sufficient resolution, and linear dynamics, errors in initialization tended to compensate at larger scales. However, with inadequate sampling, overly coarse resolution data, and non-linear dynamics, errors in initialization led to bias. This study provides a generalized framework for assessing the tradeoffs between the quantity and quality of data on vegetation structure, and the science from models which depend on it.

  5. Correlations between Community Structure and Link Formation in Complex Networks

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhen; He, Jia-Lin; Kapoor, Komal; Srivastava, Jaideep

    2013-01-01

    Background Links in complex networks commonly represent specific ties between pairs of nodes, such as protein-protein interactions in biological networks or friendships in social networks. However, understanding the mechanism of link formation in complex networks is a long standing challenge for network analysis and data mining. Methodology/Principal Findings Links in complex networks have a tendency to cluster locally and form so-called communities. This widely existed phenomenon reflects some underlying mechanism of link formation. To study the correlations between community structure and link formation, we present a general computational framework including a theory for network partitioning and link probability estimation. Our approach enables us to accurately identify missing links in partially observed networks in an efficient way. The links having high connection likelihoods in the communities reveal that links are formed preferentially to create cliques and accordingly promote the clustering level of the communities. The experimental results verify that such a mechanism can be well captured by our approach. Conclusions/Significance Our findings provide a new insight into understanding how links are created in the communities. The computational framework opens a wide range of possibilities to develop new approaches and applications, such as community detection and missing link prediction. PMID:24039818

  6. From structure to function, via dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stetter, O.; Soriano, J.; Geisel, T.; Battaglia, D.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons in the brain are wired into a synaptic network that spans multiple scales, from local circuits within cortical columns to fiber tracts interconnecting distant areas. However, brain function require the dynamic control of inter-circuit interactions on time-scales faster than synaptic changes. In particular, strength and direction of causal influences between neural populations (described by the so-called directed functional connectivity) must be reconfigurable even when the underlying structural connectivity is fixed. Such directed functional influences can be quantified resorting to causal analysis of time-series based on tools like Granger Causality or Transfer Entropy. The ability to quickly reorganize inter-areal interactions is a chief requirement for performance in a changing natural environment. But how can manifold functional networks stem "on demand" from an essentially fixed structure? We explore the hypothesis that the self-organization of neuronal synchronous activity underlies the control of brain functional connectivity. Based on simulated and real recordings of critical neuronal cultures in vitro, as well as on mean-field and spiking network models of interacting brain areas, we have found that "function follows dynamics", rather than structure. Different dynamic states of a same structural network, characterized by different synchronization properties, are indeed associated to different functional digraphs (functional multiplicity). We also highlight the crucial role of dynamics in establishing a structure-to-function link, by showing that whenever different structural topologies lead to similar dynamical states, than the associated functional connectivities are also very similar (structural degeneracy).

  7. Multi-functional composite structures

    DOEpatents

    Mulligan, Anthony C.; Halloran, John; Popovich, Dragan; Rigali, Mark J.; Sutaria, Manish P.; Vaidyanathan, K. Ranji; Fulcher, Michael L.; Knittel, Kenneth L.

    2010-04-27

    Fibrous monolith processing techniques to fabricate multifunctional structures capable of performing more than one discrete function such as structures capable of bearing structural loads and mechanical stresses in service and also capable of performing at least one additional non-structural function.

  8. Multi-functional composite structures

    DOEpatents

    Mulligan, Anthony C.; Halloran, John; Popovich, Dragan; Rigali, Mark J.; Sutaria, Manish P.; Vaidyanathan, K. Ranji; Fulcher, Michael L.; Knittel, Kenneth L.

    2004-10-19

    Fibrous monolith processing techniques to fabricate multifunctional structures capable of performing more than one discrete function such as structures capable of bearing structural loads and mechanical stresses in service and also capable of performing at least one additional non-structural function.

  9. The scientific process--its links, functions and problems.

    PubMed

    Kinne, O

    1988-06-01

    The scientific process comprises production, quality control, dissemination, and consumption of knowledge. Its links are represented by author, editor and referees, publisher, and user. The basic units of the scientific process are research articles, the basic substrate learned journals. The formalized scientific process provides the foundation for orderly worldwide public communication among scientists and for establishing priority in scientific findings and ideas. The functions and problems of the author-editor, editor-publisher and publisher-user connections are outlined and discussed, and suggestions are offered for reducing potentially detrimental effects of diverging link interests. PMID:3205308

  10. Linking network topology to function. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin, A. Krzywicki and M. Zagorski

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Bernardo, Diego

    2016-07-01

    The review by Martin et al. deals with a long standing problem at the interface of complex systems and molecular biology, that is the relationship between the topology of a complex network and its function. In biological terms the problem translates to relating the topology of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) to specific cellular functions. GRNs control the spatial and temporal activity of the genes encoded in the cell's genome by means of specialised proteins called Transcription Factors (TFs). A TF is able to recognise and bind specifically to a sequence (TF biding site) of variable length (order of magnitude of 10) found upstream of the sequence encoding one or more genes (at least in prokaryotes) and thus activating or repressing their transcription. TFs can thus be distinguished in activator and repressor. The picture can become more complex since some classes of TFs can form hetero-dimers consisting of a protein complex whose subunits are the individual TFs. Heterodimers can have completely different binding sites and activity compared to their individual parts. In this review the authors limit their attention to prokaryotes where the complexity of GRNs is somewhat reduced. Moreover they exploit a unique feature of living systems, i.e. evolution, to understand whether function can shape network topology. Indeed, prokaryotes such as bacteria are among the oldest living systems that have become perfectly adapted to their environment over geological scales and thus have reached an evolutionary steady-state where the fitness of the population has reached a plateau. By integrating in silico analysis and comparative evolution, the authors show that indeed function does tend to shape the structure of a GRN, however this trend is not always present and depends on the properties of the network being examined. Interestingly, the trend is more apparent for sparse networks, i.e. where the density of edges is very low. Sparsity is indeed one of the most prominent features

  11. Flexible link functions in nonparametric binary regression with Gaussian process priors.

    PubMed

    Li, Dan; Wang, Xia; Lin, Lizhen; Dey, Dipak K

    2016-09-01

    In many scientific fields, it is a common practice to collect a sequence of 0-1 binary responses from a subject across time, space, or a collection of covariates. Researchers are interested in finding out how the expected binary outcome is related to covariates, and aim at better prediction in the future 0-1 outcomes. Gaussian processes have been widely used to model nonlinear systems; in particular to model the latent structure in a binary regression model allowing nonlinear functional relationship between covariates and the expectation of binary outcomes. A critical issue in modeling binary response data is the appropriate choice of link functions. Commonly adopted link functions such as probit or logit links have fixed skewness and lack the flexibility to allow the data to determine the degree of the skewness. To address this limitation, we propose a flexible binary regression model which combines a generalized extreme value link function with a Gaussian process prior on the latent structure. Bayesian computation is employed in model estimation. Posterior consistency of the resulting posterior distribution is demonstrated. The flexibility and gains of the proposed model are illustrated through detailed simulation studies and two real data examples. Empirical results show that the proposed model outperforms a set of alternative models, which only have either a Gaussian process prior on the latent regression function or a Dirichlet prior on the link function. PMID:26686333

  12. structureViz: linking Cytoscape and UCSF Chimera.

    PubMed

    Morris, John H; Huang, Conrad C; Babbitt, Patricia C; Ferrin, Thomas E

    2007-09-01

    structureViz is a Cytoscape plug-in that links the visualization of biological networks provided by Cytoscape with the visualization and analysis of macromolecular structures and sequences provided by UCSF Chimera. When combined with Cytoscape and Chimera, structureViz provides the first tool that links these two critical aspects of computational analysis in a straightforward manner. structureViz includes commands to open structures in Chimera and align them using Chimera's sequence-structure analysis tools. When a structure is opened, structureViz provides an alternative interface to Chimera: the Cytoscape Molecular Structure Navigator. This interface uses a tree-based paradigm to allow users to select and affect the display of models, chains and residues, mostly through the use of context menus. PMID:17623706

  13. Optimal optical communication terminal structure for maximizing the link budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Jian; Jiang, Dagang; Deng, Ke; Zhang, Peng

    2015-02-01

    Ordinary inter-satellite optical includes at least three optical paths for acquisition, tracking and communication, the three optical paths work simultaneously and share the received power. An optimal structure of inter-satellite optical communication terminal with single working optical path at each of working stages of acquisition and communication is introduced. A space optical switch based on frustrated total internal reflection effect is applied to switch the received laser power between the acquisition sensor and the communication sensor between the stages of acquisition and communication, this is named as power fusion which means power is transferred for shutting down unused optical path. For the stages of tracking and communication, a multiple cells sensor is used to accomplish the operation of tracking while communication, this is named as function fusion which means accomplishing multiple functions by one device to reduce the redundant optical paths. For optical communication terminal with single working path structure, the total received laser power would be detected by one sensor for each different stages of acquisition, tracking and communication, the link budget would be maximized, and this design would help to enlarge the system tolerance and reduce the acquisition time.

  14. Brain structure links loneliness to social perception.

    PubMed

    Kanai, Ryota; Bahrami, Bahador; Duchaine, Brad; Janik, Agnieszka; Banissy, Michael J; Rees, Geraint

    2012-10-23

    Loneliness is the distressing feeling associated with the perceived absence of satisfying social relationships. Loneliness is increasingly prevalent in modern societies and has detrimental effects on health and happiness. Although situational threats to social relationships can transiently induce the emotion of loneliness, susceptibility to loneliness is a stable trait that varies across individuals [6-8] and is to some extent heritable. However, little is known about the neural processes associated with loneliness (but see [12-14]). Here, we hypothesized that individual differences in loneliness might be reflected in the structure of the brain regions associated with social processes. To test this hypothesis, we used voxel-based morphometry and showed that lonely individuals have less gray matter in the left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS)--an area implicated in basic social perception. As this finding predicted, we further confirmed that loneliness was associated with difficulty in processing social cues. Although other sociopsychological factors such as social network size, anxiety, and empathy independently contributed to loneliness, only basic social perception skills mediated the association between the pSTS volume and loneliness. Taken together, our results suggest that basic social perceptual abilities play an important role in shaping an individual's loneliness. PMID:23041193

  15. Functional analysis of the Campylobacter jejuni N-linked protein glycosylation pathway.

    PubMed

    Linton, Dennis; Dorrell, Nick; Hitchen, Paul G; Amber, Saba; Karlyshev, Andrey V; Morris, Howard R; Dell, Anne; Valvano, Miguel A; Aebi, Markus; Wren, Brendan W

    2005-03-01

    We describe in this report the characterization of the recently discovered N-linked glycosylation locus of the human bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, the first such system found in a species from the domain Bacteria. We exploited the ability of this locus to function in Escherichia coli to demonstrate through mutational and structural analyses that variant glycan structures can be transferred onto protein indicating the relaxed specificity of the putative oligosaccharyltransferase PglB. Structural data derived from these variant glycans allowed us to infer the role of five individual glycosyltransferases in the biosynthesis of the N-linked heptasaccharide. Furthermore, we show that C. jejuni- and E. coli-derived pathways can interact in the biosynthesis of N-linked glycoproteins. In particular, the E. coli encoded WecA protein, a UDP-GlcNAc: undecaprenylphosphate GlcNAc-1-phosphate transferase involved in glycolipid biosynthesis, provides for an alternative N-linked heptasaccharide biosynthetic pathway bypassing the requirement for the C. jejuni-derived glycosyltransferase PglC. This is the first experimental evidence that biosynthesis of the N-linked glycan occurs on a lipid-linked precursor prior to transfer onto protein. These findings provide a framework for understanding the process of N-linked protein glycosylation in Bacteria and for devising strategies to exploit this system for glycoengineering. PMID:15752194

  16. Ensemble structure description of Lys63-linked diubiquitin.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhu; Tang, Chun

    2016-06-01

    The data described herein are related to the article entitled "Lys63-linked ubiquitin chain adopts multiple conformational states for specific target recognition" [1], and to the coordinates for the ensemble structure of Lys63-linked diubiquitin (PDB code 2N2K). A Lys63-linked diubiquitin exists in three conformational states with different orientations for the two subunits, each responsible for binding to a target protein and encoding a specific cell signal. An atomic entry in the ensemble structure file consists multiple lines, representing alternative locations of the atom and recapitulating the dynamics of the protein. Experimental details about obtaining strictly intramolecular paramagnetic restraints and determining the relative occupancies of the conformational states are presented. The experimental design and procedures in this Data article can be useful for characterizing the structure and dynamics of other multi-domain proteins. PMID:26955652

  17. From Elements to Metabolism: Linking Organismal Stoichiometry to Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, M. J.; Nifong, R. L.

    2014-12-01

    Metabolism is an integrative metric of ecosystem function and energetics, synthesizing the relative contributions of multiple inputs, processes, and interactions. Stoichiometry is a framework based on elemental ratios for understanding how organisms interact within ecosystems. Linking the two has the potential to yield fresh insight about how ecosystems utilize elements and energy. We sought to quantify the link between the stoichiometry of ecosystem metabolism, specifically the C:N:P ratios of integrated autotrophic assimilation, and the stoichiometric tissue ratios observed in the dominant autotrophs. Using high frequency in situ nutrient sensors we estimated the assimilatory fluxes of C, N, and P in multiple spring-fed rivers of varying autotrophic species composition. We measured autotroph cover in each spring river, collected composite vegetation samples, and evaluated tissue stoichiometry; as expected, we observed large differences in C:N and N:P between algal and vascular plant taxa. We observed associations between measured tissue stoichiometry and elemental ratios at the ecosystem scale, suggesting that aggregated assimilatory fluxes may be useful for partitioning primary production and linking organismal nutrient content to the stoichiometry of ecosystem metabolism.

  18. Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B. (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    A method for creating a three dimensional cross-linked polyimide structure includes dissolving a diamine, a dianhydride, and a triamine in a solvent, imidizing a polyamic acid gel by heating the gel, extracting the gel in a second solvent, supercritically drying the gel, and removing the solvent to create a polyimide aerogel.

  19. Herbivorous fishes, ecosystem function and mobile links on coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, J. Q.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2014-06-01

    Understanding large-scale movement of ecologically important taxa is key to both species and ecosystem management. Those species responsible for maintaining functional connectivity between habitats are often called mobile links and are regarded as essential elements of resilience. By providing connectivity, they support resilience across spatial scales. Most marine organisms, including fishes, have long-term, biogeographic-scale connectivity through larval movement. Although most reef species are highly site attached after larval settlement, some taxa may also be able to provide rapid, reef-scale connectivity as adults. On coral reefs, the identity of such taxa and the extent of their mobility are not yet known. We use acoustic telemetry to monitor the movements of Kyphosus vaigiensis, one of the few reef fishes that feeds on adult brown macroalgae. Unlike other benthic herbivorous fish species, it also exhibits large-scale (>2 km) movements. Individual K. vaigiensis cover, on average, a 2.5 km length of reef (11 km maximum) each day. These large-scale movements suggest that this species may act as a mobile link, providing functional connectivity, should the need arise, and helping to support functional processes across habitats and spatial scales. An analysis of published studies of home ranges in reef fishes found a consistent relationship between home range size and body length. K. vaigiensis is the sole herbivore to depart significantly from the expected home range-body size relationship, with home range sizes more comparable to exceptionally mobile large pelagic predators rather than other reef herbivores. While the large-scale movements of K. vaigiensis reveal its potential capacity to enhance resilience over large areas, it also emphasizes the potential limitations of small marine reserves to protect some herbivore populations.

  20. GRASPs in Golgi Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoyan; Wang, Yanzhuang

    2016-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus is a central intracellular membrane organelle for trafficking and modification of proteins and lipids. Its basic structure is a stack of tightly aligned flat cisternae. In mammalian cells, dozens of stacks are concentrated in the pericentriolar region and laterally connected to form a ribbon. Despite extensive research in the last decades, how this unique structure is formed and why its formation is important for proper Golgi functioning remain largely unknown. The Golgi ReAssembly Stacking Proteins, GRASP65, and GRASP55, are so far the only proteins shown to function in Golgi stacking. They are peripheral membrane proteins on the cytoplasmic face of the Golgi cisternae that form trans-oligomers through their N-terminal GRASP domain, and thereby function as the “glue” to stick adjacent cisternae together into a stack and to link Golgi stacks into a ribbon. Depletion of GRASPs in cells disrupts the Golgi structure and results in accelerated protein trafficking and defective glycosylation. In this minireview we summarize our current knowledge on how GRASPs function in Golgi structure formation and discuss why Golgi structure formation is important for its function. PMID:26779480

  1. Polyimide aerogels cross-linked through amine functionalized polyoligomeric silsesquioxane.

    PubMed

    Guo, Haiquan; Meador, Mary Ann B; McCorkle, Linda; Quade, Derek J; Guo, Jiao; Hamilton, Bart; Cakmak, Miko; Sprowl, Guilherme

    2011-02-01

    We report the first synthesis of polyimide aerogels cross-linked through a polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane, octa(aminophenyl)silsesquioxane (OAPS). Gels formed from polyamic acid solutions of 3,3',4,4'-biphenyltetracarboxylic dianhydride (BPDA), bisaniline-p-xylidene (BAX) and OAPS were chemically imidized and dried using supercritical CO(2) extraction to give aerogels having density around 0.1 g/cm(3). The aerogels are greater than 90 % porous, have high surface areas (230 to 280 m(2)/g) and low thermal conductivity (14 mW/m-K at room temperature). Notably, the polyimide aerogels cross-linked with OAPS have higher modulus than polymer reinforced silica aerogels of similar density and can be fabricated as both monoliths and thin films. Thin films of the aerogel are flexible and foldable making them an ideal insulation for space suits, and inflatable structures for habitats or decelerators for planetary re-entry, as well as more down to earth applications. PMID:21294517

  2. The Internal Structure of Nanoparticle Dimers Linked by DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas Lara, Fernando; Cheng, Ching-Jung; Gang, Oleg; Starr, Francis W.

    2012-02-01

    The self-assembly of inorganic units controlled by the interactions of biological molecules, like DNA, has received attention for the possibility to specify higher-order structure, with potential biological, optical and electronic applications. In biology, self-assembly of complex materials (eg. bone, spider silk) frequently occurs in a stepwise, hierarchical fashion. Here, we consider a first step towards a hierarchical approach for synthetic nanostructures of nanoparticles (NPs) linked by DNA. The most basic unit in this multiscale approach is a dimer of NPs linked by DNA. We use a coarse-grained molecular model to explain experimental measurements of the separation of two DNA-coated NPs connected by linking single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). We show that the dimer separation is primarily controlled by the number of DNA links between NPs. If these links are not constrained to lie along the axis between NPs, the separation is limited by off-axis connections that force the NPs to be closer. We also determine how the number of connections alters the effective persistence length of the ssDNA that connects the dimer. We discuss how these dimers might be used for subsequent assembly at larger scales.

  3. Improving nonlinear modeling capabilities of functional link adaptive filters.

    PubMed

    Comminiello, Danilo; Scarpiniti, Michele; Scardapane, Simone; Parisi, Raffaele; Uncini, Aurelio

    2015-09-01

    The functional link adaptive filter (FLAF) represents an effective solution for online nonlinear modeling problems. In this paper, we take into account a FLAF-based architecture, which separates the adaptation of linear and nonlinear elements, and we focus on the nonlinear branch to improve the modeling performance. In particular, we propose a new model that involves an adaptive combination of filters downstream of the nonlinear expansion. Such combination leads to a cooperative behavior of the whole architecture, thus yielding a performance improvement, particularly in the presence of strong nonlinearities. An advanced architecture is also proposed involving the adaptive combination of multiple filters on the nonlinear branch. The proposed models are assessed in different nonlinear modeling problems, in which their effectiveness and capabilities are shown. PMID:26057613

  4. Genomic structural variants are linked with intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Bulayeva, Kazima; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Bulayev, Oleg; Walsh, Christopher; Glatt, Stephen; Gurgenova, Farida; Omarova, Jamilja; Berdichevets, Irina; Thompson, Paul M

    2015-09-01

    Mutations in more than 500 genes have been associated with intellectual disability (ID) and related disorders of cognitive function, such as autism and schizophrenia. Here we aimed to unravel the molecular epidemiology of non-specific ID in a genetic isolate using a combination of population and molecular genetic approaches. A large multigenerational pedigree was ascertained within a Dagestan Genetic Heritage research program in a genetic isolate of indigenous ethnics. Clinical characteristics of the affected members were based on combining diagnoses from regional psychiatric hospitals with our own clinical assessment, using a Russian translation of the structured psychiatric interviews, the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies and the Family Interview for Genetic Studies, based on DSM-IV criteria. Weber/CHLC 9.0 STRs set was used for multipoint parametric linkage analyses (Simwalk2.91). Next, we checked CNVs and LOH (based on Affymetrix SNP 5.0 data) in the linked with ID genomic regions with the aim to identify candidate genes associated with mutations in linked regions. The number of statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05) suggestive linkage peaks with 1.3 < LOD < 3.0 we detected in a total of 10 genomic regions: 1q41, 2p25.3-p24.2, 3p13-p12.1, 4q13.3, 10p11, 11q23, 12q24.22-q24.31, 17q24.2-q25.1, 21q22.13 and 22q12.3-q13.1. Three significant linkage signals with LOD >3 were obtained at 2p25.3-p24.2 under the dominant model, with a peak at 21 cM flanked by loci D2S2976 and D2S2952; at 12q24.22-q24.31 under the recessive model, with a peak at -120 cM flanked by marker D12S2070 and D12S395 and at 22q12.3 under the dominant model, with a peak at 32 cM flanked by marker D22S683 and D22S445. After a set of genes had been designated as possible candidates in these specific chromosomal regions,we conducted an exploratory search for LOH and CNV based on microarray data to detect structural genomic variants within five ID-linked regions with LOD scores between 2.0 and

  5. Nrf2 links epidermal barrier function with antioxidant defense.

    PubMed

    Schäfer, Matthias; Farwanah, Hany; Willrodt, Ann-Helen; Huebner, Aaron J; Sandhoff, Konrad; Roop, Dennis; Hohl, Daniel; Bloch, Wilhelm; Werner, Sabine

    2012-05-01

    The skin provides an efficient permeability barrier and protects from microbial invasion and oxidative stress. Here, we show that these essential functions are linked through the Nrf2 transcription factor. To test the hypothesis that activation of Nrf2 provides skin protection under stress conditions, we determined the consequences of pharmacological or genetic activation of Nrf2 in keratinocytes. Surprisingly, mice with enhanced Nrf2 activity in keratinocytes developed epidermal thickening, hyperkeratosis and inflammation resembling lamellar ichthyosis. This resulted from upregulation of the cornified envelope proteins small proline-rich proteins (Sprr) 2d and 2h and of secretory leukocyte peptidase inhibitor (Slpi), which we identified as novel Nrf2 targets in keratinocytes. Since Sprrs are potent scavengers of reactive oxygen species and since Slpi has antimicrobial activities, their upregulation contributes to Nrf2's protective function. However, it also caused corneocyte fragility and impaired desquamation, followed by alterations in the epidermal lipid barrier, inflammation and overexpression of mitogens that induced keratinocyte hyperproliferation. These results identify an unexpected role of Nrf2 in epidermal barrier function, which needs to be considered for pharmacological use of Nrf2 activators. PMID:22383093

  6. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination

    PubMed Central

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A.; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  7. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  8. Using the Structure-Function Linkage Database to Characterize Functional Domains in Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Shoshana; Babbitt, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    The Structure-Function Linkage Database (SFLD; http://sfld.rbvi.ucsf.edu/) is a web-accessible database designed to link enzyme sequence, structure and functional information. This unit describes the protocol by which a user may query the database to predict the function of uncharacterized enzymes and to correct misannotated functional assignments. It is especially useful in helping a user discriminate functional capabilities of a sequence that is only distantly related to characterized sequences in publicly available databases. PMID:25501940

  9. Structured Functional Principal Component Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Shou, Haochang; Zipunnikov, Vadim; Crainiceanu, Ciprian M.; Greven, Sonja

    2015-01-01

    Summary Motivated by modern observational studies, we introduce a class of functional models that expand nested and crossed designs. These models account for the natural inheritance of the correlation structures from sampling designs in studies where the fundamental unit is a function or image. Inference is based on functional quadratics and their relationship with the underlying covariance structure of the latent processes. A computationally fast and scalable estimation procedure is developed for high-dimensional data. Methods are used in applications including high-frequency accelerometer data for daily activity, pitch linguistic data for phonetic analysis, and EEG data for studying electrical brain activity during sleep. PMID:25327216

  10. Structured functional principal component analysis.

    PubMed

    Shou, Haochang; Zipunnikov, Vadim; Crainiceanu, Ciprian M; Greven, Sonja

    2015-03-01

    Motivated by modern observational studies, we introduce a class of functional models that expand nested and crossed designs. These models account for the natural inheritance of the correlation structures from sampling designs in studies where the fundamental unit is a function or image. Inference is based on functional quadratics and their relationship with the underlying covariance structure of the latent processes. A computationally fast and scalable estimation procedure is developed for high-dimensional data. Methods are used in applications including high-frequency accelerometer data for daily activity, pitch linguistic data for phonetic analysis, and EEG data for studying electrical brain activity during sleep. PMID:25327216

  11. Functional Insights from Structural Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Forouhar,F.; Kuzin, A.; Seetharaman, J.; Lee, I.; Zhou, W.; Abashidze, M.; Chen, Y.; Montelione, G.; Tong, L.; et al

    2007-01-01

    Structural genomics efforts have produced structural information, either directly or by modeling, for thousands of proteins over the past few years. While many of these proteins have known functions, a large percentage of them have not been characterized at the functional level. The structural information has provided valuable functional insights on some of these proteins, through careful structural analyses, serendipity, and structure-guided functional screening. Some of the success stories based on structures solved at the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) are reported here. These include a novel methyl salicylate esterase with important role in plant innate immunity, a novel RNA methyltransferase (H. influenzae yggJ (HI0303)), a novel spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase (B. subtilis PaiA), a novel methyltransferase or AdoMet binding protein (A. fulgidus AF{_}0241), an ATP:cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase (B. subtilis YvqK), a novel carboxysome pore (E. coli EutN), a proline racemase homolog with a disrupted active site (B. melitensis BME11586), an FMN-dependent enzyme (S. pneumoniae SP{_}1951), and a 12-stranded {beta}-barrel with a novel fold (V. parahaemolyticus VPA1032).

  12. Soil-borne microbiome: linking diversity to function.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Lucas W; Tsai, Siu M; Navarrete, Acácio A; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes A; Kuramae, Eiko E

    2015-07-01

    Soil microorganisms are sensitive to environment disturbances, and such alterations have consequences on microbial diversity and functions. Our hypothesis is that alpha diversity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease from undisturbed to disturbed soils, with consequences for functional redundancy in the soil ecosystem. To test this hypothesis, we used soil DNA shotgun metagenomics approach to assess the soil microbiome in a chronosequence of land-use from a native tropical forest, followed by deforestation and cultivation of soybean croplands and pasture in different seasons. Agriculture and pasture soils were among the most diverse and presented higher functional redundancy, which is important to maintain the ecosystem functioning after the forest conversion. On the other hand, the ecosystem equilibrium in forest is maintained based on a lower alpha diversity but higher abundance of microorganisms. Our results indicate that land-use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities; however, ecosystem functionality is overcome by different strategies based on the abundance and diversity of the communities. PMID:25586384

  13. Time resolved structural dynamics of butadiyne-linked porphyrin dimers

    PubMed Central

    Camargo, Franco V. A.; Hall, Christopher R.; Anderson, Harry L.; Meech, Stephen R.; Heisler, Ismael A.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, the timescales and mechanisms associated with the structural dynamics of butadiyne-linked porphyrin dimers are investigated through time resolved narrowband pump/broadband probe transient absorption spectroscopy. Our results confirm previous findings that the broadening is partly due to a distribution of structures with different (dihedral) angular conformations. Comparison of measurements with excitations on the red and blue sides of the Q-band unravel the ground and excited state conformational re-equilibration timescales. Further comparison to a planarized dimer, through the addition of a ligand, provides conclusive evidence for the twisting motion performed by the porphyrin dimer in solution. PMID:26798839

  14. Functional analysis of N-linking oligosaccharyl transferase enzymes encoded by deep-sea vent proteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Mills, Dominic C; Jervis, Adrian J; Abouelhadid, Sherif; Yates, Laura E; Cuccui, Jon; Linton, Dennis; Wren, Brendan W

    2016-04-01

    Bacterial N-linking oligosaccharyl transferases (OTase enzymes) transfer lipid-linked glycans to selected proteins in the periplasm and were first described in the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, a member of the ε-proteobacteria-subdivision of bacteria. More recently, orthologues from other ε-proteobacterial Campylobacter and Helicobacter species and a δ-proteobacterium, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, have been described, suggesting that these two subdivisions of bacteria may be a source of further N-linked protein glycosylation systems. Whole-genome sequencing of both ε- and δ-proteobacteria from deep-sea vent habitats, a rich source of species from these subdivisions, revealed putative ORFs encoding OTase enzymes and associated adjacent glycosyltransferases similar to the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation locus. We expressed putative OTase ORFs from the deep-sea vent species Nitratiruptor tergarcus, Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Deferribacter desulfuricans in Escherichia coli and showed that they were able to functionally complement the C. jejuni OTase, CjPglB. The enzymes were shown to possess relaxed glycan specificity, transferring diverse glycan structures and demonstrated different glycosylation sequon specificities. Additionally, a permissive D. desulfuricans acceptor protein was identified, and we provide evidence that the N-linked glycan synthesized by N. tergarcus and S. lithotrophicum contains an acetylated sugar at the reducing end. This work demonstrates that deep-sea vent bacteria encode functional N-glycosylation machineries and are a potential source of biotechnologically important OTase enzymes. PMID:26610891

  15. Functional analysis of N-linking oligosaccharyl transferase enzymes encoded by deep-sea vent proteobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Dominic C.; Jervis, Adrian J.; Abouelhadid, Sherif; Yates, Laura E.; Cuccui, Jon; Linton, Dennis; Wren, Brendan W.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial N-linking oligosaccharyl transferases (OTase enzymes) transfer lipid-linked glycans to selected proteins in the periplasm and were first described in the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, a member of the ε-proteobacteria-subdivision of bacteria. More recently, orthologues from other ε-proteobacterial Campylobacter and Helicobacter species and a δ-proteobacterium, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, have been described, suggesting that these two subdivisions of bacteria may be a source of further N-linked protein glycosylation systems. Whole-genome sequencing of both ε- and δ-proteobacteria from deep-sea vent habitats, a rich source of species from these subdivisions, revealed putative ORFs encoding OTase enzymes and associated adjacent glycosyltransferases similar to the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation locus. We expressed putative OTase ORFs from the deep-sea vent species Nitratiruptor tergarcus, Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Deferribacter desulfuricans in Escherichia coli and showed they were able to functionally complement the C. jejuni OTase, CjPglB . The enzymes were shown to possess relaxed glycan specificity, transferring diverse glycan structures and demonstrated different glycosylation sequon specificities. Additionally a permissive D. desulfuricans acceptor protein was identified, and we provide evidence that the N-linked glycan synthesised by N. tergarcus and S. lithotrophicum contains an acetylated sugar at the reducing end. This work demonstrates that deep-sea vent bacteria encode functional N-glycosylation machineries and are a potential source of biotechnologically important OTase enzymes. PMID:26610891

  16. HMG Nuclear Proteins: Linking Chromatin Structure to Cellular Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Reeves, Raymond

    2009-01-01

    I. Summary Although the three families of mammalian HMG proteins (HMGA, HMGB and HMGN) participate in many of the same nuclear processes, each family plays its own unique role in modulating chromatin structure and regulating genomic function. This review focuses on the similarities and differences in the mechanisms by which the different HMG families impact chromatin structure and influence cellular phenotype. The biological implications of having three architectural transcription factor families with complementary, but partially overlapping, nuclear functions are discussed. PMID:19748605

  17. Quasi-Racemic X-ray Structures of K27-Linked Ubiquitin Chains Prepared by Total Chemical Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Pan, Man; Gao, Shuai; Zheng, Yong; Tan, Xiaodan; Lan, Huan; Tan, Xianglong; Sun, Demeng; Lu, Lining; Wang, Tian; Zheng, Qingyun; Huang, Yichao; Wang, Jiawei; Liu, Lei

    2016-06-15

    Quasi-racemic crystallography has been used to determine the X-ray structures of K27-linked ubiquitin (Ub) chains prepared through total chemical synthesis. Crystal structures of K27-linked di- and tri-ubiquitins reveal that the isopeptide linkages are confined in a unique buried conformation, which provides the molecular basis for the distinctive function of K27 linkage compared to the other seven Ub chains. K27-linked di- and triUb were found to adopt different structural conformations in the crystals, one being symmetric whereas the other triangular. Furthermore, bioactivity experiments showed that the ovarian tumor family de-ubiquitinase 2 significantly favors K27-linked triUb than K27-linked diUb. K27-linked triUb represents the so-far largest chemically synthesized protein (228 amino acids) that has been crystallized to afford a high-resolution X-ray structure. PMID:27268299

  18. Linking geophysics and soil function modelling - two examples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, J.; Franko, U.; Werban, U.; Dietrich, P.; Behrens, T.; Schmidt, K.; Fank, J.; Kroulik, M.

    2011-12-01

    iSOIL - "Interactions between soil related sciences - Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping" is a Collaborative Project (Grant Agreement number 211386) co-funded by the Research DG of the European Commission within the RTD activities of the FP7 Thematic Priority Environment. The iSOIL project aims at reliable mapping of soil properties and soil functions with various methods including geophysical, spectroscopic and monitoring techniques. The general procedure contains three steps (i) geophysical monitoring, (ii) generation of soil property maps and (iii) process modelling. The objective of this work is to demonstrate the methodological procedure on two different examples. Example A focuses on the turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM) since many soil functions in a direct or indirect way depend on SOM and SOM depletion is amongst the worst soil threats. Example B deals with the dynamics of soil water and the direct influence on crop biomass production. The applied CANDY model (Franko et al. 1995) was developed to describe dynamics of soil organic matter and mineral nitrogen as well as soil water and temperature. The new module PLUS extends CANDY to simulate crop biomass production based on environmental influences (Krüger et al. 2011). The methodological procedure of example A illustrates a model application for a field site in the Czech Republic using generated soil maps from combined geophysical data. Modelling requires a complete set of soil parameters. Combining measured soil properties and data of geophysical measurements (electrical conductivity and gamma spectrometry) is the basis for digital soil mapping which provided data about clay, silt and sand as well as SOC content. With these data pedotransfer functions produce detailed soil input data (e.g. bulk and particle density, field capacity, wilting point, saturated conductivity) for the rooted soil profile. CANDY calculated different indicators for SOM and gave hints about

  19. Structure functions and parton distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, A.D.; Stirling, W.J.; Roberts, R.G.

    1995-07-01

    The MRS parton distribution analysis is described. The latest sets are shown to give an excellent description of a wide range of deep-inelastic and other hard scattering data. Two important theoretical issues-the behavior of the distributions at small x and the flavor structure of the quark sea-are discussed in detail. A comparison with the new structure function data from HERA is made, and the outlook for the future is discussed.

  20. Linking geophysics and soil function modelling - biomass production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, J.; Franko, U.; Werban, U.; Fank, J.

    2012-04-01

    The iSOIL project aims at reliable mapping of soil properties and soil functions with various methods including geophysical, spectroscopic and monitoring techniques. The general procedure contains three steps (i) geophysical monitoring, (ii) generation of soil property maps and (iii) process modelling. The objective of this work is to demonstrate the mentioned procedure with a focus on process modelling. It deals with the dynamics of soil water and the direct influence on crop biomass production. The new module PLUS extends CANDY to simulate crop biomass production based on environmental influences. A soil function modelling with an adapted model parameterisation based on data of ground penetration radar (GPR) and conductivity (EM38) was realized. This study shows an approach to handle heterogeneity of soil properties with geophysical data used for biomass production modelling. The Austrian field site Wagna is characterised by highly heterogenic soil with fluvioglacial gravel sediments. The variation of thickness of topsoil above a sandy subsoil with gravels strongly influences the soil water balance. EM38, mounted on a mobile platform, enables to rapidly scan large areas whereas GPR requires a greater logistical effort. However, GPR can detect exact soil horizon depth between topsoil and subsoil, the combination of both results in a detailed large scale soil map. The combined plot-specific GPR and field site EM38 measurements extends the soil input data and improves the model performance of CANDY PLUS for plant biomass production (Krüger et al. 2011). The example demonstrates how geophysics provides a surplus of data for agroecosystem modelling which identifies and contributes alternative options for agricultural management decisions. iSOIL - "Interactions between soil related sciences - Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping" is a Collaborative Project (Grant Agreement number 211386) co-funded by the Research DG of the European Commission

  1. Structural Plasticity and Hippocampal Function

    PubMed Central

    Leuner, Benedetta; Gould, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    The hippocampus is a region of the mammalian brain that shows an impressive capacity for structural reorganization. Preexisting neural circuits undergo modifications in dendritic complexity and synapse number, and entirely novel neural connections are formed through the process of neurogenesis. These types of structural change were once thought to be restricted to development. However, it is now generally accepted that the hippocampus remains structurally plastic throughout life. This article reviews structural plasticity in the hippocampus over the lifespan, including how it is investigated experimentally. The modulation of structural plasticity by various experiential factors as well as the possible role it may have in hippocampal functions such as learning and memory, anxiety, and stress regulation are also considered. Although significant progress has been made in many of these areas, we highlight some of the outstanding issues that remain. PMID:19575621

  2. Grammar learning in older adults is linked to white matter microstructure and functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Antonenko, Daria; Meinzer, Marcus; Lindenberg, Robert; Witte, A Veronica; Flöel, Agnes

    2012-09-01

    Age-related decline in cognitive function has been linked to alterations of white matter and functional brain connectivity. With regard to language, aging has been shown to be associated with impaired syntax processing, but the underlying structural and functional correlates are poorly understood. In the present study, we used an artificial grammar learning (AGL) task to determine the ability to extract grammatical rules from new material in healthy older adults. White matter microstructure and resting-state functional connectivity (FC) of task-relevant brain regions were assessed using multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). AGL performance correlated positively with fractional anisotropy (FA) underlying left and right Brodmann areas (BA) 44/45 and in tracts originating from left BA 44/45. An inverse relationship was found between task performance and FC of left and right BA 44/45, linking lower performance to stronger inter-hemispheric functional coupling. Our results suggest that white matter microstructure underlying specific prefrontal regions and their functional coupling affect acquisition of syntactic knowledge in the aging brain, offering further insight into mechanisms of functional decline in older adults. PMID:22659480

  3. Structure/Psychophysical Relationships in X-Linked Retinoschisis

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Lea D.; Wang, Yi-Zhong; Klein, Martin; Pennesi, Mark E.; Jayasundera, Thiran; Birch, David G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To compare structural properties from spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) and psychophysical measures from a subset of patients enrolled in a larger multicenter natural history study of X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS). Methods A subset of males (n = 24) participating in a larger natural history study of XLRS underwent high-resolution SDOCT. Total retina (TR) thickness and outer segment (OS) thickness were measured manually. Shape discrimination hyperacuity (SDH) and contour integration perimetry (CIP) were performed on an iPad with the myVisionTrack application. Sensitivity was measured with fundus-guided perimetry (4-2 threshold testing strategy; 10-2 grid, spot size 3, 68 points). Correlation was determined with Pearson's r correlation. Values are presented as the mean ± SD. Results Mean macular OS thickness was less in XLRS patients (17.2 ± 8.1 μm) than in controls (37.1 ± 5.7 μm; P < 0.0001) but mean TR thickness was comparable (P = 0.5884). For patients, total sensitivity was lower (13.2 ± 6.6 dB) than for controls (24.2 ± 2.4 dB; P = 0.0008) and had a strong correlation with photoreceptor OS (R2 = 0.55, P = 0.0001) and a weak correlation with TR thickness (R2 = 0.22, P = 0.0158). The XLRS subjects had a logMAR best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 0.5 ± 0.3 that was associated with OS (R2 = 0.79, P < 0.0001) but not TR thickness (R2 = 0.01, P = 0.6166). Shape DH and CIP inner ring correlated with OS (R2 = 0.33, P = 0.0085 and R2 = 0.47, P = 0.0001, respectively) but not TR thickness (R2 = 0.0004, P = 0.93; R2 = 0.0043, P = 0.75, respectively). Conclusions When considered from a single visit, OS thickness within the macula is more closely associated with macular function than TR thickness within the macula in patients with XLRS. PMID:26830370

  4. Optimizing Linked Perceptual Class Formation and Transfer of Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fields, Lanny; Garruto, Michelle

    2009-01-01

    A linked perceptual class consists of two distinct perceptual classes, A' and B', the members of which have become related to each other. For example, a linked perceptual class might be composed of many pictures of a woman (one perceptual class) and the sounds of that woman's voice (the other perceptual class). In this case, any sound of the…

  5. Supersaturated lysozyme solution structure studied by chemical cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Hall, Clayton L; Clemens, John R; Brown, Amanda M; Wilson, Lori J

    2005-06-01

    Glutaraldehyde cross-linking followed by separation has been used to detect aggregates of chicken egg-white lysozyme (CEWL) in supersaturated solutions. In solutions of varying NaCl content, the number of aggregates was found to be related to the ionic strength of the solution. Separation by SDS-PAGE showed that percentage of dimer in solution ranged from 25.3% for no NaCl to 27.1% at 15% NaCl, and the aggregates larger than dimer increased from 1.9% for no NaCl to 36.8% at 15% NaCl. Conversely, the percentage of monomers decreased from 72.8% without NaCl to 36.1% at 15% NaCl. Molecular weights by capillary electrophoresis (SDS-CE) were found to be multiples of the monomer molecular weights, with the exception of trimer, which indicates a very compact structure. Native separation was accomplished using size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) and gave a lower monomer concentration and higher aggregate concentration than SDS-CE, which is a denaturing separation method. Most noticeably, trimers were absent in the SEC separation. The number of aggregates did not change with increased time between addition of NaCl and addition of cross-linking agent when separated by gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The results suggest that high ionic strength CEWL solutions are highly aggregated and that denaturing separation methods disrupt cross-linked products. PMID:15930646

  6. Structural asymmetry of the insula is linked to the lateralization of gesture and language.

    PubMed

    Biduła, Szymon P; Króliczak, Gregory

    2015-05-01

    The control of gesture is one of the most left-lateralized functions, and the insular cortex is one of the most left-biased structures in the human brain. Therefore, we investigated whether structural asymmetries of the insula are linked to the organization of functional activity during gesture planning. We reconstructed and parcellated the insular cortex of 27 participants. First, we tested 15 strongly left-handed individuals because of a higher incidence of atypical organization of functions such as gesture and language in such a population. The inter-hemispheric structural asymmetries were compared with the lateralization of activity for gesture in the supramarginal gyrus (the hotspot of signal increase regardless of the gesturing hand) and Broca's area (the hotspot of signal increase for language production). The more pronounced leftward structural asymmetries were accompanied by greater left-hemisphere dominance for both of the studied functions. Conversely, an atypical, bilateral or rightward functional shift of gesture and language was accompanied by an attenuated leftward asymmetry of the insula. These significant relationships were driven primarily by differences in surface area. Subsequently, by adding 12 right-handed individuals to these analyses we demonstrated that the observed significant associations are generalizable to the population. These results provide the first demonstration of the relationships between structural inter-hemispheric differences of the insula and the cerebral specialization for gesture. They also corroborate the link between insular asymmetries and language lateralization. As such, these outcomes are relevant to the common cerebral specialization for gesture and language. PMID:25858359

  7. The Structure and Conformation of Lys63-Linked Tetraubiquitin

    SciTech Connect

    Datta, Ajit B.; Hura, Greg L.; Wolberger, Cynthia

    2009-10-07

    Ubiquitination involves the covalent attachment of the ubiquitin (Ub) C-terminus to the lysine side chain of a substrate protein by an isopeptide bond. The modification can comprise a single Ub moiety or a chain of Ub molecules joined by isopeptide bonds between the C-terminus of one Ub with one of the seven lysine residues in the next Ub. Modification of substrate proteins with Lys63-linked poly-Ub plays a key nondegradative signaling role in many biological processes, including DNA repair and nuclear factor-{kappa}B activation, whereas substrates modified by Lys48-linked chains are targeted to the proteasome for degradation. The distinct signaling properties of alternatively linked Ub chains presumably stem from structural differences that can be distinguished by effector proteins. We have determined the crystal structure of Lys63 tetra-Ub at a resolution of 1.96 {angstrom} and performed small-angle X-ray scattering experiments and molecular dynamics simulations to probe the conformation of Lys63 tetra-Ub in solution. The chain adopts a highly extended conformation in the crystal, in contrast with the compact globular fold of Lys48 tetra-Ub. Small-angle X-ray scattering experiments show that the Lys63 tetra-Ub chain is dynamic in solution, adopting an ensemble of conformations that are more compact than the extended form in the crystal. The results of these studies provide a basis for understanding the differences in the behavior and recognition of Lys63 poly-Ub chains.

  8. Factor XIII: Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Verena; Kohler, Hans P

    2016-06-01

    Over the last two decades, it became evident that factor XIII (FXIII) is not only a crucial determinant of clot characteristics but also has potentially important functions in many various fields such as bone biology, immunity, and adipogenesis. In this review, we aim to summarize the latest findings regarding structure and function of FXIII. In regard to FXIII structure, much progress has been made recently to understand how its subunits are held together. In the A subunit, the activation peptide has a crucial role in the formation of FXIII-A2 dimers. In the B subunit, Sushi domains that are involved in binding to the A subunit and in B2 dimer formation have been identified. In regard to FXIII function, interactions with immune cells and the complement system have been described. A novel function of FXIII-A in adipogenesis has been suggested. The role of FXIII-A in osteoblast differentiation has been further investigated; however, a novel double knockout mouse deficient in both FXIII-A and transglutaminase 2 showed normal bone formation. Thus, more research, in particular, into the cellular functions of FXIII-A is still required. PMID:27019464

  9. Trophic links between functional groups of arable plants and beetles are stable at a national scale.

    PubMed

    Brooks, David R; Storkey, Jonathan; Clark, Suzanne J; Firbank, Les G; Petit, Sandrine; Woiwod, Ian P

    2012-01-01

    1. There is an urgent need to accurately model how environmental change affects the wide-scale functioning of ecosystems, but advances are hindered by a lack of knowledge of how trophic levels are linked across space. It is unclear which theoretical approach to take to improve modelling of such interactions, but evidence is gathering that linking species responses to their functional traits can increase understanding of ecosystem dynamics. Currently, there are no quantitative studies testing how this approach might improve models of multiple, trophically interacting species, at wide spatial scales. 2. Arable weeds play a foundational role in linking food webs, providing resources for many taxa, including carabid beetles that feed on their seeds and weed-associated invertebrate prey. Here, we model associations between weeds and carabids across farmland in Great Britain (GB), to test the hypothesis that wide-scale trophic links between these groups are structured by their species functional traits. 3. A network of c. 250 arable fields, covering four crops and most lowland areas of GB, was sampled for weed, carabid and invertebrate taxa over 3 years. Data sets of these groups were closely matched in time and space, and each contained numerous species with a range of eco-physiological traits. The consistency of trophic linkages between multiple taxa sharing functional traits was tested within multivariate and log-linear models. 4. Robust links were established between the functional traits of taxa and their trophic interactions. Autumn-germinating, small-seeded weeds were associated with smaller, spring-breeding carabids, more specialised in seed feeding, whereas spring-germinating, large-seeded weeds were associated with a range of larger, autumn-breeding omnivorous carabids. These relationships were strong and dynamic, being independent of changes in invertebrate food resources and consistent across sample dates, crops and regions of GB. 5. We conclude that, in at

  10. TORC2 Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Gaubitz, Christl; Prouteau, Manoel; Kusmider, Beata; Loewith, Robbie

    2016-06-01

    The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase functions in two multiprotein complexes, TORC1 and TORC2. Although both complexes are evolutionarily conserved, only TORC1 is acutely inhibited by rapamycin. Consequently, only TORC1 signaling is relatively well understood; and, at present, only mammalian TORC1 is a validated drug target, pursued in immunosuppression and oncology. However, the knowledge void surrounding TORC2 is dissipating. Acute inhibition of TORC2 with small molecules is now possible and structural studies of both TORC1 and TORC2 have recently been reported. Here we review these recent advances as well as observations made from tissue-specific mTORC2 knockout mice. Together these studies help define TORC2 structure-function relationships and suggest that mammalian TORC2 may one day also become a bona fide clinical target. PMID:27161823

  11. Structure and functions of angiotensinogen

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hong; Cassis, Lisa A; Kooi, Craig W Vander; Daugherty, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Angiotensinogen (AGT) is the sole precursor of all angiotensin peptides. Although AGT is generally considered as a passive substrate of the renin–angiotensin system, there is accumulating evidence that the regulation and functions of AGT are intricate. Understanding the diversity of AGT properties has been enhanced by protein structural analysis and animal studies. In addition to whole-body genetic deletion, AGT can be regulated in vivo by cell-specific procedures, adeno-associated viral approaches and antisense oligonucleotides. Indeed, the availability of these multiple manipulations of AGT in vivo has provided new insights into the multifaceted roles of AGT. In this review, the combination of structural and functional studies is highlighted to focus on the increasing recognition that AGT exerts effects beyond being a sole provider of angiotensin peptides. PMID:26888118

  12. Connexinopathies: a structural and functional glimpse.

    PubMed

    García, Isaac E; Prado, Pavel; Pupo, Amaury; Jara, Oscar; Rojas-Gómez, Diana; Mujica, Paula; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; González-Casanova, Jorge; Soto-Riveros, Carolina; Pinto, Bernardo I; Retamal, Mauricio A; González, Carlos; Martínez, Agustín D

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in human connexin (Cx) genes have been related to diseases, which we termed connexinopathies. Such hereditary disorders include nonsyndromic or syndromic deafness (Cx26, Cx30), Charcot Marie Tooth disease (Cx32), occulodentodigital dysplasia and cardiopathies (Cx43), and cataracts (Cx46, Cx50). Despite the clinical phenotypes of connexinopathies have been well documented, their pathogenic molecular determinants remain elusive. The purpose of this work is to identify common/uncommon patterns in channels function among Cx mutations linked to human diseases. To this end, we compiled and discussed the effect of mutations associated to Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, and Cx50 over gap junction channels and hemichannels, highlighting the function of the structural channel domains in which mutations are located and their possible role affecting oligomerization, gating and perm/selectivity processes. PMID:27228968

  13. Structure and Function of Glucansucrases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dijkstra, B. W.; Vujičić-Žagar, A.

    2008-03-01

    Glucansucrases are relatively large (~160 kDa) extracellular enzymes produced by lactic acid bacteria. Using sucrose as a substrate they synthesize high molecular mass glucose polymers, called α-glucans, which allow the bacteria to adhere to surfaces and create a biofilm. The glucan polymers are of importance for the food and dairy industry as thickening and jellying agents. An overview is given of the current insights into the structure and functioning of these and related enzymes.

  14. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia

    PubMed Central

    Poeppl, Timm B.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Fox, Peter T.; Laird, Angela R.; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-01-01

    Despite its 0.5–1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multi-modal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  15. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia.

    PubMed

    Poeppl, Timm B; Eickhoff, Simon B; Fox, Peter T; Laird, Angela R; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-06-01

    Despite its 0.5-1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multimodal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  16. Structure and function of mitochondrial complex I.

    PubMed

    Wirth, Christophe; Brandt, Ulrich; Hunte, Carola; Zickermann, Volker

    2016-07-01

    Proton-pumping NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) is the largest and most complicated enzyme of the respiratory chain. Fourteen central subunits represent the minimal form of complex I and can be assigned to functional modules for NADH oxidation, ubiquinone reduction, and proton pumping. In addition, the mitochondrial enzyme comprises some 30 accessory subunits surrounding the central subunits that are not directly associated with energy conservation. Complex I is known to release deleterious oxygen radicals (ROS) and its dysfunction has been linked to a number of hereditary and degenerative diseases. We here review recent progress in structure determination, and in understanding the role of accessory subunits and functional analysis of mitochondrial complex I. For the central subunits, structures provide insight into the arrangement of functional modules including the substrate binding sites, redox-centers and putative proton channels and pump sites. Only for two of the accessory subunits, detailed structures are available. Nevertheless, many of them could be localized in the overall structure of complex I, but most of these assignments have to be considered tentative. Strikingly, redox reactions and proton pumping machinery are spatially completely separated and the site of reduction for the hydrophobic substrate ubiquinone is found deeply buried in the hydrophilic domain of the complex. The X-ray structure of complex I from Yarrowia lipolytica provides clues supporting the previously proposed two-state stabilization change mechanism, in which ubiquinone redox chemistry induces conformational states and thereby drives proton pumping. The same structural rearrangements may explain the active/deactive transition of complex I implying an integrated mechanistic model for energy conversion and regulation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Respiratory complex I, edited by Volker Zickermann and Ulrich Brandt. PMID:26921811

  17. The structure and function of fungal cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nozawa, Y.

    1984-01-01

    The structure and function of fungal cell walls were studied with particular emphasis on dermatophytes. Extraction, isolation, analysis, and observation of the cell wall structure and function were performed. The structure is described microscopically and chemically.

  18. Linking social anxiety and adolescent romantic relationship functioning: indirect effects and the importance of peers.

    PubMed

    Hebert, Karen R; Fales, Jessica; Nangle, Douglas W; Papadakis, Alison A; Grover, Rachel L

    2013-11-01

    Peer relationships undergo dramatic shifts in form and function during adolescence, at the same time the incidence of socially evaluative fears sharply rises. Despite well-established links between social anxiety and broader interpersonal functioning, there is a dearth of research evaluating the impact of social anxiety on functioning in close relationships during this developmental stage. The present study examines the impact of social anxiety on functioning in close friendships and romantic relationships during adolescence. From a developmental psychopathology perspective, it was expected that social anxiety would influence functioning (quality, length, satisfaction) in romantic relationships through its influence on functioning in same- and other-sex friendships. Participants included 314 adolescents (60.5% female, 14-19 years of age) with a prior or current history of romantic relationship involvement. Structural equation modeling was used to test a mediation model positing an indirect pathway from social anxiety to romantic relationship functioning through functioning in close same- and other-sex friendships. Given known gender differences in social anxiety and relationship functioning, gender also was explored as a potential moderator. Results supported the hypothesized indirect pathway whereby social anxiety was associated with impairment in same-sex friendships; functioning in same-sex friendships was associated with functioning in other-sex friendships, which was associated, in turn, with functioning in romantic relationships. While the hypothesized indirect pathway was significant among both boys and girls, there was greater continuity of functioning between same- and other-sex friendships for girls. These findings highlight the importance of examining the multiple downstream effects of social anxiety on perceived social functioning in adolescence, and suggest that continuity may exist for maladaptive patterns of socialization, particularly across

  19. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-10-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  20. Toward a structural understanding of IRES RNA function.

