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Sample records for activation state insights

  1. Cationic Membrane Peptides: Atomic-Level Insight of Structure-Activity Relationships from Solid-State NMR

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yongchao; Li, Shenhui; Hong, Mei

    2012-01-01

    Many membrane-active peptides, such as cationic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), conduct their biological functions by interacting with the cell membrane. The interactions of charged residues with lipids and water facilitate membrane insertion, translocation or disruption of these highly hydrophobic species. In this mini-review we will summarize high-resolution structural and dynamic findings towards the understanding of the structure-activity relationship of lipid membrane-bound CPPs and AMPs, as examples of the current development of solid-state NMR (SSNMR) techniques for studying membrane peptides. We will present the most recent atomic-resolution structure of the guanidinium-phosphate complex, as constrained from experimentally measured site-specific distances. These SSNMR results will be valuable specifically for understanding the intracellular translocation pathway of CPPs and antimicrobial mechanism of AMPs, and more generally broaden our insight into how cationic macromolecules interact with and cross the lipid membrane. PMID:23108593

  2. Sport for All? Insight into Stratification and Compensation Mechanisms of Sporting Activity in the 27 European Union Member States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Tuyckom, Charlotte; Scheerder, Jeroen

    2010-01-01

    Physical activity is an important public health issue and the benefits of an active lifestyle in relation to well-being and health have been strongly emphasised in recent years in Europe, as well as in most parts of the world. However, previous research has shown that physical activity within Europe and its member states is stratified. The present…

  3. Behçet’s disease: new insight into the relationship between procoagulant state, endothelial activation/damage and disease activity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Behçet disease (BD) is associated with a prothrombotic state of unknown origin that may lead to life-threatening events. Calibrated Automated Thrombogram (CAT) and Rotational Thromboelastometry (ROTEM) are two global haemostasis assays that may reveal new insights into the physiopathological mechanisms of the disease and its procoagulant condition. Methods 23 BD patients who had no signs or symptoms of current thrombosis and 33 age- and sex-matched controls were included in the study. We performed ROTEM and CAT tests and assessed erythrocyte count, platelet count, platelet contribution to clot formation and plasma levels of tissue-type plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1), fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (CRP), thrombin-antithrombin III complex (TAT), D-dimer and E-selectin (ES). Results Both ROTEM and CAT tests showed a hypercoagulable state in the BD patients. Plasma levels of PAI-1, fibrinogen, TAT, CRP and ES were significantly increased in this group compared to controls. The disease activity (DA) was significantly correlated with levels of ES and the maximum clot firmness, and this last one, in turn, correlated with rising levels of ES, PAI-1, CRP and fibrinogen. CAT parameters did not correlate with DA or ES. Conclusions Both ROTEM and CAT tests reveal that patients with BD have a procoagulant state even in the absence of thrombosis. ROTEM test indicates that increased levels of fibrinogen and PAI-1 may be involved in the prothrombotic state of this pathology, while platelets do not significantly contribute. Moreover, CAT assay demonstrate that plasma from BD patients is able to generate more thrombin than controls in response to the same stimulus and that this effect is independent of the DA and the endothelial impairment suggesting the involvement of another factor in the hypercoagulable state observed in BD patients. This study also shows that endothelium activation/damage may be a contributing factor in both

  4. Novel Molecular Insights into Classical and Alternative Activation States of Microglia as Revealed by Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC)-based Proteomics.

    PubMed

    Bell-Temin, Harris; Culver-Cochran, Ashley E; Chaput, Dale; Carlson, Christina M; Kuehl, Melanie; Burkhardt, Brant R; Bickford, Paula C; Liu, Bin; Stevens, Stanley M

    2015-12-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been shown to display a complex spectrum of roles that span from neurotrophic to neurotoxic depending on their activation status. Microglia can be classified into four stages of activation, M1, which most closely matches the classical (pro-inflammatory) activation stage, and the alternative activation stages M2a, M2b, and M2c. The alternative activation stages have not yet been comprehensively analyzed through unbiased, global-scale protein expression profiling. In this study, BV2 mouse immortalized microglial cells were stimulated with agonists specific for each of the four stages and total protein expression for 4644 protein groups was quantified using SILAC-based proteomic analysis. After validating induction of the various stages through a targeted cytokine assay and Western blotting of activation states, the data revealed novel insights into the similarities and differences between the various states. The data identify several protein groups whose expression in the anti-inflammatory, pro-healing activation states are altered presumably to curtail inflammatory activation through differential protein expression, in the M2a state including CD74, LYN, SQST1, TLR2, and CD14. The differential expression of these proteins promotes healing, limits phagocytosis, and limits activation of reactive nitrogen species through toll-like receptor cascades. The M2c state appears to center around the down-regulation of a key member in the formation of actin-rich phagosomes, SLP-76. In addition, the proteomic data identified a novel activation marker, DAB2, which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and is significantly different between M2a and either M1 or M2b states. Western blot analysis of mouse primary microglia stimulated with the various agonists of the classical and alternative activation states revealed a similar trend of DAB2 expression compared with BV2 cells.

  5. Novel Molecular Insights into Classical and Alternative Activation States of Microglia as Revealed by Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC)-based Proteomics*

    PubMed Central

    Bell-Temin, Harris; Culver-Cochran, Ashley E.; Chaput, Dale; Carlson, Christina M.; Kuehl, Melanie; Burkhardt, Brant R.; Bickford, Paula C.; Liu, Bin; Stevens, Stanley M.

    2015-01-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, have been shown to display a complex spectrum of roles that span from neurotrophic to neurotoxic depending on their activation status. Microglia can be classified into four stages of activation, M1, which most closely matches the classical (pro-inflammatory) activation stage, and the alternative activation stages M2a, M2b, and M2c. The alternative activation stages have not yet been comprehensively analyzed through unbiased, global-scale protein expression profiling. In this study, BV2 mouse immortalized microglial cells were stimulated with agonists specific for each of the four stages and total protein expression for 4644 protein groups was quantified using SILAC-based proteomic analysis. After validating induction of the various stages through a targeted cytokine assay and Western blotting of activation states, the data revealed novel insights into the similarities and differences between the various states. The data identify several protein groups whose expression in the anti-inflammatory, pro-healing activation states are altered presumably to curtail inflammatory activation through differential protein expression, in the M2a state including CD74, LYN, SQST1, TLR2, and CD14. The differential expression of these proteins promotes healing, limits phagocytosis, and limits activation of reactive nitrogen species through toll-like receptor cascades. The M2c state appears to center around the down-regulation of a key member in the formation of actin-rich phagosomes, SLP-76. In addition, the proteomic data identified a novel activation marker, DAB2, which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis and is significantly different between M2a and either M1 or M2b states. Western blot analysis of mouse primary microglia stimulated with the various agonists of the classical and alternative activation states revealed a similar trend of DAB2 expression compared with BV2 cells. PMID:26424600

  6. Light activation of rhodopsin: insights from molecular dynamics simulations guided by solid-state NMR distance restraints

    PubMed Central

    Hornak, Viktor; Ahuja, Shivani; Eilers, Markus; Goncalves, Joseph A.; Sheves, Mordechai; Reeves, Philip J.; Smith, Steven O.

    2009-01-01

    Structural restraints provided by solid-state NMR measurements of the metarhodopsin II intermediate are combined with molecular dynamics simulations to help visualize the structural changes in the light activation of rhodopsin. Since the time scale for the formation of the metarhodopsin II intermediate (> 1 ms) is beyond that readily accessible by molecular dynamics, we use NMR distance restraints derived from 13C dipolar recoupling measurements to guide the simulations. The simulations yield a working model for how photoisomerization of the 11-cis retinylidene chromophore bound within the interior of rhodopsin is coupled to transmembrane helix motion and receptor activation. The mechanism of activation that emerges is that multiple switches on the extracellular (or intradiscal) side of rhodopsin trigger structural changes that converge to disrupt the ionic lock between helices H3 and H6 on the intracellular side of the receptor. PMID:20004206

  7. Structural insights on complement activation.

    PubMed

    Alcorlo, Martín; López-Perrote, Andrés; Delgado, Sandra; Yébenes, Hugo; Subías, Marta; Rodríguez-Gallego, César; Rodríguez de Córdoba, Santiago; Llorca, Oscar

    2015-10-01

    The proteolytic cleavage of C3 to generate C3b is the central and most important step in the activation of complement, a major component of innate immunity. The comparison of the crystal structures of C3 and C3b illustrates large conformational changes during the transition from C3 to C3b. Exposure of a reactive thio-ester group allows C3b to bind covalently to surfaces such as pathogens or apoptotic cellular debris. The displacement of the thio-ester-containing domain (TED) exposes hidden surfaces that mediate the interaction with complement factor B to assemble the C3-convertase of the alternative pathway (AP). In addition, the displacement of the TED and its interaction with the macroglobulin 1 (MG1) domain generates an extended surface in C3b where the complement regulators factor H (FH), decay accelerating factor (DAF), membrane cofactor protein (MCP) and complement receptor 1 (CR1) can bind, mediating accelerated decay of the AP C3-convertase and proteolytic inactivation of C3b. In the last few years, evidence has accumulated revealing that the structure of C3b in solution is significantly more flexible than anticipated. We review our current knowledge on C3b structural flexibility to propose a general model where the TED can display a collection of conformations around the MG ring, as well as a few specialized positions where the TED is held in one of several fixed locations. Importantly, this conformational heterogeneity in C3b impacts complement regulation by affecting the interaction with regulators.

  8. Insight Across the Different Mood States of Bipolar Disorder.

    PubMed

    de Assis da Silva, Rafael; Mograbi, Daniel C; Silveira, Luciana Angélica Silva; Nunes, Ana Letícia Santos; Novis, Fernanda Demôro; Landeira-Fernandez, J; Cheniaux, Elie

    2015-09-01

    In bipolar disorder, levels of insight vary as a function of the mood state and appear to influence pharmacology compliance, quality of life, the presence of suicidal ideations, and aggressive behavior. To establish a comparison among different mood states in bipolar with regard to level of insight. Forty-eight patients were evaluated in different affective states (i.e., euthymia, mania, depression, and mixed state). Identifying information, sociodemographic data, and clinical records were recorded. The following scales were applied: Hamilton Depression Scale, Young Mania Rating Scale, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale positive symptoms subscale, and Global Assessment of Functioning and Clinical Global Impressions Scale for use in bipolar disorder. Insight was evaluated using items 11 and 17 of the Young Mania Rating Scale and Hamilton Depression Scale, respectively. Insight in bipolar disorder was found to be more compromised during manic phases and mixed episodes than during periods of depression or euthymia. The factors associated with lower levels of insight were the following: shorter illness duration, older age, and greater severity in mania; the female gender and older age in depression; and shorter illness duration and more severe depressive symptoms in mixed episodes. In the same individual, levels of insight vary as a function of the affective state over the course of bipolar disorder and appear to be influenced by several clinical variables.

  9. Insight into hydroxides-activated coals: chemical or physical activation?

    SciTech Connect

    Alcaniz-Monge, J.; Illan-Gomez, M.J.

    2008-02-15

    The objective of this paper is to get an insight into the chemical activation mechanism using KOH and NaOH as activated agents. Three coals have been selected as carbon precursors. It was found that KOH and NaOH develop a similar narrow microporosity, independently of the coal rank, whereas only KOH generates supermicroporosity. Temperature-programmed desorption experiments, carried out with impregnated anthracite, show differences on the gas evolved during the activated carbon preparation using the two activating agents. Thus, whereas hydrogen profiles are quite similar for both activated agents, the CO and H{sub 2}O profiles are different. It is remarkable the high amount of H{sub 2}O evolved at the maximum treatment temperature for both activating agents. The results obtained to allow conclusion that the chemical activation is due to a combination of different process driving the development of material porosity.

  10. Structural Insights into a Unique Legionella pneumophila Effector LidA Recognizing Both GDP and GTP Bound Rab1 in Their Active State

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Defen; Li, Bingqing; Zhu, Deyu; Chen, Yuzhen; Zhang, Hao; Xu, Sujuan; Chai, Jijie; Gu, Lichuan

    2012-01-01

    The intracellular pathogen Legionella pneumophila hijacks the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived vesicles to create an organelle designated Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV) required for bacterial replication. Maturation of the LCV involved acquisition of Rab1, which is mediated by the bacterial effector protein SidM/DrrA. SidM/DrrA is a bifunctional enzyme having the activity of both Rab1-specific GDP dissociation inhibitor (GDI) displacement factor (GDF) and guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF). LidA, another Rab1-interacting bacterial effector protein, was reported to promote SidM/DrrA-mediated recruitment of Rab1 to the LCV as well. Here we report the crystal structures of LidA complexes with GDP- and GTP-bound Rab1 respectively. Structural comparison revealed that GDP-Rab1 bound by LidA exhibits an active and nearly identical conformation with that of GTP-Rab1, suggesting that LidA can disrupt the switch function of Rab1 and render it persistently active. As with GTP, LidA maintains GDP-Rab1 in the active conformation through interaction with its two conserved switch regions. Consistent with the structural observations, biochemical assays showed that LidA binds to GDP- and GTP-Rab1 equally well with an affinity approximately 7.5 nM. We propose that the tight interaction with Rab1 allows LidA to facilitate SidM/DrrA-catalyzed release of Rab1 from GDIs. Taken together, our results support a unique mechanism by which a bacterial effector protein regulates Rab1 recycling. PMID:22416225

  11. X-ray-induced catalytic active-site reduction of a multicopper oxidase: structural insights into the proton-relay mechanism and O2-reduction states

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Centeno-Leija, Sara; Rojas-Trejo, Sonia Patricia; Rodríguez-Almazán, Claudia; Stojanoff, Vivian; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    During X-ray data collection from a multicopper oxidase (MCO) crystal, electrons and protons are mainly released into the system by the radiolysis of water molecules, leading to the X-ray-induced reduction of O2 to 2H2O at the trinuclear copper cluster (TNC) of the enzyme. In this work, 12 crystallographic structures of Thermus thermophilus HB27 multicopper oxidase (Tth-MCO) in holo, apo and Hg-bound forms and with different X-ray absorbed doses have been determined. In holo Tth-MCO structures with four Cu atoms, the proton-donor residue Glu451 involved in O2 reduction was found in a double conformation: Glu451a (∼7 Å from the TNC) and Glu451b (∼4.5 Å from the TNC). A positive peak of electron density above 3.5σ in an F o − F c map for Glu451a O∊2 indicates the presence of a carboxyl functional group at the side chain, while its significant absence in Glu451b strongly suggests a carboxylate functional group. In contrast, for apo Tth-MCO and in Hg-bound structures neither the positive peak nor double conformations were observed. Together, these observations provide the first structural evidence for a proton-relay mechanism in the MCO family and also support previous studies indicating that Asp106 does not provide protons for this mechanism. In addition, eight composite structures (Tth-MCO-C1–8) with different X-ray-absorbed doses allowed the observation of different O2-reduction states, and a total depletion of T2Cu at doses higher than 0.2 MGy showed the high susceptibility of this Cu atom to radiation damage, highlighting the importance of taking radiation effects into account in biochemical interpretations of an MCO structure. PMID:26627648

  12. X-ray-induced catalytic active-site reduction of a multicopper oxidase: structural insights into the proton-relay mechanism and O2-reduction states.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Centeno-Leija, Sara; Rojas-Trejo, Sonia Patricia; Rodríguez-Almazán, Claudia; Stojanoff, Vivian; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique

    2015-12-01

    During X-ray data collection from a multicopper oxidase (MCO) crystal, electrons and protons are mainly released into the system by the radiolysis of water molecules, leading to the X-ray-induced reduction of O2 to 2H2O at the trinuclear copper cluster (TNC) of the enzyme. In this work, 12 crystallographic structures of Thermus thermophilus HB27 multicopper oxidase (Tth-MCO) in holo, apo and Hg-bound forms and with different X-ray absorbed doses have been determined. In holo Tth-MCO structures with four Cu atoms, the proton-donor residue Glu451 involved in O2 reduction was found in a double conformation: Glu451a (∼7 Å from the TNC) and Glu451b (∼4.5 Å from the TNC). A positive peak of electron density above 3.5σ in an Fo - Fc map for Glu451a O(ℇ2) indicates the presence of a carboxyl functional group at the side chain, while its significant absence in Glu451b strongly suggests a carboxylate functional group. In contrast, for apo Tth-MCO and in Hg-bound structures neither the positive peak nor double conformations were observed. Together, these observations provide the first structural evidence for a proton-relay mechanism in the MCO family and also support previous studies indicating that Asp106 does not provide protons for this mechanism. In addition, eight composite structures (Tth-MCO-C1-8) with different X-ray-absorbed doses allowed the observation of different O2-reduction states, and a total depletion of T2Cu at doses higher than 0.2 MGy showed the high susceptibility of this Cu atom to radiation damage, highlighting the importance of taking radiation effects into account in biochemical interpretations of an MCO structure.

  13. BK channel activation: structural and functional insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Urvi S.; Cui, Jianmin

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Insights into the "free state" enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfinement.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Ye, De-Kai; Wang, Yun-Yi; Lu, Tao; Xia, Xing-Hua

    2013-04-21

    The investigation of enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfined spaces mimicking the conditions in living systems is of great significance. Here, a nanofluidics chip integrated with an electrochemical detector has been designed for studying "free state" enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfinement. The nanofluidics chip is fabricated using the UV-ablation technique developed in our group. The enzyme and substrate solutions are simultaneously supplied from two single streams into a nanochannel through a Y-shaped junction. The laminar flow forms in the front of the nanochannel, then the two liquids fully mix at their downstream where a homogeneous enzyme reaction occurs. The "free state" enzyme reaction kinetics in nanoconfinement can thus be investigated in this laminar flow based nanofluidics device. For demonstration, glucose oxidase (GOx) is chosen as the model enzyme, which catalyzes the oxidation of beta-d-glucose. The reaction product hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) can be electrochemically detected by a microelectrode aligning to the end of nanochannel. The steady-state electrochemical current responding to various glucose concentrations is used to evaluate the activity of the "free state" GOx under nanoconfinement conditions. The effect of liquid flow rate, enzyme concentration, and nanoconfinement on reaction kinetics has been studied in detail. Results show that the "free state" GOx activity increases significantly compared to the immobilized enzyme and bath system, and the GOx reaction rate in the nanochannel is two-fold faster than that in bulk solution, demonstrating the importance of "free state" and spatial confinement for the enzyme reaction kinetics. The present approach provides an effective method for exploiting the "free state" enzyme activity in nanospatial confinement.

  15. Differential Associations of Early- and Late-Night Sleep with Functional Brain States Promoting Insight to Abstract Task Regularity

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Ullrich; Verleger, Rolf

    2010-01-01

    Background Solving a task with insight has been associated with occipital and right-hemisphere activations. The present study tested the hypothesis if sleep-related alterations in functional activation states modulate the probability of insight into a hidden abstract regularity of a task. Methodology State-dependent functional activation was measured by beta and alpha electroencephalographic (EEG) activity and spatial synchronization. Task-dependent functional activation was assessed by slow cortical potentials (SPs). EEG parameters during the performance of the Number Reduction Task (NRT) were compared between before sleep and after sleep sessions. In two different groups, the relevant sleep occurred either in the first or in the second half of the night, dominated by slow wave sleep (SWS) or by rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Principal Findings Changes in EEG parameters only occurred in the early-night group, not in the late-night group and indicated occipital and right-hemisphere functional alterations. These changes were associated with off-line consolidation of implicit task representations and with the amount of SWS but they did not predict subsequent insight. The gain of insight was, however, independently associated with changes of spectral beta and alpha measures only in those subjects from the two sleep groups who would subsequently comprehend the hidden regularity of the task. Insight-related enhancement of right frontal asymmetry after sleep did not depend on sleep stages. Significance It is concluded that off-line restructuring of implicit information during sleep is accompanied by alterations of functional activation states after sleep. This mechanism is promoted by SWS but not by REM sleep and may contribute to attaining insight after sleep. Original neurophysiologic evidence is provided for alterations of the functional activation brain states after sleep. These alterations are associated with a decrease in controlled processing within the visual

  16. Insights on activation enthalpy for non-Schmid slip in body-centered cubic metals

    DOE PAGES

    Hale, Lucas M.; Lim, Hojun; Zimmerman, Jonathan A.; ...

    2014-12-18

    We use insights gained from atomistic simulation to develop an activation enthalpy model for dislocation slip in body-centered cubic iron. Furthermore, using a classical potential that predicts dislocation core stabilities consistent with ab initio predictions, we quantify the non-Schmid stress-dependent effects of slip. The kink-pair activation enthalpy is evaluated and a model is identified as a function of the general stress state. Thus, our model enlarges the applicability of the classic Kocks activation enthalpy model to materials with non-Schmid behavior.

  17. Mechanisms of inflammasome activation: recent advances and novel insights.

    PubMed

    Vanaja, Sivapriya K; Rathinam, Vijay A K; Fitzgerald, Katherine A

    2015-05-01

    Inflammasomes are cytosolic multiprotein platforms assembled in response to invading pathogens and other danger signals. Typically inflammasome complexes contain a sensor protein, an adaptor protein, and a zymogen - procaspase-1. Formation of inflammasome assembly results in processing of inactive procaspase-1 into an active cysteine-protease enzyme, caspase-1, which subsequently activates the proinflammatory cytokines, interleukins IL-1β and IL-18, and induces pyroptosis, a highly-pyrogenic inflammatory form of cell death. Studies over the past year have unveiled exciting new players and regulatory pathways that are involved in traditional inflammasome signaling, some of them even challenging the existing dogma. This review outlines these new insights in inflammasome research and discusses areas that warrant further exploration.

  18. Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogner, Donna, Ed.

    1988-01-01

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

  19. On the time to steady state: insights from numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goren, L.; Willett, S.; McCoy, S. W.; Perron, J.

    2013-12-01

    How fast do fluvial landscapes approach steady state after an application of tectonic or climatic perturbation? While theory and some numerical models predict that the celerity of the advective wave (knickpoint) controls the response time for perturbations, experiments and other landscape evolution models demonstrate that the time to steady state is much longer than the theoretically predicted response time. We posit that the longevity of transient features and the time to steady state are controlled by the stability of the topology and geometry of channel networks. Evolution of a channel network occurs by a combination of discrete capture events and continuous migration of water divides, processes, which are difficult to represent accurately in landscape evolution models. We therefore address the question of the time to steady state using the DAC landscape evolution model that solves accurately for the location of water divides, using a combination of analytical solution for hillslopes and low-order channels together with a numerical solution for higher order channels. DAC also includes an explicit capture criterion. We have tested fundamental predictions from DAC and show that modeled networks reproduce natural network characteristics such as the Hack's exponent and coefficient and the fractal dimension. We define two steady-state criteria: a topographic steady state, defined by global, pointwise steady elevation, and a topological steady state defined as the state in which no further reorganization of the drainage network takes place. Analyzing block uplift simulations, we find that the time to achieve either topographic or topological steady state exceeds by an order of magnitude the theoretical response time of the fluvial network. The longevity of the transient state is the result of the area feedback, by which, migration of a divide changes the local contributing area. This change propagates downstream as a slope adjustment, forcing further divide migrations

  20. Insights from simple models for surface states in nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boykin, Timothy B.; Klimeck, Gerhard

    2017-03-01

    Surface passivation is of great technological importance due to the increasing miniaturisation of electronic devices. It has been known for many years that under certain conditions surface states can form; when they do so in a quantum well (QW) the result is an unbound (i.e., evanescent) state in the QW. Such surface states are generally undesirable, so a good physical understanding of them is important. A simple single-p-orbital valence band model is used with two types of surface passivation to examine surface states in a QW: (1) an energy upshift added to the terminal atoms; and (2) explicit passivation by an s-orbital on each end of the QW. These models show these unbound/evanescent QW states can occur in both models; that in them the wavefunction is bound to the terminal atoms; and that the existence of these states is connected to the effective valence-band offset between the terminal atoms and the bulk QW.

  1. Kinetic insights over a PEMFC operating on stationary and oscillatory states.

    PubMed

    Mota, Andressa; Gonzalez, Ernesto R; Eiswirth, Markus

    2011-12-01

    Kinetic investigations in the oscillatory state have been carried out in order to shed light on the interplay between the complex kinetics exhibited by a proton exchange membrane fuel cell fed with poisoned H(2) (108 ppm of CO) and the other in serie process. The apparent activation energy (E(a)) in the stationary state was investigated in order to clarify the E(a) observed in the oscillatory state. The apparent activation energy in the stationary state, under potentiostatic control, rendered (a) E(a) ≈ 50-60 kJ mol(-1) over 0.8 V < E < 0.6 V and (b) E(a) ≈ 10 kJ mol(-1) at E = 0.3 V. The former is related to the H(2) adsorption in the vacancies of the surface poisoned by CO and the latter is correlated to the process of proton conductivity in the membrane. The dependence of the period-one oscillations on the temperature yielded a genuine Arrhenius dependence with two E(a) values: (a) E(a) around 70 kJ mol(-1), at high temperatures, and (b) E(a) around 10-15 kJ mol(-1), at lower temperatures. The latter E(a) indicates the presence of protonic mass transport coupled to the essential oscillatory mechanism. These insights point in the right direction to predict spatial couplings between anode and cathode as having the highest strength as well as to speculate the most likely candidates to promote spatial inhomogeneities.

  2. Markov State Models Provide Insights into Dynamic Modulation of Protein Function

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Conspectus Protein function is inextricably linked to protein dynamics. As we move from a static structural picture to a dynamic ensemble view of protein structure and function, novel computational paradigms are required for observing and understanding conformational dynamics of proteins and its functional implications. In principle, molecular dynamics simulations can provide the time evolution of atomistic models of proteins, but the long time scales associated with functional dynamics make it difficult to observe rare dynamical transitions. The issue of extracting essential functional components of protein dynamics from noisy simulation data presents another set of challenges in obtaining an unbiased understanding of protein motions. Therefore, a methodology that provides a statistical framework for efficient sampling and a human-readable view of the key aspects of functional dynamics from data analysis is required. The Markov state model (MSM), which has recently become popular worldwide for studying protein dynamics, is an example of such a framework. In this Account, we review the use of Markov state models for efficient sampling of the hierarchy of time scales associated with protein dynamics, automatic identification of key conformational states, and the degrees of freedom associated with slow dynamical processes. Applications of MSMs for studying long time scale phenomena such as activation mechanisms of cellular signaling proteins has yielded novel insights into protein function. In particular, from MSMs built using large-scale simulations of GPCRs and kinases, we have shown that complex conformational changes in proteins can be described in terms of structural changes in key structural motifs or “molecular switches” within the protein, the transitions between functionally active and inactive states of proteins proceed via multiple pathways, and ligand or substrate binding modulates the flux through these pathways. Finally, MSMs also provide a

  3. Markov state models provide insights into dynamic modulation of protein function.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Diwakar; Hernández, Carlos X; Weber, Jeffrey K; Pande, Vijay S

    2015-02-17

    CONSPECTUS: Protein function is inextricably linked to protein dynamics. As we move from a static structural picture to a dynamic ensemble view of protein structure and function, novel computational paradigms are required for observing and understanding conformational dynamics of proteins and its functional implications. In principle, molecular dynamics simulations can provide the time evolution of atomistic models of proteins, but the long time scales associated with functional dynamics make it difficult to observe rare dynamical transitions. The issue of extracting essential functional components of protein dynamics from noisy simulation data presents another set of challenges in obtaining an unbiased understanding of protein motions. Therefore, a methodology that provides a statistical framework for efficient sampling and a human-readable view of the key aspects of functional dynamics from data analysis is required. The Markov state model (MSM), which has recently become popular worldwide for studying protein dynamics, is an example of such a framework. In this Account, we review the use of Markov state models for efficient sampling of the hierarchy of time scales associated with protein dynamics, automatic identification of key conformational states, and the degrees of freedom associated with slow dynamical processes. Applications of MSMs for studying long time scale phenomena such as activation mechanisms of cellular signaling proteins has yielded novel insights into protein function. In particular, from MSMs built using large-scale simulations of GPCRs and kinases, we have shown that complex conformational changes in proteins can be described in terms of structural changes in key structural motifs or "molecular switches" within the protein, the transitions between functionally active and inactive states of proteins proceed via multiple pathways, and ligand or substrate binding modulates the flux through these pathways. Finally, MSMs also provide a theoretical

  4. Building Capacity for Tracking Human Capital Development and Its Mobility across State Lines. Policy Insights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prescott, Brian T.

    2014-01-01

    This issue of "Policy Insights" provides a review of the past five years of the cost and value of higher education, which have gained increased policymaker, consumer, and media attention. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has worked with four of its member states (Hawai'i, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) to…

  5. Constitutive Activation of G Protein-Coupled Receptors and Diseases: Insights into Mechanisms of Activation and Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Ya-Xiong

    2008-01-01

    The existence of constitutive activity for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) was first described in 1980s. In 1991, the first naturally occurring constitutively active mutations in GPCRs that cause diseases were reported in rhodopsin. Since then, numerous constitutively active mutations that cause human diseases were reported in several additional receptors. More recently, loss of constitutive activity was postulated to also cause diseases. Animal models expressing some of these mutants confirmed the roles of these mutations in the pathogenesis of the diseases. Detailed functional studies of these naturally occurring mutations, combined with homology modeling using rhodopsin crystal structure as the template, lead to important insights into the mechanism of activation in the absence of crystal structure of GPCRs in active state. Search for inverse agonists on these receptors will be critical for correcting the diseases cause by activating mutations in GPCRs. Theoretically, these inverse agonists are better therapeutics than neutral antagonists in treating genetic diseases caused by constitutively activating mutations in GPCRs. PMID:18768149

  6. Twenty Years in Maine: Integrating Insights from Developmental Biology into Translational Medicine in a Small State.

    PubMed

    Gridley, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    In this chapter, I give my personal reflections on more than 30 years of studying developmental biology in the mouse model, spending 20 of those years doing research in Maine, a small rural state. I also give my thoughts on my recent experience transitioning to a large medical center in Maine, and the issues involved with integrating insights from developmental biology and regenerative medicine into the fabric of translational and clinical patient care in such an environment.

  7. Activating mutations and senescence secretome: new insights into HER2 activation, drug sensitivity and metastatic progression.

    PubMed

    Acharyya, Swarnali

    2013-04-23

    HER2 amplification and overexpression is observed in approximately 20% of breast cancers and is strongly associated with poor prognosis and therapeutic responsiveness to HER2 targeted agents. A recent study by Bose and colleagues suggests that another subset of breast cancer patients without HER2 amplification but with activating HER2 mutation might also benefit from existing HER2-targeted agents and the authors functionally characterize these somatic mutations in experimental models. In a second study on HER2-driven breast cancer, Angelini and colleagues investigate how the constitutively active, truncated carboxy-terminal fragment of HER2, p95HER2, promotes metastatic progression through non-cellautonomous secretion of factors from senescent cells. These new findings advance our understanding of HER2 biology in the context of HER2 activation as well as offer new insights into our understanding of drug sensitivity and metastatic progression.

  8. Design Insights for Tuning the Electrocatalytic Activity of Perovskite Oxides for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Malkhandi, S; Trinh, P; Manohar, AK; Manivannan, A; Balasubramanian, M; Prakash, GKS; Narayanan, SR

    2015-04-16

    Rechargeable metal-air batteries and water electrolyzers based on aqueous alkaline electrolytes hold the potential to be sustainable solutions to address the challenge of storing large amounts of electrical energy generated from solar and wind resources. For these batteries and electrolyzers to be economically viable, it is essential to have efficient, durable, and inexpensive electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction. In this article, we describe new insights for predicting and tuning the activity of inexpensive transition metal oxides for designing efficient and inexpensive electrocatalysts. We have focused on understanding the factors determining the electrocatalytic activity for oxygen evolution in a strong alkaline medium. To this end, we have conducted a systematic investigation of nanophase calcium-doped lanthanum cobalt manganese oxide, an example of a mixed metal oxide that can be tuned for its electrocatalytic activity by varying the transition metal composition. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electrochemical polarization experiments, and analysis of mechanisms, we have identified the key determinants of electrocatalytic activity. We have found that the Tafel slopes are determined by the oxidation states and the bond energy of the surface intermediates of Mn-OH and Co-OH bonds while the catalytic activity increased with the average d-electron occupancy of the sigma* orbital of the M-OH bond. We anticipate that such understanding will be very useful in predicting the behavior of other transition metal oxide catalysts.

  9. Membrane Active Antimicrobial Peptides: Translating Mechanistic Insights to Design

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jianguo; Koh, Jun-Jie; Liu, Shouping; Lakshminarayanan, Rajamani; Verma, Chandra S.; Beuerman, Roger W.

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are promising next generation antibiotics that hold great potential for combating bacterial resistance. AMPs can be both bacteriostatic and bactericidal, induce rapid killing and display a lower propensity to develop resistance than do conventional antibiotics. Despite significant progress in the past 30 years, no peptide antibiotic has reached the clinic yet. Poor understanding of the action mechanisms and lack of rational design principles have been the two major obstacles that have slowed progress. Technological developments are now enabling multidisciplinary approaches including molecular dynamics simulations combined with biophysics and microbiology toward providing valuable insights into the interactions of AMPs with membranes at atomic level. This has led to increasingly robust models of the mechanisms of action of AMPs and has begun to contribute meaningfully toward the discovery of new AMPs. This review discusses the detailed action mechanisms that have been put forward, with detailed atomistic insights into how the AMPs interact with bacterial membranes. The review further discusses how this knowledge is exploited toward developing design principles for novel AMPs. Finally, the current status, associated challenges, and future directions for the development of AMP therapeutics are discussed. PMID:28261050

  10. Membrane Active Antimicrobial Peptides: Translating Mechanistic Insights to Design.

    PubMed

    Li, Jianguo; Koh, Jun-Jie; Liu, Shouping; Lakshminarayanan, Rajamani; Verma, Chandra S; Beuerman, Roger W

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are promising next generation antibiotics that hold great potential for combating bacterial resistance. AMPs can be both bacteriostatic and bactericidal, induce rapid killing and display a lower propensity to develop resistance than do conventional antibiotics. Despite significant progress in the past 30 years, no peptide antibiotic has reached the clinic yet. Poor understanding of the action mechanisms and lack of rational design principles have been the two major obstacles that have slowed progress. Technological developments are now enabling multidisciplinary approaches including molecular dynamics simulations combined with biophysics and microbiology toward providing valuable insights into the interactions of AMPs with membranes at atomic level. This has led to increasingly robust models of the mechanisms of action of AMPs and has begun to contribute meaningfully toward the discovery of new AMPs. This review discusses the detailed action mechanisms that have been put forward, with detailed atomistic insights into how the AMPs interact with bacterial membranes. The review further discusses how this knowledge is exploited toward developing design principles for novel AMPs. Finally, the current status, associated challenges, and future directions for the development of AMP therapeutics are discussed.

  11. Activity flow over resting-state networks shapes cognitive task activations

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Michael W.; Ito, Takuya; Bassett, Danielle S.; Schultz, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    Resting-state functional connectivity (FC) has helped reveal the intrinsic network organization of the human brain, yet its relevance to cognitive task activations has been unclear. Uncertainty remains despite evidence that resting-state FC patterns are highly similar to cognitive task activation patterns. Identifying the distributed processes that shape localized cognitive task activations may help reveal why resting-state FC is so strongly related to cognitive task activations. We found that estimating task-evoked activity flow (the spread of activation amplitudes) over resting-state FC networks allows prediction of cognitive task activations in a large-scale neural network model. Applying this insight to empirical functional MRI data, we found that cognitive task activations can be predicted in held-out brain regions (and held-out individuals) via estimated activity flow over resting-state FC networks. This suggests that task-evoked activity flow over intrinsic networks is a large-scale mechanism explaining the relevance of resting-state FC to cognitive task activations. PMID:27723746

  12. Improved prediction of RNA tertiary structure with insights into native state dynamics.

    PubMed

    Bida, John Paul; Maher, L James

    2012-03-01

    The importance of RNA tertiary structure is evident from the growing number of published high resolution NMR and X-ray crystallographic structures of RNA molecules. These structures provide insights into function and create a knowledge base that is leveraged by programs such as Assemble, ModeRNA, RNABuilder, NAST, FARNA, Mc-Sym, RNA2D3D, and iFoldRNA for tertiary structure prediction and design. While these methods sample native-like RNA structures during simulations, all struggle to capture the native RNA conformation after scoring. We propose RSIM, an improved RNA fragment assembly method that preserves RNA global secondary structure while sampling conformations. This approach enhances the quality of predicted RNA tertiary structure, provides insights into the native state dynamics, and generates a powerful visualization of the RNA conformational space. RSIM is available for download from http://www.github.com/jpbida/rsim.

  13. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mps1 kinase activation

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-05

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

  14. New insights into antioxidant activity of Brassica crops.

    PubMed

    Soengas, P; Cartea, M E; Francisco, M; Sotelo, T; Velasco, P

    2012-09-15

    Antioxidant activity of six Brassica crops-broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, nabicol and tronchuda cabbage-was measured at four plant stages with DPPH and FRAP assays. Samples taken three months after sowing showed the highest antioxidant activity. Kale crop possessed the highest antioxidant activity at this plant stage and also at the adult plant stage, while cauliflower showed the highest antioxidant activity in sprouts and in leaves taken two months after sowing. Brassica by-products could be used as sources of products with high content of antioxidants. Phenolic content and composition varied, depending on the crop under study and on the plant stage; sprout samples were much higher in hydroxycinnamic acids than the rest of samples. Differences in antioxidant activity of Brassica crops were related to differences in total phenolic content but also to differences in phenolic composition for most samples.

  15. Insight into the Mechanism of Intramolecular Inhibition of the Catalytic Activity of Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2).

    PubMed

    Li, Jinyu; Flick, Franziska; Verheugd, Patricia; Carloni, Paolo; Lüscher, Bernhard; Rossetti, Giulia

    2015-01-01

    Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) is a NAD+-dependent deacetylase that has been associated with neurodegeneration and cancer. SIRT2 is composed of a central catalytic domain, the structure of which has been solved, and N- and C-terminal extensions that are thought to control SIRT2 function. However structural information of these N- and C-terminal regions is missing. Here, we provide the first full-length molecular models of SIRT2 in the absence and presence of NAD+. We also predict the structural alterations associated with phosphorylation of SIRT2 at S331, a modification that inhibits catalytic activity. Bioinformatics tools and molecular dynamics simulations, complemented by in vitro deacetylation assays, provide a consistent picture based on which the C-terminal region of SIRT2 is suggested to function as an autoinhibitory region. This has the capacity to partially occlude the NAD+ binding pocket or stabilize the NAD+ in a non-productive state. Furthermore, our simulations suggest that the phosphorylation at S331 causes large conformational changes in the C-terminal region that enhance the autoinhibitory activity, consistent with our previous findings that phosphorylation of S331 by cyclin-dependent kinases inhibits SIRT2 catalytic activity. The molecular insight into the role of the C-terminal region in controlling SIRT2 function described in this study may be useful for future design of selective inhibitors targeting SIRT2 for therapeutic applications.

  16. Sodium channel activation mechanisms. Insights from deuterium oxide substitution

    SciTech Connect

    Alicata, D.A.; Rayner, M.D.; Starkus, J.G. )

    1990-04-01

    Schauf and Bullock, using Myxicola giant axons, demonstrated that solvent substitution with deuterium oxide (D2O) significantly affects both sodium channel activation and inactivation kinetics without corresponding changes in gating current or tail current rates. They concluded that (a) no significant component of gating current derives from the final channel opening step, and (b) channels must deactivate (during tail currents) by a different pathway from that used in channel opening. By contrast, Oxford found in squid axons that when a depolarizing pulse is interrupted by a brief (approximately 100 microseconds) return to holding potential, subsequent reactivation (secondary activation) is very rapid and shows almost monoexponential kinetics. Increasing the interpulse interval resulted in secondary activation rate returning towards control, sigmoid (primary activation) kinetics. He concluded that channels open and close (deactivate) via the same pathway. We have repeated both sets of observations in crayfish axons, confirming the results obtained in both previous studies, despite the apparently contradictory conclusions reached by these authors. On the other hand, we find that secondary activation after a brief interpulse interval (50 microseconds) is insensitive to D2O, although reactivation after longer interpulse intervals (approximately 400 microseconds) returns towards a D2O sensitivity similar to that of primary activation. We conclude that D2O-sensitive primary activation and D2O-insensitive tail current deactivation involve separate pathways. However, D2O-insensitive secondary activation involves reversal of the D2O-insensitive deactivation step. These conclusions are consistent with parallel gate models, provided that one gating particle has a substantially reduced effective valence.

  17. Valsalva maneuver: Insights into baroreflex modulation of human sympathetic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Michael L.; Eckberg, Dwain L.; Fritsch, Janice M.; Beightol, Larry A.; Ellenbogen, Kenneth A.

    1991-01-01

    Valsalva's maneuver, voluntary forced expiration against a closed glottis, is a well-characterized research tool, used to assess the integrity of human autonomic cardiovascular control. Valsalva straining provokes a stereotyped succession of alternating positive and negative arterial pressure and heart rate changes mediated in part by arterial baroreceptors. Arterial pressure changes result primarily from fluctuating levels of venous return to the heart and changes of sympathetic nerve activity. Muscle sympathetic activity was measured directly in nine volunteers to explore quantitatively the relation between arterial pressure and human sympathetic outflow during pressure transients provoked by controlled graded Valsalva maneuvers. Our results underscore several properties of sympathetic regulation during Valsalva straining. First, muscle sympathetic nerve activity changes as a mirror image of changes in arterial pressure. Second, the magnitude of sympathetic augmentation during Valsalva straining predicts phase 4 arterial pressure elevations. Third, post-Valsalva sympathetic inhibition persists beyond the return of arterial and right atrial pressures to baseline levels which reflects an alteration of the normal relation between arterial pressure and muscle sympathetic activity. Therefore, Valsalva straining may have some utility for investigating changes of reflex control of sympathetic activity after space flight; however, measurement of beat-to-beat arterial pressure is essential for this use. The utility of this technique in microgravity can not be determined from these data. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether these relations are affected by the expansion of intrathoracic blood volume associated with microgravity.

  18. Ecological Insights from Pelagic Habitats Acquired Using Active Acoustic Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Lawson, Gareth L.

    2016-01-01

    Marine pelagic ecosystems present fascinating opportunities for ecological investigation but pose important methodological challenges for sampling. Active acoustic techniques involve producing sound and receiving signals from organisms and other water column sources, offering the benefit of high spatial and temporal resolution and, via integration into different platforms, the ability to make measurements spanning a range of spatial and temporal scales. As a consequence, a variety of questions concerning the ecology of pelagic systems lend themselves to active acoustics, ranging from organism-level investigations and physiological responses to the environment to ecosystem-level studies and climate. As technologies and data analysis methods have matured, the use of acoustics in ecological studies has grown rapidly. We explore the continued role of active acoustics in addressing questions concerning life in the ocean, highlight creative applications to key ecological themes ranging from physiology and behavior to biogeography and climate, and discuss emerging avenues where acoustics can help determine how pelagic ecosystems function.

  19. Ecological Insights from Pelagic Habitats Acquired Using Active Acoustic Techniques.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Lawson, Gareth L

    2016-01-01

    Marine pelagic ecosystems present fascinating opportunities for ecological investigation but pose important methodological challenges for sampling. Active acoustic techniques involve producing sound and receiving signals from organisms and other water column sources, offering the benefit of high spatial and temporal resolution and, via integration into different platforms, the ability to make measurements spanning a range of spatial and temporal scales. As a consequence, a variety of questions concerning the ecology of pelagic systems lend themselves to active acoustics, ranging from organism-level investigations and physiological responses to the environment to ecosystem-level studies and climate. As technologies and data analysis methods have matured, the use of acoustics in ecological studies has grown rapidly. We explore the continued role of active acoustics in addressing questions concerning life in the ocean, highlight creative applications to key ecological themes ranging from physiology and behavior to biogeography and climate, and discuss emerging avenues where acoustics can help determine how pelagic ecosystems function.

  20. Typical and Atypical Development of Functional Human Brain Networks: Insights from Resting-State fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Uddin, Lucina Q.; Supekar, Kaustubh; Menon, Vinod

    2010-01-01

    Over the past several decades, structural MRI studies have provided remarkable insights into human brain development by revealing the trajectory of gray and white matter maturation from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. In parallel, functional MRI studies have demonstrated changes in brain activation patterns accompanying cognitive development. Despite these advances, studying the maturation of functional brain networks underlying brain development continues to present unique scientific and methodological challenges. Resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) has emerged as a novel method for investigating the development of large-scale functional brain networks in infants and young children. We review existing rsfMRI developmental studies and discuss how this method has begun to make significant contributions to our understanding of maturing brain organization. In particular, rsfMRI has been used to complement studies in other modalities investigating the emergence of functional segregation and integration across short and long-range connections spanning the entire brain. We show that rsfMRI studies help to clarify and reveal important principles of functional brain development, including a shift from diffuse to focal activation patterns, and simultaneous pruning of local connectivity and strengthening of long-range connectivity with age. The insights gained from these studies also shed light on potentially disrupted functional networks underlying atypical cognitive development associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. We conclude by identifying critical gaps in the current literature, discussing methodological issues, and suggesting avenues for future research. PMID:20577585

  1. Mechanistic insights into the antileukemic activity of hyperforin.

    PubMed

    Billard, C; Merhi, F; Bauvois, B

    2013-01-01

    Hyperforin is a prenylated phloroglucinol present in the medicinal plant St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum). The compound has many biological properties, including antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antitumor activities. This review focuses on the in vitro antileukemic effects of purified hyperforin and related mechanisms in chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - conditions that are known for their resistance to chemotherapy. Hyperforin induces apoptosis in both CLL and AML cells. In AML cell lines and primary AML cells, hyperforin directly inhibits the kinase activity of the serine/threonine protein kinase B/AKT1, leading to activation of the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family protein Bad through its non-phosphorylation by AKT1. In primary CLL cells, hyperforin acts by stimulating the expression of the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member Noxa (possibly through the inhibition of proteasome activity). Other hyperforin targets include matrix metalloproteinase-2 in AML cells and vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in CLL cells - two mediators of cell migration and angiogenesis. In summary, hyperforin targets molecules involved in signaling pathways that control leukemic cell proliferation, survival, apoptosis, migration and angiogenesis. Hyperforin also downregulates the expression of P-glycoprotein, a protein that is involved in the resistance of leukemia cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Lastly, native hyperforin and its stable derivatives show interesting in vivo properties in animal models. In view of their low toxicity, hyperforin and its derivatives are promising antileukemic agents and deserve further investigation in vivo.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  3. Insight into the inflammasome and caspase-activating mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Gaide, Olivier; Hoffman, Hal M

    2008-01-01

    Inflammasomes are recently discovered molecular complexes that can sense danger signals and specifically activate caspase-1 and -5 and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1beta and IL-18). Upon signaling, the inflammasome complex forms around a NOD-like receptor family member that serves both as a danger sensor and as a recruiting platform. The number of known triggers that stimulate inflammasomes is rapidly rising, ranging from genetic mutations to microbial products, gout crystals, ultraviolet light and adjuvant chemicals. As a result of this surprising diversity, the inflammasome may have a significant impact on most medical fields. A good understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying its activation/regulation is essential today, as several therapeutic and diagnostic tools have already reached the bedside, and more are sure to come.

  4. Insight in the Chemistry of Laser-Activated Dental Bleaching

    PubMed Central

    De Moor, Roeland Jozef Gentil; Meire, Maarten August; De Coster, Peter Jozef; Walsh, Laurence James

    2015-01-01

    The use of optical radiation for the activation of bleaching products has not yet been completely elucidated. Laser light is suggested to enhance the oxidizing effect of hydrogen peroxide. Different methods of enhancing hydrogen peroxide based bleaching are possible. They can be classified into six groups: alkaline pH environment, thermal enhancement and photothermal effect, photooxidation effect and direct photobleaching, photolysis effect and photodissociation, Fenton reaction and photocatalysis, and photodynamic effect. PMID:25874251

  5. Insight in the chemistry of laser-activated dental bleaching.

    PubMed

    De Moor, Roeland Jozef Gentil; Verheyen, Jeroen; Diachuk, Andrii; Verheyen, Peter; Meire, Maarten August; De Coster, Peter Jozef; Keulemans, Filip; De Bruyne, Mieke; Walsh, Laurence James

    2015-01-01

    The use of optical radiation for the activation of bleaching products has not yet been completely elucidated. Laser light is suggested to enhance the oxidizing effect of hydrogen peroxide. Different methods of enhancing hydrogen peroxide based bleaching are possible. They can be classified into six groups: alkaline pH environment, thermal enhancement and photothermal effect, photooxidation effect and direct photobleaching, photolysis effect and photodissociation, Fenton reaction and photocatalysis, and photodynamic effect.

  6. Structural insights into µ-opioid receptor activation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-20

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

  7. Health inequalities and welfare state regimes: theoretical insights on a public health 'puzzle'.

    PubMed

    Bambra, Clare

    2011-09-01

    Welfare states are important determinants of health. Comparative social epidemiology has almost invariably concluded that population health is enhanced by the relatively generous and universal welfare provision of the Scandinavian countries. However, most international studies of socioeconomic inequalities in health have thrown up something of a public health 'puzzle' as the Scandinavian welfare states do not, as would generally be expected, have the smallest health inequalities. This essay outlines and interrogates this puzzle by drawing upon existing theories of health inequalities--artefact, selection, cultural--behavioural, materialist, psychosocial and life course--to generate some theoretical insights. It discusses the limits of these theories in respect to cross-national research; it questions the focus and normative paradigm underpinning contemporary comparative health inequalities research; and it considers the future of comparative social epidemiology.

  8. Uniformity and nonuniformity of neural activities correlated to different insight problem solving.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Q; Li, Y; Shang, X; Zhou, Z; Han, L

    2014-06-13

    Previous studies on the neural basis of insight reflected weak consistency except for the anterior cingulate cortex. The present work adopted the semantic and homophonic punny riddle to explore the uniformity and nonuniformity of neural activities correlated to different insight problem solving. Results showed that in the early period of insight solving, the semantic and homophonic punny riddles induced a common N350-500 over the central scalp. However, during -400 to 0 ms before the riddles were solved, the semantic punny riddles induced a positive event-related potential (ERP) deflection over the temporal cortex for retrieving the extensive semantic information, while the homophonic punny riddles induced a positive ERP deflection over the temporal cortex and a negative one in the left frontal cortex which might reflect the semantic and phonological information processing respectively. Our study indicated that different insight problem solving should have the same cognitive process of detecting cognitive conflicts, but have different ways to solve the conflicts.

  9. Metaproteomics Provides Functional Insight into Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Wilmes, Paul; Wexler, Margaret; Bond, Philip L.

    2008-01-01

    Background Through identification of highly expressed proteins from a mixed culture activated sludge system this study provides functional evidence of microbial transformations important for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). Methodology/Principal Findings A laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactor was successfully operated for different levels of EBPR, removing around 25, 40 and 55 mg/l P. The microbial communities were dominated by the uncultured polyphosphate-accumulating organism “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis”. When EBPR failed, the sludge was dominated by tetrad-forming α-Proteobacteria. Representative and reproducible 2D gel protein separations were obtained for all sludge samples. 638 protein spots were matched across gels generated from the phosphate removing sludges. 111 of these were excised and 46 proteins were identified using recently available sludge metagenomic sequences. Many of these closely match proteins from “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis” and could be directly linked to the EBPR process. They included enzymes involved in energy generation, polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis, glyoxylate/TCA cycle, fatty acid β oxidation, fatty acid synthesis and phosphate transport. Several proteins involved in cellular stress response were detected. Conclusions/Significance Importantly, this study provides direct evidence linking the metabolic activities of “Accumulibacter” to the chemical transformations observed in EBPR. Finally, the results are discussed in relation to current EBPR metabolic models. PMID:18392150

  10. New insights into the chemistry and antioxidant activity of coumarins.

    PubMed

    Torres, Fernando Cidade; Brucker, Natália; Andrade, Saulo Fernandes; Kawano, Daniel Fabio; Garcia, Solange Cristina; Poser, Gilsane Lino von; Eifler-Lima, Vera Lucia

    2014-01-01

    Coumarins are considered to be privileged structures due to their broad range of biological properties, including anticoagulant, anti-neurodegenerative, antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial activities. These interesting properties of coumarins can be ascribed to the chemical attributes of the 2H-chromen-2-one core; its aromatic ring can establish a series of hydrophobic, π-π, CH-π and cation-π interactions, and the two oxygen atoms in the lactone ring may hydrogen-bond to a series of amino acid residues in different classes of enzymes and receptors. Additionally, the double bond in the lactone helps to make the entire system planar, allows charge delocalization between the carbonyl group of the lactone and the aromatic ring and confers the characteristic fluorescence of this class of compounds, which can be explained by their preventing the trans-cis transformation of the double bond under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. It is the possibility of radical delocalization in the 2H-chromen-2-one nucleus that makes most of the coumarins good antioxidants by acting as free radical scavengers, although some coumarins (mainly hydroxycoumarins) may also prevent the formation of free radicals by chelating metal ions. In this review, we provide a systematic analysis of the most important aspects surrounding the development of coumarins as antioxidants. Our analysis includes the synthesis of some complex antioxidant coumarins, strategies for structural modification to improve their antioxidant activities, qualitative/ quantitative structure-antioxidant relationships studies and the main in vitro assays used to evaluate their antioxidant properties.

  11. Physical activity, stress reduction, and mood: insight into immunological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Hamer, Mark; Endrighi, Romano; Poole, Lydia

    2012-01-01

    Psychosocial factors, such as chronic mental stress and mood, are recognized as an important predictor of longevity and wellbeing. In particular, depression is independently associated with cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, and is often comorbid with chronic diseases that can worsen their associated health outcomes. Regular exercise is thought to be associated with stress reduction and better mood, which may partly mediate associations between depression, stress, and health outcomes. The underlying mechanisms for the positive effects of exercise on wellbeing remain poorly understood. In this overview we examine epidemiological evidence for an association between physical activity and mental health. We then describe the exercise withdrawal paradigm as an experimental protocol to study mechanisms linking exercise, mood, and stress. In particular we will discuss the potential role of the inflammatory response as a central mechanism.

  12. A periodically active pulsar giving insight into magnetospheric physics.

    PubMed

    Kramer, M; Lyne, A G; O'Brien, J T; Jordan, C A; Lorimer, D R

    2006-04-28

    PSR B1931+24 (J1933+2421) behaves as an ordinary isolated radio pulsar during active phases that are 5 to 10 days long. However, when the radio emission ceases, it switches off in less than 10 seconds and remains undetectable for the next 25 to 35 days, then switches on again. This pattern repeats quasi-periodically. The origin of this behavior is unclear. Even more remarkably, the pulsar rotation slows down 50% faster when it is on than when it is off. This indicates a massive increase in magnetospheric currents when the pulsar switches on, proving that pulsar wind plays a substantial role in pulsar spin-down. This allows us, for the first time, to estimate the magnetospheric currents in a pulsar magnetosphere during the occurrence of radio emission.

  13. Diversity of Active States in TMT Opsins.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Kazumi; Yamashita, Takahiro; Imamoto, Yasushi; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2015-01-01

    Opn3/TMT opsins belong to one of the opsin groups with vertebrate visual and non-visual opsins, and are widely distributed in eyes, brains and other internal organs in various vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrate Opn3/TMT opsins are further classified into four groups on the basis of their amino acid identities. However, there is limited information about molecular properties of these groups, due to the difficulty in preparing the recombinant proteins. Here, we successfully expressed recombinant proteins of TMT1 and TMT2 opsins of medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) in cultured cells and characterized their molecular properties. Spectroscopic and biochemical studies demonstrated that TMT1 and TMT2 opsins functioned as blue light-sensitive Gi/Go-coupled receptors, but exhibited spectral properties and photo-convertibility of the active state different from each other. TMT1 opsin forms a visible light-absorbing active state containing all-trans-retinal, which can be photo-converted to 7-cis- and 9-cis-retinal states in addition to the original 11-cis-retinal state. In contrast, the active state of TMT2 opsin is a UV light-absorbing state having all-trans-retinal and does not photo-convert to any other state, including the original 11-cis-retinal state. Thus, TMT opsins are diversified so as to form a different type of active state, which may be responsible for their different functions.

  14. Diversity of Active States in TMT Opsins

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Kazumi; Yamashita, Takahiro; Imamoto, Yasushi; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2015-01-01

    Opn3/TMT opsins belong to one of the opsin groups with vertebrate visual and non-visual opsins, and are widely distributed in eyes, brains and other internal organs in various vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrate Opn3/TMT opsins are further classified into four groups on the basis of their amino acid identities. However, there is limited information about molecular properties of these groups, due to the difficulty in preparing the recombinant proteins. Here, we successfully expressed recombinant proteins of TMT1 and TMT2 opsins of medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) in cultured cells and characterized their molecular properties. Spectroscopic and biochemical studies demonstrated that TMT1 and TMT2 opsins functioned as blue light-sensitive Gi/Go-coupled receptors, but exhibited spectral properties and photo-convertibility of the active state different from each other. TMT1 opsin forms a visible light-absorbing active state containing all-trans-retinal, which can be photo-converted to 7-cis- and 9-cis-retinal states in addition to the original 11-cis-retinal state. In contrast, the active state of TMT2 opsin is a UV light-absorbing state having all-trans-retinal and does not photo-convert to any other state, including the original 11-cis-retinal state. Thus, TMT opsins are diversified so as to form a different type of active state, which may be responsible for their different functions. PMID:26491964

  15. Kinematics Card Sort Activity: Insight into Students' Thinking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berryhill, Erin; Herrington, Deborah; Oliver, Keith

    2016-12-01

    Kinematics is a topic students are unknowingly aware of well before entering the physics classroom. Students observe motion on a daily basis. They are constantly interpreting and making sense of their observations, unintentionally building their own understanding of kinematics before receiving any formal instruction. Unfortunately, when students take their prior conceptions to understand a new situation, they often do so in a way that inaccurately connects their learning. We were motivated to identify strategies to help our students make accurate connections to their prior knowledge and understand kinematics at a deeper level. To do this, we integrated a formative assessment card sort into a kinematic graphing unit within an introductory high school physics course. Throughout the activities, we required students to document and reflect upon their thinking. This allowed their learning to build upon their own previously held conceptual understanding, which provided an avenue for cognitive growth. By taking a more direct approach to eliciting student reasoning, we hoped to improve student learning and guide our assessment of their learning.

  16. Activation states of blood eosinophils in asthma.

    PubMed

    Johansson, M W

    2014-04-01

    Asthma is characterized by airway inflammation rich in eosinophils. Airway eosinophilia is associated with exacerbations and has been suggested to play a role in airway remodelling. Recruitment of eosinophils from the circulation requires that blood eosinophils become activated, leading to their arrest on the endothelium and extravasation. Circulating eosinophils can be envisioned as potentially being in different activation states, including non-activated, pre-activated or 'primed', or fully activated. In addition, the circulation can potentially be deficient of pre-activated or activated eosinophils, because such cells have marginated on activated endothelium or extravasated into the tissue. A number of eosinophil surface proteins, including CD69, L-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, CD54), CD44, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1, CD162), cytokine receptors, Fc receptors, integrins including αM integrin (CD11b), and activated conformations of Fc receptors and integrins, have been proposed to report cell activation. Variation in eosinophil activation states may be associated with asthma activity. Eosinophil surface proteins proposed to be activation markers, with a particular focus on integrins, and evidence for associations between activation states of blood eosinophils and features of asthma are reviewed here. Partial activation of β1 and β2 integrins on blood eosinophils, reported by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) N29 and KIM-127, is associated with impaired pulmonary function and airway eosinophilia, respectively, in non-severe asthma. The association with lung function does not occur in severe asthma, presumably due to greater eosinophil extravasation, specifically of activated or pre-activated cells, in severe disease.

  17. Mechanistic insights into metal ion activation and operator recognition by the ferric uptake regulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Zengqin; Wang, Qing; Liu, Zhao; Zhang, Manfeng; Machado, Ana Carolina Dantas; Chiu, Tsu-Pei; Feng, Chong; Zhang, Qi; Yu, Lin; Qi, Lei; Zheng, Jiangge; Wang, Xu; Huo, Xinmei; Qi, Xiaoxuan; Li, Xiaorong; Wu, Wei; Rohs, Remo; Li, Ying; Chen, Zhongzhou

    2015-07-01

    Ferric uptake regulator (Fur) plays a key role in the iron homeostasis of prokaryotes, such as bacterial pathogens, but the molecular mechanisms and structural basis of Fur-DNA binding remain incompletely understood. Here, we report high-resolution structures of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 Fur in four different states: apo-Fur, holo-Fur, the Fur-feoAB1 operator complex and the Fur-Pseudomonas aeruginosa Fur box complex. Apo-Fur is a transition metal ion-independent dimer whose binding induces profound conformational changes and confers DNA-binding ability. Structural characterization, mutagenesis, biochemistry and in vivo data reveal that Fur recognizes DNA by using a combination of base readout through direct contacts in the major groove and shape readout through recognition of the minor-groove electrostatic potential by lysine. The resulting conformational plasticity enables Fur binding to diverse substrates. Our results provide insights into metal ion activation and substrate recognition by Fur that suggest pathways to engineer magnetotactic bacteria and antipathogenic drugs.

  18. Political contexts and maternal health policy: insights from a comparison of south Indian states.

    PubMed

    Smith, Stephanie L

    2014-01-01

    Nearly 300,000 women die from pregnancy-related complications each year. One-fifth of these deaths occur in India. Maternal survival rose on India's national policy agenda in the mid-2000s, but responsibility for health policy and implementation in the federal system is largely devolved to the state level where priority for the issue and maternal health outcomes vary. This study investigates sources of variation in maternal health policy and implementation sub-nationally in India. The study is guided by four analytical categories drawn from policy process literature: constitutional, governing and social structures; political contexts; actors and ideas. The experiences of two south Indian states-Tamil Nadu a leader and Karnataka a relatively slow mover-are examined. Process-tracing, a case study methodology that helps to identify roles of complex historical events in causal processes, was employed to investigate the research question in each state. The study is informed by interviews with public health policy experts and service delivery professionals, observation of implementation sites and archival document analysis. Historical legacies-Tamil Nadu's non-Brahmin social movement and Karnataka's developmental disparities combined with decentralization-shape the states' political contexts, affecting variation in maternal health policy and implementation. Competition to advance consistent political priorities across regimes in Tamil Nadu offers fertile ground for policy entrepreneurship and strong public health system administration facilitates progress. Inconsistent political priorities and relatively weak public health system administration frustrate progress in Karnataka. These variations offer insights to the ways in which sub-national political and administrative contexts shape health policy and implementation.

  19. Brain dynamics of post-task resting state are influenced by expertise: Insights from baseball players.

    PubMed

    Muraskin, Jordan; Dodhia, Sonam; Lieberman, Gregory; Garcia, Javier O; Verstynen, Timothy; Vettel, Jean M; Sherwin, Jason; Sajda, Paul

    2016-12-01

    Post-task resting state dynamics can be viewed as a task-driven state where behavioral performance is improved through endogenous, non-explicit learning. Tasks that have intrinsic value for individuals are hypothesized to produce post-task resting state dynamics that promote learning. We measured simultaneous fMRI/EEG and DTI in Division-1 collegiate baseball players and compared to a group of controls, examining differences in both functional and structural connectivity. Participants performed a surrogate baseball pitch Go/No-Go task before a resting state scan, and we compared post-task resting state connectivity using a seed-based analysis from the supplementary motor area (SMA), an area whose activity discriminated players and controls in our previous results using this task. Although both groups were equally trained on the task, the experts showed differential activity in their post-task resting state consistent with motor learning. Specifically, we found (1) differences in bilateral SMA-L Insula functional connectivity between experts and controls that may reflect group differences in motor learning, (2) differences in BOLD-alpha oscillation correlations between groups suggests variability in modulatory attention in the post-task state, and (3) group differences between BOLD-beta oscillations that may indicate cognitive processing of motor inhibition. Structural connectivity analysis identified group differences in portions of the functionally derived network, suggesting that functional differences may also partially arise from variability in the underlying white matter pathways. Generally, we find that brain dynamics in the post-task resting state differ as a function of subject expertise and potentially result from differences in both functional and structural connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4454-4471, 2016. © 2016 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Brain dynamics of post‐task resting state are influenced by expertise: Insights from baseball players

    PubMed Central

    Dodhia, Sonam; Lieberman, Gregory; Garcia, Javier O.; Verstynen, Timothy; Vettel, Jean M.; Sherwin, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Post‐task resting state dynamics can be viewed as a task‐driven state where behavioral performance is improved through endogenous, non‐explicit learning. Tasks that have intrinsic value for individuals are hypothesized to produce post‐task resting state dynamics that promote learning. We measured simultaneous fMRI/EEG and DTI in Division‐1 collegiate baseball players and compared to a group of controls, examining differences in both functional and structural connectivity. Participants performed a surrogate baseball pitch Go/No‐Go task before a resting state scan, and we compared post‐task resting state connectivity using a seed‐based analysis from the supplementary motor area (SMA), an area whose activity discriminated players and controls in our previous results using this task. Although both groups were equally trained on the task, the experts showed differential activity in their post‐task resting state consistent with motor learning. Specifically, we found (1) differences in bilateral SMA–L Insula functional connectivity between experts and controls that may reflect group differences in motor learning, (2) differences in BOLD‐alpha oscillation correlations between groups suggests variability in modulatory attention in the post‐task state, and (3) group differences between BOLD‐beta oscillations that may indicate cognitive processing of motor inhibition. Structural connectivity analysis identified group differences in portions of the functionally derived network, suggesting that functional differences may also partially arise from variability in the underlying white matter pathways. Generally, we find that brain dynamics in the post‐task resting state differ as a function of subject expertise and potentially result from differences in both functional and structural connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4454–4471, 2016. © 2016 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27448098

  1. Modeling thermomechanical pulp and paper activated sludge treatment plants to gain insight to the causes of bulking.

    PubMed

    Brault, Jean-Martin; Comeau, Yves; Perrier, Michel; Stuart, Paul

    2010-04-01

    The Activated Sludge Model No. 1 was chosen as the basis for model development and was modified to take into account the specific characteristics of pulp and paper effluents. The model was incorporated to the GPS-X simulation environment (Hydromantis, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) to study operating deficiencies and nutrient transformations, particularly in relation to bulking. The results show that the process of ammonification is not significant at the studied mill and that the process of phosphatification (transformation of soluble organic phosphorus into orthophosphates) seems to be related to settling problems, as indicated by the sludge volume index. The phosphatification rate and the standard oxygen-transfer efficiency were found to decrease as the system entered a bulking state. Understanding the behavior of pulp and paper activated sludge can be improved by the incorporation of industry-specific processes and components to comprehensive models. These models then can be used to gain insight to the causes of bulking.

  2. The role of alpha-rhythm states in perceptual learning: insights from experiments and computational models

    PubMed Central

    Sigala, Rodrigo; Haufe, Sebastian; Roy, Dipanjan; Dinse, Hubert R.; Ritter, Petra

    2014-01-01

    During the past two decades growing evidence indicates that brain oscillations in the alpha band (~10 Hz) not only reflect an “idle” state of cortical activity, but also take a more active role in the generation of complex cognitive functions. A recent study shows that more than 60% of the observed inter-subject variability in perceptual learning can be ascribed to ongoing alpha activity. This evidence indicates a significant role of alpha oscillations for perceptual learning and hence motivates to explore the potential underlying mechanisms. Hence, it is the purpose of this review to highlight existent evidence that ascribes intrinsic alpha oscillations a role in shaping our ability to learn. In the review, we disentangle the alpha rhythm into different neural signatures that control information processing within individual functional building blocks of perceptual learning. We further highlight computational studies that shed light on potential mechanisms regarding how alpha oscillations may modulate information transfer and connectivity changes relevant for learning. To enable testing of those model based hypotheses, we emphasize the need for multidisciplinary approaches combining assessment of behavior and multi-scale neuronal activity, active modulation of ongoing brain states and computational modeling to reveal the mathematical principles of the complex neuronal interactions. In particular we highlight the relevance of multi-scale modeling frameworks such as the one currently being developed by “The Virtual Brain” project. PMID:24772077

  3. The contribution of extracurricular activities to adolescent friendships: new insights through social network analysis.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, David R; Simpkins, Sandra D; Vest, Andrea E; Price, Chara D

    2011-07-01

    Extracurricular activities are settings that are theorized to help adolescents maintain existing friendships and develop new friendships. The overarching goal of the current investigation was to examine whether coparticipating in school-based extracurricular activities supported adolescents' school-based friendships. We used social network methods and data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine whether dyadic friendship ties were more likely to exist among activity coparticipants while controlling for alternative friendship processes, namely dyadic homophily (e.g., demographic and behavioral similarities) and network-level processes (e.g., triadic closure). Results provide strong evidence that activities were associated with current friendships and promoted the formation of new friendships. These associations varied based on school level (i.e., middle vs. high school) and activity type (i.e., sports, academic, arts). Results of this study provide new insight into the complex relations between activities and friendship that can inform theories of their developmental outcomes.

