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Sample records for macromolecular structure solution

  1. Macromolecular NMR spectroscopy for the non-spectroscopist: beyond macromolecular solution structure determination.

    PubMed

    Bieri, Michael; Kwan, Ann H; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F; Mackay, Joel P; Gooley, Paul R

    2011-03-01

    A strength of NMR spectroscopy is its ability to monitor, on an atomic level, molecular changes and interactions. In this review, which is intended for non-spectroscopist, we describe major uses of NMR in protein science beyond solution structure determination. After first touching on how NMR can be used to quickly determine whether a mutation induces structural perturbations in a protein, we describe the unparalleled ability of NMR to monitor binding interactions over a wide range of affinities, molecular masses and solution conditions. We discuss the use of NMR to measure the dynamics of proteins at the atomic level and over a wide range of timescales. Finally, we outline new and expanding areas such as macromolecular structure determination in multicomponent systems, as well as in the solid state and in vivo. PMID:21214861

  2. Phenix - a comprehensive python-based system for macromolecular structure solution

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C; Hung, Li - Wei; Adams, Paul D; Afonine, Pavel V; Bunkoczi, Gabor; Chen, Vincent B; Davis, Ian; Echols, Nathaniel; Headd, Jeffrey J; Grosse Kunstleve, Ralf W; Mccoy, Airlie J; Moriarty, Nigel W; Oeffner, Robert; Read, Randy J; Richardson, David C; Richardson, Jane S; Zwarta, Peter H

    2009-01-01

    Macromolecular X-ray crystallography is routinely applied to understand biological processes at a molecular level. However, significant time and effort are still required to solve and complete many of these structures because of the need for manual interpretation of complex numerical data using many software packages, and the repeated use of interactive three-dimensional graphics. Phenix has been developed to provide a comprehensive system for crystallographic structure solution with an emphasis on automation of all procedures. This has relied on the development of algorithms that minimize or eliminate subjective input, the development of algorithms that automate procedures that are traditionally performed by hand, and finally the development of a framework that allows a tight integration between the algorithms.

  3. Macromolecular complexes in crystals and solutions

    PubMed Central

    Krissinel, Evgeny

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a discussion of existing methods for the analysis of macromolecular interactions and complexes in crystal packing. Typical situations and conditions where wrong answers may be obtained in the course of ordinary procedures are presented and discussed. The more general question of what the relationship is between natural (in-solvent) and crystallized assemblies is discussed and researched. A computational analysis suggests that weak interactions with K d ≥ 100 µM have a considerable chance of being lost during the course of crystallization. In such instances, crystal packing misrepresents macromolecular complexes and interactions. For as many as 20% of protein dimers in the PDB the likelihood of misrepresentation is estimated to be higher than 50%. Given that weak macromolecular interactions play an important role in many biochemical processes, these results suggest that a complementary noncrystallographic study should be always conducted when inferring structural aspects of weakly bound complexes. PMID:21460456

  4. Fractal Dimensions of Macromolecular Structures

    PubMed Central

    Todoroff, Nickolay; Kunze, Jens; Schreuder, Herman; Hessler, Gerhard; Baringhaus, Karl-Heinz; Schneider, Gisbert

    2014-01-01

    Quantifying the properties of macromolecules is a prerequisite for understanding their roles in biochemical processes. One of the less-explored geometric features of macromolecules is molecular surface irregularity, or ‘roughness’, which can be measured in terms of fractal dimension (D). In this study, we demonstrate that surface roughness correlates with ligand binding potential. We quantified the surface roughnesses of biological macromolecules in a large-scale survey that revealed D values between 2.0 and 2.4. The results of our study imply that surface patches involved in molecular interactions, such as ligand-binding pockets and protein-protein interfaces, exhibit greater local fluctuations in their fractal dimensions than ‘inert’ surface areas. We expect approximately 22 % of a protein’s surface outside of the crystallographically known ligand binding sites to be ligandable. These findings provide a fresh perspective on macromolecular structure and have considerable implications for drug design as well as chemical and systems biology. PMID:26213587

  5. Ordered macromolecular structures in ferrofluid mixtures

    SciTech Connect

    Hayter, J.B.; Pynn, R.; Charles, S.; Skjeltorp, A.T.; Trewhella, J.; Stubbs, G.; Timmins, P.

    1989-04-03

    We have observed ordering of dilute dispersions of spherical and cylindrical macromolecules in magnetized ferrofluids. The order results from structural correlations between macromolecular and ferrofluid particles rather than from macroscopic magnetostatic effects. We have aligned elongated macromolecules by this technique and have obtained anisotropic neutron-diffraction patterns, which reflect the internal structure of the macromolecules. The method provides a tool for orienting suspended macromolecular assemblies which are not amenable to conventional alignment techniques.

  6. Macromolecular Brushes as Stabilizers of Hydrophobic Solute Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Luo, Hanying; Raciti, David; Wang, Chao; Herrera-Alonso, Margarita

    2016-06-01

    Macromolecular brushes bearing poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(d,l-lactide) side chains were used to stabilize hydrophobic solute nanoparticles formed by a rapid change in solvent quality. Unlike linear diblock copolymers with the same hydrophilic and hydrophobic block chemistries, the brush copolymer enabled the formation of ellipsoidal β-carotene nanoparticles, which in cosolvent mixtures developed into rod-like structures, resulting from a combination of Ostwald ripening and particle aggregation. The stabilizing ability of the copolymer was highly dependent on the mobility of the hydrophobic component, influenced by its molecular weight. As shown here, asymmetric amphiphilic macromolecular brushes of this type may be used as hydrophobic drug stabilizers and potentially assist the shape control of nonspherical aggregate morphologies. PMID:27035279

  7. Hybrid Approaches to Structural Characterization of Conformational Ensembles of Complex Macromolecular Systems Combining NMR Residual Dipolar Couplings and Solution X-ray Scattering.

    PubMed

    Venditti, Vincenzo; Egner, Timothy K; Clore, G Marius

    2016-06-01

    Solving structures or structural ensembles of large macromolecular systems in solution poses a challenging problem. While NMR provides structural information at atomic resolution, increased spectral complexity, chemical shift overlap, and short transverse relaxation times (associated with slow tumbling) render application of the usual techniques that have been so successful for medium sized systems (<50 kDa) difficult. Solution X-ray scattering, on the other hand, is not limited by molecular weight but only provides low resolution structural information related to the overall shape and size of the system under investigation. Here we review how combining atomic resolution structures of smaller domains with sparse experimental data afforded by NMR residual dipolar couplings (which yield both orientational and shape information) and solution X-ray scattering data in rigid-body simulated annealing calculations provides a powerful approach for investigating the structural aspects of conformational dynamics in large multidomain proteins. The application of this hybrid methodology is illustrated for the 128 kDa dimer of bacterial Enzyme I which exists in a variety of open and closed states that are sampled at various points in the catalytic cycles, and for the capsid protein of the human immunodeficiency virus. PMID:26739383

  8. Long-range correlations, geometrical structure, and transport properties of macromolecular solutions. The equivalence of configurational statistics and geometrodynamics of large molecules.

    PubMed

    Mezzasalma, Stefano A

    2007-12-01

    A special theory of Brownian relativity was previously proposed to describe the universal picture arising in ideal polymer solutions. In brief, it redefines a Gaussian macromolecule in a 4-dimensional diffusive spacetime, establishing a (weak) Lorentz-Poincaré invariance between liquid and polymer Einstein's laws for Brownian movement. Here, aimed at inquiring into the effect of correlations, we deepen the extension of the special theory to a general formulation. The previous statistical equivalence, for dynamic trajectories of liquid molecules and static configurations of macromolecules, and rather obvious in uncorrelated systems, is enlarged by a more general principle of equivalence, for configurational statistics and geometrodynamics. Accordingly, the three geodesic motion, continuity, and field equations could be rewritten, and a number of scaling behaviors were recovered in a spacetime endowed with general static isotropic metric (i.e., for equilibrium polymer solutions). We also dealt with universality in the volume fraction and, unexpectedly, found that a hyperscaling relation of the form, (average size) x (diffusivity) x (viscosity)1/2 ~f(N0, phi0) is fulfilled in several regimes, both in the chain monomer number (N) and polymer volume fraction (phi). Entangled macromolecular dynamics was treated as a geodesic light deflection, entaglements acting in close analogy to the field generated by a spherically symmetric mass source, where length fluctuations of the chain primitive path behave as azimuth fluctuations of its shape. Finally, the general transformation rule for translational and diffusive frames gives a coordinate gauge invariance, suggesting a widened Lorentz-Poincaré symmetry for Brownian statistics. We expect this approach to find effective applications to solutions of arbitrarily large molecules displaying a variety of structures, where the effect of geometry is more explicit and significant in itself (e.g., surfactants, lipids, proteins). PMID

  9. Solution-Phase Processes of Macromolecular Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Minamitani, Elizabeth Forsythe

    2004-01-01

    We have proposed, for the tetragonal form of chicken egg lysozyme, that solution phase assembly processes are needed to form the growth units for crystal nucleation and growth. The starting point for the self-association process is the monomeric protein, and the final crystallographic symmetry is defined by the initial dimerization interactions of the monomers and subsequent n-mers formed, which in turn are a function of the crystallization conditions. It has been suggested that multimeric proteins generally incorporate the underlying multimers symmetry into the final crystallographic symmetry. We posed the question of what happens to a protein that is known to grow as an n-mer when it is placed in solution conditions where it is monomeric. The trypsin-treated, or cut, form of the protein canavalin (CCAN) has been shown to nucleate and grow crystals as a trimer from neutral to slightly acidic solutions. Under these conditions the solution is composed almost wholly of trimers. The insoluble protein can be readily dissolved by weakly basic solution, which results in a solution that is monomeric. There are three possible outcomes to an attempt at crystallization of the protein under monomeric (high pH) conditions: 1) we will obtain the same crystals as under trimer conditions, but at different protein concentrations governed by the self association equilibria; 2) we will obtain crystals having a different symmetry, based upon a monomeric growth unit; 3) we will not obtain crystals. Obtaining the first result would be indicative that the solution-phase self-association process is critical to the crystal nucleation and growth process. The second result would be less clear, as it may also reflect a pH-dependent shift in the trimer-trimer molecular interactions. The third result, particularly for experiments in the transition pH's between trimeric and monomeric CCAN, would indicate that the monomer does not crystallize, and that solution phase self association is not part

  10. Size evolution of highly amphiphilic macromolecular solution assemblies via a distinct bimodal pathway

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Elizabeth G.; Murphy, Ryan P.; Seppala, Jonathan E.; Smart, Thomas P.; Hann, Sarah D.

    2014-01-01

    The solution self-assembly of macromolecular amphiphiles offers an efficient, bottom-up strategy for producing well--defined nanocarriers, with applications ranging from drug delivery to nanoreactors. Typically, the generation of uniform nanocarrier architecturesis controlled by processing methods that rely upon cosolvent mixtures. These preparation strategies hinge on the assumption that macromolecular solution nanostructures are kinetically stable following transfer from an organic/aqueous cosolvent into aqueous solution. Herein we demonstrate that unequivocal step-change shifts in micelle populations occur over several weeks following transfer into a highly selective solvent. The unexpected micelle growth evolves through a distinct bimodal distribution separated by multiple fusion events and critically depends on solution agitation. Notably, these results underscore fundamental similarities between assembly processes in amphiphilic polymer, small molecule, and protein systems. Moreover, the non-equilibrium micelle size increase can have a major impact on the assumed stability of solution assemblies, for which performance is dictated by nanocarrier size and structure. PMID:24710204

  11. The Phenix Software for Automated Determination of Macromolecular Structures

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Paul D.; Afonine, Pavel V.; Bunkóczi, Gábor; Chen, Vincent B.; Echols, Nathaniel; Headd, Jeffrey J.; Hung, Li-Wei; Jain, Swati; Kapral, Gary J.; Grosse Kunstleve, Ralf W.; McCoy, Airlie J.; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Oeffner, Robert D.; Read, Randy J.; Richardson, David C.; Richardson, Jane S.; Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Zwart, Peter H.

    2011-01-01

    X-ray crystallography is a critical tool in the study of biological systems. It is able to provide information that has been a prerequisite to understanding the fundamentals of life. It is also a method that is central to the development of new therapeutics for human disease. Significant time and effort are required to determine and optimize many macromolecular structures because of the need for manual interpretation of complex numerical data, often using many different software packages, and the repeated use of interactive three-dimensional graphics. The Phenix software package has been developed to provide a comprehensive system for macromolecular crystallographic structure solution with an emphasis on automation. This has required the development of new algorithms that minimize or eliminate subjective input in favour of built-in expert-systems knowledge, the automation of procedures that are traditionally performed by hand, and the development of a computational framework that allows a tight integration between the algorithms. The application of automated methods is particularly appropriate in the field of structural proteomics, where high throughput is desired. Features in Phenix for the automation of experimental phasing with subsequent model building, molecular replacement, structure refinement and validation are described and examples given of running Phenix from both the command line and graphical user interface. PMID:21821126

  12. New methods of structure refinement for macromolecular structure determination by NMR

    PubMed Central

    Clore, G. Marius; Gronenborn, Angela M.

    1998-01-01

    Recent advances in multidimensional NMR methodology have permitted solution structures of proteins in excess of 250 residues to be solved. In this paper, we discuss several methods of structure refinement that promise to increase the accuracy of macromolecular structures determined by NMR. These methods include the use of a conformational database potential and direct refinement against three-bond coupling constants, secondary 13C shifts, 1H shifts, T1/T2 ratios, and residual dipolar couplings. The latter two measurements provide long range restraints that are not accessible by other solution NMR parameters. PMID:9600889

  13. Homogenization Theory for the Prediction of Obstructed Solute Diffusivity in Macromolecular Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Donovan, Preston; Chehreghanianzabi, Yasaman; Rathinam, Muruhan; Zustiak, Silviya Petrova

    2016-01-01

    The study of diffusion in macromolecular solutions is important in many biomedical applications such as separations, drug delivery, and cell encapsulation, and key for many biological processes such as protein assembly and interstitial transport. Not surprisingly, multiple models for the a-priori prediction of diffusion in macromolecular environments have been proposed. However, most models include parameters that are not readily measurable, are specific to the polymer-solute-solvent system, or are fitted and do not have a physical meaning. Here, for the first time, we develop a homogenization theory framework for the prediction of effective solute diffusivity in macromolecular environments based on physical parameters that are easily measurable and not specific to the macromolecule-solute-solvent system. Homogenization theory is useful for situations where knowledge of fine-scale parameters is used to predict bulk system behavior. As a first approximation, we focus on a model where the solute is subjected to obstructed diffusion via stationary spherical obstacles. We find that the homogenization theory results agree well with computationally more expensive Monte Carlo simulations. Moreover, the homogenization theory agrees with effective diffusivities of a solute in dilute and semi-dilute polymer solutions measured using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Lastly, we provide a mathematical formula for the effective diffusivity in terms of a non-dimensional and easily measurable geometric system parameter. PMID:26731550

  14. Isotope labeling for NMR studies of macromolecular structure and interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, P.E.

    1994-12-01

    Implementation of biosynthetic methods for uniform or specific isotope labeling of proteins, coupled with the recent development of powerful heteronuclear multidimensional NMR methods, has led to a dramatic increase in the size and complexity of macromolecular systems that are now amenable to NMR structural analysis. In recent years, a new technology has emerged that combines uniform {sup 13}C, {sup 15}N labeling with heteronuclear multidimensional NMR methods to allow NMR structural studies of systems approaching 25 to 30 kDa in molecular weight. In addition, with the introduction of specific {sup 13}C and {sup 15}N labels into ligands, meaningful NMR studies of complexes of even higher molecular weight have become feasible. These advances usher in a new era in which the earlier, rather stringent molecular weight limitations have been greatly surpassed and NMR can begin to address many central biological problems that involve macromolecular structure, dynamics, and interactions.

  15. Cryo-Electron Tomography for Structural Characterization of Macromolecular Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Cope, Julia; Heumann, John; Hoenger, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) is an emerging 3-D reconstruction technology that combines the principles of tomographic 3-D reconstruction with the unmatched structural preservation of biological material embedded in vitreous ice. Cryo-ET is particularly suited to investigating cell-biological samples and large macromolecular structures that are too polymorphic to be reconstructed by classical averaging-based 3-D reconstruction procedures. This unit aims to make cryo-ET accessible to newcomers and discusses the specialized equipment required, as well as the relevant advantages and hurdles associated with sample preparation by vitrification and cryo-ET. Protocols describe specimen preparation, data recording and 3-D data reconstruction for cryo-ET, with a special focus on macromolecular complexes. A step-by-step procedure for specimen vitrification by plunge freezing is provided, followed by the general practicalities of tilt-series acquisition for cryo-ET, including advice on how to select an area appropriate for acquiring a tilt series. A brief introduction to the underlying computational reconstruction principles applied in tomography is described, along with instructions for reconstructing a tomogram from cryo-tilt series data. Finally, a method is detailed for extracting small subvolumes containing identical macromolecular structures from tomograms for alignment and averaging as a means to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and eliminate missing wedge effects inherent in tomographic reconstructions. PMID:21842467

  16. Macromolecular structure phasing by neutron anomalous diffraction.

    PubMed

    Cuypers, Maxime G; Mason, Sax A; Mossou, Estelle; Haertlein, Michael; Forsyth, V Trevor; Mitchell, Edward P

    2016-01-01

    In this report we show for the first time that neutron anomalous dispersion can be used in a practical manner to determine experimental phases of a protein crystal structure, providing a new tool for structural biologists. The approach is demonstrated through the use of a state-of-the-art monochromatic neutron diffractometer at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in combination with crystals of perdeuterated protein that minimise the level of hydrogen incoherent scattering and enhance the visibility of the anomalous signal. The protein used was rubredoxin in which cadmium replaced the iron at the iron-sulphur site. While this study was carried out using a steady-state neutron beam source, the results will be of major interest for capabilities at existing and emerging spallation neutron sources where time-of-flight instruments provide inherent energy discrimination. In particular this capability may be expected to offer unique opportunities to a rapidly developing structural biology community where there is increasing interest in the identification of protonation states, protein/water interactions and protein-ligand interactions - all of which are of central importance to a wide range of fundamental and applied areas in the biosciences. PMID:27511806

  17. Macromolecular structure phasing by neutron anomalous diffraction

    PubMed Central

    Cuypers, Maxime G.; Mason, Sax A.; Mossou, Estelle; Haertlein, Michael; Forsyth, V. Trevor; Mitchell, Edward P.

    2016-01-01

    In this report we show for the first time that neutron anomalous dispersion can be used in a practical manner to determine experimental phases of a protein crystal structure, providing a new tool for structural biologists. The approach is demonstrated through the use of a state-of-the-art monochromatic neutron diffractometer at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in combination with crystals of perdeuterated protein that minimise the level of hydrogen incoherent scattering and enhance the visibility of the anomalous signal. The protein used was rubredoxin in which cadmium replaced the iron at the iron-sulphur site. While this study was carried out using a steady-state neutron beam source, the results will be of major interest for capabilities at existing and emerging spallation neutron sources where time-of-flight instruments provide inherent energy discrimination. In particular this capability may be expected to offer unique opportunities to a rapidly developing structural biology community where there is increasing interest in the identification of protonation states, protein/water interactions and protein-ligand interactions – all of which are of central importance to a wide range of fundamental and applied areas in the biosciences. PMID:27511806

  18. Macromolecular Structure Database. Final Progress Report

    SciTech Connect

    Gilliland, Gary L.

    2003-09-23

    The central activity of the PDB continues to be the collection, archiving and distribution of high quality structural data to the scientific community on a timely basis. In support of these activities NIST has continued its roles in developing the physical archive, in developing data uniformity, in dealing with NMR issues and in the distribution of PDB data through CD-ROMs. The physical archive holdings have been organized, inventoried, and a database has been created to facilitate their use. Data from individual PDB entries have been annotated to produce uniform values improving tremendously the accuracy of results of queries. Working with the NMR community we have established data items specific for NMR that will be included in new entries and facilitate data deposition. The PDB CD-ROM production has continued on a quarterly basis, and new products are being distributed.

  19. Macromolecular crowding increases structural content of folded proteins.

    PubMed

    Perham, Michael; Stagg, Loren; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla

    2007-10-30

    Here we show that increased amount of secondary structure is acquired in the folded states of two structurally-different proteins (alpha-helical VlsE and alpha/beta flavodoxin) in the presence of macromolecular crowding agents. The structural content of flavodoxin and VlsE is enhanced by 33% and 70%, respectively, in 400 mg/ml Ficoll 70 (pH 7, 20 degrees C) and correlates with higher protein-thermal stability. In the same Ficoll range, there are only small effects on the unfolded-state structures of the proteins. This is the first in vitro assessment of crowding effects on the native-state structures at physiological conditions. Our findings imply that for proteins with low intrinsic stability, the functional structures in vivo may differ from those observed in dilute buffers. PMID:17919600

  20. REFMAC5 for the refinement of macromolecular crystal structures

    PubMed Central

    Murshudov, Garib N.; Skubák, Pavol; Lebedev, Andrey A.; Pannu, Navraj S.; Steiner, Roberto A.; Nicholls, Robert A.; Winn, Martyn D.; Long, Fei; Vagin, Alexei A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes various components of the macromolecular crystallographic refinement program REFMAC5, which is distributed as part of the CCP4 suite. REFMAC5 utilizes different likelihood functions depending on the diffraction data employed (amplitudes or intensities), the presence of twinning and the availability of SAD/SIRAS experimental diffraction data. To ensure chemical and structural integrity of the refined model, REFMAC5 offers several classes of restraints and choices of model parameterization. Reliable models at resolutions at least as low as 4 Å can be achieved thanks to low-resolution refinement tools such as secondary-structure restraints, restraints to known homologous structures, automatic global and local NCS restraints, ‘jelly-body’ restraints and the use of novel long-range restraints on atomic displacement parameters (ADPs) based on the Kullback–Leibler divergence. REFMAC5 additionally offers TLS parameterization and, when high-resolution data are available, fast refinement of anisotropic ADPs. Refinement in the presence of twinning is performed in a fully automated fashion. REFMAC5 is a flexible and highly optimized refinement package that is ideally suited for refinement across the entire resolution spectrum encountered in macromolecular crystallography. PMID:21460454

  1. Crosslinked macromolecular structures in bituminous coals: Theoretical and experimental considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucht, Lucy M.; Peppas, Nicolaos A.

    1981-02-01

    Ample evidence from physicochemical experiments suggests that bituminous coals can be described as highly crosslinked and entangled networks of macromolecular chains of irregular structure. Theoretically these structures can be analyzed by statistical mechanical models considering non-Gaussian distribution of the macro-molecular chains along with departure from the Flory theories of crosslinked macromolecules. The models of Kovac (1978) and Peppas and Lucht (1979) have been developed in order to describe non-extractable coal matrices and their behavior during swelling in appropriate swelling agents. The molecular weight between cross-links Mc and the crosslinking density ρx can be determined for various solvents and equilibrium swelling ratios. Few experimental data are available to which these models can be applied. Thus, in view of these new theoretical models, experimental research must be directed towards the reexamination of extraction and swelling behavior of bituminous coals. Some of the important parameters to be determined for characterization of the physical structure of coals include the thermodynamic interaction parameter χ, the crosslinking parameters Mc and ρx and the molecular weight distribution of the extractable coal portion.

  2. Macromolecular structure analysis and effective liquefaction pretreatment. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Suuberg, E.M.; Yun, Y.; Lilly, W.D.; Leung, K.; Gates, T.; Otake, Y.; Deevi, S.C.

    1994-07-01

    This project was concerned with characterizing the changes in coal macromolecular structure, that are of significance for liquefaction pretreatments of coal. The macromolecular structure of the insoluble portion of coal is difficult to characterize. Techniques that do so indirectly (based upon, for example, NMR and FTIR characterizations of atomic linkages) are not particularly sensitive for this purpose. Techniques that characterize the elastic structure (such as solvent swelling) are much more sensitive to subtle changes in the network structure. It is for this reason that we focused upon these techniques. The overall objective involved identifying pretreatments that reduce the crosslinking (physical or chemical) of the network structure, and thus lead to materials that can be handled to a greater extent by traditional liquid-phase processing techniques. These techniques tend to be inherently more efficient at producing desirable products. This report is divided into seven chapters. Chapter II summarizes the main experimental approaches used throughout the project, and summarizes the main findings on the Argonne Premium coal samples. Chapter III considers synergistic effects of solvent pairs. It is divided into two subsections. The first is concerned with mixtures of CS{sub 2} with electron donor solvents. The second subsection is concerned with aromatic hydrocarbon - alcohol or hydrocarbon - alcohol mixtures, as might be of interest for preliquefaction delivery of catalysts into bituminous coals. Chapter IV deals with questions of how oxidation might influence the results that are obtained. Chapter V briefly details what conclusions may be drawn concerning the elastic behavior of coals, and the effects of thermal treatments on this behavior. Chapter VI is concerned with theories to describe the action of solvents that are capable of dissociating non-covalent crosslinks. Finally, Chapter VII discusses the practical implications of the study.

  3. Conformational States of Macromolecular Assemblies Explored by Integrative Structure Calculation

    PubMed Central

    Thalassinos, Konstantinos; Pandurangan, Arun Prasad; Xu, Min; Alber, Frank; Topf, Maya

    2013-01-01

    Summary A detailed description of macromolecular assemblies in multiple conformational states can be very valuable for understanding cellular processes. At present, structural determination of most assemblies in different biologically relevant conformations cannot be achieved by a single technique and thus requires an integrative approach that combines information from multiple sources. Different techniques require different computational methods to allow efficient and accurate data processing and analysis. Here, we summarize the latest advances and future challenges in computational methods that help the interpretation of data from two techniques—mass spectrometry and three-dimensional cryo-electron microscopy (with focus on alignment and classification of heterogeneous subtomograms from cryo-electron tomography). We evaluate how new developments in these two broad fields will lead to further integration with atomic structures to broaden our picture of the dynamic behavior of assemblies in their native environment. PMID:24010709

  4. Crystallography & NMR system: A new software suite for macromolecular structure determination.

    PubMed

    Brünger, A T; Adams, P D; Clore, G M; DeLano, W L; Gros, P; Grosse-Kunstleve, R W; Jiang, J S; Kuszewski, J; Nilges, M; Pannu, N S; Read, R J; Rice, L M; Simonson, T; Warren, G L

    1998-09-01

    A new software suite, called Crystallography & NMR System (CNS), has been developed for macromolecular structure determination by X-ray crystallography or solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In contrast to existing structure-determination programs, the architecture of CNS is highly flexible, allowing for extension to other structure-determination methods, such as electron microscopy and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. CNS has a hierarchical structure: a high-level hypertext markup language (HTML) user interface, task-oriented user input files, module files, a symbolic structure-determination language (CNS language), and low-level source code. Each layer is accessible to the user. The novice user may just use the HTML interface, while the more advanced user may use any of the other layers. The source code will be distributed, thus source-code modification is possible. The CNS language is sufficiently powerful and flexible that many new algorithms can be easily implemented in the CNS language without changes to the source code. The CNS language allows the user to perform operations on data structures, such as structure factors, electron-density maps, and atomic properties. The power of the CNS language has been demonstrated by the implementation of a comprehensive set of crystallographic procedures for phasing, density modification and refinement. User-friendly task-oriented input files are available for nearly all aspects of macromolecular structure determination by X-ray crystallography and solution NMR. PMID:9757107

  5. Macromolecular Crystallography and Structural Biology Databases at NIST

    PubMed Central

    Gilliland, Gary L.

    2001-01-01

    In the late 1970s, macromolecular crystallography at NIST began with collaboration between NIST and NIH to establish a single-crystal neutron diffractometer. This instrument was constructed and employed to solve a number of crystal structures: bovine ribonuclease A, bovine-ribonuclease-uridine vanadate complex, and porcine insulin. In the mid 1980s a Biomolecular Structure Group was created establishing NIST capabilities in biomolecular singe-crystal x-ray diffraction. The group worked on a variety of structural problems until joining the NIST/UMBI Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB) in 1987. Crystallographic studies at CARB were then focused on protein engineering efforts that included among others chymosin, subtilisin BPN', interleukin 1β, and glutathione S-transferase. Recently, the structural biology efforts have centered on enzymes in the chorismate metabolic pathways involved in amino acid biosynthesis and in structural genomics that involves determining the structures of “hypothetical” proteins to aid in assigning function. In addition to crystallographic studies, structural biology database activities began with the formal establishment of the Biological Macro-molecule Crystallization Database in 1989. Later, in 1997, NIST in partnership with Rutgers and UCSD formed the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics that successfully acquired the Protein Data Bank. The NIST efforts in these activities have focused on data uniformity, establishing and maintaining the physical archive, and working with the NMR community. PMID:27500071

  6. Cryo electron microscopy to determine the structure of macromolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Carroni, Marta; Saibil, Helen R

    2016-02-15

    Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a structural molecular and cellular biology technique that has experienced major advances in recent years. Technological developments in image recording as well as in processing software make it possible to obtain three-dimensional reconstructions of macromolecular assemblies at near-atomic resolution that were formerly obtained only by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. In parallel, cryo-electron tomography has also benefitted from these technological advances, so that visualization of irregular complexes, organelles or whole cells with their molecular machines in situ has reached subnanometre resolution. Cryo-EM can therefore address a broad range of biological questions. The aim of this review is to provide a brief overview of the principles and current state of the cryo-EM field. PMID:26638773

  7. Macromolecular crowding can account for RNase-sensitive constraint of bacterial nucleoid structure

    SciTech Connect

    Foley, Patricia L.; Wilson, David B.; Shuler, Michael L.

    2010-04-23

    The shape and compaction of the bacterial nucleoid may affect the accessibility of genetic material to the transcriptional machinery in natural and synthetic systems. To investigate this phenomenon, the nature and contribution of RNA and protein to the compaction of nucleoids that had been gently released from Escherichia coli cells were investigated using fluorescent and transmission electron microscopy. We propose that the removal of RNA from the bacterial nucleoid affects nucleoid compaction by altering the branching density and molecular weight of the nucleoid. We show that a common detergent in nucleoid preparations, Brij 58, plays a previously unrecognized role as a macromolecular crowding agent. RNA-free nucleoids adopt a compact structure similar in size to exponential-phase nucleoids when the concentration of Brij 58 is increased, consistent with our hypothesis. We present evidence that control and protein-free nucleoids behave similarly in solutions containing a macromolecular crowding agent. These results show that the contribution to DNA compaction by nucleoid-associated proteins is small when compared to macromolecular crowding effects.

  8. The effect of macromolecular crowding on the structure of the protein complex superoxide dismutase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajapaksha Mudalige, Ajith Rathnaweera

    Biological environments contain between 7 - 40% macromolecules by volume. This reduces the available volume for macromolecules and elevates the osmotic pressure relative to pure water. Consequently, biological macromolecules in their native environments tend to adopt more compact and dehydrated conformations than those in vitro. This effect is referred to as macromolecular crowding and constitutes an important physical difference between native biological environments and the simple solutions in which biomolecules are usually studied. We used small angle scattering (SAS) to measure the effects of macromolecular crowding on the size of a protein complex, superoxide dismutase (SOD). Crowding was induced using 400 MW polyethylene glycol (PEG), triethylene glycol (TEG), methyl-alpha-glucoside (alpha-MG) and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Parallel small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) allowed us to unambiguously attribute apparent changes in radius of gyration to changes in the structure of SOD. For a 40% PEG solution, we find that the volume of SOD was reduced by 9%. SAS coupled with osmotic pressure measurements allowed us to estimate a compressibility modulus for SOD. We believe this to be the first time the osmotic compressibility of a protein complex was measured. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are widely used to obtain insights on biomolecular processes. However, it is not clear whether MD is capable of predicting subtle effects of macromolecular crowding. We used our experimentally observed compressibility of SOD to evaluate the ability of MD to predict macromolecular crowding. Effects of macromolecular crowding due to PEG on SOD were modeled using an all atom MD simulation with the CHARMM forcefield and the crystallographically resolved structures of SOD and PEG. Two parallel MD simulations were performed for SOD in water and SOD in 40% PEG for over 150~ns. Over the period of the simulation the SOD structure in 40

  9. Microelectrophoretic study of calcium oxalate monohydrate in macromolecular solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, P. A.; Onoda, G. Y., Jr.; Finlayson, B.

    1987-01-01

    Electrophoretic mobilities were measured for calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) in solutions containing macromolecules. Two mucopolysaccharides (sodium heparin and chondroitin sulfate) and two proteins (positively charged lysozyme and negatively charged bovine serum albumin) were studied as adsorbates. The effects of pH, calcium oxalate surface charge (varied by calcium or oxalate ion activity), and citrate concentration were investigated. All four macromolecules showed evidence for adsorption. The macromolecule concentrations needed for reversing the surface charge indicated that the mucopolysaccharides have greater affinity for the COM surface than the proteins. Citrate ions at high concentrations appear to compete effectively with the negative protein for surface sites but show no evidence for competing with the positively charged protein.

  10. Timely deposition of macromolecular structures is necessary for peer review

    SciTech Connect

    Joosten, Robbie P.; Soueidan, Hayssam; Wessels, Lodewyk F. A.; Perrakis, Anastassis

    2013-12-01

    Deposition of crystallographic structures should be concurrent with or prior to manuscript submission for peer review, enabling validation and increasing reliability of the PDB. Most of the macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), which are used daily by thousands of educators and scientists alike, are determined by X-ray crystallography. It was examined whether the crystallographic models and data were deposited to the PDB at the same time as the publications that describe them were submitted for peer review. This condition is necessary to ensure pre-publication validation and the quality of the PDB public archive. It was found that a significant proportion of PDB entries were submitted to the PDB after peer review of the corresponding publication started, and many were only submitted after peer review had ended. It is argued that clear description of journal policies and effective policing is important for pre-publication validation, which is key in ensuring the quality of the PDB and of peer-reviewed literature.

  11. The electrokinetic behavior of calcium oxalate monohydrate in macromolecular solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, P. A.; Onoda, G. Y., Jr.; Finlayson, B.

