Science.gov

Sample records for activity results revealed

  1. Measurement of multisite oxidation kinetics reveals an active site conformational change in Spo0F as a result of protein oxidation.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Joshua S; Sullivan, Daniel M; Cavanagh, John; Tomer, Kenneth B

    2006-05-23

    When most proteins undergo oxidative damage, they yield a variety of products containing oxidative damage at a large number of sites, most of which are modified substoichiometrically. The resulting complex mixture of products is not amenable to high-resolution structural analyses. The previous methods of structural analysis have relied upon either very generalized structural analyses such as circular dichroism or the creation of a battery of mutants to try to isolate single-residue damage effects. We present a methodology using mass spectrometry to measure the kinetics of oxidation at many sites simultaneously. Previous studies have shown that these kinetics are determined by the chemical nature of the damage site and by the accessibility of that site to the radical. By measuring deviations in the rate of oxidation from the expected pseudo-zero-order kinetics, we can detect and characterize local structural changes due to the oxidative damage. We demonstrate the application of this new technique to the Spo0F protein, a regulator of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Circular dichroism studies suggest a partial loss of helical structure of Spo0F as a result of oxidative damage. We report that oxidation causes a three-stage conformational change in Spo0F. Furthermore, we find the dramatic structural changes affect only the region surrounding the active site, while the remainder of the structure remains relatively unperturbed. Finally, we are able to determine that the specific oxidation event that triggers the conformational change at the active site of Spo0F occurs at Met81, a partially conserved methionine in the CheY superfamily.

  2. Everett Weinreb, Photographer, April 1989 FOUNDATION DETAIL REVEALED AS RESULT ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Everett Weinreb, Photographer, April 1989 FOUNDATION DETAIL REVEALED AS RESULT OF HOUSE DEMOLITION - Irvine Ranch Agricultural Headquarters, Boyd Tenant House, Southeast of Intersection of San Diego & Santa Ana Freeways, Irvine, Orange County, CA

  3. Topological structure dynamics revealing collective evolution in active nematics

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xia-qing; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2013-01-01

    Topological defects frequently emerge in active matter like bacterial colonies, cytoskeleton extracts on substrates, self-propelled granular or colloidal layers and so on, but their dynamical properties and the relations to large-scale organization and fluctuations in these active systems are seldom touched. Here we reveal, through a simple model for active nematics using self-driven hard elliptic rods, that the excitation, annihilation and transportation of topological defects differ markedly from those in non-active media. These dynamical processes exhibit strong irreversibility in active nematics in the absence of detailed balance. Moreover, topological defects are the key factors in organizing large-scale dynamic structures and collective flows, resulting in multi-spatial temporal effects. These findings allow us to control the self-organization of active matter through topological structures. PMID:24346733

  4. Deuterium reveals the dynamics of notch activation.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Kopan

    2011-04-13

    Notch activation requires unfolding of a juxtamembrane negative regulatory domain (NRR). Tiyanont et al. (2011) analyzed the dynamics of NRR unfolding in the presence of EGTA. As predicted from the crystal structure and deletion analyses, the lin-Notch repeats unfold first, facilitating access by ADAM proteases. Surprisingly, the heterodimerization domain remains stable.

  5. Clinical efficacy, radiographic and safety findings through 2 years of golimumab treatment in patients with active psoriatic arthritis: results from a long-term extension of the randomised, placebo-controlled GO-REVEAL study

    PubMed Central

    Kavanaugh, Arthur; McInnes, Iain B; Mease, Philip J; Krueger, Gerald G; Gladman, Dafna D; van der Heijde, Désirée; Mudivarthy, Surekha; Xu, Weichun; Mack, Michael; Xu, Zhenhua; Beutler, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To assess long-term golimumab efficacy/safety in patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Methods Adult PsA patients (≥3 swollen, ≥3 tender joints, active psoriasis) were randomly assigned to subcutaneous injections of placebo, golimumab 50 mg or 100 mg every 4 weeks (q4wks) through week 20. All patients received golimumab 50 or 100 mg beginning week 24. Findings through 2 years are reported. Efficacy evaluations included ≥20% improvement in American College of Rheumatology (ACR20) response, good/moderate response in Disease Activity Scores incorporating 28 joints and C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP), ≥75% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI75) and changes in PsA-modified Sharp/van der Heijde scores (SHS). Results Golimumab treatment through 2 years was effective in maintaining clinical response (response rates: ACR20 63%–70%, DAS28-CRP 77%–86%, PASI75 56%–72%) and inhibiting radiographic progression (mean change in PsA-modified SHS in golimumab-treated patients: −0.36), with no clear difference between doses. No new safety signals were identified through 2 years. With the study's tuberculosis screening and prophylactic measures, no patient developed active tuberculosis through 2 years. Conclusions Golimumab 50 and 100 mg for up to 2 years yielded sustained clinical and radiographic efficacy when administered to patients with active PsA. Increasing the golimumab dose from 50 to 100 mg q4wks added limited benefit. Golimumab safety through up to 2 years was consistent with other antitumour necrosis factor α agents used to treat PsA. Treatment of patients with latent tuberculosis identified at baseline appeared to be effective in inhibiting the development of active tuberculosis. PMID:23161902

  6. Shocking Detail of Superstar's Activity Revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-10-01

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has imaged Eta Carinae and revealed a hot inner core around this mysterious superstar. The new X-ray observation shows three distinct structures: an outer, horseshoe shaped ring about two light years in diameter, a hot inner core about 3 light months in diameter, and a hot central source less than a light month in diameter which may contain the superstar. All three structures are thought to represent shock waves produced by matter rushing away from the superstar at supersonic speeds. The temperature of the shock-heated gas ranges from 60 million degrees Celsius in the central regions to 3 million degrees Celsius on the outer structure. An earlier image of Eta Carinae by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed two spectacular bubbles of gas expanding in opposite directions away from a central bright region at speeds in excess of a million miles per hour. The inner region visible in the Chandra image has never been resolved before, and appears to be associated with a central disk of high velocity gas rushing out at much higher speeds perpendicular to the bipolar optical nebula. "It is not what I expected," said Dr. Fred Seward of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "I expected to see a strong point source with a little diffuse emission cloud around it. Instead, we see just the opposite- a bright cloud of diffuse emission, and much less radiation from the center." "The Chandra image contains some puzzles for existing ideas of how a star can produce such hot and intense X-rays," agreed Prof. Kris Davidson of the University of Minnesota. "In the most popular theory, X-rays are made by colliding gas streams from two stars so close together that they'd look like a point source to us. But what happens to gas streams that escape to farther distances? The extended hot stuff in the middle of the new image gives demanding new conditions for any theory to meet." Eta Carinae is one of the most enigmatic and intriguing objects in our

  7. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

    Brahmbhatt, Hetal; Uehling, David; Al-awar, Rima; Leber, Brian; Andrews, David

    2016-01-01

    The pro-apoptotic protein Bax commits a cell to death by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). To obtain small-molecule probes for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of Bax activation, we screened for compounds that induced Bax-mediated liposome permeabilization. We identified five structurally different small molecules that promoted both Bax targeting to and oligomerization at membranes. All five compounds initiated Bax oligomerization in the absence of membranes by a mechanism unlike Bax activation by Bcl-2 homology 3 domain (BH3) proteins. Some of the compounds induced Bax/Bak-dependent apoptosis in cells. Activation of Bax by the most active compound was poorly inhibited by the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL and requires a cysteine residue at position 126 of Bax that is not required for activation by BH3 proteins. Our results reveal a novel pathway for Bax activation independent of pro-apoptotic BH3 proteins that may have important implications for the regulation of Bax activity in cells. PMID:26916338

  8. Clinical efficacy, radiographic and safety findings through 5 years of subcutaneous golimumab treatment in patients with active psoriatic arthritis: results from a long-term extension of a randomised, placebo-controlled trial (the GO-REVEAL study)

    PubMed Central

    Kavanaugh, Arthur; McInnes, Iain B; Mease, Philip; Krueger, Gerald G; Gladman, Dafna; van der Heijde, Désirée; Zhou, Yiying; Lu, Jiandong; Leu, Jocelyn H; Goldstein, Neil; Beutler, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Assess golimumab's long-term efficacy/safety in psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Methods Adults with active PsA (≥3 swollen and tender joints, active psoriasis) were randomly assigned to subcutaneous placebo, golimumab 50 mg, or golimumab 100 mg every 4 weeks (q4wks) through wk20. All patients received golimumab 50 mg or 100 mg q4wks from wk24 forward. Methotrexate was allowed and taken by approximately half the patients. Findings through 5 years are reported herein. Efficacy assessments included ≥20% improvement in American College of Rheumatology (ACR20) response, C-reactive-protein-based, 28-joint-count Disease Activity Score (DAS28-CRP) response, ≥75% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI75) scores, and PsA-modified Sharp/van der Heijde scores (SHSs). Results 126/405 (31%) randomised patients discontinued treatment through wk252. Golimumab was effective in maintaining clinical improvement through year-5 (ACR20: 62.8–69.9%, DAS28-CRP: 75.2-84.9% for randomised patients; PASI75: 60.8–72.2% among randomised patients with ≥3% body surface area involvement) and inhibiting radiographic progression (mean changes in PsA-modified SHS: 0.1–0.3) among patients with radiographic data. While concomitant methotrexate did not affect ACR20/PASI75, it appeared to reduce radiographic progression. No new safety signals were identified. Antibodies-to-golimumab occurred in 1.8%/10.0% of patients with/without methotrexate). Conclusions Long-term golimumab safety/efficacy in PsA was demonstrated through 5 years. Trial registration number NCT00265096. PMID:24748630

  9. Carbohydrate active enzymes revealed in Coptotermes formosanus transcriptome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A normalized cDNA library of Coptotermes formosanus was constructed using mixed RNA isolated from workers, soldiers, nymphs and alates of both sexes. Sequencing of this library generated 131,637 EST and 25,939 unigenes were assembled. Carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) revealed in this library we...

  10. Active medulloblastoma enhancers reveal subgroup-specific cellular origins.

    PubMed

    Lin, Charles Y; Erkek, Serap; Tong, Yiai; Yin, Linlin; Federation, Alexander J; Zapatka, Marc; Haldipur, Parthiv; Kawauchi, Daisuke; Risch, Thomas; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Worst, Barbara C; Ju, Bensheng; Orr, Brent A; Zeid, Rhamy; Polaski, Donald R; Segura-Wang, Maia; Waszak, Sebastian M; Jones, David T W; Kool, Marcel; Hovestadt, Volker; Buchhalter, Ivo; Sieber, Laura; Johann, Pascal; Chavez, Lukas; Gröschel, Stefan; Ryzhova, Marina; Korshunov, Andrey; Chen, Wenbiao; Chizhikov, Victor V; Millen, Kathleen J; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Lehrach, Hans; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Eils, Roland; Lichter, Peter; Korbel, Jan O; Pfister, Stefan M; Bradner, James E; Northcott, Paul A

    2016-02-01

    Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour, often inflicting devastating consequences on the developing child. Genomic studies have revealed four distinct molecular subgroups with divergent biology and clinical behaviour. An understanding of the regulatory circuitry governing the transcriptional landscapes of medulloblastoma subgroups, and how this relates to their respective developmental origins, is lacking. Here, using H3K27ac and BRD4 chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) coupled with tissue-matched DNA methylation and transcriptome data, we describe the active cis-regulatory landscape across 28 primary medulloblastoma specimens. Analysis of differentially regulated enhancers and super-enhancers reinforced inter-subgroup heterogeneity and revealed novel, clinically relevant insights into medulloblastoma biology. Computational reconstruction of core regulatory circuitry identified a master set of transcription factors, validated by ChIP-seq, that is responsible for subgroup divergence, and implicates candidate cells of origin for Group 4. Our integrated analysis of enhancer elements in a large series of primary tumour samples reveals insights into cis-regulatory architecture, unrecognized dependencies, and cellular origins.

  11. Active Mars Revealed through HiRISE DTMs and Orthoimages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattson, Sarah; McEwen, Alfred S.; Bridges, Nathan; Byrne, Shane; Chojnacki, Matthew; Daubar, Ingrid; Dundas, Colin; Russell, Patrick

    2014-11-01

    Before the arrival of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), the amount of surface activity on Mars was not well known. HiRISE repeat imaging (often at ~30 cm/pixel), combined with the ability to take stereo images and generate high resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) reveals the many types of surface processes that are currently active on Mars. Examples of active processes on Mars studied with HiRISE data include aeolian activity [Bridges et al., 2012, Nature 485; Chojnacki et al., 2014, Icarus 232], Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) [McEwen et al., 2011, Science 333; 2014, Nature Geoscience 7], active gullies [Dundas et al., 2012, Icarus 220], polar processes [Hansen et al., 2011, Science 331; Portyankina et al. 2013, AGU], new impacts [Byrne et al., 2009, Science 325; Daubar et al., 2013, Icarus 225; Dundas et al., 2014, JGR 119], and north polar scarp avalanches [Russell et al., 2008, GRL 35, 2014, LPSC]. These studies utilize images from multiple Mars years and seasons. We generate animated gifs with sequences of orthorectified images to analyze temporal changes (see http://www.uahirise.org/sim/). HiRISE DTMs and orthoimages can be used to quantitatively map and record changes in geospatial software. More than 200 DTMs and 400 orthoimages are available through the Planetary Data System (see http://uahirise.org/dtm). Three-band color (blue-green, red, and near infrared) orthoimages are also available in many cases. The ability to monitor the surface of Mars at high spatial and temporal resolution provides insight into seasonal and annual changes, further increasing our understanding of Mars as an active planet.

  12. [Results of 2 years of activity].

    PubMed

    Panigazzi, M

    2010-01-01

    Work-related injuries and occupational diseases are a scourge of modern, western societies, which, although technologically advanced, have difficulty in preventing, treating and rehabilitating victims with speed and efficiency. The current hospital neuromotor rehabilitation centres, whether public or accredited private structures, have notable difficulty in meeting the demand, which despite annual fluctuations and variable needs, does not, overall, seem to be decreasing. We present the results of an organization model developed at the "Fondazione Maugeri" Scientific Institute (Pavia, Italy), the criteria used for the activity, the technological innovations employed to determine ability, and the prospects for further development. This model is effective from a health care-rehabilitative point of view, also in the light of the new legislative scenarios, and is sustainable from an economic points of view; overall it is, therefore, efficient. PMID:21438253

  13. Tellurium in active volcanic environments: Preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milazzo, Silvia; Calabrese, Sergio; D'Alessandro, Walter; Brusca, Lorenzo; Bellomo, Sergio; Parello, Francesco

    2014-05-01

    Tellurium is a toxic metalloid and, according to the Goldschmidt classification, a chalcophile element. In the last years its commercial importance has considerably increased because of its wide use in solar cells, thermoelectric and electronic devices of the last generation. Despite such large use, scientific knowledge about volcanogenic tellurium is very poor. Few previous authors report result of tellurium concentrations in volcanic plume, among with other trace metals. They recognize this element as volatile, concluding that volcanic gases and sulfur deposits are usually enriched with tellurium. Here, we present some results on tellurium concentrations in volcanic emissions (plume, fumaroles, ash leachates) and in environmental matrices (soils and plants) affected by volcanic emissions and/or deposition. Samples were collected at Etna and Vulcano (Italy), Turrialba (Costa Rica), Miyakejima, Aso, Asama (Japan), Mutnovsky (Kamchatka) at the crater rims by using common filtration techniques for aerosols (polytetrafluoroethylene filters). Filters were both eluted with Millipore water and acid microwave digested, and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Volcanic ashes emitted during explosive events on Etna and Copahue (Argentina) were analyzed for tellurium bulk composition and after leaching experiments to evaluate the soluble fraction of tellurium. Soils and leaves of vegetation were also sampled close to active volcanic vents (Etna, Vulcano, Nisyros, Nyiragongo, Turrialba, Gorely and Masaya) and investigated for tellurium contents. Preliminary results showed very high enrichments of tellurium in volcanic emissions comparing with other volatile elements like mercury, arsenic, thallium and bismuth. This suggests a primary transport in the volatile phase, probably in gaseous form (as also suggested by recent studies) and/or as soluble salts (halides and/or sulfates) adsorbed on the surface of particulate particles and ashes. First

  14. Census of cytosolic aminopeptidase activity reveals two novel cytosolic aminopeptidases.

    PubMed

    Akkad, Nadja; Schatz, Mark; Dengjel, Jörn; Tenzer, Stefan; Schild, Hansjörg

    2012-11-01

    Activation of CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells is crucial for the adaptive immune response against viral infections and the control of malignant transformed cells. Together with activation of costimulatory molecules like CD3 and CD28, CD8(+) T cells need activation of their unique T cell receptor via recognition of foreign peptide epitopes in combination with major histocompatibility complexes class I on the cell surface of professional antigen-presenting cells. Presentation of pathogen-associated proteins is the result of a complex proteolytic process. It starts with the breakdown of proteins by a cytosolic endopeptidase, the proteasome, and is continued by subsequent N-terminal trimming events in the cytosol and/or the endoplasmic reticulum. Analysis of the proteolytic aminopeptidase activity in the former cellular compartment showed that the cytosol harbors a multitude of aminopeptidases that have singular specificities, but on the other hand also show redundancy in the trimming of N-terminal residues. The observed pattern of the overall trimming in the cytosol is reflected by the activity of the four identified aminopeptidases, and the administration of protease inhibitors made it possible to assign specificity of cleaving of proteinogenic amino acids to one or more identified aminopeptidase. The only exception was the cleavage of aspartic acid, which is performed by one yet unidentified enzyme.

  15. Visualizing disaster attitudes resulting from terrorist activities.

    PubMed

    Khalid, Halimahtun M; Helander, Martin G; Hood, Nilwan A

    2013-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze people's attitudes to disasters by investigating how people feel, behave and think during disasters. We focused on disasters induced by humans, such as terrorist attacks. Two types of textual information were collected - from Internet blogs and from research papers. The analysis enabled forecasting of attitudes for the design of proactive disaster advisory scheme. Text was analyzed using a text mining tool, Leximancer. The outcome of this analysis revealed core themes and concepts in the text concerning people's attitudes. The themes and concepts were sorted into three broad categories: Affect, Behaviour, and Cognition (ABC), and the data was visualized in semantic maps. The maps reveal several knowledge pathways of ABC for developing attitudinal ontologies, which describe the relations between affect, behaviour and cognition, and the sequence in which they develop. Clearly, terrorist attacks induced trauma and people became highly vulnerable.

  16. Visualizing disaster attitudes resulting from terrorist activities.

    PubMed

    Khalid, Halimahtun M; Helander, Martin G; Hood, Nilwan A

    2013-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze people's attitudes to disasters by investigating how people feel, behave and think during disasters. We focused on disasters induced by humans, such as terrorist attacks. Two types of textual information were collected - from Internet blogs and from research papers. The analysis enabled forecasting of attitudes for the design of proactive disaster advisory scheme. Text was analyzed using a text mining tool, Leximancer. The outcome of this analysis revealed core themes and concepts in the text concerning people's attitudes. The themes and concepts were sorted into three broad categories: Affect, Behaviour, and Cognition (ABC), and the data was visualized in semantic maps. The maps reveal several knowledge pathways of ABC for developing attitudinal ontologies, which describe the relations between affect, behaviour and cognition, and the sequence in which they develop. Clearly, terrorist attacks induced trauma and people became highly vulnerable. PMID:22944486

  17. Cassava root membrane proteome reveals activities during storage root maturation.

    PubMed

    Naconsie, Maliwan; Lertpanyasampatha, Manassawe; Viboonjun, Unchera; Netrphan, Supatcharee; Kuwano, Masayoshi; Ogasawara, Naotake; Narangajavana, Jarunya

    2016-01-01

    Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is one of the most important crops of Thailand. Its storage roots are used as food, feed, starch production, and be the important source for biofuel and biodegradable plastic production. Despite the importance of cassava storage roots, little is known about the mechanisms involved in their formation. This present study has focused on comparison of the expression profiles of cassava root proteome at various developmental stages using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS. Based on an anatomical study using Toluidine Blue, the secondary growth was confirmed to be essential during the development of cassava storage root. To investigate biochemical processes occurring during storage root maturation, soluble and membrane proteins were isolated from storage roots harvested from 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month-old cassava plants. The proteins with differential expression pattern were analysed and identified to be associated with 8 functional groups: protein folding and degradation, energy, metabolism, secondary metabolism, stress response, transport facilitation, cytoskeleton, and unclassified function. The expression profiling of membrane proteins revealed the proteins involved in protein folding and degradation, energy, and cell structure were highly expressed during early stages of development. Integration of these data along with the information available in genome and transcriptome databases is critical to expand knowledge obtained solely from the field of proteomics. Possible role of identified proteins were discussed in relation with the activities during storage root maturation in cassava.

  18. Lunar maria - result of mantle plume activity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharkov, E.

    It is generally accepted that lunar maria are the result of catastrophic impact events. However, comparative studying of the Earth's and the Moon's tectonomagmatic evolution could evidence about another way of these specific structures origin. Such studies showed that the both planetary bodies evolved on the close scenario: their geological development began after solidification of global magmatic oceans which led to appearance of their primordial crusts: granitic on the Earth and anorthositic - on the Moon. The further evolution of the both bodies occurred in two stages. For their first stages, lasted ˜2.5 mlrd. years on the Earth and ˜1.5 mlrd. years on the Moon, were typical melts, generated in depleted mantle (Bogatikov et al., 2000). However, at the boundary 2.2-2.0 Ga ago on the Earth and 3.9-3.8 Ga on the Moon another type of magmas appeared: geochemical enriched Fe-Ti picrites and basalts, characteristic for the terrestrial Phanerozoic plume-related situations, and basaltic mare magmatism with high-Ti varieties on the Moon. It suggests that evolution of the Earth's magmatism was linked with ascending of mantle plumes (superplumes) of two generation: (1) generated in the mantle, depleted during solidification of magmatic ocean and Archean magmatic activity, and (2) generated at the core-mantle boundary (CMB). The latter were enriched in the mantle fluid components (Fe, Ti, alkalies, etc); this lighter material could ascend to shallower depths, leading to change of tectonic processes, in particular, to appearance of plate tectonics as the major type of tectonomagmatic activity till now (Bogatikov et al., 2000). By analogy to the Earth, magmatism of the Moon was also linked with ascending of mantle plumes: (1) generated in the depleted mantle (magnesian suite) and (2) generated at the lunar CMB with liquid at that time metallic core (mare basalt and picrites with high-Ti varieties). Like on the Earth, these plumes were lighter than the older plumes, and

  19. Metatranscriptomics reveals overall active bacterial composition in caries lesions

    PubMed Central

    Simón-Soro, Aurea; Guillen-Navarro, Miriam; Mira, Alex

    2014-01-01

    Background Identifying the microbial species in caries lesions is instrumental to determine the etiology of dental caries. However, a significant proportion of bacteria in carious lesions have not been cultured, and the use of molecular methods has been limited to DNA-based approaches, which detect both active and inactive or dead microorganisms. Objective To identify the RNA-based, metabolically active bacterial composition of caries lesions at different stages of disease progression in order to provide a list of potential etiological agents of tooth decay. Design Non-cavitated enamel caries lesions (n=15) and dentin caries lesions samples (n=12) were collected from 13 individuals. RNA was extracted and cDNA was constructed, which was used to amplify the 16S rRNA gene. The resulting 780 bp polymerase chain reaction products were pyrosequenced using Titanium-plus chemistry, and the sequences obtained were used to determine the bacterial composition. Results A mean of 4,900 sequences of the 16S rRNA gene with an average read length of 661 bp was obtained per sample, giving a comprehensive view of the active bacterial communities in caries lesions. Estimates of bacterial diversity indicate that the microbiota of cavities is highly complex, each sample containing between 70 and 400 metabolically active species. The composition of these bacterial consortia varied among individuals and between caries lesions of the same individuals. In addition, enamel and dentin lesions had a different bacterial makeup. Lactobacilli were found almost exclusively in dentin cavities. Streptococci accounted for 40% of the total active community in enamel caries, and 20% in dentin caries. However, Streptococcus mutans represented only 0.02–0.73% of the total bacterial community. Conclusions The data indicate that the etiology of dental caries is tissue dependent and that the disease has a clear polymicrobial origin. The low proportion of mutans streptococci detected confirms that they

  20. Activities on Facebook Reveal the Depressive State of Users

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Jinah

    2013-01-01

    Background As online social media have become prominent, much effort has been spent on identifying users with depressive symptoms in order to aim at early diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention by using various online social media. In this paper, we focused on Facebook to discern any correlations between the platform’s features and users’ depressive symptoms. This work may be helpful in trying to reach and detect large numbers of depressed individuals more easily. Objective Our goal was to develop a Web application and identify depressive symptom–related features from users of Facebook, a popular social networking platform. Methods 55 Facebook users (male=40, female=15, mean age 24.43, SD 3.90) were recruited through advertisement fliers distributed to students in a large university in Korea. Using EmotionDiary, the Facebook application we developed, we evaluated depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. We also provided tips and facts about depression to participants and measured their responses using EmotionDiary. To identify the Facebook features related to depression, correlation analyses were performed between CES-D and participants’ responses to tips and facts or Facebook social features. Last, we interviewed depressed participants (CES-D≥25) to assess their depressive symptoms by a psychiatrist. Results Facebook activities had predictive power in distinguishing depressed and nondepressed individuals. Participants’ response to tips and facts, which can be explained by the number of app tips viewed and app points, had a positive correlation (P=.04 for both cases), whereas the number of friends and location tags had a negative correlation with the CES-D scale (P=.08 and P=.045 respectively). Furthermore, in finding group differences in Facebook social activities, app tips viewed and app points resulted in significant differences (P=.01 and P=.03 respectively) between probably depressed and

  1. Single cell activity reveals direct electron transfer in methanotrophic consortia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGlynn, Shawn E.; Chadwick, Grayson L.; Kempes, Christopher P.; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2015-10-01

    Multicellular assemblages of microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature, and the proximity afforded by aggregation is thought to permit intercellular metabolic coupling that can accommodate otherwise unfavourable reactions. Consortia of methane-oxidizing archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria are a well-known environmental example of microbial co-aggregation; however, the coupling mechanisms between these paired organisms is not well understood, despite the attention given them because of the global significance of anaerobic methane oxidation. Here we examined the influence of interspecies spatial positioning as it relates to biosynthetic activity within structurally diverse uncultured methane-oxidizing consortia by measuring stable isotope incorporation for individual archaeal and bacterial cells to constrain their potential metabolic interactions. In contrast to conventional models of syntrophy based on the passage of molecular intermediates, cellular activities were found to be independent of both species intermixing and distance between syntrophic partners within consortia. A generalized model of electric conductivity between co-associated archaea and bacteria best fit the empirical data. Combined with the detection of large multi-haem cytochromes in the genomes of methanotrophic archaea and the demonstration of redox-dependent staining of the matrix between cells in consortia, these results provide evidence for syntrophic coupling through direct electron transfer.

  2. Single cell activity reveals direct electron transfer in methanotrophic consortia.

    PubMed

    McGlynn, Shawn E; Chadwick, Grayson L; Kempes, Christopher P; Orphan, Victoria J

    2015-10-22

    Multicellular assemblages of microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature, and the proximity afforded by aggregation is thought to permit intercellular metabolic coupling that can accommodate otherwise unfavourable reactions. Consortia of methane-oxidizing archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria are a well-known environmental example of microbial co-aggregation; however, the coupling mechanisms between these paired organisms is not well understood, despite the attention given them because of the global significance of anaerobic methane oxidation. Here we examined the influence of interspecies spatial positioning as it relates to biosynthetic activity within structurally diverse uncultured methane-oxidizing consortia by measuring stable isotope incorporation for individual archaeal and bacterial cells to constrain their potential metabolic interactions. In contrast to conventional models of syntrophy based on the passage of molecular intermediates, cellular activities were found to be independent of both species intermixing and distance between syntrophic partners within consortia. A generalized model of electric conductivity between co-associated archaea and bacteria best fit the empirical data. Combined with the detection of large multi-haem cytochromes in the genomes of methanotrophic archaea and the demonstration of redox-dependent staining of the matrix between cells in consortia, these results provide evidence for syntrophic coupling through direct electron transfer. PMID:26375009

  3. Transcriptomic Sequencing Reveals a Set of Unique Genes Activated by Butyrate-Induced Histone Modification.

    PubMed

    Li, Cong-Jun; Li, Robert W; Baldwin, Ransom L; Blomberg, Le Ann; Wu, Sitao; Li, Weizhong

    2016-01-01

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes in the bovine epithelial cells using RNA sequencing technology, a set of unique genes that are activated only after butyrate treatment were revealed. A complementary bioinformatics analysis of the functional category, pathway, and integrated network, using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, indicated that these genes activated by butyrate treatment are related to major cellular functions, including cell morphological changes, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Our results offered insight into the butyrate-induced transcriptomic changes and will accelerate our discerning of the molecular fundamentals of epigenomic regulation. PMID:26819550

  4. Transcriptomic Sequencing Reveals a Set of Unique Genes Activated by Butyrate-Induced Histone Modification

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cong-Jun; Li, Robert W.; Baldwin, Ransom L.; Blomberg, Le Ann; Wu, Sitao; Li, Weizhong

    2016-01-01

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes in the bovine epithelial cells using RNA sequencing technology, a set of unique genes that are activated only after butyrate treatment were revealed. A complementary bioinformatics analysis of the functional category, pathway, and integrated network, using Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, indicated that these genes activated by butyrate treatment are related to major cellular functions, including cell morphological changes, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Our results offered insight into the butyrate-induced transcriptomic changes and will accelerate our discerning of the molecular fundamentals of epigenomic regulation. PMID:26819550

  5. Cohesin's role as an active chromatin domain anchorage revealed.

    PubMed

    Feig, Christine; Odom, Duncan T

    2013-12-11

    Cohesin is a conserved protein complex indispensible for proper cell division, because it secures sister-chromatid cohesion following DNA replication until segregation is required at the onset of anaphase. Recent studies have revealed functions beyond this, showing that cohesin binds to interphase chromatin regulating gene expression at select loci via long-range chromosomal interactions. In this issue of The EMBO Journal, Sofueva et al (2013) use a combination of chromatin conformation capture methods, classical FISH imaging, and loss-of-function studies to elegantly demonstrate how cohesin controls the 3D architectural organization of the genome.

  6. Dynamical Network of HIV-1 Protease Mutants Reveals the Mechanism of Drug Resistance and Unhindered Activity.

    PubMed

    Appadurai, Rajeswari; Senapati, Sanjib

    2016-03-15

    HIV-1 protease variants resist drugs by active and non-active-site mutations. The active-site mutations, which are the primary or first set of mutations, hamper the stability of the enzyme and resist the drugs minimally. As a result, secondary mutations that not only increase protein stability for unhindered catalytic activity but also resist drugs very effectively arise. While the mechanism of drug resistance of the active-site mutations is through modulating the active-site pocket volume, the mechanism of drug resistance of the non-active-site mutations is unclear. Moreover, how these allosteric mutations, which are 8-21 Å distant, communicate to the active site for drug efflux is completely unexplored. Results from molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the primary mechanism of drug resistance of the secondary mutations involves opening of the flexible protease flaps. Results from both residue- and community-based network analyses reveal that this precise action of protease is accomplished by the presence of robust communication paths between the mutational sites and the functionally relevant regions: active site and flaps. While the communication is more direct in the wild type, it traverses across multiple intermediate residues in mutants, leading to weak signaling and unregulated motions of flaps. The global integrity of the protease network is, however, maintained through the neighboring residues, which exhibit high degrees of conservation, consistent with clinical data and mutagenesis studies. PMID:26892689

  7. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J; Adams, David J; Leung, Hing Y

    2016-07-19

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition. PMID:27357679

  8. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G.; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J.; Adams, David J.; Leung, Hing Y.

    2016-01-01

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition. PMID:27357679

  9. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J; Adams, David J; Leung, Hing Y

    2016-07-19

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition.

  10. Revealing Student Blogging Activities Using RSS Feeds and LMS Logs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derntl, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Blogs are an easy-to-use, free alternative to classic means of computer-mediated communication. Moreover, they are authentically aligned with web activity patterns of today's students. The body of studies on integrating and implementing blogs in various educational settings has grown rapidly recently; however, it is often difficult to distill…

  11. Metaproteomic analysis reveals microbial metabolic activities in the deep ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Xie, Zhang-Xian; Zhang, Shu-Feng; Wang, Ming-Hua; Zhang, Hao; Kong, Ling-Fen; Lin, Lin

    2016-04-01

    The deep sea is the largest habitat on earth and holds many and varied microbial life forms. However, little is known about their metabolic activities in the deep ocean. Here, we characterized protein profiles of particulate (>0.22 μm) and dissolved (between 10 kDa and 0.22 μm) fractions collected from the deep South China Sea using a shotgun proteomic approach. SAR324, Alteromonadales and SAR11 were the most abundant groups, while Prasinophyte contributed most to eukaryotes and cyanophage to viruses. The dominant heterotrophic activity was evidenced by the abundant transporters (33%). Proteins participating in nitrification, methanogenesis, methyltrophy and CO2 fixation were detected. Notably, the predominance of unique cellular proteins in dissolved fraction suggested the presence of membrane structures. Moreover, the detection of translation proteins related to phytoplankton indicated that other process rather than sinking particles might be the downward export of living cells. Our study implied that novel extracellular activities and the interaction of deep water with its overlying water could be crucial to the microbial world of deep sea.

  12. Oscillatory Brain Activity Reveals Linguistic Prints in the Quantity Code

    PubMed Central

    Salillas, Elena; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Number representations change through education, although it is currently unclear whether and how language could impact the magnitude representation that we share with other species. The most prominent view is that language does not play any role in modulating the core numeric representation involved in the contrast of quantities. Nevertheless, possible cultural hints on the numerical magnitude representation are currently on discussion focus. In fact, the acquisition of number words provides linguistic input that the quantity system may not ignore. Bilingualism offers a window to the study of this question, especially in bilinguals where the two number wording systems imply also two different numerical systems, such as in Basque-Spanish bilinguals. The present study evidences linguistic prints in the core number representational system through the analysis of EEG oscillatory activity during a simple number comparison task. Gamma band synchronization appears when Basque-Spanish bilinguals compare pairs of Arabic numbers linked through the Basque base-20 wording system, but it does not if the pairs are related through the base-10 system. Crucially, this gamma activity, originated in a left fronto-parietal network, only appears in bilinguals who learned math in Basque and not in equivalent proficiency bilinguals who learned math in Spanish. Thus, this neural index reflected in gamma band synchrony appears to be triggered by early learning experience with the base-20 numerical associations in Basque number words. PMID:25875210

  13. Oscillatory brain activity reveals linguistic prints in the quantity code.

    PubMed

    Salillas, Elena; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Number representations change through education, although it is currently unclear whether and how language could impact the magnitude representation that we share with other species. The most prominent view is that language does not play any role in modulating the core numeric representation involved in the contrast of quantities. Nevertheless, possible cultural hints on the numerical magnitude representation are currently on discussion focus. In fact, the acquisition of number words provides linguistic input that the quantity system may not ignore. Bilingualism offers a window to the study of this question, especially in bilinguals where the two number wording systems imply also two different numerical systems, such as in Basque-Spanish bilinguals. The present study evidences linguistic prints in the core number representational system through the analysis of EEG oscillatory activity during a simple number comparison task. Gamma band synchronization appears when Basque-Spanish bilinguals compare pairs of Arabic numbers linked through the Basque base-20 wording system, but it does not if the pairs are related through the base-10 system. Crucially, this gamma activity, originated in a left fronto-parietal network, only appears in bilinguals who learned math in Basque and not in equivalent proficiency bilinguals who learned math in Spanish. Thus, this neural index reflected in gamma band synchrony appears to be triggered by early learning experience with the base-20 numerical associations in Basque number words.

  14. Metatranscriptomic Analysis of Groundwater Reveals an Active Anammox Bacterial Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewell, T. N. M.; Karaoz, U.; Thomas, B. C.; Banfield, J. F.; Brodie, E.; Williams, K. H.; Beller, H. R.

    2014-12-01

    Groundwater is a major natural resource, yet little is known about the contribution of microbial anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) activity to subsurface nitrogen cycling. During anammox, energy is generated as ammonium is oxidized under anaerobic conditions to dinitrogen gas, using nitrite as the final electron acceptor. This process is a global sink for fixed nitrogen. Only a narrow range of monophyletic bacteria within the Planctomycetes carries out anammox, and the full extent of their metabolism, and subsequent impact on nitrogen cycling and microbial community structure, is still unknown. Here, we employ a metatranscriptomic analysis on enriched mRNA to identify the abundance and activity of a population of anammox bacteria within an aquifer at Rifle, CO. Planktonic biomass was collected over a two-month period after injection of up to 1.5 mM nitrate. Illumina-generated sequences were mapped to a phylogenetically binned Rifle metagenome database. We identified transcripts for genes with high protein sequence identities (81-98%) to those of anammox strain KSU-1 and to two of the five anammox bacteria genera, Brocadia and Kuenenia, suggesting an active, if not diverse, anammox population. Many of the most abundant anammox transcripts mapped to a single scaffold, indicative of a single dominant anammox species. Transcripts of the genes necessary for the anammox pathway were present, including an ammonium transporter (amtB), nitrite/formate transporter, nitrite reductase (nirK), and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzoB). The form of nitrite reductase encoded by anammox is species-dependent, and we only identified nirK, with no evidence of anammox nirS. In addition to the anammox pathway we saw evidence of the anammox bacterial dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium pathway (narH, putative nrfA, and nrfB), which provides an alternate means of generating substrates for anammox from nitrate, rather than relying on an external pool. Transcripts for hydroxylamine

  15. Hidden Stages of Cognition Revealed in Patterns of Brain Activation.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John R; Pyke, Aryn A; Fincham, Jon M

    2016-09-01

    To advance cognitive theory, researchers must be able to parse the performance of a task into its significant mental stages. In this article, we describe a new method that uses functional MRI brain activation to identify when participants are engaged in different cognitive stages on individual trials. The method combines multivoxel pattern analysis to identify cognitive stages and hidden semi-Markov models to identify their durations. This method, applied to a problem-solving task, identified four distinct stages: encoding, planning, solving, and responding. We examined whether these stages corresponded to their ascribed functions by testing whether they are affected by appropriate factors. Planning-stage duration increased as the method for solving the problem became less obvious, whereas solving-stage duration increased as the number of calculations to produce the answer increased. Responding-stage duration increased with the difficulty of the motor actions required to produce the answer. PMID:27440808

  16. Comparative analyses reveal discrepancies among results of commonly used methods for Anopheles gambiaemolecular form identification

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Anopheles gambiae M and S molecular forms, the major malaria vectors in the Afro-tropical region, are ongoing a process of ecological diversification and adaptive lineage splitting, which is affecting malaria transmission and vector control strategies in West Africa. These two incipient species are defined on the basis of single nucleotide differences in the IGS and ITS regions of multicopy rDNA located on the X-chromosome. A number of PCR and PCR-RFLP approaches based on form-specific SNPs in the IGS region are used for M and S identification. Moreover, a PCR-method to detect the M-specific insertion of a short interspersed transposable element (SINE200) has recently been introduced as an alternative identification approach. However, a large-scale comparative analysis of four widely used PCR or PCR-RFLP genotyping methods for M and S identification was never carried out to evaluate whether they could be used interchangeably, as commonly assumed. Results The genotyping of more than 400 A. gambiae specimens from nine African countries, and the sequencing of the IGS-amplicon of 115 of them, highlighted discrepancies among results obtained by the different approaches due to different kinds of biases, which may result in an overestimation of MS putative hybrids, as follows: i) incorrect match of M and S specific primers used in the allele specific-PCR approach; ii) presence of polymorphisms in the recognition sequence of restriction enzymes used in the PCR-RFLP approaches; iii) incomplete cleavage during the restriction reactions; iv) presence of different copy numbers of M and S-specific IGS-arrays in single individuals in areas of secondary contact between the two forms. Conclusions The results reveal that the PCR and PCR-RFLP approaches most commonly utilized to identify A. gambiae M and S forms are not fully interchangeable as usually assumed, and highlight limits of the actual definition of the two molecular forms, which might not fully correspond to

  17. Latent luciferase activity in the fruit fly revealed by a synthetic luciferin

    PubMed Central

    Mofford, David M.; Reddy, Gadarla Randheer; Miller, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    Beetle luciferases are thought to have evolved from fatty acyl-CoA synthetases present in all insects. Both classes of enzymes activate fatty acids with ATP to form acyl-adenylate intermediates, but only luciferases can activate and oxidize d-luciferin to emit light. Here we show that the Drosophila fatty acyl-CoA synthetase CG6178, which cannot use d-luciferin as a substrate, is able to catalyze light emission from the synthetic luciferin analog CycLuc2. Bioluminescence can be detected from the purified protein, live Drosophila Schneider 2 cells, and from mammalian cells transfected with CG6178. Thus, the nonluminescent fruit fly possesses an inherent capacity for bioluminescence that is only revealed upon treatment with a xenobiotic molecule. This result expands the scope of bioluminescence and demonstrates that the introduction of a new substrate can unmask latent enzymatic activity that differs significantly from an enzyme’s normal function without requiring mutation. PMID:24616520

  18. Characterisation of Drosophila CMP-sialic acid synthetase activity reveals unusual enzymatic properties

    PubMed Central

    Mertsalov, Ilya B.; Novikov, Boris N.; Scott, Hilary; Dangott, Lawrence; Panin, Vladislav M.

    2016-01-01

    CMP-sialic acid synthetase (CSAS) is a key enzyme of the sialylation pathway. CSAS produces the activated sugar donor, CMP-sialic acid, which serves as a substrate for sialyltransferases to modify glycan termini with sialic acid. Unlike other animal CMP-Sia synthetases that normally localize in the nucleus, Drosophila melanogaster CSAS (DmCSAS) localizes in the cell secretory compartment, predominantly in the Golgi, which suggests that this enzyme has properties distinct from those of its vertebrate counterparts. To test this hypothesis, we purified recombinant DmCSAS and characterised its activity in vitro. Our experiments revealed several unique features of this enzyme. DmCSAS displays specificity for N-acetylneuraminic acid as a substrate, shows preference for lower pH and can function with a broad range of metal cofactors. When tested at a pH corresponding to the Golgi compartment, the enzyme showed significant activity with several metal cations, including Zn2+, Fe2+, Co2+ and Mn2+, while the activity with Mg2+ was found to be low. Protein sequence analysis and site-specific mutagenesis identified an aspartic acid residue that is necessary for enzymatic activity and predicted to be involved in coordinating a metal cofactor. DmCSAS enzymatic activity was found to be essential in vivo for rescuing the phenotype of DmCSAS mutants. Finally, our experiments revealed a steep dependence of the enzymatic activity on temperature. Taken together, our results indicate that DmCSAS underwent evolutionary adaptation to pH and ionic environment different from that of counterpart synthetases in vertebrates. Our data also suggest that environmental temperatures can regulate Drosophila sialylation, thus modulating neural transmission. PMID:27114558

  19. Metabolomics reveal 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine production by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Haruya; Goto, Tsuyoshi; Yamazaki, Yota; Kamakari, Kosuke; Hirata, Mariko; Suzuki, Hideyuki; Shibata, Daisuke; Nakata, Rieko; Inoue, Hiroyasu; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Kawada, Teruo

    2015-02-01

    PPARα is well known as a master regulator of lipid metabolism. PPARα activation enhances fatty acid oxidation and decreases the levels of circulating and cellular lipids in obese diabetic patients. Although PPARα target genes are widely known, little is known about the alteration of plasma and liver metabolites during PPARα activation. Here, we report that metabolome analysis-implicated upregulation of many plasma lysoGP species during bezafibrate (PPARα agonist) treatment. In particular, 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine [LPC(16:0)] is increased by bezafibrate treatment in both plasma and liver. In mouse primary hepatocytes, the secretion of LPC(16:0) increased on PPARα activation, and this effect was attenuated by PPARα antagonist treatment. We demonstrated that Pla2g7 gene expression levels in the murine hepatocytes were increased by PPARα activation, and the secretion of LPC(16:0) was suppressed by Pla2g7 siRNA treatment. Interestingly, LPC(16:0) activates PPARα and induces the expression of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes. Furthermore, we showed that LPC(16:0) has the ability to recover glucose uptake in adipocytes induced insulin resistance. These results reveal that LPC(16:0) is induced by PPARα activation in hepatocytes; LPC(16:0) contributes to the upregulation of PPARα target genes in hepatocytes and the recovery of glucose uptake in insulin-resistant adipocytes. PMID:25510248

  20. Analysis of Polymorphic Residues Reveals Distinct Enzymatic and Cytotoxic Activities of the Streptococcus pyogenes NAD+ Glycohydrolase*

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekaran, Sukantha; Ghosh, Joydeep; Port, Gary C.; Koh, Eun-ik; Caparon, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

    The Streptococcus pyogenes NAD+ glycohydrolase (SPN) is secreted from the bacterial cell and translocated into the host cell cytosol where it contributes to cell death. Recent studies suggest that SPN is evolving and has diverged into NAD+ glycohydrolase-inactive variants that correlate with tissue tropism. However, the role of SPN in both cytotoxicity and niche selection are unknown. To gain insight into the forces driving the adaptation of SPN, a detailed comparison of representative glycohydrolase activity-proficient and -deficient variants was conducted. Of a total 454 amino acids, the activity-deficient variants differed at only nine highly conserved positions. Exchanging residues between variants revealed that no one single residue could account for the inability of the deficient variants to cleave the glycosidic bond of β-NAD+ into nicotinamide and ADP-ribose; rather, reciprocal changes at 3 specific residues were required to both abolish activity of the proficient version and restore full activity to the deficient variant. Changing any combination of 1 or 2 residues resulted in intermediate activity. However, a change to any 1 residue resulted in a significant decrease in enzyme efficiency. A similar pattern involving multiple residues was observed for comparison with a second highly conserved activity-deficient variant class. Remarkably, despite differences in glycohydrolase activity, all versions of SPN were equally cytotoxic to cultured epithelial cells. These data indicate that the glycohydrolase activity of SPN may not be the only contribution the toxin has to the pathogenesis of S. pyogenes and that both versions of SPN play an important role during infection. PMID:23689507

  1. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand modulation of GPCR activation pathways.

    PubMed

    Kohlhoff, Kai J; Shukla, Diwakar; Lawrenz, Morgan; Bowman, Gregory R; Konerding, David E; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B; Pande, Vijay S

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into the atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to millisecond timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative that brings long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud-computing platform to simulate two milliseconds of dynamics of a major drug target, the G-protein-coupled receptor β2AR. Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor and reveal multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design. PMID:24345941

  2. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand modulation of GPCR activation pathways.

    PubMed

    Kohlhoff, Kai J; Shukla, Diwakar; Lawrenz, Morgan; Bowman, Gregory R; Konerding, David E; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B; Pande, Vijay S

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into the atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to millisecond timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative that brings long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud-computing platform to simulate two milliseconds of dynamics of a major drug target, the G-protein-coupled receptor β2AR. Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor and reveal multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design.

  3. Cloud-based simulations on Google Exacycle reveal ligand modulation of GPCR activation pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohlhoff, Kai J.; Shukla, Diwakar; Lawrenz, Morgan; Bowman, Gregory R.; Konerding, David E.; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into the atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to millisecond timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative that brings long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud-computing platform to simulate two milliseconds of dynamics of a major drug target, the G-protein-coupled receptor β2AR. Markov state models aggregate independent simulations into a single statistical model that is validated by previous computational and experimental results. Moreover, our models provide an atomistic description of the activation of a G-protein-coupled receptor and reveal multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design.

  4. Active-Site Monovalent Cations Revealed in a 1.55 Å Resolution Hammerhead Ribozyme Structure

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael; Schultz, Eric P.; Martick, Monika; Scott, William G.

    2013-01-01

    We have obtained a 1.55 Å crystal structure of a hammerhead ribozyme derived from Schistosoma mansoni in conditions that permit detailed observations of Na+ ion binding in the ribozyme's active site. At least two such Na+ ions are observed. The first Na+ ion binds to the N7 of G10.1 and the adjacent A9 phosphate in a manner identical to that previously observed for divalent cations. A second Na+ ion binds to the Hoogsteen face of G12, the general base in the hammerhead cleavage reaction, thereby potentially dissipating the negative charge of the catalytically active enolate form of the nucleotide base. A potential but more ambiguous third site bridges the A9 and scissile phosphates in a manner consistent with previous predictions. Hammerhead ribozymes have been observed to be active in the presence of high concentrations of monovalent cations, including Na+, but the mechanism by which monovalent cations substitute for divalent cations in hammerhead catalysis remains unclear. Our results enable us to suggest that Na+ directly and specifically substitutes for divalent cations in the hammerhead active site. The detailed geometry of the pre-catalytic active site complex is also revealed with a new level of precision, thanks to the quality of the electron density maps obtained from what is currently the highest resolution ribozyme structure in the protein data bank. PMID:23711504

  5. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-09-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction.

  6. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-01-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction. PMID:27641076

  7. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong

    2016-01-01

    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction. PMID:27641076

  8. Lymph node revealing solution: a new method for lymph node sampling: results in gastric adenocarcinoma.

    PubMed

    Koren, R; Kyzer, S; Levin, I; Klein, B; Halpern, M; Rath-Wolfson, L; Paz, A; Melloul, M M; Mishali, M; Gal, R

    1998-01-01

    Staging of gastric carcinoma depends on exact lymph node status. However, very small nodes are not easily found as they are obscured by the surrounding adipose tissue. The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate the usefulness of a Olymph node revealing solutionO (LNRS) in gastric cancer. The perigastric adipose tissue of ten OproblematicO cases of gastric carcinoma, in which <10 lymph nodes were found using the traditional method, was immersed in LNRS for 6-12 h. Subsequently, the lymph nodes stood out as white chalky nodules. They were excised and processed routinely. The traditional method yielded a total of 30 lymph nodes with a mean size of 6.69 +/- 3.43 mm. The LNRS revealed 89 additional nodes with a mean size of 3.03 +/- 3.43 mm, which was significantly smaller. The Node (N) stage was changed in four cases from Nx to N0, in one case from N1 to N2, and in one case from N0 to N2. LNRS seems to be the technique of choice for staging of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma in whom <10 lymph nodes were found with the traditional method and accurate staging was not possible. PMID:9468553

  9. Engineered Covalent Inactivation of TFIIH-Kinase Reveals an Elongation Checkpoint and Results in Widespread mRNA Stabilization.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Molina, Juan B; Tseng, Sandra C; Simonett, Shane P; Taunton, Jack; Ansari, Aseem Z

    2016-08-01

    During transcription initiation, the TFIIH-kinase Kin28/Cdk7 marks RNA polymerase II (Pol II) by phosphorylating the C-terminal domain (CTD) of its largest subunit. Here we describe a structure-guided chemical approach to covalently and specifically inactivate Kin28 kinase activity in vivo. This method of irreversible inactivation recapitulates both the lethal phenotype and the key molecular signatures that result from genetically disrupting Kin28 function in vivo. Inactivating Kin28 impacts promoter release to differing degrees and reveals a "checkpoint" during the transition to productive elongation. While promoter-proximal pausing is not observed in budding yeast, inhibition of Kin28 attenuates elongation-licensing signals, resulting in Pol II accumulation at the +2 nucleosome and reduced transition to productive elongation. Furthermore, upon inhibition, global stabilization of mRNA masks different degrees of reduction in nascent transcription. This study resolves long-standing controversies on the role of Kin28 in transcription and provides a rational approach to irreversibly inhibit other kinases in vivo. PMID:27477907

  10. Plutonium recycle test reactor characterization activities and results

    SciTech Connect

    Cornwell, B.C.

    1997-05-01

    Report contains results of PRTR core and associated structures characterization performed in January and February of 1997. Radiation survey data are presented, along with recommendations for stabilization activities before transitioning to a decontamination and decommissioning function. Recommendations are also made about handling the waste generated by the stabilization activities, and actions suggested by the Decontamination and Decommissioning organization.

  11. Characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab (Scylla olivacea) revealed phenoloxidase activity.

    PubMed

    Mangkalanan, Seksan; Sanguanrat, Piyachat; Utairangsri, Tanatchaporn; Sritunyalucksana, Kallaya; Krittanai, Chartchai

    2014-05-01

    This study focused on an isolation and characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab, Scylla olivacea. Isolation of specific cell types of hemocytes from crab hemolymph was accomplished by using 60% Percoll density gradient centrifugation. Four separated bands of the hemocytes were successfully obtained. Characterization of these isolated hemocytes by light microscope using trypan blue-rose bengal staining, rose bengal-hematoxilin staining, and phase contrast revealed four distinct types of hemocyte cells. Using their specific morphology and granularity, they were identified as hyaline cell (HC), small granular cell (SGC), large granular cell (LGC) and mixed granular cell (MGC). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed more details on specific cell size, size of cytoplasmic granule, and nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio, and confirmed the classification. Relative abundance of these cells types in the hemolymph of an adult crab were 15.50±8.22% for HC, 55.50±7.15% for SGC, 13.50±5.28% for LGC, and 15.50±3.50% for MGC. Proteomic analysis of protein expression for each specific cell types by two-dimensional electrophoresis identified two highly abundant proteins, prophenoloxidase (ProPO) and peroxinectin in LGC. Determination of phenoloxidase (PO) activity in each isolated cell types using in vitro and in situ chemical assays confirmed the presence of PO activity only in LGC. Based on an increased PO activity of crab hemolymph during the course of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) infection, these results suggest that prophenoloxidase pathway was employed for host defense mechanism against WSSV and it may link to the role of large granular hemocyte.

  12. Activating Mutations of the TRPML1 Channel Revealed by Proline-scanning Mutagenesis*

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Xian-ping; Wang, Xiang; Shen, Dongbiao; Chen, Su; Liu, Meiling; Wang, Yanbin; Mills, Eric; Cheng, Xiping; Delling, Markus; Xu, Haoxing

    2009-01-01

    The mucolipin TRP (TRPML) proteins are a family of endolysosomal cation channels with genetically established importance in humans and rodent. Mutations of human TRPML1 cause type IV mucolipidosis, a devastating pediatric neurodegenerative disease. Our recent electrophysiological studies revealed that, although a TRPML1-mediated current can only be recorded in late endosome and lysosome (LEL) using the lysosome patch clamp technique, a proline substitution in TRPML1 (TRPML1V432P) results in a large whole cell current. Thus, it remains unknown whether the large TRPML1V432P-mediated current results from an increased surface expression (trafficking), elevated channel activity (gating), or both. Here we performed systemic Pro substitutions in a region previously implicated in the gating of various 6 transmembrane cation channels. We found that several Pro substitutions displayed gain-of-function (GOF) constitutive activities at both the plasma membrane (PM) and endolysosomal membranes. Although wild-type TRPML1 and non-GOF Pro substitutions localized exclusively in LEL and were barely detectable in the PM, the GOF mutations with high constitutive activities were not restricted to LEL compartments, and most significantly, exhibited significant surface expression. Because lysosomal exocytosis is Ca2+-dependent, constitutive Ca2+ permeability due to Pro substitutions may have resulted in stimulus-independent intralysosomal Ca2+ release, hence the surface expression and whole cell current of TRPML1. Indeed, surface staining of lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 (Lamp-1) was dramatically increased in cells expressing GOF TRPML1 channels. We conclude that TRPML1 is an inwardly rectifying, proton-impermeable, Ca2+ and Fe2+/Mn2+ dually permeable cation channel that may be gated by unidentified cellular mechanisms through a conformational change in the cytoplasmic face of the transmembrane 5 (TM5). Furthermore, activation of TRPML1 in LEL may lead to the appearance of TRPML

  13. Biallelic Variants in UBA5 Reveal that Disruption of the UFM1 Cascade Can Result in Early-Onset Encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Colin, Estelle; Daniel, Jens; Ziegler, Alban; Wakim, Jamal; Scrivo, Aurora; Haack, Tobias B; Khiati, Salim; Denommé, Anne-Sophie; Amati-Bonneau, Patrizia; Charif, Majida; Procaccio, Vincent; Reynier, Pascal; Aleck, Kyrieckos A; Botto, Lorenzo D; Herper, Claudia Lena; Kaiser, Charlotte Sophia; Nabbout, Rima; N'Guyen, Sylvie; Mora-Lorca, José Antonio; Assmann, Birgit; Christ, Stine; Meitinger, Thomas; Strom, Tim M; Prokisch, Holger; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Hoffmann, Georg F; Lenaers, Guy; Bomont, Pascale; Liebau, Eva; Bonneau, Dominique

    2016-09-01

    Via whole-exome sequencing, we identified rare autosomal-recessive variants in UBA5 in five children from four unrelated families affected with a similar pattern of severe intellectual deficiency, microcephaly, movement disorders, and/or early-onset intractable epilepsy. UBA5 encodes the E1-activating enzyme of ubiquitin-fold modifier 1 (UFM1), a recently identified ubiquitin-like protein. Biochemical studies of mutant UBA5 proteins and studies in fibroblasts from affected individuals revealed that UBA5 mutations impair the process of ufmylation, resulting in an abnormal endoplasmic reticulum structure. In Caenorhabditis elegans, knockout of uba-5 and of human orthologous genes in the UFM1 cascade alter cholinergic, but not glutamatergic, neurotransmission. In addition, uba5 silencing in zebrafish decreased motility while inducing abnormal movements suggestive of seizures. These clinical, biochemical, and experimental findings support our finding of UBA5 mutations as a pathophysiological cause for early-onset encephalopathies due to abnormal protein ufmylation. PMID:27545681

  14. Targeted massively parallel sequencing of angiosarcomas reveals frequent activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway

    PubMed Central

    Murali, Rajmohan; Chandramohan, Raghu; Möller, Inga; Scholz, Simone L.; Berger, Michael; Huberman, Kety; Viale, Agnes; Pirun, Mono; Socci, Nicholas D.; Bouvier, Nancy; Bauer, Sebastian; Artl, Monika; Schilling, Bastian; Schimming, Tobias; Sucker, Antje; Schwindenhammer, Benjamin; Grabellus, Florian; Speicher, Michael R.; Schaller, Jörg; Hillen, Uwe; Schadendorf, Dirk; Mentzel, Thomas; Cheng, Donavan T.; Wiesner, Thomas; Griewank, Klaus G.

