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Sample records for active site insights

  1. 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

  2. Insights into the conformation of aminofluorene-deoxyguanine adduct in a DNA polymerase active site.

    PubMed

    Vaidyanathan, Vaidyanathan G; Liang, Fengting; Beard, William A; Shock, David D; Wilson, Samuel H; Cho, Bongsup P

    2013-08-01

    The active site conformation of the mutagenic fluoroaminofluorene-deoxyguanine adduct (dG-FAF, N-(2'-deoxyguanosin-8-yl)-7-fluoro-2-aminofluorene) has been investigated in the presence of Klenow fragment of Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I (Kfexo(-)) and DNA polymerase β (pol β) using (19)F NMR, insertion assay, and surface plasmon resonance. In a single nucleotide gap, the dG-FAF adduct adopts both a major-groove- oriented and base-displaced stacked conformation, and this heterogeneity is retained upon binding pol β. The addition of a non-hydrolysable 2'-deoxycytosine-5'-[(α,β)-methyleno]triphosphate (dCMPcPP) nucleotide analog to the binary complex results in an increase of the major groove conformation of the adduct at the expense of the stacked conformation. Similar results were obtained with the addition of an incorrect dAMPcPP analog but with formation of the minor groove binding conformer. In contrast, dG-FAF adduct at the replication fork for the Kfexo(-) complex adopts a mix of the major and minor groove conformers with minimal effect upon the addition of non-hydrolysable nucleotides. For pol β, the insertion of dCTP was preferred opposite the dG-FAF adduct in a single nucleotide gap assay consistent with (19)F NMR data. Surface plasmon resonance binding kinetics revealed that pol β binds tightly with DNA in the presence of correct dCTP, but the adduct weakens binding with no nucleotide specificity. These results provide molecular insights into the DNA binding characteristics of FAF in the active site of DNA polymerases and the role of DNA structure and sequence on its coding potential.

  3. Structural insight into the active site of a Bombyx mori unclassified glutathione transferase.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Md Tofazzal; Yamamoto, Kohji

    2015-01-01

    Glutathione transferases (GSTs) are major detoxification enzymes that play central roles in the defense against various environmental toxicants as well as oxidative stress. Here, we identify amino acid residues of an unclassified GST from Bombyx mori, bmGSTu-interacting glutathione (GSH). Site-directed mutagenesis of bmGSTu mutants indicated that amino acid residues Asp103, Ser162, and Ser166 contribute to catalytic activity.

  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. PMID:27443004

  5. [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.

  6. Insights Into the Effects of Internal Variability, External Variability, and Active Sites on Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beydoun, H.; Sullivan, R. C.; Polen, M.

    2015-12-01

    Heterogeneous ice nucleation (HIN) remains one of the outstanding problems in cloud physics and atmospheric science. Experimental challenges in properly simulating HIN processes with relevant atmospheric conditions have largely contributed to the absence of a consistent and comprehensive parameterization. Here we formulate a new ice active surface site-based stochastic model of HIN with the unique feature of invoking a continuum assumption on the ice nucleation activity (contact angle) of an aerosol particle's surface. The result is a particle specific property g that defines a distribution of local surface ice nucleation rates. Upon integration this yields a full freezing probability function for an ice nucleating particle. Current cold plate droplet freezing measurements provide a great resource for studying the freezing ability of many atmospheric aerosol systems. A method based on statistical significance and critical area analysis is presented that can resolve the two-dimensional nature of the ice nucleation ability of aerosol particles: variability in active sites and freezing rates along an individual particle's surface, as well as variability between two particles of the same type in an aerosol population. When applied to published experimental data, the method demonstrates its ability to comprehensively interpret droplet freezing spectra of variable particle mass and surface area concentrations. By fitting the high concentration freezing curves to a statistically significant active site density function, the lower concentration freezing curves are successfully fitted via a process of random sampling from the statistically significant distribution. Using the new scheme, comprehensive parameterizations that can track the frozen fraction of cloud droplets in larger atmospheric models are derived.

  7. Widely available active sites on Ni2P for electrochemical hydrogen evolution--insights from first principles calculations.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Martin H; Stern, Lucas-Alexandre; Feng, Ligang; Rossmeisl, Jan; Hu, Xile

    2015-04-28

    We present insights into the mechanism and the active site for hydrogen evolution on nickel phosphide (Ni2P). Ni2P was recently discovered to be a very active non-precious hydrogen evolution catalyst. Current literature attributes the activity of Ni2P to a particular site on the (0001) facet. In the present study, using Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations, we show that several widely available low index crystal facets on Ni2P have better properties for a high catalytic activity. DFT calculations were used to identify moderately bonding nickel bridge sites and nickel hollow sites for hydrogen adsorption and to calculate barriers for the Tafel pathway. The investigated surfaces in this study were the (101̅0), (1̅1̅20), (112̅0), (112̅1) and (0001) facets of the hexagonal Ni2P crystal. In addition to the DFT results, we present experiments on Ni2P nanowires growing along the 〈0001〉 direction, which are shown as efficient hydrogen evolution catalysts. The experimental results add these nanowires to a variety of different morphologies of Ni2P, which are all active for HER. PMID:25812670

  8. A new insight into the nature of seasonal variations in coordinate time series of GPS sites located near active faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trofimenko, Sergey V.; Bykov, Victor G.; Shestakov, Nikolay V.; Grib, Nikolay N.; Takahashi, Hiroaki

    2016-09-01

    This study provides new insights into the nature of seasonal variations in coordinate time series of GPS sites located near active faults and methods of their modeling. Monthly averaged coordinate time series were analyzed for several pairs of collocated GPS sites situated near the active fault intersection area, in close proximity to the central part of the northern boundary of the Amurian plate and the vicinity of the San Andreas Fault zone. It is concluded that the observed seasonal variations are best described by a breather function which is one of the solutions of the well-known sine-Gordon equation. The obtained results suggest that, in this case, the source of seasonal variations may be caused by the appearance of solitary strain waves in the fault intersection system, which may be qualitatively treated as standing waves of compression-extension of the geological medium. Based on statistical testing, the limits of applicability of the suggested model have been established.

  9. NMR structure of the A730 loop of the Neurospora VS ribozyme: insights into the formation of the active site

    PubMed Central

    Bonneau, Eric; Girard, Nicolas; Boisbouvier, Jérôme; Legault, Pascale

    2011-01-01

    The Neurospora VS ribozyme is a small nucleolytic ribozyme with unique primary, secondary and global tertiary structures, which displays mechanistic similarities to the hairpin ribozyme. Here, we determined the high-resolution NMR structure of a stem–loop VI fragment containing the A730 internal loop, which forms part of the active site. In the presence of magnesium ions, the A730 loop adopts a structure that is consistent with existing biochemical data and most likely reflects its conformation in the VS ribozyme prior to docking with the cleavage site internal loop. Interestingly, the A730 loop adopts an S-turn motif that is also present in loop B within the hairpin ribozyme active site. The S-turn appears necessary to expose the Watson–Crick edge of a catalytically important residue (A756) so that it can fulfill its role in catalysis. The A730 loop and the cleavage site loop of the VS ribozyme display structural similarities to internal loops found in the active site of the hairpin ribozyme. These similarities provided a rationale to build a model of the VS ribozyme active site based on the crystal structure of the hairpin ribozyme. PMID:21266483

  10. 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

  11. New Insights into Active Site Conformation Dynamics of E. coli PNP Revealed by Combined H/D Exchange Approach and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazazić, Saša; Bertoša, Branimir; Luić, Marija; Mikleušević, Goran; Tarnowski, Krzysztof; Dadlez, Michal; Narczyk, Marta; Bzowska, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    The biologically active form of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) from Escherichia coli (EC 2.4.2.1) is a homohexamer unit, assembled as a trimer of dimers. Upon binding of phosphate, neighboring monomers adopt different active site conformations, described as open and closed. To get insight into the functions of the two distinctive active site conformations, virtually inactive Arg24Ala mutant is complexed with phosphate; all active sites are found to be in the open conformation. To understand how the sites of neighboring monomers communicate with each other, we have combined H/D exchange (H/DX) experiments with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Both methods point to the mobility of the enzyme, associated with a few flexible regions situated at the surface and within the dimer interface. Although H/DX provides an average extent of deuterium uptake for all six hexamer active sites, it was able to indicate the dynamic mechanism of cross-talk between monomers, allostery. Using this technique, it was found that phosphate binding to the wild type (WT) causes arrest of the molecular motion in backbone fragments that are flexible in a ligand-free state. This was not the case for the Arg24Ala mutant. Upon nucleoside substrate/inhibitor binding, some release of the phosphate-induced arrest is observed for the WT, whereas the opposite effects occur for the Arg24Ala mutant. MD simulations confirmed that phosphate is bound tightly in the closed active sites of the WT; conversely, in the open conformation of the active site of the WT phosphate is bound loosely moving towards the exit of the active site. In Arg24Ala mutant binary complex Pi is bound loosely, too.

  12. Structural Insights into the Protease-like Antigen Plasmodium falciparum SERA5 and Its Noncanonical Active-Site Serine

    SciTech Connect

    Hodder, Anthony N.; Malby, Robyn L.; Clarke, Oliver B.; Fairlie, W. Douglas; Colman, Peter M.; Crabb, Brendan S.; Smith, Brian J.

    2009-08-28

    The sera genes of the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium encode a family of unique proteins that are maximally expressed at the time of egress of parasites from infected red blood cells. These multi-domain proteins are unique, containing a central papain-like cysteine-protease fragment enclosed between the disulfide-linked N- and C-terminal domains. However, the central fragment of several members of this family, including serine repeat antigen 5 (SERA5), contains a serine (S596) in place of the active-site cysteine. Here we report the crystal structure of the central protease-like domain of Plasmodium falciparum SERA5, revealing a number of anomalies in addition to the putative nucleophilic serine: (1) the structure of the putative active site is not conducive to binding substrate in the canonical cysteine-protease manner; (2) the side chain of D594 restricts access of substrate to the putative active site; and (3) the S{sub 2} specificity pocket is occupied by the side chain of Y735, reducing this site to a small depression on the protein surface. Attempts to determine the structure in complex with known inhibitors were not successful. Thus, despite having revealed its structure, the function of the catalytic domain of SERA5 remains an enigma.

  13. Interspecies differences in the metabolism of methotrexate: An insight into the active site differences between human and rabbit aldehyde oxidase.

    PubMed

    Choughule, Kanika V; Joswig-Jones, Carolyn A; Jones, Jeffrey P

    2015-08-01

    Several drug compounds have failed in clinical trials due to extensive biotransformation by aldehyde oxidase (AOX) (EC 1.2.3.1). One of the main reasons is the difficulty in scaling clearance for drugs metabolised by AOX, from preclinical species to human. Using methotrexate as a probe substrate, we evaluated AOX metabolism in liver cytosol from human and commonly used laboratory species namely guinea pig, monkey, rat and rabbit. We found that the metabolism of methotrexate in rabbit liver cytosol was several orders of magnitude higher than any of the other species tested. The results of protein quantitation revealed that the amount of AOX1 in human liver was similar to rabbit liver. To understand if the observed differences in activity were due to structural differences, we modelled rabbit AOX1 using the previously generated human AOX1 homology model. Molecular docking of methotrexate into the active site of the enzyme led to the identification of important residues that could potentially be involved in substrate binding and account for the observed differences. In order to study the impact of these residue changes on enzyme activity, we used site directed mutagenesis to construct mutant AOX1 cDNAs by substituting nucleotides of human AOX1 with relevant ones of rabbit AOX1. AOX1 mutant proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli. Differences in the kinetic properties of these mutants have been presented in this study.

  14. The active site of hydroxynitrile lyase from Prunus amygdalus: modeling studies provide new insights into the mechanism of cyanogenesis.

    PubMed

    Dreveny, Ingrid; Kratky, Christoph; Gruber, Karl

    2002-02-01

    The FAD-dependent hydroxynitrile lyase from almond (Prunus amygdalus, PaHNL) catalyzes the cleavage of R-mandelonitrile into benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid. Catalysis of the reverse reaction-the enantiospecific formation of alpha-hydroxynitriles--is now widely utilized in organic syntheses as one of the few industrially relevant examples of enzyme-mediated C-C bond formation. Starting from the recently determined X-ray crystal structure, systematic docking calculations with the natural substrate were used to locate the active site of the enzyme and to identify amino acid residues involved in substrate binding and catalysis. Analysis of the modeled substrate complexes supports an enzymatic mechanism that includes the flavin cofactor as a mere "spectator" of the reaction and relies on general acid/base catalysis by the conserved His-497. Stabilization of the negative charge of the cyanide ion is accomplished by a pronounced positive electrostatic potential at the binding site. PaHNL activity requires the FAD cofactor to be bound in its oxidized form, and calculations of the pKa of enzyme-bound HCN showed that the observed inactivation upon cofactor reduction is largely caused by the reversal of the electrostatic potential within the active site. The suggested mechanism closely resembles the one proposed for the FAD-independent, and structurally unrelated HNL from Hevea brasiliensis. Although the actual amino acid residues involved in the catalytic cycle are completely different in the two enzymes, a common motif for the mechanism of cyanogenesis (general acid/base catalysis plus electrostatic stabilization of the cyanide ion) becomes evident. PMID:11790839

  15. NMR Localization of Divalent Cations at the Active Site of the Neurospora VS Ribozyme Provides Insights into RNA–Metal-Ion Interactions

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Metal cations represent key elements of RNA structure and function. In the Neurospora VS ribozyme, metal cations play diverse roles; they are important for substrate recognition, formation of the active site, and shifting the pKa’s of two key nucleobases that contribute to the general acid–base mechanism. Recently, we determined the NMR structure of the A730 loop of the VS ribozyme active site (SLVI) that contributes the general acid (A756) in the enzymatic mechanism of the cleavage reaction. Our studies showed that magnesium (Mg2+) ions are essential to stabilize the formation of the S-turn motif within the A730 loop that exposes the A756 nucleobase for catalysis. In this article, we extend these NMR investigations by precisely mapping the Mg2+-ion binding sites using manganese-induced paramagnetic relaxation enhancement and cadmium-induced chemical-shift perturbation of phosphorothioate RNAs. These experiments identify five Mg2+-ion binding sites within SLVI. Four Mg2+ ions in SLVI are associated with known RNA structural motifs, including the G–U wobble pair and the GNRA tetraloop, and our studies reveal novel insights about Mg2+ ion binding to these RNA motifs. Interestingly, one Mg2+ ion is specifically associated with the S-turn motif, confirming its structural role in the folding of the A730 loop. This Mg2+ ion is likely important for formation of the active site and may play an indirect role in catalysis. PMID:24364590

  16. Mechanistic insights into ferredoxin-NADP(H) reductase catalysis involving the conserved glutamate in the active site.

    PubMed

    Dumit, Verónica I; Essigke, Timm; Cortez, Néstor; Ullmann, G Matthias

    2010-04-01

    Plant-type ferredoxin-NADP(H) reductases (FNRs) are flavoenzymes harboring one molecule of noncovalently bound flavin adenine dinucleotide that catalyze reversible reactions between obligatory one-electron carriers and obligatory two-electron carriers. A glutamate next to the C-terminus is strictly conserved in FNR and has been proposed to function as proton donor/acceptor during catalysis. However, experimental studies of this proposed function led to contradicting conclusions about the role of this glutamate in the catalytic mechanism. In the present work, we study the titration behavior of the glutamate in the active site of FNR using theoretical methods. Protonation probabilities for maize FNR were computed for the reaction intermediates of the catalytic cycle by Poisson-Boltzmann electrostatic calculations and Metropolis Monte Carlo titration. The titration behavior of the highly conserved glutamate was found to vary depending on the bound substrates NADP(H) and ferredoxin and also on the redox states of these substrates and the flavin adenine dinucleotide. Our results support the involvement of the glutamate in the FNR catalytic mechanism not only as a proton donor but also as a key residue for stabilizing and destabilizing reaction intermediates. On the basis of our findings, we propose a model rationalizing the function of the glutamate in the reaction cycle, which allows reinterpretation of previous experimental results.

  17. An insight into the active site of a type I DNA topoisomerase from the kinetoplastid protozoan Leishmania donovani

    PubMed Central

    Das, Aditi; Mandal, Chhabinath; Dasgupta, Arindam; Sengupta, Tanushri; Majumder, Hemanta K.

    2002-01-01

    DNA topoisomerases are ubiquitous enzymes that govern the topological interconversions of DNA thereby playing a key role in many aspects of nucleic acid metabolism. Recently determined crystal structures of topoisomerase fragments, representing nearly all the known subclasses, have been solved. The type IB enzymes are structurally distinct from other known topoisomerases but are similar to a class of enzymes referred to as tyrosine recombinases. A putative topoisomerase I open reading frame from the kinetoplastid Leishmania donovani was reported which shared a substantial degree of homology with type IB topoisomerases but having a variable C-terminus. Here we present a molecular model of the above parasite gene product, using the human topoisomerase I crystal structure in complex with a 22 bp oligonucleotide as a template. Our studies indicate that the overall structure of the parasite protein is similar to the human enzyme; however, major differences occur in the C-terminal loop, which harbors a serine in place of the usual catalytic tyrosine. Most other structural themes common to type IB topoisomerases, including secondary structural folds, hinged clamps that open and close to bind DNA, nucleophilic attack on the scissile DNA strand and formation of a ternary complex with the topoisomerase I inhibitor camptothecin could be visualized in our homology model. The validity of serine acting as the nucleophile in the case of the parasite protein model was corroborated with our biochemical mapping of the active site with topoisomerase I enzyme purified from L.donovani promastigotes. PMID:11809893

  18. Single Active Site Mutation Causes Serious Resistance of HIV Reverse Transcriptase to Lamivudine: Insight from Multiple Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Moonsamy, Suri; Bhakat, Soumendranath; Walker, Ross C; Soliman, Mahmoud E S

    2016-03-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations, binding free energy calculations, principle component analysis (PCA), and residue interaction network analysis were employed in order to investigate the molecular mechanism of M184I single mutation which played pivotal role in making the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) totally resistant to lamivudine. Results showed that single mutations at residue 184 of RT caused (1) distortion of the orientation of lamivudine in the active site due to the steric conflict between the oxathiolane ring of lamivudine and the side chain of beta-branched amino acids Ile at position 184 which, in turn, perturbs inhibitor binding, (2) decrease in the binding affinity by (~8 kcal/mol) when compared to the wild-type, (3) variation in the overall enzyme motion as evident from the PCA for both systems, and (4) distortion of the hydrogen bonding network and atomic interactions with the inhibitor. The comprehensive analysis presented in this report can provide useful information for understanding the drug resistance mechanism against lamivudine. The results can also provide some potential clues for further design of novel inhibitors that are less susceptible to drug resistance. PMID:26972300

  19. XET Activity is Found Near Sites of Growth and Cell Elongation in Bryophytes and Some Green Algae: New Insights into the Evolution of Primary Cell Wall Elongation

    PubMed Central

    Van Sandt, Vicky S. T.; Stieperaere, Herman; Guisez, Yves; Verbelen, Jean-Pierre; Vissenberg, Kris

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims In angiosperms xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET)/hydrolase (XTH) is involved in reorganization of the cell wall during growth and development. The location of oligo-xyloglucan transglucosylation activity and the presence of XTH expressed sequence tags (ESTs) in the earliest diverging extant plants, i.e. in bryophytes and algae, down to the Phaeophyta was examined. The results provide information on the presence of an XET growth mechanism in bryophytes and algae and contribute to the understanding of the evolution of cell wall elongation in general. Methods Representatives of the different plant lineages were pressed onto an XET test paper and assayed. XET or XET-related activity was visualized as the incorporation of fluorescent signal. The Physcomitrella genome database was screened for the presence of XTHs. In addition, using the 3′ RACE technique searches were made for the presence of possible XTH ESTs in the Charophyta. Key Results XET activity was found in the three major divisions of bryophytes at sites corresponding to growing regions. In the Physcomitrella genome two putative XTH-encoding cDNA sequences were identified that contain all domains crucial for XET activity. Furthermore, XET activity was located at the sites of growth in Chara (Charophyta) and Ulva (Chlorophyta) and a putative XTH ancestral enzyme in Chara was identified. No XET activity was identified in the Rhodophyta or Phaeophyta. Conclusions XET activity was shown to be present in all major groups of green plants. These data suggest that an XET-related growth mechanism originated before the evolutionary divergence of the Chlorobionta and open new insights in the evolution of the mechanisms of primary cell wall expansion. PMID:17098750

  20. Spectroscopy of non-heme iron thiolate complexes: insight into the electronic structure of the low-spin active site of nitrile hydratase.

    PubMed

    Kennepohl, Pierre; Neese, Frank; Schweitzer, Dirk; Jackson, Henry L; Kovacs, Julie A; Solomon, Edward I

    2005-03-21

    Detailed spectroscopic and computational studies of the low-spin iron complexes [Fe(III)(S2(Me2)N3 (Pr,Pr))(N3)] (1) and [Fe(III)(S2(Me2)N3 (Pr,Pr))]1+ (2) were performed to investigate the unique electronic features of these species and their relation to the low-spin ferric active sites of nitrile hydratases. Low-temperature UV/vis/NIR and MCD spectra of 1 and 2 reflect electronic structures that are dominated by antibonding interactions of the Fe 3d manifold and the equatorial thiolate S 3p orbitals. The six-coordinate complex 1 exhibits a low-energy S(pi) --> Fe 3d(xy) (approximately 13,000 cm(-1)) charge-transfer transition that results predominantly from the low energy of the singly occupied Fe 3d(xy) orbital, due to pure pi interactions between this acceptor orbital and both thiolate donor ligands in the equatorial plane. The 3d(pi) --> 3d(sigma) ligand-field transitions in this species occur at higher energies (>15,000 cm(-1)), reflecting its near-octahedral symmetry. The Fe 3d(xz,yz) --> Fe 3d(xy) (d(pi) --> d(pi)) transition occurs in the near-IR and probes the Fe(III)-S pi-donor bond; this transition reveals vibronic structure that reflects the strength of this bond (nu(e) approximately 340 cm(-1)). In contrast, the ligand-field transitions of the five-coordinate complex 2 are generally at low energy, and the S(pi) --> Fe charge-transfer transitions occur at much higher energies relative to those in 1. This reflects changes in thiolate bonding in the equatorial plane involving the Fe 3d(xy) and Fe 3d(x2-y2) orbitals. The spectroscopic data lead to a simple bonding model that focuses on the sigma and pi interactions between the ferric ion and the equatorial thiolate ligands, which depend on the S-Fe-S bond angle in each of the complexes. These electronic descriptions provide insight into the unusual S = 1/2 ground spin state of these complexes: the orientation of the thiolate ligands in these complexes restricts their pi-donor interactions to the

  1. Mutagenesis and crystallographic studies of the catalytic residues of the papain family protease bleomycin hydrolase: new insights into active-site structure

    PubMed Central

    O'Farrell, Paul A.; Joshua-Tor, Leemor

    2006-01-01

    Bleomycin hydrolase (BH) is a hexameric papain family cysteine protease which is involved in preparing peptides for antigen presentation and has been implicated in tumour cell resistance to bleomycin chemotherapy. Structures of active-site mutants of yeast BH yielded unexpected results. Replacement of the active-site asparagine with alanine, valine or leucine results in the destabilization of the histidine side chain, demonstrating unambiguously the role of the asparagine residue in correctly positioning the histidine for catalysis. Replacement of the histidine with alanine or leucine destabilizes the asparagine position, indicating a delicate arrangement of the active-site residues. In all of the mutants, the C-terminus of the protein, which lies in the active site, protrudes further into the active site. All mutants were compromised in their catalytic activity. The structures also revealed the importance of a tightly bound water molecule which stabilizes a loop near the active site and which is conserved throughout the papain family. It is displaced in a number of the mutants, causing destabilization of this loop and a nearby loop, resulting in a large movement of the active-site cysteine. The results imply that this water molecule plays a key structural role in this family of enzymes. PMID:17007609

  2. Domain movements of the enhancer-dependent sigma factor drive DNA delivery into the RNA polymerase active site: insights from single molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Amit; Leach, Robert N; Gell, Christopher; Zhang, Nan; Burrows, Patricia C; Shepherd, Dale A; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh; Smith, David Alastair; Zhang, Xiaodong; Buck, Martin; Stockley, Peter G; Tuma, Roman

    2014-04-01

    Recognition of bacterial promoters is regulated by two distinct classes of sequence-specific sigma factors, σ(70) or σ(54), that differ both in their primary sequence and in the requirement of the latter for activation via enhancer-bound upstream activators. The σ(54) version controls gene expression in response to stress, often mediating pathogenicity. Its activator proteins are members of the AAA+ superfamily and use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to remodel initially auto-inhibited holoenzyme promoter complexes. We have mapped this remodeling using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. Initial remodeling is nucleotide-independent and driven by binding both ssDNA during promoter melting and activator. However, DNA loading into the RNA polymerase active site depends on co-operative ATP hydrolysis by the activator. Although the coupled promoter recognition and melting steps may be conserved between σ(70) and σ(54), the domain movements of the latter have evolved to require an activator ATPase. PMID:24553251

  3. Domain movements of the enhancer-dependent sigma factor drive DNA delivery into the RNA polymerase active site: insights from single molecule studies

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Amit; Leach, Robert N.; Gell, Christopher; Zhang, Nan; Burrows, Patricia C.; Shepherd, Dale A.; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh; Smith, David Alastair; Zhang, Xiaodong; Buck, Martin; Stockley, Peter G.; Tuma, Roman

    2014-01-01

    Recognition of bacterial promoters is regulated by two distinct classes of sequence-specific sigma factors, σ70 or σ54, that differ both in their primary sequence and in the requirement of the latter for activation via enhancer-bound upstream activators. The σ54 version controls gene expression in response to stress, often mediating pathogenicity. Its activator proteins are members of the AAA+ superfamily and use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to remodel initially auto-inhibited holoenzyme promoter complexes. We have mapped this remodeling using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. Initial remodeling is nucleotide-independent and driven by binding both ssDNA during promoter melting and activator. However, DNA loading into the RNA polymerase active site depends on co-operative ATP hydrolysis by the activator. Although the coupled promoter recognition and melting steps may be conserved between σ70 and σ54, the domain movements of the latter have evolved to require an activator ATPase. PMID:24553251

  4. Domain movements of the enhancer-dependent sigma factor drive DNA delivery into the RNA polymerase active site: insights from single molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Amit; Leach, Robert N; Gell, Christopher; Zhang, Nan; Burrows, Patricia C; Shepherd, Dale A; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh; Smith, David Alastair; Zhang, Xiaodong; Buck, Martin; Stockley, Peter G; Tuma, Roman

    2014-04-01

    Recognition of bacterial promoters is regulated by two distinct classes of sequence-specific sigma factors, σ(70) or σ(54), that differ both in their primary sequence and in the requirement of the latter for activation via enhancer-bound upstream activators. The σ(54) version controls gene expression in response to stress, often mediating pathogenicity. Its activator proteins are members of the AAA+ superfamily and use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to remodel initially auto-inhibited holoenzyme promoter complexes. We have mapped this remodeling using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. Initial remodeling is nucleotide-independent and driven by binding both ssDNA during promoter melting and activator. However, DNA loading into the RNA polymerase active site depends on co-operative ATP hydrolysis by the activator. Although the coupled promoter recognition and melting steps may be conserved between σ(70) and σ(54), the domain movements of the latter have evolved to require an activator ATPase.

  5. Two distinct modes of metal ion binding in the nuclease active site of a viral DNA-packaging terminase: insight into the two-metal-ion catalytic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Haiyan; Lin, Zihan; Lynn, Anna Y; Varnado, Brittany; Beutler, John A; Murelli, Ryan P; Le Grice, Stuart F J; Tang, Liang

    2015-12-15

    Many dsDNA viruses encode DNA-packaging terminases, each containing a nuclease domain that resolves concatemeric DNA into genome-length units. Terminase nucleases resemble the RNase H-superfamily nucleotidyltransferases in folds, and share a two-metal-ion catalytic mechanism. Here we show that residue K428 of a bacteriophage terminase gp2 nuclease domain mediates binding of the metal cofactor Mg(2+). A K428A mutation allows visualization, at high resolution, of a metal ion binding mode with a coupled-octahedral configuration at the active site, exhibiting an unusually short metal-metal distance of 2.42 Å. Such proximity of the two metal ions may play an essential role in catalysis by generating a highly positive electrostatic niche to enable formation of the negatively charged pentacovalent phosphate transition state, and provides the structural basis for distinguishing Mg(2+) from Ca(2+). Using a metal ion chelator β-thujaplicinol as a molecular probe, we observed a second mode of metal ion binding at the active site, mimicking the DNA binding state. Arrangement of the active site residues differs drastically from those in RNase H-like nucleases, suggesting a drifting of the active site configuration during evolution. The two distinct metal ion binding modes unveiled mechanistic details of the two-metal-ion catalysis at atomic resolution.

  6. An Insight into the Environmental Effects of the Pocket of the Active Site of the Enzyme. Ab initio ONIOM-Molecular Dynamics (MD) Study on Cytosine Deaminase

    SciTech Connect

    Matsubara, Toshiaki; Dupuis, Michel; Aida, Misako

    2008-02-01

    We applied the ONIOM-molecular dynamics (MD) method to cytosine deaminase to examine the environmental effects of the amino acid residues in the pocket of the active site on the substrate taking account of their thermal motion. The ab initio ONIOM-MD simulations show that the substrate uracil is strongly perturbed by the amino acid residue Ile33, which sandwiches the uracil with His62, through the steric contact due to the thermal motion. As a result, the magnitude of the thermal oscillation of the potential energy and structure of the substrate uracil significantly increases. TM and MA were partly supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.MD was supported by the Division of Chemical Sciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy DOE. Battelle operates Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for DOE.

  7. Insights into the fine architecture of the active site of chicory fructan 1-exohydrolase: 1-kestose as substrate vs sucrose as inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Verhaest, Maureen; Lammens, Willem; Le Roy, Katrien; De Ranter, Camiel J; Van Laere, André; Rabijns, Anja; Van den Ende, Wim

    2007-01-01

    * Invertases and fructan exohydrolases (FEHs) fulfil important physiological functions in plants. Sucrose is the typical substrate for invertases and bacterial levansucrases but not for plant FEHs, which are usually inhibited by sucrose. * Here we report on complexes between chicory (Cichorium intybus) 1-FEH IIa with the substrate 1-kestose and the inhibitors sucrose, fructose and 2,5 dideoxy-2,5-imino-D-mannitol. Comparisons with other family GH32 and 68 enzyme-substrate complexes revealed that sucrose can bind as a substrate (invertase/levansucrase) or as an inhibitor (1-FEH IIa). * Sucrose acts as inhibitor because the O2 of the glucose moiety forms an H-linkage with the acid-base catalyst E201, inhibiting catalysis. By contrast, the homologous O3 of the internal fructose in the substrate 1-kestose forms an intramolecular H-linkage and does not interfere with the catalytic process. Mutagenesis showed that W82 and S101 are important for binding sucrose as inhibitor. * The physiological implications of the essential differences in the active sites of FEHs and invertases/levansucrases are discussed. Sucrose-inhibited FEHs show a K(i) (inhibition constant) well below physiological sucrose concentrations and could be rapidly activated under carbon deprivation.

  8. An active site mutant of Escherichia coli cyclopropane fatty acid synthase forms new non-natural fatty acids providing insights on the mechanism of the enzymatic reaction.

    PubMed

    E, Guangqi; Drujon, Thierry; Correia, Isabelle; Ploux, Olivier; Guianvarc'h, Dominique

    2013-12-01

    We have produced and purified an active site mutant of the Escherichia coli cyclopropane fatty acid synthase (CFAS) by replacing the strictly conserved G236 within cyclopropane synthases, by a glutamate residue, which corresponds to E146 of the homologous mycolic acid methyltransferase, Hma, producing hydroxymethyl mycolic acids. The G236E CFAS mutant had less than 1% of the in vitro activity of the wild type enzyme. We expressed the G236E CFAS mutant in an E. coli (DE3) strain in which the chromosomal cfa gene had been deleted. After extraction of phospholipids and conversion into the corresponding fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), we observed the formation of cyclopropanated FAMEs suggesting that the mutant retained some of the normal activity in vivo. However, we also observed the formation of new C17 methyl-branched unsaturated FAMEs whose structures were determined using GC/MS and NMR analyses. The double bond was located at different positions 8, 9 or 10, and the methyl group at position 10 or 9. Thus, this new FAMEs are likely arising from a 16:1 acyl chain of a phospholipid that had been transformed by the G236E CFAS mutant in vivo. The reaction catalyzed by this G236E CFAS mutant thus starts by the methylation of the unsaturated acyl chain at position 10 or 9 yielding a carbocation at position 9 or 10 respectively. It follows then two competing steps, a normal cyclopropanation or hydride shift/elimination events giving different combinations of alkenes. This study not only provides further evidence that cyclopropane synthases (CSs) form a carbocationic intermediate but also opens the way to CSs engineering for the synthesis of non-natural fatty acids.

  9. Structure of the catalytic chain of Methanococcus jannaschii aspartate transcarbamoylase in a hexagonal crystal form: Insights into the path of carbamoyl phosphate to the active site of the enzyme

    SciTech Connect

    Vitali J.; Soares A.; Singh, A. K.; Colaneri, M. J.

    2012-05-01

    Crystals of the catalytic chain of Methanococcus jannaschii aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) grew in the presence of the regulatory chain in the hexagonal space group P6{sub 3}22, with one monomer per asymmetric unit. This is the first time that crystals with only one monomer in the asymmetric unit have been obtained; all known structures of the catalytic subunit contain several crystallographically independent monomers. The symmetry-related chains form the staggered dimer of trimers observed in the other known structures of the catalytic subunit. The central channel of the catalytic subunit contains a sulfate ion and a K{sup +} ion as well as a glycerol molecule at its entrance. It is possible that it is involved in channeling carbamoyl phosphate (CP) to the active site of the enzyme. A second sulfate ion near Arg164 is near the second CP position in the wild-type Escherichia coli ATCase structure complexed with CP. It is suggested that this position may also be in the path that CP takes when binding to the active site in a partial diffusion process at 310 K. Additional biochemical studies of carbamoylation and the molecular organization of this enzyme in M. jannaschii will provide further insight into these points.

  10. Comparative Structural Modeling of Six Old Yellow Enzymes (OYEs) from the Necrotrophic Fungus Ascochyta rabiei : Insight into Novel OYE Classes with Differences in Cofactor Binding, Organization of Active Site Residues and Stereopreferences

    PubMed Central

    Nizam, Shadab; Gazara, Rajesh Kumar; Verma, Sandhya; Singh, Kunal; Verma, Praveen Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Old Yellow Enzyme (OYE1) was the first flavin-dependent enzyme identified and characterized in detail by the entire range of physical techniques. Irrespective of this scrutiny, true physiological role of the enzyme remains a mystery. In a recent study, we systematically identified OYE proteins from various fungi and classified them into three classes viz. Class I, II and III. However, there is no information about the structural organization of Class III OYEs, eukaryotic Class II OYEs and Class I OYEs of filamentous fungi. Ascochyta rabiei, a filamentous phytopathogen which causes Ascochyta blight (AB) in chickpea possesses six OYEs (ArOYE1-6) belonging to the three OYE classes. Here we carried out comparative homology modeling of six ArOYEs representing all the three classes to get an in depth idea of structural and functional aspects of fungal OYEs. The predicted 3D structures of A. rabiei OYEs were refined and evaluated using various validation tools for their structural integrity. Analysis of FMN binding environment of Class III OYE revealed novel residues involved in interaction. The ligand para-hydroxybenzaldehyde (PHB) was docked into the active site of the enzymes and interacting residues were analyzed. We observed a unique active site organization of Class III OYE in comparison to Class I and II OYEs. Subsequently, analysis of stereopreference through structural features of ArOYEs was carried out, suggesting differences in R/S selectivity of these proteins. Therefore, our comparative modeling study provides insights into the FMN binding, active site organization and stereopreference of different classes of ArOYEs and indicates towards functional differences of these enzymes. This study provides the basis for future investigations towards the biochemical and functional characterization of these enigmatic enzymes. PMID:24776850

  11. Reaction mechanism of the epsilon subunit of E. coli DNA polymerase III: insights into active site metal coordination and catalytically significant residues.

    PubMed

    Cisneros, G Andrés; Perera, Lalith; Schaaper, Roel M; Pedersen, Lars C; London, Robert E; Pedersen, Lee G; Darden, Thomas A

    2009-02-01

    The 28 kDa epsilon subunit of Escherichia coli DNA polymerase III is the exonucleotidic proofreader responsible for editing polymerase insertion errors. Here, we study the mechanism by which epsilon carries out the exonuclease activity. We performed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations on the N-terminal domain containing the exonuclease activity. Both the free-epsilon and a complex epsilon bound to a theta homologue (HOT) were studied. For the epsilon-HOT complex Mg(2+) or Mn(2+) were investigated as the essential divalent metal cofactors, while only Mg(2+) was used for free-epsilon. In all calculations a water molecule bound to the catalytic metal acts as the nucleophile for hydrolysis of the phosphate bond. Initially, a direct proton transfer to H162 is observed. Subsequently, the nucleophilic attack takes place followed by a second proton transfer to E14. Our results show that the reaction catalyzed with Mn(2+) is faster than that with Mg(2+), in agreement with experiment. In addition, the epsilon-HOT complex shows a slightly lower energy barrier compared to free-epsilon. In all cases the catalytic metal is observed to be pentacoordinated. Charge and frontier orbital analyses suggest that charge transfer may stabilize the pentacoordination. Energy decomposition analysis to study the contribution of each residue to catalysis suggests that there are several important residues. Among these, H98, D103, D129, and D146 have been implicated in catalysis by mutagenesis studies. Some of these residues were found to be structurally conserved on human TREX1, the exonuclease domains from E. coli DNA-Pol I, and the DNA polymerase of bacteriophage RB69.

  12. Fungal Endophytes of Alpinia officinarum Rhizomes: Insights on Diversity and Variation across Growth Years, Growth Sites, and the Inner Active Chemical Concentration

    PubMed Central

    Shubin, Li; Juan, Huang; RenChao, Zhou; ShiRu, Xu; YuanXiao, Jin

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) technique, combined with the use of a clone library, was applied to assess the baseline diversity of fungal endophyte communities associated with rhizomes of Alpinia officinarum Hance, a medicinal plant with a long history of use. A total of 46 distinct T-RFLP fragment peaks were detected using HhaI or MspI mono-digestion-targeted, amplified fungal rDNA ITS sequences from A. officinarum rhizomes. Cloning and sequencing of representative sequences resulted in the detection of members of 10 fungal genera: Pestalotiopsis, Sebacina, Penicillium, Marasmius, Fusarium, Exserohilum, Mycoleptodiscus, Colletotrichum, Meyerozyma, and Scopulariopsis. The T-RFLP profiles revealed an influence of growth year of the host plant on fungal endophyte communities in rhizomes of this plant species; whereas, the geographic location where A. officinarum was grown contributed to only limited variation in the fungal endophyte communities of the host tissue. Furthermore, non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis across all of the rhizome samples showed that the fungal endophyte community assemblages in the rhizome samples could be grouped according to the presence of two types of active indicator chemicals: total volatile oils and galangin. Our present results, for the first time, address a diverse fungal endophyte community is able to internally colonize the rhizome tissue of A. officinarum. The diversity of the fungal endophytes found in the A. officinarum rhizome appeared to be closely correlated with the accumulation of active chemicals in the host plant tissue. The present study also provides the first systematic overview of the fungal endophyte communities in plant rhizome tissue using a culture-independent method. PMID:25536070

  13. Fungal endophytes of Alpinia officinarum rhizomes: insights on diversity and variation across growth years, growth sites, and the inner active chemical concentration.

    PubMed

    Shubin, Li; Juan, Huang; RenChao, Zhou; ShiRu, Xu; YuanXiao, Jin

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) technique, combined with the use of a clone library, was applied to assess the baseline diversity of fungal endophyte communities associated with rhizomes of Alpinia officinarum Hance, a medicinal plant with a long history of use. A total of 46 distinct T-RFLP fragment peaks were detected using HhaI or MspI mono-digestion-targeted, amplified fungal rDNA ITS sequences from A. officinarum rhizomes. Cloning and sequencing of representative sequences resulted in the detection of members of 10 fungal genera: Pestalotiopsis, Sebacina, Penicillium, Marasmius, Fusarium, Exserohilum, Mycoleptodiscus, Colletotrichum, Meyerozyma, and Scopulariopsis. The T-RFLP profiles revealed an influence of growth year of the host plant on fungal endophyte communities in rhizomes of this plant species; whereas, the geographic location where A. officinarum was grown contributed to only limited variation in the fungal endophyte communities of the host tissue. Furthermore, non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis across all of the rhizome samples showed that the fungal endophyte community assemblages in the rhizome samples could be grouped according to the presence of two types of active indicator chemicals: total volatile oils and galangin. Our present results, for the first time, address a diverse fungal endophyte community is able to internally colonize the rhizome tissue of A. officinarum. The diversity of the fungal endophytes found in the A. officinarum rhizome appeared to be closely correlated with the accumulation of active chemicals in the host plant tissue. The present study also provides the first systematic overview of the fungal endophyte communities in plant rhizome tissue using a culture-independent method.

  14. Mechanistic Insights into Glucan Phosphatase Activity against Polyglucan Substrates*

    PubMed Central

    Meekins, David A.; Raththagala, Madushi; Auger, Kyle D.; Turner, Benjamin D.; Santelia, Diana; Kötting, Oliver; Gentry, Matthew S.; Vander Kooi, Craig W.

    2015-01-01

    Glucan phosphatases are central to the regulation of starch and glycogen metabolism. Plants contain two known glucan phosphatases, Starch EXcess4 (SEX4) and Like Sex Four2 (LSF2), which dephosphorylate starch. Starch is water-insoluble and reversible phosphorylation solubilizes its outer surface allowing processive degradation. Vertebrates contain a single known glucan phosphatase, laforin, that dephosphorylates glycogen. In the absence of laforin, water-soluble glycogen becomes insoluble, leading to the neurodegenerative disorder Lafora Disease. Because of their essential role in starch and glycogen metabolism glucan phosphatases are of significant interest, yet a comparative analysis of their activities against diverse glucan substrates has not been established. We identify active site residues required for specific glucan dephosphorylation, defining a glucan phosphatase signature motif (CζAGΨGR) in the active site loop. We further explore the basis for phosphate position-specific activity of these enzymes and determine that their diverse phosphate position-specific activity is governed by the phosphatase domain. In addition, we find key differences in glucan phosphatase activity toward soluble and insoluble polyglucan substrates, resulting from the participation of ancillary glucan-binding domains. Together, these data provide fundamental insights into the specific activity of glucan phosphatases against diverse polyglucan substrates. PMID:26231210

  15. Salt site performance assessment activities

    SciTech Connect

    Kircher, J.F.; Gupta, S.K.

    1983-01-01

    During this year the first selection of the tools (codes) for performance assessments of potential salt sites have been tentatively selected and documented; the emphasis has shifted from code development to applications. During this period prior to detailed characterization of a salt site, the focus is on bounding calculations, sensitivity and with the data available. The development and application of improved methods for sensitivity and uncertainty analysis is a focus for the coming years activities and the subject of a following paper in these proceedings. Although the assessments to date are preliminary and based on admittedly scant data, the results indicate that suitable salt sites can be identified and repository subsystems designed which will meet the established criteria for protecting the health and safety of the public. 36 references, 5 figures, 2 tables.

  16. The structure of truncated recombinant human bile salt-stimulated lipase reveals bile salt-independent conformational flexibility at the active-site loop and provides insights into heparin binding.

    PubMed

    Moore, S A; Kingston, R L; Loomes, K M; Hernell, O; Bläckberg, L; Baker, H M; Baker, E N

    2001-09-21

    Human bile salt-stimulated lipase (BSSL), which is secreted from the pancreas into the digestive tract and from the lactating mammary gland into human milk, is important for the effective absorption of dietary lipids. The dependence of BSSL on bile acids for activity with water-insoluble substrates differentiates it from other lipases. We have determined the crystal structure of a truncated variant of human BSSL (residues 1-5.8) and refined it at 2.60 A resolution, to an R-factor of 0.238 and R(free) of 0.275. This variant lacks the C-terminal alpha-helix and tandem C-terminal repeat region of native BSSL, but retains full catalytic activity. A short loop (residues 115-126) capable of occluding the active-site (the active site loop) is highly mobile and exists in two conformations, the most predominant of which leaves the active-site open for interactions with substrate. The bile salt analogue 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-propane sulfonic acid (CHAPS) was present in the crystallisation medium, but was not observed bound to the enzyme. However, the structure reveals a sulfonate group from the buffer piperizine ethane sulfonic acid (PIPES), making interactions with Arg63 and His115. His115 is part of the active-site loop, indicating that the loop could participate in the binding of a sulphate group from either the glycosaminoglycan heparin (known to bind BSSL) or a bile acid such as deoxycholate. Opening of the 115-126 active-site loop may be cooperatively linked to a sulphate anion binding at this site. The helix bundle domain of BSSL (residues 319-398) exhibits weak electron density and high temperature factors, indicating considerable structural mobility. This domain contains an unusual Asp:Glu pair buried in a hydrophobic pocket between helices alpha(H) and alpha(K) that may be functionally important. We have also solved the structure of full-length glycosylated human BSSL at 4.1 A resolution, using the refined coordinates of the truncated molecule as

  17. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of a Copper-Binding Mutant of the Organomercurial Lyase MerB: Insight into the Key Role of the Active Site Aspartic Acid in Hg-Carbon Bond Cleavage and Metal Binding Specificity.

    PubMed

    Wahba, Haytham M; Lecoq, Lauriane; Stevenson, Michael; Mansour, Ahmed; Cappadocia, Laurent; Lafrance-Vanasse, Julien; Wilkinson, Kevin J; Sygusch, Jurgen; Wilcox, Dean E; Omichinski, James G

    2016-02-23

    In bacterial resistance to mercury, the organomercurial lyase (MerB) plays a key role in the detoxification pathway through its ability to cleave Hg-carbon bonds. Two cysteines (C96 and C159; Escherichia coli MerB numbering) and an aspartic acid (D99) have been identified as the key catalytic residues, and these three residues are conserved in all but four known MerB variants, where the aspartic acid is replaced with a serine. To understand the role of the active site serine, we characterized the structure and metal binding properties of an E. coli MerB mutant with a serine substituted for D99 (MerB D99S) as well as one of the native MerB variants containing a serine residue in the active site (Bacillus megaterium MerB2). Surprisingly, the MerB D99S protein copurified with a bound metal that was determined to be Cu(II) from UV-vis absorption, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and electron paramagnetic resonance studies. X-ray structural studies revealed that the Cu(II) is bound to the active site cysteine residues of MerB D99S, but that it is displaced following the addition of either an organomercurial substrate or an ionic mercury product. In contrast, the B. megaterium MerB2 protein does not copurify with copper, but the structure of the B. megaterium MerB2-Hg complex is highly similar to the structure of the MerB D99S-Hg complexes. These results demonstrate that the active site aspartic acid is crucial for both the enzymatic activity and metal binding specificity of MerB proteins and suggest a possible functional relationship between MerB and its only known structural homologue, the copper-binding protein NosL. PMID:26820485

  18. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of a Copper-Binding Mutant of the Organomercurial Lyase MerB: Insight into the Key Role of the Active Site Aspartic Acid in Hg-Carbon Bond Cleavage and Metal Binding Specificity.

    PubMed

    Wahba, Haytham M; Lecoq, Lauriane; Stevenson, Michael; Mansour, Ahmed; Cappadocia, Laurent; Lafrance-Vanasse, Julien; Wilkinson, Kevin J; Sygusch, Jurgen; Wilcox, Dean E; Omichinski, James G

    2016-02-23

    In bacterial resistance to mercury, the organomercurial lyase (MerB) plays a key role in the detoxification pathway through its ability to cleave Hg-carbon bonds. Two cysteines (C96 and C159; Escherichia coli MerB numbering) and an aspartic acid (D99) have been identified as the key catalytic residues, and these three residues are conserved in all but four known MerB variants, where the aspartic acid is replaced with a serine. To understand the role of the active site serine, we characterized the structure and metal binding properties of an E. coli MerB mutant with a serine substituted for D99 (MerB D99S) as well as one of the native MerB variants containing a serine residue in the active site (Bacillus megaterium MerB2). Surprisingly, the MerB D99S protein copurified with a bound metal that was determined to be Cu(II) from UV-vis absorption, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and electron paramagnetic resonance studies. X-ray structural studies revealed that the Cu(II) is bound to the active site cysteine residues of MerB D99S, but that it is displaced following the addition of either an organomercurial substrate or an ionic mercury product. In contrast, the B. megaterium MerB2 protein does not copurify with copper, but the structure of the B. megaterium MerB2-Hg complex is highly similar to the structure of the MerB D99S-Hg complexes. These results demonstrate that the active site aspartic acid is crucial for both the enzymatic activity and metal binding specificity of MerB proteins and suggest a possible functional relationship between MerB and its only known structural homologue, the copper-binding protein NosL.

  19. Insights into the different catalytic activities of Clostridium neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng; Karalewitz, Andrew P A; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2012-05-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins are among the most potent protein toxins for humans and are responsible for botulism, a flaccid paralysis elicited by the botulinum toxins (BoNT), and spastic paralysis elicited by tetanus toxin (TeNT). Seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) and tetanus toxin showed different toxicities and cleave their substrates with different efficiencies. However, the molecular basis of their different catalytic activities with respect to their substrates is not clear. BoNT/B light chain (LC/B) and TeNT light chain (LC/T) cleave vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 (VAMP2) at the same scissile bond but possess different catalytic activities and substrate requirements, which make them the best candidates for studying the mechanisms of their different catalytic activities. The recognition of five major P sites of VAMP2 (P7, P6, P1, P1', and P2') and fine alignment of sites P2 and P3 and sites P2 and P4 by LC/B and LC/T, respectively, contributed to their substrate recognition and catalysis. Significantly, we found that the S1 pocket mutation LC/T(K(168)E) increased the rate of native VAMP2 cleavage so that it approached the rate of LC/B, which explains the molecular basis for the lower k(cat) that LC/T possesses for VAMP2 cleavage relative to that of LC/B. This analysis explains the molecular basis underlying the VAMP2 recognition and cleavage by LC/B and LC/T and provides insight that may extend the pharmacologic utility of these neurological reagents.

  20. Neural Activity When People Solve Verbal Problems with Insight

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    People sometimes solve problems with a unique process called insight, accompanied by an “Aha!” experience. It has long been unclear whether different cognitive and neural processes lead to insight versus noninsight solutions, or if solutions differ only in subsequent subjective feeling. Recent behavioral studies indicate distinct patterns of performance and suggest differential hemispheric involvement for insight and noninsight solutions. Subjects solved verbal problems, and after each correct solution indicated whether they solved with or without insight. We observed two objective neural correlates of insight. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (Experiment 1) revealed increased activity in the right hemisphere anterior superior temporal gyrus for insight relative to noninsight solutions. The same region was active during initial solving efforts. Scalp electroencephalogram recordings (Experiment 2) revealed a sudden burst of high-frequency (gamma-band) neural activity in the same area beginning 0.3 s prior to insight solutions. This right anterior temporal area is associated with making connections across distantly related information during comprehension. Although all problem solving relies on a largely shared cortical network, the sudden flash of insight occurs when solvers engage distinct neural and cognitive processes that allow them to see connections that previously eluded them. PMID:15094802

  1. Activation of Inhibitors by Sortase Triggers Irreversible Modification of the Active Site*S

    PubMed Central

    Maresso, Anthony W.; Wu, Ruiying; Kern, Justin W.; Zhang, Rongguang; Janik, Dorota; Missiakas, Dominique M.; Duban, Mark-Eugene; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Schneewind, Olaf

    2011-01-01

    Sortases anchor surface proteins to the cell wall of Gram-positive pathogens through recognition of specific motif sequences. Loss of sortase leads to large reductions in virulence, which identifies sortase as a target for the development of antibacterials. By screening 135,625 small molecules for inhibition, we report here that aryl (β-amino)ethyl ketones inhibit sortase enzymes from staphylococci and bacilli. Inhibition of sortases occurs through an irreversible, covalent modification of their active site cysteine. Sortases specifically activate this class of molecules via β-elimination, generating a reactive olefin intermediate that covalently modifies the cysteine thiol. Analysis of the three-dimensional structure of Bacillus anthracis sortase B with and without inhibitor provides insights into the mechanism of inhibition and reveals binding pockets that can be exploited for drug discovery. PMID:17545669

  2. A Carbon Flux Super Site. New Insights and Innovative Atmosphere-Terrestrial Carbon Exchange Measurements and Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Leclerc, Monique Y.

    2014-11-17

    This final report presents the main activities and results of the project “A Carbon Flux Super Site: New Insights and Innovative Atmosphere-Terrestrial Carbon Exchange Measurements and Modeling” from 10/1/2006 to 9/30/2014. It describes the new AmeriFlux tower site (Aiken) at Savanna River Site (SC) and instrumentation, long term eddy-covariance, sodar, microbarograph, soil and other measurements at the site, and intensive field campaigns of tracer experiment at the Carbon Flux Super Site, SC, in 2009 and at ARM-CF site, Lamont, OK, and experiments in Plains, GA. The main results on tracer experiment and modeling, on low-level jet characteristics and their impact on fluxes, on gravity waves and their influence on eddy fluxes, and other results are briefly described in the report.

  3. Insights into Mechanism of Glucokinase Activation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shenping; Ammirati, Mark J.; Song, Xi; Knafels, John D.; Zhang, Jeff; Greasley, Samantha E.; Pfefferkorn, Jeffrey A.; Qiu, Xiayang

    2012-01-01

    Human glucokinase (GK) is a principal regulating sensor of plasma glucose levels. Mutations that inactivate GK are linked to diabetes, and mutations that activate it are associated with hypoglycemia. Unique kinetic properties equip GK for its regulatory role: although it has weak basal affinity for glucose, positive cooperativity in its binding of glucose causes a rapid increase in catalytic activity when plasma glucose concentrations rise above euglycemic levels. In clinical trials, small molecule GK activators (GKAs) have been efficacious in lowering plasma glucose and enhancing glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but they carry a risk of overly activating GK and causing hypoglycemia. The theoretical models proposed to date attribute the positive cooperativity of GK to the existence of distinct protein conformations that interconvert slowly and exhibit different affinities for glucose. Here we report the respective crystal structures of the catalytic complex of GK and of a GK-glucose complex in a wide open conformation. To assess conformations of GK in solution, we also carried out small angle x-ray scattering experiments. The results showed that glucose dose-dependently converts GK from an apo conformation to an active open conformation. Compared with wild type GK, activating mutants required notably lower concentrations of glucose to be converted to the active open conformation. GKAs decreased the level of glucose required for GK activation, and different compounds demonstrated distinct activation profiles. These results lead us to propose a modified mnemonic model to explain cooperativity in GK. Our findings may offer new approaches for designing GKAs with reduced hypoglycemic risk. PMID:22298776

  4. Functional insight into Maelstrom in the germline piRNA pathway: a unique domain homologous to the DnaQ-H 3'-5' exonuclease, its lineage-specific expansion/loss and evolutionarily active site switch.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dapeng; Xiong, Huiling; Shan, Jufang; Xia, Xuhua; Trudeau, Vance L

    2008-01-01

    Maelstrom (MAEL) plays a crucial role in a recently-discovered piRNA pathway; however its specific function remains unknown. Here a novel MAEL-specific domain characterized by a set of conserved residues (Glu-His-His-Cys-His-Cys, EHHCHC) was identified in a broad range of species including vertebrates, sea squirts, insects, nematodes, and protists. It exhibits ancient lineage-specific expansions in several species, however, appears to be lost in all examined teleost fish species. Functional involvement of MAEL domains in DNA- and RNA-related processes was further revealed by its association with HMG, SR-25-like and HDAC_interact domains. A distant similarity to the DnaQ-H 3'-5' exonuclease family with the RNase H fold was discovered based on the evidence that all MAEL domains adopt the canonical RNase H fold; and several protist MAEL domains contain the conserved 3'-5' exonuclease active site residues (Asp-Glu-Asp-His-Asp, DEDHD). This evolutionary link together with structural examinations leads to a hypothesis that MAEL domains may have a potential nuclease activity or RNA-binding ability that may be implicated in piRNA biogenesis. The observed transition of two sets of characteristic residues between the ancestral DnaQ-H and the descendent MAEL domains may suggest a new mode for protein function evolution called "active site switch", in which the protist MAEL homologues are the likely evolutionary intermediates due to harboring the specific characteristics of both 3'-5' exonuclease and MAEL domains.

  5. Forecasting the solar activity cycle: new insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandy, Dibyendu; Karak, Bidya Binay

    2013-07-01

    Having advance knowledge of solar activity is important because the Sun's magnetic output governs space weather and impacts technologies reliant on space. However, the irregular nature of the solar cycle makes solar activity predictions a challenging task. This is best achieved through appropriately constrained solar dynamo simulations and as such the first step towards predictions is to understand the underlying physics of the solar dynamo mechanism. In Babcock-Leighton type dynamo models, the poloidal field is generated near the solar surface whereas the toroidal field is generated in the solar interior. Therefore a finite time is necessary for the coupling of the spatially segregated source layers of the dynamo. This time delay introduces a memory in the dynamo mechanism which allows forecasting of future solar activity. Here we discuss how this forecasting ability of the solar cycle is affected by downward turbulent pumping of magnetic flux. With significant turbulent pumping the memory of the dynamo is severely degraded and thus long term prediction of the solar cycle is not possible; only a short term prediction of the next cycle peak may be possible based on observational data assimilation at the previous cycle minimum.

  6. Orbitofrontal activation restores insight lost after cocaine use.

    PubMed

    Lucantonio, Federica; Takahashi, Yuji K; Hoffman, Alexander F; Chang, Chun Yun; Bali-Chaudhary, Sheena; Shaham, Yavin; Lupica, Carl R; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2014-08-01

    Addiction is characterized by a lack of insight into the likely outcomes of one's behavior. Insight, or the ability to imagine outcomes, is evident when outcomes have not been directly experienced. Using this concept, work in both rats and humans has recently identified neural correlates of insight in the medial and orbital prefrontal cortices. We found that these correlates were selectively abolished in rats by cocaine self-administration. Their abolition was associated with behavioral deficits and reduced synaptic efficacy in orbitofrontal cortex, the reversal of which by optogenetic activation restored normal behavior. These results provide a link between cocaine use and problems with insight. Deficits in these functions are likely to be particularly important for problems such as drug relapse, in which behavior fails to account for likely adverse outcomes. As such, our data provide a neural target for therapeutic approaches to address these defining long-term effects of drug use.