    PubMed

    Filbin, Megan E; Kieft, Jeffrey S

    2009-06-01

    Protein synthesis of an RNA template can start by two different known mechanisms: cap-dependent translation initiation and cap-independent translation initiation. The latter is driven by RNA sequences called internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) that are found in both viral RNAs and cellular mRNAs. The diverse mechanisms used by IRESs are reflected in their structural diversity, and this structural diversity challenges us to develop a cohesive model linking IRES function to structure. With more direct structural information available for the viral IRESs, data suggest an inverse correlation between the degree to which an IRES RNA can form a stable structure on its own and the number of factors that it requires to function. Lessons learned from the viral IRESs may help understand the cellular IRESs, although more structural data are needed before any strong links can be made. PMID:19362464

  1. Functional nanometer-scale structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Tsz On Mario

    Nanometer-scale structures have properties that are fundamentally different from their bulk counterparts. Much research effort has been devoted in the past decades to explore new fabrication techniques, model the physical properties of these structures, and construct functional devices. The ability to manipulate and control the structure of matter at the nanoscale has made many new classes of materials available for the study of fundamental physical processes and potential applications. The interplay between fabrication techniques and physical understanding of the nanostructures and processes has revolutionized the physical and material sciences, providing far superior properties in materials for novel applications that benefit society. This thesis consists of two major aspects of my graduate research in nano-scale materials. In the first part (Chapters 3--6), a comprehensive study on the nanostructures based on electrospinning and thermal treatment is presented. Electrospinning is a well-established method for producing high-aspect-ratio fibrous structures, with fiber diameter ranging from 1 nm--1 microm. A polymeric solution is typically used as a precursor in electrospinning. In our study, the functionality of the nanostructure relies on both the nanostructure and material constituents. Metallic ions containing precursors were added to the polymeric precursor following a sol-gel process to prepare the solution suitable for electrospinning. A typical electrospinning process produces as-spun fibers containing both polymer and metallic salt precursors. Subsequent thermal treatments of the as-spun fibers were carried out in various conditions to produce desired structures. In most cases, polymer in the solution and the as-spun fibers acted as a backbone for the structure formation during the subsequent heat treatment, and were thermally removed in the final stage. Polymers were also designed to react with the metallic ion precursors during heat treatment in some

  2. Plant sex chromosomes: molecular structure and function.

    PubMed

    Jamilena, M; Mariotti, B; Manzano, S

    2008-01-01

    Recent molecular and genomic studies carried out in a number of model dioecious plant species, including Asparagus officinalis, Carica papaya, Silene latifolia, Rumex acetosa and Marchantia polymorpha, have shed light on the molecular structure of both homomorphic and heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and also on the gene functions they have maintained since their evolution from a pair of autosomes. The molecular structure of sex chromosomes in species from different plant families represents the evolutionary pathway followed by sex chromosomes during their evolution. The degree of Y chromosome degeneration that accompanies the suppression of recombination between the Xs and Ys differs among species. The primitive Ys of A. officinalis and C. papaya have only diverged from their homomorphic Xs in a short male-specific and non-recombining region (MSY), while the heteromorphic Ys of S. latifolia, R. acetosa and M. polymorpha have diverged from their respective Xs. As in the Y chromosomes of mammals and Drosophila, the accumulation of repetitive DNA, including both transposable elements and satellite DNA, has played an important role in the divergence and size enlargement of plant Ys, and consequently in reducing gene density. Nevertheless, the degeneration process in plants does not appear to have reached the Y-linked genes. Although a low gene density has been found in the sequenced Y chromosome of M. polymorpha, most of its genes are essential and are expressed in the vegetative and reproductive organs in both male and females. Similarly, most of the Y-linked genes that have been isolated and characterized up to now in S. latifolia are housekeeping genes that have X-linked homologues, and are therefore expressed in both males and females. Only one of them seems to be degenerate with respect to its homologous region in the X. Sequence analysis of larger regions in the homomorphic X and Y chromosomes of papaya and asparagus, and also in the heteromorphic sex chromosomes

  3. Hepatic Inflammation and Fibrosis: Functional Links and Key Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Seki, Ekihiro; Schwabe, Robert F.

    2014-01-01

    Inflammation is one of the most characteristic features of chronic liver disease of viral, alcoholic, fatty and autoimmune origin. Inflammation is typically present in all disease stages, and associated with the development of fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In the past decade, numerous studies have contributed to improved understanding of the links between hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. Here, we review mechanisms that link inflammation with the development of liver fibrosis, focusing on the role of inflammatory mediators in hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation and HSC survival during fibrogenesis and fibrosis regression. We will summarize the contributions of different inflammatory cells, including hepatic macrophages, T- and B-lymphocytes, NK cells and platelets, as well as key effectors such as cytokines, chemokines, and damage-associated molecular patterns. Furthermore, we will discuss the relevance of inflammatory signaling pathways for clinical liver disease and for the development of anti-fibrogenic strategies. PMID:25066777

  4. Brain structure links everyday creativity to creative achievement.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Wenfeng; Chen, Qunlin; Tang, Chaoying; Cao, Guikang; Hou, Yuling; Qiu, Jiang

    2016-03-01

    Although creativity is commonly considered to be a cornerstone of human progress and vital to all realms of our lives, its neural basis remains elusive, partly due to the different tasks and measurement methods applied in research. In particular, the neural correlates of everyday creativity that can be experienced by everyone, to some extent, are still unexplored. The present study was designed to investigate the brain structure underlying individual differences in everyday creativity, as measured by the Creative Behavioral Inventory (CBI) (N=163). The results revealed that more creative activities were significantly and positively associated with larger gray matter volume (GMV) in the regional premotor cortex (PMC), which is a motor planning area involved in the creation and selection of novel actions and inhibition. In addition, the gray volume of the PMC had a significant positive relationship with creative achievement and Art scores, which supports the notion that training and practice may induce changes in brain structures. These results indicate that everyday creativity is linked to the PMC and that PMC volume can predict creative achievement, supporting the view that motor planning may play a crucial role in creative behavior. PMID:26855062

  5. MPOD: A Material Property Open Database linked to structural information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepponi, Giancarlo; Gražulis, Saulius; Chateigner, Daniel

    2012-08-01

    Inspired by the Crystallography Open Database (COD), the Material Properties Open Database (MPOD) was given birth. MPOD aims at collecting and making publicly available at no charge tensorial properties (including scalar properties) of phases and linking such properties to structural information of the COD when available. MPOD files are written with the STAR file syntax, used and developed for the Crystallographic Information Files. A dictionary containing new definitions has been written according to the Dictionary Definition Language 1, although some tricks were adopted to allow for multiple entries still avoiding ambiguousness. The initial set includes mechanical properties, elastic stiffness and compliance, internal friction; electrical properties, resistivity, dielectric permittivity and stiffness, thermodynamic properties, heat capacity, thermal conductivity, diffusivity and expansion; electromechanical properties, piezoelectricity, electrostriction, electromechanical coupling; optical properties; piezooptic and photoelastic properties; superconducting properties, critical fields, penetration and coherence lengths. Properties are reported in MPOD files where the original published paper containing the data is cited and structural and experimental information is also given. One MPOD file contains information relative to only one publication and one phase. The files and the information contained therein can also be consulted on-line at http://www.materialproperties.org.

  6. Structure functions for light nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    S.A. Kulagin, R. Petti

    2010-11-01

    We discuss the nuclear EMC effect with particular emphasis on recent data for light nuclei including 2H, 3He, 4He, 9Be, 12C and 14N. In order to verify the consistency of available data, we calculate the \\chi^2 deviation between different data sets. We find a good agreement between the results from the NMC, SLAC E139, and HERMES experiments. However, our analysis indicates an overall normalization offset of about 2% in the data from the recent JLab E03-103 experiment with respect to previous data for nuclei heavier than 3He. We also discuss the extraction of the neutron/proton structure function ratio F2n/F2p from the nuclear ratios 3He/2H and 2H/1H. Our analysis shows that the E03-103 data on 3He/2H require a renormalization of about 3% in order to be consistent with the F2n/F2p ratio obtained from the NMC experiment. After such a renormalization, the 3He data from the E03-103 data and HERMES experiments are in a good agreement. Finally, we present a detailed comparison between data and model calculations, which include a description of the nuclear binding, Fermi motion and off-shell corrections to the structure functions of bound proton and neutron, as well as the nuclear pion and shadowing corrections. Overall, a good agreement with the available data for all nuclei is obtained.

  7. Structural and functional bases of inhibited temperament.

    PubMed

    Clauss, Jacqueline A; Seay, April L; VanDerKlok, Ross M; Avery, Suzanne N; Cao, Aize; Cowan, Ronald L; Benningfield, Margaret M; Blackford, Jennifer Urbano

    2014-12-01

    Children born with an inhibited temperament are at heightened risk for developing anxiety, depression and substance use. Inhibited temperament is believed to have a biological basis; however, little is known about the structural brain basis of this vulnerability trait. Structural MRI scans were obtained from 84 (44 inhibited, 40 uninhibited) young adults. Given previous findings of amygdala hyperactivity in inhibited individuals, groups were compared on three measures of amygdala structure. To identify novel substrates of inhibited temperament, a whole brain analysis was performed. Functional activation and connectivity were examined across both groups. Inhibited adults had larger amygdala and caudate volume and larger volume predicted greater activation to neutral faces. In addition, larger amygdala volume predicted greater connectivity with subcortical and higher order visual structures. Larger caudate volume predicted greater connectivity with the basal ganglia, and less connectivity with primary visual and auditory cortex. We propose that larger volume in these salience detection regions may result in increased activation and enhanced connectivity in response to social stimuli. Given the strong link between inhibited temperament and risk for psychiatric illness, novel therapeutics that target these brain regions and related neural circuits have the potential to reduce rates of illness in vulnerable individuals. PMID:24493850

  8. Structural and functional bases of inhibited temperament

    PubMed Central

    Clauss, Jacqueline A.; Seay, April L.; VanDerKlok, Ross M.; Avery, Suzanne N.; Cao, Aize; Cowan, Ronald L.; Benningfield, Margaret M.

    2014-01-01

    Children born with an inhibited temperament are at heightened risk for developing anxiety, depression and substance use. Inhibited temperament is believed to have a biological basis; however, little is known about the structural brain basis of this vulnerability trait. Structural MRI scans were obtained from 84 (44 inhibited, 40 uninhibited) young adults. Given previous findings of amygdala hyperactivity in inhibited individuals, groups were compared on three measures of amygdala structure. To identify novel substrates of inhibited temperament, a whole brain analysis was performed. Functional activation and connectivity were examined across both groups. Inhibited adults had larger amygdala and caudate volume and larger volume predicted greater activation to neutral faces. In addition, larger amygdala volume predicted greater connectivity with subcortical and higher order visual structures. Larger caudate volume predicted greater connectivity with the basal ganglia, and less connectivity with primary visual and auditory cortex. We propose that larger volume in these salience detection regions may result in increased activation and enhanced connectivity in response to social stimuli. Given the strong link between inhibited temperament and risk for psychiatric illness, novel therapeutics that target these brain regions and related neural circuits have the potential to reduce rates of illness in vulnerable individuals. PMID:24493850

  9. Using plant functional traits as a link between land use and bee foraging abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakeman, R. J.; Stockan, J.

    2013-07-01

    Many recent studies have shown that plant functional traits can be used to predict the response of plant assemblages to management or other environmental change. A further challenge is to use them to predict changes in the assemblages of other groups. Using data from a study of the impact of land use on biodiversity, the linkages between management drivers, a range of plant functional traits and the overall foraging numbers and assemblage of bees was assessed. Bee foraging numbers were only weakly predicted by plant traits, though bee foraging assemblage was closely related to a number of different groups of plant traits (flower colour and Forage Index, as well as taxonomic group). In turn, the selected traits were significantly correlated to some of the response traits that linked the plant assemblage to management, indicating that there was a predictive pathway from management to bee abundance and assemblage structure. However, models developed with just the environmental drivers proved superior at predicting both bee numbers and assemblage. Plant traits proved to be a moderately effective predictor of bee assemblage structure. However, the use of plant traits as a link between the bees and management did not offer any improvement on models directly developed from management variables. This suggests that the bee assemblage is responding to traits that have not been quantified and that developing these trophic linkage models may have to take a different approach.

  10. Linking EEG signals, brain functions and mental operations: Advantages of the Laplacian transformation.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Franck; Burle, Boris; Spieser, Laure; Carbonnell, Laurence; Meckler, Cédric; Casini, Laurence; Hasbroucq, Thierry

    2015-09-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) is a very popular technique for investigating brain functions and/or mental processes. To this aim, EEG activities must be interpreted in terms of brain and/or mental processes. EEG signals being a direct manifestation of neuronal activity it is often assumed that such interpretations are quite obvious or, at least, straightforward. However, they often rely on (explicit or even implicit) assumptions regarding the structures supposed to generate the EEG activities of interest. For these assumptions to be used appropriately, reliable links between EEG activities and the underlying brain structures must be established. Because of volume conduction effects and the mixture of activities they induce, these links are difficult to establish with scalp potential recordings. We present different examples showing how the Laplacian transformation, acting as an efficient source separation method, allowed to establish more reliable links between EEG activities and brain generators and, ultimately, with mental operations. The nature of those links depends on the depth of inferences that can vary from weak to strong. Along this continuum, we show that 1) while the effects of experimental manipulation can appear widely distributed with scalp potentials, Laplacian transformation allows to reveal several generators contributing (in different manners) to these modulations, 2) amplitude variations within the same set of generators can generate spurious differences in scalp potential topographies, often interpreted as reflecting different source configurations. In such a case, Laplacian transformation provides much more similar topographies, evidencing the same generator(s) set, and 3) using the LRP as an index of response activation most often produces ambiguous results, Laplacian-transformed response-locked ERPs obtained over motor areas allow resolving these ambiguities. PMID:25958789

  11. Functional evolution of nuclear structure

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Scott C.

    2011-01-01

    The evolution of the nucleus, the defining feature of eukaryotic cells, was long shrouded in speculation and mystery. There is now strong evidence that nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) and nuclear membranes coevolved with the endomembrane system, and that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) had fully functional NPCs. Recent studies have identified many components of the nuclear envelope in living Opisthokonts, the eukaryotic supergroup that includes fungi and metazoan animals. These components include diverse chromatin-binding membrane proteins, and membrane proteins with adhesive lumenal domains that may have contributed to the evolution of nuclear membrane architecture. Further discoveries about the nucleoskeleton suggest that the evolution of nuclear structure was tightly coupled to genome partitioning during mitosis. PMID:22006947

  12. Structures and Functions of Oligosaccharins

    SciTech Connect

    Albersheim, Peter

    1995-12-01

    We have made considerable progress during the 2.5 year funding period just ending in our studies of the structures and functions of oligosaccharide signal molecules (oligosaccharins). We have emphasized studies of the enzymes that solubilize, process, and degrade oligosaccharins and of the proteins that inhibit those enzymes. We have been especially interested in elucidating how oligosaccharins and their processing enzymes participate in determining the outcome of challenges to plants by pathogenic microbes. We have studied, to a lesser extent, the roles of oligosaccharins in plant growth and development. Abstracts of papers describing results acquired with support from this grant that have been published, submitted, or in preparation are presented to summarize the progress made during the last two and one half years. The report highlights the most important contributions made in our oiigosaccharin research during this time period, and the corresponding abstract is referenced. Results of work in progress are described primarily in conjunction with our application for continued support.

  13. Structural asymmetry of the insula is linked to the lateralization of gesture and language

    PubMed Central

    Biduła, Szymon P; Króliczak, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    The control of gesture is one of the most left-lateralized functions, and the insular cortex is one of the most left-biased structures in the human brain. Therefore, we investigated whether structural asymmetries of the insula are linked to the organization of functional activity during gesture planning. We reconstructed and parcellated the insular cortex of 27 participants. First, we tested 15 strongly left-handed individuals because of a higher incidence of atypical organization of functions such as gesture and language in such a population. The inter-hemispheric structural asymmetries were compared with the lateralization of activity for gesture in the supramarginal gyrus (the hotspot of signal increase regardless of the gesturing hand) and Broca’s area (the hotspot of signal increase for language production). The more pronounced leftward structural asymmetries were accompanied by greater left-hemisphere dominance for both of the studied functions. Conversely, an atypical, bilateral or rightward functional shift of gesture and language was accompanied by an attenuated leftward asymmetry of the insula. These significant relationships were driven primarily by differences in surface area. Subsequently, by adding 12 right-handed individuals to these analyses we demonstrated that the observed significant associations are generalizable to the population. These results provide the first demonstration of the relationships between structural inter-hemispheric differences of the insula and the cerebral specialization for gesture. They also corroborate the link between insular asymmetries and language lateralization. As such, these outcomes are relevant to the common cerebral specialization for gesture and language. PMID:25858359

  14. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-03-25

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensiiKarsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteusas well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4 adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins. PMID:26817841

  15. Rotavirus gene structure and function.

    PubMed Central

    Estes, M K; Cohen, J

    1989-01-01

    Knowledge of the structure and function of the genes and proteins of the rotaviruses has expanded rapidly. Information obtained in the last 5 years has revealed unexpected and unique molecular properties of rotavirus proteins of general interest to virologists, biochemists, and cell biologists. Rotaviruses share some features of replication with reoviruses, yet antigenic and molecular properties of the outer capsid proteins, VP4 (a protein whose cleavage is required for infectivity, possibly by mediating fusion with the cell membrane) and VP7 (a glycoprotein), show more similarities with those of other viruses such as the orthomyxoviruses, paramyxoviruses, and alphaviruses. Rotavirus morphogenesis is a unique process, during which immature subviral particles bud through the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). During this process, transiently enveloped particles form, the outer capsid proteins are assembled onto particles, and mature particles accumulate in the lumen of the ER. Two ER-specific viral glycoproteins are involved in virus maturation, and these glycoproteins have been shown to be useful models for studying protein targeting and retention in the ER and for studying mechanisms of virus budding. New ideas and approaches to understanding how each gene functions to replicate and assemble the segmented viral genome have emerged from knowledge of the primary structure of rotavirus genes and their proteins and from knowledge of the properties of domains on individual proteins. Localization of type-specific and cross-reactive neutralizing epitopes on the outer capsid proteins is becoming increasingly useful in dissecting the protective immune response, including evaluation of vaccine trials, with the practical possibility of enhancing the production of new, more effective vaccines. Finally, future analyses with recently characterized immunologic and gene probes and new animal models can be expected to provide a basic understanding of what regulates the

  16. Structure functions for light nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Kulagin, S. A.; Petti, R.

    2010-11-15

    We discuss the nuclear EMC effect with particular emphasis on recent data for light nuclei including {sup 2}H, {sup 3}He, {sup 4}He, {sup 9}Be, {sup 12}C, and {sup 14}N. In order to verify the consistency of available data, we calculate the {chi}{sup 2} deviation between different data sets. We find a good agreement between the results from the NMC, SLAC E139, and HERMES experiments. However, our analysis indicates an overall normalization offset of about 2% in the data from the recent JLab E03-103 experiment with respect to previous data for nuclei heavier than {sup 3}He. We also discuss the extraction of the neutron/proton structure function ratio F{sub 2}{sup n}/F{sub 2}{sup p} from the nuclear ratios {sup 3}He/{sup 2}H and {sup 2}H/{sup 1}H. Our analysis shows that the E03-103 data on {sup 3}He/{sup 2}H require a renormalization of about 3% in order to be consistent with the F{sub 2}{sup n}/F{sub 2}{sup p} ratio obtained from the NMC experiment. After such a renormalization, the {sup 3}He data from the E03-103 and HERMES experiments are in a good agreement. Finally, we present a detailed comparison between data and model calculations, which include a description of the nuclear binding, Fermi motion, and off-shell corrections to the structure functions of bound proton and neutron, as well as the nuclear pion and shadowing corrections. Overall, a good agreement with the available data for all nuclei is obtained.

  17. Mesoscopic simulations of hydrophilic cross-linked polycarbonate polyurethane networks: structure and morphology.

    PubMed

    Iype, E; Esteves, A C C; de With, G

    2016-06-14

    Polyurethane (PU) cross-linked networks are frequently used in biomedical and marine applications, e.g., as hydrophilic polymer coatings with antifouling or low-friction properties and have been reported to exhibit characteristic phase separation between soft and hard segments. Understanding this phase-separation behavior is critical to design novel hydrophilic polymer coatings. However, most of the studies on the structure and morphology of cross-linked coatings are experimental, which only assess the phase separation via indirect methods. Herein we present a mesoscopic simulation study of the network characteristics of model hydrophilic polymer networks, consisting of PU with and without methyl-polyethylene glycol (mPEG) dangling chains. The systems are analyzed using a number of tools, such as the radial distribution function, the cross-link point density distribution and the Voronoi volume distribution (of the cross-linking points). The combined results show that the cross-linked networks without dangling chains are rather homogeneous but contain a small amount of clustering of cross-linker molecules. A clear phase separation is observed when introducing the dangling chains. In spite of that, the amount of cross-linker molecules connected to dangling chains only, i.e., not connected to the main network, is relatively small, leading to about 3 wt% extractables. Thus, these cross-linked polymers consist of a phase-separated, yet highly connected network. This study provides valuable guidelines towards new self-healing hydrophilic coatings based on the molecular design of cross-linked networks in direct contact with water or aqueous fluids, e.g., as anti-fouling self-repairing coatings for marine applications. PMID:27174657

  18. Alteration of Golgi Structure by Stress: A Link to Neurodegeneration?

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Miranda, Eduardo A.; Sinnl, Markus; Farhan, Hesso

    2015-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus is well-known for its role as a sorting station in the secretory pathway as well as for its role in regulating post-translational protein modification. Another role for the Golgi is the regulation of cellular signaling by spatially regulating kinases, phosphatases, and GTPases. All these roles make it clear that the Golgi is a central regulator of cellular homeostasis. The response to stress and the initiation of adaptive responses to cope with it are fundamental abilities of all living cells. It was shown previously that the Golgi undergoes structural rearrangements under various stress conditions such as oxidative or osmotic stress. Neurodegenerative diseases are also frequently associated with alterations of Golgi morphology and many stress factors have been described to play an etiopathological role in neurodegeneration. It is however unclear whether the stress-Golgi connection plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases. Using a combination of bioinformatics modeling and literature mining, we will investigate evidence for such a tripartite link and we ask whether stress-induced Golgi arrangements are cause or consequence in neurodegeneration. PMID:26617486

  19. Airway Gland Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Widdicombe, Jonathan H; Wine, Jeffrey J

    2015-10-01

    Submucosal glands contribute to airway surface liquid (ASL), a film that protects all airway surfaces. Glandular mucus comprises electrolytes, water, the gel-forming mucin MUC5B, and hundreds of different proteins with diverse protective functions. Gland volume per unit area of mucosal surface correlates positively with impaction rate of inhaled particles. In human main bronchi, the volume of the glands is ∼ 50 times that of surface goblet cells, but the glands diminish in size and frequency distally. ASL and its trapped particles are removed from the airways by mucociliary transport. Airway glands have a tubuloacinar structure, with a single terminal duct, a nonciliated collecting duct, then branching secretory tubules lined with mucous cells and ending in serous acini. They allow for a massive increase in numbers of mucus-producing cells without replacing surface ciliated cells. Active secretion of Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) by serous cells produces most of the fluid of gland secretions. Glands are densely innervated by tonically active, mutually excitatory airway intrinsic neurons. Most gland mucus is secreted constitutively in vivo, with large, transient increases produced by emergency reflex drive from the vagus. Elevations of [cAMP]i and [Ca(2+)]i coordinate electrolyte and macromolecular secretion and probably occur together for baseline activity in vivo, with cholinergic elevation of [Ca(2+)]i being mainly responsive for transient increases in secretion. Altered submucosal gland function contributes to the pathology of all obstructive diseases, but is an early stage of pathogenesis only in cystic fibrosis. PMID:26336032

  20. STAS Domain Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Alok K.; Rigby, Alan C.; Alper, Seth L.

    2011-01-01

    Pendrin shares with nearly all SLC26/SulP anion transporters a carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic segment organized around a Sulfate Transporter and Anti-Sigma factor antagonist (STAS) domain. STAS domains of divergent amino acid sequence exhibit a conserved fold of 4 β strands interspersed among 5 α helices. The first STAS domain proteins studied were single-domain anti-sigma factor antagonists (anti-anti-σ). These anti-anti-σ indirectly stimulate bacterial RNA polymerase by inactivating inhibitory anti-σ kinases, liberating σ factors to direct specific transcription of target genes or operons. Some STAS domains are nucleotide-binding phosphoproteins or nucleotidases. Others are interaction/transduction modules within multidomain sensors of light, oxygen and other gasotransmitters, cyclic nucleotides, inositol phosphates, and G proteins. Additional multidomain STAS protein sequences suggest functions in sensing, metabolism, or transport of nutrients such as sugars, amino acids, lipids, anions, vitamins, or hydrocarbons. Still other multidomain STAS polypeptides include histidine and serine/threonine kinase domains and ligand-activated transcription factor domains. SulP/SLC26 STAS domains and adjacent sequences interact with other transporters, cytoskeletal scaffolds, and with enzymes metabolizing transported anion substrates, forming putative metabolons. STAS domains are central to membrane targeting of many SulP/SLC26 anion transporters, and STAS domain mutations are associated with at least three human recessive diseases. This review summarizes STAS domain structure and function. PMID:22116355

  1. Linking species functional roles to their network roles.

    PubMed

    Coux, Camille; Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2016-07-01

    Species roles in ecological networks combine to generate their architecture, which contributes to their stability. Species trait diversity also affects ecosystem functioning and resilience, yet it remains unknown whether species' contributions to functional diversity relate to their network roles. Here, we use 21 empirical pollen transport networks to characterise this relationship. We found that, apart from a few abundant species, pollinators with original traits either had few interaction partners or interacted most frequently with a subset of these partners. This suggests that narrowing of interactions to a subset of the plant community accompanies pollinator niche specialisation, congruent with our hypothesised trade-off between having unique traits vs. being able to interact with many mutualist partners. Conversely, these effects were not detected in plants, potentially because key aspects of their flowering traits are conserved at a family level. Relating functional and network roles can provide further insight into mechanisms underlying ecosystem functioning. PMID:27169359

  2. Variability of structurally constrained and unconstrained functional connectivity in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Ye; Liddle, Peter; Zhang, Jie; Francis, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Spatial variation in connectivity is an integral aspect of the brain's architecture. In the absence of this variability, the brain may act as a single homogenous entity without regional specialization. In this study, we investigate the variability in functional links categorized on the basis of the presence of direct structural paths (primary) or indirect paths mediated by one (secondary) or more (tertiary) brain regions ascertained by diffusion tensor imaging. We quantified the variability in functional connectivity using an unbiased estimate of unpredictability (functional connectivity entropy) in a neuropsychiatric disorder where structure‐function relationship is considered to be abnormal; 34 patients with schizophrenia and 32 healthy controls underwent DTI and resting state functional MRI scans. Less than one‐third (27.4% in patients, 27.85% in controls) of functional links between brain regions were regarded as direct primary links on the basis of DTI tractography, while the rest were secondary or tertiary. The most significant changes in the distribution of functional connectivity in schizophrenia occur in indirect tertiary paths with no direct axonal linkage in both early (P = 0.0002, d = 1.46) and late (P = 1 × 10−17, d = 4.66) stages of schizophrenia, and are not altered by the severity of symptoms, suggesting that this is an invariant feature of this illness. Unlike those with early stage illness, patients with chronic illness show some additional reduction in the distribution of connectivity among functional links that have direct structural paths (P = 0.08, d = 0.44). Our findings address a critical gap in the literature linking structure and function in schizophrenia, and demonstrate for the first time that the abnormal state of functional connectivity preferentially affects structurally unconstrained links in schizophrenia. It also raises the question of a continuum of dysconnectivity ranging from less direct

  3. Cognitive Function is Linked to Adherence to Bariatric Postoperative Guidelines

    PubMed Central

    Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Galioto, Rachel; Limbach, Kristen; Gunstad, John; Heinberg, Leslie

    2013-01-01

    Background Impairment in cognitive function is found in a significant subset of individuals undergoing bariatric surgery and recent work shows this impairment is associated with smaller postoperative weight loss. Reduced cognitive function could contribute to poorer adherence to postoperative guidelines, though this has not been previously examined. Objectives The current study examined the relationship between cognitive function and adherence to bariatric postoperative guidelines. We expected that higher cognitive function would be associated with better adherence to postoperative guidelines. Setting Data were collected through the bariatric service of a major medical center. Methods Thirty-seven bariatric surgery patients completed cognitive testing and a self-report measure of adherence to postoperative bariatric guidelines during their 4–6 week postoperative appointment. Results Strong correlations were observed between adherence to postoperative guidelines and cognitive indices of attention, executive function, and memory. Conclusions Results demonstrate that cognitive performance is strongly associated with adherence to postoperative guidelines shortly after bariatric surgery. Further work is needed to clarify if this relationship is present at later postoperative stages, and the degree to which this relationship mediates postoperative weight loss outcomes. PMID:23791534

  4. Structure and functions of fungal cell surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nozawa, Y.

    1984-01-01

    A review with 24 references on the biochemistry, molecular structure, and function of cell surfaces of fungi, especially dermatophytes: the chemistry and structure of the cell wall, the effect of polyene antibiotics on the morphology and function of cytoplasmic membranes, and the chemical structure and function of pigments produced by various fungi are discussed.

  5. Olfactory Cilia: Linking Sensory Cilia Function and Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Paul M.; McEwen, Dyke P.

    2009-01-01

    The olfactory system gives us an awareness of our immediate environment by allowing us to detect airborne stimuli. The components necessary for detection of these odorants are compartmentalized in the cilia of olfactory sensory neurons. Cilia are microtubule-based organelles, which can be found projecting from the surface of almost any mammalian cell, and are critical for proper olfactory function. Mislocalization of ciliary proteins and/or the loss of cilia cause impaired olfactory function, which is now recognized as a clinical manifestation of a broad class of human diseases, termed ciliopathies. Future work investigating the mechanisms of olfactory cilia function will provide us important new information regarding the pathogenesis of human sensory perception diseases. PMID:19406873

  6. Linking Executive Function and Peer Problems from Early Childhood Through Middle Adolescence.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Christopher J; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    Peer interactions and executive function play central roles in the development of healthy children, as peer problems have been indicative of lower cognitive competencies such as self-regulatory behavior and poor executive function has been indicative of problem behaviors and social dysfunction. However, few studies have focused on the relation between peer interactions and executive function and the underlying mechanisms that may create this link. Using a national sample (n = 1164, 48.6% female) from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), we analyzed executive function and peer problems (including victimization and rejection) across three waves within each domain (executive function or peer problems), beginning in early childhood and ending in middle adolescence. Executive function was measured as a multi-method, multi-informant composite including reports from parents on the Children's Behavior Questionnaire and Child Behavior Checklist and child's performance on behavioral tasks including the Continuous Performance Task, Woodcock-Johnson, Tower of Hanoi, Operation Span Task, Stroop, and Tower of London. Peer problems were measured as a multi-informant composite including self, teacher, and afterschool caregiver reports on multiple peer-relationship scales. Using a cross-lagged design, our Structural Equation Modeling findings suggested that experiencing peer problems contributed to lower executive function later in childhood and better executive function reduced the likelihood of experiencing peer problems later in childhood and middle adolescence, although these relations weakened as a child moves into adolescence. The results highlight that peer relationships are involved in the development of strengths and deficits in executive function and vice versa. PMID:26096194

  7. Can Chemical Diversity Provide a Link to Ecosystem Function?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biodiversity indices – whether to count or differentiate – reflect the purpose for which they are designed. Diversity in litter-mix experiments has been traditionally described by species or functional group richness. The lack of predictability in decomposition or mineralization response to these di...

  8. Morphology and behaviour: functional links in development and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Bertossa, Rinaldo C.

    2011-01-01

    Development and evolution of animal behaviour and morphology are frequently addressed independently, as reflected in the dichotomy of disciplines dedicated to their study distinguishing object of study (morphology versus behaviour) and perspective (ultimate versus proximate). Although traits are known to develop and evolve semi-independently, they are matched together in development and evolution to produce a unique functional phenotype. Here I highlight similarities shared by both traits, such as the decisive role played by the environment for their ontogeny. Considering the widespread developmental and functional entanglement between both traits, many cases of adaptive evolution are better understood when proximate and ultimate explanations are integrated. A field integrating these perspectives is evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), which studies the developmental basis of phenotypic diversity. Ultimate aspects in evo-devo studies—which have mostly focused on morphological traits—could become more apparent when behaviour, ‘the integrator of form and function’, is integrated into the same framework of analysis. Integrating a trait such as behaviour at a different level in the biological hierarchy will help to better understand not only how behavioural diversity is produced, but also how levels are connected to produce functional phenotypes and how these evolve. A possible framework to accommodate and compare form and function at different levels of the biological hierarchy is outlined. At the end, some methodological issues are discussed. PMID:21690124

  9. Arabidopsis CROLIN1, a Novel Plant Actin-binding Protein, Functions in Cross-linking and Stabilizing Actin Filaments*

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Honglei; Li, Jisheng; Zhu, Jingen; Fan, Tingting; Qian, Dong; Zhou, Yuelong; Wang, Jiaojiao; Ren, Haiyun; Xiang, Yun; An, Lizhe

    2013-01-01

    Higher order actin filament structures are necessary for cytoplasmic streaming, organelle movement, and other physiological processes. However, the mechanism by which the higher order cytoskeleton is formed in plants remains unknown. In this study, we identified a novel actin-cross-linking protein family (named CROLIN) that is well conserved only in the plant kingdom. There are six isovariants of CROLIN in the Arabidopsis genome, with CROLIN1 specifically expressed in pollen. In vitro biochemical analyses showed that CROLIN1 is a novel actin-cross-linking protein with binding and stabilizing activities. Remarkably, CROLIN1 can cross-link actin bundles into actin networks. CROLIN1 loss of function induces pollen germination and pollen tube growth hypersensitive to latrunculin B. All of these results demonstrate that CROLIN1 may play an important role in stabilizing and remodeling actin filaments by binding to and cross-linking actin filaments. PMID:24072702

  10. Controlled degradation of hydrogels using multi-functional cross-linking molecules.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kuen Yong; Bouhadir, Kamal H; Mooney, David J

    2004-06-01

    Hydrogels, chemically cross-linked or physically entangled, have found a number of applications as novel delivery vehicles of drugs and cells. However, the narrow ranges of degradation rates and mechanical strength currently available from many hydrogels limits their applications. We have hypothesized that utilization of multi-functional cross-linking molecules to form hydrogels could provide a wider range and tighter control over the degradation rates and mechanical stiffness of gels than bi-functional cross-linking molecules. To address the possibility, we isolated alpha-L-guluronate residues of sodium alginate, and oxidized them to prepare poly(aldehyde guluronate) (PAG). Hydrogels were formed with either poly(acrylamide-co-hydrazide) (PAH) as a multi-functional cross-linking molecule or adipic acid dihydrazide (AAD) as a bi-functional cross-linking molecule. The initial properties and degradation behavior of both PAG gel types were monitored. PAG/PAH hydrogels showed higher mechanical stiffness before degradation and degraded more slowly than PAG/AAD gels, at the same concentration of cross-linking functional groups. The enhanced mechanical stiffness and prolonged degradation behavior could be attributed to the multiple attachment points of PAH in the gel at the same concentration of functional groups. This approach to regulating gel properties with multifunctional cross-linking molecules could be broadly used in hydrogels. PMID:14751730

  11. RTTN Mutations Link Primary Cilia Function to Organization of the Human Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kheradmand Kia, Sima; Verbeek, Elly; Engelen, Erik; Schot, Rachel; Poot, Raymond A.; de Coo, Irenaeus F.M.; Lequin, Maarten H.; Poulton, Cathryn J.; Pourfarzad, Farzin; Grosveld, Frank G.; Brehm, António; de Wit, Marie Claire Y.; Oegema, Renske; Dobyns, William B.; Verheijen, Frans W.; Mancini, Grazia M.S.

    2012-01-01

    Polymicrogyria is a malformation of the developing cerebral cortex caused by abnormal organization and characterized by many small gyri and fusion of the outer molecular layer. We have identified autosomal-recessive mutations in RTTN, encoding Rotatin, in individuals with bilateral diffuse polymicrogyria from two separate families. Rotatin determines early embryonic axial rotation, as well as anteroposterior and dorsoventral patterning in the mouse. Human Rotatin has recently been identified as a centrosome-associated protein. The Drosophila melanogaster homolog of Rotatin, Ana3, is needed for structural integrity of centrioles and basal bodies and maintenance of sensory neurons. We show that Rotatin colocalizes with the basal bodies at the primary cilium. Cultured fibroblasts from affected individuals have structural abnormalities of the cilia and exhibit downregulation of BMP4, WNT5A, and WNT2B, which are key regulators of cortical patterning and are expressed at the cortical hem, the cortex-organizing center that gives rise to Cajal-Retzius (CR) neurons. Interestingly, we have shown that in mouse embryos, Rotatin colocalizes with CR neurons at the subpial marginal zone. Knockdown experiments in human fibroblasts and neural stem cells confirm a role for RTTN in cilia structure and function. RTTN mutations therefore link aberrant ciliary function to abnormal development and organization of the cortex in human individuals. PMID:22939636

  12. Integrated reactive ion etching to pattern cross-linked hydrophilic polymer structures for protein immobilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatnagar, Parijat; Strickland, Aaron D.; Kim, Il; Malliaras, George G.; Batt, Carl A.

    2007-04-01

    Patterning of cross-linked hydrophilic polymer features using reactive ion etching (RIE) capable of covalently immobilizing proteins has been achieved. Projection photolithography was used to pattern photoresist to create micromolds. Vapor phase molecular self-assembly of polymerizable monolayer in molds allowed covalent binding of hydrogel on surface during free-radical polymerization. Excess hydrogel blanket film was consumed with oxygen RIE resulting into hydrogel pattern of 1μm size aligned to prefabricated silicon oxide structures. Proteins were finally coupled through their primary amine groups selectively to acid functionalized hydrogel features through stable amide linkages using 1-ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl]carbodiimide hydrochloride and N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide.

  13. Effects on Scale Linking of Different Definitions of Criterion Functions for the IRT Characteristic Curve Methods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Seonghoon; Kolen, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Under item response theory, the characteristic curve methods (Haebara and Stocking-Lord methods) are used to link two ability scales from separate calibrations. The linking methods use their respective criterion functions that can be defined differently according to the symmetry- and distribution-related schemes. The symmetry-related scheme…

  14. Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth.

    PubMed

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Wolf, Daniel H; Roalf, David R; Ruparel, Kosha; Erus, Guray; Vandekar, Simon; Gennatas, Efstathios D; Elliott, Mark A; Smith, Alex; Hakonarson, Hakon; Verma, Ragini; Davatzikos, Christos; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C

    2015-09-01

    Sex differences in human cognition are marked, but little is known regarding their neural origins. Here, in a sample of 674 human participants ages 9-22, we demonstrate that sex differences in cognitive profiles are related to multivariate patterns of resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rsfc-MRI). Males outperformed females on motor and spatial cognitive tasks; females were faster in tasks of emotion identification and nonverbal reasoning. Sex differences were also prominent in the rsfc-MRI data at multiple scales of analysis, with males displaying more between-module connectivity, while females demonstrated more within-module connectivity. Multivariate pattern analysis using support vector machines classified subject sex on the basis of their cognitive profile with 63% accuracy (P < 0.001), but was more accurate using functional connectivity data (71% accuracy; P < 0.001). Moreover, the degree to which a given participant's cognitive profile was "male" or "female" was significantly related to the masculinity or femininity of their pattern of brain connectivity (P = 2.3 × 10(-7)). This relationship was present even when considering males and female separately. Taken together, these results demonstrate for the first time that sex differences in patterns of cognition are in part represented on a neural level through divergent patterns of brain connectivity. PMID:24646613

  15. Disgust: Evolved Function and Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tybur, Joshua M.; Lieberman, Debra; Kurzban, Robert; DeScioli, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Interest in and research on disgust has surged over the past few decades. The field, however, still lacks a coherent theoretical framework for understanding the evolved function or functions of disgust. Here we present such a framework, emphasizing 2 levels of analysis: that of evolved function and that of information processing. Although there is…

  16. Cross-Linking and Mass Spectrometry Methodologies to Facilitate Structural Biology: Finding a Path through the Maze

    PubMed Central

    Merkley, Eric D.; Cort, John R.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2013-01-01

    Multiprotein complexes, rather than individual proteins, make up a large part of the biological macromolecular machinery of a cell. Understanding the structure and organization of these complexes is critical to understanding cellular function. Chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometry is emerging as a complementary technique to traditional structural biology methods and can provide low-resolution structural information for a multitude of purposes, such as distance constraints in computational modeling of protein complexes. In this review, we discuss the experimental considerations for successful application of chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry in biological studies and highlight three examples of such studies from the recent literature. These examples (as well as many others) illustrate the utility of a chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry approach in facilitating structural analysis of large and challenging complexes. PMID:23917845

  17. Cross-Linking and Mass Spectrometry Methodologies to Facilitate Structural Biology: Finding a Path through the Maze

    SciTech Connect

    Merkley, Eric D.; Cort, John R.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2013-09-01

    Multiprotein complexes, rather than individual proteins, make up a large part of the biological macromolecular machinery of a cell. Understanding the structure and organization of these complexes is critical to understanding cellular function. Chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometry is emerging as a complementary technique to traditional structural biology methods and can provide low-resolution structural information for a multitude of purposes, such as distance constraints in computational modeling of protein complexes. In this review, we discuss the experimental considerations for successful application of chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry in biological studies and highlight three examples of such studies from the recent literature. These examples (as well as many others) illustrate the utility of a chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry approach in facilitating structural analysis of large and challenging complexes.

  18. Glutamatergic Neurotransmission Links Sensitivity to Volatile Anesthetics with Mitochondrial Function.

    PubMed

    Zimin, Pavel I; Woods, Christian B; Quintana, Albert; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; Morgan, Philip G; Sedensky, Margaret M

    2016-08-22

    An enigma of modern medicine has persisted for over 150 years. The mechanisms by which volatile anesthetics (VAs) produce their effects (loss of consciousness, analgesia, amnesia, and immobility) remain an unsolved mystery. Many attractive putative molecular targets have failed to produce a significant effect when genetically tested in whole-animal models [1-3]. However, mitochondrial defects increase VA sensitivity in diverse organisms from nematodes to humans [4-6]. Ndufs4 knockout (KO) mice lack a subunit of mitochondrial complex I and are strikingly hypersensitive to VAs yet resistant to the intravenous anesthetic ketamine [7]. The change in VA sensitivity is the largest reported for a mammal. Limiting NDUFS4 loss to a subset of glutamatergic neurons recapitulates the VA hypersensitivity of Ndufs4(KO) mice, while loss in GABAergic or cholinergic neurons does not. Baseline electrophysiologic function of CA1 pyramidal neurons does not differ between Ndufs4(KO) and control mice. Isoflurane concentrations that anesthetize only Ndufs4(KO) mice (0.6%) decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) only in Ndufs4(KO) CA1 neurons, while concentrations effective in control mice (1.2%) decreased sEPSC frequencies in both control and Ndufs4(KO) CA1 pyramidal cells. Spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) were not differentially affected between genotypes. The effects of isoflurane were similar on evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) in KO and control hippocampal slices. We propose that CA1 presynaptic excitatory neurotransmission is hypersensitive to isoflurane in Ndufs4(KO) mice due to the inhibition of pre-existing reduced complex I function, reaching a critical reduction that can no longer meet metabolic demands. PMID:27498564

  19. Functional links between stability and reactivity of strontium ruthenate single crystals during oxygen evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Seo Hyoung; Danilovic, Nemanja; Chang, Kee-Chul; Subbaraman, Ram; Paulikas, Arvydas P.; Fong, Dillon D.; Highland, Matthew J.; Baldo, Peter M.; Stamenkovic, Vojislav R.; Freeland, John W.; Eastman, Jeffrey A.; Markovic, Nenad M.

    2014-06-01

    In developing cost-effective complex oxide materials for the oxygen evolution reaction, it is critical to establish the missing links between structure and function at the atomic level. The fundamental and practical implications of the relationship on any oxide surface are prerequisite to the design of new stable and active materials. Here we report an intimate relationship between the stability and reactivity of oxide catalysts in exploring the reaction on strontium ruthenate single-crystal thin films in alkaline environments. We determine that for strontium ruthenate films with the same conductance, the degree of stability, decreasing in the order (001)>(110)>(111), is inversely proportional to the activity. Both stability and reactivity are governed by the potential-induced transformation of stable Ru4+ to unstable Run>4+. This ordered(Ru4+)-to-disordered(Run>4+) transition and the development of active sites for the reaction are determined by a synergy between electronic and morphological effects.

  20. Growth Points in Linking Representations of Function: A Research-Based Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ronda, Erlina

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes five growth points in linking representations of function developed from a study of secondary school learners. Framed within the cognitivist perspective and process-object conception of function, the growth points were identified and described based on linear and quadratic function tasks learners can do and their strategies…

  1. Practical Application of a Synthetic Linking Function on Small-Sample Equating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Sooyeon; von Davier, Alina A.; Haberman, Shelby

    2011-01-01

    The synthetic function is a weighted average of the identity (the linking function for forms that are known to be completely parallel) and a traditional equating method. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the benefits of the synthetic function on small-sample equating using various real data sets gathered from different…

  2. Ecosystem functional properties - useful links to organism and to global scale?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichstein, M.

    2015-12-01

    Classical biogeographical observations tell us that ecosystems (vegetation and soils) strongly respond to climate variation in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand the influence of vegetation function on climate via exchange of matter and energy with the atmosphere has become evident in the last decades via observational and modeling studies. Recent continuous observations of this exchange of CO2, H2O and sensible heat within the global observation network FLUXNET have enabled us to quantify ecosystem function in response to large eco-climatological spatio-temporal variability of climate. We see that ecosystem function co-varies strongly with climate, but that climate alone does not suffice to explain the variation in total. Instead vegetation biophysical and structural parameters co-determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. By combining ecosystem level observation and information of spatial meteorological and vegetation remote sensing covariates we can infer global patterns of ecosystem atmosphere fluxes and derive key ecosystem functional properties globally. While this approach is powerful and meteorological and vegetation structural predictors explain more than 70% of the spatial variation of monthly fluxes at FLUXNET sites, it ignores the effect of ecophysiological vegetation properties, which is expected from plant physiological leaf or whole-plant studies. Hence, future research has to more strongly link the organismic trait information with ecosystem functional properties. For this we propose a framework that involves 1) the correlation of community aggregated traits with flux-derived ecosystem properties across a range of ecosystems, 2) the up-scaling of vegetation traits using spatially distributed geo-ecological co-variates and the comparison with global ecosystem functional properties and their co-variation with climate, 3) the use of vegetation traits instead of vegetation classes

  3. Adolescent emotionality and effortful control: Core latent constructs and links to psychopathology and functioning

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Hannah R.; Gulley, Lauren D.; Bijttebier, Patricia; Hartman, Catharina A.; Oldehinkel, Albertine J.; Mezulis, Amy; Young, Jami F.; Hankin, Benjamin L.

    2015-01-01

    Temperament is associated with important outcomes in adolescence, including academic and interpersonal functioning and psychopathology. Rothbart’s temperament model is among the most well-studied and supported approaches to adolescent temperament, and contains three main components: positive emotionality (PE), negative emotionality (NE), and effortful control (EC). However, the latent factor structure of Rothbart’s temperament measure for adolescents, the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire Revised (EATQ-R, Ellis & Rothbart, 2001) has not been definitively established. To address this problem and investigate links between adolescent temperament and functioning, we used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the latent constructs of the EATQ-R in a large combined sample. For EC and NE, bifactor models consisting of a common factor plus specific factors for some sub-facets of each component fit best, providing a more nuanced understanding of these temperament dimensions. The nature of the PE construct in the EATQ-R is less clear. Models replicated in a hold-out dataset. The common components of high NE and low EC where broadly associated with increased psychopathology symptoms, and poor interpersonal and school functioning, while specific components of NE were further associated with corresponding specific components of psychopathology. Further questioning the construct validity of PE as measured by the EATQ-R, PE factors did not correlate with construct validity measures in a way consistent with theories of PE. Bringing consistency to the way the EATQ-R is modeled and using purer latent variables has the potential to advance the field in understanding links between dimensions of temperament and important outcomes of adolescent development. PMID:26011660

  4. Functional keratin as structural platforms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wool with up to 95% keratin by weight is a rich and pure source of proteinous biomaterial. As polymeric polyamide it exhibits high functionality through amide, carboxyl, sulfoxide, sulfide, and thiosulfide functions. Solubilized wool was transformed into keratin morphologies with the unique characte...

  5. Stories: The Function of Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mandler, Jean M.

    The differences between story grammar and story schema are outlined and discussed based on research on story understanding by children and adults. The contention of all story grammars is that stories have a relatively invariant structure despite great differences in story content. The importance of structure within folk tales, and the ways in…

  6. Estolides: From Structure and Function to Structured and Functionalized

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Oligomeric fatty acid esters, known as estolides, have been studied for close to a century. It has only been in the last dozen or so years, however, that efficient methods for preparing estolides have been developed that also allow for a modicum of control over their molecular structures. By varyi...

  7. Models of Protocellular Structure, Function and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    New, Michael H.; Pohorille, Andrew; Szostak, Jack W.; Keefe, Tony; Lanyi, Janos K.

    2001-01-01

    In the absence of any record of protocells, the most direct way to test our understanding of the origin of cellular life is to construct laboratory models that capture important features of protocellular systems. Such efforts are currently underway in a collaborative project between NASA-Ames, Harvard Medical School and University of California. They are accompanied by computational studies aimed at explaining self-organization of simple molecules into ordered structures. The centerpiece of this project is a method for the in vitro evolution of protein enzymes toward arbitrary catalytic targets. A similar approach has already been developed for nucleic acids in which a small number of functional molecules are selected from a large, random population of candidates. The selected molecules are next vastly multiplied using the polymerase chain reaction. A mutagenic approach, in which the sequences of selected molecules are randomly altered, can yield further improvements in performance or alterations of specificities. Unfortunately, the catalytic potential of nucleic acids is rather limited. Proteins are more catalytically capable but cannot be directly amplified. In the new technique, this problem is circumvented by covalently linking each protein of the initial, diverse, pool to the RNA sequence that codes for it. Then, selection is performed on the proteins, but the nucleic acids are replicated. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Engineering N-linked protein glycosylation with diverse O antigen lipopolysaccharide structures in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Mario F; Wacker, Michael; Hernandez, Marcela; Hitchen, Paul G; Marolda, Cristina L; Kowarik, Michael; Morris, Howard R; Dell, Anne; Valvano, Miguel A; Aebi, Markus

    2005-02-22

    Campylobacter jejuni has a general N-linked protein glycosylation system that can be functionally transferred to Escherichia coli. In this study, we engineered E. coli cells in a way that two different pathways, protein N-glycosylation and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis, converge at the step in which PglB, the key enzyme of the C. jejuni N-glycosylation system, transfers O polysaccharide from a lipid carrier (undecaprenyl pyrophosphate) to an acceptor protein. PglB was the only protein of the bacterial N-glycosylation machinery both necessary and sufficient for the transfer. The relaxed specificity of the PglB oligosaccharyltransferase toward the glycan structure was exploited to create novel N-glycan structures containing two distinct E. coli or Pseudomonas aeruginosa O antigens. PglB-mediated transfer of polysaccharides might be valuable for in vivo production of O polysaccharides-protein conjugates for use as antibacterial vaccines. PMID:15703289

  9. Linking Wave Forcing to Coral Cover and Structural Complexity Across Coral Reef Flats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, D. L.; Rovere, A.; Parravicini, V.; Casella, E.

    2015-12-01

    The hydrodynamic regime is a significant component in the geomorphic and ecological development of coral reefs. The energy gradients and flow conditions generated by the breaking and transformation of waves across coral reef crests and flats drive changes in geomorphic structure, and coral growth form and distribution. One of the key aspects in regulating the wave energy propagating across reef flats is the rugosity or roughness of the benthic substrate. Rugosity and structural complexity of coral reefs is also a key indicator of species diversity, ecological functioning, and reef health. However, the links between reef rugosity, coral species distribution and abundance, and hydrodynamic forcing are poorly understood. In this study we examine this relationship by using high resolution measurement of waves in the surf zone and coral reef benthic structure.Pressure transducers (logging at 4 Hz) were deployed in cross reef transects at two sites (Tiahura and Ha'apiti reef systems) in Moorea, French Polynesia with wave characteristics determined on a wave by wave basis. A one dimensional hydrodynamic model (XBeach) was calibrated from this data to determine wave processes on the reef flats under average conditions. Transects of the reef benthic structure were conducted using photographic analysis and the three dimensional reef surface was constructed using structure from motion procedures. From this analysis reef rugosity, changes in coral genus and growth form, and across reef shifts in benthic community were determined. The results show clear changes in benthic assemblages along wave energy gradients with some indication of threshold values of wave induced bed shear stress above which live coral cover was reduced. Reef rugosity was shown to be significantly along the cross-reef transect which has important implications for accurate assessment of wave dissipation across coral reef flats. Links between reef rugosity and coral genus were also observed and may indicate

  10. Infrared Structural Biology: Detect Functionally Important Structural Motions of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Aihua

    Proteins are dynamic. Lack of dynamic structures of proteins hampers our understanding of protein functions. Infrared structural biology (IRSB) is an emerging technology. There are several advantages of IRSB for mechanistic studies of proteins: (1) its excellent dynamic range (detecting structural motions from picoseconds to >= seconds); (2) its high structural sensitivity (detect tiny but functionally important structural motions such as proton transfer and changes in hydrogen bonding interaction); (3) its ability to detect different structural motions simultaneously. Successful development of infrared structural biology demands not only new experimental techniques (from infrared technologies to chemical synthesis and cell biology), but also new data processing (how to translate infrared signals into quantitative structural information of proteins). These topics will be discussed as well as examples of how to use IRSB to study structure-function relationship of proteins. This work was supported by NSF DBI1338097 and OCAST HR10-078.

