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Sample records for molecular mechanics approach

  1. Atopic dermatitis: molecular mechanisms, clinical aspects and new therapeutical approaches.

    PubMed

    Galli, E; Cicconi, R; Rossi, P; Casati, A; Brunetti, E; Mancino, G

    2003-03-01

    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a genetically determinated, chronic inflammatory skin disorder associated with cutaneous erythema and severe pruritus, affecting 10-15% of children with increasing incidence and socio-economical relevance. Frequently, AD is associated with development of allergic rhinitis and/or asthma later in childhood. In most of patients AD is associated with a sensitization to food and/or environmental allergens and increased serum-IgE, while only a fewer percentage missed links to the classical atopic diathesis. Currently investigated pathogenetic aspects of AD include imbalanced Th1/Th2 responses, altered prostaglandin metabolism, intrinsic defects in the keratinocyte function, delayed eosinophil apoptosis, and IgE-mediated facilitated antigen presentation by epidermal dendritic cells. An inflammatory response of the two-phase-type and the effects of staphylococcal superantigens (SAgs) are also reported. At present a standardized cure of AD and a consensus on therapeutical approach of the severe form of the disease have not been established. Current management of AD is directed to the reduction of cutaneous inflammation and infection, mainly by S. aureus, and to the elimination of exacerbating factors (irritants, allergens, emotional stresses). Since patient with AD show abnormalities in immunoregulation, therapy directed to adjustment of their immune function could represent an alternative approach, particularly in the severe form of the disease. In this review, we analyse the clinical and genetic aspects of AD, the related molecular mechanisms, and the immunobiology of the disease, focusing our attention on current treatments and future perspectives on this topic. PMID:12630559

  2. Molecular structure and elastic properties of thermotropic liquid crystals: Integrated molecular dynamics—Statistical mechanical theory vs molecular field approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capar, M. Ilk; Nar, A.; Ferrarini, A.; Frezza, E.; Greco, C.; Zakharov, A. V.; Vakulenko, A. A.

    2013-03-01

    The connection between the molecular structure of liquid crystals and their elastic properties, which control the director deformations relevant for electro-optic applications, remains a challenging objective for theories and computations. Here, we compare two methods that have been proposed to this purpose, both characterized by a detailed molecular level description. One is an integrated molecular dynamics-statistical mechanical approach, where the bulk elastic constants of nematics are calculated from the direct correlation function (DCFs) and the single molecule orientational distribution function [D. A. McQuarrie, Statistical Mechanics (Harper & Row, New York, 1973)]. The latter is obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics trajectories, together with the radial distribution function, from which the DCF is then determined by solving the Ornstein-Zernike equation. The other approach is based on a molecular field theory, where the potential of mean torque experienced by a mesogen in the liquid crystal phase is parameterized according to its molecular surface. In this case, the calculation of elastic constants is combined with the Monte Carlo sampling of single molecule conformations. Using these different approaches, but the same description, at the level of molecular geometry and torsional potentials, we have investigated the elastic properties of the nematic phase of two typical mesogens, 4'-n-pentyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl and 4'-n-heptyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl. Both methods yield K3(bend) >K1 (splay) >K2 (twist), although there are some discrepancies in the average elastic constants and in their anisotropy. These are interpreted in terms of the different approximations and the different ways of accounting for the structural properties of molecules in the two approaches. In general, the results point to the role of the molecular shape, which is modulated by the conformational freedom and cannot be fully accounted for by a single descriptor such as the aspect ratio.

  3. Molecular structure and elastic properties of thermotropic liquid crystals: integrated molecular dynamics--statistical mechanical theory vs molecular field approach.

    PubMed

    Ilk Capar, M; Nar, A; Ferrarini, A; Frezza, E; Greco, C; Zakharov, A V; Vakulenko, A A

    2013-03-21

    The connection between the molecular structure of liquid crystals and their elastic properties, which control the director deformations relevant for electro-optic applications, remains a challenging objective for theories and computations. Here, we compare two methods that have been proposed to this purpose, both characterized by a detailed molecular level description. One is an integrated molecular dynamics-statistical mechanical approach, where the bulk elastic constants of nematics are calculated from the direct correlation function (DCFs) and the single molecule orientational distribution function [D. A. McQuarrie, Statistical Mechanics (Harper & Row, New York, 1973)]. The latter is obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics trajectories, together with the radial distribution function, from which the DCF is then determined by solving the Ornstein-Zernike equation. The other approach is based on a molecular field theory, where the potential of mean torque experienced by a mesogen in the liquid crystal phase is parameterized according to its molecular surface. In this case, the calculation of elastic constants is combined with the Monte Carlo sampling of single molecule conformations. Using these different approaches, but the same description, at the level of molecular geometry and torsional potentials, we have investigated the elastic properties of the nematic phase of two typical mesogens, 4'-n-pentyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl and 4'-n-heptyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl. Both methods yield K3(bend) >K1 (splay) >K2 (twist), although there are some discrepancies in the average elastic constants and in their anisotropy. These are interpreted in terms of the different approximations and the different ways of accounting for the structural properties of molecules in the two approaches. In general, the results point to the role of the molecular shape, which is modulated by the conformational freedom and cannot be fully accounted for by a single descriptor such as the aspect ratio

  4. Complement involvement in periodontitis: molecular mechanisms and rational therapeutic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Hajishengallis, George; Maekawa, Tomoki; Abe, Toshiharu; Hajishengallis, Evlambia; Lambris, John D.

    2015-01-01

    The complement system is a network of interacting fluid-phase and cell surface-associated molecules that trigger, amplify, and regulate immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. Dysregulation of this finely balanced network can destabilize host-microbe homeostasis and cause inflammatory tissue damage. Evidence from clinical and animal model-based studies suggests that complement is implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, a polymicrobial community-induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tooth-supporting tissues. This review discusses molecular mechanisms of complement involvement in the dysbiotic transformation of the periodontal microbiome and the resulting destructive inflammation, culminating in loss of periodontal bone support. These mechanistic studies have additionally identified potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, interventional studies in preclinical models have provided proof-of-concept for using complement inhibitors for the treatment of human periodontitis. PMID:26306443

  5. Ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulation of electron transfer process: Fractional electron approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Xiancheng; Hu, Hao; Hu, Xiangqian; Cohen, Aron J.; Yang, Weitao

    2008-03-01

    Electron transfer (ET) reactions are one of the most important processes in chemistry and biology. Because of the quantum nature of the processes and the complicated roles of the solvent, theoretical study of ET processes is challenging. To simulate ET processes at the electronic level, we have developed an efficient density functional theory (DFT) quantum mechanical (QM)/molecular mechanical (MM) approach that uses the fractional number of electrons as the order parameter to calculate the redox free energy of ET reactions in solution. We applied this method to study the ET reactions of the aqueous metal complexes Fe(H2O)62+/3+ and Ru(H2O)62+/3+. The calculated oxidation potentials, 5.82 eV for Fe(II/III) and 5.14 eV for Ru(II/III), agree well with the experimental data, 5.50 and 4.96 eV, for iron and ruthenium, respectively. Furthermore, we have constructed the diabatic free energy surfaces from histogram analysis based on the molecular dynamics trajectories. The resulting reorganization energy and the diabatic activation energy also show good agreement with experimental data. Our calculations show that using the fractional number of electrons (FNE) as the order parameter in the thermodynamic integration process leads to efficient sampling and validate the ab initio QM/MM approach in the calculation of redox free energies.

  6. Computing pKa Values with a Mixing Hamiltonian Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Approach.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Fan, Xiaoli; Jin, Yingdi; Hu, Xiangqian; Hu, Hao

    2013-09-10

    Accurate computation of the pKa value of a compound in solution is important but challenging. Here, a new mixing quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) Hamiltonian method is developed to simulate the free-energy change associated with the protonation/deprotonation processes in solution. The mixing Hamiltonian method is designed for efficient quantum mechanical free-energy simulations by alchemically varying the nuclear potential, i.e., the nuclear charge of the transforming nucleus. In pKa calculation, the charge on the proton is varied in fraction between 0 and 1, corresponding to the fully deprotonated and protonated states, respectively. Inspired by the mixing potential QM/MM free energy simulation method developed previously [H. Hu and W. T. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123, 041102], this method succeeds many advantages of a large class of λ-coupled free-energy simulation methods and the linear combination of atomic potential approach. Theory and technique details of this method, along with the calculation results of the pKa of methanol and methanethiol molecules in aqueous solution, are reported. The results show satisfactory agreement with the experimental data. PMID:26592414

  7. Calcific Aortic Valve Disease: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Lerman, Daniel Alejandro; Prasad, Sai; Alotti, Nasri

    2016-01-01

    Calcification occurs in atherosclerotic vascular lesions and In the aortic valve. Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a slow, progressive disorder that ranges from mild valve thickening without obstruction of blood flow, termed aortic sclerosis, to severe calcification with impaired leaflet motion, termed aortic stenosis. In the past, this process was thought to be ‘degenerative’ because of time-dependent wear and tear of the leaflets, with passive calcium deposition. The presence of osteoblasts in atherosclerotic vascular lesions and in CAVD implies that calcification is an active, regulated process akin to atherosclerosis, with lipoprotein deposition and chronic inflammation. If calcification is active, via pro-osteogenic pathways, one might expect that development and progression of calcification could be inhibited. The overlap in the clinical factors associated with calcific valve disease and atherosclerosis provides further support for a shared disease mechanism. In our recent research we used an in vitro porcine valve interstitial cell model to study spontaneous calcification and potential promoters and inhibitors. Using this model, we found that denosumab, a human monoclonal antibody targeting the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand may, at a working concentration of 50 μg/mL, inhibit induced calcium deposition to basal levels.

  8. Molecular Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Vanommeslaeghe, Kenno; Guvench, Olgun; MacKerell, Alexander D.

    2014-01-01

    Molecular Mechanics (MM) force fields are the methods of choice for protein simulations, which are essential in the study of conformational flexibility. Given the importance of protein flexibility in drug binding, MM is involved in most if not all Computational Structure-Based Drug Discovery (CSBDD) projects. This section introduces the reader to the fundamentals of MM, with a special emphasis on how the target data used in the parametrization of force fields determine their strengths and weaknesses. Variations and recent developments such as polarizable force fields are discussed. The section ends with a brief overview of common force fields in CSBDD. PMID:23947650

  9. Exploring host-guest complexation mechanisms by a molecular dynamics/quantum mechanics/continuum solvent model approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Renlong; Nie, Xuemei; Zhou, Yumei; Wong, Chung F.; Gong, Xuedong; Jiang, Wei; Tang, Weihua; Wang, Yan A.; Heine, Thomas; Zhou, Baojing

    2016-03-01

    We introduce a molecular dynamics/quantum mechanics/continuum solvent model (MD/QM/CSM) approach to investigate binding mechanisms of host-guest systems. The representative conformations of host, guest, and their complex generated from MD simulations at the molecular-mechanics level are used for binding free energy calculations based on a QM/CSM model. We use this approach to explore the binding mechanisms of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and 2, 6-di-methyl-β-CD (DM-β-CD) with various guest molecules. Our results suggest that solvent effects play a more important role in determining the relative binding affinities of DM-β-CD than those of β-CD mainly because the former is more flexible than the latter.

  10. A Systems Biology Approach Reveals Converging Molecular Mechanisms that Link Different POPs to Common Metabolic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Patricia; Perlina, Ally; Mumtaz, Moiz; Fowler, Bruce A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: A number of epidemiological studies have identified statistical associations between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metabolic diseases, but testable hypotheses regarding underlying molecular mechanisms to explain these linkages have not been published. Objectives: We assessed the underlying mechanisms of POPs that have been associated with metabolic diseases; three well-known POPs [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), 2,2´,4,4´,5,5´-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153), and 4,4´-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE)] were studied. We used advanced database search tools to delineate testable hypotheses and to guide laboratory-based research studies into underlying mechanisms by which this POP mixture could produce or exacerbate metabolic diseases. Methods: For our searches, we used proprietary systems biology software (MetaCore™/MetaDrug™) to conduct advanced search queries for the underlying interactions database, followed by directional network construction to identify common mechanisms for these POPs within two or fewer interaction steps downstream of their primary targets. These common downstream pathways belong to various cytokine and chemokine families with experimentally well-documented causal associations with type 2 diabetes. Conclusions: Our systems biology approach allowed identification of converging pathways leading to activation of common downstream targets. To our knowledge, this is the first study to propose an integrated global set of step-by-step molecular mechanisms for a combination of three common POPs using a systems biology approach, which may link POP exposure to diseases. Experimental evaluation of the proposed pathways may lead to development of predictive biomarkers of the effects of POPs, which could translate into disease prevention and effective clinical treatment strategies. Citation: Ruiz P, Perlina A, Mumtaz M, Fowler BA. 2016. A systems biology approach reveals converging molecular mechanisms that

  11. A NEW APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING THE MOLECULAR MECHANISMS THROUGH WHICH ESTROGENS AFFECT COGNITION

    PubMed Central

    Frick, Karyn M.; Fernandez, Stephanie M.; Harburger, Lauren L.

    2009-01-01

    Traditional approaches to the study of hormones and cognition have been primarily observational or correlational in nature. Because this work does not permit causal relationships to be identified, very little is known about the specific molecules and cellular events through which hormones affect cognitive function. In this review, we propose a new approach to study hormones and memory, where the systematic blocking of cellular events can reveal which such events are necessary for hormones to influence memory consolidation. The discussion will focus on the modulation of the hippocampus and hippocampal memory by estrogens, given the extensive literature on this subject, and will illustrate how the application of this approach is beginning to reveal important new information about the molecular mechanisms through which estrogens modulate memory consolidation. The clinical relevance of this work will also be discussed. PMID:19913600

  12. Acceleration of Semiempirical Quantum Mechanical Calculations by Extended Lagrangian Molecular Dynamics Approach.

    PubMed

    Nam, Kwangho

    2013-08-13

    The implementation and performance of the atom-centered density matrix propagation (ADMP) [J. Chem. Phys. 2001, 114, 9758] and the curvy-steps (CURV) methods [J. Chem. Phys. 2004, 121, 1152] are described. These methods solve the electronic Schrödinger equation approximately by propagating the electronic degrees of freedom using the extended Lagrangian molecular dynamics (ELMD) simulation approach. The ADMP and CURV methods are implemented and parallelized to accelerate semiempirical quantum mechanical (QM) methods (such as the MNDO, AM1, PM3, MNDO/d, and AM1/d methods). Test calculations show that both the ADMP and the CURV methods are 2∼4 times faster than the Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics (BOMD) method and conserve the total energy well. The accuracy of the ADMP and CURV simulations is comparable to the BOMD simulations. The parallel implementation accelerates the MD simulation by up to 28 fold for the ADMP method and 25 fold for the CURV method, respectively, relative to the speed of the single core BOMD. In addition, a multiple time scale (MTS) approach is introduced to further speed up the semiempirical QM and QM/MM ELMD simulations. Since a larger integration time step is used for the propagation of the nuclear coordinates than that for the electronic degrees of freedom, the MTS approach allows the ELMD simulation to be carried out with a time step that is larger than the time step accessible by the original ADMP and CURV methods. It renders MD simulation to be carried out about 20 times faster than the BOMD simulation, and yields results that are comparable to the single time scale simulation results. The use of the methods introduced in the present work provides an efficient way to extend the length of the QM and QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations beyond the length accessible by BOMD simulation. PMID:26584095

  13. The mechanism of M.HhaI DNA C5 cytosine methyltransferase enzyme: A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaodong; Bruice, Thomas C.

    2006-01-01

    The mechanism of DNA cytosine-5-methylation catalyzed by the bacterial M.HhaI enzyme has been considered as a stepwise nucleophilic addition of Cys-81-S− to cytosine C6 followed by C5 nucleophilic replacement of the methyl of S-adenosyl-l-methionine to produce 5-methyl-6-Cys-81-S-5,6-dihydrocytosine. In this study, we show that the reaction is concerted from a series of energy calculations by using the quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical hybrid method. Deprotonation of 5-methyl-6-Cys-81-S-5,6-dihydrocytosine and expulsion of Cys-81-S− provides the product DNA 5-methylcytosine. A required base catalyst for this deprotonation is not available as a member of the active site structure. A water channel between the active site and bulk water allows entrance of solvent to the active site. Hydroxide at 10−7 mole fraction (pH = 7) is shown to be sufficient for the required catalysis. We also show that Glu-119-CO2H can divert the reaction by protonating cytosine N3 when Cys-81-S− attacks cytosine, to form the 6-Cys-81-S-3-hydrocytosine. The reactants and 6-Cys-81-S-3-hydrocytosine product are in rapid equilibrium, and this explains the observed hydrogen exchange of cytosine with solvent. PMID:16606828

  14. Moving beyond molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    A major goal in cell biology is to bridge the gap in our understanding of how molecular mechanisms contribute to cell and organismal physiology. Approaches well established in the physical sciences could be instrumental in achieving this goal. A better integration of the physical sciences with cell biology will therefore be an important step in our quest to decipher how cells work together to construct a living organism. PMID:25601400

  15. Molecular mechanisms of ionic liquid cytotoxicity probed by an integrated experimental and computational approach

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yoo, Brian; Jing, Benxin; Jones, Stuart E.; Lamberti, Gary A.; Zhu, Yingxi; Shah, Jindal K.; Maginn, Edward J.

    2016-02-02

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts that remain liquid down to low temperatures, and sometimes well below room temperature. ILs have been called “green solvents” because of their extraordinarily low vapor pressure and excellent solvation power, but ecotoxicology studies have shown that some ILs exhibit greater toxicity than traditional solvents. A fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for IL toxicity remains elusive. Here we show that one mode of IL toxicity on unicellular organisms is driven by swelling of the cell membrane. Cytotoxicity assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and molecular simulations reveal that IL cations nucleate morphological defects in themore » microbial cell membrane at concentrations near the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) of several microorganisms. Lastly, cytotoxicity increases with increasing alkyl chain length of the cation due to the ability of the longer alkyl chain to more easily embed in, and ultimately disrupt, the cell membrane.« less

  16. Molecular mechanisms of ionic liquid cytotoxicity probed by an integrated experimental and computational approach

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Brian; Jing, Benxin; Jones, Stuart E.; Lamberti, Gary A.; Zhu, Yingxi; Shah, Jindal K.; Maginn, Edward J.

    2016-01-01

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts that remain liquid down to low temperatures, and sometimes well below room temperature. ILs have been called “green solvents” because of their extraordinarily low vapor pressure and excellent solvation power, but ecotoxicology studies have shown that some ILs exhibit greater toxicity than traditional solvents. A fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for IL toxicity remains elusive. Here we show that one mode of IL toxicity on unicellular organisms is driven by swelling of the cell membrane. Cytotoxicity assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and molecular simulations reveal that IL cations nucleate morphological defects in the microbial cell membrane at concentrations near the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) of several microorganisms. Cytotoxicity increases with increasing alkyl chain length of the cation due to the ability of the longer alkyl chain to more easily embed in, and ultimately disrupt, the cell membrane. PMID:26831599

  17. Molecular mechanisms of ionic liquid cytotoxicity probed by an integrated experimental and computational approach.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Brian; Jing, Benxin; Jones, Stuart E; Lamberti, Gary A; Zhu, Yingxi; Shah, Jindal K; Maginn, Edward J

    2016-01-01

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts that remain liquid down to low temperatures, and sometimes well below room temperature. ILs have been called "green solvents" because of their extraordinarily low vapor pressure and excellent solvation power, but ecotoxicology studies have shown that some ILs exhibit greater toxicity than traditional solvents. A fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for IL toxicity remains elusive. Here we show that one mode of IL toxicity on unicellular organisms is driven by swelling of the cell membrane. Cytotoxicity assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and molecular simulations reveal that IL cations nucleate morphological defects in the microbial cell membrane at concentrations near the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) of several microorganisms. Cytotoxicity increases with increasing alkyl chain length of the cation due to the ability of the longer alkyl chain to more easily embed in, and ultimately disrupt, the cell membrane. PMID:26831599

  18. Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Polymer Composites-Molecular Dynamics Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Sumit; Chandra, Rakesh; Kumar, Pramod; Kumar, Navin

    2016-06-01

    Molecular dynamics simulation has been used to study the effect of carbon nanofiber (CNF) volume fraction ( V f) and aspect ratio ( l/d) on mechanical properties of CNF-reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites. Materials Studio 5.5 has been used as a tool for finding the modulus and damping in composites. CNF composition in PP was varied by volume from 0% to 16%. The aspect ratio of CNF was varied from l/d = 5 to l/d = 100. Results show that, with only 2% addition by volume of CNF in PP, E 11 increases 748%. Increase in E 22 is much less in comparison to the increase in E 11. With the increase in the CNF aspect ratio ( l/d) up to l/d = 60, the longitudinal loss factor ( η 11) decreases rapidly. The results of this study have been compared with those available in the literature.

  19. Molecular mechanics approach for design and conformational studies of macrocyclic ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohini, Akbar, Rifat; Kanungo, B. K.

    2015-08-01

    Computational Chemistry has revolutionized way of viewing molecules at the quantum mechanical scale by allowing simulating various chemical scenarios that are not possible to study in a laboratory. The remarkable applications of computational chemistry have promoted to design and test of the effectiveness of various methods for searching the conformational space of highly flexible molecules. In this context, we conducted a series of optimization and conformational searches on macrocyclic based ligands, 9N3Me5Ox, (1,4,7-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,4,7-triazacyclononane) and 12N3Me5Ox, (1,5,9-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,5,9-triazacyclododecane) and studied their selectivity and coordination behavior with some lanthanide metal ions in molecular mechanics and semiempirical methods. The methods include both systematic and random conformational searches for dihedral angles, torsion angles and Cartesian coordinates. Structural studies were carried out by using geometry optimization, coordination scans and electronic properties were evaluated. The results clearly show that chair-boat conformational isomer of 9N3Me5Ox ligand is more stable due to lower eclipsing ethane interaction and form stronger adduct complexes with lanthanide metal ion. This is because of the fact that, in a central unit of 9N3 of the ligand form six endo type bonds out of nine. The rest of bonds have trans conformation. In contrast, for the adduct of 12N3Me5Ox, two C-C bonds have on eclipsed conformation, and others have synclinal and antiperiplanar confirmations. The distortion of the two eclipsed conformations may affect the yields and the stability of the complexes.

  20. Molecular Characterisation of Transport Mechanisms at the Developing Mouse Blood–CSF Interface: A Transcriptome Approach

    PubMed Central

    Liddelow, Shane A.; Temple, Sally; Møllgård, Kjeld; Gehwolf, Renate; Wagner, Andrea; Bauer, Hannelore; Bauer, Hans-Christian; Phoenix, Timothy N.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Saunders, Norman R.

    2012-01-01

    Exchange mechanisms across the blood–cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier in the choroid plexuses within the cerebral ventricles control access of molecules to the central nervous system, especially in early development when the brain is poorly vascularised. However, little is known about their molecular or developmental characteristics. We examined the transcriptome of lateral ventricular choroid plexus in embryonic day 15 (E15) and adult mice. Numerous genes identified in the adult were expressed at similar levels at E15, indicating substantial plexus maturity early in development. Some genes coding for key functions (intercellular/tight junctions, influx/efflux transporters) changed expression during development and their expression patterns are discussed in the context of available physiological/permeability results in the developing brain. Three genes: Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (Sparc), Glycophorin A (Gypa) and C (Gypc), were identified as those whose gene products are candidates to target plasma proteins to choroid plexus cells. These were investigated using quantitative- and single-cell-PCR on plexus epithelial cells that were albumin- or total plasma protein-immunopositive. Results showed a significant degree of concordance between plasma protein/albumin immunoreactivity and expression of the putative transporters. Immunohistochemistry identified SPARC and GYPA in choroid plexus epithelial cells in the embryo with a subcellular distribution that was consistent with transport of albumin from blood to cerebrospinal fluid. In adult plexus this pattern of immunostaining was absent. We propose a model of the cellular mechanism in which SPARC and GYPA, together with identified vesicle-associated membrane proteins (VAMPs) may act as receptors/transporters in developmentally regulated transfer of plasma proteins at the blood–CSF interface. PMID:22457777

  1. Molecular mechanics approach for design and conformational studies of macrocyclic ligands

    SciTech Connect

    Rohini,; Akbar, Rifat; Kanungo, B. K.

    2015-08-28

    Computational Chemistry has revolutionized way of viewing molecules at the quantum mechanical scale by allowing simulating various chemical scenarios that are not possible to study in a laboratory. The remarkable applications of computational chemistry have promoted to design and test of the effectiveness of various methods for searching the conformational space of highly flexible molecules. In this context, we conducted a series of optimization and conformational searches on macrocyclic based ligands, 9N3Me5Ox, (1,4,7-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,4,7-triazacyclononane) and 12N3Me5Ox, (1,5,9-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,5,9-triazacyclododecane) and studied their selectivity and coordination behavior with some lanthanide metal ions in molecular mechanics and semiempirical methods. The methods include both systematic and random conformational searches for dihedral angles, torsion angles and Cartesian coordinates. Structural studies were carried out by using geometry optimization, coordination scans and electronic properties were evaluated. The results clearly show that chair-boat conformational isomer of 9N3Me5Ox ligand is more stable due to lower eclipsing ethane interaction and form stronger adduct complexes with lanthanide metal ion. This is because of the fact that, in a central unit of 9N3 of the ligand form six endo type bonds out of nine. The rest of bonds have trans conformation. In contrast, for the adduct of 12N3Me5Ox, two C-C bonds have on eclipsed conformation, and others have synclinal and antiperiplanar confirmations. The distortion of the two eclipsed conformations may affect the yields and the stability of the complexes.

  2. Waterlogging tolerance of crops: breeding, mechanism of tolerance, molecular approaches, and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, F; Rafii, M Y; Ismail, M R; Juraimi, A S; Rahim, H A; Asfaliza, R; Latif, M A

    2013-01-01

    Submergence or flood is one of the major harmful abiotic stresses in the low-lying countries and crop losses due to waterlogging are considerably high. Plant breeding techniques, conventional or genetic engineering, might be an effective and economic way of developing crops to grow successfully in waterlogged condition. Marker assisted selection (MAS) is a new and more effective approach which can identify genomic regions of crops under stress, which could not be done previously. The discovery of comprehensive molecular linkage maps enables us to do the pyramiding of desirable traits to improve in submergence tolerance through MAS. However, because of genetic and environmental interaction, too many genes encoding a trait, and using undesirable populations the mapping of QTL was hampered to ensure proper growth and yield under waterlogged conditions Steady advances in the field of genomics and proteomics over the years will be helpful to increase the breeding programs which will help to accomplish a significant progress in the field crop variety development and also improvement in near future. Waterlogging response of soybean and major cereal crops, as rice, wheat, barley, and maize and discovery of QTL related with tolerance of waterlogging, development of resistant variety, and, in addition, future prospects have also been discussed. PMID:23484164

  3. Waterlogging Tolerance of Crops: Breeding, Mechanism of Tolerance, Molecular Approaches, and Future Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, F.; Rafii, M. Y.; Ismail, M. R.; Juraimi, A. S.; Rahim, H. A.; Asfaliza, R.; Latif, M. A.

    2013-01-01

    Submergence or flood is one of the major harmful abiotic stresses in the low-lying countries and crop losses due to waterlogging are considerably high. Plant breeding techniques, conventional or genetic engineering, might be an effective and economic way of developing crops to grow successfully in waterlogged condition. Marker assisted selection (MAS) is a new and more effective approach which can identify genomic regions of crops under stress, which could not be done previously. The discovery of comprehensive molecular linkage maps enables us to do the pyramiding of desirable traits to improve in submergence tolerance through MAS. However, because of genetic and environmental interaction, too many genes encoding a trait, and using undesirable populations the mapping of QTL was hampered to ensure proper growth and yield under waterlogged conditions Steady advances in the field of genomics and proteomics over the years will be helpful to increase the breeding programs which will help to accomplish a significant progress in the field crop variety development and also improvement in near future. Waterlogging response of soybean and major cereal crops, as rice, wheat, barley, and maize and discovery of QTL related with tolerance of waterlogging, development of resistant variety, and, in addition, future prospects have also been discussed. PMID:23484164

  4. Niemann-Pick type C disease: molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Anton I.; Maxfield, Frederick R.

    2010-01-01

    Cholesterol is an important lipid of mammalian cells. Its unique physicochemical properties modulate membrane behavior and it serves as the precursor for steroid hormones, oxysterols and vitamin D. Cholesterol is effluxed from the late endosomes/lysosomes via the concerted action of at least two distinct proteins: Niemann-Pick C1 and Niemann-Pick C2. Mutations in these two proteins manifest as Niemann-Pick type C disease – a very rare, usually fatal, autosomal, recessive, neurovisceral, lysosomal storage disorder. In this review we discuss the possible mechanisms of action for NPC1 and NPC2 in mediating cholesterol efflux, as well as the different therapeutic approaches being pursued for the treatment of this lipid storage disorder. PMID:20807315

  5. Multi-Omics Approach Identifies Molecular Mechanisms of Plant-Fungus Mycorrhizal Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Peter E.; Sreedasyam, Avinash; Trivedi, Geetika; Desai, Shalaka; Dai, Yang; Cseke, Leland J.; Collart, Frank R.

    2016-01-01

    In mycorrhizal symbiosis, plant roots form close, mutually beneficial interactions with soil fungi. Before this mycorrhizal interaction can be established however, plant roots must be capable of detecting potential beneficial fungal partners and initiating the gene expression patterns necessary to begin symbiosis. To predict a plant root—mycorrhizal fungi sensor systems, we analyzed in vitro experiments of Populus tremuloides (aspen tree) and Laccaria bicolor (mycorrhizal fungi) interaction and leveraged over 200 previously published transcriptomic experimental data sets, 159 experimentally validated plant transcription factor binding motifs, and more than 120-thousand experimentally validated protein-protein interactions to generate models of pre-mycorrhizal sensor systems in aspen root. These sensor mechanisms link extracellular signaling molecules with gene regulation through a network comprised of membrane receptors, signal cascade proteins, transcription factors, and transcription factor biding DNA motifs. Modeling predicted four pre-mycorrhizal sensor complexes in aspen that interact with 15 transcription factors to regulate the expression of 1184 genes in response to extracellular signals synthesized by Laccaria. Predicted extracellular signaling molecules include common signaling molecules such as phenylpropanoids, salicylate, and jasmonic acid. This multi-omic computational modeling approach for predicting the complex sensory networks yielded specific, testable biological hypotheses for mycorrhizal interaction signaling compounds, sensor complexes, and mechanisms of gene regulation. PMID:26834754

  6. Multi-omics approach identifies molecular mechanisms of plant-fungus mycorrhizal interaction

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Larsen, Peter E.; Sreedasyam, Avinash; Trivedi, Geetika; Desai, Shalaka D.; Dai, Yang; Cseke, Leland; Collart, Frank R.

    2016-01-19

    In mycorrhizal symbiosis, plant roots form close, mutually beneficial interactions with soil fungi. Before this mycorrhizal interaction can be established however, plant roots must be capable of detecting potential beneficial fungal partners and initiating the gene expression patterns necessary to begin symbiosis. To predict a plant root – mycorrhizal fungi sensor systems, we analyzed in vitro experiments of Populus tremuloides (aspen tree) and Laccaria bicolor (mycorrhizal fungi) interaction and leveraged over 200 previously published transcriptomic experimental data sets, 159 experimentally validated plant transcription factor binding motifs, and more than 120-thousand experimentally validated protein-protein interactions to generate models of pre-mycorrhizal sensormore » systems in aspen root. These sensor mechanisms link extracellular signaling molecules with gene regulation through a network comprised of membrane receptors, signal cascade proteins, transcription factors, and transcription factor biding DNA motifs. Modeling predicted four pre-mycorrhizal sensor complexes in aspen that interact with fifteen transcription factors to regulate the expression of 1184 genes in response to extracellular signals synthesized by Laccaria. Predicted extracellular signaling molecules include common signaling molecules such as phenylpropanoids, salicylate, and, jasmonic acid. Lastly, this multi-omic computational modeling approach for predicting the complex sensory networks yielded specific, testable biological hypotheses for mycorrhizal interaction signaling compounds, sensor complexes, and mechanisms of gene regulation.« less

  7. A hierarchical approach to accurate predictions of macroscopic thermodynamic behavior from quantum mechanics and molecular simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrison, Stephen L.

    2005-07-01

    The combination of molecular simulations and potentials obtained from quantum chemistry is shown to be able to provide reasonably accurate thermodynamic property predictions. Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo simulations are used to understand the effects of small perturbations to various regions of the model Lennard-Jones 12-6 potential. However, when the phase behavior and second virial coefficient are scaled by the critical properties calculated for each potential, the results obey a corresponding states relation suggesting a non-uniqueness problem for interaction potentials fit to experimental phase behavior. Several variations of a procedure collectively referred to as quantum mechanical Hybrid Methods for Interaction Energies (HM-IE) are developed and used to accurately estimate interaction energies from CCSD(T) calculations with a large basis set in a computationally efficient manner for the neon-neon, acetylene-acetylene, and nitrogen-benzene systems. Using these results and methods, an ab initio, pairwise-additive, site-site potential for acetylene is determined and then improved using results from molecular simulations using this initial potential. The initial simulation results also indicate that a limited range of energies important for accurate phase behavior predictions. Second virial coefficients calculated from the improved potential indicate that one set of experimental data in the literature is likely erroneous. This prescription is then applied to methanethiol. Difficulties in modeling the effects of the lone pair electrons suggest that charges on the lone pair sites negatively impact the ability of the intermolecular potential to describe certain orientations, but that the lone pair sites may be necessary to reasonably duplicate the interaction energies for several orientations. Two possible methods for incorporating the effects of three-body interactions into simulations within the pairwise-additivity formulation are also developed. A low density

  8. A Molecular Mechanics Approach to Modeling Protein-Ligand Interactions: Relative Binding Affinities in Congeneric Series

    PubMed Central

    Rapp, Chaya S.; Kalyanaraman, Chakrapani; Schiffmiller, Aviva; Schoenbrun, Esther Leah; Jacobson, Matthew P.

    2011-01-01

    We introduce the “Prime-ligand” method for ranking ligands in congeneric series. The method employs a single scoring function, the OPLS-AA/GBSA molecular mechanics/implicit solvent model, for all stages of sampling and scoring. We evaluate the method using 12 test sets of congeneric series for which experimental binding data is available in the literature, as well as the structure of one member of the series bound to the protein. Ligands are ‘docked’ by superimposing a common stem fragment among the compounds in the series using a crystal complex from the Protein Databank, and sampling the conformational space of the variable region. Our results show good correlation between our predicted rankings and experimental data for cases in which binding affinities differ by at least one order of magnitude. For 11 out of 12 cases, >90% of such ligand pairs could be correctly ranked, while for the remaining case, Factor Xa, 76% of such pairs were correctly ranked. A small number of compounds could not be docked using the current protocol due to the large size of functional groups that could not be accommodated by a rigid receptor. CPU requirements for the method, involving CPU-minutes per ligand, are modest compared with more rigorous methods that use similar force fields, such as free energy perturbation. We also benchmark the scoring function using series of ligand bound to the same protein within the CSAR data set. We demonstrate that energy minimization of ligand in the crystal structures is critical to obtain any correlation with experimentally determined binding affinities. PMID:21780805

  9. A Module Analysis Approach to Investigate Molecular Mechanism of TCM Formula: A Trial on Shu-feng-jie-du Formula

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Fangbo; Tang, Shihuan; Liu, Xi; Gao, Yibo; Wang, Yanping

    2013-01-01

    At the molecular level, it is acknowledged that a TCM formula is often a complex system, which challenges researchers to fully understand its underlying pharmacological action. However, module detection technique developed from complex network provides new insight into systematic investigation of the mode of action of a TCM formula from the molecule perspective. We here proposed a computational approach integrating the module detection technique into a 2-class heterogeneous network (2-HN) which models the complex pharmacological system of a TCM formula. This approach takes three steps: construction of a 2-HN, identification of primary pharmacological units, and pathway analysis. We employed this approach to study Shu-feng-jie-du (SHU) formula, which aimed at discovering its molecular mechanism in defending against influenza infection. Actually, four primary pharmacological units were identified from the 2-HN for SHU formula and further analysis revealed numbers of biological pathways modulated by the four pharmacological units. 24 out of 40 enriched pathways that were ranked in top 10 corresponding to each of the four pharmacological units were found to be involved in the process of influenza infection. Therefore, this approach is capable of uncovering the mode of action underlying a TCM formula via module analysis. PMID:24376467

  10. Molecular mechanisms of epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Staley, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Decades of experimental work have established an imbalance of excitation and inhibition as the leading mechanism of the transition from normal brain function to seizure. In epilepsy, these transitions are rare and abrupt. Transition processes incorporating positive feedback, such as activity-dependent disinhibition, could provide these unique timing features. A rapidly expanding array of genetic etiologies will help delineate the molecular mechanism(s). This delineation will entail quite a bit of cell biology. The genes discovered to date are currently more remarkable for their diversity than their similarities. PMID:25710839

  11. Systematic Analysis of the Molecular Mechanism Underlying Decidualization Using a Text Mining Approach.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ji-Long; Wang, Tong-Song

    2015-01-01

    Decidualization is a crucial process for successful embryo implantation and pregnancy in humans. Defects in decidualization during early pregnancy are associated with several pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and recurrent pregnancy loss. However, the mechanism underlying decidualization remains poorly understood. In the present study, we performed a systematic analysis of decidualization-related genes using text mining. We identified 286 genes for humans and 287 genes for mice respectively, with an overlap of 111 genes shared by both species. Through enrichment test, we demonstrated that although divergence was observed, the majority of enriched gene ontology terms and pathways were shared by both species, suggesting that functional categories were more conserved than individual genes. We further constructed a decidualization-related protein-protein interaction network consisted of 344 nodes connected via 1,541 edges. We prioritized genes in this network and identified 12 genes that may be key regulators of decidualization. These findings would provide some clues for further research on the mechanism underlying decidualization. PMID:26222155

  12. Systematic Analysis of the Molecular Mechanism Underlying Decidualization Using a Text Mining Approach

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ji-Long; Wang, Tong-Song

    2015-01-01

    Decidualization is a crucial process for successful embryo implantation and pregnancy in humans. Defects in decidualization during early pregnancy are associated with several pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and recurrent pregnancy loss. However, the mechanism underlying decidualization remains poorly understood. In the present study, we performed a systematic analysis of decidualization-related genes using text mining. We identified 286 genes for humans and 287 genes for mice respectively, with an overlap of 111 genes shared by both species. Through enrichment test, we demonstrated that although divergence was observed, the majority of enriched gene ontology terms and pathways were shared by both species, suggesting that functional categories were more conserved than individual genes. We further constructed a decidualization-related protein-protein interaction network consisted of 344 nodes connected via 1,541 edges. We prioritized genes in this network and identified 12 genes that may be key regulators of decidualization. These findings would provide some clues for further research on the mechanism underlying decidualization. PMID:26222155

  13. Combining classical and molecular approaches elaborates on the complexity of mechanisms underpinning anterior regeneration.

    PubMed

    Evans, Deborah J; Owlarn, Suthira; Tejada Romero, Belen; Chen, Chen; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2011-01-01

    The current model of planarian anterior regeneration evokes the establishment of low levels of Wnt signalling at anterior wounds, promoting anterior polarity and subsequent elaboration of anterior fate through the action of the TALE class homeodomain PREP. The classical observation that decapitations positioned anteriorly will regenerate heads more rapidly than posteriorly positioned decapitations was among the first to lead to the proposal of gradients along an anteroposterior (AP) axis in a developmental context. An explicit understanding of this phenomenon is not included in the current model of anterior regeneration. This raises the question what the underlying molecular and cellular basis of this temporal gradient is, whether it can be explained by current models and whether understanding the gradient will shed light on regenerative events. Differences in anterior regeneration rate are established very early after amputation and this gradient is dependent on the activity of Hedgehog (Hh) signalling. Animals induced to produce two tails by either Smed-APC-1(RNAi) or Smed-ptc(RNAi) lose anterior fate but form previously described ectopic anterior brain structures. Later these animals form peri-pharyngeal brain structures, which in Smed-ptc(RNAi) grow out of the body establishing a new A/P axis. Combining double amputation and hydroxyurea treatment with RNAi experiments indicates that early ectopic brain structures are formed by uncommitted stem cells that have progressed through S-phase of the cell cycle at the time of amputation. Our results elaborate on the current simplistic model of both AP axis and brain regeneration. We find evidence of a gradient of hedgehog signalling that promotes posterior fate and temporarily inhibits anterior regeneration. Our data supports a model for anterior brain regeneration with distinct early and later phases of regeneration. Together these insights start to delineate the interplay between discrete existing, new, and then

  14. Ecotoxicogenomic Approaches for Understanding Molecular Mechanisms of Environmental Chemical Toxicity Using Aquatic Invertebrate, Daphnia Model Organism

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyo Jeong; Koedrith, Preeyaporn; Seo, Young Rok

    2015-01-01

    Due to the rapid advent in genomics technologies and attention to ecological risk assessment, the term “ecotoxicogenomics” has recently emerged to describe integration of omics studies (i.e., transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and epigenomics) into ecotoxicological fields. Ecotoxicogenomics is defined as study of an entire set of genes or proteins expression in ecological organisms to provide insight on environmental toxicity, offering benefit in ecological risk assessment. Indeed, Daphnia is a model species to study aquatic environmental toxicity designated in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s toxicity test guideline and to investigate expression patterns using ecotoxicology-oriented genomics tools. Our main purpose is to demonstrate the potential utility of gene expression profiling in ecotoxicology by identifying novel biomarkers and relevant modes of toxicity in Daphnia magna. These approaches enable us to address adverse phenotypic outcomes linked to particular gene function(s) and mechanistic understanding of aquatic ecotoxicology as well as exploration of useful biomarkers. Furthermore, key challenges that currently face aquatic ecotoxicology (e.g., predicting toxicant responses among a broad spectrum of phytogenetic groups, predicting impact of temporal exposure on toxicant responses) necessitate the parallel use of other model organisms, both aquatic and terrestrial. By investigating gene expression profiling in an environmentally important organism, this provides viable support for the utility of ecotoxicogenomics. PMID:26035755

  15. Molecular mechanisms of medullary thyroid carcinoma: current approaches in diagnosis and treatment.

    PubMed

    Boikos, S A; Stratakis, C A

    2008-01-01

    Medullary thyroid carcinoma is the most common cause of death among patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) 2. Dominant-activating mutations in the RET proto-oncogene have been shown to have a central role in the development of MEN 2 and sporadic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC): about half of sporadic MTCs are caused by somatic genetic changes of the RET oncogene. Inactivating mutations of the same gene lead to Hirschprung disease and other developmental defects. Thus, RET genetic changes lead to phenotypes that largely depend on their location in the gene and the function and timing of developmental expression of the RET protein. The reproducibility of the phenotype caused by each RET genotype led to MEN 2/MTC being among the first conditions in Medicine where a drastic measure is applied to prevent cancer, following genetic testing: thyroidectomy is currently routinely done in young children that are carriers of MTC-predisposing RET mutations. RET inhibitors have been also developed recently and are used in various types of thyroid and other cancers. This report reviews the RET involvement in the etiology of MEN 2 and MTC and updates the therapeutic approach in preclinical and clinical studies. PMID:17952863

  16. Toward a new approach for determination of solute's charge distribution to analyze interatomic electrostatic interactions in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Kenta; Koyano, Yoshiyuki; Okamoto, Takuya; Asada, Toshio; Koga, Nobuaki; Nagaoka, Masataka

    2011-11-15

    We present an alternative approach to determine "density-dependent property"-derived charges for molecules in the condensed phase. In the case of a solution, it is essential to take into consideration the electron polarization of molecules in the active site of this system. The solute and solvent molecules in this site have to be described by a quantum mechanical technique and the others are allowed to be treated by a molecular mechanical method (QM/MM scheme). For calculations based on this scheme, using the forces and interaction energy as density-dependent property our charges from interaction energy and forces (CHIEF) approach can provide the atom-centered charges on the solute atoms. These charges reproduce well the electrostatic potentials around the solvent molecules and present properly the picture of the electron density of the QM subsystem in the solution system. Thus, the CHIEF charges can be considered as the atomic charges under the conditions of the QM/MM simulation, and then enable one to analyze electrostatic interactions between atoms in the QM and MM regions. This approach would give a view of the QM nuclei and electrons different from the conventional methods. PMID:21815177

  17. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF PREECLAMPSIA

    PubMed Central

    Mutter, Walter P.; Karumanchi, S. Ananth

    2008-01-01

    Preeclampsia is a major cause of maternal, fetal, and neonatal mortality worldwide. The mechanisms that initiate preeclampsia in humans have been elusive, but some parts of the puzzle have begun to come together. A key discovery in the field was the realization that its major phenotypes, such as hypertension and proteinuria, are due to excess circulating soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1, also referred to as sVEGFR-1). sFlt-1 is an endogenous anti-angiogenic protein that is made by the placenta and acts by neutralizing the pro-angiogenic proteins vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PlGF). More recently, soluble endoglin, another circulating anti-angiogenic protein was found to synergize with sFlt1 and contribute to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. Abnormalities in these circulating angiogenic proteins are not only present during clinical preeclampsia, but also antedate clinical symptoms by several weeks. This review will summarize our current understanding of the molecular mechanism of preeclampsia, with an emphasis on the recently characterized circulating anti-angiogenic proteins. PMID:17553534

  18. Molecular mechanisms of cancer.

    PubMed Central

    Koeffler, H. P.; McCormick, F.; Denny, C.

    1991-01-01

    Cancer is caused by specific DNA damage. Several common mechanisms that cause DNA damage result in specific malignant disorders: First, proto-oncogenes can be activated by translocations. For example, translocation of the c-myc proto-oncogene from chromosome 8 to one of the immunoglobulin loci on chromosomes 2, 14, or 22 results in Burkitt's lymphomas. Translocation of the c-abl proto-oncogene from chromosome 9 to the BCR gene located on chromosome 22 produces a hybrid BCR/ABL protein resulting in chronic myelogenous leukemia. Second, proto-oncogenes can be activated by point mutations. For example, point mutations of genes coding for guanosine triphosphate-binding proteins, such as H-, K-, or N-ras or G proteins, can be oncogenic as noted in a large variety of malignant neoplasms. Proteins from these mutated genes are constitutively active rather than being faithful second messengers of periodic extracellular signals. Third, mutations that inactivate a gene can result in tumors if the product of the gene normally constrains cellular proliferation. Functional loss of these "tumor suppressor genes" is found in many tumors such as colon and lung cancers. The diagnosis, classification, and treatment of cancers will be greatly enhanced by understanding their abnormalities at the molecular level. PMID:1815390

  19. Molecular Approaches to Malaria 2000.

    PubMed

    Cowman, Alan F.; Cooke, Brian M.

    2000-04-01

    For more than 20 years now, Australia has been officially free of endemic malaria, but this devastating disease once again made a major impact on the continent in February 2000 when Melbourne hosted Australia's first major international conference on 'Molecular Approaches to Malaria' (Lorne, Australia, 2-5 February 2000). The global research effort toward our increased understanding of the pathogenesis and control of malaria in the post-genomics era was discussed and debated at length over 4 days packed with science encompassing molecular biology, cell biology, clinical studies, genomics, vaccines and pathogenic mechanisms. More than 260 researchers from 18 countries worldwide participated in this interdisciplinary meeting which comprised 57 oral presentations and 122 posters. Here we summarize some presentations pertinent to the field of drug action and resistance. Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd. PMID:11498369

  20. Investigation of mechanical strength of 2D nanoscale structures using a molecular dynamics based computational intelligence approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garg, A.; Vijayaraghavan, V.; Wong, C. H.; Tai, K.; Singru, Pravin M.; Mahapatra, S. S.; Sangwan, K. S.

    2015-09-01

    A molecular dynamics (MD) based computational intelligence (CI) approach is proposed to investigate the Young modulus of two graphene sheets: Armchair and Zigzag. In this approach, the effect of aspect ratio, the temperature, the number of atomic planes and the vacancy defects on the Young modulus of two graphene sheets are first analyzed using the MD simulation. The data obtained using the MD simulation is then fed into the paradigm of a CI cluster comprising of genetic programming, which was specifically designed to formulate the explicit relationship of Young modulus of two graphene structures. We find that the MD-based-CI model is able to model the Young modulus of two graphene structures very well, which compiles in good agreement with that of experimental results obtained from the literature. Additionally, we also conducted sensitivity and parametric analysis and found that the number of defects has the most dominating influence on the Young modulus of two graphene structures.

  1. Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields.

    PubMed

    Cieplak, Piotr; Dupradeau, François-Yves; Duan, Yong; Wang, Junmei

    2009-08-19

    The focus here is on incorporating electronic polarization into classical molecular mechanical force fields used for macromolecular simulations. First, we briefly examine currently used molecular mechanical force fields and the current status of intermolecular forces as viewed by quantum mechanical approaches. Next, we demonstrate how some components of quantum mechanical energy are effectively incorporated into classical molecular mechanical force fields. Finally, we assess the modeling methods of one such energy component-polarization energy-and present an overview of polarizable force fields and their current applications. Incorporating polarization effects into current force fields paves the way to developing potentially more accurate, though more complex, parameterizations that can be used for more realistic molecular simulations. PMID:21828594

  2. Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields

    PubMed Central

    Cieplak, Piotr; Dupradeau, François-Yves; Duan, Yong; Wang, Junmei

    2014-01-01

    The focus here is on incorporating electronic polarization into classical molecular mechanical force fields used for macromolecular simulations. First, we briefly examine currently used molecular mechanical force fields and the current status of intermolecular forces as viewed by quantum mechanical approaches. Next, we demonstrate how some components of quantum mechanical energy are effectively incorporated into classical molecular mechanical force fields. Finally, we assess the modeling methods of one such energy component—polarization energy—and present an overview of polarizable force fields and their current applications. Incorporating polarization effects into current force fields paves the way to developing potentially more accurate, though more complex, parameterizations that can be used for more realistic molecular simulations. PMID:21828594

  3. A Novel Perspective and Approach to Intestinal Octreotide Absorption: Sinomenine-Mediated Reversible Tight Junction Opening and Its Molecular Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yuling; Duan, Zhijun; Tian, Yan; Liu, Zhen; Wang, Qiuming

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we assessed the effects of sinomenine (SN) on intestinal octreotide (OCT) absorption both in Caco-2 cell monolayers and in rats. We also investigated the molecular mechanisms of tight junction (TJ) disruption and recovery by SN-mediated changes in the claudin-1 and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathway. The data showed that exposure to SN resulted in a significant decrease in the expression of claudin-1, which represented TJ weakening and paracellular permeability enhancement. Then, the recovery of TJ after SN removal required an increase in claudin-1, which demonstrated the transient and reversible opening for TJ. Meanwhile, the SN-mediated translocation of PKC-α from the cytosol to the membrane was found to prove PKC activation. Finally, SN significantly improved the absolute OCT bioavailability in rats and the transport rate in Caco-2 cell monolayers. We conclude that SN has the ability to enhance intestinal OCT absorption and that these mechanisms are related at least in part to the important role of claudin-1 in SN-mediated, reversible TJ opening via PKC activation. PMID:23787475

  4. A combined cryo-EM and molecular dynamics approach reveals the mechanism of ErmBL-mediated translation arrest

    PubMed Central

    Arenz, Stefan; Bock, Lars V.; Graf, Michael; Innis, C. Axel; Beckmann, Roland; Grubmüller, Helmut; Vaiana, Andrea C.; Wilson, Daniel N.

    2016-01-01

    Nascent polypeptides can induce ribosome stalling, regulating downstream genes. Stalling of ErmBL peptide translation in the presence of the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin leads to resistance in Streptococcus sanguis. To reveal this stalling mechanism we obtained 3.6-Å-resolution cryo-EM structures of ErmBL-stalled ribosomes with erythromycin. The nascent peptide adopts an unusual conformation with the C-terminal Asp10 side chain in a previously unseen rotated position. Together with molecular dynamics simulations, the structures indicate that peptide-bond formation is inhibited by displacement of the peptidyl-tRNA A76 ribose from its canonical position, and by non-productive interactions of the A-tRNA Lys11 side chain with the A-site crevice. These two effects combine to perturb peptide-bond formation by increasing the distance between the attacking Lys11 amine and the Asp10 carbonyl carbon. The interplay between drug, peptide and ribosome uncovered here also provides insight into the fundamental mechanism of peptide-bond formation. PMID:27380950

  5. A combined cryo-EM and molecular dynamics approach reveals the mechanism of ErmBL-mediated translation arrest.

    PubMed

    Arenz, Stefan; Bock, Lars V; Graf, Michael; Innis, C Axel; Beckmann, Roland; Grubmüller, Helmut; Vaiana, Andrea C; Wilson, Daniel N

    2016-01-01

    Nascent polypeptides can induce ribosome stalling, regulating downstream genes. Stalling of ErmBL peptide translation in the presence of the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin leads to resistance in Streptococcus sanguis. To reveal this stalling mechanism we obtained 3.6-Å-resolution cryo-EM structures of ErmBL-stalled ribosomes with erythromycin. The nascent peptide adopts an unusual conformation with the C-terminal Asp10 side chain in a previously unseen rotated position. Together with molecular dynamics simulations, the structures indicate that peptide-bond formation is inhibited by displacement of the peptidyl-tRNA A76 ribose from its canonical position, and by non-productive interactions of the A-tRNA Lys11 side chain with the A-site crevice. These two effects combine to perturb peptide-bond formation by increasing the distance between the attacking Lys11 amine and the Asp10 carbonyl carbon. The interplay between drug, peptide and ribosome uncovered here also provides insight into the fundamental mechanism of peptide-bond formation. PMID:27380950

  6. A combined cryo-EM and molecular dynamics approach reveals the mechanism of ErmBL-mediated translation arrest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arenz, Stefan; Bock, Lars V.; Graf, Michael; Innis, C. Axel; Beckmann, Roland; Grubmüller, Helmut; Vaiana, Andrea C.; Wilson, Daniel N.

    2016-07-01

    Nascent polypeptides can induce ribosome stalling, regulating downstream genes. Stalling of ErmBL peptide translation in the presence of the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin leads to resistance in Streptococcus sanguis. To reveal this stalling mechanism we obtained 3.6-Å-resolution cryo-EM structures of ErmBL-stalled ribosomes with erythromycin. The nascent peptide adopts an unusual conformation with the C-terminal Asp10 side chain in a previously unseen rotated position. Together with molecular dynamics simulations, the structures indicate that peptide-bond formation is inhibited by displacement of the peptidyl-tRNA A76 ribose from its canonical position, and by non-productive interactions of the A-tRNA Lys11 side chain with the A-site crevice. These two effects combine to perturb peptide-bond formation by increasing the distance between the attacking Lys11 amine and the Asp10 carbonyl carbon. The interplay between drug, peptide and ribosome uncovered here also provides insight into the fundamental mechanism of peptide-bond formation.

  7. Molecular Approaches to Sarcoma Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, R. J.; Tarantolo, S. R.

    2002-01-01

    Soft tissue sarcomas comprise a heterogeneous group of aggressive tumors that have a relatively poor prognosis. Although conventional therapeutic regimens can effectively cytoreduce the overall tumor mass, they fail to consistently achieve a curative outcome. Alternative gene-based approaches that counteract the underlying neoplastic process by eliminating the clonal aberrations that potentiate malignant behavior have been proposed. As compared to the accumulation of gene alterations associated with epithelial carcinomas, sarcomas are frequently characterized by the unique presence of a single chromosomal translocation in each histological subtype. Similar to the Philadelphia chromosome associated with CML, these clonal abnormalities result in the fusion of two independent unrelated genes to generate a unique chimeric protein that displays aberrant activity believed to initiate cellular transformation. Secondary gene mutations may provide an additional growth advantage that further contributes to malignant progression. The recent clinical success of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, STI571, suggests that therapeutic approaches specifically directed against essential survival factors in sarcoma cells may be effective. This review summarizes published approaches targeting a specific molecular mechanism associated with sarcomagenesis. The strategy and significance of published translational studies in six distinct areas are presented. These include: (1) the disruption of chimeric transcription factor activity; (2) inhibition of growth stimulatory post-translational modifications; (3) restoration of tumor suppressor function; (4) interference with angiogenesis; (5) induction of apoptotic pathways; and (6) introduction of toxic gene products. The potential for improving outcomes in sarcoma patients and the conceptual obstacles to be overcome are discussed. PMID:18521343

  8. Carbyne: The Molecular Approach.

    PubMed

    Tykwinski, Rik R

    2015-12-01

    For the last 60+ years, the synthesis and study of cumulenes and polyynes have been the focus of a small, but dedicated, group of researchers. Many of the remarkable electronic, optical, and structural properties of cumulenes and polyynes had already been identified in the earliest reports. The molecular lengths achievable by the initial syntheses were, unfortunately, somewhat limited by synthetic methods available. For the past 15 years, we have worked toward expanding on the synthesis of cumulenes and polyynes through the development of new methods and stabilization motifs. As new compounds have become available, homologous series of cumulenes and polyynes have then been examined as a function of molecular length. While we are not yet there, we would like to eventually provide a general description of the sp-carbon allotrope carbyne, and this account presents some of our efforts toward this goal. PMID:26200096

  9. Insights into the inhibition and mechanism of compounds against LPS-induced PGE2 production: a pathway network-based approach and molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinzhuang; Gu, Jiangyong; Cao, Liang; Ma, Yimin; Su, Zhenzhen; Luo, Fang; Wang, Zhenzhong; Li, Na; Yuan, Gu; Chen, Lirong; Xu, Xiaojie; Xiao, Wei

    2014-12-01

    In comparison to the current target-based screening approach, it is increasingly evident that active lead compounds based on disease-related phenotypes are more likely to be translated to clinical trials during drug development. That is, because human diseases are in essence the outcome of the abnormal function of multiple genes, especially in complex diseases. Therefore, as a conventional technology in the early phase of active lead compound discovery, computational methods that can connect molecular interactions and disease-related phenotypes to evaluate the efficacy of compounds are in urgently required. In this work, a computational approach that integrates molecular docking and pathway network analysis (network efficiency and network flux) was developed to evaluate the efficacy of a compound against LPS-induced Prostaglandin E2(PGE2) production. The predicted results were then validated in vitro, and a correlation with the experimental results was analyzed using linear regression. In addition, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to explore the molecular mechanism of the most potent compounds. There were 12 hits out of 28 predicted ingredients separated from Reduning injection (RDN). The predicted results have a good agreement with the experimental inhibitory potency (IC50) (correlation coefficient = 0.80). The most potent compounds could target several proteins to regulate the pathway network. This might partly interpret the molecular mechanism of RDN on fever. Meanwhile, the good correlation of the computational model with the wet experimental results might bridge the gap between molecule-target interactions and phenotypic response, especially for multi-target compounds. Therefore, it would be helpful for active lead compound discovery, the understanding of the multiple targets and synergic essence of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). PMID:25228393

  10. Molecular mechanism of preconditioning.

    PubMed

    Das, Manika; Das, Dipak K

    2008-04-01

    During the last 20 years, since the appearance of the first publication on ischemic preconditioning (PC), our knowledge of this phenomenon has increased exponentially. PC is defined as an increased tolerance to ischemia and reperfusion induced by previous sublethal period ischemia. This is the most powerful mechanism known to date for limiting the infract size. This adaptation occurs in a biphasic pattern (i) early preconditioning (lasts for 2-3 h) and (ii) late preconditioning (starting at 24 h lasting until 72-96 h after initial ischemia). Early preconditioning is more potent than delayed preconditioning in reducing infract size. Late preconditioning attenuates myocardial stunning and requires genomic activation with de novo protein synthesis. Early preconditioning depends on adenosine, opioids and to a lesser degree, on bradykinin and prostaglandins, released during ischemia. These molecules activate G-protein-coupled receptor, initiate activation of K(ATP) channel and generate oxygen-free radicals, and stimulate a series of protein kinases, which include protein kinase C, tyrosine kinase, and members of MAP kinase family. Late preconditioning is triggered by a similar sequence of events, but in addition essentially depends on newly synthesized proteins, which comprise iNOS, COX-2, manganese superoxide dismutase, and possibly heat shock proteins. The final mechanism of PC is still not very clear. The present review focuses on the possible role signaling molecules that regulate cardiomyocyte life and death during ischemia and reperfusion. PMID:18344203

  11. Classical Electrodynamics Coupled to Quantum Mechanics for Calculation of Molecular Optical Properties: a RT-TDDFT/FDTD Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Hanning; McMahon, J. M.; Ratner, Mark A.; Schatz, George C.

    2010-09-02

    A new multiscale computational methodology was developed to effectively incorporate the scattered electric field of a plasmonic nanoparticle into a quantum mechanical (QM) optical property calculation for a nearby dye molecule. For a given location of the dye molecule with respect to the nanoparticle, a frequency-dependent scattering response function was first determined by the classical electrodynamics (ED) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) approach. Subsequently, the time-dependent scattered electric field at the dye molecule was calculated using the FDTD scattering response function through a multidimensional Fourier transform to reflect the effect of polarization of the nanoparticle on the local field at the molecule. Finally, a real-time time-dependent density function theory (RT-TDDFT) approach was employed to obtain a desired optical property (such as absorption cross section) of the dye molecule in the presence of the nanoparticle’s scattered electric field. Our hybrid QM/ED methodology was demonstrated by investigating the absorption spectrum of the N3 dye molecule and the Raman spectrum of pyridine, both of which were shown to be significantly enhanced by a 20 nm diameter silver sphere. In contrast to traditional quantum mechanical optical calculations in which the field at the molecule is entirely determined by intensity and polarization direction of the incident light, in this work we show that the light propagation direction as well as polarization and intensity are important to nanoparticle-bound dye molecule response. At no additional computation cost compared to conventional ED and QM calculations, this method provides a reliable way to couple the response of the dye molecule’s individual electrons to the collective dielectric response of the nanoparticle.

  12. Molecular Mechanism of Water Evaporation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagata, Yuki; Usui, Kota; Bonn, Mischa

    2015-12-01

    Evaporation is the process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor, and is a key step in Earth's water cycle. At the molecular level, evaporation requires breaking at least one very strong intermolecular bond between two water molecules at the interface. Despite the importance of this process the molecular mechanism by which an evaporating water molecule gains sufficient energy to escape from the surface has remained elusive. Here, we show, using molecular dynamics simulations at the water-air interface with polarizable classical force field models, that the high kinetic energy of the evaporated water molecule is enabled by a well-timed making and breaking of hydrogen bonds involving at least three water molecules at the interface, the recoil of which allows one of the molecules to escape. The evaporation of water is thus enabled by concerted, ultrafast hydrogen-bond dynamics of interfacial water, and follows one specific molecular pathway.

  13. An Investigation of the Molecular Mechanisms Engaged Prior and Subsequent to the Development of Alzheimer Disease Neuropathology in Down Syndrome: A Proteomics Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cenini, Giovanna; Fiorini, Ada; Sultana, Rukhsana; Perluigi, Marzia; Cai, Jian; Klein, Jon B.; Head, Elizabeth; Butterfield, D. Allan

    2014-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is one of the most common causes of intellectual disability, due to trisomy of all or part of chromosome 21. DS is also associated with the development of Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathology after the age of 40 years. To better clarify the cellular and metabolic pathways that could contribute to the differences in DS brain, in particular those involved in the onset of neurodegeneration, we analyzed the frontal cortex of DS subjects with or without significant AD pathology in comparison with age-matched controls, using a proteomics approach. Proteomics represents an advantageous tool to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease. From these analyses, we investigated the effects that age, DS, and AD neuropathology could have on protein expression levels. Our results show overlapping and independent molecular pathways (including energy metabolism, oxidative damage, protein synthesis and autophagy) contributing to DS, to aging and to the presence of AD pathology in DS. Investigation of pathomechanisms involved in DS with AD, may provide putative targets for therapeutic approaches to slow the development of AD. PMID:25151119

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Arterial Stiffening

    PubMed Central

    Cecelja, Marina; Chowienczyk, Phil

    2016-01-01

    Stiffening of large arteries is a hallmark of vascular aging and one of the most important determinants of the age-related increase in blood pressure and cardiovascular disease events. Despite a substantial genetic component, the molecular mechanisms underlying phenotypic variability in arterial stiffness remain unknown. Previous genetic studies have identified several genetic variants that are associated with measures of arterial stiffness. Here, we review the relevant advances in the identification of pathways underlying arterial stiffness from genomic studies. PMID:27493903

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Nickel Allergy

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Masako; Arakaki, Rieko; Yamada, Akiko; Tsunematsu, Takaaki; Kudo, Yasusei; Ishimaru, Naozumi

    2016-01-01

    Allergic contact hypersensitivity to metals is a delayed-type allergy. Although various metals are known to produce an allergic reaction, nickel is the most frequent cause of metal allergy. Researchers have attempted to elucidate the mechanisms of metal allergy using animal models and human patients. Here, the immunological and molecular mechanisms of metal allergy are described based on the findings of previous studies, including those that were recently published. In addition, the adsorption and excretion of various metals, in particular nickel, is discussed to further understand the pathogenesis of metal allergy. PMID:26848658

  16. [Molecular mechanisms for collective cell migration--perspectives and approaches from the studies on the actin-binding protein Girdin].