  7. An allolactose trapped at the lacZ β-galactosidase active site with its galactosyl moiety in a (4)H3 conformation provides insights into the formation, conformation, and stabilization of the transition state.

    PubMed

    Wheatley, Robert W; Huber, Reuben E

    2015-12-01

    When lactose was incubated with G794A-β-galactosidase (a variant with a "closed" active site loop that binds transition state analogs well) an allolactose was trapped with its Gal moiety in a (4)H3 conformation, similar to the oxocarbenium ion-like conformation expected of the transition state. The numerous interactions formed between the (4)H3 structure and β-galactosidase indicate that this structure is representative of the transition state. This conformation is also very similar to that of d-galactono-1,5-lactone, a good transition state analog. Evidence indicates that substrates take up the (4)H3 conformation during migration from the shallow to the deep mode. Steric forces utilizing His418 and other residues are important for positioning the O1 leaving group into a quasi-axial position. An electrostatic interaction between the O5 of the distorted Gal and Tyr503 as well as C-H-π bonds with Trp568 are also significant. Computational studies of the energy of sugar ring distortion show that the β-galactosidase reaction itinerary is driven by energetic considerations in utilization of a (4)H3 transition state with a novel (4)C1-(4)H3-(4)C1 conformation itinerary. To our knowledge, this is the first X-ray crystallographic structural demonstration that the transition state of a natural substrate of a glycosidase has a (4)H3 conformation.

  8. An allolactose trapped at the lacZ β-galactosidase active site with its galactosyl moiety in a (4)H3 conformation provides insights into the formation, conformation, and stabilization of the transition state.

    PubMed

    Wheatley, Robert W; Huber, Reuben E

    2015-12-01

    When lactose was incubated with G794A-β-galactosidase (a variant with a "closed" active site loop that binds transition state analogs well) an allolactose was trapped with its Gal moiety in a (4)H3 conformation, similar to the oxocarbenium ion-like conformation expected of the transition state. The numerous interactions formed between the (4)H3 structure and β-galactosidase indicate that this structure is representative of the transition state. This conformation is also very similar to that of d-galactono-1,5-lactone, a good transition state analog. Evidence indicates that substrates take up the (4)H3 conformation during migration from the shallow to the deep mode. Steric forces utilizing His418 and other residues are important for positioning the O1 leaving group into a quasi-axial position. An electrostatic interaction between the O5 of the distorted Gal and Tyr503 as well as C-H-π bonds with Trp568 are also significant. Computational studies of the energy of sugar ring distortion show that the β-galactosidase reaction itinerary is driven by energetic considerations in utilization of a (4)H3 transition state with a novel (4)C1-(4)H3-(4)C1 conformation itinerary. To our knowledge, this is the first X-ray crystallographic structural demonstration that the transition state of a natural substrate of a glycosidase has a (4)H3 conformation. PMID:26291713

  9. IDENTIFICATION OF IN VITRO AUTOPHOSPHORYLATION SITES AND THE EFFECTS OF PHOSPHORYLATION ON THE ARABIDOPSIS CRINKLY4 (ACR4) RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASE INTRACELLULAR DOMAIN: INSIGHTS INTO CONFORMATION, OLIGOMERIZATION AND ACTIVITY

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Matthew R.; Lichti, Cheryl F.; Townsend, R. Reid; Rao, A. Gururaj

    2011-01-01

    Arabidopsis CRINKLY4 (ACR4) is a receptor-like kinase (RLK) that consists of an extracellular domain and an intracellular domain (ICD) with serine/threonine kinase activity. While genetic and cell biology experiments have demonstrated that ACR4 is important in cell fate specification and overall development of the plant, little is known about the biochemical properties of the kinase domain and the mechanisms that underlie the overall function of the receptor. To complement in planta studies on the function of ACR4, we have expressed the ICD in Escherichia coli as a soluble C-terminal fusion to the N-utilization substance A (NusA) protein, purified the recombinant protein and characterized the enzymatic and conformational properties. The protein autophosphorylates via an intramolecular mechanism, prefers Mn2+ over Mg2+ as the divalent cation and displays typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics with respect to ATP with an apparent Km of 6.67 ± 2.07 μM and Vmax of 1.83 ± 0.18 nmol/min/mg. Autophosphorylation is accompanied by a conformational change as demonstrated by circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy and limited proteolysis with trypsin. Analysis by nano-liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS) revealed 16 confirmed sites of phosphorylation at Ser and Thr residues. Sedimentation velocity and gel-filtration experiments indicate that the ICD has a propensity to oligomerize and that this property is lost upon autophosphorylation. PMID:21294549

  10. Energy transfer at the active sites of heme proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Dlott, D.D.; Hill, J.R.

    1995-12-31

    Experiments using a picosecond pump-probe apparatus at the Picosecond Free-electron Laser Center at Stanford University, were performed to investigate the relaxation of carbon monoxide bound to the active sites of heme proteins. The significance of these experiments is two-fold: (1) they provide detailed information about molecular dynamics occurring at the active sites of proteins; and (2) they provide insight into the nature of vibrational relaxation processes in condensed matter. Molecular engineering is used to construct various molecular systems which are studied with the FEL. We have studied native proteins, mainly myoglobin obtained from different species, mutant proteins produced by genetic engineering using recombinant DNA techniques, and a variety of model systems which mimic the structures of the active sites of native proteins, which are produced using molecular synthesis. Use of these different systems permits us to investigate how specific molecular structural changes affect dynamical processes occurring at the active sites. This research provides insight into the problems of how different species needs are fulfilled by heme proteins which have greatly different functionality, which is induced by rather small structural changes.

  11. Slopes from Photoclinometry for the Mars InSight Landing Site Selection Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    Evaluating meter-scale slopes on the Martian surface continues to be an important activity for ascertaining the safety of potential landing sites and for characterizing terrains and their formation and modification processes. The Mars InSight lander is targeting a landing site in Elysium Planitia and the application of the point photoclinometry algorithm that correctly estimated the slope parameters for MER (Beyer et al., 2003) and for MSL (Beyer and Kirk, 2012) is also being applied to HiRISE imagery within the potential landing ellipses being considered. This allows rapid evaluation of slope parameters and also provides a consistency check with terrain models derived from stereo data. The largest source of error in the photoclinometry estimates of slope is the value of the atmospheric haze to subtract for each image. When a stereo-derived terrain model (either from HiRISE or CTX) is present, the slope statistics from that terrain model are used to help 'tune' the photoclinometry-derived slopes for images that overlap that terrain model. In this way better slope data can be extrapolated into nearby regions than the photoclinometry technique alone would be able to accomplish.

  12. Meter-Scale Slopes of Candidate InSight Landing Sites from Point Photoclinometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, Ross A.

    2016-09-01

    Photoclinometry was used to analyze the small-scale roughness of areas within the proposed Mars InSight landing ellipse. The landing ellipse presented in this study is in Elysium Planitia. This study was able to constrain surface slopes on length scales comparable to the HiRISE image resolution (0.25 meters/pixel and coarser). The InSight mission has various engineering constraints that each candidate landing ellipse must satisfy. These constraints indicate that the statistical value of the slopes at one, two, and five meter baselines are an important criterion. This technique estimates surface slopes across large swaths of each image, and builds up slope statistics for the images in the landing ellipse. The slopes I derived for the InSight landing site ellipse in this study are within the small-scale roughness constraints put forth by the InSight project. These results have provided input into the landing hazard assessment process.

  13. Catalysis: Elusive active site in focus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labinger, Jay A.

    2016-08-01

    The identification of the active site of an iron-containing catalyst raises hopes of designing practically useful catalysts for the room-temperature conversion of methane to methanol, a potential fuel for vehicles. See Letter p.317

  14. Examining T cells at vaccine sites of tumor-bearing hosts provides insights to dysfunctional T-cell immunity.

    PubMed

    Barr, Kristen M; Jing, Weiqing; Hallett, William H D; Gershan, Jill A; Johnson, Bryon D

    2013-01-01

    When tumor vaccines are administered as cancer immunotherapy, cellular interactions at the vaccine site are crucial to the generation of antitumor immunity. Examining interactions at the vaccine site could provide important insights to the success or failure of vaccination. Our laboratory previously showed that while administration of a cell-based vaccine to tumor-free mice leads to productive antineuroblastoma immunity, vaccination of tumor-bearing mice does not. The goal of this study was to examine immune effectors at the vaccine site to identify mechanisms responsible for the generation of ineffective antitumor immunity in tumor-bearing mice. The results of this study show that vaccine sites of tumor-bearing mice contained significantly fewer T cells than vaccine sites of tumor-free mice. Similar migration and proliferation of T cells was observed in the vaccine sites of tumor-bearing and tumor-free mice, but T cells in the sites of tumor-bearing mice were more apoptotic. T cells at the vaccine sites of both tumor-free and tumor-bearing mice had an effector-memory phenotype and expressed activation markers. Despite the activated phenotype, T cells from tumor-bearing mice elicited defective antitumor immune responses. Although T cells from vaccine sites of tumor-bearing mice were capable of producing inflammatory cytokines, the T cells from tumor-bearing mice produced lower levels of cytokines compared with T cells from the tumor-free mice. Remarkably, this defect seems to be systemic, affecting distal T cells in tumor-bearing mice. This study demonstrates that the defective vaccine-induced immune response to neuroblastoma in tumor-bearing hosts originates as a result of tumor burden, resulting in poor antitumor immunity.

  15. Low dielectric response in enzyme active site

    PubMed Central

    Mertz, Edward L.; Krishtalik, Lev I.

    2000-01-01

    The kinetics of charge transfer depend crucially on the dielectric reorganization of the medium. In enzymatic reactions that involve charge transfer, atomic dielectric response of the active site and of its surroundings determines the efficiency of the protein as a catalyst. We report direct spectroscopic measurements of the reorganization energy associated with the dielectric response in the active site of α-chymotrypsin. A chromophoric inhibitor of the enzyme is used as a spectroscopic probe. We find that water strongly affects the dielectric reorganization in the active site of the enzyme in solution. The reorganization energy of the protein matrix in the vicinity of the active site is similar to that of low-polarity solvents. Surprisingly, water exhibits an anomalously high dielectric response that cannot be described in terms of the dielectric continuum theory. As a result, sequestering the active site from the aqueous environment inside low-dielectric enzyme body dramatically reduces the dielectric reorganization. This reduction is particularly important for controlling the rate of enzymatic reactions. PMID:10681440

  16. Building structure-activity insights through patent mining.

    PubMed

    Tu, Meihua; Pfefferkorn, Jeffrey A; Guzman-Perez, Angel; Filipski, Kevin J

    2012-11-01

    One gap in current patent-mining practice is the lack of tools to build SAR knowledge. Here, we report a novel technique that enabled us to derive useful SAR information from the exemplified structures of a series of patents. In our approach, exemplified chemical structures were extracted from patent documents. They were grouped into structural series based on similarity and binding mode, after which the R-group table was generated. By analyzing R-group usages over time, we were able to build insights into SAR of a structural series, even though the biological activities were not available.

  17. MAPK-Activated Protein Kinases (MKs): Novel Insights and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Gaestel, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Downstream of MAPKs, such as classical/atypical ERKs and p38 MAPKs, but not of JNKs, signaling is often mediated by protein kinases which are phosphorylated and activated by MAPKs and, therefore, designated MAPK-activated protein kinases (MAPKAPKs). Recently, novel insights into the specificity of the assembly of MAPK/MAPKAPK hetero-dimeric protein kinase signaling complexes have been gained. In addition, new functional aspects of MKs have been described and established functions have been challenged. This short review will summarize recent developments including the linear motif (LM) in MKs, the ERK-independent activation of RSK, the RSK-independent effects of some RSK-inhibitors and the challenged role of MK5/PRAK in tumor suppression. PMID:26779481

  18. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mps1 kinase activation

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-05

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

  19. Water in the Active Site of Ketosteroid Isomerase

    PubMed Central

    Hanoian, Philip; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    Classical molecular dynamics simulations were utilized to investigate the structural and dynamical properties of water in the active site of ketosteroid isomerase (KSI) to provide insight into the role of these water molecules in the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. This reaction is thought to proceed via a dienolate intermediate that is stabilized by hydrogen bonding with residues Tyr16 and Asp103. A comparative study was performed for the wild-type (WT) KSI and the Y16F, Y16S, and Y16F/Y32F/Y57F (FFF) mutants. These systems were studied with three different bound ligands: equilenin, which is an intermediate analog, and the intermediate states of two steroid substrates. Several distinct water occupation sites were identified in the active site of KSI for the WT and mutant systems. Three additional sites were identified in the Y16S mutant that were not occupied in WT KSI or the other mutants studied. The number of water molecules directly hydrogen bonded to the ligand oxygen was approximately two waters in the Y16S mutant, one water in the Y16F and FFF mutants, and intermittent hydrogen bonding of one water molecule in WT KSI. The molecular dynamics trajectories of the Y16F and FFF mutants reproduced the small conformational changes of residue 16 observed in the crystal structures of these two mutants. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of 1H NMR chemical shifts of the protons in the active site hydrogen-bonding network suggest that the presence of water in the active site does not prevent the formation of short hydrogen bonds with far-downfield chemical shifts. The molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the active site water molecules exchange much more frequently for WT KSI and the FFF mutant than for the Y16F and Y16S mutants. This difference is most likely due to the hydrogen-bonding interaction between Tyr57 and an active site water molecule that is persistent in the Y16F and Y16S mutants but absent in the FFF mutant and significantly less

  20. Atomistic insights into rhodopsin activation from a dynamic model.

    PubMed

    Tikhonova, Irina G; Best, Robert B; Engel, Stanislav; Gershengorn, Marvin C; Hummer, Gerhard; Costanzi, Stefano

    2008-08-01

    Rhodopsin, the light sensitive receptor responsible for blue-green vision, serves as a prototypical G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Upon light absorption, it undergoes a series of conformational changes that lead to the active form, metarhodopsin II (META II), initiating a signaling cascade through binding to the G protein transducin (G(t)). Here, we first develop a structural model of META II by applying experimental distance restraints to the structure of lumi-rhodopsin (LUMI), an earlier intermediate. The restraints are imposed by using a combination of biased molecular dynamics simulations and perturbations to an elastic network model. We characterize the motions of the transmembrane helices in the LUMI-to-META II transition and the rearrangement of interhelical hydrogen bonds. We then simulate rhodopsin activation in a dynamic model to study the path leading from LUMI to our META II model for wild-type rhodopsin and a series of mutants. The simulations show a strong correlation between the transition dynamics and the pharmacological phenotypes of the mutants. These results help identify the molecular mechanisms of activation in both wild type and mutant rhodopsin. While static models can provide insights into the mechanisms of ligand recognition and predict ligand affinity, a dynamic model of activation could be applicable to study the pharmacology of other GPCRs and their ligands, offering a key to predictions of basal activity and ligand efficacy.

  1. Analysis of Local Slopes at the InSight Landing Site on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fergason, R. L.; Kirk, R. L.; Cushing, G.; Galuszka, D. M.; Golombek, M. P.; Hare, T. M.; Howington-Kraus, E.; Kipp, D. M.; Redding, B. L.

    2016-10-01

    To evaluate the topography of the surface within the InSight candidate landing ellipses, we generated Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) at lander scales and those appropriate for entry, descent, and landing simulations, along with orthoimages of both images in each stereopair, and adirectional slope images. These products were used to assess the distribution of slopes for each candidate ellipse and terrain type in the landing site region, paying particular attention to how these slopes impact InSight landing and engineering safety, and results are reported here. Overall, this region has extremely low slopes at 1-meter baseline scales and meets the safety constraints of the InSight lander. The majority of the landing ellipse has a mean slope at 1-meter baselines of 3.2°. In addition, a mosaic of HRSC, CTX, and HiRISE DTMs within the final landing ellipse (ellipse 9) was generated to support entry, descent, and landing simulations and evaluations. Several methods were tested to generate this mosaic and the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline program dem_mosaic produced the best results. For the HRSC-CTX-HiRISE DTM mosaic, more than 99 % of the mosaic has slopes less than 15°, and the introduction of artificially high slopes along image seams was minimized.

  2. Analysis of local slopes at the InSight landing site on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fergason, Robin L.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Cushing, Glen; Galuszka, Donna M.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Hare, Trent M.; Howington-Kraus, Elpitha; Kipp, Devin M; Redding, Bonnie L.

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the topography of the surface within the InSight candidate landing ellipses, we generated Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) at lander scales and those appropriate for entry, descent, and landing simulations, along with orthoimages of both images in each stereopair, and adirectional slope images. These products were used to assess the distribution of slopes for each candidate ellipse and terrain type in the landing site region, paying particular attention to how these slopes impact InSight landing and engineering safety, and results are reported here. Overall, this region has extremely low slopes at 1-meter baseline scales and meets the safety constraints of the InSight lander. The majority of the landing ellipse has a mean slope at 1-meter baselines of 3.2°. In addition, a mosaic of HRSC, CTX, and HiRISE DTMs within the final landing ellipse (ellipse 9) was generated to support entry, descent, and landing simulations and evaluations. Several methods were tested to generate this mosaic and the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline program dem_mosaic produced the best results. For the HRSC-CTX-HiRISE DTM mosaic, more than 99 % of the mosaic has slopes less than 15°, and the introduction of artificially high slopes along image seams was minimized.

  3. Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogner, Donna, Ed.

    1988-01-01

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

  4. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Action levels

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, J.S.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1991-10-01

    The Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP) was established at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to provide for early leak detection and to monitor performance of the active low-level waste disposal facilities in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 and the transuranic waste storage areas in SWSA 5 North. Early leak detection is accomplished by sampling runoff, groundwater, and perched water in burial trenches. Sample results are compared to action levels that represent background contamination by naturally occurring and fallout-derived radionuclides. 15 refs., 3 figs., 12 tabs.

  5. Initial insights into structure-activity relationships of avian defensins.

    PubMed

    Derache, Chrystelle; Meudal, Hervé; Aucagne, Vincent; Mark, Kevin J; Cadène, Martine; Delmas, Agnès F; Lalmanach, Anne-Christine; Landon, Céline

    2012-03-01

    Numerous β-defensins have been identified in birds, and the potential use of these peptides as alternatives to antibiotics has been proposed, in particular to fight antibiotic-resistant and zoonotic bacterial species. Little is known about the mechanism of antibacterial activity of avian β-defensins, and this study was carried out to obtain initial insights into the involvement of structural features or specific residues in the antimicrobial activity of chicken AvBD2. Chicken AvBD2 and its enantiomeric counterpart were chemically synthesized. Peptide elongation and oxidative folding were both optimized. The similar antimicrobial activity measured for both L- and D-proteins clearly indicates that there is no chiral partner. Therefore, the bacterial membrane is in all likelihood the primary target. Moreover, this work indicates that the three-dimensional fold is required for an optimal antimicrobial activity, in particular for gram-positive bacterial strains. The three-dimensional NMR structure of chicken AvBD2 defensin displays the structural three-stranded antiparallel β-sheet characteristic of β-defensins. The surface of the molecule does not display any amphipathic character. In light of this new structure and of the king penguin AvBD103b defensin structure, the consensus sequence of the avian β-defensin family was analyzed. Well conserved residues were highlighted, and the potential strategic role of the lysine 31 residue of AvBD2 was emphasized. The synthetic AvBD2-K31A variant displayed substantial N-terminal structural modifications and a dramatic decrease in activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate the structural as well as the functional role of the critical lysine 31 residue in antimicrobial activity. PMID:22205704

  6. 77 FR 14832 - Plumchoice, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Balance Staffing, Insight Global Staffing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-13

    ... services. The notice was published in the Federal Register on February 21, 2012 (76 FR 9971). At the... Employment and Training Administration Plumchoice, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Balance..., Inc., including on-site leased workers from Balance Staffing, Insight Global Staffing,...

  7. Characterization of active sites in zeolite catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Eckert, J.; Bug, A.; Nicol, J.M.

    1997-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Atomic-level details of the interaction of adsorbed molecules with active sites in catalysts are urgently needed to facilitate development of more effective and/or environmentally benign catalysts. To this end the authors have carried out neutron scattering studies combined with theoretical calculations of the dynamics of small molecules inside the cavities of zeolite catalysts. The authors have developed the use of H{sub 2} as a probe of adsorption sites by observing the hindered rotations of the adsorbed H{sub 2} molecule, and they were able to show that an area near the four-rings is the most likely adsorption site for H{sub 2} in zeolite A while adsorption of H{sub 2} near cations located on six-ring sites decreases in strength as Ni {approximately} Co > Ca > Zn {approximately} Na. Vibrational and rotational motions of ethylene and cyclopropane adsorption complexes were used as a measure for zeolite-adsorbate interactions. Preliminary studies of the binding of water, ammonia, and methylamines were carried out in a number of related guest-host materials.

  8. Extensive site-directed mutagenesis reveals interconnected functional units in the alkaline phosphatase active site.

    PubMed

    Sunden, Fanny; Peck, Ariana; Salzman, Julia; Ressl, Susanne; Herschlag, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Enzymes enable life by accelerating reaction rates to biological timescales. Conventional studies have focused on identifying the residues that have a direct involvement in an enzymatic reaction, but these so-called 'catalytic residues' are embedded in extensive interaction networks. Although fundamental to our understanding of enzyme function, evolution, and engineering, the properties of these networks have yet to be quantitatively and systematically explored. We dissected an interaction network of five residues in the active site of Escherichia coli alkaline phosphatase. Analysis of the complex catalytic interdependence of specific residues identified three energetically independent but structurally interconnected functional units with distinct modes of cooperativity. From an evolutionary perspective, this network is orders of magnitude more probable to arise than a fully cooperative network. From a functional perspective, new catalytic insights emerge. Further, such comprehensive energetic characterization will be necessary to benchmark the algorithms required to rationally engineer highly efficient enzymes. PMID:25902402

  9. Extensive site-directed mutagenesis reveals interconnected functional units in the alkaline phosphatase active site.

    PubMed

    Sunden, Fanny; Peck, Ariana; Salzman, Julia; Ressl, Susanne; Herschlag, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Enzymes enable life by accelerating reaction rates to biological timescales. Conventional studies have focused on identifying the residues that have a direct involvement in an enzymatic reaction, but these so-called 'catalytic residues' are embedded in extensive interaction networks. Although fundamental to our understanding of enzyme function, evolution, and engineering, the properties of these networks have yet to be quantitatively and systematically explored. We dissected an interaction network of five residues in the active site of Escherichia coli alkaline phosphatase. Analysis of the complex catalytic interdependence of specific residues identified three energetically independent but structurally interconnected functional units with distinct modes of cooperativity. From an evolutionary perspective, this network is orders of magnitude more probable to arise than a fully cooperative network. From a functional perspective, new catalytic insights emerge. Further, such comprehensive energetic characterization will be necessary to benchmark the algorithms required to rationally engineer highly efficient enzymes.

  10. An Observational Study in Developing an Intergenerational Shared Site Program: Challenges and Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Christopher L.

    2003-01-01

    Evaluation of an intergenerational shared-site program included observations and videos of 20 children and 27 elders. Interpersonal communication and empathy were cultivated over time. The best activities promoted interaction and relationship building. Environmental factors and teaching style affected outcomes. Making and interpreting videos…

  11. Dust devil track survey at Elysium Planitia, Mars: Implications for the InSight landing sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiss, Dennis; Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2016-03-01

    The InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) robotic lander is scheduled to land in Elysium Planitia on Mars in September 2016. InSight will perform the first comprehensive surface-based geophysical investigation including seismic measurements. Knowledge about encounter rates of dust devils with the InSight lander are important for two main reasons: (1) dust devils will affect the scientific measurements, i.e., wind-induced seismic noise, and (2) the power-supply of the InSight lander and instruments is provided by solar arrays and previous landers and rovers on Mars were affected by a steady decline in electrical power output due to atmospheric dust deposition on the solar panels. Long term science operations were only made possible by dust clearing events of the solar arrays caused by wind gusts and dust devils. In this study we analyzed dust devil tracks (DDTs) at the final InSight landing site region in Elysium Planitia. Formation of DDTs is caused by the removal of a layer of dust by passing dust devils, hence in principle the same process as clearing of dust from solar panels. We mapped the number, size (width and length), and orientation of DDTs in repeat observations using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images covering the exact same surface area acquired within a relatively short time span (<90 martian days). In total, we analyzed 557 newly formed dust devil tracks in 8 study areas. DDTs are morphologically relatively straight with a low mean sinuosity of 1.03 and only reach maximum widths of 30 m. The mean DDT width is 4 m, indicating that the dust devil size population is dominated by small dust devils with a diameter <10 m. The size-frequency distribution of DDTs follows a -2 power law. The mean lengths of DDTs are 0.62 km and 1.23 km for complete (tracks which are visible from their start to end point) and incomplete DDTs (tracks running across the HiRISE footprint), respectively. The

  12. Active site of ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase

    SciTech Connect

    Hartman, F.C.; Stringer, C.D.; Milanez, S.; Lee, E.H.

    1985-01-01

    Previous affinity labeling studies and comparative sequence analyses have identified two different lysines at the active site of ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase and have suggested their essentiality to function. The essential lysines occupy positions 166 and 329 in the Rhodospirillum rubrum enzyme and positions 175 and 334 in the spinach enzyme. Based on the pH-dependencies of inactivations of the two enzymes by trinitrobenzene sulfonate, Lys-166 (R. rubrum enzyme) exhibits a pK/sub a/ of 7.9 and Lys-334 (spinach enzyme) exhibits a pK/sub a/ of 9.0. These low pK/sub a/ values as well as the enhanced nucleophilicities of the lysyl residues argue that both are important to catalysis rather than to substrate binding. Lys-166 may correspond to the essential base that initiates catalysis and that displays a pK/sub a/ of 7.5 in the pH-curve for V/sub max//K/sub m/. Cross-linking experiments with 4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-disulfonate stilbene demonstrate that the two active-site lysines are within 12 A. 50 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Insights into GATA-1 Mediated Gene Activation versus Repression via Genome-wide Chromatin Occupancy Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Ming; Riva, Laura; Xie, Huafeng; Schindler, Yocheved; Moran, Tyler B.; Cheng, Yong; Yu, Duonan; Hardison, Ross; Weiss, Mitchell J; Orkin, Stuart H.; Bernstein, Bradley E.; Fraenkel, Ernest; Cantor, Alan B.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The transcription factor GATA-1 is required for terminal erythroid maturation and functions as an activator or repressor depending on gene context. Yet its in vivo site selectivity and ability to distinguish between activated versus repressed genes remain incompletely understood. In this study, we performed GATA-1 ChIP-seq in erythroid cells and compared it to GATA-1 induced gene expression changes. Bound and differentially expressed genes contain a greater number of GATA binding motifs, a higher frequency of palindromic GATA sites, and closer occupancy to the transcriptional start site versus non-differentially expressed genes. Moreover, we show that the transcription factor Zbtb7a occupies GATA-1 bound regions of some direct GATA-1 target genes, that the presence of SCL/TAL1 helps distinguish transcriptional activation versus repression, and that Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) is involved in epigenetic silencing of a subset of GATA-1 repressed genes. These data provide insights into GATA-1 mediated gene regulation in vivo. PMID:19941827

  14. Perchlorate Reductase Is Distinguished by Active Site Aromatic Gate Residues.

    PubMed

    Youngblut, Matthew D; Tsai, Chi-Lin; Clark, Iain C; Carlson, Hans K; Maglaqui, Adrian P; Gau-Pan, Phonchien S; Redford, Steven A; Wong, Alan; Tainer, John A; Coates, John D

    2016-04-22

    Perchlorate is an important ion on both Earth and Mars. Perchlorate reductase (PcrAB), a specialized member of the dimethylsulfoxide reductase superfamily, catalyzes the first step of microbial perchlorate respiration, but little is known about the biochemistry, specificity, structure, and mechanism of PcrAB. Here we characterize the biophysics and phylogeny of this enzyme and report the 1.86-Å resolution PcrAB complex crystal structure. Biochemical analysis revealed a relatively high perchlorate affinity (Km = 6 μm) and a characteristic substrate inhibition compared with the highly similar respiratory nitrate reductase NarGHI, which has a relatively much lower affinity for perchlorate (Km = 1.1 mm) and no substrate inhibition. Structural analysis of oxidized and reduced PcrAB with and without the substrate analog SeO3 (2-) bound to the active site identified key residues in the positively charged and funnel-shaped substrate access tunnel that gated substrate entrance and product release while trapping transiently produced chlorate. The structures suggest gating was associated with shifts of a Phe residue between open and closed conformations plus an Asp residue carboxylate shift between monodentate and bidentate coordination to the active site molybdenum atom. Taken together, structural and mutational analyses of gate residues suggest key roles of these gate residues for substrate entrance and product release. Our combined results provide the first detailed structural insight into the mechanism of biological perchlorate reduction, a critical component of the chlorine redox cycle on Earth.

  15. Perchlorate Reductase Is Distinguished by Active Site Aromatic Gate Residues.

    PubMed

    Youngblut, Matthew D; Tsai, Chi-Lin; Clark, Iain C; Carlson, Hans K; Maglaqui, Adrian P; Gau-Pan, Phonchien S; Redford, Steven A; Wong, Alan; Tainer, John A; Coates, John D

    2016-04-22

    Perchlorate is an important ion on both Earth and Mars. Perchlorate reductase (PcrAB), a specialized member of the dimethylsulfoxide reductase superfamily, catalyzes the first step of microbial perchlorate respiration, but little is known about the biochemistry, specificity, structure, and mechanism of PcrAB. Here we characterize the biophysics and phylogeny of this enzyme and report the 1.86-Å resolution PcrAB complex crystal structure. Biochemical analysis revealed a relatively high perchlorate affinity (Km = 6 μm) and a characteristic substrate inhibition compared with the highly similar respiratory nitrate reductase NarGHI, which has a relatively much lower affinity for perchlorate (Km = 1.1 mm) and no substrate inhibition. Structural analysis of oxidized and reduced PcrAB with and without the substrate analog SeO3 (2-) bound to the active site identified key residues in the positively charged and funnel-shaped substrate access tunnel that gated substrate entrance and product release while trapping transiently produced chlorate. The structures suggest gating was associated with shifts of a Phe residue between open and closed conformations plus an Asp residue carboxylate shift between monodentate and bidentate coordination to the active site molybdenum atom. Taken together, structural and mutational analyses of gate residues suggest key roles of these gate residues for substrate entrance and product release. Our combined results provide the first detailed structural insight into the mechanism of biological perchlorate reduction, a critical component of the chlorine redox cycle on Earth. PMID:26940877

  16. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Program plan

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Wickliff, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1992-02-01

    The Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP), initiated in 1989, provides early detection and performance monitoring of transuranic (TRU) waste and active low-level waste (LLW) facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in accordance with US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5820.2A. Active LLW facilities in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 include Tumulus I and Tumulus II, the Interim Waste Management Facility (IWMF), LLW silos, high-range wells, asbestos silos, and fissile wells. The tumulus pads and IWMF are aboveground, high-strength concrete pads on which concrete vaults containing metal boxes of LLW are placed; the void space between the boxes and vaults is filled with grout. Eventually, these pads and vaults will be covered by an engineered multilayered cap. All other LLW facilities in SWSA 6 are below ground. In addition, this plan includes monitoring of the Hillcut Disposal Test Facility (HDTF) in SWSA 6, even though this facility was completed prior to the data of the DOE order. In SWSA 5 North, the TRU facilities include below-grade engineered caves, high-range wells, and unlined trenches. All samples from SWSA 6 are screened for alpha and beta activity, counted for gamma-emitting isotopes, and analyzed for tritium. In addition to these analytes, samples from SWSA 5 North are analyzed for specific transuranic elements.

  17. New insights into the site and mode of antinociceptive action of flurbiprofen enantiomers.

    PubMed

    Geisslinger, G; Schaible, H G

    1996-06-01

    The S-enantiomer of flurbiprofen has been shown to have both antiinflammatory and antinociceptive effects, whereas R-flurbiprofen is antinociceptive but not antiinflammatory. Importantly, only S-flurbiprofen inhibited prostaglandin biosynthesis in vitro at therapeutic concentrations. R-flurbiprofen did not undergo significant chiral inversion to S-flurbiprofen in rats and humans. A study was conducted to gain new insight into the possible sites and modes of action of flurbiprofen enantiomers. In a modified Randall Selitto assay, both enantiomers were antinociceptive in a dose-dependent manner after systemic administration. After local administration into the inflamed paw, only S-flurbiprofen produced significant dose-related antinociception. In a physiologic study, we recorded extracellularly from nociceptive spinal cord neurons that were rendered hyperexcitable. Intravenous administration of R- and S-flurbiprofen reduced responses of neurons to pressure applied to the inflamed knee and the noninflamed ankle and paw in a dose-dependent manner. When injected directly into the knee joint, only S-flurbiprofen but not R-flurbiprofen reduced responses to pressure. These results suggest a central site of antinociceptive action for R- and S-flurbiprofen and an additional peripheral site for S-flurbiprofen. The findings may be of clinical relevance, as it was demonstrated that both enantiomers also were antinociceptive in humans. Because R-flurbiprofen caused less toxicity in rats than the S-enantiomer or the racemic compound, a reduction in the quantitatively most important side effects in the gastrointestinal tract might be achieved with the use of R-flurbiprofen for pain therapy.

  18. Addressing Community Concerns about Lead Contamination in Soil: Insights for Site Cleanup

    SciTech Connect

    Finster, M.E.

    2008-07-01

    Health risks associated with contaminated sites are a key driver for cleanup decisions and determinations about alternate land use of areas released to the public, particularly in heavily populated metropolitan areas. To guide risk management and future use decisions at contaminated sites, insights can be gained from community-based research. These evaluations can also help ensure that assessments and decisions developed for urban sites consider input received from community members. In order to evaluate the potential risk due to consumption of plants home-grown in lead-contaminated soil, a pilot study was conducted over a period of two summers in a Chicago, IL neighborhood. This survey included analyses of lead concentrations in a convenience sampling of edible fruits, vegetables, and herbs and also examined how the sample preparation method affected the lead concentrations detected in plant materials. A pattern of lead transfer from soil through the root to the stem and leaves of garden crops was found. This pattern is a concern particularly for plants in which the roots, stems, stalks, or leaves are consumed. Analyses of fruiting vegetables indicated that concentrations were below the limit of detection. Depending on the soil lead level and specific plant, the contamination found in some leafy vegetables and herbs may exceed the body's daily excretion rate and could contribute to the total body burden of lead, especially in children. Finally, washing edible portions did not necessarily eliminate the risk, indicating that the lead was located both on and in the plant tissue. This research was conducted in coordination with health experts from the community, and local citizens were involved in discussions on the research and implications for their health protection measures. In certain residential locations, identifying and understanding the potential source of lead contamination provides information for the community such that simple measures can be applied for

  19. Structural insights into key sites of vulnerability on HIV-1 Env and influenza HA.

    PubMed

    Julien, Jean-Philippe; Lee, Peter S; Wilson, Ian A

    2012-11-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) envelope protein (Env) and influenza hemagglutinin (HA) are the surface glycoproteins responsible for viral entry into host cells, the first step in the virus life cycle necessary to initiate infection. These glycoproteins exhibit a high degree of sequence variability and glycosylation, which are used as strategies to escape host immune responses. Nonetheless, antibodies with broadly neutralizing activity against these viruses have been isolated that have managed to overcome these barriers. Here, we review recent advances in the structural characterization of these antibodies with their viral antigens that defines a few sites of vulnerability on these viral spikes. These broadly neutralizing antibodies tend to focus their recognition on the sites of similar function between the two viruses: the receptor-binding site and membrane fusion machinery. However, some sites of recognition are unique to the virus neutralized, such as the dense shield of oligomannose carbohydrates on HIV-1 Env. These observations are discussed in the context of structure-based design strategies to aid in vaccine design or development of antivirals. PMID:23046130

  20. Structural insights into key sites of vulnerability on HIV-1 Env and influenza HA.

    PubMed

    Julien, Jean-Philippe; Lee, Peter S; Wilson, Ian A

    2012-11-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) envelope protein (Env) and influenza hemagglutinin (HA) are the surface glycoproteins responsible for viral entry into host cells, the first step in the virus life cycle necessary to initiate infection. These glycoproteins exhibit a high degree of sequence variability and glycosylation, which are used as strategies to escape host immune responses. Nonetheless, antibodies with broadly neutralizing activity against these viruses have been isolated that have managed to overcome these barriers. Here, we review recent advances in the structural characterization of these antibodies with their viral antigens that defines a few sites of vulnerability on these viral spikes. These broadly neutralizing antibodies tend to focus their recognition on the sites of similar function between the two viruses: the receptor-binding site and membrane fusion machinery. However, some sites of recognition are unique to the virus neutralized, such as the dense shield of oligomannose carbohydrates on HIV-1 Env. These observations are discussed in the context of structure-based design strategies to aid in vaccine design or development of antivirals.

  1. Control of active sites in flocculation: Concept of equivalent active sites''

    SciTech Connect

    Behl, S.; Moudgil, B.M. . Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering)

    1993-12-01

    Flocculation and dispersion of solids are strong functions of the amount and conformation of the adsorbed polymer. Regions of dispersion and flocculation of solids with particular polymer molecules may be deduced from saturation adsorption data. The concept of equivalent active sites'' is proposed to explain flocculation and dispersion behavior irrespective of the amount or conformation of the adsorbed polymer. The concept has been further extended to study the selective flocculation process.

  2. An overlapping kinase and phosphatase docking site regulates activity of the retinoblastoma protein.

    PubMed

    Hirschi, Alexander; Cecchini, Matthew; Steinhardt, Rachel C; Schamber, Michael R; Dick, Frederick A; Rubin, Seth M

    2010-09-01

    The phosphorylation state and corresponding activity of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (Rb) are modulated by a balance of kinase and phosphatase activities. Here we characterize the association of Rb with the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1c). A crystal structure identifies an enzyme docking site in the Rb C-terminal domain that is required for efficient PP1c activity toward Rb. The phosphatase docking site overlaps with the known docking site for cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk), and PP1 competition with Cdk-cyclins for Rb binding is sufficient to retain Rb activity and block cell-cycle advancement. These results provide the first detailed molecular insights into Rb activation and establish a novel mechanism for Rb regulation in which kinase and phosphatase compete for substrate docking. PMID:20694007

  3. Dissecting the active site of a photoreceptor protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, Wouter; Hara, Miwa; Ren, Jie; Moghadam, Farzaneh; Xie, Aihua; Kumauchi, Masato

    While enzymes are quite large molecules, functionally important chemical events are often limited to a small region of the protein: the active site. The physical and chemical properties of residues at such active sites are often strongly altered compared to the same groups dissolved in water. Understanding such effects is important for unraveling the mechanisms underlying protein function and for protein engineering, but has proven challenging. Here we report on our ongoing efforts on using photoactive yellow protein (PYP), a bacterial photoreceptor, as a model system for such effects. We will report on the following questions: How many residues affect active site properties? Are these residues in direct physical contact with the active site? Can functionally important residues be recognized in the crystal structure of a protein? What structural resolution is needed to understand active sites? What spectroscopic techniques are most informative? Which weak interactions dominate active site properties?

  4. Mechanistic insights into the first Lygus-active β-pore forming protein.

    PubMed

    Jerga, Agoston; Chen, Danqi; Zhang, Chunfen; Fu, Jinping; Kouadio, Jean-Louis K; Wang, Yanfei; Duff, Stephen M G; Howard, Jennifer E; Rydel, Timothy J; Evdokimov, Artem G; Ramaseshadri, Parthasarathy; Evans, Adam; Bolognesi, Renata; Park, Yoonseong; Haas, Jeffrey A

    2016-06-15

    The cotton pests Lygus hesperus and Lygus lineolaris can be controlled by expressing Cry51Aa2.834_16 in cotton. Insecticidal activity of pore-forming proteins is generally associated with damage to the midgut epithelium due to pores, and their biological specificity results from a set of key determinants including proteolytic activation and receptor binding. We conducted mechanistic studies to gain insight into how the first Lygus-active β-pore forming protein variant functions. Biophysical characterization revealed that the full-length Cry51Aa2.834_16 was a stable dimer in solution, and when exposed to Lygus saliva or to trypsin, the protein underwent proteolytic cleavage at the C-terminus of each of the subunits, resulting in dissociation of the dimer to two separate monomers. The monomer showed tight binding to a specific protein in Lygus brush border membranes, and also formed a membrane-associated oligomeric complex both in vitro and in vivo. Chemically cross-linking the β-hairpin to the Cry51Aa2.834_16 body rendered the protein inactive, but still competent to compete for binding sites with the native protein in vivo. Our study suggests that disassociation of the Cry51Aa2.834_16 dimer into monomeric units with unoccupied head-region and sterically unhindered β-hairpin is required for brush border membrane binding, oligomerization, and the subsequent steps leading to insect mortality. PMID:27001423

  5. Mars Surveyor Project Landing Site Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulick, Virginia C.; Briggs, Geoffrey; Saunders, R. Stephen; Gilmore, Martha; Soderblom, Larry

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor Program --now a cooperative program led by NASA and CNES along with other international partners -- is underway. It has the primary science objective of furthering our understanding of the biological potential and possible biological history of Mars and has the complementary objective of improving our understanding of martian climate evolution and planetary history The missions will develop technology and acquire data necessary for eventual human Exploration. Launches of orbiters, landers and rovers will take place in 2001 and in 2003; in 2005 a complete system will be launched capable of returning samples to Earth by 2008. A key aspect of the program is the selection of landing sites. This abstract 1) reports on the status of the landing site selection process that begins with the 2001 lander mission and 2) outlines be opportunities for the Mars community to provide input into the landing site selection process.

  6. Mars Surveyor Project Landing Site Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulick, V. C.; Briggs, Geoffrey; Saunders, R. Stephen; Gilmore, Martha; Soderblom, Larry

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor Program -- now a cooperative program led by NASA and CNES along with other international partners -- is underway. It has the primary science objective of furthering our understanding of the biological potential and possible biological history of Mars and has the complementary objective of improving our understanding of martian climate evolution and planetary history. The missions will develop technology and acquire data necessary for eventual human exploration. Launches of orbiters, landers and rovers will take place in 2001 and in 2003; in 2005 a complete system will be launched capable of returning samples to Earth by 2008. A key aspect of the program is the selection of landing sites. This abstract 1) reports on the status of the landing site selection process that begins with the 2001 lander mission and 2) outlines the opportunities for the Mars community to provide input into the landing site selection process.

  7. Hydrogen activation by frustrated lewis pairs: insights from computational studies.

    PubMed

    Rokob, Tibor András; Pápai, Imre

    2013-01-01

    Sterically encumbered Lewis acid-base pairs, the so-called frustrated Lewis pairs, can split dihydrogen heterolytically and act as transition metal free catalysts for the hydrogenation of unsaturated compounds. Here we review the results from our quantum chemical calculations aimed at the understanding of this remarkable class of reactions and we put them into the context of related works from other research groups. The thermodynamics of the H2 splitting reaction is discussed first; the role of acid-base properties, intramolecular cooperativity, and other factors is assessed, employing an energy partitioning scheme and also in the light of the latest experimental findings. The mechanism of hydrogen cleavage is then examined, and an overview about the applicability of our reactivity model involving synergistic electron transfers between H2 and preorganized Lewis acid/base centers is given. Finally, insights about catalytic cycles in FLP-mediated hydrogenations are summarized, pinpointing the diversity of the involved elementary steps and their possible sequences.

  8. Low Mitochondrial DNA Diversity in an Ancient Population from China: Insight into Social Organization at the Fujia Site.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yu; Li, Chunxiang; Luan, Fengshi; Li, Zhenguang; Li, Hongjie; Cui, Yinqiu; Zhou, Hui; Malhi, Ripan S

    2015-01-01

    To gain insight into the social organization of a population associated with the Dawenkou period, we performed ancient DNA analysis of 18 individuals from human remains from the Fujia site in Shandong Province, China. Directly radiocarbon dated to 4800-4500 cal BP, the Fujia site is assumed to be associated with a transitional phase from matrilineal clans to patrilineal monogamous families. Our results reveal a low mitochondrial DNA diversity from the site and population. Combined with Y chromosome data, the pattern observed at the Fujia site is most consistent with a matrilineal community. The patterns also suggest that the bond of marriage was de-emphasized compared with the bonds of descent at Fujia.

  9. The bifunctional active site of s-adenosylmethionine synthetase. Roles of the active site aspartates.

    PubMed

    Taylor, J C; Markham, G D

    1999-11-12

    S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) synthetase catalyzes the biosynthesis of AdoMet in a unique enzymatic reaction. Initially the sulfur of methionine displaces the intact tripolyphosphate chain (PPP(i)) from ATP, and subsequently PPP(i) is hydrolyzed to PP(i) and P(i) before product release. The crystal structure of Escherichia coli AdoMet synthetase shows that the active site contains four aspartate residues. Aspartate residues Asp-16* and Asp-271 individually provide the sole protein ligand to one of the two required Mg(2+) ions (* denotes a residue from a second subunit); aspartates Asp-118 and Asp-238* are proposed to interact with methionine. Each aspartate has been changed to an uncharged asparagine, and the metal binding residues were also changed to alanine, to assess the roles of charge and ligation ability on catalytic efficiency. The resultant enzyme variants all structurally resemble the wild type enzyme as indicated by circular dichroism spectra and are tetramers. However, all have k(cat) reductions of approximately 10(3)-fold in AdoMet synthesis, whereas the MgATP and methionine K(m) values change by less than 3- and 8-fold, respectively. In the partial reaction of PPP(i) hydrolysis, mutants of the Mg(2+) binding residues have >700-fold reduced catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)), whereas the D118N and D238*N mutants are impaired less than 35-fold. The catalytic efficiency for PPP(i) hydrolysis by Mg(2+) site mutants is improved by AdoMet, like the wild type enzyme. In contrast AdoMet reduces the catalytic efficiency for PPP(i) hydrolysis by the D118N and D238*N mutants, indicating that the events involved in AdoMet activation are hindered in these methionyl binding site mutants. Ca(2+) uniquely activates the D271A mutant enzyme to 15% of the level of Mg(2+), in contrast to the approximately 1% Ca(2+) activation of the wild type enzyme. This indicates that the Asp-271 side chain size is a discriminator between the activating ability of Ca(2+) and the

  10. Probability of solar panel clearing events at the Insight landing sites (Mars) from a dust devil track survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiss, D.; Lorenz, R. D.

    2015-10-01

    The InSight robotic lander is scheduled to land on Mars in September 2016. InSight was designed to perform the first comprehensive surface-based geophysical investigation of Mars [1]. Passage of vortices may have a number of influences on the geophysical measurements to be made by InSight. Seismic data could be influenced by dust devils and vortices via several mechanisms such as loading of the elastic ground by a surface pressure field which causes a local tilt [e.g. 2]. In addition, the power supply of the InSight instruments is provided by solar arrays. Solar-powered missions on Mars like the Sojourner rover in 1997 were affected by a decline in electrical power output by 0.2-0.3 %per day caused by steadily dust deposition on its horizontal solar panel [3]. The solar-powered Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) Spirit and Opportunity experienced similar dust deposition rates [4] which led to steady power decrease over time endangering longer rover operation times. The much longer operation times of the rovers were made possible by unanticipated 'dust clearing events' of the solar arrays by wind gust or dust devils [5]. Recent studies imply that dust devils are primarily responsible for those recurrent 'dust clearing events' [6]. In this study we investigate the potential frequency of intense dust devil occurrences at the InSight landing site regions, which are able to remove dust from its solar panels. We analyzed newly formed dust devil tracks within a given time span using multi-temporal HiRISE image data covering the same surface area. Based on these measurements we will give encounter rate predictions of intense (high tangential speed and high pressure drop) dust devils with the InSight lander.

  11. The active site of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase

    SciTech Connect

    Hartman, F.C.

    1991-01-01

    The active site of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase requires interacting domains of adjacent, identical subunits. Most active-site residues are located within the loop regions of an eight-stranded {beta}/{alpha}-barrel which constitutes the larger C-terminal domain; additional key residues are located within a segment of the smaller N-terminal domain which partially covers the mouth of the barrel. Site-directed mutagenesis of the gene encoding the enzyme from Rhodospirillum rubrum has been used to delineate functions of active-site residues. 6 refs., 2 figs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Savannah River Site prioritization of transition activities

    SciTech Connect

    Finley, R.H.

    1993-11-01

    Effective management of SRS conversion from primarily a production facility to other missions (or Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D)) requires a systematic and consistent method of prioritizing the transition activities. This report discusses the design of a prioritizing method developed to achieve systematic and consistent methods of prioritizing these activities.

  14. DOE site performance assessment activities. Radioactive Waste Technical Support Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-07-01

    Information on performance assessment capabilities and activities was collected from eight DOE sites. All eight sites either currently dispose of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) or plan to dispose of LLW in the near future. A survey questionnaire was developed and sent to key individuals involved in DOE Order 5820.2A performance assessment activities at each site. The sites surveyed included: Hanford Site (Hanford), Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Nevada Test Site (NTS), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (Paducah), Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (Portsmouth), and Savannah River Site (SRS). The questionnaire addressed all aspects of the performance assessment process; from waste source term to dose conversion factors. This report presents the information developed from the site questionnaire and provides a comparison of site-specific performance assessment approaches, data needs, and ongoing and planned activities. All sites are engaged in completing the radioactive waste disposal facility performance assessment required by DOE Order 5820.2A. Each site has achieved various degrees of progress and have identified a set of critical needs. Within several areas, however, the sites identified common needs and questions.

  15. Safety Oversight of Decommissioning Activities at DOE Nuclear Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Zull, Lawrence M.; Yeniscavich, William

    2008-01-15

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Board) is an independent federal agency established by Congress in 1988 to provide nuclear safety oversight of activities at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defense nuclear facilities. The activities under the Board's jurisdiction include the design, construction, startup, operation, and decommissioning of defense nuclear facilities at DOE sites. This paper reviews the Board's safety oversight of decommissioning activities at DOE sites, identifies the safety problems observed, and discusses Board initiatives to improve the safety of decommissioning activities at DOE sites. The decommissioning of former defense nuclear facilities has reduced the risk of radioactive material contamination and exposure to the public and site workers. In general, efforts to perform decommissioning work at DOE defense nuclear sites have been successful, and contractors performing decommissioning work have a good safety record. Decommissioning activities have recently been completed at sites identified for closure, including the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, the Fernald Closure Project, and the Miamisburg Closure Project (the Mound site). The Rocky Flats and Fernald sites, which produced plutonium parts and uranium materials for defense needs (respectively), have been turned into wildlife refuges. The Mound site, which performed R and D activities on nuclear materials, has been converted into an industrial and technology park called the Mound Advanced Technology Center. The DOE Office of Legacy Management is responsible for the long term stewardship of these former EM sites. The Board has reviewed many decommissioning activities, and noted that there are valuable lessons learned that can benefit both DOE and the contractor. As part of its ongoing safety oversight responsibilities, the Board and its staff will continue to review the safety of DOE and contractor decommissioning activities at DOE defense nuclear sites.

  16. Mutations of fumarase that distinguish between the active site and a nearby dicarboxylic acid binding site.

    PubMed Central

    Weaver, T.; Lees, M.; Banaszak, L.

    1997-01-01

    Two mutant forms of fumarase C from E. coli have been made using PCR and recombinant DNA. The recombinant form of the protein included a histidine arm on the C-terminal facilitating purification. Based on earlier studies, two different carboxylic acid binding sites, labeled A- and B-, were observed in crystal structures of the wild type and inhibited forms of the enzyme. A histidine at each of the sites was mutated to an asparagine. H188N at the A-site resulted in a large decrease in specific activity, while the H129N mutation at the B-site had essentially no effect. From the results, we conclude that the A-site is indeed the active site, and a dual role for H188 as a potential catalytic base is proposed. Crystal structures of the two mutant proteins produced some unexpected results. Both mutations reduced the affinity for the carboxylic acids at their respective sites. The H129N mutant should be particularly useful in future kinetic studies because it sterically blocks the B-site with the carboxyamide of asparagine assuming the position of the ligand's carboxylate. In the H188N mutation at the active site, the new asparagine side chain still interacts with an active site water that appears to have moved slightly as a result of the mutation. PMID:9098893

  17. 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.

  18. Ionizable Side Chains at Catalytic Active Sites of Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Jimenez-Morales, David; Liang, Jie

    2012-01-01

    Catalytic active sites of enzymes of known structure can be well defined by a modern program of computational geometry. The CASTp program was used to define and measure the volume of the catalytic active sites of 573 enzymes in the Catalytic Site Atlas database. The active sites are identified as catalytic because the amino acids they contain are known to participate in the chemical reaction catalyzed by the enzyme. Acid and base side chains are reliable markers of catalytic active sites. The catalytic active sites have 4 acid and 5 base side chains, in an average volume of 1072 Å3. The number density of acid side chains is 8.3 M (in chemical units); the number density of basic side chains is 10.6 M. The catalytic active site of these enzymes is an unusual electrostatic and steric environment in which side chains and reactants are crowded together in a mixture more like an ionic liquid than an ideal infinitely dilute solution. The electrostatics and crowding of reactants and side chains seems likely to be important for catalytic function. In three types of analogous ion channels, simulation of crowded charges accounts for the main properties of selectivity measured in a wide range of solutions and concentrations. It seems wise to use mathematics designed to study interacting complex fluids when making models of the catalytic active sites of enzymes. PMID:22484856

  19. 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.

  20. Enhanced Enzyme Kinetic Stability by Increasing Rigidity within the Active Site*

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yuan; An, Jiao; Yang, Guangyu; Wu, Geng; Zhang, Yong; Cui, Li; Feng, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Enzyme stability is an important issue for protein engineers. Understanding how rigidity in the active site affects protein kinetic stability will provide new insight into enzyme stabilization. In this study, we demonstrated enhanced kinetic stability of Candida antarctica lipase B (CalB) by mutating the structurally flexible residues within the active site. Six residues within 10 Å of the catalytic Ser105 residue with a high B factor were selected for iterative saturation mutagenesis. After screening 2200 colonies, we obtained the D223G/L278M mutant, which exhibited a 13-fold increase in half-life at 48 °C and a 12 °C higher T5015, the temperature at which enzyme activity is reduced to 50% after a 15-min heat treatment. Further characterization showed that global unfolding resistance against both thermal and chemical denaturation also improved. Analysis of the crystal structures of wild-type CalB and the D223G/L278M mutant revealed that the latter formed an extra main chain hydrogen bond network with seven structurally coupled residues within the flexible α10 helix that are primarily involved in forming the active site. Further investigation of the relative B factor profile and molecular dynamics simulation confirmed that the enhanced rigidity decreased fluctuation of the active site residues at high temperature. These results indicate that enhancing the rigidity of the flexible segment within the active site may provide an efficient method for improving enzyme kinetic stability. PMID:24448805

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26515810

  4. Quantification of uncertain outcomes from site characterization: Insights from the ESF-AS

    SciTech Connect

    Boyle, W.J.; Parrish, D.K.

    1992-01-01

    As part of the Exploratory Studies Facility Alternatives Study (ESF-AS) the uncertain outcomes from site characterization were quantified using a probabilistic tree known as ``Nature`s Tree.`` Nature`s Tree distinguished the true characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site from the perceived characteristics deduced from testing. Bayesian probabilistic calculations converted probabilities in Nature`s Tree to the probabilistic estimates required for the comparative analysis of Exploratory Studies Facility-repository options. Experts on characterization testing explicitly addressed several site characterization issues that are considered implicitly in many site characterization programs.

  5. Catalysis-dependent selenium incorporation and migration in the nitrogenase active site iron-molybdenum cofactor

    PubMed Central

    Spatzal, Thomas; Perez, Kathryn A; Howard, James B; Rees, Douglas C

    2015-01-01

    Dinitrogen reduction in the biological nitrogen cycle is catalyzed by nitrogenase, a two-component metalloenzyme. Understanding of the transformation of the inert resting state of the active site FeMo-cofactor into an activated state capable of reducing dinitrogen remains elusive. Here we report the catalysis dependent, site-selective incorporation of selenium into the FeMo-cofactor from selenocyanate as a newly identified substrate and inhibitor. The 1.60 Å resolution structure reveals selenium occupying the S2B site of FeMo-cofactor in the Azotobacter vinelandii MoFe-protein, a position that was recently identified as the CO-binding site. The Se2B-labeled enzyme retains substrate reduction activity and marks the starting point for a crystallographic pulse-chase experiment of the active site during turnover. Through a series of crystal structures obtained at resolutions of 1.32–1.66 Å, including the CO-inhibited form of Av1-Se2B, the exchangeability of all three belt-sulfur sites is demonstrated, providing direct insights into unforeseen rearrangements of the metal center during catalysis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11620.001 PMID:26673079

  6. Catalysis-dependent selenium incorporation and migration in the nitrogenase active site iron-molybdenum cofactor.

    PubMed

    Spatzal, Thomas; Perez, Kathryn A; Howard, James B; Rees, Douglas C

    2015-12-16

    Dinitrogen reduction in the biological nitrogen cycle is catalyzed by nitrogenase, a two-component metalloenzyme. Understanding of the transformation of the inert resting state of the active site FeMo-cofactor into an activated state capable of reducing dinitrogen remains elusive. Here we report the catalysis dependent, site-selective incorporation of selenium into the FeMo-cofactor from selenocyanate as a newly identified substrate and inhibitor. The 1.60 Å resolution structure reveals selenium occupying the S2B site of FeMo-cofactor in the Azotobacter vinelandii MoFe-protein, a position that was recently identified as the CO-binding site. The Se2B-labeled enzyme retains substrate reduction activity and marks the starting point for a crystallographic pulse-chase experiment of the active site during turnover. Through a series of crystal structures obtained at resolutions of 1.32-1.66 Å, including the CO-inhibited form of Av1-Se2B, the exchangeability of all three belt-sulfur sites is demonstrated, providing direct insights into unforeseen rearrangements of the metal center during catalysis.

  7. Insights into animal and plant lectins with antimicrobial activities.

    PubMed

    Dias, Renata de Oliveira; Machado, Leandro Dos Santos; Migliolo, Ludovico; Franco, Octavio Luiz

    2015-01-05

    Lectins are multivalent proteins with the ability to recognize and bind diverse carbohydrate structures. The glyco -binding and diverse molecular structures observed in these protein classes make them a large and heterogeneous group with a wide range of biological activities in microorganisms, animals and plants. Lectins from plants and animals are commonly used in direct defense against pathogens and in immune regulation. This review focuses on sources of animal and plant lectins, describing their functional classification and tridimensional structures, relating these properties with biotechnological purposes, including antimicrobial activities. In summary, this work focuses on structural-functional elucidation of diverse lectin groups, shedding some light on host-pathogen interactions; it also examines their emergence as biotechnological tools through gene manipulation and development of new drugs.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Design Insights and Inspiration from the Tate: What Museum Web Sites Can Offer Us

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley-Huff, Debra A.

