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Sample records for accelerated biological function

  1. Menopause accelerates biological aging

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Morgan E.; Lu, Ake T.; Chen, Brian H.; Hernandez, Dena G.; Singleton, Andrew B.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Bandinelli, Stefania; Salfati, Elias; Manson, JoAnn E.; Quach, Austin; Kusters, Cynthia D. J.; Kuh, Diana; Wong, Andrew; Teschendorff, Andrew E.; Widschwendter, Martin; Ritz, Beate R.; Absher, Devin; Assimes, Themistocles L.; Horvath, Steve

    2016-01-01

    Although epigenetic processes have been linked to aging and disease in other systems, it is not yet known whether they relate to reproductive aging. Recently, we developed a highly accurate epigenetic biomarker of age (known as the “epigenetic clock”), which is based on DNA methylation levels. Here we carry out an epigenetic clock analysis of blood, saliva, and buccal epithelium using data from four large studies: the Women's Health Initiative (n = 1,864); Invecchiare nel Chianti (n = 200); Parkinson's disease, Environment, and Genes (n = 256); and the United Kingdom Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (n = 790). We find that increased epigenetic age acceleration in blood is significantly associated with earlier menopause (P = 0.00091), bilateral oophorectomy (P = 0.0018), and a longer time since menopause (P = 0.017). Conversely, epigenetic age acceleration in buccal epithelium and saliva do not relate to age at menopause; however, a higher epigenetic age in saliva is exhibited in women who undergo bilateral oophorectomy (P = 0.0079), while a lower epigenetic age in buccal epithelium was found for women who underwent menopausal hormone therapy (P = 0.00078). Using genetic data, we find evidence of coheritability between age at menopause and epigenetic age acceleration in blood. Using Mendelian randomization analysis, we find that two SNPs that are highly associated with age at menopause exhibit a significant association with epigenetic age acceleration. Overall, our Mendelian randomization approach and other lines of evidence suggest that menopause accelerates epigenetic aging of blood, but mechanistic studies will be needed to dissect cause-and-effect relationships further. PMID:27457926

  2. Acceleration of cardiovascular-biological age by amphetamine exposure is a power function of chronological age

    PubMed Central

    Norman, Amanda; Hulse, Gary Kenneth

    2017-01-01

    Background Amphetamine abuse is becoming more widespread internationally. The possibility that its many cardiovascular complications are associated with a prematurely aged cardiovascular system, and indeed biological organism systemically, has not been addressed. Methods Radial arterial pulse tonometry was performed using the SphygmoCor system (Sydney). 55 amphetamine exposed patients were compared with 107 tobacco smokers, 483 non-smokers and 68 methadone patients (total=713 patients) from 2006 to 2011. A cardiovascular-biological age (VA) was determined. Results The age of the patient groups was 30.03±0.51–40.45±1.15 years. This was controlled for with linear regression. The sex ratio was the same in all groups. 94% of amphetamine exposed patients had used amphetamine in the previous week. When the (log) VA was regressed against the chronological age (CA) and a substance-type group in both cross-sectional and longitudinal models, models quadratic in CA were superior to linear models (both p<0.02). When log VA/CA was regressed in a mixed effects model against time, body mass index, CA and drug type, the cubic model was superior to the linear model (p=0.001). Interactions between CA, (CA)2 and (CA)3 on the one hand and exposure type were significant from p=0.0120. The effects of amphetamine exposure persisted after adjustment for all known cardiovascular risk factors (p<0.0001). Conclusions These results show that subacute exposure to amphetamines is associated with an advancement of cardiovascular-organismal age both over age and over time, and is robust to adjustment. That this is associated with power functions of age implies a feed-forward positively reinforcing exacerbation of the underlying ageing process. PMID:28243315

  3. Effects and biological limitations of +Gz acceleration on the autonomic functions-related circulation in rats.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Yasuhiro; Maruyama, Satoshi; Shouji, Ichiro; Kemuriyama, Takehito; Tashiro, Akimasa; Ohta, Hiroyuki; Hagisawa, Kohsue; Hiruma, Megumi; Yokoe, Hidetake

    2016-11-01

    The effects of gravitational loading (G load) on humans have been studied ever since the early 20th century. After the dangers of G load in the vertical head-to-leg direction (+Gz load) became evident, many animal experiments were performed between 1920 and 1945 in an effort to identify the origins of high G-force-induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC), which led to development of the anti-G suit. The establishment of norms and training for G-LOC prevention resulted in a gradual decline in reports of animal experiments on G load, a decline that steepened with the establishment of anti-G techniques in humans, such as special breathing methods and skeletal muscle contraction, called an anti-G straining maneuver, which are voluntary physiological functions. Because the issue involves humans during flight, the effects on humans themselves are clearly of great importance, but ethical considerations largely preclude any research on the human body that probes to any depth the endogenous physiological states and functions. The decline in reports on animal experiments may therefore signify a general decline in research into the changes seen in the various involuntary, autonomic functions. The declining number of related reports on investigations of physiological autonomic systems other than the circulatory system seems to bear this out. In this review, we therefore describe our findings on the effects of G load on the autonomic nervous system, cardiac function, cerebral blood flow, tissue oxygen level, and other physiological autonomic functions as measured in animal experiments, including denervation or pharmacological blocking, in an effort to present the limits and the mechanisms of G-load response extending physiologically. We demonstrate previously unrecognized risks due to G load, and also describe fundamental research aimed at countering these effects and development of a scientific training measure devised for actively enhancing +Gz tolerance in involuntary

  4. Accelerating scientific publication in biology.

    PubMed

    Vale, Ronald D

    2015-11-03

    Scientific publications enable results and ideas to be transmitted throughout the scientific community. The number and type of journal publications also have become the primary criteria used in evaluating career advancement. Our analysis suggests that publication practices have changed considerably in the life sciences over the past 30 years. More experimental data are now required for publication, and the average time required for graduate students to publish their first paper has increased and is approaching the desirable duration of PhD training. Because publication is generally a requirement for career progression, schemes to reduce the time of graduate student and postdoctoral training may be difficult to implement without also considering new mechanisms for accelerating communication of their work. The increasing time to publication also delays potential catalytic effects that ensue when many scientists have access to new information. The time has come for life scientists, funding agencies, and publishers to discuss how to communicate new findings in a way that best serves the interests of the public and the scientific community.

  5. Accelerating scientific publication in biology

    PubMed Central

    Vale, Ronald D.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific publications enable results and ideas to be transmitted throughout the scientific community. The number and type of journal publications also have become the primary criteria used in evaluating career advancement. Our analysis suggests that publication practices have changed considerably in the life sciences over the past 30 years. More experimental data are now required for publication, and the average time required for graduate students to publish their first paper has increased and is approaching the desirable duration of PhD training. Because publication is generally a requirement for career progression, schemes to reduce the time of graduate student and postdoctoral training may be difficult to implement without also considering new mechanisms for accelerating communication of their work. The increasing time to publication also delays potential catalytic effects that ensue when many scientists have access to new information. The time has come for life scientists, funding agencies, and publishers to discuss how to communicate new findings in a way that best serves the interests of the public and the scientific community. PMID:26508643

  6. Biological accelerator mass spectrometry at Uppsala University.

    PubMed

    Salehpour, Mehran; Possnert, Göran; Bryhni, Helge; Palminger-Hallén, Ira; Ståhle, Lars

    2009-03-01

    A new research programme for the biological applications of accelerator mass spectrometry has been initiated at Uppsala University and the first results are presented. A (14)C-labelled pharmaceutical substance has been dissolved in human blood, plasma and urine and diluted over 3 orders of magnitude. The measured drug concentrations were found to be in good agreement with the predicted values. Furthermore, the effect of the sample preparation background contribution has been studied as the sample amount was varied down to sub-microl sizes.

  7. Accelerator mass spectrometry of small biological samples.

    PubMed

    Salehpour, Mehran; Forsgard, Niklas; Possnert, Göran

    2008-12-01

    Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is an ultra-sensitive technique for isotopic ratio measurements. In the biomedical field, AMS can be used to measure femtomolar concentrations of labeled drugs in body fluids, with direct applications in early drug development such as Microdosing. Likewise, the regenerative properties of cells which are of fundamental significance in stem-cell research can be determined with an accuracy of a few years by AMS analysis of human DNA. However, AMS nominally requires about 1 mg of carbon per sample which is not always available when dealing with specific body substances such as localized, organ-specific DNA samples. Consequently, it is of analytical interest to develop methods for the routine analysis of small samples in the range of a few tens of microg. We have used a 5 MV Pelletron tandem accelerator to study small biological samples using AMS. Different methods are presented and compared. A (12)C-carrier sample preparation method is described which is potentially more sensitive and less susceptible to contamination than the standard procedures.

  8. Is biological aging accelerated in drug addiction?

    PubMed

    Bachi, Keren; Sierra, Salvador; Volkow, Nora D; Goldstein, Rita Z; Alia-Klein, Nelly

    2017-02-01

    Drug-addiction may trigger early onset of age-related disease, due to drug-induced multi-system toxicity and perilous lifestyle, which remains mostly undetected and untreated. We present the literature on pathophysiological processes that may hasten aging and its relevance to addiction, including: oxidative stress and cellular aging, inflammation in periphery and brain, decline in brain volume and function, and early onset of cardiac, cerebrovascular, kidney, and liver disease. Timely detection of accelerated aging in addiction is crucial for the prevention of premature morbidity and mortality.

  9. Accelerating Yeast Prion Biology using Droplet Microfluidics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ung, Lloyd; Rotem, Assaf; Jarosz, Daniel; Datta, Manoshi; Lindquist, Susan; Weitz, David

    2012-02-01

    Prions are infectious proteins in a misfolded form, that can induce normal proteins to take the misfolded state. Yeast prions are relevant, as a model of human prion diseases, and interesting from an evolutionary standpoint. Prions may also be a form of epigenetic inheritance, which allow yeast to adapt to stressful conditions at rates exceeding those of random mutations and propagate that adaptation to their offspring. Encapsulation of yeast in droplet microfluidic devices enables high-throughput measurements with single cell resolution, which would not be feasible using bulk methods. Millions of populations of yeast can be screened to obtain reliable measurements of prion induction and loss rates. The population dynamics of clonal yeast, when a fraction of the cells are prion expressing, can be elucidated. Furthermore, the mechanism by which certain strains of bacteria induce yeast to express prions in the wild can be deduced. Integrating the disparate fields of prion biology and droplet microfluidics reveals a more complete picture of how prions may be more than just diseases and play a functional role in yeast.

  10. Biological assessments for the low energy demonstration accelerator, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Cross, S.

    1997-03-01

    This report discusses the biological impact to the area around the Los Alamos National Laboratory of the Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator. In particular the impact to the soils, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife are discussed.

  11. Functions in Biological Kind Classification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lombrozo, Tania; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

    Biological traits that serve functions, such as a zebra's coloration (for camouflage) or a kangaroo's tail (for balance), seem to have a special role in conceptual representations for biological kinds. In five experiments, we investigate whether and why functional features are privileged in biological kind classification. Experiment 1…

  12. The relativity of biological function.

    PubMed

    Laubichler, Manfred D; Stadler, Peter F; Prohaska, Sonja J; Nowick, Katja

    2015-12-01

    Function is a central concept in biological theories and explanations. Yet discussions about function are often based on a narrow understanding of biological systems and processes, such as idealized molecular systems or simple evolutionary, i.e., selective, dynamics. Conflicting conceptions of function continue to be used in the scientific literature to support certain claims, for instance about the fraction of "functional DNA" in the human genome. Here we argue that all biologically meaningful interpretations of function are necessarily context dependent. This implies that they derive their meaning as well as their range of applicability only within a specific theoretical and measurement context. We use this framework to shed light on the current debate about functional DNA and argue that without considering explicitly the theoretical and measurement contexts all attempts to integrate biological theories are prone to fail.

  13. Accelerating functional verification of an integrated circuit

    SciTech Connect

    Deindl, Michael; Ruedinger, Jeffrey Joseph; Zoellin, Christian G.

    2015-10-27

    Illustrative embodiments include a method, system, and computer program product for accelerating functional verification in simulation testing of an integrated circuit (IC). Using a processor and a memory, a serial operation is replaced with a direct register access operation, wherein the serial operation is configured to perform bit shifting operation using a register in a simulation of the IC. The serial operation is blocked from manipulating the register in the simulation of the IC. Using the register in the simulation of the IC, the direct register access operation is performed in place of the serial operation.

  14. Accelerators for America's Future Workshop: Medicine and Biology.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Jose R

    2012-11-01

    "Medicine and Biology" was one of five working groups of the "Accelerators for America's Future" Workshop held October 2009. The recently-released workshop report stresses that the leadership position of the United States in fields where accelerators play an important part is being seriously eroded because of lack of coordinated agency support for accelerator research and development. This is particularly true for biology and medicine. Radiation therapy with beams of protons and light ions was pioneered in the United States and has proven successful in the treatment of several different tumor sites in the body. Proton therapy is available in the United States in a number of centers; however, all but one contain accelerator and beam-delivery components manufactured abroad. Light-ion therapy is only available overseas. Why has the United States lost its lead in this field? The Working Group noted that in other countries, central governments are subsidizing construction and technology development by their industries, whereas in the United States funding for purchasing and building clinical facilities must be raised from private sources. As a result, most proton facilities in the United States, by virtue of having to recover investment costs, favor reimbursable treatments, detracting from the development of research protocols. The financial hurdle for starting a light-ion facility in the United States has been totally prohibitive for the private-equity market. While technological advances are being made that will provide some reduction in capital costs, the field will not flourish in the United States until effective funding means are developed that do not put the full burden on the private sector.

  15. The biological function of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

    This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1) contrary to one's intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2) consciousness does have a biological function; and (3) consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM) for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc.) are incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness. PMID:25140159

  16. Determination of higher order accelerations by a functional method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tudosie, C.

    A functional method is developed for the simultaneous determination of all the linear accelerations which exist in the differential equation of a material system dynamics. The method introduces variable angular accelerations of different orders, called direct connection functions, which allow the passing from a linear acceleration of a certain order to that of a higher order. Feedback functions are also introduced which allow the passing from a linear acceleration of a certain order to that of lower orders. This method is applicable to accelerations which occur when passenger trains move rapidly around a curve and at the vertical vibrations of trucks and tractors.

  17. Functional Aspects of Biological Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sneppen, Kim

    2007-03-01

    We discuss biological networks with respect to 1) relative positioning and importance of high degree nodes, 2) function and signaling, 3) logic and dynamics of regulation. Visually the soft modularity of many real world networks can be characterized in terms of number of high and low degrees nodes positioned relative to each other in a landscape analogue with mountains (high-degree nodes) and valleys (low-degree nodes). In these terms biological networks looks like rugged landscapes with separated peaks, hub proteins, which each are roughly as essential as any of the individual proteins on the periphery of the hub. Within each sup-domain of a molecular network one can often identify dynamical feedback mechanisms that falls into combinations of positive and negative feedback circuits. We will illustrate this with examples taken from phage regulation and bacterial uptake and regulation of small molecules. In particular we find that a double negative regulation often are replaced by a single positive link in unrelated organisms with same functional requirements. Overall we argue that network topology primarily reflects functional constraints. References: S. Maslov and K. Sneppen. ``Computational architecture of the yeast regulatory network." Phys. Biol. 2:94 (2005) A. Trusina et al. ``Functional alignment of regulatory networks: A study of temerate phages". Plos Computational Biology 1:7 (2005). J.B. Axelsen et al. ``Degree Landscapes in Scale-Free Networks" physics/0512075 (2005). A. Trusina et al. ``Hierarchy and Anti-Hierarchy in Real and Scale Free networks." PRL 92:178702 (2004) S. Semsey et al. ``Genetic Regulation of Fluxes: Iron Homeostasis of Escherichia coli". (2006) q-bio.MN/0609042

  18. Biocellion: accelerating computer simulation of multicellular biological system models

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Seunghwa; Kahan, Simon; McDermott, Jason; Flann, Nicholas; Shmulevich, Ilya

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Biological system behaviors are often the outcome of complex interactions among a large number of cells and their biotic and abiotic environment. Computational biologists attempt to understand, predict and manipulate biological system behavior through mathematical modeling and computer simulation. Discrete agent-based modeling (in combination with high-resolution grids to model the extracellular environment) is a popular approach for building biological system models. However, the computational complexity of this approach forces computational biologists to resort to coarser resolution approaches to simulate large biological systems. High-performance parallel computers have the potential to address the computing challenge, but writing efficient software for parallel computers is difficult and time-consuming. Results: We have developed Biocellion, a high-performance software framework, to solve this computing challenge using parallel computers. To support a wide range of multicellular biological system models, Biocellion asks users to provide their model specifics by filling the function body of pre-defined model routines. Using Biocellion, modelers without parallel computing expertise can efficiently exploit parallel computers with less effort than writing sequential programs from scratch. We simulate cell sorting, microbial patterning and a bacterial system in soil aggregate as case studies. Availability and implementation: Biocellion runs on x86 compatible systems with the 64 bit Linux operating system and is freely available for academic use. Visit http://biocellion.com for additional information. Contact: seunghwa.kang@pnnl.gov PMID:25064572

  19. GPU accelerated dynamic functional connectivity analysis for functional MRI data.

    PubMed

    Akgün, Devrim; Sakoğlu, Ünal; Esquivel, Johnny; Adinoff, Bryon; Mete, Mutlu

    2015-07-01

    Recent advances in multi-core processors and graphics card based computational technologies have paved the way for an improved and dynamic utilization of parallel computing techniques. Numerous applications have been implemented for the acceleration of computationally-intensive problems in various computational science fields including bioinformatics, in which big data problems are prevalent. In neuroimaging, dynamic functional connectivity (DFC) analysis is a computationally demanding method used to investigate dynamic functional interactions among different brain regions or networks identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. In this study, we implemented and analyzed a parallel DFC algorithm based on thread-based and block-based approaches. The thread-based approach was designed to parallelize DFC computations and was implemented in both Open Multi-Processing (OpenMP) and Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) programming platforms. Another approach developed in this study to better utilize CUDA architecture is the block-based approach, where parallelization involves smaller parts of fMRI time-courses obtained by sliding-windows. Experimental results showed that the proposed parallel design solutions enabled by the GPUs significantly reduce the computation time for DFC analysis. Multicore implementation using OpenMP on 8-core processor provides up to 7.7× speed-up. GPU implementation using CUDA yielded substantial accelerations ranging from 18.5× to 157× speed-up once thread-based and block-based approaches were combined in the analysis. Proposed parallel programming solutions showed that multi-core processor and CUDA-supported GPU implementations accelerated the DFC analyses significantly. Developed algorithms make the DFC analyses more practical for multi-subject studies with more dynamic analyses.

  20. Integrating functional genomics to accelerate mechanistic personalized medicine

    PubMed Central

    Tyner, Jeffrey W.

    2017-01-01

    The advent of deep sequencing technologies has resulted in the deciphering of tremendous amounts of genetic information. These data have led to major discoveries, and many anecdotes now exist of individual patients whose clinical outcomes have benefited from novel, genetically guided therapeutic strategies. However, the majority of genetic events in cancer are currently undrugged, leading to a biological gap between understanding of tumor genetic etiology and translation to improved clinical approaches. Functional screening has made tremendous strides in recent years with the development of new experimental approaches to studying ex vivo and in vivo drug sensitivity. Numerous discoveries and anecdotes also exist for translation of functional screening into novel clinical strategies; however, the current clinical application of functional screening remains largely confined to small clinical trials at specific academic centers. The intersection between genomic and functional approaches represents an ideal modality to accelerate our understanding of drug sensitivities as they relate to specific genetic events and further understand the full mechanisms underlying drug sensitivity patterns. PMID:28299357

  1. Integrating functional genomics to accelerate mechanistic personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    Tyner, Jeffrey W

    2017-03-01

    The advent of deep sequencing technologies has resulted in the deciphering of tremendous amounts of genetic information. These data have led to major discoveries, and many anecdotes now exist of individual patients whose clinical outcomes have benefited from novel, genetically guided therapeutic strategies. However, the majority of genetic events in cancer are currently undrugged, leading to a biological gap between understanding of tumor genetic etiology and translation to improved clinical approaches. Functional screening has made tremendous strides in recent years with the development of new experimental approaches to studying ex vivo and in vivo drug sensitivity. Numerous discoveries and anecdotes also exist for translation of functional screening into novel clinical strategies; however, the current clinical application of functional screening remains largely confined to small clinical trials at specific academic centers. The intersection between genomic and functional approaches represents an ideal modality to accelerate our understanding of drug sensitivities as they relate to specific genetic events and further understand the full mechanisms underlying drug sensitivity patterns.

  2. [The use of biological age on mental work capacity model in accelerated aging assessment of professional lorry-drivers].

    PubMed

    Bashkireva, A S

    2012-01-01

    The studies of biological age, aging rate, mental work capacity in professional drivers were conducted. The examination revealed peculiarities of system organization of functions determining the mental work capacity levels. Dynamics of the aging process of professional driver's organism in relation with calendar age and driving experience were shown using the biological age model. The results point at the premature decrease of the mental work capacity in professional drivers. It was proved, that premature age-related changes of physiologic and psychophysiologic indices in drivers are just "risk indicators", while long driving experience is a real risk factor, accelerating the aging process. The "risk group" with manifestations of accelerating aging was observed in 40-49-year old drivers with 15-19 years of professional experience. The expediency of using the following methods for the age rate estimation according to biologic age indices and necessity of prophylactic measures for premature and accelerated aging prevention among working population was demonstrated.

  3. DNASU plasmid and PSI:Biology-Materials repositories: resources to accelerate biological research.

    PubMed

    Seiler, Catherine Y; Park, Jin G; Sharma, Amit; Hunter, Preston; Surapaneni, Padmini; Sedillo, Casey; Field, James; Algar, Rhys; Price, Andrea; Steel, Jason; Throop, Andrea; Fiacco, Michael; LaBaer, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    The mission of the DNASU Plasmid Repository is to accelerate research by providing high-quality, annotated plasmid samples and online plasmid resources to the research community through the curated DNASU database, website and repository (http://dnasu.asu.edu or http://dnasu.org). The collection includes plasmids from grant-funded, high-throughput cloning projects performed in our laboratory, plasmids from external researchers, and large collections from consortia such as the ORFeome Collaboration and the NIGMS-funded Protein Structure Initiative: Biology (PSI:Biology). Through DNASU, researchers can search for and access detailed information about each plasmid such as the full length gene insert sequence, vector information, associated publications, and links to external resources that provide additional protein annotations and experimental protocols. Plasmids can be requested directly through the DNASU website. DNASU and the PSI:Biology-Materials Repositories were previously described in the 2010 NAR Database Issue (Cormier, C.Y., Mohr, S.E., Zuo, D., Hu, Y., Rolfs, A., Kramer, J., Taycher, E., Kelley, F., Fiacco, M., Turnbull, G. et al. (2010) Protein Structure Initiative Material Repository: an open shared public resource of structural genomics plasmids for the biological community. Nucleic Acids Res., 38, D743-D749.). In this update we will describe the plasmid collection and highlight the new features in the website redesign, including new browse/search options, plasmid annotations and a dynamic vector mapping feature that was developed in collaboration with LabGenius. Overall, these plasmid resources continue to enable research with the goal of elucidating the role of proteins in both normal biological processes and disease.

  4. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

    A complete understanding of life involves how organisms are able to function in their environment and how they arise. Understanding how organisms arise involves both their evolution and development. Thus to completely comprehend living things, biology must study their function, development and evolution. Previous proposals for standardized…

  5. Impaired lymphatic function accelerates cancer growth

    PubMed Central

    Steinskog, Eli Sihn Samdal; Sagstad, Solfrid Johanne; Wagner, Marek; Karlsen, Tine Veronica; Yang, Ning; Markhus, Carl Erik; Yndestad, Synnøve; Wiig, Helge; Eikesdal, Hans Petter

    2016-01-01

    Increased lymphangiogenesis is a common feature of cancer development and progression, yet the influence of impaired lymphangiogenesis on tumor growth is elusive. C3HBA breast cancer and KHT-1 sarcoma cell lines were implanted orthotopically in Chy mice, harboring a heterozygous inactivating mutation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3, resulting in impaired dermal lymphangiogenesis. Accelerated tumor growth was observed in both cancer models in Chy mice, coinciding with reduced peritumoral lymphangiogenesis. An impaired lymphatic washout was observed from the peritumoral area in Chy mice with C3HBA tumors, and the number of macrophages was significantly reduced. While fewer macrophages were detected, the fraction of CD163+ M2 macrophages remained constant, causing a shift towards a higher M2/M1 ratio in Chy mice. No difference in adaptive immune cells was observed between wt and Chy mice. Interestingly, levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory macrophage-associated cytokines were reduced in C3HBA tumors, pointing to an impaired innate immune response. However, IL-6 was profoundly elevated in the C3HBA tumor interstitial fluid, and treatment with the anti-IL-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab inhibited breast cancer growth. Collectively, our data indicate that impaired lymphangiogenesis weakens anti-tumor immunity and favors tumor growth at an early stage of cancer development. PMID:27329584

  6. Dispatching function calls across accelerator devices

    DOEpatents

    Jacob, Arpith C.; Sallenave, Olivier H.

    2017-01-10

    In one embodiment, a computer-implemented method for dispatching a function call includes receiving, at a supervisor processing element (PE) and from an origin PE, an identifier of a target device, a stack frame of the origin PE, and an address of a function called from the origin PE. The supervisor PE allocates a target PE of the target device. The supervisor PE copies the stack frame of the origin PE to a new stack frame on a call stack of the target PE. The supervisor PE instructs the target PE to execute the function. The supervisor PE receives a notification that execution of the function is complete. The supervisor PE copies the stack frame of the target PE to the stack frame of the origin PE. The supervisor PE releases the target PE of the target device. The supervisor PE instructs the origin PE to resume execution of the program.

  7. Dispatching function calls across accelerator devices

    DOEpatents

    Jacob, Arpith C.; Sallenave, Olivier H.

    2017-01-17

    In one embodiment, a computer-implemented method for dispatching a function call includes receiving, at a supervisor processing element (PE) and from an origin PE, an identifier of a target device, a stack frame of the origin PE, and an address of a function called from the origin PE. The supervisor PE allocates a target PE of the target device. The supervisor PE copies the stack frame of the origin PE to a new stack frame on a call stack of the target PE. The supervisor PE instructs the target PE to execute the function. The supervisor PE receives a notification that execution of the function is complete. The supervisor PE copies the stack frame of the target PE to the stack frame of the origin PE. The supervisor PE releases the target PE of the target device. The supervisor PE instructs the origin PE to resume execution of the program.

  8. Functional Translational Readthrough: A Systems Biology Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Schueren, Fabian

    2016-01-01

    Translational readthrough (TR) has come into renewed focus because systems biology approaches have identified the first human genes undergoing functional translational readthrough (FTR). FTR creates functional extensions to proteins by continuing translation of the mRNA downstream of the stop codon. Here we review recent developments in TR research with a focus on the identification of FTR in humans and the systems biology methods that have spurred these discoveries. PMID:27490485

  9. Fast economic development accelerates biological invasions in China.

    PubMed

    Lin, Wen; Zhou, Guofa; Cheng, Xinyue; Xu, Rumei

    2007-11-21

    Increasing levels of global trade and intercontinental travel have been cited as the major causes of biological invasion. However, indirect factors such as economic development that affect the intensity of invasion have not been quantitatively explored. Herein, using principal factor analysis, we investigated the relationship between biological invasion and economic development together with climatic information for China from the 1970s to present. We demonstrate that the increase in biological invasion is coincident with the rapid economic development that has occurred in China over the past three decades. The results indicate that the geographic prevalence of invasive species varies substantially on the provincial scale, but can be surprisingly well predicted using the combination of economic development (R(2) = 0.378) and climatic factors (R(2) = 0.347). Economic factors are proven to be at least equal to if not more determinant of the occurrence of invasive species than climatic factors. International travel and trade are shown to have played a less significant role in accounting for the intensity of biological invasion in China. Our results demonstrate that more attention should be paid to economic factors to improve the understanding, prediction and management of biological invasions.

  10. Metacognition: computation, biology and function

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Stephen M.; Dolan, Raymond J.; Frith, Christopher D.

    2012-01-01

    Many complex systems maintain a self-referential check and balance. In animals, such reflective monitoring and control processes have been grouped under the rubric of metacognition. In this introductory article to a Theme Issue on metacognition, we review recent and rapidly progressing developments from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computer science and philosophy of mind. While each of these areas is represented in detail by individual contributions to the volume, we take this opportunity to draw links between disciplines, and highlight areas where further integration is needed. Specifically, we cover the definition, measurement, neurobiology and possible functions of metacognition, and assess the relationship between metacognition and consciousness. We propose a framework in which level of representation, order of behaviour and access consciousness are orthogonal dimensions of the conceptual landscape. PMID:22492746

  11. Metacognition: computation, biology and function.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Stephen M; Dolan, Raymond J; Frith, Christopher D

    2012-05-19

    Many complex systems maintain a self-referential check and balance. In animals, such reflective monitoring and control processes have been grouped under the rubric of metacognition. In this introductory article to a Theme Issue on metacognition, we review recent and rapidly progressing developments from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, computer science and philosophy of mind. While each of these areas is represented in detail by individual contributions to the volume, we take this opportunity to draw links between disciplines, and highlight areas where further integration is needed. Specifically, we cover the definition, measurement, neurobiology and possible functions of metacognition, and assess the relationship between metacognition and consciousness. We propose a framework in which level of representation, order of behaviour and access consciousness are orthogonal dimensions of the conceptual landscape.

  12. Leg joint function during walking acceleration and deceleration.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Mu; Jindrich, Devin L

    2016-01-04

    Although constant-average-velocity walking has been extensively studied, less is known about walking maneuvers that change speed. We investigated the function of individual leg joints when humans walked at a constant speed, accelerated or decelerated. We hypothesized that leg joints make different functional contributions to maneuvers. Specifically, we hypothesized that the hip generates positive mechanical work (acting like a "motor"), the knee generates little mechanical work (acting like a "strut"), and the ankle absorbs energy during the first half of stance and generates energy during the second half (consistent with "spring"-like function). We recorded full body kinematics and kinetics, used inverse dynamics to estimate net joint moments, and decomposed joint function into strut-, motor-, damper-, and spring-like components using indices based on net joint work. Although overall leg mechanics were primarily strut-like, individual joints did not act as struts during stance. The hip functioned as a power generating "motor," and ankle function was consistent with spring-like behavior. Even though net knee work was small, the knee did not behave solely as a strut but also showed motor-, and damper-like function. Acceleration involved increased motor-like function of the hip and ankle. Deceleration involved decreased hip motor-like function and ankle spring-like function and increased damping at the knee and ankle. Changes to joint mechanical work were primarily due to changes in joint angular displacements and not net moments. Overall, joints maintain different functional roles during unsteady locomotion.

  13. Accelerating cancer systems biology research through Semantic Web technology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhihui; Sagotsky, Jonathan; Taylor, Thomas; Shironoshita, Patrick; Deisboeck, Thomas S

    2013-01-01

    Cancer systems biology is an interdisciplinary, rapidly expanding research field in which collaborations are a critical means to advance the field. Yet the prevalent database technologies often isolate data rather than making it easily accessible. The Semantic Web has the potential to help facilitate web-based collaborative cancer research by presenting data in a manner that is self-descriptive, human and machine readable, and easily sharable. We have created a semantically linked online Digital Model Repository (DMR) for storing, managing, executing, annotating, and sharing computational cancer models. Within the DMR, distributed, multidisciplinary, and inter-organizational teams can collaborate on projects, without forfeiting intellectual property. This is achieved by the introduction of a new stakeholder to the collaboration workflow, the institutional licensing officer, part of the Technology Transfer Office. Furthermore, the DMR has achieved silver level compatibility with the National Cancer Institute's caBIG, so users can interact with the DMR not only through a web browser but also through a semantically annotated and secure web service. We also discuss the technology behind the DMR leveraging the Semantic Web, ontologies, and grid computing to provide secure inter-institutional collaboration on cancer modeling projects, online grid-based execution of shared models, and the collaboration workflow protecting researchers' intellectual property.

  14. Measurement of acceleration: a new method of monitoring neuromuscular function.

    PubMed

    Viby-Mogensen, J; Jensen, E; Werner, M; Nielsen, H K

    1988-01-01

    A new method for monitoring neuromuscular function based on measurement of acceleration is presented. The rationale behind the method is Newton's second law, stating that the acceleration is directly proportional to the force. For measurement of acceleration, a piezo-electric ceramic wafer was used. When this piezo electrode was fixed to the thumb, an electrical signal proportional to the acceleration was produced whenever the thumb moved in response to nerve stimulation. The electrical signal was registered and analysed in a Myograph 2000 neuromuscular transmission monitor. In 35 patients anaesthetized with halothane, train-of-four ratios measured with the accelerometer (ACT-TOF) were compared with simultaneous mechanical train-of-four ratios (FDT-TOF). Control ACT-TOF ratios were significantly higher than control FDT-TOF ratios: 116 +/- 12 and 98 +/- 4 (mean +/- s.d.), respectively. In five patients not given any relaxant during the anaesthetic procedure (20-60 min), both responses were remarkably constant. In 30 patients given vecuronium, a close linear relationship was found during recovery between ACT-TOF and FDT-TOF ratios. It is concluded that the method fulfils the basic requirements for a simple and reliable clinical monitoring tool.

  15. Phenological response of a key ecosystem function to biological invasion.

    PubMed

    Alp, Maria; Cucherousset, Julien; Buoro, Mathieu; Lecerf, Antoine

    2016-05-01

    Although climate warming has been widely demonstrated to induce shifts in the timing of many biological events, the phenological consequences of other prominent global change drivers remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of biological invasions on the seasonality of leaf litter decomposition, a crucial freshwater ecosystem function. Decomposition rates were quantified in 18 temperate shallow lakes distributed along a gradient of crayfish invasion and a temperature-based model was constructed to predict yearly patterns of decomposition. We found that, through direct detritus consumption, omnivorous invasive crayfish accelerated decomposition rates up to fivefold in spring, enhancing temperature dependence of the process and shortening the period of major detritus availability in the ecosystem by up to 39 days (95% CI: 15-61). The fact that our estimates are an order of magnitude higher than any previously reported climate-driven phenological shifts indicates that some powerful drivers of phenological change have been largely overlooked.

  16. Biological and medical research with accelerated heavy ions at the Bevalac, 1977-1980. [Lead abstract

    SciTech Connect

    Pirruccello, M.C.; Tobias, C.A.

    1980-11-01

    Separate abstracts were prepared for the 46 papers presented in this progress report. This report is a major review of studies with accelerated heavy ions carried out by the Biology and Medicine Division of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory from 1977 to 1980. (KRM)

  17. Accelerating Computation of Large Biological Datasets using MapReduce Framework.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chao; Dai, Dong; Li, Xi; Wang, Aili; Zhou, Xuehai

    2016-04-05

    The maximal information coefficient (MIC) has been proposed to discover relationships and associations between pairs of variables. It poses significant challenges for bioinformatics scientists to accelerate the MIC calculation, especially in genome sequencing and biological annotations. In this paper we explore a parallel approach which uses MapReduce framework to improve the computing efficiency and throughput of the MIC computation. The acceleration system includes biological data storage on HDFS, preprocessing algorithms, distributed memory cache mechanism, and the partition of MapReduce jobs. Based on the acceleration approach, we extend the traditional two-variable algorithm to multiple variables algorithm. The experimental results show that our parallel solution provides a linear speedup comparing with original algorithm without affecting the correctness and sensitivity.

  18. [Biological functions of tin and disease].

    PubMed

    Arakawa, Yasuaki; Tomiyama, Kenichi

    2016-07-01

    Tin generates a wide variety of biological functions due to its chemical character. In this article, the modes of the biological functions of tin(especially organotin compounds) are reviewed, with special emphasis on the connection with the immune system, brain nervous system and endocrine system, on the basis of our data. To sum up this article, the biological functions of organotin compounds appear to be due to the following several processes: (1) their incorporation into the cells in vesicle form through fusion or in a similar manner to their incorporation in cationic form; (2) transport to and accumulation in the regions of the Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but not to or in the plasma membrane or nucleus because of their hydrophobicity; (3) inhibition of intracellular phospholipid transport between organelles due to impairment of the structures and functions of the Golgi apparatus and ER; (4) inhibition of the membrane-mediated signal transduction system leading to DNA synthesis via phospholipid turnover and Ca2+ mobilization, as in cell proliferation systems; (5) disturbance of the trace element balance and the localization of certain elements; (6) disorders of membrane-mediated Ca2+ homeostasis via various channel functions including Zn modulation on the plasma and organelle membranes, and protein phosphorylation, as in the signal transduction systems of memory and olfaction; (7) necrosis or apoptosis in vivo or toxic cell death in vitro.

  19. Particle Accelerator Applications: Ion and Electron Irradiation in Materials Science, Biology and Medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Fernández, Luis

    2010-09-01

    Although the developments of particle accelerators are devoted to basic study of matter constituents, since the beginning these machines have been applied with different purposes in many areas also. Today particle accelerators are essential instruments for science and technology. This work presents an overview of the main application for direct particle irradiation with accelerator in material science, biology and medicine. They are used for material synthesis by ion implantation and charged particle irradiation; to make coatings and micromachining; to characterize broad kind of samples by ion beam analysis techniques; as mass spectrometers for atomic isotopes determination. In biomedicine the accelerators are applied for the study of effects by charged particles on cells. In medicine the radiotherapy by electron irradiation is widely used, while hadrontherapy is still under development. Also, they are necessary for short life radioisotopes production required in radiodiagnostic.

  20. Particle Accelerator Applications: Ion and Electron Irradiation in Materials Science, Biology and Medicine

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez-Fernandez, Luis

    2010-09-10

    Although the developments of particle accelerators are devoted to basic study of matter constituents, since the beginning these machines have been applied with different purposes in many areas also. Today particle accelerators are essential instruments for science and technology. This work presents an overview of the main application for direct particle irradiation with accelerator in material science, biology and medicine. They are used for material synthesis by ion implantation and charged particle irradiation; to make coatings and micromachining; to characterize broad kind of samples by ion beam analysis techniques; as mass spectrometers for atomic isotopes determination. In biomedicine the accelerators are applied for the study of effects by charged particles on cells. In medicine the radiotherapy by electron irradiation is widely used, while hadrontherapy is still under development. Also, they are necessary for short life radioisotopes production required in radiodiagnostic.

  1. Engineering functionality gradients by dip coating process in acceleration mode.

    PubMed

    Faustini, Marco; Ceratti, Davide R; Louis, Benjamin; Boudot, Mickael; Albouy, Pierre-Antoine; Boissière, Cédric; Grosso, David

    2014-10-08

    In this work, unique functional devices exhibiting controlled gradients of properties are fabricated by dip-coating process in acceleration mode. Through this new approach, thin films with "on-demand" thickness graded profiles at the submillimeter scale are prepared in an easy and versatile way, compatible for large-scale production. The technique is adapted to several relevant materials, including sol-gel dense and mesoporous metal oxides, block copolymers, metal-organic framework colloids, and commercial photoresists. In the first part of the Article, an investigation on the effect of the dip coating speed variation on the thickness profiles is reported together with the critical roles played by the evaporation rate and by the viscosity on the fluid draining-induced film formation. In the second part, dip-coating in acceleration mode is used to induce controlled variation of functionalities by playing on structural, chemical, or dimensional variations in nano- and microsystems. In order to demonstrate the full potentiality and versatility of the technique, original graded functional devices are made including optical interferometry mirrors with bidirectional gradients, one-dimensional photonic crystals with a stop-band gradient, graded microfluidic channels, and wetting gradient to induce droplet motion.

  2. Functionalizing Electrospun Fibers with Biologically Relevant Macromolecules

    PubMed Central

    Casper, Cheryl L.; Yamaguchi, Nori; Kiick, Kristi L.; Rabolt, John F.

    2008-01-01

    The development of functionalized polymers that can elicit specific biological responses is of great interest in the biomedical community, as well as the development of methods to fabricate these biologically functionalized polymers. For example, the generation of fibrous matrices with biological properties and fiber diameters commensurate with those of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) may permit the development of novel materials for use in wound healing or tissue engineering. The goal of this work is, therefore, to create a biologically active functionalized electrospun matrix to permit immobilization and long-term delivery of growth factors. In this work, poly(ethylene glycol) functionalized with low molecular weight heparin (PEG-LMWH) was fabricated into fibers for possible use in drug delivery, tissue engineering, or wound repair applications. Electrospinning was chosen to process the LMWH into fiber form due to the small fiber diameters and high degree of porosity that can be obtained relatively quickly and using small amounts of starting material. Both free LMWH and PEG-LMWH were investigated for their ability to be incorporated into electrospun fibers. Each of the samples were mixed with a carrier polymer consisting of either a 10 wt % poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) or 45 wt % poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA). Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), UV–vis spectroscopy, and multiphoton microscopy were used to characterize the electrospun matrices. The incorporation of heparin into the electrospun PEO and PLGA fibers did not affect the surface morphology or fiber diameters. The fibers produced had diameters ranging from approximately 100 to 400 nm. Toluidine blue assays of heparin suggest that it can be incorporated into an electrospun matrix at concentrations ranging from 3.5 to 85 μg per milligram of electrospun fibers. Multiphoton microscopy confirmed that incorporation of PEG-LMWH into the matrix

  3. Marine Carotenoids: Biological Functions and Commercial Applications

    PubMed Central

    Vílchez, Carlos; Forján, Eduardo; Cuaresma, María; Bédmar, Francisco; Garbayo, Inés; Vega, José M.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon. PMID:21556162

  4. Aegerolysins: Structure, function, and putative biological role

    PubMed Central

    Berne, Sabina; Lah, Ljerka; Sepčić, Kristina

    2009-01-01

    Aegerolysins, discovered in fungi, bacteria and plants, are highly similar proteins with interesting biological properties. Certain aegerolysins possess antitumoral, antiproliferative, and antibacterial activities. Further possible medicinal applications include their use in the prevention of atherosclerosis, or as vaccines. Additional biotechnological value of fungal aegerolysins lies in their involvement in development, which could improve cultivation of commercially important edible mushrooms. Besides, new insights on microheterogeneity of raft-like membrane domains could be gained by using aegerolysins as specific markers in cell and molecular biology. Although the exact function of aegerolysins in their producing organisms remains to be explained, they are biochemically well characterized all-β structured proteins sharing the following common features: low isoelectric points, similar molecular weights (15–17 kDa), and stability in a wide pH range. PMID:19309687

  5. Marine carotenoids: biological functions and commercial applications.

    PubMed

    Vílchez, Carlos; Forján, Eduardo; Cuaresma, María; Bédmar, Francisco; Garbayo, Inés; Vega, José M

    2011-03-03

    Carotenoids are the most common pigments in nature and are synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and fungi. Carotenoids are considered key molecules for life. Light capture, photosynthesis photoprotection, excess light dissipation and quenching of singlet oxygen are among key biological functions of carotenoids relevant for life on earth. Biological properties of carotenoids allow for a wide range of commercial applications. Indeed, recent interest in the carotenoids has been mainly for their nutraceutical properties. A large number of scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of carotenoids to health and their use for this purpose is growing rapidly. In addition, carotenoids have traditionally been used in food and animal feed for their color properties. Carotenoids are also known to improve consumer perception of quality; an example is the addition of carotenoids to fish feed to impart color to farmed salmon.

  6. [Structure and biologic function of IFNgamma].

    PubMed

    Nammous, Abdul Halim; Pietruczuk, Małgorzata; Zubacki, Dymitr; Dobrzycki, Ignacy

    2005-01-01

    IFNgamma is a pro-inflammatory, pleiotropic cytokine mainly produced by the CD4+, CD8+ lymphocytes and NK cells, that play an important role in macrophage activation, antigen presentation enhance and induce innate, and acquired immune responses. IFNgamma by interaction with they cell-surface receptors (IFNgammaR) activates cellular effects including stimulation of antiviral and antimicrobial mechanisms, inhibition of cellular proliferation, regulates cells apoptosis and leukocyte trafficing to sites of inflammation. The purpose of this article is to present the current understending of structure and biological function of IFNgamma in the light of current opinions regarding this matter.

  7. Anti-Muscarinic Adjunct Therapy Accelerates Functional Human Oligodendrocyte Repair

    PubMed Central

    Abiraman, Kavitha; Pol, Suyog U.; O'Bara, Melanie A.; Chen, Guang-Di; Khaku, Zainab M.; Wang, Jing; Thorn, David; Vedia, Bansi H.; Ekwegbalu, Ezinne C.; Li, Jun-Xu; Salvi, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Therapeutic repair of myelin disorders may be limited by the relatively slow rate of human oligodendrocyte differentiation. To identify appropriate pharmacological targets with which to accelerate differentiation of human oligodendrocyte progenitors (hOPCs) directly, we used CD140a/O4-based FACS of human forebrain and microarray to hOPC-specific receptors. Among these, we identified CHRM3, a M3R muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, as being restricted to oligodendrocyte-biased CD140a+O4+ cells. Muscarinic agonist treatment of hOPCs resulted in a specific and dose-dependent blockade of oligodendrocyte commitment. Conversely, when hOPCs were cocultured with human neurons, M3R antagonist treatment stimulated oligodendrocytic differentiation. Systemic treatment with solifenacin, an FDA-approved muscarinic receptor antagonist, increased oligodendrocyte differentiation of transplanted hOPCs in hypomyelinated shiverer/rag2 brain. Importantly, solifenacin treatment of engrafted animals reduced auditory brainstem response interpeak latency, indicative of increased conduction velocity and thereby enhanced functional repair. Therefore, solifenacin and other selective muscarinic antagonists represent new adjunct approaches to accelerate repair by engrafted human progenitors. PMID:25716865

  8. Transcription factor binding energy vs. biological function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Djordjevic, M.; Grotewold, E.

    2007-03-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) are proteins that bind to DNA and regulate expression of genes. Identification of transcription factor binding sites within the regulatory segments of genomic DNA is an important step towards understanding of gene regulatory networks. Recent theoretical advances that we developed [1,2], allow us to infer TF-DNA interaction parameters from in-vitro selection experiments [3]. We use more than 6000 binding sequences [3], assembled under controlled conditions, to obtain protein-DNA interaction parameters for a mammalian TF with up to now unprecedented accuracy. Can one accurately identify biologically functional TF binding sites (i.e. the binding sites that regulate gene expression), even with the best possible protein-DNA interaction parameters? To address this issue we i) compare our prediction of protein binding with gene expression data, ii) use evolutionary comparison between related mammalian genomes. Our results strongly suggest that in a genome there exists a large number of randomly occurring high energy binding sites that are not biologically functional. [1] M Djordjevic, submitted to Biomol. Eng. [2] M. Djordjevic and A. M. Sengupta, Phys. Biol. 3: 13, 2006. [3] E. Roulet et al., Nature Biotech. 20: 831, 2002.

  9. Wet Lab Accelerator: A Web-Based Application Democratizing Laboratory Automation for Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Bates, Maxwell; Berliner, Aaron J; Lachoff, Joe; Jaschke, Paul R; Groban, Eli S

    2017-01-20

    Wet Lab Accelerator (WLA) is a cloud-based tool that allows a scientist to conduct biology via robotic control without the need for any programming knowledge. A drag and drop interface provides a convenient and user-friendly method of generating biological protocols. Graphically developed protocols are turned into programmatic instruction lists required to conduct experiments at the cloud laboratory Transcriptic. Prior to the development of WLA, biologists were required to write in a programming language called "Autoprotocol" in order to work with Transcriptic. WLA relies on a new abstraction layer we call "Omniprotocol" to convert the graphical experimental description into lower level Autoprotocol language, which then directs robots at Transcriptic. While WLA has only been tested at Transcriptic, the conversion of graphically laid out experimental steps into Autoprotocol is generic, allowing extension of WLA into other cloud laboratories in the future. WLA hopes to democratize biology by bringing automation to general biologists.

  10. Frameworks for programming biological function through RNA parts and devices

    PubMed Central

    Win, Maung Nyan; Liang, Joe C.; Smolke, Christina D.

    2009-01-01

    One of the long-term goals of synthetic biology is to reliably engineer biological systems that perform human-defined functions. Currently, researchers face several scientific and technical challenges in designing and building biological systems, one of which is associated with our limited ability to access, transmit, and control molecular information through the design of functional biomolecules exhibiting novel properties. The fields of RNA biology and nucleic acid engineering, along with the tremendous interdisciplinary growth of synthetic biology, are fueling advances in the emerging field of RNA programming in living systems. Researchers are designing functional RNA molecules that exhibit increasingly complex functions and integrating these molecules into cellular circuits to program higher-level biological functions. The continued integration and growth of RNA design and synthetic biology presents exciting potential to transform how we interact with and program biology. PMID:19318211

  11. Do US Black Women Experience Stress-Related Accelerated Biological Aging?

    PubMed Central

    Hicken, Margaret T.; Pearson, Jay A.; Seashols, Sarah J.; Brown, Kelly L.; Cruz, Tracey Dawson

    2010-01-01

    We hypothesize that black women experience accelerated biological aging in response to repeated or prolonged adaptation to subjective and objective stressors. Drawing on stress physiology and ethnographic, social science, and public health literature, we lay out the rationale for this hypothesis. We also perform a first population-based test of its plausibility, focusing on telomere length, a biomeasure of aging that may be shortened by stressors. Analyzing data from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), we estimate that at ages 49–55, black women are 7.5 years biologically “older” than white women. Indicators of perceived stress and poverty account for 27% of this difference. Data limitations preclude assessing objective stressors and also result in imprecise estimates, limiting our ability to draw firm inferences. Further investigation of black-white differences in telomere length using large-population-based samples of broad age range and with detailed measures of environmental stressors is merited. PMID:20436780

  12. An interdisciplinary approach to study individuality in biological and physical systems functioning

    PubMed Central

    Mygal, V. P.; But, A. V.; Mygal, G. V.; Klimenko, I. A.

    2016-01-01

    Signals of system functioning of different nature are presented in the parameter space (state-velocity-acceleration) as a trajectory of dynamic events. Such signals geometrization allows to reveal the hidden spatio-temporal correlation in dynamics of systems functioning. It is shown that the nature of relationship between the dynamic parameters of signal determines the natural cycle of sensor functioning. Its restructuring displays the inherited features of systems functioning in signature package. The universal differential-geometry parameters and new integrative indexes of system functioning are used to analyze the signatures of biological and physical signals. PMID:27412253

  13. The Structure and Function of Biological Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Daniel Duanqing

    2010-01-01

    Biology has been revolutionized in recent years by an explosion in the availability of data. Transforming this new wealth of data into meaningful biological insights and clinical breakthroughs requires a complete overhaul both in the questions being asked and the methodologies used to answer them. A major challenge in organizing and understanding…

  14. Subspace accelerated inexact Newton method for large scale wave functions calculations in Density Functional Theory

    SciTech Connect

    Fattebert, J

    2008-07-29

    We describe an iterative algorithm to solve electronic structure problems in Density Functional Theory. The approach is presented as a Subspace Accelerated Inexact Newton (SAIN) solver for the non-linear Kohn-Sham equations. It is related to a class of iterative algorithms known as RMM-DIIS in the electronic structure community. The method is illustrated with examples of real applications using a finite difference discretization and multigrid preconditioning.

  15. Biological assessments for the low energy demonstration accelerator, 1996 and 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Cross, S.

    1998-12-31

    The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to build, install, and operate a Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator (LMA) in Technical Area 53 of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). LEDA will demonstrate the accelerator technology necessary to produce tritium, but is not designed to produce tritium at LANL. USFWS reviewers of the Biological Assessment prepared for LEDA insisted that the main drainage be monitored to measure and document changes to vegetation, soils, wildlife, and habitats due to LEDA effluent discharges. The Biology Team of ESH-20 (LANL`s Ecology Group) has performed these monitoring activities during 1996 and 1997 to document baseline conditions before LEDA released significant effluent discharges. Quarterly monitoring of the outfall which will discharge LEDA blowdown effluent had one exceedance of permitted parameters, a high chlorine discharge that was quickly remedied. Samples from 12 soil pits in the drainage area contained no hydric indicators, such as organic matter in the upper layers, streaking, organic pans, and oxidized rhizospheres. Vegetation transacts in the meadows that LEDA discharges will flow through contained 44 species of herbaceous plants, all upland taxa. Surveys of resident birds, reptiles, and amphibians documented a fauna typical of local dry canyons. No threatened or endangered species inhabit the project area, but increased effluent releases may make the area more attractive to many wildlife species, an endangered raptor, and several other species of concern. Biological best management practices especially designed for LEDA are discussed, including protection of floodplains, erosion control measures, hazards posed by increased usage of the area by deer and elk and revegetation of disturbed areas.

  16. Dynamics of biomolecules, ligand binding & biological functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Myunggi

    Proteins are flexible and dynamic. One static structure alone does not often completely explain biological functions of the protein, and some proteins do not even have high resolution structures. In order to provide better understanding to the biological functions of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, Diphtheria toxin repressor and M2 proton channel, the dynamics of these proteins are investigated using molecular modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. With absence of high resolution structure of alpha7 receptor, the homology models of apo and cobra toxin bound forms have been built. From the MD simulations of these model structures, we observed one subunit of apo simulation moved away from other four subunits. With local movement of flexible loop regions, the whole subunit tilted clockwise. These conformational changes occurred spontaneously, and were strongly correlated with the conformational change when the channel is activated by agonists. Unlike other computational studies, we directly compared our model of open conformation with the experimental data. However, the subunits of toxin bound form were stable, and conformational change is restricted by the bound cobra toxin. These results provide activation and inhibition mechanisms of alpha7 receptors and a possible explanation for intermediate conductance of the channel. Intramolecular complex of SH3-like domain with a proline-rich (Pr) peptide segment in Diphtheria toxin repressor (DtxR) is stabilized in inactive state. Upon activation of DtxR by transition metal binding, this intramolecular complex should be dissociated. The dynamics of this intramolecular complex is investigated using MD simulations and NMR spectroscopy. We observed spontaneous opening and closing motions of the Pr segment binding pockets in both Pr-SH3 and SH3 simulations. The MD simulation results and NMR relaxation data suggest that the Pr segment exhibits a binding ↔ unbinding equilibrium. Despite a wealth of experimental

  17. Industrialization of Biology. A Roadmap to Accelerate the Advanced Manufacturing of Chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, Douglas C.

    2015-09-01

    The report stresses the need for efforts to inform the public of the nature of industrial biotechnology and of its societal benefits, and to make sure that concerns are communicated effectively between the public and other stakeholders. In addition to scientific advances, a number of governance and societal factors will influence the industrialization of biology. Industry norms and standards need to be established in areas such as read/write accuracy for DNA, data and machine technology specifications, and organism performance in terms of production rates and yields. An updated regulatory regime is also needed to accelerate the safe commercialization of new host organisms, metabolic pathways, and chemical products, and regulations should be coordinated across nations to enable rapid, safe, and global access to new technologies and products.

  18. Experimental stand for studying the impact of laser-accelerated protons on biological objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burdonov, K. F.; Eremeev, A. A.; Ignatova, N. I.; Osmanov, R. R.; Sladkov, A. D.; Soloviev, A. A.; Starodubtsev, M. V.; Ginzburg, V. N.; Kuz'min, A. A.; Maslennikova, A. V.; Revet, G.; Sergeev, A. M.; Fuchs, J.; Khazanov, E. A.; Chen, S.; Shaykin, A. A.; Shaikin, I. A.; Yakovlev, I. V.

    2016-04-01

    An original experimental stand is presented, aimed at studying the impact of high-energy protons, produced by the laser-plasma interaction at a petawatt power level, on biological objects. In the course of pilot experiments with the energy of laser-accelerated protons up to 25 MeV, the possibility is demonstrated of transferring doses up to 10 Gy to the object of study in a single shot with the magnetic separation of protons from parasitic X-ray radiation and fast electrons. The technique of irradiating the cell culture HeLa Kyoto and measuring the fraction of survived cells is developed. The ways of optimising the parameters of proton beams and the suitable methods of their separation with respect to energy and transporting to the studied living objects are discussed. The construction of the stand is intended for the improvement of laser technologies for hadron therapy of malignant neoplasms.

  19. Function-Based Algorithms for Biological Sequences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohanty, Pragyan Sheela P.

    2015-01-01

    Two problems at two different abstraction levels of computational biology are studied. At the molecular level, efficient pattern matching algorithms in DNA sequences are presented. For gene order data, an efficient data structure is presented capable of storing all gene re-orderings in a systematic manner. A common characteristic of presented…

  20. Track Structure and the Biological Effectiveness of Accelerated Particles for the Induction of Chromosome Damage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, K.; Hada, M.; Chappell, L.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    2011-01-01

    Track structure models predict that at a fixed value of LET, particles with lower charge number, Z will have a higher biological effectiveness compared to particles with a higher Z. In this report we investigated how track structure effects induction of chromosomal aberration in human cells. Human lymphocytes were irradiated in vitro with various energies of accelerated iron, silicon, neon, or titanium ions and chromosome damage was assessed in using three color FISH chromosome painting in chemically induced PCC samples collected a first cell division post irradiation. The LET values for these ions ranged from 30 to195 keV/micron. Of the particles studied, Neon ions have the highest biological effectiveness for induction of total chromosome damage, which is consistent with track structure model predictions. For complex-type exchanges 64 MeV/ u Neon and 450 MeV/u Iron were equally effective and induced the most complex damage. In addition we present data on chromosomes exchanges induced by six different energies of protons (5 MeV/u to 2.5 GeV/u). The linear dose response term was similar for all energies of protons suggesting that the effect of the higher LET at low proton energies is balanced by the production of nuclear secondaries from the high energy protons.

  1. The biological research programme of the nuclear microprobe at the National Accelerator Centre, Faure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prozesky, V. M.; Pineda, C. A.; Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, J.; Przybylowicz, W. J.; Churms, C. L.; Springhorn, K. A.; Moretto, Ph; Michelet, C.; Chikte, U.; Wenzl, P.

    2000-03-01

    The nuclear microprobe (NMP) unit of the National Accelerator Centre (NAC) has initiated a focused research programme on studies of biological material, ranging from applications in medicine to agriculture and botany. During this period a state-of-the-art cryo-preparation laboratory was also developed. This research programme has resulted in a wide range of projects, and has shown how well suited the NMP is for studies of biological material in general. This paper reports on some of the problems and demands in this field, as well as some of the results obtained using particle induced X-ray spectroscopy (PIXE) and Rutherford backscattering (RBS). True elemental imaging is routinely performed using the dynamic analysis (DA) method, which forms part of the GeoPIXE suite of programmes. A collaborative project, together with the CENBG group of Bordeaux-Gradignan in France, on the development of a facility with the aim of studying effects of single-events of radiation in living cells was recently established and is discussed.

  2. Applying accelerator mass spectrometry for low-level detection of complex engineered nanoparticles in biological media.

    PubMed

    Wang, Binghui; Jackson, George S; Yokel, Robert A; Grulke, Eric A

    2014-08-01

    Complex engineered nanoparticles (CENPs), which have different core and surface components, are being developed for medicinal, pharmaceutical and industrial applications. One of the key challenges for environmental health and safety assessments of CENPs is to identify and quantity their transformations in biological environments. This study reports the effects of in vivo exposure of citrate-coated nanoalumina with different rare isotope labels on each component. This CENP was dosed to the rat and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was used to quantify (26)Al, (14)C, and their ratio in the dosing material and tissue samples. For CENPs detected in the liver, the rare isotope ratio, (14)C/(26)Al, was 87% of the dosing material's ratio. The citrate coating on the nanoalumina in the liver was stable or, if it degraded, its metabolites were incorporated with nearby tissues. However, in brain and bone where little alumina was detected, the rare isotope ratio greatly exceeded that of the dosing material. Therefore, in the animal, citrate dissociated from CENPs and redistributed to brain and bone. Tracking both the core and surface components by AMS presents a new approach for characterizing transformations of CENPs components in biological milieu or environments.

  3. Measurement of Beryllium in Biological Samples by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry: Applications for Studying Chronic Beryllium Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Chiarappa-Zucca, M L; Finkel, R C; Martinelli, R E; McAninch, J E; Nelson, D O; Turtletaub, K W

    2004-04-15

    A method using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) has been developed for quantifying attomoles of beryllium (Be) in biological samples. This method provides the sensitivity to trace Be in biological samples at very low doses with the purpose of identifying the molecular targets involved in chronic beryllium disease. Proof of the method was tested by administering 0.001, 0.05, 0.5 and 5.0 {micro}g {sup 9}Be and {sup 10}Be by intraperitoneal injection to male mice and removing spleen, liver, femurs, blood, lung, and kidneys after 24 h exposure. These samples were prepared for AMS analysis by tissue digestion in nitric acid, followed by further organic oxidation with hydrogen peroxide and ammonium persulfate and lastly, precipitation of Be with ammonium hydroxide, and conversion to beryllium oxide at 800 C. The {sup 10}Be/{sup 9}Be ratio of the extracted beryllium oxide was measured by AMS and Be in the original sample was calculated. Results indicate that Be levels were dose-dependent in all tissues and the highest levels were measured in the spleen and liver. The measured {sup 10}Be/{sup 9}Be ratios spanned 4 orders of magnitude, from 10{sup -10} to 10{sup -14}, with a detection limit of 3.0 x 10{sup -14}, which is equivalent to 0.8 attomoles of {sup 10}Be. These results show that routine quantification of nanogram levels of Be in tissues is possible and that AMS is a sensitive method that can be used in biological studies to understand the molecular dosimetry of Be and mechanisms of toxicity.

  4. Functionalized apertures for the detection of chemical and biological materials

    DOEpatents

    Letant, Sonia E.; van Buuren, Anthony W.; Terminello, Louis J.; Thelen, Michael P.; Hope-Weeks, Louisa J.; Hart, Bradley R.

    2010-12-14

    Disclosed are nanometer to micron scale functionalized apertures constructed on a substrate made of glass, carbon, semiconductors or polymeric materials that allow for the real time detection of biological materials or chemical moieties. Many apertures can exist on one substrate allowing for the simultaneous detection of numerous chemical and biological molecules. One embodiment features a macrocyclic ring attached to cross-linkers, wherein the macrocyclic ring has a biological or chemical probe extending through the aperture. Another embodiment achieves functionalization by attaching chemical or biological anchors directly to the walls of the apertures via cross-linkers.

  5. Functionalized Nanodiamonds for Biological and Medical Applications.

    PubMed

    Lai, Lin; Barnard, Amanda S

    2015-02-01

    Nanodiamond is a promising material for biological and medical applications, owning to its relatively inexpensive and large-scale synthesis, unique structure, and superior optical properties. However, most biomedical applications, such as drug delivery and bio-imaging, are dependent upon the precise control of the surfaces, and can be significantly affected by the type, distribution and stability of chemical funtionalisations of the nanodiamond surface. In this paper, recent studies on nanodiamonds and their biomedical applications by conjugating with different chemicals are reviewed, while highlighting the critical importance of surface chemical states for various applications.

  6. Acceleration of peripheral nerve regeneration through asymmetrically porous nerve guide conduit applied with biological/physical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin Rae; Oh, Se Heang; Kwon, Gu Birm; Namgung, Uk; Song, Kyu Sang; Jeon, Byeong Hwa; Lee, Jin Ho

    2013-12-01

    Sufficient functional restoration of damaged peripheral nerves is a big clinical challenge. In this study, a nerve guide conduit (NGC) with selective permeability was prepared by rolling an asymmetrically porous polycaprolactone/Pluronic F127 membrane fabricated using a novel immersion precipitation method. Dual stimulation (nerve growth factor [NGF] as a biological stimulus and low-intensity pulse ultrasound [US] as a physical stimulus) was adapted to enhance nerve regeneration through an NGC. The animal study revealed that each stimulation (NGF or US) has a positive effect to promote the peripheral nerve regeneration through the NGC, however, the US-stimulated NGC group allowed more accelerated nerve regeneration compared with the NGF-stimulated group. The NGC group that received dual stimulation (NGF and US) showed more effective nerve regeneration behavior than the groups that received a single stimulation (NGF or US). The asymmetrically porous NGC with dual NGF and US stimulation may be a promising strategy for the clinical treatment of delayed and insufficient functional recovery of a peripheral nerve.

  7. Chemical Biology for Understanding Matrix Metalloproteinase Function

    PubMed Central

    Knapinska, Anna; Fields, Gregg B.

    2013-01-01

    The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family has long been associated with normal physiological processes such as embryonic implantation, tissue remodeling, organ development, and wound healing, as well as multiple aspects of cancer initiation and progression, osteoarthritis, inflammatory and vascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The development of chemically designed MMP probes has advanced our understanding of the roles of MMPs in disease in addition to shedding considerable light on the mechanisms of MMP action. The first generation of protease-activated agents has demonstrated proof of principle as well as providing impetus for in vivo applications. One common problem has been a lack of agent stability at nontargeted tissues and organs due to activation by multiple proteases. The present review considers how chemical biology has impacted the progress made in understanding the roles of MMPs in disease and the basic mechanisms of MMP action. PMID:22933318

  8. Printable Bioelectronics To Investigate Functional Biological Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Manoli, Kyriaki; Magliulo, Maria; Mulla, Mohammad Yusuf; Singh, Mandeep; Sabbatini, Luigia; Palazzo, Gerardo; Torsi, Luisa

    2015-10-19

    Thin-film transistors can be used as high-performance bioelectronic devices to accomplish tasks such as sensing or controlling the release of biological species as well as transducing the electrical activity of cells or even organs, such as the brain. Organic, graphene, or zinc oxide are used as convenient printable semiconducting layers and can lead to high-performance low-cost bioelectronic sensing devices that are potentially very useful for point-of-care applications. Among others, electrolyte-gated transistors are of interest as they can be operated as capacitance-modulated devices, because of the high capacitance of their charge double layers. Specifically, it is the capacitance of the biolayer, being lowest in a series of capacitors, which controls the output current of the device. Such an occurrence allows for extremely high sensitivity towards very weak interactions. All the aspects governing these processes are reviewed here.

  9. Gels as functional nanomaterials for biology and medicine.

    PubMed

    Xu, Bing

    2009-08-04

    This perspective focuses on the potential uses of gels as materials in biological and medical applications. It describes how molecular self-assembly can confer well-defined secondary structures (e.g., nanofibers, nanotubes, and nanospheres) in a liquid that initiates functions within biological systems. Some prospects for future development and the challenges for achieving them are discussed.

  10. Microwave-accelerated bioassay technique for rapid and quantitative detection of biological and environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Muzaffer; Syed, Maleeha F; Aslan, Kadir

    2016-01-15

    Quantitative detection of molecules of interest from biological and environmental samples in a rapid manner, particularly with a relevant concentration range, is imperative to the timely assessment of human diseases and environmental issues. In this work, we employed the microwave-accelerated bioassay (MAB) technique, which is based on the combined use of circular bioassay platforms and microwave heating, for rapid and quantitative detection of Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) and Shiga like toxin (STX 1). The proof-of-principle use of the MAB technique with the circular bioassay platforms for the rapid detection of GFAP in buffer based on colorimetric and fluorescence readouts was demonstrated with a 900W kitchen microwave. We also employed the MAB technique with a new microwave system (called the iCrystal system) for the detection of GFAP from mice with brain injuries and STX 1 from a city water stream. Control bioassays included the commercially available gold standard bioassay kits run at room temperature. Our results show that the lower limit of detection (LLOD) of the colorimetric and fluorescence based bioassays for GFAP was decreased by ~1000 times using the MAB technique and our circular bioassay platforms as compared to the commercially available bioassay kits. The overall bioassay time for GFAP and STX 1 was reduced from 4h using commercially available bioassay kits to 10min using the MAB technique.