  11. Role of complex asparagine-linked oligosaccharides in the expression of a functional thyrotropin receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Siffroi-Fernandez, S; Costagliola, S; Paumel, S; Giraud, A; Banga, J P; Franc, J L

    2001-01-01

    To evaluate the functional role of complex asparagine-linked oligosaccharides of the human thyrotropin receptor (TSHR), a Chinese hamster ovary cell line (JP09) and a K562 cell line (K562-TSHR) expressing this receptor were treated with deoxymannojirimycin (dMM), a mannosidase I inhibitor. dMM blocks the formation of complex-type structures and leads to the formation of high-mannose-type structures. Treatment of cells with dMM led to a decrease in the number of thyrotropin (TSH)-binding sites at the cell surface. Detection of the TSHR at the cell surface using a monoclonal antibody directed against the A subunit showed that this decrease was not due to a decrease in the number of TSHRs expressed at the cell surface. However the recognition of TSHR by a monoclonal antibody directed against the C peptide was greatly decreased. On immunoblotting, after deglycosylation using peptide N-glycanase F, the A subunit was visualized as a doublet (36 and 41 kDa). In control cells the species of higher molecular mass was more abundant whereas after dMM treatment the species of lower molecular mass became more abundant. This difference in molecular mass between the two peptides is compatible with the removal of the C peptide. In conclusion, the results show that inhibition of complex-type structure formation leads to (i) an incapacity for TSHR to bind TSH, without affecting its intracellular transport and (ii) an increase of TSHR susceptibility to proteases that remove the C peptide. We then hypothesized that removal of the C peptide could contribute to the formation of a non-functional TSHR. PMID:11171111

  12. Structure and Function in Soil Hydrology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Structure of soil and soil cover is the major control of soil hydrologic functioning, being in turn controlled with multiple feedbacks. Existing methods and parameters to characterize both soil/soil cover structure and soil hydrologic functioning are scale-dependent. The purpose of this presentation...

  13. Linking the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health.

    PubMed

    Silva Drummond, Adriana; Ferreira Sampaio, Rosana; Cotta Mancini, Marisa; Noce Kirkwood, Renata; Stamm, Tanja A

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this study was to explore whether the items from a specific outcome measure, that is, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH), for quantifying limb symptoms and functions in musculoskeletal disorders fit into the framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). All DASH items were compared to the ICF according to eight linking rules. Two groups of researchers performed the linking independently, and the results were compared by correlation. The 30 DASH items and four items from the optional modules were linked to 63 ICF categories and 11 chapters: 15 categories belong to the ICF body functions component and 48 to the activities and participation component. There were no items coded under the components body structure or environmental factors. Kappa index showed an agreement of 0.73 (p<0.001). The results showed that the content of the DASH does link well with the ICF framework. Clinicians and researchers must attend to the fact that certain domains and categories from the ICF are not covered by the DASH. Limitations of the instrument may be overcome by simultaneously using other instruments that address the intended content. PMID:17954354

  14. Chemoselective cross-linking and functionalization of alginate via Staudinger ligation

    PubMed Central

    Gattás-Asfura, Kerim M.; Stabler, Cherie L.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the applicability of functionalized alginate to serve as a platform for the covalent cross-linking or immobilization of complimentary phosphine functionalized groups via the chemoselective Staudinger ligation scheme. Azide groups were covalently linked to alginate through a heterobifunctional polyethylene glycol (PEG) linker and carbodiimide. Degree of azide functionalization was varied as a function of carbodiimide concentration and determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and infrared spectroscopy. Spontaneous and covalently cross-linked alginate-PEG gels were generated via the Staudinger ligation scheme upon incubation of the azide functionalized alginate with PEG chains having 1-methyl-2-diphenylphosphino-terephthalate (MDT) as end groups. Modulation of the MDT to N3 ratio resulted in variability of gel characteristics. In addition, azide functionalized alginate retained its capacity to instantaneously form hydrogels via electrostatic interaction with multivalent cations such as Ca2+ and Ba2+. Subsequently, covalent linkage of phosphine functionalized agents post-gelation of the alginate was feasible, as illustrated via linkage of MDT-PEG-carboxyfluorescein. Capitalization of the chemoselective and cell compatible Staudinger ligation scheme for covalent cross-linking of alginate hydrogels may enhance the utility of this polymer for the stable encapsulation of various cell types, in addition to their use in the immobilization of labeling agents, proteins, and other bioactive molecules. PMID:19848408

  15. Correlation Functions and Glass Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chergui, Y.; Nehaoua, N.; Telghemti, B.; Guemid, S.; Deraddji, N. E.; Belkhir, H.; Mekki, D. E.

    2011-04-01

    This work presents the use of molecular dynamics (MD) and the code of Dl Poly, in order to study the structure of fluoride glass after melting and quenching. We are realized the processing phase liquid-phase, simulating rapid quenching at different speeds to see the effect of quenching rate on the operation of the devitrification. This technique of simulation has become a powerful tool for investigating the microscopic behaviour of matter as well as for calculating macroscopic observable quantities. As basic results, we calculated the interatomic distance, angles and statistics, which help us to know the geometric form and the structure of PbF2. These results are in experimental agreement to those reported in literature.

  16. Splice-correcting oligonucleotides restore BTK function in X-linked agammaglobulinemia model.

    PubMed

    Bestas, Burcu; Moreno, Pedro M D; Blomberg, K Emelie M; Mohammad, Dara K; Saleh, Amer F; Sutlu, Tolga; Nordin, Joel Z; Guterstam, Peter; Gustafsson, Manuela O; Kharazi, Shabnam; Piątosa, Barbara; Roberts, Thomas C; Behlke, Mark A; Wood, Matthew J A; Gait, Michael J; Lundin, Karin E; El Andaloussi, Samir; Månsson, Robert; Berglöf, Anna; Wengel, Jesper; Smith, C I Edvard

    2014-09-01

    X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is an inherited immunodeficiency that results from mutations within the gene encoding Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK). Many XLA-associated mutations affect splicing of BTK pre-mRNA and severely impair B cell development. Here, we assessed the potential of antisense, splice-correcting oligonucleotides (SCOs) targeting mutated BTK transcripts for treating XLA. Both the SCO structural design and chemical properties were optimized using 2'-O-methyl, locked nucleic acid, or phosphorodiamidate morpholino backbones. In order to have access to an animal model of XLA, we engineered a transgenic mouse that harbors a BAC with an authentic, mutated, splice-defective human BTK gene. BTK transgenic mice were bred onto a Btk knockout background to avoid interference of the orthologous mouse protein. Using this model, we determined that BTK-specific SCOs are able to correct aberrantly spliced BTK in B lymphocytes, including pro-B cells. Correction of BTK mRNA restored expression of functional protein, as shown both by enhanced lymphocyte survival and reestablished BTK activation upon B cell receptor stimulation. Furthermore, SCO treatment corrected splicing and restored BTK expression in primary cells from patients with XLA. Together, our data demonstrate that SCOs can restore BTK function and that BTK-targeting SCOs have potential as personalized medicine in patients with XLA. PMID:25105368

  17. A generalized linear mixed model for longitudinal binary data with a marginal logit link function

    PubMed Central

    Parzen, Michael; Ghosh, Souparno; Lipsitz, Stuart; Sinha, Debajyoti; Fitzmaurice, Garrett M.; Mallick, Bani K.; Ibrahim, Joseph G.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Longitudinal studies of a binary outcome are common in the health, social, and behavioral sciences. In general, a feature of random effects logistic regression models for longitudinal binary data is that the marginal functional form, when integrated over the distribution of the random effects, is no longer of logistic form. Recently, Wang and Louis (2003) proposed a random intercept model in the clustered binary data setting where the marginal model has a logistic form. An acknowledged limitation of their model is that it allows only a single random effect that varies from cluster to cluster. In this paper, we propose a modification of their model to handle longitudinal data, allowing separate, but correlated, random intercepts at each measurement occasion. The proposed model allows for a flexible correlation structure among the random intercepts, where the correlations can be interpreted in terms of Kendall’s τ. For example, the marginal correlations among the repeated binary outcomes can decline with increasing time separation, while the model retains the property of having matching conditional and marginal logit link functions. Finally, the proposed method is used to analyze data from a longitudinal study designed to monitor cardiac abnormalities in children born to HIV-infected women. PMID:21532998

  18. The structure and function of catalytic RNAs.

    PubMed

    Wu, QiJia; Huang, Lin; Zhang, Yi

    2009-03-01

    Before the discovery of ribozymes, RNA had been proposed to function as a catalyst, based on the discovery that RNA folded into high-ordered structures as protein did. This hypothesis was confirmed in the 1980s, after the discovery of Tetrahymena group I intron and RNase P ribozyme. There have been about ten ribozymes identified during the past thirty years, as well as the fact that ribosomes function as ribozymes. Advances have been made in understanding the structures and functions of ribozymes, with numerous crystal structures resolved in the past years. Here we review the structure-function relationship of both small and large ribozymes, especially the structural basis of their catalysis. ribozyme, structure, catalysis. PMID:19294348

  19. Linking suspended sediment transport metrics with fish functional traits in the Northwestern Great Plains (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, J. S.; Simon, A.; Klimetz, L.

    2009-12-01

    Loss of ecological integrity due to excessive suspended sediment in rivers and streams is a major cause of water quality impairment in the United States. Although 32 states have developed numeric criteria for turbidity or suspended solids, or both according to the USEPA (2006), criteria is typically written as a percent exceedance above background and what constitutes background is not well defined. Defining a background level is problematic considering suspended sediments and related turbidity levels change with flow stage and season, and limited scientific data exists on relationships between sediment exposure and biotic response. Current assessment protocols for development of sediment total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) lack a means to link temporally-variable sediment transport rates with specific losses of ecological functions as loads increase. This study, within the in Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion, co-located 58 USGS gauging stations with existing flow and suspended sediment data, and fish data from federal and state agencies. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) transport metrics were quantified into exceedance frequencies of a given magnitude, duration as the number of consecutive days a given concentration was equaled or exceeded, dosage as concentration x duration, and mean annual suspended sediment yields. A functional traits-based approach was used to correlate SSC transport metrics with site occurrences of 20 fish traits organized into four main groups: preferred rearing mesohabitat, trophic structure, feeding habits, and spawning behavior. Negative correlations between SSC metrics and trait occurrences were assumed to represent potential conditions for impairment, specifically identifying an ecological loss by functional trait. Potential impairment conditions were linked with presence of the following traits: habitat preferences for stream pool and river shallow waters; feeding generalists, omnivores, piscivores; and several spawning

  20. Structural analysis of key gap junction domains-Lessons from genome data and disease-linked mutants.

    PubMed

    Bai, Donglin

    2016-02-01

    A gap junction (GJ) channel is formed by docking of two GJ hemichannels and each of these hemichannels is a hexamer of connexins. All connexin genes have been identified in human, mouse, and rat genomes and their homologous genes in many other vertebrates are available in public databases. The protein sequences of these connexins align well with high sequence identity in the same connexin across different species. Domains in closely related connexins and several residues in all known connexins are also well-conserved. These conserved residues form signatures (also known as sequence logos) in these domains and are likely to play important biological functions. In this review, the sequence logos of individual connexins, groups of connexins with common ancestors, and all connexins are analyzed to visualize natural evolutionary variations and the hot spots for human disease-linked mutations. Several gap junction domains are homologous, likely forming similar structures essential for their function. The availability of a high resolution Cx26 GJ structure and the subsequently-derived homology structure models for other connexin GJ channels elevated our understanding of sequence logos at the three-dimensional GJ structure level, thus facilitating the understanding of how disease-linked connexin mutants might impair GJ structure and function. This knowledge will enable the design of complementary variants to rescue disease-linked mutants. PMID:26658099

  1. Structure and Function of the Mitochondrial Ribosome.

    PubMed

    Greber, Basil J; Ban, Nenad

    2016-06-01

    Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) perform protein synthesis inside mitochondria, the organelles responsible for energy conversion and adenosine triphosphate production in eukaryotic cells. Throughout evolution, mitoribosomes have become functionally specialized for synthesizing mitochondrial membrane proteins, and this has been accompanied by large changes to their structure and composition. We review recent high-resolution structural data that have provided unprecedented insight into the structure and function of mitoribosomes in mammals and fungi. PMID:27023846

  2. [Structure and function of sphingomyelinase].

    PubMed

    Oda, Masataka

    2009-10-01

    Bacillus cereus is one that causes of opportunistic human infections. Sphingomyelinase produced by B. cereus is assumed a virulence factor for the infection. Sphingomyelinase from Bacillus cereus (Bc-SMase) is Mg(2+)-containing metalloenzyme. Bc-SMase is a family of neutral SMase (nSMase) and mimics the actions of the endogenous mammalian nSMase in causing differentiation, development, and apoptosis. Bc-SMase may be a good model for the poorly characterized mammalian nSMase. Activation of Bc-SMase by divalent metal ions was in the order Co(2+)>Mn(2+)>Mg(2+)>Ca(2+)>Sr(2+). Crystal structure analysis of Bc-SMase bound to Co(2+), Mg(2+), or Ca(2+) revealed that the water-bridged double divalent metal ions at the center of the cleft in both the Co(2+)- and Mg(2+)-bound forms is the catalytic architecture required for sphingomyelinase activity. In contrast, the architecture of Ca(2+) binding at the site showed only one binding site. A further single metal-binding site existed at one side edge of the cleft. Based on the highly conserved nature of amino acid residues of the binding sites, the crystal structure of Bc-SMase with Mg(2+) or Co(2+) provided a common structural framework applicable to phosphohydrolases belonging to the DNase I-like folding superfamily. In addition, our analysis provided evidence that beta-hairpin containing the aromatic amino acid residues and the metal ion of the side-edge participate in binding to sphinogmyelin and membranes containing sphingomyelin. This article summarized current knowledge of characteristics and mode of action of Bc-SMase. PMID:19797879

  3. Structure and function in soil hydrology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Structure of soil and soil cover is the major control of soil functioning, being in turn controlled with multiple feedbacks. Existing methods and parameters to characterize soil and soil cover structure are scale-dependent. The purpose of this talk to suggest that the effect of structure on soil h...

  4. Tear Lipocalin: Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Dartt, Darlene A.

    2014-01-01

    Lipocalins are a family of diverse low molecular weight proteins that act extracellularly. They use multiple recognition properties that include: 1) ligand binding to small hydrophobic molecules, 2) macromolecular complexation with other soluble macromolecules, and 3) binding to specific cell surface receptors to deliver cargo. Tear lipocalin (TLC) is a major protein in tears and has a large ligand binding cavity that allows the lipocalin to bind an extensive and diverse set of lipophilic molecules. TLC can also bind to macromolecules including the tear proteins lactoferin and lysozyme. The receptor to which TLC binds is termed tear lipocalin interacting membrane receptor (LIMR). LIMR appears to work by endocytosis. TLC has a variety of suggested functions in tears including regulation of tear viscosity, binding and release of lipids, endonuclease inactivation of viral DNA, binding of microbial siderophores (iron chelators used to deliver essential iron to bacteria), use as a biomarker for dry eye, and possession of anti-inflammatory activity. Additional research is warranted to determine the actual functions of TLC in tears and the presence of its receptor on the ocular surface. PMID:21791187

  5. Role of histone modifications in defining chromatin structure and function.

    PubMed

    Gelato, Kathy A; Fischle, Wolfgang

    2008-04-01

    Chromosomes in eukaryotic cell nuclei are not uniformly organized, but rather contain distinct chromatin elements, with each state having a defined biochemical structure and biological function. These are recognizable by their distinct architectures and molecular components, which can change in response to cellular stimuli or metabolic requirements. Chromatin elements are characterized by the fundamental histone and DNA components, as well as other associated non-histone proteins and factors. Post-translational modifications of histone proteins in particular often correlate with a specific chromatin structure and function. Patterns of histone modifications are implicated as having a role in directing the level of chromatin compaction, as well as playing roles in multiple functional pathways directing the readout of distinct regions of the genome. We review the properties of various chromatin elements and the apparent links of histone modifications with chromatin organization and functional output. PMID:18225984

  6. Changes in gastrointestinal tract function and structure in functional dyspepsia.

    PubMed

    Vanheel, Hanne; Farré, Ricard

    2013-03-01

    Functional dyspepsia is an extremely common disorder of gastrointestinal function. The disorder is thought to be heterogeneous, with different pathophysiological mechanisms underlying varied symptom patterns. A diversity of changes in gastrointestinal tract function and structure has been described in functional dyspepsia. These involve alterations in the stomach, such as impaired accommodation, delayed gastric emptying and hypersensitivity, and alterations in the duodenum, such as increased sensitivity to duodenal acid and/or lipids and low-grade inflammation. In this Review, we summarize all these abnormalities in an attempt to provide an integrated overview of the pathophysiological mechanisms in functional dyspepsia. PMID:23318268

  7. The orisome: structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Alan C.; Grimwade, Julia E.

    2015-01-01

    During the cell division cycle of all bacteria, DNA-protein complexes termed orisomes trigger the onset of chromosome duplication. Orisome assembly is both staged and stringently regulated to ensure that DNA synthesis begins at a precise time and only once at each origin per cycle. Orisomes comprise multiple copies of the initiator protein DnaA, which oligomerizes after interacting with specifically positioned recognition sites in the unique chromosomal replication origin, oriC. Since DnaA is highly conserved, it is logical to expect that all bacterial orisomes will share fundamental attributes. Indeed, although mechanistic details remain to be determined, all bacterial orisomes are capable of unwinding oriC DNA and assisting with loading of DNA helicase onto the single-strands. However, comparative analysis of oriCs reveals that the arrangement and number of DnaA recognition sites is surprisingly variable among bacterial types, suggesting there are many paths to produce functional orisome complexes. Fundamental questions exist about why these different paths exist and which features of orisomes must be shared among diverse bacterial types. In this review we present the current understanding of orisome assembly and function in Escherichia coli and compare the replication origins among the related members of the Gammaproteobacteria. From this information we propose that the diversity in orisome assembly reflects both the requirement to regulate the conformation of origin DNA as well as to provide an appropriate cell cycle timing mechanism that reflects the lifestyle of the bacteria. We suggest that identification of shared steps in orisome assembly may reveal particularly good targets for new antibiotics. PMID:26082765

  8. Structural analysis of the asparagine-linked oligosaccharides of cholinesterases. N-linked carbohydrates of cholinesterases

    SciTech Connect

    Saxena, A.; Doctor, B.P.

    1995-12-31

    Cholinesterases are serine esterases that hydrolyse choline esters faster than other substrates. They are highly glycosylated proteins with up to 24% of their molecular weight constituted of carbohydrates. Here we report the results of our studies on the glycosylation of fetal bovine serum acetylcholinesterase (FBS AChE) and horse serum butyrylcholinesterase (Eq BChE). Analysis of the monosaccharide content of the two enzymes indicated that Eq BChE contained 520 nmoles of monosaccharide/mg protein, as compared to 1290 nmoles/mg protein for Eq BChE. Both enzymes contained mannose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine and sialic acid. Fucose was present in Eq BChE only. The structures of the two major oligosaccharides from FBS AChE and one major oligosaccharide from Eq BChE were determined and found to be very similar except that one of the oligosaccharides from FBS AChE contained a galactose alphal-3 galactose betal-4-determinant which has been identified as a potentially immunogenic determinant.

  9. Socioeconomic risk moderates the link between household chaos and maternal executive function.

    PubMed

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-06-01

    We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for Hypothesis 1, and consistent with Hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PMID:22563703

  10. Cross-Linking Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry for Probing Protein Three-Dimensional Structures

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Chemical cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry (MS) is powerful to provide protein three-dimensional structure information but difficulties in identifying cross-linked peptides and elucidating their structures limit its usefulness. To tackle these challenges, this study presents a novel cross-linking MS in conjunction with electrochemistry using disulfide-bond-containing dithiobis[succinimidyl propionate] (DSP) as the cross-linker. In our approach, electrolysis of DSP-bridged protein/peptide products, as online monitored by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry is highly informative. First, as disulfide bonds are electrochemically reducible, the cross-links are subject to pronounced intensity decrease upon electrolytic reduction, suggesting a new way to identify cross-links. Also, mass shift before and after electrolysis suggests the linkage pattern of cross-links. Electrochemical reduction removes disulfide bond constraints, possibly increasing sequence coverage for tandem MS analysis and yielding linear peptides whose structures are more easily determined than their cross-linked precursor peptides. Furthermore, this cross-linking electrochemical MS method is rapid, due to the fast nature of electrochemical conversion (much faster than traditional chemical reduction) and no need for chromatographic separation, which would be of high value for structural proteomics research. PMID:25141260

  11. Functional clustering in hippocampal cultures: relating network structure and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldt, S.; Wang, J. X.; Shtrahman, E.; Dzakpasu, R.; Olariu, E.; Żochowski, M.

    2010-12-01

    In this work we investigate the relationship between gross anatomic structural network properties, neuronal dynamics and the resultant functional structure in dissociated rat hippocampal cultures. Specifically, we studied cultures as they developed under two conditions: the first supporting glial cell growth (high glial group), and the second one inhibiting it (low glial group). We then compared structural network properties and the spatio-temporal activity patterns of the neurons. Differences in dynamics between the two groups could be linked to the impact of the glial network on the neuronal network as the cultures developed. We also implemented a recently developed algorithm called the functional clustering algorithm (FCA) to obtain the resulting functional network structure. We show that this new algorithm is useful for capturing changes in functional network structure as the networks evolve over time. The FCA detects changes in functional structure that are consistent with expected dynamical differences due to the impact of the glial network. Cultures in the high glial group show an increase in global synchronization as the cultures age, while those in the low glial group remain locally synchronized. We additionally use the FCA to quantify the amount of synchronization present in the cultures and show that the total level of synchronization in the high glial group is stronger than in the low glial group. These results indicate an interdependence between the glial and neuronal networks present in dissociated cultures.

  12. Chloroplast evolution, structure and functions

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Poul Erik

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we consider a selection of recent advances in chloroplast biology. These include new findings concerning chloroplast evolution, such as the identification of Chlamydiae as a third partner in primary endosymbiosis, a second instance of primary endosymbiosis represented by the chromatophores found in amoebae of the genus Paulinella, and a new explanation for the longevity of captured chloroplasts (kleptoplasts) in sacoglossan sea slugs. The controversy surrounding the three-dimensional structure of grana, its recent resolution by tomographic analyses, and the role of the CURVATURE THYLAKOID1 (CURT1) proteins in supporting grana formation are also discussed. We also present an updated inventory of photosynthetic proteins and the factors involved in the assembly of thylakoid multiprotein complexes, and evaluate findings that reveal that cyclic electron flow involves NADPH dehydrogenase (NDH)- and PGRL1/PGR5-dependent pathways, both of which receive electrons from ferredoxin. Other topics covered in this review include new protein components of nucleoids, an updated inventory of the chloroplast proteome, new enzymes in chlorophyll biosynthesis and new candidate messengers in retrograde signaling. Finally, we discuss the first successful synthetic biology approaches that resulted in chloroplasts in which electrons from the photosynthetic light reactions are fed to enzymes derived from secondary metabolism. PMID:24991417

  13. Hybrid Simulation of Linked Structural System With Shear Friction Damper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyun-soo; Choi, Jae-hyouk

    2011-01-01

    Hybrid simulations were conducted to investigate effects of the friction damper on seismic behavior of a composite structure consisting of an old concrete structure and a new steel frame. The hybrid simulation results have indicated that the cyclical behavior of the friction damper made of steel plate and aluminum plate could be accurately simulated with the so-called perfect elastic-plastic model without degradation in stiffness. It has also been verified that the seismic performance of the composite structures could be accurately predicted if one use the perfect elastic-plastic model to simulate the behavior of the connecting friction damper. In addition, the tests have shown that the use of friction damper to connect an existing unfit concrete building and new steel building could effectively reduce their displacement response and acceleration response simultaneously. The mitigation degree due to the friction damper on the seismic response of the composite structures depends upon the relative stiffness of the two buildings, the natural periods, and the mass ratio of the two buildings.

  14. Microtubule-Actin Cross-Linking Factor 1: Domains, Interaction Partners, and Tissue-Specific Functions.

    PubMed

    Goryunov, Dmitry; Liem, Ronald K H

    2016-01-01

    The cytoskeleton of most eukaryotic cells is composed of three principal filamentous components: actin filaments, microtubules (MTs), and intermediate filaments. It is a highly dynamic system that plays crucial roles in a wide range of cellular processes, including migration, adhesion, cytokinesis, morphogenesis, intracellular traffic and signaling, and structural flexibility. Among the large number of cytoskeleton-associated proteins characterized to date, microtubule-actin cross-linking factor 1 (MACF1) is arguably the most versatile integrator and modulator of cytoskeleton-related processes. MACF1 belongs to the plakin family of proteins, and within it, to the spectraplakin subfamily. These proteins are characterized by the ability to bridge MT and actin cytoskeletal networks in a dynamic fashion, which underlies their involvement in the regulation of cell migration, axonal extension, and vesicular traffic. Studying MACF1 functions has provided insights not only into the regulation of the cytoskeleton but also into molecular mechanisms of both normal cellular physiology and cellular pathology. Multiple MACF1 isoforms exist, composed of a large variety of alternatively spliced domains. Each of these domains mediates a specific set of interactions and functions. These functions are manifested in tissue and cell-specific phenotypes observed in conditional MACF1 knockout mice. The conditional models described to date reveal critical roles of MACF1 in mammalian skin, nervous system, heart muscle, and intestinal epithelia. Complete elimination of MACF1 is early embryonic lethal, indicating an essential role for MACF1 in early development. Further studies of MACF1 domains and their interactions will likely reveal multiple new roles of this protein in various tissues. PMID:26778566

  15. Structure and function analysis of protein–nucleic acid complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsova, S. A.; Oretskaya, T. S.

    2016-05-01

    The review summarizes published data on the results and achievements in the field of structure and function analysis of protein–nucleic acid complexes by means of main physical and biochemical methods, including X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electron and atomic force microscopy, small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering, footprinting and cross-linking. Special attention is given to combined approaches. The advantages and limitations of each method are considered, and the prospects of their application for wide-scale structural studies in vivo are discussed. The bibliography includes 145 references.

  16. Link prediction based on hyperbolic mapping with community structure for complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zuxi; Wu, Yao; Li, Qingguang; Jin, Fengdong; Xiong, Wei

    2016-05-01

    Link prediction is becoming a concerned topic in the complex network field in recent years. However, the existing link prediction methods are unsatisfactory for processing topological information and have high time complexity. This paper presents a novel method of Link Prediction with Community Structure (LPCS) based on hyperbolic mapping. Different from the existing link prediction methods, to utilize global structure information of the network, LPCS deals with the network from an overall perspective. LPCS takes full advantage of the community structure and its hierarchical organization to map networks into hyperbolic space, and obtains the hyperbolic coordinates which depict the global structure information of the network, then uses hyperbolic distance to describe the similarity between the nodes, finally predicts missing links according to the degree of the similarity between unconnected node pairs. The combination of the hyperbolic geometry framework and the community structure makes LPCS perform well in predicting missing links, and the time complexity of LPCS is linear, which makes LPCS can be applied to handle large scale networks in acceptable time. LPCS outperforms many state-of-the-art link prediction methods in the networks obeying power-law degree distribution.

  17. Linking brain structure and activation in temporoparietal junction to explain the neurobiology of human altruism.

    PubMed

    Morishima, Yosuke; Schunk, Daniel; Bruhin, Adrian; Ruff, Christian C; Fehr, Ernst

    2012-07-12

    Human altruism shaped our evolutionary history and pervades social and political life. There are, however, enormous individual differences in altruism. Some people are almost completely selfish, while others display strong altruism, and the factors behind this heterogeneity are only poorly understood. We examine the neuroanatomical basis of these differences with voxel-based morphometry and show that gray matter (GM) volume in the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) is strongly associated with both individuals' altruism and the individual-specific conditions under which this brain region is recruited during altruistic decision making. Thus, individual differences in GM volume in TPJ not only translate into individual differences in the general propensity to behave altruistically, but they also create a link between brain structure and brain function by indicating the conditions under which individuals are likely to recruit this region when they face a conflict between altruistic and selfish acts. PMID:22794262

  18. Electronic structure tuning of diamondoids through functionalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rander, Torbjörn; Staiger, Matthias; Richter, Robert; Zimmermann, Tobias; Landt, Lasse; Wolter, David; Dahl, Jeremy E.; Carlson, Robert M. K.; Tkachenko, Boryslav A.; Fokina, Natalie A.; Schreiner, Peter R.; Möller, Thomas; Bostedt, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the changes in electronic structures induced by chemical functionalization of the five smallest diamondoids using valence photoelectron spectroscopy. Through the variation of three parameters, namely functional group (thiol, hydroxy, and amino), host cluster size (adamantane, diamantane, triamantane, [121]tetramantane, and [1(2,3)4]pentamantane), and functionalization site (apical and medial) we are able to determine to what degree these affect the electronic structures of the overall systems. We show that unlike, for example, in the case of halobenzenes, the ionization potential does not show a linear dependence on the electronegativity of the functional group. Instead, a linear correlation exists between the HOMO-1 ionization potential and the functional group electronegativity. This is due to localization of the HOMO on the functional group and the HOMO-1 on the diamondoid cage. Density functional theory supports our interpretations.

  19. Ecosystem functions across trophic levels are linked to functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Davies, T Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  20. Molecular tools for investigating ANME community structure and function

    SciTech Connect

    Hallam, Steven J.; Page, Antoine P.; Constan, Lea; Song, Young C.; Norbeck, Angela D.; Brewer, Heather M.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana

    2011-05-20

    Methane production and consumption in anaerobic marine sediments 1 is catalyzed by a series of reversible tetramethanopterin (H4MPT)-linked C1 transfer reactions. Although many of these reactions are conserved between one-carbon compound utilizing microorganisms, two remain diagnostic for archaeal methane metabolism. These include reactions catalyzed by N5-methyltetrahydromethanopterin: coenzyme M methyltransferase and methyl coenzyme M reductase. The latter enzyme is central to C-H bond formation and cleavage underlying methanogenic and reverse methanogenic phenotypes. Here we describe a set of novel tools for the detection and functional analysis of H4MPT-linked C1 transfer reactions mediated by uncultivated anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME). These tools include polymerase chain reaction primers targeting ANME methyl coenzyme M reductase subunit A subgroups and protein extraction methods from marine sediments compatible with high-resolution mass spectrometry for profiling population structure and functional dynamics. [910, 1,043

  1. Establishing a link between sex-related differences in the structural connectome and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Tunç, Birkan; Solmaz, Berkan; Parker, Drew; Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Elliott, Mark A; Calkins, Monica E; Ruparel, Kosha; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C; Verma, Ragini

    2016-02-19

    Recent years have witnessed an increased attention to studies of sex differences, partly because such differences offer important considerations for personalized medicine. While the presence of sex differences in human behaviour is well documented, our knowledge of their anatomical foundations in the brain is still relatively limited. As a natural gateway to fathom the human mind and behaviour, studies concentrating on the human brain network constitute an important segment of the research effort to investigate sex differences. Using a large sample of healthy young individuals, each assessed with diffusion MRI and a computerized neurocognitive battery, we conducted a comprehensive set of experiments examining sex-related differences in the meso-scale structures of the human connectome and elucidated how these differences may relate to sex differences at the level of behaviour. Our results suggest that behavioural sex differences, which indicate complementarity of males and females, are accompanied by related differences in brain structure across development. When using subnetworks that are defined over functional and behavioural domains, we observed increased structural connectivity related to the motor, sensory and executive function subnetworks in males. In females, subnetworks associated with social motivation, attention and memory tasks had higher connectivity. Males showed higher modularity compared to females, with females having higher inter-modular connectivity. Applying multivariate analysis, we showed an increasing separation between males and females in the course of development, not only in behavioural patterns but also in brain structure. We also showed that these behavioural and structural patterns correlate with each other, establishing a reliable link between brain and behaviour. PMID:26833832

  2. Improving Network Structure can lead to Functional Failures.

    PubMed

    Pade, Jan Philipp; Pereira, Tiago

    2015-01-01

    In many real-world networks the ability to synchronize is a key property for their performance. Recent work on undirected networks with diffusive interaction revealed that improvements in the network connectivity such as making the network more connected and homogeneous enhances synchronization. However, real-world networks have directed and weighted connections. In such directed networks, understanding the impact of structural changes on the network performance remains a major challenge. Here, we show that improving the structure of a directed network can lead to a failure in the network function. For instance, introducing new links to reduce the minimum distance between nodes can lead to instabilities in the synchronized motion. This effect only occurs in directed networks. Our results allow to identify the dynamical importance of a link and thereby have a major impact on the design and control of directed networks. PMID:25989294

  3. Measuring changes in functional status among patients with schizophrenia: the link with cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Matza, Louis S; Buchanan, Robert; Purdon, Scot; Brewster-Jordan, Jessica; Zhao, Yang; Revicki, Dennis A

    2006-10-01

    Cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS) includes neuropsychological deficits in attention, working memory, verbal learning, and problem solving. These deficits have been shown to be linked to impairment in functional status (eg, social behavior, work performance, and activities of daily living) among patients with schizophrenia in cross-sectional studies. Less is known about the relationship between cognitive and functional change over time, such as potential functional implications of treatment-related improvement in CIAS. The purpose of this review is to summarize research on the association between change in CIAS and change in functional status, to discuss responsiveness of functional outcomes measures, and to provide recommendations for future research and measure development. Nine longitudinal studies were located on the link between CIAS and functional status, and 8 functional outcomes measures were used across these studies. The 9 studies offer initial support for a link between change in cognitive function and change in functional status. However, inconsistent findings across studies indicate that available research is preliminary, and substantial questions remain unanswered. Shortcomings of functional status measures are noted: most instruments were not developed for the target population, and none have demonstrated responsiveness to cognitive change among schizophrenic patients. It is recommended that new functional outcome measures be developed that are specifically designed to be responsive to change in cognition, with domains previously shown to be related to cognitive ability. When creating new functional outcomes measures for assessment of patients with schizophrenia, responsiveness to change in CIAS should be evaluated as part of the development and validation process. PMID:16829550

  4. Four RNA families with functional transient structures.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jing Yun A; Meyer, Irmtraud M

    2015-01-01

    Protein-coding and non-coding RNA transcripts perform a wide variety of cellular functions in diverse organisms. Several of their functional roles are expressed and modulated via RNA structure. A given transcript, however, can have more than a single functional RNA structure throughout its life, a fact which has been previously overlooked. Transient RNA structures, for example, are only present during specific time intervals and cellular conditions. We here introduce four RNA families with transient RNA structures that play distinct and diverse functional roles. Moreover, we show that these transient RNA structures are structurally well-defined and evolutionarily conserved. Since Rfam annotates one structure for each family, there is either no annotation for these transient structures or no such family. Thus, our alignments either significantly update and extend the existing Rfam families or introduce a new RNA family to Rfam. For each of the four RNA families, we compile a multiple-sequence alignment based on experimentally verified transient and dominant (dominant in terms of either the thermodynamic stability and/or attention received so far) RNA secondary structures using a combination of automated search via covariance model and manual curation. The first alignment is the Trp operon leader which regulates the operon transcription in response to tryptophan abundance through alternative structures. The second alignment is the HDV ribozyme which we extend to the 5' flanking sequence. This flanking sequence is involved in the regulation of the transcript's self-cleavage activity. The third alignment is the 5' UTR of the maturation protein from Levivirus which contains a transient structure that temporarily postpones the formation of the final inhibitory structure to allow translation of maturation protein. The fourth and last alignment is the SAM riboswitch which regulates the downstream gene expression by assuming alternative structures upon binding of SAM. All

  5. Four RNA families with functional transient structures

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jing Yun A; Meyer, Irmtraud M

    2015-01-01

    Protein-coding and non-coding RNA transcripts perform a wide variety of cellular functions in diverse organisms. Several of their functional roles are expressed and modulated via RNA structure. A given transcript, however, can have more than a single functional RNA structure throughout its life, a fact which has been previously overlooked. Transient RNA structures, for example, are only present during specific time intervals and cellular conditions. We here introduce four RNA families with transient RNA structures that play distinct and diverse functional roles. Moreover, we show that these transient RNA structures are structurally well-defined and evolutionarily conserved. Since Rfam annotates one structure for each family, there is either no annotation for these transient structures or no such family. Thus, our alignments either significantly update and extend the existing Rfam families or introduce a new RNA family to Rfam. For each of the four RNA families, we compile a multiple-sequence alignment based on experimentally verified transient and dominant (dominant in terms of either the thermodynamic stability and/or attention received so far) RNA secondary structures using a combination of automated search via covariance model and manual curation. The first alignment is the Trp operon leader which regulates the operon transcription in response to tryptophan abundance through alternative structures. The second alignment is the HDV ribozyme which we extend to the 5′ flanking sequence. This flanking sequence is involved in the regulation of the transcript's self-cleavage activity. The third alignment is the 5′ UTR of the maturation protein from Levivirus which contains a transient structure that temporarily postpones the formation of the final inhibitory structure to allow translation of maturation protein. The fourth and last alignment is the SAM riboswitch which regulates the downstream gene expression by assuming alternative structures upon binding of SAM

  6. RANGELAND COMMUNITIES: STRUCTURE, FUNCTION, AND CLASSIFICATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Determining the vegetational attributes of rangelands is critical to their management. Yet incorporating vegetation structure, function, and classification into a single chapter is an ambitious goal and an attempt to blur the boundaries between classical community ecology that characterize patterns...

  7. The Link between Emotion Regulation, Social Functioning, and Depression in Boys with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouw, Lucinda B. C.; Rieffe, Carolien; Stockmann, Lex; Gadow, Kenneth D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Symptoms of depression are common in children and adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but information about underlying developmental factors is limited. Depression is often linked to aspects of emotional functioning such as coping strategies, but in children with ASD difficulties with social interactions are also a likely…

  8. Exploring Population Sensitivity of Linking Functions across Three Law School Admission Test Administrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Mei; Holland, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

    The simplified version of the Dorans and Holland (2000) measure of population invariance, the root mean square difference (RMSD), is used to explore the degree of dependence of linking functions on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) subpopulations defined by examinees' gender, ethnic background, geographic region, law school application status,…

  9. Direct Patterning of Organic Functional Polymers through Conventional Photolithography and Noninvasive Cross-Link Agents.

    PubMed

    Squillaci, Marco A; Qiu, Feng; Aliprandi, Alessandro; Zhang, Fan; Feng, Xinliang; Samorì, Paolo

    2016-07-01

    A new technique for direct patterning of functional organic polymers using commercial photolithography setups with a minimal loss of the materials' performances is reported. This result is achieved through novel cross-link agents made by boron- and fluorine-containing heterocycles that can react between themselves upon UV- and white-light exposure. PMID:27153351

  10. Remission of Depression in Parents: Links to Healthy Functioning in Their Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garber, Judy; Ciesla, Jeff A.; McCauley, Elizabeth; Diamond, Guy; Schloredt, Kelly A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined whether improvement in parents' depression was linked with changes in their children's depressive symptoms and functioning. Participants were 223 parents and children ranging in age from 7 to 17 years old (M = 12.13, SD = 2.31); 126 parents were in treatment for depression and 97 parents were nondepressed. Children were…

  11. Non-random distribution of homo-repeats: links with biological functions and human diseases.

    PubMed

    Lobanov, Michail Yu; Klus, Petr; Sokolovsky, Igor V; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Galzitskaya, Oxana V

    2016-01-01

    The biological function of multiple repetitions of single amino acids, or homo-repeats, is largely unknown, but their occurrence in proteins has been associated with more than 20 hereditary diseases. Analysing 122 bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we observed that the number of proteins containing homo-repeats is significantly larger than expected from theoretical estimates. Analysis of statistical significance indicates that the minimal size of homo-repeats varies with amino acid type and proteome. In an attempt to characterize proteins harbouring long homo-repeats, we found that those containing polar or small amino acids S, P, H, E, D, K, Q and N are enriched in structural disorder as well as protein- and RNA-interactions. We observed that E, S, Q, G, L, P, D, A and H homo-repeats are strongly linked with occurrence in human diseases. Moreover, S, E, P, A, Q, D and T homo-repeats are significantly enriched in neuronal proteins associated with autism and other disorders. We release a webserver for further exploration of homo-repeats occurrence in human pathology at http://bioinfo.protres.ru/hradis/. PMID:27256590

  12. Application of Radial Basis Functional Link Networks to Exploration for Proterozoic Mineral Deposits in Central Iran

    SciTech Connect

    Behnia, Pouran

    2007-06-15

    The metallogeny of Central Iran is characterized mainly by the presence of several iron, apatite, and uranium deposits of Proterozoic age. Radial Basis Function Link Networks (RBFLN) were used as a data-driven method for GIS-based predictive mapping of Proterozoic mineralization in this area. To generate the input data for RBFLN, the evidential maps comprising stratigraphic, structural, geophysical, and geochemical data were used. Fifty-eight deposits and 58 'nondeposits' were used to train the network. The operations for the application of neural networks employed in this study involve both multiclass and binary representation of evidential maps. Running RBFLN on different input data showed that an increase in the number of evidential maps and classes leads to a larger classification sum of squared error (SSE). As a whole, an increase in the number of iterations resulted in the improvement of training SSE. The results of applying RBFLN showed that a successful classification depends on the existence of spatially well distributed deposits and nondeposits throughout the study area.

  13. Functional Characterization of Bacterial Oligosaccharyltransferases Involved in O-Linked Protein Glycosylation▿

    PubMed Central

    Faridmoayer, Amirreza; Fentabil, Messele A.; Mills, Dominic C.; Klassen, John S.; Feldman, Mario F.

    2007-01-01

    Protein glycosylation is an important posttranslational modification that occurs in all domains of life. Pilins, the structural components of type IV pili, are O glycosylated in Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and some strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In this work, we characterized the P. aeruginosa 1244 and N. meningitidis MC58 O glycosylation systems in Escherichia coli. In both cases, sugars are transferred en bloc by an oligosaccharyltransferase (OTase) named PglL in N. meningitidis and PilO in P. aeruginosa. We show that, like PilO, PglL has relaxed glycan specificity. Both OTases are sufficient for glycosylation, but they require translocation of the undecaprenol-pyrophosphate-linked oligosaccharide substrates into the periplasm for activity. Whereas PilO activity is restricted to short oligosaccharides, PglL is able to transfer diverse oligo- and polysaccharides. This functional characterization supports the concept that despite their low sequence similarity, PilO and PglL belong to a new family of “O-OTases” that transfer oligosaccharides from lipid carriers to hydroxylated amino acids in proteins. To date, such activity has not been identified for eukaryotes. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing recombinant O glycoproteins synthesized in E. coli. PMID:17890310

  14. Functional Importance of Covalent Homodimer of Reelin Protein Linked via Its Central Region*

    PubMed Central

    Yasui, Norihisa; Kitago, Yu; Beppu, Ayako; Kohno, Takao; Morishita, Shunsuke; Gomi, Hiroki; Nagae, Masamichi; Hattori, Mitsuharu; Takagi, Junichi

    2011-01-01

    Reelin is a 3461-residue secreted glycoprotein that plays a critical role in brain development through its action on target neurons. Although it is known that functional reelin protein exists as multimer formed by interchain disulfide bond(s) as well as through non-covalent interactions, the chemical nature of the multimer assembly has been elusive. In the present study, we identified, among 122 cysteines present in full-length reelin, the single critical cysteine residue (Cys2101) responsible for the covalent multimerization. C2101A mutant reelin failed to assemble into disulfide-bonded multimers, whereas it still exhibited non-covalently associated high molecular weight oligomeric states in solution. Detailed analysis of tryptic fragments produced from the purified reelin proteins revealed that the minimum unit of the multimer is a homodimeric reelin linked via Cys2101 present in the central region and that this cysteine does not connect to the N-terminal region of reelin, which had been postulated as the primary oligomerization domain. A surface plasmon resonance binding assay confirmed that C2101A mutant reelin retained binding capability toward two neuronal receptors apolipoprotein E receptor 2 and very low density lipoprotein receptor. However, it failed to show signaling activity in the assay using the cultured neurons. These results indicate that an intact higher order architecture of reelin multimer maintained by both Cys2101-mediated homodimerization and other non-covalent association present elsewhere in the reelin primary structure are essential for exerting its full biological activity. PMID:21844191

  15. Non-random distribution of homo-repeats: links with biological functions and human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lobanov, Michail Yu.; Klus, Petr; Sokolovsky, Igor V.; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Galzitskaya, Oxana V.

    2016-01-01

    The biological function of multiple repetitions of single amino acids, or homo-repeats, is largely unknown, but their occurrence in proteins has been associated with more than 20 hereditary diseases. Analysing 122 bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we observed that the number of proteins containing homo-repeats is significantly larger than expected from theoretical estimates. Analysis of statistical significance indicates that the minimal size of homo-repeats varies with amino acid type and proteome. In an attempt to characterize proteins harbouring long homo-repeats, we found that those containing polar or small amino acids S, P, H, E, D, K, Q and N are enriched in structural disorder as well as protein- and RNA-interactions. We observed that E, S, Q, G, L, P, D, A and H homo-repeats are strongly linked with occurrence in human diseases. Moreover, S, E, P, A, Q, D and T homo-repeats are significantly enriched in neuronal proteins associated with autism and other disorders. We release a webserver for further exploration of homo-repeats occurrence in human pathology at http://bioinfo.protres.ru/hradis/. PMID:27256590

  16. Proton structure functions at small x

    SciTech Connect

    Hentschinski, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Proton structure functions are measured in electron-proton collision through inelastic scattering of virtual photons with virtuality Q on protons; x denotes the momentum fraction carried by the struck parton. Proton structure functions are currently described with excellent accuracy in terms of scale dependent parton distribution functions, defined in terms of collinear factorization and DGLAP evolution in Q. With decreasing x however, parton densities increase and are ultimately expected to saturate. In this regime DGLAP evolution will finally break down and non-linear evolution equations w.r.t x are expected to take over. In the first part of the talk we present recent result on an implementation of physical DGLAP evolution. Unlike the conventional description in terms of parton distribution functions, the former describes directly the Q dependence of the measured structure functions. It is therefore physical insensitive to factorization scheme and scale ambiguities. It therefore provides a more stringent test of DGLAP evolution and eases the manifestation of (non-linear) small x effects. It however requires a precise measurement of both structure functions F2 and FL, which will be only possible at future facilities, such as an Electron Ion Collider. In the second part we present a recent analysis of the small x region of the combined HERA data on the structure function F2. We demonstrate that (linear) next-to-leading order BFKL evolution describes the effective Pomeron intercept, determined from the combined HERA data, once a resummation of collinear enhanced terms is included and the renormalization scale is fixed using the BLM optimal scale setting procedure. We also provide a detailed description of the Q and x dependence of the full structure functions F2 in the small x region, as measured at HERA. As a result, predictions for the structure function FL are found to be in agreement with the existing HERA

  17. Proton structure functions at small x

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hentschinski, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Proton structure functions are measured in electron-proton collision through inelastic scattering of virtual photons with virtuality Q on protons; x denotes the momentum fraction carried by the struck parton. Proton structure functions are currently described with excellent accuracy in terms of scale dependent parton distribution functions, defined in terms of collinear factorization and DGLAP evolution in Q. With decreasing x however, parton densities increase and are ultimately expected to saturate. In this regime DGLAP evolution will finally break down and non-linear evolution equations w.r.t x are expected to take over. In the first part of the talk we present recentmore » result on an implementation of physical DGLAP evolution. Unlike the conventional description in terms of parton distribution functions, the former describes directly the Q dependence of the measured structure functions. It is therefore physical insensitive to factorization scheme and scale ambiguities. It therefore provides a more stringent test of DGLAP evolution and eases the manifestation of (non-linear) small x effects. It however requires a precise measurement of both structure functions F2 and FL, which will be only possible at future facilities, such as an Electron Ion Collider. In the second part we present a recent analysis of the small x region of the combined HERA data on the structure function F2. We demonstrate that (linear) next-to-leading order BFKL evolution describes the effective Pomeron intercept, determined from the combined HERA data, once a resummation of collinear enhanced terms is included and the renormalization scale is fixed using the BLM optimal scale setting procedure. We also provide a detailed description of the Q and x dependence of the full structure functions F2 in the small x region, as measured at HERA. As a result, predictions for the structure function FL are found to be in agreement with the existing HERA data.« less

  18. Functional structure of the human X chromosome

    SciTech Connect

    1993-12-31

    Chapter 23, describes the functional structure of the human X chromosome. It provides a functional map of the human X chromosome, discussing in depth the inactivation center, always-active regions, and critical region. Finally, it provides a summary of X inactivation. 34 refs., 4 figs.

  19. 2004 Structural, Function and Evolutionary Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Douglas L. Brutlag Nancy Ryan Gray

    2005-03-23

    This Gordon conference will cover the areas of structural, functional and evolutionary genomics. It will take a systematic approach to genomics, examining the evolution of proteins, protein functional sites, protein-protein interactions, regulatory networks, and metabolic networks. Emphasis will be placed on what we can learn from comparative genomics and entire genomes and proteomes.

  20. Functional cross-linked hemoglobin bis-tetramers: geometry and cooperativity.

    PubMed

    Hu, Dongxin; Kluger, Ronald

    2008-11-25

    Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers have been sought as stable, sterile alternatives to red cells in transfusions. Problems in clinical trials using cross-linked tetramers have led to proposals that larger assemblies of tetramers may alleviate some of the problems. A study of such assemblies requires materials with defined structures and physical properties. Evaluation of cross-linked bis-tetramers with inflexible linear links between the tetramers revealed that these have very low cooperativity in oxygen binding and would thus be inefficient as oxygen carriers. New, more flexible reagents were designed to cross-link and connect tetramers in two modes: with angular connectors that permit torsional movement (1-3) and with linear connectors that resemble previously studied systems (4-6). The resulting cross-linked bis-tetramers were produced in high yield and were isolated and characterized. Digest mapping showed that modifications were specifically introduced as expected at amino groups in the 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate binding sites within beta subunits. Circular dichroism showed that the secondary structure of the globin chains is maintained while the microenvironment of the hemes is altered. The bis-tetramers derived from 1-3 have oxygen affinity (P(50) = 3.6-4.7) and cooperativity (n(50) = 2.2-2.7) that appear to be suitable for efficient oxygen delivery to hypoxic regions along with increased mass that is expected to minimize extravasation. PMID:18956893

  1. Feminine Faces of Leadership: Beyond Structural- Functionalism?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fennell, Hope-Arlene

    1999-01-01

    Reviews four philosophical leadership perspectives: structural-functionalism, constructivism, critical theory, and feminism. Explores the leadership phenomenon through the eyes of six women principals. Although the behaviors of all six fall within a structural-functionalist perspective, each is attempting to construct inclusive, positive, and…

  2. Forging the link between nuclear reactions and nuclear structure.

    PubMed

    Mahzoon, M H; Charity, R J; Dickhoff, W H; Dussan, H; Waldecker, S J

    2014-04-25

    A comprehensive description of all single-particle properties associated with the nucleus Ca40 is generated by employing a nonlocal dispersive optical potential capable of simultaneously reproducing all relevant data above and below the Fermi energy. The introduction of nonlocality in the absorptive potentials yields equivalent elastic differential cross sections as compared to local versions but changes the absorption profile as a function of angular momentum suggesting important consequences for the analysis of nuclear reactions. Below the Fermi energy, nonlocality is essential to allow for an accurate representation of particle number and the nuclear charge density. Spectral properties implied by (e, e'p) and (p, 2p) reactions are correctly incorporated, including the energy distribution of about 10% high-momentum nucleons, as experimentally determined by data from Jefferson Lab. These high-momentum nucleons provide a substantial contribution to the energy of the ground state, indicating a residual attractive contribution from higher-body interactions for Ca40 of about 0.64  MeV/A. PMID:24815643

  3. The effect of cross linking density on the mechanical properties and structure of the epoxy polymers: molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Shokuhfar, Ali; Arab, Behrouz

    2013-09-01

    Recently, great attention has been focused on using epoxy polymers in different fields such as aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, and electronics, owing to their superior properties. In this study, the classical molecular dynamics (MD) was used to simulate the cross linking of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) with diethylenetriamine (DETA) curing agent, and to study the behavior of resulted epoxy polymer with different conversion rates. The constant-strain (static) approach was then applied to calculate the mechanical properties (Bulk, shear and Young's moduli, elastic stiffness constants, and Poisson's ratio) of the uncured and cross-linked systems. Estimated material properties were found to be in good agreement with experimental observations. Moreover, the dependency of mechanical properties on the cross linking density was investigated and revealed improvements in the mechanical properties with increasing the cross linking density. The radial distribution function (RDF) was also used to study the evolution of local structures of the simulated systems as a function of cross linking density. PMID:23793720

  4. Sub-structures in hadrons and proton structure functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arash, Firooz; Khorramian, Ali N.

    2001-04-01

    We calculate the partonic structure of constituent quark in the Next-to-Leading Order. Using a convolution method, Structure function of proton is presented. While the constituent quark structure is generated purely perturbatively and accounts for the most part of the hadronic structure, there is a few percent contributions coming from the nonperturbative sector in the hadronic structure. This contribution plays the key role in explaining the SU(2) symmetry breaking of the nucleon sea and the observed violation of Gottfried sum rule. Excellent agreement with data in a wide range of x = [10 -6, 1] and Q2 = [0.5, 5000] GeV2 for Fp2 is reached.

  5. Maintenance of Functionality during Earthquakes: Structural and Non Structural Aspects

    SciTech Connect

    Di Donato, Enrico

    2008-07-08

    The necessity to maintain functionality during and after an earthquake, means that we have to protect not only structures but also functional elements that are inside each building, in particular for strategic constructions, like hospitals, schools. Fortunately, modern solutions to prevent the possibility of failure exist and, very important, are available.