    2015-01-01

    Angiosarcomas are rare malignant mesenchymal tumors of endothelial differentiation. The clinical behavior is usually aggressive and the prognosis for patients with advanced disease is poor with no effective therapies. The genetic bases of these tumors have been partially revealed in recent studies reporting genetic alterations such as amplifications of MYC (primarily in radiation-associated angiosarcomas), inactivating mutations in PTPRB and R707Q hotspot mutations of PLCG1. Here, we performed a comprehensive genomic analysis of 34 angiosarcomas using a clinically-approved, hybridization-based targeted next-generation sequencing assay for 341 well-established oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Over half of the angiosarcomas (n = 18, 53%) harbored genetic alterations affecting the MAPK pathway, involving mutations in KRAS, HRAS, NRAS, BRAF, MAPK1 and NF1, or amplifications in MAPK1/CRKL, CRAF or BRAF. The most frequently detected genetic aberrations were mutations in TP53 in 12 tumors (35%) and losses of CDKN2A in 9 tumors (26%). MYC amplifications were generally mutually exclusive of TP53 alterations and CDKN2A loss and were identified in 8 tumors (24%), most of which (n = 7, 88%) arose post-irradiation. Previously reported mutations in PTPRB (n = 10, 29%) and one (3%) PLCG1 R707Q mutation were also identified. Our results demonstrate that angiosarcomas are a genetically heterogeneous group of tumors, harboring a wide range of genetic alterations. The high frequency of genetic events affecting the MAPK pathway suggests that targeted therapies inhibiting MAPK signaling may be promising therapeutic avenues in patients with advanced angiosarcomas. PMID:26440310

  15. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection.

    PubMed

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; Dimarzio, Charles A

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  16. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  17. Community Lenses Revealing the Role of Sociocultural Environment on Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Belon, Ana Paula; Nieuwendyk, Laura M.; Vallianatos, Helen; Nykiforuk, Candace I. J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To identify perceptions of how sociocultural environment enabled and hindered physical activity (PA) participation. Design Community-based participatory research. Setting Two semirural and two urban communities located in Alberta, Canada. Participants Thirty-five people (74.3% females, 71.4% aged 25–64 years) across the four communities. Method PhotoVoice activities occurred over 3 months during the spring of 2009. Participants were asked to document perceived environmental attributes that might foster or inhibit PA in their community. Photographs and narratives were shared in one-on-one interviews. Line-by-line coding of the transcripts was independently conducted by two researchers using an inductive approach. Codes were arranged into themes and subthemes, which were then organized into the Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity (ANGELO) framework. Results Six main themes (accompanied by subthemes) emerged: sociocultural aesthetics, safety, social involvement, PA motivation, cultural ideas of recreation, and car culture. Representative quotes and photographs illustrate enablers and obstacles identified by participants. Conclusion This PhotoVoice study revealed how aspects of participants’ sociocultural environments shaped their decisions to be physically active. Providing more PA resources is only one step in the promotion of supportive environments. Strategies should also account for the beautification and maintenance of communities, increasing feelings of safety, enhancement of social support among community members, popularization of PA, and mitigating car culture, among others. PMID:25973966

  18. Nanoscale electrochemical patterning reveals the active sites for catechol oxidation at graphite surfaces.

    PubMed

    Patel, Anisha N; McKelvey, Kim; Unwin, Patrick R

    2012-12-19

    Graphite-based electrodes (graphite, graphene, and nanotubes) are used widely in electrochemistry, and there is a long-standing view that graphite step edges are needed to catalyze many reactions, with the basal surface considered to be inert. In the present work, this model was tested directly for the first time using scanning electrochemical cell microscopy reactive patterning and shown to be incorrect. For the electro-oxidation of dopamine as a model process, the reaction rate was measured at high spatial resolution across a surface of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite. Oxidation products left behind in a pattern defined by the scanned electrochemical cell served as surface-site markers, allowing the electrochemical activity to be correlated directly with the graphite structure on the nanoscale. This process produced tens of thousands of electrochemical measurements at different locations across the basal surface, unambiguously revealing it to be highly electrochemically active, with step edges providing no enhanced activity. This new model of graphite electrodes has significant implications for the design of carbon-based biosensors, and the results are additionally important for understanding electrochemical processes on related sp(2)-hybridized materials such as pristine graphene and nanotubes.

  19. Dynamic exometabolome analysis reveals active metabolic pathways in non-replicating mycobacteria.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Michael; Kuehne, Andreas; Boshoff, Helena I; Barry, Clifton E; Zamboni, Nicola; Sauer, Uwe

    2015-11-01

    An organism's metabolic activity leaves an extracellular footprint and dynamic changes in this exometabolome inform about nutrient uptake, waste disposal and signalling activities. Using non-targeted mass spectrometry, we report exometabolome dynamics of hypoxia-induced, non-replicating mycobacteria that are thought to play a role in latent tuberculosis. Despite evidence of active metabolism, little is known about the mechanisms enabling obligate aerobic mycobacteria to cope with hypoxia, resulting in long-term survival and increased chemotherapeutic tolerance. The dynamics of 379 extracellular compounds of Mycobacterium smegmatis were deconvoluted with a genome-scale metabolic reaction-pair network to generate hypotheses about intracellular pathway usage. Time-resolved (13) C-tracing and mutant experiments then demonstrated a crucial, energy-generating role of asparagine utilization and non-generic usage of the glyoxylate shunt for hypoxic fitness. Experiments with M. bovis and M. tuberculosis revealed the general relevance of asparagine fermentation and a variable contribution of the glyoxylate shunt to non-replicative, hypoxic survival between the three species.

  20. Dynamic Allostery of the Catabolite Activator Protein Revealed by Interatomic Forces.

    PubMed

    Louet, Maxime; Seifert, Christian; Hensen, Ulf; Gräter, Frauke

    2015-08-01

    The Catabolite Activator Protein (CAP) is a showcase example for entropic allostery. For full activation and DNA binding, the homodimeric protein requires the binding of two cyclic AMP (cAMP) molecules in an anti-cooperative manner, the source of which appears to be largely of entropic nature according to previous experimental studies. We here study at atomic detail the allosteric regulation of CAP with Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We recover the experimentally observed entropic penalty for the second cAMP binding event with our recently developed force covariance entropy estimator and reveal allosteric communication pathways with Force Distribution Analyses (FDA). Our observations show that CAP binding results in characteristic changes in the interaction pathways connecting the two cAMP allosteric binding sites with each other, as well as with the DNA binding domains. We identified crucial relays in the mostly symmetric allosteric activation network, and suggest point mutants to test this mechanism. Our study suggests inter-residue forces, as opposed to coordinates, as a highly sensitive measure for structural adaptations that, even though minute, can very effectively propagate allosteric signals. PMID:26244893

  1. Pluto Revealed: First Results from the Historic 1st Fly-By Space Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Kimberly Ennico

    2015-01-01

    On July 14, 2015, after a 9.5 year trek across the solar system, NASAs New Horizons spacecraft successfully flew by the dwarf planet Pluto and its system of moons, taking imagery, spectra and in-situ particle data. Data obtained by New Horizons will address numerous outstanding questions on the geology and composition of Pluto and Charon, plus measurements of Plutos atmosphere, and provide revised understanding of the formation and evolution of Pluto and Charon and its smaller moons. This data set is an invaluable glimpse into the outer Third Zone of the Solar System. Data from the intense July 14th fly-by sequence will be downlinked to Earth over a period of 16 months, the duration set by the large data set (over 60 GBits), tempered by limited transmission bandwidth rates (1-2 kbps) and sharing the three 70m DSN assets. This presentation summarizes the New Horizons mission and early science results.

  2. Physical activity across the curriculum: year one process evaluation results

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Cheryl A; Smith, Bryan K; DuBose, Katrina D; Greene, J Leon; Bailey, Bruce W; Williams, Shannon L; Ryan, Joseph J; Schmelzle, Kristin H; Washburn, Richard A; Sullivan, Debra K; Mayo, Matthew S; Donnelly, Joseph E

    2008-01-01

    Background Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC) is a 3-year elementary school-based intervention to determine if increased amounts of moderate intensity physical activity performed in the classroom will diminish gains in body mass index (BMI). It is a cluster-randomized, controlled trial, involving 4905 children (2505 intervention, 2400 control). Methods We collected both qualitative and quantitative process evaluation data from 24 schools (14 intervention and 10 control), which included tracking teacher training issues, challenges and barriers to effective implementation of PAAC lessons, initial and continual use of program specified activities, and potential competing factors, which might contaminate or lessen program effects. Results Overall teacher attendance at training sessions showed exceptional reach. Teachers incorporated active lessons on most days, resulting in significantly greater student physical activity levels compared to controls (p < 0.0001). Enjoyment ratings for classroom-based lessons were also higher for intervention students. Competing factors, which might influence program results, were not carried out at intervention or control schools or were judged to be minimal. Conclusion In the first year of the PAAC intervention, process evaluation results were instrumental in identifying successes and challenges faced by teachers when trying to modify existing academic lessons to incorporate physical activity. PMID:18606013

  3. Zebrafish reporter lines reveal in vivo signaling pathway activities involved in pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Schiavone, Marco; Rampazzo, Elena; Casari, Alessandro; Battilana, Giusy; Persano, Luca; Moro, Enrico; Liu, Shu; Leach, Steve D; Tiso, Natascia; Argenton, Francesco

    2014-07-01

    Pancreatic adenocarcinoma, one of the worst malignancies of the exocrine pancreas, is a solid tumor with increasing incidence and mortality in industrialized countries. This condition is usually driven by oncogenic KRAS point mutations and evolves into a highly aggressive metastatic carcinoma due to secondary gene mutations and unbalanced expression of genes involved in the specific signaling pathways. To examine in vivo the effects of KRAS(G12D) during pancreatic cancer progression and time correlation with cancer signaling pathway activities, we have generated a zebrafish model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in which eGFP-KRAS(G12D) expression was specifically driven to the pancreatic tissue by using the GAL4/UAS conditional expression system. Outcrossing the inducible oncogenic KRAS(G12D) line with transgenic zebrafish reporters, harboring specific signaling responsive elements of transcriptional effectors, we were able to follow TGFβ, Notch, Bmp and Shh activities during tumor development. Zebrafish transgenic lines expressing eGFP-KRAS(G12D) showed normal exocrine pancreas development until 3 weeks post fertilization (wpf). From 4 to 24 wpf we observed several degrees of acinar lesions, characterized by an increase in mesenchymal cells and mixed acinar/ductal features, followed by progressive bowel and liver infiltrations and, finally, highly aggressive carcinoma. Moreover, live imaging analysis of the exocrine pancreatic tissue revealed an increasing number of KRAS-positive cells and progressive activation of TGFβ and Notch pathways. Increase in TGFβ, following KRAS(G12D) activation, was confirmed in a concomitant model of medulloblastoma (MDB). Notch and Shh signaling activities during tumor onset were different between MDB and pancreatic adenocarcinoma, indicating a tissue-specific regulation of cell signaling pathways. Moreover, our results show that a living model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma joined with cell signaling reporters is a suitable tool for

  4. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ari J S; Siam, Rania; Setubal, João C; Moustafa, Ahmed; Sayed, Ahmed; Chambergo, Felipe S; Dawe, Adam S; Ghazy, Mohamed A; Sharaf, Hazem; Ouf, Amged; Alam, Intikhab; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M; Lehvaslaiho, Heikki; Ramadan, Eman; Antunes, André; Stingl, Ulrich; Archer, John A C; Jankovic, Boris R; Sogin, Mitchell; Bajic, Vladimir B; El-Dorry, Hamza

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  5. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of syntax information in Chinese verb processing.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yuan; Wu, Qiuyan; Wang, Jin; Feng, Liping; Xiao, Qing

    2016-09-19

    By taking advantage of the semantic-syntactic characteristics of Chinese verbs, the current study examined the brain activity of automatic activation of syntactic features at the single word level. Both syntactic (transitivity) and semantic (integrity) features of the verb were manipulated. Event-related potentials were measured while subjects performed lexical decision tasks on visually presented verbs at the single word level. The results showed that there was a significant transitivity effect in both lateral and midline areas for the 150-200ms time window (N200 effect), indicating the retrieval of the syntactic feature. There was also a significant syntactic-semantic interaction at the late stage of verb processing (N400 effect) in the midline central-parietal region, reflecting syntactic influences on semantic processing. These findings suggest that transitivity is an integral part of the mental representation of Chinese verbs and such information can be retrieved at the early stage of single verb processing and can influence subsequent semantic integration. These results also reveal the special features of Chinese language processing. PMID:27466021

  6. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of syntax information in Chinese verb processing.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yuan; Wu, Qiuyan; Wang, Jin; Feng, Liping; Xiao, Qing

    2016-09-19

    By taking advantage of the semantic-syntactic characteristics of Chinese verbs, the current study examined the brain activity of automatic activation of syntactic features at the single word level. Both syntactic (transitivity) and semantic (integrity) features of the verb were manipulated. Event-related potentials were measured while subjects performed lexical decision tasks on visually presented verbs at the single word level. The results showed that there was a significant transitivity effect in both lateral and midline areas for the 150-200ms time window (N200 effect), indicating the retrieval of the syntactic feature. There was also a significant syntactic-semantic interaction at the late stage of verb processing (N400 effect) in the midline central-parietal region, reflecting syntactic influences on semantic processing. These findings suggest that transitivity is an integral part of the mental representation of Chinese verbs and such information can be retrieved at the early stage of single verb processing and can influence subsequent semantic integration. These results also reveal the special features of Chinese language processing.

  7. Cryo-EM structure of the activated NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome reveals nucleated polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liman; Chen, Shuobing; Ruan, Jianbin; Wu, Jiayi; Tong, Alexander B.; Yin, Qian; Li, Yang; David, Liron; Lu, Alvin; Wang, Wei Li; Marks, Carolyn; Ouyang, Qi; Zhang, Xinzheng; Mao, Youdong; Wu, Hao

    2015-01-01

    The NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) bind conserved bacterial ligands, such as the bacterial rod protein PrgJ, and recruit NLR family CARD-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) as the inflammasome adapter to activate innate immunity. We found that the PrgJ-NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome is assembled into multisubunit disk-like structures through a unidirectional adenosine triphosphatase polymerization, primed with a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 per disk. Cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction at subnanometer resolution revealed a ~90° hinge rotation accompanying NLRC4 activation. Unlike in the related heptameric Apaf-1 apoptosome, in which each subunit needs to be conformationally activated by its ligand before assembly, a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 initiates NLRC4 polymerization in a domino-like reaction to promote the disk assembly. These insights reveal the mechanism of signal amplification in NAIP-NLRC4 inflammasomes. PMID:26449474

  8. Cryo-EM structure of the activated NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome reveals nucleated polymerization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liman; Chen, Shuobing; Ruan, Jianbin; Wu, Jiayi; Tong, Alexander B; Yin, Qian; Li, Yang; David, Liron; Lu, Alvin; Wang, Wei Li; Marks, Carolyn; Ouyang, Qi; Zhang, Xinzheng; Mao, Youdong; Wu, Hao

    2015-10-23

    The NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) bind conserved bacterial ligands, such as the bacterial rod protein PrgJ, and recruit NLR family CARD-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) as the inflammasome adapter to activate innate immunity. We found that the PrgJ-NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome is assembled into multisubunit disk-like structures through a unidirectional adenosine triphosphatase polymerization, primed with a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 per disk. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction at subnanometer resolution revealed a ~90° hinge rotation accompanying NLRC4 activation. Unlike in the related heptameric Apaf-1 apoptosome, in which each subunit needs to be conformationally activated by its ligand before assembly, a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 initiates NLRC4 polymerization in a domino-like reaction to promote the disk assembly. These insights reveal the mechanism of signal amplification in NAIP-NLRC4 inflammasomes. PMID:26449474

  9. Patterns of Activity Revealed by a Time Lag Analysis of a Model Active Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradshaw, Stephen; Viall, Nicholeen

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the global activity patterns predicted from a model active region heated by distributions of nanoflares that have a range of average frequencies. The activity patterns are manifested in time lag maps of narrow-band instrument channel pairs. We combine an extrapolated magnetic skeleton with hydrodynamic and forward modeling codes to create a model active region, and apply the time lag method to synthetic observations. Our aim is to recover some typical properties and patterns of activity observed in active regions. Our key findings are: 1. Cooling dominates the time lag signature and the time lags between the channel pairs are generally consistent with observed values. 2. Shorter coronal loops in the core cool more quickly than longer loops at the periphery. 3. All channel pairs show zero time lag when the line-of-sight passes through coronal loop foot-points. 4. There is strong evidence that plasma must be re-energized on a time scale comparable to the cooling timescale to reproduce the observed coronal activity, but it is likely that a relatively broad spectrum of heating frequencies operates across active regions. 5. Due to their highly dynamic nature, we find nanoflare trains produce zero time lags along entire flux tubes in our model active region that are seen between the same channel pairs in observed active regions.

  10. What Do the California Standards Test Results Reveal about the Movement toward Eighth-Grade Algebra for All?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jian-Hua; Heckman, Paul E.; Abedi, Jamal

    2012-01-01

    In California, an increasing number of 8th graders have taken algebra courses since 2003. This study examines students' California Standards Test (CST) results in grades 7 through 11, aiming to reveal who took the CST for Algebra I in 8th grade and whether the increase has led to a rise in students' taking higher-level mathematics CSTs and an…

  11. A Global Genomic Screening Strategy Reveals Diverse Activators of Constitutive Activated Receptor (CAR)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive survey of conditions that activate CAR in the mouse liver has not been carried out but would be useful in understanding their impact on CAR-dependent liver tumor induction. A gene signature dependent on CAR activation was identified by comparing the transcript pr...

  12. Glycan structure of Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor as revealed by mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Borges, Chad R; Rehder, Douglas S

    2016-09-15

    Disagreement exists regarding the O-glycan structure attached to human vitamin D binding protein (DBP). Previously reported evidence indicated that the O-glycan of the Gc1S allele product is the linear core 1 NeuNAc-Gal-GalNAc-Thr trisaccharide. Here, glycan structural evidence is provided from glycan linkage analysis and over 30 serial glycosidase-digestion experiments which were followed by analysis of the intact protein by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results demonstrate that the O-glycan from the Gc1F protein is the same linear trisaccharide found on the Gc1S protein and that the hexose residue is galactose. In addition, the putative anti-cancer derivative of DBP known as Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF, which is formed by the combined action of β-galactosidase and neuraminidase upon DBP) was analyzed intact by ESI-MS, revealing that the activating E. coli β-galactosidase cleaves nothing from the protein-leaving the glycan structure of active GcMAF as a Gal-GalNAc-Thr disaccharide, regardless of the order in which β-galactosidase and neuraminidase are applied. Moreover, glycosidase digestion results show that α-N-Acetylgalactosamindase (nagalase) lacks endoglycosidic function and only cleaves the DBP O-glycan once it has been trimmed down to a GalNAc-Thr monosaccharide-precluding the possibility of this enzyme removing the O-glycan trisaccharide from cancer-patient DBP in vivo.

  13. Glycan structure of Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor as revealed by mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Borges, Chad R; Rehder, Douglas S

    2016-09-15

    Disagreement exists regarding the O-glycan structure attached to human vitamin D binding protein (DBP). Previously reported evidence indicated that the O-glycan of the Gc1S allele product is the linear core 1 NeuNAc-Gal-GalNAc-Thr trisaccharide. Here, glycan structural evidence is provided from glycan linkage analysis and over 30 serial glycosidase-digestion experiments which were followed by analysis of the intact protein by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Results demonstrate that the O-glycan from the Gc1F protein is the same linear trisaccharide found on the Gc1S protein and that the hexose residue is galactose. In addition, the putative anti-cancer derivative of DBP known as Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF, which is formed by the combined action of β-galactosidase and neuraminidase upon DBP) was analyzed intact by ESI-MS, revealing that the activating E. coli β-galactosidase cleaves nothing from the protein-leaving the glycan structure of active GcMAF as a Gal-GalNAc-Thr disaccharide, regardless of the order in which β-galactosidase and neuraminidase are applied. Moreover, glycosidase digestion results show that α-N-Acetylgalactosamindase (nagalase) lacks endoglycosidic function and only cleaves the DBP O-glycan once it has been trimmed down to a GalNAc-Thr monosaccharide-precluding the possibility of this enzyme removing the O-glycan trisaccharide from cancer-patient DBP in vivo. PMID:27503803

  14. Plasmid metagenome reveals high levels of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile genetic elements in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tong; Zhang, Xu-Xiang; Ye, Lin

    2011-01-01

    The overuse or misuse of antibiotics has accelerated antibiotic resistance, creating a major challenge for the public health in the world. Sewage treatment plants (STPs) are considered as important reservoirs for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and activated sludge characterized with high microbial density and diversity facilitates ARG horizontal gene transfer (HGT) via mobile genetic elements (MGEs). However, little is known regarding the pool of ARGs and MGEs in sludge microbiome. In this study, the transposon aided capture (TRACA) system was employed to isolate novel plasmids from activated sludge of one STP in Hong Kong, China. We also used Illumina Hiseq 2000 high-throughput sequencing and metagenomics analysis to investigate the plasmid metagenome. Two novel plasmids were acquired from the sludge microbiome by using TRACA system and one novel plasmid was identified through metagenomics analysis. Our results revealed high levels of various ARGs as well as MGEs for HGT, including integrons, transposons and plasmids. The application of the TRACA system to isolate novel plasmids from the environmental metagenome, coupled with subsequent high-throughput sequencing and metagenomic analysis, highlighted the prevalence of ARGs and MGEs in microbial community of STPs.

  15. Multitaxon activity profiling reveals differential microbial response to reduced seawater pH and oil pollution.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Francisco J R C; Cleary, Daniel F R; Costa, Rodrigo; Ferreira, Marina; Polónia, Ana R M; Silva, Artur M S; Simões, Mário M Q; Oliveira, Vanessa; Gomes, Newton C M

    2016-09-01

    There is growing concern that predicted changes to global ocean chemistry will interact with anthropogenic pollution to significantly alter marine microbial composition and function. However, knowledge of the compounding effects of climate change stressors and anthropogenic pollution is limited. Here, we used 16S and 18S rRNA (cDNA)-based activity profiling to investigate the differential responses of selected microbial taxa to ocean acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that a lower relative abundance of sulphate-reducing bacteria (Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade) due to an adverse effect of seawater acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination (reduced pH-oil treatment) may be coupled to changes in sediment archaeal communities. In particular, we observed a pronounced compositional shift and marked reduction in the prevalence of otherwise abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to the archaeal Marine Benthic Group B and Marine Hydrothermal Vent Group (MHVG) in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Conversely, the abundance of several putative hydrocarbonoclastic fungal OTUs was higher in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Sediment hydrocarbon profiling, furthermore, revealed higher concentrations of several alkanes in the reduced pH-oil treatment, corroborating the functional implications of the structural changes to microbial community composition. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of the response of a complex microbial community to the interaction between reduced pH and anthropogenic pollution. In future acidified marine environments, oil hydrocarbon contamination may alter the typical mixotrophic and k-/r-strategist composition of surface sediment microbiomes towards a more heterotrophic state with lower doubling rates, thereby impairing the ability of the ecosystem to recover from acute oil contamination events.

  16. Multitaxon activity profiling reveals differential microbial response to reduced seawater pH and oil pollution.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Francisco J R C; Cleary, Daniel F R; Costa, Rodrigo; Ferreira, Marina; Polónia, Ana R M; Silva, Artur M S; Simões, Mário M Q; Oliveira, Vanessa; Gomes, Newton C M

    2016-09-01

    There is growing concern that predicted changes to global ocean chemistry will interact with anthropogenic pollution to significantly alter marine microbial composition and function. However, knowledge of the compounding effects of climate change stressors and anthropogenic pollution is limited. Here, we used 16S and 18S rRNA (cDNA)-based activity profiling to investigate the differential responses of selected microbial taxa to ocean acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination under controlled laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that a lower relative abundance of sulphate-reducing bacteria (Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade) due to an adverse effect of seawater acidification and oil hydrocarbon contamination (reduced pH-oil treatment) may be coupled to changes in sediment archaeal communities. In particular, we observed a pronounced compositional shift and marked reduction in the prevalence of otherwise abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to the archaeal Marine Benthic Group B and Marine Hydrothermal Vent Group (MHVG) in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Conversely, the abundance of several putative hydrocarbonoclastic fungal OTUs was higher in the reduced pH-oil treatment. Sediment hydrocarbon profiling, furthermore, revealed higher concentrations of several alkanes in the reduced pH-oil treatment, corroborating the functional implications of the structural changes to microbial community composition. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of the response of a complex microbial community to the interaction between reduced pH and anthropogenic pollution. In future acidified marine environments, oil hydrocarbon contamination may alter the typical mixotrophic and k-/r-strategist composition of surface sediment microbiomes towards a more heterotrophic state with lower doubling rates, thereby impairing the ability of the ecosystem to recover from acute oil contamination events. PMID:27480881

  17. Active Aging Promotion: Results from the Vital Aging Program

    PubMed Central

    Caprara, Mariagiovanna; Molina, María Ángeles; Schettini, Rocío; Santacreu, Marta; Orosa, Teresa; Mendoza-Núñez, Víctor Manuel; Rojas, Macarena; Fernández-Ballesteros, Rocío

    2013-01-01

    Active aging is one of the terms in the semantic network of aging well, together with others such as successful, productive, competent aging. All allude to the new paradigm in gerontology, whereby aging is considered from a positive perspective. Most authors in the field agree active aging is a multidimensional concept, embracing health, physical and cognitive fitness, positive affect and control, social relationships and engagement. This paper describes Vital Aging, an individual active aging promotion program implemented through three modalities: Life, Multimedia, and e-Learning. The program was developed on the basis of extensive evidence about individual determinants of active aging. The different versions of Vital Aging are described, and four evaluation studies (both formative and summative) are reported. Formative evaluation reflected participants' satisfaction and expected changes; summative evaluations yielded some quite encouraging results using quasi-experimental designs: those who took part in the programs increased their physical exercise, significantly improved their diet, reported better memory, had better emotional balance, and enjoyed more cultural, intellectual, affective, and social activities than they did before the course, thus increasing their social relationships. These results are discussed in the context of the common literature within the field and, also, taking into account the limitations of the evaluations accomplished. PMID:23476644

  18. Characterization of the Biocontrol Activity of Pseudomonas fluorescens Strain X Reveals Novel Genes Regulated by Glucose

    PubMed Central

    Kremmydas, Gerasimos F.; Tampakaki, Anastasia P.; Georgakopoulos, Dimitrios G.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens strain X, a bacterial isolate from the rhizosphere of bean seedlings, has the ability to suppress damping-off caused by the oomycete Pythium ultimum. To determine the genes controlling the biocontrol activity of strain X, transposon mutagenesis, sequencing and complementation was performed. Results indicate that, biocontrol ability of this isolate is attributed to gcd gene encoding glucose dehydrogenase, genes encoding its co-enzyme pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), and two genes (sup5 and sup6) which seem to be organized in a putative operon. This operon (named supX) consists of five genes, one of which encodes a non-ribosomal peptide synthase. A unique binding site for a GntR-type transcriptional factor is localized upstream of the supX putative operon. Synteny comparison of the genes in supX revealed that they are common in the genus Pseudomonas, but with a low degree of similarity. supX shows high similarity only to the mangotoxin operon of Ps. syringae pv. syringae UMAF0158. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that transcription of supX is strongly reduced in the gcd and PQQ-minus mutants of Ps. fluorescens strain X. On the contrary, transcription of supX in the wild type is enhanced by glucose and transcription levels that appear to be higher during the stationary phase. Gcd, which uses PQQ as a cofactor, catalyses the oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid, which controls the activity of the GntR family of transcriptional factors. The genes in the supX putative operon have not been implicated before in the biocontrol of plant pathogens by pseudomonads. They are involved in the biosynthesis of an antimicrobial compound by Ps. fluorescens strain X and their transcription is controlled by glucose, possibly through the activity of a GntR-type transcriptional factor binding upstream of this putative operon. PMID:23596526

  19. Characterization of the biocontrol activity of pseudomonas fluorescens strain X reveals novel genes regulated by glucose.

    PubMed

    Kremmydas, Gerasimos F; Tampakaki, Anastasia P; Georgakopoulos, Dimitrios G

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens strain X, a bacterial isolate from the rhizosphere of bean seedlings, has the ability to suppress damping-off caused by the oomycete Pythium ultimum. To determine the genes controlling the biocontrol activity of strain X, transposon mutagenesis, sequencing and complementation was performed. Results indicate that, biocontrol ability of this isolate is attributed to gcd gene encoding glucose dehydrogenase, genes encoding its co-enzyme pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), and two genes (sup5 and sup6) which seem to be organized in a putative operon. This operon (named supX) consists of five genes, one of which encodes a non-ribosomal peptide synthase. A unique binding site for a GntR-type transcriptional factor is localized upstream of the supX putative operon. Synteny comparison of the genes in supX revealed that they are common in the genus Pseudomonas, but with a low degree of similarity. supX shows high similarity only to the mangotoxin operon of Ps. syringae pv. syringae UMAF0158. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that transcription of supX is strongly reduced in the gcd and PQQ-minus mutants of Ps. fluorescens strain X. On the contrary, transcription of supX in the wild type is enhanced by glucose and transcription levels that appear to be higher during the stationary phase. Gcd, which uses PQQ as a cofactor, catalyses the oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid, which controls the activity of the GntR family of transcriptional factors. The genes in the supX putative operon have not been implicated before in the biocontrol of plant pathogens by pseudomonads. They are involved in the biosynthesis of an antimicrobial compound by Ps. fluorescens strain X and their transcription is controlled by glucose, possibly through the activity of a GntR-type transcriptional factor binding upstream of this putative operon.

  20. Energy Landscape Topography Reveals the Underlying Link Between Binding Specificity and Activity of Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Enzyme activity (often quantified by kcat/Km) is the main function of enzyme when it is active against the specific substrate. Higher or lower activities are highly desired for the design of novel enzyme and drug resistance. However, it is difficult to measure the activities of all possible variants and find the “hot-spot” within the limit of experimental time. In this study, we explore the underlying energy landscape of enzyme-substrate interactions and introduce the intrinsic specificity ratio (ISR), which reflects the landscape topography. By studying two concrete systems, we uncover the statistical correlation between the intrinsic specificity and the enzyme activity kcat/Km. This physics-based concept and method show that the energy landscape topography is valuable for understanding the relationship between enzyme specificity and activity. In addition, it can reveal the underlying mechanism of enzyme-substrate actions and has potential applications on enzyme design. PMID:27298067

  1. Energy Landscape Topography Reveals the Underlying Link Between Binding Specificity and Activity of Enzymes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Wen-Ting; Wang, Jin

    2016-06-01

    Enzyme activity (often quantified by kcat/Km) is the main function of enzyme when it is active against the specific substrate. Higher or lower activities are highly desired for the design of novel enzyme and drug resistance. However, it is difficult to measure the activities of all possible variants and find the “hot-spot” within the limit of experimental time. In this study, we explore the underlying energy landscape of enzyme-substrate interactions and introduce the intrinsic specificity ratio (ISR), which reflects the landscape topography. By studying two concrete systems, we uncover the statistical correlation between the intrinsic specificity and the enzyme activity kcat/Km. This physics-based concept and method show that the energy landscape topography is valuable for understanding the relationship between enzyme specificity and activity. In addition, it can reveal the underlying mechanism of enzyme-substrate actions and has potential applications on enzyme design.

  2. CoRoT Reveals a Magnetic Activity Cycle in a Sun-Like Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Rafael A.; Mathur, Savita; Salabert, David; Ballot, Jérôme; Régulo, Clara; Metcalfe, Travis S.; Baglin, Annie

    2010-08-01

    The 11-year activity cycle of the Sun is a consequence of a dynamo process occurring beneath its surface. We analyzed photometric data obtained by the CoRoT space mission, showing solarlike oscillations in the star HD49933, for signatures of stellar magnetic activity. Asteroseismic measurements of global changes in the oscillation frequencies and mode amplitudes reveal a modulation of at least 120 days, with the minimum frequency shift corresponding to maximum amplitude as in the Sun. These observations are evidence of a stellar magnetic activity cycle taking place beneath the surface of HD49933 and provide constraints for stellar dynamo models under conditions different from those of the Sun.

  3. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and single cell genomics reveal functional response of active Oceanospirillales to Gulf oil spill

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Borglin, Sharon; Chain, Patrick S. G.; Dubinsky, Eric A.; Fortney, Julian L.; Han, James; Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; Hultman, Jenni; Lamendella, Regina; Mackelprang, Rachel; Malfatti, Stephanie; Tom, Lauren M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Woyke, Tanja; Zhou, Jizhong; Rubin, Edward M.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2012-06-12

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a deep-sea hydrocarbon plume that caused a shift in the indigenous microbial community composition with unknown ecological consequences. Early in the spill history, a bloom of uncultured, thus uncharacterized, members of the Oceanospirillales was previously detected, but their role in oil disposition was unknown. Here our aim was to determine the functional role of the Oceanospirillales and other active members of the indigenous microbial community using deep sequencing of community DNA and RNA, as well as single-cell genomics. Shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing revealed that genes for motility, chemotaxis and aliphatic hydrocarbon degradation were significantly enriched and expressed in the hydrocarbon plume samples compared with uncontaminated seawater collected from plume depth. In contrast, although genes coding for degradation of more recalcitrant compounds, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were identified in the metagenomes, they were expressed at low levels, or not at all based on analysis of the metatranscriptomes. Isolation and sequencing of two Oceanospirillales single cells revealed that both cells possessed genes coding for n-alkane and cycloalkane degradation. Specifically, the near-complete pathway for cyclohexane oxidation in the Oceanospirillales single cells was elucidated and supported by both metagenome and metatranscriptome data. The draft genome also included genes for chemotaxis, motility and nutrient acquisition strategies that were also identified in the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes. These data point towards a rapid response of members of the Oceanospirillales to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the deep sea.

  4. First Results of the TIGRE Chromospheric Activity Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittag, M.; Hempelmann, A.; Gonzalez-Perez, J. N.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.

    2015-01-01

    We present the first results of the stellar activity survey with TIGRE (Telescopio Internacional de Guanajuato, Robótico-Espectroscópico). This long term program was started in August 2013 with the monitoring of a larger number of stars. We aim at measuring the short- and long-term variability of stellar activity for stars of different spectral types and luminosity classes, using indicators of different spectral lines (mainly Ca II S-Index, Ca II IR triplet, H_α and sodium D). A transformation equation of the TIGRE S-Index into the Mount Wilson S-index was derived in order to compare our results to the vast body of existing S-index measurements. Furthermore, the correlation between the S-index and the lines of the Ca II IR triplet has been studied, based on strictly simultaneous observations.

  5. Nuclear RNA-seq of single neurons reveals molecular signatures of activation

    PubMed Central

    Lacar, Benjamin; Linker, Sara B.; Jaeger, Baptiste N.; Krishnaswami, Suguna; Barron, Jerika; Kelder, Martijn; Parylak, Sarah; Paquola, Apuã; Venepally, Pratap; Novotny, Mark; O'Connor, Carolyn; Fitzpatrick, Conor; Erwin, Jennifer; Hsu, Jonathan Y.; Husband, David; McConnell, Michael J.; Lasken, Roger; Gage, Fred H.

    2016-01-01

    Single-cell sequencing methods have emerged as powerful tools for identification of heterogeneous cell types within defined brain regions. Application of single-cell techniques to study the transcriptome of activated neurons can offer insight into molecular dynamics associated with differential neuronal responses to a given experience. Through evaluation of common whole-cell and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) methods, here we show that snRNA-seq faithfully recapitulates transcriptional patterns associated with experience-driven induction of activity, including immediate early genes (IEGs) such as Fos, Arc and Egr1. SnRNA-seq of mouse dentate granule cells reveals large-scale changes in the activated neuronal transcriptome after brief novel environment exposure, including induction of MAPK pathway genes. In addition, we observe a continuum of activation states, revealing a pseudotemporal pattern of activation from gene expression alone. In summary, snRNA-seq of activated neurons enables the examination of gene expression beyond IEGs, allowing for novel insights into neuronal activation patterns in vivo. PMID:27090946

  6. Nuclear RNA-seq of single neurons reveals molecular signatures of activation.

    PubMed

    Lacar, Benjamin; Linker, Sara B; Jaeger, Baptiste N; Krishnaswami, Suguna; Barron, Jerika; Kelder, Martijn; Parylak, Sarah; Paquola, Apuã; Venepally, Pratap; Novotny, Mark; O'Connor, Carolyn; Fitzpatrick, Conor; Erwin, Jennifer; Hsu, Jonathan Y; Husband, David; McConnell, Michael J; Lasken, Roger; Gage, Fred H

    2016-01-01

    Single-cell sequencing methods have emerged as powerful tools for identification of heterogeneous cell types within defined brain regions. Application of single-cell techniques to study the transcriptome of activated neurons can offer insight into molecular dynamics associated with differential neuronal responses to a given experience. Through evaluation of common whole-cell and single-nuclei RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) methods, here we show that snRNA-seq faithfully recapitulates transcriptional patterns associated with experience-driven induction of activity, including immediate early genes (IEGs) such as Fos, Arc and Egr1. SnRNA-seq of mouse dentate granule cells reveals large-scale changes in the activated neuronal transcriptome after brief novel environment exposure, including induction of MAPK pathway genes. In addition, we observe a continuum of activation states, revealing a pseudotemporal pattern of activation from gene expression alone. In summary, snRNA-seq of activated neurons enables the examination of gene expression beyond IEGs, allowing for novel insights into neuronal activation patterns in vivo. PMID:27090946

  7. Human Ebola virus infection results in substantial immune activation.

    PubMed

    McElroy, Anita K; Akondy, Rama S; Davis, Carl W; Ellebedy, Ali H; Mehta, Aneesh K; Kraft, Colleen S; Lyon, G Marshall; Ribner, Bruce S; Varkey, Jay; Sidney, John; Sette, Alessandro; Campbell, Shelley; Ströher, Ute; Damon, Inger; Nichol, Stuart T; Spiropoulou, Christina F; Ahmed, Rafi

    2015-04-14

    Four Ebola patients received care at Emory University Hospital, presenting a unique opportunity to examine the cellular immune responses during acute Ebola virus infection. We found striking activation of both B and T cells in all four patients. Plasmablast frequencies were 10-50% of B cells, compared with less than 1% in healthy individuals. Many of these proliferating plasmablasts were IgG-positive, and this finding coincided with the presence of Ebola virus-specific IgG in the serum. Activated CD4 T cells ranged from 5 to 30%, compared with 1-2% in healthy controls. The most pronounced responses were seen in CD8 T cells, with over 50% of the CD8 T cells expressing markers of activation and proliferation. Taken together, these results suggest that all four patients developed robust immune responses during the acute phase of Ebola virus infection, a finding that would not have been predicted based on our current assumptions about the highly immunosuppressive nature of Ebola virus. Also, quite surprisingly, we found sustained immune activation after the virus was cleared from the plasma, observed most strikingly in the persistence of activated CD8 T cells, even 1 mo after the patients' discharge from the hospital. These results suggest continued antigen stimulation after resolution of the disease. From these convalescent time points, we identified CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses to several Ebola virus proteins, most notably the viral nucleoprotein. Knowledge of the viral proteins targeted by T cells during natural infection should be useful in designing vaccines against Ebola virus. PMID:25775592

  8. Human Ebola virus infection results in substantial immune activation.

    PubMed

    McElroy, Anita K; Akondy, Rama S; Davis, Carl W; Ellebedy, Ali H; Mehta, Aneesh K; Kraft, Colleen S; Lyon, G Marshall; Ribner, Bruce S; Varkey, Jay; Sidney, John; Sette, Alessandro; Campbell, Shelley; Ströher, Ute; Damon, Inger; Nichol, Stuart T; Spiropoulou, Christina F; Ahmed, Rafi

    2015-04-14

    Four Ebola patients received care at Emory University Hospital, presenting a unique opportunity to examine the cellular immune responses during acute Ebola virus infection. We found striking activation of both B and T cells in all four patients. Plasmablast frequencies were 10-50% of B cells, compared with less than 1% in healthy individuals. Many of these proliferating plasmablasts were IgG-positive, and this finding coincided with the presence of Ebola virus-specific IgG in the serum. Activated CD4 T cells ranged from 5 to 30%, compared with 1-2% in healthy controls. The most pronounced responses were seen in CD8 T cells, with over 50% of the CD8 T cells expressing markers of activation and proliferation. Taken together, these results suggest that all four patients developed robust immune responses during the acute phase of Ebola virus infection, a finding that would not have been predicted based on our current assumptions about the highly immunosuppressive nature of Ebola virus. Also, quite surprisingly, we found sustained immune activation after the virus was cleared from the plasma, observed most strikingly in the persistence of activated CD8 T cells, even 1 mo after the patients' discharge from the hospital. These results suggest continued antigen stimulation after resolution of the disease. From these convalescent time points, we identified CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses to several Ebola virus proteins, most notably the viral nucleoprotein. Knowledge of the viral proteins targeted by T cells during natural infection should be useful in designing vaccines against Ebola virus.

  9. Functional Screening of Hydrolytic Activities Reveals an Extremely Thermostable Cellulase from a Deep-Sea Archaeon

    PubMed Central

    Leis, Benedikt; Heinze, Simon; Angelov, Angel; Pham, Vu Thuy Trang; Thürmer, Andrea; Jebbar, Mohamed; Golyshin, Peter N.; Streit, Wolfgang R.; Daniel, Rolf; Liebl, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Extreme habitats serve as a source of enzymes that are active under extreme conditions and are candidates for industrial applications. In this work, six large-insert mixed genomic libraries were screened for hydrolase activities in a broad temperature range (8–70°C). Among a variety of hydrolytic activities, one fosmid clone, derived from a library of pooled isolates of hyperthermophilic archaea from deep sea vents, displayed hydrolytic activity on carboxymethyl cellulose substrate plates at 70°C but not at lower temperatures. Sequence analysis of the fosmid insert revealed a gene encoding a novel glycoside hydrolase family 12 (GHF12) endo-1,4-β-glucanase, termed Cel12E. The enzyme shares 45% sequence identity with a protein from the archaeon Thermococcus sp. AM4 and displays a unique multidomain architecture. Biochemical characterization of Cel12E revealed a remarkably thermostable protein, which appears to be of archaeal origin. The enzyme displayed maximum activity at 92°C and was active on a variety of linear 1,4-β-glucans like carboxymethyl cellulose, β-glucan, lichenan, and phosphoric acid swollen cellulose. The protein is able to bind to various insoluble β-glucans. Product pattern analysis indicated that Cel12E is an endo-cleaving β-glucanase. Cel12E expands the toolbox of hyperthermostable archaeal cellulases with biotechnological potential. PMID:26191525

  10. Detailed investigation of the microbial community in foaming activated sludge reveals novel foam formers

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, T.

    2015-01-01

    Foaming of activated sludge (AS) causes adverse impacts on wastewater treatment operation and hygiene. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of foam, foaming AS and non-foaming AS in a sewage treatment plant via deep-sequencing of the taxonomic marker genes 16S rRNA and mycobacterial rpoB and a metagenomic approach. In addition to Actinobacteria, many genera (e.g., Clostridium XI, Arcobacter, Flavobacterium) were more abundant in the foam than in the AS. On the other hand, deep-sequencing of rpoB did not detect any obligate pathogenic mycobacteria in the foam. We found that unknown factors other than the abundance of Gordonia sp. could determine the foaming process, because abundance of the same species was stable before and after a foaming event over six months. More interestingly, although the dominant Gordonia foam former was the closest with G. amarae, it was identified as an undescribed Gordonia species by referring to the 16S rRNA gene, gyrB and, most convincingly, the reconstructed draft genome from metagenomic reads. Our results, based on metagenomics and deep sequencing, reveal that foams are derived from diverse taxa, which expands previous understanding and provides new insight into the underlying complications of the foaming phenomenon in AS. PMID:25560234

  11. Pluripotent stem cells reveal erythroid-specific activities of the GATA1 N-terminus

    PubMed Central

    Byrska-Bishop, Marta; VanDorn, Daniel; Campbell, Amy E.; Betensky, Marisol; Arca, Philip R.; Yao, Yu; Gadue, Paul; Costa, Fernando F.; Nemiroff, Richard L.; Blobel, Gerd A.; French, Deborah L.; Hardison, Ross C.; Weiss, Mitchell J.; Chou, Stella T.

    2015-01-01

    Germline GATA1 mutations that result in the production of an amino-truncated protein termed GATA1s (where s indicates short) cause congenital hypoplastic anemia. In patients with trisomy 21, similar somatic GATA1s-producing mutations promote transient myeloproliferative disease and acute megakaryoblastic leukemia. Here, we demonstrate that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with GATA1-truncating mutations exhibit impaired erythroid potential, but enhanced megakaryopoiesis and myelopoiesis, recapitulating the major phenotypes of the associated diseases. Similarly, in developmentally arrested GATA1-deficient murine megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors derived from murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs), expression of GATA1s promoted megakaryopoiesis, but not erythropoiesis. Transcriptome analysis revealed a selective deficiency in the ability of GATA1s to activate erythroid-specific genes within populations of hematopoietic progenitors. Although its DNA-binding domain was intact, chromatin immunoprecipitation studies showed that GATA1s binding at specific erythroid regulatory regions was impaired, while binding at many nonerythroid sites, including megakaryocytic and myeloid target genes, was normal. Together, these observations indicate that lineage-specific GATA1 cofactor associations are essential for normal chromatin occupancy and provide mechanistic insights into how GATA1s mutations cause human disease. More broadly, our studies underscore the value of ESCs and iPSCs to recapitulate and study disease phenotypes. PMID:25621499

  12. The anti-obesity drug orlistat reveals anti-viral activity.

    PubMed

    Ammer, Elisabeth; Nietzsche, Sandor; Rien, Christian; Kühnl, Alexander; Mader, Theresa; Heller, Regine; Sauerbrei, Andreas; Henke, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    The administration of drugs to inhibit metabolic pathways not only reduces the risk of obesity-induced diseases in humans but may also hamper the replication of different viral pathogens. In order to investigate the value of the US Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-obesity drug orlistat in view of its anti-viral activity against different human-pathogenic viruses, several anti-viral studies, electron microscopy analyses as well as fatty acid uptake experiments were performed. The results indicate that administrations of non-cytotoxic concentrations of orlistat reduced the replication of coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) in different cell types significantly. Moreover, orlistat revealed cell protective effects and modified the formation of multi-layered structures in CVB3-infected cells, which are necessary for viral replication. Lowering fatty acid uptake from the extracellular environment by phloretin administrations had only marginal impact on CVB3 replication. Finally, orlistat reduced also the replication of varicella-zoster virus moderately but had no significant influence on the replication of influenza A viruses. The data support further experiments into the value of orlistat as an inhibitor of the fatty acid synthase to develop new anti-viral compounds, which are based on the modulation of cellular metabolic pathways.

  13. Metagenomic analysis reveals the prevalence of biodegradation genes for organic pollutants in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Fang, Hua; Cai, Lin; Yu, Yunlong; Zhang, Tong

    2013-02-01

    The abundance, diversity, and distribution of biodegradation genes (BDGs) and phenol degradation genes (PDGs) in activated sludge (AS) from two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) at different sampling times were assessed by metagenomic analysis using a total of 15 datasets derived from Illumina high-throughput sequencing and BLAST comparisons to BDGs and PDGs databases. The results showed that the abundance (0.015-0.030%) and diversity of BDGs in AS varied with the WWTP and the sampling times. The p450 and pmo genes were the most abundant genes in the BDGs and PDGs subgroups, respectively. MG-RAST analysis revealed that 87 detected bacterial genera potentially capable of degrading pollutants were mostly affiliated with Proteobacteria (59.8%), Bacteroidetes (17.2%), and Actinobacteria (9.2%). Mycobacterium, belonging to Actinobacteria, was found to be the most abundant genus (23.4%). This method could be used to monitor an AS's biodegradation ability for organic pollutants and to evaluate its wastewater treatment efficiency.

  14. Detailed investigation of the microbial community in foaming activated sludge reveals novel foam formers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, T.

    2015-01-01

    Foaming of activated sludge (AS) causes adverse impacts on wastewater treatment operation and hygiene. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities of foam, foaming AS and non-foaming AS in a sewage treatment plant via deep-sequencing of the taxonomic marker genes 16S rRNA and mycobacterial rpoB and a metagenomic approach. In addition to Actinobacteria, many genera (e.g., Clostridium XI, Arcobacter, Flavobacterium) were more abundant in the foam than in the AS. On the other hand, deep-sequencing of rpoB did not detect any obligate pathogenic mycobacteria in the foam. We found that unknown factors other than the abundance of Gordonia sp. could determine the foaming process, because abundance of the same species was stable before and after a foaming event over six months. More interestingly, although the dominant Gordonia foam former was the closest with G. amarae, it was identified as an undescribed Gordonia species by referring to the 16S rRNA gene, gyrB and, most convincingly, the reconstructed draft genome from metagenomic reads. Our results, based on metagenomics and deep sequencing, reveal that foams are derived from diverse taxa, which expands previous understanding and provides new insight into the underlying complications of the foaming phenomenon in AS.

  15. Revealing a new activity of the human Dicer DUF283 domain in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kurzynska-Kokorniak, Anna; Pokornowska, Maria; Koralewska, Natalia; Hoffmann, Weronika; Bienkowska-Szewczyk, Krystyna; Figlerowicz, Marek

    2016-01-01

    The ribonuclease Dicer is a multidomain enzyme that plays a fundamental role in the biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs (srRNAs), which control gene expression by targeting complementary transcripts and inducing their cleavage or repressing their translation. Recent studies of Dicer's domains have permitted to propose their roles in srRNA biogenesis. For all of Dicer's domains except one, called DUF283 (domain of unknown function), their involvement in RNA substrate recognition, binding or cleavage has been postulated. For DUF283, the interaction with Dicer's protein partners has been the only function suggested thus far. In this report, we demonstrate that the isolated DUF283 domain from human Dicer is capable of binding single-stranded nucleic acids in vitro. We also show that DUF283 can act as a nucleic acid annealer that accelerates base-pairing between complementary RNA/DNA molecules in vitro. We further demonstrate an annealing activity of full length human Dicer. The overall results suggest that Dicer, presumably through its DUF283 domain, might facilitate hybridization between short RNAs and their targets. The presented findings reveal the complex nature of Dicer, whose functions may extend beyond the biogenesis of srRNAs. PMID:27045313

  16. Metabolomics Reveals that Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation by Environmental Chemicals Induces Systemic Metabolic Dysfunction in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Limin; Hatzakis, Emmanuel; Nichols, Robert G.; Hao, Ruixin; Correll, Jared; Smith, Philip B.; Chiaro, Christopher R.; Perdew, Gary H.; Patterson, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds poses a significant health risk for human health. Developing a better understanding of the mechanisms of toxicity through activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is likely to improve the reliability of risk assessment. In this study, the AHR-dependent metabolic response of mice exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) were assessed using global 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics and targeted metabolic profiling of extracts obtained from serum and liver. 1H NMR analyses revealed that TCDF exposure suppressed gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, stimulated lipogenesis, and triggered inflammatory gene expression in an Ahr-dependent manner. Targeted analyses using gas chromatography mass spectrometry showed TCDF treatment altered the ratio of unsaturated/saturated fatty acids. Consistent with this observation, an increase in hepatic expression of stearoyl coenzyme A desaturase 1 was also observed. In addition, TCDF exposure resulted in inhibition of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis manifested by down-regulation of acetyl-CoA, malonyl-CoA and palmitoyl-CoA metabolites and related mRNA levels. In contrast, no significant changes in the levels of glucose and lipid were observed in serum and liver obtained from Ahr-null mice following TCDF treatment, thus strongly supporting the important role of the AHR in mediating the metabolic effects seen following TCDF exposure. PMID:26023891

  17. Summary of the Results of STIS SMOV4 Calibration Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proffitt, Charles R.; Aloisi, Alessandra; Bohlin, Ralph; Cox, Colin, Goudfrooij, Paul; Gull, Thodore, R.; Kaiser, Mary Beth; Lallo, Matt; Lennon, Daniel J.; Lindler, Don J.; Makidon, Russ; Niemi, Sami-Matias; Serrano, Beverly; Wheeler, Thomas; Wolfe, Michael E.; Serrano, Beverly; Woodgate, Bruce; Zheng, Wei

    2014-01-01

    After HST Servicing Mission 4 (SM4), there was a period of Science Mission Observatory Verification (SMOV4), to check out the new and repaired instruments. Here we summarize the execution and results of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) SMOV 4 activities undertaken to ensure that the repaired STIS instrument was ready to carry out its scheduled science program after a nearly five year hiatus in operation. The results of the initial aliveness and functional tests are reviewed, anomalies that aff ected the execution of the STIS SMOV plan are discussed, and the results of each STIS SMOV activity executed are summarized. In most respects the performance of STIS after the SM4 repair is very similar to that seen prior to the 2004 failure. Notable chang es include a significant and unexpected enhancement of the NUV MAMA dark rate that has been declining only very slowly, and continued degradation of the CCD performance due to radiation damage. Post - repair throughputs of most modes are close to expectation s based on extrapolation of previous trends.

  18. Structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin reveals a putative mechanism of conformational activation for protease entrapment.

    PubMed

    Fyfe, Cameron D; Grinter, Rhys; Josts, Inokentijs; Mosbahi, Khedidja; Roszak, Aleksander W; Cogdell, Richard J; Wall, Daniel M; Burchmore, Richard J S; Byron, Olwyn; Walker, Daniel

    2015-07-01

    Bacterial α-2-macroglobulins have been suggested to function in defence as broad-spectrum inhibitors of host proteases that breach the outer membrane. Here, the X-ray structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. In this competitive mechanism, protease cleavage of the bait-region domain results in the untethering of an intrinsically disordered region of this domain which disrupts native interdomain interactions that maintain E. coli α-2-macroglobulin in the inactivated form. The resulting global conformational change results in entrapment of the protease and activation of the thioester bond that covalently links to the attacking protease. Owing to the similarity in structure and domain architecture of Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin and human α-2-macroglobulin, this protease-activation mechanism is likely to operate across the diverse members of this group.