    PubMed

    Enomoto, Atsushi; Kato, Takuya; Asai, Naoya; Takahashi, Masahide

    2016-03-01

    In embryonal development and pathogenesis of diseases, cells often get connected and form small groups to undergo "collective migration", rather than spread out individually. The examples include the migration of neural crest cells and neuroblasts during development and the invasion of cancers in surrounding stroma, indicating the importance and significance of collective behavior of cells in the body. Recent studies have revealed the mechanisms for collective cell migration, which had seemed not to be the subject of traditional cell biology on single cells in culture. The heterogeneity in cell groups is also a key in understanding the mechanisms for collective cell migration. In this article, we describe recently emerging mechanisms for collective cell migration, with a particular focus on our studies on the actin-binding protein Girdin and tripartite motif containing 27. PMID:27025099

  17. A Systems Biological Approach Reveals Multiple Crosstalk Mechanism between Gram-Positive and Negative Bacterial Infections: An Insight into Core Mechanism and Unique Molecular Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Thangam, Berla; Ahmed, Shiek S. S. J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Bacterial infections remain a major threat and a leading cause of death worldwide. Most of the bacterial infections are caused by gram-positive and negative bacteria, which are recognized by Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and 4, respectively. Activation of these TLRs initiates multiple pathways that subsequently lead to effective immune response. Although, both the TLRs share common signaling mechanism yet they may exhibit specificity as well, resulting in the release of diverse range of inflammatory mediators which could be used as candidate biomolecules for bacterial infections. Results We adopted systems biological approach to identify signaling pathways mediated by TLRs to determine candidate molecules associated with bacterial infections. We used bioinformatics concepts, including literature mining to construct protein-protein interaction network, prioritization of TLRs specific nodes using microarray data and pathway analysis. Our constructed PPI network for TLR 2 (nodes: 4091 and edges: 66068) and TLR 4 (node: 4076 and edges: 67898) showed 3207 common nodes, indicating that both the TLRs might share similar signaling events that are attributed to cell migration, MAPK pathway and several inflammatory cascades. Our results propose the potential collaboration between the shared signaling pathways of both the receptors may enhance the immune response against invading pathogens. Further, to identify candidate molecules, the TLRs specific nodes were prioritized using microarray differential expressed genes. Of the top prioritized TLR 2 molecules, 70% were co-expressed. A similar trend was also observed within TLR 4 nodes. Further, most of these molecules were preferentially found in blood plasma for feasible diagnosis. Conclusions The analysis reveals the common and unique mechanism regulated by both the TLRs that provide a broad perspective of signaling events in bacterial infections. Further, the identified candidate biomolecules could potentially aid

  18. Molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-drinking behaviours.

    PubMed

    Ron, Dorit; Barak, Segev

    2016-09-01

    The main characteristic of alcohol use disorder is the consumption of large quantities of alcohol despite the negative consequences. The transition from the moderate use of alcohol to excessive, uncontrolled alcohol consumption results from neuroadaptations that cause aberrant motivational learning and memory processes. Here, we examine studies that have combined molecular and behavioural approaches in rodents to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that keep the social intake of alcohol in check, which we term 'stop pathways', and the neuroadaptations that underlie the transition from moderate to uncontrolled, excessive alcohol intake, which we term 'go pathways'. We also discuss post-transcriptional, genetic and epigenetic alterations that underlie both types of pathways. PMID:27444358

  19. Theoretical design of the cyclic lipopeptide nanotube as a molecular channel in the lipid bilayer, molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics approach.

    PubMed

    Khavani, Mohammad; Izadyar, Mohammad; Housaindokht, Mohammad Reza

    2015-10-14

    In this article, cyclic peptides (CP) with lipid substituents were theoretically designed. The dynamical behavior of the CP dimers and the cyclic peptide nanotube (CPNT) without lipid substituents in the solution (water and chloroform) during the 50 ns molecular dynamic (MD) simulations has been investigated. As a result, the CP dimers and CPNT in a non-polar solvent are more stable than in a polar solvent and CPNT is a good container for non-polar small molecules such as chloroform. The effect of the lipid substituents on the CP dimers and CPNT has been investigated in the next stage of our studies. Accordingly, these substituents increase the stability of the CP dimers and CPNT, significantly, in polar solvents. MM-PBSA and MM-GBSA calculations confirm that substitution has an important effect on the stability of the CP dimers and CPNT. Finally, the dynamical behavior of CPNT with lipid substituents in a fully hydrated DMPC bilayer shows the high ability of this structure for molecule transmission across the lipid membrane. This structure is stable enough to be used as a molecular channel. DFT calculations on the CP dimers in the gas phase, water and chloroform, indicate that H-bond formation is the driving force for dimerization. CP dimers are more stable in the gas phase in comparison to in solution. HOMO-LUMO orbital analysis indicates that the interaction of the CP units in the dimer structures is due to the molecular orbital interactions between the NH and CO groups. PMID:26366633

  20. Superspreading: mechanisms and molecular design.

    PubMed

    Theodorakis, Panagiotis E; Müller, Erich A; Craster, Richard V; Matar, Omar K

    2015-03-01

    The intriguing ability of certain surfactant molecules to drive the superspreading of liquids to complete wetting on hydrophobic substrates is central to numerous applications that range from coating flow technology to enhanced oil recovery. Despite significant experimental efforts, the precise mechanisms underlying superspreading remain unknown to date. Here, we isolate these mechanisms by analyzing coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of surfactant molecules of varying molecular architecture and substrate affinity. We observe that for superspreading to occur, two key conditions must be simultaneously satisfied: the adsorption of surfactants from the liquid-vapor surface onto the three-phase contact line augmented by local bilayer formation. Crucially, this must be coordinated with the rapid replenishment of liquid-vapor and solid-liquid interfaces with surfactants from the interior of the droplet. This article also highlights and explores the differences between superspreading and conventional surfactants, paving the way for the design of molecular architectures tailored specifically for applications that rely on the control of wetting. PMID:25658859

  1. Molecular Mechanism of TRP Channels

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Jie

    2013-01-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are cellular sensors for a wide spectrum of physical and chemical stimuli. They are involved in the formation of sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, temperature, and pain sensation. TRP channels also play fundamental roles in cell signaling and allow the host cell to respond to benign or harmful environmental changes. As TRP channel activation is controlled by very diverse processes and, in many cases, exhibits complex polymodal properties, understanding how each TRP channel responds to its unique forms of activation energy is both crucial and challenging. The past two decades witnessed significant advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie TRP channels activation. This review focuses on our current understanding of the molecular determinants for TRP channel activation. PMID:23720286

  2. Molecular Approaches to Studying Denitrification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voytek, M. A.

    2001-05-01

    Denitrification is carried out by a diverse array of microbes, mainly as an alternative mode of respiration that allows the organisms to respire using oxidized N compounds instead of oxygen. A common approach in biogeochemistry to the study of the regulation of denitrification is to assess activity by mass balance of substrates and products or direct rate measurements and has intrinsically assumed resource regulation of denitrification. Reported rates can vary significantly even among ecosystems characterized by similar environmental conditions, thus indicating that direct control by abiotic factors often is not sufficient to predict denitrification rates accurately in natural environments. Alternatively, a microbiological approach would proceed with the identification of the organisms responsible and an evaluation of the effect of environmental factors on the biochemical pathways involved. Traditional studies have relied on culturing techniques, such as most probable number enrichments, and have failed to assess the role of the predominately uncultivable members of the microbial community. A combination of biogeochemical measurements and the assessment of the microbial community is necessary and becoming increasingly possible with the development and application of molecular techniques. In order to understand how the composition and physiological behavior of the microbial community affects denitrification rates, we use a suite of molecular techniques developed for phylogenetic and metabolic characterization of denitrifying communities. Molecular tools available for quantifying denitrifying bacteria and assessing their diversity and activity are summarized. Their application is illustrated with examples from marine and freshwater environments. Emerging techniques and their application to ground water studies will be discussed.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Margeta, Milica A.; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Synapses are specialized junctions that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. A striking feature of the nervous system is the specificity of its synaptic connections: an individual neuron will form synapses only with a small subset of available presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. Synaptic specificity has been classically thought to arise from homophilic or heterophilic interactions between adhesive molecules acting across the synaptic cleft. Over the past decade, many new mechanisms giving rise to synaptic specificity have been identified. Synapses can be specified by secreted molecules that promote or inhibit synaptogenesis, and their source can be a neighboring guidepost cell, not just presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Furthermore, lineage, fate, and timing of development can also play critical roles in shaping neural circuits. Future work utilizing large-scale screens will aim to elucidate the full scope of cellular mechanisms and molecular players that can give rise to synaptic specificity. PMID:19969086

  4. Anticancer Molecular Mechanisms of Resveratrol

    PubMed Central

    Varoni, Elena M.; Lo Faro, Alfredo Fabrizio; Sharifi-Rad, Javad; Iriti, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Resveratrol is a pleiotropic phytochemical belonging to the stilbene family. Though it is only significantly present in grape products, a huge amount of preclinical studies investigated its anticancer properties in a plethora of cellular and animal models. Molecular mechanisms of resveratrol involved signaling pathways related to extracellular growth factors and receptor tyrosine kinases; formation of multiprotein complexes and cell metabolism; cell proliferation and genome instability; cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase signaling (cytokine, integrin, and developmental pathways); signal transduction by the transforming growth factor-β super-family; apoptosis and inflammation; and immune surveillance and hormone signaling. Resveratrol also showed a promising role to counteract multidrug resistance: in adjuvant therapy, associated with 5-fluoruracyl and cisplatin, resveratrol had additive and/or synergistic effects increasing the chemosensitization of cancer cells. Resveratrol, by acting on diverse mechanisms simultaneously, has been emphasized as a promising, multi-target, anticancer agent, relevant in both cancer prevention and treatment. PMID:27148534

  5. Molecular mechanisms of temperature adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Bagriantsev, Sviatoslav N; Gracheva, Elena O

    2015-01-01

    Thermal perception is a fundamental physiological process pertaining to the vast majority of organisms. In vertebrates, environmental temperature is detected by the primary afferents of the somatosensory neurons in the skin, which express a ‘choir’ of ion channels tuned to detect particular temperatures. Nearly two decades of research have revealed a number of receptor ion channels that mediate the perception of several temperature ranges, but most still remain molecularly orphaned. Yet even within this well-researched realm, most of our knowledge largely pertains to two closely related species of rodents, mice and rats. While these are standard biomedical research models, mice and rats provide a limited perspective to elucidate the general principles that drive somatosensory evolution. In recent years, significant advances have been made in understanding the molecular mechanism of temperature adaptation in evolutionarily distant vertebrates and in organisms with acute thermal sensitivity. These studies have revealed the remarkable versatility of the somatosensory system and highlighted adaptations at the molecular level, which often include changes in biophysical properties of ion channels from the transient receptor potential family. Exploiting non-standard animal models has the potential to provide unexpected insights into general principles of thermosensation and thermoregulation, unachievable using the rodent model alone. PMID:25433072

  6. Molecular mechanisms of temperature adaptation.

    PubMed

    Bagriantsev, Sviatoslav N; Gracheva, Elena O

    2015-08-15

    Thermal perception is a fundamental physiological process pertaining to the vast majority of organisms. In vertebrates, environmental temperature is detected by the primary afferents of the somatosensory neurons in the skin, which express a 'choir' of ion channels tuned to detect particular temperatures. Nearly two decades of research have revealed a number of receptor ion channels that mediate the perception of several temperature ranges, but most still remain molecularly orphaned. Yet even within this well-researched realm, most of our knowledge largely pertains to two closely related species of rodents, mice and rats. While these are standard biomedical research models, mice and rats provide a limited perspective to elucidate the general principles that drive somatosensory evolution. In recent years, significant advances have been made in understanding the molecular mechanism of temperature adaptation in evolutionarily distant vertebrates and in organisms with acute thermal sensitivity. These studies have revealed the remarkable versatility of the somatosensory system and highlighted adaptations at the molecular level, which often include changes in biophysical properties of ion channels from the transient receptor potential family. Exploiting non-standard animal models has the potential to provide unexpected insights into general principles of thermosensation and thermoregulation, unachievable using the rodent model alone. PMID:25433072

  7. A Systems Biology Approach to the Coordination of Defensive and Offensive Molecular Mechanisms in the Innate and Adaptive Host-Pathogen Interaction Networks.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chia-Chou; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Infected zebrafish coordinates defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms in response to Candida albicans infections, and invasive C. albicans coordinates corresponding molecular mechanisms to interact with the host. However, knowledge of the ensuing infection-activated signaling networks in both host and pathogen and their interspecific crosstalk during the innate and adaptive phases of the infection processes remains incomplete. In the present study, dynamic network modeling, protein interaction databases, and dual transcriptome data from zebrafish and C. albicans during infection were used to infer infection-activated host-pathogen dynamic interaction networks. The consideration of host-pathogen dynamic interaction systems as innate and adaptive loops and subsequent comparisons of inferred innate and adaptive networks indicated previously unrecognized crosstalk between known pathways and suggested roles of immunological memory in the coordination of host defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms to achieve specific and powerful defense against pathogens. Moreover, pathogens enhance intraspecific crosstalk and abrogate host apoptosis to accommodate enhanced host defense mechanisms during the adaptive phase. Accordingly, links between physiological phenomena and changes in the coordination of defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms highlight the importance of host-pathogen molecular interaction networks, and consequent inferences of the host-pathogen relationship could be translated into biomedical applications. PMID:26881892

  8. A Systems Biology Approach to the Coordination of Defensive and Offensive Molecular Mechanisms in the Innate and Adaptive Host–Pathogen Interaction Networks

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chia-Chou; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Infected zebrafish coordinates defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms in response to Candida albicans infections, and invasive C. albicans coordinates corresponding molecular mechanisms to interact with the host. However, knowledge of the ensuing infection-activated signaling networks in both host and pathogen and their interspecific crosstalk during the innate and adaptive phases of the infection processes remains incomplete. In the present study, dynamic network modeling, protein interaction databases, and dual transcriptome data from zebrafish and C. albicans during infection were used to infer infection-activated host–pathogen dynamic interaction networks. The consideration of host–pathogen dynamic interaction systems as innate and adaptive loops and subsequent comparisons of inferred innate and adaptive networks indicated previously unrecognized crosstalk between known pathways and suggested roles of immunological memory in the coordination of host defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms to achieve specific and powerful defense against pathogens. Moreover, pathogens enhance intraspecific crosstalk and abrogate host apoptosis to accommodate enhanced host defense mechanisms during the adaptive phase. Accordingly, links between physiological phenomena and changes in the coordination of defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms highlight the importance of host–pathogen molecular interaction networks, and consequent inferences of the host–pathogen relationship could be translated into biomedical applications. PMID:26881892

  9. Molecular mechanisms of induced pluripotency

    PubMed Central

    Wróblewska, Joanna; Mazurek, Sylwia; Liszewska, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Growing knowledge concerning transcriptional control of cellular pluripotency has led to the discovery that the fate of differentiated cells can be reversed, which has resulted in the generation, by means of genetic manipulation, of induced pluripotent stem cells. Overexpression of just four pluripotency-related transcription factors, namely Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc (Yamanaka factors, OKSM), in fibroblasts appears sufficient to produce this new cell type. Currently, we know that these factors induce several changes in genetic program of differentiated cells that can be divided in two general phases: the initial one is stochastic, and the subsequent one is highly hierarchical and organised. This review briefly discusses the molecular events leading to induction of pluripotency in response to forced presence of OKSM factors in somatic cells. We also discuss other reprogramming strategies used thus far as well as the advantages and disadvantages of laboratory approaches towards pluripotency induction in different cell types. PMID:25691818

  10. Molecular mechanisms of microglial activation.

    PubMed

    Zielasek, J; Hartung, H P

    1996-01-01

    Microglial cells are brain macrophages which serve specific functions in the defense of the central nervous system (CNS) against microorganisms, the removal of tissue debris in neurodegenerative diseases or during normal development, and in autoimmune inflammatory disorders of the brain. In cultured microglial cells, several soluble inflammatory mediators such as cytokines and bacterial products like lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were demonstrated to induce a wide range of microglial activities, e.g. increased phagocytosis, chemotaxis, secretion of cytokines, activation of the respiratory burst and induction of nitric oxide synthase. Since heightened microglial activation was shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of experimental inflammatory CNS disorders, understanding the molecular mechanisms of microglial activation may lead to new treatment strategies for neurodegenerative disorders, multiple sclerosis and bacterial or viral infections of the nervous system. PMID:8876774

  11. Molecular mechanism of magnet formation in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, T; Sakaguchi, T

    2000-01-01

    Magnetic bacteria have an ability to synthesize intracellular ferromagnetic crystalline particles consisting of magnetite (Fe3O4) or greigite (Fe3S4) which occur within a specific size range (50-100 nm). Bacterial magnetic particles (BMPs) can be distinguished by the regular morphology and the presence of an thin organic membrane enveloping crystals from abiologically formed magnetite. The particle is the smallest magnetic crystal that has a regular morphology within the single domain size. Therefore, BMPs have an unfathomable amount of potential value for various technological applications not only scientific interests. However, the molecular and genetic mechanism of magnetite biomineralization is hardly understood although iron oxide formation occurs widely in many higher animals as well as microorganisms. In order to elucidate the molecular and genetic mechanisms of magnetite biomineralization, a magnetic bacterium Magnetospirillum sp. AMB-1, for which gene transfer and transposon mutagenesis techniques had been recently developed, has been used as a model organism. Several findings and information on the BMPs formation process have been obtained within this decade by means of studies with this model organism and its related one. Biomineralization mechanism and potential availability in biotechnology of bacterial magnets have been elucidated through molecular and genetic approach. PMID:16232810

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchs, Thilo Martin

    Cautious optimism has arisen over recent decades with respect to the long struggle against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This has been offset, however, by a fatal complacency stemming from previous successes such as the development of antimicrobial drugs, the eradication of smallpox, and global immunization programs. Infectious diseases nevertheless remain the world's leading cause of death, killing at least 17 million persons annually [61]. Diarrheal diseases caused by Vibrio cholerae or Shigella dysenteriae kill about 3 million persons every year, most of them young children: Another 4 million die of tuberculosis or tetanus. Outbreaks of diphtheria in Eastern Europe threatens the population with a disease that had previously seemed to be overcome. Efforts to control infectious diseases more comprehensively are undermined not only by socioeconomic conditions but also by the nature of the pathogenic organisms itself; some isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter have become so resistant to drugs by horizontal gene transfer that they are almost untreatable. In addition, the mechanism of genetic variability helps pathogens to evade the human immune system, thus compromising the development of powerful vaccines. Therefore detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity is absolutely necessary to develop new strategies against infectious diseases and thus to lower their impact on human health and social development.

  13. New approaches to molecular diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Korf, Bruce R; Rehm, Heidi L

    2013-04-10

    Advances in understanding the molecular basis of rare and common disorders, as well as in the technology of DNA analysis, are rapidly changing the landscape of molecular genetic and genomic testing. High-resolution molecular cytogenetic analysis can now detect deletions or duplications of DNA of a few hundred thousand nucleotides, well below the resolution of the light microscope. Diagnostic testing for "single-gene" disorders can be done by targeted analysis for specific mutations, by sequencing a specific gene to scan for mutations, or by analyzing multiple genes in which mutation may lead to a similar phenotype. The advent of massively parallel next-generation sequencing facilitates the analysis of multiple genes and now is being used to sequence the coding regions of the genome (the exome) for clinical testing. Exome sequencing requires bioinformatic analysis of the thousands of variants that are identified to find one that is contributing to the pathology; there is also a possibility of incidental identification of other medically significant variants, which may complicate genetic counseling. DNA testing can also be used to identify variants that influence drug metabolism or interaction of a drug with its cellular target, allowing customization of choice of drug and dosage. Exome and genome sequencing are being applied to identify specific gene changes in cancer cells to guide therapy, to identify inherited cancer risk, and to estimate prognosis. Genomic testing may be used to identify risk factors for common disorders, although the clinical utility of such testing is unclear. Genetic and genomic tests may raise new ethical, legal, and social issues, some of which may be addressed by existing genetic nondiscrimination legislation, but which also must be addressed in the course of genetic counseling. The purpose of this article is to assist physicians in recognizing where new approaches to genetic and genomic testing may be applied clinically and in being aware

  14. Molecular mechanisms of pancreatic carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Furukawa, Toru; Sunamura, Makoto; Horii, Akira

    2006-01-01

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the most fatal malignancies. Intensive investigation of molecular pathogenesis might lead to identifying useful molecules for diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma harbors complicated aberrations of alleles including losses of 1p, 6q, 9p, 12q, 17p, 18q, and 21q, and gains of 8q and 20q. Pancreatic cancer is usually initiated by mutation of KRAS and aberrant expression of SHH. Overexpression of AURKA mapping on 20q13.2 may significantly enhance overt tumorigenesity. Aberrations of tumor suppressor genes synergistically accelerate progression of the carcinogenic pathway through pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) to invasive ductal adenocarcinoma. Abrogation of CDKN2A occurs in low-grade/early PanIN, whereas aberrations of TP53 and SMAD4 occur in high-grade/late PanIN. SMAD4 may play suppressive roles in tumorigenesis by inhibition of angiogenesis. Loss of 18q precedes SMAD4 inactivation, and restoration of chromosome 18 in pancreatic cancer cells results in tumor suppressive phenotypes regardless of SMAD4 status, indicating the possible existence of a tumor suppressor gene(s) other than SMAD4 on 18q. DUSP6 at 12q21-q22 is frequently abrogated by loss of expression in invasive ductal adenocarcinomas despite fairly preserved expression in PanIN, which suggests that DUSP6 works as a tumor suppressor in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Restoration of chromosome 12 also suppresses growths of pancreatic cancer cells despite the recovery of expression of DUSP6; the existence of yet another tumor suppressor gene on 12q is strongly suggested. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic carcinogenesis will likely provide novel clues for preventing, detecting, and ultimately curing this life-threatening disease. PMID:16367914

  15. Molecular mechanisms of statin intolerance

    PubMed Central

    Franczyk, Beata; Toth, Peter P.; Rysz, Jacek; Banach, Maciej

    2016-01-01

    Statins reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in primary and secondary prevention. Despite their efficacy, many persons are unable to tolerate statins due to adverse events such as hepatotoxicity and myalgia/myopathy. In the case of most patients, it seems that mild-to-moderate abnormalities in liver and muscle enzymes are not serious adverse effects and do not outweigh the benefits of coronary heart disease risk reduction. The risk for mortality or permanent organ damage ascribed to statin use is very small and limited to cases of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Statin-induced muscle-related adverse events comprise a highly heterogeneous clinical disorder with numerous, complex etiologies and a variety of genetic backgrounds. Every patient who presents with statin-related side effects cannot undergo the type of exhaustive molecular characterization that would include all of these mechanisms. Frequently the only solution is to either discontinue statin therapy/reduce the dose or attempt intermittent dosing strategies at a low dose. PMID:27279860

  16. Molecular pathways mediating mechanical signaling in bone

    PubMed Central

    Rubin, Janet; Rubin, Clinton; Jacobs, Christopher Rae

    2013-01-01

    Bone tissue has the capacity to adapt to its functional environment such that its morphology is “optimized” for the mechanical demand. The adaptive nature of the skeleton poses an interesting set of biological questions (e.g., how does bone sense mechanical signals, what cells are the sensing system, what are the mechanical signals that drive the system, what receptors are responsible for transducing the mechanical signal, what are the molecular responses to the mechanical stimuli). Studies of the characteristics of the mechanical environment at the cellular level, the forces that bone cells recognize, and the integrated cellular responses are providing new information at an accelerating speed. This review first considers the mechanical factors that are generated by loading in the skeleton, including strain, stress and pressure. Mechanosensitive cells placed to recognize these forces in the skeleton, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, osteocytes and cells of the vasculature are reviewed. The identity of the mechanoreceptor(s) is approached, with consideration of ion channels, integrins, connexins, the lipid membrane including caveolar and noncaveolar lipid rafts and the possibility that altering cell shape at the membrane or cytoskeleton alters integral signaling protein associations. The distal intracellular signaling systems on-line after the mechanoreceptor is activated are reviewed, including those emanating from G-proteins (e.g., intracellular calcium shifts), MAPKs, and nitric oxide. The ability to harness mechanical signals to improve bone health through devices and exercise is broached. Increased appreciation of the importance of the mechanical environment in regulating and determining the structural efficacy of the skeleton makes this an exciting time for further exploration of this area. PMID:16361069

  17. Quantum pharmacology for infectious diseases: a molecular connectivity approach.

    PubMed

    Singh, Shailza

    2012-09-01

    Infectious diseases are a major cause of global health, economic and social problems. Relationship between the infectious diseases and drugs designed to combat them can be understood by the Quantum Pharmacology approach. Quantum pharmacology which is an amalgamation of chemistry, quantum mechanics and computer modeling aims to understand the structure activity relationship of a drug. As compared to the classical MM, the hybrid QM/MM approach which takes into account the quantum mechanics along with the molecular mechanics facilitates the simulation of biological structures with greater accuracy and speed. This review highlights the importance of quantum mechanics for a better understanding of molecular systems and QSAR studies. PMID:22738083

  18. Molecular Mechanics: Illustrations of Its Application.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Philip J.

    1982-01-01

    The application of molecular mechanics (a nonquantum mechanical method for solving problems concerning molecular geometries) to calculate force fields for n-butane and cyclohexane is discussed. Implications regarding the stable conformations of the example molecules are also discussed. (Author/SK)

  19. TOPICAL REVIEW: Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cieplak, Piotr; Dupradeau, François-Yves; Duan, Yong; Wang, Junmei

    2009-08-01

    The focus here is on incorporating electronic polarization into classical molecular mechanical force fields used for macromolecular simulations. First, we briefly examine currently used molecular mechanical force fields and the current status of intermolecular forces as viewed by quantum mechanical approaches. Next, we demonstrate how some components of quantum mechanical energy are effectively incorporated into classical molecular mechanical force fields. Finally, we assess the modeling methods of one such energy component—polarization energy—and present an overview of polarizable force fields and their current applications. Incorporating polarization effects into current force fields paves the way to developing potentially more accurate, though more complex, parameterizations that can be used for more realistic molecular simulations.

  20. Driving Mechanisms for Molecular Outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downes, Turlough P.

    Molecular outflows are observed to be closely associated with star formation. The cumulative momentum and the momentum injection rate in these outflows are important parameters in theories of star formation. The cumulative momentum in an outflow is a measure of the feed-back from star formation on molecular cloud turbulence. The level of turbulence in a cloud also effects the formation of further stars and, indeed, the survival of the cloud itself (e.g. [15]). In addition the rate of injection of momentum is an important constraint for theoretical models of outflows from young stars [10, 18]. Hence, while these outflows are interesting in themselves, it is also critical to understand their origin and behaviour as part of the general study of how stars themselves form.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of hepatic apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, K

    2014-01-01

    Apoptosis is a prominent feature of liver diseases. Causative factors such as alcohol, viruses, toxic bile acids, fatty acids, drugs, and immune response, can induce apoptotic cell death via membrane receptors and intracellular stress. Apoptotic signaling network, including membrane death receptor-mediated cascade, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, lysosomal permeabilization, and mitochondrial dysfunction, is intermixed each other, but one mechanism may dominate at a particular stage. Mechanisms of hepatic apoptosis are complicated by multiple signaling pathways. The progression of liver disease is affected by the balance between apoptotic and antiapoptotic capabilities. Therapeutic options of liver injury are impacted by the clear understanding toward mechanisms of hepatic apoptosis. PMID:24434519

  2. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Pituitary Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sapochnik, Melanie; Nieto, Leandro Eduardo; Fuertes, Mariana; Arzt, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    During the last years, progress has been made on the identification of mechanisms involved in anterior pituitary cell transformation and tumorigenesis. Oncogene activation, tumor suppressor gene inactivation, epigenetic changes, and microRNAs deregulation contribute to the initiation of pituitary tumors. Despite the high prevalence of pituitary adenomas, they are mostly benign, indicating that intrinsic mechanisms may regulate pituitary cell expansion. Senescence is characterized by an irreversible cell cycle arrest and represents an important protective mechanism against malignancy. Pituitary tumor transforming gene (PTTG) is an oncogene involved in early stages of pituitary tumor development, and also triggers a senescence response by activating DNA-damage signaling pathway. Cytokines, as well as many other factors, play an important role in pituitary physiology, affecting not only cell proliferation but also hormone secretion. Special interest is focused on interleukin-6 (IL-6) because its dual function of stimulating pituitary tumor cell growth but inhibiting normal pituitary cells proliferation. It has been demonstrated that IL-6 has a key role in promoting and maintenance of the senescence program in tumors. Senescence, triggered by PTTG activation and mediated by IL-6, may be a mechanism for explaining the benign nature of pituitary tumors. PMID:26718581

  3. Cellular and molecular mechanisms in kidney fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Duffield, Jeremy S.

    2014-01-01

    Fibrosis is a characteristic feature of all forms of chronic kidney disease. Deposition of pathological matrix in the interstitial space and within the walls of glomerular capillaries as well as the cellular processes resulting in this deposition are increasingly recognized as important factors amplifying kidney injury and accelerating nephron demise. Recent insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrogenesis herald the promise of new therapies to slow kidney disease progression. This review focuses on new findings that enhance understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis, the characteristics of myofibroblasts, their progenitors, and molecular pathways regulating both fibrogenesis and its resolution. PMID:24892703

  4. Molecular pathogenesis and mechanisms of thyroid cancer

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Mingzhao

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid cancer is a common endocrine malignancy. There has been exciting progress in understanding its molecular pathogenesis in recent years, as best exemplified by the elucidation of the fundamental role of several major signalling pathways and related molecular derangements. Central to these mechanisms are the genetic and epigenetic alterations in these pathways, such as mutation, gene copy-number gain and aberrant gene methylation. Many of these molecular alterations represent novel diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers and therapeutic targets for thyroid cancer, which provide unprecedented opportunities for further research and clinical development of novel treatment strategies for this cancer. PMID:23429735

  5. Molecular approaches to Taenia asiatica.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Eom, Keeseon S

    2013-02-01

    Taenia solium, T. saginata, and T. asiatica are taeniid tapeworms that cause taeniasis in humans and cysticercosis in intermediate host animals. Taeniases remain an important public health concerns in the world. Molecular diagnostic methods using PCR assays have been developed for rapid and accurate detection of human infecting taeniid tapeworms, including the use of sequence-specific DNA probes, PCR-RFLP, and multiplex PCR. More recently, DNA diagnosis using PCR based on histopathological specimens such as 10% formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded and stained sections mounted on slides has been applied to cestode infections. The mitochondrial gene sequence is believed to be a very useful molecular marker for not only studying evolutionary relationships among distantly related taxa, but also for investigating the phylo-biogeography of closely related species. The complete sequence of the human Taenia tapeworms mitochondrial genomes were determined, and its organization and structure were compared to other human-tropic Taenia tapeworms for which complete mitochondrial sequence data were available. The multiplex PCR assay with the Ta4978F, Ts5058F, Tso7421F, and Rev7915 primers will be useful for differential diagnosis, molecular characterization, and epidemiological surveys of human Taenia tapeworms. PMID:23467738

  6. A molecular mechanism for the origin of a key evolutionary innovation, the bird beak and palate, revealed by an integrative approach to major transitions in vertebrate history.

    PubMed

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Morris, Zachary S; Sefton, Elizabeth M; Tok, Atalay; Tokita, Masayoshi; Namkoong, Bumjin; Camacho, Jasmin; Burnham, David A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2015-07-01

    The avian beak is a key evolutionary innovation whose flexibility has permitted birds to diversify into a range of disparate ecological niches. We approached the problem of the mechanism behind this innovation using an approach bridging paleontology, comparative anatomy, and experimental developmental biology. First, we used fossil and extant data to show the beak is distinctive in consisting of fused premaxillae that are geometrically distinct from those of ancestral archosaurs. To elucidate underlying developmental mechanisms, we examined candidate gene expression domains in the embryonic face: the earlier frontonasal ectodermal zone (FEZ) and the later midfacial WNT-responsive region, in birds and several reptiles. This permitted the identification of an autapomorphic median gene expression region in Aves. To test the mechanism, we used inhibitors of both pathways to replicate in chicken the ancestral amniote expression. Altering the FEZ altered later WNT responsiveness to the ancestral pattern. Skeletal phenotypes from both types of experiments had premaxillae that clustered geometrically with ancestral fossil forms instead of beaked birds. The palatal region was also altered to a more ancestral phenotype. This is consistent with the fossil record and with the tight functional association of avian premaxillae and palate in forming a kinetic beak. PMID:25964090

  7. Dictyostelium discoideum: Molecular approaches to cell biology

    SciTech Connect

    Spudich, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    The central point of this book is to present Dictyostelium as a valuable eukaryotic organism for those interested in molecular studies that require a combined biochemical, structural, and genetic approach. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of all methods involving Dictyostelium, but instead is a selective set of chapters that demonstrates the utility of the organism for molecular approaches to interesting cell biological problems.

  8. Molecular mechanism of sweetness sensation.

    PubMed

    DuBois, Grant E

    2016-10-01

    The current understanding of peripheral molecular events involved in sweet taste sensation in humans is reviewed. Included are discussions of the sweetener receptor T1R2/T1R3, its agonists, antagonists, positive allosteric modulators, the transduction of its activation in taste bud cells and the coding of its signaling to the CNS. Areas of incomplete understanding include 1) signal communication with afferent nerve fibers, 2) contrasting concentration/response (C/R) functions for high-potency (HP) sweeteners (hyperbolic) and carbohydrate (CHO) sweeteners (linear), 3) contrasting temporal profiles for HP sweeteners (delayed onset and extinction) and CHO sweeteners (rapid onset and extinction) and 4) contrasting adaptation behaviors for HP sweeteners (moderate to strong adaptation) and CHO sweeteners (low adaptation). Evidence based on the sweet water aftertastes of several novel sweetness inhibitors is presented providing new support for constitutive activity in T1R2/T1R3. And a model is developed to rationalize the linear C/R functions of CHO sweeteners and hyperbolic C/R functions of HP sweeteners, where the former may activate T1R2/T1R3 by both binding and constitutive activity modulation (i.e., without binding) and the latter activate T1R2/T1R3 only by binding. PMID:26992959

  9. Molecular mechanism of cholangiocarcinoma carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Maemura, Kosei; Natsugoe, Shoji; Takao, Sonshin

    2014-10-01

    Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a highly malignant cancer of the biliary tract with a poor prognosis, which often arises from conditions causing long-term inflammation, injury, and reparative biliary epithelial cell proliferation. Several conditions are known to be major risk factors for cancer in the biliary tract or gallbladder, including primary sclerosing cholangitis, liver fluke infection, pancreaticobiliary maljunction, and chemical exposure in proof-printing workers. Abnormalities in various signaling cascades, molecules, and genetic mutations are involved in the pathogenesis of CCA. CCA is characterized by a series of highly recurrent mutations in genes, including KRAS, BRF, TP53, Smad, and p16(INK4a) . Cytokines that are affected by inflammatory environmental conditions, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), play an important role in cancer pathogenesis. Prominent signaling pathways important in carcinogenesis include TGF-β/Smad, IL-6/STAT-3, PI3K/AKT, Wnt, RAF/MEK/MAPK, and Notch. Additionally, some microRNAs regulate targets in critical pathways of CCA development and progression. This review article provides the understanding of the genetic and epigenetic mechanism(s) of carcinogenesis in CCA, which leads to the development of new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of this devastating cancer. PMID:24895231

  10. Molecular mechanisms of ventricular hypoplasia.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, D; Gottlieb, P D; Olson, E N

    2002-01-01

    We have established the beginnings of a road map to understand how ventricular cells become specified, differentiate, and expand into a functional cardiac chamber (Fig. 5). The transcriptional networks described here provide clear evidence that disruption of pathways affecting ventricular growth could be the underlying etiology in a subset of children born with malformation of the right or left ventricle. As we learn details of the precise mechanisms through which the critical factors function, the challenge will lie in devising innovative methods to augment or modify the effects of gene mutations on ventricular development. Because most congenital heart disease likely occurs in a setting of heterozygous, predisposing mutations of one or more genes, modulation of activity of critical pathways in a preventive fashion may be useful in averting disease in genetically susceptible individuals. PMID:12858532

  11. Huntington Disease: Molecular Diagnostics Approach.

    PubMed

    Bastepe, Murat; Xin, Winnie

    2015-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is caused by expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat in the first exon of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. Molecular testing of Huntington disease for diagnostic confirmation and disease prediction requires detection of the CAG repeat expansion. There are three main types of HD genetic testing: (1) diagnostic testing to confirm or rule out disease, (2) presymptomatic testing to determine whether an at-risk individual inherited the expanded allele, and (3) prenatal testing to determine whether the fetus has inherited the expanded allele. This unit includes protocols that describe the complementary use of polymerase chain reactions (PCR) and Southern blot hybridization to accurately measure the CAG trinucleotide repeat size and interpret the test results. In addition, an indirect linkage analysis that does not reveal the unwanted parental HD status in a prenatal testing will also be discussed. PMID:26439718

  12. [Mechanism and clinical progress of molecular targeted cancer therapy].

    PubMed

    Hu, Hong-xiang; Wang, Xue-qing; Zhang, Hua; Zhang, Qiang

    2015-10-01

    Molecular target-based cancer therapy is playing a more and more important role in cancer therapy because of its high specificity, good tolerance and so on. There are different kinds of molecular targeted drugs such as monoclonal antibodies and small molecular kinase inhibitors, and more than 50 drugs have been approved since 1997. When the first monoclonal antibody, rituximab, was on the market. The development of molecular target-based cancer therapeutics has become the main approach. Based on this, we summarized the drugs approved by FDA and introduced their mechanism of actions and clinical applications. In order to incorporate most molecular targeted drugs and describe clearly various characteristics, we divided them into four categories: drugs related to EGFR, drugs related to antiangiogenesis, drugs related to specific antigen and other targeted drugs. The purpose of this review is to provide a current status of this field and discover the main problems in the molecular targeted therapy. PMID:26837167

  13. A Hierarchical Approach to Fracture Mechanics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saether, Erik; Taasan, Shlomo

    2004-01-01

    Recent research conducted under NASA LaRC's Creativity and Innovation Program has led to the development of an initial approach for a hierarchical fracture mechanics. This methodology unites failure mechanisms occurring at different length scales and provides a framework for a physics-based theory of fracture. At the nanoscale, parametric molecular dynamic simulations are used to compute the energy associated with atomic level failure mechanisms. This information is used in a mesoscale percolation model of defect coalescence to obtain statistics of fracture paths and energies through Monte Carlo simulations. The mathematical structure of predicted crack paths is described using concepts of fractal geometry. The non-integer fractal dimension relates geometric and energy measures between meso- and macroscales. For illustration, a fractal-based continuum strain energy release rate is derived for inter- and transgranular fracture in polycrystalline metals.

  14. Mechanism of a molecular electronic photoswitch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Min; Ernzerhof, Matthias

    2005-08-01

    We present a simple non-self-consistent method for the calculation of the molecular conductance under finite bias voltage. Our approach is applied to a molecular photoswitch that has recently been investigated in break junction experiments [D. Dulić , Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 207402 (2003)]. We obtain I-V characteristics that are qualitatively in agreement with experimental measurements. Employing our electronic structure calculations, we provide a detailed explanation for the switching behavior observed in experiment.

  15. Modelling approaches for evaluating multiscale tendon mechanics.

    PubMed

    Fang, Fei; Lake, Spencer P

    2016-02-01

    Tendon exhibits anisotropic, inhomogeneous and viscoelastic mechanical properties that are determined by its complicated hierarchical structure and varying amounts/organization of different tissue constituents. Although extensive research has been conducted to use modelling approaches to interpret tendon structure-function relationships in combination with experimental data, many issues remain unclear (i.e. the role of minor components such as decorin, aggrecan and elastin), and the integration of mechanical analysis across different length scales has not been well applied to explore stress or strain transfer from macro- to microscale. This review outlines mathematical and computational models that have been used to understand tendon mechanics at different scales of the hierarchical organization. Model representations at the molecular, fibril and tissue levels are discussed, including formulations that follow phenomenological and microstructural approaches (which include evaluations of crimp, helical structure and the interaction between collagen fibrils and proteoglycans). Multiscale modelling approaches incorporating tendon features are suggested to be an advantageous methodology to understand further the physiological mechanical response of tendon and corresponding adaptation of properties owing to unique in vivo loading environments. PMID:26855747

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Bone 18F-NaF Deposition

    PubMed Central

    Czernin, Johannes; Satyamurthy, Nagichettiar; Schiepers, Christiaan

    2011-01-01

    There is renewed interest in 18F-NaF bone imaging with PET or PET/CT. The current brief discussion focuses on the molecular mechanisms of 18F-NaF deposition in bone and presents model-based approaches to quantifying bone perfusion and metabolism in the context of preclinical and clinical applications of bone imaging with PET. PMID:21078790

  17. A molecular mechanics force field for lignin

    SciTech Connect

    Petridis, Loukas; Smith, Jeremy C

    2009-02-01

    A CHARMM molecular mechanics force field for lignin is derived. Parameterization is based on reproducing quantum mechanical data of model compounds. Partial atomic charges are derived using the RESP electrostatic potential fitting method supplemented by the examination of methoxybenzene:water interactions. Dihedral parameters are optimized by fitting to critical rotational potentials and bonded parameters are obtained by optimizing vibrational frequencies and normal modes. Finally, the force field is validated by performing a molecular dynamics simulation of a crystal of a lignin fragment molecule and comparing simulation-derived structural features with experimental results. Together with the existing force field for polysaccharides, this lignin force field will enable full simulations of lignocellulose.

  18. Molecular orbital studies on the mechanism of drug-receptor interaction. 2. beta-Adrenergic drugs. An approach to explain the role of the aromatic moiety.

    PubMed

    Petrongolo, C; Macchia, B; Macchia, F; Martinelli, A

    1977-12-01

    The role of the aromatic moiety of beta-adrenergic drugs in the interaction with the receptor was investigated using the quantum mechanical ab initio SCF-MO-LCAO method. The structure-activity relationship was essentially discussed by analyzing the electrostatic molecular potential of three compounds which constitute meaningful portions of isoproterenol, INPEA, and doberol, the first drug having a stimulating activity and the others a blocking one. The results obtained point out the different roles played in the drug-receptor interaction by the various regions of the drugs and they also show that the aromatic moiety influences both the affinity and the intrinsic activity of the drugs. Indeed, the spatial correspondence among zones with negative potentials, which are localized on the phenyl substitutents of isoproterenol and INPEA and on the phenyl ring of doberol, could contribute to the affinity. On the other hand, the intrinsic activity of isoproterenol might be associated both with the proton-donor tendency of one phenolic OH group and with the wide zone of negative potential which spreads on a large part of the aromati moiety. PMID:201757

  19. Molecular Proxy Approaches for Paleohydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, K. H.; Smith, F. A.; Polissar, P.; Turich, C. H.; Pedentchouk, N.

    2004-12-01

    There is a rich assembly of isotopic and mineral indicators for paleohydrologic properties of ancient environments. Commonly employed examples include mineral abundance ratios and the isotopic signatures of minerals and macromolecular organic phases such as cellulose. Preservation of these materials can be influenced strongly by natural processes in the environment, most notably resulting in the alteration or loss of carbonate mineral isotopic signatures. In order to expand our ability to document paleoclimatic conditions in continental environments, additional tools for both aquatic and terrestrial settings are in development based on the hydrogen isotopic signatures of individual lipids from microbes, algae and vascular plants. Plant leaf waxes (long-chain n-alkanes) preserve well in soils and aquatic sediments. Deuterium signatures in ancient leaf lipids potentially record isotopic properties of ancient plant water, reflecting isotopic signatures of rainfall and soil waters as well as the level of relative humidity. We have studied grasses, trees and other plant types from both greenhouse and field localities in order to understand the relative influences of plant physiology, physiognomy,and growth conditions (humidity) on lipids as recorders of plant water isotopic signatures. Submerged aquatic algae are not directly influenced by humidity, and recent work has shown their biomarkers to be promising paleolimnological proxies. We will discuss the potential for algal compounds as recorders of waters in modern high altitude sites and for ancient paleoaltimetry applications. Recent theoretical considerations in conjunction with analyses of lipids from ancient sediments point to the limitation of the preservation of paleohydrologic signatures set by thermal maturation approaching oil-generating conditions.

  20. Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis: A Review of Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Bingjiang; Chen, Di; Zhang, Jushi; Hu, Songfeng; Jin, Hongting; Tong, Peijian

    2016-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA), the most prevalent chronic joint disease, increases in prevalence with age, and affects majority of individuals over the age of 65 and is a leading musculoskeletal cause of impaired mobility in the elderly. Because the precise molecular mechanisms which are involved in the degradation of cartilage matrix and development of OA are poorly understood and there are currently no effective interventions to decelerate the progression of OA or retard the irreversible degradation of cartilage except for total joint replacement surgery. In this paper, the important molecular mechanisms related to OA pathogenesis will be summarized and new insights into potential molecular targets for the prevention and treatment of OA will be provided. PMID:25311420

  1. Disease resistance: Molecular mechanisms and biotechnological applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This special issue “Disease resistance: molecular mechanisms and biotechnological applications” contains 11 review articles and four original research papers. Research in the area of engineering for disease resistance continues to progress although only 10% of the transgenic plants registered for ...

  2. [Molecular mechanisms for AMPA receptor trafficking].

    PubMed

    Fukata, Masaki; Fukata, Yuko

    2008-06-01

    Finely tuned synaptic transmission in the brain provides the molecular basis for learning and memory. The misregulation of synaptic transmission is involved in the pathogenesis of various neurological disorders like epilepsy. AMPA-typed glutamate receptors (AMPARs) mediate the most prominent form of excitatory neurotransmission in the brain. Dynamic regulation of AMPARs is thought to be a primary mechanism for controlling synaptic strength. We have analyzed the molecular mechanism for AMPAR-trafficking and function by focusing on PSD-95, a major postsynaptic scaffolding protein. Here, we review the novel regulatory mechanisms of AMPARs by 1) the PSD-95 palmitoylating enzyme, which determines the position of PSD-95 at postsynapses, and 2) the epilepsy related ligand/receptor, LGI1/ADAM22, identified as the PSD-95-interacting protein. PMID:18646599

  3. Ocular diseases: immunological and molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jing; Huang, Yi-Fei; Zhang, Wen-Jing; Chen, Xiao-Fei; Guo, Yu-Mian

    2016-01-01

    Many factors, such as environmental, microbial and endogenous stress, antigen localization, can trigger the immunological events that affect the ending of the diverse spectrum of ocular disorders. Significant advances in understanding of immunological and molecular mechanisms have been researched to improve the diagnosis and therapy for patients with ocular inflammatory diseases. Some kinds of ocular diseases are inadequately responsive to current medications; therefore, immunotherapy may be a potential choice as an alternative or adjunctive treatment, even in the prophylactic setting. This article first provides an overview of the immunological and molecular mechanisms concerning several typical and common ocular diseases; second, the functions of immunological roles in some of systemic autoimmunity will be discussed; third, we will provide a summary of the mechanisms that dictate immune cell trafficking to ocular local microenvironment in response to inflammation. PMID:27275439

  4. Sampling Molecular Conformers in Solution with Quantum Mechanical Accuracy at a Nearly Molecular-Mechanics Cost.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Marta; Micciarelli, Marco; Laio, Alessandro; Baroni, Stefano

    2016-09-13

    We introduce a method to evaluate the relative populations of different conformers of molecular species in solution, aiming at quantum mechanical accuracy, while keeping the computational cost at a nearly molecular-mechanics level. This goal is achieved by combining long classical molecular-dynamics simulations to sample the free-energy landscape of the system, advanced clustering techniques to identify the most relevant conformers, and thermodynamic perturbation theory to correct the resulting populations, using quantum-mechanical energies from density functional theory. A quantitative criterion for assessing the accuracy thus achieved is proposed. The resulting methodology is demonstrated in the specific case of cyanin (cyanidin-3-glucoside) in water solution. PMID:27494227

  5. Geochemical Reaction Mechanism Discovery from Molecular Simulation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Stack, Andrew G.; Kent, Paul R. C.

    2014-11-10

    Methods to explore reactions using computer simulation are becoming increasingly quantitative, versatile, and robust. In this review, a rationale for how molecular simulation can help build better geochemical kinetics models is first given. We summarize some common methods that geochemists use to simulate reaction mechanisms, specifically classical molecular dynamics and quantum chemical methods and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Useful tools such as umbrella sampling and metadynamics that enable one to explore reactions are discussed. Several case studies wherein geochemists have used these tools to understand reaction mechanisms are presented, including water exchange and sorption on aqueous species and mineralmore » surfaces, surface charging, crystal growth and dissolution, and electron transfer. The impact that molecular simulation has had on our understanding of geochemical reactivity are highlighted in each case. In the future, it is anticipated that molecular simulation of geochemical reaction mechanisms will become more commonplace as a tool to validate and interpret experimental data, and provide a check on the plausibility of geochemical kinetic models.« less

  6. Geochemical Reaction Mechanism Discovery from Molecular Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Stack, Andrew G.; Kent, Paul R. C.

    2014-11-10

    Methods to explore reactions using computer simulation are becoming increasingly quantitative, versatile, and robust. In this review, a rationale for how molecular simulation can help build better geochemical kinetics models is first given. We summarize some common methods that geochemists use to simulate reaction mechanisms, specifically classical molecular dynamics and quantum chemical methods and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Useful tools such as umbrella sampling and metadynamics that enable one to explore reactions are discussed. Several case studies wherein geochemists have used these tools to understand reaction mechanisms are presented, including water exchange and sorption on aqueous species and mineral surfaces, surface charging, crystal growth and dissolution, and electron transfer. The impact that molecular simulation has had on our understanding of geochemical reactivity are highlighted in each case. In the future, it is anticipated that molecular simulation of geochemical reaction mechanisms will become more commonplace as a tool to validate and interpret experimental data, and provide a check on the plausibility of geochemical kinetic models.

  7. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying presynapse formation

    PubMed Central

    Chia, Poh Hui; Li, Pengpeng

    2013-01-01

    Synapse formation is a highly regulated process that requires the coordination of many cell biological events. Decades of research have identified a long list of molecular components involved in assembling a functioning synapse. Yet how the various steps, from transporting synaptic components to adhering synaptic partners and assembling the synaptic structure, are regulated and precisely executed during development and maintenance is still unclear. With the improvement of imaging and molecular tools, recent work in vertebrate and invertebrate systems has provided important insight into various aspects of presynaptic development, maintenance, and trans-synaptic signals, thereby increasing our understanding of how extrinsic organizers and intracellular mechanisms contribute to presynapse formation. PMID:24127213

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Inherited Demyelinating Neuropathies

    PubMed Central

    SCHERER, STEVEN S.; WRABETZ, LAWRENCE

    2008-01-01

    The past 15 years have witnessed the identification of more than 25 genes responsible for inherited neuropathies in humans, many associated with primary alterations of the myelin sheath. A remarkable body of work in patients, as well as animal and cellular models, has defined the clinical and molecular genetics of these illnesses and shed light on how mutations in associated genes produce the heterogeneity of dysmyelinating and demyelinating phenotypes. Here, we review selected recent developments from work on the molecular mechanisms of these disorders and their implications for treatment strategies. PMID:18803325

  9. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The muscular dystrophies are a group of heterogeneous genetic diseases characterized by progressive degeneration and weakness of skeletal muscle. Since the discovery of the first muscular dystrophy gene encoding dystrophin, a large number of genes have been identified that are involved in various muscle-wasting and neuromuscular disorders. Human genetic studies complemented by animal model systems have substantially contributed to our understanding of the molecular pathomechanisms underlying muscle degeneration. Moreover, these studies have revealed distinct molecular and cellular mechanisms that link genetic mutations to diverse muscle wasting phenotypes. PMID:23671309

  10. Polymer Fluid Dynamics: Continuum and Molecular Approaches.

    PubMed

    Bird, R B; Giacomin, A J

    2016-06-01

    To solve problems in polymer fluid dynamics, one needs the equations of continuity, motion, and energy. The last two equations contain the stress tensor and the heat-flux vector for the material. There are two ways to formulate the stress tensor: (a) One can write a continuum expression for the stress tensor in terms of kinematic tensors, or (b) one can select a molecular model that represents the polymer molecule and then develop an expression for the stress tensor from kinetic theory. The advantage of the kinetic theory approach is that one gets information about the relation between the molecular structure of the polymers and the rheological properties. We restrict the discussion primarily to the simplest stress tensor expressions or constitutive equations containing from two to four adjustable parameters, although we do indicate how these formulations may be extended to give more complicated expressions. We also explore how these simplest expressions are recovered as special cases of a more general framework, the Oldroyd 8-constant model. Studying the simplest models allows us to discover which types of empiricisms or molecular models seem to be worth investigating further. We also explore equivalences between continuum and molecular approaches. We restrict the discussion to several types of simple flows, such as shearing flows and extensional flows, which are of greatest importance in industrial operations. Furthermore, if these simple flows cannot be well described by continuum or molecular models, then it is not necessary to lavish time and energy to apply them to more complex flow problems. PMID:27276553

  11. Nonlinear vibrational excitations in molecular crystals molecular mechanics calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pumilia, P.; Abbate, S.; Baldini, G.; Ferro, D. R.; Tubino, R.

    1992-03-01

    The coupling constant for vibrational solitons χ has been examined in a molecular mechanics model for acetanilide (ACN) molecular crystal. According to A.C. Scott, solitons can form and propagate in solid acetanilide over a threshold energy value. This can be regarded as a structural model for the spines of hydrogen bond chains stabilizing the α helical structure of proteins. A one dimensional hydrogen bond chain of ACN has been built, for which we have found that, even though experimental parameters are correctly predicted, the excessive rigidity of the isolated chain prevents the formation of a localized distortion around the excitation. Yet, C=O coupling value with softer lattice modes could be rather high, allowing self-trapping to take place.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of membrane interaction at implantation.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Lien M; Coward, Kevin

    2016-03-01

    Successful pregnancy is dependent upon the implantation of a competent embryo into a receptive endometrium. Despite major advancement in our understanding of reproductive medicine over the last few decades, implantation failure still occurs in both normal pregnancies and those created artificially by assisted reproductive technology (ART). Consequently, there is significant interest in elucidating the etiology of implantation failure. The complex multistep process of implantation begins when the developing embryo first makes contact with the plasma membrane of epithelial cells within the uterine environment. However, although this biological interaction marks the beginning of a fundamental developmental process, our knowledge of the intricate physiological and molecular processes involved remains sparse. In this synopsis, we aim to provide an overview of our current understanding of the morphological changes which occur to the plasma membrane of the uterine endothelium, and the molecular mechanisms that control communication between the early embryo and the endometrium during implantation. A multitude of molecular factors have been implicated in this complex process, including endometrial integrins, extracellular matrix molecules, adhesion molecules, growth factors, and ion channels. We also explore the development of in vitro models for embryo implantation to help researchers investigate mechanisms which may underlie implantation failure. Understanding the precise molecular pathways associated with implantation failure could help us to generate new prognostic/diagnostic biomarkers, and may identify novel therapeutic targets. PMID:26969610

  13. Autocatalytic Decomposition Mechanisms in Energetic Molecular Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuklja, Maija; Rashkeev, Sergey

    2009-06-01

    Atomic scale mechanisms of the initiation of chemical processes in energetic molecular crystals, which lead to the decomposition and ultimately to an explosive chain reaction, are still far from being understood. In this work, we investigate the onset of the initiation processes in two high explosive crystals - diamino-dinitroethylene (DADNE) and triamino- trinitrobenzene (TATB). We found that an autocatalytic decomposition mechanism is likely to take place in DADNE crystal that consists of corrugated, dashboard-shaped molecular layers. The presence of a dissociated NO2 group in the interstitial space between two layers induces a significant shear-strain between these layers, which, in turn, facilitates the further dissociation of NO2 groups from surrounding molecules through lowering the C-NO2 decomposition barrier. Unlike this, in TATB (that consists of flat, graphite-like molecular layers), an interstitial NO2 group positioned between two layers tends to produce a tensile stress (rather than a shear-strain), which leads to local molecular disorder in these layers without any significant modification of the C-NO2 decomposition barrier. The observed differences between the two materials are discussed in terms of their structural, electronic, and chemical properties.

  14. Mechanisms and Molecular Probes of Sirtuins

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Brian C.; Hallows, William C.; Denu, John M.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Sirtuins are critical regulators of many cellular processes including insulin secretion, the cell cycle, and apoptosis. Sirtuins are associated with a variety of age-associated diseases such as type II diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease. A thorough understanding of sirtuin chemical mechanisms will aid toward developing novel therapeutics that regulate metabolic disorders and combat associated diseases. In this review, we discuss the unique deacetylase mechanism of sirtuins and how this information might be employed to develop inhibitors and other molecular probes for therapeutic and basic research applications. We also cover physiological regulation of sirtuin activity and how these modes of regulation may be exploited to manipulate sirtuin activity in live cells. Development of molecular probes and drugs that specifically target sirtuins will further understanding of sirtuin biology and potentially afford new treatments of several human diseases. PMID:18940661

  15. Approaches towards molecular amplification for sensing.

    PubMed

    Goggins, Sean; Frost, Christopher G

    2016-06-01

    Diagnostic assays that rely on molecular interactions have come a long way; from initial reversible detection systems towards irreversible reaction indicator-based methods. More recently, the emergence of innovative molecular amplification methodologies has revolutionised sensing, allowing diagnostic assays to achieve ultra-low limits of detection. There have been a significant number of molecular amplification approaches developed over recent years to accommodate the wide variety of analytes that require sensitive detection. To celebrate this achievement, this comprehensive critical review has been compiled to give a broad overview of the many different approaches used to attain amplification in sensing with an aim to inspire the next generation of diagnostic assays looking to achieve the ultimate detection limit. This review has been created with the focus on how each conceptually unique molecular amplification methodology achieves amplification, not just its sensitivity, while highlighting any key processes. Excluded are any references that were not found to contain an obvious molecular amplifier or amplification component, or that did not use an appropriate signal readout that could be incorporated into a sensing application. Additionally, methodologies where amplification is achieved through advances in instrumentation are also excluded. Depending upon the type of approach employed, amplification strategies are divided into four categories: target, label, signal or receptor amplification. More recent, more complex protocols combine a number of approaches and are therefore categorised by which amplification component described within was considered as the biggest advancement. The advantages and disadvantages of each methodology are discussed along with any limits of detection, if stated in the original article. Any subsequent use of the methodology within sensing or any other application is also mentioned to draw attention to its practicality. The importance of

  16. Molecular Mechanism of Biological Proton Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Pomes, R.

    1998-09-01

    Proton transport across lipid membranes is a fundamental aspect of biological energy transduction (metabolism). This function is mediated by a Grotthuss mechanism involving proton hopping along hydrogen-bonded networks embedded in membrane-spanning proteins. Using molecular simulations, the authors have explored the structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic properties giving rise to long-range proton translocation in hydrogen-bonded networks involving water molecules, or water wires, which are emerging as ubiquitous H{sup +}-transport devices in biological systems.

  17. Molecular regulatory mechanism of tooth root development

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiao-Feng; Chai, Yang

    2012-01-01

    The root is crucial for the physiological function of the tooth, and a healthy root allows an artificial crown to function as required clinically. Tooth crown development has been studied intensively during the last few decades, but root development remains not well understood. Here we review the root development processes, including cell fate determination, induction of odontoblast and cementoblast differentiation, interaction of root epithelium and mesenchyme, and other molecular mechanisms. This review summarizes our current understanding of the signaling cascades and mechanisms involved in root development. It also sets the stage for de novo tooth regeneration. PMID:23222990

  18. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cardiotoxicity.

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Y J

    2001-01-01

    Cardiotoxicity resulting from detrimental environmental insults has been recognized for a long time. However, extensive studies of the mechanisms involved had not been undertaken until recent years. Advances in molecular biology provide powerful tools and make such studies possible. We are gathering information about cellular events, signaling pathways, and molecular mechanisms of myocardial toxicologic responses to environmental toxicants and pollutants. Severe acute toxic insults cause cardiac cell death instantly. In the early response to mild environmental stimuli, biochemical changes such as alterations in calcium homeostasis occur. These may lead to cardiac arrhythmia, which most often is reversible. Prolonged stimuli activate transcription factors such as activator protein-1 through elevation of intracellular calcium and the subsequent activation of calcineurin. Upregulation by activated transcription factors of hypertrophic genes results in heart hypertrophy, which is a short-term adaptive response to detrimental factors. However, further development of hypertrophy will lead to severe and irreversible cardiomyopathy, and eventually heart failure. From cardiac hypertrophy to heart failure, myocardial cells undergo extensive biochemical and molecular changes. Cardiac hypertrophy causes tissue hypoperfusion, which activates compensatory mechanisms such as production of angiotensin II and norepinephrine. Both further stimulate cardiac hypertrophy and, importantly, activate counterregulatory mechanisms including overexpression of atrial natriuretic peptide and b-type natriuretic peptide, and production of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha. This counterregulation leads to myocardial remodeling as well as cell death through apoptosis and necrosis. Cell death through activation of mitochondrial factors and other pathways constitutes an important cellular mechanism of heart failure. Our current knowledge of cardiotoxicity is limited. Further extensive

  19. Molecular mechanics methods for individual carbon nanotubes and nanotube assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberhardt, Oliver; Wallmersperger, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Since many years, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered for a wide range of applications due to their outstanding mechanical properties. CNTs are tubular structures, showing a graphene like hexagonal lattice. Our interest in the calculation of the mechanical properties is motivated by several applications which demand the knowledge of the material behavior. One application in which the knowledge of the material behavior is vital is the CNT based fiber. Due to the excellent stiffness and strength of the individual CNTs, these fibers are expected to be a promising successor for state of the art carbon fibers. However, the mechanical properties of the fibers fall back behind the properties of individual CNTs. It is assumed that this gap in the properties is a result of the van-der-Waals interactions of the individual CNTs within the fiber. In order to understand the mechanical behavior of the fibers we apply a molecular mechanics approach. The mechanical properties of the individual CNTs are investigated by using a modified structural molecular mechanics approach. This is done by calculating the properties of a truss-beam element framework representing the CNT with the help of a chemical force field. Furthermore, we also investigate the interactions of CNTs arranged in basic CNT assemblies, mimicking the ones in a simple CNT fiber. We consider the van-der-Waals interactions in the structure and calculate the potential surface of the CNT assemblies.