  4. X-ray Raman Scattering at Extreme Conditions: Insights to Local Structure, Oxidation and Spin state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, M.; Sternemann, C.; Sahle, C.; Spiekermann, G.; Nyrow, A.; Weis, C.; Cerantola, V.; Schmidt, C.; Yavas, H.

    2015-12-01

    In the last decades, X-ray spectroscopic techniques using very intense synchrotron radiation (SR) have become indispensable tools for studying geomaterials. Due to the rather low absorption of hard X-rays, SR opens up the possibility to perform measurements in high-pressure, high temperature cells. The range of elements accessible by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAFS) techniques in these cells is limited by the absorption of X-rays due to the sample environment, i.e. the diamond windows. The indirect measurement of XAFS spectra by inelastic X-ray Raman scattering (XRS) provides a workaround to access absorption edges at low energies (e.g. low Z elements). Therefore, XRS enables measurements that are similar to electron energy loss spectroscopy but offer to measure at in-situ conditions and not just in vacuum. Measurements of the O K-edge of H2O from ambient to supercritical PT-conditions (up to 600°C @ 134 MPa; 400°C @ 371 MPa) were used to trace structural changes of the hydrogen-bonded network, which controls many physical and chemical properties of H2O [1]. The Fe M3,2-edge measured by XRS were used to characterize the oxidation state and local structure in crystalline compounds and glasses [2]. Furthermore, the M3,2 yields detailed insight to the crystal-field splitting and electronic spin state. In a reconnaissance study, the pressure-induced high-spin to low-spin transition of Fe in FeS between 6 and 8 GPa was measured. By multiplet calculations of the spectra for octahedral Fe2+, a difference in crystal field splitting between the two states of ca. 1.7 eV was estimated [3]. Finally, we successfully assessed the electronic structure of Fe in siderite by measurements of M and L-edge up to 50 GPa, covering the spin transition between 40 and 45 GPa. [1] Sahle et al. (2013) PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220301110.. [2] Nyrow et al. (2014) Contrib Mineral Petrol 167, 1012. [3] Nyrow et al. (2014) Appl Phys Lett 104, 262408.

  5. Polyomavirus T Antigens Activate an Antiviral State

    PubMed Central

    Giacobbi, Nicholas S.; Gupta, Tushar; Coxon, Andrew; Pipas, James M.

    2014-01-01

    Ectopic expression of Simian Virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen (LT) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) increased levels of mRNAs encoding interferon stimulated genes (ISGs). The mechanism by which T antigen increases levels of ISGs in MEFs remains unclear. We present evidence that expression of T antigen from SV40, Human Polyomaviruses BK (BKV) or JC (JCV) upregulate production of ISGs in MEFs, and subsequently result in an antiviral state, as determined by inhibition of VSV or EMCV growth. The first 136 amino acids of LT are sufficient for these activities. Furthermore, increased ISG expression and induction of the antiviral state requires STAT1. Finally, the RB binding motif of LT is necessary for activation of STAT1. We conclude that the induction of the STAT1 mediated innate immune response in MEFs is a common feature shared by SV40, BKV and JCV. PMID:25589241

  6. Evolutionary History of Assassin Bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae): Insights from Divergence Dating and Ancestral State Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Wei Song; Weirauch, Christiane

    2012-01-01

    Assassin bugs are one of the most successful clades of predatory animals based on their species numbers (∼6,800 spp.) and wide distribution in terrestrial ecosystems. Various novel prey capture strategies and remarkable prey specializations contribute to their appeal as a model to study evolutionary pathways involved in predation. Here, we reconstruct the most comprehensive reduviid phylogeny (178 taxa, 18 subfamilies) to date based on molecular data (5 markers). This phylogeny tests current hypotheses on reduviid relationships emphasizing the polyphyletic Reduviinae and the blood-feeding, disease-vectoring Triatominae, and allows us, for the first time in assassin bugs, to reconstruct ancestral states of prey associations and microhabitats. Using a fossil-calibrated molecular tree, we estimated divergence times for key events in the evolutionary history of Reduviidae. Our results indicate that the polyphyletic Reduviinae fall into 11–14 separate clades. Triatominae are paraphyletic with respect to the reduviine genus Opisthacidius in the maximum likelihood analyses; this result is in contrast to prior hypotheses that found Triatominae to be monophyletic or polyphyletic and may be due to the more comprehensive taxon and character sampling in this study. The evolution of blood-feeding may thus have occurred once or twice independently among predatory assassin bugs. All prey specialists evolved from generalist ancestors, with multiple evolutionary origins of termite and ant specializations. A bark-associated life style on tree trunks is ancestral for most of the lineages of Higher Reduviidae; living on foliage has evolved at least six times independently. Reduviidae originated in the Middle Jurassic (178 Ma), but significant lineage diversification only began in the Late Cretaceous (97 Ma). The integration of molecular phylogenetics with fossil and life history data as presented in this paper provides insights into the evolutionary history of reduviids and clears

  7. Insights into enzyme catalysis from QM/MM modelling: transition state stabilization in chorismate mutase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranaghan, Kara E.; Ridder, Lars; Szefczyk, Borys; Sokalski, W. Andrzej; Hermann, Johannes C.; Mulholland, Adrian J.

    Chorismate mutase provides an important test of theories of enzyme catalysis, and of modelling methods. The Claisen rearrangement of chorismate to prephenate in the enzyme has been modelled here by a combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method. Several pathways have been calculated. The sensitivity of the results to details of model preparation and pathway calculation is tested, and the results are compared in detail to previous similar studies and experiments. The potential energy barrier for the enzyme reaction is estimated at 24.5-31.6 kcal mol-1 (AM1/CHARMM), and 2.7-11.9 kcal mol-1 with corrections (e.g. B3LYP/6-31+G(d)). In agreement with previous studies, the present analysis of the calculated paths provides unequivocal evidence of significant transition state stabilization by the enzyme, indicating that this is central to catalysis by the enzyme. The active site is exquisitely complementary to the transition state, stabilizing it more than the substrate, so reducing the barrier to reaction. A number of similar pathways for reaction exist in the protein, as expected. Small structural differences give rise to differences in energetic contributions. Major electrostatic contributions to transition state stabilization come in all cases from Arg90, Arg7, one or two water molecules, and Glu78 (Glu78 destabilizes the transition state less than the substrate), while Arg63 contributes significantly in one model.

  8. Antimicrobial activity of human α-defensin 6 analogs: insights into the physico-chemical reasons behind weak bactericidal activity of HD6 in vitro.

    PubMed

    Mathew, Basil; Nagaraj, Ramakrishnan

    2015-11-01

    Human α-defensin 6 (HD6), unlike other mammalian defensins, does not exhibit bactericidal activity, particularly against aerobic bacteria. Monomeric HD6 has a tertiary structure similar to other α-defensins in the crystalline state. However, the physico-chemical reasons behind the lack of antibacterial activity of HD6 are yet to be established unequivocally. In this study, we have investigated the antimicrobial activity of HD6 analogs. A linear analog of HD6, in which the distribution of arginine residues was similar to active α-defensins, shows broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, indicating that atypical distribution of arginine residues contributes to the inactivity of HD6. Peptides spanning the N-terminal cationic segment were active against a wide range of organisms. Antimicrobial potency of these shorter analogs was further enhanced when myristic acid was conjugated at the N-terminus. Cytoplasmic localization of the analogs without fatty acylation was observed to be necessary for bacterial killing, while they exhibited fungicidal activity by permeabilizing Candida albicans membranes. Myristoylated analogs and the linear full-length arginine analog exhibited activity by permeabilizing bacterial and fungal membranes. Our study provides insights into the lack of bactericidal activity of HD6 against aerobic bacteria.

  9. Differences in EEG Alpha Activity between Gifted and Non-Identified Individuals: Insights into Problem Solving.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert

    1997-01-01

    This study examined differences in electroencephalography (EEG) alpha activity between gifted and nongifted Slovenian student-teachers (N=17 each). Gifted students showed greater left hemisphere activation than nongifted subjects in relaxed states, but lower activation during problem solving. The same pattern was observed in overall hemispheric…

  10. ACTIVE STATE OF MUSCLE IN IODOACETATE RIGOR

    PubMed Central

    Mauriello, George E.; Sandow, Alexander

    1959-01-01

    Frog sartorius muscles, equilibrated to 2 x 10-4 M iodoacetic acid-Ringer's solution and activated by a series of twitches or a long tetanus, perform a rigor response consisting in general of a contractile change which plateaus and is then automatically reversed. Isotonic rigor shortening obeys a force-velocity relation which, with certain differences in value of the constants, accords with Hill's equation for this relation. Changes in rigidity during either isotonic or isometric rigor response show that the capacity of the rigor muscle to bear a load increases more abruptly than the corresponding onset of the ordinarily recorded response, briefly plateaus, and then decays. A quick release of about 1 mm. applied at any instant of isometric rigor output causes the tension to drop instantaneously to zero and then redevelop, the rate of redevelopment varying as does the intensity of the load-bearing capacity. These results demonstrate that rigor mechanical responses result from interaction of a passive, undamped series elastic component, and a contractile component with active state properties like those of normal contraction. Adenosinetriphosphate is known to break down in association with development of the rigor active state. This is discussed in relation to the apparent absence of ATP splitting in normal activation of the contractile component. PMID:13654738

  11. Structural insights into Ca2+-activated long-range allosteric channel gating of RyR1

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Risheng; Wang, Xue; Zhang, Yan; Mukherjee, Saptarshi; Zhang, Lei; Chen, Qiang; Huang, Xinrui; Jing, Shan; Liu, Congcong; Li, Shuang; Wang, Guangyu; Xu, Yaofang; Zhu, Sujie; Williams, Alan J; Sun, Fei; Yin, Chang-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are a class of giant ion channels with molecular mass over 2.2 mega-Daltons. These channels mediate calcium signaling in a variety of cells. Since more than 80% of the RyR protein is folded into the cytoplasmic assembly and the remaining residues form the transmembrane domain, it has been hypothesized that the activation and regulation of RyR channels occur through an as yet uncharacterized long-range allosteric mechanism. Here we report the characterization of a Ca2+-activated open-state RyR1 structure by cryo-electron microscopy. The structure has an overall resolution of 4.9 Å and a resolution of 4.2 Å for the core region. In comparison with the previously determined apo/closed-state structure, we observed long-range allosteric gating of the channel upon Ca2+ activation. In-depth structural analyses elucidated a novel channel-gating mechanism and a novel ion selectivity mechanism of RyR1. Our work not only provides structural insights into the molecular mechanisms of channel gating and regulation of RyRs, but also sheds light on structural basis for channel-gating and ion selectivity mechanisms for the six-transmembrane-helix cation channel family. PMID:27573175

  12. Secretomic Insight into Glucose Metabolism of Aspergillus brasiliensis in Solid-State Fermentation.

    PubMed

    Volke-Sepulveda, Tania; Salgado-Bautista, Daniel; Bergmann, Carl; Wells, Lance; Gutierrez-Sanchez, Gerardo; Favela-Torres, Ernesto

    2016-10-07

    The genus Aspergillus is ubiquitous in nature and includes various species extensively exploited industrially due to their ability to produce and secrete a variety of enzymes and metabolites. Most processes are performed in submerged fermentation (SmF); however, solid-state fermentation (SSF) offers several advantages, including lower catabolite repression and substrate inhibition and higher productivity and stability of the enzymes produced. This study aimed to explain the improved metabolic behavior of A. brasiliensis ATCC9642 in SSF at high glucose concentrations through a proteomic approach. Online respirometric analysis provided reproducible samples for secretomic studies when the maximum CO2 production rate occurred, ensuring consistent physiological states. Extracellular extracts from SSF cultures were treated by SDS-PAGE, digested with trypsin, and analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Of 531 sequences identified, 207 proteins were analyzed. Twenty-five were identified as the most abundant unregulated proteins; 87 were found to be up-regulated and 95 were down-regulated with increasing glucose concentration. Of the regulated proteins, 120 were enzymes, most involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates (51), amino acids (23), and nucleotides (9). This study shows the high protein secretory activity of A. brasiliensis under SSF conditions. High glucose concentration favors catabolic activities, while some stress-related proteins and those involved in proteolysis are down-regulated.

  13. Insight into the Strong Antioxidant Activity of Deinoxanthin, a Unique Carotenoid in Deinococcus Radiodurans

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Hong-Fang

    2010-01-01

    Deinoxanthin (DX) is a unique carotenoid synthesized by Deinococcus radiodurans, one of the most radioresistant organisms known. In comparison with other carotenoids, DX was proven to exhibit significantly stronger reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging activity, which plays an important role in the radioresistance of D. radiodurans. In this work, to gain deeper insights into the strong antioxidant activity of DX, the parameters characterizing ROS-scavenging potential were calculated by means of quantum chemical calculations. It was found that DX possesses lower lowest triplet excitation energy for its unique structure than other carotenoids, such as β-carotene and zeaxanthin, which endows DX strong potential in the energy transfer-based ROS-scavenging process. Moreover, the H-atom donating potential of DX is similar to zeaxanthin according to the theoretical homolytic O-H bond dissociation enthalpy. Thus, the large number of conjugated double bonds should be crucial for its strong antioxidant activity. PMID:21151452

  14. Insight into the strong antioxidant activity of deinoxanthin, a unique carotenoid in Deinococcus radiodurans.

    PubMed

    Ji, Hong-Fang

    2010-11-10

    Deinoxanthin (DX) is a unique carotenoid synthesized by Deinococcus radiodurans, one of the most radioresistant organisms known. In comparison with other carotenoids, DX was proven to exhibit significantly stronger reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging activity, which plays an important role in the radioresistance of D. radiodurans. In this work, to gain deeper insights into the strong antioxidant activity of DX, the parameters characterizing ROS-scavenging potential were calculated by means of quantum chemical calculations. It was found that DX possesses lower lowest triplet excitation energy for its unique structure than other carotenoids, such as β-carotene and zeaxanthin, which endows DX strong potential in the energy transfer-based ROS-scavenging process. Moreover, the H-atom donating potential of DX is similar to zeaxanthin according to the theoretical homolytic O-H bond dissociation enthalpy. Thus, the large number of conjugated double bonds should be crucial for its strong antioxidant activity.

  15. An active solid state ring laser gyroscope

    SciTech Connect

    Valle, T.J.

    1992-01-01

    The properties of an active, solid state ring laser gyroscope were investigated. Two laser diode pumped monolithic nonplanar ring oscillators (NPRO), forced to lase in opposite directions, formed the NPRO-Gyro. It was unique in being an active ring laser gyroscope with a homogeneously broadened gain medium. This work examined sources of technical and fundamental noise. Associated calculations accounted for aspects of the NPRO-Gyro performance, suggested design improvements, and outlined limitations. The work brought out the need to stabilize the NPRO environment in order to achieve performance goals. Two Nd:YAG NPROs were mounted within an environment short term stabilized to microdegrees Celsius. The Allan variance of the NPRO-Gyro beat note was 500 Hz for a one second time delay. Unequal treatment of the NPROs appeared as noise on the beat frequency, therefore reducing its rotation sensitivity. The sensitivity to rotation was limited by technical noise sources.

  16. Edge states in confined active fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souslov, Anton; Vitelli, Vincenzo

    Recently, topologically protected edge modes have been proposed and realized in both mechanical and acoustic metamaterials. In one class of such metamaterials, Time-Reversal Symmetry is broken, and, to achieve this TRS breaking in mechanical and acoustic systems, an external energy input must be used. For example, motors provide a driving force that uses energy and, thus, explicitly break TRS. As a result, motors have been used as an essential component in the design of topological metamaterials. By contrast, we explore the design of topological metamaterials that use a class of far-from-equilibrium liquids, called polar active liquids, that spontaneously break TRS. We thus envision the confinement of a polar active liquid to a prescribed geometry in order to realize topological order with broken time-reversal symmetry. We address the design of the requisite geometries, for example a regular honeycomb lattice composed of annular channels, in which the active liquid may be confined. We also consider the physical character of the active liquid that, when introduced into the prescribed geometry, will spontaneously form the flow pattern of a metamaterial with topologically protected edge states. Finally, we comment on potential experimental realizations of such metamaterials.

  17. Structural Insights into and Activity Analysis of the Antimicrobial Peptide Myxinidin

    PubMed Central

    Cantisani, Marco; Finamore, Emiliana; Mignogna, Eleonora; Falanga, Annarita; Nicoletti, Giovanni Francesco; Pedone, Carlo; Morelli, Giancarlo; Leone, Marilisa

    2014-01-01

    The marine environment has been poorly explored in terms of potential new molecules possessing antibacterial activity. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) offer a new potential class of pharmaceuticals; however, further optimization is needed if AMPs are to find broad use as antibiotics. We focused our studies on a peptide derived from the epidermal mucus of hagfish (Myxine glutinosa L.), which was previously characterized and showed high antimicrobial activity against human and fish pathogens. In the present work, the activities of myxinidin peptide analogues were analyzed with the aim of widening the original spectrum of action of myxinidin by suitable changes in the peptide primary structure. The analysis of key residues by alanine scanning allowed for the design of novel peptides with increased activity. We identified the amino acids that are of the utmost importance for the observed antimicrobial activities against a set of pathogens comprising both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Overall, optimized bactericidal potency was achieved by adding a tryptophan residue at the N terminus and by the simultaneous substitution of residues present in positions 3, 4, and 11 with arginine. These results indicate that the myxinidin analogues emerge as an attractive alternative for treating drug-resistant infectious diseases and provide key insights into a rational design for novel agents against these pathogens. PMID:24957834

  18. Physical activity counseling in primary care: Insights from public health and behavioral economics.

    PubMed

    Shuval, Kerem; Leonard, Tammy; Drope, Jeffrey; Katz, David L; Patel, Alpa V; Maitin-Shepard, Melissa; Amir, On; Grinstein, Amir

    2017-02-15

    Physical inactivity has reached epidemic proportions in modern society. Abundant evidence points to a causal link between physical inactivity and increased risk for numerous noncommunicable diseases, such as some types of cancer and heart disease, as well as premature mortality. Yet, despite this overwhelming evidence, many individuals do not meet the recommended amount of physical activity required to achieve maximum health benefits. Because primary care physicians' advice is highly regarded, clinicians have the unique opportunity to play an important role in enabling patients to modify their behavior at the point of care with the goal of guiding patients to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle. In the current study, the authors evaluate pertinent literature from the fields of medicine/public health and economics/psychology to suggest a comprehensive approach to physical activity counseling at the primary care level. They first examine the public health approach to physical activity counseling, and then proceed to offer insights from behavioral economics, an emerging field that combines principles from psychology and economics. The application of key behavioral economics tools (eg, precommitment contracts, framing) to physical activity counseling in primary care is elaborated. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

  19. Active State Model for Autonomous Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Han; Chien, Steve; Zak, Michail; James, Mark; Mackey, Ryan; Fisher, Forest

    2003-01-01

    The concept of the active state model (ASM) is an architecture for the development of advanced integrated fault-detection-and-isolation (FDI) systems for robotic land vehicles, pilotless aircraft, exploratory spacecraft, or other complex engineering systems that will be capable of autonomous operation. An FDI system based on the ASM concept would not only provide traditional diagnostic capabilities, but also integrate the FDI system under a unified framework and provide mechanism for sharing of information between FDI subsystems to fully assess the overall health of the system. The ASM concept begins with definitions borrowed from psychology, wherein a system is regarded as active when it possesses self-image, self-awareness, and an ability to make decisions itself, such that it is able to perform purposeful motions and other transitions with some degree of autonomy from the environment. For an engineering system, self-image would manifest itself as the ability to determine nominal values of sensor data by use of a mathematical model of itself, and selfawareness would manifest itself as the ability to relate sensor data to their nominal values. The ASM for such a system may start with the closed-loop control dynamics that describe the evolution of state variables. As soon as this model was supplemented with nominal values of sensor data, it would possess self-image. The ability to process the current sensor data and compare them with the nominal values would represent self-awareness. On the basis of self-image and self-awareness, the ASM provides the capability for self-identification, detection of abnormalities, and self-diagnosis.

  20. How has magmatism in the northwest United States affected the lithosphere? Insights from Sp Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopper, E.; Ford, H. A.; Fischer, K. M.; Lekic, V.; Fouch, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    The origins of the age-progressive hot spot track of the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) and the age-progressive magmatic wave of the Newberry Trend in the High Lava Plains (HLP) are much debated. Constraining lithospheric structure and its relationship to magmatism in this region can provide new insights. We employ Sp receiver functions to image the base of the lithosphere. Data was collected from stations within a ~1500km x ~900km area centered on the ESRP, comprising both permanent network stations (e.g. US, IW) and many temporary arrays, including the High Lava Plains seismic array and EarthScope's USArray Transportable Array. We first obtained Sp receiver functions for individual waveforms using an extended-time multi-taper deconvolution method. We then migrated into a 3D volume using common-conversion point stacking and a spline function representation of phase Fresnel zones assuming mantle velocities from Obrebski et al. (2011) and the crustal model of Lowry and Perez-Gussinye (2011). In some areas, we detect a mantle Sp arrival indicating a decrease in velocity with depth in the 55-100 km depth range, which is consistent with the transition from high velocity lithosphere to low velocity asthenosphere in the tomography. To the southeast of Newberry volcano beneath the HLP, a particularly strong and clear negative Sp phase increases in depth from ~55 km beneath the youngest magmatism to ~65 km beneath 9-11 Ma eruptive centers. The depth of this phase is roughly consistent with the pressures of last equilibration of asthenospherically derived magmatic samples [Till et al, 2012]. Continuing to the southeast beneath the Owyhee Plateau, where there are 14-16 Ma silicic calderas associated with the onset of the SRP magmatic trend, a significantly weaker negative Sp phase is found at depths of 80-90 km. Image quality is poorer beneath the eastern SRP, where magmatic ages are 12 Ma and younger, due to sparser path coverage east of the High Lava Plains array

  1. Insights about Fall Prevention of Older Adults in the State of Hawai‘i

    PubMed Central

    Hayashida, Cullen T; Yontz, Valerie

    2017-01-01

    The senior population in Hawai‘i is growing at a dramatic pace. In the older population, falls and fall-related injuries are leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Moreover, the health care costs for falls are very high. The State of Hawai‘i has taken measures to prevent falls through the promotion of medication reviews, vision checks, home assessments, and exercise. However, current published examinations of fall preventive measures have been insufficient, and more research is needed to confirm risk factors, effectiveness of preventive measures, and to explore future objectives. This paper examined the validity of fall risk factors and fall preventive measures for Hawai‘i's seniors by conducting mail questionnaire surveys to a sample of seniors using medical alert services from one company in Hawai‘i. The results of chi-square analysis suggest that having reduced ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and reduced Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) were associated with a greater risk of falls (P < .01). In addition, those who fell were more likely to talk about fall preventions with their family members or friends and health providers compared with those who did not (P = .048 and .003, respectively). Evidence-based exercise programs for strengthening muscles and controlling physical balance may be needed to improve ADL and IADL. Furthermore, the results suggest that seniors do not accept that they are at risk of falling before they actually fall. Public health providers should consider how they approach seniors, and how they inform them of the importance of fall prevention across the life span. PMID:28090397

  2. The nature of inherent bactericidal activity: insights from the nanotopology of three species of dragonfly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainwaring, David E.; Nguyen, Song Ha; Webb, Hayden; Jakubov, Timur; Tobin, Mark; Lamb, Robert N.; Wu, Alex H.-F.; Marchant, Richard; Crawford, Russell J.; Ivanova, Elena P.

    2016-03-01

    While insect wings are widely recognised as multi-functional, recent work showed that this extends to extensive bactericidal activity brought about by cell deformation and lysis on the wing nanotopology. We now quantitatively show that subtle changes to this topography result in substantial changes in bactericidal activity that are able to span an order of magnitude. Notably, the chemical composition of the lipid nanopillars was seen by XPS and synchrotron FTIR microspectroscopy to be similar across these activity differences. Modelling the interaction between bacterial cells and the wing surface lipids of 3 species of dragonflies, that inhabit similar environments, but with distinctly different behavioural repertoires, provided the relationship between surface structure and antibacterial functionality. In doing so, these principal behavioural patterns correlated with the demands for antimicrobial efficiency dictated by differences in their foraging strategies. This work now reveals a new feature in the design elegance of natural multi-functional surfaces as well providing insights into the bactericidal mechanism underlying inherently antimicrobial materials, while suggesting that nanotopology is related to the evolutionary development of a species through the demands of its behavioural repertoire. The underlying relationship between the processes of wetting, adhesion and capillarity of the lipid nanopillars and bactericidal efficiency suggests new prospects for purely mechano-responsive antibacterial surfaces.While insect wings are widely recognised as multi-functional, recent work showed that this extends to extensive bactericidal activity brought about by cell deformation and lysis on the wing nanotopology. We now quantitatively show that subtle changes to this topography result in substantial changes in bactericidal activity that are able to span an order of magnitude. Notably, the chemical composition of the lipid nanopillars was seen by XPS and synchrotron

  3. Short-term meditation modulates brain activity of insight evoked with solution cue

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Cao, Chen; Deng, Yuqin; Wang, Yan; Xin, Xiu; Posner, Michael I.

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has been shown to improve creativity in some situation. However, little is known about the brain systems underling insight into a problem when the person fails to solve the problem. Here, we examined the neural correlation using Chinese Remote Association Test, as a measure of creativity. We provide a solution following the failure of the participant to provide one. We examine how meditation in comparison with relaxation influences the reaction of the participant to a correct solution. The event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging showed greater activity, mainly distributed in the right cingulate gyrus (CG), insula, putamen, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and the bilateral middle frontal gyrus (MFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and the superior temporal gyrus (STG). This pattern of activation was greater following 5 h of meditation training than the same amount of relaxation. Based on prior research, we speculate on the function of this pattern of brain activity: (i) CG may be involved in detecting conflict and breaking mental set, (ii) MFG/IFG may play an important role in restructuring of the problem representation, (iii) insula, IPL and STG may be associated with error detection, problem understanding or general attentive control and (iv) putamen may be activated by ‘Aha’ feeling. PMID:24532700

  4. The Active Site of Oligogalacturonate Lyase Provides Unique Insights into Cytoplasmic Oligogalacturonate β-Elimination*

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, D. Wade; Gilbert, Harry J.; Boraston, Alisdair B.

    2010-01-01

    Oligogalacturonate lyases (OGLs; now also classified as pectate lyase family 22) are cytoplasmic enzymes found in pectinolytic members of Enterobacteriaceae, such as the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica. OGLs utilize a β-elimination mechanism to preferentially catalyze the conversion of saturated and unsaturated digalacturonate into monogalacturonate and the 4,5-unsaturated monogalacturonate-like molecule, 5-keto-4-deoxyuronate. To provide mechanistic insights into the specificity of this enzyme activity, we have characterized the OGL from Y. enterocolitica, YeOGL, on oligogalacturonides and determined its three-dimensional x-ray structure to 1.65 Å. The model contains a Mn2+ atom in the active site, which is coordinated by three histidines, one glutamine, and an acetate ion. The acetate mimics the binding of the uronate group of galactourono-configured substrates. These findings, in combination with enzyme kinetics and metal supplementation assays, provide a framework for modeling the active site architecture of OGL. This enzyme appears to contain a histidine for the abstraction of the α-proton in the −1 subsite, a residue that is highly conserved throughout the OGL family and represents a unique catalytic base among pectic active lyases. In addition, we present a hypothesis for an emerging relationship observed between the cellular distribution of pectate lyase folding and the distinct metal coordination chemistries of pectate lyases. PMID:20851883

  5. Recent State Policies/Activities: Community Colleges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.

    This document is a summary, collected from StateNet, Lexis-Nexis, state Web sites, and state newsletters. The summary includes educational policies enacted throughout the country since 1999. StateNet and Lexis-Nexis descriptions reflect the content of bills as introduced, and may not reflect changes made during the legislative process. Highlights…

  6. OER activity manipulated by IrO6 coordination geometry: an insight from pyrochlore iridates

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Wei; Liu, Ji-Yuan; Gong, Xue-Qing; Zaman, Waqas-Qamar; Cao, Li-Mei; Yang, Ji

    2016-01-01

    The anodic reaction of oxygen evolution reaction (OER), an important point for electrolysis, however, remains the obstacle due to its complicated reaction at electrochemical interfaces. Iridium oxide (IrO2) is the only currently known 5d transition metal oxide possessing admirable OER activity. Tremendous efforts have been carried out to enhance the activity of iridium oxides. Unfortunately there lies a gap in understanding what factors responsible for the activity in doped IrO2 or the novel crystal structure. Based on two metallic pyrochlores (Bi2Ir2O7 and Pb2Ir2O6.5) and IrO2. It has been found that there exists a strong correlation between the specific OER activity and IrO6 coordination geometry. The more distortion in IrO6 geometry ascends the activity of Ir sites, and generates activity order of Pb-Ir > IrO2 > Bi-Ir. Our characterizations reveal that distorted IrO6 in Pb-Ir induces a disappearance of J = 1/2 subbands in valence band, while Bi-Ir and IrO2 resist this nature probe. The performed DFT calculations indicated the distortion in IrO6 geometry can optimize binding strength between Ir-5d and O-2p due to broader d band width. Based on this insight, enhancement in OER activity is obtained by effects that change IrO6 octahedral geometry through doping or utilizing structural manipulation with nature of distorted octahedral coordination. PMID:27910932

  7. New Insights into Butyrylcholinesterase Activity Assay: Serum Dilution Factor as a Crucial Parameter

    PubMed Central

    Jońca, Joanna; Żuk, Monika; Wasąg, Bartosz; Janaszak-Jasiecka, Anna; Lewandowski, Krzysztof; Wielgomas, Bartosz; Waleron, Krzysztof; Jasiecki, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity assay and inhibitor phenotyping can help to identify patients at risk of prolonged paralysis following the administration of neuromuscular blocking agents. The assay plays an important role in clinical chemistry as a good diagnostic marker for intoxication with pesticides and nerve agents. Furthermore, the assay is also commonly used for in vitro characterization of cholinesterases, their toxins and drugs. There is still lack of standardized procedure for measurement of BChE activity and many laboratories use different substrates at various concentrations. The purpose of this study was to validate the BChE activity assay to determine the best dilution of human serum and the most optimal concentration of substrates and inhibitors. Serum BChE activity was measured using modified Ellman’s method applicable for a microplate reader. We present our experience and new insights into the protocol for high-throughput routine assays of human plasma cholinesterase activities adapted to a microplate reader. During our routine assays used for the determination of BChE activity, we have observed that serum dilution factor influences the results obtained. We show that a 400-fold dilution of serum and 5mM S-butyrylthiocholine iodide can be successfully used for the accurate measurement of BChE activity in human serum. We also discuss usage of various concentrations of dibucaine and fluoride in BChE phenotyping. This study indicates that some factors of such a multicomponent clinical material like serum can influence kinetic parameters of the BChE. The observed inhibitory effect is dependent on serum dilution factor used in the assay. PMID:26444431

  8. OER activity manipulated by IrO6 coordination geometry: an insight from pyrochlore iridates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Wei; Liu, Ji-Yuan; Gong, Xue-Qing; Zaman, Waqas-Qamar; Cao, Li-Mei; Yang, Ji

    2016-12-01

    The anodic reaction of oxygen evolution reaction (OER), an important point for electrolysis, however, remains the obstacle due to its complicated reaction at electrochemical interfaces. Iridium oxide (IrO2) is the only currently known 5d transition metal oxide possessing admirable OER activity. Tremendous efforts have been carried out to enhance the activity of iridium oxides. Unfortunately there lies a gap in understanding what factors responsible for the activity in doped IrO2 or the novel crystal structure. Based on two metallic pyrochlores (Bi2Ir2O7 and Pb2Ir2O6.5) and IrO2. It has been found that there exists a strong correlation between the specific OER activity and IrO6 coordination geometry. The more distortion in IrO6 geometry ascends the activity of Ir sites, and generates activity order of Pb-Ir > IrO2 > Bi-Ir. Our characterizations reveal that distorted IrO6 in Pb-Ir induces a disappearance of J = 1/2 subbands in valence band, while Bi-Ir and IrO2 resist this nature probe. The performed DFT calculations indicated the distortion in IrO6 geometry can optimize binding strength between Ir-5d and O-2p due to broader d band width. Based on this insight, enhancement in OER activity is obtained by effects that change IrO6 octahedral geometry through doping or utilizing structural manipulation with nature of distorted octahedral coordination.

  9. Faster than their prey: new insights into the rapid movements of active carnivorous plants traps.

    PubMed

    Poppinga, Simon; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas

    2013-07-01

    Plants move in very different ways and for different reasons, but some active carnivorous plants perform extraordinary motion: Their snap-, catapult- and suction traps perform very fast and spectacular motions to catch their prey after receiving mechanical stimuli. Numerous investigations have led to deeper insights into the physiology and biomechanics of these trapping devices, but they are far from being fully understood. We review concisely how plant movements are classified and how they follow principles that bring together speed, actuation and architecture of the moving organ. In particular, we describe and discuss how carnivorous plants manage to execute fast motion. We address open questions and assess the prospects for future studies investigating potential universal mechanisms that could be the basis of key characteristic features in plant movement such as stimulus transduction, post-stimulatory mechanical answers, and organ formation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Making Personalized Health Care Even More Personalized: Insights From Activities of the IOM Genomics Roundtable.

    PubMed

    David, Sean P; Johnson, Samuel G; Berger, Adam C; Feero, W Gregory; Terry, Sharon F; Green, Larry A; Phillips, Robert L; Ginsburg, Geoffrey S

    2015-01-01

    Genomic research has generated much new knowledge into mechanisms of human disease, with the potential to catalyze novel drug discovery and development, prenatal and neonatal screening, clinical pharmacogenomics, more sensitive risk prediction, and enhanced diagnostics. Genomic medicine, however, has been limited by critical evidence gaps, especially those related to clinical utility and applicability to diverse populations. Genomic medicine may have the greatest impact on health care if it is integrated into primary care, where most health care is received and where evidence supports the value of personalized medicine grounded in continuous healing relationships. Redesigned primary care is the most relevant setting for clinically useful genomic medicine research. Taking insights gained from the activities of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health, we apply lessons learned from the patient-centered medical home national experience to implement genomic medicine in a patient-centered, learning health care system.

  12. The Structure of Bipartite Quantum States - Insights from Group Theory and Cryptography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christandl, Matthias

    2006-04-01

    This thesis presents a study of the structure of bipartite quantum states. In the first part, the representation theory of the unitary and symmetric groups is used to analyse the spectra of quantum states. In particular, it is shown how to derive a one-to-one relation between the spectra of a bipartite quantum state and its reduced states, and the Kronecker coefficients of the symmetric group. In the second part, the focus lies on the entanglement of bipartite quantum states. Drawing on an analogy between entanglement distillation and secret-key agreement in classical cryptography, a new entanglement measure, `squashed entanglement', is introduced.

  13. Novel insights into enhanced dewaterability of waste activated sludge by Fe(II)-activated persulfate oxidation.

    PubMed

    Zhen, Guangyin; Lu, Xueqin; Li, Yuyou; Zhao, Youcai; Wang, Baoying; Song, Yu; Chai, Xiaoli; Niu, Dongjie; Cao, Xianyan

    2012-09-01

    The potential of Fe(II)-activated persulfate (S(2)O(8)(2-)) oxidation on enhancing the dewaterability of sludge flocs from 3-full scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were investigated. Normalized capillary suction time (CST) was applied to evaluate sludge dewaterability. Both extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and metabolic activity of microorganisms were determined to explore the responsible mechanism. Fe(II)-S(2)O(8)(2-) oxidation effectively improved sludge dewaterability. The most important mechanisms were proposed to be the degradation of EPS incorporated in sludge flocs and rupture of microbial cells. Three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy confirmed that the powerful SO(4)(-) from Fe(II)-S(2)O(8)(2-) system destroyed the particular functional groups of fluorescing substances (i.e., aromatic protein-, tryptophan protein-, humic- and fulvic-like substances) in EPS and caused cleavage of linkages in the polymeric backbone and simultaneous destruction of microbial cells, resulting in the release of EPS-bound water, intracellular materials and water of hydration inside cells, and subsequent enhancement of dewaterability.

  14. Trait and State Attributes of Insight in First Episodes of Early-Onset Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses: A 2-Year Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    Parellada, Mara; Boada, Leticia; Fraguas, David; Reig, Santiago; Castro-Fornieles, Josefina; Moreno, Dolores; Gonzalez-Pinto, Ana; Otero, Soraya; Rapado-Castro, Marta; Graell, Montserrat; Baeza, Inmaculada; Arango, Celso

    2011-01-01

    Background: Increasing evidence supports the important role of illness state and individual characteristics in insight. Methods: Insight, as measured with the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder, over the first 2 years of early-onset first-episode psychosis and its correlations with clinical, socio-demographic, cognitive, and structural brain variables are studied. Results: (1) insight at 2 years is poorer in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) than in subjects with other psychoses; (2) the more severe the psychosis, the worse the insight. In SSD, depressive symptoms, poorer baseline executive functioning, lower IQ, longer duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), and poorer premorbid infancy adjustment are associated with poorer insight; frontal and parietal gray matter (GM) reductions at baseline correlate with worse insight into having psychotic symptoms at 2 years; (3) insight into having a mental disorder (Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder [SUMD]1) at 1 year, DUP, and baseline IQ are the most consistent variables explaining different aspects of insight at 2 years in SSD patients. IQ and SUMD1 at 1 year, together with left frontal and parietal GM volumes, explain 80% of the variance of insight into having specific psychotic symptoms in SSD patients (adjusted R2 = 0.795, F = 15.576, P < .001). Conclusion: Insight is a complex phenomenon that depends both on severity of psychopathology and also on disease and subject characteristics, such as past adjustment, IQ, DUP, cognitive functioning, frontal and parietal GM volumes, and age, gender, and ethnicity. PMID:20884756

  15. Pterostilbene-mediated Nrf2 activation: Mechanistic insights on Keap1:Nrf2 interface.

    PubMed

    Bhakkiyalakshmi, Elango; Dineshkumar, Kesavan; Karthik, Suresh; Sireesh, Dornadula; Hopper, Waheeta; Paulmurugan, Ramasamy; Ramkumar, Kunka Mohanram

    2016-08-15

    The discovery of Keap1-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction (PPI) inhibitors has become a promising strategy to develop novel lead molecules against variety of stress. Hence, Keap1-Nrf2 system plays an important role in oxidative/electrophilic stress associated disorders. Our earlier studies identified pterostilbene (PTS), a natural analogue of resveratrol, as a potent Nrf2 activator and Keap1-Nrf2 PPI inhibitor as assessed by luciferase complementation assay. In this study, we further identified the potential of PTS in Nrf2 activation and ARE-driven downstream target genes expression by nuclear translocation experiments and ARE-luciferase reporter assay, respectively. Further, the luciferase complementation assay identified that PTS inhibits Keap1-Nrf2 PPI in both dose and time-dependent manner. Computational studies using molecular docking and dynamic simulation revealed that PTS directly interacts with the basic amino acids of kelch domain of Keap1 and perturb Keap1-Nrf2 interaction pattern. This manuscript not only shows the binding determinants of Keap1-Nrf2 proteins but also provides mechanistic insights on Nrf2 activation potential of PTS.

  16. The nature of inherent bactericidal activity: insights from the nanotopology of three species of dragonfly.

    PubMed

    Mainwaring, David E; Nguyen, Song Ha; Webb, Hayden; Jakubov, Timur; Tobin, Mark; Lamb, Robert N; Wu, Alex H-F; Marchant, Richard; Crawford, Russell J; Ivanova, Elena P

    2016-03-28

    While insect wings are widely recognised as multi-functional, recent work showed that this extends to extensive bactericidal activity brought about by cell deformation and lysis on the wing nanotopology. We now quantitatively show that subtle changes to this topography result in substantial changes in bactericidal activity that are able to span an order of magnitude. Notably, the chemical composition of the lipid nanopillars was seen by XPS and synchrotron FTIR microspectroscopy to be similar across these activity differences. Modelling the interaction between bacterial cells and the wing surface lipids of 3 species of dragonflies, that inhabit similar environments, but with distinctly different behavioural repertoires, provided the relationship between surface structure and antibacterial functionality. In doing so, these principal behavioural patterns correlated with the demands for antimicrobial efficiency dictated by differences in their foraging strategies. This work now reveals a new feature in the design elegance of natural multi-functional surfaces as well providing insights into the bactericidal mechanism underlying inherently antimicrobial materials, while suggesting that nanotopology is related to the evolutionary development of a species through the demands of its behavioural repertoire. The underlying relationship between the processes of wetting, adhesion and capillarity of the lipid nanopillars and bactericidal efficiency suggests new prospects for purely mechano-responsive antibacterial surfaces.

  17. Molecular level activation insights from a NR2A/NR2B agonist.

    PubMed

    Ieong Tou, Weng; Chang, Su-Sen; Wu, Dongchuan; Lai, Ted Weita; Wang, Yu Tian; Hsu, Chung Y; Chen, Calvin Yu-Chian

    2014-01-01

    N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), a subclass of glutamate receptors have broad actions in neural transmission for major brain functions. Overactivation of NMDARs leading to "excitotoxicity" is the underlying mechanism of neuronal death in a number of neurological diseases, especially stroke. Much research effort has been directed toward developing pharmacological agents to modulate NMDAR actions for treating neurological diseases, in particular stroke. Here, we report that Alliin, a sulfoxide in fresh garlic, exhibits affinity toward NR2A as well as NR2B receptors based on virtual screening. Biological activities of Alliin on these two receptors were confirmed in electrophysiological studies. Ligand-binding site closure, a structural change precluding ion channel opening, was observed with Alliin during 100 ns molecular dynamics simulation. Alliin interactions with NR2A and NR2B suggest that residues E/A413, H485, T690, and Y730 may play important roles in the conformation shift. Activation of NR2A and NR2B by Alliin can be differentiated from that caused by glutamate, the endogenous neurotransmitter. These characteristic molecular features in NR2A and NR2B activation provide insight into structural requirements for future development of novel drugs with selective interaction with NR2A and NR2B for treating neurological diseases, particularly stroke.

  18. Species differences in the antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities of Lepidium sativum and insight into underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Gilani, Anwarul-Hassan; Rehman, Najeeb-Ur; Mehmood, Malik Hassan; Alkharfy, Khalid M

    2013-07-01

    The aim of this study was to see if the crude extract of Lepidium sativum (Ls.Cr) exhibits species specificity in its antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities along with insight into the underlying mechanisms using the in-vivo and in-vitro experiments. Ls.Cr inhibited castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice at doses (300 and 1000 mg/kg) three times higher dose than for rats. In isolated rat ileum and jejunum, Ls.Cr completely inhibited carbachol (CCh), low K⁺ (25 mM) and high K⁺ (80 mM)-induced contractions, while in guinea-pig tissues, Ls.Cr caused complete inhibition of only CCh-induced contraction. In rabbit tissues, Ls.Cr completely inhibited CCh and low K⁺-induced contractions sensitive to K⁺ channel antagonists. Pretreatment of guinea-pig and rat tissues with Ls.Cr caused a rightward shift in CCh-induced contractions in a pattern similar to dicyclomine, while in rabbit and rat tissues, Ls.Cr shifted isoprenaline curves to the left similar to papaverine. These data indicate that the antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities of L. sativum are species dependent, mediating its antispasmodic effect through combinations of multiple pathways including activation of K⁺ channels, and inhibition of muscarinic receptors, Ca⁺⁺ channels and PDE enzyme. Rat tissues showed the highest potency. Based on the results, we recommend using multiple species to know the real pharmacological profile of medicinal products.

  19. Antimicrobial activity of human islet amyloid polypeptides: an insight into amyloid peptides' connection with antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lan; Liu, Qian; Chen, Jin-Chun; Cui, Yi-Xian; Zhou, Bing; Chen, Yong-Xiang; Zhao, Yu-Fen; Li, Yan-Mei

    2012-07-01

    Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) shows an antimicrobial activity towards two types of clinically relevant bacteria. The potency of hIAPP varies with its aggregation states. Circular dichroism was employed to determine the interaction between hIAPP and bacteria lipid membrane mimic. The antimicrobial activity of each aggregate species is associated with their ability to induce membrane disruption. Our findings provide new evidence revealing the antimicrobial activity of amyloid peptide, which suggest a possible connection between amyloid peptides and antimicrobial peptides.

  20. Insights into partially folded or unfolded States of metalloproteins from nuclear magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Turano, Paola

    2004-12-13

    Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) provides detailed insights into the conformational features of unfolded and partially folded proteins. In the case of metalloproteins, special attention should be devoted to the characterization of the properties of the metal binding sites, and specific approaches need to be developed depending on the nature of the metal ion and its coordination environment. At the same time, metal-based NMR parameters may help in getting a better picture of the average structural properties of the metalloprotein. A critical evaluation of the limits of applicability of paramagnetic effects for solution structure determination in partially folded or unfolded proteins is presented. The coupling between NMR characterization of structure and dynamic of the polypeptide chain and of the metal environment provides insights into the stabilizing role of metal ions in metalloproteins. The overall approach is illustrated for some case examples of increasing flexibility obtained far from native conditions for cytochrome c and superoxide dismutase, two metalloproteins that have been extensively studied in our lab and whose misfolded forms may be relevant for important biological processes.

  1. Charge-Transfer Excited States in Aqueous DNA: Insights from Many-Body Green's Function Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Huabing; Ma, Yuchen; Mu, Jinglin; Liu, Chengbu; Rohlfing, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Charge-transfer (CT) excited states play an important role in the excited-state dynamics of DNA in aqueous solution. However, there is still much controversy on their energies. By ab initio many-body Green's function theory, together with classical molecular dynamics simulations, we confirm the existence of CT states at the lower energy side of the optical absorption maximum in aqueous DNA as observed in experiments. We find that the hydration shell can exert strong effects (˜1 eV) on both the electronic structure and CT states of DNA molecules through dipole electric fields. In this case, the solvent cannot be simply regarded as a macroscopic screening medium as usual. The influence of base stacking and base pairing on the CT states is also discussed.

  2. Structural and mechanistic insights into the activation of Stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1).

    PubMed

    Yang, Xue; Jin, Hao; Cai, Xiangyu; Li, Siwei; Shen, Yuequan

    2012-04-10

    Calcium influx through the Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channel is an essential process in many types of cells. Upon store depletion, the calcium sensor in the endoplasmic reticulum, STIM1, activates Orai1, a CRAC channel in the plasma membrane. We have determined the structures of SOAR from Homo sapiens (hSOAR), which is part of STIM1 and is capable of constitutively activating Orai1, and the entire coiled coil region of STIM1 from Caenorhabditis elegans (ceSTIM1-CCR) in an inactive state. Our studies reveal that the formation of a SOAR dimer is necessary to activate the Orai1 channel. Mutations that disrupt SOAR dimerization or remove the cluster of positive residues abolish STIM1 activation of Orai1. We identified a possible inhibitory helix within the structure of ceSTIM1-CCR that tightly interacts with SOAR. Functional studies suggest that the inhibitory helix may keep the C-terminus of STIM1 in an inactive state. Our data allowed us to propose a model for STIM1 activation.

  3. B-H bond activation using an electrophilic metal complex: insights into the reaction pathway.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rahul; Jagirdar, Balaji R

    2013-01-07

    A highly electrophilic ruthenium center in the [RuCl(dppe)(2)][OTf] complex brings about the activation of the B-H bond in ammonia borane (H(3)N·BH(3), AB) and dimethylamine borane (Me(2)HN·BH(3), DMAB). At room temperature, the reaction between [RuCl(dppe)(2)][OTf] and AB or DMAB results in trans-[RuH(η(2)-H(2))(dppe)(2)][OTf], trans-[RuCl(η(2)-H(2))(dppe)(2)][OTf], and trans-[RuH(Cl)(dppe)(2)], as noted in the NMR spectra. Mixing the ruthenium complex and AB or DMAB at low temperature (198/193 K) followed by NMR spectral measurements as the reaction mixture was warmed up to room temperature allowed the observation of various species formed enroute to the final products that were obtained at room temperature. On the basis of the variable-temperature multinuclear NMR spectroscopic studies of these two reactions, the mechanistic insights for B-H bond activation were obtained. In both cases, the reaction proceeds via an η(1)-B-H moiety bound to the metal center. The detailed mechanistic pathways of these two reactions as studied by NMR spectroscopy are described.

  4. Structural insights into Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 mediated prediction of potentially active semiochemicals

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Zhen; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhang, Yalin

    2016-01-01

    Given the advantages of behavioral disruption application in pest control and the damage of Cydia pomonella, due progresses have not been made in searching active semiochemicals for codling moth. In this research, 31 candidate semiochemicals were ranked for their binding potential to Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 (CpomPBP2) by simulated docking, and this sorted result was confirmed by competitive binding assay. This high predicting accuracy of virtual screening led to the construction of a rapid and viable method for semiochemicals searching. By reference to binding mode analyses, hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction were suggested to be two key factors in determining ligand affinity, so is the length of molecule chain. So it is concluded that semiochemicals of appropriate chain length with hydroxyl group or carbonyl group at one head tended to be favored by CpomPBP2. Residues involved in binding with each ligand were pointed out as well, which were verified by computational alanine scanning mutagenesis. Progress made in the present study helps establish an efficient method for predicting potentially active compounds and prepares for the application of high-throughput virtual screening in searching semiochemicals by taking insights into binding mode analyses. PMID:26928635

  5. Structural insights into Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 mediated prediction of potentially active semiochemicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Zhen; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhang, Yalin

    2016-03-01

    Given the advantages of behavioral disruption application in pest control and the damage of Cydia pomonella, due progresses have not been made in searching active semiochemicals for codling moth. In this research, 31 candidate semiochemicals were ranked for their binding potential to Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 (CpomPBP2) by simulated docking, and this sorted result was confirmed by competitive binding assay. This high predicting accuracy of virtual screening led to the construction of a rapid and viable method for semiochemicals searching. By reference to binding mode analyses, hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction were suggested to be two key factors in determining ligand affinity, so is the length of molecule chain. So it is concluded that semiochemicals of appropriate chain length with hydroxyl group or carbonyl group at one head tended to be favored by CpomPBP2. Residues involved in binding with each ligand were pointed out as well, which were verified by computational alanine scanning mutagenesis. Progress made in the present study helps establish an efficient method for predicting potentially active compounds and prepares for the application of high-throughput virtual screening in searching semiochemicals by taking insights into binding mode analyses.

  6. Genome activation in bovine embryos: review of the literature and new insights from RNA sequencing experiments.

    PubMed

    Graf, Alexander; Krebs, Stefan; Heininen-Brown, Mari; Zakhartchenko, Valeri; Blum, Helmut; Wolf, Eckhard

    2014-09-01

    Maternal-to-embryonic transition (MET) is the period in early embryonic development when maternal RNAs and proteins stored in the oocyte are gradually degraded and transcription of the embryonic genome is activated. First insights into the timing of embryonic genome activation (EGA) came from autoradiographic analyses of embryos following incorporation of [(3)H]uridine. These studies identified the eight- to 16-cell stage of bovine embryos as the period of major EGA, but detected first transcriptional activity already in one-cell embryos. Subsequent studies compared the transcriptome profiles of untreated embryos and of embryos incubated with the transcription inhibitor α-amanitin to reveal transcripts of embryonic origin. In addition, candidate gene-based and global gene expression studies over several stages of early development were performed and characteristic profiles were revealed. However, the onset of embryonic transcription was obscured by the presence of maternal transcripts and could only be determined for genes which are not expressed in oocytes. Using RNA sequencing of bovine germinal vesicle and metaphase II oocytes, and of four-cell, eight-cell, 16-cell and blastocyst stage embryos, we established the most comprehensive transcriptome data set of bovine oocyte maturation and early development. EGA was analyzed by (i) detection of embryonic transcripts which are not present in oocytes; (ii) detection of transcripts from the paternal allele; and (iii) detection of primary transcripts with intronic sequences. Using these three approaches we were able to map the onset of embryonic transcription for almost 7400 genes. Genes activated at the four-cell stage or before were functionally related to RNA processing, translation, and transport, preparing the embryo for major EGA at the eight-cell stage, when genes from a broad range of functional categories were found to be activated. These included transcriptional and translational functions as well as protein

  7. Validity Evidence for the State Mindfulness Scale for Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Anne E.; Ullrich-French, Sarah; French, Brian F.

    2016-01-01

    Being attentive to and aware of one's experiences in the present moment with qualities of acceptance and openness reflects the state of mindfulness. Positive associations exist between state mindfulness and state autonomous motivation for everyday activities. Though this suggests that state mindfulness links with adaptive motivational experiences,…

  8. Dynamical insights into (1)pi sigma(*) state mediated photodissociation of aniline.

    PubMed

    King, Graeme A; Oliver, Thomas A A; Ashfold, Michael N R

    2010-06-07

    This article reports a comprehensive study of the mechanisms of H atom loss in aniline (C(6)H(5)NH(2)) following ultraviolet excitation, using H (Rydberg) atom photofragment translational spectroscopy. N-H bond fission via the low lying (1)pi sigma(*) electronic state of aniline is experimentally demonstrated. The (1)pi sigma(*) potential energy surface (PES) of this prototypical aromatic amine is essentially repulsive along the N-H stretch coordinate, but possesses a shallow potential well in the vertical Franck-Condon region, supporting quasibound vibrational levels. Photoexcitation at wavelengths (lambda(phot)) in the range 293.859 nm > or = lambda(phot) > or = 193.3 nm yields H atom loss via a range of mechanisms. With lambda(phot) resonant with the 1(1)pi pi(*) <-- S(0) origin (293.859 nm), H atom loss proceeds via, predominantly, multiphoton excitation processes, resonantly enhanced at the one photon energy by the first (1)pi pi(*) excited state (the 1(1)pi pi(*) state). Direct excitation to the first few quasibound vibrational levels of the (1)pi sigma(*) state (at wavelengths in the range 269.513 nm > or = lambda(phot) > or = 260 nm) induces N-H bond fission via H atom tunneling through an exit barrier into the repulsive region of the (1)pi sigma(*) PES, forming anilino (C(6)H(5)NH) radical products in their ground electronic state, and with very limited vibrational excitation; the photo-prepared vibrational mode in the (1)pi sigma(*) state generally evolves adiabatically into the corresponding mode of the anilino radical upon dissociation. However, as the excitation wavelength is reduced (lambda(phot) < 260 nm), N-H bond fission yields fragments with substantially greater vibrational excitation, rationalized in terms of direct excitation to 1(1)pi pi(*) levels, followed by coupling to the (1)pi sigma(*) PES via a 1(1)pi pi(*)/(1)pi sigma(*) conical intersection. Changes in product kinetic energy disposal once lambda(phot) approaches approximately 230 nm

  9. Magnetic latitude dependence of oxygen charge states in the global magnetosphere: Insights into solar wind-originating ion injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, R. C.; Livi, S. A.; Vines, S. K.; Goldstein, J.

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the sources and subsequent evolution of plasma in a magnetosphere holds intrinsic importance for magnetospheric dynamics. Previous studies have investigated the balance of ionospheric-originating heavy ions (low charge state) from those of solar wind origin (high charge state) in the magnetosphere of Earth. These studies have suggested a variety of entry mechanisms for solar wind ions to penetrate into the magnetosphere. Following from recently published distributions for oxygen charge states observed by the Polar spacecraft, this paper investigates oxygen charge state flux distributions versus L shell and magnetic latitude. By showing these distributions in this frame, and binning by various proxies for magnetospheric dynamics (Dst, AE, VSW∗BZ, Pdyn), insight has been gained into the underlying physics at play for oxygen injection. Ionospheric-originating oxygen is observed to depend predominantly on Dst, whereas solar wind-originating oxygen is observed to have a strong dependence on solar wind dynamic pressure (Pdyn) at the flanks and on VSW∗BZ at the dayside. This suggests that both Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities and reconnection play major roles in solar wind ion penetration into a magnetosphere. Additionally, the near-Earth magnetotail reconnection site does not seem to be a major injection site of solar wind-originating plasma in the 1 to 200 keV/e energy range.

  10. Request Strategies in Professional E-Mail Correspondence: Insights from the United States Workplace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leopold, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Despite growing interest in the rhetorical features of e-mail correspondence, this is the first study to examine the request strategies in e-mails written by native English-speaking professionals from a variety of industries in the United States. This study uses Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper's (1989) speech act framework to analyze the request…

  11. What State Policymakers Should Know about Federal Higher Education Policy. Policy Insights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Longanecker, David A.

    2006-01-01

    Despite the mantra that education is primarily a state responsibility, the federal government is an important and influential player when it comes to providing higher education to the nation's students. The federal government invests roughly $25 billion annually in higher education excluding loans that are ultimately repaid, military benefits that…

  12. New insight and old dilemma: a cross-cultural comparison of Japan and the United States.

    PubMed

    Lebra, T S

    2000-01-01

    Conflict in close relationships, or "generative tension," characterizes both the United States and Japan, with differences only in the style and timing of its manifestation. The potentially fruitful strategy of Rothbaum et al.'s article is constrained by their cross-cultural comparative methodology.

  13. Career Readiness in the United States 2015. ACT Insights in Education and Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LeFebvre, Mary

    2015-01-01

    ACT has conducted over 20,000 job analyses for occupations across a diverse array of industries and occupations since 1993. This report highlights the levels of career readiness for various subgroups of ACT Work Keys® examinees in the United States and provides career readiness benchmarks for selected ACT WorkKeys cognitive skills by career…

  14. Insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity through interrogation of cis elements disrupted in human erythroid disorders.

    PubMed

    Wakabayashi, Aoi; Ulirsch, Jacob C; Ludwig, Leif S; Fiorini, Claudia; Yasuda, Makiko; Choudhuri, Avik; McDonel, Patrick; Zon, Leonard I; Sankaran, Vijay G

    2016-04-19

    Whole-exome sequencing has been incredibly successful in identifying causal genetic variants and has revealed a number of novel genes associated with blood and other diseases. One limitation of this approach is that it overlooks mutations in noncoding regulatory elements. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which mutations in transcriptionalcis-regulatory elements result in disease remain poorly understood. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to interrogate three such elements harboring mutations in human erythroid disorders, which in all cases are predicted to disrupt a canonical binding motif for the hematopoietic transcription factor GATA1. Deletions of as few as two to four nucleotides resulted in a substantial decrease (>80%) in target gene expression. Isolated deletions of the canonical GATA1 binding motif completely abrogated binding of the cofactor TAL1, which binds to a separate motif. Having verified the functionality of these three GATA1 motifs, we demonstrate strong evolutionary conservation of GATA1 motifs in regulatory elements proximal to other genes implicated in erythroid disorders, and show that targeted disruption of such elements results in altered gene expression. By modeling transcription factor binding patterns, we show that multiple transcription factors are associated with erythroid gene expression, and have created predictive maps modeling putative disruptions of their binding sites at key regulatory elements. Our study provides insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity and may prove a useful resource for investigating the pathogenicity of noncoding variants in human erythroid disorders.

  15. Insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity through interrogation of cis elements disrupted in human erythroid disorders

    PubMed Central

    Wakabayashi, Aoi; Ulirsch, Jacob C.; Ludwig, Leif S.; Fiorini, Claudia; Yasuda, Makiko; Choudhuri, Avik; McDonel, Patrick; Zon, Leonard I.; Sankaran, Vijay G.

    2016-01-01

    Whole-exome sequencing has been incredibly successful in identifying causal genetic variants and has revealed a number of novel genes associated with blood and other diseases. One limitation of this approach is that it overlooks mutations in noncoding regulatory elements. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which mutations in transcriptional cis-regulatory elements result in disease remain poorly understood. Here we used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to interrogate three such elements harboring mutations in human erythroid disorders, which in all cases are predicted to disrupt a canonical binding motif for the hematopoietic transcription factor GATA1. Deletions of as few as two to four nucleotides resulted in a substantial decrease (>80%) in target gene expression. Isolated deletions of the canonical GATA1 binding motif completely abrogated binding of the cofactor TAL1, which binds to a separate motif. Having verified the functionality of these three GATA1 motifs, we demonstrate strong evolutionary conservation of GATA1 motifs in regulatory elements proximal to other genes implicated in erythroid disorders, and show that targeted disruption of such elements results in altered gene expression. By modeling transcription factor binding patterns, we show that multiple transcription factors are associated with erythroid gene expression, and have created predictive maps modeling putative disruptions of their binding sites at key regulatory elements. Our study provides insight into GATA1 transcriptional activity and may prove a useful resource for investigating the pathogenicity of noncoding variants in human erythroid disorders. PMID:27044088

  16. Physical coupling of activation and derepression activities to maintain an active transcriptional state at FLC

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hongchun; Howard, Martin; Dean, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Establishment and maintenance of gene expression states is central to development and differentiation. Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms interconnect in poorly understood ways to determine these states. We explore these mechanisms through dissection of the regulation of Arabidopsis thaliana FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). FLC can be present in a transcriptionally active state marked by H3K36me3 or a silent state marked by H3K27me3. Here, we investigate the trans factors modifying these opposing histone states and find a physical coupling in vivo between the H3K36 methyltransferase, SDG8, and the H3K27me3 demethylase, ELF6. Previous modeling has predicted this coupling would exist as it facilitates bistability of opposing histone states. We also find association of SDG8 with the transcription machinery, namely RNA polymerase II and the PAF1 complex. Delivery of the active histone modifications is therefore likely to be through transcription at the locus. SDG8 and ELF6 were found to influence the localization of each other on FLC chromatin, showing the functional importance of the interaction. In addition, both influenced accumulation of the associated H3K27me3 and H3K36me3 histone modifications at FLC. We propose the physical coupling of activation and derepression activities coordinates transcriptional activity and prevents ectopic silencing. PMID:27482092

  17. Seismic amplification within the Seattle Basin, Washington State: Insights from SHIPS seismic tomography experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snelson, C.M.; Brocher, T.M.; Miller, K.C.; Pratt, T.L.; Trehu, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    Recent observations indicate that the Seattle sedimentary basin, underlying Seattle and other urban centers in the Puget Lowland, Washington, amplifies long-period (1-5 sec) weak ground motions by factors of 10 or more. We computed east-trending P- and S-wave velocity models across the Seattle basin from Seismic Hazard Investigations of Puget Sound (SHIPS) experiments to better characterize the seismic hazard the basin poses. The 3D tomographic models, which resolve features to a depth of 10 km, for the first time define the P- and S-wave velocity structure of the eastern end of the basin. The basin, which contains sedimentary rocks of Eocene to Holocene, is broadly symmetric in east-west section and reaches a maximum thickness of 6 km along our profile beneath north Seattle. A comparison of our velocity model with coincident amplification curves for weak ground motions produced by the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake suggests that the distribution of Quaternary deposits and reduced velocity gradients in the upper part of the basement east of Seattle have significance in forecasting variations in seismic-wave amplification across the basin. Specifically, eastward increases in the amplification of 0.2- to 5-Hz energy correlate with locally thicker unconsolidated deposits and a change from Crescent Formation basement to pre-Tertiary Cascadia basement. These models define the extent of the Seattle basin, the Seattle fault, and the geometry of the basement contact, giving insight into the tectonic evolution of the Seattle basin and its influence on ground shaking.

  18. Dynamical insights into 1πσ* state mediated photodissociation of aniline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Graeme A.; Oliver, Thomas A. A.; Ashfold, Michael N. R.

    2010-06-01

    This article reports a comprehensive study of the mechanisms of H atom loss in aniline (C6H5NH2) following ultraviolet excitation, using H (Rydberg) atom photofragment translational spectroscopy. N-H bond fission via the low lying π1σ∗ electronic state of aniline is experimentally demonstrated. The π1σ∗ potential energy surface (PES) of this prototypical aromatic amine is essentially repulsive along the N-H stretch coordinate, but possesses a shallow potential well in the vertical Franck-Condon region, supporting quasibound vibrational levels. Photoexcitation at wavelengths (λphot) in the range 293.859 nm≥λphot≥193.3 nm yields H atom loss via a range of mechanisms. With λphot resonant with the 1π1π∗←S0 origin (293.859 nm), H atom loss proceeds via, predominantly, multiphoton excitation processes, resonantly enhanced at the one photon energy by the first π1π∗ excited state (the 1π1π∗ state). Direct excitation to the first few quasibound vibrational levels of the π1σ∗ state (at wavelengths in the range 269.513 nm≥λphot≥260 nm) induces N-H bond fission via H atom tunneling through an exit barrier into the repulsive region of the π1σ∗ PES, forming anilino (C6H5NH) radical products in their ground electronic state, and with very limited vibrational excitation; the photo-prepared vibrational mode in the π1σ∗ state generally evolves adiabatically into the corresponding mode of the anilino radical upon dissociation. However, as the excitation wavelength is reduced (λphot<260 nm), N-H bond fission yields fragments with substantially greater vibrational excitation, rationalized in terms of direct excitation to 1π1π∗ levels, followed by coupling to the π1σ∗ PES via a 1π1π∗/π1σ∗ conical intersection. Changes in product kinetic energy disposal once λphot approaches ˜230 nm likely indicate that the photodissociation pathways of aniline proceed via direct excitation to the (higher) 2π1π∗ state. Analysis of the

  19. Theoretical insights into [NiFe]-hydrogenases oxidation resulting in a slowly reactivating inactive state.

    PubMed

    Breglia, Raffaella; Ruiz-Rodriguez, Manuel Antonio; Vitriolo, Alessandro; Gonzàlez-Laredo, Rubén Francisco; De Gioia, Luca; Greco, Claudio; Bruschi, Maurizio

    2017-01-01

    [NiFe]-hydrogenases catalyse the relevant H2 → 2H(+) + 2e(-) reaction. Aerobic oxidation or anaerobic oxidation of this enzyme yields two inactive states called Ni-A and Ni-B. These states differ for the reactivation kinetics which are slower for Ni-A than Ni-B. While there is a general consensus on the structure of Ni-B, the nature of Ni-A is still controversial. Indeed, several crystallographic structures assigned to the Ni-A state have been proposed, which, however, differ for the nature of the bridging ligand and for the presence of modified cysteine residues. The spectroscopic characterization of Ni-A has been of little help due to small differences of calculated spectroscopic parameters, which does not allow to discriminate among the various forms proposed for Ni-A. Here, we report a DFT investigation on the nature of the Ni-A state, based on systematic explorations of conformational and configurational space relying on accurate energy calculations, and on comparisons of theoretical geometries with the X-ray structures currently available. The results presented in this work show that, among all plausible isomers featuring various protonation patterns and oxygenic ligands, the one corresponding to the crystallographic structure recently reported by Volbeda et al. (J Biol Inorg Chem 20:11-22, 19)-featuring a bridging hydroxide ligand and the sulphur atom of Cys64 oxidized to bridging sulfenate-is the most stable. However, isomers with cysteine residues oxidized to terminal sulfenate are very close in energy, and modifications in the network of H-bond with neighbouring residues may alter the stability order of such species.

  20. Language in the brain at rest: new insights from resting state data and graph theoretical analysis

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Angela M.; Meyer, Martin

    2014-01-01

    In humans, the most obvious functional lateralization is the specialization of the left hemisphere for language. Therefore, the involvement of the right hemisphere in language is one of the most remarkable findings during the last two decades of fMRI research. However, the importance of this finding continues to be underestimated. We examined the interaction between the two hemispheres and also the role of the right hemisphere in language. From two seeds representing Broca's area, we conducted a seed correlation analysis (SCA) of resting state fMRI data and could identify a resting state network (RSN) overlapping to significant extent with a language network that was generated by an automated meta-analysis tool. To elucidate the relationship between the clusters of this RSN, we then performed graph theoretical analyses (GTA) using the same resting state dataset. We show that the right hemisphere is clearly involved in language. A modularity analysis revealed that the interaction between the two hemispheres is mediated by three partitions: A bilateral frontal partition consists of nodes representing the classical left sided language regions as well as two right-sided homologs. The second bilateral partition consists of nodes from the right frontal, the left inferior parietal cortex as well as of two nodes within the posterior cerebellum. The third partition is also bilateral and comprises five regions from the posterior midline parts of the brain to the temporal and frontal cortex, two of the nodes are prominent default mode nodes. The involvement of this last partition in a language relevant function is a novel finding. PMID:24808843

  1. From REM sleep behaviour disorder to status dissociatus: insights into the maze of states of being.

    PubMed

    Vetrugno, Roberto; Montagna, Pasquale

    2011-12-01

    Sleep is a coordinated process involving more or less simultaneous changes in sensory, motor, autonomic, hormonal, and cerebral processes. On the other hand, none of the changes occurring with sleep are invariably coupled to sleep. EEG synchrony, heat loss, sleep-related hormone secretion, and even REM-related motoneuron paralysis may occur independent of the parent state. In REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) the muscle tone of wakefulness intrudes into REM sleep, allowing the release of dream-enacting behaviours. Status dissociatus (SD) is a condition in which brain and mind are in disarray along the boundaries of sleep and wakefulness. The existence of such dissociated behaviours shows that they have separate neuronal control systems and indicates that the whole organization of sleep is an emergent property of the collective neuronal systems to synchronize. Insults to the brain can drastically alter the circuitries responsible for maintaining the integrity of wakefulness, NREM sleep, and REM sleep. As a consequence, the basic states of existence can become admixed and interchanged with striking disturbances of consciousness, brain electrophysiology, and the behavioural and polygraphic expression of sleep and wakefulness. The evolution of RBD into SD may result from a disarray of (brainstem) structures that orchestrate the whole brain wake-sleep conditions, but with preserved discrete systems and dissociable strategies to still place navigation in wake and sleep. Advances in the fields of genetics, neuroimaging, and behavioural neurology will expand the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the organization of the states of being along with their somatic/behavioural manifestations.

