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Sample records for neonicotinoids structural insights

  1. Imidacloprid and thiacloprid neonicotinoids bind more favourably to cockroach than to honeybee α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: insights from computational studies.

    PubMed

    Selvam, Balaji; Graton, Jérôme; Laurent, Adèle D; Alamiddine, Zakaria; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Lebreton, Jacques; Coqueret, Olivier; Olivier, Christophe; Thany, Steeve H; Le Questel, Jean-Yves

    2015-02-01

    The binding interactions of two neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMI) and thiacloprid (THI) with the extracellular domains of cockroach and honeybee α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in an homomeric receptor have been studied through docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The binding mode predicted for the two neonicotinoids is validated through the good agreement observed between the theoretical results with the crystal structures of the corresponding complexes with Ac-AChBP, the recognized structural surrogate for insects nAChR extracellular ligand binding domain. The binding site of the two insect α6 receptors differs by only one residue of loop D, a serine residue (Ser83) in cockroach being replaced by a lysine residue (Lys108) in honeybee. The docking results show very close interactions for the two neonicotinoids with both α6 nAChR models, in correspondence to the trends observed in the experimental neonicotinoid-Ac-AChBP complexes. However, the docking parameters (scores and energies) are not significantly different between the two insect α6 nAChRs to draw clear conclusions. The MD results bring distinct trends. The analysis of the average interaction energies in the two insects α6 nAChRs shows indeed better affinity of neonicotinoids bound to α6 cockroach compared to honeybee nAChR. This preference is explained by tighter contacts with aromatic residues (Trp and Tyr) of the binding pocket. Interestingly, the non-conserved residue Lys108 of loop D of α6 honeybee nAChR interacts through van der Waals contacts with neonicotinoids, which appear more favourable than the direct or water mediated hydrogen-bond interaction between the OH group of Ser83 of α6 cockroach nAChR and the electronegative terminal group of the two neonicotinoids (nitro in IMI and cyano in THI). Finally, in both insects nAChRs, THI is consistently found to bind more favourably than IMI. PMID:25424654

  2. Structural features of phenoxycarbonylimino neonicotinoids acting at the insect nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Ikuya; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Miyazu, Nozomi; Kushibiki, Gohito; Noda, Kumiko; Hasebe, Yasunori; Durkin, Kathleen A; Miyake, Taiji; Kagabu, Shinzo

    2010-10-01

    Substituted-phenoxycarbonylimino neonicotinoid ligands with an electron-donating group showed significantly higher affinity to the insect nicotinic receptor relative to that of the analogue with an electron-withdrawing substituent, thereby establishing in silico binding site interaction model featuring that the phenoxy ring of neonicotinoids and the receptor loop D tryptophan indole plane form a face-to-edge aromatic interaction. PMID:20729079

  3. Atomic interactions of neonicotinoid agonists with AChBP: Molecular recognition of the distinctive electronegative pharmacophore

    SciTech Connect

    Talley, Todd T.; Harel, Michal; Hibbs, Ryan E.; Radi, Zoran; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E.; Taylor, Palmer

    2008-07-28

    Acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBPs) from mollusks are suitable structural and functional surrogates of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors when combined with transmembrane spans of the nicotinic receptor. These proteins assemble as a pentamer with identical ACh binding sites at the subunit interfaces and show ligand specificities resembling those of the nicotinic receptor for agonists and antagonists. A subset of ligands, termed the neonicotinoids, exhibit specificity for insect nicotinic receptors and selective toxicity as insecticides. AChBPs are of neither mammalian nor insect origin and exhibit a distinctive pattern of selectivity for the neonicotinoid ligands. We define here the binding orientation and determinants of differential molecular recognition for the neonicotinoids and classical nicotinoids by estimates of kinetic and equilibrium binding parameters and crystallographic analysis. Neonicotinoid complex formation is rapid and accompanied by quenching of the AChBP tryptophan fluorescence. Comparisons of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid and thiacloprid in the binding site from Aplysia californica AChBP at 2.48 and 1.94 {angstrom} in resolution reveal a single conformation of the bound ligands with four of the five sites occupied in the pentameric crystal structure. The neonicotinoid electronegative pharmacophore is nestled in an inverted direction compared with the nicotinoid cationic functionality at the subunit interfacial binding pocket. Characteristic of several agonists, loop C largely envelops the ligand, positioning aromatic side chains to interact optimally with conjugated and hydrophobic regions of the neonicotinoid. This template defines the association of interacting amino acids and their energetic contributions to the distinctive interactions of neonicotinoids.

  4. Functional Insights from Structural Genomics

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Structural Insight into Proteorhodopsin Oligomers

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Katherine M.; Voska, Jeda; Kinnebrew, Maia; Pavlova, Anna; Junk, Matthias J.N.; Han, Songi

    2013-01-01

    Oligomerization has important functional implications for many membrane proteins. However, obtaining structural insight into oligomeric assemblies is challenging, as they are large and resist crystallization. We focus on proteorhodopsin (PR), a protein with seven transmembrane α-helices that was found to assemble to hexamers in densely packed lipid membrane, or detergent-solubilized environments. Yet, the structural organization and the subunit interface of these PR oligomers were unknown. We used site-directed spin-labeling together with electron spin-resonance lineshape and Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization analysis to construct a model for the specific orientation of PR subunits within the hexameric complex. We found intersubunit distances to average 16 Å between neighboring 55 residues and that residues 177 are >20 Å apart from each other. These distance constraints show that PR has a defined and radial orientation within a hexamer, with the 55-site of the A-B loop facing the hexamer core and the 177-site of the E-F loop facing the hexamer exterior. Dynamic nuclear polarization measurements of the local solvent dynamics complement the electron spin-resonance-based distance analysis, by resolving whether protein surfaces at positions 55, 58, and 177 are exposed to solvent, or covered by protein-protein or protein-detergent contacts. PMID:23442869

  6. Neonicotinoids Interfere with Specific Components of Navigation in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Johannes; Müller, Teresa; Spatz, Anne-Kathrin; Greggers, Uwe; Grünewald, Bernd; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-01-01

    Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection. PMID:24646521

  7. Overview of the status and global strategy for neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Jeschke, Peter; Nauen, Ralf; Schindler, Michael; Elbert, Alfred

    2011-04-13

    In recent years, neonicotinoid insecticides have been the fastest growing class of insecticides in modern crop protection, with widespread use against a broad spectrum of sucking and certain chewing pests. As potent agonists, they act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), their molecular target site. The discovery of neonicotinoids can be considered as a milestone in insecticide research and greatly facilitates the understanding of functional properties of the insect nAChRs. In this context, the crystal structure of the acetylcholine-binding proteins provides the theoretical foundation for designing homology models of the corresponding receptor ligand binding domains within the nAChRs, a useful basis for virtual screening of chemical libraries and rational design of novel insecticides acting on these practically relevant channels. Because of the relatively low risk for nontarget organisms and the environment, the high target specificity of neonicotinoid insecticides, and their versatility in application methods, this important class has to be maintained globally for integrated pest management strategies and insect resistance management programs. Innovative concepts for life-cycle management, jointly with the introduction of generic products, have made neonicotinoids the most important chemical class for the insecticide market. PMID:20565065

  8. Biological Monitoring of Human Exposure to Neonicotinoids Using Urine Samples, and Neonicotinoid Excretion Kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Harada, Kouji H.; Tanaka, Keiko; Sakamoto, Hiroko; Imanaka, Mie; Niisoe, Tamon; Hitomi, Toshiaki; Kobayashi, Hatasu; Okuda, Hiroko; Inoue, Sumiko; Kusakawa, Koichi; Oshima, Masayo; Watanabe, Kiyohiko; Yasojima, Makoto; Takasuga, Takumi; Koizumi, Akio

    2016-01-01

    Background Neonicotinoids, which are novel pesticides, have entered into usage around the world because they are selectively toxic to arthropods and relatively non-toxic to vertebrates. It has been suggested that several neonicotinoids cause neurodevelopmental toxicity in mammals. The aim was to establish the relationship between oral intake and urinary excretion of neonicotinoids by humans to facilitate biological monitoring, and to estimate dietary neonicotinoid intakes by Japanese adults. Methodology/Principal Findings Deuterium-labeled neonicotinoid (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid) microdoses were orally ingested by nine healthy adults, and 24 h pooled urine samples were collected for 4 consecutive days after dosing. The excretion kinetics were modeled using one- and two-compartment models, then validated in a non-deuterium-labeled neonicotinoid microdose study involving 12 healthy adults. Increased urinary concentrations of labeled neonicotinoids were observed after dosing. Clothianidin was recovered unchanged within 3 days, and most dinotefuran was recovered unchanged within 1 day. Around 10% of the imidacloprid dose was excreted unchanged. Most of the acetamiprid was metabolized to desmethyl-acetamiprid. Spot urine samples from 373 Japanese adults were analyzed for neonicotinoids, and daily intakes were estimated. The estimated average daily intake of these neonicotinoids was 0.53–3.66 μg/day. The highest intake of any of the neonicotinoids in the study population was 64.5 μg/day for dinotefuran, and this was <1% of the acceptable daily intake. PMID:26731104

  9. Neonicotinoid insecticides: highlights of a symposium on strategic molecular designs.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E

    2011-04-13

    Neonicotinoids are the newest of the five major classes of insecticides (the others are chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphorus compounds, methylcarbamates, and pyrethroids), and they make up approximately one-fourth of the world insecticide market. Nithiazine was the lead compound from Shell Development Co. in California later optimized by Shinzo Kagabu of Nihon Tokushu Noyaku Seizo to increase the potency and photostability, resulting in imidacloprid and thiacloprid. These discoveries are the basis for the International Award for Research in Agrochemicals of the American Chemical Society presented in 2010 to Professor Shinzo Kagabu. Five other neonicotinoids were added by others for the current set of seven commercial compounds. This symposium considers the progress in discovery and development of novel chemotype nicotinic insecticides with enhanced effectiveness, unique biological properties, and maximal safety. Chemorational approaches considered include physicochemical properties, metabolic activation and detoxification, and chemical and structural biology aspects potentially facilitating receptor structure-guided insecticide design. PMID:21077684

  10. Structural insights into ribosome translocation.

    PubMed

    Ling, Clarence; Ermolenko, Dmitri N

    2016-09-01

    During protein synthesis, tRNA and mRNA are translocated from the A to P to E sites of the ribosome thus enabling the ribosome to translate one codon of mRNA after the other. Ribosome translocation along mRNA is induced by the universally conserved ribosome GTPase, elongation factor G (EF-G) in bacteria and elongation factor 2 (EF-2) in eukaryotes. Recent structural and single-molecule studies revealed that tRNA and mRNA translocation within the ribosome is accompanied by cyclic forward and reverse rotations between the large and small ribosomal subunits parallel to the plane of the intersubunit interface. In addition, during ribosome translocation, the 'head' domain of small ribosomal subunit undergoes forward- and back-swiveling motions relative to the rest of the small ribosomal subunit around the axis that is orthogonal to the axis of intersubunit rotation. tRNA/mRNA translocation is also coupled to the docking of domain IV of EF-G into the A site of the small ribosomal subunit that converts the thermally driven motions of the ribosome and tRNA into the forward translocation of tRNA/mRNA inside the ribosome. Despite recent and enormous progress made in the understanding of the molecular mechanism of ribosome translocation, the sequence of structural rearrangements of the ribosome, EF-G and tRNA during translocation is still not fully established and awaits further investigation. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:620-636. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1354 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27117863

  11. New Biological Insights from Better Structure Models.

    PubMed

    Touw, Wouter G; Joosten, Robbie P; Vriend, Gert

    2016-03-27

    Structure validation is a key component of all steps in the structure determination process, from structure building, refinement, deposition, and evaluation all the way to post-deposition optimisation of structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) by re-refinement and re-building. Today, many aspects of protein structures are understood better than 10years ago, and combined with improved software and more computing power, the automated PDB_REDO procedure can significantly improve about 85% of all X-ray structures ever deposited in the PDB. We review structure validation, structure improvement, and a series of validation resources and facilities that give access to improved PDB files and to reports on the quality of the original and the improved structures. Post-deposition optimisation generally leads to improved protein structures and a series of examples will illustrate how that, in turn, leads to improved or even novel biological insights. PMID:26869101

  12. Structural insights into microtubule doublet interactions inaxonemes

    SciTech Connect

    Downing, Kenneth H.; Sui, Haixin

    2007-06-06

    Coordinated sliding of microtubule doublets, driven by dynein motors, produces periodic beating of the axoneme. Recent structural studies of the axoneme have used cryo-electron tomography to reveal new details of the interactions among some of the multitude of proteins that form the axoneme and regulate its movement. Connections among the several sets of dyneins, in particular, suggest ways in which their actions may be coordinated. Study of the molecular architecture of isolated doublets has provided a structural basis for understanding the doublet's mechanical properties that are related to the bending of the axoneme, and has also offered insight into its potential role in the mechanism of dynein activity regulation.

  13. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  14. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Sébastien C; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Radcliffe, Amy; Stout, Jane C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  15. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies1-3. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants4. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure4,5. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly-used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO) in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX, and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees’ mouthparts nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a significant hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  16. Structural insights into eukaryotic aquaporin regulation.

    PubMed

    Törnroth-Horsefield, Susanna; Hedfalk, Kristina; Fischer, Gerhard; Lindkvist-Petersson, Karin; Neutze, Richard

    2010-06-18

    Aquaporin-mediated water transport across cellular membranes is an ancient, ubiquitous mechanism within cell biology. This family of integral membrane proteins includes both water selective pores (aquaporins) and transport facilitators of other small molecules such as glycerol and urea (aquaglyceroporins). Eukaryotic aquaporins are frequently regulated post-translationally by gating, whereby the rate of flux through the channel is controlled, or by trafficking, whereby aquaporins are shuttled from intracellular storage sites to the plasma membrane. A number of high-resolution X-ray structures of eukaryotic aquaporins have recently been reported and the new structural insights into gating and trafficking that emerged from these studies are described. Basic structural themes reoccur, illustrating how the problem of regulation in diverse biological contexts builds upon a limited set of possible solutions. PMID:20416297

  17. Structural and mechanistic insights on nitrate reductases.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Catarina; Romão, Maria João

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate reductases (NR) belong to the DMSO reductase family of Mo-containing enzymes and perform key roles in the metabolism of the nitrogen cycle, reducing nitrate to nitrite. Due to variable cell location, structure and function, they have been divided into periplasmic (Nap), cytoplasmic, and membrane-bound (Nar) nitrate reductases. The first crystal structure obtained for a NR was that of the monomeric NapA from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans in 1999. Since then several new crystal structures were solved providing novel insights that led to the revision of the commonly accepted reaction mechanism for periplasmic nitrate reductases. The two crystal structures available for the NarGHI protein are from the same organism (Escherichia coli) and the combination with electrochemical and spectroscopic studies also lead to the proposal of a reaction mechanism for this group of enzymes. Here we present an overview on the current advances in structural and functional aspects of bacterial nitrate reductases, focusing on the mechanistic implications drawn from the crystallographic data. PMID:26362109

  18. Neonicotinoids in the Canadian aquatic environment: a literature review on current use products with a focus on fate, exposure, and biological effects.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J C; Dubetz, C; Palace, V P

    2015-02-01

    Developed to replace organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, neonicotinoids are structurally similar to nicotine. The three main neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, are being re-evaluated by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). An important aspect of the re-evaluation is the potential for effects in non-target organisms, including aquatic organisms. Leaching into surface waters is one of the major concerns surrounding extensive use of neonicotinoids, especially in close proximity to water bodies. The PMRA has classified IMI as 'persistent' with a 'high' leaching potential. Globally, neonicotinoids have been detected in a variety of water bodies, typically at concentrations in the low μg/L range. While IMI has been included in some monitoring exercises, there are currently very few published data for the presence of CLO and THM in Canadian water bodies. The majority of neonicotinoid toxicity studies have been conducted with IMI due to its longer presence on the market and high prevalence of use. Aquatic insects are particularly vulnerable to neonicotinoids and chronic toxicity has been observed at concentrations of IMI below 1 μg/L. Acute toxicity has been reported at concentrations below 20 μg/L for the most sensitive species, including Hyalella azteca, ostracods, and Chironomus riparius. Fish, algae, amphibians, and molluscs are relatively insensitive to IMI. However, the biological effects of THM and CLO have not been as well explored. The Canadian interim water quality guideline for IMI is 0.23 μg/L, but there is currently insufficient use, fate, and toxicological information available to establish guidelines for CLO and THM. Based on concentrations of neonicotinoids reported in surface waters in Canada and globally, there is potential for aquatic invertebrates to be negatively impacted by neonicotinoids. Therefore, it is necessary to address knowledge gaps to inform decisions around guidelines

  19. Solid-phase purification and extraction for the determination of trace neonicotinoid pesticides in tea infusion.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Minglu; Chen, Hongping; Zhu, Li; Wang, Chuanpi; Ma, Guicen; Liu, Xin

    2016-03-01

    An analytical protocol that includes solid-phase purification and extraction is successfully developed for the determination of trace neonicotinoid pesticides in tea infusion. The method consists of a purification on amino-functionalized mesoporous silica SBA-15 followed by a solid-phase extraction based on graphene oxide before ultra high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Parameters that significantly affected the extraction of the neonicotinoids onto graphene oxide, such as the amount of adsorbent, extraction time, pH, elution solvent, etc. were optimized. The amino-functionalized mesoporous silica SBA-15 has been proved to be an efficient adsorbent for removal of polyphenols especially catechins from tea infusion. Graphene oxide exhibits a very rapid adsorption rate (within 10 min) and high adsorption capacities for neonicotinoids at low initial concentration (0.01-0.5 mg/L). The analysis method gave a good determination coefficient (r(2) > 0.99) for each pesticide and high recoveries in the range of 72.2-95.0%. Powder X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and UV-vis spectroscopy were utilized to identify the structure and morphology of graphene oxide. The adsorption driving force of neonicotinoids on graphene oxide mainly depends on π-π electron donor-acceptor interaction and electrostatic interaction. PMID:26639124

  20. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Geoffrey R.; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  1. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  2. Potential exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoid insecticides from the use of insecticide seed treatments in the mid-southern United States.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Scott D; Lorenz, Gus M; Catchot, Angus L; Gore, Jeff; Cook, Don; Skinner, John; Mueller, Thomas C; Johnson, Donald R; Zawislak, Jon; Barber, Jonathan

    2014-08-19

    Research was done during 2012 to evaluate the potential exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoid insecticides used as seed treatments on corn, cotton, and soybean. Samples were collected from small plot evaluations of seed treatments and from commercial fields in agricultural production areas in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In total, 560 samples were analyzed for concentrations of clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and their metabolites. These included pollen from corn and cotton, nectar from cotton, flowers from soybean, honey bees, Apis mellifera L., and pollen carried by foragers returning to hives, preplanting and in-season soil samples, and wild flowers adjacent to recently planted fields. Neonicotinoid insecticides were detected at a level of 1 ng/g or above in 23% of wild flower samples around recently planted fields, with an average detection level of about 10 ng/g. We detected neonicotinoid insecticides in the soil of production fields prior to planting at an average concentration of about 10 ng/g, and over 80% of the samples having some insecticide present. Only 5% of foraging honey bees tested positive for the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides, and there was only one trace detection (< 1 ng/g) in pollen being carried by those bees. Soybean flowers, cotton pollen, and cotton nectar contained little or no neonicotinoids resulting from insecticide seed treatments. Average levels of neonicotinoid insecticides in corn pollen ranged from less than 1 to 6 ng/g. The highest neonicotinoid concentrations were found in soil collected during early flowering from insecticide seed treatment trials. However, these levels were generally not well correlated with neonicotinoid concentrations in flowers, pollen, or nectar. Concentrations in flowering structures were well below defined levels of concern thought to cause acute mortality in honey bees. The potential implications of our findings are discussed. PMID:25010122

  3. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fairbrother, Anne; Purdy, John; Anderson, Troy; Fell, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an important pollinator of agricultural crops. Since 2006, when unexpectedly high colony losses were first reported, articles have proliferated in the popular press suggesting a range of possible causes and raising alarm over the general decline of bees. Suggested causes include pesticides, genetically modified crops, habitat fragmentation, and introduced diseases and parasites. Scientists have concluded that multiple factors in various combinations—including mites, fungi, viruses, and pesticides, as well as other factors such as reduction in forage, poor nutrition, and queen failure—are the most probable cause of elevated colony loss rates. Investigators and regulators continue to focus on the possible role that insecticides, particularly the neonicotinoids, may play in honeybee health. Neonicotinoid insecticides are insect neurotoxicants with desirable features such as broad-spectrum activity, low application rates, low mammalian toxicity, upward systemic movement in plants, and versatile application methods. Their distribution throughout the plant, including pollen, nectar, and guttation fluids, poses particular concern for exposure to pollinators. The authors describe how neonicotinoids interact with the nervous system of honeybees and affect individual honeybees in laboratory situations. Because honeybees are social insects, colony effects in semifield and field studies are discussed. The authors conclude with a review of current and proposed guidance in the United States and Europe for assessing the risks of pesticides to honeybees. PMID:24692231

  4. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees.

    PubMed

    Fairbrother, Anne; Purdy, John; Anderson, Troy; Fell, Richard

    2014-04-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an important pollinator of agricultural crops. Since 2006, when unexpectedly high colony losses were first reported, articles have proliferated in the popular press suggesting a range of possible causes and raising alarm over the general decline of bees. Suggested causes include pesticides, genetically modified crops, habitat fragmentation, and introduced diseases and parasites. Scientists have concluded that multiple factors in various combinations-including mites, fungi, viruses, and pesticides, as well as other factors such as reduction in forage, poor nutrition, and queen failure-are the most probable cause of elevated colony loss rates. Investigators and regulators continue to focus on the possible role that insecticides, particularly the neonicotinoids, may play in honeybee health. Neonicotinoid insecticides are insect neurotoxicants with desirable features such as broad-spectrum activity, low application rates, low mammalian toxicity, upward systemic movement in plants, and versatile application methods. Their distribution throughout the plant, including pollen, nectar, and guttation fluids, poses particular concern for exposure to pollinators. The authors describe how neonicotinoids interact with the nervous system of honeybees and affect individual honeybees in laboratory situations. Because honeybees are social insects, colony effects in semifield and field studies are discussed. The authors conclude with a review of current and proposed guidance in the United States and Europe for assessing the risks of pesticides to honeybees. PMID:24692231

  5. Environmental fate and exposure; neonicotinoids and fipronil.

    PubMed

    Bonmatin, J-M; Giorio, C; Girolami, V; Goulson, D; Kreutzweiser, D P; Krupke, C; Liess, M; Long, E; Marzaro, M; Mitchell, E A D; Noome, D A; Simon-Delso, N; Tapparo, A

    2015-01-01

    Systemic insecticides are applied to plants using a wide variety of methods, ranging from foliar sprays to seed treatments and soil drenches. Neonicotinoids and fipronil are among the most widely used pesticides in the world. Their popularity is largely due to their high toxicity to invertebrates, the ease and flexibility with which they can be applied, their long persistence, and their systemic nature, which ensures that they spread to all parts of the target crop. However, these properties also increase the probability of environmental contamination and exposure of nontarget organisms. Environmental contamination occurs via a number of routes including dust generated during drilling of dressed seeds, contamination and accumulation in arable soils and soil water, runoff into waterways, and uptake of pesticides by nontarget plants via their roots or dust deposition on leaves. Persistence in soils, waterways, and nontarget plants is variable but can be prolonged; for example, the half-lives of neonicotinoids in soils can exceed 1,000 days, so they can accumulate when used repeatedly. Similarly, they can persist in woody plants for periods exceeding 1 year. Breakdown results in toxic metabolites, though concentrations of these in the environment are rarely measured. Overall, there is strong evidence that soils, waterways, and plants in agricultural environments and neighboring areas are contaminated with variable levels of neonicotinoids or fipronil mixtures and their metabolites (soil, parts per billion (ppb)-parts per million (ppm) range; water, parts per trillion (ppt)-ppb range; and plants, ppb-ppm range). This provides multiple routes for chronic (and acute in some cases) exposure of nontarget animals. For example, pollinators are exposed through direct contact with dust during drilling; consumption of pollen, nectar, or guttation drops from seed-treated crops, water, and consumption of contaminated pollen and nectar from wild flowers and trees growing near

  6. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of neonicotinoid pesticides and 6-chloronicotinic acid in environmental water with direct aqueous injection.

    PubMed

    Hao, Chunyan; Noestheden, Matthew R; Zhao, Xiaoming; Morse, David

    2016-06-21

    An efficient, high throughput and cost-effective direct aqueous injection approach for the analysis of neonicotinoid pesticides and a common metabolite in environmental water has been described here. The method determines eight neonicotinoid pesticides (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, flonicamid, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam) and 6-chloronicotinic acid (a common metabolite of the first generation neonicotinoids, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, nitenpyram and thiacloprid) without any sample enrichment/cleanup steps. The method detection limits are 2-8 ng/L for the neonicotinoids and 93 ng/L for 6-chloronicotinic acid. The performance of the QTRAP(®)5500 mass spectrometer was compared against a 4000QTRAP(®), and a QTRAP(®)6500, to provide insights for future method transfer among different generations of instrumentations. Critical mass spectrometric parameters such as collision energy were quite consistent among the three instruments evaluated. However, increased chemical background levels for some target compounds on the more sensitive instruments were observed. The application of differential ion mobility spectrometry combined with tandem mass spectrometry was demonstrated to have great potential in reducing chemical background and/or isobaric interferences inherited in sample matrices. This ISO 17025 accredited method was employed to quantitate neonicotinoids in Ontario stream water samples. Good correlation for analytical results of this direct aqueous injection approach and a previously published solid phase extraction approach warrant high confidence in data quality. PMID:27188316

  7. Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies?

    PubMed Central

    Bunnefeld, Nils; Wilson, John McVean; Botham, Marc S.; Brereton, Tom M.; Fox, Richard; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    There has been widespread concern that neonicotinoid pesticides may be adversely impacting wild and managed bees for some years, but recently attention has shifted to examining broader effects they may be having on biodiversity. For example in the Netherlands, declines in insectivorous birds are positively associated with levels of neonicotinoid pollution in surface water. In England, the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009 despite both a doubling in conservation spending in the UK, and predictions that climate change should benefit most species. Here we build models of the UK population indices from 1985 to 2012 for 17 widespread butterfly species that commonly occur at farmland sites. Of the factors we tested, three correlated significantly with butterfly populations. Summer temperature and the index for a species the previous year are both positively associated with butterfly indices. By contrast, the number of hectares of farmland where neonicotinoid pesticides are used is negatively associated with butterfly indices. Indices for 15 of the 17 species show negative associations with neonicotinoid usage. The declines in butterflies have largely occurred in England, where neonicotinoid usage is at its highest. In Scotland, where neonicotinoid usage is comparatively low, butterfly numbers are stable. Further research is needed urgently to show whether there is a causal link between neonicotinoid usage and the decline of widespread butterflies or whether it simply represents a proxy for other environmental factors associated with intensive agriculture. PMID:26623186

  8. Insight into nucleon structure from generalized parton distributions

    SciTech Connect

    J.W. Negele; R.C. Brower; P. Dreher; R. Edwards; G. Fleming; Ph. Hagler; Th. Lippert; A.V.Pochinsky; D.B. Renner; D. Richards; K. Schilling; W. Schroers

    2004-03-01

    The lowest three moments of generalized parton distributions are calculated in full QCD and provide new insight into the behavior of nucleon electromagnetic form factors, the origin of the nucleon spin, and the transverse structure of the nucleon.

  9. Specific Synergist for Neonicotinoid Insecticides: IPPA08, a cis-Neonicotinoid Compound with a Unique Oxabridged Substructure.

    PubMed

    Bao, Haibo; Shao, Xusheng; Zhang, Yixi; Deng, Yayun; Xu, Xiaoyong; Liu, Zewen; Li, Zhong

    2016-06-29

    Insecticide synergists are key components to increase the control efficacy and reduce active ingredient use. Here, we describe a novel insecticide synergist with activity specific for insecticidal neonicotinoids. The synergist IPPA08, a cis configuration neonicotinoid compound with a unique oxabridged substructure, could increase the toxicity of most neonicotinoid insecticides belonging to the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) 4A subgroup against a range of insect species, although IPPA08 itself was almost inactive to insects at synergistic concentrations. Unfortunately, similar effects were observed on the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens), resistant to imidacloprid. IPPA08 did not show any effects on toxicity of insecticides with different targets, which made us define it as a neonicotinoid-specific synergist. Unlike most insecticide synergists, by inhibition of activities of detoxification enzymes, IPPA08 showed no effects on enzyme activities. The results revealed that IPPA08 worked as a synergist through a distinct way. Although the modulating insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs, targets of neonicotinoid insecticides) were supposed as a possible mode of action for IPPA08 as a neonicotinoid-specific synergist, direct evidence is needed in further studies. In insect pest control, IPPA08 acts as a target synergist to increase neonicotinoid toxicity and reduce the amount of neonicotinoid used. Combinations of IPPA08 and insecticidal neonicotinoids may be developed into new insecticide formulations. In summary, combining an active ingredient with a "custom" synergist appears to be a very promising approach for the development of effective new insecticide products. PMID:27281691

  10. New insights into nucleolar structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Yun Wah

    2015-01-01

    The nucleolus is a non-membrane-bound nuclear organelle found in all eukaryotes. It is the quintessential ‘RNA-seeded’ nuclear body, forming around specific chromosomal features called nucleolar organizing regions that contain arrays of ribosomal DNA. Assembly is triggered by activation of RNA polymerase I-mediated transcription and regulated in mammalian cells in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Although the nucleolus is best known for its role in coordinating ribosome biogenesis, biochemical and proteomic analyses have revealed a much wider functional complexity than previously appreciated, including roles in cell cycle regulation, DNA damage sensing and repair, pre-mRNA processing, telomere metabolism, processing of non-coding RNAs, and coordination of the cellular response to various stresses. Despite these advances, much remains to be learned about the full range of biological processes that occur within, or involve, this organelle and how its assembly/disassembly and functional reorganization in response to various stimuli are regulated. Here, we review the impact of recent studies that provide major insights into these fundamental questions, and we highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting nucleolar pathways. PMID:26097721

  11. Structural insights into ABC transporter mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Oldham, Michael L.; Davidson, Amy L.; Chen, Jue

    2010-07-27

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters utilize the energy from ATP hydrolysis to transport substances across the membrane. In recent years, crystal structures of several ABC transporters have become available. These structures show that both importers and exporters oscillate between two conformations: an inward-facing conformation with the substrate translocation pathway open to the cytoplasm and an outward-facing conformation with the translocation pathway facing the opposite side of the membrane. In this review, conformational differences found in the structures of homologous ABC transporters are analyzed to understand how alternating-access is achieved. It appears that rigid-body rotations of the transmembrane subunits, coinciding with the opening and closing of the nucleotide-binding subunits, couples ATP hydrolysis to substrate translocation.

  12. The global status of insect resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bass, Chris; Denholm, Ian; Williamson, Martin S; Nauen, Ralf

    2015-06-01

    The first neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, was launched in 1991. Today this class of insecticides comprises at least seven major compounds with a market share of more than 25% of total global insecticide sales. Neonicotinoid insecticides are highly selective agonists of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and provide farmers with invaluable, highly effective tools against some of the world's most destructive crop pests. These include sucking pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and planthoppers, and also some coleopteran, dipteran and lepidopteran species. Although many insect species are still successfully controlled by neonicotinoids, their popularity has imposed a mounting selection pressure for resistance, and in several species resistance has now reached levels that compromise the efficacy of these insecticides. Research to understand the molecular basis of neonicotinoid resistance has revealed both target-site and metabolic mechanisms conferring resistance. For target-site resistance, field-evolved mutations have only been characterized in two aphid species. Metabolic resistance appears much more common, with the enhanced expression of one or more cytochrome P450s frequently reported in resistant strains. Despite the current scale of resistance, neonicotinoids remain a major component of many pest control programmes, and resistance management strategies, based on mode of action rotation, are of crucial importance in preventing resistance becoming more widespread. In this review we summarize the current status of neonicotinoid resistance, the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved, and the implications for resistance management. PMID:26047114

  13. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    PubMed

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees. PMID:25901681

  14. Molecular Effects of Neonicotinoids in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl

    2016-04-01

    Neonicotinoids are implicated in the decline of bee populations. As agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, they disturb acetylcholine receptor signaling leading to neurotoxicity. Several behavioral studies showed the link between neonicotinoid exposure and adverse effects on foraging activity and reproduction. However, molecular effects underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here we elucidated molecular effects at environmental realistic levels of three neonicotinoids and nicotine, and compared laboratory studies to field exposures with acetamiprid. We assessed transcriptional alterations of eight selected genes in caged honey bees exposed to different concentrations of the neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloporid, and thiamethoxam, as well as nicotine. We determined transcripts of several targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α 1 and α 2 subunit, the multifunctional gene vitellogenin, immune system genes apidaecin and defensin-1, stress-related gene catalase and two genes linked to memory formation, pka and creb. Vitellogenin showed a strong increase upon neonicotinoid exposures in the laboratory and field, while creb and pka transcripts were down-regulated. The induction of vitellogenin suggests adverse effects on foraging activity, whereas creb and pka down-regulation may be implicated in decreased long-term memory formation. Transcriptional alterations occurred at environmental concentrations and provide an explanation for the molecular basis of observed adverse effects of neonicotinoids to bees. PMID:26990785

  15. The Pion cloud: Insights into hadron structure

    SciTech Connect

    A.W. Thomas

    2007-11-01

    Modern nuclear theory presents a fascinating study in contrasting approaches to the structure of hadrons and nuclei. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the treatment of the pion cloud. As this discussion really begins with Yukawa, it is entirely appropriate that this invited lecture at the Yukawa Institute in Kyoto should deal with the issue.

  16. Structural insights into the translational infidelity mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Rozov, Alexey; Demeshkina, Natalia; Westhof, Eric; Yusupov, Marat; Yusupova, Gulnara

    2015-01-01

    The decoding of mRNA on the ribosome is the least accurate process during genetic information transfer. Here we propose a unified decoding mechanism based on 11 high-resolution X-ray structures of the 70S ribosome that explains the occurrence of missense errors during translation. We determined ribosome structures in rare states where incorrect tRNAs were incorporated into the peptidyl-tRNA-binding site. These structures show that in the codon–anticodon duplex, a G·U mismatch adopts the Watson–Crick geometry, indicating a shift in the tautomeric equilibrium or ionization of the nucleobase. Additional structures with mismatches in the 70S decoding centre show that the binding of any tRNA induces identical rearrangements in the centre, which favours either isosteric or close to the Watson–Crick geometry codon–anticodon pairs. Overall, the results suggest that a mismatch escapes discrimination by preserving the shape of a Watson–Crick pair and indicate that geometric selection via tautomerism or ionization dominates the translational infidelity mechanism. PMID:26037619

  17. BK channel activation: structural and functional insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Urvi S.; Cui, Jianmin

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Insight into Amyloid Structure Using Chemical Probes

    PubMed Central

    Reinke, Ashley A.; Gestwicki, Jason E.

    2011-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the deposition of amyloids in the brain. One prominent form of amyloid is composed of repeating units of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide. Over the past decade, it has become clear that these Aβ amyloids are not homogeneous; rather, they are composed of a series of structures varying in their overall size and shape and the number of Aβ peptides they contain. Recent theories suggest that these different amyloid conformations may play distinct roles in disease, although their relative contributions are still being discovered. Here, we review how chemical probes, such as congo red, thioflavin T and their derivatives, have been powerful tools for better understanding amyloid structure and function. Moreover, we discuss how design and deployment of conformationally selective probes might be used to test emerging models of AD. PMID:21457473

  19. Managing resistance is critical to future use of Pyrethroids and Neonicotinoids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Synthetic pyrethroids and neonicotinoids are the most readily available alternatives to the organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Pyrethroids have become widely used in California, and problems with insecticide resistance and non-target impacts have already been identified. Neonicotinoids are ...

  20. Monitoring changes in bemisia tabaci susceptibility to neonicotinoid insecticides in Arizona and California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laboratory bioassays were carried out on field-collected and laboratory strains of Bemisia tabaci to evaluate relative toxicities of four neonicotinoid insecticides: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Susceptibility to all four neonicotinoids in leaf-uptake bioassays varied co...

  1. Structural Insights into Sulfite Oxidase Deficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Karakas,E.; Wilson, H.; Graf, T.; Xiang, S.; Jaramillo-Busquets, S.; Rajagopalan, K.; Kisker, C.

    2005-01-01

    Sulfite oxidase deficiency is a lethal genetic disease that results from defects either in the genes encoding proteins involved in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis or in the sulfite oxidase gene itself. Several point mutations in the sulfite oxidase gene have been identified from patients suffering from this disease worldwide. Although detailed biochemical analyses have been carried out on these mutations, no structural data could be obtained because of problems in crystallizing recombinant human and rat sulfite oxidases and the failure to clone the chicken sulfite oxidase gene. We synthesized the gene for chicken sulfite oxidase de novo, working backward from the amino acid sequence of the native chicken liver enzyme by PCR amplification of a series of 72 overlapping primers. The recombinant protein displayed the characteristic absorption spectrum of sulfite oxidase and exhibited steady state and rapid kinetic parameters comparable with those of the tissue-derived enzyme. We solved the crystal structures of the wild type and the sulfite oxidase deficiency-causing R138Q (R160Q in humans) variant of recombinant chicken sulfite oxidase in the resting and sulfate-bound forms. Significant alterations in the substrate-binding pocket were detected in the structure of the mutant, and a comparison between the wild type and mutant protein revealed that the active site residue Arg-450 adopts different conformations in the presence and absence of bound sulfate. The size of the binding pocket is thereby considerably reduced, and its position relative to the cofactor is shifted, causing an increase in the distance of the sulfur atom of the bound sulfate to the molybdenum.

  2. New insight into structural heterogeneity beneath Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.

    2007-12-01

    To know whether the Eurasian lithosphere subducts beneath Taiwan is an important issue for a better understanding of mountain building, arc magmatism and plate collision in the western Pacific region. High- resolution 3-D velocity images are estimated at depths of 0-400 km beneath Taiwan by inverting a large number of arrival times from local and teleseismic events simultaneously. We used 215,676 P-wave arrival time data from 6782 shallow and intermediate-depth earthquakes that are located in and around the Taiwan Island. We also used 12,078 P-wave arrival times that are collected from 3-componenet seismograms of 1108 teleseismic events recorded by the networks installed by Taiwan, Japan and China. Our tomographic images provide further direct geophysical evidence for the tectonic models proposed by previous studies and revealed some new features of structural heterogeneity related to the subducted Eurasian lithosphere and the subducting Philippine Sea slab. Low-velocity anomalies beneath the active volcanoes are visible in the subduction zone of Taiwan, which might caused by the collision between the subducted Eurasian plate and the subducting Philippine Sea slab. In the southern portion of Taiwan, the Eurasian lithosphere is clearly imaged as a high velocity zone with a thickness of 65-80 km and subducted down to a depth of 300 km, whilst it has not been observed beneath North Taiwan. Despite that the existence of subducted Eurasia slab beneath Taiwan has been documented by Lellamant et al. (2001), the present study is the first one to provide high-resolution image and indicate that the Eurasian lithosphere stops at the depth of 300 km beneath South Taiwan but not under North Taiwan. Meanwhile, the present tomographic results are also coherent well with the geology and with plate reconstructions in the region. The previous study proposed that the plate convergence rate is constant at about 7 cm/yr (Seno et al., 1993), it takes about 4-5 Ma for the subducted slab

  3. Neonicotinoid insecticides can serve as inadvertent insect contraceptives.

    PubMed

    Straub, Lars; Villamar-Bouza, Laura; Bruckner, Selina; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Gauthier, Laurent; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; Retschnig, Gina; Troxler, Aline; Vidondo, Beatriz; Neumann, Peter; Williams, Geoffrey R

    2016-07-27

    There is clear evidence for sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on non-target ecosystem service-providing insects. However, their possible impact on male insect reproduction is currently unknown, despite the key role of sex. Here, we show that two neonicotinoids (4.5 ppb thiamethoxam and 1.5 ppb clothianidin) significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of male honeybees (drones), Apis mellifera Drones were obtained from colonies exposed to the neonicotinoid insecticides or controls, and subsequently maintained in laboratory cages until they reached sexual maturity. While no significant effects were observed for male teneral (newly emerged adult) body mass and sperm quantity, the data clearly showed reduced drone lifespan, as well as reduced sperm viability (percentage living versus dead) and living sperm quantity by 39%. Our results demonstrate for the first time that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity, and provide a possible mechanistic explanation for managed honeybee queen failure and wild insect pollinator decline. The widespread prophylactic use of neonicotinoids may have previously overlooked inadvertent contraceptive effects on non-target insects, thereby limiting conservation efforts. PMID:27466446

  4. Neonicotinoid insecticides can serve as inadvertent insect contraceptives

    PubMed Central

    Villamar-Bouza, Laura; Bruckner, Selina; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Gauthier, Laurent; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; Retschnig, Gina; Troxler, Aline; Vidondo, Beatriz; Neumann, Peter; Williams, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    There is clear evidence for sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on non-target ecosystem service-providing insects. However, their possible impact on male insect reproduction is currently unknown, despite the key role of sex. Here, we show that two neonicotinoids (4.5 ppb thiamethoxam and 1.5 ppb clothianidin) significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of male honeybees (drones), Apis mellifera. Drones were obtained from colonies exposed to the neonicotinoid insecticides or controls, and subsequently maintained in laboratory cages until they reached sexual maturity. While no significant effects were observed for male teneral (newly emerged adult) body mass and sperm quantity, the data clearly showed reduced drone lifespan, as well as reduced sperm viability (percentage living versus dead) and living sperm quantity by 39%. Our results demonstrate for the first time that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity, and provide a possible mechanistic explanation for managed honeybee queen failure and wild insect pollinator decline. The widespread prophylactic use of neonicotinoids may have previously overlooked inadvertent contraceptive effects on non-target insects, thereby limiting conservation efforts. PMID:27466446

  5. Neonicotinoids as seed potato treatments to control wireworms.

    PubMed

    Huiting, H F; Ester, A

    2009-01-01

    A series of field trials were carried out from 2000 to 2003. Neonicotinoid insecticides applied as seed potato treatments at planting were tested to control wireworms in potato crops. Compounds were applied as drench or spray. Neonicotinoids tested were imidacloprid at rates of 35, 70, 88, and 175 g a.i.; thiamethoxam at 17.5, 35, 50, 70, and 140 g a.i.; and thiacloprid at 72 and 144 g a.i. per metric ton seed potatoes. Treatment with imidacloprid at 70 g/ton seed and thiamethoxam at 50 g/ton seed showed significant control of wireworms at harvest but thiacloprid showed insufficient protection. No phytotoxicity was recorded at harvest. Prospects and benefits of seed potato treatments with neonicotinoids are discussed, including lowering of the amount of insecticide needed for adequate protection. PMID:20218529

  6. Signal Transduction in Histidine Kinases: Insights from New Structures

    PubMed Central

    Bhate, Manasi P.; Molnar, Kathleen S.; Goulian, Mark; DeGrado, William F.

    2015-01-01

    Histidine kinases (HKs) are major players in bacterial signaling. There has been an explosion of new HK crystal structures in the last five years. We globally analyze the structures of HKs to yield insights into the mechanisms by which signals are transmitted to and across protein structures in this family. We interpret known enzymological data in the context of new structural data to show how asymmetry across the dimer interface is a key feature of signal transduction in HKs, and discuss how different HK domains undergo asymmetric-to-symmetric transitions during signal transduction and catalysis. A thermodynamic framework for signaling that encompasses these various properties is presented and the consequences of weak thermodynamic coupling are discussed. The synthesis of observations from enzymology, structural biology, protein engineering and thermodynamics paves the way for a deeper molecular understanding of histidine kinase signal transduction. PMID:25982528

  7. The neonicotinoid imidacloprid, and the pyrethroid deltamethrin, are antagonists of the insect Rdl GABA receptor.

    PubMed

    Taylor-Wells, Jennina; Brooke, Basil D; Bermudez, Isabel; Jones, Andrew K

    2015-11-01

    A mutation in the second transmembrane domain of the GABA receptor subunit, Rdl, is associated with resistance to insecticides such as dieldrin and fipronil. Molecular cloning of Rdl cDNA from a strain of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, which is highly resistant to dieldrin revealed this mutation (A296G) as well as another mutation in the third transmembrane domain (T345M). Wild-type, A296G, T345M and A296G + T345M homomultimeric Rdl were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and their sensitivities to fipronil, deltamethrin, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDT), imidacloprid and spinosad were measured using two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology. Spinosad and DDT had no agonist or antagonist actions on Rdl. However, fipronil, deltamethrin and imidacloprid decreased GABA-evoked currents. These antagonistic actions were either reduced or abolished with the A296G and the A296G + T345M mutations while T345M alone appeared to have no significant effect. In conclusion, this study identifies another mutation in the mosquito Rdl that is associated with insecticide resistance. While T345M itself does not affect insecticide sensitivity, it may serve to offset the structural impact of A296G. The present study also highlights Rdl as a potential secondary target for neonicotinoids and pyrethroids. We show for the first time that deltamethrin (a pyrethroid insecticide) and imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid insecticide) act directly on the insect GABA receptor, Rdl. Our findings highlight Rdl as a potential secondary target of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids mutations in which may contribute to resistance to these widely used insecticides. PMID:26296809

  8. Structure-informed insights for NLR functioning in plant immunity.

    PubMed

    Sukarta, Octavina C A; Slootweg, Erik J; Goverse, Aska

    2016-08-01

    To respond to foreign invaders, plants have evolved a cell autonomous multilayered immune system consisting of extra- and intracellular immune receptors. Nucleotide binding and oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) mediate recognition of pathogen effectors inside the cell and trigger a host specific defense response, often involving controlled cell death. NLRs consist of a central nucleotide-binding domain, which is flanked by an N-terminal CC or TIR domain and a C-terminal leucine-rich repeat domain (LRR). These multidomain proteins function as a molecular switch and their activity is tightly controlled by intra and inter-molecular interactions. In contrast to metazoan NLRs, the structural basis underlying NLR functioning as a pathogen sensor and activator of immune responses in plants is largely unknown. However, the first crystal structures of a number of plant NLR domains were recently obtained. In addition, biochemical and structure-informed analyses revealed novel insights in the cooperation between NLR domains and the formation of pre- and post activation complexes, including the coordinated activity of NLR pairs as pathogen sensor and executor of immune responses. Moreover, the discovery of novel integrated domains underscores the structural diversity of NLRs and provides alternative models for how these immune receptors function in plants. In this review, we will highlight these recent advances to provide novel insights in the structural, biochemical and molecular aspects involved in plant NLR functioning. PMID:27208725

  9. Structural insights into protein-metal ion partnerships.

    PubMed

    Barondeau, David P; Getzoff, Elizabeth D

    2004-12-01

    New metalloprotein structures continue to provide discoveries regarding protein-metal ion partnerships. Many recent structures reveal metal ion sites that control or are controlled by protein conformational change, including modulation by alternative splice variants and striking conformational changes. Only a few novel catalytic metal centers have been revealed recently, such as the surprising Ni-hook superoxide dismutase catalytic site and the cubane-like Mn(3)CaO(4) photosynthetic oxygen-evolving center. However, important new variations on old heme themes, breakthroughs in the fields of metal ion regulation and metallochaperones, and captivating insights into partnerships between proteins and minerals have also been described. Very high resolution metal site structures and metalloprotein design will be increasingly important in order to leverage the wealth of native metalloprotein structures into a deep understanding of metal ion site specificity and activity. PMID:15582401

  10. Reconciling laboratory and field assessments of neonicotinoid toxicity to honeybees.

    PubMed

    Henry, Mickaël; Cerrutti, Nicolas; Aupinel, Pierrick; Decourtye, Axel; Gayrard, Mélanie; Odoux, Jean-François; Pissard, Aurélien; Rüger, Charlotte; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-11-22

    European governments have banned the use of three common neonicotinoid pesticides due to insufficiently identified risks to bees. This policy decision is controversial given the absence of clear consistency between toxicity assessments of those substances in the laboratory and in the field. Although laboratory trials report deleterious effects in honeybees at trace levels, field surveys reveal no decrease in the performance of honeybee colonies in the vicinity of treated fields. Here we provide the missing link, showing that individual honeybees near thiamethoxam-treated fields do indeed disappear at a faster rate, but the impact of this is buffered by the colonies' demographic regulation response. Although we could ascertain the exposure pathway of thiamethoxam residues from treated flowers to honeybee dietary nectar, we uncovered an unexpected pervasive co-occurrence of similar concentrations of imidacloprid, another neonicotinoid normally restricted to non-entomophilous crops in the study country. Thus, its origin and transfer pathways through the succession of annual crops need be elucidated to conveniently appraise the risks of combined neonicotinoid exposures. This study reconciles the conflicting laboratory and field toxicity assessments of neonicotinoids on honeybees and further highlights the difficulty in actually detecting non-intentional effects on the field through conventional risk assessment methods. PMID:26582026

  11. Effective extraction method for determination of neonicotinoid residues in tea.

    PubMed

    Hou, Ru-Yan; Jiao, Wei-Ting; Qian, Xiao-San; Wang, Xiao-Hui; Xiao, Yu; Wan, Xiao-Chun

    2013-12-26

    Sample preparation using an absorbent for removal of polyphenols and a solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridge for cleanup followed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been investigated for the simultaneous determination of eight neonicotinoid insecticides (dinotefuran, nitenpyram, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, clothianidin, imidaclothiz, acetamiprid, and thiacloprid). After tea samples were soaked with water and extracted with acetonitrile, sample extracts were treated with an appropriate amount of polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP) to effectively remove polyphenols. The treated extract was cleaned up with a Carb-PSA cartridge. Neonicotinoid insecticides were eluted with acetonitrile from the cartridge and dried. The extract was redissolved with methanol/water (1:9, v/v) and analyzed by conventional HPLC coupled with an ultraviolet detector. The recoveries of eight neonicotinoid insecticides in tea samples were 71.4-106.6% at 0.1-1.0 mg kg(-1) spiked levels. Relative standard deviations were <10% for all of the recovery tests. The established method was simple, effective, and accurate and could be used for monitoring neonicotinoid insecticides in tea. PMID:24308380

  12. Emerging structural insights into the function of ionotropic glutamate receptors

    PubMed Central

    Karakas, Erkan; Regan, Michael C.; Furukawa, Hiro

    2015-01-01

    Summary Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate excitatory neurotransmission crucial for brain development and function including learning and memory formation. Recently a wealth of structural studies on iGluRs, including AMPA receptors (AMPARs), kainate receptors, and NMDA receptors (NMDARs) became available.. These studies showed structures of non-NMDARs including AMPAR and kainate receptor in various functional states, thereby providing the first visual sense of how non-NMDAR iGluRs may function in the context of homotetramers. Furthermore, they provided the first view of heterotetrameric NMDAR ion channels, which illuminated the similarities with and differences from non-NMDARs, thus raising a mechanistic distinction between the two groups of iGluRs. Here we review mechanistic insights into iGluR functions gained through structural studies of multiple groups. PMID:25941168

  13. The structural biology of HIV-1: mechanistic and therapeutic insights

    PubMed Central

    Engelman, Alan; Cherepanov, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Three-dimensional molecular structures can provide detailed information on biological mechanisms and, in cases where molecular function impacts on human health, significantly aid in the development of therapeutic interventions. Over the past 23 years, key components of the lentivirus HIV-1, including its envelope glycoproteins and capsid, and the replication enzymes reverse transcriptase, integrase and protease, have accordingly been scrutinized to near atomic scale resolution. Structural analyses of the interactions between viral and host cell components have moreover yielded key insights into the mechanisms of virus entry, chromosomal integration, transcription and egress from cells. Here, we review recent advances in HIV-1 structural biology, focusing on the impact these results have had on our understanding of virus replication and the development of new therapeutics. PMID:22421880

  14. Functional Insights from Glutamate Receptor Ion Channel Structures

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Janesh; Mayer, Mark L.

    2014-01-01

    X-ray crystal structures for the soluble amino terminal and ligand binding domains of glutamate receptor ion channels, combined with a 3.6 Å resolution structure of the full length AMPA receptor GluA2 homotetramer, provide unique insights into the mechanisms of iGluR assembly and function. Increasingly sophisticated biochemical, computational and electrophysiological experiments are beginning to reveal the mechanism of action of partial agonists, and yield new models for the mechanism of action of allosteric modulators. Newly identified NMDA receptor ligands acting at novel sites offer hope for development of subtype selective modulators. Many issues remain unsolved, including the role of the ATD in AMPA receptor signaling, and the mechanisms by which auxiliary proteins regulate receptor activity. The structural basis for ion permeation and ion channel block also remain areas of uncertainty, and despite substantial progress, molecular dynamics simulations have yet to reveal how binding of glutamate opens the ion channel pore. PMID:22974439

  15. Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England

    PubMed Central

    Woodcock, Ben A.; Isaac, Nicholas J. B.; Bullock, James M.; Roy, David B.; Garthwaite, David G.; Crowe, Andrew; Pywell, Richard F.

    2016-01-01

    Wild bee declines have been ascribed in part to neonicotinoid insecticides. While short-term laboratory studies on commercially bred species (principally honeybees and bumblebees) have identified sub-lethal effects, there is no strong evidence linking these insecticides to losses of the majority of wild bee species. We relate 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 species to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape. Using a multi-species dynamic Bayesian occupancy analysis, we find evidence of increased population extinction rates in response to neonicotinoid seed treatment use on oilseed rape. Species foraging on oilseed rape benefit from the cover of this crop, but were on average three times more negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-crop foragers. Our results suggest that sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids could scale up to cause losses of bee biodiversity. Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines. PMID:27529661

  16. Quantitative analysis of neonicotinoid insecticide residues in foods: implication for dietary exposures.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mei; Tao, Lin; McLean, John; Lu, Chensheng

    2014-07-01

    This study quantitatively measured neonicotinoids in various foods that are common to human consumption. All fruit and vegetable samples (except nectarine and tomato) and 90% of honey samples were detected positive for at least one neonicotinoid; 72% of fruits, 45% of vegetables, and 50% of honey samples contained at least two different neonicotinoids in one sample, with imidacloprid having the highest detection rate among all samples. All pollen samples from New Zealand contained multiple neonicotinoids, and five of seven pollens from Massachusetts detected positive for imidacloprid. These results show the prevalence of low-level neonicotinoid residues in fruits, vegetables, and honey that are readily available in the market for human consumption and in the environment where honeybees forage. In light of new reports of toxicological effects in mammals, the results strengthen the importance of assessing dietary neonicotinoid intakes and the potential human health effects. PMID:24933495

  17. Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, Ben A; Isaac, Nicholas J B; Bullock, James M; Roy, David B; Garthwaite, David G; Crowe, Andrew; Pywell, Richard F

    2016-01-01

    Wild bee declines have been ascribed in part to neonicotinoid insecticides. While short-term laboratory studies on commercially bred species (principally honeybees and bumblebees) have identified sub-lethal effects, there is no strong evidence linking these insecticides to losses of the majority of wild bee species. We relate 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 species to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape. Using a multi-species dynamic Bayesian occupancy analysis, we find evidence of increased population extinction rates in response to neonicotinoid seed treatment use on oilseed rape. Species foraging on oilseed rape benefit from the cover of this crop, but were on average three times more negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-crop foragers. Our results suggest that sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids could scale up to cause losses of bee biodiversity. Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines. PMID:27529661

  18. Quantitative Analysis of Neonicotinoid Insecticide Residues in Foods: Implication for Dietary Exposures

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This study quantitatively measured neonicotinoids in various foods that are common to human consumption. All fruit and vegetable samples (except nectarine and tomato) and 90% of honey samples were detected positive for at least one neonicotinoid; 72% of fruits, 45% of vegetables, and 50% of honey samples contained at least two different neonicotinoids in one sample, with imidacloprid having the highest detection rate among all samples. All pollen samples from New Zealand contained multiple neonicotinoids, and five of seven pollens from Massachusetts detected positive for imidacloprid. These results show the prevalence of low-level neonicotinoid residues in fruits, vegetables, and honey that are readily available in the market for human consumption and in the environment where honeybees forage. In light of new reports of toxicological effects in mammals, the results strengthen the importance of assessing dietary neonicotinoid intakes and the potential human health effects. PMID:24933495

  19. Structural Insights into Bacillus thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and Parasporin Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Chengchen; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Yu, Ziniu; Sun, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Since the first X-ray structure of Cry3Aa was revealed in 1991, numerous structures of B. thuringiensis toxins have been determined and published. In recent years, functional studies on the mode of action and resistance mechanism have been proposed, which notably promoted the developments of biological insecticides and insect-resistant transgenic crops. With the exploration of known pore-forming toxins (PFTs) structures, similarities between PFTs and B. thuringiensis toxins have provided great insights into receptor binding interactions and conformational changes from water-soluble to membrane pore-forming state of B. thuringiensis toxins. This review mainly focuses on the latest discoveries of the toxin working mechanism, with the emphasis on structural related progress. Based on the structural features, B. thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins could be divided into three categories: three-domain type α-PFTs, Cyt toxin type β-PFTs and aerolysin type β-PFTs. Structures from each group are elucidated and discussed in relation to the latest data, respectively. PMID:25229189

  20. Neonicotinoid formaldehyde generators: possible mechanism of mouse-specific hepatotoxicity/hepatocarcinogenicity of thiamethoxam.

    PubMed

    Swenson, Tami L; Casida, John E

    2013-02-01

    Thiamethoxam (TMX), an important insecticide, is hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogenic in mice but not rats. Studies of Syngenta Central Toxicology Laboratory on species specificity in metabolism established that TMX is a much better substrate for mouse liver microsomal CYPs than the corresponding rat or human enzymes in forming desmethyl-TMX (dm-TMX), which is also hepatotoxic, and clothianidin (CLO), which is not hepatotoxic or hepatocarcinogenic. They proposed that TMX hepatotoxicity/hepatocarcinogencity is due to dm-TMX and a further metabolite desmethyl-CLO (dm-CLO) (structurally analogous to a standard inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) acting synergistically. The present study considers formation of formaldehyde (HCHO) and N-methylol intermediates as an alternative mechanism of TMX hepatotoxicity/hepatocarcinogenicity. Comparison of neonicotinoid metabolism by mouse, rat and human microsomes with NADPH showed two important points. First, TMX and dm-TMX yield more HCHO than any other commercial neonicotinoid. Second, mouse microsomes give much higher conversion than rat or human microsomes. These observations provide an alternative hypothesis of HCHO and N-methylol intermediates from CYP-mediated oxidative oxadiazinane ring cleavage as the bioactivated hepatotoxicants. However, the proposed mono-N-methylol CYP metabolites are not observed, possibly further reacting in situ. PMID:23220038

  1. Development of Immunoassay Based on Monoclonal Antibody Reacted with the Neonicotinoid Insecticides Clothianidin and Dinotefuran

    PubMed Central

    Uchigashima, Mikiko; Watanabe, Eiki; Ito, Shigekazu; Iwasa, Seiji; Miyake, Shiro

    2012-01-01

    Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) was developed for the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin. A new clothianidin hapten (3-[5-(3-methyl-2-nitroguanidinomethyl)-1,3-thiazol-2-ylthio] propionic acid) was synthesized and conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin, and was used for monoclonal antibody preparation. The resulting MoAb CTN-16A3-13 was characterized by a direct competitive ELISA (dc-ELISA). The 50% of inhibition concentration value with clothianidin was 4.4 ng/mL, and the working range was 1.5–15 ng/mL. The antibody showed high cross-reactivity (64%) to dinotefuran among the structurally related neonicotinoid insecticides. The recovery examinations of clothianidin for cucumber, tomato and apple showed highly agreement with the spiked concentrations; the recovery rate was between 104% and 124% and the coefficient of variation value was between 1.8% and 15%. Although the recovery rate of the dc-ELISA was slightly higher than that of HPLC analysis, the difference was small enough to accept the dc-ELISA as a useful method for residue analysis of clothianidin in garden crops. PMID:23202236

  2. Structural insights into bacterial recognition of intestinal mucins.

    PubMed

    Etzold, Sabrina; Juge, Nathalie

    2014-10-01

    The mucosal layer covering our gut epithelium represents the first line of host defenses against the luminal content, while enabling contacts between the resident microbiota and the host. Mucus is mainly composed of mucins, large glycoproteins containing a protein core and a high number of O-linked oligosaccharides. Mucin glycans act as binding sites or carbon sources for the intestinal microbes, thereby functioning as a host-specific determinant affecting the microbiota composition and human health. Reflecting the structural diversity of mucin glycans and their prime location, commensal and pathogenic microbes have evolved a range of adhesins allowing their interaction with the host. However, despite the recognised importance of mucin glycans in modulating intestinal homeostasis, information on carbohydrate-binding proteins from gut bacteria is disparate. This review is focussed on recent structural insights into host-microbe interactions mediated by mucins. PMID:25106027

  3. Biological Insights from Structures of Two-Component Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Rong; Stock, Ann M.

    2013-01-01

    Two-component signal transduction based on phosphotransfer from a histidine protein kinase to a response regulator protein is a prevalent strategy for coupling environmental stimuli to adaptive responses in bacteria. In both histidine kinases and response regulators, modular domains with conserved structures and biochemical activities adopt different conformational states in the presence of stimuli or upon phosphorylation, enabling a diverse array of regulatory mechanisms based on inhibitory and/or activating protein-protein interactions imparted by different domain arrangements. This review summarizes some of the recent structural work that has provided insight to the functioning of bacterial histidine kinases and response regulators. Particular emphasis is placed on identifying features that are expected to be conserved among different two-component proteins from those that are expected to differ, with the goal of defining the extent to which knowledge of previously characterized two-component proteins can be applied to newly discovered systems. PMID:19575571

  4. Structural Insights into Reelin Function: Present and Future

    PubMed Central

    Ranaivoson, Fanomezana M.; von Daake, Sventja; Comoletti, Davide

    2016-01-01

    Reelin is a neuronal glycoprotein secreted by the Cajal-Retzius cells in marginal regions of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus where it plays important roles in the control of neuronal migration and the formation of cellular layers during brain development. This 3461 residue-long protein is composed of a signal peptide, an F-spondin-like domain, eight Reelin repeats (RR1–8), and a positively charged sequence at the C-terminus. Biochemical data indicate that the central region of Reelin binds to the low-density lipoprotein receptors apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) and the very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), leading to the phosphorylation of the intracellular adaptor protein Dab1. After secretion, Reelin is rapidly degraded in three major fragments, but the functional significance of this degradation is poorly understood. Probably due to its large mass and the complexity of its architecture, the high-resolution, three-dimensional structure of Reelin has never been determined. However, the crystal structures of some of the RRs have been solved, providing important insights into their fold and the interaction with the ApoER2 receptor. This review discusses the current findings on the structure of Reelin and its binding to the ApoER2 and VLDLR receptors, and we discuss some areas where proteomics and structural biology can help understanding Reelin function in brain development and human health. PMID:27303268

  5. Vertebrate Membrane Proteins: Structure, Function, and Insights from Biophysical Approaches

    PubMed Central

    MÜLLER, DANIEL J.; WU, NAN; PALCZEWSKI, KRZYSZTOF

    2008-01-01

    Membrane proteins are key targets for pharmacological intervention because they are vital for cellular function. Here, we analyze recent progress made in the understanding of the structure and function of membrane proteins with a focus on rhodopsin and development of atomic force microscopy techniques to study biological membranes. Membrane proteins are compartmentalized to carry out extra- and intracellular processes. Biological membranes are densely populated with membrane proteins that occupy approximately 50% of their volume. In most cases membranes contain lipid rafts, protein patches, or paracrystalline formations that lack the higher-order symmetry that would allow them to be characterized by diffraction methods. Despite many technical difficulties, several crystal structures of membrane proteins that illustrate their internal structural organization have been determined. Moreover, high-resolution atomic force microscopy, near-field scanning optical microscopy, and other lower resolution techniques have been used to investigate these structures. Single-molecule force spectroscopy tracks interactions that stabilize membrane proteins and those that switch their functional state; this spectroscopy can be applied to locate a ligand-binding site. Recent development of this technique also reveals the energy landscape of a membrane protein, defining its folding, reaction pathways, and kinetics. Future development and application of novel approaches during the coming years should provide even greater insights to the understanding of biological membrane organization and function. PMID:18321962

  6. Insights from the Sea: Structural Biology of Marine Polyketide Synthases

    PubMed Central

    Akey, David L.; Gehret, Jennifer J.; Khare, Dheeraj; Smith, Janet L.

    2013-01-01

    The world’s oceans are a rich source of natural products with extremely interesting chemistry. Biosynthetic pathways have been worked out for a few, and the story is being enriched with crystal structures of interesting pathway enzymes. By far, the greatest number of structural insights from marine biosynthetic pathways has originated with studies of curacin A, a poster child for interesting marine chemistry with its cyclopropane and thiazoline rings, internal cis double bond, and terminal alkene. Using the curacin A pathway as a model, structural details are now available for a novel loading enzyme with remarkable dual decarboxylase and acetyltransferase activities, an Fe2+/α-ketoglutarate-dependent halogenase that dictates substrate binding order through conformational changes, a decarboxylase that establishes regiochemistry for cyclopropane formation, and a thioesterase with specificity for β-sulfated substrates that lead to terminal alkene offloading. The four curacin A pathway dehydratases reveal an intrinsic flexibility that may accommodate bulky or stiff polyketide intermediates. In the salinosporamide A pathway, active site volume determines the halide specificity of a halogenase that catalyzes for the synthesis of a halogenated building block. Structures of a number of putative polyketide cyclases may help in understanding reaction mechanisms and substrate specificities although their substrates are presently unknown. PMID:22498975

  7. Structural insights into SAM domain-mediated tankyrase oligomerization.

    PubMed

    DaRosa, Paul A; Ovchinnikov, Sergey; Xu, Wenqing; Klevit, Rachel E

    2016-09-01

    Tankyrase 1 (TNKS1; a.k.a. ARTD5) and tankyrase 2 (TNKS2; a.k.a ARTD6) are highly homologous poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) that function in a wide variety of cellular processes including Wnt signaling, Src signaling, Akt signaling, Glut4 vesicle translocation, telomere length regulation, and centriole and spindle pole maturation. Tankyrase proteins include a sterile alpha motif (SAM) domain that undergoes oligomerization in vitro and in vivo. However, the SAM domains of TNKS1 and TNKS2 have not been structurally characterized and the mode of oligomerization is not yet defined. Here we model the SAM domain-mediated oligomerization of tankyrase. The structural model, supported by mutagenesis and NMR analysis, demonstrates a helical, homotypic head-to-tail polymer that facilitates TNKS self-association. Furthermore, we show that TNKS1 and TNKS2 can form (TNKS1 SAM-TNKS2 SAM) hetero-oligomeric structures mediated by their SAM domains. Though wild-type tankyrase proteins have very low solubility, model-based mutations of the SAM oligomerization interface residues allowed us to obtain soluble TNKS proteins. These structural insights will be invaluable for the functional and biophysical characterization of TNKS1/2, including the role of TNKS oligomerization in protein poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PARylation) and PARylation-dependent ubiquitylation. PMID:27328430

  8. Insights from the sea: structural biology of marine polyketide synthases.

    PubMed

    Akey, David L; Gehret, Jennifer J; Khare, Dheeraj; Smith, Janet L

    2012-10-01

    The world's oceans are a rich source of natural products with extremely interesting chemistry. Biosynthetic pathways have been worked out for a few, and the story is being enriched with crystal structures of interesting pathway enzymes. By far, the greatest number of structural insights from marine biosynthetic pathways has originated with studies of curacin A, a poster child for interesting marine chemistry with its cyclopropane and thiazoline rings, internal cis double bond, and terminal alkene. Using the curacin A pathway as a model, structural details are now available for a novel loading enzyme with remarkable dual decarboxylase and acetyltransferase activities, an Fe(2+)/α-ketoglutarate-dependent halogenase that dictates substrate binding order through conformational changes, a decarboxylase that establishes regiochemistry for cyclopropane formation, and a thioesterase with specificity for β-sulfated substrates that lead to terminal alkene offloading. The four curacin A pathway dehydratases reveal an intrinsic flexibility that may accommodate bulky or stiff polyketide intermediates. In the salinosporamide A pathway, active site volume determines the halide specificity of a halogenase that catalyzes for the synthesis of a halogenated building block. Structures of a number of putative polyketide cyclases may help in understanding reaction mechanisms and substrate specificities although their substrates are presently unknown. PMID:22498975

  9. Structure Prediction: New Insights into Decrypting Long Noncoding RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Kun; Arfat, Yasir; Li, Dijie; Zhao, Fan; Chen, Zhihao; Yin, Chong; Sun, Yulong; Hu, Lifang; Yang, Tuanmin; Qian, Airong

    2016-01-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which form a diverse class of RNAs, remain the least understood type of noncoding RNAs in terms of their nature and identification. Emerging evidence has revealed that a small number of newly discovered lncRNAs perform important and complex biological functions such as dosage compensation, chromatin regulation, genomic imprinting, and nuclear organization. However, understanding the wide range of functions of lncRNAs related to various processes of cellular networks remains a great experimental challenge. Structural versatility is critical for RNAs to perform various functions and provides new insights into probing the functions of lncRNAs. In recent years, the computational method of RNA structure prediction has been developed to analyze the structure of lncRNAs. This novel methodology has provided basic but indispensable information for the rapid, large-scale and in-depth research of lncRNAs. This review focuses on mainstream RNA structure prediction methods at the secondary and tertiary levels to offer an additional approach to investigating the functions of lncRNAs. PMID:26805815

  10. Structural insights into transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II

    PubMed Central

    Grünberg, Sebastian; Hahn, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation is one of the most important steps in control of cell identity, growth, differentiation and development. Many signaling pathways controlling these processes ultimately target the core transcription machinery that, for protein coding genes, consists of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and the general transcription factors (GTFs). New studies on the structure and mechanism of the core assembly and how it interfaces with promoter DNA and coactivator complexes have given tremendous insight into early steps in the initiation process, genome-wide binding, and mechanisms conserved for all nuclear and archaeal Pols. Here we review recent developments in dissecting the architecture of the Pol II core machinery with a focus on early and regulated steps in transcription initiation. PMID:24120742

  11. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E.; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications.