  20. Molecular mechanics of mussel adhesion proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J.

    2014-01-01

    Mussel foot protein (mfp), a natural glue produced by marine mussel, is an intriguing material because of its superior ability for adhesion in various environments. For example, a very small amount of this material is sufficient to affix a mussel to a substrate in water, providing structural support under extreme forces caused by the dynamic effects of waves. Towards a more complete understanding of its strength and underwater workability, it is necessary to understand the microscropic mechanisms by which the protein structure interacts with various substrates. However, none of the mussel proteins' structure is known, preventing us from directly using atomistic modeling to probe their structural and mechanical properties. Here we use an advanced molecular sampling technique to identify the molecular structures of two mussel foot proteins (mfp-3 and mfp-5) and use those structures to study their mechanics of adhesion, which is then incorporated into a continuum model. We calculate the adhesion energy of the mussel foot protein on a silica substrate, compute the adhesion strength based on results obtained from molecular modeling, and compare with experimental data. Our results show good agreement with experimental measurements, which validates the multiscale model. We find that the molecular structure of the folded mussel foot protein (ultimately defined by its genetic sequence) favors strong adhesion to substrates, where L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (or DOPA) protein subunits work in a cooperative manner to enhance adhesion. Our experimental data suggests a peak attachment force of 0.4±0.1 N, which compares favorably with the prediction from the multiscale model of Fc=0.21-0.33 N. The principles learnt from those results could guide the fabrication of new interfacial materials (e.g. composites) to integrate organic with inorganic surfaces in an effective manner.

  1. A mechanical micro molecular mass sensor

    PubMed Central

    Kurhekar, A. S.; Apte, P. R.

    2014-01-01

    One of the bio-sensing mechanisms is mechanical. Rather than measuring shift in resonance frequency, we adopt to measure the change in spring constant due to adsorption, as one of the fundamental sensing mechanism. This study explains determination of spring constant of a surface functionalized micro machined micro cantilever, which resonates in a trapezoidal cavity-on Silicon <100> wafer, with the resonating frequency of 7000 cycles per second. This thin-flimsy-oxide micro-cantilever has a typical shape, and the tip of the micro-cantilever is dip-coated with chemically and biologically active material. The change in mass, due to adsorption, is detected by measuring the change in spring constant. The Force-Distance spectroscopy is used to detect the change in spring constant. The experimental results, show that the mechanical sensing scheme used, permit this surface functionalized micro machined micro cantilever to be used as a molecular mass sensor. The mechanical spring behaviour of a micro-cantilever, a micro-mechanical device can be used to develop ultra-tech micro-mechanical system using computer interface. PMID:24459585

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Renal Ischemic Conditioning Strategies.

    PubMed

    Kierulf-Lassen, Casper; Nieuwenhuijs-Moeke, Gertrude J; Krogstrup, Nicoline V; Oltean, Mihai; Jespersen, Bente; Dor, Frank J M F

    2015-01-01

    Ischemia-reperfusion injury is the leading cause of acute kidney injury in a variety of clinical settings such as renal transplantation and hypovolemic and/or septic shock. Strategies to reduce ischemia-reperfusion injury are obviously clinically relevant. Ischemic conditioning is an inherent part of the renal defense mechanism against ischemia and can be triggered by short periods of intermittent ischemia and reperfusion. Understanding the signaling transduction pathways of renal ischemic conditioning can promote further clinical translation and pharmacological advancements in this era. This review summarizes research on the molecular mechanisms underlying both local and remote ischemic pre-, per- and postconditioning of the kidney. The different types of conditioning strategies in the kidney recruit similar powerful pro-survival mechanisms. Likewise, renal ischemic conditioning mobilizes many of the same protective signaling pathways as in other organs, but differences are recognized. PMID:26330099

  3. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    SciTech Connect

    Wiltzius, Jed J.W.; Landau, Meytal; Nelson, Rebecca; Sawaya, Michael R.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Goldschmidt, Lukasz; Soriaga, Angela B.; Cascio, Duilio; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Eisenberg, David

    2009-12-01

    In prion inheritance and transmission, strains are phenotypic variants encoded by protein 'conformations'. However, it is unclear how a protein conformation can be stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms. Here we describe new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins, which offer two structural mechanisms for the encoding of prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packing arrangements (polymorphs) of {beta}-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct {beta}-sheets built from different segments of a protein. Both forms of polymorphism can produce enduring conformations capable of encoding strains. These molecular mechanisms for transfer of protein-encoded information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of nucleic acid-encoded information into microbial strains, including sequence specificity and recognition by noncovalent bonds.

  4. Mechanically induced luminescence changes in molecular assemblies.

    PubMed

    Sagara, Yoshimitsu; Kato, Takashi

    2009-11-01

    Altering the shape and properties of a material through external factors such as heat, light, pressure, pH, electric or magnetic fields, or the introduction of a guest molecule, is an attractive prospect. In this Perspective, piezochromic luminescent materials - which change the colour of their luminescence in response to mechanical stimuli - are described. Such piezochromism has been observed for a few molecular materials that contain luminescent cores in liquid-crystalline and crystalline solid states, as well as for polymeric materials doped with dyes. These changes in photoluminescent colour can be activated by various types of mechanical pressure such as shearing, grinding or elongation, which can trigger different mechanisms of producing the colour. Such stimuli-responsive materials have potential for various applications, including sensors, memory and displays. PMID:21378953

  5. Molecular mechanisms of curcumin action: gene expression.

    PubMed

    Shishodia, Shishir

    2013-01-01

    Curcumin derived from the tropical plant Curcuma longa has a long history of use as a dietary agent, food preservative, and in traditional Asian medicine. It has been used for centuries to treat biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism, and sinusitis. The preventive and therapeutic properties of curcumin are associated with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Extensive research over several decades has attempted to identify the molecular mechanisms of curcumin action. Curcumin modulates numerous molecular targets by altering their gene expression, signaling pathways, or through direct interaction. Curcumin regulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., TNF, IL-1), growth factors (e.g., VEGF, EGF, FGF), growth factor receptors (e.g., EGFR, HER-2, AR), enzymes (e.g., COX-2, LOX, MMP9, MAPK, mTOR, Akt), adhesion molecules (e.g., ELAM-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1), apoptosis related proteins (e.g., Bcl-2, caspases, DR, Fas), and cell cycle proteins (e.g., cyclin D1). Curcumin modulates the activity of several transcription factors (e.g., NF-κB, AP-1, STAT) and their signaling pathways. Based on its ability to affect multiple targets, curcumin has the potential for the prevention and treatment of various diseases including cancers, arthritis, allergies, atherosclerosis, aging, neurodegenerative disease, hepatic disorders, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, and autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of modulation of gene expression by curcumin. PMID:22996381

  6. Molecular mechanism of viscoelasticity in aligned polyethylene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammad, Ali; Hasan, Hikmatyar; Swinburne, Thomas; Del Rosso, Stefano; Iannucci, Lorenzo; Sutton, Adrian

    2014-03-01

    Aligned polyethylene is used in industrial and medical applications due to its low density and high tensile strength. Extensive experimental work has been done to determine its mechanical properties, notably its viscoelasticity. However, the molecular processes that underlie these macroscopic properties are poorly understood. We develop a united atom model of aligned chains, in which intermolecular interactions are modelled by a Lennard-Jones potential, and the elastic energy within chains is modelled with harmonic springs. Using this simple model, we demonstrate the nucleation of solitons from chain ends, as one molecular chain is stretched with respect to another, and how load is transferred between chains in disregistry by intermolecular interactions. We develop an equation of motion for the movement of solitons along molecular chains, allowing us to replace a collection of aligned chains with a gas of solitons. Although solitons have been invoked to account for dielectric relaxation in crystalline regions of polyethylene, we believe this may be the first time they are discussed in the context of mechanical properties of aligned polyethylene.

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Prolactin and Its Receptor

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Prolactin and the prolactin receptors are members of a family of hormone/receptor pairs which include GH, erythropoietin, and other ligand/receptor pairs. The mechanisms of these ligand/receptor pairs have broad similarities, including general structures, ligand/receptor stoichiometries, and activation of several common signaling pathways. But significant variations in the structural and mechanistic details are present among these hormones and their type 1 receptors. The prolactin receptor is particularly interesting because it can be activated by three sequence-diverse human hormones: prolactin, GH, and placental lactogen. This system offers a unique opportunity to compare the detailed molecular mechanisms of these related hormone/receptor pairs. This review critically evaluates selected literature that informs these mechanisms, compares the mechanisms of the three lactogenic hormones, compares the mechanism with those of other class 1 ligand/receptor pairs, and identifies information that will be required to resolve mechanistic ambiguities. The literature describes distinct mechanistic differences between the three lactogenic hormones and their interaction with the prolactin receptor and describes more significant differences between the mechanisms by which other related ligands interact with and activate their receptors. PMID:22577091

  8. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of AKI.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Anupam; Dong, Zheng; Harris, Raymond; Murray, Patrick; Parikh, Samir M; Rosner, Mitchell H; Kellum, John A; Ronco, Claudio

    2016-05-01

    In this article, we review the current evidence for the cellular and molecular mechanisms of AKI, focusing on epithelial cell pathobiology and related cell-cell interactions, using ischemic AKI as a model. Highlighted are the clinical relevance of cellular and molecular targets that have been investigated in experimental models of ischemic AKI and how such models might be improved to optimize translation into successful clinical trials. In particular, development of more context-specific animal models with greater relevance to human AKI is urgently needed. Comorbidities that could alter patient susceptibility to AKI, such as underlying diabetes, aging, obesity, cancer, and CKD, should also be considered in developing these models. Finally, harmonization between academia and industry for more clinically relevant preclinical testing of potential therapeutic targets and better translational clinical trial design is also needed to achieve the goal of developing effective interventions for AKI. PMID:26860342

  9. Molecular mechanisms of the EHF bioeffect

    SciTech Connect

    Serikov, A.A.

    1994-07-01

    A generalizing theoretical analysis of models of mechanisms of interaction of biological macromolecules with EHF electromagnetic fields is performed. It is shown that nonthermal EHF radiation has a biological effect when the dipole-active oscillation Q of the primary receptors is greater than or equal to 10{sup 3}-10{sup 4}, which is of the same magnitude as the corresponding characteristic of individual peaks in the radiation spectrum. From the analysis of model equations of the kinetics of synthesis and dissociation of molecular associates, an explanation of the EHF bioeffect is proposed that is based on the phenomenon of high sensitivity to external actions of responses in which high-molecular-weight aggregates participate.

  10. Molecular mechanisms of ageing and related diseases.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jun-Ping

    2014-07-01

    Human and other multicellular life species age, and ageing processes become dominant during the late phase of life. Recent studies challenge this dogma, suggesting that ageing does not occur in some animal species. In mammals, cell replicative senescence occurs as early as before birth (i.e. in embryos) under physiological conditions. How the molecular machinery operates and why ageing cells dominate under some circumstances are intriguing questions. Recent studies show that cell ageing involves extensive cellular remodelling, including telomere attrition, heterochromatin formation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial disorders and lysosome processing organelles and chromatins. This article provides an update on the molecular mechanisms underlying the ageing of various cell types, the newly described developmental and programmed replicative senescence and the critical roles of cellular organelles and effectors in Parkinson's disease, diabetes, hypertension and dyskeratosis congenita. PMID:24798238

  11. Molecular Mechanics of Tip-Link Cadherins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotomayor, Marcos; Weihofen, Wilhelm A.; Gaudet, Rachelle; Corey, David P.

    2011-11-01

    The hair-cell tip link, a fine filament directly conveying force to mechanosensitive transduction channels, is likely composed of two proteins, protocadherin-15 and cadherin-23, whose mutation causes deafness. However, their complete molecular structure, elasticity, and deafness-related structural defects remain largely unknown. We present crystal structures of extracellular (EC) tip-link cadherin repeats involved in hereditary deafness and tip link formation. In addition, we show that the deafness mutation D101G, in the linker region between the repeats EC1 and EC2 of cadherin-23, causes a slight bend between repeats and decreases Ca2+ affinity. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that tip-link cadherin repeats are stiff and that either removing Ca2+ or mutating Ca2+-binding residues reduces rigidity and unfolding strength. The structures and simulations also suggest mechanisms underlying inherited deafness and how cadherin-23 may bind with protocadherin-15 to form the tip link.

  12. Molecular mechanics conformational analysis of tylosin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, Petko M.

    1998-01-01

    The conformations of the 16-membered macrolide antibiotic tylosin were studied with molecular mechanics (AMBER∗ force field) including modelling of the effect of the solvent on the conformational preferences (GB/SA). A Monte Carlo conformational search procedure was used for finding the most probable low-energy conformations. The present study provides complementary data to recently reported analysis of the conformations of tylosin based on NMR techniques. A search for the low-energy conformations of protynolide, a 16-membered lactone containing the same aglycone as tylosin, was also carried out, and the results were compared with the observed conformation in the crystal as well as with the most probable conformations of the macrocyclic ring of tylosin. The dependence of the results on force field was also studied by utilizing the MM3 force field. Some particular conformations were computed with the semiempirical molecular orbital methods AM1 and PM3.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T.; Schroeder, A.

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques. PMID:20145384

  14. Adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis mechanism in kinesin studied by combined quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical metadynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Matthew J; Kuo, I-F Will; Hayashi, Shigehiko; Takada, Shoji

    2013-06-19

    Kinesin is a molecular motor that hydrolyzes adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and moves along microtubules against load. While motility and atomic structures have been well-characterized for various members of the kinesin family, not much is known about ATP hydrolysis inside the active site. Here, we study ATP hydrolysis mechanisms in the kinesin-5 protein Eg5 by using combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics metadynamics simulations. Approximately 200 atoms at the catalytic site are treated by a dispersion-corrected density functional and, in total, 13 metadynamics simulations are performed with their cumulative time reaching ~0.7 ns. Using the converged runs, we compute free energy surfaces and obtain a few hydrolysis pathways. The pathway with the lowest free energy barrier involves a two-water chain and is initiated by the Pγ-Oβ dissociation concerted with approach of the lytic water to PγO3-. This immediately induces a proton transfer from the lytic water to another water, which then gives a proton to the conserved Glu270. Later, the proton is transferred back from Glu270 to HPO(4)2- via another hydrogen-bonded chain. We find that the reaction is favorable when the salt bridge between Glu270 in switch II and Arg234 in switch I is transiently broken, which facilitates the ability of Glu270 to accept a proton. When ATP is placed in the ADP-bound conformation of Eg5, the ATP-Mg moiety is surrounded by many water molecules and Thr107 blocks the water chain, which together make the hydrolysis reaction less favorable. The observed two-water chain mechanisms are rather similar to those suggested in two other motors, myosin and F1-ATPase, raising the possibility of a common mechanism. PMID:23751065

  15. MODELING MOLECULAR TARGETS FOR TOXICITY, A COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING KEY STEPS IN THE MECHANISMS FOR TOXICITY AND A TOOL FOR PRIORITIZING BIOASSAY REQUIREMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Agency frequently encounters situations where it must make decisions about the potential health and environmental effects of chemicals when all of the relevant data is not available. One rational approach to this problem is to estimate the relevant missing information by ext...

  16. Mechanisms of Ventricular Arrhythmias: From Molecular Fluctuations to Electrical Turbulence

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Zhilin; Weiss, James N.

    2015-01-01

    Ventricular arrhythmias have complex causes and mechanisms. Despite extensive investigation involving many clinical, experimental, and computational studies, effective biological therapeutics are still very limited. In this article, we review our current understanding of the mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmias by summarizing the state of knowledge spanning from the molecular scale to electrical wave behavior at the tissue and organ scales and how the complex nonlinear interactions integrate into the dynamics of arrhythmias in the heart. We discuss the challenges that we face in synthesizing these dynamics to develop safe and effective novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:25340965

  17. Mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmias: from molecular fluctuations to electrical turbulence.

    PubMed

    Qu, Zhilin; Weiss, James N

    2015-01-01

    Ventricular arrhythmias have complex causes and mechanisms. Despite extensive investigation involving many clinical, experimental, and computational studies, effective biological therapeutics are still very limited. In this article, we review our current understanding of the mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmias by summarizing the state of knowledge spanning from the molecular scale to electrical wave behavior at the tissue and organ scales and how the complex nonlinear interactions integrate into the dynamics of arrhythmias in the heart. We discuss the challenges that we face in synthesizing these dynamics to develop safe and effective novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:25340965

  18. Pseudospectral approach to relativistic molecular theory.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Takahito; Hirao, Kimihiko

    2004-08-22

    The efficient relativistic Dirac-Hartree-Fock (DHF) and Dirac-Kohn-Sham (DKS) methods are proposed by an application of the pseudospectral (PS) approach. The present PS-DHF/DKS method is a relativistic extension of the PS-HF/KS method of Friesner, though we aim at higher numerical accuracy by elimination of superfluous arbitrariness. The relativistic PS-DHF/DKS method is implemented into our REL4D programs. Several PS applications to molecular systems show that the relativistic PS-DHF/DKS approach is more efficient than the traditional approach without a loss of accuracy. The present PS-DKS method successfully assigns and predicts the photoelectron spectra of hexacarbonyl complexes of tungsten and seaborgium theoretically. PMID:15303907

  19. Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance and its reversal in cancer.

    PubMed

    Kartal-Yandim, Melis; Adan-Gokbulut, Aysun; Baran, Yusuf

    2016-08-01

    Chemotherapy is the main strategy for the treatment of cancer. However, the main problem limiting the success of chemotherapy is the development of multidrug resistance. The resistance can be intrinsic or acquired. The resistance phenotype is associated with the tumor cells that gain a cross-resistance to a large range of drugs that are structurally and functionally different. Multidrug resistance arises via many unrelated mechanisms, such as overexpression of energy-dependent efflux proteins, decrease in uptake of the agents, increase or alteration in drug targets, modification of cell cycle checkpoints, inactivation of the agents, compartmentalization of the agents, inhibition of apoptosis and aberrant bioactive sphingolipid metabolism. Exact elucidation of resistance mechanisms and molecular and biochemical approaches to overcome multidrug resistance have been a major goal in cancer research. This review comprises the mechanisms guiding multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy and also touches on approaches for reversing the resistance. PMID:25757878

  20. Emerging paramyxoviruses: molecular mechanisms and antiviral strategies

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, Hector C.; Lee, Benhur

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, several paramyxoviruses have emerged to infect humans, including previously unidentified zoonoses. Hendra and Nipah virus (henipavirus (HNV)) zoonoses were first identified in 1994 or 1998, causing deaths in animals and humans in Australia or Malaysia, respectively. Other paramyxoviruses, such as menangle virus, tioman virus, human metapneumovirus, and avian paramyxovirus-1, with less morbidity in humans, have also been recently identified. Although the Paramyxoviridae family of viruses has been previously recognized as biomedically and veterinarily important, the recent emergence of these paramyxoviruses has increased our attention to this family. Antiviral drugs can be designed to target specific important determinants of the viral/cell life cycle. Therefore, identifying and understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of viral entry, replication, assembly, and budding will be critical in the development of antiviral therapeutic agents. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms discovered and the antiviral strategies pursued in recent years for emerging paramyxoviruses, with a concentration on viral entry and exit mechanisms. PMID:21345285

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Chemoresistance in Oral Cancer.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cheng; Liu, Xi Qiang; Hou, Jin Song; Wang, Jian Ning; Huang, Hong Zhang

    2016-03-01

    Oral cancer is an aggressive disease with the propensity for local recurrence and distal metastasis in the head and neck region. Currently, cisplatin-based chemotherapy or concurrent radiochemotherapy is still the first choice to treat the advanced stage cancers, in particular, the unresectable tumours. Unfortunately, innate and acquired resistance to chemotherapy agent greatly limited its effectiveness and often led to treatment failure in these patients. Hence, it is urgent to clarify the mechanisms underlying the development of chemoresistance in patients with oral cancer. In this article, the current understandings on molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in oral cancer were reviewed, including drug efflux, apoptosis, DNA damage and repair, epithelial mesenchymal transition, autophagy and miRNA. PMID:26981604

  2. Molecular Tools and Approaches for Optogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Yuan; Zhang, Feng

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian brain poses a formidable challenge to the study and treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases – owing to the complex interaction of genetic, epigenetic, and circuit-level mechanisms underlying pathogenesis. Technologies that facilitate functional dissection of distinct brain circuits are necessary for systematic identification of disease origin and therapy. Recent developments in the optogenetics technology have begun to address this challenge by enabling precise perturbation of distinct cell types based on molecular signatures, functional projections, and intracellular biochemical signaling pathways. With high temporal precision and reversible neuromodulation, optogenetics promises to improve existing disease models and advance our understanding of psychiatric conditions. In this review, we will describe the current state of molecular optogenetic tools and future directions of development. PMID:22480664

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Thoracic Aortic Dissection

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Darrell; Shen, Ying H.; Russell, Ludivine; Coselli, Joseph S.; LeMaire, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Thoracic aortic dissection (TAD) is a highly lethal vascular disease. In many patients with TAD, the aorta progressively dilates and ultimately ruptures. Dissection formation, progression, and rupture cannot be reliably prevented pharmacologically because the molecular mechanisms of aortic wall degeneration are poorly understood. The key histopathologic feature of TAD is medial degeneration, a process characterized by smooth muscle cell depletion and extracellular matrix degradation. These structural changes have a profound impact on the functional properties of the aortic wall and can result from excessive protease-mediated destruction of the extracellular matrix, altered signaling pathways, and altered gene expression. Review of the literature reveals differences in the processes that lead to ascending versus descending and sporadic versus hereditary TAD. These differences add to the complexity of this disease. Although tremendous progress has been made in diagnosing and treating TAD, a better understanding of the molecular, cellular, and genetic mechanisms that cause this disease is necessary to developing more effective preventative and therapeutic treatment strategies. PMID:23856125

  4. Molecular inhibitory mechanism of tricin on tyrosinase.

    PubMed

    Mu, Yan; Li, Lin; Hu, Song-Qing

    2013-04-15

    Tricin was evaluated as a type of tyrosinase inhibitor with good efficacy compared to arbutin. Tricin functioned as a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase, with an equilibrium constant of 2.30 mmol/L. The molecular mechanisms underlying the inhibition of tyrosinase by tricin were investigated by means of circular dichroism spectra, fluorescence quenching and molecular docking. These assays demonstrated that the interactions between tricin and tyrosinase did not change the secondary structure. The interaction of tricin with residues in the hydrophobic pocket of tyrosinase was revealed by fluorescence quenching; the complex was stabilized by hydrophobic associations and hydrogen bonding (with residues Asn80 and Arg267). Docking results implied that the possible inhibitory mechanisms may be attributed to the stereospecific blockade effects of tricin on substrates or products and flexible conformation alterations in the tyrosinase active center caused by weak interactions between tyrosinase and tricin. The application of this type of flavonoid as a tyrosinase inhibitor will lead to significant advances in the field of depigmentation. PMID:23434549

  5. Molecular inhibitory mechanism of tricin on tyrosinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mu, Yan; Li, Lin; Hu, Song-Qing

    2013-04-01

    Tricin was evaluated as a type of tyrosinase inhibitor with good efficacy compared to arbutin. Tricin functioned as a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase, with an equilibrium constant of 2.30 mmol/L. The molecular mechanisms underlying the inhibition of tyrosinase by tricin were investigated by means of circular dichroism spectra, fluorescence quenching and molecular docking. These assays demonstrated that the interactions between tricin and tyrosinase did not change the secondary structure. The interaction of tricin with residues in the hydrophobic pocket of tyrosinase was revealed by fluorescence quenching; the complex was stabilized by hydrophobic associations and hydrogen bonding (with residues Asn80 and Arg267). Docking results implied that the possible inhibitory mechanisms may be attributed to the stereospecific blockade effects of tricin on substrates or products and flexible conformation alterations in the tyrosinase active center caused by weak interactions between tyrosinase and tricin. The application of this type of flavonoid as a tyrosinase inhibitor will lead to significant advances in the field of depigmentation.

  6. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Krause, Marie N; Sancho-Martinez, Ignacio; Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos

    2016-05-01

    Despite the profound and rapid advancements in reprogramming technologies since the generation of the first induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in 2006[1], the molecular basics of the process and its implications are still not fully understood. Recent work has suggested that a subset of TFs, so called "Pioneer TFs", play an important role during the stochastic phase of iPSC reprogramming [2-6]. Pioneer TFs activities differ from conventional transcription factors in their mechanism of action. They bind directly to condensed chromatin and elicit a series of chromatin remodeling events that lead to opening of the chromatin. Chromatin decondensation by pioneer factors progressively occurs during cell division and in turn exposes specific gene promoters in the DNA to which TFs can now directly bind to promoters that are readily accessible[2, 6]. Here, we will summarize recent advancements on our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying reprogramming to iPSC as well as the implications that pioneer Transcription Factor activities might play during different lineage conversion processes. PMID:26655812

  7. Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia – The Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Nessa, Azizun; Rahman, Sofia A.; Hussain, Khalid

    2016-01-01

    Under normal physiological conditions, pancreatic β-cells secrete insulin to maintain fasting blood glucose levels in the range 3.5–5.5 mmol/L. In hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH), this precise regulation of insulin secretion is perturbed so that insulin continues to be secreted in the presence of hypoglycemia. HH may be due to genetic causes (congenital) or secondary to certain risk factors. The molecular mechanisms leading to HH involve defects in the key genes regulating insulin secretion from the β-cells. At this moment, in time genetic abnormalities in nine genes (ABCC8, KCNJ11, GCK, SCHAD, GLUD1, SLC16A1, HNF1A, HNF4A, and UCP2) have been described that lead to the congenital forms of HH. Perinatal stress, intrauterine growth retardation, maternal diabetes mellitus, and a large number of developmental syndromes are also associated with HH in the neonatal period. In older children and adult’s insulinoma, non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemia syndrome and post bariatric surgery are recognized causes of HH. This review article will focus mainly on describing the molecular mechanisms that lead to unregulated insulin secretion. PMID:27065949

  8. Molecular mechanisms regulating macrophage response to hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Rahat, Michal A; Bitterman, Haim; Lahat, Nitza

    2011-01-01

    Monocytes and Macrophages (Mo/Mɸ) exhibit great plasticity, as they can shift between different modes of activation and, driven by their immediate microenvironment, perform divergent functions. These include, among others, patrolling their surroundings and maintaining homeostasis (resident Mo/Mɸ), combating invading pathogens and tumor cells (classically activated or M1 Mo/Mɸ), orchestrating wound healing (alternatively activated or M2 Mo/Mɸ), and restoring homeostasis after an inflammatory response (resolution Mɸ). Hypoxia is an important factor in the Mɸ microenvironment, is prevalent in many physiological and pathological conditions, and is interdependent with the inflammatory response. Although Mo/Mɸ have been studied in hypoxia, the mechanisms by which hypoxia influences the different modes of their activation, and how it regulates the shift between them, remain unclear. Here we review the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that mediate this hypoxic regulation of Mɸ activation. Much is known about the hypoxic transcriptional regulatory network, which includes the master regulators hypoxia-induced factor-1 and NF-κB, as well as other transcription factors (e.g., AP-1, Erg-1), but we also highlight the role of post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. These mechanisms mediate hypoxic induction of Mɸ pro-angiogenic mediators, suppress M1 Mɸ by post-transcriptionally inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediators, and help shift the classically activated Mɸ into an activation state which approximate the alternatively activated or resolution Mɸ. PMID:22566835

  9. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Macrophage Response to Hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    Rahat, Michal A.; Bitterman, Haim; Lahat, Nitza

    2011-01-01

    Monocytes and Macrophages (Mo/Mɸ) exhibit great plasticity, as they can shift between different modes of activation and, driven by their immediate microenvironment, perform divergent functions. These include, among others, patrolling their surroundings and maintaining homeostasis (resident Mo/Mɸ), combating invading pathogens and tumor cells (classically activated or M1 Mo/Mɸ), orchestrating wound healing (alternatively activated or M2 Mo/Mɸ), and restoring homeostasis after an inflammatory response (resolution Mɸ). Hypoxia is an important factor in the Mɸ microenvironment, is prevalent in many physiological and pathological conditions, and is interdependent with the inflammatory response. Although Mo/Mɸ have been studied in hypoxia, the mechanisms by which hypoxia influences the different modes of their activation, and how it regulates the shift between them, remain unclear. Here we review the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that mediate this hypoxic regulation of Mɸ activation. Much is known about the hypoxic transcriptional regulatory network, which includes the master regulators hypoxia-induced factor-1 and NF-κB, as well as other transcription factors (e.g., AP-1, Erg-1), but we also highlight the role of post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. These mechanisms mediate hypoxic induction of Mɸ pro-angiogenic mediators, suppress M1 Mɸ by post-transcriptionally inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediators, and help shift the classically activated Mɸ into an activation state which approximate the alternatively activated or resolution Mɸ. PMID:22566835

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Chromium in Alleviating Insulin Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Yinan; Clark, Suzanne; Ren, Jun; Sreejayan, Nair

    2011-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular anomalies and is a major health problem approaching global epidemic proportions. Insulin resistance, a prediabetic condition, precedes the onset of frank type 2 diabetes and offers potential avenues for early intervention to treat the disease. Although lifestyle modifications and exercise can reduce the incidence of diabetes, compliance has proved to be difficult, warranting pharmacological interventions. However, most of the currently available drugs that improve insulin sensitivity have adverse effects. Therefore, attractive strategies to alleviate insulin resistance include dietary supplements. One such supplement is chromium, which has been shown reduce insulin resistance in some, but not all, studies. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms of chromium in alleviating insulin resistance remain elusive. This review examines emerging reports on the effect of chromium, as well as molecular and cellular mechanisms by which chromium may provide beneficial effects in alleviating insulin resistance. PMID:22423897

  11. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Wynn, T A

    2008-01-01

    Fibrosis is defined by the overgrowth, hardening, and/or scarring of various tissues and is attributed to excess deposition of extracellular matrix components including collagen. Fibrosis is the end result of chronic inflammatory reactions induced by a variety of stimuli including persistent infections, autoimmune reactions, allergic responses, chemical insults, radiation, and tissue injury. Although current treatments for fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, systemic sclerosis, progressive kidney disease, and cardiovascular fibrosis typically target the inflammatory response, there is accumulating evidence that the mechanisms driving fibrogenesis are distinct from those regulating inflammation. In fact, some studies have suggested that ongoing inflammation is needed to reverse established and progressive fibrosis. The key cellular mediator of fibrosis is the myofibroblast, which when activated serves as the primary collagen-producing cell. Myofibroblasts are generated from a variety of sources including resident mesenchymal cells, epithelial and endothelial cells in processes termed epithelial/endothelial-mesenchymal (EMT/EndMT) transition, as well as from circulating fibroblast-like cells called fibrocytes that are derived from bone-marrow stem cells. Myofibroblasts are activated by a variety of mechanisms, including paracrine signals derived from lymphocytes and macrophages, autocrine factors secreted by myofibroblasts, and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPS) produced by pathogenic organisms that interact with pattern recognition receptors (i.e. TLRs) on fibroblasts. Cytokines (IL-13, IL-21, TGF-beta1), chemokines (MCP-1, MIP-1beta), angiogenic factors (VEGF), growth factors (PDGF), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), acute phase proteins (SAP), caspases, and components of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (ANG II) have been identified as important regulators of fibrosis and are being

  12. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Wynn, TA

    2009-01-01

    Fibrosis is defined by the overgrowth, hardening, and/or scarring of various tissues and is attributed to excess deposition of extracellular matrix components including collagen. Fibrosis is the end result of chronic inflammatory reactions induced by a variety of stimuli including persistent infections, autoimmune reactions, allergic responses, chemical insults, radiation, and tissue injury. Although current treatments for fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, systemic sclerosis, progressive kidney disease, and cardiovascular fibrosis typically target the inflammatory response, there is accumulating evidence that the mechanisms driving fibrogenesis are distinct from those regulating inflammation. In fact, some studies have suggested that ongoing inflammation is needed to reverse established and progressive fibrosis. The key cellular mediator of fibrosis is the myofibroblast, which when activated serves as the primary collagen-producing cell. Myofibroblasts are generated from a variety of sources including resident mesenchymal cells, epithelial and endothelial cells in processes termed epithelial/endothelial-mesenchymal (EMT/EndMT) transition, as well as from circulating fibroblast-like cells called fibrocytes that are derived from bone-marrow stem cells. Myofibroblasts are activated by a variety of mechanisms, including paracrine signals derived from lymphocytes and macrophages, autocrine factors secreted by myofibroblasts, and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPS) produced by pathogenic organisms that interact with pattern recognition receptors (i.e. TLRs) on fibroblasts. Cytokines (IL-13, IL-21, TGF-β1), chemokines (MCP-1, MIP-1β), angiogenic factors (VEGF), growth factors (PDGF), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), acute phase proteins (SAP), caspases, and components of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (ANG II) have been identified as important regulators of fibrosis and are being

  13. Molecular genetic approaches to understanding disease.

    PubMed Central

    Savill, J.

    1997-01-01

    Molecular genetics has greatly increased the understanding of diseases in which there is a single gene defect such as cystic fibrosis. Discovering the gene responsible and its function not only helps determine the pathogenesis of the disease but also offers a possible treatment-gene therapy. Polygenic disorders such as diabetes may soon yield their secrets to the same approach. Animal models of genetic diseases are proving useful research tools, and transgenesis has made xenografting possible. Furthermore, antisense technology allows specific inhibition of undesirably overexpressed genes such as those driving unwanted vascular cell proliferation and restenosis after angioplasty. The completion of the human genome project should make the search for "disease" gene much quicker and will increase still further the importance of these gene based approaches toward diseases. PMID:9006475

  14. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of anthracycline cardiotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Billy; Peng, Xuyang; Pentassuglia, Laura; Lim, Chee Chew; Sawyer, Douglas B

    2007-01-01

    The molecular and cellular mechanisms that cause cumulative dose-dependent anthracycline-cardiotoxicity remain controversial and incompletely understood. Studies examining the effects of anthracyclines in cardiac myocytes inA vitro have demonstrated several forms of cellular injury. Cell death in response to anthracyclines can be observed by one of several mechanisms including apoptosis and necrosis. Cell death by apoptosis can be inhibited by dexrazoxane, the iron chelator that is known to prevent clinical development of heart failure at high cumulative anthracycline exposure. Together with clinical evidence for myocyte death after anthracycline exposure, in the form of elevations in serum troponin, make myocyte cell death a probable mechanism for anthracycline-induced cardiac injury. Other mechanisms of myocyte injury include the development of cellular \\'sarcopenia\\' characterized by disruption of normal sarcomere structure. Anthracyclines suppress expression of several cardiac transcription factors, and this may play a role in the development of myocyte death as well as sarcopenia. Degradation of the giant myofilament protein titin may represent an important proximal step that leads to accelerated myofilament degradation. Titin is an entropic spring element in the sarcomere that regulates length-dependent calcium sensitivity. Thus titin degradation may lead to impaired diastolic as well as systolic dysfunction, as well as potentiate the effect of suppression of transcription of sarcomere proteins. An interesting interaction has been noted clinically between anthracyclines and newer cancer therapies that target the erbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase. Studies of erbB2 function in viro suggest that signaling through erbB2 by the growth factor neuregulin may regulate cardiac myocyte sarcomere turnover, as well as myocyte-myocyte/myocyte-matrix force coupling. A combination of further in vitro studies, with more careful monitoring of cardiac function after exposure to

  15. Screened Electrostatic Interactions in Molecular Mechanics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Truhlar, Donald G

    2014-10-14

    In a typical application of molecular mechanics (MM), the electrostatic interactions are calculated from parametrized partial atomic charges treated as point charges interacting by radial Coulomb potentials. This does not usually yield accurate electrostatic interactions at van der Waals distances, but this is compensated by additional parametrized terms, for example Lennard-Jones potentials. In the present work, we present a scheme involving radial screened Coulomb potentials that reproduces the accurate electrostatics much more accurately. The screening accounts for charge penetration of one subsystem's charge cloud into that of another subsystem, and it is incorporated into the interaction potential in a way similar to what we proposed in a previous article (J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2010, 6, 3330) for combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations, but the screening parameters are reoptimized for MM. The optimization is carried out with electrostatic-potential-fitted partial atomic charges, but the optimized parameters should be useful with any realistic charge model. In the model we employ, the charge density of an atom is approximated as the sum of a point charge representing the nucleus and inner electrons and a smeared charge representing the outermost electrons; in particular, for all atoms except hydrogens, the smeared charge represents the two outermost electrons in the present model. We find that the charge penetration effect can cause very significant deviations from the popular point-charge model, and by comparison to electrostatic interactions calculated by symmetry-adapted perturbation theory, we find that the present results are considerably more accurate than point-charge electrostatic interactions. The mean unsigned error in electrostatics for a large and diverse data set (192 interaction energies) decreases from 9.2 to 3.3 kcal/mol, and the error in the electrostatics for 10 water dimers decreases from 1.7 to 0.5 kcal

  16. Measuring the mechanical properties of molecular conformers

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, S. P.; Taylor, S.; Baran, J. D.; Champness, N. R.; Larsson, J. A.; Moriarty, P.

    2015-01-01

    Scanning probe-actuated single molecule manipulation has proven to be an exceptionally powerful tool for the systematic atomic-scale interrogation of molecular adsorbates. To date, however, the extent to which molecular conformation affects the force required to push or pull a single molecule has not been explored. Here we probe the mechanochemical response of two tetra(4-bromophenyl)porphyrin conformers using non-contact atomic force microscopy where we find a large difference between the lateral forces required for manipulation. Remarkably, despite sharing very similar adsorption characteristics, variations in the potential energy surface are capable of prohibiting probe-induced positioning of one conformer, while simultaneously permitting manipulation of the alternative conformational form. Our results are interpreted in the context of dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations which reveal significant differences in the diffusion barriers for each conformer. These results demonstrate that conformational variation significantly modifies the mechanical response of even simple porpyhrins, potentially affecting many other flexible molecules. PMID:26388232

  17. Molecular Mechanisms of Mouse Skin Tumor Promotion

    PubMed Central

    Rundhaug, Joyce E.; Fischer, Susan M.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple molecular mechanisms are involved in the promotion of skin carcinogenesis. Induction of sustained proliferation and epidermal hyperplasia by direct activation of mitotic signaling pathways or indirectly in response to chronic wounding and/or inflammation, or due to a block in terminal differentiation or resistance to apoptosis is necessary to allow clonal expansion of initiated cells with DNA mutations to form skin tumors. The mitotic pathways include activation of epidermal growth factor receptor and Ras/Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. Chronic inflammation results in inflammatory cell secretion of growth factors and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukins, as well as production of reactive oxygen species, all of which can stimulate proliferation. Persistent activation of these pathways leads to tumor promotion. PMID:21297902

  18. [Molecular mechanisms of niclosamide antitumor activity].

    PubMed

    Moskaleva, E Yu; Perevozchikova, V G; Zhirnik, A S; Severin, S E

    2015-01-01

    In this review the recent data regarding the antitumor activity of niclosamide and the molecular mechanisms of its antitumor activity are presented. Niclosamide has been used in the clinic for the treatment of intestinal parasite infections. In recent years in several screening investigations of various drugs and chemical compounds niclosamide was identified as a potential anticancer agent. Niclosamide not only inhibits the Wnt/β-catenin, mTORC1, STAT3, NF-κB and Notch signaling pathways, but also targets mitochondria in cancer cells to induce growth inhibition and apoptosis. A number of studies have established the anticancer activity of niclosamide in both in vitro and in vivo in xenotransplantation models using human tumors and immunodeficient mice. It is important that niclosamide is active not only against tumor cells but also cancer stem cells. Normal cells are resistant to niclosamide. The accumulated experimental data suggest niclosamide is a promising drug for the treatment of various types of cancer. PMID:26716739

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Neonatal Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Claire; Rousset, Catherine I.; Kichev, Anton; Miyakuni, Yasuka; Vontell, Regina; Baburamani, Ana A.; Fleiss, Bobbi; Gressens, Pierre; Hagberg, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    Fetal/neonatal brain injury is an important cause of neurological disability. Hypoxia-ischemia and excitotoxicity are considered important insults, and, in spite of their acute nature, brain injury develops over a protracted time period during the primary, secondary, and tertiary phases. The concept that most of the injury develops with a delay after the insult makes it possible to provide effective neuroprotective treatment after the insult. Indeed, hypothermia applied within 6 hours after birth in neonatal encephalopathy reduces neurological disability in clinical trials. In order to develop the next generation of treatment, we need to know more about the pathophysiological mechanism during the secondary and tertiary phases of injury. We review some of the critical molecular events related to mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis during the secondary phase and report some recent evidence that intervention may be feasible also days-weeks after the insult. PMID:22363841

  20. A Systems Biology-Based Approach to Uncovering the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Dragon's Blood Tablet in Colitis, Involving the Integration of Chemical Analysis, ADME Prediction, and Network Pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Xiumei; Zhai, Huaqiang; Lin, Na; Tang, Shihuan; Liang, Rixin; Ma, Yan; Li, Defeng; Zhang, Yi; Zhu, Guangrong; Yang, Hongjun; Huang, Luqi

    2014-01-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB) tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method was employed to identify 48 components of DB tablets. In silico prediction of the passive absorption of these compounds, based on Caco-2 cell permeability, and their P450 metabolism enabled the identification of 22 potentially absorbed components and 8 metabolites. Finally, networks were constructed to analyze interactions between these DB components/metabolites absorbed and their putative targets, and between the putative DB targets and known therapeutic targets for colitis. This study provided a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of DB in colitis treatment. PMID:25068885

  1. Pilocytic astrocytoma: pathology, molecular mechanisms and markers.

    PubMed

    Collins, V Peter; Jones, David T W; Giannini, Caterina

    2015-06-01

    Pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs) were recognized as a discrete clinical entity over 70 years ago. They are relatively benign (WHO grade I) and have, as a group, a 10-year survival of over 90%. Many require merely surgical removal and only very infrequently do they progress to more malignant gliomas. While most show classical morphology, they may present a spectrum of morphological patterns, and there are difficult cases that show similarities to other gliomas, some of which are malignant and require aggressive treatment. Until recently, almost nothing was known about the molecular mechanisms involved in their development. The use of high-throughput sequencing techniques interrogating the whole genome has shown that single abnormalities of the mitogen-activating protein kinase (MAPK) pathway are exclusively found in almost all cases, indicating that PA represents a one-pathway disease. The most common mechanism is a tandem duplication of a ≈2 Mb-fragment of #7q, giving rise to a fusion between two genes, resulting in a transforming fusion protein, consisting of the N-terminus of KIAA1549 and the kinase domain of BRAF. Additional infrequent fusion partners have been identified, along with other abnormalities of the MAP-K pathway, affecting tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors at the cell surface (e.g., FGFR1) as well as BRAF V600E, KRAS, and NF1 mutations among others. However, while the KIAA1549-BRAF fusion occurs in all areas, the incidence of the various other mutations identified differs in PAs that develop in different regions of the brain. Unfortunately, from a diagnostic standpoint, almost all mutations found have been reported in other brain tumor types, although some retain considerable utility. These molecular abnormalities will be reviewed, and the difficulties in their potential use in supporting a diagnosis of PA, when the histopathological findings are equivocal or in the choice of individualized therapy, will be discussed. PMID:25792358

  2. Ambient-Potential Composite Ewald Method for ab Initio Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    PubMed

    Giese, Timothy J; York, Darrin M

    2016-06-14

    A new approach for performing Particle Mesh Ewald in ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations with extended atomic orbital basis sets is presented. The new approach, the Ambient-Potential Composite Ewald (CEw) method, does not perform the QM/MM interaction with Mulliken charges nor electrostatically fit charges. Instead the nuclei and electron density interact directly with the MM environment, but in a manner that avoids the use of dense Fourier transform grids. By performing the electrostatics with the underlying QM density, the CEw method avoids self-consistent field instabilities that have been encountered with simple charge mapping procedures. Potential of mean force (PMF) profiles of the p-nitrophenyl phosphate dissociation reaction in explicit solvent are computed from PBE0/6-31G* QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations with various electrostatic protocols. The CEw profiles are shown to be stable with respect to real-space Ewald cutoff, whereas the PMFs computed from truncated and switched electrostatics produce artifacts. PBE0/6-311G**, AM1/d-PhoT, and DFTB2 QM/MM simulations are performed to generate two-dimensional PMF profiles of the phosphoryl transesterification reactions with ethoxide and phenoxide leaving groups. The semiempirical models incorrectly produce a concerted ethoxide mechanism, whereas PBE0 correctly produces a stepwise mechanism. The ab initio reaction barriers agree more closely to experiment than the semiempirical models. The failure of Mulliken-charge QM/MM-Ewald is analyzed. PMID:27171914

  3. Boltzmann's Approach to Statistical Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldstein, Sheldon

    In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Ludwig Boltzmann explained how irreversible macroscopic laws, in particular the second law of thermodynamics, originate in the time-reversible laws of microscopic physics. Boltzmann's analysis, the essence of which I shall review here, is basically correct. The most famous criticisms of Boltzmann's later work on the subject have little merit. Most twentieth century innovations - such as the identification of the state of a physical system with a probability distribution \\varrho on its phase space, of its thermodynamic entropy with the Gibbs entropy of \\varrho, and the invocation of the notions of ergodicity and mixing for the justification of the foundations of statistical mechanics - are thoroughly misguided.

  4. Molecular mechanism of phototropin light signaling.

    PubMed

    Okajima, Koji

    2016-03-01

    Phototropin (phot) is a blue light (BL) receptor kinase involved in the BL responses of several species, ranging from green algae to higher plants. Phot converts BL signals from the environment into biochemical signals that trigger cellular responses. In phot, the LOV1 and LOV2 domains of the N-terminal region utilize BL for cyclic photoreactions and regulate C-terminal serine/threonine kinase (STK) activity. LOV2-STK peptides are the smallest functional unit of phot and are useful for understanding regulation mechanisms. The combined analysis of spectroscopy and STK activity assay in Arabidopsis phots suggests that the decay speed of the photo-intermediate S390 in LOV2 is one of the factors contributing to light sensitive kinase activity. LOV2 and STK are thought to be adjacent to each other in LOV2-STK with small angle scattering (SAXS). BL irradiation induces LOV2-STK elongation, resulting in LOV2 shifting away from STK. The N- and C-terminal lateral regions of LOV2, A'α-helix, Jα-helix, and A'α/Aβ gap are responsible for the propagation of the BL signal to STK via conformational changes. The comparison between LOV2-STK and full-length phot from Chlamydomonas suggests that LOV1 is directly adjacent to LOV2 in LOV2-STK; therefore, LOV1 may indirectly regulate STK. The molecular mechanism of phot is discussed. PMID:26815763

  5. Insulin Resistance and Heart Failure: Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Aroor, Annayya R.; Mandavia, Chirag H.; Sowers, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Insulin resistance and associated reductions in cardiac insulin metabolic signaling is emerging as a major factor for the development of heart failure and assumes more importance because of an epidemic increase in obesity and the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome and our aging population. Major factors contributing to the development of cardiac insulin resistance are oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, dysregulated secretion of adipokines/cytokines and inappropriate activation of renin-angiotensin II-aldosterone system (RAAS) and the sympathetic nervous system. The effects of cardiac insulin resistance are exacerbated by metabolic, endocrine and cytokine alterations associated with systemic insulin resistance. The aggregate of these various alterations leads to an insulin resistant phenotype with metabolic inflexibility, impaired calcium handling, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, dysregulated myocardial-endothelial interactions resulting in energy deficiency, impaired diastolic dysfunction, myocardial cell death and cardiac fibrosis. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms linking insulin resistance and heart failure may help to design new and more effective mechanism-based drugs to improve myocardial and systemic insulin resistance. PMID:22999243

  6. The strawberry plant defense mechanism: a molecular review.

    PubMed

    Amil-Ruiz, Francisco; Blanco-Portales, Rosario; Muñoz-Blanco, Juan; Caballero, José L

    2011-11-01

    Strawberry, a small fruit crop of great importance throughout the world, has been considered a model plant system for Rosaceae, and is susceptible to a large variety of phytopathogenic organisms. Most components and mechanisms of the strawberry defense network remain poorly understood. However, from current knowledge, it seems clear that the ability of a strawberry plant to respond efficiently to pathogens relies first on the physiological status of injured tissue (pre-formed mechanisms of defense) and secondly on the general ability to recognize and identify the invaders by surface plant receptors, followed by a broad range of induced mechanisms, which include cell wall reinforcement, production of reactive oxygen species, phytoalexin generation and pathogenesis-related protein accumulation. Dissection of these physiological responses at a molecular level will provide valuable information to improve future breeding strategies for new strawberry varieties and to engineer strawberry plants for durable and broad-spectrum disease resistance. In turn, this will lead to a reduction in use of chemicals and in environmental risks. Advances in the understanding of the molecular interplay between plant (mainly those considered model systems) and various classes of microbial pathogens have been made in the last two decades. However, major progress in the genetics and molecular biology of strawberry is still needed to uncover fully the way in which this elaborate plant innate immune system works. These fundamental insights will provide a conceptual framework for rational human intervention through new strawberry research approaches. In this review, we will provide a comprehensive overview and discuss recent advances in molecular research on strawberry defense mechanisms against pathogens. PMID:21984602

  7. Computational approaches to detect allosteric pathways in transmembrane molecular machines.

    PubMed

    Stolzenberg, Sebastian; Michino, Mayako; LeVine, Michael V; Weinstein, Harel; Shi, Lei

    2016-07-01

    Many of the functions of transmembrane proteins involved in signal processing and transduction across the cell membrane are determined by allosteric couplings that propagate the functional effects well beyond the original site of activation. Data gathered from breakthroughs in biochemistry, crystallography, and single molecule fluorescence have established a rich basis of information for the study of molecular mechanisms in the allosteric couplings of such transmembrane proteins. The mechanistic details of these couplings, many of which have therapeutic implications, however, have only become accessible in synergy with molecular modeling and simulations. Here, we review some recent computational approaches that analyze allosteric coupling networks (ACNs) in transmembrane proteins, and in particular the recently developed Protein Interaction Analyzer (PIA) designed to study ACNs in the structural ensembles sampled by molecular dynamics simulations. The power of these computational approaches in interrogating the functional mechanisms of transmembrane proteins is illustrated with selected examples of recent experimental and computational studies pursued synergistically in the investigation of secondary active transporters and GPCRs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Proteins edited by J.C. Gumbart and Sergei Noskov. PMID:26806157

  8. Molecular mechanisms for tumour resistance to chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Pan, Shu-Ting; Li, Zhi-Ling; He, Zhi-Xu; Qiu, Jia-Xuan; Zhou, Shu-Feng

    2016-08-01

    Chemotherapy is one of the prevailing methods used to treat malignant tumours, but the outcome and prognosis of tumour patients are not optimistic. Cancer cells gradually generate resistance to almost all chemotherapeutic drugs via a variety of distinct mechanisms and pathways. Chemotherapeutic resistance, either intrinsic or acquired, is caused and sustained by reduced drug accumulation and increased drug export, alterations in drug targets and signalling transduction molecules, increased repair of drug-induced DNA damage, and evasion of apoptosis. In order to better understand the mechanisms of chemoresistance, this review highlights our current knowledge of the role of altered drug metabolism and transport and deregulation of apoptosis and autophagy in the development of tumour chemoresistance. Reduced intracellular activation of prodrugs (e.g. thiotepa and tegafur) or enhanced drug inactivation by Phase I and II enzymes contributes to the development of chemoresistance. Both primary and acquired resistance can be caused by alterations in the transport of anticancer drugs which is mediated by a variety of drug transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance associated proteins, and breast cancer resistance protein. Presently there is a line of evidence indicating that deregulation of programmed cell death including apoptosis and autophagy is also an important mechanism for tumour resistance to anticancer drugs. Reversal of chemoresistance is likely via pharmacological and biological approaches. Further studies are warranted to grasp the full picture of how each type of cancer cells develop resistance to anticancer drugs and to identify novel strategies to overcome it. PMID:27097837

  9. Extrapolated gradientlike algorithms for molecular dynamics and celestial mechanics simulations.

    PubMed

    Omelyan, I P

    2006-09-01

    A class of symplectic algorithms is introduced to integrate the equations of motion in many-body systems. The algorithms are derived on the basis of an advanced gradientlike decomposition approach. Its main advantage over the standard gradient scheme is the avoidance of time-consuming evaluations of force gradients by force extrapolation without any loss of precision. As a result, the efficiency of the integration improves significantly. The algorithms obtained are analyzed and optimized using an error-function theory. The best among them are tested in actual molecular dynamics and celestial mechanics simulations for comparison with well-known nongradient and gradient algorithms such as the Störmer-Verlet, Runge-Kutta, Cowell-Numerov, Forest-Ruth, Suzuki-Chin, and others. It is demonstrated that for moderate and high accuracy, the extrapolated algorithms should be considered as the most efficient for the integration of motion in molecular dynamics simulations. PMID:17025782

  10. Molecular mechanisms of muscle plasticity with exercise.

    PubMed

    Hoppeler, Hans; Baum, Oliver; Lurman, Glenn; Mueller, Matthias

    2011-07-01

    The skeletal muscle phenotype is subject to considerable malleability depending on use. Low-intensity endurance type exercise leads to qualitative changes of muscle tissue characterized mainly by an increase in structures supporting oxygen delivery and consumption. High-load strength-type exercise leads to growth of muscle fibers dominated by an increase in contractile proteins. In low-intensity exercise, stress-induced signaling leads to transcriptional upregulation of a multitude of genes with Ca(2+) signaling and the energy status of the muscle cells sensed through AMPK being major input determinants. Several parallel signaling pathways converge on the transcriptional co-activator PGC-1α, perceived as being the coordinator of much of the transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes. High-load training is dominated by a translational upregulation controlled by mTOR mainly influenced by an insulin/growth factor-dependent signaling cascade as well as mechanical and nutritional cues. Exercise-induced muscle growth is further supported by DNA recruitment through activation and incorporation of satellite cells. Crucial nodes of strength and endurance exercise signaling networks are shared making these training modes interdependent. Robustness of exercise-related signaling is the consequence of signaling being multiple parallel with feed-back and feed-forward control over single and multiple signaling levels. We currently have a good descriptive understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling muscle phenotypic plasticity. We lack understanding of the precise interactions among partners of signaling networks and accordingly models to predict signaling outcome of entire networks. A major current challenge is to verify and apply available knowledge gained in model systems to predict human phenotypic plasticity. PMID:23733647

  11. Decomposition of Amino Diazeniumdiolates (NONOates): Molecular Mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Shaikh, Nizamuddin; Valiev, Marat; Lymar, Sergei V.

    2014-08-23

    Although diazeniumdiolates (X[N(O)NO]-) are extensively used in biochemical, physiological, and pharmacological studies due to their ability to slowly release NO and/or its congeneric nitroxyl, the mechanisms of these processes remain obscure. In this work, we used a combination of spectroscopic, kinetic, and computational techniques to arrive at a qualitatively consistent molecular mechanism for decomposition of amino diazeniumdiolates (amino NONOates: R2N[N(O)NO]-, where R = -N(C2H5)2 (1), -N(C3H4NH2)2 (2), or -N(C2H4NH2)2 (3)). Decomposition of these NONOates is triggered by protonation of their [NN(O)NO]- group with apparent pKa and decomposition rate constants of 4.6 and 1 s-1 for 1-H, 3.5 and 83 x 10-3 s-1 for 2-H, and 3.8 and 3.3 x 10-3 s-1 for 3-H. Although protonation occurs mainly on the O atoms of the functional group, only the minor R2N(H)N(O)NO tautomer (population ~0.01%, for 1) undergoes the N-N heterolytic bond cleavage (k ~102 s-1 for 1) leading to amine and NO. Decompositions of protonated amino NONOates are strongly temperature-dependent; activation enthalpies are 20.4 and 19.4 kcal/mol for 1 and 2, respectively, which includes contributions from both the tautomerization and bond cleavage. The bond cleavage rates exhibit exceptional sensitivity to the nature of R substituents which strongly modulate activation entropy. At pH < 2, decompositions of all these NONOates are subject to additional acid catalysis that occurs through di-protonation of the [NN(O)NO]- group.

  12. Decomposition of amino diazeniumdiolates (NONOates): Molecular mechanisms

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Shaikh, Nizamuddin; Valiev, Marat; Lymar, Sergei V.

    2014-08-23

    Although diazeniumdiolates (X[N(O)NO]-) are extensively used in biochemical, physiological, and pharmacological studies due to their ability to release NO and/or its congeneric nitroxyl, the mechanisms of these processes remain obscure. In this work, we used a combination of spectroscopic, kinetic, and computational techniques to arrive at a quantitatively consistent molecular mechanism for decomposition of amino diazeniumdiolates (amino NONOates: R2N[N(O)NO]-, where R = —N(C2H5)2(1), —N(C3H4NH2)2(2), or —N(C2H4NH2)2(3)). Decomposition of these NONOates is triggered by protonation of their [NN(O)NO]- group with the apparent pKa and decomposition rate constants of 4.6 and 1 s-1 for 1; 3.5 and 0.083 s-1 for 2; andmore » 3.8 and 0.0033 s-1 for 3. Although protonation occurs mainly on the O atoms of the functional group, only the minor R2N(H)N(O)NO tautomer (population ~ 10-7, for 1) undergoes the N—N heterolytic bond cleavage (kd ~ 107 s-1 for 1) leading to amine and NO. Decompositions of protonated amino NONOates are strongly temperature-dependent; activation enthalpies are 20.4 and 19.4 kcal/mol for 1 and 2, respectively, which includes contributions from both the tautomerization and bond cleavage. Thus, the bond cleavage rates exhibit exceptional sensitivity to the nature of R substituents which strongly modulate activation entropy. At pH < 2, decompositions of all three NONOates that have been investigated are subject to additional acid catalysis that occurs through di-protonation of the [NN(O)NO]- group.« less

  13. Molecular mechanism of pore formation by actinoporins.

    PubMed

    Kristan, Katarina Crnigoj; Viero, Gabriella; Dalla Serra, Mauro; Macek, Peter; Anderluh, Gregor

    2009-12-15

    Actinoporins are effective pore-forming toxins produced by sea anemones. These extremely potent, basic 20 kDa proteins readily form pores in membranes that contain sphingomyelin. Much has been learned about the molecular basis of their pore-forming mechanism in recent years. Pore formation is a multi-step process that involves recognition of membrane sphingomyelin, firm binding to the membrane accompanied by the transfer of the N-terminal region to the lipid-water interface and finally pore formation after oligomerisation of three to four monomers. The final conductive pathway is formed by amphipathic alpha-helices, hence actinoporins are an important example of so-called alpha-helical pore-forming toxins. Actinoporins have become useful model proteins to study protein-membrane interactions, specific recognition of lipids in the membrane, and protein oligomerisation in the lipid milieu. Recent sequence and structural data of proteins similar to actinoporins indicate that they are not a unique family restricted to sea anemones as was long believed. An AF domain superfamily (abbreviated from actinoporin-like proteins and fungal fruit-body lectins) was defined and shown to contain members from three animal and two plant phyla. On the basis of functional properties of some members we hypothesise that AF domain proteins are peripheral membrane proteins. Finally, ability of actinoporins to form transmembrane pores has been exploited in some novel biomedical applications. PMID:19268680

  14. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Peritoneal EMT and Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Strippoli, Raffaele; Moreno-Vicente, Roberto; Battistelli, Cecilia; Cicchini, Carla; Noce, Valeria; Amicone, Laura; Marchetti, Alessandra; del Pozo, Miguel Angel; Tripodi, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Peritoneal dialysis is a form of renal replacement alternative to the hemodialysis. During this treatment, the peritoneal membrane acts as a permeable barrier for exchange of solutes and water. Continual exposure to dialysis solutions, as well as episodes of peritonitis and hemoperitoneum, can cause acute/chronic inflammation and injury to the peritoneal membrane, which undergoes progressive fibrosis, angiogenesis, and vasculopathy, eventually leading to discontinuation of the peritoneal dialysis. Among the different events controlling this pathological process, epithelial to mesenchymal transition of mesothelial cells plays a main role in the induction of fibrosis and in subsequent functional deterioration of the peritoneal membrane. Here, the main extracellular inducers and cellular players are described. Moreover, signaling pathways acting during this process are elucidated, with emphasis on signals delivered by TGF-β family members and by Toll-like/IL-1β receptors. The understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying fibrosis of the peritoneal membrane has both a basic and a translational relevance, since it may be useful for setup of therapies aimed at counteracting the deterioration as well as restoring the homeostasis of the peritoneal membrane. PMID:26941801

  15. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Psychological Stress and Cancer.

    PubMed

    Shin, Kyeong Jin; Lee, Yu Jin; Yang, Yong Ryoul; Park, Seorim; Suh, Pann-Ghill; Follo, Matilde Yung; Cocco, Lucio; Ryu, Sung Ho

    2016-01-01

    Psychological stress is an emotion experienced when people are under mental pressure or encounter unexpected problems. Extreme or repetitive stress increases the risk of developing human disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), immune diseases, mental disorders, and cancer. Several studies have shown an association between psychological stress and cancer growth and metastasis in animal models and case studies of cancer patients. Stress induces the secretion of stress-related mediators, such as catecholamine, cortisol, and oxytocin, via the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis or the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). These stress-related hormones and neurotransmitters adversely affect stress-induced tumor progression and cancer therapy. Catecholamine is the primary factor that influences tumor progression. It can regulate diverse cellular signaling pathways through adrenergic receptors (ADRs), which are expressed by several types of cancer cells. Activated ADRs enhance the proliferation and invasion abilities of cancer cells, alter cell activity in the tumor microenvironment, and regulate the interaction between cancer and its microenvironment to promote tumor progression. Additionally, other stress mediators, such as glucocorticoids and oxytocin, and their cognate receptors are involved in stress-induced cancer growth and metastasis. Here, we will review how each receptor-mediated signal cascade contributes to tumor initiation and progression and discuss how we can use these molecular mechanisms for cancer therapy. PMID:26916018

  16. Cellular and molecular mechanisms in liver fibrogenesis.

    PubMed

    Novo, Erica; Cannito, Stefania; Paternostro, Claudia; Bocca, Claudia; Miglietta, Antonella; Parola, Maurizio

    2014-04-15

    Liver fibrogenesis is a dynamic and highly integrated molecular, tissue and cellular process, potentially reversible, that drives the progression of chronic liver diseases (CLD) towards liver cirrhosis and hepatic failure. Hepatic myofibroblasts (MFs), the pro-fibrogenic effector cells, originate mainly from activation of hepatic stellate cells and portal fibroblasts being characterized by a proliferative and survival attitude. MFs also contract in response to vasoactive agents, sustain angiogenesis and recruit and modulate activity of cells of innate or adaptive immunity. Chronic activation of wound healing and oxidative stress as well as derangement of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are "major" pro-fibrogenic mechanisms, whatever the etiology. However, literature has outlined a complex network of pro-fibrogenic factors and mediators proposed to modulate CLD progression, with some of them being at present highly debated in the field, including the role of epithelial to mesenchymal transition and Hedgehog signaling pathways. Hypoxia and angiogenesis as well as inflammasomes are recently emerged as ubiquitous pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrogenic determinants whereas adipokines are mostly involved in CLD related to metabolic disturbances (metabolic syndrome and/or obesity and type 2 diabetes). Finally, autophagy as well as natural killer and natural killer-T cells have been recently proposed to significantly affect fibrogenic CLD progression. PMID:24631571

  17. Molecular mechanism of anaerobic ammonium oxidation.

    PubMed

    Kartal, Boran; Maalcke, Wouter J; de Almeida, Naomi M; Cirpus, Irina; Gloerich, Jolein; Geerts, Wim; Op den Camp, Huub J M; Harhangi, Harry R; Janssen-Megens, Eva M; Francoijs, Kees-Jan; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G; Keltjens, Jan T; Jetten, Mike S M; Strous, Marc

    2011-11-01

    Two distinct microbial processes, denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), are responsible for the release of fixed nitrogen as dinitrogen gas (N(2)) to the atmosphere. Denitrification has been studied for over 100 years and its intermediates and enzymes are well known. Even though anammox is a key biogeochemical process of equal importance, its molecular mechanism is unknown, but it was proposed to proceed through hydrazine (N(2)H(4)). Here we show that N(2)H(4) is produced from the anammox substrates ammonium and nitrite and that nitric oxide (NO) is the direct precursor of N(2)H(4). We resolved the genes and proteins central to anammox metabolism and purified the key enzymes that catalyse N(2)H(4) synthesis and its oxidation to N(2). These results present a new biochemical reaction forging an N-N bond and fill a lacuna in our understanding of the biochemical synthesis of the N(2) in the atmosphere. Furthermore, they reinforce the role of nitric oxide in the evolution of the nitrogen cycle. PMID:21964329

  18. Rectification mechanism in diblock oligomer molecular diodes.

    PubMed

    Oleynik, I I; Kozhushner, M A; Posvyanskii, V S; Yu, L

    2006-03-10

    We investigated a mechanism of rectification in diblock oligomer diode molecules that have recently been synthesized and showed a pronounced asymmetry in the measured I-V spectrum. The observed rectification effect is due to the resonant nature of electron transfer in the system and the localization properties of bound state wave functions of resonant states of the tunneling electron interacting with an asymmetric molecule in an electric field. The asymmetry of the tunneling wave function is enhanced or weakened depending on the polarity of the applied bias. The conceptually new theoretical approach, the Green's function theory of sub-barrier scattering, is able to provide a physically transparent explanation of this rectification effect based on the concept of the bound state spectrum of a tunneling electron. The theory predicts the characteristic features of the I-V spectrum in qualitative agreement with experiment. PMID:16606295

  19. Anemia: Progress in molecular mechanisms and therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sankaran, Vijay G.; Weiss, Mitchell J.