  2. Language in the brain at rest: new insights from resting state data and graph theoretical analysis.

    PubMed

    Muller, Angela M; Meyer, Martin

    2014-01-01

    In humans, the most obvious functional lateralization is the specialization of the left hemisphere for language. Therefore, the involvement of the right hemisphere in language is one of the most remarkable findings during the last two decades of fMRI research. However, the importance of this finding continues to be underestimated. We examined the interaction between the two hemispheres and also the role of the right hemisphere in language. From two seeds representing Broca's area, we conducted a seed correlation analysis (SCA) of resting state fMRI data and could identify a resting state network (RSN) overlapping to significant extent with a language network that was generated by an automated meta-analysis tool. To elucidate the relationship between the clusters of this RSN, we then performed graph theoretical analyses (GTA) using the same resting state dataset. We show that the right hemisphere is clearly involved in language. A modularity analysis revealed that the interaction between the two hemispheres is mediated by three partitions: A bilateral frontal partition consists of nodes representing the classical left sided language regions as well as two right-sided homologs. The second bilateral partition consists of nodes from the right frontal, the left inferior parietal cortex as well as of two nodes within the posterior cerebellum. The third partition is also bilateral and comprises five regions from the posterior midline parts of the brain to the temporal and frontal cortex, two of the nodes are prominent default mode nodes. The involvement of this last partition in a language relevant function is a novel finding.

  3. Resting-state functional MR imaging shed insights into the brain of diabetes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yun Fei; Ji, Xue Man; Lu, Guang Ming; Zhang, Long Jiang

    2016-10-01

    Diabetes mellitus is a common metabolic disease which is associated with increasing risk for multiple cognitive declines. Alterations in brain functional connectivity are believed to be the mechanisms underlying the cognitive function impairments. During the past decade, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has been developed as a major tool to study brain functional connectivity in vivo. This paper briefly reviews the diabetes-associated cognitive impairment, analysis algorithms and clinical applications of rs-fMRI. We also provide future perspectives of rs-fMRI in diabetes.

  4. Amyloidogenic behavior of different intermediate state of stem bromelain: A biophysical insight.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Masihuz; Ehtram, Aquib; Chaturvedi, Sumit Kumar; Nusrat, Saima; Khan, Rizwan Hasan

    2016-10-01

    Stem bromelain, a cysteine proteases from Ananas comosus is a widely accepted therapeutic drug with broad medicinal application. It exists as intermediate states at pH 2.0 and 10.0, where it encountered in gastrointestinal tract during adsorption (acidic pH) and in gut epithelium (alkaline pH), respectively. In this study, we monitored the thermal aggregation/amyloid formation of SB at different pH intermediate states. Thermal treatment of stem bromelain at pH 10.0 favors the fibrillation in which the extent of aggregation increases with increase in protein concentration. However, no fibril formation in stem bromelain at pH 2.0 was found at all the concentration used at pH 10.0. The fibril formation was confirmed by various techniques such as turbidity measurements, Rayleigh light scattering, dye binding assays and far UV circular dichroism. The Dynamic light scattering confirmed the formation of aggregates by measuring the hydrodynamic radii pattern. Moreover, microscopic techniques were performed to analyze the morphology of fibrils. The aggregation behavior may be due to variation in number of charged amino acid residues. The less negative charge developed at pH 10.0 may be responsible for aggregation. This work helps to overcome the aggregation related problems of stem bromelain during formulations in pharmaceutical industry.

  5. On the dynamical state of galaxy clusters: insights from cosmological simulations - II.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Weiguang; Power, Chris; Borgani, Stefano; Knebe, Alexander; Lewis, Geraint F.; Murante, Giuseppe; Poole, Gregory B.

    2017-01-01

    Using a suite of cosmology simulations of a sample of >120 galaxy clusters with log (MDM, vir) ≤ 14.5. We compare clusters that form in purely dark matter (DM) run and their counterparts in hydro-runs and investigate four independent parameters that are normally used to classify dynamical state. We find that the virial ratio η in hydro-dynamical runs is ˜10 per cent lower than in the DM run, and there is no clear separation between the relaxed and unrelaxed clusters for any parameter. Further, using the velocity dispersion deviation parameter ζ, which is defined as the ratio between cluster velocity dispersion σ and the theoretical prediction σ _t = √{G M_{total}/R}, we find that there is a linear correlation between the virial ratio η and this ζ parameter. We propose to use this ζ parameter, which can be easily derived from observed galaxy clusters, as a substitute of the η parameter to quantify the cluster dynamical state.

  6. Non-sulfate sulfur in fine aerosols across the United States: Insight for organosulfate prevalence

    PubMed Central

    Shakya, Kabindra M.; Peltier, Richard E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the discrepancies in long-term sulfur measurements from 2000 to 2012 by two separate speciation methods, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy and ion chromatography (IC) across the United States (334 sites). Overall, there was a good correlation between sulfur measurements by XRF spectroscopy and IC (R ≥ 0.90 for most of the sites). However, the inorganic sulfate measured by ion chromatography was not sufficient to account for all the sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy at many of the sites. Discrepancies were observed with the high ratios of sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy to that by IC. Such high ratios also exhibited seasonal variation, and differed across land use types; significant differences occurred at locations classified as forest, agriculture, and mobile, but not in locations classified as commercial, desert, industrial, and residential. On average, the excess, or non-sulfate, sulfur (unmeasured organic sulfur or other inorganic species of sulfur) was variable and observed as high as ~13% of organic carbon and ~2% of PM2.5. The contribution of such assumed organosulfur was larger in the eastern region than other geographical locations in the United States. Besides the temporal and spatial trends, the additional sulfur was found to be related to other factors such as aerosol acidity and emission sources. The results suggest that these unmeasured sulfur species could have significant contribution to aerosol burden, and the understanding of these could help to control PM2.5 levels and to assess other effects of sulfur aerosols. PMID:25620874

  7. Microhydration of LiOH: Insight from electronic decays of core-ionized states.

    PubMed

    Kryzhevoi, Nikolai V

    2016-06-28

    We compute and compare the autoionization spectra of a core-ionized LiOH molecule both in its isolated and microhydrated states. Stepwise microhydration of LiOH leads to gradual elongation of the Li-OH bond length and finally to molecular dissociation. The accompanying changes in the local environment of the OH(-) and Li(+) counterions are reflected in the computed O 1s and Li 1s spectra. The role of solvent water molecules and the counterion in the spectral shape formation is assessed. Electronic decays of the microhydrated LiOH are found to be mostly intermolecular since the majority of the populated final states have at least one outer-valence vacancy outside the initially core-ionized ion, mainly on a neighboring water molecule. The charge delocalization occurs through the intermolecular Coulombic and electron transfer mediated decays. Both mechanisms are highly efficient that is partly attributed to hybridization of molecular orbitals. The computed spectral shapes are sensitive to the counterion separation as well as to the number and arrangement of solvent molecules. These sensitivities can be used for studying the local hydration structure of solvated ions in aqueous solutions.

  8. Microhydration of LiOH: Insight from electronic decays of core-ionized states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kryzhevoi, Nikolai V.

    2016-06-01

    We compute and compare the autoionization spectra of a core-ionized LiOH molecule both in its isolated and microhydrated states. Stepwise microhydration of LiOH leads to gradual elongation of the Li-OH bond length and finally to molecular dissociation. The accompanying changes in the local environment of the OH- and Li+ counterions are reflected in the computed O 1s and Li 1s spectra. The role of solvent water molecules and the counterion in the spectral shape formation is assessed. Electronic decays of the microhydrated LiOH are found to be mostly intermolecular since the majority of the populated final states have at least one outer-valence vacancy outside the initially core-ionized ion, mainly on a neighboring water molecule. The charge delocalization occurs through the intermolecular Coulombic and electron transfer mediated decays. Both mechanisms are highly efficient that is partly attributed to hybridization of molecular orbitals. The computed spectral shapes are sensitive to the counterion separation as well as to the number and arrangement of solvent molecules. These sensitivities can be used for studying the local hydration structure of solvated ions in aqueous solutions.

  9. Non-sulfate sulfur in fine aerosols across the United States: Insight for organosulfate prevalence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakya, Kabindra M.; Peltier, Richard E.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the discrepancies in long-term sulfur measurements from 2000 to 2012 by two separate speciation methods, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy and ion chromatography (IC) across the United States (334 sites). Overall, there was a good correlation between sulfur measurements by XRF spectroscopy and IC (R ≥ 0.90 for most of the sites). However, the inorganic sulfate measured by ion chromatography was not sufficient to account for all the sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy at many of the sites. Discrepancies were observed with the high ratios of sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy to that by IC. Such high ratios also exhibited seasonal variation, and differed across land use types; significant differences occurred at locations classified as forest, agriculture, and mobile, but not in locations classified as commercial, desert, industrial, and residential. On average, the excess, or non-sulfate, sulfur (unmeasured organic sulfur or other inorganic species of sulfur) was variable and observed as high as ∼13% of organic carbon and ∼2% of PM2.5. The contribution of such assumed organosulfur was larger in the eastern region than other geographical locations in the United States. Besides the temporal and spatial trends, the additional sulfur was found to be related to other factors such as aerosol acidity and emission sources. The results suggest that these unmeasured sulfur species could have significant contribution to aerosol burden, and the understanding of these could help to control PM2.5 levels and to assess other effects of sulfur aerosols.

  10. Non-sulfate sulfur in fine aerosols across the United States: Insight for organosulfate prevalence.

    PubMed

    Shakya, Kabindra M; Peltier, Richard E

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the discrepancies in long-term sulfur measurements from 2000 to 2012 by two separate speciation methods, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy and ion chromatography (IC) across the United States (334 sites). Overall, there was a good correlation between sulfur measurements by XRF spectroscopy and IC (R ≥ 0.90 for most of the sites). However, the inorganic sulfate measured by ion chromatography was not sufficient to account for all the sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy at many of the sites. Discrepancies were observed with the high ratios of sulfur measured by XRF spectroscopy to that by IC. Such high ratios also exhibited seasonal variation, and differed across land use types; significant differences occurred at locations classified as forest, agriculture, and mobile, but not in locations classified as commercial, desert, industrial, and residential. On average, the excess, or non-sulfate, sulfur (unmeasured organic sulfur or other inorganic species of sulfur) was variable and observed as high as ~13% of organic carbon and ~2% of PM2.5. The contribution of such assumed organosulfur was larger in the eastern region than other geographical locations in the United States. Besides the temporal and spatial trends, the additional sulfur was found to be related to other factors such as aerosol acidity and emission sources. The results suggest that these unmeasured sulfur species could have significant contribution to aerosol burden, and the understanding of these could help to control PM2.5 levels and to assess other effects of sulfur aerosols.

  11. Insights into the excitonic states of individual chlorosomes from Chlorobaculum tepidum.

    PubMed

    Jendrny, Marc; Aartsma, Thijs J; Köhler, Jürgen

    2014-05-06

    Green-sulfur bacteria have evolved a unique light-harvesting apparatus, the chlorosome, by which it is perfectly adapted to thrive photosynthetically under extremely low light conditions. We have used single-particle, optical spectroscopy to study the structure-function relationship of chlorosomes each of which incorporates hundreds of thousands of self-assembled bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) molecules. The electronically excited states of these molecular assemblies are described as Frenkel excitons whose photophysical properties depend crucially on the mutual arrangement of the pigments. The signature of these Frenkel excitons and its relation to the supramolecular organization of the chlorosome becomes accessible by optical spectroscopy. Because subtle spectral features get obscured by ensemble averaging, we have studied individual chlorosomes from wild-type Chlorobaculum tepidum by polarization-resolved fluorescence-excitation spectroscopy. This approach minimizes the inherent sample heterogeneity and allows us to reveal properties of the exciton states without ensemble averaging. The results are compared with predictions from computer simulations of various models of the supramolecular organization of the BChl monomers. We find that the photophysical properties of individual chlorosomes from wild-type Chlorobaculum tepidum are consistent with a (multiwall) helical arrangement of syn-anti stacked BChl molecules in cylinders and/or spirals of different size.

  12. Molecular Dynamic Simulation Insights into the Normal State and Restoration of p53 Function

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Ting; Min, Hanyi; Xu, Yong; Chen, Jianzhong; Li, Guohui

    2012-01-01

    As a tumor suppressor protein, p53 plays a crucial role in the cell cycle and in cancer prevention. Almost 50 percent of all human malignant tumors are closely related to a deletion or mutation in p53. The activity of p53 is inhibited by over-active celluar antagonists, especially by the over-expression of the negative regulators MDM2 and MDMX. Protein-protein interactions, or post-translational modifications of the C-terminal negative regulatory domain of p53, also regulate its tumor suppressor activity. Restoration of p53 function through peptide and small molecular inhibitors has become a promising strategy for novel anti-cancer drug design and development. Molecular dynamics simulations have been extensively applied to investigate the conformation changes of p53 induced by protein-protein interactions and protein-ligand interactions, including peptide and small molecular inhibitors. This review focuses on the latest MD simulation research, to provide an overview of the current understanding of interactions between p53 and its partners at an atomic level. PMID:22949826

  13. Computational insights into the protonation states of catalytic dyad in BACE1-acyl guanidine based inhibitor complex.

    PubMed

    Kocak, Abdulkadir; Erol, Ismail; Yildiz, Muslum; Can, Hatice

    2016-11-01

    Developing small compound based drugs targeting the β-secretase (BACE) enzyme is one of the most promising strategies in treatment of the Alzheimer's disease. As the enzyme shows the activity based on the acid-base reaction at a very narrow pH range, the protonation state of aspartic acids with the residue number 32 and 228 (Asp32 and Asp228), which forms the active site dyad, along with the protonation state of the ligand (substrate or inhibitor) play very critical role in interactions between the ligand and enzyme. Thus, understanding the nature of the protonation state of both enzyme's active site dyad and ligand is crucial for drug design in Alzheimer's disease field. Here we have investigated the protonation state of the Asp32 and Asp228 residues in the presence of a highly potent beta secretase inhibitor, containing acyl guanidine warhead that have recently been devised but not extensively studied. Our Quantum Mechanical, Molecular Dynamics and Docking studies on all the possible protonation states have suggested that the dyad residues are in di-deprotonated states in the presence of protonated inhibitor.

  14. Molecular Structure of Aggregated Amyloid-β: Insights from Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Tycko, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides aggregate to form polymorphic amyloid fibrils and a variety of intermediate assemblies, including oligomers and protofibrils, both in vitro and in human brain tissue. Since the beginning of the 21st century, considerable progress has been made on characterization of the molecular structures of Aβ aggregates. Full molecular structural models that are based primarily on data from solid state nuclear magnetic resonance measurements have been developed for several in vitro Aβ fibrils and one metastable protofibril. Partial structural characterization of other aggregation intermediates has been achieved. One full structural model for fibrils derived from brain tissue has also been reported. Future work is likely to focus on additional structures from brain tissue and on further clarification of nonfibrillar Aβ aggregates. PMID:27481836

  15. Excited state dynamics of thiophene and bithiophene: new insights into theoretically challenging systems.

    PubMed

    Prlj, Antonio; Curchod, Basile F E; Corminboeuf, Clémence

    2015-06-14

    The computational elucidation and proper description of the ultrafast deactivation mechanisms of simple organic electronic units, such as thiophene and its oligomers, is as challenging as it is contentious. A comprehensive excited state dynamics analysis of these systems utilizing reliable electronic structure approaches is currently lacking, with earlier pictures of the photochemistry of these systems being conceived based upon high-level static computations or lower level dynamic trajectories. Here a detailed surface hopping molecular dynamics of thiophene and bithiophene using the algebraic diagrammatic construction to second order (ADC(2)) method is presented. Our findings illustrate that ring puckering plays an important role in thiophene photochemistry and that the photostability increases when going upon dimerization into bithiophene.

  16. Predictions of the equation of state of cerium yield interesting insights into experimental results

    SciTech Connect

    Cherne, Frank J; Jensen, Brian J; Rigg, Paulo A; Elkin, Vyacheslav M

    2009-01-01

    There has been much interest in the past in understanding the dynamic properties of phase changing materials. In this paper we begin to explore the dynamic properties of the complex material of cerium. Cerium metal is a good candidate material to explore capabilities in determining a dynamic phase diagram on account of its low dynamic phase boundaries, namely, the {gamma}-{alpha}, and {alpha}-liquid phase boundaries. Here we present a combination of experimental results with calculated results to try to understand the dynamic behavior of the material. Using the front surface impact technique, we performed a series of experiments which displayed a rarefaction shock upon release. These experiments show that the reversion shock stresses occur at different magnitudes, allowing us to plot out the {gamma}-{alpha} phase boundary. Applying a multiphase equation of state a broader understanding of the experimental results will be discussed.

  17. Structure of phosphorylated UBL domain and insights into PINK1-orchestrated parkin activation.

    PubMed

    Aguirre, Jacob D; Dunkerley, Karen M; Mercier, Pascal; Shaw, Gary S

    2017-01-10

    Mutations in PARK2 and PARK6 genes are responsible for the majority of hereditary Parkinson's disease cases. These genes encode the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin and the protein kinase PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), respectively. Together, parkin and PINK1 regulate the mitophagy pathway, which recycles damaged mitochondria following oxidative stress. Native parkin is inactive and exists in an autoinhibited state mediated by its ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain. PINK1 phosphorylation of serine 65 in parkin's UBL and serine 65 of ubiquitin fully activate ubiquitin ligase activity; however, a structural rationale for these observations is not clear. Here, we report the structure of the phosphorylated UBL domain from parkin. We find that destabilization of the UBL results from rearrangements to hydrophobic core packing that modify its structure. Altered surface electrostatics from the phosphoserine group disrupt its intramolecular association, resulting in poorer autoinhibition in phosphorylated parkin. Further, we show that phosphorylation of both the UBL domain and ubiquitin are required to activate parkin by releasing the UBL domain, forming an extended structure needed to facilitate E2-ubiquitin binding. Together, the results underscore the importance of parkin activation by the PINK1 phosphorylation signal and provide a structural picture of the unraveling of parkin's ubiquitin ligase potential.

  18. Structure of phosphorylated UBL domain and insights into PINK1-orchestrated parkin activation

    PubMed Central

    Aguirre, Jacob D.; Dunkerley, Karen M.; Mercier, Pascal; Shaw, Gary S.

    2017-01-01

    Mutations in PARK2 and PARK6 genes are responsible for the majority of hereditary Parkinson’s disease cases. These genes encode the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin and the protein kinase PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), respectively. Together, parkin and PINK1 regulate the mitophagy pathway, which recycles damaged mitochondria following oxidative stress. Native parkin is inactive and exists in an autoinhibited state mediated by its ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain. PINK1 phosphorylation of serine 65 in parkin’s UBL and serine 65 of ubiquitin fully activate ubiquitin ligase activity; however, a structural rationale for these observations is not clear. Here, we report the structure of the phosphorylated UBL domain from parkin. We find that destabilization of the UBL results from rearrangements to hydrophobic core packing that modify its structure. Altered surface electrostatics from the phosphoserine group disrupt its intramolecular association, resulting in poorer autoinhibition in phosphorylated parkin. Further, we show that phosphorylation of both the UBL domain and ubiquitin are required to activate parkin by releasing the UBL domain, forming an extended structure needed to facilitate E2–ubiquitin binding. Together, the results underscore the importance of parkin activation by the PINK1 phosphorylation signal and provide a structural picture of the unraveling of parkin’s ubiquitin ligase potential. PMID:28007983

  19. Charge-state dependent compaction and dissociation of protein complexes: insights from ion mobility and molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Hall, Zoe; Politis, Argyris; Bush, Matthew F; Smith, Lorna J; Robinson, Carol V

    2012-02-22

    Collapse to compact states in the gas phase, with smaller collision cross sections than calculated for their native-like structure, has been reported previously for some protein complexes although not rationalized. Here we combine experimental and theoretical studies to investigate the gas-phase structures of four multimeric protein complexes during collisional activation. Importantly, using ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS), we find that all four macromolecular complexes retain their native-like topologies at low energy. Upon increasing the collision energy, two of the four complexes adopt a more compact state. This collapse was most noticeable for pentameric serum amyloid P (SAP) which contains a large central cavity. The extent of collapse was found to be highly correlated with charge state, with the surprising observation that the lowest charge states were those which experience the greatest degree of compaction. We compared these experimental results with in vacuo molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of SAP, during which the temperature was increased. Simulations showed that low charge states of SAP exhibited compact states, corresponding to collapse of the ring, while intermediate and high charge states unfolded to more extended structures, maintaining their ring-like topology, as observed experimentally. To simulate the collision-induced dissociation (CID) of different charge states of SAP, we used MS to measure the charge state of the ejected monomer and assigned this charge to one subunit, distributing the residual charges evenly among the remaining four subunits. Under these conditions, MD simulations captured the unfolding and ejection of a single subunit for intermediate charge states of SAP. The highest charge states recapitulated the ejection of compact monomers and dimers, which we observed in CID experiments of high charge states of SAP, accessed by supercharging. This strong correlation between theory and experiment has implications for further

  20. Metastability of the Nonlinear Wave Equation: Insights from Transition State Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newhall, Katherine A.; Vanden-Eijnden, Eric

    2017-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the longtime dynamics of the nonlinear wave equation in one-space dimension, u_{tt} - κ^2 u_{xx} +V'(u) =0 quad xin [0,1] where κ >0 is a parameter and V(u) is a potential bounded from below and growing at least like u^2 as |u|→ ∞. Infinite energy solutions of this equation preserve a natural Gibbsian invariant measure, and when the potential is double-welled, for example when V(u) = 1/4 (1-u^2)^2 , there is a regime such that two small disjoint sets in the system's phase-space concentrate most of the mass of this measure. This suggests that the solutions to the nonlinear wave equation can be metastable over these sets, in the sense that they spend long periods of time in these sets and only rarely transition between them. Here, we quantify this phenomenon by calculating exactly via transition state theory (TST) the mean frequency at which the solutions of the nonlinear wave equation with initial conditions drawn from its invariant measure cross a dividing surface lying in between the metastable sets. We also investigate numerically how the mean TST frequency compares to the rate at which a typical solution crosses this dividing surface. These numerical results suggest that the dynamics of the nonlinear wave equation is ergodic and rapidly mixing with respect to the Gibbs invariant measure when the parameter κ in small enough. In this case, successive transitions between the two regions are roughly uncorrelated and their dynamics can be coarse-grained to jumps in a two-state Markov chain whose rate can be deduced from the mean TST frequency. This is a regime in which the dynamics of the nonlinear wave equation displays a metastable behavior that is not fundamentally different from that observed in its stochastic counterpart in which random noise and damping terms are added to the equation. For larger κ, however, the dynamics either stops being ergodic, or its mixing time becomes larger than the inverse of the TST frequency

  1. Intermediate states in the binding process of folic acid to folate receptor α: insights by molecular dynamics and metadynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Della-Longa, Stefano; Arcovito, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    Folate receptor α (FRα) is a cell surface, glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored protein which has focussed attention as a therapeutic target and as a marker for the diagnosis of cancer. It has a high affinity for the dietary supplemented folic acid (FOL), carrying out endocytic transport across the cell membrane and delivering the folate at the acidic pH of the endosome. Starting from the recently reported X-ray structure at pH 7, 100 ns classical molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out on the FRα-FOL complex; moreover, the ligand dissociation process has been studied by metadynamics, a recently reported method for the analysis of free-energy surfaces (FES), providing clues on the intermediate states and their energy terms. Multiple dissociation runs were considered to enhance the configurational sampling; a final clustering of conformations within the averaged FES provides the representative structures of several intermediate states, within an overall barrier for ligand escape of about 75 kJ/mol. Escaping of FOL to solvent occurs while only minor changes affect the FRα conformation of the binding pocket. During dissociation, the FOL molecule translates and rotates around a turning point located in proximity of the receptor surface. FOL at this transition state assumes an "L" shaped conformation, with the pteridin ring oriented to optimize stacking within W102 and W140 residues, and the negatively charged glutamate tail, outside the receptor, interacting with the positively charged R103 and R106 residues, that contrary to the bound state, are solvent exposed. We show that metadynamics method can provide useful insights at the atomistic level on the effects of point-mutations affecting functionality, thus being a very promising tool for any study related to folate-targeted drug delivery or cancer therapies involving folate uptake.

  2. Insights into excited-state and isomerization dynamics of bacteriorhodopsin from ultrafast transient UV absorption

    PubMed Central

    Schenkl, S.; van Mourik, F.; Friedman, N.; Sheves, M.; Schlesinger, R.; Haacke, S.; Chergui, M.

    2006-01-01

    A visible-pump/UV-probe transient absorption is used to characterize the ultrafast dynamics of bacteriorhodopsin with 80-fs time resolution. We identify three spectral components in the 265- to 310-nm region, related to the all-trans retinal, tryptophan (Trp)-86 and the isomerized photoproduct, allowing us to map the dynamics from reactants to products, along with the response of Trp amino acids. The signal of the photoproduct appears with a time delay of ≈250 fs and is characterized by a steep rise (≈150 fs), followed by additional rise and decay components, with time scales characteristic of the J intermediate. The delayed onset and the steep rise point to an impulsive formation of a transition state on the way to isomerization. We argue that this impulsive formation results from a splitting of a wave packet of torsional modes on the potential surface at the branching between the all-trans and the cis forms. Parallel to these dynamics, the signal caused by Trp response rises in ≈200 fs, because of the translocation of charge along the conjugate chain, and possible mechanisms are presented, which trigger isomerization. PMID:16537491

  3. Photodissociation of quantum state-selected diatomic molecules yields new insight into ultracold chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Mickey; McGuyer, Bart H.; Lee, Chih-Hsi; Apfelbeck, Florian; Zelevinsky, Tanya

    2016-05-01

    When a molecule is subjected to a sufficiently energetic photon it can break apart into fragments through a process called ``photodissociation''. For over 70 years this simple chemical reaction has served as a vital experimental tool for acquiring information about molecular structure, since the character of the photodissociative transition can be inferred by measuring the 3D photofragment angular distribution (PAD). While theoretical understanding of this process has gradually evolved from classical considerations to a fully quantum approach, experiments to date have not yet revealed the full quantum nature of this process. In my talk I will describe recent experiments involving the photodissociation of ultracold, optical lattice-trapped, and fully quantum state-resolved 88Sr2 molecules. Optical absorption images of the PADs produced in these experiments reveal features which are inherently quantum mechanical in nature, such as matter-wave interference between output channels, and are sensitive to the quantum statistics of the molecular wavefunctions. The results of these experiments cannot be predicted using quasiclassical methods. Instead, we describe our results with a fully quantum mechanical model yielding new intuition about ultracold chemistry.

  4. Insights into excited-state and isomerization dynamics of bacteriorhodopsin from ultrafast transient UV absorption.

    PubMed

    Schenkl, S; van Mourik, F; Friedman, N; Sheves, M; Schlesinger, R; Haacke, S; Chergui, M

    2006-03-14

    A visible-pump/UV-probe transient absorption is used to characterize the ultrafast dynamics of bacteriorhodopsin with 80-fs time resolution. We identify three spectral components in the 265- to 310-nm region, related to the all-trans retinal, tryptophan (Trp)-86 and the isomerized photoproduct, allowing us to map the dynamics from reactants to products, along with the response of Trp amino acids. The signal of the photoproduct appears with a time delay of approximately 250 fs and is characterized by a steep rise ( approximately 150 fs), followed by additional rise and decay components, with time scales characteristic of the J intermediate. The delayed onset and the steep rise point to an impulsive formation of a transition state on the way to isomerization. We argue that this impulsive formation results from a splitting of a wave packet of torsional modes on the potential surface at the branching between the all-trans and the cis forms. Parallel to these dynamics, the signal caused by Trp response rises in approximately 200 fs, because of the translocation of charge along the conjugate chain, and possible mechanisms are presented, which trigger isomerization.

  5. Spectroscopic insights on imidazole substituted phthalocyanine photosensitizers: Fluorescence properties, triplet state and singlet oxygen generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xian-Fu; Lin, Yong; Guo, Wenfeng; Zhu, Jingzhong

    2014-12-01

    Imidazole substituted metal phthalocyanine (Pc) complexes were synthesized. UV-vis absorption, steady state and time-resolved fluorescence, as well as laser flash photolysis were used to measure the photophysical and photosensitizing properties. All the imidazole-phthalocyanine conjugates show high ΦT (quantum yield of excited triplet formation), high ΦΔ (singlet oxygen formation yield, >0.50) and good fluorescence properties (quantum yield Φf > 0.20 and lifetime τf > 3.0 ns). Compared to the unsubstituted Pc, both α- and β-imidazole substitutions result in the remarkable decrease in Φf and τf, but the α-substitution is stronger. The imidazole substitution, on the other hand, causes the increase of ΦT, τT, and ΦΔ values. Magnesium phthalocyanine (MgPc) is more susceptible to the substitution than zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc). The mechanism responsible for the result is suggested based on the involvement of intramolecular photoinduced electron transfer. The high ΦΔ and appropriate fluorescence properties make the Pcs good candidate for PDT photosensitizers.

  6. Heat of capillary condensation in nanopores: new insights from the equation of state.

    PubMed

    Tan, Sugata P; Piri, Mohammad

    2017-02-15

    Perturbed-Chain Statistical Associating Fluid Theory (PC-SAFT) coupled with the Young-Laplace equation is a recently developed equation of state (EOS) that successfully presents not only the capillary condensation but also the pore critical phenomena. The development of this new EOS allows further investigation of the heats involved in condensation. Compared to the conventional approaches, the EOS calculations present the temperature-dependent behavior of the heat of capillary condensation as well as that of the contributing effects. The confinement effect was found to be the strongest at the pore critical point. Therefore, contrary to the bulk heat condensation that vanishes at the critical point, the heat of capillary condensation in small pores shows a minimum and then increases with temperature when approaching the pore critical temperature. Strong support for the existence of the pore critical point is also discussed as the volume expansivity of the condensed phase in confinement was found to increase dramatically near the pore critical temperature. At high reduced temperatures, the Clausius-Clapeyron equation was found to apply better for confined fluids than it does for bulk fluids.

  7. Mechanistic insights into protonation state as a critical factor in hFPPS enzyme inhibition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, David; Ortega-Castro, Joaquin; Mariño, Laura; Perelló, Joan; Frau, Juan

    2015-07-01

    Zoledronate and risedronate are the most powerful available nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates used in the treatment of bone-resorption disorders. Knowledge about inhibition mechanisms of these molecules is based on available crystallographic structures of human farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (hFPPS). However, there is a lack of information explaining the inhibition potency of these two molecules compared to the natural substrate, dimethylallyl pyrophosphate. We carried out a molecular dynamics study that shown: (1) that NBPs potency is related to higher electrostatic interactions with the metallic cluster of the active site than to the natural substrate, and (2) the protonation of the R2 side chain is a critical factor to stabilize the NBPs into a closely irreversible ternary complex with the hFPPS.

  8. Insights into host-pathogen interactions from state-of-the-art animal models of respiratory Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Anne; Pawar, Vinay; Häussler, Susanne; Weiss, Siegfried

    2016-11-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen that can cause acute respiratory infections in immunocompetent patients or chronic infections in immunocompromised individuals and in patients with cystic fibrosis. When acquiring the chronic infection state, bacteria are encapsulated within biofilm structures enabling them to withstand diverse environmental assaults, including immune reactions and antimicrobial therapy. Understanding the molecular interactions within the bacteria, as well as with the host or other bacteria, is essential for developing innovative treatment strategies. Such knowledge might be accumulated in vitro. However, it is ultimately necessary to confirm these findings in vivo. In the present Review, we describe state-of-the-art in vivo models that allow studying P. aeruginosa infections in molecular detail. The portrayed mammalian models exclusively focus on respiratory infections. The data obtained by alternative animal models which lack lung tissue, often provide molecular insights that are easily transferable to mammals. Importantly, these surrogate in vivo systems reveal complex molecular interactions of P. aeruginosa with the host. Herein, we also provide a critical assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of such models.

  9. Laboratory Delayed Triggering and Insights into Rate-State Friction Properties During Stick-Slip (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savage, H. M.; van der Elst, N.

    2013-12-01

    Remote triggering observations often include earthquakes that are delayed with respect to the passage of seismic waves. These delayed triggered earthquakes may simply be aftershocks of initial triggered events, or they may point to a slower or prolonged triggering process. The nature of this delay mechanism remains a topic of considerable debate. Stick-slip experiments on a dry, granular, laboratory fault show that stress perturbations do not only trigger slip during the transient stress, but also advance the timing of slip well after the transient has passed. Delayed triggering therefore does not necessarily require any secondary triggering or non-frictional mechanisms. Our experiments were performed in a biaxial deformation apparatus, with a double-direct shear sample geometry. Our fault consists of 3-mm thick layers of soda lime glass beads. Glass beads show remarkably consistent stick-slip recurrence intervals, making them an ideal material to study triggering. The background loading rate is constant, and small velocity oscillations of varying amplitude and frequency are introduced at different intervals in the stick-slip cycle. We find that for a given stress amplitude, higher frequency oscillations (2-3 Hz) lead to statistically significant delayed triggering whereas 1 Hz frequencies do not (the higher frequency oscillations also have a faster transient loading velocity). To determine what makes higher frequency triggers more effective at delayed triggering, we measure the transient mechanical response of the fault to a load point oscillation at different points in the stick-slip cycle. We find that the response varies considerably throughout the cycle, with slip velocity and dilation increasing systematically, and transient stress amplitude decreasing. The results suggest a monotonic decrease in the rate-state friction direct effect, a, throughout the stick-slip cycle. The evolution of frictional parameters during the interseismic cycle would have important

  10. Activities of the Solid State Division

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, P. H.; Hinton, L. W.

    1994-08-01

    This report covers research progress in the Solid State Division from April 1, 1992, to September 30, 1993. During this period, the division conducted a broad, interdisciplinary materials research program with emphasis on theoretical solid state physics, neutron scattering, synthesis and characterization of materials, ion beam and laser processing, and the structure of solids and surfaces. This research effort was enhanced by new capabilities in atomic-scale materials characterization, new emphasis on the synthesis and processing of materials, and increased partnering with industry and universities. The theoretical effort included a broad range of analytical studies, as well as a new emphasis on numerical simulation stimulated by advances in high-performance computing and by strong interest in related division experimental programs. Superconductivity research continued to advance on a broad front from fundamental mechanisms of high-temperature superconductivity to the development of new materials and processing techniques. The Neutron Scattering Program was characterized by a strong scientific user program and growing diversity represented by new initiatives in complex fluids and residual stress. The national emphasis on materials synthesis and processing was mirrored in division research programs in thin-film processing, surface modification, and crystal growth. Research on advanced processing techniques such as laser ablation, ion implantation, and plasma processing was complemented by strong programs in the characterization of materials and surfaces including ultrahigh resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, atomic-resolution chemical analysis, synchrotron x-ray research, and scanning tunneling microscopy.

  11. Tritium activities in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.L.; LaMarche, P.

    1995-07-01

    There have been many significant changes in the status of tritium activities in the US since the 4th Tritium Conference in October, 1991. The replacement Tritium Facility (RTF) at Savannah River Site and the Weapons Engineering Tritium Facility (WETF) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are now operational with tritium. The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) has initiated a highly successful experimental campaign studying DT plasmas, and has produced more than 10 Megawatts (MW) of fusion power in a D-T plasma. Sandia National Laboratory has ceased tritium operations at the Tritium Research Laboratory (TRL) and many of the activities previously performed there have been transferred to Los Alamos and Savannah River. The tritium laboratory at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has reduced the tritium inventory to <5 grams. The Tritium Systems Test Assembly (TSTA) at Los Alamos continues to be at the forefront of tritium technology and safety development for the fusion energy program.

  12. Structure of the eastern Seattle fault zone, Washington state: New insights from seismic reflection data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liberty, L.M.; Pratt, T.L.

    2008-01-01

    We identify and characterize the active Seattle fault zone (SFZ) east of Lake Washington with newly acquired seismic reflection data. Our results focus on structures observed in the upper 1 km below the cities of Bellevue, Sammamish, Newcastle, and Fall City, Washington. The SFZ appears as a broad zone of faulting and folding at the southern boundary of the Seattle basin and north edge of the Seattle uplift. We interpret the Seattle fault as a thrust fault that accommodates north-south shortening by forming a fault-propagation fold with a forelimb breakthrough. The blind tip of the main fault forms a synclinal growth fold (deformation front) that extends at least 8 km east of Vasa Park (west side of Lake Sammamish) and defines the south edge of the Seattle basin. South of the deformation front is the forelimb break-through fault, which was exposed in a trench at Vasa Park. The Newcastle Hills anticline, a broad anticline forming the north part of the Seattle uplift east of Lake Washington, is interpreted to lie between the main blind strand of the Seattle fault and a backthrust. Our profiles, on the northern limb of this anticline, consistently image north-dipping strata. A structural model for the SFZ east of Lake Washington is consistent with about 8 km of slip on the upper part of the Seattle fault, but the amount of motion is only loosely constrained.

  13. 34 CFR 403.70 - How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... State Leadership Activities? 403.70 Section 403.70 Education Regulations of the Offices of the... the Basic Programs? State Programs and State Leadership Activities § 403.70 How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? A State shall use funds reserved under...

  14. State opportunities for action: Update of states' combined heat and power activities

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Elizabeth; Elliott, R. Neal

    2003-10-01

    This report updates the review of state policies with regard to CHP that the American Council for and Energy Efficient Economy completed in 2002. It describes the current activities of states with programs during the initial survey and also reviews new programs offered by the states.

  15. Synaptic plasticity modulates autonomous transitions between waking and sleep states: Insights from a Morris-Lecar model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciszak, Marzena; Bellesi, Michele

    2011-12-01

    The transitions between waking and sleep states are characterized by considerable changes in neuronal firing. During waking, neurons fire tonically at irregular intervals and a desynchronized activity is observed at the electroencephalogram. This activity becomes synchronized with slow wave sleep onset when neurons start to oscillate between periods of firing (up-states) and periods of silence (down-states). Recently, it has been proposed that the connections between neurons undergo potentiation during waking, whereas they weaken during slow wave sleep. Here, we propose a dynamical model to describe basic features of the autonomous transitions between such states. We consider a network of coupled neurons in which the strength of the interactions is modulated by synaptic long term potentiation and depression, according to the spike time-dependent plasticity rule (STDP). The model shows that the enhancement of synaptic strength between neurons occurring in waking increases the propensity of the network to synchronize and, conversely, desynchronization appears when the strength of the connections become weaker. Both transitions appear spontaneously, but the transition from sleep to waking required a slight modification of the STDP rule with the introduction of a mechanism which becomes active during sleep and changes the proportion between potentiation and depression in accordance with biological data. At the neuron level, transitions from desynchronization to synchronization and vice versa can be described as a bifurcation between two different states, whose dynamical regime is modulated by synaptic strengths, thus suggesting that transition from a state to an another can be determined by quantitative differences between potentiation and depression.

  16. Further insights into the mechanism of the reaction of activated bleomycin with DNA

    PubMed Central

    Chow, Marina S.; Liu, Lei V.; Solomon, Edward I.

    2008-01-01

    Bleomycin (BLM) is a glycopeptide anticancer drug that effectively carries out single- and double-stranded DNA cleavage. Activated BLM (ABLM), a low-spin ferric-hydroperoxide, BLM–FeIII–OOH, is the last intermediate detected before DNA cleavage. We have previously shown through experiments and DFT calculations that both ABLM decay and reaction with H atom donors proceed via direct H atom abstraction. However, the rate of ABLM decay had been previously found, based on indirect methods, to be independent of the presence of DNA. In this study, we use a circular dichroism (CD) feature unique to ABLM to directly monitor the kinetics of ABLM reaction with a DNA oligonucleotide. Our results show that the ABLM + DNA reaction is appreciably faster, has a different kinetic isotope effect, and has a lower Arrhenius activation energy than does ABLM decay. In the ABLM reaction with DNA, the small normal kH/kD ratio is attributed to a secondary solvent effect through DFT vibrational analysis of reactant and transition state (TS) frequencies, and the lower Ea is attributed to the weaker bond involved in the abstraction reaction (C–H for DNA and N–H for the decay in the absence of DNA). The DNA dependence of the ABLM reaction indicates that DNA is involved in the TS for ABLM decay and thus reacts directly with BLM–FeIII–OOH instead of its decay product. PMID:18757754

  17. Active Solid State Dosimetry for Lunar EVA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wrbanek, John D.; Fralick, Gustave C.; Wrbanek, Susan Y.; Chen, Liang-Yu.

    2006-01-01

    The primary threat to astronauts from space radiation is high-energy charged particles, such as electrons, protons, alpha and heavier particles, originating from galactic cosmic radiation (GCR), solar particle events (SPEs) and trapped radiation belts in Earth orbit. There is also the added threat of secondary neutrons generated as the space radiation interacts with atmosphere, soil and structural materials.[1] For Lunar exploration missions, the habitats and transfer vehicles are expected to provide shielding from standard background radiation. Unfortunately, the Lunar Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit is not expected to afford such shielding. Astronauts need to be aware of potentially hazardous conditions in their immediate area on EVA before a health and hardware risk arises. These conditions would include fluctuations of the local radiation field due to changes in the space radiation field and unknown variations in the local surface composition. Should undue exposure occur, knowledge of the dynamic intensity conditions during the exposure will allow more precise diagnostic assessment of the potential health risk to the exposed individual.[2

  18. [Nonequilibrium state of electrochemically activated water and its biological activity].

    PubMed

    Petrushanko, I Iu; Lobyshev, V I

    2001-01-01

    Changes in the physicochemical parameters (pH, redox potential and electroconductivity) of catholyte and anolyte produced by membrane electrolysis of distilled water and dilute (c < 10(-3) M) sodium chloride solutions were studied. The relaxation of these parameters after electrolysis and the influence of catholyte and anolyte on the growth of roots of Tradescantia viridis grafts, the development of duckweed, and the motive activity of infusoria Spirostomum ambiguum were investigated. It was found that the anolyte of distilled water stimulated development of these biological objects. The direction of shift of physicochemical parameters of catholyte and anolyte from equilibrium values and the type of their biological activity (stimulation or inhibition) depend on salt concentration in initial solution. Barbotage of initial distilled water with argon or nitrogen leads to a greater decrease in the redox potential of catholyte during electrolysis. The physicochemical parameters relax to equilibrium values, and the biological activity of catholite and anolyte decreases with time and practically disappears by the end of the day. It was found that the oxidation of reducing agent by atmospheric oxygen is not the sole cause of the relaxation of catalyte redox potential. The increase in the ionic strength of catholite and anolyte by the addition of concentrated sodium chloride after electrolysis decreases the rate of redox potential relaxation several times. The redox potential can be maintained for long periods by freezing.

  19. Are Auditory Hallucinations Related to the Brain's Resting State Activity? A 'Neurophenomenal Resting State Hypothesis'

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    While several hypotheses about the neural mechanisms underlying auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) have been suggested, the exact role of the recently highlighted intrinsic resting state activity of the brain remains unclear. Based on recent findings, we therefore developed what we call the 'resting state hypotheses' of AVH. Our hypothesis suggest that AVH may be traced back to abnormally elevated resting state activity in auditory cortex itself, abnormal modulation of the auditory cortex by anterior cortical midline regions as part of the default-mode network, and neural confusion between auditory cortical resting state changes and stimulus-induced activity. We discuss evidence in favour of our 'resting state hypothesis' and show its correspondence with phenomenal, i.e., subjective-experiential features as explored in phenomenological accounts. Therefore I speak of a 'neurophenomenal resting state hypothesis' of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia. PMID:25598821

  20. Monitoring Affect States during Effortful Problem Solving Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Mello, Sidney K.; Lehman, Blair; Person, Natalie

    2010-01-01

    We explored the affective states that students experienced during effortful problem solving activities. We conducted a study where 41 students solved difficult analytical reasoning problems from the Law School Admission Test. Students viewed videos of their faces and screen captures and judged their emotions from a set of 14 states (basic…

  1. 34 CFR 300.814 - Other State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Other State-level activities. 300.814 Section 300.814 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION...

  2. 34 CFR 300.812 - Reservation for State activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Reservation for State activities. 300.812 Section 300.812 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TO STATES FOR THE EDUCATION...

  3. Ethanol Electro-Oxidation on Ternary Platinum–Rhodium–Tin Nanocatalysts: Insights in the Atomic 3D Structure of the Active Catalytic Phase

    SciTech Connect

    Erini, Nina; Loukrakpam, Rameshwori; Petkov, Valeri; Baranova, Elena A.; Yang, Ruizhi; Teschner, Detre; Huang, Yunhui; Brankovic, Stanko R.; Strasser, Peter

    2014-04-25

    Novel insights in the synthesis–structure–catalytic activity relationships of nanostructured trimetallic Pt–Rh–Sn electrocatalysts for the electrocatalytic oxidation of ethanol are reported. In particular, we identify a novel single-phase Rh-doped Pt–Sn Niggliite mineral phase as the source of catalytically active sites for ethanol oxidation; we discuss its morphology, composition, chemical surface state, and the detailed 3D atomic arrangement using high-energy (HE-XRD), atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The intrinsic ethanol oxidation activity of the active Niggliite phase exceeded those of earlier reports, lending support to the notion that the atomic-scale neighborhood of Pt, Rh, and Sn is conducive to the emergence of active surface catalytic sites under reaction conditions. In situ mechanistic Fourier transform infrared (in situ FTIR) analysis confirms an active 12 electron oxidation reaction channel to CO2 at electrode potentials as low as 450 mV/RHE, demonstrating the favorable efficiency of the PtRhSn Niggliite phase for C–C bond splitting.

  4. Systemic inflammation and skeletal muscle dysfunction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: state of the art and novel insights in regulation of muscle plasticity.

    PubMed

    Remels, Alexander H; Gosker, Harry R; van der Velden, Jos; Langen, Ramon C; Schols, Annemie M

    2007-09-01

    Systemic inflammation is a recognized hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease pathogenesis. Although the origin and mechanisms responsible for the persistent chronic inflammatory process remain to be elucidated, it is recognized that it plays an important role in skeletal muscle pathology as observed in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and several other chronic inflammatory disorders. This article describes state-of-the-art knowledge and novel insights in the role of inflammatory processes on several aspects of inflammation-related skeletal muscle pathology and offers new insights in therapeutic perspectives.

  5. The Very Young and Education: 1974 State Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayas, Denise Kale; Ross, Doris M.

    This booklet contains more than 100 brief descriptions of early childhood projects, activities, studies, and legislation obtained from newsletters, bulletins, and the Education Commission of the States' (ECS) 1974 Annual Survey. Only legislation and activities that have been validated or newly reported are included. Bills which failed or were…

  6. Improving Administrative Activities of State Vocational Education Agencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koble, Daniel E., Jr., Ed.; Coker, Robert U., Ed.

    The 1973 seminar focused on improving administrative activities of State vocational education agencies, and emphasis was given to the processes and innovative concepts related to the maintenance and improvement of administrative activities. Guidelines and position papers were presented in the following areas: (1) The Role of Vocational Education…

  7. On the way of classifying new states of active matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menzel, Andreas M.

    2016-07-01

    With ongoing research into the collective behavior of self-propelled particles, new states of active matter are revealed. Some of them are entirely based on the non-equilibrium character and do not have an immediate equilibrium counterpart. In their recent work, Romanczuk et al (2016 New J. Phys. 18 063015) concentrate on the characterization of smectic-like states of active matter. A new type, referred to by the authors as smectic P, is described. In this state, the active particles form stacked layers and self-propel along them. Identifying and classifying states and phases of non-equilibrium matter, including the transitions between them, is an up-to-date effort that will certainly extend for a longer period into the future.

  8. Electrical Activation of Dark Excitonic States in Carbon Nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uda, Takushi; Yoshida, Masahiro; Ishii, Akihiro; Kato, Yuichiro K.

    Electrical activation of optical transitions to parity-forbidden dark excitonic states in individual carbon nanotubes is reported. We examine electric field effects on various excitonic states by simultaneously measuring both photocurrent and photoluminescence. As the applied field increases, we observe an emergence of new absorption peaks in the excitation spectra. From the diameter dependence of the energy separation between the new peaks and the ground state of E11 excitons, we attribute the peaks to the dark excited states which became optically active due to the applied field. A simple field-induced exciton dissociation model is introduced to explain the photocurrent threshold fields, and the edge of the E11 continuum states have been identified using this model. Work supported by JSPS (KAKENHI 24340066, 26610080), MEXT (Photon Frontier Network Program, Nanotechnology Platform), Canon Foundation, and Asahi Glass Foundation.

  9. Hydroxylation of p-substituted phenols by tyrosinase: Further insight into the mechanism of tyrosinase activity

    SciTech Connect

    Munoz-Munoz, Jose Luis; Berna, Jose; Garcia-Molina, Maria del Mar; Garcia-Molina, Francisco; Garcia-Ruiz, Pedro Antonio; Varon, Ramon [Departamento de Quimica-Fisica, Escuela de Ingenieros Industriales de Albacete, Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, Avda. Espana s and others

    2012-07-27

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The action the copper complexes and tyrosinase on phenols is equivalent. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Isotope effect showed that nucleophilic attack to copper atom may be the slower step. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The value of {rho} (Hammett constant) supports an electrophilic aromatic substitution. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Data obtained in steady state pH 7 conditions support the mechanism of Scheme 1SM. -- Abstract: A study of the monophenolase activity of tyrosinase by measuring the steady state rate with a group of p-substituted monophenols provides the following kinetic information: k{sub cat}{sup m} and the Michaelis constant, K{sub M}{sup m}. Analysis of these data taking into account chemical shifts of the carbon atom supporting the hydroxyl group ({delta}) and {sigma}{sub p}{sup +}, enables a mechanism to be proposed for the transformation of monophenols into o-diphenols, in which the first step is a nucleophilic attack on the copper atom on the form E{sub ox} (attack of the oxygen of the hydroxyl group of C-1 on the copper atom) followed by an electrophilic attack (attack of the hydroperoxide group on the ortho position with respect to the hydroxyl group of the benzene ring, electrophilic aromatic substitution with a reaction constant {rho} of -1.75). These steps show the same dependency on the electronic effect of the substituent groups in C-4. Furthermore, a study of a solvent deuterium isotope effect on the oxidation of monophenols by tyrosinase points to an appreciable isotopic effect. In a proton inventory study with a series of p-substituted phenols, the representation of k{sub cat}{sup f{sub n}}/k{sub cat}{sup f{sub 0}} against n (atom fractions of deuterium), where k{sub cat}{sup f{sub n}} is the catalytic constant for a molar fraction of deuterium (n) and k{sub cat}{sup f{sub 0}} is the corresponding kinetic parameter in a water solution, was linear for all substrates. These results indicate that

  10. The state of multiple sclerosis: current insight into the patient/health care provider relationship, treatment challenges, and satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    Tintoré, Mar; Alexander, Maggie; Costello, Kathleen; Duddy, Martin; Jones, David E; Law, Nancy; O’Neill, Gilmore; Uccelli, Antonio; Weissert, Robert; Wray, Sibyl

    2017-01-01

    Background Managing multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment presents challenges for both patients and health care professionals. Effective communication between patients with MS and their neurologist is important for improving clinical outcomes and quality of life. Methods A closed-ended online market research survey was used to assess the current state of MS care from the perspective of both patients with MS (≥18 years of age) and neurologists who treat MS from Europe and the US and to gain insight into perceptions of treatment expectations/goals, treatment decisions, treatment challenges, communication, and satisfaction with care, based on current clinical practice. Results A total of 900 neurologists and 982 patients completed the survey, of whom 46% self-identified as having remitting-relapsing MS, 29% secondary progressive MS, and 11% primary progressive MS. Overall, patients felt satisfied with their disease-modifying therapy (DMT); satisfaction related to comfort in speaking with their neurologist and participation in their DMT decision-making process. Patients who self-identified as having relapsing-remitting MS were more likely to be very satisfied with their treatment. Top challenges identified by patients in managing their DMT were cost, side effects/tolerability of treatment, and uncertainty if treatment was working. Half of the patients reported skipping doses, but only 68% told their health care provider that they did so. Conclusion Several important differences in perception were identified between patients and neurologists concerning treatment selection, satisfaction, expectations, goals, and comfort discussing symptoms, as well as treatment challenges and skipped doses. The study results emphasize that patient/neurologist communication and patient input into the treatment decision-making process likely influence patient satisfaction with treatment. PMID:28053511

  11. Mild activation of CeO2-supported gold nanoclusters and insight into the catalytic behavior in CO oxidation.

    PubMed

    Li, Weili; Ge, Qingjie; Ma, Xiangang; Chen, Yuxiang; Zhu, Manzhou; Xu, Hengyong; Jin, Rongchao

    2016-01-28

    We report a new activation method and insight into the catalytic behavior of a CeO2-supported, atomically precise Au144(SR)60 nanocluster catalyst (where thiolate -SR = -SCH2CH2Ph) for CO oxidation. An important finding is that the activation of the catalyst is closely related to the production of active oxygen species on CeO2, rather than ligand removal of the Au144(SR)60 clusters. A mild O2 pretreatment (at 80 °C) can activate the catalyst, and the addition of reductive gases (CO or H2) can enhance the activation effects of O2 pretreatment via a redox cycle in which CO could reduce the surface of CeO2 to produce oxygen vacancies-which then adsorb and activate O2 to produce more active oxygen species. The CO/O2 pulse experiments confirm that CO is adsorbed on the cluster catalyst even with ligands on, and active oxygen species present on the surface of the pretreated catalyst reacts with CO pulses to generate CO2. The Au144(SR)60/CeO2 exhibits high CO oxidation activity at 80 °C without the removal of thiolate ligands. The surface lattice-oxygen of the support CeO2 possibly participates in the oxidation of CO over the Au144(SR)60/CeO2 catalyst.

  12. Using Community Insight to Understand Physical Activity Adoption in Overweight and Obese African American and Hispanic Women: A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    Mama, Scherezade K.; McCurdy, Sheryl A.; Evans, Alexandra E.; Thompson, Deborah I.; Diamond, Pamela M.; Lee, Rebecca E.

    2015-01-01

    Ecologic models suggest that multiple levels of influencing factors are important for determining physical activity participation and include individual, social, and environmental factors. The purpose of this qualitative study was to use an ecologic framework to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying behavioral mechanisms that influence physical activity adoption among ethnic minority women. Eighteen African American and Hispanic women completed a 1-hour in-depth interview. Verbatim interview transcripts were analyzed for emergent themes using a constant comparison approach. Women were middle-aged (age M = 43.9 ± 7.3 years), obese (body mass index M = 35.0 ± 8.9 kg/m2), and of high socioeconomic status (88.9% completed some college or more, 41.2% reported income >$82,600/year). Participants discussed individual factors, including the need for confidence, motivation and time, and emphasized the importance of environmental factors, including their physical neighborhood environments and safety of and accessibility to physical activity resources. Women talked about caretaking for others and social support and how these influenced physical activity behavior. The findings from this study highlight the multilevel, interactive complexities that influence physical activity, emphasizing the need for a more sophisticated, ecologic approach for increasing physical activity adoption and maintenance among ethnic minority women. Community insight gleaned from this study may be used to better understand determinants of physical activity and develop multilevel solutions and programs guided by an ecologic framework to increase physical activity in ethnic minority women. PMID:25504569

  13. Using community insight to understand physical activity adoption in overweight and obese African American and Hispanic women: a qualitative study.

    PubMed

    Mama, Scherezade K; McCurdy, Sheryl A; Evans, Alexandra E; Thompson, Deborah I; Diamond, Pamela M; Lee, Rebecca E

    2015-06-01

    Ecologic models suggest that multiple levels of influencing factors are important for determining physical activity participation and include individual, social, and environmental factors. The purpose of this qualitative study was to use an ecologic framework to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying behavioral mechanisms that influence physical activity adoption among ethnic minority women. Eighteen African American and Hispanic women completed a 1-hour in-depth interview. Verbatim interview transcripts were analyzed for emergent themes using a constant comparison approach. Women were middle-aged (age M = 43.9 ± 7.3 years), obese (body mass index M = 35.0 ± 8.9 kg/m(2)), and of high socioeconomic status (88.9% completed some college or more, 41.2% reported income >$82,600/year). Participants discussed individual factors, including the need for confidence, motivation and time, and emphasized the importance of environmental factors, including their physical neighborhood environments and safety of and accessibility to physical activity resources. Women talked about caretaking for others and social support and how these influenced physical activity behavior. The findings from this study highlight the multilevel, interactive complexities that influence physical activity, emphasizing the need for a more sophisticated, ecologic approach for increasing physical activity adoption and maintenance among ethnic minority women. Community insight gleaned from this study may be used to better understand determinants of physical activity and develop multilevel solutions and programs guided by an ecologic framework to increase physical activity in ethnic minority women.

  14. State Legislation Related to Increasing Physical Activity: 2006-2012

    PubMed Central

    Eyler, Amy A.; Budd, Elizabeth; Camberos, Gabriela J.; Yan, Yan; Brownson, Ross C.

    2016-01-01

    Background Strategies to improve physical activity prevalence often include policy and environmental changes. State-level policies can be influential in supporting access and opportunities for physical activity in schools and communities. The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of state legislation related to physical activity and identify the correlates of enactment of this legislation. Methods An online legislative database was used to collect bills from 50 states in the U.S. from 2006-2012 for ten topics related to physical activity. Bills were coded for content and compiled into a database with state-level variables (e.g., obesity prevalence). With enactment status as the outcome, bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted. Results Of the 1542 bills related to physical activity introduced, 30% (N=460) were enacted. Bills on public transportation and trails were more likely to be enacted than those without these topics. Primary sponsorship by the Republican Party, bipartisan sponsorship, and mention of specific funding amounts were also correlates of enactment. Conclusion Policy surveillance of bills and correlates of enactment are important for understanding patterns in legislative support for physical activity. This information can be used to prioritize advocacy efforts and identify ways for research to better inform policy. PMID:26104603

  15. Affordability and Student Success: Recapping 2014 Higher Education Legislative Activity in the West. Policy Insights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krueger, Carl

    2014-01-01

    After reaching a low point in 2012, state investment in higher education increased for the second year in a row in 2014--something that had not happened since the Great Recession of 2008 began. With greater stability in some, though certainly not all, state budgets, many Western legislatures in 2014 looked for new ways to contain college costs for…

  16. Correspondence between resting state activity and brain gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guang-Zhong; Belgard, T. Grant; Mao, Deng; Chen, Leslie; Berto, Stefano; Preuss, Todd M.; Lu, Hanzhang; Geschwind, Daniel H.; Konopka, Genevieve

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY The relationship between functional brain activity and gene expression has not been fully explored in the human brain. Here, we identify significant correlations between gene expression in the brain and functional activity by comparing fractional Amplitude of Low Frequency Fluctuations (fALFF) from two independent human fMRI resting state datasets to regional cortical gene expression from a newly generated RNA-seq dataset and two additional gene expression datasets to obtain robust and reproducible correlations. We find significantly more genes correlated with fALFF than expected by chance, and identify specific genes correlated with the imaging signals in multiple expression datasets in the default mode network. Together, these data support a population-level relationship between regional steady state brain gene expression and resting state brain activity. PMID:26590343

  17. Working memory capacity and the functional connectome - insights from resting-state fMRI and voxelwise centrality mapping.

    PubMed

    Markett, Sebastian; Reuter, Martin; Heeren, Behrend; Lachmann, Bernd; Weber, Bernd; Montag, Christian

    2017-02-28

    The functional connectome represents a comprehensive network map of functional connectivity throughout the human brain. To date, the relationship between the organization of functional connectivity and cognitive performance measures is still poorly understood. In the present study we use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to explore the link between the functional connectome and working memory capacity in an individual differences design. Working memory capacity, which refers to the maximum amount of context information that an individual can retain in the absence of external stimulation, was assessed outside the MRI scanner and estimated based on behavioral data from a change detection task. Resting-state time series were analyzed by means of voxelwise degree and eigenvector centrality mapping, which are data-driven network analytic approaches for the characterization of functional connectivity. We found working memory capacity to be inversely correlated with both centrality in the right intraparietal sulcus. Exploratory analyses revealed that this relationship was putatively driven by an increase in negative connectivity strength of the structure. This resting-state connectivity finding fits previous task based activation studies that have shown that this area responds to manipulations of working memory load.

  18. Limits of state activity in the interstate water market

    SciTech Connect

    Rodgers, A.B.

    1986-01-01

    In an effort to ensure future water supplies, many western states are becoming participants in the market for water. As market participants, states gain a proprietary interest in their water resources which more effectively secures their right to the water than mere regulation or claims of ownership under the public trust doctrine. As the author points out, however, the constitution imposes numerous limitations on state water market activity. The privileges and immunities clause, the commerce clause, the property clause, as well as the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment, all influence the manner in which states may behave. Most significantly, the author explains, these clauses prevent states from using their power as water market participants as a disguise for economic protectionism.

  19. Mechanistic Insight into the Reactivation of BCAII Enzyme from Denatured and Molten Globule States by Eukaryotic Ribosomes and Domain V rRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Biprashekhar; Bhakta, Sayan; Sengupta, Jayati

    2016-01-01

    In all life forms, decoding of messenger-RNA into polypeptide chain is accomplished by the ribosome. Several protein chaperones are known to bind at the exit of ribosomal tunnel to ensure proper folding of the nascent chain by inhibiting their premature folding in the densely crowded environment of the cell. However, accumulating evidence suggests that ribosome may play a chaperone role in protein folding events in vitro. Ribosome-mediated folding of denatured proteins by prokaryotic ribosomes has been studied extensively. The RNA-assisted chaperone activity of the prokaryotic ribosome has been attributed to the domain V, a span of 23S rRNA at the intersubunit side of the large subunit encompassing the Peptidyl Transferase Centre. Evidently, this functional property of ribosome is unrelated to the nascent chain protein folding at the exit of the ribosomal tunnel. Here, we seek to scrutinize whether this unique function is conserved in a primitive kinetoplastid group of eukaryotic species Leishmania donovani where the ribosome structure possesses distinct additional features and appears markedly different compared to other higher eukaryotic ribosomes. Bovine Carbonic Anhydrase II (BCAII) enzyme was considered as the model protein. Our results manifest that domain V of the large subunit rRNA of Leishmania ribosomes preserves chaperone activity suggesting that ribosome-mediated protein folding is, indeed, a conserved phenomenon. Further, we aimed to investigate the mechanism underpinning the ribosome-assisted protein reactivation process. Interestingly, the surface plasmon resonance binding analyses exhibit that rRNA guides productive folding by directly interacting with molten globule-like states of the protein. In contrast, native protein shows no notable affinity to the rRNA. Thus, our study not only confirms conserved, RNA-mediated chaperoning role of ribosome but also provides crucial insight into the mechanism of the process. PMID:27099964

  20. Mechanistic Insight into the Reactivation of BCAII Enzyme from Denatured and Molten Globule States by Eukaryotic Ribosomes and Domain V rRNAs.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Biprashekhar; Bhakta, Sayan; Sengupta, Jayati

    2016-01-01

    In all life forms, decoding of messenger-RNA into polypeptide chain is accomplished by the ribosome. Several protein chaperones are known to bind at the exit of ribosomal tunnel to ensure proper folding of the nascent chain by inhibiting their premature folding in the densely crowded environment of the cell. However, accumulating evidence suggests that ribosome may play a chaperone role in protein folding events in vitro. Ribosome-mediated folding of denatured proteins by prokaryotic ribosomes has been studied extensively. The RNA-assisted chaperone activity of the prokaryotic ribosome has been attributed to the domain V, a span of 23S rRNA at the intersubunit side of the large subunit encompassing the Peptidyl Transferase Centre. Evidently, this functional property of ribosome is unrelated to the nascent chain protein folding at the exit of the ribosomal tunnel. Here, we seek to scrutinize whether this unique function is conserved in a primitive kinetoplastid group of eukaryotic species Leishmania donovani where the ribosome structure possesses distinct additional features and appears markedly different compared to other higher eukaryotic ribosomes. Bovine Carbonic Anhydrase II (BCAII) enzyme was considered as the model protein. Our results manifest that domain V of the large subunit rRNA of Leishmania ribosomes preserves chaperone activity suggesting that ribosome-mediated protein folding is, indeed, a conserved phenomenon. Further, we aimed to investigate the mechanism underpinning the ribosome-assisted protein reactivation process. Interestingly, the surface plasmon resonance binding analyses exhibit that rRNA guides productive folding by directly interacting with molten globule-like states of the protein. In contrast, native protein shows no notable affinity to the rRNA. Thus, our study not only confirms conserved, RNA-mediated chaperoning role of ribosome but also provides crucial insight into the mechanism of the process.

  1. Informal Face-to-Face Interaction Improves Mood State Reflected in Prefrontal Cortex Activity

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Jun-ichiro; Atsumori, Hirokazu; Kiguchi, Masashi

    2016-01-01

    Recent progress with wearable sensors has enabled researchers to capture face-to-face interactions quantitatively and given great insight into human dynamics. One attractive field for applying such sensors is the workplace, where the relationship between the face-to-face behaviors of employees and the productivity of the organization has been investigated. One interesting result of previous studies showed that informal face-to-face interaction among employees, captured by wearable sensors that the employees wore, significantly affects their performance. However, the mechanism behind this relationship has not yet been adequately explained, though experiences at the job scene might qualitatively support the finding. We hypothesized that informal face-to-face interaction improves mood state, which in turn affects the task performance. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the change of mood state before and after break time for two groups of participants, one that spent their breaks alone and one that spent them with other participants, by administering questionnaires and taking brain activity measurements. Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested a significant relationship between mood state and brain activity. Here, we show that face-to-face interaction during breaks significantly improved mood state, which was measured by Profiles of Mood States (POMS). We also observed that the verbal working memory (WM) task performance of participants who did not have face-to-face interaction during breaks decreased significantly. In this paper, we discuss how the change of mood state was evidenced in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity accompanied by WM tasks measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). PMID:27199715

  2. Physical activity, food intake, and body weight regulation: insights from doubly labeled water studies.

    PubMed

    Westerterp, Klaas R

    2010-03-01

    Body weight and energy balance can be maintained by adapting energy intake to changes in energy expenditure and vice versa, whereas short-term changes in energy expenditure are mainly caused by physical activity. This review investigates whether physical activity is affected by over- and undereating, whether intake is affected by an increase or a decrease in physical activity, and whether being overweight affects physical activity. The available evidence is based largely on studies that quantified physical activity with doubly labeled water. Overeating does not affect physical activity, while undereating decreases habitual or voluntary physical activity. Thus, it is easier to gain weight than to lose weight. An exercise-induced increase in energy requirement is typically compensated by increased energy intake, while a change to a more sedentary routine does not induce an equivalent reduction of intake and generally results in weight gain. Overweight and obese subjects tend to have similar activity energy expenditures to lean people despite being more sedentary. There are two ways in which the general population trend towards increasing body weight can be reversed: reduce intake or increase physical activity. The results of the present literature review indicate that eating less is the most effective method for preventing weight gain, despite the potential for a negative effect on physical activity when a negative energy balance is reached.

  3. Insights into the structural basis of endogenous agonist activation of family B G protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Dong, Maoqing; Gao, Fan; Pinon, Delia I; Miller, Laurence J

    2008-06-01

    Agonist drugs targeting the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) receptor represent important additions to the clinical management of patients with diabetes mellitus. In the current report, we have explored whether the recently described concept of a receptor-active endogenous agonist sequence within the amino terminus of the secretin receptor may also be applicable to the GLP1 receptor. If so, this could provide a lead for the development of additional small molecule agonists targeting this and other important family members. Indeed, the region of the GLP1 receptor analogous to that containing the active WDN within the secretin receptor was found to possess full agonist activity at the GLP1 receptor. The minimal fragment within this region that had full agonist activity was NRTFD. Despite having no primary sequence identity with the WDN, it was also active at the secretin receptor, where it had similar potency and efficacy to WDN, suggesting common structural features. Molecular modeling demonstrated that an intradomain salt bridge between the side chains of arginine and aspartate could yield similarities in structure with cyclic WDN. This directly supports the relevance of the endogenous agonist concept to the GLP1 receptor and provides new insights into the rational development and refinement of new types of drugs activating this important receptor.

  4. Pathway activation profiling reveals new insights into age-related macular degeneration and provides avenues for therapeutic interventions.