    2009-01-01

    There are many similarities between museums and academic libraries as public service institutions. This article is an examination of museum Web site practices and concepts that might also be transferable to academic library Web sites. It explores the digital manifestations of design and information presentation, user engagement, interactivity, and…

  11. The Site Variability Issue in Follow Through Revisited: Some New Data and Some Personal Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gersten, Russell

    The site variability issue for Direct Instruction Follow Through sites is examined from a variety of perspectives--meta-analysis of the Abt Associates' data, norm-referenced comparisons, and a longitudinal look at stability of effects. Much of the seemingly unexplained variability found in both the Abt report and the reports by M. Kennedy and E.…

  12. Proteomics reliability for micropollutants degradation insight into activated sludge systems.

    PubMed

    Buttiglieri, Gianluigi; Collado, Neus; Casas, Nuria; Comas, Joaquim; Rodriguez-Roda, Ignasi

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available on pharmaceutical trace compounds degradation pathways in wastewater. The potential of the proteomics approach has been evaluated to extract information on activated sludge microbial metabolism in degrading a trace concentration of a pharmaceutical compound (ibuprofen). Ibuprofen is one of the most consumed pharmaceuticals, measured in wastewater at very high concentrations and, despite its high removal rates, found in different environmental compartments. Aerated and completely mixed activated sludge batch tests were spiked with ibuprofen at 10 and 1,000 μg L(-1). Ibuprofen concentrations were determined in the liquid phase: 100% removal was observed and the kinetics were estimated. The solid phase was sampled for proteomics purposes. The first objective was to apply proteomics to evaluate protein profile variations in a complex matrix such as activated sludge. The second objective was to determine, at different ibuprofen concentrations, which proteins followed pre-defined trends. No newly expressed proteins were found. Nonetheless, the obtained results suggest that proteomics itself is a promising methodology to be applied in this field. Statistical and comparative studies analyses provided, in fact, useful information on biological reproducibility and permitted us to detect 62 proteins following coherent and plausible expected trends in terms of presence and intensity change. PMID:26360747

  13. Proteomics reliability for micropollutants degradation insight into activated sludge systems.

    PubMed

    Buttiglieri, Gianluigi; Collado, Neus; Casas, Nuria; Comas, Joaquim; Rodriguez-Roda, Ignasi

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available on pharmaceutical trace compounds degradation pathways in wastewater. The potential of the proteomics approach has been evaluated to extract information on activated sludge microbial metabolism in degrading a trace concentration of a pharmaceutical compound (ibuprofen). Ibuprofen is one of the most consumed pharmaceuticals, measured in wastewater at very high concentrations and, despite its high removal rates, found in different environmental compartments. Aerated and completely mixed activated sludge batch tests were spiked with ibuprofen at 10 and 1,000 μg L(-1). Ibuprofen concentrations were determined in the liquid phase: 100% removal was observed and the kinetics were estimated. The solid phase was sampled for proteomics purposes. The first objective was to apply proteomics to evaluate protein profile variations in a complex matrix such as activated sludge. The second objective was to determine, at different ibuprofen concentrations, which proteins followed pre-defined trends. No newly expressed proteins were found. Nonetheless, the obtained results suggest that proteomics itself is a promising methodology to be applied in this field. Statistical and comparative studies analyses provided, in fact, useful information on biological reproducibility and permitted us to detect 62 proteins following coherent and plausible expected trends in terms of presence and intensity change.

  14. Structural insights into μ-opioid receptor activation

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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. PMID:26245379

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:27044088

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Degassing Dynamics at Stromboli Volcano: Insights From Infrasonic Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchetti, E.; Ripepe, M.; Ulivieri, G.; Delle Donne, D.

    2006-12-01

    Infrasound at Stromboli consists on transients related to explosions and on small amplitude intermittent pulses associated with "active" over-pressurized degassing of the magma column. Degassing of a magmatic system is generally understood as a quasi-steady "non-explosive" passive mechanism, when the slow exsolution process allows the continuous compensation of the gas pressure. In contrast infrasound indicates that degassing can occur also in over-pressurized condition, associated to the bursting of small gas pockets at the magma free-surface. This intermittent release of gas induces in the atmosphere small (< 0.1 x105 Pa at the source) infrasonic pulses and occurs almost regularly every ~1-2 s. The permanent small aperture 5-elements infrasonic array at Stromboli is monitoring both explosions and degassing providing position, over-pressure and occurrence of the source and revealing the complex and complete behavior of the magma column. Log-linear amplitude distribution of infrasonic data shows 2 different trends of decay suggesting that degassing and explosions are driven by a different gas dynamics. Moreover, infrasound location indicates that over-pressurized degassing is active only in one vent at once. Location of the puffing is stable in a single vent over hours-to-days periods, or it can shift from vent to vent with smooth or abrupt transitions. The stability in the position of the puffing within the crater terrace is suggesting that the over-pressurized gas bubble flow is following only one preferential segment of the feeding conduits at once. The stable location of the bursting bubbles, however, may change from time to time and without any apparent evidence or trigger mechanisms, leading to a sharp change in the rising path of gas bubbles. This gas bubble behavior seems to be consistent with experimental and numerical studies on the flow of particles and drops at pipe bifurcations. Over-pressurized gas bursting could reflect higher gas flux regimes in the

  1. The promise and peril of intensive-site-based ecological research: insights from the Hubbard Brook ecosystem study.

    PubMed

    Fahey, Timothy J; Templer, Pamela H; Anderson, Bruce T; Battles, John J; Campbell, John L; Driscoll, Charles T; Fusco, Anthony R; Green, Mark B; Kassam, Karim-Aly S; Rodenhouse, Nicholas L; Rustad, Lindsey; Schaberg, Paul G; Vadeboncoeur, Matthew A

    2015-04-01

    communities. Our research shows that end member sites for some processes often provide important insights into the behavior of inherently heterogeneous ecological processes. In the current era of rapid environmental and biological change, key ecological responses at intensive sites will reflect both specific local drivers and regional trends.

  2. 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.

  3. Small Molecule Activation by Constrained Phosphorus Compounds: Insights from Theory.

    PubMed

    Pal, Amrita; Vanka, Kumar

    2016-01-19

    An exciting new development in main group chemistry has been the use of a constrained, "flat", phosphorus-based complex to mediate in reactions such as the dehydrogenation of ammonia borane (AB), and the activation of the N-H bond in primary amines. Its importance is based on the fact that it shows that main group compounds, when properly designed, can be as effective as transition metal complexes for doing significant chemical transformations. What the current computational study, employing density functional theory (DFT), reveals is that a common, general mechanism exists that accounts for the behavior of the flat phosphorus compound in the different reactions that have been experimentally reported to date. This mechanism, which involves the mediation by a base as a proton transfer agent, is simpler and energetically more favorable than the previous mechanisms that have been proposed for the same reactions in the literature. It is likely that the knowledge gained from the current work about the chemical behavior of this phosphorus compound can be utilized to design new constrained phosphorus-based compounds. PMID:26700074

  4. Active site - a site of binding of affinity inhibitors in baker's yeast inorganic pyrophosphatase

    SciTech Connect

    Svyato, I.E.; Sklyankina, V.A.; Avaeva, S.M.

    1986-03-20

    The interaction of the enzyme-substrate complex with methyl phosphate, O-phosphoethanolamine, O-phosphopropanolamine, N-acetylphosphoserine, and phosphoglyolic acid, as well as pyrophosphatase, modified by monoesters of phosphoric acid, with pyrophosphate and tripolyphosphate, was investigated. It was shown that the enzyme containing the substrate in the active site does not react with monophosphates, but modified pyrophosphatase entirely retains the ability to bind polyanions to the regulatory site. It is concluded that the inactivation of baker's yeast inorganic pyrophosphatase by monoesters of phosphoric acid, which are affinity inhibitors of it, is the result of modification of the active site of the enzyme.

  5. Landscapes, depositional environments and human occupation at Middle Paleolithic open-air sites in the southern Levant, with new insights from Nesher Ramla, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaidner, Yossi; Frumkin, Amos; Friesem, David; Tsatskin, Alexander; Shahack-Gross, Ruth

    2016-04-01

    Middle Paleolithic human occupation in the Levant (250-50 ka ago) has been recorded in roofed (cave and rockshelter) and open-air sites. Research at these different types of sites yielded different perspectives on the Middle Paleolithic human behavior and evolution. Until recently, open-air Middle Paleolithic sites in the Levant were found in three major sedimentary environments: fluvial, lake-margin and spring. Here we describe a unique depositional environment and formation processes at the recently discovered open-air site of Nesher Ramla (Israel) and discuss their contribution to understanding site formation processes in open-air sites in the Levant. The site is 8-m-thick Middle Paleolithic sequence (OSL dated to 170-80 ka) that is located in a karst sinkhole formed by gravitational deformation and sagging into underground voids. The sedimentary sequence was shaped by gravitational collapse, cyclic colluviation of soil and gravel into the depression, waterlogging, in situ pedogenesis and human occupation. Original bedding and combustion features are well-preserved in the Lower archaeological sequence, a rare occurrence in comparison to other open-air archaeological sites. This phenomenon coincides with episodes of fast sedimentation/burial, which also allowed better preservation of microscopic remains such as ash. The Upper archaeological sequence does not exhibit bedding or preservation of ash, despite presence of heat-affected lithic artifacts, which makes it similar to other open-air sites in the Levant. We suggest that rate of burial is the major factor that caused the difference between the Upper and Lower sequences. The differences in the burial rate may be connected to environmental and vegetation changes at the end of MIS 6. We also identified an interplay between sediment in-wash and density of human activity remains, i.e. during episodes of low natural sediment input the density of artifacts is higher relative to episodes with high rate of sediment in

  6. A novel approach to predict active sites of enzyme molecules.

    PubMed

    Chou, Kuo-Chen; Cai, Yu-dong

    2004-04-01

    Enzymes are critical in many cellular signaling cascades. With many enzyme structures being solved, there is an increasing need to develop an automated method for identifying their active sites. However, given the atomic coordinates of an enzyme molecule, how can we predict its active site? This is a vitally important problem because the core of an enzyme molecule is its active site from the viewpoints of both pure scientific research and industrial application. In this article, a topological entity was introduced to characterize the enzymatic active site. Based on such a concept, the covariant discriminant algorithm was formulated for identifying the active site. As a paradigm, the serine hydrolase family was demonstrated. The overall success rate by jackknife test for a data set of 88 enzyme molecules was 99.92%, and that for a data set of 50 independent enzyme molecules was 99.91%. Meanwhile, it was shown through an example that the prediction algorithm can also be used to find any typographic error of a PDB file in annotating the constituent amino acids of catalytic triad and to suggest a possible correction. The very high success rates are due to the introduction of a covariance matrix in the prediction algorithm that makes allowance for taking into account the coupling effects among the key constituent atoms of active site. It is anticipated that the novel approach is quite promising and may become a useful high throughput tool in enzymology, proteomics, and structural bioinformatics. PMID:14997541

  7. Counting Active Sites on Titanium Oxide-Silica Catalysts for Hydrogen Peroxide Activation through In Situ Poisoning with Phenylphosphonic Acid

    SciTech Connect

    Eaton, Todd R.; Boston, Andrew M.; Thompson, Anthony B.; Gray, Kimberly A.; Notestein, Justin M.

    2015-06-04

    Quantifying specific active sites in supported catalysts improves our understanding and assists in rational design. Supported oxides can undergo significant structural changes as surface densities increase from site-isolated cations to monolayers and crystallites, which changes the number of kinetically relevant sites. Herein, TiOx domains are titrated on TiOx–SiO2 selectively with phenylphosphonic acid (PPA). An ex situ method quantifies all fluid-accessible TiOx, whereas an in situ titration during cis-cyclooctene epoxidation provides previously unavailable values for the number of tetrahedral Ti sites on which H2O2 activation occurs. We use this method to determine the active site densities of 22 different catalysts with different synthesis methods, loadings, and characteristic spectra and find a single intrinsic turnover frequency for cis-cyclooctene epoxidation of (40±7) h-1. This simple method gives molecular-level insight into catalyst structure that is otherwise hidden when bulk techniques are used.

  8. Growth exponents in surface models with non-active sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, M.; Figueiredo, W.; Aarão Reis, F. D. A.

    2006-11-01

    In this work, we studied the role played by the inactive sites present on the substrate of a growing surface. In our model, one particle sticks at the surface if the site where it falls is an active site. However, we allow the deposited particle to diffuse along the surface in accordance with some mechanism previously defined. Using Monte Carlo simulations, and some analytical results, we have investigated the model in (1+1) and (2+1) dimensions considering different relaxation mechanisms. We show that the consideration of non-active sites is a crucial point in the model. In fact, we have seen that the saturation regime is not observed for any value of the density of inactive sites. Besides, the growth exponent β turns to be one, at long times, whatever the mechanism of diffusion we consider in one and two dimensions.

  9. A small ribozyme with dual-site kinase activity

    PubMed Central

    Biondi, Elisa; Maxwell, Adam W.R.; Burke, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Phosphoryl transfer onto backbone hydroxyls is a recognized catalytic activity of nucleic acids. We find that kinase ribozyme K28 possesses an unusually complex active site that promotes (thio)phosphorylation of two residues widely separated in primary sequence. After allowing the ribozyme to radiolabel itself by phosphoryl transfer from [γ-32P]GTP, DNAzyme-mediated cleavage yielded two radiolabeled cleavage fragments, indicating phosphorylation sites within each of the two cleavage fragments. These sites were mapped by alkaline digestion and primer extension pausing. Enzymatic digestion and mutational analysis identified nucleotides important for activity and established the active structure as being a constrained pseudoknot with unusual connectivity that may juxtapose the two reactive sites. Nuclease sensitivities for nucleotides near the pseudoknot core were altered in the presence of GTPγS, indicating donor-induced folding. The 5′ target site was more strongly favored in full-length ribozyme K28 (128 nt) than in truncated RNAs (58 nt). Electrophoretic mobilities of self-thiophosphorylated products on organomercurial gels are distinct from the 5′ mono-thiophosphorylated product produced by reaction with polynucleotide kinase, potentially indicating simultaneous labeling of both sites within individual RNA strands. Our evidence supports a single, compact structure with local dynamics, rather than global rearrangement, as being responsible for dual-site phosphorylation. PMID:22618879

  10. Insights from transformations under way at four Brookings-Dartmouth accountable care organization pilot sites.

    PubMed

    Larson, Bridget K; Van Citters, Aricca D; Kreindler, Sara A; Carluzzo, Kathleen L; Gbemudu, Josette N; Wu, Frances M; Nelson, Eugene C; Shortell, Stephen M; Fisher, Elliott S

    2012-11-01

    This cross-site comparison of the early experience of four provider organizations participating in the Brookings-Dartmouth Accountable Care Organization Collaborative identifies factors that sites perceived as enablers of successful ACO formation and performance. The four pilots varied in size, with between 7,000 and 50,000 attributed patients and 90 to 2,700 participating physicians. The sites had varying degrees of experience with performance-based payments; however, all formed collaborative new relationships with payers and created shared savings agreements linked to performance on quality measures. Each organization devoted major efforts to physician engagement. Policy makers now need to consider how to support and provide incentives for the successful formation of multipayer ACOs, and how to align private-sector and CMS performance measures. Linking providers to learning networks where payers and providers can address common technical issues could help. These sites' transitions to the new payment model constitutes an ongoing journey that will require continual adaptation in the structure of contracts and organizational attributes. PMID:23129669

  11. Insights from transformations under way at four Brookings-Dartmouth accountable care organization pilot sites.

    PubMed

    Larson, Bridget K; Van Citters, Aricca D; Kreindler, Sara A; Carluzzo, Kathleen L; Gbemudu, Josette N; Wu, Frances M; Nelson, Eugene C; Shortell, Stephen M; Fisher, Elliott S

    2012-11-01

    This cross-site comparison of the early experience of four provider organizations participating in the Brookings-Dartmouth Accountable Care Organization Collaborative identifies factors that sites perceived as enablers of successful ACO formation and performance. The four pilots varied in size, with between 7,000 and 50,000 attributed patients and 90 to 2,700 participating physicians. The sites had varying degrees of experience with performance-based payments; however, all formed collaborative new relationships with payers and created shared savings agreements linked to performance on quality measures. Each organization devoted major efforts to physician engagement. Policy makers now need to consider how to support and provide incentives for the successful formation of multipayer ACOs, and how to align private-sector and CMS performance measures. Linking providers to learning networks where payers and providers can address common technical issues could help. These sites' transitions to the new payment model constitutes an ongoing journey that will require continual adaptation in the structure of contracts and organizational attributes.

  12. Decision precision or holistic heuristic?: Insights on on-site selection of student nurses and midwives.

    PubMed

    Macduff, Colin; Stephen, Audrey; Taylor, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Concerns about quality of care delivery in the UK have led to more scrutiny of criteria and methods for the selection of student nurses. However few substantive research studies of on-site selection processes exist. This study elicited and interpreted perspectives on interviewing processes and related decision making involved in on-site selection of student nurses and midwives. Individual and focus group interviews were undertaken with 36 lecturers, 5 clinical staff and 72 students from seven Scottish universities. Enquiry focused primarily on interviewing of candidates on-site. Qualitative content analysis was used as a primary strategy, followed by in-depth thematic analysis. Students had very mixed experiences of interview processes. Staff typically took into account a range of candidate attributes that they valued in order to achieve holistic assessments. These included: interpersonal skills, team working, confidence, problem-solving, aptitude for caring, motivations, and commitment. Staff had mixed views of the validity and reliability of interview processes. A holistic heuristic for overall decision making predominated over belief in the precision of, and evidence base for, particular attribute measurement processes. While the development of measurement tools for particular attributes continues apace, tension between holism and precision is likely to persist within on-site selection procedures.

  13. Decision precision or holistic heuristic?: Insights on on-site selection of student nurses and midwives.

    PubMed

    Macduff, Colin; Stephen, Audrey; Taylor, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Concerns about quality of care delivery in the UK have led to more scrutiny of criteria and methods for the selection of student nurses. However few substantive research studies of on-site selection processes exist. This study elicited and interpreted perspectives on interviewing processes and related decision making involved in on-site selection of student nurses and midwives. Individual and focus group interviews were undertaken with 36 lecturers, 5 clinical staff and 72 students from seven Scottish universities. Enquiry focused primarily on interviewing of candidates on-site. Qualitative content analysis was used as a primary strategy, followed by in-depth thematic analysis. Students had very mixed experiences of interview processes. Staff typically took into account a range of candidate attributes that they valued in order to achieve holistic assessments. These included: interpersonal skills, team working, confidence, problem-solving, aptitude for caring, motivations, and commitment. Staff had mixed views of the validity and reliability of interview processes. A holistic heuristic for overall decision making predominated over belief in the precision of, and evidence base for, particular attribute measurement processes. While the development of measurement tools for particular attributes continues apace, tension between holism and precision is likely to persist within on-site selection procedures. PMID:26213147

  14. Authigenic Carbonate Formation on the Peru Margin; New Insights from IODP Site 1230

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullajintakam, S.; Naehr, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    Fluid seepage of reduced organic compounds such as methane impacts the geology and biology of the seabed by inducing complex, microbially mediated biogeochemical processes. Authigenic carbonates serve as one of the few permanent records of these of dynamic biogeochemical interactions that involve methanogenesis, methanotrophy, sulfate reduction and carbonate precipitation. Meister et al. (2007) investigated deep-sea dolomite formation at Sites 1227-1229 on the Peru margin, where dolomite precipitation occurs in association with organic carbon-rich continental margin sediments. Geochemical and petrographic studies indicated episodic dolomite precipitation at a dynamic sulfate methane transition zone (SMTZ). Variations in δ13C values of these dolomites between +15‰ and -15‰ were attributed to non-steady state conditions as a result of the upward and downward migration of the SMTZ. Our study aims to better understand the biogeochemical processes associated with authigenic carbonate precipitation in this dynamic deep-sea setting. We focused our efforts on IODP Site 1230, which is a gas-hydrate-bearing site that shows sulphate consumption within the uppermost 10 m below the seafloor as well as high methane production. Using a multi proxy approach, we combined X-ray diffraction, stable isotope geochemistry, and trace metal analysis of authigenic carbonates to elucidate conditions for authigenic carbonate formation. Results from Site 1230 are compared to Sites 1227 and 1229, which lacks gas hydrates and is characterized by high pore water sulfate and low methane concentrations. This study contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of authigenic carbonate formation and associated biogeochemical processes in continental margin sediments. Meister, P., Mckenzie, J. A., Vasconcelos, C., Bernasconi, S., Frank, M., Gutjhar, M. and SCHRAG, D. P. (2007), Dolomite formation in the dynamic deep biosphere: results from the Peru Margin. Sedimentology, 54: 1007-1032.

  15. NMR structure of the active conformation of the Varkud satellite ribozyme cleavage site

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Bernd; Mitchell, G. Thomas; Gendron, Patrick; Major, François; Andersen, Angela A.; Collins, Richard A.; Legault, Pascale

    2003-01-01

    Substrate cleavage by the Neurospora Varkud satellite (VS) ribozyme involves a structural change in the stem-loop I substrate from an inactive to an active conformation. We have determined the NMR solution structure of a mutant stem-loop I that mimics the active conformation of the cleavage site internal loop. This structure shares many similarities, but also significant differences, with the previously determined structures of the inactive internal loop. The active internal loop displays different base-pairing interactions and forms a novel RNA fold composed exclusively of sheared G-A base pairs. From chemical-shift mapping we identified two Mg2+ binding sites in the active internal loop. One of the Mg2+ binding sites forms in the active but not the inactive conformation of the internal loop and is likely important for catalysis. Using the structure comparison program mc-search, we identified the active internal loop fold in other RNA structures. In Thermus thermophilus 16S rRNA, this RNA fold is directly involved in a long-range tertiary interaction. An analogous tertiary interaction may form between the active internal loop of the substrate and the catalytic domain of the VS ribozyme. The combination of NMR and bioinformatic approaches presented here has identified a novel RNA fold and provides insights into the structural basis of catalytic function in the Neurospora VS ribozyme. PMID:12782785

  16. Architecture and active site of particulate methane monooxygenase

    PubMed Central

    Culpepper, Megen A.; Rosenzweig, Amy C.

    2012-01-01

    Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) is an integral membrane metalloenzyme that oxidizes methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria, organisms that live on methane gas as their sole carbon source. Understanding pMMO function has important implications for bioremediation applications and for the development of new, environmentally friendly catalysts for the direct conversion of methane to methanol. Crystal structures of pMMOs from three different methanotrophs reveal a trimeric architecture, consisting of three copies each of the pmoB, pmoA, and pmoC subunits. There are three distinct metal centers in each protomer of the trimer, mononuclear and dinuclear copper sites in the periplasmic regions of pmoB and a mononuclear site within the membrane that can be occupied by copper or zinc. Various models for the pMMO active site have been proposed within these structural constraints, including dicopper, tricopper, and diiron centers. Biochemical and spectroscopic data on pMMO and recombinant soluble fragments, denoted spmoB proteins, indicate that the active site involves copper and is located at the site of the dicopper center in the pmoB subunit. Initial spectroscopic evidence for O2 binding at this site has been obtained. Despite these findings, questions remain about the active site identity and nuclearity and will be the focus of future studies. PMID:22725967

  17. Methanopyrus kandleri topoisomerase V contains three distinct AP lyase active sites in addition to the topoisomerase active site.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Rakhi; Osterman, Amy; Mondragón, Alfonso

    2016-04-20

    Topoisomerase V (Topo-V) is the only topoisomerase with both topoisomerase and DNA repair activities. The topoisomerase activity is conferred by a small alpha-helical domain, whereas the AP lyase activity is found in a region formed by 12 tandem helix-hairpin-helix ((HhH)2) domains. Although it was known that Topo-V has multiple repair sites, only one had been mapped. Here, we show that Topo-V has three AP lyase sites. The atomic structure and Small Angle X-ray Scattering studies of a 97 kDa fragment spanning the topoisomerase and 10 (HhH)2 domains reveal that the (HhH)2 domains extend away from the topoisomerase domain. A combination of biochemical and structural observations allow the mapping of the second repair site to the junction of the 9th and 10th (HhH)2 domains. The second site is structurally similar to the first one and to the sites found in other AP lyases. The 3rd AP lyase site is located in the 12th (HhH)2 domain. The results show that Topo-V is an unusual protein: it is the only known protein with more than one (HhH)2 domain, the only known topoisomerase with dual activities and is also unique by having three AP lyase repair sites in the same polypeptide. PMID:26908655

  18. Methanopyrus kandleri topoisomerase V contains three distinct AP lyase active sites in addition to the topoisomerase active site

    PubMed Central

    Rajan, Rakhi; Osterman, Amy; Mondragón, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    Topoisomerase V (Topo-V) is the only topoisomerase with both topoisomerase and DNA repair activities. The topoisomerase activity is conferred by a small alpha-helical domain, whereas the AP lyase activity is found in a region formed by 12 tandem helix-hairpin-helix ((HhH)2) domains. Although it was known that Topo-V has multiple repair sites, only one had been mapped. Here, we show that Topo-V has three AP lyase sites. The atomic structure and Small Angle X-ray Scattering studies of a 97 kDa fragment spanning the topoisomerase and 10 (HhH)2 domains reveal that the (HhH)2 domains extend away from the topoisomerase domain. A combination of biochemical and structural observations allow the mapping of the second repair site to the junction of the 9th and 10th (HhH)2 domains. The second site is structurally similar to the first one and to the sites found in other AP lyases. The 3rd AP lyase site is located in the 12th (HhH)2 domain. The results show that Topo-V is an unusual protein: it is the only known protein with more than one (HhH)2 domain, the only known topoisomerase with dual activities and is also unique by having three AP lyase repair sites in the same polypeptide. PMID:26908655

  19. Analysis of Hydrogen Tunneling in an Enzyme Active Site using von Neumann Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Sumner, Isaiah; Iyengar, Srinivasan S.

    2010-01-01

    We build on our earlier quantum wavepacket study of hydrogen transfer in the biological enzyme, soybean lipoxygenase-1, by using von Neumann quantum measurement theory to gain qualitative insights into the transfer event. We treat the enzyme active site as a measurement device which acts on the tunneling hydrogen nucleus via the potential it exerts at each configuration. A series of changing active site geometries during the tunneling process effects a sequential projection of the initial, reactant state onto the final, product state. We study this process using several different kinds of von Neumann measurements and show how a discrete sequence of such measurements not only progressively increases the projection of the hydrogen nuclear wavepacket onto the product side but also favors proton over deuteron transfer. Several qualitative features of the hydrogen tunneling problem found in wavepacket dynamics studies are also recovered here. These include the shift in the “transition state” towards the reactant as a result of nuclear quantization, greater participation of excited states in the case of deuterium, and presence of critical points along the reaction coordinate that facilitate hydrogen and deuterium transfer and coincide with surface crossings. To further “tailor” the dynamics, we construct a perturbation to the sequence of measurements, that is a perturbation to the dynamical sequence of active site geometry evolution, which leads us to insight on the existence of sensitive regions of the reaction profile where subtle changes to the dynamics of the active site can have an effect on the hydrogen and deuterium transfer process. PMID:22933858

  20. Middle Eocene Equatorial Pacific Paleoceanography: Insights From Bulk Sediment Geochemistry, ODP Site 1218

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripati, A. K.; Lyle, M.; Backman, J.

    2002-12-01

    The deep equatorial Pacific was dominated by siliceous sedimentation from ~45 Ma to the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Inspection of Paleogene sediments recovered during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 199 and Deep Sea Drilling Program Leg 16 indicate several episodes of carbonate deposition during the Middle Eocene. The well-preserved and expanded sedimentary sequence recovered at ODP Site 1218 presents an opportunity to document the Middle Eocene paleoceanographic history of the equatorial Pacific, and to determine whether the occurrence of Middle Eocene carbonates in Chron C18 is coincident with a sequence of rapid paleoceanographic and climatic changes. Here we present high-resolution bulk sediment oxygen and carbon isotope records, carbonate, opal, and organic carbon accumulation data, and coarse sand fraction data for chalks and radiolarites spanning Chron C18 from ODP Site 1218. Stable isotope and % carbonate records exhibit large-amplitude oscillations corresponding to obliquity and eccentricity frequencies. In addition, a series of stepwise oxygen isotope excursions of 0.5 to 0.8 per mil at roughly 40.5, 40.4, and 40.3 Ma, occur in coincidence with large-scale drops in % carbonate. These data may record rapid CCD fluctuation associated with transient warming and cooling events and/or ephemeral polar ice sheets.

  1. New insights on the wooden weapons from the Paleolithic site of Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Werner H; Bigga, Gerlinde; Böhner, Utz; Richter, Pascale; Terberger, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    The Paleolithic site of Schöningen is famous for the earliest known, completely preserved wooden weapons. Here we present recent results of an ongoing analysis of the nine spears, one lance, a double pointed stick, and a burnt stick dating to the Holsteinian, c. 300 kyr. Macroscopic and microscopic analyses, as well as studies of thin sections, contribute to a better understanding of the manufacture of the wooden weapons. They were deposited in organic sediments at a former lakeshore among numerous bones of butchered horses. In general, the spears are extremely well-preserved and show no or little sign of taphonomic alteration, although some of the weapons are broken and parts were slightly moved, probably by water action. The excellent preservation conditions provide considerable information on the operational sequence of production. The hunters selected thin trunks of spruce or pine and initially stripped off the bark. Traces of cutting, scraping, and smoothing can be observed on the spear surfaces in detail. In the case of spear X, repeated use of the weapon is implied by re-sharpening of the tip. Analyses of wood anatomy provide information on climatic conditions and contribute to the better understanding of the development of the site.

  2. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Mid-FY 1991 report

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Wickliff, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1991-10-01

    This report summarizes the activities of the Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP) from October 1990 through March 1991. The ASEMP was established in 1989 by Solid Waste Operations and the Environmental Sciences Division to provide early detection and performance monitoring at active low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal sites in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 and transuranic (TRU) waste storage sites in SWSA 5 as required by chapters II and III of US Department of Energy Order 5820.2A. Monitoring results continue to demonstrate the no LLW is being leached from the storage vaults on the tumulus pads. Loading of vaults on Tumulus II began during this reporting period and 115 vaults had been loaded by the end of March 1991.

  3. Active chemisorption sites in functionalized ionic liquids for carbon capture.

    PubMed

    Cui, Guokai; Wang, Jianji; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-07-25

    Development of novel technologies for the efficient and reversible capture of CO2 is highly desired. In the last decade, CO2 capture using ionic liquids has attracted intensive attention from both academia and industry, and has been recognized as a very promising technology. Recently, a new approach has been developed for highly efficient capture of CO2 by site-containing ionic liquids through chemical interaction. This perspective review focuses on the recent advances in the chemical absorption of CO2 using site-containing ionic liquids, such as amino-based ionic liquids, azolate ionic liquids, phenolate ionic liquids, dual-functionalized ionic liquids, pyridine-containing ionic liquids and so on. Other site-containing liquid absorbents such as amine-based solutions, switchable solvents, and functionalized ionic liquid-amine blends are also investigated. Strategies have been discussed for how to activate the existent reactive sites and develop novel reactive sites by physical and chemical methods to enhance CO2 absorption capacity and reduce absorption enthalpy. The carbon capture mechanisms of these site-containing liquid absorbents are also presented. Particular attention has been paid to the latest progress in CO2 capture in multiple-site interactions by amino-free anion-functionalized ionic liquids. In the last section, future directions and prospects for carbon capture by site-containing ionic liquids are outlined.

  4. Active chemisorption sites in functionalized ionic liquids for carbon capture.

    PubMed

    Cui, Guokai; Wang, Jianji; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-07-25

    Development of novel technologies for the efficient and reversible capture of CO2 is highly desired. In the last decade, CO2 capture using ionic liquids has attracted intensive attention from both academia and industry, and has been recognized as a very promising technology. Recently, a new approach has been developed for highly efficient capture of CO2 by site-containing ionic liquids through chemical interaction. This perspective review focuses on the recent advances in the chemical absorption of CO2 using site-containing ionic liquids, such as amino-based ionic liquids, azolate ionic liquids, phenolate ionic liquids, dual-functionalized ionic liquids, pyridine-containing ionic liquids and so on. Other site-containing liquid absorbents such as amine-based solutions, switchable solvents, and functionalized ionic liquid-amine blends are also investigated. Strategies have been discussed for how to activate the existent reactive sites and develop novel reactive sites by physical and chemical methods to enhance CO2 absorption capacity and reduce absorption enthalpy. The carbon capture mechanisms of these site-containing liquid absorbents are also presented. Particular attention has been paid to the latest progress in CO2 capture in multiple-site interactions by amino-free anion-functionalized ionic liquids. In the last section, future directions and prospects for carbon capture by site-containing ionic liquids are outlined. PMID:27243042

  5. Roles of s3 site residues of nattokinase on its activity and substrate specificity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shuming; Feng, Chi; Zhong, Jin; Huan, Liandong

    2007-09-01

    Nattokinase (Subtilisin NAT, NK) is a bacterial serine protease with high fibrinolytic activity. To probe their roles on protease activity and substrate specificity, three residues of S3 site (Gly(100), Ser(101) and Leu(126)) were mutated by site-directed mutagenesis. Kinetics parameters of 20 mutants were measured using tetrapeptides as substrates, and their fibrinolytic activities were determined by fibrin plate method. Results of mutation analysis showed that Gly(100) and Ser(101) had reverse steric and electrostatic effects. Residues with bulky or positively charged side chains at position 100 decreased the substrate binding and catalytic activity drastically, while residues with the same characters at position 101 could obviously enhance protease and fibrinolytic activity of NK. Mutation of Leu(126) might impair the structure of the active cleft and drastically decreased the activity of NK. Kinetics studies of the mutants showed that S3 residues were crucial to keep protease activity while they moderately affected substrate specificity of NK. The present study provided some original insight into the P3-S3 interaction in NK and other subtilisins, as well as showed successful protein engineering cases to improve NK as a potential therapeutic agent.

  6. Studies on the active site of pig plasma amine oxidase.

    PubMed Central

    Collison, D; Knowles, P F; Mabbs, F E; Rius, F X; Singh, I; Dooley, D M; Cote, C E; McGuirl, M

    1989-01-01

    Amine oxidase from pig plasma (PPAO) has two bound Cu2+ ions and at least one pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) moiety as cofactors. It is shown that recovery of activity by copper-depleted PPAO is linear with respect to added Cu2+ ions. Recovery of e.s.r. and optical spectral characteristics of active-site copper parallel the recovery of catalytic activity. These results are consistent with both Cu2+ ions contributing to catalysis. Further e.s.r. studies indicate that the two copper sites in PPAO, unlike those in amine oxidases from other sources, are chemically distinct. These comparative studies establish that non-identity of the Cu2+ ions in PPAO is not a requirement for amine oxidase activity. It is shown through the use of a new assay procedure that there are two molecules of PQQ bound per molecule of protein in PPAO; only the more reactive of these PQQ moieties is required for activity. PMID:2559715

  7. Directional changes of the geomagnetic field in West Africa: Insights from the metallurgical site of Korsimoro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donadini, Fabio; Serneels, Vincent; Kapper, Lisa; El Kateb, Akram

    2015-11-01

    This work shows the first archeomagnetic directions from Western Africa measured on 32 iron smelting kilns dated between 650 and 1800 AD. The archeological excavation of the vast metallurgical site of Korsimoro established the existence of four distinct iron-smelting techniques. The time-frame of each technique could be clearly determined with radiocarbon dating. Many of the kilns investigated in this study could also be dated individually with residual charcoals found in their inside. The results indicate that the inclination of the field changed gradually from shallow normal to shallow reversed during 800 to 1300 AD, and then went back to shallow normal around 1600-1700 AD. The declination was instead stable around 10°E between 800 and 1400 AD, thereafter it started changing towards North. This trend correlates well with available secular variation curves from the Balkan and from Spain, and indicates that the field variation in West Africa was similar to the one in Europe.

  8. Characteristics of foraging sites and protein status in wintering muskoxen: Insights from isotopes of nitrogen

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gustine, D.D.; Barboza, P.S.; Lawler, J.P.; Arthur, S.M.; Shults, B.S.; Persons, K.; Adams, L.G.

    2011-01-01

    Identifying links between nutritional condition of individuals and population trajectories greatly enhances our understanding of the ecology, conservation, and management of wildlife. For northern ungulates, the potential impacts of a changing climate to populations are predicted to be nutritionally mediated through an increase in the severity and variance in winter conditions. Foraging conditions and the availability of body protein as a store for reproduction in late winter may constrain productivity in northern ungulates, yet the link between characteristics of wintering habitats and protein status has not been established for a wild ungulate. We used a non-invasive proxy of protein status derived from isotopes of N in excreta to evaluate the influence of winter habitats on the protein status of muskoxen in three populations in Alaska (2005-2008). Multiple regression and an information-theoretic approach were used to compare models that evaluated the influence of population, year, and characteristics of foraging sites (components of diet and physiography) on protein status for groups of muskoxen. The observed variance in protein status among groups of muskoxen across populations and years was partially explained (45%) by local foraging conditions that affected forage availability. Protein status improved for groups of muskoxen as the amount of graminoids in the diet increased (-0.430 ?? 0.31, ???? 95% CI) and elevation of foraging sites decreased (0.824 ?? 0.67). Resources available for reproduction in muskoxen are highly dependent upon demographic, environmental, and physiographic constraints that affect forage availability in winter. Due to their very sedentary nature in winter, muskoxen are highly susceptible to localized foraging conditions; therefore, the spatial variance in resource availability may exert a strong effect on productivity. Consequently, there is a clear need to account for climate-topography effects in winter at multiple scales when

  9. Computer simulation of the active site of human serum cholinesterase

    SciTech Connect

    Kefang Jiao; Song Li; Zhengzheng Lu

    1996-12-31

    The first 3D-structure of acetylchelinesterase from Torpedo California electric organ (T.AChE) was published by JL. Sussman in 1991. We have simulated 3D-structure of human serum cholinesterase (H.BuChE) and the active site of H.BuChE. It is discovered by experiment that the residue of H.BuChE is still active site after a part of H.BuChE is cut. For example, the part of 21KD + 20KD is active site of H.BuChE. The 20KD as it is. Studies on these peptides by Hemelogy indicate that two active peptides have same negative electrostatic potential maps diagram. These negative electrostatic areas attached by acetyl choline with positive electrostatic potency. We predict that 147...236 peptide of AChE could be active site because it was as 20KD as with negative electrostatic potential maps. We look forward to proving from other ones.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Hale, Lucas M.; Lim, Hojun; Zimmerman, Jonathan A.; Battaile, Corbett C.; Weinberger, Christopher R.

    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.

  11. Toward understanding the active SETI debate: Insights from risk communication and perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korbitz, Adam

    2014-12-01

    Insights from the robust field of risk communication and perception have to date been almost totally absent from the policy debate regarding the relative risks and merits of Active SETI or Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI). For many years, the practice (or proposed practice) of Active SETI has generated a vigorous and sometimes heated policy debate within the scientific community. There have also been some negative reactions in the media toward the activities of those engaged in Active SETI. Risk communication is a scientific approach to communication regarding situations involving potentially sensitive or controversial situations in which there may be high public concern and low public trust. The discipline has found wide acceptance and utility in fields such as public health, industrial regulation and environmental protection. Insights from the scientific field of risk communication (such as omission bias, loss aversion, the availability heuristic, probability neglect, and the general human preference for voluntary over involuntary risks) may help those who have participated in either side of the debate over Active SETI to better understand why the debate has taken on this posture. Principles of risk communication and risk perception may also help those engaged in Active SETI to communicate more effectively with other scientists, the public, with the media, and with policy makers regarding their activities and to better understand and respond to concerns expressed regarding the activity.

  12. Resonant active sites in catalytic ammonia synthesis: A structural model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cholach, Alexander R.; Bryliakova, Anna A.; Matveev, Andrey V.; Bulgakov, Nikolai N.

    2016-03-01

    Adsorption sites Mn consisted of n adjacent atoms M, each bound to the adsorbed species, are considered within a realistic model. The sum of bonds Σ lost by atoms in a site in comparison with the bulk atoms was used for evaluation of the local surface imperfection, while the reaction enthalpy at that site was used as a measure of activity. The comparative study of Mn sites (n = 1-5) at basal planes of Pt, Rh, Ir, Fe, Re and Ru with respect to heat of N2 dissociative adsorption QN and heat of Nad + Had → NHad reaction QNH was performed using semi-empirical calculations. Linear QN(Σ) increase and QNH(Σ) decrease allowed to specify the resonant Σ for each surface in catalytic ammonia synthesis at equilibrium Nad coverage. Optimal Σ are realizable for Ru2, Re2 and Ir4 only, whereas other centers meet steric inhibition or unreal crystal structure. Relative activity of the most active sites in proportion 5.0 × 10- 5: 4.5 × 10- 3: 1: 2.5: 3.0: 1080: 2270 for a sequence of Pt4, Rh4, Fe4(fcc), Ir4, Fe2-5(bcc), Ru2, Re2, respectively, is in agreement with relevant experimental data. Similar approach can be applied to other adsorption or catalytic processes exhibiting structure sensitivity.

  13. Function of the active site lysine autoacetylation in Tip60 catalysis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chao; Wu, Jiang; Zheng, Y George

    2012-01-01

    The 60-kDa HIV-Tat interactive protein (Tip60) is a key member of the MYST family of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) that plays critical roles in multiple cellular processes. We report here that Tip60 undergoes autoacetylation at several lysine residues, including a key lysine residue (i.e. Lys-327) in the active site of the MYST domain. The mutation of K327 to arginine led to loss of both the autoacetylation activity and the cognate HAT activity. Interestingly, deacetylated Tip60 still kept a substantial degree of HAT activity. We also investigated the effect of cysteine 369 and glutamate 403 in Tip60 autoacetylation in order to understand the molecular pathway of the autoacetylation at K327. Together, we conclude that the acetylation of K327 which is located in the active site of Tip60 regulates but is not obligatory for the catalytic activity of Tip60. Since acetylation at this key residue appears to be evolutionarily conserved amongst all MYST proteins, our findings provide an interesting insight into the regulatory mechanism of MYST activities. PMID:22470428

  14. Multi-site Phosphorylation Regulates Bim Stability and Apoptotic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hübner, Anette; Barrett, Tamera; Flavell, Richard A.; Davis, Roger J.

    2008-01-01

    The pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein Bim is established to be an important mediator of signaling pathways that induce cell death. Multi-site phosphorylation of Bim by several members of the MAP kinase group is implicated as a regulatory mechanism that controls the apoptotic activity of Bim. To test the role of Bim phosphorylation in vivo, we constructed mice with a series of mutant alleles that express phosphorylation-defective Bim proteins. We show that mutation of the phosphorylation site Thr-112 causes decreased binding of Bim to the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2 and can increase cell survival. In contrast, mutation of the phosphorylation sites Ser-55, Ser-65, and Ser-73 can cause increased apoptosis because of reduced proteasomal degradation of Bim. Together, these data indicate that phosphorylation can regulate Bim by multiple mechanisms and that the phosphorylation of Bim on different sites can contribute to the sensitivity of cellular apoptotic responses. PMID:18498746

  15. Activation of phenylalanine hydroxylase by phenylalanine does not require binding in the active site.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Kenneth M; Khan, Crystal A; Hinck, Cynthia S; Fitzpatrick, Paul F

    2014-12-16

    Phenylalanine hydroxylase (PheH), a liver enzyme that catalyzes the hydroxylation of excess phenylalanine in the diet to tyrosine, is activated by phenylalanine. The lack of activity at low levels of phenylalanine has been attributed to the N-terminus of the protein's regulatory domain acting as an inhibitory peptide by blocking substrate access to the active site. The location of the site at which phenylalanine binds to activate the enzyme is unknown, and both the active site in the catalytic domain and a separate site in the N-terminal regulatory domain have been proposed. Binding of catecholamines to the active-site iron was used to probe the accessibility of the active site. Removal of the regulatory domain increases the rate constants for association of several catecholamines with the wild-type enzyme by ∼2-fold. Binding of phenylalanine in the active site is effectively abolished by mutating the active-site residue Arg270 to lysine. The k(cat)/K(phe) value is down 10⁴ for the mutant enzyme, and the K(m) value for phenylalanine for the mutant enzyme is >0.5 M. Incubation of the R270K enzyme with phenylalanine also results in a 2-fold increase in the rate constants for catecholamine binding. The change in the tryptophan fluorescence emission spectrum seen in the wild-type enzyme upon activation by phenylalanine is also seen with the R270K mutant enzyme in the presence of phenylalanine. Both results establish that activation of PheH by phenylalanine does not require binding of the amino acid in the active site. This is consistent with a separate allosteric site, likely in the regulatory domain.

  16. Chemical Modification of Papain and Subtilisin: An Active Site Comparison

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St-Vincent, Mireille; Dickman, Michael

    2004-01-01

    An experiment using methyle methanethiosulfonate (MMTS) and phenylmethylsulfonyl flouride (PMSF) to specifically modify the cysteine and serine residues in the active sites of papain and subtilism respectively is demonstrated. The covalent modification of these enzymes and subsequent rescue of papain shows the beginning biochemist that proteins…

  17. How Force Might Activate Talin's Vinculin Binding Sites: SMD Reveals a Structural Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Hytönen, Vesa P; Vogel, Viola

    2008-01-01

    Upon cell adhesion, talin physically couples the cytoskeleton via integrins to the extracellular matrix, and subsequent vinculin recruitment is enhanced by locally applied tensile force. Since the vinculin binding (VB) sites are buried in the talin rod under equilibrium conditions, the structural mechanism of how vinculin binding to talin is force-activated remains unknown. Taken together with experimental data, a biphasic vinculin binding model, as derived from steered molecular dynamics, provides high resolution structural insights how tensile mechanical force applied to the talin rod fragment (residues 486–889 constituting helices H1–H12) might activate the VB sites. Fragmentation of the rod into three helix subbundles is prerequisite to the sequential exposure of VB helices to water. Finally, unfolding of a VB helix into a completely stretched polypeptide might inhibit further binding of vinculin. The first events in fracturing the H1–H12 rods of talin1 and talin2 in subbundles are similar. The proposed force-activated α-helix swapping mechanism by which vinculin binding sites in talin rods are exposed works distinctly different from that of other force-activated bonds, including catch bonds. PMID:18282082

  18. From single crystal surfaces to single atoms: investigating active sites in electrocatalysis.

    PubMed

    O'Mullane, Anthony P

    2014-04-21

    Electrocatalytic processes will undoubtedly be at the heart of energising future transportation and technology with the added importance of being able to create the necessary fuels required to do so in an environmentally friendly and cost effective manner. For this to be successful two almost mutually exclusive surface properties need to be reconciled, namely producing highly active/reactive surface sites that exhibit long term stability. This article reviews the various approaches which have been undertaken to study the elusive nature of these active sites on metal surfaces which are considered as adatoms or clusters of adatoms with low coordination number. This includes the pioneering studies at extended well defined stepped single crystal surfaces using cyclic voltammetry up to the highly sophisticated in situ electrochemical imaging techniques used to study chemically synthesised nanomaterials. By combining the information attained from single crystal surfaces, individual nanoparticles of defined size and shape, density functional theory calculations and new concepts such as mesoporous multimetallic thin films and single atom electrocatalysts new insights into the design and fabrication of materials with highly active but stable active sites can be achieved. The area of electrocatalysis is therefore not only a fascinating and exciting field in terms of realistic technological and economical benefits but also from the fundamental understanding that can be acquired by studying such an array of interesting materials. PMID:24599277

  19. 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. PMID:24759773

  20. Changes in active site histidine hydrogen bonding trigger cryptochrome activation.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Abir; Manahan, Craig C; Top, Deniz; Yee, Estella F; Lin, Changfan; Young, Michael W; Thiel, Walter; Crane, Brian R

    2016-09-01

    Cryptochrome (CRY) is the principal light sensor of the insect circadian clock. Photoreduction of the Drosophila CRY (dCRY) flavin cofactor to the anionic semiquinone (ASQ) restructures a C-terminal tail helix (CTT) that otherwise inhibits interactions with targets that include the clock protein Timeless (TIM). All-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations indicate that flavin reduction destabilizes the CTT, which undergoes large-scale conformational changes (the CTT release) on short (25 ns) timescales. The CTT release correlates with the conformation and protonation state of conserved His378, which resides between the CTT and the flavin cofactor. Poisson-Boltzmann calculations indicate that flavin reduction substantially increases the His378 pKa Consistent with coupling between ASQ formation and His378 protonation, dCRY displays reduced photoreduction rates with increasing pH; however, His378Asn/Arg variants show no such pH dependence. Replica-exchange MD simulations also support CTT release mediated by changes in His378 hydrogen bonding and verify other responsive regions of the protein previously identified by proteolytic sensitivity assays. His378 dCRY variants show varying abilities to light-activate TIM and undergo self-degradation in cellular assays. Surprisingly, His378Arg/Lys variants do not degrade in light despite maintaining reactivity toward TIM, thereby implicating different conformational responses in these two functions. Thus, the dCRY photosensory mechanism involves flavin photoreduction coupled to protonation of His378, whose perturbed hydrogen-bonding pattern alters the CTT and surrounding regions. PMID:27551082

  1. Conformational Transitions in Human AP Endonuclease 1 and Its Active Site Mutant during Abasic Site Repair†

    PubMed Central

    Kanazhevskaya, Lyubov Yu.; Koval, Vladimir V.; Zharkov, Dmitry O.; Strauss, Phyllis R.; Fedorova, Olga S.

    2010-01-01

    AP endonuclease 1 (APE 1) is a crucial enzyme of the base excision repair pathway (BER) in human cells. APE1 recognizes apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites and makes a nick in the phosphodiester backbone 5′ to them. The conformational dynamics and presteady-state kinetics of wild-type APE1 and its active site mutant, Y171F-P173L-N174K, have been studied. To observe conformational transitions occurring in the APE1 molecule during the catalytic cycle, we detected intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence of the enzyme under single turnover conditions. DNA duplexes containing a natural AP site, its tetrahydrofuran analogue, or a 2′-deoxyguanosine residue in the same position were used as specific substrates or ligands. The stopped-flow experiments have revealed high flexibility of the APE1 molecule and the complexity of the catalytic process. The fluorescent traces indicate that wild-type APE1 undergoes at least four conformational transitions during the processing of abasic sites in DNA. In contrast, nonspecific interactions of APE1 with undamaged DNA can be described by a two-step kinetic scheme. Rate and equilibrium constants were extracted from the stopped-flow and fluorescence titration data for all substrates, ligands, and products. A replacement of three residues at the enzymatic active site including the replacement of tyrosine 171 with phenylalanine in the enzyme active site resulted in a 2 × 104-fold decrease in the reaction rate and reduced binding affinity. Our data indicate the important role of conformational changes in APE1 for substrate recognition and catalysis. PMID:20575528

  2. Insights into site formation at Rose Cottage Cave, South Africa, based on the analysis of sediment peels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloos, Peter; Miller, Christopher E.; Kritikakis, Panagiotis; Wadley, Lyn

    2016-04-01

    few artefacts and implies that there may have been more human activity at the site during this time than has previously been suggested.

  3. N-methyl-D-aspartate recognition site ligands modulate activity at the coupled glycine recognition site.

    PubMed

    Hood, W F; Compton, R P; Monahan, J B

    1990-03-01

    In synaptic plasma membranes from rat forebrain, the potencies of glycine recognition site agonists and antagonists for modulating [3H]1-[1-(2-thienyl)cyclohexyl]piperidine ([3H]TCP) binding and for displacing strychnine-insensitive [3H]glycine binding are altered in the presence of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) recognition site ligands. The NMDA competitive antagonist, cis-4-phosphonomethyl-2-piperidine carboxylate (CGS 19755), reduces [3H]glycine binding, and the reduction can be fully reversed by the NMDA recognition site agonist, L-glutamate. Scatchard analysis of [3H]glycine binding shows that in the presence of CGS 19755 there is no change in Bmax (8.81 vs. 8.79 pmol/mg of protein), but rather a decrease in the affinity of glycine (KD of 0.202 microM vs. 0.129 microM). Similar decreases in affinity are observed for the glycine site agonists, D-serine and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate, in the presence of CGS 19755. In contrast, the affinity of glycine antagonists, 1-hydroxy-3-amino-2-pyrrolidone and 1-aminocyclobutane-1-carboxylate, at this [3H]glycine recognition site increases in the presence of CGS 19755. The functional consequence of this change in affinity was addressed using the modulation of [3H]TCP binding. In the presence of L-glutamate, the potency of glycine agonists for the stimulation of [3H]TCP binding increases, whereas the potency of glycine antagonists decreases. These data are consistent with NMDA recognition site ligands, through their interactions at the NMDA recognition site, modulating activity at the associated glycine recognition site.

  4. Effect of Siloxane Ring Strain and Cation Charge Density on the Formation of Coordinately Unsaturated Metal Sites on Silica: Insights from DFT Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Ujjal; Zhang, Guanghui; Hu, Bo; Hock, Adam S.; Redfern, Paul C.; Miller, Jeffrey T.; Curtiss, Larry A.

    2015-12-01

    Amorphous silica (SiO2) is commonly used as a support in heterogeneous catalysis. However, due to the structural disorder and temperature induced change of surface morphology, the structures of silica supported metal catalysts are difficult to determine. Most studies are primarily focused on understanding the interactions of different types of surface hydroxyl groups with metal ions. In comparison, the effect of siloxane ring size on the structure of silica supported metal catalysts and how it affects catalytic activity is poorly understood. Here, we have used density functional theory calculations to understand the effect of siloxane ring strain on structure and activity of different monomeric Lewis acid metal sites on silica. In particular, we have found that large siloxane rings favor strong dative bonding interaction between metal ion and surface hydroxyls, leading to the formation of high-coordinate metal sites. In comparison, metal-silanol interaction is weak in small siloxane rings, resulting in low-coordinate metal sites. The physical origin of this size dependence is associated with siloxane ring strain, and, a correlation between metal-silanol interaction energy and ring strain energy has been observed. In addition to ring strain, the strength of the metal-silanol interaction also depends on the positive charge density of the cations. In fact, a correlation also exists between metal-silanol interaction energy and charge density of several first-row transition and post-transition metals. The theoretical results are compared with the EXAFS data of monomeric Zn(II) and Ga(III) ions grafted on silica. The molecular level insights of how metal ion coordination on silica depends on siloxane ring strain and cation charge density will be useful in the synthesis of new catalysts.

  5. Control of active sites in selective flocculation: I -- Mathematical model

    SciTech Connect

    Behl, S.; Moudgil, B.M.; Prakash, T.S. . Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering)

    1993-12-01

    Heteroflocculation has been determined to be another major reason for loss in selectivity for flocculation process. In a mathematical model developed earlier, conditions for controlling heteroflocculation were discussed. Blocking active sites to control selective adsorption of a flocculant oil a desirable solid surface is discussed. It has been demonstrated that the lower molecular weight fraction of a flocculant which is incapable of flocculating the particles is an efficient site blocking agent. The major application of selective flocculation has been in mineral processing but many potential uses exist in biological and other colloidal systems. These include purification of ceramic powders, separating hazardous solids from chemical waste, and removal of deleterious components from paper pulp.

  6. The site of activation of factor X by cancer procoagulant.

    PubMed

    Gordon, S G; Mourad, A M

    1991-12-01

    Cancer procoagulant (CP) is a cysteine proteinase found in a variety of malignant cells and tissues and in human amnion-chorion tissue. It initiates coagulation by activating factor X. However, the amino acid sequence of the substrate protein that determines the cleavage site of cysteine proteinases is different from that of the serine proteinases that normally activate factor X, such as factor IXa, VIIa and Russell's Viper Venom (RVV). Therefore, it was of interest to determine the site of cleavage of human factor X by CP. Purified CP was incubated with purified factor X and the reaction mixture was electrophoresed on a 10% Tris-tricine SDS-PAGE gel. The proteins were electroeluted on to a polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane, and stained with Coomassie blue. The heavy chain of activated factor X was cut out of the PVDF membrane and sequenced with an Applied Biosystems 477A with on-line HPLC. The primary cleavage sequence was Asp-Ala-Ala-Asp-Leu-Asp-Pro-; two other secondary sequences Ser-Ile-Thr-Trp-Lys-Pro- and Glu-Asn-Pro-Phe-Asp-Leu were found. The penultimate amino acid on the carbonyl side of the hydrolysed amide bond plays a critical role for the recognition of the cleavage site of cysteine proteinases. These data indicate that the penultimate amino acid for the primary cleavage site of factor X by CP is proline-20 and for the secondary sites, proline-13 and proline-28. This is in contrast to arginine-52 that determines the specificity of the cleavage by normal serine proteinase activation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  7. Flexibility and Stability Trade-Off in Active Site of Cold-Adapted Pseudomonas mandelii Esterase EstK.

    PubMed

    Truongvan, Ngoc; Jang, Sei-Heon; Lee, ChangWoo

    2016-06-28

    Cold-adapted enzymes exhibit enhanced conformational flexibility, especially in their active sites, as compared with their warmer-temperature counterparts. However, the mechanism by which cold-adapted enzymes maintain their active site stability is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of conserved D308-Y309 residues located in the same loop as the catalytic H307 residue in the cold-adapted esterase EstK from Pseudomonas mandelii. Mutation of D308 and/or Y309 to Ala or deletion resulted in increased conformational flexibility. Particularly, the D308A or Y309A mutant showed enhanced substrate affinity and catalytic rate, as compared with wild-type EstK, via enlargement of the active site. However, all mutant EstK enzymes exhibited reduced thermal stability. The effect of mutation was greater for D308 than Y309. These results indicate that D308 is not preferable for substrate selection and catalytic activity, whereas hydrogen bond formation involving D308 is critical for active site stabilization. Taken together, conformation of the EstK active site is constrained via flexibility-stability trade-off for enzyme catalysis and thermal stability. Our study provides further insights into active site stabilization of cold-adapted enzymes. PMID:27259687

  8. Active-Site-Accessible, Porphyrinic Metal;#8722;Organic Framework Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Farha, Omar K.; Shultz, Abraham M.; Sarjeant, Amy A.; Nguyen, SonBinh T.; Hupp, Joseph T.