  19. Structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin reveals a putative mechanism of conformational activation for protease entrapment

    PubMed Central

    Fyfe, Cameron D.; Grinter, Rhys; Josts, Inokentijs; Mosbahi, Khedidja; Roszak, Aleksander W.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Wall, Daniel M.; Burchmore, Richard J. S.; Byron, Olwyn; Walker, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial α-2-macroglobulins have been suggested to function in defence as broad-spectrum inhibitors of host proteases that breach the outer membrane. Here, the X-ray structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. In this competitive mechanism, protease cleavage of the bait-region domain results in the untethering of an intrinsically disordered region of this domain which disrupts native interdomain interactions that maintain E. coli α-2-macroglobulin in the inactivated form. The resulting global conformational change results in entrapment of the protease and activation of the thioester bond that covalently links to the attacking protease. Owing to the similarity in structure and domain architecture of Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin and human α-2-macro­globulin, this protease-activation mechanism is likely to operate across the diverse members of this group. PMID:26143919

  20. Activities Contributing to Total Energy Expenditure in the United States: Results from the NHAPS Study

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Linda; Block, Gladys; Mandel, Shelly

    2004-01-01

    Background Physical activity is increasingly recognized as an important factor influencing health and disease status. Total energy expenditure, both low-intensity and high-intensity, contributes to maintenance of healthy body weight. This paper presents the results of a quantitative approach to determining the activities that contribute to total energy expenditure in the United States. Methods Data from the National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS) were used. In 1992–1994 the NHAPS sampled 4,185 females and 3,330 males, aged 18 years and over, weighted to be representative of the 48 contiguous United States. A detailed report of each activity performed in the previous 24 hours was obtained. A score was created for each activity, by multiplying duration and intensity for each individual and summing across individuals. This score was then used to rank each activity according to its contribution to total population energy expenditure, for the total sample and separately for each gender, race, age, region, and season. Results This analysis reveals our society to be primarily sedentary; leisure time physical activity contributed only approximately 5% of the population's total energy expenditure. Not counting sleeping, the largest contributor to energy expenditure was "Driving a car", followed by "Office work" and "Watching TV". Household activities accounted for 20.1% and 33.3% of energy expenditure for males and females respectively. Conclusion The information presented in this paper may be useful in identifying common activities that could be appropriate targets for behavioral interventions to increase physical activity. PMID:15169563

  1. Single molecule analysis reveals reversible and irreversible steps during spliceosome activation

    PubMed Central

    Hoskins, Aaron A; Rodgers, Margaret L; Friedman, Larry J; Gelles, Jeff; Moore, Melissa J

    2016-01-01

    The spliceosome is a complex machine composed of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and accessory proteins that excises introns from pre-mRNAs. After assembly the spliceosome is activated for catalysis by rearrangement of subunits to form an active site. How this rearrangement is coordinated is not well-understood. During activation, U4 must be released to allow U6 conformational change, while Prp19 complex (NTC) recruitment is essential for stabilizing the active site. We used multi-wavelength colocalization single molecule spectroscopy to directly observe the key events in Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosome activation. Following binding of the U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP, the spliceosome either reverses assembly by discarding tri-snRNP or proceeds to activation by irreversible U4 loss. The major pathway for NTC recruitment occurs after U4 release. ATP stimulates both the competing U4 release and tri-snRNP discard processes. The data reveal the activation mechanism and show that overall splicing efficiency may be maintained through repeated rounds of disassembly and tri-snRNP reassociation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14166.001 PMID:27244240

  2. 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.

  3. Io's Diverse Styles of Volcanic Activity: Results from Galileo NIMS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lopes, R. M. C.; Smythe, W. D.; Kamp, L. W.; Doute, S.; Carlson, R.; McEwen, A.; Geissler, P.

    2001-01-01

    Observations by Galileo's Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer were used to map the thermal structure of several of Io's hot spots, revealing different styles of volcanism Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract..

  4. Structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin reveals a putative mechanism of conformational activation for protease entrapment

    SciTech Connect

    Fyfe, Cameron D.; Grinter, Rhys; Josts, Inokentijs; Mosbahi, Khedidja; Roszak, Aleksander W.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Wall, Daniel M.; Burchmore, Richard J. S.; Byron, Olwyn; Walker, Daniel

    2015-06-30

    The X-ray structure of protease-cleaved E. coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. Bacterial α-2-macroglobulins have been suggested to function in defence as broad-spectrum inhibitors of host proteases that breach the outer membrane. Here, the X-ray structure of protease-cleaved Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin is described, which reveals a putative mechanism of activation and conformational change essential for protease inhibition. In this competitive mechanism, protease cleavage of the bait-region domain results in the untethering of an intrinsically disordered region of this domain which disrupts native interdomain interactions that maintain E. coli α-2-macroglobulin in the inactivated form. The resulting global conformational change results in entrapment of the protease and activation of the thioester bond that covalently links to the attacking protease. Owing to the similarity in structure and domain architecture of Escherichia coli α-2-macroglobulin and human α-2-macroglobulin, this protease-activation mechanism is likely to operate across the diverse members of this group.

  5. Magnetoencephalography reveals early activation of V4 in grapheme-color synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Brang, D; Hubbard, E M; Coulson, S; Huang, M; Ramachandran, V S

    2010-10-15

    Grapheme-color synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which letters and numbers (graphemes) consistently evoke particular colors (e.g. A may be experienced as red). The cross-activation theory proposes that synesthesia arises as a result of cross-activation between posterior temporal grapheme areas (PTGA) and color processing area V4, while the disinhibited feedback theory proposes that synesthesia arises from disinhibition of pre-existing feedback connections. Here we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to test whether V4 and PTGA activate nearly simultaneously, as predicted by the cross-activation theory, or whether V4 activation occurs only after the initial stages of grapheme processing, as predicted by the disinhibited feedback theory. Using our high-resolution MEG source imaging technique (VESTAL), PTGA and V4 regions of interest (ROIs) were separately defined, and activity in response to the presentation of achromatic graphemes was measured. Activation levels in PTGA did not significantly differ between synesthetes and controls (suggesting similar grapheme processing mechanisms), whereas activation in V4 was significantly greater in synesthetes. In synesthetes, PTGA activation exceeded baseline levels beginning 105-109ms, and V4 activation did so 5ms later, suggesting nearly simultaneous activation of these areas. Results are discussed in the context of an updated version of the cross-activation model, the cascaded cross-tuning model of grapheme-color synesthesia.

  6. CoRoT reveals a magnetic activity cycle in a Sun-like star.

    PubMed

    García, Rafael A; Mathur, Savita; Salabert, David; Ballot, Jérôme; Régulo, Clara; Metcalfe, Travis S; Baglin, Annie

    2010-08-27

    The 11-year activity cycle of the Sun is a consequence of a dynamo process occurring beneath its surface. We analyzed photometric data obtained by the CoRoT space mission, showing solarlike oscillations in the star HD49933, for signatures of stellar magnetic activity. Asteroseismic measurements of global changes in the oscillation frequencies and mode amplitudes reveal a modulation of at least 120 days, with the minimum frequency shift corresponding to maximum amplitude as in the Sun. These observations are evidence of a stellar magnetic activity cycle taking place beneath the surface of HD49933 and provide constraints for stellar dynamo models under conditions different from those of the Sun. PMID:20798310

  7. Cues Resulting in Desire for Sexual Activity in Women

    PubMed Central

    McCall, Katie; Meston, Cindy

    2010-01-01

    Introduction A number of questionnaires have been created to assess levels of sexual desire in women, but to our knowledge, there are currently no validated measures for assessing cues that result in sexual desire. A questionnaire of this nature could be useful for both clinicians and researchers, because it considers the contextual nature of sexual desire and it draws attention to individual differences in factors that can contribute to sexual desire. Aim The aim of the present study was to create a multidimensional assessment tool of cues for sexual desire in women that is validated in women with and without hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Methods Factor analyses conducted on both an initial sample (N = 874) and a community sample (N = 138) resulted in the Cues for Sexual Desire Scale (CSDS) which included four factors: (i) Emotional Bonding Cues; (ii) Erotic/ Explicit Cues; (iii) Visual/Proximity Cues; and (iv) Implicit/Romantic Cues. Main Outcome Measures Scale construction of cues associated with sexual desire and differences between women with and without sexual dysfunction. Results The CSDS demonstrated good reliability and validity and was able to detect significant differences between women with and without HSDD. Results from regression analyses indicated that both marital status and level of sexual functioning predicted scores on the CSDS. The CSDS provided predictive validity for the Female Sexual Function Index desire and arousal domain scores, and increased cues were related to a higher reported frequency of sexual activity in women. Conclusions The findings from the present study provide valuable information regarding both internal and external triggers that can result in sexual desire for women. We believe that the CSDS could be beneficial in therapeutic settings to help identify cues that do and do not facilitate sexual desire in women with clinically diagnosed desire difficulties. PMID:16942529

  8. Test results of an active magnetic regenerative refrigerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degregoria, A. J.; Feuling, L. J.; Laatsch, J. F.; Rowe, J. R.; Trueblood, J. R.; Wang, A. A.

    The principle of the Active Magnetic Regenerator (AMR) is tested with an experimental refrigerator designed to operate within the temperature range of about 4 to 80 K. Applications, including helium and hydrogen liquefaction and hydrogen slush generation, are envisioned. The device uses a single moveable superconducting solenoidal magnet in persistent mode to alternately charge and discharge two in-line beds of magnetic material. Between magnet motions, a double-acting piston displacer moves heat transfer fluid in the form of helium gas through the beds, absorbing heat at the cold heat exchanger and rejecting heat at the hot heat exchanger. A description of the refrigerator and performance results are presented. Comparisons to a detailed AMR model are shown.

  9. Transcriptional Analysis of a Dehalococcoides-Containing Microbial Consortium Reveals Prophage Activation

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Alison S.; Hug, Laura A.; Mo, Kaiguo; Radford, Devon R.; Maxwell, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    Chlorinated solvents are among the most prevalent groundwater contaminants in the industrialized world. Biodegradation with Dehalococcoides-containing mixed cultures is an effective remediation technology. To elucidate transcribed genes in a Dehalococcoides-containing mixed culture, a shotgun metagenome microarray was created and used to investigate gene transcription during vinyl chloride (VC) dechlorination and during starvation (no chlorinated compounds) by a microbial enrichment culture called KB-1. In both treatment conditions, methanol was amended as an electron donor. Subsequently, spots were sequenced that contained the genes most differentially transcribed between the VC-degrading and methanol-only conditions, as well as spots with the highest intensities. Sequencing revealed that during VC degradation Dehalococcoides genes involved in transcription, translation, metabolic energy generation, and amino acid and lipid metabolism and transport were overrepresented in the transcripts compared to the average Dehalococcoides genome. KB-1 rdhA14 (vcrA) was the only reductive dehalogenase homologous (RDH) gene with higher transcript levels during VC degradation, while multiple RDH genes had higher transcript levels in the absence of VC. Numerous hypothetical genes from Dehalococcoides also had higher transcript levels in methanol-only treatments, indicating that many uncharacterized proteins are involved in cell maintenance in the absence of chlorinated substrates. In addition, microarray results prompted biological experiments confirming that electron acceptor limiting conditions activated a Dehalococcoides prophage. Transcripts from Spirochaetes, Chloroflexi, Geobacter, and methanogens demonstrate the importance of non-Dehalococcoides organisms to the culture, and sequencing of identified shotgun clones of interest provided information for follow-on targeted studies. PMID:22179237

  10. Transcriptional analysis of a Dehalococcoides-containing microbial consortium reveals prophage activation.

    PubMed

    Waller, Alison S; Hug, Laura A; Mo, Kaiguo; Radford, Devon R; Maxwell, Karen L; Edwards, Elizabeth A

    2012-02-01

    Chlorinated solvents are among the most prevalent groundwater contaminants in the industrialized world. Biodegradation with Dehalococcoides-containing mixed cultures is an effective remediation technology. To elucidate transcribed genes in a Dehalococcoides-containing mixed culture, a shotgun metagenome microarray was created and used to investigate gene transcription during vinyl chloride (VC) dechlorination and during starvation (no chlorinated compounds) by a microbial enrichment culture called KB-1. In both treatment conditions, methanol was amended as an electron donor. Subsequently, spots were sequenced that contained the genes most differentially transcribed between the VC-degrading and methanol-only conditions, as well as spots with the highest intensities. Sequencing revealed that during VC degradation Dehalococcoides genes involved in transcription, translation, metabolic energy generation, and amino acid and lipid metabolism and transport were overrepresented in the transcripts compared to the average Dehalococcoides genome. KB-1 rdhA14 (vcrA) was the only reductive dehalogenase homologous (RDH) gene with higher transcript levels during VC degradation, while multiple RDH genes had higher transcript levels in the absence of VC. Numerous hypothetical genes from Dehalococcoides also had higher transcript levels in methanol-only treatments, indicating that many uncharacterized proteins are involved in cell maintenance in the absence of chlorinated substrates. In addition, microarray results prompted biological experiments confirming that electron acceptor limiting conditions activated a Dehalococcoides prophage. Transcripts from Spirochaetes, Chloroflexi, Geobacter, and methanogens demonstrate the importance of non-Dehalococcoides organisms to the culture, and sequencing of identified shotgun clones of interest provided information for follow-on targeted studies.

  11. Interspecies activity correlations reveal functional correspondence between monkey and human brain areas.

    PubMed

    Mantini, Dante; Hasson, Uri; Betti, Viviana; Perrucci, Mauro G; Romani, Gian Luca; Corbetta, Maurizio; Orban, Guy A; Vanduffel, Wim

    2012-02-05

    Evolution-driven functional changes in the primate brain are typically assessed by aligning monkey and human activation maps using cortical surface expansion models. These models use putative homologous areas as registration landmarks, assuming they are functionally correspondent. For cases in which functional changes have occurred in an area, this assumption prohibits to reveal whether other areas may have assumed lost functions. Here we describe a method to examine functional correspondences across species. Without making spatial assumptions, we assessed similarities in sensory-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging responses between monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human brain areas by temporal correlation. Using natural vision data, we revealed regions for which functional processing has shifted to topologically divergent locations during evolution. We conclude that substantial evolution-driven functional reorganizations have occurred, not always consistent with cortical expansion processes. This framework for evaluating changes in functional architecture is crucial to building more accurate evolutionary models.

  12. Selective activation of SHP2 activity by cisplatin revealed by a novel chemical probe-based assay

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Chun-Chen; Chu, Chi-Yuan; Lin, Jing-Jer; Lo, Lee-Chiang

    2010-01-01

    Src homology-2 (SH2) domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2) is known to participate in several different signaling pathways to mediate cell growth, survival, migration, and differentiation. However, due to the lack of proper analytical tools, it is unclear whether the phosphatase activity of SHP2 is activated in most studies. We have previously developed an activity-based probe LCL2 that formed covalent linkage with catalytically active protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Here, by combining LCL2 with a SHP2 specific antibody, we established an assay system that enables the direct monitoring of SHP2 activity upon cisplatin treatment of cancer cells. The protocol is advantageous over conventional colorimetric or in-gel PTP assays as it is specific and does not require the use of radioisotope reagents. Using this assay, we found SHP2 activity was selectively activated by cisplatin. Moreover, the activation of SHP2 appeared to be specific for cisplatin as other DNA damage agents failed to activate the activity. Although the role of SHP2 activation by cisplatin treatments is still unclear to us, our results provide the first direct evidence for the activation of SHP2 during cisplatin treatments. More importantly, the concept of using activity-based probe in conjunction with target-specific antibodies could be extended to other enzyme classes.

  13. Multichannel detrended fluctuation analysis reveals synchronized patterns of spontaneous spinal activity in anesthetized cats.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Erika E; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Itzá-Ortiz, Benjamín A; Jiménez, Ismael; Rudomín, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of the interaction and synchronization of relatively large ensembles of neurons is fundamental for the understanding of complex functions of the nervous system. It is known that the temporal synchronization of neural ensembles is involved in the generation of specific motor, sensory or cognitive processes. Also, the intersegmental coherence of spinal spontaneous activity may indicate the existence of synaptic neural pathways between different pairs of lumbar segments. In this study we present a multichannel version of the detrended fluctuation analysis method (mDFA) to analyze the correlation dynamics of spontaneous spinal activity (SSA) from time series analysis. This method together with the classical detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were used to find out whether the SSA recorded in one or several segments in the spinal cord of the anesthetized cat occurs either in a random or in an organized manner. Our results are consistent with a non-random organization of the sets of neurons involved in the generation of spontaneous cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) recorded either from one lumbar segment (DFA-α mean = 1.04[Formula: see text]0.09) or simultaneously from several lumbar segments (mDFA-α mean = 1.01[Formula: see text]0.06), where α = 0.5 indicates randomness while α = 0.5 indicates long-term correlations. To test the sensitivity of the mDFA method we also examined the effects of small spinal lesions aimed to partially interrupt connectivity between neighboring lumbosacral segments. We found that the synchronization and correlation between the CDPs recorded from the L5 and L6 segments in both sides of the spinal cord were reduced when a lesion comprising the left dorsal quadrant was performed between the segments L5 and L6 (mDFA-[Formula: see text] = 0.992 as compared to initial conditions mDFA-α = 1.186). The synchronization and correlation were reduced even further after a similar additional right spinal lesion (mDFA-α = 0.924). In contrast

  14. Multichannel detrended fluctuation analysis reveals synchronized patterns of spontaneous spinal activity in anesthetized cats.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Erika E; Hernández-Lemus, Enrique; Itzá-Ortiz, Benjamín A; Jiménez, Ismael; Rudomín, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of the interaction and synchronization of relatively large ensembles of neurons is fundamental for the understanding of complex functions of the nervous system. It is known that the temporal synchronization of neural ensembles is involved in the generation of specific motor, sensory or cognitive processes. Also, the intersegmental coherence of spinal spontaneous activity may indicate the existence of synaptic neural pathways between different pairs of lumbar segments. In this study we present a multichannel version of the detrended fluctuation analysis method (mDFA) to analyze the correlation dynamics of spontaneous spinal activity (SSA) from time series analysis. This method together with the classical detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) were used to find out whether the SSA recorded in one or several segments in the spinal cord of the anesthetized cat occurs either in a random or in an organized manner. Our results are consistent with a non-random organization of the sets of neurons involved in the generation of spontaneous cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) recorded either from one lumbar segment (DFA-α mean = 1.04[Formula: see text]0.09) or simultaneously from several lumbar segments (mDFA-α mean = 1.01[Formula: see text]0.06), where α = 0.5 indicates randomness while α = 0.5 indicates long-term correlations. To test the sensitivity of the mDFA method we also examined the effects of small spinal lesions aimed to partially interrupt connectivity between neighboring lumbosacral segments. We found that the synchronization and correlation between the CDPs recorded from the L5 and L6 segments in both sides of the spinal cord were reduced when a lesion comprising the left dorsal quadrant was performed between the segments L5 and L6 (mDFA-[Formula: see text] = 0.992 as compared to initial conditions mDFA-α = 1.186). The synchronization and correlation were reduced even further after a similar additional right spinal lesion (mDFA-α = 0.924). In contrast

  15. Cortical activation during word processing in late bilinguals: similarities and differences as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Marian, Viorica; Shildkrot, Yevgeniy; Blumenfeld, Henrike K; Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Hirsch, Joy

    2007-04-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare cortical organization of the first (L1, Russian) and second (L2, English) languages. Six fluent Russian-English bilinguals who acquired their second language postpuberty were tested with words and nonwords presented either auditorily or visually. Results showed that both languages activated similar cortical networks, including the inferior frontal, middle frontal, superior temporal, middle temporal, angular, and supramarginal gyri. Within the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), L2 activated a larger cortical volume than L1 during lexical and phonological processing. For both languages, the left IFG was more active than the right IFG during lexical processing. Within the left IFG, the distance between centers of activation associated with lexical processing of translation equivalents across languages was larger than the distance between centers of activation associated with lexical processing of different words in the same language. Results of phonological processing analyses revealed different centers of activation associated with the first versus the second language in the IFG, but not in the superior temporal gyrus (STG). These findings are discussed within the context of the current literature on cortical organization in bilinguals and suggest variation in bilingual cortical activation associated with lexical, phonological, and orthographic processing.

  16. PCNA immunoreactivity revealing normal proliferative activity in the brain of adult Lampetra planeri (Bloch, 1784).

    PubMed

    Margotta, Vito; Caronti, Brunella; Colombari, Paolo Tito; Castiglia, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

    It is now well known that the Teleosts among Osteichthyes, Urodele and Anuran Amphibians, Lacertilian Reptiles possess encephalic natural proliferative activities even into adulthood, as demonstrated by a great number of researches performed both under normal and various experimental conditions. Few years ago we have undertaken in adult heterothermic vertebrates a reappraisal on spontaneous cerebral proliferative events involving some organisms (Podarcis sicula, Triturus carnifex, Rana esculenta, Carassius carassius) representative of these vertebrates and belonging to the same or phylogenetically similar species used by previous researchers in studies having the same object. In our investigations, these performances were revealed by a proliferative immunocytochemical marker, the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA). At this point of our study in the scenario emerging from findings a missing piece is represented by Petromyzontidae. To fill up this gap in the present investigation, using our usual test, we have paid attention to adult specimens of Lampetra planeri. The obtained immunostaining panorama has revealed the presence of a considerable number of spontaneous proliferative activities. These events might differ in quantity, in various encephalic districts. PCNA-labelled cells appeared scattered in the cranial portion of olfactory bulbs, while the PCNA expression has been observed steadily localized with a distinctly continous distribution in cells interposed among the ependymal epithelium which lines the cavities of the proximal portion of the olfactory region and of the cerebral ventricles. DNA synthesis activity has been also found in cells scattered in the telencephalic, diencephalic, mesencephalic and medulla oblongata periventricular grey. This immunoreactivity was not revealable in the cerebellum. Our findings are discussed in the light of bibliographic news.

  17. Optimal active vibration absorber: Design and experimental results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee-Glauser, Gina; Juang, Jer-Nan; Sulla, Jeffrey L.

    1992-01-01

    An optimal active vibration absorber can provide guaranteed closed-loop stability and control for large flexible space structures with collocated sensors/actuators. The active vibration absorber is a second-order dynamic system which is designed to suppress any unwanted structural vibration. This can be designed with minimum knowledge of the controlled system. Two methods for optimizing the active vibration absorber parameters are illustrated: minimum resonant amplitude and frequency matched active controllers. The Controls-Structures Interaction Phase-1 Evolutionary Model at NASA LaRC is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the active vibration absorber for vibration suppression. Performance is compared numerically and experimentally using acceleration feedback.

  18. High Fc Density Particles Result in Binary Complement Activation but Tunable Macrophage Phagocytosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulchek, Todd; Pacheco, Patricia; White, David

    2014-03-01

    Macrophage phagocytosis and complement system activation represent two key components of the immune system and both can be activated through the presentation of multiple Fc domains of IgG antibodies. We have created functionalized micro- and nanoparticles with various densities of Fc domains to understand the modulation of the immune system for eventual use as a novel immunomodulation platform. Phagocytosis assays were carried out by adding functionalized particles to macrophage cells and quantitatively determined using fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. Complement system activation by the functionalized particles in human serum was quantified with an enzyme immunoassay. Our phagocytosis assay revealed a strong dependence on particle size and Fc density. For small particles, as the Fc density increased, the number of particles phagocytosed also increased. Large particles were phagocytosed at significantly lower levels and showed no dependency on Fc density. Complement was successfully activated at levels comparable to positive controls for small particles at high Fc densities. However at low Fc densities, there is a significant decrease in complement activation. This result suggests a binary response for complement system activation with a threshold density for successful activation. Therefore, varying the Fc density on micro/nanoparticles resulted in a tunable response in macrophage phagocytosis while a more binary response for complement activation.

  19. Cofactor bypass variants reveal a conformational control mechanism governing cell wall polymerase activity.

    PubMed

    Markovski, Monica; Bohrhunter, Jessica L; Lupoli, Tania J; Uehara, Tsuyoshi; Walker, Suzanne; Kahne, Daniel E; Bernhardt, Thomas G

    2016-04-26

    To fortify their cytoplasmic membrane and protect it from osmotic rupture, most bacteria surround themselves with a peptidoglycan (PG) exoskeleton synthesized by the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). As their name implies, these proteins are the targets of penicillin and related antibiotics. We and others have shown that the PG synthases PBP1b and PBP1a of Escherichia coli require the outer membrane lipoproteins LpoA and LpoB, respectively, for their in vivo function. Although it has been demonstrated that LpoB activates the PG polymerization activity of PBP1b in vitro, the mechanism of activation and its physiological relevance have remained unclear. We therefore selected for variants of PBP1b (PBP1b*) that bypass the LpoB requirement for in vivo function, reasoning that they would shed light on LpoB function and its activation mechanism. Several of these PBP1b variants were isolated and displayed elevated polymerization activity in vitro, indicating that the activation of glycan polymer growth is indeed one of the relevant functions of LpoB in vivo. Moreover, the location of amino acid substitutions causing the bypass phenotype on the PBP1b structure support a model in which polymerization activation proceeds via the induction of a conformational change in PBP1b initiated by LpoB binding to its UB2H domain, followed by its transmission to the glycosyl transferase active site. Finally, phenotypic analysis of strains carrying a PBP1b* variant revealed that the PBP1b-LpoB complex is most likely not providing an important physical link between the inner and outer membranes at the division site, as has been previously proposed. PMID:27071112

  20. Active sensing associated with spatial learning reveals memory-based attention in an electric fish.

    PubMed

    Jun, James J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard

    2016-05-01

    Active sensing behaviors reveal what an animal is attending to and how it changes with learning. Gymnotus sp, a gymnotiform weakly electric fish, generates an electric organ discharge (EOD) as discrete pulses to actively sense its surroundings. We monitored freely behaving gymnotid fish in a large dark "maze" and extracted their trajectories and EOD pulse pattern and rate while they learned to find food with electrically detectable landmarks as cues. After training, they more rapidly found food using shorter, more stereotyped trajectories and spent more time near the food location. We observed three forms of active sensing: sustained high EOD rates per unit distance (sampling density), transient large increases in EOD rate (E-scans) and stereotyped scanning movements (B-scans) were initially strong at landmarks and food, but, after learning, intensified only at the food location. During probe (no food) trials, after learning, the fish's search area and intense active sampling was still centered on the missing food location, but now also increased near landmarks. We hypothesize that active sensing is a behavioral manifestation of attention and essential for spatial learning; the fish use spatial memory of landmarks and path integration to reach the expected food location and confine their attention to this region. PMID:26961107

  1. A chromatin activity based chemoproteomic approach reveals a transcriptional repressome for gene-specific silencing

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Cui; Yu, Yanbao; Liu, Feng; Wei, Xin; Wrobel, John A.; Gunawardena, Harsha P.; Zhou, Li; Jin, Jian; Chen, Xian

    2015-01-01

    Immune cells develop endotoxin tolerance (ET) after prolonged stimulation. ET increases the level of a repression mark H3K9me2 in the transcriptional-silent chromatin specifically associated with pro-inflammatory genes. However, it is not clear what proteins are functionally involved in this process. Here we show that a novel chromatin activity based chemoproteomic (ChaC) approach can dissect the functional chromatin protein complexes that regulate ET-associated inflammation. Using UNC0638 that binds the enzymatically active H3K9-specific methyltransferase G9a/GLP, ChaC reveals that G9a is constitutively active at a G9a-dependent mega-dalton repressome in primary endotoxin-tolerant macrophages. G9a/GLP broadly impacts the ET-specific reprogramming of the histone code landscape, chromatin remodeling, and the activities of select transcription factors. We discover that the G9a-dependent epigenetic environment promotes the transcriptional repression activity of c-Myc for gene-specific co-regulation of chronic inflammation. ChaC may be also applicable to dissect other functional protein complexes in the context of phenotypic chromatin architectures. PMID:25502336

  2. Solar activity variations of ionosonde measurements and modeling results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altadill, D.; Arrazola, D.; Blanch, E.; Buresova, D.

    2008-08-01

    The time series of hourly electron density profiles N(h) obtained at several mid-latitude stations in Europe have been used to obtain N(h) profiles on a monthly basis and to extract both the expected bottomside parameters and a proxy of the ionospheric variability as functions of time and height. With these data we present advances on a “Local Model” technique for the parameters B0 and B1, its applicability to other ionospheric stations, to other bottomside ionospheric parameters, and to modeling the time/height variability of the profile. The Local Model (LM) is an empirical model based on the experimental results of the solar activity dependence of the daily and seasonal behavior of the above parameters. The LM improves the IRI-2001 prediction of the B0 and B1 by factor of two at mid-latitudes. Moreover, the LM can be used to simulate other ionospheric parameters and to build mean N(h) profiles and the deviations from them. The modeling of both the average N(h) profiles and their deviations is an useful tool for ionospheric model users who want to know both the expected patterns and their deviations.

  3. New approaches to enhance active steering system functionalities: preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serarslan, Benan

    2014-09-01

    An important development of the steering systems in general is active steering systems like active front steering and steer-by-wire systems. In this paper the current functional possibilities in application of active steering systems are explored. A new approach and additional functionalities are presented that can be implemented to the active steering systems without additional hardware such as new sensors and electronic control units. Commercial active steering systems are controlling the steering angle depending on the driving situation only. This paper introduce methods for enhancing active steering system functionalities depending not only on the driving situation but also vehicle parameters like vehicle mass, tyre and road condition. In this regard, adaptation of the steering ratio as a function of above mentioned vehicle parameters is presented with examples. With some selected vehicle parameter changes, the reduction of the undesired influences on vehicle dynamics of these parameter changes has been demonstrated theoretically with simulations and with real-time driving measurements.

  4. Equilibrium physics breakdown reveals the active nature of red blood cell flickering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turlier, Herve; Fedosov, Dmitry; Auth, Thorsten; Gov, Nir S.; Sykes, Cecile; Joanny, Jean-Francois; Gompper, Gerhard; Betz, Timo

    2015-03-01

    Red blood cell membrane flickering stimulated an abundant biological, biophysical and biochemical literature over the past 50 years. While the phenomenon has been interpreted as thermal fluctuations of the cell membrane, recent results suggest the involvement of metabolic processes. However, to date there is no direct and conclusive evidence that an active force drives membrane flickering. By comparing membrane undulations and active microrheology measurements on single human erythrocytes, we show that flickering is partly driven by an active metabolic process, as it does not satisfy the equilibrium fluctuation-dissipation relation on timescales slower than 100ms. Analytical and numerical models of the red blood cell reproduce experimental results. The analytical model assumes that membrane activity results from reversible binding of the elastic spectrin network to the lipid bilayer and predicts active fluctuations to increase with local curvature and extensional prestress in the cytoskeleton. Our mean-field calculation shows that the strength and kinetics of the binding activity regulates thereupon both passive and active mechanical properties of the red blood cell. Numerical simulations explore other possible origins of active forces on the membrane and predict coherent timescales for the molecular underlying metabolic processes.

  5. Alanine-Scanning Mutational Analysis of Durancin GL Reveals Residues Important for Its Antimicrobial Activity.

    PubMed

    Ju, Xingrong; Chen, Xinquan; Du, Lihui; Wu, Xueyou; Liu, Fang; Yuan, Jian

    2015-07-22

    Durancin GL is a novel class IIa bacteriocin with 43 residues produced by Enterococcus durans 41D. This bacteriocin demonstrates narrow inhibition spectrum and potent antimicrobial activity against several Listeria monocytogenes strains, including nisin-resistant L. monocytogenes NR30. A systematic alanine-scanning mutational analysis with site-directed mutagenesis was performed to analyze durancin GL residues important for antimicrobial activity and specificity. Results showed that three mutations lost their antimicrobial activity, ten mutations demonstrated a decreased effect on the activity, and seven mutations exhibited relatively high activity. With regard to inhibitory spectrum, four mutants demonstrated a narrower antimicrobial spectrum than wild-type durancin GL. Another four mutants displayed a broader target cell spectrum and increased potency relative to wild-type durancin GL. These findings broaden our understanding of durancin GL residues important for its antimicrobial activity and contribute to future rational design of variants with increased potency.

  6. Alanine-Scanning Mutational Analysis of Durancin GL Reveals Residues Important for Its Antimicrobial Activity.

    PubMed

    Ju, Xingrong; Chen, Xinquan; Du, Lihui; Wu, Xueyou; Liu, Fang; Yuan, Jian

    2015-07-22

    Durancin GL is a novel class IIa bacteriocin with 43 residues produced by Enterococcus durans 41D. This bacteriocin demonstrates narrow inhibition spectrum and potent antimicrobial activity against several Listeria monocytogenes strains, including nisin-resistant L. monocytogenes NR30. A systematic alanine-scanning mutational analysis with site-directed mutagenesis was performed to analyze durancin GL residues important for antimicrobial activity and specificity. Results showed that three mutations lost their antimicrobial activity, ten mutations demonstrated a decreased effect on the activity, and seven mutations exhibited relatively high activity. With regard to inhibitory spectrum, four mutants demonstrated a narrower antimicrobial spectrum than wild-type durancin GL. Another four mutants displayed a broader target cell spectrum and increased potency relative to wild-type durancin GL. These findings broaden our understanding of durancin GL residues important for its antimicrobial activity and contribute to future rational design of variants with increased potency. PMID:26168032

  7. A FRET biosensor reveals spatiotemporal activation and functions of aurora kinase A in living cells

    PubMed Central

    Bertolin, Giulia; Sizaire, Florian; Herbomel, Gaëtan; Reboutier, David; Prigent, Claude; Tramier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Overexpression of AURKA is a major hallmark of epithelial cancers. It encodes the multifunctional serine/threonine kinase aurora A, which is activated at metaphase and is required for cell cycle progression; assessing its activation in living cells is mandatory for next-generation drug design. We describe here a Förster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor detecting the conformational changes of aurora kinase A induced by its autophosphorylation on Thr288. The biosensor functionally replaces the endogenous kinase in cells and allows the activation of the kinase to be followed throughout the cell cycle. Inhibiting the catalytic activity of the kinase prevents the conformational changes of the biosensor. Using this approach, we discover that aurora kinase A activates during G1 to regulate the stability of microtubules in cooperation with TPX2 and CEP192. These results demonstrate that the aurora kinase A biosensor is a powerful tool to identify new regulatory pathways controlling aurora kinase A activation. PMID:27624869

  8. A FRET biosensor reveals spatiotemporal activation and functions of aurora kinase A in living cells.

    PubMed

    Bertolin, Giulia; Sizaire, Florian; Herbomel, Gaëtan; Reboutier, David; Prigent, Claude; Tramier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Overexpression of AURKA is a major hallmark of epithelial cancers. It encodes the multifunctional serine/threonine kinase aurora A, which is activated at metaphase and is required for cell cycle progression; assessing its activation in living cells is mandatory for next-generation drug design. We describe here a Förster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor detecting the conformational changes of aurora kinase A induced by its autophosphorylation on Thr288. The biosensor functionally replaces the endogenous kinase in cells and allows the activation of the kinase to be followed throughout the cell cycle. Inhibiting the catalytic activity of the kinase prevents the conformational changes of the biosensor. Using this approach, we discover that aurora kinase A activates during G1 to regulate the stability of microtubules in cooperation with TPX2 and CEP192. These results demonstrate that the aurora kinase A biosensor is a powerful tool to identify new regulatory pathways controlling aurora kinase A activation. PMID:27624869

  9. Early activation of Broca's area in grammar processing as revealed by the syntactic mismatch negativity and distributed source analysis.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Jeff; Mejias, Sandrine; Schelstraete, Marie-Anne; Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Shtyrov, Yury; Van der Lely, Heather K J

    2014-01-01

    Though activation of Broca's region in the combinatorial processing of symbols (language, music) has been revealed by neurometabolic studies, most previous neurophysiological research found the earliest grammar indices in the temporal cortex, with inferior-frontal generators becoming active at relatively late stages. We use the attention- and task-free syntactic mismatch negativity (sMMN) event-related potential (ERP) to measure rapid and automatic sensitivity of the human brain to grammatical information in participants' native language (French). Further, sources underlying the MMN were estimated by applying the Parametrical Empirical Bayesian (PEB) approach, with the Multiple Sparse Priors (MSP) technique. Results showed reliable grammar-related activation focused on Broca's region already in the 150-190 ms time window, providing robust documentation of its involvement in the first stages of syntactic processing. PMID:24279717

  10. Early activation of Broca's area in grammar processing as revealed by the syntactic mismatch negativity and distributed source analysis.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Jeff; Mejias, Sandrine; Schelstraete, Marie-Anne; Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Shtyrov, Yury; Van der Lely, Heather K J

    2014-01-01

    Though activation of Broca's region in the combinatorial processing of symbols (language, music) has been revealed by neurometabolic studies, most previous neurophysiological research found the earliest grammar indices in the temporal cortex, with inferior-frontal generators becoming active at relatively late stages. We use the attention- and task-free syntactic mismatch negativity (sMMN) event-related potential (ERP) to measure rapid and automatic sensitivity of the human brain to grammatical information in participants' native language (French). Further, sources underlying the MMN were estimated by applying the Parametrical Empirical Bayesian (PEB) approach, with the Multiple Sparse Priors (MSP) technique. Results showed reliable grammar-related activation focused on Broca's region already in the 150-190 ms time window, providing robust documentation of its involvement in the first stages of syntactic processing.

  11. Microfluidic Investigation Reveals Distinct Roles for Actin Cytoskeleton and Myosin II Activity in Capillary Leukocyte Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Gabriele, Sylvain; Benoliel, Anne-Marie; Bongrand, Pierre; Théodoly, Olivier

    2009-01-01

    Circulating leukocyte sequestration in pulmonary capillaries is arguably the initiating event of lung injury in acute respiratory distress syndrome. We present a microfluidic investigation of the roles of actin organization and myosin II activity during the different stages of leukocyte trafficking through narrow capillaries (entry, transit and shape relaxation) using specific drugs (latrunculin A, jasplakinolide, and blebbistatin). The deformation rate during entry reveals that cell stiffness depends strongly on F-actin organization and hardly on myosin II activity, supporting a microfilament role in leukocyte sequestration. In the transit stage, cell friction is influenced by stiffness, demonstrating that the actin network is not completely broken after a forced entry into a capillary. Conversely, membrane unfolding was independent of leukocyte stiffness. The surface area of sequestered leukocytes increased by up to 160% in the absence of myosin II activity, showing the major role of molecular motors in microvilli wrinkling and zipping. Finally, cell shape relaxation was largely independent of both actin organization and myosin II activity, whereas a deformed state was required for normal trafficking through capillary segments. PMID:19450501

  12. Rapid ester biosynthesis screening reveals a high activity alcohol-O-acyltransferase (AATase) from tomato fruit.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jyun-Liang; Zhu, Jie; Wheeldon, Ian

    2016-05-01

    Ethyl and acetate esters are naturally produced in various yeasts, plants, and bacteria. The biosynthetic pathways that produce these esters share a common reaction step, the condensation of acetyl/acyl-CoA with an alcohol by alcohol-O-acetyl/acyltransferase (AATase). Recent metabolic engineering efforts exploit AATase activity to produce fatty acid ethyl esters as potential diesel fuel replacements as well as short- and medium-chain volatile esters as fragrance and flavor compounds. These efforts have been limited by the lack of a rapid screen to quantify ester biosynthesis. Enzyme engineering efforts have also been limited by the lack of a high throughput screen for AATase activity. Here, we developed a high throughput assay for AATase activity and used this assay to discover a high activity AATase from tomato fruit, Solanum lycopersicum (Atf-S.l). Atf1-S.l exhibited broad specificity towards acyl-CoAs with chain length from C4 to C10 and was specific towards 1-pentanol. The AATase screen also revealed new acyl-CoA substrate specificities for Atf1, Atf2, Eht1, and Eeb1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Atf-C.m from melon fruit, Cucumis melo, thus increasing the pool of characterized AATases that can be used in ester biosynthesis of ester-based fragrance and flavor compounds as well as fatty acid ethyl ester biofuels. PMID:26814045

  13. PCNA immunoreactivity revealing normal proliferative activity in the brain of an adult Elasmobranch, Torpedo marmorata.

    PubMed

    Margotta, Vito

    2007-01-01

    The brain of adult heterothermic vertebrates can be already provided of quiescent cells, scattered ("matrix cells") and/or clustered ("matrix areas"). These typical cells, in some regions located at or near ventricular surfaces and at peri-ependymal layers, in other territories populating their framework, maintain some embryonic properties and are responsible of normal or variously experimentally induced proliferative activities. On these topics there are a great number of reports concerning Teleostean Osteichthyes, Urodele and Anuran Amphibians, Lacertilian Reptiles. At the contrary, only few are the contributions regarding the Petromyzontidae. Involving an immunocytochemical marker, the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA), revealing proliferative events, in the last years we have undertaken a reappraisal focused on these encephalic performances in normal adult poikilothermal vertebrates. To provide a valid comparison between our results and the literature data, our choice of the specimens was based on the desire to employ organisms belonging to the same or phylogenetically close species used by previous Authors in similar studies. In our immunocytochemical panorama there is a substantial agreement between our contributions and bibliographic references concerning natural encephalic proliferative phenomena in these vertebrates. At this point of our study, the last missing piece was represented by the Chondrichthyes about which the literature data are lacking. In order to fill this gap, the aim of the present research is to investigate, involving the same PCNA test, whether proliferative events also persist in the brain of adult cartilaginous fishes. The immunostaining images obtained in the Elasmo branch Torpedo marmorata, well-known for the emission of high electrical discharges, exhibit undifferentiated cells in relationship with the ependymal epithelium lining the cavities of all cerebral districts; some other neuroblasts are scattered in the mesencephalic

  14. Stellar activity and coronal heating: an overview of recent results.

    PubMed

    Testa, Paola; Saar, Steven H; Drake, Jeremy J

    2015-05-28

    Observations of the coronae of the Sun and of solar-like stars provide complementary information to advance our understanding of stellar magnetic activity, and of the processes leading to the heating of their outer atmospheres. While solar observations allow us to study the corona at high spatial and temporal resolution, the study of stellar coronae allows us to probe stellar activity over a wide range of ages and stellar parameters. Stellar studies therefore provide us with additional tools for understanding coronal heating processes, as well as the long-term evolution of solar X-ray activity. We discuss how recent studies of stellar magnetic fields and coronae contribute to our understanding of the phenomenon of activity and coronal heating in late-type stars. PMID:25897087

  15. Stellar activity and coronal heating: an overview of recent results

    PubMed Central

    Testa, Paola; Saar, Steven H.; Drake, Jeremy J.

    2015-01-01

    Observations of the coronae of the Sun and of solar-like stars provide complementary information to advance our understanding of stellar magnetic activity, and of the processes leading to the heating of their outer atmospheres. While solar observations allow us to study the corona at high spatial and temporal resolution, the study of stellar coronae allows us to probe stellar activity over a wide range of ages and stellar parameters. Stellar studies therefore provide us with additional tools for understanding coronal heating processes, as well as the long-term evolution of solar X-ray activity. We discuss how recent studies of stellar magnetic fields and coronae contribute to our understanding of the phenomenon of activity and coronal heating in late-type stars. PMID:25897087

  16. Stellar activity and coronal heating: an overview of recent results.

    PubMed

    Testa, Paola; Saar, Steven H; Drake, Jeremy J

    2015-05-28

    Observations of the coronae of the Sun and of solar-like stars provide complementary information to advance our understanding of stellar magnetic activity, and of the processes leading to the heating of their outer atmospheres. While solar observations allow us to study the corona at high spatial and temporal resolution, the study of stellar coronae allows us to probe stellar activity over a wide range of ages and stellar parameters. Stellar studies therefore provide us with additional tools for understanding coronal heating processes, as well as the long-term evolution of solar X-ray activity. We discuss how recent studies of stellar magnetic fields and coronae contribute to our understanding of the phenomenon of activity and coronal heating in late-type stars.

  17. Tc-99 Adsorption on Selected Activated Carbons - Batch Testing Results

    SciTech Connect

    Mattigod, Shas V.; Wellman, Dawn M.; Golovich, Elizabeth C.; Cordova, Elsa A.; Smith, Ronald M.

    2010-12-01

    CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) is currently developing a 200-West Area groundwater pump-and-treat system as the remedial action selected under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Record of Decision for Operable Unit (OU) 200-ZP-1. This report documents the results of treatability tests Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers conducted to quantify the ability of selected activated carbon products (or carbons) to adsorb technetium-99 (Tc-99) from 200-West Area groundwater. The Tc-99 adsorption performance of seven activated carbons (J177601 Calgon Fitrasorb 400, J177606 Siemens AC1230AWC, J177609 Carbon Resources CR-1240-AW, J177611 General Carbon GC20X50, J177612 Norit GAC830, J177613 Norit GAC830, and J177617 Nucon LW1230) were evaluated using water from well 299-W19-36. Four of the best performing carbons (J177606 Siemens AC1230AWC, J177609 Carbon Resources CR-1240-AW, J177611 General Carbon GC20X50, and J177613 Norit GAC830) were selected for batch isotherm testing. The batch isotherm tests on four of the selected carbons indicated that under lower nitrate concentration conditions (382 mg/L), Kd values ranged from 6,000 to 20,000 mL/g. In comparison. Under higher nitrate (750 mg/L) conditions, there was a measureable decrease in Tc-99 adsorption with Kd values ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 mL/g. The adsorption data fit both the Langmuir and the Freundlich equations. Supplemental tests were conducted using the two carbons that demonstrated the highest adsorption capacity to resolve the issue of the best fit isotherm. These tests indicated that Langmuir isotherms provided the best fit for Tc-99 adsorption under low nitrate concentration conditions. At the design basis concentration of Tc 0.865 µg/L(14,700 pCi/L), the predicted Kd values from using Langmuir isotherm constants were 5,980 mL/g and 6,870 mL/g for for the two carbons. These Kd values did not meet the target Kd value of 9,000 mL/g. Tests

  18. Benchmarking Evaluation Results for Prototype Extravehicular Activity Gloves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aitchison, Lindsay; McFarland, Shane

    2012-01-01

    The Space Suit Assembly (SSA) Development Team at NASA Johnson Space Center has invested heavily in the advancement of rear-entry planetary exploration suit design but largely deferred development of extravehicular activity (EVA) glove designs, and accepted the risk of using the current flight gloves, Phase VI, for unique mission scenarios outside the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) Program realm of experience. However, as design reference missions mature, the risks of using heritage hardware have highlighted the need for developing robust new glove technologies. To address the technology gap, the NASA Game-Changing Technology group provided start-up funding for the High Performance EVA Glove (HPEG) Project in the spring of 2012. The overarching goal of the HPEG Project is to develop a robust glove design that increases human performance during EVA and creates pathway for future implementation of emergent technologies, with specific aims of increasing pressurized mobility to 60% of barehanded capability, increasing the durability by 100%, and decreasing the potential of gloves to cause injury during use. The HPEG Project focused initial efforts on identifying potential new technologies and benchmarking the performance of current state of the art gloves to identify trends in design and fit leading to establish standards and metrics against which emerging technologies can be assessed at both the component and assembly levels. The first of the benchmarking tests evaluated the quantitative mobility performance and subjective fit of four prototype gloves developed by Flagsuit LLC, Final Frontier Designs, LLC Dover, and David Clark Company as compared to the Phase VI. All of the companies were asked to design and fabricate gloves to the same set of NASA provided hand measurements (which corresponded to a single size of Phase Vi glove) and focus their efforts on improving mobility in the metacarpal phalangeal and carpometacarpal joints. Four test

  19. Geometry of the Farallon Slab Revealed by Joint Interpretation of Wavefield Imaging and Tomography Results from the Earthscope Transportable Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlis, G. L.; Wang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    A significant number of P and S wave tomography models have been produced in the past decade using various subsets of data from the Earthscope USArray and different inversion algorithms. We focus here on published tomography results that span large portions of the final footprint of the USArray. We use 3D visualization techniques to search for common features in different tomography models. We also compare tomography results to features seen in our current generation wavefield images. Recent innovations of our plane wave migration method have yielded what is arguably the highest resolution image ever produced of the mantle in the vicinity of the transition zone. The new results reveal a rich collection of coherent, dipping structures seen throughout the upper mantle and transition zone. These dipping interfaces are judged significant according to a coherence metric. We treat these surfaces as strain markers to assess proposed models for geometry of the 3D geometry of the Farallon Slab under North America. We find the following geologic interpretations are well supported by independent results: 1. The old Farallon under eastern North America and below the base of transition zone is universally seen as a high velocity anomaly. 2. All results support a simple, 3D kinematic model of the updip limit of the Farallon slab window that follows a track from Cape Mendocino, across Nevada, and northern Arizona and New Mexico. 3. All models show a strong low-velocity mantle under the southwestern U.S. 4. A low-velocity features is universally seen related to the Yellowstone-Snake River system. Shorter wavelength features observed in different tomography models are inconsistent showing that the theme of this session is very important to understand what features are in current results are real. Isopach maps of the thickness of the transition show a systematic difference in transition zone thickness in the western and eastern US. The transition zone thickens in the eastern US in

  20. Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 reporter mice reveal receptor activation sites in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Kono, Mari; Tucker, Ana E.; Tran, Jennifer; Bergner, Jennifer B.; Turner, Ewa M.; Proia, Richard L.

    2014-01-01

    Activation of the GPCR sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1P1) by sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates key physiological processes. S1P1 activation also has been implicated in pathologic processes, including autoimmunity and inflammation; however, the in vivo sites of S1P1 activation under normal and disease conditions are unclear. Here, we describe the development of a mouse model that allows in vivo evaluation of S1P1 activation. These mice, known as S1P1 GFP signaling mice, produce a S1P1 fusion protein containing a transcription factor linked by a protease cleavage site at the C terminus as well as a β-arrestin/protease fusion protein. Activated S1P1 recruits the β-arrestin/protease, resulting in the release of the transcription factor, which stimulates the expression of a GFP reporter gene. Under normal conditions, S1P1 was activated in endothelial cells of lymphoid tissues and in cells in the marginal zone of the spleen, while administration of an S1P1 agonist promoted S1P1 activation in endothelial cells and hepatocytes. In S1P1 GFP signaling mice, LPS-mediated systemic inflammation activated S1P1 in endothelial cells and hepatocytes via hematopoietically derived S1P. These data demonstrate that S1P1 GFP signaling mice can be used to evaluate S1P1 activation and S1P1-active compounds in vivo. Furthermore, this strategy could be potentially applied to any GPCR to identify sites of receptor activation during normal physiology and disease. PMID:24667638

  1. Comparative proteomic analysis reveals activation of mucosal innate immune signaling pathways during cholera.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Crystal N; LaRocque, Regina C; Uddin, Taher; Krastins, Bryan; Mayo-Smith, Leslie M; Sarracino, David; Karlsson, Elinor K; Rahman, Atiqur; Shirin, Tahmina; Bhuiyan, Taufiqur R; Chowdhury, Fahima; Khan, Ashraful Islam; Ryan, Edward T; Calderwood, Stephen B; Qadri, Firdausi; Harris, Jason B

    2015-03-01

    Vibrio cholerae O1 is a major cause of acute watery diarrhea in over 50 countries. Evidence suggests that V. cholerae O1 may activate inflammatory pathways, and a recent study of a Bangladeshi population showed that variants in innate immune genes play a role in mediating susceptibility to cholera. We analyzed human proteins present in the small intestine of patients infected with V. cholerae O1 to characterize the host response to this pathogen. We collected duodenal biopsy specimens from patients with acute cholera after stabilization and again 30 days after initial presentation. Peptides extracted from biopsy specimens were sequenced and quantified using label-free mass spectrometry and SEQUEST. Twenty-seven host proteins were differentially abundant between the acute and convalescent stages of infection; the majority of these have known roles in innate defense, cytokine production, and apoptosis. Immunostaining confirmed that two proteins, WARS and S100A8, were more abundant in lamina propria cells during the acute stage of cholera. Analysis of the differentially abundant proteins revealed the activation of key regulators of inflammation by the innate immune system, including Toll-like receptor 4, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and caspase-dependent inflammasomes. Interleukin-12β (IL-12β) was a regulator of several proteins that were activated during cholera, and we confirmed that IL-12β was produced by lymphocytes recovered from duodenal biopsy specimens of cholera patients. Our study shows that a broad inflammatory response is generated in the gut early after onset of cholera, which may be critical in the development of long-term mucosal immunity against V. cholerae O1.

  2. Lost for emotion words: What motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, Rachel L.; Shtyrov, Yury; Mohr, Bettina; Lombardo, Michael V.; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view ‘emotion actions’ as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed. PMID:25278250

  3. Lost for emotion words: what motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory.

    PubMed

    Moseley, Rachel L; Shtyrov, Yury; Mohr, Bettina; Lombardo, Michael V; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view 'emotion actions' as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed.

  4. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-12-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals.

  5. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    PubMed Central

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-01-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals. PMID:26632763

  6. Adaptability and selectivity of human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) pan agonists revealed from crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Oyama, Takuji; Toyota, Kenji; Waku, Tsuyoshi; Hirakawa, Yuko; Nagasawa, Naoko; Kasuga, Jun-ichi; Hashimoto, Yuichi; Miyachi, Hiroyuki; Morikawa, Kosuke

    2009-08-01

    The structures of the ligand-binding domains (LBDs) of human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARα, PPARγ and PPARδ) in complexes with a pan agonist, an α/δ dual agonist and a PPARδ-specific agonist were determined. The results explain how each ligand is recognized by the PPAR LBDs at an atomic level. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) belong to the nuclear hormone receptor family, which is defined as transcriptional factors that are activated by the binding of ligands to their ligand-binding domains (LBDs). Although the three PPAR subtypes display different tissue distribution patterns and distinct pharmacological profiles, they all are essentially related to fatty-acid and glucose metabolism. Since the PPARs share similar three-dimensional structures within the LBDs, synthetic ligands which simultaneously activate two or all of the PPARs could be potent candidates in terms of drugs for the treatment of abnormal metabolic homeostasis. The structures of several PPAR LBDs were determined in complex with synthetic ligands, derivatives of 3-(4-alkoxyphenyl)propanoic acid, which exhibit unique agonistic activities. The PPARα and PPARγ LBDs were complexed with the same pan agonist, TIPP-703, which activates all three PPARs and their crystal structures were determined. The two LBD–ligand complex structures revealed how the pan agonist is adapted to the similar, but significantly different, ligand-binding pockets of the PPARs. The structures of the PPARδ LBD in complex with an α/δ-selective ligand, TIPP-401, and with a related δ-specific ligand, TIPP-204, were also determined. The comparison between the two PPARδ complexes revealed how each ligand exhibits either a ‘dual selective’ or ‘single specific’ binding mode.

  7. Multimodal imaging reveals temporal and spatial microglia and matrix metalloproteinase activity after experimental stroke

    PubMed Central

    Zinnhardt, Bastian; Viel, Thomas; Wachsmuth, Lydia; Vrachimis, Alexis; Wagner, Stefan; Breyholz, Hans-Jörg; Faust, Andreas; Hermann, Sven; Kopka, Klaus; Faber, Cornelius; Dollé, Frédéric; Pappata, Sabina; Planas, Anna M; Tavitian, Bertrand; Schäfers, Michael; Sorokin, Lydia M; Kuhlmann, Michael T; Jacobs, Andreas H

    2015-01-01

    Stroke is the most common cause of death and disability from neurologic disease in humans. Activation of microglia and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is involved in positively and negatively affecting stroke outcome. Novel, noninvasive, multimodal imaging methods visualizing microglial and MMP alterations were employed. The spatio-temporal dynamics of these parameters were studied in relation to blood flow changes. Micro positron emission tomography (μPET) using [18F]BR-351 showed MMP activity within the first days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo), followed by increased [18F]DPA-714 uptake as a marker for microglia activation with a maximum at 14 days after tMCAo. The inflammatory response was spatially located in the infarct core and in adjacent (penumbral) tissue. For the first time, multimodal imaging based on PET, single photon emission computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed insight into the spatio-temporal distribution of critical parameters of poststroke inflammation. This allows further evaluation of novel treatment paradigms targeting the postischemic inflammation. PMID:26126867

  8. A chimeric prokaryotic pentameric ligand–gated channel reveals distinct pathways of activation

    PubMed Central

    Schmandt, Nicolaus; Velisetty, Phanindra; Chalamalasetti, Sreevatsa V.; Stein, Richard A.; Bonner, Ross; Talley, Lauren; Parker, Mark D.; Mchaourab, Hassane S.; Yee, Vivien C.; Lodowski, David T.

    2015-01-01

    Recent high resolution structures of several pentameric ligand–gated ion channels have provided unprecedented details of their molecular architecture. However, the conformational dynamics and structural rearrangements that underlie gating and allosteric modulation remain poorly understood. We used a combination of electrophysiology, double electron–electron resonance (DEER) spectroscopy, and x-ray crystallography to investigate activation mechanisms in a novel functional chimera with the extracellular domain (ECD) of amine-gated Erwinia chrysanthemi ligand–gated ion channel, which is activated by primary amines, and the transmembrane domain of Gloeobacter violaceus ligand–gated ion channel, which is activated by protons. We found that the chimera was independently gated by primary amines and by protons. The crystal structure of the chimera in its resting state, at pH 7.0 and in the absence of primary amines, revealed a closed-pore conformation and an ECD that is twisted with respect to the transmembrane region. Amine- and pH-induced conformational changes measured by DEER spectroscopy showed that the chimera exhibits a dual mode of gating that preserves the distinct conformational changes of the parent channels. Collectively, our findings shed light on both conserved and divergent features of gating mechanisms in this class of channels, and will facilitate the design of better allosteric modulators. PMID:26415570

  9. Activity in human visual and parietal cortex reveals object-based attention in working memory.

    PubMed

    Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph

    2015-02-25

    Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception.