    1988-01-01

    Electrophoretic mobilities were measured for calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) in solutions containing macromolecules. Two mucopolysaccharides (sodium heparin and chrondroitin sulfate) and two proteins (positively charged lysozyme and negatively charged bovine serum albumin) were studied as adsorbates. The effects of pH, calcium oxalate surface charge (varied by calcium or oxalate ion activity), and citrate concentration were investigated. All four macromolecules showed evidence for chemical adsorption. The macromolecule concentrations needed for reversing the surface charge indicated that the mucopopolysacchrides have greater affinity for the COM surface than the proteins. The amount of proteins that can chemically adsorb appears to be limited to approximately one monomolecular layer. When the surface charge is high, an insufficient number of proteins can chemically adsorb to neutralize or reverse the surface charge. The remaining surface charge is balanced by proteins held near the surface by longer range electrostatic forces only. Citrate ions at high concentrations appear to compete effectively with the negative protein for surface sites but show no evidence for competing with the positively charged protein.

  12. Macromolecular coal structure as revealed by novel diffusion tests

    SciTech Connect

    Peppas, N.A.; Olivares, J.; Drummond, R.; Lustig, S.

    1990-01-01

    The main goal of the present work was the elucidation of the mechanistic characteristics of dynamic transport of various penetrants (solvents) in thin sections of coals by examining their penetrant uptake, front swelling and stress development. An important objective of this work was the study of coal network structure in different thermodynamically compatible penetrants and the analysis of dynamic swelling in terms of present anomalous transport theories. Interferometry/polariscopy, surface image analysis and related techniques were used to quantify the stresses and solvent concentration profiles in these sections. Dynamic and equilibrium swelling behavior were correlated using the polar interaction contributions of the solvent solubility parameters. The penetrant front position was followed in thin coal sections as a function of time. The initial front velocity was calculated for various coals and penetrants. Our penetrant studies with thin coal section from the same coal sample but with different thickness show that within the range of 150 {mu}m to 1500{mu}m the transport mechanism of dimethyl formamide in the macromolecular coal network is non-Fickian. In fact, for the thickest samples the transport mechanism is predominately Case-II whereas in the thinner samples penetrant uptake may be diffusion-controlled. Studies in various penetrants such as acetone, cyclohexane, methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene and methylene chloride indicated that penetrant transport is a non-Fickian phenomenon. Stresses and cracks were observed for transport of methylene chloride. 73 refs., 88 figs., 15 tabs.

  13. Macromolecular ab initio phasing enforcing secondary and tertiary structure

    PubMed Central

    Millán, Claudia; Sammito, Massimo; Usón, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Ab initio phasing of macromolecular structures, from the native intensities alone with no experimental phase information or previous particular structural knowledge, has been the object of a long quest, limited by two main barriers: structure size and resolution of the data. Current approaches to extend the scope of ab initio phasing include use of the Patterson function, density modification and data extrapolation. The authors’ approach relies on the combination of locating model fragments such as polyalanine α-helices with the program PHASER and density modification with the program SHELXE. Given the difficulties in discriminating correct small substructures, many putative groups of fragments have to be tested in parallel; thus calculations are performed in a grid or supercomputer. The method has been named after the Italian painter Arcimboldo, who used to compose portraits out of fruit and vegetables. With ARCIMBOLDO, most collections of fragments remain a ‘still-life’, but some are correct enough for density modification and main-chain tracing to reveal the protein’s true portrait. Beyond α-helices, other fragments can be exploited in an analogous way: libraries of helices with modelled side chains, β-strands, predictable fragments such as DNA-binding folds or fragments selected from distant homologues up to libraries of small local folds that are used to enforce nonspecific tertiary structure; thus restoring the ab initio nature of the method. Using these methods, a number of unknown macromolecules with a few thousand atoms and resolutions around 2 Å have been solved. In the 2014 release, use of the program has been simplified. The software mediates the use of massive computing to automate the grid access required in difficult cases but may also run on a single multicore workstation (http://chango.ibmb.csic.es/ARCIMBOLDO_LITE) to solve straightforward cases. PMID:25610631

  14. Macromolecular properties and polymeric structure of canine tracheal mucins.

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, V; Virmani, A K; Naziruddin, B; Sachdev, G P

    1991-01-01

    Two high-Mr mucus glycoproteins (mucins), CTM-A and CTM-B, were highly purified from canine tracheal pouch secretions, and their macromolecular properties as well as polymeric structure were investigated. On SDS/composite-gel electrophoresis, a diffuse band was observed for each mucin. Polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis using 6% gels also showed the absence of low-Mr contaminants in the mucins. Comparison of chemical and amino acid compositions revealed significant differences between the two mucins. Using a static-laser-light-scattering technique, CTM-A and CTM-B were found to have weight-average Mr values of about 11.0 x 10(6) and 1.4 x 10(6) respectively. Both mucins showed concentration-dependent aggregation in buffer containing 6 M-guanidine hydrochloride. Under similar experimental conditions, reduced-alkylated CTM-A had an Mr of 5.48 x 10(6) and showed no concentration-dependent aggregation. Hydrophobic properties of the mucins, investigated by the fluorescent probe technique using mansylphenylalanine as the probe, showed the presence of a large number of low-affinity (KD approx. 10(5) M) binding sites. These sites appeared to be located on the non-glycosylated regions of the protein core, since Pronase digestion of the mucins almost completely eliminated probe binding. Reduction of disulphide bonds of CTM-A and CTM-B did not significantly alter the probe-binding properties. Also, addition of increasing NaCl concentrations (0.03-1.0 M) to the buffer caused only a small change in the hydrophobic properties of native and reduced-alkylated mucins. CTM-A was deglycosylated, without notable in the hydrophobic properties of native and reduced-alkylated mucins. CTM-A was deglycosylated, without notable degradation, using a combination of chemical and enzymic methods. On SDS/PAGE the protein core was estimated to have an Mr of approx. 60,000. On the basis of the protein and carbohydrate contents of the major mucin CTM-A, the mucin monomer was calculated to have an

  15. Phasing macromolecular structures via structure-invariant algebra.

    PubMed

    Hauptman, H; Han, F

    1993-01-01

    Owing to the breakdown of Friedel's law when anomalous scatterers are present, unique values of the three-phase structure invariants in the whole range from 0 to 2pi are determined by measured values of diffraction intensities alone. Two methods are described for going from presumed known values of these invariants to the values of the individual phases. The first, dependent on a scheme for resolving the 2pi ambiguity in the estimate omega(HK) of the triplet phi(H) + phi(K) + phi(-H-K), solves by least squares the resulting redundant system of linear equations phi(H) + phi(K) + phi(-H-K) = omega(HK). The second attempts to minimize the weighted sum of squares of differences between the true values of the cosine and sine invariants and their estimates. The latter method is closely related to one based on the 'minimal principle' which determines the values of a large set of phases as the constrained global minimum of a function of all the phases in the set. Both methods work in the sense that they yield values of the individual phases substantially better than the values of the initial estimates of the triplets. However, the second method proves to be superior to the first but requires, in addition to estimates of the triplets, initial estimates of the values of the individual phases. PMID:15299539

  16. PDBe: improved accessibility of macromolecular structure data from PDB and EMDB

    PubMed Central

    Velankar, Sameer; van Ginkel, Glen; Alhroub, Younes; Battle, Gary M.; Berrisford, John M.; Conroy, Matthew J.; Dana, Jose M.; Gore, Swanand P.; Gutmanas, Aleksandras; Haslam, Pauline; Hendrickx, Pieter M. S.; Lagerstedt, Ingvar; Mir, Saqib; Fernandez Montecelo, Manuel A.; Mukhopadhyay, Abhik; Oldfield, Thomas J.; Patwardhan, Ardan; Sanz-García, Eduardo; Sen, Sanchayita; Slowley, Robert A.; Wainwright, Michael E.; Deshpande, Mandar S.; Iudin, Andrii; Sahni, Gaurav; Salavert Torres, Jose; Hirshberg, Miriam; Mak, Lora; Nadzirin, Nurul; Armstrong, David R.; Clark, Alice R.; Smart, Oliver S.; Korir, Paul K.; Kleywegt, Gerard J.

    2016-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank in Europe (http://pdbe.org) accepts and annotates depositions of macromolecular structure data in the PDB and EMDB archives and enriches, integrates and disseminates structural information in a variety of ways. The PDBe website has been redesigned based on an analysis of user requirements, and now offers intuitive access to improved and value-added macromolecular structure information. Unique value-added information includes lists of reviews and research articles that cite or mention PDB entries as well as access to figures and legends from full-text open-access publications that describe PDB entries. A powerful new query system not only shows all the PDB entries that match a given query, but also shows the ‘best structures’ for a given macromolecule, ligand complex or sequence family using data-quality information from the wwPDB validation reports. A PDBe RESTful API has been developed to provide unified access to macromolecular structure data available in the PDB and EMDB archives as well as value-added annotations, e.g. regarding structure quality and up-to-date cross-reference information from the SIFTS resource. Taken together, these new developments facilitate unified access to macromolecular structure data in an intuitive way for non-expert users and support expert users in analysing macromolecular structure data. PMID:26476444

  17. DOMMINO 2.0: integrating structurally resolved protein-, RNA-, and DNA-mediated macromolecular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kuang, Xingyan; Dhroso, Andi; Han, Jing Ginger; Shyu, Chi-Ren; Korkin, Dmitry

    2016-01-01

    Macromolecular interactions are formed between proteins, DNA and RNA molecules. Being a principle building block in macromolecular assemblies and pathways, the interactions underlie most of cellular functions. Malfunctioning of macromolecular interactions is also linked to a number of diseases. Structural knowledge of the macromolecular interaction allows one to understand the interaction’s mechanism, determine its functional implications and characterize the effects of genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, on the interaction. Unfortunately, until now the interactions mediated by different types of macromolecules, e.g. protein–protein interactions or protein–DNA interactions, are collected into individual and unrelated structural databases. This presents a significant obstacle in the analysis of macromolecular interactions. For instance, the homogeneous structural interaction databases prevent scientists from studying structural interactions of different types but occurring in the same macromolecular complex. Here, we introduce DOMMINO 2.0, a structural Database Of Macro-Molecular INteractiOns. Compared to DOMMINO 1.0, a comprehensive database on protein-protein interactions, DOMMINO 2.0 includes the interactions between all three basic types of macromolecules extracted from PDB files. DOMMINO 2.0 is automatically updated on a weekly basis. It currently includes ∼1 040 000 interactions between two polypeptide subunits (e.g. domains, peptides, termini and interdomain linkers), ∼43 000 RNA-mediated interactions, and ∼12 000 DNA-mediated interactions. All protein structures in the database are annotated using SCOP and SUPERFAMILY family annotation. As a result, protein-mediated interactions involving protein domains, interdomain linkers, C- and N- termini, and peptides are identified. Our database provides an intuitive web interface, allowing one to investigate interactions at three different resolution levels: whole subunit network

  18. Fast Method for Computing Chemical Potentials and Liquid-Liquid Phase Equilibria of Macromolecular Solutions.

    PubMed

    Qin, Sanbo; Zhou, Huan-Xiang

    2016-08-25

    Chemical potential is a fundamental property for determining thermodynamic equilibria involving exchange of molecules, such as between two phases of molecular systems. Previously, we developed the fast Fourier transform (FFT)-based method for Modeling Atomistic Protein-crowder interactions (FMAP) to calculate excess chemical potentials according to the Widom insertion. Intermolecular interaction energies were expressed as correlation functions and evaluated via FFT. Here, we extend this method to calculate liquid-liquid phase equilibria of macromolecular solutions. Chemical potentials are calculated by FMAP over a wide range of molecular densities, and the condition for coexistence of low- and high-density phases is determined by the Maxwell equal-area rule. When benchmarked on Lennard-Jones fluids, our method produces an accurate phase diagram at 18% of the computational cost of the current best method. Importantly, the gain in computational speed increases dramatically as the molecules become more complex, leading to many orders of magnitude in speed up for atomistically represented proteins. We demonstrate the power of FMAP by reporting the first results for the liquid-liquid coexistence curve of γII-crystallin represented at the all-atom level. Our method may thus open the door to accurate determination of phase equilibria for macromolecular mixtures such as protein-protein mixtures and protein-RNA mixtures, that are known to undergo liquid-liquid phase separation, both in vitro and in vivo. PMID:27327881

  19. Dynamic simulation of concentrated macromolecular solutions with screened long-range hydrodynamic interactions: Algorithm and limitations

    PubMed Central

    Ando, Tadashi; Chow, Edmond; Skolnick, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Hydrodynamic interactions exert a critical effect on the dynamics of macromolecules. As the concentration of macromolecules increases, by analogy to the behavior of semidilute polymer solutions or the flow in porous media, one might expect hydrodynamic screening to occur. Hydrodynamic screening would have implications both for the understanding of macromolecular dynamics as well as practical implications for the simulation of concentrated macromolecular solutions, e.g., in cells. Stokesian dynamics (SD) is one of the most accurate methods for simulating the motions of N particles suspended in a viscous fluid at low Reynolds number, in that it considers both far-field and near-field hydrodynamic interactions. This algorithm traditionally involves an O(N3) operation to compute Brownian forces at each time step, although asymptotically faster but more complex SD methods are now available. Motivated by the idea of hydrodynamic screening, the far-field part of the hydrodynamic matrix in SD may be approximated by a diagonal matrix, which is equivalent to assuming that long range hydrodynamic interactions are completely screened. This approximation allows sparse matrix methods to be used, which can reduce the apparent computational scaling to O(N). Previously there were several simulation studies using this approximation for monodisperse suspensions. Here, we employ newly designed preconditioned iterative methods for both the computation of Brownian forces and the solution of linear systems, and consider the validity of this approximation in polydisperse suspensions. We evaluate the accuracy of the diagonal approximation method using an intracellular-like suspension. The diffusivities of particles obtained with this approximation are close to those with the original method. However, this approximation underestimates intermolecular correlated motions, which is a trade-off between accuracy and computing efficiency. The new method makes it possible to perform large-scale and

  20. Dynamic simulation of concentrated macromolecular solutions with screened long-range hydrodynamic interactions: Algorithm and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ando, Tadashi; Chow, Edmond; Skolnick, Jeffrey

    2013-09-01

    Hydrodynamic interactions exert a critical effect on the dynamics of macromolecules. As the concentration of macromolecules increases, by analogy to the behavior of semidilute polymer solutions or the flow in porous media, one might expect hydrodynamic screening to occur. Hydrodynamic screening would have implications both for the understanding of macromolecular dynamics as well as practical implications for the simulation of concentrated macromolecular solutions, e.g., in cells. Stokesian dynamics (SD) is one of the most accurate methods for simulating the motions of N particles suspended in a viscous fluid at low Reynolds number, in that it considers both far-field and near-field hydrodynamic interactions. This algorithm traditionally involves an O(N3) operation to compute Brownian forces at each time step, although asymptotically faster but more complex SD methods are now available. Motivated by the idea of hydrodynamic screening, the far-field part of the hydrodynamic matrix in SD may be approximated by a diagonal matrix, which is equivalent to assuming that long range hydrodynamic interactions are completely screened. This approximation allows sparse matrix methods to be used, which can reduce the apparent computational scaling to O(N). Previously there were several simulation studies using this approximation for monodisperse suspensions. Here, we employ newly designed preconditioned iterative methods for both the computation of Brownian forces and the solution of linear systems, and consider the validity of this approximation in polydisperse suspensions. We evaluate the accuracy of the diagonal approximation method using an intracellular-like suspension. The diffusivities of particles obtained with this approximation are close to those with the original method. However, this approximation underestimates intermolecular correlated motions, which is a trade-off between accuracy and computing efficiency. The new method makes it possible to perform large-scale and

  1. Macromolecular Stabilization by Excluded Cosolutes: Mean Field Theory of Crowded Solutions.

    PubMed

    Sapir, Liel; Harries, Daniel

    2015-07-14

    We propose a mean field theory to account for the experimentally determined temperature dependence of protein stabilization that emerges in solutions crowded by preferentially excluded cosolutes. Based on regular solution theory and employing the Flory-Huggins approximation, our model describes cosolutes in terms of their size, and two temperature-dependent microscopic parameters that correspond to macromolecule-cosolute and bulk solution interactions. The theory not only predicts a "depletion force" that can account for the experimentally observed stabilization of protein folding or association in the presence of excluded cosolutes but also predicts the full range of associated entropic and enthalpic components. Remarkably, depending on cosolute identity and in accordance with experiments, the theory describes entropically as well as enthalpically dominated depletion forces, even those disfavored by entropy. This emerging depletion attraction cannot be simply linked to molecular volumes. Instead, the relevant parameter is an effective volume that represents an interplay between solvent, cosolute, and macromolecular interactions. We demonstrate that the apparent depletion free energy is often accompanied by significant yet compensating entropy and enthalpy terms that, although having a net zero contribution to stabilization, can obscure the underlying molecular mechanism. This study underscores the importance of including often-neglected free energy terms that correspond to solvent-cosolute and cosolute-macromolecule interactions, which for most typical cosolutes are expected to be temperature dependent. We propose that experiments specifically aimed at resolving the temperature-dependence of cosolute exclusion from macromolecular surfaces should help reveal the full range of the underlying molecular mechanisms of the depletion force. PMID:26575781

  2. The Neurobiologist's Guide to Structural Biology: A Primer on Why Macromolecular Structure Matters and How to Evaluate Structural Data

    PubMed Central

    Minor, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

    Structural biology now plays a prominent role in addressing questions central to understanding how excitable cells function. Although interest in the insights gained from the definition and dissection of macromolecular anatomy is high, many neurobiologists remain unfamiliar with the methods employed. This primer aims to help neurobiologists understand approaches for probing macromolecular structure and where the limits and challenges remain. Using examples of macromolecules with neurobiological importance, the review covers X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy (EM), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and biophysical methods with which these approaches are often paired: isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), equilibrium analytical ultracentifugation, and molecular dynamics (MD). PMID:17521566

  3. Probing the Interplay of Size, Shape, and Solution Environment in Macromolecular Diffusion Using a Simple Refraction Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mankidy, Bijith D.; Coutinho, Cecil A.; Gupta, Vinay K.

    2010-01-01

    The diffusion coefficient of polymers is a critical parameter in biomedicine, catalysis, chemical separations, nanotechnology, and other industrial applications. Here, measurement of macromolecular diffusion in solutions is described using a visually instructive, undergraduate-level optical refraction experiment based on Weiner's method. To…

  4. Protein crystallography for aspiring crystallographers or how to avoid pitfalls and traps in macromolecular structure determination

    PubMed Central

    Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek; Dauter, Zbigniew; Jaskolski, Mariusz

    2014-01-01

    The number of macromolecular structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank now approaches 100 000, with the vast majority of them determined by crystallographic methods. Thousands of papers describing such structures have been published in the scientific literature, and 20 Nobel Prizes in chemistry or medicine have been awarded for discoveries based on macromolecular crystallography. New hardware and software tools have made crystallography appear to be an almost routine (but still far from being analytical) technique and many structures are now being determined by scientists with very limited experience in the practical aspects of the field. However, this apparent ease is sometimes illusory and proper procedures need to be followed to maintain high standards of structure quality. In addition, many noncrystallographers may have problems with the critical evaluation and interpretation of structural results published in the scientific literature. The present review provides an outline of the technical aspects of crystallography for less experienced practitioners, as well as information that might be useful for users of macromolecular structures, aiming to show them how to interpret (but not overinterpret) the information present in the coordinate files and in their description. A discussion of the extent of information that can be gleaned from the atomic coordinates of structures solved at different resolution is provided, as well as problems and pitfalls encountered in structure determination and interpretation. PMID:24034303

  5. Quantification of Complex Topologies in Macromolecular and Nanoscale Structures using Small-Angle Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pradhan, Siddharth; Ramachandran, Ramanth; Rai, Durgesh; Beaucage, Gregory

    2012-02-01

    Polymers are characterized by molecular weight distribution, tacticity, block copolymer content and branch content and chain topology. The branch structure and particularly the topology of branched chains has remained a difficult characterization problem. Recently we have developed a scaling model that can be coupled with small-angle scattering to measure the average branch length, number of branches and branch-on-branch structure in macromolecules of complex topology. This method has been extended to understand the structure of two dimensional structures and crumpling in these macromolecular systems. We have explored a wide range of materials in this regard. This poster will give an overview of the current uses for the scaling model for macromolecular topology. References pertaining to this poster can be found at http://www.eng.uc.edu/˜gbeaucag/BranchingPapers.html.

  6. High-Resolution Macromolecular Structure Determination by MicroED, a cryo-EM Method.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, J A; Gonen, T

    2016-01-01

    Microelectron diffraction (MicroED) is a new cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) method capable of determining macromolecular structures at atomic resolution from vanishingly small 3D crystals. MicroED promises to solve atomic resolution structures from even the tiniest of crystals, less than a few hundred nanometers thick. MicroED complements frontier advances in crystallography and represents part of the rebirth of cryo-EM that is making macromolecular structure determination more accessible for all. Here we review the concept and practice of MicroED, for both the electron microscopist and crystallographer. Where other reviews have addressed specific details of the technique (Hattne et al., 2015; Shi et al., 2016; Shi, Nannenga, Iadanza, & Gonen, 2013), we aim to provide context and highlight important features that should be considered when performing a MicroED experiment. PMID:27572734

  7. Principles and Overview of Sampling Methods for Modeling Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Maximova, Tatiana; Moffatt, Ryan; Ma, Buyong; Nussinov, Ruth; Shehu, Amarda

    2016-04-01

    Investigation of macromolecular structure and dynamics is fundamental to understanding how macromolecules carry out their functions in the cell. Significant advances have been made toward this end in silico, with a growing number of computational methods proposed yearly to study and simulate various aspects of macromolecular structure and dynamics. This review aims to provide an overview of recent advances, focusing primarily on methods proposed for exploring the structure space of macromolecules in isolation and in assemblies for the purpose of characterizing equilibrium structure and dynamics. In addition to surveying recent applications that showcase current capabilities of computational methods, this review highlights state-of-the-art algorithmic techniques proposed to overcome challenges posed in silico by the disparate spatial and time scales accessed by dynamic macromolecules. This review is not meant to be exhaustive, as such an endeavor is impossible, but rather aims to balance breadth and depth of strategies for modeling macromolecular structure and dynamics for a broad audience of novices and experts. PMID:27124275

  8. Principles and Overview of Sampling Methods for Modeling Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Moffatt, Ryan; Ma, Buyong; Nussinov, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of macromolecular structure and dynamics is fundamental to understanding how macromolecules carry out their functions in the cell. Significant advances have been made toward this end in silico, with a growing number of computational methods proposed yearly to study and simulate various aspects of macromolecular structure and dynamics. This review aims to provide an overview of recent advances, focusing primarily on methods proposed for exploring the structure space of macromolecules in isolation and in assemblies for the purpose of characterizing equilibrium structure and dynamics. In addition to surveying recent applications that showcase current capabilities of computational methods, this review highlights state-of-the-art algorithmic techniques proposed to overcome challenges posed in silico by the disparate spatial and time scales accessed by dynamic macromolecules. This review is not meant to be exhaustive, as such an endeavor is impossible, but rather aims to balance breadth and depth of strategies for modeling macromolecular structure and dynamics for a broad audience of novices and experts. PMID:27124275

  9. A New Program for Detecting the Geometrical Core of a Set of Structures of Macromolecular Complexes.

    PubMed

    Vakulenko, Yu A; Nagaev, B E; Alexeevski, A V; Karyagina, A S; Spirin, S A

    2016-04-01

    Comparison of structures of homological proteins often helps to understand functionally significant features of these structures. This concerns not only structures of separate protein chains, but also structures of macromolecular complexes. In particular, a comparison of complexes of homologous proteins with DNA is significant for analysis of the recognition of DNA by proteins. We present program LCore for detecting geometrical cores of a family of structures; a geometrical core is a set of amino acid residues and nucleotides that disposed similarly in all structures of the family. We describe the algorithm of the program, its web interface, and an example of its application to analysis of complexes of homeodomains with DNA. PMID:27293101

  10. The chemical structure of macromolecular fractions of a sulfur-rich oil

    SciTech Connect

    Richnow, H.H.; Jenisch, A.; Michaelis, W. )

    1993-06-01

    A selective stepwise chemical degradation has been developed for structural studies of high-molecular-weight (HMW) fractions of sulfur-rich oils. The degradation steps are: (i) desulfurization; (ii) cleavage of oxygen-carbon bonds; and (iii) oxidation of aromatic structural units. After each step, the remaining macromolecular matter was subjected to the subsequent reaction. This degradation scheme was applied to the asphaltene, the resin, and a macromolecular fraction of low polarity (LPMF) of Rozel Point oil. Total amounts of degraded low-molecular-weight compounds increased progressively in the order asphaltene < resin < LPMF. Desulfurization yielded mainly phytane, steranes, and triterpanes. Oxygen-carbon bond cleavage resulted in hydrocarbon fractions predominated by n-alkanes and acyclic isoprenoids. The oxidation step afforded high amounts of linear carboxylic acids in the range of C[sub 11] to C[sub 33]. The released compounds provide a more complete picture of the molecular structure of the oil fractions than previously available. Labelling experiments with deuterium atoms allowed characterization of the site of bonding and the type of linkage for compounds. Evidence is presented that subunits of the macromolecular network are attached simultaneously by oxygen and sulfur (n-alkanes, hopanes) or by sulfur and aromatic units (n-alkanes, steranes).

  11. The R-factor gap in macromolecular crystallography: an untapped potential for insights on accurate structures

    PubMed Central

    Holton, James M; Classen, Scott; Frankel, Kenneth A; Tainer, John A

    2014-01-01

    In macromolecular crystallography, the agreement between observed and predicted structure factors (Rcryst and Rfree) is seldom better than 20%. This is much larger than the estimate of experimental error (Rmerge). The difference between Rcryst and Rmerge is the R-factor gap. There is no such gap in small-molecule crystallography, for which calculated structure factors are generally considered more accurate than the experimental measurements. Perhaps the true noise level of macromolecular data is higher than expected? Or is the gap caused by inaccurate phases that trap refined models in local minima? By generating simulated diffraction patterns using the program MLFSOM, and including every conceivable source of experimental error, we show that neither is the case. Processing our simulated data yielded values that were indistinguishable from those of real data for all crystallographic statistics except the final Rcryst and Rfree. These values decreased to 3.8% and 5.5% for simulated data, suggesting that the reason for high R-factors in macromolecular crystallography is neither experimental error nor phase bias, but rather an underlying inadequacy in the models used to explain our observations. The present inability to accurately represent the entire macromolecule with both its flexibility and its protein-solvent interface may be improved by synergies between small-angle X-ray scattering, computational chemistry and crystallography. The exciting implication of our finding is that macromolecular data contain substantial hidden and untapped potential to resolve ambiguities in the true nature of the nanoscale, a task that the second century of crystallography promises to fulfill. Database Coordinates and structure factors for the real data have been submitted to the Protein Data Bank under accession 4tws. PMID:25040949

  12. The PDB_REDO server for macromolecular structure model optimization

    PubMed Central

    Joosten, Robbie P.; Long, Fei; Murshudov, Garib N.; Perrakis, Anastassis

    2014-01-01

    The refinement and validation of a crystallographic structure model is the last step before the coordinates and the associated data are submitted to the Protein Data Bank (PDB). The success of the refinement procedure is typically assessed by validating the models against geometrical criteria and the diffraction data, and is an important step in ensuring the quality of the PDB public archive [Read et al. (2011 ▶), Structure, 19, 1395–1412]. The PDB_REDO procedure aims for ‘constructive validation’, aspiring to consistent and optimal refinement parameterization and pro-active model rebuilding, not only correcting errors but striving for optimal interpretation of the electron density. A web server for PDB_REDO has been implemented, allowing thorough, consistent and fully automated optimization of the refinement procedure in REFMAC and partial model rebuilding. The goal of the web server is to help practicing crystallo­graphers to improve their model prior to submission to the PDB. For this, additional steps were implemented in the PDB_REDO pipeline, both in the refinement procedure, e.g. testing of resolution limits and k-fold cross-validation for small test sets, and as new validation criteria, e.g. the density-fit metrics implemented in EDSTATS and ligand validation as implemented in YASARA. Innovative ways to present the refinement and validation results to the user are also described, which together with auto-generated Coot scripts can guide users to subsequent model inspection and improvement. It is demonstrated that using the server can lead to substantial improvement of structure models before they are submitted to the PDB. PMID:25075342

  13. Evolution of the macromolecular structure of sporopollenin during thermal degradation

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, S.; Benzerara, K.; Beyssac, O.; Balan, E.; Brown Jr., G.E.

    2015-01-01

    Reconstructing the original biogeochemistry of organic microfossils requires quantifying the extent of the chemical transformations they experienced during burial and maturation processes. In the present study, fossilization experiments have been performed using modern sporopollenin chosen as an analogue for the resistant biocompounds possibly constituting the wall of many organic microfossils. Sporopollenin powder has been processed thermally under argon atmosphere at different temperatures (up to 1000 °C) for varying durations (up to 900 min). Solid residues of each experiment have been characterized using infrared, Raman and synchrotron-based XANES spectroscopies. Results indicate that significant defunctionalisation and aromatization affect the molecular structure of sporopollenin with increasing temperature. Two distinct stages of evolution with temperature are observed: in a first stage, sporopollenin experiences dehydrogenation and deoxygenation simultaneously (below 500 °C); in a second stage (above 500 °C) an increasing concentration in aromatic groups and a lateral growth of aromatic layers are observed. With increasing heating duration (up to 900 min) at a constant temperature (360 °C), oxygen is progressively lost and conjugated carbon–carbon chains or domains grow progressively, following a log-linear kinetic behavior. Based on the comparison with natural spores fossilized within metasediments which experienced intense metamorphism, we show that the present experimental simulations may not perfectly mimic natural diagenesis and metamorphism. Yet, performing such laboratory experiments provides key insights on the processes transforming biogenic molecules into molecular fossils. PMID:27123494

  14. Evolution of the macromolecular structure of sporopollenin during thermal degradation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bernard, S.; Benzerara, K.; Beyssac, O.; Balan, E.; G. E. Brown, Jr.

    2015-10-01

    Reconstructing the original biogeochemistry of organic microfossils requires quantifying the extent of the chemical transformations they experienced during burial and maturation processes. In the present study, fossilization experiments have been performed using modern sporopollenin chosen as an analogue for the resistant biocompounds possibly constituting the wall of many organic microfossils. Sporopollenin powder has been processed thermally under argon atmosphere at different temperatures (up to 1000 °C) for varying durations (up to 900 min). Solid residues of each experiment have been characterized using infrared, Raman and synchrotron-based XANES spectroscopies. Results indicate that significant defunctionalisation and aromatization affect the molecular structure ofmore » sporopollenin with increasing temperature. Two distinct stages of evolution with temperature are observed: in a first stage, sporopollenin experiences dehydrogenation and deoxygenation simultaneously (below 500 °C); in a second stage (above 500 °C) an increasing concentration in aromatic groups and a lateral growth of aromatic layers are observed. With increasing heating duration (up to 900 min) at a constant temperature (360 °C), oxygen is progressively lost and conjugated carbon–carbon chains or domains grow progressively, following a log-linear kinetic behavior. Based on the comparison with natural spores fossilized within metasediments which experienced intense metamorphism, we show that the present experimental simulations may not perfectly mimic natural diagenesis and metamorphism. Moreover, performing such laboratory experiments provides key insights on the processes transforming biogenic molecules into molecular fossils.« less

  15. Evolution of the macromolecular structure of sporopollenin during thermal degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Bernard, S.; Benzerara, K.; Beyssac, O.; Balan, E.; G. E. Brown, Jr.

    2015-10-01

    Reconstructing the original biogeochemistry of organic microfossils requires quantifying the extent of the chemical transformations they experienced during burial and maturation processes. In the present study, fossilization experiments have been performed using modern sporopollenin chosen as an analogue for the resistant biocompounds possibly constituting the wall of many organic microfossils. Sporopollenin powder has been processed thermally under argon atmosphere at different temperatures (up to 1000 °C) for varying durations (up to 900 min). Solid residues of each experiment have been characterized using infrared, Raman and synchrotron-based XANES spectroscopies. Results indicate that significant defunctionalisation and aromatization affect the molecular structure of sporopollenin with increasing temperature. Two distinct stages of evolution with temperature are observed: in a first stage, sporopollenin experiences dehydrogenation and deoxygenation simultaneously (below 500 °C); in a second stage (above 500 °C) an increasing concentration in aromatic groups and a lateral growth of aromatic layers are observed. With increasing heating duration (up to 900 min) at a constant temperature (360 °C), oxygen is progressively lost and conjugated carbon–carbon chains or domains grow progressively, following a log-linear kinetic behavior. Based on the comparison with natural spores fossilized within metasediments which experienced intense metamorphism, we show that the present experimental simulations may not perfectly mimic natural diagenesis and metamorphism. Moreover, performing such laboratory experiments provides key insights on the processes transforming biogenic molecules into molecular fossils.

  16. Recovering a Representative Conformational Ensemble from Underdetermined Macromolecular Structural Data

    PubMed Central

    Berlin, Konstantin; Castañeda, Carlos A.; Schneidman-Duhovny, Dina; Sali, Andrej; Nava-Tudela, Alfredo; Fushman, David

    2013-01-01

    Structural analysis of proteins and nucleic acids is complicated by their inherent flexibility, conferred, for example, by linkers between their contiguous domains. Therefore, the macromolecule needs to be represented by an ensemble of conformations instead of a single conformation. Determining this ensemble is challenging because the experimental data are a convoluted average of contributions from multiple conformations. As the number of the ensemble degrees of freedom generally greatly exceeds the number of independent observables, directly deconvolving experimental data into a representative ensemble is an ill-posed problem. Recent developments in sparse approximations and compressive sensing have demonstrated that useful information can be recovered from underdetermined (ill-posed) systems of linear equations by using sparsity regularization. Inspired by these advances, we designed Sparse Ensemble Selection (SES) method for recovering multiple conformations from a limited number of observations. SES is more general and accurate than previously published minimum-ensemble methods, and we use it to obtain representative conformational ensembles of Lys48-linked di-ubiquitin, characterized by the residual dipolar coupling data measured at several pH conditions. These representative ensembles are validated against NMR chemical shift perturbation data and compared to maximum-entropy results. The SES method reproduced and quantified the previously observed pH dependence of the major conformation of Lys48-linked di-ubiquitin, and revealed lesser-populated conformations that are pre-organized for binding known di-ubiquitin receptors, thus providing insights into possible mechanisms of receptor recognition by polyubiquitin. SES is applicable to any experimental observables that can be expressed as a weighted linear combination of data for individual states. PMID:24093873

  17. Macromolecular Crystallography for Synthetic Abiological Molecules: Combining xMDFF and PHENIX for Structure Determination of Cyanostar Macrocycles

    PubMed Central

    Singharoy, Abhishek; Venkatakrishnan, Balasubramanian; Liu, Yun; Mayne, Christopher G.; Lee, Semin; Chen, Chun-Hsing; Zlotnick, Adam; Schulten, Klaus; Flood, Amar H.