  6. Forging the link between nuclear reactions and nuclear structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickhoff, W. H.

    2016-06-01

    A review of the recent applications of the dispersive optical model (DOM) is presented. Emphasis is on the nonlocal implementation of the DOM that is capable of describing ground-state properties accurately when data like the nuclear charge density are available. The present understanding of the role of short- and long-range physics in determining proton properties near the Fermi energy for stable closed-shell nuclei has relied mostly on data from the (e, e' p) reaction. Hadronic tools to extract such spectroscopic information have been hampered by the lack of a consistent reaction description that provides unambiguous and undisputed results. The DOM, conceived by Claude Mahaux, provides a unified description of both elastic nucleon scattering and structure information related to single-particle properties below the Fermi energy. We have recently introduced a nonlocal dispersive optical potential for both the real and imaginary part. Nonlocal absorptive potentials yield equivalent elastic differential cross sections for 40Ca as compared to local ones but change the l-dependent absorption profile suggesting important consequences for the analysis of nuclear reactions. Below the Fermi energy, nonlocality is essential for an accurate representation of particle number and the nuclear charge density. Spectral properties implied by (e, e' p) and (p, 2p) reactions are correctly described, including the energy distribution of about 10% high-momentum protons obtained at Jefferson Lab. The nonlocal DOM allows a complete description of experimental data both above (up to 200 MeV) and below the Fermi energy in 40Ca. It is further demonstrated that elastic nucleon-nucleus scattering data constrain the spectral strength in the continuum of orbits that are nominally bound in the independent-particle model. Extension of this analysis to 48Ca allows a prediction of the neutron skin of this nucleus that is larger than most predictions made so far.

  7. Isoforms, structures, and functions of versatile spectraplakin MACF1

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Lifang; Su, Peihong; Li, Runzhi; Yin, Chong; Zhang, Yan; Shang, Peng; Yang, Tuanmin; Qian, Airong

    2016-01-01

    Spectraplakins are crucially important communicators, linking cytoskeletal components to each other and cellular junctions. Microtubule actin crosslinking factor 1 (MACF1), also known as actin crosslinking family 7 (ACF7), is a member of the spectraplakin family. It is expressed in numerous tissues and cells as one extensively studied spectraplakin. MACF1 has several isoforms with unique structures and well-known function to be able to crosslink F-actin and microtubules. MACF1 is one versatile spectraplakin with various functions in cell processes, embryo development, tissue-specific functions, and human diseases. The importance of MACF1 has become more apparent in recent years. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the presence and function of MACF1 and provide perspectives on future research of MACF1 based on our studies and others. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(1): 37-44] PMID:26521939

  8. Influence of chronic kidney disease on cardiac structure and function.

    PubMed

    Matsushita, Kunihiro; Ballew, Shoshana H; Coresh, Josef

    2015-09-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD), the presence of kidney dysfunction and/or damage, is a worldwide public health issue. Although CKD is independently associated with various subtypes of cardiovascular diseases, a recent international collaborative meta-analysis demonstrates that CKD is particularly strongly associated with heart failure, suggesting its critical impact on cardiac structure and function. Although numerous studies have investigated the association of CKD and cardiac structure and function, these studies substantially vary regarding source populations and methodology (e.g., measures of CKD and/or parameters of cardiac structure and function), making it difficult to reach universal conclusions. Nevertheless, in this review, we comprehensively examine relevant studies, discuss potential mechanisms linking CKD to alteration of cardiac structure and function, and demonstrate clinical implications as well as potential future research directions. We exclusively focus on studies investigating both CKD measures, kidney function (i.e., glomerular filtration rate [GFR], creatinine clearance, or levels of filtration markers), and kidney damage represented by albuminuria, since current international clinical guidelines of CKD recommend staging CKD and assessing its clinical risk based on both GFR and albuminuria. PMID:26194332

  9. Intra-molecular cross-linking of acidic residues for protein structure studies.

    SciTech Connect

    Kruppa, Gary Hermann; Young, Malin M.; Novak, Petr; Schoeniger, Joseph S.

    2005-03-01

    Intra-molecular cross-linking has been suggested as a method of obtaining distance constraints that would be useful in developing structural models of proteins. Recent work published on intra-molecular cross-linking for protein structural studies has employed commercially available primary amine selective reagents that can cross-link lysine residues to other lysine residues or the amino terminus. Previous work using these cross-linkers has shown that for several proteins of known structure, the number of cross-links that can be obtained experimentally may be small compared to what would be expected from the known structure, due to the relative reactivity, distribution, and solvent accessibility of the lysines in the protein sequence. To overcome these limitations we have investigated the use of cross-linking reagents that can react with other reactive sidechains in proteins. We used 1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) to activate the carboxylic acid containing residues, aspartic acid (D), glutamic acid (E), and the carboxy terminus (O), for cross-linking reactions. Once activated, the DEO sidechains can react to form 'zero-length' cross-links with nearby primary amine containing resides, lysines (K) and the amino terminus (X), via the formation of a new amide bond. We also show that the EDC-activated DEO sidechains can be cross-linked to each other using dihydrazides, two hydrazide moieties connected by an alkyl cross-linker ann of variable length. Using these reagents, we have found three new 'zero-length' cross-links in ubiquitin consistent with its known structure (M1-E16, M1-E18, and K63-E64). Using the dihydrazide cross-linkers, we have identified 2 new cross-links (D21-D32 and E24-D32) unambiguously. Using a library of dihydrazide cross-linkers with varying arm length, we have shown that there is a minimum arm length required for the DEO-DEO cross-links of 5.8 angstroms. These results show that additional structural information

  10. Hadronic Structure Functions from the Universal and the Basic Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arash, F.

    2005-04-01

    It is shown that there is a basic structure common to all hadrons, which is generated perturbatively in QCD. Basically, it is a valence quark with its own cloud of quarks and gluons, a quasi-particle that we will call it a valon. In the valon representation, structure functions of nucleon and pion are calculated and is shown that there is an excellent agreement between the data and the model results in a wide range of kinematics. Calculation of the polarized structure functions also shows that there is a sizeable orbital angular momentum contribution to the spin of a valon coming from the partonic cloud.

  11. Linking morphology to ecosystem structure using satellite for monitoring Wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipponi, F.; Valentini, E.; Taramelli, A.; Giulio, S.; Persichillo, M.; D'Alpaos, A.

    2013-12-01

    Modern views on the behavior of complex systems, like the low lying coastal areas, allow the interpretation of phenomenological coastal landscape as a steady state that corresponds to a dynamic equilibrium, and to a self-organized exogenic order of the edge of the chaos. Space-borne data, coupled with field spectral measurements and observations, are quantitative tools for the research on feedbacks between the biological influences and physical forming processes steering landscape changes, allowing the identification of critical thresholds beyond which the ecosystem reach a new steady state. This research deals with a multi-temporal change analysis of halophytic vegetation and morphology of two analogous accumulation sites along the northern Adriatic adjoining coast: the 'Bacan island' (Venice Lagoon) and the Spit of Goro Lagoon (Po Delta). These two sites represent delicate ecosystems and are susceptible to different drivers being located close to the lagoon's inlet. The two tests sites support a great biodiversity and supply important resources, so the conservation of their habitats is necessary to maintain the ecosystem services provision. Evidence from previous studies highlights the role of climate, mostly winds and hydrology acting on sediment transport, but only few accounts for the role of vegetation in landform shaping and sediment stabilizing. In this study spatial trends of both vegetation cover/typology and sediment/soil distribution are implemented to obtain detailed classification from EO. By means of sub-pixel processing techniques (Spectral Mixing Analysis), classifications are analyzed in terms of spatial (Power law) and temporal (Empirical Orthogonal Functions) patterns, in order to find the fingerprint of spatial patterns of vegetation, sediments and very shallow waters and their variation over time. The application of a double step analysis from coarse to finer spatial resolution lead first to a biophysical cover map in term of vegetation

  12. Family Structure History: Links to Relationship Formation Behaviors in Young Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Suzanne; Franzetta, Kerry; Schelar, Erin; Manlove, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    Using data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 4,667), we examined the intergenerational link between parental family structure history and relationship formation in young adulthood. We investigated (a) whether parental family structure history is associated with young adults' own relationship formation…

  13. Single proteins that serve linked functions in intracellular and extracellular microenvironments

    SciTech Connect

    Radisky, Derek C.; Stallings-Mann, Melody; Hirai, Yohei; Bissell, Mina J.

    2009-06-03

    Maintenance of organ homeostasis and control of appropriate response to environmental alterations requires intimate coordination of cellular function and tissue organization. An important component of this coordination may be provided by proteins that can serve distinct, but linked, functions on both sides of the plasma membrane. Here we present a novel hypothesis in which non-classical secretion can provide a mechanism through which single proteins can integrate complex tissue functions. Single genes can exert a complex, dynamic influence through a number of different processes that act to multiply the function of the gene product(s). Alternative splicing can create many different transcripts that encode proteins of diverse, even antagonistic, function from a single gene. Posttranslational modifications can alter the stability, activity, localization, and even basic function of proteins. A protein can exist in different subcellular localizations. More recently, it has become clear that single proteins can function both inside and outside the cell. These proteins often lack defined secretory signal sequences, and transit the plasma membrane by mechanisms separate from the classical ER/Golgi secretory process. When examples of such proteins are examined individually, the multifunctionality and lack of a signal sequence are puzzling - why should a protein with a well known function in one context function in such a distinct fashion in another? We propose that one reason for a single protein to perform intracellular and extracellular roles is to coordinate organization and maintenance of a global tissue function. Here, we describe in detail three specific examples of proteins that act in this fashion, outlining their specific functions in the extracellular space and in the intracellular space, and we discuss how these functions may be linked. We present epimorphin/syntaxin-2, which may coordinate morphogenesis of secretory organs (as epimorphin) with control of

  14. Structural link prediction based on ant colony approach in social networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherkat, Ehsan; Rahgozar, Maseud; Asadpour, Masoud

    2015-02-01

    As the size and number of online social networks are increasing day by day, social network analysis has become a popular issue in many branches of science. The link prediction is one of the key rolling issues in the analysis of social network's evolution. As the size of social networks is increasing, the necessity for scalable link prediction algorithms is being felt more. The aim of this paper is to introduce a new unsupervised structural link prediction algorithm based on the ant colony approach. Recently, ant colony approach has been used for solving some graph problems. Different kinds of networks are used for testing the proposed approach. In some networks, the proposed scalable algorithm has the best result in comparison to other structural unsupervised link prediction algorithms. In order to evaluate the algorithm results, methods like the top- n precision, area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) and Precision-Recall curves are carried out on real-world networks.

  15. Distributed intrusion monitoring system with fiber link backup and on-line fault diagnosis functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jiwei; Wu, Huijuan; Xiao, Shunkun

    2014-12-01

    A novel multi-channel distributed optical fiber intrusion monitoring system with smart fiber link backup and on-line fault diagnosis functions was proposed. A 1× N optical switch was intelligently controlled by a peripheral interface controller (PIC) to expand the fiber link from one channel to several ones to lower the cost of the long or ultra-long distance intrusion monitoring system and also to strengthen the intelligent monitoring link backup function. At the same time, a sliding window auto-correlation method was presented to identify and locate the broken or fault point of the cable. The experimental results showed that the proposed multi-channel system performed well especially whenever any a broken cable was detected. It could locate the broken or fault point by itself accurately and switch to its backup sensing link immediately to ensure the security system to operate stably without a minute idling. And it was successfully applied in a field test for security monitoring of the 220-km-length national borderline in China.

  16. Intra-molecular cross-linking of acidic residues for protein structure studies.

    PubMed

    Novak, Petr; Kruppa, Gary H

    2008-01-01

    Intra-molecular cross-linking has been suggested as a method of obtaining distance constraints that would help to develop structural models of proteins. Recent work published on intra-molecular cross-linking for protein structural studies has employed commercially available primary amine (lysine, the amino terminus) selective reagents. Previous work using these cross-linkers has shown that for several proteins of known structure, the number of cross-links that can be obtained experimentally may be small compared to what would be expected from the known structure, due to the relative reactivity, distribution and solvent accessibility of the lysines in the protein sequence. To overcome these limitations, we have investigated the use of cross-linking reagents that can react with other reactive side chains in proteins. We used 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) to activate the carboxylic acid containing residues, aspartic acid (D), glutamic acid (E) and the carboxy terminus (O), for cross-linking reactions. Once activated, the DEO side chains can react to form "zero-length" cross-links with nearby primary amine containing residues, lysines (K) and the amino terminus (X), via the formation of a new amide bond. We also show that the EDC-activated DEO side chains can be cross-linked to each other using dihydrazides, two hydrazide moieties connected by an alkyl cross-linker arm of variable length. Using these reagents, we have found three new "zero-length" cross-links in ubiquitin consistent with its known structure (M1-E16, M1-E18 and K63-E64). Using the dihydrazide cross-linkers, we have identified two new cross-links (D21-D32 and E24-D32) unambiguously. Using a library of dihydrazide cross-linkers with varying arm length, we have shown that there is a minimum arm length required for the DEO-DEO cross-links of 5.8 A. These results show that additional structural information can be obtained by exploiting new cross-linker chemistry

  17. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA. [Human Reliability Analysis (HRA)

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-01-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  18. Effective Hyperfine-structure Functions of Ammonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Augustovičová, L.; Soldán, P.; Špirko, V.

    2016-06-01

    The hyperfine structure of the rotation-inversion (v 2 = 0+, 0‑, 1+, 1‑) states of the 14NH3 and 15NH3 ammonia isotopomers is rationalized in terms of effective (ro-inversional) hyperfine-structure (hfs) functions. These are determined by fitting to available experimental data using the Hougen’s effective hyperfine-structure Hamiltonian within the framework of the non-rigid inverter theory. Involving only a moderate number of mass independent fitting parameters, the fitted hfs functions provide a fairly close reproduction of a large majority of available experimental data, thus evidencing adequacy of these functions for reliable prediction. In future experiments, this may help us derive spectroscopic constants of observed inversion and rotation-inversion transitions deperturbed from hyperfine effects. The deperturbed band centers of ammonia come to the forefront of fundamental physics especially as the probes of a variable proton-to-electron mass ratio.

  19. Structural composites with integrated electromagnetic functionality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemat-Nasser, Syrus C.; Amirkhizi, Alireza V.; Plaisted, Thomas; Isaacs, Jon; Nemat-Nasser, Siavouche

    2002-07-01

    We are studying the incorporation of electromagnetic effective media in the form of arrays of metal scattering elements, such as wires, into polymer-based or ceramic-based composites. In addition to desired structural properties, these electromagnetic effective media can provide controlled response to electromagnetic radiation such as RF communication signals, radar, and/or infrared radiation. With the addition of dynamic components, these materials may be leveraged for active tasks such as filtering. The advantages of such hybrid composites include simplicity and weight savings by the combination of electromagnetic functionality with necessary structural functionality. This integration of both electromagnetic and structural functionality throughout the volume of the composite is the distinguishing feature of our approach. As an example, we present a class of composites based on the integration of artificial plasmon media into polymer matrixes. Such composites can exhibit a broadband index of refraction substantially equal to unity at microwave frequencies and below.

  20. Anomalous scaling of temperature structure functions in turbulent thermal convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Penger; He, Xiaozhou; Shang, Xiaodong

    2014-11-01

    The scaling properties of the temperature structure function (SF) are investigated in turbulent Rayleigh-Benard convection. The measured SFs are found to exhibit good scaling in space and time and the resulting SF exponent is obtained both at the center of the convection cell and near the sidewall. It is found that the difference in the functional form of the measured SF exponents at the two locations in the cell is caused by the change of the geometry of the most dissipative structures in the (inhomogeneous) temperature field from being sheet-like at the cell center to filament-like near the sidewall. The experiment thus provides direct evidence showing that the universality features of turbulent cascade are linked to the degree of anisotropy and inhomogeneity of turbulent statistics. This work was supported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR.

  1. Numerous Genes in Loci Associated With Body Fat Distribution Are Linked to Adipose Function.

    PubMed

    Dahlman, Ingrid; Rydén, Mikael; Brodin, David; Grallert, Harald; Strawbridge, Rona J; Arner, Peter

    2016-02-01

    Central fat accumulation is a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous loci associated with body fat distribution. The objectives of the current study are to examine whether genes in genetic loci linked to fat distribution can be linked to fat cell size and number (morphology) and/or adipose tissue function. We show, in a cohort of 114 women, that almost half of the 96 genes in these loci are indeed associated with abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue parameters. Thus, adipose mRNA expression of the genes is strongly related to adipose morphology, catecholamine-induced lipid mobilization (lipolysis), or insulin-stimulated lipid synthesis in adipocytes (lipogenesis). In conclusion, the genetic influence on body fat distribution could be mediated via several specific alterations in adipose tissue morphology and function, which in turn may influence the development of type 2 diabetes. PMID:26798124

  2. Structural Maintenance of Chromosome (SMC) Proteins Link Microtubule Stability to Genome Integrity*

    PubMed Central

    Laflamme, Guillaume; Tremblay-Boudreault, Thierry; Roy, Marc-André; Andersen, Parker; Bonneil, Éric; Atchia, Kaleem; Thibault, Pierre; D'Amours, Damien; Kwok, Benjamin H.

    2014-01-01

    Structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) proteins are key organizers of chromosome architecture and are essential for genome integrity. They act by binding to chromatin and connecting distinct parts of chromosomes together. Interestingly, their potential role in providing connections between chromatin and the mitotic spindle has not been explored. Here, we show that yeast SMC proteins bind directly to microtubules and can provide a functional link between microtubules and DNA. We mapped the microtubule-binding region of Smc5 and generated a mutant with impaired microtubule binding activity. This mutant is viable in yeast but exhibited a cold-specific conditional lethality associated with mitotic arrest, aberrant spindle structures, and chromosome segregation defects. In an in vitro reconstitution assay, this Smc5 mutant also showed a compromised ability to protect microtubules from cold-induced depolymerization. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that SMC proteins can bind to and stabilize microtubules and that SMC-microtubule interactions are essential to establish a robust system to maintain genome integrity. PMID:25135640

  3. Atomic structure of a rhinovirus C, a virus species linked to severe childhood asthma.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yue; Hill, Marchel G; Klose, Thomas; Chen, Zhenguo; Watters, Kelly; Bochkov, Yury A; Jiang, Wen; Palmenberg, Ann C; Rossmann, Michael G

    2016-08-01

    Isolates of rhinovirus C (RV-C), a recently identified Enterovirus (EV) species, are the causative agents of severe respiratory infections among children and are linked to childhood asthma exacerbations. The RV-C have been refractory to structure determination because they are difficult to propagate in vitro. Here, we report the cryo-EM atomic structures of the full virion and native empty particle (NEP) of RV-C15a. The virus has 60 "fingers" on the virus outer surface that probably function as dominant immunogens. Because the NEPs also display these fingers, they may have utility as vaccine candidates. A sequence-conserved surface depression adjacent to each finger forms a likely binding site for the sialic acid on its receptor. The RV-C, unlike other EVs, are resistant to capsid-binding antiviral compounds because the hydrophobic pocket in VP1 is filled with multiple bulky residues. These results define potential molecular determinants for designing antiviral therapeutics and vaccines. PMID:27511920

  4. Quark-hadron duality in structure functions

    SciTech Connect

    Wally Melnitchouk

    2011-09-01

    We review recent progress in the study of quark-hadron duality in electron–nucleon structure functions. New developments include insights into the local aspects of duality obtained using truncated moments of structure functions, which allow duality-violating higher-twist contributions to be identified in individual resonance regions. Preliminary studies of pion electropro-duction have also showed the first glimpses of duality in semi-inclusive cross sections, which if confirmed would greatly expand the scope of constraining the flavor and spin dependence of parton distributions.

  5. Structure and Associated Biological Functions of Viroids.

    PubMed

    Steger, Gerhard; Perreault, Jean-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Mature viroids consist of a noncoding, covalently closed circular RNA that is able to autonomously infect respective host plants. Thus, they must utilize proteins of the host for most biological functions such as replication, processing, transport, and pathogenesis. Therefore, viroids can be regarded as minimal parasites of the host machinery. They have to present to the host machinery the appropriate signals based on either their sequence or their structure. Here, we summarize such sequence and structural features critical for the biological functions of viroids. PMID:26997592

  6. Structural methods for studying IRES function.

    PubMed

    Kieft, Jeffrey S; Costantino, David A; Filbin, Megan E; Hammond, John; Pfingsten, Jennifer S

    2007-01-01

    Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) substitute RNA sequences for some or all of the canonical translation initiation protein factors. Therefore, an important component of understanding IRES function is a description of the three-dimensional structure of the IRES RNA underlying this mechanism. This includes determining the degree to which the RNA folds, the global RNA architecture, and higher resolution information when warranted. Knowledge of the RNA structural features guides ongoing mechanistic and functional studies. In this chapter, we present a roadmap to structurally characterize a folded RNA, beginning from initial studies to define the overall architecture and leading to high-resolution structural studies. The experimental strategy presented here is not unique to IRES RNAs but is adaptable to virtually any RNA of interest, although characterization of RNA-protein interactions requires additional methods. Because IRES RNAs have a specific function, we present specific ways in which the data are interpreted to gain insight into that function. We provide protocols for key experiments that are particularly useful for studying IRES RNA structure and that provide a framework onto which additional approaches are integrated. The protocols we present are solution hydroxyl radical probing, RNase T1 probing, native gel electrophoresis, sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation, and strategies to engineer RNA for crystallization and to obtain initial crystals. PMID:17913644

  7. A Structure-Function Mechanism for Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Vadakkan, Kunjumon I.

    2012-01-01

    The multiple etiologies of schizophrenia prompt us to raise the question: what final common pathway can induce a convincing sense of the reality of the hallucinations in this disease? The observation that artificial stimulation of an intermediate order of neurons of a normal nervous system induces hallucinations indicates that the lateral entry of activity (not resulting from canonical synaptic transmission) at intermediate neuronal orders may provide a mechanism for hallucinations. Meaningful hallucinations can be de-constructed into an organized temporal sequence of internal sensations of associatively learned items that occur in the absence of any external stimuli. We hypothesize that these hallucinations are autonomously generated by the re-activation of pathological non-specific functional LINKs formed between the postsynaptic membranes at certain neuronal orders and are examined as a final common mechanism capable of explaining most of the features of the disease. Reversible and stabilizable hemi-fusion between simultaneously activated adjacent postsynaptic membranes is viewed as one of the normal mechanisms for functional LINK formation and is dependent on lipid membrane composition. Methods of removing the proteins that may traverse the non-specifically hemi-fused membrane segments and attempts to replace the phospholipid side chains to convert the membrane composition to a near-normal state may offer therapeutic opportunities. PMID:23293606

  8. Abnormalities of vascular structure and function in pediatric hypertension.

    PubMed

    Urbina, Elaine M

    2016-07-01

    Hypertension is associated with adverse cardiovascular (CV) events in adults. Measures of vascular structure and function, including increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and elevated arterial stiffness predict hard CV events in adulthood. Newer data suggest that abnormalities in target organ damage are occurring in adolescents and young adults with high blood pressure. In this review, we discuss the techniques for measuring vascular dysfunction in young people and the evidence linking blood pressure levels to this type of target organ damage. PMID:26275663

  9. CRISPR/Cas9 Promotes Functional Study of Testis Specific X-Linked Gene In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xue; Chen, Yuxi; Zhang, Zhen; Zhang, Xiya; Liang, Puping; Zhan, Shaoquan; Cao, Shanbo; Songyang, Zhou; Huang, Junjiu

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian spermatogenesis is a highly regulated multistage process of sperm generation. It is hard to uncover the real function of a testis specific gene in vitro since the in vitro model is not yet mature. With the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated 9) system, we can now rapidly generate knockout mouse models of testis specific genes to study the process of spermatogenesis in vivo. SYCP3-like X-linked 2 (SLX2) is a germ cell specific component, which contains a Cor1 domain and belongs to the XLR (X-linked, lymphocyte regulated) family. Previous studies suggested that SLX2 might play an important role in mouse spermatogenesis based on its subcellular localization and interacting proteins. However, the function of SLX2 in vivo is still elusive. Here, to investigate the functions of SLX2 in spermatogenesis, we disrupted the Slx2 gene by using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Since Slx2 is a testis specific X-linked gene, we obtained knockout male mice in the first generation and accelerated the study process. Compared with wild-type mice, Slx2 knockout mice have normal testis and epididymis. Histological observation of testes sections showed that Slx2 knockout affected none of the three main stages of spermatogenesis: mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. In addition, we further confirmed that disruption of Slx2 did not affect the number of spermatogonial stem cells, meiosis progression or XY body formation by immunofluorescence analysis. As spermatogenesis was normal in Slx2 knockout mice, these mice were fertile. Taken together, we showed that Slx2 itself is not an essential gene for mouse spermatogenesis and CRISPR/Cas9 technique could speed up the functional study of testis specific X-linked gene in vivo. PMID:26599493

  10. Mechanistic links between gut microbial community dynamics, microbial functions and metabolic health

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Connie WY; Lam, Yan Y; Holmes, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Gut microbes comprise a high density, biologically active community that lies at the interface of an animal with its nutritional environment. Consequently their activity profoundly influences many aspects of the physiology and metabolism of the host animal. A range of microbial structural components and metabolites directly interact with host intestinal cells and tissues to influence nutrient uptake and epithelial health. Endocrine, neuronal and lymphoid cells in the gut also integrate signals from these microbial factors to influence systemic responses. Dysregulation of these host-microbe interactions is now recognised as a major risk factor in the development of metabolic dysfunction. This is a two-way process and understanding the factors that tip host-microbiome homeostasis over to dysbiosis requires greater appreciation of the host feedbacks that contribute to regulation of microbial community composition. To date, numerous studies have employed taxonomic profiling approaches to explore the links between microbial composition and host outcomes (especially obesity and its comorbidities), but inconsistent host-microbe associations have been reported. Available data indicates multiple factors have contributed to discrepancies between studies. These include the high level of functional redundancy in host-microbiome interactions combined with individual variation in microbiome composition; differences in study design, diet composition and host system between studies; and inherent limitations to the resolution of rRNA-based community profiling. Accounting for these factors allows for recognition of the common microbial and host factors driving community composition and development of dysbiosis on high fat diets. New therapeutic intervention options are now emerging. PMID:25469018

  11. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth

    PubMed Central

    Bromage, Timothy G.; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Crenshaw, Thomas D.; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  12. Mechanistic links between gut microbial community dynamics, microbial functions and metabolic health.

    PubMed

    Ha, Connie W Y; Lam, Yan Y; Holmes, Andrew J

    2014-11-28

    Gut microbes comprise a high density, biologically active community that lies at the interface of an animal with its nutritional environment. Consequently their activity profoundly influences many aspects of the physiology and metabolism of the host animal. A range of microbial structural components and metabolites directly interact with host intestinal cells and tissues to influence nutrient uptake and epithelial health. Endocrine, neuronal and lymphoid cells in the gut also integrate signals from these microbial factors to influence systemic responses. Dysregulation of these host-microbe interactions is now recognised as a major risk factor in the development of metabolic dysfunction. This is a two-way process and understanding the factors that tip host-microbiome homeostasis over to dysbiosis requires greater appreciation of the host feedbacks that contribute to regulation of microbial community composition. To date, numerous studies have employed taxonomic profiling approaches to explore the links between microbial composition and host outcomes (especially obesity and its comorbidities), but inconsistent host-microbe associations have been reported. Available data indicates multiple factors have contributed to discrepancies between studies. These include the high level of functional redundancy in host-microbiome interactions combined with individual variation in microbiome composition; differences in study design, diet composition and host system between studies; and inherent limitations to the resolution of rRNA-based community profiling. Accounting for these factors allows for recognition of the common microbial and host factors driving community composition and development of dysbiosis on high fat diets. New therapeutic intervention options are now emerging. PMID:25469018

  13. Spin Structure Functions from Electron Scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Seonho Choi

    2012-09-01

    The spin structure of the nucleon can play a key testing ground for Quantum Chromo-Dynamics (QCD) at wide kinematic ranges from smaller to large four momentum transfer Q{sup 2}. The pioneering experiments have confirmed several QCD sum rules at high Q{sup 2} where a perturbative picture holds. For a full understanding of QCD at various scales, various measurements were made at intermediate and small Q{sup 2} region and their interpretation would be a challenging task due to the non-perturbative nature. Jefferson Lab has been one of the major experimental facilities for the spin structure with its polarized electron beams and various polarized targets. A few QCD sum rules have been compared with the measured spin structure functions g{sub 1}(x, Q{sup 2}) and g{sub 2}(x, Q{sup 2}) at low Q{sup 2} and surprising results have been obtained for the spin polarizabilities, {gamma}{sub 0} and {delta}{sub LT} . As for the proton spin structure functions, the lack of data for g{sub 2}(x,Q{sup 2}) structure functions has been complemented with a new experiment at Jefferson Lab, SANE. The results from SANE will provide a better picture of the proton spin structure at a wide kinematic range in x and Q{sup 2}.

  14. Link functions in multi-locus genetic models: implications for testing, prediction, and interpretation.

    PubMed

    Clayton, David

    2012-05-01

    "Complex" diseases are, by definition, influenced by multiple causes, both genetic and environmental, and statistical work on the joint action of multiple risk factors has, for more than 40 years, been dominated by the generalized linear model (GLM). In genetics, models for dichotomous traits have traditionally been approached via the model of an underlying, normally distributed, liability. This corresponds to the GLM with binomial errors and a probit link function. Elsewhere in epidemiology, however, the logistic regression model, a GLM with logit link function, has been the tool of choice, largely because of its convenient properties in case-control studies. The choice of link function has usually been dictated by mathematical convenience, but it has some important implications in (a) the choice of association test statistic in the presence of existing strong risk factors, (b) the ability to predict disease from genotype given its heritability, and (c) the definition, and interpretation of epistasis (or epistacy). These issues are reviewed, and a new association test proposed. PMID:22508388

  15. Modeling and tachometer feedback in the control of an experimental single link flexible structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, Ephrahim; Inman, Daniel J.

    1990-01-01

    In this work a formulation for the modeling of a single link flexible structure will be introduced that includes the effects of dynamic interaction between the actuator and structure. These effects are the rotational modal participation factors for the structure's vibratory motion that occurs at the slewing axis. It will be shown, both theoretically and experimentally, that this dynamic interaction can be advantageous for vibration suppression of the flexible modes of the system during slewing positioning maneuvers.

  16. Oxidative stress modulates mitochondrial failure and cyclophilin D function in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy

    PubMed Central

    López-Erauskin, Jone; Galino, Jorge; Bianchi, Patrizia; Fourcade, Stéphane; Andreu, Antoni L.; Ferrer, Isidre; Muñoz-Pinedo, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    A common process associated with oxidative stress and severe mitochondrial impairment is the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, as described in many neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, inhibition of mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening represents a potential target for inhibiting mitochondrial-driven cell death. Among the mitochondrial permeability transition pore components, cyclophilin D is the most studied and has been found increased under pathological conditions. Here, we have used in vitro and in vivo models of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy to investigate the relationship between the mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening and redox homeostasis. X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a neurodegenerative condition caused by loss of function of the peroxisomal ABCD1 transporter, in which oxidative stress plays a pivotal role. In this study, we provide evidence of impaired mitochondrial metabolism in a peroxisomal disease, as fibroblasts in patients with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy cannot survive when forced to rely on mitochondrial energy production, i.e. on incubation in galactose. Oxidative stress induced under galactose conditions leads to mitochondrial damage in the form of mitochondrial inner membrane potential dissipation, ATP drop and necrotic cell death, together with increased levels of oxidative modifications in cyclophilin D protein. Moreover, we show increased expression levels of cyclophilin D in the affected zones of brains in patients with adrenomyeloneuropathy, in spinal cord of a mouse model of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (Abcd1-null mice) and in fibroblasts from patients with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. Notably, treatment with antioxidants rescues mitochondrial damage markers in fibroblasts from patients with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, including cyclophilin D oxidative modifications, and reverses cyclophilin D induction in vitro and in vivo. These findings provide mechanistic insight into the

  17. Body Structure and Function. Teacher Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This curriculum guide contains the materials required to teach a course in body structure and function. The following topics are covered in the course's 17 instructional units: basic concepts of physical and life sciences; microbiology and bacteriology; the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, urinary, central…

  18. Structures and Functions of Selective Attention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Michael I.

    While neuropsychology relates the neural structures damaged in traumatic brain injury with their cognitive functions in daily life, this report reviews evidence that elementary operations of cognition as defined by cognitive studies are the level at which the brain localizes its computations. Orienting of visual attention is used as a model task.…

  19. Progress on nuclear modifications of structure functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumano, S.

    2016-03-01

    We report progress on nuclear structure functions, especially on their nuclear modifications and a new tensor structure function for the deuteron. To understand nuclear structure functions is an important step toward describing nuclei and QCD matters from low to high densities and from low to high energies in terms of fundamental quark and gluon degrees of freedom beyond conventional hadron and nuclear physics. It is also practically important for understanding new phenomena in high-energy heavy-ion collisions at RHIC and LHC. Furthermore, since systematic errors of current neutrinooscillation experiments are dominated by uncertainties of neutrino-nucleus interactions, such studies are valuable for finding new physics beyond current framework. Next, a new tensor-polarized structure function b1 is discussed for the deuteron. There was a measurement by HERMES; however, its data are inconsistent with the conventional convolution estimate based on the standard deuteron model with D-state admixture. This fact suggests that a new hadronic phenomenon should exist in the tensor-polarized deuteron at high energies, and it will be experimentally investigated at JLab from the end of 2010's.

  20. Rice functionality, starch structure and the genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Through collaborative efforts among USDA scientists at Beaumont, Texas, we have gained in-depth knowledge of how rice functionality, i.e. the texture of the cooked rice, rice processing properties, and starch gelatinization temperature, are associated with starch-synthesis genes and starch structure...

  1. Structural Functionalism as a Heuristic Device.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chilcott, John H.

    1998-01-01

    Argues that structural functionalism as a method for conducting fieldwork and as a format for the analysis of ethnographic data remains a powerful model, one that is easily understood by professional educators. As a heuristic device, functionalist theory can help in the solution of a problem that is otherwise incapable of theoretical…

  2. Structure functions: Their status and implications

    SciTech Connect

    Hinchliffe, I.

    1988-09-29

    I discuss the current status of structure functions. Attention is given to the uncertainties in them and the implications of these uncertainties for experimental predictions. I indicate which experiments are capable of removing these uncertainties. 17 refs., 17 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Massively parallel sequencing of single cells by epicPCR links functional genes with phylogenetic markers

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Sarah J; Tamminen, Manu V; Preheim, Sarah P; Guo, Mira T; Briggs, Adrian W; Brito, Ilana L; A Weitz, David; Pitkänen, Leena K; Vigneault, Francois; Virta, Marko PJuhani; Alm, Eric J

    2016-01-01

    Many microbial communities are characterized by high genetic diversity. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing can determine community members, and metagenomics can determine the functional diversity, but resolving the functional role of individual cells in high throughput remains an unsolved challenge. Here, we describe epicPCR (Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR), a new technique that links functional genes and phylogenetic markers in uncultured single cells, providing a throughput of hundreds of thousands of cells with costs comparable to one genomic library preparation. We demonstrate the utility of our technique in a natural environment by profiling a sulfate-reducing community in a freshwater lake, revealing both known sulfate reducers and discovering new putative sulfate reducers. Our method is adaptable to any conserved genetic trait and translates genetic associations from diverse microbial samples into a sequencing library that answers targeted ecological questions. Potential applications include identifying functional community members, tracing horizontal gene transfer networks and mapping ecological interactions between microbial cells. PMID:26394010

  4. Massively parallel sequencing of single cells by epicPCR links functional genes with phylogenetic markers.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Sarah J; Tamminen, Manu V; Preheim, Sarah P; Guo, Mira T; Briggs, Adrian W; Brito, Ilana L; A Weitz, David; Pitkänen, Leena K; Vigneault, Francois; Juhani Virta, Marko P; Alm, Eric J

    2016-02-01

    Many microbial communities are characterized by high genetic diversity. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing can determine community members, and metagenomics can determine the functional diversity, but resolving the functional role of individual cells in high throughput remains an unsolved challenge. Here, we describe epicPCR (Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR), a new technique that links functional genes and phylogenetic markers in uncultured single cells, providing a throughput of hundreds of thousands of cells with costs comparable to one genomic library preparation. We demonstrate the utility of our technique in a natural environment by profiling a sulfate-reducing community in a freshwater lake, revealing both known sulfate reducers and discovering new putative sulfate reducers. Our method is adaptable to any conserved genetic trait and translates genetic associations from diverse microbial samples into a sequencing library that answers targeted ecological questions. Potential applications include identifying functional community members, tracing horizontal gene transfer networks and mapping ecological interactions between microbial cells. PMID:26394010

  5. Nuclear structure functions at small x

    SciTech Connect

    Jalilian-Marian, Jamal

    2009-11-15

    I study the nuclear structure function F{sub 2}{sup A} and its logarithmic derivative in the high-energy limit (small-x region) using the color glass condensate formalism. In this limit the structure function F{sub 2} depends on the quark-antiquark dipole-target scattering cross section N{sub F}(x{sub bj},r{sub t},b{sub t}). The same dipole cross section appears in single-hadron and hadron-photon production cross sections in the forward rapidity region in deuteron (proton)-nucleus collisions at high energy, that is, at energies available at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). I use a parametrization of the dipole cross section, which has successfully been used to describe the deuteron-gold data at the RHIC, to compute the nuclear structure function F{sub 2}{sup A} and its log Q{sup 2} derivative (which is related to gluon distribution function in the double log limit). I provide a quantitative estimate of the nuclear shadowing of F{sub 2}{sup A} and the gluon distribution function in the kinematic region relevant to a future electron-ion collider.

  6. Comparative interactomes of SIRT6 and SIRT7: Implication of functional links to aging.

    PubMed

    Lee, Namgyu; Kim, Dae-Kyum; Kim, Eung-Sam; Park, Sung Jin; Kwon, Jung-Hee; Shin, Jihye; Park, Seon-Min; Moon, Young Ho; Wang, Hee Jung; Gho, Yong Song; Choi, Kwan Yong

    2014-07-01

    Sirtuins are NAD(+) -dependent deacetylases that regulate a range of cellular processes. Although diverse functions of sirtuins have been proposed, those functions of SIRT6 and SIRT7 that are mediated by their interacting proteins remain elusive. In the present study, we identified SIRT6- and SIRT7-interacting proteins, and compared their interactomes to investigate functional links. Our interactomes revealed 136 interacting proteins for SIRT6 and 233 for SIRT7 while confirming seven and 111 proteins identified previously for SIRT6 and SIRT7, respectively. Comparison of SIRT6 and SIRT7 interactomes under the same experimental conditions disclosed 111 shared proteins, implying related functional links. The interaction networks of interactomes indicated biological processes associated with DNA repair, chromatin assembly, and aging. Interactions of two highly acetylated proteins, nucleophosmin (NPM1) and nucleolin, with SIRT6 and SIRT7 were confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation. NPM1 was found to be deacetylated by both SIRT6 and SIRT7. In senescent cells, the acetylation level of NPM1 was increased in conjunction with decreased levels of SIRT6 and SIRT7, suggesting that the acetylation of NPM1 could be regulated by SIRT6 and SIRT7 in the aging process. Our comparative interactomic study of SIRT6 and SIRT7 implies important functional links to aging by their associations with interacting proteins. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifiers PXD000159 and PXD000850 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD000159, http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD000850). PMID:24782448

  7. Structure and function of echinoderm telomerase RNA.

    PubMed

    Podlevsky, Joshua D; Li, Yang; Chen, Julian J-L

    2016-02-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) enzyme that requires an integral telomerase RNA (TR) subunit, in addition to the catalytic telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), for enzymatic function. The secondary structures of TRs from the three major groups of species, ciliates, fungi, and vertebrates, have been studied extensively and demonstrate dramatic diversity. Herein, we report the first comprehensive secondary structure of TR from echinoderms-marine invertebrates closely related to vertebrates-determined by phylogenetic comparative analysis of 16 TR sequences from three separate echinoderm classes. Similar to vertebrate TR, echinoderm TR contains the highly conserved template/pseudoknot and H/ACA domains. However, echinoderm TR lacks the ancestral CR4/5 structural domain found throughout vertebrate and fungal TRs. Instead, echinoderm TR contains a distinct simple helical region, termed eCR4/5, that is functionally equivalent to the CR4/5 domain. The urchin and brittle star eCR4/5 domains bind specifically to their respective TERT proteins and stimulate telomerase activity. Distinct from vertebrate telomerase, the echinoderm TR template/pseudoknot domain with the TERT protein is sufficient to reconstitute significant telomerase activity. This gain-of-function of the echinoderm template/pseudoknot domain for conferring telomerase activity presumably facilitated the rapid structural evolution of the eCR4/5 domain throughout the echinoderm lineage. Additionally, echinoderm TR utilizes the template-adjacent P1.1 helix as a physical template boundary element to prevent nontelomeric DNA synthesis, a mechanism used by ciliate and fungal TRs. Thus, the chimeric and eccentric structural features of echinoderm TR provide unparalleled insights into the rapid evolution of telomerase RNP structure and function. PMID:26598712

  8. Collagen type IX from human cartilage: a structural profile of intermolecular cross-linking sites.

    PubMed Central

    Diab, M; Wu, J J; Eyre, D R

    1996-01-01

    Type IX collagen, a quantitatively minor collagenous component of cartilage, is known to be associated with and covalently cross-linked to type II collagen fibrils in chick and bovine cartilage. Type IX collagen molecules have also been shown to form covalent cross-links with each other in bovine cartilage. In the present study we demonstrate by structural analysis and location of cross-linking sites that, in human cartilage, type IX collagen is covalently cross-linked to type II collagen and to other molecules of type IX collagen. We also present evidence that, if the proteoglycan form of type IX collagen is present in human cartilage, it can only be a minor component of the matrix, similar to findings with bovine cartilage. PMID:8660302

  9. Relating methanogen community structure and anaerobic digester function.

    PubMed

    Bocher, B T W; Cherukuri, K; Maki, J S; Johnson, M; Zitomer, D H

    2015-03-01

    Much remains unknown about the relationships between microbial community structure and anaerobic digester function. However, knowledge of links between community structure and function, such as specific methanogenic activity (SMA) and COD removal rate, are valuable to improve anaerobic bioprocesses. In this work, quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) were developed using multiple linear regression (MLR) to predict SMA using methanogen community structure descriptors for 49 cultures. Community descriptors were DGGE demeaned standardized band intensities for amplicons of a methanogen functional gene (mcrA). First, predictive accuracy of MLR QSARs was assessed using cross validation with training (n = 30) and test sets (n = 19) for glucose and propionate SMA data. MLR equations correlating band intensities and SMA demonstrated good predictability for glucose (q(2) = 0.54) and propionate (q(2) = 0.53). Subsequently, data from all 49 cultures were used to develop QSARs to predict SMA values. Higher intensities of two bands were correlated with higher SMA values; high abundance of methanogens associated with these two bands should be encouraged to attain high SMA values. QSARs are helpful tools to identify key microorganisms or to study and improve many bioprocesses. Development of new, more robust QSARs is encouraged for anaerobic digestion or other bioprocesses, including nitrification, nitritation, denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and enhanced biological phosphorus removal. PMID:25562581

  10. Aliphatic polycarbonates based on carbon dioxide, furfuryl glycidyl ether, and glycidyl methyl ether: reversible functionalization and cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Hilf, Jeannette; Scharfenberg, Markus; Poon, Jeffrey; Moers, Christian; Frey, Holger

    2015-01-01

    Well-defined poly((furfuryl glycidyl ether)-co-(glycidyl methyl ether) carbonate) (P((FGE-co-GME)C)) copolymers with varying furfuryl glycidyl ether (FGE) content in the range of 26% to 100% are prepared directly from CO2 and the respective epoxides in a solvent-free synthesis. All materials are characterized by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), (1)H NMR spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The furfuryl-functional samples exhibit monomodal molecular weight distributions with Mw/Mn in the range of 1.16 to 1.43 and molecular weights (Mn) between 2300 and 4300 g mol(-1). Thermal properties reflect the amorphous structure of the polymers. Both post-functionalization and cross-linking are performed via Diels-Alder chemistry using maleimide derivatives, leading to reversible network formation. This transformation is shown to be thermally reversible at 110 °C. PMID:25407342

  11. Identification of gene ontologies linked to prefrontal–hippocampal functional coupling in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Dixson, Luanna; Walter, Henrik; Schneider, Michael; Erk, Susanne; Schäfer, Axel; Haddad, Leila; Grimm, Oliver; Mattheisen, Manuel; Nöthen, Markus M.; Cichon, Sven; Witt, Stephanie H.; Rietschel, Marcella; Mohnke, Sebastian; Seiferth, Nina; Heinz, Andreas; Tost, Heike; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Functional interactions between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus during working memory have been studied extensively as an intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia. Coupling abnormalities have been found in patients, their unaffected siblings, and carriers of common genetic variants associated with schizophrenia, but the global genetic architecture of this imaging phenotype is unclear. To achieve genome-wide hypothesis-free identification of genes and pathways associated with prefrontal–hippocampal interactions, we combined gene set enrichment analysis with whole-genome genotyping and functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 269 healthy German volunteers. We found significant enrichment of the synapse organization and biogenesis gene set. This gene set included known schizophrenia risk genes, such as neural cell adhesion molecule (NRCAM) and calcium channel, voltage-dependent, beta 2 subunit (CACNB2), as well as genes with well-defined roles in neurodevelopmental and plasticity processes that are dysfunctional in schizophrenia and have mechanistic links to prefrontal–hippocampal functional interactions. Our results demonstrate a readily generalizable approach that can be used to identify the neurogenetic basis of systems-level phenotypes. Moreover, our findings identify gene sets in which genetic variation may contribute to disease risk through altered prefrontal–hippocampal functional interactions and suggest a link to both ongoing and developmental synaptic plasticity. PMID:24979789

  12. Optimizing nondecomposable loss functions in structured prediction.

    PubMed

    Ranjbar, Mani; Lan, Tian; Wang, Yang; Robinovitch, Steven N; Li, Ze-Nian; Mori, Greg

    2013-04-01

    We develop an algorithm for structured prediction with nondecomposable performance measures. The algorithm learns parameters of Markov Random Fields (MRFs) and can be applied to multivariate performance measures. Examples include performance measures such as Fβ score (natural language processing), intersection over union (object category segmentation), Precision/Recall at k (search engines), and ROC area (binary classifiers). We attack this optimization problem by approximating the loss function with a piecewise linear function. The loss augmented inference forms a Quadratic Program (QP), which we solve using LP relaxation. We apply this approach to two tasks: object class-specific segmentation and human action retrieval from videos. We show significant improvement over baseline approaches that either use simple loss functions or simple scoring functions on the PASCAL VOC and H3D Segmentation datasets, and a nursing home action recognition dataset. PMID:22868650

  13. Epigenetic Function of Activation-Induced Cytidine Deaminase and Its Link to Lymphomagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Pilar M.; Shaknovich, Rita

    2014-01-01

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is essential for somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes during B cell maturation and immune response. Expression of AID is tightly regulated due to its mutagenic and recombinogenic potential, which is known to target not only Ig genes, but also non-Ig genes, contributing to lymphomagenesis. In recent years, a new epigenetic function of AID and its link to DNA demethylation came to light in several developmental systems. In this review, we summarize existing evidence linking deamination of unmodified and modified cytidine by AID to base-excision repair and mismatch repair machinery resulting in passive or active removal of DNA methylation mark, with the focus on B cell biology. We also discuss potential contribution of AID-dependent DNA hypomethylation to lymphomagenesis. PMID:25566255

  14. Soil microbial community structure and functionality during grassland restoration in the Texas High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil microbial communities are an indispensable part of restoration programs due to their significant role in ecosystem functioning and sensitivity to disturbance. We evaluated soil microbial community structure using ester-linked fatty acid (EL-FAME) profiling and metabolic functioning, by measurin...

  15. Microphase-separated structures within randomly end-linked copolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Di; Hayward, Ryan

    Self-assembly within randomly cross-linked or end-linked copolymer networks provides a robust method to generate co-continuous nanometer-scale structures. Here, we investigate self-assembly within copolymer networks prepared by end linking of several different pairs of telechelic polymers in a common solvent. For sufficiently high levels of immiscibility between the constituent polymers, removal of solvent leads to microphase separation into disordered nanoscale structures. Using a variety of characterization methods, including transmission electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, differential scanning calorimetry, and dynamic mechanical analysis, we find that these networks exhibit co-continuous morphologies over a wide range of volume fraction of the two components, with a characteristic length scale that can be tuned by adjusting the molecular weight of the starting polymers.

  16. Alu element-containing RNAs maintain nucleolar structure and function.

    PubMed

    Caudron-Herger, Maïwen; Pankert, Teresa; Seiler, Jeanette; Németh, Attila; Voit, Renate; Grummt, Ingrid; Rippe, Karsten

    2015-11-12

    Non-coding RNAs play a key role in organizing the nucleus into functional subcompartments. By combining fluorescence microscopy and RNA deep-sequencing-based analysis, we found that RNA polymerase II transcripts originating from intronic Alu elements (aluRNAs) were enriched in the nucleolus. Antisense-oligo-mediated depletion of aluRNAs or drug-induced inhibition of RNA polymerase II activity disrupted nucleolar structure and impaired RNA polymerase I-dependent transcription of rRNA genes. In contrast, overexpression of a prototypic aluRNA sequence increased both nucleolus size and levels of pre-rRNA, suggesting a functional link between aluRNA, nucleolus integrity and pre-rRNA synthesis. Furthermore, we show that aluRNAs interact with nucleolin and target ectopic genomic loci to the nucleolus. Our study suggests an aluRNA-based mechanism that links RNA polymerase I and II activities and modulates nucleolar structure and rRNA production. PMID:26464461

  17. Functional and structural syntax networks in aging.

    PubMed

    Antonenko, Daria; Brauer, Jens; Meinzer, Marcus; Fengler, Anja; Kerti, Lucia; Friederici, Angela D; Flöel, Agnes

    2013-12-01

    Language abilities are known to deteriorate in aging, possibly related to decreased functional and structural connectivity within specialized brain networks. Here, we investigated syntactic ability in healthy young and older adults using a comprehensive assessment of behavioral performance, task-independent functional (FC) and structural brain connectivity (SC). Seed-based FC originating from left pars opercularis (part of Broca's area) known to support syntactic processes was assessed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and SC using fractional anisotropy from diffusion weighted imaging, in the dorsally located superior longitudinal and the ventrally located uncinate fasciculi (SLF, UF) and forceps minor. Young compared to older adults exhibited superior syntactic performance and stronger FC within the mainly left-lateralized syntax network, which was beneficial for performance. In contrast, in older adults, FC within the mainly left-lateralized syntax network was reduced and did not correlate with performance; inter-hemispheric FC to right inferior frontal and angular gyri was detrimental for performance. In both groups, performance was positively correlated with inter-hemispheric SC. For intra-hemispheric SC, performance correlated with structural integrity of SLF in young adults and with integrity of UF in older adults. Our data show that reduced syntactic ability in older adults is associated with decreased FC within dedicated syntax networks. Moreover, young adults showed an association of syntactic ability with structural integrity of the dorsal tract, while older adults rely more on ventral fibers. In sum, our study provided novel insight into the relationship between connectivity and syntactic performance in young and older adults. In addition to elucidating age-related changes in syntax networks and their behavioral relevance, our results contribute to a better understanding of age-related changes in functional and structural brain

  18. History, structure, and function of the Internet.

    PubMed

    Glowniak, J

    1998-04-01

    The Internet stands at the forefront of telecommunications in medicine. This worldwide system of computers had its beginnings in networking projects in the United States and western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. The precursor of the Internet was ARPANET, a long-distance telecommunication network funded by the Department of Defense that linked together computers throughout the United States. In the 1980s, ARPANET was superseded by NSFNET, a series of networks created by the National Science Foundation, which established the present-day structure of the Internet. The physical structure of the Internet resembles and is integrated with the telephone system. Long-distance data transport services are provided by large telecommunication companies, called network service providers (NSPs), through high-capacity, high-speed national and international fiber optic cables. These transport services are accessed through Internet service providers, ISPs. ISPs, the equivalent of regional Bell operating companies, provide the physical link to the NSPs for individuals and organizations. Telecommunications on the Internet are standardized by a set of communications protocols, the TCP/IP protocol suite, that describe routing of messages over the Internet, computer naming conventions, and commonly used Internet services such as e-mail. At present, the Internet consists of over 20 million computer worldwide and is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. Along with the growth of the Internet, higher speed access methods are offering a range of new services such as real-time video and voice communications. Medical education, teaching, and research, as well as clinical practice, will be affected in numerous different ways by these advances. PMID:9579415

  19. Functional link between Rab GTPase-mediated membrane trafficking and PI4,5P2 signaling.

    PubMed

    Li, Cuifang; Kita, Ayako; Hashimoto, Yuuka; Ihara, Misako; Kato, Ayaka; Ogura, Naoya; Doi, Akira; Oku, Masahide; Itoh, Toshiki; Sakai, Yasuyoshi; Sugiura, Reiko

    2014-03-01

    Fission yeast its3(+) encodes an essential phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase (PI4P5K) that regulates cell integrity and cytokinesis. We performed a genetic screen to identify genes that function in PI4P5K-mediated signaling, and identified gyp10(+) encoding a Rab GTPase-activating protein (GAP), a negative regulator for Rab GTPase signaling. Its3 overproduction caused growth defects and abnormal cytoplasmic accumulation of the Its3 protein, which can be stained by calcofluor. Notably, Its3 overproducing cells displayed abnormal membranous structures, multilamella Golgi and fragmented vacuoles showed by Electron microscopy. Furthermore, the excess cytoplasmic Its3 structure partly colocalized with the fluorescence of FM4-64. Gyp10 rescued both growth defects and abnormal Its3 localization when it was over-expressed. Gyp10 functionally interacted with the Rab GTPases Ypt3 and Ryh1, both of which regulate Golgi membrane trafficking. Consistently, mutation or deletion of Ypt3 and Ryh1 suppressed phenotypes associated with Its3 overproduction. Importantly, the plasma membrane localization of Its3 was also affected by the impairment of the Ypt3/Ryh1 Rab membrane trafficking, thus suggesting that membrane trafficking events regulated by two Rab GTPases functionally interacts with PI4,5P2 signaling. These results suggest a mechanism whereby PI4P5K signaling/localization is affected by Golgi membrane trafficking, thus provide a functional link between the PI4,5P2 signaling and Rab-mediated trafficking. PMID:24350606

  20. Structure and function of the calcium pump.

    PubMed

    Stokes, David L; Green, N Michael

    2003-01-01

    Active transport of cations is achieved by a large family of ATP-dependent ion pumps, known as P-type ATPases. Various members of this family have been targets of structural and functional investigations for over four decades. Recently, atomic structures have been determined for Ca2+-ATPase by X-ray crystallography, which not only reveal the architecture of these molecules but also offer the opportunity to understand the structural mechanisms by which the energy of ATP is coupled to calcium transport across the membrane. This energy coupling is accomplished by large-scale conformational changes. The transmembrane domain undergoes plastic deformations under the influence of calcium binding at the transport site. Cytoplasmic domains undergo dramatic rigid-body movements that deliver substrates to the catalytic site and that establish new domain interfaces. By comparing various structures and correlating functional data, we can now begin to associate the chemical changes constituting the reaction cycle with structural changes in these domains. PMID:12598367

  1. Longitudinal links between childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning: developmental cascades.

    PubMed

    Vaillancourt, Tracy; Brittain, Heather L; McDougall, Patricia; Duku, Eric

    2013-11-01

    Developmental cascade models linking childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning were examined in a sample of 695 children assessed in Grade 3 (academic only) and Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. Results revealed several complex patterns of associations in which poorer functioning in one domain influenced poorer outcomes in other areas. For example, a symptom driven pathway was consistently found with internalizing problems predicting future peer victimization. Support for an academic incompetence model was also found-- lower GPA in Grade 5, 6, and 7 was associated with more externalizing issues in the following year, and poor writing performance in Grade 3 predicted lower grades in Grade 5, which in turn predicted more externalizing problems in Grade 6. Results highlight the need to examine bidirectional influences and multifarious transactions that exist between peer victimization, mental health, and academic functioning over time. PMID:23907699

  2. Non-dipolar gauge links for transverse-momentum-dependent pion wave functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu-Ming

    2016-03-01

    I discuss the factorization-compatible definitions of transverse-momentumdependent (TMD) pion wave functions which are fundamental theory inputs entering QCD factorization formulae for many hard exclusive processes. I will first demonstrate that the soft subtraction factor introduced to remove both rapidity and pinch singularities can be greatly reduced by making the maximal use of the freedom to construct the Wilson-line paths when defining the TMD wave functions. I will then turn to show that the newly proposed TMD definition with non-dipolarWilson lines is equivalent to the one with dipolar gauge links and with a complicated soft function, to all orders of the perturbative expansion in the strong coupling, as far as the infrared behavior is concerned.