  11. Microwave-Accelerated Bioassay Technique for Rapid and Quantitative Detection of Biological and Environmental Samples

    PubMed Central

    Mohammed, Muzaffer; Syed, Maleeha F.; Aslan, Kadir

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative detection of molecules of interest from biological and environmental samples in a rapid manner, particularly with a relevant concentration range, is imperative to the timely assessment of human diseases and environmental issues. In this work, we employed the microwave-accelerated bioassay (MAB) technique, which is based on the combined use of circular bioassay platforms and microwave heating, for rapid and quantitative detection of Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) and Shiga like toxin (STX 1). The proof-of-principle use of the MAB technique with the circular bioassay platforms for the rapid detection of GFAP in buffer based on colorimetric and fluorescence readouts was demonstrated with a 900 W kitchen microwave. We also employed the MAB technique with a new microwave system (called the iCrystal system) for the detection of GFAP from mice with brain injuries and STX 1 from a city water stream. Control bioassays included the commercially available gold standard bioassay kits run at room temperature. Our results show that the lower limit of detection (LLOD) of the colorimetric and fluorescence based bioassays for GFAP was decreased by ~1,000 times using the MAB technique and our circular bioassay platforms as compared to the commercially available bioassay kits. The overall bioassay time for GFAP and STX 1 was reduced from 4 hours using commercially available bioassay kits to 10 minutes using the MAB technique. PMID:26356762

  12. Biological and biomedical (14)C-accelerator mass spectrometry and graphitization of carbonaceous samples.

    PubMed

    Chung, Ill-Min; Kim, Seung-Hyun

    2013-06-21

    Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is the ultimate technique for measuring rare isotopes in small samples. Biological and biomedical applications of (14)C-AMS (bio-(14)C-AMS) commenced in the early 1990s and are now widely used in many research fields including pharmacology, toxicology, food, and nutrition. For accurate, precise, and reproducible bio-(14)C-AMS analysis, the graphitization step in sample preparation is the most critical step. So, various sample preparation methods for a process called graphitization have been reported for specific applications. Catalytic graphitization using either a flame-sealed borosilicate tube or a septa-sealed vial is a popular sample preparation method for bio-(14)C-AMS. In this review, we introduce the AMS system, especially for bio-(14)C-AMS. In addition, we also review the graphitization method for bio-(14)C-AMS to promote further understanding and improvement of sample preparation for this technique. Examples of catalytic graphitization methods over the past two decades are described.

  13. High performance hybrid functional Petri net simulations of biological pathway models on CUDA.

    PubMed

    Chalkidis, Georgios; Nagasaki, Masao; Miyano, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    Hybrid functional Petri nets are a wide-spread tool for representing and simulating biological models. Due to their potential of providing virtual drug testing environments, biological simulations have a growing impact on pharmaceutical research. Continuous research advancements in biology and medicine lead to exponentially increasing simulation times, thus raising the demand for performance accelerations by efficient and inexpensive parallel computation solutions. Recent developments in the field of general-purpose computation on graphics processing units (GPGPU) enabled the scientific community to port a variety of compute intensive algorithms onto the graphics processing unit (GPU). This work presents the first scheme for mapping biological hybrid functional Petri net models, which can handle both discrete and continuous entities, onto compute unified device architecture (CUDA) enabled GPUs. GPU accelerated simulations are observed to run up to 18 times faster than sequential implementations. Simulating the cell boundary formation by Delta-Notch signaling on a CUDA enabled GPU results in a speedup of approximately 7x for a model containing 1,600 cells.

  14. Angular velocities, angular accelerations, and coriolis accelerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graybiel, A.

    1975-01-01

    Weightlessness, rotating environment, and mathematical analysis of Coriolis acceleration is described for man's biological effective force environments. Effects on the vestibular system are summarized, including the end organs, functional neurology, and input-output relations. Ground-based studies in preparation for space missions are examined, including functional tests, provocative tests, adaptive capacity tests, simulation studies, and antimotion sickness.

  15. Autofluorescence: Biological functions and technical applications.

    PubMed

    García-Plazaola, José Ignacio; Fernández-Marín, Beatriz; Duke, Stephen O; Hernández, Antonio; López-Arbeloa, Fernando; Becerril, José María

    2015-07-01

    Chlorophylls are the most remarkable examples of fluorophores, and their fluorescence has been intensively studied as a non-invasive tool for assessment of photosynthesis. Many other fluorophores occur in plants, such as alkaloids, phenolic compounds and porphyrins. Fluorescence could be more than just a physicochemical curiosity in the plant kingdom, as several functional roles in biocommunication occur or have been proposed. Besides, fluorescence emitted by secondary metabolites can convert damaging blue and UV into wavelengths potentially useful for photosynthesis. Detection of the fluorescence of some secondary phytochemicals may be a cue for some pollinators and/or seed dispersal organisms. Independently of their functions, plant fluorophores provide researchers with a tool that allows the visualization of some metabolites in plants and cells, complementing and overcoming some of the limitations of the use of fluorescent proteins and dyes to probe plant physiology and biochemistry. Some fluorophores are influenced by environmental interactions, allowing fluorescence to be also used as a specific stress indicator.

  16. Genomic Functionalization: The Next Revolution In Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Peter; Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Imbro, Paula M.

    2014-07-01

    We have implemented a ligand-alignment algorithm into our developed computational pipeline for identifying specificity-determining features (SDFs) in protein-ligand complexes. Given a set of protein-ligand complex structures, the algorithm aligns the complexes by ligand rather than by the C -RMSD or standard approach, providing a single reference frame for extracting SDFs. We anticipate that this ligand-alignment capability will be highly useful for protein function prediction. We already have a database containing > 20 K ligand-protein complex crystal structures taken from the Protein Data Bank. By aligning these proteins to single reference frames using ligand alignment, we can submit the complexes to our pipeline for SDF extraction. The SDFs derived from this training procedure can be used as thumbprints that are hallmarks of individual enzyme classes. These SDF thumbprints may then serve as guides to the prediction of function of new unknown proteins.

  17. Chemical synthesis and biological function of lipidated proteins.

    PubMed

    Yang, Aimin; Zhao, Lei; Wu, Yao-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Lipidated proteins play a key role in many essential biological processes in eukaryotic cells, including signal transduction, membrane trafficking, immune response and pathology. The investigation of the function of lipidated proteins requires access to a reasonable amount of homogenous lipid-modified proteins with defined structures and functional groups. Chemical approaches have provided useful tools to perform such studies. In this review we summarize synthetic methods of lipidated peptides and developments in the chemoselective ligation for the production of lipidated proteins. We introduce the biology of lipidated proteins and highlight the application of synthetic lipidated proteins to tackle important biological questions.

  18. Functionally dissimilar neighbors accelerate litter decomposition in two grass species.

    PubMed

    Barbe, Lou; Jung, Vincent; Prinzing, Andreas; Bittebiere, Anne-Kristel; Butenschoen, Olaf; Mony, Cendrine

    2017-02-16

    Plant litter decomposition is a key regulator of nutrient recycling. In a given environment, decomposition of litter from a focal species depends on its litter quality and on the efficiency of local decomposers. Both may be strongly modified by functional traits of neighboring species, but the consequences for decomposition of litter from the focal species remain unknown. We tested whether decomposition of a focal plant's litter is influenced by the functional-trait dissimilarity to the neighboring plants. We cultivated two grass species (Brachypodium pinnatum and Elytrigia repens) in experimental mesocosms with functionally similar and dissimilar neighborhoods, and reciprocally transplanted litter. For both species, litter quality increased in functionally dissimilar neighborhoods, partly as a result of changes in functional traits involved in plant-plant interactions. Furthermore, functional dissimilarity increased overall decomposer efficiency in one species, probably via complementarity effects. Our results suggest a novel mechanism of biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in grasslands: interspecific functional diversity within plant communities can enhance intraspecific contributions to litter decomposition. Thus, plant species might better perform in diverse communities by benefiting from higher remineralization rates of their own litter.

  19. Labeling and functionalizing amphipols for biological applications.

    PubMed

    Le Bon, Christel; Popot, Jean-Luc; Giusti, Fabrice

    2014-10-01

    Amphipols (APols) are short amphipathic polymers developed as an alternative to detergents for handling membrane proteins (MPs) in aqueous solution. MPs are, as a rule, much more stable following trapping with APols than they are in detergent solutions. The best-characterized APol to date, called A8-35, is a mixture of short-chain sodium polyacrylates randomly derivatized with octylamine and isopropylamine. Its solution properties have been studied in detail, and it has been used extensively for biochemical and biophysical studies of MPs. One of the attractive characteristics of APols is that it is relatively easy to label them, isotopically or otherwise, without affecting their physical-chemical properties. Furthermore, several variously modified APols can be mixed, achieving multiple functionalization of MP/APol complexes in the easiest possible manner. Labeled or tagged APols are being used to study the solution properties of APols, their miscibility, their biodistribution upon injection into living organisms, their association with MPs and the composition, structure and dynamics of MP/APol complexes, examining the exchange of surfactants at the surface of MPs, labeling MPs to follow their distribution in fractionation experiments or to immobilize them, increasing the contrast between APols and solvent or MPs in biophysical experiments, improving NMR spectra, etc. Labeling or functionalization of APols can take various courses, each of which has its specific constraints and advantages regarding both synthesis and purification. The present review offers an overview of the various derivatives of A8-35 and its congeners that have been developed in our laboratory and discusses the pros and cons of various synthetic routes.

  20. Labeling and Functionalizing Amphipols for Biological Applications

    PubMed Central

    Bon, Christel Le; Popot, Jean-Luc; Giusti, Fabrice

    2014-01-01

    Amphipols (APols) are short amphipathic polymers developed as an alternative to detergents for handling membrane proteins (MPs) in aqueous solution. MPs are, as a rule, much more stable following trapping with APols than they are in detergent solutions. The best-characterized APol to date, called A8-35, is a mixture of short-chain sodium polyacrylates randomly derivatized with octylamine and isopropylamine. Its solution properties have been studied in detail, and it has been used extensively for biochemical and biophysical studies of MPs. One of the attractive characteristics of APols is that it is relatively easy to label them, isotopically or otherwise, without affecting their physical-chemical properties. Furthermore, several variously modified APols can be mixed, achieving multiple functionalization of MP/APol complexes in the easiest possible manner. Labeled or tagged APols are being used to study the solution properties of APols, their miscibility, their biodistribution upon injection into living organisms, their association with MPs and the composition, structure and dynamics of MP/APol complexes, examining the exchange of surfactants at the surface of MPs, labeling MPs to follow their distribution in fractionation experiments or to immobilize them, increasing the contrast between APols and solvent or MPs in biophysical experiments, improving NMR spectra, etc. Labeling or functionalization of APols can take various courses, each of which has its specific constraints and advantages regarding both synthesis and purification. The present review offers an overview of the various derivatives of A8-35 and its congeners that have been developed in our laboratory and discusses the pros and cons of various synthetic routes. PMID:24696186

  1. [Biological experiments in microgravity: equilibrium function].

    PubMed

    Gorgiladze, G I; Shipov, A A; Horn, E

    2012-01-01

    The review deals with the investigations of structural and functional modifications in the equilibrium organ (EO) in invertebrates (coelenterates, shells, crustaceans and insects) and vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, rats, primates) on different ontogenetic stages in the condition of microgravity and during readaptation to the Earth's gravity. Results of the investigations detail the adaptive strategy of terrestrial organism in the environment lacking the gravitational components that leads to the discrepancy of an inner model of the body-environment schema constructed by the central nervous system at 1 g and the novel reality. It is manifested by ataxic behavior and increased graviceptors' afferentation against efferent system inactivation. The new condition is defined as a sensibilization phase ensued by the eluding phase: behavior obeys the innate motion strategy, whereas graviceptors' afferentation decreases due to activation of the efferent system. Readaptation to 1 G takes several to 50 days and proceeds as a sequence of slow in motion behavior, ataxia and vestibular sensitization. Reactivity of the gravitosensory system to microgravity was found to be age-dependent. Gain in the EO inertial mass in microgravity and reduction with return to 1 g indicates gravity relevance to EO genesis.

  2. Evidence for a Role of Executive Functions in Learning Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhodes, Sinéad M.; Booth, Josephine N.; Campbell, Lorna Elise; Blythe, Richard A.; Wheate, Nial J.; Delibegovic, Mirela

    2014-01-01

    Research examining cognition and science learning has focused on working memory, but evidence implicates a broader set of executive functions. The current study examined executive functions and learning of biology in young adolescents. Fifty-six participants, aged 12-13?years, completed tasks of working memory (Spatial Working Memory), inhibition…

  3. Functional toxicology: a new approach to detect biologically active xenobiotics.

    PubMed Central

    McLachlan, J A

    1993-01-01

    The pervasiveness of chemicals in the environment with estrogenic activity and other biological functions recommends the development of new approaches to monitor and study them. Chemicals can be screened for activity in vitro using a panel of human or animal cells that have been transfected with a specific receptor and reporter gene; for example, the estrogen receptor. By using a variety of different receptors, the screening of xenobiotics for biological functions can be broad. Chemicals could then be classified by their function in vitro which, in some cases, may be a useful guide for toxicological studies. Images Figure 1. PMID:8119246

  4. Functional changes in systemic and regional (intracranial) circulation accompanying low accelerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Usachev, V. V.; Shinkarevskaya, I. P.

    1973-01-01

    Functional changes in systemic and cerebral hemodynamics were studied with respect to vestibular stresses. The main types of responses, differing qualitatively with respect to the tolerance of test subjects to low accelerations (particularly to Coriolis accelerations), were established. This is of practical importance in the selection of aircraft and space pilots. The data presented sheds light on the physiological mechanisms of adaptation and disturbed compensation during vestibular stimulation. Further studies in this important field of aerospace medicine are outlined.

  5. Accelerating expansion or inhomogeneity? II. Mimicking acceleration with the energy function in the Lemaître-Tolman model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasiński, Andrzej

    2014-07-01

    This is a continuation of the paper published in Phys. Rev. D 89, 023520 (2014). Here we investigate how the luminosity distance-redshift relation DL(z) of the ΛCDM model is duplicated in the Lemaître-Tolman (L-T) model with Λ =0, constant bang-time function tB and the energy function E(r) mimicking accelerated expansion on the observer's past light cone (r is a uniquely defined comoving radial coordinate). Numerical experiments show that E>0 necessarily. The functions z(r) and E(r) are numerically calculated from the initial point at the observer's position, then backward from the initial point at the apparent horizon (AH). Reconciling the results of the two calculations allows one to determine the values of E/r2 at r=0 and at the AH. The problems connected with continuing the calculation through the AH are discussed in detail and solved. Then z(r) and E(r) are continued beyond the AH, up to the numerical crash that signals the contact of the light cone with the big bang. Similarly, the light cone of the L-T model is calculated by proceeding from the two initial points, and compared with the ΛCDM light cone. The model constructed here contains shell crossings, but they can be removed by matching the L-T region to a Friedmann background, without causing any conflict with the type Ia supernovae observations. The mechanism of imitating the accelerated expansion by the E(r) function is explained in a descriptive way.

  6. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from "endless forms most beautiful".

    PubMed

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B

    2015-12-15

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking.

  7. ACCELERATORS: A GUI tool for beta function measurement using MATLAB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Guang-Ling; Tian, Shun-Qiang; Jiang, Bo-Cheng; Liu, Gui-Min

    2009-04-01

    The beta function measurement is used to detect the shift in the betatron tune as the strength of an individual quadrupole magnet is varied. A GUI (graphic user interface) tool for the beta function measurement is developed using the MATLAB program language in the Linux environment, which facilitates the commissioning of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) storage ring. In this paper, we describe the design of the application and give some measuring results and discussions about the definition of the measurement. The program has been optimized to solve some restrictions of the AT tracking code. After the correction with LOCO (linear optics from closed orbits), the horizontal and the vertical root mean square values (rms values) can be reduced to 0.12 and 0.10.

  8. Mimicking biological functionality with polymers for biomedical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Jordan J.; Elisseeff, Jennifer H.

    2016-12-01

    The vast opportunities for biomaterials design and functionality enabled by mimicking nature continue to stretch the limits of imagination. As both biological understanding and engineering capabilities develop, more sophisticated biomedical materials can be synthesized that have multifaceted chemical, biological and physical characteristics designed to achieve specific therapeutic goals. Mimicry is being used in the design of polymers for biomedical applications that are required locally in tissues, systemically throughout the body, and at the interface with tissues.

  9. Principles for modeling and functional simulation of biological microstructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kriete, Andres

    1997-04-01

    This paper discusses some aspects of computer based modeling of biological microstructures. The workflow tom model and simulate a biological structure is described as a feedback- loop. Beside the system definition by structural and dynamical properties, the simulation is discussed as a mathematical representation coupled with a computer visualization. As an example, the investigation of the functional behavior of lung structures is described with special emphasis to the modeling of respiratory units.

  10. Can Simple Biophysical Principles Yield Complicated Biological Functions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liphardt, Jan

    2011-03-01

    About once a year, a new regulatory paradigm is discovered in cell biology. As of last count, eukaryotic cells have more than 40 distinct ways of regulating protein concentration and function. Regulatory possibilities include site-specific phosphorylation, epigenetics, alternative splicing, mRNA (re)localization, and modulation of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport. This raises a simple question. Do all the remarkable things cells do, require an intricately choreographed supporting cast of hundreds of molecular machines and associated signaling networks? Alternatively, are there a few simple biophysical principles that can generate apparently very complicated cellular behaviors and functions? I'll discuss two problems, spatial organization of the bacterial chemotaxis system and nucleo-cytoplasmic transport, where the latter might be true. In both cases, the ability to precisely quantify biological organization and function, at the single-molecule level, helped to find signatures of basic biological organizing principles.

  11. A Chemical Biology Approach to Developing STAT Inhibitors: Molecular Strategies for Accelerating Clinical Translation

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Erik A.; Sharma, Sreenath V.; Settleman, Jeffrey; Frank, David A.

    2011-01-01

    STAT transcription factors transduce signals from the cell surface to the nucleus, where they regulate the expression of genes that control proliferation, survival, self-renewal, and other critical cellular functions. Under normal physiological conditions, the activation of STATs is tightly regulated. In cancer, by contrast, STAT proteins, particularly STAT3 and STAT5, become activated constitutively, thereby driving the malignant phenotype of cancer cells. Since these proteins are largely dispensable in the function of normal adult cells, STATs represent a potentially important target for cancer therapy. Although transcription factors have traditionally been viewed as suboptimal targets for pharmacological inhibition, chemical biology approaches have been particularly fruitful in identifying compounds that can modulate this pathway through a variety of mechanisms. STAT inhibitors have notable anti-cancer effects in many tumor systems, show synergy with other therapeutic modalities, and have the potential to eradicate tumor stem cells. Furthermore, STAT inhibitors identified through the screening of chemical libraries can then be employed in large scale analyses such as gene expression profiling, RNA interference screens, or large-scale tumor cell line profiling. Data derived from these studies can then provide key insights into mechanisms of STAT signal transduction, as well as inform the rational design of targeted therapeutic strategies for cancer patients. PMID:21680956

  12. Metabolism and biological functions of human milk oligosaccharides.

    PubMed

    Bertino, E; Peila, C; Giuliani, F; Martano, C; Cresi, F; Di Nicola, P; Occhi, L; Sabatino, G; Fabris, C

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that breastfeeding is beneficial both for its nutritional properties and for the presence of biologically active compounds. Among these, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), representing the third largest fraction of human milk, have been assigned important biological functions, such as prebiotic and immunomodulatory and antimicrobial effects. HMOs are synthesized in the mammary gland by glycosyltransferase enzymes and can be divided in core-oligosaccharides, sialo-oligosaccharides, fucosyl-oligosaccharides and sialo-fucosyl-oligosaccharides on the basis of their chemical structure. Glycosyltransferases enzymes are partially regulated by genetic mechanisms; according to the expression of secretory and Lewis' genes, it is possible to classify human milk in 4 different secretory groups. We hereby present a review of the current knowledge concerning HMOs, their metabolism and main biological functions.

  13. Diffusive Particle Acceleration in Shocked, Viscous Accretion Disks: Green's Function Energy Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Peter A.; Das, Santabrata; Le, Truong

    2011-12-01

    The acceleration of relativistic particles in a viscous accretion disk containing a standing shock is investigated as a possible explanation for the energetic outflows observed around radio-loud black holes. The energy/space distribution of the accelerated particles is computed by solving a transport equation that includes the effects of first-order Fermi acceleration, bulk advection, spatial diffusion, and particle escape. The velocity profile of the accreting gas is described using a model for shocked viscous disks recently developed by the authors, and the corresponding Green's function distribution for the accelerated particles in the disk and the outflow is obtained using a classical method based on eigenfunction analysis. The accretion-driven, diffusive shock acceleration scenario explored here is conceptually similar to the standard model for the acceleration of cosmic rays at supernova-driven shocks. However, in the disk application, the distribution of the accelerated particles is much harder than would be expected for a plane-parallel shock with the same compression ratio. Hence the disk environment plays a key role in enhancing the efficiency of the shock acceleration process. The presence of the shock helps to stabilize the disk by reducing the Bernoulli parameter, while channeling the excess binding energy into the escaping relativistic particles. In applications to M87 and Sgr A*, we find that the kinetic power in the jet is {\\sim}0.01\\,\\dot{M} c^2, and the outflowing relativistic particles have a mean energy ~300 times larger than that of the thermal gas in the disk at the shock radius. Our results suggest that a standing shock may be an essential ingredient in accretion onto underfed black holes, helping to resolve the long-standing problem of the stability of advection-dominated accretion disks.

  14. Shortening tobacco life cycle accelerates functional gene identification in genomic research.

    PubMed

    Ning, G; Xiao, X; Lv, H; Li, X; Zuo, Y; Bao, M

    2012-11-01

    Definitive allocation of function requires the introduction of genetic mutations and analysis of their phenotypic consequences. Novel, rapid and convenient techniques or materials are very important and useful to accelerate gene identification in functional genomics research. Here, over-expression of PmFT (Prunus mume), a novel FT orthologue, and PtFT (Populus tremula) lead to shortening of the tobacco life cycle. A series of novel short life cycle stable tobacco lines (30-50 days) were developed through repeated self-crossing selection breeding. Based on the second transformation via a gusA reporter gene, the promoter from BpFULL1 in silver birch (Betula pendula) and the gene (CPC) from Arabidopsis thaliana were effectively tested using short life cycle tobacco lines. Comparative analysis among wild type, short life cycle tobacco and Arabidopsis transformation system verified that it is optional to accelerate functional gene studies by shortening host plant material life cycle, at least in these short life cycle tobacco lines. The results verified that the novel short life cycle transgenic tobacco lines not only combine the advantages of economic nursery requirements and a simple transformation system, but also provide a robust, effective and stable host system to accelerate gene analysis. Thus, shortening tobacco life cycle strategy is feasible to accelerate heterologous or homologous functional gene identification in genomic research.

  15. Students' Perceptions of Long-Functioning Cooperative Teams in Accelerated Adult Degree Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Favor, Judy

    2012-01-01

    This study examined 718 adult students' perceptions of long-functioning cooperative study teams in accelerated associate's, bachelor's, and master's business degree programs. Six factors were examined: attraction toward team, alignment of performance expectations, intrateam conflict, workload sharing, preference for teamwork, and impact on…

  16. Relative biological effectiveness of accelerated heavy ions for induction of morphological transformation in Syrian hamster embryo cells.

    PubMed

    Han, Z B; Suzuki, H; Suzuki, F; Suzuki, M; Furusawa, Y; Kato, T; Ikenaga, M

    1998-09-01

    Syrian hamster embryo cells were used to study the morphological transformation induced by accelerated heavy ions with different linear energy transfer (LET) ranging from 13 to 400 keV/micron. Exponentially growing cells were irradiated with 12C or 28Si ion beams generated by the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC), then inoculated to culture dishes. Morphologically altered colonies were scored as transformants. Over the LET range examined, the frequency of transformation induced by the heavy ions increased sharply at very low doses no greater than 5 cGy. The relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of the heavy ions relative to X-rays first increased with LET, reached a maximum value of about 7 at 100 keV/micron, then decreased with the further increase of LET. Our findings confirmed that high LET heavy ions are much more effective than X-rays for the induction of in vitro cell transformation.

  17. Modeling Functional Motions of Biological Systems by Customized Natural Moves.

    PubMed

    Demharter, Samuel; Knapp, Bernhard; Deane, Charlotte M; Minary, Peter

    2016-08-23

    Simulating the functional motions of biomolecular systems requires large computational resources. We introduce a computationally inexpensive protocol for the systematic testing of hypotheses regarding the dynamic behavior of proteins and nucleic acids. The protocol is based on natural move Monte Carlo, a highly efficient conformational sampling method with built-in customization capabilities that allows researchers to design and perform a large number of simulations to investigate functional motions in biological systems. We demonstrate the use of this protocol on both a protein and a DNA case study. Firstly, we investigate the plasticity of a class II major histocompatibility complex in the absence of a bound peptide. Secondly, we study the effects of the epigenetic mark 5-hydroxymethyl on cytosine on the structure of the Dickerson-Drew dodecamer. We show how our customized natural moves protocol can be used to investigate causal relationships of functional motions in biological systems.

  18. Applications of large-scale density functional theory in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Daniel J.; Hine, Nicholas D. M.

    2016-10-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) has become a routine tool for the computation of electronic structure in the physics, materials and chemistry fields. Yet the application of traditional DFT to problems in the biological sciences is hindered, to a large extent, by the unfavourable scaling of the computational effort with system size. Here, we review some of the major software and functionality advances that enable insightful electronic structure calculations to be performed on systems comprising many thousands of atoms. We describe some of the early applications of large-scale DFT to the computation of the electronic properties and structure of biomolecules, as well as to paradigmatic problems in enzymology, metalloproteins, photosynthesis and computer-aided drug design. With this review, we hope to demonstrate that first principles modelling of biological structure-function relationships are approaching a reality.

  19. Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Sébastien J. M.; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps are valuable biological control agents that suppress their host populations. Factors introduced by the female wasp at parasitization play significant roles in facilitating successful development of the parasitoid larva either inside (endoparasitoid) or outside (ectoparasitoid) the host. Wasp venoms consist of a complex cocktail of proteinacious and non-proteinacious components that may offer agrichemicals as well as pharmaceutical components to improve pest management or health related disorders. Undesirably, the constituents of only a small number of wasp venoms are known. In this article, we review the latest research on venom from parasitoid wasps with an emphasis on their biological function, applications and new approaches used in venom studies. PMID:26131769

  20. Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Sébastien J M; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-06-26

    Parasitoid wasps are valuable biological control agents that suppress their host populations. Factors introduced by the female wasp at parasitization play significant roles in facilitating successful development of the parasitoid larva either inside (endoparasitoid) or outside (ectoparasitoid) the host. Wasp venoms consist of a complex cocktail of proteinacious and non-proteinacious components that may offer agrichemicals as well as pharmaceutical components to improve pest management or health related disorders. Undesirably, the constituents of only a small number of wasp venoms are known. In this article, we review the latest research on venom from parasitoid wasps with an emphasis on their biological function, applications and new approaches used in venom studies.

  1. Neuroscience in the era of functional genomics and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Geschwind, Daniel H; Konopka, Genevieve

    2009-10-15

    Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as well as disease. One of the most exciting and challenging frontiers in neuroscience involves harnessing the power of large-scale genetic, genomic and phenotypic data sets, and the development of tools for data integration and mining. Methods for network analysis and systems biology offer the promise of integrating these multiple levels of data, connecting molecular pathways to nervous system function.

  2. Morpho-chemistry and functionality of diseased biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, Marta; Cicchi, Riccardo; Pavone, Francesco

    2014-09-01

    Heart and cardiovascular diseases are one of the most common in the world, in particular - arthrosclerosis. The aim of the research is to distinguish pathological and healthy tissue regions in biological samples, in this case - to distinguish collagen and lipid rich regions within the arterial wall. In the work a specific combination of such methods are used: FLIM and SHG in order to evaluate the biological tissue morphology and functionality, so that this research could give a contribution for creating a new biological tissue imaging standard in the closest future. During the study the most appropriate parameter for fluorescence lifetime decay was chosen in order to evaluate lifetime decay parameters and the isotropy of the arterial wall and deposition, using statistical methods FFT and GLCM. The research gives a contribution or the future investigations for evaluating lipid properties when it can de-attach from the arterial wall and cause clotting in the blood vessel or even a stroke.

  3. From Structure and Function of Proteins Toward in Silico Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamato, Ichiro

    2013-01-01

    Researches of biology are targeted on three major flows, materials (or chemicals), energy, and information. I have been mainly concerned with the studies on bioenergy transducing mechanisms. I have studied the mechanism of secondary active transport systems and proposed an affinity change mechanism as a general hypothesis, then tried to confirm that it is applicable to other kinds of bioenergy transducing systems. Choosing Na+-translocating V-type ATPase from Enterococcus hirae as target, I hypothesized the affinity change mechanism for the energy transduction of this ATPase. Here I describe several three dimensional structures of parts of the ATPase supporting my hypothesis. From such detailed and extensive researches on protein structure/function relationship, we can proceed toward the in silico biology, which I described previously in 2007 ([1] "Toward in silico biology").

  4. Functional Agents to Biologically Control Deoxynivalenol Contamination in Cereal Grains

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Ye; Tan, Yanglan; Liu, Na; Liao, Yucai; Sun, Changpo; Wang, Shuangxia; Wu, Aibo

    2016-01-01

    Mycotoxins, as microbial secondary metabolites, frequently contaminate cereal grains and pose a serious threat to human and animal health around the globe. Deoxynivalenol (DON), a commonly detected Fusarium mycotoxin, has drawn utmost attention due to high exposure levels and contamination frequency in the food chain. Biological control is emerging as a promising technology for the management of DON contamination. Functional biological control agents (BCAs), which include antagonistic microbes, natural fungicides derived from plants and detoxification enzymes, can be used to control DON contamination at different stages of grain production. In this review, studies regarding different biological agents for DON control in recent years are summarized for the first time. Furthermore, this article highlights the significance of BCAs for controlling DON contamination, as well as the need for more practical and efficient BCAs concerning food safety. PMID:27064760

  5. Exploring the mechanical basis for acceleration: pelvic limb locomotor function during accelerations in racing greyhounds (Canis familiaris).

    PubMed

    Williams, S B; Usherwood, J R; Jespers, K; Channon, A J; Wilson, A M

    2009-02-01

    Animals in their natural environments are confronted with a regular need to perform rapid accelerations (for example when escaping from predators or chasing prey). Such acceleration requires net positive mechanical work to be performed on the centre of mass by skeletal muscle. Here we determined how pelvic limb joints contribute to the mechanical work and power that are required for acceleration in galloping quadrupeds. In addition, we considered what, if any, biomechanical strategies exist to enable effective acceleration to be achieved. Simultaneous kinematic and kinetic data were collected for racing greyhounds undergoing a range of low to high accelerations. From these data, joint moments and joint powers were calculated for individual hindlimb joints. In addition, the mean effective mechanical advantage (EMA) of the limb and the ;gear ratio' of each joint throughout stance were calculated. Greatest increases in joint work and power with acceleration appeared at the hip and hock joints, particularly in the lead limb. Largest increases in absolute positive joint work occurred at the hip, consistent with the hypothesis that quadrupeds power locomotion by torque about the hip. In addition, hindlimb EMA decreased substantially with increased acceleration - a potential strategy to increase stance time and thus ground impulses for a given peak force. This mechanism may also increase the mechanical advantage for applying the horizontal forces necessary for acceleration.

  6. Constructing biological pathway models with hybrid functional Petri nets.

    PubMed

    Doi, Atsushi; Fujita, Sachie; Matsuno, Hiroshi; Nagasaki, Masao; Miyano, Satoru

    2004-01-01

    In many research projects on modeling and analyzing biological pathways, the Petri net has been recognized as a promising method for representing biological pathways. From the pioneering works by Reddy et al., 1993, and Hofestädt, 1994, that model metabolic pathways by traditional Petri net, several enhanced Petri nets such as colored Petri net, stochastic Petri net, and hybrid Petri net have been used for modeling biological phenomena. Recently, Matsuno et al., 2003b, introduced the hybrid functional Petri net (HFPN) in order to give a more intuitive and natural modeling method for biological pathways than these existing Petri nets. Although the paper demonstrates the effectiveness of HFPN with two examples of gene regulation mechanism for circadian rhythms and apoptosis signaling pathway, there has been no detailed explanation about the method of HFPN construction for these examples. The purpose of this paper is to describe method to construct biological pathways with the HFPN step-by-step. The method is demonstrated by the well-known glycolytic pathway controlled by the lac operon gene regulatory mechanism.

  7. Constructing biological pathway models with hybrid functional petri nets.

    PubMed

    Doi, Atsushi; Fujita, Sachie; Matsuno, Hiroshi; Nagasaki, Masao; Miyano, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    In many research projects on modeling and analyzing biological pathways, the Petri net has been recognized as a promising method for representing biological pathways. From the pioneering works by Reddy et al., 1993, and Hofestädt, 1994, that model metabolic pathways by traditional Petri net, several enhanced Petri nets such as colored Petri net, stochastic Petri net, and hybrid Petri net have been used for modeling biological phenomena. Recently, Matsuno et al., 2003b, introduced the hybrid functional Petri net (HFPN) in order to give a more intuitive and natural modeling method for biological pathways than these existing Petri nets. Although the paper demonstrates the effectiveness of HFPN with two examples of gene regulation mechanism for circadian rhythms and apoptosis signaling pathway, there has been no detailed explanation about the method of HFPN construction for these examples. The purpose of this paper is to describe method to construct biological pathways with the HFPN step-by-step. The method is demonstrated by the well-known glycolytic pathway controlled by the lac operon gene regulatory mechanism.

  8. Electron distribution function behavior during localized transverse ion acceleration events in the topside auroral zone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, K. A.; Arnoldy, R. L.; Kintner, P. M.; Vago, J. L.

    1994-01-01

    The Topaz3 auroral sounding rocket made the following observations concerning the transfer of precipitating auroral electron energy to transverse ion acceleration in the topside auroral zone. During the course of the flight, the precipitating electron beam was modified to varying degrees by interaction with VLF hiss, at times changing the beam into a field-aligned plateau. The electron distribution functions throughout the flight are classified according to the extent of this modification, and correspondences with ion acceleration events are sought. The hiss power during most of this rocket flight apparently exceeded the threshold for collapse into solitary structures. At the times of plateaued electron distributions, the collapse of these structures was limited by Landau damping through the ambient ions, resulting in a velocity-dependent acceleration of both protons and oxygen. This initial acceleration is sufficient to supply the number flux of upflowing ions observed at satellite altitudes. The bursty ion acceleration was anticorrelated, on 1-s or smaller timescales, with dispersive bursts of precipitating field-aligned electrons, although on longer timescales the bursty ions and the bursty electrons are correlated.

  9. [Biological Function of The Small G Protein Rap].

    PubMed

    Li, Shan-Shan; Guo, Xiao-Xi; An, Shu; Yang, Yang; Liu, Ying; Xu, Tian-Rui

    2016-02-01

    Rap has different biological functions on intracellular signaling pathways, such as regulating cell polarity, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell adhesion and cell movement. Furthermore, at tissue and organ level, Rap controls the establishment of neural polarity, synaptic growth, synaptic plasticity, neuronal migration and so on. Rap belongs to Ras family which contains two subtypes, Rap1 and Rap2. By binding GTP or GDP Rap transform between active or inactive state, and plays an important role as a molecular switch. Moreover, in the signal pathway of tumor, Rap inhibits cell transformation induced by the oncogene Ras, therefore inhibits the proliferation, invasion and migration of certain cancer cells by interacting with its downstream target molecules. In this review, we summarized the biological functions of Rap and discussed It's significance in cancer therapy and drug treatment of neurological diseases.

  10. [Pharmacological correction of central nervous system function in exposure to Coriolis acceleration].

    PubMed

    Karkishchenko, N N; Dimitriadi, N A; Molchanovskiĭ, V V

    1986-01-01

    Healthy volunteers with a low vestibular tolerance were exposed to Coriolis acceleration. Potassium orotate, pyracetame and riboxine were used as prophylactic measures against disorders in the function of the vestibular apparatus and higher compartments of the higher nervous system. The central nervous function was assessed with respect to the spectral power of electroencephalograms, short-term memory and mental performance. Potassium orotate given at a dose of 40 mg/kg body weight/day during 12-14 days as well as pyracetame given at a dose of 30 mg/kg body weight/day during 3 or 7 days increased significantly statokinetic tolerance and produced a protective effect on the central nervous function against Coriolis acceleration.

  11. Modulation of leg joint function to produce emulated acceleration during walking and running in humans

    PubMed Central

    Raiteri, Brent J.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how humans adapt gait mechanics for a wide variety of locomotor tasks is important for inspiring the design of robotic, prosthetic and wearable assistive devices. We aimed to elicit the mechanical adjustments made to leg joint functions that are required to generate accelerative walking and running, using metrics with direct relevance to device design. Twelve healthy male participants completed constant speed (CS) walking and running and emulated acceleration (ACC) trials on an instrumented treadmill. External force and motion capture data were combined in an inverse dynamics analysis. Ankle, knee and hip joint mechanics were described and compared using angles, moments, powers and normalized functional indexes that described each joint as relatively more: spring, motor, damper or strut-like. To accelerate using a walking gait, the ankle joint was switched from predominantly spring-like to motor-like, while the hip joint was maintained as a motor, with an increase in hip motor-like function. Accelerating while running involved no change in the primary function of any leg joint, but involved high levels of spring and motor-like function at the hip and ankle joints. Mechanical adjustments for ACC walking were achieved primarily via altered limb positioning, but ACC running needed greater joint moments.

  12. SU-E-T-54: Benefits of Biological Cost Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Demirag, N

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To verify the benefits of the biological cost functions. Methods: TG166 patients were used for the test case scenarios. Patients were planned using Monaco V5.0 (CMS/Elekta, St.Louis, MO) Monaco has 3 biological and 8 physical CFs. In this study the plans were optimized using 3 different scenarios. 1- Biological CFs only 2-Physical CFs only 3- Combination of Physical and Biological CFsMonaco has 3 biological CFs. Target EUD used for the targets, derived from the poisson cell kill model, has an α value that controls the cold spots inside the target. α values used in the optimization were 0.5 and 0.8. if cold spots needs to be penalized α value increased. Serial CF: it's called serial to mimic the behaviour of the serial organs, if a high k value like 12 or 14 is used it controls the maximum dose. Serial CF has a k parameter that is used to shape the whole dvh curve. K value ranges between 1–20. k:1 is used to control the mean dose, lower k value controls the mean dose, higher k value controls the higher dose, using 2 serial CFs with different k values controls the whole DVH. Paralel CF controls the percentage of the volume that tolerates higher doses than the reference dose to mimic the behaviour of the paralel organs. Results: It was possible to achive clinically accepted plans in all 3 scenarios. The benefit of the biological cost functions were to control the mean dose for target and OAR, to shape the DVH curve using one EUD value and one k value simplifies the optimization process. Using the biological CFs alone, it was hard to control the dose at a point. Conclusion: Biological CFs in Monaco doesn't require the ntcp/tcp values from the labs and useful to shape the whole dvh curve. I work as an applications support specialist for Elekta and I am a Ph.D. Student in Istanbul University for radiation therapy physics.

  13. Biological framework for soil aggregation: Implications for ecological functions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Or, Dani

    2016-04-01

    Soil aggregation is heuristically understood as agglomeration of primary particles bound together by biotic and abiotic cementing agents. The organization of aggregates is believed to be hierarchical in nature; whereby primary particles bond together to form secondary particles and subsequently merge to form larger aggregates. Soil aggregates are not permanent structures, they continuously change in response to internal and external forces and other drivers, including moisture, capillary pressure, temperature, biological activity, and human disturbances. Soil aggregation processes and the resulting functionality span multiple spatial and temporal scales. The intertwined biological and physical nature of soil aggregation, and the time scales involved precluded a universally applicable and quantifiable framework for characterizing the nature and function of soil aggregation. We introduce a biophysical framework of soil aggregation that considers the various modes and factors of the genesis, maturation and degradation of soil aggregates including wetting/drying cycles, soil mechanical processes, biological activity and the nature of primary soil particles. The framework attempts to disentangle mechanical (compaction and soil fragmentation) from in-situ biophysical aggregation and provides a consistent description of aggregate size, hierarchical organization, and life time. It also enables quantitative description of biotic and abiotic functions of soil aggregates including diffusion and storage of mass and energy as well as role of aggregates as hot spots of nutrient accumulation, biodiversity, and biogeochemical cycles.

  14. Bioclojure: a functional library for the manipulation of biological sequences

    PubMed Central

    Plieskatt, Jordan; Rinaldi, Gabriel; Brindley, Paul J.; Jia, Xinying; Potriquet, Jeremy; Bethony, Jeffrey; Mulvenna, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: BioClojure is an open-source library for the manipulation of biological sequence data written in the language Clojure. BioClojure aims to provide a functional framework for the processing of biological sequence data that provides simple mechanisms for concurrency and lazy evaluation of large datasets. Results: BioClojure provides parsers and accessors for a range of biological sequence formats, including UniProtXML, Genbank XML, FASTA and FASTQ. In addition, it provides wrappers for key analysis programs, including BLAST, SignalP, TMHMM and InterProScan, and parsers for analyzing their output. All interfaces leverage Clojure’s functional style and emphasize laziness and composability, so that BioClojure, and user-defined, functions can be chained into simple pipelines that are thread-safe and seamlessly integrate lazy evaluation. Availability and implementation: BioClojure is distributed under the Lesser GPL, and the source code is freely available from GitHub (https://github.com/s312569/clj-biosequence). Contact: jason.mulvenna@qimrberghofer.edu.au or jason.mulvenna@qimr.edu.au PMID:24794932

  15. Accelerated remyelination during inflammatory demyelination prevents axonal loss and improves functional recovery

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Feng; Lehmann-Horn, Klaus; Shen, Yun-An A; Rankin, Kelsey A; Stebbins, Karin J; Lorrain, Daniel S; Pekarek, Kara; A Sagan, Sharon; Xiao, Lan; Teuscher, Cory; von Büdingen, H-Christian; Wess, Jürgen; Lawrence, J Josh; Green, Ari J; Fancy, Stephen PJ; Zamvil, Scott S; Chan, Jonah R

    2016-01-01

    Demyelination in MS disrupts nerve signals and contributes to axon degeneration. While remyelination promises to restore lost function, it remains unclear whether remyelination will prevent axonal loss. Inflammatory demyelination is accompanied by significant neuronal loss in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model and evidence for remyelination in this model is complicated by ongoing inflammation, degeneration and possible remyelination. Demonstrating the functional significance of remyelination necessitates selectively altering the timing of remyelination relative to inflammation and degeneration. We demonstrate accelerated remyelination after EAE induction by direct lineage analysis and hypothesize that newly formed myelin remains stable at the height of inflammation due in part to the absence of MOG expression in immature myelin. Oligodendroglial-specific genetic ablation of the M1 muscarinic receptor, a potent negative regulator of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, results in accelerated remyelination, preventing axonal loss and improving functional recovery. Together our findings demonstrate that accelerated remyelination supports axonal integrity and neuronal function after inflammatory demyelination. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18246.001 PMID:27671734

  16. Accelerating self-consistent field convergence with the augmented Roothaan–Hall energy function

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiangqian; Yang, Weitao

    2010-01-01

    Based on Pulay’s direct inversion iterative subspace (DIIS) approach, we present a method to accelerate self-consistent field (SCF) convergence. In this method, the quadratic augmented Roothaan–Hall (ARH) energy function, proposed recently by Høst and co-workers [J. Chem. Phys. 129, 124106 (2008)], is used as the object of minimization for obtaining the linear coefficients of Fock matrices within DIIS. This differs from the traditional DIIS of Pulay, which uses an object function derived from the commutator of the density and Fock matrices. Our results show that the present algorithm, abbreviated ADIIS, is more robust and efficient than the energy-DIIS (EDIIS) approach. In particular, several examples demonstrate that the combination of ADIIS and DIIS (“ADIIS+DIIS”) is highly reliable and efficient in accelerating SCF convergence. PMID:20136307

  17. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions

    PubMed Central

    Yáñez-Mó, María; Siljander, Pia R.-M.; Andreu, Zoraida; Zavec, Apolonija Bedina; Borràs, Francesc E.; Buzas, Edit I.; Buzas, Krisztina; Casal, Enriqueta; Cappello, Francesco; Carvalho, Joana; Colás, Eva; Silva, Anabela Cordeiro-da; Fais, Stefano; Falcon-Perez, Juan M.; Ghobrial, Irene M.; Giebel, Bernd; Gimona, Mario; Graner, Michael; Gursel, Ihsan; Gursel, Mayda; Heegaard, Niels H. H.; Hendrix, An; Kierulf, Peter; Kokubun, Katsutoshi; Kosanovic, Maja; Kralj-Iglic, Veronika; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria; Laitinen, Saara; Lässer, Cecilia; Lener, Thomas; Ligeti, Erzsébet; Linē, Aija; Lipps, Georg; Llorente, Alicia; Lötvall, Jan; Manček-Keber, Mateja; Marcilla, Antonio; Mittelbrunn, Maria; Nazarenko, Irina; Hoen, Esther N.M. Nolte-‘t; Nyman, Tuula A.; O'Driscoll, Lorraine; Olivan, Mireia; Oliveira, Carla; Pállinger, Éva; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Reventós, Jaume; Rigau, Marina; Rohde, Eva; Sammar, Marei; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Santarém, N.; Schallmoser, Katharina; Ostenfeld, Marie Stampe; Stoorvogel, Willem; Stukelj, Roman; Van der Grein, Susanne G.; Vasconcelos, M. Helena; Wauben, Marca H. M.; De Wever, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system. PMID:25979354

  18. Mnk kinase pathway: Cellular functions and biological outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Sonali; Platanias, Leonidas C

    2014-01-01

    The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) interacting protein kinases 1 and 2 (Mnk1 and Mnk2) play important roles in controlling signals involved in mRNA translation. In addition to the MAPKs (p38 or Erk), multiple studies suggest that the Mnk kinases can be regulated by other known kinases such as Pak2 and/or other unidentified kinases by phosphorylation of residues distinct from the sites phosphorylated by the MAPKs. Several studies have established multiple Mnk protein targets, including PSF, heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1, Sprouty 2 and have lead to the identification of distinct biological functions and substrate specificity for the Mnk kinases. In this review we discuss the pathways regulating the Mnk kinases, their known substrates as well as the functional consequences of engagement of pathways controlled by Mnk kinases. These kinases play an important role in mRNA translation via their regulation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and their functions have important implications in tumor biology as well as the regulation of drug resistance to anti-oncogenic therapies. Other studies have identified a role for the Mnk kinases in cap-independent mRNA translation, suggesting that the Mnk kinases can exert important functional effects independently of the phosphorylation of eIF4E. The role of Mnk kinases in inflammation and inflammation-induced malignancies is also discussed. PMID:25225600

  19. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions.

    PubMed

    Yáñez-Mó, María; Siljander, Pia R-M; Andreu, Zoraida; Zavec, Apolonija Bedina; Borràs, Francesc E; Buzas, Edit I; Buzas, Krisztina; Casal, Enriqueta; Cappello, Francesco; Carvalho, Joana; Colás, Eva; Cordeiro-da Silva, Anabela; Fais, Stefano; Falcon-Perez, Juan M; Ghobrial, Irene M; Giebel, Bernd; Gimona, Mario; Graner, Michael; Gursel, Ihsan; Gursel, Mayda; Heegaard, Niels H H; Hendrix, An; Kierulf, Peter; Kokubun, Katsutoshi; Kosanovic, Maja; Kralj-Iglic, Veronika; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria; Laitinen, Saara; Lässer, Cecilia; Lener, Thomas; Ligeti, Erzsébet; Linē, Aija; Lipps, Georg; Llorente, Alicia; Lötvall, Jan; Manček-Keber, Mateja; Marcilla, Antonio; Mittelbrunn, Maria; Nazarenko, Irina; Nolte-'t Hoen, Esther N M; Nyman, Tuula A; O'Driscoll, Lorraine; Olivan, Mireia; Oliveira, Carla; Pállinger, Éva; Del Portillo, Hernando A; Reventós, Jaume; Rigau, Marina; Rohde, Eva; Sammar, Marei; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Santarém, N; Schallmoser, Katharina; Ostenfeld, Marie Stampe; Stoorvogel, Willem; Stukelj, Roman; Van der Grein, Susanne G; Vasconcelos, M Helena; Wauben, Marca H M; De Wever, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as potent vehicles of intercellular communication, both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This is due to their capacity to transfer proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, thereby influencing various physiological and pathological functions of both recipient and parent cells. While intensive investigation has targeted the role of EVs in different pathological processes, for example, in cancer and autoimmune diseases, the EV-mediated maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of physiological functions have remained less explored. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the physiological roles of EVs, which has been written by crowd-sourcing, drawing on the unique EV expertise of academia-based scientists, clinicians and industry based in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia. This review is intended to be of relevance to both researchers already working on EV biology and to newcomers who will encounter this universal cell biological system. Therefore, here we address the molecular contents and functions of EVs in various tissues and body fluids from cell systems to organs. We also review the physiological mechanisms of EVs in bacteria, lower eukaryotes and plants to highlight the functional uniformity of this emerging communication system.

  20. Advances in cell surface glycoengineering reveal biological function.

    PubMed

    Nischan, Nicole; Kohler, Jennifer J

    2016-08-01

    Cell surface glycans are critical mediators of cell-cell, cell-ligand, and cell-pathogen interactions. By controlling the set of glycans displayed on the surface of a cell, it is possible to gain insight into the biological functions of glycans. Moreover, control of glycan expression can be used to direct cellular behavior. While genetic approaches to manipulate glycosyltransferase gene expression are available, their utility in glycan engineering has limitations due to the combinatorial nature of glycan biosynthesis and the functional redundancy of glycosyltransferase genes. Biochemical and chemical strategies offer valuable complements to these genetic approaches, notably by enabling introduction of unnatural functionalities, such as fluorophores, into cell surface glycans. Here, we describe some of the most recent developments in glycoengineering of cell surfaces, with an emphasis on strategies that employ novel chemical reagents. We highlight key examples of how these advances in cell surface glycan engineering enable study of cell surface glycans and their function. Exciting new technologies include synthetic lipid-glycans, new chemical reporters for metabolic oligosaccharide engineering to allow tandem and in vivo labeling of glycans, improved chemical and enzymatic methods for glycoproteomics, and metabolic glycosyltransferase inhibitors. Many chemical and biochemical reagents for glycan engineering are commercially available, facilitating their adoption by the biological community.

  1. Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence (AISS): An Introductory Biology, Chemistry, and Physics Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purvis-Roberts, Kathleen L.; Edwalds-Gilbert, Gretchen; Landsberg, Adam S.; Copp, Newton; Ulsh, Lisa; Drew, David E.

    2009-01-01

    A new interdisciplinary, introductory science course was offered for the first time during the 2007-2008 school year. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the idea of working at the intersections of biology, chemistry, and physics and to recognize interconnections between the disciplines. Interdisciplinary laboratories are a key…

  2. Obesity and diabetes as accelerators of functional decline: can lifestyle interventions maintain functional status in high risk older adults?

    PubMed

    Anton, Stephen D; Karabetian, Christy; Naugle, Kelly; Buford, Thomas W

    2013-09-01

    Obesity and diabetes are known risk factors for the development of physical disability among older adults. With the number of seniors with these conditions rising worldwide, the prevention and treatment of physical disability in these persons have become a major public health challenge. Sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, has been identified as a common pathway associated with the initial onset and progression of physical disability among older adults. A growing body of evidence suggests that metabolic dysregulation associated with obesity and diabetes accelerates the progression of sarcopenia, and subsequently functional decline in older adults. The focus of this brief review is on the contributions of obesity and diabetes in accelerating sarcopenia and functional decline among older adults. We also briefly discuss the underexplored interaction between obesity and diabetes that may further accelerate sarcopenia and place obese older adults with diabetes at particularly high risk of disability. Finally, we review findings from studies that have specifically tested the efficacy of lifestyle-based interventions in maintaining the functional status of older persons with obesity and/or diabetes.

  3. Biological water: Its vital role in macromolecular structure and function.

    PubMed

    Despa, Florin

    2005-12-01

    Water in tissues and cells is confined by intervening cellular components and is subject to structural effects that are not present in its bulk counterpart. The structuring effects lower the dielectric susceptibility of water molecules and induce a "red shift" of their relaxation frequency. This is also a source of polarization fields that contribute to the effective interactions between macromolecules. The behavior of water molecules at hydrophilic sites is different from that at hydrophobic sites, and this dissimilar behavior promotes the anisotropy of the hydration shell of proteins. The anisotropy of the hydration shell is essential for the enzyme function, but it is also important in detecting denaturation of the protein (i.e., proteins expose their hydrophobic parts to water during unfolding). The most significant differences between biological and ordinary water will be presented along with how this information can be used to decipher patterns in dynamical behavior of biological water and to detect possible structural changes of the cellular components.

  4. Click Chemistry Mediated Functionalization of Vertical Nanowires for Biological Applications.

    PubMed

    Vutti, Surendra; Schoffelen, Sanne; Bolinsson, Jessica; Buch-Månson, Nina; Bovet, Nicolas; Nygård, Jesper; Martinez, Karen L; Meldal, Morten

    2016-01-11

    Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are gaining significant importance in various biological applications, such as biosensing and drug delivery. Efficient and controlled immobilization of biomolecules on the NW surface is crucial for many of these applications. Here, we present for the first time the use of the Cu(I) -catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition and its strain-promoted variant for the covalent functionalization of vertical NWs with peptides and proteins. The potential of the approach was demonstrated in two complementary applications of measuring enzyme activity and protein binding, which is of general interest for biological studies. The attachment of a peptide substrate provided NW arrays for the detection of protease activity. In addition, green fluorescent protein was immobilized in a site-specific manner and recognized by antibody binding to demonstrate the proof-of-concept for the use of covalently modified NWs for diagnostic purposes using minute amounts of material.

  5. Considerations to improve functional annotations in biological databases.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Páez, Alfonso

    2009-12-01

    Despite the great effort to design efficient systems allowing the electronic indexation of information concerning genes, proteins, structures, and interactions published daily in scientific journals, some problems are still observed in specific tasks such as functional annotation. The annotation of function is a critical issue for bioinformatic routines, such as for instance, in functional genomics and the further prediction of unknown protein function, which are highly dependent of the quality of existing annotations. Some information management systems evolve to efficiently incorporate information from large-scale projects, but often, annotation of single records from the literature is difficult and slow. In this short report, functional characterizations of a representative sample of the entire set of uncharacterized proteins from Escherichia coli K12 was compiled from Swiss-Prot, PubMed, and EcoCyc and demonstrate a functional annotation deficit in biological databases. Some issues are postulated as causes of the lack of annotation, and different solutions are evaluated and proposed to avoid them. The hope is that as a consequence of these observations, there will be new impetus to improve the speed and quality of functional annotation and ultimately provide updated, reliable information to the scientific community.

  6. Center of Mass Acceleration Feedback Control for Standing by Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation – a Simulation Study

    PubMed Central

    Audu, Musa L.; Kirsch, Robert F.; Triolo, Ronald J.

    2013-01-01

    The potential efficacy of total body center of mass (COM) acceleration for feedback control of standing balance by functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) following spinal cord injury (SCI) was investigated. COM acceleration may be a viable alternative to conventional joint kinematics due to its rapid responsiveness, focal representation of COM dynamics, and ease of measurement. A computational procedure was developed using an anatomically-realistic, three-dimensional, bipedal biomechanical model to determine optimal patterns of muscle excitations to produce targeted effects upon COM acceleration from erect stance. The procedure was verified with electromyographic data collected from standing able-bodied subjects undergoing systematic perturbations. Using 16 muscle groups targeted by existing implantable neuroprostheses, data were generated to train an artificial neural network (ANN)-based controller in simulation. During forward simulations, proportional feedback of COM acceleration drove the ANN to produce muscle excitation patterns countering the effects of applied perturbations. Feedback gains were optimized to minimize upper extremity (UE) loading required to stabilize against disturbances. Compared to the clinical case of maximum constant excitation, the controller reduced UE loading by 43% in resisting external perturbations and by 51% during simulated one-arm reaching. Future work includes performance assessment against expected measurement errors and developing user-specific control systems. PMID:22773529

  7. The Human Glucocorticoid Receptor: Molecular Basis of Biologic Function

    PubMed Central

    Nicolaides, Nicolas C.; Galata, Zoi; Kino, Tomoshige; Chrousos, George P.; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2009-01-01

    The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticopid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic function. PMID:19818358

  8. The human glucocorticoid receptor: molecular basis of biologic function.

    PubMed

    Nicolaides, Nicolas C; Galata, Zoi; Kino, Tomoshige; Chrousos, George P; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2010-01-01

    The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA-polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and actions of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic functions.

  9. A synthetic biology framework for programming eukaryotic transcription functions.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Ahmad S; Lu, Timothy K; Bashor, Caleb J; Ramirez, Cherie L; Pyenson, Nora C; Joung, J Keith; Collins, James J

    2012-08-03

    Eukaryotic transcription factors (TFs) perform complex and combinatorial functions within transcriptional networks. Here, we present a synthetic framework for systematically constructing eukaryotic transcription functions using artificial zinc fingers, modular DNA-binding domains found within many eukaryotic TFs. Utilizing this platform, we construct a library of orthogonal synthetic transcription factors (sTFs) and use these to wire synthetic transcriptional circuits in yeast. We engineer complex functions, such as tunable output strength and transcriptional cooperativity, by rationally adjusting a decomposed set of key component properties, e.g., DNA specificity, affinity, promoter design, protein-protein interactions. We show that subtle perturbations to these properties can transform an individual sTF between distinct roles (activator, cooperative factor, inhibitory factor) within a transcriptional complex, thus drastically altering the signal processing behavior of multi-input systems. This platform provides new genetic components for synthetic biology and enables bottom-up approaches to understanding the design principles of eukaryotic transcriptional complexes and networks.

  10. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-06-02

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products.

  11. Systemic Modeling of Biological Functions in Consideration of Physiome Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minamitani, Haruyuki

    Emerging of the physiome project provides various influences on the medical, biological and pharmaceutical development. In this paper, as an example of physiome research, neural network model analysis providing the conduction mechanisms of pain and tactile sensations was presented, and the functional relations between neural activities of the network cells and stimulus intensity applied on the peripheral receptive fields were described. The modeling presented here is based on the various assumptions made by the results of physiological and anatomical studies reported in the literature. The functional activities of spinothalamic and thalamocortical cells show a good agreement with the physiological and psychophysical functions of somatosensory system that are very instructive for covering the gap between physiologically and psychophysically aspects of pain and tactile sensation.

  12. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products. PMID:27271660

  13. mRNA capping: biological functions and applications

    PubMed Central

    Ramanathan, Anand; Robb, G. Brett; Chan, Siu-Hong

    2016-01-01

    The 5′ m7G cap is an evolutionarily conserved modification of eukaryotic mRNA. Decades of research have established that the m7G cap serves as a unique molecular module that recruits cellular proteins and mediates cap-related biological functions such as pre-mRNA processing, nuclear export and cap-dependent protein synthesis. Only recently has the role of the cap 2′O methylation as an identifier of self RNA in the innate immune system against foreign RNA has become clear. The discovery of the cytoplasmic capping machinery suggests a novel level of control network. These new findings underscore the importance of a proper cap structure in the synthesis of functional messenger RNA. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the biological roles of mRNA caps in eukaryotic cells. We will also discuss different means that viruses and their host cells use to cap their RNA and the application of these capping machineries to synthesize functional mRNA. Novel applications of RNA capping enzymes in the discovery of new RNA species and sequencing the microbiome transcriptome will also be discussed. We will end with a summary of novel findings in RNA capping and the questions these findings pose. PMID:27317694

  14. Hyaluronan: A Simple Polysaccharide with Diverse Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Dicker, Kevin T.; Gurski, Lisa A.; Pradhan-Bhatt, Swati; Witt, Robert L.; Farach-Carson, Mary C.; Jia, Xinqiao

    2014-01-01

    Hyaluronan (HA) is a linear polysaccharide with disaccharide repeats of D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. It is evolutionary conserved and abundantly expressed in the extracellular matrix (ECM), on the cell surface and even inside cells. Being a simple polysaccharide, HA exhibits an astonishing array of biological functions. HA interacts with various proteins or proteoglycans to organize the ECM and to maintain tissue homeostasis. The unique physical and mechanical properties of HA contribute to the maintenance of tissue hydration, the mediation of solute diffusion through the extracellular space and the lubrication of certain tissues. The diverse biological functions of HA are manifested through its complex interactions with matrix components and resident cells. Binding of HA with cell surface receptors activates various signaling pathways that regulate cell function, tissue development, inflammation, wound healing and tumor progression and metastasis. Taking advantage of the inherent biocompatibility and biodegradability of HA, as well as its susceptibility to chemical modification, researchers have developed various HA-based biomaterials and tissue constructs with promising and broad clinical potential. In this article, we illustrate the properties of HA from a matrix biology perspective by first introducing principles underlying the biosynthesis and biodegradation of HA, as well as the interactions of HA with various proteins and proteoglycans. We next highlight the roles of HA in physiological and pathological states, including morphogenesis, wound healing and tumor metastasis. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying the roles of HA in various physiological processes can provide new insights and tools for the engineering of complex tissues and tissue models. PMID:24361428

  15. Trajectories of Microbial Community Function in Response to Accelerated Remediation of Subsurface Metal Contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    Firestone, Mary

    2015-01-14

    Objectives of proposed research were to; Determine if the trajectories of microbial community composition and function following organic carbon amendment can be related to, and predicted by, key environmental determinants; Assess the relative importance of the characteristics of the indigenous microbial community, sediment, groundwater, and concentration of organic carbon amendment as the major determinants of microbial community functional response and bioremediation capacity; and Provide a fundamental understanding of the microbial community ecology underlying subsurface metal remediation requisite to successful application of accelerated remediation and long-term stewardship of DOE-IFC sites.

  16. Functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetic nanoparticles with biological entities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mǎgeruşan, Lidia; Mrówczyński, Radosław; Turcu, Rodica

    2015-12-01

    New hybrid materials, obtained through introduction of cysteine, lysine and folic acid as biological entities into polydopamine-coated magnetite nanoparticles, are reported. The syntheses are straight forward and various methods were applied for structural and morphological characterization of the resulting nanoparticles. XPS proved a very powerful tool for surface chemical analysis and it evidences the functionalization of polydopamine coated magnetite nanoparticles. The superparamagnetic behavior and the high values of saturation magnetization recommend all products for further application where magnetism is important for targeting, separation, or heating by alternative magnetic fields.

  17. Iterated Function System and Multifractal Analysis of Biological Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zu-Guo; Anh, Vo; Lau, Ka-Sing

    The fractal method has been successfully used to study many problems in physics, mathematics, engineering, finance, even in biology till now. In the past decade or so there has been a ground swell of interest in unravelling the mysteries of DNA. How to get more bioinformations from these DNA sequences is a challenging problem. The problem of classification and evolution relationship of organisms are the central problems in bioinformatics. And it is also very hard to predict the secondary and space structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence. In this paper, some recent results related these problems obtained through multifractal analysis and iterated function system (IFS) model are introduced.

  18. Obesity-induced oxidative stress, accelerated functional decline with age and increased mortality in mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yiqiang; Fischer, Kathleen E.; Soto, Vanessa; Liu, Yuhong; Sosnowska, Danuta; Richardson, Arlan; Salmon, Adam B.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a serious chronic disease that increases the risk of numerous co-morbidities including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as increases risk of mortality leading some to suggest this represents accelerated aging. Obesity is associated with significant increases in oxidative stress in vivo and, despite the well-explored relationship between oxidative stress and aging, the role this plays in the increased mortality of obese subjects remains an unanswered question. Here, we addressed this by undertaking a comprehensive, longitudinal study of a group of high fat-fed obese mice and assessed both their changes in oxidative stress and in their performance in physiological assays known to decline with aging. In female C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet starting in adulthood, mortality was significantly increased in high fat-fed mice as was oxidative damage in vivo. High fat-feeding significantly accelerated the decline in performance in several assays, including activity, gait, and rotarod. However, we also found that obesity had little effect on other markers and actually improved performance in grip strength, a marker of muscular function. Together, this first comprehensive assessment of longitudinal functional changes in high fat-fed mice suggests that obesity may induce segmental acceleration of some of the aging process. PMID:25558793

  19. Correction of dispersion and the betatron functions in the CEBAF accelerator

    SciTech Connect

    Lebedev, V.A.; Bickley, M.; Schaffner, S.; Zeijts, J. van; Krafft, G.A.; Watson, C.

    1996-10-01

    During the commissioning of the CEBAF accelerator, correction of dispersion and momentum compaction, and, to a lesser extent, transverse transfer matrices were essential for robust operation. With changing machine conditions, repeated correction was found necessary. To speed the diagnostic process the authors developed a method which allows one to rapidly track the machine optics. The method is based on measuring the propagation of 30 Hz modulated betatron oscillations downstream of a point of perturbation. Compared to the usual methods of dispersion or difference orbit measurement, synchronous detection of the beam displacement, as measured by beam position monitors, offers significantly improved speed and accuracy of the measurements. The beam optics of the accelerator was altered to decrease lattice sensitivity at critical points and to simplify control of the betatron function match. The calculation of the Courant-Snyder invariant from signals of each pair of nearby beam position monitors has allowed one to perform on-line measurement and correction of the lattice properties.

  20. MicroRNAs in clear cell renal cell carcinoma: biological functions and applications

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRs) are small noncoding RNAs that govern many biological processes. They frequently acquire a gain or a loss of function in cancer and hence play a causative role in the development and progression of neoplasms. They could be used as biomarkers to improve our knowledge on diagnosis, prognosis and drug resistance, and to attempt therapeutic approaches in several types of cancer including clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). ccRCC is the most predominant subtype of RCC that accounts for about 90% of all renal cancers. Since ccRCC is generally asymptomatic until very late, it is difficult to diagnose early. Moreover, in the absence of preventive treatments for metastatic ccRCC after surgical resection of the primary cancer, predictive prognostic biomarkers are needed in order to achieve appropriate therapies. Herein the role of miRs in the biology of ccRCC and the potential applications of these molecules are discussed. Moreover, future applications in the diagnostic and prognostic field, as well as their impact on drug response and therapeutic targets are also explored. Their use in clinical practice as molecular biomarkers alone, or in combination with other biological markers could accelerate progress, help design personalized therapies, limit side effects, and improve quality of life of ccRCC patients.