    2015-01-01

    Crystal structure determination has long provided insight into structure and bonding of small molecules. When those same small molecules are designed to come together in multi-molecular assemblies, such as in coordination cages, supramolecular architectures and organic-based frameworks, their crystallographic characteristics closely resemble biological macromolecules. This resemblance suggests that bio-macromolecular refinement approaches be used for structure determination of abiological molecular complexes that arise in an aggregate state. Following this suggestion we investigated the crystal structure of a pentagonal macrocycle, cyanostar, by means of biological structure analysis methods and compared results to traditional small molecule methods. Cyanostar presents difficulties seen in supramolecular crystallography including whole molecule disorder and highly flexible solvent molecules sitting in macrocyclic and intermolecule void spaces. We used the force-field assisted refinement method, molecular dynamics flexible fitting algorithm for X-ray crystallography (xMDFF), along with tools from the macromolecular structure determination suite PHENIX. We found that a standard implementation of PHENIX, namely one without xMDFF, either fails to produce a solution by molecular replacement alone or produces an inaccurate structure when using generic geometry restraints, even at a very high diffraction data resolution of 0.84 Å. The problems disappear when taking advantage of xMDFF, which applies an optimized force field to re-align molecular models during phasing by providing accurate restraints. The structure determination for this model system shows excellent agreement with the small-molecule methods. Therefore, the joint xMDFF-PHENIX refinement protocol provides a new strategy that uses macromolecule methods for structure determination of small molecules and their assemblies. PMID:26121416

  18. Accurate macromolecular structures using minimal measurements from X-ray free-electron lasers

    PubMed Central

    Hattne, Johan; Echols, Nathaniel; Tran, Rosalie; Kern, Jan; Gildea, Richard J.; Brewster, Aaron S.; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Glöckner, Carina; Hellmich, Julia; Laksmono, Hartawan; Sierra, Raymond G.; Lassalle-Kaiser, Benedikt; Lampe, Alyssa; Han, Guangye; Gul, Sheraz; DiFiore, Dörte; Milathianaki, Despina; Fry, Alan R.; Miahnahri, Alan; White, William E.; Schafer, Donald W.; Seibert, M. Marvin; Koglin, Jason E.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Weng, Tsu-Chien; Sellberg, Jonas; Latimer, Matthew J.; Glatzel, Pieter; Zwart, Petrus H.; Grosse-Kunstleve, Ralf W.; Bogan, Michael J.; Messerschmidt, Marc; Williams, Garth J.; Boutet, Sébastien; Messinger, Johannes; Zouni, Athina; Yano, Junko; Bergmann, Uwe; Yachandra, Vittal K.; Adams, Paul D.; Sauter, Nicholas K.

    2014-01-01

    X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) sources enable the use of crystallography to solve three-dimensional macromolecular structures under native conditions and free from radiation damage. Results to date, however, have been limited by the challenge of deriving accurate Bragg intensities from a heterogeneous population of microcrystals, while at the same time modeling the X-ray spectrum and detector geometry. Here we present a computational approach designed to extract statistically significant high-resolution signals from fewer diffraction measurements. PMID:24633409

  19. Computational Methodologies for Real-Space Structural Refinement of Large Macromolecular Complexes.

    PubMed

    Goh, Boon Chong; Hadden, Jodi A; Bernardi, Rafael C; Singharoy, Abhishek; McGreevy, Ryan; Rudack, Till; Cassidy, C Keith; Schulten, Klaus

    2016-07-01

    The rise of the computer as a powerful tool for model building and refinement has revolutionized the field of structure determination for large biomolecular systems. Despite the wide availability of robust experimental methods capable of resolving structural details across a range of spatiotemporal resolutions, computational hybrid methods have the unique ability to integrate the diverse data from multimodal techniques such as X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy into consistent, fully atomistic structures. Here, commonly employed strategies for computational real-space structural refinement are reviewed, and their specific applications are illustrated for several large macromolecular complexes: ribosome, virus capsids, chemosensory array, and photosynthetic chromatophore. The increasingly important role of computational methods in large-scale structural refinement, along with current and future challenges, is discussed. PMID:27145875

  20. Cryo-EM and the elucidation of new macromolecular structures: Random Conical Tilt revisited

    PubMed Central

    Sorzano, C. O. S.; Alcorlo, M.; de la Rosa-Trevín, J. M.; Melero, R.; Foche, I.; Zaldívar-Peraza, A.; del Cano, L.; Vargas, J.; Abrishami, V.; Otón, J.; Marabini, R.; Carazo, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) of macromolecular complexes is a fundamental structural biology technique which is expanding at a very fast pace. Key to its success in elucidating the three-dimensional structure of a macromolecular complex, especially of small and non-symmetric ones, is the ability to start from a low resolution map, which is subsequently refined with the actual images collected at the microscope. There are several methods to produce this first structure. Among them, Random Conical Tilt (RCT) plays a prominent role due to its unbiased nature (it can create an initial model based on experimental measurements). In this article, we revise the fundamental mathematical expressions supporting RCT, providing new expressions handling all key geometrical parameters without the need of intermediate operations, leading to improved automation and overall reliability, essential for the success of cryo-EM when analyzing new complexes. We show that the here proposed RCT workflow based on the new formulation performs very well in practical cases, requiring very few image pairs (as low as 13 image pairs in one of our examples) to obtain relevant 3D maps. PMID:26390853

  1. Automated structure solution with the PHENIX suite

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C; Zwart, Peter H; Afonine, Pavel V; Grosse - Kunstleve, Ralf W

    2008-01-01

    Significant time and effort are often required to solve and complete a macromolecular crystal structure. The development of automated computational methods for the analysis, solution, and completion of crystallographic structures has the potential to produce minimally biased models in a short time without the need for manual intervention. The PHENIX software suite is a highly automated system for macromolecular structure determination that can rapidly arrive at an initial partial model of a structure without significant human intervention, given moderate resolution, and good quality data. This achievement has been made possible by the development of new algorithms for structure determination, maximum-likelihood molecular replacement (PHASER), heavy-atom search (HySS), template- and pattern-based automated model-building (RESOLVE, TEXTAL), automated macromolecular refinement (phenix. refine), and iterative model-building, density modification and refinement that can operate at moderate resolution (RESOLVE, AutoBuild). These algorithms are based on a highly integrated and comprehensive set of crystallographic libraries that have been built and made available to the community. The algorithms are tightly linked and made easily accessible to users through the PHENIX Wizards and the PHENIX GUI.

  2. Automated Structure Solution with the PHENIX Suite

    SciTech Connect

    Zwart, Peter H.; Zwart, Peter H.; Afonine, Pavel; Grosse-Kunstleve, Ralf W.; Hung, Li-Wei; Ioerger, Tom R.; McCoy, A.J.; McKee, Eric; Moriarty, Nigel; Read, Randy J.; Sacchettini, James C.; Sauter, Nicholas K.; Storoni, L.C.; Terwilliger, Tomas C.; Adams, Paul D.

    2008-06-09

    Significant time and effort are often required to solve and complete a macromolecular crystal structure. The development of automated computational methods for the analysis, solution and completion of crystallographic structures has the potential to produce minimally biased models in a short time without the need for manual intervention. The PHENIX software suite is a highly automated system for macromolecular structure determination that can rapidly arrive at an initial partial model of a structure without significant human intervention, given moderate resolution and good quality data. This achievement has been made possible by the development of new algorithms for structure determination, maximum-likelihood molecular replacement (PHASER), heavy-atom search (HySS), template and pattern-based automated model-building (RESOLVE, TEXTAL), automated macromolecular refinement (phenix.refine), and iterative model-building, density modification and refinement that can operate at moderate resolution (RESOLVE, AutoBuild). These algorithms are based on a highly integrated and comprehensive set of crystallographic libraries that have been built and made available to the community. The algorithms are tightly linked and made easily accessible to users through the PHENIX Wizards and the PHENIX GUI.

  3. PURY: a database of geometric restraints of hetero compounds for refinement in complexes with macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Andrejasic, Miha; Praaenikar, Jure; Turk, Dusan

    2008-11-01

    The number and variety of macromolecular structures in complex with ;hetero' ligands is growing. The need for rapid delivery of correct geometric parameters for their refinement, which is often crucial for understanding the biological relevance of the structure, is growing correspondingly. The current standard for describing protein structures is the Engh-Huber parameter set. It is an expert data set resulting from selection and analysis of the crystal structures gathered in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). Clearly, such a manual approach cannot be applied to the vast and ever-growing number of chemical compounds. Therefore, a database, named PURY, of geometric parameters of chemical compounds has been developed, together with a server that accesses it. PURY is a compilation of the whole CSD. It contains lists of atom classes and bonds connecting them, as well as angle, chirality, planarity and conformation parameters. The current compilation is based on CSD 5.28 and contains 1978 atom classes and 32,702 bonding, 237,068 angle, 201,860 dihedral and 64,193 improper geometric restraints. Analysis has confirmed that the restraints from the PURY database are suitable for use in macromolecular crystal structure refinement and should be of value to the crystallographic community. The database can be accessed through the web server http://pury.ijs.si/, which creates topology and parameter files from deposited coordinates in suitable forms for the refinement programs MAIN, CNS and REFMAC. In the near future, the server will move to the CSD website http://pury.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/. PMID:19020347

  4. Macromolecular conformation in solution. Study of carbonic anhydrase by the positron annihilation technique.

    PubMed Central

    Handel, E D; Graf, G; Glass, J C

    1980-01-01

    The structural features of carbonic anhydrase (carbonate hydro-lyase; EC 4.2.1.1) in aqueous solution were probed by the positron annihilation technique. The data obtained under varying conditions of temperature, pH, and enzyme concentration were interpreted in terms of the free volume model. The change of enzymic activity with temperature is accompanied by a change in free volume of the protein. Upon thermal denaturation an irreversible change in free volume of the molecule occurred. At low temperatures the protein-water interactions were investigated. These results are discussed in terms of current concepts of structure-function relationships in proteins. This study shows the sensitivity of the positron annihilation method toward the structure of proteins related to their overall conformation and to the nature of bound water. PMID:6789901

  5. Instrumentation on Multi-Scaled Scattering of Bio-Macromolecular Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Benjamin; Fang, Dufei; Mao, Yimin

    2015-01-01

    The design, construction and initial tests on a combined laser light scattering and synchrotron X-ray scattering instrument can cover studies of length scales from atomic sizes in Angstroms to microns and dynamics from microseconds to seconds are presented. In addition to static light scattering (SLS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), the light scattering instrument is being developed to carry out studies in mildly turbid solutions, in the presence of multiple scattering. Three-dimensional photon cross correlation function (3D-PCCF) measurements have been introduced to couple with synchrotron X-ray scattering to study the structure, size and dynamics of macromolecules in solution. PMID:25946340

  6. Analytical ultracentrifugation: A versatile tool for the characterisation of macromolecular complexes in solution.

    PubMed

    Patel, Trushar R; Winzor, Donald J; Scott, David J

    2016-02-15

    Analytical ultracentrifugation, an early technique developed for characterizing quantitatively the solution properties of macromolecules, remains a powerful aid to structural biologists in their quest to understand the formation of biologically important protein complexes at the molecular level. Treatment of the basic tenets of the sedimentation velocity and sedimentation equilibrium variants of analytical ultracentrifugation is followed by considerations of the roles that it, in conjunction with other physicochemical procedures, has played in resolving problems encountered in the delineation of complex formation for three biological systems - the cytoplasmic dynein complex, mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK2) self-interaction, and the terminal catalytic complex in selenocysteine synthesis. PMID:26555086

  7. Macromolecular structure of cellulose studied by second-harmonic generation imaging microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, R. Malcom; Millard, Andrew C.; Campagnola, Paul J.

    2003-11-01

    The macromolecular structure of purified cellulose samples is studied by second-harmonic generation (SHG) imaging microscopy. We show that the SHG contrast in both Valonia and Acetobacter cellulose strongly resembles that of collagen from animal tissues, both in terms of morphology and polarization anisotropy. Polarization analysis shows that microfibrils in each lamella are highly aligned and ordered and change directions by 90° in adjacent lamellae. The angular dependence of the SHG intensity fits well to a cos2 θ distribution, which is characteristic of the electric dipole interaction. Enzymatic degradation of Valonia fibers by cellulase is followed in real time by SHG imaging and results in exponential decay kinetics, showing that SHG imaging microscopy is ideal for monitoring dynamics in biological systems.

  8. Flexible torsion-angle noncrystallographic symmetry restraints for improved macromolecular structure refinement

    PubMed Central

    Headd, Jeffrey J.; Echols, Nathaniel; Afonine, Pavel V.; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Gildea, Richard J.; Adams, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    One of the great challenges in refining macromolecular crystal structures is a low data-to-parameter ratio. Historically, knowledge from chemistry has been used to help to improve this ratio. When a macromolecule crystallizes with more than one copy in the asymmetric unit, the noncrystallographic symmetry relationships can be exploited to provide additional restraints when refining the working model. However, although globally similar, NCS-related chains often have local differences. To allow for local differences between NCS-related molecules, flexible torsion-based NCS restraints have been introduced, coupled with intelligent rotamer handling for protein chains, and are available in phenix.refine for refinement of models at all resolutions. PMID:24816103

  9. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D.

    2015-05-01

    A method to automatically identify possible elemental ions in X-ray crystal structures has been extended to use support vector machine (SVM) classifiers trained on selected structures in the PDB, with significantly improved sensitivity over manually encoded heuristics. In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalous diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering.

  10. Biological Macromolecular Structures Data from the RCSB Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB)

    DOE Data Explorer

    The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) is a non-profit consortium that works to improve understanding of the function of biological systems through the study of the 3-D structure of biological macromolecules. The RCSB PDB is one of three sites serving as deposition, data processing, and distribution sites of the Protein Data Bank Archive. Each site provides its own view of the primary data, thus providing a variety of tools and resources for the global community. RCSB is also the official keeper for the PDB archive, with sole access authority to the PDB archive directory structure and contents. The RCSB PDB Information Portal for Biological Macromolecular Structures offers online tools for search and retrieval, for visualizing structures, for depositing, validating, or downloading data, news and highlights, a discussion forum, and links to other areas of related research. The PDB archive is a repository of atomic coordinates and other information describing proteins and other important biological macromolecules. Structural biologists use methods such as X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy to determine the location of each atom relative to each other in the molecule. They then deposit this information, which is then annotated and publicly released into the archive by the wwPDB. Results can be viewed as 3-D images or models.

  11. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D.

    2015-04-25

    In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalous diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering.

  12. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D.

    2015-04-25

    In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalousmore » diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering.« less

  13. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures

    PubMed Central

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D.

    2015-01-01

    In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalous diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering. PMID:25945580

  14. X-ray Footprinting at Beamline X28C: A National Resource for Studying Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    D'Mello, R.; Gupta, S; Bohen, J; Abel, D; Toomey, J; Sullivan, M; Chance, M

    2009-01-01

    X-ray footprinting employs intense X-rays produced by synchrotron radiation to generate hydroxyl radicals in solution on microseconds-milliseconds timescales. These hydroxyls radicals undergo stable reaction with solvent accessible sites of macromolecule and produce covalent modifications, which are appropriate to probing macromolecule dynamics under physiological condition. For nucleic acids, one analyzes the pattern of fragments after X-ray exposure by gel electrophoresis; the protected sections that are not cleaved yield a 'footprint'. For proteins, the exposed samples are digested with proteases and analyzed by liquid chromatography- and tandem-mass spectrometry to determine the extent and sites of modification. The data provide detailed structural information to map tertiary contacts of macromolecular interactions, which can subsequently be used as constraints for molecular modeling to generate high-resolution structures. This method is unique in providing 'local' structural information in solution for gaining insight into dynamic processes involving, large RNA-protein and protein-protein assemblies on biologically relevant timescales. The method also can uniquely probe the 'local' structure of large complexes poised at equilibrium for functional states of interest, and has been extended to in vivo studies. Beamline X28C is located at the National Synchrotron Light Source of Brookhaven National Laboratory. An expanding set of user groups utilize this national resource funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health. The facility is operated by the Center for Synchrotron Biosciences and the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics of Case Western Reserve University. The facility supports both onsite and offsite user access. Beam time is allocated online through peer reviewed user proposal system. Examples of recent research projects are provided.

  15. The structural biology center at the APS: an integrated user facility for macromolecular crystallography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenbaum, G.; Westbrook, E. M.

    1997-07-01

    The Structural Biology Center (SBC) has developed and operates a sector (undulator and bending magnet) of the APS as a user facility for macromolecular crystallography. Crystallographically determined structures of proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes with proteins, viruses, and complexes between macromolecules and small ligands have become of central importance in molecular and cellular biology. Major design goals were to make the extremely high brilliance of the APS available for brilliance limited studies, and to achieve a high throughput of less demanding studies, as well as optimization for MAS-phasing. Crystal samples will include extremely small crystals, crystals with large unit cells (viruses, ribosomes, etc.) and ensembles of closely similar crystal structures for drug design, protein engineering, etc. Data are recorded on a 3000×3000 pixel CCD-area detector (optionally on image plates). The x-ray optics of both beamlines has been designed to produce a highly demagnified image of the source in order to match the focal size with the sizes of the sample and the resolution element of the detector. Vertical focusing is achieved by a flat, cylindrically bent mirror. Horizontal focusing is achieved by sagitally bending the second crystal of the double crystal monochromator. Monochromatic fluxes of 1.3*1013 ph/s into focal sizes of 0.08 mm (horizontal)×0.04 mm (vertical) FWHM (flux density 3.5*1015 ph/s/mm2) have been recorded.

  16. Chemical composition and structural features of the macromolecular components of plantation Acacia mangium wood.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Paula C; Evtuguin, Dmitry V; Pascoal Neto, Carlos

    2005-10-01

    The wood of Acacia mangium, a prominent fast-growing plantation species used in the pulp-and-paper industry and, so far, poorly investigated for its chemical structure, was submitted to a detailed characterization of its main macromolecular components. Lignin (28% wood weight) isolated by mild acidolysis and characterized by permanganate oxidation, 1H and 13C NMR, and GPC, showed a very low content of syringylpropane-derived units (S:G:H of 48:49:3), a high degree of condensation, a low content of beta-O-4 ( approximately 0.40-0.43 per C6) structures, and a Mw of 2230. Glucuronoxylan (14% wood weight) isolated by alkaline (KOH) or by dimethyl sulfoxide extraction was characterized by methylation analysis, 1H NMR, and GPC. About 10% of the xylopyranose (Xylp) units constituting the linear backbone were substituted at O-2 with 4-O-methylglucuronic acid residues. Almost half of the Xylp units (45%) were O-2 (18%), O-3 (24%) or O-2,3 (3%) acetylated. X-ray diffraction analysis of cellulose (46% wood weight), isolated according to the Kürschner-Hoffer method, showed a degree of crystallinity of 67.6%. PMID:16190642

  17. IMAGINE: first neutron protein structure and new capabilities for neutron macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Munshi, Parthapratim; Myles, Dean A A; Robertson, Lee; Stoica, Alexandru Dan; Crow, Lowell; Kovalevskyi, Andrii Y; Koritsanszky, Tibor S; Chakoumakos, Bryan C; Blessing, Robert; Meilleur, Flora

    2013-01-01

    We report the first high resolution neutron protein structure of perdeuterated rubredoxin from Pyrococcus furiosus (PfRd) determined using the new IMAGINE macromolecular neutron crystallography instrument at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Neutron diffraction data extending to 1.65 resolution were collected from a relatively small 0.7 mm3 PfRd crystal using 2.5 days (60 h) of beam time. The refined structure contains 371 out of 391, or 95%, of the deuterium atoms of the protein, and 58 solvent molecules. The IMAGINE instrument is designed to provide neutron data at or near atomic resolutions (1.5 ) from crystals with volume < 1.0 mm3 and with unit cell edges < 100 . Beam line features include elliptical focusing mirrors that deliver 3x107 n s-1 cm-2 into a 3.5 x 2.0 mm2 focal spot at the sample position, and variable short and long wavelength cutoff optics that provide automated exchange between multiple wavelength configurations ( min=2.0 , 2.8 , 3.3 - max =3.0 , 4.0 , 4.5 , ~20 ). Notably, the crystal used to collect this PfRd data is 5-10 times smaller than has been previously reported.

  18. MACROMOLECULAR THERAPEUTICS

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jiyuan; Kopeček, Jindřich

    2014-01-01

    This review covers water-soluble polymer-drug conjugates and macromolecules that possess biological activity without attached low molecular weight drugs. The main design principles of traditional and backbone degradable polymer-drug conjugates as well as the development of a new paradigm in nanomedicines – (low molecular weight) drug-free macromolecular therapeutics are discussed. To address the biological features of cancer, macromolecular therapeutics directed to stem/progenitor cells and the tumor microenvironment are deliberated. Finally, the future perspectives of the field are briefly debated. PMID:24747162

  19. In situ macromolecular crystallography using microbeams

    PubMed Central

    Axford, Danny; Owen, Robin L.; Aishima, Jun; Foadi, James; Morgan, Ann W.; Robinson, James I.; Nettleship, Joanne E.; Owens, Raymond J.; Moraes, Isabel; Fry, Elizabeth E.; Grimes, Jonathan M.; Harlos, Karl; Kotecha, Abhay; Ren, Jingshan; Sutton, Geoff; Walter, Thomas S.; Stuart, David I.; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2012-01-01

    Despite significant progress in high-throughput methods in macromolecular crystallography, the production of diffraction-quality crystals remains a major bottleneck. By recording diffraction in situ from crystals in their crystallization plates at room temperature, a number of problems associated with crystal handling and cryoprotection can be side-stepped. Using a dedicated goniometer installed on the microfocus macromolecular crystallography beamline I24 at Diamond Light Source, crystals have been studied in situ with an intense and flexible microfocus beam, allowing weakly diffracting samples to be assessed without a manual crystal-handling step but with good signal to noise, despite the background scatter from the plate. A number of case studies are reported: the structure solution of bovine enterovirus 2, crystallization screening of membrane proteins and complexes, and structure solution from crystallization hits produced via a high-throughput pipeline. These demonstrate the potential for in situ data collection and structure solution with microbeams. PMID:22525757

  20. Complexation of Statins with β-Cyclodextrin in Solutions of Small Molecular Additives and Macromolecular Colloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Süle, András; Csempesz, Ferenc

    The solubility of lovastatin and simvastatin (inevitable drugs in the management of cardiovascular diseases) was studied by phase-solubility measurements in multicomponent colloidal and non-colloidal media. Complexation in aqueous solutions of the highly lipophilic statins with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) in the absence and the presence of dissolved polyvinyl pyrrolidone, its monomeric compound, tartaric acid and urea, respectively, were investigated. For the characterization of the CD-statin inclusion complexes, stability constants for the associates have been calculated.

  1. Free kick instead of cross-validation in maximum-likelihood refinement of macromolecular crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Pražnikar, Jure; Turk, Dušan

    2014-12-01

    The maximum-likelihood free-kick target, which calculates model error estimates from the work set and a randomly displaced model, proved superior in the accuracy and consistency of refinement of crystal structures compared with the maximum-likelihood cross-validation target, which calculates error estimates from the test set and the unperturbed model. The refinement of a molecular model is a computational procedure by which the atomic model is fitted to the diffraction data. The commonly used target in the refinement of macromolecular structures is the maximum-likelihood (ML) function, which relies on the assessment of model errors. The current ML functions rely on cross-validation. They utilize phase-error estimates that are calculated from a small fraction of diffraction data, called the test set, that are not used to fit the model. An approach has been developed that uses the work set to calculate the phase-error estimates in the ML refinement from simulating the model errors via the random displacement of atomic coordinates. It is called ML free-kick refinement as it uses the ML formulation of the target function and is based on the idea of freeing the model from the model bias imposed by the chemical energy restraints used in refinement. This approach for the calculation of error estimates is superior to the cross-validation approach: it reduces the phase error and increases the accuracy of molecular models, is more robust, provides clearer maps and may use a smaller portion of data for the test set for the calculation of R{sub free} or may leave it out completely.

  2. Novel 3D bio-macromolecular bilinear descriptors for protein science: Predicting protein structural classes.

    PubMed

    Marrero-Ponce, Yovani; Contreras-Torres, Ernesto; García-Jacas, César R; Barigye, Stephen J; Cubillán, Néstor; Alvarado, Ysaías J

    2015-06-01

    In the present study, we introduce novel 3D protein descriptors based on the bilinear algebraic form in the ℝ(n) space on the coulombic matrix. For the calculation of these descriptors, macromolecular vectors belonging to ℝ(n) space, whose components represent certain amino acid side-chain properties, were used as weighting schemes. Generalization approaches for the calculation of inter-amino acidic residue spatial distances based on Minkowski metrics are proposed. The simple- and double-stochastic schemes were defined as approaches to normalize the coulombic matrix. The local-fragment indices for both amino acid-types and amino acid-groups are presented in order to permit characterizing fragments of interest in proteins. On the other hand, with the objective of taking into account specific interactions among amino acids in global or local indices, geometric and topological cut-offs are defined. To assess the utility of global and local indices a classification model for the prediction of the major four protein structural classes, was built with the Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) technique. The developed LDA-model correctly classifies the 92.6% and 92.7% of the proteins on the training and test sets, respectively. The obtained model showed high values of the generalized square correlation coefficient (GC(2)) on both the training and test series. The statistical parameters derived from the internal and external validation procedures demonstrate the robustness, stability and the high predictive power of the proposed model. The performance of the LDA-model demonstrates the capability of the proposed indices not only to codify relevant biochemical information related to the structural classes of proteins, but also to yield suitable interpretability. It is anticipated that the current method will benefit the prediction of other protein attributes or functions. PMID:25843214

  3. Predictive Mechanical Characterization of Macro-Molecular Material Chemistry Structures of Cement Paste at Nano Scale - Two-phase Macro-Molecular Structures of Calcium Silicate Hydrate, Tri-Calcium Silicate, Di-Calcium Silicate and Calcium Hydroxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padilla Espinosa, Ingrid Marcela

    Concrete is a hierarchical composite material with a random structure over a wide range of length scales. At submicron length scale the main component of concrete is cement paste, formed by the reaction of Portland cement clinkers and water. Cement paste acts as a binding matrix for the other components and is responsible for the strength of concrete. Cement paste microstructure contains voids, hydrated and unhydrated cement phases. The main crystalline phases of unhydrated cement are tri-calcium silicate (C3S) and di-calcium silicate (C2S), and of hydrated cement are calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) and calcium hydroxide (CH). Although efforts have been made to comprehend the chemical and physical nature of cement paste, studies at molecular level have primarily been focused on individual components. Present research focuses on the development of a method to model, at molecular level, and analysis of the two-phase combination of hydrated and unhydrated phases of cement paste as macromolecular systems. Computational molecular modeling could help in understanding the influence of the phase interactions on the material properties, and mechanical performance of cement paste. Present work also strives to create a framework for molecular level models suitable for potential better comparisons with low length scale experimental methods, in which the sizes of the samples involve the mixture of different hydrated and unhydrated crystalline phases of cement paste. Two approaches based on two-phase cement paste macromolecular structures, one involving admixed molecular phases, and the second involving cluster of two molecular phases are investigated. The mechanical properties of two-phase macromolecular systems of cement paste consisting of key hydrated phase CSH and unhydrated phases C3S or C2S, as well as CSH with the second hydrated phase CH were calculated. It was found that these cement paste two-phase macromolecular systems predicted an isotropic material behavior. Also

  4. NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and macromolecular migration in a melt or in concentrated solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Addad, J. P. C.

    1983-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the migration process of long polymer molecules in a melt or in concentrated solutions as it may be observed from the dynamics of the transverse magnetization of nuclear spins linked to these chains. The low frequency viscoelastic relaxation of polymer systems is known to be mainly controlled by the mechanism of dissociation of topological constraints excited on chains and which are called entanglements. This mechanism exhibits a strong dependence upon the chain molecular weight. These topological constraints also govern the diffusion process of polymer chains. So, the accurate description of the diffusion motion of a chain may be a convenient way to characterize disentanglement processes necessarily involved in any model proposed to explain viscoelastic effects.

  5. Mechanism of helix induction in poly(4-carboxyphenyl isocyanide) with chiral amines and memory of the macromolecular helicity and its helical structures.

    PubMed

    Hase, Yoko; Nagai, Kanji; Iida, Hiroki; Maeda, Katsuhiro; Ochi, Noriaki; Sawabe, Kyoichi; Sakajiri, Koichi; Okoshi, Kento; Yashima, Eiji

    2009-08-01

    An optically inactive poly(4-carboxyphenyl isocyanide) (poly-1-H) changed its structure into the prevailing, one-handed helical structure upon complexation with optically active amines in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and water, and the complexes show a characteristic induced circular dichroism in the polymer backbone region. Moreover, the macromolecular helicity induced in water and aqueous organic solutions containing more than 50 vol % water could be "memorized" even after complete removal of the chiral amines (h-poly-1b-H), while that induced in DMSO and DMSO-water mixtures containing less than 30 vol % water could not maintain the optical activity after removal of the chiral amines (poly-1a-H). We now report fully detailed studies of the helix induction mechanism with chiral amines and the memory of the macromolecular helicity in water and a DMSO-water mixture by various spectroscopic measurements, theoretical calculations, and persistence length measurements together with X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. From the spectroscopic results, such as circular dichroism (CD), absorption, IR, vibrational CD, and NMR of poly-1a-H, h-poly-1b-H, and original poly-1-H, we concluded that the specific configurational isomerization around the C horizontal lineN double bonds occurs during the helicity induction process in each solvent. In order to obtain the structural information, XRD measurements were done on the uniaxially oriented films of the corresponding methyl esters (poly-1-Me, poly-1a-Me, and h-poly-1b-Me) prepared from their liquid crystalline polymer solutions. On the basis of the XRD analyses, the most plausible helical structure of poly-1a-Me was proposed to be a 9-unit/5-turn helix with two monomer units as a repeating unit, and that of h-poly-1b-Me was proposed to be a 10-unit/3-turn helix consisting of one repeating monomer unit. The density functional theory calculations of poly(phenyl isocyanide), a model polymer of h-poly-1b-Me, afforded a 7-unit/2-turn

  6. Protein crystallography for non-crystallographers, or how to get the best (but not more) from published macromolecular structures

    PubMed Central

    Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek; Dauter, Zbigniew; Jaskolski, Mariusz

    2015-01-01

    The number of macromolecular structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank now exceeds 45 000, with the vast majority determined using crystallographic methods. Thousands of studies describing such structures have been published in the scientific literature, and 14 Nobel prizes in chemistry or medicine have been awarded to protein crystallographers. As important as these structures are for understanding the processes that take place in living organisms and also for practical applications such as drug design, many non-crystallographers still have problems with critical evaluation of the structural literature data. This review attempts to provide a brief outline of technical aspects of crystallography and to explain the meaning of some parameters that should be evaluated by users of macromolecular structures in order to interpret, but not over-interpret, the information present in the coordinate files and in their description. A discussion of the extent of the information that can be gleaned from the coordinates of structures solved at different resolution, as well as problems and pitfalls encountered in structure determination and interpretation are also covered. PMID:18034855

  7. Hierarchical amplification of macromolecular helicity of dynamic helical poly(phenylacetylene)s composed of chiral and achiral phenylacetylenes in dilute solution, liquid crystal, and two-dimensional crystal.

    PubMed

    Ohsawa, Sousuke; Sakurai, Shin-ichiro; Nagai, Kanji; Banno, Motonori; Maeda, Katsuhiro; Kumaki, Jiro; Yashima, Eiji

    2011-01-12

    Optically active poly(phenylacetylene) copolymers consisting of optically active and achiral phenylacetylenes bearing L-alanine decyl esters (1L) and 2-aminoisobutylic acid decyl esters (Aib) as the pendant groups (poly(1L(m)-co-Aib(n))) with various compositions were synthesized by the copolymerization of the optically active 1L with achiral Aib using a rhodium catalyst, and their chiral amplification of the macromolecular helicity in a dilute solution, a lyotropic liquid crystalline (LC) state, and a two-dimensional (2D) crystal on the substrate was investigated by measuring the circular dichroism of the copolymers, mesoscopic cholesteric twist in the LC state (cholesteric helical pitch), and high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of the self-assembled 2D helix-bundles of the copolymer chains. We found that the macromolecular helicity of poly(1L(m)-co-Aib(n))s could be hierarchically amplified in the order of the dilute solution, LC state, and 2D crystal. In sharp contrast, almost no chiral amplification of the macromolecular helicity was observed for the homopolymer mixtures of 1L and Aib in the LC state and 2D crystal on graphite. PMID:21141965

  8. Sample preparation of biological macromolecular assemblies for the determination of high-resolution structures by cryo-electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Stark, Holger; Chari, Ashwin

    2016-02-01

    Single particle cryo-EM has recently developed into a powerful tool to determine the 3D structure of macromolecular complexes at near-atomic resolution, which allows structural biologists to build atomic models of proteins. All technical aspects of cryo-EM technology have been considerably improved over the last two decades, including electron microscopic hardware, image processing software and the ever growing speed of computers. This leads to a more widespread use of the technique, and it can be anticipated that further automation of electron microscopes and image processing tools will soon fully shift the focus away from the technological aspects, onto biological questions that can be answered. In single particle cryo-EM, no crystals of a macromolecule are required. In contrast to X-ray crystallography, this significantly facilitates structure determination by cryo-EM. Nevertheless, a relatively high level of biochemical control is still essential to obtain high-resolution structures by cryo-EM, and it can be anticipated that the success of the cryo-EM technology goes hand in hand with further developments of sample purification and preparation techniques. This will allow routine high-resolution structure determination of the many macromolecular complexes of the cell that until now represent evasive targets for X-ray crystallographers. Here we discuss the various biochemical tools that are currently available and the existing sample purification and preparation techniques for cryo-EM grid preparation that are needed to obtain high-resolution images for structure determination. PMID:26671943

  9. Macromolecular Crystallization in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snell, Edward H.; Helliwell, John R.