  3. Structure and function of the spleen.

    PubMed

    Mebius, Reina E; Kraal, Georg

    2005-08-01

    The spleen combines the innate and adaptive immune system in a uniquely organized way. The structure of the spleen enables it to remove older erythrocytes from the circulation and leads to the efficient removal of blood-borne microorganisms and cellular debris. This function, in combination with a highly organized lymphoid compartment, makes the spleen the most important organ for antibacterial and antifungal immune reactivity. A better understanding of the function of this complex organ has been gained from recent studies, as outlined in this Review article. PMID:16056254

  4. Control design variable linking for optimization of structural/control systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jin, I. M.; Schmit, L. A.

    1991-01-01

    In this study a method is presented to integrate the design space of structural/control system optimization problems in the case of state feedback control. Conventional structural sizing variables and elements of the feedback gain matrix are both treated as strictly independent design variables in the optimization by extending design variable linking concepts to the control gains. Examples which involve a variety of behavior constraints, including dynamic transient response and control force limits, are effectively solved by using the method presented.

  5. Proteins with Novel Structure, Function and Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a small enzyme that ligates two RNA fragments with the rate of 10(exp 6) above background was evolved in vitro (Seelig and Szostak, Nature 448:828-831, 2007). This enzyme does not resemble any contemporary protein (Chao et al., Nature Chem. Biol. 9:81-83, 2013). It consists of a dynamic, catalytic loop, a small, rigid core containing two zinc ions coordinated by neighboring amino acids, and two highly flexible tails that might be unimportant for protein function. In contrast to other proteins, this enzyme does not contain ordered secondary structure elements, such as alpha-helix or beta-sheet. The loop is kept together by just two interactions of a charged residue and a histidine with a zinc ion, which they coordinate on the opposite side of the loop. Such structure appears to be very fragile. Surprisingly, computer simulations indicate otherwise. As the coordinating, charged residue is mutated to alanine, another, nearby charged residue takes its place, thus keeping the structure nearly intact. If this residue is also substituted by alanine a salt bridge involving two other, charged residues on the opposite sides of the loop keeps the loop in place. These adjustments are facilitated by high flexibility of the protein. Computational predictions have been confirmed experimentally, as both mutants retain full activity and overall structure. These results challenge our notions about what is required for protein activity and about the relationship between protein dynamics, stability and robustness. We hypothesize that small, highly dynamic proteins could be both active and fault tolerant in ways that many other proteins are not, i.e. they can adjust to retain their structure and activity even if subjected to mutations in structurally critical regions. This opens the doors for designing proteins with novel functions, structures and dynamics that have not been yet considered.

  6. Structure and function of endothelial caveolae.

    PubMed

    Stan, Radu-Virgil

    2002-06-01

    Caveolae are spherical invaginations of the plasma membrane and associated vesicles that are found at high surface densities in most cells, endothelia included. Their structural framework has been shown to consist of oligomerized caveolin molecules interacting with cholesterol and sphingolipids. Caveolae have been involved in many cellular functions such as endocytosis, signal transduction, mechano-transduction, potocytosis, and cholesterol trafficking. Some confusion still persists in the field with respect to the relationship between caveolae and the lipid rafts, which have been involved in many of the above functions. In addition to all these, endothelial caveolae have been involved in capillary permeability by their participation in the process of transcytosis. This short review will focus on their structure and components, methods used to determine these components, and the role of caveolae in the transendothelial exchanges between blood plasma and the interstitial fluid. PMID:12112442

  7. Genetic defects in ciliary structure and function.

    PubMed

    Zariwala, Maimoona A; Knowles, Michael R; Omran, Heymut

    2007-01-01

    Cilia, hair-like structures extending from the cell membrane, perform diverse biological functions. Primary (genetic) defects in the structure and function of sensory and motile cilia result in multiple ciliopathies. The most prominent genetic abnormality involving motile cilia (and the respiratory tract) is primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). PCD is a rare, usually autosomal recessive, genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by sino-pulmonary disease, laterality defects, and male infertility. Ciliary ultrastructural defects are identified in approximately 90% of PCD patients and involve the outer dynein arms, inner dynein arms, or both. Diagnosing PCD is challenging and requires a compatible clinical phenotype together with tests such as ciliary ultrastructural analysis, immunofluorescent staining, ciliary beat assessment, and/or nasal nitric oxide measurements. Recent mutational analysis demonstrated that 38% of PCD patients carry mutations of the dynein genes DNAI1 and DNAH5. Increased understanding of the pathogenesis will aid in better diagnosis and treatment of PCD. PMID:17059358

  8. Geometrical scaling in charm structure function ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boroun, G. R.; Rezaei, B.

    2014-09-01

    By using a Laplace-transform technique, we solve the next-to-leading-order master equation for charm production and derive a compact formula for the ratio Rc = FLccbar/F2ccbar, which is useful for extracting the charm structure function from the reduced charm cross section, in particular, at DESY HERA, at small x. Our results show that this ratio is independent of x at small x. In this method of determining the ratios, we apply geometrical scaling in charm production in deep inelastic scattering (DIS). Our analysis shows that the renormalization scales have a sizable impact on the ratio Rc at high Q2. Our results for the ratio of the charm structure functions are in a good agreement with some phenomenological models.

  9. Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases: Function, structure, and inhibition

    SciTech Connect

    Boura, Evzen Nencka, Radim

    2015-10-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases (PI4Ks) synthesize phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P), a key member of the phosphoinositide family. PI4P defines the membranes of Golgi and trans-Golgi network (TGN) and regulates trafficking to and from the Golgi. Humans have two type II PI4Ks (α and β) and two type III enzymes (α and β). Recently, the crystal structures were solved for both type II and type III kinase revealing atomic details of their function. Importantly, the type III PI4Ks are hijacked by +RNA viruses to create so-called membranous web, an extensively phosphorylated and modified membrane system dedicated to their replication. Therefore, selective and potent inhibitors of PI4Ks have been developed as potential antiviral agents. Here we focus on the structure and function of PI4Ks and their potential in human medicine.

  10. Sex differences in resting state brain function of cigarette smokers and links to nicotine dependence.

    PubMed

    Beltz, Adriene M; Berenbaum, Sheri A; Wilson, Stephen J

    2015-08-01

    Sex--a marker of biological and social individual differences--matters for drug use, particularly for cigarette smoking, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More men than women smoke, but women are less likely than men to quit. Resting state brain function, or intrinsic brain activity that occurs in the absence of a goal-directed task, is important for understanding cigarette smoking, as it has been shown to differentiate between smokers and nonsmokers. But, it is unclear whether and how sex influences the link between resting state brain function and smoking behavior. In this study, the authors demonstrate that sex is indeed associated with resting state connectivity in cigarette smokers, and that sex moderates the link between resting state connectivity and self-reported nicotine dependence. Using functional MRI and behavioral data from 50 adult daily smokers (23 women), the authors found that women had greater connectivity than men within the default mode network, and that increased connectivity within the reward network was related to increased nicotine tolerance in women but to decreased nicotine tolerance in men. Findings highlight the importance of sex-related individual differences reflected in resting state connectivity for understanding the etiology and treatment of substance use problems. PMID:26237322

  11. Unconventional N-Linked Glycosylation Promotes Trimeric Autotransporter Function in Kingella kingae and Aggregatibacter aphrophilus

    PubMed Central

    Rempe, Katherine A.; Spruce, Lynn A.; Porsch, Eric A.; Seeholzer, Steven H.; Nørskov-Lauritsen, Niels

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Glycosylation is a widespread mechanism employed by both eukaryotes and bacteria to increase the functional diversity of their proteomes. The nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae glycosyltransferase HMW1C mediates unconventional N-linked glycosylation of the adhesive protein HMW1, which is encoded in a two-partner secretion system gene cluster that also encodes HMW1C. In this system, HMW1 is modified in the cytoplasm by sequential transfer of hexose residues. In the present study, we examined Kingella kingae and Aggregatibacter aphrophilus homologues of HMW1C that are not encoded near a gene encoding an obvious acceptor protein. We found both homologues to be functional glycosyltransferases and identified their substrates as the K. kingae Knh and the A. aphrophilus EmaA trimeric autotransporter proteins. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis revealed multiple sites of N-linked glycosylation on Knh and EmaA. Without glycosylation, Knh and EmaA failed to facilitate wild-type levels of bacterial autoaggregation or adherence to human epithelial cells, establishing that glycosylation is essential for proper protein function. PMID:26307167

  12. Structural studies on mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase using chemical cross-linking.

    PubMed Central

    Patel, S D; Ragan, C I

    1988-01-01

    The structure of bovine heart mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase was investigated by cross-linking constituent subunits with disuccinimidyl tartrate, (ethylene glycol)yl bis(succinimidyl succinate) and dimethyl suberimidate. Cross-linked products were identified by Western blotting with monospecific antisera to nine subunits of the enzyme. Cross-links between subunits within the flavoprotein, iron-protein and hydrophobic domains of the enzyme were identified. Cross-linking between the 75 kDa iron-protein-domain subunit and the 51 kDa flavoprotein-domain subunit was modulated by the substrate NADH. Cross-linking of subunits of the iron-protein and flavoprotein domains to constituents of the hydrophobic domain was also found. This was further substantiated by photolabelling subunits of the latter region, which were in contact with the membrane lipid, with 3-(trifluoromethyl)-3-(m-[125I]iodophenyl)diazirine. One such subunit of Mr 19,000 could be cross-linked to components of the iron-protein domain. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. Fig. 8. PMID:3223927

  13. Effects of partial hydrolysis and subsequent cross-linking on wheat gluten physicochemical properties and structure.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kaiqiang; Luo, Shuizhong; Cai, Jing; Sun, Qiaoqiao; Zhao, Yanyan; Zhong, Xiyang; Jiang, Shaotong; Zheng, Zhi

    2016-04-15

    The rheological behavior and thermal properties of wheat gluten following partial hydrolysis using Alcalase and subsequent microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) cross-linking were investigated. The wheat gluten storage modulus (G') and thermal denaturation temperature (Tg) were significantly increased from 2.26 kPa and 54.43°C to 7.76 kPa and 57.69°C, respectively, by the combined action of partial hydrolysis (DH 0.187%) and cross-linking. The free SH content, surface hydrophobicity, and secondary structure analysis suggested that an appropriate degree of Alcalase-based hydrolysis allowed the compact wheat gluten structure to unfold, increasing the β-sheet content and surface hydrophobicity. This improved its molecular flexibility and exposed additional glutamine sites for MTGase cross-linking. SEM images showed that a compact 3D network formed, while SDS-PAGE profiles revealed that excessive hydrolysis resulted in high-molecular-weight subunits degrading to smaller peptides, unsuitable for cross-linking. It was also demonstrated that the combination of Alcalase-based partial hydrolysis with MTGase cross-linking might be an effective method for modifying wheat gluten rheological behavior and thermal properties. PMID:26616937

  14. Synthesis, structure and band gap energy of covalently linked cluster-assembled materials.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Sukhendu; Reber, Arthur C; Qian, Meichun; Liu, Ran; Saavedra, Hector M; Sen, Saikat; Weiss, Paul S; Khanna, Shiv N; Sen, Ayusman

    2012-10-28

    We have synthesized a series of cluster assembled materials in which the building blocks are As(7)(3-) clusters linked by group 12 metals, Zn, Cd and Hg, to investigate the effect of covalent linkers on the band gap energy. The synthesized assemblies include zero dimensional assemblies of [Zn(As(7))(2)](4-), [Cd(As(7))(2)](4-), [Hg(2)(As(7))(2)](4-), and [HgAsAs(14)](3-) in which the clusters are separated by cryptated counterions, and assemblies in which [Zn(As(7))(2)](4-), [Cd(As(7))(2)](4-) are linked by free alkali atoms into unusual three-dimensional structures. These covalently linked cluster-assembled materials have been characterized by elemental analysis, EDX and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The crystal structure analysis revealed that in the case of Zn and Cd, the two As(7)(3-) units are linked by the metal ion, while in the case of Hg, two As(7)(3-) units are linked by either Hg-Hg or Hg-As dimers. Optical measurements indicate that the band gap energy ranges from 1.62 eV to 2.21 eV. A theoretical description based on cluster orbital theory is used to provide a microscopic understanding of the electronic character of the composite building blocks and the observed variations in the band gap energy. PMID:22940817

  15. HFE gene: Structure, function, mutations, and associated iron abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Barton, James C; Edwards, Corwin Q; Acton, Ronald T

    2015-12-15

    The hemochromatosis gene HFE was discovered in 1996, more than a century after clinical and pathologic manifestations of hemochromatosis were reported. Linked to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6p, HFE encodes the MHC class I-like protein HFE that binds beta-2 microglobulin. HFE influences iron absorption by modulating the expression of hepcidin, the main controller of iron metabolism. Common HFE mutations account for ~90% of hemochromatosis phenotypes in whites of western European descent. We review HFE mapping and cloning, structure, promoters and controllers, and coding region mutations, HFE protein structure, cell and tissue expression and function, mouse Hfe knockouts and knockins, and HFE mutations in other mammals with iron overload. We describe the pertinence of HFE and HFE to mechanisms of iron homeostasis, the origin and fixation of HFE polymorphisms in European and other populations, and the genetic and biochemical basis of HFE hemochromatosis and iron overload. PMID:26456104

  16. Nuclear diffractive structure functions at high energies

    SciTech Connect

    Marquet,C.; Kowalski, H.; Lappi, T.; Venugopalan, R.

    2008-08-08

    A future high-energy electron-ion collider would explore the non-linear weakly-coupled regime of QCD, and test the Color Glass Condensate (CGC) approach to high-energy scattering. Hard diffraction in deep inelastic scattering off nuclei will provide many fundamental measurements. In this work, the nuclear diffractive structure function F{sub 2,A}{sup D} is predicted in the CGC framework, and the features of nuclear enhancement and suppression are discussed.

  17. Structure function calculations for Ostwald Ripening processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hassan, Razi A.

    1990-01-01

    A program for computing the structure function for configurations involved in Ostwald Ripening was written. The basic algorithms are derived from a mathematical analysis of a two-dimensional model system developed by Bortz, et. al. (1974). While it is expected that the values form the computer simulations will reflect Ostwald Ripening, at this point the program is still being tested. Some preliminary runs seem to justify the expectations.

  18. Truncated Moment Analysis of Nucleon Structure Functions

    SciTech Connect

    A. Psaker; W. Melnitchouk; M. E. Christy; C. E. Keppel

    2007-11-16

    We employ a novel new approach using "truncated" moments, or integrals of structure functions over restricted regions of x, to study local quark-hadron duality, and the degree to which individual resonance regions are dominated by leading twists. Because truncated moments obey the same Q^2 evolution equations as the leading twist parton distributions, this approach makes possible for the first time a description of resonance region data and the phenomenon of quark-hadron duality directly from QCD.

  19. [Cognitive Function and Calcium. The link between dementia and bone and calcium metabolism disorders].

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Kiyoshi

    2015-02-01

    Bone and calcium metabolism disorders are closely linked with dementia. Screening for dementia is important since chronic hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia resulting from parathyroid function abnormalities can become a cause of dementia onset. In recent years, it has become clear that vitamin D deficiencies inducing cardiovascular disease and other factors are involved in the pathogenesis of various diseases that in turn become risk factors in dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, osteoporosis and dementia both commonly occur among the elderly. Treating dementia patients for osteoporosis is important since fragility fractures, especially femoral neck fractures, resulting from osteoporosis greatly affect the prognosis of patients with dementia. PMID:25634043

  20. The Mass Function of Cosmic Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Audit, E.; Teyssier, R.; Alimi, J.-M.

    We investigate some modifications to the Press and Schechter (1974) (PS) prescription resulting from shear and tidal effects. These modifications rely on more realistic treatments of the collapse process than the standard approach based on the spherical model. First, we show that the mass function resulting from a new approximate Lagrangian dynamic (Audit and Alimi, A&A 1996), contains more objects at high mass, than the classical PS mass function and is well fitted by a PS-like function with a threshold density of deltac ≍ 1.4. However, such a Lagrangian description can underestimate the epoch of structure formation since it defines it as the collapse of the first principal axis. We therefore suggest some analytical prescriptions, for computing the collapse time along the second and third principal axes, and we deduce the corresponding mass functions. The collapse along the third axis is delayed by the shear and the number of objects of high mass then decreases. Finally, we show that the shear also strongly affects the formation of low-mass halos. This dynamical effect implies a modification of the low-mass slope of the mass function and allows the reproduction of the observed luminosity function of field galaxies.

  1. Brain Functional and Structural Predictors of Language Performance.

    PubMed

    Skeide, Michael A; Brauer, Jens; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-05-01

    The relation between brain function and behavior on the one hand and the relation between structural changes and behavior on the other as well as the link between the 2 aspects are core issues in cognitive neuroscience. It is an open question, however, whether brain function or brain structure is the better predictor for age-specific cognitive performance. Here, in a comprehensive set of analyses, we investigated the direct relation between hemodynamic activity in 2 pairs of frontal and temporal cortical areas, 2 long-distance white matter fiber tracts connecting each pair and sentence comprehension performance of 4 age groups, including 3 groups of children between 3 and 10 years as well as young adults. We show that the increasing accuracy of processing complex sentences throughout development is correlated with the blood-oxygen-level-dependent activation of 2 core language processing regions in Broca's area and the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus. Moreover, both accuracy and speed of processing are correlated with the maturational status of the arcuate fasciculus, that is, the dorsal white matter fiber bundle connecting these 2 regions. The present data provide compelling evidence for the view that brain function and white matter structure together best predict developing cognitive performance. PMID:25770126

  2. Structural and regulatory functions of keratins

    SciTech Connect

    Magin, Thomas M. . E-mail: t.magin@uni-bonn.de; Vijayaraj, Preethi; Leube, Rudolf E. . E-mail: leube@uni-mainz.de

    2007-06-10

    The diversity of epithelial functions is reflected by the expression of distinct keratin pairs that are responsible to protect epithelial cells against mechanical stress and to act as signaling platforms. The keratin cytoskeleton integrates these functions by forming a supracellular scaffold that connects at desmosomal cell-cell adhesions. Multiple human diseases and murine knockouts in which the integrity of this system is destroyed testify to its importance as a mechanical stabilizer in certain epithelia. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the precise mechanisms responsible for assembly and disease pathology. In addition to these structural aspects of keratin function, experimental evidence accumulating in recent years has led to a much more complex view of the keratin cytoskeleton. Distinct keratins emerge as highly dynamic scaffolds in different settings and contribute to cell size determination, translation control, proliferation, cell type-specific organelle transport, malignant transformation and various stress responses. All of these properties are controlled by highly complex patterns of phosphorylation and molecular associations.

  3. Cardiac Na Channels: Structure to Function.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, K R; Clancy, C E

    2016-01-01

    Heart rhythms arise from electrical activity generated by precisely timed opening and closing of ion channels in individual cardiac myocytes. Opening of the primary cardiac voltage-gated sodium (NaV1.5) channel initiates cellular depolarization and the propagation of an electrical action potential that promotes coordinated contraction of the heart. The regularity of these contractile waves is critically important since it drives the primary function of the heart: to act as a pump that delivers blood to the brain and vital organs. When electrical activity goes awry during a cardiac arrhythmia, the pump does not function, the brain does not receive oxygenated blood, and death ensues. Perturbations to NaV1.5 may alter the structure, and hence the function, of the ion channel and are associated downstream with a wide variety of cardiac conduction pathologies, such as arrhythmias. PMID:27586288

  4. Highly efficient copper(II) ion sorbents obtained by calcium carbonate mineralization on functionalized cross-linked copolymers.

    PubMed

    Mihai, Marcela; Bunia, Ion; Doroftei, Florica; Varganici, Cristian-Dragos; Simionescu, Bogdan C

    2015-03-23

    A new type of Cu(II) ion sorbents is presented. These are obtained by CaCO3 mineralization from supersaturated solutions on gel-like cross-linked polymeric beads as insoluble templates. A divinylbenzene-ethylacrylate-acrylonitrile cross-linked copolymer functionalized with weakly acidic, basic, or amphoteric functional groups has been used, as well as different initial inorganic concentrations and addition procedures for CaCO3 crystal growth. The morphology of the new composites was investigated by SEM and compared to that of the unmodified beads, and the polymorph content was established by X-ray diffraction. The beads, before and after CaCO3 mineralization, were tested as sorbents for Cu(II) ions. The newly formed patterns on the bead surface after Cu(II) sorption were observed by SEM, and the elemental distribution on the composites and the chemical structure of crystals after interaction with Cu(II) were investigated by EDAX elemental mapping and by FTIR-ATR spectroscopy, respectively. The sorption capacity increased significantly after CaCO3 crystals growth on the weak anionic bead surface (up to 1041.5 mg Cu(II) /g sample) compared to that of unmodified beads (491.5 mg Cu(II) /g sample). PMID:25675892

  5. Small catalytic RNA: Structure, function and application

    SciTech Connect

    Monforte, J.A.

    1991-04-01

    We have utilized a combination of photochemical cross-linking techniques and site-directed mutagenesis to obtain secondary and tertiary structure information for the self-cleaving, self-ligating subsequence of RNA from the negative strand of Satellite Tobacco Ringspot Virus. We have found that the helical regions fold about a hinge to promoting four different possible tertiary interactions, creating a molecular of similar shape to a paperclip. A model suggesting that the paperclip'' and hammerhead'' RNAs share a similar three dimensional structure is proposed. We have used a self-cleaving RNA molecule related to a subsequence of plant viroids, a hammerhead,'' to study the length-dependent folding of RNA produced during transcription by RNA polymerase. We have used this method to determine the length of RNA sequestered within elongating E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase complexes. The data show that for E. coli RNA polymerase 12{plus minus}1 nucleotides are sequestered within the ternary complex, which is consistent with the presence of an RNA-DNA hybrid within the transcription bubble, as proposed by others. The result for T7 RNA polymerase differs from E. coli RNA polymerase, with only 10{plus minus}1 nucleotides sequestered within the ternary complex, setting a new upper limit for the minimum RNA-DNA required for a stable elongating complex. Comparisons between E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase are made. The relevance of the results to models or transcription termination, abortive initiation, and initiation to elongation mode transitions are discussed.

  6. Structure and Function of the Reproductive System of Aplysia kurodai

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi-Hoon; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Lee, Young-Don

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated structure and function of the reproductive system in Aplysia kurodai by means of anatomical, histological, and histochemical observation. Reproductive system of this species is consisted of ovotestis, small hermaphroditic duct, ampulla, accessory genital mass and large hermaphroditic duct. The ovotestis is composed of a large number of follicles, and both oocytes and spermatocytes matured in the same follicle. The small hermaphroditic duct is a single tube and contains a swelling, the ampulla, which functions as a storage organ for endogenous sperm and an oviduct. The accessory genital mass is connected to both the small and large hermaphroditic duct, and consisted of three glands: albumen, membrane (winding) and mucus gland. The albumen gland is consisted of granular cells producing basophilic and neutral mucopolysaccharides. The membrane and mucus gland are consisted of granular cells producing acidophilc and sulfated mucopolysaccharides. The large hermaphroditic duct is a single tubular gonoduct linking the accessory genital mass to the common genital aperture but is consisted of two parallel compartments. Internally, these two compartments are incompletely divided by internal septum or fold, which are called as the red hemiduct and white hemiduct, respectively. The red hemiduct functions as an oviduct and the white hemiduct functions as a copulatory duct. The reproductive system of A. kurodai is externally comprised a single tube, i.e., monaulic type. However, internal structure of duct is incompletely divided into oviduct and copulatory duct, i.e., the oodiaulic type. PMID:26973971

  7. Biophysical constraints on the evolution of tissue structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, P J; de Bono, B

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on models of molecular sequence evolution have driven to industrial scale the generation, cataloguing and modelling of nucleic acid and polypeptide structure. The recent application of these techniques to study the evolution of protein interaction networks extends this analytical rigour to the study of nucleic acid and protein function. Can we further extend phylogenetic analysis of protein networks to the study of tissue structure and function? If the study of tissue phylogeny is to join up with mainstream efforts in the molecular evolution domain, the continuum field description of tissue biophysics must be linked to discrete descriptions of molecular biochemistry. In support of this goal we discuss tissue units, and biophysical constraints to molecular function associated with these units, to present a rationale with which to model tissue evolution. Our rationale combines a multiscale hierarchy of functional tissue units (FTUs) with the corresponding application of physical laws to describe molecular interaction networks and flow processes over continuum fields within these units. Non-dimensional numbers, derived from the equations governing biophysical processes in FTUs, are proposed as metrics for comparative studies across individuals, species or evolutionary time. We also outline the challenges inherent to the systematic cataloguing and phylogenetic analysis of tissue features relevant to the maintenance and regulation of molecular interaction networks. These features are key to understanding the core biophysical constraints on tissue evolution. PMID:24882821

  8. Probing the solution structure of Factor H using hydroxyl radical protein footprinting and cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Baud, Anna; Gonnet, Florence; Salard, Isabelle; Le Mignon, Maxime; Giuliani, Alexandre; Mercère, Pascal; Sclavi, Bianca; Daniel, Régis

    2016-06-15

    The control protein Factor H (FH) is a crucial regulator of the innate immune complement system, where it is active on host cell membranes and in the fluid phase. Mutations impairing the binding capacity of FH lead to severe autoimmune diseases. Here, we studied the solution structure of full-length FH, in its free state and bound to the C3b complement protein. To do so, we used two powerful techniques, hydroxyl radical protein footprinting (HRPF) and chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometry (MS), to probe the structural rearrangements and to identify protein interfaces. The footprint of C3b on the FH surface matches existing crystal structures of C3b complexed with the N- and C-terminal fragments of FH. In addition, we revealed the position of the central portion of FH in the protein complex. Moreover, cross-linking studies confirmed the involvement of the C-terminus in the dimerization of FH. PMID:27099340

  9. Control design variable linking for optimization of structural/control systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jin, Ik Min; Schmit, Lucien A.

    1993-01-01

    A method is presented to integrate the design space of structural/control system optimization problems in the case of linear state feedback control. Conventional structural sizing variables and elements of the feedback gain matrix are both treated as strictly independent design variables in optimization by extending design variable linking concepts to the control gains. Several approximation concepts including new control design variable linking schemes are used to formulate the integrated structural/control optimization problem as a sequence of explicit nonlinear mathematical programming problems. Examples which involve a variety of behavior constraints, including constraints on dynamic stability, damped frequencies, control effort, peak transient displacement, acceleration, and control force limits, are effectively solved by using the method presented.

  10. Efficient estimation and prediction for the Bayesian binary spatial model with flexible link functions.

    PubMed

    Roy, Vivekananda; Evangelou, Evangelos; Zhu, Zhengyuan

    2016-03-01

    Spatial generalized linear mixed models (SGLMMs) are popular models for spatial data with a non-Gaussian response. Binomial SGLMMs with logit or probit link functions are often used to model spatially dependent binomial random variables. It is known that for independent binomial data, the robit regression model provides a more robust (against extreme observations) alternative to the more popular logistic and probit models. In this article, we introduce a Bayesian spatial robit model for spatially dependent binomial data. Since constructing a meaningful prior on the link function parameter as well as the spatial correlation parameters in SGLMMs is difficult, we propose an empirical Bayes (EB) approach for the estimation of these parameters as well as for the prediction of the random effects. The EB methodology is implemented by efficient importance sampling methods based on Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms. Our simulation study shows that the robit model is robust against model misspecification, and our EB method results in estimates with less bias than full Bayesian (FB) analysis. The methodology is applied to a Celastrus Orbiculatus data, and a Rhizoctonia root data. For the former, which is known to contain outlying observations, the robit model is shown to do better for predicting the spatial distribution of an invasive species. For the latter, our approach is doing as well as the classical models for predicting the disease severity for a root disease, as the probit link is shown to be appropriate. Though this article is written for Binomial SGLMMs for brevity, the EB methodology is more general and can be applied to other types of SGLMMs. In the accompanying R package geoBayes, implementations for other SGLMMs such as Poisson and Gamma SGLMMs are provided. PMID:26331903

  11. Functional Divergence in the Role of N-Linked Glycosylation in Smoothened Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Marada, Suresh; Navarro, Gemma; Truong, Ashley; Stewart, Daniel P.; Arensdorf, Angela M.; Nachtergaele, Sigrid; Angelats, Edgar; Opferman, Joseph T.; Rohatgi, Rajat; McCormick, Peter J.; Ogden, Stacey K.

    2015-01-01

    The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Smoothened (Smo) is the requisite signal transducer of the evolutionarily conserved Hedgehog (Hh) pathway. Although aspects of Smo signaling are conserved from Drosophila to vertebrates, significant differences have evolved. These include changes in its active sub-cellular localization, and the ability of vertebrate Smo to induce distinct G protein-dependent and independent signals in response to ligand. Whereas the canonical Smo signal to Gli transcriptional effectors occurs in a G protein-independent manner, its non-canonical signal employs Gαi. Whether vertebrate Smo can selectively bias its signal between these routes is not yet known. N-linked glycosylation is a post-translational modification that can influence GPCR trafficking, ligand responsiveness and signal output. Smo proteins in Drosophila and vertebrate systems harbor N-linked glycans, but their role in Smo signaling has not been established. Herein, we present a comprehensive analysis of Drosophila and murine Smo glycosylation that supports a functional divergence in the contribution of N-linked glycans to signaling. Of the seven predicted glycan acceptor sites in Drosophila Smo, one is essential. Loss of N-glycosylation at this site disrupted Smo trafficking and attenuated its signaling capability. In stark contrast, we found that all four predicted N-glycosylation sites on murine Smo were dispensable for proper trafficking, agonist binding and canonical signal induction. However, the under-glycosylated protein was compromised in its ability to induce a non-canonical signal through Gαi, providing for the first time evidence that Smo can bias its signal and that a post-translational modification can impact this process. As such, we postulate a profound shift in N-glycan function from affecting Smo ER exit in flies to influencing its signal output in mice. PMID:26291458

  12. Bayesian inference in an item response theory model with a generalized student t link function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azevedo, Caio L. N.; Migon, Helio S.

    2012-10-01

    In this paper we introduce a new item response theory (IRT) model with a generalized Student t-link function with unknown degrees of freedom (df), named generalized t-link (GtL) IRT model. In this model we consider only the difficulty parameter in the item response function. GtL is an alternative to the two parameter logit and probit models, since the degrees of freedom (df) play a similar role to the discrimination parameter. However, the behavior of the curves of the GtL is different from those of the two parameter models and the usual Student t link, since in GtL the curve obtained from different df's can cross the probit curves in more than one latent trait level. The GtL model has similar proprieties to the generalized linear mixed models, such as the existence of sufficient statistics and easy parameter interpretation. Also, many techniques of parameter estimation, model fit assessment and residual analysis developed for that models can be used for the GtL model. We develop fully Bayesian estimation and model fit assessment tools through a Metropolis-Hastings step within Gibbs sampling algorithm. We consider a prior sensitivity choice concerning the degrees of freedom. The simulation study indicates that the algorithm recovers all parameters properly. In addition, some Bayesian model fit assessment tools are considered. Finally, a real data set is analyzed using our approach and other usual models. The results indicate that our model fits the data better than the two parameter models.

  13. Dopamine D2 receptor availability is linked to hippocampal-caudate functional connectivity and episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Nyberg, Lars; Karalija, Nina; Salami, Alireza; Andersson, Micael; Wåhlin, Anders; Kaboovand, Neda; Köhncke, Ylva; Axelsson, Jan; Rieckmann, Anna; Papenberg, Goran; Garrett, Douglas D; Riklund, Katrine; Lövdén, Martin; Lindenberger, Ulman; Bäckman, Lars

    2016-07-12

    D1 and D2 dopamine receptors (D1DRs and D2DRs) may contribute differently to various aspects of memory and cognition. The D1DR system has been linked to functions supported by the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, the role of the D2DR system is less clear, although it has been hypothesized that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognitive functions. Here we present results from 181 healthy adults between 64 and 68 y of age who underwent comprehensive assessment of episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed, along with MRI and D2DR assessment with [(11)C]raclopride and PET. Caudate D2DR availability was positively associated with episodic memory but not with working memory or speed. Whole-brain analyses further revealed a relation between hippocampal D2DR availability and episodic memory. Hippocampal and caudate D2DR availability were interrelated, and functional MRI-based resting-state functional connectivity between the ventral caudate and medial temporal cortex increased as a function of caudate D2DR availability. Collectively, these findings indicate that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognition by influencing striatal and hippocampal regions, and their interactions. PMID:27339132

  14. Regressive evolution of the arthropod tritocerebral segment linked to functional divergence of the Hox gene labial

    PubMed Central

    Pechmann, Matthias; Schwager, Evelyn E.; Turetzek, Natascha; Prpic, Nikola-Michael

    2015-01-01

    The intercalary segment is a limbless version of the tritocerebral segment and is present in the head of all insects, whereas other extant arthropods have retained limbs on their tritocerebral segment (e.g. the pedipalp limbs in spiders). The evolutionary origin of limb loss on the intercalary segment has puzzled zoologists for over a century. Here we show that an intercalary segment-like phenotype can be created in spiders by interfering with the function of the Hox gene labial. This links the origin of the intercalary segment to a functional change in labial. We show that in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum the labial gene has two functions: one function in head tissue maintenance that is conserved between spiders and insects, and a second function in pedipalp limb promotion and specification, which is only present in spiders. These results imply that labial was originally crucial for limb formation on the tritocerebral segment, but that it has lost this particular subfunction in the insect ancestor, resulting in limb loss on the intercalary segment. Such loss of a subfunction is a way to avoid adverse pleiotropic effects normally associated with mutations in developmental genes, and may thus be a common mechanism to accelerate regressive evolution. PMID:26311666

  15. Linking the patterns of change in composition and function in bacterioplankton successions along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Comte, Jérôme; del Giorgio, Paul A

    2010-05-01

    The connections that exist between the composition of bacterial communities and their functional attributes are still a matter of intense debate, despite over a decade of intense studies. Here we explored three different facets of the links that may exist between bacterioplankton compositional and functional successions that occurred along the water flow path in a complex watershed in southern Quebec. We analyzed the correlation between composition and function in terms of their absolute patterns, and in terms of their rates of change relative to transit time in environmental transitions, and relative to shifts in resources along the same transitions. Our results showed that the absolute patterns in bacterial community composition (BCC, using DGGE [denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis] profiles) and functional capacities (FC, using BIOLOG profiles) were not correlated, but that the rates of change in BCC and FC along the transitions were strongly correlated to each other. Further, we observed that the strength and shape of the relationship between the changes in BCC and FC varied relative to the type and intensity of gradient considered. Collectively, these results showed that BCC and FC are strongly related but in a very dynamic manner, such that their absolute patterns do not appear to be connected. This in turn suggests a high level of functional redundancy that occurs both within the existing community and in the meta-community from which phylotypes are selected to occupy the new niches that are created along the transitions. PMID:20503878

  16. Dopamine D2 receptor availability is linked to hippocampal–caudate functional connectivity and episodic memory

    PubMed Central

    Nyberg, Lars; Karalija, Nina; Salami, Alireza; Andersson, Micael; Wåhlin, Anders; Kaboovand, Neda; Köhncke, Ylva; Axelsson, Jan; Rieckmann, Anna; Papenberg, Goran; Garrett, Douglas D.; Riklund, Katrine; Lövdén, Martin; Bäckman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    D1 and D2 dopamine receptors (D1DRs and D2DRs) may contribute differently to various aspects of memory and cognition. The D1DR system has been linked to functions supported by the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, the role of the D2DR system is less clear, although it has been hypothesized that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognitive functions. Here we present results from 181 healthy adults between 64 and 68 y of age who underwent comprehensive assessment of episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed, along with MRI and D2DR assessment with [11C]raclopride and PET. Caudate D2DR availability was positively associated with episodic memory but not with working memory or speed. Whole-brain analyses further revealed a relation between hippocampal D2DR availability and episodic memory. Hippocampal and caudate D2DR availability were interrelated, and functional MRI-based resting-state functional connectivity between the ventral caudate and medial temporal cortex increased as a function of caudate D2DR availability. Collectively, these findings indicate that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognition by influencing striatal and hippocampal regions, and their interactions. PMID:27339132

  17. C2 Link Security for UAS: Technical Literature Study and Preliminary Functional Requirements. Version 0.9 (Working Draft)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This document provides a study of the technical literature related to Command and Control (C2) link security for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for operation in the National Airspace System (NAS). Included is a preliminary set of functional requirements for C2 link security.

  18. Cog-Wheel Octameric Structure of RS1, the Discoidin Domain Containing Retinal Protein Associated with X-Linked Retinoschisis

    PubMed Central

    Bush, Martin; Setiaputra, Dheva; Yip, Calvin K.; Molday, Robert S.

    2016-01-01

    RS1, also known as retinoschisin, is a disulphide-linked, discoidin domain containing homo-oligomeric protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining the cellular and synaptic organization of the retina. This is highlighted by the finding that over 130 mutations in RS1 cause X-linked retinoschisis, a retinal degenerative disease characterized by the splitting of the retinal cell layers, disruption of the photoreceptor–bipolar synapses, degeneration of photoreceptors, and severe loss in central vision. In this study, we investigated the arrangement of the RS1 subunits within the oligomer complex using single particle electron microscopy. RS1 was seen as two stacked rings with each ring displaying a symmetrical cog wheel-like structure with eight teeth or projections corresponding to the RS1 subunits. Three dimensional reconstruction and molecular modelling indicated that the discoidin domain, the principal functional unit of RS1, projects outward, and the Rs1 domain and C-terminal segment containing intermolecular disulphide bonds are present in the inner ring to form the core octameric structure. These studies provide a basis for further understanding the role of the novel core RS1 octameric complex in retinal cell biology and X-linked retinoschisis. PMID:26812435

  19. The structure and function of presynaptic endosomes

    SciTech Connect

    Jähne, Sebastian; Rizzoli, Silvio O.; Helm, Martin S.

    2015-07-15

    The function of endosomes and of endosome-like structures in the presynaptic compartment is still controversial. This is in part due to the absence of a consensus on definitions and markers for these compartments. Synaptic endosomes are sometimes seen as stable organelles, permanently present in the synapse. Alternatively, they are seen as short-lived intermediates in synaptic vesicle recycling, arising from the endocytosis of large vesicles from the plasma membrane, or from homotypic fusion of small vesicles. In addition, the potential function of the endosome is largely unknown in the synapse. Some groups have proposed that the endosome is involved in the sorting of synaptic vesicle proteins, albeit others have produced data that deny this possibility. In this review, we present the existing evidence for synaptic endosomes, we discuss their potential functions, and we highlight frequent technical pitfalls in the analysis of this elusive compartment. We also sketch a roadmap to definitely determine the role of synaptic endosomes for the synaptic vesicle cycle. Finally, we propose a common definition of synaptic endosome-like structures.

  20. Autotaxin: structure-function and signaling

    PubMed Central

    Perrakis, Anastassis; Moolenaar, Wouter H.

    2014-01-01

    Autotaxin (ATX), or ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase-2, is a secreted lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD) that hydrolyzes extracellular lysophospholipids into the lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a ligand for specific G protein-coupled receptors. ATX-LPA signaling is essential for development and has been implicated in a great diversity of (patho)physiological processes, ranging from lymphocyte homing to tumor progression. Structural and functional studies have revealed what makes ATX a unique lysoPLD, and how secreted ATX binds to its target cells. The ATX catalytic domain shows a characteristic bimetallic active site followed by a shallow binding groove that can accommodate nucleotides as well as the glycerol moiety of lysophospholipids, and by a deep lipid-binding pocket. In addition, the catalytic domain has an open tunnel of unknown function adjacent to the active site. Here, we discuss our current understanding of ATX structure-function relationships and signaling mechanisms, and how ATX isoforms use distinct mechanisms to target LPA production to the plasma membrane, notably binding to integrins and heparan sulfate proteoglycans. We also briefly discuss the development of drug-like inhibitors of ATX. PMID:24548887

  1. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

    Cleghorn, J M; Zipursky, R B; List, S J

    1991-01-01

    We present an evaluation of the contribution of structural and functional brain imaging to our understanding of schizophrenia. Methodological influences on the validity of the data generated by these new technologies include problems with measurement and clinical and anatomic heterogeneity. These considerations greatly affect the interpretation of the data generated by these technologies. Work in these fields to date, however, has produced strong evidence which suggests that schizophrenia is a disease which involves abnormalities in the structure and function of many brain areas. Structural brain imaging studies of schizophrenia using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are reviewed and their contribution to current theories of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia are discussed. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies of brain metabolic activity and dopamine receptor binding in schizophrenia are summarized and the critical questions raised by these studies are outlined. Future studies in these fields have the potential to yield critical insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; new directions for studies of schizophrenia using these technologies are identified. PMID:1911736

  2. Sleep Disordered Breathing: Hypertension and Cardiac Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Querejeta Roca, Gabriela; Shah, Amil M

    2015-12-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common form of sleep disordered breathing and has a relatively high prevalence in the general population. The frequency and severity of OSA is associated with age, male sex, and obesity, and OSA has been linked to cardiovascular complications and death. Importantly, OSA has a strong association with both prevalent and incidental hypertension and has a particularly high prevalence in patients with resistant hypertension. In these patients, CPAP and other OSA-directed treatments have been proposed as therapy to help control blood pressure (BP), especially in patients who have not attained optimal BP control despite maximum pharmacological therapy. OSA has also been associated with alterations in cardiac structure and function, although most studies are small and highly limited in study design. Existing data suggest an association between OSA greater left ventricle (LV) mass and hypertrophy that appears independent of confounders including hypertension and obesity. Although less clear and more controversial, OSA severity has been linked to LV systolic and diastolic function, pulmonary hypertension, and right ventricular hypertrophy. Further studies are needed to confirm the potential causal role of OSA in these observed associations with cardiac abnormalities. PMID:26493391

  3. Human haptoglobin structure and function--a molecular modelling study.

    PubMed

    Polticelli, F; Bocedi, A; Minervini, G; Ascenzi, P

    2008-11-01

    Hemoglobin is the most prominent protein in blood, transporting O(2) and facilitating reactive oxygen and nitrogen species detoxification. Hemoglobin metabolism leads to the release of extra-erythrocytic hemoglobin, with potentially severe consequences for health. Extra-erythrocytic hemoglobin is complexed to haptoglobin for clearance by tissue macrophages. The human gene for haptoglobin consists of three structural alleles: Hp1F, Hp1S and Hp2. The products of the Hp1F and Hp1S alleles differ by only one amino acid, whereas the Hp2 allele is the result of a fusion of the Hp1F and Hp1S alleles, is present only in humans and gives rise to a longer alpha-chain. Haptoglobin consists of a dimer of alphabeta-chains covalently linked by a disulphide bond between the Cys15 residue of each alpha-chain. However, the presence of the Hp1 and Hp2 alleles in humans gives rise to HPT1-1 dimers (covalently linked by Cys15 residues), HPT1-2 hetero-oligomers and HPT2-2 oligomers. In fact, the HPT2 variant displays two free Cys residues (Cys15 and Cys74) whose participation in intermolecular disulphide bonds gives rise to higher-order covalent multimers. Here, the complete modelling of both haptoglobin variants, together with their basic quaternary structure arrangements (i.e. HPT1 dimer and HPT2 trimer), is reported. The structural details of the models, which represent the first complete view of the molecular details of human haptoglobin variants, are discussed in relation to the known haptoglobin function(s). PMID:18959750

  4. Persulfate initiated ultra-low cross-linked poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) microgels possess an unusual inverted cross-linking structure.

    PubMed

    Virtanen, O L J; Mourran, A; Pinard, P T; Richtering, W

    2016-05-01

    Cross-linking density and distribution are decisive for the mechanical and other properties of stimuli-sensitive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) microgels. Here we investigate the structure of ultra-low cross-linked microgels by static light scattering and scanning force microscopy, and show that they have an inverted cross-linking structure with respect to conventional microgels, contrary to what has been assumed previously. The conventional microgels have the largest polymer volume fraction in the core from where the particle density decays radially outwards, whereas ultra-low cross-linked particles have the highest polymer volume fraction close to the surface. On a solid substrate these particles form buckled shapes at high surface coverage, as shown by scanning force micrographs. The special structure of ultra-low cross-linked microgels is attributed to cross-linking of the particle surface, which is exposed to hydrogen abstraction by radicals generated from persulfate initiators during and after polymerization. The particle core, which is less accessible to the diffusion of radicals, has consequently a lower polymer volume fraction in the swollen state. By systematic variation of the cross-linker concentration it is shown that the cross-linking contribution from peroxide under typical synthesis conditions is weaker than that from the use of 1 mol% N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide. Soft deformable hydrogel particles are of interest because they emulate biological tissues, and understanding the underlying synthesis principle enables tailoring the microgel structure for biomimetic applications. Deformability of microgels is usually controlled by the amount of added cross-linker; here we however highlight an alternative approach through structural softness. PMID:27033731

  5. Structure, function, and genetics of lipoprotein (a).

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Konrad; Noureen, Asma; Kronenberg, Florian; Utermann, Gerd

    2016-08-01

    Lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] has attracted the interest of researchers and physicians due to its intriguing properties, including an intragenic multiallelic copy number variation in the LPA gene and the strong association with coronary heart disease (CHD). This review summarizes present knowledge of the structure, function, and genetics of Lp(a) with emphasis on the molecular and population genetics of the Lp(a)/LPA trait, as well as aspects of genetic epidemiology. It highlights the role of genetics in establishing Lp(a) as a risk factor for CHD, but also discusses uncertainties, controversies, and lack of knowledge on several aspects of the genetic Lp(a) trait, not least its function. PMID:27074913

  6. Electronic structure of oxygen functionalized graphene nanoribbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simbeck, Adam; Gu, Deyang; Kharche, Neerav; Nayak, Saroj

    2013-03-01

    We investigate the electronic and magnetic properties of armchair graphene nanoribbons whose edges are passivated by oxygen. Using a first-principles density functional approach and the many-body GW method we find that oxygen-passivation results in a rich geometrical environment which in turn determines the electronic and magnetic properties of the ribbon. For planar systems we report magnetic ground states whose electronic structure depends upon the magnetic coupling between edges. For non-planar ribbons we report a nonmagnetic ground state with a band gap that decreases as a function of increasing ribbon width. Our results will be discussed in light of previous experimental and computational studies. Interconnect Focus Center (MARCO program), State of New York, NSF IGERT program, Grant no. 0333314, and computing resources of the Computationial Center for Nanotechnology Innovation (CCNI), RPI

  7. Structure-function correlations in tyrosinases.

    PubMed

    Kanteev, Margarita; Goldfeder, Mor; Fishman, Ayelet

    2015-09-01

    Tyrosinases are metalloenzymes belonging to the type-3 copper protein family which contain two copper ions in the active site. They are found in various prokaryotes as well as in plants, fungi, arthropods, and mammals and are responsible for pigmentation, wound healing, radiation protection, and primary immune response. Tyrosinases perform two sequential enzymatic reactions: hydroxylation of monophenols and oxidation of diphenols to form quinones which polymerize spontaneously to melanin. Two other members of this family are catechol oxidases, which are prevalent mainly in plants and perform only the second oxidation step, and hemocyanins, which lack enzymatic activity and are oxygen carriers. In the last decade, several structures of plant and bacterial tyrosinases were determined, some with substrates or inhibitors, highlighting features and residues which are important for copper uptake and catalysis. This review summarizes the updated information on structure-function correlations in tyrosinases along with comparison to other type-3 copper proteins. PMID:26104241

  8. BK channel activation: structural and functional insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Urvi S.; Cui, Jianmin

    2010-01-01

    The voltage and Ca2+ activated K+ (BK) channels are involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Structurally, BK channels are homologous to voltage- and ligand-gated K+ channels, having a voltage sensor and pore as the membrane-spanning domain and a cytosolic domain containing metal binding sites. Recently published electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray crystallographic structures of the BK channel provided the first look into the assembly of these domains, corroborating the close interactions among these domains during channel gating that have been suggested by functional studies. This review discusses these latest findings and an emerging new understanding about BK channel gating and implications for diseases such as epilepsy, in which mutations in BK channel genes have been associated. PMID:20663573

  9. Nucleon structure functions from constituent quark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khorramian, Ali N.; Arash, Firooz

    1999-10-01

    We have used a constituent quarks model to describe the nucleon structure function, F2( χ, Q2), for a wide range of χ=[10 -6,1] and Q2 = [0.5, 5000] GeV2. We have found that although F2 rises as χ decreases, but there exists some χ0 ≤ 10 -4 - 10 -5, below which the rise of F2 subsides drastically and hence, exhibits an almost flat behavior, compatible with the latest results from HERA, at least for low Q2.

  10. Neonatal skin barrier: structure, function, and disorders.

    PubMed

    Shwayder, Tor; Akland, Tom

    2005-01-01

    The development of the human skin from intrauterine to extrauterine life is a balletic interplay of maturing layers and interlocking structures. We discuss this transition and then branch out to touch on issues of premature infant as well as neonatal skin care. Disruption of the barrier function due to toxins and development errors are expounded upon. Staph scalded skin syndrome, collodion membrane, bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, autosomal recessive ichthyosis (lamellar and congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma), and harlequin fetus are used as examples of these disruptions. Discussion of therapy with the authors' experience highlights each disease. PMID:15953139

  11. Structure, function and regulation of pyruvate carboxylase.

    PubMed Central

    Jitrapakdee, S; Wallace, J C

    1999-01-01

    Pyruvate carboxylase (PC; EC 6.4.1.1), a member of the biotin-dependent enzyme family, catalyses the ATP-dependent carboxylation of pyruvate to oxaloacetate. PC has been found in a wide variety of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In mammals, PC plays a crucial role in gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis, in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitter substances, and in glucose-induced insulin secretion by pancreatic islets. The reaction catalysed by PC and the physical properties of the enzyme have been studied extensively. Although no high-resolution three-dimensional structure has yet been determined by X-ray crystallography, structural studies of PC have been conducted by electron microscopy, by limited proteolysis, and by cloning and sequencing of genes and cDNA encoding the enzyme. Most well characterized forms of active PC consist of four identical subunits arranged in a tetrahedron-like structure. Each subunit contains three functional domains: the biotin carboxylation domain, the transcarboxylation domain and the biotin carboxyl carrier domain. Different physiological conditions, including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, genetic obesity and postnatal development, increase the level of PC expression through transcriptional and translational mechanisms, whereas insulin inhibits PC expression. Glucocorticoids, glucagon and catecholamines cause an increase in PC activity or in the rate of pyruvate carboxylation in the short term. Molecular defects of PC in humans have recently been associated with four point mutations within the structural region of the PC gene, namely Val145-->Ala, Arg451-->Cys, Ala610-->Thr and Met743-->Thr. PMID:10229653

  12. p62 Links β-adrenergic input to mitochondrial function and thermogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Timo D.; Lee, Sang Jun; Jastroch, Martin; Kabra, Dhiraj; Stemmer, Kerstin; Aichler, Michaela; Abplanalp, Bill; Ananthakrishnan, Gayathri; Bhardwaj, Nakul; Collins, Sheila; Divanovic, Senad; Endele, Max; Finan, Brian; Gao, Yuanqing; Habegger, Kirk M.; Hembree, Jazzmin; Heppner, Kristy M.; Hofmann, Susanna; Holland, Jenna; Küchler, Daniela; Kutschke, Maria; Krishna, Radha; Lehti, Maarit; Oelkrug, Rebecca; Ottaway, Nickki; Perez-Tilve, Diego; Raver, Christine; Walch, Axel K.; Schriever, Sonja C.; Speakman, John; Tseng, Yu-Hua; Diaz-Meco, Maria; Pfluger, Paul T.; Moscat, Jorge; Tschöp, Matthias H.