    2012-02-06

    On account of their structural similarity to cofactors found in many metallo-enzymes, metalloporphyrins are obvious potential building blocks for catalytically active, metal-organic framework (MOF) materials. While numerous porphyrin-based MOFs have already been described, versions featuring highly accessible active sites and permanent microporosity are remarkably scarce. Indeed, of the more than 70 previously reported porphyrinic MOFs, only one has been shown to be both permanently microporous and contain internally accessible active sites for chemical catalysis. Attempts to generalize the design approach used in this single successful case have failed. Reported here, however, is the synthesis of an extended family of MOFs that directly incorporate a variety of metalloporphyrins (specifically Al{sup 3+}, Zn{sup 2+}, Pd{sup 2+}, Mn{sup 3+}, and Fe{sup 3+} complexes). These robust porphyrinic materials (RPMs) feature large channels and readily accessible active sites. As an illustrative example, one of the manganese-containing RPMs is shown to be catalytically competent for the oxidation of alkenes and alkanes.

  9. Functional constituents of the active site of human neutrophil collagenase.

    PubMed

    Mookhtiar, K A; Wang, F; Van Wart, H E

    1986-05-01

    A series of chemical modification reactions has been carried out to identify functional constituents of the active site of human neutrophil collagenase. The enzyme is reversibly inhibited by the transition metal chelating agent 1,10-phenanthroline, and inhibition is fully reversed by zinc. Removal of weakly bound metal ions by gel filtration inactivates collagenase, and activity is fully restored on immediate readdition of calcium. The enzyme is unaffected by reagents that modify serine, cysteine, and arginine residues. However, reaction with the carboxyl reagents cyclohexylmorpholinocarbodiimide and Woodward's Reagent K lowers the activity of the enzyme substantially. Acetylimidazole inactivates the enzyme, but activity is completely restored on addition of hydroxylamine. The enzyme is also inactivated by tetranitromethane, indicating that it contains an essential tyrosine residue. Acylation of collagenase with diethyl pyrocarbonate, diketene, acetic anhydride, or trinitrobenzenesulfonate inactivates the enzyme, and activity is not restored on addition of hydroxylamine, indicating the presence of an essential lysine residue.

  10. In situ probing of the active site geometry of ultrathin nanowires for the oxygen reduction reaction

    DOE PAGES

    Liu, Haiqing; Wong, Stanislaus S.; An, Wei; Li, Yuanyuan; Frenkel, Anatoly I.; Sasaki, Kotaro; Koenigsmann, Christopher; Su, Dong; Anderson, Rachel M.; Crooks, Richard M.; et al

    2015-09-24

    To create truly effective electrocatalysts for the cathodic reaction governing proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), namely the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), necessitates an accurate and detailed structural understanding of these electrocatalysts, especially at the nanoscale, and to precisely correlate that structure with demonstrable performance enhancement. To address this key issue, we have combined and interwoven theoretical calculations with experimental, spectroscopic observations in order to acquire useful structural insights into the active site geometry with implications for designing optimized nanoscale electrocatalysts with rationally predicted properties. Specifically, we have probed ultrathin (~2 nm) core–shell Pt~Pd9Au nanowires, which have been previously shownmore » to be excellent candidates for ORR in terms of both activity and long-term stability, from the complementary perspectives of both DFT calculations and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The combination and correlation of data from both experimental and theoretical studies has revealed for the first time that the catalytically active structure of our ternary nanowires can actually be ascribed to a PtAu~Pd configuration, comprising a PtAu binary shell and a pure inner Pd core. Moreover, we have plausibly attributed the resulting structure to a specific synthesis step, namely the Cu underpotential deposition (UPD) followed by galvanic replacement with Pt. Thus, the fundamental insights gained into the performance of our ultrathin nanowires from our demonstrated approach will likely guide future directed efforts aimed at broadly improving upon the durability and stability of nanoscale electrocatalysts in general.« less

  11. In situ probing of the active site geometry of ultrathin nanowires for the oxygen reduction reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Haiqing; Wong, Stanislaus S.; An, Wei; Li, Yuanyuan; Frenkel, Anatoly I.; Sasaki, Kotaro; Koenigsmann, Christopher; Su, Dong; Anderson, Rachel M.; Crooks, Richard M.; Adzic, Radoslav R.; Liu, Ping

    2015-09-24

    To create truly effective electrocatalysts for the cathodic reaction governing proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), namely the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), necessitates an accurate and detailed structural understanding of these electrocatalysts, especially at the nanoscale, and to precisely correlate that structure with demonstrable performance enhancement. To address this key issue, we have combined and interwoven theoretical calculations with experimental, spectroscopic observations in order to acquire useful structural insights into the active site geometry with implications for designing optimized nanoscale electrocatalysts with rationally predicted properties. Specifically, we have probed ultrathin (~2 nm) core–shell Pt~Pd9Au nanowires, which have been previously shown to be excellent candidates for ORR in terms of both activity and long-term stability, from the complementary perspectives of both DFT calculations and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The combination and correlation of data from both experimental and theoretical studies has revealed for the first time that the catalytically active structure of our ternary nanowires can actually be ascribed to a PtAu~Pd configuration, comprising a PtAu binary shell and a pure inner Pd core. Moreover, we have plausibly attributed the resulting structure to a specific synthesis step, namely the Cu underpotential deposition (UPD) followed by galvanic replacement with Pt. Thus, the fundamental insights gained into the performance of our ultrathin nanowires from our demonstrated approach will likely guide future directed efforts aimed at broadly improving upon the durability and stability of nanoscale electrocatalysts in general.

  12. Nest predation increases with parental activity: Separating nest site and parental activity effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, T.E.; Scott, J.; Menge, C.

    2000-01-01

    Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators have found similar results. We tested whether nest site effects might yield higher predation during incubation because the most obvious sites are depredated most rapidly. We conducted experiments using nest sites from the previous year to remove parental activity. Our results showed that nest sites have highly repeatable effects on nest predation risk; poor nest sites incurred rapid predation and caused predation rates to be greater during the incubation than nestling stage. This pattern also was exhibited in a bird species with similar (i.e. controlled) parental activity between nesting stages. Once nest site effects are taken into account, nest predation shows a strong proximate increase with parental activity during the nestling stage within and across species. Parental activity and nest sites exert antagonistic influences on current estimates of nest predation between nesting stages and both must be considered in order to understand current patterns of nest predation, which is an important source of natural selection.

  13. Insights into the activation mechanism of class I HDAC complexes by inositol phosphates

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Peter J.; Millard, Christopher J.; Riley, Andrew M.; Robertson, Naomi S.; Wright, Lyndsey C.; Godage, Himali Y.; Cowley, Shaun M.; Jamieson, Andrew G.; Potter, Barry V. L.; Schwabe, John W. R.

    2016-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) 1, 2 and 3 form the catalytic subunit of several large transcriptional repression complexes. Unexpectedly, the enzymatic activity of HDACs in these complexes has been shown to be regulated by inositol phosphates, which bind in a pocket sandwiched between the HDAC and co-repressor proteins. However, the actual mechanism of activation remains poorly understood. Here we have elucidated the stereochemical requirements for binding and activation by inositol phosphates, demonstrating that activation requires three adjacent phosphate groups and that other positions on the inositol ring can tolerate bulky substituents. We also demonstrate that there is allosteric communication between the inositol-binding site and the active site. The crystal structure of the HDAC1:MTA1 complex bound to a novel peptide-based inhibitor and to inositol hexaphosphate suggests a molecular basis of substrate recognition, and an entropically driven allosteric mechanism of activation. PMID:27109927

  14. Temperature decomposition of paired site observations reveals new insights in climate models' capability to simulate the impact of LUC.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanden Broucke, Sam; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Davin, Edouard; Janssens, Ivan; Van Lipzig, Nicole

    2015-04-01

    The biogeophysical impact of land use change (LUC) has been shown to be a significant contributor to climate change. In this study, we present a new methodology for evaluating the impact of LUC in climate models. For this, we use observational data from paired eddy covariance flux towers, representing a LUC from forest to open land (deforestation). Two model simulations with a regional climate model (COSMO-CLM2) are performed which differ only in prescribed land use for site pair locations. The model is evaluated by comparing the observed and simulated difference in surface temperature (Ts) between open land and forests, an evaluation which is performed separately for summer/winter and daytime/ nighttime. Next, we identify the biogeophysical mechanisms responsible for Ts differences by applying a Ts decomposition method to both observations and model simulations, allowing us us to determine which LUC related biogeophysical mechanisms were well represented in COSMO-CLM2, and which were not. Results show that the model is able to simulate the increase in albedo and associated daytime surface cooling following deforestation reasonably well. Also well simulated is the overall decrease in sensible heat flux and associated daytime surface warming and nighttime surface cooling. However, it appears the model is missing one crucial impact of deforestation on the surface energy budget: a reduction in nighttime downwelling longwave radiation. As a result, the magnitude of nighttime cooling following deforestation is underestimated by 4 K. These new insights support a wider application of the methodology (to other climate models).

  15. Active sites in char gasification: Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Wojtowicz, M.; Lilly, W.D.; Perkins, M.T.; Hradil, G.; Calo, J.M.; Suuberg, E.M.

    1987-09-01

    Among the key variables in the design of gasifiers and combustors is the reactivity of the chars which must be gasified or combusted. Significant loss of unburned char is unacceptable in virtually any process; the provision of sufficient residence time for complete conversion is essential. A very wide range of reactivities are observed, depending upon the nature of the char in a process. The current work focuses on furthering the understanding of gasification reactivities of chars. It has been well established that the reactivity of char to gasification generally depends upon three principal factors: (1) the concentration of ''active sites'' in the char; (2) mass transfer within the char; and (3) the type and concentration of catalytic impurities in the char. The present study primarily addresses the first factor. The subject of this research is the origin, nature, and fate of active sites in chars derived from parent hydrocarbons with coal-like structure. The nature and number of the active sites and their reactivity towards oxygen are examined in ''model'' chars derived from phenol-formaldehyde type resins. How the active sites are lost by the process of thermal annealing during heat treatment of chars are studied, and actual rate for the annealing process is derived. Since intrinsic char reactivities are of primary interest in the present study, a fair amount of attention was given to the model char synthesis and handling so that the effect of catalytic impurities and oxygen-containing functional groups in the chemical structure of the material were minimized, if not completely eliminated. The project would not be considered complete without comparing characteristic features of synthetic chars with kinetic behavior exhibited by natural chars, including coal chars.

  16. Brownian aggregation rate of colloid particles with several active sites

    SciTech Connect

    Nekrasov, Vyacheslav M.; Yurkin, Maxim A.; Chernyshev, Andrei V.; Polshchitsin, Alexey A.; Yakovleva, Galina E.; Maltsev, Valeri P.

    2014-08-14

    We theoretically analyze the aggregation kinetics of colloid particles with several active sites. Such particles (so-called “patchy particles”) are well known as chemically anisotropic reactants, but the corresponding rate constant of their aggregation has not yet been established in a convenient analytical form. Using kinematic approximation for the diffusion problem, we derived an analytical formula for the diffusion-controlled reaction rate constant between two colloid particles (or clusters) with several small active sites under the following assumptions: the relative translational motion is Brownian diffusion, and the isotropic stochastic reorientation of each particle is Markovian and arbitrarily correlated. This formula was shown to produce accurate results in comparison with more sophisticated approaches. Also, to account for the case of a low number of active sites per particle we used Monte Carlo stochastic algorithm based on Gillespie method. Simulations showed that such discrete model is required when this number is less than 10. Finally, we applied the developed approach to the simulation of immunoagglutination, assuming that the formed clusters have fractal structure.

  17. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: FY 1991 report

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Hicks, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1992-11-01

    This report summarizes the activities of the Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP) from April 1991 through September 1991. The ASEMP was established in 1989 by Solid Waste Operations (SWO) and the Environmental Sciences Division, both of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to provide early detection and performance monitoring at active low-level (radioactive) waste (LLW) disposal sites in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 and transuranic (TRU) waste storage sites in SWSA 5 as required by chapters II and III of US Department of Energy Order 5820.2A. A new set of action levels was developed on the basis of a statistical analysis of background contamination. These new action levels have been used to evaluate results in this report. Results of ASEMP monitoring continue to demonstrate that no LLW (except [sup 3]H) is being leached from the storage vaults on the tumulus pads. Loading of vaults on Tumulus II, which began in early FY 1991, was >90% complete at the end of September 1991. Results of sampling of groundwater and surface waters is presented.

  18. Inhibition and active-site modelling of prolidase.

    PubMed

    King, G F; Crossley, M J; Kuchel, P W

    1989-03-15

    Consideration of the active-site model of prolidase led us to examine azetidine, pyrrolidine and piperidine substrate analogs as potential in vivo inhibitors of the enzyme. One of these, N-benzyloxycarbonyl-L-proline, was shown to be a potent competitive inhibitor of porcine kidney prolidase (Ki = 90 microM); its rapid protein-mediated permeation of human and sheep erythrocytes suggests that it may be effective in vivo. The higher homolog, N-benzyloxycarbonyl-L-pipecolic acid, was also a potent inhibitor of the enzyme while the antihypertensive drugs, captopril and enalaprilat, were shown to have mild and no inhibitory effects, respectively. Analysis of inhibitor action and consideration of X-ray crystallographic data of relevant Mn2+ complexes allowed the active-site model of prolidase to be further refined; a new model is presented in which the substrate acts as a bidentate ligand towards the active-site manganous ion. Various aspects of the new model help to explain why Mn2+ has been 'chosen' by the enzyme in preference to other biologically available metal ions. PMID:2924773

  19. Absolute magnetization of the seafloor at a basalt-hosted hydrothermal site: Insights from a deep-sea submersible survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szitkar, Florent; Dyment, Jérôme; Fouquet, Yves; Choi, Yujin; Honsho, Chie

    2015-02-01

    The analysis of high-resolution vector magnetic data acquired by deep-sea submersibles (DSSs) requires the development of specific approaches adapted to their uneven tracks. We present a method that takes advantage of (1) the varying altitude of the DSS above the seafloor and (2) high-resolution multibeam bathymetric data acquired separately, at higher altitude, by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, to estimate the absolute magnetization intensity and the magnetic polarity of the shallow subseafloor along the DSS path. We apply this method to data collected by DSS Nautile on a small active basalt-hosted hydrothermal site. The site is associated with a lack of magnetization, in agreement with previous findings at the same kind of sites: the contrast between nonmagnetic sulfide deposits/stockwork zone and strongly magnetized basalt is sufficient to explain the magnetic signal observed at such a low altitude. Both normal and reversed polarities are observed in the lava flows surrounding the site, suggesting complex history of accumulating volcanic flows.

  20. Random and site-specific mutagenesis of the Helicobacter pylori ferric uptake regulator provides insight into Fur structure-function relationships.

    PubMed

    Gilbreath, Jeremy J; Pich, Oscar Q; Benoit, Stéphane L; Besold, Angelique N; Cha, Jeong-Heon; Maier, Robert J; Michel, Sarah L J; Maynard, Ernest L; Merrell, D Scott

    2013-07-01

    The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) of Helicobacter pylori is a global regulator that is important for colonization and survival within the gastric mucosa. H. pylori Fur is unique in its ability to activate and repress gene expression in both the iron-bound (Fe-Fur) and apo forms (apo-Fur). In the current study we combined random and site-specific mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues important for both Fe-Fur and apo-Fur function. We identified 25 mutations that affected Fe-Fur repression and 23 mutations that affected apo-Fur repression, as determined by transcriptional analyses of the Fe-Fur target gene amiE, and the apo-Fur target gene, pfr. In addition, eight of these mutations also significantly affected levels of Fur in the cell. Based on regulatory phenotypes, we selected several representative mutations to characterize further. Of those selected, we purified the wild-type (HpFurWT) and three mutant Fur proteins (HpFurE5A, HpFurA92T and HpFurH134Y), which represent mutations in the N-terminal extension, the regulatory metal binding site (S2) and the structural metal binding site (S3) respectively. Purified proteins were evaluated for secondary structure by circular dichroism spectroscopy, iron-binding by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, oligomerization in manganese-substituted and apo conditions by in vitro cross-linking assays, and DNA binding to Fe-Fur and apo-Fur target sequences by fluorescence anisotropy. The results showed that the N-terminal, S2 and S3 regions play distinct roles in terms of Fur structure-function relationships. Overall, these studies provide novel information regarding the role of these residues in Fur function, and provide mechanistic insight into how H. pylori Fur regulates gene expression in both the iron-bound and apo forms of the protein.

  1. Random and site-specific mutagenesis of the Helicobacter pylori ferric uptake regulator provides insight into Fur structure-function relationships.

    PubMed

    Gilbreath, Jeremy J; Pich, Oscar Q; Benoit, Stéphane L; Besold, Angelique N; Cha, Jeong-Heon; Maier, Robert J; Michel, Sarah L J; Maynard, Ernest L; Merrell, D Scott

    2013-07-01

    The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) of Helicobacter pylori is a global regulator that is important for colonization and survival within the gastric mucosa. H. pylori Fur is unique in its ability to activate and repress gene expression in both the iron-bound (Fe-Fur) and apo forms (apo-Fur). In the current study we combined random and site-specific mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues important for both Fe-Fur and apo-Fur function. We identified 25 mutations that affected Fe-Fur repression and 23 mutations that affected apo-Fur repression, as determined by transcriptional analyses of the Fe-Fur target gene amiE, and the apo-Fur target gene, pfr. In addition, eight of these mutations also significantly affected levels of Fur in the cell. Based on regulatory phenotypes, we selected several representative mutations to characterize further. Of those selected, we purified the wild-type (HpFurWT) and three mutant Fur proteins (HpFurE5A, HpFurA92T and HpFurH134Y), which represent mutations in the N-terminal extension, the regulatory metal binding site (S2) and the structural metal binding site (S3) respectively. Purified proteins were evaluated for secondary structure by circular dichroism spectroscopy, iron-binding by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, oligomerization in manganese-substituted and apo conditions by in vitro cross-linking assays, and DNA binding to Fe-Fur and apo-Fur target sequences by fluorescence anisotropy. The results showed that the N-terminal, S2 and S3 regions play distinct roles in terms of Fur structure-function relationships. Overall, these studies provide novel information regarding the role of these residues in Fur function, and provide mechanistic insight into how H. pylori Fur regulates gene expression in both the iron-bound and apo forms of the protein. PMID:23710935

  2. Random and Site-Specific Mutagenesis of the Helicobacter pylori Ferric Uptake Regulator Provides Insight into Fur Structure-Function Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Gilbreath, Jeremy J.; Pich, Oscar Q.; Benoit, Stéphane L.; Besold, Angelique N.; Cha, Jeong-Heon; Maier, Robert J.; Michel, Sarah L.J.; Maynard, Ernest L.; Merrell, D. Scott

    2013-01-01

    Summary The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) of Helicobacter pylori is a global regulator that is important for colonization and survival within the gastric mucosa. H. pylori Fur is unique in its ability to activate and repress gene expression in both the iron-bound (Fe-Fur) and apo forms (apo-Fur). In the current study we combined random and site-specific mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues important for both Fe-Fur and apo-Fur function. We identified 25 mutations that affected Fe-Fur repression and 23 mutations that affected apo-Fur repression, as determined by transcriptional analyses of the Fe-Fur target gene amiE, and the apo-Fur target gene, pfr. In addition, eight of these mutations also significantly affected levels of Fur in the cell. Based on regulatory phenotypes, we selected several representative mutations to characterize further. Of those selected, we purified the wildtype (HpFurWT) and three mutant Fur proteins (HpFurE5A, HpFurA92T, and HpFurH134Y), which represent mutations in the N-terminal extension, the regulatory metal binding site (S2) and the structural metal binding site (S3), respectively. Purified proteins were evaluated for secondary structure by circular dichroism spectroscopy, iron-binding by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, oligomerization in iron-substituted and apo conditions by in vitro cross-linking assays, and DNA binding to Fe-Fur and apo-Fur target sequences by fluorescence anisotropy. The results showed that the N-terminal, S2, and S3 regions play distinct roles in terms of Fur structure-function relationships. Overall, these studies provide novel information regarding the role of these residues in Fur function, and provide mechanistic insight into how H. pylori Fur regulates gene expression in both the iron-bound and apo forms of the protein. PMID:23710935

  3. Mechanism and Site Selectivity in Visible-Light Photocatalyzed C-H Functionalization: Insights from DFT Calculations.

    PubMed

    Demissie, Taye B; Hansen, Jørn H

    2016-08-19

    Visible-light photocatalyzed (VLPC) late-stage C-H functionalization is a powerful addition to the chemical synthesis toolkit. VLPC has a demonstrated potential for discovery of elusive and valuable transformations, particularly in functionalization of bioactive heterocycles. In order to fully harvest the potential of VLPC in the context of complex molecule synthesis, a thorough understanding of the elementary processes involved is crucial. This would enable more rational design of suitable reagents and catalysts, as well as prediction of activated C-H sites for functionalization. Such knowledge is essential when VLPC is to be employed in retrosynthetic analysis of complex molecules. Herein, we present a density functional theory (DFT) study of mechanistic details in the C-H functionalization of bioactive heterocycles exemplified by the methylation of the antifungal agent voriconazole. Moreover, we show that readily computed atomic charges can predict major site-selectivity in good agreement with experimental studies and thus be informative tools for the identification of active C-H functionalization sites in synthetic planning. PMID:27347684

  4. O2 activation by binuclear Cu sites: Noncoupled versus exchange coupled reaction mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Peng; Solomon, Edward I.

    2004-09-01

    Binuclear Cu proteins play vital roles in O2 binding and activation in biology and can be classified into coupled and noncoupled binuclear sites based on the magnetic interaction between the two Cu centers. Coupled binuclear Cu proteins include hemocyanin, tyrosinase, and catechol oxidase. These proteins have two Cu centers strongly magnetically coupled through direct bridging ligands that provide a mechanism for the 2-electron reduction of O2 to a µ-2:2 side-on peroxide bridged species. This side-on bridged peroxo-CuII2 species is activated for electrophilic attack on the phenolic ring of substrates. Noncoupled binuclear Cu proteins include peptidylglycine -hydroxylating monooxygenase and dopamine -monooxygenase. These proteins have binuclear Cu active sites that are distant, that exhibit no exchange interaction, and that activate O2 at a single Cu center to generate a reactive CuII/O2 species for H-atom abstraction from the C-H bond of substrates. O2 intermediates in the coupled binuclear Cu enzymes can be trapped and studied spectroscopically. Possible intermediates in noncoupled binuclear Cu proteins can be defined through correlation to mononuclear CuII/O2 model complexes. The different intermediates in these two classes of binuclear Cu proteins exhibit different reactivities that correlate with their different electronic structures and exchange coupling interactions between the binuclear Cu centers. These studies provide insight into the role of exchange coupling between the Cu centers in their reaction mechanisms.

  5. Structural and biochemical studies on procaspase-8: new insights on initiator caspase activation.

    PubMed

    Keller, Nadine; Mares, Jirí; Zerbe, Oliver; Grütter, Markus G

    2009-03-11

    Caspases are proteases with an active-site cysteine and aspartate specificity in their substrates. They are involved in apoptotic cell death and inflammation, and dysfunction of these enzymes is directly linked to a variety of diseases. Caspase-8 initiates an apoptotic pathway triggered by external stimuli. It was previously characterized in its active inhibitor bound state by crystallography. Here we present the solution structure of the monomeric unprocessed catalytic domain of the caspase-8 zymogen, procaspase-8, showing for the first time the position of the linker and flexibility of the active site forming loops. Biophysical studies of carefully designed mutants allowed disentangling dimerization and processing, and we could demonstrate lack of activity of monomeric uncleaved procaspase-8 and of a processed but dimerization-incompetent mutant. The data provide experimental support in so-far unprecedented detail, and reveal why caspase-8 (and most likely other initiator caspases) needs the dimerization platform during activation.

  6. Large-scale volcaniclastic turbidites from subaerial caldera-forming eruptions at Dominica: insights from IODP site U1398 cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maeno, F.; Ishizuka, O.; Kataoka, K.; Le Friant, A.; Boudon, G.; Villemant, B.

    2014-12-01

    thought that subaqueous flows travelled down >200 km in Grenada Basin. New data from the site U1398 will give insights into the emplacement processes of volcaniclastic turbidity currents from the explosive events in Dominica.

  7. 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. PMID:26357462

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Druggability analysis and classification of protein tyrosine phosphatase active sites

    PubMed Central

    Ghattas, Mohammad A; Raslan, Noor; Sadeq, Asil; Al Sorkhy, Mohammad; Atatreh, Noor

    2016-01-01

    Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTP) play important roles in the pathogenesis of many diseases. The fact that no PTP inhibitors have reached the market so far has raised many questions about their druggability. In this study, the active sites of 17 PTPs were characterized and assessed for its ability to bind drug-like molecules. Consequently, PTPs were classified according to their druggability scores into four main categories. Only four members showed intermediate to very druggable pocket; interestingly, the rest of them exhibited poor druggability. Particularly focusing on PTP1B, we also demonstrated the influence of several factors on the druggability of PTP active site. For instance, the open conformation showed better druggability than the closed conformation, while the tight-bound water molecules appeared to have minimal effect on the PTP1B druggability. Finally, the allosteric site of PTP1B was found to exhibit superior druggability compared to the catalytic pocket. This analysis can prove useful in the discovery of new PTP inhibitors by assisting researchers in predicting hit rates from high throughput or virtual screening and saving unnecessary cost, time, and efforts via prioritizing PTP targets according to their predicted druggability. PMID:27757011

  11. Current activities handbook: formerly utilized sites remedial action program

    SciTech Connect

    1981-02-27

    This volume is one of a series produced under contract with the DOE, by Politech Corporation to develop a legislative and regulatory data base to assist the FUSRAP management in addressing the institutional and socioeconomic issues involved in carrying out the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. This Information Handbook series contains information about all relevant government agencies at the Federal and state levels, the pertinent programs they administer, each affected state legislature, and current Federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives. This volume is a compilation of information about the activities each of the thirteen state legislatures potentially affected by the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. It contains a description of the state legislative procedural rules and a schedule of each legislative session; a summary of pending relevant legislation; the name and telephone number of legislative and state agency contacts; and the full text of all bills identified.

  12. 77 FR 40638 - Syniverse Technologies, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Insight Global Stone Staffing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-10

    ... 19, 2012 (Vol. 77, No. 76 FR 23510). At the request of State Workforce Office, the Department... Insight Global Stone Staffing, and Randstad Formerly Known as Sapphire Technologies, Watertown, MA... workers from Insight Global, Stone Staffing, Randstad formerly known as Sapphire Technologies,...

  13. Insights into the Binding Sites of Organometallic Ruthenium Anticancer Compounds on Peptides Using Ultra-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wills, Rebecca H.; Habtemariam, Abraha; Lopez-Clavijo, Andrea F.; Barrow, Mark P.; Sadler, Peter J.; O'Connor, Peter B.

    2014-04-01

    The binding sites of two ruthenium(II) organometallic complexes of the form [(η6-arene)Ru( N, N)Cl]+, where arene/ N, N = biphenyl (bip)/bipyridine (bipy) for complex AH076, and biphenyl (bip)/ o-phenylenediamine ( o-pda) for complex AH078, on the peptides angiotensin and bombesin have been investigated using Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry. Fragmentation was performed using collisionally activated dissociation (CAD), with, in some cases, additional data being provided by electron capture dissociation (ECD). The primary binding sites were identified as methionine and histidine, with further coordination to phenylalanine, potentially through a π-stacking interaction, which has been observed here for the first time. This initial peptide study was expanded to investigate protein binding through reaction with insulin, on which the binding sites proposed are histidine, glutamic acid, and tyrosine. Further reaction of the ruthenium complexes with the oxidized B chain of insulin, in which two cysteine residues are oxidized to cysteine sulfonic acid (Cys-SO3H), and glutathione, which had been oxidized with hydrogen peroxide to convert the cysteine to cysteine sulfonic acid, provided further support for histidine and glutamic acid binding, respectively.

  14. Uncovering Camouflage: Amygdala Activation Predicts Long-Term Memory of Induced Perceptual Insight

    PubMed Central

    Ludmer, Rachel; Dudai, Yadin; Rubin, Nava

    2012-01-01

    What brain mechanisms underlie learning of new knowledge from single events? We studied encoding in long-term memory of a unique type of one-shot experience, induced perceptual insight. While undergoing an fMRI brain scan, participants viewed degraded images of real-world pictures where the underlying objects were hard to recognize (‘camouflage’), followed by brief exposures to the original images (‘solution’), which led to induced insight (“Aha!”). A week later, participants’ memory was tested; a solution image was classified as ‘remembered’ if detailed perceptual knowledge was elicited from the camouflage image alone. During encoding, subsequently remembered images enjoyed higher activity in mid-level visual cortex and medial frontal cortex, but most pronouncedly in the amygdala, whose activity could be used to predict which solutions will remain in long-term memory. Our findings extend the known roles of amygdala in memory to include promoting of long-term memory of the sudden reorganization of internal representations. PMID:21382558

  15. Electrostatic fields in the active sites of lysozymes.

    PubMed

    Sun, D P; Liao, D I; Remington, S J

    1989-07-01

    Considerable experimental evidence is in support of several aspects of the mechanism that has been proposed for the catalytic activity of lysozyme. However, the enzymatically catalyzed hydrolysis of polysaccharides proceeds over 5 orders of magnitude faster than that of model compounds that mimic the configuration of the substrate in the active site of the enzyme. Although several possible explanations for this rate enhancement have been discussed elsewhere, a definitive mechanism has not emerged. Here we report striking results obtained by classical electrodynamics, which suggest that bond breakage and the consequent separation of charge in lysozyme is promoted by a large electrostatic field across the active site cleft, produced in part by a very asymmetric distribution of charged residues on the enzyme surface. Lysozymes unrelated in amino acid sequence have similar distributions of charged residues and electric fields. The results reported here suggest that the electrostatic component of the rate enhancement is greater than 9 kcal.mol-1. Thus, electrostatic interactions may play a more important role in the enzymatic mechanism than has generally been appreciated.

  16. Histidine at the active site of Neurospora tyrosinase.

    PubMed

    Pfiffner, E; Lerch, K

    1981-10-13

    The involvement of histidyl residues as potential ligands to the binuclear active-site copper of Neurospora tyrosinase was explored by dye-sensitized photooxidation. The enzymatic activity of the holoenzyme was shown to be unaffected by exposure to light in the presence of methylene blue; however, irradiation of the apoenzyme under the same conditions led to a progressive loss of its ability to be reactivated with Cu2+. This photoinactivation was paralleled by a decrease in the histidine content whereas the number of histidyl residues in the holoenzyme remained constant. Copper measurements of photooxidized, reconstituted apoenzyme demonstrated the loss of binding of one copper atom per mole of enzyme as a consequence of photosensitized oxidation of three out of nine histidine residues. Their sequence positions were determined by a comparison of the relative yields of the histidine containing peptides of photooxidized holo- and apotyrosinases. The data obtained show the preferential modification of histidyl residues 188, 193, and 289 and suggest that they constitute metal ligands to one of the two active-site copper atoms. Substitution of copper by cobalt was found to afford complete protection of the histidyl residues from being modified by dye-sensitized photooxidation. PMID:6458322

  17. 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

  18. Molybdenum and tungsten oxygen transferases--and functional diversity within a common active site motif.

    PubMed

    Pushie, M Jake; Cotelesage, Julien J; George, Graham N

    2014-01-01

    Molybdenum and tungsten are the only second and third-row transition elements with a known function in living organisms. The molybdenum and tungsten enzymes show common structural features, with the metal being bound by a pyranopterin-dithiolene cofactor called molybdopterin. They catalyze a variety of oxygen transferase reactions coupled with two-electron redox chemistry in which the metal cycles between the +6 and +4 oxidation states usually with water, either product or substrate, providing the oxygen. The functional roles filled by the molybdenum and tungsten enzymes are diverse; for example, they play essential roles in microbial respiration, in the uptake of nitrogen in green plants, and in human health. Together, the enzymes form a superfamily which is among the most prevalent known, being found in all kingdoms of life. This review discusses what is known of the active site structures and the mechanisms, together with some recent insights into the evolution of these important enzyme systems.

  19. Identification and characterization of columbid annexin Icp37. Insights into the evolution of annexin I phosphorylation sites.

    PubMed

    Haigler, H T; Mangili, J A; Gao, Y; Jones, J; Horseman, N D

    1992-09-25

    Annexin I (AnxI) contains phosphorylation sites in its "hinge region" that have been implicated in the regulation of cell growth and/or differentiation. A pigeon (Columba livia) isoform of this protein, annexin Icp35 (cp35), has a very similar amino acid sequence overall but an unrelated sequence that lacks phosphorylation sites in the hinge region. We now report the identification and characterization of annexin Icp37 (cp37) from pigeon. Genomic cloning and Southern blot analysis demonstrated that cp37 and cp35 were encoded by separated genes. Prolactin induced the expression of cp35 mRNA but not cp37. The amino acid sequence of cp37 was deduced from a cDNA clone and found to share 93 and 75% sequence identity with cp35 and human AnxI, respectively. The amino acid sequence of cp37 bore similarities to both AnxI and cp35 in the critical hinge region. Like AnxI, cp37 contained consensus phosphorylation sites in its amino acid sequence and was phosphorylated on tyrosine by the EGF receptor/kinase and on serine by protein kinase C in vitro. Despite the functional similarities between cp37 and AnxI, the nucleotide sequence that encoded the hinge region of cp37 was very similar to the analogous region of cp35, but different from that of AnxI. We propose that certain features shared by cp37 and AnxI are the products of convergent evolution. The fact that evolution independently selected for two annexin I-like genes (cp37 and anxI) encoding analogous phosphorylation sites is strong evidence that phosphorylation is important for the regulation of the biological activity of these proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 co-participating in school-based extracurricular activities supported adolescents’ school-based friendships. We utilized 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 co-participants 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 versus 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. PMID:21639618

  1. Structural and mechanistic insights into Helicobacter pylori NikR activation

    PubMed Central

    Bahlawane, C.; Dian, C.; Muller, C.; Round, A.; Fauquant, C.; Schauer, K.; de Reuse, H.; Terradot, L.; Michaud-Soret, I.

    2010-01-01

    NikR is a transcriptional metalloregulator central in the mandatory response to acidity of Helicobacter pylori that controls the expression of numerous genes by binding to specific promoter regions. NikR/DNA interactions were proposed to rely on protein activation by Ni(II) binding to high-affinity (HA) and possibly secondary external (X) sites. We describe a biochemical characterization of HpNikR mutants that shows that the HA sites are essential but not sufficient for DNA binding, while the secondary external (X) sites and residues from the HpNikR dimer–dimer interface are important for DNA binding. We show that a second metal is necessary for HpNikR/DNA binding, but only to some promoters. Small-angle X-ray scattering shows that HpNikR adopts a defined conformation in solution, resembling the cis-conformation and suggests that nickel does not trigger large conformational changes in HpNikR. The crystal structures of selected mutants identify the effects of each mutation on HpNikR structure. This study unravels key structural features from which we derive a model for HpNikR activation where: (i) HA sites and an hydrogen bond network are required for DNA binding and (ii) metallation of a unique secondary external site (X) modulates HpNikR DNA binding to low-affinity promoters by disruption of a salt bridge. PMID:20089510

  2. Trichodiene synthase. Identification of active site residues by site-directed mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Cane, D E; Shim, J H; Xue, Q; Fitzsimons, B C; Hohn, T M

    1995-02-28

    Derivatization of 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid)-treated trichodiene synthase with [methyl-14C]methyl methanethiosulfonate and analysis of the derived tryptic peptides suggested the presence of two cysteine residues at the active site. The corresponding C146A and C190A mutants were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis. The C190A mutant displayed partial but significantly reduced activity, with a reduction in kcat/Km of 3000 compared to the wild-type trichodiene synthase, while the C146A mutant was essentially inactive. A hybrid trichodiene synthase, constructed from amino acids 1-309 of the Fusarium sporotrichioides enzyme and amino acids 310-383 of the Gibberella pulicaris cyclase, had steady state kinetic parameters nearly identical to those of the wild-type F. sporotrichioides enzyme. From this parent hybrid, a series of mutants was constructed by site-directed mutagenesis in which the amino acids in the base-rich region, 302-306 (DRRYR), were systematically modified. Three of these mutants were overexpressed and purified to homogeneity. The importance of Arg304 for catalysis was established by the observation that the R304K mutant showed a more than 25-fold increase in Km, as well as a 200-fold reduction in kcat. In addition, analysis of the incubation products of the R304K mutant by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) indicated that farnesyl diphosphate was converted not only to trichodiene but to at least two additional C15H24 hydrocarbons, mle 204. Replacement of the Tyr305 residue of trichodiene synthase with Phe had little effect on kcat, while increasing the Km by a factor of ca. 7-8.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7873527

  3. Caught in the act: the crystal structure of cleaved cathepsin L bound to the active site of Cathepsin L.

    PubMed

    Sosnowski, Piotr; Turk, Dušan

    2016-04-01

    Cathepsin L is a ubiquitously expressed papain-like cysteine protease involved in the endosomal degradation of proteins and has numerous roles in physiological and pathological processes, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer. Insight into the specificity of cathepsin L is important for elucidating its physiological roles and drug discovery. To study interactions with synthetic ligands, we prepared a presumably inactive mutant and crystallized it. Unexpectedly, the crystal structure determined at 1.4 Å revealed that the cathepsin L molecule is cleaved, with the cleaved region trapped in the active site cleft of the neighboring molecule. Hence, the catalytic mutant demonstrated low levels of catalytic activity. PMID:26992470

  4. Caught in the act: the crystal structure of cleaved cathepsin L bound to the active site of Cathepsin L.

    PubMed

    Sosnowski, Piotr; Turk, Dušan

    2016-04-01

    Cathepsin L is a ubiquitously expressed papain-like cysteine protease involved in the endosomal degradation of proteins and has numerous roles in physiological and pathological processes, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer. Insight into the specificity of cathepsin L is important for elucidating its physiological roles and drug discovery. To study interactions with synthetic ligands, we prepared a presumably inactive mutant and crystallized it. Unexpectedly, the crystal structure determined at 1.4 Å revealed that the cathepsin L molecule is cleaved, with the cleaved region trapped in the active site cleft of the neighboring molecule. Hence, the catalytic mutant demonstrated low levels of catalytic activity.

  5. The copper active site of CBM33 polysaccharide oxygenases.

    PubMed

    Hemsworth, Glyn R; Taylor, Edward J; Kim, Robbert Q; Gregory, Rebecca C; Lewis, Sally J; Turkenburg, Johan P; Parkin, Alison; Davies, Gideon J; Walton, Paul H

    2013-04-24

    The capacity of metal-dependent fungal and bacterial polysaccharide oxygenases, termed GH61 and CBM33, respectively, to potentiate the enzymatic degradation of cellulose opens new possibilities for the conversion of recalcitrant biomass to biofuels. GH61s have already been shown to be unique metalloenzymes containing an active site with a mononuclear copper ion coordinated by two histidines, one of which is an unusual τ-N-methylated N-terminal histidine. We now report the structural and spectroscopic characterization of the corresponding copper CBM33 enzymes. CBM33 binds copper with high affinity at a mononuclear site, significantly stabilizing the enzyme. X-band EPR spectroscopy of Cu(II)-CBM33 shows a mononuclear type 2 copper site with the copper ion in a distorted axial coordination sphere, into which azide will coordinate as evidenced by the concomitant formation of a new absorption band in the UV/vis spectrum at 390 nm. The enzyme's three-dimensional structure contains copper, which has been photoreduced to Cu(I) by the incident X-rays, confirmed by X-ray absorption/fluorescence studies of both aqueous solution and intact crystals of Cu-CBM33. The single copper(I) ion is ligated in a T-shaped configuration by three nitrogen atoms from two histidine side chains and the amino terminus, similar to the endogenous copper coordination geometry found in fungal GH61. PMID:23540833

  6. Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors via their allosteric binding sites.

    PubMed Central

    Jakubík, J; Bacáková, L; Lisá, V; el-Fakahany, E E; Tucek, S

    1996-01-01

    Ligands that bind to the allosteric-binding sites on muscarinic acetylcholine receptors alter the conformation of the classical-binding sites of these receptors and either diminish or increase their affinity for muscarinic agonists and classical antagonists. It is not known whether the resulting conformational change also affects the interaction between the receptors and the G proteins. We have now found that the muscarinic receptor allosteric modulators alcuronium, gallamine, and strychnine (acting in the absence of an agonist) alter the synthesis of cAMP in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing the M2 or the M4 subtype of muscarinic receptors in the same direction as the agonist carbachol. In addition, most of their effects on the production of inositol phosphates in CHO cells expressing the M1 or the M3 muscarinic receptor subtypes are also similar to (although much weaker than) those of carbachol. The agonist-like effects of the allosteric modulators are not observed in CHO cells that have not been transfected with the gene for any of the subtypes of muscarinic receptors. The effects of alcuronium on the formation of cAMP and inositol phosphates are not prevented by the classical muscarinic antagonist quinuclidinyl benzilate. These observations demonstrate for the first time that the G protein-mediated functional responses of muscarinic receptors can be evoked not only from their classical, but also from their allosteric, binding sites. This represents a new mechanism of receptor activation. PMID:8710935

  7. 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.

  8. Radiation inactivation study of aminopeptidase: probing the active site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamadar, V. K.; Jamdar, S. N.; Mohan, Hari; Dandekar, S. P.; Harikumar, P.

    2004-04-01

    Ionizing radiation inactivated purified chicken intestinal aminopeptidase in media saturated with gases in the order N 2O>N 2>air. The D 37 values in the above conditions were 281, 210 and 198 Gy, respectively. OH radical scavengers such as t-butanol and isopropanol effectively nullified the radiation-induced damage in N 2O. The radicals (SCN) 2•-, Br 2•- and I 2•- inactivated the enzyme, pointing to the involvement of aromatic amino acids and cysteine in its catalytic activity. The enzyme exhibited fluorescence emission at 340 nm which is characteristic of tryptophan. The radiation-induced loss of activity was accompanied by a decrease in the fluorescence of the enzyme suggesting a predominant influence on tryptophan residues. The enzyme inhibition was associated with a marked increase in the Km and a decrease in the Vmax and kcat values, suggesting an irreversible alteration in the catalytic site. The above observations were confirmed by pulse radiolysis studies.

  9. Mimicking enzymatic active sites on surfaces for energy conversion chemistry.

    PubMed

    Gutzler, Rico; Stepanow, Sebastian; Grumelli, Doris; Lingenfelder, Magalí; Kern, Klaus

    2015-07-21

    Metal-organic supramolecular chemistry on surfaces has matured to a point where its underlying growth mechanisms are well understood and structures of defined coordination environments of metal atoms can be synthesized in a controlled and reproducible procedure. With surface-confined molecular self-assembly, scientists have a tool box at hand which can be used to prepare structures with desired properties, as for example a defined oxidation number and spin state of the transition metal atoms within the organic matrix. From a structural point of view, these coordination sites in the supramolecular structure resemble the catalytically active sites of metallo-enzymes, both characterized by metal centers coordinated to organic ligands. Several chemical reactions take place at these embedded metal ions in enzymes and the question arises whether these reactions also take place using metal-organic networks as catalysts. Mimicking the active site of metal atoms and organic ligands of enzymes in artificial systems is the key to understanding the selectivity and efficiency of enzymatic reactions. Their catalytic activity depends on various parameters including the charge and spin configuration in the metal ion, but also on the organic environment, which can stabilize intermediate reaction products, inhibits catalytic deactivation, and serves mostly as a transport channel for the reactants and products and therefore ensures the selectivity of the enzyme. Charge and spin on the transition metal in enzymes depend on the one hand on the specific metal element, and on the other hand on its organic coordination environment. These two parameters can carefully be adjusted in surface confined metal-organic networks, which can be synthesized by virtue of combinatorial mixing of building synthons. Different organic ligands with varying functional groups can be combined with several transition metals and spontaneously assemble into ordered networks. The catalytically active metal

  10. Polarizability of the active site of cytochrome c reduces the activation barrier for electron transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinpajooh, Mohammadhasan; Martin, Daniel R.; Matyushov, Dmitry V.

    2016-06-01

    Enzymes in biology’s energy chains operate with low energy input distributed through multiple electron transfer steps between protein active sites. The general challenge of biological design is how to lower the activation barrier without sacrificing a large negative reaction free energy. We show that this goal is achieved through a large polarizability of the active site. It is polarized by allowing a large number of excited states, which are populated quantum mechanically by electrostatic fluctuations of the protein and hydration water shells. This perspective is achieved by extensive mixed quantum mechanical/molecular dynamics simulations of the half reaction of reduction of cytochrome c. The barrier for electron transfer is consistently lowered by increasing the number of excited states included in the Hamiltonian of the active site diagonalized along the classical trajectory. We suggest that molecular polarizability, in addition to much studied electrostatics of permanent charges, is a key parameter to consider in order to understand how enzymes work.

  11. Polarizability of the active site of cytochrome c reduces the activation barrier for electron transfer

    PubMed Central

    Dinpajooh, Mohammadhasan; Martin, Daniel R.; Matyushov, Dmitry V.

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes in biology’s energy chains operate with low energy input distributed through multiple electron transfer steps between protein active sites. The general challenge of biological design is how to lower the activation barrier without sacrificing a large negative reaction free energy. We show that this goal is achieved through a large polarizability of the active site. It is polarized by allowing a large number of excited states, which are populated quantum mechanically by electrostatic fluctuations of the protein and hydration water shells. This perspective is achieved by extensive mixed quantum mechanical/molecular dynamics simulations of the half reaction of reduction of cytochrome c. The barrier for electron transfer is consistently lowered by increasing the number of excited states included in the Hamiltonian of the active site diagonalized along the classical trajectory. We suggest that molecular polarizability, in addition to much studied electrostatics of permanent charges, is a key parameter to consider in order to understand how enzymes work. PMID:27306204

  12. Spectroscopic Definition of the Ferroxidase Site in M Ferritin: Comparison of Binuclear Substrate vs. Cofactor Active Sites

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Jennifer K.; Liu, Xiaofeng S.; Tosha, Takehiko; Theil, Elizabeth C.; Solomon, Edward I.

    2008-01-01

    Maxi ferritins, 24 subunit protein nanocages, are essential in humans, plants, bacteria, and other animals for the concentration and storage of iron as hydrated ferric oxide, while minimizing free radical generation or use by pathogens. Formation of the precursors to these ferric oxides is catalyzed at a non-heme biferrous substrate site, which has some parallels with the cofactor sites in other biferrous enzymes. A combination of circular dichroism (CD), magnetic circular dichroism (MCD), and variable-temperature, variable-field MCD (VTVH MCD) has been used to probe Fe(II) binding to the substrate active site in frog M ferritin. These data determined that the active site within each subunit consists of two inequivalent five-coordinate (5C) ferrous centers that are weakly anti-ferromagnetically coupled, consistent with a μ-1,3 carboxylate bridge. The active site ligand set is unusual and likely includes a terminal water bound to each Fe(II) center. The Fe(II) ions bind to the active sites in a concerted manner, and cooperativity among the sites in each subunit is observed, potentially providing a mechanism for the control of ferritin iron loading. Differences in geometric and electronic structure – including a weak ligand field, availability of two water ligands at the biferrous substrate site, and the single carboxylate bridge in ferritin – coincide with the divergent reaction pathways observed between this substrate site and the previously studied cofactor active sites. PMID:18576633

  13. NMR crystallography of enzyme active sites: probing chemically detailed, three-dimensional structure in tryptophan synthase.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Leonard J; Dunn, Michael F

    2013-09-17

    NMR crystallography--the synergistic combination of X-ray diffraction, solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and computational chemistry--offers unprecedented insight into three-dimensional, chemically detailed structure. Initially, researchers used NMR crystallography to refine diffraction data from organic and inorganic solids. Now we are applying this technique to explore active sites in biomolecules, where it reveals chemically rich detail concerning the interactions between enzyme site residues and the reacting substrate. Researchers cannot achieve this level of detail from X-ray, NMR,or computational methodologies in isolation. For example, typical X-ray crystal structures (1.5-2.5 Å resolution) of enzyme-bound intermediates identify possible hydrogen-bonding interactions between site residues and substrate but do not directly identify the protonation states. Solid-state NMR can provide chemical shifts for selected atoms of enzyme-substrate complexes, but without a larger structural framework in which to interpret them only empirical correlations with local chemical structure are possible. Ab initio calculations and molecular mechanics can build models for enzymatic processes, but they rely on researcher-specified chemical details. Together, however, X-ray diffraction, solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and computational chemistry can provide consistent and testable models for structure and function of enzyme active sites: X-ray crystallography provides a coarse framework upon which scientists can develop models of the active site using computational chemistry; they can then distinguish these models by comparing calculated NMR chemical shifts with the results of solid-state NMR spectroscopy experiments. Conceptually, each technique is a puzzle piece offering a generous view of the big picture. Only when correctly pieced together, however, can they reveal the big picture at the highest possible resolution. In this Account, we detail our first steps in the development of

  14. An active-site lysine in avian liver phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase

    SciTech Connect

    Guidinger, P.F.; Nowak, T. )

    1991-09-10

    The participation of lysine in the catalysis by avian liver phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase was studied by chemical modification and by a characterization of the modified enzyme. The rate of inactivation by 2,4-pentanedione is pseudo-first-order and linearly dependent on reagent concentration with a second-order rate constant of 0.36 {plus minus} 0.025 M{sup {minus}1} min{sup {minus}1}. Inactivation by pyridoxal 5{prime}-phosphate of the reversible reaction catalyzed by phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase follows bimolecular kinetics with a second-order rate constant of 7,700 {plus minus} 860 m{sup {minus}1} min{sup {minus}1}. Treatment of the enzyme or one lysine residue modified concomitant with 100% loss in activity. A stoichiometry of 1:1 is observed when either the reversible or the irreversible reactions catalyzed by the enzyme are monitored. A study of k{sub obs} vs pH suggests this active-site lysine has a pK{sub a} of 8.1 and a pH-independent rate constant of inactivation of 47,700 m{sup {minus}1} min{sup {minus}1}. Proton relaxation rate measurements suggest that pyridoxal 5{prime}-phosphate modification alters binding of the phosphate-containing substrates. {sup 31}P NMR relaxation rate measurements show altered binding of the substrates in the ternary enzyme {center dot}Mn{sup 2+}{center dot}substrate complex. Circular dichroism studies show little change in secondary structure of pyridoxal 5{prime}-phosphate modified phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. These results indicate that avian liver phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase has one reactive lysine at the active site and it is involved in the binding and activation of the phosphate-containing substrates.

  15. Site-directed mutagenesis provides insight into racemization and transamination of alanine catalyzed by Treponema denticola cystalysin.

    PubMed

    Cellini, Barbara; Bertoldi, Mariarita; Paiardini, Alessandro; D'Aguanno, Simona; Voltattorni, Carla Borri

    2004-08-27

    In addition to alpha, beta-elimination of L-cysteine, Treponema denticola cystalysin catalyzes the racemization of both enantiomers of alanine accompanied by an overall transamination. Lys-238 and Tyr-123 or a water molecule located on the si and re face of the cofactor, respectively, have been proposed to act as the acid/base catalysts in the proton abstraction/donation at Calpha/C4' of the external aldimine. In this investigation, two site-directed mutants, K238A and Y123F, have been characterized. The Lys --> Ala mutation results in the complete loss of either lyase activity or racemase activity in both directions or transaminase activity toward L-alanine. However, the K238A mutant is able to catalyze the overall transamination of D-alanine, and only D-alanine is the product of the reverse transamination. For Y123F the k(cat)/K(m) is reduced 3.5-fold for alpha, beta-elimination, whereas it is reduced 300-400-fold for racemization. Y123F has approximately 18% of wild type transaminase activity with L-alanine and an extremely low transaminase activity with D-alanine. Moreover, the catalytic properties of the Y124F and Y123F/Y124F mutants rule out the possibility that the residual racemase and transaminase activities displayed by Y123F are due to Tyr-124. All these data, together with computational results, indicate a two-base racemization mechanism for cystalysin in which Lys-238 has been unequivocally identified as the catalyst acting on the si face of the cofactor. Moreover, this study highlights the importance of the interaction of Tyr-123 with water molecules for efficient proton abstraction/donation function on the re face. PMID:15210695

  16. Eel calcitonin binding site distribution and antinociceptive activity in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Guidobono, F.; Netti, C.; Sibilia, V.; Villa, I.; Zamboni, A.; Pecile, A.

    1986-03-01

    The distribution of binding site for (/sup 125/I)-eel-calcitonin (ECT) to rat central nervous system, studied by an autoradiographic technique, showed concentrations of binding in the diencephalon, the brain stem and the spinal cord. Large accumulations of grains were seen in the hypothalamus, the amygdala, in the fasciculus medialis prosencephali, in the fasciculus longitudinalis medialis, in the ventrolateral part of the periventricular gray matter, in the lemniscus medialis and in the raphe nuclei. The density of grains in the reticular formation and in the nucleus tractus spinalis nervi trigemini was more moderate. In the spinal cord, grains were scattered throughout the dorsal horns. Binding of the ligand was displaced equally by cold ECT and by salmon CT(sCT), indicating that both peptides bind to the same receptors. Human CT was much weaker than sCT in displacing (/sup 125/I)-ECT binding. The administration of ECT into the brain ventricles of rats dose-dependently induced a significant and long-lasting enhancement of hot-plate latencies comparable with that obtained with sCT. The antinociceptive activity induced by ECT is compatible with the topographical distribution of binding sites for the peptide and is a further indication that fish CTs are active in the mammalian brain.

  17. Role of Id proteins in B lymphocyte activation: new insights from knockout mouse studies.

    PubMed

    Sugai, Manabu; Gonda, Hiroyuki; Nambu, Yukiko; Yokota, Yoshifumi; Shimizu, Akira

    2004-09-01

    Id (inhibitor of differentiation) proteins play important roles in cell differentiation, cell cycle control, and apoptosis. They act as negative regulators of basic helix-loop-helix-type transcription factors, which positively regulate differentiation of various cell types. Id proteins work to block B lymphocyte (B cell) maturation at an early differentiation step, as demonstrated by gain-of-function studies. In recent years a series of gene-targeted mice lacking different Ids have been generated. Analyses of these gene-targeted mice provide information useful for understanding the physiological roles of Ids in B cell biology. Id3 is required for proper B cell functions and acts by controlling the cell cycle. Upon B cell activation, Id2 acts as a negative regulator to prevent potentially harmful effects brought about by excessive immunological reactions; one of its special roles is to maintain low serum concentrations of immunoglobulin E (IgE). The Id2 protein does this by antagonizing E2A and Pax5 activities, both of which are required for proper B cell activation. This review presents several new insights into B cell differentiation and activation programs and the physiological role of Id proteins in B cell activation. PMID:15184986

  18. 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.

  19. An Active Site Water Network in the Plasminogen Activator Pla from Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Eren, Elif; Murphy, Megan; Goguen, Jon; van den Berg, Bert

    2010-08-13

    The plasminogen activator Pla from Yersinia pestis is an outer membrane protease (omptin) that is important for the virulence of plague. Here, we present the high-resolution crystal structure of wild-type, enzymatically active Pla at 1.9 {angstrom}. The structure shows a water molecule located between active site residues D84 and H208, which likely corresponds to the nucleophilic water. A number of other water molecules are present in the active site, linking residues important for enzymatic activity. The R211 sidechain in loop L4 is close to the nucleophilic water and possibly involved in the stabilization of the oxyanion intermediate. Subtle conformational changes of H208 result from the binding of lipopolysaccharide to the outside of the barrel, explaining the unusual dependence of omptins on lipopolysaccharide for activity. The Pla structure suggests a model for the interaction with plasminogen substrate and provides a more detailed understanding of the catalytic mechanism of omptin proteases.

  20. Metal active site elasticity linked to activation of homocysteine in methionine synthases

    SciTech Connect

    Koutmos, Markos; Pejchal, Robert; Bomer, Theresa M.; Matthews, Rowena G.; Smith, Janet L.; Ludwig, Martha L.

    2008-04-02

    Enzymes possessing catalytic zinc centers perform a variety of fundamental processes in nature, including methyl transfer to thiols. Cobalamin-independent (MetE) and cobalamin-dependent (MetH) methionine synthases are two such enzyme families. Although they perform the same net reaction, transfer of a methyl group from methyltetrahydrofolate to homocysteine (Hcy) to form methionine, they display markedly different catalytic strategies, modular organization, and active site zinc centers. Here we report crystal structures of zinc-replete MetE and MetH, both in the presence and absence of Hcy. Structural investigation of the catalytic zinc sites of these two methyltransferases reveals an unexpected inversion of zinc geometry upon binding of Hcy and displacement of an endogenous ligand in both enzymes. In both cases a significant movement of the zinc relative to the protein scaffold accompanies inversion. These structures provide new information on the activation of thiols by zinc-containing enzymes and have led us to propose a paradigm for the mechanism of action of the catalytic zinc sites in these and related methyltransferases. Specifically, zinc is mobile in the active sites of MetE and MetH, and its dynamic nature helps facilitate the active site conformational changes necessary for thiol activation and methyl transfer.

  1. Structural insights into the dehydroascorbate reductase activity of human omega-class glutathione transferases.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Huina; Brock, Joseph; Liu, Dan; Board, Philip G; Oakley, Aaron J

    2012-07-13

    The reduction of dehydroascorbate (DHA) to ascorbic acid (AA) is a vital cellular function. The omega-class glutathione transferases (GSTs) catalyze several reductive reactions in cellular biochemistry, including DHA reduction. In humans, two isozymes (GSTO1-1 and GSTO2-2) with significant DHA reductase (DHAR) activity are found, sharing 64% sequence identity. While the activity of GSTO2-2 is higher, it is significantly more unstable in vitro. We report the first crystal structures of human GSTO2-2, stabilized through site-directed mutagenesis and determined at 1.9 Å resolution in the presence and absence of glutathione (GSH). The structure of a human GSTO1-1 has been determined at 1.7 Å resolution in complex with the reaction product AA, which unexpectedly binds in the G-site, where the glutamyl moiety of GSH binds. The structure suggests a similar mode of ascorbate binding in GSTO2-2. This is the first time that a non-GSH-based reaction product has been observed in the G-site of any GST. AA stacks against a conserved aromatic residue, F34 (equivalent to Y34 in GSTO2-2). Mutation of Y34 to alanine in GSTO2-2 eliminates DHAR activity. From these structures and other biochemical data, we propose a mechanism of substrate binding and catalysis of DHAR activity.