    2015-01-01

    Anemia is a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Here we review recent insights into how red blood cells (RBCs) are produced, the pathogenic mechanisms underlying various forms of anemia, and novel therapies derived from these findings. It is likely that these new insights, mainly arising from basic scientific studies, will contribute immensely to understanding frequently debilitating forms of anemia and the ability to treat affected patients. Major worldwide diseases that may stand to benefit from the new advances include the hemoglobinopathies (β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease), rare genetic disorders of red blood cell production, and anemias associated with chronic kidney disease, inflammation, and cancer. Promising new treatment approaches include drugs that target recently defined pathways in red blood cell production, iron metabolism, and fetal globin gene expression, as well as gene therapies using improved viral vectors and newly developed genome editing technologies. PMID:25742458

  20. Teaching Classical Statistical Mechanics: A Simulation Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sauer, G.

    1981-01-01

    Describes a one-dimensional model for an ideal gas to study development of disordered motion in Newtonian mechanics. A Monte Carlo procedure for simulation of the statistical ensemble of an ideal gas with fixed total energy is developed. Compares both approaches for a pseudoexperimental foundation of statistical mechanics. (Author/JN)

  1. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections…

  2. Drugs meeting the molecular basis of diabetic kidney disease: bridging from molecular mechanism to personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    Lambers Heerspink, Hiddo J; Oberbauer, Rainer; Perco, Paul; Heinzel, Andreas; Heinze, Georg; Mayer, Gert; Mayer, Bernd

    2015-08-01

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a complex, multifactorial disease and is associated with a high risk of renal and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Clinical practice guidelines for diabetes recommend essentially identical treatments for all patients without taking into account how the individual responds to the instituted therapy. Yet, individuals vary widely in how they respond to medications and therefore optimal therapy differs between individuals. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of variability in drug response will help tailor optimal therapy. Polymorphisms in genes related to drug pharmacokinetics have been used to explore mechanisms of response variability in DKD, but with limited success. The complex interaction between genetic make-up and environmental factors on the abundance of proteins and metabolites renders pharmacogenomics alone insufficient to fully capture response variability. A complementary approach is to attribute drug response variability to individual variability in underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of disease. The interplay of different processes (e.g. inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, oxidative stress) appears to drive disease progression, but the individual contribution of each process varies. Drugs at the other hand address specific targets and thereby interfere in certain disease-associated processes. At this level, biomarkers may help to gain insight into which specific pathophysiological processes are involved in an individual followed by a rational assessment whether a specific drug's mode of action indeed targets the relevant process at hand. This article describes the conceptual background and data-driven workflow developed by the SysKid consortium aimed at improving characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying DKD at the interference of the molecular impact of individual drugs in order to tailor optimal therapy to individual patients. PMID:26209732

  3. Molecular mechanical properties of short-sequence peptide enzyme mimics.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tsukasa; Vo Ngo, Bao C; Xiao, Leyang; Arya, Gaurav; Heller, Michael J

    2016-03-01

    While considerable attempts have been made to recreate the high turnover rates of enzymes using synthetic enzyme mimics, most have failed and only a few have produced minimal reaction rates that can barely be considered catalytic. One particular approach we have focused on is the use of short-sequence peptides that contain key catalytic groups in close proximity. In this study, we designed six different peptides and tested their ability to mimic the catalytic mechanism of the cysteine proteases. Acetylation and deacylation by Ellman's Reagent trapping experiments showed the importance of having phenylalanine groups surrounding the catalytic sites in order to provide greater proximity between the cysteine, histidine, and aspartate amino acid R-groups. We have also carried out all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to determine the distance between these catalytic groups and the overall mechanical flexibility of the peptides. We found strong correlations between the magnitude of fluctuations in the Cys-His distance, which determines the flexibility and interactions between the cysteine thiol and histidine imidazole groups, and the deacylation rate. We found that, in general, shorter Cys-His distance fluctuations led to a higher deacylation rate constant, implying that greater confinement of the two residues will allow a higher frequency of the acetyl exchange between the cysteine thiol and histidine imidazole R-groups. This may be the key to future design of peptide structures with molecular mechanical properties that lead to viable enzyme mimics. PMID:25921736

  4. Molecular and Mechanical Causes of Microtubule Catastrophe and Aging.

    PubMed

    Zakharov, Pavel; Gudimchuk, Nikita; Voevodin, Vladimir; Tikhonravov, Alexander; Ataullakhanov, Fazoil I; Grishchuk, Ekaterina L

    2015-12-15

    Tubulin polymers, microtubules, can switch abruptly from the assembly to shortening. These infrequent transitions, termed "catastrophes", affect numerous cellular processes but the underlying mechanisms are elusive. We approached this complex stochastic system using advanced coarse-grained molecular dynamics modeling of tubulin-tubulin interactions. Unlike in previous simplified models of dynamic microtubules, the catastrophes in this model arise owing to fluctuations in the composition and conformation of a growing microtubule tip, most notably in the number of protofilament curls. In our model, dynamic evolution of the stochastic microtubule tip configurations over a long timescale, known as the system's "aging", gives rise to the nonexponential distribution of microtubule lifetimes, consistent with experiment. We show that aging takes place in the absence of visible changes in the microtubule wall or tip, as this complex molecular-mechanical system evolves slowly and asymptotically toward the steady-state level of the catastrophe-promoting configurations. This new, to our knowledge, theoretical basis will assist detailed mechanistic investigations of the mechanisms of action of different microtubule-binding proteins and drugs, thereby enabling accurate control over the microtubule dynamics to treat various pathologies. PMID:26682815

  5. Silica Synthesis by Sponges: Unanticipated Molecular Mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morse, D. E.; Weaver, J. C.

    2001-12-01

    substitutions of specific amino acid sidechains, in conjunction with computer-assisted molecular modeling and biomimetic synthesis, allowed us to probe the determinants of catalytic activity and confirm the identification of the amino acid sidechains required for hydrolysis of the silicon alkoxides. If, as suggested by the data of others, silicic acid is conjugated with organic moieties after its transport into the cell, the catalytic mechanism described here may be important in biosilicification by sponges. As is often the case, we have been better able to answer mechanistic questions about "how" silica can be formed biologically, than "why" the diversity of structures is elaborated. Studies of spicule formation during cellular regeneration in Tethya aurantia reveal that synthesis of the larger silica needles (megascleres) and smaller starburst-shaped microscleres may be independently regulated, presumably at the genetic level. The spatial segregation of these morphologically-distinct spicule types within the sponge further suggests an adaptive significance of the different skeletal elements.

  6. Approaches to USJ Formation Beyond Molecular Implantation

    SciTech Connect

    Hatem, C.; Renau, A.; Godet, L.; Kontos, A.; Papasouliotis, G.; England, J.; Arevalo, E.

    2008-11-03

    As junction depth requirements approach sub 10 nm and the sensitivity to residual implant damage continues to increase, the capability to produce abrupt, shallow profiles while maintaining low residual damage becomes a difficult challenge. Implantation induced amorphization has been widely applied to reduce channeling tails of implanted dopant profiles for integrated circuit manufacturing. This has been required to meet aggressive junction depth targets. The problem, however, is that pre-amorphization creates high defect densities that remain near the former amorphous-crystalline interface post anneal. These end of range (EOR) defects become of greater concern as the industry begins to move towards millisecond anneal technologies. Millisecond anneal, while capable of close to diffusionless activation and abrupt junctions, has caused concern for its inability to fully repair these EOR defects. There has been a recent focus on removing traditional PAI through molecular implantation with limited success. Towards this end we have investigated alternative techniques to reduce EOR damage while maintaining the junction depth, sheet resistance and abruptness. Here we describe the results of two of these techniques. The subsequent reduction in EOR through the use of each process and the resultant Rs, junction depth and abruptness are detailed.

  7. Approaches to USJ Formation Beyond Molecular Implantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatem, C.; Renau, A.; Godet, L.; Kontos, A.; Papasouliotis, G.; England, J.; Arevalo, E.

    2008-11-01

    As junction depth requirements approach sub 10 nm and the sensitivity to residual implant damage continues to increase, the capability to produce abrupt, shallow profiles while maintaining low residual damage becomes a difficult challenge. Implantation induced amorphization has been widely applied to reduce channeling tails of implanted dopant profiles for integrated circuit manufacturing. This has been required to meet aggressive junction depth targets. The problem, however, is that pre-amorphization creates high defect densities that remain near the former amorphous-crystalline interface post anneal. These end of range (EOR) defects become of greater concern as the industry begins to move towards millisecond anneal technologies. Millisecond anneal, while capable of close to diffusionless activation and abrupt junctions, has caused concern for its inability to fully repair these EOR defects. There has been a recent focus on removing traditional PAI through molecular implantation with limited success. Towards this end we have investigated alternative techniques to reduce EOR damage while maintaining the junction depth, sheet resistance and abruptness. Here we describe the results of two of these techniques. The subsequent reduction in EOR through the use of each process and the resultant Rs, junction depth and abruptness are detailed.

  8. Theoretical study of molecular vibrations in electron momentum spectroscopy experiments on furan: An analytical versus a molecular dynamical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Morini, Filippo; Deleuze, Michael S.; Watanabe, Noboru; Takahashi, Masahiko

    2015-03-07

    The influence of thermally induced nuclear dynamics (molecular vibrations) in the initial electronic ground state on the valence orbital momentum profiles of furan has been theoretically investigated using two different approaches. The first of these approaches employs the principles of Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics, whereas the so-called harmonic analytical quantum mechanical approach resorts to an analytical decomposition of contributions arising from quantized harmonic vibrational eigenstates. In spite of their intrinsic differences, the two approaches enable consistent insights into the electron momentum distributions inferred from new measurements employing electron momentum spectroscopy and an electron impact energy of 1.2 keV. Both approaches point out in particular an appreciable influence of a few specific molecular vibrations of A{sub 1} symmetry on the 9a{sub 1} momentum profile, which can be unravelled from considerations on the symmetry characteristics of orbitals and their energy spacing.

  9. Use of Nonequilibrium Work Methods to Compute Free Energy Differences Between Molecular Mechanical and Quantum Mechanical Representations of Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Phillip S; Woodcock, H Lee; Boresch, Stefan

    2015-12-01

    Carrying out free energy simulations (FES) using quantum mechanical (QM) Hamiltonians remains an attractive, albeit elusive goal. Renewed efforts in this area have focused on using "indirect" thermodynamic cycles to connect "low level" simulation results to "high level" free energies. The main obstacle to computing converged free energy results between molecular mechanical (MM) and QM (ΔA(MM→QM)), as recently demonstrated by us and others, is differences in the so-called "stiff" degrees of freedom (e.g., bond stretching) between the respective energy surfaces. Herein, we demonstrate that this problem can be efficiently circumvented using nonequilibrium work (NEW) techniques, i.e., Jarzynski's and Crooks' equations. Initial applications of computing ΔA(NEW)(MM→QM), for blocked amino acids alanine and serine as well as to generate butane's potentials of mean force via the indirect QM/MM FES method, showed marked improvement over traditional FES approaches. PMID:26539729

  10. Approaches to uncovering cancer diagnostic and prognostic molecular signatures

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Shengjun; Huang, Yi; Cao, Yaqiang; Chen, Xingwei; Han, Jing-Dong J

    2014-01-01

    The recent rapid development of high-throughput technology enables the study of molecular signatures for cancer diagnosis and prognosis at multiple levels, from genomic and epigenomic to transcriptomic. These unbiased large-scale scans provide important insights into the detection of cancer-related signatures. In addition to single-layer signatures, such as gene expression and somatic mutations, integrating data from multiple heterogeneous platforms using a systematic approach has been proven to be particularly effective for the identification of classification markers. This approach not only helps to uncover essential driver genes and pathways in the cancer network that are responsible for the mechanisms of cancer development, but will also lead us closer to the ultimate goal of personalized cancer therapy. PMID:27308330

  11. Molecular basis of glyphosate resistance: Different approaches through protein engineering

    PubMed Central

    Pollegioni, Loredano; Schonbrunn, Ernst; Siehl, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl-glycine) is the most-used herbicide in the world: glyphosate-based formulations exhibit broad-spectrum herbicidal activity with minimal human and environmental toxicity. The extraordinary success of this simple small molecule is mainly due to the high specificity of glyphosate towards the plant enzyme enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase in the shikimate pathway leading to biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids. Starting in 1996, transgenic glyphosate-resistant plants were introduced thus allowing the application of the herbicide to the crop (post-emergence) to remove emerged weeds without crop damage. This review focuses on the evolution of mechanisms of resistance to glyphosate as obtained through natural diversity, the gene shuffling approach to molecular evolution, and a rational, structure-based approach to protein engineering. In addition, we offer rationale for the means by which the modifications made have had their intended effect. PMID:21668647

  12. Molecular Mechanics: The Method and Its Underlying Philosophy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.

    1982-01-01

    Molecular mechanics is a nonquantum mechanical method for solving problems concerning molecular geometries and energy. Methodology based on: the principle of combining potential energy functions of all structural features of a particular molecule into a total force field; derivation of basic equations; and use of available computer programs is…

  13. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Davila, David; Thibault, Karine; Fiacco, Todd A.; Agulhon, Cendra

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes – with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling – in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions. PMID:24399932

  14. Artificial Bee Colony Optimization of Capping Potentials for Hybrid Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations.

    PubMed

    Schiffmann, Christoph; Sebastiani, Daniel

    2011-05-10

    We present an algorithmic extension of a numerical optimization scheme for analytic capping potentials for use in mixed quantum-classical (quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical, QM/MM) ab initio calculations. Our goal is to minimize bond-cleavage-induced perturbations in the electronic structure, measured by means of a suitable penalty functional. The optimization algorithm-a variant of the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm, which relies on swarm intelligence-couples deterministic (downhill gradient) and stochastic elements to avoid local minimum trapping. The ABC algorithm outperforms the conventional downhill gradient approach, if the penalty hypersurface exhibits wiggles that prevent a straight minimization pathway. We characterize the optimized capping potentials by computing NMR chemical shifts. This approach will increase the accuracy of QM/MM calculations of complex biomolecules. PMID:26610125

  15. Comparison of Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Mechanics Dimerization Energy Landscapes for Pairs of Ring-Containing Amino Acids in Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Morozov, Alexandre V.; Misura M. S., Kira; Tsemekhman, Kiril; Baker, David

    2004-06-17

    A promising approach to developing improved potential functions for modeling macromolecular interactions consists of combining protein structural analysis, quantum mechanical calculations on small molecule models, and molecular mechanics potential decomposition. Here we apply this approach to the interactions of pairs of ring-containing amino acids in proteins. We find reasonable qualitative agreement between molecular mechanics and quantum chemistry calculations, both over one-dimensional projections of the binding free energy landscape for amino acid homodimers and over a set of homodimers and heterodimers from experimentally observed protein crystal structures. The molecular mechanics landscapes are a sum of charge-charge and Lennard-Jones contributions; short-range quantum mechanical effects such as charge transfer appear not to be significant in ring side chain interactions. We also find a reasonable degree of correlation between the molecular mechanics energy landscapes and the distributions of dimer geometries observed in protein structures, suggesting that the intrinsic dimer interaction energies do contribute to packing of side chains in proteins rather than being overwhelmed by the numerous interactions with other protein atoms and solvent. These results demonstrate that interactions involving aromatic residues and proline can be fairly well modeled using current molecular mechanics force fields, but there is still room for improvement, particularly for interactions involving proline and tyrosine.

  16. Water Assisted Reaction Mechanism of OH- with CCl4 in Aqueous Solution - Hybrid Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanics Investigation

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Jie; Yin, Hongyun; Wang, Dunyou; Valiev, Marat

    2013-02-20

    The OH- (H2O) + CCl4 reaction in aqueous solution was investigated using the combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanics approach. The reaction mechanism of OH- (H2O) + CCl4 consists of two concerted steps - formation of OH- in the favorable attack conformation via the proton transfer process, and the nucleophilic substitution process in which the newly formed OH- attacks the CCl4. The free energy activation barrier is 38.2 kcal/mol at CCSD(T)/MM level of theory for this reaction, which is about 10.3 kcal/mol higher than that of the direct nucleophilic substitution mechanism of the OH- + CCl4 reaction in aqueous solution.

  17. The Role of Gln61 in HRas GTP Hydrolysis: A Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Study

    PubMed Central

    Martín-García, Fernando; Mendieta-Moreno, Jesús Ignacio; López-Viñas, Eduardo; Gómez-Puertas, Paulino; Mendieta, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Activation of the water molecule involved in GTP hydrolysis within the HRas⋅RasGAP system is analyzed using a tailored approach based on hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulation. A new path emerges: transfer of a proton from the attacking water molecule to a second water molecule, then a different proton is transferred from this second water molecule to the GTP. Gln61 will stabilize the transient OH− and H3O+ molecules thus generated. This newly proposed mechanism was generated by using, for the first time to our knowledge, the entire HRas-RasGAP protein complex in a QM/MM simulation context. It also offers a rational explanation for previous experimental results regarding the decrease of GTPase rate found in the HRas Q61A mutant and the increase exhibited by the HRas Q61E mutant. PMID:22225809

  18. Phosphorylation Reaction in cAPK Protein Kinase - Free Energy Quantum Mechanic/Molecular Mechanics Simulations.

    SciTech Connect

    Valiev, Marat; Yang, Jie; Adams, Joseph; Taylor, Susan S.; Weare, John H.

    2007-11-29

    Protein kinases catalyze the transfer of the γ-phosphoryl group from ATP, a key regulatory process governing signalling pathways in eukaryotic cells. The structure of the active site in these enzymes is highly conserved implying common catalytic mechanism. In this work we investigate the reaction process in cAPK protein kinase (PKA) using a combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics approach. The novel computational features of our work include reaction pathway determination with nudged elastic band methodology and calculation of free energy profiles of the reaction process taking into account finite temperature fluctuations of the protein environment. We find that the transfer of the γ-phosphoryl group in the protein environment is an exothermic reaction with the reaction barrier of 15 kcal/mol.

  19. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) docking: an evaluation for known test systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beierlein, Frank; Lanig, Harald; Schürer, Gudrun; Horn, Anselm H. C.; Clark, Timothy

    A combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) docking approach for the investigation of protein-inhibitor complexes is presented. Starting points for QM/MM optimizations are generated with AutoDock. The subsequent semiempirical AM1 QM/MM optimization of the complex obtained by the docking procedure gives a more detailed description of the binding mode and the electronic properties of the ligand. As we use a flexible protein environment in the QM/MM optimizations, we are able to simulate limited structural changes of the enzyme upon binding a ligand, even within a simple geometry optimization. The method was validated using a set of structurally known protein-inhibitor complexes, whose crystallographic data were taken from the Protein Data Bank. In addition to protein structures taken directly from complexes with the inhibitors, structures of uncomplexed HIV-1-protease and thrombin were also used successfully for QM/MM docking experiments. By comparing the resulting structures with those obtained using protein structures from protein-inhibitor complexes, we find that the method is able to simulate the effect of the induced fit when a simple optimization is adequate to reproduce the protein movement. Describing the ligand quantum mechanically gives a detailed view of its electronic properties, for example its polarization within the active site of the enzyme. This study suggests strongly that a QM/MM molecular dynamics approach will be able to simulate the induced fit in general cases.

  20. The cognitive life of mechanical molecular models.

    PubMed

    Charbonneau, Mathieu

    2013-12-01

    The use of physical models of molecular structures as research tools has been central to the development of biochemistry and molecular biology. Intriguingly, it has received little attention from scholars of science. In this paper, I argue that these physical models are not mere three-dimensional representations but that they are in fact very special research tools: they are cognitive augmentations. Despite the fact that they are external props, these models serve as cognitive tools that augment and extend the modeler's cognitive capacities and performance in molecular modeling tasks. This cognitive enhancement is obtained because of the way the modeler interacts with these models, the models' materiality contributing to the solving of the molecule's structure. Furthermore, I argue that these material models and their component parts were designed, built and used specifically to serve as cognitive facilitators and cognitive augmentations. PMID:23910718

  1. Hybrid Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Molecular Dynamics Simulations of HIV-1 Integrase/Inhibitor Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Nunthaboot, Nadtanet; Pianwanit, Somsak; Parasuk, Vudhichai; Ebalunode, Jerry O.; Briggs, James M.; Kokpol, Sirirat

    2007-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 integrase (IN) is an attractive target for development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome chemotherapy. In this study, conventional and coupled quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of HIV-1 IN complexed with 5CITEP (IN-5CITEP) were carried out. In addition to differences in the bound position of 5CITEP, significant differences at the two levels of theory were observed in the metal coordination geometry and the areas involving residues 116–119 and 140–166. In the conventional MD simulation, the coordination of Mg2+ was found to be a near-perfect octahedral geometry whereas a distorted octahedral complex was observed in QM/MM. All of the above reasons lead to a different pattern of protein-ligand salt link formation that was not observed in the classical MD simulation. Furthermore to provide a theoretical understanding of inhibition mechanisms of 5CITEP and its derivative (DKA), hybrid QM/MM MD simulations of the two complexes (IN-5CITEP and IN-DKA) have been performed. The results reveal that areas involving residues 60–68, 116–119, and 140–149 were substantially different among the two systems. The two systems show similar pattern of metal coordination geometry, i.e., a distorted octahedron. In IN-DKA, both OD1 and OD2 of Asp-64 coordinate the Mg2+ in a monodentate fashion whereas only OD1 is chelated to the metal as observed in IN-5CITEP. The high potency of DKA as compared to 5CITEP is supported by a strong salt link formed between its carboxylate moiety and the ammonium group of Lys-159. Detailed comparisons between HIV-1 IN complexed with DKA and with 5CITEP provide information about ligand structure effects on protein-ligand interactions in particular with the Lys-159. This is useful for the design of new selective HIV-1 IN inhibitors. PMID:17693479

  2. Developing accurate molecular mechanics force fields for conjugated molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Do, Hainam; Troisi, Alessandro

    2015-10-14

    A rapid method to parameterize the intramolecular component of classical force fields for complex conjugated molecules is proposed. The method is based on a procedure of force matching with a reference electronic structure calculation. It is particularly suitable for those applications where molecular dynamics simulations are used to generate structures that are therefore analysed by electronic structure methods, because it is possible to build force fields that are consistent with electronic structure calculations that follow classical simulations. Such applications are commonly encountered in organic electronics, spectroscopy of complex systems and photobiology (e.g. photosynthetic systems). We illustrate the method by parameterizing the force fields of a molecule used in molecular semiconductors (2,2-dicyanovinyl-capped S,N-heteropentacene or DCV-SN5), a polymeric semiconductor (thieno[3,2-b]thiophene-diketopyrrolopyrrole TT-DPP) and a chromophore embedded in a protein environment (15,16-dihydrobiliverdin or DBV) where several hundreds of parameters need to be optimized in parallel. PMID:26349916

  3. Shaping mitotic chromosomes: From classical concepts to molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Kschonsak, Marc; Haering, Christian H

    2015-01-01

    How eukaryotic genomes are packaged into compact cylindrical chromosomes in preparation for cell divisions has remained one of the major unsolved questions of cell biology. Novel approaches to study the topology of DNA helices inside the nuclei of intact cells, paired with computational modeling and precise biomechanical measurements of isolated chromosomes, have advanced our understanding of mitotic chromosome architecture. In this Review Essay, we discuss – in light of these recent insights – the role of chromatin architecture and the functions and possible mechanisms of SMC protein complexes and other molecular machines in the formation of mitotic chromosomes. Based on the information available, we propose a stepwise model of mitotic chromosome condensation that envisions the sequential generation of intra-chromosomal linkages by condensin complexes in the context of cohesin-mediated inter-chromosomal linkages, assisted by topoisomerase II. The described scenario results in rod-shaped metaphase chromosomes ready for their segregation to the cell poles. PMID:25988527

  4. Shaping mitotic chromosomes: From classical concepts to molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kschonsak, Marc; Haering, Christian H

    2015-07-01

    How eukaryotic genomes are packaged into compact cylindrical chromosomes in preparation for cell divisions has remained one of the major unsolved questions of cell biology. Novel approaches to study the topology of DNA helices inside the nuclei of intact cells, paired with computational modeling and precise biomechanical measurements of isolated chromosomes, have advanced our understanding of mitotic chromosome architecture. In this Review Essay, we discuss - in light of these recent insights - the role of chromatin architecture and the functions and possible mechanisms of SMC protein complexes and other molecular machines in the formation of mitotic chromosomes. Based on the information available, we propose a stepwise model of mitotic chromosome condensation that envisions the sequential generation of intra-chromosomal linkages by condensin complexes in the context of cohesin-mediated inter-chromosomal linkages, assisted by topoisomerase II. The described scenario results in rod-shaped metaphase chromosomes ready for their segregation to the cell poles. PMID:25988527

  5. Identifying the mechanisms of polymer friction through molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Dai, Ling; Minn, M; Satyanarayana, N; Sinha, Sujeet K; Tan, V B C

    2011-12-20

    Mechanisms governing the tribological behavior of polymer-on-polymer sliding were investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. Three main mechanisms governing frictional behavior were identified. Interfacial "brushing" of molecular chain ends over one another was observed as the key contribution to frictional forces. With an increase of the sliding speed, fluctuations in frictional forces reduced in both magnitude and periodicity, leading to dynamic frictional behavior. While "brushing" remained prevalent, two additional irreversible mechanisms, "combing" and "chain scission", of molecular chains were observed when the interfaces were significantly diffused. PMID:22044344

  6. Molecular mechanisms involved in convergent crop domestication.

    PubMed

    Lenser, Teresa; Theißen, Günter

    2013-12-01

    Domestication has helped to understand evolution. We argue that, vice versa, novel insights into evolutionary principles could provide deeper insights into domestication. Molecular analyses have demonstrated that convergent phenotypic evolution is often based on molecular changes in orthologous genes or pathways. Recent studies have revealed that during plant domestication the causal mutations for convergent changes in key traits are likely to be located in particular genes. These insights may contribute to defining candidate genes for genetic improvement during the domestication of new plant species. Such efforts may help to increase the range of arable crops available, thus increasing crop biodiversity and food security to help meet the predicted demands of the continually growing global population under rapidly changing environmental conditions. PMID:24035234

  7. Molecular chaperones: functional mechanisms and nanotechnological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosario Fernández-Fernández, M.; Sot, Begoña; María Valpuesta, José

    2016-08-01

    Molecular chaperones are a group of proteins that assist in protein homeostasis. They not only prevent protein misfolding and aggregation, but also target misfolded proteins for degradation. Despite differences in structure, all types of chaperones share a common general feature, a surface that recognizes and interacts with the misfolded protein. This and other, more specialized properties can be adapted for various nanotechnological purposes, by modification of the original biomolecules or by de novo design based on artificial structures.

  8. Molecular chaperones: functional mechanisms and nanotechnological applications.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Fernández, M Rosario; Sot, Begoña; Valpuesta, José María

    2016-08-12

    Molecular chaperones are a group of proteins that assist in protein homeostasis. They not only prevent protein misfolding and aggregation, but also target misfolded proteins for degradation. Despite differences in structure, all types of chaperones share a common general feature, a surface that recognizes and interacts with the misfolded protein. This and other, more specialized properties can be adapted for various nanotechnological purposes, by modification of the original biomolecules or by de novo design based on artificial structures. PMID:27363314

  9. Characterizing Cardiac Molecular Mechanisms of Mammalian Hibernation via Quantitative Proteogenomics.

    PubMed

    Vermillion, Katie L; Jagtap, Pratik; Johnson, James E; Griffin, Timothy J; Andrews, Matthew T

    2015-11-01

    This study uses advanced proteogenomic approaches in a nonmodel organism to elucidate cardioprotective mechanisms used during mammalian hibernation. Mammalian hibernation is characterized by drastic reductions in body temperature, heart rate, metabolism, and oxygen consumption. These changes pose significant challenges to the physiology of hibernators, especially for the heart, which maintains function throughout the extreme conditions, resembling ischemia and reperfusion. To identify novel cardioadaptive strategies, we merged large-scale RNA-seq data with large-scale iTRAQ-based proteomic data in heart tissue from 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) throughout the circannual cycle. Protein identification and data analysis were run through Galaxy-P, a new multiomic data analysis platform enabling effective integration of RNA-seq and MS/MS proteomic data. Galaxy-P uses flexible, modular workflows that combine customized sequence database searching and iTRAQ quantification to identify novel ground squirrel-specific protein sequences and provide insight into molecular mechanisms of hibernation. This study allowed for the quantification of 2007 identified cardiac proteins, including over 350 peptide sequences derived from previously uncharacterized protein products. Identification of these peptides allows for improved genomic annotation of this nonmodel organism, as well as identification of potential splice variants, mutations, and genome reorganizations that provides insights into novel cardioprotective mechanisms used during hibernation. PMID:26435507

  10. Molecular modeling study of dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors. Molecular dynamics simulations, quantum mechanical calculations, and experimental corroboration.

    PubMed

    Tosso, Rodrigo D; Andujar, Sebastian A; Gutierrez, Lucas; Angelina, Emilio; Rodríguez, Ricaurte; Nogueras, Manuel; Baldoni, Héctor; Suvire, Fernando D; Cobo, Justo; Enriz, Ricardo D

    2013-08-26

    A molecular modeling study on dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors was carried out. By combining molecular dynamics simulations with semiempirical (PM6), ab initio, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, a simple and generally applicable procedure to evaluate the binding energies of DHFR inhibitors interacting with the human enzyme is reported here, providing a clear picture of the binding interactions of these ligands from both structural and energetic viewpoints. A reduced model for the binding pocket was used. This approach allows us to perform more accurate quantum mechanical calculations as well as to obtain a detailed electronic analysis using the quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM) technique. Thus, molecular aspects of the binding interactions between inhibitors and the DHFR are discussed in detail. A significant correlation between binding energies obtained from DFT calculations and experimental IC₅₀ values was obtained, predicting with an acceptable qualitative accuracy the potential inhibitor effect of nonsynthesized compounds. Such correlation was experimentally corroborated synthesizing and testing two new inhibitors reported in this paper. PMID:23834278

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of External Genitalia Development

    PubMed Central

    Blaschko, Sarah D.; Cunha, Gerald R.; Baskin, Laurence S.

    2012-01-01

    External genitalia development occurs through a combination of hormone independent, hormone dependent, and endocrine pathways. Perturbation of these pathways can lead to abnormal external genitalia development. We review human and animal mechanisms of normal and abnormal external genitalia development, and we evaluate abnormal mechanisms that lead to hypospadias. We also discuss recent laboratory findings that further our understanding of animal models of hypospadias. PMID:22790208

  12. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents. (ERB)

  13. Insect pathogens: molecular approaches and techniques

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book serves as a primer for molecular techniques in insect pathology and is tailored for a wide scientific audience. Contributing authors are internationally recognized experts. The book comprises four sections: 1) pathogen identification and diagnostics, 2) pathogen population genetics and p...

  14. Natural Agents: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Photoprotection

    PubMed Central

    Afaq, Farrukh

    2010-01-01

    The skin is the largest organ of the body that produces a flexible and self-repairing barrier and protects the body from most common potentially harmful physical, environmental, and biological insults. Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the major environmental insults to the skin and causes multi-tiered cellular and molecular events eventually leading to skin cancer. The past decade has seen a surge in the incidence of skin cancer due to changes in life style patterns that have led to a significant increase in the amount of UV radiation that people receive. Reducing excessive exposure to UV radiation is desirable; nevertheless this approach is not easy to implement. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel strategies to reduce the adverse biological effects of UV radiation on the skin. A wide variety of natural agents have been reported to possess substantial skin photoprotective effects. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have elucidated that natural agents act by several cellular and molecular mechanisms to delay or prevent skin cancer. In this review article, we have summarized and discussed some of the selected natural agents for skin photoprotection. PMID:21147060

  15. Friedreich Ataxia: Molecular Mechanisms, Redox Considerations, and Therapeutic Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Lefevre, Sophie; Sliwa, Dominika; Seguin, Alexandra; Camadro, Jean-Michel; Lesuisse, Emmanuel

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage are at the origin of numerous neurodegenerative diseases like Friedreich ataxia and Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the most common hereditary ataxia, with one individual affected in 50,000. This disease is characterized by progressive degeneration of the central and peripheral nervous systems, cardiomyopathy, and increased incidence of diabetes mellitus. FRDA is caused by a dynamic mutation, a GAA trinucleotide repeat expansion, in the first intron of the FXN gene. Fewer than 5% of the patients are heterozygous and carry point mutations in the other allele. The molecular consequences of the GAA triplet expansion is transcription silencing and reduced expression of the encoded mitochondrial protein, frataxin. The precise cellular role of frataxin is not known; however, it is clear now that several mitochondrial functions are not performed correctly in patient cells. The affected functions include respiration, iron–sulfur cluster assembly, iron homeostasis, and maintenance of the redox status. This review highlights the molecular mechanisms that underlie the disease phenotypes and the different hypothesis about the function of frataxin. In addition, we present an overview of the most recent therapeutic approaches for this severe disease that actually has no efficient treatment. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 13, 0000–0000. PMID:20156111

  16. Molecular Mechanisms and Treatment of Radiation-Induced Lung Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Nian-Hua; Li, Jian Jian; Sun, Lun-Quan

    2013-01-01

    Radiation-induced lung fibrosis (RILF) is a severe side effect of radiotherapy in lung cancer patients that presents as a progressive pulmonary injury combined with chronic inflammation and exaggerated organ repair. RILF is a major barrier to improving the cure rate and well-being of lung cancer patients because it limits the radiation dose that is required to effectively kill tumor cells and diminishes normal lung function. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, accumulating evidence suggests that various cells, cytokines and regulatory molecules are involved in the tissue reorganization and immune response modulation that occur in RILF. In this review, we will summarize the general symptoms, diagnostics, and current understanding of the cells and molecular factors that are linked to the signaling networks implicated in RILF. Potential approaches for the treatment of RILF will also be discussed. Elucidating the key molecular mediators that initiate and control the extent of RILF in response to therapeutic radiation may reveal additional targets for RILF treatment to significantly improve the efficacy of radiotherapy for lung cancer patients.

  17. Molecular Mechanisms and Treatment of Radiation-Induced Lung Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Nian-Hua; Li, Jian Jian; Sun, Lun-Quan

    2014-01-01

    Radiation-induced lung fibrosis (RILF) is a severe side effect of radiotherapy in lung cancer patients that presents as a progressive pulmonary injury combined with chronic inflammation and exaggerated organ repair. RILF is a major barrier to improving the cure rate and well-being of lung cancer patients because it limits the radiation dose that is required to effectively kill tumor cells and diminishes normal lung function. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, accumulating evidence suggests that various cells, cytokines and regulatory molecules are involved in the tissue reorganization and immune response modulation that occur in RILF. In this review, we will summarize the general symptoms, diagnostics, and current understanding of the cells and molecular factors that are linked to the signaling networks implicated in RILF. Potential approaches for the treatment of RILF will also be discussed. Elucidating the key molecular mediators that initiate and control the extent of RILF in response to therapeutic radiation may reveal additional targets for RILF treatment to significantly improve the efficacy of radiotherapy for lung cancer patients. PMID:23909719

  18. GPU-accelerated molecular mechanics computations.

    PubMed

    Anthopoulos, Athanasios; Grimstead, Ian; Brancale, Andrea

    2013-10-01

    In this article, we describe an improved cell-list approach designed to match the Kepler architecture of General-purpose graphics processing units (GPGPU). We explain how our approach improves load balancing for the above algorithm and how warp intrinsics are used to implement Newton's third law for the nonbonded force calculations. We also talk through our approach to exclusions handling together with a method to calculate bonded forces and 1-4 electrostatic scaling using a single Cuda kernel. Performance benchmarks are included in the last sections to show the linear scaling of our implementation using a step minimization method. In addition, multiple performance benchmarks demonstrate the contribution of various optimizations we used for our implementations. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23861143

  19. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) and remodeling of the lung architecture. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is considered the most common and severe form of the disease, with a median survival of approximately three years and no proven effective therapy. Despite the fact that effective treatments are absent and the precise mechanisms that drive fibrosis in most patients remain incompletely understood, an extensive body of scientific literature regarding pulmonary fibrosis has accumulated over the past 35 years. In this review, we discuss three broad areas which have been explored that may be responsible for the combination of altered lung fibroblasts, loss of alveolar epithelial cells, and excessive accumulation of ECM: inflammation and immune mechanisms, oxidative stress and oxidative signaling, and procoagulant mechanisms. We discuss each of these processes separately to facilitate clarity, but certainly significant interplay will occur amongst these pathways in patients with this disease. PMID:22824096

  20. Molecular mechanisms of STIM/Orai communication

    PubMed Central

    Derler, Isabella; Jardin, Isaac

    2016-01-01

    Ca2+ entry into the cell via store-operated Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels triggers diverse signaling cascades that affect cellular processes like cell growth, gene regulation, secretion, and cell death. These store-operated Ca2+ channels open after depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores, and their main features are fully reconstituted by the two molecular key players: the stromal interaction molecule (STIM) and Orai. STIM represents an endoplasmic reticulum-located Ca2+ sensor, while Orai forms a highly Ca2+-selective ion channel in the plasma membrane. Functional as well as mutagenesis studies together with structural insights about STIM and Orai proteins provide a molecular picture of the interplay of these two key players in the CRAC signaling cascade. This review focuses on the main experimental advances in the understanding of the STIM1-Orai choreography, thereby establishing a portrait of key mechanistic steps in the CRAC channel signaling cascade. The focus is on the activation of the STIM proteins, the subsequent coupling of STIM1 to Orai1, and the consequent structural rearrangements that gate the Orai channels into the open state to allow Ca2+ permeation into the cell. PMID:26825122

  1. Molecular mechanisms of STIM/Orai communication.

    PubMed

    Derler, Isabella; Jardin, Isaac; Romanin, Christoph

    2016-04-15

    Ca(2+)entry into the cell via store-operated Ca(2+)release-activated Ca(2+)(CRAC) channels triggers diverse signaling cascades that affect cellular processes like cell growth, gene regulation, secretion, and cell death. These store-operated Ca(2+)channels open after depletion of intracellular Ca(2+)stores, and their main features are fully reconstituted by the two molecular key players: the stromal interaction molecule (STIM) and Orai. STIM represents an endoplasmic reticulum-located Ca(2+)sensor, while Orai forms a highly Ca(2+)-selective ion channel in the plasma membrane. Functional as well as mutagenesis studies together with structural insights about STIM and Orai proteins provide a molecular picture of the interplay of these two key players in the CRAC signaling cascade. This review focuses on the main experimental advances in the understanding of the STIM1-Orai choreography, thereby establishing a portrait of key mechanistic steps in the CRAC channel signaling cascade. The focus is on the activation of the STIM proteins, the subsequent coupling of STIM1 to Orai1, and the consequent structural rearrangements that gate the Orai channels into the open state to allow Ca(2+)permeation into the cell. PMID:26825122

  2. An Approach with Hybrid Segmental Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Harsh Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Present case report provides an insight into the hybrid segmental mechanics with treatment of 13-year-old male, considering the side effects of sole continuous arch wire sliding mechanics. Patient was diagnosed as a case of skeletal class I jaw relationship, low mandibular plane angle, class II molar relation on right and class I molar relation on left side, anterior cross bite, crowding of 12mm in upper, 5mm in lower arch. He also had proclined upper and lower anteriors by 2mm, convex profile and incompetent lips. Total treatment duration was 20 months, during which segmental canine retraction was performed with TMA (Titanium, Molybdenum, Aluminum) ‘T’ loop retraction spring followed by consolidation of spaces with continuous arch mechanics. Most of the treatment objectives were met with good intraoral and facial results within reasonable framework of time. This approach used traditional twin brackets, which offered the versatility to use continuous arch-wire mechanics, segmental mechanics and hybrid sectional mechanics.

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Action of BPA

    PubMed Central

    Acconcia, Filippo; Pallottini, Valentina

    2015-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure has been associated with serious endocrine-disrupting effects in humans and wildlife. Toxicological and epidemiological studies evidenced that BPA increases body mass index and disrupts normal cardiovascular physiology by interfering with endogenous hormones in rodents, nonhuman primates, and cell culture test systems. The BPA concentration derived from these experiments were used by government regulatory agencies to determine the safe exposure levels of BPA in humans. However, accumulating literature in vivo and in vitro indicate that at concentrations lower than that reported in toxicological studies, BPA could elicit a different endocrine-disrupting capacity. To further complicate this picture, BPA effects rely on several and diverse mechanisms that converge upon endocrine and reproductive systems. If all or just few of these mechanisms concur to the endocrine-disrupting potential of low doses of BPA is at present still unclear. Thus, taking into account that the incidence and/or prevalence of health problems associated with endocrine disruption have increased worldwide, the goal of the present review is to give an overview of the many mechanisms of BPA action in order to decipher whether different mechanisms are at the root of the effect of low dose of BPA on endocrine system. PMID:26740804

  4. Selectivity and molecular mechanisms of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    DeMatteis, F. ); Lock, E. A. )

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 11 chapters. Some of the titles are: Mechanisms of genotoxicity of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons; Drugs as suicide substrates of cytochrome P-450; Cellular specific toxicity in the lung; The nephrotoxicity of haloalkane and haloalkene glutathione conjugates; and dioxin and organotin compounds as model immunotoxic chemicals.

  5. Molecular and Mechanical Behavior of Elastomers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Etzel, A. J.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Describes an experiment in which stretching a rubber band can be used to compare the statistical theory of rubber elasticity with its continuum mechanics counterpart. Employs the use of the equation of the state of rubber elasticity and the Mooney-Rivlin equation. (TW)

  6. Light-powered, artificial molecular pumps: a minimalistic approach.

    PubMed

    Ragazzon, Giulio; Baroncini, Massimo; Silvi, Serena; Venturi, Margherita; Credi, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    The realization of artificial molecular motors capable of converting energy into mechanical work is a fascinating challenge of nanotechnology and requires reactive systems that can operate away from chemical equilibrium. This article describes the design and construction of a simple, supramolecular ensemble in which light irradiation causes the directional transit of a macrocycle along a nonsymmetric molecular axle, thus forming the basis for the development of artificial molecular pumps. PMID:26665081

  7. Light-powered, artificial molecular pumps: a minimalistic approach

    PubMed Central

    Ragazzon, Giulio; Baroncini, Massimo; Silvi, Serena; Venturi, Margherita

    2015-01-01

    Summary The realization of artificial molecular motors capable of converting energy into mechanical work is a fascinating challenge of nanotechnology and requires reactive systems that can operate away from chemical equilibrium. This article describes the design and construction of a simple, supramolecular ensemble in which light irradiation causes the directional transit of a macrocycle along a nonsymmetric molecular axle, thus forming the basis for the development of artificial molecular pumps. PMID:26665081

  8. Emerging mechanisms of molecular pathology in ALS

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Owen M.; Ghasemi, Mehdi; Brown, Robert H.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating degenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of motor neurons in the motor cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord. Although defined as a motor disorder, ALS can arise concurrently with frontotemporal lobal dementia (FTLD). ALS begins focally but disseminates to cause paralysis and death. About 10% of ALS cases are caused by gene mutations, and more than 40 ALS-associated genes have been identified. While important questions about the biology of this disease remain unanswered, investigations of ALS genes have delineated pathogenic roles for (a) perturbations in protein stability and degradation, (b) altered homeostasis of critical RNA- and DNA-binding proteins, (c) impaired cytoskeleton function, and (d) non-neuronal cells as modifiers of the ALS phenotype. The rapidity of progress in ALS genetics and the subsequent acquisition of insights into the molecular biology of these genes provide grounds for optimism that meaningful therapies for ALS are attainable. PMID:25932674

  9. Molecular mechanisms in multiple myeloma drug resistance

    PubMed Central

    Nikesitch, Nicholas; Ling, Silvia C W

    2016-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is predominantly an incurable malignancy despite high-dose chemotherapy, autologous stem cell transplant and novel agents. MM is a genetically heterogeneous disease and the complexity increases as the disease progresses to a more aggressive stage. MM arises from a plasma cell, which produces and secretes non-functioning immunoglobulins. Most MM cells are sensitive to proteasome inhibitors (PIs), which have become the main drug in the treatment of newly diagnosed and relapsed MM. However, not all MM is sensitive to PIs. This review summarises the literature regarding molecular biology of MM with a focus on the unfolded protein response and explores how this could affect drug sensitivity and progression of disease. PMID:26598624

  10. Molecular mechanisms of polyploidy and hybrid vigor

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Z. Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    Hybrids such as maize (Zea mays) or domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) grow bigger and stronger than their parents. This is also true for allopolyploids such as wheat (Triticum spp.) or frog (i.e. Xenopus and Silurana) that contain two or more sets of chromosomes from different species. The phenomenon, known as hybrid vigor or heterosis, was systematically characterized by Charles Darwin (1876). The rediscovery of heterosis in maize a century ago has revolutionized plant and animal breeding and production. Although genetic models for heterosis have been rigorously tested, the molecular bases remain elusive. Recent studies have determined the roles of nonadditive gene expression, small RNAs, and epigenetic regulation, including circadian-mediated metabolic pathways, in hybrid vigor and incompatibility, which could lead to better use and exploitation of the increased biomass and yield in hybrids and allopolyploids for food, feed, and biofuels. PMID:20080432

  11. How Molecular Structure Affects Mechanical Properties of an Advanced Polymer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nicholson, Lee M.; Whitley, Karen S.; Gates, Thomas S.; Hinkley, Jeffrey A.

    2000-01-01

    density was performed over a range of temperatures below the glass transition temperature. The physical characterization, elastic properties and notched tensile strength all as a function of molecular weight and test temperature were determined. For the uncrosslinked SI material, it was shown that notched tensile strength is a strong function of both temperature and molecular weight, whereas stiffness is only a strong function of temperature. For the crosslinked PETI-SI material, it was shown that the effect of crosslinking significantly enhances the mechanical performance of the low molecular weight material; comparable to that exhibited by the high molecular weight material.

  12. Instructional Approach to Molecular Electronic Structure Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dykstra, Clifford E.; Schaefer, Henry F.

    1977-01-01

    Describes a graduate quantum mechanics projects in which students write a computer program that performs ab initio calculations on the electronic structure of a simple molecule. Theoretical potential energy curves are produced. (MLH)

  13. Molecular mechanisms regulating NLRP3 inflammasome activation

    PubMed Central

    Jo, Eun-Kyeong; Kim, Jin Kyung; Shin, Dong-Min; Sasakawa, Chihiro

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are multi-protein signaling complexes that trigger the activation of inflammatory caspases and the maturation of interleukin-1β. Among various inflammasome complexes, the NLRP3 inflammasome is best characterized and has been linked with various human autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Thus, the NLRP3 inflammasome may be a promising target for anti-inflammatory therapies. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the mechanisms by which the NLRP3 inflammasome is activated in the cytosol. We also describe the binding partners of NLRP3 inflammasome complexes activating or inhibiting the inflammasome assembly. Our knowledge of the mechanisms regulating NLRP3 inflammasome signaling and how these influence inflammatory responses offers further insight into potential therapeutic strategies to treat inflammatory diseases associated with dysregulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. PMID:26549800

  14. Vancomycin Molecular Interactions: Antibiotic and Enantioselective Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Timothy J.; Gilmore, Aprile; Ward, Karen; Vowell, Courtney

    Medical studies established that vancomycin and other related macrocyclic antibiotics have an enhanced antimicrobial activity when they are associated as dimers. The carbohydrate units attached to the vancomycin basket have an essential role in the dimerization reaction. Covalently synthesized dimers were found active against vancomycin-resistant bacterial strains. A great similarity between antibiotic potential and enantioselectivity was established. A covalent vancomycin dimer was studied in capillary electrophoresis producing excellent chiral separation of dansyl amino acids. Balhimycin is a macrocyclic glycopeptide structurally similar to vancomycin. The small differences are, however, responsible for drastic differences in enantioselectivity in the same experimental conditions. Contributions from studies examining vancomycin's mechanism for antimicrobial activity have substantially aided our understanding of its mechanism in chiral recognition.

  15. Shared Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Transporters.

    PubMed

    Drew, David; Boudker, Olga

    2016-06-01

    The determination of the crystal structures of small-molecule transporters has shed light on the conformational changes that take place during structural isomerization from outward- to inward-facing states. Rather than using a simple rocking movement of two bundles around a central substrate-binding site, it has become clear that even the most simplistic transporters utilize rearrangements of nonrigid bodies. In the most dramatic cases, one bundle is fixed while the other, structurally divergent, bundle carries the substrate some 18 Å across the membrane, which in this review is termed an elevator alternating-access mechanism. Here, we compare and contrast rocker-switch, rocking-bundle, and elevator alternating-access mechanisms to highlight shared features and novel refinements to the basic alternating-access model. PMID:27023848

  16. Molecular mechanisms of bone formation in spondyloarthritis.

    PubMed

    González-Chávez, Susana Aideé; Quiñonez-Flores, Celia María; Pacheco-Tena, César

    2016-07-01

    Spondyloarthritis comprise a group of inflammatory rheumatic diseases characterized by its association to HLA-B27 and the presence of arthritis and enthesitis. The pathogenesis involves both an inflammatory process and new bone formation, which eventually lead to ankylosis of the spine. To date, the intrinsic mechanisms of the pathogenic process have not been fully elucidated, and our progress is remarkable in the identification of therapeutic targets to achieve the control of the inflammatory process, yet our ability to inhibit the excessive bone formation is still insufficient. The study of new bone formation in spondyloarthritis has been mostly conducted in animal models of the disease and only few experiments have been done using human biopsies. The deregulation and overexpression of molecules involved in the osteogenesis process have been observed in bone cells, mesenchymal cells, and fibroblasts. The signaling associated to the excessive bone formation is congruent with those involved in the physiological processes of bone remodeling. Bone morphogenetic proteins and Wnt pathways have been found deregulated in this disease; however, the cause for uncontrolled stimulation remains unknown. Mechanical stress appears to play an important role in the pathological osteogenesis process; nevertheless, the association of other important factors, such as the presence of HLA-B27 and environmental factors, remains uncertain. The present review summarizes the experimental findings that describe the signaling pathways involved in the new bone formation process in spondyloarthritis in animal models and in human biopsies. The role of mechanical stress as the trigger of these pathways is also reviewed. PMID:26838262

  17. Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Regulation During Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zanello, Susana; Boyle, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Disruption of the regular environmental circadian cues in addition to stringent and demanding operational schedules are two main factors that undoubtedly impact sleep patterns and vigilant performance in the astronaut crews during spaceflight. Most research is focused on the behavioral aspects of the risk of circadian desynchronization, characterized by fatigue and health and performance decrement. A common countermeasure for circadian re-entrainment utilizes blue-green light to entrain the circadian clock and mitigate this risk. However, an effective countermeasure targeting the photoreceptor system requires that the basic circadian molecular machinery remains intact during spaceflight. The molecular clock consists of sets of proteins that perform different functions within the clock machinery: circadian oscillators (genes whose expression levels cycle during the day, keep the pass of cellular time and regulate downstream effector genes), the effector or output genes (those which impact the physiology of the tissue or organism), and the input genes (responsible for sensing the environmental cues that allow circadian entrainment). The main environmental cue is light. As opposed to the known photoreceptors (rods and cones), the non-visual light stimulus is received by a subset of the population of retinal ganglion cells called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) that express melanopsin (opsin 4 -Opn4-) as the photoreceptor. We hypothesize that spaceflight may affect ipRGC and melanopsin expression, which may be a contributing cause of circadian disruption during spaceflight. To answer this question, eyes from albino Balb/cJ mice aboard STS-133 were collected for histological analysis and gene expression profiling of the retina at 1 and 7 days after landing. Both vivarium and AEM (animal enclosure module) mice were used as ground controls. Opn4 expression was analyzed by real time RT/qPCR and retinal sections were stained for Opn4

  18. Molecular mechanisms underlying the exceptional adaptations of batoid fins

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tetsuya; Klomp, Jeff; Pieretti, Joyce; Schneider, Igor; Gehrke, Andrew R.; Shubin, Neil H.

    2015-01-01

    Extreme novelties in the shape and size of paired fins are exemplified by extinct and extant cartilaginous and bony fishes. Pectoral fins of skates and rays, such as the little skate (Batoid, Leucoraja erinacea), show a strikingly unique morphology where the pectoral fin extends anteriorly to ultimately fuse with the head. This results in a morphology that essentially surrounds the body and is associated with the evolution of novel swimming mechanisms in the group. In an approach that extends from RNA sequencing to in situ hybridization to functional assays, we show that anterior and posterior portions of the pectoral fin have different genetic underpinnings: canonical genes of appendage development control posterior fin development via an apical ectodermal ridge (AER), whereas an alternative Homeobox (Hox)–Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf)–Wingless type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) genetic module in the anterior region creates an AER-like structure that drives anterior fin expansion. Finally, we show that GLI family zinc finger 3 (Gli3), which is an anterior repressor of tetrapod digits, is expressed in the posterior half of the pectoral fin of skate, shark, and zebrafish but in the anterior side of the pelvic fin. Taken together, these data point to both highly derived and deeply ancestral patterns of gene expression in skate pectoral fins, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of novel fin morphologies. PMID:26644578

  19. Molecular mechanisms underlying the exceptional adaptations of batoid fins.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Tetsuya; Klomp, Jeff; Pieretti, Joyce; Schneider, Igor; Gehrke, Andrew R; Shubin, Neil H

    2015-12-29

    Extreme novelties in the shape and size of paired fins are exemplified by extinct and extant cartilaginous and bony fishes. Pectoral fins of skates and rays, such as the little skate (Batoid, Leucoraja erinacea), show a strikingly unique morphology where the pectoral fin extends anteriorly to ultimately fuse with the head. This results in a morphology that essentially surrounds the body and is associated with the evolution of novel swimming mechanisms in the group. In an approach that extends from RNA sequencing to in situ hybridization to functional assays, we show that anterior and posterior portions of the pectoral fin have different genetic underpinnings: canonical genes of appendage development control posterior fin development via an apical ectodermal ridge (AER), whereas an alternative Homeobox (Hox)-Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf)-Wingless type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) genetic module in the anterior region creates an AER-like structure that drives anterior fin expansion. Finally, we show that GLI family zinc finger 3 (Gli3), which is an anterior repressor of tetrapod digits, is expressed in the posterior half of the pectoral fin of skate, shark, and zebrafish but in the anterior side of the pelvic fin. Taken together, these data point to both highly derived and deeply ancestral patterns of gene expression in skate pectoral fins, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of novel fin morphologies. PMID:26644578

  20. The Electrical Response to Injury: Molecular Mechanisms and Wound Healing

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Brian; Zhao, Min

    2014-01-01

    Significance: Natural, endogenous electric fields (EFs) and currents arise spontaneously after wounding of many tissues, especially epithelia, and are necessary for normal healing. This wound electrical activity is a long-lasting and regulated response. Enhancing or inhibiting this electrical activity increases or decreases wound healing, respectively. Cells that are responsible for wound closure such as corneal epithelial cells or skin keratinocytes migrate directionally in EFs of physiological magnitude. However, the mechanisms of how the wound electrical response is initiated and regulated remain unclear. Recent Advances: Wound EFs and currents appear to arise by ion channel up-regulation and redistribution, which are perhaps triggered by an intracellular calcium wave or cell depolarization. We discuss the possibility of stimulation of wound healing via pharmacological enhancement of the wound electric signal by stimulation of ion pumping. Critical Issues: Chronic wounds are a major problem in the elderly and diabetic patient. Any strategy to stimulate wound healing in these patients is desirable. Applying electrical stimulation directly is problematic, but pharmacological enhancement of the wound signal may be a promising strategy. Future Directions: Understanding the molecular regulation of wound electric signals may reveal some fundamental mechanisms in wound healing. Manipulating fluxes of ions and electric currents at wounds might offer new approaches to achieve better wound healing and to heal chronic wounds. PMID:24761358

  1. HIV-1 evolution: frustrating therapies, but disclosing molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Das, Atze T.; Berkhout, Ben

    2010-01-01

    Replication of HIV-1 under selective pressure frequently results in the evolution of virus variants that replicate more efficiently under the applied conditions. For example, in patients on antiretroviral therapy, such evolution can result in variants that are resistant to the HIV-1 inhibitors, thus frustrating the therapy. On the other hand, virus evolution can help us to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie HIV-1 replication. For example, evolution of a defective virus mutant can result in variants that overcome the introduced defect by restoration of the original sequence or by the introduction of additional mutations in the viral genome. Analysis of the evolution pathway can reveal the requirements of the element under study and help to understand its function. Analysis of the escape routes may generate new insight in the viral life cycle and result in the identification of unexpected biological mechanisms. We have developed in vitro HIV-1 evolution into a systematic research tool that allows the study of different aspects of the viral replication cycle. We will briefly review this method of forced virus evolution and provide several examples that illustrate the power of this approach. PMID:20478891

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia and Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Sunderram, J.; Androulakis, I.P.

    2013-01-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by episodes of repeated airway obstruction resulting in cessation (apnea) or reduction (hypopnea) in airflow during sleep. These events lead to intermittent hypoxia and hypercapnia, sleep fragmentation, and changes in intrathoracic pressure, and are associated with a marked surge in sympathetic activity and an abrupt increase in blood pressure. Blood pressure remains elevated during wakefulness despite the absence of obstructive events resulting in a high prevalence of hypertension in patients with OSA. There is substantial evidence that suggests that chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) leads to sustained sympathoexcitation during the day and changes in vasculature resulting in hypertension in patients with OSA. Mechanisms of sympathoexcitation include augmentation of peripheral chemoreflex sensitivity and a direct effect on central sites of sympathetic regulation. Interestingly, the vascular changes that occur with CIH have been ascribed to the same molecules that have been implicated in the augmented sympathetic tone in CIH. This review will discuss the hypothesized molecular mechanisms involved in the development of hypertension with CIH, will build a conceptual model for the development of hypertension following CIH, and will propose a systems biology approach in further elucidating the relationship between CIH and the development of hypertension. PMID:23140119

  3. An ab initio molecular dynamics study of the roaming mechanism of the H2+HOC+ reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Hua-Gen

    2011-08-01

    We report here a direct ab initio molecular dynamics study of the p-/o-H2+HOC+ reaction on the basis of the accurate SAC-MP2 potential energy surface. The quasi-classical trajectory method was employed. This work largely focuses on the study of reaction mechanisms. A roaming mechanism was identified for this molecular ion-molecule reaction. The driving forces behind the roaming mechanism were thoroughly investigated by using a trajectory dynamics approach. In addition, the thermal rate coefficients of the H2+HOC+ reaction were calculated in the temperature range [25, 300] K and are in good agreement with experiments.

  4. A theoretical study of the molecular mechanism of the GAPDH Trypanosoma cruzi enzyme involving iodoacetate inhibitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carneiro, Agnaldo Silva; Lameira, Jerônimo; Alves, Cláudio Nahum

    2011-10-01

    The glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme (GAPDH) is an important biological target for the development of new chemotherapeutic agents against Chagas disease. In this Letter, the inhibition mechanism of GAPDH involving iodoacetate (IAA) inhibitor was studied using the hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach and molecular dynamic simulations. Analysis of the potential energy surface and potential of mean force show that the covalent attachment of IAA inhibitor to the active site of the enzyme occurs as a concerted process. In addition, the energy terms decomposition shows that NAD+ plays an important role in stabilization of the reagents and transition state.

  5. Uncouplers and the molecular mechanism of uncoupling in mitochondria.

    PubMed Central

    Kessler, R J; Vande Zande, H; Tyson, C A; Blondin, G A; Fairfield, J; Glasser, P; Green, D E

    1977-01-01

    Uncouplers are molecules with protonophoric and ionophoric capabilities that mediate coupled cyclical transport of cations--a transport that takes precedence over all other coupled processes. Uncouplers form cation-containing complexes with electrogenic ionophores that potentiate cyclical transport of cations. The molecular mechanism of uncoupling sheds strong light on the mechanism of coupling. PMID:142250

  6. Plant regeneration: cellular origins and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Ikeuchi, Momoko; Ogawa, Yoichi; Iwase, Akira; Sugimoto, Keiko

    2016-05-01

    Compared with animals, plants generally possess a high degree of developmental plasticity and display various types of tissue or organ regeneration. This regenerative capacity can be enhanced by exogenously supplied plant hormones in vitro, wherein the balance between auxin and cytokinin determines the developmental fate of regenerating organs. Accumulating evidence suggests that some forms of plant regeneration involve reprogramming of differentiated somatic cells, whereas others are induced through the activation of relatively undifferentiated cells in somatic tissues. We summarize the current understanding of how plants control various types of regeneration and discuss how developmental and environmental constraints influence these regulatory mechanisms. PMID:27143753

  7. Novel molecular approaches to cystic fibrosis gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tim W. R.; Matthews, David A.; Blair, G. Eric

    2005-01-01

    Gene therapy holds promise for the treatment of a range of inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. However, efficient delivery and expression of the therapeutic transgene at levels sufficient to result in phenotypic correction of cystic fibrosis pulmonary disease has proved elusive. There are many reasons for this lack of progress, both macroscopically in terms of airway defence mechanisms and at the molecular level with regard to effective cDNA delivery. This review of approaches to cystic fibrosis gene therapy covers these areas in detail and highlights recent progress in the field. For gene therapy to be effective in patients with cystic fibrosis, the cDNA encoding the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator protein must be delivered effectively to the nucleus of the epithelial cells lining the bronchial tree within the lungs. Expression of the transgene must be maintained at adequate levels for the lifetime of the patient, either by repeat dosage of the vector or by targeting airway stem cells. Clinical trials of gene therapy for cystic fibrosis have demonstrated proof of principle, but gene expression has been limited to 30 days at best. Results suggest that viral vectors such as adenovirus and adeno-associated virus are unsuited to repeat dosing, as the immune response reduces the effectiveness of each subsequent dose. Nonviral approaches, such as cationic liposomes, appear more suited to repeat dosing, but have been less effective. Current work regarding non-viral gene delivery is now focused on understanding the mechanisms involved in cell entry, endosomal escape and nuclear import of the transgene. There is now increasing evidence to suggest that additional ligands that facilitate endosomal escape or contain a nuclear localization signal may enhance liposome-mediated gene delivery. Much progress in this area has been informed by advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which viruses deliver their genomes to the nuclei of host

  8. A Rapid Molecular Approach for Chromosomal Phasing

    PubMed Central

    Legler, Tina; Cooper, Samantha; Klitgord, Niels; Karlin-Neumann, George; Wong, Catherine; Hodges, Shawn; Koehler, Ryan; Tzonev, Svilen; McCarroll, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

    Determining the chromosomal phase of pairs of sequence variants – the arrangement of specific alleles as haplotypes – is a routine challenge in molecular genetics. Here we describe Drop-Phase, a molecular method for quickly ascertaining the phase of pairs of DNA sequence variants (separated by 1-200 kb) without cloning or manual single-molecule dilution. In each Drop-Phase reaction, genomic DNA segments are isolated in tens of thousands of nanoliter-sized droplets together with allele-specific fluorescence probes, in a single reaction well. Physically linked alleles partition into the same droplets, revealing their chromosomal phase in the co-distribution of fluorophores across droplets. We demonstrated the accuracy of this method by phasing members of trios (revealing 100% concordance with inheritance information), and demonstrate a common clinical application by phasing CFTR alleles at genomic distances of 11–116 kb in the genomes of cystic fibrosis patients. Drop-Phase is rapid (requiring less than 4 hours), scalable (to hundreds of samples), and effective at long genomic distances (200 kb). PMID:25739099

  9. Multiple Sclerosis: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Miljković, Djordje; Spasojević, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) involves several components: redox, inflammatory/autoimmune, vascular, and neurodegenerative. All of them are supported by the intertwined lines of evidence, and none of them should be written off. However, the exact mechanisms of MS initiation, its development, and progression are still elusive, despite the impressive pace by which the data on MS are accumulating. In this review, we will try to integrate the current facts and concepts, focusing on the role of redox changes and various reactive species in MS. Knowing the schedule of initial changes in pathogenic factors and the key turning points, as well as understanding the redox processes involved in MS pathogenesis is the way to enable MS prevention, early treatment, and the development of therapies that target specific pathophysiological components of the heterogeneous mechanisms of MS, which could alleviate the symptoms and hopefully stop MS. Pertinent to this, we will outline (i) redox processes involved in MS initiation; (ii) the role of reactive species in inflammation; (iii) prooxidative changes responsible for neurodegeneration; and (iv) the potential of antioxidative therapy. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 2286–2334. PMID:23473637

  10. Molecular Imaging of Myocardial Injury: A Magnetofluorescent Approach

    PubMed Central

    Sosnovik, David E.