    PubMed

    Makarev, Evgeny; Cantor, Charles; Zhavoronkov, Alex; Buzdin, Anton; Aliper, Alexander; Csoka, Anotonei Benjamin

    2014-12-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness in older people and is caused by loss of the central region of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Conventional methods of gene expression analysis have yielded important insights into AMD pathogenesis, but the precise molecular pathway alterations are still poorly understood. Therefore we developed a new software program, "AMD Medicine", and discovered differential pathway activation profiles in samples of human RPE/choroid from AMD patients and controls. We identified 29 pathways in RPE-choroid AMD phenotypes: 27 pathways were activated in AMD compared to controls, and 2 pathways were activated in controls compared to AMD. In AMD, we identified a graded activation of pathways related to wound response, complement cascade, and cell survival. Also, there was downregulation of two pathways responsible for apoptosis. Furthermore, significant activation of pro-mitotic pathways is consistent with dedifferentiation and cell proliferation events, which occur early in the pathogenesis of AMD. Significantly, we discovered new global pathway activation signatures of AMD involved in the cell-based inflammatory response: IL-2, STAT3, and ERK. The ultimate aim of our research is to achieve a better understanding of signaling pathways involved in AMD pathology, which will eventually lead to better treatments.

  5. 2-(pyrazin-2-yloxy)acetohydrazide analogs QSAR Study: An insight into the structural basis of antimycobacterial activity.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Revathi A; Gupta, Arun K; Soni, Love K; Kaskhedikar, Satish Gopalrao

    2010-11-01

    Quantitative structure activity relationship analysis based on classical Hansch approach was adopted on reported novel series of 2-(pyrazin-2-yloxy)acetohydrazide analogs. Various types of descriptors like topological, spatial, thermodynamic, and electronic were used to derive a quantitative relationship between the antitubercular activity and structural properties. The consensus scoring function showed a significant statistics of training and test set. Coefficient of determination (r²) of consensus model and predictive squared correlation coefficient (r²(pred)) were found to be 0.889 and 0.782, respectively. The model is not only able to predict the activity of test compounds but also explained the important structural features of the molecules in a quantitative manner. The study revealed that antimycobacterium activity is predominantly explained by the molecular connectivity indices of length 6, hydrogen donor feature of the analogs, and shape factors of the substituent. The comparative investigation of antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhi provided structural insights on how modulation of the molecular connectivity indices, energy of lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, accessible surface area, and moment of inertia of the analogs could be usefully made to optimize the antibacterial activity.

  6. Transcriptional Activation of Inflammatory Genes: Mechanistic Insight into Selectivity and Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Afsar U.; Williams, Bryan R. G.; Hannigan, Gregory E.

    2015-01-01

    Acute inflammation, an integral part of host defence and immunity, is a highly conserved cellular response to pathogens and other harmful stimuli. An inflammatory stimulation triggers transcriptional activation of selective pro-inflammatory genes that carry out specific functions such as anti-microbial activity or tissue healing. Based on the nature of inflammatory stimuli, an extensive exploitation of selective transcriptional activations of pro-inflammatory genes is performed by the host to ensure a defined inflammatory response. Inflammatory signal transductions are initiated by the recognition of inflammatory stimuli by transmembrane receptors, followed by the transmission of the signals to the nucleus for differential gene activations. The differential transcriptional activation of pro-inflammatory genes is precisely controlled by the selective binding of transcription factors to the promoters of these genes. Among a number of transcription factors identified to date, NF-κB still remains the most prominent and studied factor for its diverse range of selective transcriptional activities. Differential transcriptional activities of NF-κB are dictated by post-translational modifications, specificities in dimer formation, and variability in activation kinetics. Apart from the differential functions of transcription factors, the transcriptional activation of selective pro-inflammatory genes is also governed by chromatin structures, epigenetic markers, and other regulators as the field is continuously expanding. PMID:26569329

  7. Data inconsistencies from states with unconventional oil and gas activity.

    PubMed

    Malone, Samantha; Kelso, Matthew; Auch, Ted; Edelstein, Karen; Ferrar, Kyle; Jalbert, Kirk

    2015-01-01

    The quality and availability of unconventional oil and gas (O&G) data in the United States have never been compared methodically state-to-state. By conducting such an assessment, this study seeks to better understand private and publicly sourced data variability and to identify data availability gaps. We developed an exploratory data-grading tool - Data Accessibility and Usability Index (DAUI) - to guide the review of O&G data quality. Between July and October 2013, we requested, collected, and assessed 5 categories of unconventional O&G data (wells drilled, violations, production, waste, and Class II disposal wells) from 10 states with active drilling activity. We based our assessment on eight data quality parameters (accessibility, usability, point location, completeness, metadata, agency responsiveness, accuracy, and cost). Using the DAUI, two authors graded the 10 states and then averaged their scores. The average score received across all states, data categories, and parameters was 67.1 out of 100, largely insufficient for proper data transparency. By state, Pennsylvania received the highest average ( = 93.5) and ranked first in all but one data category. The lowest scoring state was Texas ( = 44) largely due to its policy of charging for certain data. This article discusses the various reasons for scores received, as well as methodological limitations of the assessment metrics. We argue that the significant variability of unconventional O&G data-and its availability to the public-is a barrier to regulatory and industry transparency. The lack of transparency also impacts public education and broader participation in industry governance. This study supports the need to develop a set of data best management practices (BMPs) for state regulatory agencies and the O&G industry, and suggests potential BMPs for this purpose.

  8. Insights into structure and activity of natural compound inhibitors of pneumolysin

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongen; Zhao, Xiaoran; Deng, Xuming; Wang, Jianfeng; Song, Meng; Niu, Xiaodi; Peng, Liping

    2017-01-01

    Pneumolysin is the one of the major virulence factor of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. In previous report, it is shown that β-sitosterol, a natural compound without antimicrobial activity, is a potent antagonist of pneumolysin. Here, two new pneumolysin natural compound inhibitors, with differential activity, were discovered via haemolysis assay. To explore the key factor of the conformation for the inhibition activity, the interactions between five natural compound inhibitors with differential activity and pneumolysin were reported using molecular modelling, the potential of mean force profiles. Interestingly, it is found that incorporation of the single bond (C22-C23-C24-C25) to replace the double bond (hydrocarbon sidechain) improved the anti-haemolytic activity. In view of the molecular modelling, binding of the five inhibitors to the conserved loop region (Val372, Leu460, and Tyr461) of the cholesterol binding sites led to stable complex systems, which was consistent with the result of β-sitosterol. Owing to the single bond (C22-C23-C24-C25), campesterol and brassicasterol could form strong interactions with Val372 and show higher anti-haemolytic activity, which indicated that the single bond (C22-C23-C24-C25) in inhibitors was required for the anti-haemolytic activity. Overall, the current molecular modelling work provides a starting point for the development of rational design and higher activity pneumolysin inhibitors. PMID:28165051

  9. Superior Temporal Activation as a Function of Linguistic Knowledge: Insights from Deaf Native Signers Who Speechread

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Capek, Cheryl M.; Woll, Bencie; MacSweeney, Mairead; Waters, Dafydd; McGuire, Philip K.; David, Anthony S.; Brammer, Michael J.; Campbell, Ruth

    2010-01-01

    Studies of spoken and signed language processing reliably show involvement of the posterior superior temporal cortex. This region is also reliably activated by observation of meaningless oral and manual actions. In this study we directly compared the extent to which activation in posterior superior temporal cortex is modulated by linguistic…

  10. The Contribution of Extracurricular Activities to Adolescent Friendships: New Insights through Social Network Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaefer, David R.; Simpkins, Sandra D.; Vest, Andrea E.; Price, Chara D.

    2011-01-01

    Extracurricular activities are settings that are theorized to help adolescents maintain existing friendships and develop new friendships. The overarching goal of the current investigation was to examine whether coparticipating in school-based extracurricular activities supported adolescents' school-based friendships. We used social network methods…

  11. PGRMC1 regulation by phosphorylation: potential new insights in controlling biological activity!

    PubMed Central

    Cahill, Michael A.; Jazayeri, Jalal A.; Kovacevic, Zaklina; Richardson, Des R.

    2016-01-01

    Progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) is a multifunctional protein implicated in multiple pathologies, including cancer and Alzheimer's disease. The recently published structure of PGRMC1 revealed heme-mediated dimerization that directed the PGRMC1-dependent cytochrome P450-mediated detoxification of doxorubicin. We describe here how the PGRMC1 structure also enables important new insights into the possible regulation of PGRMC1 function by phosphorylation. Predicted regulatory interaction sites for SH2- and SH3-domain proteins are in non-structured regions that could be available to cytoplasmic enzymes. Further to the published interpretation, we suggest that phosphorylation of PGRMC1 at position Y113 may promote the attested membrane trafficking function of PGRMC1. To stimulate further experimentation, we also discuss that heme-mediated dimerization of PGRMC1 and membrane trafficking may be mutually exclusive functions. These roles could potentially be reciprocally regulated by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation at Y113. It follows that the phosphorylation status of PGRMC1 should be further explored in order to better understand many of its proposed biological functions. PMID:27448967

  12. Structural insights into the histidine trimethylation activity of EgtD from Mycobacterium smegmatis.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jae-Hee; Cha, Hyung Jin; Ha, Sung-Chul; Rojviriya, Catleya; Kim, Yeon-Gil

    2014-10-03

    EgtD is an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent histidine N,N,N-methyltransferase that catalyzes the formation of hercynine from histidine in the ergothioneine biosynthetic process of Mycobacterium smegmatis. Ergothioneine is a secreted antioxidant that protects mycobacterium from oxidative stress. Here, we present three crystal structures of EgtD in the apo form, the histidine-bound form, and the S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (SAH)/histidine-bound form. The study revealed that EgtD consists of two distinct domains: a typical methyltransferase domain and a unique substrate binding domain. The histidine binding pocket of the substrate binding domain primarily recognizes the imidazole ring and carboxylate group of histidine rather than the amino group, explaining the high selectivity for histidine and/or (mono-, di-) methylated histidine as substrates. In addition, SAM binding to the MTase domain induced a conformational change in EgtD to facilitate the methyl transfer reaction. The structural analysis provides insights into the putative catalytic mechanism of EgtD in a processive trimethylation reaction.

  13. Novel insights into RAD51 activity and regulation during homologous recombination and DNA replication

    PubMed Central

    Godin, Stephen K.; Sullivan, Meghan R.; Bernstein, Kara A.

    2016-01-01

    In this review we focus on new insights that challenge our understanding of homologous recombination (HR) and Rad51 regulation. Recent advances using high resolution microscopy and single molecule techniques have broadened our knowledge of Rad51 filament formation and strand invasion at double-strand break (DSB) sites and at replication forks, which are one of most physiologically relevant forms of HR from yeast to humans. Rad51 filament formation and strand invasion is regulated by many mediator proteins such as the Rad51 paralogues and the Shu complex, consisting of a Shu2/SWS1 family member and additional Rad51 paralogues. Importantly, a novel RAD-51 paralogue was discovered in C. elegans and its in vitro characterization has demonstrated a new function for the worm RAD-51 paralogues during HR. Conservation of the human RAD51 paralogues function during HR and repair of replicative damage demonstrate how the RAD51 mediators play a critical role in human health and genomic integrity. Together, these new findings provide a framework for understanding RAD51 and its mediators in DNA repair during multiple cellular contexts. PMID:27224545

  14. Obesity, Health, and Physical Activity: Discourses from the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zieff, Susan G.; Veri, Maria J.

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the obesity, health, and physical activity discourses of the past 35 years in the context of the United States with particular reference to five social sectors: the biomedical domain; the popular media; nonprofit foundations, centers and agencies; various national and multinational corporations; and government at all levels.…

  15. Canada and the United States. Perspective. Learning Activity Packet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maine Univ., Orono. New England - Atlantic Provinces - Quebec Center.

    The similarities and differences of Canada and the United States are explored in this Learning Activity Packet (LAP). Ten learning objectives are given which encourage students to examine: 1) the misconceptions Americans and Canadians have about each other and their ways of life; 2) the effect and influence of French and English exploration and…

  16. The Current State of Marketing Activity among Higher Education Institutions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Cynthia M.

    2002-01-01

    Investigated the current state of marketing, marketing research, and planning practices at four-year higher education institutions. Builds upon previous studies by Blackburn (1979) and Goldgehn (1982 and 1989). Determined whether the use and apparent understanding of marketing and its attendant activities by admissions and enrollment management…

  17. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... certify to the Secretary that the arrangements to establish responsibility for services pursuant to... transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary activities; (vii) To assist LEAs in meeting... State Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act. (9) Funds reserved under paragraph...

  18. 20 CFR 631.41 - Allowable State activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Allowable State activities. 631.41 Section 631.41 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR PROGRAMS UNDER... be limited to those individuals who can most benefit from and are in need of such services. (e)...

  19. Notification: Oversight of Superfund State Contracts for Remedial Activities

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Project #OA-FY15-0054, December 30, 2014. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is beginning an audit of the EPA's oversight of Superfund State Contracts (SSCs) for remedial activities.

  20. Epoxide hydrolase-catalyzed enantioselective conversion of trans-stilbene oxide: Insights into the reaction mechanism from steady-state and pre-steady-state enzyme kinetics.

    PubMed

    Archelas, Alain; Zhao, Wei; Faure, Bruno; Iacazio, Gilles; Kotik, Michael

    2016-02-01

    A detailed kinetic study based on steady-state and pre-steady-state measurements is described for the highly enantioselective epoxide hydrolase Kau2. The enzyme, which is a member of the α/β-hydrolase fold family, preferentially reacts with the (S,S)-enantiomer of trans-stilbene oxide (TSO) with an E value of ∼200. The enzyme follows a classical two-step catalytic mechanism with formation of an alkyl-enzyme intermediate in the first step and hydrolysis of this intermediate in a rate-limiting second step. Tryptophan fluorescence quenching during TSO conversion appears to correlate with alkylation of the enzyme. The steady-state data are consistent with (S,S) and (R,R)-TSO being two competing substrates with marked differences in k(cat) and K(M) values. The high enantiopreference of the epoxide hydrolase is best explained by pronounced differences in the second-order alkylation rate constant (k2/K(S)) and the alkyl-enzyme hydrolysis rate k3 between the (S,S) and (R,R)-enantiomers of TSO. Our data suggest that during conversion of (S,S)-TSO the two active site tyrosines, Tyr(157) and Tyr(259), serve mainly as electrophilic catalysts in the alkylation half-reaction, polarizing the oxirane oxygen of the bound epoxide through hydrogen bond formation, however, without fully donating their hydrogens to the forming alkyl-enzyme intermediate.

  1. Mechanistic insights into caspase-9 activation by the structure of the apoptosome holoenzyme

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yini; Zhou, Mengying; Hu, Qi; Bai, Xiao-chen; Huang, Weiyun; Shi, Yigong

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian intrinsic apoptosis requires activation of the initiator caspase-9, which then cleaves and activates the effector caspases to execute cell killing. The heptameric Apaf-1 apoptosome is indispensable for caspase-9 activation by together forming a holoenzyme. The molecular mechanism of caspase-9 activation remains largely enigmatic. Here, we report the cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of an apoptotic holoenzyme and structure-guided biochemical analyses. The caspase recruitment domains (CARDs) of Apaf-1 and caspase-9 assemble in two different ways: a 4:4 complex docks onto the central hub of the apoptosome, and a 2:1 complex binds the periphery of the central hub. The interface between the CARD complex and the central hub is required for caspase-9 activation within the holoenzyme. Unexpectedly, the CARD of free caspase-9 strongly inhibits its proteolytic activity. These structural and biochemical findings demonstrate that the apoptosome activates caspase-9 at least in part through sequestration of the inhibitory CARD domain. PMID:28143931

  2. Nonequilibrium Equation of State in Suspensions of Active Colloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginot, Félix; Theurkauff, Isaac; Levis, Demian; Ybert, Christophe; Bocquet, Lydéric; Berthier, Ludovic; Cottin-Bizonne, Cécile

    2015-01-01

    Active colloids constitute a novel class of materials composed of colloidal-scale particles locally converting chemical energy into motility, mimicking micro-organisms. Evolving far from equilibrium, these systems display structural organizations and dynamical properties distinct from thermalized colloidal assemblies. Harvesting the potential of this new class of systems requires the development of a conceptual framework to describe these intrinsically nonequilibrium systems. We use sedimentation experiments to probe the nonequilibrium equation of state of a bidimensional assembly of active Janus microspheres and conduct computer simulations of a model of self-propelled hard disks. Self-propulsion profoundly affects the equation of state, but these changes can be rationalized using equilibrium concepts. We show that active colloids behave, in the dilute limit, as an ideal gas with an activity-dependent effective temperature. At finite density, increasing the activity is similar to increasing adhesion between equilibrium particles. We quantify this effective adhesion and obtain a unique scaling law relating activity and effective adhesion in both experiments and simulations. Our results provide a new and efficient way to understand the emergence of novel phases of matter in active colloidal suspensions.

  3. Structural insights into the role of iron–histidine bond cleavage in nitric oxide-induced activation of H-NOX gas sensor proteins

    PubMed Central

    Herzik, Mark A.; Jonnalagadda, Rohan; Kuriyan, John; Marletta, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Heme-nitric oxide/oxygen (H-NOX) binding domains are a recently discovered family of heme-based gas sensor proteins that are conserved across eukaryotes and bacteria. Nitric oxide (NO) binding to the heme cofactor of H-NOX proteins has been implicated as a regulatory mechanism for processes ranging from vasodilation in mammals to communal behavior in bacteria. A key molecular event during NO-dependent activation of H-NOX proteins is rupture of the heme–histidine bond and formation of a five-coordinate nitrosyl complex. Although extensive biochemical studies have provided insight into the NO activation mechanism, precise molecular-level details have remained elusive. In the present study, high-resolution crystal structures of the H-NOX protein from Shewanella oneidensis in the unligated, intermediate six-coordinate and activated five-coordinate, NO-bound states are reported. From these structures, it is evident that several structural features in the heme pocket of the unligated protein function to maintain the heme distorted from planarity. NO-induced scission of the iron–histidine bond triggers structural rearrangements in the heme pocket that permit the heme to relax toward planarity, yielding the signaling-competent NO-bound conformation. Here, we also provide characterization of a nonheme metal coordination site occupied by zinc in an H-NOX protein. PMID:25253889

  4. Structural Insights Lead to a Negamycin Analogue with Improved Antimicrobial Activity against Gram-Negative Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Negamycin is a natural product with antibacterial activity against a broad range of Gram-negative pathogens. Recent revelation of its ribosomal binding site and mode of inhibition has reinvigorated efforts to identify improved analogues with clinical potential. Translation-inhibitory potency and antimicrobial activity upon modification of different moieties of negamycin were in line with its observed ribosomal binding conformation, reaffirming stringent structural requirements for activity. However, substitutions on the N6 amine were tolerated and led to N6-(3-aminopropyl)-negamycin (31f), an analogue showing 4-fold improvement in antibacterial activity against key bacterial pathogens. This represents the most potent negamycin derivative to date and may be a stepping stone toward clinical development of this novel antibacterial class. PMID:26288696

  5. Behavioral State Modulates the Activity of Brainstem Sensorimotor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    McArthur, Kimberly L.

    2011-01-01

    Sensorimotor processing must be modulated according to the animal's behavioral state. A previous study demonstrated that motion responses were strongly state dependent in birds. Vestibular eye and head responses were significantly larger and more compensatory during simulated flight, and a flight-specific vestibular tail response was also characterized. In the current study, we investigated the neural substrates for these state-dependent vestibular behaviors by recording extracellularly from neurons in the vestibular nuclear complex and comparing their spontaneous activity and sensory responses during default and simulated flight states. We show that motion-sensitive neurons in the lateral vestibular nucleus are state dependent. Some neurons increased their spontaneous firing rates during flight, though their increased excitability was not reflected in higher sensory gains. However, other neurons exhibited state-dependent gating of sensory inputs, responding to rotational stimuli only during flight. These results demonstrate that vestibular processing in the brainstem is state dependent and lay the foundation for future studies to investigate the synaptic mechanisms responsible for these modifications. PMID:22090497

  6. Trypanosoma cruzi: insights into naphthoquinone effects on growth and proteinase activity.

    PubMed

    Bourguignon, Saulo C; Cavalcanti, Danielle F B; de Souza, Alessandra M T; Castro, Helena C; Rodrigues, Carlos R; Albuquerque, Magaly G; Santos, Dilvani O; da Silva, Gabriel Gomes; da Silva, Fernando C; Ferreira, Vitor F; de Pinho, Rosa T; Alves, Carlos R

    2011-01-01

    In this study we compared the effects of naphthoquinones (α-lapachone, β-lapachone, nor-β-lapachone and Epoxy-α-lap) on growth of Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes forms, and on viability of VERO cells. In addition we also experimentally analyzed the most active compounds inhibitory profile against T. cruzi serine- and cysteine-proteinases activity and theoretically evaluated them against cruzain, the major T. cruzi cysteine proteinase by using a molecular docking approach. Our results confirmed β-lapachone and Epoxy-α-lap with a high trypanocidal activity in contrast to α-lapachone and nor-β-lapachone whereas Epoxy-α-lap presented the safest toxicity profile against VERO cells. Interestingly the evaluation of the active compounds effects against T. cruzi cysteine- and serine-proteinases activities revealed different targets for these molecules. β-Lapachone is able to inhibit the cysteine-proteinase activity of T. cruzi proteic whole extract and of cruzain, similar to E-64, a classical cysteine-proteinase inhibitor. Differently, Epoxy-α-lap inhibited the T. cruzi serine-proteinase activity, similar to PMSF, a classical serine-proteinase inhibitor. In agreement to these biological profiles in the enzymatic assays, our theoretical analysis showed that E-64 and β-lapachone interact with the cruzain specific S2 pocket and active site whereas Epoxy-α-lap showed no important interactions. Overall, our results infer that β-lapachone and Epoxy-α-lap compounds may inhibit T. cruzi epimastigotes growth by affecting T. cruzi different proteinases. Thus the present data shows the potential of these compounds as prototype of protease inhibitors on drug design studies for developing new antichagasic compounds.

  7. Soil Microbial Activity Provides Insight to Carbon Cycling in Shrub Ecotones of Sub-Arctic Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marek, E.; Kashi, N. N.; Chen, J.; Hobbie, E. A.; Schwan, M. R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are expanding in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions due to rising atmospheric temperatures. Microbial activity increases as growing temperatures cause permafrost warming and subsequent thaw, leading to a greater resource of soil nutrients enabling shrub growth. Increased carbon inputs from shrubs is predicted to result in faster carbon turnover by microbial decomposition. Further understanding of microbial activity underneath shrubs could uncover how microbes and soil processes interact to promote shrub expansion and carbon cycling. To address how higher soil carbon input from shrubs influences decomposition, soil samples were taken across a heath, shrub, and forest ecotone gradient at two sites near Abikso, Sweden. Samples were analyzed for soluble carbon and nitrogen, microbial abundance, and microbial activity of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase to reflect organic matter decomposition and availability of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphate respectively. Chitinase activity positively correlated with shrub cover, suggesting microbial demands for nitrogen increase with higher shrub cover. Glucosidase activity negatively correlated with shrub cover and soluble carbon, suggesting decreased microbial demand for carbon as shrub cover and carbon stores increase. Lower glucosidase activity in areas with high carbon input from shrubs implies that microbes are decomposing carbon less readily than carbon is being put into the soil. Increasing soil carbon stores in shrub covered areas can lead to shrubs becoming a net carbon sink and a negative feedback to changing climate.

  8. Insights on how the activity of an endoglucanase is affected by physical properties of insoluble celluloses.

    PubMed

    Bragatto, Juliano; Segato, Fernando; Cota, Junio; Mello, Danilo B; Oliveira, Marcelo M; Buckeridge, Marcos S; Squina, Fabio M; Driemeier, Carlos

    2012-05-31

    Cellulose physical properties like crystallinity, porosity, and particle size are known to influence cellulase activity, but knowledge is still insufficient for activity prediction from such measurable substrate characteristics. With the aim of illuminating enzyme-substrate relationships, this work evaluates a purified hyperthermophilic endo-1,4-beta-glucanase (from Pyrococcus furiosus) acting on 13 celluloses characterized for crystallinity and crystal width (by X-ray diffraction), wet porosity (by thermoporometry), and particle size (by light scattering). Activities are analyzed by the Michaelis-Menten kinetic equation, which is justified by low enzyme-substrate affinity. Michaelis-Menten coefficients K(m) and k(cat) are reinterpreted in the context of heterogeneous cellulose hydrolysis. For a set of as-received and milled microcrystalline celluloses, activity is successfully described as a function of accessible substrate concentration, with accessibility proportional to K(m)(-1). Accessibility contribution from external particle areas, pore areas, and crystalline packing are discriminated to have comparable magnitudes, implying that activity prediction demands all these substrate properties to be considered. Results additionally suggest that looser crystalline packing increases the lengths of released cello-oligomers as well as the maximum endoglucanase specific activity (k(cat)).

  9. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

    PubMed

    Próchnicki, Tomasz; Mangan, Matthew S; Latz, Eicke

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are high-molecular-weight protein complexes that are formed in the cytosolic compartment in response to danger- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. These complexes enable activation of an inflammatory protease caspase-1, leading to a cell death process called pyroptosis and to proteolytic cleavage and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Along with caspase-1, inflammasome components include an adaptor protein, ASC, and a sensor protein, which triggers the inflammasome assembly in response to a danger signal. The inflammasome sensor proteins are pattern recognition receptors belonging either to the NOD-like receptor (NLR) or to the AIM2-like receptor family. While the molecular agonists that induce inflammasome formation by AIM2 and by several other NLRs have been identified, it is not well understood how the NLR family member NLRP3 is activated. Given that NLRP3 activation is relevant to a range of human pathological conditions, significant attempts are being made to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular events that lead to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to a range of K (+) efflux-inducing danger signals. We also comment on the reported involvement of cytosolic Ca (2+) fluxes on NLRP3 activation. We outline the recent advances in research on the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of regulation of NLRP3 responses, and we point to several open questions regarding the current model of NLRP3 activation.

  10. Defining Democracy and the Terms of Engagement with the Postsocialist Polish State: Insights from HIV/AIDS.

    PubMed

    2009-08-01

    This article explores the history of HIV activism in Poland from the socialist period through the early 1990s transformation as a means of examining the reconfiguration of rights, obligations, and responsibility as Poland redefined itself as a market democracy. Drawing on archival materials, in-depth qualitative interviews with current and former HIV activists, and participant observation at HIV prevention organizations in Warsaw, Poland, I sketch the ways in the socialist system's failures to protect the health of its subjects led to the terms through which state-citizen engagement were defined in the postsocialist period. Uncertainties and anxieties surrounding who was responsible for protecting the health and well-being of citizens in the newly democratic Poland gave rise to a series of violent protests centered on HIV prevention and care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Resolution of these political and social crises involved defining democracy in postsocialist Poland through claims to moral authority, in alliance with the Catholic Church, and an obligation by multiple stakeholders to disseminate technical/scientific knowledge. By comparing the responses to the epidemic by diverse institutions, including the government, the Catholic Church, and the fledgling gay rights movement, this analysis reveals the ways in which democracy in postsocialist Poland tightly links science, democratic reform, and moral/religious authority, while at the same time excluding sexual minorities from engaging in political activism centered on rights to health and inclusion in the new democracy.

  11. Defining Democracy and the Terms of Engagement with the Postsocialist Polish State: Insights from HIV/AIDS

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    This article explores the history of HIV activism in Poland from the socialist period through the early 1990s transformation as a means of examining the reconfiguration of rights, obligations, and responsibility as Poland redefined itself as a market democracy. Drawing on archival materials, in-depth qualitative interviews with current and former HIV activists, and participant observation at HIV prevention organizations in Warsaw, Poland, I sketch the ways in the socialist system’s failures to protect the health of its subjects led to the terms through which state-citizen engagement were defined in the postsocialist period. Uncertainties and anxieties surrounding who was responsible for protecting the health and well-being of citizens in the newly democratic Poland gave rise to a series of violent protests centered on HIV prevention and care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Resolution of these political and social crises involved defining democracy in postsocialist Poland through claims to moral authority, in alliance with the Catholic Church, and an obligation by multiple stakeholders to disseminate technical/scientific knowledge. By comparing the responses to the epidemic by diverse institutions, including the government, the Catholic Church, and the fledgling gay rights movement, this analysis reveals the ways in which democracy in postsocialist Poland tightly links science, democratic reform, and moral/religious authority, while at the same time excluding sexual minorities from engaging in political activism centered on rights to health and inclusion in the new democracy. PMID:20190876

  12. An alkaline active xylanase: insights into mechanisms of high pH catalytic adaptation.

    PubMed

    Mamo, Gashaw; Thunnissen, Marjolein; Hatti-Kaul, Rajni; Mattiasson, Bo

    2009-09-01

    The alkaliphilic bacterium, Bacillus halodurans S7, produces an alkaline active xylanase (EC 3.2.1.8), which differs from many other xylanases in being operationally stable under alkaline conditions as well as at elevated temperature. Compared to non-alkaline active xylanases, this enzyme has a high percent composition of acidic amino acids which results in high ratio of negatively to positively charged residues. A positive correlation was observed between the charge ratio and the pH optima of xylanases. The recombinant xylanase was crystallized using a hanging drop diffusion method. The crystals belong to the space group P2(1)2(1)2(1) and the structure was determined at a resolution of 2.1 A. The enzyme has the common eight-fold TIM-barrel structure of family 10 xylanases; however, unlike non-alkaline active xylanases, it has a highly negatively charged surface and a deeper active site cleft. Mutational analysis of non-conserved amino acids which are close to the acid/base residue has shown that Val169, Ile170 and Asp171 are important to hydrolyze xylan at high pH. Unlike the wild type xylanase which has optimum pH at 9-9.5, the triple mutant xylanase (V169A, I170F and D171N), which was constructed using sequence information of alkaline sensitive xylanses was optimally active around pH 7. Compared to non-alkaline active xylanases, the alkaline active xylanases have highly acidic surfaces and fewer solvent exposed alkali labile residues. Based on these results obtained from sequence, structural and mutational analysis, the possible mechanisms of high pH stability and catalysis are discussed. This will provide useful information to understand the mechanism of high pH adaptation and engineering of enzymes that can be operationally stable at high pH.

  13. New insights into the activation, interaction partners and possible functions of MK5/PRAK.

    PubMed

    Perander, Maria; Keyse, Stephen M; Seternes, Ole-Morten

    2016-01-01

    MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 5 (MK5) was first described as a downstream target of the p38 MAP kinase pathway leading to its alternative acronym of p38-regulated/activated protein kinase (PRAK). However, since the discovery that MK5 is a bona fide interaction partner of the atypical MAP kinases ERK3 and ERK4 and that this interaction leads to both the activation and subcellular relocalisation of MK5, there has been considerable debate as to the relative roles of these MAPK pathways in mediating the activation and biological functions of MK5. Here we discuss recent progress in defining novel upstream components of the ERK3/ERK4 signalling pathway, our increased understanding of the mechanism by which MK5 interacts with and is activated by ERK3 and ERK4, and the discovery of novel interaction partners for MK5. Finally, we review recent literature that suggests novel biological functions for MK5 in a range of physiological and pathophysiological conditions including neuronal function and cancer.

  14. Flavonoids as CDK1 Inhibitors: Insights in Their Binding Orientations and Structure-Activity Relationship.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Retamal, Carlos; Caballero, Julio

    2016-01-01

    In the last years, the interactions of flavonoids with protein kinases (PKs) have been described by using crystallographic experiments. Interestingly, different orientations have been found for one flavonoid inside different PKs and different chemical substitutions lead to different orientations of the flavonoid scaffold inside one PK. Accordingly, orientation predictions of novel analogues could help to the design of flavonoids with high PK inhibitory activities. With this in mind, we studied the binding modes of 37 flavonoids (flavones and chalcones) inside the cyclin-dependent PK CDK1 using docking experiments. We found that the compounds under study adopted two different orientations into the active site of CDK1 (orientations I and II in the manuscript). In addition, quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models using CoMFA and CoMSIA methodologies were constructed to explain the trend of the CDK1 inhibitory activities for the studied flavonoids. Template-based and docking-based alignments were used. Models developed starting from docking-based alignment were applied for describing the whole dataset and compounds with orientation I. Adequate R2 and Q2 values were obtained by each method; interestingly, only hydrophobic and hydrogen bond donor fields describe the differential potency of the flavonoids as CDK1 inhibitors for both defined alignments and subsets. Our current application of docking and QSAR together reveals important elements to be drawn for the design of novel flavonoids with increased PK inhibitory activities.

  15. Structural insights into the activation of MST3 by MO25

    PubMed Central

    Mehellou, Youcef; Alessi, Dario R.; Macartney, Thomas J.; Szklarz, Marta; Knapp, Stefan; Elkins, Jonathan M.

    2013-01-01

    The MO25 scaffolding protein operates as critical regulator of a number of STE20 family protein kinases (e.g. MST and SPAK isoforms) as well as pseudokinases (e.g. STRAD isoforms that play a critical role in activating the LKB1 tumour suppressor). To better understand how MO25 interacts and stimulates the activity of STE20 protein kinases, we determined the crystal structure of MST3 catalytic domain (residues 19–289) in complex with full length MO25β. The structure reveals an intricate web of interactions between MST3 and MO25β that function to stabilise the kinase domain in a closed, active, conformation even in the absence of ATP or an ATP-mimetic inhibitor. The binding mode of MO25β is reminiscent of the mechanism by which MO25α interacts with the pseudokinase STRADα. In particular we identified interface residues Tyr223 of MO25β and Glu58 and Ile71 of MST3 that when mutated prevent activation of MST3 by MO25β. These data provide molecular understanding of the mechanism by which MO25 isoforms regulates the activity of STE20 family protein kinases. PMID:23296203

  16. Insights into Substrate Specificity and Metal Activation of Mammalian Tetrahedral Aspartyl Aminopeptidase

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Yuanyuan; Farquhar, Erik R.; Chance, Mark R.; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Kiser, Philip D.

    2012-07-11

    Aminopeptidases are key enzymes involved in the regulation of signaling peptide activity. Here, we present a detailed biochemical and structural analysis of an evolutionary highly conserved aspartyl aminopeptidase called DNPEP. We show that this peptidase can cleave multiple physiologically relevant substrates, including angiotensins, and thus may play a key role in regulating neuron function. Using a combination of x-ray crystallography, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and single particle electron microscopy analysis, we provide the first detailed structural analysis of DNPEP. We show that this enzyme possesses a binuclear zinc-active site in which one of the zinc ions is readily exchangeable with other divalent cations such as manganese, which strongly stimulates the enzymatic activity of the protein. The plasticity of this metal-binding site suggests a mechanism for regulation of DNPEP activity. We also demonstrate that DNPEP assembles into a functionally relevant tetrahedral complex that restricts access of peptide substrates to the active site. These structural data allow rationalization of the enzyme's preference for short peptide substrates with N-terminal acidic residues. This study provides a structural basis for understanding the physiology and bioinorganic chemistry of DNPEP and other M18 family aminopeptidases.

  17. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking.

    PubMed

    Islam, Barira; Sharma, Charu; Adem, Abdu; Aburawi, Elhadi; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP(+)). We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure-function relationship studies.

  18. An insight into antimicrobial activity of the freshwater bryozoan Pectinatella magnifica.

    PubMed

    Pejin, Boris; Ciric, Ana; Horvatovic, Mladen; Jurca, Tamara; Glamoclija, Jasmina; Nikolic, Milos; Sokovic, Marina

    2016-08-01

    The antimicrobial activity of five crude extracts of the freshwater bryozoan Pectinatella magnifica (Leidy, 1851) was evaluated in vitro for the first time. P. magnifica acetone extract exhibited the highest antibacterial activity (minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) 0.004-0.350 mg/mL and MBC 0.007-0.500 mg/mL), while its methanol extract showed the most promising antifungal activity (MIC 0.03-0.12 mg/mL and MFC 0.06-0.25 mg/mL). Furthermore, at a concentration of 0.25 MIC, the methanol extract reduced biofilm formation of the bacterial strain Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 in a considerable extent (59.14%). FTIR spectra of the most active extracts indicate the presence of carbonyl compounds, long-chain alcohols and/or sterols. According to the experimental data obtained, P. magnifica methanol extract may be considered as a good resource of novel natural products with potent antibiofilm activity against the bacterium well known for its resistance.

  19. Insights into the activation of the helicase Prp43 by biochemical studies and structural mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Christian, Henning; Hofele, Romina V.; Urlaub, Henning; Ficner, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Splicing of precursor messenger RNA is a hallmark of eukaryotic cells, which is carried out by the spliceosome, a multi-megadalton ribonucleoprotein machinery. The splicing reaction removes non-coding regions (introns) and ligates coding regions (exons). The spliceosome is a highly dynamic ribonucleoprotein complex that undergoes dramatic structural changes during its assembly, the catalysis and its disassembly. The transitions between the different steps during the splicing cycle are promoted by eight conserved DExD/H box ATPases. The DEAH-box protein Prp43 is responsible for the disassembly of the intron-lariat spliceosome and its helicase activity is activated by the G-patch protein Ntr1. Here, we investigate the activation of Prp43 by Ntr1 in the presence and absence of RNA substrate by functional assays and structural proteomics. Residues 51–110 of Ntr1 were identified to be the minimal fragment that induces full activation. We found protein–protein cross-links that indicate that Prp43 interacts with the G-patch motif of Ntr1 through its C-terminal domains. Additionally, we report on functionally important RNA binding residues in both proteins and propose a model for the activation of the helicase. PMID:24165877

  20. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Barira; Sharma, Charu; Adem, Abdu; Aburawi, Elhadi; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+). We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure–function relationship studies. PMID:26357462

  1. New Insights into the Antibacterial Activity of Hydroxycoumarins against Ralstonia solanacearum.

    PubMed

    Yang, Liang; Ding, Wei; Xu, Yuquan; Wu, Dousheng; Li, Shili; Chen, Juanni; Guo, Bing

    2016-04-08

    Coumarins are important plant-derived natural products with wide-ranging bioactivities and extensive applications. In this study, we evaluated for the first time the antibacterial activity and mechanisms of action of coumarins against the phytopathogen Ralstonia solanacearum, and investigated the effect of functional group substitution. We first tested the antibacterial activity of 18 plant-derived coumarins with different substitution patterns, and found that daphnetin, esculetin, xanthotol, and umbelliferone significantly inhibited the growth of R. solanacearum. Daphnetin showed the strongest antibacterial activity, followed by esculetin and umbelliferone, with MICs of 64, 192, and 256 mg/L, respectively, better than the archetypal coumarin with 384 mg/L. We further demonstrated that the hydroxylation of coumarins at the C-6, C-7 or C-8 position significantly enhanced the antibacterial activity against R. solanacearum. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and fluorescence microscopy images showed that hydroxycoumarins may interact with the pathogen by mechanically destroying the cell membrane and inhibiting biofilm formation. The antibiofilm effect of hydroxycoumarins may relate to the repression of flagellar genes fliA and flhC. These physiological changes in R. solanacearum caused by hydroxycoumarins can provide information for integral pathogen control. The present findings demonstrated that hydroxycoumarins have superior antibacterial activity against the phytopathogen R. solanacearum, and thus have the potential to be applied for controlling plant bacterial wilt.

  2. A family 13 thioesterase isolated from an activated sludge metagenome: Insights into aromatic compounds metabolism.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Reyez, Ayixon; Batista-García, Ramón Alberto; Valdés-García, Gilberto; Ortiz, Ernesto; Perezgasga, Lucía; Zárate-Romero, Andrés; Pastor, Nina; Folch-Mallol, Jorge Luis

    2017-03-09

    Activated sludge is produced during the treatment of sewage and industrial wastewaters. Its diverse chemical composition allows growth of a large collection of microbial phylotypes with very different physiologic and metabolic profiles. Thus, activated sludge is considered as an excellent environment to discover novel enzymes through functional metagenomics, especially activities related with degradation of environmental pollutants. Metagenomic DNA was isolated and purified from an activated sludge sample. Metagenomic libraries were subsequently constructed in Escherichia coli. Using tributyrin hydrolysis, a screening by functional analysis was conducted and a clone that showed esterase activity was isolated. Blastx analysis of the sequence of the cloned DNA revealed, among others, an ORF that encodes a putative thioesterase with 47-64% identity to GenBank CDS reported genes, similar to those in the hotdog fold thioesterase superfamily. On the basis of its amino acid similarity and its homology-modelled structure we deduced that this gene encodes an enzyme (ThYest_ar) that belongs to family TE13, with a preference for aryl-CoA substrates and a novel catalytic residue constellation. Plasmid retransformation in E. coli confirmed the clone's phenotype, and functional complementation of a paaI E. coli mutant showed preference for phenylacetate over chlorobenzene as a carbon source. This work suggests a role for TE13 family thioesterases in swimming and degradation approaches for phenyl acetic acid. Proteins 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Flavonoids as CDK1 Inhibitors: Insights in Their Binding Orientations and Structure-Activity Relationship

    PubMed Central

    Navarro-Retamal, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    In the last years, the interactions of flavonoids with protein kinases (PKs) have been described by using crystallographic experiments. Interestingly, different orientations have been found for one flavonoid inside different PKs and different chemical substitutions lead to different orientations of the flavonoid scaffold inside one PK. Accordingly, orientation predictions of novel analogues could help to the design of flavonoids with high PK inhibitory activities. With this in mind, we studied the binding modes of 37 flavonoids (flavones and chalcones) inside the cyclin-dependent PK CDK1 using docking experiments. We found that the compounds under study adopted two different orientations into the active site of CDK1 (orientations I and II in the manuscript). In addition, quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) models using CoMFA and CoMSIA methodologies were constructed to explain the trend of the CDK1 inhibitory activities for the studied flavonoids. Template-based and docking-based alignments were used. Models developed starting from docking-based alignment were applied for describing the whole dataset and compounds with orientation I. Adequate R2 and Q2 values were obtained by each method; interestingly, only hydrophobic and hydrogen bond donor fields describe the differential potency of the flavonoids as CDK1 inhibitors for both defined alignments and subsets. Our current application of docking and QSAR together reveals important elements to be drawn for the design of novel flavonoids with increased PK inhibitory activities. PMID:27517610

  4. Superior temporal activation as a function of linguistic knowledge: insights from deaf native signers who speechread.

    PubMed

    Capek, Cheryl M; Woll, Bencie; MacSweeney, Mairéad; Waters, Dafydd; McGuire, Philip K; David, Anthony S; Brammer, Michael J; Campbell, Ruth

    2010-02-01

    Studies of spoken and signed language processing reliably show involvement of the posterior superior temporal cortex. This region is also reliably activated by observation of meaningless oral and manual actions. In this study we directly compared the extent to which activation in posterior superior temporal cortex is modulated by linguistic knowledge irrespective of differences in language form. We used a novel cross-linguistic approach in two groups of volunteers who differed in their language experience. Using fMRI, we compared deaf native signers of British Sign Language (BSL), who were also proficient speechreaders of English (i.e., two languages) with hearing people who could speechread English, but knew no BSL (i.e., one language). Both groups were presented with BSL signs and silently spoken English words, and were required to respond to a signed or spoken target. The interaction of group and condition revealed activation in the superior temporal cortex, bilaterally, focused in the posterior superior temporal gyri (pSTG, BA 42/22). In hearing people, these regions were activated more by speech than by sign, but in deaf respondents they showed similar levels of activation for both language forms - suggesting that posterior superior temporal regions are highly sensitive to language knowledge irrespective of the mode of delivery of the stimulus material.

  5. Immunoproteasome Activation During Early Antiviral Response in Mouse Pancreatic β-cells: New Insights into Auto-antigen Generation in Type I Diabetes?

    PubMed

    Freudenburg, Wieke; Gautam, Madhav; Chakraborty, Pradipta; James, Jared; Richards, Jennifer; Salvatori, Alison S; Baldwin, Aaron; Schriewer, Jill; Buller, R Mark L; Corbett, John A; Skowyra, Dorota

    2013-04-23

    Type 1 diabetes results from autoimmune destruction of the insulin producing pancreatic β-cells. The immunoproteasome, a version of the proteasome that collaborates with the 11S/PA28 activator to generate immunogenic peptides for presentation by MHC class I molecules, has long been implicated in the onset of the disease, but little is known about immunoproteasome function and regulation in pancreatic β-cells. Interesting insight into these issues comes from a recent analysis of the immunoproteasome expressed in pancreatic β-cells during early antiviral defenses mediated by interferon β (IFNβ), a type I IFN implicated in the induction of the diabetic state in human and animal models. Using mouse islets and the MIN6 insulinoma cell line, Freudenburg et al. found that IFNβ stimulates expression of the immunoproteasome and the 11S/PA28 activator in a manner fundamentally similar to the classic immuno-inducer IFNγ, with similar timing of mRNA accumulation and decline; similar transcriptional activation mediated primarily by the IRF1 and similar mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, neither IFNβ nor IFNγ altered the expression of regular proteolytic subunits or prevented their incorporation into proteolytic cores. As a result, immunoproteasomes had stochastic combinations of immune and regular proteolytic sites, an arrangement that would likely increase the probability with which unique immunogenic peptides are produced. However, immunoproteasomes were activated by the 11S/PA28 only under conditions of ATP depletion. A mechanism that prevents the activation of immunoproteasome at high ATP levels has not been reported before and could have a major regulatory significance, as it could suppress the generation of immunogenic peptides as cell accumulate immunoproteasome and 11S/PA28, and activate antigen processing only when ATP levels drop. We discuss implications of these new findings on the link between early antiviral response and the onset of type 1 diabetes.

  6. Insights into the interactions between enzyme and co-solvents: stability and activity of stem bromelain.

    PubMed

    Rani, Anjeeta; Venkatesu, Pannuru

    2015-02-01

    In present study, an attempt is made to elucidate the effects of various naturally occurring osmolytes and denaturants on BM at pH 7.0. The effects of the varying concentrations of glycerol, sorbitol, sucrose, trehalose, urea and guanidinium chloride (GdnHCl) on structure, stability and activity of BM are explored by fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD), UV-vis spectroscopy and sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Our experimental observations reveal that glycerol and sorbitol are acting as stabilizers at all concentrations while sucrose and trehalose are found to be destabilizers at lower concentrations, however, acted as stabilizers at higher concentrations. On the other hand, urea and GdnHCl are denaturants except at lower concentrations. There is a direct relationship between activity and conformational stability as the activity data are found to be in accordance with conformational stability parameters (ΔGu, Tm, ΔCp) and BM profile on SDS-PAGE.

  7. New insights into the multidimensional concept of macrophage ontogeny, activation and function.

    PubMed

    Ginhoux, Florent; Schultze, Joachim L; Murray, Peter J; Ochando, Jordi; Biswas, Subhra K

    2016-01-01

    Macrophages have protective roles in immunity to pathogens, tissue development, homeostasis and repair following damage. Maladaptive immunity and inflammation provoke changes in macrophage function that are causative of disease. Despite a historical wealth of knowledge about macrophages, recent advances have revealed unknown aspects of their development and function. Following development, macrophages are activated by diverse signals. Such tissue microenvironmental signals together with epigenetic changes influence macrophage development, activation and functional diversity, with consequences in disease and homeostasis. We discuss here how recent discoveries in these areas have led to a multidimensional concept of macrophage ontogeny, activation and function. In connection with this, we also discuss how technical advances facilitate a new roadmap for the isolation and analysis of macrophages at high resolution.

  8. Insights from Bacterial Subtilases into the Mechanisms of Intramolecular Chaperone-Mediated Activation of Furin

    PubMed Central

    Shinde, Ujwal; Thomas, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Prokaryotic subtilisins and eukaryotic proprotein convertases (PCs) are two homologous protease subfamilies that belong to the larger ubiquitous super-family called subtilases. Members of the subtilase super-family are produced as zymogens wherein their propeptide domains function as dedicated intramolecular chaperones (IMCs) that facilitate correct folding and regulate precise activation of their cognate catalytic domains. The molecular and cellular determinants that modulate IMC-dependent folding and activation of PCs are poorly understood. In this chapter we review what we have learned from the folding and activation of prokaryotic subtilisin, discuss how this has molded our understanding of furin maturation, and foray into the concept of pH sensors, which may represent a paradigm that PCs (and possibly other IMC-dependent eukaryotic proteins) follow for regulating their biological functions using the pH gradient in the secretory pathway. PMID:21805238

  9. An insight into synthetic Schiff bases revealing antiproliferative activities in vitro.

    PubMed

    Sztanke, Krzysztof; Maziarka, Agata; Osinka, Anna; Sztanke, Małgorzata

    2013-07-01

    Schiff bases or azomethines are among the most important groups of biomolecules. These compounds have been found to reveal both remarkable biological activities and a variety of valuable practical applications. An interest in the exploration of novel series of synthetic Schiff bases has undoubtedly been growing due to their proven utility as attractive lead structures for the design of novel cytotoxic and cytostatic agents with a mechanism of action that sometimes differs from that of clinically authorized anticancer agents. Therefore, in the present paper we have focussed our attention on the collected synthetic simple Schiff bases of aldimine- and ketimine-types revealing anticancer activities in vitro, that have been described in the scientific literature during the last decade, and on structural variations whose affect the antiproliferative activity in sets of the designed molecules.

  10. Direct Activation of ENaC by Angiotensin II: Recent Advances and New Insights

    PubMed Central

    Zaika, Oleg; Mamenko, Mykola; Staruschenko, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Angiotensin II (Ang II) is the principal effector of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). It initiates myriad processes in multiple organs integrated to increase circulating volume and elevate systemic blood pressure. In the kidney, Ang II stimulates renal tubular water and salt reabsorption causing antinatriuresis and antidiuresis. Activation of RAAS is known to enhance activity of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron. In addition to its well described stimulatory actions on aldosterone secretion, Ang II is also capable to directly increase ENaC activity. In this brief review, we discuss recent findings about non-classical Ang II actions on ENaC and speculate about its relevance for renal sodium handling. PMID:23180052

  11. Recent insights into the biological activities and drug delivery systems of tanshinones

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yuee; Zhang, Wenji; Chen, Zirong; Shi, Zhi; He, Chengwei; Chen, Meiwan

    2016-01-01

    Tanshinones, the major lipid-soluble pharmacological constituents of the Chinese medicinal herb Tanshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), have attracted growing scientific attention because of the prospective biomedical applications of these compounds. Numerous pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cardio-cerebrovascular protection activities, are exhibited by the three primary bioactive constituents among the tanshinones, ie, tanshinone I (TNI), tanshinone IIA (TNIIA), and cryptotanshinone (CPT). However, due to their poor solubility and low dissolution rate, the clinical applications of TNI, TNIIA, and CPT are limited. To solve these problems, many studies have focused on loading tanshinones into liposomes, nanoparticles, microemulsions, cyclodextrin inclusions, solid dispersions, and so on. In this review, we aim to offer an updated summary of the biological activities and drug delivery systems of tanshinones to provide a reference for these constituents in clinical applications. PMID:26792989

  12. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation

    PubMed Central

    Próchnicki, Tomasz; Mangan, Matthew S.; Latz, Eicke

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are high-molecular-weight protein complexes that are formed in the cytosolic compartment in response to danger- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. These complexes enable activation of an inflammatory protease caspase-1, leading to a cell death process called pyroptosis and to proteolytic cleavage and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Along with caspase-1, inflammasome components include an adaptor protein, ASC, and a sensor protein, which triggers the inflammasome assembly in response to a danger signal. The inflammasome sensor proteins are pattern recognition receptors belonging either to the NOD-like receptor (NLR) or to the AIM2-like receptor family. While the molecular agonists that induce inflammasome formation by AIM2 and by several other NLRs have been identified, it is not well understood how the NLR family member NLRP3 is activated. Given that NLRP3 activation is relevant to a range of human pathological conditions, significant attempts are being made to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular events that lead to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to a range of K + efflux-inducing danger signals. We also comment on the reported involvement of cytosolic Ca 2+ fluxes on NLRP3 activation. We outline the recent advances in research on the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of regulation of NLRP3 responses, and we point to several open questions regarding the current model of NLRP3 activation. PMID:27508077

  13. Two-state model of light induced activation and thermal bleaching of photochromic glasses: theory and experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrari, Jose A.; Perciante, Cesar D

    2008-07-10

    The behavior of photochromic glasses during activation and bleaching is investigated. A two-state phenomenological model describing light-induced activation (darkening) and thermal bleaching is presented. The proposed model is based on first-order kinetics. We demonstrate that the time behavior in the activation process (acting simultaneously with the thermal fading) can be characterized by two relaxation times that depend on the intensity of the activating light. These characteristic times are lower than the decay times of the pure thermal bleaching process. We study the temporal evolution of the glass optical density and its dependence on the activating intensity. We also present a series of activation and bleaching experiments that validate the proposed model. Our approach may be used to gain more insight into the transmittance behavior of photosensitive glasses, which could be potentially relevant in a broad range of applications, e.g., real-time holography and reconfigurable optical memories.

  14. Geomorphic signal of active faulting at the northern edge of Lut Block: Insights on the kinematic scenario of Central Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calzolari, Gabriele; Della Seta, Marta; Rossetti, Federico; Nozaem, Reza; Vignaroli, Gianluca; Cosentino, Domenico; Faccenna, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Recent works documented Neogene to Quaternary dextral strike-slip tectonics along the Kuh-e-Sarhangi and Kuh-e-Faghan intraplate strike-slip faults at the northern edge of the Lut Block of Central Iran, previously thought to be dominated by sinistral strike-slip deformation. This work focuses on the evidence of Quaternary activity of one of these fault systems, in order to provide new spatiotemporal constraints on their role in the active regional kinematic scenario. Through geomorphological and structural investigation, integrated with optically stimulated luminescence dating of three generations of alluvial fans and fluvial terraces (at ~53, ~25, and ~6 ka), this study documents (i) the topographic inheritance of the long-term (Myr) punctuated history of fault nucleation, propagation, and exhumation along the northern edge of Lut Block; (ii) the tectonic control on drainage network evolution, pediment formation, fluvial terraces, and alluvial fan architecture; (iii) the minimum Holocene age of Quaternary dextral strike-slip faulting; and (iv) the evidence of Late Quaternary fault-related uplift localized along the different fault strands. The documented spatial and temporal constraints on the active dextral strike-slip tectonics at the northern edge of Lut Block provide new insights on the kinematic model for active faulting in Central Iran, which has been reinterpreted in an escape tectonic scenario.

  15. Near-planar Solution Structures of Mannose-binding Lectin Oligomers Provide Insight on Activation of Lectin Pathway of Complement

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Ami; Phillips, Anna; Gor, Jayesh; Wallis, Russell; Perkins, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    The complement system is a fundamental component of innate immunity that orchestrates complex immunological and inflammatory processes. Complement comprises over 30 proteins that eliminate invading microorganisms while maintaining host cell integrity. Protein-carbohydrate interactions play critical roles in both the activation and regulation of complement. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) activates the lectin pathway of complement via the recognition of sugar arrays on pathogenic surfaces. To determine the solution structure of MBL, synchrotron x-ray scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation experiments showed that the carbohydrate-recognition domains in the MBL dimer, trimer, and tetramer are positioned close to each other in near-planar fan-like structures. These data were subjected to constrained modeling fits. A bent structure for the MBL monomer was identified starting from two crystal structures for its carbohydrate-recognition domain and its triple helical region. The MBL monomer structure was used to identify 10–12 near-planar solution structures for each of the MBL dimers, trimers, and tetramers starting from 900 to 6,859 randomized structures for each. These near-planar fan-like solution structures joined at an N-terminal hub clarified how the carbohydrate-recognition domain of MBL binds to pathogenic surfaces. They also provided insight on how MBL presents a structural template for the binding and auto-activation of the MBL-associated serine proteases to initiate the lectin pathway of complement activation. PMID:22167201

  16. A semisynthetic Eph receptor tyrosine kinase provides insight into ligand-induced kinase activation

    PubMed Central

    Singla, Nikhil; Erdjument-Bromage, Hediye; Himanen, Juha P.; Muir, Tom W.; Nikolov, Dimitar B.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY We have developed a methodology for generating milligram amounts of functional Eph tyrosine kinase receptor using the protein engineering approach of expressed protein ligation. Stimulation with ligand induces efficient autophosphorylation of the semisynthetic Eph construct. The in vitro phosphorylation of key Eph tyrosine residues upon ligand-induced activation was monitored via time-resolved, quantitative phosphoproteomics, suggesting a precise and unique order of phosphorylation of the Eph tyrosines in the kinase activation process. To our knowledge, this work represents the first reported semisynthesis of a receptor tyrosine kinase and provides a potentially general method for producing single-pass membrane proteins for structural and biochemical characterization. PMID:21439481

  17. Resting-state beta and gamma activity in Internet addiction.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jung-Seok; Park, Su Mi; Lee, Jaewon; Hwang, Jae Yeon; Jung, Hee Yeon; Choi, Sam-Wook; Kim, Dai Jin; Oh, Sohee; Lee, Jun-Young

    2013-09-01

    Internet addiction is the inability to control one's use of the Internet and is related to impulsivity. Although a few studies have examined neurophysiological activity as individuals with Internet addiction engage in cognitive processing, no information on spontaneous EEG activity in the eyes-closed resting-state is available. We investigated resting-state EEG activities in beta and gamma bands and examined their relationships with impulsivity among individuals with Internet addiction and healthy controls. Twenty-one drug-naïve patients with Internet addiction (age: 23.33 ± 3.50 years) and 20 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched healthy controls (age: 22.40 ± 2.33 years) were enrolled in this study. Severity of Internet addiction was identified by the total score on Young's Internet Addiction Test. Impulsivity was measured with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 and a stop-signal task. Resting-state EEG during eyes closed was recorded, and the absolute/relative power of beta and gamma bands was analyzed. The Internet addiction group showed high impulsivity and impaired inhibitory control. The generalized estimating equation showed that the Internet-addiction group showed lower absolute power on the beta band than did the control group (estimate = -3.370, p < 0.01). On the other hand, the Internet-addiction group showed higher absolute power on the gamma band than did the control group (estimate = 0.434, p < 0.01). These EEG activities were significantly associated with the severity of Internet addiction as well as with the extent of impulsivity. The present study suggests that resting-state fast-wave brain activity is related to the impulsivity characterizing Internet addiction. These differences may be neurobiological markers for the pathophysiology of Internet addiction.

  18. Electronic Word of Mouth on Twitter About Physical Activity in the United States: Exploratory Infodemiology Study

    PubMed Central

    Campo, Shelly; Janz, Kathleen F; Eckler, Petya; Yang, Jingzhen; Snetselaar, Linda G; Signorini, Alessio

    2013-01-01

    Background Twitter is a widely used social medium. However, its application in promoting health behaviors is understudied. Objective In order to provide insights into designing health marketing interventions to promote physical activity on Twitter, this exploratory infodemiology study applied both social cognitive theory and the path model of online word of mouth to examine the distribution of different electronic word of mouth (eWOM) characteristics among personal tweets about physical activity in the United States. Methods This study used 113 keywords to retrieve 1 million public tweets about physical activity in the United States posted between January 1 and March 31, 2011. A total of 30,000 tweets were randomly selected and sorted based on numbers generated by a random number generator. Two coders scanned the first 16,100 tweets and yielded 4672 (29.02%) tweets that they both agreed to be about physical activity and were from personal accounts. Finally, 1500 tweets were randomly selected from the 4672 tweets (32.11%) for further coding. After intercoder reliability scores reached satisfactory levels in the pilot coding (100 tweets separate from the final 1500 tweets), 2 coders coded 750 tweets each. Descriptive analyses, Mann-Whitney U tests, and Fisher exact tests were performed. Results Tweets about physical activity were dominated by neutral sentiments (1270/1500, 84.67%). Providing opinions or information regarding physical activity (1464/1500, 97.60%) and chatting about physical activity (1354/1500, 90.27%) were found to be popular on Twitter. Approximately 60% (905/1500, 60.33%) of the tweets demonstrated users’ past or current participation in physical activity or intentions to participate in physical activity. However, social support about physical activity was provided in less than 10% of the tweets (135/1500, 9.00%). Users with fewer people following their tweets (followers) (P=.02) and with fewer accounts that they followed (followings) (P=.04

  19. Transcranial electric stimulation (tES) and NeuroImaging: the state-of-the-art, new insights and prospects in basic and clinical neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Soekadar, Surjo R; Herring, Jim Don; McGonigle, David

    2016-10-15

    Transcranial electric stimulation (tES) of the brain has attracted an increased interest in recent years. Yet, despite remarkable research efforts to date, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of tES' effects are still incompletely understood. This Special Issue aims to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the state-of-the-art in studies combining tES and neuroimaging, while introducing most recent insights and outlining future prospects related to this new and rapidly growing field. The findings reported here combine methodological advancements with insights into the underlying mechanisms of tES itself. At the same time, they also point to the many caveats and specific challenges associated with such studies, which can arise from both technical and biological sources. Besides promising to advance basic neuroscience, combined tES and neuroimaging studies may also substantially change previous conceptions about the methods of action of electric or magnetic stimulation on the brain.

  20. Insights into cholinesterase inhibitory and antioxidant activities of five Juniperus species.

    PubMed

    Orhan, Nilufer; Orhan, Ilkay Erdogan; Ergun, Fatma

    2011-09-01

    In vitro acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory and antioxidant activities of the aqueous and ethanol extracts of the leaves, ripe fruits, and unripe fruits of Juniperus communis ssp. nana, Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. oxycedrus, Juniperus sabina, Juniperus foetidissima, and Juniperus excelsa were investigated in the present study. Cholinesterase inhibition of the extracts was screened using ELISA microplate reader. Antioxidant activity of the extracts was tested by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide radical scavenging, ferrous ion-chelating, and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Total phenol and flavonoid contents of the extracts were determined spectrophotometrically. The extracts had low or no inhibition towards AChE, whereas the leaf aqueous extract of J. foetidissima showed the highest BChE inhibition (93.94 ± 0.01%). The leaf extracts usually exerted higher antioxidant activity. We herein describe the first study on anticholinesterase and antioxidant activity by the methods of ferrous ion-chelating, superoxide radical scavenging, and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays of the mentioned Juniperus species.

  1. Assessing the activity of faults in continental interiors: Palaeoseismic insights from SE Kazakhstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grützner, C.; Carson, E.; Walker, R. T.; Rhodes, E. J.; Mukambayev, A.; Mackenzie, D.; Elliott, J. R.; Campbell, G.; Abdrakhmatov, K.

    2017-02-01

    The presence of fault scarps is a first-order criterion for identifying active faults. Yet the preservation of these features depends on the recurrence interval between surface rupturing events, combined with the rates of erosional and depositional processes that act on the landscape. Within arid continental interiors single earthquake scarps can be preserved for thousands of years, and yet the interval between surface ruptures on faults in these regions may be much longer, such that the lack of evidence for surface faulting in the morphology may not preclude activity on those faults. In this study we investigate the 50 km-long 'Toraigyr' thrust fault in the northern Tien Shan. From palaeoseismological trenching we show that two surface rupturing earthquakes occurred in the last 39.9 ± 2.7 ka BP, but only the most recent event (3.15-3.6 ka BP) has a clear morphological expression. We conclude that a landscape reset took place in between the two events, likely as a consequence of the climatic change at the end of the last glacial maximum. These findings illustrate that in the Tien Shan evidence for the most recent active faulting can be easily obliterated by climatic processes due to the long earthquake recurrence intervals. Our results illustrate the problems related to the assessment of active tectonic deformation and seismic hazard assessments in continental interior settings.

  2. XPD Helicase Structures And Activities: Insights Into the Cancer And Aging Phenotypes From XPD Mutations

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, L.; Fuss, J.O.; Cheng, Q.J.; Arvai, A.S.; Hammel, M.; Roberts, V.A.; Cooper, P.K.; Tainer, J.A.

    2009-05-18

    Mutations in XPD helicase, required for nucleotide excision repair (NER) as part of the transcription/repair complex TFIIH, cause three distinct phenotypes: cancer-prone xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), or aging disorders Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). To clarify molecular differences underlying these diseases, we determined crystal structures of the XPD catalytic core from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and measured mutant enzyme activities. Substrate-binding grooves separate adjacent Rad51/RecA-like helicase domains (HD1, HD2) and an arch formed by 4FeS and Arch domains. XP mutations map along the HD1 ATP-binding edge and HD2 DNA-binding channel and impair helicase activity essential for NER. XP/CS mutations both impair helicase activity and likely affect HD2 functional movement. TTD mutants lose or retain helicase activity but map to sites in all four domains expected to cause framework defects impacting TFIIH integrity. These results provide a foundation for understanding disease consequences of mutations in XPD and related 4Fe-4S helicases including FancJ.

  3. Cyclin A2 Mutagenesis Analysis: A New Insight into CDK Activation and Cellular Localization Requirements

    PubMed Central

    Bendris, Nawal; Lemmers, Bénédicte; Blanchard, Jean-Marie; Arsic, Nikola

    2011-01-01

    Cyclin A2 is essential at two critical points in the somatic cell cycle: during S phase, when it activates CDK2, and during the G2 to M transition when it activates CDK1. Based on the crystal structure of Cyclin A2 in association with CDKs, we generated a panel of mutants to characterize the specific amino acids required for partner binding, CDK activation and subcellular localization. We find that CDK1, CDK2, p21, p27 and p107 have overlapping but distinct requirements for association with this protein. Our data highlight the crucial importance of the N-terminal α helix, in conjunction with the α3 helix within the cyclin box, in activating CDK. Several Cyclin A2 mutants selectively bind to either CDK1 or CDK2. We demonstrate that association of Cyclin A2 to proteins such as CDK2 that was previously suggested as crucial is not a prerequisite for its nuclear localization, and we propose that the whole protein structure is involved. PMID:21829545

  4. [Enhancing glutamate decarboxylase activity by site-directed mutagenesis: an insight from Ramachandran plot].

    PubMed

    Ke, Piyu; Huang, Jun; Hu, Sheng; Zhao, Weirui; Lü, Changjiang; Yu, Kai; Lei, Yinlin; Wang, Jinbo; Mei, Lehe

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) can catalyze the decarboxylation of glutamate into γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) and is the only enzyme of GABA biosynthesis. Improving GAD activity and thermostability will be helpful for the highly efficient biosynthesis of GABA. According to the Ramachandran plot information of GAD 1407 three-dimensional structure from Lactobacillus brevis CGMCC No. 1306, we identified the unstable site K413 as the mutation target, constructed the mutant GAD by site-directed mutagenesis and measured the thermostability and activity of the wide type and mutant GAD. Mutant K413A led to a remarkably slower inactivation rate, and its half-life at 50 °C reached 105 min which was 2.1-fold higher than the wild type GAD1407. Moreover, mutant K413I exhibited 1.6-fold higher activity in comparison with the wide type GAD1407, although it had little improvement in thermostability of GAD. Ramachandran plot can be considered as a potential approach to increase GAD thermostability and activity.

  5. XPD Helicase Structures and Activities: Insights into the Cancer and Aging Phenotypes from XPD Mutations

    SciTech Connect

    Tainer, John; Fan, Li; Fuss, Jill O.; Cheng, Quen J.; Arvai, Andrew S.; Hammel, Michal; Roberts, Victoria A.; Cooper, Priscilla K.; Tainer, John A.

    2008-06-02

    Mutations in XPD helicase, required for nucleotide excision repair (NER) as part of the transcription/repair complex TFIIH, cause three distinct phenotypes: cancer-prone xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), or aging disorders Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). To clarify molecular differences underlying these diseases, we determined crystal structures of the XPD catalytic core from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and measured mutant enzyme activities. Substrate-binding grooves separate adjacent Rad51/RecA-like helicase domains (HD1, HD2) and an arch formed by 4FeS and Arch domains. XP mutations map along the HD1 ATP-binding edge and HD2 DNA-binding channel and impair helicase activity essential for NER. XP/CS mutations both impair helicase activity and likely affect HD2 functional movement. TTD mutants lose or retain helicase activity but map to sites in all four domains expected to cause framework defects impacting TFIIH integrity. These results provide a foundation for understanding disease consequences of mutations in XPD and related 4Fe-4S helicases including FancJ.

  6. Insights into microstructure and chemistry of active fiber core material produced by the granulated silica method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Najafi, H.; Etissa, D.; Romano, V.

    2014-05-01

    The production of special fibers relies on new methods and materials to incorporate new functionalities into optical fibers by virtues of dopants and structure. In particular, the granulated silica method allows to rapidly produce active fibers with high dopant content and with virtually any microstructure. The implementation of this production method requires a multitude of process steps at various temperatures and temperature gradients that can significantly influence the optical properties of the produced preforms and fibers. To better understand and optimize the processes of active material production and fiber drawing parameters we have done a thorough analysis of microstructure, phase development, crystallinity and chemical mapping of active fiber cores produced by a combination of sol-gel process and granulated silica method with and without employment of a CO2 laser treatment. The microstructure of fibers have been analyzed with a diverse suite of techniques in Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), revealing formation of various silica polymorphs and distribution of active elements (i.e. Yb and P) into the core structure. Our results show the presence of another polymorph of silica with low crystallinity dispersed in the main amorphous polymorph (i.e. quartz). We conclude that in spite of importance of homogeneous distribution of Yb and P into the core, the formation of various silica polymorphs resulting from materials processing has to be considered.