  1. Biological Manipulation of Migration Rate: The Use of Advanced Photoperiod to Accelerate Smoltification in Yearling Chinook Salmon, Annual Report 1989.

    SciTech Connect

    Giorgi, Albert E.; Muir, William D.; Zaugg, Waldo S.

    1991-01-01

    Research was conducted to assess the feasibility of biologically manipulating physiological development and migratory behavior of yearling spring chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. At Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, treatment groups were exposed to a variety of advanced photoperiod cycles preceding release to accelerate smolt development. Physiological development and migratory performance were described for all groups. The treatments included a 14-week exposure to a 3-month advanced photoperiod cycle, an 18-week exposure to a 3-month advanced photoperiod cycle, and an 18-week exposure to a 4-month advanced photoperiod cycle. Two additional groups, an 18-week exposure to a 3-month advanced photoperiod and a control equivalent, were reared at an elevated water temperature (11{degrees}C) for 2 weeks prior to release. Results indicated that the treated fish which were the most physiologically advanced at release were detected in the highest proportion at collector dams and also migrated fastest downstream. 26 refs., 10 figs., 5 tabs.

  2. Diffusion of innovations dynamics, biological growth and catenary function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guseo, Renato

    2016-12-01

    The catenary function has a well-known role in determining the shape of chains and cables supported at their ends under the force of gravity. This enables design using a specific static equilibrium over space. Its reflected version, the catenary arch, allows the construction of bridges and arches exploiting the dual equilibrium property under uniform compression. In this paper, we emphasize a further connection with well-known aggregate biological growth models over time and the related diffusion of innovation key paradigms (e.g., logistic and Bass distributions over time) that determine self-sustaining evolutionary growth dynamics in naturalistic and socio-economic contexts. Moreover, we prove that the 'local entropy function', related to a logistic distribution, is a catenary and vice versa. This special invariance may be explained, at a deeper level, through the Verlinde's conjecture on the origin of gravity as an effect of the entropic force.

  3. STAT6: its role in interleukin 4-mediated biological functions.

    PubMed

    Takeda, K; Kishimoto, T; Akira, S

    1997-05-01

    Interleukin (IL) 4 is known to be a cytokine which plays a central role in the regulation of immune response. Studies on cytokine signal transduction have clarified the mechanism by which IL4 exerts its functions. Two cytoplasmic proteins, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 6 and IL4-induced phosphotyrosine substrate/insulin receptor substrate 2 (4PS/IRS2), are activated in IL4 signal transduction. Recent studies from STAT6-deficient mice have revealed the essential role of STAT6 in IL4-mediated biological actions. In addition, STAT6 has also been demonstrated to be important for the functions mediated by IL13, which is related to IL4. IL4 and IL13 have been shown to induce the production of IgE, which is a major mediator in an allergic response. These findings indicate that STAT6 activation is involved in IL4- and IL13-mediated disorders such as allergy.

  4. Dynamics of Boolean networks controlled by biologically meaningful functions.

    PubMed

    Raeymaekers, L

    2002-10-07

    The remarkably stable dynamics displayed by randomly constructed Boolean networks is one of the most striking examples of the spontaneous emergence of self-organization in model systems composed of many interacting elements (Kauffman, S., J. theor. Biol.22, 437-467, 1969; The Origins of Order, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1993). The dynamics of such networks is most stable for a connectivity of two inputs per element, and decreases dramatically with increasing number of connections. Whereas the simplicity of this model system allows the tracing of the dynamical trajectories, it leaves out many features of real biological connections. For instance, the dynamics has been studied in detail only for networks constructed by allowing all theoretically possible Boolean rules, whereas only a subset of them make sense in the material world. This paper analyses the effect on the dynamics of using only Boolean functions which are meaningful in a biological sense. This analysis is particularly relevant for nets with more than two inputs per element because biological networks generally appear to be more extensively interconnected. Sets of the meaningful functions were assembled for up to four inputs per element. The use of these rules results in a smaller number of distinct attractors which have a shorter length, with relatively little sensitivity to the size of the network and to the number of inputs per element. Forcing away the activator/inhibitor ratio from the expected value of 50% further enhances the stability. This effect is more pronounced for networks consisting of a majority of activators than for networks with a corresponding majority of inhibitors, indicating that the former allow the evolution of larger genetic networks. The data further support the idea of the usefulness of logical networks as a conceptual framework for the understanding of real-world phenomena.

  5. [Histidine triad protein superfamily--biological function and enzymatic activity].

    PubMed

    Krakowiak, Agnieszka; Fryc, Izabela

    2012-01-01

    The HIT superfamily consists of proteins that share the histidine triad motif, His-X-His-X-His-X-X (where X is a hydrophobic amino acid), which constitutes enzymatic catalytic center. These enzymes act as nucleotidylyl hydrolase or transferase, and the mutation of the second histidine in the triad abolishes their activity. HIT proteins were found ubiquitous in all organisms and they were classified into 5 branches, which are represented by human proteins: HINT1, FHIT, Aprataxin, GALT and DCPS. Because HINT1 orthologs, which belong to the evolutionally oldest family branch, were found from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, it is clear that HIT motif was conserved during the evolution what means that the enzymatic activity is necessary for functions of these proteins. However, in few cases, e.g. HINT1 and FHIT, the connection between the biological function and the enzymatic activity is still obscure. In this review, the relations between biology and activity for 7 HIT proteins, which were found in human, are highlighted.

  6. Sucrose metabolism gene families and their biological functions

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Shu-Ye; Chi, Yun-Hua; Wang, Ji-Zhou; Zhou, Jun-Xia; Cheng, Yan-Song; Zhang, Bao-Lan; Ma, Ali; Vanitha, Jeevanandam; Ramachandran, Srinivasan

    2015-01-01

    Sucrose, as the main product of photosynthesis, plays crucial roles in plant development. Although studies on general metabolism pathway were well documented, less information is available on the genome-wide identification of these genes, their expansion and evolutionary history as well as their biological functions. We focused on four sucrose metabolism related gene families including sucrose synthase, sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose phosphate phosphatase and UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. These gene families exhibited different expansion and evolutionary history as their host genomes experienced differentiated rates of the whole genome duplication, tandem and segmental duplication, or mobile element mediated gene gain and loss. They were evolutionarily conserved under purifying selection among species and expression divergence played important roles for gene survival after expansion. However, we have detected recent positive selection during intra-species divergence. Overexpression of 15 sorghum genes in Arabidopsis revealed their roles in biomass accumulation, flowering time control, seed germination and response to high salinity and sugar stresses. Our studies uncovered the molecular mechanisms of gene expansion and evolution and also provided new insight into the role of positive selection in intra-species divergence. Overexpression data revealed novel biological functions of these genes in flowering time control and seed germination under normal and stress conditions. PMID:26616172

  7. Event-based text mining for biology and functional genomics

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Paul; Nawaz, Raheel; McNaught, John; Kell, Douglas B.

    2015-01-01

    The assessment of genome function requires a mapping between genome-derived entities and biochemical reactions, and the biomedical literature represents a rich source of information about reactions between biological components. However, the increasingly rapid growth in the volume of literature provides both a challenge and an opportunity for researchers to isolate information about reactions of interest in a timely and efficient manner. In response, recent text mining research in the biology domain has been largely focused on the identification and extraction of ‘events’, i.e. categorised, structured representations of relationships between biochemical entities, from the literature. Functional genomics analyses necessarily encompass events as so defined. Automatic event extraction systems facilitate the development of sophisticated semantic search applications, allowing researchers to formulate structured queries over extracted events, so as to specify the exact types of reactions to be retrieved. This article provides an overview of recent research into event extraction. We cover annotated corpora on which systems are trained, systems that achieve state-of-the-art performance and details of the community shared tasks that have been instrumental in increasing the quality, coverage and scalability of recent systems. Finally, several concrete applications of event extraction are covered, together with emerging directions of research. PMID:24907365

  8. Accelerator-Based Biological Irradiation Facility Simulating Neutron Exposure from an Improvised Nuclear Device

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yanping; Randers-Pehrson, Gerhard; Turner, Helen C.; Marino, Stephen A.; Geard, Charles R.; Brenner, David J.; Garty, Guy

    2015-01-01

    We describe here an accelerator-based neutron irradiation facility, intended to expose blood or small animals to neutron fields mimicking those from an improvised nuclear device at relevant distances from the epicenter. Neutrons are generated by a mixed proton/deuteron beam on a thick beryllium target, generating a broad spectrum of neutron energies that match those estimated for the Hiroshima bomb at 1.5 km from ground zero. This spectrum, dominated by neutron energies between 0.2 and 9 MeV, is significantly different from the standard reactor fission spectrum, as the initial bomb spectrum changes when the neutrons are transported through air. The neutron and gamma dose rates were measured using a custom tissue-equivalent gas ionization chamber and a compensated Geiger-Mueller dosimeter, respectively. Neutron spectra were evaluated by unfolding measurements using a proton-recoil proportional counter and a liquid scintillator detector. As an illustration of the potential use of this facility we present micronucleus yields in single divided, cytokinesis-blocked human peripheral lymphocytes up to 1.5 Gy demonstrating 3- to 5-fold enhancement over equivalent X-ray doses. This facility is currently in routine use, irradiating both mice and human blood samples for evaluation of neutron-specific biodosimetry assays. Future studies will focus on dose reconstruction in realistic mixed neutron/photon fields. PMID:26414507

  9. Molecular dynamics study of accelerated ion-induced shock waves in biological media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vera, Pablo; Mason, Nigel J.; Currell, Fred J.; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    2016-09-01

    We present a molecular dynamics study of the effects of carbon- and iron-ion induced shock waves in DNA duplexes in liquid water. We use the CHARMM force field implemented within the MBN Explorer simulation package to optimize and equilibrate DNA duplexes in liquid water boxes of different sizes and shapes. The translational and vibrational degrees of freedom of water molecules are excited according to the energy deposited by the ions and the subsequent shock waves in liquid water are simulated. The pressure waves generated are studied and compared with an analytical hydrodynamics model which serves as a benchmark for evaluating the suitability of the simulation boxes. The energy deposition in the DNA backbone bonds is also monitored as an estimation of biological damage, something which is not possible with the analytical model.

  10. Biological soil crusts accelerate the nitrogen cycle through large NO and HONO emissions in drylands

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Dianming; Tamm, Alexandra; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J.; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Reactive nitrogen species have a strong influence on atmospheric chemistry and climate, tightly coupling the Earth’s nitrogen cycle with microbial activity in the biosphere. Their sources, however, are not well constrained, especially in dryland regions accounting for a major fraction of the global land surface. Here, we show that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are emitters of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). Largest fluxes are obtained by dark cyanobacteria-dominated biocrusts, being ∼20 times higher than those of neighboring uncrusted soils. Based on laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data, we obtain a best estimate of ∼1.7 Tg per year for the global emission of reactive nitrogen from biocrusts (1.1 Tg a−1 of NO-N and 0.6 Tg a−1 of HONO-N), corresponding to ∼20% of global nitrogen oxide emissions from soils under natural vegetation. On continental scales, emissions are highest in Africa and South America and lowest in Europe. Our results suggest that dryland emissions of reactive nitrogen are largely driven by biocrusts rather than the underlying soil. They help to explain enigmatic discrepancies between measurement and modeling approaches of global reactive nitrogen emissions. As the emissions of biocrusts strongly depend on precipitation events, climate change affecting the distribution and frequency of precipitation may have a strong impact on terrestrial emissions of reactive nitrogen and related climate feedback effects. Because biocrusts also account for a large fraction of global terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation, their impacts should be further quantified and included in regional and global models of air chemistry, biogeochemistry, and climate. PMID:26621714

  11. Biological soil crusts accelerate the nitrogen cycle through large NO and HONO emissions in drylands.

    PubMed

    Weber, Bettina; Wu, Dianming; Tamm, Alexandra; Ruckteschler, Nina; Rodríguez-Caballero, Emilio; Steinkamp, Jörg; Meusel, Hannah; Elbert, Wolfgang; Behrendt, Thomas; Sörgel, Matthias; Cheng, Yafang; Crutzen, Paul J; Su, Hang; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2015-12-15

    Reactive nitrogen species have a strong influence on atmospheric chemistry and climate, tightly coupling the Earth's nitrogen cycle with microbial activity in the biosphere. Their sources, however, are not well constrained, especially in dryland regions accounting for a major fraction of the global land surface. Here, we show that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are emitters of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous acid (HONO). Largest fluxes are obtained by dark cyanobacteria-dominated biocrusts, being ∼20 times higher than those of neighboring uncrusted soils. Based on laboratory, field, and satellite measurement data, we obtain a best estimate of ∼1.7 Tg per year for the global emission of reactive nitrogen from biocrusts (1.1 Tg a(-1) of NO-N and 0.6 Tg a(-1) of HONO-N), corresponding to ∼20% of global nitrogen oxide emissions from soils under natural vegetation. On continental scales, emissions are highest in Africa and South America and lowest in Europe. Our results suggest that dryland emissions of reactive nitrogen are largely driven by biocrusts rather than the underlying soil. They help to explain enigmatic discrepancies between measurement and modeling approaches of global reactive nitrogen emissions. As the emissions of biocrusts strongly depend on precipitation events, climate change affecting the distribution and frequency of precipitation may have a strong impact on terrestrial emissions of reactive nitrogen and related climate feedback effects. Because biocrusts also account for a large fraction of global terrestrial biological nitrogen fixation, their impacts should be further quantified and included in regional and global models of air chemistry, biogeochemistry, and climate.

  12. Spatio-temporal radiation biology with conventionally or laser-accelerated particles for ELIMED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ristić-Fira, A.; Bulat, T.; Keta, O.; Romano, F.; Cirrone, P.; Cuttone, G.; Petrović, I.

    2013-07-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the behavior of radio-resistant human malignant cells, thus enabling better understanding of radiobiological effects of ions in such a case. Radiation sources such as accelerated continuous ion beams and laser technology-based ultra short radiation sources with energy of around 10 MeV will be used. The HTB140 melanoma cells are chosen since it has been shown that they represent the limit case of cellular radio-resistance among the studied tumor cell lines. These cells are particularly interesting as they provide data on the very edge of inactivation capacity of each beam line that is tested. After exposing the cell monolayers to continuous radiations of low (γ-rays) and high (protons) linear energy transfer, the kinetics of disappearance of the phosphorylated histone H2AX (γ-H2AX) foci per cell will be determined. The same procedure will be performed with the pulsed high dose rate protons. Detection and quantification of γ-H2AX foci will be performed by immunohistochemical 3D time-dependent imaging analyses using laser scanning confocal microscopy. Immunoblotting will enable the follow-up of the relation between γ-H2AX and cell cycle arrest via the p53/p21 pathway. In such a way the spatio-temporal changes on sub-cellular level will be visualized, quantified and compared. These results will show whether there is a difference in the effects on cells between continuous and pulsed irradiation mode. Therefore, they will contribute to the data base that might promote pulsed sources for medical treatments of malignant growths.

  13. Spatio-temporal radiation biology with conventionally or laser-accelerated particles for ELIMED

    SciTech Connect

    Ristić-Fira, A.; Bulat, T.; Keta, O.; Petrović, I.; Romano, F.; Cirrone, P.; Cuttone, G.

    2013-07-26

    The aim of this study is to investigate the behavior of radio-resistant human malignant cells, thus enabling better understanding of radiobiological effects of ions in such a case. Radiation sources such as accelerated continuous ion beams and laser technology-based ultra short radiation sources with energy of around 10 MeV will be used. The HTB140 melanoma cells are chosen since it has been shown that they represent the limit case of cellular radio-resistance among the studied tumor cell lines. These cells are particularly interesting as they provide data on the very edge of inactivation capacity of each beam line that is tested. After exposing the cell monolayers to continuous radiations of low (γ-rays) and high (protons) linear energy transfer, the kinetics of disappearance of the phosphorylated histone H2AX (γ-H2AX) foci per cell will be determined. The same procedure will be performed with the pulsed high dose rate protons. Detection and quantification of γ-H2AX foci will be performed by immunohistochemical 3D time-dependent imaging analyses using laser scanning confocal microscopy. Immunoblotting will enable the follow-up of the relation between γ-H2AX and cell cycle arrest via the p53/p21 pathway. In such a way the spatio-temporal changes on sub-cellular level will be visualized, quantified and compared. These results will show whether there is a difference in the effects on cells between continuous and pulsed irradiation mode. Therefore, they will contribute to the data base that might promote pulsed sources for medical treatments of malignant growths.

  14. Analogy between language and biology: a functional approach.

    PubMed

    Victorri, Bernard

    2007-03-01

    We adopt here a functional approach to the classical comparison between language and biology. We first parallel events which have a functional signification in each domain, by matching the utterance of a sentence with the release of a protein. The meaning of a protein is then defined by analogy as "the constant contribution of the biochemical material composing the protein to the effects produced by any release of the protein". The proteome of an organism corresponds to an I-language (the idiolect of an individual), and the proteome of a species is equivalent to an E-language (a language in the common sense). Proteins and sentences are both characterized by a complex hierarchical structure, but the language property of 'double articulation' has no equivalent in the biological domain in this analogy, contrary to previous proposals centered on the genetic code. Besides, the same intimate relation between structure and meaning holds in both cases (syntactic structure for sentences and three-dimensional conformation for proteins). An important disanalogy comes from the combinatorial power of language which is not shared by the proteome as a whole, but it must be noted that the immune system possesses interesting properties in this respect. Regarding evolutionary aspects, the analogy still works to a certain extent. Languages and proteomes can be both considered as belonging to a general class of systems, that we call "productive self-reproductive systems", characterized by the presence of two dynamics: a fast dynamics in an external domain where functional events occur (productive aspect), and a slow dynamics responsible for the evolution of the system itself, driven by the feed-back of events related to the reproduction process.

  15. Biological Effects of Particles with Very High Energy Deposition on Mammalian Cells Utilizing the Brookhaven Tandem Van de Graaff Accelerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saha, Janapriya; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Wang, Minli

    2013-01-01

    High LET radiation from GCR (Galactic Cosmic Rays) consisting mainly of high charge and energy (HZE) nuclei and secondary protons and neutrons, and secondaries from protons in SPE (Solar Particle Event) pose a major health risk to astronauts due to induction of DNA damage and oxidative stress. Experiments with high energy particles mimicking the space environment for estimation of radiation risk are being performed at NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at BNL. Experiments with low energy particles comparing to high energy particles of similar LET are of interest for investigation of the role of track structure on biological effects. For this purpose, we report results utilizing the Tandem Van de Graaff accelerator at BNL. The primary objective of our studies is to elucidate the influence of high vs low energy deposition on track structure, delta ray contribution and resulting biological responses. These low energy ions are of special relevance as these energies may occur following absorption through the spacecraft and shielding materials in human tissues and nuclear fragments produced in tissues by high energy protons and neutrons. This study will help to verify the efficiency of these low energy particles and better understand how various cell types respond to them.

  16. Functional imaging of murine hearts using accelerated self-gated UTE cine MRI.

    PubMed

    Motaal, Abdallah G; Noorman, Nils; de Graaf, Wolter L; Hoerr, Verena; Florack, Luc M J; Nicolay, Klaas; Strijkers, Gustav J

    2015-01-01

    We introduce a fast protocol for ultra-short echo time (UTE) Cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the beating murine heart. The sequence involves a self-gated UTE with golden-angle radial acquisition and compressed sensing reconstruction. The self-gated acquisition is performed asynchronously with the heartbeat, resulting in a randomly undersampled kt-space that facilitates compressed sensing reconstruction. The sequence was tested in 4 healthy rats and 4 rats with chronic myocardial infarction, approximately 2 months after surgery. As a control, a non-accelerated self-gated multi-slice FLASH sequence with an echo time (TE) of 2.76 ms, 4.5 signal averages, a matrix of 192 × 192, and an acquisition time of 2 min 34 s per slice was used to obtain Cine MRI with 15 frames per heartbeat. Non-accelerated UTE MRI was performed with TE = 0.29 ms, a reconstruction matrix of 192 × 192, and an acquisition time of 3 min 47 s per slice for 3.5 averages. Accelerated imaging with 2×, 4× and 5× undersampled kt-space data was performed with 1 min, 30 and 15 s acquisitions, respectively. UTE Cine images up to 5× undersampled kt-space data could be successfully reconstructed using a compressed sensing algorithm. In contrast to the FLASH Cine images, flow artifacts in the UTE images were nearly absent due to the short echo time, simplifying segmentation of the left ventricular (LV) lumen. LV functional parameters derived from the control and the accelerated Cine movies were statistically identical.

  17. Ground Test of the Urine Processing Assembly for Accelerations and Transfer Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houston, Janice; Almond, Deborah F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives an overview of the ground test of the urine processing assembly for accelerations and transfer functions. Details are given on the test setup, test data, data analysis, analytical results, and microgravity assessment. The conclusions of the tests include the following: (1) the single input/multiple output method is useful if the data is acquired by tri-axial accelerometers and inputs can be considered uncorrelated; (2) tying coherence with the matrix yields higher confidence in results; (3) the WRS#2 rack ORUs need to be isolated; (4) and future work includes a plan for characterizing performance of isolation materials.

  18. Proteomic profiling of high risk medulloblastoma reveals functional biology.

    PubMed

    Staal, Jerome A; Lau, Ling San; Zhang, Huizhen; Ingram, Wendy J; Hallahan, Andrew R; Northcott, Paul A; Pfister, Stefan M; Wechsler-Reya, Robert J; Rusert, Jessica M; Taylor, Michael D; Cho, Yoon-Jae; Packer, Roger J; Brown, Kristy J; Rood, Brian R

    2015-06-10

    Genomic characterization of medulloblastoma has improved molecular risk classification but struggles to define functional biological processes, particularly for the most aggressive subgroups. We present here a novel proteomic approach to this problem using a reference library of stable isotope labeled medulloblastoma-specific proteins as a spike-in standard for accurate quantification of the tumor proteome. Utilizing high-resolution mass spectrometry, we quantified the tumor proteome of group 3 medulloblastoma cells and demonstrate that high-risk MYC amplified tumors can be segregated based on protein expression patterns. We cross-validated the differentially expressed protein candidates using an independent transcriptomic data set and further confirmed them in a separate cohort of medulloblastoma tissue samples to identify the most robust proteogenomic differences. Interestingly, highly expressed proteins associated with MYC-amplified tumors were significantly related to glycolytic metabolic pathways via alternative splicing of pyruvate kinase (PKM) by heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins (HNRNPs). Furthermore, when maintained under hypoxic conditions, these MYC-amplified tumors demonstrated increased viability compared to non-amplified tumors within the same subgroup. Taken together, these findings highlight the power of proteomics as an integrative platform to help prioritize genetic and molecular drivers of cancer biology and behavior.

  19. Androgen Receptor Structure, Function and Biology: From Bench to Bedside

    PubMed Central

    Davey, Rachel A; Grossmann, Mathis

    2016-01-01

    The actions of androgens such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are mediated via the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-dependent nuclear transcription factor and member of the steroid hormone nuclear receptor family. Given its widespread expression in many cells and tissues, the AR has a diverse range of biological actions including important roles in the development and maintenance of the reproductive, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, immune, neural and haemopoietic systems. AR signalling may also be involved in the development of tumours in the prostate, bladder, liver, kidney and lung. Androgens can exert their actions via the AR in a DNA binding-dependent manner to regulate target gene transcription, or in a non-DNA binding-dependent manner to initiate rapid, cellular events such as the phosphorylation of 2nd messenger signalling cascades. More recently, ligand-independent actions of the AR have also been identified. Given the large volume of studies relating to androgens and the AR, this review is not intended as an extensive review of all studies investigating the AR, but rather as an overview of the structure, function, signalling pathways and biology of the AR as well as its important role in clinical medicine, with emphasis on recent developments in this field. PMID:27057074

  20. Discoveries of rhythms in human biological functions: a historical review.

    PubMed

    Lemmer, Björn

    2009-08-01

    Though there are very early and ancient observations on the daily variation in physiological and pathophysiological functions (e.g., bronchial asthma), more detailed and scientific reports were not published until the beginning of the 17th century. The aim of this review is to bring those reports to the attention of researchers of chronobiology and chronopharmacology. The ancient books and their contents, which constitute the basis for this review, are part of the personal library collection of the author; numerous observations and reports on biologic rhythms in man are presented here for the first time. The intent of this review is to demonstrate that the fields of chronobiology and chronopharmacology are not only a new and modern branch of science, but that it stands on the shoulders of wonderful and insightful observations and explanations made by our scientific forefathers. It is the hope that the reader will enjoy the richness of the ancient reports that contribute to our present knowledge achieved through astute early biologic rhythm research.

  1. Biologically functionalized nanochannels on ferroelectric lead zirconium titanate surfaces.

    SciTech Connect

    Ocola, L. E.; Pan, W. C.; Kuo, M.; Tirumala, V. R.; Reiss, B. D.; Firestone, M. A.; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

    2005-01-01

    We recently started a program at Argonne to exploit patterned, polarizable ferroelectric surfaces, such as lead zirconium titanate (PZT), as a means to create field-responsive inorganic-biomolecule interfaces to study and manipulate biomatter on surfaces. In this paper we will discuss the integration of nanochannels on the surface of PZT films and their selective functionalization to create nanovalves to control nanofluidic flow. Microfluidic devices have been fabricated using a variety of methods, ranging from thermal decomposition of buried patterned channels, to fabricating trenches via plasma etch or hot embossing followed by trench capping. Our work focuses on an alternative method by using a bilayer resist in an inverted configuration normally used for T- and Gamma- gate fabrication. This method is capable of yielding sub-100 nm nanochannels with high aspect ratios and sub-500nm alignment. We have recently demonstrated that the polarization hysteresis loop of PZT is the same before and after exposure to an aqueous environment. This opens the possibility of selective surface modification of PZT via coupling of a wide range of biomolecules (e.g., peptides, proteins) and the use of the electric-field-responsive properties of PZT to manipulate the function (e.g., orientation) of the tethered biomolecules. We have used phage display techniques to evolve specific peptide motifs that selectively bind to PZT. The optimum heptapeptide that facilitates both the attachment of functional biological molecules to the surface of PZT has been identified.

  2. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Twenty years of protein interaction studies for biological function deciphering.

    PubMed

    Legrain, Pierre; Rain, Jean-Christophe

    2014-07-31

    Intensive methodological developments and technology innovation have been devoted to protein-protein interaction studies over 20years. Genetic indirect assays and sophisticated large scale biochemical analyses have jointly contributed to the elucidation of protein-protein interactions, still with a lot of drawbacks despite heavy investment in human resources and technologies. With the most recent developments in mass spectrometry and computational tools for studying protein content of complex samples, the initial goal of deciphering molecular bases of biological functions is now within reach. Here, we described the various steps of this process and gave examples of key milestones in this scientific story line. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 20years of Proteomics in memory of Viatliano Pallini. Guest Editors: Luca Bini, Juan J. Calvete, Natacha Turck, Denis Hochstrasser and Jean-Charles Sanchez.

  4. Comparative genomics of pectinacetylesterases: Insight on function and biology

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Amancio José; Pauly, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Pectin acetylation influences the gelling ability of this important plant polysaccharide for the food industry. Plant apoplastic pectinacetylesterases (PAEs) play a key role in regulating the degree of pectin acetylation and modifying their expression thus represents one way to engineer plant polysaccharides for food applications. Identifying the major active enzymes within the PAE gene family will aid in our understanding of this biological phenomena as well as provide the tools for direct trait manipulation. Using comparative genomics we propose that there is a minimal set of 4 distinct PAEs in plants. Possible functional diversification of the PAE family in the grasses is also explored with the identification of 3 groups of PAE genes specific to grasses. PMID:26237162

  5. Biological activity of lactoferrin-functionalized biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals

    PubMed Central

    Nocerino, Nunzia; Fulgione, Andrea; Iannaccone, Marco; Tomasetta, Laura; Ianniello, Flora; Martora, Francesca; Lelli, Marco; Roveri, Norberto; Capuano, Federico; Capparelli, Rosanna

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics is a general public health problem. Progress in developing new molecules with antimicrobial properties has been made. In this study, we evaluated the biological activity of a hybrid nanocomposite composed of synthetic biomimetic hydroxyapatite surface-functionalized by lactoferrin (LF-HA). We evaluated the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of LF-HA and found that the composite was active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and that it modulated proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses and enhanced antioxidant properties as compared with LF alone. These results indicate the possibility of using LF-HA as an antimicrobial system and biomimetic hydroxyapatite as a candidate for innovative biomedical applications. PMID:24623976

  6. Peptide Self-Assembly for Crafting Functional Biological Materials

    PubMed Central

    Matson, John B.; Zha, R. Helen; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2011-01-01

    Self-assembling, peptide-based scaffolds are frontrunners in the search for biomaterials with widespread impact in regenerative medicine. The inherent biocompatibility and cell signaling capabilities of peptides, in combination with control of secondary structure, has led to the development of a broad range of functional materials with potential for many novel therapies. More recently, membranes formed through complexation of peptide nanostructures with natural biopolymers have led to the development of hierarchically-structured constructs with potentially far-reaching applications in biology and medicine. In this review, we highlight recent advances in peptide-based gels and membranes, including work from our group and others. Specifically, we discuss the application of peptide-based materials in the regeneration of bone and enamel, cartilage, and the central nervous system, as well as the transplantation of islets, wound-healing, cardiovascular therapies, and treatment of erectile dysfunction after prostatectomy PMID:22125413

  7. Two-Axis Acceleration of Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging by Parallel Excitation of Phase-Tagged Slices and Half k-Space Acceleration

    PubMed Central

    Jesmanowicz, Andrzej; Nencka, Andrew S.; Li, Shi-Jiang

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Whole brain functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging requires acquisition of a time course of gradient-recalled (GR) volumetric images. A method is developed to accelerate this acquisition using GR echo-planar imaging and radio frequency (RF) slice phase tagging. For N-fold acceleration, a tailored RF pulse excites N slices using a uniform-field transmit coil. This pulse is the Fourier transform of the profile for the N slices with a predetermined RF phase tag on each slice. A multichannel RF receive coil is used for detection. For n slices, there are n/N groups of slices. Signal-averaged reference images are created for each slice within each slice group for each member of the coil array and used to separate overlapping images that are simultaneously received. The time-overhead for collection of reference images is small relative to the acquisition time of a complete volumetric time course. A least-squares singular value decomposition method allows image separation on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Twofold slice acceleration is demonstrated using an eight-channel RF receive coil, with application to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in the human brain. Data from six subjects at 3 T are reported. The method has been extended to half k-space acquisition, which not only provides additional acceleration, but also facilitates slice separation because of increased signal intensity of the central lines of k-space coupled with reduced susceptibility effects. PMID:22432957

  8. Effect of plasma exchange in accelerating natalizumab clearance and restoring leukocyte function

    PubMed Central

    Khatri, B O.; Man, S; Giovannoni, G; Koo, A P.; Lee, J-C; Tucky, B; Lynn, F; Jurgensen, S; Woodworth, J; Goelz, S; Duda, P W.; Panzara, M A.; Ransohoff, R M.; Fox, R J.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Accelerating the clearance of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from the body may be useful to address uncommon but serious complications from treatment, such as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Treatment of PML requires immune reconstitution. Plasma exchange (PLEX) may accelerate mAb clearance, restoring the function of inhibited proteins and increasing the number or function of leukocytes entering the CNS. We evaluated the efficacy of PLEX in accelerating natalizumab (a therapy for multiple sclerosis [MS] and Crohn disease) clearance and α4-integrin desaturation. Restoration of leukocyte transmigratory capacity was evaluated using an in vitro blood–brain barrier (ivBBB). Methods: Twelve patients with MS receiving natalizumab underwent three 1.5-volume PLEX sessions over 5 or 8 days. Natalizumab concentrations and α4-integrin saturation were assessed daily throughout PLEX and three times over the subsequent 2 weeks, comparing results with the same patients the previous month. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) migration (induced by the chemokine CCL2) across an ivBBB was assessed in a subset of six patients with and without PLEX. Results: Serum natalizumab concentrations were reduced by a mean of 92% from baseline to 1 week after three PLEX sessions (p < 0.001). Although average α4-integrin saturation was not reduced after PLEX, it was reduced to less than 50% when natalizumab concentrations were below 1 μg/mL. PBMC transmigratory capacity increased 2.2-fold after PLEX (p < 0.006). Conclusions: Plasma exchange (PLEX) accelerated clearance of natalizumab, and at natalizumab concentrations below 1 μg/mL, desaturation of α4-integrin was observed. Also, CCL2-induced leukocyte transmigration across an in vitro blood–brain barrier was increased after PLEX. Therefore, PLEX may be effective in restoring immune effector function in natalizumab-treated patients. GLOSSARY AE = adverse event; BBB = blood–brain barrier; BW

  9. Functionalized nanoparticles for biological imaging and detection applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Bing C.

    Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have gained tremendous attention in the last decade as a result of their size-dependent spectroscopic properties. These nanoparticles have been a subject of intense study to bridge the gap between macroscopic and atomic behavior, as well as to generate new materials for novel applications in therapeutics, biological sensing, light emitting devices, microelectronics, lasers, and solar cells. One of the most promising areas for the use of these nanoparticles is in biotechnology, where their size-dependent optical properties are harnessed for imaging and sensing applications. However, these nanoparticles, as synthesized, are often not stable in aqueous media and lack simple and reliable means of covalently linking to biomolecules. The focus of this work is to advance the progress of these nanomaterials for biotechnology by synthesizing them, characterizing their optical properties and rendering them water-soluble and functional while maintaining their coveted optical properties. QDs were synthesized by an organometallic chemical procedure that utilizes coordinating solvents to provide brightly luminescent nanoparticles. The optical interactions of these QDs were studied as a function of concentration to identify particle size-dependent optimal concentrations, where scattering and indirection excitation are minimized and the amount light observed per particle is maximized. Both QDs and AuNPs were rendered water-soluble and stable in a broad range of biologically relevant conditions by using a series of ligands composed of dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA) appended to poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether. By studying the stability of the surface modified AuNPs, we revealed some interesting information regarding the role of the surface ligand on the nanoparticle stability (i.e. solubility in high salt concentration, resistance to dithiothreitol competition and cyanide decomposition). Furthermore, the nanoparticles

  10. Biological/biomedical accelerator mass spectrometry targets. 2. Physical, morphological, and structural characteristics.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung-Hyun; Kelly, Peter B; Clifford, Andrew J

    2008-10-15

    The number of biological/biomedical applications that require AMS to achieve their goals is increasing, and so is the need for a better understanding of the physical, morphological, and structural traits of high quality of AMS targets. The metrics of quality included color, hardness/texture, and appearance (photo and SEM), along with FT-IR, Raman, and powder X-ray diffraction spectra that correlate positively with reliable and intense ion currents and accuracy, precision, and sensitivity of fraction modern ( F m). Our previous method produced AMS targets of gray-colored iron-carbon materials (ICM) 20% of the time and of graphite-coated iron (GCI) 80% of the time. The ICM was hard, its FT-IR spectra lacked the sp (2) bond, its Raman spectra had no detectable G' band at 2700 cm (-1), and it had more iron carbide (Fe 3C) crystal than nanocrystalline graphite or graphitizable carbon (g-C). ICM produced low and variable ion current whereas the opposite was true for the graphitic GCI. Our optimized method produced AMS targets of graphite-coated iron powder (GCIP) 100% of the time. The GCIP shared some of the same properties as GCI in that both were black in color, both produced robust ion current consistently, their FT-IR spectra had the sp (2) bond, their Raman spectra had matching D, G, G', D +G, and D '' bands, and their XRD spectra showed matching crystal size. GCIP was a powder that was easy to tamp into AMS target holders that also facilitated high throughput. We concluded that AMS targets of GCIP were a mix of graphitizable carbon and Fe 3C crystal, because none of their spectra, FT-IR, Raman, or XRD, matched exactly those of the graphite standard. Nevertheless, AMS targets of GCIP consistently produced the strong, reliable, and reproducible ion currents for high-throughput AMS analysis (270 targets per skilled analyst/day) along with accurate and precise F m values.

  11. Automated ARGET ATRP Accelerates Catalyst Optimization for the Synthesis of Thiol-Functionalized Polymers.

    PubMed

    Siegwart, Daniel J; Leiendecker, Matthias; Langer, Robert; Anderson, Daniel G

    2012-02-14

    Conventional synthesis of polymers by ATRP is relatively low throughput, involving iterative optimization of conditions in an inert atmosphere. Automated, high-throughput controlled radical polymerization was developed to accelerate catalyst optimization and production of disulfide-functionalized polymers without the need of an inert gas. Using ARGET ATRP, polymerization conditions were rapidly identified for eight different monomers, including the first ARGET ATRP of 2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate and di(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate. In addition, butyl acrylate, oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate 300 and 475, 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate, styrene, and methyl methacrylate were polymerized using bis(2-hydroxyethyl) disulfide bis(2-bromo-2-methylpropionate) as the initiator, tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine as the ligand, and tin(II) 2-ethylhexanoate as the reducing agent. The catalyst and reducing agent concentration was optimized specifically for each monomer, and then a library of polymers was synthesized systematically using the optimized conditions. The disulfide-functionalized chains could be cleaved to two thiol-terminated chains upon exposure to dithiothreitol, which may have utility for the synthesis of polymer bioconjugates. Finally, we demonstrated that these new conditions translated perfectly to conventional batch polymerization. We believe the methods developed here may prove generally useful to accelerate the systematic optimization of a variety of chemical reactions and polymerizations.

  12. Triboelectric Nanogenerator Accelerates Highly Efficient Nonviral Direct Conversion and In Vivo Reprogramming of Fibroblasts to Functional Neuronal Cells.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yoonhee; Seo, Jungmok; Lee, Jung Seung; Shin, Sera; Park, Hyun-Ji; Min, Sungjin; Cheong, Eunji; Lee, Taeyoon; Cho, Seung-Woo

    2016-09-01

    Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) can be an effective cell reprogramming platform for producing functional neuronal cells for therapeutic applications. Triboelectric stimulation accelerates nonviral direct conversion of functional induced neuronal cells from fibroblasts, increases the conversion efficiency, and induces highly matured neuronal phenotypes with improved electrophysiological functionalities. TENG devices may also be used for biomedical in vivo reprogramming.

  13. Biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids in plants.

    PubMed

    Tholl, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    Terpenoids (isoprenoids) represent the largest and most diverse class of chemicals among the myriad compounds produced by plants. Plants employ terpenoid metabolites for a variety of basic functions in growth and development but use the majority of terpenoids for more specialized chemical interactions and protection in the abiotic and biotic environment. Traditionally, plant-based terpenoids have been used by humans in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, and more recently have been exploited in the development of biofuel products. Genomic resources and emerging tools in synthetic biology facilitate the metabolic engineering of high-value terpenoid products in plants and microbes. Moreover, the ecological importance of terpenoids has gained increased attention to develop strategies for sustainable pest control and abiotic stress protection. Together, these efforts require a continuous growth in knowledge of the complex metabolic and molecular regulatory networks in terpenoid biosynthesis. This chapter gives an overview and highlights recent advances in our understanding of the organization, regulation, and diversification of core and specialized terpenoid metabolic pathways, and addresses the most important functions of volatile and nonvolatile terpenoid specialized metabolites in plants.

  14. Translating Lung Function Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) Findings: New Insights for Lung Biology.

    PubMed

    Kheirallah, A K; Miller, S; Hall, I P; Sayers, I

    2016-01-01

    Chronic respiratory diseases are a major cause of worldwide mortality and morbidity. Although hereditary severe deficiency of α1 antitrypsin (A1AD) has been established to cause emphysema, A1AD accounts for only ∼ 1% of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) cases. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful at detecting multiple loci harboring variants predicting the variation in lung function measures and risk of COPD. However, GWAS are incapable of distinguishing causal from noncausal variants. Several approaches can be used for functional translation of genetic findings. These approaches have the scope to identify underlying alleles and pathways that are important in lung function and COPD. Computational methods aim at effective functional variant prediction by combining experimentally generated regulatory information with associated region of the human genome. Classically, GWAS association follow-up concentrated on manipulation of a single gene. However association data has identified genetic variants in >50 loci predicting disease risk or lung function. Therefore there is a clear precedent for experiments that interrogate multiple candidate genes in parallel, which is now possible with genome editing technology. Gene expression profiling can be used for effective discovery of biological pathways underpinning gene function. This information may be used for informed decisions about cellular assays post genetic manipulation. Investigating respiratory phenotypes in human lung tissue and specific gene knockout mice is a valuable in vivo approach that can complement in vitro work. Herein, we review state-of-the-art in silico, in vivo, and in vitro approaches that may be used to accelerate functional translation of genetic findings.

  15. Polymer biomaterial constructs for regenerative medicine and functional biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Linghui

    The use of collagen as a biomaterial is currently undergoing a renaissance in the tissue engineering field. The excellent biocompatibility and safety due to its biological characteristics, such as biodegradability and weak antigenicity, make collagen a primary material resource in medical applications. Described herein is work towards the development of novel collagen-based matrices, with additional multi-functionality imparted through a novel in-situ crosslinking approach. The process of electrospinning has become a widely used technique for the creation of fibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering applications due to its ability to rapidly create structures composed of nano-scale polymer fibers closely resembling the architecture of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Collagen-PCL sheath-core bicomponent fibrous scaffolds were fabricated using a novel variation on traditional electrospinning, known as co-axial electrospinning. The results showed that the addition of a synthetic polymer core into collagen nanofibers remarkably increased the mechanical strength of collagen matrices spun from the benign solvent system. A novel single-step, in-situ collagen crosslink approach was developed in order to solve the problems dominating traditional collagen crosslinking methods, such as dimensional shrinking and loss of porous morphology, and to simplify the crosslinking procedure for electrospun collagen scaffolds. The excess amount of NHS present in the crosslinking mixture was found to delay the EDC/collagen coupling reaction in a controlled fashion. Fundamental investigations into the development and characterization of in-situ crosslinked collagen matrices such as fibrous scaffolds, gels and sponges, as well as their biomedical applications including cell culture substrates, wound dressings, drug delivery matrices and bone regeneration substitutes, were performed. The preliminary mice studies indicated that the in-situ crosslinked collagen matrices could be good candidates

  16. GENIUS: web server to predict local gene networks and key genes for biological functions.

    PubMed

    Puelma, Tomas; Araus, Viviana; Canales, Javier; Vidal, Elena A; Cabello, Juan M; Soto, Alvaro; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A

    2016-12-19

    GENIUS is a user-friendly web server that uses a novel machine learning algorithm to infer functional gene networks focused on specific genes and experimental conditions that are relevant to biological functions of interest. These functions may have different levels of complexity, from specific biological processes to complex traits that involve several interacting processes. GENIUS also enriches the network with new genes related to the biological function of interest, with accuracies comparable to highly discriminative Support Vector Machine methods.

  17. Effector genomics accelerates discovery and functional profiling of potato disease resistance and phytophthora infestans avirulence genes.

    PubMed

    Vleeshouwers, Vivianne G A A; Rietman, Hendrik; Krenek, Pavel; Champouret, Nicolas; Young, Carolyn; Oh, Sang-Keun; Wang, Miqia; Bouwmeester, Klaas; Vosman, Ben; Visser, Richard G F; Jacobsen, Evert; Govers, Francine; Kamoun, Sophien; Van der Vossen, Edwin A G

    2008-08-06

    Potato is the world's fourth largest food crop yet it continues to endure late blight, a devastating disease caused by the Irish famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Breeding broad-spectrum disease resistance (R) genes into potato (Solanum tuberosum) is the best strategy for genetically managing late blight but current approaches are slow and inefficient. We used a repertoire of effector genes predicted computationally from the P. infestans genome to accelerate the identification, functional characterization, and cloning of potentially broad-spectrum R genes. An initial set of 54 effectors containing a signal peptide and a RXLR motif was profiled for activation of innate immunity (avirulence or Avr activity) on wild Solanum species and tentative Avr candidates were identified. The RXLR effector family IpiO induced hypersensitive responses (HR) in S. stoloniferum, S. papita and the more distantly related S. bulbocastanum, the source of the R gene Rpi-blb1. Genetic studies with S. stoloniferum showed cosegregation of resistance to P. infestans and response to IpiO. Transient co-expression of IpiO with Rpi-blb1 in a heterologous Nicotiana benthamiana system identified IpiO as Avr-blb1. A candidate gene approach led to the rapid cloning of S. stoloniferum Rpi-sto1 and S. papita Rpi-pta1, which are functionally equivalent to Rpi-blb1. Our findings indicate that effector genomics enables discovery and functional profiling of late blight R genes and Avr genes at an unprecedented rate and promises to accelerate the engineering of late blight resistant potato varieties.

  18. Effector Genomics Accelerates Discovery and Functional Profiling of Potato Disease Resistance and Phytophthora Infestans Avirulence Genes

    PubMed Central

    Vleeshouwers, Vivianne G. A. A.; Rietman, Hendrik; Krenek, Pavel; Champouret, Nicolas; Young, Carolyn; Oh, Sang-Keun; Wang, Miqia; Bouwmeester, Klaas; Vosman, Ben; Visser, Richard G. F.; Jacobsen, Evert; Govers, Francine; Kamoun, Sophien; Van der Vossen, Edwin A. G.

    2008-01-01

    Potato is the world's fourth largest food crop yet it continues to endure late blight, a devastating disease caused by the Irish famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Breeding broad-spectrum disease resistance (R) genes into potato (Solanum tuberosum) is the best strategy for genetically managing late blight but current approaches are slow and inefficient. We used a repertoire of effector genes predicted computationally from the P. infestans genome to accelerate the identification, functional characterization, and cloning of potentially broad-spectrum R genes. An initial set of 54 effectors containing a signal peptide and a RXLR motif was profiled for activation of innate immunity (avirulence or Avr activity) on wild Solanum species and tentative Avr candidates were identified. The RXLR effector family IpiO induced hypersensitive responses (HR) in S. stoloniferum, S. papita and the more distantly related S. bulbocastanum, the source of the R gene Rpi-blb1. Genetic studies with S. stoloniferum showed cosegregation of resistance to P. infestans and response to IpiO. Transient co-expression of IpiO with Rpi-blb1 in a heterologous Nicotiana benthamiana system identified IpiO as Avr-blb1. A candidate gene approach led to the rapid cloning of S. stoloniferum Rpi-sto1 and S. papita Rpi-pta1, which are functionally equivalent to Rpi-blb1. Our findings indicate that effector genomics enables discovery and functional profiling of late blight R genes and Avr genes at an unprecedented rate and promises to accelerate the engineering of late blight resistant potato varieties. PMID:18682852

  19. Quality of graphite target for biological/biomedical/environmental applications of 14C-accelerator mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung-Hyun; Kelly, Peter B; Ortalan, Volkan; Browning, Nigel D; Clifford, Andrew J

    2010-03-15

    Catalytic graphitization for (14)C-accelerator mass spectrometry ((14)C-AMS) produced various forms of elemental carbon. Our high-throughput Zn reduction method (C/Fe = 1:5, 500 degrees C, 3 h) produced the AMS target of graphite-coated iron powder (GCIP), a mix of nongraphitic carbon and Fe(3)C. Crystallinity of the AMS targets of GCIP (nongraphitic carbon) was increased to turbostratic carbon by raising the C/Fe ratio from 1:5 to 1:1 and the graphitization temperature from 500 to 585 degrees C. The AMS target of GCIP containing turbostratic carbon had a large isotopic fractionation and a low AMS ion current. The AMS target of GCIP containing turbostratic carbon also yielded less accurate/precise (14)C-AMS measurements because of the lower graphitization yield and lower thermal conductivity that were caused by the higher C/Fe ratio of 1:1. On the other hand, the AMS target of GCIP containing nongraphitic carbon had higher graphitization yield and better thermal conductivity over the AMS target of GCIP containing turbostratic carbon due to optimal surface area provided by the iron powder. Finally, graphitization yield and thermal conductivity were stronger determinants (over graphite crystallinity) for accurate/precise/high-throughput biological, biomedical, and environmental (14)C-AMS applications such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination (ADME), and physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) of nutrients, drugs, phytochemicals, and environmental chemicals.

  20. Attenuated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning predicts accelerated pubertal development in girls 1 year later.

    PubMed

    Saxbe, Darby E; Negriff, Sonya; Susman, Elizabeth J; Trickett, Penelope K

    2015-08-01

    Accelerated pubertal development has been linked to adverse early environments and may heighten subsequent mental and physical health risks. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning has been posited as a mechanism whereby stress may affect pubertal development, but the literature lacks prospective tests of this mechanism. The current study assessed 277 youth (M = 10.84 years, SD = 1.14), 138 boys and 139 girls, who reported on their pubertal development and underwent the Trier Social Stress Test for Children at baseline and returned to the laboratory approximately 1 year later (M = 1.12 years, range = 0.59-1.98 years). For girls, lower cortisol area under the curve (with respect to ground) at Time 1 predicted more advanced pubertal development at Time 2, controlling for Time 1 pubertal development. This association persisted after additional covariates including age, body mass index, race, and maltreatment history were introduced, and was driven by adrenal rather than gonadal development. Cortisol was not linked to boys' subsequent pubertal development, and no interaction by gender or by maltreatment appeared. These results suggest that attenuated cortisol, reported in other studies of children exposed to early adversity, may contribute to accelerated pubertal tempo in girls.

  1. Commissioning of helium injector for coupled radio frequency quadrupole and separated function radio frequency quadrupole accelerator.

    PubMed

    Peng, Shixiang; Chen, Jia; Ren, Haitao; Zhao, Jie; Xu, Yuan; Zhang, Tao; Zhang, Ailing; Xia, Wenlong; Gao, Shuli; Wang, Zhi; Luo, Yuting; Guo, Zhiyu; Chen, Jia'er

    2014-02-01

    A project to study a new type of acceleration structure has been launched at Peking University, in which a traditional radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ) and a separated function radio frequency quadrupole are coupled in one cavity to accelerate the He+ beam. A helium injector for this project is developed. The injector consists of a 2.45 GHz permanent magnet electron cyclotron resonance ion source and a 1.16 m long low energy beam transport (LEBT). The commissioning of this injector was carried out and an onsite test was held in June 2013. A 14 mA He+ beam with the energy of 30 keV has been delivered to the end of the LEBT, where a diaphragm with the diameter of 7 mm is located. The position of the diaphragm corresponds to the entrance of the RFQ electrodes. The beam emittance and fraction were measured after the 7 mm diaphragm. Its rms emittance is about 0.14 π mm mrad and the fraction of He+ is about 99%.

  2. Commissioning of helium injector for coupled radio frequency quadrupole and separated function radio frequency quadrupole accelerator

    SciTech Connect

    Peng, Shixiang Chen, Jia; Ren, Haitao; Zhao, Jie; Xu, Yuan; Zhang, Tao; Xia, Wenlong; Gao, Shuli; Wang, Zhi; Luo, Yuting; Guo, Zhiyu; Zhang, Ailing; Chen, Jia'er

    2014-02-15

    A project to study a new type of acceleration structure has been launched at Peking University, in which a traditional radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ) and a separated function radio frequency quadrupole are coupled in one cavity to accelerate the He+ beam. A helium injector for this project is developed. The injector consists of a 2.45 GHz permanent magnet electron cyclotron resonance ion source and a 1.16 m long low energy beam transport (LEBT). The commissioning of this injector was carried out and an onsite test was held in June 2013. A 14 mA He+ beam with the energy of 30 keV has been delivered to the end of the LEBT, where a diaphragm with the diameter of 7 mm is located. The position of the diaphragm corresponds to the entrance of the RFQ electrodes. The beam emittance and fraction were measured after the 7 mm diaphragm. Its rms emittance is about 0.14 π mm mrad and the fraction of He+ is about 99%.

  3. Basis function repetitive and feedback control with application to a particle accelerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akogyeram, Raphael Akuete

    2002-09-01

    The thesis addresses three problem areas within repetitive control. Firstly, it addresses issues concerning the ability of repetitive control and feedback control systems to eliminate periodic disturbances occurring above the Nyquist frequency of the hardware. Methods are developed for decomposing and unfolding notch filter or comb filter feedback control so that disturbances above Nyquist frequency can be canceled. Phenomena affecting final error levels are discussed, including error in unfolding, coarseness of zero-order hold cancellation, and waterbed effects in the feedback control system frequency response for different sample rates. Secondly, matched basis function repetitive control laws are developed for batch mode and real time implementation to converge to zero tracking error in the presence of periodic disturbances. For both control methods, conditions are given that guarantee asymptotic and monotonic convergence. Stability tests are formulated to examine stability when the period of a disturbance is not an integer number of sample times, and when there are multiple unrelated periods whose common period is too long to use. Thirdly, an understanding is developed of the optimum division of labor between the objectives accomplished by feedback and the objectives accomplished by repetitive control action. Some experimental results of the particle accelerator testbed at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, Virginia, are reported.

  4. Biological function of a polysaccharide degrading enzyme in the periplasm.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yajie; Moradali, M Fata; Goudarztalejerdi, Ali; Sims, Ian M; Rehm, Bernd H A

    2016-11-08

    Carbohydrate polymers are industrially and medically important. For instance, a polysaccharide, alginate (from seaweed), is widely used in food, textile and pharmaceutical industries. Certain bacteria also produce alginate through membrane spanning multi-protein complexes. Using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model organism, we investigated the biological function of an alginate degrading enzyme, AlgL, in alginate production and biofilm formation. We showed that AlgL negatively impacts alginate production through its enzymatic activity. We also demonstrated that deletion of AlgL does not interfere with polymer length control, epimerization degree or stability of the biosynthesis complex, arguing that AlgL is a free periplasmic protein dispensable for alginate production. This was further supported by our protein-stability and interaction experiments. Interestingly, over-production of AlgL interfered with polymer length control, suggesting that AlgL could be loosely associated with the biosynthesis complex. In addition, chromosomal expression of algL enhanced alginate O-acetylation; both attachment and dispersal stages of the bacterial biofilm lifecycle were sensitive to the level of O-acetylation. Since this modification also protects the pathogen against host defences and enhances other virulence factors, chromosomal expression of algL could be important for the pathogenicity of this organism. Overall, this work improves our understanding of bacterial alginate production and provides new knowledge for alginate production and disease control.

  5. Biological function of a polysaccharide degrading enzyme in the periplasm

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yajie; Moradali, M. Fata; Goudarztalejerdi, Ali; Sims, Ian M.; Rehm, Bernd H. A.

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrate polymers are industrially and medically important. For instance, a polysaccharide, alginate (from seaweed), is widely used in food, textile and pharmaceutical industries. Certain bacteria also produce alginate through membrane spanning multi-protein complexes. Using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model organism, we investigated the biological function of an alginate degrading enzyme, AlgL, in alginate production and biofilm formation. We showed that AlgL negatively impacts alginate production through its enzymatic activity. We also demonstrated that deletion of AlgL does not interfere with polymer length control, epimerization degree or stability of the biosynthesis complex, arguing that AlgL is a free periplasmic protein dispensable for alginate production. This was further supported by our protein-stability and interaction experiments. Interestingly, over-production of AlgL interfered with polymer length control, suggesting that AlgL could be loosely associated with the biosynthesis complex. In addition, chromosomal expression of algL enhanced alginate O-acetylation; both attachment and dispersal stages of the bacterial biofilm lifecycle were sensitive to the level of O-acetylation. Since this modification also protects the pathogen against host defences and enhances other virulence factors, chromosomal expression of algL could be important for the pathogenicity of this organism. Overall, this work improves our understanding of bacterial alginate production and provides new knowledge for alginate production and disease control. PMID:27824067

  6. Function and Regulation of Lipid Biology in Caenorhabditis elegans Aging

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Nicole Shangming; Taubert, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefiting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular, and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging. PMID:22629250

  7. Understanding Nuclear Receptor Form and Function Using Structural Biology

    PubMed Central

    Rastinejad, Fraydoon; Huang, Pengxiang; Chandra, Vikas; Khorasanizadeh, Sepideh

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NR) are a major transcription factor family whose members selectively bind small molecule lipophilic ligands and transduce those signals into specific changes in gene programs. For over two decades, structural biology efforts were directed exclusively on the individual ligand binding domains (LBDs) or DNA binding domains (DBDs) of NRs. These analyses revealed the basis for both ligand and DNA binding, and also revealed receptor conformations representing both the activated and repressed states. Additionally, crystallographic studies explained how NR LBD surfaces recognize discrete portions of transcriptional coregulators. The many structural snapshots of LBDs have also guided the development of synthetic ligands with therapeutic potential. Yet, the exclusive structural focus on isolated NR domains has made it difficult to conceptualize how all the NR polypeptide segments are coordinated physically and functionally in the context of receptor quaternary architectures. Newly emerged crystal structures of the PPARγ-RXRα heterodimer and HNF-4α homodimer have recently revealed the higher order organizations of these receptor complexes on DNA, as well as the complexity and uniqueness of their domain-domain interfaces. These emerging structural advances promise to better explain how signals in one domain can be allosterically transmitted to distal receptor domains, also providing much better frameworks for guiding future drug discovery efforts. PMID:24103914

  8. Functional Synchronization of Biological Rhythms in a Tritrophic System

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Sufang; Wei, Jianing; Guo, Xiaojiao; Liu, Tong-Xian; Kang, Le

    2010-01-01

    In a tritrophic system formed by a plant, an herbivore and a natural enemy, each component has its own biological rhythm. However, the rhythm correlations among the three levels and the underlying mechanisms in any tritrophic system are largely unknown. Here, we report that the rhythms exhibited bidirectional correlations in a model tritrophic system involving a lima bean, a pea leafminer and a parasitoid. From the bottom-up perspective, the rhythm was initiated from herbivore feeding, which triggered the rhythms of volatile emissions; then the rhythmic pattern of parasitoid activities was affected, and these rhythms were synchronized by a light switch signal. Increased volatile concentration can enhance the intensity of parasitoid locomotion and oviposition only under light. From the top-down perspective, naive and oviposition-experienced parasitoids were able to utilize the different volatile rhythm information from the damaged plant to locate host leafminers respectively. Our results indicated that the three interacting organisms in this system can achieve rhythmic functional synchronization under a natural light-dark photoperiod, but not under constant light or darkness. These findings provide new insight into the rhythm synchronization of three key players that contribute to the utilization of light and chemical signals, and our results may be used as potential approaches for manipulating natural enemies. PMID:20552008

  9. Lung function, biological monitoring, and biological effect monitoring of gemstone cutters exposed to beryls

    PubMed Central

    Wegner, R.; Heinrich-Ramm, R.; Nowak, D.; Olma, K.; Poschadel, B.; Szadkowski, D.

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVES—Gemstone cutters are potentially exposed to various carcinogenic and fibrogenic metals such as chromium, nickel, aluminium, and beryllium, as well as to lead. Increased beryllium concentrations had been reported in the air of workplaces of beryl cutters in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. The aim of the survey was to study the excretion of beryllium in cutters and grinders with occupational exposure to beryls—for example, aquamarines and emeralds—to examine the prevalence of beryllium sensitisation with the beryllium lymphocyte transformation test (BeLT), to examine the prevalence of lung disease induced by beryllium, to describe the internal load of the respective metals relative to work process, and to screen for genotoxic effects in this particular profession.
METHODS—In a cross sectional investigation, 57 out of 100 gemstone cutters working in 12 factories in Idar-Oberstein with occupational exposure to beryls underwent medical examinations, a chest radiograph, lung function testing (spirometry, airway resistance with the interrupter technique), and biological monitoring, including measurements of aluminium, chromium, and nickel in urine as well as lead in blood. Beryllium in urine was measured with a newly developed direct electrothermal atomic absorption spectroscopy technique with a measurement limit of 0.06 µg/l. Also, cytogenetic tests (rates of micronuclei and sister chromatid exchange), and a BeLT were performed. Airborne concentrations of beryllium were measured in three factories. As no adequate local control group was available, the cutters were categorised into those with an exposure to beryls of >4 hours/week (group A) and ⩽4 hours/week (group B).
RESULTS—Clinical, radiological, or spirometric abnormalities indicating pneumoconiosis were detected in none of the gemstone cutters. Metal concentrations in biological material were far below the respective biological limit values, and beryllium in urine was only measurable in

  10. Whittaker functions in beam driven plasma wakefield acceleration for a plasma with a parabolic density profile

    SciTech Connect

    Golian, Y.; Dorranian, D.; Aslaninejad, M.

    2016-01-15

    A model for the interaction of charged particle beams and plasma for a linear wakefield generation in a parabolic plasma channel is presented. The density profile has the maximum on the axis. A Gaussian proton beam is employed to excite the plasma wakefield in the channel. We have built a thorough analytical model and solved the governing equations for the wakefield acceleration of a charged particle beam. The longitudinal and radial wakefields are expressed by Whittaker functions, and for certain parameters of plasma and the beam, their behaviours in longitudinal and radial directions are investigated. It is observed that the radial electric field generated by the bunch increases with the distance behind the bunch.

  11. Water as a green solvent for efficient synthesis of isocoumarins through microwave-accelerated and Rh/Cu-catalyzed C-H/O-H bond functionalization

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Qiu; Yan, Yunnan; Wang, Xiaowei; Gong, Binwei; Tang, Xiaobo; Shi, JingJing; Xu, H. Eric; Yi, Wei

    2014-08-14

    Green chemistry that uses water as a solvent has recently received great attention in organic synthesis. Here we report an efficient synthesis of biologically important isocoumarins through direct cleavage of C–H/O–H bonds by microwave-accelerated and Rh/Cu-catalyzed oxidative annulation of various substituted benzoic acids, where water is used as the only solvent in the reactions. The remarkable features of this “green” methodology include high product yields, wide tolerance of various functional groups as substrates, and excellent region-/site-specificities, thus rendering this methodology a highly versatile and eco-friendly alternative to the existing methods for synthesizing isocoumarins and other biologically important derivatives such as isoquinolones.

  12. Phytochrome from Green Plants: Properties and biological Function

    SciTech Connect

    Quail, Peter H.

    2014-07-25

    Pfr conformer reverses this activity upon initial light exposure, inducing the switch to photomorphogenic development. This reversal involves light-triggered translocation of the photoactivated phy molecule into the nucleus where it interacts with PIF-family members, inducing rapid phosphorylation and degradation of the PIFs via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This degradation in turn elicits rapid alterations in gene expression that drive the deetiolation transition. This project has made considerable progress in defining phy-PIF signaling activity in controlling the SAR. The biological functions of the multiple PIF-family members in controlling the SAR, including dissection of the relative contributions of the individual PIFs to this process, as well as to diurnal growth-control oscillations, have been investigated using higher-order pif-mutant combinations. Using microarray analysis of a quadruple pif mutant we have defined the shade-induced, PIF-regulated transcriptional network genome-wide. This has revealed that a dynamic antagonism between the phys and PIFs generates selective reciprocal responses during deetiolation and the SAR in a rapidly light-responsive transcriptional network. Using integrated RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analysis of higher order pif-mutant combinations, we have defined the direct gene-targets of PIF transcriptional regulation, and have obtained evidence that this regulation involves differential direct targeting of rapidly light-responsive genes by the individual PIF-family members. This project has provided significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the phy-PIF photosensory signaling pathway regulates an important bioenergy-related plant response to the light environment. The identification of molecular targets in the primary transcriptional-regulatory circuitry of this pathway has the potential to enable genetic or reverse-genetic manipulation of the partitioning of carbon between reproductive and

  13. ACTH4 -10, Substance P, and Dizolcipine (Mk-801) Accelerate Functional Recovery After Hemilabyrinthectomy in Goldfish

    PubMed Central

    Mattioli, R.; Huston, J. P.; Spieler, R. E.

    2000-01-01

    In this study, we evaluated the goldfish model of hemilabyrinthectomy for investigating potential recovery-promoting drugs. In this lesion model, the unilateral removal of the labyrinth induces a postural imbalance in response to light (Dorsal Light Reflex), from which the animals can recover over time. The behavioral effects of two neuropeptides were tested–namely, of substance P and ACTH4-10, both of which are known to promote functional recovery in several other lesion models. Furthermore, the effect of MK- 801, an antagonist of the glutamatergic NMDAreceptor subtype, was tested because this substance has also been shown to exert a neuroprotective effect. After lesion of the right labyrinth, the animals (n=12) were treated intraperitoneally daily either with vehicle (n=12), substance P (n=11), ACTH4-10 (n=12), or MK- 801 (n=12). Another group (n=11), which served as a non-lesion control, did not receive hemilabyrinthectomy or systemic injections. The lesion group, treated post-operatively with vehicle, did not recover from the postural deviation over the 24-d testing period. In contrast, all three test substances accelerated the functional recovery after unilateral labyrinthectomy. The decrease of the dorsal light reflex persisted even after cessation of drug treatment after 20d. The results indicate that using the dorsal light reflex in the model of hemilabyrinthectomy in goldfish provides a useful approach to studying the ability of potential new neurotrophic or neuroprotective drugs to promote functional recovery. PMID:11486488

  14. A New Green's Function for the Wake Potential Calculation of the SLAC S-band Constant Gradient Accelerating Section

    SciTech Connect

    Novokhatski, A,; /SLAC

    2012-02-17

    The behavior of the longitudinal wake fields excited by a very short bunch in the SLAC S-band constant gradient accelerating structures has been studied. Wake potential calculations were performed for a bunch length of 10 microns using the author's code to obtain a numerical solution of Maxwell's equations in the time domain. We have calculated six accelerating sections in the series (60-ft) to find the stationary solution. While analyzing the computational results we have found a new formula for the Green's function. Wake potentials, which are calculated using this Green's function are in amazingly good agreement with numerical results over a wide range of bunch lengths. The Green's function simplifies the wake potential calculations and can be easily incorporated into the tracking codes. This is very useful for beam dynamics studies of the linear accelerators of LCLS and FACET.