    2009-01-01

    The role of molecular imaging in enhancing the understanding of myocardial injury and repair is rapidly expanding. Moreover, in recent years magnetic resonance and fluorescence-based approaches have been added to the molecular imaging armamentarium and have been used to image selected molecular and cellular targets in the myocardium. Apoptosis, necrosis, macrophage infiltration, myeloperoxidase activity, cathepsin activity, and type 1 collagen have all been imaged in vivo with a magnetofluorescent (MRI and/or fluorescence) approach. This review highlights the potential of these and other magnetofluorescent agents, with particular focus on their role in ischemic heart disease. PMID:20090858

  11. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists. PMID:27528656

  12. Molecular mechanisms of intercellular communication: transmembrane signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Bitensky, M.W.; George, J.S.; Siegel, H.N.; McGregor, D.M.

    1982-01-01

    This short discussion of transmembrane signaling depicts a particular class of signaling devices whose functional characteristics may well be representative of broader classes of membrane switches. These multicomponent aggregates are characterized by tight organization of interacting components which function by conformational interactions to provide sensitive, amplified, rapid, and modulated responses. It is clear that the essential role of such switches in cell-cell interactions necessitated their appearance early in the history of the development of multicellular organisms. It also seems clear that once such devices made their appearance, the conformationally interactive moieties were firmly locked into a regulatory relationship. Since modification of interacting components could perturb or interfere with the functional integrity of the whole switch, genetic drift was only permitted at the input and outflow extremes. However, the GTP binding moiety and its interacting protein domains on contiguous portions of the receptor and readout components were highly conserved. The observed stringent evolutionary conservation of the molecular features of these membrane switches thus applies primarily to the central (GTP binding) elements. An extraordinary degree of variation was permitted within the domains of signal recognition and enzymatic output. Thus, time and evolution have adapted the central logic of the regulatory algorithm to serve a great variety of cellular purposes and to recognize a great variety of chemical and physical signals. This is exemplified by the richness of the hormonal and cellular dialogues found in primates such as man. Here the wealth of intercellular communiation can support the composition and performance of symphonies and the study of cellular immunology.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Regulation During Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zanello, S. B.; Boyle, R.

    2012-01-01

    The physiology of both vertebrates and invertebrates follows internal rhythms coordinated in phase with the 24-hour daily light cycle. This circadian clock is governed by a central pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain. However, peripheral circadian clocks or oscillators have been identified in most tissues. How the central and peripheral oscillators are synchronized is still being elucidated. Light is the main environmental cue that entrains the circadian clock. Under the absence of a light stimulus, the clock continues its oscillation in a free-running condition. In general, three functional compartments of the circadian clock are defined. The vertebrate retina contains endogenous clocks that control many aspects of retinal physiology, including retinal sensitivity to light, neurohormone synthesis (melatonin and dopamine), rod disk shedding, signalling pathways and gene expression. Neurons with putative local circadian rhythm generation are found among all the major neuron populations in the mammalian retina. In the mouse, clock genes and function are more localized to the inner retinal and ganglion cell layers. The photoreceptor, however, secrete melatonin which may still serve a an important circadian signal. The reception and transmission of the non-visual photic stimulus resides in a small subpopulation (1-3%) or retinal ganglion cells (RGC) that express the pigment melanopsin (Opn4) and are called intrisically photoreceptive RGC (ipRGC). Melanopsin peak absorption is at 420 nm and all the axons of the ipRGC reach the SCN. A common countermeasure for circadian re-entrainment utilizes blue-green light to entrain the circadian clock and mitigate the risk of fatigue and health and performance decrement due to circadian rhythm disruption. However, an effective countermeasure targeting the photoreceptor system requires that the basic circadian molecular machinery remains intact during spaceflight. We hypothesize that spaceflight may affect ip

  14. Photodynamic therapy: Biophysical mechanisms and molecular responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, Soumya

    In photodynamic therapy (PDT), photochemical reactions induced by optical activation of sensitizer molecules cause destruction of the target tissue. In this thesis we present results of several related studies, which investigated the influence of photophysical properties and photobleaching mechanisms of sensitizers and oxygen-dependent tissue optical properties on PDT treatment efficacy. The bleaching mechanism of the sensitizer meso-tetra hydroxyphenyl chlorin (mTHPC) is examined indirectly using measurements of photochemical oxygen consumption during PDT irradiation of multicell tumor spheroids. Analysis of the results with a theoretical model of oxygen diffusion that incorporates the effects of sensitizer photobleaching shows that mTHPC is degraded via a singlet-oxygen (1O2)-mediated bleaching process. The analysis allows us to extract photophysical parameters of mTHPC which are used to account for its enhanced clinical photodynamic potency in comparison to that of Photofrin. Evaluation of the spatially-resolved fluorescence in confocal optical sections of intact spheroids during PDT irradiation allows for the direct experimental verification of mTHPC's 1O2-mediated bleaching mechanism. The technique is also used to investigate the complex bleaching kinetics of Photofrin. The results allow us to successfully reconcile apparently contradictory experimental observations and to confirm the predictions of a new theoretical model in which both 1O2 and excited triplet sensitizer molecules are allowed to contribute to photobleaching. Based on studies performed in tissue-simulating erythrocyte phantoms and in a murine tumor model in vivo, we present clinically relevant results which indicate that a shift toward increased hemoglobin-oxygen saturation due to improved tissue oxygenation reduces PDT treatment beam attenuation and may allow for more effective treatment of deeper lesions. Finally, we investigate the induction of the stress protein, heat shock protein 70 (HSP

  15. MOLECULAR TARGETS AND MECHANISMS FOR ETHANOL ACTION IN GLYCINE RECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, Daya I.; Trudell, James R.; Crawford, Daniel K.; Alkana, Ronald L.; Davies, Daryl L.

    2010-01-01

    Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are recognized as the primary mediators of neuronal inhibition in the spinal cord, brain stem and higher brain regions known to be sensitive to ethanol. Building evidence supports the notion that ethanol acting on GlyRs causes at least a subset of its behavioral effects and may be involved in modulating ethanol intake. For over two decades, GlyRs have been studied at the molecular level as targets for ethanol action. Despite the advances in understanding the effects of ethanol in vivo and in vitro, the precise molecular sites and mechanisms of action for ethanol in ligand-gated ion channels in general, and in GlyRs specifically, are just now starting to become understood. The present review focuses on advances in our knowledge produced by using molecular biology, pressure antagonism, electrophysiology and molecular modeling strategies over the last two decades to probe, identify and model the initial molecular sites and mechanisms of ethanol action in GlyRs. The molecular targets on the GlyR are covered on a global perspective, which includes the intracellular, transmembrane and extracellular domains. The latter has received increasing attention in recent years. Recent molecular models of the sites of ethanol action in GlyRs and their implications to our understanding of possible mechanism of ethanol action and novel targets for drug development in GlyRs are discussed. PMID:20399807

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Renal Ammonia Transport

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, I. David; Hamm, L. Lee

    2015-01-01

    Acid-base homeostasis to a great extent relies on renal ammonia metabolism. In the past several years, seminal studies have generated important new insights into the mechanisms of renal ammonia transport. In particular, the theory that ammonia transport occurs almost exclusively through nonionic NH3 diffusion and NH4+ trapping has given way to a model postulating that a variety of proteins specifically transport NH3 and NH4+ and that this transport is critical for normal ammonia metabolism. Many of these proteins transport primarily H+ or K+ but also transport NH4+. Nonerythroid Rh glycoproteins transport ammonia and may represent critical facilitators of ammonia transport in the kidney. This review discusses the underlying aspects of renal ammonia transport as well as specific proteins with important roles in renal ammonia transport. PMID:17002591

  17. Molecular mechanisms of Escherichia coli pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Croxen, Matthew A; Finlay, B Brett

    2010-01-01

    Escherichia coli is a remarkable and diverse organism. This normally harmless commensal needs only to acquire a combination of mobile genetic elements to become a highly adapted pathogen capable of causing a range of diseases, from gastroenteritis to extraintestinal infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and central nervous system. The worldwide burden of these diseases is staggering, with hundreds of millions of people affected annually. Eight E. coli pathovars have been well characterized, and each uses a large arsenal of virulence factors to subvert host cellular functions to potentiate its virulence. In this Review, we focus on the recent advances in our understanding of the different pathogenic mechanisms that are used by various E. coli pathovars and how they cause disease in humans. PMID:19966814

  18. Regulation of the MET oncogene: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jack; Babic, Andy

    2016-04-01

    TheMEToncogene is a predictive biomarker and an attractive therapeutic target for various cancers. Its expression is regulated at multiple layers via various mechanisms. It is subject to epigenetic modifications, i.e. DNA methylation and histone acetylation. Hypomethylation and acetylation of theMETgene have been associated with its high expression in some cancers. Multiple transcription factors including Sp1 and Ets-1 govern its transcription. After its transcription,METmRNA is spliced into multiple species in the nucleus before being transported to the cytoplasm where its translation is modulated by at least 30 microRNAs and translation initiation factors, e.g. eIF4E and eIF4B.METmRNA produces a single chain pro-Met protein of 170kDa which is cleaved into α and β chains. These two chains are bound together through disulfide bonds to form a heterodimer which undergoes either N-linked or O-linked glycosylation in the Golgi apparatus before it is properly localized in the membrane. Upon interactions with its ligand, i.e. hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), the activity of Met kinase is boosted through various phosphorylation mechanisms and the Met signal is relayed to downstream pathways. The phosphorylated Met is then internalized for subsequent degradation or recycle via proteasome, lysosome or endosome pathways. Moreover, the Met expression is subject to autoregulation and activation by other EGFRs and G-protein coupled receptors. Since deregulation of theMETgene leads to cancer and other pathological conditions, a better understanding of theMETregulation is critical for Met-targeted therapeutics. PMID:26905592

  19. Understanding molecular mechanism of higher plant plasticity under abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Shao, Hong-Bo; Guo, Qing-Jie; Chu, Li-Ye; Zhao, Xi-Ning; Su, Zhong-Liang; Hu, Ya-Chen; Cheng, Jiang-Feng

    2007-01-15

    Higher plants play the most important role in keeping a stable environment on the earth, which regulate global circumstances in many ways in terms of different levels (molecular, individual, community, and so on), but the nature of the mechanism is gene expression and control temporally and spatially at the molecular level. In persistently changing environment, there are many adverse stress conditions such as cold, drought, salinity and UV-B (280-320 mm), which influence plant growth and crop production greatly. Plants differ from animals in many aspects, but the important may be that plants are more easily influenced by environment than animals. Plants have a series of fine mechanisms for responding to environmental changes, which has been established during their long-period evolution and artificial domestication. These mechanisms are involved in many aspects of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, development, evolution and molecular biology, in which the adaptive machinery related to molecular biology is the most important. The elucidation of it will extremely and purposefully promote the sustainable utilization of plant resources and make the best use of its current potential under different scales. This molecular mechanism at least include environmental signal recognition (input), signal transduction (many cascade biochemical reactions are involved in this process), signal output, signal responses and phenotype realization, which is a multi-dimensional network system and contain many levels of gene expression and regulation. We will focus on the molecular adaptive machinery of higher plant plasticity under abiotic stresses. PMID:16914294

  20. Molecular mechanisms of LRRK2 regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webber, Philip Jeffrey

    Non-synonymous mutations in LRRK2 are the most common known cause of familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). The dominant inheritance of these mutations in familial PD suggests a gain-of-function mechanism. Increased kinase activity observed in the most common PD associated LRRK2 mutation G2019S suggests that kinase activity is central to disease. However, not all mutations associated with disease are reported to alter kinase activity and controversy exists in the literature about the effects of mutations appearing in the GTPase domain on kinase activity. The studies conducted as a part of this work aim to characterize the mechanisms that regulate LRRK2 kinase activity and the effects of mutations on enzymatic activity of LRRK2 protein. LRRK2 is a large protein with multiple predicted functional domains including two enzymatic domains in the same protein, the small ras-like GTPase domain and a serine-threonine protein kinase domain. Previous studies indicate that LRRK2 kinase is dependent on a functional GTPase domain and binding to GTP is required for kinase activity. Recent work detailed in this dissertation indicates a complex and reciprocal relationship between kinase and GTPase domains. LRRK2 kinase activity is dependent on adapting a homo-dimer that is augmented by PD mutations that increase LRRK2 kinase activity. Activated LRRK2 autophosphorylates the GTPase and c-terminus of Ras (COR) domains robustly. Phosphorylation of these domains is required for normal activity, as preventing autophosphorylation of these sites drastically lowers kinase activity and GTP binding while phosphorylation maintains baseline activity while still reducing GTP binding. Furthermore, we have developed antibodies specific to autophosphorylation residues that track with LRRK2 kinase activity in vitro. While no measurable activity was detected from treated LRRK2 in vivo, LRRK2 protein purified from brain tissue treated with inflammatory stimuli such as LPS, which increases

  1. Ab Initio Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Studies of Histone Modifying Enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yingkai

    Histone proteins that form the nucleosome core are subject to a variety of post-translational transformations. These histone modifications make up the histone code which extends the information in the genetic code and is emerging as an essential mechanism to regulate gene expression. In spite of a current flurry of significant advances in experimental studies, there has been little theoretical understanding regarding how enzymes generate or remove these modifications. Very recently, we have made excellent progresses in investigating two such important histone-modifying enzyme families: zinc-dependent histone deacetylases (HDACs) and histone lysine methyltransferases (HKMTs). Our studies on a histonedeacetylase- like protein HDLP suggested a novel catalytic mechanism. The simulations on HKMT SET7/9 have characterized the histone lysine methylation reaction and elucidated the origin of enzyme catalysis. Our computational approaches centered on the pseudobond ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) method, which allows for accurate modeling of the chemistry at the reaction active site while properly including the effects of the protein environment

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation

    SciTech Connect

    smith, jeremy

    2014-04-15

    Mercury (Hg) is a major global pollutant arising from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Defining the factors that determine the relative affinities of different ligands for the mercuric ion, Hg2+, is critical to understanding its speciation, transformation, and bioaccumulation in the environment. Here, we used quantum chemistry to dissect the relative binding free energies for a series of inorganic anion complexes of Hg2+. The results show that, whereas in the gas phase the binding affinity of two identical anionic ligands (forming HgL2) increases with ligand (L–) hardness, in contrast, in the aqueous phase the affinity increases with ligand softness. This switch in affinity upon hydration is shown to result mostly from interactions with only a small number (e.g. one or two) of water molecules. The results yield a clear, robust periodic trend within the chalcogenide and halide groups and are in agreement with the well-known experimentally observed preference of Hg2+ for soft ligands. By comparing the Hg2+ binding of one with two anions, the gas phase preferences are found to arise from the enhancement of reactivity of the cationic complex (HgL+) with the hardness of L–. The approach establishes a theoretical basis for understanding Hg speciation in the biosphere.

  3. Excited States and Photochemistry of Chromophores in the Photoactive Proteins Explored by the Combined Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical Calculations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lihong; Cui, Ganglong; Fang, Wei-Hai

    2015-01-01

    A photoactive protein usually contains a unique chromophore that is responsible for the initial photoresponse and functions of the photoactive protein are determined by the interaction between the chromophore and its protein surroundings. The combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach is demonstrated to be a very useful tool for exploring structures and functions of a photoactive protein with the chromophore and its protein surroundings treated by the QM and MM methods, respectively. In this review, we summarize the basic formulas of the QM/MM approach and emphasize its applications to excited states and photoreactions of chromophores in rhodopsin protein, photoactive yellow protein, and green fluorescent protein. PMID:26415847

  4. Molecular mechanism for generation of antibody memory

    PubMed Central

    Shivarov, Velizar; Shinkura, Reiko; Doi, Tomomitsu; Begum, Nasim A.; Nagaoka, Hitoshi; Okazaki, Il-Mi; Ito, Satomi; Nonaka, Taichiro; Kinoshita, Kazuo; Honjo, Tasuku

    2008-01-01

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is the essential enzyme inducing the DNA cleavage required for both somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination (CSR) of the immunoglobulin gene. We originally proposed the RNA-editing model for the mechanism of DNA cleavage by AID. We obtained evidence that fulfils three requirements for CSR by this model, namely (i) AID shuttling between nucleus and cytoplasm, (ii) de novo protein synthesis for CSR, and (iii) AID–RNA complex formation. The alternative hypothesis, designated as the DNA-deamination model, assumes that the in vitro DNA deamination activity of AID is representative of its physiological function in vivo. Furthermore, the resulting dU was removed by uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG) to generate a basic site, followed by phosphodiester bond cleavage by AP endonuclease. We critically examined each of these provisional steps. We identified a cluster of mutants (H48A, L49A, R50A and N51A) that had particularly higher CSR activities than expected from their DNA deamination activities. The most striking was the N51A mutant that had no ability to deaminate DNA in vitro but retained approximately 50 per cent of the wild-type level of CSR activity. We also provide further evidence that UNG plays a non-canonical role in CSR, namely in the repair step of the DNA breaks. Taking these results together, we favour the RNA-editing model for the function of AID in CSR. PMID:19022739

  5. Molecular mechanisms of asymmetric RAF dimer activation.

    PubMed

    Jambrina, Pablo G; Bohuszewicz, Olga; Buchete, Nicolae-Viorel; Kolch, Walter; Rosta, Edina

    2014-08-01

    Protein phosphorylation is one of the most common post-translational modifications in cell regulatory mechanisms. Dimerization plays also a crucial role in the kinase activity of many kinases, including RAF, CDK2 (cyclin-dependent kinase 2) and EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor), with heterodimers often being the most active forms. However, the structural and mechanistic details of how phosphorylation affects the activity of homo- and hetero-dimers are largely unknown. Experimentally, synthesizing protein samples with fully specified and homogeneous phosphorylation states remains a challenge for structural biology and biochemical studies. Typically, multiple changes in phosphorylation lead to activation of the same protein, which makes structural determination methods particularly difficult. It is also not well understood how the occurrence of phosphorylation and dimerization processes synergize to affect kinase activities. In the present article, we review available structural data and discuss how MD simulations can be used to model conformational transitions of RAF kinase dimers, in both their phosphorylated and unphosphorylated forms. PMID:25109958

  6. Molecular mechanisms of dominant expression in porphyria.

    PubMed

    Badminton, M N; Elder, G H

    2005-01-01

    Partial deficiency of enzymes in the haem synthetic pathway gives rise to a group of seven inherited metabolic disorders, the porphyrias. Each deficiency is associated with a characteristic increase in haem precursors that correlates with the symptoms associated with individual porphyrias and allows accurate diagnosis. Two types of clinical presentation occur separately or in combination; acute life-threatening neurovisceral attacks and/or cutaneous symptoms. Five of the porphyrias are low-penetrance autosomal dominant conditions in which clinical expression results from additional factors that act by increasing demand for haem or by causing an additional decrease in enzyme activity or by a combination of these effects. These include both genetic and environmental factors. In familial porphyria cutanea tarda (PCTF), environmental factors that include alcohol, exogenous oestrogens and hepatotropic viruses result in inhibition of hepatic enzyme activity via a mechanism that involves excess iron accumulation. In erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), co-inheritance of a functional polymorphism in trans to a null ferrochelatase allele accounts for most clinically overt cases. In the autosomal dominant acute hepatic porphyrias (acute intermittent porphyria, variegate porphyria, hereditary coproporphyria), acute neurovisceral attacks occur in a minority of those who inherit one of these disorders. Although various exogenous (e.g. drugs, alcohol) and endogenous factors (e.g. hormones) have been identified as provoking acute attacks, these do not provide a full explanation for the low penetrance of these disorders. It seems probable that genetic background influences susceptibility to acute attacks, but the genes that are involved have not yet been identified. PMID:15868463

  7. Molecular approach to intracellular cargo transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yildiz, Ahmet

    2010-03-01

    Landmark discoveries in the study of cytoplasmic motors have been made through advances in single molecule biophysics and detailed mechanistic models exist for kinesin and dynein. However, the function of motors in physiological conditions has not been carefully tested. In cells, more than few dyneins can attach to the same cargo and interact with the opposite polarity motors of kinesin. To study the molecular crosstalk between the motors, we have used intraflagellar transport (IFT) in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model system. Ultrahigh spatio-temporal tracking of single cargo movement showed that IFT particles move for long distances unidirectionally with 8 nm increments, agreeing with measured step sizes of kinesin and dynein. To measure how many motors transport each cargo, we have linked large polystyrene beads to internal IFT particles through a transmembrane protein. Force measurements indicated that, on average, 3-4 motors transport cargoes in each direction. The results showed that IFT motors are tightly coordinated and might be involved in recycling each other to the appropriate end of the flagellum.

  8. Molecular approaches to treatments for cocaine abuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flippen-Anderson, Judith L.; George, Clifford; Deschamps, Jeffrey R.

    2003-02-01

    Cocaine is a potent stimulant of the central nervous system with severe addiction potential. Its abuse is a major problem worldwide. The exact mechanism of action of cocaine is still uncertain but it is known that its reinforcing and stimulant effects are related to its ability to inhibit the membrane bound dopamine transporter (DAT). This paper discusses efforts that are underway to identify ligands for possible use in the treatment of cocaine abuse. Much of this effort has been focussed on understanding cocaine interactions at DAT receptor sites.

  9. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of myocardial stunning.

    PubMed

    Bolli, R; Marbán, E

    1999-04-01

    The past two decades have witnessed an explosive growth of knowledge regarding postischemic myocardial dysfunction or myocardial "stunning." The purpose of this review is to summarize current information regarding the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of this phenomenon. Myocardial stunning should not be regarded as a single entity but rather as a "syndrome" that has been observed in a wide variety of experimental settings, which include the following: 1) stunning after a single, completely reversible episode of regional ischemia in vivo; 2) stunning after multiple, completely reversible episodes of regional ischemia in vivo; 3) stunning after a partly reversible episode of regional ischemia in vivo (subendocardial infarction); 4) stunning after global ischemia in vitro; 5) stunning after global ischemia in vivo; and 6) stunning after exercise-induced ischemia (high-flow ischemia). Whether these settings share a common mechanism is unknown. Although the pathogenesis of myocardial stunning has not been definitively established, the two major hypotheses are that it is caused by the generation of oxygen-derived free radicals (oxyradical hypothesis) and by a transient calcium overload (calcium hypothesis) on reperfusion. The final lesion responsible for the contractile depression appears to be a decreased responsiveness of contractile filaments to calcium. Recent evidence suggests that calcium overload may activate calpains, resulting in selective proteolysis of myofibrils; the time required for resynthesis of damaged proteins would explain in part the delayed recovery of function in stunned myocardium. The oxyradical and calcium hypotheses are not mutually exclusive and are likely to represent different facets of the same pathophysiological cascade. For example, increased free radical formation could cause cellular calcium overload, which would damage the contractile apparatus of the myocytes. Free radical generation could also directly alter contractile filaments in a

  10. Molecular mechanisms of translation initiation in eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Pestova, Tatyana V.; Kolupaeva, Victoria G.; Lomakin, Ivan B.; Pilipenko, Evgeny V.; Shatsky, Ivan N.; Agol, Vadim I.; Hellen, Christopher U. T.

    2001-01-01

    Translation initiation is a complex process in which initiator tRNA, 40S, and 60S ribosomal subunits are assembled by eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs) into an 80S ribosome at the initiation codon of mRNA. The cap-binding complex eIF4F and the factors eIF4A and eIF4B are required for binding of 43S complexes (comprising a 40S subunit, eIF2/GTP/Met-tRNAi and eIF3) to the 5′ end of capped mRNA but are not sufficient to promote ribosomal scanning to the initiation codon. eIF1A enhances the ability of eIF1 to dissociate aberrantly assembled complexes from mRNA, and these factors synergistically mediate 48S complex assembly at the initiation codon. Joining of 48S complexes to 60S subunits to form 80S ribosomes requires eIF5B, which has an essential ribosome-dependent GTPase activity and hydrolysis of eIF2-bound GTP induced by eIF5. Initiation on a few mRNAs is cap-independent and occurs instead by internal ribosomal entry. Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and hepatitis C virus epitomize distinct mechanisms of internal ribosomal entry site (IRES)-mediated initiation. The eIF4A and eIF4G subunits of eIF4F bind immediately upstream of the EMCV initiation codon and promote binding of 43S complexes. EMCV initiation does not involve scanning and does not require eIF1, eIF1A, and the eIF4E subunit of eIF4F. Initiation on some EMCV-like IRESs requires additional noncanonical initiation factors, which alter IRES conformation and promote binding of eIF4A/4G. Initiation on the hepatitis C virus IRES is even simpler: 43S complexes containing only eIF2 and eIF3 bind directly to the initiation codon as a result of specific interaction of the IRES and the 40S subunit. PMID:11416183

  11. Nanoscopic mechanisms of singlet fission in amorphous molecular solid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mou, Weiwei; Hattori, Shinnosuke; Rajak, Pankaj; Shimojo, Fuyuki; Nakano, Aiichiro

    2013-04-01

    Fission of a spin-singlet exciton into two triplet excitons, if realized in disordered organic solid, could revolutionize low-cost fabrication of efficient solar cells. Here, a divide-conquer-recombine approach involving nonadiabatic quantum molecular dynamics and kinetic Monte Carlo simulations identifies the key molecular geometry and exciton-flow-network topology for singlet-fission "hot spots" in amorphous diphenyl tetracene, where fission occurs preferentially. The simulation reveals the molecular origin of experimentally observed two time scales in exciton population dynamics and may pave a way to nanostructural design of efficient solar cells from first principles.

  12. Phantom Limb Pain: Mechanisms and Treatment Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Subedi, Bishnu; Grossberg, George T.

    2011-01-01

    The vast amount of research over the past decades has significantly added to our knowledge of phantom limb pain. Multiple factors including site of amputation or presence of preamputation pain have been found to have a positive correlation with the development of phantom limb pain. The paradigms of proposed mechanisms have shifted over the past years from the psychogenic theory to peripheral and central neural changes involving cortical reorganization. More recently, the role of mirror neurons in the brain has been proposed in the generation of phantom pain. A wide variety of treatment approaches have been employed, but mechanism-based specific treatment guidelines are yet to evolve. Phantom limb pain is considered a neuropathic pain, and most treatment recommendations are based on recommendations for neuropathic pain syndromes. Mirror therapy, a relatively recently proposed therapy for phantom limb pain, has mixed results in randomized controlled trials. Most successful treatment outcomes include multidisciplinary measures. This paper attempts to review and summarize recent research relative to the proposed mechanisms of and treatments for phantom limb pain. PMID:22110933

  13. Phantom limb pain: mechanisms and treatment approaches.

    PubMed

    Subedi, Bishnu; Grossberg, George T

    2011-01-01

    The vast amount of research over the past decades has significantly added to our knowledge of phantom limb pain. Multiple factors including site of amputation or presence of preamputation pain have been found to have a positive correlation with the development of phantom limb pain. The paradigms of proposed mechanisms have shifted over the past years from the psychogenic theory to peripheral and central neural changes involving cortical reorganization. More recently, the role of mirror neurons in the brain has been proposed in the generation of phantom pain. A wide variety of treatment approaches have been employed, but mechanism-based specific treatment guidelines are yet to evolve. Phantom limb pain is considered a neuropathic pain, and most treatment recommendations are based on recommendations for neuropathic pain syndromes. Mirror therapy, a relatively recently proposed therapy for phantom limb pain, has mixed results in randomized controlled trials. Most successful treatment outcomes include multidisciplinary measures. This paper attempts to review and summarize recent research relative to the proposed mechanisms of and treatments for phantom limb pain. PMID:22110933

  14. Mini-review: Molecular mechanisms of antifouling compounds.

    PubMed

    Qian, Pei-Yuan; Chen, Lianguo; Xu, Ying

    2013-01-01

    Various antifouling (AF) coatings have been developed to protect submerged surfaces by deterring the settlement of the colonizing stages of fouling organisms. A review of the literature shows that effective AF compounds with specific targets are ones often considered non-toxic. Such compounds act variously on ion channels, quorum sensing systems, neurotransmitters, production/release of adhesive, and specific enzymes that regulate energy production or primary metabolism. In contrast, AF compounds with general targets may or may not act through toxic mechanisms. These compounds affect a variety of biological activities including algal photosynthesis, energy production, stress responses, genotoxic damage, immunosuppressed protein expression, oxidation, neurotransmission, surface chemistry, the formation of biofilms, and adhesive production/release. Among all the targets, adhesive production/release is the most common, possibly due to a more extensive research effort in this area. Overall, the specific molecular targets and the molecular mechanisms of most AF compounds have not been identified. Thus, the information available is insufficient to draw firm conclusions about the types of molecular targets to be used as sensitive biomarkers for future design and screening of compounds with AF potential. In this review, the relevant advantages and disadvantages of the molecular tools available for studying the molecular targets of AF compounds are highlighted briefly and the molecular mechanisms of the AF compounds, which are largely a source of speculation in the literature, are discussed. PMID:23574197

  15. Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms of Membrane Receptor Systems Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Severin, E.S.; Savvateeva, M.V.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular physiology is a new interdisciplinary field of knowledge that looks into how complicated biological systems function. The living cell is a relatively simple, but at the same time very sophisticated biological system. After the sequencing of the human genome, molecular physiology has endeavored to investigate the systems of cellular interactions at a completely new level based on knowledge of the spatial organization and functions of receptors, their ligands, and protein-protein interactions. In recent years, the achievements in molecular physiology have centered on the study of sensor reception mechanisms and intercellular data transfer, as well as the immune system physiology, amongst other processes. PMID:22649671

  16. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Diego; Sanchez, Veronica M.; Scherlis, Damián A.

    2016-08-01

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car–Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO2 anatase (1 0 1) solid–liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H2O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces.

  17. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Diego; Sanchez, Veronica M; Scherlis, Damián A

    2016-08-24

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car-Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO2 anatase (1 0 1) solid-liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H2O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces. PMID:27352028

  18. Molecular Mimicry as a Mechanism of Autoimmune Disease

    PubMed Central

    Cusick, Matthew F.; Libbey, Jane E.; Fujinami, Robert S.

    2012-01-01

    A variety of mechanisms have been suggested as the means by which infections can initiate and/or exacerbate autoimmune diseases. One mechanism is molecular mimicry, where a foreign antigen shares sequence or structural similarities with self-antigens. Molecular mimicry has typically been characterized on an antibody or T cell level. However, structural relatedness between pathogen and self does not account for T cell activation in a number of autoimmune diseases. A proposed mechanism that could have been misinterpreted for molecular mimicry is the expression of dual T cell receptors (TCR) on a single T cell. These T cells have dual reactivity to both foreign and self-antigens leaving the host vulnerable to foreign insults capable of triggering an autoimmune response. In this review, we briefly discuss what is known about molecular mimicry followed by a discussion of the current understanding of dual TCRs. Finally, we discuss three mechanisms, including molecular mimicry, dual TCRs and chimeric TCRs, by which dual reactivity of the T cell may play a role in autoimmune diseases. PMID:22095454

  19. Reaction Mechanism of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Glutamine Synthetase Using Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Cátia; Ramos, Maria J; Fernandes, Pedro Alexandrino

    2016-06-27

    This paper is devoted to the understanding of the reaction mechanism of mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase (mtGS) with atomic detail, using computational quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods at the ONIOM M06-D3/6-311++G(2d,2p):ff99SB//B3LYP/6-31G(d):ff99SB level of theory. The complete reaction undergoes a three-step mechanism: the spontaneous transfer of phosphate from ATP to glutamate upon ammonium binding (ammonium quickly loses a proton to Asp54), the attack of ammonia on phosphorylated glutamate (yielding protonated glutamine), and the deprotonation of glutamine by the leaving phosphate. This exothermic reaction has an activation free energy of 21.5 kcal mol(-1) , which is consistent with that described for Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase (15-17 kcal mol(-1) ). The participating active site residues have been identified and their role and energy contributions clarified. This study provides an insightful atomic description of the biosynthetic reaction that takes place in this enzyme, opening doors for more accurate studies for developing new anti-tuberculosis therapies. PMID:27225077

  20. Remarks on mechanical approach to observable Universe

    SciTech Connect

    Eingorn, Maxim; Zhuk, Alexander E-mail: ai.zhuk2@gmail.com

    2014-05-01

    We consider the Universe deep inside the cell of uniformity. At these scales, the Universe is filled with inhomogeneously distributed discrete structures (galaxies, groups and clusters of galaxies), which perturb the background Friedmann model. Here, the mechanical approach (Eingorn and Zhuk, 2012) is the most appropriate to describe the dynamics of the inhomogeneities which is defined, on the one hand, by gravitational potentials of inhomogeneities and, on the other hand, by the cosmological expansion of the Universe. In this paper, we present additional arguments in favor of this approach. First, we estimate the size of the cell of uniformity. With the help of the standard methods of statistical physics and for the galaxies of the type of the Milky Way and Andromeda, we get that it is of the order of 190 Mpc which is rather close to observations. Then, we show that the nonrelativistic approximation (with respect to the peculiar velocities) is valid for z∼<10, i.e. approximately for 13 billion years from the present moment. We consider scalar perturbations and, within the ΛCDM model, justify the main equations. Moreover, we demonstrate that radiation can be naturally incorporated into our scheme. This emphasizes the viability of our approach. This approach gives a possibility to analyze different cosmological models and compare them with the observable Universe. For example, we indicate some problematic aspects of the spatially flat models. Such models require a rather specific distribution of the inhomogeneities to get a finite potential at any points outside gravitating masses. We also criticize the application of the Schwarzschild-de Sitter solution to the description of the motion of test bodies on the cosmological background.

  1. Physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation

    PubMed Central

    Reshetnyak, Vasiliy Ivanovich

    2013-01-01

    This review considers the physiological and molecular biochemical mechanisms of bile formation. The composition of bile and structure of a bile canaliculus, biosynthesis and conjugation of bile acids, bile phospholipids, formation of bile micellar structures, and enterohepatic circulation of bile acids are described. In general, the review focuses on the molecular physiology of the transporting systems of the hepatocyte sinusoidal and apical membranes. Knowledge of physiological and biochemical basis of bile formation has implications for understanding the mechanisms of development of pathological processes, associated with diseases of the liver and biliary tract. PMID:24259965

  2. Final Report - Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation - UCSF

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Susan M.

    2014-04-24

    The bacterial mercury resistance (mer) operon functions in Hg biogeochemistry and bioremediation by converting reactive inorganic Hg(II) and organic [RHg(II)]1+ mercurials to relatively inert monoatomic mercury vapor, Hg(0). Its genes regulate operon expression (MerR, MerD, MerOP), import Hg(II) (MerT, MerP, and MerC), and demethylate (MerB) and reduce (MerA) mercurials. We focus on how these components interact with each other and with the host cell to allow cells to survive and detoxify Hg compounds. Understanding how this ubiquitous detoxification system fits into the biology and ecology of its bacterial host is essential to guide interventions that support and enhance Hg remediation. In the current overall project we focused on two aspects of this system: (1) investigations of the energetics of Hg(II)-ligand binding interactions, and (2) both experimental and computational approaches to investigating the molecular mechanisms of Hg(II) acquisition by MerA and intramolecular transfer of Hg(II) prior to reduction within the MerA enzyme active site. Computational work was led by Prof. Jeremy Smith and took place at the University of Tennessee, while experimental work on MerA was led by Prof. Susan Miller and took place at the University of California San Francisco.

  3. The molecular mechanisms between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi; Wen, Ya-Yuan; Li, Zhi-Rong; Luo, Dong-Lin; Zhang, Xiao-Hua

    2016-03-18

    Metabolic syndrome, which is extremely common in developed and some developing countries, is a clustering of at least three of five of the following medical conditions: abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein levels. It has been proved that there is a strong association between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. Metabolic syndrome could increase the risk of breast cancer and influence the prognosis of the breast cancer patients. Some characteristic of metabolic syndrome such as obesity and lack of physical exercise are all risk factors for developing breast cancer. The metabolic syndrome mainly include obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and each of them impacts the risk of breast cancer and the prognosis of the breast cancer patients in different ways. In this Review, we focus on recently uncovered aspects of the immunological and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the development of this highly prevalent and serious disease. These studies bring new insight into the complex associations between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer and have led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies that might enable a personalized approach in the management of this disease. PMID:26891869

  4. A coordinated molecular 'fishing' mechanism in heterodimeric kinesin.

    PubMed

    Hou, Ruizheng; Wang, Zhisong

    2010-01-01

    Kar3 is a kinesin motor that facilitates chromosome segregation during cell division. Unlike many members of the kinesin superfamily, Kar3 forms a heterodimer with non-motor protein Vik1 or Cik1 in vivo. The heterodimers show ATP-driven minus-end directed motility along a microtubule (MT) lattice, and also serve as depolymerase at the MT ends. The molecular mechanisms behind this dual functionality remain mysterious. Here, a molecular mechanical model for the Kar3/Vik1 heterodimer based on structural, kinetic and motility data reveals a long-range chemomechanical transmission mechanism that resembles a familiar fishing tactic. By this molecular 'fishing', ATP-binding to Kar3 dissociates catalytically inactive Vik1 off MT to facilitate minus-end sliding of the dimer on the MT lattice. When the dimer binds the frayed ends of MT, the fishing channels ATP hydrolysis energy into MT depolymerization by a mechanochemical effect. The molecular fishing thus provides a unified mechanistic ground for Kar3's dual functionality. The fishing-promoted depolymerization differs from the depolymerase mechanisms found in homodimeric kinesins. The fishing also enables intermolecular coordination with a chemomechanical coupling feature different from the paradigmatic pattern of homodimeric motors. This study rationalizes some puzzling experimental observation, and suggests new experiments for further elucidation of the fishing mechanism. PMID:20720285

  5. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Nanoindentation-induced Mechanical Deformation and Phase Transformation in Monocrystalline Silicon

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    This work presents the molecular dynamics approach toward mechanical deformation and phase transformation mechanisms of monocrystalline Si(100) subjected to nanoindentation. We demonstrate phase distributions during loading and unloading stages of both spherical and Berkovich nanoindentations. By searching the presence of the fifth neighboring atom within a non-bonding length, Si-III and Si-XII have been successfully distinguished from Si-I. Crystallinity of this mixed-phase was further identified by radial distribution functions.

  6. The celestial mechanics approach: theoretical foundations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beutler, Gerhard; Jäggi, Adrian; Mervart, Leoš; Meyer, Ulrich

    2010-10-01

    Gravity field determination using the measurements of Global Positioning receivers onboard low Earth orbiters and inter-satellite measurements in a constellation of satellites is a generalized orbit determination problem involving all satellites of the constellation. The celestial mechanics approach (CMA) is comprehensive in the sense that it encompasses many different methods currently in use, in particular so-called short-arc methods, reduced-dynamic methods, and pure dynamic methods. The method is very flexible because the actual solution type may be selected just prior to the combination of the satellite-, arc- and technique-specific normal equation systems. It is thus possible to generate ensembles of substantially different solutions—essentially at the cost of generating one particular solution. The article outlines the general aspects of orbit and gravity field determination. Then the focus is put on the particularities of the CMA, in particular on the way to use accelerometer data and the statistical information associated with it.

  7. Frictional granular mechanics: A variational approach

    SciTech Connect

    Holtzman, R.; Silin, D.B.; Patzek, T.W.

    2009-10-16

    The mechanical properties of a cohesionless granular material are evaluated from grain-scale simulations. Intergranular interactions, including friction and sliding, are modeled by a set of contact rules based on the theories of Hertz, Mindlin, and Deresiewicz. A computer generated, three-dimensional, irregular pack of spherical grains is loaded by incremental displacement of its boundaries. Deformation is described by a sequence of static equilibrium configurations of the pack. A variational approach is employed to find the equilibrium configurations by minimizing the total work against the intergranular loads. Effective elastic moduli are evaluated from the intergranular forces and the deformation of the pack. Good agreement between the computed and measured moduli, achieved with no adjustment of material parameters, establishes the physical soundness of the proposed model.

  8. A Resonance Approach to Cochlear Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Background How does the cochlea analyse sound into its component frequencies? In the 1850s Helmholtz thought it occurred by resonance, whereas a century later Békésy's work indicated a travelling wave. The latter answer seemed to settle the question, but with the discovery in 1978 that the cochlea emits sound, the mechanics of the cochlea was back on the drawing board. Recent studies have raised questions about whether the travelling wave, as currently understood, is adequate to explain observations. Approach Applying basic resonance principles, this paper revisits the question. A graded bank of harmonic oscillators with cochlear-like frequencies and quality factors is simultaneously excited, and it is found that resonance gives rise to similar frequency responses, group delays, and travelling wave velocities as observed by experiment. The overall effect of the group delay gradient is to produce a decelerating wave of peak displacement moving from base to apex at characteristic travelling wave speeds. The extensive literature on chains of coupled oscillators is considered, and the occurrence of travelling waves, pseudowaves, phase plateaus, and forced resonance in such systems is noted. Conclusion and significance This alternative approach to cochlear mechanics shows that a travelling wave can simply arise as an apparently moving amplitude peak which passes along a bank of resonators without carrying energy. This highlights the possible role of the fast pressure wave and indicates how phase delays and group delays of a set of driven harmonic oscillators can generate an apparent travelling wave. It is possible to view the cochlea as a chain of globally forced coupled oscillators, and this model incorporates fundamental aspects of both the resonance and travelling wave theories. PMID:23144835

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  10. Molecular Mechanism of Acrylamide Neurotoxicity: Lessons Learned from Organic Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Gavin, Terrence

    2012-01-01

    Background: Acrylamide (ACR) produces cumulative neurotoxicity in exposed humans and laboratory animals through a direct inhibitory effect on presynaptic function. Objectives: In this review, we delineate how knowledge of chemistry provided an unprecedented understanding of the ACR neurotoxic mechanism. We also show how application of the hard and soft, acids and bases (HSAB) theory led to the recognition that the α,β-unsaturated carbonyl structure of ACR is a soft electrophile that preferentially forms covalent bonds with soft nucleophiles. Methods: In vivo proteomic and in chemico studies demonstrated that ACR formed covalent adducts with highly nucleophilic cysteine thiolate groups located within active sites of presynaptic proteins. Additional research showed that resulting protein inactivation disrupted nerve terminal processes and impaired neurotransmission. Discussion: ACR is a type-2 alkene, a chemical class that includes structurally related electrophilic environmental pollutants (e.g., acrolein) and endogenous mediators of cellular oxidative stress (e.g., 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal). Members of this chemical family produce toxicity via a common molecular mechanism. Although individual environmental concentrations might not be toxicologically relevant, exposure to an ambient mixture of type-2 alkene pollutants could pose a significant risk to human health. Furthermore, environmentally derived type-2 alkenes might act synergistically with endogenously generated unsaturated aldehydes to amplify cellular damage and thereby accelerate human disease/injury processes that involve oxidative stress. Conclusions: These possibilities have substantial implications for environmental risk assessment and were realized through an understanding of ACR adduct chemistry. The approach delineated here can be broadly applied because many toxicants of different chemical classes are electrophiles that produce toxicity by interacting with cellular proteins. PMID:23060388

  11. Molecular mechanisms of scar-sourced axon growth inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Ohtake, Yosuke; Li, Shuxin

    2014-01-01

    Astrogliosis is a defense response of the CNS to minimize primary damage and to repair injured tissues, but it ultimately generates harmful effects by upregulating inhibitory molecules to suppress neuronal elongation and forming potent barriers to axon regeneration. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are highly expressed by reactive scars and are potent contributors to the non-permissive environment in mature CNS. Surmounting strong inhibition by CSPG-rich scar is an important therapeutic goal for achieving functional recovery after CNS injuries. Currently, enzymatic digestion of CSPGs with locally applied chondroitinase ABC is the main in vivo approach to overcome scar inhibition, but several disadvantages may prevent using this bacterial enzyme as a therapeutic option for patients. A better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying CSPG function may facilitate development of new effective therapies to overcome scar-mediated inhibition. Previous studies support that CSPGs act by non-specifically hindering the binding of matrix molecules to their cell surface receptors through steric interactions, but two members of the leukocyte common antigen related (LAR) phosphatase subfamily, protein tyrosine phosphatase σ and LAR, are functional receptors that bind CSPGs with high affinity and mediate CSPG inhibition. CSPGs may also act by binding two receptors for myelin-associated growth inhibitors, Nogo receptors 1 and 3. Thus, CSPGs inhibit axon growth through multiple mechanisms, making them especially potent and difficult therapeutic targets. Identification of CSPG receptors is not only important for understanding the scar-mediated growth suppression, but also for developing novel and selective therapies to promote axon sprouting and/or regeneration after CNS injuries. PMID:25192646

  12. Kinetic analysis reveals the diversity of microscopic mechanisms through which molecular chaperones suppress amyloid formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arosio, Paolo; Michaels, Thomas C. T.; Linse, Sara; Månsson, Cecilia; Emanuelsson, Cecilia; Presto, Jenny; Johansson, Jan; Vendruscolo, Michele; Dobson, Christopher M.; Knowles, Tuomas P. J.

    2016-03-01

    It is increasingly recognized that molecular chaperones play a key role in modulating the formation of amyloid fibrils, a process associated with a wide range of human disorders. Understanding the detailed mechanisms by which they perform this function, however, has been challenging because of the great complexity of the protein aggregation process itself. In this work, we build on a previous kinetic approach and develop a model that considers pairwise interactions between molecular chaperones and different protein species to identify the protein components targeted by the chaperones and the corresponding microscopic reaction steps that are inhibited. We show that these interactions conserve the topology of the unperturbed reaction network but modify the connectivity weights between the different microscopic steps. Moreover, by analysing several protein-molecular chaperone systems, we reveal the striking diversity in the microscopic mechanisms by which molecular chaperones act to suppress amyloid formation.

  13. Mechanism of Salinity Tolerance in Plants: Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Bingru

    2014-01-01

    Salinity is a major abiotic stress limiting growth and productivity of plants in many areas of the world due to increasing use of poor quality of water for irrigation and soil salinization. Plant adaptation or tolerance to salinity stress involves complex physiological traits, metabolic pathways, and molecular or gene networks. A comprehensive understanding on how plants respond to salinity stress at different levels and an integrated approach of combining molecular tools with physiological and biochemical techniques are imperative for the development of salt-tolerant varieties of plants in salt-affected areas. Recent research has identified various adaptive responses to salinity stress at molecular, cellular, metabolic, and physiological levels, although mechanisms underlying salinity tolerance are far from being completely understood. This paper provides a comprehensive review of major research advances on biochemical, physiological, and molecular mechanisms regulating plant adaptation and tolerance to salinity stress. PMID:24804192

  14. Kinetic analysis reveals the diversity of microscopic mechanisms through which molecular chaperones suppress amyloid formation

    PubMed Central

    Arosio, Paolo; Michaels, Thomas C. T.; Linse, Sara; Månsson, Cecilia; Emanuelsson, Cecilia; Presto, Jenny; Johansson, Jan; Vendruscolo, Michele; Dobson, Christopher M.; Knowles, Tuomas P. J.

    2016-01-01

    It is increasingly recognized that molecular chaperones play a key role in modulating the formation of amyloid fibrils, a process associated with a wide range of human disorders. Understanding the detailed mechanisms by which they perform this function, however, has been challenging because of the great complexity of the protein aggregation process itself. In this work, we build on a previous kinetic approach and develop a model that considers pairwise interactions between molecular chaperones and different protein species to identify the protein components targeted by the chaperones and the corresponding microscopic reaction steps that are inhibited. We show that these interactions conserve the topology of the unperturbed reaction network but modify the connectivity weights between the different microscopic steps. Moreover, by analysing several protein-molecular chaperone systems, we reveal the striking diversity in the microscopic mechanisms by which molecular chaperones act to suppress amyloid formation. PMID:27009901

  15. Antigenic variation: Molecular and genetic mechanisms of relapsing disease

    SciTech Connect

    Cruse, J.M.; Lewis, R.E.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 10 chapters. They are: Contemporary Concepts of Antigenic Variation; Antigenic Variation in the Influenza Viruses; Mechanisms of Escape of Visna Lentiviruses from Immunological Control; A Review of Antigenic Variation by the Equine Infectious Anemia Virus; Biologic and Molecular Variations in AIDS Retrovirus Isolates; Rabies Virus Infection: Genetic Mutations and the Impact on Viral Pathogenicity and Immunity; Immunobiology of Relapsing Fever; Antigenic Variation in African Trypanosomes; Antigenic Variation and Antigenic Diversity in Malaria; and Mechanisms of Immune Evasion in Schistosomiasis.

  16. Computational molecular biology approaches to ligand-target interactions

    PubMed Central

    Lupieri, Paola; Nguyen, Chuong Ha Hung; Bafghi, Zhaleh Ghaemi; Giorgetti, Alejandro; Carloni, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    Binding of small molecules to their targets triggers complex pathways. Computational approaches are keys for predictions of the molecular events involved in such cascades. Here we review current efforts at characterizing the molecular determinants in the largest membrane-bound receptor family, the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We focus on odorant receptors, which constitute more than half GPCRs. The work presented in this review uncovers structural and energetic aspects of components of the cellular cascade. Finally, a computational approach in the context of radioactive boron-based antitumoral therapies is briefly described. PMID:20119480

  17. Resveratrol and Calcium Signaling: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Relevance

    PubMed Central

    McCalley, Audrey E.; Kaja, Simon; Payne, Andrew J.; Koulen, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound contributing to cellular defense mechanisms in plants. Its use as a nutritional component and/or supplement in a number of diseases, disorders, and syndromes such as chronic diseases of the central nervous system, cancer, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases has prompted great interest in the underlying molecular mechanisms of action. The present review focuses on resveratrol, specifically its isomer trans-resveratrol, and its effects on intracellular calcium signaling mechanisms. As resveratrol's mechanisms of action are likely pleiotropic, its effects and interactions with key signaling proteins controlling cellular calcium homeostasis are reviewed and discussed. The clinical relevance of resveratrol's actions on excitable cells, transformed or cancer cells, immune cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells are contrasted with a review of the molecular mechanisms affecting calcium signaling proteins on the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria. The present review emphasizes the correlation between molecular mechanisms of action that have recently been identified for resveratrol and their clinical implications. PMID:24905603

  18. Mechanically Induced Trapping of Molecular Interactions and Its Applications.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Cordero, Jose L; Maerkl, Sebastian J

    2016-06-01

    Measuring binding affinities and association/dissociation rates of molecular interactions is important for a quantitative understanding of cellular mechanisms. Many low-throughput methods have been developed throughout the years to obtain these parameters. Acquiring data with higher accuracy and throughput is, however, necessary to characterize complex biological networks. Here, we provide an overview of a high-throughput microfluidic method based on mechanically induced trapping of molecular interactions (MITOMI). MITOMI can be used to obtain affinity constants and kinetic rates of hundreds of protein-ligand interactions in parallel. It has been used in dozens of studies to measure binding affinities of transcription factors, map protein interaction networks, identify pharmacological inhibitors, and perform high-throughput, low-cost molecular diagnostics. This article covers the technological aspects of MITOMI and its applications. PMID:25805850

  19. Molecular mechanism of bacterial type 1 and P pili assembly.

    PubMed

    Busch, Andreas; Phan, Gilles; Waksman, Gabriel

    2015-03-01

    The formation of adhesive surface structures called pili or fimbriae ('bacterial hair') is an important contributor towards bacterial pathogenicity and persistence. To fight often chronic or recurrent bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, it is necessary to understand the molecular mechanism of the nanomachines assembling such pili. Here, we focus on the so far best-known pilus assembly machinery: the chaperone-usher pathway producing the type 1 and P pili, and highlight the most recently acquired structural knowledge. First, we describe the subunits' structure and the molecular role of the periplasmic chaperone. Second, we focus on the outer-membrane usher structure and the catalytic mechanism of usher-mediated pilus biogenesis. Finally, we describe how the detailed understanding of the chaperone-usher pathway at a molecular level has paved the way for the design of a new generation of bacterial inhibitors called 'pilicides'. PMID:25624519

  20. Resolving the molecular mechanism of cadherin catch bond formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manibog, Kristine; Li, Hui; Rakshit, Sabyasachi; Sivasankar, Sanjeevi

    2014-06-01

    Classical cadherin Ca2+-dependent cell-cell adhesion proteins play key roles in embryogenesis and in maintaining tissue integrity. Cadherins mediate robust adhesion by binding in multiple conformations. One of these adhesive states, called an X-dimer, forms catch bonds that strengthen and become longer lived in the presence of mechanical force. Here we use single-molecule force-clamp spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope along with molecular dynamics and steered molecular dynamics simulations to resolve the molecular mechanisms underlying catch bond formation and the role of Ca2+ ions in this process. Our data suggest that tensile force bends the cadherin extracellular region such that they form long-lived, force-induced hydrogen bonds that lock X-dimers into tighter contact. When Ca2+ concentration is decreased, fewer de novo hydrogen bonds are formed and catch bond formation is eliminated.

  1. Mechanical tuning of conductance and thermopower in helicene molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Vacek, Jaroslav; Chocholoušová, Jana Vacek; Stará, Irena G; Starý, Ivo; Dubi, Yonatan

    2015-05-21

    Helicenes are inherently chiral polyaromatic molecules composed of all-ortho fused benzene rings possessing a spring-like structure. Here, using a combination of density functional theory and tight-binding calculations, it is demonstrated that controlling the length of the helicene molecule by mechanically stretching or compressing the molecular junction can dramatically change the electronic properties of the helicene, leading to a tunable switching behavior of the conductance and thermopower of the junction with on/off ratios of several orders of magnitude. Furthermore, control over the helicene length and number of rings is shown to lead to more than an order of magnitude increase in the thermopower and thermoelectric figure-of-merit over typical molecular junctions, presenting new possibilities of making efficient thermoelectric molecular devices. The physical origin of the strong dependence of the transport properties of the junction is investigated, and found to be related to a shift in the position of the molecular orbitals. PMID:25905658

  2. Conformational analyses of periplanone analogs by molecular mechanics calculations.

    PubMed

    Shimazaki, K; Mori, M; Okada, K; Chuman, T; Goto, H; Osawa, E; Sakakibara, K; Hirota, M

    1991-04-01

    Conformational parameters of pheromonally active analogs (1 and 2) of periplanones, the sex pheromones of the American cockroach, were investigated by molecular mechanics calculations. They existed in several conformers with small energy differences. These results were supported by NMR analysis. The structural features of the conformers of the analogs were compared with X-ray structures of periplanones. PMID:24258922

  3. Molecular Approaches to Understand Nutritional Potential of Coarse Cereals.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Singh, Rakesh; Subramani, Rajkumar; Kumar, Rajesh; Wankhede, Dhammaprakash P

    2016-06-01

    Coarse grains are important group of crops that constitutes staple food for large population residing primarily in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Coarse grains are designated as nutri-cereals as they are rich in essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins. In spite of having several nutritional virtues in coarse grain as mentioned above, there is still scope for improvement in quality parameters such as cooking qualities, modulation of nutritional constituents and reduction or elimination of anti-nutritional factors. Besides its use in traditional cooking, coarse grains have been used mainly in the weaning food preparation and other malted food production. Improvement in quality parameters will certainly increase consumer's preference for coarse grains and increase their demand. The overall genetic gain in quality traits of economic importance in the cultivated varieties will enhance their industrial value and simultaneously increase income of farmers growing these varieties. The urgent step for improvement of quality traits in coarse grains requires a detailed understanding of molecular mechanisms responsible for varied level of different nutritional contents in different genotypes of these crops. In this review we have discussed the progresses made in understanding of coarse grain biology with various omics tool coupled with modern breeding approaches and the current status with regard to our effort towards dissecting traits related to improvement of quality and nutritional constituents of grains. PMID:27252585

  4. Single-cell approaches for molecular classification of endocrine tumors

    PubMed Central

    Koh, James; Allbritton, Nancy L.; Sosa, Julie A.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review In this review, we summarize recent developments in single-cell technologies that can be employed for the functional and molecular classification of endocrine cells in normal and neoplastic tissue. Recent findings The emergence of new platforms for the isolation, analysis, and dynamic assessment of individual cell identity and reactive behavior enables experimental deconstruction of intratumoral heterogeneity and other contexts, where variability in cell signaling and biochemical responsiveness inform biological function and clinical presentation. These tools are particularly appropriate for examining and classifying endocrine neoplasias, as the clinical sequelae of these tumors are often driven by disrupted hormonal responsiveness secondary to compromised cell signaling. Single-cell methods allow for multidimensional experimental designs incorporating both spatial and temporal parameters with the capacity to probe dynamic cell signaling behaviors and kinetic response patterns dependent upon sequential agonist challenge. Summary Intratumoral heterogeneity in the provenance, composition, and biological activity of different forms of endocrine neoplasia presents a significant challenge for prognostic assessment. Single-cell technologies provide an array of powerful new approaches uniquely well suited for dissecting complex endocrine tumors. Studies examining the relationship between clinical behavior and tumor compositional variations in cellular activity are now possible, providing new opportunities to deconstruct the underlying mechanisms of endocrine neoplasia. PMID:26632769

  5. Catalytic mechanism of RNA backbone cleavage by ribonuclease H from quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations.

    PubMed

    Rosta, Edina; Nowotny, Marcin; Yang, Wei; Hummer, Gerhard

    2011-06-15

    We use quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations to study the cleavage of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) backbone catalyzed by ribonuclease H. This protein is a prototypical member of a large family of enzymes that use two-metal catalysis to process nucleic acids. By combining Hamiltonian replica exchange with a finite-temperature string method, we calculate the free energy surface underlying the RNA-cleavage reaction and characterize its mechanism. We find that the reaction proceeds in two steps. In a first step, catalyzed primarily by magnesium ion A and its ligands, a water molecule attacks the scissile phosphate. Consistent with thiol-substitution experiments, a water proton is transferred to the downstream phosphate group. The transient phosphorane formed as a result of this nucleophilic attack decays by breaking the bond between the phosphate and the ribose oxygen. In the resulting intermediate, the dissociated but unprotonated leaving group forms an alkoxide coordinated to magnesium ion B. In a second step, the reaction is completed by protonation of the leaving group, with a neutral Asp132 as a likely proton donor. The overall reaction barrier of ∼15 kcal mol(-1), encountered in the first step, together with the cost of protonating Asp132, is consistent with the slow measured rate of ∼1-100/min. The two-step mechanism is also consistent with the bell-shaped pH dependence of the reaction rate. The nonmonotonic relative motion of the magnesium ions along the reaction pathway agrees with X-ray crystal structures. Proton-transfer reactions and changes in the metal ion coordination emerge as central factors in the RNA-cleavage reaction. PMID:21539371

  6. Novel molecular mechanisms and regeneration therapy for heart failure.

    PubMed

    Oka, Toru; Morita, Hiroyuki; Komuro, Issei

    2016-03-01

    Heart failure (HF) is one of the leading causes of mortality in the world. Various molecular mechanisms have been proposed for HF, but its precise mechanisms are still largely unknown. In this review, summarizing the "President's Distinguished Lecture Award" of XX World Congress of International Society for Heart Research 2010 in Kyoto, Japan, we introduce recent our studies on HF, including 1) p53-induced suppression of Hif-1-induced angiogenesis as a novel mechanism of HF, 2) angiogenesis as a potential therapeutic strategy for HF, and 3) IGFBP-4 as a novel factor for cardiomyogenesis by inhibiting canonical Wnt signaling. PMID:26829118

  7. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-08-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of peritoneal dissemination in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kanda, Mitsuro; Kodera, Yasuhiro

    2016-01-01

    Peritoneal dissemination represents a devastating form of gastric cancer (GC) progression with a dismal prognosis. There is no effective therapy for this condition. The 5-year survival rate of patients with peritoneal dissemination is 2%, even including patients with only microscopic free cancer cells without macroscopic peritoneal nodules. The mechanism of peritoneal dissemination of GC involves several steps: detachment of cancer cells from the primary tumor, survival in the free abdominal cavity, attachment to the distant peritoneum, invasion into the subperitoneal space and proliferation with angiogenesis. These steps are not mutually exclusive, and combinations of different molecular mechanisms can occur in each process of peritoneal dissemination. A comprehensive understanding of the molecular events involved in peritoneal dissemination is important and should be systematically pursued. It is crucial to identify novel strategies for the prevention of this condition and for identification of markers of prognosis and the development of molecular-targeted therapies. In this review, we provide an overview of recently published articles addressing the molecular mechanisms of peritoneal dissemination of GC to provide an update on what is currently known in this field and to propose novel promising candidates for use in diagnosis and as therapeutic targets. PMID:27570420

  9. Molecular mechanisms of peritoneal dissemination in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Kanda, Mitsuro; Kodera, Yasuhiro

    2016-08-14

    Peritoneal dissemination represents a devastating form of gastric cancer (GC) progression with a dismal prognosis. There is no effective therapy for this condition. The 5-year survival rate of patients with peritoneal dissemination is 2%, even including patients with only microscopic free cancer cells without macroscopic peritoneal nodules. The mechanism of peritoneal dissemination of GC involves several steps: detachment of cancer cells from the primary tumor, survival in the free abdominal cavity, attachment to the distant peritoneum, invasion into the subperitoneal space and proliferation with angiogenesis. These steps are not mutually exclusive, and combinations of different molecular mechanisms can occur in each process of peritoneal dissemination. A comprehensive understanding of the molecular events involved in peritoneal dissemination is important and should be systematically pursued. It is crucial to identify novel strategies for the prevention of this condition and for identification of markers of prognosis and the development of molecular-targeted therapies. In this review, we provide an overview of recently published articles addressing the molecular mechanisms of peritoneal dissemination of GC to provide an update on what is currently known in this field and to propose novel promising candidates for use in diagnosis and as therapeutic targets. PMID:27570420

  10. Modelling Molecular Mechanisms: A Framework of Scientific Reasoning to Construct Molecular-Level Explanations for Cellular Behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Mil, Marc H. W.; Boerwinkel, Dirk Jan; Waarlo, Arend Jan

    2013-01-01

    Although molecular-level details are part of the upper-secondary biology curriculum in most countries, many studies report that students fail to connect molecular knowledge to phenomena at the level of cells, organs and organisms. Recent studies suggest that students lack a framework to reason about complex systems to make this connection. In this paper, we present a framework that could help students to reason back and forth between cells and molecules. It represents both the general type of explanation in molecular biology and the research strategies scientists use to find these explanations. We base this framework on recent work in the philosophy of science that characterizes explanations in molecular biology as mechanistic explanations. Mechanistic explanations describe a phenomenon in terms of the entities involved, the activities displayed and the way these entities and activities are organized. We conclude that to describe cellular phenomena scientists use entities and activities at multiple levels between cells and molecules. In molecular biological research, scientists use heuristics based on these intermediate levels to construct mechanistic explanations. They subdivide a cellular activity into hypothetical lower-level activities (top-down approaches) and they predict and test the organization of macromolecules into functional modules that play a role in higher-level activities (bottom-up approaches). We suggest including molecular mechanistic reasoning in biology education and we identify criteria for designing such education. Education using molecular mechanistic reasoning can build on common intuitive reasoning about mechanisms. The heuristics that scientists use can help students to apply this intuitive notion to the levels in between molecules and cells.