  2. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Program plan. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Wickliff, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1992-02-01

    The Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP), initiated in 1989, provides early detection and performance monitoring of transuranic (TRU) waste and active low-level waste (LLW) facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in accordance with US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5820.2A. Active LLW facilities in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 include Tumulus I and Tumulus II, the Interim Waste Management Facility (IWMF), LLW silos, high-range wells, asbestos silos, and fissile wells. The tumulus pads and IWMF are aboveground, high-strength concrete pads on which concrete vaults containing metal boxes of LLW are placed; the void space between the boxes and vaults is filled with grout. Eventually, these pads and vaults will be covered by an engineered multilayered cap. All other LLW facilities in SWSA 6 are below ground. In addition, this plan includes monitoring of the Hillcut Disposal Test Facility (HDTF) in SWSA 6, even though this facility was completed prior to the data of the DOE order. In SWSA 5 North, the TRU facilities include below-grade engineered caves, high-range wells, and unlined trenches. All samples from SWSA 6 are screened for alpha and beta activity, counted for gamma-emitting isotopes, and analyzed for tritium. In addition to these analytes, samples from SWSA 5 North are analyzed for specific transuranic elements.

  3. HMGN proteins modulate chromatin regulatory sites and gene expression during activation of naïve B cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shaofei; Zhu, Iris; Deng, Tao; Furusawa, Takashi; Rochman, Mark; Vacchio, Melanie S.; Bosselut, Remy; Yamane, Arito; Casellas, Rafael; Landsman, David; Bustin, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The activation of naïve B lymphocyte involves rapid and major changes in chromatin organization and gene expression; however, the complete repertoire of nuclear factors affecting these genomic changes is not known. We report that HMGN proteins, which bind to nucleosomes and affect chromatin structure and function, co-localize with, and maintain the intensity of DNase I hypersensitive sites genome wide, in resting but not in activated B cells. Transcription analyses of resting and activated B cells from wild-type and Hmgn−/− mice, show that loss of HMGNs dampens the magnitude of the transcriptional response and alters the pattern of gene expression during the course of B-cell activation; defense response genes are most affected at the onset of activation. Our study provides insights into the biological function of the ubiquitous HMGN chromatin binding proteins and into epigenetic processes that affect the fidelity of the transcriptional response during the activation of B cell lymphocytes. PMID:27112571

  4. Active Site and Laminarin Binding in Glycoside Hydrolase Family 55*

    PubMed Central

    Bianchetti, Christopher M.; Takasuka, Taichi E.; Deutsch, Sam; Udell, Hannah S.; Yik, Eric J.; Bergeman, Lai F.; Fox, Brian G.

    2015-01-01

    The Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy) database indicates that glycoside hydrolase family 55 (GH55) contains both endo- and exo-β-1,3-glucanases. The founding structure in the GH55 is PcLam55A from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Ishida, T., Fushinobu, S., Kawai, R., Kitaoka, M., Igarashi, K., and Samejima, M. (2009) Crystal structure of glycoside hydrolase family 55 β-1,3-glucanase from the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 10100–10109). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of bacterial SacteLam55A from the highly cellulolytic Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E with bound substrates and product. These structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, implicate Glu-502 as the catalytic acid (as proposed earlier for Glu-663 in PcLam55A) and a proton relay network of four residues in activating water as the nucleophile. Further, a set of conserved aromatic residues that define the active site apparently enforce an exo-glucanase reactivity as demonstrated by exhaustive hydrolysis reactions with purified laminarioligosaccharides. Two additional aromatic residues that line the substrate-binding channel show substrate-dependent conformational flexibility that may promote processive reactivity of the bound oligosaccharide in the bacterial enzymes. Gene synthesis carried out on ∼30% of the GH55 family gave 34 active enzymes (19% functional coverage of the nonredundant members of GH55). These active enzymes reacted with only laminarin from a panel of 10 different soluble and insoluble polysaccharides and displayed a broad range of specific activities and optima for pH and temperature. Application of this experimental method provides a new, systematic way to annotate glycoside hydrolase phylogenetic space for functional properties. PMID:25752603

  5. Characterization and Down-Selection of Prospective InSight Landing Site Ellipses in Elysium Planitia, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warner, N. H.; Golombek, M. P.; Wigton, N.; Schwartz, C. H.; Bloom, C.; Kannan, S.

    2013-12-01

    Twenty-two landing ellipses (130 km by 27 km) in Elysium Planitia (2°S-5°N and 134-145°E) that are below -2.5 km were considered for landing InSight in Sept. 2016. Following a HiRISE and CTX image targeting campaign and through detailed mapping of the finalist ellipses, the first landing site downselection occurred in July 2013. The four finalist ellipses that remain span a Late Hesperian smooth terrain type with generally low slopes (1 m to 100 m-scale) and minimal rocks (<5% cumulative fractional area (CFA)). Here, we describe our current mapping efforts up to and after the downselection, identify the primary landing hazards, and describe the regional geology that influenced downselection. Our terrain map for the landing area is based on nearly complete CTX coverage (6 m pixel-1) with about 20 HiRISE images (25 cm pixel-1) to confirm identification of mapped terrains. Hazardous terrain types, with rock abundances that exceed ~10% CFA, occur in the southernmost region of the landing area below ~3° N. We identify these surfaces as Etched Terrain, Gradational Etched Terrain, and Patchy Etched Terrain. Interspersed with these terrains are smoother surfaces that exhibit <5% CFA of rocks. Smooth Terrain dominates ellipses north of ~3° N. From image observations that span the Etched-Smooth terrain transition, the Etched Terrain commonly occurs within broad and patchy topographic depressions, below the Smooth Terrain. We hypothesize that aeolian deflation of the mobile, sand-sized regolith has stripped the smoother terrain in places, concentrating rocks within the topographically lower Etched Terrain. Using the onset diameter of rocky ejecta craters (D = 40 - 100 m) across all terrain types we confirm the presence of a 5-10 m thick regolith that is sufficient for penetration of the heat flow probe. Other hazards within the ellipses include scarps that exceed the mission design threshold of 15°, fresh rocky ejecta craters, and fresh secondary craters. Secondary

  6. 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

  7. Insights into properties of activated carbons prepared from different raw precursors by pyrophosphoric acid activation.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yuan; Yue, Qinyan; Gao, Baoyu

    2016-03-01

    Low-cost activated carbons (ACs) were prepared from four kinds of solid wastes: petroleum coke, Enteromorpha prolifera, lignin from papermaking black liquid and hair, by pyrophosphoric acid (H4P2O7) activation. Thermo-gravimetric analysis of the pyrolysis of H4P2O7-precursor mixtures implied that H4P2O7 had different influences on the pyrolysis behavior of the four raw materials. N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and adsorption capacities for dyes were used to characterize the prepared activated carbons. AC derived from E. prolifera exhibited the highest surface area (1094m(2)/g) and maximum monolayer adsorption capacity for malachite green (1250mg/g). Kinetic studies showed that the experimental data were in agreement with the pseudo-second-order model. The adsorption isotherms were well described by the Langmuir isotherm model, indicating the adsorption of dye onto the ACs proceeded by monolayers. PMID:26969070

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

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaoqian; 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.

  9. Active site loop conformation regulates promiscuous activity in a lactonase from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; An, Jiao; Yang, Guang-Yu; Bai, Aixi; Zheng, Baisong; Lou, Zhiyong; Wu, Geng; Ye, Wei; Chen, Hai-Feng; Feng, Yan; Manco, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme promiscuity is a prerequisite for fast divergent evolution of biocatalysts. A phosphotriesterase-like lactonase (PLL) from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 (GkaP) exhibits main lactonase and promiscuous phosphotriesterase activities. To understand its catalytic and evolutionary mechanisms, we investigated a "hot spot" in the active site by saturation mutagenesis as well as X-ray crystallographic analyses. We found that position 99 in the active site was involved in substrate discrimination. One mutant, Y99L, exhibited 11-fold improvement over wild-type in reactivity (kcat/Km) toward the phosphotriesterase substrate ethyl-paraoxon, but showed 15-fold decrease toward the lactonase substrate δ-decanolactone, resulting in a 157-fold inversion of the substrate specificity. Structural analysis of Y99L revealed that the mutation causes a ∼6.6 Å outward shift of adjacent loop 7, which may cause increased flexibility of the active site and facilitate accommodation and/or catalysis of organophosphate substrate. This study provides for the PLL family an example of how the evolutionary route from promiscuity to specificity can derive from very few mutations, which promotes alteration in the conformational adjustment of the active site loops, in turn draws the capacity of substrate binding and activity.

  10. Active Site Loop Conformation Regulates Promiscuous Activity in a Lactonase from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu; An, Jiao; Yang, Guang-Yu; Bai, Aixi; Zheng, Baisong; Lou, Zhiyong; Wu, Geng; Ye, Wei; Chen, Hai-Feng; Feng, Yan; Manco, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme promiscuity is a prerequisite for fast divergent evolution of biocatalysts. A phosphotriesterase-like lactonase (PLL) from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 (GkaP) exhibits main lactonase and promiscuous phosphotriesterase activities. To understand its catalytic and evolutionary mechanisms, we investigated a “hot spot” in the active site by saturation mutagenesis as well as X-ray crystallographic analyses. We found that position 99 in the active site was involved in substrate discrimination. One mutant, Y99L, exhibited 11-fold improvement over wild-type in reactivity (kcat/Km) toward the phosphotriesterase substrate ethyl-paraoxon, but showed 15-fold decrease toward the lactonase substrate δ-decanolactone, resulting in a 157-fold inversion of the substrate specificity. Structural analysis of Y99L revealed that the mutation causes a ∼6.6 Å outward shift of adjacent loop 7, which may cause increased flexibility of the active site and facilitate accommodation and/or catalysis of organophosphate substrate. This study provides for the PLL family an example of how the evolutionary route from promiscuity to specificity can derive from very few mutations, which promotes alteration in the conformational adjustment of the active site loops, in turn draws the capacity of substrate binding and activity. PMID:25706379

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26195686

  13. Structural insights into ligand-induced activation of the insulin receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.; Lawrence, M.; Streltsov, V.; Garrett, T.; McKern, N.; Lou, M.-Z.; Lovrecz, G.; Adams, T.

    2008-04-29

    The current model for insulin binding to the insulin receptor proposes that there are two binding sites, referred to as sites 1 and 2, on each monomer in the receptor homodimer and two binding surfaces on insulin, one involving residues predominantly from the dimerization face of insulin (the classical binding surface) and the other residues from the hexamerization face. High-affinity binding involves one insulin molecule using its two surfaces to make bridging contacts with site 1 from one receptor monomer and site 2 from the other. Whilst the receptor dimer has two identical site 1-site 2 pairs, insulin molecules cannot bridge both pairs simultaneously. Our structures of the insulin receptor (IR) ectodomain dimer and the L1-CR-L2 fragments of IR and insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) explain many of the features of ligand-receptor binding and allow the two binding sites on the receptor to be described. The IR dimer has an unexpected folded-over conformation which places the C-terminal surface of the first fibronectin-III domain in close juxtaposition to the known L1 domain ligand-binding surface suggesting that the C-terminal surface of FnIII-1 is the second binding site involved in high-affinity binding. This is very different from previous models based on three-dimensional reconstruction from scanning transmission electron micrographs. Our single-molecule images indicate that IGF-1R has a morphology similar to that of IR. In addition, the structures of the first three domains (L1-CR-L2) of the IR and IGF-1R show that there are major differences in the two regions governing ligand specificity. The implications of these findings for ligand-induced receptor activation will be discussed. This review summarizes the key findings regarding the discovery and characterization of the insulin receptor, the identification and arrangement of its structural domains in the sequence and the key features associated with ligand binding. The remainder of the review

  14. 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

  15. Metals in the active site of native protein phosphatase-1.

    PubMed

    Heroes, Ewald; Rip, Jens; Beullens, Monique; Van Meervelt, Luc; De Gendt, Stefan; Bollen, Mathieu

    2015-08-01

    Protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) is a major protein Ser/Thr phosphatase in eukaryotic cells. Its activity depends on two metal ions in the catalytic site, which were identified as manganese in the bacterially expressed phosphatase. However, the identity of the metal ions in native PP1 is unknown. In this study, total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) was used to detect iron and zinc in PP1 that was purified from rabbit skeletal muscle. Metal exchange experiments confirmed that the distinct substrate specificity of recombinant and native PP1 is determined by the nature of their associated metals. We also found that the iron level associated with native PP1 is decreased by incubation with inhibitor-2, consistent with a function of inhibitor-2 as a PP1 chaperone. PMID:25890482

  16. Metavanadate at the active site of the phosphatase VHZ.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsov, Vyacheslav I; Alexandrova, Anastassia N; Hengge, Alvan C

    2012-09-01

    Vanadate is a potent modulator of a number of biological processes and has been shown by crystal structures and NMR spectroscopy to interact with numerous enzymes. Although these effects often occur under conditions where oligomeric forms dominate, the crystal structures and NMR data suggest that the inhibitory form is usually monomeric orthovanadate, a particularly good inhibitor of phosphatases because of its ability to form stable trigonal-bipyramidal complexes. We performed a computational analysis of a 1.14 Å structure of the phosphatase VHZ in complex with an unusual metavanadate species and compared it with two classical trigonal-bipyramidal vanadate-phosphatase complexes. The results support extensive delocalized bonding to the apical ligands in the classical structures. In contrast, in the VHZ metavanadate complex, the central, planar VO(3)(-) moiety has only one apical ligand, the nucleophilic Cys95, and a gap in electron density between V and S. A computational analysis showed that the V-S interaction is primarily ionic. A mechanism is proposed to explain the formation of metavanadate in the active site from a dimeric vanadate species that previous crystallographic evidence has shown to be able to bind to the active sites of phosphatases related to VHZ. Together, the results show that the interaction of vanadate with biological systems is not solely reliant upon the prior formation of a particular inhibitory form in solution. The catalytic properties of an enzyme may act upon the oligomeric forms primarily present in solution to generate species such as the metavanadate ion observed in the VHZ structure. PMID:22876963

  17. Zymogen Activation and Subcellular Activity of Subtilisin Kexin Isozyme 1/Site 1 Protease*

    PubMed Central

    da Palma, Joel Ramos; Burri, Dominique Julien; Oppliger, Joël; Salamina, Marco; Cendron, Laura; de Laureto, Patrizia Polverino; Seidah, Nabil Georges; Kunz, Stefan; Pasquato, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    The proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin isozyme 1 (SKI-1)/site 1 protease (S1P) plays crucial roles in cellular homeostatic functions and is hijacked by pathogenic viruses for the processing of their envelope glycoproteins. Zymogen activation of SKI-1/S1P involves sequential autocatalytic processing of its N-terminal prodomain at sites B′/B followed by the herein newly identified C′/C sites. We found that SKI-1/S1P autoprocessing results in intermediates whose catalytic domain remains associated with prodomain fragments of different lengths. In contrast to other zymogen proprotein convertases, all incompletely matured intermediates of SKI-1/S1P showed full catalytic activity toward cellular substrates, whereas optimal cleavage of viral glycoproteins depended on B′/B processing. Incompletely matured forms of SKI-1/S1P further process cellular and viral substrates in distinct subcellular compartments. Using a cell-based sensor for SKI-1/S1P activity, we found that 9 amino acid residues at the cleavage site (P1–P8) and P1′ are necessary and sufficient to define the subcellular location of processing and to determine to what extent processing of a substrate depends on SKI-1/S1P maturation. In sum, our study reveals novel and unexpected features of SKI-1/S1P zymogen activation and subcellular specificity of activity toward cellular and pathogen-derived substrates. PMID:25378398

  18. Insights into structural and regulatory roles of Sec16 in COPII vesicle formation at ER exit sites

    PubMed Central

    Yorimitsu, Tomohiro; Sato, Ken

    2012-01-01

    COPII-coated buds are formed at endoplasmic reticulum exit sites (ERES) to mediate ER-to-Golgi transport. Sec16 is an essential factor in ERES formation, as well as in COPII-mediated traffic in vivo. Sec16 interacts with multiple COPII proteins, although the functional significance of these interactions remains unknown. Here we present evidence that full-length Sec16 plays an important role in regulating Sar1 GTPase activity at the late steps of COPII vesicle formation. We show that Sec16 interacts with Sec23 and Sar1 through its C-terminal conserved region and hinders the ability of Sec31 to stimulate Sec23 GAP activity toward Sar1. We also find that purified Sec16 alone can self-assemble into homo-oligomeric complexes on a planar lipid membrane. These features ensure prolonged COPII coat association within a preformed Sec16 cluster, which may lead to the formation of ERES. Our results indicate a mechanistic relationship between COPII coat assembly and ERES formation. PMID:22675024

  19. Unraveling the actions of AMP-activated protein kinase in metabolic diseases: Systemic to molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Weikel, Karen A; Ruderman, Neil B; Cacicedo, José M

    2016-05-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a critical role both in sensing and regulating cellular energy state. In experimental animals, its activation has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes-related co-morbidities such as insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, in humans, AMPK activation alone often does not completely resolve these conditions. Thus, an improved understanding of AMPK action and regulation in metabolic and other diseases is needed. Herein, we provide a brief description of the enzymatic regulation of AMPK and review its role in maintaining energy homeostasis. We then discuss tissue-specific actions of AMPK that become distorted during such conditions as obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Finally, we explore recent findings regarding the interactions of AMPK with mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 and the lysosome and discuss how changes in these relationships during overnutrition may lead to AMPK dysfunction. A more thorough understanding of AMPK's molecular interactions during diseases of overnutrition may provide key insights for the development of AMPK-based combinatorial treatments for metabolic disease. PMID:27085772

  20. 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. PMID:26935293

  1. Calculation of Vibrational Shifts of Nitrile Probes in the Active Site of Ketosteroid Isomerase upon Ligand Binding

    PubMed Central

    Layfield, Joshua P.

    2012-01-01

    The vibrational Stark effect provides insight into the roles of hydrogen bonding, electrostatics, and conformational motions in enzyme catalysis. In a recent application of this approach to the enzyme ketosteroid isomerase (KSI), thiocyanate probes were introduced in site-specific positions throughout the active site. This paper implements a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach for calculating the vibrational shifts of nitrile (CN) probes in proteins. This methodology is shown to reproduce the experimentally measured vibrational shifts upon binding of the intermediate analog equilinen to KSI for two different nitrile probe positions. Analysis of the molecular dynamics simulations provides atomistic insight into the roles that key residues play in determining the electrostatic environment and hydrogen-bonding interactions experienced by the nitrile probe. For the M116C-CN probe, equilinen binding reorients an active site water molecule that is directly hydrogen bonded to the nitrile probe, resulting in a more linear CNH angle and increasing the CN frequency upon binding. For the F86C-CN probe, equilinen binding orients the Asp103 residue, decreasing the hydrogen-bonding distance between the Asp103 backbone and the nitrile probe and slightly increasing the CN frequency. This QM/MM methodology is applicable to a wide range of biological systems and has the potential to assist in the elucidation of the fundamental principles underlying enzyme catalysis. PMID:23210919

  2. Site-specific PEGylation of lidamycin and its antitumor activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Shang, Boyang; Hu, Lei; Shao, Rongguang; Zhen, Yongsu

    2015-05-01

    In this study, N-terminal site-specific mono-PEGylation of the recombinant lidamycin apoprotein (rLDP) of lidamycin (LDM) was prepared using a polyethyleneglycol (PEG) derivative (M w 20 kDa) through a reactive terminal aldehyde group under weak acidic conditions (pH 5.5). The biochemical properties of mPEG-rLDP-AE, an enediyne-integrated conjugate, were analyzed by SDS-PAGE, RP-HPLC, SEC-HPLC and MALDI-TOF. Meanwhile, in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of mPEG-rLDP-AE was evaluated by MTT assays and in xenograft model. The results indicated that mPEG-rLDP-AE showed significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo. After PEGylation, mPEG-rLDP still retained the binding capability to the enediyne AE and presented the physicochemical characteristics similar to that of native LDP. It is of interest that the PEGylation did not diminish the antitumor efficacy of LDM, implying the possibility that this derivative may function as a payload to deliver novel tumor-targeted drugs. PMID:26579455

  3. Structure-guided inhibitor design for human FAAH by interspecies active site conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Mileni, Mauro; Johnson, Douglas S.; Wang, Zhigang; Everdeen, Daniel S.; Liimatta, Marya; Pabst, Brandon; Bhattacharya, Keshab; Nugent, Richard A.; Kamtekar, Satwik; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Ahn, Kay; Stevens, Raymond C.

    2008-11-24

    The integral membrane enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) hydrolyzes the endocannabinoid anandamide and related amidated signaling lipids. Genetic or pharmacological inactivation of FAAH produces analgesic, anxiolytic, and antiinflammatory phenotypes but not the undesirable side effects of direct cannabinoid receptor agonists, indicating that FAAH may be a promising therapeutic target. Structure-based inhibitor design has, however, been hampered by difficulties in expressing the human FAAH enzyme. Here, we address this problem by interconverting the active sites of rat and human FAAH using site-directed mutagenesis. The resulting humanized rat (h/r) FAAH protein exhibits the inhibitor sensitivity profiles of human FAAH but maintains the high-expression yield of the rat enzyme. We report a 2.75-{angstrom} crystal structure of h/rFAAH complexed with an inhibitor, N-phenyl-4-(quinolin-3-ylmethyl)piperidine-1-carboxamide (PF-750), that shows strong preference for human FAAH. This structure offers compelling insights to explain the species selectivity of FAAH inhibitors, which should guide future drug design programs.

  4. A Conserved Surface Loop in Type I Dehydroquinate Dehydratases Positions an Active Site Arginine and Functions in Substrate Binding

    SciTech Connect

    Light, Samuel H.; Minasov, George; Shuvalova, Ludmilla; Peterson, Scott N.; Caffrey, Michael; Anderson, Wayne F.; Lavie, Arnon

    2012-04-18

    Dehydroquinate dehydratase (DHQD) catalyzes the third step in the biosynthetic shikimate pathway. We present three crystal structures of the Salmonella enterica type I DHQD that address the functionality of a surface loop that is observed to close over the active site following substrate binding. Two wild-type structures with differing loop conformations and kinetic and structural studies of a mutant provide evidence of both direct and indirect mechanisms of involvement of the loop in substrate binding. In addition to allowing amino acid side chains to establish a direct interaction with the substrate, closure of the loop necessitates a conformational change of a key active site arginine, which in turn positions the substrate productively. The absence of DHQD in humans and its essentiality in many pathogenic bacteria make the enzyme a target for the development of nontoxic antimicrobials. The structures and ligand binding insights presented here may inform the design of novel type I DHQD inhibiting molecules.

  5. Hybrid [FeFe]-hydrogenases with modified active sites show remarkable residual enzymatic activity.

    PubMed

    Siebel, Judith F; Adamska-Venkatesh, Agnieszka; Weber, Katharina; Rumpel, Sigrun; Reijerse, Edward; Lubitz, Wolfgang

    2015-02-24

    [FeFe]-hydrogenases are to date the only enzymes for which it has been demonstrated that the native inorganic binuclear cofactor of the active site Fe2(adt)(CO)3(CN)2 (adt = azadithiolate = [S-CH2-NH-CH2-S](2-)) can be synthesized on the laboratory bench and subsequently inserted into the unmaturated enzyme to yield fully functional holo-enzyme (Berggren, G. et al. (2013) Nature 499, 66-70; Esselborn, J. et al. (2013) Nat. Chem. Biol. 9, 607-610). In the current study, we exploit this procedure to introduce non-native cofactors into the enzyme. Mimics of the binuclear subcluster with a modified bridging dithiolate ligand (thiodithiolate, N-methylazadithiolate, dimethyl-azadithiolate) and three variants containing only one CN(-) ligand were inserted into the active site of the enzyme. We investigated the activity of these variants for hydrogen oxidation as well as proton reduction and their structural accommodation within the active site was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Interestingly, the monocyanide variant with the azadithiolate bridge showed ∼50% of the native enzyme activity. This would suggest that the CN(-) ligands are not essential for catalytic activity, but rather serve to anchor the binuclear subsite inside the protein pocket through hydrogen bonding. The inserted artificial cofactors with a propanedithiolate and an N-methylazadithiolate bridge as well as their monocyanide variants also showed residual activity. However, these activities were less than 1% of the native enzyme. Our findings indicate that even small changes in the dithiolate bridge of the binuclear subsite lead to a rather strong decrease of the catalytic activity. We conclude that both the Brønsted base function and the conformational flexibility of the native azadithiolate amine moiety are essential for the high catalytic activity of the native enzyme. PMID:25633077

  6. Rayleigh Wave Ellipticity Modeling and Inversion for Shallow Structure at the Proposed InSight Landing Site in Elysium Planitia, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Golombek, Matthew P.; Ohrnberger, Matthias

    2016-10-01

    The SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) instrument onboard the InSight mission will be the first seismometer directly deployed on the surface of Mars. From studies on the Earth and the Moon, it is well known that site amplification in low-velocity sediments on top of more competent rocks has a strong influence on seismic signals, but can also be used to constrain the subsurface structure. Here we simulate ambient vibration wavefields in a model of the shallow sub-surface at the InSight landing site in Elysium Planitia and demonstrate how the high-frequency Rayleigh wave ellipticity can be extracted from these data and inverted for shallow structure. We find that, depending on model parameters, higher mode ellipticity information can be extracted from single-station data, which significantly reduces uncertainties in inversion. Though the data are most sensitive to properties of the upper-most layer and show a strong trade-off between layer depth and velocity, it is possible to estimate the velocity and thickness of the sub-regolith layer by using reasonable constraints on regolith properties. Model parameters are best constrained if either higher mode data can be used or additional constraints on regolith properties from seismic analysis of the hammer strokes of InSight's heat flow probe HP3 are available. In addition, the Rayleigh wave ellipticity can distinguish between models with a constant regolith velocity and models with a velocity increase in the regolith, information which is difficult to obtain otherwise.

  7. 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

  8. Mutational and Structural Analyses of Caldanaerobius polysaccharolyticus Man5B Reveal Novel Active Site Residues for Family 5 Glycoside Hydrolases

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yejun; Burnett, Alanna; Nagasawa, Naoko; Mackie, Roderick I.; Nakamura, Haruki; Morikawa, Kosuke; Cann, Isaac

    2013-01-01

    CpMan5B is a glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5 enzyme exhibiting both β-1,4-mannosidic and β-1,4-glucosidic cleavage activities. To provide insight into the amino acid residues that contribute to catalysis and substrate specificity, we solved the structure of CpMan5B at 1.6 Å resolution. The structure revealed several active site residues (Y12, N92 and R196) in CpMan5B that are not present in the active sites of other structurally resolved GH5 enzymes. Residue R196 in GH5 enzymes is thought to be strictly conserved as a histidine that participates in an electron relay network with the catalytic glutamates, but we show that an arginine fulfills a functionally equivalent role and is found at this position in every enzyme in subfamily GH5_36, which includes CpMan5B. Residue N92 is required for full enzymatic activity and forms a novel bridge over the active site that is absent in other family 5 structures. Our data also reveal a role of Y12 in establishing the substrate preference for CpMan5B. Using these molecular determinants as a probe allowed us to identify Man5D from Caldicellulosiruptor bescii as a mannanase with minor endo-glucanase activity. PMID:24278284

  9. 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.

  10. Insights into the different dioxygen activation pathways of methane and toluene monooxygenase hydroxylases

    PubMed Central

    Bochevarov, Arteum D.; Li, Jianing; Song, Woon Ju; Friesner, Richard A.; Lippard, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    The methane and toluene monooxygenase hydroxylases (MMOH and TMOH, respectively) have almost identical active sites yet the physical and chemical properties of their oxygenated intermediates, designated P*, Hperoxo, Q and Q* in MMOH and ToMOHperoxo in ToMOH, are substantially different. We review and compare the structural differences in the vicinity of the active sites of these enzymes and discuss which changes could give rise to the different behavior of Hperoxo and Q. In particular, analysis of multiple crystal structures reveals that T213 in MMOH and the analogous T201 in TMOH, located in the immediate vicinity of the active site, have different rotatory configurations. We study the rotation energy profiles of these threonine residues with the use of molecular mechanics (MM) and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) computational methods and put forward a hypothesis according to which T201 and T213 play an important role in the formation of different types of peroxodiiron(III) species in MMOH and ToMOH. The hypothesis is indirectly supported by QM/MM calculations of the peroxodiiron(III) models of ToMOH and the theoretically computed Mössbauer spectra. It also helps explain the formation of two distinct peroxodiiron(III) species in the T201S mutant of ToMOH. Additionally, a role for the ToMOD regulatory protein, which is essential for intermediate formation and the protein functioning in the ToMO system, is advanced. We find that the low quadrupole splitting parameter in the Mössbauer spectrum observed for a ToMOHperoxo intermediate can be explained by protonation of the peroxo moiety, possibly stabilized by the T201 residue. PMID:21517016

  11. Insights into activation and RNA binding of trp RNA-binding attenuation protein (TRAP) through all-atom simulations.

    PubMed

    Murtola, Teemu; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Falck, Emma

    2008-06-01

    Tryptophan biosynthesis in Bacillus stearothermophilus is regulated by a trp RNA binding attenuation protein (TRAP). It is a ring-shaped 11-mer of identical 74 residue subunits. Tryptophan binding pockets are located between adjacent subunits, and tryptophan binding activates TRAP to bind RNA. Here, we report results from all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of the system, complementing existing extensive experimental studies. We focus on two questions. First, we look at the activation mechanism, of which relatively little is known experimentally. We find that the absence of tryptophan allows larger motions close to the tryptophan binding site, and we see indication of a conformational change in the BC loop. However, complete deactivation seems to occur on much longer time scales than the 40 ns studied here. Second, we study the TRAP-RNA interactions. We look at the relative flexibilities of the different bases in the complex and analyze the hydrogen bonds between the protein and RNA. We also study the role of Lys37, Lys56, and Arg58, which have been experimentally identified as essential for RNA binding. Hydrophobic stacking of Lys37 with the nearby RNA base is confirmed, but we do not see direct hydrogen bonding between RNA and the other two residues, in contrast to the crystal structure. Rather, these residues seem to stabilize the RNA-binding surface, and their positive charge may also play a role in RNA binding. Simulations also indicate that TRAP is able to attract RNA nonspecifically, and the interactions are quantified in more detail using binding energy calculations. The formation of the final binding complex is a very slow process: within the simulation time scale of 40 ns, only two guanine bases become bound (and no others), indicating that the binding initiates at these positions. In general, our results are in good agreement with experimental studies, and provide atomic-scale insights into the processes. PMID:18186477

  12. Histopathological and molecular insights into the ovicidal activities of two entomopathogenic fungi against two-spotted spider mite.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Shi, Wei-Bing; Feng, Ming-Guang

    2014-03-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi can infect and kill spider mite eggs but their ovicidal activities are poorly understood. Here we gain histopathogenical and molecular insights into the ovicidal activities of Beauveria bassiana and Isaria fumosorosea against the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae. Scanning electronic microscopy indicated successful adhesion and germination of fungal conidia on egg shell at 24h post-spray (HPS). Germ tubes of both fungi could penetrate into egg shell with penetration pegs at 48 HPS. Interestingly, the germ tubes of B. bassiana may elongate on egg surface to locate appropriate sites for penetration, acting as 'searching' hyphae. Aside from the normal penetration, the germ tubes of I. fumosorosea can be completely or partially embedded into egg shell for a distance of extension, forming shell humps. Light microscopy of ultrathin sections of infected eggs showed shrunken (affected) or disrupted embryos at 48-96 HPS despite little effect on egg cleavage at 24 HPS. However, distinguishable hyphal cells were hardly found inside the embryos lacking oxygen although fungal outgrowths were abundant on unhatched (killed) eggs. In PCR with specific probes, the 18S rDNA signals of B. bassiana (412 bp) and I. fumosorosea (454 bp) in the DNA extracts from surface-cleaned mite eggs increased at 0-96 HPS, confirming fungal colonization in the infected eggs. We consider that the colonization on shell surface and underside could rely upon extending hyphae for uptake of egg nutrition, resulting in embryo disruption. Our observations add knowledge to microbial control of spider mites.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Characterization of the active site of chloroperoxidase using physical techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, K.S.

    1986-01-01

    Chloroperoxidase (CPO) and Cytochrome P-450, two very different hemeproteins, have been shown to have similar active sites by several techniques. Recent work has demonstrated thiolate ligation from a cysteine residue to the iron in P-450. A major portion of this research has been devoted to obtaining direct evidence that CPO also has a thiolate 5th ligand from a cysteine residue. This information will provide the framework for a detailed analysis of the structure-function relationships between peroxidases, catalase and cytochrome P-450 hemeproteins. To determine whether the 5th ligand is a cysteine, methionine or a unique amino acid, specific isotope enrichment experiments were used. Preliminary /sup 1/H-NMR studies show that the carbon monoxide-CPO complex has a peak in the upfield region corresponding to alpha-protons of a thiolate amino acid. C. fumago was grown on 95% D/sub 2/O media with a small amount of /sup 1/H-cysteine added. Under these conditions C. fumago slows down the biosynthesis of cysteine by at least 50% and utilizes the exogenous cysteine in the media. GC-MS was able to show that the methylene protons next to the sulfur atom in cysteine are 80-90% protonated while these positions in methionine are approximately 73% deuterated. Comparison of the /sup 1/H-NMR spectra of CO-CPO and CO-CPO indicate the presence of a cysteine ligand in chloroperoxidase.

  18. N6-Methyldeoxyadenosine Marks Active Transcription Start Sites in Chlamydomonas

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kai; Deng, Xin; Yu, Miao; Han, Dali; Hao, Ziyang; Liu, Jianzhao; Lu, Xingyu; Dore, Louis C; Weng, Xiaocheng; Ji, Quanjiang; Mets, Laurens; He, Chuan

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY N6-methyldeoxyadenosine (6mA or m6A) is a DNA modification preserved in prokaryotes to eukaryotes. It is widespread in bacteria, and functions in DNA mismatch repair, chromosome segregation, and virulence regulation. In contrast, the distribution and function of 6mA in eukaryotes have been unclear. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of the 6mA landscape in the genome of Chlamydomonas using new sequencing approaches. We identified the 6mA modification in 84% of genes in Chlamydomonas. We found that 6mA mainly locates at ApT dinucleotides around transcription start sites (TSS) with a bimodal distribution, and appears to mark active genes. A periodic pattern of 6mA deposition was also observed at base resolution, which is associated with nucleosome distribution near the TSS, suggesting a possible role in nucleosome positioning. The new genome-wide mapping of 6mA and its unique distribution in the Chlamydomonas genome suggest potential regulatory roles of 6mA in gene expression in eukaryotic organisms. PMID:25936837

  19. Detection limit for activation measurements in ultralow background sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trache, Livius; Chesneanu, D.; Margineanu, R.; Pantelica, A.; Ghita, D. G.; Burducea, I.; Straticiuc, M.; Tang, X. D.

    2014-09-01

    We used 12C +13C fusion at the beam energies E = 6, 7 and 8 MeV to determine the sensitivity and the limits of activation method measurements in ultralow background sites. A 13C beam of 0.5 μA from the 3 MV Tandem accelerator of the Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering - IFIN HH impinged on thick graphite targets. After about 24 hrs of irradiation targets were measured in two different laboratories: one with a heavy shielded Ge detector in the institute (at the surface) and one located underground in the microBequerel laboratory, in the salt mine of Slanic-Prahova, Romania. The 1369- and 2754 keV peaks from 24Na deactivation were clearly observed in the γ-ray spectra obtained for acquisitions lasting a few hours, or a few days. Determination of the detection limit in evaluating the cross sections for the target irradiated at Ec . m = 3 MeV indicates the fact that it is possible to measure gamma spectrum in underground laboratory down to Ec . m = 2 . 6 MeV. Cleaning the spectra with beta-gamma coincidences and increasing beam intensity 20 times will take as further down. The measurements are motivated by the study of the 12 C +12 C reaction at astrophysical energies.

  20. Disturbance opens recruitment sites for bacterial colonization in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Vuono, David C; Munakata-Marr, Junko; Spear, John R; Drewes, Jörg E

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the role of immigration in shaping bacterial communities or the factors that may dictate success or failure of colonization by bacteria from regional species pools. To address these knowledge gaps, the influence of bacterial colonization into an ecosystem (activated sludge bioreactor) was measured through a disturbance gradient (successive decreases in the parameter solids retention time) relative to stable operational conditions. Through a DNA sequencing approach, we show that the most abundant bacteria within the immigrant community have a greater probability of colonizing the receiving ecosystem, but mostly as low abundance community members. Only during the disturbance do some of these bacterial populations significantly increase in abundance beyond background levels and in few cases become dominant community members post-disturbance. Two mechanisms facilitate the enhanced enrichment of immigrant populations during disturbance: (i) the availability of resources left unconsumed by established species and (ii) the increased availability of niche space for colonizers to establish and displace resident populations. Thus, as a disturbance decreases local diversity, recruitment sites become available to promote colonization. This work advances our understanding of microbial resource management and diversity maintenance in complex ecosystems. PMID:25727891

  1. 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. PMID:27517610

  2. Dissection of reverse gyrase activities: insight into the evolution of a thermostable molecular machine†

    PubMed Central

    Valenti, Anna; Perugino, Giuseppe; D’Amaro, Anna; Cacace, Andrea; Napoli, Alessandra; Rossi, Mosè; Ciaramella, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Reverse gyrase is a peculiar DNA topoisomerase, specific of thermophilic microorganisms, which induces positive supercoiling into DNA molecules in an ATP-dependent reaction. It is a modular enzyme and comprises an N-terminal helicase-like module fused to a C-terminal topoisomerase IA-like domain. The exact molecular mechanism of this unique reaction is not understood, and a fundamental mechanistic question is how its distinct steps are coordinated. We studied the cross-talk between the components of this molecular motor and probed communication between the DNA-binding sites and the different activities (DNA relaxation, ATP hydrolysis and positive supercoiling). We show that the isolated ATPase and topoisomerase domains of reverse gyrase form specific physical interactions, retain their own DNA binding and enzymatic activities, and when combined cooperate to achieve the unique ATP-dependent positive supercoiling activity. Our results indicate a mutual effect of both domains on all individual steps of the reaction. The C-terminal domain shows ATP-independent topoisomerase activity, which is repressed by the N-terminal domain in the full-length enzyme; experiments with the isolated domains showed that the C-terminal domain has stimulatory influence on the ATPase activity of the N-terminal domain. In addition, the two domains showed a striking reciprocal thermostabilization effect. PMID:18614606

  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. Active Site Characterization of Proteases Sequences from Different Species of Aspergillus.

    PubMed

    Morya, V K; Yadav, Virendra K; Yadav, Sangeeta; Yadav, Dinesh

    2016-09-01

    A total of 129 proteases sequences comprising 43 serine proteases, 36 aspartic proteases, 24 cysteine protease, 21 metalloproteases, and 05 neutral proteases from different Aspergillus species were analyzed for the catalytically active site residues using MEROPS database and various bioinformatics tools. Different proteases have predominance of variable active site residues. In case of 24 cysteine proteases of Aspergilli, the predominant active site residues observed were Gln193, Cys199, His364, Asn384 while for 43 serine proteases, the active site residues namely Asp164, His193, Asn284, Ser349 and Asp325, His357, Asn454, Ser519 were frequently observed. The analysis of 21 metalloproteases of Aspergilli revealed Glu298 and Glu388, Tyr476 as predominant active site residues. In general, Aspergilli species-specific active site residues were observed for different types of protease sequences analyzed. The phylogenetic analysis of these 129 proteases sequences revealed 14 different clans representing different types of proteases with diverse active site residues.

  5. A proposed definition of the 'activity' of surface sites on lactose carriers for dry powder inhalation.

    PubMed

    Grasmeijer, Floris; Frijlink, Henderik W; de Boer, Anne H

    2014-06-01

    A new definition of the activity of surface sites on lactose carriers for dry powder inhalation is proposed which relates to drug detachment during dispersion. The new definition is expected to improve the understanding of 'carrier surface site activity', which stimulates the unambiguous communication about this subject and may aid in the rational design and interpretation of future formulation studies. In contrast to the currently prevailing view on carrier surface site activity, it follows from the newly proposed definition that carrier surface site activity depends on more variables than just the physicochemical properties of the carrier surface. Because the term 'active sites' is ambiguous, it is recommended to use the term 'highly active sites' instead to denote carrier surface sites with a relatively high activity. PMID:24613490

  6. Selective Sirt2 inhibition by ligand-induced rearrangement of the active site.

    PubMed

    Rumpf, Tobias; Schiedel, Matthias; Karaman, Berin; Roessler, Claudia; North, Brian J; Lehotzky, Attila; Oláh, Judit; Ladwein, Kathrin I; Schmidtkunz, Karin; Gajer, Markus; Pannek, Martin; Steegborn, Clemens; Sinclair, David A; Gerhardt, Stefan; Ovádi, Judit; Schutkowski, Mike; Sippl, Wolfgang; Einsle, Oliver; Jung, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    Sirtuins are a highly conserved class of NAD(+)-dependent lysine deacylases. The human isotype Sirt2 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer, inflammation and neurodegeneration, which makes the modulation of Sirt2 activity a promising strategy for pharmaceutical intervention. A rational basis for the development of optimized Sirt2 inhibitors is lacking so far. Here we present high-resolution structures of human Sirt2 in complex with highly selective drug-like inhibitors that show a unique inhibitory mechanism. Potency and the unprecedented Sirt2 selectivity are based on a ligand-induced structural rearrangement of the active site unveiling a yet-unexploited binding pocket. Application of the most potent Sirtuin-rearranging ligand, termed SirReal2, leads to tubulin hyperacetylation in HeLa cells and induces destabilization of the checkpoint protein BubR1, consistent with Sirt2 inhibition in vivo. Our structural insights into this unique mechanism of selective sirtuin inhibition provide the basis for further inhibitor development and selective tools for sirtuin biology. PMID:25672491

  7. Selective Sirt2 inhibition by ligand-induced rearrangement of the active site

    PubMed Central

    Rumpf, Tobias; Schiedel, Matthias; Karaman, Berin; Roessler, Claudia; North, Brian J.; Lehotzky, Attila; Oláh, Judit; Ladwein, Kathrin I.; Schmidtkunz, Karin; Gajer, Markus; Pannek, Martin; Steegborn, Clemens; Sinclair, David A.; Gerhardt, Stefan; Ovádi, Judit; Schutkowski, Mike; Sippl, Wolfgang; Einsle, Oliver; Jung, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    Sirtuins are a highly conserved class of NAD+-dependent lysine deacylases. The human isotype Sirt2 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer, inflammation and neurodegeneration, which makes the modulation of Sirt2 activity a promising strategy for pharmaceutical intervention. A rational basis for the development of optimized Sirt2 inhibitors is lacking so far. Here we present high-resolution structures of human Sirt2 in complex with highly selective drug-like inhibitors that show a unique inhibitory mechanism. Potency and the unprecedented Sirt2 selectivity are based on a ligand-induced structural rearrangement of the active site unveiling a yet-unexploited binding pocket. Application of the most potent Sirtuin-rearranging ligand, termed SirReal2, leads to tubulin hyperacetylation in HeLa cells and induces destabilization of the checkpoint protein BubR1, consistent with Sirt2 inhibition in vivo. Our structural insights into this unique mechanism of selective sirtuin inhibition provide the basis for further inhibitor development and selective tools for sirtuin biology. PMID:25672491

  8. 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.

  9. Origin of magnetic highs at ultramafic hosted hydrothermal systems: Insights from the Yokoniwa site of Central Indian Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Masakazu; Okino, Kyoko; Sato, Taichi; Sato, Hiroshi; Nakamura, Kentaro

    2016-05-01

    High-resolution vector magnetic measurements were performed on an inactive ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal vent field, called Yokoniwa Hydrothermal Field (YHF), using a deep-sea manned submersible Shinkai6500 and an autonomous underwater vehicle r2D4. The YHF has developed at a non-transform offset massif of the Central Indian Ridge. Dead chimneys were widely observed around the YHF along with a very weak venting of low-temperature fluids so that hydrothermal activity of the YHF was almost finished. The distribution of crustal magnetization from the magnetic anomaly revealed that the YHF is associated with enhanced magnetization, as seen at the ultramafic-hosted Rainbow and Ashadze-1 hydrothermal sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The results of rock magnetic analysis on seafloor rock samples (including basalt, dolerite, gabbro, serpentinized peridotite, and hydrothermal sulfide) showed that only highly serpentinized peridotite carries high magnetic susceptibility and that the natural remanent magnetization intensity can explain the high magnetization of Yokoniwa. These observations reflect abundant and strongly magnetized magnetite grains within the highly serpentinized peridotite. Comparisons with the Rainbow and Ashadze-1 suggest that in ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems, strongly magnetized magnetite and pyrrhotite form during the progression of hydrothermal alteration of peridotite. After the completion of serpentinization and production of hydrogen, pyrrhotites convert into pyrite or nonmagnetic iron sulfides, which considerably reduces their levels of magnetization. Our results revealed origins of the magnetic high and the development of subsurface chemical processes in ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems. Furthermore, the results highlight the use of near-seafloor magnetic field measurements as a powerful tool for detecting and characterizing seafloor hydrothermal systems.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26134419

  13. 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.

  14. Formation of active sites for oxygen reduction reactions by transformation of nitrogen functionalities in nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Sharifi, Tiva; Hu, Guangzhi; Jia, Xueen; Wågberg, Thomas

    2012-10-23

    Heat treating nitrogen-doped multiwalled carbon nanotubes containing up to six different types of nitrogen functionalities transforms particular nitrogen functionalities into other types which are more catalytically active toward oxygen reduction reactions (ORR). In the first stage, the unstable pyrrolic functionalities transform into pyridinic functionalities followed by an immediate transition into quaternary center and valley nitrogen functionalities. By measuring the electrocatalytic oxidation reduction current for the different samples, we achieve information on the catalytic activity connected to each type of nitrogen functionality. Through this, we conclude that quaternary nitrogen valley sites, N-Q(valley), are the most active sites for ORR in N-CNTs. The number of electrons transferred in the ORR is determined from ring disk electrode and rotating ring disk electrode measurements. Our measurements indicate that the ORR processes proceed by a direct four-electron pathway for the N-Q(valley) and the pyridinic sites while it proceeds by an indirect two-electron pathway via hydrogen peroxide at the N-Q(center) sites. Our study gives both insights on the mechanism of ORR on different nitrogen functionalities in nitrogen-doped carbon nanostructures and it proposes how to treat samples to maximize the catalytic efficiency of such samples.

  15. Kinetic isotope effects for alkaline phosphatase reactions: implications for the role of active-site metal ions in catalysis.

    PubMed

    Zalatan, Jesse G; Catrina, Irina; Mitchell, Rebecca; Grzyska, Piotr K; O'brien, Patrick J; Herschlag, Daniel; Hengge, Alvan C

    2007-08-01

    Enzyme-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer reactions have frequently been suggested to proceed through transition states that are altered from their solution counterparts, with the alterations presumably arising from interactions with active-site functional groups. In particular, the phosphate monoester hydrolysis reaction catalyzed by Escherichia coli alkaline phosphatase (AP) has been the subject of intensive scrutiny. Recent linear free energy relationship (LFER) studies suggest that AP catalyzes phosphate monoester hydrolysis through a loose transition state, similar to that in solution. To gain further insight into the nature of the transition state and active-site interactions, we have determined kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) for AP-catalyzed hydrolysis reactions with several phosphate monoester substrates. The LFER and KIE data together provide a consistent picture for the nature of the transition state for AP-catalyzed phosphate monoester hydrolysis and support previous models suggesting that the enzymatic transition state is similar to that in solution. Moreover, the KIE data provides unique information regarding specific interactions between the transition state and the active-site Zn2+ ions. These results provide strong support for a model in which electrostatic interactions between the bimetallo Zn2+ site and a nonbridging phosphate ester oxygen atom make a significant contribution to the large rate enhancement observed for AP-catalyzed phosphate monoester hydrolysis.

  16. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  17. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  18. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  19. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  20. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  1. 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.

  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. GAS HYDRATES AT TWO SITES OF AN ACTIVE CONTINENTAL MARGIN.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-01-01

    Sediment containing gas hydrates from two distant Deep Sea Drilling Project sites (565 and 568), located about 670 km apart on the landward flank of the Middle America Trench, was studied to determine the geochemical conditions that characterize the occurrence of gas hydrates. Site 565 was located in the Pacific Ocean offshore the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica in 3,111 m of water. The depth of the hole at this site was 328 m, and gas hydrates were recovered from 285 and 319 m. Site 568 was located about 670 km to the northwest offshore Guatemala in 2,031 m of water. At this site the hole penetrated to 418 m, and gas hydrates were encountered at 404 m.

  4. Control of active sites in selective flocculation: III -- Mechanism of site blocking

    SciTech Connect

    Behl, S.; Moudgil, B.M. . Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering)

    1993-12-01

    It has been shown in Parts I and II of this paper that heteroflocculation can be controlled by poisoning the sites for flocculant adsorption using a site blocking agent (SBA). An efficient SBA was determined to be the lower molecular weight fraction of the flocculant. In this paper, the underlying mechanism of SBA action is described. Also, the mathematical model detailed in Part I is used to determine the effect of different SBAs on apatite-dolomite separation efficiency. It has been demonstrated that the depression in flocculation is directly related to the site blocking parameter ([bar [Phi

  5. Dynamically achieved active site precision in enzyme catalysis.

    PubMed

    Klinman, Judith P

    2015-02-17

    CONSPECTUS: The grand challenge in enzymology is to define and understand all of the parameters that contribute to enzymes' enormous rate accelerations. The property of hydrogen tunneling in enzyme reactions has moved the focus of research away from an exclusive focus on transition state stabilization toward the importance of the motions of the heavy atoms of the protein, a role for reduced barrier width in catalysis, and the sampling of a protein conformational landscape to achieve a family of protein substates that optimize enzyme-substrate interactions and beyond. This Account focuses on a thermophilic alcohol dehydrogenase for which the chemical step of hydride transfer is rate determining across a wide range of experimental conditions. The properties of the chemical coordinate have been probed using kinetic isotope effects, indicating a transition in behavior below 30 °C that distinguishes nonoptimal from optimal C-H activation. Further, the introduction of single site mutants has the impact of either enhancing or eliminating the temperature dependent transition in catalysis. Biophysical probes, which include time dependent hydrogen/deuterium exchange and fluorescent lifetimes and Stokes shifts, have also been pursued. These studies allow the correlation of spatially resolved transitions in protein motions with catalysis. It is now possible to define a long-range network of protein motions in ht-ADH that extends from a dimer interface to the substrate binding domain across to the cofactor binding domain, over a distance of ca. 30 Å. The ongoing challenge to obtaining spatial and temporal resolution of catalysis-linked protein motions is discussed.

  6. Lethal Factor Active-Site Mutations Affect Catalytic Activity In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, S. E.; Hanna, P. C.

    1998-01-01

    The lethal factor (LF) protein of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin contains the thermolysin-like active-site and zinc-binding consensus motif HEXXH (K. R. Klimpel, N. Arora, and S. H. Leppla, Mol. Microbiol. 13:1093–1100, 1994). LF is hypothesized to act as a Zn2+ metalloprotease in the cytoplasm of macrophages, but no proteolytic activities have been previously shown on any target substrate. Here, synthetic peptides are hydrolyzed by LF in vitro. Mass spectroscopy and peptide sequencing of isolated cleavage products separated by reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography indicate that LF seems to prefer proline-containing substrates. Substitution mutations within the consensus active-site residues completely abolish all in vitro catalytic functions, as does addition of 1,10-phenanthroline, EDTA, and certain amino acid hydroxamates, including the novel zinc metalloprotease inhibitor ZINCOV. In contrast, the protease inhibitors bestatin and lysine CMK, previously shown to block LF activity on macrophages, did not block LF activity in vitro. These data provide the first direct evidence that LF may act as an endopeptidase. PMID:9573135

  7. N2O reduction by the mu4-sulfide-bridged tetranuclear CuZ cluster active site.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peng; Gorelsky, Serge I; Ghosh, Somdatta; Solomon, Edward I

    2004-08-13

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) reduction is a chemical challenge both in the selective oxidation of organic substrates by N2O and in the removal of N2O as a green-house gas. The reduction of N2O is thermodynamically favorable but kinetically inert, and requires activating transition-metal centers. In biological systems, N2O reduction is the last step in the denitrification process of the bacterial nitrogen cycle and is accomplished by the enzyme nitrous oxide reductase, whose active site consists of a micro4-sulfide-bridged tetranuclear CuZ cluster which has many unusual spectroscopic features. Recent studies have developed a detailed electronic-structure description of the resting CuZ cluster, determined its catalytically relevant state, and provided insight into the role of this tetranuclear copper cluster in N2O activation and reduction.

  8. Monoclonal antibody against the active site of caeruloplasmin and the ELISA system detecting active caeruloplasmin.

    PubMed

    Hiyamuta, S; Ito, K

    1994-04-01

    Serum caeruloplasmin deficiency is a characteristic biochemical abnormality found in patients with Wilson's disease, but the mechanism of this disease is unknown. Although the phenylenediamine oxidase activity of serum caeruloplasmin is markedly low in patients with Wilson's disease, mRNA of caeruloplasmin exists to some extent. To investigate the deficiency of caeruloplasmin oxidase activity in Wilson's disease, we generated 14 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and selected ID1, which had the strongest reactivity, and ID2, which had neutralizing ability. We also established a system to measure active caeruloplasmin specifically using these MAbs. These MAbs and the system will be useful tools in analyzing the active site of caeruloplasmin in patients with Wilson's disease.

  9. Surveillance of illness associated with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection among adults using a global clinical site network approach: the INSIGHT FLU 002 and FLU 003 Studies

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The novel pandemic influenza A (H1H1) 2009 virus spread rapidly around the world in 2009. The paucity of prospective international epidemiologic data on predictors of clinical outcomes with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection stimulated the INSIGHT network, an international network of community and hospital-based investigators, to commence two worldwide clinical observational studies to describe pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus activity. The purpose of these two studies was to estimate the percent of adult patients with illness due to laboratory-confirmed pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection that experience clinically significant outcomes and to study factors related to these outcomes. Enrollment commenced in October 2009 and will continue until August 2011: as of the end of 2010, 62 sites in 14 countries in Australasia (12 sites), Europe (37) and North America (13) have enrolled 1365 adult patients, with 1049 enrollments into the FLU 002 outpatient study and 316 into the FLU 003 hospitalization study. These “in progress” INSIGHT influenza observational studies may act as a model for obtaining epidemiological, clinical and laboratory information in future international disease outbreaks. PMID:21757105

  10. A plant scaffold attached region detected close to a T-DNA integration site is active in mammalian cells.

    PubMed Central

    Dietz, A; Kay, V; Schlake, T; Landsmann, J; Bode, J

    1994-01-01

    Integration of foreign genes into plant genomes by the Agrobacterium T-DNA transfer system has been considered to occur at random. It has been speculated that the chromosomal structure of the integration site might affect the expression pattern of the introduced genes. To gain insight into the molecular structure of T-DNA integration sites and its possible impact on gene expression, we have examined plant DNA sequences in the vicinity of T-DNA borders. Analysis of a transgenic petunia plant containing a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene regulated by the hemoglobin promoter (PAR) from Parasponia andersonii revealed a scaffold attachment region (SAR) close to one T-DNA end. In addition to having strong binding affinities for both animal and plant nuclear scaffolds this petunia SAR element is as active in mammalian cells as the authentic elements from mammalian sources. Images PMID:8052530

  11. Robotics and Automation Activities at the Savannah River Site: A Site Report for SUBWOG 39F

    SciTech Connect

    Teese, G.D.

    1995-09-28

    The Savannah River Site has successfully used robots, teleoperators, and remote video to reduce exposure to ionizing radiation, improve worker safety, and improve the quality of operations. Previous reports have described the use of mobile teleoperators in coping with a high level liquid waste spill, the removal of highly contaminated equipment, and the inspection of nuclear reactor vessels. This report will cover recent applications at the Savannah River, as well as systems which SRS has delivered to other DOE site customers.

  12. Control of active sites in selective flocculation: II -- Role of site blocking agents

    SciTech Connect

    Behl, S.; Moudgil, B.M. . Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering)

    1993-12-01

    Control of heteroflocculation using a lower molecular weight fraction of the flocculant as a site blocking agent is demonstrated in the apatite-dolomite-polyethylene oxide system. The most effective SBA (site blocking agent) was determined to be the highest molecular weight fraction of the flocculant itself which was not capable of flocculating any of the components of the mixture. In the presence of the SBA, flocculant adsorption decreased significantly on apatite particles, thereby inhibiting coflocculation.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Structural Insights into NEDD8 Activation of Cullin-RING Ligases: Conformational Control of Conjugation

    SciTech Connect

    Duda,D.; Borg, L.; Scott, D.; Hunt, H.; Hammel, M.; Schulman, B.

    2008-01-01

    Cullin-RING ligases (CRLs) comprise the largest ubiquitin E3 subclass, in which a central cullin subunit links a substrate-binding adaptor with an E2-binding RING. Covalent attachment of the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8 to a conserved C-terminal domain (ctd) lysine stimulates CRL ubiquitination activity and prevents binding of the inhibitor CAND1. Here we report striking conformational rearrangements in the crystal structure of NEDD8{approx}Cul5ctd-Rbx1 and SAXS analysis of NEDD8{approx}Cul1ctd-Rbx1 relative to their unmodified counterparts. In NEDD8ylated CRL structures, the cullin WHB and Rbx1 RING subdomains are dramatically reoriented, eliminating a CAND1-binding site and imparting multiple potential catalytic geometries to an associated E2. Biochemical analyses indicate that the structural malleability is important for both CRL NEDD8ylation and subsequent ubiquitination activities. Thus, our results point to a conformational control of CRL activity, with ligation of NEDD8 shifting equilibria to disfavor inactive CAND1-bound closed architectures, and favor dynamic, open forms that promote polyubiquitination.