    2004-01-01

    The key concepts that attracted crystal growers, macromolecular or solid state, to microgravity research is that density difference fluid flows and sedimentation of the growing crystals are greatly reduced. Thus, defects and flaws in the crystals can be reduced, even eliminated, and crystal volume can be increased. Macromolecular crystallography differs from the field of crystalline semiconductors. For the latter, crystals are harnessed for their electrical behaviors. A crystal of a biological macromolecule is used instead for diffraction experiments (X-ray or neutron) to determine the three-dimensional structure of the macromolecule. The better the internal order of the crystal of a biological macromolecule then the more molecular structure detail that can be extracted. This structural information that enables an understanding of how the molecule functions. This knowledge is changing the biological and chemical sciences with major potential in understanding disease pathologies. Macromolecular structural crystallography in general is a remarkable field where physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics meet to enable insight to the basic fundamentals of life. In this review, we examine the use of microgravity as an environment to grow macromolecular crystals. We describe the crystallization procedures used on the ground, how the resulting crystals are studied and the knowledge obtained from those crystals. We address the features desired in an ordered crystal and the techniques used to evaluate those features in detail. We then introduce the microgravity environment, the techniques to access that environment, and the theory and evidence behind the use of microgravity for crystallization experiments. We describe how ground-based laboratory techniques have been adapted to microgravity flights and look at some of the methods used to analyze the resulting data. Several case studies illustrate the physical crystal quality improvements and the macromolecular structural

  10. Teaching Structure: Student Use of Software Tools for Understanding Macromolecular Structure in an Undergraduate Biochemistry Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaswal, Sheila S.; O'Hara, Patricia B.; Williamson, Patrick L.; Springer, Amy L.

    2013-01-01

    Because understanding the structure of biological macromolecules is critical to understanding their function, students of biochemistry should become familiar not only with viewing, but also with generating and manipulating structural representations. We report a strategy from a one-semester undergraduate biochemistry course to integrate use of…

  11. Macromolecular structures probed by combining single-shot free-electron laser diffraction with synchrotron coherent X-ray imaging.

    PubMed

    Gallagher-Jones, Marcus; Bessho, Yoshitaka; Kim, Sunam; Park, Jaehyun; Kim, Sangsoo; Nam, Daewoong; Kim, Chan; Kim, Yoonhee; Noh, Do Young; Miyashita, Osamu; Tama, Florence; Joti, Yasumasa; Kameshima, Takashi; Hatsui, Takaki; Tono, Kensuke; Kohmura, Yoshiki; Yabashi, Makina; Hasnain, S Samar; Ishikawa, Tetsuya; Song, Changyong

    2014-01-01

    Nanostructures formed from biological macromolecular complexes utilizing the self-assembly properties of smaller building blocks such as DNA and RNA hold promise for many applications, including sensing and drug delivery. New tools are required for their structural characterization. Intense, femtosecond X-ray pulses from X-ray free-electron lasers enable single-shot imaging allowing for instantaneous views of nanostructures at ambient temperatures. When combined judiciously with synchrotron X-rays of a complimentary nature, suitable for observing steady-state features, it is possible to perform ab initio structural investigation. Here we demonstrate a successful combination of femtosecond X-ray single-shot diffraction with an X-ray free-electron laser and coherent diffraction imaging with synchrotron X-rays to provide an insight into the nanostructure formation of a biological macromolecular complex: RNA interference microsponges. This newly introduced multimodal analysis with coherent X-rays can be applied to unveil nano-scale structural motifs from functional nanomaterials or biological nanocomplexes, without requiring a priori knowledge. PMID:24786694

  12. Radiation damage and derivatization in macromolecular crystallography: a structure factor’s perspective

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Robin L.; Sherrell, Darren A.

    2016-01-01

    During, or even after, data collection the presence and effects of radiation damage in macromolecular crystallography may not always be immediately obvious. Despite this, radiation damage is almost always present, with site-specific damage occurring on very short time (dose) scales well before global damage becomes apparent. A result of both site-specific radiation damage and derivatization is a change in the relative intensity of reflections. The size and approximate rate of onset of X-ray-induced transformations is compared with the changes expected from derivatization, and strategies for minimizing radiation damage are discussed. PMID:26960125

  13. Mass spectrometric methods to analyze the structural organization of macromolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Rajabi, Khadijeh; Ashcroft, Alison E; Radford, Sheena E

    2015-11-01

    With the development of soft ionization techniques such as electrospray ionization (ESI), mass spectrometry (MS) has found widespread application in structural biology. The ability to transfer large biomolecular complexes intact into the gas-phase, combined with the low sample consumption and high sensitivity of MS, has made ESI-MS a method of choice for the characterization of macromolecules. This paper describes the application of MS to study large non-covalent complexes. We categorize the available techniques in two groups. First, solution-based techniques in which the biomolecules are labeled in solution and subsequently characterized by MS. Three MS-based techniques are discussed, namely hydroxyl radical footprinting, cross-linking and hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) MS. In the second group, MS-based techniques to probe intact biomolecules in the gas-phase, e.g. side-chain microsolvation, HDX and ion mobility spectrometry are discussed. Together, the approaches place MS as a powerful methodology for an ever growing plethora of structural applications. PMID:25782628

  14. Macromolecular Crowding Effects on Two Homologs of Ribosomal Protein S16: Protein-Dependent Structural Changes and Local Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Mikaelsson, Therese; Ådén, Jörgen; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla; Johansson, Lennart B.-Å.

    2014-01-01

    Proteins function in cellular environments that are crowded with biomolecules, and in this reduced available space, their biophysical properties may differ from those observed in dilute solutions in vitro. Here, we investigated the effects of a synthetic macromolecular crowding agent, dextran 20, on the folded states of hyperthermophilic (S16Thermo) and mesophilic (S16Meso) homologs of the ribosomal protein S16. As expected for an excluded-volume effect, the resistance of the mesophilic protein to heat-induced unfolding increased in the presence of dextran 20, and chemical denaturation experiments at different fixed temperatures showed the macromolecular crowding effect to be temperature-independent. Förster resonance energy transfer experiments show that intramolecular distances between an intrinsic Trp residue and BODIPY-labeled S16Meso depend on the level of the crowding agent. The BODIPY group was attached at three specific positions in S16Meso, allowing measurements of three intraprotein distances. All S16Meso variants exhibited a decrease in the average Trp-BODIPY distance at up to 100 mg/mL dextran 20, whereas the changes in distance became anisotropic (one distance increased, two distances decreased) at higher dextran concentrations. In contrast, the two S16Thermo mutants did not show any changes in Trp-BODIPY distances upon increase of dextran 20 concentrations. It should be noted that the fluorescence quantum yields and lifetimes of BODIPY attached to the two S16 homologs decreased gradually in the presence of dextran 20. To investigate the origin of this decrease, we studied the BODIPY quantum yield in three protein variants in the presence of a tyrosine-labeled dextran. The experiments revealed distinct tyrosine quenching behaviors of BODIPY in the three variants, suggesting a dynamic local interaction between dextran and one particular S16 variant. PMID:25028882

  15. Macromolecular changes and nano-structural arrangements in gliadin and glutenin films upon chemical modification: Relation to functionality.

    PubMed

    Rasheed, Faiza; Newson, William R; Plivelic, Tomás S; Kuktaite, Ramune; Hedenqvist, Mikael S; Gällstedt, Mikael; Johansson, Eva

    2015-08-01

    Protein macromolecules adopted for biological and bio-based material functions are known to develop a structured protein network upon chemical modification. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the impact of chemical additives such as, NaOH, NH4OH and salicylic acid (SA), on the secondary and nano-structural transitions of wheat proteins. Further, the effect of chemically induced modifications in protein macromolecular structure was anticipated in relation to functional properties. The gliadin-NH4OH-SA film showed a supramolecular protein organization into hexagonal structures with 65 Å lattice parameter, and other not previously observed structural entities having a characteristic distance of 50 Å. Proteins in gliadin-NH4OH-SA films were highly polymerized, with increased amount of disulfide crosslinks and β-sheets, causing improved strength and stiffness. Glutenin and WG proteins with NH4OH-SA showed extensive aggregation and an increase in β-sheet content together with irreversible crosslinks. Irreversible crosslinks hindered a high order structure formation in glutenins, and this resulted in films with only moderately improved stiffness. Thus, formation of nano-hierarchical structures based on β-sheets and disulfide crosslinks are the major reasons of high strength and stiffness in wheat protein based films. PMID:25936284

  16. Role of the XPA protein in the NER pathway: A perspective on the function of structural disorder in macromolecular assembly.

    PubMed

    Fadda, Elisa

    2016-01-01

    Lack of structure is often an essential functional feature of protein domains. The coordination of macromolecular assemblies in DNA repair pathways is yet another task disordered protein regions are highly implicated in. Here I review the available experimental and computational data and within this context discuss the functional role of structure and disorder in one of the essential scaffolding proteins in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway, namely Xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group A (XPA). From the analysis of the current knowledge, in addition to protein-protein docking and secondary structure prediction results presented for the first time herein, a mechanistic framework emerges, where XPA builds the NER pre-incision complex in a modular fashion, as "beads on a string", where the protein-protein interaction "beads", or modules, are interconnected by disordered link regions. This architecture is ideal to avoid the expected steric hindrance constraints of the DNA expanded bubble. Finally, the role of the XPA structural disorder in binding affinity modulation and in the sequential binding of NER core factors in the pre-incision complex is also discussed. PMID:26865925

  17. Macromolecular Crowding Modulates Actomyosin Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Ge, Jinghua; Bouriyaphone, Sherry D; Serebrennikova, Tamara A; Astashkin, Andrei V; Nesmelov, Yuri E

    2016-07-12

    Actomyosin kinetics is usually studied in dilute solutions, which do not reflect conditions in the cytoplasm. In cells, myosin and actin work in a dense macromolecular environment. High concentrations of macromolecules dramatically reduce the amount of free space available for all solutes, which results in an effective increase of the solutes' chemical potential and protein stabilization. Moreover, in a crowded solution, the chemical potential depends on the size of the solute, with larger molecules experiencing a larger excluded volume than smaller ones. Therefore, since myosin interacts with two ligands of different sizes (actin and ATP), macromolecular crowding can modulate the kinetics of individual steps of the actomyosin ATPase cycle. To emulate the effect of crowding in cells, we studied actomyosin cycle reactions in the presence of a high-molecular-weight polymer, Ficoll70. We observed an increase in the maximum velocity of the actomyosin ATPase cycle, and our transient-kinetics experiments showed that virtually all individual steps of the actomyosin cycle were affected by the addition of Ficoll70. The observed effects of macromolecular crowding on the myosin-ligand interaction cannot be explained by the increase of a solute's chemical potential. A time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer experiment confirmed that the myosin head assumes a more compact conformation in the presence of Ficoll70 than in a dilute solution. We conclude that the crowding-induced myosin conformational change plays a major role in the changed kinetics of actomyosin ATPase. PMID:27410745

  18. Proteomic characterization of a triton-insoluble fraction from chloroplasts defines a novel group of proteins associated with macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Phinney, Brett S; Thelen, Jay J

    2005-01-01

    Proteomic analysis of a Triton X-100 insoluble, 30,000 x g pellet from purified pea chloroplasts resulted in the identification of 179 nonredundant proteins. This chloroplast fraction was mostly depleted of chloroplast membranes since only 23% and 9% of the identified proteins were also observed in envelope and thylakoid membranes, respectively. One of the most abundant proteins in this fraction was sulfite reductase, a dual function protein previously shown to act as a plastid DNA condensing protein. Approximately 35 other proteins known (or predicted) to be associated with high-density protein-nucleic acid particles (nucleoids) were also identified including a family of DNA gyrases, as well as proteins involved in plastid transcription and translation. Although nucleoids appeared to be the predominant component of 30k x g Triton-insoluble chloroplast preparations, multi-enzyme protein complexes were also present including each subunit to the pyruvate dehydrogenase and acetyl-CoA carboxylase multi-enzyme complexes, as well as a proposed assembly of the first three enzymes of the Calvin cycle. Approximately 18% of the proteins identified were annonated as unknown or hypothetical proteins and another 20% contained "putative" or "like" in the identifier tag. This is the first proteomic characterization of a membrane-depleted, high-density fraction from plastids and demonstrates the utility of this simple procedure to isolate intact macromolecular structures from purified organelles for analysis of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. PMID:15822927

  19. Statistical mechanics of macromolecular complexation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Issei

    The self-assembly of macromolecules through molecular association has attracted long-standing attention in soft-condensed matter physics. The hierarchical formation from small-scale building blocks into larger-scale complex structures often leads to very rich phase behavior controlled by various ambient conditions. The understanding and control of the phase behavior of self-assembling systems require detailed knowledge about the entropy and enthalpy contributions to the free energy of the system. However, this knowledge is limited at the present time because a comprehensive theoretical description of molecular association is still lacking. In this thesis, four tales of achievements in developing theories of macromolecular complexation are presented. (1) We begin with an analytically solvable model of the self-assembly of rigid macromolecules with surface adsorption. A generic understanding of the driving force and the role of entropy is obtained from the exact solutions. (2) We move on to further development of the theory in order to study the complexation between polymers and ionic molecules. The extension of the first model to chain-like molecules is performed using a well-established method in polymer physics, the self-consistent field theory (SCFT) of polymers. We also discuss gelation in this system within the scope of mean-filed approximations. (3) Then, a ladder-like polymer-polymer complexation is studied. Unconventional phase diagrams are predicted from the modified SCFT, indicating a large effect of variations in entropy due to the complexation on bulk properties. (4) Finally, the kinetic aspect of macromolecular binding reactions is discussed.

  20. WebFEATURE: An interactive web tool for identifying and visualizing functional sites on macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Liang, Mike P; Banatao, D Rey; Klein, Teri E; Brutlag, Douglas L; Altman, Russ B

    2003-07-01

    WebFEATURE (http://feature.stanford.edu/webfeature/) is a web-accessible structural analysis tool that allows users to scan query structures for functional sites in both proteins and nucleic acids. WebFEATURE is the public interface to the scanning algorithm of the FEATURE package, a supervised learning algorithm for creating and identifying 3D, physicochemical motifs in molecular structures. Given an input structure or Protein Data Bank identifier (PDB ID), and a statistical model of a functional site, WebFEATURE will return rank-scored 'hits' in 3D space that identify regions in the structure where similar distributions of physicochemical properties occur relative to the site model. Users can visualize and interactively manipulate scored hits and the query structure in web browsers that support the Chime plug-in. Alternatively, results can be downloaded and visualized through other freely available molecular modeling tools, like RasMol, PyMOL and Chimera. A major application of WebFEATURE is in rapid annotation of function to structures in the context of structural genomics. PMID:12824318

  1. Three dimensional electron microscopy and in silico tools for macromolecular structure determination

    PubMed Central

    Borkotoky, Subhomoi; Meena, Chetan Kumar; Khan, Mohammad Wahab; Murali, Ayaluru

    2013-01-01

    Recently, structural biology witnessed a major tool - electron microscopy - in solving the structures of macromolecules in addition to the conventional techniques, X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Three dimensional transmission electron microscopy (3DTEM) is one of the most sophisticated techniques for structure determination of molecular machines. Known to give the 3-dimensional structures in its native form with literally no upper limit on size of the macromolecule, this tool does not need the crystallization of the protein. Combining the 3DTEM data with in silico tools, one can have better refined structure of a desired complex. In this review we are discussing about the recent advancements in three dimensional electron microscopy and tools associated with it. PMID:27092033

  2. Structural Studies on Membrane Proteins and Biological Macromolecular Assemblies in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsukihara, Tomitake

    Structural studies on membrane proteins have been performed at atomic level by both three-dimensional X-ray crystallography and two-dimensional electron crystallography in Japan as in Europe and Unites States. More than 13 membrane protein structures were elucidate by X-ray method in our country, and seven membrane protein structures were determined by cryo-electron microscopic method developed by Fujiyoshi of Kyoto University. Extensive crystallographic studies on calcium pump and cytochrome c oxidase elucidated their functional mechanisms at atomic level. Structure and switching mechanism of a flagellum were studied by X-ray and electron microscopic methods. Vault structure exhibiting D39 symmetry was determined by X-ray method.

  3. Comprehensive objective maps of macromolecular conformations by quantitative SAXS analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hura, Greg L.; Budworth, Helen; Dyer, Kevin N.; Rambo, Robert P.; Hammel, Michal

    2013-01-01

    Comprehensive perspectives of macromolecular conformations are required to connect structure to biology. Here we present a small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) Structural Similarity Map (SSM) and Volatility of Ratio (VR) metric providing comprehensive, quantitative and objective (superposition-independent) perspectives on solution state conformations. We validate VR and SSM utility on human MutSβ, a key ABC ATPase and chemotherapeutic target, by revealing MutSβ DNA sculpting and identifying multiple conformational states for biological activity. PMID:23624664

  4. Finding non-crystallographic symmetry in density maps of macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Terwilliger, Thomas C

    2013-09-01

    The internal symmetry of a macromolecule is both an important aspect of its function and a useful feature in obtaining a structure by X-ray crystallography and other techniques. A method is presented for finding internal symmetry and other non-crystallographic symmetry in a structure based on patterns of density in a density map for that structure. Regions in map that are similar are identified by cutting out a sphere of density from a region that has high local variation and using an FFT-based correlation search to find other regions that match. The relationships among correlated regions are then refined to maximize their correlations and are found to accurately represent non-crystallographic symmetry in the map. PMID:23881095

  5. Teaching macromolecular modeling.

    PubMed

    Harvey, S C; Tan, R K

    1992-12-01

    Training newcomers to the field of macromolecular modeling is as difficult as is training beginners in x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, or other methods in structural biology. In one or two lectures, the most that can be conveyed is a general sense of the relationship between modeling and other structural methods. If a full semester is available, then students can be taught how molecular structures are built, manipulated, refined, and analyzed on a computer. Here we describe a one-semester modeling course that combines lectures, discussions, and a laboratory using a commercial modeling package. In the laboratory, students carry out prescribed exercises that are coordinated to the lectures, and they complete a term project on a modeling problem of their choice. The goal is to give students an understanding of what kinds of problems can be attacked by molecular modeling methods and which problems are beyond the current capabilities of those methods. PMID:1489919

  6. Avoidable errors in deposited macromolecular structures: an impediment to efficient data mining.

    PubMed

    Dauter, Zbigniew; Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek; Jaskolski, Mariusz; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-05-01

    Whereas the vast majority of the more than 85 000 crystal structures of macromolecules currently deposited in the Protein Data Bank are of high quality, some suffer from a variety of imperfections. Although this fact has been pointed out in the past, it is still worth periodic updates so that the metadata obtained by global analysis of the available crystal structures, as well as the utilization of the individual structures for tasks such as drug design, should be based on only the most reliable data. Here, selected abnormal deposited structures have been analysed based on the Bayesian reasoning that the correctness of a model must be judged against both the primary evidence as well as prior knowledge. These structures, as well as information gained from the corresponding publications (if available), have emphasized some of the most prevalent types of common problems. The errors are often perfect illustrations of the nature of human cognition, which is frequently influenced by preconceptions that may lead to fanciful results in the absence of proper validation. Common errors can be traced to negligence and a lack of rigorous verification of the models against electron density, creation of non-parsimonious models, generation of improbable numbers, application of incorrect symmetry, illogical presentation of the results, or violation of the rules of chemistry and physics. Paying more attention to such problems, not only in the final validation stages but during the structure-determination process as well, is necessary not only in order to maintain the highest possible quality of the structural repositories and databases but most of all to provide a solid basis for subsequent studies, including large-scale data-mining projects. For many scientists PDB deposition is a rather infrequent event, so the need for proper training and supervision is emphasized, as well as the need for constant alertness of reason and critical judgment as absolutely necessary safeguarding

  7. Avoidable errors in deposited macromolecular structures: an impediment to efficient data mining

    PubMed Central

    Dauter, Zbigniew; Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek; Jaskolski, Mariusz; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    Whereas the vast majority of the more than 85 000 crystal structures of macromolecules currently deposited in the Protein Data Bank are of high quality, some suffer from a variety of imperfections. Although this fact has been pointed out in the past, it is still worth periodic updates so that the metadata obtained by global analysis of the available crystal structures, as well as the utilization of the individual structures for tasks such as drug design, should be based on only the most reliable data. Here, selected abnormal deposited structures have been analysed based on the Bayesian reasoning that the correctness of a model must be judged against both the primary evidence as well as prior knowledge. These structures, as well as information gained from the corresponding publications (if available), have emphasized some of the most prevalent types of common problems. The errors are often perfect illustrations of the nature of human cognition, which is frequently influenced by preconceptions that may lead to fanciful results in the absence of proper validation. Common errors can be traced to negligence and a lack of rigorous verification of the models against electron density, creation of non-parsimonious models, generation of improbable numbers, application of incorrect symmetry, illogical presentation of the results, or violation of the rules of chemistry and physics. Paying more attention to such problems, not only in the final validation stages but during the structure-determination process as well, is necessary not only in order to maintain the highest possible quality of the structural repositories and databases but most of all to provide a solid basis for subsequent studies, including large-scale data-mining projects. For many scientists PDB deposition is a rather infrequent event, so the need for proper training and supervision is emphasized, as well as the need for constant alertness of reason and critical judgment as absolutely necessary safeguarding

  8. Cooperative macromolecular device revealed by meta-analysis of static and time-resolved structures

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Zhong; Šrajer, Vukica; Knapp, James E.; Royer, William E.

    2012-01-01

    Here we present a meta-analysis of a large collection of static structures of a protein in the Protein Data Bank in order to extract the progression of structural events during protein function. We apply this strategy to the homodimeric hemoglobin HbI from Scapharca inaequivalvis. We derive a simple dynamic model describing how binding of the first ligand in one of the two chemically identical subunits facilitates a second binding event in the other partner subunit. The results of our ultrafast time-resolved crystallographic studies support this model. We demonstrate that HbI functions like a homodimeric mechanical device, such as pliers or scissors. Ligand-induced motion originating in one subunit is transmitted to the other via conserved pivot points, where the E and F′ helices from two partner subunits are “bolted” together to form a stable dimer interface permitting slight relative rotation but preventing sliding. PMID:22171006

  9. Cooperative macromolecular device revealed by meta-analysis of static and time-resolved structures

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Zhong; Šrajer, Vukica; Knapp, James E.; Royer, Jr., William E.

    2013-04-08

    Here we present a meta-analysis of a large collection of static structures of a protein in the Protein Data Bank in order to extract the progression of structural events during protein function. We apply this strategy to the homodimeric hemoglobin HbI from Scapharca inaequivalvis. We derive a simple dynamic model describing how binding of the first ligand in one of the two chemically identical subunits facilitates a second binding event in the other partner subunit. The results of our ultrafast time-resolved crystallographic studies support this model. We demonstrate that HbI functions like a homodimeric mechanical device, such as pliers or scissors. Ligand-induced motion originating in one subunit is transmitted to the other via conserved pivot points, where the E and F' helices from two partner subunits are 'bolted' together to form a stable dimer interface permitting slight relative rotation but preventing sliding.

  10. Hydroxyl radical footprinting in vivo: mapping macromolecular structures with synchrotron radiation

    PubMed Central

    Adilakshmi, Tadepalli; Lease, Richard A.; Woodson, Sarah A.

    2006-01-01

    We used a high flux synchrotron X-ray beam to map the structure of 16S rRNA and RNase P in viable bacteria in situ. A 300 ms exposure to the X-ray beam was sufficient for optimal cleavage of the phosphodiester backbone. The in vivo footprints of the 16S rRNA in frozen cells were similar to those obtained in vitro and were consistent with the predicted accessibility of the RNA backbone to hydroxyl radical. Protection or enhanced cleavage of certain nucleotides in vivo can be explained by interactions with tRNA and perturbation of the subunit interface. Thus, short exposures to a synchrotron X-ray beam can footprint the tertiary structure and protein contacts of RNA–protein complexes with nucleotide resolution in living cells. PMID:16682443

  11. Macromolecular recognition: Structural aspects of the origin of the genetic system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rein, Robert; Sokalski, W. Andrzej; Barak, Dov; Luo, Ning; Zielinski, Theresa Julia; Shibata, Masayuki

    1991-01-01

    Theoretical simulation of prebiotic chemical processes is an invaluable tool for probing the phenomenon of the evolution of life. Using computational and modeling techniques and guided by analogies from present day systems, we seek to understand the emergence of the genetic apparatus, enzymatic catalysis and protein synthesis under prebiotic conditions. Modeling of the ancestral aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetases (aRS) may provide important clues to the emergence of the genetic code and the protein synthetic machinery. The minimal structural requirements for the catalysis of tRNA aminoacylation are being explored. A formation of an aminoacyl adenylate was studied in the framework of ab initio molecular orbital theory. The role of individual residues in the vicinity of the TyrRS active site was examined, and the effect of all possible amino acids substitutions near the active site was examined. A formation of aminoacyl tRNA was studied by the molecular modeling system SYBYL with the high resolution crystallographic structures of the present day tRNA, aRS's complexes. The ultimate goal is to propose a simple RNA segment that is small enough to be build in the primordial chemical environment but maintains the specificity and catalytic activity of the contemporary RNA enzyme. To understand the mechanism of ribozyme catalyzed reactions, ab initio and semi-empirical (ZINDO) programs were used to investigate the reaction path of transphosphorylation. A special emphasis was placed on the possible catalytic and structural roles played by the coordinated magnesium cation. Both the inline and adjacent mechanisms of transphosphorylation were studied. The structural characteristics of the target helices, particularly a possible role for the G-T pair, is also studied by a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation technique.

  12. NaOH treatment of chitosan films: Impact on macromolecular structure and film properties.

    PubMed

    Takara, E A; Marchese, J; Ochoa, N A

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, we examine the significance of treatment with NaOH on chitosan (CH) film structure to obtain biodegradable materials for several applications. In order to determine the structure of the films, an analysis based on SEM, FTIR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction data was performed. In addition, the consequences of this treatment were evaluated by swelling index measurements and mechanical testing. As result of FTIR and X-ray analysis, three effects were identified: the deprotonation and phosphate extraction, which allowed new hydrogen bonds to form, and a higher CH deacetylation. These studies also revealed that two hydrated and anhydrous polymorphs were present in the CH-NaOH films. Moreover, the new hydrogen bond and the reduction of N-acetyl groups produced films with a more compact and disordered structure, reducing their swelling characteristics and increasing their brittleness. The introduction of a mild NaOH treatment is a versatile tool to obtain chitosan films with interesting and tunable properties. PMID:26256320

  13. Macromolecular recognition: Structural aspects of the origin of the genetic system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rein, Robert; Barak, Dov; Luo, Ning; Zielinski, Theresa Julia; Shibata, Masayuki

    1991-01-01

    Theoretical simulation of prebiotic chemical processes is an invaluable tool for probing the phenomenon of evolution of life. Using computational and modeling techniques and guided by analogies from present day systems we, seek to understand the emergence of genetic apparatus, enzymatic catalysis and protein synthesis under prebiotic conditions. In one possible scenario, the RNA enzymatic reaction plays a key role in the emergence of the self-replicating and offers a clue to the onset of enzymatic catalysis prior to the existence of the protein biosynthetic machinery. Our ultimate goal is to propose a simple RNA segment which contains the specificity and catalytic activity of the contemporary RNA enzyme and which could emerge in a primordial chemical environment. To understand the mechanism of ribozyme catalyzed reactions, ab initio and semi-empirical (ZINDO) programs were used to investigate the reaction path of transphosphorylation. A special emphasis was placed on the possible catalytic and structural roles played by the coordinated magnesium cation. Both the inline and adjacent mechanisms of transphosphorylation have been studied. Another important aspect of this reaction is the identity of the functional groups which are essential for the acid base catalysis. The structural characteristics of the target helices, particularly a possible role of G center dot T pair, is under examination by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation technique. Modeling of the ancestral aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aRS) may provide important clues to the emergence of the genetic code and the protein synthetic machinery. Assuming that the catalytic function evolved before the elements of specific recognition of a particular amino acid, we are exploring the minimal structural requirements for the catalysis of tRNA aminoacylation. The molecular modeling system SYBYL was used for this study based on the high resolution crystallographic structures of the present day tyrosyl-adenylate:tyrRS and

  14. Testing of the structure of macromolecular polymer films containing solid active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bölcskei, É.; Süvegh, K.; Marek, T.; Regdon, G.; Pintye-Hódi, K.

    2011-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the structure of free films of Eudragit ® L 30D-55 containing different concentrations (0%, 1% or 5%) of diclofenac sodium by positron annihilation spectroscopy. The data revealed that the size of the free-volume holes and the lifetimes of ortho-positronium atoms decreased with increase of the API concentration. Films containing 5% of the API exhibited a different behavior during storage (17 °C, 65% relative humidity (RH)) in consequence of the uptake of water from the air.

  15. Facilitating best practices in collecting anomalous scattering data for de novo structure solution at the ESRF Structural Biology Beamlines

    PubMed Central

    de Sanctis, Daniele; Oscarsson, Marcus; Popov, Alexander; Svensson, Olof; Leonard, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    The constant evolution of synchrotron structural biology beamlines, the viability of screening protein crystals for a wide range of heavy-atom derivatives, the advent of efficient protein labelling and the availability of automatic data-processing and structure-solution pipelines have combined to make de novo structure solution in macromolecular crystallography a less arduous task. Nevertheless, the collection of diffraction data of sufficient quality for experimental phasing is still a difficult and crucial step. Here, some examples of good data-collection practice for projects requiring experimental phasing are presented and recent developments at the ESRF Structural Biology beamlines that have facilitated these are illustrated. PMID:26960128

  16. Structure and property relations of macromolecular self-assemblies at interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhihao

    Hydrophilic polymer chains, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), are attached to glass surfaces by silylation of the silanol groups on glass surfaces with the omega-(methoxyl terminated PEG) trimethoxysilanes. These tethered polymer chains resemble the self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of PEG, which exhibit excellent biocompatibility and provide a model system for studying the interactions of proteins with polymer surfaces. The low molecular weight PEGs tend to extend, forming a brush-like monolayer, whereas the longer polymer chains tend to interpenetrate each other, forming a mushroom-like PEG monolayer at the interface. Interactions between a plasma protein, bovine serum albumin, and the PEG-SAMs are investigated in terms of protein adsorption and diffusion on the surfaces by the technique of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The diffusion and aggregation behaviors of the protein on the two monolayers are found to be quite different despite the similarities in adsorption and desorption behaviors. The results are analyzed with a hypothesis of the hydrated surface dynamics. A method of covalently bonding phospholipid molecules to silica substrates followed by loading with free phospholipids is demonstrated to form well organized and stable phospholipid self-assembled monolayers. Surfaces of such SAMs structurally mimic the aqueous sides of phospholipid bilayer membranes. The dynamics of phospholipids and an adsorbed protein, lipase, in the SAMs are probed with FRAP, in terms of lateral diffusion of both phospholipids and protein molecules. The esterase activity of lipase on the SAM surfaces is confirmed by the hydrolysis reaction of a substrate, umbelliferone stearate, showing such lipid SAMs posess biomembrane functionality in terms of interfacial activation of the membranous enzymes. Dynamics of polyethylene oxide and polypropylene oxide tri-block copolymers, PEO-PPO-PEO and PPO-PEO-PPO, at the air/water interface upon thermal stimulation is studied by

  17. Effects of macromolecular crowding on the structural stability of human α-lactalbumin.

    PubMed

    Zhang, De-Lin; Wu, Ling-Jia; Chen, Jie; Liang, Yi

    2012-08-01

    The folding of protein, an important process for protein to fulfill normal functions, takes place in crowded physiological environments. α-Lactalbumin, as a model system for protein-folding studies, has been used extensively because it can form stable molten globule states under a range of conditions. Here we report that the crowding agents Ficoll 70, dextran 70, and polyethylene glycol (PEG) 2000 have different effects on the structural stability of human α-lactalbumin (HLA) represented by the transition to a molten globule state: dextran 70 dramatically enhances the thermal stability of Ca(2+)-depleted HLA (apo-HLA) and Ficoll 70 enhances the thermal stability of apo-HLA to some extent, while PEG 2000 significantly decreases the thermal stability of apo-HLA. Ficoll 70 and dextran 70 have no obvious effects on trypsin degradation of apo-HLA but PEG 2000 accelerates apo-HLA degradation by trypsin and destabilizes the native conformation of apo-HLA. Furthermore, no interaction is observed between apo-HLA and Ficoll 70 or dextran 70, but a weak, non-specific interaction between the apo form of the protein and PEG 2000 is detected, and such a weak, non-specific interaction could overcome the excluded-volume effect of PEG 2000. Our data are consistent with the results of protein stability studies in cells and suggest that stabilizing excluded-volume effects of crowding agents can be ameliorated by non-specific interactions between proteins and crowders. PMID:22735492

  18. A Model for Macromolecular Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Macromolecular crystallization is a complex process. involving a system which typically has 5 or more components (macromolecule, water, buffer + counter ion, and precipitant). Whereas small molecules have only several well defined contacts in the crystal lattice, macromolecules generally have 10's or even 100's of contacts between molecules. These can range from hydrogen bonds (direct or water-mediated), through van der Waals, hydrophobic, salt bridges, and ion-mediated contacts. The latter interactions are stronger and require some specificity in the molecular alignment, while the others are weaker, more prevalent, and more promiscuous, i.e., can often be readily broken and reformed between other sites. Formation of a consistent, ordered, 3D structure may be impossible in the absence of any or presence of too many strong interactions. Further complicating the process is the inherent structural asymmetry of monomeric single chain macromolecules. The process of crystal nucleation and growth involves the ordered assembly of growth units into a defined 3D lattice. We suggest that for many macromolecules, particularly those that are monomeric, this involves a preliminary solution-phase assembly process into a growth unit having some symmetry prior to addition to the lattice, recapitulating the initial stages of the nucleation process. If this model is correct then fluids and crystal growth models assuming a strictly monodisperse nutrient solution need to be revised. Experimental evidence, based upon face growth rate, AFM, and fluorescence energy transfer data, for a postulated model of the nucleation of tetragonal lysozyme crystals and how it transitions into crystal growth will be presented.

  19. Emerging applications of small angle solution scattering in structural biology

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhuri, Barnali N

    2015-01-01

    Small angle solution X-ray and neutron scattering recently resurfaced as powerful tools to address an array of biological problems including folding, intrinsic disorder, conformational transitions, macromolecular crowding, and self or hetero-assembling of biomacromolecules. In addition, small angle solution scattering complements crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and other structural methods to aid in the structure determinations of multidomain or multicomponent proteins or nucleoprotein assemblies. Neutron scattering with hydrogen/deuterium contrast variation, or X-ray scattering with sucrose contrast variation to a certain extent, is a convenient tool for characterizing the organizations of two-component systems such as a nucleoprotein or a lipid-protein assembly. Time-resolved small and wide-angle solution scattering to study biological processes in real time, and the use of localized heavy-atom labeling and anomalous solution scattering for applications as FRET-like molecular rulers, are amongst promising newer developments. Despite the challenges in data analysis and interpretation, these X-ray/neutron solution scattering based approaches hold great promise for understanding a wide variety of complex processes prevalent in the biological milieu. PMID:25516491

  20. The nature and fate of natural resins in the geosphere. Part X{sup +ovr-}. Structural characteristics of the macromolecular constituents of modern Dammar resin and class II ambers.