  15. Biological/biomedical accelerator mass spectrometry targets. 1. optimizing the CO2 reduction step using zinc dust.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung-Hyun; Kelly, Peter B; Clifford, Andrew J

    2008-10-15

    Biological and biomedical applications of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) use isotope ratio mass spectrometry to quantify minute amounts of long-lived radioisotopes such as (14)C. AMS target preparation involves first the oxidation of carbon (in sample of interest) to CO 2 and second the reduction of CO 2 to filamentous, fluffy, fuzzy, or firm graphite-like substances that coat a -400-mesh spherical iron powder (-400MSIP) catalyst. Until now, the quality of AMS targets has been variable; consequently, they often failed to produce robust ion currents that are required for reliable, accurate, precise, and high-throughput AMS for biological/biomedical applications. Therefore, we described our optimized method for reduction of CO 2 to high-quality uniform AMS targets whose morphology we visualized using scanning electron microscope pictures. Key features of our optimized method were to reduce CO 2 (from a sample of interest that provided 1 mg of C) using 100 +/- 1.3 mg of Zn dust, 5 +/- 0.4 mg of -400MSIP, and a reduction temperature of 500 degrees C for 3 h. The thermodynamics of our optimized method were more favorable for production of graphite-coated iron powders (GCIP) than those of previous methods. All AMS targets from our optimized method were of 100% GCIP, the graphitization yield exceeded 90%, and delta (13)C was -17.9 +/- 0.3 per thousand. The GCIP reliably produced strong (12)C (-) currents and accurate and precise F m values. The observed F m value for oxalic acid II NIST SRM deviated from its accepted F m value of 1.3407 by only 0.0003 +/- 0.0027 (mean +/- SE, n = 32), limit of detection of (14)C was 0.04 amol, and limit of quantification was 0.07 amol, and a skilled analyst can prepare as many as 270 AMS targets per day. More information on the physical (hardness/color), morphological (SEMs), and structural (FT-IR, Raman, XRD spectra) characteristics of our AMS targets that determine accurate, precise, and high-hroughput AMS measurement are in the

  16. Assessment of the setup dependence of detector response functions for mega-voltage linear accelerators

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, Christopher; Simon, Tom; Simon, Bill; Dempsey, James F.; Kahler, Darren; Palta, Jatinder R.; Liu Chihray; Yan Guanghua

    2010-02-15

    Purpose: Accurate modeling of beam profiles is important for precise treatment planning dosimetry. Calculated beam profiles need to precisely replicate profiles measured during machine commissioning. Finite detector size introduces perturbations into the measured profiles, which, in turn, impact the resulting modeled profiles. The authors investigate a method for extracting the unperturbed beam profiles from those measured during linear accelerator commissioning. Methods: In-plane and cross-plane data were collected for an Elekta Synergy linac at 6 MV using ionization chambers of volume 0.01, 0.04, 0.13, and 0.65 cm{sup 3} and a diode of surface area 0.64 mm{sup 2}. The detectors were orientated with the stem perpendicular to the beam and pointing away from the gantry. Profiles were measured for a 10x10 cm{sup 2} field at depths ranging from 0.8 to 25.0 cm and SSDs from 90 to 110 cm. Shaping parameters of a Gaussian response function were obtained relative to the Edge detector. The Gaussian function was deconvolved from the measured ionization chamber data. The Edge detector profile was taken as an approximation to the true profile, to which deconvolved data were compared. Data were also collected with CC13 and Edge detectors for additional fields and energies on an Elekta Synergy, Varian Trilogy, and Siemens Oncor linear accelerator and response functions obtained. Response functions were compared as a function of depth, SSD, and detector scan direction. Variations in the shaping parameter were introduced and the effect on the resulting deconvolution profiles assessed. Results: Up to 10% setup dependence in the Gaussian shaping parameter occurred, for each detector for a particular plane. This translated to less than a {+-}0.7 mm variation in the 80%-20% penumbral width. For large volume ionization chambers such as the FC65 Farmer type, where the cavity length to diameter ratio is far from 1, the scan direction produced up to a 40% difference in the shaping

  17. Loss of Dnmt3b function upregulates the tumor modifier Ment and accelerates mouse lymphomagenesis.

    PubMed

    Hlady, Ryan A; Novakova, Slavomira; Opavska, Jana; Klinkebiel, David; Peters, Staci L; Bies, Juraj; Hannah, Jay; Iqbal, Javeed; Anderson, Kristi M; Siebler, Hollie M; Smith, Lynette M; Greiner, Timothy C; Bastola, Dhundy; Joshi, Shantaram; Lockridge, Oksana; Simpson, Melanie A; Felsher, Dean W; Wagner, Kay-Uwe; Chan, Wing C; Christman, Judith K; Opavsky, Rene

    2012-01-01

    DNA methyltransferase 3B (Dnmt3b) belongs to a family of enzymes responsible for methylation of cytosine residues in mammals. DNA methylation contributes to the epigenetic control of gene transcription and is deregulated in virtually all human tumors. To better understand the generation of cancer-specific methylation patterns, we genetically inactivated Dnmt3b in a mouse model of MYC-induced lymphomagenesis. Ablation of Dnmt3b function using a conditional knockout in T cells accelerated lymphomagenesis by increasing cellular proliferation, which suggests that Dnmt3b functions as a tumor suppressor. Global methylation profiling revealed numerous gene promoters as potential targets of Dnmt3b activity, the majority of which were demethylated in Dnmt3b-/- lymphomas, but not in Dnmt3b-/- pretumor thymocytes, implicating Dnmt3b in maintenance of cytosine methylation in cancer. Functional analysis identified the gene Gm128 (which we termed herein methylated in normal thymocytes [Ment]) as a target of Dnmt3b activity. We found that Ment was gradually demethylated and overexpressed during tumor progression in Dnmt3b-/- lymphomas. Similarly, MENT was overexpressed in 67% of human lymphomas, and its transcription inversely correlated with methylation and levels of DNMT3B. Importantly, knockdown of Ment inhibited growth of mouse and human cells, whereas overexpression of Ment provided Dnmt3b+/+ cells with a proliferative advantage. Our findings identify Ment as an enhancer of lymphomagenesis that contributes to the tumor suppressor function of Dnmt3b and suggest it could be a potential target for anticancer therapies.

  18. Discovery of biological networks from diverse functional genomic data

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Chad L; Robson, Drew; Wible, Adam; Hibbs, Matthew A; Chiriac, Camelia; Theesfeld, Chandra L; Dolinski, Kara; Troyanskaya, Olga G

    2005-01-01

    We have developed a general probabilistic system for query-based discovery of pathway-specific networks through integration of diverse genome-wide data. This framework was validated by accurately recovering known networks for 31 biological processes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and experimentally verifying predictions for the process of chromosomal segregation. Our system, bioPIXIE, a public, comprehensive system for integration, analysis, and visualization of biological network predictions for S. cerevisiae, is freely accessible over the worldwide web. PMID:16420673

  19. Accelerated telomere erosion is associated with a declining immune function of caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients.

    PubMed

    Damjanovic, Amanda K; Yang, Yinhua; Glaser, Ronald; Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; Nguyen, Huy; Laskowski, Bryon; Zou, Yixiao; Beversdorf, David Q; Weng, Nan-ping

    2007-09-15

    Caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients endure chronic stress associated with a decline of immune function. To assess the psychological and immunological changes of caregivers, we compared depressive symptoms, PBMC composition, in vitro activation-induced proliferation and cytokine production, and telomere length and telomerase activity of 82 individuals (41 caregivers and 41 age- and gender-matched controls). We found depressive symptoms were significantly higher in caregivers than in controls (p < 0.001). Correspondingly, caregivers had significantly lower T cell proliferation but higher production of immune-regulatory cytokines (TNF-alpha and IL-10) than controls in response to stimulation in vitro. We examined the impact of these changes on cellular replicative lifespan and found that caregivers had significantly shorter telomere lengths in PBMC than controls (6.2 and 6.4 kb, respectively, p < 0.05) with similar shortening in isolated T cells and monocytes and that this telomere attrition in caregivers was not due to an increase of shorter telomere possessing T cell subsets in PBMC. Finally, we showed that basal telomerase activity in PBMC and T cells was significantly higher in caregivers than in controls (p < 0.0001), pointing to an unsuccessful attempt of cells to compensate the excessive loss of telomeres in caregivers. These findings demonstrate that chronic stress is associated with altered T cell function and accelerated immune cell aging as suggested by excessive telomere loss.

  20. Computing biological functions using BioΨ, a formal description of biological processes based on elementary bricks of actions

    PubMed Central

    Pérès, Sabine; Felicori, Liza; Rialle, Stéphanie; Jobard, Elodie; Molina, Franck

    2010-01-01

    Motivation: In the available databases, biological processes are described from molecular and cellular points of view, but these descriptions are represented with text annotations that make it difficult to handle them for computation. Consequently, there is an obvious need for formal descriptions of biological processes. Results: We present a formalism that uses the BioΨ concepts to model biological processes from molecular details to networks. This computational approach, based on elementary bricks of actions, allows us to calculate on biological functions (e.g. process comparison, mapping structure–function relationships, etc.). We illustrate its application with two examples: the functional comparison of proteases and the functional description of the glycolysis network. This computational approach is compatible with detailed biological knowledge and can be applied to different kinds of systems of simulation. Availability: www.sysdiag.cnrs.fr/publications/supplementary-materials/BioPsi_Manager/ Contact: sabine.peres@sysdiag.cnrs.fr; franck.molina@sysdiag.cnrs.fr Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:20448138

  1. 2013 Russell Ross memorial lecture in vascular biology: cellular and molecular mechanisms of diabetes mellitus-accelerated atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Bornfeldt, Karin E

    2014-04-01

    Adults with diabetes mellitus are much more likely to have cardiovascular disease than those without diabetes mellitus. Genetically engineered mouse models have started to provide important insight into the mechanisms whereby diabetes mellitus promotes atherosclerosis. Such models have demonstrated that diabetes mellitus promotes formation of atherosclerotic lesions, progression of lesions into advanced hemorrhaged lesions, and that it prevents lesion regression. The proatherosclerotic effects of diabetes mellitus are driven in part by the altered function of myeloid cells. The protein S100A9 and the receptor for advanced glycation end-products are important modulators of the effect of diabetes mellitus on myelopoiesis, which might promote monocyte accumulation in lesions. Furthermore, myeloid cell expression of the enzyme acyl-CoA synthetase 1 (ACSL1), which converts long-chain fatty acids into their acyl-CoA derivatives, has emerged as causal to diabetes mellitus-induced lesion initiation. The protective effects of myeloid ACSL1-deficiency in diabetic mice, but not in nondiabetic mice, indicate that myeloid cells are activated by diabetes mellitus through mechanisms that play minor roles in the absence of diabetes mellitus. The roles of reactive oxygen species and insulin resistance in diabetes mellitus-accelerated atherosclerosis are also discussed, primarily in relation to endothelial cells. Translational studies addressing whether the mechanisms identified in mouse models are equally important in humans with diabetes mellitus will be paramount.

  2. Synthetic biology in cyanobacteria engineering and analyzing novel functions.

    PubMed

    Heidorn, Thorsten; Camsund, Daniel; Huang, Hsin-Ho; Lindberg, Pia; Oliveira, Paulo; Stensjö, Karin; Lindblad, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are the only prokaryotes capable of using sunlight as their energy, water as an electron donor, and air as a source of carbon and, for some nitrogen-fixing strains, nitrogen. Compared to algae and plants, cyanobacteria are much easier to genetically engineer, and many of the standard biological parts available for Synthetic Biology applications in Escherichia coli can also be used in cyanobacteria. However, characterization of such parts in cyanobacteria reveals differences in performance when compared to E. coli, emphasizing the importance of detailed characterization in the cellular context of a biological chassis. Furthermore, cyanobacteria possess special characteristics (e.g., multiple copies of their chromosomes, high content of photosynthetically active proteins in the thylakoids, the presence of exopolysaccharides and extracellular glycolipids, and the existence of a circadian rhythm) that have to be taken into account when genetically engineering them. With this chapter, the synthetic biologist is given an overview of existing biological parts, tools and protocols for the genetic engineering, and molecular analysis of cyanobacteria for Synthetic Biology applications.

  3. [Evolutionary-biological peculiarities of transglutaminase. Structure, physiological functions, application].

    PubMed

    Shleĭkin, A G; Danilov, N P

    2011-01-01

    Transglutaminasc (protein-glutamine gamma-glutamyltransferase, EC 2.3.2.13, TG) catalyzes reactions of the acyl transfer, which introduce the epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)lysine bonds between proteins to create polymers of high mol. mass. Properties of the TG enzyme are described. Its structure is considered: there are characterized items of the TG life cycle and stability, its biological (physiological) role, and significance in pathology and medicine as well as obtaining of the purified enzyme preparations and their use. There are compared TG from different sources: of animal and microbial origin. Mechanism of catalysis of microbial TG is discussed. There are presented characteristics of isoenzymes from different biological sources.

  4. DCC functions as an accelerator of thalamocortical axonal growth downstream of spontaneous thalamic activity

    PubMed Central

    Castillo-Paterna, Mar; Moreno-Juan, Verónica; Filipchuk, Anton; Rodríguez-Malmierca, Luis; Susín, Rafael; López-Bendito, Guillermina

    2015-01-01

    Controlling the axon growth rate is fundamental when establishing brain connections. Using the thalamocortical system as a model, we previously showed that spontaneous calcium activity influences the growth rate of thalamocortical axons by regulating the transcription of Robo1 through an NF-κB-binding site in its promoter. Robo1 acts as a brake on the growth of thalamocortical axons in vivo. Here, we have identified the Netrin-1 receptor DCC as an accelerator for thalamic axon growth. Dcc transcription is regulated by spontaneous calcium activity in thalamocortical neurons and activating DCC signaling restores normal axon growth in electrically silenced neurons. Moreover, we identified an AP-1-binding site in the Dcc promoter that is crucial for the activity-dependent regulation of this gene. In summary, we have identified the Dcc gene as a novel downstream target of spontaneous calcium activity involved in axon growth. Together with our previous data, we demonstrate a mechanism to control axon growth that relies on the activity-dependent regulation of two functionally opposed receptors, Robo1 and DCC. These two proteins establish a tight and efficient means to regulate activity-guided axon growth in order to correctly establish neuronal connections during development. PMID:25947198

  5. Oxidative metabolites of lycopene and their biological functions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To gain a better understanding of the beneficial biological activities of lycopene on cancer prevention, a greater knowledge of the metabolism of lycopene is needed. In particular, the identification of lycopene metabolites and oxidation products in vivo; the importance of tissue specific lycopene c...

  6. Accelerating bioelectric functional development of neural stem cells by graphene coupling: Implications for neural interfacing with conductive materials.

    PubMed

    Guo, Rongrong; Zhang, Shasha; Xiao, Miao; Qian, Fuping; He, Zuhong; Li, Dan; Zhang, Xiaoli; Li, Huawei; Yang, Xiaowei; Wang, Ming; Chai, Renjie; Tang, Mingliang

    2016-11-01

    In order to govern cell-specific behaviors in tissue engineering for neural repair and regeneration, a better understanding of material-cell interactions, especially the bioelectric functions, is extremely important. Graphene has been reported to be a potential candidate for use as a scaffold and neural interfacing material. However, the bioelectric evolvement of cell membranes on these conductive graphene substrates remains largely uninvestigated. In this study, we used a neural stem cell (NSC) model to explore the possible changes in membrane bioelectric properties - including resting membrane potentials and action potentials - and cell behaviors on graphene films under both proliferation and differentiation conditions. We used a combination of single-cell electrophysiological recordings and traditional cell biology techniques. Graphene did not affect the basic membrane electrical parameters (capacitance and input resistance), but resting membrane potentials of cells on graphene substrates were more strongly negative under both proliferation and differentiation conditions. Also, NSCs and their progeny on graphene substrates exhibited increased firing of action potentials during development compared to controls. However, graphene only slightly affected the electric characterizations of mature NSC progeny. The modulation of passive and active bioelectric properties on the graphene substrate was accompanied by enhanced NSC differentiation. Furthermore, spine density, synapse proteins expressions and synaptic activity were all increased in graphene group. Modeling of the electric field on conductive graphene substrates suggests that the electric field produced by the electronegative cell membrane is much higher on graphene substrates than that on control, and this might explain the observed changes of bioelectric development by graphene coupling. Our results indicate that graphene is able to accelerate NSC maturation during development, especially with regard to

  7. Decreased proteasomal function accelerates cigarette smoke-induced pulmonary emphysema in mice.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Yosuke; Tomaru, Utano; Ishizu, Akihiro; Ito, Tomoki; Kiuchi, Takayuki; Ono, Ayako; Miyajima, Syota; Nagai, Katsura; Higashi, Tsunehito; Matsuno, Yoshihiro; Dosaka-Akita, Hirotoshi; Nishimura, Masaharu; Miwa, Soichi; Kasahara, Masanori

    2015-06-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease common in elderly people, characterized by progressive destruction of lung parenchyma and chronic inflammation of the airways. The pathogenesis of COPD remains unclear, but recent studies suggest that oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in alveolar cells contributes to emphysematous lung destruction. The proteasome is a multicatalytic enzyme complex that plays a critical role in proteostasis by rapidly destroying misfolded and modified proteins generated by oxidative and other stresses. Proteasome activity decreases with aging in many organs including lungs, and an age-related decline in proteasomal function has been implicated in various age-related pathologies. However, the role of the proteasome system in the pathogenesis of COPD has not been investigated. Recently, we have established a transgenic (Tg) mouse model with decreased proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity, showing age-related phenotypes. Using this model, we demonstrate here that decreased proteasomal function accelerates cigarette smoke (CS)-induced pulmonary emphysema. CS-exposed Tg mice showed remarkable airspace enlargement and increased foci of inflammation compared with wild-type controls. Importantly, apoptotic cells were found in the alveolar walls of the affected lungs. Impaired proteasomal activity also enhanced apoptosis in cigarette smoke extract (CSE)-exposed fibroblastic cells derived from mice and humans in vitro. Notably, aggresome formation and prominent nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor were observed in CSE-exposed fibroblastic cells isolated from Tg mice. Collective evidence suggests that CS exposure and impaired proteasomal activity coordinately enhance apoptotic cell death in the alveolar walls that may be involved in the development and progression of emphysema in susceptible individuals such as the elderly.

  8. Opposing Biological Functions of Tryptophan Catabolizing Enzymes During Intracellular Infection

    PubMed Central

    Divanovic, Senad; Sawtell, Nancy M.; Trompette, Aurelien; Warning, Jamie I.; Dias, Alexandra; Cooper, Andrea M.; Yap, George S.; Arditi, Moshe; Shimada, Kenichi; DuHadaway, James B.; Prendergast, George C.; Basaraba, Randall J.; Mellor, Andrew L.; Munn, David H.; Aliberti, Julio

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have underscored physiological and pathophysiological roles for the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in immune counterregulation. However, IDO was first recognized as an antimicrobial effector, restricting tryptophan availability to Toxoplasma gondii and other pathogens in vitro. The biological relevance of these findings came under question when infectious phenotypes were not forthcoming in IDO-deficient mice. The recent discovery of an IDO homolog, IDO-2, suggested that the issue deserved reexamination. IDO inhibition during murine toxoplasmosis led to 100% mortality, with increased parasite burdens and no evident effects on the immune response. Similar studies revealed a counterregulatory role for IDO during leishmaniasis (restraining effector immune responses and parasite clearance), and no evident role for IDO in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Thus, IDO plays biologically important roles in the host response to diverse intracellular infections, but the dominant nature of this role—antimicrobial or immunoregulatory—is pathogen-specific. PMID:21990421

  9. Identification of Molecular Markers of Delayed Graft Function Based on the Regulation of Biological Ageing

    PubMed Central

    McGuinness, Dagmara; Leierer, Johannes; Shapter, Olivier; Mohammed, Suhaib; Gingell-Littlejohn, Marc; Kingsmore, David B.; Little, Ann-Margaret; Kerschbaum, Julia; Schneeberger, Stefan; Maglione, Manuel; Nadalin, Silvio; Wagner, Sylvia; Königsrainer, Alfred; Aitken, Emma; Whalen, Henry; Clancy, Marc; McConnachie, Alex; Koppelstaetter, Christian; Stevenson, Karen S.; Shiels, Paul G.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Delayed graft function is a prevalent clinical problem in renal transplantation for which there is no objective system to predict occurrence in advance. It can result in a significant increase in the necessity for hospitalisation post-transplant and is a significant risk factor for other post-transplant complications. Methodology The importance of microRNAs (miRNAs), a specific subclass of small RNA, have been clearly demonstrated to influence many pathways in health and disease. To investigate the influence of miRNAs on renal allograft performance post-transplant, the expression of a panel of miRNAs in pre-transplant renal biopsies was measured using qPCR. Expression was then related to clinical parameters and outcomes in two independent renal transplant cohorts. Results Here we demonstrate, in two independent cohorts of pre-implantation human renal allograft biopsies, that a novel pre-transplant renal performance scoring system (GRPSS), can determine the occurrence of DGF with a high sensitivity (>90%) and specificity (>60%) for donor allografts pre-transplant, using just three senescence associated microRNAs combined with donor age and type of organ donation. Conclusion These results demonstrate a relationship between pre-transplant microRNA expression levels, cellular biological ageing pathways and clinical outcomes for renal transplantation. They provide for a simple, rapid quantitative molecular pre-transplant assay to determine post-transplant allograft function and scope for future intervention. Furthermore, these results demonstrate the involvement of senescence pathways in ischaemic injury during the organ transplantation process and an indication of accelerated bio-ageing as a consequence of both warm and cold ischaemia. PMID:26734715

  10. Design and Synthesis of Functional Molecules Based on Complexation and Their Biological Applications.

    PubMed

    Hisamatsu, Yosuke

    2016-01-01

     In this review, we introduce the development of supermolecules, host-guest complexes, and metal complexes formed from the combination of non-covalent interactions and/or coordination bonds, as well as their biological applications. An adenine selective host molecule 1 provides a correctly oriented array of complementary hydrogen bonding sites for the adenine nucleobase. Furthermore, the new DDAA (D: hydrogen bond donor, A: hydrogen bond acceptor) module 4 and ADDA module 7 have been developed as quadruple hydrogen-bonding modules. A quadruple zwitterion 8 forms supramolecular gel in dimethyl sulfoxide, driven by the formation of ion-paired dimers between the zwitterionic units. The obtained supramolecular gel exhibits reversible gel-sol transitions in response to both acid, base, and heating. Self-assembly of a dimeric zinc(II) complex, dianion of cyanuric acid (CA) or 5,5-diethylbarbituric acid (Bar), and copper(II) ion (Cu(2+)) in an aqueous solution provides 4 : 4 : 4 and 2 : 2 : 2 supermolecules 10 and 11, respectively. These supermolecules possess Cu2(μ-OH)2 centers, and accelerate the hydrolysis of a phosphate monoester dianion, mono(4-nitrophenyl)phosphate (MNP), at neutral pH. Regioselective substitution reactions of tris-cyclometalated iridium (Ir) complexes at the 5'-position on 2-phenylpyridine type ligands, and their subsequent conversions to a variety of functional groups are described. For example, pH-sensitive Ir complexes having basic functional groups have been developed. Tris-cyclometalated Ir complexes containing cationic peptides, such as Lys-Lys-Gly-Gly (KKGG) peptides, work as inducers and detectors of cancer cell death. Mechanistic studies suggest that the Ir complex interacts with anionic molecules on the cell surface and/or membrane receptors to trigger an intracellular Ca(2+) response, resulting in necrosis accompanied by membrane disruption.

  11. Comparing joint kinematics and center of mass acceleration as feedback for control of standing balance by functional neuromuscular stimulation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to determine the comparative effectiveness of feedback control systems for maintaining standing balance based on joint kinematics or total body center of mass (COM) acceleration, and assess their clinical practicality for standing neuroprostheses after spinal cord injury (SCI). Methods In simulation, controller performance was measured according to the upper extremity effort required to stabilize a three-dimensional model of bipedal standing against a variety of postural disturbances. Three cases were investigated: proportional-derivative control based on joint kinematics alone, COM acceleration feedback alone, and combined joint kinematics and COM acceleration feedback. Additionally, pilot data was collected during external perturbations of an individual with SCI standing with functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS), and the resulting joint kinematics and COM acceleration data was analyzed. Results Compared to the baseline case of maximal constant muscle excitations, the three control systems reduced the mean upper extremity loading by 51%, 43% and 56%, respectively against external force-pulse perturbations. Controller robustness was defined as the degradation in performance with increasing levels of input errors expected with clinical deployment of sensor-based feedback. At error levels typical for body-mounted inertial sensors, performance degradation due to sensor noise and placement were negligible. However, at typical tracking error levels, performance could degrade as much as 86% for joint kinematics feedback and 35% for COM acceleration feedback. Pilot data indicated that COM acceleration could be estimated with a few well-placed sensors and efficiently captures information related to movement synergies observed during perturbed bipedal standing following SCI. Conclusions Overall, COM acceleration feedback may be a more feasible solution for control of standing with FNS given its superior robustness and small

  12. Cumulative exposure to dust causes accelerated decline in lung function in tunnel workers

    PubMed Central

    Ulvestad, B; Bakke, B; Eduard, W; Kongerud, J; Lund, M

    2001-01-01

    most important risk factor for respiratory symptoms. The finding of accelerated decline in lung function in tunnel workers suggests that better control of exposures is needed.


Keywords: heavy construction; respirable dust; lung function PMID:11555688

  13. Special conference of the American Association for Cancer Research on molecular imaging in cancer: linking biology, function, and clinical applications in vivo.

    PubMed

    Luker, Gary D

    2002-04-01

    The AACR Special Conference on Molecular Imaging in Cancer: Linking Biology, Function, and Clinical Applications In Vivo, was held January 23-27, 2002, at the Contemporary Hotel, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL. Co-Chairs David Piwnica-Worms, Patricia Price and Thomas Meade brought together researchers with diverse expertise in molecular biology, gene therapy, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, and imaging to accelerate progress in developing and applying technologies for imaging specific cellular and molecular signals in living animals and humans. The format of the conference was the presentation of research that focused on basic and translational biology of cancer and current state-of-the-art techniques for molecular imaging in animal models and humans. This report summarizes the special conference on molecular imaging, highlighting the interfaces of molecular biology with animal models, instrumentation, chemistry, and pharmacology that are essential to convert the dreams and promise of molecular imaging into improved understanding, diagnosis, and management of cancer.

  14. Accelerating functional MRI using fixed‐rank approximations and radial‐cartesian sampling

    PubMed Central

    Graedel, Nadine N.; McNab, Jennifer A.; Smith, Stephen M.; Miller, Karla L.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Recently, k‐t FASTER (fMRI Accelerated in Space‐time by means of Truncation of Effective Rank) was introduced for rank‐constrained acceleration of fMRI data acquisition. Here we demonstrate improvements achieved through a hybrid three‐dimensional radial‐Cartesian sampling approach that allows posthoc selection of acceleration factors, as well as incorporation of coil sensitivity encoding in the reconstruction. Methods The multicoil rank‐constrained reconstruction used hard thresholding and shrinkage on matrix singular values of the space‐time data matrix, using sensitivity encoding and the nonuniform Fast Fourier Transform to enforce data consistency in the multicoil non‐Cartesian k‐t domain. Variable acceleration factors were made possible using a radial increment based on the golden ratio. Both retrospective and prospectively under‐sampled data were used to assess the fidelity of the enhancements to the k‐t FASTER technique in resting and task‐fMRI data. Results The improved k‐t FASTER is capable of tailoring acceleration factors for recovery of different signal components, achieving up to R = 12.5 acceleration in visual‐motor task data. The enhancements reduce data matrix reconstruction errors even at much higher acceleration factors when compared directly with the original k‐t FASTER approach. Conclusion We have shown that k‐t FASTER can be used to significantly accelerate fMRI data acquisition with little penalty to data quality. Magn Reson Med 76:1825–1836, 2016. © 2016 The Authors Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. PMID:26777798

  15. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X.

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/. PMID:27446133

  16. Accelerating Computation of DCM for ERP in MATLAB by External Function Calls to the GPU.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei-Jen; Hsieh, I-Fan; Chen, Chun-Chuan

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to improve the performance of Dynamic Causal Modelling for Event Related Potentials (DCM for ERP) in MATLAB by using external function calls to a graphics processing unit (GPU). DCM for ERP is an advanced method for studying neuronal effective connectivity. DCM utilizes an iterative procedure, the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm, to find the optimal parameters given a set of observations and the underlying probability model. As the EM algorithm is computationally demanding and the analysis faces possible combinatorial explosion of models to be tested, we propose a parallel computing scheme using the GPU to achieve a fast estimation of DCM for ERP. The computation of DCM for ERP is dynamically partitioned and distributed to threads for parallel processing, according to the DCM model complexity and the hardware constraints. The performance efficiency of this hardware-dependent thread arrangement strategy was evaluated using the synthetic data. The experimental data were used to validate the accuracy of the proposed computing scheme and quantify the time saving in practice. The simulation results show that the proposed scheme can accelerate the computation by a factor of 155 for the parallel part. For experimental data, the speedup factor is about 7 per model on average, depending on the model complexity and the data. This GPU-based implementation of DCM for ERP gives qualitatively the same results as the original MATLAB implementation does at the group level analysis. In conclusion, we believe that the proposed GPU-based implementation is very useful for users as a fast screen tool to select the most likely model and may provide implementation guidance for possible future clinical applications such as online diagnosis.

  17. Accelerating Computation of DCM for ERP in MATLAB by External Function Calls to the GPU

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei-Jen; Hsieh, I-Fan; Chen, Chun-Chuan

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to improve the performance of Dynamic Causal Modelling for Event Related Potentials (DCM for ERP) in MATLAB by using external function calls to a graphics processing unit (GPU). DCM for ERP is an advanced method for studying neuronal effective connectivity. DCM utilizes an iterative procedure, the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm, to find the optimal parameters given a set of observations and the underlying probability model. As the EM algorithm is computationally demanding and the analysis faces possible combinatorial explosion of models to be tested, we propose a parallel computing scheme using the GPU to achieve a fast estimation of DCM for ERP. The computation of DCM for ERP is dynamically partitioned and distributed to threads for parallel processing, according to the DCM model complexity and the hardware constraints. The performance efficiency of this hardware-dependent thread arrangement strategy was evaluated using the synthetic data. The experimental data were used to validate the accuracy of the proposed computing scheme and quantify the time saving in practice. The simulation results show that the proposed scheme can accelerate the computation by a factor of 155 for the parallel part. For experimental data, the speedup factor is about 7 per model on average, depending on the model complexity and the data. This GPU-based implementation of DCM for ERP gives qualitatively the same results as the original MATLAB implementation does at the group level analysis. In conclusion, we believe that the proposed GPU-based implementation is very useful for users as a fast screen tool to select the most likely model and may provide implementation guidance for possible future clinical applications such as online diagnosis. PMID:23840507

  18. Biological Effectiveness of Accelerated Particles for the Induction of Chromosome Damage Measured in Metaphase and Interphase Human Lymphocytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, Kerry; Durante, Marco; Willingham, Veronica; Wu, Honglu; Yang, Tracy C.; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2003-01-01

    Chromosome aberrations were investigated in human lymphocytes after in vitro exposure to 1H-, 3He-, 12C-, 40Ar-, 28Si-, 56Fe-, or 197Au-ion beams, with LET ranging from approximately 0.4-1393 keV/microm in the dose range of 0.075-3 Gy. Dose-response curves for chromosome exchanges, measured at the first mitosis postirradiation using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole-chromosome probes, were fitted with linear or linear-quadratic functions. The relative biological effectiveness (RBE) was estimated from the initial slope of the dose-response curve for chromosomal damage with respect to low- or high-dose-rate gamma rays. Estimates of RBEmax values for mitotic spreads, which ranged from near 0.7 to 11.1 for total exchanges, increased with LET, reaching a maximum at about 150 keV/microm, and decreased with further increase in LET. RBEs for complex aberrations are undefined due to the lack of an initial slope for gamma rays. Additionally, the effect of mitotic delay on RBE values was investigated by measuring chromosome aberrations in interphase after chemically induced premature chromosome condensation (PCC), and values were up to threefold higher than for metaphase analysis.

  19. Functional significance of macrophages in pancreatic cancer biology.

    PubMed

    Hu, Hai; Jiao, Feng; Han, Ting; Wang, Li-Wei

    2015-12-01

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a lethal disease that is usually diagnosed at late stage with few effective therapies. Despite the rapid progress on the genomics and proteomics of the neoplastic cells, therapies that targeted the pancreatic cancer cells proved to be inefficient, which promoted the researchers to turn their attentions to the microenvironment. Currently, various studies had proposed the microenvironment to be a contributing factor for PDA and pervasive researches showed that macrophages within the malignancy correlate with the malignant phenotype of the disease and were reported to a new therapeutic target. Generally, the pro-tumoral effects of macrophages can be summarized as angiogenesis promotion, immunosuppression, matrix remodeling and so on. Hence, a comprehensive understanding of the biologic behaviors of macrophages and their critical role in PDA development may provide new directions for the managements of the lethal disease. In this review, we will summarize the recent advancements on macrophages as pivotal players in PDA biology and the current knowledge about anti-macrophages as a novel strategy against cancer, with the expectation that more efficient therapies will be developed in the near future.

  20. X-ray phase contrast imaging of biological specimens with femtosecond pulses of betatron radiation from a compact laser plasma wakefield accelerator

    SciTech Connect

    Kneip, S.; McGuffey, C.; Dollar, F.; Chvykov, V.; Kalintchenko, G.; Krushelnick, K.; Maksimchuk, A.; Mangles, S. P. D.; Matsuoka, T.; Schumaker, W.; Thomas, A. G. R.; Yanovsky, V.; Bloom, M. S.; Najmudin, Z.; Palmer, C. A. J.; Schreiber, J.

    2011-08-29

    We show that x-rays from a recently demonstrated table top source of bright, ultrafast, coherent synchrotron radiation [Kneip et al., Nat. Phys. 6, 980 (2010)] can be applied to phase contrast imaging of biological specimens. Our scheme is based on focusing a high power short pulse laser in a tenuous gas jet, setting up a plasma wakefield accelerator that accelerates and wiggles electrons analogously to a conventional synchrotron, but on the centimeter rather than tens of meter scale. We use the scheme to record absorption and phase contrast images of a tetra fish, damselfly and yellow jacket, in particular highlighting the contrast enhancement achievable with the simple propagation technique of phase contrast imaging. Coherence and ultrafast pulse duration will allow for the study of various aspects of biomechanics.

  1. Precision and accuracy in the quantitative analysis of biological samples by accelerator mass spectrometry: application in microdose absolute bioavailability studies.

    PubMed

    Gao, Lan; Li, Jing; Kasserra, Claudia; Song, Qi; Arjomand, Ali; Hesk, David; Chowdhury, Swapan K

    2011-07-15

    Determination of the pharmacokinetics and absolute bioavailability of an experimental compound, SCH 900518, following a 89.7 nCi (100 μg) intravenous (iv) dose of (14)C-SCH 900518 2 h post 200 mg oral administration of nonradiolabeled SCH 900518 to six healthy male subjects has been described. The plasma concentration of SCH 900518 was measured using a validated LC-MS/MS system, and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was used for quantitative plasma (14)C-SCH 900518 concentration determination. Calibration standards and quality controls were included for every batch of sample analysis by AMS to ensure acceptable quality of the assay. Plasma (14)C-SCH 900518 concentrations were derived from the regression function established from the calibration standards, rather than directly from isotopic ratios from AMS measurement. The precision and accuracy of quality controls and calibration standards met the requirements of bioanalytical guidance (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Center for Veterinary Medicine. Guidance for Industry: Bioanalytical Method Validation (ucm070107), May 2001. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceCompilanceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/ucm070107.pdf ). The AMS measurement had a linear response range from 0.0159 to 9.07 dpm/mL for plasma (14)C-SCH 900158 concentrations. The CV and accuracy were 3.4-8.5% and 94-108% (82-119% for the lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ)), respectively, with a correlation coefficient of 0.9998. The absolute bioavailability was calculated from the dose-normalized area under the curve of iv and oral doses after the plasma concentrations were plotted vs the sampling time post oral dose. The mean absolute bioavailability of SCH 900518 was 40.8% (range 16.8-60.6%). The typical accuracy and standard deviation in AMS quantitative analysis of drugs from human plasma samples have been reported for the first time, and the impact of these

  2. Accelerated Recovery of Consciousness after General Anesthesia Is Associated with Increased Functional Brain Connectivity in the High-Gamma Bandwidth

    PubMed Central

    Li, Duan; Hambrecht-Wiedbusch, Viviane S.; Mashour, George A.

    2017-01-01

    Recent data from our laboratory demonstrate that high-frequency gamma connectivity across the cortex is present during consciousness and depressed during unconsciousness. However, these data were derived from static and well-defined states of arousal rather than during transitions that would suggest functional relevance. We also recently found that subanesthetic ketamine administered during isoflurane anesthesia accelerates recovery upon discontinuation of the primary anesthetic and increases gamma power during emergence. In the current study we re-analyzed electroencephalogram (EEG) data to test the hypothesis that functional cortical connectivity between anterior and posterior cortical regions would be increased during accelerated recovery induced by ketamine when compared to saline-treated controls. Rodents were instrumented with intracranial EEG electrodes and general anesthesia was induced with isoflurane anesthesia. After 37.5 min of continuous isoflurane anesthesia, a subanesthetic dose of ketamine (25 mg/kg intraperitoneal) was administered, with evidence of a 44% reduction in emergence time. In this study, we analyzed gamma and theta coherence (measure of undirected functional connectivity) and normalized symbolic transfer entropy (measure of directed functional connectivity) between frontal and parietal cortices during various levels of consciousness, with a focus on emergence from isoflurane anesthesia. During accelerated emergence in the ketamine-treated group, there was increased frontal-parietal coherence {p = 0.005, 0.05–0.23 [95% confidence interval (CI)]} and normalized symbolic transfer entropy [frontal to parietal: p < 0.001, 0.010–0.026 (95% CI); parietal to frontal: p < 0.001, 0.009–0.025 (95% CI)] in high-frequency gamma bandwidth as compared with the saline-treated group. Surrogates of cortical information exchange in high-frequency gamma are increased in association with accelerated recovery from anesthesia. This finding adds evidence

  3. Functional Data Analysis of Spaceflight-Induced Changes in Coordination and Phase in Head Pitch Acceleration During Treadmill Walking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Christopher; Peters, Brian; Feiveson, Alan; Bloomberg, Jacob

    2011-01-01

    Astronauts returning from spaceflight experience neurovestibular disturbances during head movements and attempt to mitigate them by limiting head motion. Analyses to date of the head movements made during walking have concentrated on amplitude and variability measures extracted from ensemble averages of individual gait cycles. Phase shifts within each gait cycle can be determined by functional data analysis through the computation of time-warping functions. Large, localized variations in the timing of peaks in head kinematics may indicate changes in coordination. The purpose of this study was to determine timing changes in head pitch acceleration of astronauts during treadmill walking before and after flight. Six astronauts (5M/1F; age = 43.5+/-6.4yr) participated in the study. Subjects walked at 1.8 m/sec (4 mph) on a motorized treadmill while reading optotypes displayed on a computer screen 4 m in front of their eyes. Three-dimensional motion of the subject s head was recorded with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) device. Data were recorded twice before flight and four times after landing. The head pitch acceleration was calculated by taking the time derivative of the pitch velocity data from the IMU. Data for each session with each subject were time-normalized into gait cycles, then registered to align significant features and create a mean curve. The mean curves of each postflight session for each subject were re-registered based on their preflight mean curve to create time-warping functions. The root mean squares (RMS) of these warping functions were calculated to assess the deviation of head pitch acceleration mean curves in each postflight session from the preflight mean curve. After landing, most crewmembers exhibited localized shifts within their head pitch acceleration regimes, with the greatest deviations in RMS occurring on landing day or 1 day after landing. These results show that the alteration of head pitch coordination due to spaceflight may be

  4. Hydrocarbon stapled peptides as modulators of biological function.

    PubMed

    Cromm, Philipp M; Spiegel, Jochen; Grossmann, Tom N

    2015-06-19

    Peptide-based drug discovery has experienced a significant upturn within the past decade since the introduction of chemical modifications and unnatural amino acids has allowed for overcoming some of the drawbacks associated with peptide therapeutics. Strengthened by such features, modified peptides become capable of occupying a niche that emerges between the two major classes of today's therapeutics-small molecules (<500 Da) and biologics (>5000 Da). Stabilized α-helices have proven particularly successful at impairing disease-relevant PPIs previously considered "undruggable." Among those, hydrocarbon stapled α-helical peptides have emerged as a novel class of potential peptide therapeutics. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the development and applications of hydrocarbon stapled peptides discussing the benefits and limitations of this technique.

  5. Chemically-functionalized microcantilevers for detection of chemical, biological and explosive material

    SciTech Connect

    Pinnaduwage, Lal A; Thundat, Thomas G; Brown, Gilbert M; Hawk, John Eric; Boiadjiev, Vassil I

    2007-04-24

    A chemically functionalized cantilever system has a cantilever coated on one side thereof with a reagent or biological species which binds to an analyte. The system is of particular value when the analyte is a toxic chemical biological warfare agent or an explosive.

  6. Beyond Iron: Non-Classical Biological Functions of Bacterial Siderophores

    PubMed Central

    Johnstone, Timothy C.; Nolan, Elizabeth M.

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria secrete small molecules known as siderophores to acquire iron from their surroundings. For over 60 years, investigations into the bioinorganic chemistry of these molecules, including fundamental coordination chemistry studies, have provided insight into the crucial role that siderophores play in bacterial iron homeostasis. The importance of understanding the fundamental chemistry underlying bacterial life has been highlighted evermore in recent years because of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the need to prevent the global rise of these superbugs. Increasing reports of siderophores functioning in capacities other than iron transport have appeared recently, but reports of “non-classical” siderophore functions have long paralleled those of iron transport. One particular non-classical function of these iron chelators, namely antibiotic activity, was even documented before the role of siderophores in iron transport was established. In this Perspective, we present an exposition of past and current work into non-classical functions of siderophores and highlight the directions in which we anticipate that this research is headed. Examples include the ability of siderophores to function as zincophores, chalkophores, and metallophores for a variety of other metals, sequester heavy metal toxins, transport boron, act as signalling molecules, regulate oxidative stress, and provide antibacterial activity. PMID:25764171

  7. Beyond iron: non-classical biological functions of bacterial siderophores.

    PubMed

    Johnstone, Timothy C; Nolan, Elizabeth M

    2015-04-14

    Bacteria secrete small molecules known as siderophores to acquire iron from their surroundings. For over 60 years, investigations into the bioinorganic chemistry of these molecules, including fundamental coordination chemistry studies, have provided insight into the crucial role that siderophores play in bacterial iron homeostasis. The importance of understanding the fundamental chemistry underlying bacterial life has been highlighted evermore in recent years because of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the need to prevent the global rise of these superbugs. Increasing reports of siderophores functioning in capacities other than iron transport have appeared recently, but reports of "non-classical" siderophore functions have long paralleled those of iron transport. One particular non-classical function of these iron chelators, namely antibiotic activity, was documented before the role of siderophores in iron transport was established. In this Perspective, we present an exposition of past and current work into non-classical functions of siderophores and highlight the directions in which we anticipate that this research is headed. Examples include the ability of siderophores to function as zincophores, chalkophores, and metallophores for a variety of other metals, sequester heavy metal toxins, transport boron, act as signalling molecules, regulate oxidative stress, and provide antibacterial activity.

  8. Island biology and ecosystem functioning in epiphytic soil communities.

    PubMed

    Wardle, David A; Yeates, Gregor W; Barker, Gary M; Bellingham, Peter J; Bonner, Karen I; Williamson, Wendy M

    2003-09-19

    Although island attributes such as size and accessibility to colonizing organisms can influence community structure, the consequences of these for ecosystem functioning are little understood. A study of the suspended soils of spatially discrete epiphytes or treetop "islands" in the canopies of New Zealand rainforest trees revealed that different components of the decomposer community responded either positively or negatively to island size, as well as to the tree species that the islands occurred in. This in turn led to important differences between islands in the rates of ecosystem processes driven by the decomposer biota. This system serves as a model for better understanding how attributes of both real and habitat islands may affect key ecosystem functions through determining the community structure of organisms that drive these functions.

  9. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  10. Novel ESCRT functions in cell biology: spiraling out of control?

    PubMed

    Campsteijn, Coen; Vietri, Marina; Stenmark, Harald

    2016-08-01

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT), originally identified for its role in endosomal protein sorting and biogenesis of multivesicular endosomes (MVEs), has proven to be a versatile machinery for involution and scission of narrow membrane invaginations filled with cytosol. Budding of enveloped viruses and cytokinetic abscission were early described functions for the ESCRT machinery, and recently a number of new ESCRT functions have emerged. These include cytokinetic abscission checkpoint control, plasma membrane repair, exovesicle release, quality control of nuclear pore complexes, neuron pruning, and sealing of the newly formed nuclear envelope. Here we review these novel ESCRT mechanisms and discuss similarities and differences between the various ESCRT-dependent activities.

  11. Does Sequence Conservation Provide Evidence for Biological Function?

    PubMed

    Omer, Seila; Harlow, Timothy J; Gogarten, Johann Peter

    2017-01-01

    Finding a signature of purifying selection in a gene is usually interpreted as evidence for the gene providing a function that is targeted by natural selection. This opinion offers a very different hypothesis: purifying selection may be due to removing harmful mutations from the population, that is, the gene and its encoded protein become harmful after a mutation occurred, possibly because the mutated protein interferes with the translation machinery, or because of toxicity of the misfolded protein. Finding a signature of purifying selection should not automatically be considered proof of the gene's selectable function.

  12. Exosome function: from tumor immunology to pathogen biology.

    PubMed

    Schorey, Jeffrey S; Bhatnagar, Sanchita

    2008-06-01

    Exosomes are the newest family member of 'bioactive vesicles' that function to promote intercellular communication. Exosomes are derived from the fusion of multivesicular bodies with the plasma membrane and extracellular release of the intraluminal vesicles. Recent studies have focused on the biogenesis and composition of exosomes as well as regulation of exosome release. Exosomes have been shown to be released by cells of hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic origin, yet their function remains enigmatic. Much of the prior work has focused on exosomes as a source of tumor antigens and in presentation of tumor antigens to T cells. However, new studies have shown that exosomes might also promote cell-to-cell spread of infectious agents. Moreover, exosomes isolated from cells infected with various intracellular pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Toxoplasma gondii, have been shown to contain microbial components and can promote antigen presentation and macrophage activation, suggesting that exosomes may function in immune surveillance. In this review, we summarize our understanding of exosome biogenesis but focus primarily on new insights into exosome function. We also discuss their possible use as disease biomarkers and vaccine candidates.

  13. Social inclusion enhances biological motion processing: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Bolling, Danielle Z; Pelphrey, Kevin A; Kaiser, Martha D

    2013-04-01

    Humans are especially tuned to the movements of other people. Neural correlates of this social attunement have been proposed to lie in and around the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) region, which robustly responds to biological motion in contrast to a variety of non-biological motions. This response persists even when no form information is provided, as in point-light displays (PLDs). The aim of the current study was to assess the ability of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to reliably measure brain responses to PLDs of biological motion, and determine the sensitivity of these responses to interpersonal contextual factors. To establish reliability, we measured brain activation to biological motion with fNIRS and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during two separate sessions in an identical group of 12 participants. To establish sensitivity, brain responses to biological motion measured with fNIRS were subjected to an additional social manipulation where participants were either socially included or excluded before viewing PLDs of biological motion. Results revealed comparable brain responses to biological motion using fMRI and fNIRS in the right supramarginal gyrus. Further, social inclusion increased brain responses to biological motion in right supramarginal gyrus and posterior STS. Thus, fNIRS can reliably measure brain responses to biological motion and can detect social experience-dependent modulations of these brain responses.

  14. Accelerating Scientific Discovery Through Computation and Visualization III. Tight-Binding Wave Functions for Quantum Dots.

    PubMed

    Sims, James S; George, William L; Griffin, Terence J; Hagedorn, John G; Hung, Howard K; Kelso, John T; Olano, Marc; Peskin, Adele P; Satterfield, Steven G; Terrill, Judith Devaney; Bryant, Garnett W; Diaz, Jose G

    2008-01-01

    This is the third in a series of articles that describe, through examples, how the Scientific Applications and Visualization Group (SAVG) at NIST has utilized high performance parallel computing, visualization, and machine learning to accelerate scientific discovery. In this article we focus on the use of high performance computing and visualization for simulations of nanotechnology.

  15. Structure, Biological Functions and Applications of the AB5 Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Beddoe, Travis; Paton, Adrienne W.; Le Nours, Jérôme; Rossjohn, Jamie; Paton, James C.

    2010-01-01

    AB5 toxins are important virulence factors for several major bacterial pathogens, including Bordetella pertussis, Vibrio cholerae, Shigella dysenteriae and at least two distinct pathotypes of Escherichia coli. The AB5 toxins are so termed because they comprise a catalytic A-subunit, which is responsible for disruption of essential host functions, and a pentameric B-subunit that binds to specific glycan receptors on the target cell surface. The molecular mechanisms by which these AB5 toxins cause disease have been largely unraveled, including recent insights into a novel AB5 toxin family, subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB). Furthermore, AB5 toxins have become a valuable tool for studying fundamental cellular functions, and are now being investigated for potential applications in the clinical treatment of human diseases. PMID:20202851

  16. Functional Nanostructured Platforms for Chemical and Biological Sensing

    SciTech Connect

    Letant, S E

    2006-03-20

    The central goal of our work is to combine semiconductor nanotechnology and surface functionalization in order to build platforms for the selective detection of bio-organisms ranging in size from bacteria (micron range) down to viruses, as well as for the detection of chemical agents (nanometer range). We will show on three porous silicon platforms how pore geometry and pore wall chemistry can be combined and optimized to capture and detect specific targets. We developed a synthetic route allowing to directly anchor proteins on silicon surfaces and illustrated the relevance of this technique by immobilizing live enzymes onto electrochemically etched luminescent nano-porous silicon. The powerful association of the specific enzymes with the transducing matrix led to a selective hybrid platform for chemical sensing. We also used light-assisted electrochemistry to produce periodic arrays of through pores on pre-patterned silicon membranes with controlled diameters ranging from many microns down to tens of nanometers. We demonstrated the first covalently functionalized silicon membranes and illustrated their selective capture abilities with antibody-coated micro-beads. These engineered membranes are extremely versatile and could be adapted to specifically recognize the external fingerprints (size and coat composition) of target bio-organisms. Finally, we fabricated locally functionalized single nanopores using a combination of focused ion beam drilling and ion beam assisted oxide deposition. We showed how a silicon oxide ring can be grown around a single nanopore and how it can be functionalized with DNA probes to detect single viral-sized beads. The next step for this platform is the detection of whole viruses and bacteria.

  17. Biology and Function of Fetal and Pediatric Skin

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Alice; Balaji, Swathi; Keswani, Sundeep G

    2013-01-01

    Synopsis The development of the integumentary system is a series of events, which start in utero and continue throughout life. Although at birth, skin in full-term infants is anatomically mature, functional maturity develops during the first year of life. Pediatric skin transitions again with the onset of puberty. At each stage, there are changes in transepidermal water loss, skin hydration, and skin acidity that define the specific period of development. PMID:23369584

  18. Density functional theory across chemistry, physics and biology.

    PubMed

    van Mourik, Tanja; Bühl, Michael; Gaigeot, Marie-Pierre

    2014-03-13

    The past decades have seen density functional theory (DFT) evolve from a rising star in computational quantum chemistry to one of its major players. This Theme Issue, which comes half a century after the publication of the Hohenberg-Kohn theorems that laid the foundations of modern DFT, reviews progress and challenges in present-day DFT research. Rather than trying to be comprehensive, this Theme Issue attempts to give a flavour of selected aspects of DFT.

  19. Functional nanostructured platforms for chemical and biological sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Létant, S. E.

    2006-05-01

    The central goal of our work is to combine semiconductor nanotechnology and surface functionalization in order to build platforms for the selective detection of bio-organisms ranging in size from bacteria (micron range) down to viruses, as well as for the detection of chemical agents (nanometer range). We will show on three porous silicon platforms how pore geometry and pore wall chemistry can be combined and optimized to capture and detect specific targets. We developed a synthetic route allowing to directly anchor proteins on silicon surfaces and illustrated the relevance of this technique by immobilizing live enzymes onto electrochemically etched luminescent nano-porous silicon. The powerful association of the specific enzymes with the transducing matrix led to a selective hybrid platform for chemical sensing. We also used light-assisted electrochemistry to produce periodic arrays of through pores on pre-patterned silicon membranes with controlled diameters ranging from many microns down to tens of nanometers. We demonstrated the first covalently functionalized silicon membranes and illustrated their selective capture abilities with antibody-coated micro-beads. These engineered membranes are extremely versatile and could be adapted to specifically recognize the external fingerprints (size and coat composition) of target bio-organisms. Finally, we fabricated locally functionalized single nanopores using a combination of focused ion beam drilling and ion beam assisted oxide deposition. We showed how a silicon oxide ring can be grown around a single nanopore and how it can be functionalized with DNA probes to detect single viral-sized beads. The next step for this platform is the detection of whole viruses and bacteria.

  20. STRIPAK complexes: structure, biological function, and involvement in human diseases.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Juyeon; Pallas, David C

    2014-02-01

    The mammalian striatin family consists of three proteins, striatin, S/G2 nuclear autoantigen, and zinedin. Striatin family members have no intrinsic catalytic activity, but rather function as scaffolding proteins. Remarkably, they organize multiple diverse, large signaling complexes that participate in a variety of cellular processes. Moreover, they appear to be regulatory/targeting subunits for the major eukaryotic serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A. In addition, striatin family members associate with germinal center kinase III kinases as well as other novel components, earning these assemblies the name striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complexes. Recently, there has been a great increase in functional and mechanistic studies aimed at identifying and understanding the roles of STRIPAK and STRIPAK-like complexes in cellular processes of multiple organisms. These studies have identified novel STRIPAK and STRIPAK-like complexes and have explored their roles in specific signaling pathways. Together, the results of these studies have sparked increased interest in striatin family complexes because they have revealed roles in signaling, cell cycle control, apoptosis, vesicular trafficking, Golgi assembly, cell polarity, cell migration, neural and vascular development, and cardiac function. Moreover, STRIPAK complexes have been connected to clinical conditions, including cardiac disease, diabetes, autism, and cerebral cavernous malformation. In this review, we discuss the expression, localization, and protein domain structure of striatin family members. Then we consider the diverse complexes these proteins and their homologs form in various organisms, emphasizing what is known regarding function and regulation. Finally, we explore possible roles of striatin family complexes in disease, especially cerebral cavernous malformation.

  1. The subcortical maternal complex: multiple functions for one biological structure?

    PubMed

    Bebbere, D; Masala, L; Albertini, D F; Ledda, S

    2016-11-01

    The subcortical maternal complex (SCMC) is a multiprotein complex uniquely expressed in mammalian oocytes and early embryos, essential for zygote progression beyond the first embryonic cell divisions. Similiar to other factors encoded by maternal effect genes, the physiological role of SCMC remains unclear, although recent evidence has provided important molecular insights into different possible functions. Its potential involvement in human fertility is attracting increasing attention; however, the complete story is far from being told. The present mini review provides an overview of recent findings related to the SCMC and discusses its potential physiological role/s with the aim of inspiring new directions for future research.

  2. Biochemical and biological functions of class I phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins.

    PubMed

    Cockcroft, Shamshad; Carvou, Nicolas

    2007-06-01

    Phosphoinositides function in a diverse array of cellular activities. They include a role as substrate for lipid kinases and phospholipases to generate second messengers, regulators of the cytoskeleton, of enzymes and of ion channels, and docking sites for reversible recruitment of proteins to membranes. Mammalian phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins, PITPalpha and PITPbeta are paralogs that share 77% sequence identity and contain a hydrophobic cavity that can sequester either phosphatidylinositol or phosphatidylcholine. A string of 11 amino acid residues at the C-terminal acts as a "lid" which shields the lipid from the aqueous environment. PITPs in vitro can facilitate inter-membrane lipid transfer and this requires the movement of the "lid" to allow the lipid cargo to be released. Thus PITPs are structurally designed for delivering lipid cargo and could thus participate in cellular events that are dependent on phosphatidylinositol or derivatives of phosphatidylinositol. Phosphatidylinositol, the precursor for all phosphoinositides is synthesised at the endoplasmic reticulum and its distribution to other organelles could be facilitated by PITPs. Here we highlight recent studies that report on the three-dimensional structures of the different PITP forms and suggest how PITPs are likely to dock at the membrane surface for lipid delivery and extraction. Additionally we discuss whether PITPs are important regulators of sphingomyelin metabolism, and finally describe recent studies that link the association of PITPs with diverse functions including membrane traffic at the Golgi, neurite outgrowth, cytokinesis and stem cell growth.

  3. Insect MicroRNAs: Biogenesis, Expression Profiling and Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Keira; Raikhel, Alexander S.

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a class of endogenous regulatory RNA molecules 21-24 nucleotides in length that modulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level via base pairing to target sites within messenger RNAs (mRNA). Typically, the miRNA “seed sequence” (nucleotides 2-8 at the 5′ end) binds complementary seed match sites within the 3′ untranslated region of mRNAs, resulting in either translational inhibition or mRNA degradation. MicroRNAs were first discovered in Caenorhabditis elegans and were shown to be involved in the timed regulation of developmental events. Since their discovery in the 1990s, thousands of potential miRNAs have since been identified in various organisms through small RNA cloning methods and/or computational prediction, and have been shown to play functionally important roles of gene regulation in invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, fungi and viruses. Numerous functions of miRNAs identified in Drosophila melanogaster have demonstrated a great significance of these regulatory molecules. However, elucidation of miRNA roles in non-drosophilid insects presents a challenging and important task. PMID:23165178

  4. Biological functions of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate.

    PubMed

    Thelin, Martin A; Bartolini, Barbara; Axelsson, Jakob; Gustafsson, Renata; Tykesson, Emil; Pera, Edgar; Oldberg, Åke; Maccarana, Marco; Malmstrom, Anders

    2013-05-01

    The presence of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate changes the properties of the polysaccharides because it generates a more flexible chain with increased binding potentials. Iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate influences multiple cellular properties, such as migration, proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and the regulation of cytokine/growth factor activities. Under pathological conditions such as wound healing, inflammation and cancer, iduronic acid has diverse regulatory functions. Iduronic acid is formed by two epimerases (i.e. dermatan sulfate epimerase 1 and 2) that have different tissue distribution and properties. The role of iduronic acid in chondroitin/dermatan sulfate is highlighted by the vast changes in connective tissue features in patients with a new type of Ehler-Danlos syndrome: adducted thumb-clubfoot syndrome. Future research aims to understand the roles of the two epimerases and their interplay with the sulfotransferases involved in chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Furthermore, a better definition of chondroitin/dermatan sulfate functions using different knockout models is needed. In this review, we focus on the two enzymes responsible for iduronic acid formation, as well as the role of iduronic acid in health and disease.

  5. Estrogen Biology: New Insights into GPER Function and Clinical Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Prossnitz, Eric R.; Barton, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Estrogens play an important role in the regulation of normal physiology, aging and many disease states. Although the nuclear estrogen receptors have classically been described to function as ligand-activated transcription factors mediating genomic effects in hormonally regulated tissues, more recent studies reveal that estrogens also mediate rapid signaling events traditionally associated with G protein-coupled receptors. The G protein-coupled estrogen receptor GPER (formerly GPR30) has now become recognized as a major mediator of estrogen’s rapid cellular effects throughout the body. With the discovery of selective synthetic ligands for GPER, both agonists and antagonists, as well as the use of GPER knockout mice, significant advances have been made in our understanding of GPER function at the cellular, tissue and organismal levels. In many instances, the protective/beneficial effects of estrogen are mimicked by selective GPER agonism and are absent or reduced in GPER knockout mice, suggesting an essential or at least parallel role for GPER in the actions of estrogen. In this review, we will discuss recent advances and our current understanding of the role of GPER and certain drugs such as SERMs and SERDs in physiology and disease. We will also highlight novel opportunities for clinical development towards GPER-targeted therapeutics, for molecular imaging, as well as for theranostic approaches and personalized medicine. PMID:24530924

  6. [Adipogenic function and other biologic effects of insulin].

    PubMed

    Pankov, Y A

    2016-01-01

    Studies on experimental animals with knockout of the insulin receptor gene Insr (in the whole body or in certain tissues) and/or related genes encoding proteins involved in realization of insulin signal transduction in target cells, have made an important contribution to the elucidation of insulin regulation of metabolism, particularly fat metabolism. Since the whole insulin secreted by b-cells, together with the products of gastrointestinal tract digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates reach the liver, the latter is the first organ on which this hormone acts. The liver employs released amino acids for synthesis of proteins, including apoproteins for various lipoproteins. Glucose is used for synthesis of glycogen, fatty acids, and triglycerides, which enter all the organs in very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). The LIRKO mice with knockout of the Insr gene in the liver demonstrated inhibition of synthesis of macromolecular compounds from amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids. Low molecular weight substances demonstrated increased entry to circulation, and together with other disorders induced hyperglycemia. In LIRKO mice blood glucose levels and glucose tolerance demonstrated time-dependent normalization and at later stages the increase in glucose levels was replaced by hypoglycemia. These changes can be well explained if we take into consideration that one of the main functions of insulin consists in stimulation of energy accumulation by means of activation of triglyceride deposition in adipose tissue. FIRKO mice with selective knockout of adipose tissue Insr were characterized by decreased uptake of glucose in adipocytes, and its transformation into lipids. However, the level of body fat in animals remained normal, possibly due to preserved insulin receptor in the liver and insulin-induced activation of triglyceride production which maintained normal levels of body fat stores, the effective functioning of adipose tissue and secretion of leptin by

  7. On Biological Functions Mapping to the Heterochromatin of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER

    PubMed Central

    Pimpinelli, Sergio; Sullivan, William; Prout, Mary; Sandler, L.

    1985-01-01

    We examined the behavior of an autosomal recessive maternal-effect mutation, abnormal-oocyte (abo), that is located in the euchromatin of the left arm of chromosome 2. When homozygous in females, abo results in a marked reduction in the probability that an egg produced by a mutant mother will develop into an adult. However, this probability is increased if the fertilizing sperm delivers to the egg either a normal allele of the maternal-effect gene or a specific type of heterochromatin (called ABO) that is located in small regions of the X and Y chromosome constitutive heterochromatin as well as in some autosomal heterochromatin. These regions, moreover, all react to Hoechst 33258 fluorescent dye identically and specifically. The amelioration of the maternal effect produced by this heterochromatin differs temporally from that caused by the normal allele of the euchromatic gene: the heterochromatin reduces only precellular blastoderm mortality, whereas the normal allele of the euchromatic gene reduces only postblastoderm mortality. Thus, although the genome of the preblastoderm Drosophila embryo is apparently mostly silent, the ABO-containing heterochromatin functions at this early time. Finally, preliminary data indicate that abo is but one member of a cluster of linked genes, each of which interacts with its own normal allele and with a different, locus-specific, heterochromatic factor. From these observations, it appears that Drosophila heterochromatin contains developmentally important genetic elements, and that a functional concomitant of heterochromatic location is gene action at a developmental stage during which the activity of the euchromatic genome is as yet undetectable. Some general implications of these inferences are considered. PMID:2580754

  8. GSK-3: Functional Insights from Cell Biology and Animal Models

    PubMed Central

    Kaidanovich-Beilin, Oksana; Woodgett, James Robert

    2011-01-01

    Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a widely expressed and highly conserved serine/threonine protein kinase encoded in mammals by two genes that generate two related proteins: GSK-3α and GSK-3β. GSK-3 is active in cells under resting conditions and is primarily regulated through inhibition or diversion of its activity. While GSK-3 is one of the few protein kinases that can be inactivated by phosphorylation, the mechanisms of GSK-3 regulation are more varied and not fully understood. Precise control appears to be achieved by a combination of phosphorylation, localization, and sequestration by a number of GSK-3-binding proteins. GSK-3 lies downstream of several major signaling pathways including the phosphatidylinositol 3′ kinase pathway, the Wnt pathway, Hedgehog signaling and Notch. Specific pools of GSK-3, which differ in intracellular localization, binding partner affinity, and relative amount are differentially sensitized to several distinct signaling pathways and these sequestration mechanisms contribute to pathway insulation and signal specificity. Dysregulation of signaling pathways involving GSK-3 is associated with the pathogenesis of numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders and there are data suggesting GSK-3 isoform-selective roles in several of these. Here, we review the current knowledge of GSK-3 regulation and targets and discuss the various animal models that have been employed to dissect the functions of GSK-3 in brain development and function through the use of conventional or conditional knockout mice as well as transgenic mice. These studies have revealed fundamental roles for these protein kinases in memory, behavior, and neuronal fate determination and provide insights into possible therapeutic interventions. PMID:22110425

  9. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids predict accelerated decline of peripheral nerve function in older persons

    PubMed Central

    Lauretani, F.; Bandinelli, S.; Benedetta, B.; Cherubini, A.; Iorio, A. D.; Blè, A.; Giacomini, V.; Corsi, A. M.; Guralnik, J. M.; Ferrucci, L.

    2009-01-01

    Pre-clinical studies suggest that both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on peripheral nerve function. Rats feed a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) showed modification of phospholipid fatty acid composition in nerve membranes and improvement of sciatic nerve conduction velocity (NCV). We tested the hypothesis that baseline plasma omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids levels predict accelerated decline of peripheral nerve function. Changes between baseline and the 3-year follow-up in peripheral nerve function was assessed by standard surface ENG of the right peroneal nerve in 384 male and 443 female participants of the InCHIANTI study (age range: 24–97 years). Plasma concentrations of selected fatty acids assessed at baseline by gas chromatography. Independent of confounders, plasma omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid were significantly correlated with peroneal NCV at enrollment. Lower plasma PUFA, omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid, ratio omega-6/omega-3, arachidonic acid and docosahexanoic acid levels were significantly predicted a steeper decline in nerve function parameters over the 3-year follow-up. Low plasma omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids levels were associated with accelerated decline of peripheral nerve function with aging. PMID:17594339

  10. Accelerated Recovery of Endothelium Function after Stent Implantation with the Use of a Novel Systemic Nanoparticle Curcumin

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Qi; Ye, Fang; Yang, Xiangjun; Gu, Qingqing; Wang, Peng; Zhu, Jianhua; Shen, Li; Gong, Feirong

    2015-01-01

    Curcumin was reported to exhibit a wide range of pharmacological effects including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative activities and significantly prevent smooth muscle cells migration. In the present study, a novel kind of curcumin loaded nanoparticles (Cur-NP) has been prepared and characterized with the aim of inhibiting inflammation formation and accelerating the healing process of the stented arteries. Cur-NP was administrated intravenously after stent implantation twice a week and detailed tissue responses were evaluated. The results demonstrated that intravenous administration of Cur-NP after stent implantation accelerated endothelial cells restoration and endothelium function recovery and may potentially be an effective therapeutic alternative to reduce adverse events for currently available drug eluting stents. PMID:26167481

  11. 20 years of leptin: connecting leptin signaling to biological function.

    PubMed

    Allison, Margaret B; Myers, Martin G

    2014-10-01

    Hypothalamic leptin action promotes negative energy balance and modulates glucose homeostasis, as well as serving as a permissive signal to the neuroendocrine axes that control growth and reproduction. Since the initial discovery of leptin 20 years ago, we have learned a great deal about the molecular mechanisms of leptin action. An important aspect of this has been the dissection of the cellular mechanisms of leptin signaling, and how specific leptin signals influence physiology. Leptin acts via the long form of the leptin receptor LepRb. LepRb activation and subsequent tyrosine phosphorylation recruits and activates multiple signaling pathways, including STAT transcription factors, SHP2 and ERK signaling, the IRS-protein/PI3Kinase pathway, and SH2B1. Each of these pathways controls specific aspects of leptin action and physiology. Important inhibitory pathways mediated by suppressor of cytokine signaling proteins and protein tyrosine phosphatases also limit physiologic leptin action. This review summarizes the signaling pathways engaged by LepRb and their effects on energy balance, glucose homeostasis, and reproduction. Particular emphasis is given to the multiple mouse models that have been used to elucidate these functions in vivo.