    2012-01-01

    The scaffold protein p62 (sequestosome 1; SQSTM1) is an emerging key molecular link among the metabolic, immune, and proliferative processes of the cell. Here, we report that adipocyte-specific, but not CNS-, liver-, muscle-, or myeloid-specific p62-deficient mice are obese and exhibit a decreased metabolic rate caused by impaired nonshivering thermogenesis. Our results show that p62 regulates energy metabolism via control of mitochondrial function in brown adipose tissue (BAT). Accordingly, adipocyte-specific p62 deficiency led to impaired mitochondrial function, causing BAT to become unresponsive to β-adrenergic stimuli. Ablation of p62 leads to decreased activation of p38 targets, affecting signaling molecules that control mitochondrial function, such as ATF2, CREB, PGC1α, DIO2, NRF1, CYTC, COX2, ATP5β, and UCP1. p62 ablation in HIB1B and BAT primary cells demonstrated that p62 controls thermogenesis in a cell-autonomous manner, independently of brown adipocyte development or differentiation. Together, our data identify p62 as a novel regulator of mitochondrial function and brown fat thermogenesis. PMID:23257354

  13. From Early Childhood to Adolescence: Linking Family Functioning and School Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Vanessa K.

    2010-01-01

    The present study uses observational assessment of 66 two-parent families working and playing together when their eldest child is in kindergarten and again in ninth grade to identify distinct patterns of family functioning derived from structural family systems theory. Whereas concurrent assessment of the relationship between family type and…

  14. Small catalytic RNA: Structure, function and application

    SciTech Connect

    Monforte, J.A.

    1991-04-01

    We have utilized a combination of photochemical cross-linking techniques and site-directed mutagenesis to obtain secondary and tertiary structure information for the self-cleaving, self-ligating subsequence of RNA from the negative strand of Satellite Tobacco Ringspot Virus. We have found that the helical regions fold about a hinge to promoting four different possible tertiary interactions, creating a molecular of similar shape to a paperclip. A model suggesting that the ``paperclip`` and ``hammerhead`` RNAs share a similar three dimensional structure is proposed. We have used a self-cleaving RNA molecule related to a subsequence of plant viroids, a ``hammerhead,`` to study the length-dependent folding of RNA produced during transcription by RNA polymerase. We have used this method to determine the length of RNA sequestered within elongating E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase complexes. The data show that for E. coli RNA polymerase 12{plus_minus}1 nucleotides are sequestered within the ternary complex, which is consistent with the presence of an RNA-DNA hybrid within the transcription bubble, as proposed by others. The result for T7 RNA polymerase differs from E. coli RNA polymerase, with only 10{plus_minus}1 nucleotides sequestered within the ternary complex, setting a new upper limit for the minimum RNA-DNA required for a stable elongating complex. Comparisons between E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase are made. The relevance of the results to models or transcription termination, abortive initiation, and initiation to elongation mode transitions are discussed.

  15. Non-Invasive Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI): Establishing Functional Links between Two Brains

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung-Schik; Kim, Hyungmin; Filandrianos, Emmanuel; Taghados, Seyed Javid; Park, Shinsuk

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is capable of modulating the neural activity of specific brain regions, with a potential role as a non-invasive computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In conjunction with the use of brain-to-computer interface (BCI) techniques that translate brain function to generate computer commands, we investigated the feasibility of using the FUS-based CBI to non-invasively establish a functional link between the brains of different species (i.e. human and Sprague-Dawley rat), thus creating a brain-to-brain interface (BBI). The implementation was aimed to non-invasively translate the human volunteer’s intention to stimulate a rat’s brain motor area that is responsible for the tail movement. The volunteer initiated the intention by looking at a strobe light flicker on a computer display, and the degree of synchronization in the electroencephalographic steady-state-visual-evoked-potentials (SSVEP) with respect to the strobe frequency was analyzed using a computer. Increased signal amplitude in the SSVEP, indicating the volunteer’s intention, triggered the delivery of a burst-mode FUS (350 kHz ultrasound frequency, tone burst duration of 0.5 ms, pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz, given for 300 msec duration) to excite the motor area of an anesthetized rat transcranially. The successful excitation subsequently elicited the tail movement, which was detected by a motion sensor. The interface was achieved at 94.0±3.0% accuracy, with a time delay of 1.59±1.07 sec from the thought-initiation to the creation of the tail movement. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-mediated BBI that links central neural functions between two biological entities, which may confer unexplored opportunities in the study of neuroscience with potential implications for therapeutic applications. PMID:23573251

  16. Understanding structure, function, and mutations in the mitochondrial ATP synthase

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Pagadala, Vijayakanth; Mueller, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The mitochondrial ATP synthase is a multimeric enzyme complex with an overall molecular weight of about 600,000 Da. The ATP synthase is a molecular motor composed of two separable parts: F1 and Fo. The F1 portion contains the catalytic sites for ATP synthesis and protrudes into the mitochondrial matrix. Fo forms a proton turbine that is embedded in the inner membrane and connected to the rotor of F1. The flux of protons flowing down a potential gradient powers the rotation of the rotor driving the synthesis of ATP. Thus, the flow of protons though Fo is coupled to the synthesis of ATP. This review will discuss the structure/function relationship in the ATP synthase as determined by biochemical, crystallographic, and genetic studies. An emphasis will be placed on linking the structure/function relationship with understanding how disease causing mutations or putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding the subunits of the ATP synthase, will affect the function of the enzyme and the health of the individual. The review will start by summarizing the current understanding of the subunit composition of the enzyme and the role of the subunits followed by a discussion on known mutations and their effect on the activity of the ATP synthase. The review will conclude with a summary of mutations in genes encoding subunits of the ATP synthase that are known to be responsible for human disease, and a brief discussion on SNPs. PMID:25938092

  17. Structure and function of biotin-dependent carboxylases

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Liang

    2012-01-01

    Biotin-dependent carboxylases include acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC), 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase (MCC), geranyl-CoA carboxylase (GCC), pyruvate carboxylase (PC), and urea carboxylase (UC). They contain biotin carboxylase (BC), carboxyltransferase (CT) and biotin-carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) components. These enzymes are widely distributed in nature and have important functions in fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, polyketide biosynthesis, urea utilization, and other cellular processes. ACCs are also attractive targets for drug discovery against type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, microbial infections, and other diseases, and the plastid ACC of grasses is the target of action of three classes of commercial herbicides. Deficiencies in the activities of PCC, MCC or PC are linked to serious diseases in humans. Our understanding of these enzymes has been greatly enhanced over the past few years by the crystal structures of the holoenzymes of PCC, MCC, PC, and UC. The structures reveal unanticipated features in the architectures of the holoenzymes, including the presence of previously unrecognized domains, and provide a molecular basis for understanding their catalytic mechanism as well as the large collection of disease-causing mutations in PCC, MCC and PC. This review will summarize the recent advances in our knowledge on the structure and function of these important metabolic enzymes. PMID:22869039

  18. Decoding the conformation-linked functional properties of nucleic acids by the use of computational tools.

    PubMed

    Iacovelli, Federico; Falconi, Mattia

    2015-09-01

    DNA and RNA are large and flexible polymers selected by nature to transmit information. The most common DNA three-dimensional structure is represented by the double helix, but this biopolymer is extremely flexible and polymorphic, and can easily change its conformation to adapt to different interactions and purposes. DNA can also adopt singular topologies, giving rise, for instance, to supercoils, formed because of the limited free rotation of the DNA domain flanking a replication or transcription complex. Our understanding of the importance of these unusual or transient structures is growing, as recent studies of DNA topology, supercoiling, knotting and linking have shown that the geometric changes can drive, or strongly influence, the interactions between protein and DNA, so altering its own metabolism. On the other hand, the unique self-recognition properties of DNA, determined by the strict Watson-Crick rules of base pairing, make this material ideal for the creation of self-assembling, predesigned nanostructures. The construction of such structures is one of the main focuses of the thriving area of DNA nanotechnology, where several assembly strategies have been employed to build increasingly complex DNA nanostructures. DNA nanodevices can have direct applications in biomedicine, but also in the materials science field, requiring the immersion of DNA in an environment far from the physiological one. Crucial help in the understanding and planning of natural and artificial nanostructures is given by modern computer simulation techniques, which are able to provide a reliable structural and dynamic description of nucleic acids. PMID:25940731

  19. Structure, expression and functions of MTA genes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rakesh; Wang, Rui-An

    2016-05-15

    Metastatic associated proteins (MTA) are integrators of upstream regulatory signals with the ability to act as master coregulators for modifying gene transcriptional activity. The MTA family includes three genes and multiple alternatively spliced variants. The MTA proteins neither have their own enzymatic activity nor have been shown to directly interact with DNA. However, MTA proteins interact with a variety of chromatin remodeling factors and complexes with enzymatic activities for modulating the plasticity of nucleosomes, leading to the repression or derepression of target genes or other extra-nuclear and nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylase (NuRD)-complex independent activities. The functions of MTA family members are driven by the steady state levels and subcellular localization of MTA proteins, the dynamic nature of modifying signals and enzymes, the structural features and post-translational modification of protein domains, interactions with binding proteins, and the nature of the engaged and resulting features of nucleosomes in the proximity of target genes. In general, MTA1 and MTA2 are the most upregulated genes in human cancer and correlate well with aggressive phenotypes, therapeutic resistance, poor prognosis and ultimately, unfavorable survival of cancer patients. Here we will discuss the structure, expression and functions of the MTA family of genes in the context of cancer cells. PMID:26869315

  20. Models of protocellular structures, functions and evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; New, Michael H.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The central step in the origin of life was the emergence of organized structures from organic molecules available on the early earth. These predecessors to modern cells, called 'proto-cells,' were simple, membrane bounded structures able to maintain themselves, grow, divide, and evolve. Since there is no fossil record of these earliest of life forms, it is a scientific challenge to discover plausible mechanisms for how these entities formed and functioned. To meet this challenge, it is essential to create laboratory models of protocells that capture the main attributes associated with living systems, while remaining consistent with known, or inferred, protobiological conditions. This report provides an overview of a project which has focused on protocellular metabolism and the coupling of metabolism to energy transduction. We have assumed that the emergence of systems endowed with genomes and capable of Darwinian evolution was preceded by a pre-genomic phase, in which protocells functioned and evolved using mostly proteins, without self-replicating nucleic acids such as RNA.

  1. Links between the spatial structure of weather generator and hydrological modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhi; Lü, Zhemin; Li, Jingjing; Shi, Xiaoping

    2015-12-01

    Impacts of the spatial structure of weather generators on hydrological modeling have been largely qualitatively discussed; however, their links have been rarely quantified. The precipitation occurrence and amount were respectively generated with Markov chain and the mixed exponential distribution for single sites, and then the procedures were extended to multi-site simulation according to Wilks (1998). In the multi-site model, precipitation amounts were respectively generated with untapered or tapered mixed exponential scale parameters. The generated precipitation series were used as inputs of Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to interpret the links between the spatial structure of weather generators and hydrological modeling. The single-site and multi-site model using untapered scale parameters gave similar averages for monthly and annual streamflow; however, the untapered multi-site model was superior to simulating hydrological variability. The single-site model underestimated the maxima and variances while overestimated the minima of streamflow; therefore, the use of single-site models for hydrological variability simulation should be cautious. The multi-site model using tapered scale parameters greatly overestimated the averages, extremes, and variances of streamflow. The Wilks model for multi-site precipitation simulation using tapered scale parameters is not appropriate for hydrological modeling, and the untapered version is thus recommended. Overall, the spatial structure of weather generators has significant impacts on hydrological modeling, especially for hydrological variability simulation; therefore, the links between them should be paid great attentions.

  2. Modelling the multidimensional niche by linking functional traits to competitive performance.

    PubMed

    Maynard, Daniel S; Leonard, Kenneth E; Drake, John M; Hall, David W; Crowther, Thomas W; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-07-22

    Linking competitive outcomes to environmental conditions is necessary for understanding species' distributions and responses to environmental change. Despite this importance, generalizable approaches for predicting competitive outcomes across abiotic gradients are lacking, driven largely by the highly complex and context-dependent nature of biotic interactions. Here, we present and empirically test a novel niche model that uses functional traits to model the niche space of organisms and predict competitive outcomes of co-occurring populations across multiple resource gradients. The model makes no assumptions about the underlying mode of competition and instead applies to those settings where relative competitive ability across environments correlates with a quantifiable performance metric. To test the model, a series of controlled microcosm experiments were conducted using genetically related strains of a widespread microbe. The model identified trait microevolution and performance differences among strains, with the predicted competitive ability of each organism mapped across a two-dimensional carbon and nitrogen resource space. Areas of coexistence and competitive dominance between strains were identified,and the predicted competitive outcomes were validated in approximately 95% of the pairings. By linking trait variation to competitive ability, our work demonstrates a generalizable approach for predicting and modelling competitive outcomes across changing environmental contexts. PMID:26136444

  3. OTUB1 Co-opts Lys48-Linked Ubiquitin Recognition to Suppress E2 Enzyme Function

    SciTech Connect

    Juang, Yu-Chi; Landry, Marie-Claude; Sanches, Mario; Vittal, Vinayak; Leung, Charles C.Y.; Ceccarelli, Derek F.; Mateo, Abigail-Rachele F.; Pruneda, Jonathan N.; Mao, Daniel Y.L.; Szilard, Rachel K.; Orlicky, Stephen; Munro, Meagan; Brzovic, Peter S.; Klevit, Rachel E.; Sicheri, Frank; Durocher, Daniel

    2012-03-26

    Ubiquitylation entails the concerted action of E1, E2, and E3 enzymes. We recently reported that OTUB1, a deubiquitylase, inhibits the DNA damage response independently of its isopeptidase activity. OTUB1 does so by blocking ubiquitin transfer by UBC13, the cognate E2 enzyme for RNF168. OTUB1 also inhibits E2s of the UBE2D and UBE2E families. Here we elucidate the structural mechanism by which OTUB1 binds E2s to inhibit ubiquitin transfer. OTUB1 recognizes ubiquitin-charged E2s through contacts with both donor ubiquitin and the E2 enzyme. Surprisingly, free ubiquitin associates with the canonical distal ubiquitin-binding site on OTUB1 to promote formation of the inhibited E2 complex. Lys48 of donor ubiquitin lies near the OTUB1 catalytic site and the C terminus of free ubiquitin, a configuration that mimics the products of Lys48-linked ubiquitin chain cleavage. OTUB1 therefore co-opts Lys48-linked ubiquitin chain recognition to suppress ubiquitin conjugation and the DNA damage response.

  4. Engineered disulfide bonds restores chaperone like function of DJ-1 mutants linked to familial Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Logan, Todd; Clark, Lindsay; Ray, Soumya S.

    2010-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations such as L166P, A104T and M26I in the DJ-1 gene (PARK7) have been linked to autosomal-recessive early onset Parkinson’s disease (PD). Cellular and structural studies of the familial mutants suggest that these mutations may destabilize the dimeric structure. In order to look for common dynamical signatures among the DJ-1 mutants, short MD simulations up to 1000ps were carried out to identify the weakest region of the protein (residues 38–70). In an attempt at stabilizing the protein, we mutated residue Val 51 to cysteine (V51C) to make a symmetry-related disulfide bridge with the pre-existing Cys 53 on the opposite subunit. We found that the introduction of this disulfide linkage stabilized the mutants A104T and M26I against thermal denaturation, showed increased ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) and restored a chaperone-like function of blocking α-synuclein aggregation. The L166P mutant was far too unstable to be rescued by introduction of V51C. The results presented here points towards the possible development of pharmacological chaperones, which may eventually lead to PD therapeutics. PMID:20527929

  5. Structure and Function of KH Domains

    SciTech Connect

    Valverde, R.; Regan, E

    2008-01-01

    The hnRNP K homology (KH) domain was first identified in the protein human heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) 14 years ago. Since then, KH domains have been identified as nucleic acid recognition motifs in proteins that perform a wide range of cellular functions. KH domains bind RNA or ssDNA, and are found in proteins associated with transcriptional and translational regulation, along with other cellular processes. Several diseases, e.g. fragile X mental retardation syndrome and paraneoplastic disease, are associated with the loss of function of a particular KH domain. Here we discuss the progress made towards understanding both general and specific features of the molecular recognition of nucleic acids by KH domains. The typical binding surface of KH domains is a cleft that is versatile but that can typically accommodate only four unpaired bases. Van der Waals forces and hydrophobic interactions and, to a lesser extent, electrostatic interactions, contribute to the nucleic acid binding affinity. 'Augmented' KH domains or multiple copies of KH domains within a protein are two strategies that are used to achieve greater affinity and specificity of nucleic acid binding. Isolated KH domains have been seen to crystallize as monomers, dimers and tetramers, but no published data support the formation of noncovalent higher-order oligomers by KH domains in solution. Much attention has been given in the literature to a conserved hydrophobic residue (typically Ile or Leu) that is present in most KH domains. The interest derives from the observation that an individual with this Ile mutated to Asn, in the KH2 domain of fragile X mental retardation protein, exhibits a particularly severe form of the syndrome. The structural effects of this mutation in the fragile X mental retardation protein KH2 domain have recently been reported. We discuss the use of analogous point mutations at this position in other KH domains to dissect both structure and function.

  6. Linking Slow Dynamics and Local Structure in Simple Models of Glass-Forming Liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coslovich, D.; Pastore, G.

    2008-07-01

    Establishing a relation between the dynamical features of supercooled liquids, their structural properties and the nature of intermolecular interactions is a key issue in the description of the glass transition. To investigate this point we perform molecular dynamics simulations for three model glass-forming liquids with different types of local order. Our results show that the roughness of the energy landscape, estimated from the amplitude of average energy barriers, and the localization of unstable modes provide useful means to rationalize the link between structure and dynamics in glass-forming liquids.

  7. Hippocampal structural and functional changes associated with electroconvulsive therapy response

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, C C; Jones, T; Lemke, N T; Gallegos, P; McClintock, S M; Mayer, A R; Bustillo, J; Calhoun, V D

    2014-01-01

    Previous animal models and structural imaging investigations have linked hippocampal neuroplasticity to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) response, but the relationship between changes in hippocampal volume and temporal coherence in the context of ECT response is unknown. We hypothesized that ECT response would increase both hippocampal resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity and hippocampal volumes. Patients with major depressive disorder (n=19) were scanned before and after the ECT series. Healthy, demographically matched comparisons (n=20) were scanned at one-time interval. Longitudinal changes in functional connectivity of hippocampal regions and volumes of hippocampal subfields were compared with reductions in ratings of depressive symptoms. Right hippocampal connectivity increased (normalized) after the ECT series and correlated with depressive symptom reduction. Similarly, the volumes of the right hippocampal cornu ammonis (CA2/3), dentate gyrus and subiculum regions increased, but the hippocampal subfields were unchanged relative to the comparison group. Connectivity changes were not evident in the left hippocampus, and volume changes were limited to the left CA2/3 subfields. The laterality of the right hippocampal functional connectivity and volume increases may be related to stimulus delivery method, which was predominately right unilateral in this investigation. The findings suggested that increased hippocampal functional connectivity and volumes may be biomarkers for ECT response. PMID:25405780

  8. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  9. Phototriggered functionalization of hierarchically structured polymer brushes.

    PubMed

    de los Santos Pereira, Andres; Kostina, Nina Yu; Bruns, Michael; Rodriguez-Emmenegger, Cesar; Barner-Kowollik, Christopher

    2015-06-01

    The precise design of bioactive surfaces, essential for the advancement of many biomedical applications, depends on achieving control of the surface architecture as well as on the ability to attach bioreceptors to antifouling surfaces. Herein, we report a facile avenue toward hierarchically structured antifouling polymer brushes of oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylates via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) presenting photoactive tetrazole moieties, which permitted their functionalization via nitrile imine-mediated tetrazole-ene cyclocloaddition (NITEC). A maleimide-functional ATRP initiator was photoclicked to the side chains of a brush enabling a subsequent polymerization of carboxybetaine acrylamide to generate a micropatterned graft-on-graft polymer architecture as evidenced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). Furthermore, the spatially resolved biofunctionalization of the tetrazole-presenting brushes was accessed by the photoligation of biotin-maleimide and subsequent binding of streptavidin. The functionalized brushes bearing streptavidin were able to resist the fouling from blood plasma (90% reduction with respect to bare gold). Moreover, they were employed to demonstrate a model biosensor by immobilization of a biotinylated antibody and subsequent capture of an antigen as monitored in real time by surface plasmon resonance. PMID:25961109

  10. Structure and physiological function of calpains.

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, H; Ishiura, S; Suzuki, K

    1997-01-01

    For a long time now, two ubiquitously expressed mammalian calpain isoenzymes have been used to explore the structure and function of calpain. Although these two calpains, mu- and m-calpains, still attract intensive interest because of their unique characteristics, various distinct homologues to the protease domain of mu- and m-calpains have been identified in a variety of organisms. Some of these 'novel' calpain homologues are involved in important biological functions. For example, p94 (also called calpain 3), a mammalian calpain homologue predominantly expressed in skeletal muscle, is genetically proved to be responsible for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A. Tra-3, a calpain homologue in nematodes, is involved in the sex determination cascade during early development. PalB, a key gene product involved in the alkaline adaptation of Aspergillus nidulans, is the first example of a calpain homologue present in fungi. These findings indicate various important functional roles for intracellular proteases belonging to the calpain superfamily. PMID:9396712

  11. Melanocortin 1 Receptor: Structure, Function, and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Wolf Horrell, Erin M.; Boulanger, Mary C.; D’Orazio, John A.

    2016-01-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is a melanocytic Gs protein coupled receptor that regulates skin pigmentation, UV responses, and melanoma risk. It is a highly polymorphic gene, and loss of function correlates with a fair, UV-sensitive, and melanoma-prone phenotype due to defective epidermal melanization and sub-optimal DNA repair. MC1R signaling, achieved through adenylyl cyclase activation and generation of the second messenger cAMP, is hormonally controlled by the positive agonist melanocortin, the negative agonist agouti signaling protein, and the neutral antagonist β-defensin 3. Activation of cAMP signaling up-regulates melanin production and deposition in the epidermis which functions to limit UV penetration into the skin and enhances nucleotide excision repair (NER), the genomic stability pathway responsible for clearing UV photolesions from DNA to avoid mutagenesis. Herein we review MC1R structure and function and summarize our laboratory’s findings on the molecular mechanisms by which MC1R signaling impacts NER. PMID:27303435

  12. Cation-π interactions in lipocalins: structural and functional implications.

    PubMed

    Gasymov, Oktay K; Abduragimov, Adil R; Glasgow, Ben J

    2012-04-10

    The cation-π interaction impacts protein folding, structural stability, specificity, and molecular recognition. Cation-π interactions have been overlooked in the lipocalin family. To fill this gap, these interactions were analyzed in the 113 crystal and solution structures from the lipocalin family. The cation-π interactions link previously identified structurally conserved regions and reveal new motifs, which are beyond the reach of a sequence alignment algorithm. Functional and structural significance of the interactions were tested experimentally in human tear lipocalin (TL). TL, a prominent and promiscuous lipocalin, has a key role in lipid binding at the ocular surface. Ligand binding modulation through the loop AB at the "open" end of the barrel has been erroneously attributed solely to electrostatic interactions. Data revealed that the interloop cation-π interaction in the pair Phe28-Lys108 contributes significantly to stabilize the holo-conformation of the loop AB. Numerous energetically significant and conserved cation-π interactions were uncovered in TL and throughout the lipocalin family. Cation-π interactions, such as the highly conserved Trp17-Arg118 pair in TL, were educed in low temperature experiments of mutants with Trp to Tyr substitutions. PMID:22439821

  13. Cation-π Interactions in Lipocalins: Structural and Functional Implications

    PubMed Central

    Gasymov, Oktay K.; Abduragimov, Adil R.; Glasgow, Ben J.

    2013-01-01

    The cation-π interaction impacts protein folding, structural stability, specificity, and molecular recognition. Cation-π interactions have been overlooked in the lipocalin family. To fill this gap, these interactions were analyzed in the 113 crystal and solution structures from the lipocalin family. The cation-π interactions link previously identified structurally conserved regions and reveal new motifs, which are beyond the reach of a sequence alignment algorithm. Functional and structural significance of the interactions were tested experimentally in human tear lipocalin (TL). TL, a prominent and promiscuous lipocalin, has a key role in lipid binding at the ocular surface. Ligand binding modulation through the loop AB at the “open” end the barrel has been erroneously attributed solely to electrostatic interactions. Data revealed that the interloop cation-π interaction in the pair Phe28-Lys108 contributes significantly to stabilize the holo-conformation of the loop AB. Numerous energetically significant and conserved cation-π interactions were uncovered in TL and throughout the lipocalin family. Cation-π interactions, such as the highly conserved Trp17-Arg118 pair in TL, were educed in low temperature experiments of mutants with Trp to Tyr substitutions. PMID:22439821

  14. Structure, dynamics, and function of biomolecules

    SciTech Connect

    Frauenfelder, H.; Berendzen, J.R.; Garcia, A.; Gupta, G.; Olah, G.A.; Terwilliger, T.C.; Trewhella, J.; Wood, C.C.; Woodruff, W.H.

    1998-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The authors enhanced Los Alamos' core competency in Bioscience and Biotechnology by building on present strengths in experimental techniques, theory, high-performance computing, modeling, and simulation applied to biomolecular structure, dynamics, and function. Specifically, the authors strengthened their capabilities in neutron/x-ray scattering, x-ray crystallography, NMR, laser, and optical spectroscopies. Initially they focused on supporting the Los alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) in the design and implementation of new neutron scattering instrumentation, they developed new methods for analysis of scattering data, and they developed new projects to study the structures of biomolecular complexes. The authors have also worked to strengthen interactions between theory and experiment, and between the biological and physical sciences. They sponsored regular meetings of members from all interested LANL technical divisions, and supported two lecture series: ''Biology for Physicists'' and ''Issues in Modern Biology''. They also supported the formation of interdisciplinary/inter-divisional teams to develop projects in science-based bioremediation and an integrated structural biology resource. Finally, they successfully worked with a multidisciplinary team to put forward the Laboratory's Genome and Beyond tactical goal.

  15. Structural modifications of HDL and functional consequences.

    PubMed

    Ferretti, Gianna; Bacchetti, Tiziana; Nègre-Salvayre, Anne; Salvayre, Robert; Dousset, Nicole; Curatola, Giovanna

    2006-01-01

    High density lipoproteins (HDL) are susceptible to structural modifications mediated by various mechanisms including oxidation, glycation, homocysteinylation or enzymatic degradation. Structural alterations of HDL may affect their functional and atheroprotective properties. Oxidants, such as hypochlorous acid, peroxyl radicals, metal ions, peroxynitrite, lipoxygenases and smoke extracts, can alter both surface and core components of HDL. The formation of lipid peroxidation derivatives, such as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, conjugated dienes, lipid hydroperoxides and aldehydes, is associated with changes of physical properties (fluidity, molecular order) and of apoprotein conformation. Non-enzymatic glycation, generally associated with lipoxidation, leads to form irreversible complexes called advanced glycation end products. These HDL modifications are accompanied with altered biological activities of HDL and associated enzymes, including paraoxonase, CETP and LCAT. Homocysteine-induced modification of HDL is mediated by homocysteine-thiolactone, and can be prevented by a calcium-dependent thiolactonase/paraoxonase. Tyrosylation of HDL induces the formation of dimers and trimers of apo AI, and alters cholesterol efflux. Phospholipases and proteolytic enzymes can also modify HDL lipid and apoprotein structure. HDL modification induces generally the loss of their anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties. This could play a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. PMID:16157342

  16. Nonlinear dynamic system identification using Chebyshev functional link artificial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Patra, J C; Kot, A C

    2002-01-01

    A computationally efficient artificial neural network (ANN) for the purpose of dynamic nonlinear system identification is proposed. The major drawback of feedforward neural networks, such as multilayer perceptrons (MLPs) trained with the backpropagation (BP) algorithm, is that they require a large amount of computation for learning. We propose a single-layer functional-link ANN (FLANN) in which the need for a hidden layer is eliminated by expanding the input pattern by Chebyshev polynomials. The novelty of this network is that it requires much less computation than that of a MLP. We have shown its effectiveness in the problem of nonlinear dynamic system identification. In the presence of additive Gaussian noise, the performance of the proposed network is found to be similar or superior to that of a MLP. A performance comparison in terms of computational complexity has also been carried out. PMID:18238146

  17. Single-input/single-output transfer functions for a flexible slewing link

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barbieri, Enrique

    1993-01-01

    Truncated linear models based on constrained and unconstrained mode expansions for a flexible link with torque actuation at its hub led us to examine the behavior of the open-loop-zeros of five commonly used SISO transfer functions. We arrive at new conclusions with regard to minimum- and non-minimum-phase zeros, and passivity of the transfer functions. The flexible-to-rigid inertia (FRI) ratio plays an important role in the determination of these characteristics. This paper illustrates how the zero locations of some of the transfer functions are dramatically affected by the FRI ratio. We also investigate the performance of a hub angle, hub rate, and relative tip position static feedback controller based on a reduced-order constrained mode model when applied to both unconstrained and constrained mode models of the same dimension. Simulations indicate that the constrained model can be stable while the unconstrained model is not for high FRI ratios. Our findings can provide useful information to designers in cases where the controller is sensitive to the 1ocation of the plant's zeros.

  18. The Link between Dietary Protein Intake, Skeletal Muscle Function and Health in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Jamie I.; Wolfe, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal muscle mass and function are progressively lost with age, a condition referred to as sarcopenia. By the age of 60, many older adults begin to be affected by muscle loss. There is a link between decreased muscle mass and strength and adverse health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Data suggest that increasing dietary protein intake at meals may counterbalance muscle loss in older individuals due to the increased availability of amino acids, which stimulate muscle protein synthesis by activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTORC1). Increased muscle protein synthesis can lead to increased muscle mass, strength and function over time. This review aims to address the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein and whether or not this value meets the needs for older adults based upon current scientific evidence. The current RDA for protein is 0.8 g/kg body weight/day. However, literature suggests that consuming protein in amounts greater than the RDA can improve muscle mass, strength and function in older adults.

  19. Cryo-imaging and modeling of the super molecular structure of cross-linked gelatin and its applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marmorat, Clement; Arinstein, Arkadi; Koifman, Naama; Talmon, Yeshayahu; Zussman, Eyal; Rafailovich, Miriam

    The need for naturally derived materials to synthetize bio-compatible scaffolds is growing. In its natural state, gelatin derives its properties from a network of structured, intertwined, triple helical chains. The mechanical properties can be further controlled by additional enzymatic cross-linking. But, in contrast to simple polymer systems, the response to an imposed deformation is then determined by two competing factors, the establishment of the cross-linked mesh vs. the self-assembly of the fibrils into larger and therefore stronger hierarchical structures. Properties deduced from the response functions to measurements; such as rheology or swelling, are then a combination of these two very different factors, hence impossible to model unless more precise knowledge is available regarding the internal structure. We applied cryogenic-temperature scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) to image the networks. Based on these images, a theoretical model was developed, for which we obtained excellent agreement for the mesh size of both networks, and their mechanical properties. We then used these controlled scaffolds, embedding them with fluorescent beads, to image live cells traction forces at stake during cell migration.

  20. Structural study of asparagine-linked oligosaccharide moiety of taste-modifying protein, miraculin.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, N; Hitotsuya, H; Hanzawa, H; Arata, Y; Kurihara, Y

    1990-05-15

    The structures of the N-linked oligosaccharides of miraculin, which is a taste modifying glycoprotein isolated from miracle fruits, berries of Richadella dulcifica, are reported. Asparagine-linked oligosaccharides were released from the protein by glycopeptidase (almond) digestion. The reducing ends of the oligosaccharide chains thus obtained were aminated with a fluorescent reagent, 2-aminopyridine, and the mixture of pyridylamino derivatives of the oligosaccharides was separated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on an ODS-silica column. More than five kinds of oligosaccharide fractions were separated by the one chromatographic run. The structure of each oligosaccharide thus isolated was analyzed by a combination of sequential exoglycosidase digestion and another kind of HPLC with an amidesilica column. Furthermore, high resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) measurements were carried out. It was found that 1) five oligosaccharides obtained are a series of compounds with xylose-containing common structural core, Xyl beta 1----2 (Man alpha 1----6) Man beta 1----4-GlcNAc beta 1----4 (Fuca1----3)GlcNAc, 2) a variety of oligosaccharide structures are significant for two glycosylation sites, Asn-42 and Asn-186, and 3) two new oligosaccharides, B and D, with unusual structures containing monoantennary complex-type were characterized. (formula; see text) PMID:2335505

  1. Functional links between Drosophila Nipped-B and cohesin in somatic and meiotic cells

    PubMed Central

    Gause, Maria; Webber, Hayley A.; Misulovin, Ziva; Haller, Gabe; Rollins, Robert A.; Eissenberg, Joel C.; Bickel, Sharon E.

    2008-01-01

    Drosophila Nipped-B is an essential protein that has multiple functions. It facilitates expression of homeobox genes and is also required for sister chromatid cohesion. Nipped-B is conserved from yeast to man, and its orthologs also play roles in deoxyribonucleic acid repair and meiosis. Mutation of the human ortholog, Nipped-B-Like (NIPBL), causes Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), associated with multiple developmental defects. The Nipped-B protein family is required for the cohesin complex that mediates sister chromatid cohesion to bind to chromosomes. A key question, therefore, is whether the Nipped-B family regulates gene expression, meiosis, and development by controlling cohesin. To gain insights into Nipped-B's functions, we compared the effects of several Nipped-B mutations on gene expression, sister chromatid cohesion, and meiosis. We also examined association of Nipped-B and cohesin with somatic and meiotic chromosomes by immunostaining. Missense Nipped-B alleles affecting the same HEAT repeat motifs as CdLS-causing NIPBL mutations have intermediate effects on both gene expression and mitotic chromatid cohesion, linking these two functions and the role of NIPBL in human development. Nipped-B colocalizes extensively with cohesin on chromosomes in both somatic and meiotic cells and is present in soluble complexes with cohesin subunits in nuclear extracts. In meiosis, Nipped-B also colocalizes with the synaptonemal complex and contributes to maintenance of meiotic chromosome cores. These results support the idea that direct regulation of cohesin function underlies the diverse functions of Nipped-B and its orthologs. PMID:17909832

  2. Endothelial Markers May Link Kidney Function to Cardiovascular Events in Type 2 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Christina; Clodi, Martin; Neuhold, Stephanie; Resl, Michael; Elhenicky, Marie; Prager, Rudolf; Moertl, Deddo; Strunk, Guido; Luger, Anton; Struck, Joachim; Pacher, Richard; Hülsmann, Martin

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The increased cardiovascular risk in diabetes has been linked to endothelial and renal dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of stable fragments of the precursors of adrenomedullin, endothelin-1, vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide in progression of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This was a prospective, observational study design with a composite end point (death or unexpected admission to hospital due to a cardiovascular event) on 781 patients with type 2 diabetes (54 events, median duration of observation 15 months). The four stable precursor peptides midregional adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), midregional proatrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), COOH-terminal proendothelin-1 (CT-proET-1), and COOH-terminal provasopressin or copeptin (CT-proAVP) were determined at baseline, and their association to renal function and cardiovascular events was studied using stepwise linear and Cox logistic regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic analysis, respectively. RESULTS MR-proADM, CT-proET-1, CT-proAVP, and MR-proANP were all elevated in patients with future cardiovascular events and independently correlated to serum creatinine. MR-proADM and MR-proANP were significant predictors of a future cardiovascular event, with MR-proANP being the stronger (area under the curve 0.802 ± 0.034, sensitivity 0.833, specificity 0.576, positive predictive value 0.132, and negative predictive value 0.978 with a cutoff value of 75 pmol/l). CONCLUSIONS The four serum markers of vasoactive and natriuretic peptides are related to both kidney function and cardiovascular events, thus linking two major complications of diabetes, diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular disease. PMID:19564455

  3. Monitoring the internal structure of poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) microgels with variable cross-link concentration.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Florian; Balaceanu, Andreea; Feoktystov, Artem; Pipich, Vitaliy; Wu, Yaodong; Allgaier, Jürgen; Pyckhout-Hintzen, Wim; Pich, Andrij; Schneider, Gerald J

    2014-12-23

    The combination of a set of complementary techniques allows us to construct an unprecedented and comprehensive picture of the internal structure, temperature dependent swelling behavior, and the dependence of these properties on the cross-linker concentration of microgel particles based on N-vinylcaprolactam (VCL). The microgels were synthesized by precipitation polymerization using different amounts of cross-linking agent. Characterization was performed by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) using two complementary neutron instruments to cover a uniquely broad Q-range with one probe. Additionally we used dynamic light scattering (DLS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Previously obtained nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) results on the same PVCL particles are utilized to round the picture off. Our study shows that both the particle radius and the cross-link density and therefore also the stiffness of the microgels rises with increasing cross-linker content. Hence, more cross-linker reduces the swelling capability distinctly. These findings are supported by SANS and AFM measurements. Independent DLS experiments also found the increase in particle size but suggest an unchanged cross-link density. The reason for the apparent contradiction is the indirect extraction of the parameters via a model in the evaluation of DLS measurements. The more direct approach in AFM by evaluating the cross section profiles of observed microgel particles gives evidence of significantly softer and more deformable particles at lower cross-linker concentrations and therefore verifies the change in cross-link density. DSC data indicate a minor but unexpected shift of the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) to higher temperatures and exposes a more heterogeneous internal structure of the microgels with increasing cross-link density. Moreover, a change in the total energy transfer during the VPT gives evidence that the strength

  4. Vacuum structure revealed by over-improved stout-link smearing compared with the overlap analysis for quenched QCD

    SciTech Connect

    Ilgenfritz, E.-M.; Leinweber, D.; Moran, P.; Koller, K.; Schierholz, G.; Weinberg, V.

    2008-04-01

    A detailed comparison is made between the topological structure of quenched QCD as revealed by the recently proposed over-improved stout-link smearing in conjunction with an improved gluonic definition of the topological density on one hand and a similar analysis made possible by the overlap-fermionic topological charge density both with and without variable ultraviolet cutoff {lambda}{sub cut}. The matching is twofold, provided by fitting the density-density two-point functions on one hand and by a point-by-point fitting of the topological densities according to the two methods. We point out the similar cluster structure of the topological density for moderate smearing and 200 MeV<{lambda}{sub cut}<600 MeV, respectively. We demonstrate the relation of the gluonic topological density for extensive smearing to the location of the overlap zero modes and the lowest overlap nonzero mode as found for the unsmeared configurations.

  5. Fumed silica concentration effect on structure and dielectric properties of a styrene-cross-linked unsaturated polyester resin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorelov, B. M.; Polovina, O. I.; Gorb, A. M.; Dacko, S.; Kostrzewa, M.; Ingram, A.

    2012-11-01

    Concentration effects of a high-reactive-surface nanosized SiO2 filler on structure and dielectrical properties of a styrene-cross-linked polyester resin have been experimentally studied. Thermal desorption mass-spectroscopy, IR-spectroscopy, dielectric spectroscopy, and positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy were used to determine an atomic content of thermal destruction products, IR-reflection spectra, complex dielectric permittivity, and a nature of positron traps as function of filler content in the polymer matrix. Interaction between active surface centers of SiO2-nanoparticles and atoms of polyester chains and styrene molecules gives the non-monotonous influence on the structure of polyester chains, macromolecule polarity, dielectric parameters and the number of positronium nanotraps.

  6. Evaluation of Hybrid Theoretical Approaches for Structural Determination of a Glycine-Linked Cisplatin Derivative via Infrared Multiple Photon Dissociation (IRMPD) Action Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    He, C C; Kimutai, B; Bao, X; Hamlow, L; Zhu, Y; Strobehn, S F; Gao, J; Berden, G; Oomens, J; Chow, C S; Rodgers, M T

    2015-11-01

    To gain a better understanding of the binding mechanism and assist in the optimization of chemical probing and drug design applications, experimental and theoretical studies of a series of amino acid-linked cisplatin derivatives are being pursued. Glyplatin (glycine-linked cisplatin) was chosen for its structural simplicity and to enable backbone effects to be separated from side-chain effects on the structure and reactivity of ornithine- and lysine-linked cisplatin (Ornplatin and Lysplatin, respectively). Infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) action spectroscopy experiments were performed on Glyplatin to characterize its structure and guide the selection of the most effective hybrid theoretical approach for determining its structure and IR spectrum. The simplicity of the Glyplatin system allows a wide variety of density functionals, treatments of the Pt center including the use of all-electron basis sets vs valence basis sets combined with an effective core potential (ECP), and basis sets for all other atoms to be evaluated at a reasonable computational cost. The results for Glyplatin provide the foundation for calculations of more complex amino acid-linked cisplatin derivatives such as Ornplatin and Lysplatin. Present results suggest that the B3LYP/mDZP/def2-TZVP hybrid method can be effectively employed for structural and IR characterization of more complex amino acid-linked cisplatin complexes and their nucleic acid derivatives. PMID:26473433

  7. An apomixis-linked ORC3-like pseudogene is associated with silencing of its functional homolog in apomictic Paspalum simplex.

    PubMed

    Siena, Lorena A; Ortiz, Juan Pablo A; Calderini, Ornella; Paolocci, Francesco; Cáceres, Maria E; Kaushal, Pankaj; Grisan, Simone; Pessino, Silvina C; Pupilli, Fulvio

    2016-03-01

    Apomixis in plants consists of asexual reproduction by seeds. Here we characterized at structural and functional levels an apomixis-linked sequence of Paspalum simplex homologous to subunit 3 of the ORIGIN RECOGNITION COMPLEX (ORC3). ORC is a multiprotein complex which controls DNA replication and cell differentiation in eukaryotes. Three PsORC3 copies were identified, each one characterized by a specific expression profile. Of these, PsORC3a, specific for apomictic genotypes, is a pseudogene that was poorly and constitutively expressed in all developmental stages of apomictic flowers, whereas PsORC3b, the putative functional gene in sexual flowers, showed a precise time-related regulation. Sense transcripts of PsORC3 were expressed in the female cell lineage of both apomictic and sexual reproductive phenotypes, and in aposporous initials. Although strong expression was detected in sexual early endosperm, no expression was present in the apomictic endosperm. Antisense PsORC3 transcripts were revealed exclusively in apomictic germ cell lineages. Defective orc3 mutants of rice and Arabidopsis showed normal female gametophytes although the embryo and endosperm were arrested at early phases of development. We hypothesize that PsORC3a is associated with the down-regulation of its functional homolog and with the development of apomictic endosperm which deviates from the canonical 2(maternal):1(paternal) genome ratio. PMID:26842983

  8. CKD impairs barrier function and alters microbial flora of the intestine: a major link to inflammation and uremic toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Vaziri, Nosratola D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of review Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation which contribute to progression of kidney disease and its numerous complications. Until recently, little attention had been paid to the role of the intestine and its microbial flora in the pathogenesis of CKD-associated inflammation. This article is intended to provide an over view of the impact of uremia on the structure and function of the gut and its microbial flora and their potential link to the associated systemic inflammation. Recent findings Recent studies conducted in the author’s laboratories have demonstrated marked disintegration of the colonic epithelial barrier structure and significant alteration of the colonic bacterial flora in humans and animals with advanced CKD. The observed disruption of the intestinal epithelial barrier complex can play an important part in the development of systemic inflammation by enabling influx of endotoxin and other noxious luminal contents into the systemic circulation. Similarly via disruption of the normal symbiotic relationship and production, absorption and retention of noxious products, alteration of the microbial flora can contribute to systemic inflammation and uremic toxicity. In fact recent studies have documented the role of colonic bacteria as the primary source of several well known pro-inflammatory/pro-oxidant uremic toxins as well as many as-yet unidentified retained compounds. Summary CKD results in disruption of the intestinal barrier structure and marked alteration of its microbial flora –events that play a major role in the pathogenesis of inflammation and uremic toxicity. PMID:23010760

  9. Structure and function of platyrrhine caudal vertebrae.

    PubMed

    Organ, Jason M

    2010-04-01

    The prehensile tail may have evolved twice (in parallel) in New World monkeys (platyrrhines), suggesting it is an effective adaptation to negotiating arboreal habitats. Yet, despite the obvious importance of the prehensile tail for balance, feeding behavior, and locomotion, the structural differences between prehensile and nonprehensile tails are poorly understood. Previous studies showed that some linear measurements of caudal vertebrae are capable of distinguishing prehensile from nonprehensile tails but only in the distal parts of the vertebral sequence. This study examines structural properties of the tail with external measurements that are selected to better approximate resistance to bending/torsion while also examining vertebral cross-sectional geometry with computed tomography-a direct measure of resistance to bending/torsion. Specifically, this study tests the hypotheses that the caudal vertebrae (and the tail as a whole) of prehensile-tailed platyrrhines are structured to resist higher torsional and bending stresses than their functional analogues in nonprehensile-tailed platyrrhines, and that the predicted differences become more drastic further distally within the sequence. Results of this study indicate that prehensile and nonprehensile tails are structured differently. Prehensile tails are characterized by longer proximal tail regions than nonprehensile tails. Furthermore, the hemal processes (the distal attachment for the primary tail flexors) of prehensile tail vertebrae are better developed and can distinguish prehensile from nonprehensile tails better than traditionally used external measurements. Finally, results confirm predictions that prehensile tail caudal vertebrae are capable of withstanding higher torsional and bending stresses than their nonprehensile tail counterparts, and that these disparities become more pronounced further distally within the sequence. PMID:20235328

  10. Nitric oxide synthases: structure, function and inhibition.

    PubMed Central

    Alderton, W K; Cooper, C E; Knowles, R G

    2001-01-01

    This review concentrates on advances in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) structure, function and inhibition made in the last seven years, during which time substantial advances have been made in our understanding of this enzyme family. There is now information on the enzyme structure at all levels from primary (amino acid sequence) to quaternary (dimerization, association with other proteins) structure. The crystal structures of the oxygenase domains of inducible NOS (iNOS) and vascular endothelial NOS (eNOS) allow us to interpret other information in the context of this important part of the enzyme, with its binding sites for iron protoporphyrin IX (haem), biopterin, L-arginine, and the many inhibitors which interact with them. The exact nature of the NOS reaction, its mechanism and its products continue to be sources of controversy. The role of the biopterin cofactor is now becoming clearer, with emerging data implicating one-electron redox cycling as well as the multiple allosteric effects on enzyme activity. Regulation of the NOSs has been described at all levels from gene transcription to covalent modification and allosteric regulation of the enzyme itself. A wide range of NOS inhibitors have been discussed, interacting with the enzyme in diverse ways in terms of site and mechanism of inhibition, time-dependence and selectivity for individual isoforms, although there are many pitfalls and misunderstandings of these aspects. Highly selective inhibitors of iNOS versus eNOS and neuronal NOS have been identified and some of these have potential in the treatment of a range of inflammatory and other conditions in which iNOS has been implicated. PMID:11463332

  11. Linking of sensor molecules with amino groups to amino-functionalized AFM tips.

    PubMed

    Wildling, Linda; Unterauer, Barbara; Zhu, Rong; Rupprecht, Anne; Haselgrübler, Thomas; Rankl, Christian; Ebner, Andreas; Vater, Doris; Pollheimer, Philipp; Pohl, Elena E; Hinterdorfer, Peter; Gruber, Hermann J

    2011-06-15

    The measuring tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) can be upgraded to a specific biosensor by attaching one or a few biomolecules to the apex of the tip. The biofunctionalized tip is then used to map cognate target molecules on a sample surface or to study biophysical parameters of interaction with the target molecules. The functionality of tip-bound sensor molecules is greatly enhanced if they are linked via a thin, flexible polymer chain. In a typical scheme of tip functionalization, reactive groups are first generated on the tip surface, a bifunctional cross-linker is then attached with one of its two reactive ends, and finally the probe molecule of interest is coupled to the free end of the cross-linker. Unfortunately, the most popular functional group generated on the tip surface is the amino group, while at the same time, the only useful coupling functions of many biomolecules (such as antibodies) are also NH(2) groups. In the past, various tricks or detours were applied to minimize the undesired bivalent reaction of bifunctional linkers with adjacent NH(2) groups on the tip surface. In the present study, an uncompromising solution to this problem was found with the help of a new cross-linker ("acetal-PEG-NHS") which possesses one activated carboxyl group and one acetal-protected benzaldehyde function. The activated carboxyl ensures rapid unilateral attachment to the amino-functionalized tip, and only then is the terminal acetal group converted into the amino-reactive benzaldehyde function by mild treatment (1% citric acid, 1-10 min) which does not harm the AFM tip. As an exception, AFM tips with magnetic coating become demagnetized in 1% citric acid. This problem was solved by deprotecting the acetal group before coupling the PEG linker to the AFM tip. Bivalent binding of the corresponding linker ("aldehyde-PEG-NHS") to adjacent NH(2) groups on the tip was largely suppressed by high linker concentrations. In this way, magnetic AFM tips could be

  12. Metallo-β-lactamase structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Palzkill, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    β-lactam antibiotics are the most commonly used antibacterial agents and growing resistance to these drugs is a concern. Metallo-β-lactamases are a diverse set of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of a broad range of β-lactam drugs including carbapenems. This diversity is reflected in the observation that the enzyme mechanisms differ based on whether one or two zincs are bound in the active site which, in turn, is dependent on the subclass of β-lactamase. The dissemination of the genes encoding these enzymes among Gram-negative bacteria has made them an important cause of resistance. In addition, there are currently no clinically available inhibitors to block metallo-β-lactamase action. This review summarizes the numerous studies that have yielded insights into the structure, function, and mechanism of action of these enzymes. PMID:23163348

  13. Macrodomains: Structure, Function, Evolution, and Catalytic Activities.

    PubMed

    Rack, Johannes Gregor Matthias; Perina, Dragutin; Ahel, Ivan

    2016-06-01

    Recent developments indicate that macrodomains, an ancient and diverse protein domain family, are key players in the recognition, interpretation, and turnover of ADP-ribose (ADPr) signaling. Crucial to this is the ability of macrodomains to recognize ADPr either directly, in the form of a metabolic derivative, or as a modification covalently bound to proteins. Thus, macrodomains regulate a wide variety of cellular and organismal processes, including DNA damage repair, signal transduction, and immune response. Their importance is further indicated by the fact that dysregulation or mutation of a macrodomain is associated with several diseases, including cancer, developmental defects, and neurodegeneration. In this review, we summarize the current insights into macrodomain evolution and how this evolution influenced their structural and functional diversification. We highlight some aspects of macrodomain roles in pathobiology as well as their emerging potential as therapeutic targets. PMID:26844395

  14. The Spin Structure Function g2

    SciTech Connect

    Rock, Stephen E.

    2003-02-27

    We have measured the spin structure functions g{sub 2}{sup p} and g{sub 2}{sup d} over the kinematic range 0.02 {le} x {le} 0.8 and 0.7 {le} Q{sup 2} {le} 20 GeV{sup 2} by scattering 29.1 and 32.3 GeV longitudinally polarized electrons from transversely polarized NH{sub 3} and {sup 6}LiD targets. Our measured g{sub 2} approximately follows the twist-2 Wandzura-Wilczek calculation. The twist-3 reduced matrix elements d{sub 2}{sup p} and d{sub 2}{sup n} are less than two standard deviations from zero. The data are inconsistent with the Burkhardt-Cottingham sum rule. The Efremov-Leader-Teryaev integral is consistent with zero within our measured kinematic range.

  15. Structure and function of eukaryotic chromosomes

    SciTech Connect

    Hennig, W.

    1987-01-01

    Contents: Introduction; Polytene Chromosomel Giant Chromosomes in Ciliates; The sp-I Genes in the Balbiani Rings of Chironomus Salivary Glands; The White Locus of Drosophila Melanogaster; The Genetic and Molecular Organization of the Dense Cluster of Functionally Related Vital Genes in the DOPA Decarboxylase Region of the Drosophila melanogaster Genome; Heat Shock Puffs and Response to Environmental Stress; The Y Chromosomal Lampbrush Loops of Drosophila; Contributions of Electron Microscopic Spreading Preparations (''Miller Spreads'') to the Analysis of Chromosome Structure; Replication of DNA in Eukaryotic Chromosomes; Gene Amplification in Dipteran Chromosomes; The Significance of Plant Transposable Elements in Biologically Relevant Processes; Arrangement of Chromosomes in Interphase Cell Nuclei; Heterochromatin and the Phenomenon of Chromosome Banding; Multiple Nonhistone Protein-DNA Complexes in Chromatin Regulate the Cell- and Stage-Specific Activity of an Eukaryotic Gene; Genetics of Sex Determination in Eukaryotes; Application of Basic Chromosome Research in Biotechnology and Medicine. This book presents an overview of various aspects of chromosome research.

  16. Aegerolysins: Structure, function, and putative biological role

    PubMed Central

    Berne, Sabina; Lah, Ljerka; Sepčić, Kristina

    2009-01-01

    Aegerolysins, discovered in fungi, bacteria and plants, are highly similar proteins with interesting biological properties. Certain aegerolysins possess antitumoral, antiproliferative, and antibacterial activities. Further possible medicinal applications include their use in the prevention of atherosclerosis, or as vaccines. Additional biotechnological value of fungal aegerolysins lies in their involvement in development, which could improve cultivation of commercially important edible mushrooms. Besides, new insights on microheterogeneity of raft-like membrane domains could be gained by using aegerolysins as specific markers in cell and molecular biology. Although the exact function of aegerolysins in their producing organisms remains to be explained, they are biochemically well characterized all-β structured proteins sharing the following common features: low isoelectric points, similar molecular weights (15–17 kDa), and stability in a wide pH range. PMID:19309687

  17. [Structure and functions of bacterial proteinase precursors].