  12. Quantitative Structural Insight into Human Variegate Porphyria Disease*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Baifan; Wen, Xin; Qin, Xiaohong; Wang, Zhifang; Tan, Ying; Shen, Yuequan; Xi, Zhen

    2013-01-01

    Defects in the human protoporphyrinogen oxidase (hPPO) gene, resulting in ∼50% decreased activity of hPPO, is responsible for the dominantly inherited disorder variegate porphyria (VP). To understand the molecular mechanism of VP, we employed the site-directed mutagenesis, biochemical assays, structural biology, and molecular dynamics simulation studies to investigate VP-causing hPPO mutants. We report here the crystal structures of R59Q and R59G mutants in complex with acifluorfen at a resolution of 2.6 and 2.8 Å. The r.m.s.d. of the Cα atoms of the active site structure of R59G and R59Q with respect to the wild-type was 0.20 and 0.15 Å, respectively. However, these highly similar static crystal structures of mutants with the wild-type could not quantitatively explain the observed large differences in their enzymatic activity. To understand how the hPPO mutations affect their catalytic activities, we combined molecular dynamics simulation and statistical analysis to quantitatively understand the molecular mechanism of VP-causing mutants. We have found that the probability of the privileged conformations of hPPO can be correlated very well with the kcat/Km of PPO (correlation coefficient, R2 > 0.9), and the catalytic activity of 44 clinically reported VP-causing mutants can be accurately predicted. These results indicated that the VP-causing mutation affect the catalytic activity of hPPO by affecting the ability of hPPO to sample the privileged conformations. The current work, together with our previous crystal structure study on the wild-type hPPO, provided the quantitative structural insight into human variegate porphyria disease. PMID:23467411

  13. Survey of neonicotinoids and fipronil in corn seeds for agriculture.

    PubMed

    Sabatino, Leonardo; Scordino, Monica; Pantò, Valentina; Chiappara, Elena; Traulo, Pasqualino; Gagliano, Giacomo

    2013-01-01

    Recently, legislative decisions withdrew or temporarily suspended the use of neonicotinoids and fipronil as seeds tanning in many countries because of their endocrine-disrupting activity imputable to the bees' toxicity. In this study, the occurrence of acetamiprid, fipronil, clothianidin, flonicamid, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam was detected in 66 samples of commercial treated corn seeds, collected in the Italian market in the frame of ministerial institutional quality control activity. Because of the lack of a validated analytical protocol for neonicotinoid detection in seeds, a routinely suitable liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) analytical method was developed and statistically validated on fortified corn seeds. Survey results demonstrated that 88% of the investigated seed samples showed the presence of residues of clothianidin, fipronil, thiamethoxam and thiacloprid, either individually or simultaneously, with values that ranged from about 0.002 to 20 mg kg(-1), which evidenced the alarming illicit use of these pesticides in seed treatments. PMID:24786619

  14. Structural insights of a hormone sensitive lipase homologue Est22

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jing; Huo, Ying-Yi; Ji, Rui; Kuang, Siyun; Ji, Chaoneng; Xu, Xue-Wei; Li, Jixi

    2016-01-01

    Hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) catalyzes the hydrolysis of triacylglycerols into fatty acids and glycerol, thus playing key roles in energy homeostasis. However, the application of HSL serving as a pharmaceutical target and an industrial biocatalyst is largely hampered due to the lack of high-resolution structural information. Here we report biochemical properties and crystal structures of a novel HSL homologue esterase Est22 from a deep-sea metagenomic library. Est22 prefers short acyl chain esters and has a very high activity with substrate p-nitrophenyl butyrate. The crystal structures of wild type and mutated Est22 with its product p-nitrophenol are solved with resolutions ranging from 1.4 Å to 2.43 Å. The Est22 exhibits a α/β-hydrolase fold consisting with a catalytic domain and a substrate-recognizing cap domain. Residues Ser188, Asp287, and His317 comprise the catalytic triad in the catalytic domain. The p-nitrophenol molecule occupies the substrate binding pocket and forms hydrogen bonds with adjacent residues Gly108, Gly109, and Gly189. Est22 exhibits a dimeric form in solution, whereas mutants D287A and H317A change to polymeric form, which totally abolished its enzymatic activities. Our study provides insights into the catalytic mechanism of HSL family esterase and facilitates the understanding for further industrial and biotechnological applications of esterases. PMID:27328716

  15. Structural Insights on the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Proteasomal ATPase Mpa

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, T.; Li, H; Lin, G; Tang, C; Li, D; Nathan, C; Heran Darwin, K

    2009-01-01

    Proteasome-mediated protein turnover in all domains of life is an energy-dependent process that requires ATPase activity. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) was recently shown to possess a ubiquitin-like proteasome pathway that plays an essential role in Mtb resistance to killing by products of host macrophages. Here we report our structural and biochemical investigation of Mpa, the presumptive Mtb proteasomal ATPase. We demonstrate that Mpa binds to the Mtb proteasome in the presence of ATPS, providing the physical evidence that Mpa is the proteasomal ATPase. X-ray crystallographic determination of the conserved interdomain showed a five stranded double {beta} barrel structure containing a Greek key motif. Structure and mutational analysis indicate a major role of the interdomain for Mpa hexamerization. Our mutational and functional studies further suggest that the central channel in the Mpa hexamer is involved in protein substrate translocation and degradation. These studies provide insights into how a bacterial proteasomal ATPase interacts with and facilitates protein degradation by the proteasome.

  16. Structural Insights into the Functional Versatility of WWOX Tumor Suppressor

    PubMed Central

    Farooq, Amjad

    2014-01-01

    Recent work on WWOX tumor suppressor is beginning to shed new light on both the molecular mechanism of action of its WW domains as well as the contiguous catalytic domain. Herein, the structural basis underlying the ability of WW1 domain to bind to various physiological ligands and how the orphan WW2 tandem partner synergizes its ligand binding in the context of WW1-WW2 tandem module of WWOX is discussed. Notably, the WW domains within the WW1-WW2 tandem module physically associate so as to adopt a fixed spatial orientation relative to each other. In this manner, the association of WW2 domain with WW1 hinders ligand binding to the latter. Consequently, ligand binding to WW1 domain not only results in the displacement of WW2 lid but also disrupts the fixed orientation of WW domains in the liganded conformation. Equally importantly, structure-guided functional approach suggests that the catalytic domain of WWOX likely serves as a retinal oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reversible oxidation and reduction of all-trans-retinal. Collectively, this review provides structural insights into the functional versatility of a key signaling protein with important implications on its biology. PMID:25662954

  17. Structural insights of a hormone sensitive lipase homologue Est22.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jing; Huo, Ying-Yi; Ji, Rui; Kuang, Siyun; Ji, Chaoneng; Xu, Xue-Wei; Li, Jixi

    2016-01-01

    Hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) catalyzes the hydrolysis of triacylglycerols into fatty acids and glycerol, thus playing key roles in energy homeostasis. However, the application of HSL serving as a pharmaceutical target and an industrial biocatalyst is largely hampered due to the lack of high-resolution structural information. Here we report biochemical properties and crystal structures of a novel HSL homologue esterase Est22 from a deep-sea metagenomic library. Est22 prefers short acyl chain esters and has a very high activity with substrate p-nitrophenyl butyrate. The crystal structures of wild type and mutated Est22 with its product p-nitrophenol are solved with resolutions ranging from 1.4 Å to 2.43 Å. The Est22 exhibits a α/β-hydrolase fold consisting with a catalytic domain and a substrate-recognizing cap domain. Residues Ser188, Asp287, and His317 comprise the catalytic triad in the catalytic domain. The p-nitrophenol molecule occupies the substrate binding pocket and forms hydrogen bonds with adjacent residues Gly108, Gly109, and Gly189. Est22 exhibits a dimeric form in solution, whereas mutants D287A and H317A change to polymeric form, which totally abolished its enzymatic activities. Our study provides insights into the catalytic mechanism of HSL family esterase and facilitates the understanding for further industrial and biotechnological applications of esterases. PMID:27328716

  18. Biological response of earthworm, Eisenia fetida, to five neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Pang, Sen; Mu, Xiyan; Qi, Suzhen; Li, Dongzhi; Cui, Feng; Wang, Chengju

    2015-08-01

    Earthworms (Eisenia fetida) are one of the most abundant terrestrial species, and play an important role in maintaining the ecological function of soil. Neonicotinoids are some of the most widely used insecticides applied to crops. Studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on E. fetida are limited. In the present work, we evaluated the effects of five neonicotinoid insecticides on reproduction, cellulase activity and the tissues of E. fetida. The results showed that, the LC50 of imidacloprid, acetamiprid, nitenpyram, clothianidin and thiacloprid was 3.05, 2.69, 4.34, 0.93 and 2.68mgkg(-1), respectively. They also could seriously affect the reproduction of E. fetida, reducing the fecundity by 84.0%, 39.5%, 54.3%, 45.7% and 39.5% at the sub-lethal concentrations of 2.0, 1.5, 0.80, 2.0 and 1.5mgkg(-1), respectively. The cellulase activity of E. fetida was most sensitive to clothianidin. Significant disruption of the epidermal and midgut tissue was observed after 14d exposure. In summary, we demonstrate that imidacloprid, acetamiprid, nitenpyram, clothianidin and thiacloprid have high toxic to earthworm, and can significantly inhibited fecundity and cellulase activity of E. fetida, and they also damage the epidermal and midgut cells of earthworm. PMID:25828917

  19. Environmental fate of soil applied neonicotinoid insecticides in an irrigated potato agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Huseth, Anders S; Groves, Russell L

    2014-01-01

    Since 1995, neonicotinoid insecticides have been a critical component of arthropod management in potato, Solanum tuberosum L. Recent detections of neonicotinoids in groundwater have generated questions about the sources of these contaminants and the relative contribution from commodities in U.S. agriculture. Delivery of neonicotinoids to crops typically occurs as a seed or in-furrow treatment to manage early season insect herbivores. Applied in this way, these insecticides become systemically mobile in the plant and provide control of key pest species. An outcome of this project links these soil insecticide application strategies in crop plants with neonicotinoid contamination of water leaching from the application zone. In 2011 and 2012, our objectives were to document the temporal patterns of neonicotinoid leachate below the planting furrow following common insecticide delivery methods in potato. Leaching loss of thiamethoxam from potato was measured using pan lysimeters from three at-plant treatments and one foliar application treatment. Insecticide concentration in leachate was assessed for six consecutive months using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Findings from this study suggest leaching of neonicotinoids from potato may be greater following crop harvest in comparison to other times during the growing season. Furthermore, this study documented recycling of neonicotinoid insecticides from contaminated groundwater back onto the crop via high capacity irrigation wells. These results document interactions between cultivated potato, different neonicotinoid delivery methods, and the potential for subsurface water contamination via leaching. PMID:24823765

  20. Environmental Fate of Soil Applied Neonicotinoid Insecticides in an Irrigated Potato Agroecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Huseth, Anders S.; Groves, Russell L.

    2014-01-01

    Since 1995, neonicotinoid insecticides have been a critical component of arthropod management in potato, Solanum tuberosum L. Recent detections of neonicotinoids in groundwater have generated questions about the sources of these contaminants and the relative contribution from commodities in U.S. agriculture. Delivery of neonicotinoids to crops typically occurs as a seed or in-furrow treatment to manage early season insect herbivores. Applied in this way, these insecticides become systemically mobile in the plant and provide control of key pest species. An outcome of this project links these soil insecticide application strategies in crop plants with neonicotinoid contamination of water leaching from the application zone. In 2011 and 2012, our objectives were to document the temporal patterns of neonicotinoid leachate below the planting furrow following common insecticide delivery methods in potato. Leaching loss of thiamethoxam from potato was measured using pan lysimeters from three at-plant treatments and one foliar application treatment. Insecticide concentration in leachate was assessed for six consecutive months using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Findings from this study suggest leaching of neonicotinoids from potato may be greater following crop harvest in comparison to other times during the growing season. Furthermore, this study documented recycling of neonicotinoid insecticides from contaminated groundwater back onto the crop via high capacity irrigation wells. These results document interactions between cultivated potato, different neonicotinoid delivery methods, and the potential for subsurface water contamination via leaching. PMID:24823765

  1. COMPARISON OF NEONICOTINOID INSECTICIDES WITH SILVERLEAF WHITEFLY INSECTICIDE STANDARDS FOR COTTON

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Silverleaf whitefly (SLW) insecticide efficacy research trials were conducted during the cotton seasons of 1997-2000 at the U of CA Desert Res. and Ext. Center in the Imperial Valley, CA to evaluate neonicotinoid insecticides and standard insecticides for control of SLW in cotton. Neonicotinoid inse...

  2. Structural Insight into HIV-1 Restriction by MxB

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez, Frances Joan D.; Summers, Brady J.; Dewdney, Tamaria G.; Aiken, Christopher; Zhang, Peijun; Engelman, Alan; Xiong, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Summary The myxovirus resistance (Mx) proteins are interferon-induced dynamin GTPases that can inhibit a variety of viruses. Recently, MxB, but not MxA, was shown to restrict HIV-1 by an unknown mechanism that likely occurs in close proximity to the host cell nucleus and involves the viral capsid. Here, we present the crystal structure of MxB and reveal determinants involved in HIV-1 restriction. MxB adopts an extended anti-parallel dimer and dimerization, but not higher-ordered oligomerization, is critical for restriction. Although MxB is structurally similar to MxA, the orientation of individual domains differs between MxA and MxB and their antiviral functions rely on separate determinants, indicating distinct mechanisms for virus inhibition. Additionally, MxB directly binds the HIV-1 capsid and this interaction depends on dimerization and the N-terminus of MxB as well as the assembled capsid lattice. These insights establish a framework for understanding the mechanism by which MxB restricts HIV-1. PMID:25312384

  3. Determination of neonicotinoids in Estonian honey by liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Laaniste, Asko; Leito, Ivo; Rebane, Riin; Lõhmus, Rünno; Lõhmus, Ants; Punga, Fredrik; Kruve, Anneli

    2016-07-01

    The aim of the study was to provide a comprehensive overview of neonicotinoid pesticide residues in honey samples for a single country and compare the results with the import data for neonicotinoid pesticides. The levels of four neonicotinoid pesticides, namely thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and thiacloprid, were determined in 294 honey samples harvested from 2005 to 2013 from more than 200 locations in Estonia. For the analyzed honey samples, 27% contained thiacloprid, and its levels in all cases were below the maximum residue level set by the European Union. The other neonicotinoids were not detected. The proportion of thiacloprid-positive samples for different years correlates well with the data on thiacloprid imports into Estonia, indicating that honey contamination with neonicotinoids can be estimated based on the import data. PMID:27050772

  4. Impact of Chronic Neonicotinoid Exposure on Honeybee Colony Performance and Queen Supersedure

    PubMed Central

    Sandrock, Christoph; Tanadini, Matteo; Tanadini, Lorenzo G.; Fauser-Misslin, Aline; Potts, Simon G.; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Background Honeybees provide economically and ecologically vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. During the last decade elevated colony losses have been documented in Europe and North America. Despite growing consensus on the involvement of multiple causal factors, the underlying interactions impacting on honeybee health and colony failure are not fully resolved. Parasites and pathogens are among the main candidates, but sublethal exposure to widespread agricultural pesticides may also affect bees. Methodology/Principal Findings To investigate effects of sublethal dietary neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance, a fully crossed experimental design was implemented using 24 colonies, including sister-queens from two different strains, and experimental in-hive pollen feeding with or without environmentally relevant concentrations of thiamethoxam and clothianidin. Honeybee colonies chronically exposed to both neonicotinoids over two brood cycles exhibited decreased performance in the short-term resulting in declining numbers of adult bees (−28%) and brood (−13%), as well as a reduction in honey production (−29%) and pollen collections (−19%), but colonies recovered in the medium-term and overwintered successfully. However, significantly decelerated growth of neonicotinoid-exposed colonies during the following spring was associated with queen failure, revealing previously undocumented long-term impacts of neonicotinoids: queen supersedure was observed for 60% of the neonicotinoid-exposed colonies within a one year period, but not for control colonies. Linked to this, neonicotinoid exposure was significantly associated with a reduced propensity to swarm during the next spring. Both short-term and long-term effects of neonicotinoids on colony performance were significantly influenced by the honeybees’ genetic background. Conclusions/Significance Sublethal neonicotinoid exposure did not provoke increased winter losses. Yet

  5. Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogner, Donna, Ed.

    1988-01-01

    Describes two methods to teach radioactive decay to secondary students with wide ranging abilities. Activities are designed to follow classroom discussions of atomic structure, transmutation, half life, and nuclear decay. Includes "The Tasmanian Empire: A Radioactive Dating Activity" and an exercise to teach concepts of half life without using…

  6. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥ 3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  7. First national-scale reconnaissance of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams across the USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hladik, Michelle L.; Kolpin, Dana W.

    2015-01-01

     To better understand the fate and transport of neonicotinoid insecticides, water samples were collected from streams across the United States. In a nationwide study, at least one neonicotinoid was detected in 53 % of the samples collected, with imidacloprid detected most frequently (37 %), followed by clothianidin (24 %), thiamethoxam (21 %), dinotefuran (13 %), acetamiprid (3 %) and thiacloprid (0 %). Clothianidin and thiamethoxam concentrations were positively related to the percentage of the land use in cultivated crop production and imidacloprid concentrations were positively related to the percentage of urban area within the basin. Additional sampling was also conducted in targeted research areas to complement these national-scale results, including determining: (1) neonicotinoid concentrations during elevated flow conditions in an intensely agricultural region; (2) temporal patterns of neonicotinoids in heavily urbanised basins; (3) neonicotinoid concentrations in agricultural basins in a nationally important ecosystem; and (4) in-stream transport of neonicotinoids near a wastewater treatment plant. Across all study areas, at least one neonicotinoid was detected in 63 % of the 48 streams sampled.

  8. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing

    PubMed Central

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  9. Ecological and Landscape Drivers of Neonicotinoid Insecticide Detections and Concentrations in Canada's Prairie Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Main, Anson R; Michel, Nicole L; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Morrissey, Christy A

    2015-07-21

    Neonicotinoids are commonly used seed treatments on Canada's major prairie crops. Transported via surface and subsurface runoff into wetlands, their ultimate aquatic fate remains largely unknown. Biotic and abiotic wetland characteristics likely affect neonicotinoid presence and environmental persistence, but concentrations vary widely between wetlands that appear ecologically (e.g., plant composition) and physically (e.g., depth) similar for reasons that remain unclear. We conducted intensive surveys of 238 wetlands, and documented 59 wetland (e.g., dominant plant species) and landscape (e.g., surrounding crop) characteristics as part of a novel rapid wetland assessment system. We used boosted regression tree (BRT) analysis to predict both probability of neonicotinoid analytical detection and concentration. BRT models effectively predicted the deviance in neonicotinoid detection (62.4%) and concentration (74.7%) from 21 and 23 variables, respectively. Detection was best explained by shallow marsh plant species identity (34.8%) and surrounding crop (13.9%). Neonicotinoid concentration was best explained by shallow marsh plant species identity (14.9%) and wetland depth (14.2%). Our research revealed that plant composition is a key indicator and/or driver of neonicotinoid presence and concentration in Prairie wetlands. We recommend wetland buffers consisting of diverse native vegetation be retained or restored to minimize neonicotinoid transport and retention in wetlands, thereby limiting their potential effects on wetland-dependent organisms. PMID:26098364

  10. A critical review of neonicotinoid insecticides for developmental neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Sheets, Larry P.; Li, Abby A.; Minnema, Daniel J.; Collier, Richard H.; Creek, Moire R.; Peffer, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A comprehensive review of published and previously unpublished studies was performed to evaluate the neonicotinoid insecticides for evidence of developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). These insecticides have favorable safety profiles, due to their preferential affinity for nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes in insects, poor penetration of the mammalian blood–brain barrier, and low application rates. Nevertheless, examination of this issue is warranted, due to their insecticidal mode of action and potential exposure with agricultural and residential uses. This review identified in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiology studies in the literature and studies performed in rats in accordance with GLP standards and EPA guidelines with imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, which are all the neonicotinoids currently registered in major markets. For the guideline-based studies, treatment was administered via the diet or gavage to primiparous female rats at three dose levels, plus a vehicle control (≥20/dose level), from gestation day 0 or 6 to lactation day 21. F1 males and females were evaluated using measures of motor activity, acoustic startle response, cognition, brain morphometry, and neuropathology. The principal effects in F1 animals were associated with decreased body weight (delayed sexual maturation, decreased brain weight, and morphometric measurements) and acute toxicity (decreased activity during exposure) at high doses, without neuropathology or impaired cognition. No common effects were identified among the neonicotinoids that were consistent with DNT or the neurodevelopmental effects associated with nicotine. Findings at high doses were associated with evidence of systemic toxicity, which indicates that these insecticides do not selectively affect the developing nervous system. PMID:26513508

  11. A critical review of neonicotinoid insecticides for developmental neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Sheets, Larry P; Li, Abby A; Minnema, Daniel J; Collier, Richard H; Creek, Moire R; Peffer, Richard C

    2016-02-01

    A comprehensive review of published and previously unpublished studies was performed to evaluate the neonicotinoid insecticides for evidence of developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). These insecticides have favorable safety profiles, due to their preferential affinity for nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes in insects, poor penetration of the mammalian blood-brain barrier, and low application rates. Nevertheless, examination of this issue is warranted, due to their insecticidal mode of action and potential exposure with agricultural and residential uses. This review identified in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiology studies in the literature and studies performed in rats in accordance with GLP standards and EPA guidelines with imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, which are all the neonicotinoids currently registered in major markets. For the guideline-based studies, treatment was administered via the diet or gavage to primiparous female rats at three dose levels, plus a vehicle control (≥20/dose level), from gestation day 0 or 6 to lactation day 21. F1 males and females were evaluated using measures of motor activity, acoustic startle response, cognition, brain morphometry, and neuropathology. The principal effects in F1 animals were associated with decreased body weight (delayed sexual maturation, decreased brain weight, and morphometric measurements) and acute toxicity (decreased activity during exposure) at high doses, without neuropathology or impaired cognition. No common effects were identified among the neonicotinoids that were consistent with DNT or the neurodevelopmental effects associated with nicotine. Findings at high doses were associated with evidence of systemic toxicity, which indicates that these insecticides do not selectively affect the developing nervous system. PMID:26513508

  12. Seismological Insights into the Structure of the Lesser Antilles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlaphorst, D.; Kendall, J.; Bastow, I. D.; Baptie, B.

    2012-12-01

    Due to an overall eastwards drift of the Caribbean plate of around 2cm/year relative to the Atlantic plate, the type of the subduction along the eastern part of the Caribbean changes. Compared to the simple subduction of the Atlantic plate in the east, the northern plate boundary zone is far more complex, predominantly characterised by a left-lateral east-west strike-slip motion that includes an oblique convergence of the Bahamas carbonate banks and a pull apart basin in the Mona Passage, the sea gate between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The island of Hispaniola is decoupled from the Caribbean plate, which leads to a second subduction zone south of Hispaniola where the Caribbean plate subducts beneath the Hispaniola micro plate. Strictly speaking, the arc only extends to the east of the island of Puerto Rico but since most of the northern Caribbean plate boundary zone is directly linked to it the results become more directly comparable. Fed by the Orinoco River the southern part of the Lesser Antilles is a sediment-rich subduction zone, which becomes sediment-poor towards the north as the sediments get blocked by several banks, including the accretionary prism containing the island of Barbados. Here we investigate the crustal and mantle structure variation along the Antilles Arc using measurements of seismic anisotropy and receiver functions. We use data from three component broadband stations that are located from the southern end of the arc to Hispaniola in the north. Seismic anisotropy refers to directional variations in wave speeds and their polarisations. The observation of two independently propagating shear waves (splitting) is the least ambiguous indication of anisotropy. Such observations can be used to constrain mantle flow beneath subduction regions, offering insights into slab dynamics. We generally observed trench parallel orientations around the plate boundary. However, we see significant local deviations in the inferred flow pattern, for example, in

  13. Widespread use and frequent detection of neonicotinoid insecticides in wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region.

    PubMed

    Main, Anson R; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Michel, Nicole L; Cessna, Allan J; Morrissey, Christy A

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concentrations in wetlands to measure four active ingredients (clothianidin, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid). From 2009 to 2012, neonicotinoid use was increasing; by 2012, applications covered an estimated ∼11 million hectares (44% of Prairie cropland) with >216,000 kg of active ingredients. Thiamethoxam, followed by clothianidin, were the dominant seed treatments by mass and area. Areas of high neonicotinoid use were identified as high density canola or soybean production. Water sampled four times from 136 wetlands (spring, summer, fall 2012 and spring 2013) across four rural municipalities in Saskatchewan similarly revealed clothianidin and thiamethoxam in the majority of samples. In spring 2012 prior to seeding, 36% of wetlands contained at least one neonicotinoid. Detections increased to 62% in summer 2012, declined to 16% in fall, and increased to 91% the following spring 2013 after ice-off. Peak concentrations were recorded during summer 2012 for both thiamethoxam (range: neonicotinoid concentrations (which did not exceed 20 ng/L). Wetlands situated in barley, canola and oat fields consistently contained higher mean concentrations of neonicotinoids than in grasslands, but no individual crop singularly influenced overall detections or concentrations. Distribution maps indicate neonicotinoid use is increasing and becoming

  14. Widespread Use and Frequent Detection of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region

    PubMed Central

    Main, Anson R.; Headley, John V.; Peru, Kerry M.; Michel, Nicole L.; Cessna, Allan J.; Morrissey, Christy A.

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concentrations in wetlands to measure four active ingredients (clothianidin, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid). From 2009 to 2012, neonicotinoid use was increasing; by 2012, applications covered an estimated ∼11 million hectares (44% of Prairie cropland) with >216,000 kg of active ingredients. Thiamethoxam, followed by clothianidin, were the dominant seed treatments by mass and area. Areas of high neonicotinoid use were identified as high density canola or soybean production. Water sampled four times from 136 wetlands (spring, summer, fall 2012 and spring 2013) across four rural municipalities in Saskatchewan similarly revealed clothianidin and thiamethoxam in the majority of samples. In spring 2012 prior to seeding, 36% of wetlands contained at least one neonicotinoid. Detections increased to 62% in summer 2012, declined to 16% in fall, and increased to 91% the following spring 2013 after ice-off. Peak concentrations were recorded during summer 2012 for both thiamethoxam (range: neonicotinoid concentrations (which did not exceed 20 ng/L). Wetlands situated in barley, canola and oat fields consistently contained higher mean concentrations of neonicotinoids than in grasslands, but no individual crop singularly influenced overall detections or concentrations. Distribution maps indicate neonicotinoid use is increasing and

  15. The neonicotinoid clothianidin interferes with navigation of the solitary bee Osmia cornuta in a laboratory test.

    PubMed

    Jin, Nanxiang; Klein, Simon; Leimig, Fabian; Bischoff, Gabriela; Menzel, Randolf

    2015-09-01

    Pollinating insects provide a vital ecosystem service to crops and wild plants. Exposure to low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides has sub-lethal effects on social pollinators such as bumblebees and honeybees, disturbing their navigation and interfering with their development. Solitary Hymenoptera are also very important ecosystem service providers, but the sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids have not yet been studied well in those animals. We analyzed the ability of walking Osmia to remember a feeding place in a small environment and found that Osmia remembers the feeding place well after 4 days of training. Uptake of field-realistic amounts of the neonicotinoid clothianidin (0.76 ng per bee) altered the animals' sensory responses to the visual environment and interfered with the retrieval of navigational memory. We conclude that the neonicotinoid clothianidin compromises visual guidance and the use of navigational memory in the solitary bee Osmia cornuta. PMID:26206356

  16. Widespread occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams in a high corn and soybean producing region, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hladik, Michelle L.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Kuivila, Kathryn M.

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are of environmental concern, but little is known about their occurrence in surface water. An area of intense corn and soybean production in the Midwestern United States was chosen to study this issue because of the high agricultural use of neonicotinoids via both seed treatments and other forms of application. Water samples were collected from nine stream sites during the 2013 growing season. The results for the 79 water samples documented similar patterns among sites for both frequency of detection and concentration (maximum:median) with clothianidin (75%, 257 ng/L:8.2 ng/L) > thiamethoxam (47%, 185 ng/L: imidacloprid (23%, 42.7 ng/L: <2 ng/L). Neonicotinoids were detected at all nine sites sampled even though the basin areas spanned four orders of magnitude. Temporal patterns in concentrations reveal pulses of neonicotinoids associated with rainfall events during crop planting, suggesting seed treatments as their likely source.

  17. Potential application of immunoassays for simple, rapid and quantitative detections of phytoavailable neonicotinoid insecticides in cropland soils.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Eiki; Seike, Nobuyasu; Motoki, Yutaka; Inao, Keiya; Otani, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    This study evaluated the applicability of commercially available kit-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to simple, quick, and quantitative detection for three water-extractable (phytoavailable) neonicotinoid insecticides: dinotefuran, clothianidin, and imidacloprid in soils. ELISA showed excellent analytical sensitivity for determination, but with cross-reaction to structurally related neonicotinoid analogues, which might produce false positives. To analyze insecticides in soil samples of diverse physicochemical properties, they were extracted with water. The aqueous soil extracts were assayed directly with ELISA. No matrix interference was observed without additional dilution with water. Recovery experiments for the insecticides from aqueous soil extracts spiked at 2-10 ng/mL showed good accuracy (72-126%) and precision (<16%). Kit-based ELISAs were used to estimate soil-water distribution coefficients (Kd). Values estimated using this method showed positive correlation between organic carbon contents in soil and those for evaluated insecticides. Results indicate that the evaluated kit-based ELISA has applicability for simple, quick, and reliable detection of phytoavailable insecticides in soils and for estimating Kd values in soil. PMID:27344017

  18. Underestimating neonicotinoid exposure: how extent and magnitude may be affected by land-use change.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Jesko; Stout, Jane C

    2016-04-01

    Potential detrimental impacts of neonicotinoids on non-target organisms, especially bees, have been subject to a wide debate and the subsequent ban of three neonicotinoids by the EU. While recent research has fortified concerns regarding the effects of neonicotinoids on ecosystem service (ES) providers, potential impacts have been considered negligible in systems with a relatively small proportion of arable land and thus lower the use of these pesticides. In this paper we argue that there is not sufficient information to assess magnitude and extent of neonicotinoid application, as well as potential non-target impacts on ES providers in grass-dominated systems with frequent land-use change. Using Ireland as an example, we show that the highly dynamic agricultural landscape, in conjunction with estimated persistence times of neonicotinoids in soils, may lead to a much larger area (18.6 ± 0.6% of the Irish agricultural area) exposed to these pesticides than initially assumed. Furthermore we present a number of important gaps in current research regarding the impacts of neonicotinoids on ES providers in such systems. PMID:26856865

  19. Impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on natural enemies in greenhouse and interiorscape environments.

    PubMed

    Cloyd, Raymond A; Bethke, James A

    2011-01-01

    The neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid, acetamiprid, dinotefuran, thiamethoxam and clothianidin are commonly used in greenhouses and/or interiorscapes (plant interiorscapes and conservatories) to manage a wide range of plant-feeding insects such as aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies. However, these systemic insecticides may also be harmful to natural enemies, including predators and parasitoids. Predatory insects and mites may be adversely affected by neonicotinoid systemic insecticides when they: (1) feed on pollen, nectar or plant tissue contaminated with the active ingredient; (2) consume the active ingredient of neonicotinoid insecticides while ingesting plant fluids; (3) feed on hosts (prey) that have consumed leaves contaminated with the active ingredient. Parasitoids may be affected negatively by neonicotinoid insecticides because foliar, drench or granular applications may decrease host population levels so that there are not enough hosts to attack and thus sustain parasitoid populations. Furthermore, host quality may be unacceptable for egg laying by parasitoid females. In addition, female parasitoids that host feed may inadvertently ingest a lethal concentration of the active ingredient or a sublethal dose that inhibits foraging or egg laying. There are, however, issues that require further consideration, such as: the types of plant and flower that accumulate active ingredients, and the concentrations in which they are accumulated; the influence of flower age on the level of exposure of natural enemies to the active ingredient; the effect of neonicotinoid metabolites produced within the plant. As such, the application of neonicotinoid insecticides in conjunction with natural enemies in protected culture and interiorscape environments needs further investigation. PMID:20721973

  20. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budge, G. E.; Garthwaite, D.; Crowe, A.; Boatman, N. D.; Delaplane, K. S.; Brown, M. A.; Thygesen, H. H.; Pietravalle, S.

    2015-08-01

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop.

  1. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape.

    PubMed

    Budge, G E; Garthwaite, D; Crowe, A; Boatman, N D; Delaplane, K S; Brown, M A; Thygesen, H H; Pietravalle, S

    2015-01-01

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop. PMID:26270806

  2. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape

    PubMed Central

    Budge, G. E.; Garthwaite, D.; Crowe, A.; Boatman, N. D.; Delaplane, K. S.; Brown, M. A.; Thygesen, H. H.; Pietravalle, S.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop. PMID:26270806

  3. Insights into Chromatin Structure and Dynamics in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Stefanie; Shaw, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The packaging of chromatin into the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell requires an extraordinary degree of compaction and physical organization. In recent years, it has been shown that this organization is dynamically orchestrated to regulate responses to exogenous stimuli as well as to guide complex cell-type-specific developmental programs. Gene expression is regulated by the compartmentalization of functional domains within the nucleus, by distinct nucleosome compositions accomplished via differential modifications on the histone tails and through the replacement of core histones by histone variants. In this review, we focus on these aspects of chromatin organization and discuss novel approaches such as live cell imaging and photobleaching as important tools likely to give significant insights into our understanding of the very dynamic nature of chromatin and chromatin regulatory processes. We highlight the contribution plant studies have made in this area showing the potential advantages of plants as models in understanding this fundamental aspect of biology. PMID:24833230

  4. Structure network analysis to gain insights into GPCR function.

    PubMed

    Fanelli, Francesca; Felline, Angelo; Raimondi, Francesco; Seeber, Michele

    2016-04-15

    G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are allosteric proteins whose functioning fundamentals are the communication between the two poles of the helix bundle. Protein structure network (PSN) analysis is one of the graph theory-based approaches currently used to investigate the structural communication in biomolecular systems. Information on system's dynamics can be provided by atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations or coarse grained elastic network models paired with normal mode analysis (ENM-NMA). The present review article describes the application of PSN analysis to uncover the structural communication in G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Strategies to highlight changes in structural communication upon misfolding, dimerization and activation are described. Focus is put on the ENM-NMA-based strategy applied to the crystallographic structures of rhodopsin in its inactive (dark) and signalling active (meta II (MII)) states, highlighting changes in structure network and centrality of the retinal chromophore in differentiating the inactive and active states of the receptor. PMID:27068978

  5. Structural and functional insight into the universal stress protein family

    PubMed Central

    Tkaczuk, Karolina L; A Shumilin, Igor; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Evdokimova, Elena; Savchenko, Alexei; Minor, Wladek

    2013-01-01

    We present the crystal structures of two universal stress proteins (USP) from Archaeoglobus fulgidus and Nitrosomonas europaea in both apo- and ligand-bound forms. This work is the first complete synthesis of the structural properties of 26 USP available in the Protein Data Bank, over 75% of which were determined by structure genomics centers with no additional information provided. The results of bioinformatic analyses of all available USP structures and their sequence homologs revealed that these two new USP structures share overall structural similarity with structures of USPs previously determined. Clustering and cladogram analyses, however, show how they diverge from other members of the USP superfamily and show greater similarity to USPs from organisms inhabiting extreme environments. We compared them with other archaeal and bacterial USPs and discuss their similarities and differences in context of structure, sequential motifs, and potential function. We also attempted to group all analyzed USPs into families, so that assignment of the potential function to those with no experimental data available would be possible by extrapolation. PMID:23745136

  6. Quantifying Neonicotinoid Insecticide Residues Escaping during Maize Planting with Vacuum Planters.

    PubMed

    Xue, Yingen; Limay-Rios, Victor; Smith, Jocelyn; Baute, Tracey; Forero, Luis Gabriel; Schaafsma, Arthur

    2015-11-01

    Neonicotinoid residues escaping in vacuum-planter exhaust during maize planting were measured in 25 fields in southwestern Ontario in 2013-2014 using filter bags to collect planter exhaust dust and horizontal and vertical sticky traps to collect planter operation-generated dust. Atrazine residues were used to differentiate between neonicotinoid residues originating from seed or from disturbed soil. Recovery rates of seed-applied neonicotinoids in exhaust were 0.014 and 0.365% in 2013 and 2014, respectively, calculated on the basis of neonicotinoid concentrations in preplant soil and seed application rates. Neonicotinoid exhaust emission rates were 0.0036 and 0.1104 g/ha for 2013 and 2014, respectively, with 99.9472 and 99.7820% originating from treated seed in 2013 and 2014, respectively, calculated on the basis of the atrazine marker. Rates of recovery of seed-applied neonicotinoid residues by exhaust filter bags were 0.015 and 0.437% for 2013 and 2014, respectively. Neonicotinoid residues captured on horizontal and vertical traps were 1.10 ng/cm2 (0.1104 g/ha) and 1.45 ng/cm2 (0.0029 g/ha), respectively, with 92.31 and 93.03% originating from treated seed, respectively, representing 0.3896% of the original active ingredient applied to the seed planted. Exposure to pollinators can be best reduced by strategies to keep active ingredient on the seed, below the soil surface, and in the field where applied. PMID:26437361

  7. Structural insights into G-quadruplexes: towards new anticancer drugs

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Danzhou; Okamoto, Keika

    2010-01-01

    DNA G-quadruplexes are DNA secondary structures formed in specific G-rich sequences. DNA sequences that can form G-quadruplexes have been found in regions with biological significance, such as human telomeres and oncogene-promoter regions. DNA G-quadruplexes have recently emerged as a new class of novel molecular targets for anticancer drugs. Recent progress on structural studies of the biologically relevant G-quadruplexes formed in human telomeres and in the promoter regions of human oncogenes will be discussed, as well as recent advances in the design and development of G-quadruplex-interactive drugs. DNA G-quadruplexes can readily form in solution under physiological conditions and are globularly folded nucleic acid structures. The molecular structures of intramolecular G-quadruplexes appear to differ from one another and, therefore, in principle may be differentially regulated and targeted by different proteins and drugs. PMID:20563318

  8. Recent Structural Insights into Cytochrome P450 Function.

    PubMed

    Guengerich, F Peter; Waterman, Michael R; Egli, Martin

    2016-08-01

    Cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes are important in the metabolism of drugs, steroids, fat-soluble vitamins, carcinogens, pesticides, and many other types of chemicals. Their catalytic activities are important issues in areas such as drug-drug interactions and endocrine function. During the past 30 years, structures of P450s have been very helpful in understanding function, particularly the mammalian P450 structures available in the past 15 years. We review recent activity in this area, focusing on the past 2 years (2014-2015). Structural work with microbial P450s includes studies related to the biosynthesis of natural products and the use of parasitic and fungal P450 structures as targets for drug discovery. Studies on mammalian P450s include the utilization of information about 'drug-metabolizing' P450s to improve drug development and also to understand the molecular bases of endocrine dysfunction. PMID:27267697

  9. Structural Insights into tRNA Dynamics on the Ribosome

    PubMed Central

    Agirrezabala, Xabier; Valle, Mikel

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution structures at different stages, as well as biochemical, single molecule and computational approaches have highlighted the elasticity of tRNA molecules when bound to the ribosome. It is well acknowledged that the inherent structural flexibility of the tRNA lies at the heart of the protein synthesis process. Here, we review the recent advances and describe considerations that the conformational changes of the tRNA molecules offer about the mechanisms grounded in translation. PMID:25941930

  10. Structural Insights into tRNA Dynamics on the Ribosome.

    PubMed

    Agirrezabala, Xabier; Valle, Mikel

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution structures at different stages, as well as biochemical, single molecule and computational approaches have highlighted the elasticity of tRNA molecules when bound to the ribosome. It is well acknowledged that the inherent structural flexibility of the tRNA lies at the heart of the protein synthesis process. Here, we review the recent advances and describe considerations that the conformational changes of the tRNA molecules offer about the mechanisms grounded in translation. PMID:25941930

  11. Insights to primitive replication derived from structures of small oligonucleotides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, G. K.; Fox, G. E.

    1995-01-01

    Available information on the structure of small oligonucleotides is surveyed. It is observed that even small oligomers typically exhibit defined structures over a wide range of pH and temperature. These structures rely on a plethora of non-standard base-base interactions in addition to the traditional Watson-Crick pairings. Stable duplexes, though typically antiparallel, can be parallel or staggered and perfect complementarity is not essential. These results imply that primitive template directed reactions do not require high fidelity. Hence, the extensive use of Watson-Crick complementarity in genes rather than being a direct consequence of the primitive condensation process, may instead reflect subsequent selection based on the advantage of accuracy in maintaining the primitive genetic machinery once it arose.

  12. Analysis of the kinesin superfamily: insights into structure and function.

    PubMed

    Miki, Harukata; Okada, Yasushi; Hirokawa, Nobutaka

    2005-09-01

    Kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) are key players or 'hub' proteins in the intracellular transport system, which is essential for cellular function and morphology. The KIF superfamily is also the first large protein family in mammals whose constituents have been completely identified and confirmed both in silico and in vivo. Numerous studies have revealed the structures and functions of individual family members; however, the relationships between members or a perspective of the whole superfamily structure until recently remained elusive. Here, we present a comprehensive summary based on a large, systematic phylogenetic analysis of the kinesin superfamily. All available sequences in public databases, including genomic information from all model organisms, were analyzed to yield the most complete phylogenetic kinesin tree thus far, comprising 14 families. This comprehensive classification builds on the recently proposed standardized nomenclature for kinesins and allows systematic analysis of the structural and functional relationships within the kinesin superfamily. PMID:16084724

  13. A new structural insight into XPA–DNA interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hilton, Benjamin; Shkriabai, Nick; Musich, Phillip R.; Kvaratskhelia, Mamuka; Shell, Steven; Zou, Yue

    2014-01-01

    XPA (xeroderma pigmentosum group A) protein is an essential factor for NER (nucleotide excision repair) which is believed to be involved in DNA damage recognition/verification, NER factor recruiting and stabilization of repair intermediates. Past studies on the structure of XPA have focused primarily on XPA interaction with damaged DNA. However, how XPA interacts with other DNA structures remains unknown though recent evidence suggest that these structures could be important for its roles in both NER and non-NER activities. Previously, we reported that XPA recognizes undamaged DNA ds/ssDNA (double-strand/single-strandDNA) junctions with a binding affinity much higher than its ability to bind bulky DNA damage. To understand how this interaction occurs biochemically we implemented a structural determination of the interaction using a MS-based protein footprinting method and limited proteolysis. By monitoring surface accessibility of XPA lysines to NHS-biotin modification in the free protein and the DNA junction-bound complex we show that XPA physically interacts with the DNA junctions via two lysines, K168 and K179, located in the previously known XPA(98–219) DBD (DNA-binding domain). Importantly, we also uncovered new lysine residues, outside of the known DBD, involved in the binding. We found that residues K221, K222, K224 and K236 in the C-terminal domain are involved in DNA binding. Limited proteolysis analysis of XPA–DNA interactions further confirmed this observation. Structural modelling with these data suggests a clamp-like DBD for the XPA binding to ds/ssDNA junctions. Our results provide a novel structure-function view of XPA–DNA junction interactions. PMID:25385088

  14. Structural Insight into OprD Substrate Specifity

    SciTech Connect

    Biswas,S.; Mohammad, M.; Patel, D.; Movileanu, L.; van den Berg, B.

    2007-01-01

    OprD proteins form a large family of substrate-specific outer-membrane channels in Gram-negative bacteria. We report here the X-ray crystal structure of OprD from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which reveals a monomeric 18-stranded beta-barrel characterized by a very narrow pore constriction, with a positively charged basic ladder on one side and an electronegative pocket on the other side. The location of highly conserved residues in OprD suggests that the structure represents the general architecture of OprD channels.

  15. New Insight into Carbon Nanotube Electronic Structure Selectivity

    SciTech Connect

    Sumpter, Bobby G; Meunier, Vincent; Jiang, Deen

    2009-01-01

    The fundamental role of aryl diazonium salts for post synthesis selectivity of carbon nanotubes is investigated using extensive electronic structure calculations. The resulting understanding for diazonium salt based selective separation of conducting and semiconducting carbon nanotubes shows how the primary contributions come from the interplay between the intrinsic electronic structure of the carbon nanotubes and that of the anion of the salt. We demonstrate how the electronic transport properties change upon the formation of charge transfer complexes and upon their conversion into covalently attached functional groups. Our results are found to correlate well with experiments and provide for the first time an atomistic description for diazonium salt based chemical separation of carbon nanotubes

  16. Evaluation of river pollution of neonicotinoids in Osaka City (Japan) by LC/MS with dopant-assisted photoionisation.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Atsushi; Terao, Tomoko; Hisatomi, Hirotaka; Kawasaki, Hideya; Arakawa, Ryuichi

    2012-08-01

    An atmospheric pressure photoionisation (APPI) source for liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) was applied to determine neonicotinoid pesticides in the aquatic environment. Dopant-assisted APPI was very effective in the ionisation of neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids generated protonated molecules in APPI with high sensitivity, while adduct ions, such as sodiated molecules, were predominantly generated in conventional electrospray ionisation. The ionisation of neonicotinoids was confirmed by ultra-high-resolution MS. An analytical method coupled with solid phase extraction was developed for acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, and thiamethoxam. Method detection limits were 0.47 to 2.1 ng L(-1) for six neonicotinoids. Dinotefuran was the most frequent and highest among the neonicotinoids examined in the aquatic environment in Osaka, Japan. The maximum concentration of dinotefuran was 220 ng L(-1). Given the toxicity of neonicotinoids for aquatic creatures, the concentrations observed here were substantially low. The change in concentrations was temporally coincident with the period of the neonicotinoid application. Although rapid photodegradation and some degradation products have been elucidated, the degradation products in the aquatic environment were not identified in the present study. PMID:22767100

  17. New insights into the structure and mechanism of iodothyronine deiodinases.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Ulrich; Steegborn, Clemens

    2015-12-01

    Iodothyronine deiodinases are a family of enzymes that remove specific iodine atoms from one of the two aromatic rings in thyroid hormones (THs). They thereby fine-tune local TH concentrations and cellular TH signaling. Deiodinases catalyze a remarkable biochemical reaction, i.e., the reductive elimination of a halogenide from an aromatic ring. In metazoans, deiodinases depend on the rare amino acid selenocysteine. The recent solution of the first experimental structure of a deiodinase catalytic domain allowed for a reappraisal of the many mechanistic and mutagenesis data that had been accumulated over more than 30 years. Hence, the structure generates new impetus for research directed at understanding catalytic mechanism, substrate specificity, and regulation of deiodinases. This review will focus on structural and mechanistic aspects of iodothyronine deiodinases and briefly compare these enzymes with dehalogenases, which catalyze related reactions. A general mechanism for the selenium-dependent deiodinase reaction will be described, which integrates the mouse deiodinase 3 crystal structure and biochemical studies. We will summarize further, sometimes isoform-specific molecular features of deiodinase catalysis and regulation, and we will then discuss available compounds for modulating deiodinase activity for therapeutic purposes. PMID:26390881

  18. Transmembrane potential polarization, calcium influx, and receptor conformational state modulate the sensitivity of the imidacloprid-insensitive neuronal insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor to neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bodereau-Dubois, Béatrice; List, Olivier; Calas-List, Delphine; Marques, Olivier; Communal, Pierre-Yves; Thany, Steeve H; Lapied, Bruno

    2012-05-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Recent studies revealed that their efficiency was altered by the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation process and the intracellular signaling pathway involved in the regulation of nAChRs. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology adapted for dissociated cockroach dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons, we demonstrated that intracellular factors involved in the regulation of nAChR function modulated neonicotinoid sensitivity. DUM neurons were known to express two α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR subtypes: nAChR1 and nAChR2. Whereas nAChR1 was sensitive to imidacloprid, nAChR2 was insensitive to this insecticide. Here, we demonstrated that, like nicotine, acetamiprid and clothianidin, other types of neonicotinoid insecticides, acted as agonists on the nAChR2 subtype. Using acetamiprid, we revealed that both steady-state depolarization and hyperpolarization affected nAChR2 sensitivity. The measurement of the input membrane resistance indicated that change in the acetamiprid-induced agonist activity was related to the receptor conformational state. Using cadmium chloride, ω-conotoxin GVIA, and (R,S)-(3,4-dihydro-6,7-dimethoxy-isoquinoline-1-yl)-2-phenyl-N,N-di-acetamide (LOE 908), we found that inhibition of calcium influx through high voltage-activated calcium channels and transient receptor potential γ (TRPγ) activated by both depolarization and hyperpolarization increased nAChR2 sensitivity to acetamiprid. Finally, using N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide hydrochloride (W7), forskolin, and cAMP, we demonstrated that adenylyl cyclase sensitive to the calcium/calmodulin complex regulated internal cAMP concentration, which in turn modulated TRPγ function and nAChR2 sensitivity to acetamiprid. Similar TRPγ-induced modulatory effects were also obtained when clothianidin was tested. These findings bring insights into the signaling pathway modulating

  19. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials

    PubMed Central

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  20. The Neonicotinoid Insecticide Imidacloprid Repels Pollinating Flies and Beetles at Field-Realistic Concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Easton, Amy H.; Goulson, Dave

    2013-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are widely used systemic insecticides which, when applied to flowering crops, are translocated to the nectar and pollen where they may impact upon pollinators. Given global concerns over pollinator declines, this potential impact has recently received much attention. Field exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoids depends on the concentrations present in flowering crops and the degree to which pollinators choose to feed upon them. Here we describe a simple experiment using paired yellow pan traps with or without insecticide to assess whether the commonly used neonicotinoid imidacloprid repels or attracts flying insects. Both Diptera and Coleoptera exhibited marked avoidance of traps containing imidacloprid at a field-realistic dose of 1 µg L−1, with Diptera avoiding concentrations as low as 0.01 µg L−1. This is to our knowledge the first evidence for any biological activity at such low concentrations, which are below the limits of laboratory detection using most commonly available techniques. Catch of spiders in pan traps was also slightly reduced by the highest concentrations of imidacloprid used (1 µg L−1), but catch was increased by lower concentrations. It remains to be seen if the repellent effect on insects occurs when neonicotinoids are present in real flowers, but if so then this could have implications for exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoids and for crop pollination. PMID:23382980

  1. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials.

    PubMed

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  2. Sex allocation theory reveals a hidden cost of neonicotinoid exposure in a parasitoid wasp

    PubMed Central

    Whitehorn, Penelope R.; Cook, Nicola; Blackburn, Charlotte V.; Gill, Sophie M.; Green, Jade; Shuker, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Sex allocation theory has proved to be one the most successful theories in evolutionary ecology. However, its role in more applied aspects of ecology has been limited. Here we show how sex allocation theory helps uncover an otherwise hidden cost of neonicotinoid exposure in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Female N. vitripennis allocate the sex of their offspring in line with Local Mate Competition (LMC) theory. Neonicotinoids are an economically important class of insecticides, but their deployment remains controversial, with evidence linking them to the decline of beneficial species. We demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge, that neonicotinoids disrupt the crucial reproductive behaviour of facultative sex allocation at sub-lethal, field-relevant doses in N. vitripennis. The quantitative predictions we can make from LMC theory show that females exposed to neonicotinoids are less able to allocate sex optimally and that this failure imposes a significant fitness cost. Our work highlights that understanding the ecological consequences of neonicotinoid deployment requires not just measures of mortality or even fecundity reduction among non-target species, but also measures that capture broader fitness costs, in this case offspring sex allocation. Our work also highlights new avenues for exploring how females obtain information when allocating sex under LMC. PMID:25925105

  3. Structural characterization of human heparanase reveals insights into substrate recognition

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Liang; Viola, Cristina M.; Brzozowski, Andrzej M.; Davies, Gideon J.

    2016-01-01

    Heparan Sulfate (HS) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) which forms a key component of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Breakdown of HS is carried out by heparanase (HPSE), an endo-β-glucuronidase of the glycoside hydrolase (GH)79 family. Overexpression of HPSE is strongly linked to cancer metastases - reflecting breakdown of extracellular HS and release of stored growth factors. Here we present crystal structures of human HPSE at 1.6-1.9 Å resolution reveal how an endo-acting binding cleft is exposed by proteolytic activation of latent proHPSE. Oligosaccharide complexes map the substrate-binding and sulfate recognition motifs. These data shed light on the structure and interactions for a key enzyme involved in ECM maintenance, and provide a starting point for design of HPSE inhibitors as biochemical tools and anti-cancer therapeutics. PMID:26575439

  4. Structural Insights into Ail-Mediated Adhesion in Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Yamashita, Satoshi; Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Felek, Suleyman; Tsang, Tiffany M.; Krukonis, Eric S.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2012-01-30

    Ail is an outer membrane protein from Yersinia pestis that is highly expressed in a rodent model of bubonic plague, making it a good candidate for vaccine development. Ail is important for attaching to host cells and evading host immune responses, facilitating rapid progression of a plague infection. Binding to host cells is important for injection of cytotoxic Yersinia outer proteins. To learn more about how Ail mediates adhesion, we solved two high-resolution crystal structures of Ail, with no ligand bound and in complex with a heparin analog called sucrose octasulfate. We identified multiple adhesion targets, including laminin and heparin, and showed that a 40 kDa domain of laminin called LG4-5 specifically binds to Ail. We also evaluated the contribution of laminin to delivery of Yops to HEp-2 cells. This work constitutes a structural description of how a bacterial outer membrane protein uses a multivalent approach to bind host cells.

  5. Structural characterization of human heparanase reveals insights into substrate recognition.

    PubMed

    Wu, Liang; Viola, Cristina M; Brzozowski, Andrzej M; Davies, Gideon J

    2015-12-01

    Heparan sulfate (HS) is a glycosaminoglycan that forms a key component of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Breakdown of HS is carried out by heparanase (HPSE), an endo-β-glucuronidase of the glycoside hydrolase 79 (GH79) family. Overexpression of HPSE results in breakdown of extracellular HS and release of stored growth factors and hence is strongly linked to cancer metastasis. Here we present crystal structures of human HPSE at 1.6-Å to 1.9-Å resolution that reveal how an endo-acting binding cleft is exposed by proteolytic activation of latent proHPSE. We used oligosaccharide complexes to map the substrate-binding and sulfate-recognition motifs. These data shed light on the structure and interactions of a key enzyme involved in ECM maintenance and provide a starting point for the design of HPSE inhibitors for use as biochemical tools and anticancer therapeutics. PMID:26575439

  6. Structural neuroimaging in schizophrenia from methods to insights to treatments

    PubMed Central

    Shenton, Martha E.; Whitford, Thomas J.; Kubicki, Marek

    2010-01-01

    Historically, Kraepelin speculated that dementia praecox resulted from damage to the cerebral cortex, most notably the frontal and temporal cortices. It is only recently, however, that tools have been available to test this hypothesis. Now, more than a century later, we know that schizophrenia is a brain disorder. This knowledge comes from critical advances in imaging technology- including computerized axial tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and diffusion imaging - all of which provide an unprecedented view of neuroanatomical structures, in vivo. Here, we review evidence for structural neuroimaging abnormalities, beginning with evidence for focal brain abnormalities, primarily in gray matter, and proceeding to the quest to identify abnormalities in brain systems and circuits by focusing on damage to white matter connections in the brain. We then review future prospects that need to be explored and pursued in order to translate our current knowledge into an understanding of the neurobiology of schizophrenia, which can then be translated into novel treatments. PMID:20954428

  7. Structural neuroimaging in schizophrenia: from methods to insights to treatments.

    PubMed

    Shenton, Martha E; Whitford, Thomas J; Kubicki, Marek

    2010-01-01

    Historically, Kraepelin speculated that dementia praecox resulted from damage to the cerebral cortex, most notably the frontal and temporal cortices. It is only recently, however, that tools have been available to test this hypothesis. Now, more than a century later, we know that schizophrenia is a brain disorder. This knowledge comes from critical advances in imaging technology--including computerized axial tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and diffusion imaging--all of which provide an unprecedented view of neuroanatomical structures, in vivo. Here, we review evidence for structural neuroimaging abnormalities, beginning with evidence for focal brain abnormalities, primarily in gray matter, and proceeding to the quest to identify abnormalities in brain systems and circuits by focusing on damage to white matter connections in the brain. We then review future prospects that need to be explored and pursued in order to translate our current knowledge into an understanding of the neurobiology of schizophrenia, which can then be translated into novel treatments. PMID:20954428

  8. Crustal structure of central Lake Baikal: Insights into intracontinental rifting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.S.; Taylor, M.H.

    2002-01-01

    The Cenozoic rift system of Baikal, located in the interior of the largest continental mass on Earth, is thought to represent a potential analog of the early stage of breakup of supercontinents. We present a detailed P wave velocity structure of the crust and sediments beneath the Central Basin, the deepest basin in the Baikal rift system. The structure is characterized by a Moho depth of 39-42.5 km; an 8-km-thick, laterally continuous high-velocity (7.05-7.4 km/s) lower crust, normal upper mantle velocity (8 km/s), a sedimentary section reaching maximum depths of 9 km, and a gradual increase of sediment velocity with depth. We interpret the high-velocity lower crust to be part of the Siberian Platform that was not thinned or altered significantly during rifting. In comparison to published results from the Siberian Platform, Moho under the basin is elevated by <3 km. On the basis of these results we propose that the basin was formed by upper crustal extension, possibly reactivating structures in an ancient fold-and-thrust belt. The extent and location of upper mantle extension are not revealed by our data, and it may be offset from the rift. We believe that the Baikal rift structure is similar in many respects to the Mesozoic Atlantic rift system, the precursor to the formation of the North Atlantic Ocean. We also propose that the Central Baikal rift evolved by episodic fault propagation and basin enlargement, rather than by two-stage rift evolution as is commonly assumed.

  9. Electronic structure of hydrogenated diamond: Microscopical insight into surface conductivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iacobucci, S.; Alippi, Paola; Calvani, P.; Girolami, M.; Offi, F.; Petaccia, L.; Trucchi, D. M.

    2016-07-01

    We have correlated the surface conductivity of hydrogen-terminated diamond to the electronic structure in the Fermi region. Significant density of electronic states (DOS) in proximity of the Fermi edge has been measured by photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) on surfaces exposed to air, corresponding to a p -type electric conductive regime, while upon annealing a depletion of the DOS has been achieved, resembling the diamond insulating state. The surface and subsurface electronic structure has been determined, exploiting the different probing depths of PES applied in a photon energy range between 7 and 31 eV. Ab initio density functional calculations including surface charge depletion and band-bending effects favorably compare with electronic states measured by angular-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. Such states are organized in the energy-momentum space in a twofold structure: one, bulk-derived, band disperses in the Γ -X direction with an average hole effective mass of (0.43 ±0.02 ) m0 , where m0 is the bare electron mass; a second flatter band, with an effective mass of (2.2 ±0.9 ) m0 , proves that a hole gas confined in the topmost layers is responsible for the conductivity of the (2 ×1 ) hydrogen-terminated diamond (100 ) surface.

  10. Structural insights into μ-opioid receptor activation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Weijiao; Manglik, Aashish; Venkatakrishnan, A. J.; Laeremans, Toon; Feinberg, Evan N.; Sanborn, Adrian L.; Kato, Hideaki E.; Livingston, Kathryn E.; Thorsen, Thor S.; Kling, Ralf; Granier, Sébastien; Gmeiner, Peter; Husbands, Stephen M.; Traynor, John R.; Weis, William I.; Steyaert, Jan; Dror, Ron O.; Kobilka, Brian K.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Activation of the μ-opioid receptor (μOR) is responsible for the efficacy of the most effective analgesics. To understand the structural basis for μOR activation, we obtained a 2.1 Å X-ray crystal structure of the μOR bound to the morphinan agonist BU72 and stabilized by a G protein-mimetic camelid-antibody fragment. The BU72-stabilized changes in the μOR binding pocket are subtle and differ from those observed for agonist-bound structures of the β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) and the M2 muscarinic receptor (M2R). Comparison with active β2AR reveals a common rearrangement in the packing of three conserved amino acids in the core of the μOR, and molecular dynamics simulations illustrate how the ligand-binding pocket is conformationally linked to this conserved triad. Additionally, an extensive polar network between the ligand-binding pocket and the cytoplasmic domains appears to play a similar role in signal propagation for all three GPCRs. PMID:26245379

  11. New Insights into Mitochondrial Structure during Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, Guy; Bossy-Wetzel, Ella; Ellisman, Mark H.

    2009-01-01

    Mitochondria play a pivotal role in the cascade of events associated with cell death pathways that are involved with several forms of neurodegeneration. Recent findings show that in the Bax/Bak-dependent pathway of apoptosis, the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria is a consequence of two carefully coordinated events: opening of crista junctions triggered by OPA1 oligomer disassembly and formation of outer-membrane pores. Both steps are necessary for the complete release of proapoptotic proteins. The remodeling of mitochondrial structure accompanies this pathway, including mitochondrial fission, and cristae and crista junction alterations. Yet, there is controversy surrounding the timing of certain remodeling events and whether they are necessary early events required for the release of pro-apoptotic factors or are simply a downstream after-effect. Here, we analyze the current knowledge of mitochondrial remodeling during cell death and discuss what structural alterations occur to this organelle during neurodegeneration, focusing on the higher resolution structural correlates obtained by electron microscopy and electron tomography. PMID:19464290

  12. Amyloid Structure and Assembly: Insights from Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsbury, C.; Wall, J.; Baxa, U.; Simon, M. N.; Steven, A. C.; Engel, A.; Aebi, U.; Muller, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates implicated in several common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Similar structures are also the molecular principle of the infectious spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and of the so-called yeast prions, inherited non-chromosomal elements found in yeast and fungi. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is often used to delineate the assembly mechanism and structural properties of amyloid aggregates. In this review we consider specifically contributions and limitations of STEM for the investigation of amyloid assembly pathways, fibril polymorphisms and structural models of amyloid fibrils. This type of microscopy provides the only method to directly measure the mass-per-length (MPL) of individual filaments. Made on both in vitro assembled and ex vivo samples, STEM mass measurements have illuminated the hierarchical relationships between amyloid fibrils and revealed that polymorphic fibrils and various globular oligomers can assemble simultaneously from a single polypeptide. The MPLs also impose strong constraints on possible packing schemes, assisting in molecular model building when combined with high-resolution methods like solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

  13. Structural Insight into Substrate Selectivity of Erwinia chrysanthemil-Asparaginase

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    l-Asparaginases of bacterial origin are a mainstay of acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment. The mechanism of action of these enzyme drugs is associated with their capacity to deplete the amino acid l-asparagine from the blood. However, clinical use of bacterial l-asparaginases is complicated by their dual l-asparaginase and l-glutaminase activities. The latter, even though representing only ∼10% of the overall activity, is partially responsible for the observed toxic side effects. Hence, l-asparaginases devoid of l-glutaminase activity hold potential as safer drugs. Understanding the key determinants of l-asparaginase substrate specificity is a prerequisite step toward the development of enzyme variants with reduced toxicity. Here we present crystal structures of the Erwinia chrysanthemil-asparaginase in complex with l-aspartic acid and with l-glutamic acid. These structures reveal two enzyme conformations—open and closed—corresponding to the inactive and active states, respectively. The binding of ligands induces the positioning of the catalytic Thr15 into its active conformation, which in turn allows for the ordering and closure of the flexible N-terminal loop. Notably, l-aspartic acid is more efficient than l-glutamic acid in inducing the active positioning of Thr15. Structural elements explaining the preference of the enzyme for l-asparagine over l-glutamine are discussed with guidance to the future development of more specific l-asparaginases. PMID:26855287

  14. Structural Insights Into the Evolutionary Paths of Oxylipin Biosynthetic Enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, D.-S.; Nioche, P.; Hamberg, M.; Raman, C.S.

    2009-05-20

    The oxylipin pathway generates not only prostaglandin-like jasmonates but also green leaf volatiles (GLVs), which confer characteristic aromas to fruits and vegetables. Although allene oxide synthase (AOS) and hydroperoxide lyase are atypical cytochrome P450 family members involved in the synthesis of jasmonates and GLVs, respectively, it is unknown how these enzymes rearrange their hydroperoxide substrates into different products. Here we present the crystal structures of Arabidopsis thaliana AOS, free and in complex with substrate or intermediate analogues. The structures reveal an unusual active site poised to control the reactivity of an epoxyallylic radical and its cation by means of interactions with an aromatic {pi}-system. Replacing the amino acid involved in these steps by a non-polar residue markedly reduces AOS activity and, unexpectedly, is both necessary and sufficient for converting AOS into a GLV biosynthetic enzyme. Furthermore, by combining our structural data with bioinformatic and biochemical analyses, we have discovered previously unknown hydroperoxide lyase in plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, AOS in coral, and epoxyalcohol synthase in amphioxus. These results indicate that oxylipin biosynthetic genes were present in the last common ancestor of plants and animals, but were subsequently lost in all metazoan lineages except Placozoa, Cnidaria and Cephalochordata.

  15. Structure of CD84 Provides Insight into SLAM Family Function

    SciTech Connect

    Yan,Q.; Malashkevich, V.; Fedorov, A.; Fedorov, E.; Cao, E.; Lary, J.; Cole, J.; Nathenson, S.; Almo, S.

    2007-01-01

    The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) family includes homophilic and heterophilic receptors that modulate both adaptive and innate immune responses. These receptors share a common ectodomain organization: a membrane-proximal immunoglobulin constant domain and a membrane-distal immunoglobulin variable domain that is responsible for ligand recognition. CD84 is a homophilic family member that enhances IFN-{gamma} secretion in activated T cells. Our solution studies revealed that CD84 strongly self-associates with a K{sub d} in the submicromolar range. These data, in combination with previous reports, demonstrate that the SLAM family homophilic affinities span at least three orders of magnitude and suggest that differences in the affinities may contribute to the distinct signaling behavior exhibited by the individual family members. The 2.0 {angstrom} crystal structure of the human CD84 immunoglobulin variable domain revealed an orthogonal homophilic dimer with high similarity to the recently reported homophilic dimer of the SLAM family member NTB-A. Structural and chemical differences in the homophilic interfaces provide a mechanism to prevent the formation of undesired heterodimers among the SLAM family homophilic receptors. These structural data also suggest that, like NTB-A, all SLAM family homophilic dimers adopt a highly kinked organization spanning an end-to-end distance of {approx}140 {angstrom}. This common molecular dimension provides an opportunity for all two-domain SLAM family receptors to colocalize within the immunological synapse and bridge the T cell and antigen-presenting cell.

  16. New insight on bismuth cuprates with incommensurate modulated structures.

    PubMed

    Mironov, Andrei V; Petříček, Vaclav; Khasanova, Nellie R; Antipov, Evgeny V

    2016-06-01

    The incommensurate modulated crystal structure of Bi2.27Sr1.73CuO6 + δ (2201) phase [a = 5.3874 (5), b = 5.3869 (4), c = 24.579 (3) Å; β = 90.01 (1)°, q = 0.2105 (3)a(*) + 0.538 (4)c(*), Z = 4, the (3 + 1)-dimensional monoclinic A2/a(α0γ) group] has been refined with R = 0.041, wR = 0.052 from X-ray single-crystal data including up to third-order satellite reflections. The same structure has also been considered as incommensurate composite with a2 = 2.437, b2 = 5.387, c2 = 24.614, β2 = 93.06, q2 = 0.4524a2(*)-0.243c2(*) and the (3 + 1)-dimensional A2/m(α0γ)0s group for the second component. Both approaches give quite similar results. The structure possesses oxygen disorder in the oxygen-rich region of the BiO layer. An extra O atom is determined in the bridging position shifted ∼ 0.6 Å from BiO towards the SrO layer. Its presence is the cause of the tremendous increase of the bismuth U(11) atomic displacement parameter in ∼ 20% of the unit cells (t = -0.05-0.15). Vacancies are determined in the oxygen site of the SrO layer, which may result in the oxygen content variation with annealing at different oxygen pressures. The total refined oxygen content 6.18 (1) corresponds to the results of chemical analysis. PMID:27240771

  17. Thermodynamic and structural insights into CSL-DNA complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Friedmann, David R.; Kovall, Rhett A.

    2010-10-28

    The Notch pathway is an intercellular signaling mechanism that plays important roles in cell fates decisions throughout the developing and adult organism. Extracellular complexation of Notch receptors with ligands ultimately results in changes in gene expression, which is regulated by the nuclear effector of the pathway, CSL (C-promoter binding factor 1 (CBF-1), suppressor of hairless (Su(H)), lin-12 and glp-1 (Lag-1)). CSL is a DNA binding protein that is involved in both repression and activation of transcription from genes that are responsive to Notch signaling. One well-characterized Notch target gene is hairy and enhancer of split-1 (HES-1), which is regulated by a promoter element consisting of two CSL binding sites oriented in a head-to-head arrangement. Although previous studies have identified in vivo and consensus binding sites for CSL, and crystal structures of these complexes have been determined, to date, a quantitative description of the energetics that underlie CSL-DNA binding is unknown. Here, we provide a thermodynamic and structural analysis of the interaction between CSL and the two individual sites that comprise the HES-1 promoter element. Our comprehensive studies that analyze binding as a function of temperature, salt, and pH reveal moderate, but distinct, differences in the affinities of CSL for the two HES-1 binding sites. Similarly, our structural results indicate that overall CSL binds both DNA sites in a similar manner; however, minor changes are observed in both the conformation of CSL and DNA. Taken together, our results provide a quantitative and biophysical basis for understanding how CSL interacts with DNA sites in vivo.