  10. 454 Pyrosequencing reveals bacterial diversity of activated sludge from 14 sewage treatment plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tong; Shao, Ming-Fei; Ye, Lin

    2012-01-01

    Activated sludge (AS) contains highly complex microbial communities. In this study, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing was applied to investigate the bacterial communities of AS samples from 14 sewage treatment plants of Asia (mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore), and North America (Canada and the United States). A total of 259 K effective sequences of 16S rRNA gene V4 region were obtained from these AS samples. These sequences revealed huge amount of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in AS, that is, 1183–3567 OTUs in a sludge sample, at 3% cutoff level and sequencing depth of 16 489 sequences. Clear geographical differences among the AS samples from Asia and North America were revealed by (1) cluster analyses based on abundances of OTUs or the genus/family/order assigned by Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) and (2) the principal coordinate analyses based on OTUs abundances, RDP taxa abundances and UniFrac of OTUs and their distances. In addition to certain unique bacterial populations in each AS sample, some genera were dominant, and core populations shared by multiple samples, including two commonly reported genera of Zoogloea and Dechloromonas, three genera not frequently reported (i.e., Prosthecobacter, Caldilinea and Tricoccus) and three genera not well described so far (i.e., Gp4 and Gp6 in Acidobacteria and Subdivision3 genera incertae sedis of Verrucomicrobia). Pyrosequencing analyses of multiple AS samples in this study also revealed the minority populations that are hard to be explored by traditional molecular methods and showed that a large proportion of sequences could not be assigned to taxonomic affiliations even at the phylum/class levels. PMID:22170428

  11. The elastase-PK101 structure: Mechanism of an ultrasensitive activity-based probe revealed

    SciTech Connect

    Lechtenberg, Bernhard C.; Robinson, Howard R.; Kasperkiewicz, Paulina; Drag, Marcin; Riedl, Stefan J.

    2015-01-22

    Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) plays a central role in neutrophil host defense, but its broad specificity makes HNE a difficult target for both inhibitor and probe development. Recently, we identified the unnatural amino acid containing activity-based probe PK101, which exhibits astounding sensitivity and selectivity for HNE, yet completely lacks mechanistic explanation for its unique characteristics. Here, we present the crystal structure of the HNE-PK101 complex which not only reveals the basis for PK101 ultrasensitivity but also uncovers so far unrecognized HNE features. Strikingly, the Nle(O-Bzl) function in the P4 position of PK101 reveals and leverages an “exo-pocket” on HNE as a critical factor for selectivity. Furthermore, the PK101 P3 position harbors a methionine dioxide function, which mimics a post-translationally oxidized methionine residue and forms a critical hydrogen bond to the backbone amide of Gly219 of HNE. Gly219 resides in a Gly–Gly motif that is unique to HNE, yet compulsory for this interaction. Consequently, this feature enables HNE to accommodate substrates that have undergone methionine oxidation, which constitutes a hallmark post-translational modification of neutrophil signaling.

  12. The elastase-PK101 structure: Mechanism of an ultrasensitive activity-based probe revealed

    DOE PAGES

    Lechtenberg, Bernhard C.; Robinson, Howard R.; Kasperkiewicz, Paulina; Drag, Marcin; Riedl, Stefan J.

    2015-01-22

    Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) plays a central role in neutrophil host defense, but its broad specificity makes HNE a difficult target for both inhibitor and probe development. Recently, we identified the unnatural amino acid containing activity-based probe PK101, which exhibits astounding sensitivity and selectivity for HNE, yet completely lacks mechanistic explanation for its unique characteristics. Here, we present the crystal structure of the HNE-PK101 complex which not only reveals the basis for PK101 ultrasensitivity but also uncovers so far unrecognized HNE features. Strikingly, the Nle(O-Bzl) function in the P4 position of PK101 reveals and leverages an “exo-pocket” on HNE asmore » a critical factor for selectivity. Furthermore, the PK101 P3 position harbors a methionine dioxide function, which mimics a post-translationally oxidized methionine residue and forms a critical hydrogen bond to the backbone amide of Gly219 of HNE. Gly219 resides in a Gly–Gly motif that is unique to HNE, yet compulsory for this interaction. Consequently, this feature enables HNE to accommodate substrates that have undergone methionine oxidation, which constitutes a hallmark post-translational modification of neutrophil signaling.« less

  13. A contrast agent recognizing activated platelets reveals murine cerebral malaria pathology undetectable by conventional MRI

    PubMed Central

    von zur Muhlen, Constantin; Sibson, Nicola R.; Peter, Karlheinz; Campbell, Sandra J.; Wilainam, Panop; Grau, Georges E.; Bode, Christoph; Choudhury, Robin P.; Anthony, Daniel C.

    2008-01-01

    Human and murine cerebral malaria are associated with elevated levels of cytokines in the brain and adherence of platelets to the microvasculature. Here we demonstrated that the accumulation of platelets in the brain microvasculature can be detected with MRI, using what we believe to be a novel contrast agent, at a time when the pathology is undetectable by conventional MRI. Ligand-induced binding sites (LIBS) on activated platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptors were detected in the brains of malaria-infected mice 6 days after inoculation with Plasmodium berghei using microparticles of iron oxide (MPIOs) conjugated to a single-chain antibody specific for the LIBS (LIBS-MPIO). No binding of the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent was detected in uninfected animals. A combination of LIBS-MPIO MRI, confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, but not IL-1β or lymphotoxin-α (LT-α), induced adherence of platelets to cerebrovascular endothelium. Peak platelet adhesion was found 12 h after TNF-α injection and was readily detected with LIBS-MPIO contrast-enhanced MRI. Temporal studies revealed that the level of MPIO-induced contrast was proportional to the number of platelets bound. Thus, the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent enabled noninvasive detection of otherwise undetectable cerebral pathology by in vivo MRI before the appearance of clinical disease, highlighting the potential of targeted contrast agents for diagnostic, mechanistic, and therapeutic studies. PMID:18274670

  14. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A. Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-07-01

    The crystal structures of two manganese superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis were solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement. The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms.

  15. Structures of Cas9 Endonucleases Reveal RNA-Mediated Conformational Activation

    PubMed Central

    Jinek, Martin; Jiang, Fuguo; Taylor, David W.; Sternberg, Samuel H.; Kaya, Emine; Ma, Enbo; Anders, Carolin; Hauer, Michael; Zhou, Kaihong; Lin, Steven; Kaplan, Matias; Iavarone, Anthony T.; Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Nogales, Eva; Doudna, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Type II CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)–Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems use an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease, Cas9, to generate double-strand breaks in invasive DNA during an adaptive bacterial immune response. Cas9 has been harnessed as a powerful tool for genome editing and gene regulation in many eukaryotic organisms. We report 2.6 and 2.2 angstrom resolution crystal structures of two major Cas9 enzyme subtypes, revealing the structural core shared by all Cas9 family members. The architectures of Cas9 enzymes define nucleic acid binding clefts, and single-particle electron microscopy reconstructions show that the two structural lobes harboring these clefts undergo guide RNA–induced reorientation to form a central channel where DNA substrates are bound. The observation that extensive structural rearrangements occur before target DNA duplex binding implicates guide RNA loading as a key step in Cas9 activation. PMID:24505130

  16. The Characterization of the Endoglucanase Cel12A from Gloeophyllum trabeum Reveals an Enzyme Highly Active on β-Glucan

    PubMed Central

    Miotto, Lis Schwartz; de Rezende, Camila Alves; Bernardes, Amanda; Serpa, Viviane Isabel; Tsang, Adrian; Polikarpov, Igor

    2014-01-01

    The basidiomycete fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum causes a typical brown rot and is known to use reactive oxygen species in the degradation of cellulose. The extracellular Cel12A is one of the few endo-1,4-β-glucanase produced by G. trabeum. Here we cloned cel12A and heterologously expressed it in Aspergillus niger. The identity of the resulting recombinant protein was confirmed by mass spectrometry. We used the purified GtCel12A to determine its substrate specificity and basic biochemical properties. The G. trabeum Cel12A showed highest activity on β-glucan, followed by lichenan, carboxymethylcellulose, phosphoric acid swollen cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, and filter paper. The optimal pH and temperature for enzymatic activity were, respectively, 4.5 and 50°C on β-glucan. Under these conditions specific activity was 239.2±9.1 U mg−1 and the half-life of the enzyme was 84.6±3.5 hours. Thermofluor studies revealed that the enzyme was most thermal stable at pH 3. Using β-glucan as a substrate, the Km was 3.2±0.5 mg mL−1 and the Vmax was 0.41±0.02 µmol min−1. Analysis of the effects of GtCel12A on oat spelt and filter paper by scanning electron microscopy revealed the morphological changes taking place during the process. PMID:25251390

  17. Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite Status and Recent Validation Results

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission was launched in January, 2015 and began its calibration and validation (cal/val) phase in May, 2015. Cal/Val will begin with a focus on instrument measurements, brightness temperature and backscatter, and evolve to the geophysical products that include...

  18. Functional Mapping of Protein Kinase A Reveals Its Importance in Adult Schistosoma mansoni Motor Activity

    PubMed Central

    de Saram, Paulu S. R.; Ressurreição, Margarida; Davies, Angela J.; Rollinson, David; Emery, Aidan M.; Walker, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and ‘smart’ anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology

  19. Functional mapping of protein kinase A reveals its importance in adult Schistosoma mansoni motor activity.

    PubMed

    de Saram, Paulu S R; Ressurreição, Margarida; Davies, Angela J; Rollinson, David; Emery, Aidan M; Walker, Anthony J

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and 'smart' anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology.

  20. Active commuting and physical activity in adolescents from Europe: results from the HELENA study.

    PubMed

    Chillón, Palma; Ortega, Francisco B; Ruiz, Jonatan R; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Martínez-Gómez, David; Vicente-Rodriguez, Germán; Widhalm, Kurt; Molnar, Dénes; Gottrand, Frédéric; González-Gross, Marcela; Ward, Dianne S; Moreno, Luis A; Castillo, Manuel J; Sjöström, Michael

    2011-05-01

    We assessed commuting patterns in adolescents from 10 European cities and examined associations with physical activity (PA). A total of 3112 adolescents were included. PA was objectively measured with accelerometry. Commuting patterns and overall PA were self-reported using questions from the International Physical Activity Questionnaire modified for adolescents (IPAQ-A). Adolescents reported to spend 30 min (15,60) [expressed as median (25th, 75th percentiles)] walking. In boys, associations between active commuting (walking and biking) and PA levels were observed for moderate, moderate-to-vigorous and overall PA. In girls, these associations were observed for moderate and moderate-to-vigorous PA (walking). Similar results were found with the IPAQ-A. We observed positive associations between overall commuting and PA levels in European adolescents, yet due to the cross-sectional study design we cannot state the direction of these. Future studies should address the causation between active commuting and PA levels.

  1. The structure of Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase reveals a novel redox switch that regulates its activities

    SciTech Connect

    Chitnumsub, Penchit Ittarat, Wanwipa; Jaruwat, Aritsara; Noytanom, Krittikar; Amornwatcharapong, Watcharee; Pornthanakasem, Wichai; Chaiyen, Pimchai; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Leartsakulpanich, Ubolsree

    2014-06-01

    The crystal structure of P. falciparum SHMT revealed snapshots of an intriguing disulfide/sulfhydryl switch controlling the functional activity. Plasmodium falciparum serine hydroxymethyltransferase (PfSHMT), an enzyme in the dTMP synthesis cycle, is an antimalarial target because inhibition of its expression or function has been shown to be lethal to the parasite. As the wild-type enzyme could not be crystallized, protein engineering of residues on the surface was carried out. The surface-engineered mutant PfSHMT-F292E was successfully crystallized and its structure was determined at 3 Å resolution. The PfSHMT-F292E structure is a good representation of PfSHMT as this variant revealed biochemical properties similar to those of the wild type. Although the overall structure of PfSHMT is similar to those of other SHMTs, unique features including the presence of two loops and a distinctive cysteine pair formed by Cys125 and Cys364 in the tetrahydrofolate (THF) substrate binding pocket were identified. These structural characteristics have never been reported in other SHMTs. Biochemical characterization and mutation analysis of these two residues confirm that they act as a disulfide/sulfhydryl switch to regulate the THF-dependent catalytic function of the enzyme. This redox switch is not present in the human enzyme, in which the cysteine pair is absent. The data reported here can be further exploited as a new strategy to specifically disrupt the activity of the parasite enzyme without interfering with the function of the human enzyme.

  2. Annoyance resulting from intrusion of aircraft sounds upon various activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gunn, W. J.; Shepherd, W. T.; Fletcher, J. L.

    1975-01-01

    An experiment was conducted in which subjects were engaged in TV viewing, telephone listening, or reverie (no activity) for a 1/2-hour session. During the session, they were exposed to a series of recorded aircraft sounds at the rate of one flight every 2 minutes. Within each session, four levels of flyover noise, separated by dB increments, were presented several times in a Latin Square balanced sequence. The peak level of the noisiest flyover in any session was fixed at 95, 90, 85, 75, or 70 dBA. At the end of the test session, subjects recorded their responses to the aircraft sounds, using a bipolar scale which covered the range from very pleasant to extremely annoying. Responses to aircraft noises were found to be significantly affected by the particular activity in which the subjects were engaged. Not all subjects found the aircraft sounds to be annoying.

  3. Brain Activation of Negative Feedback in Rule Acquisition Revealed in a Segmented Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Cao, Bihua; Cai, Xueli; Gao, Heming; Li, Fuhong

    2015-01-01

    The present study is to investigate the brain activation associated with the informative value of negative feedback in rule acquisition. In each trial of a segmented Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, participants were provided with three reference cards and one target card, and were asked to match one of three reference cards to the target card based on a classification rule. Participants received feedback after each match. Participants would acquire the rule after one negative feedback (1-NF condition) or two successive negative feedbacks (2-NF condition). The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results indicated that lateral prefrontal-to-parietal cortices were more active in the 2-NF condition than in the 1-NF condition. The activation in the right lateral prefrontal cortex and left posterior parietal cortex increased gradually with the amount of negative feedback. These results demonstrate that the informative value of negative feedback in rule acquisition might be modulated by the lateral prefronto-parietal loop. PMID:26469519

  4. Generation of 2,000 breast cancer metabolic landscapes reveals a poor prognosis group with active serotonin production.

    PubMed

    Leoncikas, Vytautas; Wu, Huihai; Ward, Lara T; Kierzek, Andrzej M; Plant, Nick J

    2016-01-01

    A major roadblock in the effective treatment of cancers is their heterogeneity, whereby multiple molecular landscapes are classified as a single disease. To explore the contribution of cellular metabolism to cancer heterogeneity, we analyse the Metabric dataset, a landmark genomic and transcriptomic study of 2,000 individual breast tumours, in the context of the human genome-scale metabolic network. We create personalized metabolic landscapes for each tumour by exploring sets of active reactions that satisfy constraints derived from human biochemistry and maximize congruency with the Metabric transcriptome data. Classification of the personalized landscapes derived from 997 tumour samples within the Metabric discovery dataset reveals a novel poor prognosis cluster, reproducible in the 995-sample validation dataset. We experimentally follow mechanistic hypotheses resulting from the computational study and establish that active serotonin production is a major metabolic feature of the poor prognosis group. These data support the reconsideration of concomitant serotonin-specific uptake inhibitors treatment during breast cancer chemotherapy. PMID:26813959

  5. Generation of 2,000 breast cancer metabolic landscapes reveals a poor prognosis group with active serotonin production

    PubMed Central

    Leoncikas, Vytautas; Wu, Huihai; Ward, Lara T.; Kierzek, Andrzej M.; Plant, Nick J.

    2016-01-01

    A major roadblock in the effective treatment of cancers is their heterogeneity, whereby multiple molecular landscapes are classified as a single disease. To explore the contribution of cellular metabolism to cancer heterogeneity, we analyse the Metabric dataset, a landmark genomic and transcriptomic study of 2,000 individual breast tumours, in the context of the human genome-scale metabolic network. We create personalized metabolic landscapes for each tumour by exploring sets of active reactions that satisfy constraints derived from human biochemistry and maximize congruency with the Metabric transcriptome data. Classification of the personalized landscapes derived from 997 tumour samples within the Metabric discovery dataset reveals a novel poor prognosis cluster, reproducible in the 995-sample validation dataset. We experimentally follow mechanistic hypotheses resulting from the computational study and establish that active serotonin production is a major metabolic feature of the poor prognosis group. These data support the reconsideration of concomitant serotonin-specific uptake inhibitors treatment during breast cancer chemotherapy. PMID:26813959

  6. Analysis of Transcriptional Signatures in Response to Listeria monocytogenes Infection Reveals Temporal Changes That Result from Type I Interferon Signaling.

    PubMed

    Pitt, Jonathan M; Blankley, Simon; Potempa, Krzysztof; Graham, Christine M; Moreira-Teixeira, Lucia; McNab, Finlay W; Howes, Ashleigh; Stavropoulos, Evangelos; Pascual, Virginia; Banchereau, Jacques; Chaussabel, Damien; O'Garra, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of the mouse transcriptional response to Listeria monocytogenes infection reveals that a large set of genes are perturbed in both blood and tissue and that these transcriptional responses are enriched for pathways of the immune response. Further we identified enrichment for both type I and type II interferon (IFN) signaling molecules in the blood and tissues upon infection. Since type I IFN signaling has been reported widely to impair bacterial clearance we examined gene expression from blood and tissues of wild type (WT) and type I IFNαβ receptor-deficient (Ifnar1-/-) mice at the basal level and upon infection with L. monocytogenes. Measurement of the fold change response upon infection in the absence of type I IFN signaling demonstrated an upregulation of specific genes at day 1 post infection. A less marked reduction of the global gene expression signature in blood or tissues from infected Ifnar1-/- as compared to WT mice was observed at days 2 and 3 after infection, with marked reduction in key genes such as Oasg1 and Stat2. Moreover, on in depth analysis, changes in gene expression in uninfected mice of key IFN regulatory genes including Irf9, Irf7, Stat1 and others were identified, and although induced by an equivalent degree upon infection this resulted in significantly lower final gene expression levels upon infection of Ifnar1-/- mice. These data highlight how dysregulation of this network in the steady state and temporally upon infection may determine the outcome of this bacterial infection and how basal levels of type I IFN-inducible genes may perturb an optimal host immune response to control intracellular bacterial infections such as L. monocytogenes. PMID:26918359

  7. Analysis of Transcriptional Signatures in Response to Listeria monocytogenes Infection Reveals Temporal Changes That Result from Type I Interferon Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Potempa, Krzysztof; Graham, Christine M.; Moreira-Teixeira, Lucia; McNab, Finlay W.; Howes, Ashleigh; Stavropoulos, Evangelos; Pascual, Virginia; Banchereau, Jacques; Chaussabel, Damien; O’Garra, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of the mouse transcriptional response to Listeria monocytogenes infection reveals that a large set of genes are perturbed in both blood and tissue and that these transcriptional responses are enriched for pathways of the immune response. Further we identified enrichment for both type I and type II interferon (IFN) signaling molecules in the blood and tissues upon infection. Since type I IFN signaling has been reported widely to impair bacterial clearance we examined gene expression from blood and tissues of wild type (WT) and type I IFNαβ receptor-deficient (Ifnar1-/-) mice at the basal level and upon infection with L. monocytogenes. Measurement of the fold change response upon infection in the absence of type I IFN signaling demonstrated an upregulation of specific genes at day 1 post infection. A less marked reduction of the global gene expression signature in blood or tissues from infected Ifnar1-/- as compared to WT mice was observed at days 2 and 3 after infection, with marked reduction in key genes such as Oasg1 and Stat2. Moreover, on in depth analysis, changes in gene expression in uninfected mice of key IFN regulatory genes including Irf9, Irf7, Stat1 and others were identified, and although induced by an equivalent degree upon infection this resulted in significantly lower final gene expression levels upon infection of Ifnar1-/- mice. These data highlight how dysregulation of this network in the steady state and temporally upon infection may determine the outcome of this bacterial infection and how basal levels of type I IFN-inducible genes may perturb an optimal host immune response to control intracellular bacterial infections such as L. monocytogenes. PMID:26918359

  8. Quantitative Proteomics Reveals the Induction of Mitophagy in Tumor Necrosis Factor-α-activated (TNFα) Macrophages*

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Christina; English, Luc; Boulais, Jonathan; Chemali, Magali; Caron-Lizotte, Olivier; Desjardins, Michel; Thibault, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Macrophages play an important role in innate and adaptive immunity as professional phagocytes capable of internalizing and degrading pathogens to derive antigens for presentation to T cells. They also produce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) that mediate local and systemic responses and direct the development of adaptive immunity. The present work describes the use of label-free quantitative proteomics to profile the dynamic changes of proteins from resting and TNF-α-activated mouse macrophages. These analyses revealed that TNF-α activation of macrophages led to the down-regulation of mitochondrial proteins and the differential regulation of several proteins involved in vesicle trafficking and immune response. Importantly, we found that the down-regulation of mitochondria proteins occurred through mitophagy and was specific to TNF-α, as other cytokines such as IL-1β and IFN-γ had no effect on mitochondria degradation. Furthermore, using a novel antigen presentation system, we observed that the induction of mitophagy by TNF-α enabled the processing and presentation of mitochondrial antigens at the cell surface by MHC class I molecules. These findings highlight an unsuspected role of TNF-α in mitophagy and expanded our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for MHC presentation of self-antigens. PMID:23674617

  9. Voltage-Sensitive Dyes And Imaging Techniques Reveal New Patterns Of Electrical Activity In Heart Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salama, Guy

    1988-04-01

    Voltage-sensitive dyes bind to the plasms membrane of excitable cells (ie., muscle or nerve cells) and exhibit fluorescence and/or absorption changes that vary linearly with changes in transmembrane electrical potential. These potentiometric optical probes can be used to measure local changes in transmembrane potential by monitoring optical signals from dye molecules bound to the surface membrane. Consequently, when excitable cells are stained with such a dye and are stimulated to fire an electrical impulse (ie., an action potential (AP)), the changes in dye fluorescence have the characteristic shape and time course of APs recorded with an intracellular micro-electrode. Potentiometric dyes in conjuction with imaging techniques can now be used to visualize complex patterns and propagation of electrical activity. With photodiode arrays on video imaging techniques, patterns of biological electrical activity can be obtained with high temporal and spatial resolution which could not be obtained by conventional micro-electrodes. These methods reveal new details and offer powerful approaches to study fundamental problem in cardiac electrophysiology, communication in nerve networks, and the organization of cortical neurons.

  10. High-throughput mutagenesis reveals functional determinants for DNA targeting by activation-induced deaminase

    PubMed Central

    Gajula, Kiran S.; Huwe, Peter J.; Mo, Charlie Y.; Crawford, Daniel J.; Stivers, James T.; Radhakrishnan, Ravi; Kohli, Rahul M.

    2014-01-01

    Antibody maturation is a critical immune process governed by the enzyme activation-induced deaminase (AID), a member of the AID/APOBEC DNA deaminase family. AID/APOBEC deaminases preferentially target cytosine within distinct preferred sequence motifs in DNA, with specificity largely conferred by a small 9–11 residue protein loop that differs among family members. Here, we aimed to determine the key functional characteristics of this protein loop in AID and to thereby inform our understanding of the mode of DNA engagement. To this end, we developed a methodology (Sat-Sel-Seq) that couples saturation mutagenesis at each position across the targeting loop, with iterative functional selection and next-generation sequencing. This high-throughput mutational analysis revealed dominant characteristics for residues within the loop and additionally yielded enzymatic variants that enhance deaminase activity. To rationalize these functional requirements, we performed molecular dynamics simulations that suggest that AID and its hyperactive variants can engage DNA in multiple specific modes. These findings align with AID's competing requirements for specificity and flexibility to efficiently drive antibody maturation. Beyond insights into the AID-DNA interface, our Sat-Sel-Seq approach also serves to further expand the repertoire of techniques for deep positional scanning and may find general utility for high-throughput analysis of protein function. PMID:25064858

  11. Context Differences Reveal Insulator and Activator Functions of a Su(Hw) Binding Region

    PubMed Central

    Wehling, Misty D.; Geyer, Pamela K.

    2008-01-01

    Insulators are DNA elements that divide chromosomes into independent transcriptional domains. The Drosophila genome contains hundreds of binding sites for the Suppressor of Hairy-wing [Su(Hw)] insulator protein, corresponding to locations of the retroviral gypsy insulator and non-gypsy binding regions (BRs). The first non-gypsy BR identified, 1A-2, resides in cytological region 1A. Using a quantitative transgene system, we show that 1A-2 is a composite insulator containing enhancer blocking and facilitator elements. We discovered that 1A-2 separates the yellow (y) gene from a previously unannotated, non-coding RNA gene, named yar for y-achaete (ac) intergenic RNA. The role of 1A-2 was elucidated using homologous recombination to excise these sequences from the natural location, representing the first deletion of any Su(Hw) BR in the genome. Loss of 1A-2 reduced yar RNA accumulation, without affecting mRNA levels from the neighboring y and ac genes. These data indicate that within the 1A region, 1A-2 acts an activator of yar transcription. Taken together, these studies reveal that the properties of 1A-2 are context-dependent, as this element has both insulator and enhancer activities. These findings imply that the function of non-gypsy Su(Hw) BRs depends on the genomic environment, predicting that Su(Hw) BRs represent a diverse collection of genomic regulatory elements. PMID:18704163

  12. Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling

    PubMed Central

    Mobberley, J. M.; Khodadad, C. L. M.; Visscher, P. T.; Reid, R. P.; Hagan, P.; Foster, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    Microbialites are sedimentary deposits formed by the metabolic interactions of microbes and their environment. These lithifying microbial communities represent one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of these communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize the spatial organization of the thrombolites of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas, an actively forming microbialite system. At midday, there were differences in gene expression throughout the spatial profile of the thrombolitic mat with a high abundance of transcripts encoding genes required for photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and exopolymeric substance production in the upper three mm of the mat. Transcripts associated with denitrification and sulfate reduction were in low abundance throughout the depth profile, suggesting these metabolisms were less active during midday. Comparative metagenomics of the Bahamian thrombolites with other known microbialite ecosystems from across the globe revealed that, despite many shared core pathways, the thrombolites represented genetically distinct communities. This study represents the first time the metatranscriptome of living microbialite has been characterized and offers a new molecular perspective on those microbial metabolisms, and their underlying genetic pathways, that influence the mechanisms of carbonate precipitation in lithifying microbial mat ecosystems. PMID:26213359

  13. Inner workings of thrombolites: spatial gradients of metabolic activity as revealed by metatranscriptome profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, J. M.; Khodadad, C. L. M.; Visscher, P. T.; Reid, R. P.; Hagan, P.; Foster, J. S.

    2015-07-01

    Microbialites are sedimentary deposits formed by the metabolic interactions of microbes and their environment. These lithifying microbial communities represent one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of these communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to characterize the spatial organization of the thrombolites of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas, an actively forming microbialite system. At midday, there were differences in gene expression throughout the spatial profile of the thrombolitic mat with a high abundance of transcripts encoding genes required for photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and exopolymeric substance production in the upper three mm of the mat. Transcripts associated with denitrification and sulfate reduction were in low abundance throughout the depth profile, suggesting these metabolisms were less active during midday. Comparative metagenomics of the Bahamian thrombolites with other known microbialite ecosystems from across the globe revealed that, despite many shared core pathways, the thrombolites represented genetically distinct communities. This study represents the first time the metatranscriptome of living microbialite has been characterized and offers a new molecular perspective on those microbial metabolisms, and their underlying genetic pathways, that influence the mechanisms of carbonate precipitation in lithifying microbial mat ecosystems.

  14. Recent tectonic activity on Mercury revealed by small thrust fault scarps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watters, Thomas R.; Daud, Katie; Banks, Maria E.; Selvans, Michelle M.; Chapman, Clark R.; Ernst, Carolyn M.

    2016-10-01

    Large tectonic landforms on the surface of Mercury, consistent with significant contraction of the planet, were revealed by the flybys of Mariner 10 in the mid-1970s. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission confirmed that the planet's past 4 billion years of tectonic history have been dominated by contraction expressed by lobate fault scarps that are hundreds of kilometres long. Here we report the discovery of small thrust fault scarps in images from the low-altitude campaign at the end of the MESSENGER mission that are orders of magnitude smaller than the large-scale lobate scarps. These small scarps have tens of metres of relief, are only kilometres in length and are comparable in scale to small young scarps on the Moon. Their small-scale, pristine appearance, crosscutting of impact craters and association with small graben all indicate an age of less than 50 Myr. We propose that these scarps are the smallest members of a continuum in scale of thrust fault scarps on Mercury. The young age of the small scarps, along with evidence for recent activity on large-scale scarps, suggests that Mercury is tectonically active today and implies a prolonged slow cooling of the planet's interior.

  15. Activation of acid-sensing ion channels by localized proton transient reveals their role in proton signaling.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Di-Shi; Liu, Lu; She, Liang; Wu, Long-Jun; Xu, Tian-Le

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular transients of pH alterations likely mediate signal transduction in the nervous system. Neuronal acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) act as sensors for extracellular protons, but the mechanism underlying ASIC activation remains largely unknown. Here, we show that, following activation of a light-activated proton pump, Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), proton transients induced ASIC currents in both neurons and HEK293T cells co-expressing ASIC1a channels. Using chimera proteins that bridge Arch and ASIC1a by a glycine/serine linker, we found that successful coupling occurred within 15 nm distance. Furthermore, two-cell sniffer patch recording revealed that regulated release of protons through either Arch or voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 activated neighbouring cells expressing ASIC1a channels. Finally, computational modelling predicted the peak proton concentration at the intercellular interface to be at pH 6.7, which is acidic enough to activate ASICs in vivo. Our results highlight the pathophysiological role of proton signalling in the nervous system. PMID:26370138

  16. Activation of acid-sensing ion channels by localized proton transient reveals their role in proton signaling

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Di-Shi; Liu, Lu; She, Liang; Wu, Long-Jun; Xu, Tian-Le

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular transients of pH alterations likely mediate signal transduction in the nervous system. Neuronal acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) act as sensors for extracellular protons, but the mechanism underlying ASIC activation remains largely unknown. Here, we show that, following activation of a light-activated proton pump, Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), proton transients induced ASIC currents in both neurons and HEK293T cells co-expressing ASIC1a channels. Using chimera proteins that bridge Arch and ASIC1a by a glycine/serine linker, we found that successful coupling occurred within 15 nm distance. Furthermore, two-cell sniffer patch recording revealed that regulated release of protons through either Arch or voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 activated neighbouring cells expressing ASIC1a channels. Finally, computational modelling predicted the peak proton concentration at the intercellular interface to be at pH 6.7, which is acidic enough to activate ASICs in vivo. Our results highlight the pathophysiological role of proton signalling in the nervous system. PMID:26370138

  17. Activation of acid-sensing ion channels by localized proton transient reveals their role in proton signaling.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Di-Shi; Liu, Lu; She, Liang; Wu, Long-Jun; Xu, Tian-Le

    2015-09-15

    Extracellular transients of pH alterations likely mediate signal transduction in the nervous system. Neuronal acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) act as sensors for extracellular protons, but the mechanism underlying ASIC activation remains largely unknown. Here, we show that, following activation of a light-activated proton pump, Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch), proton transients induced ASIC currents in both neurons and HEK293T cells co-expressing ASIC1a channels. Using chimera proteins that bridge Arch and ASIC1a by a glycine/serine linker, we found that successful coupling occurred within 15 nm distance. Furthermore, two-cell sniffer patch recording revealed that regulated release of protons through either Arch or voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 activated neighbouring cells expressing ASIC1a channels. Finally, computational modelling predicted the peak proton concentration at the intercellular interface to be at pH 6.7, which is acidic enough to activate ASICs in vivo. Our results highlight the pathophysiological role of proton signalling in the nervous system.

  18. Structure–Activity Relationship Study Reveals ML240 and ML241 as Potent and Selective Inhibitors of p97 ATPase

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Tsui-Fen; Li, Kelin; Frankowski, Kevin J; Schoenen, Frank J; Deshaies, Raymond J

    2013-01-01

    To discover more potent p97 inhibitors, we carried out a structure–activity relationship study of the quinazoline scaffold previously identified from our HTS campaigns. Two improved inhibitors, ML240 and ML241, inhibit p97 ATPase with IC50 values of 100 nm. Both compounds inhibited degradation of a p97-dependent but not a p97-independent proteasome substrate in a dual-reporter cell line. They also impaired the endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Unexpectedly, ML240 potently stimulated accumulation of LC3-II within minutes, inhibited cancer cell growth, and rapidly mobilized the executioner caspases 3 and 7, whereas ML241 did not. The behavior of ML240 suggests that disruption of the protein homeostasis function of p97 leads to more rapid activation of apoptosis than is observed with a proteasome inhibitor. Further characterization revealed that ML240 has broad antiproliferative activity toward the NCI-60 panel of cancer cell lines, but slightly lower activity toward normal cells. ML240 also synergizes with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 to kill multiple colon cancer cell lines. Meanwhile, both probes have low off-target activity toward a panel of protein kinases and central nervous system targets. Our results nominate ML240 as a promising starting point for the development of a novel agent for the chemotherapy of cancer, and provide a rationale for developing pathway-specific p97 inhibitors. PMID:23316025

  19. Voltage-sensitive dye imaging reveals improved topographic activation of cortex in response to manipulation of thalamic microstimulation parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qi; Millard, Daniel C.; Zheng, He J. V.; Stanley, Garrett B.

    2012-04-01

    Voltage-sensitive dye imaging was used to quantify in vivo, network level spatiotemporal cortical activation in response to electrical microstimulation of the thalamus in the rat vibrissa pathway. Thalamic microstimulation evoked a distinctly different cortical response than natural sensory stimulation, with response to microstimulation spreading over a larger area of cortex and being topographically misaligned with the cortical column to which the stimulated thalamic region projects. Electrical stimulation with cathode-leading asymmetric waveforms reduced this topographic misalignment while simultaneously increasing the spatial specificity of the cortical activation. Systematically increasing the asymmetry of the microstimulation pulses revealed a continuum between symmetric and asymmetric stimulation that gradually reduced the topographic bias. These data strongly support the hypothesis that manipulation of the electrical stimulation waveform can be used to selectively activate specific neural elements. Specifically, our results are consistent with the prediction that cathode-leading asymmetric waveforms preferentially stimulate cell bodies over axons, while symmetric waveforms preferentially activate axons over cell bodies. The findings here provide some initial steps toward the design and optimization of microstimulation of neural circuitry, and open the door to more sophisticated engineering tools, such as nonlinear system identification techniques, to develop technologies for more effective control of activity in the nervous system.

  20. Active X-ray mirror development at UCL: preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atkins, Carolyn; Doel, Peter; Yao, Jun; Brooks, David; Thompson, Samantha; Willingale, Richard; Feldman, Charlotte; Button, Tim; Zhang, Dou; James, Ady

    2007-12-01

    The Smart X-ray Optics project is a UK based consortium consisting of several institutions to investigate the application of active/adaptive optics upon both small and large scale grazing incidence x-ray optics. The work done at University College London (UCL) focuses on the application of piezoelectric materials to large scale optics in order to actively deform the mirror's surface. These optics are geared towards the next generation of x-ray telescopes and it is hoped that the project will be able to achieve a resolution greater than that currently available by Chandra (0.5"). One of the aims of the consortium is to produce a working prototype. The initial design is based on a thin nickel ellipsoid segment with an x-ray reflective coating, on the back of which will be bonded a series of piezoelectric actuators. Investigation into the specification of the design of an active x-ray optic prototype and suitable support test structure has been undertaken. The dimensions and constraints upon the prototype, and the manufacturing process to produce a nickel shell are discussed. Finite element analysis (FEA) of the physical characteristics of piezoelectric materials has shown the ability to deform the nickel surface to correct for errors of several microns. FEA has also been utilised in the specification of the prototype's support structure to ensure that gravitational sag upon the optic is kept to a minimum. Laboratory experiments have tested a series of materials, different actuators and bonding methods, which could then be applied to the prototype.

  1. Towards active capsular endoscopy: preliminary results on a legged platform.

    PubMed

    Menciassi, Arianna; Stefanini, Cesare; Orlandi, Giovanni; Quirini, Marco; Dario, Paolo

    2006-01-01

    This paper illustrates the problem of active locomotion in the gastrointestinal tract for endoscopic capsules. Authors analyze the problem of locomotion in unstructured, flexible and tubular environments and explain the reasons leading to the selection of a legged system. They present a theoretical simulation of legged capsule locomotion, which is used to define the optimal parameters for capsule design and gait selection. Finally, a legged capsule--about 3 cm3 in volume--is presented; it consists of 4 back legs whose actuation is achieved thanks to a miniaturized DC brushless motor. In vitro tests demonstrate good performance in terms of achievable speed (92 mm/min).

  2. Experimental results using active control of traveling wave power flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, David W.; Hall, Steven R.

    1991-01-01

    Active structural control experiments conducted on a 24-ft pinned-free beam derived feedback compensators on the basis of a traveling-wave approach. A compensator is thus obtained which eliminates resonant behavior by absorbing all impinging power. A causal solution is derived for this noncausal compensator which mimics its behavior in a given frequency range, using the Wiener-Hopf. This optimal Wiener-Hopf compensator's structure-damping performance is found to exceed any obtainable by means of rate feedback. Performance limitations encompassed the discovery of frequencies above which the sensor and actuator were no longer dual and an inadvertent coupling of the control hardware to unmodeled structure torsion modes.

  3. CHP REGIONAL APPLICATION CENTERS: ACTIVITIES AND SELECTED RESULTS

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, Martin

    2010-08-01

    Between 2001 and 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created a set of eight Regional Application Centers (RACs) to facilitate the development and deployment of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technologies. By utilizing the thermal energy that is normally wasted when electricity is produced at central generating stations, Combined Heat and Power installations can save substantial amounts of energy compared to more traditional technologies. In addition, the location of CHP facilities at or near the point of consumption greatly reduces or eliminates electric transmission and distribution losses. The regional nature of the RACs allows each one to design and provide services that are most relevant to the specific economic and market conditions in its particular geographic area. Between them, the eight RACs provide services to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Through the end of the federal 2009 fiscal year (FY 2009), the primary focus of the RACs was on providing CHP-related information to targeted markets, encouraging the creation and adoption of public policies and incentives favorable to CHP, and providing CHP users and prospective users with technical assistance and support on specific projects. Beginning with the 2010 fiscal year, the focus of the regional centers broadened to include district energy and waste heat recovery and these entities became formally known as Clean Energy Application Centers, as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. In 2007, ORNL led a cooperative effort to establish metrics to quantify the RACs accomplishments. That effort began with the development of a detailed logic model describing RAC operations and outcomes, which provided a basis for identifying important activities and accomplishments to track. A data collection spreadsheet soliciting information on those activities for FY 2008 and all previous years of RAC operations was developed and sent to the RACs in the summer of 2008. This

  4. Active mechanics in living oocytes reveal molecular-scale force kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Wylie; Fodor, Etienne; Almonacid, Maria; Bussonnier, Matthias; Verlhac, Marie-Helene; Gov, Nir; Visco, Paolo; van Wijland, Frederic; Betz, Timo

    Unlike traditional materials, living cells actively generate forces at the molecular scale that change their structure and mechanical properties. This nonequilibrium activity is essential for cellular function, and drives processes such as cell division. Single molecule studies have uncovered the detailed force kinetics of isolated motor proteins in-vitro, however their behavior in-vivo has been elusive due to the complex environment inside the cell. Here, we quantify active forces and intracellular mechanics in living oocytes using in-vivo optical trapping and laser interferometry of endogenous vesicles. We integrate an experimental and theoretical framework to connect mesoscopic measurements of nonequilibrium properties to the underlying molecular- scale force kinetics. Our results show that force generation by myosin-V drives the cytoplasmic-skeleton out-of-equilibrium (at frequencies below 300 Hz) and actively softens the environment. In vivo myosin-V activity generates a force of F ~ 0 . 4 pN, with a power-stroke of length Δx ~ 20 nm and duration τ ~ 300 μs, that drives vesicle motion at vv ~ 320 nm/s. This framework is widely applicable to characterize living cells and other soft active materials.

  5. An in vitro screening with emerging contaminants reveals inhibition of carboxylesterase activity in aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C

    2015-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) form part of the new generation of pollutants present in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Although environmental concentrations of these bioactive substances are low, they cause sublethal effects (e.g., enzyme inhibition) in non-target organisms. However, little is known on metabolism of PPCPs by non-mammal species. Herein, an in vitro enzyme trial was performed to explore sensitivity of carboxylesterase (CE) activity of aquatic organisms to fourteen PPCPs. The esterase activity was determined in the liver of Mediterranean freshwater fish (Barbus meridionalis and Squalius laietanus), coastal marine fish (Dicentrarchus labrax and Solea solea), middle-slope fish (Trachyrhynchus scabrus), deep-sea fish (Alepocephalus rostratus and Cataetix laticeps), and in the digestive gland of a decapod crustacean (Aristeus antennatus). Results showed that 100μM of the lipid regulators simvastatin and fenofibrate significantly inhibited (30-80% of controls) the CE activity of all target species. Among the personal care products, nonylphenol and triclosan were strong esterase inhibitors in most species (36-68% of controls). Comparison with literature data suggests that fish CE activity is as sensitive to inhibition by some PPCPs as that of mammals, although their basal activity levels are lower than in mammals. Pending further studies on the interaction between PPCPs and CE activity, we postulate that this enzyme may act as a molecular sink for certain PPCPs in a comparable way than that described for the organophosphorus pesticides. PMID:26562051

  6. An in vitro screening with emerging contaminants reveals inhibition of carboxylesterase activity in aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C

    2015-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) form part of the new generation of pollutants present in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Although environmental concentrations of these bioactive substances are low, they cause sublethal effects (e.g., enzyme inhibition) in non-target organisms. However, little is known on metabolism of PPCPs by non-mammal species. Herein, an in vitro enzyme trial was performed to explore sensitivity of carboxylesterase (CE) activity of aquatic organisms to fourteen PPCPs. The esterase activity was determined in the liver of Mediterranean freshwater fish (Barbus meridionalis and Squalius laietanus), coastal marine fish (Dicentrarchus labrax and Solea solea), middle-slope fish (Trachyrhynchus scabrus), deep-sea fish (Alepocephalus rostratus and Cataetix laticeps), and in the digestive gland of a decapod crustacean (Aristeus antennatus). Results showed that 100μM of the lipid regulators simvastatin and fenofibrate significantly inhibited (30-80% of controls) the CE activity of all target species. Among the personal care products, nonylphenol and triclosan were strong esterase inhibitors in most species (36-68% of controls). Comparison with literature data suggests that fish CE activity is as sensitive to inhibition by some PPCPs as that of mammals, although their basal activity levels are lower than in mammals. Pending further studies on the interaction between PPCPs and CE activity, we postulate that this enzyme may act as a molecular sink for certain PPCPs in a comparable way than that described for the organophosphorus pesticides.

  7. Interaction of Rio1 Kinase with Toyocamycin Reveals a Conformational Switch That Controls Oligomeric State and Catalytic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kiburu, Irene N.; LaRonde-LeBlanc, Nicole

    2012-01-01

    Rio1 kinase is an essential ribosome-processing factor required for proper maturation of 40 S ribosomal subunit. Although its structure is known, several questions regarding its functional remain to be addressed. We report that both Archaeoglobus fulgidus and human Rio1 bind more tightly to an adenosine analog, toyocamycin, than to ATP. Toyocamycin has antibiotic, antiviral and cytotoxic properties, and is known to inhibit ribosome biogenesis, specifically the maturation of 40 S. We determined the X-ray crystal structure of toyocamycin bound to Rio1 at 2.0 Å and demonstrated that toyocamycin binds in the ATP binding pocket of the protein. Despite this, measured steady state kinetics were inconsistent with strict competitive inhibition by toyocamycin. In analyzing this interaction, we discovered that Rio1 is capable of accessing multiple distinct oligomeric states and that toyocamycin may inhibit Rio1 by stabilizing a less catalytically active oligomer. We also present evidence of substrate inhibition by high concentrations of ATP for both archaeal and human Rio1. Oligomeric state studies show both proteins access a higher order oligomeric state in the presence of ATP. The study revealed that autophosphorylation by Rio1 reduces oligomer formation and promotes monomerization, resulting in the most active species. Taken together, these results suggest the activity of Rio1 may be modulated by regulating its oligomerization properties in a conserved mechanism, identifies the first ribosome processing target of toyocamycin and presents the first small molecule inhibitor of Rio1 kinase activity. PMID:22629386

  8. Interaction of Rio1 Kinase with Toyocamycin Reveals a Conformational Switch That Controls Oligomeric State and Catalytic Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Kiburu, Irene N.; LaRonde-LeBlanc, Nicole

    2012-10-10

    Rio1 kinase is an essential ribosome-processing factor required for proper maturation of 40 S ribosomal subunit. Although its structure is known, several questions regarding its functional remain to be addressed. We report that both Archaeoglobus fulgidus and human Rio1 bind more tightly to an adenosine analog, toyocamycin, than to ATP. Toyocamycin has antibiotic, antiviral and cytotoxic properties, and is known to inhibit ribosome biogenesis, specifically the maturation of 40 S. We determined the X-ray crystal structure of toyocamycin bound to Rio1 at 2.0 {angstrom} and demonstrated that toyocamycin binds in the ATP binding pocket of the protein. Despite this, measured steady state kinetics were inconsistent with strict competitive inhibition by toyocamycin. In analyzing this interaction, we discovered that Rio1 is capable of accessing multiple distinct oligomeric states and that toyocamycin may inhibit Rio1 by stabilizing a less catalytically active oligomer. We also present evidence of substrate inhibition by high concentrations of ATP for both archaeal and human Rio1. Oligomeric state studies show both proteins access a higher order oligomeric state in the presence of ATP. The study revealed that autophosphorylation by Rio1 reduces oligomer formation and promotes monomerization, resulting in the most active species. Taken together, these results suggest the activity of Rio1 may be modulated by regulating its oligomerization properties in a conserved mechanism, identifies the first ribosome processing target of toyocamycin and presents the first small molecule inhibitor of Rio1 kinase activity.

  9. Active populations of rare microbes in oceanic environments as revealed by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and 454 tag sequencing.

    PubMed

    Hamasaki, Koji; Taniguchi, Akito; Tada, Yuya; Kaneko, Ryo; Miki, Takeshi

    2016-02-01

    The "rare biosphere" consisting of thousands of low-abundance microbial taxa is important as a seed bank or a gene pool to maintain microbial functional redundancy and robustness of the ecosystem. Here we investigated contemporaneous growth of diverse microbial taxa including rare taxa and determined their variability in environmentally distinctive locations along a north-south transect in the Pacific Ocean in order to assess which taxa were actively growing and how environmental factors influenced bacterial community structures. A bromodeoxyuridine-labeling technique in combination with PCR amplicon pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes gave 215-793 OTUs from 1200 to 3500 unique sequences in the total communities and 175-299 OTUs nearly 860 to 1800 sequences in the active communities. Unexpectedly, many of the active OTUs were not detected in the total fractions. Among these active but rare OTUs, some taxa (2-4% of rare OTUs) showed much higher abundance (>0.10% of total reads) in the active fraction than in the total fraction, suggesting that their contribution to bacterial community productivity or growth was much larger than that expected from their standing stocks at each location. An ordination plot by the principal component analysis presented that bacterial community compositions among 4 sampling locations and between total and active fractions were distinctive with each other. A redundancy analysis revealed that the variability of community compositions significantly correlated to seawater temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration. Also, a variation partitioning analysis showed that the environmental factors explained 49% of the variability of community compositions and the distance only explained 4.0% of its variability. These results implied very dynamic change of community structures due to environmental filtering. The active bacterial populations are more diverse and spread further in rare biosphere than we have ever seen. This study implied that rare

  10. Active populations of rare microbes in oceanic environments as revealed by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and 454 tag sequencing.

    PubMed

    Hamasaki, Koji; Taniguchi, Akito; Tada, Yuya; Kaneko, Ryo; Miki, Takeshi

    2016-02-01

    The "rare biosphere" consisting of thousands of low-abundance microbial taxa is important as a seed bank or a gene pool to maintain microbial functional redundancy and robustness of the ecosystem. Here we investigated contemporaneous growth of diverse microbial taxa including rare taxa and determined their variability in environmentally distinctive locations along a north-south transect in the Pacific Ocean in order to assess which taxa were actively growing and how environmental factors influenced bacterial community structures. A bromodeoxyuridine-labeling technique in combination with PCR amplicon pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes gave 215-793 OTUs from 1200 to 3500 unique sequences in the total communities and 175-299 OTUs nearly 860 to 1800 sequences in the active communities. Unexpectedly, many of the active OTUs were not detected in the total fractions. Among these active but rare OTUs, some taxa (2-4% of rare OTUs) showed much higher abundance (>0.10% of total reads) in the active fraction than in the total fraction, suggesting that their contribution to bacterial community productivity or growth was much larger than that expected from their standing stocks at each location. An ordination plot by the principal component analysis presented that bacterial community compositions among 4 sampling locations and between total and active fractions were distinctive with each other. A redundancy analysis revealed that the variability of community compositions significantly correlated to seawater temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration. Also, a variation partitioning analysis showed that the environmental factors explained 49% of the variability of community compositions and the distance only explained 4.0% of its variability. These results implied very dynamic change of community structures due to environmental filtering. The active bacterial populations are more diverse and spread further in rare biosphere than we have ever seen. This study implied that rare

  11. Benchmark Active Controls Technology (BACT) Wing CFD Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuster, David M.; Bartels, Robert E.

    2000-01-01

    The Benchmark Active Controls Technology (BACT) wing test (see chapter 8E) provides data for the validation of aerodynamic, aeroelastic, and active aeroelastic control simulation codes. These data provide a rich database for development and validation of computational aeroelastic and aeroservoelastic methods. In this vein, high-level viscous CFD analyses of the BACT wing have been performed for a subset of the test conditions available in the dataset. The computations presented in this section investigate the aerodynamic characteristics of the rigid clean wing configuration as well as simulations of the wing with a static and oscillating aileron and spoiler deflection. Two computational aeroelasticity codes extensively used at NASA Langley Research Center are implemented in this simulation. They are the ENS3DAE and CFL3DAE computational aeroelasticity programs. Both of these methods solve the three-dimensional compressible Navier-Stokes equations for both rigid and flexible vehicles, but they use significantly different approaches to the solution 6f the aerodynamic equations of motion. Detailed descriptions of both methods are presented in the following section.

  12. Interspecies insertion polymorphism analysis reveals recent activity of transposable elements in extant coelacanths.

    PubMed

    Naville, Magali; Chalopin, Domitille; Volff, Jean-Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Coelacanths are lobe-finned fish represented by two extant species, Latimeria chalumnae in South Africa and Comoros and L. menadoensis in Indonesia. Due to their intermediate phylogenetic position between ray-finned fish and tetrapods in the vertebrate lineage, they are of great interest from an evolutionary point of view. In addition, extant specimens look similar to 300 million-year-old fossils; because of their apparent slowly evolving morphology, coelacanths have been often described as « living fossils ». As an underlying cause of such a morphological stasis, several authors have proposed a slow evolution of the coelacanth genome. Accordingly, sequencing of the L. chalumnae genome has revealed a globally low substitution rate for protein-coding regions compared to other vertebrates. However, genome and gene evolution can also be influenced by transposable elements, which form a major and dynamic part of vertebrate genomes through their ability to move, duplicate and recombine. In this work, we have searched for evidence of transposition activity in coelacanth genomes through the comparative analysis of orthologous genomic regions from both Latimeria species. Comparison of 5.7 Mb (0.2%) of the L. chalumnae genome with orthologous Bacterial Artificial Chromosome clones from L. menadoensis allowed the identification of 27 species-specific transposable element insertions, with a strong relative contribution of CR1 non-LTR retrotransposons. Species-specific homologous recombination between the long terminal repeats of a new coelacanth endogenous retrovirus was also detected. Our analysis suggests that transposon activity is responsible for at least 0.6% of genome divergence between both Latimeria species. Taken together, this study demonstrates that coelacanth genomes are not evolutionary inert: they contain recently active transposable elements, which have significantly contributed to post-speciation genome divergence in Latimeria.

  13. Electrocorticography reveals the temporal dynamics of posterior parietal cortical activity during recognition memory decisions.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Alex; Hutchinson, J Benjamin; Uncapher, Melina R; Chen, Janice; LaRocque, Karen F; Foster, Brett L; Rangarajan, Vinitha; Parvizi, Josef; Wagner, Anthony D

    2015-09-01

    Theories of the neurobiology of episodic memory predominantly focus on the contributions of medial temporal lobe structures, based on extensive lesion, electrophysiological, and imaging evidence. Against this backdrop, functional neuroimaging data have unexpectedly implicated left posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in episodic retrieval, revealing distinct activation patterns in PPC subregions as humans make memory-related decisions. To date, theorizing about the functional contributions of PPC has been hampered by the absence of information about the temporal dynamics of PPC activity as retrieval unfolds. Here, we leveraged electrocorticography to examine the temporal profile of high gamma power (HGP) in dorsal PPC subregions as participants made old/new recognition memory decisions. A double dissociation in memory-related HGP was observed, with activity in left intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and left superior parietal lobule (SPL) differing in time and sign for recognized old items (Hits) and correctly rejected novel items (CRs). Specifically, HGP in left IPS increased for Hits 300-700 ms poststimulus onset, and decayed to baseline ∼200 ms preresponse. By contrast, HGP in left SPL increased for CRs early after stimulus onset (200-300 ms) and late in the memory decision (from 700 ms to response). These memory-related effects were unique to left PPC, as they were not observed in right PPC. Finally, memory-related HGP in left IPS and SPL was sufficiently reliable to enable brain-based decoding of the participant's memory state at the single-trial level, using multivariate pattern classification. Collectively, these data provide insights into left PPC temporal dynamics as humans make recognition memory decisions. PMID:26283375

  14. Hellenic Amateur Astronomy Association's activities: Preliminary results on Perseids 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maravelias, G.

    2011-01-01

    Preliminary results on the Perseids 2010 are presented. Visual and video observations were obtained by the author and a first reduction of the visual data shows that a maximum of ZHR ~120 was reached during the night 12-13 of August 2010. Moreover, a video setup was tested (DMK camera and UFO Capture v2) and the results show that, under some limitations, valuable data can be obtained.

  15. Summary of FY15 results of benchmark modeling activities

    SciTech Connect

    Arguello, J. Guadalupe

    2015-08-01

    Sandia is participating in the third phase of an is a contributing partner to a U.S.-German "Joint Project" entitled "Comparison of current constitutive models and simulation procedures on the basis of model calculations of the thermo-mechanical behavior and healing of rock salt." The first goal of the project is to check the ability of numerical modeling tools to correctly describe the relevant deformation phenomena in rock salt under various influences. Achieving this goal will lead to increased confidence in the results of numerical simulations related to the secure storage of radioactive wastes in rock salt, thereby enhancing the acceptance of the results. These results may ultimately be used to make various assertions regarding both the stability analysis of an underground repository in salt, during the operating phase, and the long-term integrity of the geological barrier against the release of harmful substances into the biosphere, in the post-operating phase.

  16. Complex Regulation Pattern of IRF3 Activation Revealed by a Novel Dimerization Reporter System.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zining; Ji, Jingyun; Peng, Di; Ma, Feng; Cheng, Genhong; Qin, F Xiao-Feng

    2016-05-15

    Induction of type I IFN (IFN-I) is essential for host antiviral immune responses. However, IFN-I also plays divergent roles in antibacterial immunity, persistent viral infections, autoimmune diseases, and tumorigenesis. IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) is the master transcription factor that controls IFN-I production via phosphorylation-dependent dimerization in most cell types in response to viral infections and various innate stimuli by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). To monitor the dynamic process of IRF3 activation, we developed a novel IRF3 dimerization reporter based on bimolecular luminescence complementation (BiLC) techniques, termed the IRF3-BiLC reporter. Robust induction of luciferase activity of the IRF3-BiLC reporter was observed upon viral infection and PAMP stimulation with a broad dynamic range. Knockout of TANK-binding kinase 1, the critical upstream kinase of IRF3, as well as the mutation of serine 386, the essential phosphorylation site of IRF3, completely abolished the luciferase activity of IRF3-BiLC reporter, confirming the authenticity of IRF3 activation. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the IRF3-BiLC reporter is a highly specific, reliable, and sensitive system to measure IRF3 activity. Using this reporter system, we further observed that the temporal pattern and magnitude of IRF3 activation induced by various PAMPs are highly complex with distinct cell type-specific characteristics, and IRF3 dimerization is a direct regulatory node for IFN-α/β receptor-mediated feed-forward regulation and crosstalk with other pathways. Therefore, the IRF3-BiLC reporter has multiple potential applications, including mechanistic studies as well as the identification of novel compounds that can modulate IRF3 activation. PMID:27045107

  17. Results of Skylab medical experiment M171: Metabolic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michel, E. L.; Rummel, J. A.; Sawin, C. F.; Buderer, M. C.; Lem, J. D.