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, K. B.; Muntean, J. V.; Chemistry

    2000-01-01

    As part of a larger study of the structure and behavior of polyterpenoids in sedimentary systems, the structural characteristics of the macromolecular constituents of Dammar resin and a related Class II amber have been reinvestigated. The conclusions drawn from these analyses are inconsistent with the current widely held 'polycadinene' model for the macromolecular structure of these materials. Double bond characteristics observed by one and two dimensional NMR spectroscopy do not match those in the proposed 'polycadinene' structure. Based on these observations it is suggested that the proposed 'polycadinene' structure for these materials is inadequate and requires revision. Elemental and NMR data also suggest a significant contribution from functionalized monomers.

  1. Screening Outside the Catalytic Site: Inhibition of Macromolecular Inter-actions Through Structure-Based Virtual Ligand Screening Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Sperandio, Olivier; Miteva, Maria A; Segers, Kenneth; Nicolaes, Gerry A. F; Villoutreix, Bruno O

    2008-01-01

    During these last 15 years, drug discovery strategies have essentially focused on identifying small molecules able to inhibit catalytic sites. However, other mechanisms could be targeted. Protein-protein interactions play crucial roles in a number of biological processes, and, as such, their disruption or stabilization is becoming an area of intense activity. Along the same line, inhibition of protein-membrane could be of major importance in several disease indications. Despite the many challenges associated with the development of such classes of interaction modulators, there has been considerable success in the recent years. Importantly, through the existence of protein hot-spots and the presence of druggable pockets at the macromolecular interfaces or in their vicinities, it has been possible to find small molecule effectors using a variety of screening techniques, including combined virtual ligand-in vitro screening strategy. Indeed such in silico-in vitro protocols emerge as the method of choice to facilitate our quest of novel drug-like compounds or of mechanistic probes aiming at facilitating the understanding of molecular reactions involved in the Health and Disease process. In this review, we comment recent successes of combined in silico-in vitro screening methods applied to modulating macromolecular interactions with a special emphasis on protein-membrane interactions. PMID:18949072

  2. Myochrysine Solution Structure and Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Jones, William B.; Zhao, Zheng; Dorsey, John G.; Tepperman, Katherine

    1994-01-01

    We have determined the framework structure of Myochrysine (disodium gold(I)thiomalate) in the solid state and extremely concentrated aqueous solution, previously. It consists of an open chain polymer with linear gold coordination to two thiolates from the thiomalic acid moieties which bridge between pairs of gold atoms providing an Au-S-Au angle of 95°. The question remained: was this structure relevant to the dilute solutions of drugs administered and the still lower concentrations of gold found in the bodies of patients (typically 1 ppm Au in blood and urine or 5 μM in Au). We have provided an answer to that question using extended X-ray absorption spectroscopy (EXAFS) and capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE). EXAFS studies confirm that the polymeric structure with two sulfur atoms per gold atom persists from molar concentrations down to millimolar concentrations. CZE is able to separate and detect Myochrysine at millimolar levels. More importantly, at micromolar levels Myochrysine solutions exhibit identical CZE behavior to that measured at millimolar levels. Thus, aqueous solutions of the drug remain oligomeric at concentrations commensurate with those found in patient blood and urine. The reactivity of Myochrysine with cyanide, a species especially prevalent in smoking patients, was explored using CZE. Cyanide freely replaces thiomalic acid to form [Au(CN)2]- and thiomalic acid via a mixed ligand intermediate. The overall apparent equilibrium constant (Kapp) for the reaction is 6×10-4M-1. Further reaction of [Au(CN)2]- with a large excess of L, where L is cysteine, N-acetylcysteine, or glutathione, shows that these amino acids readily replace cyanide to form [AuL2]-. These species are thus potential metabolites and could possibly be active forms of gold in vivo. That all of these species are readily separated and quantified using CZE demonstrates that capillary electrophoresis is an accessible and powerful tool to add to those used for the study of gold

  3. What Macromolecular Crowding Can Do to a Protein

    PubMed Central

    Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.; Uversky, Vladimir N.

    2014-01-01

    The intracellular environment represents an extremely crowded milieu, with a limited amount of free water and an almost complete lack of unoccupied space. Obviously, slightly salted aqueous solutions containing low concentrations of a biomolecule of interest are too simplistic to mimic the “real life” situation, where the biomolecule of interest scrambles and wades through the tightly packed crowd. In laboratory practice, such macromolecular crowding is typically mimicked by concentrated solutions of various polymers that serve as model “crowding agents”. Studies under these conditions revealed that macromolecular crowding might affect protein structure, folding, shape, conformational stability, binding of small molecules, enzymatic activity, protein-protein interactions, protein-nucleic acid interactions, and pathological aggregation. The goal of this review is to systematically analyze currently available experimental data on the variety of effects of macromolecular crowding on a protein molecule. The review covers more than 320 papers and therefore represents one of the most comprehensive compendia of the current knowledge in this exciting area. PMID:25514413

  4. Visualizing Macromolecular Complexes with In Situ Liquid Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, James E.; Jungjohann, K. L.; Wong, Peony C. K.; Chiu, Po-Lin; Dutrow, Gavin H.; Arslan, Ilke; Browning, Nigel D.

    2012-11-01

    A central focus of biological research is understanding the structure/function relationship of macromolecular protein complexes. Yet conventional transmission electron microscopy techniques are limited to static observations. Here we present the first direct images of purified macromolecular protein complexes using in situ liquid scanning transmission electron microscopy. Our results establish the capability of this technique for visualizing the interface between biology and nanotechnology with high fidelity while also probing the interactions of biomolecules within solution. This method represents an important advancement towards allowing future high-resolution observations of biological processes and conformational dynamics in real-time.

  5. Experimental Structural Studies of Solutes in Aqueous Solution

    SciTech Connect

    Persson, Ingmar

    2007-11-29

    The principles of experimental methods to study the structure and the hydrogen bonding of hydrated solutes in aqueous solution are presented, and whether theoretical simulations can produce comparable information as the experimental ones is discussed. Two structure methods, extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and large angle X-ray scattering (LAXS), and one method to study the hydrogen bonding in hydrated species in aqueous solution, double difference infrared spectroscopy of HDO, are presented.

  6. Controlling the phase structures of polymer/surfactant complexes by changing macromolecular architecture and adding n-alcohols.

    PubMed

    Percebom, Ana Maria; Loh, Watson

    2016-03-15

    Phase behavior of complex salts formed by a cationic surfactant and different ethoxylated polyions was investigated in water and with addition of two n-alcohols of different chain lengths: n-butanol and n-decanol. The polyion possesses a main chain of methacrylic acid randomly grafted with oligo(ethylene oxide) chains. Strong electrostatic interaction between the anionic main chain and the cationic surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium (C16TA) leads to the formation of C16TAP(MA-MAEO(n)) x:y complex salts. Modifications in polyion structure, such as changes in the proportion of grafted comonomers and in the side chain length caused differences in the overall balance of interactions with water and n-alcohols, altering the complex salt solubility and, consequently, the formed liquid-crystalline structures. The role of n-decanol as a cosurfactant was verified, but the hydrophilic side chains expanded the capacity of the formed liquid crystalline phases to incorporate water. Additionally, a novel structure, probably cubic bicontinuous (Pn3m), was observed coexisting with lamellar phases at low water concentration. Because n-butanol is known for being a good solvent for poly(ethylene oxide), these side chains intensified the role of this short chain n-alcohol as cosolvent for C16TAP(MA-MAEO(n)) x:y complex salts, favoring the formation of disordered solutions, including a bicontinuous microemulsion. PMID:26752433

  7. Continuous mutual improvement of macromolecular structure models in the PDB and of X-ray crystallographic software: the dual role of deposited experimental data

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Bricogne, Gerard

    2014-10-01

    Macromolecular structures deposited in the PDB can and should be continually reinterpreted and improved on the basis of their accompanying experimental X-ray data, exploiting the steady progress in methods and software that the deposition of such data into the PDB on a massive scale has made possible. Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when it was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be

  8. Structure of supersaturated zincate solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Dmitrenko, V.E.; Balyakina, N.N.; Baulov, V.I.; Kotov, A.V.; Zubov, M.S.

    1985-09-01

    During the discharge of chemical power sources with zinc electrodes, supersaturated zincate solution (SZS) is formed from which zinc oxide or hydroxide precipitates as a function of time. The deposit detracts from the functioning of these power sources. In view of the model suggested for the structure of SZS, it is expected that a stabilizing effect would be exerted on SZS by compounds having proton-donating groups which do not give off the protons in the strongly alkaline medium and are not discharged in this medium. For a check of this, the authors chose to use xylitol and molasses in their experiments. The SZS were produced with a mock-up silver-zinc battery using the procedure previously described.

  9. Practical macromolecular cryocrystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Pflugrath, J. W.

    2015-05-27

    Current methods, reagents and experimental hardware for successfully and reproducibly flash-cooling macromolecular crystals to cryogenic temperatures for X-ray diffraction data collection are reviewed. Cryocrystallography is an indispensable technique that is routinely used for single-crystal X-ray diffraction data collection at temperatures near 100 K, where radiation damage is mitigated. Modern procedures and tools to cryoprotect and rapidly cool macromolecular crystals with a significant solvent fraction to below the glass-transition phase of water are reviewed. Reagents and methods to help prevent the stresses that damage crystals when flash-cooling are described. A method of using isopentane to assess whether cryogenic temperatures have been preserved when dismounting screened crystals is also presented.

  10. Automated macromolecular crystallization screening

    DOEpatents

    Segelke, Brent W.; Rupp, Bernhard; Krupka, Heike I.

    2005-03-01

    An automated macromolecular crystallization screening system wherein a multiplicity of reagent mixes are produced. A multiplicity of analysis plates is produced utilizing the reagent mixes combined with a sample. The analysis plates are incubated to promote growth of crystals. Images of the crystals are made. The images are analyzed with regard to suitability of the crystals for analysis by x-ray crystallography. A design of reagent mixes is produced based upon the expected suitability of the crystals for analysis by x-ray crystallography. A second multiplicity of mixes of the reagent components is produced utilizing the design and a second multiplicity of reagent mixes is used for a second round of automated macromolecular crystallization screening. In one embodiment the multiplicity of reagent mixes are produced by a random selection of reagent components.

  11. Solution Accounts for Structural Damping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roussos, L. A.; Hyer, M. W.; Thornton, E. A.

    1982-01-01

    New analytical technique determines dynamic response of damped structures dominated by internal structural damping mechanisms. Though structural damping is often negligible compared with damping due to air friction and friction in joints, structural damping can be of major importance in structures having heavy damping treatments or in outer-space structures. Finite-element model includes nonlinear, nonviscous internal damping.

  12. The design of macromolecular crystallography diffraction experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, Gwyndaf Axford, Danny; Owen, Robin L.

    2011-04-01

    Thoughts about the decisions made in designing macromolecular X-ray crystallography experiments at synchrotron beamlines are presented. The measurement of X-ray diffraction data from macromolecular crystals for the purpose of structure determination is the convergence of two processes: the preparation of diffraction-quality crystal samples on the one hand and the construction and optimization of an X-ray beamline and end station on the other. Like sample preparation, a macromolecular crystallography beamline is geared to obtaining the best possible diffraction measurements from crystals provided by the synchrotron user. This paper describes the thoughts behind an experiment that fully exploits both the sample and the beamline and how these map into everyday decisions that users can and should make when visiting a beamline with their most precious crystals.

  13. Macromolecular engineering by atom transfer radical polymerization.

    PubMed

    Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Tsarevsky, Nicolay V

    2014-05-01

    This Perspective presents recent advances in macromolecular engineering enabled by ATRP. They include the fundamental mechanistic and synthetic features of ATRP with emphasis on various catalytic/initiation systems that use parts-per-million concentrations of Cu catalysts and can be run in environmentally friendly media, e.g., water. The roles of the major components of ATRP--monomers, initiators, catalysts, and various additives--are explained, and their reactivity and structure are correlated. The effects of media and external stimuli on polymerization rates and control are presented. Some examples of precisely controlled elements of macromolecular architecture, such as chain uniformity, composition, topology, and functionality, are discussed. Syntheses of polymers with complex architecture, various hybrids, and bioconjugates are illustrated. Examples of current and forthcoming applications of ATRP are covered. Future challenges and perspectives for macromolecular engineering by ATRP are discussed. PMID:24758377

  14. Continuous mutual improvement of macromolecular structure models in the PDB and of X-ray crystallographic software: The dual role of deposited experimental data

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Bricogne, Gerard

    2014-09-30

    Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when it was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be made generally available, along with the precursor entries, with various views of the structures being made available depending on the types of questions that users are interested in answering.

  15. Continuous mutual improvement of macromolecular structure models in the PDB and of X-ray crystallographic software: The dual role of deposited experimental data

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Bricogne, Gerard

    2014-09-30

    Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when itmore » was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be made generally available, along with the precursor entries, with various views of the structures being made available depending on the types of questions that users are interested in answering.« less

  16. Continuous mutual improvement of macromolecular structure models in the PDB and of X-ray crystallographic software: the dual role of deposited experimental data

    PubMed Central

    Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Bricogne, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when it was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be made generally available, along with the precursor entries, with various views of the structures being made available depending on the types of questions that users are interested in answering. PMID:25286839

  17. Microgravity and Macromolecular Crystallography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, Craig E.; Judge, Russell A.; Pusey, Marc L.; Snell, Edward H.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Macromolecular crystal growth has been seen as an ideal experiment to make use of the reduced acceleration environment provided by an orbiting spacecraft. The experiments are small, simply operated and have a high potential scientific and economic impact. In this review we examine the theoretical reasons why microgravity should be a beneficial environment for crystal growth and survey the history of experiments on the Space Shuttle Orbiter, on unmanned spacecraft, and on the Mir space station. Finally we outline the direction for optimizing the future use of orbiting platforms.

  18. Practical macromolecular cryocrystallography

    PubMed Central

    Pflugrath, J. W.

    2015-01-01

    Cryocrystallography is an indispensable technique that is routinely used for single-crystal X-ray diffraction data collection at temperatures near 100 K, where radiation damage is mitigated. Modern procedures and tools to cryoprotect and rapidly cool macromolecular crystals with a significant solvent fraction to below the glass-transition phase of water are reviewed. Reagents and methods to help prevent the stresses that damage crystals when flash-cooling are described. A method of using isopentane to assess whether cryogenic temperatures have been preserved when dismounting screened crystals is also presented. PMID:26057787

  19. Macromolecular character of amber

    SciTech Connect

    Wert, C.A.; Weller, M.; Schlee, D.; Ledbetter, H.

    1989-03-15

    Measurements are reported of anelastic and dielectric loss of various ambers and copals. They show spectra typical of synthetic polymers. This similarity permits description of the macromolecular character of amber which was not possible from previous studies of chemical composition. Measurements on amber of several origins and geological ages show generally similar character, but also differences in detail. These may be caused by differences in chemistry of the original resin and the geological age and history of the amber, reflecting differences in degree of polymerization. Also reported are elastic constants measured at high frequency.

  20. Using NMR to Determine Protein Structure in Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagnero, Silvia

    2003-02-01

    Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a marvelous spectroscopic technique that chemists, physicists, and biochemists routinely employ for their research around the world. This year half of the Nobel Prize for chemistry went to Kurt Wüthrich, who was recognized for the development of NMR-based techniques that lead to the structure determination of biomolecules in solution. In addition to implementing novel pulse sequences and software packages, Wüthrich also applied his methods to several biological systems of key importance to human health. These include the prion protein, which is heavily involved in the spongiform encephalopathy (best known as 'mad cow disease'), which recently caused numerous human deaths, particularly in the UK, due to ingestion of contaminated meat. Transverse relaxation optimized spectroscopy (TROSY) is the most intriguing new NMR method recently developed by Wüthrich and coworkers. This and other closely related pulse sequences promise to play a pivotal role in the extension of NMR to the conformational analysis of very large (up to the megadalton range) macromolecules and macromolecular complexes. More exciting new developments are expected in the near future.

  1. Magnetic macromolecular cross linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) of glucoamylase.

    PubMed

    Nadar, Shamraja S; Rathod, Virendra K

    2016-02-01

    This work illustrates the preparation of magnetic macromolecular glucoamylase CLEAs using dialdehydic pectin, as a cross linker instead of traditional glutaraldehyde. The effect of precipitators type and amount, cross linker concentration, cross linking time and amount of amino functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (AFMNs) on glucoamylase activity was studied. Glucoamylase magnetic macromolecular CLEAs prepared by precipitation in presence of AFMNs by ammonium sulfate were subsequently cross linked by dialdehydic pectin. After cross-linked by pectin, 95.4% activity recovery was achieved in magnetic macromolecular CLEAs, whereas in case of glutaraldehyde cross linker, 85.3% activity recovery was achieved. Magnetic macromolecular CLEAs showed 2.91 and 1.27 folds higher thermal stability as compared to free and magnetic glutaraldehyde CLEAs. In kinetics study, magnetic macromolecular CLEAs retained same Km values, whereas magnetic glutaraldehyde CLEAs showed higher Km value than free enzyme. The porous structure of magnetic macromolecular CLEAs was not only enhanced mass transfer toward macromolecular substrates, but also showed compression resistance for 5 consecutive cycles which was checked in terms of effectiveness factor. At the end, in reusability study; magnetic macromolecular CLEAs were retained 84% activity after 10(th) cycle without leaching of enzyme which is 22% higher than traditional magnetic CLEAs. PMID:26777253

  2. In-vacuum long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Armin; Duman, Ramona; Henderson, Keith; Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy

    2016-01-01

    Structure solution based on the weak anomalous signal from native (protein and DNA) crystals is increasingly being attempted as part of synchrotron experiments. Maximizing the measurable anomalous signal by collecting diffraction data at longer wavelengths presents a series of technical challenges caused by the increased absorption of X-rays and larger diffraction angles. A new beamline at Diamond Light Source has been built specifically for collecting data at wavelengths beyond the capability of other synchrotron macromolecular crystallography beamlines. Here, the theoretical considerations in support of the long-wavelength beamline are outlined and the in-vacuum design of the endstation is discussed, as well as other hardware features aimed at enhancing the accuracy of the diffraction data. The first commissioning results, representing the first in-vacuum protein structure solution, demonstrate the promising potential of the beamline. PMID:26960130

  3. Automated error-tolerant macromolecular structure determination from multidimensional nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectra and chemical shift assignments

    PubMed Central

    Kuszewski, John J.; Thottungal, Robin Augustine; Schwieters, Charles D.; Clore, G. Marius

    2008-01-01

    We report substantial improvements to the previously introduced automated NOE assignment and structure determination protocol known as PASD. The improved protocol includes extensive analysis of input spectral data to create a low-resolution contact map of residues expected to be close in space. This map is used to obtain reasonable initial guesses of NOE assignment likelihoods which are refined during subsequent structure calculations. Information in the contact map about which residues are predicted to not be close in space is applied via conservative repulsive distance restraints which are used in early phases of the structure calculations. In comparison with the previous protocol, the new protocol requires significantly less computation time. We show results of running the new PASD protocol on six proteins and demonstrate that useful assignment and structural information is extracted on proteins of more than 220 residues. We show that useful assignment information can be obtained even in the case in which a unique structure cannot be determined. PMID:18668206

  4. Local Kinetic Measures of Macromolecular Structure Reveal Partitioning Among Multiple Parallel Pathways from the Earliest Steps in the Folding of a Large RNA Molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Laederach,A.; Shcherbakova, I.; Liang, M.; Brenowitz, M.; Altman, R.

    2006-01-01

    At the heart of the RNA folding problem is the number, structures, and relationships among the intermediates that populate the folding pathways of most large RNA molecules. Unique insight into the structural dynamics of these intermediates can be gleaned from the time-dependent changes in local probes of macromolecular conformation (e.g. reports on individual nucleotide solvent accessibility offered by hydroxyl radical ({center_dot}OH) footprinting). Local measures distributed around a macromolecule individually illuminate the ensemble of separate changes that constitute a folding reaction. Folding pathway reconstruction from a multitude of these individual measures is daunting due to the combinatorial explosion of possible kinetic models as the number of independent local measures increases. Fortunately, clustering of time progress curves sufficiently reduces the dimensionality of the data so as to make reconstruction computationally tractable. The most likely folding topology and intermediates can then be identified by exhaustively enumerating all possible kinetic models on a super-computer grid. The folding pathways and measures of the relative flux through them were determined for Mg{sup 2+} and Na{sup +}-mediated folding of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron using this combined experimental and computational approach. The flux during Mg{sup 2+}-mediated folding is divided among numerous parallel pathways. In contrast, the flux during the Na{sup +}-mediated reaction is predominantly restricted through three pathways, one of which is without detectable passage through intermediates. Under both conditions, the folding reaction is highly parallel with no single pathway accounting for more than 50% of the molecular flux. This suggests that RNA folding is non-sequential under a variety of different experimental conditions even at the earliest stages of folding. This study provides a template for the systematic analysis of the time-evolution of RNA structure

  5. Working at higher magnifications in scanning electron microscopy with secondary and backscattered electrons on metal coated biological specimens and imaging macromolecular cell membrane structures.

    PubMed

    Peters, K R

    1985-01-01

    Membrane structures of macromolecular dimensions were imaged with high resolution secondary electron type I (SE-I) signal contrasts on metal coated biological specimens. The quality of the surface information was strongly dependent on the signal used for microscopy and on the properties of metal films, i.e., thickness, continuity, structure and decoration effects. Films of 10 nm thickness produced so much type II electrons that identical images were obtained with the conventional SE-II and BSE-II signals. In such images, the type I SE signal was so low that only very weak contrasts were recognizable. If the films--continuous or discontinuous--were composed of large metal aggregates (gold and platinum) a strong micro-roughness contrast was produced by the type II signal. At high magnifications (100,000 x) this background signal greatly reduced the S/N ratio of the SE-I signal. A similar effect was previously shown to be produced by the type III background signal. The type II background signal minimized when continuous films of small aggregates (tantalum and chromium) were applied. SE-I contrast dominated in the image if the film thickness was limited to 1 nm. Additionally, it was found that gold and platinum decorated membrane surface structures, less than 20 nm in size, and did not reveal all the topographic information available (size, shape, orientation spacing of small surface features) but merely displayed center-to-center distances. These decoration effects were avoided and extensive topographic information was obtained through surface coating with Ta or Cr. PMID:4095499

  6. Computing the origin and evolution of the ribosome from its structure — Uncovering processes of macromolecular accretion benefiting synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo; Caetano-Anollés, Derek

    2015-01-01

    Accretion occurs pervasively in nature at widely different timeframes. The process also manifests in the evolution of macromolecules. Here we review recent computational and structural biology studies of evolutionary accretion that make use of the ideographic (historical, retrodictive) and nomothetic (universal, predictive) scientific frameworks. Computational studies uncover explicit timelines of accretion of structural parts in molecular repertoires and molecules. Phylogenetic trees of protein structural domains and proteomes and their molecular functions were built from a genomic census of millions of encoded proteins and associated terminal Gene Ontology terms. Trees reveal a ‘metabolic-first’ origin of proteins, the late development of translation, and a patchwork distribution of proteins in biological networks mediated by molecular recruitment. Similarly, the natural history of ancient RNA molecules inferred from trees of molecular substructures built from a census of molecular features shows patchwork-like accretion patterns. Ideographic analyses of ribosomal history uncover the early appearance of structures supporting mRNA decoding and tRNA translocation, the coevolution of ribosomal proteins and RNA, and a first evolutionary transition that brings ribosomal subunits together into a processive protein biosynthetic complex. Nomothetic structural biology studies of tertiary interactions and ancient insertions in rRNA complement these findings, once concentric layering assumptions are removed. Patterns of coaxial helical stacking reveal a frustrated dynamics of outward and inward ribosomal growth possibly mediated by structural grafting. The early rise of the ribosomal ‘turnstile’ suggests an evolutionary transition in natural biological computation. Results make explicit the need to understand processes of molecular growth and information transfer of macromolecules. PMID:27096056

  7. Significance of wall structure, macromolecular composition, and surface polymers to the survival and transport of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The structure and composition of the oocyst wall are primary factors determining the survival of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts outside the host. An external polymer matrix (glycocalyx) may mediate interactions with environmental surfaces and, thus, affect the transport of oocysts in water, soil, an...

  8. Completely automated, highly error-tolerant macromolecular structure determination from multidimensional nuclear overhauser enhancement spectra and chemical shift assignments.

    PubMed

    Kuszewski, John; Schwieters, Charles D; Garrett, Daniel S; Byrd, R Andrew; Tjandra, Nico; Clore, G Marius

    2004-05-26

    The major rate-limiting step in high-throughput NMR protein structure determination involves the calculation of a reliable initial fold, the elimination of incorrect nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE) assignments, and the resolution of NOE assignment ambiguities. We present a robust approach to automatically calculate structures with a backbone coordinate accuracy of 1.0-1.5 A from datasets in which as much as 80% of the long-range NOE information (i.e., between residues separated by more than five positions in the sequence) is incorrect. The current algorithm differs from previously published methods in that it has been expressly designed to ensure that the results from successive cycles are not biased by the global fold of structures generated in preceding cycles. Consequently, the method is highly error tolerant and is not easily funnelled down an incorrect path in either three-dimensional structure or NOE assignment space. The algorithm incorporates three main features: a linear energy function representation of the NOE restraints to allow maximization of the number of simultaneously satisfied restraints during the course of simulated annealing; a method for handling the presence of multiple possible assignments for each NOE cross-peak which avoids local minima by treating each possible assignment as if it were an independent restraint; and a probabilistic method to permit both inactivation and reactivation of all NOE restraints on the fly during the course of simulated annealing. NOE restraints are never removed permanently, thereby significantly reducing the likelihood of becoming trapped in a false minimum of NOE assignment space. The effectiveness of the algorithm is demonstrated using completely automatically peak-picked experimental NOE data from two proteins: interleukin-4 (136 residues) and cyanovirin-N (101 residues). The limits of the method are explored using simulated data on the 56-residue B1 domain of Streptococcal protein G. PMID:15149223

  9. Macromolecular crystal growing system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Robert S. (Inventor); Herren, Blair J. (Inventor); Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Yost, Vaughn H. (Inventor); Bugg, Charles E. (Inventor); Delucas, Lawrence J. (Inventor); Suddath, Fred L. (Inventor)

    1991-01-01

    A macromolecular crystal growing system especially designed for growing crystals in the low gravity of space as well as the gravity of earth includes at least one tray assembly, a carrier assembly which receives the tray, and a refrigeration-incubation module in which the carrier assembly is received. The tray assembly includes a plurality of sealed chambers with a plastic syringe and a plug means for the double tip of the syringe provided therein. Ganging mechanisms operate the syringes and plugs simultaneously in a precise and smooth operation. Preferably, the tray assemblies are mounted on ball bearing slides for smooth operation in inserting and removing the tray assemblies into the carrier assembly. The plugging mechanism also includes a loading control mechanism. A mechanism for leaving a syringe unplugged is also provided.

  10. NMR solution structure of butantoxin.

    PubMed

    Holaday, S K; Martin, B M; Fletcher, P L; Krishna, N R

    2000-07-01

    The NMR structure of a new toxin, butantoxin (BuTX), which is present in the venoms of the three Brazilian scorpions Tityus serrulatus, Tityus bahiensis, and Tityus stigmurus, has been investigated. This toxin was shown to reversibly block the Shaker B potassium channels (K(d) approximately 660 nM) and inhibit the proliferation of T-cells and the interleukin-2 production of antigen-stimulated T-helper cells. BuTX is a 40 amino acid basic protein stabilized by the four disulfide bridges: Cys2-Cys5, Cys10-Cys31, Cys16-Cys36, and Cys20-Cys38. The latter three are conserved among all members of the short-chain scorpion toxin family, while the first is unique to BuTX. The three-dimensional structure of BuTX was determined using (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. NOESY, phase sensitive COSY (PH-COSY), and amide hydrogen exchange data were used to generate constraints for molecular modeling calculations. Distance geometry and simulated annealing calculations were performed to generate a family of 49 structures free of constraint violations. The secondary structure of BuTX consists of a short 2(1/2) turn alpha-helix (Glu15-Phe23) and a beta-sheet. The beta-sheet is composed of two well-defined antiparallel strands (Gly29-Met32 and Lys35-Cys38) connected by a type-I' beta-turn (Asn33-Asn34). Residues Cys5-Ala9 form a quasi-third strand of the beta-sheet. The N-terminal C2-C5 disulfide bridge unique to this toxin does not appear to confer stability to the protein. PMID:10864437

  11. Role of Macromolecular Structure in the Ultrafast Energy and Electron Transfer Dynamics of a Light-Harvesting Polymer.

    PubMed

    Morseth, Zachary A; Pho, Toan V; Gilligan, Alexander T; Dillon, Robert J; Schanze, Kirk S; Reynolds, John R; Papanikolas, John M

    2016-08-18

    Ultrafast energy and electron transfer (EnT and ET, respectively) are characterized in a light-harvesting assembly based on a π-conjugated polymer (poly(fluorene)) functionalized with broadly absorbing pendant organic isoindigo (iI) chromophores using a combination of femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy and large-scale computer simulation. Photoexcitation of the π-conjugated polymer leads to near-unity quenching of the excitation through a combination of EnT and ET to the iI pendants. The excited pendants formed by EnT rapidly relax within 30 ps, whereas recombination of the charge-separated state formed following ET occurs within 1200 ps. A computer model of the excited-state processes is developed by combining all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, which provides a molecular-level view of the assembly structure, with a kinetic model that accounts for the multiple excited-state quenching pathways. Direct comparison of the simulations with experimental data reveals that the underlying structure has a dramatic effect on the partitioning between EnT and ET in the polymer assembly, where the distance and orientation of the pendants in relation to the backbone serve to direct the dominant quenching pathway. PMID:27433946

  12. Macromolecular Crystallization in Microfluidics for the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monaco, Lisa A.; Spearing, Scott

    2003-01-01

    At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the Iterative Biological Crystallization (IBC) project has begun development on scientific hardware for macromolecular crystallization on the International Space Station (ISS). Currently ISS crystallization research is limited to solution recipes that were prepared on the ground prior to launch. The proposed hardware will conduct solution mixing and dispensing on board the ISS, be fully automated, and have imaging functions via remote commanding from the ground. Utilizing microfluidic technology, IBC will allow for on orbit iterations. The microfluidics LabChip(R) devices that have been developed, along with Caliper Technologies, will greatly benefit researchers by allowing for precise fluid handling of nano/pico liter sized volumes. IBC will maximize the amount of science return by utilizing the microfluidic approach and be a valuable tool to structural biologists investigating medically relevant projects.

  13. Growth and Dissolution of Macromolecular Markov Chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaspard, Pierre

    2016-07-01

    The kinetics and thermodynamics of free living copolymerization are studied for processes with rates depending on k monomeric units of the macromolecular chain behind the unit that is attached or detached. In this case, the sequence of monomeric units in the growing copolymer is a kth-order Markov chain. In the regime of steady growth, the statistical properties of the sequence are determined analytically in terms of the attachment and detachment rates. In this way, the mean growth velocity as well as the thermodynamic entropy production and the sequence disorder can be calculated systematically. These different properties are also investigated in the regime of depolymerization where the macromolecular chain is dissolved by the surrounding solution. In this regime, the entropy production is shown to satisfy Landauer's principle.

  14. Structural investigation of loose connective tissue by using a series of dextran fractions as non-interacting macromolecular probes.

    PubMed

    Meyer, F A; Koblentz, M; Silberberg, A

    1977-02-01

    The ability of the uncharged open-coil dextran molecules to penetrate tissue space, without coil-shape change, was utilized to probe (by partitioning experiments) the structural arrangement of the collagen-fibre network and the proteoglycan system. Hyaluronidase digests most of the proteoglycans away and enables the respective contributions to the exclusion volume to be evaluated by using a series of different-molecular-weight dextrans. It appears that the major part of the exclusion volume is due to the collagen-fibril as a rod and the dextran coil as an impenetrable sphere. The additional exclusion due to the proteoglycans could be accounted for by a set of points (regions of high proteoglycan-segment density) over which the dextran coild cannot pass. These points are an average of 50 nm apart and are indicative of local extensive entanglement of high-molecular-weight proteoglycans with each other. Reasons are given why these entanglements could not act as cross-links in long-term elastic loading of the tissue. PMID:849263

  15. Structural investigation of loose connective tissue by using a series of dextran fractions as non-interacting macromolecular probes.