  12. Production and biological function of volatile esters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Saerens, Sofie M G; Delvaux, Freddy R; Verstrepen, Kevin J; Thevelein, Johan M

    2010-03-01

    The need to understand and control ester synthesis is driven by the fact that esters play a key role in the sensorial quality of fermented alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and sake. As esters are synthesized in yeast via several complex metabolic pathways, there is a need to gain a clear understanding of ester metabolism and its regulation. The individual genes involved, their functions and regulatory mechanisms have to be identified. In alcoholic beverages, there are two important groups of esters: the acetate esters and the medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) ethyl esters. For acetate ester synthesis, the genes involved have already been cloned and characterized. Also the biochemical pathways and the regulation of acetate ester synthesis are well defined. With respect to the molecular basis of MCFA ethyl ester synthesis, however, significant progress has only recently been made. Next to the characterization of the biochemical pathways and regulation of ester synthesis, a new and more important question arises: what is the advantage for yeast to produce these esters? Several hypotheses have been proposed in the past, but none was satisfactorily. This paper reviews the current hypotheses of ester synthesis in yeast in relation to the complex regulation of the alcohol acetyl transferases and the different factors that allow ester formation to be controlled during fermentation.

  13. Towards understanding the biological function of hopanoids (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doughty, D. M.; Hunter, R.; Summons, R. E.; Newman, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Rhodopseudomonas palustris TIE-1 expresses bacterial hopanoid lipids that are structurally similar and evolutionarily related to eukaryotic sterols. The genome of R. palustris TIE-1 contains two copies of the hpnN gene (hpnN1 and hpnN2) that are orthologs of genes encoding eukaryotic sterol and lipid transporters. Hopanoid localization to the outer membrane was found to be dependent upon hpnN1. Since the cell cycle of R. palustris TIE-1 is obligately bimodal with each cell division resulting in the generation of one mother and one swarmer cell, evidence was obtained that hopanoids where specifically localized to the outer membrane of mother cells. The sequestration of hopanoids to the mother cells was also disrupted by the deletion of the hpnN1 gene. Mutants lacking the hopanoid transporters were able to grow normally at 30 °C but showed decreased growth at 38 °C. The hopanoid transporter mutant formed cellular filaments when grown at elevated temperature. Because sedimentary steranes and hopanes comprise some of the earliest evidence for the emergence of distinct bacteria and eukaryotic phyla, a better appreciation of the function of hopanoids will improve our ability to interpret the evolution of life on Earth.

  14. Functionalized diamond nanopowder for phosphopeptides enrichment from complex biological fluids.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Dilshad; Najam-ul-Haq, Muhammad; Jabeen, Fahmida; Ashiq, Muhammad N; Athar, Muhammad; Rainer, Matthias; Huck, Christian W; Bonn, Guenther K

    2013-05-02

    Diamond is known for its high affinity and biocompatibility towards biomolecules and is used exclusively in separation sciences and life science research. In present study, diamond nanopowder is derivatized as Immobilized Metal Ion Affinity Chromatographic (IMAC) material for the phosphopeptides enrichment and as Reversed Phase (C-18) media for the desalting of complex mixtures and human serum profiling through MALDI-TOF-MS. Functionalized diamond nanopowder is characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. Diamond-IMAC is applied to the standard protein (β-casein), spiked human serum, egg yolk and non-fat milk for the phosphopeptides enrichment. Results show the selectivity of synthesized IMAC-diamond immobilized with Fe(3+) and La(3+) ions. To comprehend the elaborated use, diamond-IMAC is also applied to the serum samples from gall bladder carcinoma for the potential biomarkers. Database search is carried out by the Mascot program (www.matrixscience.com) for the assignment of phosphorylation sites. Diamond nanopowder is thus a separation media with multifunctional use and can be applied to cancer protein profiling for the diagnosis and biomarker identification.

  15. Biological catalysis of the hydrological cycle: life's thermodynamic function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelian, K.

    2011-01-01

    Darwinian theory depicts life as being overwhelmingly consumed by a fight for survival in a hostile environment. However, from a thermodynamic perspective, life is a dynamic out of equilibrium process, stabilizing and coevolving in concert with its abiotic environment. The living component of the biosphere on the surface of the Earth of greatest biomass, the plants and cyanobacteria, are involved in the transpiration of a vast amount of water. Transpiration is part of the global water cycle, and it is this cycle that distinguishes Earth from its apparently life barren neighboring planets, Venus and Mars. The dissipation of sunlight into heat by organic molecules in the biosphere and its coupling to the water cycle (as well as other abiotic processes), is by far the greatest entropy producing process occurring on Earth. Life, from this perspective, can be viewed as performing an important thermodynamic function; acting as a dynamic catalyst by aiding irreversible abiotic process such as the water cycle, hurricanes, and ocean and wind currents to produce entropy. The role of animals in this view is that of unwitting but dedicated servants of the plants and cyanobacteria, helping them to grow and to spread into initially inhospitable areas.

  16. Strigolactone biology: genes, functional genomics, epigenetics and applications.

    PubMed

    Makhzoum, Abdullah; Yousefzadi, Morteza; Malik, Sonia; Gantet, Pascal; Tremouillaux-Guiller, Jocelyne

    2017-03-01

    Strigolactones (SLs) represent an important new plant hormone class marked by their multifunctional role in plant and rhizosphere interactions. These compounds stimulate hyphal branching in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and seed germination of root parasitic plants. In addition, they are involved in the control of plant architecture by inhibiting bud outgrowth as well as many other morphological and developmental processes together with other plant hormones such as auxins and cytokinins. The biosynthetic pathway of SLs that are derived from carotenoids was partially decrypted based on the identification of mutants from a variety of plant species. Only a few SL biosynthetic and regulated genes and related regulatory transcription factors have been identified. However, functional genomics and epigenetic studies started to give first elements on the modality of the regulation of SLs related genes. Since they control plant architecture and plant-rhizosphere interaction, SLs start to be used for agronomical and biotechnological applications. Furthermore, the genes involved in the SL biosynthetic pathway and genes regulated by SL constitute interesting targets for plant breeding. Therefore, it is necessary to decipher and better understand the genetic determinants of their regulation at different levels.

  17. Production and biological function of volatile esters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Saerens, Sofie M. G.; Delvaux, Freddy R.; Verstrepen, Kevin J.; Thevelein, Johan M.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The need to understand and control ester synthesis is driven by the fact that esters play a key role in the sensorial quality of fermented alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and sake. As esters are synthesized in yeast via several complex metabolic pathways, there is a need to gain a clear understanding of ester metabolism and its regulation. The individual genes involved, their functions and regulatory mechanisms have to be identified. In alcoholic beverages, there are two important groups of esters: the acetate esters and the medium‐chain fatty acid (MCFA) ethyl esters. For acetate ester synthesis, the genes involved have already been cloned and characterized. Also the biochemical pathways and the regulation of acetate ester synthesis are well defined. With respect to the molecular basis of MCFA ethyl ester synthesis, however, significant progress has only recently been made. Next to the characterization of the biochemical pathways and regulation of ester synthesis, a new and more important question arises: what is the advantage for yeast to produce these esters? Several hypotheses have been proposed in the past, but none was satisfactorily. This paper reviews the current hypotheses of ester synthesis in yeast in relation to the complex regulation of the alcohol acetyl transferases and the different factors that allow ester formation to be controlled during fermentation. PMID:21255318

  18. Mesoporous bioactive glass nanolayer-functionalized 3D-printed scaffolds for accelerating osteogenesis and angiogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yali; Xia, Lunguo; Zhai, Dong; Shi, Mengchao; Luo, Yongxiang; Feng, Chun; Fang, Bing; Yin, Jingbo; Chang, Jiang; Wu, Chengtie

    2015-11-01

    The hierarchical microstructure, surface and interface of biomaterials are important factors influencing their bioactivity. Porous bioceramic scaffolds have been widely used for bone tissue engineering by optimizing their chemical composition and large-pore structure. However, the surface and interface of struts in bioceramic scaffolds are often ignored. The aim of this study is to incorporate hierarchical pores and bioactive components into the bioceramic scaffolds by constructing nanopores and bioactive elements on the struts of scaffolds and further improve their bone-forming activity. Mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG) modified β-tricalcium phosphate (MBG-β-TCP) scaffolds with a hierarchical pore structure and a functional strut surface (~100 nm of MBG nanolayer) were successfully prepared via 3D printing and spin coating. The compressive strength and apatite-mineralization ability of MBG-β-TCP scaffolds were significantly enhanced as compared to β-TCP scaffolds without the MBG nanolayer. The attachment, viability, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, osteogenic gene expression (Runx2, BMP2, OPN and Col I) and protein expression (OPN, Col I, VEGF, HIF-1α) of rabbit bone marrow stromal cells (rBMSCs) as well as the attachment, viability and angiogenic gene expression (VEGF and HIF-1α) of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in MBG-β-TCP scaffolds were significantly upregulated compared with conventional bioactive glass (BG)-modified β-TCP (BG-β-TCP) and pure β-TCP scaffolds. Furthermore, MBG-β-TCP scaffolds significantly enhanced the formation of new bone in vivo as compared to BG-β-TCP and β-TCP scaffolds. The results suggest that application of the MBG nanolayer to modify 3D-printed bioceramic scaffolds offers a new strategy to construct hierarchically porous scaffolds with significantly improved physicochemical and biological properties, such as mechanical properties, osteogenesis, angiogenesis and protein expression for bone tissue

  19. Acceleration modules in linear induction accelerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shao-Heng; Deng, Jian-Jun

    2014-05-01

    The Linear Induction Accelerator (LIA) is a unique type of accelerator that is capable of accelerating kilo-Ampere charged particle current to tens of MeV energy. The present development of LIA in MHz bursting mode and the successful application into a synchrotron have broadened LIA's usage scope. Although the transformer model is widely used to explain the acceleration mechanism of LIAs, it is not appropriate to consider the induction electric field as the field which accelerates charged particles for many modern LIAs. We have examined the transition of the magnetic cores' functions during the LIA acceleration modules' evolution, distinguished transformer type and transmission line type LIA acceleration modules, and re-considered several related issues based on transmission line type LIA acceleration module. This clarified understanding should help in the further development and design of LIA acceleration modules.

  20. Nerve Regeneration: Understanding Biology and Its Influence on Return of Function After Nerve Transfers.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Tessa

    2016-05-01

    Poor functional outcomes are frequent after peripheral nerve injuries despite the regenerative support of Schwann cells. Motoneurons and, to a lesser extent, sensory neurons survive the injuries but outgrowth of axons across the injury site is slow. The neuronal regenerative capacity and the support of regenerating axons by the chronically denervated Schwann cells progressively declines with time and distance of the injury from the denervated targets. Strategies, including brief low-frequency electrical stimulation that accelerates target reinnervation and functional recovery, and the insertion of cross-bridges between a donor nerve and a recipient denervated nerve stump, are effective in promoting functional outcomes after complete and incomplete injuries.

  1. Identifying effective and feasible interventions to accelerate functional recovery from hospitalization in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot trial.

    PubMed

    Deer, Rachel R; Dickinson, Jared M; Fisher, Steve R; Ju, Hyunsu; Volpi, Elena

    2016-07-01

    Hospitalization induces functional decline in older adults. Many geriatric patients fail to fully recover physical function after hospitalization, which increases the risk of frailty, disability, dependence, re-hospitalization, and mortality. There is a lack of evidence-based therapies that can be implemented following hospitalization to accelerate functional improvements. The aims of this Phase I clinical trial are to determine 1) the effect size and variability of targeted interventions in accelerating functional recovery from hospitalization and 2) the feasibility of implementing such interventions in community-dwelling older adults. Older patients (≥65years, n=100) will be recruited from a single site during hospitalization for an acute medical condition. Subjects will be randomized to one of five interventions initiated immediately upon discharge: 1. protein supplementation, 2. in-home rehabilitation plus placebo supplementation, 3. in-home rehabilitation plus protein supplementation, 4. single testosterone injection, or 5. isocaloric placebo supplementation. Testing will occur during hospitalization (baseline) and at 1 and 4weeks post-discharge. Each testing session will include measures of muscle strength, physical function/performance, body composition, and psychological function. Physical activity levels will be continuously monitored throughout study participation. Feasibility will be determined through collection of the number of eligible, contacted, and enrolled patients; intervention adherence and compliance; and reasons for declining enrollment and study withdrawal. This research will determine the feasibility of post-hospitalization strategies to improve physical function in older adults. These results will also provide a foundation for performing larger, multi-site clinical trials to improve physical function and reduce readmissions in geriatric patents.

  2. Combined small-molecule inhibition accelerates the derivation of functional cortical neurons from human pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Qi, Yuchen; Zhang, Xin-Jun; Renier, Nicolas; Wu, Zhuhao; Atkin, Talia; Sun, Ziyi; Ozair, M Zeeshan; Tchieu, Jason; Zimmer, Bastian; Fattahi, Faranak; Ganat, Yosif; Azevedo, Ricardo; Zeltner, Nadja; Brivanlou, Ali H; Karayiorgou, Maria; Gogos, Joseph; Tomishima, Mark; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Shi, Song-Hai; Studer, Lorenz

    2017-02-01

    Considerable progress has been made in converting human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into functional neurons. However, the protracted timing of human neuron specification and functional maturation remains a key challenge that hampers the routine application of hPSC-derived lineages in disease modeling and regenerative medicine. Using a combinatorial small-molecule screen, we previously identified conditions to rapidly differentiate hPSCs into peripheral sensory neurons. Here we generalize the approach to central nervous system (CNS) fates by developing a small-molecule approach for accelerated induction of early-born cortical neurons. Combinatorial application of six pathway inhibitors induces post-mitotic cortical neurons with functional electrophysiological properties by day 16 of differentiation, in the absence of glial cell co-culture. The resulting neurons, transplanted at 8 d of differentiation into the postnatal mouse cortex, are functional and establish long-distance projections, as shown using iDISCO whole-brain imaging. Accelerated differentiation into cortical neuron fates should facilitate hPSC-based strategies for disease modeling and cell therapy in CNS disorders.

  3. Schematic and realistic biological motion identification in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Kristyn; Kelley, Elizabeth; Poulin-Dubois, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Research investigating biological motion perception in children with ASD has revealed conflicting findings concerning whether impairments in biological motion perception exist. The current study investigated how children with high-functioning ASD (HF-ASD) performed on two tasks of biological motion identification: a novel schematic motion identification task and a point-light biological motion identification task. Twenty-two HFASD children were matched with 21 TD children on gender, non-verbal mental, and chronological, age (M years = 6.72). On both tasks, HF-ASD children performed with similar accuracy as TD children. Across groups, children performed better on animate than on inanimate trials of both tasks. These findings suggest that HF-ASD children's identification of both realistic and schematic biological motion identification is unimpaired. PMID:25395988

  4. End-to-end automated microfluidic platform for synthetic biology: from design to functional analysis

    DOE PAGES

    Linshiz, Gregory; Jensen, Erik; Stawski, Nina; ...

    2016-02-02

    Synthetic biology aims to engineer biological systems for desired behaviors. The construction of these systems can be complex, often requiring genetic reprogramming, extensive de novo DNA synthesis, and functional screening. Here, we present a programmable, multipurpose microfluidic platform and associated software and apply the platform to major steps of the synthetic biology research cycle: design, construction, testing, and analysis. We show the platform’s capabilities for multiple automated DNA assembly methods, including a new method for Isothermal Hierarchical DNA Construction, and for Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae transformation. The platform enables the automated control of cellular growth, gene expression induction, andmore » proteogenic and metabolic output analysis. Finally, taken together, we demonstrate the microfluidic platform’s potential to provide end-to-end solutions for synthetic biology research, from design to functional analysis.« less

  5. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from “endless forms most beautiful”

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2015-01-01

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. PMID:26668171

  6. Sharing Structure and Function in Biological Design with SBOL 2.0.

    PubMed

    Roehner, Nicholas; Beal, Jacob; Clancy, Kevin; Bartley, Bryan; Misirli, Goksel; Grünberg, Raik; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Bissell, Michael; Madsen, Curtis; Nguyen, Tramy; Zhang, Michael; Zhang, Zhen; Zundel, Zach; Densmore, Douglas; Gennari, John H; Wipat, Anil; Sauro, Herbert M; Myers, Chris J

    2016-06-17

    The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a standard that enables collaborative engineering of biological systems across different institutions and tools. SBOL is developed through careful consideration of recent synthetic biology trends, real use cases, and consensus among leading researchers in the field and members of commercial biotechnology enterprises. We demonstrate and discuss how a set of SBOL-enabled software tools can form an integrated, cross-organizational workflow to recapitulate the design of one of the largest published genetic circuits to date, a 4-input AND sensor. This design encompasses the structural components of the system, such as its DNA, RNA, small molecules, and proteins, as well as the interactions between these components that determine the system's behavior/function. The demonstrated workflow and resulting circuit design illustrate the utility of SBOL 2.0 in automating the exchange of structural and functional specifications for genetic parts, devices, and the biological systems in which they operate.

  7. End-to-end automated microfluidic platform for synthetic biology: from design to functional analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Linshiz, Gregory; Jensen, Erik; Stawski, Nina; Bi, Changhao; Elsbree, Nick; Jiao, Hong; Kim, Jungkyu; Mathies, Richard; Keasling, Jay D.; Hillson, Nathan J.

    2016-02-02

    Synthetic biology aims to engineer biological systems for desired behaviors. The construction of these systems can be complex, often requiring genetic reprogramming, extensive de novo DNA synthesis, and functional screening. Here, we present a programmable, multipurpose microfluidic platform and associated software and apply the platform to major steps of the synthetic biology research cycle: design, construction, testing, and analysis. We show the platform’s capabilities for multiple automated DNA assembly methods, including a new method for Isothermal Hierarchical DNA Construction, and for Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae transformation. The platform enables the automated control of cellular growth, gene expression induction, and proteogenic and metabolic output analysis. Finally, taken together, we demonstrate the microfluidic platform’s potential to provide end-to-end solutions for synthetic biology research, from design to functional analysis.

  8. Towards a behavioral-matching based compilation of synthetic biology functions.

    PubMed

    Basso-Blandin, Adrien; Delaplace, Franck

    2015-09-01

    The field of synthetic biology is looking forward engineering framework for safely designing reliable de-novo biological functions. In this undertaking, Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) environments should play a central role for facilitating the design. Although, CAD environment is widely used to engineer artificial systems the application in synthetic biology is still in its infancy. In this article we address the problem of the design of a high level language which at the core of CAD environment. More specifically the Gubs (Genomic Unified Behavioural Specification) language is a specification language used to describe the observations of the expected behaviour. The compiler appropriately selects components such that the observation of the synthetic biological function resulting to their assembly complies to the programmed behaviour.

  9. Bioactive Components and Functional Properties of Biologically Activated Cereal Grains: A Bibliographic Review.

    PubMed

    Singh, Arashdeep; Sharma, Savita

    2015-10-14

    Whole grains provide energy, nutrients, fibres and bioactive compounds that may synergistically contribute to their protective effects. A wide range of these compounds is affected by germination. While some compounds, such as β-glucans are degraded, others, like antioxidants and total phenolics are increased by means of biological activation of grains. The water and oil absorption capacity as well as emulsion and foaming capacity of biologically activated grains are also improved. Application of biological activation of grains is of emerging interest, which may significantly enhance the nutritional, functional and bioactive content of grains, as well as improve palatability of grain foods in a natural way. Therefore, biological activation of cereals can be a way to produce food grains enriched with health promoting compounds and enhanced functional attributes.

  10. Diurnal rhythmicity in biological processes involved in bioavailability of functional food factors.

    PubMed

    Tsurusaki, Takashi; Sakakibara, Hiroyuki; Aoshima, Yoshiki; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Sakono, Masanobu; Shimoi, Kayoko

    2013-05-01

    In the past few decades, many types of functional factors have been identified in dietary foods; for example, flavonoids are major groups widely distributed in the plant kingdom. However, the absorption rates of the functional food factors are usually low, and many of these are difficult to be absorbed in the intact forms because of metabolization by biological processes during absorption. To gain adequate beneficial effects, it is therefore mandatory to know whether functional food factors are absorbed in sufficient quantity, and then reach target organs while maintaining beneficial effects. These are the reasons why the bioavailability of functional food factors has been well investigated using rodent models. Recently, many of the biological processes have been reported to follow diurnal rhythms recurring every 24 h. Therefore, absorption and metabolism of functional food factors influenced by the biological processes may vary with time of day. Consequently, the evaluation of the bioavailability of functional food factors using rodent models should take into consideration the timing of consumption. In this review, we provide a perspective overview of the diurnal rhythm of biological processes involved in the bioavailability of functional food factors, particularly flavonoids.

  11. Accelerator mass spectrometry analysis of 14C-oxaliplatin concentrations in biological samples and 14C contents in biological samples and antineoplastic agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyoguchi, Teiko; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Konno, Noboru; Shiraishi, Tadashi; Kato, Kazuhiro; Tokanai, Fuyuki

    2015-10-01

    Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is expected to play an important role in microdose trials. In this study, we measured the 14C concentration in 14C-oxaliplatin-spiked serum, urine and supernatant of fecal homogenate samples in our Yamagata University (YU) - AMS system. The calibration curves of 14C concentration in serum, urine and supernatant of fecal homogenate were linear (the correlation coefficients were ⩾0.9893), and the precision and accuracy was within the acceptance criteria. To examine a 14C content of water in three vacuum blood collection tubes and a syringe were measured. 14C was not detected from water in these devices. The mean 14C content in urine samples of 6 healthy Japanese volunteers was 0.144 dpm/mL, and the intra-day fluctuation of 14C content in urine from a volunteer was little. The antineoplastic agents are administered to the patients in combination. Then, 14C contents of the antineoplastic agents were quantitated. 14C contents were different among 10 antineoplastic agents; 14C contents of paclitaxel injection and docetaxel hydrate injection were higher than those of the other injections. These results indicate that our quantitation method using YU-AMS system is suited for microdosing studies and that measurement of baseline and co-administered drugs might be necessary for the studies in low concentrations.

  12. Accelerated Stability Studies on Dried Extracts of Centella asiatica Through Chemical, HPLC, HPTLC, and Biological Activity Analyses.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Ishtdeep; Suthar, Nancy; Kaur, Jasmeen; Bansal, Yogita; Bansal, Gulshan

    2016-10-01

    Regulatory guidelines recommend systematic stability studies on a herbal product to establish its shelf life. In the present study, commercial extracts (Types I and II) and freshly prepared extract (Type III) of Centella asiatica were subjected to accelerated stability testing for 6 months. Control and stability samples were evaluated for organoleptics, pH, moisture, total phenolic content (TPC), asiatic acid, kaempherol, and high-performance thin layer chromatography fingerprints, and for antioxidant and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. Markers and TPC and both the activities of each extract decreased in stability samples with respect to control. These losses were maximum in Type I extract and minimum in Type III extract. Higher stability of Type III extract than others might be attributed to the additional phytoconstituents and/or preservatives in it. Pearson correlation analysis of the results suggested that TPC, asiatic acid, and kaempferol can be taken as chemical markers to assess chemical and therapeutic shelf lives of herbal products containing Centella asiatica.

  13. GPU accelerated non-rigid registration for the evaluation of cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Young, Alistair A; Cowan, Brett R

    2008-01-01

    We present a method for the fast and efficient tracking of motion in cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) cines. A GPU accelerated Levenberg-Marquardt non-linear least squares optimization procedure for finite element non-rigid registration was implemented on an NVIDIA graphics card using the OpenGL environment. Points were tracked from frame to frame using forward and backward incremental registration. The inner (endocardial) and outer (epicardial) boarders of the heart were tracked in six short axis cines with approximately 25 frames through the cardiac cycle in 36 patients with vascular disease. Contours placed by two independent expert observers using a semi-automatic ventricular analysis program (CIM version 4.6) were used as the gold standard. The method took 0.5 seconds per frame, and the maximum Hausdorff errors were less than 2 mm on average which was of the same order as the expert inter-observer error. In conclusion, GPU accelerated Levenberg-Marquardt non-linear optimization enables fast and accurate tracking of cardiac motion in CMR images.

  14. Electromagnetic fields as structure-function zeitgebers in biological systems: environmental orchestrations of morphogenesis and consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Rouleau, Nicolas; Dotta, Blake T.

    2014-01-01

    Within a cell system structure dictates function. Any interaction between cells, or a cell and its environment, has the potential to have long term implications on the function of a given cell and emerging cell aggregates. The structure and function of cells are continuously subjected to modification by electrical and chemical stimuli. However, biological systems are also subjected to an ever-present influence: the electromagnetic (EM) environment. Biological systems have the potential to be influenced by subtle energies which are exchanged at atomic and subatomic scales as EM phenomena. These energy exchanges have the potential to manifest at higher orders of discourse and affect the output (behavior) of a biological system. Here we describe theoretical and experimental evidence of EM influence on cells and the integration of whole systems. Even weak interactions between EM energies and biological systems display the potential to affect a developing system. We suggest the growing literature of EM effects on biological systems has significant implications to the cell and its functional aggregates. PMID:25426035

  15. Mining bridge and brick motifs from complex biological networks for functionally and statistically significant discovery.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chia-Ying; Huang, Chung-Yuan; Sun, Chuen-Tsai

    2008-02-01

    A major task for postgenomic systems biology researchers is to systematically catalogue molecules and their interactions within living cells. Advancements in complex-network theory are being made toward uncovering organizing principles that govern cell formation and evolution, but we lack understanding of how molecules and their interactions determine how complex systems function. Molecular bridge motifs include isolated motifs that neither interact nor overlap with others, whereas brick motifs act as network foundations that play a central role in defining global topological organization. To emphasize their structural organizing and evolutionary characteristics, we define bridge motifs as consisting of weak links only and brick motifs as consisting of strong links only, then propose a method for performing two tasks simultaneously, which are as follows: 1) detecting global statistical features and local connection structures in biological networks and 2) locating functionally and statistically significant network motifs. To further understand the role of biological networks in system contexts, we examine functional and topological differences between bridge and brick motifs for predicting biological network behaviors and functions. After observing brick motif similarities between E. coli and S. cerevisiae, we note that bridge motifs differentiate C. elegans from Drosophila and sea urchin in three types of networks. Similarities (differences) in bridge and brick motifs imply similar (different) key circuit elements in the three organisms. We suggest that motif-content analyses can provide researchers with global and local data for real biological networks and assist in the search for either isolated or functionally and topologically overlapping motifs when investigating and comparing biological system functions and behaviors.

  16. Biological Manipulation of Migration Rate: The Use of Advanced Photoperiod to Accelerate Smoltification in Yearling Chinook Salmon, Annual Report of Research 1990.

    SciTech Connect

    Muir, William D.

    1992-06-01

    Research was conducted during 1990 to assess the feasibility of biologically manipulating physiological development and migratory behavior of yearling spring chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. At Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, one treatment group was exposed to a 3-month advanced photoperiod schedule for 13 weeks preceding release to accelerate smolt development. Another group was exposed to the same advanced photoperiod schedule, but additionally was reared at an elevated water temperature (11.9{degrees}C) for 10 days prior to release. At Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, a treatment group was exposed to a 3-month advanced photoperiod schedule for 17 weeks. Gill Na{sup +}-K{sup +}ATPase development and migratory performance were described for all groups. The treated fish which were the most physiologically advanced at release were detected in the highest proportions at collector dams and also migrated fastest downstream--similar to results obtained in 1988 and 1989.

  17. Modeling photon propagation in biological tissues using a generalized Delta-Eddington phase function.

    PubMed

    Cong, W; Shen, H; Cong, A; Wang, Y; Wang, G

    2007-11-01

    Photon propagation in biological tissue is commonly described by the radiative transfer equation, while the phase function in the equation represents the scattering characteristics of the medium and has significant influence on the precision of solution and the efficiency of computation. In this work, we present a generalized Delta-Eddington phase function to simplify the radiative transfer equation to an integral equation with respect to photon fluence rate. Comparing to the popular diffusion approximation model, the solution of the integral equation is highly accurate to model photon propagation in the biological tissue over a broad range of optical parameters. This methodology is validated by Monte Carlo simulation.

  18. Biological Manipulation of Migration Rate: The Use of Advanced Photoperiod to Accelerate Smoltification in Yearling Chinook Salmon, Annual Report 1988.

    SciTech Connect

    Giorgi, Albert E.; Muir, William D.; Zaugg, Waldo S.

    1990-02-01

    Research was conducted to assess the feasibility of biologically manipulating physiological development and migratory behavior of yearling spring chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. At Dworshak National Fish Hatchery a treatment group was exposed to a 3-month advanced photoperiod cycle for 14 weeks preceding release. Physiological development and migratory performance of this group was compared to a control group. Changes in physiological indices indicated that exposing fish to an advanced photoperiod treatment increased the rate of smolt development. Photoperiod treatment also altered passage patterns and timing at Lower Granite Dam. 26 refs., 6 figs., 7 tabs.

  19. Proceedings of the Indo-U.S. bilateral workshop on accelerating botanicals/biologics agent development research for cancer chemoprevention, treatment, and survival

    PubMed Central

    B. Kumar, Nagi; Dhurandhar, Medha; Aggarwal, Bharat; Anant, Shrikant; Daniel, Kenyon; Deng, Gary; Djeu, Julie; Dou, Jinhui; Hawk, Ernest; Jayaram, B.; Jia, Libin; Joshi, Rajendra; Kararala, Madhuri; Karunagaran, Devarajan; Kucuk, Omer; Kumar, Lalit; Malafa, Mokenge; Samathanam, G. J.; Sarkar, Fazlul; Siddiqi, Maqsood; Singh, Rana P.; Srivastava, Anil; White, Jeffrey D.

    2013-01-01

    With the evolving evidence of the promise of botanicals/biologics for cancer chemoprevention and treatment, an Indo-U.S. collaborative Workshop focusing on “Accelerating Botanicals Agent Development Research for Cancer Chemoprevention and Treatment” was conducted at the Moffitt Cancer Center, 29–31 May 2012. Funded by the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, a joint initiative of Governments of India and the United States of America and the Moffitt Cancer Center, the overall goals of this workshop were to enhance the knowledge (agents, molecular targets, biomarkers, approaches, target populations, regulatory standards, priorities, resources) of a multinational, multidisciplinary team of researcher's to systematically accelerate the design, to conduct a successful clinical trials to evaluate botanicals/biologics for cancer chemoprevention and treatment, and to achieve efficient translation of these discoveries into the standards for clinical practice that will ultimately impact cancer morbidity and mortality. Expert panelists were drawn from a diverse group of stakeholders, representing the leadership from the National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM), NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT), Food and Drug Administration, national scientific leadership from India, and a distinguished group of population, basic and clinical scientists from the two countries, including leaders in bioinformatics, social sciences, and biostatisticians. At the end of the workshop, we established four Indo-U.S. working research collaborative teams focused on identifying and prioritizing agents targeting four cancers that are of priority to both countries. Presented are some of the key proceedings and future goals discussed in the proceedings of this workshop. PMID:24279005

  20. BeeSpace Navigator: exploratory analysis of gene function using semantic indexing of biological literature.

    PubMed

    Sen Sarma, Moushumi; Arcoleo, David; Khetani, Radhika S; Chee, Brant; Ling, Xu; He, Xin; Jiang, Jing; Mei, Qiaozhu; Zhai, ChengXiang; Schatz, Bruce

    2011-07-01

    With the rapid decrease in cost of genome sequencing, the classification of gene function is becoming a primary problem. Such classification has been performed by human curators who read biological literature to extract evidence. BeeSpace Navigator is a prototype software for exploratory analysis of gene function using biological literature. The software supports an automatic analogue of the curator process to extract functions, with a simple interface intended for all biologists. Since extraction is done on selected collections that are semantically indexed into conceptual spaces, the curation can be task specific. Biological literature containing references to gene lists from expression experiments can be analyzed to extract concepts that are computational equivalents of a classification such as Gene Ontology, yielding discriminating concepts that differentiate gene mentions from other mentions. The functions of individual genes can be summarized from sentences in biological literature, to produce results resembling a model organism database entry that is automatically computed. Statistical frequency analysis based on literature phrase extraction generates offline semantic indexes to support these gene function services. The website with BeeSpace Navigator is free and open to all; there is no login requirement at www.beespace.illinois.edu for version 4. Materials from the 2010 BeeSpace Software Training Workshop are available at www.beespace.illinois.edu/bstwmaterials.php.

  1. Accelerating self consistent field convergence by rubber sheeting of initial electronic wave functions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, G. Eric; Holzwarth, N. A. W.; Martin, George; Keeling, Briana; Agopsowicz, Douglas

    2007-03-01

    We develop an algorithm for generating better initial electronic wave function estimates for density functional theory calculations following atomic movement. First principles molecular dynamics and atomic relaxation calculations involve successive movements of atoms followed by self consistent field (SCF) solutions for electronic wave functions. The SCF solutions converge most rapidly when starting from reasonably good estimates. Often estimates are generated directly from the wave functions of the previous atomic positions without adjustments for effects of position changes. Such estimates result in fast convergence to the correct wave function for small atomic movements, but for larger movements, convergence may be much slower. We present a method for improving the estimates of the new wave functions by using information from the movement of the atoms. Our algorithm is based on the ``rubber-sheeting'' method used in overlaying satellite imagery on geographic maps. A warping function is calculated that stretches and shrinks different regions of the wave function so that regions near nuclei are dragged along with the atoms. These estimates yield faster convergence for cases studied thus far.

  2. Community Structure Reveals Biologically Functional Modules in MEF2C Transcriptional Regulatory Network

    PubMed Central

    Alcalá-Corona, Sergio A.; Velázquez-Caldelas, Tadeo E.; Espinal-Enríquez, Jesús; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks are useful to understand the activity behind the complex mechanisms in transcriptional regulation. A main goal in contemporary biology is using such networks to understand the systemic regulation of gene expression. In this work, we carried out a systematic study of a transcriptional regulatory network derived from a comprehensive selection of all potential transcription factor interactions downstream from MEF2C, a human transcription factor master regulator. By analyzing the connectivity structure of such network, we were able to find different biologically functional processes and specific biochemical pathways statistically enriched in communities of genes into the network, such processes are related to cell signaling, cell cycle and metabolism. In this way we further support the hypothesis that structural properties of biological networks encode an important part of their functional behavior in eukaryotic cells. PMID:27252657

  3. Exergames: neuroplastic hypothesis about cognitive improvement and biological effects on physical function of institutionalized older persons

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro-Junior, Renato Sobral; Vaghetti, César Augusto Otero; Nascimento, Osvaldo José M.; Laks, Jerson; Deslandes, Andrea Camaz

    2016-01-01

    Exergames can be considered a dual task because the games are performed by a man-videogame interface, requiring cognitive and motor functions simultaneously. Although the literature has shown improvements of cognitive and physical functions due to exergames, the intrinsic mechanisms involved in these functional changes have still not been elucidated. The aims of the present study were (1) to demonstrate the known biological mechanisms of physical exercise regarding muscle adaptation and establish a relationship with exergames; and (2) to present a neurobiological hypothesis about the neuroplastic effects of exergames on the cognitive function of institutionalized older persons. These hypotheses are discussed. PMID:27073355

  4. Impact of health disorders and culling reasons on functional and biological longevity in Warmblood breeding stallions.

    PubMed

    König von Borstel, U; Bernhard, V

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the impact of health disorders and reasons for culling on the functional and biological longevity of warmblood breeding stallions using semi-parametric survival analysis accounting for competing risks. Complete breeding records were collected from 455 warmblood stallions serving between 1975 and 2010 at Marbach State Stud in Germany. The median length of life (18.0 years) was twice as long as the median length of service (9.0 years). However, both figures increased significantly over the time period examined (e.g., functional longevity increased from 5 years in the 1970s to 8 years in the 1980s to 12 years in the 1990s). Compared to disorders of the musculoskeletal system, hazards for termination of functional life were higher for infectious diseases with a hazard ratio (HR) of 3.5, and for dissatisfaction with performance (HR, 2.0). Hazards were lower for disorders of the respiratory system (HR, 0.78), followed by accidents (HR, 0.58), disorders of the reproductive system (HR, 0.51), sale for non-breeding purposes (HR, 0.40), disorders of the gastrointestinal system (HR, 0.36), unknown reasons (HR, 0.32) and disorders of the cardiovascular system (HR, 0.25). For biological life, the relative importance of these disorders was similar. Factors linked to demand for stallions such as coat colour and several parameters of the stallions' genetic merit (negative influence) and own performance (positive influence) in dressage and particularly in show-jumping influenced (P<0.05) or tended to influence (P<0.1) functional, but not biological longevity. Furthermore, hazards for both functional and biological life declined with rising stud fees (both HR, 0.99; P<0.0001). A more direct consideration of both functional and biological longevity in breeding programmes might help to further enhance both figures, and therefore welfare of the horses.

  5. Biological interpretation of genome-wide association studies using predicted gene functions.

    PubMed

    Pers, Tune H; Karjalainen, Juha M; Chan, Yingleong; Westra, Harm-Jan; Wood, Andrew R; Yang, Jian; Lui, Julian C; Vedantam, Sailaja; Gustafsson, Stefan; Esko, Tonu; Frayling, Tim; Speliotes, Elizabeth K; Boehnke, Michael; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Fehrmann, Rudolf S N; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Franke, Lude

    2015-01-19

    The main challenge for gaining biological insights from genetic associations is identifying which genes and pathways explain the associations. Here we present DEPICT, an integrative tool that employs predicted gene functions to systematically prioritize the most likely causal genes at associated loci, highlight enriched pathways and identify tissues/cell types where genes from associated loci are highly expressed. DEPICT is not limited to genes with established functions and prioritizes relevant gene sets for many phenotypes.

  6. Functional genomics bridges the gap between quantitative genetics and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Lappalainen, Tuuli

    2015-10-01

    Deep characterization of molecular function of genetic variants in the human genome is becoming increasingly important for understanding genetic associations to disease and for learning to read the regulatory code of the genome. In this paper, I discuss how recent advances in both quantitative genetics and molecular biology have contributed to understanding functional effects of genetic variants, lessons learned from eQTL studies, and future challenges in this field.

  7. HDFx: a novel biologic immunomodulator accelerates wound healing and is suggestive of unique regenerative powers: potential implications for the warfighter and disaster victims.

    PubMed

    Altura, Burton M; Carella, Anthony; Gebrewold, Asefa

    2012-01-01

    Recently, we reported on the discovery of a new, conserved biologic protein (35-40 KDa), termed HDFx, that protects rats, guinea-pigs, mice, and rabbits against lethal hemorrhage, endotoxins, intestinal ischemic-shock, and traumatic injuries. It was found to stimulate several arms of the immune system. The present report demonstrates, for the first time, that HDFx accelerates wound healing in two different models (excision wound model; and incision wound model) in rats. The results shown, herein, indicate that HDFx produces greater rates of wound contraction, greater tensile strength, and more rapid healing than controls. Our new data also show that this biologic increases hydroxyproline content of granulation tissue coupled with a reduction in superoxide dismutase (SOD). In addition, we show that HDFx increases the levels of serum ascorbic acid and stimulates the mononuclear cells of the reticuloendothelial system (RES). Overall, these data suggest that HDFx may possess unique regenerative powers. We, thus, believe that HDFx can be of great potential use in diverse types of wounds which, otherwise, could result in difficult to treat infections and thus prevent sepsis and loss of body parts from amputations.

  8. The Biological Effectiveness of Accelerated Particles for the Induction of Chromosome Damage: Track Structure Effects and Cytogenetic Signatures of High-LET Exposure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, K.; Hada, M.; Chappell, L.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    2012-01-01

    Track structure models predict that at a fixed value of LET, particles with lower charge number, Z will have a higher biological effectiveness compared to particles with a higher Z. In this report we investigated how track structure effects induction of chromosomal aberration in human cells. Human lymphocytes were irradiated in vitro with various energies of accelerated iron, silicon, neon, or titanium ions and chromosome damage was assessed in using three color FISH chromosome painting in chemically induced PCC samples collected a first cell division post irradiation. The LET values for these ions ranged from 30 to 195 keV/micrometers. Of the particles studied, Neon ions have the highest biological effectiveness for induction of total chromosome damage, which is consistent with track structure model predictions. For complex-type exchanges 64 MeV/ u Neon and 450 MeV/u Iron were equally effective and induced the most complex damage. In addition we present data on chromosomes exchanges induced by six different energies of protons (5 MeV/u to 2.5 GeV/u). The linear dose response term was similar for all energies of protons suggesting that the effect of the higher LET at low proton energies is balanced by the production of nuclear secondaries from the high energy protons. All energies of protons have a much higher percentage of complex-type chromosome exchanges than gamma rays, signifying a cytogenetic signature for proton exposures.

  9. Low-dose neutron dose response of zebrafish embryos obtained from the Neutron exposure Accelerator System for Biological Effect Experiments (NASBEE) facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, C. Y. P.; Kong, E. Y.; Konishi, T.; Kobayashi, A.; Suya, N.; Cheng, S. H.; Yu, K. N.

    2015-09-01

    The dose response of embryos of the zebrafish, Danio rerio, irradiated at 5 h post fertilization (hpf) by 2-MeV neutrons with ≤100 mGy was determined. The neutron irradiations were made at the Neutron exposure Accelerator System for Biological Effect Experiments (NASBEE) facility in the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), Chiba, Japan. A total of 10 neutron doses ranging from 0.6 to 100 mGy were employed (with a gamma-ray contribution of 14% to the total dose), and the biological effects were studied through quantification of apoptosis at 25 hpf. The responses for neutron doses of 10, 20, 25, and 50 mGy approximately fitted on a straight line, while those for neutron doses of 0.6, 1 and 2.5 mGy exhibited neutron hormetic effects. As such, hormetic responses were generically developed by different kinds of ionizing radiations with different linear energy transfer (LET) values. The responses for neutron doses of 70 and 100 mGy were significantly below the lower 95% confidence band of the best-fit line, which strongly suggested the presence of gamma-ray hormesis.

  10. Late-stage diversification of biologically active pyridazinones via a direct C-H functionalization strategy.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Fan, Zhoulong; Geng, Kaijun; Xu, Youjun; Zhang, Ao

    2015-01-14

    Divergent C-H functionalization reactions (arylation, carboxylation, olefination, thiolation, acetoxylation, halogenation, naphthylation) using a pyridazinone moiety as an internal directing group were successfully established. This approach offers a late-stage, ortho-selective diversification of a biologically active pyridazinone scaffold. Seven series of novel pyridazinone analogues were synthesized conveniently as the synthetic precursors of potential sortase A (SrtA) inhibitors.

  11. Integrated omics for the identification of key functionalities in biological wastewater treatment microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Narayanasamy, Shaman; Muller, Emilie E L; Sheik, Abdul R; Wilmes, Paul

    2015-05-01

    Biological wastewater treatment plants harbour diverse and complex microbial communities which prominently serve as models for microbial ecology and mixed culture biotechnological processes. Integrated omic analyses (combined metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics) are currently gaining momentum towards providing enhanced understanding of community structure, function and dynamics in situ as well as offering the potential to discover novel biological functionalities within the framework of Eco-Systems Biology. The integration of information from genome to metabolome allows the establishment of associations between genetic potential and final phenotype, a feature not realizable by only considering single 'omes'. Therefore, in our opinion, integrated omics will become the future standard for large-scale characterization of microbial consortia including those underpinning biological wastewater treatment processes. Systematically obtained time and space-resolved omic datasets will allow deconvolution of structure-function relationships by identifying key members and functions. Such knowledge will form the foundation for discovering novel genes on a much larger scale compared with previous efforts. In general, these insights will allow us to optimize microbial biotechnological processes either through better control of mixed culture processes or by use of more efficient enzymes in bioengineering applications.

  12. Severe Impingement of Lumbar Disc Replacements Increases the Functional Biological Activity of Polyethylene Wear Debris

    PubMed Central

    Baxter, Ryan M.; MacDonald, Daniel W.; Kurtz, Steven M.; Steinbeck, Marla J.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Wear, oxidation, and particularly rim impingement damage of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene total disc replacement components have been observed following surgical revision. However, neither in vitro testing nor retrieval-based evidence has shown the effect(s) of impingement on the characteristics of polyethylene wear debris. Thus, we sought to determine (1) differences in polyethylene particle size, shape, number, or biological activity that correspond to mild or severe rim impingement and (2) in an analysis of all total disc replacements, regardless of impingement classification, whether there are correlations between the extent of regional damage and the characteristics of polyethylene wear debris. Methods: The extent of dome and rim damage was characterized for eleven retrieved polyethylene cores obtained at revision surgery after an average duration of implantation of 9.7 years (range, 4.6 to 16.1 years). Polyethylene wear debris was isolated from periprosthetic tissues with use of nitric acid and was imaged with use of environmental scanning electron microscopy. Subsequently, particle size, shape, number, biological activity, and chronic inflammation scores were determined. Results: Grouping of particles by size ranges that represented high biological relevance (<0.1 to 1-μm particles), intermediate biological relevance (1 to 10-μm particles), and low biological relevance (>10-μm particles) revealed an increased volume fraction of particles in the <0.1 to 1-μm and 1 to 10-μm size ranges in the mild-impingement cohort as compared with the severe-impingement cohort. The increased volume fractions resulted in a higher specific biological activity per unit particle volume in the mild-impingement cohort than in the severe-impingement cohort. However, functional biological activity, which is normalized by particle volume (mm3/g of tissue), was significantly higher in the severe-impingement cohort. This increase was due to a larger volume

  13. Ubiquinol-10 Supplementation Activates Mitochondria Functions to Decelerate Senescence in Senescence-Accelerated Mice

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Geng; Sawashita, Jinko; Kubo, Hiroshi; Nishio, Shin-ya; Hashimoto, Shigenari; Suzuki, Nobuyoshi; Yoshimura, Hidekane; Tsuruoka, Mineko; Wang, Yaoyong; Liu, Yingye; Luo, Hongming; Xu, Zhe; Mori, Masayuki; Kitano, Mitsuaki; Hosoe, Kazunori; Takeda, Toshio; Usami, Shin-ichi

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Aim: The present study was conducted to define the relationship between the anti-aging effect of ubiquinol-10 supplementation and mitochondrial activation in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 1 (SAMP1) mice. Results: Here, we report that dietary supplementation with ubiquinol-10 prevents age-related decreases in the expression of sirtuin gene family members, which results in the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), a major factor that controls mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration, as well as superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2), which are major mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes. Ubiquinol-10 supplementation can also increase mitochondrial complex I activity and decrease levels of oxidative stress markers, including protein carbonyls, apurinic/apyrimidinic sites, malondialdehydes, and increase the reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio. Furthermore, ubiquinol-10 may activate Sirt1 and PGC-1α by increasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels that, in turn, activate cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Innovation and Conclusion: These results show that ubiquinol-10 may enhance mitochondrial activity by increasing levels of SIRT1, PGC-1α, and SIRT3 that slow the rate of age-related hearing loss and protect against the progression of aging and symptoms of age-related diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 2606–2620 PMID:24124769

  14. Recent advances in food biopeptides: production, biological functionalities and therapeutic applications.

    PubMed

    Saadi, Sami; Saari, Nazamid; Anwar, Farooq; Hamid, Azizah Abdul; Mohd Ghazali, Hasanah

    2015-01-01

    The growing momentum of several common life-style diseases such as myocardial infarction, cardiovascular disorders, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis has become a serious global concern. Recent developments in the field of proteomics offering promising solutions to solving such health problems stimulates the uses of biopeptides as one of the therapeutic agents to alleviate disease-related risk factors. Functional peptides are typically produced from protein via enzymatic hydrolysis under in vitro or in vivo conditions using different kinds of proteolytic enzymes. An array of biological activities, including antioxidative, antihypertensive, antidiabetic and immunomodulating has been ascribed to different types of biopeptides derived from various food sources. In fact, biopeptides are nutritionally and functionally important for regulating some physiological functions in the body; however, these are yet to be extensively addressed with regard to their production through advance strategies, mechanisms of action and multiple biological functionalities. This review mainly focuses on recent biotechnological advances that are being made in the field of production in addition to covering the mode of action and biological activities, medicinal health functions and therapeutic applications of biopeptides. State-of-the-art strategies that can ameliorate the efficacy, bioavailability, and functionality of biopeptides along with their future prospects are likewise discussed.

  15. Functional annotation of the vlinc class of non-coding RNAs using systems biology approach

    PubMed Central

    Laurent, Georges St.; Vyatkin, Yuri; Antonets, Denis; Ri, Maxim; Qi, Yao; Saik, Olga; Shtokalo, Dmitry; de Hoon, Michiel J.L.; Kawaji, Hideya; Itoh, Masayoshi; Lassmann, Timo; Arner, Erik; Forrest, Alistair R.R.; Nicolas, Estelle; McCaffrey, Timothy A.; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Wahlestedt, Claes; Kapranov, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    Functionality of the non-coding transcripts encoded by the human genome is the coveted goal of the modern genomics research. While commonly relied on the classical methods of forward genetics, integration of different genomics datasets in a global Systems Biology fashion presents a more productive avenue of achieving this very complex aim. Here we report application of a Systems Biology-based approach to dissect functionality of a newly identified vast class of very long intergenic non-coding (vlinc) RNAs. Using highly quantitative FANTOM5 CAGE dataset, we show that these RNAs could be grouped into 1542 novel human genes based on analysis of insulators that we show here indeed function as genomic barrier elements. We show that vlincRNAs genes likely function in cis to activate nearby genes. This effect while most pronounced in closely spaced vlincRNA–gene pairs can be detected over relatively large genomic distances. Furthermore, we identified 101 vlincRNA genes likely involved in early embryogenesis based on patterns of their expression and regulation. We also found another 109 such genes potentially involved in cellular functions also happening at early stages of development such as proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Overall, we show that Systems Biology-based methods have great promise for functional annotation of non-coding RNAs. PMID:27001520

  16. Integration of phosphoproteomic, chemical, and biological strategies for the functional analysis of targeted protein phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Guo, Mingquan; Huang, Bill X

    2013-02-01

    Reversible phosphorylation, tightly controlled by protein kinases and phosphatases, plays a central role in mediating biological processes, such as protein-protein interactions, subcellular translocation, and activation of cellular enzymes. MS-based phosphoproteomics has now allowed the detection and quantification of tens of thousands of phosphorylation sites from a typical biological sample in a single experiment, which has posed new challenges in functional analysis of each and every phosphorylation site on specific signaling phosphoproteins of interest. In this article, we review recent advances in the functional analysis of targeted phosphorylation carried out by various chemical and biological approaches in combination with the MS-based phosphoproteomics. This review focuses on three types of strategies, including forward functional analysis, defined for the result-driven phosphoproteomics efforts in determining the substrates of a specific protein kinase; reverse functional analysis, defined for tracking the kinase(s) for specific phosphosite(s) derived from the discovery-driven phosphoproteomics efforts; and MS-based analysis on the structure-function relationship of phosphoproteins. It is expected that this review will provide a state-of-the-art overview of functional analysis of site-specific phosphorylation and explore new perspectives and outline future challenges.

  17. Pulmonary Function After Oxygen-Accelerated Decompressions from Repetitive Sub-Saturation Air Dives

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-04-01

    16 5 806 16 2 631 15 6 261 8 3 177 16 7 460 16 4 338 14 8 1068 16 n = the number of subjects for whom pulmonary function was measured after surfacing...function measurement session involved three successful repeats of each test, according to the American Thoracic Society standards.5 The average values from...capacity (DLCO) corrected for hemoglobin concentration. Flow volume loops were measured on each occasion, and diffusing capacity was measured at

  18. The Influence of Shielding on the Biological Effectiveness of Accelerated Particles for the Induction of Chromosome Damages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, K.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    2006-01-01

    Chromosome damage was assessed in human peripheral blood lymphocytes after in vitro exposure to the either Si-28 (490 or 600 MeV/n), Ti-48 (1000 MeV/n), or Fe-56 (600, 1000, or 5000 MeV/n). LET values for these ions ranged from approximately 50 to 174 keV/micrometers and doses ranged from 10 to 200 cGy. The effect of either aluminum or polyethylene shielding on the induction of chromosome aberrations was investigated for each ion. Chromosome exchanges were measured using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole chromosome probes in cells collected 48-56 hours after irradiation using a chemical-induced premature chromosome condensation (PCC) technique. The yield of chromosomal aberrations increased linearly with dose and the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for the primary beams, estimated from the initial slope of the dose response curve for total chromosomal exchanges with respect to gamma-rays, ranged from 14 to 35. The RBE values increased with LET, reaching a maximum for the 1 GeV/n Fe ions with LET of 150 keV/micrometers, and decreased with further increases in LET. When LET of the primary beam was in the region of increasing RBE (i.e. below approximately 100 keV/micrometers), the addition of shielding material increased the effectiveness per unit dose. Whereas shielding decreased the effectiveness per unit dose when the LET of the primary particle beam was higher than 150 keV/micrometers.

  19. The influence of shielding on the biological effectiveness of accelerated particles for the induction of chromosome damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    George, K.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    Chromosome damage was assessed in human peripheral blood lymphocytes after in vitro exposure to 28Si (490 or 600 MeV/n), 48Ti (1000 MeV/n), or 56Fe (600, 1000, or 5000 MeV/n). LET values for these ions ranged from 51 to 184 keV/μm and doses ranged from 10 to 200 cGy. The effect of either aluminum or polyethylene shielding on the induction of chromosome aberrations was investigated for each ion. After chromosomes were prematurely condensed using calyculin-A, chromosome exchanges were measured using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole chromosome probes in cells collected at G2 and at mitosis in first division post-irradiation. The yield of chromosome aberrations increased linearly with dose, and the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for the primary beams, estimated from the initial slope of the dose-response curve for total chromosome exchanges with respect to γ-rays, ranged from 9 to 35. The RBE values increased with LET, reaching a maximum for the 600 MeV/n Fe ions with LET of 184 keV/μm. When the LET of the primary beam was below about 100 keV/μm, the addition of shielding material increased the effectiveness per unit dose. When the LET of the primary beam was greater than 100 keV/μm, shielding decreased the effectiveness per unit dose.

  20. CCR5 deficiency accelerates lipopolysaccharide-induced astrogliosis, amyloid-beta deposit and impaired memory function

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jae Yeon; Kim, Ju Hwan; Yun, Na Young; Oh, Sang Yeon; Song, Ju Kyung; Seo, Hyun Ok; Kim, Yun-Bae; Hwang, Dae Yeon; Oh, Ki-Wan; Han, Sang-Bae; Hong, Jin Tae

    2016-01-01

    Chemokine receptors are implicated in inflammation and immune responses. Neuro-inflammation is associated with activation of astrocyte and amyloid-beta (Aβ) generations that lead to pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Previous our study showed that deficiency of CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) results in activation of astrocytes and Aβ deposit, and thus memory dysfunction through increase of CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) expression. CCR5 knockout mice were used as an animal model with memory dysfunction. For the purpose LPS was injected i.p. daily (0.25 mg/kg/day). The memory dysfunctions were much higher in LPS-injected CCR5 knockout mice compared to CCR5 wild type mice as well as non-injected CCR5 knockout mice. Associated with severe memory dysfuction in LPS injected CCR5 knockout mice, LPS injection significant increase expression of inflammatory proteins, astrocyte activation, expressions of β-secretase as well as Aβ deposition in the brain of CCR5 knockout mice as compared with that of CCR5 wild type mice. In CCR5 knockout mice, CCR2 expressions were high and co-localized with GFAP which was significantly elevated by LPS. Expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) which ligands of CCR2 also increased by LPS injection, and increment of MCP-1 expression is much higher in CCR5 knockout mice. BV-2 cells treated with CCR5 antagonist, D-ala-peptide T-amide (DAPTA) and cultured astrocytes isolated from CCR5 knockout mice treated with LPS (1 μg/ml) and CCR2 antagonist, decreased the NF-ĸB activation and Aβ level. These findings suggest that the deficiency of CCR5 enhances response of LPS, which accelerates to neuro-inflammation and memory impairment. PMID:26910914

  1. CCR5 deficiency accelerates lipopolysaccharide-induced astrogliosis, amyloid-beta deposit and impaired memory function.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Chul Ju; Park, Mi Hee; Hwang, Jae Yeon; Kim, Ju Hwan; Yun, Na Young; Oh, Sang Yeon; Song, Ju Kyung; Seo, Hyun Ok; Kim, Yun-Bae; Hwang, Dae Yeon; Oh, Ki-Wan; Han, Sang-Bae; Hong, Jin Tae

    2016-03-15

    Chemokine receptors are implicated in inflammation and immune responses. Neuro-inflammation is associated with activation of astrocyte and amyloid-beta (Aβ) generations that lead to pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Previous our study showed that deficiency of CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) results in activation of astrocytes and Aβ deposit, and thus memory dysfunction through increase of CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) expression. CCR5 knockout mice were used as an animal model with memory dysfunction. For the purpose LPS was injected i.p. daily (0.25 mg/kg/day). The memory dysfunctions were much higher in LPS-injected CCR5 knockout mice compared to CCR5 wild type mice as well as non-injected CCR5 knockout mice. Associated with severe memory dysfuction in LPS injected CCR5 knockout mice, LPS injection significant increase expression of inflammatory proteins, astrocyte activation, expressions of β-secretase as well as Aβ deposition in the brain of CCR5 knockout mice as compared with that of CCR5 wild type mice. In CCR5 knockout mice, CCR2 expressions were high and co-localized with GFAP which was significantly elevated by LPS. Expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) which ligands of CCR2 also increased by LPS injection, and increment of MCP-1 expression is much higher in CCR5 knockout mice. BV-2 cells treated with CCR5 antagonist, D-ala-peptide T-amide (DAPTA) and cultured astrocytes isolated from CCR5 knockout mice treated with LPS (1 μg/ml) and CCR2 antagonist, decreased the NF-ĸB activation and Aβ level. These findings suggest that the deficiency of CCR5 enhances response of LPS, which accelerates to neuro-inflammation and memory impairment.

  2. Accelerating the development of transparent graphene electrodes through basic science driven chemical functionalization.

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, Calvin; Beechem, III, Thomas Edwin; Ohta, Taisuke; Brumbach, Michael T.; Wheeler, David Roger; Veneman, Alexander; Gearba, I. Raluca; Stevenson, Keith J.

    2013-09-01

    Chemical functionalization is required to adapt graphenes properties to many applications. However, most covalent functionalization schemes are spontaneous or defect driven and are not suitable for applications requiring directed assembly of molecules on graphene substrates. In this work, we demonstrated electrochemically driven covalent bonding of phenyl iodoniums onto epitaxial graphene. The amount of chemisorption was demonstrated by varying the duration of the electrochemical driving potential. Chemical, electronic, and defect states of phenyl-modified graphene were studied by photoemission spectroscopy, spatially resolved Raman spectroscopy, and water contact angle measurement. Covalent attachment rehybridized some of the delocalized graphene sp2 orbitals to localized sp3 states. Control over the relative spontaneity (reaction rate) of covalent graphene functionalization is an important first step to the practical realization of directed molecular assembly on graphene. More than 10 publications, conference presentations, and program highlights were produced (some invited), and follow-on funding was obtained to continue this work.

  3. Linear Accelerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidorin, Anatoly

    2010-01-01

    In linear accelerators the particles are accelerated by either electrostatic fields or oscillating Radio Frequency (RF) fields. Accordingly the linear accelerators are divided in three large groups: electrostatic, induction and RF accelerators. Overview of the different types of accelerators is given. Stability of longitudinal and transverse motion in the RF linear accelerators is briefly discussed. The methods of beam focusing in linacs are described.

  4. The Influence of Shielding on the Biological Effectiveness of Accelerated Particles for the Induction of Chromosome Damage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goeorge, Kerry; Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2007-01-01

    Chromosome damage was assessed in human peripheral blood lymphocytes after in vitro exposure to the either Si-28 (490 or 600 MeV/n), Ti-48 (1000 MeV/n), or Fe-56 (600, 1000, or 5000 MeV/n). LET values for these ions ranged from 51 to 184 keV/micron and doses ranged from 10 to 200 cGy. The effect of either aluminum or polyethylene shielding on the induction of chromosome aberrations was investigated for each ion. Chromosome exchanges were measured using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole chromosome probes in cells collected at G2 and mitosis in first division post irradiation after chromosomes were prematurely condensed using calyculin-A. The yield of chromosomal aberrations increased linearly with dose and the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for the primary beams, estimated from the initial slope of the dose response curve for total chromosomal exchanges with respect to gamma-rays, ranged from 9 to 35. The RBE values increased with LET, reaching a maximum for the 600 MeV/n Fe ions with LET of 184 keV/micron. When the LET of the primary beam was below approximately 100 keV/micron, the addition of shielding material increased the effectiveness per unit dose. Whereas shielding decreased the effectiveness per unit dose when the LET of primary beams was higher than 100 keV/micron. The yield of aberrations correlated with the dose-average LET of the beam after traversal through the shielding.

  5. [Research advance in the function of quorum sensing in the biological aggregates].

    PubMed

    Dai, Xin; Zhou, Jia-Heng; Zhu, Liang; Xu, Xiang-Yang

    2014-04-01

    Quorum sensing is a microbial phenomenon that microorganisms use signal molecules to perceive environmental conditions and regulate specific gene expressions. As the communication function of quorum sensing is increasingly highlighted in the microbial field, researches on quorum sensing in the formation process of biological aggregates (biofilm and granules) attract wide attentions. The paper reviewed autoinducers (AI) classification and the corresponding regulation methods in quorum sensing, and provided an up-to-date account on research progress of AIs regulating biological aggregates formation and structural stability. New territories and future of quorum sensing were also outlined.

  6. Adaptive diffusion kernel learning from biological networks for protein function prediction

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Liang; Ji, Shuiwang; Ye, Jieping

    2008-01-01

    Background Machine-learning tools have gained considerable attention during the last few years for analyzing biological networks for protein function prediction. Kernel methods are suitable for learning from graph-based data such as biological networks, as they only require the abstraction of the similarities between objects into the kernel matrix. One key issue in kernel methods is the selection of a good kernel function. Diffusion kernels, the discretization of the familiar Gaussian kernel of Euclidean space, are commonly used for graph-based data. Results In this paper, we address the issue of learning an optimal diffusion kernel, in the form of a convex combination of a set of pre-specified kernels constructed from biological networks, for protein function prediction. Most prior work on this kernel learning task focus on variants of the loss function based on Support Vector Machines (SVM). Their extensions to other loss functions such as the one based on Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence, which is more suitable for mining biological networks, lead to expensive optimization problems. By exploiting the special structure of the diffusion kernel, we show that this KL divergence based kernel learning problem can be formulated as a simple optimization problem, which can then be solved efficiently. It is further extended to the multi-task case where we predict multiple functions of a protein simultaneously. We evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed algorithms using two benchmark data sets. Conclusion Results show that the performance of linearly combined diffusion kernel is better than every single candidate diffusion kernel. When the number of tasks is large, the algorithms based on multiple tasks are favored due to their competitive recognition performance and small computational costs. PMID:18366736

  7. Closure, function, emergence, semiosis, and life: the same idea? Reflections on the concrete and the abstract in theoretical biology.

    PubMed

    Emmeche, C

    2000-01-01

    In this note epistemological problems in general theories about living systems are considered; in particular, the question of hidden connections between different areas of experience, such as folk biology and scientific biology, and hidden connections between central concepts of theoretical biology, such as function, semiosis, closure, and life.

  8. The Structure of a Gene Co-Expression Network Reveals Biological Functions Underlying eQTLs

    PubMed Central

    Villa-Vialaneix, Nathalie; Liaubet, Laurence; Laurent, Thibault; Cherel, Pierre; Gamot, Adrien; SanCristobal, Magali

    2013-01-01

    What are the commonalities between genes, whose expression level is partially controlled by eQTL, especially with regard to biological functions? Moreover, how are these genes related to a phenotype of interest? These issues are particularly difficult to address when the genome annotation is incomplete, as is the case for mammalian species. Moreover, the direct link between gene expression and a phenotype of interest may be weak, and thus difficult to handle. In this framework, the use of a co-expression network has proven useful: it is a robust approach for modeling a complex system of genetic regulations, and to infer knowledge for yet unknown genes. In this article, a case study was conducted with a mammalian species. It showed that the use of a co-expression network based on partial correlation, combined with a relevant clustering of nodes, leads to an enrichment of biological functions of around 83%. Moreover, the use of a spatial statistics approach allowed us to superimpose additional information related to a phenotype; this lead to highlighting specific genes or gene clusters that are related to the network structure and the phenotype. Three main results are worth noting: first, key genes were highlighted as a potential focus for forthcoming biological experiments; second, a set of biological functions, which support a list of genes under partial eQTL control, was set up by an overview of the global structure of the gene expression network; third, pH was found correlated with gene clusters, and then with related biological functions, as a result of a spatial analysis of the network topology. PMID:23577081

  9. The structure of a gene co-expression network reveals biological functions underlying eQTLs.

    PubMed

    Villa-Vialaneix, Nathalie; Liaubet, Laurence; Laurent, Thibault; Cherel, Pierre; Gamot, Adrien; SanCristobal, Magali

    2013-01-01

    What are the commonalities between genes, whose expression level is partially controlled by eQTL, especially with regard to biological functions? Moreover, how are these genes related to a phenotype of interest? These issues are particularly difficult to address when the genome annotation is incomplete, as is the case for mammalian species. Moreover, the direct link between gene expression and a phenotype of interest may be weak, and thus difficult to handle. In this framework, the use of a co-expression network has proven useful: it is a robust approach for modeling a complex system of genetic regulations, and to infer knowledge for yet unknown genes. In this article, a case study was conducted with a mammalian species. It showed that the use of a co-expression network based on partial correlation, combined with a relevant clustering of nodes, leads to an enrichment of biological functions of around 83%. Moreover, the use of a spatial statistics approach allowed us to superimpose additional information related to a phenotype; this lead to highlighting specific genes or gene clusters that are related to the network structure and the phenotype. Three main results are worth noting: first, key genes were highlighted as a potential focus for forthcoming biological experiments; second, a set of biological functions, which support a list of genes under partial eQTL control, was set up by an overview of the global structure of the gene expression network; third, pH was found correlated with gene clusters, and then with related biological functions, as a result of a spatial analysis of the network topology.

  10. Accelerated Testing and Modeling of Potential-Induced Degradation as a Function of Temperature and Relative Humidity

    SciTech Connect

    Hacke, Peter; Spataru, Sergiu; Terwilliger, Kent; Perrin, Greg; Glick, Stephen; Kurtz, Sarah; Wohlgemuth, John

    2015-06-14

    An acceleration model based on the Peck equation was applied to power performance of crystalline silicon cell modules as a function of time and of temperature and humidity, the two main environmental stress factors that promote potential-induced degradation. This model was derived from module power degradation data obtained semi-continuously and statistically by in-situ dark current-voltage measurements in an environmental chamber. The modeling enables prediction of degradation rates and times as functions of temperature and humidity. Power degradation could be modeled linearly as a function of time to the second power; additionally, we found that coulombs transferred from the active cell circuit to ground during the stress test is approximately linear with time. Therefore, the power loss could be linearized as a function of coulombs squared. With this result, we observed that when the module face was completely grounded with a condensed phase conductor, leakage current exceeded the anticipated corresponding degradation rate relative to the other tests performed in damp heat.