    1974-01-01

    The experiment was conducted to establish whether man's ability to perform mechanical work would be progressively altered as a result of exposure to the weightless environment of space flight. The Skylab crewmen exercised on a bicycle ergometer at workloads approximating 25, 50, and 75 percent of their maximum aerobic capacity. The physiological parameters monitored were respiratory gas exchange, blood pressure, and vectorcardiogram/heart rate. The results of these tests indicate that the crewmen had no significant decrement in their responses to exercise during their exposure to zero gravity. The results of the third manned Skylab mission (Skylab 4) are presented and a comparison is made of the overall results obtained from the three successively longer Skylab manned missions. The Skylab 4 crewmembers' 84-day in-flight responses to exercise were no worse and were probably better than the responses of the crewmen on the first two Skylab missions. Indications that exercise was an important contributing factor in maintaining this response are discussed.

  18. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that activated monocytes contribute to neuronal injury in SIV neuroAIDS

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Kenneth; Westmoreland, Susan; Greco, Jane; Ratai, Eva; Lentz, Margaret; Kim, Woong-Ki; Fuller, Robert A.; Kim, John P.; Autissier, Patrick; Sehgal, Prahbat K.; Schinazi, Raymond F.; Bischofberger, Norbert; Piatak, Michael; Lifson, Jeffrey D.; Masliah, Eliezer; González, R. Gilberto

    2005-01-01

    Difficulties in understanding the mechanisms of HIV neuropathogenesis include the inability to study dynamic processes of infection, cumulative effects of the virus, and contributing host immune responses. We used 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy and studied monocyte activation and progression of CNS neuronal injury in a CD8 lymphocyte depletion model of neuroAIDS in SIV-infected rhesus macaque monkeys. We found early, consistent neuronal injury coincident with viremia and SIV infection/activation of monocyte subsets and sought to define the role of plasma virus and monocytes in contributing to CNS disease. Antiretroviral therapy with essentially non–CNS-penetrating agents resulted in slightly decreased levels of plasma virus, a significant reduction in the number of activated and infected monocytes, and rapid, near-complete reversal of neuronal injury. Robust macrophage accumulation and productive virus replication were found in brains of infected and CD8 lymphocyte–depleted animals, but no detectable virus and few scattered infiltrating macrophages were observed in CD8 lymphocyte–depleted animals compared with animals not receiving antiretroviruses that were sacrificed at the same time after infection. These results underscore the role of activated monocytes and monocyte infection outside of the brain in driving CNS disease. PMID:16110325

  19. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-4 structures reveal a metastable open conformation fostering robust core-free basal activity.

    PubMed

    Wynn, R Max; Kato, Masato; Chuang, Jacinta L; Tso, Shih-Chia; Li, Jun; Chuang, David T

    2008-09-12

    Human pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) is down-regulated by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) isoforms 1-4. PDK4 is overexpressed in skeletal muscle in type 2 diabetes, resulting in impaired glucose utilization. Here we show that human PDK4 has robust core-free basal activity, which is considerably higher than activity levels of other PDK isoforms stimulated by the PDC core. PDK4 binds the L3 lipoyl domain, but its activity is not significantly stimulated by any individual lipoyl domains or the core of PDC. The 2.0-A crystal structures of the PDK4 dimer with bound ADP reveal an open conformation with a wider active-site cleft, compared with that in the closed conformation epitomized by the PDK2-ADP structure. The open conformation in PDK4 shows partially ordered C-terminal cross-tails, in which the conserved DW (Asp(394)-Trp(395)) motif from one subunit anchors to the N-terminal domain of the other subunit. The open conformation fosters a reduced binding affinity for ADP, facilitating the efficient removal of product inhibition by this nucleotide. Alteration or deletion of the DW-motif disrupts the C-terminal cross-tail anchor, resulting in the closed conformation and the nearly complete inactivation of PDK4. Fluorescence quenching and enzyme activity data suggest that compounds AZD7545 and dichloroacetate lock PDK4 in the open and the closed conformational states, respectively. We propose that PDK4 with bound ADP exists in equilibrium between the open and the closed conformations. The favored metastable open conformation is responsible for the robust basal activity of PDK4 in the absence of the PDC core. PMID:18658136

  20. European activities in exobiology in earth orbit: results and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horneck, G.

    1999-01-01

    A large portion of European activities in Earth orbit have concentrated on studies of the responses of resistant microbes to the harsh environment of space with the aim of providing experimental evidence testing the hypothesis that interplanetary transfer of life is possible. Various types of microorganisms, such as bacterial or fungal spores, as well as viruses and biomolecules, such as DNA, amino acids and liposomes, have been exposed to selected and combined space conditions outside the Earth's magnetic field (Apollo 16) or in low Earth orbit (Spacelab 1, Spacelab D2, ERA on EURECA, LDEF, BIOPAN on FOTON). Space parameters, such as high vacuum, intense solar ultraviolet radiation, different components of the cosmic radiation field and temperature extremes affected the genetic stability of the organisms in space, leading to increased mutation rates, DNA damage and inactivation. Extraterrestrial solar UV radiation was the most lethal factor. If shielded against the influx of solar UV, spores of Bacillus subtilis survived for more than 5 years in space. Future research will be directed towards long-term studies of microbes in artificial meteorites, as well as of microbial communities from special ecological niches, such as endolithic and endoevaporitic ecosystems. For these studies, the European Space Agency will provide the facility EXPOSE to be accommodated on the External Platform of the International Space Station during the Early Utilization Phase.

  1. The uses and results of active tetanus immunization

    PubMed Central

    Scheibel, Inga

    1955-01-01

    Both in animal experiments and in the course of two world wars active immunization has proved a safe method of protection against tetanus, and a method superior to passive serum prophylaxis. The three types of vaccine—plain, combined, and precipitated or adsorbed—all have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them must be left to individual national health authorities. They should, however, be administered in two or three doses to confer basic immunity. What amount of circulating antitoxin is necessary to give full protection has not been accurately determined, but it is clear that one recall dose should be given about a year after the first injections as part of the routine course of injections. This seems enough to provide a long-lasting immunity, but a dose of vaccine should also be given at the time of injury. General immunization of the population is not practicable, but children, who are among the groups most at risk, can be immunized relatively simply by combined diphtheria and tetanus vaccine; in many countries, indeed, this is being done on an ever-increasing scale. PMID:13270078

  2. Determination of the physiological 2:2 TLR5:flagellin activation stoichiometry revealed by the activity of a fusion receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Ivičak-Kocjan, Karolina; Panter, Gabriela; Benčina, Mojca; Jerala, Roman

    2013-05-24

    Highlights: •The chimeric protein fusing flagellin to the TLR5 ectodomain is constitutively active. •Mutation P736H within the BB-loop of TLR5 TIR domain renders the receptor inactive. •The R90D mutation in flagellin inactivated autoactivation of the chimeric protein. •The 2:2 stoichiometry of the TLR5:flagellin complex is physiologically relevant. -- Abstract: Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) recognizes flagellin of most flagellated bacteria, enabling activation of the MyD88-dependent signaling pathway. The recently published crystal structure of a truncated zebrafish TLR5 ectodomain in complex with an inactive flagellin fragment indicated binding of two flagellin molecules to a TLR5 homodimer, however this complex did not dimerize in solution. In the present study, we aimed to determine the physiological stoichiometry of TLR5:flagellin activation by the use of a chimeric protein composed of an active flagellin fragment linked to the N-terminus of human TLR5 (SF-TLR5). This construct was constitutively active. Inactivation by the R90D mutation within flagellin demonstrated that autoactivation of the chimeric protein depended solely on the specific interaction between TLR5 and flagellin. Addition of wild-type hTLR5 substantially lowered autoactivation of SF-TLR5 in a concentration dependent manner, an effect which was reversible by the addition of exogenous Salmonella typhimurium flagellin, indicating the biological activity of a TLR5:flagellin complex with a 2:2 stoichiometry. These results, in addition to the combinations of inactive P736H mutation within the BB-loop of the TIR domain of TLR5 and SF-TLR5, further confirm the mechanism of TLR5 activation.

  3. Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Micro Economic Activities in Rome Reveals Patterns of Mixed-Use Urban Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Fiasconaro, Alessandro; Strano, Emanuele; Nicosia, Vincenzo; Porta, Sergio; Latora, Vito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the whole city of Rome. We find that the age of activities of various categories presents a very interesting double exponential trend, with a transition possibly related to the long-term economical effects determined by the oil crisis of the Seventies. The diversification of commercial categories, studied through various measures of entropy, shows, among other interesting features, a saturating behaviour with the density of activities. Moreover, different couples of commercial categories exhibit over the years a tendency to attract in space. Our results demonstrate that the spatio-temporal distribution of commercial activities can provide important insights on the urbanisation processes at work, revealing specific and non trivial socio-economical dynamics, as the presence of crisis periods and expansion trends, and contributing to the characterisation of the maturity of urban areas. PMID:26982028

  4. Newly identified essential amino acid residues affecting Δ8-sphingolipid desaturase activity revealed by site-directed mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Shu-Fen; Song, Li-Ying; Zhang, Guo-Jun; Yin, Wei-Bo; Chen, Yu-Hong; Wang, Richard R-C; Hu, Zan-Min

    2011-12-01

    In order to identify amino acid residues crucial for the enzymatic activity of Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturases, a sequence comparison was performed among Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturases and Δ(6)-fatty acid desaturases from various plants. In addition to the known conserved cytb(5) (cytochrome b(5)) HPGG motif and three conserved histidine boxes, they share additional 15 completely conserved residues. A series of site-directed mutants were generated using our previously isolated Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturase gene from Brassica rapa to evaluate the importance of these residues to the enzyme function. The mutants were functionally characterized by heterologous expression in yeast, allowing the identification of the products of the enzymes. The results revealed that residues H63, N203, D208, D210, and G368 were obligatorily required for the enzymatic activity, and substitution of the residues F59, W190, W345, L369 and Q372 markedly decreased the enzyme activity. Among them, replacement of the residues W190, L369 and Q372 also has significant influence on the ratio of the two enzyme products. Information obtained in this work provides the molecular basis for the Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturase activity and aids in our understanding of the structure-function relationships of the membrane-bound desaturases.

  5. Physical Connectivity Mapping by Circular Permutation of Human Telomerase RNA Reveals New Regions Critical for Activity and Processivity.

    PubMed

    Mefford, Melissa A; Zappulla, David C

    2015-01-01

    Telomerase is a specialized ribonucleoprotein complex that extends the 3' ends of chromosomes to counteract telomere shortening. However, increased telomerase activity is associated with ∼90% of human cancers. The telomerase enzyme minimally requires an RNA (hTR) and a specialized reverse transcriptase protein (TERT) for activity in vitro. Understanding the structure-function relationships within hTR has important implications for human disease. For the first time, we have tested the physical-connectivity requirements in the 451-nucleotide hTR RNA using circular permutations, which reposition the 5' and 3' ends. Our extensive in vitro analysis identified three classes of hTR circular permutants with altered function. First, circularly permuting 3' of the template causes specific defects in repeat-addition processivity, revealing that the template recognition element found in ciliates is conserved in human telomerase RNA. Second, seven circular permutations residing within the catalytically important core and CR4/5 domains completely abolish telomerase activity, unveiling mechanistically critical portions of these domains. Third, several circular permutations between the core and CR4/5 significantly increase telomerase activity. Our extensive circular permutation results provide insights into the architecture and coordination of human telomerase RNA and highlight where the RNA could be targeted for the development of antiaging and anticancer therapeutics. PMID:26503788

  6. Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Micro Economic Activities in Rome Reveals Patterns of Mixed-Use Urban Evolution.

    PubMed

    Fiasconaro, Alessandro; Strano, Emanuele; Nicosia, Vincenzo; Porta, Sergio; Latora, Vito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the whole city of Rome. We find that the age of activities of various categories presents a very interesting double exponential trend, with a transition possibly related to the long-term economical effects determined by the oil crisis of the Seventies. The diversification of commercial categories, studied through various measures of entropy, shows, among other interesting features, a saturating behaviour with the density of activities. Moreover, different couples of commercial categories exhibit over the years a tendency to attract in space. Our results demonstrate that the spatio-temporal distribution of commercial activities can provide important insights on the urbanisation processes at work, revealing specific and non trivial socio-economical dynamics, as the presence of crisis periods and expansion trends, and contributing to the characterisation of the maturity of urban areas. PMID:26982028

  7. Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Micro Economic Activities in Rome Reveals Patterns of Mixed-Use Urban Evolution.

    PubMed

    Fiasconaro, Alessandro; Strano, Emanuele; Nicosia, Vincenzo; Porta, Sergio; Latora, Vito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the whole city of Rome. We find that the age of activities of various categories presents a very interesting double exponential trend, with a transition possibly related to the long-term economical effects determined by the oil crisis of the Seventies. The diversification of commercial categories, studied through various measures of entropy, shows, among other interesting features, a saturating behaviour with the density of activities. Moreover, different couples of commercial categories exhibit over the years a tendency to attract in space. Our results demonstrate that the spatio-temporal distribution of commercial activities can provide important insights on the urbanisation processes at work, revealing specific and non trivial socio-economical dynamics, as the presence of crisis periods and expansion trends, and contributing to the characterisation of the maturity of urban areas.

  8. Cadmium-transformed cells in the in vitro cell transformation assay reveal different proliferative behaviours and activated pathways.

    PubMed

    Forcella, M; Callegaro, G; Melchioretto, P; Gribaldo, L; Frattini, M; Stefanini, F M; Fusi, P; Urani, C

    2016-10-01

    The in vitro Cell Transformation Assay (CTA) is a powerful tool for mechanistic studies of carcinogenesis. The endpoint is the classification of transformed colonies (foci) by means of standard morphological features. To increase throughput and reliability of CTAs, one of the suggested follow-up activities is to exploit the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying cell transformation. To this end, we have performed CTAs testing CdCl2, a widespread environmental contaminant classified as a human carcinogen with the underlying mechanisms of action not completely understood. We have isolated and re-seeded the cells at the end (6weeks) of in vitro CTAs to further identify the biochemical pathways underlying the transformed phenotype of foci. Morphological evaluations and proliferative assays confirmed the loss of contact-inhibition and the higher proliferative rate of transformed clones. The biochemical analysis of EGFR pathway revealed that, despite the same initial carcinogenic stimulus (1μM CdCl2 for 24h), transformed clones are characterized by the activation of two different molecular pathways: proliferation (Erk activation) or survival (Akt activation). Our preliminary results on molecular characterization of cell clones from different foci could be exploited for CTAs improvement, supporting the comprehension of the in vivo process and complementing the morphological evaluation of foci. PMID:27432484

  9. Cadmium-transformed cells in the in vitro cell transformation assay reveal different proliferative behaviours and activated pathways.

    PubMed

    Forcella, M; Callegaro, G; Melchioretto, P; Gribaldo, L; Frattini, M; Stefanini, F M; Fusi, P; Urani, C

    2016-10-01

    The in vitro Cell Transformation Assay (CTA) is a powerful tool for mechanistic studies of carcinogenesis. The endpoint is the classification of transformed colonies (foci) by means of standard morphological features. To increase throughput and reliability of CTAs, one of the suggested follow-up activities is to exploit the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying cell transformation. To this end, we have performed CTAs testing CdCl2, a widespread environmental contaminant classified as a human carcinogen with the underlying mechanisms of action not completely understood. We have isolated and re-seeded the cells at the end (6weeks) of in vitro CTAs to further identify the biochemical pathways underlying the transformed phenotype of foci. Morphological evaluations and proliferative assays confirmed the loss of contact-inhibition and the higher proliferative rate of transformed clones. The biochemical analysis of EGFR pathway revealed that, despite the same initial carcinogenic stimulus (1μM CdCl2 for 24h), transformed clones are characterized by the activation of two different molecular pathways: proliferation (Erk activation) or survival (Akt activation). Our preliminary results on molecular characterization of cell clones from different foci could be exploited for CTAs improvement, supporting the comprehension of the in vivo process and complementing the morphological evaluation of foci.

  10. A Link between ORC-Origin Binding Mechanisms and Origin Activation Time Revealed in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Hoggard, Timothy; Shor, Erika; Müller, Carolin A.; Nieduszynski, Conrad A.; Fox, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic DNA replication origins are selected in G1-phase when the origin recognition complex (ORC) binds chromosomal positions and triggers molecular events culminating in the initiation of DNA replication (a.k.a. origin firing) during S-phase. Each chromosome uses multiple origins for its duplication, and each origin fires at a characteristic time during S-phase, creating a cell-type specific genome replication pattern relevant to differentiation and genome stability. It is unclear whether ORC-origin interactions are relevant to origin activation time. We applied a novel genome-wide strategy to classify origins in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on the types of molecular interactions used for ORC-origin binding. Specifically, origins were classified as DNA-dependent when the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo could be explained by the affinity of ORC for origin DNA in vitro, and, conversely, as ‘chromatin-dependent’ when the ORC-DNA interaction in vitro was insufficient to explain the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo. These two origin classes differed in terms of nucleosome architecture and dependence on origin-flanking sequences in plasmid replication assays, consistent with local features of chromatin promoting ORC binding at ‘chromatin-dependent’ origins. Finally, the ‘chromatin-dependent’ class was enriched for origins that fire early in S-phase, while the DNA-dependent class was enriched for later firing origins. Conversely, the latest firing origins showed a positive association with the ORC-origin DNA paradigm for normal levels of ORC binding, whereas the earliest firing origins did not. These data reveal a novel association between ORC-origin binding mechanisms and the regulation of origin activation time. PMID:24068963

  11. Active Uplift At The Taiwan Belt Front Revealed By River Profiles:the Hsiaomei Anticline Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, R.-F.; Angelier, J.; Hu, J.-C.; Deffontaines, B.; Tsai, H.

    A river profile may reveal tectonic deformation through comparison with a smoothed theoretical function based on simple assumptions, provided that its relationships with the erosion-accumulation phenomena have been deciphered. The Taiwan orogeny re- sults from the collision between the Luzon volcanic arc of the Philippine Sea plate and the Chinese continental margin of the Eurasian plate. As an active collision zone between the Luzon arc and the China continental margin, the Taiwan mountain belt, particularly its south-central part, is undergoing strong crustal shortening and rapid uplift. In the central part of the island, rock uplift rates are matched by erosion rates calculated from sediment yields and exhumation rates. In the foothills of southwestern Taiwan we focus on the longitudinal profiles of twelve rivers near Chiayi area. Based on the fit with mathematical functions, we characterize a significant positive anomaly in terms of shape, amplitude and location. River data from 1/5,000 topographic maps were used to define a set of parameters related to the classical exponential equation of the longitudinal profiles. We obtained an accepted fit for a set of 5-7 parameters of the polynomial exponent, that is, a degree 4-6. The anomaly is spatially consistent and does not show correlation with variations in erosional-depositional phenomena, including variations in lithology of the rock formations. The anomaly thus reflects tectonic uplift, in good agreement with other sources of information, including the GPS data that indicate active E-W shortening of about 1 cm/yr in this area. The posi- tive anomaly detected in ten river profiles diminishes and vanishes in the northernmost and southernmost river profiles. It reflects continuing folding and uplift within an ellip- tic area elongated N-S, which corresponds to the present-day growth of the Hsiaomei anticline at the front of Taiwan belt.

  12. Current Results and Proposed Activities in Microgravity Fluid Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polezhaev, V. I.

    1996-01-01

    The Institute for Problems in Mechanics' Laboratory work in mathematical and physical modelling of fluid mechanics develops models, methods, and software for analysis of fluid flow, instability analysis, direct numerical modelling and semi-empirical models of turbulence, as well as experimental research and verification of these models and their applications in technological fluid dynamics, microgravity fluid mechanics, geophysics, and a number of engineering problems. This paper presents an overview of the results in microgravity fluid dynamics research during the last two years. Nonlinear problems of weakly compressible and compressible fluid flows are discussed.

  13. Modulation of fructokinase activity of potato (Solanum tuberosum) results in substantial shifts in tuber metabolism.

    PubMed

    Davies, Howard V; Shepherd, Louise V T; Burrell, Michael M; Carrari, Fernando; Urbanczyk-Wochniak, Ewa; Leisse, Andrea; Hancock, Robert D; Taylor, Mark; Viola, Roberto; Ross, Heather; McRae, Diane; Willmitzer, Lothar; Fernie, Alisdair R

    2005-07-01

    Potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L. cvs Desiree and Record) transformed with sense and antisense constructs of a cDNA encoding the potato fructokinase StFK1 exhibited altered transcription of this gene, altered amount of protein and altered enzyme activities. Measurement of the maximal catalytic activity of fructokinase revealed a 2-fold variation in leaf (from 90 to 180% of wild type activity) and either a 10- or 30-fold variation in tuber (from 10 or 30% to 300% in Record and Desiree, respectively) activity. The comparative effect of the antisense construct in leaf and tuber tissue suggests that this isoform is only a minor contributor to the total fructokinase activity in the leaf but the predominant isoform in the tuber. Antisense inhibition of the fructokinase resulted in a reduced tuber yield; however, its overexpression had no impact on this parameter. The modulation of fructokinase activity had few, consistent effects on carbohydrate levels, with the exception of a general increase in glucose content in the antisense lines, suggesting that this enzyme is not important for the control of starch synthesis. However, when metabolic fluxes were estimated, it became apparent that the transgenic lines display a marked shift in metabolism, with the rate of redistribution of radiolabel to sucrose markedly affected by the activity of fructokinase. These data suggest an important role for fructokinase, acting in concert with sucrose synthase, in maintaining a balance between sucrose synthesis and degradation by a mechanism independent of that controlled by the hexose phosphate-mediated activation of sucrose phosphate synthase. PMID:15890680

  14. Modulation of fructokinase activity of potato (Solanum tuberosum) results in substantial shifts in tuber metabolism.

    PubMed

    Davies, Howard V; Shepherd, Louise V T; Burrell, Michael M; Carrari, Fernando; Urbanczyk-Wochniak, Ewa; Leisse, Andrea; Hancock, Robert D; Taylor, Mark; Viola, Roberto; Ross, Heather; McRae, Diane; Willmitzer, Lothar; Fernie, Alisdair R

    2005-07-01

    Potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L. cvs Desiree and Record) transformed with sense and antisense constructs of a cDNA encoding the potato fructokinase StFK1 exhibited altered transcription of this gene, altered amount of protein and altered enzyme activities. Measurement of the maximal catalytic activity of fructokinase revealed a 2-fold variation in leaf (from 90 to 180% of wild type activity) and either a 10- or 30-fold variation in tuber (from 10 or 30% to 300% in Record and Desiree, respectively) activity. The comparative effect of the antisense construct in leaf and tuber tissue suggests that this isoform is only a minor contributor to the total fructokinase activity in the leaf but the predominant isoform in the tuber. Antisense inhibition of the fructokinase resulted in a reduced tuber yield; however, its overexpression had no impact on this parameter. The modulation of fructokinase activity had few, consistent effects on carbohydrate levels, with the exception of a general increase in glucose content in the antisense lines, suggesting that this enzyme is not important for the control of starch synthesis. However, when metabolic fluxes were estimated, it became apparent that the transgenic lines display a marked shift in metabolism, with the rate of redistribution of radiolabel to sucrose markedly affected by the activity of fructokinase. These data suggest an important role for fructokinase, acting in concert with sucrose synthase, in maintaining a balance between sucrose synthesis and degradation by a mechanism independent of that controlled by the hexose phosphate-mediated activation of sucrose phosphate synthase.

  15. United States radiological health activities: inspection results of mammography facilities

    PubMed Central

    Spelic, DC; Kaczmarek, RV; Hilohi, M; Belella, S

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) was enacted in 1992 to set national standards for high-quality mammography, including standards for mammographic X-ray equipment, patient dose, clinical image quality, and related technical parameters. The MQSA also requires minimum qualifications for radiologic technologists, interpreting physicians and medical physicists, mandates acceptable practices for quality-control, quality-assurance, and requires processes to audit medical outcomes. This paper presents the findings of MQSA inspections of facilities, which characterize significant factors affecting mammography quality in the United States. Materials and Methods: Trained inspectors collected data regarding X-ray technical factors, made exposure measurements for the determination of mean glandular dose (MGD), evaluated image quality, and inspected the quality of the film-processing environment. The average annual facility and total U.S. screening exam workloads were computed using workload data reported by facilities. Results: Mammography facilities have made technical improvements as evidenced by a narrower distribution of doses, higher phantom-film background optical densities associated with higher phantom image-quality scores, and better film processing. It is estimated that approximately 36 million screening mammography exams were conducted in 2006, a rate that is almost triple the exam volume estimated for 1997. Digital mammography (DM) is now in use at approximately 14% (1,191 of 8,834) of MQSA-certified mammography facilities. The results indicate that DM can offer lower dose to the patient while providing comparable or better image quality. PMID:21614276

  16. Ribosome•RelA structures reveal the mechanism of stringent response activation

    PubMed Central

    Loveland, Anna B; Bah, Eugene; Madireddy, Rohini; Zhang, Ying; Brilot, Axel F; Grigorieff, Nikolaus; Korostelev, Andrei A

    2016-01-01

    Stringent response is a conserved bacterial stress response underlying virulence and antibiotic resistance. RelA/SpoT-homolog proteins synthesize transcriptional modulators (p)ppGpp, allowing bacteria to adapt to stress. RelA is activated during amino-acid starvation, when cognate deacyl-tRNA binds to the ribosomal A (aminoacyl-tRNA) site. We report four cryo-EM structures of E. coli RelA bound to the 70S ribosome, in the absence and presence of deacyl-tRNA accommodating in the 30S A site. The boomerang-shaped RelA with a wingspan of more than 100 Å wraps around the A/R (30S A-site/RelA-bound) tRNA. The CCA end of the A/R tRNA pins the central TGS domain against the 30S subunit, presenting the (p)ppGpp-synthetase domain near the 30S spur. The ribosome and A/R tRNA are captured in three conformations, revealing hitherto elusive states of tRNA engagement with the ribosomal decoding center. Decoding-center rearrangements are coupled with the step-wise 30S-subunit 'closure', providing insights into the dynamics of high-fidelity tRNA decoding. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17029.001 PMID:27434674

  17. Revealing microbial functional activities in the Red Sea sponge Stylissa carteri by metatranscriptomics.

    PubMed

    Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Seridi, Loqmane; Ryu, Taewoo; Voolstra, Christian R; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute

    2014-12-01

    Sponges are important components of marine benthic environments and are associated with microbial symbionts that carry out ecologically relevant functions. Stylissa carteri is an abundant, low-microbial abundance species in the Red Sea. We aimed to achieve the functional and taxonomic characterization of the most actively expressed prokaryotic genes in S. carteri. Prokaryotic mRNA was enriched from sponge total RNA, sequenced using Illumina HiSeq technology and annotated using the metagenomics Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology (MG-RAST) pipeline. We detected high expression of archaeal ammonia oxidation and photosynthetic carbon fixation by members of the genus Synechococcus. Functions related to stress response and membrane transporters were among the most highly expressed by S. carteri symbionts. Unexpectedly, gene functions related to methylotrophy were highly expressed by gammaproteobacterial symbionts. The presence of seawater-derived microbes is indicated by the phylogenetic proximity of organic carbon transporters to orthologues of members from the SAR11 clade. In summary, we revealed the most expressed functions of the S. carteri-associated microbial community and linked them to the dominant taxonomic members of the microbiome. This work demonstrates the applicability of metatranscriptomics to explore poorly characterized symbiotic consortia and expands our knowledge of the ecologically relevant functions carried out by coral reef sponge symbionts.

  18. ACTIVE LONGITUDES REVEALED BY LARGE-SCALE AND LONG-LIVED CORONAL STREAMERS

    SciTech Connect

    Li Jing

    2011-07-10

    We use time-series ultraviolet full sun images to construct limb-synoptic maps of the Sun. On these maps, large-scale, long-lived coronal streamers appear as repetitive sinusoid-like arcs projected over the polar regions. They are caused by high altitude plasma produced from sunspot-rich regions at latitudes generally far from the poles. The non-uniform longitudinal distribution of these streamers reveals four longitudinal zones at the surface of the Sun from which sunspots erupt preferentially over the 5 year observing interval (2006 January to 2011 April). Spots in these zones (or clusters) have individual lifetimes short compared to the lifetimes of the coronal features which they sustain, and they erupt at different times. The four sunspot clusters contain >75% of all numbered sunspots in this period. They occupy two distinct longitudinal zones separated by {approx}180{sup 0} and each spanning {approx}100{sup 0} in longitude. The rotation rates of the spot clusters are {approx}5% faster than the rates at both the surface and the bottom of the convection zone. While no convincing theoretical framework exists to interpret the sunspot clusters in the longitude-time space, their persistent and nonuniform distribution indicates long-lived, azimuthal structures beneath the surface, and are compatible with the existence of previously reported active longitudes on the Sun.

  19. Multimodular biosensors reveal a novel platform for activation of G proteins by growth factor receptors

    PubMed Central

    Midde, Krishna K.; Aznar, Nicolas; Laederich, Melanie B.; Ma, Gary S.; Kunkel, Maya T.; Newton, Alexandra C.; Ghosh, Pradipta

    2015-01-01

    Environmental cues are transmitted to the interior of the cell via a complex network of signaling hubs. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and trimeric G proteins are two such major signaling hubs in eukaryotes. Conventionally, canonical signal transduction via trimeric G proteins is thought to be triggered exclusively by G protein-coupled receptors. Here we used molecular engineering to develop modular fluorescent biosensors that exploit the remarkable specificity of bimolecular recognition, i.e., of both G proteins and RTKs, and reveal the workings of a novel platform for activation of G proteins by RTKs in single living cells. Comprised of the unique modular makeup of guanidine exchange factor Gα-interacting vesicle-associated protein (GIV)/girdin, a guanidine exchange factor that links G proteins to a variety of RTKs, these biosensors provide direct evidence that RTK–GIV–Gαi ternary complexes are formed in living cells and that Gαi is transactivated within minutes after growth factor stimulation at the plasma membrane. Thus, GIV-derived biosensors provide a versatile strategy for visualizing, monitoring, and manipulating the dynamic association of Gαi with RTKs for noncanonical transactivation of G proteins in cells and illuminate a fundamental signaling event regulated by GIV during diverse cellular processes and pathophysiologic states. PMID:25713130

  20. Multimodular biosensors reveal a novel platform for activation of G proteins by growth factor receptors.

    PubMed

    Midde, Krishna K; Aznar, Nicolas; Laederich, Melanie B; Ma, Gary S; Kunkel, Maya T; Newton, Alexandra C; Ghosh, Pradipta

    2015-03-01

    Environmental cues are transmitted to the interior of the cell via a complex network of signaling hubs. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and trimeric G proteins are two such major signaling hubs in eukaryotes. Conventionally, canonical signal transduction via trimeric G proteins is thought to be triggered exclusively by G protein-coupled receptors. Here we used molecular engineering to develop modular fluorescent biosensors that exploit the remarkable specificity of bimolecular recognition, i.e., of both G proteins and RTKs, and reveal the workings of a novel platform for activation of G proteins by RTKs in single living cells. Comprised of the unique modular makeup of guanidine exchange factor Gα-interacting vesicle-associated protein (GIV)/girdin, a guanidine exchange factor that links G proteins to a variety of RTKs, these biosensors provide direct evidence that RTK-GIV-Gαi ternary complexes are formed in living cells and that Gαi is transactivated within minutes after growth factor stimulation at the plasma membrane. Thus, GIV-derived biosensors provide a versatile strategy for visualizing, monitoring, and manipulating the dynamic association of Gαi with RTKs for noncanonical transactivation of G proteins in cells and illuminate a fundamental signaling event regulated by GIV during diverse cellular processes and pathophysiologic states.

  1. Preliminary results and future activities at the GARFIELD apparatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gramegna, F.; Mastinu, P. F.; Vannucci, L.; Bruno, M.; D'Agostino, M.; Fiandri, L.; Lanchais, A.; Vannini, G.; Casini, G.; Chiari, M.; Nannini, A.; Bonasera, A.; Cavallaro, S.; Cosmano, A.; Moroni, A.; Ordine, A.; Abbondanno, U.; Milazzo, P. M.; Margagliotti, G. M.

    2002-01-01

    A new apparatus has been designed and built to study reaction mechanisms in the energy regime of the ALPI linear accelerator of the Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro (E/A = 5 - 20 MeV). In this paper the importance of studying these mechanisms will be underlined, no more as a problem limited to a narrow energy range or a single process, but as a continuous trend from low to high energies and from the physics of stable nuclei to that one regarding instabilities. With this remarks in mind, a first experiment has been performed studying the reaction 32S+58Ni at 11AMeV. Preliminary results show that important information can be derived on multi-body emission, which can contribute to renew the interest in this energy regime.

  2. Fractal analysis reveals subclasses of neurons and suggests an explanation of their spontaneous activity.

    PubMed

    Favela, Luis H; Coey, Charles A; Griff, Edwin R; Richardson, Michael J

    2016-07-28

    The present work used fractal time series analysis (detrended fluctuation analysis; DFA) to examine the spontaneous activity of single neurons in an anesthetized animal model, specifically, the mitral cells in the rat main olfactory bulb. DFA bolstered previous research in suggesting two subclasses of mitral cells. Although there was no difference in the fractal scaling of the interspike interval series at the shorter timescales, there was a significant difference at longer timescales. Neurons in Group B exhibited fractal, power-law scaled interspike intervals, whereas neurons in Group A exhibited random variation. These results raise questions about the role of these different cells within the olfactory bulb and potential explanations of their dynamics. Specifically, self-organized criticality has been proposed as an explanation of fractal scaling in many natural systems, including neural systems. However, this theory is based on certain assumptions that do not clearly hold in the case of spontaneous neural activity, which likely reflects intrinsic cell dynamics rather than activity driven by external stimulation. Moreover, it is unclear how self-organized criticality might account for the random dynamics observed in Group A, and how these random dynamics might serve some functional role when embedded in the typical activity of the olfactory bulb. These theoretical considerations provide direction for additional experimental work. PMID:27189719

  3. Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus nucleoprotein reveals endonuclease activity in bunyaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yu; Wang, Wenming; Ji, Wei; Deng, Maping; Sun, Yuna; Zhou, Honggang; Yang, Cheng; Deng, Fei; Wang, Hualin; Hu, Zhihong; Lou, Zhiyong; Rao, Zihe

    2012-01-01

    Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), a virus with high mortality in humans, is a member of the genus Nairovirus in the family Bunyaviridae, and is a causative agent of severe hemorrhagic fever (HF). It is classified as a biosafety level 4 pathogen and a potential bioterrorism agent due to its aerosol infectivity and its ability to cause HF outbreaks with high case fatality (∼30%). However, little is known about the structural features and function of nucleoproteins (NPs) in the Bunyaviridae, especially in CCHFV. Here we report a 2.3-Å resolution crystal structure of the CCHFV nucleoprotein. The protein has a racket-shaped overall structure with distinct “head” and “stalk” domains and differs significantly with NPs reported so far from other negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. Furthermore, CCHFV NP shows a distinct metal-dependent DNA-specific endonuclease activity. Single residue mutations in the predicted active site resulted in a significant reduction in the observed endonuclease activity. Our results present a new folding mechanism and function for a negative-strand RNA virus nucleoprotein, extend our structural insight into bunyavirus NPs, and provide a potential target for antiviral drug development to treat CCHFV infection. PMID:22421137

  4. Acetohydroxyacid synthase activity and transcripts profiling reveal tissue-specific regulation of ahas genes in sunflower.

    PubMed

    Ochogavía, Ana C; Breccia, Gabriela; Vega, Tatiana; Felitti, Silvina A; Picardi, Liliana A; Nestares, Graciela

    2014-07-01

    Acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS) is the target site of several herbicides and catalyses the first step in the biosynthesis of branched chain amino acid. Three genes coding for AHAS catalytic subunit (ahas1, ahas2 and ahas3) have been reported for sunflower. The aim of this work was to study the expression pattern of ahas genes family and AHAS activity in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Different organs (leaves, hypocotyls, roots, flowers and embryos) were evaluated at several developmental stages. The transcriptional profile was studied through RT-qPCR. The highest expression for ahas1 was shown in leaves, where all the induced and natural gene mutations conferring herbicide resistance were found. The maximal expression of ahas2 and ahas3 occurred in immature flowers and embryos. The highest AHAS activity was found in leaves and immature embryos. Correlation analysis among ahas gene expression and AHAS activity was discussed. Our results show that differences in ahas genes expression are tissue-specific and temporally regulated. Moreover, the conservation of multiple AHAS isoforms in sunflower seems to result from different expression requirements controlled by tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms at different developmental stages. PMID:24908515

  5. Results of mobile gamma scanning activities in St. Louis, Missouri

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, R E; Witt, D A; Cottrell, W D; Carrier, R F

    1991-06-01

    From 1942 through approximately 1966, the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works operated four plants in St. Louis, Missouri, for the Manhattan Engineer District and the Atomic Energy Commission. A variety of production processes using uranium- and radium-bearing ore materials were performed at the plants. It is the policy of the DOE to verify that radiological conditions at such sites or facilities comply with current DOE guidelines. Guidelines for release and use of such sites have become more stringent as research has provided more information since previous cleanups. The Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) was established as part of that effort to confirm the closeout status of facilities under contract to agencies preceding DOE during early nuclear energy development. Under the FUSRAP program, the Mallinckrodt properties have been previously investigated to determine the extent of on-site radiological contamination. At the request of DOE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducted a survey in May 1990, of public roadways and suspected haul routes between the Mallinckrodt plant and storage sites in St. Louis to ensure that no residual radioactive materials were conveyed off-site. A mobile gamma scanning van with an on-board computer system was used to identify possible anomalies. Suspect areas are those displaying measurements deviating from gamma exposure rates identified as typical for radiologically unenhanced areas in the vicinity of the areas of interest. The instrumentation highlighted three anomaly locations each of which measured less than 1m{sup 2} in size. None of the slightly elevated radiation levels originated from material associated with former AEC-related processing operations in the area. The anomalies resulted from elevated concentrations of radionuclides present in phosphate fertilizers, increased thorium in road-base gravel, and emanations from the radioactive storage site near the Latty Avenue airport. 9 refs., 3 figs.

  6. Differential and Active Charging Results from the ATS Spacecraft.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Richard Christopher

    1980-12-01

    This study of spacecraft charging concentrates on the differential charging and artificial particle emission experiments on ATS-5 and ATS-6. It was found that differential charging of spacecraft surfaces generated large electrostatic barriers to spacecraft generated electrons, from photoemission, secondary emission, and thermal emitters. The electrostatic barrier is a potential minimum outside the charged spacecraft which causes low energy electrons to be trapped near the spacecraft. The large dish antenna on ATS-6 was identified as the source of the electrostatic barrier around the Environmental Measurements Experiment package. Daylight charging on ATS-6 was shown to have behavior suggesting the dominance of differential charging on the absolute potential of the mainframe. Electron emission experiments on ATS-5 in eclipse charging environments showed that the electron emitter could partially or totally discharge the satellite, but the mainframe recharged negatively in a few 10's of seconds. The equilibrium emitter current was found to be .3 microamps, substantially below the milliamp capability of the emitter. The limiting of the current and the time dependence seen in the ATS-5 potential during these operations were explained as the result of differential charging of the insulating surfaces on the spacecraft, and the creation of an electrostatic barrier by the differential potential. This barrier limited the artificially generated electron current to the point that the net flux to the spacecraft was again negative. Both the daylight charging events of ATS-6 and the eclipse electron emission experiments of ATS-5 were further analyzed with a simple time dependent model which showed that the barrier height quickly reached an equilibrium value which limited but did not completely stop electron emission. Average and differential potentials developed in time subject to the constraint that the barrier height remain constant. Ion engine operations and plasma emission

  7. Rapid caspase-3 activation during apoptosis revealed using fluorescence-resonance energy transfer

    PubMed Central

    Tyas, Lorraine; Brophy, Victoria A.; Pope, Andrew; Rivett, A. Jennifer; Tavaré, Jeremy M.

    2000-01-01

    Caspase-3 is a crucial component of the apoptotic machinery in many cell types. Here, we report the timescale of caspase-3 activation in single living cells undergoing apoptosis. This was achieved by measuring the extent of fluorescence resonance energy transfer within a recombinant substrate containing cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) linked by a short peptide possessing the caspase-3 cleavage sequence, DEVD, to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP; i.e. CFP–DEVD–YFP). We demonstrate that, once initiated, the activation of caspase-3 is a very rapid process, taking 5 min or less to reach completion. Furthermore, this process occurs almost simultaneously with a depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential. These events occur just prior to the characteristic morphological changes associated with apoptosis. Our results clearly demonstrate that, once initiated, the commitment of cells to apoptosis is a remarkably rapid event when visualized at the single cell level. PMID:11256610

  8. Revealing the Origin of Activity in Nitrogen-Doped Nanocarbons towards Electrocatalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junyuan; Kan, Yuhe; Huang, Rui; Zhang, Bingsen; Wang, Bolun; Wu, Kuang-Hsu; Lin, Yangming; Sun, Xiaoyan; Li, Qingfeng; Centi, Gabriele; Su, Dangsheng

    2016-05-23

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are functionalized with nitrogen atoms for reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2 ). The investigation explores the origin of the catalyst's activity and the role of nitrogen chemical states therein. The catalysts show excellent performances, with about 90 % current efficiency for CO formation and stability over 60 hours. The Tafel analyses and density functional theory calculations suggest that the reduction of CO2 proceeds through an initial rate-determining transfer of one electron to CO2 , which leads to the formation of carbon dioxide radical anion (CO2 (.-) ). The initial reduction barrier is too high on pristine CNTs, resulting in a very high overpotentials at which the hydrogen evolution reaction dominates over CO2 reduction. The doped nitrogen atoms stabilize the radical anion, thereby lowering the initial reduction barrier and improving the intrinsic activity. The most efficient nitrogen chemical state for this reaction is quaternary nitrogen, followed by pyridinic and pyrrolic nitrogen.

  9. Genome sequence of Wickerhamomyces anomalus DSM 6766 reveals genetic basis of biotechnologically important antimicrobial activities.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jessica; Rupp, Oliver; Trost, Eva; Jaenicke, Sebastian; Passoth, Volkmar; Goesmann, Alexander; Tauch, Andreas; Brinkrolf, Karina

    2012-05-01

    The ascomycetous yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus (formerly Pichia anomala and Hansenula anomala) exhibits antimicrobial activities and flavoring features that are responsible for its frequent association with food, beverage and feed products. However, limited information on the genetic background of this yeast and its multiple capabilities are currently available. Here, we present the draft genome sequence of the neotype strain W. anomalus DSM 6766. On the basis of pyrosequencing, a de novo assembly of this strain resulted in a draft genome sequence with a total size of 25.47 Mbp. An automatic annotation using RAPYD generated 11 512 protein-coding sequences. This annotation provided the basis to analyse metabolic capabilities, phylogenetic relationships, as well as biotechnologically important features and yielded novel candidate genes of W. anomalus DSM 6766 coding for proteins participating in antimicrobial activities. PMID:22292503

  10. Flexibility in Anaerobic Metabolism as Revealed in a Mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Lacking Hydrogenase Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Dubini, A.; Mus, F.; Seibert, M.; Grossman, A. R.; Posewitz, M. C.

    2009-03-13

    The green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has a network of fermentation pathways that become active when cells acclimate to anoxia. Hydrogenase activity is an important component of this metabolism, and we have compared metabolic and regulatory responses that accompany anaerobiosis in wild-type C. reinhardtii cells and a null mutant strain for the HYDEF gene (hydEF-1 mutant), which encodes an [FeFe] hydrogenase maturation protein. This mutant has no hydrogenase activity and exhibits elevated accumulation of succinate and diminished production of CO2 relative to the parental strain during dark, anaerobic metabolism. In the absence of hydrogenase activity, increased succinate accumulation suggests that the cells activate alternative pathways for pyruvate metabolism, which contribute to NAD(P)H reoxidation, and continued glycolysis and fermentation in the absence of O2. Fermentative succinate production potentially proceeds via the formation of malate, and increases in the abundance of mRNAs encoding two malateforming enzymes, pyruvate carboxylase and malic enzyme, are observed in the mutant relative to the parental strain following transfer of cells from oxic to anoxic conditions. Although C. reinhardtii has a single gene encoding pyruvate carboxylase, it has six genes encoding putative malic enzymes. Only one of the malic enzyme genes, MME4, shows a dramatic increase in expression (mRNA abundance) in the hydEF-1 mutant during anaerobiosis. Furthermore, there are marked increases in transcripts encoding fumarase and fumarate reductase, enzymes putatively required to convert malate to succinate. These results illustrate the marked metabolic flexibility of C. reinhardtii and contribute to the development of an informed model of anaerobic metabolism in this and potentially other algae.

  11. Genetic dissection of the phospholipid hydroperoxidase activity of yeast gpx3 reveals its functional importance.

    PubMed

    Avery, Angela M; Willetts, Sylvia A; Avery, Simon V

    2004-11-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae expresses multiple phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx)-like proteins in the absence of a classical glutathione peroxidase (cGPx), providing a unique system for dissecting the roles of these enzymes in vivo. The Gpx3 (Orp1/PHGpx3) protein transduces the hydroperoxide signal to the transcription factor Yap1, a function that could account for most GPX-dependent phenotypes. To test this hypothesis and ascertain what functions of Gpx3 can be shared by cGPx-like enzymes, we constructed a novel cGPx-like yeast enzyme, cGpx3. We confirmed that the "gap" sequences conserved among cGPxs but absent from aligned PHGPx sequences are the principal cause of the structural and functional differences of these enzymes. Peroxidase activity against a cGPx substrate was high in the cGpx3 construct, which was multimeric and had a peroxidase catalytic mechanism distinct from Gpx3; but cGpx3 was defective for phospholipid hydroperoxidase and signaling activities. cGpx3 did not complement the sensitivity to lipid peroxidation of a gpxDelta mutant, and the resistance to lipid peroxidation conferred by Gpx3 was independent of Yap1, establishing a functional role for Gpx3 phospholipid hydroperoxidase activity. Using the comparison between cGpx3 and Gpx3 in conjunction with other constructs to probe lipid peroxidation as a toxicity mechanism, we also ascertained that lipid peroxidation-dependent processes are a principal cause of cellular cadmium toxicity. The results demonstrate that phospholipid hydroperoxidase and Yap1-mediated signaling activities of Gpx3 have independent functional roles, although both functions depend on the absence of cGPx-like subunit interaction sites, and the results resolve more clearly the potential drivers of the differential selective evolution of GPx-like enzymes. PMID:15337745

  12. Structures of BmrR-Drug Complexes Reveal a Rigid Multidrug Binding Pocket And Transcription Activation Through Tyrosine Expulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Newberry, K.J.; Huffman, J.L.; Miller, M.C.; Vazquez-Laslop, N.; Neyfakh, A.A.; Brennan, R.G.

    2009-05-22

    BmrR is a member of the MerR family and a multidrug binding transcription factor that up-regulates the expression of the bmr multidrug efflux transporter gene in response to myriad lipophilic cationic compounds. The structural mechanism by which BmrR binds these chemically and structurally different drugs and subsequently activates transcription is poorly understood. Here, we describe the crystal structures of BmrR bound to rhodamine 6G (R6G) or berberine (Ber) and cognate DNA. These structures reveal each drug stacks against multiple aromatic residues with their positive charges most proximal to the carboxylate group of Glu-253 and that, unlike other multidrug binding pockets, that of BmrR is rigid. Substitution of Glu-253 with either alanine (E253A) or glutamine (E253Q) results in unpredictable binding affinities for R6G, Ber, and tetraphenylphosphonium. Moreover, these drug binding studies reveal that the negative charge of Glu-253 is not important for high affinity binding to Ber and tetraphenylphosphonium but plays a more significant, but unpredictable, role in R6G binding. In vitro transcription data show that E253A and E253Q are constitutively active, and structures of the drug-free E253A-DNA and E253Q-DNA complexes support a transcription activation mechanism requiring the expulsion of Tyr-152 from the multidrug binding pocket. In sum, these data delineate the mechanism by which BmrR binds lipophilic, monovalent cationic compounds and suggest the importance of the redundant negative electrostatic nature of this rigid drug binding pocket that can be used to discriminate against molecules that are not substrates of the Bmr multidrug efflux pump.

  13. The morphology of the Magellanic Clouds revealed by stars of different age: results from the DENIS survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cioni, M.-R. L.; Habing, H. J.; Israel, F. P.

    2000-06-01

    The spatial distribution of sources populating different regions of the colour-magnitude diagram (I-J, I) extracted from the DENIS catalogue towards the Magellanic Clouds (DCMC - Cioni et al. \\cite{cio}) reveal significantly different morphologies. Each region is associated to a different age group. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) shows an extended circular shape with a prominent, off center bar, a nucleus and irregular spiral arms. The Small Magellanic Cloud shows a perturbated structure with a prominent central concentration of stars. Old and young populations are offset from one another.

  14. Extensive hydrothermal activity revealed by multi-tracer survey in the Wallis and Futuna region (SW Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konn, C.; Fourré, E.; Jean-Baptiste, P.; Donval, J. P.; Guyader, V.; Birot, D.; Alix, A. S.; Gaillot, A.; Perez, F.; Dapoigny, A.; Pelleter, E.; Resing, J. A.; Charlou, J. L.; Fouquet, Y.

    2016-10-01

    The study area is close to the Wallis and Futuna Islands in the French EEZ. It exists on the western boundary of the fastest tectonic area in the world at the junction of the Lau and North-Fiji basins. At this place, the unstable back-arc accommodates the plate motion in three ways: (i) the north Fiji transform fault, (ii) numerous unstable spreading ridges, and (iii) large areas of recent volcanic activity. This instability creates bountiful opportunity for hydrothermal discharge to occur. Based on geochemical (CH4, TDM, 3He) and geophysical (nephelometry) tracer surveys: (1) no hydrothermal activity could be found on the Futuna Spreading Centre (FSC) which sets the western limit of hydrothermal activity; (2) four distinct hydrothermal active areas were identified: Kulo Lasi Caldera, Amanaki Volcano, Fatu Kapa and Tasi Tulo areas; (3) extensive and diverse hydrothermal manifestations were observed and especially a 2D distribution of the sources. At Kulo Lasi, our data and especially tracer ratios (CH4/3He 50×106 and CH4/TDM 4.5) reveal a transient CH4 input, with elevated levels of CH4 measured in 2010, that had vanished in 2011, most likely caused by an eruptive magmatic event. By contrast at Amanaki, vertical tracer profiles and tracer ratios point to typical seawater/basalt interactions. Fatu Kapa is characterised by a substantial spatial variability of the hydrothermal water column anomalies, most likely due to widespread focused and diffuse hydrothermal discharge in the area. In the Tasi Tulo zone, the hydrothermal signal is characterised by a total lack of turbidity, although other tracer anomalies are in the same range as in nearby Fatu Kapa. The background data set revealed the presence of a Mn and 3He chronic plume due to the extensive and cumulative venting over the entire area. To that respect, we believe that the joined domain composed of our active area and the nearby active area discovered in the East by Lupton et al. (2012) highly contribute to the

  15. Metaproteomics Applied to Activated Sludge for Industrial Wastewater Treatment Revealed a Dominant Methylotrophic Metabolism of Hyphomicrobium zavarzinii.

    PubMed

    Salerno, Carlo; Benndorf, Dirk; Kluge, Sabine; Palese, Luigi Leonardo; Reichl, Udo; Pollice, Alfieri

    2016-07-01

    In biological wastewater treatments, microbial populations of the so-called activated sludge work together in the abatement of pollutants. In this work, the metabolic behavior of the biomass of a lab-scale plant treating industrial pharmaceutical wastewater was investigated through a metaproteomic approach. The complete treatment process included a membrane biological reactor (MBR) coupled with an advanced oxidation process (AOP) for partial breakdown of non-biodegradable molecules. Proteins from biomass samples collected pre- and post-AOP application were investigated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE), mass spectrometry (MS), and finally identified by database search. Results showed that most proteins remained constant between pre- and post-AOP. Methanol dehydrogenase (MDH) belonging to Hyphomicrobium zavarzinii appeared as the most constantly expressed protein in the studied consortium. Other identified proteins belonging to Hyphomicrobium spp. revealed a predominant methylotrophic metabolism, and H. zavarzinii appeared as a key actor in the studied microbial community. PMID:27090901

  16. Process evaluation methods, implementation fidelity results and relationship to physical activity and healthy eating in the Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) study.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Ruth P; Wilcox, Sara; Baruth, Meghan; Dowda, Marsha

    2014-04-01

    Faith, Activity and Nutrition (FAN), a community-based participatory research project in African American churches, aimed to increase congregant physical activity and healthy eating. The Health-Promoting Church framework, developed collaboratively with faith-based partners, guided the intervention and a comprehensive process evaluation. The Health-Promoting Church components related to healthy eating and physical activity were getting the message out, opportunities, pastor support, and organizational policy. There was no evidence for sequential mediation for any of the healthy eating components. These results illustrate the complexity of systems change within organizational settings and the importance of conducting process evaluation. The FAN intervention resulted in increased implementation for all physical activity and most healthy eating components. Mediation analyses revealed no direct association between implementation and increased physical activity; rather, sequential mediation analysis showed that implementation of physical activity messages was associated with improved self-efficacy at the church level, which was associated with increased physical activity.

  17. Metatranscriptome Analysis of Aquifer Samples Reveals Unexpected Metabolic Lifestyles Relevant to Active Biogeochemical Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beller, H. R.; Jewell, T. N. M.; Karaoz, U.; Banfield, J. F.; Brodie, E.; Williams, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    Modern molecular ecology techniques are revealing the metabolic potential of uncultivated microorganisms, but there is still much to be learned about the actual biogeochemical roles of microbes that have cultivated relatives. Here, we present metatranscriptomic and metagenomic data from a field study that provides evidence of coupled redox processes that have not been documented in cultivated relatives and, indeed, represent strains with metabolic traits that are novel with respect to closely related isolates. The data come from omics analysis of groundwater samples collected during an experiment in which nitrate (a native electron acceptor) was injected into a perennially suboxic aquifer in Rifle (CO). Transcriptional data indicated that just two groups of chemolithoautotrophic bacteria accounted for a very large portion (~80%) of overall community gene expression: (1) members of the Fe(II)-oxidizing Gallionellaceae family and (2) strains of the S-oxidizing species, Sulfurimonas denitrificans. Metabolic lifestyles for Gallionellaceae strains that were novel compared to cultivated representatives included nitrate-dependent Fe(II) oxidation and S oxidation. Evidence for these metabolisms included highly correlated temporal expression in binned data of nitrate reductase (e.g., narGHI) genes (which have never been reported in Gallionellaceae genomes) and Fe(II) oxidation genes (e.g., mtoA) or S oxidation genes (e.g., dsrE, aprA). Of the two most active strains of S. denitrificans, only one showed strong expression of S oxidation genes, whereas the other was apparently using an unexpected (as-yet unidentified) primary electron donor. Transcriptional data added considerable interpretive value to this study, as (1) metagenomic data would not have highlighted these organisms, which had a disproportionately large role in community metabolism relative to their populations, and (2) co-expression of coupled pathway genes could not be predicted based solely on metagenomic data.

  18. Familial autoinflammation with neutrophilic dermatosis reveals a regulatory mechanism of pyrin activation.

    PubMed

    Masters, Seth L; Lagou, Vasiliki; Jéru, Isabelle; Baker, Paul J; Van Eyck, Lien; Parry, David A; Lawless, Dylan; De Nardo, Dominic; Garcia-Perez, Josselyn E; Dagley, Laura F; Holley, Caroline L; Dooley, James; Moghaddas, Fiona; Pasciuto, Emanuela; Jeandel, Pierre-Yves; Sciot, Raf; Lyras, Dena; Webb, Andrew I; Nicholson, Sandra E; De Somer, Lien; van Nieuwenhove, Erika; Ruuth-Praz, Julia; Copin, Bruno; Cochet, Emmanuelle; Medlej-Hashim, Myrna; Megarbane, Andre; Schroder, Kate; Savic, Sinisa; Goris, An; Amselem, Serge; Wouters, Carine; Liston, Adrian

    2016-03-30

    Pyrin responds to pathogen signals and loss of cellular homeostasis by forming an inflammasome complex that drives the cleavage and secretion of interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Mutations in the B30.2/SPRY domain cause pathogen-independent activation of pyrin and are responsible for the autoinflammatory disease familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). We studied a family with a dominantly inherited autoinflammatory disease, distinct from FMF, characterized by childhood-onset recurrent episodes of neutrophilic dermatosis, fever, elevated acute-phase reactants, arthralgia, and myalgia/myositis. The disease was caused by a mutation in MEFV, the gene encoding pyrin (S242R). The mutation results in the loss of a 14-3-3 binding motif at phosphorylated S242, which was not perturbed by FMF mutations in the B30.2/SPRY domain. However, loss of both S242 phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding was observed for bacterial effectors that activate the pyrin inflammasome, such as Clostridium difficile toxin B (TcdB). The S242R mutation thus recapitulated the effect of pathogen sensing, triggering inflammasome activation and IL-1β production. Successful therapy targeting IL-1β has been initiated in one patient, resolving pyrin-associated autoinflammation with neutrophilic dermatosis. This disease provides evidence that a guard-like mechanism of pyrin regulation, originally identified for Nod-like receptors in plant innate immunity, also exists in humans.