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, F A; Koblentz, M; Silberberg, A

    1977-01-01

    The ability of the uncharged open-coil dextran molecules to penetrate tissue space, without coil-shape change, was utilized to probe (by partitioning experiments) the structural arrangement of the collagen-fibre network and the proteoglycan system. Hyaluronidase digests most of the proteoglycans away and enables the respective contributions to the exclusion volume to be evaluated by using a series of different-molecular-weight dextrans. It appears that the major part of the exclusion volume is due to the collagen-fibril as a rod and the dextran coil as an impenetrable sphere. The additional exclusion due to the proteoglycans could be accounted for by a set of points (regions of high proteoglycan-segment density) over which the dextran coild cannot pass. These points are an average of 50 nm apart and are indicative of local extensive entanglement of high-molecular-weight proteoglycans with each other. Reasons are given why these entanglements could not act as cross-links in long-term elastic loading of the tissue. PMID:849263

  16. Small angle neutron scattering for the structural study of intrinsically disordered proteins in solution: a practical guide.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) allows studying bio-macromolecular structures and interactions in solution. It is particularly well-suited to study structural properties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) over a wide range of length-scales ranging from global aspects (radii of gyration and molecular weight) down to short-distance properties (e.g., cross-sectional analysis). In this book chapter, we provide a practical guide on how to carry out SANS experiments on IDPs and discuss the complementary aspects and strengths of SANS with respect to small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). PMID:22821521

  17. ACHESYM: an algorithm and server for standardized placement of macromolecular models in the unit cell.

    PubMed

    Kowiel, Marcin; Jaskolski, Mariusz; Dauter, Zbigniew

    2014-12-01

    Despite the existence of numerous useful conventions in structural crystallography, for example for the choice of the asymmetric part of the unit cell or of reciprocal space, surprisingly no standards are in use for the placement of the molecular model in the unit cell, often leading to inconsistencies or confusion. A conceptual solution for this problem has been proposed for macromolecular crystal structures based on the idea of the anti-Cheshire unit cell. Here, a program and server (called ACHESYM; http://achesym.ibch.poznan.pl) are presented for the practical implementation of this concept. In addition, the first task of ACHESYM is to find an optimal (compact) macromolecular assembly if more than one polymer chain exists. ACHESYM processes PDB (atomic parameters and TLS matrices) and mmCIF (diffraction data) input files to produce a new coordinate set and to reindex the reflections and modify their phases, if necessary. PMID:25478846

  18. Complex structures – smart solutions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The siliceous skeletal elements of the sponges, the spicules, represent one of the very few examples from where the molecule toolkit required for the formation of an extracellular mineral-based skeleton, has been elucidated. The distinguished feature of the inorganic matrix, the bio-silica, is its enzymatic synthesis mediated by silicatein. Ortho-silicate undergoes in the presence of silicatein a polycondensation reaction and forms bio-silica under release of reaction water. The protein silicatein aggregates non-covalently to larger filaments, a process that is stabilized by the silicatein-associated protein, silintaphin-1. These structured clusters form the axial filament that is located in the center of the spicules, the axial canal. Surprisingly it has now been found that the initial axial orientation, in which the spicules grow, is guided by cell processes through evagination. The approximately two µm wide cell extensions release silicatein that forms the first organic axial filament, which then synthesizes the inner core of the siliceous spicule rods. In parallel, the radial growth of the spicules is controlled by a telescopic arrangement of organic layers, into which bio-silica and ortho-silicate are deposited. Hence, the formation of a mature siliceous spicule is completed by a centrifugal accretion of bio-silica mediated by the silicatein in the axial filament, and a centripetal bio-silica deposition catalyzed by the extra-spicular silicatein. Finally this contribution highlights that for the ultimate determination of the spicule shapes, their species-specific morphologies, bio-silica hardens during a process which removes reaction water. The data presented can also provide new blueprints for the fabrication of novel biomaterials for biomedical applications.  PMID:22446527

  19. Cell-Free Protein Expression under Macromolecular Crowding Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Xumeng; Luo, Dan; Xu, Jianfeng

    2011-01-01

    Background Cell-free protein expression (CFPE) comprised of in vitro transcription and translation is currently manipulated in relatively dilute solutions, in which the macromolecular crowding effects present in living cells are largely ignored. This may not only affect the efficiency of protein synthesis in vitro, but also limit our understanding of the functions and interactions of biomolecules involved in this fundamental biological process. Methodology/Principal Findings Using cell-free synthesis of Renilla luciferase in wheat germ extract as a model system, we investigated the CFPE under macromolecular crowding environments emulated with three different crowding agents: PEG-8000, Ficoll-70 and Ficoll-400, which vary in chemical properties and molecular size. We found that transcription was substantially enhanced in the macromolecular crowding solutions; up to 4-fold increase in the mRNA production was detected in the presence of 20% (w/v) of Ficoll-70. In contrast, translation was generally inhibited by the addition of each of the three crowding agents. This might be due to PEG-induced protein precipitation and non-specific binding of translation factors to Ficoll molecules. We further explored a two-stage CFPE in which transcription and translation was carried out under high then low macromolecular crowding conditions, respectively. It produced 2.2-fold higher protein yield than the coupled CFPE control. The macromolecular crowding effects on CFPE were subsequently confirmed by cell-free synthesis of an approximately two-fold larger protein, Firefly luciferase, under macromolecular crowding environments. Conclusions/Significance Three macromolecular crowding agents used in this research had opposite effects on transcription and translation. The results of this study should aid researchers in their choice of macromolecular crowding agents and shows that two-stage CFPE is more efficient than coupled CFPE. PMID:22174874

  20. Water structure in concentrated lithium chloride solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tromp, R. H.; Neilson, G. W.; Soper, A. K.

    1992-06-01

    The radial pair distribution functions gHH(r) and gOH(r) (to a good approximation) of 1 and 10 m solutions of lithium chloride in water have been obtained from neutron diffraction. It turns out that the intermolecular water structure in a solution of 10 m is affected considerably by the presence of ions—the number of hydrogen bonds is about 70% lower than in pure water. The intermolecular water structure in 1 m lithium chloride as well as the intramolecular water structure in both 1 and 10 m lithium chloride is not distinguishable from that of pure water in any measurable extent.

  1. Mechanisms, kinetics, impurities and defects: consequences in macromolecular crystallization

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Alexander; Kuznetsov, Yurii G.

    2014-01-01

    The nucleation and growth of protein, nucleic acid and virus crystals from solution are functions of underlying kinetic and thermodynamic parameters that govern the process, and these are all supersaturation-dependent. While the mechanisms of macromolecular crystal growth are essentially the same as for conventional crystals, the underlying parameters are vastly different, in some cases orders of magnitude lower, and this produces very different crystallization processes. Numerous physical features of macromolecular crystals are of serious interest to X-ray diffractionists; the resolution limit and mosaicity, for example, reflect the degree of molecular and lattice order. The defect structure of crystals has an impact on their response to flash-cooling, and terminal crystal size is dependent on impurity absorption and incorporation. The variety and extent of these issues are further unique to crystals of biological macromolecules. All of these features are amenable to study using atomic force microscopy, which provides direct images at the nanoscale level. Some of those images are presented here. PMID:24699728

  2. Workshop on algorithms for macromolecular modeling. Final project report, June 1, 1994--May 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Leimkuhler, B.; Hermans, J.; Skeel, R.D.

    1995-07-01

    A workshop was held on algorithms and parallel implementations for macromolecular dynamics, protein folding, and structural refinement. This document contains abstracts and brief reports from that workshop.

  3. Fractionation and characterization of soy β-conglycinin-dextran conjugates via macromolecular crowding environment and dry heating.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jingyi; Qi, Junru; Yin, Shouwei; Wang, Jinmei; Guo, Jian; Feng, Jilu; Liu, Qianru; Zhu, Jianhua; Yang, Xiaoquan

    2016-04-01

    Conjugates of β-conglycinin and dextran were prepared by heating in solution under macromolecular crowding environment and dry-heating methods, and then fractionated by solubility at pH 4.8 and pH 6.5 and characterized. The results showed that the degree of glycation of the conjugates extracted from pH 4.8 were higher than the conjugates extracted from pH 6.5. Corresponding to the higher degree of glycation, it was supposed that the β-conglycinin of groups 4.8 of macromolecular crowding environment was completely surrounded by the dextran molecular while that of groups 6.5 were encircled partially with a lower degree of glycation. Compared to β-conglycinin, groups 4.8 demonstrated a decreasing surface hydrophobicity and sulfhydryl group content while groups 6.5 increased. The secondary structure of β-conglycinin soluble at pH 4.8 after conjugating under macromolecular crowding environment tended to stretch out and the highly ordered structure turn to random structures. The differences between the extraction of pH 4.8 and pH 6.5 conjugated by dry-heating methods were not as remarkable as the difference between the extraction conjugated by macromolecular crowding environment. PMID:26593615

  4. REdiii: a pipeline for automated structure solution.

    PubMed

    Bohn, Markus Frederik; Schiffer, Celia A

    2015-05-01

    High-throughput crystallographic approaches require integrated software solutions to minimize the need for manual effort. REdiii is a system that allows fully automated crystallographic structure solution by integrating existing crystallographic software into an adaptive and partly autonomous workflow engine. The program can be initiated after collecting the first frame of diffraction data and is able to perform processing, molecular-replacement phasing, chain tracing, ligand fitting and refinement without further user intervention. Preset values for each software component allow efficient progress with high-quality data and known parameters. The adaptive workflow engine can determine whether some parameters require modifications and choose alternative software strategies in case the preconfigured solution is inadequate. This integrated pipeline is targeted at providing a comprehensive and efficient approach to screening for ligand-bound co-crystal structures while minimizing repetitiveness and allowing a high-throughput scientific discovery process. PMID:25945571

  5. REdiii: a pipeline for automated structure solution

    PubMed Central

    Bohn, Markus-Frederik; Schiffer, Celia A.

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput crystallographic approaches require integrated software solutions to minimize the need for manual effort. REdiii is a system that allows fully automated crystallographic structure solution by integrating existing crystallographic software into an adaptive and partly autonomous workflow engine. The program can be initiated after collecting the first frame of diffraction data and is able to perform processing, molecular-replacement phasing, chain tracing, ligand fitting and refinement without further user intervention. Preset values for each software component allow efficient progress with high-quality data and known parameters. The adaptive workflow engine can determine whether some parameters require modifications and choose alternative software strategies in case the preconfigured solution is inadequate. This integrated pipeline is targeted at providing a comprehensive and efficient approach to screening for ligand-bound co-crystal structures while minimizing repetitiveness and allowing a high-throughput scientific discovery process. PMID:25945571

  6. Stochastic dynamics of macromolecular-assembly networks.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz, Leonor; Vilar, Jose

    2006-03-01

    The formation and regulation of macromolecular complexes provides the backbone of most cellular processes, including gene regulation and signal transduction. The inherent complexity of assembling macromolecular structures makes current computational methods strongly limited for understanding how the physical interactions between cellular components give rise to systemic properties of cells. Here we present a stochastic approach to study the dynamics of networks formed by macromolecular complexes in terms of the molecular interactions of their components [1]. Exploiting key thermodynamic concepts, this approach makes it possible to both estimate reaction rates and incorporate the resulting assembly dynamics into the stochastic kinetics of cellular networks. As prototype systems, we consider the lac operon and phage λ induction switches, which rely on the formation of DNA loops by proteins [2] and on the integration of these protein-DNA complexes into intracellular networks. This cross-scale approach offers an effective starting point to move forward from network diagrams, such as those of protein-protein and DNA-protein interaction networks, to the actual dynamics of cellular processes. [1] L. Saiz and J.M.G. Vilar, submitted (2005). [2] J.M.G. Vilar and L. Saiz, Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 15, 136-144 (2005).

  7. A database of macromolecular motions.

    PubMed Central

    Gerstein, M; Krebs, W

    1998-01-01

    We describe a database of macromolecular motions meant to be of general use to the structural community. The database, which is accessible on the World Wide Web with an entry point at http://bioinfo.mbb.yale.edu/MolMovDB , attempts to systematize all instances of protein and nucleic acid movement for which there is at least some structural information. At present it contains >120 motions, most of which are of proteins. Protein motions are further classified hierarchically into a limited number of categories, first on the basis of size (distinguishing between fragment, domain and subunit motions) and then on the basis of packing. Our packing classification divides motions into various categories (shear, hinge, other) depending on whether or not they involve sliding over a continuously maintained and tightly packed interface. In addition, the database provides some indication about the evidence behind each motion (i.e. the type of experimental information or whether the motion is inferred based on structural similarity) and attempts to describe many aspects of a motion in terms of a standardized nomenclature (e.g. the maximum rotation, the residue selection of a fixed core, etc.). Currently, we use a standard relational design to implement the database. However, the complexity and heterogeneity of the information kept in the database makes it an ideal application for an object-relational approach, and we are moving it in this direction. Specifically, in terms of storing complex information, the database contains plausible representations for motion pathways, derived from restrained 3D interpolation between known endpoint conformations. These pathways can be viewed in a variety of movie formats, and the database is associated with a server that can automatically generate these movies from submitted coordinates. PMID:9722650

  8. Solution structure of RNase P RNA

    PubMed Central

    Kazantsev, Alexei V.; Rambo, Robert P.; Karimpour, Sina; SantaLucia, John; Tainer, John A.; Pace, Norman R.

    2011-01-01

    The ribonucleoprotein enzyme ribonuclease P (RNase P) processes tRNAs by cleavage of precursor-tRNAs. RNase P is a ribozyme: The RNA component catalyzes tRNA maturation in vitro without proteins. Remarkable features of RNase P include multiple turnovers in vivo and ability to process diverse substrates. Structures of the bacterial RNase P, including full-length RNAs and a ternary complex with substrate, have been determined by X-ray crystallography. However, crystal structures of free RNA are significantly different from the ternary complex, and the solution structure of the RNA is unknown. Here, we report solution structures of three phylogenetically distinct bacterial RNase P RNAs from Escherichia coli, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and Bacillus stearothermophilus, determined using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension (SHAPE) analysis. A combination of homology modeling, normal mode analysis, and molecular dynamics was used to refine the structural models against the empirical data of these RNAs in solution under the high ionic strength required for catalytic activity. PMID:21531920

  9. The use of a mini-κ goniometer head in macromolecular crystallography diffraction experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Brockhauser, Sandor; Ravelli, Raimond B. G.; McCarthy, Andrew A.

    2013-07-01

    Hardware and software solutions for MX data-collection strategies using the EMBL/ESRF miniaturized multi-axis goniometer head are presented. Most macromolecular crystallography (MX) diffraction experiments at synchrotrons use a single-axis goniometer. This markedly contrasts with small-molecule crystallography, in which the majority of the diffraction data are collected using multi-axis goniometers. A novel miniaturized κ-goniometer head, the MK3, has been developed to allow macromolecular crystals to be aligned. It is available on the majority of the structural biology beamlines at the ESRF, as well as elsewhere. In addition, the Strategy for the Alignment of Crystals (STAC) software package has been developed to facilitate the use of the MK3 and other similar devices. Use of the MK3 and STAC is streamlined by their incorporation into online analysis tools such as EDNA. The current use of STAC and MK3 on the MX beamlines at the ESRF is discussed. It is shown that the alignment of macromolecular crystals can result in improved diffraction data quality compared with data obtained from randomly aligned crystals.

  10. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover: The image shows electrospun fibers based on poly(lactic acid)/polyaniline blends with diameters from 90 to 1000 nm. The structural characteristics of the fibers are compared to cast films by scanning electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, differential scanning calorimetry, and ato...

  11. Structuring of polymer solutions upon solvent evaporation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, C.; van der Schoot, P.; Michels, J. J.

    2015-02-01

    The morphology of solution-cast, phase-separated polymers becomes finer with increasing solvent evaporation rate. We address this observation theoretically for a model polymer where demixing is induced by steady solvent evaporation. In contrast to what is the case for a classical, thermal quench involving immiscible blends, the spinodal instability initially develops slowly and the associated length scale is not time invariant but decreases with time as t-1 /2. After a time lag, phase separation accelerates. Time lag and characteristic length exhibit power-law behavior as a function of the evaporation rate with exponents of -2 /3 and -1 /6 . Interestingly, at later stages the spinodal structure disappears completely while a second length scale develops. The associated structure coarsens but does not follow the usual Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner kinetics.

  12. Structure and aggregation in model tetramethylurea solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Gupta, Rini; Patey, G. N.

    2014-08-14

    The structure of model aqueous tetramethylurea (TMU) solutions is investigated employing large-scale (32 000, 64 000 particles) molecular dynamics simulations. Results are reported for TMU mole fractions, X{sub t}, ranging from infinite dilution up to 0.07, and for two temperatures, 300 and 330 K. Two existing force fields for TMU-water solutions are considered. These are the GROMOS 53A6 united-atom TMU model combined with SPC/E water [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)], and the more frequently employed AMBER03 all-atom force field for TMU combined with the TIP3P water model [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)]. It is shown that TMU has a tendency towards aggregation for both models considered, but the tendency is significantly stronger for the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] force field. For this model signs of aggregation are detected at X{sub t} = 0.005, aggregation is a well established feature of the solution at X{sub t} = 0.02, and the aggregates increase further in size with increasing concentration. This is in agreement with at least some experimental studies, which report signals of aggregation in the low concentration regime. The TMU aggregates exhibit little structure and are simply loosely ordered, TMU-rich regions of solution. The [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)] model shows strong signs of aggregation only at higher concentrations (X{sub t} ≳ 0.04), and the aggregates appear more loosely ordered, and less well-defined than those occurring in the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] system. For both models, TMU aggregation increases when the temperature is increased from 300 to 330 K, consistent with an underlying entropy driven, hydrophobic interaction mechanism. At X{sub t} = 0.07, the extra-molecular correlation length expected for microheterogeneous solutions has become comparable with the size of the simulation cell for both models considered, indicating that even the systems simulated here are sufficiently large only at low concentrations.

  13. Macromolecular Crystal Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snell, Edward H.; Borgstahl, Gloria E. O.; Bellamy, Henry D.; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    There are many ways of judging a good crystal. Which we use depends on the qualities we seek. For gemstones size, clarity and impurity levels (color) are paramount. For the semiconductor industry purity is probably the most important quality. For the structural crystallographer the primary desideratum is the somewhat more subtle concept of internal order. In this chapter we discuss the effect of internal order (or the lack of it) on the crystal's diffraction properties.

  14. Neutron Laue macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Meilleur, Flora; Myles, Dean A A; Blakeley, M. P.

    2006-01-01

    Recent progress in neutron protein crystallography such as the use of the Laue technique and improved neutron optics and detector technologies have dramatically improved the speed and precision with which neutron protein structures can now be determined. These studies are providing unique and complementary insights on hydrogen and hydration in protein crystal structures that are not available from X-ray structures alone. Parallel improvements in modern molecular biology now allow fully (per)deuterated protein samples to be produced for neutron scattering that essentially eradicate the large--and ultimately limiting--hydrogen incoherent scattering background that has hampered such studies in the past. High quality neutron data can now be collected to near atomic resolution ({approx}2.0 Angstroms) for proteins of up to {approx}50 kDa molecular weight using crystals of volume {approx}0.1 mm3 on the Laue diffractometer at ILL. The ability to flash-cool and collect high resolution neutron data from protein crystals at cryogenic temperature (15 K) has opened the way for kinetic crystallography on freeze trapped systems. Current instrument developments now promise to reduce crystal volume requirements by a further order of magnitude, making neutron protein crystallography a more accessible and routine technique.

  15. Macromolecular recognition in the Protein Data Bank

    SciTech Connect

    Janin, Joël; Rodier, Francis; Chakrabarti, Pinak

    2007-01-01

    X-ray structures in the PDB illustrate both the specific recognition of two polypeptide chains in protein–protein complexes and dimeric proteins and their nonspecific interaction at crystal contacts. Crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank illustrate the diversity of biological macromolecular recognition: transient interactions in protein–protein and protein–DNA complexes and permanent assemblies in homodimeric proteins. The geometric and physical chemical properties of the macromolecular interfaces that may govern the stability and specificity of recognition are explored in complexes and homodimers compared with crystal-packing interactions. It is found that crystal-packing interfaces are usually much smaller; they bury fewer atoms and are less tightly packed than in specific assemblies. Standard-size interfaces burying 1200–2000 Å{sup 2} of protein surface occur in protease–inhibitor and antigen–antibody complexes that assemble with little or no conformation changes. Short-lived electron-transfer complexes have small interfaces; the larger size of the interfaces observed in complexes involved in signal transduction and homodimers correlates with the presence of conformation changes, often implicated in biological function. Results of the CAPRI (critical assessment of predicted interactions) blind prediction experiment show that docking algorithms efficiently and accurately predict the mode of assembly of proteins that do not change conformation when they associate. They perform less well in the presence of large conformation changes and the experiment stimulates the development of novel procedures that can handle such changes.

  16. Atomic-force-microscopy studies of phase separations in macromolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsov, Yu. G.; Malkin, A. J.; McPherson, A.

    1998-09-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to visualize events arising from the formation of intervening metastable phases at the surfaces of macromolecular crystals growing from solution. Crystals investigated were of the proteins canavalin, thaumatin, lipase, xylanase, and catalase, crystals of transfer RNA, and crystals of satellite tobacco mosaic virus. Two types of aggregates were observed. The first were small, linear and branched aggregates, perhaps fractile in structure. These were incorporated into growing crystals as impurities, and they produced defects of various kinds. The second aggregate form we infer to be liquid-protein droplets which were particularly evident in freshly mixed protein-precipitant solutions. Droplets, upon sedimentation, have two possible fates. In some cases they immediately restructured as crystalline multilayer stacks whose development was guided by and contiguous with the underlying lattice. These contributed to the ordered growth of the crystal by serving as sources of growth steps. In other cases, liquid-protein droplets formed distinct microcrystals, somehow discontinuous with the underlying lattice, and these were subsequently incorporated into the growing substrate crystal with the formation of defects. Scarring experiments with the AFM tip indicated that liquid-protein droplets with the potential to rapidly crystallize were a consequence of concentration instabilities near the crystal's surfaces. The AFM study suggests that phase separation and the appearance of aggregates having limited order is a common occurrence in supersaturated macromolecular solutions such as the protein-precipitant solutions used for crystallization.

  17. Solution structure of human sorting nexin 22.

    PubMed

    Song, Jikui; Zhao, Kate Qin; Newman, Carrie L Loushin; Vinarov, Dmitriy A; Markley, John L

    2007-05-01

    The sorting nexins (SNXs) constitute a large group of PX domain-containing proteins that play critical roles in protein trafficking. We report here the solution structure of human sorting nexin 22 (SNX22). Although SNX22 has <30% sequence identity with any PX domain protein of known structure, it was found to contain the alpha/beta fold and compact structural core characteristic of PX domains. Analysis of the backbone dynamics of SNX22 by NMR relaxation measurements revealed that the two walls of the ligand binding cleft undergo internal motions: on the picosecond timescale for the beta1/beta2 loop and on the micro- to millisecond timescale for the loop between the polyproline motif and helix alpha2. Regions of the SNX22 structure that differ from those of other PX domains include the loop connecting strands beta1 and beta2 and the loop connecting helices alpha1 and alpha2, which appear to be more mobile than corresponding loops in other known structures. The interaction of dibutanoyl-phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (dibutanoyl-PtdIns(3)P) with SNX22 was investigated by an NMR titration experiment, which identified the binding site in a basic cleft and indicated that ligand binding leads only to a local structural rearrangement as has been found with other PX domains. Because motions in the loops are damped out when dibutanoyl-PtdIns(3)P binds, entropic effects could contribute to the lower affinity of SNX22 for this ligand compared to other PX domains. PMID:17400918

  18. Fluid Physics and Macromolecular Crystal Growth in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helliwell, John R.; Snell, Edward H.; Chayen, Naomi E.; Judge, Russell A.; Boggon, Titus J.; Pusey, M. L.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The first protein crystallization experiment in microgravity was launched in April, 1981 and used Germany's Technologische Experimente unter Schwerelosigkeit (TEXUS 3) sounding rocket. The protein P-galactosidase (molecular weight 465Kda) was chosen as the sample with a liquid-liquid diffusion growth method. A sliding device brought the protein, buffer and salt solution into contact when microgravity was reached. The sounding rocket gave six minutes of microgravity time with a cine camera and schlieren optics used to monitor the experiment, a single growth cell. In microgravity a strictly laminar diffusion process was observed in contrast to the turbulent convection seen on the ground. Several single crystals, approx 100micron in length, were formed in the flight which were of inferior but of comparable visual quality to those grown on the ground over several days. A second experiment using the same protocol but with solutions cooled to -8C (kept liquid with glycerol antifreeze) again showed laminar diffusion. The science of macromolecular structural crystallography involves crystallization of the macromolecule followed by use of the crystal for X-ray diffraction experiments to determine the three dimensional structure of the macromolecule. Neutron protein crystallography is employed for elucidation of H/D exchange and for improved definition of the bound solvent (D20). The structural information enables an understanding of how the molecule functions with important potential for rational drug design, improved efficiency of industrial enzymes and agricultural chemical development. The removal of turbulent convection and sedimentation in microgravity, and the assumption that higher quality crystals will be produced, has given rise to the growing number of crystallization experiments now flown. Many experiments can be flown in a small volume with simple, largely automated, equipment - an ideal combination for a microgravity experiment. The term "protein crystal growth

  19. Structure and Dynamics of Cellulose Molecular Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Howard; Zhang, Xin; Tyagi, Madhusudan; Mao, Yimin; Briber, Robert

    Molecular dissolution of microcrystalline cellulose has been achieved through mixing with ionic liquid 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate (EMIMAc), and organic solvent dimethylformamide (DMF). The mechanism of cellulose dissolution in tertiary mixtures has been investigated by combining quasielastic and small angle neutron scattering (QENS and SANS). As SANS data show that cellulose chains take Gaussian-like conformations in homogenous solutions, which exhibit characteristics of having an upper critical solution temperature, the dynamic signals predominantly from EMIMAc molecules indicate strong association with cellulose in the dissolution state. The mean square displacement quantities support the observation of the stoichiometric 3:1 EMIMAc to cellulose unit molar ratio, which is a necessary criterion for the molecular dissolution of cellulose. Analyses of dynamics structure factors reveal the temperature dependence of a slow and a fast process for EMIMAc's bound to cellulose and in DMF, respectively, as well as a very fast process due possibly to the rotational motion of methyl groups, which persisted to near the absolute zero.

  20. Organoactinide chemistry: synthesis, structure, and solution dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Brennan, J.G.

    1985-12-01

    This thesis considers three aspects of organoactinide chemistry. In chapter one, a bidentate phosphine ligand was used to kinetically stabilize complexes of the type Cp/sub 2/MX/sub 2/. Ligand redistribution processes are present throughout the synthetic work, as has often been observed in uranium cyclopentadienyl chemistry. The effects of covalent M-L bonding on the solution and solid state properties of U(III) coordination complexes are considered. In particular, the nature of the more subtle interaction between the metal and the neutral ligand are examined. Using relative basicity data obtained in solution, and solid state structural data (and supplemented by gas phase photoelectron measurements), it is demonstrated that the more electron rich U(III) centers engage in significant U ..-->.. L ..pi..-donation. Trivalent uranium is shown to be capable of acting either as a one- or two-electron reducing agent toward a wide variety of unsaturated organic and inorganic molecules, generating molecular classes unobtainable via traditional synthetic approaches, as well as offering an alternative synthetic approach to molecules accessible via metathesis reactions. Ligand redistribution processes are again observed, but given the information concerning ligand lability, this reactivity pattern is applied to the synthesis of pure materials inaccessible from redox chemistry. 214 refs., 33 figs., 10 tabs.

  1. Multiscale macromolecular simulation: role of evolving ensembles.

    PubMed

    Singharoy, A; Joshi, H; Ortoleva, P J

    2012-10-22

    Multiscale analysis provides an algorithm for the efficient simulation of macromolecular assemblies. This algorithm involves the coevolution of a quasiequilibrium probability density of atomic configurations and the Langevin dynamics of spatial coarse-grained variables denoted order parameters (OPs) characterizing nanoscale system features. In practice, implementation of the probability density involves the generation of constant OP ensembles of atomic configurations. Such ensembles are used to construct thermal forces and diffusion factors that mediate the stochastic OP dynamics. Generation of all-atom ensembles at every Langevin time step is computationally expensive. Here, multiscale computation for macromolecular systems is made more efficient by a method that self-consistently folds in ensembles of all-atom configurations constructed in an earlier step, history, of the Langevin evolution. This procedure accounts for the temporal evolution of these ensembles, accurately providing thermal forces and diffusions. It is shown that efficiency and accuracy of the OP-based simulations is increased via the integration of this historical information. Accuracy improves with the square root of the number of historical timesteps included in the calculation. As a result, CPU usage can be decreased by a factor of 3-8 without loss of accuracy. The algorithm is implemented into our existing force-field based multiscale simulation platform and demonstrated via the structural dynamics of viral capsomers. PMID:22978601

  2. Multiscale Macromolecular Simulation: Role of Evolving Ensembles

    PubMed Central

    Singharoy, A.; Joshi, H.; Ortoleva, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Multiscale analysis provides an algorithm for the efficient simulation of macromolecular assemblies. This algorithm involves the coevolution of a quasiequilibrium probability density of atomic configurations and the Langevin dynamics of spatial coarse-grained variables denoted order parameters (OPs) characterizing nanoscale system features. In practice, implementation of the probability density involves the generation of constant OP ensembles of atomic configurations. Such ensembles are used to construct thermal forces and diffusion factors that mediate the stochastic OP dynamics. Generation of all-atom ensembles at every Langevin timestep is computationally expensive. Here, multiscale computation for macromolecular systems is made more efficient by a method that self-consistently folds in ensembles of all-atom configurations constructed in an earlier step, history, of the Langevin evolution. This procedure accounts for the temporal evolution of these ensembles, accurately providing thermal forces and diffusions. It is shown that efficiency and accuracy of the OP-based simulations is increased via the integration of this historical information. Accuracy improves with the square root of the number of historical timesteps included in the calculation. As a result, CPU usage can be decreased by a factor of 3-8 without loss of accuracy. The algorithm is implemented into our existing force-field based multiscale simulation platform and demonstrated via the structural dynamics of viral capsomers. PMID:22978601

  3. How can macromolecular crowding inhibit biological reactions? The enhanced formation of DNA nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Sen; Trochimczyk, Piotr; Sun, Lili; Wisniewska, Agnieszka; Kalwarczyk, Tomasz; Zhang, Xuzhu; Wielgus-Kutrowska, Beata; Bzowska, Agnieszka; Holyst, Robert

    2016-01-01

    In contrast to the already known effect that macromolecular crowding usually promotes biological reactions, solutions of PEG 6k at high concentrations stop the cleavage of DNA by HindIII enzyme, due to the formation of DNA nanoparticles. We characterized the DNA nanoparticles and probed the prerequisites for their formation using multiple techniques such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, fluorescence analytical ultracentrifugation etc. In >25% PEG 6k solution, macromolecular crowding promotes the formation of DNA nanoparticles with dimensions of several hundreds of nanometers. The formation of DNA nanoparticles is a fast and reversible process. Both plasmid DNA (2686 bp) and double-stranded/single-stranded DNA fragment (66bp/nt) can form nanoparticles. We attribute the enhanced nanoparticle formation to the depletion effect of macromolecular crowding. This study presents our idea to enhance the formation of DNA nanoparticles by macromolecular crowding, providing the first step towards a final solution to efficient gene therapy. PMID:26903405

  4. How can macromolecular crowding inhibit biological reactions? The enhanced formation of DNA nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Hou, Sen; Trochimczyk, Piotr; Sun, Lili; Wisniewska, Agnieszka; Kalwarczyk, Tomasz; Zhang, Xuzhu; Wielgus-Kutrowska, Beata; Bzowska, Agnieszka; Holyst, Robert

    2016-01-01

    In contrast to the already known effect that macromolecular crowding usually promotes biological reactions, solutions of PEG 6k at high concentrations stop the cleavage of DNA by HindIII enzyme, due to the formation of DNA nanoparticles. We characterized the DNA nanoparticles and probed the prerequisites for their formation using multiple techniques such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, fluorescence analytical ultracentrifugation etc. In >25% PEG 6k solution, macromolecular crowding promotes the formation of DNA nanoparticles with dimensions of several hundreds of nanometers. The formation of DNA nanoparticles is a fast and reversible process. Both plasmid DNA (2686 bp) and double-stranded/single-stranded DNA fragment (66bp/nt) can form nanoparticles. We attribute the enhanced nanoparticle formation to the depletion effect of macromolecular crowding. This study presents our idea to enhance the formation of DNA nanoparticles by macromolecular crowding, providing the first step towards a final solution to efficient gene therapy. PMID:26903405

  5. Facile Preparation of a Macromolecular Benzophenone Photoinitiator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Qinghua; Gu, Lingling; Bai, Xiongxiong; Cheng, Chuanjie

    2014-08-01

    Photoinitiators play important roles in the preparation of photo-cured resins. Macromolecular as well as reactive photoinitiators have attracted much attention both in industry and in academia due to the disadvantages of conventional small molecular photoinitiators such as volatility and mobility. A macromolecular benzophenone photoinitiator was designed and efficiently synthesized in this study. Hydroxyl-containing Michler's ketone was firstly synthesized in 82% yield, followed by reacting with toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) to prepare polyurethanetype macromolecular benzophenone photoinitiator.

  6. Macromolecular diffractive imaging using imperfect crystals.

    PubMed

    Ayyer, Kartik; Yefanov, Oleksandr M; Oberthür, Dominik; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Galli, Lorenzo; Mariani, Valerio; Basu, Shibom; Coe, Jesse; Conrad, Chelsie E; Fromme, Raimund; Schaffer, Alexander; Dörner, Katerina; James, Daniel; Kupitz, Christopher; Metz, Markus; Nelson, Garrett; Xavier, Paulraj Lourdu; Beyerlein, Kenneth R; Schmidt, Marius; Sarrou, Iosifina; Spence, John C H; Weierstall, Uwe; White, Thomas A; Yang, Jay-How; Zhao, Yun; Liang, Mengning; Aquila, Andrew; Hunter, Mark S; Robinson, Joseph S; Koglin, Jason E; Boutet, Sébastien; Fromme, Petra; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N

    2016-02-11

    The three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and their complexes are mainly elucidated by X-ray protein crystallography. A major limitation of this method is access to high-quality crystals, which is necessary to ensure X-ray diffraction extends to sufficiently large scattering angles and hence yields information of sufficiently high resolution with which to solve the crystal structure. The observation that crystals with reduced unit-cell volumes and tighter macromolecular packing often produce higher-resolution Bragg peaks suggests that crystallographic resolution for some macromolecules may be limited not by their heterogeneity, but by a deviation of strict positional ordering of the crystalline lattice. Such displacements of molecules from the ideal lattice give rise to a continuous diffraction pattern that is equal to the incoherent sum of diffraction from rigid individual molecular complexes aligned along several discrete crystallographic orientations and that, consequently, contains more information than Bragg peaks alone. Although such continuous diffraction patterns have long been observed--and are of interest as a source of information about the dynamics of proteins--they have not been used for structure determination. Here we show for crystals of the integral membrane protein complex photosystem II that lattice disorder increases the information content and the resolution of the diffraction pattern well beyond the 4.5-ångström limit of measurable Bragg peaks, which allows us to phase the pattern directly. Using the molecular envelope conventionally determined at 4.5 ångströms as a constraint, we obtain a static image of the photosystem II dimer at a resolution of 3.5 ångströms. This result shows that continuous diffraction can be used to overcome what have long been supposed to be the resolution limits of macromolecular crystallography, using a method that exploits commonly encountered imperfect crystals and enables model-free phasing. PMID

  7. Macromolecular diffractive imaging using imperfect crystals

    PubMed Central

    Ayyer, Kartik; Yefanov, Oleksandr; Oberthür, Dominik; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Galli, Lorenzo; Mariani, Valerio; Basu, Shibom; Coe, Jesse; Conrad, Chelsie E.; Fromme, Raimund; Schaffer, Alexander; Dörner, Katerina; James, Daniel; Kupitz, Christopher; Metz, Markus; Nelson, Garrett; Lourdu Xavier, Paulraj; Beyerlein, Kenneth R.; Schmidt, Marius; Sarrou, Iosifina; Spence, John C. H.; Weierstall, Uwe; White, Thomas A.; Yang, Jay-How; Zhao, Yun; Liang, Mengning; Aquila, Andrew; Hunter, Mark S.; Robinson, Joseph S.; Koglin, Jason E.; Boutet, Sébastien; Fromme, Petra; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N.