  7. Biochemical and computational insights into the anti-aromatase activity of natural catechol estrogens.

    PubMed

    Neves, Marco A C; Dinis, Teresa C P; Colombo, Giorgio; Luisa Sá E Melo, M

    2008-05-01

    High levels of endogenous estrogens are associated with increased risks of breast cancer. Estrogen levels are mainly increased by the activity of the aromatase enzyme and reduced by oxidative/conjugative metabolic pathways. In this paper, we demonstrate for the first time that catechol estrogen metabolites are potent aromatase inhibitors, thus establishing a link between aromatase activity and the processes involved in estrogen metabolism. In particular, the anti-aromatase activity of a set of natural hydroxyl and methoxyl estrogen metabolites was investigated using biochemical methods and subsequently compared with the anti-aromatase potency of estradiol and two reference aromatase inhibitors. Catechol estrogens proved to be strong inhibitors with an anti-aromatase potency two orders of magnitude higher than estradiol. A competitive inhibition mechanism was found for the most potent molecule, 2-hydroxyestradiol (2-OHE(2)) and a rational model identifying the interaction determinants of the metabolites with the enzyme is proposed based on ab initio quantum-mechanical calculations. A strong relationship between activity and electrostatic properties was found for catechol estrogens. Moreover, our results suggest that natural catechol estrogens may be involved in the control mechanisms of estrogen production.

  8. Insights into the activity of maturation inhibitor PF-46396 on HIV-1 clade C

    PubMed Central

    Ghimire, Dibya; Timilsina, Uddhav; Srivastava, Tryambak Pratap; Gaur, Ritu

    2017-01-01

    HIV maturation inhibitors are an emerging class of anti-retroviral compounds that inhibit the viral protease-mediated cleavage of the Gag, CA-SP1 (capsid-spacer peptide 1) peptide to mature CA. The first-in-class maturation inhibitor bevirimat (BVM) displayed potent activity against HIV-1 clade B but was ineffective against other HIV-1 clades including clade C. Another pyridone-based maturation inhibitor, PF-46396 displayed potent activity against HIV-1 clade B. In this study, we aimed at determining the activity of PF-46396 against HIV-1 clade C. We employed various biochemical and virological assays to demonstrate that PF-46396 is effective against HIV-1 clade C. We observed a dose dependent accumulation of CA-SP1 intermediate in presence of the compound. We carried out mutagenesis in the CA- SP1 region of HIV-1 clade C Gag and observed that the mutations conferred resistance against the compound. Many mutations inhibited Gag processing thereby reducing virus release in the absence of the compound. However, presence of PF-46396 rescued these defects and enhanced virus release, replication capacity and infectivity of HIV-1 clade C. These results put together identify PF-46396 as a broadly active maturation inhibitor against HIV-1 clade B and C and help in rational designing of novel analogs with reduced toxicity and increased efficacy for its potential use in clinics. PMID:28252110

  9. Moving Souls: History Offers Insights into Physical Activity that Go beyond Fitness and Fun

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sydnor, Synthia

    2005-01-01

    This article looks at four theoretical themes that scholars insist on when studying history. The themes--social memory, liminality, community, and critique--may be useful in stimulating the direction, planning, and practice of physical activity in young adults. These particular themes were chosen because they seem to match some of the…

  10. A computational insight into acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of a new lichen depsidone.

    PubMed

    Ece, Abdulilah; Pejin, Boris

    2015-01-01

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors are yet the best drugs currently available for the management of Alzheimer's disease. The recent phytochemical investigation has led to the isolation of a new depsidone 1 with moderate AChE activity (1 μg). This work was focused on its electronic properties analysed using commercially available programs. Both the active depsidone molecule 1 and galanthamine showed to have higher HOMO energies than the inactive depsidones 2-4, isolated from the same lichen species. However, the amino depsidone derivative 7, whose structure was proposed using computational approaches, is expected to be more active AChE inhibitor than the depsidone 1, due to the improved HOMO energy value. In addition, the molecular docking study indicated that the compound 7 has ability to make the well-known interactions of potent AChE inhibitors with the enzyme active site. The data presented herein support the design of novel AChE inhibitors based on the depsidone scaffold.

  11. Insights into structure–activity relationship of GABAA receptor modulating coumarins and furanocoumarins

    PubMed Central

    Singhuber, Judith; Baburin, Igor; Ecker, Gerhard F.; Kopp, Brigitte; Hering, Steffen

    2011-01-01

    The coumarins imperatorin and osthole are known to exert anticonvulsant activity. We have therefore analyzed the modulation of GABA-induced chloride currents (IGABA) by a selection of 18 coumarin derivatives on recombinant α1β2γ2S GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes by means of the two-microelectrode voltage clamp technique. Osthole (EC50=14±1 μM) and oxypeucedanin (EC50=25±8 μM) displayed the highest efficiency with IGABA potentiation of 116±4% and 547±56%, respectively. IGABA enhancement by osthole and oxypeucedanin was not inhibited by flumazenil (1 μM) indicating an interaction with a binding site distinct from the benzodiazepine binding site. In general, prenyl residues are essential for the positive modulatory activity, while longer side chains or bulkier residues (e.g. geranyl residues) diminish IGABA modulation. Generation of a binary classification tree revealed the importance of polarisability, which is sufficient to distinguish actives from inactives. A 4-point pharmacophore model based on oxypeucedanin – comprising three hydrophobic and one aromatic feature – identified 6 out of 7 actives as hits. In summary, (oxy-)prenylated coumarin derivatives from natural origin represent new GABAA receptor modulators. PMID:21749864

  12. Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Breast Cancer Survivors: New Insight into Activity Patterns and Potential Intervention Targets

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Siobhan M.; Dodd, Kevin W.; Steeves, Jeremy; McClain, James; Alfano, Catherine M.; McAuley, Edward

    2016-01-01

    Background Inactivity and sedentary behavior are related to poorer health outcomes in breast cancer survivors. However, few studies examining these behaviors in survivors have used objective measures, considered activities other than moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity (MVPA) and/or sedentary behavior (i.e. low intensity activities) or compared survivors to healthy controls. The purpose of the present study is to compare accelerometer-measured activity of various intensities (total, light, lifestyle, MVPA) and sedentary behavior between breast cancer survivors and non-cancer controls. Methods An imputation-based approach of independent sample t-tests adjusting for multiple comparisons was used to compare estimates of participation in each activity and sedentary behavior between survivors [n=398; M(SD)age=56.95 (9.11)] and block-matched non-cancer controls [n=1120; M(SD)age=54.88 (16.11)]. Potential moderating effects of body mass index (BMI), age, and education were also examined. Results Breast cancer survivors registered less daily total (282.8 v. 346.9) light (199.1 v. 259.3) and lifestyle (62.0 v. 71.7) activity minutes and more MVPA (21.6 v. 15.9) and sedentary behavior (555.7 v. 500.6) minutes than controls (p<0.001 for all). These relationships were largely consistent across BMI, age and education. On average, survivors spent an estimated 66.4% of their waking time sedentary and 31.1% in light/lifestyle activity and 2.6% in MVPA. Conclusions Breast cancer survivors are more sedentary and participate in less low intensity activity than controls. Although survivors registered more MVPA, these levels were insufficient. Future research should explore these differences and potential benefits of targeting low intensity activities and reducing sedentary time in this population. PMID:26026737

  13. On brain activity mapping: insights and lessons from Brain Decoding Project to map memory patterns in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Tsien, Joe Z; Li, Meng; Osan, Remus; Chen, Guifen; Lin, Longnian; Wang, Phillip Lei; Frey, Sabine; Frey, Julietta; Zhu, Dajiang; Liu, Tianming; Zhao, Fang; Kuang, Hui

    2013-09-01

    The BRAIN project recently announced by the president Obama is the reflection of unrelenting human quest for cracking the brain code, the patterns of neuronal activity that define who we are and what we are. While the Brain Activity Mapping proposal has rightly emphasized on the need to develop new technologies for measuring every spike from every neuron, it might be helpful to consider both the theoretical and experimental aspects that would accelerate our search for the organizing principles of the brain code. Here we share several insights and lessons from the similar proposal, namely, Brain Decoding Project that we initiated since 2007. We provide a specific example in our initial mapping of real-time memory traces from one part of the memory circuit, namely, the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. We show how innovative behavioral tasks and appropriate mathematical analyses of large datasets can play equally, if not more, important roles in uncovering the specific-to-general feature-coding cell assembly mechanism by which episodic memory, semantic knowledge, and imagination are generated and organized. Our own experiences suggest that the bottleneck of the Brain Project is not only at merely developing additional new technologies, but also the lack of efficient avenues to disseminate cutting edge platforms and decoding expertise to neuroscience community. Therefore, we propose that in order to harness unique insights and extensive knowledge from various investigators working in diverse neuroscience subfields, ranging from perception and emotion to memory and social behaviors, the BRAIN project should create a set of International and National Brain Decoding Centers at which cutting-edge recording technologies and expertise on analyzing large datasets analyses can be made readily available to the entire community of neuroscientists who can apply and schedule to perform cutting-edge research.

  14. Impacts of black carbon mixing state on black carbon nucleation scavenging: Insights from a particle-resolved model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ching, J.; Riemer, N.; West, M.

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents an advancement of the recently developed particle-resolved aerosol model PartMC-MOSAIC (Particle Monte Carlo-Model for Simulating Aerosol Interactions and Chemistry) to investigate the impacts of mixing state on cloud droplet formation and to provide a tool for the quantification of errors in cloud properties introduced by simplifying mixing state assumptions. We coupled PartMC-MOSAIC with a cloud parcel model. We initialized the cloud parcel simulation with hourly PartMC-MOSAIC model output from a 48-hour urban plume simulation. The cloud parcel model then explicitly simulated activation and condensational growth of the particles as the parcel underwent cooling at a specified rate and the particles of the aerosol population competed for water vapor. We used this capability to quantify the relative importance of size information versus composition information for the prediction of the cloud droplet number fraction, mass fraction of black carbon that is nucleation-scavenged, cloud droplet effective radius, and relative dispersion of the droplet size distribution by introducing averaging of particle-resolved information within prescribed bins. For the cloud droplet number fraction, both composition averaging and size-bin averaging individually led to an error of less than 25% for all cloud parcel simulations, while averaging in both size bins and composition resulted in errors of up to 34% for the base case cooling rate of 0.5 K/min. In contrast, for the nucleation-scavenged black carbon mass fraction, the results for size-bin averaging tracked the reference case well, while composition averaging, with or without size-bin averaging, led to overestimation of this quantity by up to 600%.

  15. THE DISCOVERY OF THE FIRST “CHANGING LOOK” QUASAR: NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE PHYSICS AND PHENOMENOLOGY OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    LaMassa, Stephanie M.; Cales, Sabrina; Urry, C. Megan; Moran, Edward C.; Myers, Adam D.; Richards, Gordon T.; Eracleous, Michael; Heckman, Timothy M.; Gallo, Luigi

    2015-02-20

    SDSS J015957.64+003310.5 is an X-ray selected, z = 0.31 active galactic nucleus (AGN) from the Stripe 82X survey that transitioned from a Type 1 quasar to a Type 1.9 AGN between 2000 and 2010. This is the most distant AGN, and first quasar, yet observed to have undergone such a dramatic change. We re-observed the source with the double spectrograph on the Palomar 5 m telescope in 2014 July and found that the spectrum is unchanged since 2010. From fitting the optical spectra, we find that the AGN flux dropped by a factor of 6 between 2000 and 2010 while the broad Hα emission faded and broadened. Serendipitous X-ray observations caught the source in both the bright and dim state, showing a similar 2–10 keV flux diminution as the optical while lacking signatures of obscuration. The optical and X-ray changes coincide with g-band magnitude variations over multiple epochs of Stripe 82 observations. We demonstrate that variable absorption, as might be expected from the simplest AGN unification paradigm, does not explain the observed photometric or spectral properties. We interpret the changing state of J0159+0033 to be caused by dimming of the AGN continuum, reducing the supply of ionizing photons available to excite gas in the immediate vicinity around the black hole. J0159+0033 provides insight into the intermittency of black hole growth in quasars, as well as an unprecedented opportunity to study quasar physics (in the bright state) and the host galaxy (in the dim state), which has been impossible to do in a single sources until now.

  16. The Discovery of the First “Changing Look” Quasar: New Insights Into the Physics and Phenomenology of Active Galactic Nucleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LaMassa, Stephanie M.; Cales, Sabrina; Moran, Edward C.; Myers, Adam D.; Richards, Gordon T.; Eracleous, Michael; Heckman, Timothy M.; Gallo, Luigi; Urry, C. Megan

    2015-02-01

    SDSS J015957.64+003310.5 is an X-ray selected, z = 0.31 active galactic nucleus (AGN) from the Stripe 82X survey that transitioned from a Type 1 quasar to a Type 1.9 AGN between 2000 and 2010. This is the most distant AGN, and first quasar, yet observed to have undergone such a dramatic change. We re-observed the source with the double spectrograph on the Palomar 5 m telescope in 2014 July and found that the spectrum is unchanged since 2010. From fitting the optical spectra, we find that the AGN flux dropped by a factor of 6 between 2000 and 2010 while the broad Hα emission faded and broadened. Serendipitous X-ray observations caught the source in both the bright and dim state, showing a similar 2-10 keV flux diminution as the optical while lacking signatures of obscuration. The optical and X-ray changes coincide with g-band magnitude variations over multiple epochs of Stripe 82 observations. We demonstrate that variable absorption, as might be expected from the simplest AGN unification paradigm, does not explain the observed photometric or spectral properties. We interpret the changing state of J0159+0033 to be caused by dimming of the AGN continuum, reducing the supply of ionizing photons available to excite gas in the immediate vicinity around the black hole. J0159+0033 provides insight into the intermittency of black hole growth in quasars, as well as an unprecedented opportunity to study quasar physics (in the bright state) and the host galaxy (in the dim state), which has been impossible to do in a single sources until now.

  17. Organization of left–right coordination of neuronal activity in the mammalian spinal cord: Insights from computational modelling

    PubMed Central

    Shevtsova, Natalia A; Talpalar, Adolfo E; Markin, Sergey N; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M; Kiehn, Ole; Rybak, Ilya A

    2015-01-01

    Different locomotor gaits in mammals, such as walking or galloping, are produced by coordinated activity in neuronal circuits in the spinal cord. Coordination of neuronal activity between left and right sides of the cord is provided by commissural interneurons (CINs), whose axons cross the midline. In this study, we construct and analyse two computational models of spinal locomotor circuits consisting of left and right rhythm generators interacting bilaterally via several neuronal pathways mediated by different CINs. The CIN populations incorporated in the models include the genetically identified inhibitory (V0D) and excitatory (V0V) subtypes of V0 CINs and excitatory V3 CINs. The model also includes the ipsilaterally projecting excitatory V2a interneurons mediating excitatory drive to the V0V CINs. The proposed network architectures and CIN connectivity allow the models to closely reproduce and suggest mechanistic explanations for several experimental observations. These phenomena include: different speed-dependent contributions of V0D and V0V CINs and V2a interneurons to left–right alternation of neural activity, switching gaits between the left–right alternating walking-like activity and the left–right synchronous hopping-like pattern in mutants lacking specific neuron classes, and speed-dependent asymmetric changes of flexor and extensor phase durations. The models provide insights into the architecture of spinal network and the organization of parallel inhibitory and excitatory CIN pathways and suggest explanations for how these pathways maintain alternating and synchronous gaits at different locomotor speeds. The models propose testable predictions about the neural organization and operation of mammalian locomotor circuits. Key points Coordination of neuronal activity between left and right sides of the mammalian spinal cord is provided by several sets of commissural interneurons (CINs) whose axons cross the midline. Genetically identified inhibitory V

  18. Activities of Amphioxus GH-Like Protein in Osmoregulation: Insight into Origin of Vertebrate GH Family

    PubMed Central

    Li, Mengyang; Jiang, Chengyan

    2017-01-01

    GH is known to play an important role in both growth promotion and osmoregulation in vertebrates. We have shown that amphioxus possesses a single GH-like hormone (GHl) gene encoding a functional protein capable of promoting growth. However, if GHl can mediate osmoregulation remains open. Here, we demonstrated clearly that GHl increased not only the survival rate of amphioxus but also the muscle moisture under high salinity. Moreover, GHl induced the expression of both the ion transporter Na+-K+-ATPase (NKA) and Na+-K+-2Cl− cotransporter (NKCC) in the gill as well as the mediator of GH action IGFl in the hepatic caecum, indicating that GHl fulfills this osmoregulatory activity through the same mechanisms of vertebrate GH. These results together suggest that the osmoregulatory activities of GH had emerged in the basal chordate amphioxus. We also proposed a new model depicting the origin of pituitary hormone family in vertebrates.

  19. Synthesis, antioxidant and cytoprotective evaluation of potential antiatherogenic phenolic hydrazones. A structure-activity relationship insight.

    PubMed

    Vanucci-Bacqué, Corinne; Carayon, Chantal; Bernis, Corinne; Camare, Caroline; Nègre-Salvayre, Anne; Bedos-Belval, Florence; Baltas, Michel

    2014-08-01

    A novel series of hydrazones derived from substituted benzaldehydes have been synthesized as potential antiatherogenic agents. Several methods were used for exploring their antioxidant and cytoprotective properties, such as their scavenging effect on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, the inhibition of superoxide anion (O₂(·-)) generation and the measurement of cell-induced low-density lipoprotein oxidation (monitored by the formation of TBARS). The cytoprotective efficacy was also evaluated by measuring the cell viability (monitored by the MTT assay) in the presence of cytotoxic oxidized LDL. In this report, we discuss the relationship between the chemical structure of phenolic hydrazones and their antioxidant and cytoprotective activities, for subsequent application as antiatherogenic agents. This SAR study confirms that the phenolic frame is not the only prerequisite for antioxidant activity and N-methylbenzothiazole hydrazone moiety magnifies the dual required properties in two most interesting derivatives.

  20. New insights into Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin activation and action on the brain during enterotoxemia.

    PubMed

    Freedman, John C; McClane, Bruce A; Uzal, Francisco A

    2016-10-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX), produced by Clostridium perfringens types B and D, is responsible for diseases that occur mostly in ruminants. ETX is produced in the form of an inactive prototoxin that becomes proteolytically-activated by several proteases. A recent ex vivo study using caprine intestinal contents demonstrated that ETX prototoxin is processed in a step-wise fashion into a stable, active ∼27 kDa band on SDS-PAGE. When characterized further by mass spectrometry, the stable ∼27 kDa band was shown to contain three ETX species with varying C-terminal residues; each of these ETX species is cytotoxic. This study also demonstrated that, in addition to trypsin and chymotrypsin, proteases such as carboxypeptidases are involved in processing ETX prototoxin. Once absorbed, activated ETX species travel to several internal organs, including the brain, where this toxin acts on the vasculature to cross the blood-brain barrier, produces perivascular edema and affects several types of brain cells including neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. In addition to perivascular edema, affected animals show edema within the vascular walls. This edema separates the astrocytic end-feet from affected blood vessels, causing hypoxia of nervous system tissue. Astrocytes of rats and sheep affected by ETX show overexpression of aquaporin-4, a membrane channel protein that is believed to help remove water from affected perivascular spaces in an attempt to resolve the perivascular edema. Amyloid precursor protein, an early astrocyte damage indicator, is also observed in the brains of affected sheep. These results show that ETX activation in vivo seems to be more complex than previously thought and this toxin acts on the brain, affecting vascular permeability, but also damaging neurons and other cells.

  1. Insights into Exo- and Endoglucanase Activities of Family 6 Glycoside Hydrolases from Podospora anserina

    PubMed Central

    Poidevin, Laetitia; Feliu, Julia; Doan, Annick; Berrin, Jean-Guy; Bey, Mathieu; Coutinho, Pedro M.; Henrissat, Bernard; Record, Eric

    2013-01-01

    The ascomycete Podospora anserina is a coprophilous fungus that grows at late stages on droppings of herbivores. Its genome encodes a large diversity of carbohydrate-active enzymes. Among them, four genes encode glycoside hydrolases from family 6 (GH6), the members of which comprise putative endoglucanases and exoglucanases, some of them exerting important functions for biomass degradation in fungi. Therefore, this family was selected for functional analysis. Three of the enzymes, P. anserina Cel6A (PaCel6A), PaCel6B, and PaCel6C, were functionally expressed in the yeast Pichia pastoris. All three GH6 enzymes hydrolyzed crystalline and amorphous cellulose but were inactive on hydroxyethyl cellulose, mannan, galactomannan, xyloglucan, arabinoxylan, arabinan, xylan, and pectin. PaCel6A had a catalytic efficiency on cellotetraose comparable to that of Trichoderma reesei Cel6A (TrCel6A), but PaCel6B and PaCel6C were clearly less efficient. PaCel6A was the enzyme with the highest stability at 45°C, while PaCel6C was the least stable enzyme, losing more than 50% of its activity after incubation at temperatures above 30°C for 24 h. In contrast to TrCel6A, all three studied P. anserina GH6 cellulases were stable over a wide range of pHs and conserved high activity at pH values of up to 9. Each enzyme displayed a distinct substrate and product profile, highlighting different modes of action, with PaCel6A being the enzyme most similar to TrCel6A. PaCel6B was the only enzyme with higher specific activity on carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) than on Avicel and showed lower processivity than the others. Structural modeling predicts an open catalytic cleft, suggesting that PaCel6B is an endoglucanase. PMID:23645193

  2. Estimation of ground water residence times in the Critical zone: insight from U activity ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabaux, Francois; Ackerer, Julien; Lucas, Yann; viville, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The use of radioactive disequilibria as tracers and chronometers of weathering processes and related mass transfers has been recognized since the 60'. The development, over the last two decades, of analytical methods for measuring very precisely U-series nuclides (especially, 234U, 230Th and 226Ra) in environmental samples has opened up new scientific applications in Earth Surface Sciences. Here, we propose to present the potential of U activity ratios in surface waters as chronometer of water transfers at a watershed scale. This will be illustrated from studies performed at different scales, with the analysis of U activity ratios in surface waters from small watersheds (Strengbach and Ringelbach watersheds in the Vosges Mountain, France) but also from watersheds of much more regional extension (e.g., the Upper Rhine basin or the Ganges basin). These various studies show that variations of U activity ratios in surface waters are mainly associated with 234U-238U fractionations occurring during the water transfer within the bedrock, which intensity depends on two main parameters: the petro-physical characteristics of the aquifer, principally the geometry of water-rock interfaces and the duration of the water-rock interactions. This readily explains why different U activity ratios (UAR) can be observed in the different aquifers of a continental hydrosystem and hence why UAR can be used to trace the source of river waters. For a hydrological system developed on a substratum marked by fairly homogeneous petro-physical characteristics, the main parameter controlling the UAR in waters draining such a system would be the duration of the water-rock interactions. Variations of UAR in stream or spring waters of such a system can therefore be modeled using simple reactive transport model, which allows the estimation of both the dissolution rate of the bedrock and the residence time of the waters within the aquifer.

  3. Insights into the amplification of bacterial resistance to erythromycin in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Guo, Mei-Ting; Yuan, Qing-Bin; Yang, Jian

    2015-10-01

    Wastewater treatment plants are significant reservoirs for antimicrobial resistance. However, little is known about wastewater treatment effects on the variation of antibiotic resistance. The shifts of bacterial resistance to erythromycin, a macrolide widely used in human medicine, on a lab-scale activated sludge system fed with real wastewater was investigated from levels of bacteria, community and genes, in this study. The resistance variation of total heterotrophic bacteria was studied during the biological treatment process, based on culture dependent method. The alterations of bacterial community resistant to erythromycin and nine typical erythromycin resistance genes were explored with molecular approaches, including high-throughput sequencing and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results revealed that the total heterotrophs tolerance level to erythromycin concentrations (higher than 32 mg/L) was significantly amplified during the activated sludge treatment, with the prevalence increased from 9.6% to 21.8%. High-throughput sequencing results demonstrated an obvious increase of the total heterotrophic bacterial diversity resistant to erythromycin. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the two dominant phyla in the influent and effluent of the bioreactor. However, the prevalence of Proteobacteria decreased from 76% to 59% while the total phyla number increased greatly from 18 to 29 through activated sludge treatment. The gene proportions of erm(A), mef(E) and erm(D) were greatly amplified after biological treatment. It is proposed that the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes through the variable mixtures of bacteria in the activated sludge might be the reason for the antibiotic resistance amplification. The amplified risk of antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment needs to be paid more attention.

  4. Active states and structure transformations in accreting white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boneva, Daniela; Kaygorodov, Pavel

    2016-07-01

    Active states in white dwarfs are usually associated with light curve's effects that concern to the bursts, flickering or flare-up occurrences. It is common that a gas-dynamics source exists for each of these processes there. We consider the white dwarf binary stars with accretion disc around the primary. We suggest a flow transformation modeling of the mechanisms that are responsible for ability to cause some flow instability and bring the white dwarfs system to the outburst's development. The processes that cause the accretion rate to sufficiently increase are discussed. Then the transition from a quiescent to an active state is realized. We analyze a quasi-periodic variability in the luminosity of white dwarf binary stars systems. The results are supported with an observational data.

  5. Mood state and brain electric activity in ecstasy users.

    PubMed

    Gamma, A; Frei, E; Lehmann, D; Pascual-Marqui, R D; Hell, D; Vollenweider, F X

    2000-01-17

    Resting EEG during open and closed eyes and subsequent mood ratings were obtained from 15 Ecstasy users and 14 Ecstasy-naive controls. Absolute spectral power on the scalp, and the three-dimensional, intracerebral distribution of neuroelectric activity using low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) were computed. LORETA revealed global increases of theta, alpha 1 and beta 2/3 power during eyes open in Ecstasy users, and spectral analyses revealed a right-posterior increase of alpha 2 power (confirmed by LORETA) and increased beta band activity during open eyes. Ecstasy users had higher levels of state depressiveness, emotional excitability and a trend-level increase in state anxiety. The observed differences may be related to regular exposure to Ecstasy or other illicit drugs, or may be pre-existing.

  6. Mining Claim Activity on Federal Land in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Causey, J. Douglas

    2007-01-01

    Several statistical compilations of mining claim activity on Federal land derived from the Bureau of Land Management's LR2000 database have previously been published by the U.S Geological Survey (USGS). The work in the 1990s did not include Arkansas or Florida. None of the previous reports included Alaska because it is stored in a separate database (Alaska Land Information System) and is in a different format. This report includes data for all states for which there are Federal mining claim records, beginning in 1976 and continuing to the present. The intent is to update the spatial and statistical data associated with this report on an annual basis, beginning with 2005 data. The statistics compiled from the databases are counts of the number of active mining claims in a section of land each year from 1976 to the present for all states within the United States. Claim statistics are subset by lode and placer types, as well as a dataset summarizing all claims including mill site and tunnel site claims. One table presents data by case type, case status, and number of claims in a section. This report includes a spatial database for each state in which mining claims were recorded, except North Dakota, which only has had two claims. A field is present that allows the statistical data to be joined to the spatial databases so that spatial displays and analysis can be done by using appropriate geographic information system (GIS) software. The data show how mining claim activity has changed in intensity, space, and time. Variations can be examined on a state, as well as a national level. The data are tied to a section of land, approximately 640 acres, which allows it to be used at regional, as well as local scale. The data only pertain to Federal land and mineral estate that was open to mining claim location at the time the claims were staked.

  7. New insights into the structural bases of activation of Cys-loop receptors.

    PubMed

    Bouzat, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    Neurotransmitter receptors of the Cys-loop superfamily mediate rapid synaptic transmission throughout the nervous system, and include receptors activated by ACh, GABA, glycine and serotonin. They are involved in physiological processes, including learning and memory, and in neurological disorders, and they are targets for clinically relevant drugs. Cys-loop receptors assemble either from five copies of one type of subunit, giving rise to homomeric receptors, or from several types of subunits, giving rise to heteromeric receptors. Homomeric receptors are invaluable models for probing fundamental relationships between structure and function. Receptors contain a large extracellular domain that carries the binding sites and a transmembrane region that forms the ion pore. How the structural changes elicited by agonist binding are propagated through a distance of 50Å to the ion channel gate is central to understanding receptor function. Depending on the receptor subtype, occupancy of either two, as in the prototype muscle nicotinic receptor, or three binding sites, as in homomeric receptors, is required for full activation. The conformational changes initiated at the binding sites are propagated to the gate through the interface between the extracellular and transmembrane domains. This region forms a network that relays structural changes from the binding site towards the pore, and also contributes to open channel lifetime and rate of desensitization. Thus, this coupling region controls the beginning and duration of a synaptic response. Here we review recent advances in the molecular mechanism by which Cys-loop receptors are activated with particular emphasis on homomeric receptors.

  8. Insights into the mechanism of human papillomavirus E2-induced procaspase-8 activation and cell death

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Nitu; Senapati, Sanjib; Bose, Kakoli

    2016-02-01

    High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) E2 protein, the master regulator of viral life cycle, induces apoptosis of host cell that is independent of its virus-associated regulatory functions. E2 protein of HR-HPV18 has been found to be involved in novel FADD-independent activation of caspase-8, however, the molecular basis of this unique non-death-fold E2-mediated apoptosis is poorly understood. Here, with an interdisciplinary approach that involves in silico, mutational, biochemical and biophysical probes, we dissected and characterized the E2-procasapse-8 binding interface. Our data demonstrate direct non-homotypic interaction of HPV18 E2 transactivation domain (TAD) with α2/α5 helices of procaspase-8 death effector domain-B (DED-B). The observed interaction mimics the homotypic DED-DED complexes, wherein the conserved hydrophobic motif of procaspase-8 DED-B (F122/L123) occupies a groove between α2/α3 helices of E2 TAD. This interaction possibly drives DED oligomerization leading to caspase-8 activation and subsequent cell death. Furthermore, our data establish a model for E2-induced apoptosis in HR-HPV types and provide important clues for designing E2 analogs that might modulate procaspase-8 activation and hence apoptosis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. Novel Insights into Structure-Activity Relationships of N-Terminally Modified PACE4 Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kwiatkowska, Anna; Couture, Frédéric; Levesque, Christine; Ly, Kévin; Beauchemin, Sophie; Desjardins, Roxane; Neugebauer, Witold; Dory, Yves L; Day, Robert

    2016-02-04

    PACE4 plays important roles in prostate cancer cell proliferation. The inhibition of this enzyme has been shown to slow prostate cancer progression and is emerging as a promising therapeutic strategy. In previous work, we developed a highly potent and selective PACE4 inhibitor, the multi-Leu (ML) peptide, an octapeptide with the sequence Ac-LLLLRVKR-NH2 . Here, with the objective of developing a useful compound for in vivo administration, we investigate the effect of N-terminal modifications. The inhibitory activity, toxicity, stability, and cell penetration properties of the resulting analogues were studied and compared to the unmodified inhibitor. Our results show that the incorporation of a polyethylene glycol (PEG) moiety leads to a loss of antiproliferative activity, whereas the attachment of a lipid chain preserves or improves it. However, the lipidated peptides are significantly more toxic when compared with their unmodified counterparts. Therefore, the best results were achieved not by the N-terminal extension but by the protection of both ends with the d-Leu residue and 4-amidinobenzylamide, which yielded the most stable inhibitor, with an excellent activity and toxicity profile.

  11. Modulation of MICAL Monooxygenase Activity by its Calponin Homology Domain: Structural and Mechanistic Insights

    PubMed Central

    Alqassim, Saif S.; Urquiza, Mauricio; Borgnia, Eitan; Nagib, Marc; Amzel, L. Mario; Bianchet, Mario A.

    2016-01-01

    MICALs (Molecule Interacting with CasL) are conserved multidomain enzymes essential for cytoskeletal reorganization in nerve development, endocytosis, and apoptosis. In these enzymes, a type-2 calponin homology (CH) domain always follows an N-terminal monooxygenase (MO) domain. Although the CH domain is required for MICAL-1 cellular localization and actin-associated function, its contribution to the modulation of MICAL activity towards actin remains unclear. Here, we present the structure of a fragment of MICAL-1 containing the MO and the CH domains—determined by X-ray crystallography and small angle scattering—as well as kinetics experiments designed to probe the contribution of the CH domain to the actin-modification activity. Our results suggest that the CH domain, which is loosely connected to the MO domain by a flexible linker and is far away from the catalytic site, couples F-actin to the enhancement of redox activity of MICALMO-CH by a cooperative mechanism involving a trans interaction between adjacently bound molecules. Binding cooperativity is also observed in other proteins regulating actin assembly/disassembly dynamics, such as ADF/Cofilins. PMID:26935886

  12. Insights into the mechanism of human papillomavirus E2-induced procaspase-8 activation and cell death

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Nitu; Senapati, Sanjib; Bose, Kakoli

    2016-01-01

    High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) E2 protein, the master regulator of viral life cycle, induces apoptosis of host cell that is independent of its virus-associated regulatory functions. E2 protein of HR-HPV18 has been found to be involved in novel FADD-independent activation of caspase-8, however, the molecular basis of this unique non-death-fold E2-mediated apoptosis is poorly understood. Here, with an interdisciplinary approach that involves in silico, mutational, biochemical and biophysical probes, we dissected and characterized the E2-procasapse-8 binding interface. Our data demonstrate direct non-homotypic interaction of HPV18 E2 transactivation domain (TAD) with α2/α5 helices of procaspase-8 death effector domain-B (DED-B). The observed interaction mimics the homotypic DED-DED complexes, wherein the conserved hydrophobic motif of procaspase-8 DED-B (F122/L123) occupies a groove between α2/α3 helices of E2 TAD. This interaction possibly drives DED oligomerization leading to caspase-8 activation and subsequent cell death. Furthermore, our data establish a model for E2-induced apoptosis in HR-HPV types and provide important clues for designing E2 analogs that might modulate procaspase-8 activation and hence apoptosis. PMID:26906543

  13. Baroreflex Activation Therapy in Congestive Heart Failure: Novel Findings and Future Insights.

    PubMed

    Grassi, Guido; Brambilla, GianMaria; Pizzalla, Daniela Prata; Seravalle, Gino

    2016-08-01

    Congestive heart failure is characterized by hemodynamic and non-hemodynamic abnormalities, the latter including an activation of the sympathetic influences to the heart and peripheral circulation coupled with an impairment of baroreceptor control of autonomic function. Evidence has been provided that both these alterations are hallmark features of the disease with a specific relevance for the disease progression as well as for the development of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. In addition, a number of studies have documented in heart failure the adverse prognostic role of the sympathetic and baroreflex alterations, which both are regarded as major independent determinants of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This represents the pathophysiological and clinical background for the use of carotid baroreceptor activation therapy in the treatment of congestive heart failure. Promising data collected in experimental animal models of heart failure have supported the recent performance of pilot small-scale clinical studies, aimed at providing initial information in this area. The results of these studies demonstrated the clinical safety and efficacy of the intervention which has been tested in large-scale clinical studies. The present paper will critically review the background and main results of the published studies designed at defining the clinical impact of baroreflex activation therapy in congestive heart failure patients. Emphasis will be given to the strengths and limitations of such studies, which represent the background for the ongoing clinical trials testing the long-term effects of the device in heart failure patients.

  14. Aurone synthase is a catechol oxidase with hydroxylase activity and provides insights into the mechanism of plant polyphenol oxidases.

    PubMed

    Molitor, Christian; Mauracher, Stephan Gerhard; Rompel, Annette

    2016-03-29

    Tyrosinases and catechol oxidases belong to the family of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs). Tyrosinases catalyze theo-hydroxylation and oxidation of phenolic compounds, whereas catechol oxidases were so far defined to lack the hydroxylation activity and catalyze solely the oxidation of o-diphenolic compounds. Aurone synthase from Coreopsis grandiflora (AUS1) is a specialized plant PPO involved in the anabolic pathway of aurones. We present, to our knowledge, the first crystal structures of a latent plant PPO, its mature active and inactive form, caused by a sulfation of a copper binding histidine. Analysis of the latent proenzyme's interface between the shielding C-terminal domain and the main core provides insights into its activation mechanisms. As AUS1 did not accept common tyrosinase substrates (tyrosine and tyramine), the enzyme is classified as a catechol oxidase. However, AUS1 showed hydroxylase activity toward its natural substrate (isoliquiritigenin), revealing that the hydroxylase activity is not correlated with the acceptance of common tyrosinase substrates. Therefore, we propose that the hydroxylase reaction is a general functionality of PPOs. Molecular dynamics simulations of docked substrate-enzyme complexes were performed, and a key residue was identified that influences the plant PPO's acceptance or rejection of tyramine. Based on the evidenced hydroxylase activity and the interactions of specific residues with the substrates during the molecular dynamics simulations, a novel catalytic reaction mechanism for plant PPOs is proposed. The presented results strongly suggest that the physiological role of plant catechol oxidases were previously underestimated, as they might hydroxylate their--so far unknown--natural substrates in vivo.

  15. Aurone synthase is a catechol oxidase with hydroxylase activity and provides insights into the mechanism of plant polyphenol oxidases

    PubMed Central

    Molitor, Christian; Mauracher, Stephan Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    Tyrosinases and catechol oxidases belong to the family of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs). Tyrosinases catalyze the o-hydroxylation and oxidation of phenolic compounds, whereas catechol oxidases were so far defined to lack the hydroxylation activity and catalyze solely the oxidation of o-diphenolic compounds. Aurone synthase from Coreopsis grandiflora (AUS1) is a specialized plant PPO involved in the anabolic pathway of aurones. We present, to our knowledge, the first crystal structures of a latent plant PPO, its mature active and inactive form, caused by a sulfation of a copper binding histidine. Analysis of the latent proenzyme’s interface between the shielding C-terminal domain and the main core provides insights into its activation mechanisms. As AUS1 did not accept common tyrosinase substrates (tyrosine and tyramine), the enzyme is classified as a catechol oxidase. However, AUS1 showed hydroxylase activity toward its natural substrate (isoliquiritigenin), revealing that the hydroxylase activity is not correlated with the acceptance of common tyrosinase substrates. Therefore, we propose that the hydroxylase reaction is a general functionality of PPOs. Molecular dynamics simulations of docked substrate–enzyme complexes were performed, and a key residue was identified that influences the plant PPO’s acceptance or rejection of tyramine. Based on the evidenced hydroxylase activity and the interactions of specific residues with the substrates during the molecular dynamics simulations, a novel catalytic reaction mechanism for plant PPOs is proposed. The presented results strongly suggest that the physiological role of plant catechol oxidases were previously underestimated, as they might hydroxylate their—so far unknown—natural substrates in vivo. PMID:26976571

  16. Abnormal resting-state brain activities in patients with first-episode obsessive-compulsive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Qihui; Yang, Lei; Song, Xueqin; Chu, Congying; Liu, Hao; Zhang, Lifang; Li, Yan; Zhang, Xiang; Cheng, Jingliang; Li, Youhui

    2017-01-01

    Objective This paper attempts to explore the brain activity of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and its correlation with the disease at resting duration in patients with first-episode OCD, providing a forceful imaging basis for clinic diagnosis and pathogenesis of OCD. Methods Twenty-six patients with first-episode OCD and 25 healthy controls (HC group; matched for age, sex, and education level) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning at resting state. Statistical parametric mapping 8, data processing assistant for resting-state fMRI analysis toolkit, and resting state fMRI data analysis toolkit packages were used to process the fMRI data on Matlab 2012a platform, and the difference of regional homogeneity (ReHo) values between the OCD group and HC group was detected with independent two-sample t-test. With age as a concomitant variable, the Pearson correlation analysis was adopted to study the correlation between the disease duration and ReHo value of whole brain. Results Compared with HC group, the ReHo values in OCD group were decreased in brain regions, including left thalamus, right thalamus, right paracentral lobule, right postcentral gyrus, and the ReHo value was increased in the left angular gyrus region. There was a negative correlation between disease duration and ReHo value in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Conclusion OCD is a multifactorial disease generally caused by abnormal activities of many brain regions at resting state. Worse brain activity of the OFC is related to the OCD duration, which provides a new insight to the pathogenesis of OCD. PMID:28243104

  17. New insights into the aquatic photochemistry of fluoroquinolone antibiotics: Direct photodegradation, hydroxyl-radical oxidation, and antibacterial activity changes.

    PubMed

    Ge, Linke; Na, Guangshui; Zhang, Siyu; Li, Kai; Zhang, Peng; Ren, Honglei; Yao, Ziwei

    2015-09-15

    The ubiquity and photoreactivity of fluoroquinolone antibiotics (FQs) in surface waters urge new insights into their aqueous photochemical behavior. This study concerns the photochemistry of 6 FQs: ciprofloxacin, danofloxacin, levofloxacin, sarafloxacin, difloxacin and enrofloxacin. Methods were developed to calculate their solar direct photodegradation half-lives (td,E) and hydroxyl-radical oxidation half-lives (tOH,E) in sunlit surface waters. The td,E values range from 0.56 min to 28.8 min at 45° N latitude, whereas tOH,E ranges from 3.24h to 33.6h, suggesting that most FQs tend to undergo fast direct photolysis rather than hydroxyl-radical oxidation in surface waters. However, a case study for levofloxacin and sarafloxacin indicated that the hydroxyl-radical oxidation induced risky photochlorination and resulted in multi-degradation pathways, such as piperazinyl hydroxylation and clearage. Changes in the antibacterial activity of FQs caused by photodegradation in various waters were further examined using Escherichia coli, and it was found that the activity evolution depended on primary photodegradation pathways and products. Primary intermediates with intact FQ nuclei retained significant antibacterial activity. These results are important for assessing the fate and risk of FQs in surface waters.

  18. Mechanistic insight into the catechol oxidase activity by a biomimetic dinuclear copper complex.

    PubMed

    Granata, Alessandro; Monzani, Enrico; Casella, Luigi

    2004-10-01

    The biomimetic catalytic oxidation of 3,5-di- tert-butylcatechol by the dicopper(II) complex of the ligand alpha,alpha'-bis(bis[1-(1'-methyl-2'-benzimidazolyl)methyl]amino)- m-xylene in the presence of dioxygen has been investigated as a function of temperature and pH in a mixed aqueous/organic solvent. The catalytic cycle occurs in two steps, the first step being faster than the second step. In the first step, one molecule of catechol is oxidized by the dicopper(II) complex, and the copper(II) centers are reduced. From the pH dependence, it is deduced that the active species of the process is the monohydroxo form of the dinuclear complex. In the second step, the second molecule of catechol is oxidized by the dicopper(I)-dioxygen complex formed upon oxygenation of the reduced complex. In both cases, catechol oxidation is an inner-sphere electron transfer process involving binding of the catechol to the active species. The binary catechol-dicopper(II) complex formed in the first step could be characterized at very low temperature (-90 degrees C), where substrate oxidation is blocked. On the contrary, the ternary complex of dicopper(I)-O(2)-catechol relevant to the second step does not accumulate in solution and could not be characterized, even at low temperature. The investigation of the biphasic kinetics of the catalytic reaction over a range of temperatures allowed the thermodynamic (Delta H degrees and Delta S degrees ) and activation parameters (Delta H( not equal) and Delta S( not equal)) connected with the key steps of the catecholase process to be obtained.

  19. Modulation of NCC activity by low and high K(+) intake: insights into the signaling pathways involved.

    PubMed

    Castañeda-Bueno, María; Cervantes-Perez, Luz Graciela; Rojas-Vega, Lorena; Arroyo-Garza, Isidora; Vázquez, Norma; Moreno, Erika; Gamba, Gerardo

    2014-06-15

    Modulation of Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC) activity is essential to adjust K(+) excretion in the face of changes in dietary K(+) intake. We used previously characterized genetic mouse models to assess the role of Ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and with-no-lysine kinase (WNK)4 in the modulation of NCC by K(+) diets. SPAK knockin and WNK4 knockout mice were placed on normal-, low-, or high-K(+)-citrate diets for 4 days. The low-K(+) diet decreased and high-K(+) diet increased plasma aldosterone levels, but both diets were associated with increased phosphorylation of NCC (phospho-NCC, Thr(44)/Thr(48)/Thr(53)) and phosphorylation of SPAK/oxidative stress responsive kinase 1 (phospho-SPAK/OSR1, Ser(383)/Ser(325)). The effect of the low-K(+) diet on SPAK phosphorylation persisted in WNK4 knockout and SPAK knockin mice, whereas the effects of ANG II on NCC and SPAK were lost in both mouse colonies. This suggests that for NCC activation by ANG II, integrity of the WNK4/SPAK pathway is required, whereas for the low-K(+) diet, SPAK phosphorylation occurred despite the absence of WNK4, suggesting the involvement of another WNK (WNK1 or WNK3). Additionally, because NCC activation also occurred in SPAK knockin mice, it is possible that loss of SPAK was compensated by OSR1. The positive effect of the high-K(+) diet was observed when the accompanying anion was citrate, whereas the high-KCl diet reduced NCC phosphorylation. However, the effect of the high-K(+)-citrate diet was aldosterone dependent, and neither metabolic alkalosis induced by bicarbonate, nor citrate administration in the absence of K(+) increased NCC phosphorylation, suggesting that it was not due to citrate-induced metabolic alkalosis. Thus, the accompanying anion might modulate the NCC response to the high-K(+) diet.

  20. Modulation of NCC activity by low and high K+ intake: insights into the signaling pathways involved

    PubMed Central

    Castañeda-Bueno, María; Cervantes-Perez, Luz Graciela; Rojas-Vega, Lorena; Arroyo-Garza, Isidora; Vázquez, Norma; Moreno, Erika

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of Na+-Cl− cotransporter (NCC) activity is essential to adjust K+ excretion in the face of changes in dietary K+ intake. We used previously characterized genetic mouse models to assess the role of Ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and with-no-lysine kinase (WNK)4 in the modulation of NCC by K+ diets. SPAK knockin and WNK4 knockout mice were placed on normal-, low-, or high-K+-citrate diets for 4 days. The low-K+ diet decreased and high-K+ diet increased plasma aldosterone levels, but both diets were associated with increased phosphorylation of NCC (phospho-NCC, Thr44/Thr48/Thr53) and phosphorylation of SPAK/oxidative stress responsive kinase 1 (phospho-SPAK/OSR1, Ser383/Ser325). The effect of the low-K+ diet on SPAK phosphorylation persisted in WNK4 knockout and SPAK knockin mice, whereas the effects of ANG II on NCC and SPAK were lost in both mouse colonies. This suggests that for NCC activation by ANG II, integrity of the WNK4/SPAK pathway is required, whereas for the low-K+ diet, SPAK phosphorylation occurred despite the absence of WNK4, suggesting the involvement of another WNK (WNK1 or WNK3). Additionally, because NCC activation also occurred in SPAK knockin mice, it is possible that loss of SPAK was compensated by OSR1. The positive effect of the high-K+ diet was observed when the accompanying anion was citrate, whereas the high-KCl diet reduced NCC phosphorylation. However, the effect of the high-K+-citrate diet was aldosterone dependent, and neither metabolic alkalosis induced by bicarbonate, nor citrate administration in the absence of K+ increased NCC phosphorylation, suggesting that it was not due to citrate-induced metabolic alkalosis. Thus, the accompanying anion might modulate the NCC response to the high-K+ diet. PMID:24761002

  1. The nature of the volcanic activity at Loki: Insights from Galileo NIMS and PPR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Robert R.; Lopes, Rosaly M. C.

    2007-02-01

    Loki is the largest patera and the most energetic hotspot on Jupiter's moon Io, in turn the most volcanically active body in the Solar System, but the nature of the activity remains enigmatic. We present detailed analysis of Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) and PhotoPolarimeter/Radiometer (PPR) observations covering the 1.5-100 μm wavelength range during the I24, I27, and I32 flybys. The general pattern of activity during these flybys is consistent with previously proposed models of a resurfacing wave periodically crossing a silicate lava lake. In particular our analysis of the I32 NIMS observations shows, over much of the observed patera, surface temperatures and implied ages closely matching those expected for a wave advancing counterclockwise at 0.94-1.38 km/day. The age pattern is different than other published analyses which do not show as clearly this azimuthal pattern. Our analysis also shows two additional distinctly different patera surfaces. The first is located along the inner and outer margins where components with a 3.00-4.70-μm color temperature of 425 K exist. The second is located at the southwestern margin where components with a 550-K color temperature exist. Although the high temperatures could be caused by disruption of a lava lake crust, some additional mechanism is required to explain why the southwest margin is different from the inner or outer ones. Finally, analysis of the temperature profiles across the patera reveal a smoothness that is difficult to explain by simple lava cooling models. Paradoxically, at a subpixel level, wide temperature distributions exist which may be difficult to explain by just the presence of hot cracks in the lava crust. The resurfacing wave and lava cooling models explain well the overall characteristics of the observations. However, additional physical processes, perhaps involving heat transport by volatiles, are needed to explain the more subtle features.

  2. New insights on the mechanism of the K(+-) independent activity of crenarchaeota pyruvate kinases.

    PubMed

    De la Vega-Ruíz, Gustavo; Domínguez-Ramírez, Lenin; Riveros-Rosas, Héctor; Guerrero-Mendiola, Carlos; Torres-Larios, Alfredo; Hernández-Alcántara, Gloria; García-Trejo, José J; Ramírez-Silva, Leticia

    2015-01-01

    Eukarya pyruvate kinases have glutamate at position 117 (numbered according to the rabbit muscle enzyme), whereas in Bacteria have either glutamate or lysine and in Archaea have other residues. Glutamate at this position makes pyruvate kinases K+-dependent, whereas lysine confers K+-independence because the positively charged residue substitutes for the monovalent cation charge. Interestingly, pyruvate kinases from two characterized Crenarchaeota exhibit K+-independent activity, despite having serine at the equivalent position. To better understand pyruvate kinase catalytic activity in the absence of K+ or an internal positive charge, the Thermofilum pendens pyruvate kinase (valine at the equivalent position) was characterized. The enzyme activity was K+-independent. The kinetic mechanism was random order with a rapid equilibrium, which is equal to the mechanism of the rabbit muscle enzyme in the presence of K+ or the mutant E117K in the absence of K+. Thus, the substrate binding order of the T. pendens enzyme was independent despite lacking an internal positive charge. Thermal stability studies of this enzyme showed two calorimetric transitions, one attributable to the A and C domains (Tm of 99.2°C), and the other (Tm of 105.2°C) associated with the B domain. In contrast, the rabbit muscle enzyme exhibits a single calorimetric transition (Tm of 65.2°C). The calorimetric and kinetic data indicate that the B domain of this hyperthermophilic enzyme is more stable than the rest of the protein with a conformation that induces the catalytic readiness of the enzyme. B domain interactions of pyruvate kinases that have been determined in Pyrobaculum aerophilum and modeled in T. pendens were compared with those of the rabbit muscle enzyme. The results show that intra- and interdomain interactions of the Crenarchaeota enzymes may account for their higher B domain stability. Thus the structural arrangement of the T. pendens pyruvate kinase could allow charge

  3. New Insights on the Mechanism of the K+-Independent Activity of Crenarchaeota Pyruvate Kinases

    PubMed Central

    De la Vega-Ruíz, Gustavo; Domínguez-Ramírez, Lenin; Riveros-Rosas, Héctor; Guerrero-Mendiola, Carlos; Torres-Larios, Alfredo; Hernández-Alcántara, Gloria; García-Trejo, José J.; Ramírez-Silva, Leticia

    2015-01-01

    Eukarya pyruvate kinases have glutamate at position 117 (numbered according to the rabbit muscle enzyme), whereas in Bacteria have either glutamate or lysine and in Archaea have other residues. Glutamate at this position makes pyruvate kinases K+-dependent, whereas lysine confers K+-independence because the positively charged residue substitutes for the monovalent cation charge. Interestingly, pyruvate kinases from two characterized Crenarchaeota exhibit K+-independent activity, despite having serine at the equivalent position. To better understand pyruvate kinase catalytic activity in the absence of K+ or an internal positive charge, the Thermofilum pendens pyruvate kinase (valine at the equivalent position) was characterized. The enzyme activity was K+-independent. The kinetic mechanism was random order with a rapid equilibrium, which is equal to the mechanism of the rabbit muscle enzyme in the presence of K+ or the mutant E117K in the absence of K+. Thus, the substrate binding order of the T. pendens enzyme was independent despite lacking an internal positive charge. Thermal stability studies of this enzyme showed two calorimetric transitions, one attributable to the A and C domains (Tm of 99.2°C), and the other (Tm of 105.2°C) associated with the B domain. In contrast, the rabbit muscle enzyme exhibits a single calorimetric transition (Tm of 65.2°C). The calorimetric and kinetic data indicate that the B domain of this hyperthermophilic enzyme is more stable than the rest of the protein with a conformation that induces the catalytic readiness of the enzyme. B domain interactions of pyruvate kinases that have been determined in Pyrobaculum aerophilum and modeled in T. pendens were compared with those of the rabbit muscle enzyme. The results show that intra- and interdomain interactions of the Crenarchaeota enzymes may account for their higher B domain stability. Thus the structural arrangement of the T. pendens pyruvate kinase could allow charge

  4. A proteomic insight into the effects of the immunomodulatory hydroxynaphthoquinone lapachol on activated macrophages.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Renato A S; Correia-Oliveira, Janaina; Tang, Li-Jun; Garcia, Rodolfo C

    2012-09-01

    We report the effect of an immunomodulatory and anti-mycobacterial naphthoquinone, lapachol, on the bi-dimensional patterns of protein expression of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-agonised and IFN-γ-treated THP-1 macrophages. This non-hypothesis driven proteomic analysis intends to shed light on the cellular functions lapachol may be affecting. Proteins of both cytosol and membrane fractions were analysed. After quantification of the protein spots, the protein levels corresponding to macrophages activated in the absence or presence of lapachol were compared. A number of proteins were identified, the levels of which were appreciably and significantly increased or decreased as a result of the action of lapachol on the activated macrophages: cofilin-1, fascin, plastin-2, glucose-6-P-dehydrogenase, adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1, pyruvate kinase, sentrin-specific protease 6, cathepsin B, cathepsin D, cytosolic aminopeptidase, proteasome β type-4 protease, tryptophan-tRNA ligase, DnaJ homolog and protein disulphide isomerase. Altogether, the comparative analysis performed indicates that lapachol could be hypothetically causing an impairment of cell migration and/or phagocytic capacity, an increase in NADPH availability, a decrease in pyruvate concentration, protection from proteosomal protein degradation, a decrease in lysosomal protein degradation, an impairment of cytosolic peptide generation, and an interference with NOS2 activation and grp78 function. The present proteomic results suggest issues that should be experimentally addressed ex- and in-vivo, to establish more accurately the potential of lapachol as an anti-infective drug. This study also constitutes a model for the pre-in-vivo evaluation of drug actions.

  5. New insights into the size and stoichiometry of the plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1.vitronectin complex.

    PubMed

    Podor, T J; Shaughnessy, S G; Blackburn, M N; Peterson, C B

    2000-08-18

    Plasminogen activator inhibitor-type 1 (PAI-1) is the primary inhibitor of endogenous plasminogen activators that generate plasmin in the vicinity of a thrombus to initiate thrombolysis, or in the pericellular region of cells to facilitate migration and/or tissue remodeling. It has been shown that the physiologically relevant form of PAI-1 is in a complex with the abundant plasma glycoprotein, vitronectin. The interaction between vitronectin and PAI-1 is important for stabilizing the inhibitor in a reactive conformation. Although the complex is clearly significant, information is vague regarding the composition of the complex and consequences of its formation on the distribution and activity of vitronectin in vivo. Most studies have assumed a 1:1 interaction between the two proteins, but this has not been demonstrated experimentally and is a matter of some controversy since more than one PAI-1-binding site has been proposed within the sequence of vitronectin. To address this issue, competition studies using monoclonal antibodies specific for separate epitopes confirmed that the two distinct PAI-1-binding sites present on vitronectin can be occupied simultaneously. Analytical ultracentrifugation was used also for a rigorous analysis of the composition and sizes of complexes formed from purified vitronectin and PAI-1. The predominant associating species observed was high in molecular weight (M(r) approximately 320,000), demonstrating that self-association of vitronectin occurs upon interaction with PAI-1. Moreover, the size of this higher order complex indicates that two molecules of PAI-1 bind per vitronectin molecule. Binding of PAI-1 to vitronectin and association into higher order complexes is proposed to facilitate interaction with macromolecules on surfaces.

  6. Structural Analysis and Insights into the Oligomeric State of an Arginine-Dependent Transcriptional Regulator from Bacillus halodurans

    PubMed Central

    Park, Young Woo; Kang, Jina; Yeo, Hyun Ku; Lee, Jae Young

    2016-01-01

    The arginine repressor (ArgR) is an arginine-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes encoding proteins involved in the arginine biosynthesis and catabolic pathways. ArgR is a functional homolog of the arginine-dependent repressor/activator AhrC from Bacillus subtilis, and belongs to the ArgR/AhrC family of transcriptional regulators. In this research, we determined the structure of the ArgR (Bh2777) from Bacillus halodurans at 2.41 Å resolution by X-ray crystallography. The ArgR from B. halodurans appeared to be a trimer in a size exclusion column and in the crystal structure. However, it formed a hexamer in the presence of L-arginine in multi-angle light scattering (MALS) studies, indicating the oligomerization state was dependent on the presence of L-arginine. The trimeric structure showed that the C-terminal domains form the core, which was made by inter-subunit interactions mainly through hydrophobic contacts, while the N-terminal domains containing a winged helix-turn-helix DNA binding motif were arranged around the periphery. The arrangement of trimeric structure in the B. halodurans ArgR was different from those of other ArgR homologs previously reported. We finally showed that the B. halodurans ArgR has an arginine-dependent DNA binding property by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. PMID:27171430

  7. Temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics gives insights into globular conformations sampled in the free state of the AC catalytic domain.

    PubMed

    Selwa, Edithe; Huynh, Tru; Ciccotti, Giovanni; Maragliano, Luca; Malliavin, Thérèse E

    2014-10-01

    The catalytic domain of the adenyl cyclase (AC) toxin from Bordetella pertussis is activated by interaction with calmodulin (CaM), resulting in cAMP overproduction in the infected cell. In the X-ray crystallographic structure of the complex between AC and the C terminal lobe of CaM, the toxin displays a markedly elongated shape. As for the structure of the isolated protein, experimental results support the hypothesis that more globular conformations are sampled, but information at atomic resolution is still lacking. Here, we use temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics (TAMD) simulations to generate putative all-atom models of globular conformations sampled by CaM-free AC. As collective variables, we use centers of mass coordinates of groups of residues selected from the analysis of standard molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Results show that TAMD allows extended conformational sampling and generates AC conformations that are more globular than in the complexed state. These structures are then refined via energy minimization and further unrestrained MD simulations to optimize inter-domain packing interactions, thus resulting in the identification of a set of hydrogen bonds present in the globular conformations.

  8. Nonlinear rheology of active particle suspensions: insights from an analytical approach.

    PubMed

    Heidenreich, Sebastian; Hess, Siegfried; Klapp, Sabine H L

    2011-01-01

    We consider active suspensions in the isotropic phase subjected to a shear flow. Using a set of extended hydrodynamic equations we derive a variety of analytical expressions for rheological quantities such as shear viscosity and normal stress differences. In agreement to full-blown numerical calculations and experiments we find a shear-thickening or -thinning behavior depending on whether the particles are contractile or extensile. Moreover, our analytical approach predicts that the normal stress differences can change their sign in contrast to passive suspensions.

  9. Io’s active volcanoes during the New Horizons era: Insights from New Horizons imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathbun, J. A.; Spencer, J. R.; Lopes, R. M.; Howell, R. R.

    2014-03-01

    In February 2007, the New Horizons spacecraft flew by the Jupiter system, obtaining images of Io, the most volcanically active body in the Solar System. The Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), a four-color (visible to near infrared) camera, obtained 17 sets of images. The Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), a high-resolution panchromatic camera, obtained 190 images, including many of Io eclipsed by Jupiter. We present a complete view of the discrete point-like emission sources in all images obtained by these two instruments. We located 54 emission sources and determined their brightnesses. These observations, the first that observed individual Ionian volcanoes on short timescales of seconds to minutes, demonstrate that the volcanoes have stable brightnesses on these timescales. The active volcanoes Tvashtar (63N, 124W) and E. Girru (22N, 245W) were observed by both LORRI and MVIC, both in the near-infrared (NIR) and methane (CH4) filters. Tvashtar was additionally observed in the red filter, which allowed us to calculate a color temperature of approximately 1200 K. We found that, with some exceptions, most of the volcanoes frequently active during the Galileo era continued to be active during the New Horizons flyby. We found that none of the seven volcanoes observed by New Horizons multiple times over short timescales showed substantial changes on the order of seconds and only one, E. Girru exhibited substantial variation over minutes to days, increasing by 25% in just over an hour and decreasing by a factor of 4 over 6 days. Observations of Tvashtar are consistent with a current eruption similar to previously observed eruptions and are more consistent with the thermal emission of a lava flow than the fire fountains inferred from the November 1999 observations. These data also present new puzzles regarding Ionian volcanism. Since there is no associated surface change or low albedo feature that could be identified nearby, the source of the emission from

  10. Neural correlates of insight in dreaming and psychosis.

    PubMed

    Dresler, Martin; Wehrle, Renate; Spoormaker, Victor I; Steiger, Axel; Holsboer, Florian; Czisch, Michael; Hobson, J Allan

    2015-04-01

    The idea that dreaming can serve as a model for psychosis has a long and honourable tradition, however it is notoriously speculative. Here we demonstrate that recent research on the phenomenon of lucid dreaming sheds new light on the debate. Lucid dreaming is a rare state of sleep in which the dreamer gains insight into his state of mind during dreaming. Recent electroencephalogram (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data for the first time allow very specific hypotheses about the dream-psychosis relationship: if dreaming is a reasonable model for psychosis, then insight into the dreaming state and insight into the psychotic state should share similar neural correlates. This indeed seems to be the case: cortical areas activated during lucid dreaming show striking overlap with brain regions that are impaired in psychotic patients who lack insight into their pathological state. This parallel allows for new therapeutic approaches and ways to test antipsychotic medication.

  11. Is the peptide bond formation activated by Cu(2+) interactions? Insights from density functional calculations.

    PubMed

    Rimola, A; Rodríguez-Santiago, L; Ugliengo, P; Sodupe, M

    2007-05-24

    The catalytic role that Cu(2+) cations play in the peptide bond formation has been addressed by means of density functional calculations. First, the Cu(2+)-(glycine)2 --> Cu(2+)-(glycylglycine) + H2O reaction was investigated since mass spectrometry low collision activated dissociation (CAD) spectra of Cu(2+)-(glycine)2 led to the elimination of a water molecule, which suggested that an intracomplex peptide bond formation might have occurred. Results show that this intracomplex condensation is associated to a very high free energy barrier (97 kcal mol(-1)) and reaction free energy (66 kcal mol(-1)) because of the loss of metal coordination during the reaction. Second, on the basis of the salt-induced peptide formation theory, the condensation reaction between two glycines was studied in aqueous solution using discrete water molecules and the conductor polarized continuum model (CPCM) continuous method. It is found that the synergy between the interaction of glycines with Cu(2+) and the presence of water molecules acting as proton-transfer helpers significantly lower the activation barrier (from 55 kcal/mol for the uncatalyzed system to 20 kcal/mol for the Cu(2+) solvated system) which largely favors the formation of the peptide bond.

  12. Insights into the emission reductions of multiple unintentional persistent organic pollutants from industrial activities.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guorui; Zheng, Minghui; Jiang, Xiaoxu; Jin, Rong; Zhao, Yuyang; Zhan, Jiayu

    2016-02-01

    Industrial activities result in unintentional production of multiple types of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) at various concentrations. Because of the potential adverse effect of these POPs on the environment, biota and human health, methods for controlling emission of POPs are required. Development and application of techniques for controlling emissions of POPs can be a technical and economic burden for the industry involved. Therefore, from the point of view of cost-benefit analysis, reducing emissions of multiple pollutants at the same time is optimal for sustainable industrial development. Although techniques have been developed for reducing the emissions of individual POPs, such as dioxins, further work is required on multi-POP control emissions from industrial activities. This paper discusses three important aspects that need to be taken to achieve multi-POP control. These aspects include the establishment of a comprehensive system for evaluating the risk from emissions of multiple POPs, determination of indicators for total emissions of multiple POPs, and the preparation and application of functional materials to inhibit formation of multiple POPs. These discussion might be helpful for the future research on the multi-POP control in industry.

  13. Antioxidant activity of ferulic acid alkyl esters in a heterophasic system: a mechanistic insight.

    PubMed

    Anselmi, Cecilia; Centini, Marisanna; Granata, Paola; Sega, Alessandro; Buonocore, Anna; Bernini, Andrea; Facino, Roberto Maffei

    2004-10-20

    The antioxidant activity of some esters of ferulic acid with the linear fatty alcohols C7, C8 (branched and linear), C9, C11, C12, C13, C15, C16, and C18 has been studied in homogeneous and heterogeneous phases. Whereas in homogeneous phase all of the alkyl ferulates possessed similar radical-scavenging abilities, in rat liver microsomes they showed striking differences, the more effective being C12 (7) (IC50 = 11.03 M), linear C8 (3) (IC50 = 12.40 microM), C13 (8) (IC50 = 18.60 microM), and C9 (5) (IC50 = 19.74 microM), followed by C7 (2), C15 (9), C11 (6), branched C8 (4), C16 (10), and C18 (11) (ferulic acid was the less active, IC50 = 243.84 microM). All of the molecules showed similar partition coefficients in an octanol-buffer system. Three-dimensional studies (NMR in solution, modeling in vacuo) indicate that this behavior might be due to a different anchorage of the molecules with the ester side chain to the microsomal phospholipid bilayer and to a consequent different orientation/positioning of the scavenging phenoxy group outside the membrane surface against the flux of oxy radicals.

  14. New Insights into the Active Tectonics of Eastern Indonesia from GPS Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susilo, S.; Koulali Idrissi, A.; McClusky, S.; Meilano, I.; Cummins, P. R.; Tregoning, P.; Syafii, A.

    2014-12-01

    The Indonesian archipelago encompasses a wide range of tectonic environments, including island arc volcanism, subduction zones, and arc-continent collision. Many of the details of this tectonic activity are still poorly understood, especially where the Australian continent collides with Indonesia, separating the Sunda Arc in west from that at the Banda Arc in the east. While it seems clear that the Australian plate is subducted under both the Sunda and Banda Arcs, it is not clear what happens along the 1000 km -long stretch in between. The question of just where the plate motion is accommodated is of major importance to assessments of earthquake and tsunami hazard in the region. To help resolve these questions the Geospatial Information Agency of Indonesia has collaborated with the Australian National University and the Bandung Institute of Technology in a GPS campaign spanning much of eastern Indonesia, from Lombok in the west to Alor in the east. We have combined these data with those from previous campaigns, resulting in over 27 campaign and 18 continuous GPS sites being used in the analysis. The improvement in site density allowed us to develop of a more complete description of tectonic activity in this region than has been obtained in previous studies. Our preliminary results suggests that there is a relatively simple transition from subduction at the Java Trench off east Java, to a partitioned convergence along both the Timor Trough and the Flores Thrust in the Nusa Tenggara region.

  15. Structural insights into the polypharmacological activity of quercetin on serine/threonine kinases

    PubMed Central

    Baby, Bincy; Antony, Priya; Al Halabi, Walaa; Al Homedi, Zahrah; Vijayan, Ranjit

    2016-01-01

    Polypharmacology, the discovery or design of drug molecules that can simultaneously interact with multiple targets, is gaining interest in contemporary drug discovery. Serine/threonine kinases are attractive targets for therapeutic intervention in oncology due to their role in cellular phosphorylation and altered expression in cancer. Quercetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid, inhibits multiple cancer cell lines and is used as an anticancer drug in Phase I clinical trial. Quercetin glycosides have also received some attention due to their high bioavailability and activity against various diseases including cancer. However, these have been studied to a lesser extent. In this study, the structural basis of the multitarget inhibitory activity of quercetin and isoquercitrin, a glycoside derivative, on serine/threonine kinases using molecular modeling was explored. Structural analysis showed that both quercetin and isoquercitrin exhibited good binding energies and interacted with aspartate in the highly conserved Asp–Phe–Gly motif. The results indicate that isoquercitrin could be a more potent inhibitor of several members of the serine/threonine kinase family. In summary, the current structural evaluation highlights the multitarget inhibitory property of quercetin and its potential to be a chemical platform for oncological polypharmacology. PMID:27729770

  16. A Near-Atomic Structure of the Dark Apoptosome Provides Insight into Assembly and Activation.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Tat Cheung; Akey, Ildikó V; Yuan, Shujun; Yu, Zhiheng; Ludtke, Steven J; Akey, Christopher W

    2017-01-03

    In Drosophila, the Apaf-1-related killer (Dark) forms an apoptosome that activates procaspases. To investigate function, we have determined a near-atomic structure of Dark double rings using cryo-electron microscopy. We then built a nearly complete model of the apoptosome that includes 7- and 8-blade β-propellers. We find that the preference for dATP during Dark assembly may be governed by Ser325, which is in close proximity to the 2' carbon of the deoxyribose ring. Interestingly, β-propellers in V-shaped domains of the Dark apoptosome are more widely separated, relative to these features in the Apaf-1 apoptosome. This wider spacing may be responsible for the lack of cytochrome c binding to β-propellers in the Dark apoptosome. Our structure also highlights the roles of two loss-of-function mutations that may block Dark assembly. Finally, the improved model provides a framework to understand apical procaspase activation in the intrinsic cell death pathway.