  18. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mps1 kinase activation

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Wei; Yang, Yuting; Gao, Yuefeng; Xu, Quanbin; Wang, Feng; Zhu, Songcheng; Old, William; Resing, Katheryn; Ahn, Natalie; Lei, Ming; Liu, Xuedong

    2010-11-05

    Mps1 is one of the several essential kinases whose activation is required for robust mitotic spindle checkpoint signalling. The activity of Mps1 is tightly regulated and increases dramatically during mitosis or in response to spindle damage. To understand the molecular mechanism underlying Mps1 regulation, we determined the crystal structure of the kinase domain of Mps1. The 2.7-{angstrom}-resolution crystal structure shows that the Mps1 kinase domain adopts a unique inactive conformation. Intramolecular interactions between the key Glu residue in the {alpha}C helix of the N-terminal lobe and the backbone amides in the catalytic loop lock the kinase in the inactive conformation. Autophosphorylation appears to be a priming event for kinase activation. We identified Mps1 autophosphorylation sites in the activation and the P+1 loops. Whereas activation loop autophosphorylation enhances kinase activity, autophosphorylation at the P+1 loop (T686) is associated with the active kinase. Mutation of T686 autophosphorylation site impairs both autophosphorylation and transphosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that phosphorylation of T676 may be a priming event for phosphorylation at T686. Finally, we identified two critical lysine residues in the loop between helices {alpha}EF and {alpha}F that are essential for substrate recruitment and maintaining high levels of kinase activity. Our studies reveal critical biochemical mechanisms for Mps1 kinase regulation.

  19. Structural insights into Paf1 complex assembly and histone binding.

    PubMed

    Chu, Xinlei; Qin, Xiaohong; Xu, Huisha; Li, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Li, Fengzhi; Xie, Xingqiao; Zhou, Hao; Shen, Yuequan; Long, Jiafu

    2013-12-01

    The highly conserved Paf1 complex (PAF1C) plays critical roles in RNA polymerase II transcription elongation and in the regulation of histone modifications. It has also been implicated in other diverse cellular activities, including posttranscriptional events, embryonic development and cell survival and maintenance of embryonic stem cell identity. Here, we report the structure of the human Paf1/Leo1 subcomplex within PAF1C. The overall structure reveals that the Paf1 and Leo1 subunits form a tightly associated heterodimer through antiparallel beta-sheet interactions. Detailed biochemical experiments indicate that Leo1 binds to PAF1C through Paf1 and that the Ctr9 subunit is the key scaffold protein in assembling PAF1C. Furthermore, we show that the Paf1/Leo1 heterodimer is necessary for its binding to histone H3, the histone octamer, and nucleosome in vitro. Our results shed light on the PAF1C assembly process and substrate recognition during various PAF1C-coordinated histone modifications. PMID:24038468

  20. Insights into the role and structure of plant ureases.

    PubMed

    Follmer, Cristian

    2008-01-01

    The broad distribution of ureases in leguminous seeds, as well as the accumulation pattern of the protein during seed maturation, are suggestive of an important physiological role for this enzyme. Since the isolation and characterization of jack bean urease by Sumner in 1926, many investigations have been dedicated to the structural and biological features of this enzyme; nevertheless, many questions still remain. It has been reported that ureases from plants (jack bean and soybean seeds) display biological properties unrelated to their ureolytic activity, notably a high insecticidal activity against Coleoptera (beetles) and Hemiptera (bugs), suggesting that ureases might be involved in plant defense. Besides the insecticidal activity, canatoxin, a jack bean urease isoform, causes convulsions and death in mice and rats, induces indirect hemagglutination (hemilectin activity) and promotes exocytosis in several cell types. Not only plant ureases but also some microbial ureases (found in Bacillus pasteurii and Helicobacter pylori) are able to induce activation of platelets in a process mediated by lipoxygenase-derived metabolites. This review summarizes the biological and structural properties of plant ureases, compares them with those displayed by bacterial ureases, and discusses the significance of these findings. PMID:17706733

  1. FRESH INSIGHTS ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE SOLAR CORE

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, Sarbani; Chaplin, William J.; Elsworth, Yvonne; New, Roger; Serenelli, Aldo M. E-mail: w.j.chaplin@bham.ac.uk E-mail: r.new@shu.ac.uk

    2009-07-10

    We present new results on the structure of the solar core, obtained with new sets of frequencies of solar low-degree p modes obtained from the BiSON network. We find that different methods used in extracting the different sets of frequencies cause shifts in frequencies, but the shifts are not large enough to affect solar structure results. We find that the BiSON frequencies show that the solar sound speed in the core is slightly larger than that inferred from data from Michelson Doppler Imager low-degree modes, and the uncertainties on the inversion results are smaller. Density results also change by a larger amount, and we find that solar models now tend to show smaller differences in density compared to the Sun. The result is seen at all radii, a result of the fact that conservation of mass implies that density differences in one region have to cancel out density differences in others, since our models are constructed to have the same mass as the Sun. The uncertainties on the density results are much smaller too. We attribute the change in results to having more, and lower frequency, low-degree mode frequencies available. These modes provide greater sensitivity to conditions in the core.

  2. Structural and Functional Insight into Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen.

    PubMed

    Park, So Young; Jeong, Mi Suk; Han, Chang Woo; Yu, Hak Sun; Jang, Se Bok

    2016-04-28

    Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a critical eukaryotic replication accessory factor that supports DNA binding in DNA processing, such as DNA replication, repair, and recombination. PCNA consists of three toroidal-shaped monomers that encircle doublestranded DNA. The diverse functions of PCNA may be regulated by its interactions with partner proteins. Many of the PCNA partner proteins generally have a conserved PCNAinteracting peptide (PIP) motif, located at the N- or C- terminal region. The PIP motif forms a 310 helix that enters into the hydrophobic groove produced by an interdomain-connecting loop, a central loop, and a C-terminal tail in the PCNA. Post-translational modification of PCNA also plays a critical role in regulation of its function and binding partner proteins. Structural and biochemical studies of PCNA-protein will be useful in designing therapeutic agents, as well as estimating the outcome of anticancer drug development. This review summarizes the characterization of eukaryotic PCNA in relation to the protein structures, functions, and modifications, and interaction with proteins. PMID:26699741

  3. Structural and Biochemical Insights into MLL1 Core Complex Assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Avdic, Vanja; Zhang, Pamela; Lanouette, Sylvain; Groulx, Adam; Tremblay, Véronique; Brunzelle, Joseph; Couture, Jean-François

    2012-05-02

    Histone H3 Lys-4 methylation is predominantly catalyzed by a family of methyltransferases whose enzymatic activity depends on their interaction with a three-subunit complex composed of WDR5, RbBP5, and Ash2L. Here, we report that a segment of 50 residues of RbBP5 bridges the Ash2L C-terminal domain to WDR5. The crystal structure of WDR5 in ternary complex with RbBP5 and MLL1 reveals that both proteins binds peptide-binding clefts located on opposite sides of WDR5s {beta}-propeller domain. RbBP5 engages in several hydrogen bonds and van der Waals contacts within a V-shaped cleft formed by the junction of two blades on WDR5. Mutational analyses of both the WDR5 V-shaped cleft and RbBP5 residues reveal that the interactions between RbBP5 and WDR5 are important for the stimulation of MLL1 methyltransferase activity. Overall, this study provides the structural basis underlying the formation of the WDR5-RbBP5 subcomplex and further highlight the crucial role of WDR5 in scaffolding the MLL1 core complex.

  4. Structural insights into RNA recognition by RIG-I

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Dahai; Ding, Steve C.; Vela, Adriana; Kohlway, Andrew; Lindenbach, Brett D.; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2011-01-01

    Summary Intracellular RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs, including RIG-I, MDA-5, and LGP-2) recognize viral RNAs as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and initiate an antiviral immune response. To understand the molecular basis of this process, we determined the crystal structure of RIG-I in complex with double-stranded RNA. The dsRNA is sheathed within a network of protein domains that include a conserved “helicase” domain (regions HEL1 and HEL2), a specialized insertion domain (HEL2i), and a C-terminal regulatory domain (CTD). A V-shaped pincer connects HEL2 and the CTD by gripping an α-helical shaft that extends from HEL1. In this way, the pincer coordinates functions of all the domains and couples RNA binding with ATP hydrolysis. RIG-I falls within the Dicer-RIG-I clade of super family 2 of helicases and this structure reveals complex interplay between motor domains, accessory mechanical domains and RNA that has implications for understanding the nanomechanical function this protein family and other ATPases more broadly. PMID:22000018

  5. Structural Insights into RNA Recognition by RIG-I

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, Dahai; Ding, Steve C.; Vela, Adriana; Kohlway, Andrew; Lindenbach, Brett D.; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2011-10-27

    Intracellular RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs, including RIG-I, MDA-5, and LGP2) recognize viral RNAs as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and initiate an antiviral immune response. To understand the molecular basis of this process, we determined the crystal structure of RIG-I in complex with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The dsRNA is sheathed within a network of protein domains that include a conserved 'helicase' domain (regions HEL1 and HEL2), a specialized insertion domain (HEL2i), and a C-terminal regulatory domain (CTD). A V-shaped pincer connects HEL2 and the CTD by gripping an {alpha}-helical shaft that extends from HEL1. In this way, the pincer coordinates functions of all the domains and couples RNA binding with ATP hydrolysis. RIG-I falls within the Dicer-RIG-I clade of the superfamily 2 helicases, and this structure reveals complex interplay between motor domains, accessory mechanical domains, and RNA that has implications for understanding the nanomechanical function of this protein family and other ATPases more broadly.

  6. Structural Insights into KCTD Protein Assembly and Cullin3 Recognition.

    PubMed

    Ji, Alan X; Chu, Anh; Nielsen, Tine Kragh; Benlekbir, Samir; Rubinstein, John L; Privé, Gilbert G

    2016-01-16

    Cullin3 (Cul3)-based ubiquitin E3 ligase complexes catalyze the transfer of ubiquitin from an E2 enzyme to target substrate proteins. In these assemblies, the C-terminal region of Cul3 binds Rbx1/E2-ubiquitin, while the N-terminal region interacts with various BTB (bric-à-brac, tramtrack, broad complex) domain proteins that serve as substrate adaptors. Previous crystal structures of the homodimeric BTB proteins KLHL3, KLHL11 and SPOP in complex with the N-terminal domain of Cul3 revealed the features required for Cul3 recognition in these proteins. A second class of BTB-domain-containing proteins, the KCTD proteins, is also Cul3 substrate adaptors, but these do not share many of the previously identified determinants for Cul3 binding. We report the pentameric crystal structures of the KCTD1 and KCTD9 BTB domains and identify plasticity in the KCTD1 rings. We find that the KCTD proteins 5, 6, 9 and 17 bind to Cul3 with high affinity, while the KCTD proteins 1 and 16 do not have detectable binding. Finally, we confirm the 5:5 assembly of KCTD9/Cul3 complexes by cryo-electron microscopy and provide a molecular rationale for BTB-mediated Cul3 binding specificity in the KCTD family. PMID:26334369

  7. Artemin Crystal Structure Reveals Insights into Heparan Sulfate Binding

    SciTech Connect

    Silvian,L.; Jin, P.; Carmillo, P.; Boriack-Sjodin, P.; Pelletier, C.; Rushe, M.; Gong, B.; Sah, D.; Pepinsky, B.; Rossomando, A.

    2006-01-01

    Artemin (ART) promotes the growth of developing peripheral neurons by signaling through a multicomponent receptor complex comprised of a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor (cRET) and a specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked co-receptor (GFR{alpha}3). Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) signals through a similar ternary complex but requires heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for full activity. HSPG has not been demonstrated as a requirement for ART signaling. We crystallized ART in the presence of sulfate and solved its structure by isomorphous replacement. The structure reveals ordered sulfate anions bound to arginine residues in the pre-helix and amino-terminal regions that were organized in a triad arrangement characteristic of heparan sulfate. Three residues in the pre-helix were singly or triply substituted with glutamic acid, and the resulting proteins were shown to have reduced heparin-binding affinity that is partly reflected in their ability to activate cRET. This study suggests that ART binds HSPGs and identifies residues that may be involved in HSPG binding.

  8. Structural insights into the bacterial carbon-phosphorus lyase machinery

    PubMed Central

    Seweryn, Paulina; Van, Lan Bich; Kjeldgaard, Morten; Russo, Christopher J.; Passmore, Lori A.; Hove-Jensen, Bjarne; Jochimsen, Bjarne; Brodersen, Ditlev E.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Phosphorous is required for all life and microorganisms can extract it from their environment through several metabolic pathways. When phosphate is in limited supply, some bacteria are able to use organic phosphonate compounds, which require specialised enzymatic machinery for breaking the stable carbon-phosphorus (C-P) bond. Despite its importance, the details of how this machinery catabolises phosphonate remain unknown. Here we determine the crystal structure of the 240 kDa Escherichia coli C-P lyase core complex (PhnGHIJ) and show that it is a two-fold symmetric hetero-octamer comprising an intertwined network of subunits with unexpected self-homologies. It contains two potential active sites that likely couple organic phosphonate compounds to ATP and subsequently hydrolyse the C-P bond. We map the binding site of PhnK on the complex using electron microscopy and show that it binds to PhnJ via a conserved insertion domain. Our results provide a structural basis for understanding microbial phosphonate breakdown. PMID:26280334

  9. Structural Insights into Polymorphic ABO Glycan Binding by Helicobacter pylori.

    PubMed

    Moonens, Kristof; Gideonsson, Pär; Subedi, Suresh; Bugaytsova, Jeanna; Romaõ, Ema; Mendez, Melissa; Nordén, Jenny; Fallah, Mahsa; Rakhimova, Lena; Shevtsova, Anna; Lahmann, Martina; Castaldo, Gaetano; Brännström, Kristoffer; Coppens, Fanny; Lo, Alvin W; Ny, Tor; Solnick, Jay V; Vandenbussche, Guy; Oscarson, Stefan; Hammarström, Lennart; Arnqvist, Anna; Berg, Douglas E; Muyldermans, Serge; Borén, Thomas; Remaut, Han

    2016-01-13

    The Helicobacter pylori adhesin BabA binds mucosal ABO/Le(b) blood group (bg) carbohydrates. BabA facilitates bacterial attachment to gastric surfaces, increasing strain virulence and forming a recognized risk factor for peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. High sequence variation causes BabA functional diversity, but the underlying structural-molecular determinants are unknown. We generated X-ray structures of representative BabA isoforms that reveal a polymorphic, three-pronged Le(b) binding site. Two diversity loops, DL1 and DL2, provide adaptive control to binding affinity, notably ABO versus O bg preference. H. pylori strains can switch bg preference with single DL1 amino acid substitutions, and can coexpress functionally divergent BabA isoforms. The anchor point for receptor binding is the embrace of an ABO fucose residue by a disulfide-clasped loop, which is inactivated by reduction. Treatment with the redox-active pharmaceutic N-acetylcysteine lowers gastric mucosal neutrophil infiltration in H. pylori-infected Le(b)-expressing mice, providing perspectives on possible H. pylori eradication therapies. PMID:26764597

  10. Microscopic insight into the structure of gallium isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Preeti; Sharma, Chetan; Singh, Suram; Bharti, Arun; Khosa, S. K.

    2012-07-01

    Projected Shell Model technique has been applied to odd-A71-81Ga nuclei with the deformed single-particle states generated by the standard Nilsson potential. Various nuclear structure quantities have been calculated with this technique and compared with the available experimental data in the present work. The known experimental data of the yrast bands in these nuclei are persuasively described and the band diagrams obtained for these nuclei show that the yrast bands in these odd-A Ga isotopes don't belong to the single intrinsic state only but also have multi-particle states. The back-bending in moment of inertia and the electric quadrupole transitions are also calculated.

  11. Highlight: Structural Insights into Nonribosomal Peptide Enzymatic Assembly Lines

    PubMed Central

    Koglin, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Nonribosomal peptides have a variety of medicinal activities including activity as antibiotics, antitumor drugs, immunosuppressives, and toxins. Their biosynthesis on multimodular assembly lines as a series of covalently tethered thioesters, in turn covalently attached on pantetheinyl arms on carrier protein way stations, reflects similar chemical logic and protein machinery to fatty acid and polyketide biosynthesis. While structural information on excised or isolated catalytic adenylation (A), condensation (C), peptidyl carrier protein (PCP) and thioesterase (TE) domains had been gathered over the past decade, little was known about how the NRPS catalytic and carrier domains interact with each other both within and across elongation or termination modules. This highlight reviews recent breakthrough achievements in both X-ray and NMR spectroscopic studies that illuminate the architecture of NRPS PCP domains, PCP-containing didomain-fragments and of a full termination module (C-A-PCP-TE). PMID:19636447

  12. Dynamic insight into protein structure utilizing red edge excitation shift.

    PubMed

    Chattopadhyay, Amitabha; Haldar, Sourav

    2014-01-21

    Proteins are considered the workhorses in the cellular machinery. They are often organized in a highly ordered conformation in the crowded cellular environment. These conformations display characteristic dynamics over a range of time scales. An emerging consensus is that protein function is critically dependent on its dynamics. The subtle interplay between structure and dynamics is a hallmark of protein organization and is essential for its function. Depending on the environmental context, proteins can adopt a range of conformations such as native, molten globule, unfolded (denatured), and misfolded states. Although protein crystallography is a well established technique, it is not always possible to characterize various protein conformations by X-ray crystallography due to transient nature of these states. Even in cases where structural characterization is possible, the information obtained lacks dynamic component, which is needed to understand protein function. In this overall scenario, approaches that reveal information on protein dynamics are much appreciated. Dynamics of confined water has interesting implications in protein folding. Interfacial hydration combines the motion of water molecules with the slow moving protein molecules. The red edge excitation shift (REES) approach becomes relevant in this context. REES is defined as the shift in the wavelength of maximum fluorescence emission toward higher wavelengths, caused by a shift in the excitation wavelength toward the red edge of absorption spectrum. REES arises due to slow rates (relative to fluorescence lifetime) of solvent relaxation (reorientation) around an excited state fluorophore in organized assemblies such as proteins. Consequently, REES depends on the environment-induced motional restriction imposed on the solvent molecules in the immediate vicinity of the fluorophore. In the case of a protein, the confined water in the protein creates a dipolar field that acts as the solvent for a fluorophore

  13. Structural insights into the catalytic mechanism of cyclophilin A.

    PubMed

    Howard, Bruce R; Vajdos, Felix F; Li, Su; Sundquist, Wesley I; Hill, Christopher P

    2003-06-01

    Cyclophilins constitute a ubiquitous protein family whose functions include protein folding, transport and signaling. They possess both sequence-specific binding and proline cis-trans isomerase activities, as exemplified by the interaction between cyclophilin A (CypA) and the HIV-1 CA protein. Here, we report crystal structures of CypA in complex with HIV-1 CA protein variants that bind preferentially with the substrate proline residue in either the cis or the trans conformation. Cis- and trans-Pro substrates are accommodated within the enzyme active site by rearrangement of their N-terminal residues and with minimal distortions in the path of the main chain. CypA Arg55 guanidinium group probably facilitates catalysis by anchoring the substrate proline oxygen and stabilizing sp3 hybridization of the proline nitrogen in the transition state. PMID:12730686

  14. Structural insights into the antigenicity of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein

    PubMed Central

    Breithaupt, Constanze; Schubart, Anna; Zander, Hilke; Skerra, Arne; Huber, Robert; Linington, Christopher; Jacob, Uwe

    2003-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by inflammation, demyelination, and axonal loss. The immunopathogenesis of demyelination in multiple sclerosis involves an autoantibody response to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), a type I transmembrane protein located at the surface of CNS myelin. Here we present the crystal structures of the extracellular domain of MOG (MOGIgd) at 1.45-Å resolution and the complex of MOGIgd with the antigen-binding fragment (Fab) of the MOG-specific demyelinating monoclonal antibody 8-18C5 at 3.0-Å resolution. MOGIgd adopts an IgV like fold with the A′GFCC′C″ sheet harboring a cavity similar to the one used by the costimulatory molecule B7-2 to bind its ligand CTLA4. The antibody 8-18C5 binds to three loops located at the membrane-distal side of MOG with a surprisingly dominant contribution made by MOG residues 101–108 containing a strained loop that forms the upper edge of the putative ligand binding site. The sequence R101DHSYQEE108 is unique for MOG, whereas large parts of the remaining sequence are conserved in potentially tolerogenic MOG homologues expressed outside the immuno-privileged environment of the CNS. Strikingly, the only sequence identical to DHSYQEE was found in a Chlamydia trachomatis protein of unknown function, raising the possibility that Chlamydia infections may play a role in the MOG-specific autoimmune response in man. Our data provide the structural basis for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies targeting the pathogenic autoantibody response to MOG. PMID:12874380

  15. Increasing neonicotinoid use and the declining butterfly fauna of lowland California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forister, Matthew L.; Cousens, Bruce; Harrison, Joshua G.; Anderson, Kayce; Thorne, James H.; Waetjen, Dave; Nice, Chris C.; De Parsia, Matthew; Hladik, Michelle L.; Meese, Robert; van Vliet, Heidi; Shapiro, Arthur M.

    2016-01-01

    The butterfly fauna of lowland Northern California has exhibited a marked decline in recent years that previous studies have attributed in part to altered climatic conditions and changes in land use. Here, we ask if a shift in insecticide use towards neonicotinoids is associated with butterfly declines at four sites in the region that have been monitored for four decades. A negative association between butterfly populations and increasing neonicotinoid application is detectable while controlling for land use and other factors, and appears to be more severe for smaller-bodied species. These results suggest that neonicotinoids could influence non-target insect populations occurring in proximity to application locations, and highlights the need for mechanistic work to complement long-term observational data.

  16. Increasing neonicotinoid use and the declining butterfly fauna of lowland California.

    PubMed

    Forister, Matthew L; Cousens, Bruce; Harrison, Joshua G; Anderson, Kayce; Thorne, James H; Waetjen, Dave; Nice, Chris C; De Parsia, Matthew; Hladik, Michelle L; Meese, Robert; van Vliet, Heidi; Shapiro, Arthur M

    2016-08-01

    The butterfly fauna of lowland Northern California has exhibited a marked decline in recent years that previous studies have attributed in part to altered climatic conditions and changes in land use. Here, we ask if a shift in insecticide use towards neonicotinoids is associated with butterfly declines at four sites in the region that have been monitored for four decades. A negative association between butterfly populations and increasing neonicotinoid application is detectable while controlling for land use and other factors, and appears to be more severe for smaller-bodied species. These results suggest that neonicotinoids could influence non-target insect populations occurring in proximity to application locations, and highlights the need for mechanistic work to complement long-term observational data. PMID:27531159

  17. Structural insight into magnetochrome-mediated magnetite biomineralization.

    PubMed

    Siponen, Marina I; Legrand, Pierre; Widdrat, Marc; Jones, Stephanie R; Zhang, Wei-Jia; Chang, Michelle C Y; Faivre, Damien; Arnoux, Pascal; Pignol, David

    2013-10-31

    Magnetotactic bacteria align along the Earth's magnetic field using an organelle called the magnetosome, a biomineralized magnetite (Fe(II)Fe(III)2O4) or greigite (Fe(II)Fe(III)2S4) crystal embedded in a lipid vesicle. Although the need for both iron(II) and iron(III) is clear, little is known about the biological mechanisms controlling their ratio. Here we present the structure of the magnetosome-associated protein MamP and find that it is built on a unique arrangement of a self-plugged PDZ domain fused to two magnetochrome domains, defining a new class of c-type cytochrome exclusively found in magnetotactic bacteria. Mutational analysis, enzyme kinetics, co-crystallization with iron(II) and an in vitro MamP-assisted magnetite production assay establish MamP as an iron oxidase that contributes to the formation of iron(III) ferrihydrite eventually required for magnetite crystal growth in vivo. These results demonstrate the molecular mechanisms of iron management taking place inside the magnetosome and highlight the role of magnetochrome in iron biomineralization. PMID:24097349

  18. Structural and Functional Insights into Endoglin Ligand Recognition and Binding

    PubMed Central

    Alt, Aaron; Miguel-Romero, Laura; Donderis, Jordi; Aristorena, Mikel; Blanco, Francisco J.; Round, Adam; Rubio, Vicente; Bernabeu, Carmelo; Marina, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    Endoglin, a type I membrane glycoprotein expressed as a disulfide-linked homodimer on human vascular endothelial cells, is a component of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β receptor complex and is implicated in a dominant vascular dysplasia known as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia as well as in preeclampsia. It interacts with the type I TGF-β signaling receptor activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)1 and modulates cellular responses to Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP)-9 and BMP-10. Structurally, besides carrying a zona pellucida (ZP) domain, endoglin contains at its N-terminal extracellular region a domain of unknown function and without homology to any other known protein, therefore called the orphan domain (OD). In this study, we have determined the recognition and binding ability of full length ALK1, endoglin and constructs encompassing the OD to BMP-9 using combined methods, consisting of surface plasmon resonance and cellular assays. ALK1 and endoglin ectodomains bind, independently of their glycosylation state and without cooperativity, to different sites of BMP-9. The OD comprising residues 22 to 337 was identified among the present constructs as the minimal active endoglin domain needed for partner recognition. These studies also pinpointed to Cys350 as being responsible for the dimerization of endoglin. In contrast to the complete endoglin ectodomain, the OD is a monomer and its small angle X-ray scattering characterization revealed a compact conformation in solution into which a de novo model was fitted. PMID:22347366

  19. Structural insight into magnetochrome-mediated magnetite biomineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siponen, Marina I.; Legrand, Pierre; Widdrat, Marc; Jones, Stephanie R.; Zhang, Wei-Jia; Chang, Michelle C. Y.; Faivre, Damien; Arnoux, Pascal; Pignol, David

    2013-10-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria align along the Earth's magnetic field using an organelle called the magnetosome, a biomineralized magnetite (Fe(II)Fe(III)2O4) or greigite (Fe(II)Fe(III)2S4) crystal embedded in a lipid vesicle. Although the need for both iron(II) and iron(III) is clear, little is known about the biological mechanisms controlling their ratio. Here we present the structure of the magnetosome-associated protein MamP and find that it is built on a unique arrangement of a self-plugged PDZ domain fused to two magnetochrome domains, defining a new class of c-type cytochrome exclusively found in magnetotactic bacteria. Mutational analysis, enzyme kinetics, co-crystallization with iron(II) and an in vitro MamP-assisted magnetite production assay establish MamP as an iron oxidase that contributes to the formation of iron(III) ferrihydrite eventually required for magnetite crystal growth in vivo. These results demonstrate the molecular mechanisms of iron management taking place inside the magnetosome and highlight the role of magnetochrome in iron biomineralization.

  20. Structure of the Tongariro Volcanic system: Insights from magnetotelluric imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Graham J.; Bibby, Hugh M.; Ogawa, Yasuo; Wallin, Erin L.; Bennie, Stewart L.; Caldwell, T. Grant; Keys, Harry; Bertrand, Edward A.; Heise, Wiebke

    2015-12-01

    The dynamics of magma reservoirs (the main repositories for eruptible magma) play a fundamental role in the style and behaviour of volcanic systems. A key first step in understanding these systems is to identify their location and size accurately. We present results from a broadband magnetotelluric study of the Tongariro Volcanic system and discuss how the results fit within current petrological models. The Tongariro Volcanic system is a composite andesitic cone complex, located at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in the central North Island of New Zealand. We use data from 136 broadband magnetotelluric soundings within a 25 × 35 km area covering the volcanic system to construct a 3D image of the magmatic system of the Tongariro Volcanic Complex including Mount Ngauruhoe. The structure of the Tongariro magmatic system has been determined from 3D forward and inverse modelling of the magnetotelluric data and allowed for an estimation of the melt fraction present within the system. 3D inverse modelling of the magnetotelluric data shows: a well-developed shallow low resistivity zone outlining the geothermal system; a zone of even lower resistivity representing a shallow crustal magma accumulation zone located at a depth of ˜4-12 km offset to the east of the Tongariro vent system; and a zone with a slightly higher resistivity connecting these two components of the magmatic system providing the path for magmatic fluids from the deeper source region to reach the surface during eruptive events.

  1. Structures and functions in the crowded nucleus: new biophysical insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, Ronald

    2014-09-01

    Concepts and methods from the physical sciences have catalysed remarkable progress in understanding the cell nucleus in recent years. To share this excitement with physicists and encourage their interest in this field, this review offers an overview of how the physics which underlies structures and functions in the nucleus is becoming more clear thanks to methods which have been developed to simulate and study macromolecules, polymers, and colloids. The environment in the nucleus is very crowded with macromolecules, making entropic (depletion) forces major determinants of interactions. Simulation and experiments are consistent with their key role in forming membraneless compartments such as nucleoli, PML and Cajal bodies, and discrete "territories" for chromosomes. The chromosomes, giant linear polyelectrolyte polymers, exist in vivo in a state like a polymer melt. Looped conformations are predicted in crowded conditions, and have been confirmed experimentally and are central to the regulation of gene expression. Polymer theory has revealed how the chromosomes are so highly compacted in the nucleus, forming a "crumpled globule" with fractal properties which avoids knots and entanglements in DNA while allowing facile accessibility for its replication and transcription. Entropic repulsion between looped polymers can explain the confinement of each chromosome to a discrete region of the nucleus. Crowding and looping are predicted to facilitate finding the specific targets of factors which modulate activities of DNA. Simulation shows that entropic effects contribute to finding and repairing potentially lethal double-strand breaks in DNA by increasing the mobility of the broken ends, favouring their juxtaposition for repair. Signaling pathways are strongly influenced by crowding, which favours a processive mode of response (consecutive reactions without releasing substrates). This new information contributes to understanding the sometimes counter-intuitive consequences.

  2. New insights into F-pilus structure, dynamics, and function.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Philip M; Clarke, Margaret B

    2010-01-01

    F-pili are thin, flexible filaments elaborated by F(+) cells of Escherichia coli. They belong to the class of Gram-negative pili that function in horizontal gene transfer. F-pili are initially required to establish contacts between DNA donor and recipient cells. Beyond that, F-pilus function, and that of other conjugative pili, has remained obscure and controversial. The idea that F-pili are dynamic structures was proposed 40 years ago. Initially, F-pili were thought to remain extended until another cell bound to the filament tip, whereupon the filament retracted to bring the contacted cell to the donor cell surface. Thereafter, secure surface-surface contacts would allow efficient DNA transfer. A later variant of this hypothesis was that F-pili are inherently dynamic, elongating and retracting even in the absence of exogenous signals. A very different hypothesis, also proposed first about 40 years ago, was that F-pili are conduits, presumably passive, for the transfer of DNA from donor to recipient. In this hypothesis, DNA transfer is not obligatorily coupled to F-pilus retraction. Here, we review recent data obtained by integrating long-established facts about the biology of F-pili with modern tools of fluorescence and electron microscopy. These data suggest that one function for F-pili is to search a large volume around donor cells in liquid culture for the presence of other cells. However, this may not be the only function. We show that F-pilin is also required at a second, largely undefined step occurring after cells have been brought into direct contact by F-pilus retraction. PMID:20473409

  3. Neonicotinoid insecticides inhibit cholinergic neurotransmission in a molluscan (Lymnaea stagnalis) nervous system.

    PubMed

    Vehovszky, Á; Farkas, A; Ács, A; Stoliar, O; Székács, A; Mörtl, M; Győri, J

    2015-10-01

    Neonicotinoids are highly potent and selective systemic insecticides, but their widespread use also has a growing impact on non-target animals and contaminates the environment, including surface waters. We tested the neonicotinoid insecticides commercially available in Hungary (acetamiprid, Mospilan; imidacloprid, Kohinor; thiamethoxam, Actara; clothianidin, Apacs; thiacloprid, Calypso) on cholinergic synapses that exist between the VD4 and RPeD1 neurons in the central nervous system of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. In the concentration range used (0.01-1 mg/ml), neither chemical acted as an acetylcholine (ACh) agonist; instead, both displayed antagonist activity, inhibiting the cholinergic excitatory components of the VD4-RPeD1 connection. Thiacloprid (0.01 mg/ml) blocked almost 90% of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs), while the less effective thiamethoxam (0.1 mg/ml) reduced the synaptic responses by about 15%. The ACh-evoked membrane responses of the RPeD1 neuron were similarly inhibited by the neonicotinoids, confirming that the same ACh receptor (AChR) target was involved. We conclude that neonicotinoids act on nicotinergic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the snail CNS. This has been established previously in the insect CNS; however, our data indicate differences in the background mechanism or the nAChR binding site in the snail. Here, we provide the first results concerning neonicotinoid-related toxic effects on the neuronal connections in the molluscan nervous system. Aquatic animals, including molluscs, are at direct risk while facing contaminated surface waters, and snails may provide a suitable model for further studies of the behavioral/neuronal consequences of intoxication by neonicotinoids. PMID:26340121

  4. Photodegradation of neonicotinoid insecticides in water by semiconductor oxides.

    PubMed

    Fenoll, José; Garrido, Isabel; Hellín, Pilar; Flores, Pilar; Navarro, Simón

    2015-10-01

    The photocatalytic degradation of three neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs), thiamethoxam (TH), imidacloprid (IM) and acetamiprid (AC), in pure water has been studied using zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) as photocatalysts under natural sunlight and artificial light irradiation. Photocatalytic experiments showed that the addition of these chalcogenide oxides in tandem with the electron acceptor (Na2S2O8) strongly enhances the degradation rate of these compounds in comparison with those carried out with ZnO and TiO2 alone and photolytic tests. Comparison of catalysts showed that ZnO is the most efficient for the removal of such insecticides in optimal conditions and at constant volumetric rate of photon absorption. Thus, the complete disappearance of all the studied compounds was achieved after 10 and 30 min of artificial light irradiation, in the ZnO/Na2S2O8 and TiO2/Na2S2O8 systems, respectively. The highest degradation rate was noticed for IM, while the lowest rate constant was obtained for AC under artificial light irradiation. In addition, solar irradiation was more efficient compared to artificial light for the removal of these insecticides from water. The main photocatalytic intermediates detected during the degradation of NIs were identified. PMID:26002372

  5. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  6. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P.D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees1-5. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sub-lethal effects on bees affecting their foraging behaviour1,6,7, homing ability8,9 and reproductive success2,5. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants10-12, but until now research on pesticide impacts has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly these pesticide exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also suggest reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour but most likely due to impacts at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the function of natural ecosystems. PMID:26580009

  7. INSIGHTS ON SCRAPIE PRION PROTEIN (PrPSc) STRUCTURE OBTAINED BY LIMITED PROTEOLYSIS AND MASS SPECTROMETRY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elucidation of the structure of PrPSc, essential to understand the molecular mechanism of prion transmission, continues to be one of the major challenges in prion research, and is hampered by the insolubility and polymeric character of PrPSc. Limited proteolysis is a useful tool to obtain insight on...

  8. Insight into nucleon structure from lattice calculations of moments of parton and generalized parton distributions

    SciTech Connect

    J.W. Negele; R.C. Brower; P. Dreher; R. Edwards; G. Fleming; Ph. Hagler; U.M. Heller; Th. Lippert; A.V.Pochinsky; D.B. Renner; D. Richards; K. Schilling; W. Schroers

    2004-04-01

    This talk presents recent calculations in full QCD of the lowest three moments of generalized parton distributions and the insight they provide into the behavior of nucleon electromagnetic form factors, the origin of the nucleon spin, and the transverse structure of the nucleon. In addition, new exploratory calculations in the chiral regime of full QCD are discussed.

  9. The Manifest Association Structure of the Single-Factor Model: Insights from Partial Correlations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salgueiro, Maria de Fatima; Smith, Peter W. F.; McDonald, John W.

    2008-01-01

    The association structure between manifest variables arising from the single-factor model is investigated using partial correlations. The additional insights to the practitioner provided by partial correlations for detecting a single-factor model are discussed. The parameter space for the partial correlations is presented, as are the patterns of…

  10. Cognitive Structures of the Gifted: Theoretical Perspectives, Factor Analysis, Triarchic Theories of Intelligence, and Insight Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaughnessy, Michael F.

    The paper reviews research on the cognitive structures of gifted students. Theories of R. Sternberg and his triarchic model of intelligence are described. Sternberg asserts that three processes appear to account for insight: selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison. H. Gardner's perspective citing six types of…

  11. Structural and Mechanistic Insights into C-P Bond Hydrolysis by Phosphonoacetate Hydrolase

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, Vinayak; Borisova, Svetlana A.; Metcalf, William W.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Nair, Satish K.

    2011-12-22

    Bacteria have evolved pathways to metabolize phosphonates as a nutrient source for phosphorus. In Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021, 2-aminoethylphosphonate is catabolized to phosphonoacetate, which is converted to acetate and inorganic phosphate by phosphonoacetate hydrolase (PhnA). Here we present detailed biochemical and structural characterization of PhnA that provides insights into the mechanism of C-P bond cleavage. The 1.35 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure reveals a catalytic core similar to those of alkaline phosphatases and nucleotide pyrophosphatases but with notable differences, such as a longer metal-metal distance. Detailed structure-guided analysis of active site residues and four additional cocrystal structures with phosphonoacetate substrate, acetate, phosphonoformate inhibitor, and a covalently bound transition state mimic provide insight into active site features that may facilitate cleavage of the C-P bond. These studies expand upon the array of reactions that can be catalyzed by enzymes of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily.

  12. Insights into the serine protease mechanism from atomic resolution structures of trypsin reaction intermediates

    PubMed Central

    Radisky, Evette S.; Lee, Justin M.; Lu, Chia-Jung Karen; Koshland, Daniel E.

    2006-01-01

    Atomic resolution structures of trypsin acyl-enzymes and a tetrahedral intermediate analog, along with previously solved structures representing the Michaelis complex, are used to reconstruct events in the catalytic cycle of this classic serine protease. Structural comparisons provide insight into active site adjustments involved in catalysis. Subtle motions of the catalytic serine and histidine residues coordinated with translation of the substrate reaction center are seen to favor the forward progress of the acylation reaction. The structures also clarify the attack trajectory of the hydrolytic water in the deacylation reaction. PMID:16636277

  13. Functional, structural, and emotional correlates of impaired insight in cocaine addiction

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Scott J.; Konova, Anna B.; Parvaz, Muhammad A.; Tomasi, Dardo; Lane, Richard D.; Fort, Carolyn; Goldstein, Rita Z.

    2014-01-01

    Context Individuals with cocaine use disorder (CUD) have difficulty monitoring ongoing behavior, possibly stemming from dysfunction of brain regions subserving insight and self-awareness [e.g., anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)]. Objective To test the hypothesis that CUD with impaired insight (iCUD) would show abnormal (A) ACC activity during error processing, assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging during a classic inhibitory control task; (B) ACC gray matter integrity assessed with voxel-based morphometry; and (C) awareness of one’s own emotional experiences, assessed with the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS). Using a previously validated probabilistic choice task, we grouped 33 CUD according to insight [iCUD: N=15; unimpaired insight CUD: N=18]; we also studied 20 healthy controls, all with unimpaired insight. Design Multimodal imaging design. Setting Clinical Research Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Participants Thirty-three CUD and 20 healthy controls. Main Outcome Measure Functional magnetic resonance imaging, voxel-based morphometry, LEAS, and drug use variables. Results Compared with the other two study groups, iCUD showed lower (A) error-induced rostral ACC (rACC) activity as associated with more frequent cocaine use; (B) gray matter within the rACC; and (C) LEAS scores. Conclusions These results point to rACC functional and structural abnormalities, and diminished emotional awareness, in a subpopulation of CUD characterized by impaired insight. Because the rACC has been implicated in appraising the affective/motivational significance of errors and other types of self-referential processing, functional and structural abnormalities in this region could result in lessened concern (frequently ascribed to minimization and denial) about behavioral outcomes that could potentially culminate in increased drug use. Treatments targeting this CUD subgroup could focus on enhancing the salience of errors (e.g., lapses). PMID:24258223

  14. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T; Samson, Andrew J; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A; Huang, Jeffrey T-J; Connolly, Christopher N

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species. PMID:27124107

  15. Effects of Neonicotinoids and Crop Rotation for Managing Wireworms in Wheat Crops.

    PubMed

    Esser, Aaron D; Milosavljević, Ivan; Crowder, David W

    2015-08-01

    Soil-dwelling insects are severe pests in many agroecosystems. These pests have cryptic life cycles, making sampling difficult and damage hard to anticipate. The management of soil insects is therefore often based on preventative insecticides applied at planting or cultural practices. Wireworms, the subterranean larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae), have re-emerged as problematic pests in cereal crops in the Pacific Northwestern United States. Here, we evaluated two management strategies for wireworms in long-term field experiments: 1) treating spring wheat seed with the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam and 2) replacing continuous spring wheat with a summer fallow and winter wheat rotation. Separate experiments were conducted for two wireworm species--Limonius californicus (Mannerheim) and Limonius infuscatus (Motschulsky). In the experiment with L. californicus, spring wheat yields and economic returns increased by 24-30% with neonicotinoid treatments. In contrast, in the experiment with L. infuscatus, spring wheat yields and economic returns did not increase with neonicotinoids despite an 80% reduction in wireworms. Thus, the usefulness of seed-applied neonicotinoids differed based on the wireworm species present. In experiments with both species, we detected significantly fewer wireworms with a no-till summer fallow and winter wheat rotation compared with continuous spring wheat. This suggests that switching from continuous spring wheat to a winter wheat and summer fallow rotation may aid in wireworm management. More generally, our results show that integrated management of soil-dwelling pests such as wireworms may require both preventative insecticide treatments and cultural practices. PMID:26470320

  16. Reproductive parameters of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) affected by neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Barati, Reihaneh; Hejazi, Mir Jalil

    2015-08-01

    Two-spotted spider mite is a major pest of many agricultural and ornamental crops worldwide. Some reports have indicated that application of neonicotinoid insecticides may lead to increased fecundity of this pest. If this is found to be true, the use of these pesticides may cause an outbreak of spider mite populations. Sublethal effects of three neonicotinoids, namely thiacloprid, acetamiprid and thiamethoxam were studied on T. urticae adults at field recommended doses. The experiments were carried out using bean leaf pieces in plastic Petri dishes. The adult mites were treated using two methods: (1) drench application and (2) spraying of leaves with Potter Spray Tower. Our results indicated that all neonicotinoids tested increased T. urticae population. In both treatment methods, acetamiprid treated mites had the highest intrinsic rate of population increase (rm) and finite rate of population increase (λ); and the lowest mean generation time (T) and doubling time among the treatments. If similar results are obtained from greenhouse and field trials, the use of these insecticides requires necessary precautions such as avoiding repeated use of neonicotinoid insecticide for controlling insect pests. PMID:25912952

  17. Enantioselective absorption and transformation of a novel chiral neonicotinoid [(14)C]-cycloxaprid in rats.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chengchen; Huang, Lei; Tang, Shenghua; Li, Zhong; Ye, Qingfu

    2016-06-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides caused hazardous effects on pollinators and aquatic ecosystem. The new developed chiral cis-neonicotinoid cycloxaprid(CYC) is a highly potent substitute for low toxicity to bees and high efficiency on target-insects, but little is known about the metabolic dynamics of racemic CYC and its 2 enantiomers(SR and RS) in animal models. In this study, chiral separation of (14)C-labeled racemic CYC was performed in high-performance liquid chromatography under optimal conditions. For the first time that the stereoselectivity of the chiral neonicotinoid insecticide CYC was exhibited in rats after single dose oral administration using (14)C-labeled isotope trace technique. Enantioselective behaviors of racemic CYC, SR and RS were observed in blood metabolism, tissue distribution and excretion. The major deposition of (14)C were found in liver, lung, kidney and heart. After 24 h, skin and fat showed a strong bioaccumulation effect, and total excreted urine and feces of CYC, SR and RS were 50.4%, 59.7% and 74.5%, respectively. Enantiomer RS had the fastest absorption and elimination rates, and it was least bioaccumulated in rats. The results provide scientific basis and practical techniques for environmental risk assessment of chiral pesticides, especially neonicotinoids. PMID:27038208

  18. Neonicotinoid insecticide interact with honeybee odorant-binding protein: Implication for olfactory dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongliang; Wu, Fan; Zhao, Lei; Tan, Jing; Jiang, Hongtao; Hu, Fuliang

    2015-11-01

    The decline of bee population has caused great concern in recent years. A noticeable factor points to the neonicotinoid insecticides, which remain in the nectar and pollen of plants and impair the olfactory cognition of foraging bees. However, it remains elusive that if and how neonicotinoid insecticides interact with the olfactory system of bees. Herein, we studied the binding interaction between neonicotinoid imidacloprid and ASP2, one odorant-binding protein in eastern bees, Apis cerana, by multispectroscopic methods. The results indicate that imidacloprid significantly quenched the intrinsic fluorescence of ASP2 as the static quenching mode, and expanded the conformation of ASP2 measured by the circular dichroism (CD) spectra. The acting force is mainly driven by hydrophobic force based on thermodynamic analysis. Docking analysis predicts a formation of a hydrogen bond, while the corresponding site-directed mutagenesis indicated that the hydrogen bond is not main force here. Moreover, imidacloprid with a sublethal dose (0.8ng/bee) clearly decreased the binding affinity of ASP2 to a floral volatile, β-ionone, which had been identified to strongly bind with the wild ASP2 before. This study may benefit to evaluate the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on the olfactory cognitive behavior of bees involved in the crops pollination. PMID:26318218

  19. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T.; Samson, Andrew J.; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey T.-J.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2016-04-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species.

  20. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J.; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.—Moffat, C., Pacheco, J. G., Sharp, S., Samson, A. J., Bollan, K. A., Huang, J., Buckland, S. T., Connolly, C. N. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). PMID:25634958

  1. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T.; Samson, Andrew J.; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey T.-J.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species. PMID:27124107

  2. The neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin affect the immunocompetence of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity. PMID:26776096

  3. Neonicotinoid Residues in Wildflowers, a Potential Route of Chronic Exposure for Bees.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; David, Arthur; Horwood, Julia; Abdul-Sada, Alaa; Nicholls, Elizabeth; Hill, Elizabeth; Goulson, Dave

    2015-11-01

    In recent years, an intense debate about the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoids, a group of widely used, neurotoxic insecticides, has been joined. When these systemic compounds are applied to seeds, low concentrations are subsequently found in the nectar and pollen of the crop, which are then collected and consumed by bees. Here we demonstrate that the current focus on exposure to pesticides via the crop overlooks an important factor: throughout spring and summer, mixtures of neonicotinoids are also found in the pollen and nectar of wildflowers growing in arable field margins, at concentrations that are sometimes even higher than those found in the crop. Indeed, the large majority (97%) of neonicotinoids brought back in pollen to honey bee hives in arable landscapes was from wildflowers, not crops. Both previous and ongoing field studies have been based on the premise that exposure to neonicotinoids would occur only during the blooming period of flowering crops and that it may be diluted by bees also foraging on untreated wildflowers. Here, we show that exposure is likely to be higher and more prolonged than currently recognized because of widespread contamination of wild plants growing near treated crops. PMID:26439915

  4. Compatibility of Two Systematic Neonicotinoids, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam with various Natural Enemies of Agricultural Pests.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two systemic neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, are widely used for residual control of a number of insect pests in cotton, vegetables, and citrus. We evaluated their impact on six species of beneficial arthropods including four parasitoid species, Aphytis melinus Gonatocerus ashmeadi, ...

  5. A LABORATORY BIOASSAY FOR MONITORING RESISTANCE IN TARNISHED PLANT BUG POPULATIONS TO NEONICOTINOID INSECTICIDES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A laboratory bioassay was developed for testing tarnished plant bug populations for resistance development to the neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The bioassay allows for the determination of LC50 values by feeding known doses of the insecticides to adult tarnished plant bu...

  6. Structural insights into the architecture of the hyperthermophilic Fusellovirus SSV1.

    PubMed

    Stedman, Kenneth M; DeYoung, Melissa; Saha, Mitul; Sherman, Michael B; Morais, Marc C

    2015-01-01

    The structure and assembly of many icosahedral and helical viruses are well-characterized. However, the molecular basis for the unique spindle-shaped morphology of many viruses that infect Archaea remains unknown. To understand the architecture and assembly of these viruses, the spindle-shaped virus SSV1 was examined using cryo-EM, providing the first 3D-structure of a spindle-shaped virus as well as insight into SSV1 biology, assembly and evolution. Furthermore, a geometric framework underlying the distinct spindle-shaped structure is proposed. PMID:25463608

  7. Neonicotinoid contamination of global surface waters and associated risk to aquatic invertebrates: a review.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Christy A; Mineau, Pierre; Devries, James H; Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco; Liess, Matthias; Cavallaro, Michael C; Liber, Karsten

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoids, broad-spectrum systemic insecticides, are the fastest growing class of insecticides worldwide and are now registered for use on hundreds of field crops in over 120 different countries. The environmental profile of this class of pesticides indicate that they are persistent, have high leaching and runoff potential, and are highly toxic to a wide range of invertebrates. Therefore, neonicotinoids represent a significant risk to surface waters and the diverse aquatic and terrestrial fauna that these ecosystems support. This review synthesizes the current state of knowledge on the reported concentrations of neonicotinoids in surface waters from 29 studies in 9 countries world-wide in tandem with published data on their acute and chronic toxicity to 49 species of aquatic insects and crustaceans spanning 12 invertebrate orders. Strong evidence exists that water-borne neonicotinoid exposures are frequent, long-term and at levels (geometric means=0.13μg/L (averages) and 0.63μg/L (maxima)) which commonly exceed several existing water quality guidelines. Imidacloprid is by far the most widely studied neonicotinoid (66% of the 214 toxicity tests reviewed) with differences in sensitivity among aquatic invertebrate species ranging several orders of magnitude; other neonicotinoids display analogous modes of action and similar toxicities, although comparative data are limited. Of the species evaluated, insects belonging to the orders Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera and Diptera appear to be the most sensitive, while those of Crustacea (although not universally so) are less sensitive. In particular, the standard test species Daphnia magna appears to be very tolerant, with 24-96hour LC50 values exceeding 100,000μg/L (geometric mean>44,000μg/L), which is at least 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than the geometric mean of all other invertebrate species tested. Overall, neonicotinoids can exert adverse effects on survival, growth, emergence, mobility, and behavior of many

  8. Monitoring changes in Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) susceptibility to neonicotinoid insecticides in Arizona and California.

    PubMed

    Castle, S J; Prabhaker, N

    2013-06-01

    Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B is a highly prolific and polyphagous whitefly that established in much of North America during the 1980s. Neonicotinoid insecticides have been fundamental in regaining control over outbreak populations of B. tabaci, but resistance threatens their sustainability. Susceptibility of B. tabaci in the southwestern United States to four neonicotinoid insecticides varied considerably across populations within each year over a 3 yr period. Using a variability ratio of highest LC50 to lowest LC50 in field-collected whitefly adults from Arizona and California, the ranges of LC50(s) across all tests within compounds were highest to imidacloprid and lowest to thiamethoxam. Patterns of susceptibility were similar among all four neonicotinoid insecticides, but the greater variability in responses to imidacloprid and significantly higher LC50(s) attained indicated higher resistance levels to imidacloprid in all field populations. Further evidence of differential toxicities of neonicotinoids was observed in multiple tests of dinotefuran against imidacloprid-resistant lab strains that yielded significant differences in the LC50(s) of dinotefuran and imidacloprid in simultaneous bioassays. To test the possibility that resistance expression in field-collected insects was sometimes masked by stressful conditions, field strains cultured in a greenhouse without insecticide exposure produced significantly higher LC50(s) to all neonicotinoids compared with LC50(s) attained directly from the field. In harsh climates such as the American southwest, resistance expression in field-collected test insects may be strongly influenced by environmental stresses such as high temperatures, overcrowding, and declining host plant quality. PMID:23865208

  9. Insect nicotinic receptor interactions in vivo with neonicotinoid, organophosphorus, and methylcarbamate insecticides and a synergist

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Xusheng; Xia, Shanshan; Durkin, Kathleen A.; Casida, John E.

    2013-01-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR) is the principal insecticide target. Nearly half of the insecticides by number and world market value are neonicotinoids acting as nAChR agonists or organophosphorus (OP) and methylcarbamate (MC) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors. There was no previous evidence for in vivo interactions of the nAChR agonists and AChE inhibitors. The nitromethyleneimidazole (NMI) analog of imidacloprid, a highly potent neonicotinoid, was used here as a radioligand, uniquely allowing for direct measurements of house fly (Musca domestica) head nAChR in vivo interactions with various nicotinic agents. Nine neonicotinoids inhibited house fly brain nAChR [3H]NMI binding in vivo, corresponding to their in vitro potency and the poisoning signs or toxicity they produced in intrathoracically treated house flies. Interestingly, nine topically applied OP or MC insecticides or analogs also gave similar results relative to in vivo nAChR binding inhibition and toxicity, but now also correlating with in vivo brain AChE inhibition, indicating that ACh is the ultimate OP- or MC-induced nAChR active agent. These findings on [3H]NMI binding in house fly brain membranes validate the nAChR in vivo target for the neonicotinoids, OPs and MCs. As an exception, the remarkably potent OP neonicotinoid synergist, O-propyl O-(2-propynyl) phenylphosphonate, inhibited nAChR in vivo without the corresponding AChE inhibition, possibly via a reactive ketene metabolite reacting with a critical nucleophile in the cytochrome P450 active site and the nAChR NMI binding site. PMID:24108354

  10. Neonicotinoid-contaminated puddles of water represent a risk of intoxication for honey bees.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Chagnon, Madeleine; Fournier, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 µg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers' exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water. These findings not only document the impact of this route of exposure for honey bees, they also have implications for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops for which the extensive use of neonicotinoids is currently promoted. PMID:25438051

  11. Neonicotinoid-Contaminated Puddles of Water Represent a Risk of Intoxication for Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Chagnon, Madeleine; Fournier, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 µg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers' exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water. These findings not only document the impact of this route of exposure for honey bees, they also have implications for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops for which the extensive use of neonicotinoids is currently promoted. PMID:25438051

  12. Atomic Force Microscopy in Microbiology: New Structural and Functional Insights into the Microbial Cell Surface

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Microbial cells sense and respond to their environment using their surface constituents. Therefore, understanding the assembly and biophysical properties of cell surface molecules is an important research topic. With its ability to observe living microbial cells at nanometer resolution and to manipulate single-cell surface molecules, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as a powerful tool in microbiology. Here, we survey major breakthroughs made in cell surface microbiology using AFM techniques, emphasizing the most recent structural and functional insights. PMID:25053785

  13. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Their Impacts on Bees: A Systematic Review of Research Approaches and Identification of Knowledge Gaps.

    PubMed

    Lundin, Ola; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Fries, Ingemar; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides threatens bees, but research on this topic has been surrounded by controversy. In order to synthesize which research approaches have been used to examine the effect of neonicotinoids on bees and to identify knowledge gaps, we systematically reviewed research on this subject that was available on the Web of Science and PubMed in June 2015. Most of the 216 primary research studies were conducted in Europe or North America (82%), involved the neonicotinoid imidacloprid (78%), and concerned the western honey bee Apis mellifera (75%). Thus, little seems to be known about neonicotinoids and bees in areas outside Europe and North America. Furthermore, because there is considerable variation in ecological traits among bee taxa, studies on honey bees are not likely to fully predict impacts of neonicotinoids on other species. Studies on crops were dominated by seed-treated maize, oilseed rape (canola) and sunflower, whereas less is known about potential side effects on bees from the use of other application methods on insect pollinated fruit and vegetable crops, or on lawns and ornamental plants. Laboratory approaches were most common, and we suggest that their capability to infer real-world consequences are improved when combined with information from field studies about realistic exposures to neonicotinoids. Studies using field approaches often examined only bee exposure to neonicotinoids and more field studies are needed that measure impacts of exposure. Most studies measured effects on individual bees. We suggest that effects on the individual bee should be linked to both mechanisms at the sub-individual level and also to the consequences for the colony and wider bee populations. As bees are increasingly facing multiple interacting pressures future research needs to clarify the role of neonicotinoids in relative to other drivers of bee declines. PMID:26313444

  14. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Their Impacts on Bees: A Systematic Review of Research Approaches and Identification of Knowledge Gaps

    PubMed Central

    Lundin, Ola; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G.; Fries, Ingemar; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides threatens bees, but research on this topic has been surrounded by controversy. In order to synthesize which research approaches have been used to examine the effect of neonicotinoids on bees and to identify knowledge gaps, we systematically reviewed research on this subject that was available on the Web of Science and PubMed in June 2015. Most of the 216 primary research studies were conducted in Europe or North America (82%), involved the neonicotinoid imidacloprid (78%), and concerned the western honey bee Apis mellifera (75%). Thus, little seems to be known about neonicotinoids and bees in areas outside Europe and North America. Furthermore, because there is considerable variation in ecological traits among bee taxa, studies on honey bees are not likely to fully predict impacts of neonicotinoids on other species. Studies on crops were dominated by seed-treated maize, oilseed rape (canola) and sunflower, whereas less is known about potential side effects on bees from the use of other application methods on insect pollinated fruit and vegetable crops, or on lawns and ornamental plants. Laboratory approaches were most common, and we suggest that their capability to infer real-world consequences are improved when combined with information from field studies about realistic exposures to neonicotinoids. Studies using field approaches often examined only bee exposure to neonicotinoids and more field studies are needed that measure impacts of exposure. Most studies measured effects on individual bees. We suggest that effects on the individual bee should be linked to both mechanisms at the sub-individual level and also to the consequences for the colony and wider bee populations. As bees are increasingly facing multiple interacting pressures future research needs to clarify the role of neonicotinoids in relative to other drivers of bee declines. PMID:26313444

  15. Structural Insights into Intermediate Steps in the Sir2 Deacetylation Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Hawse, William F.; Hoff, Kevin G.; Fatkins, David G.; Daines, Alison; Zubkova, Olga V.; Schramm, Vern L.; Zheng, Weiping; Wolberger, Cynthia

    2010-07-22

    Sirtuin enzymes comprise a unique class of NAD{sup +}-dependent protein deacetylases. Although structures of many sirtuin complexes have been determined, structural resolution of intermediate chemical steps are needed to understand the deacetylation mechanism. We report crystal structures of the bacterial sirtuin, Sir2Tm, in complex with an S-alkylamidate intermediate, analogous to the naturally occurring O-alkylamidate intermediate, and a Sir2Tm ternary complex containing a dissociated NAD{sup +} analog and acetylated peptide. The structures and biochemical studies reveal critical roles for the invariant active site histidine in positioning the reaction intermediate, and for a conserved phenylalanine residue in shielding reaction intermediates from base exchange with nicotinamide. The new structural and biochemical studies provide key mechanistic insight into intermediate steps of the Sir2 deacetylation reaction.

  16. Neonicotinoids impact bumblebee colony fitness in the field; a reanalysis of the UK's Food & Environment Research Agency 2012 experiment.

    PubMed

    Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    The causes of bee declines remain hotly debated, particularly the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides. In 2013 the UK's Food & Environment Research Agency made public a study of the impacts of exposure of bumblebee colonies to neonicotinoids. The study concluded that there was no clear relationship between colony performance and pesticide exposure, and the study was subsequently cited by the UK government in a policy paper in support of their vote against a proposed moratorium on some uses of neonicotinoids. Here I present a simple re-analysis of this data set. It demonstrates that these data in fact do show a negative relationship between both colony growth and queen production and the levels of neonicotinoids in the food stores collected by the bees. Indeed, this is the first study describing substantial negative impacts of neonicotinoids on colony performance of any bee species with free-flying bees in a field realistic situation where pesticide exposure is provided only as part of normal farming practices. It strongly suggests that wild bumblebee colonies in farmland can be expected to be adversely affected by exposure to neonicotinoids. PMID:25825679

  17. Atom by atom: HRTEM insights into inorganic nanotubes and fullerene-like structures

    PubMed Central

    Sadan, Maya Bar; Houben, Lothar; Enyashin, Andrey N.; Seifert, Gotthard; Tenne, Reshef

    2008-01-01

    The characterization of nanostructures down to the atomic scale is essential to understand some physical properties. Such a characterization is possible today using direct imaging methods such as aberration-corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), when iteratively backed by advanced modeling produced by theoretical structure calculations and image calculations. Aberration-corrected HRTEM is therefore extremely useful for investigating low-dimensional structures, such as inorganic fullerene-like particles and inorganic nanotubes. The atomic arrangement in these nanostructures can lead to new insights into the growth mechanism or physical properties, where imminent commercial applications are unfolding. This article will focus on two structures that are symmetric and reproducible. The first structure that will be dealt with is the smallest stable symmetric closed-cage structure in the inorganic system, a MoS2 nanooctahedron. It is investigated by means of aberration-corrected microscopy which allowed validating the suggested DFTB-MD model. It will be shown that structures diverging from the energetically most stable structures are present in the laser ablated soot and that the alignment of the different shells is parallel, unlike the bulk material where the alignment is antiparallel. These findings correspond well with the high-energy synthetic route and they provide more insight into the growth mechanism. The second structure studied is WS2 nanotubes, which have already been shown to have a unique structure with very desirable mechanical properties. The joint HRTEM study combined with modeling reveals new information regarding the chirality of the different shells and provides a better understanding of their growth mechanism. PMID:18838681

  18. Crystal structure of glycogen debranching enzyme and insights into its catalysis and disease-causing mutations

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, Liting; Feng, Lingling; Xia, Lin; Yin, Huiyong; Xiang, Song

    2016-01-01

    Glycogen is a branched glucose polymer and serves as an important energy store. Its debranching is a critical step in its mobilization. In animals and fungi, the 170 kDa glycogen debranching enzyme (GDE) catalyses this reaction. GDE deficiencies in humans are associated with severe diseases collectively termed glycogen storage disease type III (GSDIII). We report crystal structures of GDE and its complex with oligosaccharides, and structure-guided mutagenesis and biochemical studies to assess the structural observations. These studies reveal that distinct domains in GDE catalyse sequential reactions in glycogen debranching, the mechanism of their catalysis and highly specific substrate recognition. The unique tertiary structure of GDE provides additional contacts to glycogen besides its active sites, and our biochemical experiments indicate that they mediate its recruitment to glycogen and regulate its activity. Combining the understanding of the GDE catalysis and functional characterizations of its disease-causing mutations provides molecular insights into GSDIII. PMID:27088557

  19. Crystal structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumolysin provides key insights into early steps of pore formation

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Sara L.; Feil, Susanne C.; Morton, Craig J.; Farrand, Allison J.; Mulhern, Terrence D.; Gorman, Michael A.; Wade, Kristin R.; Tweten, Rodney K.; Parker, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Pore-forming proteins are weapons often used by bacterial pathogens to breach the membrane barrier of target cells. Despite their critical role in infection important structural aspects of the mechanism of how these proteins assemble into pores remain unknown. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the world’s leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and otitis media. Pneumolysin (PLY) is a major virulence factor of S. pneumoniae and a target for both small molecule drug development and vaccines. PLY is a member of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs), a family of pore-forming toxins that form gigantic pores in cell membranes. Here we present the structure of PLY determined by X-ray crystallography and, in solution, by small-angle X-ray scattering. The crystal structure reveals PLY assembles as a linear oligomer that provides key structural insights into the poorly understood early monomer-monomer interactions of CDCs at the membrane surface. PMID:26403197

  20. Structure of the Hantavirus Nucleoprotein Provides Insights into the Mechanism of RNA Encapsidation.

    PubMed

    Olal, Daniel; Daumke, Oliver

    2016-03-01

    Hantaviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. The nucleoprotein (N) of hantavirus is essential for viral transcription and replication, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. We have determined the crystal structure of hantavirus N to 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-lobed, mostly α-helical structure that is distantly related to that of orthobunyavirus Ns. A basic RNA binding pocket is located at the intersection between the two lobes. We provide evidence that oligomerization is mediated by amino- and C-terminal arms that bind to the adjacent monomers. Based on these findings, we suggest a model for the oligomeric ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex. Our structure provides mechanistic insights into RNA encapsidation in the genus Hantavirus and constitutes a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at combating hantavirus infections. PMID:26923588

  1. Structural Insights into the Recognition of Phosphopeptide by the FHA Domain of Kanadaptin

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Tine K.; Grant, Joanna C.; Lesley, Scott A.; Elsliger, Marc-André; Deacon, Ashley M.; Wilson, Ian A.

    2014-01-01

    Kanadaptin is a nuclear protein of unknown function that is widely expressed in mammalian tissues. The crystal structure of the forkhead-associated (FHA) domain of human kanadaptin was determined to 1.6 Å resolution. The structure reveals an asymmetric dimer in which one monomer is complexed with a phosphopeptide mimic derived from a peptide segment from the N-terminus of a symmetry-related molecule as well as a sulfate bound to the structurally conserved phosphothreonine recognition cleft. This structure provides insights into the molecular recognition features utilized by this family of proteins and represents the first evidence that kanadaptin is likely involved in a phosphorylation-mediated signaling pathway. These results will be of use for designing experiments to further probe the function of kanadaptin. PMID:25197798

  2. Structural Insights into Divalent Cation Modulations of ATP-Gated P2X Receptor Channels.

    PubMed

    Kasuya, Go; Fujiwara, Yuichiro; Takemoto, Mizuki; Dohmae, Naoshi; Nakada-Nakura, Yoshiko; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Hattori, Motoyuki; Nureki, Osamu

    2016-02-01

    P2X receptors are trimeric ATP-gated cation channels involved in physiological processes ranging widely from neurotransmission to pain and taste signal transduction. The modulation of the channel gating, including that by divalent cations, contributes to these diverse physiological functions of P2X receptors. Here, we report the crystal structure of an invertebrate P2X receptor from the Gulf Coast tick Amblyomma maculatum in the presence of ATP and Zn(2+) ion, together with electrophysiological and computational analyses. The structure revealed two distinct metal binding sites, M1 and M2, in the extracellular region. The M1 site, located at the trimer interface, is responsible for Zn(2+) potentiation by facilitating the structural change of the extracellular domain for pore opening. In contrast, the M2 site, coupled with the ATP binding site, might contribute to regulation by Mg(2+). Overall, our work provides structural insights into the divalent cation modulations of P2X receptors. PMID:26804916

  3. Crystal structure of glycogen debranching enzyme and insights into its catalysis and disease-causing mutations.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Liting; Feng, Lingling; Xia, Lin; Yin, Huiyong; Xiang, Song

    2016-01-01

    Glycogen is a branched glucose polymer and serves as an important energy store. Its debranching is a critical step in its mobilization. In animals and fungi, the 170 kDa glycogen debranching enzyme (GDE) catalyses this reaction. GDE deficiencies in humans are associated with severe diseases collectively termed glycogen storage disease type III (GSDIII). We report crystal structures of GDE and its complex with oligosaccharides, and structure-guided mutagenesis and biochemical studies to assess the structural observations. These studies reveal that distinct domains in GDE catalyse sequential reactions in glycogen debranching, the mechanism of their catalysis and highly specific substrate recognition. The unique tertiary structure of GDE provides additional contacts to glycogen besides its active sites, and our biochemical experiments indicate that they mediate its recruitment to glycogen and regulate its activity. Combining the understanding of the GDE catalysis and functional characterizations of its disease-causing mutations provides molecular insights into GSDIII. PMID:27088557

  4. Crystal structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumolysin provides key insights into early steps of pore formation.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Sara L; Feil, Susanne C; Morton, Craig J; Farrand, Allison J; Mulhern, Terrence D; Gorman, Michael A; Wade, Kristin R; Tweten, Rodney K; Parker, Michael W

    2015-01-01

    Pore-forming proteins are weapons often used by bacterial pathogens to breach the membrane barrier of target cells. Despite their critical role in infection important structural aspects of the mechanism of how these proteins assemble into pores remain unknown. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the world's leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and otitis media. Pneumolysin (PLY) is a major virulence factor of S. pneumoniae and a target for both small molecule drug development and vaccines. PLY is a member of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs), a family of pore-forming toxins that form gigantic pores in cell membranes. Here we present the structure of PLY determined by X-ray crystallography and, in solution, by small-angle X-ray scattering. The crystal structure reveals PLY assembles as a linear oligomer that provides key structural insights into the poorly understood early monomer-monomer interactions of CDCs at the membrane surface. PMID:26403197

  5. Biochemical and Structural Insights into the Aminotransferase CrmG in Caerulomycin Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yiguang; Xu, Jinxin; Mei, Xiangui; Feng, Zhan; Zhang, Liping; Zhang, Qingbo; Zhang, Guangtao; Zhu, Weiming; Liu, Jinsong; Zhang, Changsheng

    2016-04-15

    Caerulomycin A (CRM A 1) belongs to a family of natural products containing a 2,2'-bipyridyl ring core structure and is currently under development as a potent novel immunosuppressive agent. Herein, we report the functional characterization, kinetic analysis, substrate specificity, and structure insights of an aminotransferase CrmG in 1 biosynthesis. The aminotransferase CrmG was confirmed to catalyze a key transamination reaction to convert an aldehyde group to an amino group in the 1 biosynthetic pathway, preferring l-glutamate and l-glutamine as the amino donor substrates. The crystal structures of CrmG in complex with the cofactor 5'-pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) or 5'-pyridoxamine phosphate (PMP) or the acceptor substrate were determined to adopt a canonical fold-type I of PLP-dependent enzymes with a unique small additional domain. The structure guided site-directed mutagenesis identified key amino acid residues for substrate binding and catalytic activities, thus providing insights into the transamination mechanism of CrmG. PMID:26714051

  6. Structure of Human GIVD Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 Reveals Insights into Substrate Recognition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Klein, Michael G; Snell, Gyorgy; Lane, Weston; Zou, Hua; Levin, Irena; Li, Ke; Sang, Bi-Ching

    2016-07-01

    Cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2s) consist of a family of calcium-sensitive enzymes that function to generate lipid second messengers through hydrolysis of membrane-associated glycerophospholipids. The GIVD cPLA2 (cPLA2δ) is a potential drug target for developing a selective therapeutic agent for the treatment of psoriasis. Here, we present two X-ray structures of human cPLA2δ, capturing an apo state, and in complex with a substrate-like inhibitor. Comparison of the apo and inhibitor-bound structures reveals conformational changes in a flexible cap that allows the substrate to access the relatively buried active site, providing new insight into the mechanism for substrate recognition. The cPLA2δ structure reveals an unexpected second C2 domain that was previously unrecognized from sequence alignments, placing cPLA2δ into the class of membrane-associated proteins that contain a tandem pair of C2 domains. Furthermore, our structures elucidate novel inter-domain interactions and define three potential calcium-binding sites that are likely important for regulation and activation of enzymatic activity. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing cPLA2's function in signal transduction. PMID:27220631

  7. Structural and kinetic insights into the mechanism of 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase from Klebsiella pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    French, Jarrod B.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2011-08-01

    The crystal structure of 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase from K. pneumoniae and the steady-state kinetic parameters of the native enzyme as well as several mutants provide insights into the catalytic mechanism of this enzyme and the possible roles of the active-site residues. The stereospecific oxidative degradation of uric acid to (S)-allantoin has recently been demonstrated to proceed via two unstable intermediates and requires three separate enzymatic reactions. The second step of this reaction, the conversion of 5-hydroxyisourate (HIU) to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline, is catalyzed by HIU hydrolase (HIUH). The high-resolution crystal structure of HIUH from the opportunistic pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpHIUH) has been determined. KpHIUH is a homotetrameric protein that, based on sequence and structural similarity, belongs to the transthyretin-related protein family. In addition, the steady-state kinetic parameters for this enzyme and four active-site mutants have been measured. These data provide valuable insight into the functional roles of the active-site residues. Based upon the structural and kinetic data, a mechanism is proposed for the KpHIUH-catalyzed reaction.