  11. Pedagogical Design for a Cross-Functional Course in the Accelerated MBA Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balasubramnian, Bhanu; Steigner, Tanja; Coulson, Kevin R.

    2011-01-01

    The sub-prime financial crisis exposed weaknesses in the financial risk management of several prominent firms. A deficient risk management is mainly attributed to the lack of integration of finance with other business disciplines. In this paper, we describe a tested implementation of a cross-functional project that improves students' understanding…

  12. Accelerated Functional Recovery after Skeletal Muscle Ischemia-reperfusion Injury using Freshly Isolated Bone Marrow Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-03

    nerve function in diabetic neuropathy . PLoS One 2011;6(11):e27458. [22] Corona BT, Wenke JC, Walters TJ, et al. Intramuscular transplantation and...211. [29] Lin CD, Allori AC, Macklin JE, et al. Topical lineage negative progenitor cell therapy for diabetic wounds. Plast Reconstr Surg 2008;122(5

  13. BABELOMICS: a systems biology perspective in the functional annotation of genome-scale experiments

    PubMed Central

    Al-Shahrour, Fátima; Minguez, Pablo; Tárraga, Joaquín; Montaner, David; Alloza, Eva; Vaquerizas, Juan M.; Conde, Lucía; Blaschke, Christian; Vera, Javier; Dopazo, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

    We present a new version of Babelomics, a complete suite of web tools for functional analysis of genome-scale experiments, with new and improved tools. New functionally relevant terms have been included such as CisRed motifs or bioentities obtained by text-mining procedures. An improved indexing has considerably speeded up several of the modules. An improved version of the FatiScan method for studying the coordinate behaviour of groups of functionally related genes is presented, along with a similar tool, the Gene Set Enrichment Analysis. Babelomics is now more oriented to test systems biology inspired hypotheses. Babelomics can be found at . PMID:16845052

  14. Cocaine Reduces Thymic Endocrine Function: Another Mechanism for Accelerated HIV Disease Progression

    PubMed Central

    Campa, Adriana; Smith, Sylvia; Huffman, Fatma; Newman, Fred; Baum, Marianna K.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Thymulin is a thymic peptide important for the maturation and differentiation of immature thymocytes, which have been found to be depressed in patients with low-level CD4+ cell recovery despite viral control. Substance use is associated with faster progression of HIV disease, which has been ascribed to poor adherence to antiretroviral medication. Recent findings of an association between cocaine use and decline in CD4+ cell counts independent of antiretroviral adherence indicate alternative mechanisms for disease progression. We evaluated the relationship between thymulin activity, CD4+ and CD8+ cell counts and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio, and the covariate effects of substance use cross-sectionally in 80 HIV+ active substance users and over 12 months in 40 participants. Thymulin activity was analyzed in plasma using a modification of the sheep rosette bioassay. Thymulin activity was negatively associated with cocaine use (β = −0.908,95% CI: −1.704, −0.112; p = 0.026). Compared to those who do not use cocaine, cocaine users were 37% less likely to have detectable thymulin activity (RR = 0.634, 95% CI: 0.406, 0.989 p = 0.045) and were 75 times more likely to show a decrease in thymulin activity (OR = 74.7, 95% CI: 1.59, 3519.74; p = 0.028) over time. CD4+ cell count was positively associated with thymulin activity (β = 0.127, 95% CI: 0.048,0.205; p = 0.002), detectable thymulin activity was 2.32 times more likely in those with a CD4 cell count ≥200 cells/μl (RR = 2.324, 95% CI: 1.196, 4.513, p = 0.013), and those with an increase in CD4 cell counts were more likely to show an increase in thymulin activity (OR = 1.02, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.034; p = 0.041) over time. Thymulin activity is predictive of HIV disease progression and is depressed in cocaine users independent of antiretroviral treatment (ART) and HIV viral load. Understanding the mechanisms for accelerated HIV disease progression provides

  15. Cocaine reduces thymic endocrine function: another mechanism for accelerated HIV disease progression.

    PubMed

    Rafie, Carlin; Campa, Adriana; Smith, Sylvia; Huffman, Fatma; Newman, Fred; Baum, Marianna K

    2011-08-01

    Thymulin is a thymic peptide important for the maturation and differentiation of immature thymocytes, which have been found to be depressed in patients with low-level CD4(+) cell recovery despite viral control. Substance use is associated with faster progression of HIV disease, which has been ascribed to poor adherence to antiretroviral medication. Recent findings of an association between cocaine use and decline in CD4(+) cell counts independent of antiretroviral adherence indicate alternative mechanisms for disease progression. We evaluated the relationship between thymulin activity, CD4(+) and CD8(+) cell counts and the CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio, and the covariate effects of substance use cross-sectionally in 80 HIV(+) active substance users and over 12 months in 40 participants. Thymulin activity was analyzed in plasma using a modification of the sheep rosette bioassay. Thymulin activity was negatively associated with cocaine use (β = -0.908,95% CI: -1.704, -0.112; p = 0.026). Compared to those who do not use cocaine, cocaine users were 37% less likely to have detectable thymulin activity (RR = 0.634, 95% CI: 0.406, 0.989 p = 0.045) and were 75 times more likely to show a decrease in thymulin activity (OR = 74.7, 95% CI: 1.59, 3519.74; p = 0.028) over time. CD4(+) cell count was positively associated with thymulin activity (β = 0.127, 95% CI: 0.048,0.205; p = 0.002), detectable thymulin activity was 2.32 times more likely in those with a CD4 cell count ≥200 cells/μl (RR = 2.324, 95% CI: 1.196, 4.513, p = 0.013), and those with an increase in CD4 cell counts were more likely to show an increase in thymulin activity (OR = 1.02, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.034; p = 0.041) over time. Thymulin activity is predictive of HIV disease progression and is depressed in cocaine users independent of antiretroviral treatment (ART) and HIV viral load. Understanding the mechanisms for accelerated HIV disease progression provides opportunities to find alternative strategies to counteract

  16. ACCELERATION INTEGRATOR

    DOEpatents

    Pope, K.E.

    1958-01-01

    This patent relates to an improved acceleration integrator and more particularly to apparatus of this nature which is gyrostabilized. The device may be used to sense the attainment by an airborne vehicle of a predetermined velocitv or distance along a given vector path. In its broad aspects, the acceleration integrator utilizes a magnetized element rotatable driven by a synchronous motor and having a cylin drical flux gap and a restrained eddy- current drag cap deposed to move into the gap. The angular velocity imparted to the rotatable cap shaft is transmitted in a positive manner to the magnetized element through a servo feedback loop. The resultant angular velocity of tae cap is proportional to the acceleration of the housing in this manner and means may be used to measure the velocity and operate switches at a pre-set magnitude. To make the above-described dcvice sensitive to acceleration in only one direction the magnetized element forms the spinning inertia element of a free gyroscope, and the outer housing functions as a gimbal of a gyroscope.

  17. Colorimetric detection of biological hydrogen sulfide using fluorosurfactant functionalized gold nanorods.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Wenjuan; Yuan, Zhiqin; Lu, Chao

    2015-11-07

    As a well-known environmental pollutant but also an important gaseous transmitter, the specific detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is significant in biological systems. In this study, fluorosurfactant functionalized gold nanorods (FSN-AuNRs) have been proposed to act as selective colorimetric nanoprobes for H2S. With the combination of strong gold-S interactions and small FSN bilayer interstices, FSN-AuNRs demonstrate favorable selectivity and sensitivity toward H2S over other anions and small biological molecules. The practical application of the present method in biological H2S detection was validated with human and mouse serum samples. Moreover, the proposed nanoprobe can also be used for evaluating the activity of H2S synthetase.

  18. Behavior and toxicity of graphene and its functionalized derivatives in biological systems.

    PubMed

    Yang, Kai; Li, Yingjie; Tan, Xiaofang; Peng, Rui; Liu, Zhuang

    2013-05-27

    Graphene, as a class of 2D carbon nanomaterial, has attracted tremendous interest in different areas in recent years including biomedicine. The toxicity and behavior of graphene in biological systems are thus important fundamental issues that require significant attention. In this article, the toxicity of graphene is reviewed by describing the behavior of graphene and its derivatives in microorganisms, cells, and animals. Despite certain inconsistencies in several detailed experimental results and hypotheses of toxicity mechanisms, results from numerous reports all agree that the physicochemical properties such as surface functional groups, charges, coatings, sizes, and structural defects of graphene may affect its in vitro/in vivo behavior as well as its toxicity in biological systems. It is hoped that this review article will provide an overview understanding of the impacts, behavior, and toxicology of graphene and its derivatives in various biological systems.

  19. Asymmetric neighborhood functions accelerate ordering process of self-organizing maps

    SciTech Connect

    Ota, Kaiichiro; Aoki, Takaaki; Kurata, Koji; Aoyagi, Toshio

    2011-02-15

    A self-organizing map (SOM) algorithm can generate a topographic map from a high-dimensional stimulus space to a low-dimensional array of units. Because a topographic map preserves neighborhood relationships between the stimuli, the SOM can be applied to certain types of information processing such as data visualization. During the learning process, however, topological defects frequently emerge in the map. The presence of defects tends to drastically slow down the formation of a globally ordered topographic map. To remove such topological defects, it has been reported that an asymmetric neighborhood function is effective, but only in the simple case of mapping one-dimensional stimuli to a chain of units. In this paper, we demonstrate that even when high-dimensional stimuli are used, the asymmetric neighborhood function is effective for both artificial and real-world data. Our results suggest that applying the asymmetric neighborhood function to the SOM algorithm improves the reliability of the algorithm. In addition, it enables processing of complicated, high-dimensional data by using this algorithm.

  20. Asymmetric neighborhood functions accelerate ordering process of self-organizing maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ota, Kaiichiro; Aoki, Takaaki; Kurata, Koji; Aoyagi, Toshio

    2011-02-01

    A self-organizing map (SOM) algorithm can generate a topographic map from a high-dimensional stimulus space to a low-dimensional array of units. Because a topographic map preserves neighborhood relationships between the stimuli, the SOM can be applied to certain types of information processing such as data visualization. During the learning process, however, topological defects frequently emerge in the map. The presence of defects tends to drastically slow down the formation of a globally ordered topographic map. To remove such topological defects, it has been reported that an asymmetric neighborhood function is effective, but only in the simple case of mapping one-dimensional stimuli to a chain of units. In this paper, we demonstrate that even when high-dimensional stimuli are used, the asymmetric neighborhood function is effective for both artificial and real-world data. Our results suggest that applying the asymmetric neighborhood function to the SOM algorithm improves the reliability of the algorithm. In addition, it enables processing of complicated, high-dimensional data by using this algorithm.

  1. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials

    PubMed Central

    McDougall, Carmel; Woodcroft, Ben J.

    2016-01-01

    In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs) identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the construction of

  2. Immune function parameters as markers of biological age and predictors of longevity

    PubMed Central

    de Toda, Irene Martínez; Maté, Ianire; Vida, Carmen; Cruces, Julia; De la Fuente, Mónica

    2016-01-01

    Chronological age is not a good indicator of how each individual ages and thus how to maintain good health. Due to the long lifespan in humans and the consequent difficulty of carrying out longitudinal studies, finding valid biomarkers of the biological age has been a challenge both for research and clinical studies. The aim was to identify and validate several immune cell function parameters as markers of biological age. Adult, mature, elderly and long-lived human volunteers were used. The chemotaxis, phagocytosis, natural killer activity and lymphoproliferation in neutrophils and lymphocytes of peripheral blood were analyzed. The same functions were measured in peritoneal immune cells from mice, at the corresponding ages (adult, mature, old and long lived) in a longitudinal study. The results showed that the evolution of these functions was similar in humans and mice, with a decrease in old subjects. However, the long-lived individuals maintained values similar to those in adults. In addition, the values of these functions in adult prematurely aging mice were similar to those in chronologically old animals, and they died before their non-prematurely aging mice counterparts. Thus, the parameters studied are good markers of the rate of aging, allowing the determination of biological age. PMID:27899767

  3. Fundamental and functional aspects of mesoscopic architectures with examples in physics, cell biology, and chemistry.

    PubMed

    Kalay, Ziya

    2011-08-01

    How small can a macroscopic object be made without losing its intended function? Obviously, the smallest possible size is determined by the size of an atom, but it is not so obvious how many atoms are required to assemble an object so small, and yet that performs the same function as its macroscopic counterpart. In this review, we are concerned with objects of intermediate nature, lying between the microscopic and the macroscopic world. In physics and chemistry literature, this regime in-between is often called mesoscopic, and is known to bear interesting and counterintuitive features. After a brief introduction to the concept of mesoscopic systems from the perspective of physics, we discuss the functional aspects of mesoscopic architectures in cell biology, and supramolecular chemistry through many examples from the literature. We argue that the biochemistry of the cell is largely regulated by mesoscopic functional architectures; however, the significance of mesoscopic phenomena seems to be quite underappreciated in biological sciences. With this motivation, one of our main purposes here is to emphasize the critical role that mesoscopic structures play in cell biology and biochemistry.

  4. Statistical method for revealing form-function relations in biological networks

    PubMed Central

    Mugler, Andrew; Grinshpun, Boris; Franks, Riley

    2011-01-01

    Over the past decade, a number of researchers in systems biology have sought to relate the function of biological systems to their network-level descriptions—lists of the most important players and the pairwise interactions between them. Both for large networks (in which statistical analysis is often framed in terms of the abundance of repeated small subgraphs) and for small networks which can be analyzed in greater detail (or even synthesized in vivo and subjected to experiment), revealing the relationship between the topology of small subgraphs and their biological function has been a central goal. We here seek to pose this revelation as a statistical task, illustrated using a particular setup which has been constructed experimentally and for which parameterized models of transcriptional regulation have been studied extensively. The question “how does function follow form” is here mathematized by identifying which topological attributes correlate with the diverse possible information-processing tasks which a transcriptional regulatory network can realize. The resulting method reveals one form-function relationship which had earlier been predicted based on analytic results, and reveals a second for which we can provide an analytic interpretation. Resulting source code is distributed via http://formfunction.sourceforge.net. PMID:21183719

  5. Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding physiology: a network biology perspective.

    PubMed

    Davidsen, Peter K; Turan, Nil; Egginton, Stuart; Falciani, Francesco

    2016-02-01

    The overall aim of physiological research is to understand how living systems function in an integrative manner. Consequently, the discipline of physiology has since its infancy attempted to link multiple levels of biological organization. Increasingly this has involved mathematical and computational approaches, typically to model a small number of components spanning several levels of biological organization. With the advent of "omics" technologies, which can characterize the molecular state of a cell or tissue (intended as the level of expression and/or activity of its molecular components), the number of molecular components we can quantify has increased exponentially. Paradoxically, the unprecedented amount of experimental data has made it more difficult to derive conceptual models underlying essential mechanisms regulating mammalian physiology. We present an overview of state-of-the-art methods currently used to identifying biological networks underlying genomewide responses. These are based on a data-driven approach that relies on advanced computational methods designed to "learn" biology from observational data. In this review, we illustrate an application of these computational methodologies using a case study integrating an in vivo model representing the transcriptional state of hypoxic skeletal muscle with a clinical study representing muscle wasting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The broader application of these approaches to modeling multiple levels of biological data in the context of modern physiology is discussed.

  6. Teleology then and now: the question of Kant's relevance for contemporary controversies over function in biology.

    PubMed

    Zammito, John

    2006-12-01

    'Naturalism' is the aspiration of contemporary philosophy of biology, and Kant simply cannot be refashioned into a naturalist. Instead, epistemological 'deflation' was the decisive feature of Kant's treatment of the 'biomedical' science in his day, so it is not surprising that this might attract some philosophers of science to him today. A certain sense of impasse in the contemporary 'function talk' seems to motivate renewed interest in Kant. Kant--drawing on his eighteenth-century predecessors-provided a discerning and powerful characterization of what biologists had to explain in organic form. His difference from the rest is that he opined that it was impossible to explain it. Its 'inscrutability' was intrinsic. The third Critique essentially proposed the reduction of biology to a kind of pre-scientific descriptivism, doomed never to attain authentic scientificity, to have its 'Newton of the blade of grass'. By contrast, for Locke, and a fortiori for Buffon and his followers, 'intrinsic purposiveness' was a fact of the matter about concrete biological phenomena; the features of internal self-regulation were hypotheses arising out of actual research practice. The difference comes most vividly to light once we recognize Kant's distinction of the concept of organism from the concept of life. If biology must conceptualize self-organization as actual in the world, Kant's regulative/constitutive distinction is pointless in practice and the (naturalist) philosophy of biology has urgent work to undertake for which Kant turns out not to be very helpful.

  7. The time dependent propensity function for acceleration of spatial stochastic simulation of reaction–diffusion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, Jin; Wu, Sheng; Li, Hong; Petzold, Linda R.

    2014-10-01

    The inhomogeneous stochastic simulation algorithm (ISSA) is a fundamental method for spatial stochastic simulation. However, when diffusion events occur more frequently than reaction events, simulating the diffusion events by ISSA is quite costly. To reduce this cost, we propose to use the time dependent propensity function in each step. In this way we can avoid simulating individual diffusion events, and use the time interval between two adjacent reaction events as the simulation stepsize. We demonstrate that the new algorithm can achieve orders of magnitude efficiency gains over widely-used exact algorithms, scales well with increasing grid resolution, and maintains a high level of accuracy.

  8. The time dependent propensity function for acceleration of spatial stochastic simulation of reaction-diffusion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Jin; Wu, Sheng; Li, Hong; Petzold, Linda R.

    2014-10-01

    The inhomogeneous stochastic simulation algorithm (ISSA) is a fundamental method for spatial stochastic simulation. However, when diffusion events occur more frequently than reaction events, simulating the diffusion events by ISSA is quite costly. To reduce this cost, we propose to use the time dependent propensity function in each step. In this way we can avoid simulating individual diffusion events, and use the time interval between two adjacent reaction events as the simulation stepsize. We demonstrate that the new algorithm can achieve orders of magnitude efficiency gains over widely-used exact algorithms, scales well with increasing grid resolution, and maintains a high level of accuracy.

  9. The Time Dependent Propensity Function for Acceleration of Spatial Stochastic Simulation of Reaction-Diffusion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Sheng; Li, Hong; Petzold, Linda R.

    2015-01-01

    The inhomogeneous stochastic simulation algorithm (ISSA) is a fundamental method for spatial stochastic simulation. However, when diffusion events occur more frequently than reaction events, simulating the diffusion events by ISSA is quite costly. To reduce this cost, we propose to use the time dependent propensity function in each step. In this way we can avoid simulating individual diffusion events, and use the time interval between two adjacent reaction events as the simulation stepsize. We demonstrate that the new algorithm can achieve orders of magnitude efficiency gains over widely-used exact algorithms, scales well with increasing grid resolution, and maintains a high level of accuracy. PMID:26609185

  10. The Utility of the HSAB Principle via the Fukui Function in Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Faver, John; Merz, Kenneth M.

    2010-01-01

    The hard/soft acid-base principle has long been known to be an excellent predictor of chemical reactivity. The Fukui function, a reactivity descriptor from conceptual density functional theory, has been shown to be related to the local softness of a system. The usefulness of the Fukui function is explored and demonstrated herein for three common biological problems: ligand docking, active site detection, and protein folding. In each type of study, a scoring function is developed based on the local HSAB principle using atomic Fukui indices. Even with necessary approximations for its use in large systems, the Fukui function remains a useful descriptor for predicting chemical reactivity and understanding chemical systems. PMID:20369029

  11. Functional Effects of Delivering Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Seeded Biological Sutures to an Infarcted Heart

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Katrina J.; Favreau, John T.; Guyette, Jacques P.; Tao, Ze-Wei; Coffin, Spencer T.; Cunha-Gavidia, Anny; D'Amore, Brian; Perreault, Luke R.; Fitzpatrick, John P.; DeMartino, Angelica; Gaudette, Glenn R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Stem cell therapy has the potential to improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI); however, existing methods to deliver cells to the myocardium, including intramyocardial injection, suffer from low engraftment rates. In this study, we used a rat model of acute MI to assess the effects of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC)-seeded fibrin biological sutures on cardiac function at 1 week after implant. Biological sutures were seeded with quantum dot (Qdot)-loaded hMSCs for 24 h before implantation. At 1 week postinfarct, the heart was imaged to assess mechanical function in the infarct region. Regional parameters assessed were regional stroke work (RSW) and systolic area of contraction (SAC) and global parameters derived from the pressure waveform. MI (n = 6) significantly decreased RSW (0.026 ± 0.011) and SAC (0.022 ± 0.015) when compared with sham operation (RSW: 0.141 ± 0.009; SAC: 0.166 ± 0.005, n = 6) (p < 0.05). The delivery of unseeded biological sutures to the infarcted hearts did not change regional mechanical function compared with the infarcted hearts (RSW: 0.032 ± 0.004, SAC: 0.037 ± 0.008, n = 6). The delivery of hMSC-seeded sutures exerted a trend toward increase of regional mechanical function compared with the infarcted heart (RSW: 0.057 ± 0.011; SAC: 0.051 ± 0.014, n = 6). Global function showed no significant differences between any group (p > 0.05); however, there was a trend toward improved function with the addition of either unseeded or seeded biological suture. Histology demonstrated that Qdot-loaded hMSCs remained present in the infarcted myocardium after 1 week. Analysis of serial sections of Masson's trichrome staining revealed that the greatest infarct size was in the infarct group (7.0% ± 2.2%), where unseeded (3.8% ± 0.6%) and hMSC-seeded (3.7% ± 0.8%) suture groups maintained similar infarct sizes. Furthermore, the remaining suture area

  12. Accelerating wavefunction in density-functional-theory embedding by truncating the active basis set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennie, Simon J.; Stella, Martina; Miller, Thomas F.; Manby, Frederick R.

    2015-07-01

    Methods where an accurate wavefunction is embedded in a density-functional description of the surrounding environment have recently been simplified through the use of a projection operator to ensure orthogonality of orbital subspaces. Projector embedding already offers significant performance gains over conventional post-Hartree-Fock methods by reducing the number of correlated occupied orbitals. However, in our first applications of the method, we used the atomic-orbital basis for the full system, even for the correlated wavefunction calculation in a small, active subsystem. Here, we further develop our method for truncating the atomic-orbital basis to include only functions within or close to the active subsystem. The number of atomic orbitals in a calculation on a fixed active subsystem becomes asymptotically independent of the size of the environment, producing the required O ( N 0 ) scaling of cost of the calculation in the active subsystem, and accuracy is controlled by a single parameter. The applicability of this approach is demonstrated for the embedded many-body expansion of binding energies of water hexamers and calculation of reaction barriers of SN2 substitution of fluorine by chlorine in α-fluoroalkanes.

  13. Averaged Propulsive Body Acceleration (APBA) Can Be Calculated from Biologging Tags That Incorporate Gyroscopes and Accelerometers to Estimate Swimming Speed, Hydrodynamic Drag and Energy Expenditure for Steller Sea Lions

    PubMed Central

    Trites, Andrew W.; Rosen, David A. S.; Potvin, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Forces due to propulsion should approximate forces due to hydrodynamic drag for animals horizontally swimming at a constant speed with negligible buoyancy forces. Propulsive forces should also correlate with energy expenditures associated with locomotion—an important cost of foraging. As such, biologging tags containing accelerometers are being used to generate proxies for animal energy expenditures despite being unable to distinguish rotational movements from linear movements. However, recent miniaturizations of gyroscopes offer the possibility of resolving this shortcoming and obtaining better estimates of body accelerations of swimming animals. We derived accelerations using gyroscope data for swimming Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), and determined how well the measured accelerations correlated with actual swimming speeds and with theoretical drag. We also compared dive averaged dynamic body acceleration estimates that incorporate gyroscope data, with the widely used Overall Dynamic Body Acceleration (ODBA) metric, which does not use gyroscope data. Four Steller sea lions equipped with biologging tags were trained to swim alongside a boat cruising at steady speeds in the range of 4 to 10 kph. At each speed, and for each dive, we computed a measure called Gyro-Informed Dynamic Acceleration (GIDA) using a method incorporating gyroscope data with accelerometer data. We derived a new metric—Averaged Propulsive Body Acceleration (APBA), which is the average gain in speed per flipper stroke divided by mean stroke cycle duration. Our results show that the gyro-based measure (APBA) is a better predictor of speed than ODBA. We also found that APBA can estimate average thrust production during a single stroke-glide cycle, and can be used to estimate energy expended during swimming. The gyroscope-derived methods we describe should be generally applicable in swimming animals where propulsive accelerations can be clearly identified in the signal—and they should

  14. Averaged Propulsive Body Acceleration (APBA) Can Be Calculated from Biologging Tags That Incorporate Gyroscopes and Accelerometers to Estimate Swimming Speed, Hydrodynamic Drag and Energy Expenditure for Steller Sea Lions.

    PubMed

    Ware, Colin; Trites, Andrew W; Rosen, David A S; Potvin, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Forces due to propulsion should approximate forces due to hydrodynamic drag for animals horizontally swimming at a constant speed with negligible buoyancy forces. Propulsive forces should also correlate with energy expenditures associated with locomotion-an important cost of foraging. As such, biologging tags containing accelerometers are being used to generate proxies for animal energy expenditures despite being unable to distinguish rotational movements from linear movements. However, recent miniaturizations of gyroscopes offer the possibility of resolving this shortcoming and obtaining better estimates of body accelerations of swimming animals. We derived accelerations using gyroscope data for swimming Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), and determined how well the measured accelerations correlated with actual swimming speeds and with theoretical drag. We also compared dive averaged dynamic body acceleration estimates that incorporate gyroscope data, with the widely used Overall Dynamic Body Acceleration (ODBA) metric, which does not use gyroscope data. Four Steller sea lions equipped with biologging tags were trained to swim alongside a boat cruising at steady speeds in the range of 4 to 10 kph. At each speed, and for each dive, we computed a measure called Gyro-Informed Dynamic Acceleration (GIDA) using a method incorporating gyroscope data with accelerometer data. We derived a new metric-Averaged Propulsive Body Acceleration (APBA), which is the average gain in speed per flipper stroke divided by mean stroke cycle duration. Our results show that the gyro-based measure (APBA) is a better predictor of speed than ODBA. We also found that APBA can estimate average thrust production during a single stroke-glide cycle, and can be used to estimate energy expended during swimming. The gyroscope-derived methods we describe should be generally applicable in swimming animals where propulsive accelerations can be clearly identified in the signal-and they should also

  15. Function, therapeutic potential and cell biology of BACE proteases: current status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Vassar, Robert; Kuhn, Peer-Hendrik; Haass, Christian; Kennedy, Matthew E; Rajendran, Lawrence; Wong, Philip C; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F

    2014-07-01

    The β-site APP cleaving enzymes 1 and 2 (BACE1 and BACE2) were initially identified as transmembrane aspartyl proteases cleaving the amyloid precursor protein (APP). BACE1 is a major drug target for Alzheimer's disease because BACE1-mediated cleavage of APP is the first step in the generation of the pathogenic amyloid-β peptides. BACE1, which is highly expressed in the nervous system, is also required for myelination by cleaving neuregulin 1. Several recent proteomic and in vivo studies using BACE1- and BACE2-deficient mice demonstrate a much wider range of physiological substrates and functions for both proteases within and outside of the nervous system. For BACE1 this includes axon guidance, neurogenesis, muscle spindle formation, and neuronal network functions, whereas BACE2 was shown to be involved in pigmentation and pancreatic β-cell function. This review highlights the recent progress in understanding cell biology, substrates, and functions of BACE proteases and discusses the therapeutic options and potential mechanism-based liabilities, in particular for BACE inhibitors in Alzheimer's disease. The protease BACE1 is a major drug target in Alzheimer disease. Together with its homolog BACE2, both proteases have an increasing number of functions within and outside of the nervous system. This review highlights recent progress in understanding cell biology, substrates, and functions of BACE proteases and discusses the therapeutic options and potential mechanism-based liabilities, in particular for BACE inhibitors in Alzheimer disease.

  16. Form and function: Perspectives on structural biology and resources for the future

    SciTech Connect

    Vaughan, D.

    1990-12-01

    The purpose of this study is largely to explore and expand on the thesis that biological structures and their functions are suited to. Form indeed follows function and if we are to understand the workings of a living system, with all that such an understanding promises, we must first seek to describe the structure of its parts. Descriptions of a few achievements of structural biology lay the groundwork, but the substance of this booklet is a discussion of important questions yet unanswered and opportunities just beyond our grasp. The concluding pages then outline a course of action in which the Department of Energy would exercise its responsibility to develop the major resources needed to extend our reach and to answer some of those unanswered questions. 22 figs.

  17. Biological control of crystal texture: A widespread strategy for adapting crystal properties to function

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, A.; Leiserowitz, L.; Weiner, S.; Addadi, L. ); Hanson, J.; Koetzle, T.F. )

    1993-02-05

    Textures of calcite crystals from a variety of mineralized tissues belong to organisms from four phyla were examined with high-resolution synchrotron x-ray radiation. Significant differences in coherence length and angular spread were observed between taxonomic groups. Crystals from polycrystalline skeletal ensembles were more perfect than those that function as single-crystal elements. Different anistropic effects on crystal texture were observed for sea urchin and mollusk calcite crystals, whereas none was found for the foraminifer, Patellina, and the control calcite crystals. These results show that the manipulation of crystal texture in different organisms is under biological control and that crystal textures in some tissues are adapted to function. A better understanding of this apparently widespread biological phenomenon may provide new insights for improving synthetic crystal-containing materials. 18 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  18. Function and dynamics of macromolecular complexes explored by integrative structural and computational biology.

    PubMed

    Purdy, Michael D; Bennett, Brad C; McIntire, William E; Khan, Ali K; Kasson, Peter M; Yeager, Mark

    2014-08-01

    Three vignettes exemplify the potential of combining EM and X-ray crystallographic data with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to explore the architecture, dynamics and functional properties of multicomponent, macromolecular complexes. The first two describe how EM and X-ray crystallography were used to solve structures of the ribosome and the Arp2/3-actin complex, which enabled MD simulations that elucidated functional dynamics. The third describes how EM, X-ray crystallography, and microsecond MD simulations of a GPCR:G protein complex were used to explore transmembrane signaling by the β-adrenergic receptor. Recent technical advancements in EM, X-ray crystallography and computational simulation create unprecedented synergies for integrative structural biology to reveal new insights into heretofore intractable biological systems.

  19. Mediating objects: scientific and public functions of models in nineteenth-century biology.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, David

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this article is to examine the scientific and public functions of two- and three-dimensional models in the context of three episodes from nineteenth-century biology. I argue that these models incorporate both data and theory by presenting theoretical assumptions in the light of concrete data or organizing data through theoretical assumptions. Despite their diverse roles in scientific practice, they all can be characterized as mediators between data and theory. Furthermore, I argue that these different mediating functions often reflect their different audiences that included specialized scientists, students, and the general public. In this sense, models in nineteenth-century biology can be understood as mediators between theory, data, and their diverse audiences.

  20. Chemical Biology Strategies for post-translational control of protein function

    PubMed Central

    Rakhit, Rishi; Navarro, Raul; Wandless, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    A common strategy to understand a biological system is to selectively perturb it and observe its response. While technologies now exist to manipulate cellular systems at the genetic and transcript level, the direct manipulation of functions at the protein level can offer significant advantages in precision, speed, and reversibility. Combining the specificity of genetic manipulation and the spatio-temporal resolution of light and small-molecule based approaches now allow exquisite control over biological systems to subtly perturb a system of interest in vitro and in vivo. Conditional perturbation mechanisms may be broadly characterized by change in intracellular localization, intramolecular activation, or degradation of a protein of interest. Here we review recent advances in technologies for conditional regulation of protein function and suggest further areas of potential development PMID:25237866

  1. From Loci to Biology: Functional Genomics of Genome-Wide Association for Coronary Disease

    PubMed Central

    Nurnberg, Sylvia T; Zhang, Hanrui; Hand, Nicholas J; Bauer, Robert C; Saleheen, Danish; Reilly, Muredach P; Rader, Daniel J

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have provided a rich collection of ~58 CAD loci that suggest the existence of previously unsuspected new biology relevant to atherosclerosis. However, these studies only identify genomic loci associated with CAD and many questions remain even after a genomic locus is definitively implicated, including the nature of the causal variant(s) and the causal gene(s), as well as the directionality of effect. There are a number of tools that can be employed for investigation of the functional genomics of these loci, and progress has been made on a limited number of novel CAD loci. New biology regarding atherosclerosis and CAD will be learned through the functional genomics of these loci and the hope is that at least some of these new pathways relevant to CAD pathogenesis will yield new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of CAD. PMID:26892960

  2. Effects of positive acceleration /+Gz/ on renal function and plasma renin in normal man

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Epstein, M.; Shubrooks, S. J., Jr.; Fishman, L. M.; Duncan, D. C.

    1974-01-01

    The effects of positive radial centrifugation (+Gz) on plasma resin activity (PRA) and renal function were assessed in 15 normal male subjects under carefully controlled conditions of Na, K, and water intake. Twenty minutes of +2.0 Gz resulted in significant decreases in the mean rate of sodium excretion and creatine clearance and in a doubling of PRA in seven sodium-depleted subjects (10 meq Na intake). In eight sodium-replete subjects (200 mq Na intake), 30 min of +2.0 Gz was also associated with a decrease in the mean rate of sodium excretion. As a consequence of a concurrent decrease in creatine clearance, the fractional excretion of sodium during centrifugation did not differ from control, suggesting that the changes in Na excretion were mediated primarily by renal hemodynamic factors, although enhanced renal tubular sodium reabsorption may also have played a role.

  3. Integrating biological knowledge based on functional annotations for biclustering of gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Nepomuceno, Juan A; Troncoso, Alicia; Nepomuceno-Chamorro, Isabel A; Aguilar-Ruiz, Jesús S

    2015-05-01

    Gene expression data analysis is based on the assumption that co-expressed genes imply co-regulated genes. This assumption is being reformulated because the co-expression of a group of genes may be the result of an independent activation with respect to the same experimental condition and not due to the same regulatory regime. For this reason, traditional techniques are recently being improved with the use of prior biological knowledge from open-access repositories together with gene expression data. Biclustering is an unsupervised machine learning technique that searches patterns in gene expression data matrices. A scatter search-based biclustering algorithm that integrates biological information is proposed in this paper. In addition to the gene expression data matrix, the input of the algorithm is only a direct annotation file that relates each gene to a set of terms from a biological repository where genes are annotated. Two different biological measures, FracGO and SimNTO, are proposed to integrate this information by means of its addition to-be-optimized fitness function in the scatter search scheme. The measure FracGO is based on the biological enrichment and SimNTO is based on the overlapping among GO annotations of pairs of genes. Experimental results evaluate the proposed algorithm for two datasets and show the algorithm performs better when biological knowledge is integrated. Moreover, the analysis and comparison between the two different biological measures is presented and it is concluded that the differences depend on both the data source and how the annotation file has been built in the case GO is used. It is also shown that the proposed algorithm obtains a greater number of enriched biclusters than other classical biclustering algorithms typically used as benchmark and an analysis of the overlapping among biclusters reveals that the biclusters obtained present a low overlapping. The proposed methodology is a general-purpose algorithm which allows

  4. Late-Stage Diversification of Biologically Active Molecules via Chemoenzymatic C-H Functionalization.

    PubMed

    Durak, Landon J; Payne, James T; Lewis, Jared C

    2016-03-04

    Engineered variants of rebeccamycin halogenase were used to selectively halogenate a number of biologically active aromatic compounds. Subsequent Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions on the crude extracts of these reactions were used to install aryl, amine, and ether substituents at the halogenation site. This simple, chemoenzymatic method enables non-directed functionalization of C-H bonds on a range of substrates to provide access to derivatives that would be challenging or inefficient to prepare by other means.

  5. Nanoelectromechanics of Inorganic and Biological Systems: From Structural Imaging to Local Functionalities

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, Brian; Kalinin, Sergei V; Jesse, Stephen; Thompson, G. L.; Vertegel, Alexey; Hohlbauch, Sophia; Proksch, Roger

    2008-01-01

    Coupling between electrical and mechanical phenomena is extremely common in inorganic materials, and nearly ubiquitous in biological systems, underpinning phenomena and devices ranging from SONAR to cardiac activity and hearing. This paper briefly summarizes the Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) approach, referred to as Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM), for probing electromechanical coupling on the nanometer scales, and delineates some existing and emerging applications to probe local structure and functionality in inorganic ferroelectrics, calcified and connective tissues, and complex biosystems based on electromechanical detection.

  6. Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crewmember Immune Function - Short Duration Biological Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sams, Clarence; Crucian, Brian; Stowe, Raymond; Pierson, Duane; Mehta, Satish; Morukov, Boris; Uchakin, Peter; Nehlsen-Cannarella, Sandra

    2008-01-01

    Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crew Member Immune Function - Short Duration Biological Investigation (Integrated Immune-SDBI) will assess the clinical risks resulting from the adverse effects of space flight on the human immune system and will validate a flightcompatible immune monitoring strategy. Immune system changes will be monitored by collecting and analyzing blood, urine and saliva samples from crewmembers before, during and after space flight.

  7. The Effect of Executive Function on Biological Reasoning in Young Children: An Individual Differences Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaitchik, Deborah; Iqbal, Yeshim; Carey, Susan

    2014-01-01

    There is substantial variance in the age at which children construct and deploy their first explicit theory of biology. This study tests the hypothesis that this variance is due, at least in part, to individual differences in their executive function (EF) abilities. A group of 79 boys and girls aged 5-7 years (with a mean age of 6½ years) were…

  8. Biological roles and functional mechanisms of arenavirus Z protein in viral replication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jialong; Danzy, Shamika; Kumar, Naveen; Ly, Hinh; Liang, Yuying

    2012-09-01

    Arenaviruses can cause severe hemorrhagic fever diseases in humans, with limited prophylactic or therapeutic measures. A small RING-domain viral protein Z has been shown to mediate the formation of virus-like particles and to inhibit viral RNA synthesis, although its biological roles in an infectious viral life cycle have not been directly addressed. By taking advantage of the available reverse genetics system for a model arenavirus, Pichinde virus (PICV), we provide the direct evidence for the essential biological roles of the Z protein's conserved residues, including the G2 myristylation site, the conserved C and H residues of RING domain, and the poorly characterized C-terminal L79 and P80 residues. Dicodon substitutions within the late (L) domain (PSAPPYEP) of the PICV Z protein, although producing viable mutant viruses, have significantly reduced virus growth, a finding suggestive of an important role for the intact L domain in viral replication. Further structure-function analyses of both PICV and Lassa fever virus Z proteins suggest that arenavirus Z proteins have similar molecular mechanisms in mediating their multiple functions, with some interesting variations, such as the role of the G2 residue in blocking viral RNA synthesis. In summary, our studies have characterized the biological roles of the Z protein in an infectious arenavirus system and have shed important light on the distinct functions of its domains in virus budding and viral RNA regulation, the knowledge of which may lead to the development of novel antiviral drugs.

  9. Functionalized Nanoporous Silica for Removal of Heavy Metals from Biological Systems; Adsorption and Application

    SciTech Connect

    Yantasee, Wassana; Rutledge, Ryan D.; Chouyyok, Wilaiwan; Sukwarotwat, Vichaya; Orr, Galya; Warner, Cynthia L.; Warner, Marvin G.; Fryxell, Glen E.; Wiacek, Robert J.; Timchalk, Charles; Addleman, Raymond S.

    2010-10-01

    Functionalized nanoporous silica, often referred to as self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS) have previously demonstrated the ability to serve as very effective heavy metal sorbents in a range of aquatic and environmental systems suggesting they may be advantageously utilized for biomedical applications such as chelation therapy. Herein we evaluate surface chemistries for heavy metal capture from biological fluids, various facets of the materials biocompatibility and the suitability of these materials as potential therapeutics. Of the materials tested, thiol-functionalized SAMMS proved most capable of removing selected heavy metals from biological solutions (i.e. blood, urine, etc.) As a result, thiol SAMMS was further analyzed to assess the material’s performance under a number of different biologically relevant conditions (i.e. variable pH and ionic strength) as well to gauge any potentially negative cellular effects resulting from interaction with the sorbent, such as cellular toxicity or possible chelation of essential minerals. Additionally, cellular uptake studies demonstrated no cell membrane permeation by the silica-based materials generally highlighting their ability to remain cellularly inert and thus non-toxic. As a result, it has been determined that organic ligand-functionalized nanoporous silica materials could be a valuable material for detoxification therapeutics and potentially other biomedical applications as needed.

  10. Modeling the Excited States of Biological Chromophores within Many-Body Green's Function Theory.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yuchen; Rohlfing, Michael; Molteni, Carla

    2010-01-12

    First-principle many-body Green's function theory (MBGFT) has been successfully used to describe electronic excitations in many materials, from bulk crystals to nanoparticles. Here we assess its performance for the calculations of the excited states of biological chromophores. MBGFT is based on a set of Green's function equations, whose key ingredients are the electron's self-energy Σ, which is obtained by Hedin's GW approach, and the electron-hole interaction, which is described by the Bethe-Salpeter equation (BSE). The GW approach and the BSE predict orbital energies and excitation energies with high accuracy, respectively. We have calculated the low-lying excited states of a series of model biological chromophores, related to the photoactive yellow protein (PYP), rhodopsin, and the green fluorescent protein (GFP), obtaining a very good agreement with the available experimental and accurate theoretical data; the order of the excited states is also correctly predicted. MBGFT bridges the gap between time-dependent density functional theory and high-level quantum chemistry methods, combining the efficiency of the former with the accuracy of the latter: this makes MBGFT a promising method for studying excitations in complex biological systems.

  11. Functionality of a Bacillus cereus biological agent in response to physiological variables encountered in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Lalloo, Rajesh; Maharajh, Dheepak; Görgens, Johann; Gardiner, Neil

    2008-05-01

    The potential of a Bacillus cereus isolate (NRRL 100132) as a biological agent for aquaculture has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. The functionality of this isolate across a range of physiological conditions, including salinity, pH and temperature, based on rearing of high-value ornamental Cyprinus carpio, was investigated. Temperature had a significant influence on germination, specific growth rate and increase in cell number of B. cereus in shake-flask cultures, whilst salinity and pH did not have a measurable effect on growth. Controlled studies in bioreactors and modelling of the data to the Arrhenius function indicated the existence of high and low growth temperature domains. The rates of pathogenic Aeromonas hydrophila suppression and decrease in waste ion concentrations (ammonium, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate) were translated into a linear predictive indicator of efficacy of the B. cereus isolate at different temperatures. The present study confirmed the robustness of the B. cereus isolate (NRRL 100132) as a putative biological agent for aquaculture and further demonstrated a novel method for the assessment of in vitro biological efficacy as a function of temperature.

  12. System Review about Function Role of ESCC Driver Gene KDM6A by Network Biology Approach.

    PubMed

    Ran, Jihua; Li, Hui; Li, Huiwu

    2016-01-01

    Background. KDM6A (Lysine (K)-Specific Demethylase 6A) is the driver gene related to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). In order to provide more biological insights into KDM6A, in this paper, we treat PPI (protein-protein interaction) network derived from KDM6A as a conceptual framework and follow it to review its biological function. Method. We constructed a PPI network with Cytoscape software and performed clustering of network with Clust&See. Then, we evaluate the pathways, which are statistically involved in the network derived from KDM6A. Lastly, gene ontology analysis of clusters of genes in the network was conducted. Result. The network includes three clusters that consist of 74 nodes connected via 453 edges. Fifty-five pathways are statistically involved in the network and most of them are functionally related to the processes of cell cycle, gene expression, and carcinogenesis. The biology themes of clusters 1, 2, and 3 are chromatin modification, regulation of gene expression by transcription factor complex, and control of cell cycle, respectively. Conclusion. The PPI network presents a panoramic view which can facilitate for us to understand the function role of KDM6A. It is a helpful way by network approach to perform system review on a certain gene.

  13. Can Accelerators Accelerate Learning?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, A. C. F.; Fonseca, P.; Coelho, L. F. S.

    2009-03-01

    The 'Young Talented' education program developed by the Brazilian State Funding Agency (FAPERJ) [1] makes it possible for high-schools students from public high schools to perform activities in scientific laboratories. In the Atomic and Molecular Physics Laboratory at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the students are confronted with modern research tools like the 1.7 MV ion accelerator. Being a user-friendly machine, the accelerator is easily manageable by the students, who can perform simple hands-on activities, stimulating interest in physics, and getting the students close to modern laboratory techniques.

  14. Emerging Molecular and Biological Functions of MBD2, a Reader of DNA Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Kathleen H.; Zhou, Zhaolan

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark that is essential for many biological processes and is linked to diseases such as cancer. Methylation is usually associated with transcriptional silencing, but new research has challenged this model. Both transcriptional activation and repression have recently been found to be associated with DNA methylation in a context-specific manner. How DNA methylation patterns are interpreted into different functional output remains poorly understood. One mechanism involves the protein ‘readers’ of methylation, which includes the methyl-CpG binding domain (MBD) family of proteins. This review examines the molecular and biological functions of MBD2, which binds to CpG methylation and is an integral part of the nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylation (NuRD) complex. MBD2 has been linked to immune system function and tumorigenesis, yet little is known about its functions in vivo. Recent studies have found the MBD2 protein is ubiquitously expressed, with relatively high levels in the lung, liver, and colon. Mbd2 null mice surprisingly show relatively mild phenotypes compared to mice with loss of function of other MBD proteins. This evidence has previously been interpreted as functional redundancy between the MBD proteins. Here, we examine and contextualize research that suggests MBD2 has unique properties and functions among the MBD proteins. These functions translate to recently described roles in the development and differentiation of multiple cell lineages, including pluripotent stem cells and various cell types of the immune system, as well as in tumorigenesis. We also consider possible models for the dynamic interactions between MBD2 and NuRD in different tissues in vivo. The functions of MBD2 may have direct therapeutic implications for several areas of human disease, including autoimmune conditions and cancer, in addition to providing insights into the actions of NuRD and chromatin regulation. PMID:27303433

  15. PARTICLE ACCELERATOR

    DOEpatents

    Teng, L.C.

    1960-01-19

    ABS>A combination of two accelerators, a cyclotron and a ring-shaped accelerator which has a portion disposed tangentially to the cyclotron, is described. Means are provided to transfer particles from the cyclotron to the ring accelerator including a magnetic deflector within the cyclotron, a magnetic shield between the ring accelerator and the cyclotron, and a magnetic inflector within the ring accelerator.

  16. Natural ageing process accelerates the release of Ag from functional textile in various exposure scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Dahu; Chen, Lulu; Dong, Shaowei; Cai, Hao; Chen, Jifei; Jiang, Canlan; Cai, Tianming

    2016-11-01

    Natural ageing process occurs throughout the life cycle of textile products, which may possess influences on the release behavior of additives such as silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs). In this study, we assessed the releasability of Ag NPs from a Ag NPs functionalized textile in five different exposure scenarios (i.e. tap water (TW), pond water (PW), rain water (RW), artificial sweat (AS), and detergent solution (DS) along with deionized water (DW) as reference), which were very likely to occur throughout the life cycle of the textile. For the pristine textile, although the most remarkable release was found in DW (6–15 μg Ag/g textile), the highest release rate was found in RW (around 7 μg Ag/(g textile·h)). After ageing treatment, the total released Ag could be increased by 75.7~386.0% in DW, AS and DS. Morphological analysis clearly showed that the Ag NPs were isolated from the surface of the textile fibre due to the ageing treatment. This study provides useful information for risk assessment of nano-enhanced textile products.

  17. Natural ageing process accelerates the release of Ag from functional textile in various exposure scenarios

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Dahu; Chen, Lulu; Dong, Shaowei; Cai, Hao; Chen, Jifei; Jiang, Canlan; Cai, Tianming

    2016-01-01

    Natural ageing process occurs throughout the life cycle of textile products, which may possess influences on the release behavior of additives such as silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs). In this study, we assessed the releasability of Ag NPs from a Ag NPs functionalized textile in five different exposure scenarios (i.e. tap water (TW), pond water (PW), rain water (RW), artificial sweat (AS), and detergent solution (DS) along with deionized water (DW) as reference), which were very likely to occur throughout the life cycle of the textile. For the pristine textile, although the most remarkable release was found in DW (6–15 μg Ag/g textile), the highest release rate was found in RW (around 7 μg Ag/(g textile·h)). After ageing treatment, the total released Ag could be increased by 75.7~386.0% in DW, AS and DS. Morphological analysis clearly showed that the Ag NPs were isolated from the surface of the textile fibre due to the ageing treatment. This study provides useful information for risk assessment of nano-enhanced textile products. PMID:27869136

  18. Accelerating Nanoscale Research with Neutron Total Scattering: Linking Structure and Function in Finite Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, Katharine

    2012-10-01

    h -abstract-pard In contrast to bulk materials, nanomaterials and nanoparticles, comprised of a few hundred to tens of thousands of atoms, require every atom's position to be located in order to understand their structure-property relationships. New behavior can arise with a constricted, expanded, or distorted lattice, variation in surface termination structure, ligand capping or stabilization, or with the increasingly diverse set of shapes and architectures appearing in nanoscience literature today: tubes, pyramids, stars, core-shell and matrix-confined particles, multilayer films, etc. Pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, based on spallation neutron or synchrotron x-ray total scattering data, has emerged as a very promising characterization method for nanomaterials in recent years. Total scattering methods provide information about every pair of atoms probed in a diffraction experiment and thus contain an unexploited wealth of information for finite systems. In this contribution we will present our work establishing the influence of particle size and shape on the nature and correlation of local atomic dipoles in finite ferroelectric systems. We also review current data-driven modeling capabilities and outline the need for evolution of robust computational tools to follow other complex nanoscale phenomena with scattering data. pard-/abstract-

  19. Natural ageing process accelerates the release of Ag from functional textile in various exposure scenarios.

    PubMed

    Ding, Dahu; Chen, Lulu; Dong, Shaowei; Cai, Hao; Chen, Jifei; Jiang, Canlan; Cai, Tianming

    2016-11-21

    Natural ageing process occurs throughout the life cycle of textile products, which may possess influences on the release behavior of additives such as silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs). In this study, we assessed the releasability of Ag NPs from a Ag NPs functionalized textile in five different exposure scenarios (i.e. tap water (TW), pond water (PW), rain water (RW), artificial sweat (AS), and detergent solution (DS) along with deionized water (DW) as reference), which were very likely to occur throughout the life cycle of the textile. For the pristine textile, although the most remarkable release was found in DW (6-15 μg Ag/g textile), the highest release rate was found in RW (around 7 μg Ag/(g textile·h)). After ageing treatment, the total released Ag could be increased by 75.7~386.0% in DW, AS and DS. Morphological analysis clearly showed that the Ag NPs were isolated from the surface of the textile fibre due to the ageing treatment. This study provides useful information for risk assessment of nano-enhanced textile products.

  20. Functional dissection of protein complexes involved in yeast chromosome biology using a genetic interaction map.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sean R; Miller, Kyle M; Maas, Nancy L; Roguev, Assen; Fillingham, Jeffrey; Chu, Clement S; Schuldiner, Maya; Gebbia, Marinella; Recht, Judith; Shales, Michael; Ding, Huiming; Xu, Hong; Han, Junhong; Ingvarsdottir, Kristin; Cheng, Benjamin; Andrews, Brenda; Boone, Charles; Berger, Shelley L; Hieter, Phil; Zhang, Zhiguo; Brown, Grant W; Ingles, C James; Emili, Andrew; Allis, C David; Toczyski, David P; Weissman, Jonathan S; Greenblatt, Jack F; Krogan, Nevan J

    2007-04-12

    Defining the functional relationships between proteins is critical for understanding virtually all aspects of cell biology. Large-scale identification of protein complexes has provided one important step towards this goal; however, even knowledge of the stoichiometry, affinity and lifetime of every protein-protein interaction would not reveal the functional relationships between and within such complexes. Genetic interactions can provide functional information that is largely invisible to protein-protein interaction data sets. Here we present an epistatic miniarray profile (E-MAP) consisting of quantitative pairwise measurements of the genetic interactions between 743 Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes involved in various aspects of chromosome biology (including DNA replication/repair, chromatid segregation and transcriptional regulation). This E-MAP reveals that physical interactions fall into two well-represented classes distinguished by whether or not the individual proteins act coherently to carry out a common function. Thus, genetic interaction data make it possible to dissect functionally multi-protein complexes, including Mediator, and to organize distinct protein complexes into pathways. In one pathway defined here, we show that Rtt109 is the founding member of a novel class of histone acetyltransferases responsible for Asf1-dependent acetylation of histone H3 on lysine 56. This modification, in turn, enables a ubiquitin ligase complex containing the cullin Rtt101 to ensure genomic integrity during DNA replication.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Applications of tissue heterogeneity corrections and biologically effective dose volume histograms in assessing the doses for accelerated partial breast irradiation using an electronic brachytherapy source.

    PubMed

    Shi, Chengyu; Guo, Bingqi; Cheng, Chih-Yao; Eng, Tony; Papanikolaou, Nikos

    2010-09-21

    A low-energy electronic brachytherapy source (EBS), the model S700 Axxent x-ray device developed by Xoft Inc., has been used in high dose rate (HDR) intracavitary accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) as an alternative to an Ir-192 source. The prescription dose and delivery schema of the electronic brachytherapy APBI plan are the same as the Ir-192 plan. However, due to its lower mean energy than the Ir-192 source, an EBS plan has dosimetric and biological features different from an Ir-192 source plan. Current brachytherapy treatment planning methods may have large errors in treatment outcome prediction for an EBS plan. Two main factors contribute to the errors: the dosimetric influence of tissue heterogeneities and the enhancement of relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of electronic brachytherapy. This study quantified the effects of these two factors and revisited the plan quality of electronic brachytherapy APBI. The influence of tissue heterogeneities is studied by a Monte Carlo method and heterogeneous 'virtual patient' phantoms created from CT images and structure contours; the effect of RBE enhancement in the treatment outcome was estimated by biologically effective dose (BED) distribution. Ten electronic brachytherapy APBI cases were studied. The results showed that, for electronic brachytherapy cases, tissue heterogeneities and patient boundary effect decreased dose to the target and skin but increased dose to the bones. On average, the target dose coverage PTV V(100) reduced from 95.0% in water phantoms (planned) to only 66.7% in virtual patient phantoms (actual). The actual maximum dose to the ribs is 3.3 times higher than the planned dose; the actual mean dose to the ipsilateral breast and maximum dose to the skin were reduced by 22% and 17%, respectively. Combining the effect of tissue heterogeneities and RBE enhancement, BED coverage of the target was 89.9% in virtual patient phantoms with RBE enhancement (actual BED) as compared to 95

  3. Using Dark Matter Haloes to Learn about Cosmic Acceleration: A New Proposal for a Universal Mass Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prescod-Weinstein, Chanda; Afshordi, Niayesh

    2011-01-01

    Structure formation provides a strong test of any cosmic acceleration model because a successful dark energy model must not inhibit or overpredict the development of observed large-scale structures. Traditional approaches to studies of structure formation in the presence of dark energy or a modified gravity implement a modified Press-Schechter formalism, which relates the linear overdensities to the abundance of dark matter haloes at the same time. We critically examine the universality of the Press-Schechter formalism for different cosmologies, and show that the halo abundance is best correlated with spherical linear overdensity at 94% of collapse (or observation) time. We then extend this argument to ellipsoidal collapse (which decreases the fractional time of best correlation for small haloes), and show that our results agree with deviations from modified Press-Schechter formalism seen in simulated mass functions. This provides a novel universal prescription to measure linear density evolution, based on current and future observations of cluster (or dark matter) halo mass function. In particular, even observations of cluster abundance in a single epoch will constrain the entire history of linear growth of cosmological of perturbations.

  4. Biological response on a titanium implant-grade surface functionalized with modular peptides☆

    PubMed Central

    Yazici, H.; Fong, H.; Wilson, B.; Oren, E.E.; Amos, F.A.; Zhang, H.; Evans, J.S.; Snead, M.L.; Sarikaya, M.; Tamerler, C.

    2015-01-01

    Titanium (Ti) and its alloys are among the most successful implantable materials for dental and orthopedic applications. The combination of excellent mechanical and corrosion resistance properties makes them highly desirable as endosseous implants that can withstand a demanding biomechanical environment. Yet, the success of the implant depends on its osteointegration, which is modulated by the biological reactions occurring at the interface of the implant. A recent development for improving biological responses on the Ti-implant surface has been the realization that bifunctional peptides can impart material binding specificity not only because of their molecular recognition of the inorganic material surface, but also through their self-assembly and ease of biological conjugation properties. To assess peptide-based functionalization on bioactivity, the present authors generated a set of peptides for implant-grade Ti, using cell surface display methods. Out of 60 unique peptides selected by this method, two of the strongest titanium binding peptides, TiBP1 and TiBP2, were further characterized for molecular structure and adsorption properties. These two peptides demonstrated unique, but similar molecular conformations different from that of a weak binder peptide, TiBP60. Adsorption measurements on a Ti surface revealed that their disassociation constants were 15-fold less than TiBP60. Their flexible and modular use in biological surface functionalization were demonstrated by conjugating them with an integrin recognizing peptide motif, RGDS. The functionalization of the Ti surface by the selected peptides significantly enhanced the bioactivity of osteoblast and fibroblast cells on implant-grade materials. PMID:23159566

  5. Toward total synthesis of cell function: Reconstituting cell dynamics with synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Kim, Allen K; DeRose, Robert; Ueno, Tasuku; Lin, Benjamin; Komatsu, Toru; Nakamura, Hideki; Inoue, Takanari

    2016-02-09

    Biological phenomena, such as cellular differentiation and phagocytosis, are fundamental processes that enable cells to fulfill important physiological roles in multicellular organisms. In the field of synthetic biology, the study of these behaviors relies on the use of a broad range of molecular tools that enable the real-time manipulation and measurement of key components in the underlying signaling pathways. This Review will focus on a subset of synthetic biology tools known as bottom-up techniques, which use technologies such as optogenetics and chemically induced dimerization to reconstitute cellular behavior in cells. These techniques have been crucial not only in revealing causal relationships within signaling networks but also in identifying the minimal signaling components that are necessary for a given cellular function. We discuss studies that used these systems in a broad range of cellular and molecular phenomena, including the time-dependent modulation of protein activity in cellular proliferation and differentiation, the reconstitution of phagocytosis, the reconstitution of chemotaxis, and the regulation of actin reorganization. Finally, we discuss the potential contribution of synthetic biology to medicine.

  6. [The subcellular organelles of peroxisome, realization of biologic functions of trophology, homeostasis, endoecology and functional bond with mitochondrion: the lecture].

    PubMed

    Titov, V N; Shiriaeva, Iu K; Kaba, S I

    2012-06-01

    The biologic role of peroxisomes in cells is that the organelles in respect to fatty acids, lipids and substrates synthesized from acetate implement the same fimnctions as the lysosomes exercise to proteins and polypeptides. The biologic role of peroxisomes is to optimize in vivo the exogenous fatty acids in hepatocytes under the realization of biologic functions of trophology, homeostasis, endoecology. About 800 individual fatty acids can penetrate into organism with food. At that, no more than thirty of them undergo the metabolic transformation in vivo. The rest hundreds of fatty acids are aphysiologic and have to be oxidized into peroxisomes under isochronic activation of alpha-, beta- and omega-oxydases without ATP formation. If in peroxisomes are formed fatty acids that can oxidize mitochondrions by beta-oxidation then the proteins of cytosol transfer fatty acids from peroxisomes to mitochondrions. The mitochondrions oxidize fatty acids in the Krebs cycle to form ATP. The oxidation in peroxisomes concerns the fatty acids with odd numbers of carbon atoms, the transforms of unsaturated fatty acids, the very long chain fatty acids, the fatty acids with carbon atoms side-chains, the dicarboxylic fatty acids, the fatty acids with benzene or indole rings in carbon atoms chains. The peroxisomes oxidize the surplus amount of exogenous palmitic saturated fatty acid too. The peroxisomes implement the biologic.function of endoecology on autocrine level supporting the "purity" of cells cytosol and interact functionally with mitochondrions. In the intercellular medium of paracrine cells coens the fimctions of endoecology are realized by the Toll-similar receptors by the "our-not our" principle concerning phospholipids, positional aphysiologic triglycerides and proteolipids. In the peroxisomes, under the simultaneous oxidation of very long chain fatty acids, the synthesis by primate cells is possible of some amount of essential unsaturated and polyene fatty acids. The

  7. Shaping Small Bioactive Molecules to Untangle Their Biological Function: A Focus on Fluorescent Plant Hormones.

    PubMed

    Lace, Beatrice; Prandi, Cristina

    2016-08-01

    Modern biology overlaps with chemistry in explaining the structure and function of all cellular processes at the molecular level. Plant hormone research is perfectly located at the interface between these two disciplines, taking advantage of synthetic and computational chemistry as a tool to decipher the complex biological mechanisms regulating the action of plant hormones. These small signaling molecules regulate a wide range of developmental processes, adapting plant growth to ever changing environmental conditions. The synthesis of small bioactive molecules mimicking the activity of endogenous hormones allows us to unveil many molecular features of their functioning, giving rise to a new field, plant chemical biology. In this framework, fluorescence labeling of plant hormones is emerging as a successful strategy to track the fate of these challenging molecules inside living organisms. Thanks to the increasing availability of new fluorescent probes as well as advanced and innovative imaging technologies, we are now in a position to investigate many of the dynamic mechanisms through which plant hormones exert their action. Such a deep and detailed comprehension is mandatory for the development of new green technologies for practical applications. In this review, we summarize the results obtained so far concerning the fluorescent labeling of plant hormones, highlighting the basic steps leading to the design and synthesis of these compelling molecular tools and their applications.

  8. Quantification of Degeneracy in Biological Systems for Characterization of Functional Interactions Between Modules

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yao; Dwivedi, Gaurav; Huang, Wen; Yi, Yingfei

    2012-01-01

    There is an evolutionary advantage in having multiple components with overlapping functionality (i.e degeneracy) in organisms. While theoretical considerations of degeneracy have been well established in neural networks using information theory, the same concepts have not been developed for differential systems, which form the basis of many biochemical reaction network descriptions in systems biology. Here we establish mathematical definitions of degeneracy, complexity and robustness that allow for the quantification of these properties in a system. By exciting a dynamical system with noise, the mutual information associated with a selected observable output and the interacting subspaces of input components can be used to define both complexity and degeneracy. The calculation of degeneracy in a biological network is a useful metric for evaluating features such as the sensitivity of a biological network to environmental evolutionary pressure. Using a two-receptor signal transduction network, we find that redundant components will not yield high degeneracy whereas compensatory mechanisms established by pathway crosstalk will. This form of analysis permits interrogation of large-scale differential systems for non-identical, functionally equivalent features that have evolved to maintain homeostasis during disruption of individual components. PMID:22619750

  9. Assigning biological functions to rice genes by genome annotation, expression analysis and mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Shu-Ye; Ramachandran, Srinivasan

    2010-12-01

    Rice is the first cereal genome to be completely sequenced. Since the completion of its genome sequencing, considerable progress has been made in multiple areas including the whole genome annotation, gene expression profiling, mutant collection, etc. Here, we summarize the current status of rice genome annotation and review the methodology of assigning biological functions to hundreds of thousands of rice genes as well as discuss the major limitations and the future perspective in rice functional genomics. Available data analysis shows that the rice genome encodes around 32,000 protein-coding genes. Expression analysis revealed at least 31,000 genes with expression evidence from full-length cDNA/EST collection or other transcript profiling. In addition, we have summarized various strategies to generate mutant population including natural, physical, chemical, T-DNA, transposon/retrotransposon or gene silencing based mutagenesis. Currently, more than 1 million of mutants have been generated and 27,551 of them have their flanking sequence tags. To assign biological functions to hundreds of thousands of rice genes, global co-operations are required, various genetic resources should be more easily accessible and diverse data from transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenetics, comparative genomics and bioinformatics should be integrated to better understand the functions of these genes and their regulatory mechanisms.

  10. BICEP's acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Contaldi, Carlo R.

    2014-10-01

    The recent Bicep2 [1] detection of, what is claimed to be primordial B-modes, opens up the possibility of constraining not only the energy scale of inflation but also the detailed acceleration history that occurred during inflation. In turn this can be used to determine the shape of the inflaton potential V(φ) for the first time — if a single, scalar inflaton is assumed to be driving the acceleration. We carry out a Monte Carlo exploration of inflationary trajectories given the current data. Using this method we obtain a posterior distribution of possible acceleration profiles ε(N) as a function of e-fold N and derived posterior distributions of the primordial power spectrum P(k) and potential V(φ). We find that the Bicep2 result, in combination with Planck measurements of total intensity Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies, induces a significant feature in the scalar primordial spectrum at scales k∼ 10{sup -3} Mpc {sup -1}. This is in agreement with a previous detection of a suppression in the scalar power [2].

  11. Biological weighting function for the inhibition of phytoplankton photosynthesis by ultraviolet radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cullen, John J.; Neale, Patrick J.; Lesser, Michael P.

    1992-01-01

    Severe reduction of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica has focused increasing concern on the biological effects of ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation (280 to 320 nanometers). Measurements of photosynthesis from an experimental system, in which phytoplankton are exposed to a broad range of irradiance treatments, are fit to an analytical model to provide the spectral biological weighting function that can be used to predict the short-term effects of ozone depletion on aquatic photosynthesis. Results show that UVA (320 to 400 nanometers) significantly inhibits the photosynthesis of a marine diatom and a dinoflagellate, and that the effects of UVB are even more severe. Application of the model suggests that the Antarctic ozone hole might reduce near-surface photosynthesis by 12 to 15 percent, but less so at depth. The experimental system makes possible routine estimation of spectral weightings for natural phytoplankton.

  12. Information content-based Gene Ontology functional similarity measures: which one to use for a given biological data type?

    PubMed

    Mazandu, Gaston K; Mulder, Nicola J

    2014-01-01

    The current increase in Gene Ontology (GO) annotations of proteins in the existing genome databases and their use in different analyses have fostered the improvement of several biomedical and biological applications. To integrate this functional data into different analyses, several protein functional similarity measures based on GO term information content (IC) have been proposed and evaluated, especially in the context of annotation-based measures. In the case of topology-based measures, each approach was set with a specific functional similarity measure depending on its conception and applications for which it was designed. However, it is not clear whether a specific functional similarity measure associated with a given approach is the most appropriate, given a biological data set or an application, i.e., achieving the best performance compared to other functional similarity measures for the biological application under consideration. We show that, in general, a specific functional similarity measure often used with a given term IC or term semantic similarity approach is not always the best for different biological data and applications. We have conducted a performance evaluation of a number of different functional similarity measures using different types of biological data in order to infer the best functional similarity measure for each different term IC and semantic similarity approach. The comparisons of different protein functional similarity measures should help researchers choose the most appropriate measure for the biological application under consideration.