  11. Introducing Computational Approaches in Intermediate Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, David M.

    2006-12-01

    In the winter of 2003, we at Lawrence University moved Lagrangian mechanics and rigid body dynamics from a required sophomore course to an elective junior/senior course, freeing 40% of the time for computational approaches to ordinary differential equations (trajectory problems, the large amplitude pendulum, non-linear dynamics); evaluation of integrals (finding centers of mass and moment of inertia tensors, calculating gravitational potentials for various sources); and finding eigenvalues and eigenvectors of matrices (diagonalizing the moment of inertia tensor, finding principal axes), and to generating graphical displays of computed results. Further, students begin to use LaTeX to prepare some of their submitted problem solutions. Placed in the middle of the sophomore year, this course provides the background that permits faculty members as appropriate to assign computer-based exercises in subsequent courses. Further, students are encouraged to use our Computational Physics Laboratory on their own initiative whenever that use seems appropriate. (Curricular development supported in part by the W. M. Keck Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and Lawrence University.)

  12. Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Studies on Spectral Tuning Mechanisms of Visual Pigments and Other Photoactive Proteins†

    PubMed Central

    Altun, Ahmet; Yokoyama, Shozo; Morokuma, Keiji

    2008-01-01

    The protein environments surrounding the retinal tune electronic absorption maximum from 350 to 630 nm. Hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods can be used in calculating excitation energies of retinal in its native protein environments and in studying the molecular basis of spectral tuning. We hereby review recent QM/MM results on the phototransduction of bovine rhodopsin, bacteriorhodopsin, sensory rhodopsin II, nonretinal photoactive yellow protein and their mutants. PMID:18331400

  13. Stability Mechanisms of a Thermophilic Laccase Probed by Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Niels J.; Kepp, Kasper P.

    2013-01-01

    Laccases are highly stable, industrially important enzymes capable of oxidizing a large range of substrates. Causes for their stability are, as for other proteins, poorly understood. In this work, multiple-seed molecular dynamics (MD) was applied to a Trametes versicolor laccase in response to variable ionic strengths, temperatures, and glycosylation status. Near-physiological conditions provided excellent agreement with the crystal structure (average RMSD ∼0.92 Å) and residual agreement with experimental B-factors. The persistence of backbone hydrogen bonds was identified as a key descriptor of structural response to environment, whereas solvent-accessibility, radius of gyration, and fluctuations were only locally relevant. Backbone hydrogen bonds decreased systematically with temperature in all simulations (∼9 per 50 K), probing structural changes associated with enthalpy-entropy compensation. Approaching Topt (∼350 K) from 300 K, this change correlated with a beginning “unzipping” of critical β-sheets. 0 M ionic strength triggered partial denucleation of the C-terminal (known experimentally to be sensitive) at 400 K, suggesting a general salt stabilization effect. In contrast, F− (but not Cl−) specifically impaired secondary structure by formation of strong hydrogen bonds with backbone NH, providing a mechanism for experimentally observed small anion destabilization, potentially remedied by site-directed mutagenesis at critical intrusion sites. N-glycosylation was found to support structural integrity by increasing persistent backbone hydrogen bonds by ∼4 across simulations, mainly via prevention of F− intrusion. Hydrogen-bond loss in distinct loop regions and ends of critical β-sheets suggest potential strategies for laboratory optimization of these industrially important enzymes. PMID:23658618

  14. Dual-tracer background subtraction approach for fluorescent molecular tomography

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Robert W.; El-Ghussein, Fadi; Davis, Scott C.; Samkoe, Kimberley S.; Gunn, Jason R.; Leblond, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. Diffuse fluorescence tomography requires high contrast-to-background ratios to accurately reconstruct inclusions of interest. This is a problem when imaging the uptake of fluorescently labeled molecularly targeted tracers in tissue, which can result in high levels of heterogeneously distributed background uptake. We present a dual-tracer background subtraction approach, wherein signal from the uptake of an untargeted tracer is subtracted from targeted tracer signal prior to image reconstruction, resulting in maps of targeted tracer binding. The approach is demonstrated in simulations, a phantom study, and in a mouse glioma imaging study, demonstrating substantial improvement over conventional and homogenous background subtraction image reconstruction approaches. PMID:23292612

  15. A statistical mechanics approach to Granovetter theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barra, Adriano; Agliari, Elena

    2012-05-01

    In this paper we try to bridge breakthroughs in quantitative sociology/econometrics, pioneered during the last decades by Mac Fadden, Brock-Durlauf, Granovetter and Watts-Strogatz, by introducing a minimal model able to reproduce essentially all the features of social behavior highlighted by these authors. Our model relies on a pairwise Hamiltonian for decision-maker interactions which naturally extends the multi-populations approaches by shifting and biasing the pattern definitions of a Hopfield model of neural networks. Once introduced, the model is investigated through graph theory (to recover Granovetter and Watts-Strogatz results) and statistical mechanics (to recover Mac-Fadden and Brock-Durlauf results). Due to the internal symmetries of our model, the latter is obtained as the relaxation of a proper Markov process, allowing even to study its out-of-equilibrium properties. The method used to solve its equilibrium is an adaptation of the Hamilton-Jacobi technique recently introduced by Guerra in the spin-glass scenario and the picture obtained is the following: shifting the patterns from [-1,+1]→[0.+1] implies that the larger the amount of similarities among decision makers, the stronger their relative influence, and this is enough to explain both the different role of strong and weak ties in the social network as well as its small-world properties. As a result, imitative interaction strengths seem essentially a robust request (enough to break the gauge symmetry in the couplings), furthermore, this naturally leads to a discrete choice modelization when dealing with the external influences and to imitative behavior à la Curie-Weiss as the one introduced by Brock and Durlauf.

  16. Electronic structure and conformation of polymers from cluster molecular orbital and molecular mechanics calculations: Polyimide

    SciTech Connect

    Kafafi, S.A. ); LaFemina, J.P. ); Nauss, J.L. )

    1990-11-21

    Full geometry optimizations using molecular mechanics and the quantum chemical AM1 method have been carried out to determine the minimum energy conformation of pyromellitic dianhydride-oxydianiline polyimide (PMDA-ODA PI). The phenyl-imide twist angle for this compound was determined to be {approximately}30. These computations also provided a quantitative determination of the energy gap (7 eV), electron affinity ({minus}2 eV), and ionization potential (8.97 eV). Computations on the PMDA-ODA PI radical anion provided an estimate of the hopping barrier for an electron to hop from one chain to another (3.2 eV), the mechanism believed responsible for photoconduction. Moreover, the use of qualitative molecular orbital theory (QMOT) arguments provided an interpretation of these results in a simple molecular orbital framework.

  17. Fractal Globules: A New Approach to Artificial Molecular Machines

    PubMed Central

    Avetisov, Vladik A.; Ivanov, Viktor A.; Meshkov, Dmitry A.; Nechaev, Sergei K.

    2014-01-01

    The over-damped relaxation of elastic networks constructed by contact maps of hierarchically folded fractal (crumpled) polymer globules was investigated in detail. It was found that the relaxation dynamics of an anisotropic fractal globule is very similar to the behavior of biological molecular machines like motor proteins. When it is perturbed, the system quickly relaxes to a low-dimensional manifold, M, with a large basin of attraction and then slowly approaches equilibrium, not escaping M. Taking these properties into account, it is suggested that fractal globules, even those made by synthetic polymers, are artificial molecular machines that can transform perturbations into directed quasimechanical motion along a defined path. PMID:25418305

  18. Fractal globules: a new approach to artificial molecular machines.

    PubMed

    Avetisov, Vladik A; Ivanov, Viktor A; Meshkov, Dmitry A; Nechaev, Sergei K

    2014-11-18

    The over-damped relaxation of elastic networks constructed by contact maps of hierarchically folded fractal (crumpled) polymer globules was investigated in detail. It was found that the relaxation dynamics of an anisotropic fractal globule is very similar to the behavior of biological molecular machines like motor proteins. When it is perturbed, the system quickly relaxes to a low-dimensional manifold, M, with a large basin of attraction and then slowly approaches equilibrium, not escaping M. Taking these properties into account, it is suggested that fractal globules, even those made by synthetic polymers, are artificial molecular machines that can transform perturbations into directed quasimechanical motion along a defined path. PMID:25418305

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of the Formation and Progression of Intracranial Aneurysms

    PubMed Central

    KATAOKA, Hiroharu

    2015-01-01

    Until recently, only a little was understood about molecular mechanisms of the development of an intracranial aneurysm (IA). Recent advancements over the last decade in the field of genetics and molecular biology have provided us a wide variety of evidences supporting the notion that chronic inflammation is closely associated with the pathogenesis of IA development. In the field of genetics, large-scale Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has identified some IA susceptible loci and genes related to cell cycle and endothelial function. Researches in molecular biology using human samples and animal models have revealed the common pathway of the initiation, progression, and rupture of IAs. IA formation begins with endothelial dysfunction followed by pathological remodeling with degenerative changes of vascular walls. Medical treatments inhibiting inflammatory cascades in IA development are likely to prevent IA progression and rupture. Statins and aspirin are expected to suppress IA progression by their anti-inflammatory effects. Decoy oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) inhibiting inflammatory transcription factors such as nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and Ets-1 are the other promising choice of the prevention of IA development. Further clarification of molecular mechanisms of the formation and progression of IAs will shed light to the pathogenesis of IA development and provide insight into novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for IAs. PMID:25761423

  20. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Arrhythmia by Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Sovari, Ali A.

    2016-01-01

    Current therapies for arrhythmia using ion channel blockade, catheter ablation, or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator have limitations, and it is important to search for new antiarrhythmic therapeutic targets. Both atrial fibrillation and heart failure, a condition with increased arrhythmic risk, are associated with excess amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS). There are several possible ways for ROS to induce arrhythmia. ROS can cause focal activity and reentry. ROS alter multiple cardiac ionic currents. ROS promote cardiac fibrosis and impair gap junction function, resulting in reduced myocyte coupling and facilitation of reentry. In order to design effective antioxidant drugs for treatment of arrhythmia, it is essential to explore the molecular mechanisms by which ROS exert these arrhythmic effects. Activation of Ca2+/CaM-dependent kinase II, c-Src tyrosine kinase, protein kinase C, and abnormal splicing of cardiac sodium channels are among the recently discovered molecular mechanisms of ROS-induced arrhythmia. PMID:26981310

  1. Potential Molecular and Cellular Mechanism of Psychotropic Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Myoung Suk; Scarr, Elizabeth; Lai, Chi-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are among the most debilitating of all medical illnesses. Whilst there are drugs that can be used to treat these disorders, they give sub-optimal recovery in many people and a significant number of individuals do not respond to any treatments and remain treatment resistant. Surprisingly, the mechanism by which psychotropic drugs cause their therapeutic benefits remain unknown but likely involves the underlying molecular pathways affected by the drugs. Hence, in this review, we have focused on recent findings on the molecular mechanism affected by antipsychotic, mood stabilizing and antidepressant drugs at the levels of epigenetics, intracellular signalling cascades and microRNAs. We posit that understanding these important interactions will result in a better understanding of how these drugs act which in turn may aid in considering how to develop drugs with better efficacy or increased therapeutic reach. PMID:25191500

  2. [Molecular mechanisms of the plague pathogenic agent interaction with invertebrates].

    PubMed

    Kutyrev, V V; Eroshenko, G A; Popov, N V; Vidiaeva, N A; Konnov, N P

    2009-01-01

    Microbe Russian Anti-Plague Research Institute, Saratov, Russia The literature data and experimental results of the authors on the molecular basis of plague agent interaction with invertebrates are discussed. The details of the plague agent life cycle, its genome organization, and molecular genetic mechanisms of its survival in flea vector and on the nematode cuticule are discussed. The experimental data about the ability to form biofilms at abiotic and biotic surfaces in the Yersinia pestis strains of the main and non-main subspecies are presented. Mechanisms of horizontal and vertical transmission of plague agent are considered. The suggestion about participation of the new member in the complex parasitic biocenosis (nematode, vector parasite) is put forward. PMID:20050160

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Derivation of a Molecular Mechanics Force Field for Cholesterol

    SciTech Connect

    Cournia, Zoe; Vaiana, Andrea C.; Smith, Jeremy C.; Ullmann, G. Matthias M.

    2004-01-01

    As a necessary step toward realistic cholesterol:biomembrane simulations, we have derived CHARMM molecular mechanics force-field parameters for cholesterol. For the parametrization we use an automated method that involves fitting the molecular mechanics potential to both vibrational frequencies and eigenvector projections derived from quantum chemical calculations. Results for another polycyclic molecule, rhodamine 6G, are also given. The usefulness of the method is thus demonstrated by the use of reference data from two molecules at different levels of theory. The frequency-matching plots for both cholesterol and rhodamine 6G show overall agreement between the CHARMM and quantum chemical normal modes, with frequency matching for both molecules within the error range found in previous benchmark studies.

  5. New Insights Into Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Badal, Shawn S.; Danesh, Farhad R.

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms in childhood irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Chumpitazi, Bruno P; Shulman, Robert J

    2016-12-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects a large number of children throughout the world. The symptom expression of IBS is heterogeneous, and several factors which may be interrelated within the IBS biopsychosocial model play a role. These factors include visceral hyperalgesia, intestinal permeability, gut microbiota, psychosocial distress, gut inflammation, bile acids, food intolerance, colonic bacterial fermentation, and genetics. The molecular and cellular mechanisms of these factors are being actively investigated. In this mini-review, we present updates of these mechanisms and, where possible, relate the findings to childhood IBS. Mechanistic elucidation may lead to the identification of biomarkers as well as personalized childhood IBS therapies. PMID:26883355

  7. STM-based methodologies for molecular identification and studies of chemical reaction mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Hamers, R.J.

    1995-12-01

    The use of STM to study chemical reactions has been hampered by the general inability to identify molecules and molecular fragments on surfaces. By combining the ability of the STM to probe local electronic structure with systematic study as a function of temperature and concepts from coordination chemistry, a priori chemical identification can be achieved, and this information can be used to elucidate new information about the mechanisms of chemical reactions. On silicon, this approach has been applied to study the decomposition of disilane, phosphine, and diborane. On metals, the delocalized bonding necessitates different approaches. We have also applied STM and tunneling spectroscopy to study the adsorption and decomposition of thiophene and related molecules on Ag(111) surfaces at 120 Kelvin. Here, voltage-dependent STM imaging is used to identify the rotational orientation of the molecules and to study polymerization at the molecular level. Methodologies for molecular identification will be discussed, with recent applications on semiconductors and metals.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Treg-Mediated T Cell Suppression

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Angelika; Oberle, Nina; Krammer, Peter H.

    2012-01-01

    CD4+CD25highFoxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) can suppress other immune cells and, thus, are critical mediators of peripheral self-tolerance. On the one hand, Tregs avert autoimmune disease and allergies. On the other hand, Tregs can prevent immune reactions against tumors and pathogens. Despite the importance of Tregs, the molecular mechanisms of suppression remain incompletely understood and controversial. Proliferation and cytokine production of CD4+CD25− conventional T cells (Tcons) can be inhibited directly by Tregs. In addition, Tregs can indirectly suppress Tcon activation via inhibition of the stimulatory capacity of antigen presenting cells. Direct suppression of Tcons by Tregs can involve immunosuppressive soluble factors or cell contact. Different mechanisms of suppression have been described, so far with no consensus on one universal mechanism. Controversies might be explained by the fact that different mechanisms may operate depending on the site of the immune reaction, on the type and activation state of the suppressed target cell as well as on the Treg activation status. Further, inhibition of T cell effector function can occur independently of suppression of proliferation. In this review, we summarize the described molecular mechanisms of suppression with a particular focus on suppression of Tcons and rapid suppression of T cell receptor-induced calcium (Ca2+), NFAT, and NF-κB signaling in Tcons by Tregs. PMID:22566933

  9. Molecular mechanisms and proposed targets for selected anticancer gold compounds.

    PubMed

    Casini, Angela; Messori, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Nowadays, gold compounds constitute a family of very promising experimental agents for cancer treatment. Indeed, several gold(I) and gold(III) compounds were shown to manifest outstanding antiproliferative properties in vitro against selected human tumor cell lines and some of them performed remarkably well even in tumor models in vivo. Notably, the peculiar chemical properties of the gold centre impart innovative pharmacological profiles to gold-based metallodrugs most likely in relation to novel molecular mechanisms. The precise mechanisms through which cytotoxic gold compounds produce their biological effects are still largely unknown. Within this frame, the major aim of this review is to define the possible modes of action and the most probable biomolecular targets for a few representative gold compounds on which extensive biochemical and cellular data have been gathered. In particular, we will focus on auranofin and analogues, on gold(III) porphyrins and gold(III) dithiocarbamates. For these three families markedly distinct molecular mechanisms were recently invoked: a direct mitochondrial mechanism involving thioredoxin reductase inhibition in the case of the gold(I) complexes, the influence on some apoptotic proteins--i.e. MAPKs and Bcl-2--for gold(III) porphyrins, and the proteasome inhibition for gold(III) dithiocarbamates. In a few cases the distinct mechanisms may overlap. The general perspectives for the development of new gold compounds as effective anticancer agents with innovative modes of action are critically discussed. PMID:22039866

  10. Cardiovascular effects of cocaine: cellular, ionic and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Turillazzi, E; Bello, S; Neri, M; Pomara, C; Riezzo, I; Fineschi, V

    2012-01-01

    Cocaine is a widely abused drug responsible for the majority of deaths ascribed to drug overdose. Many mechanisms have been proposed in order to explain the various cocaine associated cardiovascular complications. Conventionally, cocaine cardiotoxicity has been thought to be mediated indirectly through its sympathomimetic effect, i.e., by inhibiting the reuptake and thus increasing the levels of neuronal catecholamines at work on adrenoceptors. Increased oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, and cocaine-induced apoptosis in the heart muscle have suggested a new way to understand the cardiotoxic effects of cocaine. More recent studies have led the attention to the interaction of cocaine and some metabolites with cardiac sodium, calcium and potassium channels. The current paper is aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cocaine cardiotoxicity which have a specific clinical and forensic interest. From a clinical point of view the full knowledge of the exact mechanisms by which cocaine exerts cardio - vascular damage is essential to identify potential therapeutic targets and improve novel strategies for cocaine related cardiovascular diseases. From a forensic point of view, it is to be underlined that cocaine use is often associated to sudden death in young, otherwise healthy individuals. While such events are widely reported, the relationship between cardiac morphological alterations and molecular/cellular mechanisms is still controversial. In conclusion, the study of cocaine cardiovascular toxicity needs a strict collaboration between clinicians and pathologists which may be very effective in further dissecting the mechanisms underlying cocaine cardiotoxicity and understanding the cardiac cocaine connection. PMID:22856657

  11. Molecular mechanisms for vascular complications of targeted cancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Gopal, Srila; Miller, Kenneth B; Jaffe, Iris Z

    2016-10-01

    Molecularly targeted anti-cancer therapies have revolutionized cancer treatment by improving both quality of life and survival in cancer patients. However, many of these drugs are associated with cardiovascular toxicities that are sometimes dose-limiting. Moreover, the long-term cardiovascular consequences of these drugs, some of which are used chronically, are not yet known. Although the scope and mechanisms of the cardiac toxicities are better defined, the mechanisms for vascular toxicities are only beginning to be elucidated. This review summarizes what is known about the vascular adverse events associated with three classes of novel anti-cancer therapies: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors, breakpoint cluster-Abelson (BCR-ABL) kinase inhibitors used to treat chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) and immunomodulatory agents (IMiDs) used in myeloma therapeutics. Three of the best described vascular toxicities are reviewed including hypertension, increased risk of acute cardiovascular ischaemic events and arteriovenous thrombosis. The available data regarding the mechanism by which each therapy causes vascular complication are summarized. When data are limited, potential mechanisms are inferred from the known effects of inhibiting each target on vascular cell function and disease. Enhanced understanding of the molecular mechanisms of vascular side effects of targeted cancer therapy is necessary to effectively manage cancer patients and to design safer targeted cancer therapies for the future. PMID:27612952

  12. Genomic and molecular mechanisms for efficient biodegradation of aromatic dye.

    PubMed

    Sun, Su; Xie, Shangxian; Chen, Hu; Cheng, Yanbing; Shi, Yan; Qin, Xing; Dai, Susie Y; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Yuan, Joshua S

    2016-01-25

    Understanding the molecular mechanisms for aromatic compound degradation is crucial for the development of effective bioremediation strategies. We report the discovery of a novel phenomenon for improved degradation of Direct Red 5B azo dye by Irpex lacteus CD2 with lignin as a co-substrate. Transcriptomics analysis was performed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of aromatic degradation in white rot fungus by comparing dye, lignin, and dye/lignin combined treatments. A full spectrum of lignin degradation peroxidases, oxidases, radical producing enzymes, and other relevant components were up-regulated under DR5B and lignin treatments. Lignin induced genes complemented the DR5B induced genes to provide essential enzymes and redox conditions for aromatic compound degradation. The transcriptomics analysis was further verified by manganese peroxidase (MnP) protein over-expression, as revealed by proteomics, dye decolorization assay by purified MnP and increased hydroxyl radical levels, as indicated by an iron reducing activity assay. Overall, the molecular and genomic mechanisms indicated that effective aromatic polymer degradation requires synergistic enzymes and radical-mediated oxidative reactions to form an effective network of chemical processes. This study will help to guide the development of effective bioremediation and biomass degradation strategies. PMID:26476316

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Saif; Bhatia, Kanchan; Kannan, Annapoorna; Gangwani, Laxman

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive motor neuron disease with a high incidence and is the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is primarily characterized by degeneration of the spinal motor neurons that leads to skeletal muscle atrophy followed by symmetric limb paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. In humans, mutation of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene shifts the load of expression of SMN protein to the SMN2 gene that produces low levels of full-length SMN protein because of alternative splicing, which are sufficient for embryonic development and survival but result in SMA. The molecular mechanisms of the (a) regulation of SMN gene expression and (b) degeneration of motor neurons caused by low levels of SMN are unclear. However, some progress has been made in recent years that have provided new insights into understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of SMA pathogenesis. In this review, we have briefly summarized recent advances toward understanding of the molecular mechanisms of regulation of SMN levels and signaling mechanisms that mediate neurodegeneration in SMA. PMID:27042141

  14. [Progress in the molecular genetic mechanism of gonadoblastoma].

    PubMed

    Lili, Yu; Wanru, Dong; Minghui, Chen; Xiangyang, Kong

    2015-11-01

    Gonadoblastoma (GB), a rare in situ germ cell tumor derived from sex cord and germ cells, is closely associated with gonadal dysgenesis. About 80% of GB individuals exhibit 46, XY female phenotype while the others are 45, XY and 46, XX with disorders of sex development. Moreover, 35% of GB can eventually develop into malignant tumors, such as seminoma and dysgerminoma tumors. The molecular genetic mechanism of GB remains to be fully uncovered due to phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Increasing studies show that the formation of GB is closely related to genes regulating sexual differentiation and determination (e.g., SRY, WT1, SOX9, Foxl2, TSPY, etc), and is affected by the interaction of genetic and epigenetic regulation. Here we describe the clinical and pathological features, diagnosis and treatment of GB, and also summarize the molecular genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the gonadal abnormalities that lead to GB. We analyze and construct the common gene regulatory networks related to the development of GB, and describe some obstacles and deficiencies in current studies to provide innovative perspectives on further studying the pathological and molecular mechanisms of GB. PMID:26582524

  15. Crosstalk Between Apoptosis and Autophagy: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    El-Khattouti, Abdelouahid; Selimovic, Denis; Haikel, Youssef; Hassan, Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    Both apoptosis and autophagy are highly conserved processes that besides their role in the maintenance of the organismal and cellular homeostasis serve as a main target of tumor therapeutics. Although their important roles in the modulation of tumor therapeutic strategies have been widely reported, the molecular actions of both apoptosis and autophagy are counteracted by cancer protective mechanisms. While apoptosis is a tightly regulated process that is implicated in the removal of damaged or unwanted cells, autophagy is a cellular catabolic pathway that is involved in lysosomal degradation and recycling of proteins and organelles, and thereby is considered an important survival/protective mechanism for cancer cells in response to metabolic stress or chemotherapy. Although the relationship between autophagy and cell death is very complicated and has not been characterized in detail, the molecular mechanisms that control this relationship are considered to be a relevant target for the development of a therapeutic strategy for tumor treatment. In this review, we focus on the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis, autophagy, and those of the crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy in order to provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that may be essential for the balance between cell survival and death as well as their role as targets for the development of novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:25278778

  16. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 31-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre. PMID:20519206

  17. A molecular simulation study of chemical degradation and mechanical deformation of hydrated Nafion membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Jing; Ban, Shuai; Liu, Bei; Zhou, Hongjun

    2016-01-01

    A combined modeling approach using kinetic Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations is applied to investigate both chemical and mechanical degradation of Nafion membranes on the molecular level. In different hydration conditions, two major degradation reactions are identified to be the main chain unzipping and the side chain scission. The dissolution process of Nafion is evaluated in terms of weight loss, production emission rate and evolution of functional groups. Further, the complicated structural deformation is preliminarily investigated by imposing linear strain on degraded Nafion membrane. Different craze patterns are compared before and after chemical degradation, and the mechanism of crack propagation is proposed. Finally, prospective applications of our modeling approach are addressed for future studies of membrane degradation phenomena under fuel cell operation conditions.

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Age-Related Sleep Loss in the Fruit Fly

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Meagan; Keene, Alex C.

    2013-01-01

    Across phyla, aging is associated with reduced sleep duration and efficiency. Both aging and sleep involve complex genetic architecture and diverse cell types and are heavily influenced by diet and environment. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms of age-dependent changes in sleep will require integrative approaches that go beyond examining these two processes independently. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, provides a genetically amenable system for dissecting the molecular basis of these processes. In this review, we examine the role of metabolism and circadian rhythms in age-dependent sleep loss. PMID:23594925

  19. Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene: Mechanics, Morphology, and Clinical Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Sobieraj, MC; Rimnac, CM

    2013-01-01

    Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a semicrystalline polymer that has been used for over four decades as a bearing surface in total joint replacements. The mechanical properties and wear properties of UHMWPE are of interest with respect to the in vivo performance of UHMWPE joint replacement components. The mechanical properties of the polymer are dependent on both its crystalline and amorphous phases. Altering either phase (i.e., changing overall crystallinity, crystalline morphology, or crosslinking the amorphous phase) can affect the mechanical behavior of the material. There is also evidence that the morphology of UHMWPE, and, hence, its mechanical properties evolve with loading. UHMWPE has also been shown to be susceptible to oxidative degradation following gamma radiation sterilization with subsequent loss of mechanical properties. Contemporary UHMWPE sterilization methods have been developed to reduce or eliminate oxidative degradation. Also, crosslinking of UHMWPE has been pursued to improve the wear resistance of UHMWPE joint components. The 1st generation of highly crosslinked UHMWPEs have resulted in clinically reduced wear; however, the mechanical properties of these materials, such as ductility and fracture toughness, are reduced when compared to the virgin material. Therefore, a 2nd generation of highly crosslinked UHMWPEs are being introduced to preserve the wear resistance of the 1st generation while also seeking to provide oxidative stability and improved mechanical properties. PMID:19627849

  20. Modern Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach by George H. Duffey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranck, John P.

    2001-08-01

    The text has been carefully edited; I found no mathematical or typographical errors.

    Literature Cited

    1. Duffey, G. H. Physical Chemistry; McGraw-Hill: New York, 1962.
    2. Barrow, G. M. Physical Chemistry; McGraw-Hill: New York, 1961.
    3. McQuarrie, D. A.; Simon, J. D. Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach; University Science Books: Sausalito, CA, 1997.

  1. Hyperthermophilic Enzymes: Sources, Uses, and Molecular Mechanisms for Thermostability

    PubMed Central

    Vieille, Claire; Zeikus, Gregory J.

    2001-01-01

    Enzymes synthesized by hyperthermophiles (bacteria and archaea with optimal growth temperatures of >80°C), also called hyperthermophilic enzymes, are typically thermostable (i.e., resistant to irreversible inactivation at high temperatures) and are optimally active at high temperatures. These enzymes share the same catalytic mechanisms with their mesophilic counterparts. When cloned and expressed in mesophilic hosts, hyperthermophilic enzymes usually retain their thermal properties, indicating that these properties are genetically encoded. Sequence alignments, amino acid content comparisons, crystal structure comparisons, and mutagenesis experiments indicate that hyperthermophilic enzymes are, indeed, very similar to their mesophilic homologues. No single mechanism is responsible for the remarkable stability of hyperthermophilic enzymes. Increased thermostability must be found, instead, in a small number of highly specific alterations that often do not obey any obvious traffic rules. After briefly discussing the diversity of hyperthermophilic organisms, this review concentrates on the remarkable thermostability of their enzymes. The biochemical and molecular properties of hyperthermophilic enzymes are described. Mechanisms responsible for protein inactivation are reviewed. The molecular mechanisms involved in protein thermostabilization are discussed, including ion pairs, hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic interactions, disulfide bridges, packing, decrease of the entropy of unfolding, and intersubunit interactions. Finally, current uses and potential applications of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic enzymes as research reagents and as catalysts for industrial processes are described. PMID:11238984

  2. Linking traits based on their shared molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Oren, Yael; Nachshon, Aharon; Frishberg, Amit; Wilentzik, Roni; Gat-Viks, Irit

    2015-01-01

    There is growing recognition that co-morbidity and co-occurrence of disease traits are often determined by shared genetic and molecular mechanisms. In most cases, however, the specific mechanisms that lead to such trait–trait relationships are yet unknown. Here we present an analysis of a broad spectrum of behavioral and physiological traits together with gene-expression measurements across genetically diverse mouse strains. We develop an unbiased methodology that constructs potentially overlapping groups of traits and resolves their underlying combination of genetic loci and molecular mechanisms. For example, our method predicts that genetic variation in the Klf7 gene may influence gene transcripts in bone marrow-derived myeloid cells, which in turn affect 17 behavioral traits following morphine injection; this predicted effect of Klf7 is consistent with an in vitro perturbation of Klf7 in bone marrow cells. Our analysis demonstrates the utility of studying hidden causative mechanisms that lead to relationships between complex traits. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04346.001 PMID:25781485

  3. Molecular Mechanism of Active Zone Organization at Vertebrate Neuromuscular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Organization of presynaptic active zones is essential for development, plasticity, and pathology of the nervous system. Recent studies indicate a trans-synaptic molecular mechanism that organizes the active zones by connecting the pre- and the postsynaptic specialization. The presynaptic component of this trans-synaptic mechanism is comprised of cytosolic active zone proteins bound to the cytosolic domains of voltage-dependent calcium channels (P/Q-, N-, and L-type) on the presynaptic membrane. The postsynaptic component of this mechanism is the synapse organizer (laminin β2) that is expressed by the postsynaptic cell and accumulates specifically on top of the postsynaptic specialization. The pre- and the postsynaptic components interact directly between the extracellular domains of calcium channels and laminin β2 to anchor the presynaptic protein complex in front of the postsynaptic specialization. Hence, the presynaptic calcium channel functions as a scaffolding protein for active zone organization and as an ion-conducting channel for synaptic transmission. In contrast to the requirement of calcium influx for synaptic transmission, the formation of the active zone does not require the calcium influx through the calcium channels. Importantly, the active zones of adult synapses are not stable structures and require maintenance for their integrity. Furthermore, aging or diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system impair the active zones. This review will focus on the molecular mechanisms that organize the presynaptic active zones and summarize recent findings at the neuromuscular junctions and other synapses. PMID:22135013

  4. A Universal Electrode Approach for Automated Electrochemical Molecular Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Sin, Mandy L. Y.; Gau, Vincent; Liao, Joseph C.; Wong, P. K.

    2014-01-01

    Transforming microfluidics-based biosensing systems from laboratory research into clinical reality remains an elusive goal despite decades of intensive research. A fundamental obstacle for the development of fully automated microfluidic diagnostic systems is the lack of an effective strategy for combining pumping, sample preparation, and detection modules into an integrated biosensing platform. Herein, we report a universal electrode approach, which incorporates DC electrolytic pumping, AC electrokinetic sample preparation, and self-assembled monolayer based electrochemical sensing on a single microfluidic platform, to automate complicated molecular analysis procedures that will enable biosensing applications in non-traditional healthcare settings. Using the universal electrode approach, major microfluidic operations required in molecular analyses, such as pumping, mixing, washing, and sensing can be performed in a single platform. We demonstrate the universal electrode platform for detecting bacterial 16S rRNA, a phylogenetic marker, toward rapid diagnostics of urinary tract infection. Since only electronic interfaces are required to operate the platform, the universal electrode approach represents an effective system integration strategy to realize the potential of microfluidics in molecular diagnostics at the point of care. PMID:24860248

  5. Theoretical modeling of large molecular systems. Advances in the local self consistent field method for mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations.

    PubMed

    Monari, Antonio; Rivail, Jean-Louis; Assfeld, Xavier

    2013-02-19

    Molecular mechanics methods can efficiently compute the macroscopic properties of a large molecular system but cannot represent the electronic changes that occur during a chemical reaction or an electronic transition. Quantum mechanical methods can accurately simulate these processes, but they require considerably greater computational resources. Because electronic changes typically occur in a limited part of the system, such as the solute in a molecular solution or the substrate within the active site of enzymatic reactions, researchers can limit the quantum computation to this part of the system. Researchers take into account the influence of the surroundings by embedding this quantum computation into a calculation of the whole system described at the molecular mechanical level, a strategy known as the mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach. The accuracy of this embedding varies according to the types of interactions included, whether they are purely mechanical or classically electrostatic. This embedding can also introduce the induced polarization of the surroundings. The difficulty in QM/MM calculations comes from the splitting of the system into two parts, which requires severing the chemical bonds that link the quantum mechanical subsystem to the classical subsystem. Typically, researchers replace the quantoclassical atoms, those at the boundary between the subsystems, with a monovalent link atom. For example, researchers might add a hydrogen atom when a C-C bond is cut. This Account describes another approach, the Local Self Consistent Field (LSCF), which was developed in our laboratory. LSCF links the quantum mechanical portion of the molecule to the classical portion using a strictly localized bond orbital extracted from a small model molecule for each bond. In this scenario, the quantoclassical atom has an apparent nuclear charge of +1. To achieve correct bond lengths and force constants, we must take into account the inner shell of

  6. Molecular mechanisms of coronavirus RNA capping and methylation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Guo, Deyin

    2016-02-01

    The 5'-cap structures of eukaryotic mRNAs are important for RNA stability, pre-mRNA splicing, mRNA export, and protein translation. Many viruses have evolved mechanisms for generating their own cap structures with methylation at the N7 position of the capped guanine and the ribose 2'-Oposition of the first nucleotide, which help viral RNAs escape recognition by the host innate immune system. The RNA genomes of coronavirus were identified to have 5'-caps in the early 1980s. However, for decades the RNA capping mechanisms of coronaviruses remained unknown. Since 2003, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus has drawn increased attention and stimulated numerous studies on the molecular virology of coronaviruses. Here, we review the current understanding of the mechanisms adopted by coronaviruses to produce the 5'-cap structure and methylation modification of viral genomic RNAs. PMID:26847650

  7. MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF URANIUM REDUCTION BY CLOSTRIDIA AND ITS MANIPULATION.

    SciTech Connect

    FRANCIS, A.J.; GAO, W.; CHIDAMBARAM, D.; DODGE, C.J.

    2006-11-16

    This research addresses the need for detailed studies of the enzymatic mechanisms for reduction of radionuclides and/or metals by fermentative microorganisms. The overall objective of this research is to elucidate systematically the molecular mechanisms involved in the reduction of uranium by Clostridia. We propose to (1) determine the role of hydrogenases in uranium reduction, (2) purify the enzymes involved in uranium reduction, (3) determine the mechanisms of reduction, e.g., one or two electron transfer reactions, and (4) elucidate the genetic control of the enzymes and cellular factors involved in uranium reduction. This is a collaborative study between BNL and Stanford University involving expertise in biomolecular science, biochemistry, microbiology, and electrochemistry.

  8. Molecular Mechanism of Uranium Reduction by Clostridia and its Manipulation

    SciTech Connect

    A. J. Francis; W. Gao, D. Chidambaram; C.J. Dodge

    2006-06-01

    This research addresses the need for detailed studies of the enzymatic mechanisms for reduction of radionuclides and/or metals by fermentative microorganisms. The overall objective of this research is to elucidate systematically the molecular mechanisms involved in the reduction of uranium by Clostridia. We propose to (1) determine the role of hydrogenases in uranium reduction, (22) purify the enzymes involved in uranium reduction, (3) determine the mechanisms of reduction, e.g., one or two electron transfer reactions, and (4) elucidate the genetic control of the enzymes and cellular factors involved in uranium reduction. This is a collaborative study between BNL and Stanford University involving expertise in biomolecular science, biochemistry, microbiology, and electrochemistry.

  9. Physiological, Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Long-Term Habituation

    SciTech Connect

    Calin-Jageman, Robert J

    2009-09-12

    Work funded on this grant has explored the mechanisms of long-term habituation, a ubiquitous form of learning that plays a key role in basic cognitive functioning. Specifically, behavioral, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of habituation have been explored using a simple model system, the tail-elicited siphon-withdrawal reflex (T-SWR) in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Substantial progress has been made on the first and third aims, providing some fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which memories are stored. We have characterized the physiological correlates of short- and long-term habituation. We found that short-term habituation is accompanied by a robust sensory adaptation, whereas long-term habituation is accompanied by alterations in sensory and interneuron synaptic efficacy. Thus, our data indicates memories can be shifted between different sites in a neural network as they are consolidated from short to long term. At the molecular level, we have accomplished microarray analysis comparing gene expression in both habituated and control ganglia. We have identified a network of putatively regulated transcripts that seems particularly targeted towards synaptic changes (e.g. SNAP25, calmodulin) . We are now beginning additional work to confirm regulation of these transcripts and build a more detailed understanding of the cascade of molecular events leading to the permanent storage of long-term memories. On the third aim, we have fostered a nascent neuroscience program via a variety of successful initiatives. We have funded over 11 undergraduate neuroscience scholars, several of whom have been recognized at national and regional levels for their research. We have also conducted a pioneering summer research program for community college students which is helping enhance access of underrepresented groups to life science careers. Despite minimal progress on the second aim, this project has provided a) novel insight into the network mechanisms by

  10. Studies on the molecular mechanisms of seed germination.

    PubMed

    Han, Chao; Yang, Pingfang

    2015-05-01

    Seed germination that begins with imbibition and ends with radicle emergence is the first step for plant growth. Successful germination is not only crucial for seedling establishment but also important for crop yield. After being dispersed from mother plant, seed undergoes continuous desiccation in ecosystem and selects proper environment to trigger germination. Owing to the contribution of transcriptomic, proteomic, and molecular biological studies, molecular aspect of seed germination is elucidated well in Arabidopsis. Recently, more and more proteomic and genetic studies concerning cereal seed germination were performed on rice (Oryza sativa) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), which possess completely different seed structure and domestication background with Arabidopsis. In this review, both the common features and the distinct mechanisms of seed germination are compared among different plant species including Arabidopsis, rice, and maize. These features include morphological changes, cell and its related structure recovery, metabolic activation, hormone behavior, and transcription and translation activation. This review will provide more comprehensive insights into the molecular mechanisms of seed germination. PMID:25597791

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

    PubMed

    Rogers, Michael J

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree.

    PubMed

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-01-01

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. PMID:26567212

  13. Molecular mechanisms of IgE mediated food allergy.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sandeep; Verma, Alok Kumar; Das, Mukul; Dwivedi, Premendra D

    2012-08-01

    The purpose of this review is to collate current knowledge and recent advances in molecular mechanism behind the immediate type hypersensitivity of foods. Food allergy is a growing concern of human health in developed as well as developing countries now days. Food allergic reactions are mostly IgE mediated and also known as immediate type hypersensitivity or type I reaction. This review encompasses a wide range of molecular events during IgE mediated reactions like primary exposure of allergens, processing of allergens by antigen presenting cells, role of transcription factors like GATA-3, STAT-6, NF-AT, c-maf, c-kit and NF-κB, Treg cells, toll like receptors, cytokines and chemokines, class switch to IgE, FcεR1 receptor, priming of IgE on mast cells or basophils, signaling events followed by secondary exposure of allergens, degranulation and release of mediators like leukotrienes, histamines, prostaglandins, β-hexosaminidase and ultimately anaphylaxis. This review may be helpful to beginners as well as experts working in the field of allergy and immunology because of the stepwise explanations of molecular mechanisms involved in IgE mediated reactions. PMID:22668720

  14. Non Equilibrium Transformations of Molecular Compounds Induced Mechanically

    SciTech Connect

    Descamps, M.; Willart, J. F.; Dudognon, E.

    2006-05-05

    Results clarifying the effects of mechanical milling on molecular solids are shortly reviewed. Special attention has been paid to the temperature of milling with regard to the glass transition temperature of the compounds. It is shown that decreasing the grinding temperature has for incidence to increase the amorphization tendency whereas milling above Tg produces a crystal-to-crystal transformation between polymorphic varieties. These observations contradict the usual proposition that grinding transforms the physical state only by a heating effect which induces a local melting. Equilibrium thermodynamics does not seem to be appropriate for describing the process. The driven alloys concept offers a more rational framework to interpret the effect of the milling temperature. Other results are presented which demonstrate the possibility for grinding to realize low temperature solid state alloying which offers new promising ways to stabilize amorphous molecular solids. In a second part the effect of dehydration of a molecular hydrate is described. It is shown that the rate of the dehydration process is a driving force for this other type of mechanical non equilibrium transformation.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-01-01

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. PMID:26567212

  16. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin cytotoxicity in acute promyelocytic leukemia cells

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sanjay; Tchounwou, Paul B.

    2015-01-01

    Cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II) (cisplatin) is a widely used anti-tumor drug for the treatment of a broad range of human malignancies with successful therapeutic outcomes for head and neck, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It has been found to inhibit cell cycle progression and to induce oxidative stress and apoptosis in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells. However, its molecular mechanisms of cytotoxic action are poorly understood. We hypothesized that cisplatin induces cytotoxicity through DNA adduct formation, oxidative stress, transcriptional factors (p53 and AP-1), cell cycle regulation, stress signaling and apoptosis in APL cells. We used the APL cell line as a model, and applied a variety of molecular tools to elucidate the cytototoxic mode of action of cisplatin. We found that cisplatin inhibited cell proliferation by a cytotoxicity, characterized by DNA damage and modulation of oxidative stress. Cisplatin also activated p53 and phosphorylated activator protein (AP-1) component, c-Jun at serine (63, 73) residue simultaneously leading to cell cycle arrest through stimulation of p21 and down regulation of cyclins and cyclin dependent kinases in APL cell lines. It strongly activated the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis through alteration of the mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome C, and up-regulation of caspase 3 activity. It also down regulated the p38MAPK pathway. Overall, this study highlights the molecular mechanisms that underline cisplatin toxicity to APL cells, and provides insights into selection of novel targets and/or design of therapeutic agents to treat APL. PMID:26486083

  17. Molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis determined by the recombinant DNA technology

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    A study of the alteration of the DNA in the mutant gene can determine mechanisms of mutation by distinguishing between mutations induced by transition, transversion, frameshifts of a single base and deletions involving many base pairs. The association of a specific pattern of response with a mutagen will permit detecting mutants induced by the mutagen with a reduced background by removing mutations induced by other mechanisms from the pool of potential mutants. From analyses of studies that have been conducted, it is quite apparent that there are substantial differences among mutagens in their modes of action. Of 31 x-ray induced mutants, 20 were large deletions while only 3 showed normal Southern blots. Only one mutant produced a sub-unit polypeptide of normal molecular weight and charge in the in vivo test whereas in vitro synthesis produced a second one. In contrast, nine of thirteen EMS induced mutants produced cross-reacting proteins with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weights equivalent to wild type. Two of three ENU induced mutants recently analyzed in our laboratory produced protein with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weight and electrical charge similar to the wild type stock in which the mutants were induced. One ENU induced mutation is a large deletion. 21 refs., 1 fig.

  18. Analysis of the Molecular Mechanisms of Reepithelialization in Drosophila Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Matsubayashi, Yutaka; Millard, Tom H.

    2016-01-01

    Significance: The epidermis provides the main barrier function of skin, and therefore its repair following wounding is an essential component of wound healing. Repair of the epidermis, also known as reepithelialization, occurs by collective migration of epithelial cells from around the wound edge across the wound until the advancing edges meet and fuse. Therapeutic manipulation of this process could potentially be used to accelerate wound healing. Recent Advances: It is difficult to analyze the cellular and molecular mechanisms of reepithelialization in human tissue, so a variety of model organisms have been used to improve our understanding of the process. One model system that has been especially useful is the embryo of the fruit fly Drosophila, which provides a simple, accessible model of the epidermis and can be manipulated genetically, allowing detailed analysis of reepithelialization at the molecular level. This review will highlight the key insights that have been gained from studying reepithelialization in Drosophila embryos. Critical Issues: Slow reepithelialization increases the risk of wounds becoming infected and ulcerous; therefore, the development of therapies to accelerate or enhance the process would be a great clinical advance. Improving our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie reepithelialization will help in the development of such therapies. Future Directions: Research in Drosophila embryos has identified a variety of genes and proteins involved in triggering and driving reepithelialization, many of which are conserved in humans. These novel reepithelialization proteins are potential therapeutic targets and therefore findings obtained in Drosophila may ultimately lead to significant clinical advances. PMID:27274434

  19. Star formation driven mechanical feedback in molecular clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunningham, Andrew J.

    The ubiquity and high density of outflows from young stars in clusters make them an intriguing candidate for the source of turbulence energy in molecular clouds. This work addresses, by direct numerical simulation, elements of protostellar outflow evolution that is relevant to their ability to drive turbulent flows in molecular clouds. The result of this work is surprising in that it shows that fossil cavities, rather than how shocks from active outflows, constitute the primary avenue by which outflows re-energize turbulence. This work first considers collisions between active jets, showing that this process is ineffective at converting the directed momentum and mechanical energy of outflows into turbulence. This effect is due to radiative energy loss which constrains the surface area through which colliding outflows entrain ambient gas. Recent observational results are discussed which indicate that fossil cavities from extinct outflows are abundant in molecular material surrounding clusters such as NGC1333. These structures, rather than the bow shocks of active outflows, comprise the link between outflow energy input, and re-energizing turbulence in the parent molecular cloud core. Numerical simulations are presented winch confirm that the evolution of cavities front decaying outflow sources leads to structures which match the observations of fossil cavities. The algorithms and tests of the AstroBEAR adaptive mesh refinement code for astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics are also presented. The code was developed during the course of this work and used for the numerical simulations.

  20. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi

    2015-11-07

    The Wolf summation approach [D. Wolf et al., J. Chem. Phys. 110, 8254 (1999)], in the damped shifted force (DSF) formalism [C. J. Fennell and J. D. Gezelter, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234104 (2006)], is extended for treating electrostatics in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. In this development, we split the QM/MM electrostatic potential energy function into the conventional Coulomb r{sup −1} term and a term that contains the DSF contribution. The former is handled by the standard machinery of cutoff-based QM/MM simulations whereas the latter is incorporated into the QM/MM interaction Hamiltonian as a Fock matrix correction. We tested the resulting QM/MM-DSF method for two solution-phase reactions, i.e., the association of ammonium and chloride ions and a symmetric SN{sub 2} reaction in which a methyl group is exchanged between two chloride ions. The performance of the QM/MM-DSF method was assessed by comparing the potential of mean force (PMF) profiles with those from the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-isotropic periodic sum (IPS) methods, both of which include long-range electrostatics explicitly. For ion association, the QM/MM-DSF method successfully eliminates the artificial free energy drift observed in the QM/MM-Cutoff simulations, in a remarkable agreement with the two long-range-containing methods. For the SN{sub 2} reaction, the free energy of activation obtained by the QM/MM-DSF method agrees well with both the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-IPS results. The latter, however, requires a greater cutoff distance than QM/MM-DSF for a proper convergence of the PMF. Avoiding time-consuming lattice summation, the QM/MM-DSF method yields a 55% reduction in computational cost compared with the QM/MM-Ewald method. These results suggest that, in addition to QM/MM-IPS, the QM/MM-DSF method may serve as another efficient and accurate alternative to QM/MM-Ewald for treating electrostatics in condensed-phase simulations of chemical

  1. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi

    2015-11-01

    The Wolf summation approach [D. Wolf et al., J. Chem. Phys. 110, 8254 (1999)], in the damped shifted force (DSF) formalism [C. J. Fennell and J. D. Gezelter, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234104 (2006)], is extended for treating electrostatics in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. In this development, we split the QM/MM electrostatic potential energy function into the conventional Coulomb r-1 term and a term that contains the DSF contribution. The former is handled by the standard machinery of cutoff-based QM/MM simulations whereas the latter is incorporated into the QM/MM interaction Hamiltonian as a Fock matrix correction. We tested the resulting QM/MM-DSF method for two solution-phase reactions, i.e., the association of ammonium and chloride ions and a symmetric SN2 reaction in which a methyl group is exchanged between two chloride ions. The performance of the QM/MM-DSF method was assessed by comparing the potential of mean force (PMF) profiles with those from the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-isotropic periodic sum (IPS) methods, both of which include long-range electrostatics explicitly. For ion association, the QM/MM-DSF method successfully eliminates the artificial free energy drift observed in the QM/MM-Cutoff simulations, in a remarkable agreement with the two long-range-containing methods. For the SN2 reaction, the free energy of activation obtained by the QM/MM-DSF method agrees well with both the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-IPS results. The latter, however, requires a greater cutoff distance than QM/MM-DSF for a proper convergence of the PMF. Avoiding time-consuming lattice summation, the QM/MM-DSF method yields a 55% reduction in computational cost compared with the QM/MM-Ewald method. These results suggest that, in addition to QM/MM-IPS, the QM/MM-DSF method may serve as another efficient and accurate alternative to QM/MM-Ewald for treating electrostatics in condensed-phase simulations of chemical reactions.

  2. AMMOS: Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization tool for in silico Screening

    PubMed Central

    Pencheva, Tania; Lagorce, David; Pajeva, Ilza; Villoutreix, Bruno O; Miteva, Maria A

    2008-01-01

    Background Virtual or in silico ligand screening combined with other computational methods is one of the most promising methods to search for new lead compounds, thereby greatly assisting the drug discovery process. Despite considerable progresses made in virtual screening methodologies, available computer programs do not easily address problems such as: structural optimization of compounds in a screening library, receptor flexibility/induced-fit, and accurate prediction of protein-ligand interactions. It has been shown that structural optimization of chemical compounds and that post-docking optimization in multi-step structure-based virtual screening approaches help to further improve the overall efficiency of the methods. To address some of these points, we developed the program AMMOS for refining both, the 3D structures of the small molecules present in chemical libraries and the predicted receptor-ligand complexes through allowing partial to full atom flexibility through molecular mechanics optimization. Results The program AMMOS carries out an automatic procedure that allows for the structural refinement of compound collections and energy minimization of protein-ligand complexes using the open source program AMMP. The performance of our package was evaluated by comparing the structures of small chemical entities minimized by AMMOS with those minimized with the Tripos and MMFF94s force fields. Next, AMMOS was used for full flexible minimization of protein-ligands complexes obtained from a mutli-step virtual screening. Enrichment studies of the selected pre-docked complexes containing 60% of the initially added inhibitors were carried out with or without final AMMOS minimization on two protein targets having different binding pocket properties. AMMOS was able to improve the enrichment after the pre-docking stage with 40 to 60% of the initially added active compounds found in the top 3% to 5% of the entire compound collection. Conclusion The open source AMMOS

  3. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Kendall R.; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration. PMID:23847533

  4. Survivin and Tumorigenesis: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xun; Duan, Ning; Zhang, Caiguo; Zhang, Wentao

    2016-01-01

    Survivin is the smallest member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family, which has key roles in regulating cell division and inhibiting apoptosis by blocking caspase activation. Survivin is highly expressed in most human cancers, such as lung, pancreatic and breast cancers, relative to normal tissues. Aberrant survivin expression is associated with tumor cell proliferation, progression, angiogenesis, therapeutic resistance, and poor prognosis. Studies on the underlying molecular mechanisms indicate that survivin is involved in the regulation of cytokinesis and cell cycle progression, as well as participates in a variety of signaling pathways such as the p53, Wnt, hypoxia, transforming growth factor, and Notch signaling pathways. In this review, recent progress in understanding the molecular basis of survivin is discussed. Therapeutic strategies targeting survivin in preclinical studies are also briefly summarized. PMID:26918045

  5. Conduction mechanism of nitronyl-nitroxide molecular magnetic compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dotti, N.; Heintze, E.; Slota, M.; Hübner, R.; Wang, F.; Nuss, J.; Dressel, M.; Bogani, L.

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the conduction mechanisms of nitronyl-nitroxide (NIT) molecular radicals, as useful for the creation of nanoscopic molecular spintronic devices, finding that it does not correspond to standard Mott behavior, as previously postulated. We provide a complete investigation using transport measurements, low-energy, sub-THz spectroscopy and introducing differently substituted phenyl appendages. We show that a nontrivial surface-charge-limited regime is present in addition to the standard low-voltage Ohmic conductance. Scaling analysis allows one to determine all the main transport parameters for the compounds and highlights the presence of charge-trapping effects. Comparison among the different compounds shows the relevance of intermolecular stacking between the aromatic ring of the phenyl appendix and the NIT motif in the creation of useful electron transport channels. The importance of intermolecular pathways is further highlighted by electronic structure calculations, which clarify the nature of the electronic channels and their effect on the Mott character of the compounds.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Compartmentalization and Biomineralization in Magnetotactic Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Komeili, Arash

    2011-01-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria are remarkable organisms with the ability to exploit the earth’s magnetic field for navigational purposes. To do this, they build specialized compartments called magnetosomes that consist of a lipid membrane and a crystalline magnetic mineral. These organisms have the potential to serve as models for the study of compartmentalization as well as biomineralization in bacteria. Additionally, they offer the opportunity to design applications that take advantage of the particular properties of magnetosomes. In recent years, a sustained effort to identify the molecular basis of this process has resulted in a clearer understanding of the magnetosome formation and biomineralization. Here, I present an overview of magnetotactic bacteria and explore the possible molecular mechanisms of membrane remodeling, protein sorting, cytoskeletal organization, iron transport and biomineralization that lead to the formation of a functional magnetosome organelle. PMID:22092030

  7. Bone metastases: molecular mechanisms and novel therapeutic interventions.

    PubMed

    Papachristou, Dionysios J; Basdra, Efthimia K; Papavassiliou, Athanasios G

    2012-05-01

    It has been long recognized that skeleton represents one of the most favored metastatic sites for common cancers like breast and prostate. During the last decade the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the development of bone metastasis have been gradually illuminated. It appears that the bone microenvironment has a pivotal role in this process. Metastatic tumor cells interact with bone triggering a cascade of molecular events that produce osteolytic and/or osteoblastic phenomena. In this review, we summarize and discuss the most significant factors and signaling pathways implicated in bone colonization. Moreover, based on the recent literature and data, we foresee the need for designing novel agents that will efficiently disrupt these interactions among cancer cells and bone microenvironment, bringing hope for more effective treatments. PMID:20818675

  8. Steered Molecular Dynamics Methods Applied to Enzyme Mechanism and Energetics.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, C L; Martí, M A; Roitberg, A E

    2016-01-01

    One of the main goals of chemistry is to understand the underlying principles of chemical reactions, in terms of both its reaction mechanism and the thermodynamics that govern it. Using hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM)-based methods in combination with a biased sampling scheme, it is possible to simulate chemical reactions occurring inside complex environments such as an enzyme, or aqueous solution, and determining the corresponding free energy profile, which provides direct comparison with experimental determined kinetic and equilibrium parameters. Among the most promising biasing schemes is the multiple steered molecular dynamics method, which in combination with Jarzynski's Relationship (JR) allows obtaining the equilibrium free energy profile, from a finite set of nonequilibrium reactive trajectories by exponentially averaging the individual work profiles. However, obtaining statistically converged and accurate profiles is far from easy and may result in increased computational cost if the selected steering speed and number of trajectories are inappropriately chosen. In this small review, using the extensively studied chorismate to prephenate conversion reaction, we first present a systematic study of how key parameters such as pulling speed, number of trajectories, and reaction progress are related to the resulting work distributions and in turn the accuracy of the free energy obtained with JR. Second, and in the context of QM/MM strategies, we introduce the Hybrid Differential Relaxation Algorithm, and show how it allows obtaining more accurate free energy profiles using faster pulling speeds and smaller number of trajectories and thus smaller computational cost. PMID:27497165

  9. Enlightening molecular mechanisms through study of protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    Rizo, Josep; Rosen, Michael K.; Gardner, Kevin H.

    2012-01-01

    The investigation of molecular mechanisms is a fascinating area of current biological research that unites efforts from scientists with very diverse expertise. This review provides a perspective on the characterization of protein interactions as a central aspect of this research. We discuss case studies on the neurotransmitter release machinery that illustrate a variety of principles and emphasize the power of combining nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with other biophysical techniques, particularly X-ray crystallography. These studies have shown that: (i) the soluble SNAP receptor (SNARE) proteins form a tight complex that brings the synaptic vesicle and plasma membranes together, which is key for membrane fusion; (ii) the SNARE syntaxin-1 adopts an autoinhibitory closed conformation; (iii) Munc18-1 plays crucial functions through interactions with closed syntaxin-1 and with the SNARE complex; (iv) Munc13s mediate the opening of syntaxin-1; (v) complexins play dual roles through distinct interactions with the SNARE complex; (vi) synaptotagmin-1 acts a Ca2+ sensor, interacting simultaneously with the membranes and the SNAREs; and (vii) a Munc13 homodimer to Munc13-RIM heterodimer switch modulates neurotransmitter release. Overall, this research underlines the complexities involved in elucidating molecular mechanisms and how these mechanisms can depend critically on an interplay between strong and weak protein interactions. PMID:22735643

  10. Sexual polyploidization in plants – cytological mechanisms and molecular regulation

    PubMed Central

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2013-01-01

    In the plant kingdom, events of whole genome duplication or polyploidization are generally believed to occur via alterations of the sexual reproduction process. Thereby, diploid pollen and eggs are formed that contain the somatic number of chromosomes rather than the gametophytic number. By participating in fertilization, these so-called 2n gametes generate polyploid offspring and therefore constitute the basis for the establishment of polyploidy in plants. In addition, diplogamete formation, through meiotic restitution, is an essential component of apomixis and also serves as an important mechanism for the restoration of F1 hybrid fertility. Characterization of the cytological mechanisms and molecular factors underlying 2n gamete formation is therefore not only relevant for basic plant biology and evolution, but may also provide valuable cues for agricultural and biotechnological applications (e.g. reverse breeding, clonal seeds). Recent data have provided novel insights into the process of 2n pollen and egg formation and have revealed multiple means to the same end. Here, we summarize the cytological mechanisms and molecular regulatory networks underlying 2n gamete formation, and outline important mitotic and meiotic processes involved in the ectopic induction of sexual polyploidization. PMID:23421646

  11. Lipid Raft Redox Signaling: Molecular Mechanisms in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Fan; Katirai, Foad

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Lipid rafts, the sphingolipid and cholesterol-enriched membrane microdomains, are able to form different membrane macrodomains or platforms upon stimulations, including redox signaling platforms, which serve as a critical signaling mechanism to mediate or regulate cellular activities or functions. In particular, this raft platform formation provides an important driving force for the assembling of NADPH oxidase subunits and the recruitment of other related receptors, effectors, and regulatory components, resulting, in turn, in the activation of NADPH oxidase and downstream redox regulation of cell functions. This comprehensive review attempts to summarize all basic and advanced information about the formation, regulation, and functions of lipid raft redox signaling platforms as well as their physiological and pathophysiological relevance. Several molecular mechanisms involving the formation of lipid raft redox signaling platforms and the related therapeutic strategies targeting them are discussed. It is hoped that all information and thoughts included in this review could provide more comprehensive insights into the understanding of lipid raft redox signaling, in particular, of their molecular mechanisms, spatial-temporal regulations, and physiological, pathophysiological relevances to human health and diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 1043–1083. PMID:21294649

  12. [Molecular mechanisms of hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma].

    PubMed

    Park, Neung Hwa; Chung, Young Hwa

    2007-09-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant diseases in the world. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) replicates non-cytopathically in hepatocytes, and most of the liver injury associated with this infection reflects the immune response. Epidemiological studies have clearly demonstrated that a chronic HBV infection is a major etiological factor in the development of HCC. The pathogenesis of HBV-associated HCC has been studied extensively, and the molecular changes during the malignant transformation have been identified. The main carcinogenic mechanism of HBV-associated HCC is related to the long term-inflammatory changes caused by a chronic hepatitis B infection, which might involve the integration of the HBV. Integration of the HBV DNA into the host genome occurs at the early steps of clonal tumorous expansion. The hepatitis B x protein (HBx) is a multifunctional regulatory protein that communicates directly or indirectly with a variety of host targets, and mediates many opposing cellular functions, including its function in cell cycle regulation, transcriptional regulation, signaling, encoding of the cytoskeleton and cell adhesion molecules, as well as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Continued study of the mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis will refine our current understanding of the molecular and cellular basis for neoplastic transformations in the liver. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the mechanisms involved in HBV-associated hepatocarcinogenesis. PMID:17898549

  13. Sexual polyploidization in plants--cytological mechanisms and molecular regulation.

    PubMed

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2013-05-01

    In the plant kingdom, events of whole genome duplication or polyploidization are generally believed to occur via alterations of the sexual reproduction process. Thereby, diploid pollen and eggs are formed that contain the somatic number of chromosomes rather than the gametophytic number. By participating in fertilization, these so-called 2n gametes generate polyploid offspring and therefore constitute the basis for the establishment of polyploidy in plants. In addition, diplogamete formation, through meiotic restitution, is an essential component of apomixis and also serves as an important mechanism for the restoration of F1 hybrid fertility. Characterization of the cytological mechanisms and molecular factors underlying 2n gamete formation is therefore not only relevant for basic plant biology and evolution, but may also provide valuable cues for agricultural and biotechnological applications (e.g. reverse breeding, clonal seeds). Recent data have provided novel insights into the process of 2n pollen and egg formation and have revealed multiple means to the same end. Here, we summarize the cytological mechanisms and molecular regulatory networks underlying 2n gamete formation, and outline important mitotic and meiotic processes involved in the ectopic induction of sexual polyploidization. PMID:23421646

  14. Molecular-dynamics study of detonation. II. The reaction mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Betsy M.; Mattson, William; Grosh, John; Trevino, S. F.

    1996-01-01

    In this work, we investigate mechanisms of chemical reactions that sustain an unsupported detonation. The chemical model of an energetic crystal used in this study consists of heteronuclear diatomic molecules that, at ambient pressure, dissociate endothermically. Subsequent association of the products to form homonuclear diatomic molecules provides the energy release that sustains the detonation. A many-body interaction is used to simulate changes in the electronic bonding as a function of local atomic environment. The consequence of the many-body interaction in this model is that the intramolecular bond is weakened with increasing density. The mechanism of the reaction for this model was extracted by investigating the details of the molecular properties in the reaction zone with two-dimensional molecular dynamics. The mechanism for the initiation of the reaction in this model is pressure-induced atomization. There was no evidence of excitation of vibrational modes to dissociative states. This particular result is directly attributable to the functional form and choice of parameters for this model, but might also have more general applicability.

  15. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Lee-Ping; Wang, Qiantao; Pande, Vijay S.; Ren, Pengyu

    2015-07-01

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3-5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water.

  16. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Lee-Ping; Wang, Qiantao; Pande, Vijay S.; Ren, Pengyu

    2015-01-01

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3–5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water. PMID:26156485

  17. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation.

    PubMed

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Lee-Ping; Wang, Qiantao; Pande, Vijay S; Ren, Pengyu

    2015-07-01

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3-5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water. PMID:26156485

  18. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Qiantao; Ren, Pengyu; Wang, Lee-Ping; Pande, Vijay S.