  8. Crystal Structure of Human Myotubularin-Related Protein 1 Provides Insight into the Structural Basis of Substrate Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Bong, Seoung Min; Son, Kka-bi; Yang, Seung-Won; Park, Jae-Won; Cho, Jea-Won; Kim, Kyung-Tae; Kim, Hackyoung; Kim, Seung Jun; Kim, Young Jun; Lee, Byung Il

    2016-01-01

    Myotubularin-related protein 1 (MTMR1) is a phosphatase that belongs to the tyrosine/dual-specificity phosphatase superfamily. MTMR1 has been shown to use phosphatidylinositol 3-monophosphate (PI(3)P) and/or phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) as substrates. Here, we determined the crystal structure of human MTMR1. The refined model consists of the Pleckstrin homology (PH)-GRAM and phosphatase (PTP) domains. The overall structure was highly similar to the previously reported MTMR2 structure. Interestingly, two phosphate molecules were coordinated by strictly conserved residues located in the C(X)5R motif of the active site. Additionally, our biochemical studies confirmed the substrate specificity of MTMR1 for PI(3)P and PI(3,5)P2 over other phosphatidylinositol phosphates. Our structural and enzymatic analyses provide insight into the catalytic mechanism and biochemical properties of MTMR1. PMID:27018598

  9. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity

    SciTech Connect

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N.; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A.

    2013-04-01

    The X-ray structures of two ω-aminotransferases from P. aeruginosa and C. violaceum in complex with an inhibitor offer the first detailed insight into the structural basis of the substrate specificity of these industrially important enzymes. The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-aminotransferases.

  10. Structural insights into the role of domain flexibility in human DNA ligase IV.

    PubMed

    Ochi, Takashi; Wu, Qian; Chirgadze, Dimitri Y; Grossmann, J Günter; Bolanos-Garcia, Victor M; Blundell, Tom L

    2012-07-01

    Knowledge of the architecture of DNA ligase IV (LigIV) and interactions with XRCC4 and XLF-Cernunnos is necessary for understanding its role in the ligation of double-strand breaks during nonhomologous end joining. Here we report the structure of a subdomain of the nucleotidyltrasferase domain of human LigIV and provide insights into the residues associated with LIG4 syndrome. We use this structural information together with the known structures of the BRCT/XRCC4 complex and those of LigIV orthologs to interpret small-angle X-ray scattering of LigIV in complex with XRCC4 and size exclusion chromatography of LigIV, XRCC4, and XLF-Cernunnos. Our results suggest that the flexibility of the catalytic region is limited in a manner that affects the formation of the LigIV/XRCC4/XLF-Cernunnos complex. PMID:22658747

  11. The βc receptor family - Structural insights and their functional implications.

    PubMed

    Broughton, Sophie E; Nero, Tracy L; Dhagat, Urmi; Kan, Winnie L; Hercus, Timothy R; Tvorogov, Denis; Lopez, Angel F; Parker, Michael W

    2015-08-01

    Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin-3 (IL-3) and IL-5 are members of a small family of cytokines that share a beta receptor subunit (βc). These cytokines regulate the growth, differentiation, migration and effector function activities of many hematopoietic cells in bone marrow, blood and sites of inflammation. Excessive or aberrant signaling can result in chronic inflammatory conditions and myeloid leukemias. The crystal structures of the GM-CSF ternary complex, the IL-5 binary complex and the very recent IL-3 receptor alpha subunit build upon decades of structure-function studies, giving new insights into cytokine-receptor specificity and signal transduction. Selective modulation of receptor function is now a real possibility and the structures of the βc receptor family are being used to discover novel and disease-specific therapeutics. PMID:25982846

  12. Integrative phenomics reveals insight into the structure of phenotypic diversity in budding yeast

    PubMed Central

    Skelly, Daniel A.; Merrihew, Gennifer E.; Riffle, Michael; Connelly, Caitlin F.; Kerr, Emily O.; Johansson, Marnie; Jaschob, Daniel; Graczyk, Beth; Shulman, Nicholas J.; Wakefield, Jon; Cooper, Sara J.; Fields, Stanley; Noble, William S.; Muller, Eric G.D.; Davis, Trisha N.; Dunham, Maitreya J.; MacCoss, Michael J.; Akey, Joshua M.

    2013-01-01

    To better understand the quantitative characteristics and structure of phenotypic diversity, we measured over 14,000 transcript, protein, metabolite, and morphological traits in 22 genetically diverse strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. More than 50% of all measured traits varied significantly across strains [false discovery rate (FDR) = 5%]. The structure of phenotypic correlations is complex, with 85% of all traits significantly correlated with at least one other phenotype (median = 6, maximum = 328). We show how high-dimensional molecular phenomics data sets can be leveraged to accurately predict phenotypic variation between strains, often with greater precision than afforded by DNA sequence information alone. These results provide new insights into the spectrum and structure of phenotypic diversity and the characteristics influencing the ability to accurately predict phenotypes. PMID:23720455

  13. Structural Insights into the Role of Domain Flexibility in Human DNA Ligase IV

    PubMed Central

    Ochi, Takashi; Wu, Qian; Chirgadze, Dimitri Y.; Grossmann, J. Günter; Bolanos-Garcia, Victor M.; Blundell, Tom L.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Knowledge of the architecture of DNA ligase IV (LigIV) and interactions with XRCC4 and XLF-Cernunnos is necessary for understanding its role in the ligation of double-strand breaks during nonhomologous end joining. Here we report the structure of a subdomain of the nucleotidyltrasferase domain of human LigIV and provide insights into the residues associated with LIG4 syndrome. We use this structural information together with the known structures of the BRCT/XRCC4 complex and those of LigIV orthologs to interpret small-angle X-ray scattering of LigIV in complex with XRCC4 and size exclusion chromatography of LigIV, XRCC4, and XLF-Cernunnos. Our results suggest that the flexibility of the catalytic region is limited in a manner that affects the formation of the LigIV/XRCC4/XLF-Cernunnos complex. PMID:22658747

  14. Structure, dynamics, and function of the monooxygenase P450 BM-3: insights from computer simulations studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roccatano, Danilo

    2015-07-01

    The monooxygenase P450 BM-3 is a NADPH-dependent fatty acid hydroxylase enzyme isolated from soil bacterium Bacillus megaterium. As a pivotal member of cytochrome P450 superfamily, it has been intensely studied for the comprehension of structure-dynamics-function relationships in this class of enzymes. In addition, due to its peculiar properties, it is also a promising enzyme for biochemical and biomedical applications. However, despite the efforts, the full understanding of the enzyme structure and dynamics is not yet achieved. Computational studies, particularly molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, have importantly contributed to this endeavor by providing new insights at an atomic level regarding the correlations between structure, dynamics, and function of the protein. This topical review summarizes computational studies based on MD simulations of the cytochrome P450 BM-3 and gives an outlook on future directions.

  15. Structure of Protein Related to DAN and Cerberus (PRDC): Insights into the Mechanism of BMP Antagonism

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Kristof; Kattamuri, Chandramohan; Luedeke, David M.; Deng, Andy; Jagpal, Amrita; Zhang, Fuming; Linhardt, Robert; Kenny, Alan P.; Zorn, Aaron M.; Thompson, Thomas B.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) are secreted ligands largely known for their functional roles in embryogenesis and tissue development. A number of structurally diverse extracellular antagonists inhibit BMP ligands to regulate signaling. The DAN family of antagonists represents the largest group of BMP inhibitors, however, little is known for how they mechanistically inhibit BMP ligands. Here, we present the structure of the DAN family member Protein Related to Dan and Cerberus (PRDC) solved by X-ray crystallography. The structure reveals an unexpected growth factor-like appearance with a novel dimerization mechanism that is formed through extensive β-strand contacts. Using site-directed mutagenesis coupled with in vitro and in vivo activity assays, we identified a BMP binding epitope on PRDC. We also determined that PRDC binds heparin with high affinity and that heparin binding to PRDC interferes with BMP antagonism. These results offer insight for how DAN family antagonists functionally inhibit BMP ligands. PMID:23850456

  16. Structural and kinetic insights into the mechanism of 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase from Klebsiella pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    French, Jarrod B.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2011-07-19

    The stereospecific oxidative degradation of uric acid to (S)-allantoin has recently been demonstrated to proceed via two unstable intermediates and requires three separate enzymatic reactions. The second step of this reaction, the conversion of 5-hydroxyisourate (HIU) to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline, is catalyzed by HIU hydrolase (HIUH). The high-resolution crystal structure of HIUH from the opportunistic pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpHIUH) has been determined. KpHIUH is a homotetrameric protein that, based on sequence and structural similarity, belongs to the transthyretin-related protein family. In addition, the steady-state kinetic parameters for this enzyme and four active-site mutants have been measured. These data provide valuable insight into the functional roles of the active-site residues. Based upon the structural and kinetic data, a mechanism is proposed for the KpHIUH-catalyzed reaction.

  17. The core structure of Mars as expected to be seen by InSight's VBB seismometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hempel, Stefanie; Garcia, Raphael; Wieczorek, Mark; Murdoch, Naomi

    2016-04-01

    The question of the Martian core concerns our basic understanding of the planet's thermal evolution, dynamo models for the past and present, the composition of the Martian mantle, especially in regards to its iron content and prevalent phase transitions, which in turn constrain possible regimes of mantle convection. So far the (outer) core radius of Mars is uncertain to about 250 kilometers (Sohl et al., 2005), and evidence neither supports nor falsifies the existence of an inner core (Defraigne et al., 2003). We apply our extensions of the ray tracing toolbox TauP (Crotwell et al., 1999) to compute amplitude loss, ellipticity, crustal and topography corrections in combination with existing models of seismic activity on Mars (Golombek, 1992, Knapmeyer et al., 2006), crustal thickness models (Wieczorek, 2007) and structure models (e.g. Okal and Anderson, 1978, Zharkov and Gudkova, 2000, Rivoldini et al., 2011). In preparation for NASA's discovery mission InSight, we simulate the detected relative travel-time curves at a single seismic station in Elysium Planitia for several models of Martian structure, seismicity, environmental and instrumental noise. We discuss possibilities and difficulties of considering the effects of Martian ellipticity and topography up to degree 8 and 30, respectively. Furthermore, we demonstrate the effect of low velocity layers, as well as the relevance of modeling the effects of ellipticity and crustal thickness during the interpretation of seismic data acquired by InSight's SEIS instrument on Mars, especially concerning seismic phases which provide direct evidence on the core structure of Mars.

  18. Splitsville: structural and functional insights into the dynamic bacterial Z ring.

    PubMed

    Haeusser, Daniel P; Margolin, William

    2016-05-01

    Bacteria must divide to increase in number and colonize their niche. Binary fission is the most widespread means of bacterial cell division, but even this relatively simple mechanism has many variations on a theme. In most bacteria, the tubulin homologue FtsZ assembles into a ring structure, termed the Z ring, at the site of cytokinesis and recruits additional proteins to form a large protein machine - the divisome - that spans the membrane. In this Review, we discuss current insights into the regulation of the assembly of the Z ring and how the divisome drives membrane invagination and septal cell wall growth while flexibly responding to various cellular inputs. PMID:27040757

  19. Structural and mechanistic insights into methane oxidation by particulate methane monooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Balasubramanian, Ramakrishnan; Rosenzweig, Amy C

    2007-07-01

    Particulate methane monooxygense (pMMO) is an integral membrane copper-containing enzyme that converts methane to methanol. Knowledge of how pMMO selectively oxidizes methane under ambient conditions could impact the development of new catalysts. The crystal structure of Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) pMMO reveals the composition and location of three metal centers. Spectroscopic data provide insight into the coordination environments and oxidation states of these metal centers. These results, combined with computational studies and comparisons to relevant systems, are discussed in the context of identifying the most likely site for O 2 activation. PMID:17444606

  20. Honey Bees' Behavior Is Impaired by Chronic Exposure to the Neonicotinoid Thiacloprid in the Field.

    PubMed

    Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Holtz, Sophie; Rößner, Alexander; Greggers, Uwe; Bischoff, Gabriela; Menzel, Randolf

    2016-07-01

    The decline of pollinators worldwide is of growing concern and has been related to the use of plant-protecting chemicals. Most studies have focused on three neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) currently subject to a moratorium in the EU. Here, we focus on thiacloprid, a widely used cyano-substituted neonicotinoid thought to be less toxic to honey bees and of which use has increased in the last years. Honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) were exposed chronically to thiacloprid in the field for several weeks at a sublethal concentration. Foraging behavior, homing success, navigation performance, and social communication were impaired, and thiacloprid residue levels increased both in the foragers and the nest mates over time. The effects observed in the field were not due to a repellent taste of the substance. For the first time, we present the necessary data for the risk evaluation of thiacloprid taken up chronically by honey bees in field conditions. PMID:27268938

  1. A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Godfray, H. Charles J.; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Field, Linda M.; Hails, Rosemary S.; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.; Vanbergen, Adam J.; McLean, Angela R.

    2014-01-01

    There is evidence that in Europe and North America many species of pollinators are in decline, both in abundance and distribution. Although there is a long list of potential causes of this decline, there is concern that neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular through their use as seed treatments are, at least in part, responsible. This paper describes a project that set out to summarize the natural science evidence base relevant to neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators in as policy-neutral terms as possible. A series of evidence statements are listed and categorized according to the nature of the underlying information. The evidence summary forms the appendix to this paper and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material. PMID:24850927

  2. Population variation in and selection for resistance to pyrethroid-neonicotinoid insecticides in the bed bug.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Jennifer R; Goodman, Mark H; Potter, Michael F; Haynes, Kenneth F

    2014-01-01

    Pyrethroid resistance in bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, has prompted a change to combination products that include a pyrethroid and a neonicotinoid. Ten populations of bed bugs were challenged with two combination products (Temprid SC and Transport GHP). Susceptibility of these populations varied, with the correlated response of the two products indicating cross resistance. We imposed selection on three populations using label rate Temprid, and then reared progeny from unselected and selected strains. All selected strains were significantly less susceptible to Temprid SC than unselected strains. Temprid selected strains were also less susceptible to Transport. The pyrethroid component of Temprid showed a significantly higher LD50 in selected strains, but susceptibility to the neonicotinoid remained unchanged. Taken together these results indicate resistance to combination insecticides is present in field populations at levels that should be of concern, and that short-term selection affecting existing variance in susceptibility can quickly increase resistance. PMID:24452337

  3. Systemic insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil): trends, uses, mode of action and metabolites.

    PubMed

    Simon-Delso, N; Amaral-Rogers, V; Belzunces, L P; Bonmatin, J M; Chagnon, M; Downs, C; Furlan, L; Gibbons, D W; Giorio, C; Girolami, V; Goulson, D; Kreutzweiser, D P; Krupke, C H; Liess, M; Long, E; McField, M; Mineau, P; Mitchell, E A D; Morrissey, C A; Noome, D A; Pisa, L; Settele, J; Stark, J D; Tapparo, A; Van Dyck, H; Van Praagh, J; Van der Sluijs, J P; Whitehorn, P R; Wiemers, M

    2015-01-01

    Since their discovery in the late 1980s, neonicotinoid pesticides have become the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide, with large-scale applications ranging from plant protection (crops, vegetables, fruits), veterinary products, and biocides to invertebrate pest control in fish farming. In this review, we address the phenyl-pyrazole fipronil together with neonicotinoids because of similarities in their toxicity, physicochemical profiles, and presence in the environment. Neonicotinoids and fipronil currently account for approximately one third of the world insecticide market; the annual world production of the archetype neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, was estimated to be ca. 20,000 tonnes active substance in 2010. There were several reasons for the initial success of neonicotinoids and fipronil: (1) there was no known pesticide resistance in target pests, mainly because of their recent development, (2) their physicochemical properties included many advantages over previous generations of insecticides (i.e., organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids, etc.), and (3) they shared an assumed reduced operator and consumer risk. Due to their systemic nature, they are taken up by the roots or leaves and translocated to all parts of the plant, which, in turn, makes them effectively toxic to herbivorous insects. The toxicity persists for a variable period of time-depending on the plant, its growth stage, and the amount of pesticide applied. A wide variety of applications are available, including the most common prophylactic non-Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) application by seed coating. As a result of their extensive use and physicochemical properties, these substances can be found in all environmental compartments including soil, water, and air. Neonicotinoids and fipronil operate by disrupting neural transmission in the central nervous system of invertebrates. Neonicotinoids mimic the action of neurotransmitters, while fipronil inhibits neuronal receptors. In

  4. Effects of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, on reproduction in worker bumble bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Lenthall, Kate M; Barratt, Andrew T; Cresswell, James E

    2012-10-01

    Bumble bees are important pollinators whose populations have declined over recent years, raising widespread concern. One conspicuous threat to bumble bees is their unintended exposure to trace residues of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides, such as imidacloprid, which are ingested when bees forage on the nectar and pollen of treated crops. However, the demographic consequences for bumble bees of exposure to dietary neonicotinoids have yet to be fully established. To determine whether environmentally realistic levels of imidacloprid are capable of making a demographic impact on bumble bees, we exposed queenless microcolonies of worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris, to a range of dosages of dietary imidacloprid between zero and 125 μg L(-1) and examined the effects on ovary development and fecundity. Microcolonies showed a dose-dependent decline in fecundity, with environmentally realistic dosages in the range of 1 μg L(-1) capable of reducing brood production by one third. In contrast, ovary development was unimpaired by dietary imidacloprid except at the highest dosage. Imidacloprid reduced feeding on both syrup and pollen but, after controlling statistically for dosage, microcolonies that consumed more syrup and pollen produced more brood. We therefore speculate that the detrimental effects of imidacloprid on fecundity emerge principally from nutrient limitation imposed by the failure of individuals to feed. Our findings raise concern about the impact of neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. However, we recognize that to fully evaluate impacts on wild colonies it will be necessary to establish the effect of dietary neonicotinoids on the fecundity of bumble bee queens. PMID:22614036

  5. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture. PMID:24145453

  6. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter Induced Defenses and Increase Susceptibility to Spider Mites in Distantly Related Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Szczepaniec, Adrianna; Raupp, Michael J.; Parker, Roy D.; Kerns, David; Eubanks, Micky D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Chemical suppression of arthropod herbivores is the most common approach to plant protection. Insecticides, however, can cause unintended, adverse consequences for non-target organisms. Previous studies focused on the effects of pesticides on target and non-target pests, predatory arthropods, and concomitant ecological disruptions. Little research, however, has focused on the direct effects of insecticides on plants. Here we demonstrate that applications of neonicotinoid insecticides, one of the most important insecticide classes worldwide, suppress expression of important plant defense genes, alter levels of phytohormones involved in plant defense, and decrease plant resistance to unsusceptible herbivores, spider mites Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae), in multiple, distantly related crop plants. Methodology/Principal Findings Using cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), corn (Zea mays) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants, we show that transcription of phenylalanine amonia lyase, coenzyme A ligase, trypsin protease inhibitor and chitinase are suppressed and concentrations of the phytohormone OPDA and salicylic acid were altered by neonicotinoid insecticides. Consequently, the population growth of spider mites increased from 30% to over 100% on neonicotinoid-treated plants in the greenhouse and by nearly 200% in the field experiment. Conclusions/Significance Our findings are important because applications of neonicotinoid insecticides have been associated with outbreaks of spider mites in several unrelated plant species. More importantly, this is the first study to document insecticide-mediated disruption of plant defenses and link it to increased population growth of a non-target herbivore. This study adds to growing evidence that bioactive agrochemicals can have unanticipated ecological effects and suggests that the direct effects of insecticides on plant defenses should be considered when the ecological costs of insecticides are evaluated. PMID

  7. Insights into eukaryotic primer synthesis from structures of the p48 subunit of human DNA primase

    PubMed Central

    Vaithiyalingam, Sivaraja; Arnett, Diana R.; Aggarwal, Amit; Eichman, Brandt F.; Fanning, Ellen; Chazin, Walter J.

    2013-01-01

    DNA replication in all organisms requires polymerases to synthesize copies of the genome. DNA polymerases are unable to function on a bare template and require a primer. Primases are crucial RNA polymerases that perform the initial de novo synthesis, generating the first 8–10 nucleotides of the primer. Although structures of archaeal and bacterial primases have provided insights into general priming mechanisms, these proteins are not well conserved with heterodimeric (p48/p58) primases in eukaryotes. Here, we present X-ray crystal structures of the catalytic engine of a eukaryotic primase, which is contained in the p48 subunit. The structures of p48 reveal eukaryotic primases maintain the conserved catalytic prim fold domain, but with a unique sub-domain not found in the archaeal and bacterial primases. Calorimetry experiments reveal Mn2+ but not Mg2+ significantly enhances the binding of nucleotide to primase, which correlates with in vitro higher catalytic efficiency. The structure of p48 with bound UTP and Mn2+ provides insights into the mechanism of nucleotide synthesis by primase. Substitution of conserved residues involved in either metal or nucleotide binding altered nucleotide binding affinities, and yeast strains containing the corresponding Pri1p substitutions were not viable. Our results revealed two residues (S160 and H166) in direct contact with the nucleotide that were previously unrecognized as critical to the human primase active site. Comparing p48 structures to those of similar polymerases in different states of action suggests changes that would be required to attain a catalytically competent conformation capable of initiating dinucleotide synthesis. PMID:24239947

  8. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    SciTech Connect

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  9. A simultaneous extraction method for organophosphate, pyrethroid, and neonicotinoid insecticides in aqueous samples.

    PubMed

    de Perre, Chloé; Whiting, Sara A; Lydy, Michael J

    2015-05-01

    A method was developed for the extraction and analysis of 2 organophosphate, 8 pyrethroid, and 5 neonicotinoid insecticides from the same water sample. A salted liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) was optimized with a solid-phase extraction (SPE) step that separated the organophosphates (OPs) and pyrethroids from the neonicotinoids. Factors that were optimized included volume of solvent and amount of salt used in the LLE, homogenization time for the LLE, and type and volume of eluting solvent used for the SPE. The OPs and pyrethroids were quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the neonicotinoids were quantified using liquid chromatography-diode array detector. Results showed that the optimized method was accurate, precise, reproducible, and robust; recoveries in river water spiked with 100 ng L(-1) of each of the insecticides were all between 86 and 114 % with RSDs between 2 and 8 %. The method was also sensitive with method detection limits ranging from 0.1 to 27.2 ng L(-1) depending on compounds and matrices. The optimized method was thus appropriate for the simultaneous extraction of 15 widely applied insecticides from three different classes and was shown to provide valuable information on their environmental fate from field-collected aqueous samples. PMID:25608617

  10. Liver δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase activity is inhibited by neonicotinoids and restored by antioxidant agents.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Elisa; Moro, Angela M; Brucker, Natália; Nascimento, Sabrina; Gauer, Bruna; Fracasso, Rafael; Gioda, Adriana; Beck, Ruy; Moreira, José C F; Eifler-Lima, Vera Lucia; Garcia, Solange Cristina

    2014-11-01

    Neonicotinoids represent the most used class of insecticides worldwide, and their precursor, imidacloprid, is the most widely marketed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of imidacloprid on the activity of hepatic δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase (δ-ALA-D), protective effect of potential antioxidants against this potential effect and presence of chemical elements in the constitution of this pesticide. We observed that δ-ALA-D activity was significantly inhibited by imidacloprid at all concentrations tested in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 value was obtained and used to evaluate the restoration of the enzymatic activity. δ-ALA-D inhibition was completely restored by addition of dithiotreitol (DTT) and partly by ZnCl2, demonstrating that the inhibition occurs by oxidation of thiol groups and by displacement of the Zn (II), which can be explained by the presence of chemical elements found in the constitution of pesticides. Reduced glutathione (GSH) had the best antioxidant effect against to δ-ALA-D inhibition caused by imidacloprid, followed by curcumin and resveratrol. It is well known that inhibition of the enzyme δ-ALA-D may result in accumulation of its neurotoxic substrate (δ-ALA), in this line, our results suggest that further studies are needed to investigate the possible neurotoxicity induced by neonicotinoids and the involvement of antioxidants in cases of poisoning by neonicotinoids. PMID:25402564

  11. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J; Bollan, Karen A; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T; Connolly, Christopher N

    2015-05-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies. PMID:25634958

  12. Liver δ-Aminolevulinate Dehydratase Activity is Inhibited by Neonicotinoids and Restored by Antioxidant Agents

    PubMed Central

    Sauer, Elisa; Moro, Angela M.; Brucker, Natália; Nascimento, Sabrina; Gauer, Bruna; Fracasso, Rafael; Gioda, Adriana; Beck, Ruy; Moreira, José C. F.; Eifler-Lima, Vera Lucia; Garcia, Solange Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids represent the most used class of insecticides worldwide, and their precursor, imidacloprid, is the most widely marketed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of imidacloprid on the activity of hepatic δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase (δ-ALA-D), protective effect of potential antioxidants against this potential effect and presence of chemical elements in the constitution of this pesticide. We observed that δ-ALA-D activity was significantly inhibited by imidacloprid at all concentrations tested in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 value was obtained and used to evaluate the restoration of the enzymatic activity. δ-ALA-D inhibition was completely restored by addition of dithiotreitol (DTT) and partly by ZnCl2, demonstrating that the inhibition occurs by oxidation of thiol groups and by displacement of the Zn (II), which can be explained by the presence of chemical elements found in the constitution of pesticides. Reduced glutathione (GSH) had the best antioxidant effect against to δ-ALA-D inhibition caused by imidacloprid, followed by curcumin and resveratrol. It is well known that inhibition of the enzyme δ-ALA-D may result in accumulation of its neurotoxic substrate (δ-ALA), in this line, our results suggest that further studies are needed to investigate the possible neurotoxicity induced by neonicotinoids and the involvement of antioxidants in cases of poisoning by neonicotinoids. PMID:25402564

  13. Insights into the quaternary association of proteins through structure graphs: a case study of lectins

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The unique three-dimensional structure of both monomeric and oligomeric proteins is encoded in their sequence. The biological functions of proteins are dependent on their tertiary and quaternary structures, and hence it is important to understand the determinants of quaternary association in proteins. Although a large number of investigations have been carried out in this direction, the underlying principles of protein oligomerization are yet to be completely understood. Recently, new insights into this problem have been gained from the analysis of structure graphs of proteins belonging to the legume lectin family. The legume lectins are an interesting family of proteins with very similar tertiary structures but varied quaternary structures. Hence they have become a very good model with which to analyse the role of primary structures in determining the modes of quaternary association. The present review summarizes the results of a legume lectin study as well as those obtained from a similar analysis carried out here on the animal lectins, namely galectins, pentraxins, calnexin, calreticulin and rhesus rotavirus Vp4 sialic-acid-binding domain. The lectin structure graphs have been used to obtain clusters of non-covalently interacting amino acid residues at the intersubunit interfaces. The present study, performed along with traditional sequence alignment methods, has provided the signature sequence motifs for different kinds of quaternary association seen in lectins. Furthermore, the network representation of the lectin oligomers has enabled us to detect the residues which make extensive interactions (‘hubs’) across the oligomeric interfaces that can be targetted for interface-destabilizing mutations. The present review also provides an overview of the methodology involved in representing oligomeric protein structures as connected networks of amino acid residues. Further, it illustrates the potential of such a representation in elucidating the structural

  14. Structural and Functional Insights into Small, Glutamine-Rich, Tetratricopeptide Repeat Protein Alpha

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Joanna D.; Thapaliya, Arjun; Martínez-Lumbreras, Santiago; Krysztofinska, Ewelina M.; Isaacson, Rivka L.

    2015-01-01

    The small glutamine-rich, tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein alpha (SGTA) is an emerging player in the quality control of secretory and membrane proteins mislocalized to the cytosol, with established roles in tail-anchored (TA) membrane protein biogenesis. SGTA consists of three structural domains with individual functions, an N-terminal dimerization domain that assists protein sorting pathways, a central tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain that mediates interactions with heat-shock proteins, proteasomal, and hormonal receptors, and viral proteins, and a C-terminal glutamine rich region that binds hydrophobic substrates. SGTA has been linked to viral lifecycles and hormone receptor signaling, with implications in the pathogenesis of various disease states. Thus far, a range of biophysical techniques have been employed to characterize SGTA structure in some detail, and to investigate its interactions with binding partners in different biological contexts. A complete description of SGTA structure, together with further investigation into its function as a co-chaperone involved quality control, could provide us with useful insights into its role in maintaining cellular proteostasis, and broaden our understanding of mechanisms underlying associated pathologies. This review describes how some structural features of SGTA have been elucidated, and what this has uncovered about its cellular functions. A brief background on the structure and function of SGTA is given, highlighting its importance to biomedicine and related fields. The current level of knowledge and what remains to be understood about the structure and function of SGTA is summarized, discussing the potential direction of future research. PMID:26734616

  15. Insights into Medium-chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Structure by Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Bonito, Cátia A; Leandro, Paula; Ventura, Fátima V; Guedes, Rita C

    2016-08-01

    The medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the first step of mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (mFAO) pathway. Its deficiency is the most common genetic disorder of mFAO. Many of the MCAD disease-causing variants, including the most common p.K304E variant, show loss of function due to protein misfolding. Herein, we used molecular dynamics simulations to provide insights into the structural stability and dynamic behavior of MCAD wild-type (MCADwt) and validate a structure that would allow reliable new studies on its variants. Our results revealed that in both proteins the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) has an important structural role on the tetramer stability and also in maintaining the volume of the enzyme catalytic pockets. We confirmed that the presence of substrate changes the dynamics of the catalytic pockets and increases FAD affinity. A comparison between the porcine MCADwt (pMCADwt) and human MCADwt (hMCADwt) structures revealed that both proteins are essentially similar and that the reversion of the double mutant E376G/T255E of hMCAD enzyme does not affect the structure of the protein neither its behavior in simulation. Our validated hMCADwt structure is crucial for complementing and accelerating the experimental studies aiming for the discovery and development of potential stabilizers of MCAD variants as candidates for the treatment of MCAD deficiency (MCADD). PMID:26992026

  16. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee's locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48 h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case of

  17. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee’s locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case

  18. The effect of application method on the temporal and spatial distribution of neonicotinoid insecticides in greenhouse zinnia and impact on aphid populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Greenhouse trials were designed to evaluate the effect the application technique would have on temporal and spatial movement of neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam through plant tissue. Mature Zinnia elegans plants were treated by either a soil drench of neonicotinoid insectici...

  19. Structural Insights into the Anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Activity of Ceftobiprole*

    PubMed Central

    Lovering, Andrew L.; Gretes, Michael C.; Safadi, Susan S.; Danel, Franck; de Castro, Liza; Page, Malcolm G. P.; Strynadka, Natalie C. J.

    2012-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an antibiotic-resistant strain of S. aureus afflicting hospitals and communities worldwide. Of greatest concern is its development of resistance to current last-line-of-defense antibiotics; new therapeutics are urgently needed to combat this pathogen. Ceftobiprole is a recently developed, latest generation cephalosporin and has been the first to show activity against MRSA by inhibiting essential peptidoglycan transpeptidases, including the β-lactam resistance determinant PBP2a, from MRSA. Here we present the structure of the complex of ceftobiprole bound to PBP2a. This structure provides the first look at the molecular details of an effective β-lactam-resistant PBP interaction, leading to new insights into the mechanism of ceftobiprole efficacy against MRSA. PMID:22815485

  20. Biochemical and Structural Insights into Doublecortin-like Kinase Domain 1.

    PubMed

    Patel, Onisha; Dai, Weiwen; Mentzel, Mareike; Griffin, Michael D W; Serindoux, Juliette; Gay, Yoann; Fischer, Stefanie; Sterle, Shoukat; Kropp, Ashleigh; Burns, Christopher J; Ernst, Matthias; Buchert, Michael; Lucet, Isabelle S

    2016-09-01

    Doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1) is a serine/threonine kinase that belongs to the family of microtubule-associated proteins. Originally identified for its role in neurogenesis, DCLK1 has recently been shown to regulate biological processes outside of the CNS. DCLK1 is among the 15 most common putative driver genes for gastric cancers and is highly mutated across various other human cancers. However, our present understanding of how DCLK1 dysfunction leads to tumorigenesis is limited. Here, we provide evidence that DCLK1 kinase activity negatively regulates microtubule polymerization. We present the crystal structure of the DCLK1 kinase domain at 1.7 Å resolution, providing detailed insight into the ATP-binding site that will serve as a framework for future drug design. This structure also allowed for the mapping of cancer-causing mutations within the kinase domain, suggesting that a loss of kinase function may contribute to tumorigenesis. PMID:27545623

  1. Structural insights into recognition of acetylated histone ligands by the BRPF1 bromodomain

    PubMed Central

    Lubula, Mulu Y.; Eckenroth, Brian E.; Carlson, Samuel; Poplawski, Amanda; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Glass, Karen C.

    2014-01-01

    BRPF1 is part of the MOZ HAT complex and contains a unique combination of domains typically found in chromatin-associated factors, which include PHD fingers, a bromodomain and a PWWP domain. Bromodomains are conserved structural motifs generally known to recognize acetylated histones, and the BRPF1 bromodomain preferentially selects for H2AK5ac, H4K12ac and H3K14ac. We solved the X-ray crystal structures of the BRPF1 bromodomain in complex with the H2AK5ac and H4K12ac histone peptides. Site-directed mutagenesis on residues in the BRPF1 bromodomain-binding pocket was carried out to investigate the contribution of specific amino acids on ligand binding. Our results provide critical insights into the molecular mechanism of ligand binding by the BRPF1 bromodomain, and reveal that ordered water molecules are an essential component driving ligand recognition. PMID:25281266

  2. Crystal Structures of Human and Staphylococcus aureus Pyruvate Carboxylase and Molecular Insights into the Carboxyltransfer Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang,S.; Tong, L.

    2008-01-01

    Pyruvate carboxylase (PC) catalyzes the biotin-dependent production of oxaloacetate and has important roles in gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, insulin secretion and other cellular processes. PC contains the biotin carboxylase (BC), carboxyltransferase (CT) and biotin-carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) domains. We report here the crystal structures at 2.8-Angstroms resolution of full-length PC from Staphylococcus aureus and the C-terminal region (missing only the BC domain) of human PC. A conserved tetrameric association is observed for both enzymes, and our structural and mutagenesis studies reveal a previously uncharacterized domain, the PC tetramerization (PT) domain, which is important for oligomerization. A BCCP domain is located in the active site of the CT domain, providing the first molecular insights into how biotin participates in the carboxyltransfer reaction. There are dramatic differences in domain positions in the monomer and the organization of the tetramer between these enzymes and the PC from Rhizobium etli.

  3. Structural insight into the TRIAP1/PRELI-like domain family of mitochondrial phospholipid transfer complexes

    PubMed Central

    Miliara, Xeni; Garnett, James A; Tatsuta, Takashi; Abid Ali, Ferdos; Baldie, Heather; Pérez-Dorado, Inmaculada; Simpson, Peter; Yague, Ernesto; Langer, Thomas; Matthews, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    The composition of the mitochondrial membrane is important for its architecture and proper function. Mitochondria depend on a tightly regulated supply of phospholipid via intra-mitochondrial synthesis and by direct import from the endoplasmic reticulum. The Ups1/PRELI-like family together with its mitochondrial chaperones (TRIAP1/Mdm35) represent a unique heterodimeric lipid transfer system that is evolutionary conserved from yeast to man. Work presented here provides new atomic resolution insight into the function of a human member of this system. Crystal structures of free TRIAP1 and the TRIAP1–SLMO1 complex reveal how the PRELI domain is chaperoned during import into the intermembrane mitochondrial space. The structural resemblance of PRELI-like domain of SLMO1 with that of mammalian phoshatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) suggest that they share similar lipid transfer mechanisms, in which access to a buried phospholipid-binding cavity is regulated by conformationally adaptable loops. PMID:26071602

  4. Structural insight into the TRIAP1/PRELI-like domain family of mitochondrial phospholipid transfer complexes.

    PubMed

    Miliara, Xeni; Garnett, James A; Tatsuta, Takashi; Abid Ali, Ferdos; Baldie, Heather; Pérez-Dorado, Inmaculada; Simpson, Peter; Yague, Ernesto; Langer, Thomas; Matthews, Stephen

    2015-07-01

    The composition of the mitochondrial membrane is important for its architecture and proper function. Mitochondria depend on a tightly regulated supply of phospholipid via intra-mitochondrial synthesis and by direct import from the endoplasmic reticulum. The Ups1/PRELI-like family together with its mitochondrial chaperones (TRIAP1/Mdm35) represent a unique heterodimeric lipid transfer system that is evolutionary conserved from yeast to man. Work presented here provides new atomic resolution insight into the function of a human member of this system. Crystal structures of free TRIAP1 and the TRIAP1-SLMO1 complex reveal how the PRELI domain is chaperoned during import into the intermembrane mitochondrial space. The structural resemblance of PRELI-like domain of SLMO1 with that of mammalian phoshatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) suggest that they share similar lipid transfer mechanisms, in which access to a buried phospholipid-binding cavity is regulated by conformationally adaptable loops. PMID:26071602

  5. Structural Investigations of Hydrogen Cyanide Polymers: New Insights Using TMAH Thermochemolysis/GC-MS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minard, Robert D.; Hatcher, Patrick G.; Gourley, Robert C.; Matthews, Clifford N.

    1998-10-01

    Hydrogen cyanide polymers form spontaneously from HCN and traces of base catalysts. It is probable that these polymers played an important role in the early stages of chemical evolution. Nevertheless, their full structural characterization has still not been accomplished. A number of mass spectrometric methods have now been applied to this structural problem including FAB-MS, thermal desorption EI-MS, ESI-MS, APCI-MS and off-line TMAH thermochemolysis/GC-MS. This latter method causes bond cleavage and in situ methylation producing a suite of products which provides valuable insight into the substructural features of HCN polymers and also promises to serve as a sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting the presence of HCN polymers in samples from diverse sources.

  6. Structural insights into the lipoprotein outer membrane regulator of penicillin-binding protein 1B.

    PubMed

    King, Dustin T; Lameignere, Emilie; Strynadka, Natalie C J

    2014-07-01

    In bacteria, the synthesis of the protective peptidoglycan sacculus is a dynamic process that is tightly regulated at multiple levels. Recently, the lipoprotein co-factor LpoB has been found essential for the in vivo function of the major peptidoglycan synthase PBP1b in Enterobacteriaceae. Here, we reveal the crystal structures of Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli LpoB. The LpoB protein can be modeled as a ball and tether, consisting of a disordered N-terminal region followed by a compact globular C-terminal domain. Taken together, our structural data allow us to propose new insights into LpoB-mediated regulation of peptidoglycan synthesis. PMID:24808177

  7. Protein Fibrillar Nanopolymers: Molecular-Level Insights into Their Structural, Physical and Mechanical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trusova, Valeriya M.

    2015-09-01

    Amyloid fibrils represent a generic class of mechanically strong and stable biomaterials with extremely advantageous properties. Although amyloids were initially associated only with severe neurological disorders, the role of these structures nowadays is shifting from health debilitating to highly beneficial both in biomedical and technological aspects. Intensive involvement of fibrillar assemblies into the wide range of pathogenic and functional processes strongly necessitate the molecular level characterization of the structural, physical and elastic features of protein nanofibrils. In the present contribution, we made an attempt to highlight the up-to-date progress in the understanding of amyloid properties from the polymer physics standpoint. The fundamental insights into protein fibril behavior are essential not only for development of therapeutic strategies to combat the protein misfolding disorders but also for rational and precise design of novel biodegradable protein-based nanopolymers.

  8. Structural insights on two hypothetical secretion chaperones from Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri.

    PubMed

    Fattori, Juliana; Prando, Alessandra; Assis, Leandro H P; Aparicio, Ricardo; Tasic, Ljubica

    2011-06-01

    Several Gram-negative bacterial pathogens have developed type III secretion systems (T3SSs) to deliver virulence proteins directly into eukaryotic cells in a process essential for many diseases. The type III secretion processes require customized chaperones with high specificity for binding partners, thus providing the secretion to occur. Due to the very low sequence similarities among secretion chaperones, annotation and discrimination of a great majority of them is extremely difficult and a task with low scores even if genes are encountered that codify for small (<20 kDa) proteins with low pI and a tendency to dimerise. Concerning about this, herein, we present structural features on two hypothetical T3SSs chaperones belonging to plant pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri and suggest how low resolution models based on Small Angle X-ray Scattering patterns can provide new structural insights that could be very helpful in their analysis and posterior classification. PMID:21626158

  9. Experimental Insights into the Origin of Defect-Structured Hibonites Found in Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Han. J.; Keller, L. P.; Danielson, L. R.

    2016-01-01

    Hibonite (CaAl12O19) is a primary, highly refractory phase occurring in many Ca-Al-rich inclusions (CAIs). Previous microstructural studies of hibonite in CAIs and their Wark-Lovering (WL) rims showed the presence of numerous stacking defects in hibonites. These defects are interpreted as the modification of the stacking sequences of spinel and Ca-containing blocks within the ideal hexagonal hibonite structure due to the presence of wider spinel blocks [3], as shown by experimental studies of reaction-sintered compounds in the CaO-Al2O3 system. We performed a series of experiments in the CaO-Al2O3-MgO system in order to provide additional in-sights into the formation processes and conditions of defect-structured hibonites found in meteorites.

  10. Structural insights into the dual-targeting mechanism of Nutlin-3

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Jae-Sun; Ha, Ji-Hyang; He, Fahu; Muto, Yutaka; Ryu, Kyoung-Seok; Yoon, Ho Sup; Kang, Sunghyun; Park, Sung Goo; Park, Byoung Chul; Choi, Sang-Un; Chi, Seung-Wook

    2012-03-30

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Universal binding of Nutlin-3 with diverse anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Nutlin-3 binds to the BH3 peptide-binding grooves of Bcl-2 family proteins. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A conserved Bcl-X{sub L} binding mechanism of the Nutlin-3 and BH3-mimetic compounds. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A molecular basis for the transcription-independent apoptosis by Nutlin-3. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Structural insights into the dual-targeting mechanism of Nutlin-3. -- Abstract: Multi-targeting therapy is an emerging strategy of drug discovery to improve therapeutic efficacy, safety and resistance profiles. In this study, we monitored the binding of a potent MDM2 inhibitor Nutlin-3 with anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins using NMR spectroscopy. Our results showed the universal binding of Nutlin-3 with diverse anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. Taken together with the binding data for Nutlin-3 analogs, the structural model of the Bcl-X{sub L}/Nutlin-3 complex showed that the binding mode of Nutlin-3 resembles that of the Bcl-X{sub L}/Bcl-2 inhibitors, suggesting the molecular mechanism of transcription-independent mitochondrial apoptosis by Nutlin-3. Finally, our structural comparison provides structural insights into the dual-targeting mechanism of how Nutlin-3 can bind to two different target proteins, MDM2 and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins in a similar manner.

  11. Structural Insights into Dissimilatory Sulfite Reductases: Structure of Desulforubidin from Desulfomicrobium Norvegicum

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Tânia F.; Franklin, Edward; Afonso, José P.; Khan, Amir R.; Oldham, Neil J.; Pereira, Inês A. C.; Archer, Margarida

    2011-01-01

    Dissimilatory sulfite reductases (dSiRs) are crucial enzymes in bacterial sulfur-based energy metabolism, which are likely to have been present in some of the earliest life forms on Earth. Several classes of dSiRs have been proposed on the basis of different biochemical and spectroscopic properties, but it is not clear whether this corresponds to actual physiological or structural differences. Here, we describe the first structure of a dSiR from the desulforubidin class isolated from Desulfomicrobium norvegicum. The desulforubidin (Drub) structure is assembled as α2β2γ2, in which two DsrC proteins are bound to the core [DsrA]2[DsrB]2 unit, as reported for the desulfoviridin (Dvir) structure from Desulfovibrio vulgaris. Unlike Dvir, four sirohemes and eight [4Fe–4S] clusters are present in Drub. However, the structure indicates that only two of the Drub coupled siroheme-[4Fe–4S] cofactors are catalytically active. Mass spectrometry studies of purified Drub and Dvir show that both proteins present different oligomeric complex forms that bind two, one, or no DsrC proteins, providing an explanation for conflicting spectroscopic and biochemical results in the literature, and further indicating that DsrC is not a subunit of dSiR, but rather a protein with which it interacts. PMID:21833321

  12. Honeybees Produce Millimolar Concentrations of Non-Neuronal Acetylcholine for Breeding: Possible Adverse Effects of Neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Wessler, Ignaz; Gärtner, Hedwig-Annabel; Michel-Schmidt, Rosmarie; Brochhausen, Christoph; Schmitz, Luise; Anspach, Laura; Grünewald, Bernd; Kirkpatrick, Charles James

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide use of neonicotinoid pesticides has caused concern on account of their involvement in the decline of bee populations, which are key pollinators in most ecosystems. Here we describe a role of non-neuronal acetylcholine (ACh) for breeding of Apis mellifera carnica and a so far unknown effect of neonicotinoids on non-target insects. Royal jelly or larval food are produced by the hypopharyngeal gland of nursing bees and contain unusually high ACh concentrations (4-8 mM). ACh is extremely well conserved in royal jelly or brood food because of the acidic pH of 4.0. This condition protects ACh from degradation thus ensuring delivery of intact ACh to larvae. Raising the pH to ≥5.5 and applying cholinesterase reduced the content of ACh substantially (by 75-90%) in larval food. When this manipulated brood was tested in artificial larval breeding experiments, the survival rate was higher with food supplemented by 100% with ACh (6 mM) than with food not supplemented with ACh. ACh release from the hypopharyngeal gland and its content in brood food declined by 80%, when honeybee colonies were exposed for 4 weeks to high concentrations of the neonicotinoids clothianidin (100 parts per billion [ppb]) or thiacloprid (8,800 ppb). Under these conditions the secretory cells of the gland were markedly damaged and brood development was severely compromised. Even field-relevant low concentrations of thiacloprid (200 ppb) or clothianidin (1 and 10 ppb) reduced ACh level in the brood food and showed initial adverse effects on brood development. Our findings indicate a hitherto unknown target of neonicotinoids to induce adverse effects on non-neuronal ACh which should be considered when re-assessing the environmental risks of these compounds. To our knowledge this is a new biological mechanism, and we suggest that, in addition to their well documented neurotoxic effects, neonicotinoids may contribute to honeybee colony losses consecutive to a reduction of the ACh content in

  13. Honeybees Produce Millimolar Concentrations of Non-Neuronal Acetylcholine for Breeding: Possible Adverse Effects of Neonicotinoids

    PubMed Central

    Wessler, Ignaz; Gärtner, Hedwig-Annabel; Michel-Schmidt, Rosmarie; Brochhausen, Christoph; Schmitz, Luise; Anspach, Laura; Grünewald, Bernd; Kirkpatrick, Charles James

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide use of neonicotinoid pesticides has caused concern on account of their involvement in the decline of bee populations, which are key pollinators in most ecosystems. Here we describe a role of non-neuronal acetylcholine (ACh) for breeding of Apis mellifera carnica and a so far unknown effect of neonicotinoids on non-target insects. Royal jelly or larval food are produced by the hypopharyngeal gland of nursing bees and contain unusually high ACh concentrations (4–8 mM). ACh is extremely well conserved in royal jelly or brood food because of the acidic pH of 4.0. This condition protects ACh from degradation thus ensuring delivery of intact ACh to larvae. Raising the pH to ≥5.5 and applying cholinesterase reduced the content of ACh substantially (by 75–90%) in larval food. When this manipulated brood was tested in artificial larval breeding experiments, the survival rate was higher with food supplemented by 100% with ACh (6 mM) than with food not supplemented with ACh. ACh release from the hypopharyngeal gland and its content in brood food declined by 80%, when honeybee colonies were exposed for 4 weeks to high concentrations of the neonicotinoids clothianidin (100 parts per billion [ppb]) or thiacloprid (8,800 ppb). Under these conditions the secretory cells of the gland were markedly damaged and brood development was severely compromised. Even field-relevant low concentrations of thiacloprid (200 ppb) or clothianidin (1 and 10 ppb) reduced ACh level in the brood food and showed initial adverse effects on brood development. Our findings indicate a hitherto unknown target of neonicotinoids to induce adverse effects on non-neuronal ACh which should be considered when re-assessing the environmental risks of these compounds. To our knowledge this is a new biological mechanism, and we suggest that, in addition to their well documented neurotoxic effects, neonicotinoids may contribute to honeybee colony losses consecutive to a reduction of the ACh content

  14. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee queen fecundity and colony development

    PubMed Central

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2016-01-01

    Many factors can negatively affect honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health including the pervasive use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides. Through direct consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen from treated plants, neonicotinoids can affect foraging, learning, and memory in worker bees. Less well studied are the potential effects of neonicotinoids on queen bees, which may be exposed indirectly through trophallaxis, or food-sharing. To assess effects on queen productivity, small colonies of different sizes (1500, 3000, and 7000 bees) were fed imidacloprid (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ppb) in syrup for three weeks. We found adverse effects of imidacloprid on queens (egg-laying and locomotor activity), worker bees (foraging and hygienic activities), and colony development (brood production and pollen stores) in all treated colonies. Some effects were less evident as colony size increased, suggesting that larger colony populations may act as a buffer to pesticide exposure. This study is the first to show adverse effects of imidacloprid on queen bee fecundity and behavior and improves our understanding of how neonicotinoids may impair short-term colony functioning. These data indicate that risk-mitigation efforts should focus on reducing neonicotinoid exposure in the early spring when colonies are smallest and queens are most vulnerable to exposure. PMID:27562025

  15. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee queen fecundity and colony development.

    PubMed

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2016-01-01

    Many factors can negatively affect honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health including the pervasive use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides. Through direct consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen from treated plants, neonicotinoids can affect foraging, learning, and memory in worker bees. Less well studied are the potential effects of neonicotinoids on queen bees, which may be exposed indirectly through trophallaxis, or food-sharing. To assess effects on queen productivity, small colonies of different sizes (1500, 3000, and 7000 bees) were fed imidacloprid (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ppb) in syrup for three weeks. We found adverse effects of imidacloprid on queens (egg-laying and locomotor activity), worker bees (foraging and hygienic activities), and colony development (brood production and pollen stores) in all treated colonies. Some effects were less evident as colony size increased, suggesting that larger colony populations may act as a buffer to pesticide exposure. This study is the first to show adverse effects of imidacloprid on queen bee fecundity and behavior and improves our understanding of how neonicotinoids may impair short-term colony functioning. These data indicate that risk-mitigation efforts should focus on reducing neonicotinoid exposure in the early spring when colonies are smallest and queens are most vulnerable to exposure. PMID:27562025

  16. Structural insights into 5‧ flap DNA unwinding and incision by the human FAN1 dimer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Qi; Xue, Xiaoyu; Longerich, Simonne; Sung, Patrick; Xiong, Yong

    2014-12-01

    Human FANCD2-associated nuclease 1 (FAN1) is a DNA structure-specific nuclease involved in the processing of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). FAN1 maintains genomic stability and prevents tissue decline in multiple organs, yet it confers ICL-induced anti-cancer drug resistance in several cancer subtypes. Here we report three crystal structures of human FAN1 in complex with a 5‧ flap DNA substrate, showing that two FAN1 molecules form a head-to-tail dimer to locate the lesion, orient the DNA and unwind a 5‧ flap for subsequent incision. Biochemical experiments further validate our model for FAN1 action, as structure-informed mutations that disrupt protein dimerization, substrate orientation or flap unwinding impair the structure-specific nuclease activity. Our work elucidates essential aspects of FAN1-DNA lesion recognition and a unique mechanism of incision. These structural insights shed light on the cellular mechanisms underlying organ degeneration protection and cancer drug resistance mediated by FAN1.

  17. Structural insights into the reaction mechanism of S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase

    PubMed Central

    Kusakabe, Yoshio; Ishihara, Masaaki; Umeda, Tomonobu; Kuroda, Daisuke; Nakanishi, Masayuki; Kitade, Yukio; Gouda, Hiroaki; Nakamura, Kazuo T.; Tanaka, Nobutada

    2015-01-01

    S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase (SAH hydrolase or SAHH) is a highly conserved enzyme that catalyses the reversible hydrolysis of SAH to L-homocysteine (HCY) and adenosine (ADO). High-resolution crystal structures have been reported for bacterial and plant SAHHs, but not mammalian SAHHs. Here, we report the first high-resolution crystal structure of mammalian SAHH (mouse SAHH) in complex with a reaction product (ADO) and with two reaction intermediate analogues—3’-keto-aristeromycin (3KA) and noraristeromycin (NRN)—at resolutions of 1.55, 1.55, and 1.65 Å. Each of the three structures constitutes a structural snapshot of one of the last three steps of the five-step process of SAH hydrolysis by SAHH. In the NRN complex, a water molecule, which is an essential substrate for ADO formation, is structurally identified for the first time as the candidate donor in a Michael addition by SAHH to the 3’-keto-4’,5’-didehydroadenosine reaction intermediate. The presence of the water molecule is consistent with the reaction mechanism proposed by Palmer & Abeles in 1979. These results provide insights into the reaction mechanism of the SAHH enzyme. PMID:26573329

  18. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums. PMID:27498030

  19. An Insight into the Pharmacophores of Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors from Synthetic and Crystal Structural Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Chen,G.; Wang, H.; Robinson, H.; Cai, J.; Wan, Y.; Ke, H.

    2008-01-01

    Selective inhibitors of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) have been used as drugs for treatment of male erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. An insight into the pharmacophores of PDE5 inhibitors is essential for development of second generation of PDE5 inhibitors, but has not been completely illustrated. Here we report the synthesis of a new class of the sildenafil derivatives and a crystal structure of the PDE5 catalytic domain in complex with 5-(2-ethoxy-5-(sulfamoyl)-3-thienyl)-1-methyl-3-propyl-1, 6-dihydro-7H-pyrazolo[4, 3-d]pyrimidin-7-one (12). Inhibitor 12 induces conformational change of the H-loop (residues 660-683), which is different from any of the known PDE5 structures. The pyrazolopyrimidinone groups of 12 and sildenafil are well superimposed, but their sulfonamide groups show a positional difference of as much as 1.5 Angstroms . The structure-activity analysis suggests that a small hydrophobic pocket and the H-loop of PDE5 are important for the inhibitor affinity, in addition to two common elements for binding of almost all the PDE inhibitors: the stack against the phenylalanine and the hydrogen bond with the invariant glutamine. However, the PDE5-12 structure does not provide a full explanation to affinity changes of the inhibitors. Thus alternatives such as conformational change of the M-loop are open and further structural study is required.

  20. Structural Insights into the Anti-HIV Activity of the Oscillatoria agardhii Agglutinin Homolog Lectin Family*

    PubMed Central

    Koharudin, Leonardus M. I.; Kollipara, Sireesha; Aiken, Christopher; Gronenborn, Angela M.

    2012-01-01

    Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin homolog (OAAH) proteins belong to a recently discovered lectin family. All members contain a sequence repeat of ∼66 amino acids, with the number of repeats varying among different family members. Apart from data for the founding member OAA, neither three-dimensional structures, information about carbohydrate binding specificities, nor antiviral activity data have been available up to now for any other members of the OAAH family. To elucidate the structural basis for the antiviral mechanism of OAAHs, we determined the crystal structures of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Myxococcus xanthus lectins. Both proteins exhibit the same fold, resembling the founding family member, OAA, with minor differences in loop conformations. Carbohydrate binding studies by NMR and x-ray structures of glycan-lectin complexes reveal that the number of sugar binding sites corresponds to the number of sequence repeats in each protein. As for OAA, tight and specific binding to α3,α6-mannopentaose was observed. All the OAAH proteins described here exhibit potent anti-HIV activity at comparable levels. Altogether, our results provide structural details of the protein-carbohydrate interaction for this novel lectin family and insights into the molecular basis of their HIV inactivation properties. PMID:22865886

  1. Insights into the Mechanism of Type I Dehydroquinate Dehydratases from Structures of Reaction Intermediates

    SciTech Connect

    Light, Samuel H.; Minasov, George; Shuvalova, Ludmilla; Duban, Mark-Eugene; Caffrey, Michael; Anderson, Wayne F.; Lavie, Arnon

    2012-02-27

    The biosynthetic shikimate pathway consists of seven enzymes that catalyze sequential reactions to generate chorismate, a critical branch point in the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids. The third enzyme in the pathway, dehydroquinate dehydratase (DHQD), catalyzes the dehydration of 3-dehydroquinate to 3-dehydroshikimate. We present three crystal structures of the type I DHQD from the intestinal pathogens Clostridium difficile and Salmonella enterica. Structures of the enzyme with substrate and covalent pre- and post-dehydration reaction intermediates provide snapshots of successive steps along the type I DHQD-catalyzed reaction coordinate. These structures reveal that the position of the substrate within the active site does not appreciably change upon Schiff base formation. The intermediate state structures reveal a reaction state-dependent behavior of His-143 in which the residue adopts a conformation proximal to the site of catalytic dehydration only when the leaving group is present. We speculate that His-143 is likely to assume differing catalytic roles in each of its observed conformations. One conformation of His-143 positions the residue for the formation/hydrolysis of the covalent Schiff base intermediates, whereas the other conformation positions the residue for a role in the catalytic dehydration event. The fact that the shikimate pathway is absent from humans makes the enzymes of the pathway potential targets for the development of non-toxic antimicrobials. The structures and mechanistic insight presented here may inform the design of type I DHQD enzyme inhibitors.

  2. A survey of neonicotinoid use and potential exposure to northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) in the Rolling Plains of Texas and Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Turaga, Uday; Peper, Steven T; Dunham, Nicholas R; Kumar, Naveen; Kistler, Whitney; Almas, Sadia; Presley, Steven M; Kendall, Ronald J

    2016-06-01

    Northern bobwhite (quail) (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) populations have declined dramatically in the Rolling Plains ecoregion of Texas and Oklahoma (USA). There is rising concern about potential toxicity of neonicotinoids to birds. To investigate this concern, the authors examined crops of 81 northern bobwhite and 17 scaled quail to determine the presence or absence of seeds treated with 3 neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam). No treated seeds were found in the 98 crops examined. Liver samples from all 98 quail were collected and analyzed for neonicotinoid residues. Analysis revealed very low concentrations of neonicotinoids within the quail liver samples. The results suggest there is little to no risk of direct toxicity to quail from neonicotinoids. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1511-1515. © 2015 SETAC. PMID:26565740

  3. Understanding the structural setting in the Southern Apennines (Italy): insight from Gravity Gradient Tensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedi, Maurizio; Ferranti, Luigi; Florio, Giovanni; Giori, Italiano; Italiano, Francesco

    2005-03-01

    The Lucania Apennines form the frontal part of the Apennines in Southern Italy. This orogenic belt was formed in response to late Miocene-Early Pleistocene shortening and allochthon emplacement toward the northeast, and was subsequently affected by extensional faulting which migrated to northeast ahead of the thrust system. As a result, contraction structures are found associated to Pliocene-Early Pleistocene thrust-top basins in the NE part of the area, whereas extensional faults shape Middle Pleistocene-Holocene basin on the SW sector. The main structural grain of the belt is NW-SE, but E-W structures are widespread in the area as a result of phases of non-coaxial thrusting and strike-slip faulting. The analysis, one by one, of the components of the Gravity Gradient Tensor (GGT) has proved to yield a fine image of the structural setting of the investigated area. GGT is a second rank tensor containing the second spatial derivatives of the gravity potential and in this paper is used instead than the more traditional gravity data. The Tzz component allows an accurate description of the location and of the shape of basins and other structures, but different components of the GGT provide even more detailed insights for such structures. In particular, we found that the Tzy and Tyy locate well those structures trending closer to the E-W direction for both thrust-top and extensional basins, and their termination against the main NW-SE structures. The combined use of components of GGT provides a finer definition of the anomaly sources particularly if a good knowledge of their strike and depth is independently estimated with other geological and geophysical investigations.

  4. Structural Insights into the Conformational Diversity of ClpP from Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Byung-Gil; Kim, Min Kyung; Song, Hyun Kyu

    2011-01-01

    ClpP is a cylindrical protease that is tightly regulated by Clp-ATPases. The activation mechanism of ClpP using acyldepsipeptide antibiotics as mimics of natural activators showed enlargement of the axial entrance pore for easier processing of incoming substrates. However, the elimination of degradation products from inside the ClpP chamber remains unclear since there is no exit pore for releasing these products in all determined ClpP structures. Here we report a new crystal structure of ClpP from Bacillus subtilis, which shows a significantly compressed shape along the axial direction. A portion of the handle regions comprising the heptameric ring-ring contacts shows structural transition from an ordered to a disordered state, which triggers the large conformational change from an extended to an overall compressed structure. Along with this structural change, 14 side pores are generated for product release and the catalytic triad adopts an inactive orientation. We have also determined B. subtilis ClpP inhibited by diisopropylfluoro-phosphate and analyzed the active site in detail. Structural information pertaining to several different conformational steps such as those related to extended, ADEP-activated, DFP-inhibited and compressed forms of ClpP from B. subtilis is available. Structural comparisons suggest that functionally important regions in the ClpP-family such as N-terminal segments for the axial pore, catalytic triads, and handle domains for the product releasing pore exhibit intrinsically dynamic and unique structural features. This study provides valuable insights for understanding the enigmatic cylindrical degradation machinery of ClpP as well as other related proteases such as HslV and the 20S proteasome. PMID:22080375

  5. Structural insights into viral determinants of nematode mediated Grapevine fanleaf virus transmission.

    PubMed

    Schellenberger, Pascale; Sauter, Claude; Lorber, Bernard; Bron, Patrick; Trapani, Stefano; Bergdoll, Marc; Marmonier, Aurélie; Schmitt-Keichinger, Corinne; Lemaire, Olivier; Demangeat, Gérard; Ritzenthaler, Christophe

    2011-05-01

    Many animal and plant viruses rely on vectors for their transmission from host to host. Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV), a picorna-like virus from plants, is transmitted specifically by the ectoparasitic nematode Xiphinema index. The icosahedral capsid of GFLV, which consists of 60 identical coat protein subunits (CP), carries the determinants of this specificity. Here, we provide novel insight into GFLV transmission by nematodes through a comparative structural and functional analysis of two GFLV variants. We isolated a mutant GFLV strain (GFLV-TD) poorly transmissible by nematodes, and showed that the transmission defect is due to a glycine to aspartate mutation at position 297 (Gly297Asp) in the CP. We next determined the crystal structures of the wild-type GFLV strain F13 at 3.0 Å and of GFLV-TD at 2.7 Å resolution. The Gly297Asp mutation mapped to an exposed loop at the outer surface of the capsid and did not affect the conformation of the assembled capsid, nor of individual CP molecules. The loop is part of a positively charged pocket that includes a previously identified determinant of transmission. We propose that this pocket is a ligand-binding site with essential function in GFLV transmission by X. index. Our data suggest that perturbation of the electrostatic landscape of this pocket affects the interaction of the virion with specific receptors of the nematode's feeding apparatus, and thereby severely diminishes its transmission efficiency. These data provide a first structural insight into the interactions between a plant virus and a nematode vector. PMID:21625570

  6. Crystal structures of Ophiostoma piceae sterol esterase: structural insights into activation mechanism and product release.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Fernández, Javier; Vaquero, María Eugenia; Prieto, Alicia; Barriuso, Jorge; Martínez, María Jesús; Hermoso, Juan A

    2014-09-01

    Sterol esterases are able to efficiently hydrolyze both sterol esters and triglycerides and to carry out synthesis reactions in the presence of organic solvents. Their high versatility makes them excellent candidates for biotechnological purposes. Sterol esterase from fungus Ophiostoma piceae (OPE) belongs to the family abH03.01 of the Candida rugosa lipase-like proteins. Crystal structures of OPE were solved in this study for the closed and open conformations. Enzyme activation involves a large displacement of the conserved lid, structural rearrangements of loop α16-α17, and formation of a dimer with a large opening. Three PEG molecules are placed in the active site, mimicking chains of the triglyceride substrate, demonstrating the position of the oxyanion hole and the three pockets that accommodate the sn-1, sn-2 and sn-3 fatty acids chains. One of them is an internal tunnel, connecting the active center with the outer surface of the enzyme 30 Å far from the catalytic Ser220. Based on our structural and biochemical results we propose a mechanism by which a great variety of different substrates can be hydrolyzed in OPE paving the way for the construction of new variants to improve the catalytic properties of these enzymes and their biotechnological applications. PMID:25108239

  7. Photocatalytic degradation with immobilised TiO(2) of three selected neonicotinoid insecticides: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin.

    PubMed

    Zabar, Romina; Komel, Tilen; Fabjan, Jure; Kralj, Mojca Bavcon; Trebše, Polonca

    2012-09-01

    This research focused on photocatalytic degradation of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin employing a tailor-made photoreactor with six polychromatic fluorescent UVA (broad maximum at 355 nm) lamps and immobilised titanium dioxide (TiO(2)) on glass slides. The disappearance was followed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD) analyses, wherein the efficiency of mineralization was monitored by measurements of total organic carbon (TOC). Within 2h of photocatalysis, all three neonicotinoids were degraded following first order kinetics with rate constants k=0.035 ± 0.001 min(-1) for imidacloprid, k=0.019 ± 0.001 min(-1) for thiamethoxam and k=0.021 ± 0.000 min(-1) for clothianidin. However, the rate of mineralization was low, i.e. 19.1 ± 0.2% for imidacloprid, 14.4 ± 2.9% for thiamethoxam and 14.1 ± 0.4% for clothianidin. This indicates that several transformation products were formed instead. Some of them were observed within HPLC-DAD analyses and structures were proposed according to the liquid chromatography-electro spray ionization tandem mass spectrometry analyses (LC-ESI-MS/MS). The formation of clothianidin, as thiamethoxam transformation product, was reported for the first time. PMID:22668598

  8. Crystal structure of a TSH receptor monoclonal antibody: insight into Graves' disease pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Rong; Hubbard, Paul A; Salazar, Larry M; McLachlan, Sandra M; Murali, Ramachandran; Rapoport, Basil

    2015-01-01

    The TSH receptor (TSHR) A-subunit is more effective than the holoreceptor in inducing thyroid-stimulating antibodies (TSAb) that cause Graves' disease. A puzzling phenomenon is that 2 recombinant, eukaryotic forms of A-subunits (residues 22-289), termed active and inactive, are recognized mutually exclusively by pathogenic TSAb and mouse monoclonal antibody 3BD10, respectively. Understanding the structural difference between these TSHR A-subunit forms could provide insight into Graves' disease pathogenesis. The 3-dimensional structure of the active A-subunit (in complex with a human TSAb Fab, M22) is known, but the structural difference with inactive A-subunits is unknown. We solved the 3BD10 Fab 3-dimensional crystal structure. Guided by prior knowledge of a portion of its epitope, 3BD10 docked in silico with the known active TSHR-289 monomeric structure. Because both TSAb and 3BD10 recognize the active TSHR A-subunit monomer, this form of the molecule can be excluded as the basis for the active-inactive dichotomy, suggesting, instead a role for A-subunit quaternary structure. Indeed, in silico analysis revealed that M22, but not 3BD10, bound to a TSHR-289 trimer. In contrast, 3BD10, but not M22, bound to a TSHR-289 dimer. The validity of these models is supported experimentally by the temperature-dependent balance between active and inactive TSHR-289. In summary, we provide evidence for a structural basis to explain the conformational heterogeneity of TSHR A-subunits (TSHR-289). The pathophysiologic importance of these findings is that affinity maturation of pathogenic TSAb in Graves' disease is likely to involve a trimer of the shed TSHR A-subunit. PMID:25419797

  9. Structure and Mechanism of Isopropylmalate Dehydrogenase from Arabidopsis thaliana: INSIGHTS ON LEUCINE AND ALIPHATIC GLUCOSINOLATE BIOSYNTHESIS.