  13. Biological nano-functionalization of titanium-based biomaterial surfaces: a flexible toolbox

    PubMed Central

    Beutner, René; Michael, Jan; Schwenzer, Bernd; Scharnweber, Dieter

    2010-01-01

    Surface functionalization with bioactive molecules (BAMs) on a nanometre scale is a main field in current biomaterial research. The immobilization of a vast number of substances and molecules, ranging from inorganic calcium phosphate phases up to peptides and proteins, has been investigated throughout recent decades. However, in vitro and in vivo results are heterogeneous. This may be at least partially attributed to the limits of the applied immobilization methods. Therefore, this paper highlights, in the first part, advantages and limits of the currently applied methods for the biological nano-functionalization of titanium-based biomaterial surfaces. The second part describes a new immobilization system recently developed in our groups. It uses the nanomechanical fixation of at least partially single-stranded nucleic acids (NAs) into an anodic titanium oxide layer as an immobilization principle and their hybridization ability for the functionalization of the surface with BAMs conjugated to the respective complementary NA strands. PMID:19889692

  14. Functional profiles reveal unique ecological roles of various biological soil crust organisms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Mau, R.L.; Maestre, F.T.; Escolar, C.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.

    2011-01-01

    1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled 'functional profiles' of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. 3. In two data sets, one representing multiple sites around the semi-arid regions of Spain (regional scale), and another from a single site in central Spain (local scale), we examined correlations between the abundance or frequency of BSC species in a community, and multiple surrogates of ecosystem functioning. There was a wide array of apparent effects of species on specific functions. 4. Notably, in gypsiferous soils and at regional scale, we found that indicators of carbon (C) and phosphorus cycling were apparently suppressed and promoted by the lichens Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera, respectively. The moss Pleurochaete squarrosa appears to promote C cycling in calcareous soils at this spatial scale. At the local scale in gypsiferous soils, D. diacapsis positively correlated with carbon cycling, but negatively with nitrogen cycling, whereas numerous lichens exhibited the opposite profile. 5. We found a high degree of functional singularity, i.e. that species were highly individualistic in their effects on multiple functions. Many functional attributes were not easily predictable from existing functional grouping systems based primarily on morphology. 6. Our results suggest that maintaining

  15. Carbon nanotubes functionalized with fibroblast growth factor accelerate proliferation of bone marrow-derived stromal cells and bone formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirata, Eri; Ménard-Moyon, Cécilia; Venturelli, Enrica; Takita, Hiroko; Watari, Fumio; Bianco, Alberto; Yokoyama, Atsuro

    2013-11-01

    Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were functionalized with fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and the advantages of their use as scaffolds for bone augmentation were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The activity of FGF was assessed by measuring the effect on the proliferation of rat bone marrow stromal cells (RBMSCs). The presence of FGF enhanced the proliferation of RBMSCs and the FGF covalently conjugated to the nanotubes (FGF-CNT) showed the same effect as FGF alone. In addition, FGF-CNT coated sponges were implanted between the parietal bone and the periosteum of rats and the formation of new bone was investigated. At day 14 after implantation, a larger amount of newly formed bone was clearly observed in most pores of FGF-CNT coated sponges. These findings indicated that MWCNTs accelerated new bone formation in response to FGF, as well as the integration of particles into new bone during its formation. Scaffolds coated with FGF-CNT could be considered as promising novel substituting materials for bone regeneration in future tissue engineering applications.

  16. Engineering multiple biological functional motifs into a blank collagen-like protein template from Streptococcus pyogenes.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yong Y; Stoichevska, Violet; Schacht, Kristin; Werkmeister, Jerome A; Ramshaw, John A M

    2014-07-01

    Bacterially derived triple-helical, collagen-like proteins are attractive as potential biomedical materials. The collagen-like domain of the Scl2 protein from S. pyogenes lacks any specific binding sites for mammalian cells yet possesses the inherent structural integrity of the collagen triple-helix of animal collagens. It can, therefore, be considered as a structurally-stable "blank slate" into which various defined, biological sequences, derived from animal collagens, can be added by substitutions or insertions, to enable production of novel designed materials to fit specific functional requirements. In the present study, we have used site directed mutagenesis to substitute two functional sequences, one for heparin binding and the other for integrin binding, into different locations in the triple-helical structure. This provided three new constructs, two containing the single substitutions and one containing both substitutions. The stability of these constructs was marginally reduced when compared to the unmodified sequence. When compared to the unmodified bacterial collagen, both the modified collagens that contain the heparin binding site showed marked binding of fluorescently labeled heparin. Similarly, the modified collagens from both constructs containing the integrin binding site showed significant adhesion of L929 cells that are known to possess the appropriate integrin receptor. C2C12 cells that lack any appropriate integrins did not bind. These data show that bacterial collagen-like sequences can be modified to act like natural extracellular matrix collagens by inserting one or more unique biological domains with defined function.

  17. Biological functions of p53 isoforms through evolution: lessons from animal and cellular models.

    PubMed

    Marcel, V; Dichtel-Danjoy, M-L; Sagne, C; Hafsi, H; Ma, D; Ortiz-Cuaran, S; Olivier, M; Hall, J; Mollereau, B; Hainaut, P; Bourdon, J-C

    2011-12-01

    The TP53 tumour-suppressor gene is expressed as several protein isoforms generated by different mechanisms, including use of alternative promoters, splicing sites and translational initiation sites, that are conserved through evolution and within the TP53 homologues, TP63 and TP73. Although first described in the eighties, the importance of p53 isoforms in regulating the suppressive functions of p53 has only become evident in the last 10 years, by analogy with observations that p63 and p73 isoforms appeared indispensable to fully understand the biological functions of TP63 and TP73. This review summarizes recent advances in the field of 'p53 isoforms', including new data on p63 and p73 isoforms. Details of the alternative mechanisms that produce p53 isoforms and cis- and trans-regulators identified are provided. The main focus is on their biological functions (apoptosis, cell cycle, aging and so on) in cellular and animal models, including mouse, zebrafish and Drosophila. Finally, the deregulation of p53 isoform expression in human cancers is reviewed. Based on these latest results, several developments are expected in the future: the identification of drugs modulating p53 isoform expression; the generation of animal models and the evaluation of the use of p53 isoform as biomarkers in human cancers.

  18. A Gaussian mixture model based cost function for parameter estimation of chaotic biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shekofteh, Yasser; Jafari, Sajad; Sprott, Julien Clinton; Hashemi Golpayegani, S. Mohammad Reza; Almasganj, Farshad

    2015-02-01

    As we know, many biological systems such as neurons or the heart can exhibit chaotic behavior. Conventional methods for parameter estimation in models of these systems have some limitations caused by sensitivity to initial conditions. In this paper, a novel cost function is proposed to overcome those limitations by building a statistical model on the distribution of the real system attractor in state space. This cost function is defined by the use of a likelihood score in a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) which is fitted to the observed attractor generated by the real system. Using that learned GMM, a similarity score can be defined by the computed likelihood score of the model time series. We have applied the proposed method to the parameter estimation of two important biological systems, a neuron and a cardiac pacemaker, which show chaotic behavior. Some simulated experiments are given to verify the usefulness of the proposed approach in clean and noisy conditions. The results show the adequacy of the proposed cost function.

  19. Covalently functionalized nanotubes as nanometre- sized probes in chemistry and biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Stanislaus S.; Joselevich, Ernesto; Woolley, Adam T.; Cheung, Chin Li; Lieber, Charles M.

    1998-07-01

    Carbon nanotubes combine a range of properties that make them well suited for use as probe tips in applications such as atomic force microscopy (AFM). Their high aspect ratio, for example, opens up the possibility of probing the deep crevices that occur in microelectronic circuits, and the small effective radius of nanotube tips significantly improves the lateral resolution beyond what can be achieved using commercial silicon tips. Another characteristic feature of nanotubes is their ability to buckle elastically,, which makes them very robust while limiting the maximum force that is applied to delicate organic and biological samples. Earlier investigations into the performance of nanotubes as scanning probe microscopy tips have focused on topographical imaging, but a potentially more significant issue is the question of whether nanotubes can be modified to create probes that can sense and manipulate matter at the molecular level. Here we demonstrate that nanotube tips with the capability of chemical and biological discrimination can be created with acidic functionality and by coupling basic or hydrophobic functionalities or biomolecular probes to the carboxyl groups that are present at the open tip ends. We have used these modified nanotubes as AFM tips to titrate the acid and base groups, to image patterned samples based on molecular interactions, and to measure the binding force between single protein-ligand pairs. As carboxyl groups are readily derivatized by a variety of reactions, the preparation of a wide range of functionalized nanotube tips should be possible, thus creating molecular probes with potential applications in many areas of chemistry and biology.

  20. Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro biological evaluation of highly stable diversely functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Dipsikha; Sahu, Sumanta K.; Banerjee, Indranil; Das, Manasmita; Mishra, Debashish; Maiti, Tapas K.; Pramanik, Panchanan

    2011-09-01

    In this article, we report the design and synthesis of a series of well-dispersed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) using chitosan as a surface modifying agent to develop a potential T 2 contrast probe for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The amine, carboxyl, hydroxyl, and thiol functionalities were introduced on chitosan-coated magnetic probe via simple reactions with small reactive organic molecules to afford a series of biofunctionalized nanoparticles. Physico-chemical characterizations of these functionalized nanoparticles were performed by TEM, XRD, DLS, FTIR, and VSM. The colloidal stability of these functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles was investigated in presence of phosphate buffer saline, high salt concentrations and different cell media for 1 week. MRI analysis of human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines treated with nanoparticles elucidated that the amine-functionalized nanoparticles exhibited higher amount of signal darkening and lower T 2 relaxation in comparison to the others. The cellular internalization efficacy of these functionalized SPIONs was also investigated with HeLa cancer cell line by magnetically activated cell sorting (MACS) and fluorescence microscopy and results established selectively higher internalization efficacy of amine-functionalized nanoparticles to cancer cells. These positive attributes demonstrated that these nanoconjugates can be used as a promising platform for further in vitro and in vivo biological evaluations.

  1. Digital expression profiling of novel diatom transcripts provides insight into their biological functions

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Diatoms represent the predominant group of eukaryotic phytoplankton in the oceans and are responsible for around 20% of global photosynthesis. Two whole genome sequences are now available. Notwithstanding, our knowledge of diatom biology remains limited because only around half of their genes can be ascribed a function based onhomology-based methods. High throughput tools are needed, therefore, to associate functions with diatom-specific genes. Results We have performed a systematic analysis of 130,000 ESTs derived from Phaeodactylum tricornutum cells grown in 16 different conditions. These include different sources of nitrogen, different concentrations of carbon dioxide, silicate and iron, and abiotic stresses such as low temperature and low salinity. Based on unbiased statistical methods, we have catalogued transcripts with similar expression profiles and identified transcripts differentially expressed in response to specific treatments. Functional annotation of these transcripts provides insights into expression patterns of genes involved in various metabolic and regulatory pathways and into the roles of novel genes with unknown functions. Specific growth conditions could be associated with enhanced gene diversity, known gene product functions, and over-representation of novel transcripts. Comparative analysis of data from the other sequenced diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, helped identify several unique diatom genes that are specifically regulated under particular conditions, thus facilitating studies of gene function, genome annotation and the molecular basis of species diversity. Conclusions The digital gene expression database represents a new resource for identifying candidate diatom-specific genes involved in processes of major ecological relevance. PMID:20738856

  2. A Novel Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-3 Activator (Alda-89) Protects Submandibular Gland Function from Irradiation without Accelerating Tumor Growth

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Nan; Cao, Hongbin; Chen, Che-Hong; Kong, Christina S.; Ali, Rehan; Chan, Cato; Sirjani, Davud; Graves, Edward; Koong, Albert; Giaccia, Amato; Mochly-Rosen, Daria; Le, Quynh-Thu

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To determine the effect of Alda-89 (an ALDH3 activitor) on (1) the function of irradiated (RT) submandibular gland (SMG) in mice, (2) its toxicity profile and (3) its effect on the growth of head and neck cancer (HNC) in vitro and in vivo. Experimental Design Adult mice were infused with Alda-89 or vehicle before, during and after RT. Saliva secretion was monitored weekly. Hematology, metabolic profile and post-mortem evaluation for toxicity were examined at the time of sacrifice. Alda-89 or vehicle was applied to HNC cell lines in vitro, and SCID mice transplanted with HNC in vivo with or without radiation; HNC growth was monitored. The ALDH3A1 and ALDH3A2 protein expression was evaluated in 89 HNC patients and correlated to freedom from relapse (FFR) and overall survival (OS). Results Alda-89 infusion significantly resulted in more whole saliva production and a higher percentage of preserved acini after RT compared to vehicle control. There was no difference in the complete blood count, metabolic profile, and major organ morphology between the Alda-89 and vehicle groups. Compared to vehicle control, Alda-89 treatment did not accelerate HNC cell proliferation in vitro, nor did it affect tumor growth in vivo with or without RT. Higher expression of ALDH3A1 or ALDH3A2 was not significantly associated with worse FFR or OS in either HPV-positive or HPV-negative group. Conclusion Alda-89 preserves salivary function after RT without affecting HNC growth or causing measurable toxicity in mice. It is a promising candidate to mitigate RT-related xerostomia. PMID:23812668

  3. New insights in the biology of BDNF synthesis and release: implications in CNS function.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Michael E; Xu, Baoji; Lu, Bai; Hempstead, Barbara L

    2009-10-14

    BDNF has pleiotropic effects on neuronal development and synaptic plasticity that underlie circuit formation and cognitive function. Recent breakthroughs reveal that neuronal activity regulates BDNF cell biology, including Bdnf transcription, dendritic targeting and trafficking of BDNF mRNA and protein, and secretion and extracellular conversion of proBDNF to mature BDNF. Defects in these mechanisms contribute differentially to cognitive dysfunction and anxiety-like behaviors. Here we review recent studies, presented at a symposium at Neuroscience 2009, that describe regulatory mechanisms that permit rapid and dynamic refinement of BDNF actions in neurons.

  4. Biological colloid engineering: Self-assembly of dipolar ferromagnetic chains in a functionalized biogenic ferrofluid.

    PubMed

    Ruder, Warren C; Hsu, Chia-Pei D; Edelman, Brent D; Schwartz, Russell; Leduc, Philip R

    2012-08-06

    We have studied the dynamic behavior of nanoparticles in ferrofluids consisting of single-domain, biogenic magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) isolated from Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum (MS-1). Although dipolar chains form in magnetic colloids in zero applied field, when dried upon substrates, the solvent front disorders nanoparticle aggregation. Using avidin-biotin functionalization of the particles and substrate, we generated self-assembled, linear chain motifs that resist solvent front disruption in zero-field. The engineered self-assembly process we describe here provides an approach for the creation of ordered magnetic structures that could impact fields ranging from micro-electro-mechanical systems development to magnetic imaging of biological structures.

  5. Experimental approaches for addressing fundamental biological questions in living, functioning cells with single molecule precision.

    PubMed

    Lenn, Tchern; Leake, Mark C

    2012-06-01

    In recent years, single molecule experimentation has allowed researchers to observe biological processes at the sensitivity level of single molecules in actual functioning, living cells, thereby allowing us to observe the molecular basis of the key mechanistic processes in question in a very direct way, rather than inferring these from ensemble average data gained from traditional molecular and biochemical techniques. In this short review, we demonstrate the impact that the application of single molecule bioscience experimentation has had on our understanding of various cellular systems and processes, and the potential that this approach has for the future to really address very challenging and fundamental questions in the life sciences.

  6. Late-stage functionalization of biologically active heterocycles through photoredox catalysis.

    PubMed

    Dirocco, Daniel A; Dykstra, Kevin; Krska, Shane; Vachal, Petr; Conway, Donald V; Tudge, Matthew

    2014-05-05

    The direct CH functionalization of heterocycles has become an increasingly valuable tool in modern drug discovery. However, the introduction of small alkyl groups, such as methyl, by this method has not been realized in the context of complex molecule synthesis since existing methods rely on the use of strong oxidants and elevated temperatures to generate the requisite radical species. Herein, we report the use of stable organic peroxides activated by visible-light photoredox catalysis to achieve the direct methyl-, ethyl-, and cyclopropylation of a variety of biologically active heterocycles. The simple protocol, mild reaction conditions, and unique tolerability of this method make it an important tool for drug discovery.

  7. RNA systems biology: uniting functional discoveries and structural tools to understand global roles of RNAs.

    PubMed

    Strobel, Eric J; Watters, Kyle E; Loughrey, David; Lucks, Julius B

    2016-06-01

    RNAs assume sophisticated structures that are active in myriad cellular processes. In this review, we highlight newly identified ribozymes, riboswitches, and small RNAs, some of which control the function of cellular metabolic and gene expression networks. We then examine recent developments in genome-wide RNA structure probing technologies that are yielding new insights into the structural landscape of the transcriptome. Finally, we discuss how these RNA 'structomic' methods can address emerging questions in RNA systems biology, from the mechanisms behind long non-coding RNAs to new bases for human diseases.

  8. Functional Knowledge Transfer for High-accuracy Prediction of Under-studied Biological Processes

    PubMed Central

    Rowland, Jessica; Guan, Yuanfang; Bongo, Lars A.; Burdine, Rebecca D.; Troyanskaya, Olga G.

    2013-01-01

    A key challenge in genetics is identifying the functional roles of genes in pathways. Numerous functional genomics techniques (e.g. machine learning) that predict protein function have been developed to address this question. These methods generally build from existing annotations of genes to pathways and thus are often unable to identify additional genes participating in processes that are not already well studied. Many of these processes are well studied in some organism, but not necessarily in an investigator's organism of interest. Sequence-based search methods (e.g. BLAST) have been used to transfer such annotation information between organisms. We demonstrate that functional genomics can complement traditional sequence similarity to improve the transfer of gene annotations between organisms. Our method transfers annotations only when functionally appropriate as determined by genomic data and can be used with any prediction algorithm to combine transferred gene function knowledge with organism-specific high-throughput data to enable accurate function prediction. We show that diverse state-of-art machine learning algorithms leveraging functional knowledge transfer (FKT) dramatically improve their accuracy in predicting gene-pathway membership, particularly for processes with little experimental knowledge in an organism. We also show that our method compares favorably to annotation transfer by sequence similarity. Next, we deploy FKT with state-of-the-art SVM classifier to predict novel genes to 11,000 biological processes across six diverse organisms and expand the coverage of accurate function predictions to processes that are often ignored because of a dearth of annotated genes in an organism. Finally, we perform in vivo experimental investigation in Danio rerio and confirm the regulatory role of our top predicted novel gene, wnt5b, in leftward cell migration during heart development. FKT is immediately applicable to many bioinformatics techniques and will

  9. Role of Heat-Shock Proteins in Cellular Function and in the Biology of Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Tiwari, Shraddha; Thakur, Raman; Shankar, Jata

    2015-01-01

    Stress (biotic or abiotic) is an unfavourable condition for an organism including fungus. To overcome stress, organism expresses heat-shock proteins (Hsps) or chaperons to perform biological function. Hsps are involved in various routine biological processes such as transcription, translation and posttranslational modifications, protein folding, and aggregation and disaggregation of proteins. Thus, it is important to understand holistic role of Hsps in response to stress and other biological conditions in fungi. Hsp104, Hsp70, and Hsp40 are found predominant in replication and Hsp90 is found in transcriptional and posttranscriptional process. Hsp90 and Hsp70 in combination or alone play a major role in morphogenesis and dimorphism. Heat stress in fungi expresses Hsp60, Hsp90, Hsp104, Hsp30, and Hsp10 proteins, whereas expression of Hsp12 protein was observed in response to cold stress. Hsp30, Hsp70, and Hsp90 proteins showed expression in response to pH stress. Osmotic stress is controlled by small heat-shock proteins and Hsp60. Expression of Hsp104 is observed under high pressure conditions. Out of these heat-shock proteins, Hsp90 has been predicted as a potential antifungal target due to its role in morphogenesis. Thus, current review focuses on role of Hsps in fungi during morphogenesis and various stress conditions (temperature, pH, and osmotic pressure) and in antifungal drug tolerance. PMID:26881084

  10. The origin of neutron biological effectiveness as a function of energy

    PubMed Central

    Baiocco, G.; Barbieri, S.; Babini, G.; Morini, J.; Alloni, D.; Friedland, W.; Kundrát, P.; Schmitt, E.; Puchalska, M.; Sihver, L.; Ottolenghi, A.

    2016-01-01

    The understanding of the impact of radiation quality in early and late responses of biological targets to ionizing radiation exposure necessarily grounds on the results of mechanistic studies starting from physical interactions. This is particularly true when, already at the physical stage, the radiation field is mixed, as it is the case for neutron exposure. Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) is energy dependent, maximal for energies ~1 MeV, varying significantly among different experiments. The aim of this work is to shed light on neutron biological effectiveness as a function of field characteristics, with a comprehensive modeling approach: this brings together transport calculations of neutrons through matter (with the code PHITS) and the predictive power of the biophysical track structure code PARTRAC in terms of DNA damage evaluation. Two different energy dependent neutron RBE models are proposed: the first is phenomenological and based only on the characterization of linear energy transfer on a microscopic scale; the second is purely ab-initio and based on the induction of complex DNA damage. Results for the two models are compared and found in good qualitative agreement with current standards for radiation protection factors, which are agreed upon on the basis of RBE data. PMID:27654349

  11. The origin of neutron biological effectiveness as a function of energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baiocco, G.; Barbieri, S.; Babini, G.; Morini, J.; Alloni, D.; Friedland, W.; Kundrát, P.; Schmitt, E.; Puchalska, M.; Sihver, L.; Ottolenghi, A.

    2016-09-01

    The understanding of the impact of radiation quality in early and late responses of biological targets to ionizing radiation exposure necessarily grounds on the results of mechanistic studies starting from physical interactions. This is particularly true when, already at the physical stage, the radiation field is mixed, as it is the case for neutron exposure. Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) is energy dependent, maximal for energies ~1 MeV, varying significantly among different experiments. The aim of this work is to shed light on neutron biological effectiveness as a function of field characteristics, with a comprehensive modeling approach: this brings together transport calculations of neutrons through matter (with the code PHITS) and the predictive power of the biophysical track structure code PARTRAC in terms of DNA damage evaluation. Two different energy dependent neutron RBE models are proposed: the first is phenomenological and based only on the characterization of linear energy transfer on a microscopic scale; the second is purely ab-initio and based on the induction of complex DNA damage. Results for the two models are compared and found in good qualitative agreement with current standards for radiation protection factors, which are agreed upon on the basis of RBE data.

  12. [Plasma antioxidant activity--a test for impaired biological functions of endoecology, exotrophy, and inflammation reactions].

    PubMed

    Titov, V N; Krylin, V V; Dmitriev, V A; Iashin, Ia I

    2010-07-01

    The authors discuss the diagnostic value of a test for total serum antioxidant activity determined by an electrochemistry method on a liquid chromatograph (without a column), by using an amperometric detector, as well as the composition of the endogenously synthesized hydrophilic and hydrophobic acceptors of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Uric acid is a major hydrophilic acceptor of ROS; monoenic oleic fatty acid acts as its major lipophilic acceptor. The constant determined by the authors for of 03 oleic acid oxidation during automatic titration in the organic medium is an order of magnitude higher than that for alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene and linoleic fatty acid; its concentration is also an order of magnitude higher. In oxidative stress, the adrenal steroid hormone dehydroepiandrosterone initiates oleic acid synthesis via expression of palmitoyl elongase and steatoryl desaturase. In early steps of phylogenesis in primates, spontaneous mutation resulted in ascorbic acid synthesis gene knockout; phylogenetically, further other mutation knocked out the gene encoding the synthesis of uricase and the conversion of uric acid to alantoin. In primates, uric acid became not only a catabolite of purine bases in vivo, but also the major endogenous hydrophilic acceptor of ROS. This philogenetic order makes it clear why the epithelium in the proximal nephron tubule entirely reabsorbs uric acid (a catabolite?) from primary urine and then secretes it again to urine depending on the impairment of biological functions of endoecology (the intercellular medium being contaminated with biological rubbish), the activation of a biological inflammatory reaction, the cellular production of ROS, and the reduction in serum total antioxidant activity. With each biological reaction, there was an increase in the blood content of uric acid as a hydrophilic acceptor of ROS, by actively lowering its secretion into urine. Uric acid is a diagnostic test of inflammation, or rather compensatory

  13. LGL: creating a map of protein function with an algorithm for visualizing very large biological networks.

    PubMed

    Adai, Alex T; Date, Shailesh V; Wieland, Shannon; Marcotte, Edward M

    2004-06-25

    Networks are proving to be central to the study of gene function, protein-protein interaction, and biochemical pathway data. Visualization of networks is important for their study, but visualization tools are often inadequate for working with very large biological networks. Here, we present an algorithm, called large graph layout (LGL), which can be used to dynamically visualize large networks on the order of hundreds of thousands of vertices and millions of edges. LGL applies a force-directed iterative layout guided by a minimal spanning tree of the network in order to generate coordinates for the vertices in two or three dimensions, which are subsequently visualized and interactively navigated with companion programs. We demonstrate the use of LGL in visualizing an extensive protein map summarizing the results of approximately 21 billion sequence comparisons between 145579 proteins from 50 genomes. Proteins are positioned in the map according to sequence homology and gene fusions, with the map ultimately serving as a theoretical framework that integrates inferences about gene function derived from sequence homology, remote homology, gene fusions, and higher-order fusions. We confirm that protein neighbors in the resulting map are functionally related, and that distinct map regions correspond to distinct cellular systems, enabling a computational strategy for discovering proteins' functions on the basis of the proteins' map positions. Using the map produced by LGL, we infer general functions for 23 uncharacterized protein families.

  14. Automated methods of predicting the function of biological sequences using GO and BLAST

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Craig E; Baumann, Ute; Brown, Alfred L

    2005-01-01

    Background With the exponential increase in genomic sequence data there is a need to develop automated approaches to deducing the biological functions of novel sequences with high accuracy. Our aim is to demonstrate how accuracy benchmarking can be used in a decision-making process evaluating competing designs of biological function predictors. We utilise the Gene Ontology, GO, a directed acyclic graph of functional terms, to annotate sequences with functional information describing their biological context. Initially we examine the effect on accuracy scores of increasing the allowed distance between predicted and a test set of curator assigned terms. Next we evaluate several annotator methods using accuracy benchmarking. Given an unannotated sequence we use the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, BLAST, to find similar sequences that have already been assigned GO terms by curators. A number of methods were developed that utilise terms associated with the best five matching sequences. These methods were compared against a benchmark method of simply using terms associated with the best BLAST-matched sequence (best BLAST approach). Results The precision and recall of estimates increases rapidly as the amount of distance permitted between a predicted term and a correct term assignment increases. Accuracy benchmarking allows a comparison of annotation methods. A covering graph approach performs poorly, except where the term assignment rate is high. A term distance concordance approach has a similar accuracy to the best BLAST approach, demonstrating lower precision but higher recall. However, a discriminant function method has higher precision and recall than the best BLAST approach and other methods shown here. Conclusion Allowing term predictions to be counted correct if closely related to a correct term decreases the reliability of the accuracy score. As such we recommend using accuracy measures that require exact matching of predicted terms with curator assigned

  15. Optimization of polysaccharides extraction from watermelon rinds: Structure, functional and biological activities.

    PubMed

    Romdhane, Molka Ben; Haddar, Anissa; Ghazala, Imen; Jeddou, Khawla Ben; Helbert, Claire Boisset; Ellouz-Chaabouni, Semia

    2017-02-01

    In the present work, optimization of hot water extraction, structural characteristics, functional properties, and biological activities of polysaccharides extracted from watermelon rinds (WMRP) were investigated. The physicochemical characteristics and the monosaccharide composition of these polysaccharides were then determined using chemical composition analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID). SEM images showed that extracted polysaccharides had a rough surface with many cavities. GC-FID results proved that galactose was the dominant sugar in the extracted polysaccharides, followed by arabinose, glucose, galacturonic acid, rhamnose, mannose, xylose and traces of glucuronic acid. The findings revealed that WMRP displayed excellent antihypertensive and antioxidant activities. Those polysaccharides had also a protection effect against hydroxyl radical-induced DNA damage. Functional properties of extracted polysaccharides were also evaluated. WMRP showed good interfacial dose-dependent proprieties. Overall, the results suggested that WMRP presents a promising natural source of antioxidants and antihypertensive agents.

  16. Enzymes for ecdysteroid biosynthesis: their biological functions in insects and beyond.

    PubMed

    Niwa, Ryusuke; Niwa, Yuko S

    2014-01-01

    Steroid hormones are responsible for the coordinated regulation of many aspects of biological processes in multicellular organisms. Since the last century, many studies have identified and characterized steroidogenic enzymes in vertebrates, including mammals. However, much less is known about invertebrate steroidogenic enzymes. In the last 15 years, a number of steroidogenic enzymes and their functions have been characterized in ecdysozoan animals, especially in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In this review, we summarize the latest knowledge of enzymes crucial for synthesizing ecdysteroids, the principal insect steroid hormones. We also discuss the functional conservation and diversity of ecdysteroidogenic enzymes in other insects and even non-insect species, such as nematodes, vertebrates, and lower eukaryotes.

  17. Importance of N-glycosylation on CD147 for its biological functions.

    PubMed

    Bai, Yang; Huang, Wan; Ma, Li-Tian; Jiang, Jian-Li; Chen, Zhi-Nan

    2014-04-15

    Glycosylation of glycoproteins is one of many molecular changes that accompany malignant transformation. Post-translational modifications of proteins are closely associated with the adhesion, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. CD147, a tumor-associated antigen that is highly expressed on the cell surface of various tumors, is a potential target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A significant biochemical property of CD147 is its high level of glycosylation. Studies on the structure and function of CD147 glycosylation provide valuable clues to the development of targeted therapies for cancer. Here, we review current understanding of the glycosylation characteristics of CD147 and the glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of CD147 N-glycans. Finally, we discuss proteins regulating CD147 glycosylation and the biological functions of CD147 glycosylation.

  18. Biological Sensitivity to Family Income: Differential Effects on Early Executive Functioning.

    PubMed

    Obradović, Jelena; Portilla, Ximena A; Ballard, Parissa J

    2016-01-01

    The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context. In contrast, family income was not related to EF skills in children who displayed low cortisol response. Follow-up analyses revealed a disordinal interaction, suggesting that differential susceptibility can be detected at the level of basic cognitive and self-regulatory skills that support adaptive functioning.

  19. Biological Variation in Skin Barrier Function: From A (Atopic Dermatitis) to X (Xerosis).

    PubMed

    Danby, Simon G

    2016-01-01

    The skin barrier, formed by the stratum corneum, envelops our bodies and provides an essential protective function. However, this barrier function differs between individuals due to biological variation. This variation arises as a result of inherited genetic variants, negative environmental or extrinsic factors, and age. A multitude of genetic changes determine a person's predisposition to a skin barrier defect and consequently their risk of developing a dry skin condition, such as atopic dermatitis. Extrinsic factors, including the weather and detrimental skin care practices, interact with these genetic changes to determine the severity of the defect and additively increase the risk of developing dry skin conditions. How these dry skin conditions present clinically, and how they persist and progress depends very much on a person's age. Understanding how the skin barrier varies between individuals, how it differs based on clinical presentation, and how it alters with age is important in developing optimum therapies to maintain healthy skin that provides the best protection.

  20. Merger of Ayurveda and Tissue Culture-Based Functional Genomics: Inspirations from Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Deocaris, Custer C; Widodo, Nashi; Wadhwa, Renu; Kaul, Sunil C

    2008-01-01

    Ayurveda is one of the ancient systems of health care of Indian origin. Roughly translated into "Knowledge of life", it is based on the use of natural herbs and herb products for therapeutic measures to boost physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony and improve quality of life. Although sheltered with long history and high trust, ayurveda principles have not entered laboratories and only a handful of studies have identified pure components and molecular pathways for its life-enhancing effects. In the post-genomic era, genome-wide functional screenings for targets for diseases is the most recent and practical approach. We illustrate here the merger of ayurveda and functional genomics in a systems biology scenario that reveals the pathway analysis of crude and active components and inspire ayurveda practice for health benefits, disease prevention and therapeutics. PMID:18348714

  1. Quantitative bioassays for measuring biologically functional gonadotropins based on eel gonadotropic receptors.

    PubMed

    Minegishi, Y; Dirks, R P; de Wijze, D L; Brittijn, S A; Burgerhout, E; Spaink, H P; van den Thillart, G E E J M

    2012-08-01

    Significant declines in eel stocks have been noted in many parts of the world. Because eel aquaculture is dependent on wild-caught juveniles, there is a need to achieve artificial reproduction. Adult eel maturation is currently induced by repeated injections of purified gonadotropin (human chorionic gonadotropin [hCG]) or pituitary extract. Thus the determination of the biological efficacy and quantification of internal levels of gonadotropic hormones is important for optimizing artificial reproduction protocols. To quantify the plasma levels of biologically functional gonadotropic hormones, we developed a bioassay for luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) based on the stable expression of receptors in HEK293 cells of the Japanese eel Anguilla japonica LH (ajLHR) and the European eel Anguilla anguilla FSH (aaFSHR), respectively. Such cells also contain a firefly luciferase reporter gene driven by a cAMP-responsive element (CRE-Luc). We found that the obtained stable cells, with ajLHR, responded linearly to a more than 100,000-fold concentration range of hCG diluted in saline. The cells with aaFSHR showed a linear response to a 1000-fold concentration range of salmon pituitary extract mixed with saline. The biological functionality of the LH and FSH bioassays was validated using hCG, human FSH, and pituitary extracts from salmon, carp and eel. Since the toxins in eel plasma damaged the HEK293 cells, the protocol was adapted to selectively inactivate the toxins by heating at 37°C for 24h. This process successfully enabled the monitoring of hormone levels in blood plasma sampled from hCG-injected eels. In this paper, we describe the development of gonadotropin bioassays that will be useful for improving reproduction protocols in eel aquaculture.

  2. Differential function of lip residues in the mechanism and biology of an anthrax hemophore.

    PubMed

    Ekworomadu, MarCia T; Poor, Catherine B; Owens, Cedric P; Balderas, Miriam A; Fabian, Marian; Olson, John S; Murphy, Frank; Bakkalbasi, Erol; Balkabasi, Erol; Honsa, Erin S; He, Chuan; Goulding, Celia W; Maresso, Anthony W

    2012-01-01

    To replicate in mammalian hosts, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron. The majority of iron is coordinated to the protoporphyrin ring of heme, which is further bound to hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria utilize secreted hemophores to acquire heme from heme sources such as hemoglobin. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, secretes two hemophores, IsdX1 and IsdX2, to acquire heme from host hemoglobin and enhance bacterial replication in iron-starved environments. Both proteins contain NEAr-iron Transporter (NEAT) domains, a conserved protein module that functions in heme acquisition in Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we report the structure of IsdX1, the first of a Gram-positive hemophore, with and without bound heme. Overall, IsdX1 forms an immunoglobin-like fold that contains, similar to other NEAT proteins, a 3(10)-helix near the heme-binding site. Because the mechanistic function of this helix in NEAT proteins is not yet defined, we focused on the contribution of this region to hemophore and NEAT protein activity, both biochemically and biologically in cultured cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and adjacent to the helix identified residues important for heme and hemoglobin association, with some mutations affecting both properties and other mutations affecting only heme stabilization. IsdX1 with mutations that reduced the ability to associate with hemoglobin and bind heme failed to restore the growth of a hemophore-deficient strain of B. anthracis on hemoglobin as the sole iron source. These data indicate that not only is the 3(10)-helix important for NEAT protein biology, but also that the processes of hemoglobin and heme binding can be both separate as well as coupled, the latter function being necessary for maximal heme-scavenging activity. These studies enhance our understanding of NEAT domain and hemophore function and set the stage for structure-based inhibitor design to block NEAT domain interaction with upstream

  3. Differential Function of Lip Residues in the Mechanism and Biology of an Anthrax Hemophore

    SciTech Connect

    Ekworomadu, MarCia T.; Poor, Catherine B.; Owens, Cedric P.; Balderas, Miriam A.; Fabian, Marian; Olson, John S.; Murphy, Frank; Balkabasi, Erol; Honsa, Erin S.; He, Chuan; Goulding, Celia W.; Maresso, Anthony W.

    2014-10-02

    To replicate in mammalian hosts, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron. The majority of iron is coordinated to the protoporphyrin ring of heme, which is further bound to hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria utilize secreted hemophores to acquire heme from heme sources such as hemoglobin. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, secretes two hemophores, IsdX1 and IsdX2, to acquire heme from host hemoglobin and enhance bacterial replication in iron-starved environments. Both proteins contain NEAr-iron Transporter (NEAT) domains, a conserved protein module that functions in heme acquisition in Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we report the structure of IsdX1, the first of a Gram-positive hemophore, with and without bound heme. Overall, IsdX1 forms an immunoglobin-like fold that contains, similar to other NEAT proteins, a 3{sub 10}-helix near the heme-binding site. Because the mechanistic function of this helix in NEAT proteins is not yet defined, we focused on the contribution of this region to hemophore and NEAT protein activity, both biochemically and biologically in cultured cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and adjacent to the helix identified residues important for heme and hemoglobin association, with some mutations affecting both properties and other mutations affecting only heme stabilization. IsdX1 with mutations that reduced the ability to associate with hemoglobin and bind heme failed to restore the growth of a hemophore-deficient strain of B. anthracis on hemoglobin as the sole iron source. These data indicate that not only is the 3{sub 10}-helix important for NEAT protein biology, but also that the processes of hemoglobin and heme binding can be both separate as well as coupled, the latter function being necessary for maximal heme-scavenging activity. These studies enhance our understanding of NEAT domain and hemophore function and set the stage for structure-based inhibitor design to block NEAT domain interaction with

  4. Histopathology of Growth Anomaly Affecting the Coral, Montipora capitata: Implications on Biological Functions and Population Viability

    PubMed Central

    Burns, John H. R.; Takabayashi, Misaki

    2011-01-01

    Growth anomalies (GAs) affect the coral, Montipora capitata, at Wai'ōpae, southeast Hawai'i Island. Our histopathological analysis of this disease revealed that the GA tissue undergoes changes which compromise anatomical machinery for biological functions such as defense, feeding, digestion, and reproduction. GA tissue exhibited significant reductions in density of ova (66.1–93.7%), symbiotic dinoflagellates (38.8–67.5%), mesenterial filaments (11.2–29.0%), and nematocytes (28.8–46.0%). Hyperplasia of the basal body wall but no abnormal levels of necrosis and algal or fungal invasion was found in GA tissue. Skeletal density along the basal body wall was significantly reduced in GAs compared to healthy or unaffected sections. The reductions in density of the above histological features in GA tissue were collated with disease severity data to quantify the impact of this disease at the colony and population level. Resulting calculations showed this disease reduces the fecundity of M. capitata colonies at Wai'ōpae by 0.7–49.6%, depending on GA severity, and the overall population fecundity by 2.41±0.29%. In sum, GA in this M. capitata population reduces the coral's critical biological functions and increases susceptibility to erosion, clearly defining itself as a disease and an ecological threat. PMID:22205976

  5. Strategies for the chemical and biological functionalization of scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering: a review

    PubMed Central

    Tallawi, Marwa; Rosellini, Elisabetta; Barbani, Niccoletta; Cascone, Maria Grazia; Rai, Ranjana; Saint-Pierre, Guillaume; Boccaccini, Aldo R.

    2015-01-01

    The development of biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) is challenging, primarily owing to the requirement of achieving a surface with favourable characteristics that enhances cell attachment and maturation. The biomaterial surface plays a crucial role as it forms the interface between the scaffold (or cardiac patch) and the cells. In the field of CTE, synthetic polymers (polyglycerol sebacate, polyethylene glycol, polyglycolic acid, poly-l-lactide, polyvinyl alcohol, polycaprolactone, polyurethanes and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)) have been proven to exhibit suitable biodegradable and mechanical properties. Despite the fact that they show the required biocompatible behaviour, most synthetic polymers exhibit poor cell attachment capability. These synthetic polymers are mostly hydrophobic and lack cell recognition sites, limiting their application. Therefore, biofunctionalization of these biomaterials to enhance cell attachment and cell material interaction is being widely investigated. There are numerous approaches for functionalizing a material, which can be classified as mechanical, physical, chemical and biological. In this review, recent studies reported in the literature to functionalize scaffolds in the context of CTE, are discussed. Surface, morphological, chemical and biological modifications are introduced and the results of novel promising strategies and techniques are discussed. PMID:26109634

  6. Strategies for the chemical and biological functionalization of scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering: a review.

    PubMed

    Tallawi, Marwa; Rosellini, Elisabetta; Barbani, Niccoletta; Cascone, Maria Grazia; Rai, Ranjana; Saint-Pierre, Guillaume; Boccaccini, Aldo R

    2015-07-06

    The development of biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) is challenging, primarily owing to the requirement of achieving a surface with favourable characteristics that enhances cell attachment and maturation. The biomaterial surface plays a crucial role as it forms the interface between the scaffold (or cardiac patch) and the cells. In the field of CTE, synthetic polymers (polyglycerol sebacate, polyethylene glycol, polyglycolic acid, poly-l-lactide, polyvinyl alcohol, polycaprolactone, polyurethanes and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)) have been proven to exhibit suitable biodegradable and mechanical properties. Despite the fact that they show the required biocompatible behaviour, most synthetic polymers exhibit poor cell attachment capability. These synthetic polymers are mostly hydrophobic and lack cell recognition sites, limiting their application. Therefore, biofunctionalization of these biomaterials to enhance cell attachment and cell material interaction is being widely investigated. There are numerous approaches for functionalizing a material, which can be classified as mechanical, physical, chemical and biological. In this review, recent studies reported in the literature to functionalize scaffolds in the context of CTE, are discussed. Surface, morphological, chemical and biological modifications are introduced and the results of novel promising strategies and techniques are discussed.

  7. Biology of bone and how it orchestrates the form and function of the skeleton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sommerfeldt, D. W.; Rubin, C. T.

    2001-01-01

    The principal role of the skeleton is to provide structural support for the body. While the skeleton also serves as the body's mineral reservoir, the mineralized structure is the very basis of posture, opposes muscular contraction resulting in motion, withstands functional load bearing, and protects internal organs. Although the mass and morphology of the skeleton is defined, to some extent, by genetic determinants, it is the tissue's ability to remodel--the local resorption and formation of bone--which is responsible for achieving this intricate balance between competing responsibilities. The aim of this review is to address bone's form-function relationship, beginning with extensive research in the musculoskeletal disciplines, and focusing on several recent cellular and molecular discoveries which help understand the complex interdependence of bone cells, growth factors, physical stimuli, metabolic demands, and structural responsibilities. With a clinical and spine-oriented audience in mind, the principles of bone cell and molecular biology and physiology are presented, and an attempt has been made to incorporate epidemiologic data and therapeutic implications. Bone research remains interdisciplinary by nature, and a deeper understanding of bone biology will ultimately lead to advances in the treatment of diseases and injuries to bone itself.

  8. What will result from the interaction between functional and evolutionary biology?

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2011-03-01

    The modern synthesis has been considered to be wrongly called a "synthesis", since it had completely excluded embryology, and many other disciplines. The recent developments of Evo-Devo have been seen as a step in the right direction, as complementing the modern synthesis, and probably leading to a "new synthesis". My argument is that the absence of embryology from the modern synthesis was the visible sign of a more profound lack: the absence of functional biology in the evolutionary synthesis. I will consider the reasons for this absence, as well as the recent transformations which favoured a closer interaction between these two branches of biology. Then I will describe two examples of recent work in which functional and evolutionary questioning were tightly linked. The most significant part of the paper will be devoted to the transformation of evolutionary theory that can be expected from this encounter: a deep transformation, or simply an experimental confirmation of this theory? I will not choose between these two different possibilities, but will discuss some of the difficulties which make the choice problematic.

  9. A bottom-up characterization of transfer functions for synthetic biology designs: lessons from enzymology.

    PubMed

    Carbonell-Ballestero, Max; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Montañez, Raúl; Solé, Ricard; Macía, Javier; Rodríguez-Caso, Carlos

    2014-12-16

    Within the field of synthetic biology, a rational design of genetic parts should include a causal understanding of their input-output responses-the so-called transfer function-and how to tune them. However, a commonly adopted strategy is to fit data to Hill-shaped curves without considering the underlying molecular mechanisms. Here we provide a novel mathematical formalization that allows prediction of the global behavior of a synthetic device by considering the actual information from the involved biological parts. This is achieved by adopting an enzymology-like framework, where transfer functions are described in terms of their input affinity constant and maximal response. As a proof of concept, we characterize a set of Lux homoserine-lactone-inducible genetic devices with different levels of Lux receptor and signal molecule. Our model fits the experimental results and predicts the impact of the receptor's ribosome-binding site strength, as a tunable parameter that affects gene expression. The evolutionary implications are outlined.

  10. The clinical significance and biological function of olfactomedin 4 in triple negative breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Bin; Lei, Xuefeng; Zhang, Lei; Fu, Jia

    2017-02-01

    Olfactomedin 4 abnormal expression has been observed in several types of human cancer, but the status of olfactomedin 4 in triple negative breast cancer is still unknown. The aim of our study is to explore the clinical significance and biological function of olfactomedin 4 in triple negative breast cancer. The mRNA and protein expression of olfactomedin 4 in triple negative breast cancer tissues and cell lines was detected, and the correlation between olfactomedin 4 expression and clinicopathological factors was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. The biological function of olfactomedin 4 on tumor-metastasis was explored by Transwell migration assay and invasion assay in vitro. In our results, olfactomedin 4 mRNA and protein expression is decreased in triple-negative breast cancer tissues and cell lines. Olfactomedin 4 protein low-expression associated with lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, clinical stage and poor prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer patients. Up-regulation of olfactomedin 4 suppresseed triple-negative breast cancer cells migration and invasion, and reduced cell metastasis-associated protein MMP 9 expression. In conclusion, olfactomedin 4 is a novel biomarker of triple-negative breast cancer for predicting prognosis and developing targeted molecular therapies.

  11. Biological adaptations for functional features of language in the face of cultural evolution.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Morten H; Reali, Florencia; Chater, Nick

    2011-04-01

    Although there may be no true language universals, it is nonetheless possible to discern several family resemblance patterns across the languages of the world. Recent work on the cultural evolution of language indicates the source of these patterns is unlikely to be an innate universal grammar evolved through biological adaptations for arbitrary linguistic features. Instead, it has been suggested that the patterns of resemblance emerge because language has been shaped by the brain, with individual languages representing different but partially overlapping solutions to the same set of nonlinguistic constraints. Here, we use computational simulations to investigate whether biological adaptation for functional features of language, deriving from cognitive and communicative constraints, may nonetheless be possible alongside rapid cultural evolution. Specifically, we focus on the Baldwin effect as an evolutionary mechanism by which previously learned linguistic features might become innate through natural selection across many generations of language users. The results indicate that cultural evolution of language does not necessarily prevent functional features of language from becoming genetically fixed, thus potentially providing a particularly informative source of constraints on cross-linguistic resemblance patterns.

  12. Biological functions of mammalian Nit1, the counterpart of the invertebrate NitFhit Rosetta stone protein, a possible tumor suppressor.

    PubMed

    Semba, Shuho; Han, Shuang-Yin; Qin, Haiyan R; McCorkell, Kelly A; Iliopoulos, Dimitrios; Pekarsky, Yuri; Druck, Teresa; Trapasso, Francesco; Croce, Carlo M; Huebner, Kay

    2006-09-22

    The "Rosetta Stone" hypothesis proposes that the existence of a fusion protein in some organisms predicts that the separate polypeptides function in the same biochemical pathway in other organisms and may physically interact. In Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, NitFhit protein is composed of two domains, a fragile histidine triad homolog and a bacterial and plant nitrilase homolog. We assessed the biological effects of mammalian Nit1 expression in comparison with Fhit and observed that: 1) Nit1 expression was observed in most normal tissues and overlapped partially with Fhit expression; 2) Nit1-deficient mouse kidney cells exhibited accelerated proliferation, resistance to DNA damage stress, and increased cyclin D1 expression; 3) cyclin D1 was up-regulated in Nit1 null mammary gland and skin; 4) Nit1 overexpression induced caspase-dependent apoptosis in vitro; and 5) Nit1 allele deficiency led to increased incidence of N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced murine forestomach tumors. Thus, the biological effects of Nit1 expression are similar to Fhit effects. Adenoviruses carrying recombinant NIT1 and FHIT induced apoptosis in Fhit- and Nit1-deficient cells, respectively, suggesting that Nit1-Fhit interaction is not essential for function of either protein. The results suggest that Nit1 and Fhit share tumor suppressor signaling pathways, while localization of the NIT1 gene at a stable, rather than fragile, chromosome site explains the paucity of gene alterations and in frequent loss of expression of the NIT1 gene in human malignancies.

  13. Functional Genomic Annotation of Genetic Risk Loci Highlights Inflammation and Epithelial Biology Networks in CKD

    PubMed Central

    Ledo, Nora; Ko, Yi-An; Park, Ae-Seo Deok; Kang, Hyun-Mi; Han, Sang-Youb; Choi, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified multiple loci associated with the risk of CKD. Almost all risk variants are localized to the noncoding region of the genome; therefore, the role of these variants in CKD development is largely unknown. We hypothesized that polymorphisms alter transcription factor binding, thereby influencing the expression of nearby genes. Here, we examined the regulation of transcripts in the vicinity of CKD-associated polymorphisms in control and diseased human kidney samples and used systems biology approaches to identify potentially causal genes for prioritization. We interrogated the expression and regulation of 226 transcripts in the vicinity of 44 single nucleotide polymorphisms using RNA sequencing and gene expression arrays from 95 microdissected control and diseased tubule samples and 51 glomerular samples. Gene expression analysis from 41 tubule samples served for external validation. 92 transcripts in the tubule compartment and 34 transcripts in glomeruli showed statistically significant correlation with eGFR. Many novel genes, including ACSM2A/2B, FAM47E, and PLXDC1, were identified. We observed that the expression of multiple genes in the vicinity of any single CKD risk allele correlated with renal function, potentially indicating that genetic variants influence multiple transcripts. Network analysis of GFR-correlating transcripts highlighted two major clusters; a positive correlation with epithelial and vascular functions and an inverse correlation with inflammatory gene cluster. In summary, our functional genomics analysis highlighted novel genes and critical pathways associated with kidney function for future analysis. PMID:25231882

  14. Function, therapeutic potential and cell biology of BACE proteases: current status and future prospects

    PubMed Central

    Vassar, Robert; Kuhn, Peer-Hendrik; Haass, Christian; Kennedy, Matthew E.; Rajendran, Lawrence; Wong, Philip C.; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F.

    2014-01-01

    The β-site APP cleaving enzymes 1 and 2 (BACE1 and BACE2) were initially identified as transmembrane aspartyl proteases cleaving the amyloid precursor protein (APP). BACE1 is a major drug target for Alzheimer’s disease because BACE1-mediated cleavage of APP is the first step in the generation of the pathogenic amyloid-β peptides. BACE1, which is highly expressed in the nervous system, is also required for myelination by cleaving neuregulin 1. Several recent proteomic and in vivo studies usingBACE1-andBACE2-deficient mice demonstrate a much wider range of physiological substrates and functions for both proteases within and outside of the nervous system. For BACE1 this includes axon guidance, neurogenesis, muscle spindle formation, and neuronal network functions, whereas BACE2 was shown to be involved in pigmentation and pancreatic β-cell function. This review highlights the recent progress in understanding cell biology, substrates, and functions of BACE proteases and discusses the therapeutic options and potential mechanism-based liabilities, in particular for BACE inhibitors in Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:24646365

  15. Folded DNA in Action: Hairpin Formation and Biological Functions in Prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Bikard, David; Loot, Céline; Baharoglu, Zeynep; Mazel, Didier

    2010-01-01

    Summary: Structured forms of DNA with intrastrand pairing are generated in several cellular processes and are involved in biological functions. These structures may arise on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) produced during replication, bacterial conjugation, natural transformation, or viral infections. Furthermore, negatively supercoiled DNA can extrude inverted repeats as hairpins in structures called cruciforms. Whether they are on ssDNA or as cruciforms, hairpins can modify the access of proteins to DNA, and in some cases, they can be directly recognized by proteins. Folded DNAs have been found to play an important role in replication, transcription regulation, and recognition of the origins of transfer in conjugative elements. More recently, they were shown to be used as recombination sites. Many of these functions are found on mobile genetic elements likely to be single stranded, including viruses, plasmids, transposons, and integrons, thus giving some clues as to the manner in which they might have evolved. We review here, with special focus on prokaryotes, the functions in which DNA secondary structures play a role and the cellular processes giving rise to them. Finally, we attempt to shed light on the selective pressures leading to the acquisition of functions for DNA secondary structures. PMID:21119018

  16. How biological soil crusts became recognized as a functional unit: a selective history

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lange, Otto L.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    It is surprising that despite the world-wide distribution and general importance of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), scientific recognition and functional analysis of these communities is a relatively young field of science. In this chapter, we sketch the historical lines that led to the recognition of biocrusts as a community with important ecosystem functions. The idea of biocrusts as a functional ecological community has come from two main scientific branches: botany and soil science. For centuries, botanists have long recognized that multiple organisms colonize the soil surface in the open and often dry areas occurring between vascular plants. Much later, after the initial taxonomic and phyto-sociological descriptions were made, soil scientists and agronomists observed that these surface organisms interacted with soils in ways that changed the soil structure. In the 1970’s, research on these communities as ecological units that played an important functional role in drylands began in earnest, and these studies have continued to this day. Here, we trace the history of these studies from the distant past until 1990, when biocrusts became well-known to scientists and the public.

  17. [Effects of IFN-γ treatment on biological characteristics and functions of dendritic cells].

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanling; Wang, Hongmei; Yu, Yanrong; Yuan, Keng; Zhang, Yujuan; Min, Weiping

    2016-08-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of IFN-γ treatment on the biological characteristics and functions of C57BL/6 murine dendritic cells (DCs). Methods In the process of DC culture, 20 ng/mL IFN-γ was added in the DCs at the early (day 2) or late (day 5) stage, and on day 7, LPS was added to stimulate DC maturation. The expressions of DC surface molecules CD11c, CD80 and CD86 were determined by flow cytometry. To analyze cell functions, DCs were co-cultured with BALB/c mouse-derived lymphocyte cells. The 5, 6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate N-succinimidyl ester (CFSE) labelling was used to detect their ability to stimulate allogeneic lymphocyte proliferation and flow cytometry was used to measure their ability to induce the production of regulatory T cells (Tregs). Results Compared with the control group, the early IFN-γ treatment group had decreased DC number and inhibited cell differentiation; though there was no difference in the expression of co-stimulatory molecules, early IFN-γ treatment resisted the stimulatory effect of LPS on DC maturation, weakened the ability to stimulate allogeneic lymphocyte proliferation and enhanced the ability to induce more Tregs. Compared with the control group, the late IFN-γ treatment group showed no change in DC number and differentiation; the expressions of co-stimulatory molecules CD86 and CD80 were upregulated; the results of DC maturation and mixed allogeneic lymphocyte reaction stimulated by LPS were similar to those in the control group, but its ability to induce Tregs was stronger. Conclusion DCs treated with IFN-γ at early stage and those at late stage showed obvious difference in biological characteristics and functions.

  18. Multiscale modeling of biological functions: from enzymes to molecular machines (Nobel Lecture).

    PubMed

    Warshel, Arieh

    2014-09-15

    A detailed understanding of the action of biological molecules is a pre-requisite for rational advances in health sciences and related fields. Here, the challenge is to move from available structural information to a clear understanding of the underlying function of the system. In light of the complexity of macromolecular complexes, it is essential to use computer simulations to describe how the molecular forces are related to a given function. However, using a full and reliable quantum mechanical representation of large molecular systems has been practically impossible. The solution to this (and related) problems has emerged from the realization that large systems can be spatially divided into a region where the quantum mechanical description is essential (e.g. a region where bonds are being broken), with the remainder of the system being represented on a simpler level by empirical force fields. This idea has been particularly effective in the development of the combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) models. Here, the coupling between the electrostatic effects of the quantum and classical subsystems has been a key to the advances in describing the functions of enzymes and other biological molecules. The same idea of representing complex systems in different resolutions in both time and length scales has been found to be very useful in modeling the action of complex systems. In such cases, starting with coarse grained (CG) representations that were originally found to be very useful in simulating protein folding, and augmenting them with a focus on electrostatic energies, has led to models that are particularly effective in probing the action of molecular machines. The same multiscale idea is likely to play a major role in modeling of even more complex systems, including cells and collections of cells.

  19. Multiscale Modeling of Biological Functions: From Enzymes to Molecular Machines (Nobel Lecture)

    PubMed Central

    Warshel, Arieh

    2016-01-01

    Adetailed understanding of the action of biological molecules is a pre-requisite for rational advances in health sciences and related fields. Here, the challenge is to move from available structural information to a clear understanding of the underlying function of the system. In light of the complexity of macromolecular complexes, it is essential to use computer simulations to describe how the molecular forces are related to a given function. However, using a full and reliable quantum mechanical representation of large molecular systems has been practically impossible. The solution to this (and related) problems has emerged from the realization that large systems can be spatially divided into a region where the quantum mechanical description is essential (e.g. a region where bonds are being broken), with the remainder of the system being represented on a simpler level by empirical force fields. This idea has been particularly effective in the development of the combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) models. Here, the coupling between the electrostatic effects of the quantum and classical subsystems has been a key to the advances in describing the functions of enzymes and other biological molecules. The same idea of representing complex systems in different resolutions in both time and length scales has been found to be very useful in modeling the action of complex systems. In such cases, starting with coarse grained (CG) representations that were originally found to be very useful in simulating protein folding, and augmenting them with a focus on electrostatic energies, has led to models that are particularly effective in probing the action of molecular machines. The same multiscale idea is likely to play a major role in modeling of even more complex systems, including cells and collections of cells. PMID:25060243

  20. Structure, expression, and biological function of INSM1 transcription factor in neuroendocrine differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Michael S.; Breslin, Mary B.

    2009-01-01

    Zinc-finger transcription factors are DNA-binding proteins that are implicated in many diverse biological functions. INSM1 (formerly IA-1) contains five zinc-finger motifs and functions as a transcription factor. INSM1 protein structure is highly conserved in homologues of different species. It is predominantly expressed in developing neuroendocrine tissues and the nervous system in mammals. INSM1 represents an important player in early embryonic neurogenesis. In pancreatic endocrine cell differentiation, Ngn3 first activates INSM1 and subsequently NeuroD/β2. Conversely, INSM1 exerts a feedback mechanism to suppress NeuroD/β2 and its own gene expression. INSM1 gene ablation in the mouse results in the impairment of pancreatic endocrine cell maturation. Further, deletion of INSM1 severely impairs catecholamine biosynthesis and secretion from the adrenal gland that results in early embryonic lethality. Genetically, INSM1 acts as a downstream factor of Mash 1 and Phox2b in the differentiation of the sympatho-adrenal lineage. In the developing neocortex, mouse embryos lacking INSM1 expression contain half the number of basal progenitors and show a reduction in cortical plate radial thickness. Cell signaling studies reveal that INSM1 contributes to the induction of cell cycle arrest/exit necessary to facilitate cellular differentiation. INSM1 is highly expressed in tumors of neuroendocrine origin. Hence, its promoter could serve as a tumor-specific promoter that drives a specific targeted cancer gene therapy for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors. Taken together, all of these features of INSM1 strongly support its role as an important regulator during neuroendocrine differentiation.—Lan, M. S., Breslin, M. B. Structure, expression, and biological function of INSM1 transcription factor in neuroendocrine differentiation. PMID:19246490

  1. [The biological reaction of inflammation, methylglyoxal of blood plasma, functional and structural alterations in elastic type arteries at the early stage of hypertension disease].

    PubMed

    Titov, V N; Dmitriev, V A; Oshchepkov, E V; Balakhonova, T V; Tripoten', M I; Shiriaeva, Iu K

    2012-08-01

    The article deals with studying of the relationship between biologic reaction of inflammation with glycosylation reaction and content of methylglyoxal in blood serum. The positive correlation between pulse wave velocity and content of methylglyoxal, C-reactive protein in intercellular medium and malleolar brachial index value was established. This data matches the experimental results concerning involvement of biological reaction of inflammation into structural changes of elastic type arteries under hypertension disease, formation of arteries' rigidity and increase of pulse wave velocity. The arterial blood pressure is a biological reaction of hydrodynamic pressure which is used in vivo by several biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, function of endoecology, biological function of adaptation and function of locomotion. The biological reaction of hydrodynamic (hydraulic) pressure is a mode of compensation of derangement of several biological functions which results in the very high rate of hypertension disease in population. As a matter of fact, hypertension disease is a syndrome of lingering pathological compensation by higher arterial blood pressure of the biological functions derangements occurring in the distal section at the level of paracrine cenoses of cells. The arterial blood pressure is a kind of in vivo integral indicator of deranged metabolism. The essential hypertension disease pathogenically is a result of the derangement of three biological functions: biological function of homeostasis, biological function of trophology - nutrition (biological reaction of external feeding - exotrophia) and biological function of endoecology. In case of "littering" of intercellular medium in vivo with nonspecific endogenic flogogens a phylogenetically earlier activation of biological reactions of excretion, inflammation and hydrodynamic arterial blood pressure occur. In case of derangement of biological function of homeostasis, decreasing of

  2. In vitro characterization of HCN channel kinetics and frequency dependence in myocytes predicts biological pacemaker functionality

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xin; Bucchi, Annalisa; Oren, Ronit V; Kryukova, Yelena; Dun, Wen; Clancy, Colleen E; Robinson, Richard B

    2009-01-01

    The pacemaker current, mediated by hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, contributes to the initiation and regulation of cardiac rhythm. Previous experiments creating HCN-based biological pacemakers in vivo found that an engineered HCN2/HCN1 chimeric channel (HCN212) resulted in significantly faster rates than HCN2, interrupted by 1–5 s pauses. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the differences in HCN212 and HCN2 in vivo functionality as biological pacemakers, we studied newborn rat ventricular myocytes over-expressing either HCN2 or HCN212 channels. The HCN2- and HCN212-over-expressing myocytes manifest similar voltage dependence, current density and sensitivity to saturating cAMP concentrations, but HCN212 has faster activation/deactivation kinetics. Compared with HCN2, myocytes expressing HCN212 exhibit a faster spontaneous rate and greater incidence of irregular rhythms (i.e. periods of rapid spontaneous rate followed by pauses). To explore these rhythm differences further, we imposed consecutive pacing and found that activation kinetics of the two channels are slower at faster pacing frequencies. As a result, time-dependent HCN current flowing during diastole decreases for both constructs during a train of stimuli at a rapid frequency, with the effect more pronounced for HCN2. In addition, the slower deactivation kinetics of HCN2 contributes to more pronounced instantaneous current at a slower frequency. As a result of the frequency dependence of both instantaneous and time-dependent current, HCN2 exhibits more robust negative feedback than HCN212, contributing to the maintenance of a stable pacing rhythm. These results illustrate the benefit of screening HCN constructs in spontaneously active myocyte cultures and may provide the basis for future optimization of HCN-based biological pacemakers. PMID:19171659

  3. Future accelerators (?)

    SciTech Connect

    John Womersley

    2003-08-21

    I describe the future accelerator facilities that are currently foreseen for electroweak scale physics, neutrino physics, and nuclear structure. I will explore the physics justification for these machines, and suggest how the case for future accelerators can be made.

  4. Heterogeneous expression and biological function of ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase-L1 in osteosarcoma.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shuier; Qiao, Guanglei; Min, Daliu; Zhang, Zhichang; Lin, Feng; Yang, Qingcheng; Feng, Tao; Tang, Lina; Sun, Yuanjue; Zhao, Hui; Li, Hongtao; Yu, Wenxi; Yang, Yumei; Shen, Zan; Yao, Yang

    2015-04-01

    Ubiquitin carboxyl terminal hydrolase 1 (UCHL1), a member of the UCH class of DUBs, has been reported as either an oncogene or a tumor suppressor. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the biological function of UCHL1 in osteosarcoma is still unclear. This study was aimed at elucidating the roles of UCHL1 in regulating the biological behavior of osteosarcoma cells. In this study, we found that UCHL1 was elevated in osteosarcoma compared with normal bone tissue. Moreover, UCHL1 expression level was correlated with tumor maximum diameter, high rate of lung metastases and short survival time. Then, we found that knockdown of UCHL1 in osteosarcoma cell MG63 inhibited cell proliferation and significantly increased cell population in the G1 phase. Several cyclins promoting G1/S phase transition were reduced after UCHL1 knockdown, including cell cycle regulator cyclin D1, cyclin E1 and CDK6. Moreover, inhibition of UCHL1 in MG63 cells dramatically induced cell apoptosis. We also found that down-regulation of UCHL1 in MG63 significantly inhibited cell invasion. Then, we found that there was a positive correlation between UCHL1 expression level and the Akt and ERK phosphorylation status. Finally, in vivo data showed that knockdown of UCHL1 inhibited osteosarcoma growth in nude mice. These results indicate that UCHL1 could work as an oncogene and may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for osteosarcoma.

  5. Identification of distinct biological functions for four 3′-5′ RNA polymerases

    PubMed Central

    Long, Yicheng; Abad, Maria G.; Olson, Erik D.; Carrillo, Elisabeth Y.; Jackman, Jane E.

    2016-01-01

    The superfamily of 3′-5′ polymerases synthesize RNA in the opposite direction to all other DNA/RNA polymerases, and its members include eukaryotic tRNAHis guanylyltransferase (Thg1), as well as Thg1-like proteins (TLPs) of unknown function that are broadly distributed, with family members in all three domains of life. Dictyostelium discoideum encodes one Thg1 and three TLPs (DdiTLP2, DdiTLP3 and DdiTLP4). Here, we demonstrate that depletion of each of the genes results in a significant growth defect, and that each protein catalyzes a unique biological reaction, taking advantage of specialized biochemical properties. DdiTLP2 catalyzes a mitochondria-specific tRNAHis maturation reaction, which is distinct from the tRNAHis maturation reaction typically catalyzed by Thg1 enzymes on cytosolic tRNA. DdiTLP3 catalyzes tRNA repair during mitochondrial tRNA 5′-editing in vivo and in vitro, establishing template-dependent 3′-5′ polymerase activity of TLPs as a bona fide biological activity for the first time since its unexpected discovery more than a decade ago. DdiTLP4 is cytosolic and, surprisingly, catalyzes robust 3′-5′ polymerase activity on non-tRNA substrates, strongly implying further roles for TLP 3′-5′ polymerases in eukaryotes. PMID:27484477

  6. "A system biology" approach to bioinformatics and functional genomics in complex human diseases: arthritis.