    2016-01-01

    The three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and their complexes are predominantly elucidated by X-ray protein crystallography. A major limitation is access to high-quality crystals, to ensure X-ray diffraction extends to sufficiently large scattering angles and hence yields sufficiently high-resolution information that the crystal structure can be solved. The observation that crystals with shrunken unit-cell volumes and tighter macromolecular packing often produce higher-resolution Bragg peaks1,2 hints that crystallographic resolution for some macromolecules may be limited not by their heterogeneity but rather by a deviation of strict positional ordering of the crystalline lattice. Such displacements of molecules from the ideal lattice give rise to a continuous diffraction pattern, equal to the incoherent sum of diffraction from rigid single molecular complexes aligned along several discrete crystallographic orientations and hence with an increased information content3. Although such continuous diffraction patterns have long been observed—and are of interest as a source of information about the dynamics of proteins4 —they have not been used for structure determination. Here we show for crystals of the integral membrane protein complex photosystem II that lattice disorder increases the information content and the resolution of the diffraction pattern well beyond the 4.5 Å limit of measurable Bragg peaks, which allows us to directly phase5 the pattern. With the molecular envelope conventionally determined at 4.5 Å as a constraint, we then obtain a static image of the photosystem II dimer at 3.5 Å resolution. This result shows that continuous diffraction can be used to overcome long-supposed resolution limits of macromolecular crystallography, with a method that puts great value in commonly encountered imperfect crystals and opens up the possibility for model-free phasing6,7. PMID:26863980

  8. Macromolecular diffractive imaging using imperfect crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayyer, Kartik; Yefanov, Oleksandr M.; Oberthür, Dominik; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Galli, Lorenzo; Mariani, Valerio; Basu, Shibom; Coe, Jesse; Conrad, Chelsie E.; Fromme, Raimund; Schaffer, Alexander; Dörner, Katerina; James, Daniel; Kupitz, Christopher; Metz, Markus; Nelson, Garrett; Xavier, Paulraj Lourdu; Beyerlein, Kenneth R.; Schmidt, Marius; Sarrou, Iosifina; Spence, John C. H.; Weierstall, Uwe; White, Thomas A.; Yang, Jay-How; Zhao, Yun; Liang, Mengning; Aquila, Andrew; Hunter, Mark S.; Robinson, Joseph S.; Koglin, Jason E.; Boutet, Sébastien; Fromme, Petra; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N.

    2016-02-01

    The three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and their complexes are mainly elucidated by X-ray protein crystallography. A major limitation of this method is access to high-quality crystals, which is necessary to ensure X-ray diffraction extends to sufficiently large scattering angles and hence yields information of sufficiently high resolution with which to solve the crystal structure. The observation that crystals with reduced unit-cell volumes and tighter macromolecular packing often produce higher-resolution Bragg peaks suggests that crystallographic resolution for some macromolecules may be limited not by their heterogeneity, but by a deviation of strict positional ordering of the crystalline lattice. Such displacements of molecules from the ideal lattice give rise to a continuous diffraction pattern that is equal to the incoherent sum of diffraction from rigid individual molecular complexes aligned along several discrete crystallographic orientations and that, consequently, contains more information than Bragg peaks alone. Although such continuous diffraction patterns have long been observed—and are of interest as a source of information about the dynamics of proteins—they have not been used for structure determination. Here we show for crystals of the integral membrane protein complex photosystem II that lattice disorder increases the information content and the resolution of the diffraction pattern well beyond the 4.5-ångström limit of measurable Bragg peaks, which allows us to phase the pattern directly. Using the molecular envelope conventionally determined at 4.5 ångströms as a constraint, we obtain a static image of the photosystem II dimer at a resolution of 3.5 ångströms. This result shows that continuous diffraction can be used to overcome what have long been supposed to be the resolution limits of macromolecular crystallography, using a method that exploits commonly encountered imperfect crystals and enables model-free phasing.

  9. Generating Triangulated Macromolecular Surfaces by Euclidean Distance Transform

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dong; Zhang, Yang

    2009-01-01

    Macromolecular surfaces are fundamental representations of their three-dimensional geometric shape. Accurate calculation of protein surfaces is of critical importance in the protein structural and functional studies including ligand-protein docking and virtual screening. In contrast to analytical or parametric representation of macromolecular surfaces, triangulated mesh surfaces have been proved to be easy to describe, visualize and manipulate by computer programs. Here, we develop a new algorithm of EDTSurf for generating three major macromolecular surfaces of van der Waals surface, solvent-accessible surface and molecular surface, using the technique of fast Euclidean Distance Transform (EDT). The triangulated surfaces are constructed directly from volumetric solids by a Vertex-Connected Marching Cube algorithm that forms triangles from grid points. Compared to the analytical result, the relative error of the surface calculations by EDTSurf is <2–4% depending on the grid resolution, which is 1.5–4 times lower than the methods in the literature; and yet, the algorithm is faster and costs less computer memory than the comparative methods. The improvements in both accuracy and speed of the macromolecular surface determination should make EDTSurf a useful tool for the detailed study of protein docking and structure predictions. Both source code and the executable program of EDTSurf are freely available at http://zhang.bioinformatics.ku.edu/EDTSurf. PMID:19956577

  10. Structure of void space in polymer solutions.

    PubMed

    Sung, Bong June; Yethiraj, Arun

    2010-03-01

    The structure of void space in two- and three-dimensional (3D) polymer solutions is studied using Voronoi tessellation and percolation theory. The polymer molecules are modeled as freely jointed chains of N tangent hard disks (two dimensions) or spheres (three dimensions). Polymer chains are equilibrated via Monte Carlo simulations and the pore space in configurations of equilibrated chains is mapped using Voronoi tessellation. In d dimensions a Voronoi vertex is the center of the sphere tangent to the d+1 nearest monomers. An edge of the Voronoi diagram is the shortest route between two neighboring vertices. The edge is considered connected if a monomer can pass through and disconnected otherwise. The Voronoi construction is used to calculate the percolation threshold of the void space. The most interesting result is that the polymer area fraction at the percolation threshold is a nonmonotonic function of N in two dimensions but monotonically reaches a constant value in three dimensions. The crossover behavior of the percolation threshold is also observed in pseudo-3D. The pore size distribution decreases monotonically with increasing pore size. This is markedly different from that in configurations of hard disks (monomeric fluid) where the pore size distribution is peaked at finite size. PMID:20365759

  11. An autonomous structural health monitoring solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Featherston, Carol A.; Holford, Karen M.; Pullin, Rhys; Lees, Jonathan; Eaton, Mark; Pearson, Matthew

    2013-05-01

    Combining advanced sensor technologies, with optimised data acquisition and diagnostic and prognostic capability, structural health monitoring (SHM) systems provide real-time assessment of the integrity of bridges, buildings, aircraft, wind turbines, oil pipelines and ships, leading to improved safety and reliability and reduced inspection and maintenance costs. The implementation of power harvesting, using energy scavenged from ambient sources such as thermal gradients and sources of vibration in conjunction with wireless transmission enables truly autonomous systems, reducing the need for batteries and associated maintenance in often inaccessible locations, alongside bulky and expensive wiring looms. The design and implementation of such a system however presents numerous challenges. A suitable energy source or multiple sources capable of meeting the power requirements of the system, over the entire monitoring period, in a location close to the sensor must be identified. Efficient power management techniques must be used to condition the power and deliver it, as required, to enable appropriate measurements to be taken. Energy storage may be necessary, to match a continuously changing supply and demand for a range of different monitoring states including sleep, record and transmit. An appropriate monitoring technique, capable of detecting, locating and characterising damage and delivering reliable information, whilst minimising power consumption, must be selected. Finally a wireless protocol capable of transmitting the levels of information generated at the rate needed in the required operating environment must be chosen. This paper considers solutions to some of these challenges, and in particular examines SHM in the context of the aircraft environment.

  12. The design of macromolecular crystallography diffraction experiments

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Gwyndaf; Axford, Danny; Owen, Robin L.

    2011-01-01

    The measurement of X-ray diffraction data from macro­molecular crystals for the purpose of structure determination is the convergence of two processes: the preparation of diffraction-quality crystal samples on the one hand and the construction and optimization of an X-ray beamline and end station on the other. Like sample preparation, a macromolecular crystallography beamline is geared to obtaining the best possible diffraction measurements from crystals provided by the synchrotron user. This paper describes the thoughts behind an experiment that fully exploits both the sample and the beamline and how these map into everyday decisions that users can and should make when visiting a beamline with their most precious crystals. PMID:21460444

  13. A new method for mapping macromolecular topography.

    PubMed

    Mezei, Mihaly

    2003-03-01

    A new method, using circular variance, is introduced for mapping macromolecular topography. Circular variance, generally used to measures angular spread, can be used to characterize of molecular structures based on a simple idea. It will be shown that the circular variance of vectors drawn from some origin to a set of points is well correlated with the degree to which that origin is inside/outside the chosen points. In addition, it has continuous derivatives that are also easy to compute. This concept will be shown to be useful for: (i) distinguishing between atoms near the surface of a macromolecule and those in either the deep interior or remote exterior; (ii) identifying invaginations (even shallow ones); and (iii) detecting linker regions that interconnect two domains. PMID:12543141

  14. Analytical model for macromolecular partitioning during yeast cell division

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Asymmetric cell division, whereby a parent cell generates two sibling cells with unequal content and thereby distinct fates, is central to cell differentiation, organism development and ageing. Unequal partitioning of the macromolecular content of the parent cell — which includes proteins, DNA, RNA, large proteinaceous assemblies and organelles — can be achieved by both passive (e.g. diffusion, localized retention sites) and active (e.g. motor-driven transport) processes operating in the presence of external polarity cues, internal asymmetries, spontaneous symmetry breaking, or stochastic effects. However, the quantitative contribution of different processes to the partitioning of macromolecular content is difficult to evaluate. Results Here we developed an analytical model that allows rapid quantitative assessment of partitioning as a function of various parameters in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This model exposes quantitative degeneracies among the physical parameters that govern macromolecular partitioning, and reveals regions of the solution space where diffusion is sufficient to drive asymmetric partitioning and regions where asymmetric partitioning can only be achieved through additional processes such as motor-driven transport. Application of the model to different macromolecular assemblies suggests that partitioning of protein aggregates and episomes, but not prions, is diffusion-limited in yeast, consistent with previous reports. Conclusions In contrast to computationally intensive stochastic simulations of particular scenarios, our analytical model provides an efficient and comprehensive overview of partitioning as a function of global and macromolecule-specific parameters. Identification of quantitative degeneracies among these parameters highlights the importance of their careful measurement for a given macromolecular species in order to understand the dominant processes responsible for its observed partitioning. PMID

  15. A strategy for dissecting the architectures of native macromolecular assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yi; Pellarin, Riccardo; Fridy, Peter C.; Fernandez-Martinez, Javier; Thompson, Mary K.; Li, Yinyin; Wang, Qing Jun; Sali, Andrej; Rout, Michael P.; Chait, Brian T.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the central role of large multi-protein complexes in many biological processes, it remains challenging to elucidate their structures and particularly problematic to define the structures of native macromolecular assemblies, which are often of low abundance. Here, we present a strategy for isolating such complexes and for extracting distance restraints that allow the determination of their molecular architectures. The method was optimized to allow facile use of the extensive global resources of GFP-tagged transgenic cells and animals. PMID:26436480

  16. Quantum chemistry of macromolecular shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mezey, Paul G.

    Some of the new developments in the quantum-chemical study of macromolecular shapes are reviewed, with special emphasis on the additive fuzzy electron density fragmentation methods and on the algebraic-topological shape group analysis of global and local shape features of fuzzy three-dimensional bodies of electron densities of macromolecules. Earlier applications of these methods to actual macromolecules are reviewed, including studies on the anticancer drug taxol, the proteins bovine insulin and HIV protease, and other macromolecules. The results of test calculations establishing the accuracy of these methods are also reviewed. The spherically weighted affine transformation technique is described and proposed for the deformation of electron densities approximating the changes occurring in small conformational displacements of atomic nuclei in macromolecules.

  17. Macromolecular Crystal Growth by Means of Microfluidics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderWoerd, Mark; Ferree, Darren; Spearing, Scott; Monaco, Lisa; Molho, Josh; Spaid, Michael; Brasseur, Mike; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We have performed a feasibility study in which we show that chip-based, microfluidic (LabChip(TM)) technology is suitable for protein crystal growth. This technology allows for accurate and reliable dispensing and mixing of very small volumes while minimizing bubble formation in the crystallization mixture. The amount of (protein) solution remaining after completion of an experiment is minimal, which makes this technique efficient and attractive for use with proteins, which are difficult or expensive to obtain. The nature of LabChip(TM) technology renders it highly amenable to automation. Protein crystals obtained in our initial feasibility studies were of excellent quality as determined by X-ray diffraction. Subsequent to the feasibility study, we designed and produced the first LabChip(TM) device specifically for protein crystallization in batch mode. It can reliably dispense and mix from a range of solution constituents into two independent growth wells. We are currently testing this design to prove its efficacy for protein crystallization optimization experiments. In the near future we will expand our design to incorporate up to 10 growth wells per LabChip(TM) device. Upon completion, additional crystallization techniques such as vapor diffusion and liquid-liquid diffusion will be accommodated. Macromolecular crystallization using microfluidic technology is envisioned as a fully automated system, which will use the 'tele-science' concept of remote operation and will be developed into a research facility for the International Space Station as well as on the ground.

  18. The effect of macromolecular crowding, ionic strength and calcium binding on calmodulin dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qian; Liang, Kao-Chen; Waxham, Neal; Cheung, Margaret

    2011-03-01

    The flexibility in the structure of calmodulin (CaM) allows its binding to over 300 target proteins in the cell. To investigate the structure-function relationship of CaM in response to the changing intracellular environment, we use a combined method of computer simulation and experiments based on circular dichroism (CD). The conformation, helicity and EF hand orientation of CaM are analyzed computationally to address the effect of macromolecular crowding, ionic strength and calcium binding in the experiments. We applied a unique solution of charges computed from QM/MM to accurately represent the charge distribution in the transition from apo-CaM to holo-CaM. Computationally, we found that a high level of macromolecular crowding, in addition to calcium binding and ionic strength, can impact the conformation, helicity and the EF hand orientation of CaM. Our result may provide unique insight into understanding the promiscuous behavior of calmodulin in target selection inside cells. This work is supported by National Science Foundation, Molecular & Cellular Biosciences (MCB0919974).

  19. ProteoPlex: stability optimization of macromolecular complexes by sparse-matrix screening of chemical space.

    PubMed

    Chari, Ashwin; Haselbach, David; Kirves, Jan-Martin; Ohmer, Juergen; Paknia, Elham; Fischer, Niels; Ganichkin, Oleg; Möller, Vanessa; Frye, Jeremiah J; Petzold, Georg; Jarvis, Marc; Tietzel, Michael; Grimm, Clemens; Peters, Jan-Michael; Schulman, Brenda A; Tittmann, Kai; Markl, Jürgen; Fischer, Utz; Stark, Holger

    2015-09-01

    Molecular machines or macromolecular complexes are supramolecular assemblies of biomolecules with a variety of functions. Structure determination of these complexes in a purified state is often tedious owing to their compositional complexity and the associated relative structural instability. To improve the stability of macromolecular complexes in vitro, we present a generic method that optimizes the stability, homogeneity and solubility of macromolecular complexes by sparse-matrix screening of their thermal unfolding behavior in the presence of various buffers and small molecules. The method includes the automated analysis of thermal unfolding curves based on a biophysical unfolding model for complexes. We found that under stabilizing conditions, even large multicomponent complexes reveal an almost ideal two-state unfolding behavior. We envisage an improved biochemical understanding of purified macromolecules as well as a substantial boost in successful macromolecular complex structure determination by both X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. PMID:26237227

  20. Theory for Surface Structure of Electrolyte Solutions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichols, Albert Loyd, III

    A theory is developed for the salt concentration profile and ion-ion correlations near surfaces of electrolyte solutions. We use the random phase approximation to study the primitive surface model employed by Onsager and Samaras, and others. In this model the chief technical complication is the correct treatment of image forces. We invent an exact rearrangement of the mathematical formulation of the problem which makes especially transparent the special case solutions (infinite dielectric constant mismatch) previously found. This reformulation guides an analytical solution for arbitrary dielectric constant mismatch between the two phases, subject to other assumptions adopted by previous workers. Similarly general results are derived for mixtures of ionic and dipolar solutes. These general results form the basis for extending our theoretical studies in several new directions. First, higher concentration corrections are investigated. It is shown that over an experimentally significant range of low concentrations for aqueous solutions the initial concentration correction to the Onsager-Samaras absorption has a negative definite sign. The theory, including concentration corrections, is compared to available computer simulation data, and close agreement is found for aqueous solutions below a few tenths molar. Second, the theory is developed to treat asymmetric electrolytes, and applied to ionic surfactants spread on water-hydrocarbon interfaces. Again, the theory accurately describes available experimental data. Third, the theory is broadened to acknowledge the solubility of the salt in both phases. It is found that this generalization changes the qualitative nature of the low concentration limiting law for the excess surface tension: the limiting behavior is changed from the (rho)ln(rho) dependence predicted by Onsager and Samaras to a more generally correct (rho)(' 1/2) dependence. Experimental data which might test this (rho)(' 1/2) behavior are not presently

  1. Bridging the solution divide: comprehensive structural analyses of dynamic RNA, DNA, and protein assemblies by small angle X-ray scattering

    PubMed Central

    Rambo, Robert P.; Tainer, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) is changing how we perceive biological structures, because it reveals dynamic macromolecular conformations and assemblies in solution. SAXS information captures thermodynamic ensembles, enhances static structures detailed by high-resolution methods, uncovers commonalities among diverse macromolecules, and helps define biological mechanisms. SAXS-based experiments on RNA riboswitches and ribozymes and on DNA-protein complexes including DNA-PK and p53 discover flexibilities that better define structure-function relationships. Furthermore, SAXS results suggest conformational variation is a general functional feature of macromolecules. Thus, accurate structural analyses will require a comprehensive approach that assesses both flexibility, as seen by SAXS, and detail, as determined by X-ray crystallography and NMR. Here, we review recent SAXS computational tools, technologies, and applications to nucleic acids and related structures. PMID:20097063

  2. WAXS studies of the structural diversity of hemoglobin in solution.

    SciTech Connect

    Makowski, L.; Bardhan, J.; Gore, D.; Lal, J.; Mandava, S.; Park, S.; Rodi, D. J.; Ho, N. T.; Ho, C.; Fischetti, R. F.

    2011-01-01

    Specific ligation states of hemoglobin are, when crystallized, capable of taking on multiple quaternary structures. The relationship between these structures, captured in crystal lattices, and hemoglobin structure in solution remains uncertain. Wide-angle X-ray solution scattering (WAXS) is a sensitive probe of protein structure in solution that can distinguish among similar structures and has the potential to contribute to these issues. We used WAXS to assess the relationships among the structures of human and bovine hemoglobins in different liganded forms in solution. WAXS data readily distinguished among the various forms of hemoglobins. WAXS patterns confirm some of the relationships among hemoglobin structures that have been defined through crystallography and NMR and extend others. For instance, methemoglobin A in solution is, as expected, nearly indistinguishable from HbCO A. Interestingly, for bovine hemoglobin, the differences between deoxy-Hb, methemoglobin and HbCO are smaller than the corresponding differences in human hemoglobin. WAXS data were also used to assess the spatial extent of structural fluctuations of various hemoglobins in solution. Dynamics has been implicated in allosteric control of hemoglobin, and increased dynamics has been associated with lowered oxygen affinity. Consistent with that notion, WAXS patterns indicate that deoxy-Hb A exhibits substantially larger structural fluctuations than HbCO A. Comparisons between the observed WAXS patterns and those predicted on the basis of atomic coordinate sets suggest that the structures of Hb in different liganded forms exhibit clear differences from known crystal structure.

  3. Regular branched Macromolecules: Structure of Bottlebrush Polymers in Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakula, T.; Rathgeber, S.; Matyjaszewski, K.

    2001-03-01

    The shape and internal structure of bottlebrush (comb) macromolecules under good solvent conditions have been studied using small angle neutron scattering and computer simulations. The form factor S(Q) was measured at low concentrations in toluene for comb polymers consisting of a p(BPEM) backbone with p(nBA) side chains. The following intramolecular parameters were varied: (1) backbone length, (2) grafting density and (3) length of the side chains. Using models which have been successfully applied to other regular branched polymers we derive the range of the hydrodynamic interaction within the polymer and the particle dimension from which we can conclude on the overall shape of the macromolecular brush. In addition we determined the radius of the gyration of the backbone R_g^bb and of the side chains R_g^sc. These parameters give information about the stiffness of the polymer. Experimental findings are compared with computer simulation results performed for a single bottlebrush macromolecule using the cooperative motion algorithm. The simulation gives direct access to R_g^bb and R_g^sc and allows an independent determination of S(Q). Good agreement between experiment and simulation has been found.

  4. Macromolecular structural changes in bituminous coals during extraction and solubilization. Quarterly technical progress report, 1 September 1981-1 December 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Peppas, N.A.

    1981-01-01

    Data are presented of the effect of coal pretreatment (extraction, flotation etc.) and porous structure on the apparent and effective swelling of several coals by four swelling agents. Analysis of the pore structure was achieved by mercury porosimetry and pyconometry. The effect of retained solvent in the pores is more prominent in the determination of the equilibrium coal volume fraction and the actual molecular weight between crosslinks, M/sub c/.

  5. Modeling the tripartite drug efflux pump archetype: structural and functional studies of the macromolecular constituents reveal more than their names imply.

    PubMed

    Elkins, C A; Beenken, K E

    2005-12-01

    It is a remarkable age in molecular biology when one can argue that our current understanding of a process is influenced as much by structural studies as it is by genetic and physiological manipulations. This statement is particularly poignant with membrane proteins for which structural knowledge has been long impeded by the inability to easily obtain crystal structures in a lipid matrix. Thus, several high-resolution structures of the components comprising tripartite multidrug efflux pumps from Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are now available and were received with much acclaim over ever-evolving crystal structures of soluble, aqueous proteins. These structures, in conjunction with functional mutagenesis studies, have provided insight into substrate capture and binding domains and redefined the potential interactions between individual pump constituents. However, correct assembly of the components is still a matter of debate as is the functional contribution of each to the translocation of drug substrates over long distances spanning the Gram-negative cell envelope. PMID:16433187

  6. International summer school on macromolecular crystallographic computing. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1998-08-01

    The School was the seventh in a series of International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) Crystallographic Symposia. The format of the School was formal lectures in the morning, tutorials in the afternoon, and software demonstrations and more lectures in the evening. The full program which left both the organizers and attendees exhausted, reflects the current state of excitement in the field of macromolecular structure determination using the technique of X-ray crystallography. The new and improved technologies and techniques described in these Proceedings are contributing to that growth and at the same time, as pointed out in the paper given by Sussman, creating challenges for the Protein Data Bank (PDB). As the School progressed, the authors were struck by the similarities to events which took place in small molecule crystallography beginning some 20 to 25 years ago. Growth then was fueled by the advent of new algorithms, affordable computer hardware, and good software. So it is today for macromolecular crystallography, but with the added bonus of the Internet which is changing how scientist conduct their research. Flack presented this view as part of his on-going contribution to how crystallographers use the Internet. After presentations discussing structures en masse they returned to the more traditional mode of presentation which parallels the determination of a single macromolecular structure: data collection -- phasing -- model building and visualization -- refinement.

  7. Quantifying macromolecular conformational transition pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seyler, Sean; Kumar, Avishek; Thorpe, Michael; Beckstein, Oliver

    2015-03-01

    Diverse classes of proteins function through large-scale conformational changes that are challenging for computer simulations. A range of fast path-sampling techniques have been used to generate transitions, but it has been difficult to compare paths from (and assess the relative strengths of) different methods. We introduce a comprehensive method (pathway similarity analysis, PSA) for quantitatively characterizing and comparing macromolecular pathways. The Hausdorff and Fréchet metrics (known from computational geometry) are used to quantify the degree of similarity between polygonal curves in configuration space. A strength of PSA is its use of the full information available from the 3 N-dimensional configuration space trajectory without requiring additional specific knowledge about the system. We compare a sample of eleven different methods for the closed-to-open transitions of the apo enzyme adenylate kinase (AdK) and also apply PSA to an ensemble of 400 AdK trajectories produced by dynamic importance sampling MD and the Geometrical Pathways algorithm. We discuss the method's potential to enhance our understanding of transition path sampling methods, validate them, and help guide future research toward deeper physical insights into conformational transitions.

  8. Automated error-tolerant macromolecular structure determination from multidimensional nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectra and chemical shift assignments: improved robustness and performance of the PASD algorithm.

    PubMed

    Kuszewski, John J; Thottungal, Robin Augustine; Clore, G Marius; Schwieters, Charles D

    2008-08-01

    We report substantial improvements to the previously introduced automated NOE assignment and structure determination protocol known as PASD (Kuszewski et al. (2004) J Am Chem Soc 26:6258-6273). The improved protocol includes extensive analysis of input spectral data to create a low-resolution contact map of residues expected to be close in space. This map is used to obtain reasonable initial guesses of NOE assignment likelihoods which are refined during subsequent structure calculations. Information in the contact map about which residues are predicted to not be close in space is applied via conservative repulsive distance restraints which are used in early phases of the structure calculations. In comparison with the previous protocol, the new protocol requires significantly less computation time. We show results of running the new PASD protocol on six proteins and demonstrate that useful assignment and structural information is extracted on proteins of more than 220 residues. We show that useful assignment information can be obtained even in the case in which a unique structure cannot be determined. PMID:18668206

  9. Biophysical Highlights from 54 Years of Macromolecular Crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Jane S.; Richardson, David C.

    2014-01-01

    The United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Crystallography, and in commemoration, this review features a selection of 54 notable macromolecular crystal structures that have illuminated the field of biophysics in the 54 years since the first excitement of the myoglobin and hemoglobin structures in 1960. Chronological by publication of the earliest solved structure, each illustrated entry briefly describes key concepts or methods new at the time and key later work leveraged by knowledge of the three-dimensional atomic structure. PMID:24507592

  10. Controlled architecture for improved macromolecular memory within polymer networks.

    PubMed

    DiPasquale, Stephen A; Byrne, Mark E

    2016-08-01

    This brief review analyzes recent developments in the field of living/controlled polymerization and the potential of this technique for creating imprinted polymers with highly structured architecture with macromolecular memory. As a result, it is possible to engineer polymers at the molecular level with increased homogeneity relating to enhanced template binding and transport. Only recently has living/controlled polymerization been exploited to decrease heterogeneity and substantially improve the efficiency of the imprinting process for both highly and weakly crosslinked imprinted polymers. Living polymerization can be utilized to create imprinted networks that are vastly more efficient than similar polymers produced using conventional free radical polymerization, and these improvements increase the role that macromolecular memory can play in the design and engineering of new drug delivery and sensing platforms. PMID:27322505

  11. Solution structure of oxidized Saccharomyces cerevisiae iso-1-cytochrome c.

    PubMed

    Banci, L; Bertini, I; Bren, K L; Gray, H B; Sompornpisut, P; Turano, P

    1997-07-22

    The solution structure of oxidized Saccharomycescerevisiae Cys102Ser iso-1-cytochromechas been determined using 1361 meaningful NOEs (of 1676 total) after extending the published proton assignment [Gao, Y., et al. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 6994-7003] to 77% of all proton resonances. The NOE patterns indicate that secondary structure elements are maintained upon oxidation in solution with respect to the solid state and solution structures of the reduced species. Constraints derived from the pseudocontact shifts [diamagnetic reference shift values are those of the reduced protein [Baistrocchi, P., et al. (1996) Biochemistry 35, 13788-13796

  12. Taking X-ray Diffraction to the Limit: Macromolecular Structures from Femtosecond X-ray Pulses and Diffraction Microscopy of Cells with Synchrotron Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, H N; Miao, J; Kirz, J; Sayre, D; Hodgson, K O

    2003-10-01

    The methodology of X-ray crystallography has recently been successfully extended to the structure determination of non-crystalline specimens. The phase problem was solved by using the oversampling method, which takes advantage of ''continuous'' diffraction pattern from non-crystalline specimens. Here we review the principle of this newly developed technique and discuss the ongoing experiments of imaging non-periodic objects, like cells and cellular structures using coherent and bright X-rays from the 3rd generation synchrotron radiation. In the longer run, the technique may be applied to image single biomolecules by using the anticipated X-ray free electron lasers. Computer simulations have so far demonstrated two important steps: (1) by using an extremely intense femtosecond X-ray pulse, a diffraction pattern can be recorded from a macromolecule before radiation damage manifests itself, and (2) the phase information can be ab initio retrieved from a set of calculated noisy diffraction patterns of single protein molecules.

  13. A Sco protein among the hypothetical proteins of Bacillus lehensis G1: Its 3D macromolecular structure and association with Cytochrome C Oxidase

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background At least a quarter of any complete genome encodes for hypothetical proteins (HPs) which are largely non-similar to other known, well-characterized proteins. Predicting and solving their structures and functions is imperative to aid understanding of any given organism as a complete biological system. The present study highlights the primary effort to classify and cluster 1202 HPs of Bacillus lehensis G1 alkaliphile to serve as a platform to mine and select specific HP(s) to be studied further in greater detail. Results All HPs of B. lehensis G1 were grouped according to their predicted functions based on the presence of functional domains in their sequences. From the metal-binding group of HPs of the cluster, an HP termed Bleg1_2507 was discovered to contain a thioredoxin (Trx) domain and highly-conserved metal-binding ligands represented by Cys69, Cys73 and His159, similar to all prokaryotic and eukaryotic Sco proteins. The built 3D structure of Bleg1_2507 showed that it shared the βαβαββ core structure of Trx-like proteins as well as three flanking β-sheets, a 310 –helix at the N-terminus and a hairpin structure unique to Sco proteins. Docking simulations provided an interesting view of Bleg1_2507 in association with its putative cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COXII) redox partner, Bleg1_2337, where the latter can be seen to hold its partner in an embrace, facilitated by hydrophobic and ionic interactions between the proteins. Although Bleg1_2507 shares relatively low sequence identity (47%) to BsSco, interestingly, the predicted metal-binding residues of Bleg1_2507 i.e. Cys-69, Cys-73 and His-159 were located at flexible active loops similar to other Sco proteins across biological taxa. This highlights structural conservation of Sco despite their various functions in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Conclusions We propose that HP Bleg1_2507 is a Sco protein which is able to interact with COXII, its redox partner and therefore, may possess

  14. Low-resolution structures of proteins in solution retrieved from X-ray scattering with a genetic algorithm.

    PubMed Central

    Chacón, P; Morán, F; Díaz, J F; Pantos, E; Andreu, J M

    1998-01-01

    Small-angle x-ray solution scattering (SAXS) is analyzed with a new method to retrieve convergent model structures that fit the scattering profiles. An arbitrary hexagonal packing of several hundred beads containing the problem object is defined. Instead of attempting to compute the Debye formula for all of the possible mass distributions, a genetic algorithm is employed that efficiently searches the configurational space and evolves best-fit bead models. Models from different runs of the algorithm have similar or identical structures. The modeling resolution is increased by reducing the bead radius together with the search space in successive cycles of refinement. The method has been tested with protein SAXS (0.001 < S < 0.06 A(-1)) calculated from x-ray crystal structures, adding noise to the profiles. The models obtained closely approach the volumes and radii of gyration of the known structures, and faithfully reproduce the dimensions and shape of each of them. This includes finding the active site cavity of lysozyme, the bilobed structure of gamma-crystallin, two domains connected by a stalk in betab2-crystallin, and the horseshoe shape of pancreatic ribonuclease inhibitor. The low-resolution solution structure of lysozyme has been directly modeled from its experimental SAXS profile (0.003 < S < 0.03 A(-1)). The model describes lysozyme size and shape to the resolution of the measurement. The method may be applied to other proteins, to the analysis of domain movements, to the comparison of solution and crystal structures, as well as to large macromolecular assemblies. PMID:9635731

  15. Solution Structure and Backbone Dynamics of Streptopain

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chih-Chieh; Houng, Hsiang-Chee; Chen, Chun-Liang; Wang, Pei-Ju; Kuo, Chih-Feng; Lin, Yee-Shin; Wu, Jiunn-Jong; Lin, Ming T.; Liu, Ching-Chuan; Huang, Wenya; Chuang, Woei-Jer

    2009-01-01

    Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SPE B) is a cysteine protease expressed by Streptococcus pyogenes. The D9N, G163S, G163S/A172S, and G239D mutant proteins were expressed to study the effect of the allelic variants on their protease activity. In contrast to other mutants, the G239D mutant was ∼12-fold less active. The Gly-239 residue is located within the C-terminal S230-G239 region, which cannot be observed in the x-ray structure. The three-dimensional structure and backbone dynamics of the 28-kDa mature SPE B (mSPE B) were determined. Unlike the x-ray structure of the 40-kDa zymogen SPE B (proSPE B), we observed the interactions between the C-terminal loop and the active site residues in mSPE B. The structural differences between mSPE B and proSPE B were the conformation of the C-terminal loop and the orientation of the catalytic His-195 residue, suggesting that activation and inactivation of SPE B is involved in the His-195 side-chain rotation. Dynamics analysis of mSPE B and the mSPE B/inhibitor complexes showed that the catalytic and C-terminal loops were the most flexible regions with low order parameter values of 0.5 to 0.8 and exhibited the motion on the ps/ns timescale. These findings suggest that the flexible C-terminal loop of SPE B may play an important role in controlling the substrate binding, resulting in its broad substrate specificity. PMID:19237546

  16. Discovery of Water Structural Transitions near Interfaces of Polarizable Solutes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinpajooh, Mohammadhasan; Matyushov, Dmitry

    2015-03-01

    The standard harmonic approximation describing polarization around the solute is expected to break down with increasing solute polarizability. The focus of this study is to investigate the structure of water around dipolar-polarizable solutes by Monte Carlo (MC) simulations in the non-harmonic regime. We observe a structural transition in the water hydration shell and its condensation, which are driven by increasing the solute polarizability. There is also a crossover in the orientational structure near the point of breakdown of the harmonic approximation. At lower polarizabilities, waters in the hydration shell point their hydrogens toward the solute. The dipoles flip their orientations at the transition to the non-harmonic regime. Both the hydration shell compressibility and the electric field susceptibility display maxima in the transition region. Using the water electric field at the center of the polarizable solute as the order parameter, a Landau-type model is formulated. Its predictions are in reasonable agreement with MC simulations performed for hard sphere and Lennard Jones polarizable solutes in a TIP3P water model. The observed structural transition suggests a general crossover phenomenon driven by the stabilization energy required to polarize the solute. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (CHE-1213288). CPU time was provided by the National Science Foundation through XSEDE resources (TG-MCB080116N).