    2015-07-07

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3–5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water.

  19. Molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of degenerative aortic valve disease.

    PubMed

    Hakuno, Daihiko; Kimura, Naritaka; Yoshioka, Masatoyo; Fukuda, Keiichi

    2009-01-01

    Morbidity from degenerative aortic valve disease is increasing worldwide, concomitant with the ageing of the general population and the habitual consumption of diets high in calories and cholesterol. Immunohistologic studies have suggested that the molecular mechanism occurring in the degenerate aortic valve resembles that of atherosclerosis, prompting the testing of HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) for the prevention of progression of native and bioprosthetic aortic valve degeneration. However, the effects of these therapies remain controversial. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of aortic valve degeneration are largely unknown, research in this area is advancing rapidly. The signaling components involved in embryonic valvulogenesis, such as Wnt, TGF-beta(1), BMP, and Notch, are also involved in the onset of aortic valve degeneration. Furthermore, investigations into extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis, and osteogenesis in the aortic valve have been reported. Having noted avascularity of normal cardiac valves, we recently identified chondromodulin-I (chm-I) as a crucial anti-angiogenic factor. The expression of chm-I is restricted to cardiac valves from late embryogenesis to adulthood in the mouse, rat, and human. In human degenerate atherosclerotic valves, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinases and angiogenesis is observed in the area of chm-I downregulation. Gene targeting of chm-I resulted in VEGF expression, angiogenesis, and calcification in the aortic valves of aged mice, and aortic stenosis is detected by echocardiography, indicating that chm-I is a crucial factor for maintaining normal cardiac valvular function by preventing angiogenesis. The present review focuses on the animal models of aortic valve degeneration and recent studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of degenerative aortic valve disease. PMID:18766323

  20. Molecular Characterization of Transgenic Events Using Next Generation Sequencing Approach

    PubMed Central

    Mammadov, Jafar; Ye, Liang; Soe, Khaing; Richey, Kimberly; Cruse, James; Zhuang, Meibao; Gao, Zhifang; Evans, Clive; Rounsley, Steve; Kumpatla, Siva P.

    2016-01-01

    Demand for the commercial use of genetically modified (GM) crops has been increasing in light of the projected growth of world population to nine billion by 2050. A prerequisite of paramount importance for regulatory submissions is the rigorous safety assessment of GM crops. One of the components of safety assessment is molecular characterization at DNA level which helps to determine the copy number, integrity and stability of a transgene; characterize the integration site within a host genome; and confirm the absence of vector DNA. Historically, molecular characterization has been carried out using Southern blot analysis coupled with Sanger sequencing. While this is a robust approach to characterize the transgenic crops, it is both time- and resource-consuming. The emergence of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has provided highly sensitive and cost- and labor-effective alternative for molecular characterization compared to traditional Southern blot analysis. Herein, we have demonstrated the successful application of both whole genome sequencing and target capture sequencing approaches for the characterization of single and stacked transgenic events and compared the results and inferences with traditional method with respect to key criteria required for regulatory submissions. PMID:26908260

  1. Molecular Characterization of Transgenic Events Using Next Generation Sequencing Approach.

    PubMed

    Guttikonda, Satish K; Marri, Pradeep; Mammadov, Jafar; Ye, Liang; Soe, Khaing; Richey, Kimberly; Cruse, James; Zhuang, Meibao; Gao, Zhifang; Evans, Clive; Rounsley, Steve; Kumpatla, Siva P

    2016-01-01

    Demand for the commercial use of genetically modified (GM) crops has been increasing in light of the projected growth of world population to nine billion by 2050. A prerequisite of paramount importance for regulatory submissions is the rigorous safety assessment of GM crops. One of the components of safety assessment is molecular characterization at DNA level which helps to determine the copy number, integrity and stability of a transgene; characterize the integration site within a host genome; and confirm the absence of vector DNA. Historically, molecular characterization has been carried out using Southern blot analysis coupled with Sanger sequencing. While this is a robust approach to characterize the transgenic crops, it is both time- and resource-consuming. The emergence of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has provided highly sensitive and cost- and labor-effective alternative for molecular characterization compared to traditional Southern blot analysis. Herein, we have demonstrated the successful application of both whole genome sequencing and target capture sequencing approaches for the characterization of single and stacked transgenic events and compared the results and inferences with traditional method with respect to key criteria required for regulatory submissions. PMID:26908260

  2. On molecular mechanism of the photodynamic therapy of tumors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mostovnikov, Vasili A.; Mostovnikova, Galina R.; Plavski, Vitali Y.; Tretjakov, S. A.

    1995-01-01

    In this work we present the experimental results indicating that the photodestruction (inactivation) of glycolysis enzymes located in mitochondria and responsible for the energy providing of malignant tumors, could serve as a possible molecular mechanism of a photodynamic therapy of cancer. The formation of complexes between the glycolysis enzymes and sensitizer favors can lead to an effective photodestruction of the former [in the experiments lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), pyruvate kinase (PK), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and water-soluble tetra(carboxiphenyl)porphyrine [T(CP)P] (the analogue of coprorphyrin) were used as photosensitizer.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Jin; Meguid, S. A.

    2014-10-27

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

  4. [Structure and molecular mechanisms of infection and replication of HIV].

    PubMed

    Sato, Hironori; Ode, Hirotaka; Motomura, Kazushi; Yokoyama, Masaru

    2009-01-01

    Studies on molecular structure and mechanisms of replication of a pathogen are important from both scientific and clinical viewpoints. The replication study allows us to identify key molecules to regulate life cycle of the pathogen and to screen rationally anti-pathogen drugs. The structural study helps understand how the key molecules work at atomic levels and to design adequately the drugs. In this article, we review important findings on structural and replication studies of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We also summarize the latest methods for the structural study, mainly focusing on computational simulation technology (in silico analysis). Finally, we summarize briefly standard methods to study replication of viruses. PMID:19177750

  5. New insights on molecular mechanisms of renal aging.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, R; Melk, A

    2012-11-01

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

  6. Mixed 2D molecular systems: Mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beňo, Juraj; Weis, Martin; Dobročka, Edmund; Haško, Daniel

    2008-08-01

    Study of Langmuir monolayers consisting of stearic acid (SA) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) molecules was done by surface pressure-area isotherms ( π- A), the Maxwell displacement current (MDC) measurement, X-ray reflectivity (XRR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate the selected mechanic, thermodynamic and dielectric properties based on orientational structure of monolayers. On the base of π- A isotherms analysis we explain the creation of stable structures and found optimal monolayer composition. The dielectric properties represented by MDC generated monolayers were analyzed in terms of excess dipole moment, proposing the effect of dipole-dipole interaction. XRR and AFM results illustrate deposited film structure and molecular ordering.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Haiyan; Luo, Hui; Zhang, Wenwen; Shen, Zhaojun; Hu, Xiaoli; Zhu, Xueqiong

    2016-01-01

    Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%–20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer. PMID:27354763

  8. Realist model approach to quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hájíček, P.

    2013-06-01

    The paper proves that quantum mechanics is compatible with the constructive realism of modern philosophy of science. The proof is based on the observation that properties of quantum systems that are uniquely determined by their preparations can be assumed objective without the difficulties that are encountered by the same assumption about values of observables. The resulting realist interpretation of quantum mechanics is made rigorous by studying the space of quantum states—the convex set of state operators. Prepared states are classified according to their statistical structure into indecomposable and decomposable instead of pure and mixed. Simple objective properties are defined and showed to form a Boolean lattice.

  9. Appraisal of molecular tailoring approach for large clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Nityananda; Yeole, Sachin D.; Gadre, Shridhar R.

    2013-03-01

    High level ab initio investigations on molecular clusters are generally restricted to those of small size essentially due to the nonlinear scaling of corresponding computational cost. Molecular tailoring approach (MTA) is a fragmentation-based method, which offers an economical and efficient route for studying larger clusters. However, due to its approximate nature, the MTA-energies carry some errors vis-à-vis their full calculation counterparts. These errors in the MTA-energies are reduced by grafting the correction at a lower basis set (e.g., 6-31+G(d)) onto a higher basis set (e.g., aug-cc-pvdz or aug-cc-pvtz) calculation at MP2 level of theory. Further, better estimates of energies are obtained by making use of many-body interaction analysis. For this purpose, R-goodness (Rg) parameters for the three- and four-body interactions in a fragmentation scheme are proposed. The procedure employing grafting and many-body analysis has been tested out on molecular clusters of water, benzene, acetylene and carbon dioxide. It is found that for the fragmentation scheme having higher three- and four-body Rg-values, the errors in MTA-grafted energies are reduced typically to ˜0.2 mH at MP2 level calculation. Coupled with the advantage in terms of computational resources and CPU time, the present method opens a possibility of accurate treatment of large molecular clusters.

  10. Description of ionization in the molecular approach to atomic collisions

    SciTech Connect

    Harel, C.; Jouin, H.; Pons, B.; Errea, L.F.; Mendez, L.; Riera, A.

    1997-01-01

    Molecular treatments of atomic collisions have traditionally been restricted to low nuclear velocities because of their failure to reproduce the fall of the capture cross sections at higher velocities. The limitation has recently been seen to be due to their description of ionizing processes. This feature is shown here to be a general one for multicharged ion-atom collisions. Its origin and characteristics are described and illustrated for the prototypical Li{sup 3+}+H(1s) reaction. Ionization appears as a result of the inertia of the electron cloud to adiabatically follow the nuclear motion. This gives rise to nonadiabatic transitions, which represent an ionizing flux whenever the nuclear velocity is high enough that the energy of the traveling molecular orbitals involved is positive in both moving atomic reference frames. Two strongly connected mechanisms appear, corresponding to the relative translational and rotational nuclear motions. Because of the finiteness of the basis, these mechanisms terminate with unphysical trapping effects. While interesting {ital per se}, knowledge of these features is also useful with respect to improving molecular treatments of atomic collisions with the addition of pseudostates. {copyright} {ital 1996} {ital The American Physical Society}

  11. Anisotropy induced Kondo splitting in a mechanically stretched molecular junction: A first-principles based study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaoli; Hou, Dong; Zheng, Xiao; Yan, YiJing

    2016-01-01

    The magnetic anisotropy and Kondo phenomena in a mechanically stretched magnetic molecular junction are investigated by combining the density functional theory (DFT) and hierarchical equations of motion (HEOM) approach. The system is comprised of a magnetic complex Co(tpy-SH)2 sandwiched between adjacent gold electrodes, which is mechanically stretched in experiments done by Parks et al. [Science 328, 1370 (2010)]. The electronic structure and mechanical property of the stretched system are investigated via the DFT calculations. The HEOM approach is then employed to characterize the Kondo resonance features, based on the Anderson impurity model parameterized from the DFT results. It is confirmed that the ground state prefers the S = 1 local spin state. The structural properties, the magnetic anisotropy, and corresponding Kondo peak splitting in the axial stretching process are systematically evaluated. The results reveal that the strong electron correlations and the local magnetic properties of the molecule magnet are very sensitive to structural distortion. This work demonstrates that the combined DFT+HEOM approach could be useful in understanding and designing mechanically controlled molecular junctions.

  12. Molecular View of Protein Crystal Growth: Molecular Interactions, Surface Reconstruction and Growth Mechanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadarajah, Arunan; Li, Huayu; Konnert, John H.; Pusey, Marc L.

    2000-01-01

    Studies of the growth and molecular packing of tetragonal lysozyme crystals suggest that there is an underlying molecular growth mechanism, in addition to the classical one involving screw dislocation/2D) nucleation growth. These crystals are constructed by strongly bonded molecular chains forming helices about the 43 axes. The helices are connected to each other by weaker bonds. Crystal growth proceeds by the formation of these 4(sub 3) helices, which would explain some unexpected observations by earlier investigators, such as bimolecular growth steps on the (110) face. Another consequence of these molecular considerations is that only one of two possible packing arrangements could occur on the crystal faces and that their growth unit was at least a tetramer corresponding to the 4(sub 3) helix. Two new high resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques were developed to directly confirm these predictions on tetragonal lysozyme crystals. Most earlier investigations of protein crystal growth with AFM were in the low resolution mode which is adequate to investigate the classical growth mechanisms, but cannot resolve molecular features and mechanisms. Employing the first of the newly developed techniques, high resolution AFM images of the (110) face were compared with the theoretically constructed images for the two possible packing arrangements on this face. The prediction that the molecular packing arrangement of these faces corresponded to that for complete 4(sub 3) helices was confirmed in this manner. This investigation also showed the occurrence of surface reconstruction on protein crystals. The molecules on the surface of the (110) face were found to pack closer along the 4(sub 3) axes than those in the interior. The second new AFM technique was used to follow the growth process by measuring the dimensions of individual growth units on the (110) face. Linescans across a growth step, performed near the saturation limit of the crystals, allowed the growth

  13. Anti-Inflammatory Drug Design Using a Molecular Hybridization Approach

    PubMed Central

    Bosquesi, Priscila Longhin; Melo, Thais Regina Ferreira; Vizioli, Ednir Oliveira; dos Santos, Jean Leandro; Chung, Man Chin

    2011-01-01

    The design of new drugs with better physiochemical properties, adequate absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, effective pharmacologic potency and lacking toxicity remains is a challenge. Inflammation is the initial trigger of several different diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, asthma, atherosclerosis, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, cancer; and disorders such as obesity and sexual dysfunction. Although inflammation is not the direct cause of these disorders, inflammatory processes often increase related pain and suffering. New anti-inflammatory drugs developed using molecular hybridization techniques to obtain multiple-ligand drugs can act at one or multiple targets, allowing for synergic action and minimizing toxicity. This work is a review of new anti-inflammatory drugs developed using the molecular modification approach.

  14. Model-free simulation approach to molecular diffusion tensors.

    PubMed

    Chevrot, Guillaume; Hinsen, Konrad; Kneller, Gerald R

    2013-10-21

    In the present work, we propose a simple model-free approach for the computation of molecular diffusion tensors from molecular dynamics trajectories. The method uses a rigid body trajectory of the molecule under consideration, which is constructed a posteriori by an accumulation of quaternion-based superposition fits of consecutive conformations. From the rigid body trajectory, we compute the translational and angular velocities of the molecule and by integration of the latter also the corresponding angular trajectory. All quantities can be referred to the laboratory frame and a molecule-fixed frame. The 6 × 6 diffusion tensor is computed from the asymptotic slope of the tensorial mean square displacement and, for comparison, also from the Kubo integral of the velocity correlation tensor. The method is illustrated for two simple model systems - a water molecule and a lysozyme molecule in bulk water. We give estimations of the statistical accuracy of the calculations. PMID:24160503

  15. Model-free simulation approach to molecular diffusion tensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevrot, Guillaume; Hinsen, Konrad; Kneller, Gerald R.

    2013-10-01

    In the present work, we propose a simple model-free approach for the computation of molecular diffusion tensors from molecular dynamics trajectories. The method uses a rigid body trajectory of the molecule under consideration, which is constructed a posteriori by an accumulation of quaternion-based superposition fits of consecutive conformations. From the rigid body trajectory, we compute the translational and angular velocities of the molecule and by integration of the latter also the corresponding angular trajectory. All quantities can be referred to the laboratory frame and a molecule-fixed frame. The 6 × 6 diffusion tensor is computed from the asymptotic slope of the tensorial mean square displacement and, for comparison, also from the Kubo integral of the velocity correlation tensor. The method is illustrated for two simple model systems - a water molecule and a lysozyme molecule in bulk water. We give estimations of the statistical accuracy of the calculations.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Chandi C.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms Underpinning Macrophage Activation during Remyelination

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Amy F.; Miron, Veronique E.

    2016-01-01

    Remyelination is an example of central nervous system (CNS) regeneration, whereby myelin is restored around demyelinated axons, re-establishing saltatory conduction and trophic/metabolic support. In progressive multiple sclerosis, remyelination is limited or fails altogether which is considered to contribute to axonal damage/loss and consequent disability. Macrophages have critical roles in both CNS damage and regeneration, such as remyelination. This diverse range in functions reflects the ability of macrophages to acquire tissue microenvironment-specific activation states. This activation is dynamically regulated during efficient regeneration, with a switch from pro-inflammatory to inflammation-resolution/pro-regenerative phenotypes. Although, some molecules and pathways have been implicated in the dynamic activation of macrophages, such as NFκB, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning plasticity of macrophage activation are unclear. Identifying mechanisms regulating macrophage activation to pro-regenerative phenotypes may lead to novel therapeutic strategies to promote remyelination in multiple sclerosis. PMID:27446913

  18. Molecular mechanisms for synchronous, asynchronous, and spontaneous neurotransmitter release.

    PubMed

    Kaeser, Pascal S; Regehr, Wade G

    2014-01-01

    Most neuronal communication relies upon the synchronous release of neurotransmitters, which occurs through synaptic vesicle exocytosis triggered by action potential invasion of a presynaptic bouton. However, neurotransmitters are also released asynchronously with a longer, variable delay following an action potential or spontaneously in the absence of action potentials. A compelling body of research has identified roles and mechanisms for synchronous release, but asynchronous release and spontaneous release are less well understood. In this review, we analyze how the mechanisms of the three release modes overlap and what molecular pathways underlie asynchronous and spontaneous release. We conclude that the modes of release have key fusion processes in common but may differ in the source of and necessity for Ca(2+) to trigger release and in the identity of the Ca(2+) sensor for release. PMID:24274737

  19. Molecular Mechanisms for Synchronous, Asynchronous, and Spontaneous Neurotransmitter Release

    PubMed Central

    Kaeser, Pascal S.; Regehr, Wade G.

    2015-01-01

    Most neuronal communication relies upon the synchronous release of neurotransmitters, which occurs through synaptic vesicle exocytosis triggered by action potential invasion of a presynaptic bouton. However, neurotransmitters are also released asynchronously with a longer, variable delay following an action potential or spontaneously in the absence of action potentials. A compelling body of research has identified roles and mechanisms for synchronous release, but asynchronous release and spontaneous release are less well understood. In this review, we analyze how the mechanisms of the three release modes overlap and what molecular pathways underlie asynchronous and spontaneous release. We conclude that the modes of release have key fusion processes in common but may differ in the source of and necessity for Ca2+ to trigger release and in the identity of the Ca2+ sensor for release. PMID:24274737

  20. Molecular mechanism of size control in development and human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaolong; Xu, Tian

    2011-01-01

    How multicellular organisms control their size is a fundamental question that fascinated generations of biologists. In the past 10 years, tremendous progress has been made toward our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying size control. Original studies from Drosophila showed that in addition to extrinsic nutritional and hormonal cues, intrinsic mechanisms also play important roles in the control of organ size during development. Several novel signaling pathways such as insulin and Hippo-LATS signaling pathways have been identified that control organ size by regulating cell size and/or cell number through modulation of cell growth, cell division, and cell death. Later studies using mammalian cell and mouse models also demonstrated that the signaling pathways identified in flies are also conserved in mammals. Significantly, recent studies showed that dysregulation of size control plays important roles in the development of many human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertrophy. PMID:21483452

  1. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Lymphatic Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Guopei; Liu, Chen; Wu, Chuntao; Liu, Liang; Liu, Zuqiang; Ni, Quanxing; Long, Jiang; Yu, Xianjun

    2014-01-01

    As the most challenging human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is characterized by its insidious symptoms, low rate of surgical resection, high risk of local invasion, metastasis and recurrence, and overall dismal prognosis. Lymphatic metastasis, above all, is recognized as an early adverse event in progression of pancreatic cancer and has been described to be an independent poor prognostic factor. It should be noted that the occurrence of lymphatic metastasis is not a casual or stochastic but an ineluctable and designed event. Increasing evidences suggest that metastasis-initiating cells (MICs) and the microenvironments may act as a double-reed style in this crime. However, the exact mechanisms on how they function synergistically for this dismal clinical course remain largely elusive. Therefore, a better understanding of its molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic lymphatic metastasis is urgently required. In this review, we will summarize the latest advances on lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer. PMID:24587996

  2. Molecular mechanism of resolving trinucleotide repeat hairpin by helicases.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Yupeng; Niu, Hengyao; Vukovic, Lela; Sung, Patrick; Myong, Sua

    2015-06-01

    Trinucleotide repeat (TNR) expansion is the root cause for many known congenital neurological and muscular disorders in human including Huntington's disease, fragile X syndrome, and Friedreich's ataxia. The stable secondary hairpin structures formed by TNR may trigger fork stalling during replication, causing DNA polymerase slippage and TNR expansion. Srs2 and Sgs1 are two helicases in yeast that resolve TNR hairpins during DNA replication and prevent genome expansion. Using single-molecule fluorescence, we investigated the unwinding mechanism by which Srs2 and Sgs1 resolves TNR hairpin and compared it with unwinding of duplex DNA. While Sgs1 unwinds both structures indiscriminately, Srs2 displays repetitive unfolding of TNR hairpin without fully unwinding it. Such activity of Srs2 shows dependence on the folding strength and the total length of TNR hairpin. Our results reveal a disparate molecular mechanism of Srs2 and Sgs1 that may contribute differently to efficient resolving of the TNR hairpin. PMID:26004439

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of the Membrane Sculpting ESCRT Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Henne, William Mike; Stenmark, Harald; Emr, Scott D.

    2013-01-01

    The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) drive multivesicular body (MVB) biogenesis and cytokinetic abscission. Originally identified through genetics and cell biology, more recent work has begun to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of ESCRT-mediated membrane remodeling, with special focus on the ESCRT-III complex. In particular, several light and electron microscopic studies provide high-resolution imaging of ESCRT-III rings and spirals that purportedly drive MVB morphogenesis and abscission. These studies highlight unifying principles to ESCRT-III function, in particular: (1) the ordered assembly of the ESCRT-III monomers into a heteropolymer, (2) ESCRT-III as a dynamic complex, and (3) the role of the AAA ATPase Vps4 as a contributing factor in membrane scission. Mechanistic comparisons of ESCRT-III function in MVB morphogenesis and cytokinesis suggest common mechanisms in membrane remodeling. PMID:24003212

  4. RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tang, Anna Y

    2016-08-01

    Dysfunctions of RNA processing and mutations of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. To elucidate the function of RNA processing and RBPs mutations in neuronal cells and to increase our understanding on the pathogenic mechanisms of neurodegeneration, I have reviewed recent advances on RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including RBPs-mediated dysfunction of RNA processing, dysfunctional microRNA (miRNA)-based regulation of gene expression, and oxidative RNA modification. I have focused on neurodegeneration induced by RBPs mutations, by dysfunction of miRNA regulation, and by the oxidized RNAs within neurons, and discuss how these dysfunctions have pathologically contributed to neurodegenerative diseases. The advances overviewed above will be valuable to basic investigation and clinical application of target diagnostic tests and therapies. PMID:26634851

  5. Molecular and Cellular Regulatory Mechanisms of Tongue Myogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Parada, C.; Han, D.; Chai, Y.

    2012-01-01

    The tongue exerts crucial functions in our daily life. However, we know very little about the regulatory mechanisms of mammalian tongue development. In this review, we summarize recent findings of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control tissue-tissue interactions during tongue morphogenesis. Specifically, cranial neural crest cells (CNCC) lead the initiation of tongue bud formation and contribute to the interstitial connective tissue, which ultimately compartmentalizes tongue muscles and serves as their attachments. Occipital somite-derived cells migrate into the tongue primordium and give rise to muscle cells in the tongue. The intimate relationship between CNCC- and mesoderm-derived cells, as well as growth and transcription factors that have been shown to be crucial for tongue myogenesis, clearly indicate that tissue-tissue interactions play an important role in regulating tongue morphogenesis. PMID:22219210

  6. Molecular mechanisms of platelet P2Y(12) receptor regulation.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Margaret R; Nisar, Shaista P; Mundell, Stuart J

    2013-02-01

    Platelets are critical for haemostasis, however inappropriate activation can lead to the development of arterial thrombosis, which can result in heart attack and stroke. ADP is a key platelet agonist that exerts its actions via stimulation of two surface GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors), P2Y(1) and P2Y(12). Similar to most GPCRs, P2Y receptor activity is tightly regulated by a number of complex mechanisms including receptor desensitization, internalization and recycling. In the present article, we review the molecular mechanisms that underlie P2Y(1) and P2Y(12) receptor regulation, with particular emphasis on the structural motifs within the P2Y(12) receptor, which are required to maintain regulatory protein interaction. The implications of these findings for platelet responsiveness are also discussed. PMID:23356287

  7. Anisotropic mechanical properties of graphene: a molecular dynamics study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Ming; Zeng, Anna; Zeng, Kevin

    2014-03-01

    The anisotropic mechanical properties of monolayer graphene with different shapes have been studied using an efficient quantum mechanics molecular dynamics scheme based on a semi-empirical Hamiltonian (refereed as SCED-LCAO) [PRB 74, 15540; PHYSE 42, 1]. We have found the anisotropic nature of the membrane stress. The stresses along the armchair direction are slightly stronger than that along the zigzag direction, showing strong direction selectivity. The graphene with the rectangular shape could sustain strong load (i . e ., 20%) in both armchair and zigzag directions. The graphene with the rhombus shape show large difference in the strain direction: it will quickly crack after 18 % of strain in armchair the direction, but slowly destroyed after 20% in the zigzag direction. The obtained 2D Young's modulus at infinitesimal strain and the third-order (effective nonlinear) elastic modulus are in good consistent with the experimental observation.

  8. Molecular mechanisms regulating myelination in the peripheral nervous system.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Jorge A; Lebrun-Julien, Frédéric; Suter, Ueli

    2012-02-01

    Glial cells and neurons are engaged in a continuous and highly regulated bidirectional dialog. A remarkable example is the control of myelination. Oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) and Schwann cells (SCs) in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) wrap their plasma membranes around axons to organize myelinated nerve fibers that allow rapid saltatory conduction. The functionality of this system is critical, as revealed by numerous neurological diseases that result from deregulation of the system, including multiple sclerosis and peripheral neuropathies. In this review we focus on PNS myelination and present a conceptual framework that integrates crucial signaling mechanisms with basic SC biology. We will highlight signaling hubs and overarching molecular mechanisms, including genetic, epigenetic, and post-translational controls, which together regulate the interplay between SCs and axons, extracellular signals, and the transcriptional network. PMID:22192173

  9. Molecular mechanism of statin-mediated LOX-1 inhibition.

    PubMed

    Biocca, Silvia; Iacovelli, Federico; Matarazzo, Sara; Vindigni, Giulia; Oteri, Francesco; Desideri, Alessandro; Falconi, Mattia

    2015-01-01

    Statins are largely used in clinics in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular diseases for their effect on lowering circulating cholesterol. Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LOX-1), the primary receptor for ox-LDL, plays a central role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disorders. We have recently shown that chronic exposure of cells to lovastatin disrupts LOX-1 receptor cluster distribution in plasma membranes, leading to a marked loss of LOX-1 function. Here we investigated the molecular mechanism of statin-mediated LOX-1 inhibition and we demonstrate that all tested statins are able to displace the binding of fluorescent ox-LDL to LOX-1 by a direct interaction with LOX-1 receptors in a cell-based binding assay. Molecular docking simulations confirm the interaction and indicate that statins completely fill the hydrophobic tunnel that crosses the C-type lectin-like (CTLD) recognition domain of LOX-1. Classical molecular dynamics simulation technique applied to the LOX-1 CTLD, considered in the entire receptor structure with or without a statin ligand inside the tunnel, indicates that the presence of a ligand largely increases the dimer stability. Electrophoretic separation and western blot confirm that different statins binding stabilize the dimer assembly of LOX-1 receptors in vivo. The simulative and experimental results allow us to propose a CTLD clamp motion, which enables the receptor-substrate coupling. These findings reveal a novel and significant functional effect of statins. PMID:25950192

  10. Molecular mechanism of statin-mediated LOX-1 inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Biocca, Silvia; Iacovelli, Federico; Matarazzo, Sara; Vindigni, Giulia; Oteri, Francesco; Desideri, Alessandro; Falconi, Mattia

    2015-01-01

    Statins are largely used in clinics in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular diseases for their effect on lowering circulating cholesterol. Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LOX-1), the primary receptor for ox-LDL, plays a central role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disorders. We have recently shown that chronic exposure of cells to lovastatin disrupts LOX-1 receptor cluster distribution in plasma membranes, leading to a marked loss of LOX-1 function. Here we investigated the molecular mechanism of statin-mediated LOX-1 inhibition and we demonstrate that all tested statins are able to displace the binding of fluorescent ox-LDL to LOX-1 by a direct interaction with LOX-1 receptors in a cell-based binding assay. Molecular docking simulations confirm the interaction and indicate that statins completely fill the hydrophobic tunnel that crosses the C-type lectin-like (CTLD) recognition domain of LOX-1. Classical molecular dynamics simulation technique applied to the LOX-1 CTLD, considered in the entire receptor structure with or without a statin ligand inside the tunnel, indicates that the presence of a ligand largely increases the dimer stability. Electrophoretic separation and western blot confirm that different statins binding stabilize the dimer assembly of LOX-1 receptors in vivo. The simulative and experimental results allow us to propose a CTLD clamp motion, which enables the receptor-substrate coupling. These findings reveal a novel and significant functional effect of statins. PMID:25950192

  11. A Structural and Molecular Approach for the Study Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas-Keprta, Kathie; Vali, Hojatollah; Sears, S. Kelly; Roh, Yul

    2001-01-01

    Investigation of the nucleation and growth of crystals in both abiotic and biotic systems is critical to seemingly diverse disciplines of geology, biology, environmental science, and astrobiology. While there are abundant studies devoted to the determination of the structure and composition of inorganic crystals, as well as to the development of thermodynamic and kinetic models, it is only recently that research efforts have been directed towards understanding mineralization in biological systems (i.e., biomineralization). Biomineralization refers to the processes by which living organisms form inorganic solids. Studies of the processes of biomineralization under low temperature aqueous conditions have focused primarily on magnetite forming bacteria and shell forming marine organisms. Many of the biological building materials consist of inorganic minerals (calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, silica or iron oxide) intricately combined with organic polymers (like proteins). More recently, efforts have been undertaken to explore the nature of biological activities in ancient rocks. In the absence of well-preserved microorganisms or genetic material required for the polmerase chain reaction (PCR) method in molecular phylogenetic studies, using biominerals as biomarkers offers an alternative approach for the recognition of biogenic activity in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. The primary driving force in biomineralization is the interaction between organic and inorganic phases. Thus, the investigation of the ultrastructure and the nature of reactions at the molecular level occurring at the interface between inorganic and organic phases is essential to understanding the processes leading to the nucleation and growth of crystals. It is recognized that crystal surfaces can serve as the substrate for the organization of organic molecules that lead to the formation of polymers and other complex organic molecules, and in discussions of the origins of life

  12. Mechanisms of molecular doping of graphene: A first-principles study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saha, Srijan Kumar; Chandrakanth, Reddy Ch.; Krishnamurthy, H. R.; Waghmare, U. V.

    2009-10-01

    Doping graphene with electron donating or accepting molecules is an interesting approach to introduce carriers into it, analogous to electrochemical doping accomplished in graphene when used in a field-effect transistor. Here, we use first-principles density-functional theory to determine changes in the electronic-structure and vibrational properties of graphene that arise from the adsorption of aromatic molecules such as aniline and nitrobenzene. Identifying the roles of various mechanisms of chemical interaction between graphene and a molecule, we bring out the contrast between electrochemical and molecular doping of graphene. Our estimates of various contributions to shifts in the Raman-active modes of graphene with molecular doping are fundamental to the possible use of Raman spectroscopy in (a) characterization of the nature and concentration of carriers in graphene with molecular doping, and (b) graphene-based chemical sensors.

  13. An ergonomics approach to citrus harvest mechanization.

    PubMed

    Costa, Simone Emmanuelle Alves; Camarotto, João Alberto

    2012-01-01

    Due to the increase of production costs in manual harvesting, strategies must be developed in order to overcome these effects, such as the attempts in implementing agricultural machines in harvest activities, whether being totally or partially mechanized. This study brings a qualitative and quantitative comparison on the impacts in work conditions and productivity in Brazilian orchards caused by the use of semi-mechanized harvesting systems, such as multiplatforms. The results come from the application of Ergonomic Work Analysis method, which focuses in the activity, quantifying and analyzing times and frequencies of the harvesting cycle, as well as the amount of movements. To achieve this, footage, interviews and a stopwatch were used in the observation 12 pickers' work cycles, six for each method of harvesting. The data interpretation pointed to improvement in working conditions with a reduction in the amount of movements performed by the picker, and increase of up to 60% in productivity with the use of semi-mechanized harvesting. Thus, the found results indicate the viability of this harvesting method. However, other variables must be observed in future studies in order to complete the guidelines for a healthy progress in the area of citrus harvesting in Brazil. PMID:22317498

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Leopold, Jane A.; Maron, Bradley A.

    2016-01-01

    Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease that is precipitated by hypertrophic pulmonary vascular remodeling of distal arterioles to increase pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance in the absence of left heart, lung parenchymal, or thromboembolic disease. Despite available medical therapy, pulmonary artery remodeling and its attendant hemodynamic consequences result in right ventricular dysfunction, failure, and early death. To limit morbidity and mortality, attention has focused on identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying aberrant pulmonary artery remodeling to identify pathways for intervention. While there is a well-recognized heritable genetic component to PAH, there is also evidence of other genetic perturbations, including pulmonary vascular cell DNA damage, activation of the DNA damage response, and variations in microRNA expression. These findings likely contribute, in part, to dysregulation of proliferation and apoptosis signaling pathways akin to what is observed in cancer; changes in cellular metabolism, metabolic flux, and mitochondrial function; and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition as key signaling pathways that promote pulmonary vascular remodeling. This review will highlight recent advances in the field with an emphasis on the aforementioned molecular mechanisms as contributors to the pulmonary vascular disease pathophenotype. PMID:27213345

  15. Molecular mechanisms of the plant heat stress response

    SciTech Connect

    Qu, Ai-Li; Ding, Yan-Fei; Jiang, Qiong; Zhu, Cheng

    2013-03-08

    Highlights: ► This review elaborates the response networks of heat stress in plants. ► It elaborates proteins responding to heat stress in special physiological period. ► The proteins and pathways have formed a basic network of the heat stress response. ► Achievements of the various technologies are also combined. -- Abstract: High temperature has become a global concern, which seriously affects the growth and production of plants, particularly crops. Thus, the molecular mechanism of the heat stress response and breeding of heat-tolerant plants is necessary to protect food production and ensure crop safety. This review elaborates on the response networks of heat stress in plants, including the Hsf and Hsp response pathways, the response of ROS and the network of the hormones. In addition, the production of heat stress response elements during particular physiological periods of the plant is described. We also discuss the existing problems and future prospects concerning the molecular mechanisms of the heat stress response in plants.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Phosphorus Metabolism and Transport during Leaf Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Stigter, Kyla A.; Plaxton, William C.

    2015-01-01

    Leaf senescence, being the final developmental stage of the leaf, signifies the transition from a mature, photosynthetically active organ to the attenuation of said function and eventual death of the leaf. During senescence, essential nutrients sequestered in the leaf, such as phosphorus (P), are mobilized and transported to sink tissues, particularly expanding leaves and developing seeds. Phosphorus recycling is crucial, as it helps to ensure that previously acquired P is not lost to the environment, particularly under the naturally occurring condition where most unfertilized soils contain low levels of soluble orthophosphate (Pi), the only form of P that roots can directly assimilate from the soil. Piecing together the molecular mechanisms that underpin the highly variable efficiencies of P remobilization from senescing leaves by different plant species may be critical for devising effective strategies for improving overall crop P-use efficiency. Maximizing Pi remobilization from senescing leaves using selective breeding and/or biotechnological strategies will help to generate P-efficient crops that would minimize the use of unsustainable and polluting Pi-containing fertilizers in agriculture. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms whereby P is remobilized from senescing leaves and transported to sink tissues, which encompasses the action of hormones, transcription factors, Pi-scavenging enzymes, and Pi transporters. PMID:27135351

  17. Molecular mechanisms in aging and current strategies to counteract sarcopenia.

    PubMed

    Sakuma, Kunihiro; Yamaguchi, Akihiko

    2010-07-01

    Sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle mass with age, is characterized by a deterioration of muscle quantity and quality leading to a gradual slowing of movement and a decline in strength and power. Sarcopenia is a highly significant public health problem. Since these age-related changes in skeletal muscle are largely attributed to various molecular mediators affecting fiber size, mitochondrial homeostatis, and apoptosis, the mechanisms responsible for these deleterious changes present numerous therapeutic targets for drug discovery. We and other researchers demonstrated that a disruption of Akt-mTOR and RhoA-SRF signaling but not Atrogin-1 or MuRF1 contributes to sarcopenia. In addition, sarcopenia seems to include a marked loss of fibers attributable to apoptosis. This review deals with molecular mechanisms of muscle atrophy and provides an update on current strategies (resistance training, myostatin inhibition, treatment with amino acids or testosterone, calorie restriction, etc) for counteracting this loss. Resistance training in combination with amino acid-containing nutrition would be the best candidate to attenuate, prevent, or ultimately reverse age-related muscle wasting and weakness. PMID:20158492

  18. Molecular mechanism by which palmitate inhibits PKR autophosphorylation†

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hyunju; Mukherjee, Shayantani; Palasuberniam, Pratheeba; Pillow, Lisa; Bilgin, Betul; Nezich, Catherine; Walton, S. Patrick; Feig, Michael; Chan, Christina

    2011-01-01

    PKR (double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase) is an important component of the innate immunity, antiviral and apoptotic pathways. Recently, our group found that palmitate, a saturated fatty acid, is involved in apoptosis by reducing the autophosphorylation of PKR at the Thr451 residue, however, the molecular mechanism by which palmitate reduces PKR autophosphorylation is not known. Thus, we investigated how palmitate affects the phosphorylation of the PKR protein at the molecular and biophysical levels. Biochemical and computational studies show that palmitate binds to PKR, near the ATP-binding site, thereby inhibiting its autophosphorylation at Thr451 and Thr446. Mutation studies suggests that Lys296 and Asp432 in the ATP binding site on the PKR protein are important for palmitate binding. We further confirmed that palmitate also interacts with other kinases, due to the conserved ATP-binding site. A better understanding of how palmitate interacts with the PKR protein, as well as other kinases, could shed light onto possible mechanisms by which palmitate mediates kinase signaling pathways, that could have implications on the efficacy of current drug therapies that target kinases. PMID:21192654

  19. Hemolytic mechanism of dioscin proposed by molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Lin, Fu; Wang, Renxiao

    2010-01-01

    Saponins are a class of compounds containing a triterpenoid or steroid core with some attached carbohydrate modules. Many saponins cause hemolysis. However, the hemolytic mechanism of saponins at the molecular level is not yet fully understood. In an attempt to explore this issue, we have studied dioscin-a saponin with high hemolytic activity-through extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Firstly, all-atom MD simulations of 8 ns duration were conducted to study the stability of the dioscin-cholesterol complex and the cholesterol-cholesterol complex in water and in decane, respectively. MM-GB/SA computations indicate that the dioscin-cholesterol complex is energetically more favorable than the cholesterol-cholesterol complex in a non-polar environment. Next, several coarse-grained MD simulations of 400 ns duration were conducted to directly observe the distribution of multiple dioscin molecules on a DPPC-POPC-PSM-CHOL lipid bilayer. Our results indicate that dioscin can penetrate into the lipid bilayer, accumulate in the lipid raft micro-domain, and then bind cholesterol. This leads to the destabilization of lipid raft and consequent membrane curvature, which may eventually result in the hemolysis of red cells. This possible mechanism of hemolysis can well explain some experimental observations on hemolysis. PMID:19513766

  20. Molecular mechanisms of biological aging in intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Vo, Nam V; Hartman, Robert A; Patil, Prashanti R; Risbud, Makarand V; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C; Hoyland, Judith A; Le Maitre, Christine L; Sowa, Gwendolyn A; Kang, James D

    2016-08-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:1289-1306, 2016. PMID:26890203

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Aging in Intervertebral Discs

    PubMed Central

    Vo, Nam V.; Hartman, Robert A.; Patil, Prashanti R.; Risbud, Makarand V.; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C.; Hoyland, Judith A.; Le Maitre, Christine L.; Sowa, Gwendolyn A.; Kang, James D.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. PMID:26890203

  2. Towards identification of molecular mechanisms of short stature

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Growth evaluations are among the most common referrals to pediatric endocrinologists. Although a number of pathologies, both primary endocrine and non-endocrine, can present with short stature, an estimated 80% of evaluations fail to identify a clear etiology, leaving a default designation of idiopathic short stature (ISS). As a group, several features among children with ISS are suggestive of pathophysiology of the GH–IGF-1 axis, including low serum levels of IGF-1 despite normal GH secretion. Candidate gene analysis of rare cases has demonstrated that severe mutations of genes of the GH–IGF-1 axis can present with a profound height phenotype, leading to speculation that a collection of mild mutations or polymorphisms of these genes can explain poor growth in a larger proportion of patients. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified ~180 genomic loci associated with height that together account for approximately 10% of height variation. With only modest representation of the GH–IGF-1 axis, there is little support for the long-held hypothesis that common genetic variants of the hormone pathway provide the molecular mechanism for poor growth in a substantial proportion of individuals. The height-associated common variants are not observed in the anticipated frequency in the shortest individuals, suggesting rare genetic factors with large effect are more plausible in this group. As we advance towards establishing a molecular mechanism for poor growth in a greater percentage of those currently labeled ISS, we highlight two strategies that will likely be offered with increasing frequency: (1) unbiased genetic technologies including array analysis for copy number variation and whole exome/genome sequencing and (2) epigenetic alterations of key genomic loci. Ultimately data from subsets with similar molecular etiologies may emerge that will allow tailored interventions to achieve the best clinical outcome. PMID:24257104

  3. Molecular mechanisms in deformation of cross-linked hydrogel nanocomposite.

    PubMed

    Mathesan, Santhosh; Rath, Amrita; Ghosh, Pijush

    2016-02-01

    The self-folding behavior in response to external stimuli observed in hydrogels is potentially used in biomedical applications. However, the use of hydrogels is limited because of its reduced mechanical properties. These properties are enhanced when the hydrogels are cross-linked and reinforced with nanoparticles. In this work, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is applied to perform uniaxial tension and pull out tests to understand the mechanism contributing towards the enhanced mechanical properties. Also, nanomechanical characterization is performed using quasi static nanoindentation experiments to determine the Young's modulus of hydrogels in the presence of nanoparticles. The stress-strain responses for chitosan (CS), chitosan reinforced with hydroxyapatite (HAP) and cross-linked chitosan are obtained from uniaxial tension test. It is observed that the Young's modulus and maximum stress increase as the HAP content increases and also with cross-linking process. Load displacement plot from pullout test is compared for uncross-linked and cross-linked chitosan chains on hydroxyapatite surface. MD simulation reveals that the variation in the dihedral conformation of chitosan chains and the evolution of internal structural variables are associated with mechanical properties. Additional results reveal that the formation of hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions is responsible for the above variations in different systems. PMID:26652360

  4. Characterization of molecular mechanisms of in vivo UVR induced cataract.

    PubMed

    Galichanin, Konstantin; Talebizadeh, Nooshin; Söderberg, Per

    2012-01-01

    Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world (1). The World Health Organization defines cataract as a clouding of the lens of the eye which impedes the transfer of light. Cataract is a multi-factorial disease associated with diabetes, smoking, ultraviolet radiation (UVR), alcohol, ionizing radiation, steroids and hypertension. There is strong experimental (2-4) and epidemiological evidence (5,6) that UVR causes cataract. We developed an animal model for UVR B induced cataract in both anesthetized (7) and non-anesthetized animals (8). The only cure for cataract is surgery but this treatment is not accessible to all. It has been estimated that a delay of onset of cataract for 10 years could reduce the need for cataract surgery by 50% (9). To delay the incidence of cataract, it is needed to understand the mechanisms of cataract formation and find effective prevention strategies. Among the mechanisms for cataract development, apoptosis plays a crucial role in initiation of cataract in humans and animals (10). Our focus has recently been apoptosis in the lens as the mechanism for cataract development (8,11,12). It is anticipated that a better understanding of the effect of UVR on the apoptosis pathway will provide possibilities for discovery of new pharmaceuticals to prevent cataract. In this article, we describe how cataract can be experimentally induced by in vivo exposure to UVR-B. Further RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry are presented as tools to study molecular mechanisms of UVR-B induced cataract. PMID:23222480

  5. A Structural and Molecular Approach for the Study Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas-Keprta, Kathie; Vali, Hojatollah; Sears, S. Kelly; Roh, Yul

    2001-01-01

    Investigation of the nucleation and growth of crystals in both abiotic and biotic systems is critical to seemingly diverse disciplines of geology, biology, environmental science, and astrobiology. While there are abundant studies devoted to the determination of the structure and composition of inorganic crystals, as well as to the development of thermodynamic and kinetic models, it is only recently that research efforts have been directed towards understanding mineralization in biological systems (i.e., biomineralization). Biomineralization refers to the processes by which living organisms form inorganic solids. Studies of the processes of biomineralization under low temperature aqueous conditions have focused primarily on magnetite forming bacteria and shell forming marine organisms. Many of the biological building materials consist of inorganic minerals (calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, silica or iron oxide) intricately combined with organic polymers (like proteins). More recently, efforts have been undertaken to explore the nature of biological activities in ancient rocks. In the absence of well-preserved microorganisms or genetic material required for the polmerase chain reaction (PCR) method in molecular phylogenetic studies, using biominerals as biomarkers offers an alternative approach for the recognition of biogenic activity in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. The primary driving force in biomineralization is the interaction between organic and inorganic phases. Thus, the investigation of the ultrastructure and the nature of reactions at the molecular level occurring at the interface between inorganic and organic phases is essential to understanding the processes leading to the nucleation and growth of crystals. It is recognized that crystal surfaces can serve as the substrate for the organization of organic molecules that lead to the formation of polymers and other complex organic molecules, and in discussions of the origins of life

  6. Using quantum mechanical approaches to study biological systems.

    PubMed

    Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-09-16

    Conspectus Quantum mechanics (QM) has revolutionized our understanding of the structure and reactivity of small molecular systems. Given the tremendous impact of QM in this research area, it is attractive to believe that this could also be brought into the biological realm where systems of a few thousand atoms and beyond are routine. Applying QM methods to biological problems brings an improved representation to these systems by the direct inclusion of inherently QM effects such as polarization and charge transfer. Because of the improved representation, novel insights can be gleaned from the application of QM tools to biomacromolecules in aqueous solution. To achieve this goal, the computational bottlenecks of QM methods had to be addressed. In semiempirical theory, matrix diagonalization is rate limiting, while in density functional theory or Hartree-Fock theory electron repulsion integral computation is rate-limiting. In this Account, we primarily focus on semiempirical models where the divide and conquer (D&C) approach linearizes the matrix diagonalization step with respect to the system size. Through the D&C approach, a number of applications to biological problems became tractable. Herein, we provide examples of QM studies on biological systems that focus on protein solvation as viewed by QM, QM enabled structure-based drug design, and NMR and X-ray biological structure refinement using QM derived restraints. Through the examples chosen, we show the power of QM to provide novel insights into biological systems, while also impacting practical applications such as structure refinement. While these methods can be more expensive than classical approaches, they make up for this deficiency by the more realistic modeling of the electronic nature of biological systems and in their ability to be broadly applied. Of the tools and applications discussed in this Account, X-ray structure refinement using QM models is now generally available to the community in the

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Cognitive & Behavioral Co-Morbidities of Epilepsy in Children

    PubMed Central

    Brooks-Kayal, Amy

    2010-01-01

    Summary Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) such as Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and epilepsies are heterogeneous disorders that have diverse etiologies and pathophysiologies. The high rate of co-occurrence of these disorders, however, suggest potentially shared underlying mechanisms. A number of well-known genetic disorders share epilepsy, intellectual disability and autism as prominent phenotypic features, including tuberous sclerosis, Rett syndrome, and fragile X. In addition, mutations of several genes involved in neurodevelopment, including ARX, DCX, neuroligins and neuropilin2 have been identified in children with epilepsy, IDD, ASD or a combination of thereof. Finally, in animal models, early life seizures can result in cellular and molecular changes that could contribute to learning and behavioral disabilities. Increased understanding of the common genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of IDD, ASD and epilepsy may provide insight into their underlying pathophysiology and elucidate new therapeutic approaches for these conditions. PMID:21214535

  8. Supersymmetric Liouville theory: A statistical mechanical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Barrozo, M.C.; Belvedere, L.V.

    1996-02-01

    The statistical mechanical system associated with the two-dimensional supersymmetric Liouville theory is obtained through an infrared-finite perturbation expansion. Considering the system confined in a finite volume and in the presence of a uniform neutralizing background, we show that the grand-partition function of this system describes a one-component gas, in which the Boltzmann factor is weighted by an integration over the Grassmann variables. This weight function introduces the dimensional reduction phenomenon. After performing the thermodynamic limit, the resulting supersymmetric quantum theory is translationally invariant. {copyright} {ital 1996 The American Physical Society.}

  9. Statistical mechanical approach to human language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosmidis, Kosmas; Kalampokis, Alkiviadis; Argyrakis, Panos

    2006-07-01

    We use the formulation of equilibrium statistical mechanics in order to study some important characteristics of language. Using a simple expression for the Hamiltonian of a language system, which is directly implied by the Zipf law, we are able to explain several characteristic features of human language that seem completely unrelated, such as the universality of the Zipf exponent, the vocabulary size of children, the reduced communication abilities of people suffering from schizophrenia, etc. While several explanations are necessarily only qualitative at this stage, we have, nevertheless, been able to derive a formula for the vocabulary size of children as a function of age, which agrees rather well with experimental data.

  10. Dynamics of ligand exchange mechanism at Cu(II) in water: An ab initio quantum mechanical charge field molecular dynamics study with extended quantum mechanical region

    SciTech Connect

    Moin, Syed Tarique; Hofer, Thomas S.; Weiss, Alexander K. H.; Rode, Bernd M.

    2013-07-07

    Ab initio quantum mechanical charge field molecular dynamics (QMCF-MD) were successfully applied to Cu(II) embedded in water to elucidate structure and to understand dynamics of ligand exchange mechanism. From the simulation studies, it was found that using an extended large quantum mechanical region including two shells of hydration is required for a better description of the dynamics of exchanging water molecules. The structural features characterized by radial distribution function, angular distribution function and other analytical parameters were consistent with experimental data. The major outcome of this study was the dynamics of exchange mechanism and reactions in the first hydration shell that could not be studied so far. The dynamical data such as mean residence time of the first shell water molecules and other relevant data from the simulations are close to the results determined experimentally. Another major characteristic of hydrated Cu(II) is the Jahn-Teller distortion which was also successfully reproduced, leading to the final conclusion that the dominating aqua complex is a 6-coordinated species. The ab initio QMCF-MD formalism proved again its capabilities of unraveling even ambiguous properties of hydrated species that are far difficult to explore by any conventional quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach or experiment.

  11. An atomistic approach to viral mechanical oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankey, Otto F.

    2009-03-01

    Viruses are the simplest ``life'' form. These parasites reproduce by borrowing the machinery of their host cell. Many are pathogenic to plants, animals, and humans. Viruses possess an outer protein coat (capsid) that protects its genomic material that resides inside. We have developed a theoretical technique to model the very low frequency mechanical modes of the viral capsid with atomic resolution. The method uses empirical force fields and a mathematical framework borrowed from electronic structure theory for finding low energy states. The low frequency modes can be ``pinged'' with an ultra-short laser pulse and the aim of the light/vibrational coupling is to interfere with the viral life cycle. The theoretical work here is motivated by the recent work of Tsen et al. [2] who have used ultra-short pulsed laser scattering to inactivate viruses. The methodology can be applied to many systems, and the coupled mechanical oscillations of other floppy biomolecules such as a complete ATP binding cassette (ABC transporter) will also be discussed. Co-authors of this work are Dr. Eric Dykeman, Prof. K.-T. Tsen and Daryn Benson. [4pt] [1] E.C. Dykeman et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 100, 028101 (2008). [0pt] [2] K-T. Tsen et al., J. of Physics -- Cond. Mat. 19, 472201 (2007).

  12. MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF MICROBIAL TECHNETIUM REDUCTION FINAL REPORT

    SciTech Connect

    DiChristina, Thomas J.

    2013-04-30

    Microbial Tc(VII) reduction is an attractive alternative strategy for bioremediation of technetium-contaminated subsurface environments. Traditional ex situ remediation processes (e.g., adsorption or ion exchange) are often limited by poor extraction efficiency, inhibition by competing ions and production of large volumes of produced waste. Microbial Tc(VII) reduction provides an attractive alternative in situ remediation strategy since the reduced end-product Tc(IV) precipitates as TcO2, a highly insoluble hydrous oxide. Despite its potential benefits, the molecular mechanism of microbial Tc(VII) reduction remains poorly understood. The main goal of the proposed DOENABIR research project is to determine the molecular mechanism of microbial Tc(VII) reduction. Random mutagenesis studies in our lab have resulted in generation of a set of six Tc(VII) reduction-deficient mutants of Shewanella oneidensis. The anaerobic respiratory deficiencies of each Tc(VII) reduction-deficient mutant was determined by anaerobic growth on various combinations of three electron donors and 14 terminal electron acceptors. Results indicated that the electron transport pathways to Tc(VII), NO3 -, Mn(III) and U(VI) share common structural or regulatory components. In addition, we have recently found that wild-type Shewanella are also able to reduce Tc(IV) as electron acceptor, producing Tc(III) as an end-product. The recent genome sequencing of a variety of technetium-reducing bacteria and the anticipated release of several additional genome sequences in the coming year, provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to determine the mechanism of microbial technetium reduction across species and genus lines.

  13. Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms of MLL in Human Leukemogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ballabio, Erica; Milne, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetics is often defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression or chromosome stability that don’t alter the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes are established through multiple mechanisms that include DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs and the covalent modification of specific residues on histone proteins. It is becoming clear not only that aberrant epigenetic changes are common in many human diseases such as leukemia, but that these changes by their very nature are malleable, and thus are amenable to treatment. Epigenetic based therapies have so far focused on the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors, which tend to have more general and widespread effects on gene regulation in the cell. However, if a unique molecular pathway can be identified, diseases caused by epigenetic mechanisms are excellent candidates for the development of more targeted therapies that focus on specific gene targets, individual binding domains, or specific enzymatic activities. Designing effective targeted therapies depends on a clear understanding of the role of epigenetic mutations during disease progression. The Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) protein is an example of a developmentally important protein that controls the epigenetic activation of gene targets in part by methylating histone 3 on lysine 4. MLL is required for normal development, but is also mutated in a subset of aggressive human leukemias and thus provides a useful model for studying the link between epigenetic cell memory and human disease. The most common MLL mutations are chromosome translocations that fuse the MLL gene in frame with partner genes creating novel fusion proteins. In this review, we summarize recent work that argues MLL fusion proteins could function through a single molecular pathway, but we also highlight important data that suggests instead that multiple independent mechanisms underlie MLL mediated leukemogenesis. PMID:24213472

  14. Molecular Targeted Approaches to Cancer Therapy and Prevention Using Chalcones

    PubMed Central

    Jandial, Danielle D.; Blair, Christopher A.; Zhang, Saiyang; Krill, Lauren S.; Zhang, Yan-Bing; Zi, Xiaolin

    2014-01-01

    There is an emerging paradigm shift in oncology that seeks to emphasize molecularly targeted approaches for cancer prevention and therapy. Chalcones (1,3-diphenyl-2-propen-1-ones), naturally-occurring compounds with widespread distribution in spices, tea, beer, fruits and vegetables, consist of open-chain flavonoids in which the two aromatic rings are joined by a three-carbon α, β-unsaturated carbonyl system. Due to their structural diversity, relative ease of chemical manipulation and reaction of α, β-unsaturated carbonyl moiety with cysteine residues in proteins, some lead chalcones from both natural products and synthesis have been identified in a variety of screening assays for modulating important pathways or molecular targets in cancers. These pathways and targets that are affected by chalcones include MDM2/p53, tubulin, proteasome, NF-kappa B, TRIAL/death receptors and mitochondria mediated apoptotic pathways, cell cycle, STAT3, AP-1, NRF2, AR, ER, PPAR-γ and β-catenin/Wnt. Compared to current cancer targeted therapeutic drugs, chalcones have the advantages of being inexpensive, easily available and less toxic; the ease of synthesis of chalcones from substituted benzaldehydes and acetophenones also makes them an attractive drug scaffold. Therefore, this review is focused on molecular targets of chalcones and their potential implications in cancer prevention and therapy. PMID:24467530

  15. Phenomenological approach to mechanical damage growth analysis.

    PubMed

    Pugno, Nicola; Bosia, Federico; Gliozzi, Antonio S; Delsanto, Pier Paolo; Carpinteri, Alberto

    2008-10-01

    The problem of characterizing damage evolution in a generic material is addressed with the aim of tracing it back to existing growth models in other fields of research. Based on energetic considerations, a system evolution equation is derived for a generic damage indicator describing a material system subjected to an increasing external stress. The latter is found to fit into the framework of a recently developed phenomenological universality (PUN) approach and, more specifically, the so-called U2 class. Analytical results are confirmed by numerical simulations based on a fiber-bundle model and statistically assigned local strengths at the microscale. The fits with numerical data prove, with an excellent degree of reliability, that the typical evolution of the damage indicator belongs to the aforementioned PUN class. Applications of this result are briefly discussed and suggested. PMID:18999489

  16. Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutic Approaches in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Tisdale, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Motor neuron diseases are neurological disorders characterized primarily by the degeneration of spinal motor neurons, skeletal muscle atrophy, and debilitating and often fatal motor dysfunction. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive motor neuron disease of high incidence and severity and the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is caused by homozygous mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and retention of at least one copy of the hypomorphic gene paralog SMN2. Early studies established a loss-of-function disease mechanism involving ubiquitous SMN deficiency and suggested SMN upregulation as a possible therapeutic approach. In recent years, greater knowledge of the central role of SMN in RNA processing combined with deep characterization of animal models of SMA has significantly advanced our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of the disease. SMA is emerging as an RNA disease not limited to motor neurons, but one that involves dysfunction of motor circuits that comprise multiple neuronal subpopulations and possibly other cell types. Advances in SMA research have also led to the development of several potential therapeutics shown to be effective in animal models of SMA that are now in clinical trials. These agents offer unprecedented promise for the treatment of this still incurable neurodegenerative disease. PMID:26063904

  17. New Approaches to Sepsis: Molecular Diagnostics and Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Michael; Riedemann, Niels C.; Hartog, Christiane S.

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Sepsis is among the most common causes of death in hospitals. It arises from the host response to infection. Currently, diagnosis relies on nonspecific physiological criteria and culture-based pathogen detection. This results in diagnostic uncertainty, therapeutic delays, the mis- and overuse of antibiotics, and the failure to identify patients who might benefit from immunomodulatory therapies. There is a need for new sepsis biomarkers that can aid in therapeutic decision making and add information about screening, diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring of the response to therapy. The host response involves hundreds of mediators and single molecules, many of which have been proposed as biomarkers. It is, however, unlikely that one single biomarker is able to satisfy all the needs and expectations for sepsis research and management. Among biomarkers that are measurable by assays approved for clinical use, procalcitonin (PCT) has shown some usefulness as an infection marker and for antibiotic stewardship. Other possible new approaches consist of molecular strategies to improve pathogen detection and molecular diagnostics and prognostics based on transcriptomic, proteomic, or metabolic profiling. Novel approaches to sepsis promise to transform sepsis from a physiologic syndrome into a group of distinct biochemical disorders and help in the development of better diagnostic tools and effective adjunctive sepsis therapies. PMID:23034322

  18. New approaches to sepsis: molecular diagnostics and biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Reinhart, Konrad; Bauer, Michael; Riedemann, Niels C; Hartog, Christiane S

    2012-10-01

    Sepsis is among the most common causes of death in hospitals. It arises from the host response to infection. Currently, diagnosis relies on nonspecific physiological criteria and culture-based pathogen detection. This results in diagnostic uncertainty, therapeutic delays, the mis- and overuse of antibiotics, and the failure to identify patients who might benefit from immunomodulatory therapies. There is a need for new sepsis biomarkers that can aid in therapeutic decision making and add information about screening, diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring of the response to therapy. The host response involves hundreds of mediators and single molecules, many of which have been proposed as biomarkers. It is, however, unlikely that one single biomarker is able to satisfy all the needs and expectations for sepsis research and management. Among biomarkers that are measurable by assays approved for clinical use, procalcitonin (PCT) has shown some usefulness as an infection marker and for antibiotic stewardship. Other possible new approaches consist of molecular strategies to improve pathogen detection and molecular diagnostics and prognostics based on transcriptomic, proteomic, or metabolic profiling. Novel approaches to sepsis promise to transform sepsis from a physiologic syndrome into a group of distinct biochemical disorders and help in the development of better diagnostic tools and effective adjunctive sepsis therapies. PMID:23034322

  19. A density-based adaptive quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical method.

    PubMed

    Waller, Mark P; Kumbhar, Sadhana; Yang, Jack

    2014-10-20

    We present a density-based adaptive quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (DBA-QM/MM) method, whereby molecules can switch layers from the QM to the MM region and vice versa. The adaptive partitioning of the molecular system ensures that the layer assignment can change during the optimization procedure, that is, on the fly. The switch from a QM molecule to a MM molecule is determined if there is an absence of noncovalent interactions to any atom of the QM core region. The presence/absence of noncovalent interactions is determined by analysis of the reduced density gradient. Therefore, the location of the QM/MM boundary is based on physical arguments, and this neatly removes some empiricism inherent in previous adaptive QM/MM partitioning schemes. The DBA-QM/MM method is validated by using a water-in-water setup and an explicitly solvated L-alanyl-L-alanine dipeptide. PMID:24954803

  20. Small-Molecule Hormones: Molecular Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Budzińska, Monika

    2013-01-01

    Small-molecule hormones play crucial roles in the development and in the maintenance of an adult mammalian organism. On the molecular level, they regulate a plethora of biological pathways. Part of their actions depends on their transcription-regulating properties, exerted by highly specific nuclear receptors which are hormone-dependent transcription factors. Nuclear hormone receptors interact with coactivators, corepressors, basal transcription factors, and other transcription factors in order to modulate the activity of target genes in a manner that is dependent on tissue, age and developmental and pathophysiological states. The biological effect of this mechanism becomes apparent not earlier than 30–60 minutes after hormonal stimulus. In addition, small-molecule hormones modify the function of the cell by a number of nongenomic mechanisms, involving interaction with proteins localized in the plasma membrane, in the cytoplasm, as well as with proteins localized in other cellular membranes and in nonnuclear cellular compartments. The identity of such proteins is still under investigation; however, it seems that extranuclear fractions of nuclear hormone receptors commonly serve this function. A direct interaction of small-molecule hormones with membrane phospholipids and with mRNA is also postulated. In these mechanisms, the reaction to hormonal stimulus appears within seconds or minutes. PMID:23533406

  1. Tea and cancer prevention: Molecular mechanisms and human relevance

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Chung S. Lambert, Joshua D.; Ju Jihyeung; Lu Gang; Sang Shengmin

    2007-11-01

    Tea made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis is a popular beverage. The possible cancer-preventive activity of tea and tea polyphenols has been studied extensively. This article briefly reviews studies in animal models, cell lines, and possible relevance of these studies to the prevention of human cancer. The cancer-preventive activity of tea constituents have been demonstrated in many animal models including cancer of the skin, lung, oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine, colon, bladder, prostate, and mammary gland. The major active constituents are polyphenols, of which (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is most abundant, most active, and most studied, and caffeine. The molecular mechanisms of the cancer-preventive action, however, are just beginning to be understood. Studies in cell lines led to the proposal of many mechanisms on the action of EGCG. However, mechanisms based on studies with very high concentrations of EGCG may not be relevant to cancer prevention in vivo. The autooxidation of EGCG in cell culture may also produce activities that do not occur in many internal organs. In contrast to the cancer prevention activity demonstrated in different animal models, no such conclusion can be convincingly drawn from epidemiological studies on tea consumption and human cancers. Even though the human data are inconclusive, tea constituents may still be used for the prevention of cancer at selected organ sites if sufficient concentrations of the agent can be delivered to these organs. Some interesting examples in this area are discussed.