  17. Exploration of the 1891 Foerstner submarine vent site (Pantelleria, Italy): insights into the formation of basaltic balloons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Joshua T.; Carey, Steven; Pistolesi, Marco; Rosi, Mauro; Croff-Bell, Katherine Lynn; Roman, Chris; Marani, Michael

    2014-07-01

    On October 17, 1891, a submarine eruption started at Foerstner volcano located within the Pantelleria Rift of the Strait of Sicily (Italy). Activity occurred for a period of 1 week from an eruptive vent located 4 km northwest of the island of Pantelleria at a water depth of 250 m. The eruption produced lava balloons that discharged gas at the surface and eventually sank to the seafloor. Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video footage and high-resolution multi-beam mapping of the Foerstner vent site were used to create a geologic map of the AD 1891 deposits and conduct the first detailed study of the source area associated with this unusual type of submarine volcanism. The main Foerstner vent consists of two overlapping circular mounds with a total volume of 6.3 × 105 m3 and relief of 60 m. It is dominantly constructed of clastic scoriaceous deposits with some interbedded pillow lavas. Petrographic and geochemical analyses of Foerstner samples by X-ray fluorescence and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry reveal that the majority of the deposits are vesicular, hypocrystalline basanite scoria that display porphyritic, hyaloophitic, and vitrophyric textures. An intact lava balloon recovered from the seafloor consists of a large interior gas cavity surrounded by a thin lava shell comprising two distinct layers: a thin, oxidized, quenched crust surrounding the exterior of the balloon and a dark gray, tachylite layer lying beneath it. Ostwald ripening is proposed to be the dominant bubble growth mechanism of four representative Foerstner scoria samples as inferred by vesicle size distributions. Characterization of the diversity of deposit facies observed at Foerstner in conjunction with quantitative rock texture analysis indicates that submarine Strombolian-like activity is the most likely mechanism for the formation of lava balloons. The deposit facies observed at the main Foerstner vent are very similar to those produced by other known submarine Strombolian

  18. Structural Interactions between Inhibitor and Substrate Docking Sites Give Insight into Mechanisms of Human PS1 Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yi; Lu, Stephen Hsueh-Jeng; Tsai, Ching-Ju; Bohm, Christopher; Qamar, Seema; Dodd, Roger B.; Meadows, William; Jeon, Amy; McLeod, Adam; Chen, Fusheng; Arimon, Muriel; Berezovska, Oksana; Hyman, Bradley T.; Tomita, Taisuke; Iwatsubo, Takeshi; Johnson, Christopher M.; Farrer, Lindsay A.; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold; Fraser, Paul E.; St George-Hyslop, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Presenilin-mediated endoproteolysis of transmembrane proteins plays a key role in physiological signaling and in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and some cancers. Numerous inhibitors have been found via library screens, but their structural mechanisms remain unknown. We used several biophysical techniques to investigate the structure of human presenilin complexes and the effects of peptidomimetic γ-secretase inhibitors. The complexes are bilobed. The head contains nicastrin ectodomain. The membrane-embedded base has a central channel and a lateral cleft, which may represent the initial substrate docking site. Inhibitor binding induces widespread structural changes, including rotation of the head and closure of the lateral cleft. These changes block substrate access to the catalytic pocket and inhibit the enzyme. Intriguingly, peptide substrate docking has reciprocal effects on the inhibitor binding site. Similar reciprocal shifts may underlie the mechanisms of other inhibitors and of the “lateral gate” through which substrates access to the catalytic site. PMID:24210759

  19. Fragile Sites of 'Valencia' Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Chromosomes Are Related with Active 45s rDNA.

    PubMed

    Lan, Hong; Chen, Chun-Li; Miao, Yin; Yu, Chang-Xiu; Guo, Wen-Wu; Xu, Qiang; Deng, Xiu-Xin

    2016-01-01

    Citrus sinensis chromosomes present a morphological differentiation of bands after staining by the fluorochromes CMA and DAPI, but there is still little information on its chromosomal characteristics. In this study, the chromosomes in 'Valencia' C. sinensis were analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using telomere DNA and the 45S rDNA gene as probes combining CMA/DAPI staining, which showed that there were two fragile sites in sweet orange chromosomes co-localizing at distended 45S rDNA regions, one proximally locating on B-type chromosome and the other subterminally locating on D-type chromosome. While the chromosomal CMA banding and 45S rDNA FISH mapping in the doubled haploid line of 'Valencia' C. sinensis indicated six 45S rDNA regions, four were identified as fragile sites as doubled comparing its parental line, which confirmed the cytological heterozygosity and chromosomal heteromorphisms in sweet orange. Furthermore, Ag-NOR identified two distended 45S rDNA regions to be active nucleolar organizing regions (NORs) in diploid 'Valencia' C. sinensis. The occurrence of quadrivalent in meiosis of pollen mother cells (PMCs) in 'Valencia' sweet orange further confirmed it was a chromosomal reciprocal translocation line. We speculated this chromosome translocation was probably related to fragile sites. Our data provide insights into the chromosomal characteristics of the fragile sites in 'Valencia' sweet orange and are expected to facilitate the further investigation of the possible functions of fragile sites. PMID:26977938

  20. Fragile Sites of 'Valencia' Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Chromosomes Are Related with Active 45s rDNA.

    PubMed

    Lan, Hong; Chen, Chun-Li; Miao, Yin; Yu, Chang-Xiu; Guo, Wen-Wu; Xu, Qiang; Deng, Xiu-Xin

    2016-01-01

    Citrus sinensis chromosomes present a morphological differentiation of bands after staining by the fluorochromes CMA and DAPI, but there is still little information on its chromosomal characteristics. In this study, the chromosomes in 'Valencia' C. sinensis were analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using telomere DNA and the 45S rDNA gene as probes combining CMA/DAPI staining, which showed that there were two fragile sites in sweet orange chromosomes co-localizing at distended 45S rDNA regions, one proximally locating on B-type chromosome and the other subterminally locating on D-type chromosome. While the chromosomal CMA banding and 45S rDNA FISH mapping in the doubled haploid line of 'Valencia' C. sinensis indicated six 45S rDNA regions, four were identified as fragile sites as doubled comparing its parental line, which confirmed the cytological heterozygosity and chromosomal heteromorphisms in sweet orange. Furthermore, Ag-NOR identified two distended 45S rDNA regions to be active nucleolar organizing regions (NORs) in diploid 'Valencia' C. sinensis. The occurrence of quadrivalent in meiosis of pollen mother cells (PMCs) in 'Valencia' sweet orange further confirmed it was a chromosomal reciprocal translocation line. We speculated this chromosome translocation was probably related to fragile sites. Our data provide insights into the chromosomal characteristics of the fragile sites in 'Valencia' sweet orange and are expected to facilitate the further investigation of the possible functions of fragile sites.

  1. Hemispheric Symmetries of Plio-Pleistocene Surface Ocean Conditions: Insights from Southern Hemisphere ODP Sites 1125 and 1088

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, K. T.; Peterson, L.; Kelly, C.; Miller, H.; Seidenstein, J.

    2013-12-01

    For decades, most studies of Plio-Pleistocene climate and of the transition from the warmth of the Pliocene to the colder and more variable conditions of the Pleistocene have focused solely on northern hemisphere climate processes and responses. Here, we explore the southern hemisphere response to this major climate transition by documenting ocean surface conditions at Ocean Drilling Program Sites 1125 (42οS, 178οW, 1360m) and 1088 (40οS, 15οE, 2082m) through the Plio-Pleistocene. Secular trends in alkenone-derived sea surface temperature (SST) records indicate that these mid-latitude southern hemisphere sites cooled ~3-4οC over the past 3 Myrs, a magnitude comparable to sites located at similar latitudes in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific. This observation suggests that contraction of the low latitude warm pool was hemispherically symmetric. Our highly resolved (3 kyr resolution) Site 1125 SST record bears considerable structural similarity to SST records from nearby site 1123 (42οS,171οW) as well as sites 846 (3οS, 91οW) in the eastern equatorial Pacific and U1313 (41οN, 33οW) in the North Atlantic. Most of these SST records are dominated by 100k power and contain strong secondary 41k peaks throughout the past 3 million years. North Atlantic site U1313 is the exception, mirroring the shift in dominant periodicity from 41k to 100k associated with the mid-Pleistocene transition, that has long been observed in benthic oxygen isotope records. Finally, in southern hemisphere SST records as well as at site U1313 from the north Atlantic we observe weak precessional power that is not evident in benthic oxygen isotope record. These results suggest a fairly hemispherically-coordinated response of ocean surface temperature to changing global climate conditions during the Plio-Pleistocene in terms of both secular trends and dominant orbital frequencies.

  2. Mutation at a Strictly Conserved, Active Site Tyrosine in the Copper Amine Oxidase Leads to Uncontrolled Oxygenase Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Zhi-wei; Datta, Saumen; DuBois, Jennifer L.; Klinman, Judith P.; Mathews, F. Scott

    2010-09-07

    The copper amine oxidases carry out two copper-dependent processes: production of their own redox-active cofactor (2,4,5-trihydroxyphenylalanine quinone, TPQ) and the subsequent oxidative deamination of substrate amines. Because the same active site pocket must facilitate both reactions, individual active site residues may serve multiple roles. We have examined the roles of a strictly conserved active site tyrosine Y305 in the copper amine oxidase from Hansenula polymorpha kinetically, spetroscopically (Dubois and Klinman (2006) Biochemistry 45, 3178), and, in the present work, structurally. While the Y305A enzyme is almost identical to the wild type, a novel, highly oxygenated species replaces TPQ in the Y305F active sites. This new structure not only provides the first direct detection of peroxy intermediates in cofactor biogenesis but also indicates the critical control of oxidation chemistry that can be conferred by a single active site residue.

  3. SET7/9 Catalytic Mutants Reveal the Role of Active Site Water Molecules in Lysine Multiple Methylation*

    PubMed Central

    Del Rizzo, Paul A.; Couture, Jean-François; Dirk, Lynnette M. A.; Strunk, Bethany S.; Roiko, Marijo S.; Brunzelle, Joseph S.; Houtz, Robert L.; Trievel, Raymond C.

    2010-01-01

    SET domain lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) methylate specific lysine residues in histone and non-histone substrates. These enzymes also display product specificity by catalyzing distinct degrees of methylation of the lysine ϵ-amino group. To elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying this specificity, we have characterized the Y245A and Y305F mutants of the human KMT SET7/9 (also known as KMT7) that alter its product specificity from a monomethyltransferase to a di- and a trimethyltransferase, respectively. Crystal structures of these mutants in complex with peptides bearing unmodified, mono-, di-, and trimethylated lysines illustrate the roles of active site water molecules in aligning the lysine ϵ-amino group for methyl transfer with S-adenosylmethionine. Displacement or dissociation of these solvent molecules enlarges the diameter of the active site, accommodating the increasing size of the methylated ϵ-amino group during successive methyl transfer reactions. Together, these results furnish new insights into the roles of active site water molecules in modulating lysine multiple methylation by SET domain KMTs and provide the first molecular snapshots of the mono-, di-, and trimethyl transfer reactions catalyzed by these enzymes. PMID:20675860

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

    PubMed Central

    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 km2 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

  5. 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

  6. Identification of promiscuous ene-reductase activity by mining structural databases using active site constellations

    PubMed Central

    Steinkellner, Georg; Gruber, Christian C.; Pavkov-Keller, Tea; Binter, Alexandra; Steiner, Kerstin; Winkler, Christoph; Łyskowski, Andrzej; Schwamberger, Orsolya; Oberer, Monika; Schwab, Helmut; Faber, Kurt; Macheroux, Peter; Gruber, Karl

    2014-01-01

    The exploitation of catalytic promiscuity and the application of de novo design have recently opened the access to novel, non-natural enzymatic activities. Here we describe a structural bioinformatic method for predicting catalytic activities of enzymes based on three-dimensional constellations of functional groups in active sites (‘catalophores’). As a proof-of-concept we identify two enzymes with predicted promiscuous ene-reductase activity (reduction of activated C–C double bonds) and compare them with known ene-reductases, that is, members of the Old Yellow Enzyme family. Despite completely different amino acid sequences, overall structures and protein folds, high-resolution crystal structures reveal equivalent binding modes of typical Old Yellow Enzyme substrates and ligands. Biochemical and biocatalytic data show that the two enzymes indeed possess ene-reductase activity and reveal an inverted stereopreference compared with Old Yellow Enzymes for some substrates. This method could thus be a tool for the identification of viable starting points for the development and engineering of novel biocatalysts. PMID:24954722

  7. An ionizable active-site tryptophan imparts catalase activity to a peroxidase core.

    PubMed

    Loewen, Peter C; Carpena, Xavi; Vidossich, Pietro; Fita, Ignacio; Rovira, Carme

    2014-05-21

    Catalase peroxidases (KatG's) are bifunctional heme proteins that can disproportionate hydrogen peroxide (catalatic reaction) despite their structural dissimilarity with monofunctional catalases. Using X-ray crystallography and QM/MM calculations, we demonstrate that the catalatic reaction of KatG's involves deprotonation of the active-site Trp, which plays a role similar to that of the distal His in monofunctional catalases. The interaction of a nearby mobile arginine with the distal Met-Tyr-Trp essential adduct (in/out) acts as an electronic switch, triggering deprotonation of the adduct Trp.

  8. Insights into Ocean Acidification During the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum from Boron Isotopes at Southern Ocean Site 738

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moebius, I.; Hoenisch, B.; Friedrich, O.

    2015-12-01

    The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) is a ~650-kyr interval of global warming, with a brief ~50 ky long peak warming interval, and an abrupt termination. Deep sea and surface ocean temperature evolution across this interval are fairly well constrained, but thus far we have little understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the gradual warming and rapid recovery. Carbonate mass accumulation rates suggest a shoaling of the carbonate compensation depth, and studies on alkenones indicate increasing atmospheric CO2 levels during the MECO. This suggests an increase in surface ocean CO2, and consequently ocean acidification. However, the severity and timing of the proposed ocean acidification with respect to the onset, peak warming and the termination are currently not well resolved. The boron isotopic composition (δ11B) recorded in planktic foraminifer shells offers an opportunity to infer oceanic pH across this interval. We are working on a boron isotope reconstruction from Southern Ocean IODP site 738 and South Atlantic IODP site 1263, covering 42.0 to 38.5 Ma. These sites are characterized by good carbonate preservation and well-defined age models have been established. Additionally, ecology, nutrient content and bottom-water oxygenation have been shown to change significantly across the event towards a more eutrophic, periodically oxygen-depleted environment supporting different biological communities. We selected the planktic foraminifera species Acarinina spinuloinflata for this study because it is symbiont-bearing, suggesting a near-surface habitat and little vertical migration in the water column, and because of its abundance in the samples. δ11B data will be translated to surface ocean pH and atmospheric pCO2 will be approximated to refine knowledge about the carbon cycle during this time. Parallel analysis of two core sites will help to evaluate the tenacity of the data.

  9. Nuclear Site Security in the Event of Terrorist Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, M.L.; Sims, J.

    2008-07-01

    This paper, presented as a poster, identifies why ballistic protection should now be considered at nuclear sites to counter terrorist threats. A proven and flexible form of multi purpose protection is described in detail with identification of trial results that show its suitability for this role. (authors)

  10. Enzyme-ligand interactions that drive active site rearrangements in the Helicobacter pylori 5´-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase

    SciTech Connect

    Ronning, Donald R; Iacopelli, Natalie M; Mishra, Vidhi

    2012-03-15

    The bacterial enzyme 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (MTAN) plays a central role in three essential metabolic pathways in bacteria: methionine salvage, purine salvage, and polyamine biosynthesis. Recently, its role in the pathway that leads to the production of autoinducer II, an important component in quorum-sensing, has garnered much interest. Because of this variety of roles, MTAN is an attractive target for developing new classes of inhibitors that influence bacterial virulence and biofilm formation. To gain insight toward the development of new classes of MTAN inhibitors, the interactions between the Helicobacter pylori-encoded MTAN and its substrates and substrate analogs were probed using X-ray crystallography. The structures of MTAN, an MTAN-Formycin A complex, and an adenine bound form were solved by molecular replacement and refined to 1.7, 1.8, and 1.6 Å, respectively. The ribose-binding site in the MTAN and MTAN-adenine cocrystal structures contain a tris[hydroxymethyl]aminomethane molecule that stabilizes the closed form of the enzyme and displaces a nucleophilic water molecule necessary for catalysis. This research gives insight to the interactions between MTAN and bound ligands that promote closing of the enzyme active site and highlights the potential for designing new classes of MTAN inhibitors using a link/grow or ligand assembly development strategy based on the described H. pylori MTAN crystal structures.

  11. Impact-shocked rocks--insights into Archean and extraterrestrial microbial habitats (and sites for prebiotic chemistry?)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockell, C. S.

    2004-01-01

    Impact-shocked gneiss shocked to greater than 10 GPa in the Haughton impact structure in the Canadian High Arctic has an approximately 25-times greater pore surface area than unshocked rocks. These pore spaces provide microhabitats for a diversity of heterotrophic microorganisms and in the near-surface environment of the rocks, where light levels are sufficient, cyanobacteria. Shocked rocks provide a moisture retaining, UV protected microenvironment. During the Archean, when impact fluxes were more than two orders of magnitude higher than today, the shocked-rock habitat was one of the most common terrestrial habitats and might have provided a UV-shielded refugium for primitive life. These potential habitats are in high abundance on Mars where impact crater habitats could have existed over geologic time periods of billions of years, suggesting that impact-shocked rocks are important sites to search for biomolecules in extraterrestrial life detection strategies. In addition to being favourable sites for life, during the prebiotic period of planetary history impact-shocked rocks might have acted as a site for the concentration of reactants for prebiotic syntheses. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The drug binding sites and transport mechanism of the RND pumps from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Sandhu, Padmani; Akhter, Yusuf

    2016-02-15

    RND permease superfamily drug efflux pumps are involved in multidrug transport and are attractive to study them for therapeutic purpose. In previous work we have classified 14 members of MmpL proteins belong to RND superfamily from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) within its families [Sandhu P. and Akhter Y., 2015. Int. J. Med. Microbiol., 305:413-423]. In this study, structures of these proteins are homology modelled. The drug binding sites and channels are identified using local micro-stereochemistry and charge densities. Potential transport mechanism based on differential structural behaviour in the absence and on the binding of drug molecules is explained using the molecular dynamics simulation results. Our studies show two potential drug binding sites positioned at opposite ends of the transport tunnel leading from cytoplasmic to the periplasmic space across MmpL5 trimer. The drug binding have effects on the structural conformation of the protein leading to molecular-scale peristaltic movements. The free binding energy calculations reveal that the subsequent binding events are interdependent and may have implications on transport mechanism. Two drug binding sites and a continuous channel in the RND pump have been reported. The proposed ligand binding mechanism shows peristaltic movements in the channel leading to the drug efflux. This study would be helpful in understanding the molecular basis of drugs resistance in Mtb.

  13. The drug binding sites and transport mechanism of the RND pumps from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Sandhu, Padmani; Akhter, Yusuf

    2016-02-15

    RND permease superfamily drug efflux pumps are involved in multidrug transport and are attractive to study them for therapeutic purpose. In previous work we have classified 14 members of MmpL proteins belong to RND superfamily from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) within its families [Sandhu P. and Akhter Y., 2015. Int. J. Med. Microbiol., 305:413-423]. In this study, structures of these proteins are homology modelled. The drug binding sites and channels are identified using local micro-stereochemistry and charge densities. Potential transport mechanism based on differential structural behaviour in the absence and on the binding of drug molecules is explained using the molecular dynamics simulation results. Our studies show two potential drug binding sites positioned at opposite ends of the transport tunnel leading from cytoplasmic to the periplasmic space across MmpL5 trimer. The drug binding have effects on the structural conformation of the protein leading to molecular-scale peristaltic movements. The free binding energy calculations reveal that the subsequent binding events are interdependent and may have implications on transport mechanism. Two drug binding sites and a continuous channel in the RND pump have been reported. The proposed ligand binding mechanism shows peristaltic movements in the channel leading to the drug efflux. This study would be helpful in understanding the molecular basis of drugs resistance in Mtb. PMID:26792538

  14. New insights into the QuikChange™ process guide the use of Phusion DNA polymerase for site-directed mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yongzhen; Chu, Wenqiao; Qi, Qingsheng; Xun, Luying

    2015-01-01

    The QuikChange™ site-directed mutagenesis method is popular but imperfect. An improvement by using partially overlapping primers has been reported several times; however, it is incompatible with the proposed mechanism. The QuikChange™ method using complementary primers is proposed to linearly amplify a target plasmid with the products annealing to produce double-stranded DNA molecules with 5'-overhangs. The overhang annealing is supposed to form circular plasmids with staggered breaks, which can be repaired in Escherichia coli after transformation. Here, we demonstrated that the PCR enzyme fills the 5'-overhangs in the early cycles, and the product is then used as the template for exponential amplification. The linear DNA molecules with homologous ends are joined to generate the plasmid with the desired mutations through homologous recombination in E. coli. The correct understanding is important to method improvements, guiding us to use partially overlapping primers and Phusion DNA polymerase for site-directed mutagenesis. Phusion did not amplify a plasmid with complementary primers but used partially overlapping primers to amplify the plasmid, producing linear DNA molecules with homologous ends for site-directed mutagenesis. PMID:25399421

  15. Preliminary siting activities for new waste handling facilities at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, D.D.; Hoskinson, R.L.; Kingsford, C.O.; Ball, L.W.

    1994-09-01

    The Idaho Waste Processing Facility, the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility, and the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility are new waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities that have been proposed at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). A prime consideration in planning for such facilities is the selection of a site. Since spring of 1992, waste management personnel at the INEL have been involved in activities directed to this end. These activities have resulted in the (a) identification of generic siting criteria, considered applicable to either treatment or disposal facilities for the purpose of preliminary site evaluations and comparisons, (b) selection of six candidate locations for siting,and (c) site-specific characterization of candidate sites relative to selected siting criteria. This report describes the information gathered in the above three categories for the six candidate sites. However, a single, preferred site has not yet been identified. Such a determination requires an overall, composite ranking of the candidate sites, which accounts for the fact that the sites under consideration have different advantages and disadvantages, that no single site is superior to all the others in all the siting criteria, and that the criteria should be assigned different weighing factors depending on whether a site is to host a treatment or a disposal facility. Stakeholder input should now be solicited to help guide the final selection. This input will include (a) siting issues not already identified in the siting, work to date, and (b) relative importances of the individual siting criteria. Final site selection will not be completed until stakeholder input (from the State of Idaho, regulatory agencies, the public, etc.) in the above areas has been obtained and a strategy has been developed to make a composite ranking of all candidate sites that accounts for all the siting criteria.

  16. Active Layer and Moisture Measurements for Intensive Site 0 and 1, Barrow, Alaska

    DOE Data Explorer

    John Peterson

    2015-04-17

    These are measurements of Active Layer Thickness collected along several lines beginning in September, 2011 to the present. The data were collected at several time periods along the Site0 L2 Line, the Site1 AB Line, and an ERT Monitoring Line near Area A in Site1.

  17. The Inhibitor DBMIB Provides Insight into the Functional Architecture of the Qo Site in the Cytochrome b(6)f Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, Arthur G.; Bowman, Michael K.; Kramer, David M.

    2004-06-22

    Previously, we showed that two equivalents of the quinone analog, 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropylbenzoquinone (DBMIB), could occupy the Qo site of the cytochrome (cyt) b6f complex simultaneously. In this work, study of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from oriented cyt b6f complex shows that the Rieske iron-sulfur protein (ISP) is in distinct orientations, depending on the stoichiometry of the inhibitor at the Qo site. With a single DBMIB at the Qo site, the ISP is oriented with the 2Fe2S cluster toward cyt f, which is similar to the orientation of the ISP in the x-ray crystal structure of the cyt b6f complex from thermophilic cyanobacteria, Mastigocladus laminosus, in the presence of DBMIB, as well as that of the chicken mitochondrial cyt bc1 complex in the presence of the class II inhibitor myxothiazol, which binds in the so-called ''proximal niche,'' near the cyt bL heme. These data suggest that the high affinity DBMIB site is at the proximal niche Qo pocket. With 2 equivalents or more of DBMIB bound, the Rieske ISP is in a position that resembles the ISPB position of chicken mitochondrial cyt bc1 complex in the presence of stigmatellin and Chlamydamonas reinhardtii cyt b6f complex in the presence of tridecyl-stigmatellin (TDS), which suggests that the low affinity DBMIB site is at the distal niche. The close interaction of DBMIB bound at the distal niche with the ISP induced the well-known effects on the 2Fe2S EPR spectrum and redox potential. To further test the effects of DBMIB on the ISP, the extents of cyt f oxidation after flash excitation in the presence of photosystem II inhibitor DCMU were measured as a function of DBMIB concentration in thylakoids. Addition of DBMIB concentrations where single binding was expected, did not markedly affect the extent of cyt f oxidation, whereas higher concentrations, where double occupancy was expected, increased the extent of cyt f oxidation to levels similar to cyt f oxidation in the presence of

  18. Structural mechanism of RuBisCO activation by carbamylation of the active site lysine

    PubMed Central

    Stec, Boguslaw

    2012-01-01

    Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) is a crucial enzyme in carbon fixation and the most abundant protein on earth. It has been studied extensively by biochemical and structural methods; however, the most essential activation step has not yet been described. Here, we describe the mechanistic details of Lys carbamylation that leads to RuBisCO activation by atmospheric CO2. We report two crystal structures of nitrosylated RuBisCO from the red algae Galdieria sulphuraria with O2 and CO2 bound at the active site. G. sulphuraria RuBisCO is inhibited by cysteine nitrosylation that results in trapping of these gaseous ligands. The structure with CO2 defines an elusive, preactivation complex that contains a metal cation Mg2+ surrounded by three H2O/OH molecules. Both structures suggest the mechanism for discriminating gaseous ligands by their quadrupole electric moments. We describe conformational changes that allow for intermittent binding of the metal ion required for activation. On the basis of these structures we propose the individual steps of the activation mechanism. Knowledge of all these elements is indispensable for engineering RuBisCO into a more efficient enzyme for crop enhancement or as a remedy to global warming. PMID:23112176

  19. Using catalytic atom maps to predict the catalytic functions present in enzyme active sites.

    PubMed

    Nosrati, Geoffrey R; Houk, K N

    2012-09-18

    Catalytic atom maps (CAMs) are minimal models of enzyme active sites. The structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) were examined to determine if proteins with CAM-like geometries in their active sites all share the same catalytic function. We combined the CAM-based search protocol with a filter based on the weighted contact number (WCN) of the catalytic residues, a measure of the "crowdedness" of the microenvironment around a protein residue. Using this technique, a CAM based on the Ser-His-Asp catalytic triad of trypsin was able to correctly identify catalytic triads in other enzymes within 0.5 Å rmsd of the CAM with 96% accuracy. A CAM based on the Cys-Arg-(Asp/Glu) active site residues from the tyrosine phosphatase active site achieved 89% accuracy in identifying this type of catalytic functionality. Both of these CAMs were able to identify active sites across different fold types. Finally, the PDB was searched to locate proteins with catalytic functionality similar to that present in the active site of orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase (ODCase), whose mechanism is not known with certainty. A CAM, based on the conserved Lys-Asp-Lys-Asp tetrad in the ODCase active site, was used to search the PDB for enzymes with similar active sites. The ODCase active site has a geometry similar to that of Schiff base-forming Class I aldolases, with lowest aldolase rmsd to the ODCase CAM at 0.48 Å. The similarity between this CAM and the aldolase active site suggests that ODCase has the correct catalytic functionality present in its active site for the generation of a nucleophilic lysine. PMID:22909276

  20. Using Catalytic Atom Maps to Predict the Catalytic Functions Present in Enzyme Active Sites

    PubMed Central

    Nosrati, Geoffrey R.; Houk, K. N.

    2012-01-01

    Catalytic Atom Maps (CAMs) are minimal models of enzyme active sites. The structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) were examined to determine if proteins with CAM-like geometries in their active sites all share the same catalytic function. We combined the CAM-based search protocol with a filter based on the weighted contact number (WCN) of the catalytic residues, a measure of the “crowdedness” of the microenvironment around a protein residue. Using this technique, a CAM based on the Ser-His-Asp catalytic triad of trypsin was able to correctly identify catalytic triads in other enzymes within 0.5 Å RMSD of the Catalytic Atom Map with 96% accuracy. A CAM based on the Cys-Arg-(Asp/Glu) active site residues from the tyrosine phosphatase active site achieved 89% accuracy in identifying this type of catalytic functionality. Both of these Catalytic Atom Maps were able to identify active sites across different fold types. Finally, the PDB was searched to locate proteins with catalytic functionality similar to that present in the active site of orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase (ODCase), whose mechanism is not known with certainty. A CAM, based on the conserved Lys-Asp-Lys-Asp tetrad in the ODCase active site, was used to search the PDB for enzymes with similar active sites. The ODCase active site has a geometry similar to that of Schiff base-forming Class I aldolases, with lowest aldolase RMSD to the ODCase CAM at 0.48 Å. The similarity between this CAM and the aldolase active site suggests that ODCase has the correct catalytic functionality present in its active site for the generation of a nucleophilic lysine. PMID:22909276

  1. Digestive enzyme activities in the guts of bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) provide insight into their digestive strategy and evidence for microbial digestion in their hindguts.

    PubMed

    Jhaveri, Parth; Papastamatiou, Yannis P; German, Donovan P

    2015-11-01

    Few investigations have studied digestive enzyme activities in the alimentary tracts of sharks to gain insight into how these organisms digest their meals. In this study, we examined the activity levels of proteases, carbohydrases, and lipase in the pancreas, and along the anterior intestine, spiral intestine, and colon of the bonnethead shark, Sphyrna tiburo. We then interpreted our data in the context of a rate-yield continuum to discern this shark's digestive strategy. Our data show anticipated decreasing patterns in the activities of pancreatic enzymes moving posteriorly along the gut, but also show mid spiral intestine peaks in aminopeptidase and lipase activities, which support the spiral intestine as the main site of absorption in bonnetheads. Interestingly, we observed spikes in the activity levels of N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase and β-glucosidase in the bonnethead colon, and these chitin- and cellulose-degrading enzymes, respectively, are likely of microbial origin in this distal gut region. Taken in the context of intake and relatively long transit times of food through the gut, the colonic spikes in N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase and β-glucosidase activities suggest that bonnetheads take a yield-maximizing strategy to the digestive process, with some reliance on microbial digestion in their hindguts. This is one of the first studies to examine digestive enzyme activities along the gut of any shark, and importantly, the data match with previous observations that sharks take an extended time to digest their meals (consistent with a yield-maximizing digestive strategy) and that the spiral intestine is the primary site of absorption in sharks.

  2. Digestive enzyme activities in the guts of bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) provide insight into their digestive strategy and evidence for microbial digestion in their hindguts.

    PubMed

    Jhaveri, Parth; Papastamatiou, Yannis P; German, Donovan P

    2015-11-01

    Few investigations have studied digestive enzyme activities in the alimentary tracts of sharks to gain insight into how these organisms digest their meals. In this study, we examined the activity levels of proteases, carbohydrases, and lipase in the pancreas, and along the anterior intestine, spiral intestine, and colon of the bonnethead shark, Sphyrna tiburo. We then interpreted our data in the context of a rate-yield continuum to discern this shark's digestive strategy. Our data show anticipated decreasing patterns in the activities of pancreatic enzymes moving posteriorly along the gut, but also show mid spiral intestine peaks in aminopeptidase and lipase activities, which support the spiral intestine as the main site of absorption in bonnetheads. Interestingly, we observed spikes in the activity levels of N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase and β-glucosidase in the bonnethead colon, and these chitin- and cellulose-degrading enzymes, respectively, are likely of microbial origin in this distal gut region. Taken in the context of intake and relatively long transit times of food through the gut, the colonic spikes in N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase and β-glucosidase activities suggest that bonnetheads take a yield-maximizing strategy to the digestive process, with some reliance on microbial digestion in their hindguts. This is one of the first studies to examine digestive enzyme activities along the gut of any shark, and importantly, the data match with previous observations that sharks take an extended time to digest their meals (consistent with a yield-maximizing digestive strategy) and that the spiral intestine is the primary site of absorption in sharks. PMID:26239220

  3. Size Dependence of Atomically Precise Gold Nanoclusters in Chemoselective Hydrogenation and Active Site Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Gao; Jiang, Deen; Kumar, Santosh; Chen, Yuxiang; Jin, Rongchao

    2014-01-01

    We here investigate the catalytic properties of water-soluble Aun(SG)m nanocluster catalysts (H-SG = glutathione) of different sizes, including Au15(SG)13, Au18(SG)14, Au25(SG)18, Au38(SG)24, and captopril-capped Au25(Capt)18 nanoclusters. These Aun(SR)m nanoclusters (-SR represents thiolate generally) are used as homogeneous catalysts (i.e., without supports) in the chemoselective hydrogenation of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde (4-NO2PhCHO) to 4-nitrobenzyl alcohol (4-NO2PhCH2OH) in water with H2 gas (20 bar) as the hydrogen source. These nanocluster catalysts, except Au18(SG)14, remain intact after the catalytic reaction, evidenced by UV-vis spectra which are characteristic of each sized nanoclusters and thus serve as spectroscopic fingerprints . We observe a drastic size-dependence and steric effect of protecting ligands on the gold nanocluster catalysts in the hydrogenation reaction. Density functional theory (DFT) modeling of the 4-nitrobenzaldehyde adsorption shows that both the CHO and NO2 groups are in close interact with the S-Au-S staples on the gold nanocluster surface; the adsorption of the 4-nitrobenzaldehyde molecule on the four different sized Aun(SR)m nanoclusters are moderately strong and similar in strength. The DFT results suggest that the catalytic activity of the Aun(SR)m nanoclusters is primarily determined by the surface area of the Au nanocluster, consistent with the observed trend of the conversion of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde versus the cluster size. Overall, this work offers the molecular insight into the hydrogenation of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde and the catalytically active site structure on gold nanocluster catalysts.

  4. Insights into the Origin of Clostridium botulinum Strains: Evolution of Distinct Restriction Endonuclease Sites in rrs (16S rRNA gene).

    PubMed

    Bhushan, Ashish; Mukherjee, Tanmoy; Joshi, Jayadev; Shankar, Pratap; Kalia, Vipin Chandra

    2015-06-01

    Diversity analysis of Clostridium botulinum strains is complicated by high microheterogeneity caused by the presence of 9-22 copies of rrs (16S rRNA gene). The need is to mine genetic markers to identify very closely related strains. Multiple alignments of the nucleotide sequences of the 212 rrs of 13 C. botulinum strains revealed intra- and inter-genomic heterogeneity. Low intragenomic heterogeneity in rrs was evident in strains 230613, Alaska E43, Okra, Eklund 17B, Langeland, 657, Kyoto, BKT015925, and Loch Maree. The most heterogenous rrs sequences were those of C. botulinum strains ATCC 19397, Hall, H04402065, and ATCC 3502. In silico restriction mapping of these rrs sequences was observable with 137 type II Restriction endonucleases (REs). Nucleotide changes (NC) at these RE sites resulted in appearance of distinct and additional sites, and loss in certain others. De novo appearances of RE sites due to NC were recorded at different positions in rrs gene. A nucleotide transition A>G in rrs of C. botulinum Loch Maree and 657 resulted in the generation of 4 and 10 distinct RE sites, respectively. Transitions A>G, G>A, and T>C led to the loss of RE sites. A perusal of the entire NC and in silico RE mapping of rrs of C. botulinum strains provided insights into their evolution. Segregation of strains on the basis of RE digestion patterns of rrs was validated by the cladistic analysis involving six house keeping genes: dnaN, gyrB, metG, prfA, pyrG, and Rho. PMID:25805900

  5. Active-Site Hydration and Water Diffusion in Cytochrome P450cam: A Highly Dynamic Process

    SciTech Connect

    Miao, Yinglong; Baudry, Jerome Y

    2011-01-01

    Long-timescale molecular dynamics simulations (300 ns) are performed on both the apo- (i.e., camphor-free) and camphor-bound cytochrome P450cam (CYP101). Water diffusion into and out of the protein active site is observed without biased sampling methods. During the course of the molecular dynamics simulation, an average of 6.4 water molecules is observed in the camphor-binding site of the apo form, compared to zero water molecules in the binding site of the substrate-bound form, in agreement with the number of water molecules observed in crystal structures of the same species. However, as many as 12 water molecules can be present at a given time in the camphor-binding region of the active site in the case of apo-P450cam, revealing a highly dynamic process for hydration of the protein active site, with water molecules exchanging rapidly with the bulk solvent. Water molecules are also found to exchange locations frequently inside the active site, preferentially clustering in regions surrounding the water molecules observed in the crystal structure. Potential-of-mean-force calculations identify thermodynamically favored trans-protein pathways for the diffusion of water molecules between the protein active site and the bulk solvent. Binding of camphor in the active site modifies the free-energy landscape of P450cam channels toward favoring the diffusion of water molecules out of the protein active site.

  6. Insights into the Social Structure of the PPNB Site of Kfar HaHoresh, Israel, Based on Dental Remains

    PubMed Central

    Vach, Werner; Simmons, Tal L.; Goring-Morris, A. Nigel

    2015-01-01

    One of the central questions of the transition from mobile hunter-gatherers to sedentary farming communities concerns the establishment of new social structures and group identities. Along with other important factors, such as territory, ideology or economy, biological relationships might have played a decisive role in defining social groups. We therefore systematically analyzed teeth and jaw remains from nine sites in the Near East dating from the Natufian to the Late PPNB as primary proxy data for the reconstruction of familial relationships. This paper presents the results of morphological analyses on the teeth of the individuals from Kfar HaHoresh, one of the investigated Pre-Pottery Neolithic B sites. Kfar HaHoresh is located in the Nazareth hills of Galilee (32°42'20'' N 35°16'28'' E), Israel. Different statistical methods were applied to our data of epigenetic traits with the aim of determining biological relationships within the community, whereby the data of the eight other sites were used as cross-references. Our comparison of the traits of all individuals from Kfar HaHoresh indicates a rather heterogeneous community, but clearly shows one cluster belonging to a quite homogenous group, suggesting close biological relations between females and sub-adults. Interestingly, none of the male individuals belongs to this cluster, although their number outweighs that of the female individuals. This might suggest matrilocal residence patterns. However, due to the incomplete preservation of the teeth along with several other uncertainties, our conclusion must be seen as preliminary. A cross-examination of the results on skeletons excavated after our investigation should also be taken into consideration. PMID:26376321

  7. Parameterization of an Active Thermal Erosion Site, Caribou Creek, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busey, R.; Bolton, W. R.; Cherry, J. E.; Hinzman, L. D.

    2012-12-01

    Thermokarst features are thought to be an important mechanism for landscape change in permafrost-dominated cold regions, but few such features have been incorporated into full featured landscape models. The root of this shortcoming is that historic observations are not detailed enough to parameterize a model, and the models typically do not include the relevant processes for thermal erosion. A new, dynamic thermokarst feature has been identified at the Caribou-Poker Creek Research Watershed (CPCRW) in the boreal forest of Interior Alaska. Located adjacent to a traditional use trail, this feature terminates directly in Caribou Creek. Erosion within the feature is driven predominantly by fluvial interflow. CPCRW is a Long-Term Ecological Research site underlain by varying degrees of relatively warm, discontinuous permafrost. This poster will describe the suite of measurements that have been undertaken to parameterize the ERODE model for this site, including thorough surveys, time lapse- and aerial photography, and 3-D structure from motion algorithms.

  8. Blogs and Social Network Sites as Activity Systems: Exploring Adult Informal Learning Process through Activity Theory Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heo, Gyeong Mi; Lee, Romee

    2013-01-01

    This paper uses an Activity Theory framework to explore adult user activities and informal learning processes as reflected in their blogs and social network sites (SNS). Using the assumption that a web-based space is an activity system in which learning occurs, typical features of the components were investigated and each activity system then…

  9. Modelling active sites for the Beckmann rearrangement reaction in boron-containing zeolites and their interaction with probe molecules.

    PubMed

    Lezcano-González, Inés; Vidal-Moya, Alejandro; Boronat, Mercedes; Blasco, Teresa; Corma, Avelino

    2010-06-28

    Theoretical calculations and in situ solid state NMR spectroscopy have been combined to get insight on the nature of the active sites for the Beckmann rearrangement reaction in borosilicate zeolites. The interaction of a B site in zeolite Beta with a series of probe molecules (ammonia, pyridine, acetone and water) has been modelled and the (15)N and (11)B NMR isotropic chemical shift of the resulting complexes calculated and compared with experimental in situ NMR results. This approach has allowed validation of the methodology to model the adsorption on a zeolite boron site of molecules of varying basicity which are either protonated or non-protonated. The limitation is that theoretical calculations overestimate the effect of molecular adsorption through hydrogen bonds on the calculated isotropic (11)B NMR chemical shift.Theoretical and experimental results on the adsorption of acetophenone and cyclohexanone oximes on zeolite B-Beta indicate that Brønsted acid sites protonate the oximes, changing the boron coordination from trigonal to tetrahedral. Comparison of theoretical and experimental (15)N NMR chemical shifts of the adsorbed amides (acetanilide and epsilon-caprolactam) indicates that they are non-protonated, and the (11)B NMR spectra show that, as expected, boron remains in trigonal coordination with an isotropic delta(11)B(exp) which differs from the calculated value delta(11)B(calc).

  10. Modelling active sites for the Beckmann rearrangement reaction in boron-containing zeolites and their interaction with probe molecules.

    PubMed

    Lezcano-González, Inés; Vidal-Moya, Alejandro; Boronat, Mercedes; Blasco, Teresa; Corma, Avelino

    2010-06-28

    Theoretical calculations and in situ solid state NMR spectroscopy have been combined to get insight on the nature of the active sites for the Beckmann rearrangement reaction in borosilicate zeolites. The interaction of a B site in zeolite Beta with a series of probe molecules (ammonia, pyridine, acetone and water) has been modelled and the (15)N and (11)B NMR isotropic chemical shift of the resulting complexes calculated and compared with experimental in situ NMR results. This approach has allowed validation of the methodology to model the adsorption on a zeolite boron site of molecules of varying basicity which are either protonated or non-protonated. The limitation is that theoretical calculations overestimate the effect of molecular adsorption through hydrogen bonds on the calculated isotropic (11)B NMR chemical shift.Theoretical and experimental results on the adsorption of acetophenone and cyclohexanone oximes on zeolite B-Beta indicate that Brønsted acid sites protonate the oximes, changing the boron coordination from trigonal to tetrahedral. Comparison of theoretical and experimental (15)N NMR chemical shifts of the adsorbed amides (acetanilide and epsilon-caprolactam) indicates that they are non-protonated, and the (11)B NMR spectra show that, as expected, boron remains in trigonal coordination with an isotropic delta(11)B(exp) which differs from the calculated value delta(11)B(calc). PMID:20454729

  11. Solubilization Site of Organic Perfume Molecules in Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate Micelles: New Insights from Proton NMR Studies.

    PubMed

    Suratkar; Mahapatra

    2000-05-01

    The site of incorporation of solubilizates in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) micellar systems has been investigated by proton NMR spectroscopy. The solubilizate molecules chosen for the present study are phenol, 4-methylphenol, 4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol, anisole, 4-methylanisole, 4-propenylanisole, 1,8-cineole, and limonene. These molecules possess a wide variety of functional groups with different degrees of hydrophilic/hydrophobic character and are thereby solubilized at different micellar locations. Aromatic compounds, especially those having a phenolic-OH group, showed a large upfield shift of SDS methylene protons that are closely linked to the terminal sulfate groups. Additionally, in the case of phenolic compounds, the unresolved signals of the nine straight-chain bulk methylene protons of SDS are split into a broad doublet with uneven intensity. This splitting of methylene protons was found to be dependent on the concentration of the substrate. Based on these observations, probable solubilization sites and orientation of the substrate molecule within the micelles are discussed. Phenolic compounds, being the most hydrophilic among the present set, reside at the hydrophilic/hydrophobic boundary of micelle-water interface and thus influence the resonances of SDS protons the most. Aromatic methoxy and aliphatic compounds, being relatively more hydrophobic in nature, reside inside the micellar core and thereby result in smaller shifts. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  12. Early Site Permit Demonstration Program: Recommendations for communication activities and public participation in the Early Site Permit Demonstration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-01-27

    On October 24, 1992, President Bush signed into law the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. The bill is a sweeping, comprehensive overhaul of the Nation`s energy laws, the first in more than a decade. Among other provisions, the National Energy Policy Act reforms the licensing process for new nuclear power plants by adopting a new approach developed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 1989, and upheld in court in 1992. The NRC 10 CFR Part 52 rule is a three-step process that guarantees public participation at each step. The steps are: early site permit approval; standard design certifications; and, combined construction/operating licenses for nuclear power reactors. Licensing reform increases an organization`s ability to respond to future baseload electricity generation needs with less financial risk for ratepayers and the organization. Costly delays can be avoided because design, safety and siting issues will be resolved before a company starts to build a plant. Specifically, early site permit approval allows for site suitability and acceptability issues to be addressed prior to an organization`s commitment to build a plant. Responsibility for site-specific activities, including communications and public participation, rests with those organizations selected to try out early site approval. This plan has been prepared to assist those companies (referred to as sponsoring organizations) in planning their communications and public involvement programs. It provides research findings, information and recommendations to be used by organizations as a resource and starting point in developing their own plans.

  13. Active Site Structure and Peroxidase Activity of Oxidatively Modified Cytochrome c Species in Complexes with Cardiolipin.

    PubMed

    Capdevila, Daiana A; Oviedo Rouco, Santiago; Tomasina, Florencia; Tortora, Verónica; Demicheli, Verónica; Radi, Rafael; Murgida, Daniel H

    2015-12-29

    We report a resonance Raman and UV-vis characterization of the active site structure of oxidatively modified forms of cytochrome c (Cyt-c) free in solution and in complexes with cardiolipin (CL). The studied post-translational modifications of Cyt-c include methionine sulfoxidation and tyrosine nitration, which lead to altered heme axial ligation and increased peroxidase activity with respect to those of the wild-type protein. In spite of the structural and activity differences between the protein variants free in solution, binding to CL liposomes induces in all cases the formation of a spectroscopically identical bis-His axial coordination conformer that more efficiently promotes lipid peroxidation. The spectroscopic results indicate that the bis-His form is in equilibrium with small amounts of high-spin species, thus suggesting a labile distal His ligand as the basis for the CL-induced increase in enzymatic activity observed for all protein variants. For Cyt-c nitrated at Tyr74 and sulfoxidized at Met80, the measured apparent binding affinities for CL are ∼4 times larger than for wild-type Cyt-c. On the basis of these results, we propose that these post-translational modifications may amplify the pro-apoptotic signal of Cyt-c under oxidative stress conditions at CL concentrations lower than for the unmodified protein.

  14. Identification of ice nucleation active sites on feldspar dust particles.

    PubMed

    Zolles, Tobias; Burkart, Julia; Häusler, Thomas; Pummer, Bernhard; Hitzenberger, Regina; Grothe, Hinrich

    2015-03-19

    Mineral dusts originating from Earth's crust are known to be important atmospheric ice nuclei. In agreement with earlier studies, feldspar was found as the most active of the tested natural mineral dusts. Here we investigated in closer detail the reasons for its activity and the difference in the activity of the different feldspars. Conclusions are drawn from scanning electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and oil-immersion freezing experiments. K-feldspar showed by far the highest ice nucleation activity. Finally, we give a potential explanation of this effect, finding alkali-metal ions having different hydration shells and thus an influence on the ice nucleation activity of feldspar surfaces. PMID:25584435

  15. Identification of Ice Nucleation Active Sites on Feldspar Dust Particles

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mineral dusts originating from Earth’s crust are known to be important atmospheric ice nuclei. In agreement with earlier studies, feldspar was found as the most active of the tested natural mineral dusts. Here we investigated in closer detail the reasons for its activity and the difference in the activity of the different feldspars. Conclusions are drawn from scanning electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and oil-immersion freezing experiments. K-feldspar showed by far the highest ice nucleation activity. Finally, we give a potential explanation of this effect, finding alkali-metal ions having different hydration shells and thus an influence on the ice nucleation activity of feldspar surfaces. PMID:25584435

  16. Stereospecific suppression of active site mutants by methylphosphonate substituted substrates reveals the stereochemical course of site-specific DNA recombination.

    PubMed

    Rowley, Paul A; Kachroo, Aashiq H; Ma, Chien-Hui; Maciaszek, Anna D; Guga, Piotr; Jayaram, Makkuni

    2015-07-13

    Tyrosine site-specific recombinases, which promote one class of biologically important phosphoryl transfer reactions in DNA, exemplify active site mechanisms for stabilizing the phosphate transition state. A highly conserved arginine duo (Arg-I; Arg-II) of the recombinase active site plays a crucial role in this function. Cre and Flp recombinase mutants lacking either arginine can be rescued by compensatory charge neutralization of the scissile phosphate via methylphosphonate (MeP) modification. The chemical chirality of MeP, in conjunction with mutant recombinases, reveals the stereochemical contributions of Arg-I and Arg-II. The SP preference of the native reaction is specified primarily by Arg-I. MeP reaction supported by Arg-II is nearly bias-free or RP-biased, depending on the Arg-I substituent. Positional conservation of the arginines does not translate into strict functional conservation. Charge reversal by glutamic acid substitution at Arg-I or Arg-II has opposite effects on Cre and Flp in MeP reactions. In Flp, the base immediately 5' to the scissile MeP strongly influences the choice between the catalytic tyrosine and water as the nucleophile for strand scission, thus between productive recombination and futile hydrolysis. The recombinase active site embodies the evolutionary optimization of interactions that not only favor the normal reaction but also proscribe antithetical side reactions. PMID:25999343

  17. Stereospecific suppression of active site mutants by methylphosphonate substituted substrates reveals the stereochemical course of site-specific DNA recombination.

    PubMed

    Rowley, Paul A; Kachroo, Aashiq H; Ma, Chien-Hui; Maciaszek, Anna D; Guga, Piotr; Jayaram, Makkuni

    2015-07-13

    Tyrosine site-specific recombinases, which promote one class of biologically important phosphoryl transfer reactions in DNA, exemplify active site mechanisms for stabilizing the phosphate transition state. A highly conserved arginine duo (Arg-I; Arg-II) of the recombinase active site plays a crucial role in this function. Cre and Flp recombinase mutants lacking either arginine can be rescued by compensatory charge neutralization of the scissile phosphate via methylphosphonate (MeP) modification. The chemical chirality of MeP, in conjunction with mutant recombinases, reveals the stereochemical contributions of Arg-I and Arg-II. The SP preference of the native reaction is specified primarily by Arg-I. MeP reaction supported by Arg-II is nearly bias-free or RP-biased, depending on the Arg-I substituent. Positional conservation of the arginines does not translate into strict functional conservation. Charge reversal by glutamic acid substitution at Arg-I or Arg-II has opposite effects on Cre and Flp in MeP reactions. In Flp, the base immediately 5' to the scissile MeP strongly influences the choice between the catalytic tyrosine and water as the nucleophile for strand scission, thus between productive recombination and futile hydrolysis. The recombinase active site embodies the evolutionary optimization of interactions that not only favor the normal reaction but also proscribe antithetical side reactions.

  18. Active site densities, oxygen activation and adsorbed reactive oxygen in alcohol activation on npAu catalysts.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lu-Cun; Friend, C M; Fushimi, Rebecca; Madix, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    The activation of molecular O2 as well as the reactivity of adsorbed oxygen species is of central importance in aerobic selective oxidation chemistry on Au-based catalysts. Herein, we address the issue of O2 activation on unsupported nanoporous gold (npAu) catalysts by applying a transient pressure technique, a temporal analysis of products (TAP) reactor, to measure the saturation coverage of atomic oxygen, its collisional dissociation probability, the activation barrier for O2 dissociation, and the facility with which adsorbed O species activate methanol, the initial step in the catalytic cycle of esterification. The results from these experiments indicate that molecular O2 dissociation is associated with surface silver, that the density of reactive sites is quite low, that adsorbed oxygen atoms do not spill over from the sites of activation onto the surrounding surface, and that methanol reacts quite facilely with the adsorbed oxygen atoms. In addition, the O species from O2 dissociation exhibits reactivity for the selective oxidation of methanol but not for CO. The TAP experiments also revealed that the surface of the npAu catalyst is saturated with adsorbed O under steady state reaction conditions, at least for the pulse reaction. PMID:27376884

  19. Reconstructing southern Greenland Ice Sheet history during the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation: Insights from IODP Site U1307

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake-Mizen, Keziah; Bailey, Ian; Carlson, Anders; Stoner, Joe; Hatfield, Rob; Xuan, Chuang; Lawrence, Kira

    2016-04-01

    Should it ever melt entirely, the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) would contribute to ~7 metres of global sea-level rise. Understanding how the GIS might respond to anthropogenic-induced global warming over the coming century is therefore important. Central to this goal is constraining how this ice sheet has responded to radiative forcing during both warmer- and colder-than-present climate states in the geological past. Little is known in detail, however, about the GIS prior to the Late Pleistocene and large uncertainty exists in our understanding of its history across the last great climate transition during the Cenozoic, the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation (iNHG; ~3.6-2.4 Ma). This time encompasses two intervals of interest: (1) the mid-Piacenzian warm period (mPWP, ~3.3-3 Ma), widely considered an analogue for a future equilibrium climate state when atmospheric CO2 levels were comparable to modern (~400 ppmv) and sea-level and global temperatures were elevated relative to today (by ~25 metres and ~2-3°C) and, (2) a subsequent gradual deterioration in global climate and decline in atmospheric CO2 that led to the development of Quaternary-magnitude glaciations from ~2.5 Ma. Important unresolved questions include: to what extent did the southern GIS retreat during the mPWP, and when did a modern-day sized GIS first develop during iNHG? To tackle these issues our project focuses on the southern GIS history that can be extracted from Eirik Drift IODP Site U1307 between ~3.3 and 2.2 Ma. To achieve this we are developing an independent orbital-resolution age model, one of the first for high-latitude marine sediments deposited during iNHG, by producing a relative paleointensity (RPI) record for Site U1307; and generating multi-proxy geochemical and sedimentological datasets that track the provenance of the sand and bulk terrigenous sediment fraction glacially eroded by the southern GIS and delivered to the study site by both ice-rafting and the Western

  20. Site-specific and regiospecific installation of methylarginine analogues into recombinant histones and insights into effector protein binding.

    PubMed

    Le, Daniel D; Cortesi, Arianna T; Myers, Samuel A; Burlingame, Alma L; Fujimori, Danica Galonić

    2013-02-27

    Arginine methylation has emerged as a widespread post-translational modification with influence over myriad cellular processes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such methylarginine-dependent phenomena remain unclear. To aid in this research, a facile method was developed to install methylarginine analogues on recombinant protein for use in biochemical, biophysical, and structural studies. Through chemical conjugation of novel α,β-unsaturated amidine precursors with proteins, methylarginine mimics can be displayed with control of methylation site, extent, and regiospecificity. Analogue installation into histones using this strategy produced modified proteins that were recognized by antibodies specific to endogenous methylarginine, and these histones retained the capacity to form mononucleosomes. Moreover, a native methylarginine-specific binding domain was shown to interact with methylarginine analogue-modified substrates. This chemical conjugation method for installing methylarginine analogues provides an efficient route to produce homogeneous modified proteins for subsequent investigations of methylarginine-dependent processes.

  1. A roundup of SMOS validation activities at the HOBE site in the Skjern River Catchment, Denmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bircher, Simone; Richaume, Philippe; Mialon, Arnaud; Berthon, Lucie; Kerr, Yann H.; Jensen, Karsten H.

    2013-04-01

    patches of the most representative land covers (agriculture, heath and forest). This communication will give an overall insight into the validation carried out at the Danish test site by means of the collected in situ data, and present data comparisons at SMOS Levels 1C, 2 and 3. The shown results include data from different soil moisture processor versions as well as the investigation of main auxiliary parameters in the retrieval algorithm. Finally, an outlook on future planned SMOS activities in the higher northern latitudes will be given.

  2. Possible active site of the sweet-tasting protein thaumatin.

    PubMed

    Slootstra, J W; De Geus, P; Haas, H; Verrips, C T; Meloen, R H

    1995-10-01

    Epitopes on thaumatin and monellin were studied using the PEPSCAN-technology. The antibodies used were raised against thaumatin. Only antibodies that, in an ELISA, both recognized thaumatin and monellin were used in the PEPSCAN-analyses. On thaumatin two major overlapping epitopes were identified. On monellin no epitopes could be identified. The identified epitope region on thaumatin shares structural features with various peptide and protein sweeteners. It contains an aspartame-like site which is formed by Asp21 and Phe80, tips of the two extruding loops KGDAALDAGGR19-29 and CKRFGRPP77-84, which are spatially positioned next to each other. Furthermore, sub-sequences of the KGDAALDAGGR19-29 loop are similar to peptide-sweeteners such as L-Asp-D-Ala-L-Ala-methyl ester and L-Asp-D-Ala-Gly-methyl ester. Since the aspartame-like Asp21-Phe80 site and the peptide-sweetener-like sequences are also not present in non-sweet thaumatin-like proteins it is postulated that the KGDAALDAGGR19-29- and CKRFGRPP77-84 loop contain important sweet-taste determinants. This region has previously not been implicated as a sweet-taste determinant of thaumatin.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of activation products in the Savannah River Site environment

    SciTech Connect

    Carlton, W.H.; Denham, M.

    1996-07-01

    This document assesses the impact of radioactive activation products released from SRS facilities since the first reactor became operational late in 1953. The isotopes reported here are those whose release resulted in the highest dose to people living near SRS: {sup 32}P, {sup 51}Cr, {sup 60}C, and {sup 65}Zn. Release pathways, emission control features, and annual releases to the aqueous and atmospheric environments are discussed. No single incident has resulted in a major acute release of activation products to the environment. The releases were the result of normal operations of the reactors and separations facilities. Releases declined over the years as better controls were established and production was reduced. The overall radiological impact of SRS activation product atmospheric releases from 1954 through 1994 on the offsite maximally exposed individual can be characterized by a total dose of 0.76 mrem. During the same period, such an individual received a total dose of 14,400 mrem from non-SRS sources of ionizing radiation present in the environment. SRS activation product aqueous releases between 1954 and 1994 resulted in a total dose of 54 mrem to the offsite maximally exposed individual. The impact of SRS activation product releases on offsite populations also has been evaluated.