    PubMed

    Lee, Soon Goo; Nwumeh, Ronald; Jez, Joseph M

    2016-06-24

    Isopropylmalate dehydrogenase (IPMDH) and 3-(2'-methylthio)ethylmalate dehydrogenase catalyze the oxidative decarboxylation of different β-hydroxyacids in the leucine- and methionine-derived glucosinolate biosynthesis pathways, respectively, in plants. Evolution of the glucosinolate biosynthetic enzyme from IPMDH results from a single amino acid substitution that alters substrate specificity. Here, we present the x-ray crystal structures of Arabidopsis thaliana IPMDH2 (AtIPMDH2) in complex with either isopropylmalate and Mg(2+) or NAD(+) These structures reveal conformational changes that occur upon ligand binding and provide insight on the active site of the enzyme. The x-ray structures and kinetic analysis of site-directed mutants are consistent with a chemical mechanism in which Lys-232 activates a water molecule for catalysis. Structural analysis of the AtIPMDH2 K232M mutant and isothermal titration calorimetry supports a key role of Lys-232 in the reaction mechanism. This study suggests that IPMDH-like enzymes in both leucine and glucosinolate biosynthesis pathways use a common mechanism and that members of the β-hydroxyacid reductive decarboxylase family employ different active site features for similar reactions. PMID:27137927

  10. Unveiling the molecular mechanism of brassinosteroids: Insights from structure-based molecular modeling studies.

    PubMed

    Lei, Beilei; Liu, Jiyuan; Yao, Xiaojun

    2015-12-01

    Brassinosteroid (BR) phytohormones play indispensable roles in plant growth and development. Brassinolide (BL) and 24-epibrassinolide (24-epiBL) are the most active ones among the BRs reported thus far. Unfortunately, the extremely low natural content and intricate synthesis process limit their popularization in agricultural production. Earlier reports to discover alternative compounds have resulted in molecules with nearly same scaffold structure and without diversity in chemical space. In the present study, receptors structure based BRs regulation mechanism was analyzed. First, we examined the detailed binding interactions and their dynamic stability between BL and its receptor BRI1 and co-receptor BAK1. Then, the binding modes and binding free energies for 24-epiBL and a series of representative BRs binding with BRI1 and BRI1-BAK1 were carried out by molecular docking, energy minimization and MM-PBSA free energy calculation. The obtained binding structures and energetic results provided vital insights into the structural factors affecting the activity from both receptors and BRs aspects. Subsequently, the obtained knowledge will serve as valuable guidance to build pharmacophore models for rational screening of new scaffold alternative BRs. PMID:26362600

  11. Structural insights into the substrate specificity of bacterial copper amine oxidase obtained by using irreversible inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Murakawa, Takeshi; Hayashi, Hideyuki; Taki, Masayasu; Yamamoto, Yukio; Kawano, Yoshiaki; Tanizawa, Katsuyuki; Okajima, Toshihide

    2012-02-01

    Copper amine oxidases (CAOs) catalyse the oxidation of various aliphatic amines to the corresponding aldehydes, ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. Although CAOs from various organisms share a highly conserved active-site structure including a protein-derived cofactor, topa quinone (TPQ), their substrate specificities differ considerably. To obtain structural insights into the substrate specificity of a CAO from Arthrobacter globiformis (AGAO), we have determined the X-ray crystal structures of AGAO complexed with irreversible inhibitors that form covalent adducts with TPQ. Three hydrazine derivatives, benzylhydrazine (BHZ), 4-hydroxybenzylhydrazine (4-OH-BHZ) and phenylhydrazine (PHZ) formed predominantly a hydrazone adduct, which is structurally analogous to the substrate Schiff base of TPQ formed during the catalytic reaction. With BHZ and 4-OH-BHZ, but not with PHZ, the inhibitor aromatic ring is bound to a hydrophobic cavity near the active site in a well-defined conformation. Furthermore, the hydrogen atom on the hydrazone nitrogen is located closer to the catalytic base in the BHZ and 4-OH-BHZ adducts than in the PHZ adduct. These results correlate well with the reactivity of 2-phenylethylamine and tyramine as preferred substrates for AGAO and also explain why benzylamine is a poor substrate with markedly decreased rate constants for the steps of proton abstraction and the following hydrolysis. PMID:21984603

  12. Crystal structure of Manduca sexta prophenoloxidase provides insights into the mechanism of type 3 copper enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yongchao; Wang, Yang; Jiang, Haobo; Deng, Junpeng

    2010-02-22

    Arthropod phenoloxidase (PO) generates quinones and other toxic compounds to sequester and kill pathogens during innate immune responses. It is also involved in wound healing and other physiological processes. Insect PO is activated from its inactive precursor, prophenoloxidase (PPO), by specific proteolysis via a serine protease cascade. Here, we report the crystal structure of PPO from a lepidopteran insect at a resolution of 1.97 {angstrom}, which is the initial structure for a PPO from the type 3 copper protein family. Manduca sexta PPO is a heterodimer consisting of 2 homologous polypeptide chains, PPO1 and PPO2. The active site of each subunit contains a canonical type 3 di-nuclear copper center, with each copper ion coordinated with 3 structurally conserved histidines. The acidic residue Glu-395 located at the active site of PPO2 may serve as a general base for deprotonation of monophenolic substrates, which is key to the ortho-hydroxylase activity of PO. The structure provides unique insights into the mechanism by which type 3 copper proteins differ in their enzymatic activities, albeit sharing a common active center. A drastic change in electrostatic surface induced on cleavage at Arg-51 allows us to propose a model for localized PPO activation in insects.

  13. The formation, function and regulation of amyloids: insights from structural biology.

    PubMed

    Landreh, M; Sawaya, M R; Hipp, M S; Eisenberg, D S; Wüthrich, K; Hartl, F U

    2016-08-01

    Amyloid diseases are characterized by the accumulation of insoluble, β-strand-rich aggregates. The underlying structural conversions are closely associated with cellular toxicity, but can also drive the formation of functional protein assemblies. In recent years, studies in the field of structural studies have revealed astonishing insights into the origins, mechanisms and implications of amyloid formation. Notably, high-resolution crystal structures of peptides in amyloid-like fibrils and prefibrillar oligomers have become available despite their challenging chemical nature. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has revealed that dynamic local polymorphisms in the benign form of the prion protein affect the transformation into amyloid fibrils and the transmissibility of prion diseases. Studies of the structures and interactions of chaperone proteins help us to understand how the cellular proteostasis network is able to recognize different stages of aberrant protein folding and prevent aggregation. In this review, we will focus on recent developments that connect the different aspects of amyloid biology and discuss how understanding the process of amyloid formation and the associated defence mechanisms can reveal targets for pharmacological intervention that may become the first steps towards clinically viable treatment strategies. PMID:27237473

  14. Structural insights into the oligomerization and architecture of eukaryotic membrane pore-forming toxins.

    PubMed

    Mechaly, Ariel E; Bellomio, Augusto; Gil-Cartón, David; Morante, Koldo; Valle, Mikel; González-Mañas, Juan Manuel; Guérin, Diego M A

    2011-02-01

    Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) are proteins that are secreted as soluble molecules and are inserted into membranes to form oligomeric transmembrane pores. In this paper, we report the crystal structure of Fragaceatoxin C (FraC), a PFT isolated from the sea anemone Actinia fragacea, at 1.8 Å resolution. It consists of a crown-shaped nonamer with an external diameter of about 11.0 nm and an internal diameter of approximately 5.0 nm. Cryoelectron microscopy studies of FraC in lipid bilayers reveal the pore structure that traverses the membrane. The shape and dimensions of the crystallographic oligomer are fully consistent with the membrane pore. The FraC structure provides insight into the interactions governing the assembly process and suggests the structural changes that allow for membrane insertion. We propose a nonameric pore model that spans the membrane by forming a lipid-free α-helical bundle pore. PMID:21300287

  15. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    PubMed Central

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph; Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:24816101

  16. New Insights into the Structure of Multimetallic Nanoparticles and their Advanced Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khanal, Subarna; Bhattarai, Nabraj; Velázquez-Salazar, Jesus; Guisbiers, Gregory; Jose-Yacaman, Miguel

    2015-03-01

    Noble multimetallic nanoparticles have led to exciting progress in a versatile array of applications. For the purpose of better tailoring of nanoparticles activities and understanding the correlation between their structures and properties, control over the composition, shape, size and architecture of bimetallic and multimetallic nanomaterials plays an important role on revealing their new or enhanced functions for potentials application. Advance electron microscopy techniques were used to provide atomic scale insights into the structure-properties of different materials: Pt-Pd, Au-Au3Cu, Cu-Pt, AgPd-Pt and AuCu/Pt nanoparticles. These multimetallic nanoparticles have raised interest for their various applications in fuel cells, ethanol and methanol oxidation reactions, hydrogen storage, and so on. The nanostructures were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and by aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (Cs-corrected STEM), in combination with high angle annular dark field (HAADF), bright field (BF), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) detectors. These techniques allowed us to probe the structure at the atomic level of the nanoparticles revealing new structural information and elemental composition of the nanoparticles.

  17. New insight into the structure of dispersed titania by combining normal-mode analysis with experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitsche, David; Hess, Christian

    2014-11-01

    Normal-mode analysis has been combined with experiment to gain new insight into the vibrational structure of dispersed titania. For the calculations, double- and tri-grafted hydroxylated titania species have been adapted to a model silica support based on polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS). The choice of hydroxylated models was validated by IR detection of the Osbnd H stretching band of dispersed titania (0.7 Ti/nm2). UV resonance Raman experiments have identified three titania-related vibrational features within the spectral region 900-1100 cm-1 due to Tisbnd Osbnd Si interphase, Tisbnd Osbnd Si in-phase and out-of-phase stretching vibrations. This behaviour is fully consistent with the results obtained by the normal-mode analysis.

  18. Insights into the structure and architecture of the CCR4–NOT complex

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Kun; Bai, Yuwei; Zhang, Aili; Zhang, Qionglin; Bartlam, Mark G.

    2014-01-01

    The CCR4–NOT complex is a highly conserved, multifunctional machinery with a general role in controlling mRNA metabolism. It has been implicated in a number of different aspects of mRNA and protein expression, including mRNA degradation, transcription initiation and elongation, ubiquitination, and protein modification. The core CCR4–NOT complex is evolutionarily conserved and consists of at least three NOT proteins and two catalytic subunits. The L-shaped complex is characterized by two functional modules bound to the CNOT1/Not1 scaffold protein: the deadenylase or nuclease module containing two enzymes required for deadenylation, and the NOT module. In this review, we will summarize the currently available information regarding the three-dimensional structure and assembly of the CCR4–NOT complex, in order to provide insight into its roles in mRNA degradation and other biological processes. PMID:24904637

  19. Using Numerical Simulations to Gain Insight into the Structure of Super-bubbles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komljenovic, P. T.; Basu, S.; Johnstone, D.

    Recent high resolution observations of Galactic superbubbles have motivated us to re-examine several classes of superbubble models. We compare three classes of hydrodynamic models (the Kompaneets approximation, the thin shell model, and numerical simulations) in order to understand the structure of superbubbles and to gain insight into observations. In particular, we apply models to the W4 superbubble, which has been observed in the Pilot project of the arcminute resolution Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (Normandeau et al. 1996). Magnetohydrodynamic simulations are also performed and point the way to a fuller understanding of the W4 superbubble. We suggest that the highly collimated bubble and apparent lack of a Rayleigh-Taylor instability in the superbubble shell can be explained by the presence of a magnetic field.

  20. Group-theoretic insights on the vibration of symmetric structures in engineering

    PubMed Central

    Zingoni, Alphose

    2014-01-01

    Group theory has been used to study various problems in physics and chemistry for many years. Relatively recently, applications have emerged in engineering, where problems of the vibration, bifurcation and stability of systems exhibiting symmetry have been studied. From an engineering perspective, the main attraction of group-theoretic methods has been their potential to reduce computational effort in the analysis of large-scale problems. In this paper, we focus on vibration problems in structural mechanics and reveal some of the insights and qualitative benefits that group theory affords. These include an appreciation of all the possible symmetries of modes of vibration, the prediction of the number of modes of a given symmetry type, the identification of modes associated with the same frequencies, the prediction of nodal lines and stationary points of a vibrating system, and the untangling of clustered frequencies. PMID:24379427

  1. Computation Sheds Insight into Iron Porphyrin Carbenes' Electronic Structure, Formation, and N-H Insertion Reactivity.

    PubMed

    Sharon, Dina A; Mallick, Dibyendu; Wang, Binju; Shaik, Sason

    2016-08-01

    Iron porphyrin carbenes constitute a new frontier of species with considerable synthetic potential. Exquisitely engineered myoglobin and cytochrome P450 enzymes can generate these complexes and facilitate the transformations they mediate. The current work harnesses density functional theoretical methods to provide insight into the electronic structure, formation, and N-H insertion reactivity of an iron porphyrin carbene, [Fe(Por)(SCH3)(CHCO2Et)](-), a model of a complex believed to exist in an experimentally studied artificial metalloenzyme. The ground state electronic structure of the terminal form of this complex is an open-shell singlet, with two antiferromagnetically coupled electrons residing on the iron center and carbene ligand. As we shall reveal, the bonding properties of [Fe(Por)(SCH3)(CHCO2Et)](-) are remarkably analogous to those of ferric heme superoxide complexes. The carbene forms by dinitrogen loss from ethyl diazoacetate. This reaction occurs preferentially through an open-shell singlet transition state: iron donates electron density to weaken the C-N bond undergoing cleavage. Once formed, the iron porphyrin carbene accomplishes N-H insertion via nucleophilic attack. The resulting ylide then rearranges, using an internal carbonyl base, to form an enol that leads to the product. The findings rationalize experimentally observed reactivity trends reported in artificial metalloenzymes employing iron porphyrin carbenes. Furthermore, these results suggest a possible expansion of enzymatic substrate scope, to include aliphatic amines. Thus, this work, among the first several computational explorations of these species, contributes insights and predictions to the surging interest in iron porphyrin carbenes and their synthetic potential. PMID:27347808

  2. Structural insights into YfiR sequestering by YfiB in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shanshan; Li, Tingting; Xu, Yueyang; Zhang, Qionglin; Zhang, Wei; Che, Shiyou; Liu, Ruihua; Wang, Yingying; Bartlam, Mark

    2015-01-01

    YfiBNR is a tripartite signalling system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa that modulates intracellular c-di-GMP levels in response to signals received in the periplasm. YfiB is an outer membrane lipoprotein and presumed sensor protein that sequesters the repressor protein YfiR. To provide insights into YfiBNR function, we have determined three-dimensional crystal structures of YfiB and YfiR from P. aeruginosa PAO1 alone and as a 1:1 complex. A YfiB(27–168) construct is predominantly dimeric, whereas a YfiB(59–168) is monomeric, indicating that YfiB can dimerize via its N-terminal region. YfiR forms a stable complex with YfiB(59–168), while the YfiR binding interface is obstructed by the N-terminal region in YfiB(27–168). The YfiB-YfiR complex reveals a conserved interaction surface on YfiR that overlaps with residues predicted to interact with the periplasmic PAS domain of YfiN. Comparison of native and YfiR-bound structures of YfiB suggests unwinding of the N-terminal linker region for attachment to the outer membrane. A model is thus proposed for YfiR sequestration at the outer membrane by YfiB. Our work provides the first detailed insights into the interaction between YfiB and YfiR at the molecular level and is a valuable starting point for further functional and mechanistic studies of the YfiBNR signalling system. PMID:26593397

  3. The Deep Structure of the South Atlantic Kwanza Basin - Insights from 3D Structural and Gravimetric modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolai, Christina V.; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Warsitzka, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Three dimensional geological models constrained by potential field data have proven to be powerful tools for the investigation of areas where conventional seismic surveying fails to deliver satisfactory results. Especially in basins containing thick sedimentary and/or evaporite layers, the detection of crustal structures such as synrift halfgrabens or basement highs is considerably enhanced by potential field data. Knowledge on the distribution and configuration of crustal structures is inalienable for the reconstruction of the tectonic history of a continental margin. In this study, we present results from 3D gravimetric modelling of the Kwanza Basin offshore Angola accomplished to investigate the formation of the basin in response to the opening of the South Atlantic. Although the post-rift evolution of the Kwanza Basin is well studied, little is known about the basins early history. This is mainly due to the missing knowledge of its crustal structure owing to the masking effect of an up to 3 km thick salt layer, which seismically obscures the underlying basement. To get an insight into the deeper structure of the Angolan margin we combined 3D structural, isostatic and gravimetric modelling. 2D seismic reflection data was used to determine the structural setting and the configuration of the stratigraphic units in the sedimentary part of the basin, whereas its crustal structure was constrained by isostatic and gravity modelling. The resulting geological model confirms and extends previous observations, and adds new details to the hitherto dim picture of the Kwanza Basins crustal architecture. In addition, it raises new questions on the volcanic or non-volcanic origin of the margin, and the potential of transfer faults to dissect the latter into independently evolving tectonic segments.

  4. Insight toward epithelial Na+ channel mechanism revealed by the acid-sensing ion channel 1 structure.

    PubMed

    Stockand, James D; Staruschenko, Alexander; Pochynyuk, Oleh; Booth, Rachell E; Silverthorn, Dee U

    2008-09-01

    The epithelial Na(+) channel/degenerin (ENaC/DEG) protein family includes a diverse group of ion channels, including nonvoltage-gated Na(+) channels of epithelia and neurons, and the acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1). In mammalian epithelia, ENaC helps regulate Na(+) and associated water transport, making it a critical determinant of systemic blood pressure and pulmonary mucosal fluidity. In the nervous system, ENaC/DEG proteins are related to sensory transduction. While the importance and physiological function of these ion channels are established, less is known about their structure. One hallmark of the ENaC/DEG channel family is that each channel subunit has only two transmembrane domains connected by an exceedingly large extracellular loop. This subunit structure was recently confirmed when Jasti and colleagues determined the crystal structure of chicken ASIC1, a neuronal acid-sensing ENaC/DEG channel. By mapping ENaC to the structural coordinates of cASIC1, as we do here, we hope to provide insight toward ENaC structure. ENaC, like ASIC1, appears to be a trimeric channel containing 1alpha, 1beta, and 1gamma subunit. Heterotrimeric ENaC and monomeric ENaC subunits within the trimer possibly contain many of the major secondary, tertiary, and quaternary features identified in cASIC1 with a few subtle but critical differences. These differences are expected to have profound effects on channel behavior. In particular, they may contribute to ENaC insensitivity to acid and to its constitutive activity in the absence of time- and ligand-dependent inactivation. Experiments resulting from this comparison of cASIC1 and ENaC may help clarify unresolved issues related to ENaC architecture, and may help identify secondary structures and residues critical to ENaC function. PMID:18459164

  5. Structural Insights into High Density Lipoprotein: Old Models and New Facts

    PubMed Central

    Gogonea, Valentin

    2016-01-01

    The physiological link between circulating high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and cardiovascular disease is well-documented, albeit its intricacies are not well-understood. An improved appreciation of HDL function and overall role in vascular health and disease requires at its foundation a better understanding of the lipoprotein's molecular structure, its formation, and its process of maturation through interactions with various plasma enzymes and cell receptors that intervene along the pathway of reverse cholesterol transport. This review focuses on summarizing recent developments in the field of lipid free apoA-I and HDL structure, with emphasis on new insights revealed by newly published nascent and spherical HDL models constructed by combining low resolution structures obtained from small angle neutron scattering (SANS) with contrast variation and geometrical constraints derived from hydrogen–deuterium exchange (HDX), crosslinking mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, Förster resonance energy transfer, and electron spin resonance. Recently published low resolution structures of nascent and spherical HDL obtained from SANS with contrast variation and isotopic labeling of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) will be critically reviewed and discussed in terms of how they accommodate existing biophysical structural data from alternative approaches. The new low resolution structures revealed and also provided some answers to long standing questions concerning lipid organization and particle maturation of lipoproteins. The review will discuss the merits of newly proposed SANS based all atom models for nascent and spherical HDL, and compare them with accepted models. Finally, naturally occurring and bioengineered mutations in apoA-I, and their impact on HDL phenotype, are reviewed and discuss together with new therapeutics employed for restoring HDL function. PMID:26793109

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chakraborti, Subhendu; Bahnson, Brian J.

    2010-05-25

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

  7. Contamination of wild plants near neonicotinoid seed-treated crops, and implications for non-target insects.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; David, Arthur; Hill, Elizabeth M; Goulson, Dave

    2016-10-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly-used as seed treatments on flowering crops such as oilseed rape. Their persistence and solubility in water increase the chances of environmental contamination via surface-runoff or drainage into areas adjacent to the crops. However, their uptake and fate into non-target vegetation remains poorly understood. In this study, we analysed samples of foliage collected from neonicotinoid seed-treated oilseed rape plants and also compared the levels of neonicotinoid residues in foliage (range: 1.4-11ng/g) with the levels found in pollen collected from the same plants (range: 1.4-22ng/g). We then analysed residue levels in foliage from non-target plants growing in the crop field margins (range: ≤0.02-106ng/g). Finally, in order to assess the possible risk posed by the peak levels of neonicotinoids that we detected in foliage for farmland phytophagous and predatory insects, we compared the maximum concentrations found against the LC50 values reported in the literature for a set of relevant insect species. Our results suggest that neonicotinoid seed-dressings lead to widespread contamination of the foliage of field margin plants with mixtures of neonicotinoid residues, where levels are very variable and discontinuous, but sometimes overlap with lethal concentrations reported for some insect species. Understanding the distribution of pesticides in the environment and their potential effects on biological communities is crucial to properly assess current agricultural management and schemes with biodiversity conservation aims in farmland. PMID:27220104

  8. Structural Insights into SraP-Mediated Staphylococcus aureus Adhesion to Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Juan; Wang, Lei; Bai, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Shi-Jie; Ren, Yan-Min; Li, Na; Zhang, Yong-Hui; Zhang, Zhiyong; Gong, Qingguo; Mei, Yide; Xue, Ting; Zhang, Jing-Ren; Chen, Yuxing; Zhou, Cong-Zhao

    2014-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive bacterium causes a number of devastating human diseases, such as infective endocarditis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis and sepsis. S. aureus SraP, a surface-exposed serine-rich repeat glycoprotein (SRRP), is required for the pathogenesis of human infective endocarditis via its ligand-binding region (BR) adhering to human platelets. It remains unclear how SraP interacts with human host. Here we report the 2.05 Å crystal structure of the BR of SraP, revealing an extended rod-like architecture of four discrete modules. The N-terminal legume lectin-like module specifically binds to N-acetylneuraminic acid. The second module adopts a β-grasp fold similar to Ig-binding proteins, whereas the last two tandem repetitive modules resemble eukaryotic cadherins but differ in calcium coordination pattern. Under the conditions tested, small-angle X-ray scattering and molecular dynamic simulation indicated that the three C-terminal modules function as a relatively rigid stem to extend the N-terminal lectin module outwards. Structure-guided mutagenesis analyses, in addition to a recently identified trisaccharide ligand of SraP, enabled us to elucidate that SraP binding to sialylated receptors promotes S. aureus adhesion to and invasion into host epithelial cells. Our findings have thus provided novel structural and functional insights into the SraP-mediated host-pathogen interaction of S. aureus. PMID:24901708

  9. Structural insights into recognition of c-di-AMP by the ydaO riboswitch.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ang; Serganov, Alexander

    2014-09-01

    Bacterial second messenger cyclic di-AMP (c-di-AMP) is implicated in signaling DNA damage and cell wall stress through interactions with several protein receptors and a widespread ydaO-type riboswitch. We report the crystal structures of c-di-AMP riboswitches from Thermoanaerobacter pseudethanolicus and Thermovirga lienii determined at ∼3.0-Å resolution. In both species, the RNA adopts an unforeseen 'square'-shaped pseudosymmetrical architecture that features two three-way junctions, a turn and a pseudoknot, positioned in the square corners. Uncharacteristically for riboswitches, the structure is stapled by two ligand molecules that span the interior of the structure and employ similar noncanonical interactions for RNA recognition. Mutations in either ligand-binding site negatively affect c-di-AMP binding, suggesting that the riboswitch-triggered genetic response requires contribution of both ligands. Our data provide what are to our knowledge the first insights into specific sensing of c-di-AMP and a molecular mechanism underlying the common c-di-AMP-dependent control of essential cellular processes in bacteria. PMID:25086507

  10. Structural and dynamic insights into the energetics of activation loop rearrangement in FGFR1 kinase.

    PubMed

    Klein, Tobias; Vajpai, Navratna; Phillips, Jonathan J; Davies, Gareth; Holdgate, Geoffrey A; Phillips, Chris; Tucker, Julie A; Norman, Richard A; Scott, Andrew D; Higazi, Daniel R; Lowe, David; Thompson, Gary S; Breeze, Alexander L

    2015-01-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases differ widely in their propensity to undergo rearrangements of the N-terminal Asp-Phe-Gly (DFG) motif of the activation loop, with some, including FGFR1 kinase, appearing refractory to this so-called 'DFG flip'. Recent inhibitor-bound structures have unexpectedly revealed FGFR1 for the first time in a 'DFG-out' state. Here we use conformationally selective inhibitors as chemical probes for interrogation of the structural and dynamic features that appear to govern the DFG flip in FGFR1. Our detailed structural and biophysical insights identify contributions from altered dynamics in distal elements, including the αH helix, towards the outstanding stability of the DFG-out complex with the inhibitor ponatinib. We conclude that the αC-β4 loop and 'molecular brake' regions together impose a high energy barrier for this conformational rearrangement, and that this may have significance for maintaining autoinhibition in the non-phosphorylated basal state of FGFR1. PMID:26203596

  11. Structural insights into biased G protein-coupled receptor signaling revealed by fluorescence spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Rahmeh, Rita; Damian, Marjorie; Cottet, Martin; Orcel, Hélène; Mendre, Christiane; Durroux, Thierry; Sharma, K. Shivaji; Durand, Grégory; Pucci, Bernard; Trinquet, Eric; Zwier, Jurriaan M.; Deupi, Xavier; Bron, Patrick; Banères, Jean-Louis; Mouillac, Bernard; Granier, Sébastien

    2012-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are seven-transmembrane proteins that mediate most cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters, representing the largest group of therapeutic targets. Recent studies show that some GPCRs signal through both G protein and arrestin pathways in a ligand-specific manner. Ligands that direct signaling through a specific pathway are known as biased ligands. The arginine-vasopressin type 2 receptor (V2R), a prototypical peptide-activated GPCR, is an ideal model system to investigate the structural basis of biased signaling. Although the native hormone arginine-vasopressin leads to activation of both the stimulatory G protein (Gs) for the adenylyl cyclase and arrestin pathways, synthetic ligands exhibit highly biased signaling through either Gs alone or arrestin alone. We used purified V2R stabilized in neutral amphipols and developed fluorescence-based assays to investigate the structural basis of biased signaling for the V2R. Our studies demonstrate that the Gs-biased agonist stabilizes a conformation that is distinct from that stabilized by the arrestin-biased agonists. This study provides unique insights into the structural mechanisms of GPCR activation by biased ligands that may be relevant to the design of pathway-biased drugs. PMID:22493271

  12. The Parkinson Disease gene SNCA: Evolutionary and structural insights with pathological implication.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Irum Javaid; Pervaiz, Nashaiman; Abbasi, Amir Ali

    2016-01-01

    After Alzheimer, Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. Alpha synuclein (SNCA) is deemed as a major component of Lewy bodies, a neuropathological feature of PD. Five point mutations in SNCA have been reported so far, responsible for autosomal dominant PD. This study aims to decipher evolutionary and structural insights of SNCA by revealing its sequence and structural evolutionary patterns among sarcopterygians and its paralogous counterparts (SNCB and SNCG). Rate analysis detected strong purifying selection on entire synuclein family. Structural dynamics divulges that during the course of sarcopterygian evolutionary history, the region encompassed 32 to 58 of N-terminal domain of SNCA has acquired its critical functional significance through the epistatic influence of the lineage specific substitutions. In sum, these findings provide an evidence that the region from 32 to 58 of N-terminal lipid binding alpha helix domain of SNCA is the most critical region, not only from the evolutionary perspective but also for the stability and the proper conformation of the protein as well as crucial for the disease pathogenesis, harboring critical interaction sites. PMID:27080380

  13. New insights into Hoogsteen base pairs in DNA duplexes from a structure-based survey.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Huiqing; Hintze, Bradley J; Kimsey, Isaac J; Sathyamoorthy, Bharathwaj; Yang, Shan; Richardson, Jane S; Al-Hashimi, Hashim M

    2015-04-20

    Hoogsteen (HG) base pairs (bps) provide an alternative pairing geometry to Watson-Crick (WC) bps and can play unique functional roles in duplex DNA. Here, we use structural features unique to HG bps (syn purine base, HG hydrogen bonds and constricted C1'-C1' distance across the bp) to search for HG bps in X-ray structures of DNA duplexes in the Protein Data Bank. The survey identifies 106 A•T and 34 G•C HG bps in DNA duplexes, many of which are undocumented in the literature. It also uncovers HG-like bps with syn purines lacking HG hydrogen bonds or constricted C1'-C1' distances that are analogous to conformations that have been proposed to populate the WC-to-HG transition pathway. The survey reveals HG preferences similar to those observed for transient HG bps in solution by nuclear magnetic resonance, including stronger preferences for A•T versus G•C bps, TA versus GG steps, and also suggests enrichment at terminal ends with a preference for 5'-purine. HG bps induce small local perturbations in neighboring bps and, surprisingly, a small but significant degree of DNA bending (∼14°) directed toward the major groove. The survey provides insights into the preferences and structural consequences of HG bps in duplex DNA. PMID:25813047

  14. Functional Diversity of Haloacid Dehalogenase Superfamily Phosphatases from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: BIOCHEMICAL, STRUCTURAL, AND EVOLUTIONARY INSIGHTS.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsova, Ekaterina; Nocek, Boguslaw; Brown, Greg; Makarova, Kira S; Flick, Robert; Wolf, Yuri I; Khusnutdinova, Anna; Evdokimova, Elena; Jin, Ke; Tan, Kemin; Hanson, Andrew D; Hasnain, Ghulam; Zallot, Rémi; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie; Babu, Mohan; Savchenko, Alexei; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Edwards, Aled M; Koonin, Eugene V; Yakunin, Alexander F

    2015-07-24

    The haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-like enzymes comprise a large superfamily of phosphohydrolases present in all organisms. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome encodes at least 19 soluble HADs, including 10 uncharacterized proteins. Here, we biochemically characterized 13 yeast phosphatases from the HAD superfamily, which includes both specific and promiscuous enzymes active against various phosphorylated metabolites and peptides with several HADs implicated in detoxification of phosphorylated compounds and pseudouridine. The crystal structures of four yeast HADs provided insight into their active sites, whereas the structure of the YKR070W dimer in complex with substrate revealed a composite substrate-binding site. Although the S. cerevisiae and Escherichia coli HADs share low sequence similarities, the comparison of their substrate profiles revealed seven phosphatases with common preferred substrates. The cluster of secondary substrates supporting significant activity of both S. cerevisiae and E. coli HADs includes 28 common metabolites that appear to represent the pool of potential activities for the evolution of novel HAD phosphatases. Evolution of novel substrate specificities of HAD phosphatases shows no strict correlation with sequence divergence. Thus, evolution of the HAD superfamily combines the conservation of the overall substrate pool and the substrate profiles of some enzymes with remarkable biochemical and structural flexibility of other superfamily members. PMID:26071590

  15. Crystal structures of enterovirus 71 (EV71) recombinant virus particles provide insights into vaccine design.

    PubMed

    Lyu, Ke; Wang, Guang-Chuan; He, Ya-Ling; Han, Jian-Feng; Ye, Qing; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Chen, Rong

    2015-02-01

    Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) remains a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific regions, and its major causative agents include human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16. A desirable vaccine against HFMD would be multivalent and able to elicit protective responses against multiple HFMD causative agents. Previously, we have demonstrated that a thermostable recombinant EV71 vaccine candidate can be produced by the insertion of a foreign peptide into the BC loop of VP1 without affecting viral replication. Here we present crystal structures of two different naturally occurring empty particles, one from a clinical C4 strain EV71 and the other from its recombinant virus containing an insertion in the VP1 BC loop. Crystal structure analysis demonstrated that the inserted foreign peptide is well exposed on the particle surface without significant structural changes in the capsid. Importantly, such insertions do not seem to affect the virus uncoating process as illustrated by the conformational similarity between an uncoating intermediate of another recombinant virus and that of EV71. Especially, at least 18 residues from the N terminus of VP1 are transiently externalized. Altogether, our study provides insights into vaccine development against HFMD. PMID:25492868

  16. Structural Insights into Calmodulin-regulated L-selectin Ectodomain Shedding*

    PubMed Central

    Gifford, Jessica L.; Ishida, Hiroaki; Vogel, Hans J.

    2012-01-01

    The L-selectin glycoprotein receptor mediates the initial steps of leukocyte migration into secondary lymphoid organs and sites of inflammation. Following cell activation through the engagement of G-protein-coupled receptors or immunoreceptors, the extracellular domains of L-selectin are rapidly shed, a process negatively controlled via the binding of the ubiquitous eukaryotic calcium-binding protein calmodulin to the cytoplasmic tail of L-selectin. Here we present the solution structure of calcium-calmodulin bound to a peptide encompassing the cytoplasmic tail and part of the transmembrane domain of L-selectin. The structure and accompanying biophysical study highlight the importance of both calcium and the transmembrane segment of L-selectin in the interaction between these two proteins, suggesting that by binding this region, calmodulin regulates in an “inside-out” fashion the ectodomain shedding of the receptor. Our structure provides the first molecular insight into the emerging new role for calmodulin as a transmembrane signaling partner. PMID:22711531

  17. Molecular and evolutionary insights into the structural organization of cation chloride cotransporters

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Anna-Maria; Nothwang, Hans Gerd

    2015-01-01

    Cation chloride cotransporters (CCC) play an essential role for neuronal chloride homeostasis. K+-Cl− cotransporter (KCC2), is the principal Cl−-extruder, whereas Na+-K+-Cl− cotransporter (NKCC1), is the major Cl−-uptake mechanism in many neurons. As a consequence, the action of the inhibitory neurotransmitters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine strongly depend on the activity of these two transporters. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved in ion transport and regulation is thus of great importance to better understand normal and disturbed brain function. Although no overall 3-dimensional crystal structures are yet available, recent molecular and phylogenetic studies and modeling have provided new and exciting insights into structure-function relationships of CCC. Here, we will summarize our current knowledge of the gross structural organization of the proteins, their functional domains, ion binding and translocation sites, and the established role of individual amino acids (aa). A major focus will be laid on the delineation of shared and distinct organizational principles between KCC2 and NKCC1. Exploiting the richness of recently generated genome data across the tree of life, we will also explore the molecular evolution of these features. PMID:25653592

  18. Structural and dynamic insights into the energetics of activation loop rearrangement in FGFR1 kinase

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Tobias; Vajpai, Navratna; Phillips, Jonathan J.; Davies, Gareth; Holdgate, Geoffrey A.; Phillips, Chris; Tucker, Julie A.; Norman, Richard A.; Scott, Andrew D.; Higazi, Daniel R.; Lowe, David; Thompson, Gary S.; Breeze, Alexander L.

    2015-01-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases differ widely in their propensity to undergo rearrangements of the N-terminal Asp–Phe–Gly (DFG) motif of the activation loop, with some, including FGFR1 kinase, appearing refractory to this so-called ‘DFG flip'. Recent inhibitor-bound structures have unexpectedly revealed FGFR1 for the first time in a ‘DFG-out' state. Here we use conformationally selective inhibitors as chemical probes for interrogation of the structural and dynamic features that appear to govern the DFG flip in FGFR1. Our detailed structural and biophysical insights identify contributions from altered dynamics in distal elements, including the αH helix, towards the outstanding stability of the DFG-out complex with the inhibitor ponatinib. We conclude that the αC-β4 loop and ‘molecular brake' regions together impose a high energy barrier for this conformational rearrangement, and that this may have significance for maintaining autoinhibition in the non-phosphorylated basal state of FGFR1. PMID:26203596

  19. Structural and dynamic insights into the energetics of activation loop rearrangement in FGFR1 kinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Tobias; Vajpai, Navratna; Phillips, Jonathan J.; Davies, Gareth; Holdgate, Geoffrey A.; Phillips, Chris; Tucker, Julie A.; Norman, Richard A.; Scott, Andrew D.; Higazi, Daniel R.; Lowe, David; Thompson, Gary S.; Breeze, Alexander L.

    2015-07-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases differ widely in their propensity to undergo rearrangements of the N-terminal Asp-Phe-Gly (DFG) motif of the activation loop, with some, including FGFR1 kinase, appearing refractory to this so-called `DFG flip'. Recent inhibitor-bound structures have unexpectedly revealed FGFR1 for the first time in a `DFG-out' state. Here we use conformationally selective inhibitors as chemical probes for interrogation of the structural and dynamic features that appear to govern the DFG flip in FGFR1. Our detailed structural and biophysical insights identify contributions from altered dynamics in distal elements, including the αH helix, towards the outstanding stability of the DFG-out complex with the inhibitor ponatinib. We conclude that the αC-β4 loop and `molecular brake' regions together impose a high energy barrier for this conformational rearrangement, and that this may have significance for maintaining autoinhibition in the non-phosphorylated basal state of FGFR1.

  20. Structural insights into the functional versatility of WW domain-containing oxidoreductase tumor suppressor.

    PubMed

    Farooq, Amjad

    2015-03-01

    Recent work on WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) tumor suppressor is beginning to shed new light on both the molecular mechanism of action of its WW domains as well as the contiguous catalytic domain. Herein, the structural basis underlying the ability of WW1 domain to bind to various physiological ligands and how the orphan WW2 tandem partner synergizes its ligand binding in the context of WW1-WW2 tandem module of WWOX is discussed. Notably, the WW domains within the WW1-WW2 tandem module physically associate so as to adopt a fixed spatial orientation relative to each other. In this manner, the association of WW2 domain with WW1 hinders ligand binding to the latter. Consequently, ligand binding to WW1 domain not only results in the displacement of WW2 lid but also disrupts the fixed orientation of WW domains in the liganded conformation. Equally importantly, structure-guided functional approach suggests that the catalytic domain of WWOX likely serves as a retinal oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reversible oxidation and reduction of all-trans-retinal. Collectively, this review provides structural insights into the functional versatility of a key signaling protein with important implications on its biology. PMID:25662954

  1. The Parkinson Disease gene SNCA: Evolutionary and structural insights with pathological implication

    PubMed Central

    Siddiqui, Irum Javaid; Pervaiz, Nashaiman; Abbasi, Amir Ali

    2016-01-01

    After Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. Alpha synuclein (SNCA) is deemed as a major component of Lewy bodies, a neuropathological feature of PD. Five point mutations in SNCA have been reported so far, responsible for autosomal dominant PD. This study aims to decipher evolutionary and structural insights of SNCA by revealing its sequence and structural evolutionary patterns among sarcopterygians and its paralogous counterparts (SNCB and SNCG). Rate analysis detected strong purifying selection on entire synuclein family. Structural dynamics divulges that during the course of sarcopterygian evolutionary history, the region encompassed 32 to 58 of N-terminal domain of SNCA has acquired its critical functional significance through the epistatic influence of the lineage specific substitutions. In sum, these findings provide an evidence that the region from 32 to 58 of N-terminal lipid binding alpha helix domain of SNCA is the most critical region, not only from the evolutionary perspective but also for the stability and the proper conformation of the protein as well as crucial for the disease pathogenesis, harboring critical interaction sites. PMID:27080380

  2. Structural insights into human Kif7, a kinesin involved in Hedgehog signalling

    SciTech Connect

    Klejnot, Marta Kozielski, Frank

    2012-02-01

    The human Kif7 motor domain structure provides insights into a kinesin of medical significance. Kif7, a member of the kinesin 4 superfamily, is implicated in a variety of diseases including Joubert, hydrolethalus and acrocallosal syndromes. It is also involved in primary cilium formation and the Hedgehog signalling pathway and may play a role in cancer. Its activity is crucial for embryonic development. Kif7 and Kif27, a closely related kinesin in the same subfamily, are orthologues of the Drosophila melano@@gaster kinesin-like protein Costal-2 (Cos2). In vertebrates, they work together to fulfil the role of the single Cos2 gene in Drosophila. Here, the high-resolution structure of the human Kif7 motor domain is reported and is compared with that of conventional kinesin, the founding member of the kinesin superfamily. These data are a first step towards structural characterization of a kinesin-4 family member and of this interesting molecular motor of medical significance.

  3. Structural insights into human heme oxygenase-1 inhibition by potent and selective azole-based compounds

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Mona N.; Vukomanovic, Dragic; Vlahakis, Jason Z.; Szarek, Walter A.; Nakatsu, Kanji; Jia, Zongchao

    2013-01-01

    The development of heme oxygenase (HO) inhibitors, especially those that are isozyme-selective, promises powerful pharmacological tools to elucidate the regulatory characteristics of the HO system. It is already known that HO has cytoprotective properties and may play a role in several disease states, making it an enticing therapeutic target. Traditionally, the metalloporphyrins have been used as competitive HO inhibitors owing to their structural similarity with the substrate, heme. However, given heme's important role in several other proteins (e.g. cytochromes P450, nitric oxide synthase), non-selectivity is an unfortunate side-effect. Reports that azalanstat and other non-porphyrin molecules inhibited HO led to a multi-faceted effort to develop novel compounds as potent, selective inhibitors of HO. This resulted in the creation of non-competitive inhibitors with selectivity for HO, including a subset with isozyme selectivity for HO-1. Using X-ray crystallography, the structures of several complexes of HO-1 with novel inhibitors have been elucidated, which provided insightful information regarding the salient features required for inhibitor binding. This included the structural basis for non-competitive inhibition, flexibility and adaptability of the inhibitor binding pocket, and multiple, potential interaction subsites, all of which can be exploited in future drug-design strategies. PMID:23097500

  4. Structural and molecular insights into novel surface-exposed mucus adhesins from Lactobacillus reuteri human strains.

    PubMed

    Etzold, Sabrina; MacKenzie, Donald A; Jeffers, Faye; Walshaw, John; Roos, Stefan; Hemmings, Andrew M; Juge, Nathalie

    2014-05-01

    The mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal tract is the first point of contact of the intestinal microbiota with the host. Cell surface macromolecules are critical for adherence of commensal bacteria to mucus but structural information is scarce. Here we report the first molecular and structural characterization of a novel cell-surface protein, Lar_0958 from Lactobacillus reuteri JCM 1112(T) , mediating adhesion of L. reuteri human strains to mucus. Lar_0958 is a modular protein of 133 kDa containing six repeat domains, an N-terminal signal sequence and a C-terminal anchoring motif (LPXTG). Lar_0958 homologues are expressed on the cell-surface of L. reuteri human strains, as shown by flow-cytometry and immunogold microscopy. Adhesion of human L. reuteri strains to mucus in vitro was significantly reduced in the presence of an anti-Lar_0958 antibody and Lar_0958 contribution to adhesion was further confirmed using a L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 lar_0958 KO mutant (6475-KO). The X-ray crystal structure of a single Lar_0958 repeat, determined at 1.5 Å resolution, revealed a divergent immunoglobulin (Ig)-like β-sandwich fold, sharing structural homology with the Ig-like inter-repeat domain of internalins of the food borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. These findings provide unique structural insights into cell-surface protein repeats involved in adhesion of Gram-positive bacteria to the intestine. PMID:24593252

  5. Structural insight into nucleotide recognition by human death-associated protein kinase

    SciTech Connect

    McNamara, Laurie K.; Watterson, D. Martin; Brunzelle, Joseph S.

    2009-03-01

    The crystal structures of DAPK–ADP–Mg{sup 2+} and DAPK–AMP-PNP–Mg{sup 2+} complexes were determined at 1.85 and 2.00 Å resolution, respectively. Comparison of the two nucleotide-bound states with apo DAPK revealed localized changes in the glycine-rich loop region that were indicative of a transition from a more open state to a more closed state on binding of the nucleotide substrate and to an intermediate state with the bound nucleotide product. Death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) is a member of the Ca{sup 2+}/calmodulin-regulated family of serine/threonine protein kinases. The role of the kinase activity of DAPK in eukaryotic cell apoptosis and the ability of bioavailable DAPK inhibitors to rescue neuronal death after brain injury have made it a drug-discovery target for neurodegenerative disorders. In order to understand the recognition of nucleotides by DAPK and to gain insight into DAPK catalysis, the crystal structure of human DAPK was solved in complex with ADP and Mg{sup 2+} at 1.85 Å resolution. ADP is a product of the kinase reaction and product release is considered to be the rate-limiting step of protein kinase catalytic cycles. The structure of DAPK–ADP–Mg{sup 2+} was compared with a newly determined DAPK–AMP-PNP–Mg{sup 2+} structure and the previously determined apo DAPK structure (PDB code http://scripts.iucr.org/cgi-bin/cr.cgi?rm). The comparison shows that nucleotide-induced changes are localized to the glycine-rich loop region of DAPK.

  6. Structural Insights into Ligand Dynamics: Correlated Oxygen and Picket Motion in Oxycobalt Picket Fence Porphyrins

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jianfeng; Noll, Bruce C.; Oliver, Allen G.; Scheidt, W. Robert

    2012-01-01

    Two different oxygen-ligated cobalt porphyrins have been synthesized and the solid-state structures have been determined at several temperatures. The solid-state structures provide insight into the dynamics of Co–O2 rotation and correlation with protecting group disorder. [Co(TpivPP)(1-EtIm)(O2)] (TpivPP = picket fence porphyrin) is prepared by oxygenation of [Co(TpivPP)(1-EtIm)2] in benzene solution. The structure at room temperature has the oxygen ligand within the ligand binding pocket and disordered over four sites and the trans imidazole is disordered over two sites. The structure at 100 K, after the crystal has been carefully annealed to yield a reversible phase change, is almost completely ordered. The phase change is reversed upon warming the crystal to 200 K, whereupon the oxygen ligand is again disordered but with quite unequal populations. Further warming to 300 K leads to greater disorder of the oxygen ligands with nearly equal O2 occupancies at all four positions. The disorder of the t-butyl groups of the protecting pickets is correlated with rotation of the O2 around the Co–O(O2) bond. [Co(TpivPP)(2-MeHIm)(O2)] is synthesized by a solid-state oxygenation reaction from the five-coordinate precursor [Co(TpivPP)(2-MeHIm)]. Exposure to 1 atm of O2 leads to incomplete oxygenation, however, exposure at 5 atm yields complete oxygenation. Complete oxygenation leads to picket disorder whereas partial (40%) oxygenation does not. Crystallinity is retained on complete degassing of oxygen in the solid, and complete ordering of the pickets is restored. The results should provide basic information needed to better model M–O2 dynamics in protein environments. PMID:22642824

  7. Structural insights into lipid-dependent reversible dimerization of human GLTP

    SciTech Connect

    Samygina, Valeria R.; Ochoa-Lizarralde, Borja; Popov, Alexander N.; Cabo-Bilbao, Aintzane; Goni-de-Cerio, Felipe; Molotkovsky, Julian G.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Brown, Rhoderick E.; Malinina, Lucy

    2013-04-01

    It is shown that dimerization is promoted by glycolipid binding to human GLTP. The importance of dimer flexibility in wild-type protein is manifested by point mutation that ‘locks’ the dimer while diversifying ligand/protein adaptations. Human glycolipid transfer protein (hsGLTP) forms the prototypical GLTP fold and is characterized by a broad transfer selectivity for glycosphingolipids (GSLs). The GLTP mutation D48V near the ‘portal entrance’ of the glycolipid binding site has recently been shown to enhance selectivity for sulfatides (SFs) containing a long acyl chain. Here, nine novel crystal structures of hsGLTP and the SF-selective mutant complexed with short-acyl-chain monoSF and diSF in different crystal forms are reported in order to elucidate the potential functional roles of lipid-mediated homodimerization. In all crystal forms, the hsGLTP–SF complexes displayed homodimeric structures supported by similarly organized intermolecular interactions. The dimerization interface always involved the lipid sphingosine chain, the protein C-terminus (C-end) and α-helices 6 and 2, but the D48V mutant displayed a ‘locked’ dimer conformation compared with the hinge-like flexibility of wild-type dimers. Differences in contact angles, areas and residues at the dimer interfaces in the ‘flexible’ and ‘locked’ dimers revealed a potentially important role of the dimeric structure in the C-end conformation of hsGLTP and in the precise positioning of the key residue of the glycolipid recognition centre, His140. ΔY207 and ΔC-end deletion mutants, in which the C-end is shifted or truncated, showed an almost complete loss of transfer activity. The new structural insights suggest that ligand-dependent reversible dimerization plays a role in the function of human GLTP.

  8. Structural insights into methanol-stable variants of lipase T6 from Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

    PubMed

    Dror, Adi; Kanteev, Margarita; Kagan, Irit; Gihaz, Shalev; Shahar, Anat; Fishman, Ayelet

    2015-11-01

    Enzymatic production of biodiesel by transesterification of triglycerides and alcohol, catalyzed by lipases, offers an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to the chemically catalyzed process while using low-grade feedstocks. Methanol is utilized frequently as the alcohol in the reaction due to its reactivity and low cost. However, one of the major drawbacks of the enzymatic system is the presence of high methanol concentrations which leads to methanol-induced unfolding and inactivation of the biocatalyst. Therefore, a methanol-stable lipase is of great interest for the biodiesel industry. In this study, protein engineering was applied to substitute charged surface residues with hydrophobic ones to enhance the stability in methanol of a lipase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T6. We identified a methanol-stable variant, R374W, and combined it with a variant found previously, H86Y/A269T. The triple mutant, H86Y/A269T/R374W, had a half-life value at 70 % methanol of 324 min which reflects an 87-fold enhanced stability compared to the wild type together with elevated thermostability in buffer and in 50 % methanol. This variant also exhibited an improved biodiesel yield from waste chicken oil compared to commercial Lipolase 100L® and Novozyme® CALB. Crystal structures of the wild type and the methanol-stable variants provided insights regarding structure-stability correlations. The most prominent features were the extensive formation of new hydrogen bonds between surface residues directly or mediated by structural water molecules and the stabilization of Zn and Ca binding sites. Mutation sites were also characterized by lower B-factor values calculated from the X-ray structures indicating improved rigidity. PMID:26026940

  9. Mowing mitigates bioactivity of neonicotinoid insecticides in nectar of flowering lawn weeds and turfgrass guttation.

    PubMed

    Larson, Jonathan L; Redmond, Carl T; Potter, Daniel A

    2015-01-01

    Systemic neonicotinoid insecticides are used to control turfgrass insect pests. The authors tested their transference into nectar of flowering lawn weeds or grass guttation droplets, which, if high enough, could be hazardous to bees or other insects that feed on such exudates. The authors applied imidacloprid or clothianidin to turf with white clover, followed by irrigation, and used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to analyze residues in clover blooms that were directly sprayed during application or that formed after the first mowing. Imidacloprid residues in guttation fluid from field-grown creeping bentgrass were assessed similarly. The authors used Orius insidiosus, a small anthrocorid bug that is sensitive to dietary neonicotinoids, as a bioindicator of the exudates' toxicity. Nectar from directly sprayed clover blooms contained 5493 ng/g to 6588 ng/g imidacloprid or 2882 ng/g to 2992 ng/g clothianidin and was acutely toxic to Orius. Residues were 99.4% to 99.8% lower in nectar of blooms formed after mowing, and nontoxic to Orius. Imidacloprid residues in turfgrass guttation averaged 88 ng/g at 1 wk after treatment, causing some intoxication of Orius, but declined to 23 ng/g within 3 wk. Systemic transference of neonicotinoids into white clover nectar and creeping bentgrass guttation appears relatively low and transitory. The hazard to nontarget insects via nectar of flowering weeds in treated lawns can be mitigated by adhering to label precautions and mowing to remove blooms if they are inadvertently sprayed. PMID:25319809

  10. Evaluation of leaching potential of three systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in vineyard soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurwadkar, Sudarshan; Wheat, Remington; McGahan, Donald G.; Mitchell, Forrest

    2014-12-01

    Dinotefuran (DNT), imidacloprid (IMD), and thiamethoxam (THM) are commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides in a variety of agriculture operations. Although these insecticides help growers control pest infestation, the residual environmental occurrence of insecticides may cause unintended adverse ecological consequences to non-target species. In this study, the leaching behavior of DNT, IMD, and THM was investigated in soils collected from an active AgriLife Research Extension Center (AREC) vineyard. A series of column experiments were conducted to evaluate the leaching potential of insecticides under two experimental scenarios: a) individual pulse mode, and b) mixed pulse mode. In both scenarios, the breakthrough pattern of the insecticides in the mostly acidic to neutral vineyard soil clearly demonstrates medium to high leachability. Of the three insecticides studied for leaching, DNT has exhibited high leaching potential and exited the column with fewer pore volumes, whereas IMD was retained for longer, indicating lower leachability. Relative differences in leaching behavior of neonicotinoids could be attributed to their solubility with the leaching pattern IMD < THM < DNT showing strong correlation with increasing aqueous solubility 610 mg/L < 4100 mg/L < 39,830 mg/L. Triplicate column study experiments were conducted to evaluate the consistency of the breakthrough pattern of these insecticides. The repeatability of the breakthrough curves shows that both DNT and IMD are reproducible between runs, whereas, THM shows some inconsistency. Leaching behavior of neonicotinoid insecticides based on the leachability indices such as groundwater ubiquity score, relative leaching potential, and partitioning between different environmental matrices through a fugacity-based equilibrium criterion model clearly indicates that DNT may pose a greater threat to aquatic resources compared to IMD and THM.

  11. Evaluation of leaching potential of three systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in vineyard soil.

    PubMed

    Kurwadkar, Sudarshan; Wheat, Remington; McGahan, Donald G; Mitchell, Forrest

    2014-12-01

    Dinotefuran (DNT), imidacloprid (IMD), and thiamethoxam (THM) are commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides in a variety of agriculture operations. Although these insecticides help growers control pest infestation, the residual environmental occurrence of insecticides may cause unintended adverse ecological consequences to non-target species. In this study, the leaching behavior of DNT, IMD, and THM was investigated in soils collected from an active AgriLife Research Extension Center (AREC) vineyard. A series of column experiments were conducted to evaluate the leaching potential of insecticides under two experimental scenarios: a) individual pulse mode, and b) mixed pulse mode. In both scenarios, the breakthrough pattern of the insecticides in the mostly acidic to neutral vineyard soil clearly demonstrates medium to high leachability. Of the three insecticides studied for leaching, DNT has exhibited high leaching potential and exited the column with fewer pore volumes, whereas IMD was retained for longer, indicating lower leachability. Relative differences in leaching behavior of neonicotinoids could be attributed to their solubility with the leaching pattern IMDneonicotinoid insecticides based on the leachability indices such as groundwater ubiquity score, relative leaching potential, and partitioning between different environmental matrices through a fugacity-based equilibrium criterion model clearly indicates that DNT may pose a greater threat to aquatic resources compared to IMD and THM. PMID:25444119

  12. Determination of neonicotinoid insecticides in environmental samples by micellar electrokinetic chromatography using solid-phase treatments.

    PubMed

    Ettiene, Gretty; Bauza, Roberto; Plata, María R; Contento, Ana M; Ríos, Angel

    2012-10-01

    A sensitive and reliable method based on MEKC has been developed and validated for trace determination of neonicotinoid insecticides (thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, and imidacloprid) and the metabolite 6-chloronicotinic acid in water and soil matrices. Optimum separation of the neonicotinoid insecticides was obtained on a 58 cm long capillary (75 μm id) using as the running electrolyte 40 mM SDS, 5 mM borate (pH 10.4), and 5% (v/v) methanol at a temperature of 25°C, a voltage of 25 kV and with hydrodynamic injection (10 s). The analysis time was less than 7 min. Prior to MEKC determination, the samples were purified and enriched by carrying out extraction-preconcentration steps. For aqueous samples, off-line SPE with a sorptive material such as Strata-X (polymeric hydrophobic sorbent) and octadecylsilane (C₁₈) was carried out to clean up and preconcentrate the insecticides. However, for soil samples, matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD) was applied with C₁₈ used as the dispersant. Good linearity, accuracy, and precision were obtained and the detection limits were in the range between 0.01 and 0.07 μg mL⁻¹ for river water and 0.17 and 0.37 μg g⁻¹ for soil samples. Recovery levels reached greater than 92% for all of the assayed neonicotinoids in river water samples with Strata-X. In soil matrices, the best recoveries (63-99%) were obtained with MSPD. PMID:22997021

  13. Adulticidal & larvicidal efficacy of three neonicotinoids against insecticide susceptible & resistant mosquito strains

    PubMed Central

    Uragayala, Sreehari; Verma, Vaishali; Natarajan, Elamathi; Velamuri, Poonam Sharma; Kamaraju, Raghavendra

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Due to ever growing insecticide resistance in mosquitoes to commonly used insecticides in many parts of the globe, there is always a need for introduction of new insecticides for the control of resistant vector mosquitoes. In this study, larvicidal and adulticidal efficacies of three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam) were tested against resistant and susceptible populations of Anopheles stephensi Liston 1901, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti Linnaeus, and Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae). Methods: Laboratory-reared mosquito species were used. Insecticide susceptibility tests were done using standard WHO procedures and using diagnostic dosages of insecticide test papers and larvicides. Adulticidal efficacy of candidate insecticides was assessed using topical application method and larval bioassays were conducted using standard WHO procedure. Results: The results of topical application on 3-5 day old female mosquitoes indicated that resistant strain of An. stephensi registered lower LC50 values than the susceptible strain. Among the three insecticides tested, thiacloprid was found more effective than the other two insecticides. Culex quinquefasciatus registered lowest LC50 for imidacloprid than the other two mosquito species tested. In larval bioassays, the LC50 values registered for imidacloprid were in the order of Cx. quinquefasciatus neonicotinoids tested, and the possibility of using neonicotinoids for the control of resistant mosquitoes

  14. Insights into Mucopolysaccharidosis I from the structure and action of α-L-Iduronidase

    PubMed Central

    Bie, Haiying; Yin, Jiang; He, Xu; Kermode, Allison R.; Goddard-Borger, Ethan D.; Withers, Stephen G.; James, Michael N. G.

    2016-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I), caused by mutations in the gene encoding α-L-iduronidase (IDUA), is one of approximately 70 genetic disorders collectively known as the lysosomal storage diseases. To gain insight into the basis for MPS I, we have crystallized human IDUA produced in an Arabidopsis thaliana cgl mutant. IDUA consists of a TIM barrel domain containing the catalytic site, a β-sandwich domain and a fibronectin-like domain. Structures of IDUA bound to induronate analogues illustrate the Michaelis complex and reveal a 2,5B conformation in the glycosyl-enzyme intermediate, that suggest a retaining double displacement reaction employing the nucleophilic Glu299 and the general acid/base Glu182. Surprisingly, the N-glycan attached to Asn372 interacts with iduronate analogues in the active site and is required for enzymatic activity. Finally, these IDUA structures and biochemical analysis of the disease-relevant Pro533Arg mutation have enabled us to correlate the effects of mutations in IDUA to clinical phenotypes. PMID:24036510

  15. Structure of the apoptosome: mechanistic insights into activation of an initiator caspase from Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Yuxuan; Bai, Xiao-chen; Yan, Chuangye; Hao, Qi; Chen, Zheqin; Wang, Jia-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is executed by a cascade of caspase activation. The autocatalytic activation of an initiator caspase, exemplified by caspase-9 in mammals or its ortholog, Dronc, in fruit flies, is facilitated by a multimeric adaptor complex known as the apoptosome. The underlying mechanism by which caspase-9 or Dronc is activated by the apoptosome remains unknown. Here we report the electron cryomicroscopic (cryo-EM) structure of the intact apoptosome from Drosophila melanogaster at 4.0 Å resolution. Analysis of the Drosophila apoptosome, which comprises 16 molecules of the Dark protein (Apaf-1 ortholog), reveals molecular determinants that support the assembly of the 2.5-MDa complex. In the absence of dATP or ATP, Dronc zymogen potently induces formation of the Dark apoptosome, within which Dronc is efficiently activated. At 4.1 Å resolution, the cryo-EM structure of the Dark apoptosome bound to the caspase recruitment domain (CARD) of Dronc (Dronc-CARD) reveals two stacked rings of Dronc-CARD that are sandwiched between two octameric rings of the Dark protein. The specific interactions between Dronc-CARD and both the CARD and the WD40 repeats of a nearby Dark protomer are indispensable for Dronc activation. These findings reveal important mechanistic insights into the activation of initiator caspase by the apoptosome. PMID:25644603

  16. Structural insights into the dynamic process of β2-adrenergic receptor signaling

    PubMed Central

    Manglik, Aashish; Kim, Tae Hun; Masureel, Matthieu; Altenbach, Christian; Yang, Zhongyu; Hilger, Daniel; Lerch, Michael T.; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Thian, Foon Sun; Hubbell, Wayne L.; Prosser, R. Scott; Kobilka, Brian K.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transduce signals from the extracellular environment to intracellular proteins. To gain structural insight into the regulation of receptor cytoplasmic conformations by extracellular ligands during signaling, we examine the structural dynamics of the cytoplasmic domain of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) using 19F-fluorine NMR and double electron-electron resonance spectroscopy. These studies show that unliganded and inverse-agonist-bound β2AR exists predominantly in two inactive conformations that exchange within hundreds of microseconds. Although agonists shift the equilibrium towards a conformation capable of engaging cytoplasmic G proteins, they do so incompletely, resulting in increased conformational heterogeneity and the coexistence of inactive, intermediate and active states. Complete transition to the active conformation requires subsequent interaction with a G-protein or an intracellular G protein mimetic. These studies demonstrate a loose allosteric coupling of the agonist-binding site and G protein-coupling interface that may generally be responsible for the complex signaling behavior observed for many GPCRs. PMID:25981665

  17. Structural insights into the inhibition mechanism of bacterial toxin LsoA by bacteriophage antitoxin Dmd.

    PubMed

    Wan, Hua; Otsuka, Yuichi; Gao, Zeng-Qiang; Wei, Yong; Chen, Zhen; Masuda, Michiaki; Yonesaki, Tetsuro; Zhang, Heng; Dong, Yu-Hui

    2016-09-01

    Bacteria have obtained a variety of resistance mechanisms including toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems against bacteriophages (phages), whereas phages have also evolved to overcome bacterial anti-phage mechanisms. Dmd from T4 phage can suppress the toxicities of homologous toxins LsoA and RnlA from Escherichia coli, representing the first example of a phage antitoxin against multiple bacterial toxins in known TA systems. Here, the crystal structure of LsoA-Dmd complex showed Dmd is inserted into the deep groove between the N-terminal repeated domain (NRD) and the Dmd-binding domain (DBD) of LsoA. The NRD shifts significantly from a 'closed' to an 'open' conformation upon Dmd binding. Site-directed mutagenesis of Dmd revealed the conserved residues (W31 and N40) are necessary for LsoA binding and the toxicity suppression as determined by pull-down and cell toxicity assays. Further mutagenesis identified the conserved Dmd-binding residues (R243, E246 and R305) of LsoA are vital for its toxicity, and suggested Dmd and LsoB may possess different inhibitory mechanisms against LsoA toxicity. Our structure-function studies demonstrate Dmd can recognize LsoA and inhibit its toxicity by occupying the active site possibly via substrate mimicry. These findings have provided unique insights into the defense and counter-defense mechanisms between bacteria and phages in their co-evolution. PMID:27169810

  18. Insight into asphaltene nanoaggregate structure inferred by small angle neutron and X-ray scattering.

    PubMed

    Eyssautier, Joëlle; Levitz, Pierre; Espinat, Didier; Jestin, Jacques; Gummel, Jérémie; Grillo, Isabelle; Barré, Loïc

    2011-06-01

    Complementary neutron and X-ray small angle scattering results give prominent information on the asphaltene nanostructure. Precise SANS and SAXS measurements on a large q-scale were performed on the same dilute asphaltene-toluene solution, and absolute intensity scaling was carried out. Direct comparison of neutron and X-ray spectra enables description of a fractal organization made from the aggregation of small entities of 16 kDa, exhibiting an internal fine structure. Neutron contrast variation experiments enhance the description of this nanoaggregate in terms of core-shell disk organization, giving insight into core and shell dimensions and chemical compositions. The nanoaggregates are best described by a disk of total radius 32 Å with 30% polydispersity and a height of 6.7 Å. Composition and density calculations show that the core is a dense and aromatic structure, contrary to the shell, which is highly aliphatic. These results show a good agreement with the general view of the Yen model (Yen, T. F.; et al. Anal. Chem.1961, 33, 1587-1594) and as for the modified Yen model (Mullins, O. C. Energy Fuels2010, 24, 2179-2207), provide characteristic dimensions of the asphaltene nanoaggregate in good solvent. PMID:21553910

  19. Insights into autophagosome maturation revealed by the structures of ATG5 with its interacting partners

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jun Hoe; Hong, Seung Beom; Lee, Jae Keun; Han, Sisu; Roh, Kyung-Hye; Lee, Kyung-Eun; Kim, Yoon Ki; Choi, Eui-Ju; Song, Hyun Kyu

    2014-01-01

    Autophagy is a bulky catabolic process that responds to nutrient homeostasis and extracellular stress signals and is a conserved mechanism in all eukaryotes. When autophagy is induced, cellular components are sequestered within an autophagosome and finally degraded by subsequent fusion with a lysosome. During this process, the ATG12–ATG5 conjugate requires 2 different binding partners, ATG16L1 for autophagosome elongation and TECPR1 for lysosomal fusion. In our current study, we describe the crystal structures of human ATG5 in complex with an N-terminal domain of ATG16L1 as well as an internal AIR domain of TECPR1. Both binding partners exhibit a similar α-helical structure containing a conserved binding motif termed AFIM. Furthermore, we characterize the critical role of the C-terminal unstructured region of the AIR domain of TECPR1. These findings are further confirmed by biochemical and cell biological analyses. These results provide new insights into the molecular details of the autophagosome maturation process, from its elongation to its fusion with a lysosome. PMID:25951193

  20. Protein 4.1R core domain structure and insights into regulation of cytoskeletal organization.

    PubMed

    Han, B G; Nunomura, W; Takakuwa, Y; Mohandas, N; Jap, B K

    2000-10-01

    The crystal structure of the core domain (N-terminal 30 kDa domain) of cytoskeletal protein 4.1R has been determined and shows a cloverleaf-like architecture. Each lobe of the cloverleaf contains a specific binding site for either band 3, glycophorin C/D or p55. At a central region of the molecule near where the three lobes are joined are two separate calmodulin (CaM) binding regions. One of these is composed primarily of an alpha-helix and is Ca 2+ insensitive; the other takes the form of an extended structure and its binding with CaM is dramatically enhanced by the presence of Ca 2+, resulting in the weakening of protein 4.1R binding to its target proteins. This novel architecture, in which the three lobes bind with three membrane associated proteins, and the location of calmodulin binding sites provide insight into how the protein 4.1R core domain interacts with membrane proteins and dynamically regulates cell shape in response to changes in intracellular Ca2+ levels. PMID:11017195

  1. Base pairing and structural insights into the 5-formylcytosine in RNA duplex

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui; Luo, Zhipu; He, Kaizhang; Delaney, Michael O.; Chen, Doris; Sheng, Jia

    2016-01-01

    5-Formylcytidine (f5C), a previously discovered natural nucleotide in the mitochondrial tRNA of many species including human, has been recently detected as the oxidative product of 5-methylcytidine (m5C) through 5-hydroxymethylcytidine (hm5C) in total RNA of mammalian cells. The discovery indicated that these cytosine derivatives in RNA might also play important epigenetic roles similar as in DNA, which has been intensively investigated in the past few years. In this paper, we studied the base pairing specificity of f5C in different RNA duplex contexts. We found that the 5-formyl group could increase duplex thermal stability and enhance base pairing specificity. We present three high-resolution crystal structures of an octamer RNA duplex [5′-GUA(f5C)GUAC-3′]2 that have been solved under three crystallization conditions with different buffers and pH values. Our results showed that the 5-formyl group is located in the same plane as the cytosine base and forms an intra-residue hydrogen bond with the amino group in the N4 position. In addition, this modification increases the base stacking between the f5C and the neighboring bases while not causing significant global and local structure perturbations. This work provides insights into the effects of 5-formylcytosine on RNA duplex. PMID:27079978

  2. Structural insights into cognate versus near-cognate discrimination during decoding.

    PubMed

    Agirrezabala, Xabier; Schreiner, Eduard; Trabuco, Leonardo G; Lei, Jianlin; Ortiz-Meoz, Rodrigo F; Schulten, Klaus; Green, Rachel; Frank, Joachim

    2011-04-20

    The structural basis of the tRNA selection process is investigated by cryo-electron microscopy of ribosomes programmed with UGA codons and incubated with ternary complex (TC) containing the near-cognate Trp-tRNA(Trp) in the presence of kirromycin. Going through more than 350 000 images and employing image classification procedures, we find ∼8% in which the TC is bound to the ribosome. The reconstructed 3D map provides a means to characterize the arrangement of the near-cognate aa-tRNA with respect to elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) and the ribosome, as well as the domain movements of the ribosome. One of the interesting findings is that near-cognate tRNA's acceptor stem region is flexible and CCA end becomes disordered. The data bring direct structural insights into the induced-fit mechanism of decoding by the ribosome, as the analysis of the interactions between small and large ribosomal subunit, aa-tRNA and EF-Tu and comparison with the cognate case (UGG codon) offers clues on how the conformational signals conveyed to the GTPase differ in the two cases. PMID:21378755

  3. Structural insights into cognate versus near-cognate discrimination during decoding

    PubMed Central

    Agirrezabala, Xabier; Schreiner, Eduard; Trabuco, Leonardo G; Lei, Jianlin; Ortiz-Meoz, Rodrigo F; Schulten, Klaus; Green, Rachel; Frank, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    The structural basis of the tRNA selection process is investigated by cryo-electron microscopy of ribosomes programmed with UGA codons and incubated with ternary complex (TC) containing the near-cognate Trp-tRNATrp in the presence of kirromycin. Going through more than 350 000 images and employing image classification procedures, we find ∼8% in which the TC is bound to the ribosome. The reconstructed 3D map provides a means to characterize the arrangement of the near-cognate aa-tRNA with respect to elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) and the ribosome, as well as the domain movements of the ribosome. One of the interesting findings is that near-cognate tRNA's acceptor stem region is flexible and CCA end becomes disordered. The data bring direct structural insights into the induced-fit mechanism of decoding by the ribosome, as the analysis of the interactions between small and large ribosomal subunit, aa-tRNA and EF-Tu and comparison with the cognate case (UGG codon) offers clues on how the conformational signals conveyed to the GTPase differ in the two cases. PMID:21378755

  4. Insights into the solar light driven thermocatalytic oxidation of VOCs over tunnel structured manganese oxides.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yali; Wang, Wenzhong; Jiang, Dong; Zhang, Ling; Li, Xiaoman; Wang, Zhong

    2016-07-21

    Different tunnel structured manganese oxides (1*1, 2*2, and 3*3) have been synthesized via a facile hydrothermal strategy. The three catalysts exhibit high photothermal performance, resulting in a considerable increase of temperature above the light-off temperature for VOC oxidation. On this point, aerobic oxidation reactions of propane and propylene under simulated sunlight and infrared light irradiation were selected as probe reactions to explore their light driven thermocatalytic activity. Furthermore, the light-off curves of the manganese oxides for propane and propylene were carefully investigated, which clearly explained the possibility of combining both the efficient photothermal effect and excellent thermocatalytic activity of the manganese oxides. Results show that the catalytic effects follow the order of 1*1 < 3*3 < 2*2. 2*2 exhibited the best catalytic properties due to better low-temperature reducibility, suitable tunnel structure and the presence of more Mn(4+). This work suggests new applications for traditional catalysts with intense photoabsorption and provides insights into the overall utilization of solar energy. PMID:27333408

  5. Structural Insight into Golgi Membrane Stacking by GRASP65 and GRASP55 Proteins*

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yanbin; Yu, Wenying; Li, Xinxin; Lin, Shaoyu; Zhou, Ying; Hu, Junjie; Liu, Xinqi

    2013-01-01

    The stacking of Golgi cisternae involves GRASP65 and GRASP55. The oligomerization of the N-terminal GRASP domain of these proteins, which consists of two tandem PDZ domains, is required to tether the Golgi membranes. However, the molecular basis for GRASP assembly is unclear. Here, we determined the crystal structures of the GRASP domain of GRASP65 and GRASP55. The structures reveal similar homotypic interactions: the GRASP domain forms a dimer in which the peptide-binding pockets of the two neighboring PDZ2 domains face each other, and the dimers are further connected by the C-terminal tail of one GRASP domain inserting into the binding pocket of the PDZ1 domain in another dimer. Biochemical analysis suggests that both types of contacts are relatively weak but are needed in combination for GRASP-mediated Golgi stacking. Our results unveil a novel mode of membrane tethering by GRASP proteins and provide insight into the mechanism of Golgi stacking. PMID:23940043

  6. Characterization of Gain-of-Function Mutant Provides New Insights into ClpP Structure.

    PubMed

    Ni, Tengfeng; Ye, Fei; Liu, Xing; Zhang, Jie; Liu, Hongchuan; Li, Jiahui; Zhang, Yingyi; Sun, Yinqiang; Wang, Meining; Luo, Cheng; Jiang, Hualiang; Lan, Lefu; Gan, Jianhua; Zhang, Ao; Zhou, Hu; Yang, Cai-Guang

    2016-07-15

    ATP-dependent Clp protease (ClpP), a highly conserved serine protease in vast bacteria, could be converted into a noncontrollable enzyme capable of degrading mature proteins in the presence of acyldepsipeptides (ADEPs). Here, we design such a gain-of-function mutant of Staphylococcus aureus ClpP (SaClpP) capable of triggering the same level of dysfunctional activity that occurs upon ADEPs treatment. The SaClpPY63A mutant degrades FtsZ in vivo and inhibits staphylococcal growth. The crystal structure of SaClpPY63A indicates that Asn42 would be an important domino to fall for further activation of ClpP. Indeed, the SaClpPN42AY63A mutant demonstrates promoted self-activated proteolysis, which is a result of an enlarged entrance pore as observed in cryo-electron microscopy images. In addition, the expression of the engineered clpP allele phenocopies treatment with ADEPs; inhibition of cell division occurs as does showing sterilizing with rifampicin antibiotics. Collectively, we show that the gain-of-function SaClpPN42AY63A mutant becomes a fairly nonspecific protease and kills persisters by degrading over 500 proteins, thus providing new insights into the structure of the ClpP protease. PMID:27171654

  7. Structural insights into HetR−PatS interaction involved in cyanobacterial pattern formation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Hai-Xi; Jiang, Yong-Liang; Zhao, Meng-Xi; Cai, Kun; Liu, Sanling; Wen, Bin; Lv, Pei; Zhang, Yonghui; Peng, Junhui; Zhong, Hui; Yu, Hong-Mei; Ren, Yan-Min; Zhang, Zhiyong; Tian, Changlin; Wu, Qingfa; Oliveberg, Mikael; Zhang, Cheng-Cai; Chen, Yuxing; Zhou, Cong-Zhao

    2015-01-01

    The one-dimensional pattern of heterocyst in the model cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 is coordinated by the transcription factor HetR and PatS peptide. Here we report the complex structures of HetR binding to DNA, and its hood domain (HetRHood) binding to a PatS-derived hexapeptide (PatS6) at 2.80 and 2.10 Å, respectively. The intertwined HetR dimer possesses a couple of novel HTH motifs, each of which consists of two canonical α-helices in the DNA-binding domain and an auxiliary α-helix from the flap domain of the neighboring subunit. Two PatS6 peptides bind to the lateral clefts of HetRHood, and trigger significant conformational changes of the flap domain, resulting in dissociation of the auxiliary α-helix and eventually release of HetR from the DNA major grove. These findings provide the structural insights into a prokaryotic example of Turing model. PMID:26576507

  8. Insights into the structure of mixed CO2/CH4 in gas hydrates

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Everett, S. Michelle; Rawn, Claudia J.; Chakoumakos, Bryan C.; Keffer, David J.; Huq, Ashfia; Phelps, Tommy J.