  2. Causes, effects and molecular mechanisms of testicular heat stress.

    PubMed

    Durairajanayagam, Damayanthi; Agarwal, Ashok; Ong, Chloe

    2015-01-01

    The process of spermatogenesis is temperature-dependent and occurs optimally at temperatures slightly lower than that of the body. Adequate thermoregulation is imperative to maintain testicular temperatures at levels lower than that of the body core. Raised testicular temperature has a detrimental effect on mammalian spermatogenesis and the resultant spermatozoa. Therefore, thermoregulatory failure leading to heat stress can compromise sperm quality and increase the risk of infertility. In this paper, several different types of external and internal factors that may contribute towards testicular heat stress are reviewed. The effects of heat stress on the process of spermatogenesis, the resultant epididymal spermatozoa and on germ cells, and the consequent changes in the testis are elaborated upon. We also discuss the molecular response of germ cells to heat exposure and the possible mechanisms involved in heat-induced germ cell damage, including apoptosis, DNA damage and autophagy. Further, the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways that are involved in the intricate mechanism of germ cell apoptosis are explained. Ultimately, these complex mechanisms of apoptosis lead to germ cell death. PMID:25456164

  3. Vitamin D and Cancer: A review of molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Fleet, James C.; DeSmet, Marsha; Johnson, Robert; Li, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Synopsis The population-based association between low vitamin D status and increased cancer risk can be inconsistent but is now generally accepted. These relationships link low serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels to cancer while cell-based studies show that the metabolite 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D is the biologically active metabolite that works through vitamin D receptor to regulate gene transcription. Here we review the literature relevant to the molecular events that may account for the beneficial impact of vitamin D on cancer prevention or treatment. This data shows that while vitamin D-induced growth arrest and apoptosis of tumor cells or their non-neoplastic progenitors are plausible mechanisms, other chemoprotective mechanisms are also worthy of consideration. These alternative mechanisms include enhancing DNA repair, antioxidant protection, and immunomodulation. In addition, other cell targets such as the stromal cells, endothelial cells, and cells of the immune system may be regulated by 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D and contribute to vitamin D mediated cancer prevention. PMID:22168439

  4. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  5. Molecular mechanisms of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma development.

    PubMed

    Sakata-Yanagimoto, Mamiko; Chiba, Shigeru

    2016-08-01

    The molecular pathogenesis of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) has gradually been clarified in terms of genomic abnormalities. Insights into these genomic abnormalities have provided clues to understanding the pathogenesis of PTCL. Furthermore, the origins of lymphoma cells have been clarified by investigating the distribution of genomic abnormalities in tumor cells and non-tumor blood cells. Multistep tumorigenesis has been suggested to be a fundamental mechanism underlying the development of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), a distinct subtype of PTCL: premalignant cells evolve from hematopoietic progenitors via mutations in epigenetic regulators. These cells then further differentiate into tumor cells via the addition of tumor-specific G17V RHOA mutations. Meanwhile, AITL are composed of various infiltrating cells as well as tumor cells. Most notably, AITL tissues are characterized by massive infiltration of B cells partially infected by Epstein-Barr virus, follicular dendritic cells, and high endothelial venules. Infiltration of these cell types has been thought to be a reactive process, promoted by cytokines and chemokines released from tumor cells. Considering the multistep mechanisms of AITL allows us to analyze whether these infiltrating cells are also derived from premalignant cells. Indeed, the mechanisms underlying massive infiltration of bystander cells might be more complicated than previously imagined. PMID:27599421

  6. Cellular and molecular mechanisms for the bone response to mechanical loading

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomfield, S. A.

    2001-01-01

    To define the cellular and molecular mechanisms for the osteogenic response of bone to increased loading, several key steps must be defined: sensing of the mechanical signal by cells in bone, transduction of the mechanical signal to a biochemical one, and transmission of that biochemical signal to effector cells. Osteocytes are likely to serve as sensors of loading, probably via interstitial fluid flow produced during loading. Evidence is presented for the role of integrins, the cell's actin cytoskeleton, G proteins, and various intracellular signaling pathways in transducing that mechanical signal to a biochemical one. Nitric oxide, prostaglandins, and insulin-like growth factors all play important roles in these pathways. There is growing evidence for modulation of these mechanotransduction steps by endocrine factors, particularly parathyroid hormone and estrogen. The efficiency of this process is also impaired in the aged animal, yet what remains undefined is at what step mechanotransduction is affected.

  7. Intelligence and embodiment: a statistical mechanics approach.

    PubMed

    Chinea, Alejandro; Korutcheva, Elka

    2013-04-01

    Evolutionary neuroscience has been mainly dominated by the principle of phylogenetic conservation, specifically, by the search for similarities in brain organization. This principle states that closely related species tend to be similar because they have a common ancestor. However, explaining, for instance, behavioral differences between humans and chimpanzees, has been revealed to be notoriously difficult. In this paper, the hypothesis of a common information-processing principle exploited by the brains evolved through natural evolution is explored. A model combining recent advances in cognitive psychology and evolutionary neuroscience is presented. The macroscopic effects associated with the intelligence-like structures postulated by the model are analyzed from a statistical mechanics point of view. As a result of this analysis, some plausible explanations are put forward concerning the disparities and similarities in cognitive capacities which are observed in nature across species. Furthermore, an interpretation on the efficiency of brain's computations is also provided. These theoretical results and their implications against modern theories of intelligence are shown to be consistent with the formulated hypothesis. PMID:23454920

  8. Statistical mechanics approach to lock-key supramolecular chemistry interactions.

    PubMed

    Odriozola, Gerardo; Lozada-Cassou, Marcelo

    2013-03-01

    In the supramolecular chemistry field, intuitive concepts such as molecular complementarity and molecular recognition are used to explain the mechanism of lock-key associations. However, these concepts lack a precise definition, and consequently this mechanism is not well defined and understood. Here we address the physical basis of this mechanism, based on formal statistical mechanics, through Monte Carlo simulation and compare our results with recent experimental data for charged or uncharged lock-key colloids. We find that, given the size range of the molecules involved in these associations, the entropy contribution, driven by the solvent, rules the interaction, over that of the enthalpy. A universal behavior for the uncharged lock-key association is found. Based on our results, we propose a supramolecular chemistry definition. PMID:23521272

  9. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of chemical synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Millhorn, D E; Bayliss, D A; Erickson, J T; Gallman, E A; Szymeczek, C L; Czyzyk-Krzeska, M; Dean, J B

    1989-12-01

    During the last decade much progress has been made in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which nerve cells communicate with each other and nonneural (e.g., muscle) target tissue. This review is intended to provide the reader with an account of this work. We begin with an historical overview of research on cell-to-cell communication and then discuss recent developments that, in some instances, have led to dramatic changes in the concept of synaptic transmission. For instance, the finding that single neurons often contain multiple messengers (i.e., neurotransmitters) invalidated the long-held theory (i.e., Dale's Law) that individual neurons contain and release one and only one type of neurotransmitter. Moreover, the last decade witnessed the inclusion of an entire group of compounds, the neuropeptides, as messenger molecules. Enormous progress has also been made in elucidating postsynaptic receptor complexes and biochemical intermediaries involved in synaptic transmission. Here the development of recombinant DNA technology has made it possible to clone and determine the molecular structure for a number of receptors. This information has been used to gain insight into how these receptors function either as a ligand-gated channel or as a G protein-linked ligand recognition molecule. Perhaps the most progress made during this era was in understanding the molecular linkage of G protein-linked receptors to intramembranous and cytoplasmic macromolecules involved in signal amplification and transduction. We conclude with a brief discussion of how synaptic transmission leads to immediate alterations in the electrical activity and, in some cases, to a change in phenotype by altering gene expression. These alterations in cellular behavior are believed to be mediated by phosphoproteins, the final biochemical product of signal transduction. PMID:2575357

  10. Ethanol-Induced Cerebellar Ataxia: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Dar, M Saeed

    2015-08-01

    The cerebellum is an important target of ethanol toxicity given that cerebellar ataxia is the most consistent physical manifestation of acute ethanol consumption. Despite the significance of the cerebellum in ethanol-induced cerebellar ataxia (EICA), the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying EICA are incompletely understood. However, two important findings have shed greater light on this phenomenon. First, ethanol-induced blockade of cerebellar adenosine uptake in rodent models points to a role for adenosinergic A1 modulation of EICA. Second, the consistent observation that intracerebellar administration of nicotine in mice leads to antagonism of EICA provides evidence for a critical role of cerebellar nitric oxide (NO) in EICA reversal. Based on these two important findings, this review discusses the potential molecular events at two key synaptic sites (mossy fiber-granule cell-Golgi cell (MGG synaptic site) and granule cell parallel fiber-Purkinje cell (GPP synaptic site) that lead to EICA. Specifically, ethanol-induced neuronal NOS inhibition at the MGG synaptic site acts as a critical trigger for Golgi cell activation which leads to granule cell deafferentation. Concurrently, ethanol-induced inhibition of adenosine uptake at the GPP synaptic site produces adenosine accumulation which decreases glutamate release and leads to the profound activation of Purkinje cells (PCs). These molecular events at the MGG and GPP synaptic sites are mutually reinforcing and lead to cerebellar dysfunction, decreased excitatory output of deep cerebellar nuclei, and EICA. The critical importance of PCs as the sole output of the cerebellar cortex suggests normalization of PC function could have important therapeutic implications. PMID:25578036

  11. Cellular and molecular investigations of the adhesion and mechanics of Listeria monocytogenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eskhan, Asma Omar

    Atomic force microscopy has been used to quantify the adherence and mechanical properties of an array of L. monocytogenes strains and their surface biopolymers. First, eight L. monocytogenes strains that represented the two major lineages of the species were compared for their adherence and mechanics at cellular and molecular levels. Our results indicated that strains of lineage' II were characterized by higher adhesion and Young's moduli, longer and more rigid surface biopolymers and lower specific and nonspecific forces when compared to lineage' I strains. Additionally, adherence and mechanical properties of eight L. monocytogenes epidemic and environmental strains were probed. Our results pointed to that environmental and epidemic strains representative of a given lineage were similar in their adherence and mechanical properties when investigated at a cellular level. However, when the molecular properties of the strains were considered, epidemic strains were characterized by higher specific and nonspecific forces, shorter, denser and more flexible biopolymers compared to environmental strains. Second, the role of environmental pH conditions of growth on the adhesion and mechanics of a pathogenic L. monocytogenes EGDe was investigated. Our results pointed to a transition in the adhesion energies for cells cultured at pH 7. In addition, when the types of molecular forces that govern the adhesion were quantified using Poisson statistical approach and using a new proposed method, specific hydrogen-bond energies dominated the bacterial adhesion process. Such a finding is instrumental to researchers designing methods to control bacterial adhesion. Similarly, bacterial cells underwent a transition in their mechanical properties. We have shown that cells cultured at pH 7 were the most rigid compared to those cultured in lower or higher pH conditions of growth. Due to transitions observed in adherence and mechanics when cells were cultured at pH 7, we hypothesized that

  12. Molecular mechanics work station for protein conformational studies

    SciTech Connect

    Fine, R.; Levinthal, C.; Schoenborn, B.; Dimmier, G.; Rankowitz, C.

    1984-01-01

    Interest in computational problems in Biology has intensified over the last few years, partly due to the development of techniques for the rapid cloning, sequencing, and mutagenesis of genes from organisims ranging from E. coli to Man. The central dogma of molecular biology; that DNA codes for mRNA which codes for protein, has been understood in a linear programming sense since the genetic code was cracked. But what is not understood at present is how a protein, once assembled as a long sequence of amino acids, folds back on itself to produce a three-dimensional structure which is unique to that protein and which dictates its chemical and biological activity. This folding process is purely physics, and involves the time evolution of a system of several thousand atoms which interact with each other and with atoms from the surrounding solvent. Molecular dynamics simulations on smaller molecules suggest that approaches which treat the protein as a classical ensemble of atoms interacting with each other via an empirical Hamiltonian can yield the kind of predictive results one would like when applied to proteins.

  13. Molecular Investigations into the Mechanics of a Muscle Anchoring Complex

    PubMed Central

    Bodmer, Nicholas K.; Theisen, Kelly E.; Dima, Ruxandra I.

    2015-01-01

    The titin-telethonin complex, essential for anchoring filaments in the Z-disk of the sarcomere, is composed of immunoglobulin domains. Surprisingly, atomic force microscopy experiments showed that it resists forces much higher than the typical immunoglobulin domain and that the force distribution is unusually broad. To investigate the origin of this behavior, we developed a multiscale simulation approach, combining minimalist and atomistic models (SOP-AT). By following the mechanical response of the complex on experimental timescales, we found that the mechanical stability of titin-telethonin is modulated primarily by the strength of contacts between telethonin and the two titin chains, and secondarily by the timescales of conformational excursions inside telethonin and the pulled titin domains. Importantly, the conformational transitions executed by telethonin in simulations support its proposed role in mechanosensing. Our SOP-AT computational approach thus provides a powerful tool for the exploration of the link between conformational diversity and the broadness of the mechanical response, which can be applied to other multidomain complexes. PMID:25954889

  14. Redox Control of Leukemia: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, Mary E.; Rivera-Del Valle, Nilsa

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play both positive and negative roles in the proliferation and survival of a cell. This dual nature has been exploited by leukemia cells to promote growth, survival, and genomic instability—some of the hallmarks of the cancer phenotype. In addition to altered ROS levels, many antioxidants are dysregulated in leukemia cells. Together, the production of ROS and the expression and activity of antioxidant enzymes make up the primary redox control of leukemia cells. By manipulating this system, leukemia cells gain proliferative and survival advantages, even in the face of therapeutic insults. Standard treatment options have improved leukemia patient survival rates in recent years, although relapse and the development of resistance are persistent challenges. Therapies targeting the redox environment show promise for these cases. This review highlights the molecular mechanisms that control the redox milieu of leukemia cells. In particular, ROS production by the mitochondrial electron transport chain, NADPH oxidase, xanthine oxidoreductase, and cytochrome P450 will be addressed. Expression and activation of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, heme oxygenase, glutathione, thioredoxin, and peroxiredoxin are perturbed in leukemia cells, and the functional consequences of these molecular alterations will be described. Lastly, we delve into how these pathways can be potentially exploited therapeutically to improve treatment regimens and promote better outcomes for leukemia patients. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1349–1383. PMID:22900756

  15. Molecular Mechanism of Thioflavin-T Binding to Amyloid Fibrils

    PubMed Central

    Biancalana, Matthew; Koide, Shohei

    2010-01-01

    Intense efforts to detect, diagnose, and analyze the kinetic and structural properties of amyloid fibrils have generated a powerful toolkit of amyloid-specific molecular probes. Since its first description in 1959, the fluorescent dye Thioflavin-T (ThT) has become among the most widely used “gold standards” for selectively staining and identifying amyloid fibrils both in vivo and in vitro. The large enhancement of its fluorescence emission upon binding to fibrils makes ThT a particularly powerful and convenient tool. Despite its widespread use in clinical and basic science applications, the molecular mechanism for the ability of ThT to recognize diverse types of amyloid fibrils and for the dye’s characteristic fluorescence has only begun to be elucidated. Here, we review recent progress in the understanding of ThT-fibril interactions at an atomic resolution. These studies have yielded important insights into amyloid structures and the processes of fibril formation, and they also offer guidance for designing the next generation of amyloid assembly diagnostics, inhibitors, and therapeutics. PMID:20399286

  16. Molecular mechanisms of deformation and failure in glassy materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rottler, Joerg

    2004-03-01

    Understanding the molecular origins of macroscopic mechanical properties is a fundamental scientific challenge. Fracture of both amorphous and crystalline materials involves many length scales reaching from the continuum to atomic level processes near a crack tip. Using molecular simulations of simple models for amorphous glassy materials, we first study elastoplastic deformation and discuss the nature of the shear yield stress and its dependence on loading conditions, strain rate and temperature. We then focus on the deformation of glassy polymeric systems into crazes at large strains. In the craze, polymers ( 0.5 nm diameter) are bundled into an intricate network of 10 nm diameter fibrils that extends 10 micrometers on either side of a mm crack tip. Analysis of local geometry and stresses provide insight into the real-space nature of the entanglements that control craze formation as well as melt dynamics. Crazes are also shown to share many features with jammed systems such as granular media and foams, but are unique in jamming under a tensile load. This allows explanations for the exponential force distribution in jammed systems to be tested. The force distribution strongly influences the ultimate breakdown of the craze fibrils either through disentanglement or chain scission. We conclude by quantifying the contribution of crazing to the unusually large fracture energy of glassy polymers.

  17. Neuroprotection and its molecular mechanism following spinal cord injury☆

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Nai-Kui; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2012-01-01

    Acute spinal cord injury initiates a complex cascade of molecular events termed ‘secondary injury’, which leads to progressive degeneration ranging from early neuronal apoptosis at the lesion site to delayed degeneration of intact white matter tracts, and, ultimately, expansion of the initial injury. These secondary injury processes include, but are not limited to, inflammation, free radical-induced cell death, glutamate excitotoxicity, phospholipase A2 activation, and induction of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways, which are important targets in developing neuroprotective strategies for treatment of spinal cord injury. Recently, a number of studies have shown promising results on neuroprotection and recovery of function in rodent models of spinal cord injury using treatments that target secondary injury processes including inflammation, phospholipase A2 activation, and manipulation of the PTEN-Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. The present review outlines our ongoing research on the molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection in experimental spinal cord injury and briefly summarizes our earlier findings on the therapeutic potential of pharmacological treatments in spinal cord injury. PMID:25624837

  18. A molecular mechanical model for N-heterocyclic carbenes.

    PubMed

    Gehrke, Sascha; Hollóczki, Oldamur

    2016-08-10

    In this work we present a set of force fields for nine synthetically relevant and/or structurally interesting N-heterocyclic carbenes, including imidazol-, thiazol-, triazol-, imidazolidin-, and pyridine-ylidenes. The bonding parameters were calculated by using a series of geometry optimizations by ab initio methods. For fitting the non-bonding interactions, a water molecule was employed as a probe. The interaction energy between the carbene and the probe molecule was sampled along two coordinates for each carbene, representing the interaction through the lone pair, or the π system of the molecule. The corresponding reference interaction energies were obtained by CCSD(T)/CBS calculations. To describe the direction dependence of the intermolecular potential energy, an extra, massless Coulombic interaction site was included for all carbenes, which represents the lone pair of the divalent carbon atom. The resulting fitted carbene force field (CaFF) showed a robust behavior regarding probe molecule, as changing the molecular mechanical water model, or employing, instead, an OPLS methanol molecule did not introduce significant deviations in the potential energies. The obtained CaFF models are easy to merge with standard OPLS or AMBER force fields, therefore the molecular simulations of a large number of N-heterocyclic carbenes becomes available. PMID:27426687

  19. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J

    2014-03-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies. PMID:24417933

  20. Molecular mechanisms of disease-causing missense mutations

    PubMed Central

    Stefl, Shannon; Nishi, Hafumi; Petukh, Marharyta; Panchenko, Anna R.; Alexov, Emil

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variations resulting in a change of amino acid sequence can have a dramatic effect on stability, hydrogen bond network, conformational dynamics, activity and many other physiologically important properties of proteins. The substitutions of only one residue in a protein sequence, so-called missense mutations, can be related to many pathological conditions, and may influence susceptibility to disease and drug treatment. The plausible effects of missense mutations range from affecting the macromolecular stability to perturbing macromolecular interactions and cellular localization. Here we review the individual cases and genome-wide studies which illustrate the association between missense mutations and diseases. In addition we emphasize that the molecular mechanisms of effects of mutations should be revealed in order to understand the disease origin. Finally we report the current state-of-the-art methodologies which predict the effects of mutations on protein stability, the hydrogen bond network, pH-dependence, conformational dynamics and protein function. PMID:23871686

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Floral Boundary Formation in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hongyang; Huang, Tengbo

    2016-01-01

    Boundary formation is a crucial developmental process in plant organogenesis. Boundaries separate cells with distinct identities and act as organizing centers to control the development of adjacent organs. In flower development, initiation of floral primordia requires the formation of the meristem-to-organ (M–O) boundaries and floral organ development depends on the establishment of organ-to-organ (O–O) boundaries. Studies in this field have revealed a suite of genes and regulatory pathways controlling floral boundary formation. Many of these genes are transcription factors that interact with phytohormone pathways. This review will focus on the functions and interactions of the genes that play important roles in the floral boundaries and discuss the molecular mechanisms that integrate these regulatory pathways to control the floral boundary formation. PMID:26950117

  2. Cullin Family Proteins and Tumorigenesis: Genetic Association and Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhi; Sui, Jie; Zhang, Fan; Zhang, Caiguo

    2015-01-01

    Cullin family proteins function as scaffolds to form numerous E3 ubiquitin ligases with RING proteins, adaptor proteins and substrate recognition receptors. These E3 ligases further recognize numerous substrates to participate in a variety of cellular processes, such as DNA damage and repair, cell death and cell cycle progression. Clinically, cullin-associated E3 ligases have been identified to involve numerous human diseases, especially with regard to multiple cancer types. Over the past few years, our understanding of cullin proteins and their functions in genome stability and tumorigenesis has expanded enormously. Herein, this review briefly provides current perspectives on cullin protein functions, and mainly summarizes and discusses molecular mechanisms of cullin proteins in tumorigenesis. PMID:25663940

  3. Molecular spectroscopic study for suggested mechanism of chrome tanned leather.

    PubMed

    Nashy, Elshahat H A; Osman, Osama; Mahmoud, Abdel Aziz; Ibrahim, Medhat

    2012-03-01

    Collagen represents the structural protein of the extracellular matrix, which gives strength of hides and/or skin under tanning process. Chrome tan is the most important tanning agent all over the world. The methods for production of leather evolved over several centuries as art and engineering with little understanding of the underlying science. The present work is devoted to suggest the most probable mechanistic action of chrome tan on hide proteins. First the affect of Cr upon hide protein is indicated by the studied mechanical properties. Then the spectroscopic characterization of the hide protein as well as chrome tanned leather was carried out with Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflection (HATR) FT-IR. The obtained results indicate how the chromium can attached with the active sites of collagen. Molecular modeling confirms that chromium can react with amino as well as carboxylate groups. Four schemes were obtained to describe the possible interactions of chrome tan with hide proteins. PMID:22225606

  4. Molecular mechanism of respiratory syncytial virus fusion inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Battles, Michael B; Langedijk, Johannes P; Furmanova-Hollenstein, Polina; Chaiwatpongsakorn, Supranee; Costello, Heather M; Kwanten, Leen; Vranckx, Luc; Vink, Paul; Jaensch, Steffen; Jonckers, Tim H M; Koul, Anil; Arnoult, Eric; Peeples, Mark E; Roymans, Dirk; McLellan, Jason S

    2016-01-01

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in young children and the elderly. Therapeutic small molecules have been developed that bind the RSV F glycoprotein and inhibit membrane fusion, yet their binding sites and molecular mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Here we show that these inhibitors bind to a three-fold-symmetric pocket within the central cavity of the metastable prefusion conformation of RSV F. Inhibitor binding stabilizes this conformation by tethering two regions that must undergo a structural rearrangement to facilitate membrane fusion. Inhibitor-escape mutations occur in residues that directly contact the inhibitors or are involved in the conformational rearrangements required to accommodate inhibitor binding. Resistant viruses do not propagate as well as wild-type RSV in vitro, indicating a fitness cost for inhibitor escape. Collectively, these findings provide new insight into class I viral fusion proteins and should facilitate development of optimal RSV fusion inhibitors. PMID:26641933

  5. Molecular mechanism of respiratory syncytial virus fusion inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Battles, Michael B; Langedijk, Johannes P; Furmanova-Hollenstein, Polina; Chaiwatpongsakorn, Supranee; Costello, Heather M; Kwanten, Leen; Vranckx, Luc; Vink, Paul; Jaensch, Steffen; Jonckers, Tim H M; Koul, Anil; Arnoult, Eric; Peeples, Mark E; Roymans, Dirk; McLellan, Jason S

    2016-02-01

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in young children and the elderly. Therapeutic small molecules have been developed that bind the RSV F glycoprotein and inhibit membrane fusion, yet their binding sites and molecular mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Here we show that these inhibitors bind to a three-fold-symmetric pocket within the central cavity of the metastable prefusion conformation of RSV F. Inhibitor binding stabilizes this conformation by tethering two regions that must undergo a structural rearrangement to facilitate membrane fusion. Inhibitor-escape mutations occur in residues that directly contact the inhibitors or are involved in the conformational rearrangements required to accommodate inhibitor binding. Resistant viruses do not propagate as well as wild-type RSV in vitro, indicating a fitness cost for inhibitor escape. Collectively, these findings provide new insight into class I viral fusion proteins and should facilitate development of optimal RSV fusion inhibitors. PMID:26641933

  6. Molecular mechanism of biological responses to homoeopathic medicines.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, J

    1995-09-01

    Assuming that homeopathy is effective beyond the placebo effects, its biological explanation in favour of the hypothesis of the hydrate-structure formation is presented. Since cell-surface proteins are likely to be activated by the hydration-shell structure of molecules in some cases, the interaction between cell-surface proteins and the putative clathrate-like hydrate microcrystals formed during the homoeopathic dilution process is suggested as a primary molecular mechanism of biological responses to homoeopathic medicines. This paper examines the probable protein-microcrystal interaction, forcusing on the cases in which silicon dioxide (silica) microcrystals cause inflammation and in which hydrate microcrystals may be formed during general anesthesia. PMID:8569554

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Opioid Receptor-Dependent Signaling and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Al-Hasani, Ream; Bruchas, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Opioid receptors have been targeted for the treatment of pain and related disorders for thousands of years, and remain the most widely used analgesics in the clinic. Mu (μ), kappa (κ), and delta (δ) opioid receptors represent the originally classified receptor subtypes, with opioid receptor like-1 (ORL1) being the least characterized. All four receptors are G-protein coupled, and activate inhibitory G-proteins. These receptors form homo- and hetereodimeric complexes, signal to kinase cascades, and scaffold a variety of proteins. In this review, we discuss classical mechanisms and developments in understanding opioid tolerance, opioid receptor signaling, and highlight advances in opioid molecular pharmacology, behavioral pharmacology, and human genetics. We put into context how opioid receptor signaling leads to the modulation of behavior with the potential for therapeutic intervention. Finally, we conclude that there is a continued need for more translational work on opioid receptors in vivo. PMID:22020140

  8. Recent advancement of molecular mechanisms of liver fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Liver fibrosis occurs in response to any etiology of chronic liver injury including hepatitis B and C, alcohol consumption, fatty liver disease, cholestasis, and autoimmune hepatitis. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are the primary source of activated myofibroblasts that produce extracellular matrix (ECM) in the liver. Various inflammatory and fibrogenic pathways contribute to the activation of HSCs. Recent studies also discovered that liver fibrosis is reversible and activated HSCs can revert to quiescent HSCs when causative agents are removed. Although the basic research for liver fibrosis has progressed remarkably, sensitive and specific biomarkers as non-invasive diagnostic tools, and effective anti-fibrotic agents have not been developed yet. This review highlights the recent advances in cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver fibrosis, especially focusing on origin of myofibroblasts, inflammatory signaling, autophagy, cellular senescence, HSC inactivation, angiogenesis, and reversibility of liver fibrosis. PMID:25869468

  9. Recent Advances in Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity Mechanisms and Its Molecular Pathophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Shaobin; Zhu, Ling; Shen, Qiang; Bai, Xue; Di, Xuhui

    2015-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a sympathomimetic amine that belongs to phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs, which are widely abused for their stimulant, euphoric, empathogenic, and hallucinogenic properties. Many of these effects result from acute increases in dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission. Subsequent to these acute effects, METH produces persistent damage to dopamine and serotonin release in nerve terminals, gliosis, and apoptosis. This review summarized the numerous interdependent mechanisms including excessive dopamine, ubiquitin-proteasome system dysfunction, protein nitration, endoplasmic reticulum stress, p53 expression, inflammatory molecular, D3 receptor, microtubule deacetylation, and HIV-1 Tat protein that have been demonstrated to contribute to this damage. In addition, the feasible therapeutic strategies according to recent studies were also summarized ranging from drug and protein to gene level. PMID:25861156

  10. Molecular spectroscopic study for suggested mechanism of chrome tanned leather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nashy, Elshahat H. A.; Osman, Osama; Mahmoud, Abdel Aziz; Ibrahim, Medhat

    2012-03-01

    Collagen represents the structural protein of the extracellular matrix, which gives strength of hides and/or skin under tanning process. Chrome tan is the most important tanning agent all over the world. The methods for production of leather evolved over several centuries as art and engineering with little understanding of the underlying science. The present work is devoted to suggest the most probable mechanistic action of chrome tan on hide proteins. First the affect of Cr upon hide protein is indicated by the studied mechanical properties. Then the spectroscopic characterization of the hide protein as well as chrome tanned leather was carried out with Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflection (HATR) FT-IR. The obtained results indicate how the chromium can attached with the active sites of collagen. Molecular modeling confirms that chromium can react with amino as well as carboxylate groups. Four schemes were obtained to describe the possible interactions of chrome tan with hide proteins.

  11. PRDM Proteins: Molecular Mechanisms in Signal Transduction and Transcriptional Regulation.

    PubMed

    Di Zazzo, Erika; De Rosa, Caterina; Abbondanza, Ciro; Moncharmont, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    PRDM (PRDI-BF1 and RIZ homology domain containing) protein family members are characterized by the presence of a PR domain and a variable number of Zn-finger repeats. Experimental evidence has shown that the PRDM proteins play an important role in gene expression regulation, modifying the chromatin structure either directly, through the intrinsic methyltransferase activity, or indirectly through the recruitment of chromatin remodeling complexes. PRDM proteins have a dual action: they mediate the effect induced by different cell signals like steroid hormones and control the expression of growth factors. PRDM proteins therefore have a pivotal role in the transduction of signals that control cell proliferation and differentiation and consequently neoplastic transformation. In this review, we describe pathways in which PRDM proteins are involved and the molecular mechanism of their transcriptional regulation. PMID:24832654

  12. PRDM Proteins: Molecular Mechanisms in Signal Transduction and Transcriptional Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Di Zazzo, Erika; De Rosa, Caterina; Abbondanza, Ciro; Moncharmont, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    PRDM (PRDI-BF1 and RIZ homology domain containing) protein family members are characterized by the presence of a PR domain and a variable number of Zn-finger repeats. Experimental evidence has shown that the PRDM proteins play an important role in gene expression regulation, modifying the chromatin structure either directly, through the intrinsic methyltransferase activity, or indirectly through the recruitment of chromatin remodeling complexes. PRDM proteins have a dual action: they mediate the effect induced by different cell signals like steroid hormones and control the expression of growth factors. PRDM proteins therefore have a pivotal role in the transduction of signals that control cell proliferation and differentiation and consequently neoplastic transformation. In this review, we describe pathways in which PRDM proteins are involved and the molecular mechanism of their transcriptional regulation. PMID:24832654

  13. Clarifying Prehistoric Parasitism from a Complementary Morphological and Molecular Approach.

    PubMed

    Cleeland, Lauren M; Reichard, Mason V; Tito, Raul Y; Reinhard, Karl J; Lewis, Cecil M

    2013-07-01

    This paper reports an approach to the identification of prehistoric parasitic infection, which integrates traditional morphological methods with molecular methods. The approach includes the strengths of each method while mitigating the limitations. Demonstrating the efficacy of this approach, we provide a case study from a 1,400 year old desiccated fecal sample from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, archaeological site, near Rio Zape, Durango, Mexico. Traditionally prepared microscope slides were processed via microscopy and tentative ascarids were identified. Information regarding the parasites' developmental stage was recorded. DNA was then extracted directly from the slide material. From this DNA extract, a small segment of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene variant that is specific to Ascaris, and its phylogenetically close relatives, was targeted for PCR amplification and sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence best matched a member of physalopterids, rather than ascarids, with a single exception of a match to Contracaecum spiculigerum. Subsequent extractions, amplifications and sequencing of the original rehydrated coprolite material confirmed these results. The C. spiculigerum sequence represented a phylogenetic anomaly and subsequent analysis determined the sequence was an error in the BLAST database, likely attributable to misidentification of juvenile specimens prior to sequencing and submission. Physaloptera are a difficult genus to identify morphologically and can carry major health burdens. They may be underreported in humans, in part, because of morphological similarities to the more common human parasites belonging to ascarids. We conclude that integrating traditional morphological methods with molecular methods can help resolve this issue, in both contemporary and prehistoric populations. PMID:23645967

  14. Clarifying Prehistoric Parasitism from a Complementary Morphological and Molecular Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cleeland, Lauren M.; Reichard, Mason V.; Tito, Raul Y.; Reinhard, Karl J.; Lewis, Cecil M.

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports an approach to the identification of prehistoric parasitic infection, which integrates traditional morphological methods with molecular methods. The approach includes the strengths of each method while mitigating the limitations. Demonstrating the efficacy of this approach, we provide a case study from a 1,400 year old desiccated fecal sample from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, archaeological site, near Rio Zape, Durango, Mexico. Traditionally prepared microscope slides were processed via microscopy and tentative ascarids were identified. Information regarding the parasites’ developmental stage was recorded. DNA was then extracted directly from the slide material. From this DNA extract, a small segment of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene variant that is specific to Ascaris, and its phylogenetically close relatives, was targeted for PCR amplification and sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence best matched a member of physalopterids, rather than ascarids, with a single exception of a match to Contracaecum spiculigerum. Subsequent extractions, amplifications and sequencing of the original rehydrated coprolite material confirmed these results. The C. spiculigerum sequence represented a phylogenetic anomaly and subsequent analysis determined the sequence was an error in the BLAST database, likely attributable to misidentification of juvenile specimens prior to sequencing and submission. Physaloptera are a difficult genus to identify morphologically and can carry major health burdens. They may be underreported in humans, in part, because of morphological similarities to the more common human parasites belonging to ascarids. We conclude that integrating traditional morphological methods with molecular methods can help resolve this issue, in both contemporary and prehistoric populations. PMID:23645967

  15. Beyond Standard Molecular Dynamics: Investigating the Molecular Mechanisms of G Protein-Coupled Receptors with Enhanced Molecular Dynamics Methods

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Jennifer M.

    2014-01-01

    The majority of biological processes mediated by G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) take place on timescales that are not conveniently accessible to standard molecular dynamics (MD) approaches, notwithstanding the current availability of specialized parallel computer architectures, and efficient simulation algorithms. Enhanced MD-based methods have started to assume an important role in the study of the rugged energy landscape of GPCRs by providing mechanistic details of complex receptor processes such as ligand recognition, activation, and oligomerization. We provide here an overview of these methods in their most recent application to the field. PMID:24158803

  16. Molecular mechanisms underlying progesterone-enhanced breast cancer cell migration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Chen; Lee, Wen-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Progesterone (P4) was demonstrated to inhibit migration in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), but to enhance migration in T47D breast cancer cells. To investigate the mechanism responsible for this switch in P4 action, we examined the signaling pathway responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cell lines, T47D and MCF-7. Here, we demonstrated that P4 activated the cSrc/AKT signaling pathway, subsequently inducing RSK1 activation, which in turn increased phosphorylation of p27 at T198 and formation of the p27pT198-RhoA complex in the cytosol, thereby preventing RhoA degradation, and eventually enhanced migration in T47D cells. These findings were confirmed in the P4-treated MCF-7. Comparing the P4-induced molecular events in between breast cancer cells and VSMCs, we found that P4 increased p27 phosphorylation at T198 in breast cancer cells through RSK1 activation, while P4 increased p27 phosphorlation at Ser10 in VSMCs through KIS activation. P27pT198 formed the complex with RhoA and prevented RhoA degradation in T47D cells, whereas p-p27Ser10 formed the complex with RhoA and caused RhoA degradation in VSMCs. The results of this study highlight the molecular mechanism underlying P4-enhanced breast cancer cell migration, and suggest that RSK1 activation is responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cells. PMID:27510838

  17. Molecular mechanisms underlying progesterone-enhanced breast cancer cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui-Chen; Lee, Wen-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Progesterone (P4) was demonstrated to inhibit migration in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), but to enhance migration in T47D breast cancer cells. To investigate the mechanism responsible for this switch in P4 action, we examined the signaling pathway responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cell lines, T47D and MCF-7. Here, we demonstrated that P4 activated the cSrc/AKT signaling pathway, subsequently inducing RSK1 activation, which in turn increased phosphorylation of p27 at T198 and formation of the p27pT198-RhoA complex in the cytosol, thereby preventing RhoA degradation, and eventually enhanced migration in T47D cells. These findings were confirmed in the P4-treated MCF-7. Comparing the P4-induced molecular events in between breast cancer cells and VSMCs, we found that P4 increased p27 phosphorylation at T198 in breast cancer cells through RSK1 activation, while P4 increased p27 phosphorlation at Ser10 in VSMCs through KIS activation. P27pT198 formed the complex with RhoA and prevented RhoA degradation in T47D cells, whereas p-p27Ser10 formed the complex with RhoA and caused RhoA degradation in VSMCs. The results of this study highlight the molecular mechanism underlying P4-enhanced breast cancer cell migration, and suggest that RSK1 activation is responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cells. PMID:27510838

  18. Nonadiabatic hybrid quantum and molecular mechanic simulations of azobenzene photoswitching in bulk liquid environment.

    PubMed

    Böckmann, Marcus; Doltsinis, Nikos L; Marx, Dominik

    2010-01-21

    A nonadiabatic hybrid quantum and molecular mechanical (na-QM/MM) molecular dynamics scheme has been implemented recently combining the nonadiabatic Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics method by Doltsinis and Marx [Phys. Rev. Lett. 2002, 88, 166402] with the QM/MM coupling approach by Laio et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 2002, 116, 6941]. Here an extensive validation of the underlying, density functional theory based, electronic structure methods by comparison to CASPT2 ab initio data is presented for the case of azobenzene. The "on the fly" na-QM/MM method is then applied to study Z-->E and E-->Z photoisomerization of azobenzene in a bulk liquid environment. The isomerization mechanism is found to be a pedal motion of the central CN horizontal lineNC group in both cases. While the Z-->E reaction is barely affected by the environment, E-->Z photoisomerization is slowed down considerably in the liquid compared to the gas phase. This effect is due to the fact that reorientation of the phenyl rings is significantly hindered in the liquid by steric nearest neighbor interactions. Nonradiative decay is found to be substantially faster for Z-AB (subpicosecond regime) than for E-AB (picosecond regime). The main molecular motions responsible for nonadiabatic coupling have been identified as the oscillations in the NN and CN bond lengths, the CNN bond angles, and the CNNC dihedral angle. PMID:19928885

  19. Molecular Mechanisms of Aldehyde Toxicity: A Chemical Perspective

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Aldehydes are electrophilic compounds to which humans are pervasively exposed. Despite a significant health risk due to exposure, the mechanisms of aldehyde toxicity are poorly understood. This ambiguity is likely due to the structural diversity of aldehyde derivatives and corresponding differences in chemical reactions and biological targets. To gain mechanistic insight, we have used parameters based on the hard and soft, acids and bases (HSAB) theory to profile the different aldehyde subclasses with respect to electronic character (softness, hardness), electrophilic reactivity (electrophilic index), and biological nucleophilic targets. Our analyses indicate that short chain aldehydes and longer chain saturated alkanals are hard electrophiles that cause toxicity by forming adducts with hard biological nucleophiles, e.g., primary nitrogen groups on lysine residues. In contrast, α,β-unsaturated carbonyl derivatives, alkenals, and the α-oxoaldehydes are soft electrophiles that preferentially react with soft nucleophilic thiolate groups on cysteine residues. The aldehydes can therefore be grouped into subclasses according to common electronic characteristics (softness/hardness) and molecular mechanisms of toxicity. As we will discuss, the toxic potencies of these subgroups are generally related to corresponding electrophilicities. For some aldehydes, however, predictions of toxicity based on electrophilicity are less accurate due to inherent physicochemical variables that limit target accessibility, e.g., steric hindrance and solubility. The unsaturated aldehydes are also members of the conjugated type-2 alkene chemical class that includes α,β-unsaturated amide, ketone, and ester derivatives. Type-2 alkenes are electrophiles of varying softness and electrophilicity that share a common mechanism of toxicity. Therefore, exposure to an environmental mixture of unsaturated carbonyl derivatives could cause “type-2 alkene toxicity” through additive interactions

  20. Computerized approaches to enhance understanding of organic reaction mechanisms: CAN reaction mechanisms and CPLEX prelaboratory methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Shammari, Abdulrahman G. Alhamzani

    2008-10-01

    Two approaches to enhance the understanding of organic reaction mechanisms are described. First, a new method for teaching organic reaction mechanisms that can be used in a Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) environment is proposed and tested (Chapter 1). The method concentrates upon the important intermediate structures, which are assumed to be on the reaction coordinate, and which can be evaluated and graded by currently available computer techniques. At the same time, the "curved arrows" that show the electron flow in a reaction mechanism are neglected, since they cannot be evaluated and graded with currently available computer techniques. By allowing student practice for learning organic reaction mechanisms using the Curved Arrow Neglect (CAN) method within a "Practice Makes Perfect" CAI method, student performance in the drawing of traditional reaction mechanisms, in which students had to include the "curved arrows" on their written classroom exams, was significantly enhanced. Second, computerized prelaboratory experiments (CPLEX) for organic chemistry laboratory 1 & 2 courses have been created, used, and evaluated (Chapters 2 and 3). These computerized prelabs are unique because they combine both "dry lab" actions with detailed animations of the actual chemistry occurring at the molecular level. The "dry lab" serves to simulate the actual physical manipulations of equipment and chemicals that occur in the laboratory experiment through the use of drag-and-drop computer technology. At the same time, these physical actions are accompanied on a separate part of the computer screen by animations showing the chemistry at the molecular level that is occurring in the experiment. These CPLEX modules were made into Internet accessible modules. The students were allowed to access the CPLEX modules prior to performing the actual laboratory experiment. A detailed evaluation of students' perception of the modules was accomplished via survey methodology during the entire

  1. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students’ Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. PMID:26931398

  2. Role of soluble guanylate cyclase in the molecular mechanism underlying the physiological effects of nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Severina, I S

    1998-07-01

    In this review the molecular mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive and antiaggregatory actions of nitric oxide (NO) are discussed. It has been shown that these effects are directly connected with the activation of soluble guanylate cyclase and the accumulation of cyclic 3;,5;-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The mechanism of guanylate cyclase activation by NO is analyzed, especially the role and biological significance of the nitrosyl--heme complex formed as a result of interaction of guanylate cyclase heme with NO and the role of sulfhydryl groups of the enzyme in this process. Using new approaches for studying the antihypertensive and antiaggregatory actions of nitric oxide in combination with the newly obtained data on the regulatory role of guanylate cyclase in the platelet aggregation process, the most important results were obtained regarding the molecular bases providing for a directed search for and creation of new effective antihypertensive and antiaggregatory preparations. In studying the molecular mechanism for directed activation of soluble guanylate cyclase by new NO donors, a series of hitherto unknown enzyme activators generating NO and involved in the regulation of hemostasis and vascular tone were revealed. PMID:9721331

  3. A computational kinematics and evolutionary approach to model molecular flexibility for bionanotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brintaki, Athina N.

    Modeling molecular structures is critical for understanding the principles that govern the behavior of molecules and for facilitating the exploration of potential pharmaceutical drugs and nanoscale designs. Biological molecules are flexible bodies that can adopt many different shapes (or conformations) until they reach a stable molecular state that is usually described by the minimum internal energy. A major challenge in modeling flexible molecules is the exponential explosion in computational complexity as the molecular size increases and many degrees of freedom are considered to represent the molecules' flexibility. This research work proposes a novel generic computational geometric approach called enhanced BioGeoFilter (g.eBGF) that geometrically interprets inter-atomic interactions to impose geometric constraints during molecular conformational search to reduce the time for identifying chemically-feasible conformations. Two new methods called Kinematics-Based Differential Evolution ( kDE) and Biological Differential Evolution ( BioDE) are also introduced to direct the molecular conformational search towards low energy (stable) conformations. The proposed kDE method kinematically describes a molecule's deformation mechanism while it uses differential evolution to minimize the intra-molecular energy. On the other hand, the proposed BioDE utilizes our developed g.eBGF data structure as a surrogate approximation model to reduce the number of exact evaluations and to speed the molecular conformational search. This research work will be extremely useful in enabling the modeling of flexible molecules and in facilitating the exploration of nanoscale designs through the virtual assembly of molecules. Our research work can also be used in areas such as molecular docking, protein folding, and nanoscale computer-aided design where rapid collision detection scheme for highly deformable objects is essential.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Particle Ration Induced Apoptosis in Lymphocyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yufang

    Space radiation, composed of high-energy charged nuclei (HZE particles) and protons, has been previously shown to severely impact immune homeostasis in mice. To determine the molecular mechanisms that mediate acute lymphocyte depletion following exposure to HZE particle radiation mice were exposed to particle radiation beams at Brookhaven National Laboratory. We found that mice given whole body 5 6Fe particle irradiation (1GeV /n) had dose-dependent losses in total lymphocyte numbers in the spleen and thymus (using 200, 100 and 50 cGy), with thymocytes being more sensitive than splenocytes. All phenotypic subsets were reduced in number. In general, T cells and B cells were equally sensitive, while CD8+ T cells were more senstive than CD4+ T cells. In the thymus, immature CD4+CD8+ double-positive thymocytes were exquisitely sensitive to radiation-induced losses, single-positive CD4 or CD8 cells were less sensitive, and the least mature double negative cells were resistant. Irradiation of mice deficient in genes encoding essential apoptosis-inducing proteins revealed that the mechanism of lymphocyte depletion is independent of Fas ligand and TRAIL (TNF-ralated apoptosis-inducing ligand), in contrast to γ-radiation-induced lymphocyte losses which require the Fas-FasL pathway. Using inhibitors in vitro, lymphocyte apoptosis induced by HZE particle radiation was found to be caspase dependent, and not involve nitric oxide or oxygen free radicals.

  5. Cisplatin in cancer therapy: molecular mechanisms of action

    PubMed Central

    Dasari, Shaloam; Tchounwou, Paul Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Cisplatin, cisplatinum, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), is a well-known chemotherapeutic drug. It has been used for treatment of numerous human cancers including bladder, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It is effective against various types of cancers, including carcinomas, germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Its mode of action has been linked to its ability to crosslink with the purine bases on the DNA; interfering with DNA repair mechanisms, causing DNA damage, and subsequently inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. However, because of drug resistance and numerous undesirable side effects such as severe kidney problems, allergic reactions, decrease immunity to infections, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhage, and hearing loss especially in younger patients, other platinum-containing anti-cancer drugs such as carboplatin, oxaliplatin and others, have also been used. Furthermore, combination therapies of cisplatin with other drugs have been highly considered to overcome drug-resistance and reduce toxicity. This comprehensive review highlights the physicochemical properties of cisplatin and related platinum-based drugs, and discusses its uses (either alone or in combination with other drugs) for the treatment of various human cancers. A special attention is given to its molecular mechanisms of action, and its undesirable side effects. PMID:25058905

  6. Molecular mechanisms involved in plant adaptation to low K(+) availability.

    PubMed

    Chérel, Isabelle; Lefoulon, Cécile; Boeglin, Martin; Sentenac, Hervé

    2014-03-01

    Potassium is a major inorganic constituent of the living cell and the most abundant cation in the cytosol. It plays a role in various functions at the cell level, such as electrical neutralization of anionic charges, protein synthesis, long- and short-term control of membrane polarization, and regulation of the osmotic potential. Through the latter function, K(+) is involved at the whole-plant level in osmotically driven functions such as cell movements, regulation of stomatal aperture, or phloem transport. Thus, plant growth and development require that large amounts of K(+) are taken up from the soil and translocated to the various organs. In most ecosystems, however, soil K(+) availability is low and fluctuating, so plants have developed strategies to take up K(+) more efficiently and preserve vital functions and growth when K(+) availability is becoming limited. These strategies include increased capacity for high-affinity K(+) uptake from the soil, K(+) redistribution between the cytosolic and vacuolar pools, ensuring cytosolic homeostasis, and modification of root system development and architecture. Our knowledge about the mechanisms and signalling cascades involved in these different adaptive responses has been rapidly growing during the last decade, revealing a highly complex network of interacting processes. This review is focused on the different physiological responses induced by K(+) deprivation, their underlying molecular events, and the present knowledge and hypotheses regarding the mechanisms responsible for K(+) sensing and signalling. PMID:24293613

  7. Molecular mechanisms of Tetranychus urticae chemical adaptation in hop fields.

    PubMed

    Piraneo, Tara G; Bull, Jon; Morales, Mariany A; Lavine, Laura C; Walsh, Douglas B; Zhu, Fang

    2015-01-01

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch is a major pest that feeds on >1,100 plant species. Many perennial crops including hop (Humulus lupulus) are routinely plagued by T. urticae infestations. Hop is a specialty crop in Pacific Northwest states, where 99% of all U.S. hops are produced. To suppress T. urticae, growers often apply various acaricides. Unfortunately T. urticae has been documented to quickly develop resistance to these acaricides which directly cause control failures. Here, we investigated resistance ratios and distribution of multiple resistance-associated mutations in field collected T. urticae samples compared with a susceptible population. Our research revealed that a mutation in the cytochrome b gene (G126S) in 35% tested T. urticae populations and a mutation in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene (F1538I) in 66.7% populations may contribute resistance to bifenazate and bifenthrin, respectively. No mutations were detected in Glutamate-gated chloride channel subunits tested, suggesting target site insensitivity may not be important in our hop T. urticae resistance to abamectin. However, P450-mediated detoxification was observed and is a putative mechanism for abamectin resistance. Molecular mechanisms of T. urticae chemical adaptation in hopyards is imperative new information that will help growers develop effective and sustainable management strategies. PMID:26621458

  8. Categorical prototyping: incorporating molecular mechanisms into 3D printing.

    PubMed

    Brommer, Dieter B; Giesa, Tristan; Spivak, David I; Buehler, Markus J

    2016-01-15

    We apply the mathematical framework of category theory to articulate the precise relation between the structure and mechanics of a nanoscale system in a macroscopic domain. We maintain the chosen molecular mechanical properties from the nanoscale to the continuum scale. Therein we demonstrate a procedure to 'protoype a model', as category theory enables us to maintain certain information across disparate fields of study, distinct scales, or physical realizations. This process fits naturally with prototyping, as a prototype is not a complete product but rather a reduction to test a subset of properties. To illustrate this point, we use large-scale multi-material printing to examine the scaling of the elastic modulus of 2D carbon allotropes at the macroscale and validate our printed model using experimental testing. The resulting hand-held materials can be examined more readily, and yield insights beyond those available in the original digital representations. We demonstrate this concept by twisting the material, a test beyond the scope of the original model. The method developed can be extended to other methods of additive manufacturing. PMID:26618369

  9. Categorical prototyping: incorporating molecular mechanisms into 3D printing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brommer, Dieter B.; Giesa, Tristan; Spivak, David I.; Buehler, Markus J.

    2016-01-01

    We apply the mathematical framework of category theory to articulate the precise relation between the structure and mechanics of a nanoscale system in a macroscopic domain. We maintain the chosen molecular mechanical properties from the nanoscale to the continuum scale. Therein we demonstrate a procedure to ‘protoype a model’, as category theory enables us to maintain certain information across disparate fields of study, distinct scales, or physical realizations. This process fits naturally with prototyping, as a prototype is not a complete product but rather a reduction to test a subset of properties. To illustrate this point, we use large-scale multi-material printing to examine the scaling of the elastic modulus of 2D carbon allotropes at the macroscale and validate our printed model using experimental testing. The resulting hand-held materials can be examined more readily, and yield insights beyond those available in the original digital representations. We demonstrate this concept by twisting the material, a test beyond the scope of the original model. The method developed can be extended to other methods of additive manufacturing.

  10. Statistical mechanics of quasispecies theories of molecular evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz Tavera, Enrique

    This thesis presents a statistical mechanical analysis of different formulations of quasispecies theory of molecular evolution. These theories, characterized by two different families of models, the Crow-Kimura and the Eigen model, constitute a microscopie description of evolution. These models are most often used for RNA viruses, where a phase transition is predicted, in agreement with experiments, between an organized or quasispecies phase, and a disordered non-selective phase when the mutation rate exceeds a critical value. The methods of statistical mechanics, in particular field-theoretic methods, are employed to obtain analytic solutions to four problems relevant to biological interest. The first chapter presents the study of evolution under a multiple-peak fitness landscape, with biological applications in the study of the proliferation of viruses or cancer under the control of drugs or the immune system. The second chapter studies the effect of incorporating different forms of horizontal gene transfer and two-parent recombination to the classical formulation of quasispecies models. As an example, we study the effect of the sign of epistasis of the fitness landscape on the advantage or disadvantage of recombination for the mean fitness. The third chapter considers the relaxation of the purine/pyrimidine assumption in the classical formulation of the models, by formulating and solving the parallel and Eigen models in the context of a four-letter alphabet. The fourth and final chapter studies finite population effects, both in the presence and in the absence of horizontal gene transfer.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of HTLV-1 Cell-to-Cell Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Gross, Christine; Thoma-Kress, Andrea K.

    2016-01-01

    The tumorvirus human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a member of the delta-retrovirus family, is transmitted via cell-containing body fluids such as blood products, semen, and breast milk. In vivo, HTLV-1 preferentially infects CD4+ T-cells, and to a lesser extent, CD8+ T-cells, dendritic cells, and monocytes. Efficient infection of CD4+ T-cells requires cell-cell contacts while cell-free virus transmission is inefficient. Two types of cell-cell contacts have been described to be critical for HTLV-1 transmission, tight junctions and cellular conduits. Further, two non-exclusive mechanisms of virus transmission at cell-cell contacts have been proposed: (1) polarized budding of HTLV-1 into synaptic clefts; and (2) cell surface transfer of viral biofilms at virological synapses. In contrast to CD4+ T-cells, dendritic cells can be infected cell-free and, to a greater extent, via viral biofilms in vitro. Cell-to-cell transmission of HTLV-1 requires a coordinated action of steps in the virus infectious cycle with events in the cell-cell adhesion process; therefore, virus propagation from cell-to-cell depends on specific interactions between cellular and viral proteins. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms of HTLV-1 transmission with a focus on the HTLV-1-encoded proteins Tax and p8, their impact on host cell factors mediating cell-cell contacts, cytoskeletal remodeling, and thus, virus propagation. PMID:27005656

  12. Molecular mechanisms of Tetranychus urticae chemical adaptation in hop fields

    PubMed Central

    Piraneo, Tara G.; Bull, Jon; Morales, Mariany A.; Lavine, Laura C.; Walsh, Douglas B.; Zhu, Fang

    2015-01-01

    The two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch is a major pest that feeds on >1,100 plant species. Many perennial crops including hop (Humulus lupulus) are routinely plagued by T. urticae infestations. Hop is a specialty crop in Pacific Northwest states, where 99% of all U.S. hops are produced. To suppress T. urticae, growers often apply various acaricides. Unfortunately T. urticae has been documented to quickly develop resistance to these acaricides which directly cause control failures. Here, we investigated resistance ratios and distribution of multiple resistance-associated mutations in field collected T. urticae samples compared with a susceptible population. Our research revealed that a mutation in the cytochrome b gene (G126S) in 35% tested T. urticae populations and a mutation in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene (F1538I) in 66.7% populations may contribute resistance to bifenazate and bifenthrin, respectively. No mutations were detected in Glutamate-gated chloride channel subunits tested, suggesting target site insensitivity may not be important in our hop T. urticae resistance to abamectin. However, P450-mediated detoxification was observed and is a putative mechanism for abamectin resistance. Molecular mechanisms of T. urticae chemical adaptation in hopyards is imperative new information that will help growers develop effective and sustainable management strategies. PMID:26621458

  13. Molecular mechanisms of CRISPR-mediated microbial immunity.

    PubMed

    Gasiunas, Giedrius; Sinkunas, Tomas; Siksnys, Virginijus

    2014-02-01

    Bacteriophages (phages) infect bacteria in order to replicate and burst out of the host, killing the cell, when reproduction is completed. Thus, from a bacterial perspective, phages pose a persistent lethal threat to bacterial populations. Not surprisingly, bacteria evolved multiple defense barriers to interfere with nearly every step of phage life cycles. Phages respond to this selection pressure by counter-evolving their genomes to evade bacterial resistance. The antagonistic interaction between bacteria and rapidly diversifying viruses promotes the evolution and dissemination of bacteriophage-resistance mechanisms in bacteria. Recently, an adaptive microbial immune system, named clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and which provides acquired immunity against viruses and plasmids, has been identified. Unlike the restriction–modification anti-phage barrier that subjects to cleavage any foreign DNA lacking a protective methyl-tag in the target site, the CRISPR–Cas systems are invader-specific, adaptive, and heritable. In this review, we focus on the molecular mechanisms of interference/immunity provided by different CRISPR–Cas systems. PMID:23959171

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Study of Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Pathogenesis of Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases, using Psoriasis As a Model

    PubMed Central

    Sobolev, V.V.; Abdeev, R.M.; Zolotarenko, A.D.; Nikolaev, A.A.; Sarkisova, M.K.; Sautin, M.E.; Ishkin, A.A.; Piruzyan, An.L.; Ilyina, S.A.; Korsunskaya, I.M.; Rahimova, O.Y.; Bruskin, S.A.

    2009-01-01

    Psoriasis was used as a model to analyze the pathogenetic pathways of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, and the results of bioinformatic, molecular-genetic and proteomic studies are provided. Cell mechanisms, common for the pathogenesis of psoriasis, as well as Crohn's disease, are identified. New approaches for immune-mediated diseases are discussed. PMID:22649625

  16. Molecular and genetic ecotoxicologic approaches to aquatic environmental bioreporting.

    PubMed Central

    Beaty, B J; Black, W C; Carlson, J O; Clements, W H; DuTeau, N; Harrahy, E; Nuckols, J; Kenneth, E; Olson, K E; Rayms-Keller, A

    1998-01-01

    Molecular and population genetic ecotoxicologic approaches are being developed for the utilization of arthropods as bioreporters of heavy metal mixtures in the environment. The explosion of knowledge in molecular biology, molecular genetics, and biotechnology provides an unparalleled opportunity to use arthropods as bioreporter organisms. Interspecific differences in aquatic arthropod populations have been previously demonstrated in response to heavy metal insult in the Arkansas River (AR) California Gulch Superfund site (CGSS). Population genetic analyses were conducted on the mayfly Baetis tricaudatus. Genetic polymorphisms were detected in polymerase chain reaction amplified 16S mitochondrial rDNA (a selectively neutral gene) of B tricaudatus using single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis. Genetic differences may have resulted from impediments to gene flow in the population caused by mortality arising from exposure to heavy metal mixture pollution. In laboratory studies a candidate metal-responsive mucinlike gene, which is metal and dose specific, has been identified in Chironomus tentans and other potential AR-CGSS bioreporter species. Population genetic analyses using the mucinlike gene may provide insight into the role of this selectable gene in determining the breeding structure of B. tricaudatus in the AR-CGSS and may provide mechanistic insight into determinants of aquatic arthropod response to heavy metal insult. Metal-responsive (MR) genes and regulatory sequences are being isolated, characterized, and assayed for differential gene expression in response to heavy metal mixture pollution in the AR-CGSS. Identified promoter sequences can then be engineered into previously developed MR constructs to provide sensitive in vitro assays for environmental bioreporting of heavy metal mixtures. The results of the population genetic studies are being entered into an AR geographic information system that contains substantial biological, chemical, and

  17. Novel Molecular Imaging Approaches to Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Risk Stratification.

    PubMed

    Toczek, Jakub; Meadows, Judith L; Sadeghi, Mehran M

    2016-01-01

    Selection of patients for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is currently based on aneurysm size, growth rate, and symptoms. Molecular imaging of biological processes associated with aneurysm growth and rupture, for example, inflammation and matrix remodeling, could improve patient risk stratification and lead to a reduction in abdominal aortic aneurysm morbidity and mortality. (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide magnetic resonance imaging are 2 novel approaches to abdominal aortic aneurysm imaging evaluated in clinical trials. A variety of other tracers, including those that target inflammatory cells and proteolytic enzymes (eg, integrin αvβ3 and matrix metalloproteinases), have proven effective in preclinical models of abdominal aortic aneurysm and show great potential for clinical translation. PMID:26763279

  18. Ab initio investigation of benzene clusters: Molecular tailoring approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadevi, A. Subha; Rahalkar, Anuja P.; Gadre, Shridhar R.; Sastry, G. Narahari

    2010-10-01

    An exhaustive study on the clusters of benzene (Bz)n, n =2-8, at MP2/6-31++G∗∗ level of theory is reported. The relative strengths of CH-π and π-π interactions in these aggregates are examined, which eventually govern the pattern of cluster formation. A linear scaling method, viz., molecular tailoring approach (MTA), is efficiently employed for studying the energetics and growth patterns of benzene clusters consisting up to eight benzene (Bz) units. Accuracy of MTA-based calculations is appraised by performing the corresponding standard calculations wherever possible, i.e., up to tetramers. For benzene tetramers, the error introduced in energy is of the order of 0.1 mH (˜0.06 kcal/mol). Although for higher clusters the error may build up, further corrections based on many-body interaction energy analysis substantially reduce the error in the MTA-estimate. This is demonstrated for a prototypical case of benzene hexamer. A systematic way of building up a cluster of n monomers (n-mer) which employs molecular electrostatic potential of an (n -1)-mer is illustrated. The trends obtained using MTA method are essentially identical to those of the standard methods in terms of structure and energy. In summary, this study clearly brings out the possibility of effecting such large calculations, which are not possible conventionally, by the use of MTA without a significant loss of accuracy.

  19. Rapid Molecular Identification of Human Taeniid Cestodes by Pyrosequencing Approach

    PubMed Central

    Thanchomnang, Tongjit; Tantrawatpan, Chairat; Intapan, Pewpan M.; Sanpool, Oranuch; Janwan, Penchom; Lulitanond, Viraphong; Tourtip, Somjintana; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Maleewong, Wanchai

    2014-01-01

    Taenia saginata, T. solium, and T. asiatica are causative agents of taeniasis in humans. The difficulty of morphological identification of human taeniids can lead to misdiagnosis or confusion. To overcome this problem, several molecular methods have been developed, but use of these tends to be time-consuming. Here, a rapid and high-throughput pyrosequencing approach was developed for the identification of three human taeniids originating from various countries. Primers targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of the three Taenia species were designed. Variations in a 26-nucleotide target region were used for identification. The reproducibility and accuracy of the pyrosequencing technology was confirmed by Sanger sequencing. This technique will be a valuable tool to distinguish between sympatric human taeniids that occur in Thailand, Asia and Pacific countries. This method could potentially be used for the molecular identification of the taeniid species that might be associated with suspicious cysts and lesions, or cyst residues in humans or livestock at the slaughterhouse. PMID:24945530

  20. Rapid molecular identification of human taeniid cestodes by pyrosequencing approach.

    PubMed

    Thanchomnang, Tongjit; Tantrawatpan, Chairat; Intapan, Pewpan M; Sanpool, Oranuch; Janwan, Penchom; Lulitanond, Viraphong; Tourtip, Somjintana; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Maleewong, Wanchai

    2014-01-01

    Taenia saginata, T. solium, and T. asiatica are causative agents of taeniasis in humans. The difficulty of morphological identification of human taeniids can lead to misdiagnosis or confusion. To overcome this problem, several molecular methods have been developed, but use of these tends to be time-consuming. Here, a rapid and high-throughput pyrosequencing approach was developed for the identification of three human taeniids originating from various countries. Primers targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of the three Taenia species were designed. Variations in a 26-nucleotide target region were used for identification. The reproducibility and accuracy of the pyrosequencing technology was confirmed by Sanger sequencing. This technique will be a valuable tool to distinguish between sympatric human taeniids that occur in Thailand, Asia and Pacific countries. This method could potentially be used for the molecular identification of the taeniid species that might be associated with suspicious cysts and lesions, or cyst residues in humans or livestock at the slaughterhouse. PMID:24945530