  17. Insights on the Phytochemical Profile (Cyclopeptides) and Biological Activities of Calotropis procera Latex Organic Fractions

    PubMed Central

    Jucá, Thiago Lustosa; Ramos, Márcio Viana; Moreno, Frederico Bruno Mendes Batista; Viana de Matos, Mayara Patrícia; Marinho-Filho, José Delano Barreto; Moreira, Renato Azevedo; Monteiro-Moreira, Ana Cristina de Oliveira

    2013-01-01

    Calotropis procera is a medicinal plant whose pharmacological properties are associated with its latex. Here, the Calotropis procera latex fractions were investigated in an attempt to trace its phytochemical profile and measure its anti-inflammatory and toxicity activity. The crude latex was partitioned, yielding five fractions (49.4% hexane, 5.2% dichloromethane, 2.0% ethyl acetate, 2.1% n-butanol, and 41.1% aqueous). Phytochemical screening and spectroscopy analysis revealed that dichloromethane is the most chemically diverse fraction. Triterpenes were detected in both the hexane and dichloromethane fractions, while flavonoids were detected in the dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions. These fractions were cytotoxic to cancer cell lines (LD50 0.05 to 3.9 μg/mL) and lethal to brine shrimp (LD50 10.9 to 65.7 μg/mL). Reduced neutrophil migration in rats was observed in carrageenan-induced peritonitis for the dichloromethane (67%), ethyl acetate (56%), and aqueous (72%) fractions. A positive reaction with tolidine and ninhydrin suggested that cyclopeptides are in the ethyl acetate fraction. It is therefore concluded that Calotropis procera latex dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions exhibit both in vitro and in vivo activities as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Cyclopeptide detection is especially interesting because previous attempts to investigate these low-molecular cyclic amino acid sequences in C. procera have failed. PMID:24348174

  18. New Hyperekplexia Mutations Provide Insight into Glycine Receptor Assembly, Trafficking, and Activation Mechanisms*

    PubMed Central

    Bode, Anna; Wood, Sian-Elin; Mullins, Jonathan G. L.; Keramidas, Angelo; Cushion, Thomas D.; Thomas, Rhys H.; Pickrell, William O.; Drew, Cheney J. G.; Masri, Amira; Jones, Elizabeth A.; Vassallo, Grace; Born, Alfred P.; Alehan, Fusun; Aharoni, Sharon; Bannasch, Gerald; Bartsch, Marius; Kara, Bulent; Krause, Amanda; Karam, Elie G.; Matta, Stephanie; Jain, Vivek; Mandel, Hanna; Freilinger, Michael; Graham, Gail E.; Hobson, Emma; Chatfield, Sue; Vincent-Delorme, Catherine; Rahme, Jubran E.; Afawi, Zaid; Berkovic, Samuel F.; Howell, Owain W.; Vanbellinghen, Jean-François; Rees, Mark I.; Chung, Seo-Kyung; Lynch, Joseph W.

    2013-01-01

    Hyperekplexia is a syndrome of readily provoked startle responses, alongside episodic and generalized hypertonia, that presents within the first month of life. Inhibitory glycine receptors are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels with a definitive and clinically well stratified linkage to hyperekplexia. Most hyperekplexia cases are caused by mutations in the α1 subunit of the human glycine receptor (hGlyR) gene (GLRA1). Here we analyzed 68 new unrelated hyperekplexia probands for GLRA1 mutations and identified 19 mutations, of which 9 were novel. Electrophysiological analysis demonstrated that the dominant mutations p.Q226E, p.V280M, and p.R414H induced spontaneous channel activity, indicating that this is a recurring mechanism in hGlyR pathophysiology. p.Q226E, at the top of TM1, most likely induced tonic activation via an enhanced electrostatic attraction to p.R271 at the top of TM2, suggesting a structural mechanism for channel activation. Receptors incorporating p.P230S (which is heterozygous with p.R65W) desensitized much faster than wild type receptors and represent a new TM1 site capable of modulating desensitization. The recessive mutations p.R72C, p.R218W, p.L291P, p.D388A, and p.E375X precluded cell surface expression unless co-expressed with α1 wild type subunits. The recessive p.E375X mutation resulted in subunit truncation upstream of the TM4 domain. Surprisingly, on the basis of three independent assays, we were able to infer that p.E375X truncated subunits are incorporated into functional hGlyRs together with unmutated α1 or α1 plus β subunits. These aberrant receptors exhibit significantly reduced glycine sensitivity. To our knowledge, this is the first suggestion that subunits lacking TM4 domains might be incorporated into functional pentameric ligand-gated ion channel receptors. PMID:24108130

  19. Insight into the Amino-Type Excited-State Intramolecular Proton Transfer Cycle Using N-Tosyl Derivatives of 2-(2'-Aminophenyl)benzothiazole.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chi-Lin; Tseng, Huan-Wei; Chen, Yi-An; Liu, Jun-Qi; Chao, Chi-Min; Liu, Kuan-Miao; Lin, Tzu-Chieh; Hung, Cheng-Hsien; Chou, Yen-Lin; Lin, Ta-Chun; Chou, Pi-Tai

    2016-02-25

    Studies have been carried out to gain insight in to an overall excited-state proton transfer cycle for a series of N-tosyl derivatives of 2-(2'-aminophenyl)benzothiazole. The results indicate that followed by ultrafast (<150 fs) excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT), the titled compounds undergo rotational isomerization along the C1-C1' bond. For the model compound 2-(2'-tosylaminophenyl)benzothiazole (PBT-NHTs) the subsequent cis-trans isomerization process in both triplet and ground states are probed by nanosecond transient absorption (TA) and two-step laser-induced fluorescence (TSLIF) spectroscopy. Both TA and TSLIF results indicate the existence of a long-lived trans-tautomer species in the ground state with a lifetime of few microseconds. The experimental results correlate well with the theoretical approach, which suggests that PBT-NHTs proton transfer tautomer generated in the excited state undergoes intramolecular C1-C1' rotation to ∼100° between benzothiazole and phenyl moieties in which the energetics for the S1 and T1 states are nearly identical. As a result, the intersystem crossing between S1 and T1 states serves as a fast deactivation pathway for the excited-state cis-tautomer to channel into both cis- and trans-tautomer in their respective T1 states, followed by the dominant T1-S0 radiationless deactivation to populate the trans-tautomer in the ground state. The trans-tautomer species in the S0 state proceeds with intermolecular double proton transfer to regenerate the cis-normal form. An overall proton-transfer cycle describing the amino-type ESIPT and the subsequent isomerization processes is thus depicted in detail.

  20. Mechanistic insights on immunosenescence and chronic immune activation in HIV-tuberculosis co-infection

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, Esaki M; Velu, Vijayakumar; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Larsson, Marie

    2015-01-01

    Immunosenescence is marked by accelerated degradation of host immune responses leading to the onset of opportunistic infections, where senescent T cells show remarkably higher ontogenic defects as compared to healthy T cells. The mechanistic association between T-cell immunosenescence and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression, and functional T-cell responses in HIV-tuberculosis (HIV-TB) co-infection remains to be elaborately discussed. Here, we discussed the association of immunosenescence and chronic immune activation in HIV-TB co-infection and reviewed the role played by mediators of immune deterioration in HIV-TB co-infection necessitating the importance of designing therapeutic strategies against HIV disease progression and pathogenesis. PMID:25674514

  1. Recommended survey designs for occupancy modelling using motion-activated cameras: insights from empirical wildlife data.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Graeme; Lewis, Jesse S; Gerber, Brian D

    2014-01-01

    Motion-activated cameras are a versatile tool that wildlife biologists can use for sampling wild animal populations to estimate species occurrence. Occupancy modelling provides a flexible framework for the analysis of these data; explicitly recognizing that given a species occupies an area the probability of detecting it is often less than one. Despite the number of studies using camera data in an occupancy framework, there is only limited guidance from the scientific literature about survey design trade-offs when using motion-activated cameras. A fuller understanding of these trade-offs will allow researchers to maximise available resources and determine whether the objectives of a monitoring program or research study are achievable. We use an empirical dataset collected from 40 cameras deployed across 160 km(2) of the Western Slope of Colorado, USA to explore how survey effort (number of cameras deployed and the length of sampling period) affects the accuracy and precision (i.e., error) of the occupancy estimate for ten mammal and three virtual species. We do this using a simulation approach where species occupancy and detection parameters were informed by empirical data from motion-activated cameras. A total of 54 survey designs were considered by varying combinations of sites (10-120 cameras) and occasions (20-120 survey days). Our findings demonstrate that increasing total sampling effort generally decreases error associated with the occupancy estimate, but changing the number of sites or sampling duration can have very different results, depending on whether a species is spatially common or rare (occupancy = ψ) and easy or hard to detect when available (detection probability = p). For rare species with a low probability of detection (i.e., raccoon and spotted skunk) the required survey effort includes maximizing the number of sites and the number of survey days, often to a level that may be logistically unrealistic for many studies. For common species with

  2. Silicate species of water glass and insights for alkali-activated green cement

    SciTech Connect

    Jansson, Helén; Bernin, Diana; Ramser, Kerstin

    2015-06-15

    Despite that sodium silicate solutions of high pH are commonly used in industrial applications, most investigations are focused on low to medium values of pH. Therefore we have investigated such solutions in a broad modulus range and up to high pH values (∼14) by use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy and silicon nuclear magnetic resonance ({sup 29}Si-NMR). The results show that the modulus dependent pH value leads to more or less charged species, which affects the configurations of the silicate units. This in turn, influences the alkali-activation process of low CO{sub 2} footprint cements, i.e. materials based on industrial waste or by-products.

  3. Molecular dynamics simulations of Zika virus NS3 helicase: Insights into RNA binding site activity.

    PubMed

    Mottin, Melina; Braga, Rodolpho C; da Silva, Roosevelt A; Silva, Joao H Martins da; Perryman, Alexander L; Ekins, Sean; Andrade, Carolina Horta

    2017-03-21

    America is still suffering with the outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection. Congenital ZIKV syndrome has already caused a public health emergency of international concern. However, there are still no vaccines to prevent or drugs to treat the infection caused by ZIKV. The ZIKV NS3 helicase (NS3h) protein is a promising target for drug discovery due to its essential role in viral genome replication. NS3h unwinds the viral RNA to enable the replication of the viral genome by the NS5 protein. NS3h contains two important binding sites: the NTPase binding site and the RNA binding site. Here, we used molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the molecular behavior of ZIKV NS3h in the presence and absence of ssRNA and the potential implications for NS3h activity and inhibition. Although there is conformational variability and poor electron densities of the RNA binding loop in various apo flaviviruses NS3h crystallographic structures, the MD trajectories of NS3h-ssRNA demonstrated that the RNA binding loop becomes more stable when NS3h is occupied by RNA. Our results suggest that the presence of RNA generates important interactions with the RNA binding loop, and these interactions stabilize the loop sufficiently that it remains in a closed conformation. This closed conformation likely keeps the ssRNA bound to the protein for a sufficient duration to enable the unwinding/replication activities of NS3h to occur. In addition, conformational changes of this RNA binding loop can change the nature and location of the optimal ligand binding site, according to ligand binding site prediction results. These are important findings to help guide the design and discovery of new inhibitors of NS3h as promising compounds to treat the ZIKV infection.

  4. Insights into active tectonics of eastern Taiwan from analyses of geodetic and geologic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Wen-Jeng; Johnson, Kaj M.; Fukuda, Jun'ichi; Yu, Shui-Beih

    2010-03-01

    About 50 mm/yr of convergence between the Philippine Sea and Eurasian plates is absorbed in eastern Taiwan, and it remains unclear how the convergence is partitioned among active faults. The Longitudinal Valley fault (LVF), the most seismically active fault in eastern Taiwan, creeps at the surface in the south and not in the north; however, it is unclear how much of the fault is locked or creeping at depth. To address these problems, we model Holocene and interseismic deformation of elastic lithospheric blocks moving over a viscoelastic asthenosphere in eastern Taiwan. Through a fully probabilistic scheme, we invert GPS, interferometric synthetic aperture radar, creepmeter, and Holocene marine terrace data for block motions, fault slip rates, and distribution of interseismic creep. The data are explained with four blocks separated by three faults, Central Range fault, LVF, and an offshore fault. The model explains the essential features of interseismic and Holocene deformation. We find that 35-55 mm/yr of slip on the offshore fault is necessary to fit marine terrace uplift rates, which is a larger fraction of the plate convergence than previously recognized. The LVF has a Holocene slip rate of 20-30 mm/yr with approximately equal magnitudes of reverse-slip and left-lateral strike-slip components. Only about half of the surface area of the Longitudinal Valley fault appears to be locked. The southern segment of the LVF creeps at a rate of 5-28 mm/yr down to a depth of 15-20 km, while the northern segment is locked from the surface to a depth of 20 km.

  5. New insights into relationships between active and dormant organisms, phylogenetic diversity and ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Cram, Jacob A

    2015-12-01

    Marine microbes make up a key part of ocean food webs and drive ocean chemistry through a range of metabolic processes. A fundamental question in ecology is whether the diversity of organisms in a community shapes the ecological functions of that community. While there is substantial evidence to support a positive link between diversity and ecological productivity for macro-organisms in terrestrial environments, this relationship has not previously been verified for marine microbial communities. One factor complicating the understanding of this relationship is that many marine microbes are dormant and are easily dispersed by ocean currents, making it difficult to ensure that the organisms found in a given environmental sample accurately reflect processes occurring in that environment. Another complication is that, due to microbes great range of genotypic and phenotypic variability, communities with distantly related species may have greater range of metabolic functions than communities have the same richness and evenness, but in which the species present are more closely related to each other. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Galand et al. (2015) provide compelling evidence that the most metabolically active communities are those in which the nondormant portion of the microbial community has the highest phylogenetic diversity. They also illustrate that focusing on the active portion of the community allows for detection of temporal patterns in community structure that would not be otherwise evident. The authors' point out that the presence of many dormant organisms that do not contribute to ecosystem functioning is a feature that makes microbial ecosystems fundamentally different from macro-ecosystems and that this difference needs to be accounted for in microbial ecology theory.

  6. [Activities of Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, Iowa State University

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gray, Joe

    2002-01-01

    The final report of NASA funded activities at Iowa State University (ISU) for the period between 1/96 and 1/99 includes two main areas of activity. The first is the development and delivery of an x-ray simulation package suitable for evaluating the impact of parameters affects the inspectability of an assembly of parts. The second area was the development of images processing tools to remove reconstruction artifacts in x-ray laminagraphy images. The x-ray simulation portion of this work was done by J. Gray and the x-ray laminagraphy work was done by J. Basart. The report is divided into two sections covering the two activities respectively. In addition to this work reported the funding also covered NASA's membership in the NSF University/Industrial Cooperative Research Center.

  7. Altered Resting-State Brain Activity in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Quan; Wang, Dawei; Qin, Wen; Li, Qiong; Chen, Baoyuan; Zhang, Yunting; Yu, Chunshui

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives: Structural and functional brain changes may contribute to neural dysfunction in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, the effect of OSA on resting-state brain activity has not been established. The objective of this study was to investigate alterations in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the common brain networks in patients with OSA and their relationships with changes in gray matter volume (GMV) in the corresponding brain regions. Designs: Resting-state functional and structural MRI data were acquired from patients with OSA and healthy controls. Seven brain networks were identified by independent component analysis. The rsFC in each network was compared between groups and the GMV of brain regions with significant differences in rsFC was also compared. Setting: University hospital. Patients and Participants: Twenty-four male patients with untreated OSA and 21 matched healthy controls. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: OSA specifically affected the cognitive and sensorimotor-related brain networks but not the visual and auditory networks. The medial prefrontal cortex and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed decreased rsFC and GMV in patients with OSA, suggesting structural and functional deficits. The right DLPFC and left precentral gyrus showed decreased rsFC and unchanged GMV, suggesting a functional deficit. The right posterior cingulate cortex demonstrated increased rsFC and unchanged GMV, suggesting functional compensation. In patients with OSA, the rsFC of the right DLPFC was negatively correlated with the apnea-hypopnea index. Conclusions: OSA specifically affects resting-state functional connectivity in cognitive and sensorimotor-related brain networks, which may be related to the impaired cognitive and motor functions in these patients. Citation: Zhang Q; Wang D; Qin W; Li Q; Chen B; Zhang Y; Yu C. Altered resting-state brain activity in obstructive sleep apnea. SLEEP 2013

  8. The Acute Relationships Between Affect, Physical Feeling States, and Physical Activity in Daily Life: A Review of Current Evidence.

    PubMed

    Liao, Yue; Shonkoff, Eleanor T; Dunton, Genevieve F

    2015-01-01

    Until recently, most studies investigating the acute relationships between affective and physical feeling states and physical activity were conducted in controlled laboratory settings, whose results might not translate well to everyday life. This review was among the first attempts to synthesize current evidence on the acute (e.g., within a few hours) relationships between affective and physical feeling states and physical activity from studies conducted in free-living, naturalistic settings in non-clinical populations. A systematic literature search yielded 14 eligible studies for review. Six studies tested the relationship between affective states and subsequent physical activity; findings from these studies suggest that positive affective states were positively associated with physical activity over the next few hours while negative affective states had no significant association. Twelve studies tested affective states after physical activity and yielded consistent evidence for physical activity predicting higher positive affect over the next few hours. Further, there was some evidence that physical activity was followed by a higher level of energetic feelings in the next few hours. The evidence for physical activity reducing negative affect in the next few hours was inconsistent and inconclusive. Future research in this area should consider recruiting more representative study participants, utilizing higher methodological standards for assessment (i.e., electronic devices combined with accelerometry), reporting patterns of missing data, and investigating pertinent moderators and mediators (e.g., social and physical context, intensity, psychological variables). Knowledge gained from this topic could offer valuable insights for promoting daily physical activity adoption and maintenance in non-clinical populations.

  9. The Acute Relationships Between Affect, Physical Feeling States, and Physical Activity in Daily Life: A Review of Current Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Yue; Shonkoff, Eleanor T.; Dunton, Genevieve F.

    2015-01-01

    Until recently, most studies investigating the acute relationships between affective and physical feeling states and physical activity were conducted in controlled laboratory settings, whose results might not translate well to everyday life. This review was among the first attempts to synthesize current evidence on the acute (e.g., within a few hours) relationships between affective and physical feeling states and physical activity from studies conducted in free-living, naturalistic settings in non-clinical populations. A systematic literature search yielded 14 eligible studies for review. Six studies tested the relationship between affective states and subsequent physical activity; findings from these studies suggest that positive affective states were positively associated with physical activity over the next few hours while negative affective states had no significant association. Twelve studies tested affective states after physical activity and yielded consistent evidence for physical activity predicting higher positive affect over the next few hours. Further, there was some evidence that physical activity was followed by a higher level of energetic feelings in the next few hours. The evidence for physical activity reducing negative affect in the next few hours was inconsistent and inconclusive. Future research in this area should consider recruiting more representative study participants, utilizing higher methodological standards for assessment (i.e., electronic devices combined with accelerometry), reporting patterns of missing data, and investigating pertinent moderators and mediators (e.g., social and physical context, intensity, psychological variables). Knowledge gained from this topic could offer valuable insights for promoting daily physical activity adoption and maintenance in non-clinical populations. PMID:26779049

  10. Export of earthquake-triggered landslides in active mountain ranges: insights from 2D morphodynamic modelling.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Croissant, Thomas; Lague, Dimitri; Davy, Philippe; Steer, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    In active mountain ranges, large earthquakes (Mw > 5-6) trigger numerous landslides that impact river dynamics. These landslides bring local and sudden sediment piles that will be eroded and transported along the river network causing downstream changes in river geometry, transport capacity and erosion efficiency. The progressive removal of landslide materials has implications for downstream hazards management and also for understanding landscape dynamics at the timescale of the seismic cycle. The export time of landslide-derived sediments after large-magnitude earthquakes has been studied from suspended load measurements but a full understanding of the total process, including the coupling between sediment transfer and channel geometry change, still remains an issue. Note that the transport of small sediment pulses has been studied in the context of river restoration, but the magnitude of sediment pulses generated by landslides may make the problem different. Here, we study the export of large volumes (>106 m3) of sediments with the 2D hydro-morphodynamic model, Eros. This model uses a new hydrodynamic module that resolves a reduced form of the Saint-Venant equations with a particle method. It is coupled with a sediment transport and lateral and vertical erosion model. Eros accounts for the complex retroactions between sediment transport and fluvial geometry, with a stochastic description of the floods experienced by the river. Moreover, it is able to reproduce several features deemed necessary to study the evacuation of large sediment pulses, such as river regime modification (single-thread to multi-thread), river avulsion and aggradation, floods and bank erosion. Using a synthetic and simple topography we first present how granulometry, landslide volume and geometry, channel slope and flood frequency influence 1) the dominance of pulse advection vs. diffusion during its evacuation, 2) the pulse export time and 3) the remaining volume of sediment in the catchment

  11. New insights into dietary supplements used in sport: active substances, pharmacological and side effects.

    PubMed

    Koncic, Marijana Zovko; Tomczyk, Michal

    2013-08-01

    As a society we are increasingly concerned about our physical appearance. For example, as much as 24% of people in developed countries admittedly exercise to improve their performance. Professional sportsmen and amateurs alike are in a constant search for new means that will enable them better sport results in shorter time. Among those means, a prominent place belongs to dietary supplements. However, the producers often advertise products whose use in sports is neither scientifically founded nor safe. This brings on an irrational use of herbal supplements which sometimes leads to unwanted side effects, but is more often of little use. Thus, the aim of this review will be to systematically evaluate some of the herbal supplements that are used as adaptogenic and ergogenic aids in sport. The review will include available data on Rhodiola rosea, Withania somnifera, Schisandra chinensis, Tribulus terrestris, Vitis vinifera, Citrus aurantium, and others. Their effects, active ingredients as well as possible adverse effects will be discussed with special focus on clinical studies.

  12. Insights into the effect of mixed engineered nanoparticles on activated sludge performance.

    PubMed

    Eduok, Samuel; Hendry, Callum; Ferguson, Robert; Martin, Ben; Villa, Raffaella; Jefferson, Bruce; Coulon, Frédéric

    2015-07-01

    In this study, the effects, fate and transport of ENPs in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) were investigated using three parallel pilot WWTPs operated under identical conditions. The WWTPs were spiked with (i) an ENP mixture consisting of silver oxide, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and (ii) bulk metal salts. The third plant served as control (unspiked). ENP effects were evaluated for (i) bulk contaminant removal, (ii) activated sludge (AS) process performance, (iii) microbial community structure and dynamics and (iv) microbial inhibition. ENPs showed a strong affinity for biosolids and induced a specific oxygen uptake rate two times higher than the control. The heterotrophic biomass retained its ability to nitrify and degrade organic matter. However, non-recovery of ammonia- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria such as Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter or Nitrospira in the ENP spiked reactors suggests selective inhibitory effects. The results further suggest that ENPs and metal salts have antimicrobial properties which can reduce synthesis of extracellular polymeric substances and therefore floc formation. Scanning electron microscopy evidenced selective damage to some microbes, whereas lipid fingerprinting and 454 pyrosequencing indicated a temporal shift in the microbial community structure and diversity. Acidovorax, Rhodoferax, Comamonas and Methanosarcina were identified as nano-tolerant species. Competitive growth advantage of the nano-tolerant species influenced the removal processes and unlike other xenobiotic compounds, ENPs can hasten the natural selection of microbial species in AS.

  13. Further insights into the anti-aggregating activity of NMDA in human platelets

    PubMed Central

    Franconi, Flavia; Miceli, Mauro; Alberti, Luisa; Seghieri, Giuseppe; De Montis, M Graziella; Tagliamonte, Alessandro

    1998-01-01

    In the present study the effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) on thromboxane B2 synthesis and on [Ca2+]i was studied in human platelets.NMDA (10−7 M) completely inhibited the synthesis of thromboxane B2 from exogenous arachidonic acid (AA), while it did not interfere with the aggregating effect of the thromboxane A2 receptor agonist U-46619.NMDA (0.1 μM–10 μM) dose-dependently increased intracellular calcium in washed platelets pre-loaded with fura 2 AM, and this effect was not additive with that of AA.NMDA shifted the dose-response curve of AA to the right. At the highest AA concentrations platelet aggregation was not inhibited.The antiaggregating effect of NMDA was not antagonized by NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor.Finally, NMDA (0.01 nM–100 nM) associated with either aspirin or indomethacin significantly potentiated the antiaggregating activity of both cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors.It was concluded that NMDA is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation and thromboxane B2 synthesis in human platelet rich plasma (PRP). PMID:9630340

  14. Ordering Dynamics in Neuron Activity Pattern Model: An Insight to Brain Functionality.

    PubMed

    Gundh, Jasleen; Singh, Awaneesh; Singh, R K Brojen

    2015-01-01

    We study the domain ordering kinetics in d = 2 ferromagnets which corresponds to populated neuron activities with both long-ranged interactions, V(r) ∼ r-n and short-ranged interactions. We present the results from comprehensive Monte Carlo (MC) simulations for the nonconserved Ising model with n ≥ 2, interaction range considering near and far neighbors. Our model results could represent the long-ranged neuron kinetics (n ≤ 4) in consistent with the same dynamical behaviour of short-ranged case (n ≥ 4) at far below and near criticality. We found that emergence of fast and slow kinetics of long and short ranged case could imitate the formation of connections among near and distant neurons. The calculated characteristic length scale in long-ranged interaction is found to be n independent (L(t) ∼ t1/(n-2)), whereas short-ranged interaction follows L(t) ∼ t1/2 law and approximately preserve universality in domain kinetics. Further, we did the comparative study of phase ordering near the critical temperature which follows different behaviours of domain ordering near and far critical temperature but follows universal scaling law.

  15. New Insights on Late-A and Early-F Star Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freire Ferrero, R.; Catalano, S.; Marilli, E.; Gouttebroze, P.; Talavera, A.; Bruhweiler, F.

    The onset of chromospheric activity in late-A and early-F stars is here discussed. The detection of Ly- emission core in several A and F atars with the IUE satellite, gives evidence for the presence of chromospheric layers in these stars up to B - V = 0m.19 (Marilli et al., 1996). Semiempirical chromospheric models for Altair allowed us (Freire Ferrero et al., 1995) to explain the observed emission profiles taking into account normal H I interstellar (IS) absorption. However, due to the very high rotational velocity, we analysed alternative hypotheses to explain the observed emissions: (1) circumstellar or shell matter; (2) co-rotating expanding optically thin wind. We ruled out these hypotheses because their effects are negligible and as a consequence, this result reinforces the chromospheric origin of the observed Ly- core in Altair. The stars of our sample, having observed Ly- profilies similar to Altair's and similar stellar and IS properties, should reproduce similar chromospheric behaviour. Here we discuss several important questions that are raised by these results.

  16. Active flow control insight gained from a modified integral boundary layer equation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seifert, Avraham

    2016-11-01

    Active Flow Control (AFC) can alter the development of boundary layers with applications (e.g., reducing drag by separation delay or separating the boundary layers and enhancing vortex shedding to increase drag). Historically, significant effects of steady AFC methods were observed. Unsteady actuation is significantly more efficient than steady. Full-scale AFC tests were conducted with varying levels of success. While clearly relevant to industry, AFC implementation relies on expert knowledge with proven intuition and or costly and lengthy computational efforts. This situation hinders the use of AFC while simple, quick and reliable design method is absent. An updated form of the unsteady integral boundary layer (UIBL) equations, that include AFC terms (unsteady wall transpiration and body forces) can be used to assist in AFC analysis and design. With these equations and given a family of suitable velocity profiles, the momentum thickness can be calculated and matched with an outer, potential flow solution in 2D and 3D manner to create an AFC design tool, parallel to proven tools for airfoil design. Limiting cases of the UIBL equation can be used to analyze candidate AFC concepts in terms of their capability to modify the boundary layers development and system performance.

  17. Survival benefits with vitamin D receptor activation: new insights since 2003.

    PubMed

    Kovesdy, Csaba P

    2010-09-01

    The introduction of calcitriol followed by several of its analogs in the 1990s made vitamin D receptor activators (VDRA) the cornerstone of therapy for secondary hyperparathyroidism. The 2003 publication of the first major epidemiologic study describing the association of VDRAs with survival in ESRD has raised the awareness of the nephrology community about the potential impact of these agents on morbidity and mortality. This study was followed by numerous other epidemiologic studies which attempted to address the inherent shortcomings of observational studies by using sophisticated statistical methods. The complex nature of the statistical designs applied by some of these studies has led to some confusion about how to interpret the results, and how to use the results in a way that offers the most help for patients, but does not impede future scientific research. This report presents a discussion of relevant studies examining the association between VDRA and survival, with the goal to examine shortcomings that still exist in the knowledge on this subject. Special emphasis is placed on the discussion of studies with discrepant results to highlight remaining controversies and to emphasize areas in need of further research. Not withstanding all of the limitations of epidemiologic studies, the preponderance of evidence favors a survival benefit for ESRD patients treated with VDRA. This should provide a powerful impetus to investigate in clinical trials the risks and benefits of VDRA administration as a means to prolong survival.

  18. Pharmacophore development for corticotropin-releasing hormone: new insights into inhibitor activity.

    PubMed

    Keller, P A; Bowman, M; Dang, K H; Garner, J; Leach, S P; Smith, R; McCluskey, A

    1999-07-01

    Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is an endogenous 41-amino acid peptide involved in a wide ranging series of systems including the brain, the coordination of the body's overall response to stress, and more recently as a crucial initiator in the onset of labor, also known as the placental clock. Although more physiological data on CRH is emerging shedding more light on the processes involved and their integration, the mode of action of the hormone and the postulated binding site(s) remain unknown. Recently, a number of small-molecular-weight ligands have emerged as potent antagonists but, as therapeutics, suffer from a lack of solubility. Additionally, despite a number of exhaustively large patents, the lack of structural diversity with these antagonists has enabled little scope for comprehensive and wide ranging studies into the structure of the binding sites of this hormone. As part of a program investigating new, structurally diverse antagonists and agonists of CRH, we have developed a preliminary pharmacophore based on the known small-molecular-weight ligands as an initial step in our program. This pharmacophore was validated by comparison with some of the compounds we postulated to be active.

  19. Structural insights into the regulation of Bacillus subtilis SigW activity by anti-sigma RsiW

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Sung Chul; Chang, Hyeun Wook

    2017-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis SigW is localized to the cell membrane and is inactivated by the tight interaction with anti-sigma RsiW under normal growth conditions. Whereas SigW is discharged from RsiW binding and thus initiates the transcription of its regulon under diverse stress conditions such as antibiotics and alkaline shock. The release and activation of SigW in response to extracytoplasmic signals is induced by the regulated intramembrane proteolysis of RsiW. As a ZAS (Zinc-containing anti-sigma) family protein, RsiW has a CHCC zinc binding motif, which implies that its anti-sigma activity may be regulated by the state of zinc coordination in addition to the proteolytic cleavage of RsiW. To understand the regulation mode of SigW activity by RsiW, we determined the crystal structures of SigW in complex with the cytoplasmic domain of RsiW, and compared the conformation of the CHCC motif in the reduced/zinc binding and the oxidized states. The structures revealed that RsiW inhibits the promoter binding of SigW by interacting with the surface groove of SigW. The interaction between SigW and RsiW is not disrupted by the oxidation of the CHCC motif in RsiW, suggesting that SigW activity might not be regulated by the zinc coordination states of the CHCC motif. PMID:28319136

  20. Structural insights into the regulation of Bacillus subtilis SigW activity by anti-sigma RsiW.

    PubMed

    Devkota, Shankar Raj; Kwon, Eunju; Ha, Sung Chul; Chang, Hyeun Wook; Kim, Dong Young

    2017-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis SigW is localized to the cell membrane and is inactivated by the tight interaction with anti-sigma RsiW under normal growth conditions. Whereas SigW is discharged from RsiW binding and thus initiates the transcription of its regulon under diverse stress conditions such as antibiotics and alkaline shock. The release and activation of SigW in response to extracytoplasmic signals is induced by the regulated intramembrane proteolysis of RsiW. As a ZAS (Zinc-containing anti-sigma) family protein, RsiW has a CHCC zinc binding motif, which implies that its anti-sigma activity may be regulated by the state of zinc coordination in addition to the proteolytic cleavage of RsiW. To understand the regulation mode of SigW activity by RsiW, we determined the crystal structures of SigW in complex with the cytoplasmic domain of RsiW, and compared the conformation of the CHCC motif in the reduced/zinc binding and the oxidized states. The structures revealed that RsiW inhibits the promoter binding of SigW by interacting with the surface groove of SigW. The interaction between SigW and RsiW is not disrupted by the oxidation of the CHCC motif in RsiW, suggesting that SigW activity might not be regulated by the zinc coordination states of the CHCC motif.

  1. Climate change and hazardous convective weather in the United States: Insights from high-resolution dynamical downscaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoogewind, Kimberly A.

    Global climate model (GCM) projections increasingly suggest that large-scale environmental conditions favorable for hazardous convective weather (HCW) may increase in frequency in the future due to anthropogenic climate change. However, this storm environment-based approach is undoubtedly limited by the assumption that convective-scale phenomena will be realized within these environments. The spatial resolution of GCMs remains much too coarse to adequately represent the scales at which severe convective storms occur, including processes that may lead to storm initiation. With the advancement of computing resources, however, it has now become feasible to explicitly represent deep convective storms within a high-resolution regional climate model. This research utilized the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to produce high-resolution, dynamically downscaled simulations for the continental United States under historical (1971-2000) and future (2071-2100) climate periods using GCM data provided by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory Climate Model version 3 (GFDL-CM3). Model proxies were used to provide an objective estimate of the occurrence of simulated severe weather and how their spatiotemporal distribution may change in the future under an aggressive climate change scenario. Results demonstrated that severe storms may increase in both their frequency and intensity in the future. In comparison to the projected changes in HCW favorable environments from the GCM, the dynamically downscaled largely agree in terms of the seasonal timing and spatial patterns of greatest potential change in activity by the end of the 21st century. Likewise, each approach supports the notion that severe weather activity may begin earlier within the annual cycle and also later within the calendar year, such that the severe weather season is lengthened. However, by all indications, the environment-event frequency relationship has been altered in future climate, such that the

  2. Kinetic Monte Carlo study of activated states and correlated shear-transformation-zone activity during the deformation of an amorphous metal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homer, Eric R.; Rodney, David; Schuh, Christopher A.

    2010-02-01

    Shear transformation zone (STZ) dynamics simulations, which are based on the kinetic Monte Carlo algorithm, are used to model the mechanical response of amorphous metals and provide insight into the collective aspects of the microscopic events underlying deformation. The present analysis details the activated states of STZs in such a model, as well as the statistics of their activation and how these are affected by imposed conditions of stress and temperature. The analysis sheds light on the spatial and temporal correlations between the individual STZ activations that lead to different macroscopic modes of deformation. Three basic STZ correlation behaviors are observed: uncorrelated activity, nearest-neighbor correlation, and self-reactivating STZs. These three behaviors correspond well with the macroscopic deformation modes of homogeneous flow, inhomogeneous deformation, and elastic behavior, respectively. The effect of pre-existing stresses in the simulation cell is also studied and found to have a homogenizing effect on STZ correlations, suppressing the tendency for localization.

  3. Reaction of vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1) with primary amines: mechanistic insights from isotope effects and quantitative structure-activity relationships.

    PubMed

    Heuts, Dominic P H M; Gummadova, Jennet O; Pang, Jiayun; Rigby, Stephen E J; Scrutton, Nigel S

    2011-08-26

    Human vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1) is an endothelial copper-dependent amine oxidase involved in the recruitment and extravasation of leukocytes at sites of inflammation. VAP-1 is an important therapeutic target for several pathological conditions. We expressed soluble VAP-1 in HEK293 EBNA1 cells at levels suitable for detailed mechanistic studies with model substrates. Using the model substrate benzylamine, we analyzed the steady-state kinetic parameters of VAP-1 as a function of solution pH. We found two macroscopic pK(a) values that defined a bell-shaped plot of turnover number k(cat,app) as a function of pH, representing ionizable groups in the enzyme-substrate complex. The dependence of (k(cat)/K(m))(app) on pH revealed a single pK(a) value (∼9) that we assigned to ionization of the amine group in free benzylamine substrate. A kinetic isotope effect (KIE) of 6 to 7.6 on (k(cat)/K(m))(app) over the pH range of 6 to 10 was observed with d(2)-benzylamine. Over the same pH range, the KIE on k(cat) was found to be close to unity. The unusual KIE values on (k(cat)/K(m))(app) were rationalized using a mechanistic scheme that includes the possibility of multiple isotopically sensitive steps. We also report the analysis of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) using para-substituted protiated and deuterated phenylethylamines. With phenylethylamines we observed a large KIE on k(cat,app) (8.01 ± 0.28 with phenylethylamine), indicating that C-H bond breakage is limiting for 2,4,5-trihydroxyphenylalanine quinone reduction. Poor correlations were observed between steady-state rate constants and QSAR parameters. We show the importance of combining KIE, QSAR, and structural studies to gain insight into the complexity of the VAP-1 steady-state mechanism.

  4. Molecular Insights of p47phox Phosphorylation Dynamics in the Regulation of NADPH Oxidase Activation and Superoxide Production*

    PubMed Central

    Meijles, Daniel N.; Fan, Lampson M.; Howlin, Brendan J.; Li, Jian-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Phagocyte superoxide production by a multicomponent NADPH oxidase is important in host defense against microbial invasion. However inappropriate NADPH oxidase activation causes inflammation. Endothelial cells express NADPH oxidase and endothelial oxidative stress due to prolonged NADPH oxidase activation predisposes many diseases. Discovering the mechanism of NADPH oxidase activation is essential for developing novel treatment of these diseases. The p47phox is a key regulatory subunit of NADPH oxidase; however, due to the lack of full protein structural information, the mechanistic insight of p47phox phosphorylation in NADPH oxidase activation remains incomplete. Based on crystal structures of three functional domains, we generated a computational structural model of the full p47phox protein. Using a combination of in silico phosphorylation, molecular dynamics simulation and protein/protein docking, we discovered that the C-terminal tail of p47phox is critical for stabilizing its autoinhibited structure. Ser-379 phosphorylation disrupts H-bonds that link the C-terminal tail to the autoinhibitory region (AIR) and the tandem Src homology 3 (SH3) domains, allowing the AIR to undergo phosphorylation to expose the SH3 pocket for p22phox binding. These findings were confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis and gene transfection of p47phox−/− coronary microvascular cells. Compared with wild-type p47phox cDNA transfected cells, the single mutation of S379A completely blocked p47phox membrane translocation, binding to p22phox and endothelial O2⨪ production in response to acute stimulation of PKC. p47phox C-terminal tail plays a key role in stabilizing intramolecular interactions at rest. Ser-379 phosphorylation is a molecular switch which initiates p47phox conformational changes and NADPH oxidase-dependent superoxide production by cells. PMID:24970888

  5. Biogeochemical Activity of Siderophilic Cyanobacteria and Insights from their Genomes Implications for the Development of New Biosignatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, I. I.; Bryant, D. A.; Thomas,-Keprta, K. L.; Tringe, S. G.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Galindo, C., Jr.; Malley, K.; Sosa, O.; Garrison, D. H.; McKay, David S.

    2010-01-01

    Verifying the links between genomie features in living organisms and their mineralization/demineralization activity will help to reveal traces of life on Earth and beyond. Among contemporary environments, iron-depositing hot springs (IDHS) may represent one of the most appropriate natural models for insights into ancient life since organisms may have originated on Earth and possibly Mars in association with hydrothennal activity and high [Fe(2+)]. Siderophilic or "iron-loving" cyanobacteria (CB) inhabiting IDHS may have genomic features and properties similar to those of ancient organisms because abundant Fe(2+) in IDHS has a strong potential to increase the magnitude of oxidative stress. That is why specific and/or additional proteins involved in Fe mineralization by siderophilic CB are expected. Inorganic polyphosphates (PPi) are known to increase the viability of prokaryotes Linder heavy metal concentrations and UV stress conditions. PPi have also been proposed as biosignatures. Ancient CB could have also been stressed by occasional migrations from the Fe(2+) rich Ocean to the basaltic land which was almost devoid of dissolved Fe(2+). Thus, the study of the adaptation reactions of siderophilic CB to fluctuation of dissolved Fe level may shed light on the paleophysiology of ancient oxygenic prokaryotes. Moreover, bioweathered Fe, Al, P, Cu, Ti and rare earth elements can be thought of as candidate organomarkers that document the effects of or ganic molecules in weathered rocks. However, the molecular mechanisms of the maintenance of Fe homeostasis in siderophilic CB, the role of PPi for this process and bioweathering activities are poorly understood. Here we present preliminary results describing a new mechanism of Fe mineralization in siderophilic CB, the effect of Fe on the generation of PPi bodies in siderophilic CB, their bioweathering activity and preliminary analysis of the diversity of proteins involved in the prevention of oxidative stress in phototrophs

  6. Structural and functional insights into the regulation of Helicobacter pylori arginase activity by an evolutionary nonconserved motif.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Abhishek; Meena, Shiv Kumar; Alam, Mashkoor; Nayeem, Shahid M; Deep, Shashank; Sau, Apurba Kumar

    2013-01-22

    Urea producing bimetallic arginases are essential for the synthesis of polyamine, DNA, and RNA. Despite conservation of the signature motifs in all arginases, a nonconserved ¹⁵³ESEEKAWQKLCSL¹⁶⁵ motif is found in the Helicobacter pylori enzyme, whose role is yet unknown. Using site-directed mutagenesis, kinetic assays, metal analyses, circular dichroism, heat-induced denaturation, molecular dynamics simulations and truncation studies, we report here the significance of this motif in catalytic function, metal retention, structural integrity, and stability of the protein. The enzyme did not exhibit detectable activity upon deletion of the motif as well as on individual mutation of Glu155 and Trp159 while Cys163Ala displayed significant decrease in the activity. Trp159Ala and Glu155Ala show severe loss of thermostability (14-17°) by a decrease in the α-helical structure. The role of Trp159 in stabilization of the structure with the surrounding aromatic residues is confirmed when Trp159Phe restored the structure and stability substantially compared to Trp159Ala. The simulation studies support the above results and show that the motif, which was previously solvent exposed, displays a loop-cum-small helix structure (Lys161-Cys163) and is located near the active-site through a novel Trp159-Asp126 interaction. This is consistent with the mutational analyses, where Trp159 and Asp126 are individually critical for retaining a bimetallic center and thereby for function. Furthermore, Cys163 of the helix is primarily important for dimerization, which is crucial for stimulation of the activity. Thus, these findings not only provide insights into the role of this motif but also offer a possibility to engineer it in human arginases for therapeutics against a number of carcinomas.

  7. Molecular insights of p47phox phosphorylation dynamics in the regulation of NADPH oxidase activation and superoxide production.

    PubMed

    Meijles, Daniel N; Fan, Lampson M; Howlin, Brendan J; Li, Jian-Mei

    2014-08-15

    Phagocyte superoxide production by a multicomponent NADPH oxidase is important in host defense against microbial invasion. However inappropriate NADPH oxidase activation causes inflammation. Endothelial cells express NADPH oxidase and endothelial oxidative stress due to prolonged NADPH oxidase activation predisposes many diseases. Discovering the mechanism of NADPH oxidase activation is essential for developing novel treatment of these diseases. The p47(phox) is a key regulatory subunit of NADPH oxidase; however, due to the lack of full protein structural information, the mechanistic insight of p47(phox) phosphorylation in NADPH oxidase activation remains incomplete. Based on crystal structures of three functional domains, we generated a computational structural model of the full p47(phox) protein. Using a combination of in silico phosphorylation, molecular dynamics simulation and protein/protein docking, we discovered that the C-terminal tail of p47(phox) is critical for stabilizing its autoinhibited structure. Ser-379 phosphorylation disrupts H-bonds that link the C-terminal tail to the autoinhibitory region (AIR) and the tandem Src homology 3 (SH3) domains, allowing the AIR to undergo phosphorylation to expose the SH3 pocket for p22(phox) binding. These findings were confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis and gene transfection of p47(phox-/-) coronary microvascular cells. Compared with wild-type p47(phox) cDNA transfected cells, the single mutation of S379A completely blocked p47(phox) membrane translocation, binding to p22(phox) and endothelial O2(·-) production in response to acute stimulation of PKC. p47(phox) C-terminal tail plays a key role in stabilizing intramolecular interactions at rest. Ser-379 phosphorylation is a molecular switch which initiates p47(phox) conformational changes and NADPH oxidase-dependent superoxide production by cells.

  8. Structural Insights into the Activation and Inhibition of Histo-Aspartic Protease from Plasmodium falciparum

    SciTech Connect

    Bhaumik, Prasenjit; Xiao, Huogen; Hidaka, Koushi; Gustchina, Alla; Kiso, Yoshiaki; Yada, Rickey Y.; Wlodawer, Alexander

    2012-09-17

    Histo-aspartic protease (HAP) from Plasmodium falciparum is a promising target for the development of novel antimalarial drugs. The sequence of HAP is highly similar to those of pepsin-like aspartic proteases, but one of the two catalytic aspartates, Asp32, is replaced with histidine. Crystal structures of the truncated zymogen of HAP and of the complex of the mature enzyme with inhibitor KNI-10395 have been determined at 2.1 and 2.5 {angstrom} resolution, respectively. As in other proplasmepsins, the propeptide of the zymogen interacts with the C-terminal domain of the enzyme, forcing the N- and C-terminal domains apart, thereby separating His32 and Asp215 and preventing formation of the mature active site. In the inhibitor complex, the enzyme forms a tight domain-swapped dimer, not previously seen in any aspartic proteases. The inhibitor is found in an unprecedented conformation resembling the letter U, stabilized by two intramolecular hydrogen bonds. Surprisingly, the location and conformation of the inhibitor are similar to those of the fragment of helix 2 comprising residues 34p-38p in the prosegments of the zymogens of gastric aspartic proteases; a corresponding helix assumes a vastly different orientation in proplasmepsins. Each inhibitor molecule is in contact with two molecules of HAP, interacting with the carboxylate group of the catalytic Asp215 of one HAP protomer through a water molecule, while also making a direct hydrogen bond to Glu278A' of the other protomer. A comparison of the shifts in the positions of the catalytic residues in the inhibitor complex presented here with those published previously gives further hints regarding the enzymatic mechanism of HAP.

  9. Vitamin E and cancer: An insight into the anticancer activities of vitamin E isomers and analogs.

    PubMed

    Constantinou, Constantina; Papas, Andreas; Constantinou, Andreas I

    2008-08-15

    Current observations in the literature suggest that vitamin E may be a suitable candidate for the adjuvant treatment of cancer. Even though historically most research focused on alpha-tocopherol, more recent evidence suggests that the other isomers of vitamin E (beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols and alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienols) differ in their proapoptotic potencies. The main focus of this communication is the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulated by vitamin E isomers and their analogs during the induction of apoptosis. This review highlights that the mitochondria are the major target for the induction of apoptosis by vitamin E isomers and analogs and that the various signaling pathways regulated by these agents are likely to contribute towards maximizing the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis triggered initially by the mitochondria. Overall, the presentation of recent studies from the literature in this communication allows the drawing of the following important conclusions: (i) no direct link exists between the antioxidant activity of each isomer/derivative and proapoptotic potency, (ii) tocotrienols are more effective proapoptotic agents than tocopherols, (iii) synthetic modifications of the naturally occurring compounds may improve their apoptotic potency and (iv) vitamin E isomers and derivatives regulate caspase-independent pathways of apoptosis. The latter combined with the evidence presented in this review regarding the additive or synergistic anticarcinogenic effects obtained when vitamin E analogs are used in combination with other cancer chemotherapeutic agents, supports further research to design the most promising vitamin E derivatives and clinically test them in adjuvant chemotherapeutic treatments.

  10. Learning shapes spontaneous activity itinerating over memorized states.

    PubMed

    Kurikawa, Tomoki; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2011-03-08

    Learning is a process that helps create neural dynamical systems so that an appropriate output pattern is generated for a given input. Often, such a memory is considered to be included in one of the attractors in neural dynamical systems, depending on the initial neural state specified by an input. Neither neural activities observed in the absence of inputs nor changes caused in the neural activity when an input is provided were studied extensively in the past. However, recent experimental studies have reported existence of structured spontaneous neural activity and its changes when an input is provided. With this background, we propose that memory recall occurs when the spontaneous neural activity changes to an appropriate output activity upon the application of an input, and this phenomenon is known as bifurcation in the dynamical systems theory. We introduce a reinforcement-learning-based layered neural network model with two synaptic time scales; in this network, I/O relations are successively memorized when the difference between the time scales is appropriate. After the learning process is complete, the neural dynamics are shaped so that it changes appropriately with each input. As the number of memorized patterns is increased, the generated spontaneous neural activity after learning shows itineration over the previously learned output patterns. This theoretical finding also shows remarkable agreement with recent experimental reports, where spontaneous neural activity in the visual cortex without stimuli itinerate over evoked patterns by previously applied signals. Our results suggest that itinerant spontaneous activity can be a natural outcome of successive learning of several patterns, and it facilitates bifurcation of the network when an input is provided.

  11. Gaussian-state interferometry with passive and active elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparaciari, Carlo; Olivares, Stefano; Paris, Matteo G. A.

    2016-02-01

    We address the precision of optical interferometers fed by quantum and semiclassical Gaussian states involving passive and/or active elements, such as beam splitters, photodetectors, and optical parametric amplifiers. We first address the ultimate bounds to precision by discussing the behavior of the quantum Fisher information. We then consider photodetection at the output and calculate the sensitivity of the interferometers taking into account the nonunit quantum efficiency of the detectors. Our results show that in the ideal case of photon number detectors with unit quantum efficiency the best configuration is the symmetric one, namely, a passive (active) interferometer with a passive (active) detection stage: in this case one may achieve Heisenberg scaling of sensitivity by suitably optimizing over Gaussian states at the input. On the other hand, in the realistic case of detectors with nonunit quantum efficiency, the performances of the passive scheme are unavoidably degraded, whereas detectors involving optical parametric amplifiers allow us to fully compensate for the presence of loss in the detection stage, thus restoring the Heisenberg scaling.

  12. New insight into the relation between star formation activity and dust content in galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Cunha, Elisabete; Eminian, Celine; Charlot, Stéphane; Blaizot, Jérémy

    2010-04-01

    We assemble a sample of 3258 low-redshift galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 6 with complementary photometric observations by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, the Two Micron All Sky Survey and the Infrared Astronomical Satellite at far-ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. We use a recent, simple but physically motivated model to interpret the observed spectral energy distributions of the galaxies in this sample in terms of statistical constraints on physical parameters describing the star formation history and dust content. The focus on a subsample of 1658 galaxies with highest signal-to-noise ratio observations enables us to investigate most clearly several strong correlations between various derived physical properties of galaxies. In particular, we find that the typical dust mass Md of a galaxy forming stars at a rate ψ can be estimated remarkably well using the formula over at least three orders of magnitude in both quantities. We also find that the dust-to-stellar mass ratio, the ratio of dust mass to star formation rate and the fraction of dust luminosity contributed by the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) all correlate strongly with specific star formation rate. A comparison with recent models of chemical and dust evolution of galaxies suggests that these correlations could arise, at least in part, from an evolutionary sequence. As galaxies form stars, their ISM becomes enriched in dust, while the drop in gas supply makes the specific star formation rate decrease. Interestingly, as a result, a young, actively star-forming galaxy with low dust-to-gas ratio may still be highly dusty (in the sense of a high dust-to-stellar mass ratio) because it contains large amounts of interstellar gas. This may be important for the interpretation of the infrared emission from young, gas-rich star-forming galaxies at high redshift. The results presented in this paper should be especially useful to improve the treatment of the ISM properties of galaxies

  13. National Insight: Toward A Clearer Understanding of Preparing High School Students for Passing State Examinations for Graduation in the State of Texas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Yolanda E.; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2006-01-01

    To graduate from High School in the state of Texas students must pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Many states are beginning to administer state exams as requirements for graduation. Schools continue to fall short of the basic philosophy of Existentialism that emphasizes, "starting where the student is".…

  14. Incipient mantle delamination, active tectonics and crustal thickening in Northern Morocco: Insights from gravity data and numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baratin, Laura-May; Mazzotti, Stéphane; Chéry, Jean; Vernant, Philippe; Tahayt, Abdelilah; Mourabit, Taoufik

    2016-11-01

    The Betic-Rif orocline surrounding the Alboran Sea, the westernmost tip of the Mediterranean Sea, accommodates the NW-SE convergence between the Nubia and Eurasia plates. Recent GPS observations indicate a ∼4 mm/yr SW motion of the Rif Mountains, relative to stable Nubia, incompatible with a simple two-plate model. New gravity data acquired in this study define a pronounced negative Bouguer anomaly south of the Rif, interpreted as a ∼40 km-thick crust in a state of non-isostatic equilibrium. We study the correlation between these present-day kinematic and geodynamic processes using a finite-element code to model in 2-D the first-order behavior of a lithosphere affected by a downward normal traction (representing the pull of a high-density body in the upper mantle). We show that intermediate viscosities for the lower crust and uppermost mantle (1021-1022Pas) allow an efficient coupling between the mantle and the base of the brittle crust, thus enabling (1) the conversion of vertical movement, resulting from the downward traction, to horizontal movement and (2) shortening in the brittle upper crust. Our results show that incipient delamination of the Nubian continental lithosphere, linked to slab pull, can explain the present-day abnormal tectonics, contribute to the gravity anomaly observed in northern Morocco, and give insight into recent tectonics in the Western Mediterranean region.

  15. Two-temperature formalin fixation preserves activation states efficiently.

    PubMed

    Chafin, David

    2015-01-01

    Modern pathology is built around the principle of preserving tissues such that the in vivo molecular status is maintained at levels representative of the disease state. Tissues are immersed in a solution of fixative which slowly inactivates biological activities, thus preserving the sample. Further processing ultimately allows the tissue to be embedded into wax for thin sectioning and staining for interpretation microscopically. Every year, around 7 billion tissue samples are submitted for processing in the United States alone. With this huge workload, histology laboratories are looking for faster methods of performing fixation, which currently require from several hours to days to complete. Ideally, this procedure could be standardized and would be quicker with better preservation over a wide range of biologically relevant molecules.

  16. Fe, O, and C Charge States Associated with Quiescent Versus Active Current Sheets in the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; vonSteiger, R.

    2008-01-01

    Ulysses MAG data were used to locate the heliospheric current sheet in data from 1991 through 2006. The purpose was to characterize typical charge states for Fe, O, and C in the vicinity of the current sheet and provide insight into the physical sources for these charge states in the corona. A study of He/H around the current sheets has led to a clear distinction between quiescent current sheets at times of low solar activity and active current sheets associated with magnetic clouds (and, presumably, ICMES). It has been shown that high ionization state Fe is produced in the corona in current sheets associated with CMEs through spectroscopic observations of the corona and through in situ detection at Ulysses. Here we show that the ionization state of Fe is typically only enhanced around active current sheets while the ionization states of O and C are commonly enhanced around both quiescent and active current sheets. This is consistent with UV coronal spectroscopy, which has shown that reconnection in current sheets behind CMEs leads to high temperatures not typically seen above quiet streamers.

  17. The oligomeric state of the active Vps4 AAA ATPase

    PubMed Central

    Monroe, Nicole; Han, Han; Gonciarz, Malgorzata D.; Eckert, Debra M.; Karren, Mary Anne; Whitby, Frank G.; Sundquist, Wesley I.; Hill, Christopher P.

    2013-01-01

    The cellular ESCRT pathway drives membrane constriction toward the cytosol and effects membrane fission during cytokinesis, endosomal sorting, and the release of many enveloped viruses, including HIV. A component of this pathway, the AAA ATPase Vps4, provides energy for pathway progression. Although it is established that Vps4 functions as an oligomer, subunit stoichiometry and other fundamental features of the functional enzyme are unclear. Higher-order oligomers have thus far only been characterized for a Walker B mutant of Vps4 in the presence of ATP. Here, we report that although some mutant Vps4 proteins form dodecameric assemblies, active wild-type S. cerevisiae and S. solfataricus Vps4 enzymes can form hexamers in the presence of ATP and ADP, as assayed by size exclusion chromatography and equilibrium analytical ultracentifugation. The Vta1p activator binds hexameric yeast Vps4p without changing the oligomeric state of Vps4p, implying that the active Vta1p:Vps4p complex also contains a single hexameric ring. Additionally, we report crystal structures of two different archaeal Vps4 homologs, whose structures and lattice interactions suggest a conserved mode of oligomerization. Disruption of the proposed hexamerization interface by mutagenesis abolished the ATPase activity of archaeal Vps4 proteins and blocked Vps4p function in S. cerevisiae. These data challenge the prevailing model that active Vps4 is a double ring dodecamer, and argue that, like other type I AAA ATPases, Vps4 functions as a single ring with six subunits. PMID:24161953

  18. State Policies to Improve Mentoring of Novice Special Education Teachers. Induction Insights. Supporting Special Education Teachers - Policymakers [PII-4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development, 2010

    2010-01-01

    Effective state policy for new teacher mentoring stipulates program elements that increase the likelihood that district programming will be implemented and, thus, defines for districts what is important about mentoring support. Although most state policies do not differentiate programs for novice special education teachers, there are particular…

  19. Highly conserved tyrosine stabilizes the active state of rhodopsin.

    PubMed

    Goncalves, Joseph A; South, Kieron; Ahuja, Shivani; Zaitseva, Ekaterina; Opefi, Chikwado A; Eilers, Markus; Vogel, Reiner; Reeves, Philip J; Smith, Steven O

    2010-11-16

    Light-induced isomerization of the 11-cis-retinal chromophore in the visual pigment rhodopsin triggers displacement of the second extracellular loop (EL2) and motion of transmembrane helices H5, H6, and H7 leading to the active intermediate metarhodopsin II (Meta II). We describe solid-state NMR measurements of rhodopsin and Meta II that target the molecular contacts in the region of the ionic lock involving these three helices. We show that a contact between Arg135(3.50) and Met257(6.40) forms in Meta II, consistent with the outward rotation of H6 and breaking of the dark-state Glu134(3.49)-Arg135(3.50)-Glu247(6.30) ionic lock. We also show that Tyr223(5.58) and Tyr306(7.53) form molecular contacts with Met257(6.40). Together these results reveal that the crystal structure of opsin in the region of the ionic lock reflects the active state of the receptor. We further demonstrate that Tyr223(5.58) and Ala132(3.47) in Meta II stabilize helix H5 in an active orientation. Mutation of Tyr223(5.58) to phenylalanine or mutation of Ala132(3.47) to leucine decreases the lifetime of the Meta II intermediate. Furthermore, the Y223F mutation is coupled to structural changes in EL2. In contrast, mutation of Tyr306(7.53) to phenylalanine shows only a moderate influence on the Meta II lifetime and is not coupled to EL2.

  20. Solvent-induced configuration mixing and triplet excited-state inversion: insights from transient absorption and transient dc photoconductivity measurements.

    PubMed

    She, Chunxing; Rachford, Aaron A; Wang, Xianghuai; Goeb, Sébastien; El-Ballouli, Ala'a O; Castellano, Felix N; Hupp, Joseph T

    2009-10-14

    Solvent-induced excited-state configuration mixing in a Pt(II) diimine chromophore with phenylene ethynylene containing acetylide ligands, [Pt((t)Bu2bpy)(PE3)2] (1), was characterized by nanosecond transient absorption spectroscopy and transient dc photoconductivity (TDCP). The mixing is a result of closely spaced triplet charge transfer (3CT) and intraligand-localized (3IL) triplet energy levels that are finely tuned with solvent polarity as ascertained by their parent model chromophores [Pt((t)Bu2bpy)(PE1)2] (2) and [Pt(P2)(PE3)2] (3), respectively. The absorption difference spectrum of the mixed triplet state is dramatically different from those of the 3CT and 3IL state model chromophores. The 3CT, 3IL and configuration-mixed triplet states led to distinct TDCP signals. The TDCP response is of negative polarity for 3CT excited states but of positive polarity for 3IL excited states. TDCP transients for 1 in mixed solvents are a combination of signals from the 3IL and 3CT states, with the signal magnitude depending on the polarity of solvent composition. The fraction of 3CT state character in the configurationally mixed excited state was quantified by TDCP to be approximately 0.24 in pure benzene, while it decreased to approximately 0.05 in 20 : 80 (v : v) benzene-CH2Cl2. The charge transfer fraction appears to increase slightly to approximately 0.11 in the lower polarity 20 : 80 n-hexane-CH2Cl2 medium. TDCP is shown to be a useful tool for the identification of the lowest excited state in electrically neutral metal-organic chromophores.

  1. A state-of-the-art assessment of active structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    A state-of-the-art assessment of active structures with emphasis towards the applications in aeronautics and space is presented. It is felt that since this technology area is growing at such a rapid pace in many different disciplines, it is not feasible to cover all of the current research but only the relevant work as relates to aeronautics and space. Research in smart actuation materials, smart sensors, and control of smart/intelligent structures is covered. In smart actuation materials, piezoelectric, magnetostrictive, shape memory, electrorheological, and electrostrictive materials are covered. For sensory materials, fiber optics, dielectric loss, and piezoelectric sensors are examined. Applications of embedded sensors and smart sensors are discussed.

  2. Role of the 3(ππ*) state in photolysis of lumisantonin: insight from ab initio studies.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xing; Rinkevicius, Zilvinas; Luo, Yi; Ågren, Hans; Cao, Zexing

    2011-07-07

    The CASSCF and CASPT2 methodologies have been used to explore the potential energy surfaces of lumisantonin in the ground and low-lying triplet states along the photoisomerization pathways. Calculations indicate that the (1)(nπ*) state is the accessible low-lying singlet state with a notable oscillator strength under an excitation wavelength of 320 nm and that it can effectively decay to the (3)(ππ*) state through intersystem crossing in the region of minimum surface crossings with a notable spin-orbital coupling constant. The (3)(ππ*) state, derived from the promotion of an electron from the π-type orbital mixed with the σ orbital localized on the C-C bond in the three-membered alkyl ring to the π* orbital of conjugation carbon atoms, plays a critical role in C-C bond cleavage. Based on the different C-C bond rupture patterns, the reaction pathways can be divided into paths A and B. Photolysis along path A arising from C1-C5 bond rupture is favorable because of the dynamic and thermodynamic preferences on the triplet excited-state PES. Path B is derived from the cleavage of the C5-C6 bond, leading first to a relatively stable species, compared to intermediate A-INT formed on the ground state PES. Accordingly, path B is relatively facile for the pyrolytic reaction. The present results provide a basis to interpret the experimental observations.

  3. Design, synthesis and insight into the structure-activity relationship of 1,3-disubstituted indazoles as novel HIF-1 inhibitors.

    PubMed

    An, Hongchan; Kim, Nam-Jung; Jung, Jong-Wha; Jang, Hannah; Park, Jong-Wan; Suh, Young-Ger

    2011-11-01

    Design, synthesis and insight into the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of 1,3-disubstituted indazoles as novel HIF-1 inhibitors are described. In particular, the substituted furan moiety on indazole skeleton as well as its substitution pattern turns out crucial for the high HIF-1 inhibition.

  4. Quantitative evaluation of activation state in functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhenghui; Ni, Pengyu; Liu, Cong; Zhao, Xiaohu; Liu, Huafeng; Shi, Pengcheng

    2012-10-01

    Neuronal activity can evoke the hemodynamic change that gives rise to the observed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal. These increases are also regulated by the resting blood volume fraction (V (0)) associated with regional vasculature. The activation locus detected by means of the change in the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal intensity thereby may deviate from the actual active site due to varied vascular density in the cortex. Furthermore, conventional detection techniques evaluate the statistical significance of the hemodynamic observations. In this sense, the significance level relies not only upon the intensity of the BOLD signal change, but also upon the spatially inhomogeneous fMRI noise distribution that complicates the expression of the results. In this paper, we propose a quantitative strategy for the calibration of activation states to address these challenging problems. The quantitative assessment is based on the estimated neuronal efficacy parameter [Formula: see text] of the hemodynamic model in a voxel-by-voxel way. It is partly immune to the inhomogeneous fMRI noise by virtue of the strength of the optimization strategy. Moreover, it is easy to incorporate regional vascular information into the activation detection procedure. By combining MR angiography images, this approach can remove large vessel contamination in fMRI signals, and provide more accurate functional localization than classical statistical techniques for clinical applications. It is also helpful to investigate the nonlinear nature of the coupling between synaptic activity and the evoked BOLD response. The proposed method might be considered as a potentially useful complement to existing statistical approaches.

  5. Role of ELA region in auto-activation of mutant KIT receptor: a molecular dynamics simulation insight.

    PubMed

    Purohit, Rituraj

    2014-01-01

    KIT receptor is the prime target in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GISTs) therapy. Second generation inhibitor, Sunitinib, binds to an inactivated conformation of KIT receptor and stabilizes it in order to prevent tumor formation. Here, we investigated the dynamic behavior of wild type and mutant D816H KIT receptor, and emphasized the extended A-loop (EAL) region (805-850) by conducting molecular dynamics simulation (∼100 ns). We analyzed different properties such as root mean square cutoff or deviation, root mean square fluctuation, radius of gyration, solvent-accessible surface area, hydrogen bonding network analysis, and essential dynamics. Apart from this, clustering and cross-correlation matrix approach was used to explore the conformational space of the wild type and mutant EAL region of KIT receptor. Molecular dynamics analysis indicated that mutation (D816H) was able to alter intramolecular hydrogen bonding pattern and affected the structural flexibility of EAL region. Moreover, flexible secondary elements, specially, coil and turns were dominated in EAL region of mutant KIT receptor during simulation. This phenomenon increased the movement of EAL region which in turn helped in shifting the equilibrium towards the active kinase conformation. Our atomic investigation of mutant KIT receptor which emphasized on EAL region provided a better insight into the understanding of Sunitinib resistance mechanism of KIT receptor and would help to discover new therapeutics for KIT-based resistant tumor cells in GIST therapy.

  6. p-Coumaric acid decarboxylase from Lactobacillus plantarum: structural insights into the active site and decarboxylation catalytic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Héctor; Angulo, Iván; de Las Rivas, Blanca; Campillo, Nuria; Páez, Juan A; Muñoz, Rosario; Mancheño, José M

    2010-05-15

    p-Coumaric acid decarboxylases (PDCs) catalyze the nonoxidative decarboxylation of hydroxycinnamic acids to generate the corresponding vinyl derivatives. Despite the biotechnological relevance of PDCs in food industry, their catalytic mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we report insights into the structural basis of catalysis for the homodimeric PDC from Lactobacillus plantarum (LpPDC). The global fold of LpPDC is based on a flattened beta-barrel surrounding an internal cavity. Crystallographic and functional analyses of single-point mutants of residues located within this cavity have permitted identifying a potential substrate-binding pocket and also to provide structural evidences for rearrangements of surface loops so that they can modulate the accessibility to the active site. Finally, combination of the structural and functional data with in silico results enables us to propose a two-step catalytic mechanism for decarboxylation of p-coumaric acid by PDCs where Glu71 is involved in proton transfer, and Tyr18 and Tyr20 are involved in the proper substrate orientation and in the release of the CO(2) product.

  7. Capacity-building activities in the Arab States.

    PubMed

    El Sioufi, M

    1996-03-01

    The UN Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) (Habitat) Training and Capacity-Building Section has been active in several of the Arab States. Beginning in 1995, Belgium funded a 3-year project, "Localising Agenda 21: Action Planning for Sustainable Urban Development," in Essaouira, Morocco. A local team was established, and an Action Planning Consultation Workshop was held in January 1996. Local participants, Belgian experts, and the UNCHS Training and Capacity-Building Section attended the workshop, the goal of which was to guide the town in achieving sustainable development. The experiences from this project will be disseminated throughout the region. In Egypt, the Training and Capacity Building Section has initiated the "Sustainable Ismailia Project," a training program, which may be expanded nationally, for locally elected leadership. The Egyptian government will be responsible for the majority of the implementation funding; training materials are being prepared, and training should begin in 1996. The Palestinian Authority (Gaza Strip), Jordan, Mauritania, and Yemen have requested capacity-building programs. The "Urban Settlements and Management Programme" has requested a training program for Somalia after the country stabilizes. "A Regional Capacity-Building Programme" is being designed for national training institutions in the Arab States; the program will focus on the training of trainers, urban managers, and elected leadership. UNCHS training materials and handbooks are being translated into Arabic. This training was requested by Member States during the 15th session of the Commission on Human Settlements.