  5. Biomarker insights into microbial activity in the serpentinite-hosted ecosystem of the Semail Ophiolite, Oman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, S. A.; Lincoln, S. A.; Shock, E.; Kelemen, P. B.; Summons, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    Serpentinization is a process in which ultramafic and mafic rocks undergo exothermic reactions when exposed to water. The products of these reactions, including methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen sulfide, can sustain microbially dominated ecosystems [1,2,3]. Here, we report the lipid biomarker record of microbial activity in carbonate veins of the Semail Ophiolite, a site currently undergoing serpentinization [4]. The ophiolite, located in the Oman Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, was obducted onto the Arabian continental margin during the closure of the southern Tethys Ocean (~70 Ma) [5]. We detected bacterial and archaeal glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids in Semail carbonates. In addition to archaeal isoprenoidal GDGTs with 0-3 cyclopentane moieties, we detected crenarchaeol, an iGDGT containing 4 cyclopentane and 1 cyclohexane moiety. Crenarchaeol biosynthesis is currently understood to be limited to thaumarchaea, representatives of which have been found to fix inorganic carbon in culture. We also analyzed isoprenoidal diether lipids, potentially derived from methanogenic euryarchaea, as well as non-isoprenoidal diether and monoether lipids that may be indicative of methane cycling bacteria. The stable carbon isotopic composition of these compounds is potentially useful in determining both their origin and the origin of methane detected in ophiolite fluids. We compare our results to those found at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, a similar microbially-dominated ecosystem fueled by serpentinization processes [3]. Modern serpentinite-hosted ecosystems such as this can serve as analogs for environments in which ultramafic and mafic rocks were prevalent (e.g. early Earth and other early terrestrial planets). Additionally, an analysis of modern serpentinite systems can help assess conditions promoting active carbon sequestration in ultramafic rocks [6]. References [1] Russell et al. (2010). Geobiology 8: 355-371. [2] Kelley et al. (2005). Science

  6. Quantifying the density and utilization of active sites in non-precious metal oxygen electroreduction catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Sahraie, Nastaran Ranjbar; Kramm, Ulrike I.; Steinberg, Julian; Zhang, Yuanjian; Thomas, Arne; Reier, Tobias; Paraknowitsch, Jens-Peter; Strasser, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Carbon materials doped with transition metal and nitrogen are highly active, non-precious metal catalysts for the electrochemical conversion of molecular oxygen in fuel cells, metal air batteries, and electrolytic processes. However, accurate measurement of their intrinsic turn-over frequency and active-site density based on metal centres in bulk and surface has remained difficult to date, which has hampered a more rational catalyst design. Here we report a successful quantification of bulk and surface-based active-site density and associated turn-over frequency values of mono- and bimetallic Fe/N-doped carbons using a combination of chemisorption, desorption and 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques. Our general approach yields an experimental descriptor for the intrinsic activity and the active-site utilization, aiding in the catalyst development process and enabling a previously unachieved level of understanding of reactivity trends owing to a deconvolution of site density and intrinsic activity. PMID:26486465

  7. Binding site asymmetry in human transthyretin: insights from a joint neutron and X-ray crystallographic analysis using perdeuterated protein.

    PubMed

    Haupt, Melina; Blakeley, Matthew P; Fisher, Stuart J; Mason, Sax A; Cooper, Jon B; Mitchell, Edward P; Forsyth, V Trevor

    2014-11-01

    Human transthyretin has an intrinsic tendency to form amyloid fibrils and is heavily implicated in senile systemic amyloidosis. Here, detailed neutron structural studies of perdeuterated transthyretin are described. The analyses, which fully exploit the enhanced visibility of isotopically replaced hydrogen atoms, yield new information on the stability of the protein and the possible mechanisms of amyloid formation. Residue Ser117 may play a pivotal role in that a single water molecule is closely associated with the γ-hydrogen atoms in one of the binding pockets, and could be important in determining which of the two sites is available to the substrate. The hydrogen-bond network at the monomer-monomer interface is more extensive than that at the dimer-dimer interface. Additionally, the edge strands of the primary dimer are seen to be favourable for continuation of the β-sheet and the formation of an extended cross-β structure through sequential dimer couplings. It is argued that the precursor to fibril formation is the dimeric form of the protein. PMID:25485123

  8. Insights Into Contamination Control For The Shuttle Payload Integration Facility (SPIF) At The Eastern Launch Site (ELS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pugel, Nancy J.

    1982-02-01

    The Shuttle Payload Integration Facility (SPIF) is a payload processing facility at the Eastern Launch Site (ELS), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) which has been designed to accommodate assembly, test, and checkout operations for a number of Shuttle payloads, many of which are contamination sensitive. In general, the SPIF was designed to meet class 100,000, per Fed. Std. 209B (Reference 1), cleanliness requirements and operate as a class 100,000 clean area. However, due to the expansiveness of the building (which includes several airlocks, a transfer aisle, and integration cells), the variety of hardware to be processed through the facility (payloads, upper states, and support equipment), and the variety of operations to be performed for these hardware, many different contamination control methods must be carefully integrated and implemented to maintain an overall clean environment. In instances where the operation being performed is not generally compatible with the clean environment, uniaue and innovative contamination control methods must be developed with respect to ease of implementation as well as effectiveness of contamination control.

  9. Characterization of an Active Thermal Erosion Site, Caribou Creek, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busey, R.; Bolton, W. R.; Cherry, J. E.; Hinzman, L. D.

    2013-12-01

    The goal of this project is to estimate volume loss of soil over time from this site, provide parameterizations on erodibility of ice rich permafrost and serve as a baseline for future landscape evolution simulations. Located in the zone of discontinuous permafrost, the interior region of Alaska (USA) is home to a large quantity of warm, unstable permafrost that is both high in ice content and has soil temperatures near the freezing point. Much of this permafrost maintains a frozen state despite the general warming air temperature trend in the region due to the presence of a thick insulating organic mat and a dense root network in the upper sub-surface of the soil column. At a rapidly evolving thermo-erosion site, located within the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed (part of the Bonanza Creek LTER) near Chatanika, Alaska (N65.140, W147.570), the protective organic layer and associated plants were disturbed by an adjacent traditional use trail and the shifting of a groundwater spring. These triggers have led to rapid geomorphological change on the landscape as the soil thaws and sediment is transported into the creek at the valley bottom. Since 2006 (approximately the time of initiation), the thermal erosion has grown to 170 meters length, 3 meters max depth, and 15 meters maximum width. This research combines several data sets: DGPS survey, imagery from an extremely low altitude pole-based remote sensing (3 to 5 meters above ground level), and imagery from an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) at about 60m altitude.

  10. Molecular Basis for Enzymatic Sulfite Oxidation -- HOW THREE CONSERVED ACTIVE SITE RESIDUES SHAPE ENZYME ACTIVITY

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Susan; Rapson, Trevor; Johnson-Winters, Kayunta; Astashkin, Andrei; Enemark, John; Kappler, Ulrike

    2008-11-10

    Sulfite dehydrogenases (SDHs) catalyze the oxidation and detoxification of sulfite to sulfate, a reaction critical to all forms of life. Sulfite-oxidizing enzymes contain three conserved active site amino acids (Arg-55, His-57, and Tyr-236) that are crucial for catalytic competency. Here we have studied the kinetic and structural effects of two novel and one previously reported substitution (R55M, H57A, Y236F) in these residues on SDH catalysis. Both Arg-55 and His-57 were found to have key roles in substrate binding. An R55M substitution increased Km(sulfite)(app) by 2-3 orders of magnitude, whereas His-57 was required for maintaining a high substrate affinity at low pH when the imidazole ring is fully protonated. This effect may be mediated by interactions of His-57 with Arg-55 that stabilize the position of the Arg-55 side chain or, alternatively, may reflect changes in the protonation state of sulfite. Unlike what is seen for SDHWT and SDHY236F, the catalytic turnover rates of SDHR55M and SDHH57A are relatively insensitive to pH (~;;60 and 200 s-1, respectively). On the structural level, striking kinetic effects appeared to correlate with disorder (in SDHH57A and SDHY236F) or absence of Arg-55 (SDHR55M), suggesting that Arg-55 and the hydrogen bonding interactions it engages in are crucial for substrate binding and catalysis. The structure of SDHR55M has sulfate bound at the active site, a fact that coincides with a significant increase in the inhibitory effect of sulfate in SDHR55M. Thus, Arg-55 also appears to be involved in enabling discrimination between the substrate and product in SDH.

  11. Active Site Metal Occupancy and Cyclic Di-GMP Phosphodiesterase Activity of Thermotoga maritima HD-GYP.

    PubMed

    Miner, Kyle D; Kurtz, Donald M

    2016-02-16

    HD-GYPs make up a subclass of the metal-dependent HD phosphohydrolase superfamily and catalyze conversion of cyclic di(3',5')-guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) to 5'-phosphoguanylyl-(3'→5')-guanosine (pGpG) and GMP. Until now, the only reported crystal structure of an HD-GYP that also exhibits c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activity contains a His/carboxylate ligated triiron active site. However, other structural and phylogenetic correlations indicate that some HD-GYPs contain dimetal active sites. Here we provide evidence that an HD-GYP c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase, TM0186, from Thermotoga maritima can accommodate both di- and trimetal active sites. We show that an as-isolated iron-containing TM0186 has an oxo/carboxylato-bridged diferric site, and that the reduced (diferrous) form is necessary and sufficient to catalyze conversion of c-di-GMP to pGpG, but that conversion of pGpG to GMP requires more than two metals per active site. Similar c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activities were obtained with divalent iron or manganese. On the basis of activity correlations with several putative metal ligand residue variants and molecular dynamics simulations, we propose that TM0186 can accommodate both di- and trimetal active sites. Our results also suggest that a Glu residue conserved in a subset of HD-GYPs is required for formation of the trimetal site and can also serve as a labile ligand to the dimetal site. Given the anaerobic growth requirement of T. maritima, we suggest that this HD-GYP can function in vivo with either divalent iron or manganese occupying di- and trimetal sites.

  12. A rapid and direct method for the determination of active site accessibility in proteins based on ESI-MS and active site titrations.

    PubMed

    O'Farrell, Norah; Kreiner, Michaela; Moore, Barry D; Parker, Marie-Claire

    2006-11-01

    We have developed an electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) technique that can be applied to rapidly determine the number of intact active sites in proteins. The methodology relies on inhibiting the protein with an active-site irreversible inhibitor and then using ESI-MS to determine the extent of inhibition. We have applied this methodology to a test system: a serine protease, subtilisin Carlsberg, and monitored the extent of inhibition by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF), an irreversible serine hydrolase inhibitor as a function of the changes in immobilisation and hydration conditions. Two types of enzyme preparation were investigated, lyophilised enzymes and protein-coated microcrystals (PCMC).

  13. Cyanide does more to inhibit heme enzymes, than merely serving as an active-site ligand.

    PubMed

    Parashar, Abhinav; Venkatachalam, Avanthika; Gideon, Daniel Andrew; Manoj, Kelath Murali

    2014-12-12

    The toxicity of cyanide is hitherto attributed to its ability to bind to heme proteins' active site and thereby inhibit their activity. It is shown herein that the long-held interpretation is inadequate to explain several observations in heme-enzyme reaction systems. Generation of cyanide-based diffusible radicals in heme-enzyme reaction milieu could shunt electron transfers (by non-active site processes), and thus be detrimental to the efficiency of oxidative outcomes.

  14. Marine Biology Field Trip Sites. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauls, John

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  15. Endolysosomes Are the Principal Intracellular Sites of Acid Hydrolase Activity.

    PubMed

    Bright, Nicholas A; Davis, Luther J; Luzio, J Paul

    2016-09-12

    The endocytic delivery of macromolecules from the mammalian cell surface for degradation by lysosomal acid hydrolases requires traffic through early endosomes to late endosomes followed by transient (kissing) or complete fusions between late endosomes and lysosomes. Transient or complete fusion results in the formation of endolysosomes, which are hybrid organelles from which lysosomes are re-formed. We have used synthetic membrane-permeable cathepsin substrates, which liberate fluorescent reporters upon proteolytic cleavage, as well as acid phosphatase cytochemistry to identify which endocytic compartments are acid hydrolase active. We found that endolysosomes are the principal organelles in which acid hydrolase substrates are cleaved. Endolysosomes also accumulated acidotropic probes and could be distinguished from terminal storage lysosomes, which were acid hydrolase inactive and did not accumulate acidotropic probes. Using live-cell microscopy, we have demonstrated that fusion events, which form endolysosomes, precede the onset of acid hydrolase activity. By means of sucrose and invertase uptake experiments, we have also shown that acid-hydrolase-active endolysosomes and acid-hydrolase-inactive, terminal storage lysosomes exist in dynamic equilibrium. We conclude that the terminal endocytic compartment is composed of acid-hydrolase-active, acidic endolysosomes and acid hydrolase-inactive, non-acidic, terminal storage lysosomes, which are linked and function in a lysosome regeneration cycle. PMID:27498570

  16. A Comparative Analysis of Synthetic Quorum Sensing Modulators in Pseudomonas aeruginosa: New Insights into Mechanism, Active Efflux Susceptibility, Phenotypic Response, and Next-Generation Ligand Design

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) is a chemical signaling mechanism that allows bacterial populations to coordinate gene expression in response to social and environmental cues. Many bacterial pathogens use QS to initiate infection at high cell densities. Over the past two decades, chemical antagonists of QS in pathogenic bacteria have attracted substantial interest for use both as tools to further elucidate QS mechanisms and, with further development, potential anti-infective agents. Considerable recent research has been devoted to the design of small molecules capable of modulating the LasR QS receptor in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These molecules hold significant promise in a range of contexts; however, as most compounds have been developed independently, comparative activity data for these compounds are scarce. Moreover, the mechanisms by which the bulk of these compounds act are largely unknown. This paucity of data has stalled the choice of an optimal chemical scaffold for further advancement. Herein, we submit the best-characterized LasR modulators to standardized cell-based reporter and QS phenotypic assays in P. aeruginosa, and we report the first comprehensive set of comparative LasR activity data for these compounds. Our experiments uncovered multiple interesting mechanistic phenomena (including a potential alternative QS-modulatory ligand binding site/partner) that provide new, and unexpected, insights into the modes by which many of these LasR ligands act. The lead compounds, data trends, and mechanistic insights reported here will significantly aid the design of new small molecule QS inhibitors and activators in P. aeruginosa, and in other bacteria, with enhanced potencies and defined modes of action. PMID:26491787

  17. Outside-binding site mutations modify the active site's shapes in neuraminidase from influenza A H1N1.

    PubMed

    Tolentino-Lopez, Luis; Segura-Cabrera, Aldo; Reyes-Loyola, Paola; Zimic, Mirko; Quiliano, Miguel; Briz, Veronica; Muñoz-Fernández, Angeles; Rodríguez-Pérez, Mario; Ilizaliturri-Flores, Ian; Correa-Basurto, Jose

    2013-01-01

    The recent occurrence of 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic as well as others has raised concern of a far more dangerous outcome should this virus becomes resistant to current drug therapies. The number of clinical cases that are resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) is larger than the limited number of neuraminidase (NA) mutations (H275Y, N295S, and I223R) that have been identified at the active site and that are associated to oseltamivir resistance. In this study, we have performed a comparative analysis between a set of NAs that have the most representative mutations located outside the active site. The recently crystallized NA-oseltamivir complex (PDB ID: 3NSS) was used as a wild-type structure. After selecting the target NA sequences, their three-dimensional (3D) structure was built using 3NSS as a template by homology modeling. The 3D NA models were refined by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The refined models were used to perform a docking study, using oseltamivir as a ligand. Furthermore, the docking results were refined by free-energy analysis using the MM-PBSA method. The analysis of the MD simulation results showed that the NA models reached convergence during the first 10 ns. Visual inspection and structural measures showed that the mutated NA active sites show structural variations. The docking and MM-PBSA results from the complexes showed different binding modes and free energy values. These results suggest that distant mutations located outside the active site of NA affect its structure and could be considered to be a new source of resistance to oseltamivir, which agrees with reports in the clinical literature.

  18. Molecular Docking Simulations Provide Insights in the Substrate Binding Sites and Possible Substrates of the ABCC6 Transporter

    PubMed Central

    De Paepe, Anne; Vanakker, Olivier M.

    2014-01-01

    The human ATP-binding cassette family C member 6 (ABCC6) gene encodes an ABC transporter protein (ABCC6), primarily expressed in liver and kidney. Mutations in the ABCC6 gene cause pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), an autosomal recessive connective tissue disease characterized by ectopic mineralization of the elastic fibers. The pathophysiology underlying PXE is incompletely understood, which can at least partly be explained by the undetermined nature of the ABCC6 substrates as well as the unknown substrate recognition and binding sites. Several compounds, including anionic glutathione conjugates (N-ethylmaleimide; NEM-GS) and leukotriene C4 (LTC4) were shown to be modestly transported in vitro; conversely, vitamin K3 (VK3) was demonstrated not to be transported by ABCC6. To predict the possible substrate binding pockets of the ABCC6 transporter, we generated a 3D homology model of ABCC6 in both open and closed conformation, qualified for molecular docking and virtual screening approaches. By docking 10 reported in vitro substrates in our ABCC6 3D homology models, we were able to predict the substrate binding residues of ABCC6. Further, virtual screening of 4651 metabolites from the Human Serum Metabolome Database against our open conformation model disclosed possible substrates for ABCC6, which are mostly lipid and biliary secretion compounds, some of which are found to be involved in mineralization. Docking of these possible substrates in the closed conformation model also showed high affinity. Virtual screening expands this possibility to explore more compounds that can interact with ABCC6, and may aid in understanding the mechanisms leading to PXE. PMID:25062064

  19. Proofs that Develop Insight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Keith

    2010-01-01

    Many mathematics educators have noted that mathematicians do not only read proofs to gain conviction but also to obtain insight. The goal of this article is to discuss what this insight is from mathematicians' perspective. Based on interviews with nine research-active mathematicians, two sources of insight are discussed. The first is reading a…

  20. Active site proton delivery and the lyase activity of human CYP17A1

    SciTech Connect

    Khatri, Yogan; Gregory, Michael C.; Grinkova, Yelena V.; Denisov, Ilia G.; Sligar, Stephen G.

    2014-01-03

    equivalents and protons are funneled into non-productive pathways. This is similar to previous work with other P450 catalyzed hydroxylation. However, catalysis of carbon–carbon bond scission by the T306A mutant was largely unimpeded by disruption of the CYP17A1 acid-alcohol pair. The unique response of CYP17A1 lyase activity to mutation of Thr306 is consistent with a reactive intermediate formed independently of proton delivery in the active site, and supports involvement of a nucleophilic peroxo-anion rather than the traditional Compound I in catalysis.

  1. Structural insights into a novel interkingdom signaling circuit by cartography of the ligand-binding sites of the homologous quorum sensing LuxR-family.

    PubMed

    Covaceuszach, Sonia; Degrassi, Giuliano; Venturi, Vittorio; Lamba, Doriano

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have identified a novel interkingdom signaling circuit, via plant signaling molecules, and a bacterial sub-family of LuxR proteins, bridging eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Indeed pivotal plant-bacteria interactions are regulated by the so called Plant Associated Bacteria (PAB) LuxR solo regulators that, although closely related to the quorum sensing (QS) LuxR family, do not bind or respond to canonical quorum sensing N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs), but only to specific host plant signal molecules. The large body of structural data available for several members of the QS LuxR family complexed with different classes of ligands (AHLs and other compounds), has been exploited to dissect the cartography of their regulatory domains through structure-based multiple sequence alignments, structural superimposition and a comparative analysis of the contact residues involved in ligand binding. In the absence of experimentally determined structures of members of the PAB LuxR solos subfamily, an homology model of its prototype OryR is presented, aiming to elucidate the architecture of its ligand-binding site. The obtained model, in combination with the cartography of the regulatory domains of the homologous QS LuxRs, provides novel insights into the 3D structure of its ligand-binding site and unveils the probable molecular determinants responsible for differences in selectivity towards specific host plant signal molecules, rather than to canonical QS compounds.

  2. Identification of inhibitors against the potential ligandable sites in the active cholera toxin.

    PubMed

    Gangopadhyay, Aditi; Datta, Abhijit

    2015-04-01

    The active cholera toxin responsible for the massive loss of water and ions in cholera patients via its ADP ribosylation activity is a heterodimer of the A1 subunit of the bacterial holotoxin and the human cytosolic ARF6 (ADP Ribosylation Factor 6). The active toxin is a potential target for the design of inhibitors against cholera. In this study we identified the potential ligandable sites of the active cholera toxin which can serve as binding sites for drug-like molecules. By employing an energy-based approach to identify ligand binding sites, and comparison with the results of computational solvent mapping, we identified two potential ligandable sites in the active toxin which can be targeted during structure-based drug design against cholera. Based on the probe affinities of the identified ligandable regions, docking-based virtual screening was employed to identify probable inhibitors against these sites. Several indole-based alkaloids and phosphates showed strong interactions to the important residues of the ligandable region at the A1 active site. On the other hand, 26 top scoring hits were identified against the ligandable region at the A1 ARF6 interface which showed strong hydrogen bonding interactions, including guanidines, phosphates, Leucopterin and Aristolochic acid VIa. This study has important implications in the application of hybrid structure-based and ligand-based methods against the identified ligandable sites using the identified inhibitors as reference ligands, for drug design against the active cholera toxin.

  3. Encroachment of Human Activity on Sea Turtle Nesting Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziskin, D.; Aubrecht, C.; Elvidge, C.; Tuttle, B.; Baugh, K.; Ghosh, T.

    2008-12-01

    The encroachment of anthropogenic lighting on sea turtle nesting sites poses a serious threat to the survival of these animals [Nicholas, 2001]. This danger is quantified by combining two established data sets. The first is the Nighttime Lights data produced by the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center [Elvidge et al., 1997]. The second is the Marine Turtle Database produced by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). The technique used to quantify the threat of encroachment is an adaptation of the method described in Aubrecht et al. [2008], which analyzes the stress on coral reef systems by proximity to nighttime lights near the shore. Nighttime lights near beaches have both a direct impact on turtle reproductive success since they disorient hatchlings when they mistake land-based lights for the sky-lit surf [Lorne and Salmon, 2007] and the lights are also a proxy for other anthropogenic threats. The identification of turtle nesting sites with high rates of encroachment will hopefully steer conservation efforts to mitigate their effects [Witherington, 1999]. Aubrecht, C, CD Elvidge, T Longcore, C Rich, J Safran, A Strong, M Eakin, KE Baugh, BT Tuttle, AT Howard, EH Erwin, 2008, A global inventory of coral reef stressors based on satellite observed nighttime lights, Geocarto International, London, England: Taylor and Francis. In press. Elvidge, CD, KE Baugh, EA Kihn, HW Kroehl, ER Davis, 1997, Mapping City Lights with Nighttime Data from the DMSP Operational Linescan System, Photogrammatic Engineering and Remote Sensing, 63:6, pp. 727-734. Lorne, JK, M Salmon, 2007, Effects of exposure to artificial lighting on orientation of hatchling sea turtles on the beach and in the ocean, Endangered Species Research, Vol. 3: 23-30. Nicholas, M, 2001, Light Pollution and Marine Turtle Hatchlings: The Straw that Breaks the Camel's Back?, George Wright Forum, 18:4, p77-82. Witherington, BE, 1999, Reducing Threats To Nesting Habitat, Research and Management Techniques for

  4. The Palaeolithic site Bistricioara-Lut\\varie III in the Romanian Carpathians - Insights from various luminescence methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Christoph; Antohi-Trandafir, Oana; Timar-Gabor, Alida; Anghelinu, Mircea; Veres, Daniel; Hambach, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    The loess derivates on top of the terrace gravels in the Bistrita valley (Carpathians, northeastern Romania) host a large number of Palaeolithic settlements, some of which reveal several distinct cultural layers characterised by charcoal, other combustion features and/or scattered lithics. While the youngest productive layers at the site Bistricioara-Lut\\varie III (BL III) are associated with Gravettian and Epigravettian technocomplexes, the knowledge about older occupations remains diffuse. Definitely, the high density of last glacial settlements in such a harsh environment represents a puzzle. Furthermore, new excavations in 2015 exposed large (>1 m) combustion features without a related lithic inventory and of unknown origin (natural fires or fires places). The present contribution aims at fathoming the versatile applications of luminescence methods to tackle the unsolved questions at BL III. Despite methodological deficiencies concerning grain size dependent age discrepancies, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) of quartz demonstrated the archive's chronological depth (>76 ka above terrace gravels) and placed the youngest cultural layer (CL1) in the Last Glacial Maximum, in agreement with radiocarbon (14C) dates (Trandafir et al. 2015). This cultural layer yielded a set of heated lithics (flint) during the recent excavation, providing the opportunity to directly date human presence by thermoluminescence (TL) and to reconcile these ages with (independent) methods dating different events (OSL, 14C). Such a comparison of techniques also serves at testing the accuracy of explorative TL measurement protocols under 'natural conditions'. Finally, detached from any chronological issues, the temperature-dependent sensitisation of the 110 °C quartz TL peak - in analogue to the flint TL signal - potentially allows determining the maximum heating temperature of samples from the combustion features (Göksu et al. 1989), which in turn helps elucidating whether the

  5. Reduction of Urease Activity by Interaction with the Flap Covering the Active Site

    PubMed Central

    Macomber, Lee; Minkara, Mona S.; Hausinger, Robert P.; Merz, Kenneth M.

    2015-01-01

    With the increasing appreciation for the human microbiome coupled with the global rise of antibiotic resistant organisms, it is imperative that new methods be developed to specifically target pathogens. To that end, a novel computational approach was devised to identify compounds that reduce the activity of urease, a medically important enzyme of Helicobacter pylori, Proteus mirabilis, and many other microorganisms. Urease contains a flexible loop that covers its active site; Glide was used to identify small molecules predicted to lock this loop in an open conformation. These compounds were screened against the model urease from Klebsiella aerogenes and the natural products epigallocatechin and quercetin were shown to inhibit at low and high micromolar concentrations, respectively. These molecules exhibit a strong time-dependent inactivation of urease that was not due to their oxygen sensitivity. Rather, these compounds appear to inactivate urease by reacting with a specific Cys residue located on the flexible loop. Substitution of this cysteine by alanine in the C319A variant increased the urease resistance to both epigallocatechin and quercetin, as predicted by the computational studies. Protein dynamics are integral to the function of many enzymes; thus, identification of compounds that lock an enzyme into a single conformation presents a useful approach to define potential inhibitors. PMID:25594724

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26750474

  8. Dynamics of an Active-Site Flap Contributes to Catalysis in a JAMM Family Metallo Deubiquitinase.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Amy N; Shrestha, Rashmi K; Ronau, Judith A; Babar, Aditya; Sheedlo, Michael J; Fuchs, Julian E; Paul, Lake N; Das, Chittaranjan

    2015-10-01

    The endosome-associated deubiquitinase (DUB) AMSH is a member of the JAMM family of zinc-dependent metallo isopeptidases with high selectivity for Lys63-linked polyubiquitin chains, which play a key role in endosomal-lysosomal sorting of activated cell surface receptors. The catalytic domain of the enzyme features a flexible flap near the active site that opens and closes during its catalytic cycle. Structural analysis of its homologues, AMSH-LP (AMSH-like protein) and the fission yeast counterpart, Sst2, suggests that a conserved Phe residue in the flap may be critical for substrate binding and/or catalysis. To gain insight into the contribution of this flap in substrate recognition and catalysis, we generated mutants of Sst2 and characterized them using a combination of enzyme kinetics, X-ray crystallography, molecular dynamics simulations, and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Our analysis shows that the Phe residue in the flap contributes key interactions during the rate-limiting step but not to substrate binding, since mutants of Phe403 exhibit a defect only in kcat but not in KM. Moreover, ITC studies show Phe403 mutants have similar KD for ubiquitin compared to the wild-type enzyme. The X-ray structures of both Phe403Ala and the Phe403Trp, in both the free and ubiquitin bound form, reveal no appreciable structural change that might impair substrate or alter product binding. We observed that the side chain of the Trp residue is oriented identically with respect to the isopeptide moiety of the substrate as the Phe residue in the wild-type enzyme, so the loss of activity seen in this mutant cannot be explained by the absence of a group with the ability to provide van der Waals interactions that facilitate the hyrdolysis of the Lys63-linked diubiquitin. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the flap in the Trp mutant is quite flexible, allowing almost free rotation of the indole side chain. Therefore, it is possible that these different dynamic

  9. Insights into the Interferon Regulatory Factor Activation from the Crystal Structure of Dimeric IRF5

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, W.; Lam, S; Srinath, H; Jiang, Z; Correia, J; Schiffer, C; Fitzgerald, K; Lin, K; Royer, Jr., W

    2008-01-01

    The interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are involved in the innate immune response and are activated by phosphorylation. The structure of a pseudophosphorylated IRF5 activation domain now reveals structural changes in the activated form that would turn an autoinhibitory region into a dimerization interface. In vivo analysis supports the relevance of such a dimer to transcriptional activation.

  10. Entrainment mapping in patients with sustained atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia: insights into the sites of conduction slowing in the slow atrioventricular nodal pathway.

    PubMed

    Haines, D E; Nath, S; DiMarco, J P; Lobban, J H

    1997-10-01

    The inferoposterior region of the triangle of Koch is hypothesized to be the location of the atrial insertion of the slow atrioventricular (AV) nodal pathway. However, the actual site of conduction slowing in the slow AV nodal pathway is unknown. Entrainment mapping during AV nodal reentry can localize the reentrant pathway as follows: the AH interval measured from the mapping catheter = A'H (where A' is the exit site of the reentrant circuit) minus A'A (the conduction time from A' to the site of mapping); the SH interval during entrainment = SA' (the conduction time from stimulus into the reentry circuit) plus A'H. Thus, in all cases, the SH interval should be greater than or equal to the AH interval, and the deltaAH-SH should increase as distance and conduction time (SA' and A'A) from the reentry circuit increases. Fourteen patients with typical AV nodal reentry (cycle length 346 +/- 62 ms) and 1 with fast-slow (cycle length 430 ms) underwent activation and entrainment mapping from 8 to 12 sites in the triangle of Koch and coronary sinus. Pacing was performed at 2 to 3 mA above threshold, at a cycle length 10 ms shorter than tachycardia. A mapping site was defined as being in close proximity to the circuit if the deltaAH-SH was within 120% of the shortest 20th percentile deltaAH-SH value from all measured sites. In the 14 typical cases, 45 of 83 sites (54%) in the anatomic slow pathway region fulfilled criteria for close proximity to the reentry circuit compared with 13 of 50 sites (26%) outside of this region (p = 0.005). For these patients, the shortest SH interval measured from any entrainment site was 294 +/- 58 ms (89 +/- 10% of tachycardia cycle length, range 70% to 119%), indicating that the site of slow conduction in the slow pathway during AV nodal reentrant tachycardia was distal to all mapped sites. Thus, during typical AV nodal reentry, the "slow" pathway does not conduct slowly, and its insertion is located at or within the inferoposterior or

  11. Spectroscopic definition of the copper active sites in mordenite: selective methane oxidation.

    PubMed

    Vanelderen, Pieter; Snyder, Benjamin E R; Tsai, Ming-Li; Hadt, Ryan G; Vancauwenbergh, Julie; Coussens, Olivier; Schoonheydt, Robert A; Sels, Bert F; Solomon, Edward I

    2015-05-20

    Two distinct [Cu-O-Cu](2+) sites with methane monooxygenase activity are identified in the zeolite Cu-MOR, emphasizing that this Cu-O-Cu active site geometry, having a ∠Cu-O-Cu ∼140°, is particularly formed and stabilized in zeolite topologies. Whereas in ZSM-5 a similar [Cu-O-Cu](2+) active site is located in the intersection of the two 10 membered rings, Cu-MOR provides two distinct local structures, situated in the 8 membered ring windows of the side pockets. Despite their structural similarity, as ascertained by electronic absorption and resonance Raman spectroscopy, the two Cu-O-Cu active sites in Cu-MOR clearly show different kinetic behaviors in selective methane oxidation. This difference in reactivity is too large to be ascribed to subtle differences in the ground states of the Cu-O-Cu sites, indicating the zeolite lattice tunes their reactivity through second-sphere effects. The MOR lattice is therefore functionally analogous to the active site pocket of a metalloenzyme, demonstrating that both the active site and its framework environment contribute to and direct reactivity in transition metal ion-zeolites.

  12. School Pharmacist/School Environmental Hygienic Activities at School Site.

    PubMed

    Muramatsu, Akiyoshi

    2016-01-01

    The "School Health and Safety Act" was enforced in April 2009 in Japan, and "school environmental health standards" were established by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In Article 24 of the Enforcement Regulations, the duties of the school pharmacist have been clarified; school pharmacists have charged with promoting health activities in schools and carrying out complete and regular checks based on the "school environmental health standards" in order to protect the health of students and staff. In supported of this, the school pharmacist group of Japan Pharmaceutical Association has created and distributed digital video discs (DVDs) on "check methods of school environmental health standards" as support material. We use the DVD to ensure the basic issues that school pharmacists deal with, such as objectives, criteria, and methods for each item to be checked, advice, and post-measures. We conduct various workshops and classes, and set up Q&A committees so that inquiries from members are answered with the help of such activities. In addition, school pharmacists try to improve the knowledge of the school staff on environmental hygiene during their in-service training. They also conduct "drug abuse prevention classes" at school and seek to improve knowledge and recognition of drugs, including "dangerous drugs". PMID:27252053

  13. Mechanistic insight into size-dependent activity and durability in Pt/CNT catalyzed hydrolytic dehydrogenation of ammonia borane.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wenyao; Ji, Jian; Feng, Xiang; Duan, Xuezhi; Qian, Gang; Li, Ping; Zhou, Xinggui; Chen, De; Yuan, Weikang

    2014-12-01

    We report a size-dependent activity in Pt/CNT catalyzed hydrolytic dehydrogenation of ammonia borane. Kinetic study and model calculations revealed that Pt(111) facet is the dominating catalytically active surface. There is an optimized Pt particle size of ca. 1.8 nm. Meanwhile, the catalyst durability was found to be highly sensitive to the Pt particle size. The smaller Pt particles appear to have lower durability, which could be related to more significant adsorption of B-containing species on Pt surfaces as well as easier changes in Pt particle size and shape. The insights reported here may pave the way for the rational design of highly active and durable Pt catalysts for hydrogen generation. PMID:25405630

  14. An Accessory Agonist Binding Site Promotes Activation of α4β2* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jingyi; Kuryatov, Alexander; Sriram, Aarati; Jin, Zhuang; Kamenecka, Theodore M; Kenny, Paul J; Lindstrom, Jon

    2015-05-29

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing α4, β2, and sometimes other subunits (α4β2* nAChRs) regulate addictive and other behavioral effects of nicotine. These nAChRs exist in several stoichiometries, typically with two high affinity acetylcholine (ACh) binding sites at the interface of α4 and β2 subunits and a fifth accessory subunit. A third low affinity ACh binding site is formed when this accessory subunit is α4 but not if it is β2. Agonists selective for the accessory ACh site, such as 3-[3-(3-pyridyl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl]benzonitrile (NS9283), cannot alone activate a nAChR but can facilitate more efficient activation in combination with agonists at the canonical α4β2 sites. We therefore suggest categorizing agonists according to their site selectivity. NS9283 binds to the accessory ACh binding site; thus it is termed an accessory site-selective agonist. We expressed (α4β2)2 concatamers in Xenopus oocytes with free accessory subunits to obtain defined nAChR stoichiometries and α4/accessory subunit interfaces. We show that α2, α3, α4, and α6 accessory subunits can form binding sites for ACh and NS9283 at interfaces with α4 subunits, but β2 and β4 accessory subunits cannot. To permit selective blockage of the accessory site, α4 threonine 126 located on the minus side of α4 that contributes to the accessory site, but not the α4β2 sites, was mutated to cysteine. Alkylation of this cysteine with a thioreactive reagent blocked activity of ACh and NS9283 at the accessory site. Accessory agonist binding sites are promising drug targets.

  15. 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. PMID:25504569

  16. 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.

  17. Fragile Sites of ‘Valencia’ Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Chromosomes Are Related with Active 45s rDNA

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Hong; Chen, Chun-Li; Miao, Yin; Yu, Chang-Xiu; Guo, Wen-Wu; Xu, Qiang; Deng, Xiu-Xin

    2016-01-01

    Citrus sinensis chromosomes present a morphological differentiation of bands after staining by the fluorochromes CMA and DAPI, but there is still little information on its chromosomal characteristics. In this study, the chromosomes in ‘Valencia’ C. sinensis were analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using telomere DNA and the 45S rDNA gene as probes combining CMA/DAPI staining, which showed that there were two fragile sites in sweet orange chromosomes co-localizing at distended 45S rDNA regions, one proximally locating on B-type chromosome and the other subterminally locating on D-type chromosome. While the chromosomal CMA banding and 45S rDNA FISH mapping in the doubled haploid line of ‘Valencia’ C. sinensis indicated six 45S rDNA regions, four were identified as fragile sites as doubled comparing its parental line, which confirmed the cytological heterozygosity and chromosomal heteromorphisms in sweet orange. Furthermore, Ag-NOR identified two distended 45S rDNA regions to be active nucleolar organizing regions (NORs) in diploid ‘Valencia’ C. sinensis. The occurrence of quadrivalent in meiosis of pollen mother cells (PMCs) in ‘Valencia’ sweet orange further confirmed it was a chromosomal reciprocal translocation line. We speculated this chromosome translocation was probably related to fragile sites. Our data provide insights into the chromosomal characteristics of the fragile sites in ‘Valencia’ sweet orange and are expected to facilitate the further investigation of the possible functions of fragile sites. PMID:26977938

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Isolated metal active site concentration and stability control catalytic CO2 reduction selectivity.

    PubMed

    Matsubu, John C; Yang, Vanessa N; Christopher, Phillip

    2015-03-01

    CO2 reduction by H2 on heterogeneous catalysts is an important class of reactions that has been studied for decades. However, atomic scale details of structure-function relationships are still poorly understood. Particularly, it has been suggested that metal particle size plays a unique role in controlling the stability of CO2 hydrogenation catalysts and the distribution of active sites, which dictates reactivity and selectivity. These studies often have not considered the possible role of isolated metal active sites in the observed dependences. Here, we utilize probe molecule diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) with known site-specific extinction coefficients to quantify the fraction of Rh sites residing as atomically dispersed isolated sites (Rhiso), as well as Rh sites on the surface of Rh nanoparticles (RhNP) for a series of TiO2 supported Rh catalysts. Strong correlations were observed between the catalytic reverse water gas shift turn over frequency (TOF) and the fraction of Rhiso sites and between catalytic methanation TOF and the fraction of RhNP sites. Furthermore, it was observed that reaction condition-induced disintegration of Rh nanoparticles, forming Rhiso active sites, controls the changing reactivity with time on stream. This work demonstrates that isolated atoms and nanoparticles of the same metal on the same support can exhibit uniquely different catalytic selectivity in competing parallel reaction pathways and that disintegration of nanoparticles under reaction conditions can play a significant role in controlling stability.

  1. Isolated metal active site concentration and stability control catalytic CO2 reduction selectivity.

    PubMed

    Matsubu, John C; Yang, Vanessa N; Christopher, Phillip

    2015-03-01

    CO2 reduction by H2 on heterogeneous catalysts is an important class of reactions that has been studied for decades. However, atomic scale details of structure-function relationships are still poorly understood. Particularly, it has been suggested that metal particle size plays a unique role in controlling the stability of CO2 hydrogenation catalysts and the distribution of active sites, which dictates reactivity and selectivity. These studies often have not considered the possible role of isolated metal active sites in the observed dependences. Here, we utilize probe molecule diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) with known site-specific extinction coefficients to quantify the fraction of Rh sites residing as atomically dispersed isolated sites (Rhiso), as well as Rh sites on the surface of Rh nanoparticles (RhNP) for a series of TiO2 supported Rh catalysts. Strong correlations were observed between the catalytic reverse water gas shift turn over frequency (TOF) and the fraction of Rhiso sites and between catalytic methanation TOF and the fraction of RhNP sites. Furthermore, it was observed that reaction condition-induced disintegration of Rh nanoparticles, forming Rhiso active sites, controls the changing reactivity with time on stream. This work demonstrates that isolated atoms and nanoparticles of the same metal on the same support can exhibit uniquely different catalytic selectivity in competing parallel reaction pathways and that disintegration of nanoparticles under reaction conditions can play a significant role in controlling stability. PMID:25671686

  2. Site specific rationale for technical impracticability of active groundwater restoration at a former manufactured gas plant site

    SciTech Connect

    Logan, C.M.; Walden, R.H.; MacFarlane, I.D.

    1995-12-31

    The National Contingency Plan (40 CFR Part 300 ) requires that remedial strategies must, at minimum, protect human health and the environment and meet applicable and relevant or appropriate requirements (ARARs). Where groundwater is impacted, maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs) set under the Safe Drinking Water Act are often used as ARARs, whether or not the aquifer is a reasonably anticipated future source of drinking water. The US Environmental Protection Agency now recognizes the difficulty of groundwater restoration at sites where dense nonaqueous phase liquids are present, particularly in certain complex hydrogeological settings (EPA 1993). However, demonstration of impracticability generally does not occur until active remediation (e.g., pump and treat) has been shown to be ineffective. A case study of a former manufactured gas plant (MGP) is used to demonstrate how physical and chemical properties of the aquifer and coal tar, the major waste product from MGP sites, influence the feasibility of active restoration. Field characterization investigations, laboratory studies, and groundwater modeling are integrated into a demonstration following EPA guidelines. Laboratory studies included microbiological characterization and natural biodegradation and suggest that intrinsic bioremediation is occurring at this site. This work will be useful as EPA continues to develop presumptive remedies for cleanup under Superfund.

  3. PARP-2 domain requirements for DNA damage-dependent activation and localization to sites of DNA damage.

    PubMed

    Riccio, Amanda A; Cingolani, Gino; Pascal, John M

    2016-02-29

    Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-2 (PARP-2) is one of three human PARP enzymes that are potently activated during the cellular DNA damage response (DDR). DDR-PARPs detect DNA strand breaks, leading to a dramatic increase in their catalytic production of the posttranslational modification poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) to facilitate repair. There are limited biochemical and structural insights into the functional domains of PARP-2, which has restricted our understanding of how PARP-2 is specialized toward specific repair pathways. PARP-2 has a modular architecture composed of a C-terminal catalytic domain (CAT), a central Trp-Gly-Arg (WGR) domain and an N-terminal region (NTR). Although the NTR is generally considered the key DNA-binding domain of PARP-2, we report here that all three domains of PARP-2 collectively contribute to interaction with DNA damage. Biophysical, structural and biochemical analyses indicate that the NTR is natively disordered, and is only required for activation on specific types of DNA damage. Interestingly, the NTR is not essential for PARP-2 localization to sites of DNA damage. Rather, the WGR and CAT domains function together to recruit PARP-2 to sites of DNA breaks. Our study differentiates the functions of PARP-2 domains from those of PARP-1, the other major DDR-PARP, and highlights the specialization of the multi-domain architectures of DDR-PARPs.

  4. The calculation of surface orbital energies for specific types of active sites on dispersed metal catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Augustine, R.L.; Lahanas, K.M.; Cole, F.

    1992-11-01

    An angular overlap calculation has been used to determine the s, p, and d orbital energy levels of the different types of surface sites present on dispersed metal catalysts. These data can permit a Frontier Molecular Orbital treatment of specific site activities as long as the surface orbital availability for overlap with adsorbed substrates is considered along with its energy value and symmetry.

  5. The calculation of surface orbital energies for specific types of active sites on dispersed metal catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Augustine, R.L.; Lahanas, K.M.; Cole, F.

    1992-01-01

    An angular overlap calculation has been used to determine the s, p, and d orbital energy levels of the different types of surface sites present on dispersed metal catalysts. These data can permit a Frontier Molecular Orbital treatment of specific site activities as long as the surface orbital availability for overlap with adsorbed substrates is considered along with its energy value and symmetry.

  6. Extending the Diffuse Layer Model of Surface Acidity Behavior: III. Estimating Bound Site Activity Coefficients

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although detailed thermodynamic analyses of the 2-pK diffuse layer surface complexation model generally specify bound site activity coefficients for the purpose of accounting for those non-ideal excess free energies contributing to bound site electrochemical potentials, in applic...

  7. Activity of site-specific endonucleases on complexes of plasmid DNA with multiwalled carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egorova, V. P.; Krylova, H. V.; Lipnevich, I. V.; Veligura, A. A.; Shulitsky, B. G.; Asayonok, A. A.; Vaskovtsev, E. V.

    2016-08-01

    We have synthesized and investigated structural and functional properties of plasmid DNA complexes with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for detection of changes in structural state of the plasmid DNA at its recognition by site-specific endonuclease. It has been also established that the site-specific endonuclease is functionally active on the surface of MWCNTs.

  8. 77 FR 5560 - Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-03

    ... project proposals on those leases) in identified Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) on the OCS offshore New Jersey... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the... site assessment plans (SAPs) on those leases. BOEM may issue one or more commercial wind energy...

  9. The balance of flexibility and rigidity in the active site residues of hen egg white lysozyme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Jian-Xun; Jiang, Fan

    2011-05-01

    The crystallographic temperature factors (B factor) of individual atoms contain important information about the thermal motion of the atoms in a macromolecule. Previously the theory of flexibility of active site has been established based on the observation that the enzyme activity is sensitive to low concentration denaturing agents. It has been found that the loss of enzyme activity occurs well before the disruption of the three-dimensional structural scaffold of the enzyme. To test the theory of conformational flexibility of enzyme active site, crystal structures were perturbed by soaking in low concentration guanidine hydrochloride solutions. It was found that many lysozyme crystals tested could still diffract until the concentration of guanidine hydrochloride reached 3 M. It was also found that the B factors averaged over individually collected data sets were more accurate. Thus it suggested that accurate measurement of crystal temperature factors could be achieved for medium-high or even medium resolution crystals by averaging over multiple data sets. Furthermore, we found that the correctly predicted active sites included not only the more flexible residues, but also some more rigid residues. Both the flexible and the rigid residues in the active site played an important role in forming the active site residue network, covering the majority of the substrate binding residues. Therefore, this experimental prediction method may be useful for characterizing the binding site and the function of a protein, such as drug targeting.

  10. Chemical modification studies on arginine kinase: essential cysteine and arginine residues at the active site.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Wen-Jing; Li, Miao; Wang, Xiao-Yun

    2007-12-01

    Chemical modification was used to elucidate the essential amino acids in the catalytic activity of arginine kinase (AK) from Migratoria manilensis. Among six cysteine (Cys) residues only one Cys residue was determined to be essential in the active site by Tsou's method. Furthermore, the AK modified by DTNB can be fully reactivated by dithiothreitol (DTT) in a monophasic kinetic course. At the same time, this reactivation can be slowed down in the presence of ATP, suggesting that the essential Cys is located near the ATP binding site. The ionizing groups at the AK active site were studied and the standard dissociation enthalpy (DeltaH degrees ) was 12.38kcal/mol, showing that the dissociation group may be the guanidino of arginine (Arg). Using the specific chemical modifier phenylglyoxal (PG) demonstrated that only one Arg, located near the ATP binding site, is essential for the activity of AK. PMID:17765964

  11. 1993 annual report of hazardous waste activities for the Oak Ridge K-25 site

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-02-01

    This report is a detailed listing of all of the Hazardous Waste activities occurring at Martin Marietta`s K-25 site. Contained herein are hazardous waste notification forms, waste stream reports, generator fee forms and various TSDR reports.

  12. Black and Brown Bear Activity at Selected Coastal Sites in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska: A Preliminary Assessment Using Noninvasive Procedures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Partridge, Steve; Smith, Tom; Lewis, Tania

    2009-01-01

    A number of efforts in recent years have sought to predict bear activity in various habitats to minimize human disturbance and bear/human conflicts. Alaskan coastal areas provide important foraging areas for bears (Ursus americanus and U. arctos), particularly following den emergence when there may be no snow-free foraging alternatives. Additionally, coastal areas provide important food items for bears throughout the year. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (GLBA) in southeastern Alaska has extensive coastal habitats, and the National Park Service (NPS) has been long interested in learning more about the use of these coastal habitats by bears because these same habitats receive extensive human use by park visitors, especially kayaking recreationists. This study provides insight regarding the nature and intensity of bear activity at selected coastal sites within GLBA. We achieved a clearer understanding of bear/habitat relationships within GLBA by analyzing bear activity data collected with remote cameras, bear sign mapping, scat collections, and genetic analysis of bear hair. Although we could not quantify actual levels of bear activity at study sites, agreement among measures of activity (for example, sign counts, DNA analysis, and video record) lends support to our qualitative site assessments. This work suggests that habitat evaluation, bear sign mapping, and periodic scat counts can provide a useful index of bear activity for sites of interest.

  13. Anisotropic Covalency Contributions to Superexchange Pathways in Type One Copper Active Sites

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Type one (T1) Cu sites deliver electrons to catalytic Cu active sites: the mononuclear type two (T2) Cu site in nitrite reductases (NiRs) and the trinuclear Cu cluster in the multicopper oxidases (MCOs). The T1 Cu and the remote catalytic sites are connected via a Cys-His intramolecular electron-transfer (ET) bridge, which contains two potential ET pathways: P1 through the protein backbone and P2 through the H-bond between the Cys and the His. The high covalency of the T1 Cu–S(Cys) bond is shown here to activate the T1 Cu site for hole superexchange via occupied valence orbitals of the bridge. This covalency-activated electronic coupling (HDA) facilitates long-range ET through both pathways. These pathways can be selectively activated depending on the geometric and electronic structure of the T1 Cu site and thus the anisotropic covalency of the T1 Cu–S(Cys) bond. In NiRs, blue (π-type) T1 sites utilize P1 and green (σ-type) T1 sites utilize P2, with P2 being more efficient. Comparing the MCOs to NiRs, the second-sphere environment changes the conformation of the Cys-His pathway, which selectively activates HDA for superexchange by blue π sites for efficient turnover in catalysis. These studies show that a given protein bridge, here Cys-His, provides different superexchange pathways and electronic couplings depending on the anisotropic covalencies of the donor and acceptor metal sites. PMID:25310460

  14. 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. PMID:24889637

  15. How active site protonation state influences the reactivity and ligation of the heme in chlorite dismutase

    PubMed Central

    Streit, Bennett R.; Blanc, Béatrice; Lukat-Rodgers, Gudrun S.; Rodgers, Kenton R.; DuBois, Jennifer L.

    2010-01-01

    Chlorite dismutase catalyzes O2 release from chlorite with exquisite efficiency and specificity. The spectroscopic properties, ligand binding affinities, and steady state kinetics of chlorite dismutase from Dechloromonas aromatica were examined over pH 3–11.5 to gain insight into how the protonation state of the heme environment influences dioxygen formation. An acid/base transition was observed by UV/visible and resonance Raman spectroscopy with a pKa of 8.7, 2–3 pH units below analogous transitions observed in typical His-ligated peroxidases. This transition marks the conversion of a five coordinate high spin Fe(III) to a mixed high/low spin ferric-hydroxide, as confirmed by resonance Raman (rR) spectroscopy. The two Fe–OH stretching frequencies are quite low, consistent with a weak Fe–OH bond, despite the nearly neutral imidazole side chain of the proximal histidine ligand. The hydroxide is proposed to interact strongly with a distal H-bond donor, thereby weakening the Fe–OH bond. The rR spectra of Cld-CO as a function of pH reveal two forms of the complex, one in which there is minimal interaction of distal residues with the carbonyl oxygen and another, acidic form in which the oxygen is under the influence of positive charge. Recent crystallographic data reveal arginine 183 as the lone H-bond donating residue in the distal pocket. It is likely that this Arg is the strong, positively charged H-bond donor implicated by vibrational data to interact with exogenous axial heme ligands. The same Arg in its neutral (pKa ~ 6.5) form also appears to act as the active site base in binding reactions of protonated ligands, such as HCN, to ferric Cld. The steady state profile for the rate of chlorite decomposition is characterized by these same pKas. The 5 coordinate high spin acidic Cld is more active than the alkaline hydroxide-bound form. The acid form decomposes chlorite most efficiently when the distal Arg is protonated/cationic (maximum kcat = 2.0 (±0.6)

  16. Probing impact of active site residue mutations on stability and activity of Neisseria polysaccharea amylosucrase.

    PubMed

    Daudé, David; Topham, Christopher M; Remaud-Siméon, Magali; André, Isabelle

    2013-12-01

    The amylosucrase from Neisseria polysaccharea is a transglucosidase from the GH13 family of glycoside-hydrolases that naturally catalyzes the synthesis of α-glucans from the widely available donor sucrose. Interestingly, natural molecular evolution has modeled a dense hydrogen bond network at subsite -1 responsible for the specific recognition of sucrose and conversely, it has loosened interactions at the subsite +1 creating a highly promiscuous subsite +1. The residues forming these subsites are considered to be likely involved in the activity as well as the overall stability of the enzyme. To assess their role, a structure-based approach was followed to reshape the subsite -1. A strategy based on stability change predictions, using the FoldX algorithm, was considered to identify the best candidates for site-directed mutagenesis and guide the construction of a small targeted library. A miniaturized purification protocol was developed and both mutant stability and substrate promiscuity were explored. A range of 8 °C between extreme melting temperature values was observed and some variants were able to synthesize series of oligosaccharides with distributions differing from that of the parental enzyme. The crucial role of subsite -1 was thus highlighted and the biocatalysts generated can now be considered as starting points for further engineering purposes.

  17. 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.

  18. Phosphorylation- and nucleotide-binding-induced changes to the stability and hydrogen exchange patterns of JNK1β1 provide insight into its mechanisms of activation.

    PubMed

    Owen, Gavin R; Stoychev, Stoyan; Achilonu, Ikechukwu; Dirr, Heini W

    2014-10-23

    Many studies have characterized how changes to the stability and internal motions of a protein during activation can contribute to their catalytic function, even when structural changes cannot be observed. Here, unfolding studies and hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HX) mass spectrometry were used to investigate the changes to the stability and conformation/conformational dynamics of JNK1β1 induced by phosphorylative activation. Equivalent studies were also employed to determine the effects of nucleotide binding on both inactive and active JNK1β1 using the ATP analogue, 5'-adenylyl-imidodiphosphate (AMP-PNP). JNK1β1 phosphorylation alters HX in regions involved in catalysis and substrate binding, changes that can be ascribed to functional modifications in either structure and/or backbone flexibility. Increased HX in the hinge between the N- and C-terminal domains implied that it acquires enhanced flexibility upon phosphorylation that may be a prerequisite for interdomain closure. In combination with the finding that nucleotide binding destabilizes the kinase, the patterns of solvent protection by AMP-PNP were consistent with a novel mode of nucleotide binding to the C-terminal domain of a destabilized and open domain conformation of inactive JNK1β1. Solvent protection by AMP-PNP of both N- and C-terminal domains in active JNK1β1 revealed that the domains close around nucleotide upon phosphorylation, concomitantly stabilizing the kinase. This suggests that phosphorylation activates JNK1β1 in part by increasing hinge flexibility to facilitate interdomain closure and the creation of a functional active site. By uncovering the complex interplay that occurs between nucleotide binding and phosphorylation, we present new insight into the unique mechanisms by which JNK1β1 is regulated.

  19. 'Unconventional' coordination chemistry by metal chelating fragments in a metalloprotein active site.

    PubMed

    Martin, David P; Blachly, Patrick G; Marts, Amy R; Woodruff, Tessa M; de Oliveira, César A F; McCammon, J Andrew; Tierney, David L; Cohen, Seth M

    2014-04-01

    The binding of three closely related chelators: 5-hydroxy-2-methyl-4H-pyran-4-thione (allothiomaltol, ATM), 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4H-pyran-4-thione (thiomaltol, TM), and 3-hydroxy-4H-pyran-4-thione (thiopyromeconic acid, TPMA) to the active site of human carbonic anhydrase II (hCAII) has been investigated. Two of these ligands display a monodentate mode of coordination to the active site Zn(2+) ion in hCAII that is not recapitulated in model complexes of the enzyme active site. This unprecedented binding mode in the hCAII-thiomaltol complex has been characterized by both X-ray crystallography and X-ray spectroscopy. In addition, the steric restrictions of the active site force the ligands into a 'flattened' mode of coordination compared with inorganic model complexes. This change in geometry has been shown by density functional computations to significantly decrease the strength of the metal-ligand binding. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the mode of binding by small metal-binding groups can be significantly influenced by the protein active site. Diminishing the strength of the metal-ligand bond results in unconventional modes of metal coordination not found in typical coordination compounds or even carefully engineered active site models, and understanding these effects is critical to the rational design of inhibitors that target clinically relevant metalloproteins.

  20. Site-directed mutagenesis and high-resolution NMR spectroscopy of the active site of porphobilinogen deaminase

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, A.I.; Roessner, C.A.; Stolowich, N.J.; Karuso, P.; Williams, H.J.; Grant, S.K.; Gonzalez, M.D.; Hoshino, T. )

    1988-10-18

    The active site of porphobilinogen (PBG){sup 1} deaminase from Escherichia coli has been found to contain an unusual dipyrromethane derived from four molecules of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) covalently linked to Cys-242, one of the two cysteine residues conserved in E. coli and human deaminase. By use of a hemA{sup {minus}} strain of E. coli the enzyme was enriched from (5-{sup 13}C)ALA and examined by {sup 1}H-detected multiple quantum coherence spectroscopy, which revealed all of the salient features of a dipyrromethane composed of two PBG units linked heat to tail and terminating in a CH{sub 2}-S bond to a cysteine residue. Site-specific mutagenesis of Cys-99 and Cys-242, respectively, has shown that substitution of Ser for Cys-99 does not affect the enzymatic activity, whereas substitution of Ser for Cys-242 removes essentially all of the catalytic activity as measured by the conversion of the substrate PBG to uro'gen I. The NMR spectrum of the covalent complex of deaminase with the suicide inhibitor 2-bromo-(2,11-{sup 13}C{sub 2})PBG reveals that the aminomethyl terminus of the inhibitor reacts with the enzyme's cofactor at the {alpha}-free pyrrole. NMR spectroscopy of the ES{sub 2} complex confirmed a PBG-derived head-to-tail dipyrromethane attached to the {alpha}-free pyrrole position of the enzyme. A mechanistic rationale for deaminase is presented.

  1. Nuclear waste: Status of DOE`s nuclear waste site characterization activities

    SciTech Connect

    1987-12-31

    Three potential nuclear waste repository sites have been selected to carry out characterization activities-the detailed geological testing to determine the suitability of each site as a repository. The sites are Hanford in south-central Washington State, Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada, and Deaf Smith in the Texas Panhandle. Two key issues affecting the total program are the estimations of the site characterization completion data and costs and DOE`s relationship with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which has been limited and its relations with affected states and Indian tribes which continue to be difficult.

  2. XAFS Study of the Photo-Active Site of Mo/MCM-41

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Ichikuni, Nobuyuki; Shimazu, Shogo

    2007-02-01

    An Mo/MCM-41 catalyst was prepared and used for study of propene and 1-butene photo-metathesis reactions. XAFS analysis revealed that hydrogen reduction leads to a decreased role for the Mo=O site. The Mo-O site plays an important role for the olefin photo-metathesis reaction on the H2 reduced Mo/MCM-41. From EXAFS analysis, the active site of photo-metathesis reaction is the Mo=O part for oxidized Mo/MCM-41, whereas it is the Mo-O site for reduced Mo/MCM-41.

  3. The Three Mycobacterium tuberculosis Antigen 85 Isoforms Have Unique Substrates and Activities Determined by Non-active Site Regions*

    PubMed Central

    Backus, Keriann M.; Dolan, Michael A.; Barry, Conor S.; Joe, Maju; McPhie, Peter; Boshoff, Helena I. M.; Lowary, Todd L.; Davis, Benjamin G.; Barry, Clifton E.