  17. Complexation of Actinides in Solution: Thermodynamic Measurementsand Structural Characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Rao, L.

    2007-02-01

    This paper presents a brief introduction of the studies of actinide complexation in solution at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. An integrated approach of thermodynamic measurements and structural characterization is taken to obtain fundamental understanding of actinide complexation in solution that is of importance in predicting the behavior of actinides in separation processes and environmental transport.

  18. The promise of macromolecular crystallization in microfluidic chips

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    van der Woerd, Mark; Ferree, Darren; Pusey, Marc

    2003-01-01

    Microfluidics, or lab-on-a-chip technology, is proving to be a powerful, rapid, and efficient approach to a wide variety of bioanalytical and microscale biopreparative needs. The low materials consumption, combined with the potential for packing a large number of experiments in a few cubic centimeters, makes it an attractive technique for both initial screening and subsequent optimization of macromolecular crystallization conditions. Screening operations, which require a macromolecule solution with a standard set of premixed solutions, are relatively straightforward and have been successfully demonstrated in a microfluidics platform. Optimization methods, in which crystallization solutions are independently formulated from a range of stock solutions, are considerably more complex and have yet to be demonstrated. To be competitive with either approach, a microfluidics system must offer ease of operation, be able to maintain a sealed environment over several weeks to months, and give ready access for the observation and harvesting of crystals as they are grown.

  19. Energy Structure of Emission Centers in Solutions with Silver Impurity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zashivailo, T. V.; Kushnirenko, V. I.

    The spectral properties of solutions of oxygen-containing salts and acids with admixture of Аg+ ions were studied. The spectra of absorption, photoluminescence, and photoluminescence excitation for such systems are measured in the temperature range of 4.2-290 K. The energy structure of absorption and emission centers in the solution was determined. It is shown that the spectra under study are caused by the electron transitions between the energy levels, whose structure is deformed as a result of the interaction of ions Ag+ with the environment. The experimental results are interpreted on the basis of an ionic model for complexes for investigated solutions.

  20. Design and application of PDBlib, a C++ macromolecular class library.

    PubMed

    Chang, W; Shindyalov, I N; Pu, C; Bourne, P E

    1994-12-01

    PDBlib is an extensible object-oriented class library written in C++ for representing the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules. The software design strategy, features of many of the 129 classes currently distributed with the library, and two sample applications which use the library are described. Version 1.0 of the library represents the structural features of proteins, DNA, RNA and complexes thereof, at a level of detail on a par with that which can be parsed from a Protein Data Bank (PDB) entry. However, the memory-resident representation of the macromolecule is independent of the PDB entry and can be obtained from other sources, e.g. relational and object-oriented databases. PDBlib classes are organized into four categories: (i) classes that model the macromolecule; (ii) classes that enhance the extensibility of the library; (iii) classes that provide navigation facilities of the object-oriented macromolecular structure representation; and (iv) a class that loads a PDB file into the memory-resident object-oriented representation. A number of general-purpose procedures that return features of this representation and that are relevant to all biological disciplines are included in (i). The library has been used to develop PDBtool, a prototype structure verification tool, and PDBview, a structure rendering tool that requires no specialized graphics hardware and software. Current work centers on making the macromolecular structures represented by PDBlib persistent using a commercial object-oriented database and providing an additional class library, MMQLlib, to query those structures. PMID:7704656

  1. Effects of macromolecular crowding on genetic networks.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Marco J; Allen, Rosalind J; Wolde, Pieter Rein ten

    2011-12-21

    The intracellular environment is crowded with proteins, DNA, and other macromolecules. Under physiological conditions, macromolecular crowding can alter both molecular diffusion and the equilibria of bimolecular reactions and therefore is likely to have a significant effect on the function of biochemical networks. We propose a simple way to model the effects of macromolecular crowding on biochemical networks via an appropriate scaling of bimolecular association and dissociation rates. We use this approach, in combination with kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, to analyze the effects of crowding on a constitutively expressed gene, a repressed gene, and a model for the bacteriophage λ genetic switch, in the presence and absence of nonspecific binding of transcription factors to genomic DNA. Our results show that the effects of crowding are mainly caused by the shift of association-dissociation equilibria rather than the slowing down of protein diffusion, and that macromolecular crowding can have relevant and counterintuitive effects on biochemical network performance. PMID:22208186

  2. New pharmaceutical applications for macromolecular binders.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Nicolas; Gauthier, Marc A; Bouvet, Céline; Moreau, Pierre; Petitjean, Anne; Leroux, Jean-Christophe; Leblond, Jeanne

    2011-10-30

    Macromolecular binders consist of polymers, dendrimers, and oligomers with binding properties for endogenous or exogenous substrates. This field, at the frontier of host/guest chemistry and pharmacology, has met a renewed interest in the past decade due to the clinical success of several sequestrants, like sevelamer hydrochloride (Renagel®) or sugammadex (Bridion®). In many instances, multivalent binding by the macromolecular drugs can modify the properties of the substrate, and may prevent it from reaching its site of action and/or trigger a biological response. From small (e.g., ions) to larger substrates (e.g., bacteria and cells), this review presents the state-of-the-art of macromolecular binders and provides detailed illustrative examples of recent developments bearing much promise for future pharmaceutical applications. PMID:21571017

  3. Effects of Macromolecular Crowding on Genetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Morelli, Marco J.; Allen, Rosalind J.; Rein ten Wolde, Pieter

    2011-01-01

    The intracellular environment is crowded with proteins, DNA, and other macromolecules. Under physiological conditions, macromolecular crowding can alter both molecular diffusion and the equilibria of bimolecular reactions and therefore is likely to have a significant effect on the function of biochemical networks. We propose a simple way to model the effects of macromolecular crowding on biochemical networks via an appropriate scaling of bimolecular association and dissociation rates. We use this approach, in combination with kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, to analyze the effects of crowding on a constitutively expressed gene, a repressed gene, and a model for the bacteriophage λ genetic switch, in the presence and absence of nonspecific binding of transcription factors to genomic DNA. Our results show that the effects of crowding are mainly caused by the shift of association-dissociation equilibria rather than the slowing down of protein diffusion, and that macromolecular crowding can have relevant and counterintuitive effects on biochemical network performance. PMID:22208186

  4. Molecular Ornstein-Zernike approach to the solvent effects on solute electronic structures in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Norio; Kato, Shigeki

    2000-09-01

    A new approach to ab initio electronic structure calculations of solute molecules in solution is presented. Combined with the molecular Ornstein-Zernike (MOZ) integral equation theory for polyatomic liquids, solute electronic wave function and solvent distribution around a solute are determined in a self-consistent manner. The hypernetted chain approximation is employed for solving the MOZ equation. In order to describe the short-range solute-solvent interactions, the effective potential operating solute electron is placed on a solute molecule, which is determined by a least-squares fitting to ab initio exchange repulsion/charge transfer energies. The present method, referred to as the MOZ self-consistent-field (SCF) method, is applied to a solute H2O molecule in water solvent. The solvent shift for the vertical excitation to the nπ* state of H2CO in aqueous solution is also examined. The results obtained by the MOZ-SCF calculations are compared with those by the reference interaction site model-SCF theory and the polarizable continuum model.

  5. Macromolecular crowding conditions enhance glycation and oxidation of whey proteins in ultrasound-induced Maillard reaction.

    PubMed

    Perusko, Marija; Al-Hanish, Ayah; Cirkovic Velickovic, Tanja; Stanic-Vucinic, Dragana

    2015-06-15

    High intensity ultrasound (HIUS) can promote Maillard reaction (MR). Macromolecular crowding conditions accelerate reactions and stabilise protein structure. The aim of this study was to investigate if combined application of ultrasound and macromolecular crowding can improve efficiency of MR. The presence of crowding agent (polyethylene glycol) significantly increased ultrasound-induced whey protein (WP) glycation by arabinose. An increase in glycation efficiency results only in slight change of WP structure. Macromolecular crowding intensifies oxidative modifications of WP, as well as formation of amyloid-like structures by enhancement of MR. Solubility at different pH, thermal stability and antioxidative capacity of glycated WP were increased, especially in the presence of crowding agent, compared to sonicated nonglycated proteins. The application of HIUS under crowding conditions can be a new approach for enhancement of reactions in general, enabling short processing time and mild conditions, while preserving protein structure and minimising protein aggregation. PMID:25660883

  6. [Structure and Activity of Fungal Lipases in Bile Salt Solutions].

    PubMed

    Bogdanova, L R; Bakirova, D R; Valiullina, Yu A; Idiyatullin, B Z; Faizullin, D A; Zueva, O S; Zuev, Yu F

    2016-01-01

    The changes in structure and catalytic properties of fungal lipases (Candida rugosa, Rhizomucor miehei, Mucor javanicus) were investigated in micellar solutions of bile salts that differ in hydrophilic-lypophilic balance and reaction medium properties. The methods of circular dichroism and tryptophan fluorescence were applied to estimate the changes in peptide structure within complexes with bile salt micelles. Bile salts do not exert a significant influence on the structure of the enzymes under study: in Rh. miehei and M. javanicus lipases the alpha helix content slightly decreased, the influence of bile salts on the C. rugosa structure was not revealed. Despite negligible structural modifications in the enzymes, in bile salt solutions a considerable change in their catalytic properties was observed: an abrupt decrease in catalytic effectiveness. Substrate-bile salts micelles complex formation was demonstrated by the NMR self-diffusion method. The model of a regulation of fungal lipase activity was proposed. PMID:27192825

  7. Water's structure around hydrophobic solutes and the iceberg model.

    PubMed

    Galamba, N

    2013-02-21

    The structure of water in the hydration shells of small hydrophobic solutes was investigated through molecular dynamics. The results show that a subset of water molecules in the first hydration shell of a nonpolar solute have a significantly enhanced tetrahedrality and a slightly larger number of hydrogen bonds, relative to the molecules in water at room temperature, consistent with the experimentally observed negative excess entropy and increased heat capacity of hydrophobic solutions at room temperature. This ordering results from the rearrangement of a small number of water molecules near the nonpolar solutes that occupy one to two vertices of the enhanced water tetrahedra. Although this structuring is not nearly like that often associated with a literal interpretation of the term "iceberg" in the Frank and Evans iceberg model, it does support a moderate interpretation of this model. Thus, the tetrahedral orientational order of this ensemble of water molecules is comparable to that of liquid water at ~10 °C, although not accompanied by the small contraction of the O-O distance observed in cold water. Further, we show that the structural changes of water in the vicinity of small nonpolar solutes cannot be inferred from the water radial distribution functions, explaining why this increased ordering is not observed through neutron diffraction experiments. The present results restore a molecular view where the slower translational and reorientational dynamics of water near hydrophobic groups has a structural equivalent resembling water at low temperatures. PMID:23360515

  8. Solution structure of ligands involved in purine salvage pathway.

    PubMed

    Karnawat, Vishakha; Puranik, Mrinalini

    2015-12-01

    Analogues of intermediates involved in the purine salvage pathway can be exploited as potential drug molecules against enzymes of protozoan parasites. To develop such analogues we need knowledge of the solution structures, predominant tautomer at physiological pH and protonation-state of the corresponding natural ligand. In this regard, we have employed ultraviolet resonance Raman spectroscopy (UVRR) in combination with density functional theory (DFT) to study the solution structures of two relatively unexplored intermediates, 6-phosphoryl IMP (6-pIMP) and succinyl adenosine-5'-monophosphate (sAMP), of purine salvage pathway. These molecules are intermediates in a two step enzymatic process that converts inosine-5'-monpophosphate (IMP) to adenosine-5'-monophosphate (AMP). Experimental data on the molecular structure of these ligands is lacking. We report UVRR spectra of these two ligands, obtained at an excitation wavelength of 260 nm. Using isotope induced shifts and DFT calculations we assigned observed spectra to computed normal modes. We find that sAMP exists as neutral species at physiological pH and the predominant tautomer in solution bears proton at N10 position of purine ring. Though transient in solution, 6-pIMP is captured in the enzyme-bound form. This work provides the structural information of these ligands in solution state at physiological pH. We further compare these structures with the structures of AMP and IMP. Despite the presence of similar purine rings in AMP and sAMP, their UVRR spectra are found to be very different. Similarly, though the purine ring in 6-pIMP resembles that of IMP, UVRR spectra of the two molecules are distinct. These differences in the vibrational spectra provide direct information on the effects of exocyclic groups on the skeletal structures of these molecules. Our results identify key bands in the vibrational spectra of these ligands which may serve as markers of hydrogen bonding interactions upon binding to the active

  9. Chemical oscillations in closed macromolecular systems.

    PubMed Central

    Di Cera, E; Phillipson, P E; Wyman, J

    1988-01-01

    A cycle of irreversible, first-order, autocatalytic reactions among different states of a polyfunctional macromolecule, subject to the conservation of mass, can display stable chemical oscillations. This introduces a class of nonlinear dynamic models for energy transduction in closed macromolecular systems. PMID:3413066

  10. Processes of ordered structure formation in polypeptide thin film solutions.

    SciTech Connect

    Botiz, I.; Schlaad, H.; Reiter, G.

    2010-06-17

    An experimental study is presented on the hierarchical assembly of {alpha}-helical block copolymers polystyrene-poly({gamma}-benzyl-L-glutamate) into anisotropic ordered structures. We transformed thin solid films into solutions through exposure to solvent vapor and studied the nucleation and growth of ordered three-dimensional structures in such solutions, with emphasis on the dependence of these processes on supersaturation with respect to the solubility limit. Interestingly, polymer solubility could be significantly influenced via variation of humidity in the surrounding gas phase. It is concluded that the interfacial tension between the ordered structures and the solution increased with humidity. The same effect was observed for other protic non-solvents in the surrounding gas phase and is attributed to a complexation of poly({gamma}-benzyl-L-glutamate) by protic non-solvent molecules (via hydrogen-bonding interactions). This change of polymer solubility was demonstrated to be reversible by addition or removal of small amounts of protic non-solvent in the surrounding gas phase. At a constant polymer concentration, ordered ellipsoidal structures could be dissolved by removing water or methanol present in the solution. Such structures formed once again when water or methanol was reintroduced via the vapor phase.

  11. General analytical shakedown solution for structures with kinematic hardening materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Baofeng; Zou, Zongyuan; Jin, Miao

    2016-04-01

    The effect of kinematic hardening behavior on the shakedown behaviors of structure has been investigated by performing shakedown analysis for some specific problems. The results obtained only show that the shakedown limit loads of structures with kinematic hardening model are larger than or equal to those with perfectly plastic model of the same initial yield stress. To further investigate the rules governing the different shakedown behaviors of kinematic hardening structures, the extended shakedown theorem for limited kinematic hardening is applied, the shakedown condition is then proposed, and a general analytical solution for the structural shakedown limit load is thus derived. The analytical shakedown limit loads for fully reversed cyclic loading and non-fully reversed cyclic loading are then given based on the general solution. The resulting analytical solution is applied to some specific problems: a hollow specimen subjected to tension and torsion, a flanged pipe subjected to pressure and axial force and a square plate with small central hole subjected to biaxial tension. The results obtained are compared with those in literatures, they are consistent with each other. Based on the resulting general analytical solution, rules governing the general effects of kinematic hardening behavior on the shakedown behavior of structure are clearly.

  12. Solution Structures of Two Homologous Venom Peptides from Sicarius dolichocephalus

    PubMed Central

    Loening, Nikolaus M.; Wilson, Zachary N.; Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A.; Binford, Greta J.

    2013-01-01

    We present solution-state NMR structures for two putative venom peptides from Sicarius dolichocephalus. These peptides were identified from cDNA libraries created from venom gland mRNA and then recombinantly expressed. They are the first structures from any species of Sicarius spiders, and the first peptide structures for any haplogyne spiders. These peptides are homologous to one another, and while they have at most only 20% sequence identity with known venom peptides their structures follow the inhibitor cystine knot motif that has been found in a broad range of venom peptides. PMID:23342149

  13. Thermodynamic signatures in macromolecular interactions involving conformational flexibility.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Anja; Neumann, Piotr; Schwieger, Christian; Stubbs, Milton T

    2014-07-01

    The energetics of macromolecular interactions are complex, particularly where protein flexibility is involved. Exploiting serendipitous differences in the plasticity of a series of closely related trypsin variants, we analyzed the enthalpic and entropic contributions accompanying interaction with L45K-eglin C. Binding of the four variants show significant differences in released heat, although the affinities vary little, in accordance with the principle of enthalpy-entropy compensation. Binding of the most disordered variant is almost entirely enthalpically driven, with practically no entropy change. As structures of the complexes reveal negligible differences in protein-inhibitor contacts, we conclude that solvent effects contribute significantly to binding affinities. PMID:25003391

  14. Bringing single-molecule spectroscopy to macromolecular protein complexes

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Chirlmin; Fareh, Mohamed; Kim, V. Narry

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy offers real-time, nanometer-resolution information. Over the past two decades, this emerging single-molecule technique has been rapidly adopted to investigate the structural dynamics and biological functions of proteins. Despite this remarkable achievement, single-molecule fluorescence techniques must be extended to macromolecular protein complexes that are physiologically more relevant for functional studies. In this review, we present recent major breakthroughs for investigating protein complexes within cell extracts using single-molecule fluorescence. We outline the challenges, future prospects and potential applications of these new single-molecule fluorescence techniques in biological and clinical research. PMID:23200186

  15. Enzymes as Green Catalysts for Precision Macromolecular Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Shoda, Shin-Ichiro; Uyama, Hiroshi; Kadokawa, Jun-Ichi; Kimura, Shunsaku; Kobayashi, Shiro

    2016-02-24

    The present article comprehensively reviews the macromolecular synthesis using enzymes as catalysts. Among the six main classes of enzymes, the three classes, oxidoreductases, transferases, and hydrolases, have been employed as catalysts for the in vitro macromolecular synthesis and modification reactions. Appropriate design of reaction including monomer and enzyme catalyst produces macromolecules with precisely controlled structure, similarly as in vivo enzymatic reactions. The reaction controls the product structure with respect to substrate selectivity, chemo-selectivity, regio-selectivity, stereoselectivity, and choro-selectivity. Oxidoreductases catalyze various oxidation polymerizations of aromatic compounds as well as vinyl polymerizations. Transferases are effective catalysts for producing polysaccharide having a variety of structure and polyesters. Hydrolases catalyzing the bond-cleaving of macromolecules in vivo, catalyze the reverse reaction for bond forming in vitro to give various polysaccharides and functionalized polyesters. The enzymatic polymerizations allowed the first in vitro synthesis of natural polysaccharides having complicated structures like cellulose, amylose, xylan, chitin, hyaluronan, and chondroitin. These polymerizations are "green" with several respects; nontoxicity of enzyme, high catalyst efficiency, selective reactions under mild conditions using green solvents and renewable starting materials, and producing minimal byproducts. Thus, the enzymatic polymerization is desirable for the environment and contributes to "green polymer chemistry" for maintaining sustainable society. PMID:26791937

  16. Mixed Consolidation Solution for a Reinforced Concrete Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lute, M.

    2016-06-01

    During the last years, reinforced concrete structures become subject for rehabilitation due to two factors: their long life span and large change in norms that leaded to a large increase of seismic loads in Eastern Europe. These lead to a necessity for rehabilitation of existing building stock in order to use them during their entire life span at the maximum potential. The present paper proposes a solution for rehabilitation for three reinforced concrete building of a hospital, that consumed a half of their life span and do not correspond anymore to present norms. The chosen solution is a combination between CFRP rehabilitation and increase of structural elements cross section in order to achieve the stiffness balance in the structure nodes that is required by present norms. As a further matter, correction in stiffness of local elements diminished the lateral drifts of the structure and improved the global seismic response of the building.

  17. Dealing with Multiple Solutions in Structural Vector Autoregressive Models.

    PubMed

    Beltz, Adriene M; Molenaar, Peter C M

    2016-01-01

    Structural vector autoregressive models (VARs) hold great potential for psychological science, particularly for time series data analysis. They capture the magnitude, direction of influence, and temporal (lagged and contemporaneous) nature of relations among variables. Unified structural equation modeling (uSEM) is an optimal structural VAR instantiation, according to large-scale simulation studies, and it is implemented within an SEM framework. However, little is known about the uniqueness of uSEM results. Thus, the goal of this study was to investigate whether multiple solutions result from uSEM analysis and, if so, to demonstrate ways to select an optimal solution. This was accomplished with two simulated data sets, an empirical data set concerning children's dyadic play, and modifications to the group iterative multiple model estimation (GIMME) program, which implements uSEMs with group- and individual-level relations in a data-driven manner. Results revealed multiple solutions when there were large contemporaneous relations among variables. Results also verified several ways to select the correct solution when the complete solution set was generated, such as the use of cross-validation, maximum standardized residuals, and information criteria. This work has immediate and direct implications for the analysis of time series data and for the inferences drawn from those data concerning human behavior. PMID:27093380

  18. Flexibility damps macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding dynamics: Application to the murine prion protein (121-231)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2014-01-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the combined effects of protein flexibility and macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. It is found that the increase in stability and folding rate promoted by macromolecular crowding is damped for proteins with highly flexible native structures. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). It is found that the high flexibility of the native isoform of the murine prion protein (121-231) reduces the effects of macromolecular crowding on its folding dynamics. The relevance of these findings for the pathogenic mechanism are discussed.

  19. Solution structure by site directed tryptophan fluorescence in tear lipocalin.

    PubMed

    Gasymov, O K; Abduragimov, A R; Yusifov, T N; Glasgow, B J

    1997-10-01

    The solution structure of the G strand of human tear lipocalin was deduced by site directed tryptophan fluorescence (SDTF). The fluorescent amino acid, tryptophan, was sequentially substituted for each native amino acid in the sequence of the G strand. The fluorescent properties resolved alternating periodicity as predicted for beta sheet structure, twists in the beta sheet, strand orientation in the lipocalin cavity, and the relative depth of residues in the cavity. A distribution of microstates with various orientations of dipoles in the side chain environments of the G strand revealed mobility on the nanosecond time scale. SDTF is broadly applicable to most proteins and will complement x-ray crystallography, site directed spin labeling by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in the determination of solution structure. PMID:9345294

  20. Protein stabilization by macromolecular crowding through enthalpy rather than entropy.

    PubMed

    Senske, Michael; Törk, Lisa; Born, Benjamin; Havenith, Martina; Herrmann, Christian; Ebbinghaus, Simon

    2014-06-25

    The interior of the cell is a densely crowded environment in which protein stability is affected differently than in dilute solution. Macromolecular crowding is commonly understood in terms of an entropic volume exclusion effect based on hardcore repulsions among the macromolecules. We studied the thermal unfolding of ubiquitin in the presence of different cosolutes (glucose, dextran, poly(ethylene glycol), KCl, urea). Our results show that for a correct dissection of the cosolute-induced changes of the free energy into its enthalpic and entropic contributions, the temperature dependence of the heat capacity change needs to be explicitly taken into account. In contrast to the prediction by the excluded volume theory, we observed an enthalpic stabilization and an entropic destabilization for glucose, dextran, and poly(ethylene glycol). The enthalpic stabilization mechanism induced by the macromolecular crowder dextran was similar to the enthalpic stabilization mechanism of its monomeric building block glucose. In the case of poly(ethylene glycol), entropy is dominating over enthalpy leading to an overall destabilization. We propose a new model to classify cosolute effects in terms of their enthalpic contributions to protein stability. PMID:24888734

  1. Preparation of phenylboronate affinity rigid monolith with macromolecular porogen.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang-Jie; Jia, Man; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Liu, Zhao-Sheng; Akber Aisa, Haji

    2016-03-18

    Boronate-affinity monolithic column was first prepared via polystyrene (PS) as porogen in this work. The monolithic polymer was synthetized using 4-vinylphenylboronic acid (4-VPBA) as functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EDMA) as crosslinker monomer, and a mixture of PS solution in tetrahydrofuran, the linear macromolecular porogen, and toluene as porogen. Isoquercitrin (ISO) and hyperoside (HYP), isomer diol flavonoid glycosides, can be baseline separated on the poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) monolith. The effect of polymerization variables on the selectivity factor, e.g., the ratio of monomer to crosslinker (M/C), the amount of PS and the molecular weight of macromolecular porogen was investigated. The surface properties of the monolithic polymer were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen adsorption. The best polymerization condition was the M/C ratio of 7:3, and the PS concentration of 40 mg/ml. The poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) polymer was also applied to extract cis-diol flavonoid glycosides from the crude extraction of cotton flower. After treated by poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) for solid phase extraction, high purity ISO and HYP (>99.96%) can be obtained with recovery of 83.7% and 78.6%, respectively. PMID:26896914

  2. Structure and rheology of associative triblocks in microemulsion solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatia, Surita Rani

    This thesis describes our theoretical and experimental work on the rheology, static structure, and phase behavior of associative solutions. Our theoretical efforts have centered on solving the diffusion equation model of Dolan and Edwards for ideal associative triblocks between surfaces to yield the segment density profile and free energy. We have shown that polymers between two spheres cause an O(kT) attraction, similar to that calculated by Milner and Witten for associative polymer brushes between flat plates. The attraction we calculate is weaker than that given by the Derjaguin approximation, and excluded volume moderates the attraction and softens the repulsion between spheres. The free energy was used to estimate an interparticle potential, which in turn was used to compute structure factors for solutions of associative polymers via Monte Carlo simulations. As a model system for our experiments, we have chosen PEO-PI-PEO triblocks in an AOT/water/decane microemulsion. Upon dilution with decane, the solutions phase separate into a dense, high viscosity phase and a dilute, low viscosity phase. We have performed both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and rheology on these solutions. Structure factors derived from our SANS data agree fairly well with those predicted by our theory and indicate that the droplets reside in an attractive minimum. The rheology of these solutions shows several interesting features that are not predicted by classical reversible network theory. Data from oscillatory experiments indicate a single relaxation time at low polymer concentrations but show evidence of a slower relaxation for higher concentrations. In addition, some solutions exhibit a maximum in the high shear viscosity. Some of our observations are predicted by the flowerlike micelle theory developed by Semenov and co-workers; however, our data is not completely consistent with the theoretical predictions. The high frequency modulus scales roughly quadratically with

  3. Structure of graphene oxide membranes in solvents and solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klechikov, Alexey; Yu, Junchun; Thomas, Diana; Sharifi, Tiva; Talyzin, Alexandr V.

    2015-09-01

    The change of distance between individual graphene oxide sheets due to swelling is the key parameter to explain and predict permeation of multilayered graphene oxide (GO) membranes by various solvents and solutions. In situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction study shows that swelling properties of GO membranes are distinctly different compared to precursor graphite oxide powder samples. Intercalation of liquid dioxolane, acetonitrile, acetone, and chloroform into the GO membrane structure occurs with maximum one monolayer insertion (Type I), in contrast with insertion of 2-3 layers of these solvents into the graphite oxide structure. However, the structure of GO membranes expands in liquid DMSO and DMF solvents similarly to precursor graphite oxide (Type II). It can be expected that Type II solvents will permeate GO membranes significantly faster compared to Type I solvents. The membranes are found to be stable in aqueous solutions of acidic and neutral salts, but dissolve slowly in some basic solutions of certain concentrations, e.g. in NaOH, NaHCO3 and LiF. Some larger organic molecules, alkylamines and alkylammonium cations are found to intercalate and expand the lattice of GO membranes significantly, e.g. up to ~35 Å in octadecylamine/methanol solution. Intercalation of solutes into the GO structure is one of the limiting factors for nano-filtration of certain molecules but it also allows modification of the inter-layer distance of GO membranes and tuning of their permeation properties. For example, GO membranes functionalized with alkylammonium cations are hydrophobized and they swell in non-polar solvents.The change of distance between individual graphene oxide sheets due to swelling is the key parameter to explain and predict permeation of multilayered graphene oxide (GO) membranes by various solvents and solutions. In situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction study shows that swelling properties of GO membranes are distinctly different compared to precursor graphite

  4. Electronic structures of Ascaris trypsin inhibitor in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-11-01

    The electronic structures of Ascaris trypsin inhibitor in solution are obtained by the first-principles, all-electron, ab initio calculation using the self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) method. The inhibitor, made up of 62 amino acid residues with 912 atoms, has two three-dimensional solution structures: 1ata and 1atb. The calculated ground-state energy of structure 1atb is lower than that of structure 1ata by 6.12 eV. The active sites are determined and explained: only structure 1atb has a N terminal at residue ARG+31. This shows that the structure 1atb is the stable and active form of the inhibitor, which is in agreement with the experimental results. The calculation reveals that some parts of the inhibitor can be easily changed while the inhibitor’s biological activity may be kept. This kind of information may be helpful in fighting viruses such as AIDS, SARS, and flu, since these viruses have higher variability. The calculation offers an independent theoretical estimate of the precision of structure determination.

  5. Development of solution techniques for nonlinear structural analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vos, R. G.; Andrews, J. S.

    1974-01-01

    Nonlinear structural solution methods in the current research literature are classified according to order of the solution scheme, and it is shown that the analytical tools for these methods are uniformly derivable by perturbation techniques. A new perturbation formulation is developed for treating an arbitrary nonlinear material, in terms of a finite-difference generated stress-strain expansion. Nonlinear geometric effects are included in an explicit manner by appropriate definition of an applicable strain tensor. A new finite-element pilot computer program PANES (Program for Analysis of Nonlinear Equilibrium and Stability) is presented for treatment of problems involving material and geometric nonlinearities, as well as certain forms on nonconservative loading.

  6. Macromolecular transport in synapse to nucleus communication.

    PubMed

    Panayotis, Nicolas; Karpova, Anna; Kreutz, Michael R; Fainzilber, Mike

    2015-02-01

    Local signaling events at synapses or axon terminals must be communicated to the nucleus to elicit transcriptional responses. The lengths of neuronal processes pose a significant challenge for such intracellular communication. This challenge is met by mechanisms ranging from rapid signals encoded in calcium waves to slower macromolecular signaling complexes carried by molecular motors. Here we summarize recent findings on macromolecular signaling from the synapse to the nucleus, in comparison to those employed in injury signaling along axons. A number of common themes emerge, including combinatorial signal encoding by post-translational mechanisms such as differential phosphorylation and proteolysis, and conserved roles for importins in coordinating signaling complexes. Neurons may integrate ionic flux with motor-transported signals as a temporal code for synaptic plasticity signaling. PMID:25534890

  7. Steady state solutions to dynamically loaded periodic structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalinowski, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    The general problem of solving for the steady state (time domain) dynamic response (i.e., NASTRAN rigid format-8) of a general elastic periodic structure subject to a phase difference loading of the type encountered in traveling wave propagation problems was studied. Two types of structural configurations were considered; in the first type, the structure has a repeating pattern over a span that is long enough to be considered, for all practical purposes, as infinite; in the second type, the structure has structural rotational symmetry in the circumferential direction. The theory and a corresponding set of DMAP instructions which permits the NASTRAN user to automatically alter the rigid format-8 sequence to solve the intended class of problems are presented. Final results are recovered as with any ordinary rigid format-8 solution, except that the results are only printed for the typical periodic segment of the structure. A simple demonstration problem having a known exact solution is used to illustrate the implementation of the procedure.

  8. A primer in macromolecular linguistics.

    PubMed

    Searls, David B

    2013-03-01

    Polymeric macromolecules, when viewed abstractly as strings of symbols, can be treated in terms of formal language theory, providing a mathematical foundation for characterizing such strings both as collections and in terms of their individual structures. In addition this approach offers a framework for analysis of macromolecules by tools and conventions widely used in computational linguistics. This article introduces the ways that linguistics can be and has been applied to molecular biology, covering the relevant formal language theory at a relatively nontechnical level. Analogies between macromolecules and human natural language are used to provide intuitive insights into the relevance of grammars, parsing, and analysis of language complexity to biology. PMID:23034580

  9. On the solution of creep induced buckling in general structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Padovan, J.; Tovichakchaikul, S.

    1982-01-01

    This paper considers the pre and post buckling behavior of general structures exposed to high temperature fields for long durations wherein creep effects become significant. The solution to this problem is made possible through the use of closed upper bounding constraint surfaces which enable the development of a new time stepping algorithm. This permits the stable and efficient solution of structural problems which exhibit indefinite tangent properties. Due to the manner of constraining/bounding successive iterates, the algorithm developed herein is largely self adaptive, inherently stable, sufficiently flexible to handle geometric material and boundary induced nonlinearity, and can be incorporated into either finite element or difference simulations. To illustrate the capability of the procedure, as well as, the physics of creep induced pre and post buckling behavior, the results of several numerical experiments are included.

  10. Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of the structure of symmetric Polyelectrolyte block copolymer micelle in salt-free aqueous solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chockalingam, Rajalakshmi; Natarajan, Upendra

    2014-03-01

    The structure of a symmetric polystyrene- b - poly(acrylic acid) (PS- b - PAA) micelle in salt-free aqueous solution as a function of degree-of-neutralization (or ionization, f) of the PAA is studied via explicit-atom-ion MD simulations, for the first time for a polyelectrolyte block copolymer in a polar solvent. Micelle size increases with fin agreement with experimental observations in literature, due to extension of PAA at higher ionization. Pair RDF's with respect to water oxygens show that corona-water interaction becomes stronger with f due to an increase in number density of carboxylate (COO-) groups on the chain. Water-PAA coordination (carboxylate O's) increases with ionization. H-bonding between PAA and water increases with f due to greater extent of corona-water affinity. With increase in f, atom and counter-ion ρ profiles confirm extension of corona blocks and micelle existing in the ``osmotic regime,'' and a decrease in scattering peak intensity, in agreement with neutron scattering experiments and mean-field theory in literature. Inter-chain distance in PS core is found to decrease with ionization. Macromolecular Simulation and Modeling Laboratory, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036.