  19. A Sleeping Beauty screen reveals NF-kB activation in CLL mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Zanesi, Nicola; Balatti, Veronica; Riordan, Jesse; Burch, Aaron; Rizzotto, Lara; Palamarchuk, Alexey; Cascione, Luciano; Lagana, Alessandro; Dupuy, Adam J.; Croce, Carlo M.

    2013-01-01

    TCL1 oncogene is overexpressed in aggressive form of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and its dysregulation in mouse B cells causes a CD5-positive leukemia similar to the aggressive form of human CLLs. To identify oncogenes that cooperate with Tcl1, we performed genetic screen in Eμ−TCL1 mice using Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated mutagenesis. Analysis of transposon common insertion sites identified 7 genes activated by transposon insertions. Overexpression of these genes in mouse CLL was confirmed by real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Interestingly, the main known function of 4 of 7 genes (Nfkb1, Tab2, Map3K14, and Nfkbid) is participation in or activation of the nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) pathway. In addition, activation of the NF-kB is 1 of main functions of Akt2, also identified in the screen. These findings demonstrate cooperation of Tcl1 and the NF-kB pathway in the pathogenesis of aggressive CLL. Identification cooperating cancer genes will result in the development of combinatorial therapies to treat CLL. PMID:23591791

  20. A Sleeping Beauty screen reveals NF-kB activation in CLL mouse model.

    PubMed

    Zanesi, Nicola; Balatti, Veronica; Riordan, Jesse; Burch, Aaron; Rizzotto, Lara; Palamarchuk, Alexey; Cascione, Luciano; Lagana, Alessandro; Dupuy, Adam J; Croce, Carlo M; Pekarsky, Yuri

    2013-05-23

    TCL1 oncogene is overexpressed in aggressive form of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and its dysregulation in mouse B cells causes a CD5-positive leukemia similar to the aggressive form of human CLLs. To identify oncogenes that cooperate with Tcl1, we performed genetic screen in Eμ-TCL1 mice using Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated mutagenesis. Analysis of transposon common insertion sites identified 7 genes activated by transposon insertions. Overexpression of these genes in mouse CLL was confirmed by real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Interestingly, the main known function of 4 of 7 genes (Nfkb1, Tab2, Map3K14, and Nfkbid) is participation in or activation of the nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) pathway. In addition, activation of the NF-kB is 1 of main functions of Akt2, also identified in the screen. These findings demonstrate cooperation of Tcl1 and the NF-kB pathway in the pathogenesis of aggressive CLL. Identification cooperating cancer genes will result in the development of combinatorial therapies to treat CLL. PMID:23591791

  1. Bioluminescent imaging of Ca2+ activity reveals spatiotemporal dynamics in glial networks of dark-adapted mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    Agulhon, Cendra; Platel, Jean-Claude; Kolomiets, Bogdan; Forster, Valérie; Picaud, Serge; Brocard, Jacques; Faure, Philippe; Brulet, Philippe

    2007-01-01

    Glial Ca2+ excitability plays a key role in reciprocal neuron–glia communication. In the retina, neuron–glia signalling is expected to be maximal in the dark, but the glial Ca2+ signal characteristics under such conditions have not been evaluated. To address this question, we used bioluminescence imaging to monitor spontaneous Ca2+ changes under dark conditions selectively in Müller cells, the principal retinal glial cells. By combining this imaging approach with network analysis, we demonstrate that activity in Müller cells is organized in networks of coactive cells, involving 2–16 cells located distantly and/or in clusters. We also report that spontaneous activity of small networks (2–6 Müller cells) repeat over time, sometimes in the same sequential order, revealing specific temporal dynamics. In addition, we show that networks of coactive glial cells are inhibited by TTX, indicating that ganglion and/or amacrine neuronal cells probably regulate Müller cell network properties. These results represent the first demonstration that spontaneous activity in adult Müller cells is patterned into correlated networks that display repeated sequences of coactivations over time. Furthermore, our bioluminescence technique provides a novel tool to study the dynamic characteristics of glial Ca2+ events in the retina under dark conditions, which should greatly facilitate future investigations of retinal dark-adaptive processes. PMID:17627996

  2. 10Be surface exposure dating reveals strong active deformation in the central Andean backarc interior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Morabito, Ezequiel; Terrizzano, Carla; Zech, Roland; Willett, Sean; Yamin, Marcela; Haghipour, Negar; Wuethrich, Lorenz; Christl, Marcus; María Cortes, José; Ramos, Victor

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the deformation associated with active thrust wedges is essential to evaluate seismic hazard. How is active faulting distributed throughout the wedge, and how much deformation is taken up by individual structures? We address these questions for our study region, the central Andean backarc of Argentina. We combined a structural and geomorphological approach with surface exposure dating (10Be) of alluvial fans and strath terraces in two key localities at ~32° S: the Cerro Salinas, located in the active orogenic front of the Precordillera, and the Barreal block in the interior of the Andean mountain range. We analysed 22 surface samples and 6 depth profiles. At the thrust front, the oldest terrace (T1) yields an age of 100-130 ka, the intermediate terrace (T2) between 40-95 ka, and the youngest terrace (T3) an age of ~20 ka. In the Andean interior, T1´ dates to 117-146 ka, T2´ to ~70 ka, and T3´ to ~20 ka, all calculations assuming negligible erosion and using the scaling scheme for spallation based on Lal 1991, Stone 2000. Vertical slip rates of fault offsets are 0.3-0.5 mm/yr and of 0.6-1.2 mm/yr at the thrust front and in the Andean interior, respectively. Our results highlight: i) fault activity related to the growth of the Andean orogenic wedge is not only limited to a narrow thrust front zone. Internal structures have been active during the last 150 ka, ii) deformation rates in the Andean interior are comparable or even higher that those estimated and reported along the emerging thrust front, iii) distribution of active faulting seems to account for unsteady state conditions, and iv) seismic hazards may be more relevant in the internal parts of the Andean orogen than assumed so far. References Lal, D., 1991: Cosmic ray labeling of erosion surfaces: In situ nuclide production rates and erosion models. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 104: 424-439. Stone, J.O., 2000: Air pressure and cosmogenic isotope production. Journal of Geophysical

  3. Integrated Experimental and Model-based Analysis Reveals the Spatial Aspects of EGFR Activation Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Shankaran, Harish; Zhang, Yi; Chrisler, William B.; Ewald, Jonathan A.; Wiley, H. S.; Resat, Haluk

    2012-10-02

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) belongs to the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases, and controls a diverse set of cellular responses relevant to development and tumorigenesis. ErbB activation is a complex process involving receptor-ligand binding, receptor dimerization, phosphorylation, and trafficking (internalization, recycling and degradation), which together dictate the spatio-temporal distribution of active receptors within the cell. The ability to predict this distribution, and elucidation of the factors regulating it, would help to establish a mechanistic link between ErbB expression levels and the cellular response. Towards this end, we constructed mathematical models for deconvolving the contributions of receptor dimerization and phosphorylation to EGFR activation, and to examine the dependence of these processes on sub-cellular location. We collected experimental datasets for EGFR activation dynamics in human mammary epithelial cells, with the specific goal of model parameterization, and used the data to estimate parameters for several alternate models. Model-based analysis indicated that: 1) signal termination via receptor dephosphorylation in late endosomes, prior to degradation, is an important component of the response, 2) less than 40% of the receptors in the cell are phosphorylated at any given time, even at saturating ligand doses, and 3) receptor dephosphorylation rates at the cell surface and early endosomes are comparable. We validated the last finding by measuring EGFR dephosphorylation rates at various times following ligand addition both in whole cells, and in endosomes using ELISAs and fluorescent imaging. Overall, our results provide important information on how EGFR phosphorylation levels are regulated within cells. Further, the mathematical model described here can be extended to determine receptor dimer abundances in cells co-expressing various levels of ErbB receptors. This study demonstrates that an iterative cycle of

  4. Integrative analyses of genetic variation in enzyme activities of primary carbohydrate metabolism reveal distinct modes of regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Keurentjes, Joost JB; Sulpice, Ronan; Gibon, Yves; Steinhauser, Marie-Caroline; Fu, Jingyuan; Koornneef, Maarten; Stitt, Mark; Vreugdenhil, Dick

    2008-01-01

    Background Plant primary carbohydrate metabolism is complex and flexible, and is regulated at many levels. Changes of transcript levels do not always lead to changes in enzyme activities, and these do not always affect metabolite levels and fluxes. To analyze interactions between these three levels of function, we have performed parallel genetic analyses of 15 enzyme activities involved in primary carbohydrate metabolism, transcript levels for their encoding structural genes, and a set of relevant metabolites. Quantitative analyses of each trait were performed in the Arabidopsis thaliana Ler × Cvi recombinant inbred line (RIL) population and subjected to correlation and quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. Results Traits affecting primary metabolism were often correlated, possibly due to developmental control affecting multiple genes, enzymes, or metabolites. Moreover, the activity QTLs of several enzymes co-localized with the expression QTLs (eQTLs) of their structural genes, or with metabolite accumulation QTLs of their substrates or products. In addition, many trait-specific QTLs were identified, revealing that there is also specific regulation of individual metabolic traits. Regulation of enzyme activities often occurred through multiple loci, involving both cis- and trans-acting transcriptional or post-transcriptional control of structural genes, as well as independently of the structural genes. Conclusion Future studies of the regulatory processes in primary carbohydrate metabolism will benefit from an integrative genetic analysis of gene transcription, enzyme activity, and metabolite content. The multiparallel QTL analyses of the various interconnected transducers of biological information flow, described here for the first time, can assist in determining the causes and consequences of genetic regulation at different levels of complex biological systems. PMID:18710526

  5. Altered spontaneous activity in antisocial personality disorder revealed by regional homogeneity.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan; Liu, Wangyong; Chen, Jingang; Liao, Jian; Hu, Dewen; Wang, Wei

    2013-08-01

    There is increasing evidence that antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) stems from brain abnormalities. However, there are only a few studies investigating brain structure in ASPD. The aim of this study was to find regional coherence abnormalities in resting-state functional MRI of ASPD. Thirty-two ASPD individuals and 34 controls underwent a resting-state functional MRI scan. The regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach was used to examine whether ASPD was related to alterations in resting-state neural activity. Support vector machine discriminant analysis was used to evaluate the sensitivity/specificity characteristics of the ReHo index in discriminating between the ASPD individuals and controls. The results showed that, compared with controls, ASPD individuals show lower ReHo in the right cerebellum posterior lobe (Crus1) and the right middle frontal gyrus, as well as higher ReHo in the right middle occipital gyrus (BA 19), left inferior temporal gyrus (BA 37), and right inferior occipital gyrus (cuneus, BA 18). All alternation regions reported a predictive accuracy above 70%. To our knowledge, this study was the first to study the change in regional activity coherence in the resting brain of ASPD individuals. These results not only elucidated the pathological mechanism of ASPD from a resting-state functional viewpoint but also showed that these alterations in ReHo may serve as potential markers for the detection of ASPD.

  6. Motif module map reveals enforcement of aging by continual NF-kappaB activity.

    PubMed

    Adler, Adam S; Sinha, Saurabh; Kawahara, Tiara L A; Zhang, Jennifer Y; Segal, Eran; Chang, Howard Y

    2007-12-15

    Aging is characterized by specific alterations in gene expression, but their underlying mechanisms and functional consequences are not well understood. Here we develop a systematic approach to identify combinatorial cis-regulatory motifs that drive age-dependent gene expression across different tissues and organisms. Integrated analysis of 365 microarrays spanning nine tissue types predicted fourteen motifs as major regulators of age-dependent gene expression in human and mouse. The motif most strongly associated with aging was that of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Inducible genetic blockade of NF-kappaB for 2 wk in the epidermis of chronologically aged mice reverted the tissue characteristics and global gene expression programs to those of young mice. Age-specific NF-kappaB blockade and orthogonal cell cycle interventions revealed that NF-kappaB controls cell cycle exit and gene expression signature of aging in parallel but not sequential pathways. These results identify a conserved network of regulatory pathways underlying mammalian aging and show that NF-kappaB is continually required to enforce many features of aging in a tissue-specific manner.

  7. Microarray profiling of L1-overexpressing endothelial cells reveals STAT3 activation via IL-6/IL-6Rα axis.

    PubMed

    Magrini, Elena; Cavallaro, Ugo; Bianchi, Fabrizio

    2015-06-01

    We recently identified a novel role for the L1 transmembrane glycoprotein (also known as L1CAM or CD171) in the regulation of tumor angiogenesis and vessels stabilization. L1 overexpression in cultured endothelial cells of the lung (luECs) exerted a pleiotropic effect in that it regulated proliferation, migration, tubulogenesis, vascular permeability, and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). In addition, we provided strong evidence that antibody-mediated targeting of L1 may be an effective strategy for vessel normalization with the potential to increase efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. High-throughput microarray expression profile revealed that L1 modulates the expression of hundreds of genes mainly involved in cell cycle regulation, DNA replication, cellular assembly, migration, development and organization. By using a 'pathway-oriented' analysis strategy we were able to identify a network of 105 genes modulated by L1 through the predicted activation of five transcription factors: STAT1, STAT2, STAT3, IRF7, and ATF4. Indeed, L1 overexpression resulted in the strong induction of STAT3 phosphorylation which was abolished by antibody-mediated neutralization of IL-6Rα. These results indicated that L1 promoted STAT3 activation via the IL-6/IL-6Rα axis. PMID:26484199

  8. Results.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zemsky, Robert; Shaman, Susan; Shapiro, Daniel B.

    2001-01-01

    Describes the Collegiate Results Instrument (CRI), which measures a range of collegiate outcomes for alumni 6 years after graduation. The CRI was designed to target alumni from institutions across market segments and assess their values, abilities, work skills, occupations, and pursuit of lifelong learning. (EV)

  9. Widely Used Pesticides with Previously Unknown Endocrine Activity Revealed as in Vitro Antiandrogens

    PubMed Central

    Orton, Frances; Rosivatz, Erika; Scholze, Martin; Kortenkamp, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Background Evidence suggests that there is widespread decline in male reproductive health and that antiandrogenic pollutants may play a significant role. There is also a clear disparity between pesticide exposure and data on endocrine disruption, with most of the published literature focused on pesticides that are no longer registered for use in developed countries. Objective We used estimated human exposure data to select pesticides to test for antiandrogenic activity, focusing on highest use pesticides. Methods We used European databases to select 134 candidate pesticides based on highest exposure, followed by a filtering step according to known or predicted receptor-mediated antiandrogenic potency, based on a previously published quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) model. In total, 37 pesticides were tested for in vitro androgen receptor (AR) antagonism. Of these, 14 were previously reported to be AR antagonists (“active”), 4 were predicted AR antagonists using the QSAR, 6 were predicted to not be AR antagonists (“inactive”), and 13 had unknown activity, which were “out of domain” and therefore could not be classified with the QSAR (“unknown”). Results All 14 pesticides with previous evidence of AR antagonism were confirmed as antiandrogenic in our assay, and 9 previously untested pesticides were identified as antiandrogenic (dimethomorph, fenhexamid, quinoxyfen, cyprodinil, λ-cyhalothrin, pyrimethanil, fludioxonil, azinphos-methyl, pirimiphos-methyl). In addition, we classified 7 compounds as androgenic. Conclusions Due to estimated antiandrogenic potency, current use, estimated exposure, and lack of previous data, we strongly recommend that dimethomorph, fludioxonil, fenhexamid, imazalil, ortho-phenylphenol, and pirimiphos-methyl be tested for antiandrogenic effects in vivo. The lack of human biomonitoring data for environmentally relevant pesticides presents a barrier to current risk assessment of pesticides on humans. PMID

  10. Structure of the nisin leader peptidase NisP revealing a C-terminal autocleavage activity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yueyang; Li, Xin; Li, Ruiqing; Li, Shanshan; Ni, Hongqian; Wang, Hui; Xu, Haijin; Zhou, Weihong; Saris, Per E J; Yang, Wen; Qiao, Mingqiang; Rao, Zihe

    2014-06-01

    Nisin is a widely used antibacterial lantibiotic polypeptide produced by Lactococcus lactis. NisP belongs to the subtilase family and functions in the last step of nisin maturation as the leader-peptide peptidase. Deletion of the nisP gene in LAC71 results in the production of a non-active precursor peptide with the leader peptide unremoved. Here, the 1.1 Å resolution crystal structure of NisP is reported. The structure shows similarity to other subtilases, which can bind varying numbers of Ca atoms. However, no calcium was found in this NisP structure, and the predicted calcium-chelating residues were placed so as to not allow NisP to bind a calcium ion in this conformation. Interestingly, a short peptide corresponding to its own 635-647 sequence was found to bind to the active site of NisP. Biochemical assays and native mass-spectrometric analysis confirmed that NisP possesses an auto-cleavage site between residues Arg647 and Ser648. Further, it was shown that NisP mutated at the auto-cleavage site (R647P/S648P) had full catalytic activity for nisin leader-peptide cleavage, although the C-terminal region of NisP was no longer cleaved. Expressing this mutant in L. lactis LAC71 did not affect the production of nisin but did decrease the proliferation rate of the bacteria, suggesting the biological significance of the C-terminal auto-cleavage of NisP. PMID:24914961

  11. A channelopathy mechanism revealed by direct calmodulin activation of TrpV4

    PubMed Central

    Loukin, Stephen H.; Teng, Jinfeng; Kung, Ching

    2015-01-01

    Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) regulates varieties of ion channels, including Transient Receptor Potential vanilloid subtype 4 (TrpV4). It has previously been proposed that internal Ca2+ increases TrpV4 activity through Ca2+-CaM binding to a C-terminal Ca2+-CaM binding domain (CBD). We confirmed this model by directly presenting Ca2+-CaM protein to membrane patches excised from TrpV4-expressing oocytes. Over 50 TRPV4 mutations are now known to cause heritable skeletal dysplasia (SD) and other diseases in human. We have previously examined 14 SD alleles and found them to all have gain-of-function effects, with the gain of constitutive open probability paralleling disease severity. Among the 14 SD alleles examined, E797K and P799L are located immediate upstream of the CBD. They not only have increase basal activity, but, unlike the wild-type or other SD-mutant channels examined, they were greatly reduced in their response to Ca2+-CaM. Deleting a 10-residue upstream peptide (Δ795–804) that covers the two SD mutant sites resulted in strong constitutive activity and the complete lack of Ca2+-CaM response. We propose that the region immediately upstream of CBD is an autoinhibitory domain that maintains the closed state through electrostatic interactions, and adjacent detachable Ca2+-CaM binding to CBD sterically interferes with this autoinhibition. This work further supports the notion that TrpV4 mutations cause SD by constitutive leakage. However, the closed conformation is likely destabilized by various mutations by different mechanisms, including the permanent removal of an autoinhibition documented here. PMID:26170305

  12. Molecular genetics of blood-fleshed peach reveals activation of anthocyanin biosynthesis by NAC transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Hui; Lin-Wang, Kui; Wang, Huiliang; Gu, Chao; Dare, Andrew P; Espley, Richard V; He, Huaping; Allan, Andrew C; Han, Yuepeng

    2015-04-01

    Anthocyanin pigmentation is an important consumer trait in peach (Prunus persica). In this study, the genetic basis of the blood-flesh trait was investigated using the cultivar Dahongpao, which shows high levels of cyanidin-3-glucoside in the mesocarp. Elevation of anthocyanin levels in the flesh was correlated with the expression of an R2R3 MYB transcription factor, PpMYB10.1. However, PpMYB10.1 did not co-segregate with the blood-flesh trait. The blood-flesh trait was mapped to a 200-kb interval on peach linkage group (LG) 5. Within this interval, a gene encoding a NAC domain transcription factor (TF) was found to be highly up-regulated in blood-fleshed peaches when compared with non-red-fleshed peaches. This NAC TF, designated blood (BL), acts as a heterodimer with PpNAC1 which shows high levels of expression in fruit at late developmental stages. We show that the heterodimer of BL and PpNAC1 can activate the transcription of PpMYB10.1, resulting in anthocyanin pigmentation in tobacco. Furthermore, silencing the BL gene reduces anthocyanin pigmentation in blood-fleshed peaches. The transactivation activity of the BL-PpNAC1 heterodimer is repressed by a SQUAMOSA promoter-binding protein-like TF, PpSPL1. Low levels of PpMYB10.1 expression in fruit at early developmental stages is probably attributable to lower levels of expression of PpNAC1 plus the presence of high levels of repressors such as PpSPL1. We present a mechanism whereby BL is the key gene for the blood-flesh trait in peach via its activation of PpMYB10.1 in maturing fruit. Partner TFs such as basic helix-loop-helix proteins and NAC1 are required, as is the removal of transcriptional repressors.

  13. Structure of the nisin leader peptidase NisP revealing a C-terminal autocleavage activity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yueyang; Li, Xin; Li, Ruiqing; Li, Shanshan; Ni, Hongqian; Wang, Hui; Xu, Haijin; Zhou, Weihong; Saris, Per E J; Yang, Wen; Qiao, Mingqiang; Rao, Zihe

    2014-06-01

    Nisin is a widely used antibacterial lantibiotic polypeptide produced by Lactococcus lactis. NisP belongs to the subtilase family and functions in the last step of nisin maturation as the leader-peptide peptidase. Deletion of the nisP gene in LAC71 results in the production of a non-active precursor peptide with the leader peptide unremoved. Here, the 1.1 Å resolution crystal structure of NisP is reported. The structure shows similarity to other subtilases, which can bind varying numbers of Ca atoms. However, no calcium was found in this NisP structure, and the predicted calcium-chelating residues were placed so as to not allow NisP to bind a calcium ion in this conformation. Interestingly, a short peptide corresponding to its own 635-647 sequence was found to bind to the active site of NisP. Biochemical assays and native mass-spectrometric analysis confirmed that NisP possesses an auto-cleavage site between residues Arg647 and Ser648. Further, it was shown that NisP mutated at the auto-cleavage site (R647P/S648P) had full catalytic activity for nisin leader-peptide cleavage, although the C-terminal region of NisP was no longer cleaved. Expressing this mutant in L. lactis LAC71 did not affect the production of nisin but did decrease the proliferation rate of the bacteria, suggesting the biological significance of the C-terminal auto-cleavage of NisP.

  14. SILAC-Based Mass Spectrometry Analysis Reveals That Epibrassinolide Induces Apoptosis via Activating Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Prostate Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Epibrassinolide (EBR) is a polyhydroxylated sterol derivative and biologically active compound of the brassinosteroids. In addition to well-described roles in plant growth, EBR induces apoptosis in the LNCaP prostate cancer cells expressing functional androgen receptor (AR). Therefore, it is suggested that EBR might have an inhibitory potential on androgen receptor signaling pathway. However, the mechanism by which EBR exerts its effects on LNCaP is poorly understood. To address this gap in knowledge, we used an unbiased global proteomics approach, i.e., stable-isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC). In total, 964 unique proteins were identified, 160 of which were differentially expressed after 12 h of EBR treatment. The quantification of the differentially expressed proteins revealed that the expression of the unfolded protein response (UPR) chaperone protein, calreticulin (CALR), was dramatically downregulated. The decrease in CALR expression was also validated by immunoblotting. Because our data revealed the involvement of the UPR in response to EBR exposure, we evaluated the expression of the other UPR proteins. We demonstrated that EBR treatment downregulated calnexin and upregulated BiP and IRE1α expression levels and induced CHOP translocation from the cytoplasm to nucleus. The translocation of CHOP was associated with caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation after a 12 h EBR treatment. Co-treatment of EBR with rapamycin, an upstream mTOR pathway inhibitor, prevented EBR-induced cell viability loss and PARP cleavage in LNCaP prostate cancer cells, suggesting that EBR could induce ER stress in these cells. In addition, we observed similar results in DU145 cells with nonfunctional androgen receptor. When proteasomal degradation of proteins was blocked by MG132 co-treatment, EBR treatment further induced PARP cleavage relative to drug treatment alone. EBR also induced Ca2+ sequestration, which confirmed the alteration of the ER pathway due to drug

  15. Covalent Inhibition of Ubc13 Affects Ubiquitin Signaling and Reveals Active Site Elements Important for Targeting.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Curtis D; Edwards, Ross A; Markin, Craig J; McDonald, Darin; Pulvino, Mary; Huen, Michael S Y; Zhao, Jiyong; Spyracopoulos, Leo; Hendzel, Michael J; Glover, J N Mark

    2015-07-17

    Ubc13 is an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme that functions in nuclear DNA damage signaling and cytoplasmic NF-κB signaling. Here, we present the structures of complexes of Ubc13 with two inhibitors, NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082, which inhibit DNA damage and NF-κB signaling in human cells. NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082 both inhibit Ubc13 by covalent adduct formation through a Michael addition at the Ubc13 active site cysteine. The resulting adducts of both compounds exploit a binding groove unique to Ubc13. We developed a Ubc13 mutant which resists NSC697923 inhibition and, using this mutant, we show that the inhibition of cellular DNA damage and NF-κB signaling by NSC697923 is largely due to specific Ubc13 inhibition. We propose that unique structural features near the Ubc13 active site could provide a basis for the rational development and design of specific Ubc13 inhibitors. PMID:25909880

  16. Covalent Inhibition of Ubc13 Affects Ubiquitin Signaling and Reveals Active Site Elements Important for Targeting.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Curtis D; Edwards, Ross A; Markin, Craig J; McDonald, Darin; Pulvino, Mary; Huen, Michael S Y; Zhao, Jiyong; Spyracopoulos, Leo; Hendzel, Michael J; Glover, J N Mark

    2015-07-17

    Ubc13 is an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme that functions in nuclear DNA damage signaling and cytoplasmic NF-κB signaling. Here, we present the structures of complexes of Ubc13 with two inhibitors, NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082, which inhibit DNA damage and NF-κB signaling in human cells. NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082 both inhibit Ubc13 by covalent adduct formation through a Michael addition at the Ubc13 active site cysteine. The resulting adducts of both compounds exploit a binding groove unique to Ubc13. We developed a Ubc13 mutant which resists NSC697923 inhibition and, using this mutant, we show that the inhibition of cellular DNA damage and NF-κB signaling by NSC697923 is largely due to specific Ubc13 inhibition. We propose that unique structural features near the Ubc13 active site could provide a basis for the rational development and design of specific Ubc13 inhibitors.

  17. Covalent Inhibition of Ubc13 Affects Ubiquitin Signaling and Reveals Active Site Elements Important for Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Hodge, Curtis D.; Edwards, Ross A.; Markin, Craig J.; McDonald, Darin; Pulvino, Mary; Huen, Michael S. Y.; Zhao, Jiyong; Spyracopoulos, Leo; Hendzel, Michael J.; Glover, J.N. Mark

    2015-01-01

    Ubc13 is an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme that functions in nuclear DNA damage signaling and cytoplasmic NF-κB signaling. Here we present the structures of complexes of Ubc13 with two inhibitors, NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082, which inhibit DNA damage and NF-κB signaling in human cells. NSC697923 and BAY 11-7082 both inhibit Ubc13 by covalent adduct formation through a Michael addition at the Ubc13 active site cysteine. The resulting adducts of both compounds exploit a binding groove unique to Ubc13. We developed a Ubc13 mutant which resists NSC697923 inhibition and, using this mutant, we show that the inhibition of cellular DNA damage and NF-κB signaling by NSC697923 is largely due to specific Ubc13 inhibition. We propose that unique structural features near the Ubc13 active site could provide a basis for the rational development and design of specific Ubc13 inhibitors. PMID:25909880

  18. Characterization of 10-Hydroxygeraniol Dehydrogenase from Catharanthus roseus Reveals Cascaded Enzymatic Activity in Iridoid Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Krithika, Ramakrishnan; Srivastava, Prabhakar Lal; Rani, Bajaj; Kolet, Swati P.; Chopade, Manojkumar; Soniya, Mantri; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V.

    2015-01-01

    Catharanthus roseus [L.] is a major source of the monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIAs), which are of significant interest due to their therapeutic value. These molecules are formed through an intermediate, cis-trans-nepetalactol, a cyclized product of 10-oxogeranial. One of the key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of MIAs is an NAD(P)+ dependent oxidoreductase system, 10-hydroxygeraniol dehydrogenase (Cr10HGO), which catalyses the formation of 10-oxogeranial from 10-hydroxygeraniol via 10-oxogeraniol or 10-hydroxygeranial. This work describes the cloning and functional characterization of Cr10HGO from C. roseus and its role in the iridoid biosynthesis. Substrate specificity studies indicated that, Cr10HGO has good activity on substrates such as 10-hydroxygeraniol, 10-oxogeraniol or 10-hydroxygeranial over monohydroxy linear terpene derivatives. Further it was observed that incubation of 10-hydroxygeraniol with Cr10HGO and iridoid synthase (CrIDS) in the presence of NADP+ yielded a major metabolite, which was characterized as (1R, 4aS, 7S, 7aR)-nepetalactol by comparing its retention time, mass fragmentation pattern, and co-injection studies with that of the synthesized compound. These results indicate that there is concerted activity of Cr10HGO with iridoid synthase in the formation of (1R, 4aS, 7S, 7aR)-nepetalactol, an important intermediate in iridoid biosynthesis. PMID:25651761

  19. Proteomic analysis of tylosin-resistant Mycoplasma gallisepticum reveals enzymatic activities associated with resistance

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xi; Wu, Congming; Cui, Yaowen; Kang, Mengjiao; Li, Xiaowei; Ding, Shuangyang; Shen, Jianzhong

    2015-01-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a significant pathogenic bacterium that infects poultry, causing chronic respiratory disease and sinusitis in chickens and turkeys, respectively. M. gallisepticum infection poses a substantial economic threat to the poultry industry, and this threat is made worse by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. The mechanisms of resistance are often difficult to determine; for example, little is known about antibiotic resistance of M. gallisepticum at the proteome level. In this study, we performed comparative proteomic analyses of an antibiotic (tylosin)-resistant M. gallisepticum mutant and a susceptible parent strain using a combination of two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and nano-liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry. Thirteen proteins were identified as differentially expressed in the resistant strain compared to the susceptible strain. Most of these proteins were related to catalytic activity, including catalysis that promotes the formylation of initiator tRNA and energy production. Elongation factors Tu and G were over-expressed in the resistant strains, and this could promote the binding of tRNA to ribosomes and catalyze ribosomal translocation, the coordinated movement of tRNA, and conformational changes in the ribosome. Taken together, our results indicate that M. gallisepticum develops resistance to tylosin by regulating associated enzymatic activities. PMID:26584633

  20. A Systematic Analysis Reveals Heterogeneous Changes in the Endocytic Activities of Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Elkin, Sarah R.; Bendris, Nawal; Reis, Carlos R.; Zhou, Yunyun; Xie, Yang; Huffman, Kenneth E.; Minna, John D.; Schmid, Sandra L.

    2016-01-01

    Metastasis is a multistep process requiring cancer cell signaling, invasion, migration, survival, and proliferation. These processes require dynamic modulation of cell surface proteins by endocytosis. Given this functional connection, it has been suggested that endocytosis is dysregulated in cancer. To test this, we developed In-Cell ELISA assays to measure three different endocytic pathways: clathrin-mediated endocytosis, caveolae-mediated endocytosis, and clathrin-independent endocytosis and compared these activities using two different syngeneic models for normal and oncogene-transformed human lung epithelial cells. We found that all endocytic activities were reduced in the transformed versus normal counterparts. However, when we screened 29 independently isolated non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines to determine whether these changes were systematic, we observed significant heterogeneity. Nonetheless, using hierarchical clustering based on their combined endocytic properties, we identified two phenotypically distinct clusters of NSCLCs. One co-clustered with mutations in KRAS, a mesenchymal phenotype, increased invasion through collagen and decreased growth in soft agar, whereas the second was enriched in cells with an epithelial phenotype. Interestingly, the two clusters also differed significantly in clathrin-independent internalization and surface expression of CD44 and CD59. Taken together, our results suggest that endocytotic alterations in cancer cells that affect cell surface expression of critical molecules have a significant influence on cancer-relevant phenotypes, with potential implications for interventions to control cancer by modulating endocytic dynamics. PMID:26359453

  1. Clumpy tori around type II active galactic nuclei as revealed by X-ray fluorescent lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jiren; Liu, Yuan; Li, Xiaobo; Xu, Weiwei; Gou, Lijun; Cheng, Cheng

    2016-06-01

    The reflection spectrum of a torus around an active galactic nucleus (AGN) is characterized by X-ray fluorescent lines, which are most prominent for type II AGNs. A clumpy torus allows photons reflected from the back-side of the torus to leak through the front regions that are free of obscuration. The observed X-ray fluorescent lines are therefore sensitive to the clumpiness of the torus. We analysed a sample of type II AGNs observed with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETGS), and measured the fluxes for the Si Kα and Fe Kα lines. The measured Fe Kα/Si Kα ratios, spanning a range between 5 and 60, are far smaller than the ratios predicted from simulations of smooth tori, indicating that the tori of the studied sources have clumpy distributions rather than smooth ones. We compared the measured Fe Kα/Si Kα ratios with simulation results of clumpy tori. The Circinus galaxy has a Fe Kα/Si Kα ratio of ˜60, which is close to the simulation results for N = 5, where N is the average number of clumps along the line of sight. The Fe Kα/Si Kα ratios of the other sources are all below the simulation results for N = 2. Overall, this shows that the non-Fe fluorescent lines in the soft X-ray band are a potentially powerful probe of the clumpiness of tori around AGNs.

  2. Impedance spectroscopy of micro-Droplets reveals activation of Bacterial Mechanosensitive Channels in Hypotonic Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebrahimi, Aida; Alam, Muhammad A.

    Rapid detection of bacterial pathogens is of great importance in healthcare, food safety, environmental monitoring, and homeland security. Most bacterial detection platforms rely on binary fission (i.e. cell growth) to reach a threshold cell population that can be resolved by the sensing method. Since cell division depends on the bacteria type, the detection time of such methods can vary from hours to days. In contrast, in this work, we show that bacteria cells can be detected within minutes by relying on activation of specific protein channels, i.e. mechanosensitive channels (MS channels). When cells are exposed to hypotonic solutions, MS channels allow efflux of solutes to the external solution which leads to release the excessive membrane tension. Release of the cytoplasmic solutes, in turn, results in increase of the electrical conductance measured by droplet-based impedance sensing. The approach can be an effective technique for fast, pre-screening of bacterial contamination at ultra-low concentration.

  3. Combined computational and experimental analysis reveals mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated feedback phosphorylation as a mechanism for signaling specificity.

    PubMed

    Hao, Nan; Yildirim, Necmettin; Nagiec, Michal J; Parnell, Stephen C; Errede, Beverly; Dohlman, Henrik G; Elston, Timothy C

    2012-10-01

    Different environmental stimuli often use the same set of signaling proteins to achieve very different physiological outcomes. The mating and invasive growth pathways in yeast each employ a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade that includes Ste20, Ste11, and Ste7. Whereas proper mating requires Ste7 activation of the MAP kinase Fus3, invasive growth requires activation of the alternate MAP kinase Kss1. To determine how MAP kinase specificity is achieved, we used a series of mathematical models to quantitatively characterize pheromone-stimulated kinase activation. In accordance with the computational analysis, MAP kinase feedback phosphorylation of Ste7 results in diminished activation of Kss1, but not Fus3. These findings reveal how feedback phosphorylation of a common pathway component can limit the activity of a competing MAP kinase through feedback phosphorylation of a common activator, and thereby promote signal fidelity. PMID:22875986

  4. The Crystal Structure of Dehi Reveals a New A-Haloacid Dehalogenase Fold And Active Site Mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidberger, J.W.; Wilce, J.A.; Weightman, A.J.; Whisstock, J.C.; Wilce, M.C.J.

    2009-05-27

    Haloacid dehalogenases catalyse the removal of halides from organic haloacids and are of interest for bioremediation and for their potential use in the synthesis of industrial chemicals. We present the crystal structure of the homodimer DehI from Pseudomonas putida strain PP3, the first structure of a group I {alpha}-haloacid dehalogenase that can process both L- and D-substrates. The structure shows that the DehI monomer consists of two domains of {approx}130 amino acids that have {approx}16% sequence identity yet adopt virtually identical and unique folds that form a pseudo-dimer. Analysis of the active site reveals the likely binding mode of both L- and D-substrates with respect to key catalytic residues. Asp189 is predicted to activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the substrate chiral centre resulting in an inversion of configuration of either L- or D-substrates in contrast to D-only enzymes. These details will assist with future bioengineering of dehalogenases.

  5. Phosphoproteomic analysis of induced resistance reveals activation of signal transduction processes by beneficial and pathogenic interaction in grapevine.

    PubMed

    Perazzolli, Michele; Palmieri, Maria Cristina; Matafora, Vittoria; Bachi, Angela; Pertot, Ilaria

    2016-05-20

    Protein phosphorylation regulates several key processes of the plant immune system. Protein kinases and phosphatases are pivotal regulators of defense mechanisms elicited by resistance inducers. However, the phosphorylation cascades that trigger the induced resistance mechanisms in plants have not yet been deeply investigated. The beneficial fungus Trichoderma harzianum T39 (T39) induces resistance against grapevine downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola), but its efficacy could be further improved by a better understanding of the cellular regulations involved. We investigated quantitative changes in the grapevine phosphoproteome during T39-induced resistance to get an overview of regulatory mechanisms of downy mildew resistance. Immunodetection experiments revealed activation of the 45 and 49kDa kinases by T39 treatment both before and after pathogen inoculation, and the phosphoproteomic analysis identified 103 phosphopeptides that were significantly affected by the phosphorylation cascades during T39-induced resistance. Peptides affected by T39 treatment showed comparable phosphorylation levels after P. viticola inoculation, indicating activation of the microbial recognition machinery before pathogen infection. Phosphorylation profiles of proteins related to photosynthetic processes and protein ubiquitination indicated a partial overlap of cellular responses in T39-treated and control plants. However, phosphorylation changes of proteins involved in response to stimuli, signal transduction, hormone signaling, gene expression regulation, and RNA metabolism were exclusively elicited by P. viticola inoculation in T39-treated plants. These results highlighted the relevance of phosphorylation changes during T39-induced resistance and identified key regulator candidates of the grapevine defense against downy mildew. PMID:27010348

  6. Laser speckle contrast reveals cerebral blood flow dynamics evoked by optogenetically controlled neuronal activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Thakor, Nitish V.; Pelled, Galit

    2013-03-01

    As a critical basis of functional brain imaging, neurovascular coupling describes the link between neuronal and hemodynamic changes. The majority of in vivo neurovascular coupling studies was performed by inducing sensory stimulation via afferent inputs. Unfortunately such an approach results in recruiting of multiple types of cells, which confounds the explanation of neuronal roles in stimulus evoked hemodynamic changes. Recently optogenetics has emerged to provide immediate control of neurons by exciting or inhibiting genetically engineered neurons expressing light sensitive proteins. However, there is a need for optical methods capable of imaging the concurrent hemodynamic changes. We utilize laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) to obtain high resolution display of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the vicinity of the targeted neural population. LSCI is a minimally invasive method for imaging CBF in microvessels through thinned skull, and produces images with high spatiotemporal resolution, wide field of view. In the integrated system light sources with different wavelengths and band-passing/blocking filters were used to allow simultaneous optical manipulation of neuronal activities and optical imaging of corresponding CBF. Experimental studies were carried out in a rodent model expressing channalrhodopsin (ChR2) in excitatory neurons in the somatosensory cortex (S1). The results demonstrated significant increases of CBF in response to ChR2 stimulation (exciting neuronal firing) comparable to the CBF response to contralateral forepaw stimulation. The approach promises to be an exciting minimally invasive method to study neurovascular coupling. The complete system provides a novel approach for broad neuroscience applications.

  7. Dissection of a Ciona regulatory element reveals complexity of cross-species enhancer activity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Chung; Pauls, Stefan; Bacha, Jamil; Elgar, Greg; Loose, Matthew; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2014-06-15

    Vertebrate genomes share numerous conserved non-coding elements, many of which function as enhancer elements and are hypothesised to be under evolutionary constraint due to a need to be bound by combinations of sequence-specific transcription factors. In contrast, few such conserved elements can be detected between vertebrates and their closest invertebrate relatives. Despite this lack of sequence identity, cross-species transgenesis has identified some cases where non-coding DNA from invertebrates drives reporter gene expression in transgenic vertebrates in patterns reminiscent of the expression of vertebrate orthologues. Such instances are presumed to reflect the presence of conserved suites of binding sites in the regulatory regions of invertebrate and vertebrate orthologues, such that both regulatory elements can correctly interpret the trans-activating environment. Shuffling of binding sites has been suggested to lie behind loss of sequence conservation; however this has not been experimentally tested. Here we examine the underlying basis of enhancer activity for the Ciona intestinalis βγ-crystallin gene, which drives expression in the lens of transgenic vertebrates despite the Ciona lineage predating the evolution of the lens. We construct an interactive gene regulatory network (GRN) for vertebrate lens development, allowing network interactions to be robustly catalogued and conserved network components and features to be identified. We show that a small number of binding motifs are necessary for Ciona βγ-crystallin expression, and narrow down the likely factors that bind to these motifs. Several of these overlap with the conserved core of the vertebrate lens GRN, implicating these sites in cross species function. However when we test these motifs in a transgenic vertebrate they prove to be dispensable for reporter expression in the lens. These results show that current models depicting cross species enhancer function as dependent on conserved binding

  8. Altered Spontaneous Activity in Patients with Persistent Somatoform Pain Disorder Revealed by Regional Homogeneity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tianming; Zhao, Zhiyong; Yan, Chao; Lu, Jing; Li, Xuzhou; Tang, Chaozheng; Fan, Mingxia; Luo, Yanli

    2016-01-01

    Persistent somatoform pain disorder (PSPD) is a mental disorder un-associated with any somatic injury and can cause severe somatosensory and emotional impairments in patients. However, so far, the neuro-pathophysiological mechanism of the functional impairments in PSPD is still unclear. The present study assesses the difference in regional spontaneous activity between PSPD and healthy controls (HC) during a resting state, in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD. Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were obtained from 13 PSPD patients and 23 age- and gender-matched HC subjects in this study. Kendall's coefficient of concordance was used to measure regional homogeneity (ReHo), and a two-sample t-test was subsequently performed to investigate the ReHo difference between PSPD and HC. Additionally, the correlations between the mean ReHo of each survived area and the clinical assessments were further analyzed. Compared with the HC group, patients with PSPD exhibited decreased ReHo in the bilateral primary somatosensory cortex, posterior cerebellum, and occipital lobe, while increased ReHo in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and default mode network (including the medial PFC, right inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and left supramarginal gyrus). In addition, significant positive correlations were found between the mean ReHo of both right IPL and left supramarginal gyrus and participants' Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) scores, and between the mean ReHo of the left middle frontal gyrus and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores. Our results suggest that abnormal spontaneous brain activity in specific brain regions during a resting state may be associated with the dysfunctions in pain, memory and emotional processing commonly observed in patients with PSPD. These findings help us to understand the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD and suggest that the ReHo metric could be used as a clinical marker for PSPD. PMID:26977802

  9. Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway revealed through sediment biogeochemistry.

    PubMed

    D'Anjou, Robert M; Bradley, Raymond S; Balascio, Nicholas L; Finkelstein, David B

    2012-12-11

    Disentangling the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the environment is a major challenge in paleoenvironmental research. Here, we used fecal sterols and other biogeochemical compounds in lake sediments from northern Norway to identify both natural and anthropogenic signals of environmental change during the late Holocene. The area was first occupied by humans and their grazing animals at ∼2,250 ± 75 calendar years before 1950 AD (calendar years before present). The arrival of humans is indicated by an abrupt increase in coprostanol (and its epimer epicoprostanol) in the sediments and an associated increase in 5β-stigmastanol (and 5β-epistigmastanol), which resulted from human and animal feces washing into the lake. Human settlement was accompanied by an abrupt increase in landscape fires (indicated by the rise in pyrolytic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and a decline in woodland (registered by a change in n-alkane chain lengths from leaf waxes), accelerating a process that began earlier in the Holocene. Human activity and associated landscape changes in the region over the last two millennia were mainly driven by summer temperatures, as indicated by independent tree-ring reconstructions, although there were periods when socioeconomic factors played an equally important role. In this study, fecal sterols in lake sediments have been used to provide a record of human occupancy through time. This approach may be useful in many archeological studies, both to confirm the presence of humans and grazing animals, and to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural factors that have influenced the environment in the past.

  10. Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway revealed through sediment biogeochemistry

    PubMed Central

    D’Anjou, Robert M.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Finkelstein, David B.

    2012-01-01

    Disentangling the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the environment is a major challenge in paleoenvironmental research. Here, we used fecal sterols and other biogeochemical compounds in lake sediments from northern Norway to identify both natural and anthropogenic signals of environmental change during the late Holocene. The area was first occupied by humans and their grazing animals at ∼2,250 ± 75 calendar years before 1950 AD (calendar years before present). The arrival of humans is indicated by an abrupt increase in coprostanol (and its epimer epicoprostanol) in the sediments and an associated increase in 5β-stigmastanol (and 5β-epistigmastanol), which resulted from human and animal feces washing into the lake. Human settlement was accompanied by an abrupt increase in landscape fires (indicated by the rise in pyrolytic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and a decline in woodland (registered by a change in n-alkane chain lengths from leaf waxes), accelerating a process that began earlier in the Holocene. Human activity and associated landscape changes in the region over the last two millennia were mainly driven by summer temperatures, as indicated by independent tree-ring reconstructions, although there were periods when socioeconomic factors played an equally important role. In this study, fecal sterols in lake sediments have been used to provide a record of human occupancy through time. This approach may be useful in many archeological studies, both to confirm the presence of humans and grazing animals, and to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural factors that have influenced the environment in the past. PMID:23185025

  11. Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway revealed through sediment biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Anjou, Robert M.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Finkelstein, David B.

    2012-12-01

    Disentangling the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the environment is a major challenge in paleoenvironmental research. Here, we used fecal sterols and other biogeochemical compounds in lake sediments from northern Norway to identify both natural and anthropogenic signals of environmental change during the late Holocene. The area was first occupied by humans and their grazing animals at ∼2,250 ± 75 calendar years before 1950 AD (calendar years before present). The arrival of humans is indicated by an abrupt increase in coprostanol (and its epimer epicoprostanol) in the sediments and an associated increase in 5β-stigmastanol (and 5β-epistigmastanol), which resulted from human and animal feces washing into the lake. Human settlement was accompanied by an abrupt increase in landscape fires (indicated by the rise in pyrolytic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and a decline in woodland (registered by a change in n-alkane chain lengths from leaf waxes), accelerating a process that began earlier in the Holocene. Human activity and associated landscape changes in the region over the last two millennia were mainly driven by summer temperatures, as indicated by independent tree-ring reconstructions, although there were periods when socioeconomic factors played an equally important role. In this study, fecal sterols in lake sediments have been used to provide a record of human occupancy through time. This approach may be useful in many archeological studies, both to confirm the presence of humans and grazing animals, and to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural factors that have influenced the environment in the past.

  12. Altered Spontaneous Activity in Patients with Persistent Somatoform Pain Disorder Revealed by Regional Homogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Chao; Lu, Jing; Li, Xuzhou; Tang, Chaozheng; Fan, Mingxia; Luo, Yanli

    2016-01-01

    Persistent somatoform pain disorder (PSPD) is a mental disorder un-associated with any somatic injury and can cause severe somatosensory and emotional impairments in patients. However, so far, the neuro-pathophysiological mechanism of the functional impairments in PSPD is still unclear. The present study assesses the difference in regional spontaneous activity between PSPD and healthy controls (HC) during a resting state, in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD. Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were obtained from 13 PSPD patients and 23 age- and gender-matched HC subjects in this study. Kendall’s coefficient of concordance was used to measure regional homogeneity (ReHo), and a two-sample t-test was subsequently performed to investigate the ReHo difference between PSPD and HC. Additionally, the correlations between the mean ReHo of each survived area and the clinical assessments were further analyzed. Compared with the HC group, patients with PSPD exhibited decreased ReHo in the bilateral primary somatosensory cortex, posterior cerebellum, and occipital lobe, while increased ReHo in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and default mode network (including the medial PFC, right inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and left supramarginal gyrus). In addition, significant positive correlations were found between the mean ReHo of both right IPL and left supramarginal gyrus and participants’ Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) scores, and between the mean ReHo of the left middle frontal gyrus and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores. Our results suggest that abnormal spontaneous brain activity in specific brain regions during a resting state may be associated with the dysfunctions in pain, memory and emotional processing commonly observed in patients with PSPD. These findings help us to understand the neural mechanisms underlying PSPD and suggest that the ReHo metric could be used as a clinical marker for PSPD. PMID:26977802

  13. Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway revealed through sediment biogeochemistry.

    PubMed

    D'Anjou, Robert M; Bradley, Raymond S; Balascio, Nicholas L; Finkelstein, David B

    2012-12-11

    Disentangling the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the environment is a major challenge in paleoenvironmental research. Here, we used fecal sterols and other biogeochemical compounds in lake sediments from northern Norway to identify both natural and anthropogenic signals of environmental change during the late Holocene. The area was first occupied by humans and their grazing animals at ∼2,250 ± 75 calendar years before 1950 AD (calendar years before present). The arrival of humans is indicated by an abrupt increase in coprostanol (and its epimer epicoprostanol) in the sediments and an associated increase in 5β-stigmastanol (and 5β-epistigmastanol), which resulted from human and animal feces washing into the lake. Human settlement was accompanied by an abrupt increase in landscape fires (indicated by the rise in pyrolytic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and a decline in woodland (registered by a change in n-alkane chain lengths from leaf waxes), accelerating a process that began earlier in the Holocene. Human activity and associated landscape changes in the region over the last two millennia were mainly driven by summer temperatures, as indicated by independent tree-ring reconstructions, although there were periods when socioeconomic factors played an equally important role. In this study, fecal sterols in lake sediments have been used to provide a record of human occupancy through time. This approach may be useful in many archeological studies, both to confirm the presence of humans and grazing animals, and to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural factors that have influenced the environment in the past. PMID:23185025

  14. Systematically Altering Bacterial SOS Activity under Stress Reveals Therapeutic Strategies for Potentiating Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Mo, Charlie Y; Manning, Sara A; Roggiani, Manuela; Culyba, Matthew J; Samuels, Amanda N; Sniegowski, Paul D; Goulian, Mark; Kohli, Rahul M

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial SOS response is a DNA damage repair network that is strongly implicated in both survival and acquired drug resistance under antimicrobial stress. The two SOS regulators, LexA and RecA, have therefore emerged as potential targets for adjuvant therapies aimed at combating resistance, although many open questions remain. For example, it is not well understood whether SOS hyperactivation is a viable therapeutic approach or whether LexA or RecA is a better target. Furthermore, it is important to determine which antimicrobials could serve as the best treatment partners with SOS-targeting adjuvants. Here we derived Escherichia coli strains that have mutations in either lexA or recA genes in order to cover the full spectrum of possible SOS activity levels. We then systematically analyzed a wide range of antimicrobials by comparing the mean inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and induced mutation rates for each drug-strain combination. We first show that significant changes in MICs are largely confined to DNA-damaging antibiotics, with strains containing a constitutively repressed SOS response impacted to a greater extent than hyperactivated strains. Second, antibiotic-induced mutation rates were suppressed when SOS activity was reduced, and this trend was observed across a wider spectrum of antibiotics. Finally, perturbing either LexA or RecA proved to be equally viable strategies for targeting the SOS response. Our work provides support for multiple adjuvant strategies, while also suggesting that the combination of an SOS inhibitor with a DNA-damaging antibiotic could offer the best potential for lowering MICs and decreasing acquired drug resistance. IMPORTANCE Our antibiotic arsenal is becoming depleted, in part, because bacteria have the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire resistance to our best agents. The SOS pathway, a widely conserved DNA damage stress response in bacteria, is activated by many antibiotics and has been shown to play central role in

  15. Systematically Altering Bacterial SOS Activity under Stress Reveals Therapeutic Strategies for Potentiating Antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Charlie Y.; Manning, Sara A.; Roggiani, Manuela; Culyba, Matthew J.; Samuels, Amanda N.; Sniegowski, Paul D.; Goulian, Mark

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The bacterial SOS response is a DNA damage repair network that is strongly implicated in both survival and acquired drug resistance under antimicrobial stress. The two SOS regulators, LexA and RecA, have therefore emerged as potential targets for adjuvant therapies aimed at combating resistance, although many open questions remain. For example, it is not well understood whether SOS hyperactivation is a viable therapeutic approach or whether LexA or RecA is a better target. Furthermore, it is important to determine which antimicrobials could serve as the best treatment partners with SOS-targeting adjuvants. Here we derived Escherichia coli strains that have mutations in either lexA or recA genes in order to cover the full spectrum of possible SOS activity levels. We then systematically analyzed a wide range of antimicrobials by comparing the mean inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and induced mutation rates for each drug-strain combination. We first show that significant changes in MICs are largely confined to DNA-damaging antibiotics, with strains containing a constitutively repressed SOS response impacted to a greater extent than hyperactivated strains. Second, antibiotic-induced mutation rates were suppressed when SOS activity was reduced, and this trend was observed across a wider spectrum of antibiotics. Finally, perturbing either LexA or RecA proved to be equally viable strategies for targeting the SOS response. Our work provides support for multiple adjuvant strategies, while also suggesting that the combination of an SOS inhibitor with a DNA-damaging antibiotic could offer the best potential for lowering MICs and decreasing acquired drug resistance. IMPORTANCE Our antibiotic arsenal is becoming depleted, in part, because bacteria have the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire resistance to our best agents. The SOS pathway, a widely conserved DNA damage stress response in bacteria, is activated by many antibiotics and has been shown to play central role

  16. Systematically Altering Bacterial SOS Activity under Stress Reveals Therapeutic Strategies for Potentiating Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Mo, Charlie Y; Manning, Sara A; Roggiani, Manuela; Culyba, Matthew J; Samuels, Amanda N; Sniegowski, Paul D; Goulian, Mark; Kohli, Rahul M

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial SOS response is a DNA damage repair network that is strongly implicated in both survival and acquired drug resistance under antimicrobial stress. The two SOS regulators, LexA and RecA, have therefore emerged as potential targets for adjuvant therapies aimed at combating resistance, although many open questions remain. For example, it is not well understood whether SOS hyperactivation is a viable therapeutic approach or whether LexA or RecA is a better target. Furthermore, it is important to determine which antimicrobials could serve as the best treatment partners with SOS-targeting adjuvants. Here we derived Escherichia coli strains that have mutations in either lexA or recA genes in order to cover the full spectrum of possible SOS activity levels. We then systematically analyzed a wide range of antimicrobials by comparing the mean inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and induced mutation rates for each drug-strain combination. We first show that significant changes in MICs are largely confined to DNA-damaging antibiotics, with strains containing a constitutively repressed SOS response impacted to a greater extent than hyperactivated strains. Second, antibiotic-induced mutation rates were suppressed when SOS activity was reduced, and this trend was observed across a wider spectrum of antibiotics. Finally, perturbing either LexA or RecA proved to be equally viable strategies for targeting the SOS response. Our work provides support for multiple adjuvant strategies, while also suggesting that the combination of an SOS inhibitor with a DNA-damaging antibiotic could offer the best potential for lowering MICs and decreasing acquired drug resistance. IMPORTANCE Our antibiotic arsenal is becoming depleted, in part, because bacteria have the ability to rapidly adapt and acquire resistance to our best agents. The SOS pathway, a widely conserved DNA damage stress response in bacteria, is activated by many antibiotics and has been shown to play central role in

  17. Mass Spectrometry-assisted Study Reveals That Lysine Residues 1967 and 1968 Have Opposite Contribution to Stability of Activated Factor VIII

    PubMed Central

    Bloem, Esther; Meems, Henriet; van den Biggelaar, Maartje; van der Zwaan, Carmen; Mertens, Koen; Meijer, Alexander B.