    2015-05-12

    The exchange of carbon dioxide for methane in natural gas hydrates is an attractive approach to harvesting CH4 for energy production while simultaneously sequestering CO2. In addition to the energy and environmental implications, the solid solution of clathrate hydrate (CH4)1-x(CO2)x·5.75H2O provides a model system to study how the distinct bonding and shapes of CH4 and CO2 influence the structure and properties of the compound. In this paper, high-resolution neutron diffraction was used to examine mixed CO2/CH4 gas hydrates. CO2-rich hydrates had smaller lattice parameters, which were attributed to the higher affinity of the CO2 molecule interacting with H2O molecules thatmore » form the surrounding cages, and resulted in a reduction in the unit-cell volume. Experimental nuclear scattering densities illustrate how the cage occupants and energy landscape change with composition. Finally, these results provide important insights on the impact and mechanisms for the structure of mixed CH4/CO2 gas hydrate.« less

  9. Structure of a Bimodular Botulinum Neurotoxin Complex Provides Insights into Its Oral Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Lei; Le, Thi Tuc Nghi; Cheng, Luisa W.; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Kruel, Anna Magdalena; Yao, Guorui; Perry, Kay; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause the fatal disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. BoNTs are released together with several auxiliary proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PTCs) to become highly potent oral poisons. Here, we report the structure of a ∼760 kDa 14-subunit large PTC of serotype A (L-PTC/A) and reveal insight into its absorption mechanism. Using a combination of X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and functional studies, we found that L-PTC/A consists of two structurally and functionally independent sub-complexes. A hetero-dimeric 290 kDa complex protects BoNT, while a hetero-dodecameric 470 kDa complex facilitates its absorption in the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. BoNT absorption is mediated by nine glycan-binding sites on the dodecameric sub-complex that forms multivalent interactions with carbohydrate receptors on intestinal epithelial cells. We identified monosaccharides that blocked oral BoNT intoxication in mice, which suggests a new strategy for the development of preventive countermeasures for BoNTs based on carbohydrate receptor mimicry. PMID:24130488

  10. Structural insights into the affinity of Cel7A carbohydrate-binding module for lignin.

    PubMed

    Strobel, Kathryn L; Pfeiffer, Katherine A; Blanch, Harvey W; Clark, Douglas S

    2015-09-11

    The high cost of hydrolytic enzymes impedes the commercial production of lignocellulosic biofuels. High enzyme loadings are required in part due to their non-productive adsorption to lignin, a major component of biomass. Despite numerous studies documenting cellulase adsorption to lignin, few attempts have been made to engineer enzymes to reduce lignin binding. In this work, we used alanine-scanning mutagenesis to elucidate the structural basis for the lignin affinity of Trichoderma reesei Cel7A carbohydrate binding module (CBM). T. reesei Cel7A CBM mutants were produced with a Talaromyces emersonii Cel7A catalytic domain and screened for their binding to cellulose and lignin. Mutation of aromatic and polar residues on the planar face of the CBM greatly decreased binding to both cellulose and lignin, supporting the hypothesis that the cellulose-binding face is also responsible for lignin affinity. Cellulose and lignin affinity of the 31 mutants were highly correlated, although several mutants displayed selective reductions in lignin or cellulose affinity. Four mutants with increased cellulose selectivity (Q2A, H4A, V18A, and P30A) did not exhibit improved hydrolysis of cellulose in the presence of lignin. Further reduction in lignin affinity while maintaining a high level of cellulose affinity is thus necessary to generate an enzyme with improved hydrolysis capability. This work provides insights into the structural underpinnings of lignin affinity, identifies residues amenable to mutation without compromising cellulose affinity, and informs engineering strategies for family one CBMs. PMID:26209638

  11. Structural insights into recognition of acetylated histone ligands by the BRPF1 bromodomain.

    PubMed

    Lubula, Mulu Y; Eckenroth, Brian E; Carlson, Samuel; Poplawski, Amanda; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Glass, Karen C

    2014-11-01

    Bromodomain-PHD finger protein 1 (BRPF1) is part of the MOZ HAT complex and contains a unique combination of domains typically found in chromatin-associated factors, which include plant homeodomain (PHD) fingers, a bromodomain and a proline-tryptophan-tryptophan-proline (PWWP) domain. Bromodomains are conserved structural motifs generally known to recognize acetylated histones, and the BRPF1 bromodomain preferentially selects for H2AK5ac, H4K12ac and H3K14ac. We solved the X-ray crystal structures of the BRPF1 bromodomain in complex with the H2AK5ac and H4K12ac histone peptides. Site-directed mutagenesis on residues in the BRPF1 bromodomain-binding pocket was carried out to investigate the contribution of specific amino acids on ligand binding. Our results provide critical insights into the molecular mechanism of ligand binding by the BRPF1 bromodomain, and reveal that ordered water molecules are an essential component driving ligand recognition. PMID:25281266

  12. Structures of CD6 and Its Ligand CD166 Give Insight into Their Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Chappell, Paul E.; Garner, Lee I.; Yan, Jun; Metcalfe, Clive; Hatherley, Deborah; Johnson, Steven; Robinson, Carol V.; Lea, Susan M.; Brown, Marion H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary CD6 is a transmembrane protein with an extracellular region containing three scavenger receptor cysteine rich (SRCR) domains. The membrane proximal domain of CD6 binds the N-terminal immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) domain of another cell surface receptor, CD166, which also engages in homophilic interactions. CD6 expression is mainly restricted to T cells, and the interaction between CD6 and CD166 regulates T-cell activation. We have solved the X-ray crystal structures of the three SRCR domains of CD6 and two N-terminal domains of CD166. This first structure of consecutive SRCR domains reveals a nonlinear organization. We characterized the binding sites on CD6 and CD166 and showed that a SNP in CD6 causes glycosylation that hinders the CD6/CD166 interaction. Native mass spectrometry analysis showed that there is competition between the heterophilic and homophilic interactions. These data give insight into how interactions of consecutive SRCR domains are perturbed by SNPs and potential therapeutic reagents. PMID:26146185

  13. In vitro oxidative footprinting provides insight into apolipoprotein B-100 structure in low density lipoprotein

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Sourav; Cai, Yang; Tarr, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is a major cholesterol carrier in human blood. Oxidations of apolipoprotein B-100 (apo B-100, LDL protein) could be pro-atherogenic and play critical roles in early stages of plaque formation in the arterial wall. The structure of apo B-100 is still poorly understood, partially due to its size (550 KDa, 4563 amino acids). To gain an insight into LDL structure, we mapped the regions of apo B-100 in human LDL which were prone to oxidation using peroxynitrite and hypochlorite as probes. In this study, LDL was incubated with various concentrations of peroxynitrite and sodium hypochlorite in bicarbonate buffer. The LDL protein apo B-100 was delipidated, denatured, alkylated and subjected to tryptic digestion. Tryptic peptides were analyzed employing liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Database search was performed against the apo B-100 database (P04114) using “SEQUEST” algorithm to identify peroxynitrite and hypochlorite mediated oxidations markers nitrotyrosine, nitrotryptophan, hydroxy-tryptophan and 3-chlorotyrosine. Several site specific oxidations were identified in apo B-100 after treatment of intact LDL particles with the oxidants. We hypothesize that these regions could be accessible to oxidant and critical for early events in atherosclerotic plaque deposition. PMID:25176030

  14. Genetic Population Structure in the Antarctic Benthos: Insights from the Widespread Amphipod, Orchomenella franklini

    PubMed Central

    Baird, Helena Phoenix; Miller, Karen Joy; Stark, Jonathan Sean

    2012-01-01

    Currently there is very limited understanding of genetic population structure in the Antarctic benthos. We conducted one of the first studies of microsatellite variation in an Antarctic benthic invertebrate, using the ubiquitous amphipod Orchomenella franklini (Walker, 1903). Seven microsatellite loci were used to assess genetic structure on three spatial scales: sites (100 s of metres), locations (1–10 kilometres) and regions (1000 s of kilometres) sampled in East Antarctica at Casey and Davis stations. Considerable genetic diversity was revealed, which varied between the two regions and also between polluted and unpolluted sites. Genetic differentiation among all populations was highly significant (FST = 0.086, RST = 0.139, p<0.001) consistent with the brooding mode of development in O. franklini. Hierarchical AMOVA revealed that the majority of the genetic subdivision occurred across the largest geographical scale, with Nem≈1 suggesting insufficient gene flow to prevent independent evolution of the two regions, i.e., Casey and Davis are effectively isolated. Isolation by distance was detected at smaller scales and indicates that gene flow in O. franklini occurs primarily through stepping-stone dispersal. Three of the microsatellite loci showed signs of selection, providing evidence that localised adaptation may occur within the Antarctic benthos. These results provide insights into processes of speciation in Antarctic brooders, and will help inform the design of spatial management initiatives recently endorsed for the Antarctic benthos. PMID:22479613

  15. Base pairing and structural insights into the 5-formylcytosine in RNA duplex.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui; Luo, Zhipu; He, Kaizhang; Delaney, Michael O; Chen, Doris; Sheng, Jia

    2016-06-01

    5-Formylcytidine (f(5)C), a previously discovered natural nucleotide in the mitochondrial tRNA of many species including human, has been recently detected as the oxidative product of 5-methylcytidine (m(5)C) through 5-hydroxymethylcytidine (hm(5)C) in total RNA of mammalian cells. The discovery indicated that these cytosine derivatives in RNA might also play important epigenetic roles similar as in DNA, which has been intensively investigated in the past few years. In this paper, we studied the base pairing specificity of f(5)C in different RNA duplex contexts. We found that the 5-formyl group could increase duplex thermal stability and enhance base pairing specificity. We present three high-resolution crystal structures of an octamer RNA duplex [5'-GUA(f(5)C)GUAC-3']2 that have been solved under three crystallization conditions with different buffers and pH values. Our results showed that the 5-formyl group is located in the same plane as the cytosine base and forms an intra-residue hydrogen bond with the amino group in the N4 position. In addition, this modification increases the base stacking between the f(5)C and the neighboring bases while not causing significant global and local structure perturbations. This work provides insights into the effects of 5-formylcytosine on RNA duplex. PMID:27079978

  16. Structural Insights into the Affinity of Cel7A Carbohydrate-binding Module for Lignin*

    PubMed Central

    Strobel, Kathryn L.; Pfeiffer, Katherine A.; Blanch, Harvey W.; Clark, Douglas S.

    2015-01-01

    The high cost of hydrolytic enzymes impedes the commercial production of lignocellulosic biofuels. High enzyme loadings are required in part due to their non-productive adsorption to lignin, a major component of biomass. Despite numerous studies documenting cellulase adsorption to lignin, few attempts have been made to engineer enzymes to reduce lignin binding. In this work, we used alanine-scanning mutagenesis to elucidate the structural basis for the lignin affinity of Trichoderma reesei Cel7A carbohydrate binding module (CBM). T. reesei Cel7A CBM mutants were produced with a Talaromyces emersonii Cel7A catalytic domain and screened for their binding to cellulose and lignin. Mutation of aromatic and polar residues on the planar face of the CBM greatly decreased binding to both cellulose and lignin, supporting the hypothesis that the cellulose-binding face is also responsible for lignin affinity. Cellulose and lignin affinity of the 31 mutants were highly correlated, although several mutants displayed selective reductions in lignin or cellulose affinity. Four mutants with increased cellulose selectivity (Q2A, H4A, V18A, and P30A) did not exhibit improved hydrolysis of cellulose in the presence of lignin. Further reduction in lignin affinity while maintaining a high level of cellulose affinity is thus necessary to generate an enzyme with improved hydrolysis capability. This work provides insights into the structural underpinnings of lignin affinity, identifies residues amenable to mutation without compromising cellulose affinity, and informs engineering strategies for family one CBMs. PMID:26209638

  17. Crystal Structures of the Histidine Acid Phosphatase from Francisella tularensis Provide Insight into Substrate Recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Harkewal; Felts, Richard L.; Schuermann, Jonathan P.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Tanner, John J.

    2009-12-01

    Histidine acid phosphatases catalyze the transfer of a phosphoryl group from phosphomonoesters to water at acidic pH using an active-site histidine. The histidine acid phosphatase from the category A pathogen Francisella tularensis (FtHAP) has been implicated in intramacrophage survival and virulence, motivating interest in understanding the structure and mechanism of this enzyme. Here, we report a structure-based study of ligand recognition by FtHAP. The 1.70-{angstrom}-resolution structure of FtHAP complexed with the competitive inhibitor L(+)-tartrate was solved using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction phasing. Structures of the ligand-free enzyme and the complex with inorganic phosphate were determined at resolutions of 1.85 and 1.70 {angstrom}, respectively. The structure of the Asp261Ala mutant enzyme complexed with the substrate 3'-AMP was determined at 1.50 {angstrom} resolution to gain insight into substrate recognition. FtHAP exhibits a two-domain fold similar to that of human prostatic acid phosphatase, consisting of an {alpha}/{beta} core domain and a smaller domain that caps the core domain. The structures show that the core domain supplies the phosphoryl binding site, catalytic histidine (His17), and an aspartic acid residue (Asp261) that protonates the leaving group, while the cap domain contributes residues that enforce substrate preference. FtHAP and human prostatic acid phosphatase differ in the orientation of the crucial first helix of the cap domain, implying differences in the substrate preferences of the two enzymes. 3'-AMP binds in one end of a 15-{angstrom}-long tunnel, with the adenine clamped between Phe23 and Tyr135, and the ribose 2'-hydroxyl interacting with Gln132. The importance of the clamp is confirmed with site-directed mutagenesis; mutation of Phe23 and Tyr135 individually to Ala increases K{sub m} by factors of 7 and 10, respectively. The structural data are consistent with a role for FtHAP in scavenging phosphate from small

  18. Structural Insight into How Bacteria Prevent Interference between Multiple Divergent Type IV Secretion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Phan, Isabelle Q. H.; Scheib, Holger; Subramanian, Sandhya; Edwards, Thomas E.; Lehman, Stephanie S.; Piitulainen, Hanna; Sayeedur Rahman, M.; Rennoll-Bankert, Kristen E.; Staker, Bart L.; Taira, Suvi; Stacy, Robin; Myler, Peter J.; Azad, Abdu F.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prokaryotes use type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) to translocate substrates (e.g., nucleoprotein, DNA, and protein) and/or elaborate surface structures (i.e., pili or adhesins). Bacterial genomes may encode multiple T4SSs, e.g., there are three functionally divergent T4SSs in some Bartonella species (vir, vbh, and trw). In a unique case, most rickettsial species encode a T4SS (rvh) enriched with gene duplication. Within single genomes, the evolutionary and functional implications of cross-system interchangeability of analogous T4SS protein components remains poorly understood. To lend insight into cross-system interchangeability, we analyzed the VirB8 family of T4SS channel proteins. Crystal structures of three VirB8 and two TrwG Bartonella proteins revealed highly conserved C-terminal periplasmic domain folds and dimerization interfaces, despite tremendous sequence divergence. This implies remarkable structural constraints for VirB8 components in the assembly of a functional T4SS. VirB8/TrwG heterodimers, determined via bacterial two-hybrid assays and molecular modeling, indicate that differential expression of trw and vir systems is the likely barrier to VirB8-TrwG interchangeability. We also determined the crystal structure of Rickettsia typhi RvhB8-II and modeled its coexpressed divergent paralog RvhB8-I. Remarkably, while RvhB8-I dimerizes and is structurally similar to other VirB8 proteins, the RvhB8-II dimer interface deviates substantially from other VirB8 structures, potentially preventing RvhB8-I/RvhB8-II heterodimerization. For the rvh T4SS, the evolution of divergent VirB8 paralogs implies a functional diversification that is unknown in other T4SSs. Collectively, our data identify two different constraints (spatiotemporal for Bartonella trw and vir T4SSs and structural for rvh T4SSs) that mediate the functionality of multiple divergent T4SSs within a single bacterium. PMID:26646013

  19. Structures of rat cytosolic PEPCK: insight into the mechanism of phosphorylation and decarboxylation of oxaloacetic acid.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Sarah M; Holyoak, Todd

    2007-09-01

    The structures of the rat cytosolic isoform of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) reported in the PEPCK-Mn2+, -Mn2+-oxaloacetic acid (OAA), -Mn2+-OAA-Mn2+-guanosine-5'-diphosphate (GDP), and -Mn2+-Mn2+-guanosine-5'-tri-phosphate (GTP) complexes provide insight into the mechanism of phosphoryl transfer and decarboxylation mediated by this enzyme. OAA is observed to bind in a number of different orientations coordinating directly to the active site metal. The Mn2+-OAA and Mn2+-OAA-Mn2+GDP structures illustrate inner-sphere coordination of OAA to the manganese ion through the displacement of two of the three water molecules coordinated to the metal in the holo-enzyme by the C3 and C4 carbonyl oxygens. In the PEPCK-Mn2+-OAA complex, an alternate bound conformation of OAA is present. In this conformation, in addition to the previous interactions, the C1 carboxylate is directly coordinated to the active site Mn2+, displacing all of the waters coordinated to the metal in the holo-enzyme. In the PEPCK-Mn2+-GTP structure, the same water molecule displaced by the C1 carboxylate of OAA is displaced by one of the gamma-phosphate oxygens of the triphosphate nucleotide. The structures are consistent with a mechanism of direct in-line phosphoryl transfer, supported by the observed stereochemistry of the reaction. In the catalytically competent binding mode, the C1 carboxylate of OAA is sandwiched between R87 and R405 in an environment that would serve to facilitate decarboxylation. In the reverse reaction, these two arginines would form the CO2 binding site. Comparison of the Mn2+-OAA-Mn2+GDP and Mn2+-Mn2+GTP structures illustrates a marked difference in the bound conformations of the nucleotide substrates in which the GTP nucleotide is bound in a high-energy state resulting from the eclipsing of all three of the phosphoryl groups along the triphosphate chain. This contrasts a previously determined structure of PEPCK in complex with a triphosphate nucleotide analogue in

  20. Structural Insights into the MMACHC-MMADHC Protein Complex Involved in Vitamin B12 Trafficking.

    PubMed

    Froese, D Sean; Kopec, Jolanta; Fitzpatrick, Fiona; Schuller, Marion; McCorvie, Thomas J; Chalk, Rod; Plessl, Tanja; Fettelschoss, Victoria; Fowler, Brian; Baumgartner, Matthias R; Yue, Wyatt W

    2015-12-01

    Conversion of vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) into the cofactor forms methyl-Cbl (MeCbl) and adenosyl-Cbl (AdoCbl) is required for the function of two crucial enzymes, mitochondrial methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and cytosolic methionine synthase, respectively. The intracellular proteins MMACHC and MMADHC play important roles in processing and targeting the Cbl cofactor to its destination enzymes, and recent evidence suggests that they may interact while performing these essential trafficking functions. To better understand the molecular basis of this interaction, we have mapped the crucial protein regions required, indicate that Cbl is likely processed by MMACHC prior to interaction with MMADHC, and identify patient mutations on both proteins that interfere with complex formation, via different mechanisms. We further report the crystal structure of the MMADHC C-terminal region at 2.2 Å resolution, revealing a modified nitroreductase fold with surprising homology to MMACHC despite their poor sequence conservation. Because MMADHC demonstrates no known enzymatic activity, we propose it as the first protein known to repurpose the nitroreductase fold solely for protein-protein interaction. Using small angle x-ray scattering, we reveal the MMACHC-MMADHC complex as a 1:1 heterodimer and provide a structural model of this interaction, where the interaction region overlaps with the MMACHC-Cbl binding site. Together, our findings provide novel structural evidence and mechanistic insight into an essential biological process, whereby an intracellular "trafficking chaperone" highly specific for a trace element cofactor functions via protein-protein interaction, which is disrupted by inherited disease mutations. PMID:26483544

  1. Structural Insights into the MMACHC-MMADHC Protein Complex Involved in Vitamin B12 Trafficking*

    PubMed Central

    Froese, D. Sean; Kopec, Jolanta; Fitzpatrick, Fiona; Schuller, Marion; McCorvie, Thomas J.; Chalk, Rod; Plessl, Tanja; Fettelschoss, Victoria; Fowler, Brian; Baumgartner, Matthias R.; Yue, Wyatt W.

    2015-01-01

    Conversion of vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) into the cofactor forms methyl-Cbl (MeCbl) and adenosyl-Cbl (AdoCbl) is required for the function of two crucial enzymes, mitochondrial methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and cytosolic methionine synthase, respectively. The intracellular proteins MMACHC and MMADHC play important roles in processing and targeting the Cbl cofactor to its destination enzymes, and recent evidence suggests that they may interact while performing these essential trafficking functions. To better understand the molecular basis of this interaction, we have mapped the crucial protein regions required, indicate that Cbl is likely processed by MMACHC prior to interaction with MMADHC, and identify patient mutations on both proteins that interfere with complex formation, via different mechanisms. We further report the crystal structure of the MMADHC C-terminal region at 2.2 Å resolution, revealing a modified nitroreductase fold with surprising homology to MMACHC despite their poor sequence conservation. Because MMADHC demonstrates no known enzymatic activity, we propose it as the first protein known to repurpose the nitroreductase fold solely for protein-protein interaction. Using small angle x-ray scattering, we reveal the MMACHC-MMADHC complex as a 1:1 heterodimer and provide a structural model of this interaction, where the interaction region overlaps with the MMACHC-Cbl binding site. Together, our findings provide novel structural evidence and mechanistic insight into an essential biological process, whereby an intracellular “trafficking chaperone” highly specific for a trace element cofactor functions via protein-protein interaction, which is disrupted by inherited disease mutations. PMID:26483544

  2. Structural insights into inhibition of lipid I production in bacterial cell wall synthesis.

    PubMed

    Chung, Ben C; Mashalidis, Ellene H; Tanino, Tetsuya; Kim, Mijung; Matsuda, Akira; Hong, Jiyong; Ichikawa, Satoshi; Lee, Seok-Yong

    2016-05-26

    Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection is a serious threat to public health. Peptidoglycan biosynthesis is a well-established target for antibiotic development. MraY (phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide translocase) catalyses the first and an essential membrane step of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. It is considered a very promising target for the development of new antibiotics, as many naturally occurring nucleoside inhibitors with antibacterial activity target this enzyme. However, antibiotics targeting MraY have not been developed for clinical use, mainly owing to a lack of structural insight into inhibition of this enzyme. Here we present the crystal structure of MraY from Aquifex aeolicus (MraYAA) in complex with its naturally occurring inhibitor, muraymycin D2 (MD2). We show that after binding MD2, MraYAA undergoes remarkably large conformational rearrangements near the active site, which lead to the formation of a nucleoside-binding pocket and a peptide-binding site. MD2 binds the nucleoside-binding pocket like a two-pronged plug inserting into a socket. Further interactions it makes in the adjacent peptide-binding site anchor MD2 to and enhance its affinity for MraYAA. Surprisingly, MD2 does not interact with three acidic residues or the Mg(2+) cofactor required for catalysis, suggesting that MD2 binds to MraYAA in a manner that overlaps with, but is distinct from, its natural substrate, UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide. We have determined the principles of MD2 binding to MraYAA, including how it avoids the need for pyrophosphate and sugar moieties, which are essential features for substrate binding. The conformational plasticity of MraY could be the reason that it is the target of many structurally distinct inhibitors. These findings can inform the design of new inhibitors targeting MraY as well as its paralogues, WecA and TarO. PMID:27088606

  3. Identification of O-glycan Structures from Chicken Intestinal Mucins Provides Insight into Campylobactor jejuni Pathogenicity*

    PubMed Central

    Struwe, Weston B.; Gough, Ronan; Gallagher, Mary E.; Kenny, Diarmuid T.; Carrington, Stephen D.; Karlsson, Niclas G.; Rudd, Pauline M.

    2015-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacteria Campylobactor jejuni is the primary bacteria responsible for food poisoning in industrialized countries, and acute diarrheal illness is a leading cause of mortality among children in developing countries. C. jejuni are commensal in chickens. They are particularly abundant in the caecal crypts, and poultry products are commonly infected as a result of cross-contamination during processing. The interactions between C. jejuni and chicken intestinal tissues as well as the pathogenic molecular mechanisms of colonization in humans are unknown, but identifying these factors could provide potential targets to reduce the incidence of campylobacteriosis. Recently, purified chicken intestinal mucin was shown to attenuate adherence and invasion of C. jejuni in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line HCT-8 in vitro, and this effect was attributed to mucin O-glycosylation. Mucins from different regions of the chicken intestine inhibited C. jejuni binding and internalization differentially, with large intestine>small intestine>caecum. Here, we use LC-MS to perform a detailed structural analysis of O-glycans released from mucins purified from chicken large intestine, small intestine, and caecum. The O-glycans identified were abundantly sulfated compared with the human intestines, and sulfate moieties were present throughout the chicken intestinal tract. Interestingly, alpha 1–2 linked fucose residues, which have a high binding affinity to C. jejuni, were identified in the small and large intestines. Additionally, N-glycolylneuraminic/N-acetylneuraminic acid containing structures present as Sda-like epitopes were identified in large intestine samples but not small intestine or caecum. O-glycan structural characterization of chicken intestinal mucins provides insights into adherence and invasion properties of C. jejuni, and may offer prospective candidate molecules aimed at reducing the incidence of infection. PMID:25776888

  4. Structural and Mechanistic Insights into the Tropism of Epstein-Barr Virus

    PubMed Central

    Möhl, Britta S.; Chen, Jia; Sathiyamoorthy, Karthik; Jardetzky, Theodore S.; Longnecker, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the prototypical γ-herpesvirus and an obligate human pathogen that infects mainly epithelial cells and B cells, which can result in malignancies. EBV infects these target cells by fusing with the viral and cellular lipid bilayer membranes using multiple viral factors and host receptor(s) thus exhibiting a unique complexity in its entry machinery. To enter epithelial cells, EBV requires minimally the conserved core fusion machinery comprised of the glycoproteins gH/gL acting as the receptor-binding complex and gB as the fusogen. EBV can enter B cells using gp42, which binds tightly to gH/gL and interacts with host HLA class II, activating fusion. Previously, we published the individual crystal structures of EBV entry factors, such as gH/gL and gp42, the EBV/host receptor complex, gp42/HLA-DR1, and the fusion protein EBV gB in a postfusion conformation, which allowed us to identify structural determinants and regions critical for receptor-binding and membrane fusion. Recently, we reported different low resolution models of the EBV B cell entry triggering complex (gHgL/gp42/HLA class II) in “open” and “closed” states based on negative-stain single particle electron microscopy, which provide further mechanistic insights. This review summarizes the current knowledge of these key players in EBV entry and how their structures impact receptor-binding and the triggering of gB-mediated fusion. PMID:27094060

  5. Structure of coronavirus hemagglutinin-esterase offers insight into corona and influenza virus evolution

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Qinghong; Langereis, Martijn A.; van Vliet, Arno L. W.; Huizinga, Eric G.; de Groot, Raoul J.

    2008-01-01

    The hemagglutinin-esterases (HEs) are a family of viral envelope glycoproteins that mediate reversible attachment to O-acetylated sialic acids by acting both as lectins and as receptor-destroying enzymes (RDEs). Related HEs occur in influenza C, toro-, and coronaviruses, apparently as a result of relatively recent lateral gene transfer events. Here, we report the crystal structure of a coronavirus (CoV) HE in complex with its receptor. We show that CoV HE arose from an influenza C-like HE fusion protein (HEF). In the process, HE was transformed from a trimer into a dimer, whereas remnants of the fusion domain were adapted to establish novel monomer–monomer contacts. Whereas the structural design of the RDE-acetylesterase domain remained unaltered, the HE receptor-binding domain underwent remodeling to such extent that the ligand is now bound in opposite orientation. This is surprising, because the architecture of the HEF site was preserved in influenza A HA over a much larger evolutionary distance, a switch in receptor specificity and extensive antigenic variation notwithstanding. Apparently, HA and HEF are under more stringent selective constraints than HE, limiting their exploration of alternative binding-site topologies. We attribute the plasticity of the CoV HE receptor-binding site to evolutionary flexibility conferred by functional redundancy between HE and its companion spike protein S. Our findings offer unique insights into the structural and functional consequences of independent protein evolution after interviral gene exchange and open potential avenues to broad-spectrum antiviral drug design. PMID:18550812

  6. Crystal Structures of the Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domains of Kinesin Light Chains: Insight into Cargo Recognition Mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Haizhong; Lee, Han Youl; Tong, Yufeng; Hong, Bum-Soo; Kim, Kyung-Phil; Shen, Yang; Lim, Kyung Jik; Mackenzie, Farrell; Tempel, Wolfram; Park, Hee-Won

    2012-10-23

    Kinesin-1 transports various cargos along the axon by interacting with the cargos through its light chain subunit. Kinesin light chains (KLC) utilize its tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain to interact with over 10 different cargos. Despite a high sequence identity between their TPR domains (87%), KLC1 and KLC2 isoforms exhibit differential binding properties towards some cargos. We determined the structures of human KLC1 and KLC2 tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains using X-ray crystallography and investigated the different mechanisms by which KLCs interact with their cargos. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we attributed the specific interaction between KLC1 and JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP1) cargo to residue N343 in the fourth TRP repeat. Structurally, the N343 residue is adjacent to other asparagines and lysines, creating a positively charged polar patch within the groove of the TPR domain. Whereas, KLC2 with the corresponding residue S328 did not interact with JIP1. Based on these finding, we propose that N343 of KLC1 can form 'a carboxylate clamp' with its neighboring asparagine to interact with JIP1, similar to that of HSP70/HSP90 organizing protein-1's (HOP1) interaction with heat shock proteins. For the binding of cargos shared by KLC1 and KLC2, we propose a different site located within the groove but not involving N343. We further propose a third binding site on KLC1 which involves a stretch of polar residues along the inter-TPR loops that may form a network of hydrogen bonds to JIP3 and JIP4. Together, these results provide structural insights into possible mechanisms of interaction between KLC TPR domains and various cargo proteins.

  7. Trehalulose synthase native and carbohydrate complexed structures provide insights into sucrose isomerization.

    PubMed

    Ravaud, Stéphanie; Robert, Xavier; Watzlawick, Hildegard; Haser, Richard; Mattes, Ralf; Aghajari, Nushin

    2007-09-21

    Various diseases related to the overconsumption of sugar make a growing need for sugar substitutes. Because sucrose is an inexpensive and readily available d-glucose donor, the industrial potential for enzymatic synthesis of the sucrose isomers trehalulose and/or isomaltulose from sucrose is large. The product specificity of sucrose isomerases that catalyze this reaction depends essentially on the possibility for tautomerization of sucrose, which is required for trehalulose formation. For optimal use of the enzyme, targeting controlled synthesis of these functional isomers, it is necessary to minimize the side reactions. This requires an extensive analysis of substrate binding modes and of the specificity-determining sites in the structure. The 1.6-2.2-A resolution three-dimensional structures of native and mutant complexes of a trehalulose synthase from Pseudomonas mesoacidophila MX-45 mimic successive states of the enzyme reaction. Combined with mutagenesis studies they give for the first time thorough insights into substrate recognition and processing and reaction specificities of these enzymes. Among the important outcomes of this study is the revelation of an aromatic clamp defined by Phe(256) and Phe(280) playing an essential role in substrate recognition and in controlling the reaction specificity, which is further supported by mutagenesis studies. Furthermore, this study highlights essential residues for binding the glucosyl and fructosyl moieties. The introduction of subtle changes informed by comparative three-dimensional structural data observed within our study can lead to fundamental modifications in the mode of action of sucrose isomerases and hence provide a template for industrial catalysts. PMID:17597061

  8. Structural Insights Into Amino Acid Binding and Gene Control by a Lysine Riboswitch

    SciTech Connect

    Serganov, A.; Huang, L; Patel, D

    2008-01-01

    In bacteria, the intracellular concentration of several amino acids is controlled by riboswitches1, 2, 3, 4. One of the important regulatory circuits involves lysine-specific riboswitches, which direct the biosynthesis and transport of lysine and precursors common for lysine and other amino acids. To understand the molecular basis of amino acid recognition by riboswitches, here we present the crystal structure of the 174-nucleotide sensing domain of the Thermotoga maritima lysine riboswitch in the lysine-bound (1.9 A) and free (3.1 A) states. The riboswitch features an unusual and intricate architecture, involving three-helical and two-helical bundles connected by a compact five-helical junction and stabilized by various long-range tertiary interactions. Lysine interacts with the junctional core of the riboswitch and is specifically recognized through shape-complementarity within the elongated binding pocket and through several direct and K+-mediated hydrogen bonds to its charged ends. Our structural and biochemical studies indicate preformation of the riboswitch scaffold and identify conformational changes associated with the formation of a stable lysine-bound state, which prevents alternative folding of the riboswitch and facilitates formation of downstream regulatory elements. We have also determined several structures of the riboswitch bound to different lysine analogues5, including antibiotics, in an effort to understand the ligand-binding capabilities of the lysine riboswitch and understand the nature of antibiotic resistance. Our results provide insights into a mechanism of lysine-riboswitch-dependent gene control at the molecular level, thereby contributing to continuing efforts at exploration of the pharmaceutical and biotechnological potential of riboswitches.

  9. RBR E3 ubiquitin ligases: new structures, new insights, new questions

    PubMed Central

    Spratt, Donald E.; Walden, Helen; Shaw, Gary S.

    2014-01-01

    The RBR (RING-BetweenRING-RING) or TRIAD [two RING fingers and a DRIL (double RING finger linked)] E3 ubiquitin ligases comprise a group of 12 complex multidomain enzymes. This unique family of E3 ligases includes parkin, whose dysfunction is linked to the pathogenesis of early-onset Parkinson's disease, and HOIP (HOIL-1-interacting protein) and HOIL-1 (haem-oxidized IRP2 ubiquitin ligase 1), members of the LUBAC (linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex). The RBR E3 ligases share common features with both the larger RING and HECT (homologous with E6-associated protein C-terminus) E3 ligase families, directly catalysing ubiquitin transfer from an intrinsic catalytic cysteine housed in the C-terminal domain, as well as recruiting thioester-bound E2 enzymes via a RING domain. Recent three-dimensional structures and biochemical findings of the RBRs have revealed novel protein domain folds not previously envisioned and some surprising modes of regulation that have raised many questions. This has required renaming two of the domains in the RBR E3 ligases to more accurately reflect their structures and functions: the C-terminal Rcat (required-for-catalysis) domain, essential for catalytic activity, and a central BRcat (benign-catalytic) domain that adopts the same fold as the Rcat, but lacks a catalytic cysteine residue and ubiquitination activity. The present review discusses how three-dimensional structures of RBR (RING1-BRcat-Rcat) E3 ligases have provided new insights into our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of these important enzymes in ubiquitin biology. PMID:24576094

  10. Structural Insights into HIV-1 Vif-APOBEC3F Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Nakashima, Masaaki; Ode, Hirotaka; Kawamura, Takashi; Kitamura, Shingo; Naganawa, Yuriko; Awazu, Hiroaki; Tsuzuki, Shinya; Matsuoka, Kazuhiro; Nemoto, Michiko; Hachiya, Atsuko; Sugiura, Wataru; Yokomaku, Yoshiyuki; Watanabe, Nobuhisa

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The HIV-1 Vif protein inactivates the cellular antiviral cytidine deaminase APOBEC3F (A3F) in virus-infected cells by specifically targeting it for proteasomal degradation. Several studies identified Vif sequence motifs involved in A3F interaction, whereas a Vif-binding A3F interface was proposed based on our analysis of highly similar APOBEC3C (A3C). However, the structural mechanism of specific Vif-A3F recognition is still poorly understood. Here we report structural features of interaction interfaces for both HIV-1 Vif and A3F molecules. Alanine-scanning analysis of Vif revealed that six residues located within the conserved Vif F1-, F2-, and F3-box motifs are essential for both A3C and A3F degradation, and an additional four residues are uniquely required for A3F degradation. Modeling of the Vif structure on an HIV-1 Vif crystal structure revealed that three discontinuous flexible loops of Vif F1-, F2-, and F3-box motifs sterically cluster to form a flexible A3F interaction interface, which represents hydrophobic and positively charged surfaces. We found that the basic Vif interface patch (R17, E171, and R173) involved in the interactions with A3C and A3F differs. Furthermore, our crystal structure determination and extensive mutational analysis of the A3F C-terminal domain demonstrated that the A3F interface includes a unique acidic stretch (L291, A292, R293, and E324) crucial for Vif interaction, suggesting additional electrostatic complementarity to the Vif interface compared with the A3C interface. Taken together, these findings provide structural insights into the A3F-Vif interaction mechanism, which will provide an important basis for development of novel anti-HIV-1 drugs using cellular cytidine deaminases. IMPORTANCE HIV-1 Vif targets cellular antiviral APOBEC3F (A3F) enzyme for degradation. However, the details on the structural mechanism for specific A3F recognition remain unclear. This study reports structural features of interaction

  11. Effects of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam at field-realistic levels on microcolonies of Bombus terrestris worker bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Cotterell, Katie C; O'Shea-Wheller, Thomas A; Cresswell, James E

    2014-02-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides are currently implicated in the decline of wild bee populations. Bumble bees, Bombus spp., are important wild pollinators that are detrimentally affected by ingestion of neonicotinoid residues. To date, imidacloprid has been the major focus of study into the effects of neonicotinoids on bumble bee health, but wild populations are increasingly exposed to alternative neonicotinoids such as thiamethoxam. To investigate whether environmentally realistic levels of thiamethoxam affect bumble bee performance over a realistic exposure period, we exposed queenless microcolonies of Bombus terrestris L. workers to a wide range of dosages up to 98 μgkg(-1) in dietary syrup for 17 days. Results showed that bumble bee workers survived fewer days when presented with syrup dosed at 98 μg thiamethoxamkg(-1), while production of brood (eggs and larvae) and consumption of syrup and pollen in microcolonies were significantly reduced by thiamethoxam only at the two highest concentrations (39, 98 μgkg(-1)). In contrast, we found no detectable effect of thiamethoxam at levels typically found in the nectars of treated crops (between 1 and 11 μgkg(-1)). By comparison with published data, we demonstrate that during an exposure to field-realistic concentrations lasting approximately two weeks, brood production in worker bumble bees is more sensitive to imidacloprid than thiamethoxam. We speculate that differential sensitivity arises because imidacloprid produces a stronger repression of feeding in bumble bees than thiamethoxam, which imposes a greater nutrient limitation on production of brood. PMID:24238719

  12. Assessment of the environmental exposure of honeybees to particulate matter containing neonicotinoid insecticides coming from corn coated seeds.

    PubMed

    Tapparo, Andrea; Marton, Daniele; Giorio, Chiara; Zanella, Alessandro; Soldà, Lidia; Marzaro, Matteo; Vivan, Linda; Girolami, Vincenzo

    2012-03-01

    Since seed coating with neonicotinoid insecticides was introduced in the late 1990s, European beekeepers have reported severe colony losses in the period of corn sowing (spring). As a consequence, seed-coating neonicotinoid insecticides that are used worldwide on corn crops have been blamed for honeybee decline. In view of the currently increasing crop production, and also of corn as a renewable energy source, the correct use of these insecticides within sustainable agriculture is a cause of concern. In this paper, a probable--but so far underestimated--route of environmental exposure of honeybees to and intoxication with neonicotinoid insecticides, namely, the atmospheric emission of particulate matter containing the insecticide by drilling machines, has been quantitatively studied. Using optimized analytical procedures, quantitative measurements of both the emitted particulate and the consequent direct contamination of single bees approaching the drilling machine during the foraging activity have been determined. Experimental results show that the environmental release of particles containing neonicotinoids can produce high exposure levels for bees, with lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers. PMID:22292570

  13. Low doses of neonicotinoid pesticides in food rewards impair short-term olfactory memory in foraging-age honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Geraldine A.; Softley, Samantha; Earnshaw, Helen

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are often applied as systemic seed treatments to crops and have reported negative impact on pollinators when they appear in floral nectar and pollen. Recently, we found that bees in a two-choice assay prefer to consume solutions containing field-relevant doses of the neonicotinoid pesticides, imidacloprid (IMD) and thiamethoxam (TMX), to sucrose alone. This suggests that neonicotinoids enhance the rewarding properties of sucrose and that low, acute doses could improve learning and memory in bees. To test this, we trained foraging-age honeybees to learn to associate floral scent with a reward containing nectar-relevant concentrations of IMD and TMX and tested their short (STM) and long-term (LTM) olfactory memories. Contrary to our predictions, we found that none of the solutions enhanced the rate of olfactory learning and some of them impaired it. In particular, the effect of 10 nM IMD was observed by the second conditioning trial and persisted 24 h later. In most other groups, exposure to IMD and TMX affected STM but not LTM. Our data show that negative impacts of low doses of IMD and TMX do not require long-term exposure and suggest that impacts of neonicotinoids on olfaction are greater than their effects on rewarding memories. PMID:26477973

  14. Susceptibility to neonicotinoid and risk of resistance development in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (stal) (Homoptera: Delphacidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Outbreaks of the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, have been occurring more frequently in recent years in China. Control of this pest depended heavily on chemical insecticides. The objective of this study was to determine susceptibilities of N. lugens to neonicotinoids and other insecticides in...

  15. Repression and Recuperation of Brood Production in Bombus terrestris Bumble Bees Exposed to a Pulse of the Neonicotinoid Pesticide Imidacloprid

    PubMed Central

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E.

    2013-01-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days ‘on dose’ followed by 14 days ‘off dose’) to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae) produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers). During the initial ‘on dose’ period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg−1 dietary imidacloprid. During the following ‘off dose’ period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg−1. Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop. PMID:24224015

  16. Composition of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in acanthamoeba castellanii: structural and evolutionary insights.

    PubMed

    Gawryluk, Ryan M R; Chisholm, Kenneth A; Pinto, Devanand M; Gray, Michael W

    2012-11-01

    The mitochondrion, derived in evolution from an α-proteobacterial progenitor, plays a key metabolic role in eukaryotes. Mitochondria house the electron transport chain (ETC) that couples oxidation of organic substrates and electron transfer to proton pumping and synthesis of ATP. The ETC comprises several multiprotein enzyme complexes, all of which have counterparts in bacteria. However, mitochondrial ETC assemblies from animals, plants and fungi are generally more complex than their bacterial counterparts, with a number of 'supernumerary' subunits appearing early in eukaryotic evolution. Little is known, however, about the ETC of unicellular eukaryotes (protists), which are key to understanding the evolution of mitochondria and the ETC. We present an analysis of the ETC proteome from Acanthamoeba castellanii, an ecologically, medically and evolutionarily important member of Amoebozoa (sister to Opisthokonta). Data obtained from tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analyses of purified mitochondria as well as ETC complexes isolated via blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis are combined with the results of bioinformatic queries of sequence databases. Our bioinformatic analyses have identified most of the ETC subunits found in other eukaryotes, confirming and extending previous observations. The assignment of proteins as ETC subunits by MS/MS provides important insights into the primary structures of ETC proteins and makes possible, through the use of sensitive profile-based similarity searches, the identification of novel constituents of the ETC along with the annotation of highly divergent but phylogenetically conserved ETC subunits. PMID:22709906

  17. Modeling Based Structural Insights into Biodegradation of the Herbicide Diuron by Laccase-1 from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Ana Carolina; Marschalk, Cidnei; Biavatti, Débora Carina; Lorscheider, Carla Andréia; Peralta, Rosane Marina; Seixas, Flavio Augusto Vicente

    2015-01-01

    The herbicide diuron (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea) is used in many agricultural crops and non-crop areas worldwide, leading to the pollution of the aquatic environment by soil leaching. White rot fungi and its lignin modifying enzymes, peroxidases and laccases, are responsible for its degradation. Therefore, it is of interest to explore the potential use of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora laccase (CersuLac1) in the biotransformation of this herbicide by using its enzyme laccase. However, the structure of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora is still unknown. Hence, a model of laccase was constructed using homology modeling. The model was further used to dock p-methylbenzoate in the presence of four copper ions to analyze molecular basis of its binding and interaction. The ligand-protein interaction is stereo-chemically favorable in nature. The presence of the single protonated Lys457 was necessary for catalysis, being coordinated by a cupper ion. The best pose of diuron on CersuLac1 has a theoretical Ki of 2.91 mM. This is comparable to the KM values for laccases from other organisms with similar compounds. Thus, we document the insights for the potential use of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora in the biotransfrormation of diuron. PMID:26124565

  18. Structural and Biochemical Insights into the Activation Mechanisms of Germinal Center Kinase OSR1*

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chuanchuan; Feng, Miao; Shi, Zhubing; Hao, Qian; Song, Xiaomin; Wang, Wenjia; Zhao, Yun; Jiao, Shi; Zhou, Zhaocai

    2014-01-01

    The oxidative stress-responsive 1 (OSR1) kinase belongs to the mammalian STE20-like kinase family. OSR1 is activated by with no lysine [K] (WNKs) kinases, and then it phosphorylates cation-coupled Cl-cotransporters, regulating ion homeostasis and cell volume in mammalian cells. However, the specific mechanisms of OSR1 activation remains poorly defined, largely due to its extremely low basal activity. Here, we dissect in detail the regulatory mechanisms of OSR1 activation from the aspects of autoinhibition, upstream kinase WNK, and the newly identified master regulator mouse protein-25 (MO25). Based on our structural and biochemical studies, we propose a “double lock” model, accounting for the tight autoinhibition of OSR1, an effect that has to be removed by WNK before MO25 further activates OSR1. Particularly, the conserved C-terminal (CCT) domain and αAL helix act together to strongly suppress OSR1 basal activity. WNKs bind to the CCT and trigger its conformational rearrangement to release the kinase domain of OSR1, allowing for MO25 binding and full activation. Finally, the regulatory mechanisms of OSR1 activation were further corroborated by cellular studies of OSR1-regulated cell volume control through WNK-OSR1 signaling pathway. Collectively, these results provide insights into the OSR1 kinase activation to facilitate further functional study. PMID:25389294

  19. eIF2B: recent structural and functional insights into a key regulator of translation.

    PubMed

    Wortham, Noel C; Proud, Christopher G

    2015-12-01

    The eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF) eIF2B is a key regulator of mRNA translation, being the guanine nt exchange factor (GEF) responsible for the recycling of the heterotrimeric G-protein, eIF2, which is required to allow translation initiation to occur. Unusually for a GEF, eIF2B is a multi-subunit protein, comprising five different subunits termed α through ε in order of increasing size. eIF2B is subject to tight regulation in the cell and may also serve additional functions. Here we review recent insights into the subunit organization of the mammalian eIF2B complex, gained both from structural studies of the complex and from studies of mutations of eIF2B that result in the neurological disorder leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter (VWM). We will also discuss recent data from yeast demonstrating a novel function of the eIF2B complex key for translational regulation. PMID:26614666

  20. Structure of the Vacuolar H+-ATPase Rotary Motor Reveals New Mechanistic Insights

    PubMed Central

    Rawson, Shaun; Phillips, Clair; Huss, Markus; Tiburcy, Felix; Wieczorek, Helmut; Trinick, John; Harrison, Michael A.; Muench, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Vacuolar H+-ATPases are multisubunit complexes that operate with rotary mechanics and are essential for membrane proton transport throughout eukaryotes. Here we report a ∼1 nm resolution reconstruction of a V-ATPase in a different conformational state from that previously reported for a lower-resolution yeast model. The stator network of the V-ATPase (and by implication that of other rotary ATPases) does not change conformation in different catalytic states, and hence must be relatively rigid. We also demonstrate that a conserved bearing in the catalytic domain is electrostatic, contributing to the extraordinarily high efficiency of rotary ATPases. Analysis of the rotor axle/membrane pump interface suggests how rotary ATPases accommodate different c ring stoichiometries while maintaining high efficiency. The model provides evidence for a half channel in the proton pump, supporting theoretical models of ion translocation. Our refined model therefore provides new insights into the structure and mechanics of the V-ATPases. PMID:25661654

  1. Mechanistic Insights from Structural Analyses of Ran-GTPase-Driven Nuclear Export of Proteins and RNAs.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Yoshiyuki

    2016-05-22

    Understanding how macromolecules are rapidly exchanged between the nucleus and the cytoplasm through nuclear pore complexes is a fundamental problem in biology. Exportins are Ran-GTPase-dependent nuclear transport factors that belong to the karyopherin-β family and mediate nuclear export of a plethora of proteins and RNAs, except for bulk mRNA nuclear export. Exportins bind cargo macromolecules in a Ran-GTP-dependent manner in the nucleus, forming exportin-cargo-Ran-GTP complexes (nuclear export complexes). Transient weak interactions between exportins and nucleoporins containing characteristic FG (phenylalanine-glycine) repeat motifs facilitate nuclear pore complex passage of nuclear export complexes. In the cytoplasm, nuclear export complexes are disassembled, thereby releasing the cargo. GTP hydrolysis by Ran promoted in the cytoplasm makes the disassembly reaction virtually irreversible and provides thermodynamic driving force for the overall export reaction. In the past decade, X-ray crystallography of some of the exportins in various functional states coupled with functional analyses, single-particle electron microscopy, molecular dynamics simulations, and small-angle solution X-ray scattering has provided rich insights into the mechanism of cargo binding and release and also begins to elucidate how exportins interact with the FG repeat motifs. The knowledge gained from structural analyses of nuclear export is being translated into development of clinically useful inhibitors of nuclear export to treat human diseases such as cancer and influenza. PMID:26519791

  2. Structural Insights into Proteasome Activation by the 19S Regulatory Particle

    PubMed Central

    Ehlinger, Aaron; Walters, Kylie J.

    2013-01-01

    Since its discovery in the late 1970s, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) has become recognized as the major pathway for regulated cellular proteolysis. Processes ranging from cell cycle control, pathogen resistance, and protein quality control rely on selective protein degradation at the proteasome for homeostatic function. Perhaps as a consequence of the importance of this pathway, and the genesis of severe diseases upon its dysregulation, protein degradation by the UPS is highly controlled from the level of substrate recognition to proteolysis. Technological advances over the last decade have created an explosion of structural and mechanistic information that has underscored the complexity of the proteasome and its upstream regulatory factors. Significant insights have come from study of the 19S proteasome regulatory particle (RP) responsible for recognition and processing of ubiquitinated substrates destined for proteolysis. Established as a highly dynamic proteasome activator, a large number of both permanent and transient RP components with specialized functional roles are critical for proteasome function. In this review, we highlight recent mechanistic developments in the study of proteasome activation by the RP and how they provide context to our current understanding of the UPS. PMID:23672618

  3. Structural insights into diversity and n-alkane biodegradation mechanisms of alkane hydroxylases

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Yurui; Mao, Guannan; Wang, Yingying; Bartlam, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Environmental microbes utilize four degradation pathways for the oxidation of n-alkanes. Although the enzymes degrading n-alkanes in different microbes may vary, enzymes functioning in the first step in the aerobic degradation of alkanes all belong to the alkane hydroxylases. Alkane hydroxylases are a class of enzymes that insert oxygen atoms derived from molecular oxygen into different sites of the alkane terminus (or termini) depending on the type of enzymes. In this review, we summarize the different types of alkane hydroxylases, their degrading steps, and compare typical enzymes from various classes with regard to their three-dimensional structures, in order to provide insights into how the enzymes mediate their different roles in the degradation of n-alkanes and what determines their different substrate ranges. Through the above analyzes, the degrading mechanisms of enzymes can be elucidated and molecular biological methods can be utilized to expand their catalytic roles in the petrochemical industry or in bioremediation of oil-contaminated environments. PMID:23519435

  4. Modeling Based Structural Insights into Biodegradation of the Herbicide Diuron by Laccase-1 from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Ana Carolina; Marschalk, Cidnei; Biavatti, Débora Carina; Lorscheider, Carla Andréia; Peralta, Rosane Marina; Seixas, Flavio Augusto Vicente

    2015-01-01

    The herbicide diuron (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea) is used in many agricultural crops and non-crop areas worldwide, leading to the pollution of the aquatic environment by soil leaching. White rot fungi and its lignin modifying enzymes, peroxidases and laccases, are responsible for its degradation. Therefore, it is of interest to explore the potential use of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora laccase (CersuLac1) in the biotransformation of this herbicide by using its enzyme laccase. However, the structure of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora is still unknown. Hence, a model of laccase was constructed using homology modeling. The model was further used to dock p-methylbenzoate in the presence of four copper ions to analyze molecular basis of its binding and interaction. The ligand-protein interaction is stereo-chemically favorable in nature. The presence of the single protonated Lys457 was necessary for catalysis, being coordinated by a cupper ion. The best pose of diuron on CersuLac1 has a theoretical Ki of 2.91 mM. This is comparable to the KM values for laccases from other organisms with similar compounds. Thus, we document the insights for the potential use of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora in the biotransfrormation of diuron. PMID:26124565

  5. Structural insight into HIV-1 capsid recognition by rhesus TRIM5α

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Haitao; Ji, Xiaoyun; Zhao, Gongpu; Ning, Jiying; Zhao, Qi; Aiken, Christopher; Gronenborn, Angela M.; Zhang, Peijun; Xiong, Yong

    2012-01-01

    Tripartite motif protein isoform 5 alpha (TRIM5α) is a potent antiviral protein that restricts infection by HIV-1 and other retroviruses. TRIM5α recognizes the lattice of the retrovirus capsid through its B30.2 (PRY/SPRY) domain in a species-specific manner. Upon binding, TRIM5α induces premature disassembly of the viral capsid and activates the downstream innate immune response. We have determined the crystal structure of the rhesus TRIM5α PRY/SPRY domain that reveals essential features for capsid binding. Combined cryo-electron microscopy and biochemical data show that the monomeric rhesus TRIM5α PRY/SPRY, but not the human TRIM5α PRY/SPRY, can bind to HIV-1 capsid protein assemblies without causing disruption of the capsid. This suggests that the PRY/SPRY domain alone constitutes an important pattern-sensing component of TRIM5α that is capable of interacting with viral capsids of different curvatures. Our results provide molecular insights into the mechanisms of TRIM5α-mediated retroviral restriction. PMID:23091002

  6. Structural insight into the mutual recognition and regulation between Suppressor of Fused and Gli/Ci

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yan; Fu, Lin; Qi, Xiaolong; Zhang, Zhenyi; Xia, Yuanxin; Jia, Jianhang; Jiang, Jin; Zhao, Yun; Wu, Geng

    2013-11-01

    Hedgehog (Hh) signalling regulates embryonic development and adult tissue homoeostasis. Mutations of its pathway components including Suppressor of Fused (Sufu) and Gli/Ci predispose to cancers and congenital anomalies. The Sufu-Gli protein complex occupies a central position in the vertebrate Hh signalling pathway, especially in mammals. Here structures of full-length human and Drosophila Sufu, the human Sufu-Gli complex, along with normal mode analysis and FRET measurement results, reveal that Sufu alternates between ‘open’ and ‘closed’ conformations. The ‘closed’ form of Sufu is stabilized by Gli binding and inhibited by Hh treatment, whereas the ‘open’ state of Sufu is promoted by Gli-dissociation and Hh signalling. Mutations of critical interface residues disrupt the Sufu-Gli complex and prevent Sufu from repressing Gli-mediated transcription, tethering Gli in the cytoplasm and protecting Gli from the 26S proteasome-mediated degradation. Our study thus provides mechanistic insight into the mutual recognition and regulation between Sufu and Gli/Ci.

  7. Qualitative profiling and quantification of neonicotinoid metabolites in human urine by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Taira, Kumiko; Fujioka, Kazutoshi; Aoyama, Yoshiko

    2013-01-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides have been widely applied for the production of fruits and vegetables, and occasionally detected in conventionally grown produce. Thus oral exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides may exist in the general population; however, neonicotinoid metabolites in human body fluids have not been investigated comprehensively. The purpose of this study is the qualitative profiling and quantitative analysis of neonicotinoid metabolites in the human spot urine by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Human urine samples were collected from three patients suspected of subacute exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. A qualitative profiling of urinary metabolites was performed using liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/TOFMS) with a database of nominal molecular weights of 57 known metabolites of three neonicotinoid pesticides (acetamiprid, Imidacloprid, and clothianidin), as well as the parent compounds. Then a quantitative analysis of selected urinary metabolites was performed using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) with a standard pesticide and metabolite, which were detected by the qualitative profiling. The result of qualitative profiling showed that seven metabolites, i.e. an acetamiprid metabolite, N-desmethyl-acetamiprid; three Imidacloprid metabolites, 5-hydroxy-Imidacloprid, 4,5-dihydroxy-imidacloprid, 4,5-dehydro-Imidacloprid; a common metabolite of acetamiprid and Imidacloprid, N-(6-chloronicotinoyl)-glycine; and two clothianidin metabolites, N-desmethyl-clothianidin, N-(2-(methylsulfanyl)thiazole-5-carboxyl)-glycine, as well as acetamiprid, were detected in the urine of three cases. The result of the quantitative analysis showed N-desmethyl-acetamiprid was determined in the urine of one case, which had been collected on the first visit, at a concentration of 3.2 ng/mL. This is the first report on the qualitative and quantitative detection of N-desmethyl-acetamiprid in the human

  8. Qualitative Profiling and Quantification of Neonicotinoid Metabolites in Human Urine by Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Taira, Kumiko; Fujioka, Kazutoshi; Aoyama, Yoshiko

    2013-01-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides have been widely applied for the production of fruits and vegetables, and occasionally detected in conventionally grown produce. Thus oral exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides may exist in the general population; however, neonicotinoid metabolites in human body fluids have not been investigated comprehensively. The purpose of this study is the qualitative profiling and quantitative analysis of neonicotinoid metabolites in the human spot urine by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Human urine samples were collected from three patients suspected of subacute exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. A qualitative profiling of urinary metabolites was performed using liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/TOFMS) with a database of nominal molecular weights of 57 known metabolites of three neonicotinoid pesticides (acetamiprid, Imidacloprid, and clothianidin), as well as the parent compounds. Then a quantitative analysis of selected urinary metabolites was performed using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) with a standard pesticide and metabolite, which were detected by the qualitative profiling. The result of qualitative profiling showed that seven metabolites, i.e. an acetamiprid metabolite, N-desmethyl-acetamiprid; three Imidacloprid metabolites, 5-hydroxy-Imidacloprid, 4,5-dihydroxy-imidacloprid, 4,5-dehydro-Imidacloprid; a common metabolite of acetamiprid and Imidacloprid, N-(6-chloronicotinoyl)-glycine; and two clothianidin metabolites, N-desmethyl-clothianidin, N-(2-(methylsulfanyl)thiazole-5-carboxyl)-glycine, as well as acetamiprid, were detected in the urine of three cases. The result of the quantitative analysis showed N-desmethyl-acetamiprid was determined in the urine of one case, which had been collected on the first visit, at a concentration of 3.2 ng/mL. This is the first report on the qualitative and quantitative detection of N-desmethyl-acetamiprid in the human

  9. Insight into structural phase transitions from the decoupled anharmonic mode approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Donat J.; Passerone, Daniele

    2016-08-01

    We develop a formalism (decoupled anharmonic mode approximation, DAMA) that allows calculation of the vibrational free energy using density functional theory even for materials which exhibit negative curvature of the potential energy surface with respect to atomic displacements. We investigate vibrational modes beyond the harmonic approximation and approximate the potential energy surface with the superposition of the accurate potential along each normal mode. We show that the free energy can stabilize crystal structures at finite temperatures which appear dynamically unstable at T  =  0. The DAMA formalism is computationally fast because it avoids statistical sampling through molecular dynamics calculations, and is in principle completely ab initio. It is free of statistical uncertainties and independent of model parameters, but can give insight into the mechanism of a structural phase transition. We apply the formalism to the perovskite cryolite, and investigate the temperature-driven phase transition from the P21/n to the Immm space group. We calculate a phase transition temperature between 710 and 950 K, in fair agreement with the experimental value of 885 K. This can be related to the underestimation of the interaction of the vibrational states. We also calculate the main axes of the thermal ellipsoid and can explain the experimentally observed increase of its volume for the fluorine by 200–300% throughout the phase transition. Our calculations suggest the appearance of tunneling states in the high temperature phase. The convergence of the vibrational DOS and of the critical temperature with respect of reciprocal space sampling is investigated using the polarizable-ion model.

  10. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mcm2-7 double-hexamer assembly and function

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Sun, Jingchuan; Li, Huilin; Fernandez-Cid, Alejandra; Riera, Alberto; Tognetti, Sivia; Yuan, Zuanning; Stillman, Bruce; Speck, Christian

    2014-10-15

    Eukaryotic cells license each DNA replication origin during G1 phase by assembling a prereplication complex that contains a Mcm2–7 (minichromosome maintenance proteins 2–7) double hexamer. During S phase, each Mcm2–7 hexamer forms the core of a replicative DNA helicase. However, the mechanisms of origin licensing and helicase activation are poorly understood. The helicase loaders ORC–Cdc6 function to recruit a single Cdt1–Mcm2–7 heptamer to replication origins prior to Cdt1 release and ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex formation, but how the second Mcm2–7 hexamer is recruited to promote double-hexamer formation is not well understood. Here, structural evidence for intermediates consisting of an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex andmore » an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7–Mcm2–7 complex are reported, which together provide new insights into DNA licensing. Detailed structural analysis of the loaded Mcm2–7 double-hexamer complex demonstrates that the two hexamers are interlocked and misaligned along the DNA axis and lack ATP hydrolysis activity that is essential for DNA helicase activity. Moreover, we show that the head-to-head juxtaposition of the Mcm2–7 double hexamer generates a new protein interaction surface that creates a multisubunit-binding site for an S-phase protein kinase that is known to activate DNA replication. The data suggest how the double hexamer is assembled and how helicase activity is regulated during DNA licensing, with implications for cell cycle control of DNA replication and genome stability.« less

  11. Insight into structural phase transitions from the decoupled anharmonic mode approximation.

    PubMed

    Adams, Donat J; Passerone, Daniele

    2016-08-01

    We develop a formalism (decoupled anharmonic mode approximation, DAMA) that allows calculation of the vibrational free energy using density functional theory even for materials which exhibit negative curvature of the potential energy surface with respect to atomic displacements. We investigate vibrational modes beyond the harmonic approximation and approximate the potential energy surface with the superposition of the accurate potential along each normal mode. We show that the free energy can stabilize crystal structures at finite temperatures which appear dynamically unstable at T  =  0. The DAMA formalism is computationally fast because it avoids statistical sampling through molecular dynamics calculations, and is in principle completely ab initio. It is free of statistical uncertainties and independent of model parameters, but can give insight into the mechanism of a structural phase transition. We apply the formalism to the perovskite cryolite, and investigate the temperature-driven phase transition from the P21/n to the Immm space group. We calculate a phase transition temperature between 710 and 950 K, in fair agreement with the experimental value of 885 K. This can be related to the underestimation of the interaction of the vibrational states. We also calculate the main axes of the thermal ellipsoid and can explain the experimentally observed increase of its volume for the fluorine by 200-300% throughout the phase transition. Our calculations suggest the appearance of tunneling states in the high temperature phase. The convergence of the vibrational DOS and of the critical temperature with respect of reciprocal space sampling is investigated using the polarizable-ion model. PMID:27269514

  12. Dispersing perylene diimide/SWCNT hybrids: structural insights at the molecular level and fabricating advanced materials.