    PubMed

    Serkina, A V; Shevelev, A B; Chestukhina, G G

    2001-01-01

    The data on the precursors of bacterial proteases were generalized. The structure and special features of processing of the precursors of bacillary subtilisins, the alpha-lytic protease from Lysobacter enzymogenes and the related chymotrypsin-like proteases from Streptomyces griseus, and the metalloproteases from bacilli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were discussed. The approaches to producing the precursors and the protease propeptides and to in vitro characterizing them were particularly analyzed. The following physiological functions of the propeptides within the protease precursors were considered probable: (a) inhibition of the proteases to protect the host cells from the proteolytic damage; (b) participation in the folding of the mature enzyme; and (c) providing for the protease interaction with the bacterial cell surveillance mechanisms, including protease translocation through the cell wall. PMID:11641907

  18. Sheet metal hydroforming of functional composite structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibis, M.; Griesheimer, S.; Salun, L.; Rausch, J.; Groche, P.

    2011-03-01

    This paper studies the formability of functional composite structures, consisting of a metal substrate, insulating plastic foils, flat copper conductors and printable conductive polymers. The aim is the production of smart components in a sheet metal hydroforming process. In addition to their mechanical properties, these components can also transfer energy and data. Conventional boundaries between mechanics and electronics will be relaxed expediently. The challenge of this study is the design of the forming process, so that all elements of the multi-layer composites will withstand the process conditions. In this context, an analytical method for estimating the formability of these smart components is presented. The main objectives are the definition of basic failure modes and the depiction of the process limits.

  19. Guanylyl cyclase structure, function and regulation

    PubMed Central

    Potter, Lincoln R.

    2016-01-01

    Nitric oxide, bicarbonate, natriuretic peptides (ANP, BNP and CNP), guanylins, uroguanylins and guanylyl cyclase activating proteins (GCAPs) activate a family of enzymes variously called guanyl, guanylyl or guanylate cyclases that catalyze the conversion of guanosine triphosphate to cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and pyrophosphate. Intracellular cyclic GMP is a second messenger that modulates: platelet aggregation, neurotransmission, sexual arousal, gut peristalsis, blood pressure, long bone growth, intestinal fluid secretion, lipolysis, phototransduction, cardiac hypertrophy and oocyte maturation. This review briefly discusses the discovery of cGMP and guanylyl cyclases, then nitric oxide, nitric oxide synthase and soluble guanylyl cyclase are described in slightly greater detail. Finally, the structure, function, and regulation of the individual mammalian single membrane-spanning guanylyl cyclases GC-A, GC-B, GC-C, GC-D, GC-E, GC-F and GC-G are described in greatest detail as determined by biochemical, cell biological and gene-deletion studies. PMID:21914472

  20. Models of Protocellular Structure, Function and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    New, Michael H.; Pohorille, Andrew; Szostak, Jack W.; Keefe, Tony; Lanyi, Janos K.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In the absence of any record of protocells, the most direct way to test our understanding, of the origin of cellular life is to construct laboratory models that capture important features of protocellular systems. Such efforts are currently underway in a collaborative project between NASA-Ames, Harvard Medical School and University of California. They are accompanied by computational studies aimed at explaining self-organization of simple molecules into ordered structures. The centerpiece of this project is a method for the in vitro evolution of protein enzymes toward arbitrary catalytic targets. A similar approach has already been developed for nucleic acids in which a small number of functional molecules are selected from a large, random population of candidates. The selected molecules are next vastly multiplied using the polymerase chain reaction.

  1. Relationships Between Watershed Emergy Flow and Coastal New England Salt Marsh Structure, Function, and Condition

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study evaluated the link between watershed activities and salt marsh structure, function, and condition using spatial emergy flow density (areal empower density) in the watershed and field data from 10 tidal salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, RI. The field-collected data wer...

  2. New insights into ferritin synthesis and function highlight a link between iron homeostasis and oxidative stress in plants

    PubMed Central

    Briat, Jean-Francois; Ravet, Karl; Arnaud, Nicolas; Duc, Céline; Boucherez, Jossia; Touraine, Brigitte; Cellier, Francoise; Gaymard, Frederic

    2010-01-01

    Background Iron is an essential element for both plant productivity and nutritional quality. Improving plant iron content was attempted through genetic engineering of plants overexpressing ferritins. However, both the roles of these proteins in plant physiology, and the mechanisms involved in the regulation of their expression are largely unknown. Although the structure of ferritins is highly conserved between plants and animals, their cellular localization differs. Furthermore, regulation of ferritin gene expression in response to iron excess occurs at the transcriptional level in plants, in contrast to animals which regulate ferritin expression at the translational level. Scope In this review, an overview of our knowledge of bacterial and mammalian ferritin synthesis and functions is presented. Then the following will be reviewed: (a) the specific features of plant ferritins; (b) the regulation of their synthesis during development and in response to various environmental cues; and (c) their function in plant physiology, with special emphasis on the role that both bacterial and plant ferritins play during plant–bacteria interactions. Arabidopsis ferritins are encoded by a small nuclear gene family of four members which are differentially expressed. Recent results obtained by using this model plant enabled progress to be made in our understanding of the regulation of the synthesis and the in planta function of these various ferritins. Conclusions Studies on plant ferritin functions and regulation of their synthesis revealed strong links between these proteins and protection against oxidative stress. In contrast, their putative iron-storage function to furnish iron during various development processes is unlikely to be essential. Ferritins, by buffering iron, exert a fine tuning of the quantity of metal required for metabolic purposes, and help plants to cope with adverse situations, the deleterious effects of which would be amplified if no system had evolved to

  3. Cooperative, reversible self-assembly of covalently pre-linked proteins into giant fibrous structures.

    PubMed

    Averick, Saadyah; Karácsony, Orsolya; Mohin, Jacob; Yong, Xin; Moellers, Nicholas M; Woodman, Bradley F; Zhu, Weipu; Mehl, Ryan A; Balazs, Anna C; Kowalewski, Tomasz; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof

    2014-07-28

    We demonstrate a simple bioconjugate polymer system that undergoes reversible self-assembling into extended fibrous structures, reminiscent of those observed in living systems. It is comprised of green fluorescent protein (GFP) molecules linked into linear oligomeric strands through click step growth polymerization with dialkyne poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). Confocal microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and dynamic light scattering revealed that such strands form high persistence length fibers, with lengths reaching tens of micrometers, and uniform, sub-100 nm widths. We ascribe this remarkable and robust form of self-assembly to the cooperativity arising from the known tendency of GFP molecules to dimerize through localized hydrophobic patches and from their covalent pre-linking with flexible PEO. Dissipative particle dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained model of the system revealed its tendency to form elongated fibrous aggregates, suggesting the general nature of this mode of self-assembly. PMID:25044628

  4. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Rice Centromeres

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Jiming

    2010-02-04

    The centromere is the most characteristic landmark of eukaryotic chromosomes. Centromeres function as the site for kinetochore assembly and spindle attachment, allowing for the faithful pairing and segregation of sister chromatids during cell division. Characterization of centromeric DNA is not only essential to understand the structure and organization of plant genomes, but it is also a critical step in the development of plant artificial chromosomes. The centromeres of most model eukaryotic species, consist predominantly of long arrays of satellite DNA. Determining the precise DNA boundary of a centromere has proven to be a difficult task in multicellular eukaryotes. We have successfully cloned and sequenced the centromere of rice chromosome 8 (Cen8), representing the first fully sequenced centromere from any multicellular eukaryotes. The functional core of Cen8 spans ~800 kb of DNA, which was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) using an antibody against the rice centromere-specific H3 histone. We discovered 16 actively transcribed genes distributed throughout the Cen8 region. In addition to Cen8, we have characterized eight additional rice centromeres using the next generation sequencing technology. We discovered four subfamilies of the CRR retrotransposon that is highly enriched in rice centromeres. CRR elements are constitutively transcribed and different CRR subfamilies are differentially processed by RNAi. These results suggest that different CRR subfamilies may play different roles in the RNAi-mediated pathway for formation and maintenance of centromeric chromatin.

  5. Pentraxins: structure, function, and role in inflammation.

    PubMed

    Du Clos, Terry W

    2013-01-01

    The pentraxins are an ancient family of proteins with a unique architecture found as far back in evolution as the Horseshoe crab. In humans the two members of this family are C-reactive protein and serum amyloid P. Pentraxins are defined by their sequence homology, their pentameric structure and their calcium-dependent binding to their ligands. Pentraxins function as soluble pattern recognition molecules and one of the earliest and most important roles for these proteins is host defense primarily against pathogenic bacteria. They function as opsonins for pathogens through activation of the complement pathway and through binding to Fc gamma receptors. Pentraxins also recognize membrane phospholipids and nuclear components exposed on or released by damaged cells. CRP has a specific interaction with small nuclear ribonucleoproteins whereas SAP is a major recognition molecule for DNA, two nuclear autoantigens. Studies in autoimmune and inflammatory disease models suggest that pentraxins interact with macrophage Fc receptors to regulate the inflammatory response. Because CRP is a strong acute phase reactant it is widely used as a marker of inflammation and infection. PMID:24167754

  6. Verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance as indicators for changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility.

    PubMed

    Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Soares, Tielle; Rossetto, Raffaella; van Veen, Johannes Antonie; Tsai, Siu Mui; Kuramae, Eiko Eurya

    2015-09-01

    Here we show that verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance are extremely sensitive to changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprint and real-time quantitative PCR assay were used to analyze changes in verrucomicrobial communities associated with contrasting soil nutrient conditions in tropical regions. In case study Model I ("Slash-and-burn deforestation") the verrucomicrobial community structures revealed disparate patterns in nutrient-enriched soils after slash-and-burn deforestation and natural nutrient-poor soils under an adjacent primary forest in the Amazonia (R = 0.819, P = 0.002). The relative proportion of Verrucomicrobia declined in response to increased soil fertility after slash-and-burn deforestation, accounting on average, for 4 and 2 % of the total bacterial signal, in natural nutrient-poor forest soils and nutrient-enriched deforested soils, respectively. In case study Model II ("Management practices for sugarcane") disparate patterns were revealed in sugarcane rhizosphere sampled on optimal and deficient soil fertility for sugarcane (R = 0.786, P = 0.002). Verrucomicrobial community abundance in sugarcane rhizosphere was negatively correlated with soil fertility, accounting for 2 and 5 % of the total bacterial signal, under optimal and deficient soil fertility conditions for sugarcane, respectively. In nutrient-enriched soils, verrucomicrobial community structures were related to soil factors linked to soil fertility, such as total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sum of bases, i.e., the sum of calcium, magnesium and potassium contents. We conclude that community structure and abundance represent important ecological aspects in soil verrucomicrobial communities for tracking the changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility under tropical environmental conditions. PMID:26184407

  7. Structure and functionality of bromine doped graphite.

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Rashid; Kemper, A F; Cao, Chao; Cheng, H P

    2013-04-28

    First-principles calculations are used to study the enhanced in-plane conductivity observed experimentally in Br-doped graphite, and to study the effect of external stress on the structure and functionality of such systems. The model used in the numerical calculations is that of stage two doped graphite. The band structure near the Fermi surface of the doped systems with different bromine concentrations is compared to that of pure graphite, and the charge transfer between carbon and bromine atoms is analyzed to understand the conductivity change along different high symmetry directions. Our calculations show that, for large interlayer separation between doped graphite layers, bromine is stable in the molecular form (Br2). However, with increased compression (decreased layer-layer separation) Br2 molecules tend to dissociate. While in both forms, bromine is an electron acceptor. The charge exchange between the graphite layers and Br atoms is higher than that with Br2 molecules. Electron transfer to the Br atoms increases the number of hole carriers in the graphite sheets, resulting in an increase of conductivity. PMID:23635160

  8. Structure and function of carbonic anhydrases.

    PubMed

    Supuran, Claudiu T

    2016-07-15

    Carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 4.2.1.1) catalyse the interconversion between CO2 and bicarbonate as well as other hydrolytic reactions. Among the six genetic families known to date, the α-, β-, γ-, δ-, ζ- and η-CAs, detailed kinetic and X-ray crystallographic studies have allowed a deep understanding of the structure-function relationship in this superfamily of proteins. A metal hydroxide nucleophilic species of the enzyme, and a unique active site architecture, with half of it hydrophilic and the opposing part hydrophobic, allow these enzymes to act as some of the most effective catalysts known in Nature. The CA activation and inhibition mechanisms are also known in detail, with a large number of new inhibitor classes being described in the last years. Apart from the zinc binders, some classes of inhibitors anchor to the metal ion coordinated nucleophile, others occlude the entrance of the active site cavity and more recently, compounds binding outside the active site were described. CA inhibition has therapeutic applications for drugs acting as diuretics, antiepileptics, antiglaucoma, antiobesity and antitumour agents. Targeting such enzymes from pathogens may lead to novel anti-infectives. Successful structure-based drug design campaigns allowed the discovery of highly isoform selective CA inhibitors (CAIs), which may lead to a new generation of drugs targeting these widespread enzymes. The use of CAs in CO2 capture processes for mitigating the global temperature rise has also been investigated more recently. PMID:27407171

  9. Acetylcholinesterase: From 3D Structure to Function

    PubMed Central

    Dvir, Hay; Silman, Israel; Harel, Michal; Rosenberry, Terrone L.; Sussman, Joel L.

    2010-01-01

    By rapid hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, acetylcholinesterase terminates neurotransmission at cholinergic synapses. Acetylcholinesterase is a very fast enzyme, functioning at a rate approaching that of a diffusion-controlled reaction. The powerful toxicity of organophosphate poisons is attributed primarily to their potent inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are utilized in the treatment of various neurological disorders, and are the principal drugs approved thus far by the FDA for management of Alzheimer’s disease. Many organophosphates and carbamates serve as potent insecticides, by selectively inhibiting insect acetylcholinesterase. The determination of the crystal structure of Torpedo californica acetylcholinesterase permitted visualization, for the first time, at atomic resolution, of a binding pocket for acetylcholine. It also allowed identification of the active site of acetylcholinesterase, which, unexpectedly, is located at the bottom of a deep gorge lined largely by aromatic residues. The crystal structure of recombinant human acetylcholinesterase in its apo-state is similar in its overall features to that of the Torpedo enzyme; however, the unique crystal packing reveals a novel peptide sequence which blocks access to the active-site gorge. PMID:20138030

  10. Bromodomains: Structure, function and pharmacology of inhibition.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Elena; Petosa, Carlo; McKenna, Charles E

    2016-04-15

    Bromodomains are epigenetic readers of histone acetylation involved in chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. The human proteome comprises 46 bromodomain-containing proteins with a total of 61 bromodomains, which, despite highly conserved structural features, recognize a wide array of natural peptide ligands. Over the past five years, bromodomains have attracted great interest as promising new epigenetic targets for diverse human diseases, including inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The demonstration in 2010 that two small molecule compounds, JQ1 and I-BET762, potently inhibit proteins of the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family with translational potential for cancer and inflammatory disease sparked intense efforts in academia and pharmaceutical industry to develop novel bromodomain antagonists for therapeutic applications. Several BET inhibitors are already in clinical trials for hematological malignancies, solid tumors and cardiovascular disease. Currently, the field faces the challenge of single-target selectivity, especially within the BET family, and of overcoming problems related to the development of drug resistance. At the same time, new trends in bromodomain inhibitor research are emerging, including an increased interest in non-BET bromodomains and a focus on drug synergy with established antitumor agents to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy. This review presents an updated view of the structure and function of bromodomains, traces the development of bromodomain inhibitors and their potential therapeutic applications, and surveys the current challenges and future directions of this vibrant new field in drug discovery. PMID:26707800

  11. Structure and functionality of bromine doped graphite

    SciTech Connect

    Hamdan, Rashid; Kemper, A. F.; Cao Chao; Cheng, H. P.

    2013-04-28

    First-principles calculations are used to study the enhanced in-plane conductivity observed experimentally in Br-doped graphite, and to study the effect of external stress on the structure and functionality of such systems. The model used in the numerical calculations is that of stage two doped graphite. The band structure near the Fermi surface of the doped systems with different bromine concentrations is compared to that of pure graphite, and the charge transfer between carbon and bromine atoms is analyzed to understand the conductivity change along different high symmetry directions. Our calculations show that, for large interlayer separation between doped graphite layers, bromine is stable in the molecular form (Br{sub 2}). However, with increased compression (decreased layer-layer separation) Br{sub 2} molecules tend to dissociate. While in both forms, bromine is an electron acceptor. The charge exchange between the graphite layers and Br atoms is higher than that with Br{sub 2} molecules. Electron transfer to the Br atoms increases the number of hole carriers in the graphite sheets, resulting in an increase of conductivity.

  12. Hierarchical microimaging of bone structure and function.

    PubMed

    Müller, Ralph

    2009-07-01

    With recent advances in molecular medicine and disease treatment in osteoporosis, quantitative image processing of three-dimensional bone structures is critical in the context of bone quality assessment. Biomedical imaging technology such as MRI or CT is readily available, but few attempts have been made to expand the capabilities of these systems by integrating quantitative analysis tools and by exploring structure-function relationships in a hierarchical fashion. Nevertheless, such quantitative end points are an important factor for success in basic research and in the development of novel therapeutic strategies. CT is key to these developments, as it images and quantifies bone in three dimensions and provides multiscale biological imaging capabilities with isotropic resolutions of a few millimeters (clinical CT), a few tens of micrometers (microCT) and even as high as 100 nanometers (nanoCT). The technology enables the assessment of the relationship between microstructural and ultrastructural measures of bone quality and certain diseases or therapies. This Review focuses on presenting strategies for three-dimensional approaches to hierarchical biomechanical imaging in the study of microstructural and ultrastructural bone failure. From this Review, it can be concluded that biomechanical imaging is extremely valuable for the study of bone failure mechanisms at different hierarchical levels. PMID:19568252

  13. PREFACE: Structure and Function of Biomolecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cieplak, Marek; Sienkiewicz, Andrzej

    2005-05-01

    The Workshop on the Structure and Function of Biomolecules took place in Bedlewo near Poznan, Poland, on 13-15 May 2004, two weeks after Poland joined the European Community. The Workshop was sponsored by the ASPECT Centre of Excellence for Advanced Spectroscopy Applications in Physics, Modern Science, Biology and Environmental Protection (the European Community contract GMA1-2002-72801) and by the Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences. The Workshop gathered together approximately 100 participants mostly from the European Community but also from Canada, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA. The scientific aim of this Workshop was to provide an active forum for cross-disciplinary interactions between specialists who are active in different fields related to biomolecules, with an emphasis on proteins and nucleic acids. The workshop covered both experimental and theoretical issues. The subjects that were discussed included: mechanical stretching of biomolecules, protein kinetics and structure, aggregation of biomolecules, and novel spectroscopic methods for studying protein conformation. There were 36 invited lectures and 33 poster contributions presented at the Workshop. This Special Issue of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter contains a sample of the research presented at the Workshop.

  14. Linking Functional Domains of the Human Insulin Receptor with the Bacterial Aspartate Receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, Leland; Morgan, David O.; Koshland, Daniel E.; Clauser, Eric; Moe, Gregory R.; Bollag, Gideon; Roth, Richard A.; Rutter, William J.

    1986-11-01

    A hybrid receptor has been constructed that is composed of the extracellular domain of the human insulin receptor fused to the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of the bacterial aspartate chemoreceptor. This hybrid protein can be expressed in rodent (CHO) cells and displays several functional features comparable to wild-type insulin receptor. It is localized to the cell surface, binds insulin with high affinity, forms oligomers, and is recognized by conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies. Although most of the expressed protein accumulates as a 180-kDa proreceptor, some processed 135-kDa receptor can be detected on the cell surface by covalent cross-linking. Expression of the hybrid receptor inhibits the insulin-activated uptake of 2-deoxyglucose by CHO cells. Thus, this hybrid is partially functional and can be processed; however, it is incapable of native transmembrane signaling. The results indicate that the intact domains of different types of receptors can retain some of the native features in a hybrid molecule but specific requirements will need to be satisfied for transmembrane signaling.

  15. PDGFRβ expression and function in fibroblasts derived from pluripotent cells is linked to DNA demethylation

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, Kyle J.; Shamis, Yulia; Knight, Elana; Smith, Avi; Maione, Anna; Alt-Holland, Addy; Sheridan, Steven D.; Haggarty, Stephen J.; Garlick, Jonathan A.

    2012-01-01

    Platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta (PDGFRβ) is required for the development of mesenchymal cell types, and plays a diverse role in the function of fibroblasts in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. In this study, we characterized the expression of PDGFRβ in fibroblasts derived from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and showed that this expression is important for cellular functions such as migration, extracellular matrix production and assembly in 3D self-assembled tissues. To determine potential regulatory regions predictive of expression of PDGFRβ following differentiation from ESCs and iPSCs, we analyzed the DNA methylation status of a region of the PDGFRB promoter that contains multiple CpG sites, before and after differentiation. We demonstrated that this promoter region is extensively demethylated following differentiation, and represents a developmentally regulated, differentially methylated region linked to PDGFRβ expression. Understanding the epigenetic regulation of genes such as PDGFRB, and identifying sites of active DNA demethylation, is essential for future applications of iPSC-derived fibroblasts for regenerative medicine. PMID:22344267

  16. Integrin-Linked Kinase Is Indispensable for Keratinocyte Differentiation and Epidermal Barrier Function.

    PubMed

    Sayedyahossein, Samar; Rudkouskaya, Alena; Leclerc, Valerie; Dagnino, Lina

    2016-02-01

    A functional permeability barrier is essential to prevent the passage of water and electrolytes, macromolecules, and pathogens through the epidermis. This is accomplished in terminally differentiated keratinocytes through formation of a cornified envelope and the assembly of tight intercellular junctions. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a scaffold protein essential for hair follicle morphogenesis and epidermal attachment to the basement membrane. However, the biological functions of ILK in differentiated keratinocytes remain poorly understood. Furthermore, whether ILK is implicated in keratinocyte differentiation and intercellular junction formation has remained an unresolved issue. Here we describe a pivotal role for ILK in keratinocyte differentiation responses to increased extracellular Ca(2+), regulation of adherens and tight junction assembly, and the formation of an outside-in permeability barrier toward macromolecules. In the absence of ILK, the calcium sensing receptor, E-cadherin, and ZO-1 fail to translocate to the cell membrane, through mechanisms that involve abnormalities in microtubules and in RhoA activation. In situ, ILK-deficient epidermis exhibits reduced tight junction formation and increased outside-in permeability to a dextran tracer, indicating reduced barrier properties toward macromolecules. Therefore, ILK is an essential component of keratinocyte differentiation programs that contribute to epidermal integrity and the establishment of its barrier properties. PMID:26967476

  17. An exploration of links between early parenting experiences and personality disorder type and disordered personality functioning.

    PubMed

    Parker, G; Roy, K; Wilhelm, K; Mitchell, P; Austin, M P; Hadzi-Pavlovic, D

    1999-01-01

    Reports of early parenting were assessed using two measures, the Parental Bonding Index (PBI) and the Measure of Parenting Style (MOPS), in a sample of 265 patients with DSM-defined major depressive disorder. Psychiatrists then rated the extent to which sample members evidenced the personality "styles" underpinning 15 separate personality disorders, returning personality vignette scores. The extent of disordered functioning was also assessed across "parameters" and "domains" by psychiatrists, referrers, and family members, using a range of measures. Those with higher scores on vignettes measuring borderline, anxious, depressive, and self-defeating personality style rated parents as uncaring, overcontrolling, and abusive. When vignettes were consolidated into scores akin to the DSM clusters, the most consistent links between perceived dysfunctional parenting were with the Cluster C (anxious), and Cluster B (dramatic) styles and were nonsignificant for Cluster A (eccentric) style. Meeting criteria for an increasing number of personality disorder clusters was associated with increasing levels of adverse parenting. Multiple regression analyses indicated that disordered functioning (as assessed by the three independent rater groups) was most distinctly associated with paternal indifference and maternal overcontrol. PMID:10633316

  18. Gamma oscillations in the midbrain spatial attention network: linking circuits to function.

    PubMed

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Knudsen, Eric I

    2015-04-01

    Gamma-band (25-140Hz) oscillations are ubiquitous in mammalian forebrain structures involved in sensory processing, attention, learning and memory. The optic tectum (OT) is the central structure in a midbrain network that participates critically in controlling spatial attention. In this review, we summarize recent advances in characterizing a neural circuit in this midbrain network that generates large amplitude, space-specific, gamma oscillations in the avian OT, both in vivo and in vitro. We describe key physiological and pharmacological mechanisms that produce and regulate the structure of these oscillations. The extensive similarities between midbrain gamma oscillations in birds and those in the neocortex and hippocampus of mammals, offer important insights into the functional significance of a midbrain gamma oscillatory code. PMID:25485519

  19. Gamma oscillations in the midbrain spatial attention network: linking circuits to function

    PubMed Central

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Knudsen, Eric I

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-band (25–140 Hz) oscillations are ubiquitous in mammalian forebrain structures involved in sensory processing, attention, learning and memory. The optic tectum (OT) is the central structure in a midbrain network that participates critically in controlling spatial attention. In this review, we summarize recent advances in characterizing a neural circuit in this midbrain network that generates large amplitude, space-specific, gamma oscillations in the avian OT, both in vivo and in vitro. We describe key physiological and pharmacological mechanisms that produce and regulate the structure of these oscillations. The extensive similarities between midbrain gamma oscillations in birds and those in the neocortex and hippocampus of mammals, offer important insights into the functional significance of a midbrain gamma oscillatory code. PMID:25485519

  20. Links between Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Young Children with Autism: Clues to Developmental Primacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    There has been much theoretical discussion of a functional link between theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) in autism. This study sought to establish the relationship between ToM and EF in young children with autism (M = 5 years, 6 months) and to examine issues of developmental primacy. Thirty children with autism and 40 typically…

  1. Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity.

    PubMed

    Rabbi, S M F; Daniel, H; Lockwood, P V; Macdonald, C; Pereg, L; Tighe, M; Wilson, B R; Young, I M

    2016-01-01

    Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250-2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53-250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Micro-aggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes. PMID:27615807

  2. The abundant symmetry structure of hierarchies of nonlinear equations obtained by reciprocal links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carillo, Sandra; Fuchssteiner, Benno

    1989-07-01

    Explicit computation for a Kawamoto-type equation shows that there is a rich associated symmetry structure for four separate hierarchies of nonlinear integrodifferential equations. Contrary to the general belief that symmetry groups for nonlinear evolution equations in 1+1 dimensions have to be Abelian, it is shown that, in this case, the symmetry group is noncommutative. Its semisimple part is isomorphic to the affine Lie algebra A(1)1 associated to sl(2,C). In two of the additional hierarchies that were found, an explicit dependence of the independent variable occurs. Surprisingly, the generic invariance for the Kawamoto-type equation obtained in Rogers and Carillo [Phys. Scr. 36, 865 (1987)] via a reciprocal link to the Möbius invariance of the singularity equation of the Kaup-Kupershmidt (KK) equation only holds for one of the additional hierarchies of symmetry groups. Thus the generic invariance is not a universal property for the complete symmetry group of equations obtained by reciprocal links. In addition to these results, the bi-Hamiltonian formulation of the hierarchy is given. A direct Bäcklund transformation between the (KK) hierarchy and the hierarchy of singularity equation for the Caudrey-Dodd-Gibbon-Sawada-Kotera equation is exhibited: This shows that the abundant symmetry structure found for the Kawamoto equation must exist for all fifth-order equations, which are known to be completely integrable since these equations are connected either by Bäcklund transformations or reciprocal links. It is shown that similar results must hold for all hierarchies emerging out of singularity hierarchies via reciprocal links. Furthermore, general aspects of the results are discussed.

  3. Spatial patterns and links between microbial community composition and function in cyanobacterial mats

    PubMed Central

    Al-Najjar, Mohammad A. A.; Ramette, Alban; Kühl, Michael; Hamza, Waleed; Klatt, Judith M.; Polerecky, Lubos

    2014-01-01

    We imaged reflectance and variable fluorescence in 25 cyanobacterial mats from four distant sites around the globe to assess, at different scales of resolution, spatial variabilities in the physiological parameters characterizing their photosynthetic capacity, including the absorptivity by chlorophyll a (Achl), maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis (Ymax), and light acclimation irradiance (Ik). Generally, these parameters significantly varied within individual mats on a sub-millimeter scale, with about 2-fold higher variability in the vertical than in the horizontal direction. The average vertical profiles of Ymax and Ik decreased with depth in the mat, while Achl exhibited a sub-surface maximum. The within-mat variability was comparable to, but often larger than, the between-sites variability, whereas the within-site variabilities (i.e., between samples from the same site) were generally lowest. When compared based on averaged values of their photosynthetic parameters, mats clustered according to their site of origin. Similar clustering was found when the community composition of the mats' cyanobacterial layers were compared by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), indicating a significant link between the microbial community composition and function. Although this link is likely the result of community adaptation to the prevailing site-specific environmental conditions, our present data is insufficient to identify the main factors determining these patterns. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that the spatial variability in the photosynthetic capacity and light acclimation of benthic phototrophic microbial communities is at least as large on a sub-millimeter scale as it is on a global scale, and suggests that this pattern of variability scaling is similar for the microbial community composition. PMID:25147548

  4. Metabolically Driven Self-Restoration of Energy-Linked Functions by Avocado Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Li-Shar; Romani, Roger J.

    1991-01-01

    To assess the restorative capacity of isolated avocado (Persea americana) fruit mitochondria, the organelles were first aged in the absence of an energy source at 25°C for several hours until respiratory control and oxidative phosphorylation were greatly diminished or totally lost. Energy-linked functions were then gradually restored over a period of several hours after the addition of substrate. Restoration of respiratory control resulted from both an increase in state 3 and a decrease in state 4 respiratory rates. Either α-ketoglutarate or succinate served as restorants, each with distinctive rates of recovery in state 3 and state 4 respiration. ATP also served as a restorative agent but not as effectively as metabolizable substrate. ATP synthase activity was modulated by stress and restoration but neither the extent nor the rate of change was sufficient to constrain state 3 rates. Orthophosphate was released from the mitochondria during substrate-deprived stress. Restoration of phosphorylation preceded that of RC with phosphate uptake and phosphorylation being evident immediately upon the addition of substrate. During restoration [32P]orthophosphate was incorporated into several organic fractions: phospholipid, ATP, a trichloroacetic acid-precipitable mitochondrial fraction, and an organophosphate that accumulated in the medium in relatively large amounts. The organophosphate was tentatively identified as a hexosephosphate. Incorporation into ATP and the putative hexosephosphate continued unabated beyond the point of maximum restoration. Phosphate metabolism thus appears to be a necessary but not sufficient precondition for mitochondrial restoration and maintenance. Based on the recovery kinetics of the various phosphorylated components, the mitochondrial-bound fraction appears to be most directly linked with restoration. Results are discussed with reference to specific characteristics and components of self-restoration and to possible underlying mechanisms

  5. Structural changes in soil communities after triclopyr application in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link.

    PubMed

    Souza-Alonso, Pablo; Guisande, Alejandra; González, Luís

    2015-01-01

    Triclopyr is a commonly used herbicide in the control of woody plants and can exhibit toxic effects to soil microorganisms. However, the impact on soils invaded by plant exotics has not yet been addressed. Here, we present the results of an 18-month field study conducted to evaluate the impact of triclopyr on the structure of fungal and bacterial communities in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link, through the use of denature gradient gel electrophoresis. After triclopyr application, analyses of bacterial fingerprints suggested a change in the structure of the soil bacterial community, whereas the structure of the soil fungal community remained unaltered. Bacterial density and F:B ratio values changed across the year but were not altered due to herbicide spraying. On the contrary, fungal diversity was increased in plots sprayed with triclopyr 5 months after the first application. Richness and diversity (H') of both bacteria and fungi were not modified after triclopyr application. PMID:25602151

  6. An Integrated Chemical Cross-linking and Mass Spectrometry Approach to Study Protein Complex Architecture and Function*

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jie; Fishburn, James; Hahn, Steven; Ranish, Jeffrey

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of protein structures and protein-protein interactions is essential for understanding biological processes. Chemical cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry is an attractive approach for studying protein-protein interactions and protein structure, but to date its use has been limited largely by low yields of informative cross-links (because of inefficient cross-linking reactions) and by the difficulty of confidently identifying the sequences of cross-linked peptide pairs from their fragmentation spectra. Here we present an approach based on a new MS labile cross-linking reagent, BDRG (biotin-aspartate-Rink-glycine), which addresses these issues. BDRG incorporates a biotin handle (for enrichment of cross-linked peptides prior to MS analysis), two pentafluorophenyl ester groups that react with peptide amines, and a labile Rink-based bond between the pentafluorophenyl groups that allows cross-linked peptides to be separated during MS and confidently identified by database searching of their fragmentation spectra. We developed a protocol for the identification of BDRG cross-linked peptides derived from purified or partially purified protein complexes, including software to aid in the identification of different classes of cross-linker-modified peptides. Importantly, our approach permits the use of high accuracy precursor mass measurements to verify the database search results. We demonstrate the utility of the approach by applying it to purified yeast TFIIE, a heterodimeric transcription factor complex, and to a single-step affinity-purified preparation of the 12-subunit RNA polymerase II complex. The results show that the method is effective at identifying cross-linked peptides derived from purified and partially purified protein complexes and provides complementary information to that from other structural approaches. As such, it is an attractive approach to study the topology of protein complexes. PMID:22067100

  7. Bacterial structures and ecosystem functions in glaciated floodplains: contemporary states and potential future shifts.

    PubMed

    Freimann, Remo; Bürgmann, Helmut; Findlay, Stuart E G; Robinson, Christopher T

    2013-12-01

    Glaciated alpine floodplains are responding quickly to climate change through shrinking ice masses. Given the expected future changes in their physicochemical environment, we anticipated variable shifts in structure and ecosystem functioning of hyporheic microbial communities in proglacial alpine streams, depending on present community characteristics and landscape structures. We examined microbial structure and functioning during different hydrologic periods in glacial (kryal) streams and, as contrasting systems, groundwater-fed (krenal) streams. Three catchments were chosen to cover an array of landscape features, including interconnected lakes, differences in local geology and degree of deglaciation. Community structure was assessed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and microbial function by potential enzyme activities. We found each catchment to contain a distinct bacterial community structure and different degrees of separation in structure and functioning that were linked to the physicochemical properties of the waters within each catchment. Bacterial communities showed high functional plasticity, although achieved by different strategies in each system. Typical kryal communities showed a strong linkage of structure and function that indicated a major prevalence of specialists, whereas krenal sediments were dominated by generalists. With the rapid retreat of glaciers and therefore altered ecohydrological characteristics, lotic microbial structure and functioning are likely to change substantially in proglacial floodplains in the future. The trajectory of these changes will vary depending on contemporary bacterial community characteristics and landscape structures that ultimately determine the sustainability of ecosystem functioning. PMID:23842653

  8. Bacterial structures and ecosystem functions in glaciated floodplains: contemporary states and potential future shifts

    PubMed Central

    Freimann, Remo; Bürgmann, Helmut; Findlay, Stuart EG; Robinson, Christopher T

    2013-01-01

    Glaciated alpine floodplains are responding quickly to climate change through shrinking ice masses. Given the expected future changes in their physicochemical environment, we anticipated variable shifts in structure and ecosystem functioning of hyporheic microbial communities in proglacial alpine streams, depending on present community characteristics and landscape structures. We examined microbial structure and functioning during different hydrologic periods in glacial (kryal) streams and, as contrasting systems, groundwater-fed (krenal) streams. Three catchments were chosen to cover an array of landscape features, including interconnected lakes, differences in local geology and degree of deglaciation. Community structure was assessed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and microbial function by potential enzyme activities. We found each catchment to contain a distinct bacterial community structure and different degrees of separation in structure and functioning that were linked to the physicochemical properties of the waters within each catchment. Bacterial communities showed high functional plasticity, although achieved by different strategies in each system. Typical kryal communities showed a strong linkage of structure and function that indicated a major prevalence of specialists, whereas krenal sediments were dominated by generalists. With the rapid retreat of glaciers and therefore altered ecohydrological characteristics, lotic microbial structure and functioning are likely to change substantially in proglacial floodplains in the future. The trajectory of these changes will vary depending on contemporary bacterial community characteristics and landscape structures that ultimately determine the sustainability of ecosystem functioning. PMID:23842653

  9. Engineering of the function of diamond-like carbon binding peptides through structural design.

    PubMed

    Gabryelczyk, Bartosz; Szilvay, Géza R; Singh, Vivek K; Mikkilä, Joona; Kostiainen, Mauri A; Koskinen, Jari; Linder, Markus B

    2015-02-01

    The use of phage display to select material-specific peptides provides a general route towards modification and functionalization of surfaces and interfaces. However, a rational structural engineering of the peptides for optimal affinity is typically not feasible because of insufficient structure-function understanding. Here, we investigate the influence of multivalency of diamond-like carbon (DLC) binding peptides on binding characteristics. We show that facile linking of peptides together using different lengths of spacers and multivalency leads to a tuning of affinity and kinetics. Notably, increased length of spacers in divalent systems led to significantly increased affinities. Making multimers influenced also kinetic aspects of surface competition. Additionally, the multivalent peptides were applied as surface functionalization components for a colloidal form of DLC. The work suggests the use of a set of linking systems to screen parameters for functional optimization of selected material-specific peptides. PMID:25522202

  10. Structure of the sirtuin-linked macrodomain SAV0325 from Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Appel, C Denise; Feld, Geoffrey K; Wallace, Bret D; Williams, R Scott

    2016-09-01

    Cells use the post-translational modification ADP-ribosylation to control a host of biological activities. In some pathogenic bacteria, an operon-encoded mono-ADP-ribosylation cycle mediates response to host-induced oxidative stress. In this system, reversible mono ADP-ribosylation of a lipoylated target protein represses oxidative stress response. An NAD(+) -dependent sirtuin catalyzes the single ADP-ribose (ADPr) addition, while a linked macrodomain-containing protein removes the ADPr. Here we report the crystal structure of the sitruin-linked macrodomain protein from Staphylococcus aureus, SauMacro (also known as SAV0325) to 1.75-Å resolution. The monomeric SauMacro bears a previously unidentified Zn(2+) -binding site that putatively aids in substrate recognition and catalysis. An amino-terminal three-helix bundle motif unique to this class of macrodomain proteins provides a structural scaffold for the Zn(2+) site. Structural features of the enzyme further indicate a cleft proximal to the Zn(2+) binding site appears well suited for ADPr binding, while a deep hydrophobic channel in the protein core is suitable for binding the lipoate of the lipoylated protein target. PMID:27345688

  11. Structural basis for the RING catalyzed synthesis of K63 linked ubiquitin chains

    PubMed Central

    Branigan, Emma; Plechanovová, Anna; Jaffray, Ellis; Naismith, James H.; Hay, Ronald T.

    2015-01-01

    The RING E3 ligase catalysed formation of lysine 63 linked ubiquitin chains by the Ube2V2–Ubc13 E2 complex is required for many important biological processes. Here we report the structure of the RING domain dimer of rat RNF4 in complex with a human Ubc13~Ub conjugate and Ube2V2. The structure has captured Ube2V2 bound to the acceptor (priming) ubiquitin with Lys63 in a position that could lead to attack on the linkage between the donor (second) ubiquitin and Ubc13 that is held in the active “folded back” conformation by the RING domain of RNF4. The interfaces identified in the structure were verified by in vitro ubiquitination assays of site directed mutants. This represents the first view of the synthesis of Lys63 linked ubiquitin chains in which both substrate ubiquitin and ubiquitin-loaded E2 are juxtaposed to allow E3 ligase mediated catalysis. PMID:26148049

  12. Structural basis for the RING-catalyzed synthesis of K63-linked ubiquitin chains.

    PubMed

    Branigan, Emma; Plechanovová, Anna; Jaffray, Ellis G; Naismith, James H; Hay, Ronald T

    2015-08-01

    RING E3 ligase-catalyzed formation of K63-linked ubiquitin chains by the Ube2V2-Ubc13 E2 complex is required in many important biological processes. Here we report the structure of the RING-domain dimer of rat RNF4 in complex with a human Ubc13∼Ub conjugate and Ube2V2. The structure has captured Ube2V2 bound to the acceptor (priming) ubiquitin with K63 in a position favorable for attack on the linkage between Ubc13 and the donor (second) ubiquitin held in the active 'folded back' conformation by the RING domain of RNF4. We verified the interfaces identified in the structure by in vitro ubiquitination assays of site-directed mutants. To our knowledge, this represents the first view of synthesis of K63-linked ubiquitin chains in which both substrate ubiquitin and ubiquitin-loaded E2 are juxtaposed to allow E3 ligase-mediated catalysis. PMID:26148049

  13. Linking Carbonic Anhydrase Abundance and Diversity in Soils to Ecological Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, E.; Meredith, L. K.; Welander, P. V.

    2015-12-01

    Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is an ancient enzyme widespread among bacteria, archaea, and eukarya that catalyzes the following reaction: CO2 + H2O ⇌ HCO3- + H+. Its functions are critical for key cellular processes such as concentrating CO2 for autotrophic growth, pH regulation, and pathogen survival in hosts. Currently, there are six known CA classes (α, β, γ, δ, η, ζ) arising from several distinct evolutionary lineages. CA are widespread in sequenced genomes, with many organisms containing multiple classes of CA or multiple CA of the same class. Soils host rich microbial communities with diverse and important ecological functions, but the diversity and abundance of CA in soils has not been explored. CA appears to play an important, but poorly understood, role in some biogeochemical cycles such as those of CO2 and its oxygen isotope composition and also carbonyl sulfide (COS), which are potential tracers in predictive carbon cycle models. Recognizing the prevalence and functional significance of CA in soils, we used a combined bioinformatics and molecular biology approach to address fundamental questions regarding the abundance, diversity, and function of CA in soils. To characterize the abundance and diversity of the different CA classes in soils, we analyzed existing soil metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data from the DOE Joint Genome Institute databases. Out of the six classes of CA, we only found the α, β, and γ classes to be present in soils, with the β class being the most abundant. We also looked at genomes of sequenced soil microorganisms to learn what combination of CA classes they contain, from which we can begin to predict the physiological role of CA. To characterize the functional roles of the different CA classes in soils, we collected soil samples from a variety of biomes with diverse chemical and physical properties and quantified the rate of two CA-mediated processes: soil uptake of COS and acceleration of the oxygen isotope exchange

  14. Energy-band structure and intrinsic coherent properties in two weakly linked Bose-Einstein condensates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Yunbo; Liang, J.-Q.

    2003-06-01

    The energy-band structure and energy splitting due to quantum tunneling in two weakly linked Bose-Einstein condensates were calculated by using the instanton method. The intrinsic coherent properties of Bose-Josephson junction (BJJ) were investigated in terms of energy splitting. For EC/EJ≪1, the energy splitting is small and the system is globally phase coherent. In the opposite limit, EC/EJ≫1, the energy splitting is large and the system becomes phase dissipated. Our results suggest that one should investigate the coherence phenomena of BJJ in proper condition such as EC/EJ˜1.

  15. Structure and function of mammalian aldehyde oxidases.

    PubMed

    Terao, Mineko; Romão, Maria João; Leimkühler, Silke; Bolis, Marco; Fratelli, Maddalena; Coelho, Catarina; Santos-Silva, Teresa; Garattini, Enrico

    2016-04-01

    Mammalian aldehyde oxidases (AOXs; EC1.2.3.1) are a group of conserved proteins belonging to the family of molybdo-flavoenzymes along with the structurally related xanthine dehydrogenase enzyme. AOXs are characterized by broad substrate specificity, oxidizing not only aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes into the corresponding carboxylic acids, but also hydroxylating a series of heteroaromatic rings. The number of AOX isoenzymes expressed in different vertebrate species is variable. The two extremes are represented by humans, which express a single enzyme (AOX1) in many organs and mice or rats which are characterized by tissue-specific expression of four isoforms (AOX1, AOX2, AOX3, and AOX4). In vertebrates each AOX isoenzyme is the product of a distinct gene consisting of 35 highly conserved exons. The extant species-specific complement of AOX isoenzymes is the result of a complex evolutionary process consisting of a first phase characterized by a series of asynchronous gene duplications and a second phase where the pseudogenization and gene deletion events prevail. In the last few years remarkable advances in the elucidation of the structural characteristics and the catalytic mechanisms of mammalian AOXs have been made thanks to the successful crystallization of human AOX1 and mouse AOX3. Much less is known about the physiological function and physiological substrates of human AOX1 and other mammalian AOX isoenzymes, although the importance of these proteins in xenobiotic metabolism is fairly well established and their relevance in drug development is increasing. This review article provides an overview and a discussion of the current knowledge on mammalian AOX. PMID:26920149

  16. On the fundamental structure of Galois switching functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benjauthrit, B.; Reed, I. S.

    1977-01-01

    It is shown that the fundamental structure of Galois switching functions follows naturally from that of Boolean switching functions. An expanded formula for deriving multimomial Galois switching functions is provided with illustrations of its application.

  17. Structural Analysis and Mechanical Characterization of Hyaluronic Acid-Based Doubly Cross-Linked Networks

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Amit K.; Hule, Rohan A.; Jiao, Tong; Teller, Sean S.; Clifton, Rodney J.; Duncan, Randall L.; Pochan, Darrin J.; Jia, Xinqiao

    2009-01-01

    We have created a new class of hyaluronic acid (HA)-based hydrogel materials with HA hydrogel particles (HGPs) embedded in and covalently cross-linked to a secondary network. HA HGPs with an average diameter of ∼900 nm and narrow particle size distribution were synthesized using a refined reverse micelle polymerization technique. The average mesh size of the HGPs was estimated to be approximately 5.5 to 7.0 nm by a protein uptake experiment. Sodium periodate oxidation not only introduced aldehyde groups to the particles but also reduced the average particle size. The aldehyde groups generated were used as reactive handles for subsequent cross-linking with an HA derivative containing hydrazide groups. The resulting macroscopic gels contain two distinct hierarchical networks (doubly cross-linked networks, DXNs): one within individual particles and another among different particles. Bulk gels (BGs) formed by direct mixing of HA derivatives with mutually reactive groups were included for comparison. The hydrogel microstructures were collectively characterized by microscopy and neutron scattering techniques. Their viscoelasticity was quantified at low frequencies (0.1−10 Hz) using a controlled stress rheometer and at high frequencies (up to 200 Hz) with a home-built torsional wave apparatus. Both BGs and DXNs are stable elastic gels that become stiffer at higher frequencies. The HA-based DXN offers unique structural hierarchy and mechanical properties that are suitable for soft tissue regeneration. PMID:20046226

  18. Structural Analysis and Mechanical Characterization of Hyaluronic Acid-Based Doubly Cross-Linked Networks.

    PubMed

    Jha, Amit K; Hule, Rohan A; Jiao, Tong; Teller, Sean S; Clifton, Rodney J; Duncan, Randall L; Pochan, Darrin J; Jia, Xinqiao

    2009-01-01

    We have created a new class of hyaluronic acid (HA)-based hydrogel materials with HA hydrogel particles (HGPs) embedded in and covalently cross-linked to a secondary network. HA HGPs with an average diameter of ∼900 nm and narrow particle size distribution were synthesized using a refined reverse micelle polymerization technique. The average mesh size of the HGPs was estimated to be approximately 5.5 to 7.0 nm by a protein uptake experiment. Sodium periodate oxidation not only introduced aldehyde groups to the particles but also reduced the average particle size. The aldehyde groups generated were used as reactive handles for subsequent cross-linking with an HA derivative containing hydrazide groups. The resulting macroscopic gels contain two distinct hierarchical networks (doubly cross-linked networks, DXNs): one within individual particles and another among different particles. Bulk gels (BGs) formed by direct mixing of HA derivatives with mutually reactive groups were included for comparison. The hydrogel microstructures were collectively characterized by microscopy and neutron scattering techniques. Their viscoelasticity was quantified at low frequencies (0.1-10 Hz) using a controlled stress rheometer and at high frequencies (up to 200 Hz) with a home-built torsional wave apparatus. Both BGs and DXNs are stable elastic gels that become stiffer at higher frequencies. The HA-based DXN offers unique structural hierarchy and mechanical properties that are suitable for soft tissue regeneration. PMID:20046226

  19. Chemical and structural characterization of interstrand cross-links formed between abasic sites and adenine residues in duplex DNA

    PubMed Central

    Price, Nathan E.; Catalano, Michael J.; Liu, Shuo; Wang, Yinsheng; Gates, Kent S.

    2015-01-01

    A new type of interstrand DNA–DNA cross-link between abasic (Ap) sites and 2′-deoxyadenosine (dA) residues was recently reported, but the chemical structure and properties of this lesion were not rigorously established. Here we characterized the nucleoside cross-link remnant released by enzymatic digestion of duplex DNA containing the dA-Ap cross-link. A synthetic standard was prepared for the putative nucleoside cross-link remnant 6 in which the anomeric carbon of the 2-deoxyribose residue was connected to the exocyclic N6-amino group of dA. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis showed that the synthetic material 6 matched the authentic cross-link remnant released by enzymatic digestion of cross-linked DNA. These findings establish the chemical structure of the dA-Ap cross-link released from duplex DNA and may provide methods for the detection of this lesion in cellular DNA. Both the nucleoside cross-link remnant 6 and the cross-link in duplex DNA were quite stable at pH 7 and 37°C, suggesting that the dA-Ap cross-link could be a persistent lesion with the potential to block the action of various DNA processing enzymes. PMID:25779045

  20. Linking landscape structure and rainfall runoff behaviour in a thermodynamic optimality context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehe, Erwin; Ehret, Uwe; Blume, Theresa; Kleidon, Axel; Scherer, Ulrike; Westhoff, Martijn

    2015-04-01

    gradients, and thus a faster relaxation back towards local thermodynamic equilibrium. Thermodynamic optimality principles allow for a priory optimization of the resistance field at a given gradient, not in the sense how they exactly look like but in the sense how they function with respect to export and dissipation of free energy associated with rainfall runoff processes. Based on this framework we explored the possibility of independent predictions of rainfall runoff, in the sense that the a-priory optimum model structures should match independent observations. We found that spatially organized patterns of soils and macropores observed in two distinctly different landscapes are in close accordance with thermodynamic optima expressed either by minimized relaxation times towards local thermodynamic equilibrium in cohesive soils or as steady state in the potential energy of soil water in non-cohesive soils. Predicted rainfall runoff based on the two optimized model structures was in both catchments in acceptable accordance with independent discharge observations. However, the nature of these optima suggests there might be two distinctly different thermodynamically optimal regimes of rainfall runoff behaviour. In the capillary- or c--regime, free energy dynamics of soil water is dominated by changes in its capillary binding energy, which is the case for cohesive soils. Soil wetting during rainfall in the c-regime implies pushing the system back towards LTE, especially after long dry spells. Dead ended macropores (roots, worm burrows which end in the soil matrix) act as dissipative wetting structures by enlarging water flows against steep gradients in soil water potential after long dry spells. This implies accelerated depletion of these gradients and faster relaxation back towards LTE during rainfall runoff. In the c-regime several optimum macropore densities with respect to maximization of net reduction of free energy exist. This is because the governing equation is a second

  1. Spin Structure Function Measurements in Hall C at Jefferson Lab

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, Stephen A.

    2008-11-01

    This presentation introduces the spin structure functions and resonant spin structure, and it discusses the experimental approaches for studying spin structure via polarized electron beam interactions with frozen polarized proton and deuteron targets.

  2. Linking the structural properties of galaxies and their star formation histories with STAGES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyos, Carlos; Aragón-Salamanca, Alfonso; Gray, Meghan E.; Wolf, Christian; Maltby, David T.; Bell, Eric F.; Böhm, Asmus; Jogee, Shardha

    2016-01-01

    We study the links between star formation history and structure for a large mass-selected galaxy sample at 0.05 ≤ zphot ≤ 0.30. The galaxies inhabit a very broad range of environments, from cluster cores to the field. Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images, we quantify their structure following Hoyos et al., and divide them into disturbed and undisturbed. We also visually identify mergers. Additionally, we provide a quantitative measure of the degree of disturbance for each galaxy (`roughness'). The majority of elliptical and lenticular galaxies have relaxed structure, showing no signs of ongoing star formation. Structurally disturbed galaxies, which tend to avoid the lowest density regions, have higher star formation activity and younger stellar populations than undisturbed systems. Cluster spirals with reduced/quenched star formation have somewhat less disturbed morphologies than spirals with `normal' star formation activity, suggesting that these `passive' spirals have started their morphological transformation into S0s. Visually identified mergers and galaxies not identified as mergers but with similar roughness have similar specific star formation rates and stellar ages. The degree of enhanced star formation is thus linked to the degree of structural disturbance, regardless of whether it is caused by major mergers or not. This suggests that merging galaxies are not special in terms of their higher-than-normal star formation activity. Any physical process that produces `roughness', or regions of enhanced luminosity density, will increase the star formation activity in a galaxy with similar efficiency. An alternative explanation is that star formation episodes increase the galaxies' roughness similarly, regardless of whether they are merger induced or not.

  3. Structure-based inference of molecular functions of proteins of unknown function from Berkeley Structural Genomics Center

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sung-Hou; Shin, Dong Hae; Hou, Jingtong; Chandonia, John-Marc; Das, Debanu; Choi, In-Geol; Kim, Rosalind; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2007-09-02

    Advances in sequence genomics have resulted in an accumulation of a huge number of protein sequences derived from genome sequences. However, the functions of a large portion of them cannot be inferred based on the current methods of sequence homology detection to proteins of known functions. Three-dimensional structure can have an important impact in providing inference of molecular function (physical and chemical function) of a protein of unknown function. Structural genomics centers worldwide have been determining many 3-D structures of the proteins of unknown functions, and possible molecular functions of them have been inferred based on their structures. Combined with bioinformatics and enzymatic assay tools, the successful acceleration of the process of protein structure determination through high throughput pipelines enables the rapid functional annotation of a large fraction of hypothetical proteins. We present a brief summary of the process we used at the Berkeley Structural Genomics Center to infer molecular functions of proteins of unknown function.

  4. Characterization of rat leydig cell gonadotropin receptor structure by affinity cross-linking

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Q.Y.; Hwang, J.; Menon, K.M.J.