  8. Insights on the role of accurate state estimation in coupled model parameter estimation by a conceptual climate model study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Xiaolin; Zhang, Shaoqing; Lin, Xiaopei; Li, Mingkui

    2017-03-01

    The uncertainties in values of coupled model parameters are an important source of model bias that causes model climate drift. The values can be calibrated by a parameter estimation procedure that projects observational information onto model parameters. The signal-to-noise ratio of error covariance between the model state and the parameter being estimated directly determines whether the parameter estimation succeeds or not. With a conceptual climate model that couples the stochastic atmosphere and slow-varying ocean, this study examines the sensitivity of state-parameter covariance on the accuracy of estimated model states in different model components of a coupled system. Due to the interaction of multiple timescales, the fast-varying atmosphere with a chaotic nature is the major source of the inaccuracy of estimated state-parameter covariance. Thus, enhancing the estimation accuracy of atmospheric states is very important for the success of coupled model parameter estimation, especially for the parameters in the air-sea interaction processes. The impact of chaotic-to-periodic ratio in state variability on parameter estimation is also discussed. This simple model study provides a guideline when real observations are used to optimize model parameters in a coupled general circulation model for improving climate analysis and predictions.

  9. Cytosolic Ca2+ and Ca2+-activated Cl− current dynamics: insights from two functionally distinct mouse exocrine cells

    PubMed Central

    Giovannucci, David R; Bruce, Jason I. E; Straub, Stephen V; Arreola, Jorge; Sneyd, James; Shuttleworth, Trevor J; Yule, David I

    2002-01-01

    The dynamics of Ca2+ release and Ca2+-activated Cl− currents in two related, but functionally distinct exocrine cells, were studied to gain insight into how the molecular specialization of Ca2+ signalling machinery are utilized to produce different physiological endpoints: in this case, fluid or exocytotic secretion. Digital imaging and patch-clamp methods were used to monitor the temporal and spatial properties of changes in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]c) and Cl− currents following the controlled photolytic release of caged-InsP3 or caged-Ca2+. In parotid and pancreatic acinar cells, changes in [Ca2+]c and activation of a Ca2+-activated Cl− current occurred with close temporal coincidence. In parotid, a rapid global Ca2+ signal was invariably induced, even with low-level photolytic release of threshold amounts of InsP3. In pancreas, threshold stimulation generated an apically delimited [Ca2+]c signal, while a stronger stimulus induced a global [Ca2+]c signal which exhibited characteristics of a propagating wave. InsP3 was more effective in parotid, where [Ca2+]c signals initiated with shorter latency and exhibited a faster time-to-peak than in pancreas. The increased potency of InsP3 in parotid probably results from a four-fold higher number of InsP3 receptors as measured by radiolabelled InsP3 binding and western blot analysis. The Ca2+ sensitivity of the Cl− channels in parotid and pancreas was determined from the [Ca2+]-current relationship measured during a dynamic ‘Ca2+ ramp’ produced by the continuous, low-level photolysis of caged-Ca2+. In addition to a greater number of InsP3 receptors, the Cl− current density of parotid acinar cells was more than four-fold greater than that of pancreatic cells. Whereas activation of the current was tightly coupled to increases in Ca2+ in both cell types, local Ca2+ clearance was found to contribute substantially to the deactivation of the current in parotid. These data reveal specializations of

  10. GPi Oscillatory Activity Differentiates Tics from the Resting State, Voluntary Movements, and the Unmedicated Parkinsonian State

    PubMed Central

    Jimenez-Shahed, Joohi; Telkes, Ilknur; Viswanathan, Ashwin; Ince, Nuri F.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an emerging treatment strategy for severe, medication-refractory Tourette syndrome (TS). Thalamic (Cm-Pf) and pallidal (including globus pallidus interna, GPi) targets have been the most investigated. While the neurophysiological correlates of Parkinson's disease (PD) in the GPi and subthalamic nucleus (STN) are increasingly recognized, these patterns are not well characterized in other disease states. Recent findings indicate that the cross-frequency coupling (CFC) between beta band and high frequency oscillations (HFOs) within the STN in PD patients is pathologic. Methods: We recorded intraoperative local field potentials (LFPs) from the postero-ventrolateral GPi in three adult patients with TS at rest, during voluntary movements, and during tic activity and compared them to the intraoperative GPi-LFP activity recorded from four unmedicated PD patients at rest. Results: In all PD patients, we noted excessive beta band activity (13–30 Hz) at rest which consistently modulated the amplitude of the co-existent HFOs observed between 200 and 400 Hz, indicating the presence of beta-HFO CFC. In all 3TS patients at rest, we observed theta band activity (4–7 Hz) and HFOs. Two patients had beta band activity, though at lower power than theta oscillations. Tic activity was associated with increased high frequency (200–400 Hz) and gamma band (35–200 Hz) activity. There was no beta-HFO CFC in TS patients at rest. However, CFC between the phase of 5–10 Hz band activity and the amplitude of HFOs was found in two TS patients. During tics, this shifted to CFC between the phase of beta band activity and the amplitude of HFOs in all subjects. Conclusions: To our knowledge this is the first study that shows that beta-HFO CFC exists in the GPi of TS patients during tics and at rest in PD patients, and suggests that this pattern might be specific to pathologic/involuntary movements. Furthermore, our findings suggest that during tics

  11. Shallow Lunar Seismic Activity and the Current Stress State of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watters, T. R.; Weber, R. C.; Collins, G. C.; Johnson, C. L.

    2017-01-01

    A vast, global network of more than 3200 lobate thrust fault scarps has been revealed in high resolution Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) images. The fault scarps very young, less than 50 Ma, based on their small scale and crisp appearance, crosscutting relations with small-diameter impact craters, and rates of infilling of associated small, shallow graben and may be actively forming today. The population of young thrust fault scarps provides a window into the recent stress state of the Moon and offers insight into the origin of global lunar stresses. The distribution of orientations of the fault scarps is non-random, inconsistent with isotropic stresses from late-stage global contraction as the sole source of stress Modeling shows that tidal stresses contribute significantly to the current stress state of the lunar crust. Tidal stresses (orbital recession and diurnal tides) superimposed on stresses from global contraction result in non-isotropic compressional stress and thrust faults consistent with lobate scarp orientations. Stresses due to orbital recession do not change with orbital position, thus it is with the addition of diurnal stresses that peak stresses are reached. At apogee, diurnal and recession stresses are most compressive near the tidal axis, while at perigee they are most compressive 90 degrees away from the tidal axis. Coseismic slip events on currently active thrust faults are expected to be triggered when peak stresses are reached. Analysis of the timing of the 28 the shallow moonquakes recorded by the Apollo seismic network shows that 19 indeed occur when the Moon is closer to apogee, while only 9 shallow events occur when the Moon is closer to perigee. Here we show the results of relocating the shallow moonquake using an algorithm designed for sparse networks to better constrain their epicentral locations in order to compare them with stress models. The model for the current stress state of the Moon is refined by investigating the

  12. Shallow Lunar Seismic Activity and the Current Stress State of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watters, Thomas R.; Weber, Renee C.; Collins, Geoffrey C.; Johnson, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    A vast, global network of more than 3200 lobate thrust fault scarps has been revealed in high resolution Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) images. The fault scarps are very young, less than 50 Ma, based on their small scale and crisp appearance, crosscutting relations with small-diameter impact craters, and rates of infilling of associated small, shallow graben and may be actively forming today. The population of young thrust fault scarps provides a window into the recent stress state of the Moon and offers insight into the origin of global lunar stresses. The distribution of orientations of the fault scarps is non-random, inconsistent with isotropic stresses from late-stage global contraction as the sole source of stress. Modeling shows that tidal stresses contribute significantly to the current stress state of the lunar crust. Tidal stresses (orbital recession and diurnal tides) superimposed on stresses from global contraction result in non-isotropic compressional stress and may produce thrust faults consistent with lobate scarp orientations. At any particular point on the lunar surface, peak compressive stress will be reached at a certain time in the diurnal cycle. Coseismic slip events on currently active thrust faults are expected to be triggered when peak stresses are reached. Analysis of the timing of the 28 the shallow moonquakes recorded by the Apollo seismic network shows that 19 indeed occur when the Moon is closer to apogee, while only 9 shallow events occur when the Moon is closer to perigee. Here we report efforts to refine the model for the current stress state of the Moon by investigating the contribution of polar wander. Progress on relocating the epicentral locations of the shallow moonquakes using an algorithm designed for sparse networks is also reported.

  13. Resting-state EEG theta activity and risk learning: sensitivity to reward or punishment?

    PubMed

    Massar, Stijn A A; Kenemans, J Leon; Schutter, Dennis J L G

    2014-03-01

    Increased theta (4-7 Hz)-beta (13-30 Hz) power ratio in resting state electroencephalography (EEG) has been associated with risky disadvantageous decision making and with impaired reinforcement learning. However, the specific contributions of theta and beta power in risky decision making remain unclear. The first aim of the present study was to replicate the earlier found relationship and examine the specific contributions of theta and beta power in risky decision making using the Iowa Gambling Task. The second aim of the study was to examine whether the relation were associated with differences in reward or punishment sensitivity. We replicated the earlier found relationship by showing a positive association between theta/beta ratio and risky decision making. This correlation was mainly driven by theta oscillations. Furthermore, theta power correlated with reward motivated learning, but not with punishment learning. The present results replicate and extend earlier findings by providing novel insights into the relation between thetabeta ratios and risky decision making. Specifically, findings show that resting-state theta activity is correlated with reinforcement learning, and that this association may be explained by differences in reward sensitivity.

  14. Communicating Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector: Insights from Surveys and Interviews with Agricultural Advisors in the Midwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopy, L. S.; Carlton, S.; Dunn, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding U.S. agricultural stakeholder views about the existence of climate change and what influences these views is central to developing communication in support of adaptation and mitigation. It has been postulated in the literature that extreme weather events can shape people's climate change beliefs and adaptation attitudes. In this presentation, we use data from pre- and post-extreme event surveys and interviews to examine the effects of the 2012 Midwestern US drought on agricultural advisors' climate change beliefs, adaptation attitudes, and risk perceptions. We found that neither climate change beliefs nor attitudes toward adaptation changed significantly as a result of the drought. Risk perceptions did change, however, with advisors becoming more concerned about risks from drought and pests and less concerned about risks related to flooding and ponding. Qualitative interviews revealed that while advisors readily accept the occurrence of extreme weather as a risk, the irregularity and unpredictability of extreme events for specific localities limits day-to-day consideration in respect to prescribed management advice. Instead, advisors' attention is directed towards planning for short-term changes encompassing weather, pests, and the market, as well as planning for long-term trends related to water availability. These findings provide important insights for communicating climate change in this critical sector while illustrating the importance of social science research in planning and executing communication campaigns.

  15. Substrate-bound outward-open state of the betaine transporter BetP provides insights into Na+ coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez, Camilo; Faust, Belinda; Mehdipour, Ahmad Reza; Francesconi, Kevin A.; Forrest, Lucy R.; Ziegler, Christine

    2014-07-01

    The Na+-coupled betaine symporter BetP shares a highly conserved fold with other sequence unrelated secondary transporters, for example, with neurotransmitter symporters. Recently, we obtained atomic structures of BetP in distinct conformational states, which elucidated parts of its alternating-access mechanism. Here, we report a structure of BetP in a new outward-open state in complex with an anomalous scattering substrate, adding a fundamental piece to an unprecedented set of structural snapshots for a secondary transporter. In combination with molecular dynamics simulations these structural data highlight important features of the sequential formation of the substrate and sodium-binding sites, in which coordinating water molecules play a crucial role. We observe a strictly interdependent binding of betaine and sodium ions during the coupling process. All three sites undergo progressive reshaping and dehydration during the alternating-access cycle, with the most optimal coordination of all substrates found in the closed state.

  16. Theoretical insight into the excited-state intramolecular proton transfer mechanisms of three amino-type hydrogen-bonding molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Beibei; Yuan, Huijuan; Zhu, Qiuling; Li, Yuanyuan; Guo, Xugeng; Zhang, Jinglai

    2017-03-01

    Excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) dynamics of the amino-type hydrogen-bonding compound 2-(2‧-aminophenyl)benzothiazole (PBT-NH2) as well as its two derivatives 2-(5‧-cyano-2‧-aminophenyl)benzothiazole (CN-PBT-NH2) and 2-(5‧-cyano-2‧-tosylaminophenyl)benzothiazole (CN-PBT-NHTs) were studied by the time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) approach with the B3LYP density functional, and their absorption and emission spectra were also explored at the same level of theory. A good agreement is observed between the theoretical simulations and experimental spectra, indicating that the present calculations are reasonably reliable. In addition, it is also found that the energy barriers of the first excited singlet state of the three targeted molecules along the ESIPT reaction are computed to be 0.38, 0.34 and 0.12 eV, respectively, showing the trend of gradual decrease, which implies that the introduction of the electron-withdrawing cyano or tosyl group can facilitate the occurrence of the ESIPT reaction of these amino-type H-bonding systems. Following the ESIPT, both CN-PBT-NH2 and CN-PBT-NHTs dye molecules can undergo the cis-trans isomerization reactions in the ground-state and excited-state potential energy curves along the C2-C3 bond between benzothiazole and phenyl moieties, where the energy barriers of the trans-tautomer → cis-tautomer isomerizations in the ground states are calculated to be 0.83 and 0.34 eV, respectively. According to our calculations, it is plausible that there may exist the long-lived trans-tautomer species in the ground states of CN-PBT-NH2 and CN-PBT-NHTs.

  17. Metabolomic profiling in Selaginella lepidophylla at various hydration states provides new insights into the mechanistic basis of desiccation tolerance.

    PubMed

    Yobi, Abou; Wone, Bernard W M; Xu, Wenxin; Alexander, Danny C; Guo, Lining; Ryals, John A; Oliver, Melvin J; Cushman, John C

    2013-03-01

    Selaginella lepidophylla is one of only a few species of spike mosses (Selaginellaceae) that have evolved desiccation tolerance (DT) or the ability to 'resurrect' from an air-dried state. In order to understand the metabolic basis of DT, S. lepidophylla was subjected to a five-stage, rehydration/dehydration cycle, then analyzed using non-biased, global metabolomics profiling technology based on GC/MS and UHLC/MS/MS(2) platforms. A total of 251 metabolites including 167 named (66.5%) and 84 (33.4%) unnamed compounds were characterized. Only 42 (16.7%) and 74 (29.5%) of compounds showed significantly increased or decreased abundance, respectively, indicating that most compounds were produced constitutively, including highly abundant trehalose, sucrose, and glucose. Several glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates showed increased abundance at 100% relative water content (RWC) and 50% RWC. Vanillate, a potent antioxidant, was also more abundant in the hydrated state. Many different sugar alcohols and sugar acids were more abundant in the hydrated state. These polyols likely decelerate the rate of water loss during the drying process as well as slow water absorption during rehydration, stabilize proteins, and scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS). In contrast, nitrogen-rich and γ-glutamyl amino acids, citrulline, and nucleotide catabolism products (e.g. allantoin) were more abundant in the dry states, suggesting that these compounds might play important roles in nitrogen remobilization during rehydration or in ROS scavenging. UV-protective compounds such as 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)propionate, apigenin, and naringenin, were more abundant in the dry states. Most lipids were produced constitutively, with the exception of choline phosphate, which was more abundant in dry states and likely plays a role in membrane hydration and stabilization. In contrast, several polyunsaturated fatty acids were more abundant in the hydrated states

  18. Hospital care and capacity in the tri-state region of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio: analysis and insights.

    PubMed

    Burns, David J; Chinta, Ravi; Kashyap, Vishal; Manolis, Chris; Sen, Amit

    2008-01-01

    Hospitals are a significant part of the burgeoning healthcare sector in the United States (U.S.) economy. Despite the availability of what some describe as the world's best healthcare, the U.S. suffers from wide discrepancies in healthcare provision across hospitals and regions of the country. Specifically, capacity, utilization, quality, and even financial performance of hospitals vary widely. Based on secondary data from 533 hospitals in the adjoining states of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, this study develops several comparative metrics that enable benchmarking, which, in turn, leads to several inferences and implications for hospital administrators. The paper concludes with implications for hospital administrators and suggestions for future research.

  19. Steady-state compartmentalization of lipid membranes by active proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Sabra, M C; Mouritsen, O G

    1998-01-01

    Using a simple microscopic model of lipid-protein interactions, based on the hydrophobic matching principle, we study some generic aspects of lipid-membrane compartmentalization controlled by a dispersion of active integral membrane proteins. The activity of the proteins is simulated by conformational excitations governed by an external drive, and the deexcitation is controlled by interaction of the protein with its lipid surroundings. In response to the flux of energy into the proteins from the environment and the subsequent dissipation of energy into the lipid bilayer, the lipid-protein assembly reorganizes into a steady-state structure with a typical length scale determined by the strength of the external drive. In the specific case of a mixed dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine-distearoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer in the gel-fluid coexistence region, it is shown explicitly by computer simulation that the activity of an integral membrane protein can lead to a compartmentalization of the lipid-bilayer membrane. The compartmentalization is related to the dynamical process of phase separation and lipid domain formation. PMID:9533687

  20. New insights into mechanisms of opioid inhibitory effects on capsaicin-induced TRPV1 activity during painful diabetic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Shaqura, Mohammed; Khalefa, Baled I; Shakibaei, Mehdi; Zöllner, Christian; Al-Khrasani, Mahmoud; Fürst, Susanna; Schäfer, Michael; Mousa, Shaaban A

    2014-10-01

    Painful diabetic neuropathy is a disease of the peripheral sensory neuron with impaired opioid responsiveness. Since μ-opioid receptor (MOR) activation can inhibit the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) activity in peripherally sensory neurons, this study investigated the mechanisms of impaired opioid inhibitory effects on capsaicin-induced TRPV1 activity in painful diabetic neuropathy. Intravenous injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 45 mg/kg) in Wistar rats led to a degeneration of insulin producing pancreatic β-cells, elevated blood glucose, and mechanical hypersensitivity (allodynia). In these animals, local morphine's inhibitory effects on capsaicin-induced nocifensive behavior as well as on capsaicin-induced TRPV1 current in dorsal root ganglion cells were significantly impaired. These changes were associated with a loss in MOR but not TRPV1 in peripheral sensory neurons. Intrathecal delivery of nerve growth factor in diabetic animals normalized sensory neuron MOR and subsequently rescued morphine's inhibitory effects on capsaicin-induced TRPV1 activity in vivo and in vitro. These findings identify a loss in functional MOR on sensory neurons as a contributing factor for the impaired opioid inhibitory effects on capsaicin-induced TRPV1 activity during advanced STZ-induced diabetes. Moreover, they support growing evidence of a distinct regulation of opioid responsiveness during various painful states of disease (e.g. arthritis, cancer, neuropathy) and may give novel therapeutic incentives.

  1. From Parkinsonian thalamic activity to restoring thalamic relay using deep brain stimulation: new insights from computational modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meijer, H. G. E.; Krupa, M.; Cagnan, H.; Lourens, M. A. J.; Heida, T.; Martens, H. C. F.; Bour, L. J.; van Gils, S. A.

    2011-10-01

    We present a computational model of a thalamocortical relay neuron for exploring basal ganglia thalamocortical loop behavior in relation to Parkinson's disease and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Previous microelectrode, single-unit recording studies demonstrated that oscillatory interaction within and between basal ganglia nuclei is very often accompanied by synchronization at Parkinsonian rest tremor frequencies (3-10 Hz). These oscillations have a profound influence on thalamic projections and impair the thalamic relaying of cortical input by generating rebound action potentials. Our model describes convergent inhibitory input received from basal ganglia by the thalamocortical cells based on characteristics of normal activity, and/or low-frequency oscillations (activity associated with Parkinson's disease). In addition to simulated input, we also used microelectrode recordings as inputs for the model. In the resting state, and without additional sensorimotor input, pathological rebound activity is generated for even mild Parkinsonian input. We have found a specific stimulation window of amplitudes and frequencies for periodic input, which corresponds to high-frequency DBS, and which also suppresses rebound activity for mild and even more prominent Parkinsonian input. When low-frequency pathological rebound activity disables the thalamocortical cell's ability to relay excitatory cortical input, a stimulation signal with parameter settings corresponding to our stimulation window can restore the thalamocortical cell's relay functionality.

  2. Insights from a Survey of Astronomy Instructors in Community and Other Teaching-Oriented Colleges in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    2004-01-01

    Estimates are that approximately 100,000 to 125,000 students take introductory astronomy classes each year at colleges and universities that do not grant bachelor's or higher degrees in physics or astronomy. This represents roughly 40% to 50% of the total number of students taking intro astronomy in the United States. Such nonresearch institutions…

  3. Metabolomic profiling in Selaginella lepidophylla at various hydration states provides new insights into the mechanistic basis of desiccation tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Selaginella lepidophylla is one of only a few species of spike mosses (Selaginellaceae) that have evolved desiccation tolerance (DT) or the ability to ‘resurrect’ from an air-dried state. In order to understand the metabolic basis of DT, S. lepidophylla was subjected to a five-stage, rehydration/de...

  4. The Effect of Cellulose Crystal Structure and Solid-State Morphology on the Activity of Cellulases

    SciTech Connect

    Stipanovic, Arthur J

    2014-11-17

    Consistent with the US-DOE and USDA “Roadmap” objective of producing ethanol and chemicals from cellulosic feedstocks more efficiently, a three year research project entitled “The Effect of Cellulose Crystal Structure and Solid-State Morphology on the Activity of Cellulases” was initiated in early 2003 under DOE sponsorship (Project Number DE-FG02-02ER15356). A three year continuation was awarded in June 2005 for the period September 15, 2005 through September 14, 2008. The original goal of this project was to determine the effect of cellulose crystal structure, including allomorphic crystalline form (Cellulose I, II, III, IV and sub-allomorphs), relative degree of crystallinity and crystallite size, on the activity of different types of genetically engineered cellulase enzymes to provide insight into the mechanism and kinetics of cellulose digestion by “pure” enzymes rather than complex mixtures. We expected that such information would ultimately help enhance the accessibility of cellulose to enzymatic conversion processes thereby creating a more cost-effective commercial process yielding sugars for fermentation into ethanol and other chemical products. Perhaps the most significant finding of the initial project phase was that conversion of native bacterial cellulose (Cellulose I; BC-I) to the Cellulose II (BC-II) crystal form by aqueous NaOH “pretreatment” provided an increase in cellulase conversion rate approaching 2-4 fold depending on enzyme concentration and temperature, even when initial % crystallinity values were similar for both allomorphs.

  5. Human glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor ligand regulates its signaling activity through multiple oligomerization states

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Zhaocai; Song, Xiaomin; Berezov, Alan; Zhang, Geng; Li, Yanjing; Zhang, Hongtao; Murali, Ramachandran; Li, Bin; Greene, Mark I.

    2008-01-01

    Ligation between glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor (GITR) and its ligand (GITRL) provides an undefined signal that renders CD4+CD25− effector T cells resistant to the inhibitory effects of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. To understand the structural basis of GITRL function, we have expressed and purified the extracellular domain of human GITR ligand in Escherichia coli. Chromotography and cross-linking studies indicate that human GITRL (hGITRL) exists as dimers and trimers in solution and also can form a supercluster. To gain insight into the nature of GITRL oligomerization, we determined the crystallographic structures of hGITRL, which revealed a loosely associated open trimer with a deep cavity at the molecular center and a flexible C-terminal tail bent for trimerization. Moreover, a tetramer of trimers (i.e., supercluster) has also been observed in the crystal, consistent with the cross-linking analysis. Deletion of the C-terminal distal three residues disrupts the loosely assembled trimer and favors the formation of a dimer that has compromised receptor binding and signaling activity. Collectively, our studies identify multiple oligomeric species of hGITRL that possess distinct kinetics of ERK activation. The studies address the functional implications and structural models for a process by which hGITRL utilizes multiple oligomerization states to regulate GITR-mediated signaling during T cell costimulation. PMID:18378892

  6. Insights into the Spin-State Transitions in [Fe(tpy)2]2+: Importance of the Terpyridine Rocking Motion.

    PubMed

    Nance, James; Bowman, David N; Mukherjee, Sriparna; Kelley, C T; Jakubikova, Elena

    2015-12-07

    Iron(II) polypyridine complexes have the potential for numerous applications on a global scale, such as sensitizers, sensors, and molecular memory. The excited-state properties of these systems, particularly the intersystem crossing (ISC) rates, are sensitive to the choice of ligands and can be significantly altered depending on the coordination environment. We employ density functional theory and Smolyak's sparse grid interpolation algorithm to construct potential energy surfaces (PESs) for the photophysically relevant states ((1)A, (3,5)MC, and (1,3)MLCT) of the [Fe(tpy)2](2+) (tpy = 2,2':6',2"-terpyridine) complex, with the goal of obtaining a deeper understanding of the ground- and excited-state electronic structure of this system. The three dimensions that define our adiabatic PESs consist of equatorial and axial metal-ligand bond length distortions and a terpyridine ligand "rocking angle", which has not previously been investigated. The intersection crossing seams and minimum energy crossing points (MECPs) between surfaces are also determined. Overall, we find that the PESs of all electronic excited states investigated are characterized by low-energy valleys along the tpy rocking-angle coordinate. This results in the presence of large low-energy areas around the MECPs on the intersection seams of different electronic states and indicates that inclusion of this third coordinate is crucial for an adequate description of the PESs and surface crossing seams of the [Fe(tpy)2](2+) complex. Finally, we suggest that tuning the energetics of the tpy ligand rocking motion could provide a way to control the ISC process in this complex.

  7. Passive resting state and history of antagonist muscle activity shape active extensions in an insect limb

    PubMed Central

    Ache, Jan M.

    2012-01-01

    Limb movements can be driven by muscle contractions, external forces, or intrinsic passive forces. For lightweight limbs like those of insects or small vertebrates, passive forces can be large enough to overcome the effects of gravity and may even generate limb movements in the absence of active muscle contractions. Understanding the sources and actions of such forces is therefore important in understanding motor control. We describe passive properties of the femur-tibia joint of the locust hind leg. The resting angle is determined primarily by passive properties of the relatively large extensor tibiae muscle and is influenced by the history of activation of the fast extensor tibiae motor neuron. The resting angle is therefore better described as a history-dependent resting state. We selectively stimulated different flexor tibiae motor neurons to generate a range of isometric contractions of the flexor tibiae muscle and then stimulated the fast extensor tibiae motor neuron to elicit active tibial extensions. Residual forces in the flexor muscle have only a small effect on subsequent active extensions, but the effect is larger for distal than for proximal flexor motor neurons and varies with the strength of flexor activation. We conclude that passive properties of a lightweight limb make substantial and complex contributions to the resting state of the limb that must be taken into account in the patterning of neuronal control signals driving its active movements. Low variability in the effects of the passive forces may permit the nervous system to accurately predict their contributions to behavior. PMID:22357791

  8. 34 CFR 403.71 - In what additional ways may funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... State Programs and State Leadership Activities? 403.71 Section 403.71 Education Regulations of the... Secretary Assist Under the Basic Programs? State Programs and State Leadership Activities § 403.71 In what additional ways may funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? In addition...

  9. 34 CFR 403.70 - How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 34 Education 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? 403.70 Section 403.70 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF VOCATIONAL AND ADULT EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STATE VOCATIONAL AND APPLIED TECHNOLOGY...

  10. 34 CFR 403.70 - How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 34 Education 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false How must funds be used under the State Programs and State Leadership Activities? 403.70 Section 403.70 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF VOCATIONAL AND ADULT EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STATE VOCATIONAL AND APPLIED TECHNOLOGY...

  11. Diverse activation states of RhoA in human lung cancer cells: contribution of G protein coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Touge, Hirokazu; Chikumi, Hiroki; Igishi, Tadashi; Kurai, Jun; Makino, Haruhiko; Tamura, Yoshisato; Takata, Miyako; Yoneda, Kazuhiko; Nakamoto, Masaki; Suyama, Hisashi; Gutkind, J Silvio; Shimizu, Eiji

    2007-03-01

    Rho GTPases play an essential role in the control of various cellular functions. Accumulating evidence suggests that RhoA overexpression contributes to human cancer development. However, the activation states of RhoA are poorly defined in cancer cells. In this study, we examined both the expression levels and the activation states of RhoA in various lung cancer cells by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and in vivo Rho guanine nucleotide exchange assay, respectively. Moreover, we dissected the signaling pathway from the cell surface receptors to RhoA using a broad-spectrum G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) antagonist, [D-Arg1,D-Trp5,7,9,Leu11]Substance P (SP), and a recently reported Galphaq/11-selective inhibitor, YM-254890. We found that RhoA was expressed highly in large cell carcinoma cells but only weakly in adenocarcinoma cells. The activation states of RhoA are considerably different from its expression profiles. We found that four of six small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cell lines exhibited a moderate to high activation rate of RhoA. The addition of [D-Arg1,D-Trp5,7,9,Leu11]SP reduced RhoA activity by almost 60% in H69 SCLC cells. The addition of YM-254890 had no effect on RhoA activity in H69 cells. Our results suggest that RhoA is activated in various lung cancer cells independent of its expression levels, and the high activation state of RhoA in SCLC cells mainly depends on a neuroendocrine peptide autocrine system which signals through Galpha12 coupled GPCR to RhoA. This study provides new insights into RhoA signaling in lung cancer cells and may help in developing novel therapeutic strategies against lung cancer.

  12. Structural Analysis of Glycine Sarcosine N-methyltransferase from Methanohalophilus portucalensis Reveals Mechanistic Insights into the Regulation of Methyltransferase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yi-Ru; Lin, Te-Sheng; Lai, Shu-Jung; Liu, Mu-Sen; Lai, Mei-Chin; Chan, Nei-Li

    2016-01-01

    Methyltransferases play crucial roles in many cellular processes, and various regulatory mechanisms have evolved to control their activities. For methyltransferases involved in biosynthetic pathways, regulation via feedback inhibition is a commonly employed strategy to prevent excessive accumulation of the pathways’ end products. To date, no biosynthetic methyltransferases have been characterized by X-ray crystallography in complex with their corresponding end product. Here, we report the crystal structures of the glycine sarcosine N-methyltransferase from the halophilic archaeon Methanohalophilus portucalensis (MpGSMT), which represents the first structural elucidation of the GSMT methyltransferase family. As the first enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of the osmoprotectant betaine, MpGSMT catalyzes N-methylation of glycine and sarcosine, and its activity is feedback-inhibited by the end product betaine. A structural analysis revealed that, despite the simultaneous presence of both substrate (sarcosine) and cofactor (S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine; SAH), the enzyme was likely crystallized in an inactive conformation, as additional structural changes are required to complete the active site assembly. Consistent with this interpretation, the bound SAH can be replaced by the methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine without triggering the methylation reaction. Furthermore, the observed conformational state was found to harbor a betaine-binding site, suggesting that betaine may inhibit MpGSMT activity by trapping the enzyme in an inactive form. This work implicates a structural basis by which feedback inhibition of biosynthetic methyltransferases may be achieved. PMID:27934872

  13. GG high accuracy test of the equivalence principle: state of the art, laboratory prototype and new insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nobili, Anna M.; Pegna, Raffaello; Comandi, Gian Luca; Bramanti, Donato; Anselmi, Alberto; Catastini, Giuseppe

    The GG ("Galileo Galilei") satellite experiment aims to test the Equivalence Principle (EP) to 10-17 , an extremely ambitious goal (due to improve current best results by 4 orders of magnitude) that should tell us in a clear cut way whether we are in the presence of a new long-range physical interaction (violation) or not (confirmation). Either way, it would be a major result. An end-to-end space experiment simulator was constructed at TAS-I based on GOCE simulator and ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) funding. The resulting error budget is consistent with the mission goal, which can be realized in 4 years from the start of Phase B. In the lab, a full scale prototype has provided a 25 days continuous run with a sensitivity -in the field of the Sun, hence at diurnal frequency- of a few nanometers in the relative displacement of the proof masses, to be compared with the picometer level required in space for GG to achieve its goal. A passive suspended prototype is under completion in order to reduce ground platform noise by means of an appropriate cardanic suspension which has now been proved to be able to reduce diurnal terrain noise by a factor 104 . The crucial issue of thermal noise has been recently revisited and a major new insight has come thanks to M. Shao (JPL): in GG, by up-converting the frequency of an EP violation signal in the field of the Earth from its (low) orbital frequency of 1.7 · 10-4 Hz to the (high) rotation/modulation frequency of 1Hz -the highest ever in EP experiments- proof mass thermal noise is reduced by orders of magnitude, as the ratio of these frequencies squared. Instead, cooling the experiment to superfluid He temperature would only reduce thermal noise by a factor 10. This is a feature unique to GG. It now appears that, if equipped with an intrinsic differential transducer such as a SIM like laser gauge, GG may indeed aim to an EP test to 10-18 . The end-to-end GG simulator built at TAS-I in 2009 during GG Phase A-2 study is the

  14. On-line, adaptive state estimator for active noise control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lim, Tae W.

    1994-01-01

    Dynamic characteristics of airframe structures are expected to vary as aircraft flight conditions change. Accurate knowledge of the changing dynamic characteristics is crucial to enhancing the performance of the active noise control system using feedback control. This research investigates the development of an adaptive, on-line state estimator using a neural network concept to conduct active noise control. In this research, an algorithm has been developed that can be used to estimate displacement and velocity responses at any locations on the structure from a limited number of acceleration measurements and input force information. The algorithm employs band-pass filters to extract from the measurement signal the frequency contents corresponding to a desired mode. The filtered signal is then used to train a neural network which consists of a linear neuron with three weights. The structure of the neural network is designed as simple as possible to increase the sampling frequency as much as possible. The weights obtained through neural network training are then used to construct the transfer function of a mode in z-domain and to identify modal properties of each mode. By using the identified transfer function and interpolating the mode shape obtained at sensor locations, the displacement and velocity responses are estimated with reasonable accuracy at any locations on the structure. The accuracy of the response estimates depends on the number of modes incorporated in the estimates and the number of sensors employed to conduct mode shape interpolation. Computer simulation demonstrates that the algorithm is capable of adapting to the varying dynamic characteristics of structural properties. Experimental implementation of the algorithm on a DSP (digital signal processing) board for a plate structure is underway. The algorithm is expected to reach the sampling frequency range of about 10 kHz to 20 kHz which needs to be maintained for a typical active noise control

  15. Transatlantic Comparison of ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction Guidelines: Insights From the United States and Europe.

    PubMed

    Bainey, Kevin R; Armstrong, Paul W

    2016-01-19

    ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) remains a significant global public health concern. Practice guidelines in both the United States and Europe have been major contributors to providing evidence-based care. Rapid advances in contemporary therapies mandate regular and timely updates to guideline recommendations. In the fall of 2012, the European Society of Cardiology published their latest guidelines for the management of STEMI. In 2013 (∼3 months later), the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association jointly published their most recent STEMI guideline statements. In this review, we compare the transatlantic guidelines, highlighting differences in their recommendations and the interpretation of evidence addressing STEMI care.

  16. Water-temperature data acquisition activities in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pauszek, F.H.

    1972-01-01

    Water Data Coordination, U.S. Geological Survey, and published in the "Catalog of Information on Water Data, Index to Water Quality Section, Edition 1970." This is one of four indexes, each of which is a separate section of the Catalog. Three of the indexes, "Index to Water-Quality Section," "Index to Surface-Water Section," and "Index to Ground-.Water Stations," contain information on data acquired on a recurrent basis at specific locations for a period of 3 years or more. The fourth section, "Index to Areal Investigations and Miscellaneous Activities," is concerned with specific projects or shorter-term data activities that involve field or laboratory measurements or observations not included in any other section of the Catalog. The Catalog is a record of activities throughout the country (and in some places along the international border between the United States and Canada) conducted by Federal and non-Federal agencies engaged in the acquisition of water data and who furnish such information for presentation in the Catalog. The Catalog itself is an outgrowth of an assignment to the Department of the Interior and in turn to the Geological Survey, by the Office of Management and Budget, through the medium of OMB Circular A-67. This Circular states in part that one of the assigned responsibilities will be maintenance of a "central catalog of information on...water data and on Federal activities being planned or conducted to acquire such data." As an extension of this activity, non-Federal agencies are solicited to participate in the program. In this report, information is presented by means of tables and illustrations preceded by brief explanations. It includes the agencies collecting the data, the number of stations located on surface and ground waters where temperature measurements are made, the distribution of stations by States and by the 21 regions of the Water Resources Council (WRC) (a Federal agency created in accordance with the Water Resources Planning Act of

  17. Structural Insights into the HWE Histidine Kinase Family: The Brucella Blue Light-Activated Histidine Kinase Domain.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Jimena; Arrar, Mehrnoosh; Sycz, Gabriela; Cerutti, María Laura; Berguer, Paula M; Paris, Gastón; Estrín, Darío Ariel; Martí, Marcelo Adrián; Klinke, Sebastián; Goldbaum, Fernando Alberto

    2016-03-27

    In response to light, as part of a two-component system, the Brucella blue light-activated histidine kinase (LOV-HK) increases its autophosphorylation, modulating the virulence of this microorganism. The Brucella histidine kinase (HK) domain belongs to the HWE family, for which there is no structural information. The HWE family is exclusively present in proteobacteria and usually coupled to a wide diversity of light sensor domains. This work reports the crystal structure of the Brucella HK domain, which presents two different dimeric assemblies in the asymmetric unit: one similar to the already described canonical parallel homodimers (C) and the other, an antiparallel non-canonical (NC) dimer, each with distinct relative subdomain orientations and dimerization interfaces. Contrary to these crystallographic structures and unlike other HKs, in solution, the Brucella HK domain is monomeric and still active, showing an astonishing instability of the dimeric interface. Despite this instability, using cross-linking experiments, we show that the C dimer is the functionally relevant species. Mutational analysis demonstrates that the autophosphorylation activity occurs in cis. The different relative subdomain orientations observed for the NC and C states highlight the large conformational flexibility of the HK domain. Through the analysis of these alternative conformations by means of molecular dynamics simulations, we also propose a catalytic mechanism for Brucella LOV-HK.

  18. Combining insights from solid-state NMR and first principles calculation: applications to the 19F NMR of octafluoronaphthalene.

    PubMed

    Robbins, Andrew J; Ng, William T K; Jochym, Dominik; Keal, Thomas W; Clark, Stewart J; Tozer, David J; Hodgkinson, Paul

    2007-05-21

    Advances in solid-state NMR methodology and computational chemistry are applied to the (19)F NMR of solid octafluoronaphthalene. It is demonstrated experimentally, and confirmed by density functional theory (DFT) calculations, that the spectral resolution in the magic-angle spinning spectrum is limited by the anisotropy of the bulk magnetic susceptibility (ABMS). This leads to the unusual observation that the resolution improves as the sample is diluted. DFT calculations provide assignments of each of the peaks in the (19)F spectrum, but the predictions are close to the limits of accuracy and correlation information from 2-D NMR is invaluable in confirming the assignments. The effects of non-Gaussian lineshapes on the use of 2-D NMR for mapping correlations of spectral frequencies (e.g. due to the ABMS) are also discussed.

  19. Estimability of recharge through groundwater model calibration: Insights from a field-scale steady-state example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knowling, Matthew J.; Werner, Adrian D.

    2016-09-01

    The ability of groundwater models to inform recharge through calibration is hampered by the correlation between recharge and aquifer parameters such as hydraulic conductivity (K), and the insufficient information content of observation datasets. These factors collectively result in non-uniqueness of parameter estimates. Previous studies that jointly estimate spatially distributed recharge and hydraulic parameters are limited to synthetic test cases and/or do not evaluate the effect of non-uniqueness. The extent to which recharge can be informed by calibration is largely unknown for practical situations, in which complexities such as parameter heterogeneities are inherent. In this study, a systematic investigation of recharge, inferred through model calibration, is undertaken using a series of numerical experiments that include varying degrees of hydraulic parameter information. The analysis involves the use of a synthetic reality, based on a regional-scale, highly parameterised, steady-state groundwater model of Uley South Basin, South Australia. Parameter identifiability is assessed to evaluate the ability of parameters to be estimated uniquely. Results show that a reasonable inference of recharge (average recharge error <10%) requires a surprisingly large number of preferred value regularisation constraints (>100 K values across the 129 km2 study area). The introduction of pumping data into the calibration reduces error in both the average recharge and its spatial variability, whereas submarine groundwater discharge (as a calibration target) reduces average recharge error only. Nonetheless, the estimation of steady-state recharge through inverse modelling may be impractical for real-world settings, limited by the need for unrealistic amounts of hydraulic parameter and groundwater level data. This study provides a useful benchmark for evaluating the extent to which field-scale groundwater models can be used to inform recharge subject to practical data

  20. What Should Be the Roles of Conscious States and Brain States in Theories of Mental Activity?**

    PubMed Central

    Dulany, Donelson E.

    2011-01-01

    Answers to the title’s question have been influenced by a history in which an early science of consciousness was rejected by behaviourists on the argument that this entails commitment to ontological dualism and “free will” in the sense of indeterminism. This is, however, a confusion of theoretical assertions with metaphysical assertions. Nevertheless, a legacy within computational and information-processing views of mind rejects or de-emphasises a role for consciousness. This paper sketches a mentalistic metatheory in which conscious states are the sole carriers of symbolic representations, and thus have a central role in the explanation of mental activity and action-while specifying determinism and materialism as useful working assumptions. A mentalistic theory of causal learning, experimentally examined with phenomenal reports, is followed by examination of these questions: Are there common roles for phenomenal reports and brain imaging? Is there defensible evidence for unconscious brain states carrying symbolic representations? Are there interesting dissociations within consciousness? PMID:21694964

  1. Destination state screening of active spaces in spin dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krzystyniak, M.; Edwards, Luke J.; Kuprov, Ilya

    2011-06-01

    We propose a novel avenue for state space reduction in time domain Liouville space spin dynamics simulations, using detectability as a selection criterion - only those states that evolve into or affect other detectable states are kept in the simulation. This basis reduction procedure (referred to as destination state screening) is formally exact and can be applied on top of the existing state space restriction techniques. As demonstrated below, in many cases this results in further reduction of matrix dimension, leading to considerable acceleration of many spin dynamics simulation types. Destination state screening is implemented in the latest version of the Spinach library (http://spindynamics.org).

  2. Spectroscopic and computational insight into the activation of O2 by the mononuclear Cu center in polysaccharide monooxygenases.

    PubMed

    Kjaergaard, Christian H; Qayyum, Munzarin F; Wong, Shaun D; Xu, Feng; Hemsworth, Glyn R; Walton, Daniel J; Young, Nigel A; Davies, Gideon J; Walton, Paul H; Johansen, Katja Salomon; Hodgson, Keith O; Hedman, Britt; Solomon, Edward I

    2014-06-17

    Strategies for O2 activation by copper enzymes were recently expanded to include mononuclear Cu sites, with the discovery of the copper-dependent polysaccharide monooxygenases, also classified as auxiliary-activity enzymes 9-11 (AA9-11). These enzymes are finding considerable use in industrial biofuel production. Crystal structures of polysaccharide monooxygenases have emerged, but experimental studies are yet to determine the solution structure of the Cu site and how this relates to reactivity. From X-ray absorption near edge structure and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopies, we observed a change from four-coordinate Cu(II) to three-coordinate Cu(I) of the active site in solution, where three protein-derived nitrogen ligands coordinate the Cu in both redox states, and a labile hydroxide ligand is lost upon reduction. The spectroscopic data allowed for density functional theory calculations of an enzyme active site model, where the optimized Cu(I) and (II) structures were consistent with the experimental data. The O2 reactivity of the Cu(I) site was probed by EPR and stopped-flow absorption spectroscopies, and a rapid one-electron reduction of O2 and regeneration of the resting Cu(II) enzyme were observed. This reactivity was evaluated computationally, and by calibration to Cu-superoxide model complexes, formation of an end-on Cu-AA9-superoxide species was found to be thermodynamically favored. We discuss how this thermodynamically difficult one-electron reduction of O2 is enabled by the unique protein structure where two nitrogen ligands from His1 dictate formation of a T-shaped Cu(I) site, which provides an open coordination position for strong O2 binding with very little reorganization energy.

  3. Membrane Mediated Antimicrobial and Antitumor Activity of Cathelicidin 6: Structural Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulation on Multi-Microsecond Scale

    PubMed Central

    Sahoo, Bikash Ranjan; Fujiwara, Toshimichi

    2016-01-01

    The cathelicidin derived bovine antimicrobial peptide BMAP27 exhibits an effective microbicidal activity and moderate cytotoxicity towards erythrocytes. Irrespective of its therapeutic and multidimensional potentiality, the structural studies are still elusive. Moreover, the mechanism of BMAP27 mediated pore formation in heterogeneous lipid membrane systems is poorly explored. Here, we studied the effect of BMAP27 in model cell-membrane systems such as zwitterionic, anionic, thymocytes-like (TLM) and leukemia-like membranes (LLM) by performing molecular dynamics (MD) simulation longer than 100 μs. All-atom MD studies revealed a stable helical conformation in the presence of anionic lipids, however, significant loss of helicity was identified in TLM and zwitterionic systems. A peptide tilt (~45˚) and central kink (at residue F10) was found in anionic and LLM models, respectively, with an average membrane penetration of < 0.5 nm. Coarse-grained (CG) MD analysis on a multi-μs scale shed light on the membrane-dependent peptide and lipid organization. Stable micelle and end-to-end like oligomers were formed in zwitterionic and TLM models, respectively. In contrast, unstable oligomer formation and monomeric BMAP27 penetration were observed in anionic and LLM systems with selective anionic lipid aggregation (in LLM). Peptide penetration up to ~1.5 nm was observed in CG-MD systems with the BMAP27 C-terminal oriented towards the bilayer core. Structural inspection suggested membrane penetration by micelle/end-to-end like peptide oligomers (carpet-model like) in the zwitterionic/TLM systems, and transmembrane-mode (toroidal-pore like) in the anionic/LLM systems, respectively. Structural insights and energetic interpretation in BMAP27 mutant highlighted the role of F10 and hydrophobic residues in mediating a membrane-specific peptide interaction. Free energy profiling showed a favorable (-4.58 kcal mol-1 for LLM) and unfavorable (+0.17 kcal mol-1 for TLM) peptide insertion

  4. Analysis of medieval mtDNA from Napole cemetery provides new insights into the early history of Polish state.

    PubMed

    Płoszaj, Tomasz; Jędrychowska-Dańska, Krystyna; Masłowska, Alicja; Kozłowski, Tomasz; Chudziak, Wojciech; Bojarski, Jacek; Robaszkiewicz, Agnieszka; Witas, Henryk W

    2017-02-01

    Contemporary historical anthropology and classical archaeology are concerned not only with such fundamental issues as the origins of ancient human populations and migration routes, but also with the formation and development of inter-population relations and the mixing of gene pools as a result of inter-breeding between individuals representing different cultural units. The contribution of immigrants to the analysed autochthonous population and their effect on the gene pool of that population has proven difficult to evaluate with classical morphological methods. The burial of one individual in the studied Napole cemetery located in central Poland had the form of a chamber grave, which is typical of Scandinavian culture from that period. However, this fact cannot be interpreted as absolute proof that the individual (in the biological sense) was allochtonous. This gives rise to the question as to who was actually buried in that cemetery. The ancient DNA results indicate that one of the individuals had an mtDNA haplotype typical of Iron Age northern Europe, which suggests that he could have arrived from that area at a later period. This seems to indirectly confirm the claims of many anthropologists that the development of the early medieval Polish state was significantly and directly influenced by the Scandinavians.

  5. Subsidence along the Atlantic Coast of the United States: Insights from GPS and late Holocene relative sea level data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A Karegar, M.; Engelhart, S. E.; Dixon, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    Subsidence along the Atlantic coast of the United States is the largest amplitude collapse of a pro-glacial forebulge on Earth. High-quality geological records of late Holocene Relative Sea Level (RSL) are now available for this region. These data provide an independent constraint on Glacial Isostatic Adjustments (GIA), for comparison to continuous GPS measurements that directly measure net vertical crustal motion from GIA and other processes. Installation of more than 130 permanent GPS stations since 2006 represents an improvement towards precise determination of present-day subsidence rates along the coastal plain. We present an improved vertical velocity field for the eastern seaboard of the U.S. and parts of Atlantic Canada with uncertainty estimates that incorporate time-correlated noise. We use the geologic rates of RSL as an independent constraint to separate the long-term GIA-induced displacement (average motion over past 4 ka) from the GPS vertical displacement (average of one or two decades). Differences between the two are important for mitigating coastal land loss and predicting future storm surge inundation. Our results indicate that for most areas of the U.S. eastern seaboard there is no difference between GPS rates and late Holocene RSL rates. Exceptions are related to areas of recent excessive groundwater extraction in Virginia and South Carolina. The present-day subsidence rates in these areas are approximately double the long-term geologic rates.

  6. Insights into reactivity properties of the ground state structures of (CuS)x (x=1-7) using DFT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luque Ceballos, Jonathan; Posada Amarillas, Alvaro

    The extraordinary properties of nanoscale materials have generated an enormous interest in the study of nanomaterials, because of the difference of their properties as compared to the corresponding bulk materials. Polyatomic nanomaterials have become important in recent years, due to the possibility of synthesize new materials with similar or better physical and chemical properties, than those of the monoatomic materials, or with a lower cost, to be used in technological applications in medicine, biology, electronics, or catalysis. Among these materials, copper sulfide is one of the transition metal chalcogenides that exhibits different stoichiometric forms with crystal structure varying from orthogonal to hexagonal. In this work we obtained the ground state structures of cooper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS)x, x=1-7. The corresponding frontier orbitals (HOMO and LUMO) are analyzed, and different reactivity parameters are obtained. We also present the molecular electrostatic potential, which is used to determine the higher and lower electron density regions on the clusters' structure. All calculations were performed using the TZVP basis set for S and the Christianssen-Ermler pseudopotential for Cu, employing two different exchange-correlation functionals, PBE and PBE0.

  7. Local and Global Resting State Activity in the Noradrenergic and Dopaminergic Pathway Modulated by Reboxetine and Amisulpride in Healthy Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Wiegers, Maike; Walter, Martin; Abler, Birgit; Graf, Heiko

    2016-01-01

    Background: Various psychiatric populations are currently investigated with resting state fMRI, with the aim of individualizing diagnostics and treatment options and improving treatment outcomes. Many of these studies are conducted in large naturalistic samples, providing rich insights regarding disease-related neural alterations, but with the common psychopharmacological medication limiting interpretations of the results. We therefore investigated the effects of common noradrenergic and anti-dopaminergic medications on local and global resting state activity (rs-activity) in healthy volunteers to further the understanding of the respective effects independent from disease-related alterations. Methods: Within a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, we investigated 19 healthy male subjects by resting state fMRI after the intake of reboxetine (4mg/d), amisulpride (200mg/d), and placebo for 7 days each. Treatment-related differences in local and global rs-activity were measured by the fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC). Results: fALFF revealed alterations of local rs-activity within regions of the core noradrenergic pathway, including the locus coeruleus under reboxetine, correlated with its plasma levels. Moreover, reboxetine led to increased rs-FC between regions within this pathway, i.e. the locus coeruleus, tectum, thalamus, and amygdala. Amisulpride modulated local rs-activity of regions within the dopaminergic pathway, with the altered signal in the putamen correlating with amisulpride plasma levels. Correspondingly, amisulpride increased rs-FC between regions of the dopaminergic pathway comprising the substantia nigra and putamen. Conclusion: Our data provide evidence of how psychopharmacological agents alter local and global rs-activity within the respective neuroanatomical pathways in healthy subjects, which may help with interpreting data in psychiatric

  8. State Initiatives and Activities in Foreign Languages and International Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draper, Jamie B.

    A listing of state efforts in foreign language education and international studies compiled from results of a telephone and mail survey of state foreign language supervisors is presented. For those states for which information was not available from supervisors, consultants, or education officials, other sources were consulted, including…

  9. Student Activity Packet for the California State Capitol Museum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2001

    This packet contains materials to help fourth and fifth grade teachers provide their students with background information for field trips to the California State Capitol Museum (Sacramento). The working museum focuses on the theme areas of California history, the state government/legislative process, and state symbols. The packet presents teacher…

  10. Brainstem Neurons Survive the Identical Ischemic Stress That Kills Higher Neurons: Insight to the Persistent Vegetative State

    PubMed Central

    Brisson, C. Devin; Hsieh, Yi-Ting; Kim, Danielle; Jin, Albert Y.; Andrew, R. David

    2014-01-01

    brain regions that maintain vital functions will support the persistent vegetative state. PMID:24802253

  11. Defect states at organic-inorganic interfaces: Insight from first principles calculations for pentaerythritol tetranitrate on MgO surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsyshevsky, Roman V.; Rashkeev, Sergey N.; Kuklja, Maija M.

    2015-07-01

    Light-responsive organic-inorganic interfaces offer experimental opportunities that are otherwise difficult to achieve. Since laser light can be manipulated very precisely, it becomes possible to engineer selective, predictive, and highly controlled interface properties. Photochemistry of organic-inorganic energetic interfaces is a rapidly emerging research field in which energy absorption and interface stability mechanisms have yet to be established. To explore the interaction of the laser irradiation with molecular materials, we performed first principle calculations of a prototype organic-inorganic interface between a nitroester (pentaerythritol tetranitrate, PETN, C5H8N4O12) and a magnesium oxide (MgO) surface. We found that the light absorption is defined by the band alignment between interface components and interfacial charge transfer coupled with electronic states in the band gap, generated by oxide surface defects. Hence the choice of an oxide substrate and its morphology makes the optical absorption tunable and governs both the energy accumulation and energy release at the interface. The obtained results offer a possible consistent interpretation of experiments on selective laser initiation of energetic materials, which reported that the presence of metal oxide additives triggered the photoinitiation by excitation energy much lower than the band gap. We suggest that PETN photodecomposition is catalyzed by oxygen vacancies (F0 centers) at the MgO surface. Our conclusions predict ways for a complete separation of thermo- and photo-stimulated interface chemistry of molecular materials, which is imperative for highly controllable fast decomposition and was not attainable before. The methodology described here can be applied to any type of molecular material/wide band gap dielectric interfaces. It provides a solid basis for novel design and targeted improvements of organic-inorganic interfaces with desired properties that promise to enable vastly new concepts

  12. Molecular mechanism of divalent-metal-induced activation of NS3 helicase and insights into Zika virus inhibitor design

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Xiaocong; Li, Yajuan; Jin, Xiangyu; Li, Yuelong; Guo, Feng; Jin, Tengchuan

    2016-01-01

    Zika virus has attracted increasing attention because of its potential for causing human neural disorders, including microcephaly in infants and Guillain–Barré syndrome. Its NS3 helicase domain plays critical roles in NTP-dependent RNA unwinding and translocation during viral replication. Our structural analysis revealed a pre-activation state of NS3 helicase in complex with GTPγS, in which the triphosphate adopts a compact conformation in the absence of any divalent metal ions. In contrast, in the presence of a divalent cation, GTPγS adopts an extended conformation, and the Walker A motif undergoes substantial conformational changes. Both features contribute to more extensive interactions between the GTPγS and the enzyme. Thus, this study provides structural evidence on the allosteric modulation of MgNTP2− on the NS3 helicase activity. Furthermore, the compact conformation of inhibitory NTP identified in this study provides precise information for the rational drug design of small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of ZIKV infection. PMID:27915293

  13. A comparative study of claisen and cope rearrangements catalyzed by chorismate mutase. An insight into enzymatic efficiency: transition state stabilization or substrate preorganization?

    PubMed

    Martí, Sergio; Andrés, Juan; Moliner, Vicente; Silla, Estanislao; Tuñón, Iñaki; Bertrán, Juan

    2004-01-14

    In this work we present a detailed analysis of the activation free energies and averaged interactions for the Claisen and Cope rearrangements of chorismate and carbachorismate catalyzed by Bacillus subtilischorismate mutase (BsCM) using quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulation methods. In gas phase, both reactions are described as concerted processes, with the activation free energy for carbachorismate being about 10-15 kcal mol(-)(1) larger than for chorismate, at the AM1 and B3LYP/6-31G levels. Aqueous solution and BsCM active site environments reduce the free energy barriers for both reactions, due to the fact that in these media the two carboxylate groups can be approached more easily than in the gas phase. The enzyme specifically reduces the activation free energy of the Claisen rearrangement about 3 kcal mol(-)(1) more than that for the Cope reaction. This result is due to a larger transition state stabilization associated to the formation of a hydrogen bond between Arg90 and the ether oxygen. When this oxygen atom is changed by a methylene group, the interaction is lost and Arg90 moves inside the active site establishing stronger interactions with one of the carboxylate groups. This fact yields a more intense rearrangement of the substrate structure. Comparing two reactions in the same enzyme, we have been able to obtain conclusions about the relative magnitude of the substrate preorganization and transition state stabilization effects. Transition state stabilization seems to be the dominant effect in this case.

  14. Changing Schools: Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Policy and Planning (ED), Washington, DC.

    Over 1,000 communities in 45 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, are mobilized under the AMERICA 2000 banner to reach the 6 National Education Goals. This collection of papers, written by those who have wrestled with the process of school reform, offers useful insights to communities as they begin their process of transforming…

  15. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 30 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  16. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  17. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 32 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  18. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  19. 40 CFR 745.325 - Lead-based paint activities: State and Tribal program requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT LEAD-BASED PAINT POISONING PREVENTION IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES State and Indian Tribal Programs § 745.325 Lead-based paint activities: State and... 40 Protection of Environment 32 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Lead-based paint activities: State...

  20. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... circumstances warrant such action. (c) Core standards. For any insured State bank to be eligible to conduct... application. An insured State bank that meets and continues to meet the applicable capital standards set by... that the department meets the core standards of paragraph (c) of this section or submits an...

  1. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... circumstances warrant such action. (c) Core standards. For any insured State bank to be eligible to conduct... application. An insured State bank that meets and continues to meet the applicable capital standards set by... that the department meets the core standards of paragraph (c) of this section or submits an...

  2. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... circumstances warrant such action. (c) Core standards. For any insured State bank to be eligible to conduct... application. An insured State bank that meets and continues to meet the applicable capital standards set by... that the department meets the core standards of paragraph (c) of this section or submits an...

  3. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... circumstances warrant such action. (c) Core standards. For any insured State bank to be eligible to conduct... application. An insured State bank that meets and continues to meet the applicable capital standards set by... that the department meets the core standards of paragraph (c) of this section or submits an...

  4. SOD Therapeutics: Latest Insights into Their Structure-Activity Relationships and Impact on the Cellular Redox-Based Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Tovmasyan, Artak; Roberts, Emily R. H.; Vujaskovic, Zeljko; Leong, Kam W.; Spasojevic, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes are indispensable and ubiquitous antioxidant defenses maintaining the steady-state levels of O2·−; no wonder, thus, that their mimics are remarkably efficacious in essentially any animal model of oxidative stress injuries thus far explored. Recent Advances: Structure-activity relationship (half-wave reduction potential [E1/2] versus log kcat), originally reported for Mn porphyrins (MnPs), is valid for any other class of SOD mimics, as it is dominated by the superoxide reduction and oxidation potential. The biocompatible E1/2 of ∼+300 mV versus normal hydrogen electrode (NHE) allows powerful SOD mimics as mild oxidants and antioxidants (alike O2·−) to readily traffic electrons among reactive species and signaling proteins, serving as fine mediators of redox-based signaling pathways. Based on similar thermodynamics, both SOD enzymes and their mimics undergo similar reactions, however, due to vastly different sterics, with different rate constants. Critical Issues: Although log kcat(O2·−) is a good measure of therapeutic potential of SOD mimics, discussions of their in vivo mechanisms of actions remain mostly of speculative character. Most recently, the therapeutic and mechanistic relevance of oxidation of ascorbate and glutathionylation and oxidation of protein thiols by MnP-based SOD mimics and subsequent inactivation of nuclear factor κB has been substantiated in rescuing normal and killing cancer cells. Interaction of MnPs with thiols seems to be, at least in part, involved in up-regulation of endogenous antioxidative defenses, leading to the healing of diseased cells. Future Directions: Mechanistic explorations of single and combined therapeutic strategies, along with studies of bioavailability and translational aspects, will comprise future work in optimizing redox-active drugs. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 2372–2415. PMID:23875805

  5. Spectroscopic insights into axial ligation and active-site H-bonding in substrate-bound human heme oxygenase-2.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Jessica D; Yi, Li; Ragsdale, Stephen W; Brunold, Thomas C

    2010-09-01

    Heme oxygenases (HOs) are monooxygenases that catalyze the first step in heme degradation, converting heme to biliverdin with concomitant release of Fe(II) and CO from the porphyrin macrocycle. Two heme oxygenase isoforms, HO-1 and HO-2, exist that differ in several ways, including a complete lack of Cys residues in HO-1 and the presence of three Cys residues as part of heme-regulatory motifs (HRMs) in HO-2. HRMs in other heme proteins are thought to directly bind heme, or to otherwise regulate protein stability or activity; however, it is not currently known how the HRMs exert these effects on HO-2 function. To better understand the properties of this vital enzyme and to elucidate possible roles of its HRMs, various forms of HO-2 possessing distinct alterations to the HRMs were prepared. In this study, variants with Cys265 in a thiol form are compared with those with this residue in an oxidized (part of a disulfide bond or existing as a sulfenate moiety) form. Absorption and magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopic data of these HO-2 variants clearly demonstrate that a new low-spin Fe(III) heme species characteristic of thiolate ligation is formed when Cys265 is reduced. Additionally, absorption, magnetic circular dichroism, and resonance Raman data collected at different temperatures reveal an intriguing temperature dependence of the iron spin state in the heme-HO-2 complex. These findings are consistent with the presence of a hydrogen-bonding network at the heme's distal side within the active site of HO-2 with potentially significant differences from that observed in HO-1.

  6. More Active Living-oriented County and Municipal Zoning is Associated with Increased Adult Leisure Time Physical Activity-United States, 2011.

    PubMed

    Chriqui, Jamie F; Nicholson, Lisa M; Thrun, Emily; Leider, Julien; Slater, Sandy J

    2016-01-01

    Although zoning is recognized for its role in facilitating healthy communities, no study has examined whether active living-oriented zoning codes are associated with adult leisure time physical activity (PA). This study sought to fill this gap and hypothesized that adult leisure time PA would be greater in communities with more progressive zoning code reforms and more active living-oriented zoning. Zoning codes for 1,617 county and municipal jurisdictions located in 30 states (covering ~40% of the U.S. population) were evaluated for code reform zoning and 11 active living markers. County-aggregated zoning measures were created for linking with five adult PA behaviors obtained from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System controlling for individual and county sociodemographics. Zoning elements most associated with adult PA included requirements for mixed use, active and passive recreation, bike parking/street furniture, and bike-pedestrian trails/paths. This study provides new insights as to the role that zoning can play in facilitating adult PA.

  7. Reap around the State: "Best of Reap" Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Indiana State Dept. of Education, Indianapolis. Learning Resources Unit.

    This booklet presents selected activities from elementary, middle, junior high, and senior high schools In Indiana, intended to encourage students to read. It offers ideas for 11 community activities (including guest readers, nursing home reading, and a young author celebration), 14 continuous activities (such as the great book graffiti wall and…

  8. Recovery of consciousness is mediated by a network of discrete metastable activity states

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Andrew E.; Calderon, Diany Paola; Pfaff, Donald W.; Proekt, Alex

    2014-01-01

    It is not clear how, after a large perturbation, the brain explores the vast space of potential neuronal activity states to recover those compatible with consciousness. Here, we analyze recovery from pharmacologically induced coma to show that neuronal activity en route to consciousness is confined to a low-dimensional subspace. In this subspace, neuronal activity forms discrete metastable states persistent on the scale of minutes. The network of transitions that links these metastable states is structured such that some states form hubs that connect groups of otherwise disconnected states. Although many paths through the network are possible, to ultimately enter the activity state compatible with consciousness, the brain must first pass through these hubs in an orderly fashion. This organization of metastable states, along with dramatic dimensionality reduction, significantly simplifies the task of sampling the parameter space to recover the state consistent with wakefulness on a physiologically relevant timescale. PMID:24927558

  9. Laser cleaning in conservation of stone, metal, and painted artifacts: state of the art and new insights on the use of the Nd:YAG lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siano, S.; Agresti, J.; Cacciari, I.; Ciofini, D.; Mascalchi, M.; Osticioli, I.; Mencaglia, A. A.

    2012-02-01

    In the present work the application of laser cleaning in the conservation of cultural assets is reviewed and some further developments on the interpretation of the associated laser-material interaction regimes are reported. Both the state of the art and new insights mainly focus on systematic approaches addressed to the solution of representative cleaning problems, including stone and metal artifacts along with wall and easel paintings. The innovative part is entirely dedicated to the extension of the application perspective of the Nd:YAG lasers by exploiting the significant versatility provided by their different pulse durations. Besides extensively discussing the specific conservation and physical problems involved in stone and metal cleaning, a significant effort was also made to explore the application potential for wall and easel paintings. The study of the latter was confined to preliminary irradiation tests carried out on prepared samples. We characterized the ablation phenomenology, optical properties, and photomechanical generation associated with the irradiation of optically absorbing varnishes using pulse durations of 10 and 120 ns. Further results concern the nature of the well-known problem of the yellowish appearance in stone cleaning, removal of biological growths and graffiti from stones, cleaning of bronze and iron artifacts and related aspects of laser conversion of unstable minerals, removal of calcareous stratification from wall paintings, and other features.

  10. New Insights of the Fenton Reaction Using Glycerol as the Experimental Model. Effect of O2, Inhibition by Mg(2+), and Oxidation State of Fe.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Arturo Alberto; Bernatene, Eduardo A; Vitale, Martín Gustavo; Pomilio, Alicia Beatriz

    2016-07-21

    The use of iron ions as catalyst of oxidation with hydrogen peroxide, known as the Fenton reaction, is important for industry and biological systems. It has been widely studied since its discovery in the 19th century, but important aspects of the reaction as which is the oxidant, the role of oxygen, and the oxidation state of Fe still remain unclear. In this work new mechanistic insights of the oxidation of carbohydrates by the Fenton reaction using glycerol as experimental model are described. The reaction was studied by means of oxidation reduction potential (ORP) measures. The stoichiometry was measured, showing the important role of oxygen for lowering H2O2 consumption under aerobic conditions. Evidence is provided to demonstrate that in this system Fe(2+) generates a catalyst by reacting with a substrate to produce a complex, which gives rise to singlet oxygen after reacting with H2O2. This is the first time that the inhibitor effect of Mg(2+) is reported in this reaction, and its participation in the mechanism is described. A rational mechanism for the oxidation of glycerol using the Fenton reaction under these specific conditions is proposed. The role of oxygen, the participation of Fe(2+), and the inhibition by Mg(2+) are fully demonstrated experimentally.

  11. Crystal Structure of the Human Ubiquitin-activating Enzyme 5 (UBA5) Bound to ATP Mechanistic Insights into a Minimalistic E1 Enzyme

    SciTech Connect

    Bacik, John-Paul; Walker, John R.; Ali, Mohsin; Schimmer, Aaron D.; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano

    2010-08-30

    E1 ubiquitin-activating enzymes (UBAs) are large multidomain proteins that catalyze formation of a thioester bond between the terminal carboxylate of a ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like modifier (UBL) and a conserved cysteine in an E2 protein, producing reactive ubiquityl units for subsequent ligation to substrate lysines. Two important E1 reaction intermediates have been identified: a ubiquityl-adenylate phosphoester and a ubiquityl-enzyme thioester. However, the mechanism of thioester bond formation and its subsequent transfer to an E2 enzyme remains poorly understood. We have determined the crystal structure of the human UFM1 (ubiquitin-fold modifier 1) E1-activating enzyme UBA5, bound to ATP, revealing a structure that shares similarities with both large canonical E1 enzymes and smaller ancestral E1-like enzymes. In contrast to other E1 active site cysteines, which are in a variably sized domain that is separate and flexible relative to the adenylation domain, the catalytic cysteine of UBA5 (Cys{sup 250}) is part of the adenylation domain in an {alpha}-helical motif. The novel position of the UBA5 catalytic cysteine and conformational changes associated with ATP binding provides insight into the possible mechanisms through which the ubiquityl-enzyme thioester is formed. These studies reveal structural features that further our understanding of the UBA5 enzyme reaction mechanism and provide insight into the evolution of ubiquitin activation.

  12. Altered baseline brain activity with 72 h of simulated microgravity--initial evidence from resting-state fMRI.

    PubMed

    Liao, Yang; Zhang, Jinsong; Huang, Zhiping; Xi, Yibin; Zhang, Qianru; Zhu, Tianli; Liu, Xufeng

    2012-01-01

    To provide the basis and reference to further insights into the neural activity of the human brain in a microgravity environment, we discuss the amplitude changes of low-frequency brain activity fluctuations using a simulated microgravity model. Twelve male participants between 24 and 31 years old received resting-state fMRI scans in both a normal condition and after 72 hours in a -6° head down tilt (HDT). A paired sample t-test was used to test the amplitude differences of low-frequency brain activity fluctuations between these two conditions. With 72 hours in a -6° HDT, the participants showed a decreased amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations in the left thalamus compared with the normal condition (a combined threshold of P<0.005 and a minimum cluster size of 351 mm(3) (13 voxels), which corresponded with the corrected threshold of P<0.05 determined by AlphaSim). Our findings indicate that a gravity change-induced redistribution of body fluid may disrupt the function of the left thalamus in the resting state, which may contribute to reduced motor control abilities and multiple executive functions in astronauts in a microgravity environment.