    2012-01-01

    The A2 domain rapidly dissociates from activated factor VIII (FVIIIa) resulting in a dampening of the activity of the activated factor X-generating complex. The amino acid residues that affect A2 domain dissociation are therefore critical for FVIII cofactor function. We have now employed chemical footprinting in conjunction with mass spectrometry to identify lysine residues that contribute to the stability of activated FVIII. We hypothesized that lysine residues, which are buried in FVIII and surface-exposed in dissociated activated FVIII (dis-FVIIIa), may contribute to interdomain interactions. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that residues Lys1967 and Lys1968 of region Thr1964-Tyr1971 are buried in FVIII and exposed to the surface in dis-FVIIIa. This result, combined with the observation that the FVIII variant K1967I is associated with hemophilia A, suggests that these residues contribute to the stability of activated FVIII. Kinetic analysis revealed that the FVIII variants K1967A and K1967I exhibit an almost normal cofactor activity. However, these variants also showed an increased loss in cofactor activity over time compared with that of FVIII WT. Remarkably, the cofactor activity of a K1968A variant was enhanced and sustained for a prolonged time relative to that of FVIII WT. Surface plasmon resonance analysis demonstrated that A2 domain dissociation from activated FVIII was reduced for K1968A and enhanced for K1967A. In conclusion, mass spectrometry analysis combined with site-directed mutagenesis studies revealed that the lysine couple Lys1967-Lys1968 within region Thr1964-Tyr1971 has an opposite contribution to the stability of FVIIIa. PMID:22215677

  18. Mass spectrometry-assisted study reveals that lysine residues 1967 and 1968 have opposite contribution to stability of activated factor VIII.

    PubMed

    Bloem, Esther; Meems, Henriet; van den Biggelaar, Maartje; van der Zwaan, Carmen; Mertens, Koen; Meijer, Alexander B

    2012-02-17

    The A2 domain rapidly dissociates from activated factor VIII (FVIIIa) resulting in a dampening of the activity of the activated factor X-generating complex. The amino acid residues that affect A2 domain dissociation are therefore critical for FVIII cofactor function. We have now employed chemical footprinting in conjunction with mass spectrometry to identify lysine residues that contribute to the stability of activated FVIII. We hypothesized that lysine residues, which are buried in FVIII and surface-exposed in dissociated activated FVIII (dis-FVIIIa), may contribute to interdomain interactions. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that residues Lys(1967) and Lys(1968) of region Thr(1964)-Tyr(1971) are buried in FVIII and exposed to the surface in dis-FVIIIa. This result, combined with the observation that the FVIII variant K1967I is associated with hemophilia A, suggests that these residues contribute to the stability of activated FVIII. Kinetic analysis revealed that the FVIII variants K1967A and K1967I exhibit an almost normal cofactor activity. However, these variants also showed an increased loss in cofactor activity over time compared with that of FVIII WT. Remarkably, the cofactor activity of a K1968A variant was enhanced and sustained for a prolonged time relative to that of FVIII WT. Surface plasmon resonance analysis demonstrated that A2 domain dissociation from activated FVIII was reduced for K1968A and enhanced for K1967A. In conclusion, mass spectrometry analysis combined with site-directed mutagenesis studies revealed that the lysine couple Lys(1967)-Lys(1968) within region Thr(1964)-Tyr(1971) has an opposite contribution to the stability of FVIIIa. PMID:22215677

  19. Computational Analysis Reveals the Association of Threonine 118 Methionine Mutation in PMP22 Resulting in CMT-1A

    PubMed Central

    Swetha, Rayapadi G.

    2014-01-01

    The T118M mutation in PMP22 gene is associated with Charcot Marie Tooth, type 1A (CMT1A). CMT1A is a form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, the most common inherited disorder of the peripheral nervous system. Mutations in CMT related disorder are seen to increase the stability of the protein resulting in the diseased state. We performed SNP analysis for all the nsSNPs of PMP22 protein and carried out molecular dynamics simulation for T118M mutation to compare the stability difference between the wild type protein structure and the mutant protein structure. The mutation T118M resulted in the overall increase in the stability of the mutant protein. The superimposed structure shows marked structural variation between the wild type and the mutant protein structures. PMID:25400662

  20. Young asteroidal fluid activity revealed by absolute age from apatite in carbonaceous chondrite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ai-Cheng; Li, Qiu-Li; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Li, Xian-Hua; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yang-Ting; Wang, Ru-Cheng

    2016-09-01

    Chondritic meteorites, consisting of the materials that have formed in the early solar system (ESS), have been affected by late thermal events and fluid activity to various degrees. Determining the timing of fluid activity in ESS is of fundamental importance for understanding the nature, formation, evolution and significance of fluid activity in ESS. Previous investigations have determined the relative ages of fluid activity with short-lived isotope systematics. Here we report an absolute 207Pb/206Pb isochron age (4,450+/-50 Ma) of apatite from Dar al Gani (DaG) 978, a type ~3.5, ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical features suggest that the apatite in DaG 978 should have formed during metamorphism in the presence of a fluid. Therefore, the apatite age represents an absolute age for fluid activity in an asteroidal setting. An impact event could have provided the heat to activate this young fluid activity in ESS.

  1. Changes in the cardiac muscle electric activity as a result of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grajek, Magdalena; Krzyminiewski, Ryszard; Kalawski, Ryszard; Kulczak, Mariusz

    2008-01-01

    Many bioelectric signals have a complex internal structure that can be a rich source of information on the tissue or cell processes. The structure of such signals can be analysed in detail by applying digital methods of signal processing. Therefore, of substantial use in diagnosis of the coronary arterial disease is the method of digital enhancement of increasing signal resolution ECG (NURSE-ECG), permitting detection of temporary changes in the electric potentials in the cardiac muscle in the process of depolarisation. Thanks to the application of NURSE-ECG it has become possible to detect relatively small changes in the electric activity of particular fragments of the cardiac muscle undetectable by the standard ECG method, caused by ischemia, the effect of a drug or infarct. The aim of this study was to identify and analyse changes in the electric activity of the cardiac muscle as a result of the Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) operation. In this study the method of NURSE-ECG has been applied in order to identify and analyse changes in the electric activity of the cardiac muscle as a result of the CABG operation. In the study performed in cooperation of the Institute of Physics Adam Mickiewicz University and the Strus Hospital, Cardiac Surgery Ward, 37 patients with advanced coronary arterial disease were asked to participate. The patients were examined prior to the operation, on the day after the operation and two months after the operation and a year after the operation. The ECG recordings were subjected to a numerical procedure of resolution enhancement by a NURSE-ECG program to reveal the tentative changes in the electric potential of the cardiac muscle on its depolarisation. Results of the study have shown that the NURSE ECG method can be applied to monitor changes in the electric activity of the cardiac muscle occurring as a result of CABG operation. One the second day after the operation in the majority of patients (70%) a rapid decrease of the total

  2. A major peroxiredoxin-induced activation of Yap1 transcription factor is mediated by reduction-sensitive disulfide bonds and reveals a low level of transcriptional activation.

    PubMed

    Tachibana, Tsuyoshi; Okazaki, Shoko; Murayama, Asako; Naganuma, Akira; Nomoto, Akio; Kuge, Shusuke

    2009-02-13

    Redox reactions involving cysteine thiol-disulfide exchange are crucial for the intracellular monitoring of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). Yap1, the master transcription factor for the oxidative stress response in budding yeast, is activated by the formation of disulfide bonds in response to H(2)O(2). Gpx3 (glutathione peroxidase-like protein 3) acts as a receptor for H(2)O(2), and Ybp1 (Yap1-binding protein 1) is crucial for Gpx3-dependent disulfide bond formation in Yap1. We previously reported that Tsa1, a major peroxiredoxin in yeast cells, is required for activation of Yap1 in a widely used yeast strain, W303-1b, carrying the ybp1-1 mutant allele encoding a truncated Ybp1 protein. In the present study, we show that Tsa1 can interact with Yap1 via disulfide linkages and induce the formation of intramolecular disulfide bonds in Yap1 in ybp1-1 cells. The results provide evidence that Prx can have intrinsic activity as an H(2)O(2) receptor and can relay H(2)O(2) as a signal to the Prx target proteins in terms of formation of disulfide linkage. Furthermore, our data reveal that there is more of the reduction-resistant active form of Yap1 (i.e. Yap1 (oxII)) when it is partnered with Gpx3 than with Tsa1. These data support our hypothesis that changes in the redox status of Yap1 to reduction-resistant forms by multiple disulfide bond formation are important for determining the level and duration of Yap1 activity in the dynamic equilibrium of redox reactions in cells exposed to H(2)O(2). PMID:19106090

  3. A biosensor for the protease TACE reveals actin damage induced TACE activation

    PubMed Central

    Chapnick, Douglas A.; Bunker, Eric; Liu, Xuedong

    2016-01-01

    Ligand shedding has gained increased attention as a major posttranslational modification mechanism used by cells to respond to diverse environmental conditions. The TACEadam17 protease is a critical mediator of such ligand shedding, regulating the maturation and release of an impressive range of extracellular substrates that drive diverse cellular responses. Exactly how this protease is itself activated remains unclear, in part due to the lack of available tools to measure TACE activity with temporal and spatial resolution in live cells. We have developed a FRET based biosensor for TACE activity (TSen), which is capable of reporting TACE activation kinetics in live cells with a high degree of specificity. TSen was used in combination with chemical biology to probe the dependence of various means of TACE activation on p38 and Erk kinase activities, as well as to identify a novel connection between actin cytoskeletal disruption and TACE activation. Such cytoskeletal disruption leads to rapid and robust TACE activation in some cell types and accumulation of TACE at the plasma membrane, allowing for increased cleavage of endogenous substrates. Our study highlights both the versatility of TSen as a tool to understand the mechanisms of TACE activation in live cells and the importance of actin cytoskeletal integrity as a modulator of TACE activity. PMID:25714465

  4. Revealing the Sequence and Resulting Cellular Morphology of Receptor-Ligand Interactions during Plasmodium falciparum Invasion of Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Greta E.; Gilson, Paul R.; Taechalertpaisarn, Tana; Tham, Wai-Hong; de Jong, Nienke W. M.; Harvey, Katherine L.; Fowkes, Freya J. I.; Barlow, Paul N.; Rayner, Julian C.; Wright, Gavin J.; Cowman, Alan F.; Crabb, Brendan S.

    2015-01-01

    During blood stage Plasmodium falciparum infection, merozoites invade uninfected erythrocytes via a complex, multistep process involving a series of distinct receptor-ligand binding events. Understanding each element in this process increases the potential to block the parasite’s life cycle via drugs or vaccines. To investigate specific receptor-ligand interactions, they were systematically blocked using a combination of genetic deletion, enzymatic receptor cleavage and inhibition of binding via antibodies, peptides and small molecules, and the resulting temporal changes in invasion and morphological effects on erythrocytes were filmed using live cell imaging. Analysis of the videos have shown receptor-ligand interactions occur in the following sequence with the following cellular morphologies; 1) an early heparin-blockable interaction which weakly deforms the erythrocyte, 2) EBA and PfRh ligands which strongly deform the erythrocyte, a process dependant on the merozoite’s actin-myosin motor, 3) a PfRh5-basigin binding step which results in a pore or opening between parasite and host through which it appears small molecules and possibly invasion components can flow and 4) an AMA1–RON2 interaction that mediates tight junction formation, which acts as an anchor point for internalization. In addition to enhancing general knowledge of apicomplexan biology, this work provides a rational basis to combine sequentially acting merozoite vaccine candidates in a single multi-receptor-blocking vaccine. PMID:25723550

  5. DNA hydroxymethylation profiling reveals that WT1 mutations result in loss of TET2 function in acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Rampal, Raajit; Alkalin, Altuna; Madzo, Jozef; Vasanthakumar, Aparna; Pronier, Elodie; Patel, Jay; Li, Yushan; Ahn, Jihae; Abdel-Wahab, Omar; Shih, Alan; Lu, Chao; Ward, Patrick S.; Tsai, Jennifer J.; Hricik, Todd; Tosello, Valeria; Tallman, Jacob E.; Zhao, Xinyang; Daniels, Danette; Dai, Qing; Ciminio, Luisa; Aifantis, Iannis; He, Chuan; Fuks, Francois; Tallman, Martin S.; Ferrando, Adolfo; Nimer, Stephen; Paietta, Elisabeth; Thompson, Craig B.; Licht, Jonathan D.; Mason, Chris; Godley, Lucy A.; Melnick, Ari; Figueroa, Maria E.; Levine, Ross L.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Somatic mutations in IDH1/2 and TET2 result in impaired TET2 mediated conversion of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC). The observation that WT1 inactivating mutations anti-correlate with TET2/IDH1/2 mutations in AML led us to hypothesize that WT1 mutations may impact TET2 function. WT1 mutant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients have reduced 5-hmC levels similar to TET2/IDH1/2-mutant AML. These mutations are characterized by convergent, site-specific alterations in DNA hydroxymethylation, which drive differential gene expression more than alterations in DNA promoter methylation. WT1 overexpression increases global levels of 5-hmC, and WT1 silencing reduced 5-hmC levels. WT1 physically interacts with TET2 and TET3, and WT1 loss of function results in a similar hematopoietic differentiation phenotype as observed with TET2 deficiency. These data provide a novel role for WT1 in regulating DNA hydroxymethylation and suggest that TET2 IDH1/2, and WT1 mutations define a novel AML subtype defined by dysregulated DNA hydroxymethylation. PMID:25482556

  6. Crystal Structures of a Multidrug-Resistant Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Protease Reveal an Expanded Active-Site Cavity

    SciTech Connect

    Logsdon, Bradley C.; Vickrey, John F.; Martin, Philip; Proteasa, Gheorghe; Koepke, Jay I.; Terlecky, Stanley R.; Wawrzak, Zdzislaw; Winters, Mark A.; Merigan, Thomas C.; Kovari, Ladislau C.

    2010-03-08

    The goal of this study was to use X-ray crystallography to investigate the structural basis of resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitors. We overexpressed, purified, and crystallized a multidrug-resistant (MDR) HIV-1 protease enzyme derived from a patient failing on several protease inhibitor-containing regimens. This HIV-1 variant contained codon mutations at positions 10, 36, 46, 54, 63, 71, 82, 84, and 90 that confer drug resistance to protease inhibitors. The 1.8-{angstrom} crystal structure of this MDR patient isolate reveals an expanded active-site cavity. The active-site expansion includes position 82 and 84 mutations due to the alterations in the amino acid side chains from longer to shorter (e.g., V82A and I84V). The MDR isolate 769 protease 'flaps' stay open wider, and the difference in the flap tip distances in the MDR 769 variant is 12 {angstrom}. The MDR 769 protease crystal complexes with lopinavir and DMP450 reveal completely different binding modes. The network of interactions between the ligands and the MDR 769 protease is completely different from that seen with the wild-type protease-ligand complexes. The water molecule-forming hydrogen bonds bridging between the two flaps and either the substrate or the peptide-based inhibitor are lacking in the MDR 769 clinical isolate. The S1, S1', S3, and S3' pockets show expansion and conformational change. Surface plasmon resonance measurements with the MDR 769 protease indicate higher k{sub off} rates, resulting in a change of binding affinity. Surface plasmon resonance measurements provide k{sub on} and k{sub off} data (K{sub d} = k{sub off}/k{sub on}) to measure binding of the multidrug-resistant protease to various ligands. This MDR 769 protease represents a new antiviral target, presenting the possibility of designing novel inhibitors with activity against the open and expanded protease forms.

  7. The Truth Before and After: Brain Potentials Reveal Automatic Activation of Event Knowledge during Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Nieuwland, Mante S

    2015-11-01

    How does knowledge of real-world events shape our understanding of incoming language? Do temporal terms like "before" and "after" impact the online recruitment of real-world event knowledge? These questions were addressed in two ERP experiments, wherein participants read sentences that started with "before" or "after" and contained a critical word that rendered each sentence true or false (e.g., "Before/After the global economic crisis, securing a mortgage was easy/harder"). The critical words were matched on predictability, rated truth value, and semantic relatedness to the words in the sentence. Regardless of whether participants explicitly verified the sentences or not, false-after-sentences elicited larger N400s than true-after-sentences, consistent with the well-established finding that semantic retrieval of concepts is facilitated when they are consistent with real-world knowledge. However, although the truth judgments did not differ between before- and after-sentences, no such sentence N400 truth value effect occurred in before-sentences, whereas false-before-sentences elicited an enhanced subsequent positive ERPs. The temporal term "before" itself elicited more negative ERPs at central electrode channels than "after." These patterns of results show that, irrespective of ultimate sentence truth value judgments, semantic retrieval of concepts is momentarily facilitated when they are consistent with the known event outcome compared to when they are not. However, this inappropriate facilitation incurs later processing costs as reflected in the subsequent positive ERP deflections. The results suggest that automatic activation of event knowledge can impede the incremental semantic processes required to establish sentence truth value. PMID:26244719

  8. The Truth Before and After: Brain Potentials Reveal Automatic Activation of Event Knowledge during Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Nieuwland, Mante S

    2015-11-01

    How does knowledge of real-world events shape our understanding of incoming language? Do temporal terms like "before" and "after" impact the online recruitment of real-world event knowledge? These questions were addressed in two ERP experiments, wherein participants read sentences that started with "before" or "after" and contained a critical word that rendered each sentence true or false (e.g., "Before/After the global economic crisis, securing a mortgage was easy/harder"). The critical words were matched on predictability, rated truth value, and semantic relatedness to the words in the sentence. Regardless of whether participants explicitly verified the sentences or not, false-after-sentences elicited larger N400s than true-after-sentences, consistent with the well-established finding that semantic retrieval of concepts is facilitated when they are consistent with real-world knowledge. However, although the truth judgments did not differ between before- and after-sentences, no such sentence N400 truth value effect occurred in before-sentences, whereas false-before-sentences elicited an enhanced subsequent positive ERPs. The temporal term "before" itself elicited more negative ERPs at central electrode channels than "after." These patterns of results show that, irrespective of ultimate sentence truth value judgments, semantic retrieval of concepts is momentarily facilitated when they are consistent with the known event outcome compared to when they are not. However, this inappropriate facilitation incurs later processing costs as reflected in the subsequent positive ERP deflections. The results suggest that automatic activation of event knowledge can impede the incremental semantic processes required to establish sentence truth value.

  9. Repetition-related reductions in neural activity reveal component processes of mental simulation

    PubMed Central

    St. Jacques, Peggy L.; Robbins, Clifford A.; Wig, Gagan S.; Schacter, Daniel L.

    2014-01-01

    In everyday life, people adaptively prepare for the future by simulating dynamic events about impending interactions with people, objects and locations. Previous research has consistently demonstrated that a distributed network of frontal–parietal–temporal brain regions supports this ubiquitous mental activity. Nonetheless, little is known about the manner in which specific regions of this network contribute to component features of future simulation. In two experiments, we used a functional magnetic resonance (fMR)-repetition suppression paradigm to demonstrate that distinct frontal–parietal–temporal regions are sensitive to processing the scenarios or what participants imagined was happening in an event (e.g. medial prefrontal, posterior cingulate, temporal–parietal and middle temporal cortices are sensitive to the scenarios associated with future social events), people (medial prefrontal cortex), objects (inferior frontal and premotor cortices) and locations (posterior cingulate/retrosplenial, parahippocampal and posterior parietal cortices) that typically constitute simulations of personal future events. This pattern of results demonstrates that the neural substrates of these component features of event simulations can be reliably identified in the context of a task that requires participants to simulate complex, everyday future experiences. PMID:23482621

  10. Mass spectrometry footprinting reveals the structural rearrangements of cyanobacterial orange carotenoid protein upon light activation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haijun; Zhang, Hao; King, jeremy D; Wolf, Nathan R; Prado, Mindy; Gross, Michael L; Blankenship, Robert E

    2014-12-01

    The orange carotenoid protein (OCP), a member of the family of blue light photoactive proteins, is required for efficient photoprotection in many cyanobacteria. Photoexcitation of the carotenoid in the OCP results in structural changes within the chromophore and the protein to give an active red form of OCP that is required for phycobilisome binding and consequent fluorescence quenching. We characterized the light-dependent structural changes by mass spectrometry-based carboxyl footprinting and found that an α helix in the N-terminal extension of OCP plays a key role in this photoactivation process. Although this helix is located on and associates with the outside of the β-sheet core in the C-terminal domain of OCP in the dark, photoinduced changes in the domain structure disrupt this interaction. We propose that this mechanism couples light-dependent carotenoid conformational changes to global protein conformational dynamics in favor of functional phycobilisome binding, and is an essential part of the OCP photocycle.

  11. Mass spectrometry footprinting reveals the structural rearrangements of cyanobacterial orange carotenoid protein upon light activation

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Haijun; Zhang, Hao; King, Jeremy D.; Wolf, Nathan R.; Prado, Mindy; Gross, Michael L.; Blankenship, Robert E.

    2014-12-01

    The orange carotenoid protein (OCP), a member of the family of blue light photoactive proteins, is required for efficient photoprotection in many cyanobacteria. Photoexcitation of the carotenoid in the OCP results in structural changes within the chromophore and the protein to give an active red form of OCP that is required for phycobilisome binding and consequent fluorescence quenching. We characterized the light-dependent structural changes by mass spectrometry-based carboxyl footprinting and found that an α helix in the N-terminal extension of OCP plays a key role in this photoactivation process. Although this helix is located on and associates with the outside of the β-sheet core in the C-terminal domain of OCP in the dark, photoinduced changes in the domain structure disrupt this interaction. We propose that this mechanism couples light-dependent carotenoid conformational changes to global protein conformational dynamics in favor of functional phycobilisome binding, and is an essential part of the OCP photocycle.

  12. Actinomycin D binding mode reveals the basis for its potent HIV-1 and cancer activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramanathan, Thayaparan; Vladescu, Ioana D.; McCauley, Micah J.; Rouzina, Ioulia; Williams, Mark C.

    2011-03-01

    Actinomycin D (ActD) is one of the most studied antibiotics, which has been used as an anti-cancer agent and also shown to inhibit HIV reverse transcription. Initial studies with ActD established that it intercalates double stranded DNA (dsDNA). However, recent studies have shown that ActD binds with even higher affinity to single stranded DNA (ssDNA). In our studies we use optical tweezers to stretch and hold single dsDNA molecule at constant force in the presence of varying ActD concentrations until the binding reaches equilibrium. The change in dsDNA length upon ActD binding measured as a function of time yields the rate of binding in addition to the equilibrium lengthening of DNA. The results suggest extremely slow kinetics, on the order of several minutes and 0.52 +/- 0.06 μ M binding affinity. Holding DNA at constant force while stretching and relaxing suggests that ActD binds to two single strands that are close to each other rather than to pure dsDNA or ssDNA. This suggests that biological activity of ActD that contributes towards the inhibition of cellular replication is due to its ability to bind at DNA bubbles during RNA transcription, thereby stalling the transcription process.

  13. Analysis of Culex and Aedes mosquitoes in southwestern Nigeria revealed no West Nile virus activity

    PubMed Central

    Sule, Waidi Folorunso; Oluwayelu, Daniel Oladimeji

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Amplification and transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) by mosquitoes are driven by presence and number of viraemic/susceptible avian hosts. Methods In order to predict risk of WNV infection to humans, we collected mosquitoes from horse stables in Lagos and Ibadan, southwestern Nigeria. The mosquitoes were sorted and tested in pools with real-time RT-PCR to detect WNV (or flavivirus) RNA using WNV-specific primers and probes, as well as, pan-flavivirus-specific primers in two-step real-time RT-PCR. Minimum infection rate (MIR) was used to estimate mosquito infection rate. Results Only two genera of mosquitoes were caught (Culex, 98.9% and Aedes, 1.0%) totalling 4,112 females. None of the 424 mosquito pools tested was positive for WNV RNA; consequently the MIR was zero. Sequencing and BLAST analysis of amplicons detected in pan-flavivirus primer-mediated RT-PCR gave a consensus sequence of 28S rRNA of Culex quinquefasciatus suggesting integration of flaviviral RNA into mosquito genome. Conclusion While the latter finding requires further investigation, we conclude there was little or no risk of human infection with WNV in the study areas during sampling. There was predominance of Culex mosquito, a competent WNV vector, around horse stables in the study areas. However, mosquito surveillance needs to continue for prompt detection of WNV activity in mosquitoes. PMID:27279943

  14. RNase H2 roles in genome integrity revealed by unlinking its activities

    PubMed Central

    Chon, Hyongi; Sparks, Justin L.; Rychlik, Monika; Nowotny, Marcin; Burgers, Peter M.; Crouch, Robert J.; Cerritelli, Susana M.

    2013-01-01

    Ribonuclease H2 (RNase H2) protects genome integrity by its dual roles of resolving transcription-related R-loops and ribonucleotides incorporated in DNA during replication. To unlink these two functions, we generated a Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNase H2 mutant that can resolve R-loops but cannot cleave single ribonucleotides in DNA. This mutant definitively correlates the 2–5 bp deletions observed in rnh201Δ strains with single rNMPs in DNA. It also establishes a connection between R-loops and Sgs1-mediated replication reinitiation at stalled forks and identifies R-loops uniquely processed by RNase H2. In mouse, deletion of any of the genes coding for RNase H2 results in embryonic lethality, and in humans, RNase H2 hypomorphic mutations cause Aicardi–Goutières syndrome (AGS), a neuroinflammatory disorder. To determine the contribution of R-loops and rNMP in DNA to the defects observed in AGS, we characterized in yeast an AGS-related mutation, which is impaired in processing both substrates, but has sufficient R-loop degradation activity to complement the defects of rnh201Δ sgs1Δ strains. However, this AGS-related mutation accumulates 2–5 bp deletions at a very similar rate as the deletion strain. PMID:23355612

  15. Contralateral delay activity reveals dimension-based attentional orienting to locations in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Töllner, Thomas; Eschmann, Kathrin C J; Rusch, Tessa; Müller, Hermann J

    2014-04-01

    In research on visual working memory (WM), a contentiously debated issue concerns whether or not items are stored independently of one another in WM. Here we addressed this issue by exploring the role of the physical context that surrounds a given item in the memory display in the formation of WM representations. In particular, we employed bilateral memory displays that contained two or three lateralized singleton items (together with six or five distractor items), defined either within the same or in different visual feature dimensions. After a variable interval, a retro-cue was presented centrally, requiring participants to discern the presence (vs. the absence) of this item in the previously shown memory array. Our results show that search for targets in visual WM is determined interactively by dimensional context and set size: For larger, but not smaller, set sizes, memory search slowed down when targets were defined across rather than within dimensions. This dimension-specific cost manifested in a stronger contralateral delay activity component, an established neural marker of the access to WM representations. Overall, our findings provide electrophysiological evidence for the hierarchically structured nature of WM representations, and they appear inconsistent with the view that WM items are encoded in isolation. PMID:24510425

  16. Intratympanic manganese administration revealed sound intensity and frequency dependent functional activity in rat auditory pathway.

    PubMed

    Jin, Seong-Uk; Lee, Jae-Jun; Hong, Kwan Soo; Han, Mun; Park, Jang-Woo; Lee, Hui Joong; Lee, Sangheun; Lee, Kyu-Yup; Shin, Kyung Min; Cho, Jin Ho; Cheong, Chaejoon; Chang, Yongmin

    2013-09-01

    The cochlear plays a vital role in the sense and sensitivity of hearing; however, there is currently a lack of knowledge regarding the relationships between mechanical transduction of sound at different intensities and frequencies in the cochlear and the neurochemical processes that lead to neuronal responses in the central auditory system. In the current study, we introduced manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI), a convenient in vivo imaging method, for investigation of how sound, at different intensities and frequencies, is propagated from the cochlear to the central auditory system. Using MEMRI with intratympanic administration, we demonstrated differential manganese signal enhancements according to sound intensity and frequencies in the ascending auditory pathway of the rat after administration of intratympanic MnCl2.Compared to signal enhancement without explicit sound stimuli, auditory structures in the ascending auditory pathway showed stronger signal enhancement in rats who received sound stimuli of 10 and 40 kHz. In addition, signal enhancement with a stimulation frequency of 40 kHz was stronger than that with 10 kHz. Therefore, the results of this study seem to suggest that, in order to achieve an effective response to high sound intensity or frequency, more firing of auditory neurons, or firing of many auditory neurons together for the pooled neural activity is needed.

  17. Characterization of the Active Microbiotas Associated with Honey Bees Reveals Healthier and Broader Communities when Colonies are Genetically Diverse

    PubMed Central

    Mattila, Heather R.; Rios, Daniela; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E.; Roeselers, Guus; Newton, Irene L. G.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline. PMID:22427917

  18. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Rios, Daniela; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E; Roeselers, Guus; Newton, Irene L G

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline.

  19. Novel nitrifiers and comammox in a full-scale hybrid biofilm and activated sludge reactor revealed by metagenomic approach.

    PubMed

    Chao, Yuanqing; Mao, Yanping; Yu, Ke; Zhang, Tong

    2016-09-01

    Biofilms are widely used in wastewater treatment for their particular enhancement of nitrogen removal and other significant advantages. In this study, the diversity and potential functions of nitrogen removal bacteria in suspended activated sludge (AS) and biofilm of a full-scale hybrid reactor were uncovered by metagenomes (∼34 Gb), coupled with PCR-based 454 reads (>33 K reads). The results indicated that the diversity and abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers in biofilm did not surpass that in AS, while more nitrification and denitrification genes were indeed found in biofilm than AS, suggesting that the increased nitrogen removal ability by applying biofilm might be attributed to the enhancement of removal efficiency, rather than the biomass accumulation of nitrogen removal bacteria. The gene annotation and phylogenetic analysis results revealed that AS and biofilm samples consisted of 6.0 % and 9.4 % of novel functional genes for nitrogen removal and 18 % and 30 % of new Nitrospira species for nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, respectively. Moreover, the identification of Nitrospira-like amoA genes provided metagenomic evidence for the presence of complete ammonia oxidizer (comammox) with the functional potential to perform the complete oxidation of ammonia to nitrate. These findings have significant implications in expanding our knowledge of the biological nitrogen transformations in wastewater treatment. PMID:27287850

  20. Results and Activities in RDA and their Potential for Efficient Data Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittenburg, Peter; Stehouwer, Herman; Pennington, Rob

    2015-04-01

    A large cross-disciplinary survey on data practices in Europe with about 120 interviews and intensive meetings revealed that working with data is extremely inefficient and costly. In addition our methods in the departments are such that only a small percentage of papers resulting from data intensive research is reproducible. A workshop organized by Research Data Alliance and MPS with leading scientists from various disciplines came to similar conclusions. This is the reason why the global and cross-disciplinary Research Data Alliance started working on aspects of data management, description/ annotation,access, re-use, interoperability etc. Already after 18 months the first working groups came up with their results that have the potential to help overcoming the current situation. Agreeing on a common basic data model would help in many data operations, re-using best practices for practical policies would improve reproducibility, making use of a common API for registering and resolving persistent identifiers would make usage of persistent identifier services much simpler and thus increase trust in data and making use of data type registries would help us to deal with unknown data types which is a usual phenomenon in data science. In addition, after 2 years of intensive discussions new groups have been formed such as Data Fabric which is analyzing data life cycle phases and the scientific data processing machinery to identify essential common components and services and place the activities of current working and interest groups into this language. Many data scientists are involved in these discussions which gives us hope in quick convergence. Based on a few projects that started to uptake these results and the broad interest in the new activities we can see the huge potential of them. In a presentation we will describe these first results and their potential impact for data intensive science and we will describe the objectives behind discussions of Data Fabric and

  1. Atmosphere-Ionosphere Response to the M9 Tohoku Earthquake Revealed by Joined Satellite and Ground Observations. Preliminary Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ouzounov, Dimitar; Pulinets, Sergey; Romanov, Alexey; Tsybulya, Konstantin; Davidenko, Dimitri; Kafatos, Menas; Taylor, Patrick

    2011-01-01

    The recent M9 Tohoku Japan earthquake of March 11, 2011 was the largest recorded earthquake ever to hit this nation. We retrospectively analyzed the temporal and spatial variations of four different physical parameters - outgoing long wave radiation (OLR), GPS/TEC, Low-Earth orbit tomography and critical frequency foF2. These changes characterize the state of the atmosphere and ionosphere several days before the onset of this earthquake. Our first results show that on March 8th a rapid increase of emitted infrared radiation was observed from the satellite data and an anomaly developed near the epicenter. The GPS/TEC data indicate an increase and variation in electron density reaching a maximum value on March 8. Starting on this day in the lower ionospheric there was also confirmed an abnormal TEC variation over the epicenter. From March 3-11 a large increase in electron concentration was recorded at all four Japanese ground based ionosondes, which return to normal after the main earthquake. We found a positive correlation between the atmospheric and ionospheric anomalies and the Tohoku earthquake. This study may lead to a better understanding of the response of the atmosphere/ionosphere to the Great Tohoku earthquake.

  2. 454 Pyrosequencing and Sanger sequencing of tropical mycorrhizal fungi provide similar results but reveal substantial methodological biases.

    PubMed

    Tedersoo, Leho; Nilsson, R Henrik; Abarenkov, Kessy; Jairus, Teele; Sadam, Ave; Saar, Irja; Bahram, Mohammad; Bechem, Eneke; Chuyong, George; Kõljalg, Urmas

    2010-10-01

    • Compared with Sanger sequencing-based methods, pyrosequencing provides orders of magnitude more data on the diversity of organisms in their natural habitat, but its technological biases and relative accuracy remain poorly understood. • This study compares the performance of pyrosequencing and traditional sequencing for species' recovery of ectomycorrhizal fungi on root tips in a Cameroonian rain forest and addresses biases related to multi-template PCR and pyrosequencing analyses. • Pyrosequencing and the traditional method yielded qualitatively similar results, but there were slight, but significant, differences that affected the taxonomic view of the fungal community. We found that most pyrosequencing singletons were artifactual and contained a strongly elevated proportion of insertions compared with natural intra- and interspecific variation. The alternative primers, DNA extraction methods and PCR replicates strongly influenced the richness and community composition as recovered by pyrosequencing. • Pyrosequencing offers a powerful alternative for the identification of ectomycorrhizal fungi in pooled root samples, but requires careful selection of molecular tools. A well-populated backbone database facilitates the detection of biological and technical artifacts. The pyrosequencing pipeline is available at http://unite.ut.ee/454pipeline.tgz.

  3. Ocular-following responses to white noise stimuli in humans reveal a novel nonlinearity that results from temporal sampling

    PubMed Central

    Sheliga, Boris M.; Quaia, Christian; FitzGibbon, Edmond J.; Cumming, Bruce G.

    2016-01-01

    White noise stimuli are frequently used to study the visual processing of broadband images in the laboratory. A common goal is to describe how responses are derived from Fourier components in the image. We investigated this issue by recording the ocular-following responses (OFRs) to white noise stimuli in human subjects. For a given speed we compared OFRs to unfiltered white noise with those to noise filtered with band-pass filters and notch filters. Removing components with low spatial frequency (SF) reduced OFR magnitudes, and the SF associated with the greatest reduction matched the SF that produced the maximal response when presented alone. This reduction declined rapidly with SF, compatible with a winner-take-all operation. Removing higher SF components increased OFR magnitudes. For higher speeds this effect became larger and propagated toward lower SFs. All of these effects were quantitatively well described by a model that combined two factors: (a) an excitatory drive that reflected the OFRs to individual Fourier components and (b) a suppression by higher SF channels where the temporal sampling of the display led to flicker. This nonlinear interaction has an important practical implication: Even with high refresh rates (150 Hz), the temporal sampling introduced by visual displays has a significant impact on visual processing. For instance, we show that this distorts speed tuning curves, shifting the peak to lower speeds. Careful attention to spectral content, in the light of this nonlinearity, is necessary to minimize the resulting artifact when using white noise patterns undergoing apparent motion. PMID:26762277

  4. Break-seq reveals hydroxyurea-induced chromosome fragility as a result of unscheduled conflict between DNA replication and transcription

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Elizabeth A.; McCulley, Andrew; Haarer, Brian; Arnak, Remigiusz

    2015-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae replication, checkpoint inactivation via a mec1 mutation leads to chromosome breakage at replication forks initiated from virtually all origins after transient exposure to hydroxyurea (HU), an inhibitor of ribonucleotide reductase. Here we sought to determine whether all replication forks containing single-stranded DNA gaps have equal probability of producing double-strand breaks (DSBs) when cells attempt to recover from HU exposure. We devised a new methodology, Break-seq, that combines our previously described DSB labeling with next generation sequencing to map chromosome breaks with improved sensitivity and resolution. We show that DSBs preferentially occur at genes transcriptionally induced by HU. Notably, different subsets of the HU-induced genes produced DSBs in MEC1 and mec1 cells as replication forks traversed a greater distance in MEC1 cells than in mec1 cells during recovery from HU. Specifically, while MEC1 cells exhibited chromosome breakage at stress-response transcription factors, mec1 cells predominantly suffered chromosome breakage at transporter genes, many of which are the substrates of those transcription factors. We propose that HU-induced chromosome fragility arises at higher frequency near HU-induced genes as a result of destabilized replication forks encountering transcription factor binding and/or the act of transcription. We further propose that replication inhibitors can induce unscheduled encounters between replication and transcription and give rise to distinct patterns of chromosome fragile sites. PMID:25609572

  5. Numerically bridging lamellipodial and filopodial activity during cell spreading reveals a potentially novel trigger of focal adhesion maturation.

    PubMed

    Loosli, Y; Vianay, B; Luginbuehl, R; Snedeker, J G

    2012-05-01

    We present a novel approach to modeling cell spreading, and use it to reveal a potentially central mechanism regulating focal adhesion maturation in various cell phenotypes. Actin bundles that span neighboring focal complexes at the lamellipodium-lamellum interface were assumed to be loaded by intracellular forces in proportion to bundle length. We hypothesized that the length of an actin bundle (with the corresponding accumulated force at its adhesions) may thus regulate adhesion maturation to ensure cell mechanical stability and morphological integrity. We developed a model to test this hypothesis, implementing a "top-down" approach to simplify certain cellular processes while explicitly incorporating complexity of other key subcellular mechanisms. Filopodial and lamellipodial activities were treated as modular processes with functional spatiotemporal interactions coordinated by rules regarding focal adhesion turnover and actin bundle dynamics. This theoretical framework was able to robustly predict temporal evolution of cell area and cytoskeletal organization as reported from a wide range of cell spreading experiments using micropatterned substrates. We conclude that a geometric/temporal modeling framework can capture the key functional aspects of the rapid spreading phase and resultant cytoskeletal complexity. Hence the model is used to reveal mechanistic insight into basic cell behavior essential for spreading. It demonstrates that actin bundles spanning nascent focal adhesions such that they are aligned to the leading edge may accumulate centripetal endogenous forces along their length, and could thus trigger focal adhesion maturation in a force-length dependent fashion. We suggest that this mechanism could be a central "integrating" factor that effectively coordinates force-mediated adhesion maturation at the lamellipodium-lamellum interface. PMID:22453759

  6. Activity profiling of vacuolar processing enzymes reveals a role for VPE during oomycete infection.

    PubMed

    Misas-Villamil, Johana C; Toenges, Gerrit; Kolodziejek, Izabella; Sadaghiani, Amir M; Kaschani, Farnusch; Colby, Thomas; Bogyo, Matthew; van der Hoorn, Renier A L

    2013-02-01

    Vacuolar processing enzymes (VPEs) are important cysteine proteases that are implicated in the maturation of seed storage proteins, and programmed cell death during plant-microbe interactions and development. Here, we introduce a specific, cell-permeable, activity-based probe for VPEs. This probe is highly specific for all four Arabidopsis VPEs, and labeling is activity-dependent, as illustrated by sensitivity for inhibitors, pH and reducing agents. We show that the probe can be used for in vivo imaging and displays multiple active isoforms of VPEs in various tissues and in both monocot and dicot plant species. Thus, VPE activity profiling is a robust, simple and powerful tool for plant research for a wide range of applications. Using VPE activity profiling, we discovered that VPE activity is increased during infection with the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa). The enhanced VPE activity is host-derived and EDS1-independent. Sporulation of Hpa is reduced on vpe mutant plants, demonstrating a role for VPE during compatible interactions that is presumably independent of programmed cell death. Our data indicate that, as an obligate biotroph, Hpa takes advantage of increased VPE activity in the host, e.g. to mediate protein turnover and nutrient release.

  7. National level promotion of physical activity: results from England's ACTIVE for LIFE campaign

    PubMed Central

    Hillsdon, M; Cavill, N; Nanchahal, K; Diamond, A; White, I

    2001-01-01

    STUDY OBJECTIVE—To assess the impact of a national campaign on awareness of the campaign, change in knowledge of physical activity recommendations and self reported physical activity.
DESIGN—three year prospective longitudinal survey using a multi-stage, cluster random probability design to select participants.
SETTING—England.
PARTICIPANTS—A nationally representative sample of 3189 adults aged 16-74 years.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Awareness of the advertising element of the campaign, changes in knowledge of physical activity recommendations for health and self reported physical activity.
RESULTS—38% of participants were aware of the main advertising images, assessed six to eight months after the main television advertisement. The proportion of participants knowledgeable about moderate physical activity recommendations increased by 3.0% (95% CI: 1.4%, 4.5%) between waves 1 and 2 and 3.7% (95% CI: 2.1%, 5.3%) between waves 1 and 3. The change in proportion of active people between baseline and waves 1 and 2 was
−0.02 (95% CI: −2.0 to +1.7) and between waves 1 and 3 was −9.8 (−7.9 to −11.7).
CONCLUSION—The proportion of participants who were knowledgeable about the new recommendations, increased significantly after the campaign. There was however, no significant difference in knowledge by awareness of the main campaign advertisement. There is no evidence that ACTIVE for LIFE improved physical activity, either overall or in any subgroup.


Keywords: exercise; mass media; follow up studies; health promotion; physical activity PMID:11553661

  8. Revealing the Functional States in the Active Site of BLUF Photoreceptors from Electrochromic Shift Calculations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Photoexcitation with blue light of the flavin chromophore in BLUF photoreceptors induces a switch into a metastable signaling state that is characterized by a red-shifted absorption maximum. The red shift is due to a rearrangement in the hydrogen bond pattern around Gln63 located in the immediate proximity of the isoalloxazine ring system of the chromophore. There is a long-lasting controversy between two structural models, named Q63A and Q63J in the literature, on the local conformation of the residues Gln63 and Tyr21 in the dark state of the photoreceptor. As regards the mechanistic details of the light-activation mechanism, rotation of Gln63 is opposed by tautomerism in the Q63A and Q63J models, respectively. We provide a structure-based simulation of electrochromic shifts of the flavin chromophore in the wild type and in various site-directed mutants. The excellent overall agreement between experimental and computed data allows us to evaluate the two structural models. Compelling evidence is obtained that the Q63A model is incorrect, whereas the Q63J is fully consistent with the present computations. Finally, we confirm independently that a keto–enol tautomerization of the glutamine at position 63, which was proposed as molecular mechanism for the transition between the dark and the light-adapted state, explains the measured 10 to 15 nm red shift in flavin absorption between these two states of the protein. We believe that the accurateness of our results provides evidence that the BLUF photoreceptors absorption is fine-tuned through electrostatic interactions between the chromophore and the protein matrix, and finally that the simplicity of our theoretical model is advantageous as regards easy reproducibility and further extensions. PMID:25153778

  9. Equilibrium physics breakdown reveals the active nature of red blood cell flickering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turlier, H.; Fedosov, D. A.; Audoly, B.; Auth, T.; Gov, N. S.; Sykes, C.; Joanny, J.-F.; Gompper, G.; Betz, T.

    2016-05-01

    Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are seen to flicker under optical microscopy, a phenomenon initially described as thermal fluctuations of the cell membrane. But recent studies have suggested the involvement of non-equilibrium processes, without definitively ruling out equilibrium interpretations. Using active and passive microrheology to directly compare the membrane response and fluctuations on single erythrocytes, we report here a violation of the fluctuation-dissipation relation, which is a direct demonstration of the non-equilibrium nature of flickering. With an analytical model of the composite erythrocyte membrane and realistic stochastic simulations, we show that several molecular mechanisms may explain the active fluctuations, and we predict their kinetics. We demonstrate that tangential metabolic activity in the network formed by spectrin, a cytoskeletal protein, can generate curvature-mediated active membrane motions. We also show that other active membrane processes represented by direct normal force dipoles may explain the observed membrane activity. Our findings provide solid experimental and theoretical frameworks for future investigations of the origin and function of active motion in cells.

  10. Resting state cerebral blood flow and objective motor activity reveal basal ganglia dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Walther, Sebastian; Federspiel, Andrea; Horn, Helge; Razavi, Nadja; Wiest, Roland; Dierks, Thomas; Strik, Werner; Müller, Thomas Jörg

    2011-05-31

    Reduced motor activity has been reported in schizophrenia and was associated with subtype, psychopathology and medication. Still, little is known about the neurobiology of motor retardation. To identify neural correlates of motor activity, resting state cerebral blood flow (CBF) was correlated with objective motor activity of the same day. Participants comprised 11 schizophrenia patients and 14 controls who underwent magnetic resonance imaging with arterial spin labeling and wrist actigraphy. Patients had reduced activity levels and reduced perfusion of the left parahippocampal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right thalamus, and right prefrontal cortex. In controls, but not in schizophrenia, CBF was correlated with activity in the right thalamic ventral anterior (VA) nucleus, a key module within basal ganglia-cortical motor circuits. In contrast, only in schizophrenia patients positive correlations of CBF and motor activity were found in bilateral prefrontal areas and in the right rostral cingulate motor area (rCMA). Grey matter volume correlated with motor activity only in the left posterior cingulate cortex of the patients. The findings suggest that basal ganglia motor control is impaired in schizophrenia. In addition, CBF of cortical areas critical for motor control was associated with volitional motor behavior, which may be a compensatory mechanism for basal ganglia dysfunction.

  11. Knockin of Cre Gene at Ins2 Locus Reveals No Cre Activity in Mouse Hypothalamic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ling; Gao, Lin; Wang, Kejia; Ma, Xianhua; Chang, Xusheng; Shi, Jian-Hui; Zhang, Ye; Yin, Kai; Liu, Zhimin; Shi, Yuguang; Xie, Zhifang; Zhang, Weiping J.

    2016-01-01

    The recombination efficiency and cell specificity of Cre driver lines are critical for exploring pancreatic β cell biology with the Cre/LoxP approach. Some commonly used Cre lines are based on the short Ins2 promoter fragment and show recombination activity in hypothalamic neurons; however, whether this stems from endogenous Ins2 promoter activity remains controversial. In this study, we generated Ins2-Cre knockin mice with a targeted insertion of IRES-Cre at the Ins2 locus and demonstrated with a cell lineage tracing study that the Ins2 gene is not transcriptionally active in the hypothalamus. The Ins2-Cre driver line displayed robust Cre expression and activity in pancreatic β cells without significant alterations in insulin expression. In the brain, Cre activity was mainly restricted to the choroid plexus, without significant recombination detected in the hippocampus or hypothalamus by the LacZ or fluorescent tdTomato reporters. Furthermore, Ins2-Cre mice exhibited normal glucose tolerance and insulin secretion upon glucose stimulation in vivo. In conclusion, this Ins2-Cre driver line allowed high-fidelity detection of endogenous Ins2 promoter activity in vivo, and the negative activity in the hypothalamus demonstrated that this system is a promising alternative tool for studying β cell biology. PMID:26830324

  12. Young asteroidal fluid activity revealed by absolute age from apatite in carbonaceous chondrite

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ai-Cheng; Li, Qiu-Li; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Sakamoto, Naoya; Li, Xian-Hua; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yang-Ting; Wang, Ru-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Chondritic meteorites, consisting of the materials that have formed in the early solar system (ESS), have been affected by late thermal events and fluid activity to various degrees. Determining the timing of fluid activity in ESS is of fundamental importance for understanding the nature, formation, evolution and significance of fluid activity in ESS. Previous investigations have determined the relative ages of fluid activity with short-lived isotope systematics. Here we report an absolute 207Pb/206Pb isochron age (4,450±50 Ma) of apatite from Dar al Gani (DaG) 978, a type ∼3.5, ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite. The petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical features suggest that the apatite in DaG 978 should have formed during metamorphism in the presence of a fluid. Therefore, the apatite age represents an absolute age for fluid activity in an asteroidal setting. An impact event could have provided the heat to activate this young fluid activity in ESS. PMID:27682449

  13. Dissection of the radical reactions linked to fetal hemoglobin reveals enhanced pseudoperoxidase activity

    PubMed Central

    Ratanasopa, Khuanpiroon; Strader, Michael Brad; Alayash, Abdu I.; Bulow, Leif

    2015-01-01

    In the presence of excess hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), ferrous (Fe+2) human hemoglobin (Hb) (α2β2) undergoes a rapid conversion to a higher oxidation ferryl state (Fe+4) which rapidly autoreduces back to the ferric form (Fe+3) as H2O2 is consumed in the reaction. In the presence of additional H2O2 the ferric state can form both ferryl Hb and an associated protein radical in a pseudoperoxidative cycle that results in the loss of radicals and heme degradation. We examined whether adult HbA (β2α2) exhibits a different pseudoenzymatic activity than fetal Hb (γ2α2) due to the switch of γ to β subunits. Rapid mixing of the ferric forms of both proteins with excess H2O2 resulted in biphasic kinetic time courses that can be assigned to γ/β and α, respectively. Although there was a 1.5 fold increase in the fast reacting γ /β subunits the slower reacting phases (attributed to α subunits of both proteins) were essentially the same. However, the rate constant for the auto-reduction of ferryl back to ferric for both proteins was found to be 76% higher for HbF than HbA and in the presence of the mild reducing agent, ascorbate there was a 3-fold higher reduction rate in ferryl HbF as opposed to ferryl HbA. Using quantitative mass spectrometry in the presence of H2O2 we found oxidized γ/β Cys93, to be more abundantly present in HbA than HbF, whereas higher levels of nitrated β Tyr35 containing peptides were found in HbA samples treated with nitrite. The extraordinary stability of HbF reported here may explain the evolutionary advantage this protein may confer onto co-inherited hemoglobinopathies and can also be utilized in the engineering of oxidatively stable Hb-based oxygen carriers. PMID:25750627

  14. Single-Molecule Nanocatalysis Reveals Catalytic Activation Energy of Single Nanocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tao; Zhang, Yuwei; Xu, Weilin

    2016-09-28

    By monitoring the temperature-dependent catalytic activity of single Au nanocatalysts for a fluorogenic reaction, we derive the activation energies via multiple methods for two sequential catalytic steps (product formation and dissociation) on single nanocatalysts. The wide distributions of activation energies across multiple individual nanocatalysts indicate a huge static heterogeneity among the individual nanocatalysts. The compensation effect and isokinetic relationship of catalytic reactions are observed at the single particle level. This study exemplifies another function of single-molecule nanocatalysis and improves our understanding of heterogeneous catalysis.

  15. The crystal structure of the cysteine protease Xylellain from Xylella fastidiosa reveals an intriguing activation mechanism.

    PubMed

    Leite, Ney Ribeiro; Faro, Aline Regis; Dotta, Maria Amélia Oliva; Faim, Livia Maria; Gianotti, Andreia; Silva, Flavio Henrique; Oliva, Glaucius; Thiemann, Otavio Henrique

    2013-02-14

    Xylella fastidiosa is responsible for a wide range of economically important plant diseases. We report here the crystal structure and kinetic data of Xylellain, the first cysteine protease characterized from the genome of the pathogenic X. fastidiosa strain 9a5c. Xylellain has a papain-family fold, and part of the N-terminal sequence blocks the enzyme active site, thereby mediating protein activity. One novel feature identified in the structure is the presence of a ribonucleotide bound outside the active site. We show that this ribonucleotide plays an important regulatory role in Xylellain enzyme kinetics, possibly functioning as a physiological mediator.

  16. Spores of most common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Grothe, H.

    2013-06-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to show ice nucleation (IN) activity. In this study the respective IN activity was tested in oil emulsion in the immersion freezing mode. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. For the first time, not only common moulds, but also edible mushrooms (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) were investigated, as they contribute massively to the total amount of fungal spores in the atmosphere. Only Fusarium avenaceum showed freezing events at low subzero-temperatures, while the other investigated fungal spores showed no significant IN activity. Furthermore, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during cultivation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  17. Clonidine as a sensitizing agent in the forced swimming test for revealing antidepressant activity.

    PubMed

    Bourin, M; Colombel, M C; Malinge, M; Bradwejn, J

    1991-11-01

    The forced swimming test (FST) in mice has failed to predict antidepressant activity for drugs having beta adrenoreceptor agonist activity and for serotonin uptake inhibitors. We investigated the potential for clonidine to render the FST sensitive to antidepressants by using a behaviorally inactive dose of this agent (0.1 mg/kg). All antidepressants studied (tricyclics, 5-HT uptake inhibitors, iprindole, mianserin, viloxazine, trazodone) showed either activity at lower doses or activity at previously inactive doses. The effect appeared specific because it did not appear with drugs other than antidepressants (diazepam, chlorpromazine, sulpiride, atropine), except for amphetamine and apomorphine which have a strong effect on the dopaminergic system. The use of behaviorally subactive doses of clonidine may thus provide an important means of increasing the sensitivity of the forced swimming test.

  18. Structure of Escherichia coli tyrosine Kinase Etk Reveals a Novel Activation Mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Lee,D.; Zheng, J.; She, Y.; Jia, Z.

    2008-01-01

    While protein tyrosine (Tyr) kinases (PTKs) have been extensively characterized in eukaryotes, far less is known about their emerging counterparts in prokaryotes. The inner-membrane Wzc/Etk protein belongs to the bacterial PTK family, which has an important function in regulating the polymerization and transport of virulence-determining capsular polysaccharide (CPS). The kinase uses a unique two-step activation process involving intra-phosphorylation of a Tyr residue, although the molecular mechanism remains unknown. Herein, we report the first crystal structure of a bacterial PTK, the C-terminal kinase domain of Escherichia coli Tyr kinase (Etk) at 2.5-Angstroms resolution. The fold of the Etk kinase domain differs markedly from that of eukaryotic PTKs. Based on the observed structure and supporting mass spectrometric evidence of Etk, a unique activation mechanism is proposed that involves the phosphorylated Tyr residue, Y574, at the active site and its specific interaction with a previously unidentified key Arg residue, R614, to unblock the active site. Both in vitro kinase activity and in vivo antibiotics resistance studies using structure-guided mutants further support the novel activation mechanism.

  19. Activity Patterns of Free-Ranging Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) Revealed by Accelerometry

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Michelle A.; Whisson, Desley A.; Holland, Greg J.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of koala activity patterns is important for measuring the behavioral response of this species to environmental change, but to date has been limited by the logistical challenges of traditional field methodologies. We addressed this knowledge gap by using tri-axial accelerometer data loggers attached to VHF radio collars to examine activity patterns of adult male and female koalas in a high-density population at Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia. Data were obtained from 27 adult koalas over two 7-d periods during the breeding season: 12 in the early-breeding season in November 2010, and 15 in the late-breeding season in January 2011. Multiple 15 minute observation blocks on each animal were used for validation of activity patterns determined from the accelerometer data loggers. Accelerometry was effective in distinguishing between inactive (sleeping, resting) and active (grooming, feeding and moving) behaviors. Koalas were more active during the early-breeding season with a higher index of movement (overall dynamic body acceleration [ODBA]) for both males and females. Koalas showed a distinct temporal pattern of behavior, with most activity occurring from mid-afternoon to early morning. Accelerometry has potential for examining fine-scale behavior of a wide range of arboreal and terrestrial species. PMID:24224050

  20. Dynamic BRG1 Recruitment during T Helper Differentiation and Activation Reveals Distal Regulatory Elements▿§

    PubMed Central

    De, Supriyo; Wurster, Andrea L.; Precht, Patricia; Wood, William H.; Becker, Kevin G.; Pazin, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    T helper cell differentiation and activation require specific transcriptional programs accompanied by changes in chromatin structure. However, little is known about the chromatin remodeling enzymes responsible. We performed genome-wide analysis to determine the general principles of BRG1 binding, followed by analysis of specific genes to determine whether these general rules were typical of key T cell genes. We found that binding of the remodeling protein BRG1 was programmed by both lineage and activation signals. BRG1 binding positively correlated with gene activity at protein-coding and microRNA (miRNA) genes. BRG1 binding was found at promoters and distal regions, including both novel and previously validated distal regulatory elements. Distal BRG1 binding correlated with expression, and novel distal sites in the Gata3 locus possessed enhancer-like activity, suggesting a general role for BRG1 in long-distance gene regulation. BRG1 recruitment to distal sites in Gata3 was impaired in cells lacking STAT6, a transcription factor that regulates lineage-specific genes. Together, these findings suggest that BRG1 interprets both differentiation and activation signals and plays a causal role in gene regulation, chromatin structure, and cell fate. Our findings suggest that BRG1 binding is a useful marker for identifying active cis-regulatory regions in protein-coding and miRNA genes. PMID:21262765

  1. Dynamic BRG1 recruitment during T helper differentiation and activation reveals distal regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    De, Supriyo; Wurster, Andrea L; Precht, Patricia; Wood, William H; Becker, Kevin G; Pazin, Michael J

    2011-04-01

    T helper cell differentiation and activation require specific transcriptional programs accompanied by changes in chromatin structure. However, little is known about the chromatin remodeling enzymes responsible. We performed genome-wide analysis to determine the general principles of BRG1 binding, followed by analysis of specific genes to determine whether these general rules were typical of key T cell genes. We found that binding of the remodeling protein BRG1 was programmed by both lineage and activation signals. BRG1 binding positively correlated with gene activity at protein-coding and microRNA (miRNA) genes. BRG1 binding was found at promoters and distal regions, including both novel and previously validated distal regulatory elements. Distal BRG1 binding correlated with expression, and novel distal sites in the Gata3 locus possessed enhancer-like activity, suggesting a general role for BRG1 in long-distance gene regulation. BRG1 recruitment to distal sites in Gata3 was impaired in cells lacking STAT6, a transcription factor that regulates lineage-specific genes. Together, these findings suggest that BRG1 interprets both differentiation and activation signals and plays a causal role in gene regulation, chromatin structure, and cell fate. Our findings suggest that BRG1 binding is a useful marker for identifying active cis-regulatory regions in protein-coding and miRNA genes.