    1986-05-01

    The gonadotropin receptor from rat leydig cell has been characterized with respect to binding kinetics and physiological regulation. The present study was intended to examine the structure of the receptor. Leydig cell suspension was prepared by either collagenase digestion or by mechanical disruption of the testis. The cells were incubated with /sup 125/I-hCG and the unreacted hCG was removed by centrifugation. The /sup 125/I-hCG was then covalently linked to the cell surface receptor using cleavable (dithiobis (succinimidyl propionate)) and non-cleavable (disuccinimidyl suberate) cross-linking reagents. The extracted cross-linked membrane proteins were resolved on SDS-polyacrylamide gels under reducing and non-reducing conditions and subjected to autoradiographic analysis. Under non-reducing conditions, two labeled species with M/sub r/ = 87,000 and 120,000 were detected. However, only one labeled band was detected under reducing conditions with M/sub r/ = 64,000. The binding of /sup 125/I-hCG to the receptor was inhibited by hCG and LH, but not by a number of peptides and proteins. The data suggest that hCG receptor in leydig cell is an oligomeric complex consisting of four subunits, ..cap alpha cap alpha beta gamma... The ..beta.. and ..gamma.. subunits are each linked to an ..cap alpha.. subunit through disulfide linkage and the hormone binds to each ..cap alpha.. subunit. The two dimers formed (..cap alpha beta cap alpha gamma..) are associated by noncovalent interactions.

  5. Polarized and Unpolarized Structure Functions in the Valon Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arash, Firooz

    2006-02-01

    Hadrons are considered as the bound states of their structureful constituents, the Valons. The valon structure is calculated perturbatively in QCD; which is universal and independent of the hosting hadron. This structure is used to calculate Proton and pion structure functions. For the case of polarized structure function, the valon representation, not only gives all the available data on gp,n,d1, but also requires a sizable orbital angular momentum associated with the partonic structure of the valon.

  6. [Glutamate Metabotropic Receptors: Structure, Localisation, Functions].

    PubMed

    Perfilova, V N; Tyurenkov, I N

    2016-01-01

    The data on the structure, location and functions of the metabotropic glutamate receptor is shown. The family consists of 8 mGluRs subtypes and is divided into three groups: I group--mGluRs1/mGluRs5, II group--mGluRs2/mGluRs3, III group--mGluRs4/mGluRs6/mGluRs7/mGluRs8. They are associated with G-protein; signaling in the cells is carried out by IP3 or adenylate cyclase signaling pathways, in the result of which, mGluRs modify glial and neuronal excitability. Receptors are localized in the CNS and periphery in non-neuronal tissues: bone, heart, kidney, pancreas pod and platelets, the gastrointestinal tract, immune system. Their participation in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, mental and cognitive disorders, autoimmune processes, etc. is displayed. Agonists, antagonists, allosteric modulators of mGluRs are considered as potential medicines for treatment of mental diseases, including depression, fragile X syndrome, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, Parkinson's disease, etc. PMID:27530046

  7. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function.

    PubMed

    Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag

    2016-05-01

    There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype. PMID:26919895

  8. Yeast peroxisomes: structure, functions and biotechnological opportunities.

    PubMed

    Sibirny, Andriy A

    2016-06-01

    Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles found in most eukaryotic cells. In yeasts, peroxisomes play important roles in cell metabolism, especially in different catabolic processes including fatty acid β-oxidation, the glyoxylic shunt and methanol metabolism, as well as some biosynthetic processes. In addition, peroxisomes are the compartment in which oxidases and catalase are localized. New peroxisomes mainly arise by fission of pre-existing ones, although they can also be formed from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Peroxisomes consist of matrix-soluble proteins and membrane proteins known as peroxins. A total of 34 PEX peroxin genes and proteins have been identified to date. and their functions have been elucidated. Protein import into peroxisomes depends on peroxins and requires specific signals in the structure of transported proteins: PTS1, PTS2 and mPTS. The mechanisms of metabolite penetration into peroxisomes are still poorly understood. Peroxisome number and the volume occupied by these organelles are tightly regulated. Methanol, fatty acids and methylamine act as efficient peroxisome proliferators, whereas glucose and ethanol induce peroxisome autophagic degradation (pexophagy). To date, 42 Atg proteins involved in pexophagy are known. Catabolism and alcoholic fermentation of the major pentose sugar, xylose, depend on peroxisomal enzymes. Overexpression of peroxisomal transketolase and transaldolase activates xylose fermentation. Peroxisomes could be useful as target organelles for overexpression of foreign toxic proteins. PMID:27189367

  9. Anisotropic nanomaterials: structure, growth, assembly, and functions

    PubMed Central

    Sajanlal, Panikkanvalappil R.; Sreeprasad, Theruvakkattil S.; Samal, Akshaya K.; Pradeep, Thalappil

    2011-01-01

    Comprehensive knowledge over the shape of nanomaterials is a critical factor in designing devices with desired functions. Due to this reason, systematic efforts have been made to synthesize materials of diverse shape in the nanoscale regime. Anisotropic nanomaterials are a class of materials in which their properties are direction-dependent and more than one structural parameter is needed to describe them. Their unique and fine-tuned physical and chemical properties make them ideal candidates for devising new applications. In addition, the assembly of ordered one-dimensional (1D), two-dimensional (2D), and three-dimensional (3D) arrays of anisotropic nanoparticles brings novel properties into the resulting system, which would be entirely different from the properties of individual nanoparticles. This review presents an overview of current research in the area of anisotropic nanomaterials in general and noble metal nanoparticles in particular. We begin with an introduction to the advancements in this area followed by general aspects of the growth of anisotropic nanoparticles. Then we describe several important synthetic protocols for making anisotropic nanomaterials, followed by a summary of their assemblies, and conclude with major applications. PMID:22110867

  10. Crustal Structure beneath Mexico from Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espindola, V.; Quintanar, L.; Espindola, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN) is Mexico's official organism in charge of the observation of seismicity in the country. Operated by the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, it counts with 32 broadband stations deployed throughout the country. The coverage includes most of the geologic provinces of the territory, which vary widely in their geologic characteristics. The availability of records from teleseisms at those stations makes feasible to obtain sound and homogeneous estimates of the structure of the crust in the Mexican territory through the analysis of receiver functions (RF). In this work we present the results of the analysis of RF obtained from events registered from 1998 to 2009 in the 32 stations of the SSN. The RF technique, which uses converted phases at major velocity discontinuities, is a well established technique to infer the velocity contrasts and thickness of the underlying crust. Using this method we were able to infer the depth of the Moho, a major intracrustal discontinuity and in some cases the depth to the base of the subducting plate. We present maps of crustal thickness in Mexico, which varies between about 29 km in the Yucatan peninsula to more than 40 km in central Mexico. Poisson's coefficient varies between 0.19 and 0.30. The position of the descending slab shows a large variation in the subduction angle (from about 6° in the SE margin of the Pacific coast to about 60° in the NW ) as has been found from other techniques.

  11. Structure-function relations in flavodoxins.

    PubMed

    Simondsen, R P; Tollin, G

    1980-12-10

    Flavodoxins are low molecular weight, FMN containing, proteins which function as electron transfer agents in a variety of microbial metabolic processes, including nitrogen fixation. Utilizing structural information obtained from x-ray crystal analysis, it has been possible to derive some new and important insights into the relationships which exist between flavin properties and protein environment by comparing the spectroscopic, thermodynamic and kinetic behavior of the flavodoxins with that of free flavin. Thus, for example, a qualitative understanding of the contribution of the protein to flavin redox potentials, semiquinone reactivity and mechanism of electron transfer is beginning to emerge. The highly negative redox potential required for the biochemical activity of the flavodoxins is accomplished by stabilizing the semiquinone via a hydrogen bond to the N-5 position of the flavin and destabilizing the fully-reduced form by constraining it to assume an unfavorable planar conformation. The reactivity of the semiquinone form is lowered by the aforementioned hydrogen bond, as well as by an interaction with a tryptophan residue in the binding site. Electron transfer is accomplished through the exposed dimethylbenzene ring of the bound coenzyme. Although it is not possible at present to determine the extent to which this understanding can be generalized to other flavoproteins, it is clear that a study of the flavodoxins will provide us with at least some of the principles which biological systems have used to modify flavin properties to fulfill a biochemical need. PMID:6782445

  12. Structural and Functional Dissection of the Abp1 ADFH Actin-binding Domain Reveals Versatile In Vivo Adapter Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Quintero-Monzon,O.; Rodal, A.; Strokopytov, B.; Almo, S.; Goode, B.

    2005-01-01

    Abp1 is a multidomain protein that regulates the Arp2/3 complex and links proteins involved in endocytosis to the actin cytoskeleton. All of the proposed cellular functions of Abp1 involve actin filament binding, yet the actin binding site(s) on Abp1 have not been identified, nor has the importance of actin binding for Abp1 localization and function in vivo been tested. Here, we report the crystal structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Abp1 actin-binding actin depolymerizing factor homology (ADFH) domain and dissect its activities by mutagenesis. Abp1-ADFH domain and ADF/cofilin structures are similar, and they use conserved surfaces to bind actin; however, there are also key differences that help explain their differential effects on actin dynamics. Using point mutations, we demonstrate that actin binding is required for localization of Abp1 in vivo, the lethality caused by Abp1 overexpression, and the ability of Abp1 to activate Arp2/3 complex. Furthermore, we genetically uncouple ABP1 functions that overlap with SAC6, SLA1, and SLA2, showing they require distinct combinations of activities and interactions. Together, our data provide the first structural and functional view of the Abp1-actin interaction and show that Abp1 has distinct cellular roles as an adapter, linking different sets of ligands for each function.

  13. Nonoccupational environmental exposure to manganese is linked to deficits in peripheral and central olfactory function.

    PubMed

    Guarneros, Marco; Ortiz-Romo, Nahum; Alcaraz-Zubeldia, Mireya; Drucker-Colín, René; Hudson, Robyn

    2013-11-01

    Manganese is of growing concern as a toxic air pollutant. It is readily transported from the olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulb, and unlike other metals, it is transported transynaptically to structures deep within the brain. However, little is known regarding the possible effect of nonoccupational exposure to manganese on olfactory function. Using the Sniffin' Sticks test battery, we compared the olfactory performance of subjects from a manganese mining district living <1 km from a manganese processing plant, with nonexposed subjects living 50 km from the closest source of exposure (N = 30/group). Groups were matched for age, sex, and schooling, and none had ever worked in mining-related activities. Concentrations of manganese in hair were measured as a biomarker of exposure; exposed subjects had significantly higher concentrations than nonexposed subjects. They were also significantly outperformed by the nonexposed subjects on all olfactory measures (threshold, discrimination, and identification), indicating adverse effects of manganese exposure on a range of olfactory functions, including those involving higher order cognitive processes. This contrasts with previous findings showing adverse peripheral but not central effects on olfactory function of big city air pollution, which mostly consists of toxicants known to affect the olfactory epithelium but with lower transynaptic transport capacity compared with manganese. We conclude that nonoccupational exposure to airborne manganese is associated with decrements in both peripheral and central olfactory function. PMID:24097266

  14. Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... excellent track record of success,” Galán says. — by Carol Torgan, Ph.D. Related Links Salmonella Are Armed, ... Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D., Carol Torgan, Ph.D. NIH Research Matters is a ...

  15. Linking mother and youth parenting attitudes: indirect effects via maltreatment, parent involvement, and youth functioning.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Richard; Jones, Deborah J; Litrownik, Alan J; English, Diana J; Kotch, Jonathan B; Lewis, Terri; Dubowitz, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Evidence suggests that parenting attitudes are transmitted within families. However, limited research has examined this prospectively. The current prospective study examined direct effects of early maternal attitudes toward parenting (as measured at child age 4 by the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory [AAPI]) on later youth parenting attitudes (as measured by the AAPI at youth age 18). Indirect effects via child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional maltreatment), parent involvement, and youth functioning (internalizing and externalizing problems) were also assessed. Analyses were conducted on data from 412 families enrolled in the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). There were significant direct effects for three of the four classes of mother parenting attitudes (appropriate developmental expectations of children, empathy toward children, and appropriate family roles) on youth attitudes but not for rejection of punishment. In addition, the following indirect effects were obtained: Mother expectations influenced youth expectations via neglect; mother empathy influenced youth empathy via both parental involvement and youth externalizing problems; and mother rejection of punishment influenced youth rejection of punishment via youth internalizing problems. None of the child or family process variables, however, affected the link between mother and youth attitudes about roles. PMID:25113632

  16. Possible functional links among brain- and skull-related genes selected in modern humans.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Boeckx, Cedric

    2015-01-01

    The sequencing of the genomes from extinct hominins has revealed that changes in some brain-related genes have been selected after the split between anatomically-modern humans and Neanderthals/Denisovans. To date, no coherent view of these changes has been provided. Following a line of research we initiated in Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco (2014a), we hypothesize functional links among most of these genes and their products, based on the existing literature for each of the gene discussed. The genes we focus on are found mutated in different cognitive disorders affecting modern populations and their products are involved in skull and brain morphology, and neural connectivity. If our hypothesis turns out to be on the right track, it means that the changes affecting most of these proteins resulted in a more globular brain and ultimately brought about modern cognition, with its characteristic generativity and capacity to form and exploit cross-modular concepts, properties most clearly manifested in language. PMID:26136701

  17. Uncoupling of energy-linked functions of corn mitochondria by linoleic Acid and monomethyldecenylsuccinic Acid.

    PubMed

    Baddeley, M S; Hanson, J B

    1967-12-01

    Linoleic acid and monomethyldecenylsuccinic acid were tested as uncoupling agents for energy linked functions of corn mitochondria. 2,4-dinitrophenol was used as a standard for comparison. Both compounds uncoupled oxidative phosphorylation, released oligomycin-blocked respiration, and accelerated adenosine triphosphatase. Linoleic acid uncoupled calcium-activated phosphate accumulation and the increase in light scattering that accompanies the accumulation. Unlike dinitrophenol, linoleic acid at 0.1 mm had a destructive effect on membrane semipermeability. Kinetic studies indicated that dinitrophenol and linoleic acid compete with phosphate for active sites in oxidative phosphorylation.Some linoleic acid is taken up by respiring mitochondria and a major share of the uptake is incorporated into phospholipids. Calcium ion and oligomycin promote the uptake, but coenzyme A does not. It is deduced that fatty acid probably attacks the non-phosphorylated intermediate, I approximately X, producing X approximately acyl. Uncoupling results from breakdown of X approximately acyl, but sufficient X approximately acyl is maintained to serve as a source of activated fatty acid. PMID:16656708

  18. Anomalous kinetics in diffusion limited reactions linked to non-Gaussian concentration probability distribution function.

    PubMed

    de Anna, Pietro; Le Borgne, Tanguy; Dentz, Marco; Bolster, Diogo; Davy, Philippe

    2011-11-01

    We investigate anomalous reaction kinetics related to segregation in the one-dimensional reaction-diffusion system A + B → C. It is well known that spatial fluctuations in the species concentrations cause a breakdown of the mean-field behavior at low concentration values. The scaling of the average concentration with time changes from the mean-field t(-1) to the anomalous t(-1/4) behavior. Using a stochastic modeling approach, the reaction-diffusion system can be fully characterized by the multi-point probability distribution function (PDF) of the species concentrations. Its evolution is governed by a Fokker-Planck equation with moving boundaries, which are determined by the positivity of the species concentrations. The concentration PDF is in general non-Gaussian. As long as the concentration fluctuations are small compared to the mean, the PDF can be approximated by a Gaussian distribution. This behavior breaks down in the fluctuation dominated regime, for which anomalous reaction kinetics are observed. We show that the transition from mean field to anomalous reaction kinetics is intimately linked to the evolution of the concentration PDF from a Gaussian to non-Gaussian shape. This establishes a direct relationship between anomalous reaction kinetics, incomplete mixing and the non-Gaussian nature of the concentration PDF. PMID:22070289

  19. Framework of Consciousness from Semblance of Activity at Functionally LINKed Postsynaptic Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Vadakkan, Kunjumon I.

    2010-01-01

    Consciousness is seen as a difficult “binding” problem. Binding, a process where different sensations evoked by an item are associated in the nervous system, can be viewed as a process similar to associative learning. Several reports that consciousness is associated with some form of memory imply that different forms of memories have a common feature contributing to consciousness. Based on a proposed synaptic mechanism capable of explaining different forms of memory, we developed a framework for consciousness. It is based on the formation of semblance of sensory stimulus from (1) synaptic semblances when excitatory postsynaptic potentials arrive at functionally LINKed postsynaptic membranes, and (2) network semblances when these potentials summate to elicit action potential initiating activity in a network of neurons. It is then possible to derive a framework for consciousness as a multi-dimensional semblance. According to this framework, a continuum of semblances formed from background sensory stimuli and oscillating neuronal activities serve to maintain consciousness. Feasibility of this framework to explain various physiological and pathological states of consciousness, its subjective nature and qualia is examined. PMID:21833231

  20. Possible functional links among brain- and skull-related genes selected in modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Boeckx, Cedric

    2015-01-01

    The sequencing of the genomes from extinct hominins has revealed that changes in some brain-related genes have been selected after the split between anatomically-modern humans and Neanderthals/Denisovans. To date, no coherent view of these changes has been provided. Following a line of research we initiated in Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco (2014a), we hypothesize functional links among most of these genes and their products, based on the existing literature for each of the gene discussed. The genes we focus on are found mutated in different cognitive disorders affecting modern populations and their products are involved in skull and brain morphology, and neural connectivity. If our hypothesis turns out to be on the right track, it means that the changes affecting most of these proteins resulted in a more globular brain and ultimately brought about modern cognition, with its characteristic generativity and capacity to form and exploit cross-modular concepts, properties most clearly manifested in language. PMID:26136701

  1. Linking Mother and Youth Parenting Attitudes: Indirect Effects via Maltreatment, Parent Involvement, and Youth Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Richard; Jones, Deborah J.; Litrownik, Alan J.; English, Diana J.; Kotch, Jonathan B.; Lewis, Terri; Dubowitz, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Evidence suggests that parenting attitudes are transmitted within families. However, limited research has examined this prospectively. The current prospective study examined direct effects of early maternal attitudes toward parenting (as measured at child age 4 by the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory [AAPI]) on later youth parenting attitudes (as measured by the AAPI at youth age 18). Indirect effects via child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional maltreatment), parent involvement, and youth functioning (internalizing and externalizing problems) were also assessed. Analyses were conducted on data from 412 families enrolled in the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). There were significant direct effects for three of the four classes of mother parenting attitudes (appropriate developmental expectations of children, empathy toward children, and appropriate family roles) on youth attitudes but not for rejection of punishment. In addition, the following indirect effects were obtained: Mother expectations influenced youth expectations via neglect; mother empathy influenced youth empathy via both parental involvement and youth externalizing problems; and mother rejection of punishment influenced youth rejection of punishment via youth internalizing problems. None of the child or family process variables, however, affected the link between mother and youth attitudes about roles. PMID:25113632

  2. Translational informatics approach for identifying the functional molecular communicators linking coronary artery disease, infection and inflammation.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ankit; Ghatge, Madankumar; Mundkur, Lakshmi; Vangala, Rajani Kanth

    2016-05-01

    Translational informatics approaches are required for the integration of diverse and accumulating data to enable the administration of effective translational medicine specifically in complex diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD). In the current study, a novel approach for elucidating the association between infection, inflammation and CAD was used. Genes for CAD were collected from the CAD‑gene database and those for infection and inflammation were collected from the UniProt database. The cytomegalovirus (CMV)‑induced genes were identified from the literature and the CAD‑associated clinical phenotypes were obtained from the Unified Medical Language System. A total of 55 gene ontologies (GO) termed functional communicator ontologies were identified in the gene sets linking clinical phenotypes in the diseasome network. The network topology analysis suggested that important functions including viral entry, cell adhesion, apoptosis, inflammatory and immune responses networked with clinical phenotypes. Microarray data was extracted from the Gene Expression Omnibus (dataset: GSE48060) for highly networked disease myocardial infarction. Further analysis of differentially expressed genes and their GO terms suggested that CMV infection may trigger a xenobiotic response, oxidative stress, inflammation and immune modulation. Notably, the current study identified γ‑glutamyl transferase (GGT)‑5 as a potential biomarker with an odds ratio of 1.947, which increased to 2.561 following the addition of CMV and CMV‑neutralizing antibody (CMV‑NA) titers. The C‑statistics increased from 0.530 for conventional risk factors (CRFs) to 0.711 for GGT in combination with the above mentioned infections and CRFs. Therefore, the translational informatics approach used in the current study identified a potential molecular mechanism for CMV infection in CAD, and a potential biomarker for risk prediction. PMID:27035874

  3. FACILE CHEMICAL FUNCTIONALIZATION OF PROTEINS THROUGH INTEIN-LINKED YEAST DISPLAY

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Carrie J.; Agarwal, Nitin; Kalia, Jeet; Grosskopf, Vanessa A.; McGrath, Nicholas A.; Abbott, Nicholas L.; Raines, Ronald T.; Shusta, Eric V.

    2013-01-01

    Intein-mediated expressed protein ligation (EPL) permits the site-specific chemical customization of proteins. While traditional techniques have used purified, soluble proteins, we have extended these methods to release and modify intein fusion proteins expressed on the yeast surface, thereby eliminating the need for soluble protein expression and purification. To this end, we sought to simultaneously release yeast surface-displayed proteins and selectively conjugate with chemical functionalities compatible with EPL and click chemistry. Single-chain antibodies (scFv) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) were displayed on the yeast surface as fusions to the N-terminus of the Mxe GyrA intein. ScFv and GFP were released from the yeast surface with either a sulfur nucleophile (MESNA) or a nitrogen nucleophile (hydrazine) linked to an azido group. The hydrazine azide permitted the simultaneous release and azido functionalization of displayed proteins, but nonspecific reactions with other yeast proteins were detected, and cleavage efficiency was limited. In contrast, MESNA released significantly more protein from the yeast surface while also generating a unique thioester at the carboxy-terminus of the released protein. These protein thioesters were subsequently reacted with a cysteine alkyne in an EPL reaction and then employed in an azide–alkyne cycloaddition to immobilize the scFv and GFP on an azide-decorated surface with >90% site-specificity. Importantly, the immobilized proteins retained their activity. Since yeast surface display is also a protein engineering platform, these approaches provide a particularly powerful tool for the rapid assessment of engineered proteins. PMID:23924245

  4. Translational informatics approach for identifying the functional molecular communicators linking coronary artery disease, infection and inflammation

    PubMed Central

    SHARMA, ANKIT; GHATGE, MADANKUMAR; MUNDKUR, LAKSHMI; VANGALA, RAJANI KANTH

    2016-01-01

    Translational informatics approaches are required for the integration of diverse and accumulating data to enable the administration of effective translational medicine specifically in complex diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD). In the current study, a novel approach for elucidating the association between infection, inflammation and CAD was used. Genes for CAD were collected from the CAD-gene database and those for infection and inflammation were collected from the UniProt database. The cytomegalovirus (CMV)-induced genes were identified from the literature and the CAD-associated clinical phenotypes were obtained from the Unified Medical Language System. A total of 55 gene ontologies (GO) termed functional communicator ontologies were identifed in the gene sets linking clinical phenotypes in the diseasome network. The network topology analysis suggested that important functions including viral entry, cell adhesion, apoptosis, inflammatory and immune responses networked with clinical phenotypes. Microarray data was extracted from the Gene Expression Omnibus (dataset: GSE48060) for highly networked disease myocardial infarction. Further analysis of differentially expressed genes and their GO terms suggested that CMV infection may trigger a xenobiotic response, oxidative stress, inflammation and immune modulation. Notably, the current study identified γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT)-5 as a potential biomarker with an odds ratio of 1.947, which increased to 2.561 following the addition of CMV and CMV-neutralizing antibody (CMV-NA) titers. The C-statistics increased from 0.530 for conventional risk factors (CRFs) to 0.711 for GGT in combination with the above mentioned infections and CRFs. Therefore, the translational informatics approach used in the current study identified a potential molecular mechanism for CMV infection in CAD, and a potential biomarker for risk prediction. PMID:27035874

  5. Identification of functions linking quorum sensing with biofilm formation in Burkholderia cenocepacia H111

    PubMed Central

    Inhülsen, Silja; Aguilar, Claudio; Schmid, Nadine; Suppiger, Angela; Riedel, Kathrin; Eberl, Leo

    2012-01-01

    Burkholderia cenocepacia has emerged as an important pathogen for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF). Previous work has shown that this organism employs the CepIR quorum-sensing (QS) system to control the expression of virulence factors as well as the formation of biofilms. To date, however, very little is known about the QS-regulated virulence factors and virtually nothing about the factors that link QS and biofilm formation. Here, we have employed a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach to precisely define the QS regulon in our model strain B. cenocepacia H111, a CF isolate. Among the identified CepR-activated loci, three were analyzed in better detail for their roles in biofilm development: (i) a gene cluster coding for the BclACB lectins, (ii) the large surface protein BapA, and (iii) a type I pilus. The analysis of defined mutants revealed that BapA plays a major role in biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces while inactivation of the type I pilus showed little effect both in a static microtitre dish-based biofilm assay and in flow-through cells. Inactivation of the bclACB lectin genes resulted in biofilms containing hollow microcolonies, suggesting that the lectins are important for biofilm structural development. PMID:22950027

  6. Discovery of a Missing Link: Detection and Structure of the Elusive Disilicon Carbide Cluster.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Michael C; Baraban, Joshua H; Changala, P Bryan; Stanton, John F; Martin-Drumel, Marie-Aline; Thorwirth, Sven; Gottlieb, Carl A; Reilly, Neil J

    2015-06-01

    The rotational spectrum of the elusive but fundamentally important silicon carbide SiCSi has been detected using sensitive microwave techniques aided by high-level ab initio methods. Its equilibrium structure has been determined to very high precision using isotopic substitution and vibrational corrections calculated quantum-chemically: it is an isosceles triangle with a Si-C bond length of 1.693(1) Å, and an apex angle of 114.87(5)°. Now that all four Si(m)C(n) clusters with m + n = 3 have been observed experimentally, their structure and chemical bonding can be rigorously compared. Because Si2C is so closely linked to other Si-bearing molecules that have been detected in the evolved carbon star IRC+10216, it is an extremely promising candidate for detection with radio telescopes. PMID:26266510

  7. CO2/light gas separation performance of cross-linked poly(vinylimidazolium) gel membranes as a function of ionic liquid loading and cross-linker content

    SciTech Connect

    Carlisle, TK; Nicodemus, GD; Gin, DL; Noble, RD

    2012-04-15

    A series of cross-linked poly(vinylimidazolium)-RTIL gel membranes was synthesized and evaluated for room-temperature, ideal CO2/N-2, CO2/CH4, and CO2/H-2 separation performance. The membranes were formed by photo-polymerization of oligo(ethylene glycol)-functionalized cross-linking (i.e., di-functional) and non-cross-linking (i.e., mono-functional) vinylimidazolium RTIL monomers with nonpolymerizable, "free RTIL." The effect of free RTIL ([emim][Tf2N]) loading on CO2 separation performance was evaluated by varying RTIL loading at three levels (45, 65, and 75 wt.%). The effect of cross-linker content on CO2 separation performance was also evaluated by varying the copolymer composition of cross-linked membranes from 5 to 100 mol% di-functional monomer. The substituent on the monofunctional RTIL monomer was also varied to investigate the effect of substituent structure and chemistry on CO2 separation performance. CO2 permeability was dramatically increased with higher loading of free RTIL. Increased RTIL loading had no effect on CO2/N-2 or CO2/CH4 permeability selectivity, but significantly improved CO2/H-2 permeability selectivity. Reducing the cross-linking monomer concentration generally improved CO2 permeability. However, anomalous permeability and selectivity behavior was observed below critical concentrations of cross-linker. The effect of the substituent on the monofunctional monomer on CO2 separation performance was minimal compared to the effects of RTIL loading and copolymer composition. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data: linked loci and correlated allele frequencies.

    PubMed Central

    Falush, Daniel; Stephens, Matthew; Pritchard, Jonathan K

    2003-01-01

    We describe extensions to the method of Pritchard et al. for inferring population structure from multilocus genotype data. Most importantly, we develop methods that allow for linkage between loci. The new model accounts for the correlations between linked loci that arise in admixed populations ("admixture linkage disequilibium"). This modification has several advantages, allowing (1) detection of admixture events farther back into the past, (2) inference of the population of origin of chromosomal regions, and (3) more accurate estimates of statistical uncertainty when linked loci are used. It is also of potential use for admixture mapping. In addition, we describe a new prior model for the allele frequencies within each population, which allows identification of subtle population subdivisions that were not detectable using the existing method. We present results applying the new methods to study admixture in African-Americans, recombination in Helicobacter pylori, and drift in populations of Drosophila melanogaster. The methods are implemented in a program, structure, version 2.0, which is available at http://pritch.bsd.uchicago.edu. PMID:12930761

  9. Comparative structural study of N-linked oligosaccharides of urinary and recombinant erythropoietins.

    PubMed

    Tsuda, E; Goto, M; Murakami, A; Akai, K; Ueda, M; Kawanishi, G; Takahashi, N; Sasaki, R; Chiba, H; Ishihara, H

    1988-07-26

    The structures of the N-linked oligosaccharides of the urinary erythropoietin (u-EPO) purified from urine of aplastic anemic patients were analyzed and compared with those for recombinant erythropoietin (r-EPO) prepared with baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells. Asparagine-linked neutral oligosaccharides were released from each EPO protein by N-oligosaccharide glycopeptidase (almond) digestion. The reducing ends of the oligosaccharide chains thus obtained were aminated with a fluorescent reagent, 2-aminopyridine, and the mixture of pyridylamino derivatives of the oligosaccharides was separated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on an ODS silica column. More than 8 and 13 kinds of oligosaccharide fractions for u-EPO and r-EPO (BHK), respectively, were completely separated by the one-step HPLC procedure. The structure of each oligosaccharide thus isolated was analyzed by a combination of sequential exoglycosidase digestion and another kind of HPLC with an amide-silica column. Furthermore, high-resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy and methylation analyses were carried out in the case of r-EPO (BHK).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3179269

  10. Perinatal stress and early life programming of lung structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Rosalind J.

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to environmental toxins during critical periods of prenatal and/or postnatal development may alter the normal course of lung morphogenesis and maturation, potentially resulting in changes that affect both structure and function of the respiratory system. Moreover, these early effects may persist into adult life magnifying the potential public health impact. Aberrant or excessive pro-inflammatory immune responses, occurring both locally and systemically, that result in inflammatory damage to the airway are a central determinant of lung structure-function changes throughout life. Disruption of neuroendocrine function in early development, specifically the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, may alter functional status of the immune system. Autonomic nervous system (ANS) function (sympathovagal imbalance) is another integral component of airway function and immunity in childhood. This overview discusses the evidence linking psychological factors to alterations in these interrelated physiological processes that may, in turn, influence childhood lung function and identifies gaps in our understanding. PMID:20080145

  11. Crystal structure of a disulfide-linked "trefoil" motif found in a large family of putative growth factors.

    PubMed Central

    De, A; Brown, D G; Gorman, M A; Carr, M; Sanderson, M R; Freemont, P S

    1994-01-01

    Porcine pancreatic spasmolytic polypeptide (PSP) belongs to a large family of homologous growth factor-like polypeptides characterized by a disulfide-linked "trefoil motif," duplicated and conserved in various family members. PSP contains two trefoil motifs, has several pharmacological actions on the gut, and has growth factor properties on epithelial cells in vitro. The human PSP analogue, human spasmolytic polypeptide, appears to be involved in many regenerative situations and, especially, in healing gastrointestinal ulcers. One member of the trefoil family, pS2, is secreted in approximately 50% of estrogen-dependent human breast carcinomas, which has led to its use as a tumor prognostic marker. Both pS2 and human spasmolytic polypeptide are also widely expressed in chronic gastrointestinal ulcerative conditions such as Crohn disease. Here we report the three-dimensional structure at 2.6-A resolution of a trefoil-containing protein, namely PSP, purified from porcine pancreas. The structure shows two homologous domains that share a supersecondary structure and disulfide bond pattern. The two domains pack asymmetrically giving rise to a number of protruding loops, exposed clefts, and an unusual electrostatic surface potential. Knowledge of the structure of PSP should allow the design of mutants to investigate further the function of PSP and other trefoil-containing peptides. Images PMID:8302836

  12. Structural and Functional Attributes of the Interleukin-36 Receptor.

    PubMed

    Yi, Guanghui; Ybe, Joel A; Saha, Siddhartha S; Caviness, Gary; Raymond, Ernest; Ganesan, Rajkumar; Mbow, M Lamine; Kao, C Cheng

    2016-08-01

    Signal transduction by the IL-36 receptor (IL-36R) is linked to several human diseases. However, the structure and function of the IL-36R is not well understood. A molecular model of the IL-36R complex was generated and a cell-based reporter assay was established to assess the signal transduction of recombinant subunits of the IL-36R. Mutational analyses and functional assays have identified residues of the receptor subunit IL-1Rrp2 needed for cytokine recognition, stable protein expression, disulfide bond formation and glycosylation that are critical for signal transduction. We also observed that, overexpression of ectodomain (ECD) of Il-1Rrp2 or IL-1RAcP exhibited dominant-negative effect on IL-36R signaling. The presence of IL-36 cytokine significantly increased the interaction of IL-1Rrp2 ECD with the co-receptor IL-1RAcP. Finally, we found that single nucleotide polymorphism A471T in the Toll-interleukin 1 receptor domain (TIR) of the IL-1Rrp2 that is present in ∼2% of the human population, down-regulated IL-36R signaling by a decrease of interaction with IL-1RAcP. PMID:27307043

  13. Glutamate Receptor Ion Channels: Structure, Regulation, and Function

    PubMed Central

    Wollmuth, Lonnie P.; McBain, Chris J.; Menniti, Frank S.; Vance, Katie M.; Ogden, Kevin K.; Hansen, Kasper B.; Yuan, Hongjie; Myers, Scott J.; Dingledine, Ray

    2010-01-01

    The mammalian ionotropic glutamate receptor family encodes 18 gene products that coassemble to form ligand-gated ion channels containing an agonist recognition site, a transmembrane ion permeation pathway, and gating elements that couple agonist-induced conformational changes to the opening or closing of the permeation pore. Glutamate receptors mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system and are localized on neuronal and non-neuronal cells. These receptors regulate a broad spectrum of processes in the brain, spinal cord, retina, and peripheral nervous system. Glutamate receptors are postulated to play important roles in numerous neurological diseases and have attracted intense scrutiny. The description of glutamate receptor structure, including its transmembrane elements, reveals a complex assembly of multiple semiautonomous extracellular domains linked to a pore-forming element with striking resemblance to an inverted potassium channel. In this review we discuss International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology glutamate receptor nomenclature, structure, assembly, accessory subunits, interacting proteins, gene expression and translation, post-translational modifications, agonist and antagonist pharmacology, allosteric modulation, mechanisms of gating and permeation, roles in normal physiological function, as well as the potential therapeutic use of pharmacological agents acting at glutamate receptors. PMID:20716669

  14. Normal birth weight variation and children's neuropsychological functioning: links between language, executive functioning, and theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Wade, M; Browne, D T; Madigan, S; Plamondon, A; Jenkins, J M

    2014-10-01

    The effect of low birth weight on children's development has been documented for a range of neurocognitive outcomes. However, few previous studies have examined the effect of birth weight variability within the normal range on children's neuropsychological development. The current study examined birth weight variation amongst children weighing ≥2500 g in relation to their language, executive functioning (EF), and theory of mind (ToM), and specified a developmental pathway in which birth weight was hypothesized to be associated with children's EF and ToM through their intermediary language skills. The current study used a prospective community birth cohort of 468 children. Families were recruited when children were newborns and followed up every 18 months until children were age 4.5. Language was assessed at age 3 using a standardized measure of receptive vocabulary (PPVT), and EF and ToM were measured at age 4.5 using previously validated and developmentally appropriate tasks. After controlling for potential confounding variables (family income, parent education, gestational age), birth weight within the normal range was associated with language ability at age 3 (β=.17; p=.012); and the effect of birth weight on both EF (z=2.09; p=.03) and ToM (z=2.07; p=.03) at age 4.5 operated indirectly through their language ability at age 3. Our findings indicate that the effects of birth weight on child neurocognition extend into the normal range of birth weight, and specific developmental mechanisms may link these skills over time. PMID:25171131

  15. Structural and functional protein network analyses predict novel signaling functions for rhodopsin

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Christina; Vogt, Andreas; Campagna, Anne; Chatr-aryamontri, Andrew; Swiatek-de Lange, Magdalena; Beer, Monika; Bolz, Sylvia; Mack, Andreas F; Kinkl, Norbert; Cesareni, Gianni; Serrano, Luis; Ueffing, Marius

    2011-01-01

    Orchestration of signaling, photoreceptor structural integrity, and maintenance needed for mammalian vision remain enigmatic. By integrating three proteomic data sets, literature mining, computational analyses, and structural information, we have generated a multiscale signal transduction network linked to the visual G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) rhodopsin, the major protein component of rod outer segments. This network was complemented by domain decomposition of protein–protein interactions and then qualified for mutually exclusive or mutually compatible interactions and ternary complex formation using structural data. The resulting information not only offers a comprehensive view of signal transduction induced by this GPCR but also suggests novel signaling routes to cytoskeleton dynamics and vesicular trafficking, predicting an important level of regulation through small GTPases. Further, it demonstrates a specific disease susceptibility of the core visual pathway due to the uniqueness of its components present mainly in the eye. As a comprehensive multiscale network, it can serve as a basis to elucidate the physiological principles of photoreceptor function, identify potential disease-associated genes and proteins, and guide the development of therapies that target specific branches of the signaling pathway. PMID:22108793

  16. Synthesis, structures, and properties of 1,2,4,5-benzenetetrathiolate linked group 10 metal complexes.

    PubMed

    Arumugam, Kuppuswamy; Shaw, Mohamed C; Chandrasekaran, P; Villagrán, Dino; Gray, Thomas G; Mague, Joel T; Donahue, James P

    2009-11-16

    Dimetallic compounds [(P-P)M(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))M(P-P)] (M = Ni, Pd; P-P = chelating bis(phosphine), 3a-3f) are prepared from O=CS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)C=O or (n)Bu(2)SnS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)Sn(n)Bu(2), which are protected forms of 1,2,4,5-benzenetetrathiolate. Selective monodeprotections of O=CS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)C=O or (n)Bu(2)SnS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)Sn(n)Bu(2) lead to [(P-P)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)C=O)] or [(P-P)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)Sn(n)Bu(2))]; the former is used to prepare trimetallic compounds [(dcpe)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))M(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dcpe)] (M = Ni (6a) or Pt (6b); dcpe = 1,2-bis(dicyclohexylphosphino)ethane). Compounds 3a-3f are redox active and display two oxidation processes, of which the first is generally reversible. Dinickel compound [(dcpe)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dcpe)] (3d) reveals two reversible oxidation waves with DeltaE(1/2) = 0.66 V, corresponding to K(c) of 1.6 x 10(11) for the mixed valence species. Electrochemical behavior is unstable to repeated scanning in the presence of [Bu(4)N][PF(6)] electrolyte but indefinitely stable with Na[BArF(24)] (BArF(24) = tetrakis(3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)borate), suggesting that the radical cation generated by oxidation is vulnerable to reaction with PF(6)(-). Chemical oxidation of 3d with [Cp(2)Fe][BArF(24)] leads to formation of [3d][BArF(24)]. Structural identification of [3d][BArF(24)] reveals appreciable shortening and lengthening of C-S and C-C bond distances, respectively, within the tetrathioarene fragment compared to charge-neutral 3d, indicating this to be the redox active moiety. Attempted oxidation of [(dppb)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dppb)] (3c) (dppb = 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)benzene) with AgBArF(24) produces [[(dppb)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dppb)](2)(mu-Ag(2))][BArF(24)](2), [4c][BArF(24)](2), in which no redox chemistry has occurred. Crystal structures of bis(disulfide)-linked compounds [(P-P)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)(mu-S(2))(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(P-P)] are reported. Near IR spectroscopy upon cationic [3d](+) and neutral 6a

  17. Muscle structural assembly and functional consequences.

    PubMed

    Narici, Marco; Franchi, Martino; Maganaris, Constantinos

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between muscle structure and function has been a matter of investigation since the Renaissance period. Extensive use of anatomical dissections and the introduction of the scientific method enabled early scholars to lay the foundations of muscle physiology and biomechanics. Progression of knowledge in these disciplines led to the current understanding that muscle architecture, together with muscle fibre contractile properties, has a major influence on muscle mechanical properties. Recently, advances in laser diffraction, optical microendoscopy and ultrasonography have enabled in vivo investigations into the behaviour of human muscle fascicles and sarcomeres with varying joint angle and muscle contraction intensity. With these technologies it has become possible to identify the length region over which fascicles and sarcomeres develop maximum isometric force in vivo as well as the operating ranges of fascicles and sarcomeres during real-life activities such as walking. Also, greater insights into the remodelling of muscle architecture in response to overloading and unloading, and in ageing, have been obtained by the use of ultrasonography; these have led to the identification of clinical biomarkers of disuse atrophy and sarcopenia. Recent evidence also shows that the pattern of muscle hypertrophy in response to chronic loading is contraction-mode dependent (eccentric versus concentric), as similar gains in muscle mass, but through differing addition of sarcomeres in series and in parallel (as indirectly inferred from changes in fascicle length and pennation angle), have been found. These innovative observations prompted a new set of investigations into the molecular mechanisms regulating this contraction-specific muscle growth. PMID:26792340

  18. [Blood-nerve barrier: structure and function].

    PubMed

    Kanda, Takashi

    2011-06-01

    The blood-nerve barrier (BNB) is a dynamic interface between the endoneurial microenvironment and surrounding extracellular space or blood contents, and is localized the innermost layer of multilayered ensheathing perineurium and endoneurial microvessels. Since the BNB is a key structure controlling the internal milieu of the peripheral nerve parenchyma, adequate understanding of the BNB is crucial for developing treatment strategies for human peripheral nervous system disorders, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and diabetic and various metabolic/toxic neuropathies. However, fewer studies have been conducted on the BNB, if we compare against the number of studies on the blood-brain barrier. This is because of the lack of adequate human cell lines originating from the BNB. In our laboratory, human immortal cell lines from the BNB, namely, the endothelial cell line and pericyte cell line, have recently been established and vigorous investigations of their biological and physiological properties are now underway. Pericytes constituting the BNB were found to possess robust ability of controlling BNB integrity via secretion of various cytokines and growth factors including bFGF, VEGF, GDNF, BDNF, and angiopoietin-1. Unknown soluble factors secreted by pericytes also contribute to the upregulation of claudin-5 in endothelial cells in the BNB and thus, strengthen the barrier function of the BNB. In diabetic neuropathy, pericytes were shown to regulate the vascular basement membrane, while AGEs were shown to induce basement membrane hypertrophy and disrupt the BNB by increasing the autocrine secretion of VEGF and TGF-beta from pericytes. In this review article, we discuss the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the human BNB as well as the molecular mechanisms of mononuclear cell infiltration across the BNB. PMID:21613659

  19. Alanine scan of core positions in ubiquitin reveals links between dynamics, stability, and function.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shirley Y; Pullen, Lester; Virgil, Daniel J; Castañeda, Carlos A; Abeykoon, Dulith; Bolon, Daniel N A; Fushman, David

    2014-04-01

    Mutations at solvent-inaccessible core positions in proteins can impact function through many biophysical mechanisms including alterations to thermodynamic stability and protein dynamics. As these properties of proteins are difficult to investigate, the impacts of core mutations on protein function are poorly understood for most systems. Here, we determined the effects of alanine mutations at all 15 core positions in ubiquitin on function in yeast. The majority (13 of 15) of alanine substitutions supported yeast growth as the sole ubiquitin. Both the two null mutants (I30A and L43A) were less stable to temperature-induced unfolding in vitro than wild type (WT) but were well folded at physiological temperatures. Heteronuclear NMR studies indicated that the L43A mutation reduces temperature stability while retaining a ground-state structure similar to WT. This structure enables L43A to bind to common ubiquitin receptors in vitro. Many of the core alanine ubiquitin mutants, including one of the null variants (I30A), exhibited an increased accumulation of high-molecular-weight species, suggesting that these mutants caused a defect in the processing of ubiquitin-substrate conjugates. In contrast, L43A exhibited a unique accumulation pattern with reduced levels of high-molecular-weight species and undetectable levels of free ubiquitin. When conjugation to other proteins was blocked, L43A ubiquitin accumulated as free ubiquitin in yeast. Based on these findings, we speculate that ubiquitin's stability to unfolding may be required for efficient recycling during proteasome-mediated substrate degradation. PMID:24361330

  20. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    PubMed Central

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-01-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures. PMID:26503516

  1. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-10-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures.

  2. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Bastida, F; Selevsek, N; Torres, I F; Hernández, T; García, C

    2015-01-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures. PMID:26503516

  3. A conditional system to specifically link disruption of protein coding function with reporter expression in mice

    PubMed Central

    Chiou, Shin-Heng; Kim-Kiselak, Caroline; Risca, Viviana I.; Heimann, Megan K.; Chuang, Chen-Hua; Burds, Aurora A.; Greenleaf, William J.; Jacks, Tyler E.; Feldser, David M.; Winslow, Monte M.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Conditional gene deletion in mice has contributed immensely to our understanding of many biological and biomedical processes. Despite an increasing awareness of non-protein coding functional elements within protein coding transcripts, current gene-targeting approaches typically involve simultaneous ablation of non-coding elements within targeted protein-coding genes. The potential for protein-coding genes to have additional non-coding functions necessitates the development of novel genetic tools capable of precisely interrogating individual functional elements. We present a strategy coupling Cre/loxP-mediated conditional gene disruption with faithful GFP-reporter expression in mice in which Cre-mediated stable inversion of a splice acceptor-GFP-splice donor cassette concurrently disrupts protein production and creates a GFP fusion product. Importantly, cassette inversion maintains physiologic transcript structure, thereby ensuring proper microRNA-mediated regulation of the GFP-reporter, as well as maintaining expression of non-protein coding elements. To test this potentially generalizable strategy, we generated and analyzed mice with this conditional knock-in reporter targeted to the Hmga2 locus. PMID:24931605

  4. Biocomposites from Natural Rubber: Synergistic Effects of Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals as Both Reinforcing and Cross-Linking Agents via Free-Radical Thiol-ene Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Parambath Kanoth, Bipinbal; Claudino, Mauro; Johansson, Mats; Berglund, Lars A; Zhou, Qi

    2015-08-01

    Natural rubber/cellulose nanocrystals (NR/CNCs) form true biocomposites from renewable resources and are demonstrated to show significantly improved thermo-mechanical properties and reduced stress-softening. The nanocomposites were prepared from chemically functionalized CNCs bearing thiols. CNCs served as both reinforcing and cross-linking agents in the NR matrix, and the study was designed to prove the cross-linking function of modified CNCs. CNCs were prepared from cotton, and the cross-linkable mercapto-groups were introduced onto the surface of CNCs by esterification. Nanocomposite films were prepared by dispersing the modified CNCs (m-CNCs) in NR matrix by solution casting. The cross-links at the filler-matrix (m-CNCs-NR) interface were generated by photochemically initiated thiol-ene reactions as monitored by real-time FTIR analysis. The synergistic effects of reinforcement and chemical cross-linking at the m-CNCs-NR interface on structure, thermo-mechanical, and stress-softening behavior were investigated. Methods included field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), swelling tests, dynamic mechanical analysis, and tensile tests. Compared to biocomposites from NR with unmodified CNCs, the NR/m-CNCs nanocomposites showed 2.4-fold increase in tensile strength, 1.6-fold increase in strain-to-failure, and 2.9-fold increase in work-of-fracture at 10 wt % of m-CNCs in NR. PMID:26151647

  5. Design and construction of higher-order structure and function in proteinosome-based protocells.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xin; Patil, Avinash J; Li, Mei; Mann, Stephen

    2014-06-25

    The design and construction of higher-order structure and function in proteinosome microcompartments enclosed by a cross-linked membrane of amphiphilic bovine serum albumin/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (BSA-NH2/PNIPAAm) nanoconjugates is described. Three structure/function relationships are investigated: (i) differential chemical cross-linking for the control of membrane disassembly and regulated release of encapsulated genetic polymers; (ii) enzyme-mediated hydrogel structuring of the internal microenvironment to increase mechanical robustness and generate a molecularly crowded reaction environment; and (iii) self-production of a membrane-enclosing outer hydrogel wall for generating protease-resistant forms of the protein-polymer protocells. Our results highlight the potential of integrating aspects of supramolecular and polymer chemistry into the design and construction of novel bioinspired microcompartments as a step toward small-scale materials systems based on synthetic cellularity. PMID:24905973

  6. Structure of the asn-linked oligosaccharides of apolipophorin III from the insect Locusta migratoria. Carbohydrate-linked 2-aminoethylphosphonate as a constituent of a glycoprotein.

    PubMed

    Hård, K; Van Doorn, J M; Thomas-Oates, J E; Kamerling, J P; Van der Horst, D J

    1993-01-26

    The primary structures of the N-linked carbohydrate chains of apolipophorin III from the insect Locusta migratoria have been determined. The glycoprotein was completely deglycosylated with peptide-N4-(N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminyl)asparagine amidase F. Released oligosaccharides were separated from the remaining protein using gel-permeation chromatography on Bio-Gel P-100. Purification of the carbohydrate chains was achieved by a combination of FPLC anion-exchange chromatography on Mono-Q and amine adsorption HPLC on Lichrosorb-NH2. The structures of the carbohydrate chains were deduced with a combination of fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry, 1H- and 31P-NMR spectroscopy, and methylation analysis. The majority of the carbohydrate chains contains 2-aminoethylphosphonate (AEP), which is linked to the 6-position of Man and/or GlcNAc. L. migratoria apolipophorin III is the first example of a glycoprotein containing carbohydrate-linked 2-aminoethylphosphonate. The structures of the major oligosaccharides were established to be the following: [formula: see text] PMID:8422381

  7. The link between sequence and conformation in protein structures appears to be stereochemically established.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, Vibin; Ranbhor, Ranjit; Kumar, Anil; Durani, Susheel

    2006-05-11

    In search of the link between sequence and conformation in protein structures, we perform molecular dynamics analysis of the effect of stereochemical mutation in end-protected octa-alanine Ac-Ala8-NHMe from poly-L to an alternating-L,D structure. The mutation has a dramatic effect, transforming the peptide from a condition of extreme sensitivity to one of extreme insensitivity to solvent. Examining the molecular folds of poly-L and alternating-L,D structure in atomistic detail, we find them to differ in the relationship between peptide dipolar interactions at the local and nonlocal levels, either conflicting or harmonious depending upon the chain stereochemistry. The stereochemical transformation of interpeptide electrostatics from a condition of conflict to one of harmony explains the long-standing puzzle of why poly-L and alternating-L,D peptides strongly differ in properties such as "stiffness" and solvent sensitivity. Furthermore, it is possible that poly-L stereochemistry is also the fulcrum of protein sensitivity to the effects of amino acid side-chain structures via dielectric arbitrations in interpeptide electrostatics. Indeed the evidence is accumulating that the amino acid side chains differing in alpha-helix and beta-sheet propensities also differ in their desolvating effects in the adjacent and nearest-neighbor peptides and thus possibly in the solvent screening of peptide dipolar interactions. PMID:16671750

  8. Occupational exposure to aluminum and its amyloidogenic link with cognitive functions.

    PubMed

    Zawilla, N H; Taha, F M; Kishk, N A; Farahat, S A; Farghaly, M; Hussein, M

    2014-10-01

    As many other metals, aluminum is a widely recognized neurotoxicant and its link with neurodegenerative disorders has been the subject of scientific debate. One proposal focuses on amyloid β deposition (amyloidogenesis) as the key player in triggering neuronal dysfunction the so-called amyloid cascade hypothesis. We undertook this study first to investigate the cognition status of workers exposed to Al dust in an Al factory in Southern Cairo, second, to evaluate serum amyloid precursor protein (APP) and cathepsin D (CD) enzyme activity to study the possible role of Al in amyloidogenesis, and finally to explore the relation between these potential biomarkers and cognitive functions. The study was conducted on 54 exposed workers and 51 matched controls. They were subjected to questionnaire, neurological examination and a cognitive test battery, Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination - Revised (ACE-R). Serum Al, APP and CD enzyme activity were measured. A significant increase of serum Al was found in the exposed workers with an associated increase in serum APP and decrement in CD activity. The exposed workers displayed poor performance on the ACE-R test. No significant correlation was detected between ACE-R test total score and either APP or CD activity. We concluded that occupational exposure to Al is associated with cognitive impairment. The effect of occupational Al exposure on the serum levels of APP and CD activity may be regarded as a possible mechanism of Al in amyloidogenesis. However, our findings do not support the utility of serum APP and CD activity as screening markers for early or preclinical cognitive impairment. PMID:24973993

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-23

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

  10. Executive Function as a Mediator in the Link between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Social Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tseng, Wan-Ling; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2013-01-01

    Background: Cognitive processes and mechanisms underlying the strong link between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and social problems remain unclear. Limited knowledge also exists regarding a subgroup of youth with ADHD who do not have social problems. This study investigated the extent to which executive function (EF) mediated the…

  11. Specifying Links between Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind during Middle Childhood: Cognitive Flexibility Predicts Social Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bock, Allison M.; Gallaway, Kristin C.; Hund, Alycia M.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to specify the development of and links between executive functioning and theory of mind during middle childhood. One hundred four 7- to 12-year-old children completed a battery of age-appropriate tasks measuring working memory, inhibition, flexibility, theory of mind, and vocabulary. As expected, spatial working…

  12. The Broader Context of Relational Aggression in Adolescent Romantic Relationships: Predictions from Peer Pressure and Links to Psychosocial Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schad, Megan M.; Szwedo, David E.; Antonishak, Jill; Hare, Amanda; Allen, Joseph P.

    2008-01-01

    The broader context of relational aggression in adolescent romantic relationships was assessed by considering the ways such aggression emerged from prior experiences of peer pressure and was linked to concurrent difficulties in psychosocial functioning. Longitudinal, multi-reporter data were obtained from 97 adolescents and their best friends at…

  13. Inorganic pyrophosphatases: structural diversity serving the function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samygina, V. R.

    2016-05-01

    The review is devoted to ubiquitous enzymes, inorganic pyrophosphatases, which are essential in all living organisms. Despite the long history of investigations, these enzymes continue to attract interest. The review focuses on the three-dimensional structures of various representatives of this class of proteins. The structural diversity, the relationship between the structure and some properties of pyrophosphatases and various mechanisms of enzyme action related to the structural diversity of these enzymes are discussed. Interactions of pyrophosphatase with other proteins and possible practical applications are considered. The bibliography includes 56 references.