    2014-01-01

    The three isoforms of antigen 85 (A, B, and C) are the most abundant secreted mycobacterial proteins and catalyze transesterification reactions that synthesize mycolated arabinogalactan, trehalose monomycolate (TMM), and trehalose dimycolate (TDM), important constituents of the outermost layer of the cellular envelope of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These three enzymes are nearly identical at the active site and have therefore been postulated to exist to evade host immunity. Distal to the active site is a second putative carbohydrate-binding site of lower homology. Mutagenesis of the three isoforms at this second site affected both substrate selectivity and overall catalytic activity in vitro. Using synthetic and natural substrates, we show that these three enzymes exhibit unique selectivity; antigen 85A more efficiently mycolates TMM to form TDM, whereas C (and to a lesser extent B) has a higher rate of activity using free trehalose to form TMM. This difference in substrate selectivity extends to the hexasaccharide fragment of cell wall arabinan. Mutation of secondary site residues from the most active isoform (C) into those present in A or B partially interconverts this substrate selectivity. These experiments in combination with molecular dynamics simulations reveal that differences in the N-terminal helix α9, the adjacent Pro216–Phe228 loop, and helix α5 are the likely cause of changes in activity and substrate selectivity. These differences explain the existence of three isoforms and will allow for future work in developing inhibitors. PMID:25028517

  4. Transcriptional activation through ETS domain binding sites in the cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV gene

    SciTech Connect

    Virbasius, J.V.; Scarpulla, R.C. )

    1991-11-01

    A mutational analysis of the rat cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV (RCO4) promoter region revealed the presence of a major control element consisting of a tandemly repeated pair of binding sites for a nuclear factor from HeLa cells. This factor was designated NRF-2 (nuclear respiratory factor 2) because a functional recognition site was also found in the human ATP synthase {beta}-subunit gene. Deletion or site-directed point mutations of the NRF-2 binding sites in the RCO4 promoter resulted in substantial loss of transcriptional activity, and synthetic oligomers of the NRF-2 binding sites from both genes stimulated a heterologous promoter when cloned in cis. NRF-2 binding a transcriptional activation required a purine-rich core sequence, GGAA. This motif is characteristic of the recognition site for a family of activators referred to as ETS domain proteins because of the similarity within their DNA-binding domains to the ets-1 proto-oncogene product. NRF-2 recognized an authentic Ets-1 site within the Moloney murine sarcoma virus long terminal repeat, and this site was able to compete for NRF-2 binding to the RCO4 promoter sequence. However, in contrast to Ets-1, which appears to be exclusive to lymphoid tissues, NRF-2 has the broad tissue distribution expected of a regulator of respiratory chain expression.

  5. Quantitative, directional measurement of electric field heterogeneity in the active site of ketosteroid isomerase.

    PubMed

    Fafarman, Aaron T; Sigala, Paul A; Schwans, Jason P; Fenn, Timothy D; Herschlag, Daniel; Boxer, Steven G

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the electrostatic forces and features within highly heterogeneous, anisotropic, and chemically complex enzyme active sites and their connection to biological catalysis remains a longstanding challenge, in part due to the paucity of incisive experimental probes of electrostatic properties within proteins. To quantitatively assess the landscape of electrostatic fields at discrete locations and orientations within an enzyme active site, we have incorporated site-specific thiocyanate vibrational probes into multiple positions within bacterial ketosteroid isomerase. A battery of X-ray crystallographic, vibrational Stark spectroscopy, and NMR studies revealed electrostatic field heterogeneity of 8 MV/cm between active site probe locations and widely differing sensitivities of discrete probes to common electrostatic perturbations from mutation, ligand binding, and pH changes. Electrostatic calculations based on active site ionization states assigned by literature precedent and computational pK(a) prediction were unable to quantitatively account for the observed vibrational band shifts. However, electrostatic models of the D40N mutant gave qualitative agreement with the observed vibrational effects when an unusual ionization of an active site tyrosine with a pK(a) near 7 was included. UV-absorbance and (13)C NMR experiments confirmed the presence of a tyrosinate in the active site, in agreement with electrostatic models. This work provides the most direct measure of the heterogeneous and anisotropic nature of the electrostatic environment within an enzyme active site, and these measurements provide incisive benchmarks for further developing accurate computational models and a foundation for future tests of electrostatics in enzymatic catalysis.

  6. 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. PMID:25543336

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-11

    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.

  9. The linoleic acid derivative DCP-LA selectively activates PKC-epsilon, possibly binding to the phosphatidylserine binding site.

    PubMed

    Kanno, Takeshi; Yamamoto, Hideyuki; Yaguchi, Takahiro; Hi, Rika; Mukasa, Takeshi; Fujikawa, Hirokazu; Nagata, Tetsu; Yamamoto, Satoshi; Tanaka, Akito; Nishizaki, Tomoyuki

    2006-06-01

    This study examined the effect of 8-[2-(2-pentyl-cyclopropylmethyl)-cyclopropyl]-octanoic acid (DCP-LA), a newly synthesized linoleic acid derivative with cyclopropane rings instead of cis-double bonds, on protein kinase C (PKC) activity. In the in situ PKC assay with reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, DCP-LA significantly activated PKC in PC-12 cells in a concentration-dependent (10 nM-100 microM) manner, with the maximal effect at 100 nM, and the DCP-LA effect was blocked by GF109203X, a PKC inhibitor, or a selective inhibitor peptide of the novel PKC isozyme PKC-epsilon. Furthermore, DCP-LA activated PKC in HEK-293 cells that was inhibited by the small, interfering RNA against PKC-epsilon. In the cell-free PKC assay, of the nine isozymes examined here, DCP-LA most strongly activated PKC-epsilon, with >7-fold potency over other PKC isozymes, in the absence of dioleoyl-phosphatidylserine and 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycerol; instead, the DCP-LA action was inhibited by dioleoyl-phosphatidylserine. DCP-LA also activated PKC-gamma, a conventional PKC, but to a much lesser extent compared with that for PKC-epsilon, by a mechanism distinct from PKC-epsilon activation. Thus, DCP-LA serves as a selective activator of PKC-epsilon, possibly by binding to the phosphatidylserine binding site on PKC-epsilon. These results may provide fresh insight into lipid signaling in PKC activation.

  10. Molecular dynamics explorations of active site structure in designed and evolved enzymes.

    PubMed

    Osuna, Sílvia; Jiménez-Osés, Gonzalo; Noey, Elizabeth L; Houk, K N

    2015-04-21

    This Account describes the use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to reveal how mutations alter the structure and organization of enzyme active sites. As proposed by Pauling about 70 years ago and elaborated by many others since then, biocatalysis is efficient when functional groups in the active site of an enzyme are in optimal positions for transition state stabilization. Changes in mechanism and covalent interactions are often critical parts of enzyme catalysis. We describe our explorations of the dynamical preorganization of active sites using MD, studying the fluctuations between active and inactive conformations normally concealed to static crystallography. MD shows how the various arrangements of active site residues influence the free energy of the transition state and relates the populations of the catalytic conformational ensemble to the enzyme activity. This Account is organized around three case studies from our laboratory. We first describe the importance of dynamics in evaluating a series of computationally designed and experimentally evolved enzymes for the Kemp elimination, a popular subject in the enzyme design field. We find that the dynamics of the active site is influenced not only by the original sequence design and subsequent mutations but also by the nature of the ligand present in the active site. In the second example, we show how microsecond MD has been used to uncover the role of remote mutations in the active site dynamics and catalysis of a transesterase, LovD. This enzyme was evolved by Tang at UCLA and Codexis, Inc., and is a useful commercial catalyst for the production of the drug simvastatin. X-ray analysis of inactive and active mutants did not reveal differences in the active sites, but relatively long time scale MD in solution showed that the active site of the wild-type enzyme preorganizes only upon binding of the acyl carrier protein (ACP) that delivers the natural acyl group to the active site. In the absence of bound ACP

  11. Sequences flanking the core-binding site modulate glucocorticoid receptor structure and activity.

    PubMed

    Schöne, Stefanie; Jurk, Marcel; Helabad, Mahdi Bagherpoor; Dror, Iris; Lebars, Isabelle; Kieffer, Bruno; Imhof, Petra; Rohs, Remo; Vingron, Martin; Thomas-Chollier, Morgane; Meijsing, Sebastiaan H

    2016-09-01

    The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binds as a homodimer to genomic response elements, which have particular sequence and shape characteristics. Here we show that the nucleotides directly flanking the core-binding site, differ depending on the strength of GR-dependent activation of nearby genes. Our study indicates that these flanking nucleotides change the three-dimensional structure of the DNA-binding site, the DNA-binding domain of GR and the quaternary structure of the dimeric complex. Functional studies in a defined genomic context show that sequence-induced changes in GR activity cannot be explained by differences in GR occupancy. Rather, mutating the dimerization interface mitigates DNA-induced changes in both activity and structure, arguing for a role of DNA-induced structural changes in modulating GR activity. Together, our study shows that DNA sequence identity of genomic binding sites modulates GR activity downstream of binding, which may play a role in achieving regulatory specificity towards individual target genes.

  12. Correlated structural kinetics and retarded solvent dynamics at the metalloprotease active site

    SciTech Connect

    Grossman, Moran; Born, Benjamin; Heyden, Matthias; Tworowski, Dmitry; Fields, Gregg B.; Sagi, Irit; Havenith, Martina

    2011-09-18

    Solvent dynamics can play a major role in enzyme activity, but obtaining an accurate, quantitative picture of solvent activity during catalysis is quite challenging. Here, we combine terahertz spectroscopy and X-ray absorption analyses to measure changes in the coupled water-protein motions during peptide hydrolysis by a zinc-dependent human metalloprotease. These changes were tightly correlated with rearrangements at the active site during the formation of productive enzyme-substrate intermediates and were different from those in an enzyme–inhibitor complex. Molecular dynamics simulations showed a steep gradient of fast-to-slow coupled protein-water motions around the protein, active site and substrate. Our results show that water retardation occurs before formation of the functional Michaelis complex. We propose that the observed gradient of coupled protein-water motions may assist enzyme-substrate interactions through water-polarizing mechanisms that are remotely mediated by the catalytic metal ion and the enzyme active site.

  13. Insights into antioxidant activity of 1-adamantylthiopyridine analogs using multiple linear regression.

    PubMed

    Worachartcheewan, Apilak; Nantasenamat, Chanin; Owasirikul, Wiwat; Monnor, Teerawat; Naruepantawart, Orapan; Janyapaisarn, Sayamon; Prachayasittikul, Supaluk; Prachayasittikul, Virapong

    2014-02-12

    A data set of 1-adamantylthiopyridine analogs (1-19) with antioxidant activity, comprising of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, was used for constructing quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models. Molecular structures were geometrically optimized at B3LYP/6-31g(d) level and subjected for further molecular descriptor calculation using Dragon software. Multiple linear regression (MLR) was employed for the development of QSAR models using 3 significant descriptors (i.e. Mor29e, F04[N-N] and GATS5v) for predicting the DPPH activity and 2 essential descriptors (i.e. EEig06r and Mor06v) for predicting the SOD activity. Such molecular descriptors accounted for the effects and positions of substituent groups (R) on the 1-adamantylthiopyridine ring. The results showed that high atomic electronegativity of polar substituent group (R = CO2H) afforded high DPPH activity, while substituent with high atomic van der Waals volumes such as R = Br gave high SOD activity. Leave-one-out cross-validation (LOO-CV) and external test set were used for model validation. Correlation coefficient (QCV) and root mean squared error (RMSECV) of the LOO-CV set for predicting DPPH activity were 0.5784 and 8.3440, respectively, while QExt and RMSEExt of external test set corresponded to 0.7353 and 4.2721, respectively. Furthermore, QCV and RMSECV values of the LOO-CV set for predicting SOD activity were 0.7549 and 5.6380, respectively. The QSAR model's equation was then used in predicting the SOD activity of tested compounds and these were subsequently verified experimentally. It was observed that the experimental activity was more potent than the predicted activity. Structure-activity relationships of significant descriptors governing antioxidant activity are also discussed. The QSAR models investigated herein are anticipated to be useful in the rational design and development of novel compounds with antioxidant activity. PMID

  14. 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…

  15. Insights for Exercise Adherence from a Minimal Planning Intervention to Increase Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Janine; Campbell, Marianne; Wilson, Carlene

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To test the impact of a minimal, online planning intervention on physical activity in Australian office workers. Method: Employees were randomized to an implementation intention intervention (n = 124) or health information control group (n = 130). Measures of physical activity, past behavior, and motivation were taken at baseline and 6…

  16. Structural and Kinetic Analyses of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Active Site Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Crichlow, G.; Lubetsky, J; Leng, L; Bucala, R; Lolis, E

    2009-01-01

    Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a secreted protein expressed in numerous cell types that counters the antiinflammatory effects of glucocorticoids and has been implicated in sepsis, cancer, and certain autoimmune diseases. Interestingly, the structure of MIF contains a catalytic site resembling the tautomerase/isomerase sites of microbial enzymes. While bona fide physiological substrates remain unknown, model substrates have been identified. Selected compounds that bind in the tautomerase active site also inhibit biological functions of MIF. It had previously been shown that the acetaminophen metabolite, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), covalently binds to the active site of MIF. In this study, kinetic data indicate that NAPQI inhibits MIF both covalently and noncovalently. The structure of MIF cocrystallized with NAPQI reveals that the NAPQI has undergone a chemical alteration forming an acetaminophen dimer (bi-APAP) and binds noncovalently to MIF at the mouth of the active site. We also find that the commonly used protease inhibitor, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF), forms a covalent complex with MIF and inhibits the tautomerase activity. Crystallographic analysis reveals the formation of a stable, novel covalent bond for PMSF between the catalytic nitrogen of the N-terminal proline and the sulfur of PMSF with complete, well-defined electron density in all three active sites of the MIF homotrimer. Conclusions are drawn from the structures of these two MIF-inhibitor complexes regarding the design of novel compounds that may provide more potent reversible and irreversible inhibition of MIF.

  17. Unchaining the beast; insights from structural and evolutionary studies on TGFβ secretion, sequestration, and activation

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Ian B; Rifkin, Daniel B

    2013-01-01

    TGFβ is secreted in a latent state and must be “activated” by molecules that facilitate its release from a latent complex and allow binding to high affinity cell surface receptors. Numerous molecules have been implicated as potential mediators of this activation process, but only a limited number of these activators have been demonstrated to play a role in TGFβ mobilization in vivo. Here we review the process of TGFβ secretion and activation using evolutionary data, sequence conservation and structural information to examine the molecular mechanisms by which TGFβ is secreted, sequestered and released. This allows the separation of more ancient TGFβ activators from those factors that emerged more recently, and helps to define a potential hierarchy of activation mechanisms. PMID:23849989

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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.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

  19. Supramolecular modeling of mono-copper enzyme active sites with calix[6]arene-based funnel complexes.

    PubMed

    Le Poul, Nicolas; Le Mest, Yves; Jabin, Ivan; Reinaud, Olivia

    2015-07-21

    Supramolecular bioinorganic chemistry is a natural evolution in biomimetic metallic systems since it constitutes a further degree of complexity in modeling. The traditional approach consisting of mimicking the first coordination sphere of metal sites proved to be very efficient, because valuable data are extracted from these examples to gain insight in natural systems mechanisms. But it does not reproduce several specific aspects of enzymes that can be mimicked by the implementation of a cavity embedding the labile active site and thus controlling the properties of the metal ion by noncovalent interactions. This Account reports on a strategy aimed at reproducing some supramolecular aspects encountered in the natural systems. The cavity complexes described herein display a coordination site constructed on a macrocycle. Thanks to a careful design of the cavity-based ligands, complexes orienting their labile site specifically toward the inside of the macrocycle were obtained. The supramolecular systems are based on the flexible calix[6]arene core that surrounds the metal ion labile site, thereby constraining exogenous molecules to pass through the conic funnel to reach the metal center. Such an architecture confers to the metal ion very unusual properties and behaviors, which in many aspects are biologically relevant. Three generations of calix[6]-based ligands are presented and discussed in the context of modeling the monocopper sites encountered in some enzymes. A wide range of phenomena are highlighted such as the impact that the size and shape of the access channel to the metal center have on the selectivity and rate of the binding process, the possible remote control of the electronics through small modifications operated on the cavity edges, induced-fit behavior associated with host-guest association (shoe-tree effect) that affects the redox properties of the metal ion and the electron exchange pathway, consequences of forbidden associative ligand exchange

  20. Insights on the role of physical activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Conigliaro, Paola; Triggianese, Paola; Ippolito, Francesco; Lucchetti, Ramona; Chimenti, Maria Sole; Perricone, Roberto

    2014-11-01

    Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are physically inactive, and trials have been undertaken to examine the effect of physical activity on pain, disease activity, functional ability and quality of life (QoL) in RA. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between physical activity and disease-activity in RA and in healthy controls. Our findings showed that fewer RA patients had a professional occupation compared with controls, but patients and controls were similar with respect to the sedentary extent of their job. Physical exercise was inversely associated with disease activity (DAS-28), stiffness visual analog scale (VAS), patient global VAS and SF-36, but not associated with Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), pain VAS, fatigue VAS, global health and the Arthritis Ipact Measurement Scale (AIMS), suggesting that pain and fatigue are important barriers to physical activity. Our findings suggest that this is more pronounced in RA patients who do not participate in regular physical activity, and so physical exercise should be recommended as part of comprehensive RA care.

  1. New insights into the antioxidant activity and components in crude oat oil and soybean oil.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Qiu, Shuang; Gan, Jing; Li, Zaigui; Nirasawa, Satoru; Yin, Lijun

    2016-01-01

    Developing new antioxidants and using natural examples is of current interest. This study evaluated the antioxidant activities and the ability to inhibit soybean oil oxidation of oat oil obtained with different solvents. Oat oil extract obtained by ethanol extraction gave the highest antioxidant activity with a DPPH radical (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) scavenging activity of 88.2 % and a reducing power (A 700) of 0.83. Oat oil extracted by ethanol contained the highest polyphenol and α-tocopherol content. Significant correlation was observed between the total polyphenol contents, individual phenolic acid, α-tocopherol, and DPPH radical scavenging activity. Soybean oil with 2 % added oat oil showed low malondialdehyde content (8.35 mmol mL(-1)), suggesting that the added oat oil inhibited oxidation. Oat oil showed good antioxidant activity, especially when extracted with ethanol which could also retard the oxidation of soybean oil . DPPH radical scavenging activity was the best method to evaluate the antioxidant activity and components of oat oil.

  2. Insights into mechanism of glucokinase activation: observation of multiple distinct protein conformations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shenping; Ammirati, Mark J; Song, Xi; Knafels, John D; Zhang, Jeff; Greasley, Samantha E; Pfefferkorn, Jeffrey A; Qiu, Xiayang

    2012-04-20

    Human glucokinase (GK) is a principal regulating sensor of plasma glucose levels. Mutations that inactivate GK are linked to diabetes, and mutations that activate it are associated with hypoglycemia. Unique kinetic properties equip GK for its regulatory role: although it has weak basal affinity for glucose, positive cooperativity in its binding of glucose causes a rapid increase in catalytic activity when plasma glucose concentrations rise above euglycemic levels. In clinical trials, small molecule GK activators (GKAs) have been efficacious in lowering plasma glucose and enhancing glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but they carry a risk of overly activating GK and causing hypoglycemia. The theoretical models proposed to date attribute the positive cooperativity of GK to the existence of distinct protein conformations that interconvert slowly and exhibit different affinities for glucose. Here we report the respective crystal structures of the catalytic complex of GK and of a GK-glucose complex in a wide open conformation. To assess conformations of GK in solution, we also carried out small angle x-ray scattering experiments. The results showed that glucose dose-dependently converts GK from an apo conformation to an active open conformation. Compared with wild type GK, activating mutants required notably lower concentrations of glucose to be converted to the active open conformation. GKAs decreased the level of glucose required for GK activation, and different compounds demonstrated distinct activation profiles. These results lead us to propose a modified mnemonic model to explain cooperativity in GK. Our findings may offer new approaches for designing GKAs with reduced hypoglycemic risk.

  3. Insights and clinical questions about the active surveillance of low-risk papillary thyroid microcarcinomas [Review].

    PubMed

    Ito, Yasuhiro; Oda, Hitomi; Miyauchi, Akira

    2016-04-25

    Over 20 years ago, two Japanese institutions initiated an active surveillance policy for papillary microcarcinomas (PMCs) without high-risk features (such as clinical lymph node and distant metastases) and suspected trachea or recurrent laryngeal nerve invasion. Since the most recent American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines adopt active surveillance as a therapy option for low-risk PMCs, the number of institutions worldwide carrying out this policy can be expected to increase. However, before adopting an active surveillance strategy, some important clinical questions must be considered. In this review, conceivable clinical questions with our answers based on the present accumulation of low-risk PMC surveillance data are presented. PMID:26632168

  4. 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. PMID:26400692

  5. Selective ligand behaviors provide new insights into agonist activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Marotta, Christopher B; Rreza, Iva; Lester, Henry A; Dougherty, Dennis A

    2014-05-16

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are a diverse set of ion channels that are essential to everyday brain function. Contemporary research studies selective activation of individual subtypes of receptors, with the hope of increasing our understanding of behavioral responses and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we aim to expand current binding models to help explain the specificity seen among three activators of α4β2 receptors: sazetidine-A, cytisine, and NS9283. Through mutational analysis, we can interchange the activation profiles of the stoichiometry-selective compounds sazetidine-A and cytisine. In addition, mutations render NS9283--currently identified as a positive allosteric modulator--into an agonist. These results lead to two conclusions: (1) occupation at each primary face of an α subunit is needed to activate the channel and (2) the complementary face of the adjacent subunit dictates the binding ability of the agonist.

  6. Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Cockburn, Darrell; Wilkens, Casper; Dilokpimol, Adiphol; Nakai, Hiroyuki; Lewińska, Anna; Abou Hachem, Maher; Svensson, Birte

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) on the catalytic module at a certain distance from the active site. The SBSs are usually critical for the activity of their cognate enzyme, though they are not readily detected in the sequence of a protein, but normally require a crystal structure of a complex for their identification. A variety of methods, including affinity electrophoresis (AE), insoluble polysaccharide pulldown (IPP) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) have been used to study auxiliary binding sites. These techniques are complementary as AE allows monitoring of binding to soluble polysaccharides, IPP to insoluble polysaccharides and SPR to oligosaccharides. Here we show that these methods are useful not only for analyzing known binding sites, but also for identifying new ones, even without structural data available. We further verify the chosen assays discriminate between known SBS/CBM containing enzymes and negative controls. Altogether 35 enzymes are screened for the presence of SBSs or CBMs and several novel binding sites are identified, including the first SBS ever reported in a cellulase. This work demonstrates that combinations of these methods can be used as a part of routine enzyme characterization to identify new binding sites and advance the study of SBSs and CBMs, allowing them to be detected in the absence of structural data. PMID:27504624

  7. Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Wilkens, Casper; Dilokpimol, Adiphol; Nakai, Hiroyuki; Lewińska, Anna; Abou Hachem, Maher; Svensson, Birte

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) on the catalytic module at a certain distance from the active site. The SBSs are usually critical for the activity of their cognate enzyme, though they are not readily detected in the sequence of a protein, but normally require a crystal structure of a complex for their identification. A variety of methods, including affinity electrophoresis (AE), insoluble polysaccharide pulldown (IPP) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) have been used to study auxiliary binding sites. These techniques are complementary as AE allows monitoring of binding to soluble polysaccharides, IPP to insoluble polysaccharides and SPR to oligosaccharides. Here we show that these methods are useful not only for analyzing known binding sites, but also for identifying new ones, even without structural data available. We further verify the chosen assays discriminate between known SBS/CBM containing enzymes and negative controls. Altogether 35 enzymes are screened for the presence of SBSs or CBMs and several novel binding sites are identified, including the first SBS ever reported in a cellulase. This work demonstrates that combinations of these methods can be used as a part of routine enzyme characterization to identify new binding sites and advance the study of SBSs and CBMs, allowing them to be detected in the absence of structural data. PMID:27504624

  8. Evidence for the Role of Active Site Residues in the Hairpin Ribozyme from Molecular Simulations along the Reaction Path

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The hairpin ribozyme accelerates a phosphoryl transfer reaction without catalytic participation of divalent metal ions. Residues A38 and G8 have been implicated as playing roles in general acid and base catalysis, respectively. Here we explore the structure and dynamics of key active site residues using more than 1 μs of molecular dynamics simulations of the hairpin ribozyme at different stages along the catalytic pathway. Analysis of results indicates hydrogen bond interactions between the nucleophile and proR nonbridging oxygen are correlated with active inline attack conformations. Further, the simulation results suggest a possible alternative role for G8 to promote inline fitness and facilitate activation of the nucleophile by hydrogen bonding, although this does not necessarily exclude an additional role as a general base. Finally, we suggest that substitution of G8 with N7- or N3-deazaguanosine which have elevated pKa values, both with and without thio modifications at the 5′ leaving group position, would provide valuable insight into the specific role of G8 in catalysis. PMID:24842535

  9. 40 CFR 61.154 - Standard for active waste disposal sites.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... (20″×14″) upright format signs specified in 29 CFR 1910.145(d)(4) and this paragraph; and (iii... 40 Protection of Environment 8 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Standard for active waste disposal... for Asbestos § 61.154 Standard for active waste disposal sites. Each owner or operator of an...

  10. 40 CFR 61.154 - Standard for active waste disposal sites.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... (20″×14″) upright format signs specified in 29 CFR 1910.145(d)(4) and this paragraph; and (iii... 40 Protection of Environment 8 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Standard for active waste disposal... for Asbestos § 61.154 Standard for active waste disposal sites. Each owner or operator of an...

  11. 40 CFR 61.154 - Standard for active waste disposal sites.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... (20″×14″) upright format signs specified in 29 CFR 1910.145(d)(4) and this paragraph; and (iii... 40 Protection of Environment 9 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Standard for active waste disposal... for Asbestos § 61.154 Standard for active waste disposal sites. Each owner or operator of an...

  12. 77 FR 39508 - Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-03

    ... specific project proposals on those leases) in an identified Wind Energy Area (WEA) on the OCS offshore... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the... Activities on the Atlantic OCS Offshore RI and MA'' to: Program Manager, Office of Renewable Energy...

  13. Effects of resource activities upon repository siting and waste containment with reference to bedded salt

    SciTech Connect

    Ashby, J.; Rowe, J.

    1980-02-01

    The primary consideration for the suitability of a nuclear waste repository site is the overall ability of the repository to safely contain radioactive waste. This report is a discussion of the past, present, and future effects of resource activities on waste containment. Past and present resource activities which provide release pathways (i.e., leaky boreholes, adjacent mines) will receive initial evaluation during the early stages of any repository site study. However, other resource activities which may have subtle effects on containment (e.g., long-term pumping causing increased groundwater gradients, invasion of saline water causing lower retardation) and all potential future resource activities must also be considered during the site evaluation process. Resource activities will affect both the siting and the designing of repositories. Ideally, sites should be located in areas of low resource activity and low potential for future activity, and repository design should seek to eliminate or minimize the adverse effects of any resource activity. Buffer zones should be created to provide areas in which resource activities that might adversely affect containment can be restricted or curtailed. This could mean removing large areas of land from resource development. The impact of these frozen assets should be assessed in terms of their economic value and of their effect upon resource reserves. This step could require a major effort in data acquisition and analysis followed by extensive numerical modeling of regional fluid flow and mass transport. Numerical models should be used to assess the effects of resource activity upon containment and should include the cumulative effects of different resource activities. Analysis by other methods is probably not possible except for relatively simple cases.

  14. Platelet Lipidomic Profiling: Novel Insight into Cytosolic Phospholipase A2α Activity and Its Role in Human Platelet Activation.

    PubMed

    Duvernay, Matthew T; Matafonov, Anton; Lindsley, Craig W; Hamm, Heidi E

    2015-09-15

    With a newer, more selective and efficacious cytosolic phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α) inhibitor available, we revisited the role of cPLA2α activity in platelet activation and discovered that a component of platelet signaling, even larger than previously appreciated, relies on this enzyme. In a whole blood shear-based flow chamber assay, giripladib, a cPLA2α inhibitor, reduced platelet adhesion and accumulation on collagen. Moreover, giripladib differentially affected P-selectin expression and GPIIbIIIa activation depending on the agonist employed. While protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1)-mediated platelet activation was unaffected by giripladib, the levels of PAR4- and GPVI-mediated platelet activation were significantly reduced. Meanwhile, the thromboxane A2 receptor antagonist SQ29548 had no effect on PAR-, GPVI-, or puriniergic receptor-mediated platelet activation, suggesting that another eicosanoid produced downstream of arachidonic acid liberation by cPLA2α was responsible for this large component of PAR4- and GPVI-mediated platelet activation. In parallel, we profiled PAR-mediated changes in glycerophospholipid (GPL) mass with and without giripladib to better understand cPLA2α-mediated lipid metabolism. Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) demonstrated the largest consumption of mass during thrombin stimulation. Additionally, we confirm phosphatidylinositol as a major substrate of cPLA2α. A comparison of PAR1- and PAR4-induced metabolism revealed the consumption of more putative arachidonyl-PE species downstream of PAR1 activation. Instead of enhanced cPLA2α activity and therefore more arachidonic acid liberation downstream of PAR4, these results indicate the major role that cPLA2α activity plays in platelet function and suggest that a novel eicosanoid is produced in response to platelet activation that represents a large component of PAR4- and GPVI-mediated responses.

  15. Platelet Lipidomic Profiling: Novel Insight into Cytosolic Phospholipase A2α Activity and Its Role in Human Platelet Activation.

    PubMed

    Duvernay, Matthew T; Matafonov, Anton; Lindsley, Craig W; Hamm, Heidi E

    2015-09-15

    With a newer, more selective and efficacious cytosolic phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α) inhibitor available, we revisited the role of cPLA2α activity in platelet activation and discovered that a component of platelet signaling, even larger than previously appreciated, relies on this enzyme. In a whole blood shear-based flow chamber assay, giripladib, a cPLA2α inhibitor, reduced platelet adhesion and accumulation on collagen. Moreover, giripladib differentially affected P-selectin expression and GPIIbIIIa activation depending on the agonist employed. While protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1)-mediated platelet activation was unaffected by giripladib, the levels of PAR4- and GPVI-mediated platelet activation were significantly reduced. Meanwhile, the thromboxane A2 receptor antagonist SQ29548 had no effect on PAR-, GPVI-, or puriniergic receptor-mediated platelet activation, suggesting that another eicosanoid produced downstream of arachidonic acid liberation by cPLA2α was responsible for this large component of PAR4- and GPVI-mediated platelet activation. In parallel, we profiled PAR-mediated changes in glycerophospholipid (GPL) mass with and without giripladib to better understand cPLA2α-mediated lipid metabolism. Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) demonstrated the largest consumption of mass during thrombin stimulation. Additionally, we confirm phosphatidylinositol as a major substrate of cPLA2α. A comparison of PAR1- and PAR4-induced metabolism revealed the consumption of more putative arachidonyl-PE species downstream of PAR1 activation. Instead of enhanced cPLA2α activity and therefore more arachidonic acid liberation downstream of PAR4, these results indicate the major role that cPLA2α activity plays in platelet function and suggest that a novel eicosanoid is produced in response to platelet activation that represents a large component of PAR4- and GPVI-mediated responses. PMID:26295742

  16. Crystal structure of α-amylase from Oryza sativa: molecular insights into enzyme activity and thermostability.

    PubMed

    Ochiai, Akihito; Sugai, Hiroshi; Harada, Kazuki; Tanaka, Seiya; Ishiyama, Yohei; Ito, Kosuke; Tanaka, Takaaki; Uchiumi, Toshio; Taniguchi, Masayuki; Mitsui, Toshiaki

    2014-01-01

    AmyI-1 is an α-amylase from Oryza sativa (rice) and plays a crucial role in degrading starch in various tissues and at various growth stages. This enzyme is a glycoprotein with an N-glycosylated carbohydrate chain, a unique characteristic among plant α-amylases. In this study, we report the first crystal structure of AmyI-1 at 2.2-Å resolution. The structure consists of a typical (β/α)8-barrel, which is well-conserved among most α-amylases in the glycoside hydrolase family-13. Structural superimposition indicated small variations in the catalytic domain and carbohydrate-binding sites between AmyI-1 and barley α-amylases. By contrast, regions around the N-linked glycosylation sites displayed lower conservation of amino acid residues, including Asn-263, Asn-265, Thr-307, Asn-342, Pro-373, and Ala-374 in AmyI-1, which are not conserved in barley α-amylases, suggesting that these residues may contribute to the construction of the structure of glycosylated AmyI-1. These results increase the depths of our understanding of the biological functions of AmyI-1.

  17. Computational approaches to the determination of active site structures and reaction mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysts.

    PubMed

    Catlow, C R A; French, S A; Sokol, A A; Thomas, J M

    2005-04-15

    We apply quantum chemical methods to the study of active site structures and reaction mechanisms in mesoporous silica and metal oxide catalysts. Our approach is based on the use of both molecular cluster and embedded cluster (QM/MM) techniques, where the active site and molecular complex are described using density functional theory (DFT) and the embedding matrix simulated by shell model potentials. We consider three case studies: alkene epoxidation over the microporous TS-1 catalyst; methanol synthesis on ZnO and Cu/ZnO and C-H bond activation over Li-doped MgO.

  18. Computational approaches to the determination of active site structures and reaction mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysts.

    PubMed

    Catlow, C R A; French, S A; Sokol, A A; Thomas, J M

    2005-04-15

    We apply quantum chemical methods to the study of active site structures and reaction mechanisms in mesoporous silica and metal oxide catalysts. Our approach is based on the use of both molecular cluster and embedded cluster (QM/MM) techniques, where the active site and molecular complex are described using density functional theory (DFT) and the embedding matrix simulated by shell model potentials. We consider three case studies: alkene epoxidation over the microporous TS-1 catalyst; methanol synthesis on ZnO and Cu/ZnO and C-H bond activation over Li-doped MgO. PMID:15901543

  19. Structures of Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Light Chain Complexed with Small-Molecule Inhibitors Highlight Active-Site Flexibility

    SciTech Connect

    Silvaggi,N.; Boldt, G.; Hixon, M.; Kennedy, J.; Tzipori, S.; Janda, K.; Allen, K.

    2007-01-01

    The potential for the use of Clostridial neurotoxins as bioweapons makes the development of small-molecule inhibitors of these deadly toxins a top priority. Recently, screening of a random hydroxamate library identified a small-molecule inhibitor of C. botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Light Chain (BoNT/A-LC), 4-chlorocinnamic hydroxamate, a derivative of which has been shown to have in vivo efficacy in mice and no toxicity. We describe the X-ray crystal structures of BoNT/A-LC in complexes with two potent small-molecule inhibitors. The structures of the enzyme with 4-chlorocinnamic hydroxamate or 2,4-dichlorocinnamic hydroxamate bound are compared to the structure of the enzyme complexed with L-arginine hydroxamate, an inhibitor with modest affinity. Taken together, this suite of structures provides surprising insights into the BoNT/A-LC active site, including unexpected conformational flexibility at the S1' site that changes the electrostatic environment of the binding pocket. Information gained from these structures will inform the design and optimization of more effective small-molecule inhibitors of BoNT/A-LC.

  20. Rapid binding of a cationic active site inhibitor to wild type and mutant mouse acetylcholinesterase: Brownian dynamics simulation including diffusion in the active site gorge.

    PubMed

    Tara, S; Elcock, A H; Kirchhoff, P D; Briggs, J M; Radic, Z; Taylor, P; McCammon, J A

    1998-12-01

    It is known that anionic surface residues play a role in the long-range electrostatic attraction between acetylcholinesterase and cationic ligands. In our current investigation, we show that anionic residues also play an important role in the behavior of the ligand within the active site gorge of acetylcholinesterase. Negatively charged residues near the gorge opening not only attract positively charged ligands from solution to the enzyme, but can also restrict the motion of the ligand once it is inside of the gorge. We use Brownian dynamics techniques to calculate the rate constant kon, for wild type and mutant acetylcholinesterase with a positively charged ligand. These calculations are performed by allowing the ligand to diffuse within the active site gorge. This is an extension of previously reported work in which a ligand was allowed to diffuse only to the enzyme surface. By setting the reaction criteria for the ligand closer to the active site, better agreement with experimental data is obtained. Although a number of residues influence the movement of the ligand within the gorge, Asp74 is shown to play a particularly important role in this function. Asp74 traps the ligand within the gorge, and in this way helps to ensure a reaction.

  1. Cyanide does more to inhibit heme enzymes, than merely serving as an active-site ligand

    SciTech Connect

    Parashar, Abhinav; Venkatachalam, Avanthika; Gideon, Daniel Andrew; Manoj, Kelath Murali

    2014-12-12

    Highlights: • Cyanide (CN) is a well-studied toxic principle, known to inhibit heme-enzymes. • Inhibition is supposed to result from CN binding at the active site as a ligand. • Diverse heme enzymes’ CN inhibition profiles challenge prevailing mechanism. • Poor binding efficiency of CN at low enzyme concentrations and ligand pressures. • CN-based diffusible radicals cause ‘non-productive electron transfers’ (inhibition). - Abstract: The toxicity of cyanide is hitherto attributed to its ability to bind to heme proteins’ active site and thereby inhibit their activity. It is shown herein that the long-held interpretation is inadequate to explain several observations in heme-enzyme reaction systems. Generation of cyanide-based diffusible radicals in heme-enzyme reaction milieu could shunt electron transfers (by non-active site processes), and thus be detrimental to the efficiency of oxidative outcomes.

  2. Denaturation studies of active-site labeled papain using electron paramagnetic resonance and fluorescence spectroscopy.

    PubMed Central

    Ping, Z A; Butterfiel, D A

    1991-01-01

    A spin-labeled p-chloromercuribenzoate (SL-PMB) and a fluorescence probe, 6-acryloyl-2-dimethylaminonaphthalene (Acrylodan), both of which bind to the single SH group located in the active site of papain, were used to investigate the interaction of papain (EC 3.4.22.2) with two protein denaturants. It was found that the active site of papain was highly stable in urea solution, but underwent a large conformational change in guanidine hydrochloride solution. Electron paramagnetic resonance and fluorescence results were in agreement and both paralleled enzymatic activity of papain with respect to both the variation in pH and denaturation. These results strongly suggest that SL-PMB and Acrylodan labels can be used to characterize the physical state of the active site of the enzyme. PMID:1657229

  3. A Rearrangement of the Guanosine-Binding Site Establishes an Extended Network of Functional Interactions in the Tetrahymena Group I Ribozyme Active Site†

    PubMed Central

    Forconi, Marcello; Sengupta, Raghuvir N.; Piccirilli, Joseph A.; Herschlag, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Protein enzymes appear to use extensive packing and hydrogen-bonding interactions to precisely position catalytic groups within active sites. Due to their inherent backbone flexibility and limited side chain repertoire, RNA enzymes face additional challenges relative to proteins in precisely positioning substrates and catalytic groups. Here, we use the group I ribozyme to probe the existence, establishment, and functional consequences of an extended network of interactions in an RNA active site. The group I ribozyme catalyzes a site-specific attack of guanosine on an oligonucleotide substrate. We previously determined that the hydrogen bond between the exocyclic amino group of guanosine and the 2′-hydroxyl group at position A261 of the Tetrahymena group I ribozyme contributes to overall catalysis. We now use functional data, aided by double-mutant cycles, to probe this hydrogen bond in the individual reaction steps of the catalytic cycle. Our results indicate that this hydrogen bond is not formed upon guanosine binding to the ribozyme but instead forms at a later stage of the catalytic cycle. Formation of this hydrogen bond is correlated to other structural rearrangements in the ribozyme's active site that are promoted by docking of the oligonucleotide substrate into the ribozyme's active site, and disruption of this interaction has deleterious consequences for the chemical transformation within the ternary complex. These results, combined with earlier results, provide insight into the nature of the multiple conformational steps used by the Tetrahymena group I ribozyme to achieve its active structure and reveal an intricate, extended network of interactions that is used to establish catalytic interactions within this RNA's active site. PMID:20175542

  4. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27070570

  5. Insights from an observational assessment of park-based physical activity in Nanchang, China

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Hong; Liao, Xiong; Schuller, Kristyn; Cook, Angelie; Fan, Si; Lan, Guilian; Lu, Yuanan; Yuan, Zhaokang; Moore, Justin B.; Maddock, Jay E.

    2015-01-01

    Internationally, parks have been shown to be an important community asset for physical activity (PA), but little is known about the relationship between park usage and physical activity in China. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between park user characteristics and PA in Nanchang, China. In June 2014, 75,678 people were observed in eight parks over 12 days using SOPARC, a validated systematic observation tool. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between PA and park user characteristics. Most park users were older adults (53.5%) or adults (34.6%). Overall, 55% of park users engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Fewer women were observed in parks than men, but were 66% more likely to be engaged in MVPA than men. Park users were more likely to be observed in MVPA between 6–9 am and when the temperature was below 30 °C. Chinese park users were more active (55%) than US studies in Tampa (30%), Chicago (49%), and Los Angeles (34%). More research is necessary to identify features of parks that are associated with greater PA so that effective interventions can be developed to promote active park use in Chinese citizens. PMID:26844171

  6. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. 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. PMID:26252786

  8. Structural insights into catalysis and dimerization enhanced exonuclease activity of RNase J

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Ye; Lu, Meihua; Zhang, Hui; Hu, Jing; Zhou, Congli; Xu, Qiang; Ul Hussain Shah, Amir Miraj; Xu, Hong; Wang, Liangyan; Hua, Yuejin

    2015-01-01

    RNase J is a conserved ribonuclease that belongs to the β-CASP family of nucleases. It possesses both endo- and exo-ribonuclease activities, which play a key role in pre-rRNA maturation and mRNA decay. Here we report high-resolution crystal structures of Deinococcus radiodurans RNase J complexed with RNA or uridine 5′-monophosphate in the presence of manganese ions. Biochemical and structural studies revealed that RNase J uses zinc ions for two-metal-ion catalysis. One residue conserved among RNase J orthologues (motif B) forms specific electrostatic interactions with the scissile phosphate of the RNA that is critical for the catalysis and product stabilization. The additional manganese ion, which is coordinated by conserved residues at the dimer interface, is critical for RNase J dimerization and exonuclease activity. The structures may also shed light on the mechanism of RNase J exo- and endonucleolytic activity switch. PMID:25940620

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. New insight into the biological treatment by activated sludge: the role of adsorption process.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaochun; Li, Xinrun; Zhang, Qingrui; Peng, Qiuming; Zhang, Wen; Gao, Faming

    2014-02-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of adsorption on the biological treatment process of wastewater. In the absence of substrate in the water, activated sludge developed well in the first hour, indicating that the growth of microorganism was not directly related to substrate concentration and the dissolved organic matter in the water assays were performed, no organic matter was detected out, revealing that there was no desorption in the activated sludge adsorption process. Activated sludge batch growth experiments in the presence of different adsorption capacities indicated that specific growth rate increased as specific adsorption capacity increased. The experiment on the relationship of adsorption capacity and substrate concentration or sludge concentration was also carried out. Specific adsorption capacity increased as sludge load increased, presenting linear correlation. The experiment results showed that adsorption should be taken into account in the study of the biological treatment process of wastewater.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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. PMID:27508077

  16. 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

  17. The Structure of a Novel Thermophilic Esterase from the Planctomycetes Species, Thermogutta terrifontis Reveals an Open Active Site Due to a Minimal ‘Cap’ Domain

    PubMed Central

    Sayer, Christopher; Szabo, Zalan; Isupov, Michail N.; Ingham, Colin; Littlechild, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    A carboxyl esterase (TtEst2) has been identified in a novel thermophilic bacterium, Thermogutta terrifontis from the phylum Planctomycetes and has been cloned and over-expressed in Escherichia coli. The enzyme has been characterized biochemically and shown to have activity toward small p-nitrophenyl (pNP) carboxylic esters with optimal activity for pNP-acetate. The enzyme shows moderate thermostability retaining 75% activity after incubation for 30 min at 70°C. The crystal structures have been determined for the native TtEst2 and its complexes with the carboxylic acid products propionate, butyrate, and valerate. TtEst2 differs from most enzymes of the α/β-hydrolase family 3 as it lacks the majority of the ‘cap’ domain and its active site cavity is exposed to the solvent. The bound ligands have allowed the identification of the carboxyl pocket in the enzyme active site. Comparison of TtEst2 with structurally related enzymes has given insight into how differences in their substrate preference can be rationalized based upon the properties of their active site pockets. PMID:26635762

  18. 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.

  19. Substrate Shuttling Between Active Sites of Uroporphyrinogen Decarboxylase in Not Required to Generate Coproporphyrinogen

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, J.; Warby, C; Whitby, F; Kushner, J; Hill, C

    2009-01-01

    Uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (URO-D; EC 4.1.1.37), the fifth enzyme of the heme biosynthetic pathway, is required for the production of heme, vitamin B12, siroheme, and chlorophyll precursors. URO-D catalyzes the sequential decarboxylation of four acetate side chains in the pyrrole groups of uroporphyrinogen to produce coproporphyrinogen. URO-D is a stable homodimer, with the active-site clefts of the two subunits adjacent to each other. It has been hypothesized that the two catalytic centers interact functionally, perhaps by shuttling of reaction intermediates between subunits. We tested this hypothesis by construction of a single-chain protein (single-chain URO-D) in which the two subunits were connected by a flexible linker. The crystal structure of this protein was shown to be superimposable with wild-type activity and to have comparable catalytic activity. Mutations that impaired one or the other of the two active sites of single-chain URO-D resulted in approximately half of wild-type activity. The distributions of reaction intermediates were the same for mutant and wild-type sequences and were unaltered in a competition experiment using I and III isomer substrates. These observations indicate that communication between active sites is not required for enzyme function and suggest that the dimeric structure of URO-D is required to achieve conformational stability and to create a large active-site cleft.

  20. Crystal structure of an avian influenza polymerase PA[subscript N] reveals an endonuclease active site

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, Puwei; Bartlam, Mark; Lou, Zhiyong; Chen, Shoudeng; Zhou, Jie; He, Xiaojing; Lv, Zongyang; Ge, Ruowen; Li, Xuemei; Deng, Tao; Fodor, Ervin; Rao, Zihe; Liu, Yingfang

    2009-11-10

    The heterotrimeric influenza virus polymerase, containing the PA, PB1 and PB2 proteins, catalyses viral RNA replication and transcription in the nucleus of infected cells. PB1 holds the polymerase active site and reportedly harbours endonuclease activity, whereas PB2 is responsible for cap binding. The PA amino terminus is understood to be the major functional part of the PA protein and has been implicated in several roles, including endonuclease and protease activities as well as viral RNA/complementary RNA promoter binding. Here we report the 2.2 angstrom (A) crystal structure of the N-terminal 197 residues of PA, termed PA(N), from an avian influenza H5N1 virus. The PA(N) structure has an alpha/beta architecture and reveals a bound magnesium ion coordinated by a motif similar to the (P)DX(N)(D/E)XK motif characteristic of many endonucleases. Structural comparisons and mutagenesis analysis of the motif identified in PA(N) provide further evidence that PA(N) holds an endonuclease active site. Furthermore, functional analysis with in vivo ribonucleoprotein reconstitution and direct in vitro endonuclease assays strongly suggest that PA(N) holds the endonuclease active site and has critical roles in endonuclease activity of the influenza virus polymerase, rather than PB1. The high conservation of this endonuclease active site among influenza strains indicates that PA(N) is an important target for the design of new anti-influenza therapeutics.

  1. Evaluation of physical activity web sites for use of behavior change theories.

    PubMed

    Doshi, Amol; Patrick, Kevin; Sallis, James F; Calfas, Karen

    2003-01-01

    Physical activity (PA) Web sites were assessed for their use of behavior change theories, including constructs of the health belief model, Transtheoretical Model, social cognitive theory, and the theory of reasoned action and planned behavior. An evaluation template for assessing PA Web sites was developed, and content validity and interrater reliability were demonstrated. Two independent raters evaluated 24 PA Web sites. Web sites varied widely in application of theory-based constructs, ranging from 5 to 48 on a 100-point scale. The most common intervention strategies were general information, social support, and realistic goal areas. Coverage of theory-based strategies was low, varying from 26% for social cognitive theory to 39% for health belief model. Overall, PA Web sites provided little assessment, feedback, or individually tailored assistance for users. They were unable to substantially tailor the on-line experience for users at different stages of change or different demographic characteristics.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Single molecule microscopy reveals mechanistic insight into RNA polymerase II preinitiation complex assembly and transcriptional activity

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Abigail E.; Kugel, Jennifer F.; Goodrich, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is a complex process that requires general transcription factors and Pol II to assemble on DNA into preinitiation complexes that can begin RNA synthesis upon binding of NTPs (nucleoside triphosphate). The pathways by which preinitiation complexes form, and how this impacts transcriptional activity are not completely clear. To address these issues, we developed a single molecule system using TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) microscopy and purified human transcription factors, which allows us to visualize transcriptional activity at individual template molecules. We see that stable interactions between polymerase II (Pol II) and a heteroduplex DNA template do not depend on general transcription factors; however, transcriptional activity is highly dependent upon TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF. We also found that subsets of general transcription factors and Pol II can form stable complexes that are precursors for functional transcription complexes upon addition of the remaining factors and DNA. Ultimately we found that Pol II, TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF can form a quaternary complex in the absence of promoter DNA, indicating that a stable network of interactions exists between these proteins independent of promoter DNA. Single molecule studies can be used to learn how different modes of preinitiation complex assembly impact transcriptional activity. PMID:27112574

  5. 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…

  6. Functional insights into modulation of BKCa channel activity to alter myometrial contractility

    PubMed Central

    Lorca, Ramón A.; Prabagaran, Monali; England, Sarah K.

    2014-01-01

    The large-conductance voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ channel (BKCa) is an important regulator of membrane excitability in a wide variety of cells and tissues. In myometrial smooth muscle, activation of BKCa plays essential roles in buffering contractility to maintain uterine quiescence during pregnancy and in the transition to a more contractile state at the onset of labor. Multiple mechanisms of modulation have been described to alter BKCa channel activity, expression, and cellular localization. In the myometrium, BKCa is regulated by alternative splicing, protein targeting to the plasma membrane, compartmentation in membrane microdomains, and posttranslational modifications. In addition, interaction with auxiliary proteins (i.e., β1- and β2-subunits), association with G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways, such as those activated by adrenergic and oxytocin receptors, and hormonal regulation provide further mechanisms of variable modulation of BKCa channel function in myometrial smooth muscle. Here, we provide an overview of these mechanisms of BKCa channel modulation and provide a context for them in relation to myometrial function. PMID:25132821

  7. Axonal activity-dependent myelination in development: Insights for myelin repair.

    PubMed

    Mitew, Stanislaw; Xing, Yao Lulu; Merson, Tobias D

    2016-10-01

    Recent advances in transgenic tools have allowed us to peek into the earliest stages of vertebrate development to study axon-glial communication in the control of peri-natal myelination. The emerging role of neuronal activity in regulating oligodendrocyte progenitor cell behavior during developmental myelination has opened up an exciting possibility-a role for neuronal activity in the early stages of remyelination. Recent work from our laboratory and others has also shown that contrary to previously established dogma in the field, complete remyelination up to pre-demyelination levels can be achieved in mouse models of MS by oligodendrogenic neural precursor cells that derive from the adult subventricular zone. These cells are electrically active and can be depolarized, suggesting that neuronal activity may have a modulatory role in their development and remyelination potential. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the development of axon-glia communication and apply those same concepts to remyelination, with an emphasis on the particular roles of different sources of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells.

  8. Electron capture dissociation and drift tube ion mobility-mass spectrometry coupled with site directed mutations provide insights into the conformational diversity of a metamorphic protein.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Sophie R; Porrini, Massimiliano; Tyler, Robert C; MacPhee, Cait E; Volkman, Brian F; Barran, Perdita E

    2015-04-28

    Ion mobility mass spectrometry can be combined with data from top-down sequencing to discern adopted conformations of proteins in the absence of solvent. This multi-technique approach has particular applicability for conformationally dynamic systems. Previously, we demonstrated the use of drift tube ion mobility-mass spectrometry (DT IM-MS) and electron capture dissociation (ECD) to study the metamorphic protein lymphotactin (Ltn). Ltn exists in equilibrium between distinct monomeric (Ltn10) and dimeric (Ltn40) folds, both of which can be preserved and probed in the gas-phase. Here, we further test this mass spectrometric framework, by examining two site directed mutants of Ltn, designed to stabilise either distinct fold in solution, in addition to a truncated form consisting of a minimum model of structure for Ltn10. The truncated mutant has similar collision cross sections to the wild type (WT), for low charge states, and is resistant to ECD fragmentation. The monomer mutant (CC3) presents in similar conformational families as observed previously for the WT Ltn monomer. As with the WT, the CC3 mutant is resistant to ECD fragmentation at low charge states. The dimer mutant W55D is found here to exist as both a monomer and dimer. As a monomer W55D exhibits similar behaviour to the WT, but as a dimer presents a much larger charge state and collision cross section range than the WT dimer, suggesting a smaller interaction interface. In addition, ECD on the W55D mutant yields greater fragmentation than for the WT, suggesting a less stable β-sheet core. The results highlight the power of MS to provide insight into dynamic proteins, providing further information on each distinct fold of Ltn. In addition we observe differences in the fold stability following single or double point mutations. This approach, therefore, has potential to be a useful tool to screen for the structural effects of mutagenesis, even when sample is limited.

  9. New insights in the capability of climate models to simulate the impact of LUC based on temperature decomposition of paired site observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanden Broucke, Sam; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Davin, Edouard L.; Janssens, Ivan; Lipzig, Nicole

    2015-06-01

    In this study, we present a new methodology for evaluating the biogeophysical impact of land use change (LUC) in regional climate models. For this, we use observational data from paired eddy covariance flux towers in Europe, representing a LUC from forest to open land (deforestation). Two model simulations with the regional climate model COSMO-CLM2 (The Consortium for Small-Scale Modelling model in climate mode COSMO-CLM coupled to the Community Land Model CLM) are performed which differ only in prescribed land use for site pair locations. The model is evaluated by comparing the observed and simulated difference in surface temperature (Ts) between open land and forests. Next, we identify the biogeophysical mechanisms responsible for Ts differences by applying a decomposition method to both observations and model simulations. This allows us to determine which LUC-related mechanisms were well represented in COSMO-CLM2, and which were not. Results from observations show that deforestation leads to a significant cooling at night, which is severely underestimated by COSMO-CLM2. It appears that the model is missing one crucial impact of deforestation on the nighttime surface energy budget: a reduction in downwelling longwave radiation. Results are better for daytime, as the model is able to simulate the increase in albedo and associated surface cooling following deforestation reasonably well. Also well simulated, albeit underestimated slightly, is the decrease in sensible heat flux caused by reduced surface roughness. Overall, these results stress the importance of differentiating between daytime and nighttime climate when discussing the effect of LUC on climate. Finally, we believe that they provide new insights supporting a wider application of the methodology (to other regional climate models).

  10. Conformational Change in the Active Site of Streptococcal Unsaturated Glucuronyl Hydrolase Through Site-Directed Mutagenesis at Asp-115.

    PubMed

    Nakamichi, Yusuke; Oiki, Sayoko; Mikami, Bunzo; Murata, Kousaku; Hashimoto, Wataru

    2016-08-01

    Bacterial unsaturated glucuronyl hydrolase (UGL) degrades unsaturated disaccharides generated from mammalian extracellular matrices, glycosaminoglycans, by polysaccharide lyases. Two Asp residues, Asp-115 and Asp-175 of Streptococcus agalactiae UGL (SagUGL), are completely conserved in other bacterial UGLs, one of which (Asp-175 of SagUGL) acts as a general acid and base catalyst. The other Asp (Asp-115 of SagUGL) also affects the enzyme activity, although its role in the enzyme reaction has not been well understood. Here, we show substitution of Asp-115 in SagUGL with Asn caused a conformational change in the active site. Tertiary structures of SagUGL mutants D115N and D115N/K370S with negligible enzyme activity were determined at 2.00 and 1.79 Å resolution, respectively, by X-ray crystallography. The side chain of Asn-115 is drastically shifted in both mutants owing to the interaction with several residues, including Asp-175, by formation of hydrogen bonds. This interaction between Asn-115 and Asp-175 probably prevents the mutants from triggering the enzyme reaction using Asp-175 as an acid catalyst.

  11. Metabolic Activation of Rhein: Insights into the Potential Toxicity Induced by Rhein-Containing Herbs.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yuan; Zheng, Jiyue; Wang, Meiyu; Li, Yuan; Ruan, Jianqing; Zhang, Hongjian

    2016-07-20

    Rhein is a major component of the many medicinal herbs such as rhubarb. Despite wide use, intoxication cases associated with rhein-containing herbs are often reported. The present work aimed to investigate if rhein was subject to metabolic activation leading to toxicity. Upon incubations with different species of liver microsomes, three monoglucuronides were identified, corresponding to two hydroxyl glucuronides and one acyl glucuronide via the carboxyl group, respectively. Further study revealed that rhein acyl glucuronide was chemically reactive, and showed cytotoxicity toward hepatocarcinoma cells. In addition, significant species differences in glucuronidation of rhein were observed between laboratory animals and humans. Reaction phenotyping experiments demonstrated that rhein acyl glucuronide was catalyzed predominantly by uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1, 1A9, and 2B7. Taken together, the present study confirmed that rhein could be metabolically activated via the formation of acyl glucuronide, especially in human. PMID:27362917

  12. 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. PMID:24924425

  13. 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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Neutron activation analysis of modern pottery: Insights for archaeological provenance research

    SciTech Connect

    Neff, H.; Arnold, D.E.; Benco, N.L.; Thieme, M.S.

    1996-12-31

    Neutron activation analysis has been employed to characterize ceramics and raw material samples from modern pottery-making communities. The original study focused on several villages in the central highlands of Guatemala. More recently, NAA data have been collected from communities in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, the northern Yucatan Peninsula, and northern Morocco. The results from all four studies can now be combined to yield a comparative perspective on paste preparation effects in archaeological provenance research.

  17. A mitosis-sensing caspase activation platform? New insights into the PIDDosome.

    PubMed

    Shah, Richa B; Thompson, Ruth; Sidi, Samuel

    2016-05-01

    In contrast to the apoptosome and death-inducing signaling complex, the PIDDosome remains an orphan caspase activation platform unassigned to a specific apoptotic pathway. We found that DNA damage-induced PIDDosome formation is blocked by the mitotic checkpoint factor BUBR1 (budding uninhibited by benzimidazole-related 1), via a direct interaction that disrupts the PIDDosome core scaffold. This inhibition occurs at the kinetochore, thus physically connecting the mitotic and apoptotic machineries. PMID:27314076

  18. 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. PMID:25957255

  19. 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. PMID:27334011

  20. 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

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26751825

  1. 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 regulat