    PubMed

    Tsarfati, Yael; Strauss, Volker; Kuhri, Susanne; Krieg, Elisha; Weissman, Haim; Shimoni, Eyal; Baram, Jonathan; Guldi, Dirk M; Rybtchinski, Boris

    2015-06-17

    The unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNT) are advantageous for emerging applications. Yet, the CNT insolubility hampers their potential. Approaches based on covalent and noncovalent methodologies have been tested to realize stable dispersions of CNTs. Noncovalent approaches are of particular interest as they preserve the CNT's structures and properties. We report on hybrids, in which perylene diimide (PDI) amphiphiles are noncovalently immobilized onto single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). The resulting hybrids were dispersed and exfoliated both in water and organic solvents in the presence of two different PDI derivatives, PP2b and PP3a. The dispersions were investigated using cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), providing unique structural insights into the exfoliation. A helical arrangement of PP2b assemblies on SWCNTs dominates in aqueous dispersions, while a single layer of PP2b and PP3a was found on SWCNTs in organic dispersions. The dispersions were probed by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopies, revealing appreciable charge redistribution in the ground state, and an efficient electron transfer from SWCNTs to PDIs in the excited state. We also fabricated hybrid materials from the PP2b/SWCNT dispersions. A supramolecular membrane was prepared from aqueous dispersions and used for size-selective separation of gold nanoparticles. Hybrid buckypaper films were prepared from the organic dispersions. In the latter, high conductivity results from enhanced electronic communication and favorable morphology within the hybrid material. Our findings shed light onto SWCNT/dispersant molecular interactions, and introduce a versatile approach toward universal solution processing of SWCNT-based materials. PMID:25977989

  13. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mcm2–7 double-hexamer assembly and function

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jingchuan; Fernandez-Cid, Alejandra; Riera, Alberto; Tognetti, Silvia; Yuan, Zuanning

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells license each DNA replication origin during G1 phase by assembling a prereplication complex that contains a Mcm2–7 (minichromosome maintenance proteins 2–7) double hexamer. During S phase, each Mcm2–7 hexamer forms the core of a replicative DNA helicase. However, the mechanisms of origin licensing and helicase activation are poorly understood. The helicase loaders ORC–Cdc6 function to recruit a single Cdt1–Mcm2–7 heptamer to replication origins prior to Cdt1 release and ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex formation, but how the second Mcm2–7 hexamer is recruited to promote double-hexamer formation is not well understood. Here, structural evidence for intermediates consisting of an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex and an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7–Mcm2–7 complex are reported, which together provide new insights into DNA licensing. Detailed structural analysis of the loaded Mcm2–7 double-hexamer complex demonstrates that the two hexamers are interlocked and misaligned along the DNA axis and lack ATP hydrolysis activity that is essential for DNA helicase activity. Moreover, we show that the head-to-head juxtaposition of the Mcm2–7 double hexamer generates a new protein interaction surface that creates a multisubunit-binding site for an S-phase protein kinase that is known to activate DNA replication. The data suggest how the double hexamer is assembled and how helicase activity is regulated during DNA licensing, with implications for cell cycle control of DNA replication and genome stability. PMID:25319829

  14. New insights into the molecular mechanisms of biomembrane structural changes and interactions by optical biosensor technology.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tzong-Hsien; Hirst, Daniel J; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel

    2015-09-01

    Biomolecular-membrane interactions play a critical role in the regulation of many important biological processes such as protein trafficking, cellular signalling and ion channel formation. Peptide/protein-membrane interactions can also destabilise and damage the membrane which can lead to cell death. Characterisation of the molecular details of these binding-mediated membrane destabilisation processes is therefore central to understanding cellular events such as antimicrobial action, membrane-mediated amyloid aggregation, and apoptotic protein induced mitochondrial membrane permeabilisation. Optical biosensors have provided a unique approach to characterising membrane interactions allowing quantitation of binding events and new insight into the kinetic mechanism of these interactions. One of the most commonly used optical biosensor technologies is surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and there have been an increasing number of studies reporting the use of this technique for investigating biophysical analysis of membrane-mediated events. More recently, a number of new optical biosensors based on waveguide techniques have been developed, allowing membrane structure changes to be measured simultaneously with mass binding measurements. These techniques include dual polarisation interferometry (DPI), plasmon waveguide resonance spectroscopy (PWR) and optical waveguide light mode spectroscopy (OWLS). These techniques have expanded the application of optical biosensors to allow the analysis of membrane structure changes during peptide and protein binding. This review provides a theoretical and practical overview of the application of biosensor technology with a specific focus on DPI, PWR and OWLS to study biomembrane-mediated events and the mechanism of biomembrane disruption. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions. PMID:26009270

  15. An in silico structural insights into Plasmodium LytB protein and its inhibition.

    PubMed

    Bhuyan, Rajabrata; Nandy, Suman Kumar; Seal, Alpana

    2015-01-01

    In most of the pathogenic organisms including Plasmodium falciparum, isoprenoids are synthesized via MEP (MethylErythritol 4-Phosphate) pathway. LytB is the last enzyme of this pathway which catalyzes the conversion of (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-en-1-yl diphosphate (HMBPP) into the two isoprenoid precursors: isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). Since the MEP pathway is not used by humans, it represents an attractive target for the development of new anti-malarial compounds or inhibitors. Here a systematic in silico study has been conducted to get an insight into the structure of Plasmodium lytB as well as its affinities towards different inhibitors. We used comparative modeling technique to predict the three-dimensional (3D) structure of Plasmodium LytB taking Escherichia coli LytB protein (PDB ID: 3KE8) as template and the model was subsequently refined through molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. A large ligand data-set containing diphospate group was subjected for virtual screening against the target using GOLD 5.2 program. Considering the mode of binding and affinities, 17 leads were selected on basis of binding energies in comparison to its substrate HMBPP (Gold.Chemscore.DG: -20.9734 kcal/mol). Among them, five were discarded because of their inhibitory activity towards other human enzymes. The rest 12 potential leads carry all the properties of any "drug like" molecule and the knowledge of Plasmodium LytB-inhibitory mechanism which can provide valuable support for the anti-malarial-inhibitor design in future. PMID:25011618

  16. Subsurface architecture of a strike-slip collapse structure: insights from Ilopango caldera, El Salvador

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saxby, Jennifer; Gottsmann, Joachim; Cashman, Katherine; Gutierrez, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    While most calderas are created by roof collapse along ring-like faults into an emptying magma reservoir during a large and violent explosive eruption, an additional condition for caldera formation may be tectonically induced extensional stresses. Here we provide geophysical insights into the shallow sub-volcanic plumbing system of a collapse caldera in a major strike-slip tectonic setting by inverting Bouguer gravity data from the Ilopango caldera in El Salvador. Despite a long history of catastrophic eruptions with the most recent in 500 A.D., the internal architecture of the caldera has not been investigated, although studies of the most recent eruption have not identified the ring faults commonly associated with caldera collapse. The gravity data show that low-density material aligned along the principal stress orientations of the El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ) forms a pronounced gravity low beneath the caldera. Extending to around 6 km depth, the low density structure likely maps a complex stacked shallow plumbing system composed of magmatic and fractured hydrothermal reservoirs. A substantial volume of the plumbing system must be composed of a vapour phase to explain the modeled negative density contrasts. We use these constraints to map the possible multi-phase parameter space contributing to the subsurface architecture of the caldera and propose that the local extension along the complex ESFZ controls accumulation, ascent and eruption of magma at Ilopango. The data further suggest that future eruptions at Ilopango could be facilitated by rapid rise of magma along conjugate fault damage zones through a mechanically weak crust under tension. This may explain the absence of clear ring fault structures at the caldera.

  17. Coronary Wall Structural Changes in Patients With Kawasaki Disease: New Insights From Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

    PubMed Central

    Dionne, Audrey; Ibrahim, Ragui; Gebhard, Catherine; Bakloul, Mohamed; Selly, Jean-Bernard; Leye, Mohamed; Déry, Julie; Lapierre, Chantale; Girard, Patrice; Fournier, Anne; Dahdah, Nagib

    2015-01-01

    Background Coronary artery aneurysms (CAA) are serious complications of Kawasaki disease (KD). Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution intracoronary imaging modality that characterizes coronary artery wall structure. The purpose of this work was to describe CAA wall sequelae after KD. Methods and Results KD patients scheduled for routine coronary angiography underwent OCT imaging between March 2013 and August 2014. Subjects’ clinical courses, echocardiography, and coronary angiography examinations were reviewed retrospectively. OCT was performed in 18 patients aged 12.4±5.5 years, 9.0±5.1 years following onset of KD. Of those, 14 patients (77.7%) had a history of CAA (7 with giant CAA and 7 with regressed CAA at time of OCT). Intracoronary nitroglycerin was given to all patients (88.4±45.5 μg/m2). Mean radiation dose was 10.9±5.2 mGy/kg. One patient suffered from a transitory uneventful vasospasm at the site of a regressed CAA; otherwise no major procedural complications occurred. The most frequent abnormality observed on OCT was intimal hyperplasia (15 patients, 83.3%) seen at both aneurysmal sites and angiographically normal segments amounting to 390.8±166.0 μm for affected segments compared to 61.7±17 μm for unaffected segments (P<0.001). Disappearance of the media, and presence of fibrosis, calcifications, macrophage accumulation, neovascularization, and white thrombi were seen in 72.2%, 77.8%, 27.8%, 44.4%, and 33.3% of patients. Conclusions In this study, OCT proved safe and insightful in the setting of KD, with the potential to add diagnostic value in the assessment of coronary abnormalities in KD. The depicted coronary structural changes correspond to histological findings previously described in KD. PMID:25991013

  18. Structural insights into Resveratrol’s antagonist and partial agonist actions on estrogen receptor alpha

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Resveratrol, a naturally occurring stilbene, has been categorized as a phytoestrogen due to its ability to compete with natural estrogens for binding to estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and modulate the biological responses exerted by the receptor. Biological effects of resveratrol (RES) on estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) remain highly controversial, since both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties were observed. Results Here, we provide insight into the structural basis of the agonist/antagonist effects of RES on ERα ligand binding domain (LBD). Using atomistic simulation, we found that RES bound ERα monomer in antagonist conformation, where Helix 12 moves away from the ligand pocket and orients into the co-activator binding groove of LBD, is more stable than RES bound ERα in agonist conformation, where Helix 12 lays over the ligand binding pocket. Upon dimerization, the agonistic conformation of RES-ERα dimer becomes more stable compared to the corresponding monomer but still remains less stable compared to the corresponding dimer in antagonist conformation. Interestingly, while the binding pocket and the binding contacts of RES to ERα are similar to those of pure agonist diethylstilbestrol (DES), the binding energy is much less and the hydrogen bonding contacts also differ providing clues for the partial agonistic character of RES on ERα. Conclusions Our Molecular Dynamics simulation of RES-ERα structures with agonist and antagonist orientations of Helix 12 suggests RES action is more similar to Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) opening up the importance of cellular environment and active roles of co-regulator proteins in a given system. Our study reveals that potential co-activators must compete with the Helix 12 and displace it away from the activator binding groove to enhance the agonistic activity. PMID:24160181

  19. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mcm2-7 double-hexamer assembly and function

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Jingchuan; Li, Huilin; Fernandez-Cid, Alejandra; Riera, Alberto; Tognetti, Sivia; Yuan, Zuanning; Stillman, Bruce; Speck, Christian

    2014-10-15

    Eukaryotic cells license each DNA replication origin during G1 phase by assembling a prereplication complex that contains a Mcm2–7 (minichromosome maintenance proteins 2–7) double hexamer. During S phase, each Mcm2–7 hexamer forms the core of a replicative DNA helicase. However, the mechanisms of origin licensing and helicase activation are poorly understood. The helicase loaders ORC–Cdc6 function to recruit a single Cdt1–Mcm2–7 heptamer to replication origins prior to Cdt1 release and ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex formation, but how the second Mcm2–7 hexamer is recruited to promote double-hexamer formation is not well understood. Here, structural evidence for intermediates consisting of an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex and an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7–Mcm2–7 complex are reported, which together provide new insights into DNA licensing. Detailed structural analysis of the loaded Mcm2–7 double-hexamer complex demonstrates that the two hexamers are interlocked and misaligned along the DNA axis and lack ATP hydrolysis activity that is essential for DNA helicase activity. Moreover, we show that the head-to-head juxtaposition of the Mcm2–7 double hexamer generates a new protein interaction surface that creates a multisubunit-binding site for an S-phase protein kinase that is known to activate DNA replication. The data suggest how the double hexamer is assembled and how helicase activity is regulated during DNA licensing, with implications for cell cycle control of DNA replication and genome stability.

  20. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    PubMed Central

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  1. Effect of insecticide management history on emergence phenology and neonicotinoid resistance in Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    PubMed

    Huseth, A S; Groves, R L

    2013-12-01

    Emergence phenology and fitness attributes of several Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), populations were measured under field and greenhouse conditions. Anecdotal observations by producers and pest managers in many locations of the upper Midwest increasingly suggested that select populations of Colorado potato beetle were emerging over a longer period in the spring and were less sensitive to systemic neonicotinoids in cultivated potato. These changes in emergence phenology may be related to changes in systemic insecticide concentration over time. Specifically, a prolonged period of adult emergence in the spring increases the potential of low-dose chronic exposure to systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in potato. In 2010 and 2011, our objectives were twofold: 1) establish a common garden experiment to compare the emergence phenology of Colorado potato beetle populations uniquely managed with variable insecticide inputs, and 2) measure postdormancy fitness of emerged adult beetles from among these selected populations. Cumulative adult emergence was modeled with logistic regression. Results from this study found no clear evidence for direct relationships between phenology and management history or resistance. Differences in reproductive capacity, sex ratio, and body size were apparent in some instances. However, these results did not uniformly correspond to one specific form of potato pest management tested here. In this study, long-term reliance on systemic insecticides for Colorado potato beetle control did not serve as a strong predictor for variable life history for selected populations in Wisconsin. PMID:24498751

  2. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status.

    PubMed

    Mogren, Christina L; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  3. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide.

    PubMed

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  4. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees. PMID:27053744

  5. Comparison of the dissipation behaviour of three neonicotinoid insecticides in tea.

    PubMed

    Hou, Ru-Yan; Hu, Jin-Feng; Qian, Xiao-San; Su, Ting; Wang, Xiao-Hui; Zhao, Xiu-Xia; Wan, Xiao-Chun

    2013-01-01

    The dissipation behaviour of three neonicotinoids - thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid - was compared in tea shoots, in Chinese green and black tea, and after tea infusion in hot water. The simple and rapid analytical procedures for the quantification of these three residues in these matrices were developed using HPLC with ultraviolet (UV) detection. Degradation rates in tea shoots of neonicotinoids applied in either recommended or double dosages followed first-order kinetics, with half-lives of 1.62 or 1.58 days for thiamethoxam, of 2.45 or 2.67 days for imidacloprid, and of 3.24 or 3.85 days for acetamiprid, respectively. Through harvest and processing the residue retentions for thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid were 85.0%, 84.1% and 70.6% of the initial dosages in green tea, and 77.1%, 52.4% and 57.4% in black tea. These three residues all showed high transfer rates through green or black tea brewing of 80.5% or 81.6% for thiamethoxam, of 63.1% or 62.2% for imidacloprid, and of 78.3% or 80.6% for acetamiprid. Waiting periods between the last application and harvest of at least 12, 17 and 20 days were suggested for thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid, respectively, after application at their recommend dosages to ensure levels below a maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.05 mg kg(-1). PMID:23906092

  6. [Simultaneous determination of 6 neonicotinoid residues in soil using DLLME-HPLC and UV].

    PubMed

    Sun, Bao-li; Shan, Hong; Li, Yan-hua; Zeng, Ya-ling; Shen, Xiu-li; Tong, Cheng-feng

    2013-09-01

    A simple, cheap and rugged method was developed for simultaneous deter mination of 6 neonicotinoid residues in soil, including imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid, clothianidin and nitenpyram. The soil sample was produced by dispersive liquid-liquid micro-extraction (DLLME) after extracted by the mixed solution of acetonitrile and CH2Cl2 (2:1, phi). The analytes were separated by HPLC with Alltima C18 column (4.6 mm x 250 mm, 5 microm) and detected by PDA at 260 nm. External standard method was used for quantification. The results showed that good linearity was obtained with correlation coefficients between 0.9982 and 0.9999 in the range of 0.5-200 microg x L(-1). The limits of detection (LODs) were in the range between 0.0005 and 0.003 microg x mL(-1) (S/N = 3). The method was validated with five soil samples spiked at three fortification levels (0.05, 0.1, 1.0 mg x kg(-1)) and recoveries were in the range of 55.3%-95.6% with RSD of 1.4%-7.0%. The effect of clean-up was evaluated by UV spectra and demonstrated that the method established is effective. In conclusion, this method is competent for the simultaneous analysis of 6 neonicotinoid residues in soil. PMID:24369670

  7. Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry as a new approach to analyze neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Hernández, Laura; Hernández-Domínguez, Deamelys; Bernal, José; Neusüß, Christian; Martín, María T; Bernal, José L

    2014-09-12

    This paper represents the first report of a capillary electrophoresis (CE) method compatible with mass spectrometry (MS) detection for simultaneously analyzing seven neonicotinoid insecticides (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam). Different variables affecting CE separation (buffer concentration, pH, applied voltage and injection time) and MS detection (electrospray parameters) were studied. Low limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were achieved for all analytes, ranging from 1.0 to 2.3μg/L, and from 3.5 to 7.2μg/L, respectively. In addition, the proposed method showed itself to be linear in the range from LOQ to 1000μg/L and to be precise, as the relative standard deviations of the migration times were lower than 4% in all cases. Finally, the proposed CE-MS method was applied to assess the efficacy of a beeswax cleaning treatment with oxalic acid to remove residues of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam), use of which has recently been restricted by the European Union. PMID:25085817

  8. Leaching of the Neonicotinoids Thiamethoxam and Imidacloprid from Sugar Beet Seed Dressings to Subsurface Tile Drains.

    PubMed

    Wettstein, Felix E; Kasteel, Roy; Garcia Delgado, Maria F; Hanke, Irene; Huntscha, Sebastian; Balmer, Marianne E; Poiger, Thomas; Bucheli, Thomas D

    2016-08-24

    Pesticide transport from seed dressings toward subsurface tile drains is still poorly understood. We monitored the neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam from sugar beet seed dressings in flow-proportional drainage water samples, together with spray applications of bromide and the herbicide S-metolachlor in spring and the fungicides epoxiconazole and kresoxim-methyl in summer. Event-driven, high first concentration maxima up to 2830 and 1290 ng/L for thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, respectively, were followed by an extended period of tailing and suggested preferential flow. Nevertheless, mass recoveries declined in agreement with the degradation and sorption properties collated in the groundwater ubiquity score, following the order bromide (4.9%), thiamethoxam (1.2%), imidacloprid (0.48%), kresoxim-methyl acid (0.17%), S-metolachlor (0.032%), epoxiconazole (0.013%), and kresoxim-methyl (0.003%), and indicated increased leaching from seed dressings compared to spray applications. Measured concentrations and mass recoveries indicate that subsurface tile drains contribute to surface water contamination with neonicotinoids from seed dressings. PMID:27529118

  9. Impact of the neonicotinoid acetamiprid on immature stages of the predator Eriopis connexa (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

    PubMed

    Fogel, Marilina N; Schneider, Marcela Inés; Desneux, Nicolas; González, Belén; Ronco, Alicia E

    2013-08-01

    Eriopis connexa is a native coccinelid predator in the Neotropical Region. In Argentina it is commonly found associated to sucking pests in several crops and among them aphids and whiteflies. These pests are usually controlled with newly developed systemic insecticides, such as the neonicotinoids. However, the compatibility between selective pesticides and natural enemies is required before incorporating them in integrated pest management (IPM) packages. Within this frame, the objective of this study was to evaluate the side effect of various concentrations/doses of one commonly used neonicotinoid in vegetal crops, acetamiprid, on immature stages of E. connexa by dipping or topical exposure for eggs and larvae, respectively. Acetamiprid reduced egg hatching from 34 to 100 %. Moreover, the embryogenesis was disrupted by insecticide at early embryo stage at all tested concentrations. Second larval instar was more susceptible to acetamiprid than the fourth one and this susceptibility was positively related with the tested concentrations. On the other hand, the survival reduction at larval stage reached 100 % from 20 mg a.i./L (10 % of maximum field concentration). Besides, the reproduction of the females developed from topical bioassays on fourth instar larvae was strongly affected, with reduction in fecundity and fertility from 22 to 44 % and from 37 to 45 %, respectively. Overall the results showed a high toxicity of acetamiprid on immature stages of E. connexa, demonstrating that this broadly used insecticide could reduce biocontrol services provided by this predator and could also likely disturb IPM programs. PMID:23793295

  10. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide

    PubMed Central

    Démares, Fabien J.; Crous, Kendall L.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  11. Insights into Silicate and Oxide Melt Structure from Amorphous, Non-Glass-Forming Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stebbins, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Many silicate and oxide liquids of interest in the Earth sciences and in technology cannot readily be quenched to glasses, either because of low silica contents (and hence low viscosity at the melting point and accompanying liquid 'fragility') or because of liquid-liquid unmixing at high temperature. Although in-situ, high temperature structural tools have been in use for decades and are rapidly developing, many methods are still most informative for glass samples quenched to ambient pressure and temperature, e.g. high-resolution solid-state NMR. Amorphous oxides, including alumina and silicate compositions, have widespread technological applications. These are generally deposited by a variety of high-energy sputtering methods, as films of thicknesses of 10's to 100's of nm. Using Al-27, Si-29, and O-17 NMR, we have recently shown that for such films, very similar short-range structure is seen in materials made by very different kinetic pathways, such as sol-gel synthesis vs. ion-beam sputtering. This path-independent structure suggests that these materials pass through transient equilibrium states during their formation, probably that of deeply supercooled liquids just above glass transition temperatures. In the HfO2-SiO2 and ZrO2-SiO2 systems, for example, samples have well-resolved O-17 NMR spectra, allowing quantitation of O sites with only Hf(Zr) neighbors (so-called "free" oxide ions), with mixed Hf(Zr) and Si neighbors, and Si only. The observed oxygen speciation agrees well with a simple thermodynamic model of one of the most fundamental equilibria in silicate systems, namely the reaction of bridging (Si-O-Si) and "free" (e.g. OHf3 and OHf4) oxide ions to produce "non-bridging" oxygens (e.g. Si-OHf2). This new approach to sampling such structural equilibria in compositions far outside the range of normal glass-forming liquids may provide new insights into more geological compositions as well, as well as in more general models of silicate melt chemistry.

  12. Acute and chronic toxicity of neonicotinoids to nymphs of a mayfly species and some notes on seasonal differences.

    PubMed

    Van den Brink, Paul J; Van Smeden, Jasper M; Bekele, Robel S; Dierick, Wiebe; De Gelder, Daphne M; Noteboom, Maarten; Roessink, Ivo

    2016-01-01

    Mayfly nymphs are among the most sensitive taxa to neonicotinoids. The present study presents the acute and chronic toxicity of 3 neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam) to a mayfly species (Cloeon dipterum) and some notes on the seasonality of the toxicity of imidacloprid to C. dipterum and 5 other invertebrate species. Imidacloprid and thiamethoxam showed equal acute and chronic toxicity to a winter generation of C. dipterum, whereas thiacloprid was approximately twice as toxic. The acute and chronic toxicity of imidacloprid was much higher for the C. dipterum summer generation than for the winter one. The acute toxicity differs by a factor of 20 for the 96-h 50% effective concentration (EC50) and by a factor of 5.4 for the chronic 28-d EC50. Temperature had only a slight effect on the sensitivity of C. dipterum to imidacloprid because we only found a factor of 1.7 difference in the 96-h EC50 between tests performed at 10 °C and 18 °C. The difference in sensitivity between summer and overwintering generations was also found for 3 other insect species. The results indicate that if the use and environmental fate of the 3 neonicotinoids are comparable, replacing imidacloprid by another neonicotinoid might not reduce the environmental impact on the mayfly nymph C. dipterum. The results also show the importance of reporting which generation is tested because sensitivity values of insects in the summer might be underestimated by the experiments performed with neonicotinoids and an overwintering population. PMID:26419398

  13. Multi Length Scale Imaging of Flocculated Estuarine Sediments; Insights into their Complex 3D Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheatland, Jonathan; Bushby, Andy; Droppo, Ian; Carr, Simon; Spencer, Kate

    2015-04-01

    Suspended estuarine sediments form flocs that are compositionally complex, fragile and irregularly shaped. The fate and transport of suspended particulate matter (SPM) is determined by the size, shape, density, porosity and stability of these flocs and prediction of SPM transport requires accurate measurements of these three-dimensional (3D) physical properties. However, the multi-scaled nature of flocs in addition to their fragility makes their characterisation in 3D problematic. Correlative microscopy is a strategy involving the spatial registration of information collected at different scales using several imaging modalities. Previously, conventional optical microscopy (COM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) have enabled 2-dimensional (2D) floc characterisation at the gross (> 1 µm) and sub-micron scales respectively. Whilst this has proven insightful there remains a critical spatial and dimensional gap preventing the accurate measurement of geometric properties and an understanding of how structures at different scales are related. Within life sciences volumetric imaging techniques such as 3D micro-computed tomography (3D µCT) and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy [FIB-SEM (or FIB-tomography)] have been combined to characterise materials at the centimetre to micron scale. Combining these techniques with TEM enables an advanced correlative study, allowing material properties across multiple spatial and dimensional scales to be visualised. The aims of this study are; 1) to formulate an advanced correlative imaging strategy combining 3D µCT, FIB-tomography and TEM; 2) to acquire 3D datasets; 3) to produce a model allowing their co-visualisation; 4) to interpret 3D floc structure. To reduce the chance of structural alterations during analysis samples were first 'fixed' in 2.5% glutaraldehyde/2% formaldehyde before being embedding in Durcupan resin. Intermediate steps were implemented to improve contrast and remove pore water, achieved by the

  14. How oblique extension and structural inheritance control rift segment linkage: Insights from 4D analogue models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2016-04-01

    the extension direction. This occurs when rifts are laterally sufficiently far apart and local effects probably overrule the far-field stresses. Our CT- and PIV-analyses will reveal this surprising effect in more detail. The influence of rift-connecting seeds (model series 1) on rift interaction is limited. Only when they are oriented some 30° or more oblique to the extension direction, can they be activated. In most of these cases oblique-slip fault zones (transfer zones) form along the rift-connecting weak zone, linking the rift segments. Transfer zone structures depend on the angle between the seed orientation and extension direction: the higher the angle, the wider the fault zone. However, these observations are only valid under dextral oblique extension conditions; none of our rift-connecting weak zones (connecting right-stepping rift segments) are activated when sinistral oblique extension is applied. Still our models show how structural inheritance can control the orientation and structuration of transfer zones between rift segments that later on might evolve into oceanic transform faults. REFERENCE Zwaan, F., Schreurs, G., Naliboff, J., Buiter, S.J.H. (in revision) Insights into the effects of oblique extension on continental rift interaction from 3D analogue and numerical models.

  15. Sperm viability and gene expression in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera) following exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide Imidacloprid and the organophosphate Acaricide Coumaphos

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee population declines are a global concern. Numerous factors appear to cause the decline including parasites, pathogens, malnutrition and pesticides. Residues of the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos and the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid, widely used to combat Varroa mites and for...

  16. X-ray Raman Scattering at Extreme Conditions: Insights to Local Structure, Oxidation and Spin state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, M.; Sternemann, C.; Sahle, C.; Spiekermann, G.; Nyrow, A.; Weis, C.; Cerantola, V.; Schmidt, C.; Yavas, H.

    2015-12-01

    In the last decades, X-ray spectroscopic techniques using very intense synchrotron radiation (SR) have become indispensable tools for studying geomaterials. Due to the rather low absorption of hard X-rays, SR opens up the possibility to perform measurements in high-pressure, high temperature cells. The range of elements accessible by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAFS) techniques in these cells is limited by the absorption of X-rays due to the sample environment, i.e. the diamond windows. The indirect measurement of XAFS spectra by inelastic X-ray Raman scattering (XRS) provides a workaround to access absorption edges at low energies (e.g. low Z elements). Therefore, XRS enables measurements that are similar to electron energy loss spectroscopy but offer to measure at in-situ conditions and not just in vacuum. Measurements of the O K-edge of H2O from ambient to supercritical PT-conditions (up to 600°C @ 134 MPa; 400°C @ 371 MPa) were used to trace structural changes of the hydrogen-bonded network, which controls many physical and chemical properties of H2O [1]. The Fe M3,2-edge measured by XRS were used to characterize the oxidation state and local structure in crystalline compounds and glasses [2]. Furthermore, the M3,2 yields detailed insight to the crystal-field splitting and electronic spin state. In a reconnaissance study, the pressure-induced high-spin to low-spin transition of Fe in FeS between 6 and 8 GPa was measured. By multiplet calculations of the spectra for octahedral Fe2+, a difference in crystal field splitting between the two states of ca. 1.7 eV was estimated [3]. Finally, we successfully assessed the electronic structure of Fe in siderite by measurements of M and L-edge up to 50 GPa, covering the spin transition between 40 and 45 GPa. [1] Sahle et al. (2013) PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220301110.. [2] Nyrow et al. (2014) Contrib Mineral Petrol 167, 1012. [3] Nyrow et al. (2014) Appl Phys Lett 104, 262408.

  17. The InSight VBB Seismometer: From Signal and Noise to Internal Structure.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lognonne, P.; Banerdt, W. B.; Giardini, D.; Christensen, U.; Mimoun, D.; de Raucourt, S.; Spiga, A.; Garcia, R.; Mocquet, A.; Panning, M.; Beucler, E.; Boschi, L.; Goetz, W.; Pike, T.; Johnson, C.; Weber, R.; Wieczorek, M.; Larmat, K.; Kobayashi, N.; Tromp, J.

    2012-04-01

    The InSight Mission is one of three NASA down-selected projects in competition for the 2010 Discovery AO. The goal of SEIS (a very-broad-band (VBB) seismometer), the mission's core instrument, is to determine the interior structure and seismic activity of the planet. If selected by NASA in mid 2012, the mission will be launched in 2016 and will operate on the Martian surface during two earth years after landing. We present modeling of both seismic amplitudes and seismic noise, in the later case by advance modeling of the interaction of the atmosphere with the Martian ground or seismic waves modeling fully taken into account the expected 3D structure of the crust, and use the later estimations to determine the detection threshold of the VBB seismometer. Both quakes and impacts are considered, and in the later case, impacts data and associated seismic responses of the Apollo seismic experiment are used to better model the seismic efficiency of the impacts and the associated source functions. For quakes, amplitudes of the core phases are estimated and discussed, as well as the dependence of signal amplitudes to attenuation and the associated importance of broad band seismology. As only one seismic station is available, structure in-version will be performed using: - Secondary seismic data which do not depend on the event location: e.g., free oscillation frequencies for the largest quakes constraining the interior down to 200 km and receiver functions constraining the crust-mantle discontinuity below the landing site ; - Seismic impact data from impacts post-located by a Mars orbiter; - Seismic data associated with events with more than 3 different wave arrival time determinations (for Vs in-version with constant Vp/Vs) or more than 4 (for full Vp, Vs inversions). We estimate that about 35 events will be detected with both P and S waves ( and for most R1-Lg surface waves) and about 10 with P, S and R1/R2/R3 surface waves and core phases (e.g., PcP, ScP) with high

  18. The structural neuroanatomy of metacognitive insight in schizophrenia and its psychopathological and neuropsychological correlates.

    PubMed

    Spalletta, Gianfranco; Piras, Fabrizio; Piras, Federica; Caltagirone, Carlo; Orfei, Maria Donata

    2014-09-01

    Lack of insight into illness is a multidimensional phenomenon that has relevant implications on clinical course and therapy compliance. Here, we focused on metacognitive insight in schizophrenia, that is, the ability to monitor one's changes in state of mind and sensations, with the aim of investigating its neuroanatomical, psychopathological, and neuropsychological correlates. Fifty-seven consecutive patients with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition, Text Revision) diagnosis of schizophrenia were administered the Insight Scale, and comprehensive psychopathological and neuropsychological batteries. They underwent a high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging investigation. Gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes were analyzed on a voxel-by-voxel basis using Statistical Parametric Mapping 8. Reduced metacognitive insight was related to reduced GM volumes in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and insula, and bilateral premotor area and putamen. Further, it was related to reduced WM volumes of the right superior longitudinal fasciculum, left corona radiata, left forceps minor, and bilateral cingulum. Increased metacognitive insight was related to increased depression severity and attentional control impairment, while the latter was related to increased GM volumes in brain areas linked to metacognitive insight. Results of this study suggest that prefrontal GM and WM bundles, all implied in cognitive control and self-reflection, may be the neuroanatomical correlates of metacognitive insight in schizophrenia. Further, higher metacognitive insight is hypothesized to be a risk factor for depression which may subsequently impair attention. This line of research may provide the basis for the development of cognitive interventions aimed at improving self-monitoring and compliance to treatment. PMID:24700789

  19. Electric Field Effects on the Intermolecular Interactions in Water Whiskers: Insight from Structures, Energetics, and Properties

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bai, Yang; He, Hui-Min; Li, Ying; Zhou, Zhong-Jun; Wang, Jia-Jun; Wu, Di; Chen, Wei; Gu, Feng-Long; Sumpter, Bobby G.; Huang, Jingsong

    2015-02-19

    Modulation of intermolecular interactions in response to external electric fields could be fundamental to the formation of unusual forms of water, such as water whiskers. However, a detailed understanding of the nature of intermolecular interactions in such systems is lacking. In this study, we present novel theoretical results based on electron correlation calculations regarding the nature of H-bonds in water whiskers, which is revealed by studying their evolution under external electric fields with various field strengths. We find that the water whiskers consisting of 2-7 water molecules all have a chain-length dependent critical electric field. Under the critical electric field,more » the most compact chain structures are obtained, featuring very strong H-bonds, herein referred to as covalent H-bonds. In the case of a water dimer whisker, the bond length of the novel covalent H-bond shortens by 25%, the covalent bond order increases by 9 times, and accordingly the H-bond energy is strengthened by 5 times compared to the normal H-bond in a (H2O)2 cluster. Below the critical electric field, it is observed that with increasing field strength, H-bonding orbitals display gradual evolutions in the orbital energy, orbital ordering, and orbital nature (i.e., from typical -style orbital to unusual -style double H-bonding orbital). We also show that beyond the critical electric field, a single water whisker may disintegrate to form a loosely bound zwitterionic chain due to a relay-style proton transfer, whereas two water whiskers may undergo intermolecular cross-linking to form a quasi-two-dimensional water network. In conclusion, these results help shed new insight on the effects of electric fields on water whisker formation.« less

  20. Electric Field Effects on the Intermolecular Interactions in Water Whiskers: Insight from Structures, Energetics, and Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, Yang; He, Hui-Min; Li, Ying; Zhou, Zhong-Jun; Wang, Jia-Jun; Wu, Di; Chen, Wei; Gu, Feng-Long; Sumpter, Bobby G.; Huang, Jingsong

    2015-02-19

    Modulation of intermolecular interactions in response to external electric fields could be fundamental to the formation of unusual forms of water, such as water whiskers. However, a detailed understanding of the nature of intermolecular interactions in such systems is lacking. In this study, we present novel theoretical results based on electron correlation calculations regarding the nature of H-bonds in water whiskers, which is revealed by studying their evolution under external electric fields with various field strengths. We find that the water whiskers consisting of 2-7 water molecules all have a chain-length dependent critical electric field. Under the critical electric field, the most compact chain structures are obtained, featuring very strong H-bonds, herein referred to as covalent H-bonds. In the case of a water dimer whisker, the bond length of the novel covalent H-bond shortens by 25%, the covalent bond order increases by 9 times, and accordingly the H-bond energy is strengthened by 5 times compared to the normal H-bond in a (H2O)2 cluster. Below the critical electric field, it is observed that with increasing field strength, H-bonding orbitals display gradual evolutions in the orbital energy, orbital ordering, and orbital nature (i.e., from typical -style orbital to unusual -style double H-bonding orbital). We also show that beyond the critical electric field, a single water whisker may disintegrate to form a loosely bound zwitterionic chain due to a relay-style proton transfer, whereas two water whiskers may undergo intermolecular cross-linking to form a quasi-two-dimensional water network. In conclusion, these results help shed new insight on the effects of electric fields on water whisker formation.

  1. Structural Insights into the Catalytic Active Site and Activity of Human Nit2/ω-Amidase

    PubMed Central

    Chien, Chin-Hsiang; Gao, Quan-Ze; Cooper, Arthur J. L.; Lyu, Jyun-Hong; Sheu, Sheh-Yi

    2012-01-01

    Human nitrilase-like protein 2 (hNit2) is a putative tumor suppressor, recently identified as ω-amidase. hNit2/ω-amidase plays a crucial metabolic role by catalyzing the hydrolysis of α-ketoglutaramate (the α-keto analog of glutamine) and α-ketosuccinamate (the α-keto analog of asparagine), yielding α-ketoglutarate and oxaloacetate, respectively. Transamination between glutamine and α-keto-γ-methiolbutyrate closes the methionine salvage pathway. Thus, hNit2/ω-amidase links sulfur metabolism to the tricarboxylic acid cycle. To elucidate the catalytic specificity of hNit2/ω-amidase, we performed molecular dynamics simulations on the wild type enzyme and its mutants to investigate enzyme-substrate interactions. Binding free energies were computed to characterize factors contributing to the substrate specificity. The predictions resulting from these computations were verified by kinetic analyses and mutational studies. The activity of hNit2/ω-amidase was determined with α-ketoglutaramate and succinamate as substrates. We constructed three catalytic triad mutants (E43A, K112A, and C153A) and a mutant with a loop 116–128 deletion to validate the role of key residues and the 116–128 loop region in substrate binding and turnover. The molecular dynamics simulations successfully verified the experimental trends in the binding specificity of hNit2/ω-amidase toward various substrates. Our findings have revealed novel structural insights into the binding of substrates to hNit2/ω-amidase. A catalytic triad and the loop residues 116–128 of hNit2 play an essential role in supporting the stability of the enzyme-substrate complex, resulting in the generation of the catalytic products. These observations are predicted to be of benefit in the design of new inhibitors or activators for research involving cancer and hyperammonemic diseases. PMID:22674578

  2. The Vertebrate RCAN Gene Family: Novel Insights into Evolution, Structure and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Candelas, Eva; Farré, Domènec; Aranguren-Ibáñez, Álvaro; Martínez-Høyer, Sergio; Pérez-Riba, Mercè

    2014-01-01

    Recently there has been much interest in the Regulators of Calcineurin (RCAN) proteins which are important endogenous modulators of the calcineurin-NFATc signalling pathway. They have been shown to have a crucial role in cellular programmes such as the immune response, muscle fibre remodelling and memory, but also in pathological processes such as cardiac hypertrophy and neurodegenerative diseases. In vertebrates, the RCAN family form a functional subfamily of three members RCAN1, RCAN2 and RCAN3 whereas only one RCAN is present in the rest of Eukarya. In addition, RCAN genes have been shown to collocate with RUNX and CLIC genes in ACD clusters (ACD21, ACD6 and ACD1). How the RCAN genes and their clustering in ACDs evolved is still unknown. After analysing RCAN gene family evolution using bioinformatic tools, we propose that the three RCAN vertebrate genes within the ACD clusters, which evolved from single copy genes present in invertebrates and lower eukaryotes, are the result of two rounds of whole genome duplication, followed by a segmental duplication. This evolutionary scenario involves the loss or gain of some RCAN genes during evolution. In addition, we have analysed RCAN gene structure and identified the existence of several characteristic features that can be involved in RCAN evolution and gene expression regulation. These included: several transposable elements, CpG islands in the 5′ region of the genes, the existence of antisense transcripts (NAT) associated with the three human genes, and considerable evidence for bidirectional promoters that regulate RCAN gene expression. Furthermore, we show that the CpG island associated with the RCAN3 gene promoter is unmethylated and transcriptionally active. All these results provide timely new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying RCAN function and a more in depth knowledge of this gene family whose members are obvious candidates for the development of future therapies. PMID:24465593

  3. Structural insights into mechanisms for inhibiting amyloid β42 aggregation by non-catechol-type flavonoids.

    PubMed

    Hanaki, Mizuho; Murakami, Kazuma; Akagi, Ken-ichi; Irie, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-15

    The prevention of 42-mer amyloid β-protein (Aβ42) aggregation is promising for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We previously described the site-specific inhibitory mechanism for Aβ42 aggregation by a catechol-type flavonoid, (+)-taxifolin, targeting Lys16,28 after its autoxidation. In contrast, non-catechol-type flavonoids (morin, datiscetin, and kaempferol) inhibited Aβ42 aggregation without targeting Lys16,28 with almost similar potencies to that of (+)-taxifolin. We herein provided structural insights into their mechanisms for inhibiting Aβ42 aggregation. Physicochemical analyses revealed that their inhibition did not require autoxidation. The (1)H-(15)N SOFAST-HMQC NMR of Aβ42 in the presence of morin and datiscetin revealed the significant perturbation of chemical shifts of His13,14 and Gln15, which were close to the intermolecular β-sheet region, Gln15-Ala21. His13,14 also played a role in radical formation at Tyr10, thereby inducing the oxidation of Met35, which has been implicated in Aβ42 aggregation. These results suggest the direct interaction of morin and datiscetin with the Aβ42 monomer. Although only kaempferol was oxidatively-degraded during incubation, its degradation products as well as kaempferol itself suppressed Aβ42 aggregation. However, neither kaempferol nor its decomposed products perturbed the chemical shifts of the Aβ42 monomer. Aggregation experiments using 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol-treated Aβ42 demonstrated that kaempferol and its degradation products inhibited the elongation rather than nucleation phase, implying that they interacted with small aggregates of Aβ42, but not with the monomer. In contrast, morin and datiscetin inhibited both phases. The position and number of hydroxyl groups on the B-ring of non-catechol-type flavonoids could be important for their inhibitory potencies and mechanisms against Aβ42 aggregation. PMID:26719209

  4. Quantitative and qualitative beta diversity measures lead to different insights into factors that structure microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Lozupone, Catherine A; Hamady, Micah; Kelley, Scott T; Knight, Rob

    2007-03-01

    The assessment of microbial diversity and distribution is a major concern in environmental microbiology. There are two general approaches for measuring community diversity: quantitative measures, which use the abundance of each taxon, and qualitative measures, which use only the presence/absence of data. Quantitative measures are ideally suited to revealing community differences that are due to changes in relative taxon abundance (e.g., when a particular set of taxa flourish because a limiting nutrient source becomes abundant). Qualitative measures are most informative when communities differ primarily by what can live in them (e.g., at high temperatures), in part because abundance information can obscure significant patterns of variation in which taxa are present. We illustrate these principles using two 16S rRNA-based surveys of microbial populations and two phylogenetic measures of community beta diversity: unweighted UniFrac, a qualitative measure, and weighted UniFrac, a new quantitative measure, which we have added to the UniFrac website (http://bmf.colorado.edu/unifrac). These studies considered the relative influences of mineral chemistry, temperature, and geography on microbial community composition in acidic thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park and the influences of obesity and kinship on microbial community composition in the mouse gut. We show that applying qualitative and quantitative measures to the same data set can lead to dramatically different conclusions about the main factors that structure microbial diversity and can provide insight into the nature of community differences. We also demonstrate that both weighted and unweighted UniFrac measurements are robust to the methods used to build the underlying phylogeny. PMID:17220268

  5. Cyanomethanimine Isomers in Cold Interstellar Clouds: Insights from Electronic Structure and Kinetic Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vazart, Fanny; Latouche, Camille; Skouteris, Dimitrios; Balucani, Nadia; Barone, Vincenzo

    2015-09-01

    New insights into the formation of interstellar cyanomethanimine, a species of great relevance in prebiotic chemistry, are provided by electronic structure and kinetic calculations for the reaction CN + CH2 = NH. This reaction is a facile formation route of Z,E-C-cyanomethanimine, even under the extreme conditions of density and temperature typical of cold interstellar clouds. E-C-cyanomethanimine has been recently identified in Sgr B2(N) in the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) PRIMOS survey by P. Zaleski et al. and no efficient formation routes have been envisaged so far. The rate coefficient expression for the reaction channel leading to the observed isomer E-C-cyanomethanimine is 3.15 × 10-10 × (T/300)0.152 × e(-0.0948/T). According to the present study, the more stable Z-C-cyanomethanimine isomer is formed with a slightly larger yield (4.59 × 10-10 × (T/300)0.153 × e(-0.0871/T). As the detection of E-isomer is favored due to its larger dipole moment, the missing detection of the Z-isomer can be due to the sensitivity limit of the GBT PRIMOS survey and the detection of the Z-isomer should be attempted with more sensitive instrumentation. The CN + CH2 = NH reaction can also play a role in the chemistry of the upper atmosphere of Titan where the cyanomethanimine products can contribute to the buildup of the observed nitrogen-rich organic aerosols that cover the moon.

  6. Neonicotinoids impact bumblebee colony fitness in the field; a reanalysis of the UK’s Food & Environment Research Agency 2012 experiment

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The causes of bee declines remain hotly debated, particularly the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides. In 2013 the UK’s Food & Environment Research Agency made public a study of the impacts of exposure of bumblebee colonies to neonicotinoids. The study concluded that there was no clear relationship between colony performance and pesticide exposure, and the study was subsequently cited by the UK government in a policy paper in support of their vote against a proposed moratorium on some uses of neonicotinoids. Here I present a simple re-analysis of this data set. It demonstrates that these data in fact do show a negative relationship between both colony growth and queen production and the levels of neonicotinoids in the food stores collected by the bees. Indeed, this is the first study describing substantial negative impacts of neonicotinoids on colony performance of any bee species with free-flying bees in a field realistic situation where pesticide exposure is provided only as part of normal farming practices. It strongly suggests that wild bumblebee colonies in farmland can be expected to be adversely affected by exposure to neonicotinoids. PMID:25825679

  7. Impacts of a neonicotinoid, neonicotinoid-pyrethroid premix, and anthranilic diamide insecticide on four species of turf-inhabiting beneficial insects.

    PubMed

    Larson, Jonathan L; Redmond, Carl T; Potter, Daniel A

    2014-03-01

    Many turf managers prefer to control foliage- and root-feeding pests with the same application, so-called multiple-targeting, using a single broad-spectrum insecticide or a premix product containing two or more active ingredients. We compared the impact of a neonicotinoid (clothianidin), a premix (clothianidin + bifenthrin), and an anthranilic diamide (chlorantraniliprole), the main insecticide classes used for multiple targeting, on four species of beneficial insects: Harpalus pennsylvanicus, an omnivorous ground beetle, Tiphia vernalis, an ectoparasitoid of scarab grubs, Copidosoma bakeri, a polyembryonic endoparasitoid of black cutworms, and Bombus impatiens, a native bumble bee. Ground beetles that ingested food treated with clothianidin or the premix suffered high mortality, as did C. bakeri wasps exposed to dry residues of those insecticides. Exposure to those insecticides on potted turf cores reduced parasitism by T. vernalis. Bumble bee colonies confined to forage on white clover (Trifolium repens L.) in weedy turf that had been treated with clothianidin or the premix had reduced numbers of workers, honey pots, and immature bees. Premix residues incapacitated H. pennsylvanicus and C. bakeri slightly faster than clothianidin alone, but otherwise we detected no synergistic or additive effects. Chlorantraniliprole had no apparent adverse effects on any of the beneficial species. Implications for controlling turf pests with least disruption of non-target invertebrates are discussed. PMID:24493235

  8. Outward growth of Tibetan Plateau: Insights from joint inversion of lithosphere structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, X.; Li, J.; Bao, X.; Zhu, L.

    2014-12-01

    Models for the growth of the Tibetan plateau have been a subject of great debate for decades. Here we add to the debate with new insights from an advanced imaging of the lithosphere structure of the western China. To resolve the ambiguity of model parameters and to improve resolution in seismic imaging, a combination of different data sets that have sensitivities to different parameters is required. We've recently developed joint-inversion methods involving Pn travel times, receiver functions, and surface wave dispersion measurements and applied them systematically to seismic stations in western China to obtain improved 3D P and S lithosphere models. Our models show significantly higher Vp/Vs ratios in northern Himalaya Block and southern Qiangtang Block than in the Lhasa Block. Mid-crustal low velocity zone (LVZ) is observed under much of the Tibetan Plateau. However, it is much more pronounced under the outer regions of the plateau (the Himalaya and Qiangtang Blocks) than under its interior (the Lhasa Block). The location of pronounced mid-crustal LVZ correlates (anti-correlates) with the distribution of seismicity in the plateau; the low seismicity areas have more pronounced LVZs and greater Vp/Vs values and the high seismic areas have less pronounced LVZs and smaller Vp/Vs values. The observations support the existence of a proto-Tibetan Plateau core and the outward growth of the margins at a later stage after the India-Eurasian collision (Wang C.S. et al., PNAS, 2008). The proto-plateau is more rigid and can sustain stress to cause brittle failure of earthquakes while the materials at the margins are weaker and can be subject to plastic deformation with much less seismicity. In this model, the proto-plateau core acts as an efficient medium for the stress transfer from the collision front to the margins for the outward growth of the plateau. The crust and mantle lithosphere act as a coherent unit as indicated by the consistent pattern of seismic anomalies with

  9. Susceptibility of Aphelinus certus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) to neonicotinoid seed treatments used for soybean pest management.

    PubMed

    Frewin, Andrew J; Schaafsma, Arthur W; Hallett, Rebecca H

    2014-08-01

    Soybean aphid is an economic pest of soybean in North America. Currently, management of soybean aphid is achieved through the use of foliar- and seed-applied insecticides. However, natural enemies play an important role in regulating soybean aphid populations, and may be adversely affected by insecticides. The effects of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam seed treatments on the soybean aphid parasitoid, Aphelinus certus Yasnosh, were examined using a tritrophic bioassay. A. certus was able to parasitize soybean aphids feeding on imidacloprid- and thiamethoxam-treated plants 5 and 6 wk after planting, respectively. However, up to 10 wk after planting, overall parasitism rates were reduced by 69-88% compared with the control. Therefore, neonicotinoid seed treatments may reduce the effectiveness of A. certus as a natural enemy of soybean aphid in seed-treated crops. PMID:25195435

  10. Residues of neonicotinoids and their metabolites in honey and pollen from sunflower and maize seed dressing crops.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Hernández, Laura; Hernández-Domínguez, Deamelys; Martín, María T; Nozal, María J; Higes, Mariano; Bernal Yagüe, José L

    2016-01-01

    A study was carried out to evaluate the possible presence of thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid, as well as the metabolic breakdown products of these three neonicotinoids in pollen and honey obtained from brood chamber combs of honeybee colonies located next to sunflower and maize crops from coated seeds. Samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry detector, in combination with accurate mass tools such as diagnostic ions by exact mass, chlorine mass filters, and MS/MS experiments. The presence of thiamethoxam and clothianidin was confirmed in some of the pollen samples analyzed. Moreover, different metabolites of neonicotinoids were tentatively detected in the pollen and honey samples collected. The results suggested that four metabolites were found in the honey samples, while for pollen samples eleven metabolites were identified; among these, five were considered for the first time as metabolic breakdown products in sunflower and maize plants. PMID:26545338

  11. Widespread contamination of wildflower and bee-collected pollen with complex mixtures of neonicotinoids and fungicides commonly applied to crops.

    PubMed

    David, Arthur; Botías, Cristina; Abdul-Sada, Alaa; Nicholls, Elizabeth; Rotheray, Ellen L; Hill, Elizabeth M; Goulson, Dave

    2016-03-01

    There is considerable and ongoing debate as to the harm inflicted on bees by exposure to agricultural pesticides. In part, the lack of consensus reflects a shortage of information on field-realistic levels of exposure. Here, we quantify concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides in the pollen of oilseed rape, and in pollen of wildflowers growing near arable fields. We then compare this to concentrations of these pesticides found in pollen collected by honey bees and in pollen and adult bees sampled from bumble bee colonies placed on arable farms. We also compared this with levels found in bumble bee colonies placed in urban areas. Pollen of oilseed rape was heavily contaminated with a broad range of pesticides, as was the pollen of wildflowers growing nearby. Consequently, pollen collected by both bee species also contained a wide range of pesticides, notably including the fungicides carbendazim, boscalid, flusilazole, metconazole, tebuconazole and trifloxystrobin and the neonicotinoids thiamethoxam, thiacloprid and imidacloprid. In bumble bees, the fungicides carbendazim, boscalid, tebuconazole, flusilazole and metconazole were present at concentrations up to 73nanogram/gram (ng/g). It is notable that pollen collected by bumble bees in rural areas contained high levels of the neonicotinoids thiamethoxam (mean 18ng/g) and thiacloprid (mean 2.9ng/g), along with a range of fungicides, some of which are known to act synergistically with neonicotinoids. Pesticide exposure of bumble bee colonies in urban areas was much lower than in rural areas. Understanding the effects of simultaneous exposure of bees to complex mixtures of pesticides remains a major challenge. PMID:26760714

  12. Crystal structure of Anoxybacillus α-amylase provides insights into maltose binding of a new glycosyl hydrolase subclass.

    PubMed

    Chai, Kian Piaw; Othman, Noor Farhan Binti; Teh, Aik-Hong; Ho, Kok Lian; Chan, Kok-Gan; Shamsir, Mohd Shahir; Goh, Kian Mau; Ng, Chyan Leong

    2016-01-01

    A new subfamily of glycosyl hydrolase family GH13 was recently proposed for α-amylases from Anoxybacillus species (ASKA and ADTA), Geobacillus thermoleovorans (GTA, Pizzo, and GtamyII), Bacillus aquimaris (BaqA), and 95 other putative protein homologues. To understand this new GH13 subfamily, we report crystal structures of truncated ASKA (TASKA). ASKA is a thermostable enzyme capable of producing high levels of maltose. Unlike GTA, biochemical analysis showed that Ca(2+) ion supplementation enhances the catalytic activities of ASKA and TASKA. The crystal structures reveal the presence of four Ca(2+) ion binding sites, with three of these binding sites are highly conserved among Anoxybacillus α-amylases. This work provides structural insights into this new GH13 subfamily both in the apo form and in complex with maltose. Furthermore, structural comparison of TASKA and GTA provides an overview of the conformational changes accompanying maltose binding at each subsite. PMID:26975884

  13. Crystal structure of Anoxybacillus α-amylase provides insights into maltose binding of a new glycosyl hydrolase subclass

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Kian Piaw; Othman, Noor Farhan Binti; Teh, Aik-Hong; Ho, Kok Lian; Chan, Kok-Gan; Shamsir, Mohd Shahir; Goh, Kian Mau; Ng, Chyan Leong

    2016-01-01

    A new subfamily of glycosyl hydrolase family GH13 was recently proposed for α-amylases from Anoxybacillus species (ASKA and ADTA), Geobacillus thermoleovorans (GTA, Pizzo, and GtamyII), Bacillus aquimaris (BaqA), and 95 other putative protein homologues. To understand this new GH13 subfamily, we report crystal structures of truncated ASKA (TASKA). ASKA is a thermostable enzyme capable of producing high levels of maltose. Unlike GTA, biochemical analysis showed that Ca2+ ion supplementation enhances the catalytic activities of ASKA and TASKA. The crystal structures reveal the presence of four Ca2+ ion binding sites, with three of these binding sites are highly conserved among Anoxybacillus α-amylases. This work provides structural insights into this new GH13 subfamily both in the apo form and in complex with maltose. Furthermore, structural comparison of TASKA and GTA provides an overview of the conformational changes accompanying maltose binding at each subsite. PMID:26975884

  14. Scrutinizing the Noninnocence of Quinone Ligands in Ruthenium Complexes: Insights from Structural, Electronic, Energy, and Effective Oxidation State Analyses.

    PubMed

    Skara, Gabriella; Gimferrer, Marti; De Proft, Frank; Salvador, Pedro; Pinter, Balazs

    2016-03-01

    The most relevant manifestations of ligand noninnocence of quinone and bipyridine derivatives are thoroughly scrutinized and discussed through an extensive and systematic set of octahedral ruthenium complexes, [(en)2RuL](z), in four oxidation states (z = +3, +2, +1, and 0). The characteristic structural deformation of ligands upon coordination/noninnocence is put into context with the underlying electronic structure of the complexes and its change upon reduction. In addition, by means of decomposing the corresponding reductions into electron transfer and structural relaxation subprocesses, the energetic contribution of these structural deformations to the redox energetics is revealed. The change of molecular electron density upon metal- and ligand-centered reductions is also visualized and shown to provide novel insights into the corresponding redox processes. Moreover, the charge distribution of the π-subspace is straightforwardly examined and used as indicator of ligand noninnocence in the distinct oxidation states of the complexes. The aromatization/dearomatization processes of ligand backbones are also monitored using magnetic (NICS) and electronic (PDI) indicators of aromaticity, and the consequences to noninnocent behavior are discussed. Finally, the recently developed effective oxidation state (EOS) analysis is utilized, on the one hand, to test its applicability for complexes containing noninnocent ligands, and, on the other hand, to provide new insights into the magnitude of state mixings in the investigated complexes. The effect of ligand substitution, nature of donor atom, ligand frame modification on these manifestations, and measures is discussed in an intuitive and pedagogical manner. PMID:26866981

  15. A meta-analysis of experiments testing the effects of a neonicotinoid insecticide (imidacloprid) on honey bees.

    PubMed

    Cresswell, James E

    2011-01-01

    Honey bees provide important pollination services to crops and wild plants. The agricultural use of systemic insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, may harm bees through their presence in pollen and nectar, which bees consume. Many studies have tested the effects on honey bees of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, but a clear picture of the risk it poses to bees has not previously emerged, because investigations are methodologically varied and inconsistent in outcome. In a meta-analysis of fourteen published studies of the effects of imidacloprid on honey bees under laboratory and semi-field conditions that comprised measurements on 7073 adult individuals and 36 colonies, fitted dose-response relationships estimate that trace dietary imidacloprid at field-realistic levels in nectar will have no lethal effects, but will reduce expected performance in honey bees by between 6 and 20%. Statistical power analysis showed that published field trials that have reported no effects on honey bees from neonicotinoids were incapable of detecting these predicted sublethal effects with conventionally accepted levels of certainty. These findings raise renewed concern about the impact on honey bees of dietary imidacloprid, but because questions remain over the environmental relevance of predominantly laboratory-based results, I identify targets for research and provide procedural recommendations for future studies. PMID:21080222

  16. Survey and Risk Assessment of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Exposure to Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Urban, Rural, and Agricultural Settings.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, T J; Culbert, E M; Felsot, A S; Hebert, V R; Sheppard, W S

    2016-04-01

    A comparative assessment of apiaries in urban, rural, and agricultural areas was undertaken in 2013 and 2014 to examine potential honey bee colony exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides from pollen foraging. Apiaries ranged in size from one to hundreds of honey bee colonies, and included those operated by commercial, sideline (semicommercial), and hobbyist beekeepers. Residues in and on wax and beebread (stored pollen in the hive) were evaluated for the nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and its olefin metabolite and the active ingredients clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran. Beebread and comb wax collected from hives in agricultural landscapes were more likely to have detectable residues of thiamethoxam and clothianidin than that collected from hives in rural or urban areas (∼50% of samples vs. <10%). The maximum neonicotinoid residue detected in either wax or beebread was 3.9 ppb imidacloprid. A probabilistic risk assessment was conducted on the residues recovered from beebread in apiaries located in commercial, urban, and rural landscapes. The calculated risk quotient based on a dietary no observable adverse effect concentration (NOAEC) suggested low potential for negative effects on bee behavior or colony health. PMID:26791816

  17. Simultaneous determination of neonicotinoid insecticides in sunflower-treated seeds (hull and kernel) by LC-MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Hernández, Laura; Higes, Mariano; Martín, María T; Nozal, María J; Bernal, José L

    2016-01-01

    A validated analytical method to determine seven neonicotinoids (dinotefuran, nitenpyram, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid and thiacloprid) in sunflower seeds (hull and kernel) using HPLC coupled to electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) is presented. Sample clean-up based on a solid-liquid extraction, and the removal of lipid fraction, in the case of kernels, is proposed and optimised. Low limits of detection and quantification were obtained, ranging from 0.3 × 10(-3) to 1.2 × 10(-3) µg g(-1) and from 1.0 × 10(-3) to 4.0 × 10(-3) µg g(-1), with good precision, and recovery values ranged from 90% to 104% for hulls and kernels. The method was applied for the analysis of five thiamethoxam-dressed sunflower seeds and four non-treated seeds, where, besides thiamethoxam, residues of the other neonicotinoid, clothianidin, were also detected and confirmed via tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Finally, the presence of residues of thiamethoxam and clothianidin in collected sunflower seeds (hulls) coming from coated seeds confirmed the translocation of these neonicotinoids through the plant up to these seeds. PMID:26678670

  18. New Structural Insights into the Genome and Minor Capsid Proteins of BK Polyomavirus using Cryo-Electron Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Hurdiss, Daniel L.; Morgan, Ethan L.; Thompson, Rebecca F.; Prescott, Emma L.; Panou, Margarita M.; Macdonald, Andrew; Ranson, Neil A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary BK polyomavirus is the causative agent of several diseases in transplant patients and the immunosuppressed. In order to better understand the structure and life cycle of BK, we produced infectious virions and VP1-only virus-like particles in cell culture, and determined their three-dimensional structures using cryo-electron microscopy (EM) and single-particle image processing. The resulting 7.6-Å resolution structure of BK and 9.1-Å resolution of the virus-like particles are the highest-resolution cryo-EM structures of any polyomavirus. These structures confirm that the architecture of the major structural protein components of these human polyomaviruses are similar to previous structures from other hosts, but give new insight into the location and role of the enigmatic minor structural proteins, VP2 and VP3. We also observe two shells of electron density, which we attribute to a structurally ordered part of the viral genome, and discrete contacts between this density and both VP1 and the minor capsid proteins. PMID:26996963

  19. Cationic Membrane Peptides: Atomic-Level Insight of Structure-Activity Relationships from Solid-State NMR

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yongchao; Li, Shenhui; Hong, Mei

    2012-01-01

    Many membrane-active peptides, such as cationic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), conduct their biological functions by interacting with the cell membrane. The interactions of charged residues with lipids and water facilitate membrane insertion, translocation or disruption of these highly hydrophobic species. In this mini-review we will summarize high-resolution structural and dynamic findings towards the understanding of the structure-activity relationship of lipid membrane-bound CPPs and AMPs, as examples of the current development of solid-state NMR (SSNMR) techniques for studying membrane peptides. We will present the most recent atomic-resolution structure of the guanidinium-phosphate complex, as constrained from experimentally measured site-specific distances. These SSNMR results will be valuable specifically for understanding the intracellular translocation pathway of CPPs and antimicrobial mechanism of AMPs, and more generally broaden our insight into how cationic macromolecules interact with and cross the lipid membrane. PMID:23108593

  20. Structural Insights into Maize Viviparous14, a Key Enzyme in the Biosynthesis of the Phytohormone Abscisic Acid

    SciTech Connect

    Messing, Simon A.J.; Gabelli, Sandra B.; Echeverria, Ignacia; Vogel, Jonathan T.; Guan, Jiahn Chou; Tan, Bao Cai; Klee, Harry J.; McCarty, Donald R.; Amzel, L. Mario

    2011-09-06

    The key regulatory step in the biosynthesis of abscisic acid (ABA), a hormone central to the regulation of several important processes in plants, is the oxidative cleavage of the 11,12 double bond of a 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid. The enzyme viviparous14 (VP14) performs this cleavage in maize (Zea mays), making it a target for the rational design of novel chemical agents and genetic modifications that improve plant behavior through the modulation of ABA levels. The structure of VP14, determined to 3.2-{angstrom} resolution, provides both insight into the determinants of regio- and stereospecificity of this enzyme and suggests a possible mechanism for oxidative cleavage. Furthermore, mutagenesis of the distantly related CCD1 of maize shows how the VP14 structure represents a template for all plant carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs). In addition, the structure suggests how VP14 associates with the membrane as a way of gaining access to its membrane soluble substrate.

  1. Structural Insights into Maize Viviparous14, a Key Enzyme in the Biosynthesis of the Phytohormone Abscisic Acid W

    SciTech Connect

    Messing, S.; Gabelli, S; Echeverria, I; Vogel, J; Guan, J; Tan, B; Klee, H; McCarty, D; Amzela, M

    2010-01-01

    The key regulatory step in the biosynthesis of abscisic acid (ABA), a hormone central to the regulation of several important processes in plants, is the oxidative cleavage of the 11,12 double bond of a 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid. The enzyme viviparous14 (VP14) performs this cleavage in maize (Zea mays), making it a target for the rational design of novel chemical agents and genetic modifications that improve plant behavior through the modulation of ABA levels. The structure of VP14, determined to 3.2-{angstrom} resolution, provides both insight into the determinants of regio- and stereospecificity of this enzyme and suggests a possible mechanism for oxidative cleavage. Furthermore, mutagenesis of the distantly related CCD1 of maize shows how the VP14 structure represents a template for all plant carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs). In addition, the structure suggests how VP14 associates with the membrane as a way of gaining access to its membrane soluble substrate.

  2. Insights into the crystal and aggregate structure of Fe[superscript 3+] oxide/silica co-precipitates

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, Laurence G.; Chapman, Karena W.; English, Phillip; Saunders, Martin; Richmond, William R.

    2012-03-15

    Structural characteristics of Fe{sup 3+} oxide/silica co-precipitates were investigated. The association between these materials is relevant to practically all natural aqueous systems due to the prevalence of iron and silicon in the Earth's crust. Crystallographic information is very difficult to obtain from these precipitates due to the nanocrystalline nature of ferrihydrite and the amorphous structure of precipitated silica. Several previously undetermined key insights were gained into the structure of iron oxide/silica co-precipitates through this examination. The distribution of iron and silicon throughout co-precipitate particles is illustrated along with the influence of their association. Evidence to the governing factor behind differences in apparent crystallinity is also presented. This information culminates in the formulation of a precipitation pathway, displaying the formation of the co-precipitates.

  3. Neonicotinoid insecticide residues in surface water and soil associated with commercial maize (corn) fields in southwestern Ontario.

    PubMed

    Schaafsma, Arthur; Limay-Rios, Victor; Baute, Tracey; Smith, Jocelyn; Xue, Yingen

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides have come under scrutiny for their potential unintended effects on non-target organisms, particularly pollinators in agro-ecosystems. As part of a larger study of neonicotinoid residues associated with maize (corn) production, 76 water samples within or around the perimeter of 18 commercial maize fields and neighbouring apiaries were collected in 5 maize-producing counties of southwestern Ontario. Residues of clothianidin (mean = 2.28, max. = 43.60 ng/mL) and thiamethoxam (mean = 1.12, max. = 16.50 ng/mL) were detected in 100 and 98.7% of the water samples tested, respectively. The concentration of total neonicotinoid residues in water within maize fields increased six-fold during the first five weeks after planting, and returned to pre-plant levels seven weeks after planting. However, concentrations in water sampled from outside the fields were similar throughout the sampling period. Soil samples from the top 5 cm of the soil profile were also collected in these fields before and immediately following planting. The mean total neonicotinoid residue was 4.02 (range 0.07 to 20.30) ng/g, for samples taken before planting, and 9.94 (range 0.53 to 38.98) ng/g, for those taken immediately after planting. Two soil samples collected from within an conservation area contained detectable (0.03 and 0.11 ng/g) concentrations of clothianidin. Of three drifted snow samples taken, the drift stratum containing the most wind-scoured soil had 0.16 and 0.20 ng/mL mainly clothianidin in the melted snow. The concentration was at the limit of detection (0.02 ng/mL) taken across the entire vertical profile. With the exception of one sample, water samples tested had concentrations below those reported to have acute, chronic or sublethal effects to honey bees. Our results suggest that neonicotinoids may move off-target by wind erosion of contaminated soil. These results are informative to risk assessment models for other non-target species in maize agro

  4. Neonicotinoid Insecticide Residues in Surface Water and Soil Associated with Commercial Maize (Corn) Fields in Southwestern Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Schaafsma, Arthur; Limay-Rios, Victor; Baute, Tracey; Smith, Jocelyn; Xue, Yingen

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides have come under scrutiny for their potential unintended effects on non-target organisms, particularly pollinators in agro-ecosystems. As part of a larger study of neonicotinoid residues associated with maize (corn) production, 76 water samples within or around the perimeter of 18 commercial maize fields and neighbouring apiaries were collected in 5 maize-producing counties of southwestern Ontario. Residues of clothianidin (mean = 2.28, max. = 43.60 ng/mL) and thiamethoxam (mean = 1.12, max. = 16.50 ng/mL) were detected in 100 and 98.7% of the water samples tested, respectively. The concentration of total neonicotinoid residues in water within maize fields increased six-fold during the first five weeks after planting, and returned to pre-plant levels seven weeks after planting. However, concentrations in water sampled from outside the fields were similar throughout the sampling period. Soil samples from the top 5 cm of the soil profile were also collected in these fields before and immediately following planting. The mean total neonicotinoid residue was 4.02 (range 0.07 to 20.30) ng/g, for samples taken before planting, and 9.94 (range 0.53 to 38.98) ng/g, for those taken immediately after planting. Two soil samples collected from within an conservation area contained detectable (0.03 and 0.11 ng/g) concentrations of clothianidin. Of three drifted snow samples taken, the drift stratum containing the most wind-scoured soil had 0.16 and 0.20 ng/mL mainly clothianidin in the melted snow. The concentration was at the limit of detection (0.02 ng/mL) taken across the entire vertical profile. With the exception of one sample, water samples tested had concentrations below those reported to have acute, chronic or sublethal effects to honey bees. Our results suggest that neonicotinoids may move off-target by wind erosion of contaminated soil. These results are informative to risk assessment models for other non-target species in maize agro

  5. Field-scale examination of neonicotinoid insecticide persistence in soil as a result of seed treatment use in commercial maize (corn) fields in southwestern Ontario.