    PubMed

    Attur, M G; Dave, M N; Tsunoyama, K; Akamatsu, M; Kobori, M; Miki, J; Abramson, S B; Katoh, M; Amin, A R

    2002-10-01

    Human and other annotated genome sequences have facilitated generation of vast amounts of correlative data, from human/animal genetics, normal and disease-affected tissues from complex diseases such as arthritis using gene/protein chips and SNP analysis. These data sets include genes/proteins whose functions are partially known at the cellular level or may be completely unknown (e.g. ESTs). Thus, genomic research has transformed molecular biology from "data poor" to "data rich" science, allowing further division into subpopulations of subcellular fractions, which are often given an "-omic" suffix. These disciplines have to converge at a systemic level to examine the structure and dynamics of cellular and organismal function. The challenge of characterizing ESTs linked to complex diseases is like interpreting sharp images on a blurred background and therefore requires a multidimensional screen for functional genomics ("functionomics") in tissues, mice and zebra fish model, which intertwines various approaches and readouts to study development and homeostasis of a system. In summary, the post-genomic era of functionomics will facilitate to narrow the bridge between correlative data and causative data by quaint hypothesis-driven research using a system approach integrating "intercoms" of interacting and interdependent disciplines forming a unified whole as described in this review for Arthritis.

  7. Restoration of voice function by using biological feedback in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinoma patients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choinzonov, E. L.; Balatskaya, L. N.; Chizhevskaya, S. Yu.; Meshcheryakov, R. V.; Kostyuchenko, E. Yu.; Ivanova, T. A.

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the research is to develop and introduce a new technique of post-laryngectomy voice rehabilitation of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinoma patients. The study involves comparing and analyzing 82 cases of voice function restoration by using biological feedback based on mathematical modeling of voice production. The advantage of the modern technology-based method in comparison with the conventional one is proved. Restoration of voice function using biofeedback allows taking into account patient's abilities, adjusting parameters of voice trainings, and controlling their efficiency in real-time mode. The data obtained indicate that the new method contributes to the rapid inclusion of self-regulation mechanisms of the body and results in the overall success rate of voice rehabilitation in totally laryngectomized patients reaching 92%, which reduces the rehabilitation period to 18 days, compared to 86% and 38 days in the control group, respectively. Restoration of disturbed functions after successful treatment is an important task of rehabilitation and is crucial in terms of the quality of cancer patients' lives. To assess life quality of laryngeal cancer patients, the EORTC Quality of Life Core Questionnaire (QLQ-C30), and head and neck module (QLQ-H&N35) were used. The analyzed results proved that the technique of biofeedback voice restoration significantly improves the quality of life of laryngectomized patients. It allows reducing the number of disabled people, restoring patients' ability to work-related activities, and significantly improving social adaptation of these patients.

  8. Prediction of biological functions on glycosylation site migrations in human influenza H1N1 viruses.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shisheng; Wang, Qinzhe; Zhao, Fei; Chen, Wentian; Li, Zheng

    2012-01-01

    Protein glycosylation alteration is typically employed by various viruses for escaping immune pressures from their hosts. Our previous work had shown that not only the increase of glycosylation sites (glycosites) numbers, but also glycosite migration might be involved in the evolution of human seasonal influenza H1N1 viruses. More importantly, glycosite migration was likely a more effectively alteration way for the host adaption of human influenza H1N1 viruses. In this study, we provided more bioinformatics and statistic evidences for further predicting the significant biological functions of glycosite migration in the host adaptation of human influenza H1N1 viruses, by employing homology modeling and in silico protein glycosylation of representative HA and NA proteins as well as amino acid variability analysis at antigenic sites of HA and NA. The results showed that glycosite migrations in human influenza viruses have at least five possible functions: to more effectively mask the antigenic sites, to more effectively protect the enzymatic cleavage sites of neuraminidase (NA), to stabilize the polymeric structures, to regulate the receptor binding and catalytic activities and to balance the binding activity of hemagglutinin (HA) with the release activity of NA. The information here can provide some constructive suggestions for the function research related to protein glycosylation of influenza viruses, although these predictions still need to be supported by experimental data.

  9. Functional groups affect physical and biological properties of dextran-based hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Sun, Guoming; Shen, Yu-I; Ho, Chia Chi; Kusuma, Sravanti; Gerecht, Sharon

    2010-06-01

    Modification of dextran backbone allows the development of a hydrogel with specific characteristics. To enhance their functionality for tissue-engineered scaffolds, a series of dextran-based macromers was synthesized by incorporating various functional groups, including allyl isocyanate (Dex-AI), ethylamine (Dex-AE), chloroacetic acid (Dex-AC), or maleic-anhydride (Dex-AM) into dextrans. The dextran-based biodegradable hybrid hydrogels are developed by integrating polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA). To explore the effect of different derivatives on hydrogel properties, three different ratios of Dex/PEGDA are examined: low (20/80), medium (40/60), and high (60/40). Differences in physical and biological properties of the hydrogels are found, including swelling, degradation rate, mechanics, crosslinking density, biocompatibility (in vitro and in vivo), and vascular endothelial growth factor release. The results also indicate that the incorporation of amine groups into dextran gives rise to hydrogels with better biocompatible and release properties. We, therefore, conclude that the incorporation of different functional groups affects the fundamental properties of a dextran-based hydrogel network, and that amine groups are preferred to generate hydrogels for biomedical use.

  10. Filtering genetic variants and placing informative priors based on putative biological function.

    PubMed

    Friedrichs, Stefanie; Malzahn, Dörthe; Pugh, Elizabeth W; Almeida, Marcio; Liu, Xiao Qing; Bailey, Julia N

    2016-02-03

    High-density genetic marker data, especially sequence data, imply an immense multiple testing burden. This can be ameliorated by filtering genetic variants, exploiting or accounting for correlations between variants, jointly testing variants, and by incorporating informative priors. Priors can be based on biological knowledge or predicted variant function, or even be used to integrate gene expression or other omics data. Based on Genetic Analysis Workshop (GAW) 19 data, this article discusses diversity and usefulness of functional variant scores provided, for example, by PolyPhen2, SIFT, or RegulomeDB annotations. Incorporating functional scores into variant filters or weights and adjusting the significance level for correlations between variants yielded significant associations with blood pressure traits in a large family study of Mexican Americans (GAW19 data set). Marker rs218966 in gene PHF14 and rs9836027 in MAP4 significantly associated with hypertension; additionally, rare variants in SNUPN significantly associated with systolic blood pressure. Variant weights strongly influenced the power of kernel methods and burden tests. Apart from variant weights in test statistics, prior weights may also be used when combining test statistics or to informatively weight p values while controlling false discovery rate (FDR). Indeed, power improved when gene expression data for FDR-controlled informative weighting of association test p values of genes was used. Finally, approaches exploiting variant correlations included identity-by-descent mapping and the optimal strategy for joint testing rare and common variants, which was observed to depend on linkage disequilibrium structure.

  11. Friendly Fire: Biological Functions and Consequences of Chromosomal Targeting by CRISPR-Cas Systems

    PubMed Central

    Heussler, Gary E.

    2016-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated (Cas) systems in bacteria and archaea target foreign elements, such as bacteriophages and conjugative plasmids, through the incorporation of short sequences (termed spacers) from the foreign element into the CRISPR array, thereby allowing sequence-specific targeting of the invader. Thus, CRISPR-Cas systems are typically considered a microbial adaptive immune system. While many of these incorporated spacers match targets on bacteriophages and plasmids, a noticeable number are derived from chromosomal DNA. While usually lethal to the self-targeting bacteria, in certain circumstances, these self-targeting spacers can have profound effects in regard to microbial biology, including functions beyond adaptive immunity. In this minireview, we discuss recent studies that focus on the functions and consequences of CRISPR-Cas self-targeting, including reshaping of the host population, group behavior modification, and the potential applications of CRISPR-Cas self-targeting as a tool in microbial biotechnology. Understanding the effects of CRISPR-Cas self-targeting is vital to fully understanding the spectrum of function of these systems. PMID:26929301

  12. The Evolution of Human Basophil Biology from Neglect towards Understanding of Their Immune Functions

    PubMed Central

    Steiner, Markus; Huber, Sara; Harrer, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Being discovered long ago basophils have been neglected for more than a century. During the past decade evidence emerged that basophils share features of innate and adaptive immunity. Nowadays, basophils are best known for their striking effector role in the allergic reaction. They hence have been used for establishing new diagnostic tests and therapeutic approaches and for characterizing natural and recombinant allergens as well as hypoallergens, which display lower or diminished IgE-binding activity. However, it was a long way from discovery in 1879 until identification of their function in hypersensitivity reactions, including adverse drug reactions. Starting with a historical background, this review highlights the modern view on basophil biology. PMID:28078302

  13. Distinguishing Pattern Formation Phenotypes: Applying Minkowski Functionals to Cell Biology Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rericha, Erin; Guven, Can; Parent, Carole; Losert, Wolfgang

    2011-03-01

    Spatial Clustering of proteins within cells or cells themselves frequently occur in cell biology systems. However quantifying the underlying order and determining the regulators of these cluster patterns have proved difficult due to the inherent high noise levels in the systems. For instance the patterns formed by wild type and cyclic-AMP regulatory mutant Dictyostelium cells are visually distinctive, yet the large error bars in measurements of the fractal number, area, Euler number, eccentricity, and wavelength making it difficult to quantitatively distinguish between the patterns. We apply a spatial analysis technique based on Minkowski functionals and develop metrics which clearly separate wild type and mutant cell lines into distinct categories. Having such a metric facilitated the development of a computational model for cellular aggregation and its regulators. Supported by NIH-NGHS Nanotechnology (R01GM085574) and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

  14. PPAR Ligands Function as Suppressors That Target Biological Actions of HMGB1

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tianhui

    2016-01-01

    High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), which has become one of the most intriguing molecules in inflammatory disorders and cancers and with which ligand-activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are highly associated, is considered as a therapeutic target. Of particular interest is the fact that certain PPAR ligands have demonstrated their potent anti-inflammatory activities and potential anticancer effects. In this review article we summarize recent experimental evidence that PPAR ligands function as suppressors that target biological actions of HMGB1, including intracellular expression, receptor signaling cascades, and extracellular secretion of HMGB1 in cell lines and/or animal models. We also propose the possible mechanisms underlying PPAR involvement in inflammatory disorders and discuss the future therapeutic value of PPAR ligands targeting HMGB1 molecule for cancer prevention and treatment. PMID:27563308

  15. [Fundamentals of interferon system function in pathology and molecular biological peculiarities of interferon production].

    PubMed

    Spivak, M Ia; Didenko, L F; Lazarenko, L M; Zholobak, N M

    2008-01-01

    Molecular biological peculiarities of interferon system function in PV-infected persons have been found. It is evident that the interferon production, anti-inflammatory cytokines and their receptors and also defensines play an important role in the mechanism of virus interaction with sensitive cells of macroorganism with development of pathological process. The new conception of expediency for the use of interferons and their inducers as the polyfunctional regulators with a broad spectrum of activity for the treatment of PV-infected patients was suggested. Patents for the method of treatment of PV-infected patients were obtained. New inducers of interferon as well as recombinant IFN-alpha-2b was developed. Our results were introduced in the medical practice.

  16. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with precise calculations. Thus the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule has become a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), will be presented in this paper. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The accuracy of structure determination of the inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  17. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with unchanged calculation precision. So the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule becomes a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the Ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), are presented. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The precision of structure determination of inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  18. N-Hexyl-4-aminobutyl glycosides for investigating structures and biological functions of carbohydrates.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Tobe, Akifumi; Adachi, Shin; Daikoku, Shusaku; Hasegawa, Yasuko; Shioiri, Yuki; Kobayashi, Mariko; Kanie, Osamu

    2009-11-21

    The potential applications of N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl glycosides in the mass spectrometric investigation of glycan structure and in the investigation of glycan functions were studied. Under collision-induced dissociation (CID) conditions, sodiated glycosides carrying N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl groups effectively produced a hemiacetal species (C-ions), which is important in mass-spectrometry-based structural investigation. The usefulness of N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl glycosides in biological analysis was also confirmed by obtaining a binding constant for the binding of dipyrrometheneboron difluoride C3-labeled N-hexyl-4-aminobutyl beta-lactoside with an Erythrina cristagalli lectin, and by visualizing cellular organelles using a more hydrophobic BODIPY-labeled compound.

  19. Function of parotid gland following irradiation and its relation to biological parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Sasaki, T.; Yamamoto, M.; Takeda, M.

    1980-09-01

    The function of the parotid gland in the mouse (synthesis and secretion of ..cap alpha..-amylase) following X irradiation was analyzed in relation to the parameters of surviving acinar cell fraction, DNA or protein content, and wet weight of the gland. Both synthesis and secretion of amylase in parotid were essentially unchanged when mice were irradiated with a dose of up to 3000 rad. When mice were irradiated and then given a proliferative stimulus of isoproterenol, latent lethal damage in the acinar cell population was expressed and resulted in cell degeneration in a dose-dependent manner. The mean value of amylase activity per gland in similarly treated parotids was, however, totally unaffected. The relationship between amylase activity per gland and the other biological parameters was analyzed by regression analysis. The results indicate that amylase activity per surviving acinar cell increased proportionately to compensate for the loss of acinar cells.

  20. Perspectives in the biological function and the technological application of polygalacturonases.

    PubMed

    Lang, C; Dörnenburg, H

    2000-04-01

    Polygalacturonases (PG) have evolved in the past years from a pectinase "simply" being used for food processing to an important parameter in plant-fungal interaction. PG-inhibiting proteins (PGIP) that are synthesised in plants as a specific response to PGs of pathogenic fungi, have become a focus as a possible target in resistance breeding, and PGIPs are also a concern as an inhibiting factor in food processing. Plant PGs have been identified as a major factor in fruit ripening, and PG-deficient transgenic plants have been bred. Mainly fungal PGs are used in industrial processes for juice clarification and the range of enzymes is being extended through new recombinant and non-recombinant fungal strains. Finally, novel fields of application can be envisaged for PGs in the production of oligogalacturonides as functional food components. Here we aim to highlight the various fields where PGs are encountered and where they are of biological or technological importance.

  1. Synthesis, functionalization, and biological tagging applications of II-VI semiconductor nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun

    Fluorescent labeling of biological molecules is a technique that is used widely for analytical purposes in biotechnology and bioengineering. It typically involves the use of an organic dye molecule linked to a moiety that selectively bonds a particular biological molecule, allowing the detection of the latter by the fluorescence of the dye molecule. Semiconductor nanocrystals or quantum dots have emerged as a new class of fluorescent markers with distinct advantages over the traditional organic dyes. Their attractive properties include narrow, symmetric, and bright emission, continuous excitation by any wavelength smaller than the emission wavelength, broad absorption spectrum, long lifetime, resistance to photobleaching, as well as excellent optical and chemical stability that allows their use in lengthy experiments. The focus of this thesis is the synthesis and surface functionalization of ZnSe quantum dots and (ZnSe)ZnS core-shell nanostructures, and their biological conjugation with DNA and protein. The ability to synthesize different populations of quantum dots with narrow emission spectra permits multiplexing, a property that is very important for simultaneous detection of several analytes, which would be very tedious and expensive if done sequentially. Highly luminescent ZnSe nanocrystals have been synthesized using a hot-injection colloidal method. The synthesis was performed in a stirred batch reactor containing liquid hexadecylamine at 310°C. The precursors were diethylzinc diluted in heptane and selenium powder mixed with trioctylphosphine. The mixture of reactants was injected into the batch reactor and the time of reaction was used to control the size and luminescence emission wavelength of the quantum dots. In order to optimize the process various parameters that can influence the photoluminescence property of quantum dots obtained were investigated, such as surfactant addition, temperature, precursor ratio, and mixing conditions. Capping of the Zn

  2. A synthetic biology approach to engineer a functional reversal of the β-oxidation cycle.

    PubMed

    Clomburg, James M; Vick, Jacob E; Blankschien, Matthew D; Rodríguez-Moyá, María; Gonzalez, Ramon

    2012-11-16

    While we have recently constructed a functional reversal of the β-oxidation cycle as a platform for the production of fuels and chemicals by engineering global regulators and eliminating native fermentative pathways, the system-level approach used makes it difficult to determine which of the many deregulated enzymes are responsible for product synthesis. This, in turn, limits efforts to fine-tune the synthesis of specific products and prevents the transfer of the engineered pathway to other organisms. In the work reported here, we overcome the aforementioned limitations by using a synthetic biology approach to construct and functionally characterize a reversal of the β-oxidation cycle. This was achieved through the in vitro kinetic characterization of each functional unit of the core and termination pathways, followed by their in vivo assembly and functional characterization. With this approach, the four functional units of the core pathway, thiolase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase, enoyl-CoA hydratase/3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydratase, and acyl-CoA dehydrogenase/trans-enoyl-CoA reductase, were purified and kinetically characterized in vitro. When these four functional units were assembled in vivo in combination with thioesterases as the termination pathway, the synthesis of a variety of 4-C carboxylic acids from a one-turn functional reversal of the β-oxidation cycle was realized. The individual expression and modular construction of these well-defined core components exerted the majority of control over product formation, with only highly selective termination pathways resulting in shifts in product formation. Further control over product synthesis was demonstrated by overexpressing a long-chain thiolase that enables the operation of multiple turns of the reversal of the β-oxidation cycle and hence the synthesis of longer-chain carboxylic acids. The well-defined and self-contained nature of each functional unit makes the engineered reversal of the

  3. Organic Composition and Morphology of Sea Spray Aerosols as a Function of Biological Life during IMPACTS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, D.; Moffet, R.; Fraund, M. W.; O'Brien, R.; Laskina, O.; Prather, K. A.; Grassian, V. H.; Beall, C.; Wang, X.; Forestieri, S.; Cappa, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Aerosols influence climate by directly reflecting or absorbing sunlight, or indirectly by affecting clouds. A major source of aerosols is from oceanic wave breaking. Due to their complexity, the effects of marine aerosol on climate are uncertain. To provide more detailed measurements of the chemical composition of marine aerosols, Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microscopy coupled with Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (SXTM-NEXAFS) was used to give spatially resolved molecular information for carbon and oxygen. Application of STXM/NEXAFS to particles collected during a mesocosm study using a unique wave channel facility to generate aerosols shows that the organic volume fraction of aerosols at the aerodynamic diameter size range of 0.18-0.32 μm are a direct function of the biological activity in the sea water. Aerosol organic volume fraction increased from 0.32 for particles generated from seawater containing low biolife to 0.49 and 0.40 for particles produced during phytoplankton blooms. However, the organic volume fraction of aerosols at the aerodynamic diameter size range of 0.56-1 μm did not change with biological activity. Measurements also show that different types of organics can concentrate into aerosols depending on the enzyme activity expressed at the time. Enhanced spectral signatures for aliphatic hydrocarbons were observed during the first phytoplankton bloom compared to a second phytoplankton bloom occurring directly thereafter. The decreased signature of aliphatic organics in the second phytoplankton bloom was correlated with increased lipase activity from heterobacteria. Organic aggregates having similar morphology also differ in composition from their carbon spectra from the two blooms. For July 17, organic aggregates were much richer in hydrocarbons, which showed a remarkably intense C-H absorbance and a broad C-C absorbance. Organic aggregates observed for July 26-27, did not have the C-H and C-C signatures, but contained more polar

  4. Dualistic nature of adhesive protein function: fibronectin and its biologically active peptide fragments can autoinhibit fibronectin function

    PubMed Central

    1984-01-01

    Fibronectin and certain polypeptide regions of this adhesive glycoprotein mediate cell attachment and spreading on various substrates. We explored the theoretical prediction that this adhesive protein could become a competitive inhibitor of fibronectin-mediated processes if present in solution at appropriately high concentrations. Fibronectin function was inhibited by purified plasma fibronectin at 5- 10 mg/ml, by a 75,000-dalton cell-interaction fragment of the protein at 0.5-1 mg/ml, and even by two synthetic peptides containing a conserved, hydrophilic amino acid sequence at 0.1-0.5 mg/ml. Inhibition of fibronectin-dependent cell spreading was dose dependent, noncytotoxic, and reversible. It was competitive in nature, since increased quantities of substrate-adsorbed fibronectin or longer incubation periods decreased the inhibition. A peptide inhibitory for fibronectin-mediated cell spreading also inhibited fibronectin-mediated attachment of cells to type I collagen, but it did not affect concanavalin A-mediated spreading. These results demonstrate the potential of a cell adhesion molecule and its biologically active peptide fragments to act as competitive inhibitors, and they suggest that fibronectin may act by binding to a saturable cell surface receptor. PMID:6736130

  5. [The hyperiricosuria as an indicator of derangement of biologic functions of endoecology and adaptation, biologic reactions of excretion, inflammation and arterial tension].

    PubMed

    Titov, V N; Oshchepkova, E V; Dmitriev, V A; Gushchina, O V; Shiriaeva, Iu K; Iashin, A Ia

    2012-04-01

    During millions years in all animals allantoine (oxidized by uricase uric acid) was catabolite of purines and ascorbic acid was an acceptor of active forms of oxygen. The proximal tubules of nephron reabsorbed the trace amounts of uric acid Then during phylogenesis the primates had a mutation of ascorbic acid gen minus. Later on occurred a second spontaneous mutation and uricase gen minus and uric acid became catabolites of purines. In absence of ascorbic acid synthesis ions of urates became a major capturers of active forms of oxygen and all uric acid as before underwent the reabsorption. Later the carriers were formed which began in epithelium of proximal tubules to secrete all uric acid into urine. At every incident of "littering" of intercellular medium with endogenic flogogens (impairment of biologic function of endoecology) under compensatory development of biologic reaction of inflammation the need in inactivation of active forms of oxygen increases. Hence later on in phylogenesis one more stage was formed--post secretory reabsorption of uric acid In the biologic reaction of inflammation epithelium of proximal tubules initiates retentional hyperiricosuria. The general antioxidant activity of human blood plasma in 60% is presented by urates' ions. The excretion of uric acid includes 4 stages: filtration, full reabsorption, secretion and post secretory reabsorption. In phylogenesis these stages formed in sequence. The mild hyperiricosuria is most frequently considered as a non-specific indicator of activation of biologic reaction of inflammation. The productive hyperiricosuria develops more infrequently under surplus of meat food and cytolysis syndrome (intensification of cell loss in vivo). Under concentration of uric acid more than 400 mkmol/l part of urates circulates in intercellular medium in the form of crystals. The microcrystals of uric acid (biologic "litter") initiate the syndrome of systemic inflammatory response as an endogenic flogogen

  6. Functional upregulation of the H2S/Cav3.2 channel pathway accelerates secretory function in neuroendocrine-differentiated human prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Fukami, Kazuki; Sekiguchi, Fumiko; Yasukawa, Miku; Asano, Erina; Kasamatsu, Ryuji; Ueda, Mai; Yoshida, Shigeru; Kawabata, Atsufumi

    2015-10-01

    Neuroendocrine-differentiated prostate cancer cells may contribute to androgen-independent proliferation of surrounding cells through Ca(2+)-dependent secretion of mitogenic factors. Human prostate cancer LNCaP cells, when neuroendocrine-differentiated, overexpress Cav3.2 T-type Ca(2+) channels that contribute to Ca(2+)-dependent secretion. Given evidence for the acceleration of Cav3.2 activity by hydrogen sulfide (H2S), we examined the roles of the H2S/Cav3.2 pathway and then analyzed the molecular mechanisms of the Cav3.2 overexpression in neuroendocrine-differentiated LNCaP cells. LNCaP cells were differentiated by dibutyryl cyclic AMP. Protein levels and T-type Ca(2+) channel-dependent currents (T-currents) were measured by immunoblotting and whole-cell pacth-clamp technique, respectively. Spontaneous release of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) was monitored to evaluate secretory function. The differentiated LNCaP cells exhibited neurite outgrowth, androgen-independent proliferation and upregulation of mitogenic factors, and also showed elevation of Cav3.2 expression or T-currents. Expression of cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) and cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS), H2S-forming enzymes, and spontaneous secretion of PAP increased following the differentiation. The augmented T-currents were enhanced by H2S donors and suppressed by inhibitors of CSE, but not CBS. The PAP secretion was reduced by inhibition of CSE or T-type Ca(2+) channels. During differentiation, Egr-1 and REST, positive and negative transcriptional regulators for Cav3.2, were upregulated and downregulated, respectively, and Egr-1 knockdown prevented the Cav3.2 overexpression. Our data suggest that, in neuroendocrine-differentiated LNCaP cells, H2S formed by the upregulated CSE promotes the activity of the upregulated Cav3.2, leading to the elevated secretory functions. The overexpression of Cav3.2 appears to involve upregulation of Egr-1 and downregulation of REST.

  7. A Modern Understanding of the Traditional and Nontraditional Biological Functions of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme

    PubMed Central

    Ong, Frank S.; Blackwell, Wendell-Lamar B.; Shah, Kandarp H.; Giani, Jorge F.; Gonzalez-Villalobos, Romer A.; Shen, Xiao Z.; Fuchs, Sebastien

    2013-01-01

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is a zinc-dependent peptidase responsible for converting angiotensin I into the vasoconstrictor angiotensin II. However, ACE is a relatively nonspecific peptidase that is capable of cleaving a wide range of substrates. Because of this, ACE and its peptide substrates and products affect many physiologic processes, including blood pressure control, hematopoiesis, reproduction, renal development, renal function, and the immune response. The defining feature of ACE is that it is composed of two homologous and independently catalytic domains, the result of an ancient gene duplication, and ACE-like genes are widely distributed in nature. The two ACE catalytic domains contribute to the wide substrate diversity of ACE and, by extension, the physiologic impact of the enzyme. Several studies suggest that the two catalytic domains have different biologic functions. Recently, the X-ray crystal structure of ACE has elucidated some of the structural differences between the two ACE domains. This is important now that ACE domain-specific inhibitors have been synthesized and characterized. Once widely available, these reagents will undoubtedly be powerful tools for probing the physiologic actions of each ACE domain. In turn, this knowledge should allow clinicians to envision new therapies for diseases not currently treated with ACE inhibitors. PMID:23257181

  8. Technique for examining biological materials using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and the kubelka-munk function

    DOEpatents

    Alfano, Robert R.; Yang, Yuanlong

    2003-09-02

    Method and apparatus for examining biological materials using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and the Kubelka-Munk function. In one aspect, the method is used to determine whether a tissue sample is cancerous or not and comprises the steps of (a) measuring the diffuse reflectance from the tissue sample at a first wavelength and at a second wavelength, wherein the first wavelength is a wavelength selected from the group consisting of 255-265 nm and wherein the second wavelength is a wavelength selected from the group consisting of 275-285 nm; (b) using the Kubelka-Munk function to transform the diffuse reflectance measurement obtained at the first and second wavelengths; and (c) comparing a ratio or a difference of the transformed Kubelka-Munk measurements at the first and second wavelengths to appropriate standards determine whether or not the tissue sample is cancerous. One can use the spectral profile of KMF between 250 nm to 300 nm to determine whether or not the tissue sample is cancerous or precancerous. According to the value at the first and second wavelengths determine whether or not the malignant tissue is invasive or mixed invasive and in situ or carcinoma in situ.

  9. SPED light sheet microscopy: fast mapping of biological system structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Tomer, Raju; Lovett-Barron, Matthew; Kauvar, Isaac; Andalman, Aaron; Burns, Vanessa M.; Sankaran, Sethuraman; Grosenick, Logan; Broxton, Michael; Yang, Samuel; Deisseroth, Karl

    2016-01-01

    The goal of understanding living nervous systems has driven interest in high-speed and large field-of-view volumetric imaging at cellular resolution. Light-sheet microscopy approaches have emerged for cellular-resolution functional brain imaging in small organisms such as larval zebrafish, but remain fundamentally limited in speed. Here we have developed SPED light sheet microscopy, which combines large volumetric field-of-view via an extended depth of field with the optical sectioning of light sheet microscopy, thereby eliminating the need to physically scan detection objectives for volumetric imaging. SPED enables scanning of thousands of volumes-per-second, limited only by camera acquisition rate, through the harnessing of optical mechanisms that normally result in unwanted spherical aberrations. We demonstrate capabilities of SPED microscopy by performing fast sub-cellular resolution imaging of CLARITY mouse brains and cellular-resolution volumetric Ca2+ imaging of entire zebrafish nervous systems. Together, SPED light sheet methods enable high-speed cellular-resolution volumetric mapping of biological system structure and function. PMID:26687363

  10. Structural and biological features of FOXP3 dimerization relevant to regulatory T cell function

    PubMed Central

    Song, Xiaomin; Li, Bin; Xiao, Yan; Chen, Chunxia; Wang, Qiang; Liu, Yujie; Berezov, Alan; Xu, Chen; Gao, Yayi; Wu, Shiaw-Lin; Zhang, Hongtao; Karger, Barry L.; Hancock, Wayne W.; Wells, Andrew D.; Zhou, Zhaocai; Greene, Mark I.

    2012-01-01

    FOXP3 is a key transcription factor for regulatory T cell function. We report the crystal structure of the FOXP3 coiled coil domain, through which a loose or transient dimeric association is formed and modulated, accounting for the activity variations introduced by disease-causing mutations or posttranslational modifications. Structure-guided mutagenesis revealed that FOXP3 coiled coil mediated homo-dimerization is essential for Treg function in vitro and in vivo. In particular, we identified human FOXP3 K250 and K252 as key residues for the conformational change and stability of the FOXP3 dimer, which can be regulated by protein posttranslational modifications such as reversible lysine acetylation. These studies provide structural and mechanistic explanations for certain disease-causing mutations in the coiled coil domain of FOXP3 that are commonly found in IPEX syndrome. Overall the regulatory machinery involving homo-oligomerization, acetylation, and hetero-association has been dissected, defining atomic insights into the biological and pathological characteristics of the FOXP3 complex. PMID:22813742

  11. CNTF variants with increased biological potency and receptor selectivity define a functional site of receptor interaction.

    PubMed Central

    Saggio, I; Gloaguen, I; Poiana, G; Laufer, R

    1995-01-01

    Human CNTF is a neurocytokine that elicits potent neurotrophic effects by activating a receptor complex composed of the ligand-specific alpha-receptor subunit (CNTFR alpha) and two signal transducing proteins, which together constitute a receptor for leukemia inhibitory factor (LIFR). At high concentrations, CNTF can also activate the LIFR and possibly other cross-reactive cytokine receptors in the absence of CNTFR alpha. To gain a better understanding of its structure-function relationships and to develop analogs with increased receptor specificity, the cytokine was submitted to affinity maturation using phage display technology. Variants with greatly increased CNTFR alpha affinity were selected from a phage-displayed library of CNTF variants carrying random amino acid substitutions in the putative D helix. Selected variants contained substitutions of the wild-type Gln167 residue, either alone or in combination with neighboring mutations. These results provide evidence for an important functional role of the mutagenized region in CNTFR alpha binding. Affinity enhancing mutations conferred to CNTF increased potency to trigger biological effects mediated by CNTFR alpha and enhanced neurotrophic activity on chicken ciliary neurons. In contrast, the same mutations did not potentiate the CNTFR alpha-independent receptor actions of CNTF. These CNTF analogs thus represent receptor-specific superagonists, which should help to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the pleiotropic actions of the neurocytokine. PMID:7621819

  12. Biology of Bone Tissue: Structure, Function, and Factors That Influence Bone Cells.

    PubMed

    Florencio-Silva, Rinaldo; Sasso, Gisela Rodrigues da Silva; Sasso-Cerri, Estela; Simões, Manuel Jesus; Cerri, Paulo Sérgio

    2015-01-01

    Bone tissue is continuously remodeled through the concerted actions of bone cells, which include bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts, whereas osteocytes act as mechanosensors and orchestrators of the bone remodeling process. This process is under the control of local (e.g., growth factors and cytokines) and systemic (e.g., calcitonin and estrogens) factors that all together contribute for bone homeostasis. An imbalance between bone resorption and formation can result in bone diseases including osteoporosis. Recently, it has been recognized that, during bone remodeling, there are an intricate communication among bone cells. For instance, the coupling from bone resorption to bone formation is achieved by interaction between osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Moreover, osteocytes produce factors that influence osteoblast and osteoclast activities, whereas osteocyte apoptosis is followed by osteoclastic bone resorption. The increasing knowledge about the structure and functions of bone cells contributed to a better understanding of bone biology. It has been suggested that there is a complex communication between bone cells and other organs, indicating the dynamic nature of bone tissue. In this review, we discuss the current data about the structure and functions of bone cells and the factors that influence bone remodeling.

  13. KRAB-Zinc Finger Proteins: A Repressor Family Displaying Multiple Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lupo, Angelo; Cesaro, Elena; Montano, Giorgia; Zurlo, Diana; Izzo, Paola; Costanzo, Paola

    2013-01-01

    Zinc finger proteins containing the Kruppel associated box (KRAB-ZFPs) constitute the largest individual family of transcriptional repressors encoded by the genomes of higher organisms. KRAB domain, positioned at the NH2 terminus of the KRAB-ZFPs, interacts with a scaffold protein, KAP-1, which is able to recruit various transcriptional factors causing repression of genes to which KRAB ZFPs bind. The relevance of such repression is reflected in the large number of the KRAB zinc finger protein genes in the human genome. However, in spite of their numerical abundance little is currently known about the gene targets and the physiological functions of KRAB- ZFPs. However, emerging evidence links the transcriptional repression mediated by the KRAB-ZFPs to cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and cancer. Moreover, the fact that KRAB containing proteins are vertebrate-specific suggests that they have evolved recently, and that their key roles lie in some aspects of vertebrate development. In this review, we will briefly discuss some regulatory functions of the KRAB-ZFPs in different physiological and pathological states, thus contributing to better understand their biological roles. PMID:24294107

  14. A functional metagenomic approach for expanding the synthetic biology toolbox for biomass conversion.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Morten O A; Church, George M; Dantas, Gautam

    2010-04-13

    Sustainable biofuel alternatives to fossil fuel energy are hampered by recalcitrance and toxicity of biomass substrates to microbial biocatalysts. To address this issue, we present a culture-independent functional metagenomic platform for mining Nature's vast enzymatic reservoir and show its relevance to biomass conversion. We performed functional selections on 4.7 Gb of metagenomic fosmid libraries and show that genetic elements conferring tolerance toward seven important biomass inhibitors can be identified. We select two metagenomic fosmids that improve the growth of Escherichia coli by 5.7- and 6.9-fold in the presence of inhibitory concentrations of syringaldehyde and 2-furoic acid, respectively, and identify the individual genes responsible for these tolerance phenotypes. Finally, we combine the individual genes to create a three-gene construct that confers tolerance to mixtures of these important biomass inhibitors. This platform presents a route for expanding the repertoire of genetic elements available to synthetic biology and provides a starting point for efforts to engineer robust strains for biofuel generation.

  15. Sensitive SERS glucose sensing in biological media using alkyne functionalized boronic acid on planar substrates.

    PubMed

    Kong, Kien Voon; Ho, Chris Jun Hui; Gong, Tianxun; Lau, Weber Kam On; Olivo, Malini

    2014-06-15

    In this work, we propose a novel glucose binding mechanism on a highly sensitive SERS substrate, in order to overcome challenges in specific glucose detection in bio-fluids. We make use of phenylboronic acid as a receptor for saccharide capture onto the substrate and the ability of the captured glucose molecule to undergo secondary binding with an alkyne-functionalized boronic acid to form a glucose-alkyne-boronic acid complex. The formation of this complex shows high selectivity for glucose, over other saccharides. In addition, the alkyne group of the alkyne-functionalized boronic acid exhibits a distinct Raman peak at 1996 cm(-1) in a biological silent region (1800-2800 cm(-1)) where most endogenous molecules, including glucose, show no Raman scattering, thus offering a high sensitivity over other SERS glucose sensing. The substrate offers long-term stability, as well as high SERS enhancement to the glucose-alkyne boronic acid complex on substrate. In addition, the reversibility of SERS signals at various incubation stages also shows reusability capabilities, whereas positive results in clinical urine samples demonstrate clinical feasibility. All these strongly suggest that this newly developed SERS-based assay offers great potential in glucose sensing.

  16. Development of Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography for in vivo Functional Imaging of Biological Tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Lin

    Optical coherence tomography is a rapidly developing optical imaging modality capable of noninvasively providing depth resolved information of biological tissue at micrometer scale. In this thesis, we described several OCT technologies that can be used to double the imaging depth, realize functional vasculature imaging of biological tissue and increase the imaging speed of OCT system. Aim 1: Use of a scanner to introduce spatial frequency modulation to OCT spectral interferograms for in vivo full-range Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography. A novel method was developed that could easily introduce a modulation frequency onto the X-direction (i.e., B-scan) of the FDOCT scanning system, enabling full-range Fourier-domain Optical Coherence Tomography (frFDOCT). Compared to the conventional FDOCT system, the newly developed frFDOCT system can provide increased system sensitivity and deeper imaging depth. The previous technology that can achieve frFDOCT either needed multiple steps for data capturing, which is time consuming, or required additional components which increased the system's complexity. The newly developed method generates a modulation spatial frequency in the spectral interferogram by simply offsetting the probe beam at the X-scanner. Aim 2: Using optical micro-angiography to achieve in vivo volumetric imaging of vascular perfusion within human retina and choroids. Optical Micro-Angiography (OMAG) is a functional extension of FDOCT technology. It can achieve visualization of vasculature network of biological tissue. In order to apply the OMAG method to image vasculature map of human retina and choroid, a phase compensation algorithm was developed, which could minimize the motion artifacts generated by the movements of human eye and head. Aim 3: Developing ultrahigh sensitive optical micro-angiography to achieve micro vasculature imaging of biological tissue. To improve the vasculature image quality, we developed ultrahigh sensitive OMAG (UHS

  17. Structure and functions of water-membrane interfaces and their role in proto-biological evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, A.; Wilson, M.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1991-01-01

    Among the most important developments in proto-biological evolution was the emergence of membrane-like structures. These are formed by spontaneous association of relatively simple amphiphilic molecules that would have been readily available in the primordial environment. The resulting interfacial regions between water and nonpolar interior of the membrane have several properties which made them uniquely suitable for promoting subsequent evolution. They can (1) selectively attract organic material and mediate its transport, (2) serve as simple catalysts for chemical reactions, and (3) promote the formation of trans-membrane electrical and chemical gradients which could provide energy sources for proto-cells. Understanding the structure of interfaces, their interactions with organic molecules and molecular mechanisms of their functions is an essential step to understanding proto-biological evolution. In our computer simulation studies, we showed that the structure of water at interfaces with nonpolar media is significantly different from that in the bulk. In particular, the average surface dipole density points from the vapor to the liquid. As a result, negative ions can approach the interface more easily than positive ions. Amphiphilic molecules composed of hydrocarbon conjugated rings and polar substituents (e.g., phenol) assume at the interface rigid orientations in which polar groups are buried in water while hydrocarbon parts are located in the nonpolar environment. These orientational differences are of special interest in connection with the ability of some of these molecules to efficiently absorb photons. Flexible molecules with polar substituents often adopt at interfaces conformations different from those in the bulk aquaeous solution and in the gas phase. As a result, in many instances both specificity and kinetics of chemical reactions in which these molecules can participate is modified by the presence of surfaces. Of special interest is the mechanism by

  18. Decreased functional diversity and biological pest control in conventional compared to organic crop fields.

    PubMed

    Krauss, Jochen; Gallenberger, Iris; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    Organic farming is one of the most successful agri-environmental schemes, as humans benefit from high quality food, farmers from higher prices for their products and it often successfully protects biodiversity. However there is little knowledge if organic farming also increases ecosystem services like pest control. We assessed 30 triticale fields (15 organic vs. 15 conventional) and recorded vascular plants, pollinators, aphids and their predators. Further, five conventional fields which were treated with insecticides were compared with 10 non-treated conventional fields. Organic fields had five times higher plant species richness and about twenty times higher pollinator species richness compared to conventional fields. Abundance of pollinators was even more than one-hundred times higher on organic fields. In contrast, the abundance of cereal aphids was five times lower in organic fields, while predator abundances were three times higher and predator-prey ratios twenty times higher in organic fields, indicating a significantly higher potential for biological pest control in organic fields. Insecticide treatment in conventional fields had only a short-term effect on aphid densities while later in the season aphid abundances were even higher and predator abundances lower in treated compared to untreated conventional fields. Our data indicate that insecticide treatment kept aphid predators at low abundances throughout the season, thereby significantly reducing top-down control of aphid populations. Plant and pollinator species richness as well as predator abundances and predator-prey ratios were higher at field edges compared to field centres, highlighting the importance of field edges for ecosystem services. In conclusion organic farming increases biodiversity, including important functional groups like plants, pollinators and predators which enhance natural pest control. Preventative insecticide application in conventional fields has only short-term effects on aphid

  19. Pegylation of fibronectin and its functional domains: Effect on stability and biological activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chen

    Delayed wound healing in many chronic wounds has been linked to the lack of extracellular matrix (ECM) support and the degradation of fibronectin (FN) by an abnormally high protease level. The ECM provides physical and chemical cues that direct tissue growth and development while FN is a key ECM protein that attracts and binds different molecules and cells. The goal of my study is creating an ECM analogue based on a composite of polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogels and FN binding domains and stabilizing FN against proteolytic degradation by conjugating it to PEG. The work presented here shows a two-prong approach by which the problem of ECM degradation and deficiency chronic wound healing can be addressed. The first approach for addressing ECM deficiency is through a scaffold design methodology. The novelty of the scaffold approach is that it uses the cell-binding domains of FN instead of the often-used RGD peptide. I demonstrate that a PEG hydrogel with the cell-binding domain produces a more robust biological response in cells than a PEG hydrogel with the RGD peptide. I also demonstrate that varying different functional domains of FN can be used to controllably stimulate multiple biological responses. The second approach demonstrates a method by which FN, a key ECM protein, is stabilized against proteolytic degradation without perturbing its activity. These studies of creating PEG-FN conjugates are the first of their kind. Collectively, the data that I present in this thesis will lead to novel therapeutic methods for treating chronic wounds.

  20. RNA-Mediated Silencing in Algae: Biological Roles and Tools for Analysis of Gene Function

    PubMed Central

    Cerutti, Heriberto; Ma, Xinrong; Msanne, Joseph; Repas, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    Algae are a large group of aquatic, typically photosynthetic, eukaryotes that include species from very diverse phylogenetic lineages, from those similar to land plants to those related to protist parasites. The recent sequencing of several algal genomes has provided insights into the great complexity of these organisms. Genomic information has also emphasized our lack of knowledge of the functions of many predicted genes, as well as the gene regulatory mechanisms in algae. Core components of the machinery for RNA-mediated silencing show widespread distribution among algal lineages, but they also seem to have been lost entirely from several species with relatively small nuclear genomes. Complex sets of endogenous small RNAs, including candidate microRNAs and small interfering RNAs, have now been identified by high-throughput sequencing in green, red, and brown algae. However, the natural roles of RNA-mediated silencing in algal biology remain poorly understood. Limited evidence suggests that small RNAs may function, in different algae, in defense mechanisms against transposon mobilization, in responses to nutrient deprivation and, possibly, in the regulation of recently evolved developmental processes. From a practical perspective, RNA interference (RNAi) is becoming a promising tool for assessing gene function by sequence-specific knockdown. Transient gene silencing, triggered with exogenously synthesized nucleic acids, and/or stable gene repression, involving genome-integrated transgenes, have been achieved in green algae, diatoms, yellow-green algae, and euglenoids. The development of RNAi technology in conjunction with system level “omics” approaches may provide the tools needed to advance our understanding of algal physiological and metabolic processes. PMID:21803865

  1. Using Sub-Network Combinations to Scale Up an Enumeration Method for Determining the Network Structures of Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Ouyang, Q.

    2016-01-01

    Deduction of biological regulatory networks from their functions is one of the focus areas of systems biology. Among the different techniques used in this reverse-engineering task, one powerful method is to enumerate all candidate network structures to find suitable ones. However, this method is severely limited by calculation capability: due to the brute-force approach, it is infeasible for networks with large number of nodes to be studied using traditional enumeration method because of the combinatorial explosion. In this study, we propose a new reverse-engineering technique based on the enumerating method: sub-network combinations. First, a complex biological function is divided into several sub-functions. Next, the three-node-network enumerating method is applied to search for sub-networks that are able to realize each of the sub-functions. Finally, complex whole networks are constructed by enumerating all possible combinations of sub-networks. The optimal ones are selected and analyzed. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this new method, we used it to deduct the network structures of a Pavlovian-like function. The whole Pavlovian-like network was successfully constructed by combining robust sub-networks, and the results were analyzed. With sub-network combination, the complexity has been largely reduced. Our method also provides a functional modular view of biological systems. PMID:27992476

  2. Greater functional connectivity between reading and error-detection regions following training with the reading acceleration program in children with reading difficulties.

    PubMed

    Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi; Holland, Scott K

    2015-04-01

    The Reading Acceleration Program is a computerized program that improves reading and the activation of the error-detection mechanism in individuals with reading difficulty (RD) and typical readers (TRs). The current study aims to find the neural correlates for this effect in English-speaking 8-12-year-old children with RD and TRs using a functional connectivity analysis. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected during a lexical decision task before and after 4 weeks of training with the program, together with reading and executive functions measures. Results indicated improvement in reading, visual attention, and speed of processing in children with RD. Following training, greater functional connectivity was observed between the left fusiform gyrus and the right anterior cingulate cortex in children with RD and between the left fusiform gyrus and the left anterior cingulate cortex in TRs. The change in functional connectivity after training was correlated with increased behavioral scores for word reading and visual attention in both groups. The results support previous findings of improved monitoring and mental lexicon after training with the Reading Acceleration Program in children with RD and TRs. The differences in laterality of the anterior cingulate cortex in children with RD and the presumable role of the cingulo-opercular control network in language processing are discussed.

  3. Elliptic Preconditioner for Accelerating the Self-Consistent Field Iteration in Kohn--Sham Density Functional Theory

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Lin; Yang, Chao

    2013-10-28

    We discuss techniques for accelerating the self consistent field (SCF) iteration for solving the Kohn-Sham equations. These techniques are all based on constructing approximations to the inverse of the Jacobian associated with a fixed point map satisfied by the total potential. They can be viewed as preconditioners for a fixed point iteration. We point out different requirements for constructing preconditioners for insulating and metallic systems respectively, and discuss how to construct preconditioners to keep the convergence rate of the fixed point iteration independent of the size of the atomistic system. We propose a new preconditioner that can treat insulating and metallic system in a unified way. The new preconditioner, which we call an elliptic preconditioner, is constructed by solving an elliptic partial differential equation. The elliptic preconditioner is shown to be more effective in accelerating the convergence of a fixed point iteration than the existing approaches for large inhomogeneous systems at low temperature.

  4. Pulmonary Function Measures before and after Exposure of Human Subjects to +G(z) and +G(x) Acceleration Loads.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-09-28

    trained for several weeks to perform tracking and response time tasks in the upright and supinated body positions; they received both static and...dynamic training sessions in the OFS. All of the subjects had previous experience riding the DFS, including high G exposures during which they wore...primarily on their familiarity with the acceleration environment and training on the two tasks designed to measure performance. All of the subjects had

  5. The accelerating effect and mechanism of a newly functional bio-carrier modified by redox mediators for the azo dyes decolorization.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jianbo; Kang, Li; Lian, Jing; Yang, Jingliang; Yan, Bin; Li, Zaixing; Liu, Chun; Yue, Lin

    2010-11-01

    In this study, a functional bio-carrier modified by redox meditors was developed as a redox mediator for application in azo dye decolorization processes. Its accelerating effect and mechanism for azo dyes decolorization were also examined. The decolorization rates of 10 azo dyes were enhanced about 1.5-3 fold by the functional bio-carrier modified with disperse turquoise blue S-GL, and the ORP value during the acid red GR decolorization process was changed to a more negative value of 20-25 mV. Non-dissolved redox mediator on the functional bio-carrier played a similar role as NADH during the azo dyes decolorization process. At the same time, the functional bio-carrier exhibited good reusability and the combinational technology of the redox mediator and bio-carrier was a great improvement of the redox mediator application and represents a new bio-treatment concept.

  6. The Biological Function of the Prion Protein: A Cell Surface Scaffold of Signaling Modules

    PubMed Central

    Linden, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    The prion glycoprotein (PrPC) is mostly located at the cell surface, tethered to the plasma membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatydil inositol (GPI) anchor. Misfolding of PrPC is associated with the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), whereas its normal conformer serves as a receptor for oligomers of the β-amyloid peptide, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). PrPC is highly expressed in both the nervous and immune systems, as well as in other organs, but its functions are controversial. Extensive experimental work disclosed multiple physiological roles of PrPC at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels, affecting the homeostasis of copper, neuroprotection, stem cell renewal and memory mechanisms, among others. Often each such process has been heralded as the bona fide function of PrPC, despite restricted attention paid to a selected phenotypic trait, associated with either modulation of gene expression or to the engagement of PrPC with a single ligand. In contrast, the GPI-anchored prion protein was shown to bind several extracellular and transmembrane ligands, which are required to endow that protein with the ability to play various roles in transmembrane signal transduction. In addition, differing sets of those ligands are available in cell type- and context-dependent scenarios. To account for such properties, we proposed that PrPC serves as a dynamic platform for the assembly of signaling modules at the cell surface, with widespread consequences for both physiology and behavior. The current review advances the hypothesis that the biological function of the prion protein is that of a cell surface scaffold protein, based on the striking similarities of its functional properties with those of scaffold proteins involved in the organization of intracellular signal transduction pathways. Those properties are: the ability to recruit spatially restricted sets of binding molecules involved in specific signaling

  7. Object-based attentional modulation of biological motion processing: spatiotemporal dynamics using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography.

    PubMed

    Safford, Ashley S; Hussey, Elizabeth A; Parasuraman, Raja; Thompson, James C

    2010-07-07

    Although it is well documented that the ability to perceive biological motion is mediated by the lateral temporal cortex, whether and when neural activity in this brain region is modulated by attention is unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the processing of biological motion requires attention or whether such stimuli are processed preattentively. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-density electroencephalography, and cortically constrained source estimation methods to investigate the spatiotemporal effects of attention on the processing of biological motion. Directing attention to tool motion in overlapping movies of biological motion and tool motion suppressed the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response of the right superior temporal sulcus (STS)/middle temporal gyrus (MTG), while directing attention to biological motion suppressed the BOLD response of the left inferior temporal sulcus (ITS)/MTG. Similarly, category-based modulation of the cortical current source density estimates from the right STS/MTG and left ITS was observed beginning at approximately 450 ms following stimulus onset. Our results indicate that the cortical processing of biological motion is strongly modulated by attention. These findings argue against preattentive processing of biological motion in the presence of stimuli that compete for attention. Our findings also suggest that the attention-based segregation of motion category-specific responses only emerges relatively late (several hundred milliseconds) in processing.

  8. Luminescent amino-functionalized or erbium-doped silica spheres for biological applications.

    PubMed

    Enrichi, Francesco

    2008-01-01

    This work presents the morphological and optical properties of luminescent silica spheres, discussing applications in bioimaging and biosensing. The spheres are obtained by the hydrolysis and condensation of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) and can be synthesized by following either a basic or an acidic route. Luminescence emission is induced after incorporation of aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) during synthesis or by introducing an optically active element, such as erbium, or other rare-earth elements. The luminescence properties of APTES-functionalized silica spheres have been investigated and optimized by varying the annealing temperature. On the other hand, erbium incorporation in silica spheres was also studied and the corresponding Er(3+) luminescence emission at 1.54 microm was evaluated for intensity and lifetime. The basic pH environment in the synthesis allows good control of the size of the spheres (approximately 200 nm in diameter), whereas the acidic route produces a wide dispersion in particle size (200-5000 nm). Both these approaches, however, can be followed to obtain an efficient photoluminescence (PL) emission for the APTES-functionalized silica spheres after 400-600 degrees C thermal treatment. If Er(NO(3))(3) is introduced in the basic solution, a rapid precipitation of Er(OH)(3) occurs, but erbium can be easily and efficiently incorporated in the acid-synthesized spheres, showing high PL intensity at 1.54 microm with lifetime of 3.9 ms. Finally, I discuss perspectives for the applications of these luminescent silica spheres, in particular as biological markers for bioimaging and biosensing.

  9. Invited review: Caseins and the casein micelle: their biological functions, structures, and behavior in foods.

    PubMed

    Holt, C; Carver, J A; Ecroyd, H; Thorn, D C

    2013-10-01

    A typical casein micelle contains thousands of casein molecules, most of which form thermodynamically stable complexes with nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate. Like many other unfolded proteins, caseins have an actual or potential tendency to assemble into toxic amyloid fibrils, particularly at the high concentrations found in milk. Fibrils do not form in milk because an alternative aggregation pathway is followed that results in formation of the casein micelle. As a result of forming micelles, nutritious milk can be secreted and stored without causing either pathological calcification or amyloidosis of the mother's mammary tissue. The ability to sequester nanoclusters of amorphous calcium phosphate in a stable complex is not unique to caseins. It has been demonstrated using a number of noncasein secreted phosphoproteins and may be of general physiological importance in preventing calcification of other biofluids and soft tissues. Thus, competent noncasein phosphoproteins have similar patterns of phosphorylation and the same type of flexible, unfolded conformation as caseins. The ability to suppress amyloid fibril formation by forming an alternative amorphous aggregate is also not unique to caseins and underlies the action of molecular chaperones such as the small heat-shock proteins. The open structure of the protein matrix of casein micelles is fragile and easily perturbed by changes in its environment. Perturbations can cause the polypeptide chains to segregate into regions of greater and lesser density. As a result, the reliable determination of the native structure of casein micelles continues to be extremely challenging. The biological functions of caseins, such as their chaperone activity, are determined by their composition and flexible conformation and by how the casein polypeptide chains interact with each other. These same properties determine how caseins behave in the manufacture of many dairy products and how they can be used as functional

  10. Single-molecule conformational dynamics of a biologically functional hydroxocobalamin riboswitch.

    PubMed

    Holmstrom, Erik D; Polaski, Jacob T; Batey, Robert T; Nesbitt, David J

    2014-12-03

    Riboswitches represent a family of highly structured regulatory elements found primarily in the leader sequences of bacterial mRNAs. They function as molecular switches capable of altering gene expression; commonly, this occurs via a conformational change in a regulatory element of a riboswitch that results from ligand binding in the aptamer domain. Numerous studies have investigated the ligand binding process, but little is known about the structural changes in the regulatory element. A mechanistic description of both processes is essential for deeply understanding how riboswitches modulate gene expression. This task is greatly facilitated by studying all aspects of riboswitch structure/dynamics/function in the same model system. To this end, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) techniques have been used to directly observe the conformational dynamics of a hydroxocobalamin (HyCbl) binding riboswitch (env8HyCbl) with a known crystallographic structure.1 The single-molecule RNA construct studied in this work is unique in that it contains all of the structural elements both necessary and sufficient for regulation of gene expression in a biological context. The results of this investigation reveal that the undocking rate constant associated with the disruption of a long-range kissing-loop (KL) interaction is substantially decreased when the ligand is bound to the RNA, resulting in a preferential stabilization of the docked conformation. Notably, the formation of this tertiary KL interaction directly sequesters the Shine-Dalgarno sequence (i.e., the ribosome binding site) via base-pairing, thus preventing translation initiation. These results reveal that the conformational dynamics of this regulatory switch are quantitatively described by a four-state kinetic model, whereby ligand binding promotes formation of the KL interaction. The results of complementary cell-based gene expression experiments conducted in Escherichia coli are highly

  11. Evolutionary mechanism and biological functions of 8-mers containing CG dinucleotide in yeast.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yan; Li, Hong; Wang, Yue; Meng, Hu; Zhang, Qiang; Zhao, Xiaoqing

    2017-02-09

    The rules of k-mer non-random usage and the biological functions are worthy of special attention. Firstly, the article studied human 8-mer spectra and found that only the spectra of cytosine-guanine (CG) dinucleotide classification formed independent unimodal distributions when the 8-mers were classified into three subsets under 16 dinucleotide classifications. Secondly, the distribution rules were reproduced by other seven species including yeast, which showed that the evolution phenomenon had species universality. It followed that we proposed two theoretical conjectures: (1) CG1 motifs (8-mers including 1 CG) are the nucleosome-binding motifs. (2) CG2 motifs (8-mers including two or more than two CG) are the modular units of CpG islands. Our conjectures were confirmed in yeast by the following results: a maximum of average area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) resulted from CG1 information during nucleosome core sequences, and linker sequences were distinguished by three CG subsets; there was a one-to-one relationship between abundant CG1 signal regions and histone positions; the sequence changing of squeezed nucleosomes was relevant with the strength of CG1 signals; and the AUC value of 0.986 was based on CG2 information when CpG islands and non-CpG islands were distinguished by the three CG subsets.

  12. Green leaf volatiles: biosynthesis, biological functions and their applications in biotechnology.

    PubMed

    ul Hassan, Muhammad Naeem; Zainal, Zamri; Ismail, Ismanizan

    2015-08-01

    Plants have evolved numerous constitutive and inducible defence mechanisms to cope with biotic and abiotic stresses. These stresses induce the expression of various genes to activate defence-related pathways that result in the release of defence chemicals. One of these defence mechanisms is the oxylipin pathway, which produces jasmonates, divinylethers and green leaf volatiles (GLVs) through the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). GLVs have recently emerged as key players in plant defence, plant-plant interactions and plant-insect interactions. Some GLVs inhibit the growth and propagation of plant pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. In certain cases, GLVs released from plants under herbivore attack can serve as aerial messengers to neighbouring plants and to attract parasitic or parasitoid enemies of the herbivores. The plants that perceive these volatile signals are primed and can then adapt in preparation for the upcoming challenges. Due to their 'green note' odour, GLVs impart aromas and flavours to many natural foods, such as vegetables and fruits, and therefore, they can be exploited in industrial biotechnology. The aim of this study was to review the progress and recent developments in research on the oxylipin pathway, with a specific focus on the biosynthesis and biological functions of GLVs and their applications in industrial biotechnology.

  13. Melatonin and its potential biological functions in the fruits of sweet cherry.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yu; Tan, Dun-Xian; Lei, Qiong; Chen, Hao; Wang, Lin; Li, Qing-tian; Gao, Yinan; Kong, Jin

    2013-08-01

    Melatonin is a well-known molecule which possesses many beneficial effects on human health. Many agriculture products provide natural melatonin in the diet. Cherry is one such fruit as they are rich in melatonin. In order to understand the biological roles of melatonin in cherry fruit, melatonin synthesis and its changes over 24 hr period were systematically monitored both during their development and in the ripe cherries in two cultivars, 'Hongdeng' (Prunus avium L. cv. Hongdeng) and 'Rainier' (Prunus avium L. cv. Rainier). It was found that both darkness and oxidative stress induced melatonin synthesis, which led to dual melatonin synthetic peaks during a 24 hr period. The high levels of malondialdehyde induced by high temperature and high intensity light exposure were directly related to up-regulated melatonin production. A primary function of melatonin in cherry fruits is speculated to be as an antioxidant to protect the cherry from the oxidative stress. Importantly, plant tryptophan decaboxylase gene (PaTDC) was identified in cherry fruits. Our data shows that PaTDC expression is positively related to the melatonin production in the cherry. This provides additional information to suggest that tryptophan decaboxylase is a rate-limiting enzyme of melatonin synthesis in plants.

  14. Structural changes in PVDF fibers due to electrospinning and its effect on biological function.

    PubMed

    Damaraju, Sita M; Wu, Siliang; Jaffe, Michael; Arinzeh, Treena Livingston

    2013-08-01

    Polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) is being investigated as a potential scaffold for bone tissue engineering because of its proven biocompatibility and piezoelectric property, wherein it can generate electrical activity when mechanically deformed. In this study, PVDF scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning using different voltages (12-30 kV), evaluated for the presence of the piezoelectric β-crystal phase and its effect on biological function. Electrospun PVDF was compared with unprocessed/raw PVDF, films and melt-spun fibers for the presence of the piezoelectric β-phase using differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was evaluated on scaffolds electrospun at 12 and 25 kV (PVDF-12 kV and PVDF-25 kV, respectively) and compared to tissue culture polystyrene (TCP). Electrospinning PVDF resulted in the formation of the piezoelectric β-phase with the highest β-phase fraction of 72% for electrospun PVDF at 25 kV. MSCs cultured on both the scaffolds were well attached as indicated by a spread morphology. Cells on PVDF-25 kV scaffolds had the greatest alkaline phosphatase activity and early mineralization by day 10 as compared to TCP and PVDF-12 kV. The results demonstrate the potential for the use of PVDF scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications.

  15. Functional and biological diversity of foliar spectra in tree canopies throughout the Andes to Amazon region.

    PubMed

    Asner, Gregory P; Martin, Roberta E; Carranza-Jiménez, Loreli; Sinca, Felipe; Tupayachi, Raul; Anderson, Christopher B; Martinez, Paola

    2014-10-01

    Spectral properties of foliage express fundamental chemical interactions of canopies with solar radiation. However, the degree to which leaf spectra track chemical traits across environmental gradients in tropical forests is unknown. We analyzed leaf reflectance and transmittance spectra in 2567 tropical canopy trees comprising 1449 species in 17 forests along a 3400-m elevation and soil fertility gradient from the Amazonian lowlands to the Andean treeline. We developed quantitative links between 21 leaf traits and 400-2500-nm spectra, and developed classifications of tree taxa based on spectral traits. Our results reveal enormous inter-specific variation in spectral and chemical traits among canopy trees of the western Amazon. Chemical traits mediating primary production were tightly linked to elevational changes in foliar spectral signatures. By contrast, defense compounds and rock-derived nutrients tracked foliar spectral variation with changing soil fertility in the lowlands. Despite the effects of abiotic filtering on mean foliar spectral properties of tree communities, the spectra were dominated by phylogeny within any given community, and spectroscopy accurately classified 85-93% of Amazonian tree species. Our findings quantify how tropical tree canopies interact with sunlight, and indicate how to measure the functional and biological diversity of forests with spectroscopy.

  16. Mechanically robust, rapidly actuating, and biologically functionalized macroporous poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/silk hybrid hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Gil, Eun Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Tien, Lee W; Trimmer, Barry; Hudson, Samuel M; Kaplan, David L

    2010-10-05

    A route toward mechanically robust, rapidly actuating, and biologically functionalized polymeric actuators using macroporous soft materials is described. The materials were prepared by combining silk protein and a synthetic polymer (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIAPPm)) to form interpenetrating network materials and macroporous structures by freeze-drying, with hundreds of micrometer diameter pores and exploiting the features of both polymers related to dynamic materials and structures. The chemically cross-linked PNIPAAm networks provided stimuli-responsive features, while the silk interpenetrating network formed by inducing protein β-sheet crystallinity in situ for physical cross-links provided material robustness, improved expansion force, and enzymatic degradability. The macroporous hybrid hydrogels showed enhanced thermal-responsive properties in comparison to pure PNIPAAm hydrogels, nonporous silk/PNIPAAm hybrid hydrogels, and previously reported macroporous PNIPAAm hydrogels. These new systems reach near equilibrium sizes in shrunken/swollen states in less than 1 min, with the structural features providing improved actuation rates and stable oscillatory properties due to the macroporous transport and the mechanically robust silk network. Confocal images of the hydrated hydrogels around the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) revealed macropores that could be used to track changes in the real time morphology upon thermal stimulus. The material system transformed from a macroporous to a nonporous structure upon enzymatic degradation. To extend the utility of the system, an affinity platform for a switchable or tunable system was developed by immobilizing biotin and avidin on the macropore surfaces.

  17. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    PubMed

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  18. Soft robotic arm inspired by the octopus: I. From biological functions to artificial requirements.

    PubMed

    Margheri, L; Laschi, C; Mazzolai, B

    2012-06-01

    Octopuses are molluscs that belong to the group Cephalopoda. They lack joints and rigid links, and as a result, their arms possess virtually limitless freedom of movement. These flexible appendages exhibit peculiar biomechanical features such as stiffness control, compliance, and high flexibility and dexterity. Studying the capabilities of the octopus arm is a complex task that presents a challenge for both biologists and roboticists, the latter of whom draw inspiration from the octopus in designing novel technologies within soft robotics. With this idea in mind, in this study, we used new, purposively developed methods of analysing the octopus arm in vivo to create new biologically inspired design concepts. Our measurements showed that the octopus arm can elongate by 70% in tandem with a 23% diameter reduction and exhibits an average pulling force of 40 N. The arm also exhibited a 20% mean shortening at a rate of 17.1 mm s(-1) and a longitudinal stiffening rate as high as 2 N (mm s)(-1). Using histology and ultrasounds, we investigated the functional morphology of the internal tissues, including the sinusoidal arrangement of the nerve cord and the local insertion points of the longitudinal and transverse muscle fibres. The resulting information was used to create novel design principles and specifications that can in turn be used in developing a new soft robotic arm.

  19. HEY1 Leu94Met gene polymorphism dramatically modifies its biological functions

    PubMed Central

    Villaronga, MA; Lavery, DN; Bevan, CL; Llanos, S; Belandia, B

    2012-01-01

    The hairy/enhancer-of-split related with YRPW motif 1 (HEY1) is a member of the basic-helix-loop-helix-Orange (bHLH-O) family of transcriptional repressors that mediate Notch signaling. Several cancer-related pathways also regulate HEY1 expression, and HEY1 itself acts as an indirect positive regulator of the p53 tumor suppressor protein and a negative regulator of androgen receptor activity. In this study we show how a naturally occurring non-synonymous polymorphism at codon 94 of HEY1, which results in a substitution of leucine by methionine (Leu94Met), converts HEY1 from an androgen receptor corepressor to an androgen receptor co-activator without affecting its intrinsic transcriptional repressive domains. The polymorphism Leu94Met also abolishes HEY1-mediated activation of p53 and suppresses the ability of HEY1 to induce p53-dependent cell-cycle arrest and aberrant cell differentiation in human osteosarcoma U2OS cells. Moreover, expression of HEY1, but not of the variant Leu94Met, confers sensitivity to p53-activating chemotherapeutic drugs on U2OS cells. In addition, we have identified motifs in HEY1 that are critical for the regulation of its subcellular localization and analysed how mutations in those motifs affect both HEY1 and HEY1-Leu94Met functions. These findings suggest that the polymorphism Leu94Met in HEY1 radically alters its biological activities and may affect oncogenic processes. PMID:19802006

  20. Synthesis and biological assay of GSH functionalized fluorescent quantum dots for staining Hydra vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Tortiglione, Claudia; Quarta, Alessandra; Tino, Angela; Manna, Liberato; Cingolani, Roberto; Pellegrino, Teresa

    2007-01-01

    Quantum dots (QDs) have been used extensively as fluorescent markers in several studies on living cells. Here, we report the synthesis of conjugates based on glutathione (GSH) and QDs (GSH-QDs) and we prove how these functionalized fluorescent probes can be used for staining a freshwater invertebrate called Hydra vulgaris. GSH is known to promote Hydra feeding response by inducing mouth opening. We demonstrate that GSH-QDs as well are able to elicit biological activity in such an animal, which results in the fluorescent staining of Hydra. GSH-QDs, once they reach the gastric region, are internalized by endodermal cells. The efficiency of GSH-QD internalization increases significantly when nanoparticles are coadministrated with free GSH. We also compared the behavior of bare QDs to that of GSH-QDs both in the presence and in the absence of free GSH. The conclusions from these series of experiments point to the presence of GSH binding proteins in the endodermal cell layer and uncover a novel role played by glutathione in this organism.