  13. The decisive effect of interface states on the photocatalytic activity of the silver(I) oxide/titanium dioxide heterojunction.

    PubMed

    Lei, Yanqiang; Lu, Xiaoqing

    2017-04-15

    A one-step hydrothermal method was adopted to synthesize the Ag2O/TiO2 nanoheterojunction. Its photocatalytic activity was evaluated by degrading methylene blue (MB) aqueous solution under UV and visible light. The MB degradation results showed that the Ag2O/TiO2 nanoheterojunction enhances the photocatalytic activity under UV irradiation rather than visible light. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was performed to detect the electronic structure at the interface of Ag2O and TiO2. The XPS results confirmed that the electronic band structure of the nanoheterojunction was determined by the interface states between the Ag2O and TiO2 interface. Thus, the photocatalytic enhancement mechanism can be ascribed to the creation of an additional potential barrier in the conduction band between Ag2O and TiO2, which facilitates the transport of holes from TiO2 to Ag2O but inhibits the flow of electrons in the reverse direction unless sufficient potential energy is provided to overcome the additional barrier. Our results have provided a new insight on the role of interface states between the p-n nanojunction in the photocatalytic activity.

  14. Excited states in the active media of oxygen - iodine lasers

    SciTech Connect

    Azyazov, V N

    2009-11-30

    A review of investigations of kinetic processes in active media oxygen - iodine lasers (OILs) performed in the last decade is presented. The mechanisms of pumping and quenching of electronically and vibrationally excited O{sub 2} and I{sub 2} molecules are considered, and dissociation mechanisms of I{sub 2} in the active medium of the OIL are analysed. The values of kinetic constants of processes proceeding in the active media of OILs are recommended. (review)

  15. Large-scale brain networks in board game experts: insights from a domain-related task and task-free resting state.

    PubMed

    Duan, Xujun; Liao, Wei; Liang, Dongmei; Qiu, Lihua; Gao, Qing; Liu, Chengyi; Gong, Qiyong; Chen, Huafu

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive performance relies on the coordination of large-scale networks of brain regions that are not only temporally correlated during different tasks, but also networks that show highly correlated spontaneous activity during a task-free state. Both task-related and task-free network activity has been associated with individual differences in cognitive performance. Therefore, we aimed to examine the influence of cognitive expertise on four networks associated with cognitive task performance: the default mode network (DMN) and three other cognitive networks (central-executive network, dorsal attention network, and salience network). During fMRI scanning, fifteen grandmaster and master level Chinese chess players (GM/M) and fifteen novice players carried out a Chinese chess task and a task-free resting state. Modulations of network activity during task were assessed, as well as resting-state functional connectivity of those networks. Relative to novices, GM/Ms showed a broader task-induced deactivation of DMN in the chess problem-solving task, and intrinsic functional connectivity of DMN was increased with a connectivity pattern associated with the caudate nucleus in GM/Ms. The three other cognitive networks did not exhibit any difference in task-evoked activation or intrinsic functional connectivity between the two groups. These findings demonstrate the effect of long-term learning and practice in cognitive expertise on large-scale brain networks, suggesting the important role of DMN deactivation in expert performance and enhanced functional integration of spontaneous activity within widely distributed DMN-caudate circuitry, which might better support high-level cognitive control of behavior.

  16. Insights into induced earthquakes and aftershock activity with in-situ measurements of seismic velocity variations in an active underground mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenguier, F.; Olivier, G.; Campillo, M.; Roux, P.; Shapiro, N.; Lynch, R.

    2015-12-01

    The behaviour of the crust shortly after large earthquakes has been the subject of numerous studies, but many co- and post-seismic processes remain poorly understood. Damage and healing of the bulk rock mass, post-seismic deformation and the mechanisms of earthquake triggering are still not well understood. These processes are important to properly model and understand the behaviour of faults and earthquake cycles.In this presentation, we will show how in-situ measurements of seismic velocity variations have given new insights into these co- and post-seismic processes. An experiment was performed where a blast was detonated in a tunnel in an underground mine, while seismic velocity variations were accurately (0.005 %) measured with ambient seismic noise correlations. Additionally, aftershock activity was examined and the influence of the removal of a piece of solid rock was estimated with elastic static stress modelling. The majority of the aftershocks were delayed with respect to the passing of the dynamic waves from the blast, while the locations of the aftershocks appeared clustered and not homogeneously spread around the blast location. A significant velocity drop is visible during the time of the blast, which is interpreted as co-seismic damage and plastic deformation. These non-elastic effects are healed by the confining stresses over a period of 5 days until the seismic velocity converges to a new baseline level. The instantaneous weakening and gradual healing observed from the velocity variations are qualitatively similar to results reported in laboratory studies. The change in the baseline level of the seismic velocity before and after the blast indicate a change in the static stress that is comparable to the results of elastic static stress modelling. The differences between the elastic model predictions and the seismic velocity variations could be due to zones of fractured rock, indicated by the spatial clustering of the aftershocks, that are not

  17. State monitoring activities related to Pfiesteria-like organisms.

    PubMed

    Magnien, R E

    2001-10-01

    In response to potential threats to human health and fish populations, six states along the east coast of the United States initiated monitoring programs related to Pfiesteria-like organisms in 1998. These actions were taken in the wake of toxic outbreaks of Pfiesteria piscicida Steidinger & Burkholder in Maryland during 1997 and previous outbreaks in North Carolina. The monitoring programs have two major purposes. The first, rapid response, is to ensure public safety by responding immediately to conditions that may indicate the presence of Pfiesteria or related organisms in a toxic state. The second, comprehensive assessment, is to provide a more complete understanding of where Pfiesteria-like organisms may become a threat, to understand what factors may stimulate their growth and toxicity, and to evaluate the impacts of these organisms upon fish and other aquatic life. In states where human health studies are being conducted, the data from both types of monitoring are used to provide information on environmental exposure. The three elements included in each monitoring program are identification of Pfiesteria-like organisms, water quality measurements, and assessments of fish health. Identification of Pfiesteria-like organisms is a particularly difficult element of the monitoring programs, as these small species cannot be definitively identified using light microscopy; newly applied molecular techniques, however, are starting to provide alternatives to traditional methods. State monitoring programs also offer many opportunities for collaborations with research initiatives targeting both environmental and human health issues related to Pfiesteria-like organisms.

  18. State monitoring activities related to Pfiesteria-like organisms.

    PubMed Central

    Magnien, R E

    2001-01-01

    In response to potential threats to human health and fish populations, six states along the east coast of the United States initiated monitoring programs related to Pfiesteria-like organisms in 1998. These actions were taken in the wake of toxic outbreaks of Pfiesteria piscicida Steidinger & Burkholder in Maryland during 1997 and previous outbreaks in North Carolina. The monitoring programs have two major purposes. The first, rapid response, is to ensure public safety by responding immediately to conditions that may indicate the presence of Pfiesteria or related organisms in a toxic state. The second, comprehensive assessment, is to provide a more complete understanding of where Pfiesteria-like organisms may become a threat, to understand what factors may stimulate their growth and toxicity, and to evaluate the impacts of these organisms upon fish and other aquatic life. In states where human health studies are being conducted, the data from both types of monitoring are used to provide information on environmental exposure. The three elements included in each monitoring program are identification of Pfiesteria-like organisms, water quality measurements, and assessments of fish health. Identification of Pfiesteria-like organisms is a particularly difficult element of the monitoring programs, as these small species cannot be definitively identified using light microscopy; newly applied molecular techniques, however, are starting to provide alternatives to traditional methods. State monitoring programs also offer many opportunities for collaborations with research initiatives targeting both environmental and human health issues related to Pfiesteria-like organisms. PMID:11677180

  19. Global Inventory and Characterization of Pyroclastic Deposits on Mercury: New Insights into Pyroclastic Activity from MESSENGER Orbital Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goudge, Timothy A.; Head, James W.; Kerber, Laura; Blewett, David T.; Denevi, Brett W.; Domingue, Deborah L.; Gillis-Davis, Jeffrey J.; Gwinner, Klaus; Helbert, Joern; Holsclaw, Gregory M.; Izenberg, Noam R.; Klima, Rachel L.; McClintock, William E.; Murchie, Scott L.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Smith, David E.; Strom, Robert G.; Xiao, Zhiyong; Zuber, Maria T.; Solomon, Sean C.

    2014-01-01

    We present new observations of pyroclastic deposits on the surface of Mercury from data acquired during the orbital phase of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission. The global analysis of pyroclastic deposits brings the total number of such identified features from 40 to 51. Some 90% of pyroclastic deposits are found within impact craters. The locations of most pyroclastic deposits appear to be unrelated to regional smooth plains deposits, except some deposits cluster around the margins of smooth plains, similar to the relation between many lunar pyroclastic deposits and lunar maria. A survey of the degradation state of the impact craters that host pyroclastic deposits suggests that pyroclastic activity occurred on Mercury over a prolonged interval. Measurements of surface reflectance by MESSENGER indicate that the pyroclastic deposits are spectrally distinct from their surrounding terrain, with higher reflectance values, redder (i.e., steeper) spectral slopes, and a downturn at wavelengths shorter than approximately 400nm (i.e., in the near-ultraviolet region of the spectrum). Three possible causes for these distinctive characteristics include differences in transition metal content, physical properties (e.g., grain size), or degree of space weathering from average surface material on Mercury. The strength of the near-ultraviolet downturn varies among spectra of pyroclastic deposits and is correlated with reflectance at visible wavelengths. We suggest that this interdeposit variability in reflectance spectra is the result of either variable amounts of mixing of the pyroclastic deposits with underlying material or inherent differences in chemical and physical properties among pyroclastic deposits.

  20. On the Heat Stability of Amyloid-Based Biological Activity: Insights from Thermal Degradation of Insulin Fibrils

    PubMed Central

    Surmacz-Chwedoruk, Weronika; Malka, Iwona; Bożycki, Łukasz; Nieznańska, Hanna; Dzwolak, Wojciech

    2014-01-01

    Formation of amyloid fibrils in vivo has been linked to disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and prion-associated transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. One of the characteristic features of amyloid fibrils is the high thermodynamic stability relative both to native and disordered states which is also thought to underlie the perplexingly remarkable heat resistance of prion infectivity. Here, we are comparing high-temperature degradation of native and fibrillar forms of human insulin. Decomposition of insulin amyloid has been studied under helium atmosphere and in the temperature range from ambient conditions to 750°C using thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry coupled to mass spectrometry. While converting native insulin into amyloid does upshift onset of thermal decomposition by ca. 75°C, fibrils remain vulnerable to covalent degradation at temperatures below 300°C, as reflected by mass spectra of gases released upon heating of amyloid samples, as well as morphology and infrared spectra of fibrils subjected to incubation at 250°C. Mass spectra profiles of released gases indicate that degradation of fibrils is much more cooperative than degradation of native insulin. The data show no evidence of water of crystallization trapped within insulin fibrils. We have also compared untreated and heated amyloid samples in terms of capacity to seed daughter fibrils. Kinetic traces of seed-induced insulin fibrillation have shown that the seeding potency of amyloid samples decreases significantly already after exposure to 200°C, even though corresponding electron micrographs indicated persisting fibrillar morphology. Our results suggest that amyloid-based biological activity may not survive extremely high temperature treatments, at least in the absence of other stabilizing factors. PMID:24466022

  1. Illinois State Bar Association Law Day Activities Guide. 2001 Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Bar Association, Springfield.

    These law-related lessons and activities can facilitate participation in a Law Day program. Following an introduction, this activities guide is divided into these sections: "Tips for Teachers" ("What Can a Lawyer Add to the Classroom?"; "So You Have Been Asked to Speak to Kids about the Law"; "A Checklist for…

  2. Physical Activity Opportunity in United States Public Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beaulieu, Lisa; Butterfield, Stephen A.; Pratt, Phillip

    2009-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that many elementary schools have curtailed recess and Physical Education (Morrow, Jackson & Payne 1999). These finding are at a variance with the goal of Healthy People 2010 to increase physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine physical activity opportunities (PAO) in U. S. public elementary schools.…

  3. Program activities, DOE state and local assistance programs, 1980 report

    SciTech Connect

    Chiogioji, Melvin H.

    1981-01-01

    Progress achieved by DOE State and Local Assistance Programs during FY 1980 and since they were established is summarized. These programs enable improved energy efficiency of industry, transportation, commercial establishments, public buildings, and residences. Eight programs (State Energy Conservation, Energy Extension Service, Weatherization Assistance, Institutional Buildings Grants, Energy-Related Inventions, Appropriate Technology Small Grants, Emergency Energy Conservation, Emergency Building Temperature Restrictions) are described. They provide the impetus for thousands of individual and organizational actions that have significantly affected national energy use patterns. (MCW)

  4. Novel Insights Into The Mode of Inhibition of Class A SHV-1 Beta-Lactamases Revealed by Boronic Acid Transition State Inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    W Ke; J Sampson; C Ori; F Prati; S Drawz; C Bethel; R Bonomo; F van den Akker

    2011-12-31

    Boronic acid transition state inhibitors (BATSIs) are potent class A and C {beta}-lactamase inactivators and are of particular interest due to their reversible nature mimicking the transition state. Here, we present structural and kinetic data describing the inhibition of the SHV-1 {beta}-lactamase, a clinically important enzyme found in Klebsiella pneumoniae, by BATSI compounds possessing the R1 side chains of ceftazidime and cefoperazone and designed variants of the latter, compounds 1 and 2. The ceftazidime and cefoperazone BATSI compounds inhibit the SHV-1 {beta}-lactamase with micromolar affinity that is considerably weaker than their inhibition of other {beta}-lactamases. The solved crystal structures of these two BATSIs in complex with SHV-1 reveal a possible reason for SHV-1's relative resistance to inhibition, as the BATSIs adopt a deacylation transition state conformation compared to the usual acylation transition state conformation when complexed to other {beta}-lactamases. Active-site comparison suggests that these conformational differences might be attributed to a subtle shift of residue A237 in SHV-1. The ceftazidime BATSI structure revealed that the carboxyl-dimethyl moiety is positioned in SHV-1's carboxyl binding pocket. In contrast, the cefoperazone BATSI has its R1 group pointing away from the active site such that its phenol moiety moves residue Y105 from the active site via end-on stacking interactions. To work toward improving the affinity of the cefoperazone BATSI, we synthesized two variants in which either one or two extra carbons were added to the phenol linker. Both variants yielded improved affinity against SHV-1, possibly as a consequence of releasing the strain of its interaction with the unusual Y105 conformation.

  5. Unusual non-fluorescent broad spectrum siderophore activity (SID EGYII) by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801 and a new insight towards simple siderophore bioassay.

    PubMed

    Embaby, Amira M; Heshmat, Yasmin; Hussein, Ahmed

    2016-03-01

    Present study highlights an unusual non-fluorescent hydroxamate broad spectrum siderophore (SID EGYII) activity from Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801, a soil bacterial isolate, along with simple low cost effective siderophore bioassay. Detection of SID EGYII activity qualitatively was proved by masking this activity against Erwinia amylovora strain EGY1 DSM 101800, an indicator strain, in well-cut diffusion assay containing 100 µM FeCl3. SID EGYII activity was expressed quantitatively as arbitrary units [Siderophore arbitrary units (SAU)] 380 SAU/mL against E. amylovora strain EGY1 DSM 101800. Maximal SID EGYII activity was achieved upon growing P. aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801 in PYB broth at 180 rpm for 24 h. SID EGYII displayed a broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against some human pathogens (i.e., Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria and yeasts) and a fireblight plant pathogen. Interestingly, transformants of Escherichia coli JM109 (DE3)pSID/EGYII harboring P. aeruginosa strain EGYII DSM 101801 plasmid demonstrated a perceivable antimicrobial activity against E. amylovora strain EGY1 DSM 101800. The broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of the unusual non-fluorescent SID EGYII would underpin its high potential in targeting bacterial pathogens posing probable threats to human health and agricultural economy. The present simple low cost effective bioassay is a new insight towards an alternative to the expensive cumbersome siderophore Chrome Azurol S assay.

  6. New insights into the catalytic mechanism of histidine phosphatases revealed by a functionally essential arginine residue within the active site of the Sts phosphatases.

    PubMed

    San Luis, Boris; Nassar, Nicolas; Carpino, Nick

    2013-07-01

    Sts (suppressor of T-cell receptor signalling)-1 and Sts-2 are HPs (histidine phosphatases) that negatively regulate TCR (T-cell receptor) signalling pathways, including those involved in cytokine production. HPs play key roles in such varied biological processes as metabolism, development and intracellular signalling. They differ considerably in their primary sequence and substrate specificity, but possess a catalytic core formed by an invariant quartet of active-site residues. Two histidine and two arginine residues cluster together within the HP active site and are thought to participate in a two-step dephosphorylation reaction. To date there has been little insight into any additional residues that might play an important functional role. In the present study, we identify and characterize an additional residue within the Sts phosphatases (Sts-1 Arg383 or Sts-2 Arg369) that is critical for catalytic activity and intracellular function. Mutation of Sts-1 Arg383 to an alanine residue compromises the enzyme's activity and renders Sts-1 unable to suppress TCR-induced cytokine induction. Of the multiple amino acids substituted for Arg383, only lysine partially rescues the catalytic activity of Sts-1. Although Sts-1 Arg383 is conserved in all Sts homologues, it is only conserved in one of the two sub-branches of HPs. The results of the present study highlight an essential role for Sts-1 phosphatase activity in regulating T-cell activation and add a new dimension of complexity to our understanding of HP catalytic activity.

  7. Student Activism in the High Schools of New York State.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haake, Bernard F.; Langworthy, Philip B.

    The purpose of nine regional meetings between New York State Education Department personnel, educators and students from selected secondary school districts was to obtain information about unrest and the changing expectations of high school students. The following conclusions were made: (1) rising expectations of students are part of the "times,"…

  8. Resting-State Oscillatory Activity in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornew, Lauren; Roberts, Timothy P. L.; Blaskey, Lisa; Edgar, J. Christopher

    2012-01-01

    Neural oscillatory anomalies in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) suggest an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance; however, the nature and clinical relevance of these anomalies are unclear. Whole-cortex magnetoencephalography data were collected while 50 children (27 with ASD, 23 controls) underwent an eyes-closed resting-state exam. A Fast Fourier…

  9. 12 CFR 362.3 - Activities of insured State banks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ...” and “moderate income” as defined for the purposes of § 345.12(n) (1) and (2) of this chapter. (iii... shall in no event exceed, when made, 100 percent of the bank's tier one capital as measured on the bank... permissible limit for any particular insured State bank is something less than 100 percent of tier one...

  10. Objectively Assessed Physical Activity among Tongans in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrens, Timothy K.; Moy, Karen; Dinger, Mary K.; Williams, Daniel P.; Harbour, Vanessa J.

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, health statistics data for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) in the United States were almost nonexistent, due to their being historically aggregated into one homogenous group with Asian Americans. However, recent studies on U.S. NHPI highlight a multitude of obesity-related health disparities indicating the necessity…

  11. Tracking Sodium-Antimonide Phase Transformations in Sodium-Ion Anodes: Insights from Operando Pair Distribution Function Analysis and Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Allan, Phoebe K; Griffin, John M; Darwiche, Ali; Borkiewicz, Olaf J; Wiaderek, Kamila M; Chapman, Karena W; Morris, Andrew J; Chupas, Peter J; Monconduit, Laure; Grey, Clare P

    2016-02-24

    Operando pair distribution function (PDF) analysis and ex situ (23)Na magic-angle spinning solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS ssNMR) spectroscopy are used to gain insight into the alloying mechanism of high-capacity antimony anodes for sodium-ion batteries. Subtraction of the PDF of crystalline NaxSb phases from the total PDF, an approach constrained by chemical phase information gained from (23)Na ssNMR in reference to relevant model compounds, identifies two previously uncharacterized intermediate species formed electrochemically; a-Na(3-x)Sb (x ≈ 0.4-0.5), a structure locally similar to crystalline Na3Sb (c-Na3Sb) but with significant numbers of sodium vacancies and a limited correlation length, and a-Na(1.7)Sb, a highly amorphous structure featuring some Sb-Sb bonding. The first sodiation breaks down the crystalline antimony to form first a-Na(3-x)Sb and, finally, crystalline Na3Sb. Desodiation results in the formation of an electrode formed of a composite of crystalline and amorphous antimony networks. We link the different reactivity of these networks to a series of sequential sodiation reactions manifesting as a cascade of processes observed in the electrochemical profile of subsequent cycles. The amorphous network reacts at higher voltages reforming a-Na(1.7)Sb, then a-Na(3-x)Sb, whereas lower potentials are required for the sodiation of crystalline antimony, which reacts to form a-Na(3-x)Sb without the formation of a-Na(1.7)Sb. a-Na(3-x)Sb is converted to crystalline Na3Sb at the end of the second discharge. We find no evidence of formation of NaSb. Variable temperature (23)Na NMR experiments reveal significant sodium mobility within c-Na3Sb; this is a possible contributing factor to the excellent rate performance of Sb anodes.

  12. Structural changes of humic acids from sinking organic matter and surface sediments investigated by advanced solid-state NMR: Insights into sources, preservation and molecularly uncharacterized components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Jingdong; Tremblay, Luc; Gagné, Jean-Pierre

    2011-12-01

    Knowledge of the structural changes that particulate organic matter (POM) undergoes in natural systems is essential for determining its reactivity and fate. In the present study, we used advanced solid-state NMR techniques to investigate the chemical structures of sinking particulate matter collected at different depths as well as humic acids (HAs) extracted from these samples and underlying sediments from the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence Lower Estuary (Canada). Compared to bulk POM, HAs contain more non-polar alkyls, aromatics, and aromatic C-O, but less carbohydrates (or carbohydrate-like structures). In the two locations studied, the C and N contents of the samples (POM and HAs) decreased with depth and after deposition onto sediments, leaving N-poor but O-enriched HAs and suggesting the involvement of partial oxidation reactions during POM microbial degradation. Advanced NMR techniques revealed that, compared to the water-column HAs, sedimentary HAs contained more protonated aromatics, non-protonated aromatics, aromatic C-O, carbohydrates (excluding anomerics), anomerics, OC q, O-C q-O, OCH, and OCH 3 groups, but less non-polar alkyls, NCH, and mobile CH 2 groups. These results are consistent with the relatively high reactivity of lipids and proteins or peptides. In contrast, carbohydrate-like structures were selectively preserved and appeared to be involved in substitution and copolymerization reactions. Some of these trends support the selective degradation (or selective preservation) theory. The results provide insights into mechanisms that likely contribute to the preservation of POM and the formation of molecules that escape characterization by traditional methods. Despite the depletion of non-polar alkyls with depth in HAs, a significant portion of their general structure survived and can be assigned to a model phospholipid. In addition, little changes in the connectivities of different functional groups were observed. Substituted and copolymerized

  13. Structure of the partially unliganded met state of 400 kDa hemoglobin: insights into ligand-induced structural changes of giant hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Numoto, Nobutaka; Nakagawa, Taro; Kita, Akiko; Sasayama, Yuichi; Fukumori, Yoshihiro; Miki, Kunio

    2008-10-01

    Recent crystallographic studies have revealed the structures of some invertebrate extracellular giant hemoglobins of 3,600 kDa or 400 kDa and their common quaternary structure of dodecameric subassembly composed of four kinds of globin subunits (A1, A2, B1, and B2). These results have provided insight into the mechanisms of their unique functional properties of oxygen binding and sulfide binding. All of these structures were solved with oxygenated or CO-liganded forms at low or moderate resolutions. We have determined the crystal structure of 400 kDa Hb from a polychaete Oligobrachia mashikoi at 1.95 A resolution. The electron densities at higher resolution confirm the existence of an isoform of the B1 subunit because of the inconsistency with the model that was built from the formerly known amino acid sequence. The brownish color of the crystals used in this study and the absorption spectrum from the dissolved crystals strongly indicated that the obtained structure was a ferric met state, whereas complete absence of electron density around the distal heme pockets were observed at the A2, B1, and B2 subunits. We concluded that the obtained structure was in unliganded met forms at three of four globin subunits in the 24mer assembly and in oxygenated forms at the remaining A1 subunits. The partially unliganded structure showed remarkable structural changes at the AB loop regions causing quaternary rearrangements of the EF-dimer structure. In contrast, few changes occurred at the interface regions composed of the E and F helices. These results suggest that the ligand-induced structural changes of Oligobrachia Hb are quite different from those of the well-studied mollusk Hb having the same EF-dimer structure. The structural rearrangements make the dodecameric subassembly form a tighter conformation than those of fully oxygenated or CO-liganded dodecamer structure.

  14. Decoding of the sound frequency from the steady-state neural activities in rat auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Shiramatsu, Tomoyo I; Noda, Takahiro; Kanzaki, Ryohei; Takahashi, Hirokazu

    2013-01-01

    In the auditory cortex, onset activities have been extensively investigated as a cortical representation of sound information such as sound frequency. Yet, less attention has been paid to date to steady-state activities following the onset activities. In this study, we used machine learning to investigate whether steady-state activities in the presence of continuous sounds represent the sound frequency. Sparse Logistic Regression (SLR) decoded the sound frequency from band specific power or phase locking value (PLV) of local field potentials (LFP) from the fourth layer of the auditory cortex of anesthetized rats. Consequently, we found that SLR was able to decode the sound frequency from steady-state neural activities as well as onset activities. This result demonstrates that the steady-state activities contain information about the sound such as sound frequency.

  15. Supervisory Control State Diagrams to Depict Autonomous Activity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-01

    such as flowcharts, binary decision trees, goal graphs, finite state machine diagrams, and petri nets were assessed for their potential application...Horizons, 2010 p. 42). For future unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, the operator’s central responsibility conceivably shifts from teleoperation to...mission management and control for a team comprised of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unattended ground sensors (UGS), dismounted warfighters with

  16. 77 FR 74471 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; State of Preschool Survey 2013-2015

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-14

    ... Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; State of Preschool Survey 2013-2015 AGENCY... in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: State of Preschool... approval to conduct in 2013, 2014, and 2015 the annual, web-based State of Preschool survey,...

  17. The Relationships of Mental States and Intellectual Processes in the Learning Activities of Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prokhorov, Alexander O.; Chernov, Albert V.; Yusupov, Mark G.

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of the interaction of mental states and cognitive processes in the classroom allows us to solve the problem of increasing the effectiveness of training by activating cognitive processes and management of students' mental states. This article is concerned with the most general patterns of interaction between mental state and…

  18. State Research Coordinating Unit Activities for the Period July 1, 1972--December 31, 1972. Semiannual Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bureau of Adult, Vocational, and Technical Education (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC.

    In an alphabetical listing by States, the report summarizes the research activities of the State Research Coordinating Units (RCU's) conducted under Section 131 (6) of Part C of the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 during the first six months of fiscal year 1973. The report's purpose is to provide information that will assist States to be…

  19. National Study of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges: Off Campus Inservice Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seldin, Clement A.

    Information concerning off-campus inservice activity (OCIA) at state universities and land grant colleges in the United States was surveyed. There was a 92.5 percent response rate to questionnaires sent to 107 deans of schools, colleges, and departments of education. Inservice activities were considered to be courses, workshops, needs assessments,…

  20. Recognition of human activity characteristics based on state transitions modeling technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elangovan, Vinayak; Shirkhodaie, Amir

    2012-06-01

    Human Activity Discovery & Recognition (HADR) is a complex, diverse and challenging task but yet an active area of ongoing research in the Department of Defense. By detecting, tracking, and characterizing cohesive Human interactional activity patterns, potential threats can be identified which can significantly improve situation awareness, particularly, in Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS). Understanding the nature of such dynamic activities, inevitably involves interpretation of a collection of spatiotemporally correlated activities with respect to a known context. In this paper, we present a State Transition model for recognizing the characteristics of human activities with a link to a prior contextbased ontology. Modeling the state transitions between successive evidential events determines the activities' temperament. The proposed state transition model poses six categories of state transitions including: Human state transitions of Object handling, Visibility, Entity-entity relation, Human Postures, Human Kinematics and Distance to Target. The proposed state transition model generates semantic annotations describing the human interactional activities via a technique called Casual Event State Inference (CESI). The proposed approach uses a low cost kinect depth camera for indoor and normal optical camera for outdoor monitoring activities. Experimental results are presented here to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed technique.

  1. United States Department of Energy Thermally Activated Heat Pump Program

    SciTech Connect

    Fiskum, R.J.; Adcock, P.W.; DeVault, R.C.

    1996-06-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is working with partners from the gas heating and cooling industry to improve energy efficiency using advance absorption technologies, to eliminate chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), to reduce global warming through more efficient combustion of natural gas, and to impact electric peak demand of air conditioning. To assist industry in developing these gas heating and cooling absorption technologies, the US DOE sponsors the Thermally Activated Heat Pump Program. It is divided into five key activities, addressing residential gas absorption heat pumps, large commercial chillers, advanced absorption fluids, computer-aided design, and advanced ``Hi-Cool`` heat pumps.

  2. Allowance trading activity and state regulatory rulings: Evidence from the US Acid Rain Program

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, E.M.

    1997-12-31

    The US Acid Rain Program is one of the first, and by far the most extensive, applications of a market based approach to pollution control. From the beginning, there has been concern whether utilities would participate in allowance trading, and whether regulatory activity at the state level would further complicate utilities` decision to trade allowances. This paper finds that public utility commission regulation has encouraged allowance trading activity in states with regulatory rulings, but that allowance trading activity has not been limited to states issuing regulations. Until there is evidence suggesting that significant additional cost savings could have been obtained if additional allowance trading activity had occurred in states without regulations or that utilities in states with regulations are still not taking advantage of all cost saving trading opportunities, this analysis suggests that there is little reason to believe that allowance trading activity is impeded by public utility commission regulations.

  3. State activities for prevention of lead poisoning among children--United States, 1992.

    PubMed

    1993-03-12

    In 1990, an estimated 3 million children aged < 6 years had blood lead levels (BLLs) > 10 micrograms/dL--levels associated with decreased intellectual performance and other adverse health events. During October 1991, CDC revised its childhood lead poisoning prevention policy statement; the recommendations included lowering the BLL of concern from 25 micrograms/dL to 10 micrograms/dL. To characterize efforts of state health agencies in lead-poisoning prevention and to assess the extent of implementation of the recommendations in the 1991 lead statement, in June 1992, the Lead Task Force of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) conducted a questionnaire survey of directors of public health in each of the 50 states. This report summarizes findings of the survey regarding screening issues, funding mechanisms, and follow-up of children with elevated BLLs.

  4. Solid-state active media based on aminocoumarins

    SciTech Connect

    Kopylova, T N; Mayer, G V; Samsonova, L G; Svetlichnyi, Valerii A; Reznichenko, A V; Dolotov, S M; Ponomarenko, E P; Tavrizova, M A

    2003-06-30

    The lasing properties and photostability of eighteen aminocoumarins in polymethyl methacrylate, methyl methacrylate, and ethanol excited by an excimer XeCl laser are studied. It is shown that coumarins with a fluorinated methyl group and substituents in the third position of the molecule can be promising active media for lasers on polymer matrices doped with dyes. (lasers)

  5. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... mental health services for children with disabilities; (iv) To improve the use of technology in the classroom by children with disabilities to enhance learning; (v) To support the use of technology, including... training; (ii) To support paperwork reduction activities, including expanding the use of technology in...

  6. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... mental health services for children with disabilities; (iv) To improve the use of technology in the classroom by children with disabilities to enhance learning; (v) To support the use of technology, including... training; (ii) To support paperwork reduction activities, including expanding the use of technology in...

  7. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... mental health services for children with disabilities; (iv) To improve the use of technology in the classroom by children with disabilities to enhance learning; (v) To support the use of technology, including... training; (ii) To support paperwork reduction activities, including expanding the use of technology in...

  8. 34 CFR 300.704 - State-level activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... mental health services for children with disabilities; (iv) To improve the use of technology in the classroom by children with disabilities to enhance learning; (v) To support the use of technology, including... training; (ii) To support paperwork reduction activities, including expanding the use of technology in...

  9. Structural elucidation of the DFG-Asp in and DFG-Asp out states of TAM kinases and insight into the selectivity of their inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Messoussi, Abdellah; Peyronnet, Lucile; Feneyrolles, Clémence; Chevé, Gwénaël; Bougrin, Khalid; Yasri, Aziz

    2014-10-10

    Structural elucidation of the active (DFG-Asp in) and inactive (DFG-Asp out) states of the TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinases is required for future development of TAM inhibitors as drugs. Herein we report a computational study on each of the three TAM members Tyro-3, Axl and Mer. DFG-Asp in and DFG-Asp out homology models of each one were built based on the X-ray structure of c-Met kinase, an enzyme with a closely related sequence. Structural validation and in silico screening enabled identification of critical amino acids for ligand binding within the active site of each DFG-Asp in and DFG-Asp out model. The position and nature of amino acids that differ among Tyro-3, Axl and Mer, and the potential role of these residues in the design of selective TAM ligands, are discussed.

  10. Neocortical inhibitory activities and long-range afferents contribute to the synchronous onset of silent states of the neocortical slow oscillation

    PubMed Central

    Lemieux, Maxime; Chauvette, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    During slow-wave sleep, neurons of the thalamocortical network are engaged in a slow oscillation (<1 Hz), which consists of an alternation between the active and the silent states. Several studies have provided insights on the transition from the silent, which are essentially periods of disfacilitation, to the active states. However, the conditions leading to the synchronous onset of the silent state remain elusive. We hypothesized that a synchronous input to local inhibitory neurons could contribute to the transition to the silent state in the cat suprasylvian gyrus during natural sleep and under ketamine-xylazine anesthesia. After partial and complete deafferentation of the cortex, we found that the silent state onset was more variable among remote sites. We found that the transition to the silent state was preceded by a reduction in excitatory postsynaptic potentials and firing probability in cortical neurons. We tested the impact of chloride-mediated inhibition in the silent-state onset. We uncovered a long-duration (100–300 ms) inhibitory barrage occurring about 250 ms before the silent state onset in 3–6% of neurons during anesthesia and in 12–15% of cases during natural sleep. These inhibitory activities caused a decrease in cortical firing that reduced the excitatory drive in the neocortical network. That chain reaction of disfacilitation ends up on the silent state. Electrical stimuli could trigger a network silent state with a maximal efficacy in deep cortical layers. We conclude that long-range afferents to the neocortex and chloride-mediated inhibition play a role in the initiation of the silent state. PMID:25392176

  11. Neocortical inhibitory activities and long-range afferents contribute to the synchronous onset of silent states of the neocortical slow oscillation.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Maxime; Chauvette, Sylvain; Timofeev, Igor

    2015-02-01

    During slow-wave sleep, neurons of the thalamocortical network are engaged in a slow oscillation (<1 Hz), which consists of an alternation between the active and the silent states. Several studies have provided insights on the transition from the silent, which are essentially periods of disfacilitation, to the active states. However, the conditions leading to the synchronous onset of the silent state remain elusive. We hypothesized that a synchronous input to local inhibitory neurons could contribute to the transition to the silent state in the cat suprasylvian gyrus during natural sleep and under ketamine-xylazine anesthesia. After partial and complete deafferentation of the cortex, we found that the silent state onset was more variable among remote sites. We found that the transition to the silent state was preceded by a reduction in excitatory postsynaptic potentials and firing probability in cortical neurons. We tested the impact of chloride-mediated inhibition in the silent-state onset. We uncovered a long-duration (100-300 ms) inhibitory barrage occurring about 250 ms before the silent state onset in 3-6% of neurons during anesthesia and in 12-15% of cases during natural sleep. These inhibitory activities caused a decrease in cortical firing that reduced the excitatory drive in the neocortical network. That chain reaction of disfacilitation ends up on the silent state. Electrical stimuli could trigger a network silent state with a maximal efficacy in deep cortical layers. We conclude that long-range afferents to the neocortex and chloride-mediated inhibition play a role in the initiation of the silent state.

  12. Altered baseline brain activity in children with bipolar disorder during mania state: a resting-state study

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Dali; Jiao, Qing; Zhong, Yuan; Gao, Weijia; Xiao, Qian; Liu, Xiaoqun; Lin, Xiaoling; Cheng, Wentao; Luo, Lanzhu; Xu, Chuanjian; Lu, Guangming; Su, Linyan

    2014-01-01

    Background Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown abnormal functional connectivity in regions involved in emotion processing and regulation in pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD). Recent studies indicate, however, that task-dependent neural changes only represent a small fraction of the brain’s total activity. How the brain allocates the majority of its resources at resting state is still unknown. We used the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) method of fMRI to explore the spontaneous neuronal activity in resting state in PBD patients. Methods Eighteen PBD patients during the mania phase and 18 sex-, age- and education-matched healthy subjects were enrolled in this study and all patients underwent fMRI scanning. The ALFF method was used to compare the resting-state spontaneous neuronal activity between groups. Correlation analysis was performed between the ALFF values and Young Mania Rating Scale scores. Results Compared with healthy controls, PBD patients presented increased ALFF in bilateral caudate and left pallidum as well as decreased ALFF in left precuneus, left superior parietal lobule, and bilateral inferior occipital gyrus. Additionally, ALFF values in left pallidum were positively correlated with Young Mania Rating Scale score in PBD. Conclusion The abnormal resting-state neuronal activities of the basal ganglia, parietal cortex, and occipital cortex may play an important role in the pathophysiology in PBD patients. PMID:24570585

  13. United States-Russia: Environmental management activities, Summer 1998

    SciTech Connect

    1998-09-01

    A Joint Coordinating Committee for Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (JCCEM) was formed between the US and Russia. This report describes the areas of research being studied under JCCEM, namely: Efficient separations; Contaminant transport and site characterization; Mixed wastes; High level waste tank remediation; Transuranic stabilization; Decontamination and decommissioning; and Emergency response. Other sections describe: Administrative framework for cooperation; Scientist exchange; Future actions; Non-JCCEM DOE-Russian activities; and JCCEM publications.

  14. Active tectonic studies in the United States, 1987-1990

    SciTech Connect

    Weldon, R.J., II )

    1991-01-01

    The techniques and instrumentation used in active tectonic studies are discussed, and recent results are reviewed. It is suggested that a critical mass of data on several particular regions has been accumulated, making possible critical debates and attempts to assess earthquake hazards. Particular attention is given to studies of the Pacific Northwest region, basin and range deformation studies, and distributed deformation and hidden earthquake sources. Also included is a comprehensive bibliography for the period.

  15. What graph theory actually tells us about resting state interictal MEG epileptic activity.

    PubMed

    Niso, Guiomar; Carrasco, Sira; Gudín, María; Maestú, Fernando; Del-Pozo, Francisco; Pereda, Ernesto

    2015-01-01

    Graph theory provides a useful framework to study functional brain networks from neuroimaging data. In epilepsy research, recent findings suggest that it offers unique insight into the fingerprints of this pathology on brain dynamics. Most studies hitherto have focused on seizure activity during focal epilepsy, but less is known about functional epileptic brain networks during interictal activity in frontal focal and generalized epilepsy. Besides, it is not clear yet which measures are most suitable to characterize these networks. To address these issues, we recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data using two orthogonal planar gradiometers from 45 subjects from three groups (15 healthy controls (7 males, 24 ± 6 years), 15 frontal focal (8 male, 32 ± 16 years) and 15 generalized epileptic (6 male, 27 ± 7 years) patients) during interictal resting state with closed eyes. Then, we estimated the total and relative spectral power of the largest principal component of the gradiometers, and the degree of phase synchronization between each sensor site in the frequency range [0.5-40 Hz]. We further calculated a comprehensive battery of 15 graph-theoretic measures and used the affinity propagation clustering algorithm to elucidate the minimum set of them that fully describe these functional brain networks. The results show that differences in spectral power between the control and the other two groups have a distinctive pattern: generalized epilepsy presents higher total power for all frequencies except the alpha band over a widespread set of sensors; frontal focal epilepsy shows higher relative power in the beta band bilaterally in the fronto-central sensors. Moreover, all network indices can be clustered into three groups, whose exemplars are the global network efficiency, the eccentricity and the synchronizability. Again, the patterns of differences were clear: the brain network of the generalized epilepsy patients presented greater efficiency and lower

  16. Expression and characterization of the calcium-activated photoprotein from the ctenophore Bathocyroe fosteri: insights into light-sensitive photoproteins.

    PubMed

    Powers, Meghan L; McDermott, Amy G; Shaner, Nathan C; Haddock, Steven H D

    2013-02-08

    Calcium-binding photoproteins have been discovered in a variety of luminous marine organisms [1]. Recent interest in photoproteins from the phylum Ctenophora has stemmed from cloning and expression of several photoproteins from this group [2-5]. Additional characterization has revealed unique biochemical properties found only in ctenophore photoproteins, such as inactivation by light. Here we report the cloning, expression, and characterization of the photoprotein responsible for luminescence in the deep-sea ctenophore Bathocyroe fosteri. This animal was of particular interest due to the unique broad color spectrum observed in live specimens [6]. Full-length sequences were identified by BLAST searches of known photoprotein sequences against Bathocyroe transcripts obtained from 454 sequencing. Recombinantly expressed Bathocyroe photoprotein (BfosPP) displayed an optimal coelenterazine-loading pH of 8.5, and produced calcium-triggered luminescence with peak wavelengths closely matching the 493 nm peak observed in the spectrum of live B. fosteri specimens. Luminescence from recombinant BfosPP was inactivated most efficiently by UV and blue light. Primary structure alignment of BfosPP with other characterized photoproteins showed very strong sequence similarity to other ctenophore photoproteins and conservation of EF-hand motifs. Both alignment and structural prediction data provide more insight into the formation of the coelenterazine-binding domain and the probable mechanism of photoinactivation.

  17. A review of recent activity in the United States.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, H.L.; Petrie, W.L.

    1979-01-01

    Either an overabundance or a deficiency of trace metals in the food chain can ultimately affect adversely the health of livestock and man. Increasing interest in the United States in the distribution of metals in the environment and in metal pollutants has led to widespread interdisciplinary research sponsored by governmental, private and academic groups concerning the availability of trace elements for absorption by plants and animals, and the effects of trace elements throughout the food chain. Effects on the environment of coal-fired power plants, the mining and processing of metals, asbestos, and phosphate, and the disposal of industrial and nuclear wastes have also received much attention in the past few years.-Authors

  18. A new activity of anti-HIV and anti-tumor protein GAP31: DNA adenosine glycosidase - Structural and modeling insight into its functions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui-Guang; Huang, Philip L.; Zhang, Dawei; Sun, Yongtao; Chen, Hao-Chia; Zhang, John; Huang, Paul L.; Kong, Xiang-Peng; Lee-Huang, Sylvia

    2010-01-01

    We report here the high-resolution atomic structures of GAP31 crystallized in the presence of HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotides systematically designed to examine the adenosine glycosidase activity of this anti-HIV and anti-tumor plant protein. Structural analysis and molecular modeling lead to several novel findings. First, adenine is bound at the active site in the crystal structures of GAP31 to HIV-LTR duplex DNA with 5' overhanging adenosine ends, such as the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA but not to DNA duplex with blunt ends. Second, the active site pocket of GAP31 is ideally suited to accommodate the 5' overhanging adenosine of the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA and the active site residues are positioned to perform the adenosine glycosidase activity. Third, GAP31 also removes the 5'-end adenine from single-stranded HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotide as well as any exposed adenosine, including that of single nucleotide dAMP but not from AMP. Fourth, GAP31 does not de-purinate guanosine from di-nucleotide GT. These results suggest that GAP31 has DNA adenosine glycosidase activity against accessible adenosine. This activity is distinct from the generally known RNA N-glycosidase activity toward the 28S rRNA. It may be an alternative function that contributes to the antiviral and anti-tumor activities of GAP31. These results provide molecular insights consistent with the anti-HIV mechanisms of GAP31 in its inhibition on the integration of viral DNA into the host genome by HIV-integrase as well as irreversible topological relaxation of the supercoiled viral DNA.

  19. A New Activity of Anti-HIV and Anti-tumor Protein GAP31: DNA Adenosine Glycosidase – Structural and Modeling Insight into its Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Li, H.; Huang, P; Zhang, D; Sun, Y; Chen, H; Zhang, J; Huang, P; Kong, X; Lee-Huang, S

    2010-01-01

    We report here the high-resolution atomic structures of GAP31 crystallized in the presence of HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotides systematically designed to examine the adenosine glycosidase activity of this anti-HIV and anti-tumor plant protein. Structural analysis and molecular modeling lead to several novel findings. First, adenine is bound at the active site in the crystal structures of GAP31 to HIV-LTR duplex DNA with 5' overhanging adenosine ends, such as the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA but not to DNA duplex with blunt ends. Second, the active site pocket of GAP31 is ideally suited to accommodate the 5' overhanging adenosine of the 3'-processed HIV-LTR DNA and the active site residues are positioned to perform the adenosine glycosidase activity. Third, GAP31 also removes the 5'-end adenine from single-stranded HIV-LTR DNA oligonucleotide as well as any exposed adenosine, including that of single nucleotide dAMP but not from AMP. Fourth, GAP31 does not de-purinate guanosine from di-nucleotide GT. These results suggest that GAP31 has DNA adenosine glycosidase activity against accessible adenosine. This activity is distinct from the generally known RNA N-glycosidase activity toward the 28S rRNA. It may be an alternative function that contributes to the antiviral and anti-tumor activities of GAP31. These results provide molecular insights consistent with the anti-HIV mechanisms of GAP31 in its inhibition on the integration of viral DNA into the host genome by HIV-integrase as well as irreversible topological relaxation of the supercoiled viral DNA.

  20. United States data collection activities and requirements, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hrin, S.; Mcgregor, D.

    1977-01-01

    The potential market for a data collection system was investigated to determine whether the user needs would be sufficient to support a satellite relay data collection system design. The activities of 107,407 data collections stations were studied to determine user needs in agriculture, climatology, environmental monitoring, forestry, geology, hydrology, meteorology, and oceanography. Descriptions of 50 distinct data collections networks are described and used to form the user data base. The computer program used to analyze the station data base is discussed, and results of the analysis are presented in maps and graphs. Information format and coding is described in the appendix.

  1. Viable But Not Culturable (VBNC) state of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in wine: New insights on molecular basis of VBNC behaviour using a transcriptomic approach.

    PubMed

    Capozzi, Vittorio; Di Toro, Maria Rosaria; Grieco, Francesco; Michelotti, Vania; Salma, Mohammad; Lamontanara, Antonella; Russo, Pasquale; Orrù, Luigi; Alexandre, Hervé; Spano, Giuseppe

    2016-10-01

    The spoilage potential of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in wine is strongly connected with the aptitude of this yeast to enter in a Viable But Non Culturable (VBNC) state when exposed to the harsh wine conditions. In this work, we characterized the VBNC behaviour of seven strains of B. bruxellensis representing a regional intraspecific biodiversity, reporting conclusive evidence for the assessment of VBNC as a strain-dependent character. The VBNC behaviour was monitored by fluorescein diacetate staining/flow cytometry for eleven days after addition of 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1 and 1.2 mg/L of molecular SO2 (entrance in the VBNC state) and after SO2 removal (exit from the VBNC state). Furthermore, one representative strain was selected and RNA-seq analysis performed after exposure to 1.2 mg/L SO2 and during the recovery phase. 30 and 1634 genes were identified as differentially expressed following VBNC entrance and 'resuscitation', respectively. The results reported strongly suggested that the entrance in the SO2-induced VBNC state in B. bruxellensis is associated with both, sulfite toxicity and oxidative stress response, confirming the crucial role of genes/proteins involved in redox cell homeostasis. Among the genes induced during recovery, the expression of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and encoding heat shock proteins, as well as enriched categories including amino acid transport and transporter activity was observed. The evidences of a general repression of genes involved in DNA replication suggest the occurrence of a true resuscitation of cell rather than a simple regrowth.

  2. Insights into the phosphatase and the synthase activities of human bisphosphoglycerate mutase: a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulation.

    PubMed

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Zheng, Qing-Chuan; Zhang, Hong-Xing

    2014-03-07

    Bisphosphoglycerate mutase (BPGM) is a multi-activity enzyme. Its main function is to synthesize the 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate, the allosteric effector of hemoglobin. This enzyme can also catalyze the 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate to the 3-phosphoglycerate. In this study, the reaction mechanisms of both the phosphatase and the synthase activities of human bisphosphoglycerate mutase were theoretically calculated by using the quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method based on the metadynamics and umbrella sampling simulations. The simulation results not only show the free energy curve of the phosphatase and the synthase reactions, but also reveal the important role of some residues in the active site. Additionally, the energy barriers of the two reactions indicate that the activity of the synthase in human bisphosphoglycerate mutase is much higher than that of the phosphatase. The estimated reaction barriers are consistent with the experimental data. Therefore, our work can give important information to understand the catalytic mechanism of the bisphosphoglycerate mutase family.

  3. Tracking Sodium-Antimonide Phase Transformations in Sodium-Ion Anodes: Insights from Operando Pair Distribution Function Analysis and Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Operando pair distribution function (PDF) analysis and ex situ 23Na magic-angle spinning solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS ssNMR) spectroscopy are used to gain insight into the alloying mechanism of high-capacity antimony anodes for sodium-ion batteries. Subtraction of the PDF of crystalline NaxSb phases from the total PDF, an approach constrained by chemical phase information gained from 23Na ssNMR in reference to relevant model compounds, identifies two previously uncharacterized intermediate species formed electrochemically; a-Na3–xSb (x ≈ 0.4–0.5), a structure locally similar to crystalline Na3Sb (c-Na3Sb) but with significant numbers of sodium vacancies and a limited correlation length, and a-Na1.7Sb, a highly amorphous structure featuring some Sb–Sb bonding. The first sodiation breaks down the crystalline antimony to form first a-Na3–xSb and, finally, crystalline Na3Sb. Desodiation results in the formation of an electrode formed of a composite of crystalline and amorphous antimony networks. We link the different reactivity of these networks to a series of sequential sodiation reactions manifesting as a cascade of processes observed in the electrochemical profile of subsequent cycles. The amorphous network reacts at higher voltages reforming a-Na1.7Sb, then a-Na3–xSb, whereas lower potentials are required for the sodiation of crystalline antimony, which reacts to form a-Na3–xSb without the formation of a-Na1.7Sb. a-Na3–xSb is converted to crystalline Na3Sb at the end of the second discharge. We find no evidence of formation of NaSb. Variable temperature 23Na NMR experiments reveal significant sodium mobility within c-Na3Sb; this is a possible contributing factor to the excellent rate performance of Sb anodes. PMID:26824406

  4. Probing the atomic structure of basaltic melts generated by partial melting of upper mantle peridotite (KLB-1): Insights from high-resolution solid-state NMR study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, S. Y.; Lee, S. K.

    2015-12-01

    Probing the structural disorder in multi-component silicate glasses and melts with varying composition is essential to reveal the change of macroscopic properties in natural silicate melts. While a number of NMR studies for the structure of multi-component silicate glasses and melts including basaltic and andesitic glasses have been reported (e.g., Park and Lee, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 2012, 80, 125; Park and Lee, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 2014, 26, 42), many challenges still remain. The composition of multi-component basaltic melts vary with temperature, pressure, and melt fraction (Kushiro, Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 2001, 71, 107). Especially, the eutectic point (the composition of first melt) of nepheline-forsterite-quartz (the simplest model of basaltic melts) moves with pressure from silica-saturated to highly undersaturated and alkaline melts. The composition of basaltic melts generated by partial melting of upper mantle peridotite (KLB-1, the xenolith from Kilbourne Hole) also vary with pressure. In this study we report experimental results for the effects of composition on the atomic structure of Na2O-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2 (NMAS) glasses in nepheline (NaAlSiO4)-forsterite (Mg2SiO4)-quartz (SiO2) eutectic composition and basaltic glasses generated by partial melting of upper mantle peridotite (KLB-1) using high-resolution multi-nuclear solid-state NMR. The Al-27 3QMAS (triple quantum magic angle spinning) NMR spectra of NMAS glasses in nepheline-forsterite-quartz eutectic composition show only [4]Al. The Al-27 3QMAS NMR spectra of KLB-1 basaltic glasses show mostly [4]Al and a non-negligible fraction of [5]Al. The fraction of [5]Al, the degree of configurational disorder, increases from 0 at XMgO [MgO/(MgO+Al2O3)]=0.55 to ~3% at XMgO=0.79 in KLB-1 basaltic glasses while only [4]Al are observed in nepheline-forsterite-quartz eutectic composition. The current experimental results provide that the fraction of [5]Al abruptly increases by the effect of

  5. Effect of pressure on the carbon speciation in silicate glasses and melts: Insights from multi-nuclear solid-state NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, E. J.; Fei, Y.; Lee, S. K.

    2015-12-01

    The pressure-induced structural changes in carbon-bearing silicate glasses and melts is essential to understand the changes in melt properties in the Earth interior and yield atomistic insights into the deep carbon cycle. Despite the extensive pioneering studies on carbon-bearing silicate glasses, spectroscopic and scattering studies at high pressure above ~4 GPa is limited due to the lack of suitable experimental probes. Here, we report the pressure-induced structural changes around C, Si and Al in albite and Na-trisilicate (Na2O:SiO2=1:3, NS3) glasses with varying pressure up to 8 GPa, using 27Al, 29Si and 13C solid-state high-resolution NMR. 27Al 3QMAS NMR spectra for carbon-bearing albite glasses quenched from melts at high pressure up to 6 GPa show only [4]Al environments. The FWHM of [4]Al in albite glasses increases with increasing pressure, indicating that the overall densification of albite glasses at high pressure is accompanied by an increase in the topological disorder around Al. 29Si MAS NMR spectra for NS3 glasses at high pressure up to 8 GPa show the presence of highly coordinated Si, [5,6]Si, which contributes to an increases in the total configurational disorder in the NS3 glasses with pressure. 13C MAS NMR spectra for carbon-bearing albite glasses show the presence of dominant fraction of CO2, and minor amounts of CO32-, and CO. At least three distinct carbonate species, such as [4]Si(CO3)[4]Si, [4]Si(CO3)[4]Al, and CO32- were observed. Among those species, the increase in the fraction of [4]Si(CO3)[4]Al species is most prevalent. 13C MAS NMR spectra for NS3 glasses show the presence of carbonate species. The peaks position of the carbonate species shifts to lower frequency upon compression, suggesting the pressure-induced structural distortion of CO32- in the glasses above 6 GPa. Spin-lattice (T1) relaxation time for molecular CO2 in carbon-bearing albite glasses increases with increasing pressure. T1 relaxation time for CO2 species at 6 GPa is 3

  6. Group III alcohol dehydrogenase from Pectobacterium atrosepticum: insights into enzymatic activity and organization of the metal ion-containing region.

    PubMed

    Elleuche, Skander; Fodor, Krisztian; von der Heyde, Amélie; Klippel, Barbara; Wilmanns, Matthias; Antranikian, Garabed

    2014-05-01

    NAD(P)(+)-dependent alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) are widely distributed in all phyla. These proteins can be assigned to three nonhomologous groups of isozymes, with group III being highly diverse with regards to catalytic activity and primary structure. Members of group III ADHs share a conserved stretch of amino acid residues important for cofactor binding and metal ion coordination, while sequence identities for complete proteins are highly diverse (<20 to >90 %). A putative group III ADH PaYqhD has been identified in BLAST analysis from the plant pathogenic enterobacterium Pectobacterium atrosepticum. The PaYqhD gene was expressed in the heterologous host Escherichia coli, and the recombinant protein was purified in a two-step purification procedure to homogeneity indicating an obligate dimerization of monomers. Four conserved amino acid residues involved in metal ion coordination were substituted with alanine, and their importance for catalytic activity was confirmed by circular dichroism spectrum determination, in vitro, and growth experiments. PaYqhD exhibits optimal activity at 40 °C with short carbon chain aldehyde compounds and NADPH as cofactor indicating the enzyme to be an aldehyde reductase. No oxidative activities towards alcoholic compounds were detectable. EDTA completely inhibited catalytic activity and was fully restored by the addition of Co(2+). Activity measurements together with sequence alignments and structure analysis confirmed that PaYqhD belongs to the butanol dehydrogenase-like enzymes within group III of ADHs.

  7. Activities on Facebook Reveal the Depressive State of Users

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Jinah

    2013-01-01

    Background As online social media have become prominent, much effort has been spent on identifying users with depressive symptoms in order to aim at early diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention by using various online social media. In this paper, we focused on Facebook to discern any correlations between the platform’s features and users’ depressive symptoms. This work may be helpful in trying to reach and detect large numbers of depressed individuals more easily. Objective Our goal was to develop a Web application and identify depressive symptom–related features from users of Facebook, a popular social networking platform. Methods 55 Facebook users (male=40, female=15, mean age 24.43, SD 3.90) were recruited through advertisement fliers distributed to students in a large university in Korea. Using EmotionDiary, the Facebook application we developed, we evaluated depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. We also provided tips and facts about depression to participants and measured their responses using EmotionDiary. To identify the Facebook features related to depression, correlation analyses were performed between CES-D and participants’ responses to tips and facts or Facebook social features. Last, we interviewed depressed participants (CES-D≥25) to assess their depressive symptoms by a psychiatrist. Results Facebook activities had predictive power in distinguishing depressed and nondepressed individuals. Participants’ response to tips and facts, which can be explained by the number of app tips viewed and app points, had a positive correlation (P=.04 for both cases), whereas the number of friends and location tags had a negative correlation with the CES-D scale (P=.08 and P=.045 respectively). Furthermore, in finding group differences in Facebook social activities, app tips viewed and app points resulted in significant differences (P=.01 and P=.03 respectively) between probably depressed and

  8. Overview of solar detoxification activities in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Mehos, M; Williams, T; Turchi, C

    1994-10-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy, through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories, has been investigating a process that uses solar energy to destroy hazardous wastes in air and water. The process, photocatalytic oxidation, uses ultraviolet light in conjunction with the semiconductor titanium dioxide to generate highly reactive hydroxyl radicals. Early research and development activities have demonstrated that photocatalysis may be cost effective for some applications. The Department of Energy is currently working to establish a commercial industry that uses solar energy to destroy hazardous wastes in air, water, and soil. To achieve this objective, NREL and Sandia are bringing together environmental firms, solar manufacturers, and organizations that have waste or remediation problems.

  9. Spectroscopic insights into the nature of active sites in iron–nitrogen–carbon electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction in acid

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Qingying; Ramaswamy, Nagappan; Tylus, Urszula; Strickland, Kara; Li, Jingkun; Serov, Alexey; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Atanassov, Plamen; Anibal, Jacob; Gumeci, Cenk; Barton, Scott Calabrese; Sougrati, Moulay-Tahar; Jaouen, Frederic; Halevi, Barr; Mukerjee, Sanjeev

    2016-11-01

    Developing efficient and inexpensive catalysts for the sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) constitutes one of the grand challenges in the fabrication of commercially viable fuel cell devices and metal–air batteries for future energy applications. Despite recent achievements in designing advanced Pt-based and Pt-free catalysts, current progress primarily involves an empirical approach of trial-and-error combination of precursors and synthesis conditions, which limits further progress. Rational design of catalyst materials requires proper understanding of the mechanistic origin of the ORR and the underlying surface properties under operating conditions that govern catalytic activity. Herein, several different groups of iron-based catalysts synthesized via different methods and/or precursors were systematically studied by combining multiple spectroscopic techniques under ex situ and in situ conditions in an effort to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the synthesis-products correlations, nature of active sites, and the reaction mechanisms. These catalysts include original macrocycles, macrocycle-pyrolyzed catalysts, and Fe-N–C catalysts synthesized from individual Fe, N, and C precursors including polymer-based catalysts, metal organic framework (MOF)-based catalysts, and sacrificial support method (SSM)-based catalysts. The latter group of catalysts is most promising as not only they exhibit exceptional ORR activity and/or durability, but also the final products are controllable. We show that the high activity observed for most pyrolyzed Fe-based catalysts can mainly be attributed to a single active site: non-planar Fe–N4 moiety embedded in distorted carbon matrix characterized by a high potential for the Fe2+/3+ redox transition in acidic electrolyte/environment. The high intrinsic ORR activity, or turnover frequency (TOF), of this site is shown to be accounted for by redox catalysis mechanism that highlights the dominant role

  10. Insights into the Molecular Activation Mechanism of the RhoA-specific Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor, PDZRhoGEF

    SciTech Connect

    Bielnicki, Jakub A.; Shkumatov, Alexander V.; Derewenda, Urszula; Somlyo, Avril V.; Svergun, Dmitri I.; Derewenda, Zygmunt S.

    2012-10-09

    PDZRhoGEF (PRG) belongs to a small family of RhoA-specific nucleotide exchange factors that mediates signaling through select G-protein-coupled receptors via G{alpha}{sub 12/13} and activates RhoA by catalyzing the exchange of GDP to GTP. PRG is a multidomain protein composed of PDZ, regulators of G-protein signaling-like (RGSL), Dbl-homology (DH), and pleckstrin-homology (PH) domains. It is autoinhibited in cytosol and is believed to undergo a conformational rearrangement and translocation to the membrane for full activation, although the molecular details of the regulation mechanism are not clear. It has been shown recently that the main autoregulatory elements of PDZRhoGEF, the autoinhibitory 'activation box' and the 'GEF switch,' which is required for full activation, are located directly upstream of the catalytic DH domain and its RhoA binding surface, emphasizing the functional role of the RGSL-DH linker. Here, using a combination of biophysical and biochemical methods, we show that the mechanism of PRG regulation is yet more complex and may involve an additional autoinhibitory element in the form of a molten globule region within the linker between RGSL and DH domains. We propose a novel, two-tier model of autoinhibition where the activation box and the molten globule region act synergistically to impair the ability of RhoA to bind to the catalytic DH-PH tandem. The molten globule region and the activation box become less ordered in the PRG-RhoA complex and dissociate from the RhoA-binding site, which may constitute a critical step leading to PRG activation.

  11. Human C3 mutation reveals a mechanism of dense deposit disease pathogenesis and provides insights into complement activation and regulation

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Barricarte, Rubén; Heurich, Meike; Valdes-Cañedo, Francisco; Vazquez-Martul, Eduardo; Torreira, Eva; Montes, Tamara; Tortajada, Agustín; Pinto, Sheila; Lopez-Trascasa, Margarita; Morgan, B. Paul; Llorca, Oscar; Harris, Claire L.; Rodríguez de Córdoba, Santiago

    2010-01-01

    Dense deposit disease (DDD) is a severe renal disease characterized by accumulation of electron-dense material in the mesangium and glomerular basement membrane. Previously, DDD has been associated with deficiency of factor H (fH), a plasma regulator of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement activation, and studies in animal models have linked pathogenesis to the massive complement factor 3 (C3) activation caused by this deficiency. Here, we identified a unique DDD pedigree that associates disease with a mutation in the C3 gene. Mutant C3923ΔDG, which lacks 2 amino acids, could not be cleaved to C3b by the AP C3-convertase and was therefore the predominant circulating C3 protein in the patients. However, upon activation to C3b by proteases, or to C3(H2O) by spontaneous thioester hydrolysis, C3923ΔDG generated an active AP C3-convertase that was regulated normally by decay accelerating factor (DAF) but was resistant to decay by fH. Moreover, activated C3b923ΔDG and C3(H2O)923ΔDG were resistant to proteolysis by factor I (fI) in the presence of fH, but were efficiently inactivated in the presence of membrane cofactor protein (MCP). These characteristics cause a fluid phase–restricted AP dysregulation in the patients that continuously activated and consumed C3 produced by the normal C3 allele. These findings expose structural requirements in C3 that are critical for recognition of the substrate C3 by the AP C3-convertase and for the regulatory activities of fH, DAF, and MCP, all of which have implications for therapeutic developments. PMID:20852386

  12. Crystal Structure of OXA-58 with the Substrate-Binding Cleft in a Closed State: Insights into the Mobility and Stability of the OXA-58 Structure

    PubMed Central

    Saino, Hiromichi; Sugiyabu, Tomohiro; Ueno, Go; Yamamoto, Masaki; Ishii, Yoshikazu; Miyano, Masashi

    2015-01-01

    OXA-58 is a class D β-lactamase from the multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. We determined the crystal structure of OXA-58 in a novel crystal, and revealed the structure of the substrate-binding cleft in a closed state, distinct from a previously reported OXA-58 crystal structure with the binding cleft in an open state. In the closed state, the movement of three loops (α3–α4, β6–β7, and β8–α10) forms an arch-like architecture over the binding cleft through interaction between the Phe113 residues of α3–α4 and Met225 of β6–β7. This structure suggests the involvement of these flexible loops in OXA-58 substrate binding. In contrast to the mobile loops, the Ω-loop appeared static, including the conserved loop residues and their hydrogen bonds; the pivotal residue Trp169 within the Ω-loop, ζ-carbamic acid of the modified base catalyst residue Lys86, and nucleophilic residue Ser83. The stability of OXA-58 was enhanced concomitant with an increase in the hydrolytic activity catalyzed by NaHCO3-dependent ζ-carbamic acid formation, with an EC50 of 0.34 mM. The W169A mutant enzyme was significantly thermally unstable even in the presence of 100 mM NaHCO3, whereas the S83A mutant was stabilized with NaHCO3-dependent activation. The ζ-carbamic acid was shown to increase not only OXA-58 hydrolytic activity but also OXA-58 stability through the formation of a hydrogen bond network connected to the Ω-loop with Ser83 and Trp169. Thus, the static Ω-loop is important for OXA-58 stability, whereas the mobile loops of the substrate-binding cleft form the basis for accommodation of the various substituents of β-lactam backbone. PMID:26701320

  13. Mechanism of photocatalytic activities in Cr-doped SrTiO3 under visible-light irradiation: an insight from hybrid density-functional calculations.

    PubMed

    Reunchan, Pakpoom; Umezawa, Naoto; Ouyang, Shuxin; Ye, Jinhua

    2012-02-14

    We used hybrid density-functional calculations to clarify the effect of substituting chromium for titanium (Cr(Ti)) on photocatalytic activities of Cr-doped SrTiO(3). A singly negative Cr(Ti)⁻, which is relevant to a lower oxidation state of Cr, is advantageous for the visible light absorption without forming electron trapping centers, while other charge states are inactive for the photocatalytic reaction. Stabilizing the desirable charge state (Cr(Ti)⁻) is feasible by shifting the Fermi level towards the conduction band. Our theory sheds light on the photocatalytic properties of metal-doped semiconductors.

  14. The Role of an Active Site Mg2+ in HDV Ribozyme Self-Cleavage: Insights from QM/MM Calculations

    PubMed Central

    Mlýnský, Vojtěch; Šponer, Jiří

    2014-01-01

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme is a catalytic RNA motif embedded in the human pathogenic HDV RNA. It catalyzes self-cleavage of its sugar-phosphate backbone with direct participation of the active site cytosine C75. Biochemical and structural data support a general acid role of C75. Here, we used hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations to probe the reaction mechanism and changes in Gibbs energy along the ribozyme's reaction pathway with an N3-protonated C75H+ in the active site, which acts as the general acid, and a partially hydrated Mg2+ ion with one deprotonated, inner-shell coordinated water molecule that acts as the general base. We followed eight reaction paths with distinct position and coordination of the catalytically important active site Mg2+ ion. For six of them, we observed feasible activation barriers ranging from 14.2 to 21.9 kcal/mol, indicating that the specific position of the Mg2+ ion in the active site is predicted to strongly affect the kinetics of self-cleavage. The deprotonation of the U-1(2′-OH) nucleophile and the nucleophilic attack of the resulting U-1(2′-O−) on the scissile phosphodiester are found to be separate steps, as deprotonation precedes the nucleophilic attack. This sequential mechanism of the HDV ribozyme differs from the concerted nucleophilic activation and attack suggested for the hairpin ribozyme. We estimated the pKa of the U-1(2′-OH) group to range from 8.8 to 11.2, suggesting that the pKa is lowered by several units from that of a free ribose, comparable to and most likely smaller than the pKa of the solvated active site Mg2+ ion. Our results thus support the notion that the structure of the HDV ribozyme, and particularly the positioning of the active site Mg2+ ion, facilitates deprotonation and activation of the 2′-OH nucleophile. PMID:25412464

  15. Enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity of Gd-doped BiFeO3 nanoparticles and mechanism insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ning; Chen, Da; Niu, Feng; Wang, Sen; Qin, Laishun; Huang, Yuexiang

    2016-05-01

    To investigate the effect of Gd doping on photocatalytic activity of BiFeO3 (BFO), Gd-doped BFO nanoparticles containing different Gd doping contents (Bi(1‑x)GdxFeO3, x = 0.00, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05) were synthesized using a facile sol-gel route. The obtained products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectra, and ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and their photocatalytic activities were evaluated by photocatalytic decomposition of Rhodamine B in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation. It was found that the Gd doping content could significantly affect the photocatalytic activity of as-prepared Gd-doped BFO, and the photocatalytic activity increased with increasing the Gd doping content up to the optimal value and then decreased with further enhanci