    PubMed

    Schaafsma, Arthur; Limay-Rios, Victor; Xue, Yingen; Smith, Jocelyn; Baute, Tracey

    2016-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides, especially as seed treatments, have raised concerns about environmental loading and impacts on pollinators, biodiversity, and ecosystems. The authors measured concentrations of neonicotinoid residues in the top 5 cm of soil before planting of maize (corn) in 18 commercial fields with a history of neonicotinoid seed treatment use in southwestern Ontario in 2013 and 2014 using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization. A simple calculator based on first-order kinetics, incorporating crop rotation, planting date, and seed treatment history from the subject fields, was used to estimate dissipation rate from the seed zone. The estimated half-life (the time taken for 50% of the insecticide to have dissipated by all mechanisms) based on 8 yr of crop history was 0.64 (range, 0.25-1.59) yr and 0.57 (range, 0.24-2.12) yr for 2013 and 2014, respectively. In fields where neonicotinoid residues were measured in both years, the estimated mean half-life between 2013 and 2014 was 0.4 (range, 0.27-0.6) yr. If clothianidin and thiamethoxam were used annually as a seed treatment in a typical crop rotation of maize, soybean, and winter wheat over several years, residues would plateau rather than continue to accumulate. Residues of neonicotinoid insecticides after 3 yr to 4 yr of repeated annual use tend to plateau to a mean concentration of less than 6 ng/g in agricultural soils in southwestern Ontario. PMID:26332416

  6. UHPLC-DAD method for the determination of neonicotinoid insecticides in single bees and its relevance in honeybee colony loss investigations.

    PubMed

    Tapparo, Andrea; Giorio, Chiara; Soldà, Lidia; Bogialli, Sara; Marton, Daniele; Marzaro, Matteo; Girolami, Vincenzo

    2013-01-01

    In the understanding of colony loss phenomena, a worldwide crisis of honeybee colonies which has serious consequences for both apiculture and bee-pollination-dependent farm production, analytical chemistry can play an important role. For instance, rapid and accurate analytical procedures are currently required to better assess the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on honeybee health. Since their introduction in agriculture, neonicotinoid insecticides have been blamed for being highly toxic to honeybees, possibly at the nanogram per bee level or lower. As a consequence, most of the analytical methods recently optimized have focused on the analysis of ultratraces of neonicotinoids using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques to study the effects of sublethal doses. However, recent evidences on two novel routes-seedling guttations and seed coating particulate, both associated with corn crops-that may expose honeybees to huge amounts of neonicotinoids in the field, with instantly lethal effects, suggest that selected procedures need optimizing. In the present work, a simplified ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-diode-array detection method for the determination of neonicotinoids in single bees has been optimized and validated. The method ensures good selectivity, good accuracy, and adequate detection limits, which make it suitable for the purpose, while maintaining its ability to evaluate exposure variability of individual bees. It has been successfully applied to the analysis of bees in free flight over an experimental sowing field, with the bees therefore being exposed to seed coating particulate released by the pneumatic drilling machine. PMID:22965530

  7. New Insights into the Physical Nature of Coronal Mass Ejections within the Framework of the Three-dimensional Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Ryun Young; Zhang, Jie

    2014-06-01

    We present new insights into the physical nature of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) within the framework of the three-dimensional (3D) structures. We have developed a forward-fitting method in order to determine the three-dimensional structures of multiple fronts comprising a CME, using data sets taken from STEREO Behind, SOHO and SDO, and STEREO Ahead. We applied the method to time series observations of a CME on 7 March 2012 and the observations from the three different perspectives showed the whole structure of the CME from footprints, so-called EUV waves, to the top, so-called leading edges, through the lateral flanks. From the analyses, we revealed that a CME could consist of two different fronts in the 3D structures: the one is represented well with a shape of ellipsoid, implying that CMEs are bubble-like structure and the other is reproduced well with a shape of graduated cylindrical shell (GCS), indicating that CMEs are flux rope-like structure. The bubble structure is seen as the outermost edge of the CME and pass through coronal streamers (global magnetic separatrices). The footprint of the bubble is the EUV wave front propagating against the solar disk. In addition, the bubble is found to be the front comprising a halo CME in white light observations. On the other hand, the flux rope structure is seen as the three part morphology having fixed legs and cannot pass through coronal streamers. From our results, we concluded that (1) a CME could have both structures, bubble and flux rope-like structure, (2) the bubble is in fact fast magnetosonic wave/shock front while the flux rope structure is the mass carried outward by underlying magnetic structures, (3) EUV wave is the footprint of the wave bubble, and (4) the circular front of the halo CME is the wave bubble.

  8. Computational insight into complex structures of thorium coordination with N, N'- bis(3-allyl salicylidene)-o-phenylenediamine.

    PubMed

    Lan, Wenbo; Gao, Sha; Lin, Ying-Wu; Liao, Lifu; Wang, Xiaofeng; Nie, Changming

    2016-09-01

    Theoretical calculations on the structure of Th(IV) complex containing N, N'- bis(3-allyl salicylidene)-o-phenylenediamine (BASPDA) were performed using density functional theory (DFT) at the B3LYP/6-311G** level. The geometrical structural parameters and infrared spectra results of the Th(BASPDA)2 from the calculation were compared with the parallel dislocated structure (PDS) obtained in laboratory. The calculated structural parameters were in good agreement with the experimental results. In addition, based on the calculations, a stereoisomer SFS (staggered finger " + " structure) of the Th(BASPDA)2 complex was forecasted by the analysis of a comprehensive method. The charge distribution, structural parameters, bond order indices, spectral properties and thermodynamic properties as well as the molecular orbitals of the two possible crystal structures of Th(BASPDA)2 were also systematically studied. It was expected that this work could provide insightful information for understanding the properties of Th (BASPDA)2 complex at the molecular level. PMID:27561919

  9. New insights into the GABAA receptor structure and orthosteric ligand binding: Receptor modeling guided by experimental data

    PubMed Central

    Sander, Tommy; Frølund, Bente; Bruun, Anne Techau; Ivanov, Ivaylo; McCammon, J. Andrew; Balle, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    GABAA receptors (GABAARs) are ligand gated chloride ion channels that mediate overall inhibitory signaling in the CNS. A detailed understanding of their structure is important to gain insights in e.g. ligand binding and functional properties of this pharmaceutically important target. Homology modeling is a necessary tool in this regard because experimentally determined structures are lacking. Here we present an exhaustive approach for creating a high quality model of the α1β2γ2 subtype of the GABAAR ligand binding domain, and we demonstrate its usefulness in understanding details of orthosteric ligand binding. The model was constructed by using multiple templates and by incorporation of knowledge from biochemical/pharmacological experiments. It was validated on the basis of objective energy functions, its ability to account for available residue specific information, and its stability in molecular dynamics (MD) compared to that of two homologous crystal structures. We then combined the model with extensive structure-activity relationships available from two homologous series of orthosteric GABAAR antagonists to create a detailed hypothesis for their binding modes. Excellent agreement with key experimental data was found, including the ability of the model to accommodate and explain a previously developed pharmacophore model. A coupling to agonist binding was thereby established and discussed in relation to activation mechanisms. Our results highlight the importance of critical evaluation and optimization of each step in the homology modeling process. The approach taken here can greatly aid in increasing the understanding of GABAARs and related receptors where structural insight is limited and reliable models are difficult to obtain. PMID:21365676

  10. The Structure of Allophanate Hydrolase from Granulibacter bethesdensis Provides Insights into Substrate Specificity in the Amidase Signature Family

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Yi; Maurice, Martin

    2013-01-02

    Allophanate hydrolase (AH) catalyzes the hydrolysis of allophanate, an intermediate in atrazine degradation and urea catabolism pathways, to NH3 and CO2. AH belongs to the amidase signature family, which is characterized by a conserved block of 130 amino acids rich in Gly and Ser and a Ser-cis-Ser-Lys catalytic triad. In this study, the first structures of AH fromGranulibacter bethesdensis were determined, with and without the substrate analogue malonate, to 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. The structures confirm the identity of the catalytic triad residues and reveal an altered dimerization interface that is not conserved in the amidase signature family. The structures also provide insights into previously unrecognized substrate specificity determinants in AH. Two residues, Tyr299 and Arg307, are within hydrogen bonding distance of a carboxylate moiety of malonate. Both Tyr299 and Arg307 were mutated, and the resulting modified enzymes revealed >3 order of magnitude reductions in both catalytic efficiency and substrate stringency. It is proposed that Tyr299 and Arg307 serve to anchor and orient the substrate for attack by the catalytic nucleophile, Ser172. The structure further suggests the presence of a unique C-terminal domain in AH. While this domain is conserved, it does not contribute to catalysis or to the structural integrity of the core domain, suggesting that it may play a role in mediating transient and specific interactions with the urea carboxylase component of urea amidolyase. Analysis of the AH active site architecture offers new insights into common determinants of catalysis and specificity among divergent members of the amidase signature family.

  11. Analyzing the effects of excess rainfall properties on the scaling structure of peak discharges: Insights from a mesoscale river basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayalew, Tibebu B.; Krajewski, Witold F.; Mantilla, Ricardo

    2015-06-01

    Key theoretical and empirical results from the past two decades have established that peak discharges resulting from a single rainfall-runoff event in a nested watershed exhibit a power law, or scaling, relation to drainage area and that the parameters of the power law relation, henceforth referred to as the flood scaling exponent and intercept, change from event to event. To date, only two studies have been conducted using empirical data, both using data from the 21 km2 Goodwin Creek Experimental Watershed that is located in Mississippi, in an effort to uncover the physical processes that control the event-to-event variability of the flood scaling parameters. Our study expands the analysis to the mesoscale Iowa River basin (A = 32,400 km2), which is located in eastern Iowa, and provides additional insights into the physical processes that control the flood scaling parameters. Using 51 rainfall-runoff events that we identified over the 12 year period since 2002, we show how the duration and depth of excess rainfall, which is the portion of rainfall that contributes to direct runoff, control the flood scaling exponent and intercept. Moreover, using a diagnostic simulation study that is guided by evidence found in empirical data, we show that the temporal structure of excess rainfall has a significant effect on the scaling structure of peak discharges. These insights will contribute toward ongoing efforts to provide a framework for flood prediction in ungauged basins.

  12. Structural insights into Ca(2+)-activated long-range allosteric channel gating of RyR1.

    PubMed

    Wei, Risheng; Wang, Xue; Zhang, Yan; Mukherjee, Saptarshi; Zhang, Lei; Chen, Qiang; Huang, Xinrui; Jing, Shan; Liu, Congcong; Li, Shuang; Wang, Guangyu; Xu, Yaofang; Zhu, Sujie; Williams, Alan J; Sun, Fei; Yin, Chang-Cheng

    2016-09-01

    Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are a class of giant ion channels with molecular mass over 2.2 mega-Daltons. These channels mediate calcium signaling in a variety of cells. Since more than 80% of the RyR protein is folded into the cytoplasmic assembly and the remaining residues form the transmembrane domain, it has been hypothesized that the activation and regulation of RyR channels occur through an as yet uncharacterized long-range allosteric mechanism. Here we report the characterization of a Ca(2+)-activated open-state RyR1 structure by cryo-electron microscopy. The structure has an overall resolution of 4.9 Å and a resolution of 4.2 Å for the core region. In comparison with the previously determined apo/closed-state structure, we observed long-range allosteric gating of the channel upon Ca(2+) activation. In-depth structural analyses elucidated a novel channel-gating mechanism and a novel ion selectivity mechanism of RyR1. Our work not only provides structural insights into the molecular mechanisms of channel gating and regulation of RyRs, but also sheds light on structural basis for channel-gating and ion selectivity mechanisms for the six-transmembrane-helix cation channel family. PMID:27573175

  13. Widespread Structural and Functional Connectivity Changes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Insights from Advanced Neuroimaging Research

    PubMed Central

    Trojsi, Francesca; Monsurrò, Maria Rosaria; Esposito, Fabrizio; Tedeschi, Gioacchino

    2012-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease principally affecting motor neurons. Besides motor symptoms, a subset of patients develop cognitive disturbances or even frontotemporal dementia (FTD), indicating that ALS may also involve extramotor brain regions. Both neuropathological and neuroimaging findings have provided further insight on the widespread effect of the neurodegeneration on brain connectivity and the underlying neurobiology of motor neurons degeneration. However, associated effects on motor and extramotor brain networks are largely unknown. Particularly, neuropathological findings suggest that ALS not only affects the frontotemporal network but rather is part of a wide clinicopathological spectrum of brain disorders known as TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathies. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge concerning the neuropsychological and neuropathological sequelae of TDP-43 proteinopathies, with special focus on the neuroimaging findings associated with cognitive change in ALS. PMID:22720174

  14. Water versus DNA: new insights into proton track-structure modelling in radiobiology and radiotherapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champion, C.; Quinto, M. A.; Monti, J. M.; Galassi, M. E.; Weck, P. F.; Fojón, O. A.; Hanssen, J.; Rivarola, R. D.

    2015-10-01

    Water is a common surrogate of DNA for modelling the charged particle-induced ionizing processes in living tissue exposed to radiations. The present study aims at scrutinizing the validity of this approximation and then revealing new insights into proton-induced energy transfers by a comparative analysis between water and realistic biological medium. In this context, a self-consistent quantum mechanical modelling of the ionization and electron capture processes is reported within the continuum distorted wave-eikonal initial state framework for both isolated water molecules and DNA components impacted by proton beams. Their respective probability of occurrence—expressed in terms of total cross sections—as well as their energetic signature (potential and kinetic) are assessed in order to clearly emphasize the differences existing between realistic building blocks of living matter and the controverted water-medium surrogate. Consequences in radiobiology and radiotherapy will be discussed in particular in view of treatment planning refinement aiming at better radiotherapy strategies.

  15. New insight into RNase P RNA structure from comparative analysis of the archaeal RNA.

    PubMed Central

    Harris, J K; Haas, E S; Williams, D; Frank, D N; Brown, J W

    2001-01-01

    A detailed comparative analysis of archaeal RNase P RNA structure and a comparison of the resulting structural information with that of the bacterial RNA reveals that the archaeal RNase P RNAs are strikingly similar to those of Bacteria. The differences between the secondary structure models of archaeal and bacterial RNase P RNA have largely disappeared, and even variation in the sequence and structure of the RNAs are similar in extent and type. The structure of the cruciform (P7-11) has been reevaluated on the basis of a total of 321 bacterial and archaeal sequences, leading to a model for the structure of this region of the RNA that includes an extension to P11 that consistently organizes the cruciform and adjacent highly-conserved sequences. PMID:11233979

  16. Insight into the microscopic structure of an AdS black hole from a thermodynamical phase transition.

    PubMed

    Wei, Shao-Wen; Liu, Yu-Xiao

    2015-09-11

    Comparing with an ordinary thermodynamic system, we investigate the possible microscopic structure of a charged anti-de Sitter black hole completely from the thermodynamic viewpoint. The number density of the black hole molecules is introduced to measure the microscopic degrees of freedom of the black hole. We found that the number density suffers a sudden change accompanied by a latent heat when the black hole system crosses the small-large black hole coexistence curve, while when the system passes the critical point, it encounters a second-order phase transition with a vanishing latent heat due to the continuous change of the number density. Moreover, the thermodynamic scalar curvature suggests that there is a weak attractive interaction between two black hole molecules. These phenomena might cast new insight into the underlying microscopic structure of a charged anti-de Sitter black hole. PMID:26406818

  17. Insights into Mycoplasma genitalium Metabolism Revealed by the Structure of MG289, an Extracytoplasmic Thiamine Binding Lipoprotein

    PubMed Central

    Sippel, Katherine H.; Venkatakrishnan, Balasubramanian; Boehlein, Susan K.; Sankaran, Banumathi; Quirit, Jeanne G.; Govindasamy, Lakshamanan; Agbandje-McKenna, Mavis; Goodison, Steve; Rosser, Charles J.; McKenna, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Summary Mycoplasma genitalium is one of the smallest organisms capable of self-replication and its sequence is considered a starting point for understanding the minimal genome required for life. MG289, a putative phosphonate substrate binding protein, is considered to be one of these essential genes. The crystal structure of MG289 has been solved at 1.95 Å resolution. The structurally identified thiamine binding region reveals possible mechanisms for ligand promiscuity. MG289 was determined to be an extracytoplasmic thiamine binding lipoprotein. Computational analysis, size exclusion chromatography, and small angle X-ray scattering indicates that MG289 homodimerizes in a concentration-dependant manner. Comparisons to the thiamine pyrophosphate binding homolog Cypl reveal insights into the metabolic differences between mycoplasmal species including identifying possible kinases for cofactor phosphorylation and describing the mechanism of thiamine transport into the cell. These results provide a baseline to build our understanding of the minimal metabolic requirements of a living organism. PMID:21117240

  18. Insights into the Interferon Regulatory Factor Activation from the Crystal Structure of Dimeric IRF5

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, W.; Lam, S; Srinath, H; Jiang, Z; Correia, J; Schiffer, C; Fitzgerald, K; Lin, K; Royer, Jr., W

    2008-01-01

    The interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are involved in the innate immune response and are activated by phosphorylation. The structure of a pseudophosphorylated IRF5 activation domain now reveals structural changes in the activated form that would turn an autoinhibitory region into a dimerization interface. In vivo analysis supports the relevance of such a dimer to transcriptional activation.

  19. Insight into the Structure of Compound Words among Speakers of Chinese and English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Jie; Anderson, Richard C.; Wang, Qiuying; Packard, Jerome; Wu, Xinchun; Tang, Shan; Ke, Xiaoling

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of compound word structures in Chinese and English was investigated, comparing 435 Chinese and 258 Americans, including second, fourth, and sixth graders, and college undergraduates. As anticipated, the results revealed that Chinese speakers performed better on a word structure analogy task than their English-speaking counterparts. Also,…

  20. Insights into Brain Glycogen Metabolism: THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN BRAIN GLYCOGEN PHOSPHORYLASE.

    PubMed

    Mathieu, Cécile; de la Sierra-Gallay, Ines Li; Duval, Romain; Xu, Ximing; Cocaign, Angélique; Léger, Thibaut; Woffendin, Gary; Camadro, Jean-Michel; Etchebest, Catherine; Haouz, Ahmed; Dupret, Jean-Marie; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando

    2016-08-26

    Brain glycogen metabolism plays a critical role in major brain functions such as learning or memory consolidation. However, alteration of glycogen metabolism and glycogen accumulation in the brain contributes to neurodegeneration as observed in Lafora disease. Glycogen phosphorylase (GP), a key enzyme in glycogen metabolism, catalyzes the rate-limiting step of glycogen mobilization. Moreover, the allosteric regulation of the three GP isozymes (muscle, liver, and brain) by metabolites and phosphorylation, in response to hormonal signaling, fine-tunes glycogenolysis to fulfill energetic and metabolic requirements. Whereas the structures of muscle and liver GPs have been known for decades, the structure of brain GP (bGP) has remained elusive despite its critical role in brain glycogen metabolism. Here, we report the crystal structure of human bGP in complex with PEG 400 (2.5 Å) and in complex with its allosteric activator AMP (3.4 Å). These structures demonstrate that bGP has a closer structural relationship with muscle GP, which is also activated by AMP, contrary to liver GP, which is not. Importantly, despite the structural similarities between human bGP and the two other mammalian isozymes, the bGP structures reveal molecular features unique to the brain isozyme that provide a deeper understanding of the differences in the activation properties of these allosteric enzymes by the allosteric effector AMP. Overall, our study further supports that the distinct structural and regulatory properties of GP isozymes contribute to the different functions of muscle, liver, and brain glycogen. PMID:27402852

  1. Molecular Structure of Aggregated Amyloid-β: Insights from Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

    PubMed

    Tycko, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides aggregate to form polymorphic amyloid fibrils and a variety of intermediate assemblies, including oligomers and protofibrils, both in vitro and in human brain tissue. Since the beginning of the 21st century, considerable progress has been made to characterize the molecular structures of Aβ aggregates. Full molecular structural models based primarily on data from measurements using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) have been developed for several in vitro Aβ fibrils and one metastable protofibril. Partial structural characterization of other aggregation intermediates has been achieved. One full structural model for fibrils derived from brain tissue has also been reported. Future work is likely to focus on additional structures from brain tissue and on further clarification of nonfibrillar Aβ aggregates. PMID:27481836

  2. Structural insights into species-specific features of the ribosome from the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Eyal, Zohar; Matzov, Donna; Krupkin, Miri; Wekselman, Itai; Paukner, Susanne; Zimmerman, Ella; Rozenberg, Haim; Bashan, Anat; Yonath, Ada

    2015-10-27

    The emergence of bacterial multidrug resistance to antibiotics threatens to cause regression to the preantibiotic era. Here we present the crystal structure of the large ribosomal subunit from Staphylococcus aureus, a versatile Gram-positive aggressive pathogen, and its complexes with the known antibiotics linezolid and telithromycin, as well as with a new, highly potent pleuromutilin derivative, BC-3205. These crystal structures shed light on specific structural motifs of the S. aureus ribosome and the binding modes of the aforementioned antibiotics. Moreover, by analyzing the ribosome structure and comparing it with those of nonpathogenic bacterial models, we identified some unique internal and peripheral structural motifs that may be potential candidates for improving known antibiotics and for use in the design of selective antibiotic drugs against S. aureus. PMID:26464510

  3. Structural insights into species-specific features of the ribosome from the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Eyal, Zohar; Matzov, Donna; Krupkin, Miri; Wekselman, Itai; Paukner, Susanne; Zimmerman, Ella; Rozenberg, Haim; Bashan, Anat; Yonath, Ada

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of bacterial multidrug resistance to antibiotics threatens to cause regression to the preantibiotic era. Here we present the crystal structure of the large ribosomal subunit from Staphylococcus aureus, a versatile Gram-positive aggressive pathogen, and its complexes with the known antibiotics linezolid and telithromycin, as well as with a new, highly potent pleuromutilin derivative, BC-3205. These crystal structures shed light on specific structural motifs of the S. aureus ribosome and the binding modes of the aforementioned antibiotics. Moreover, by analyzing the ribosome structure and comparing it with those of nonpathogenic bacterial models, we identified some unique internal and peripheral structural motifs that may be potential candidates for improving known antibiotics and for use in the design of selective antibiotic drugs against S. aureus. PMID:26464510

  4. Structural analysis of the α-glucosidase HaG provides new insights into substrate specificity and catalytic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Shen, Xing; Saburi, Wataru; Gai, Zuoqi; Kato, Koji; Ojima-Kato, Teruyo; Yu, Jian; Komoda, Keisuke; Kido, Yusuke; Matsui, Hirokazu; Mori, Haruhide; Yao, Min

    2015-06-01

    α-Glucosidases, which catalyze the hydrolysis of the α-glucosidic linkage at the nonreducing end of the substrate, are important for the metabolism of α-glucosides. Halomonas sp. H11 α-glucosidase (HaG), belonging to glycoside hydrolase family 13 (GH13), only has high hydrolytic activity towards the α-(1 → 4)-linked disaccharide maltose among naturally occurring substrates. Although several three-dimensional structures of GH13 members have been solved, the disaccharide specificity and α-(1 → 4) recognition mechanism of α-glucosidase are unclear owing to a lack of corresponding substrate-bound structures. In this study, four crystal structures of HaG were solved: the apo form, the glucosyl-enzyme intermediate complex, the E271Q mutant in complex with its natural substrate maltose and a complex of the D202N mutant with D-glucose and glycerol. These structures explicitly provide insights into the substrate specificity and catalytic mechanism of HaG. A peculiar long β → α loop 4 which exists in α-glucosidase is responsible for the strict recognition of disaccharides owing to steric hindrance. Two residues, Thr203 and Phe297, assisted with Gly228, were found to determine the glycosidic linkage specificity of the substrate at subsite +1. Furthermore, an explanation of the α-glucosidase reaction mechanism is proposed based on the glucosyl-enzyme intermediate structure. PMID:26057678

  5. East vergent structure of Backbone Range: Insights from A-Lan-Yi area and sandbox modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C. A.; Lu, C. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Southern Taiwan, including Pingtung peninsula and Taitung, is the incipient oblique collision zone of Eurasian plate and Philippine Sea plate. The Luzon volcanic arc converged toward Taiwan Island and formed Hengchun Ridge south offshore Taiwan. Thus, Taiwan mountain belt developed from north to south as the Backbone Range, so that we can infer the incipient feature structure from the topography and outcrop study of southern Taiwan. Our field survey of this study concentrated at the southeast coastline of Taiwan, also known as A-Lan-Yi Trail. According to previous study, the deformational structures such as faults and folds are consistent with regional kinematic processes, and the preserved transpression structure is the most important evidence of incipient collision. In this study, we use the sedimentary sequences of study area to trace the regional tectonics from north to south. Discovered structures in this area show the similar kinematic history as the eastern flank of Backbone Range, so that we suggest they are at the same series of a tectonic event. To complete the regional structure mapping in this accessible area, besides the field geological data, we also applied the LiDAR-derived DTM which is a 3D visualization technology to improve our topography information. In addition, we use the sandbox modeling to demonstrate the development of structures in the eastern flank of Backbone Range. After combining the results of field observation and regional structure mapping, this study provides a strong evidence of backthrusting and backfolding deformation during the incipient oblique collision stage.

  6. Variations in the colchicine-binding domain provide insight into the structural switch of tubulin

    PubMed Central

    Dorléans, Audrey; Gigant, Benoît; Ravelli, Raimond B. G.; Mailliet, Patrick; Mikol, Vincent; Knossow, Marcel

    2009-01-01

    Structural changes occur in the αβ-tubulin heterodimer during the microtubule assembly/disassembly cycle. Their most prominent feature is a transition from a straight, microtubular structure to a curved structure. There is a broad range of small molecule compounds that disturbs the microtubule cycle, a class of which targets the colchicine-binding site and prevents microtubule assembly. This class includes compounds with very different chemical structures, and it is presently unknown whether they prevent tubulin polymerization by the same mechanism. To address this issue, we have determined the structures of tubulin complexed with a set of such ligands and show that they interfere with several of the movements of tubulin subunits structural elements upon its transition from curved to straight. We also determined the structure of tubulin unliganded at the colchicine site; this reveals that a β-tubulin loop (termed T7) flips into this site. As with colchicine site ligands, this prevents a helix which is at the interface with α-tubulin from stacking onto a β-tubulin β sheet as in straight protofilaments. Whereas in the presence of these ligands the interference with microtubule assembly gets frozen, by flipping in and out the β-subunit T7 loop participates in a reversible way in the resistance to straightening that opposes microtubule assembly. Our results suggest that it thereby contributes to microtubule dynamic instability. PMID:19666559

  7. Insights into the structure and function of membrane-integrated processive glycosyltransferases

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Yunchen; Hubbard, Caitlin; Purushotham, Pallinti; Zimmer, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    Complex carbohydrates perform essential functions in life, including energy storage, cell signaling, protein targeting, quality control, as well as supporting cell structure and stability. Extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) represent mainly structural polymers and are found in essentially all kingdoms of life. For example, EPS are important biofilm and capsule components in bacteria, represent major constituents in cell walls of fungi, algae, arthropods and plants, and modulate the extracellular matrix in vertebrates. Different mechanisms evolved by which EPS are synthesized. Here, we review the structures and functions of membrane-integrated processive glycosyltransferases (GTs) implicated in the synthesis and secretion of chitin, alginate, hyaluronan and poly-N-acetylglucosamine (PNAG). PMID:26342143

  8. Combined neonicotinoid pesticide and parasite stress alter honeybee queens' physiology and survival.

    PubMed

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Crauser, Didier; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Bonnet, Marc; Cousin, Marianne; Kretzschmar, André; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Le Conte, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Honeybee colony survival strongly relies on the queen to overcome worker losses exposed to combined stressors like pesticides and parasites. Queen's capacity to withstand these stressors is however very little known. The effects of the common neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid in a chronic and sublethal exposure together with the wide distributed parasite Nosema ceranae have therefore been investigated on queen's physiology and survivorship in laboratory and field conditions. Early physiological changes were observed on queens, particularly the increase of enzyme activities (catalase [CAT] and glutathione-S-transferase [GST] in the heads) related to protective responses to xenobiotics and oxidative stress against pesticide and parasite alone or combined. Stressors also alter the activity of two other enzymes (carboxylesterase alpha [CaE α] and carboxylesterase para [CaE p] in the midguts) involved in metabolic and detoxification functions. Furthermore, single and combined effects of pesticide and parasite decrease survivorship of queens introduced into mating hives for three months. Because colony demographic regulation relies on queen's fertility, the compromise of its physiology and life can seriously menace colony survival under pressure of combined stressors. PMID:27578396

  9. Bumblebee learning and memory is impaired by chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid pesticide.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Dara A; Smith, Karen E; Raine, Nigel E

    2015-01-01

    Bumblebees are exposed to pesticides applied for crop protection while foraging on treated plants, with increasing evidence suggesting that this sublethal exposure has implications for pollinator declines. The challenges of navigating and learning to manipulate many different flowers underline the critical role learning plays for the foraging success and survival of bees. We assessed the impacts of both acute and chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of a widely applied neonicotinoid insecticide, thiamethoxam, on bumblebee odour learning and memory. Although bees exposed to acute doses showed conditioned responses less frequently than controls, we found no difference in the number of individuals able to learn at field-realistic exposure levels. However, following chronic pesticide exposure, bees exposed to field-realistic levels learnt more slowly and their short-term memory was significantly impaired following exposure to 2.4 ppb pesticide. These results indicate that field-realistic pesticide exposure can have appreciable impacts on learning and memory, with potential implications for essential individual behaviour and colony fitness. PMID:26568480

  10. Combined neonicotinoid pesticide and parasite stress alter honeybee queens’ physiology and survival

    PubMed Central

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Crauser, Didier; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Bonnet, Marc; Cousin, Marianne; Kretzschmar, André; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Le Conte, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Honeybee colony survival strongly relies on the queen to overcome worker losses exposed to combined stressors like pesticides and parasites. Queen’s capacity to withstand these stressors is however very little known. The effects of the common neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid in a chronic and sublethal exposure together with the wide distributed parasite Nosema ceranae have therefore been investigated on queen’s physiology and survivorship in laboratory and field conditions. Early physiological changes were observed on queens, particularly the increase of enzyme activities (catalase [CAT] and glutathione-S-transferase [GST] in the heads) related to protective responses to xenobiotics and oxidative stress against pesticide and parasite alone or combined. Stressors also alter the activity of two other enzymes (carboxylesterase alpha [CaE α] and carboxylesterase para [CaE p] in the midguts) involved in metabolic and detoxification functions. Furthermore, single and combined effects of pesticide and parasite decrease survivorship of queens introduced into mating hives for three months. Because colony demographic regulation relies on queen’s fertility, the compromise of its physiology and life can seriously menace colony survival under pressure of combined stressors. PMID:27578396

  11. No effect of low-level chronic neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebee learning and fecundity.

    PubMed

    Piiroinen, Saija; Botías, Cristina; Nicholls, Elizabeth; Goulson, Dave

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, many pollinators have declined in abundance and diversity worldwide, presenting a potential threat to agricultural productivity, biodiversity and the functioning of natural ecosystems. One of the most debated factors proposed to be contributing to pollinator declines is exposure to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, a widely used class of systemic insecticide. Also, newly emerging parasites and diseases, thought to be spread via contact with managed honeybees, may pose threats to other pollinators such as bumblebees. Compared to honeybees, bumblebees could be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stressors due to their smaller and more short-lived colonies. Here, we studied the effect of field-realistic, chronic clothianidin exposure and inoculation with the parasite Nosema ceranae on survival, fecundity, sugar water collection and learning using queenless Bombus terrestris audax microcolonies in the laboratory. Chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin had no significant effects on the traits studied. Interestingly, pesticide exposure in combination with additional stress caused by harnessing bees for Proboscis Extension Response (PER) learning assays, led to an increase in mortality. In contrast to previous findings, the bees did not become infected by N. ceranae after experimental inoculation with the parasite spores, suggesting variability in host resistance or parasite virulence. However, this treatment induced a slight, short-term reduction in sugar water collection, potentially through stimulation of the immune system of the bees. Our results suggest that chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin does not have adverse effects on bumblebee fecundity or learning ability. PMID:27014515

  12. Interactions between Nosema microspores and a neonicotinoid weaken honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Alaux, Cédric; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Dussaubat, Claudia; Mondet, Fanny; Tchamitchan, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Brillard, Julien; Baldy, Aurelie; Belzunces, Luc P; Le Conte, Yves

    2010-01-01

    Global pollinators, like honeybees, are declining in abundance and diversity, which can adversely affect natural ecosystems and agriculture. Therefore, we tested the current hypotheses describing honeybee losses as a multifactorial syndrome, by investigating integrative effects of an infectious organism and an insecticide on honeybee health. We demonstrated that the interaction between the microsporidia Nosema and a neonicotinoid (imidacloprid) significantly weakened honeybees. In the short term, the combination of both agents caused the highest individual mortality rates and energetic stress. By quantifying the strength of immunity at both the individual and social levels, we showed that neither the haemocyte number nor the phenoloxidase activity of individuals was affected by the different treatments. However, the activity of glucose oxidase, enabling bees to sterilize colony and brood food, was significantly decreased only by the combination of both factors compared with control, Nosema or imidacloprid groups, suggesting a synergistic interaction and in the long term a higher susceptibility of the colony to pathogens. This provides the first evidences that interaction between an infectious organism and a chemical can also threaten pollinators, interactions that are widely used to eliminate insect pests in integrative pest management. PMID:20050872

  13. Selective extraction and determination of neonicotinoid insecticides in wine by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Cabo, T; Casado, J; Rodríguez, I; Ramil, M; Cela, R

    2016-08-19

    A simplified, high throughput procedure for the determination of five neonicotinoid insecticides in red and white wines, using liquid chromatography (LC)-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), is presented. The effects of different experimental parameters (extraction sorbent, solvent elution and clean-up conditions) in the efficiency and the selectivity of the sample preparation process were assessed through calculation of the extraction yields and the matrix effects (MEs). Wines (10mL) were concentrated using OASIS HLB cartridges, on-line connected to Florisil clean-up cartridges, with acetonitrile serving as the elution solvent. The extract (5mLvol) was concentrated to 1mL and injected in the LC-ESI-MS/MS system. The optimized procedure provided quantitative extraction yields at the same time that the efficiency of ESI ionization remained unchanged between standards and sample extracts. Overall recoveries, calculated against authentic standards in ACN, varied between 77 and 119% and the attained limits of quantification remained below 0.2ngmL(-1). Analysis of commercial wines revealed imidacloprid residues in more than 50% of processed samples, with a maximum level of 14ngmL(-1). PMID:27425763

  14. Diastereoselective metabolism of a novel cis-nitromethylene neonicotinoid paichongding in aerobic soils.

    PubMed

    Fu, Qiuguo; Zhang, Jianbo; Xu, Xiaoyong; Wang, Haiyan; Wang, Wei; Ye, Qingfu; Li, Zhong

    2013-09-17

    Many pesticides are chiral but used as racemic mixtures, even though their stereoisomers are often degraded stereoselectively in soils. Evaluation of degradation of chiral compounds is mostly focused on the enantioselectivity rather than diastereoselectivity/epimer preferences. In this study, we explored the diastereoselective transformation of paichongding (IPP), a novel chiral neonicotinoid with broad-spectrum insecticidal activity, to several degradation intermediates in different soils. (14)C-Labeling coupled with LC-MS/MS and high resolution MS were used to track residues of IPP and identify major transformation metabolites. The stereoisomers of IPP known as 5R, 7R-IPP (RR-IPP), 5S, 7S-IPP (SS-IPP), 5S, 7R-IPP (SR-IPP), and 5R, 7S-IPP (RS-IPP) showed diastereoselective/epimer-selective persistence in all soils except an acidic clay soil. Moreover, IPP was transformed to a range of degradation intermediates (M1-M6), which also showed significant diastereoselective and soil preferential formation. Depropylation, nitrosylation, denitration, demethylation, dehydroxylation, and ketonization contributed to IPP transformation. The diastereoselective degradation of the parent compound and formation of incomplete intermediates implies that diastereomers/epimers should be regarded as different chemicals. The approach of coupling (14)C and MS may be used as an effective tool to understand the environmental processes and risks of other man-made chiral compounds. PMID:23924365

  15. No effect of low-level chronic neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebee learning and fecundity

    PubMed Central

    Botías, Cristina; Nicholls, Elizabeth; Goulson, Dave

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, many pollinators have declined in abundance and diversity worldwide, presenting a potential threat to agricultural productivity, biodiversity and the functioning of natural ecosystems. One of the most debated factors proposed to be contributing to pollinator declines is exposure to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, a widely used class of systemic insecticide. Also, newly emerging parasites and diseases, thought to be spread via contact with managed honeybees, may pose threats to other pollinators such as bumblebees. Compared to honeybees, bumblebees could be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stressors due to their smaller and more short-lived colonies. Here, we studied the effect of field-realistic, chronic clothianidin exposure and inoculation with the parasite Nosema ceranae on survival, fecundity, sugar water collection and learning using queenless Bombus terrestris audax microcolonies in the laboratory. Chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin had no significant effects on the traits studied. Interestingly, pesticide exposure in combination with additional stress caused by harnessing bees for Proboscis Extension Response (PER) learning assays, led to an increase in mortality. In contrast to previous findings, the bees did not become infected by N. ceranae after experimental inoculation with the parasite spores, suggesting variability in host resistance or parasite virulence. However, this treatment induced a slight, short-term reduction in sugar water collection, potentially through stimulation of the immune system of the bees. Our results suggest that chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin does not have adverse effects on bumblebee fecundity or learning ability. PMID:27014515

  16. Temporal Levels of Urinary Neonicotinoid and Dialkylphosphate Concentrations in Japanese Women Between 1994 and 2011.

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Jun; Harada, Kouji H; Koizumi, Akio; Sugiura, Yuka; Kondo, Takaaki; Saito, Isao; Kamijima, Michihiro

    2015-12-15

    Over the last two decades, usage of neonicotinoid (NEO) insecticides has increased due to their high selectivity for insects versus mammals and their effectiveness for extermination of insects resistant to conventional pesticides such as pyrethroids and organophosphates (OPs). However, historical change of the NEO exposure level in humans is poorly understood. The aim of this study is to reveal changes in the levels of NEO and OP exposure in the human body over the last two decades using biomonitoring technique. We quantified urinary concentrations of 7 NEOs (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam) and 4 metabolites of OPs (dimethylphosphate, dimethylthiophosphate, diethylphosphate, and diethylthiophosphate) in 95 adult females aged 45-75 in 1994, 2000, 2003, 2009, and 2011 (n = 17-20 different individuals in each year). The results show that the detection rates of urinary NEOs in Japanese women increased significantly between 1994 and 2011, suggesting that intakes of NEOs into the human body rose during that period. In contrast, exposure to OPs having O,O-dimethyl moieties decreased steadily according to a finding that geometric means of urinary dimethylphosphate concentrations kept diminishing considerably. These changes may reflect the amounts of NEOs and OPs used as insecticides in Japan. PMID:26556224

  17. Bumblebee learning and memory is impaired by chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid pesticide

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Dara A.; Smith, Karen E.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-01-01

    Bumblebees are exposed to pesticides applied for crop protection while foraging on treated plants, with increasing evidence suggesting that this sublethal exposure has implications for pollinator declines. The challenges of navigating and learning to manipulate many different flowers underline the critical role learning plays for the foraging success and survival of bees. We assessed the impacts of both acute and chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of a widely applied neonicotinoid insecticide, thiamethoxam, on bumblebee odour learning and memory. Although bees exposed to acute doses showed conditioned responses less frequently than controls, we found no difference in the number of individuals able to learn at field-realistic exposure levels. However, following chronic pesticide exposure, bees exposed to field-realistic levels learnt more slowly and their short-term memory was significantly impaired following exposure to 2.4 ppb pesticide. These results indicate that field-realistic pesticide exposure can have appreciable impacts on learning and memory, with potential implications for essential individual behaviour and colony fitness. PMID:26568480

  18. Structural insights into Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 mediated prediction of potentially active semiochemicals

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Zhen; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhang, Yalin

    2016-01-01

    Given the advantages of behavioral disruption application in pest control and the damage of Cydia pomonella, due progresses have not been made in searching active semiochemicals for codling moth. In this research, 31 candidate semiochemicals were ranked for their binding potential to Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 (CpomPBP2) by simulated docking, and this sorted result was confirmed by competitive binding assay. This high predicting accuracy of virtual screening led to the construction of a rapid and viable method for semiochemicals searching. By reference to binding mode analyses, hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction were suggested to be two key factors in determining ligand affinity, so is the length of molecule chain. So it is concluded that semiochemicals of appropriate chain length with hydroxyl group or carbonyl group at one head tended to be favored by CpomPBP2. Residues involved in binding with each ligand were pointed out as well, which were verified by computational alanine scanning mutagenesis. Progress made in the present study helps establish an efficient method for predicting potentially active compounds and prepares for the application of high-throughput virtual screening in searching semiochemicals by taking insights into binding mode analyses. PMID:26928635

  19. Structural Insights into the Role of the Cyclic Backbone in a Squash Trypsin Inhibitor*

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Norelle L.; Thorstholm, Louise; Greenwood, Kathryn P.; King, Gordon J.; Rosengren, K. Johan; Heras, Begoña; Martin, Jennifer L.; Craik, David J.

    2013-01-01

    MCoTI-II is a head-to-tail cyclic peptide with potent trypsin inhibitory activity and, on the basis of its exceptional proteolytic stability, is a valuable template for the design of novel drug leads. Insights into inhibitor dynamics and interactions with biological targets are critical for drug design studies, particularly for protease targets. Here, we show that the cyclization and active site loops of MCoTI-II are flexible in solution, but when bound to trypsin, the active site loop converges to a single well defined conformation. This finding of reduced flexibility on binding is in contrast to a recent study on the homologous peptide MCoTI-I, which suggested that regions of the peptide are more flexible upon binding to trypsin. We provide a possible explanation for this discrepancy based on degradation of the complex over time. Our study also unexpectedly shows that the cyclization loop, not present in acyclic homologues, facilitates potent trypsin inhibitory activity by engaging in direct binding interactions with trypsin. PMID:24169696

  20. Water versus DNA: new insights into proton track-structure modelling in radiobiology and radiotherapy.

    PubMed

    Champion, C; Quinto, M A; Monti, J M; Galassi, M E; Weck, P F; Fojón, O A; Hanssen, J; Rivarola, R D

    2015-10-21

    Water is a common surrogate of DNA for modelling the charged particle-induced ionizing processes in living tissue exposed to radiations. The present study aims at scrutinizing the validity of this approximation and then revealing new insights into proton-induced energy transfers by a comparative analysis between water and realistic biological medium. In this context, a self-consistent quantum mechanical modelling of the ionization and electron capture processes is reported within the continuum distorted wave-eikonal initial state framework for both isolated water molecules and DNA components impacted by proton beams. Their respective probability of occurrence-expressed in terms of total cross sections-as well as their energetic signature (potential and kinetic) are assessed in order to clearly emphasize the differences existing between realistic building blocks of living matter and the controverted water-medium surrogate. Consequences in radiobiology and radiotherapy will be discussed in particular in view of treatment planning refinement aiming at better radiotherapy strategies. PMID:26406277

  1. Water versus DNA: New insights into proton track-structure modeling in radiobiology and radiotherapy

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Champion, Christophe; Quinto, Michele A.; Monti, Juan M.; Galassi, Mariel E.; Weck, Philippe F.; Fojon, Omar A.; Hanssen, Jocelyn; Rivarola, Roberto D.

    2015-09-25

    Water is a common surrogate of DNA for modelling the charged particle-induced ionizing processes in living tissue exposed to radiations. The present study aims at scrutinizing the validity of this approximation and then revealing new insights into proton-induced energy transfers by a comparative analysis between water and realistic biological medium. In this context, a self-consistent quantum mechanical modelling of the ionization and electron capture processes is reported within the continuum distorted wave-eikonal initial state framework for both isolated water molecules and DNA components impacted by proton beams. Their respective probability of occurrence-expressed in terms of total cross sections-as well asmore » their energetic signature (potential and kinetic) are assessed in order to clearly emphasize the differences existing between realistic building blocks of living matter and the controverted water-medium surrogate. Thus the consequences in radiobiology and radiotherapy will be discussed in particular in view of treatment planning refinement aiming at better radiotherapy strategies.« less

  2. Water versus DNA: New insights into proton track-structure modeling in radiobiology and radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Champion, Christophe; Galassi, Mariel E.; Weck, Philippe F.; Fojon, Omar A.; Hanssen, Jocelyn; Rivarola, Roberto D.

    2015-09-25

    Water is a common surrogate of DNA for modelling the charged particle-induced ionizing processes in living tissue exposed to radiations. The present study aims at scrutinizing the validity of this approximation and then revealing new insights into proton-induced energy transfers by a comparative analysis between water and realistic biological medium. In this context, a self-consistent quantum mechanical modelling of the ionization and electron capture processes is reported within the continuum distorted wave-eikonal initial state framework for both isolated water molecules and DNA components impacted by proton beams. Their respective probability of occurrence-expressed in terms of total cross sections-as well as their energetic signature (potential and kinetic) are assessed in order to clearly emphasize the differences existing between realistic building blocks of living matter and the controverted water-medium surrogate. Thus the consequences in radiobiology and radiotherapy will be discussed in particular in view of treatment planning refinement aiming at better radiotherapy strategies.

  3. Structural Insight into Processive Human Mitochondrial DNA Synthesis and Disease-Related Polymerase Mutations

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Young-Sam; Kennedy, W. Dexter; Yin, Y. Whitney

    2010-09-07

    Human mitochondrial DNA polymerase (Pol {gamma}) is the sole replicase in mitochondria. Pol {gamma} is vulnerable to nonselective antiretroviral drugs and is increasingly associated with mutations found in patients with mitochondriopathies. We determined crystal structures of the human heterotrimeric Pol {gamma} holoenzyme and, separately, a variant of its processivity factor, Pol {gamma}B. The holoenzyme structure reveals an unexpected assembly of the mitochondrial DNA replicase where the catalytic subunit Pol {gamma}A interacts with its processivity factor primarily via a domain that is absent in all other DNA polymerases. This domain provides a structural module for supporting both the intrinsic processivity of the catalytic subunit alone and the enhanced processivity of holoenzyme. The Pol {gamma} structure also provides a context for interpreting the phenotypes of disease-related mutations in the polymerase and establishes a foundation for understanding the molecular basis of toxicity of anti-retroviral drugs targeting HIV reverse transcriptase.

  4. Crystal Structures of Phosphite Dehydrogenase Provide Insights into Nicotinamide Cofactor Regeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Zou, Yaozhong; Zhang, Houjin; Brunzelle, Joseph S.; Johannes, Tyler W.; Woodyer, Ryan; Hung, John E.; Nair, Nikhil; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Zhao, Huimin; Nair, Satish K.

    2012-08-21

    The enzyme phosphite dehydrogenase (PTDH) catalyzes the NAD{sup +}-dependent conversion of phosphite to phosphate and represents the first biological catalyst that has been shown to conduct the enzymatic oxidation of phosphorus. Despite investigation for more than a decade into both the mechanism of its unusual reaction and its utility in cofactor regeneration, there has been a lack of any structural data for PTDH. Here we present the cocrystal structure of an engineered thermostable variant of PTDH bound to NAD{sup +} (1.7 {angstrom} resolution), as well as four other cocrystal structures of thermostable PTDH and its variants with different ligands (all between 1.85 and 2.3 {angstrom} resolution). These structures provide a molecular framework for understanding prior mutational analysis and point to additional residues, located in the active site, that may contribute to the enzymatic activity of this highly unusual catalyst.

  5. Iron superoxide dismutases in eukaryotic pathogens: new insights from Apicomplexa and Trypanosoma structures

    PubMed Central

    Phan, Isabelle Q. H.; Davies, Douglas R.; Moretti, Nilmar Silvio; Shanmugam, Dhanasekaran; Cestari, Igor; Anupama, Atashi; Fairman, James W.; Edwards, Thomas E.; Stuart, Kenneth; Schenkman, Sergio; Myler, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Prior studies have highlighted the potential of superoxide dismutases as drug targets in eukaryotic pathogens. This report presents the structures of three iron-dependent superoxide dismutases (FeSODs) from Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania major and Babesia bovis. Comparison with existing structures from Plasmodium and other trypanosome isoforms shows a very conserved overall fold with subtle differences. In particular, structural data suggest that B. bovis FeSOD may display similar resistance to peroxynitrite-mediated inactivation via an intramolecular electron-transfer pathway as previously described in T. cruzi FeSOD isoform B, thus providing valuable information for structure-based drug design. Furthermore, lysine-acetylation results in T. cruzi indicate that acetylation occurs at a position close to that responsible for the regulation of acetylation-mediated activity in the human enzyme. PMID:25961325

  6. Genomic organization of the crested ibis MHC provides new insight into ancestral avian MHC structure

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Li-Cheng; Lan, Hong; Sun, Li; Deng, Yan-Li; Tang, Ke-Yi; Wan, Qiu-Hong

    2015-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays an important role in immune response. Avian MHCs are not well characterized, only reporting highly compact Galliformes MHCs and extensively fragmented zebra finch MHC. We report the first genomic structure of an endangered Pelecaniformes (crested ibis) MHC containing 54 genes in three regions spanning ~500 kb. In contrast to the loose BG (26 loci within 265 kb) and Class I (11 within 150) genomic structures, the Core Region is condensed (17 within 85). Furthermore, this Region exhibits a COL11A2 gene, followed by four tandem MHC class II αβ dyads retaining two suites of anciently duplicated “αβ” lineages. Thus, the crested ibis MHC structure is entirely different from the known avian MHC architectures but similar to that of mammalian MHCs, suggesting that the fundamental structure of ancestral avian class II MHCs should be “COL11A2-IIαβ1-IIαβ2.” The gene structures, residue characteristics, and expression levels of the five class I genes reveal inter-locus functional divergence. However, phylogenetic analysis indicates that these five genes generate a well-supported intra-species clade, showing evidence for recent duplications. Our analyses suggest dramatic structural variation among avian MHC lineages, help elucidate avian MHC evolution, and provide a foundation for future conservation studies. PMID:25608659

  7. Structural insights into DNA sequence recognition by Type ISP restriction-modification enzymes.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Manasi; Nirwan, Neha; van Aelst, Kara; Szczelkun, Mark D; Saikrishnan, Kayarat

    2016-05-19

    Engineering restriction enzymes with new sequence specificity has been an unaccomplished challenge, presumably because of the complexity of target recognition. Here we report detailed analyses of target recognition by Type ISP restriction-modification enzymes. We determined the structure of the Type ISP enzyme LlaGI bound to its target and compared it with the previously reported structure of a close homologue that binds to a distinct target, LlaBIII. The comparison revealed that, although the two enzymes use almost a similar set of structural elements for target recognition, the residues that read the bases vary. Change in specificity resulted not only from appropriate substitution of amino acids that contacted the bases but also from new contacts made by positionally distinct residues directly or through a water bridge. Sequence analyses of 552 Type ISP enzymes showed that the structural elements involved in target recognition of LlaGI and LlaBIII were structurally well-conserved but sequentially less-conserved. In addition, the residue positions within these structural elements were under strong evolutionary constraint, highlighting the functional importance of these regions. The comparative study helped decipher a partial consensus code for target recognition by Type ISP enzymes. PMID:26975655

  8. Atomic-scale insights into structural and thermodynamic stability of Pd-Ni bimetallic nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rao; Wen, Yu-Hua; Zhu, Zi-Zhong; Sun, Shi-Gang

    2016-03-30

    Atomic-scale understanding of structures and thermodynamic stability of core-shell nanoparticles is important for both their synthesis and application. In this study, we systematically investigated the structural stability and thermodynamic evolution of core-shell structured Pd-Ni nanoparticles by molecular dynamics simulations. It has been revealed that dislocations and stacking faults occur in the shell and their amounts are strongly dependent on the core/shell ratio. The presence of these defects lowers the structural and thermal stability of these nanoparticles, resulting in even lower melting points than both Pd and Ni monometallic nanoparticles. Furthermore, different melting behaviors have been disclosed in Pd-core/Ni-shell and Ni-core/Pd-shell nanoparticles. These diverse behaviors cause different relationships between the melting temperature and the amount of stacking faults. Our results display direct evidence for the tunable stability of bimetallic nanoparticles. This study provides a fundamental perspective on core-shell structured nanoparticles and has important implications for further tailoring their structural and thermodynamic stability by core/shell ratio or composition controlling. PMID:27003035

  9. A Phasin with Many Faces: Structural Insights on PhaP from Azotobacter sp. FA8

    PubMed Central

    Mezzina, Mariela P.; Wetzler, Diana E.; Catone, Mariela V.; Bucci, Hernan; Di Paola, Matias; Pettinari, M. Julia

    2014-01-01

    Phasins are a group of proteins associated to granules of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Apart from their structural role as part of the PHA granule cover, different structural and regulatory functions have been found associated to many of them, and several biotechnological applications have been developed using phasin protein fusions. Despite their remarkable functional diversity, the structure of these proteins has not been analyzed except in very few studies. PhaP from Azotobacter sp. FA8 (PhaPAz) is a representative of the prevailing type in the multifunctional phasin protein family. Previous work performed in our laboratory using this protein have demonstrated that it has some very peculiar characteristics, such as its stress protecting effects in recombinant Escherichia coli, both in the presence and absence of PHA. The aim of the present work was to perform a structural characterization of this protein, to shed light on its properties. Its aminoacid composition revealed that it lacks clear hydrophobic domains, a characteristic that appears to be common to most phasins, despite their lipid granule binding capacity. The secondary structure of this protein, consisting of α-helices and disordered regions, has a remarkable capacity to change according to its environment. Several experimental data support that it is a tetramer, probably due to interactions between coiled-coil regions. These structural features have also been detected in other phasins, and may be related to their functional diversity. PMID:25077609

  10. Novel complex MAD phasing and RNase H structural insights using selenium oligonucleotides

    SciTech Connect

    Abdur, Rob; Gerlits, Oksana O.; Gan, Jianhua; Jiang, Jiansheng; Salon, Jozef; Kovalevsky, Andrey Y.; Chumanevich, Alexander A.; Weber, Irene T.; Huang, Zhen

    2014-02-01

    Selenium-derivatized oligonucleotides may facilitate phase determination and high-resolution structure determination for protein–nucleic acid crystallography. The Se atom-specific mutagenesis (SAM) strategy may also enhance the study of nuclease catalysis. The crystal structures of protein–nucleic acid complexes are commonly determined using selenium-derivatized proteins via MAD or SAD phasing. Here, the first protein–nucleic acid complex structure determined using selenium-derivatized nucleic acids is reported. The RNase H–RNA/DNA complex is used as an example to demonstrate the proof of principle. The high-resolution crystal structure indicates that this selenium replacement results in a local subtle unwinding of the RNA/DNA substrate duplex, thereby shifting the RNA scissile phosphate closer to the transition state of the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. It was also observed that the scissile phosphate forms a hydrogen bond to the water nucleophile and helps to position the water molecule in the structure. Consistently, it was discovered that the substitution of a single O atom by a Se atom in a guide DNA sequence can largely accelerate RNase H catalysis. These structural and catalytic studies shed new light on the guide-dependent RNA cleavage.

  11. Structural insights into DNA sequence recognition by Type ISP restriction-modification enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Manasi; Nirwan, Neha; van Aelst, Kara; Szczelkun, Mark D.; Saikrishnan, Kayarat

    2016-01-01

    Engineering restriction enzymes with new sequence specificity has been an unaccomplished challenge, presumably because of the complexity of target recognition. Here we report detailed analyses of target recognition by Type ISP restriction-modification enzymes. We determined the structure of the Type ISP enzyme LlaGI bound to its target and compared it with the previously reported structure of a close homologue that binds to a distinct target, LlaBIII. The comparison revealed that, although the two enzymes use almost a similar set of structural elements for target recognition, the residues that read the bases vary. Change in specificity resulted not only from appropriate substitution of amino acids that contacted the bases but also from new contacts made by positionally distinct residues directly or through a water bridge. Sequence analyses of 552 Type ISP enzymes showed that the structural elements involved in target recognition of LlaGI and LlaBIII were structurally well-conserved but sequentially less-conserved. In addition, the residue positions within these structural elements were under strong evolutionary constraint, highlighting the functional importance of these regions. The comparative study helped decipher a partial consensus code for target recognition by Type ISP enzymes. PMID:26975655

  12. Insights into lignin primary structure and deconstruction from Arabidopsis thaliana COMT (caffeic acid O-methyl transferase) mutant Atomt1.

    PubMed

    Moinuddin, Syed G A; Jourdes, Michaël; Laskar, Dhrubojyoti D; Ki, Chanyoung; Cardenas, Claudia L; Kim, Kye-Won; Zhang, Dianzhong; Davin, Laurence B; Lewis, Norman G

    2010-09-01

    The Arabidopsis mutant Atomt1 lignin differs from native lignin in wild type plants, in terms of sinapyl (S) alcohol-derived substructures in fiber cell walls being substituted by 5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol (5OHG)-derived moieties. During programmed lignin assembly, these engender formation of benzodioxane substructures due to intramolecular cyclization of their quinone methides that are transiently formed following 8-O-4' radical-radical coupling. Thioacidolytic cleavage of the 8-O-4' inter-unit linkages in the Atomt1 mutant, relative to the wild type, indicated that cleavable sinapyl (S) and coniferyl (G) alcohol-derived monomeric moieties were stoichiometrically reduced by a circa 2 : 1 ratio. Additionally, lignin degradative analysis resulted in release of a 5OHG-5OHG-G trimer from the Atomt1 mutant, which then underwent further cleavage. Significantly, the trimeric moiety released provides new insight into lignin primary structure: during polymer assembly, the first 5OHG moiety is linked via a C8-O-X inter-unit linkage, whereas subsequent addition of monomers apparently involves sequential addition of 5OHG and G moieties to the growing chain in a 2 : 1 overall stoichiometry. This quantification data thus provides further insight into how inter-unit linkage frequencies in native lignins are apparently conserved (or near conserved) during assembly in both instances, as well as providing additional impetus to resolve how the overall question of lignin macromolecular assembly is controlled in terms of both type of monomer addition and primary sequence. PMID:20652169

  13. Delayed luminescence: a novel technique to obtain new insights into water structure.

    PubMed

    Musumeci, Francesco; Grasso, Rosaria; Lanzanò, Luca; Scordino, Agata; Triglia, Antonio; Tudisco, Salvatore; Gulino, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    Fully understanding the structure of water is a crucial point in biophysics because this liquid is essential in the operation of the engines of life. Many of its amazing anomalies seem to be tailored to support biological processes and, during about a century, several models have been developed to describe the water structuring. In particular, a theory assumes that water is a mixture of domains constituted by two distinct and inter-converting structural species, the low-density water (LDW) and the high-density water (HDW). According to this theory, by using some particular solutes or changing the water temperature, it should be possible to modify the equilibrium between the two species, changing in this way the water behavior in specific biological processes, as in governing the shape and stability of the structures of proteins. In this work, we assess the possibility of obtaining information on the structures induced in water by specific salts or by temperature by measuring the delayed luminescence (DL) of some salt solutions and of water in the super-cooled regime. Previous works have demonstrated that the delayed luminescence of a system is correlated with its dynamic ordered structures. The results show significant DL signals only when the formation of LDW domains is expected. The measurement reveals a similar activation energy for the domains both in aqueous salt solutions and super-cooled water. It is worth noting that the time trend of DL signals suggests the existence of structures unusually long-lasting in time, up to the microsecond range. PMID:23277678

  14. Molecular and Structural Insight into proNGF Engagement of p75NTR and Sortilin

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Dan; Kim, Taeho; Özkan, Engin; Light, Matthew; Torkin, Risa; Teng, Kenneth K.; Hempstead, Barbara L.; Garcia, K. Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Nerve growth factor is initially synthesized as a precursor, proNGF, which is cleaved to release its C-terminal mature form. Recent studies suggest that proNGF is not an inactive precursor, but acts as a signaling ligand distinct from its mature counterpart. Pro- and mature NGF initiate opposing biological responses by utilizing both distinct and shared receptor components. Here, we carry out a structural and biochemical characterization of proNGF interactions with p75NTR and sortilin. We have crystallized proNGF complexed to p75NTR, and present the structure at 3.75 Å resolution. The structure reveals a 2:2 symmetric binding mode, as compared to the asymmetric structure of a previously reported crystal structure of mature NGF complexed to p75NTR, and the 2:2 symmetric complex of Neurotrophin-3 and p75NTR. Here we discuss the possible origins and implications of the different stoichiometries. In the proNGF/p75NTR complex, the pro regions of proNGF are mostly disordered, and two hairpin loops (L2) at the top of NGF dimer have undergone conformational changes in comparison to mature neurotrophin structures, suggesting possible interactions with the pro-peptide. We further explore the binding characteristics of proNGF to sortilin using surface plasmon resonance and cell-based assays, and determine that calcium ions promote the formation of a stable ternary complex of proNGF/sortilin/p75NTR. These results, together with previous structural and mechanistic studies of neurotrophin-receptor interactions, suggest the potential for distinct signaling activities through p75NTR mediated by different neurotrophin-induced conformational changes. PMID:20036257

  15. Structure of Main Protease from Human Coronavirus NL63: Insights for Wide Spectrum Anti-Coronavirus Drug Design

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Fenghua; Chen, Cheng; Tan, Wenjie; Yang, Kailin; Yang, Haitao

    2016-01-01

    First identified in The Netherlands in 2004, human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) was found to cause worldwide infections. Patients infected by HCoV-NL63 are typically young children with upper and lower respiratory tract infection, presenting with symptoms including croup, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia. Unfortunately, there are currently no effective antiviral therapy to contain HCoV-NL63 infection. CoV genomes encode an integral viral component, main protease (Mpro), which is essential for viral replication through proteolytic processing of RNA replicase machinery. Due to the sequence and structural conservation among all CoVs, Mpro has been recognized as an attractive molecular target for rational anti-CoV drug design. Here we present the crystal structure of HCoV-NL63 Mpro in complex with a Michael acceptor inhibitor N3. Structural analysis, consistent with biochemical inhibition results, reveals the molecular mechanism of enzyme inhibition at the highly conservative substrate-recognition pocket. We show such molecular target remains unchanged across 30 clinical isolates of HCoV-NL63 strains. Through comparative study with Mpros from other human CoVs (including the deadly SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) and their related zoonotic CoVs, our structure of HCoV-NL63 Mpro provides critical insight into rational development of wide spectrum antiviral therapeutics to treat infections caused by human CoVs. PMID:26948040

  16. Insights into biodegradation through depth-resolved microbial community functional and structural profiling of a crude-oil contaminant plume.

    PubMed

    Fahrenfeld, Nicole; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M; Bailey, Zach; Pruden, Amy

    2014-10-01

    Small-scale geochemical gradients are a key feature of aquifer contaminant plumes, highlighting the need for functional and structural profiling of corresponding microbial communities on a similar scale. The purpose of this study was to characterize the microbial functional and structural diversity with depth across representative redox zones of a hydrocarbon plume and an adjacent wetland, at the Bemidji Oil Spill site. A combination of quantitative PCR, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and pyrosequencing were applied to vertically sampled sediment cores. Levels of the methanogenic marker gene, methyl coenzyme-M reductase A (mcrA), increased with depth near the oil body center, but were variable with depth further downgradient. Benzoate degradation N (bzdN) hydrocarbon-degradation gene, common to facultatively anaerobic Azoarcus spp., was found at all locations, but was highest near the oil body center. Microbial community structural differences were observed across sediment cores, and bacterial classes containing known hydrocarbon degraders were found to be low in relative abundance. Depth-resolved functional and structural profiling revealed the strongest gradients in the iron-reducing zone, displaying the greatest variability with depth. This study provides important insight into biogeochemical characteristics in different regions of contaminant plumes, which will aid in improving models of contaminant fate and natural attenuation rates. PMID:24760171

  17. Structural and functional insights into tRNA binding and adenosine N1-methylation by an archaeal Trm10 homologue

    PubMed Central

    Van Laer, Bart; Roovers, Martine; Wauters, Lina; Kasprzak, Joanna M.; Dyzma, Michal; Deyaert, Egon; Kumar Singh, Ranjan; Feller, André; Bujnicki, Janusz M.; Droogmans, Louis; Versées, Wim

    2016-01-01

    Purine nucleosides on position 9 of eukaryal and archaeal tRNAs are frequently modified in vivo by the post-transcriptional addition of a methyl group on their N1 atom. The methyltransferase Trm10 is responsible for this modification in both these domains of life. While certain Trm10 orthologues specifically methylate either guanosine or adenosine at position 9 of tRNA, others have a dual specificity. Until now structural information about this enzyme family was only available for the catalytic SPOUT domain of Trm10 proteins that show specificity toward guanosine. Here, we present the first crystal structure of a full length Trm10 orthologue specific for adenosine, revealing next to the catalytic SPOUT domain also N- and C-terminal domains. This structure hence provides crucial insights in the tRNA binding mechanism of this unique monomeric family of SPOUT methyltransferases. Moreover, structural comparison of this adenosine-specific Trm10 orthologue with guanosine-specific Trm10 orthologues suggests that the N1 methylation of adenosine relies on additional catalytic residues. PMID:26673726

  18. Insights into the structure-activity relationships of chiral 1,2-diaminophenylalkane platinum(II) anticancer derivatives.

    PubMed

    Berger, Gilles; Fusaro, Luca; Luhmer, Michel; Czapla-Masztafiak, Joanna; Lipiec, Ewelina; Szlachetko, Jakub; Kayser, Yves; Fernandes, Daniel L A; Sá, Jacinto; Dufrasne, François; Bombard, Sophie

    2015-07-01

    The structure-activity relationships of chiral 1,2-diaminophenylalkane platinum(II) anticancer derivatives are studied, including interactions with telomeric- and genomic-like DNA sequences, the pKa of their diaqua species, structural properties obtained from DFT calculations and resonant X-ray emission spectroscopy. The binding modes of the compounds to telomeric sequences were elucidated, showing no major differences with conventional cis-platinum(II) complexes like cisplatin, supporting that the cis-square planar geometry governs the binding of small Pt(II) complexes to G4 structures. Double-stranded DNA platination kinetics and acid-base constants of the diaqua species of the compounds were measured and compared, highlighting a strong steric dependence of the DNA-binding kinetics, but independent to stereoisomerism. Structural features of the compounds are discussed on the basis of dispersion-corrected DFT, showing that the most active series presents conformers for which the platinum atom is well devoid of steric hindrance. If reactivity indices derived from conceptual DFT do not show evidences for different reactivity between the compounds, RXES experiments provide new insight into the availability of platinum orbitals for binding to nucleophiles. PMID:25982100

  19. Structural Analysis of the Myo1c and Neph1 Complex Provides Insight into the Intracellular Movement of Neph1.

    PubMed

    Arif, Ehtesham; Sharma, Pankaj; Solanki, Ashish; Mallik, Leena; Rathore, Yogendra S; Twal, Waleed O; Nath, Samir K; Gandhi, Darpan; Holzman, Lawrence B; Ostap, E Michael; Ashish; Nihalani, Deepak

    2016-06-01

    The Myo1c motor functions as a cargo transporter supporting various cellular events, including vesicular trafficking, cell migration, and stereociliary movements of hair cells. Although its partial crystal structures were recently described, the structural details of its interaction with cargo proteins remain unknown. This study presents the first structural demonstration of a cargo protein, Neph1, attached to Myo1c, providing novel insights into the role of Myo1c in intracellular movements of this critical slit diaphragm protein. Using small angle X-ray scattering studies, models of predominant solution conformation of unliganded full-length Myo1c and Myo1c bound to Neph1 were constructed. The resulting structures show an extended S-shaped Myo1c with Neph1 attached to its C-terminal tail. Importantly, binding of Neph1 did not induce a significant shape change in Myo1c, indicating this as a spontaneous process or event. Analysis of interaction surfaces led to the identification of a critical residue in Neph1 involved in binding to Myo1c. Indeed, a point mutant from this site abolished interaction between Neph1 and Myo1c when tested in the in vitro and in live-cell binding assays. Live-cell imaging, including fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, provided further support for the role of Myo1c in intracellular vesicular movement of Neph1 and its turnover at the membrane. PMID:27044863

  20. Insights into biodegradation through depth-resolved microbial community functional and structural profiling of a crude-oil contaminant plume

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fahrenfeld, Nicole; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Bailey, Zach; Pruden, Amy

    2014-01-01

    Small-scale geochemical gradients are a key feature of aquifer contaminant plumes, highlighting the need for functional and structural profiling of corresponding microbial communities on a similar scale. The purpose of this study was to characterize the microbial functional and structural diversity with depth across representative redox zones of a hydrocarbon plume and an adjacent wetland, at the Bemidji Oil Spill site. A combination of quantitative PCR, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and pyrosequencing were applied to vertically sampled sediment cores. Levels of the methanogenic marker gene, methyl coenzyme-M reductase A (mcrA), increased with depth near the oil body center, but were variable with depth further downgradient. Benzoate degradation N (bzdN) hydrocarbon-degradation gene, common to facultatively anaerobic Azoarcus spp., was found at all locations, but was highest near the oil body center. Microbial community structural differences were observed across sediment cores, and bacterial classes containing known hydrocarbon degraders were found to be low in relative abundance. Depth-resolved functional and structural profiling revealed the strongest gradients in the iron-reducing zone, displaying the greatest variability with depth. This study provides important insight into biogeochemical characteristics in different regions of contaminant plumes, which will aid in improving models of contaminant fate and natural attenuation rates.