  2. Transcriptomic Analysis of Musca domestica to Reveal Key Genes of the Prophenoloxidase-Activating System.

    PubMed

    Li, Dianxiang; Liang, Yongli; Wang, Xianwei; Wang, Lei; Qi, Mei; Yu, Yang; Luan, Yuanyuan

    2015-09-01

    The proPO system regulates melanization in arthropods. However, the genes that are involved in the proPO system in housefly Musca domestica remain unclear. Thus, this study analyzed the combined transcriptome obtained from M. domestica larvae, pupae, and adults that were either normal or bacteria-challenged by an Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus mixture. A total of 54,821,138 clean reads (4.93 Gb) were yielded by Illumina sequencing, which were de novo assembled into 89,842 unigenes. Of the 89,842 unigenes, based on a similarity search with known genes in other insects, 24 putative genes related to the proPO system were identified. Eight of the identified genes encoded for peptidoglycan recognition receptors, two encoded for prophenoloxidases, three encoded for prophenoloxidase-activating enzymes, and 11 encoded for serine proteinase inhibitors. The expression levels of these identified genes were investigated by qRT-PCR assay, which were consistent with expected activation process of the proPO system, and their activation functions were confirmed by the measurement of phenoloxidase activity in bacteria-infected larvae after proPO antibody blockage, suggesting these candidate genes might have potentially different roles in the activation of proPO system. Collectively, this study has provided the comprehensive transcriptomic data of an insect and some fundamental basis toward achieving understanding of the activation mechanisms and immune functions of the proPO system in M. domestica.

  3. Transcriptomic Analysis of Musca domestica to Reveal Key Genes of the Prophenoloxidase-Activating System

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dianxiang; Liang, Yongli; Wang, Xianwei; Wang, Lei; Qi, Mei; Yu, Yang; Luan, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    The proPO system regulates melanization in arthropods. However, the genes that are involved in the proPO system in housefly Musca domestica remain unclear. Thus, this study analyzed the combined transcriptome obtained from M. domestica larvae, pupae, and adults that were either normal or bacteria-challenged by an Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus mixture. A total of 54,821,138 clean reads (4.93 Gb) were yielded by Illumina sequencing, which were de novo assembled into 89,842 unigenes. Of the 89,842 unigenes, based on a similarity search with known genes in other insects, 24 putative genes related to the proPO system were identified. Eight of the identified genes encoded for peptidoglycan recognition receptors, two encoded for prophenoloxidases, three encoded for prophenoloxidase-activating enzymes, and 11 encoded for serine proteinase inhibitors. The expression levels of these identified genes were investigated by qRT-PCR assay, which were consistent with expected activation process of the proPO system, and their activation functions were confirmed by the measurement of phenoloxidase activity in bacteria-infected larvae after proPO antibody blockage, suggesting these candidate genes might have potentially different roles in the activation of proPO system. Collectively, this study has provided the comprehensive transcriptomic data of an insect and some fundamental basis toward achieving understanding of the activation mechanisms and immune functions of the proPO system in M. domestica. PMID:26156588

  4. 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

  5. How community environment shapes physical activity: perceptions revealed through the PhotoVoice method.

    PubMed

    Belon, Ana Paula; Nieuwendyk, Laura M; Vallianatos, Helen; Nykiforuk, Candace I J

    2014-09-01

    A growing body of evidence shows that community environment plays an important role in individuals' physical activity engagement. However, while attributes of the physical environment are widely investigated, sociocultural, political, and economic aspects of the environment are often neglected. This article helps to fill these knowledge gaps by providing a more comprehensive understanding of multiple dimensions of the community environment relative to physical activity. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore how people's experiences and perceptions of their community environments affect their abilities to engage in physical activity. A PhotoVoice method was used to identify barriers to and opportunities for physical activity among residents in four communities in the province of Alberta, Canada, in 2009. After taking pictures, the thirty-five participants shared their perceptions of those opportunities and barriers in their community environments during individual interviews. Using the Analysis Grid for Environments Linked to Obesity (ANGELO) framework, themes emerging from these photo-elicited interviews were organized in four environment types: physical, sociocultural, economic, and political. The data show that themes linked to the physical (56.6%) and sociocultural (31.4%) environments were discussed more frequently than the themes of the economic (5.9%) and political (6.1%) environments. Participants identified nuanced barriers and opportunities for physical activity, which are illustrated by their quotes and photographs. The findings suggest that a myriad of factors from physical, sociocultural, economic, and political environments influence people's abilities to be physically active in their communities. Therefore, adoption of a broad, ecological perspective is needed to address the barriers and build upon the opportunities described by participants to make communities more healthy and active.

  6. Cloning of the mitogen-activated S6 kinase from rat liver reveals an enzyme of the second messenger subfamily

    SciTech Connect

    Kozma, S.C.; Ferrari, S. Bassand, P.; Siegmann, M.; Thomas, G. ); Totty, N. )

    1990-10-01

    Recently the authors reported the purification of a mitogen-activated S6 kinase from Swiss mouse 3T3 fibroblasts and rat liver. The rat liver protein was cleaved with cyanogen bromide or trypsin and 17 of the resulting peptides were sequenced. DNA primers were generated from 3 peptides that had homology to sequences of the conserved catalytic domain of protein kinases. These primers were used in the polymerase chain reaction to obtain a 0.4-kilobase DNA fragment. This fragment was either radioactively labeled and hybridized to Northern blots of poly(A){sup {sup plus}} mRNA or used to screen a rat liver cDNA library. Northern blot analysis revealed four transcripts of 2.5, 3.2, 4.0, and 6.0 kilobases, and five S6 kinase clones were obtained by screening the library. Only two of the clones, which were identical, encoded a full-length protein. This protein had a molecular weight of 56,160, which correlated closely to that of the dephosphorylated kinase determined by SDS/PAGE. The catalytic domain of the kinase resembles that of other serine/threonine kinases belonging to the second messenger subfamily of protein kinases.

  7. Structural interpretation of activity cliffs revealed by systematic analysis of structure-activity relationships in analog series.

    PubMed

    Sisay, Mihiret T; Peltason, Lisa; Bajorath, Jürgen

    2009-10-01

    Discontinuity in structure-activity relationships (SARs) is caused by so-called activity cliffs and represents one of the major caveats in SAR modeling and lead optimization. At activity cliffs, small structural modifications of compounds lead to substantial differences in potency that are essentially unpredictable using quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methods. In order to better understand SAR discontinuity at the molecular level of detail, we have analyzed different compound series in combinatorial analog graphs and determined substitution patterns that introduce activity cliffs of varying magnitude. So identified SAR determinants were then analyzed on the basis of complex crystal structures to enable a structural interpretation of SAR discontinuity and underlying activity cliffs. In some instances, SAR discontinuity detected within analog series could be well rationalized on the basis of structural data, whereas in others a structural explanation was not possible. This reflects the intrinsic complexity of small molecule SARs and suggests that the analysis of short-range receptor-ligand interactions seen in X-ray structures is insufficient to comprehensively account for SAR discontinuity. However, in other cases, SAR information extracted from ligands was incomplete but could be deduced taking X-ray data into account. Thus, taken together, these findings illustrate the complementarity of ligand-based SAR analysis and structural information. PMID:19761254

  8. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Buckholtz, Joshua W; Martin, Justin W; Treadway, Michael T; Jan, Katherine; Zald, David H; Jones, Owen; Marois, René

    2015-09-23

    The social welfare provided by cooperation depends on the enforcement of social norms. Determining blameworthiness and assigning a deserved punishment are two cognitive cornerstones of norm enforcement. Although prior work has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in norm-based judgments, the relative contribution of this region to blameworthiness and punishment decisions remains poorly understood. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and fMRI to determine the specific role of DLPFC function in norm-enforcement behavior. DLPFC rTMS reduced punishment for wrongful acts without affecting blameworthiness ratings, and fMRI revealed punishment-selective DLPFC recruitment, suggesting that these two facets of norm-based decision making are neurobiologically dissociable. Finally, we show that DLPFC rTMS affects punishment decision making by altering the integration of information about culpability and harm. Together, these findings reveal a selective, causal role for DLPFC in norm enforcement: representational integration of the distinct information streams used to make punishment decisions. PMID:26386518

  9. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Buckholtz, Joshua W; Martin, Justin W; Treadway, Michael T; Jan, Katherine; Zald, David H; Jones, Owen; Marois, René

    2015-09-23

    The social welfare provided by cooperation depends on the enforcement of social norms. Determining blameworthiness and assigning a deserved punishment are two cognitive cornerstones of norm enforcement. Although prior work has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in norm-based judgments, the relative contribution of this region to blameworthiness and punishment decisions remains poorly understood. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and fMRI to determine the specific role of DLPFC function in norm-enforcement behavior. DLPFC rTMS reduced punishment for wrongful acts without affecting blameworthiness ratings, and fMRI revealed punishment-selective DLPFC recruitment, suggesting that these two facets of norm-based decision making are neurobiologically dissociable. Finally, we show that DLPFC rTMS affects punishment decision making by altering the integration of information about culpability and harm. Together, these findings reveal a selective, causal role for DLPFC in norm enforcement: representational integration of the distinct information streams used to make punishment decisions.

  10. Small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering reveal conformational changes in rhodopsin activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Utsab R.; Bhowmik, Debsindhu; Perera, Suchitrhanga M. C. D.; Chawla, Udeep; Struts, Andrey V.; Graziono, Vito; Pingali, Sai Venkatesh; Heller, William T.; Qian, Shuo; Brown, Michael F.; Chu, Xiang-Qiang

    2015-03-01

    Understanding G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation plays a crucial role in the development of novel improved molecular drugs. During photo-activation, the retinal chromophore of the visual GPCR rhodopsin isomerizes from 11-cis to all-trans conformation, yielding an equilibrium between inactive Meta-I and active Meta-II states. The principal goals of this work are to address whether the activation of rhodopsin leads to a single state or a conformational ensemble, and how protein organizational structure changes with detergent environment in solution. We use both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques to answer the above questions. For the first time we observe the change in protein conformational ensemble upon photo-activation by SANS with contrast variation, which enables the separate study of the protein structure within the detergent assembly. In addition, SAXS study of protein structure within detergent assembly suggests that the detergent molecules form a belt of monolayer (micelle) around protein with different geometrical shapes to keep the protein in folded state.

  11. Recent and episodic volcanic and glacial activity on Mars revealed by the High Resolution Stereo Camera.

    PubMed

    Neukum, G; Jaumann, R; Hoffmann, H; Hauber, E; Head, J W; Basilevsky, A T; Ivanov, B A; Werner, S C; van Gasselt, S; Murray, J B; McCord, T

    2004-12-23

    The large-area coverage at a resolution of 10-20 metres per pixel in colour and three dimensions with the High Resolution Stereo Camera Experiment on the European Space Agency Mars Express Mission has made it possible to study the time-stratigraphic relationships of volcanic and glacial structures in unprecedented detail and give insight into the geological evolution of Mars. Here we show that calderas on five major volcanoes on Mars have undergone repeated activation and resurfacing during the last 20 per cent of martian history, with phases of activity as young as two million years, suggesting that the volcanoes are potentially still active today. Glacial deposits at the base of the Olympus Mons escarpment show evidence for repeated phases of activity as recently as about four million years ago. Morphological evidence is found that snow and ice deposition on the Olympus construct at elevations of more than 7,000 metres led to episodes of glacial activity at this height. Even now, water ice protected by an insulating layer of dust may be present at high altitudes on Olympus Mons.

  12. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    SciTech Connect

    Wernimont, Amy K; Artz, Jennifer D.; Jr, Patrick Finerty; Lin, Yu-Hui; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2010-09-21

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites and comprise a calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK)-like kinase domain regulated by a calcium-binding domain in the C terminus. To understand this intramolecular mechanism of activation, we solved the structures of the autoinhibited (apo) and activated (calcium-bound) conformations of CDPKs from the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. In the apo form, the C-terminal CDPK activation domain (CAD) resembles a calmodulin protein with an unexpected long helix in the N terminus that inhibits the kinase domain in the same manner as CaMKII. Calcium binding triggers the reorganization of the CAD into a highly intricate fold, leading to its relocation around the base of the kinase domain to a site remote from the substrate binding site. This large conformational change constitutes a distinct mechanism in calcium signal-transduction pathways.

  13. Structural investigation of heteroyohimbine alkaloid synthesis reveals active site elements that control stereoselectivity.

    PubMed

    Stavrinides, Anna; Tatsis, Evangelos C; Caputi, Lorenzo; Foureau, Emilien; Stevenson, Clare E M; Lawson, David M; Courdavault, Vincent; O'Connor, Sarah E

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce an enormous array of biologically active metabolites, often with stereochemical variations on the same molecular scaffold. These changes in stereochemistry dramatically impact biological activity. Notably, the stereoisomers of the heteroyohimbine alkaloids show diverse pharmacological activities. We reported a medium chain dehydrogenase/reductase (MDR) from Catharanthus roseus that catalyses formation of a heteroyohimbine isomer. Here we report the discovery of additional heteroyohimbine synthases (HYSs), one of which produces a mixture of diastereomers. The crystal structures for three HYSs have been solved, providing insight into the mechanism of reactivity and stereoselectivity, with mutation of one loop transforming product specificity. Localization and gene silencing experiments provide a basis for understanding the function of these enzymes in vivo. This work sets the stage to explore how MDRs evolved to generate structural and biological diversity in specialized plant metabolism and opens the possibility for metabolic engineering of new compounds based on this scaffold. PMID:27418042

  14. Structural investigation of heteroyohimbine alkaloid synthesis reveals active site elements that control stereoselectivity

    PubMed Central

    Stavrinides, Anna; Tatsis, Evangelos C.; Caputi, Lorenzo; Foureau, Emilien; Stevenson, Clare E. M.; Lawson, David M.; Courdavault, Vincent; O'Connor, Sarah E.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce an enormous array of biologically active metabolites, often with stereochemical variations on the same molecular scaffold. These changes in stereochemistry dramatically impact biological activity. Notably, the stereoisomers of the heteroyohimbine alkaloids show diverse pharmacological activities. We reported a medium chain dehydrogenase/reductase (MDR) from Catharanthus roseus that catalyses formation of a heteroyohimbine isomer. Here we report the discovery of additional heteroyohimbine synthases (HYSs), one of which produces a mixture of diastereomers. The crystal structures for three HYSs have been solved, providing insight into the mechanism of reactivity and stereoselectivity, with mutation of one loop transforming product specificity. Localization and gene silencing experiments provide a basis for understanding the function of these enzymes in vivo. This work sets the stage to explore how MDRs evolved to generate structural and biological diversity in specialized plant metabolism and opens the possibility for metabolic engineering of new compounds based on this scaffold. PMID:27418042

  15. Structural basis for PPAR partial or full activation revealed by a novel ligand binding mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capelli, Davide; Cerchia, Carmen; Montanari, Roberta; Loiodice, Fulvio; Tortorella, Paolo; Laghezza, Antonio; Cervoni, Laura; Pochetti, Giorgio; Lavecchia, Antonio

    2016-10-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed PPARγ full agonists, is considered the major challenge for the pharmaceutical companies. Here we present a structure-based virtual screening approach that let us identify a novel PPAR pan-agonist with a very attractive activity profile and its crystal structure in the complex with PPARα and PPARγ, respectively. In PPARα this ligand occupies a new pocket whose filling is allowed by the ligand-induced switching of the F273 side chain from a closed to an open conformation. The comparison between this pocket and the corresponding cavity in PPARγ provides a rationale for the different activation of the ligand towards PPARα and PPARγ, suggesting a novel basis for ligand design.

  16. Radiation inactivation analysis of influenza virus reveals different target sizes for fusion, leakage, and neuraminidase activities

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, S.; Jung, C.Y.; Takahashi, M.; Lenard, J.

    1986-10-07

    The size of the functional units responsible for several activities carried out by the influenza virus envelope glycoproteins was determined by radiation inactivation analysis. Neuraminidase activity, which resides in the glycoprotein NA, was inactivated exponentially with an increasing radiation dose, yielding a target size of 94 +/- 5 kilodaltons (kDa), in reasonable agreement with that of the disulfide-bonded dimer (120 kDa). All the other activities studied are properties of the HA glycoprotein and were normalized to the known molecular weight of the neuraminidase dimer. Virus-induced fusion activity was measured by two phospholipid dilution assays: relief of energy transfer between N-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)dipalmitoyl-L-alpha- phosphatidylethanolamine (N-NBD-PE) and N-(lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl)-dioleoyl-L-alpha-phosphatidylethanolamine (N-Rh-PE) in target liposomes and relief of self-quenching of N-Rh-PE in target liposomes. Radiation inactivation of fusion activity proceeded exponentially with radiation dose, yielding normalized target sizes of 68 +/- 6 kDa by assay i and 70 +/- 4 kDa by assay ii. These values are close to the molecular weight of a single disulfide-bonded (HA1 + HA2) unit (75 kDa), the monomer of the HA trimer. A single monomer is thus inactivated by each radiation event, and each monomer (or some part of it) constitutes a minimal functional unit capable of mediating fusion. Virus-induced leakage of calcein from target liposomes and virus-induced leakage of hemoglobin from erythrocytes (hemolysis) both showed more complex inactivation behavior: a pronounced shoulder was present in both inactivation curves, followed by a steep drop in activity at higher radiation levels.

  17. Revealing the activation pathway for TMEM16A chloride channels from macroscopic currents and kinetic models.

    PubMed

    Contreras-Vite, Juan A; Cruz-Rangel, Silvia; De Jesús-Pérez, José J; Figueroa, Iván A Aréchiga; Rodríguez-Menchaca, Aldo A; Pérez-Cornejo, Patricia; Hartzell, H Criss; Arreola, Jorge

    2016-07-01

    TMEM16A (ANO1), the pore-forming subunit of calcium-activated chloride channels, regulates several physiological and pathophysiological processes such as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac and neuronal excitability, salivary secretion, tumour growth and cancer progression. Gating of TMEM16A is complex because it involves the interplay between increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), membrane depolarization, extracellular Cl(-) or permeant anions and intracellular protons. Our goal here was to understand how these variables regulate TMEM16A gating and to explain four observations. (a) TMEM16A is activated by voltage in the absence of intracellular Ca(2+). (b) The Cl(-) conductance is decreased after reducing extracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-)]o). (c) ICl is regulated by physiological concentrations of [Cl(-)]o. (d) In cells dialyzed with 0.2 μM [Ca(2+)]i, Cl(-) has a bimodal effect: at [Cl(-)]o <30 mM TMEM16A current activates with a monoexponential time course, but above 30 mM, [Cl(-)]o ICl activation displays fast and slow kinetics. To explain the contribution of Vm, Ca(2+) and Cl(-) to gating, we developed a 12-state Markov chain model. This model explains TMEM16A activation as a sequential, direct, and Vm-dependent binding of two Ca(2+) ions coupled to a Vm-dependent binding of an external Cl(-) ion, with Vm-dependent transitions between states. Our model predicts that extracellular Cl(-) does not alter the apparent Ca(2+) affinity of TMEM16A, which we corroborated experimentally. Rather, extracellular Cl(-) acts by stabilizing the open configuration induced by Ca(2+) and by contributing to the Vm dependence of activation. PMID:27138167

  18. Revealing the activation pathway for TMEM16A chloride channels from macroscopic currents and kinetic models.

    PubMed

    Contreras-Vite, Juan A; Cruz-Rangel, Silvia; De Jesús-Pérez, José J; Figueroa, Iván A Aréchiga; Rodríguez-Menchaca, Aldo A; Pérez-Cornejo, Patricia; Hartzell, H Criss; Arreola, Jorge

    2016-07-01

    TMEM16A (ANO1), the pore-forming subunit of calcium-activated chloride channels, regulates several physiological and pathophysiological processes such as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac and neuronal excitability, salivary secretion, tumour growth and cancer progression. Gating of TMEM16A is complex because it involves the interplay between increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), membrane depolarization, extracellular Cl(-) or permeant anions and intracellular protons. Our goal here was to understand how these variables regulate TMEM16A gating and to explain four observations. (a) TMEM16A is activated by voltage in the absence of intracellular Ca(2+). (b) The Cl(-) conductance is decreased after reducing extracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-)]o). (c) ICl is regulated by physiological concentrations of [Cl(-)]o. (d) In cells dialyzed with 0.2 μM [Ca(2+)]i, Cl(-) has a bimodal effect: at [Cl(-)]o <30 mM TMEM16A current activates with a monoexponential time course, but above 30 mM, [Cl(-)]o ICl activation displays fast and slow kinetics. To explain the contribution of Vm, Ca(2+) and Cl(-) to gating, we developed a 12-state Markov chain model. This model explains TMEM16A activation as a sequential, direct, and Vm-dependent binding of two Ca(2+) ions coupled to a Vm-dependent binding of an external Cl(-) ion, with Vm-dependent transitions between states. Our model predicts that extracellular Cl(-) does not alter the apparent Ca(2+) affinity of TMEM16A, which we corroborated experimentally. Rather, extracellular Cl(-) acts by stabilizing the open configuration induced by Ca(2+) and by contributing to the Vm dependence of activation.

  19. Spatial and cellular characterization of mTORC1 activation after spinal cord injury reveals biphasic increase mainly attributed to microglia/macrophages.

    PubMed

    Kjell, Jacob; Codeluppi, Simone; Josephson, Anna; Abrams, Mathew B

    2014-11-01

    Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is an intracellular kinase complex that regulates energy homeostasis and transcription. Modulation of mTORC1 has proven beneficial in experimental spinal cord injury, making this molecular target a candidate for therapeutic intervention in spinal cord injury. However, both inactivation and activation of mTORC1 have been reported beneficial for recovery. To obtain a more complete picture of mTORC1 activity, we aimed to characterize the spatiotemporal activation pattern of mTORC1 and identify activation in particular cell types after contusion spinal cord injury in rats. To be able to provide a spatial characterization of mTORC1 activation, we monitored activation of downstream target S6. We found robust mTORC1 activation both at the site of injury and in spinal segments rostral and caudal to the injury. There was constitutive mTORC1 activation in neurons that was biphasically reduced caudally after injury. We found biphasic mTORC1 activation in glial cells, primarily activated microglia/macrophages. Furthermore, we found mTORC1 activation in proliferating cells, suggesting this may be a function affected by mTORC1 modulation. Our results reveal potential windows of opportunity for therapeutic interference with mTORC1 signaling and immune cells as targets for inhibition of mTORC1 in spinal cord injury.

  20. Ensemble Activation of G-Protein -Coupled Receptors Revealed by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Xiang-Qiang; Perera, Suchithranga; Shrestha, Utsab; Chawla, Udeep; Struts, Andrey; Qian, Shuo; Brown, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Rhodopsin is a G-protein -coupled receptor (GPCR) involved in visual light perception and occurs naturally in a membrane lipid environment. Rhodopsin photoactivation yields cis-trans isomerization of retinal giving equilibrium between inactive Meta-I and active Meta-II states. Does photoactivation lead to a single Meta-II conformation, or do substates exist as described by an ensemble-activation mechanism (EAM)? We use small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) to investigate conformational changes in rhodopsin-detergent and rhodopsin-lipid complexes upon photoactivation. Meta-I state is stabilized in CHAPS-solubilized rhodopsin, while Meta-II is trapped in DDM-solubilized rhodopsin. SANS data are acquired from 80% D2O solutions and at contrast-matching points for both DDM and CHAPS samples. Our experiments demonstrate that for detergent-solubilized rhodopsin, SANS with contrast variation can detect structural differences between the rhodopsin dark-state, Meta-I, Meta-II, and ligand-free opsin states. Dark-state rhodopsin has more conformational flexibility in DDM micelles compared to CHAPS, which is consistent with an ensemble of activated Meta-II states. Furthermore, time-resolved SANS enables study of the time-dependent structural transitions between Meta-I and Meta-II, which is crucial to understanding the ensemble-based activation.

  1. Reconstituted B cell receptor signaling reveals carbohydrate-dependent mode of activation

    PubMed Central

    Villar, Rina F.; Patel, Jinal; Weaver, Grant C.; Kanekiyo, Masaru; Wheatley, Adam K.; Yassine, Hadi M.; Costello, Catherine E.; Chandler, Kevin B.; McTamney, Patrick. M.; Nabel, Gary J.; McDermott, Adrian B.; Mascola, John R.; Carr, Steven A.; Lingwood, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Activation of immune cells (but not B cells) with lectins is widely known. We used the structurally defined interaction between influenza hemagglutinin (HA) and its cell surface receptor sialic acid (SA) to identify a B cell receptor (BCR) activation modality that proceeded through non-cognate interactions with antigen. Using a new approach to reconstitute antigen-receptor interactions in a human reporter B cell line, we found that sequence-defined BCRs from the human germline repertoire could be triggered by both complementarity to influenza HA and a separate mode of signaling that relied on multivalent ligation of BCR sialyl-oligosaccharide. The latter suggested a new mechanism for priming naïve B cell responses and manifested as the induction of SA-dependent pan-activation by peripheral blood B cells. BCR crosslinking in the absence of complementarity is a superantigen effect induced by some microbial products to subvert production of antigen-specific immune responses. B cell superantigen activity through affinity for BCR carbohydrate is discussed. PMID:27796362

  2. Vector analysis of ecoenzyme activities reveal constraints on coupled C, N and P dynamics

    EPA Science Inventory

    We developed a quantitative method for estimating resource allocation strategies of microbial communities based on the proportional activities of four, key extracellular enzymes, 1,4-ß-glucosidase (BG), leucine amino-peptidase (LAP), 1,4-ß-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG...

  3. 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

  4. Beyond Rhyme or Reason: ERPs Reveal Task-Specific Activation of Orthography on Spoken Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pattamadilok, Chotiga; Perre, Laetitia; Ziegler, Johannes C.

    2011-01-01

    Metaphonological tasks, such as rhyme judgment, have been the primary tool for the investigation of the effects of orthographic knowledge on spoken language. However, it has been recently argued that the orthography effect in rhyme judgment does not reflect the automatic activation of orthographic codes but rather stems from sophisticated response…

  5. Transcriptomic sequencing reveals a set of unique genes activated by butyrate-induced histone modification

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Butyrate is a nutritional element with strong epigenetic regulatory activity as an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs). Based on the analysis of differentially expressed genes induced by butyrate in the bovine epithelial cell using deep RNA-sequencing technology (RNA-seq), a set of unique gen...

  6. 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

  7. Structures of Down syndrome kinases, DYRKs, reveal mechanisms of kinase activation and substrate recognition.

    PubMed

    Soundararajan, Meera; Roos, Annette K; Savitsky, Pavel; Filippakopoulos, Panagis; Kettenbach, Arminja N; Olsen, Jesper V; Gerber, Scott A; Eswaran, Jeyanthy; Knapp, Stefan; Elkins, Jonathan M

    2013-06-01

    Dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) play key roles in brain development, regulation of splicing, and apoptosis, and are potential drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. We present crystal structures of one representative member of each DYRK subfamily: DYRK1A with an ATP-mimetic inhibitor and consensus peptide, and DYRK2 including NAPA and DH (DYRK homology) box regions. The current activation model suggests that DYRKs are Ser/Thr kinases that only autophosphorylate the second tyrosine of the activation loop YxY motif during protein translation. The structures explain the roles of this tyrosine and of the DH box in DYRK activation and provide a structural model for DYRK substrate recognition. Phosphorylation of a library of naturally occurring peptides identified substrate motifs that lack proline in the P+1 position, suggesting that DYRK1A is not a strictly proline-directed kinase. Our data also show that DYRK1A wild-type and Y321F mutant retain tyrosine autophosphorylation activity. PMID:23665168

  8. Structures of Down Syndrome Kinases, DYRKs, Reveal Mechanisms of Kinase Activation and Substrate Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Soundararajan, Meera; Roos, Annette K.; Savitsky, Pavel; Filippakopoulos, Panagis; Kettenbach, Arminja N.; Olsen, Jesper V.; Gerber, Scott A.; Eswaran, Jeyanthy; Knapp, Stefan; Elkins, Jonathan M.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) play key roles in brain development, regulation of splicing, and apoptosis, and are potential drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. We present crystal structures of one representative member of each DYRK subfamily: DYRK1A with an ATP-mimetic inhibitor and consensus peptide, and DYRK2 including NAPA and DH (DYRK homology) box regions. The current activation model suggests that DYRKs are Ser/Thr kinases that only autophosphorylate the second tyrosine of the activation loop YxY motif during protein translation. The structures explain the roles of this tyrosine and of the DH box in DYRK activation and provide a structural model for DYRK substrate recognition. Phosphorylation of a library of naturally occurring peptides identified substrate motifs that lack proline in the P+1 position, suggesting that DYRK1A is not a strictly proline-directed kinase. Our data also show that DYRK1A wild-type and Y321F mutant retain tyrosine autophosphorylation activity. PMID:23665168

  9. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Liu, Jing; Zhang, John X

    2012-03-01

    With tasks involving action concept comprehension, many fMRI studies have reported brain activations in sensori-motor regions specific to effectors of the referent action. There is relatively less evidence whether such activations reflect early semantic access or late conceptual re-processing. Here we recorded event-related potentials when participants recognized noun-verb pairs. For Congruent pairs, the verb was the one most commonly associated with the noun (e.g., football-kick). Compared with a control condition, verbs in Congruent pairs showed priming effects in the time windows of 100-150 ms and 210-260 ms. Such activation seems to be specific to body part but not other aspects of the action as similar priming effect was also found when the noun and verb involved different actions though sharing the same body part (e.g., football-jump), documenting for the first time the early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension. PMID:22306088

  10. Event-related potentials reveal early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Liu, Jing; Zhang, John X

    2012-03-01

    With tasks involving action concept comprehension, many fMRI studies have reported brain activations in sensori-motor regions specific to effectors of the referent action. There is relatively less evidence whether such activations reflect early semantic access or late conceptual re-processing. Here we recorded event-related potentials when participants recognized noun-verb pairs. For Congruent pairs, the verb was the one most commonly associated with the noun (e.g., football-kick). Compared with a control condition, verbs in Congruent pairs showed priming effects in the time windows of 100-150 ms and 210-260 ms. Such activation seems to be specific to body part but not other aspects of the action as similar priming effect was also found when the noun and verb involved different actions though sharing the same body part (e.g., football-jump), documenting for the first time the early activation of body part representations in action concept comprehension.

  11. Multichannel brain recordings in behaving Drosophila reveal oscillatory activity and local coherence in response to sensory stimulation and circuit activation

    PubMed Central

    Paulk, Angelique C.; Zhou, Yanqiong; Stratton, Peter; Liu, Li

    2013-01-01

    Neural networks in vertebrates exhibit endogenous oscillations that have been associated with functions ranging from sensory processing to locomotion. It remains unclear whether oscillations may play a similar role in the insect brain. We describe a novel “whole brain” readout for Drosophila melanogaster using a simple multichannel recording preparation to study electrical activity across the brain of flies exposed to different sensory stimuli. We recorded local field potential (LFP) activity from >2,000 registered recording sites across the fly brain in >200 wild-type and transgenic animals to uncover specific LFP frequency bands that correlate with: 1) brain region; 2) sensory modality (olfactory, visual, or mechanosensory); and 3) activity in specific neural circuits. We found endogenous and stimulus-specific oscillations throughout the fly brain. Central (higher-order) brain regions exhibited sensory modality-specific increases in power within narrow frequency bands. Conversely, in sensory brain regions such as the optic or antennal lobes, LFP coherence, rather than power, best defined sensory responses across modalities. By transiently activating specific circuits via expression of TrpA1, we found that several circuits in the fly brain modulate LFP power and coherence across brain regions and frequency domains. However, activation of a neuromodulatory octopaminergic circuit specifically increased neuronal coherence in the optic lobes during visual stimulation while decreasing coherence in central brain regions. Our multichannel recording and brain registration approach provides an effective way to track activity simultaneously across the fly brain in vivo, allowing investigation of functional roles for oscillations in processing sensory stimuli and modulating behavior. PMID:23864378

  12. Structure of inorganic pyrophosphatase from Staphylococcus aureus reveals conformational flexibility of the active site.

    PubMed

    Gajadeera, Chathurada S; Zhang, Xinyi; Wei, Yinan; Tsodikov, Oleg V

    2015-02-01

    Cytoplasmic inorganic pyrophosphatase (PPiase) is an enzyme essential for survival of organisms, from bacteria to human. PPiases are divided into two structurally distinct families: family I PPiases are Mg(2+)-dependent and present in most archaea, eukaryotes and prokaryotes, whereas the relatively less understood family II PPiases are Mn(2+)-dependent and present only in some archaea, bacteria and primitive eukaryotes. Staphylococcus aureus (SA), a dangerous pathogen and a frequent cause of hospital infections, contains a family II PPiase (PpaC), which is an attractive potential target for development of novel antibacterial agents. We determined a crystal structure of SA PpaC in complex with catalytic Mn(2+) at 2.1Å resolution. The active site contains two catalytic Mn(2+) binding sites, each half-occupied, reconciling the previously observed 1:1 Mn(2+):enzyme stoichiometry with the presence of two divalent metal ion sites in the apo-enzyme. Unexpectedly, despite the absence of the substrate or products in the active site, the two domains of SA PpaC form a closed active site, a conformation observed in structures of other family II PPiases only in complex with substrate or product mimics. A region spanning residues 295-298, which contains a conserved substrate binding RKK motif, is flipped out of the active site, an unprecedented conformation for a PPiase. Because the mutant of Arg295 to an alanine is devoid of activity, this loop likely undergoes an induced-fit conformational change upon substrate binding and product dissociation. This closed conformation of SA PPiase may serve as an attractive target for rational design of inhibitors of this enzyme. PMID:25576794

  13. Fractionation of a herbal antidiarrheal medicine reveals eugenol as an inhibitor of Ca2+-Activated Cl- channel TMEM16A.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zhen; Namkung, Wan; Ko, Eun A; Park, Jinhong; Tradtrantip, Lukmanee; Verkman, A S

    2012-01-01

    The Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel TMEM16A is involved in epithelial fluid secretion, smooth muscle contraction and neurosensory signaling. We identified a Thai herbal antidiarrheal formulation that inhibited TMEM16A Cl(-) conductance. C18-reversed-phase HPLC fractionation of the herbal formulation revealed >98% of TMEM16A inhibition activity in one out of approximately 20 distinct peaks. The purified, active compound was identified as eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), the major component of clove oil. Eugenol fully inhibited TMEM16A Cl(-) conductance with single-site IC(50)~150 µM. Eugenol inhibition of TMEM16A in interstitial cells of Cajal produced strong inhibition of intestinal contraction in mouse ileal segments. TMEM16A Cl(-) channel inhibition adds to the list of eugenol molecular targets and may account for some of its biological activities. PMID:22666439

  14. Fractionation of a Herbal Antidiarrheal Medicine Reveals Eugenol as an Inhibitor of Ca2+-Activated Cl− Channel TMEM16A

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Zhen; Namkung, Wan; Ko, Eun A.; Park, Jinhong; Tradtrantip, Lukmanee; Verkman, A. S.

    2012-01-01

    The Ca2+-activated Cl− channel TMEM16A is involved in epithelial fluid secretion, smooth muscle contraction and neurosensory signaling. We identified a Thai herbal antidiarrheal formulation that inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance. C18-reversed-phase HPLC fractionation of the herbal formulation revealed >98% of TMEM16A inhibition activity in one out of approximately 20 distinct peaks. The purified, active compound was identified as eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), the major component of clove oil. Eugenol fully inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance with single-site IC50∼150 µM. Eugenol inhibition of TMEM16A in interstitial cells of Cajal produced strong inhibition of intestinal contraction in mouse ileal segments. TMEM16A Cl− channel inhibition adds to the list of eugenol molecular targets and may account for some of its biological activities. PMID:22666439

  15. Characterization of purified human Bact spliceosomal complexes reveals compositional and morphological changes during spliceosome activation and first step catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Bessonov, Sergey; Anokhina, Maria; Krasauskas, Andrius; Golas, Monika M.; Sander, Bjoern; Will, Cindy L.; Urlaub, Henning; Stark, Holger; Lührmann, Reinhard

    2010-01-01

    To better understand the compositional and structural dynamics of the human spliceosome during its activation, we set out to isolate spliceosomal complexes formed after precatalytic B but prior to catalytically active C complexes. By shortening the polypyrimidine tract of the PM5 pre-mRNA, which lacks a 3′ splice site and 3′ exon, we stalled spliceosome assembly at the activation stage. We subsequently affinity purified human Bact complexes under the same conditions previously used to isolate B and C complexes, and analyzed their protein composition by mass spectrometry. A comparison of the protein composition of these complexes allowed a fine dissection of compositional changes during the B to Bact and Bact to C transitions, and comparisons with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bact complex revealed that the compositional dynamics of the spliceosome during activation are largely conserved between lower and higher eukaryotes. Human SF3b155 and CDC5L were shown to be phosphorylated specifically during the B to Bact and Bact to C transition, respectively, suggesting these modifications function at these stages of splicing. The two-dimensional structure of the human Bact complex was determined by electron microscopy, and a comparison with the B complex revealed that the morphology of the human spliceosome changes significantly during its activation. The overall architecture of the human and S. cerevisiae Bact complex is similar, suggesting that many of the higher order interactions among spliceosomal components, as well as their dynamics, are also largely conserved. PMID:20980672

  16. Fluid escape structures in the Graham Bank region (Sicily Channel, Central Mediterranean) revealing volcanic and neotectonic activity.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spatola, Daniele; Pennino, Valentina; Basilone, Luca; Interbartolo, Francesco; Micallef, Aaron; Sulli, Attilio; Basilone, Walter

    2016-04-01

    morphometric analysis of these volcanoes has been conducted: they are up to about 115-160 m high and 500-1500 m wide. Most of them show very strongly inclined flanks with 30° of average slope. The SCV2 and SCV3 form the Graham Bank, 3.5X2.8 km wide, elongated in the NW-SE direction. At the top of SCV2 focused seepage plumes were observed in the entire water column, through the CHIRP data, where we calculated that they release, a volume of about 10950 m3 and 43960 m3of gases, respectively. In this work, we present the first results of a data collection that have got as main result the identification and mapping of the fluid escape structures revealing the relationship between the active tectonic with migration of fluids, to be used to assess the Submarine Geo-Hazard in the Sicily Channel. We identified two fluid escape fields whose genesis and evolution appear linked to the neotectonic and volcanic activities respectively, that represent the main controlling factors for the migration of fluid; considering the good correlation between pockmarks and the main identified fault systems. In conclusion, our results suggest that the degassing of fluids in this region is rooted at depth, and is mainly aligned with the NW-SE dip/strike slip fault systems, repeatedly reactivated, and linked to the volcanic activity.

  17. A Global Genomic Screening Strategy Reveals Genetic and Chemical Activators ofPeroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor alpha (PPARalpha)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive survey of chemical, diet and genetic perturbations that activate PPARalpha in the mouse liver has not been carried out but would be useful to identify the factors that may contribute to PPARalpha-dependent liver tumors. A gene signature dependent on PPARalpha ac...

  18. Synthesis of Isomeric Phosphoubiquitin Chains Reveals that Phosphorylation Controls Deubiquitinase Activity and Specificity.

    PubMed

    Huguenin-Dezot, Nicolas; De Cesare, Virginia; Peltier, Julien; Knebel, Axel; Kristaryianto, Yosua Adi; Rogerson, Daniel T; Kulathu, Yogesh; Trost, Matthias; Chin, Jason W

    2016-07-26

    Ubiquitin is post-translationally modified by phosphorylation at several sites, but the consequences of these modifications are largely unknown. Here, we synthesize multi-milligram quantities of ubiquitin phosphorylated at serine 20, serine 57, and serine 65 via genetic code expansion. We use these phosphoubiquitins for the enzymatic assembly of 20 isomeric phosphoubiquitin dimers, with different sites of isopeptide linkage and/or phosphorylation. We discover that phosphorylation of serine 20 on ubiquitin converts UBE3C from a dual-specificity E3 ligase into a ligase that primarily synthesizes K48 chains. We profile the activity of 31 deubiquitinases on the isomeric phosphoubiquitin dimers in 837 reactions, and we discover that phosphorylation at distinct sites in ubiquitin can activate or repress cleavage of a particular linkage by deubiquitinases and that phosphorylation at a single site in ubiquitin can control the specificity of deubiquitinases for distinct ubiquitin linkages. PMID:27425610

  19. Protrusion force microscopy reveals oscillatory force generation and mechanosensing activity of human macrophage podosomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labernadie, Anna; Bouissou, Anaïs; Delobelle, Patrick; Balor, Stéphanie; Voituriez, Raphael; Proag, Amsha; Fourquaux, Isabelle; Thibault, Christophe; Vieu, Christophe; Poincloux, Renaud; Charrière, Guillaume M.; Maridonneau-Parini, Isabelle

    2014-11-01

    Podosomes are adhesion structures formed in monocyte-derived cells. They are F-actin-rich columns perpendicular to the substrate surrounded by a ring of integrins. Here, to measure podosome protrusive forces, we designed an innovative experimental setup named protrusion force microscopy (PFM), which consists in measuring by atomic force microscopy the deformation induced by living cells onto a compliant Formvar sheet. By quantifying the heights of protrusions made by podosomes onto Formvar sheets, we estimate that a single podosome generates a protrusion force that increases with the stiffness of the substratum, which is a hallmark of mechanosensing activity. We show that the protrusive force generated at podosomes oscillates with a constant period and requires combined actomyosin contraction and actin polymerization. Finally, we elaborate a model to explain the mechanical and oscillatory activities of podosomes. Thus, PFM shows that podosomes are mechanosensing cell structures exerting a protrusive force.

  20. Protrusion force microscopy reveals oscillatory force generation and mechanosensing activity of human macrophage podosomes.

    PubMed

    Labernadie, Anna; Bouissou, Anaïs; Delobelle, Patrick; Balor, Stéphanie; Voituriez, Raphael; Proag, Amsha; Fourquaux, Isabelle; Thibault, Christophe; Vieu, Christophe; Poincloux, Renaud; Charrière, Guillaume M; Maridonneau-Parini, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    Podosomes are adhesion structures formed in monocyte-derived cells. They are F-actin-rich columns perpendicular to the substrate surrounded by a ring of integrins. Here, to measure podosome protrusive forces, we designed an innovative experimental setup named protrusion force microscopy (PFM), which consists in measuring by atomic force microscopy the deformation induced by living cells onto a compliant Formvar sheet. By quantifying the heights of protrusions made by podosomes onto Formvar sheets, we estimate that a single podosome generates a protrusion force that increases with the stiffness of the substratum, which is a hallmark of mechanosensing activity. We show that the protrusive force generated at podosomes oscillates with a constant period and requires combined actomyosin contraction and actin polymerization. Finally, we elaborate a model to explain the mechanical and oscillatory activities of podosomes. Thus, PFM shows that podosomes are mechanosensing cell structures exerting a protrusive force. PMID:25385672

  1. Stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanoma imaging for dermatologists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Lian, Christine; Ma, Jie; Yu, Jingyi; Gu, Zetong; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2014-02-01

    Previous research has shown that the stepwise multi-photon activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser, is a low cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in a mouse hair and a formalin fixed mouse melanoma were compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) images and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM) images, all of which were acquired at an excitation wavelength of 920 nm, to further prove the effectiveness of SMPAF in detecting melanin. SMPAF images add specificity for melanin detection to MPFM images and CRM images. Melanin SMPAF can be a promising technology to enable melanoma imaging for dermatologists.

  2. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    van Ede, Freek; Maris, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials). Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance. PMID:27336159

  3. Active Trans-Plasma Membrane Water Cycling in Yeast Is Revealed by NMR

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yajie; Poirier-Quinot, Marie; Springer, Charles S.; Balschi, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Plasma membrane water transport is a crucial cellular phenomenon. Net water movement in response to an osmotic gradient changes cell volume. Steady-state exchange of water molecules, with no net flux or volume change, occurs by passive diffusion through the phospholipid bilayer and passage through membrane proteins. The hypothesis is tested that plasma membrane water exchange also correlates with ATP-driven membrane transport activity in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Longitudinal 1H2O NMR relaxation time constant (T1) values were measured in yeast suspensions containing extracellular relaxation reagent. Two-site-exchange analysis quantified the reversible exchange kinetics as the mean intracellular water lifetime (τi), where τi−1 is the pseudo-first-order rate constant for water efflux. To modulate cellular ATP, yeast suspensions were bubbled with 95%O2/5%CO2 (O2) or 95%N2/5%CO2 (N2). ATP was high during O2, and τi−1 was 3.1 s−1 at 25°C. After changing to N2, ATP decreased and τi−1 was 1.8 s−1. The principal active yeast ion transport protein is the plasma membrane H+-ATPase. Studies using the H+-ATPase inhibitor ebselen or a yeast genetic strain with reduced H+-ATPase found reduced τi−1, notwithstanding high ATP. Steady-state water exchange correlates with H+-ATPase activity. At volume steady state, water is cycling across the plasma membrane in response to metabolic transport activity. PMID:22261073

  4. Conformational study reveals amino acid residues essential for hemagglutinating and anti-proliferative activities of Clematis montana lectin.

    PubMed

    Lu, Bangmin; Zhang, Bin; Qi, Wei; Zhu, Yanan; Zhao, Yan; Zhou, Nan; Sun, Rong; Bao, Jinku; Wu, Chuanfang

    2014-11-01

    Clematis montana lectin (CML), a novel mannose-binding lectin purified from C. montana Buch.-Ham stem (Ranunculaceae), has been proved to have hemagglutinating activity in rabbit erythrocytes and apoptosis-inducing activity in tumor cells. However, the biochemical properties of CML have not revealed and its structural information still needs to be elucidated. In this study, it was found that CML possessed quite good thermostability and alkaline resistance, and its hemagglutinating activity was bivalent metal cation dependent. In addition, hemagglutination test and fluorescence spectroscopy proved that GuHCl, urea, and sodium dodecyl sulfate could change the conformation of CML and further caused the loss of hemagglutination activity. Moreover, the changes of fluorescence spectrum indicated that the tryptophan (Trp) microenvironment conversion might be related to the conformation and bioactivities of CML. In addition, it was also found that Trp residues, arginine (Arg) residues, and sulfhydryl were important for the hemagglutinating activity of CML, but only Trp was proved to be crucial for the CML conformation. Furthermore, the Trp, Arg, and sulfhydryl-modified CML exhibited 97.17%, 76.99%, and 49.64% loss of its anti-proliferative activity, respectively, which was consistent with the alterations of its hemagglutinating activity. Given these findings, Trp residues on the surface of CML are essential for the active center to form substrate-accessible conformation and suitable environment for carbohydrate binding. PMID:25239139

  5. A new autocatalytic activation mechanism for cysteine proteases revealed by Prevotella intermedia interpain A

    PubMed Central

    Mallorquí-Fernández, Noemí; Manandhar, Surya P.; Mallorquí-Fernández, Goretti; Usón, Isabel; Wawrzonek, Katarzyna; Kantyka, Tomasz; Solà, Maria; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Enghild, Jan J.; Potempa, Jan; Gomis-Rüth, F.Xavier

    2009-01-01

    Prevotella intermedia is a major periodontopathogen contributing to human gingivitis and periodontitis. Such pathogens release proteases as virulence factors that cause deterrence of host defences and tissue destruction. A new cysteine protease from the cysteine-histidine-dyad class, interpain A, was studied in its zymogenic and its self-processed mature form. The latter consists of a bivalved moiety made up by two subdomains. In the structure of a catalytic cysteine-to-alanine zymogen variant, the right subdomain interacts with an unusual prodomain, thus contributing to latency. Unlike the catalytic cysteine residue, already in its competent conformation in the zymogen, the catalytic histidine is swung out from its active conformation and trapped in a cage shaped by a backing helix, a zymogenic hairpin and a latency flap in the zymogen. Dramatic rearrangement of up to 20Å of these elements triggered by a tryptophan switch occurs during activation and accounts for a new activation mechanism for proteolytic enzymes. These findings can be extrapolated to related potentially pathogenic cysteine proteases such as Streprococcus pyogenes SpeB and Porphyromonas gingivalis periodontain. PMID:17993455

  6. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

  7. Structure of Human Acid Sphingomyelinase Reveals the Role of the Saposin Domain in Activating Substrate Hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Zi-Jian; Huang, Jingjing; Poda, Gennady; Pomès, Régis; Privé, Gilbert G

    2016-07-31

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is a lysosomal phosphodiesterase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to produce ceramide and phosphocholine. While other lysosomal sphingolipid hydrolases require a saposin activator protein for full activity, the ASM polypeptide incorporates a built-in N-terminal saposin domain and does not require an external activator protein. Here, we report the crystal structure of human ASM and describe the organization of the three main regions of the enzyme: the N-terminal saposin domain, the proline-rich connector, and the catalytic domain. The saposin domain is tightly associated along an edge of the large, bowl-shaped catalytic domain and adopts an open form that exposes a hydrophobic concave surface approximately 30Å from the catalytic center. The calculated electrostatic potential of the enzyme is electropositive at the acidic pH of the lysosome, consistent with the strict requirement for the presence of acidic lipids in target membranes. Docking studies indicate that sphingomyelin binds with the ceramide-phosphate group positioned at the binuclear zinc center and molecular dynamic simulations indicate that the intrinsic flexibility of the saposin domain is important for monomer-dimer exchange and for membrane interactions. Overall, ASM uses a combination of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions to cause local disruptions of target bilayers in order to bring the lipid headgroup to the catalytic center in a membrane-bound reaction. PMID:27349982

  8. Analysis of protein phosphorylation in nerve terminal reveals extensive changes in active zone proteins upon exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Kohansal-Nodehi, Mahdokht; Chua, John JE; Urlaub, Henning; Jahn, Reinhard; Czernik, Dominika

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitter release is mediated by the fast, calcium-triggered fusion of synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane, followed by endocytosis and recycling of the membrane of synaptic vesicles. While many of the proteins governing these processes are known, their regulation is only beginning to be understood. Here we have applied quantitative phosphoproteomics to identify changes in phosphorylation status of presynaptic proteins in resting and stimulated nerve terminals isolated from the brains of Wistar rats. Using rigorous quantification, we identified 252 phosphosites that are either up- or downregulated upon triggering calcium-dependent exocytosis. Particularly pronounced were regulated changes of phosphosites within protein constituents of the presynaptic active zone, including bassoon, piccolo, and RIM1. Additionally, we have mapped kinases and phosphatases that are activated upon stimulation. Overall, our study provides a snapshot of phosphorylation changes associated with presynaptic activity and provides a foundation for further functional analysis of key phosphosites involved in presynaptic plasticity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14530.001 PMID:27115346

  9. Spores of many common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity in oil immersion freezing experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Grothe, H.

    2013-12-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to act as ice nuclei. In this study the ice nucleation (IN) activity of spores harvested from 29 fungal strains belonging to 21 different species was tested in the immersion freezing mode by microscopic observation of water-in-oil emulsions. Spores of 8 of these strains were also investigated in a microdroplet freezing array instrument. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. Besides common molds (Ascomycota), some representatives of the widespread group of mushrooms (Basidiomycota) were also investigated. Fusarium avenaceum was the only sample showing IN activity at relatively high temperatures (about 264 K), while the other investigated fungal spores showed no freezing above 248 K. Many of the samples indeed froze at homogeneous ice nucleation temperatures (about 237 K). In combination with other studies, this suggests that only a limited number of species may act as atmospheric ice nuclei. This would be analogous to what is already known for the bacterial ice nuclei. Apart from that, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during their cultivation. This was in order to test if the exposure to a cold environment encourages the expression of ice nuclei during growth as a way of adaptation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  10. Retinal orientation and interactions in rhodopsin reveal a two-stage trigger mechanism for activation

    PubMed Central

    Kimata, Naoki; Pope, Andreyah; Eilers, Markus; Opefi, Chikwado A.; Ziliox, Martine; Hirshfeld, Amiram; Zaitseva, Ekaterina; Vogel, Reiner; Sheves, Mordechai; Reeves, Philip J.; Smith, Steven O.

    2016-01-01

    The 11-cis retinal chromophore is tightly packed within the interior of the visual receptor rhodopsin and isomerizes to the all-trans configuration following absorption of light. The mechanism by which this isomerization event drives the outward rotation of transmembrane helix H6, a hallmark of activated G protein-coupled receptors, is not well established. To address this question, we use solid-state NMR and FTIR spectroscopy to define the orientation and interactions of the retinal chromophore in the active metarhodopsin II intermediate. Here we show that isomerization of the 11-cis retinal chromophore generates strong steric interactions between its β-ionone ring and transmembrane helices H5 and H6, while deprotonation of its protonated Schiff's base triggers the rearrangement of the hydrogen-bonding network involving residues on H6 and within the second extracellular loop. We integrate these observations with previous structural and functional studies to propose a two-stage mechanism for rhodopsin activation. PMID:27585742

  11. 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

  12. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Mechanisms of Allosteric Activation of Hsp90 by Designed Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Vettoretti, Gerolamo; Moroni, Elisabetta; Sattin, Sara; Tao, Jiahui; Agard, David A.; Bernardi, Anna; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Controlling biochemical pathways through chemically designed modulators may provide novel opportunities to develop therapeutic drugs and chemical tools. The underlying challenge is to design new molecular entities able to act as allosteric chemical switches that selectively turn on/off functions by modulating the conformational dynamics of their target protein. We examine the origins of the stimulation of ATPase and closure kinetics in the molecular chaperone Hsp90 by allosteric modulators through atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and analysis of protein-ligand interactions. In particular, we focus on the cross-talk between allosteric ligands and protein conformations and its effect on the dynamic properties of the chaperone’s active state. We examine the impact of different allosteric modulators on the stability, structural and internal dynamics properties of Hsp90 closed state. A critical aspect of this study is the development of a quantitative model that correlates Hsp90 activation to the presence of a certain compound, making use of information on the dynamic adaptation of protein conformations to the presence of the ligand, which allows to capture conformational states relevant in the activation process. We discuss the implications of considering the conformational dialogue between allosteric ligands and protein conformations for the design of new functional modulators. PMID:27032695

  13. Structure of Human Acid Sphingomyelinase Reveals the Role of the Saposin Domain in Activating Substrate Hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Zi-Jian; Huang, Jingjing; Poda, Gennady; Pomès, Régis; Privé, Gilbert G

    2016-07-31

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is a lysosomal phosphodiesterase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to produce ceramide and phosphocholine. While other lysosomal sphingolipid hydrolases require a saposin activator protein for full activity, the ASM polypeptide incorporates a built-in N-terminal saposin domain and does not require an external activator protein. Here, we report the crystal structure of human ASM and describe the organization of the three main regions of the enzyme: the N-terminal saposin domain, the proline-rich connector, and the catalytic domain. The saposin domain is tightly associated along an edge of the large, bowl-shaped catalytic domain and adopts an open form that exposes a hydrophobic concave surface approximately 30Å from the catalytic center. The calculated electrostatic potential of the enzyme is electropositive at the acidic pH of the lysosome, consistent with the strict requirement for the presence of acidic lipids in target membranes. Docking studies indicate that sphingomyelin binds with the ceramide-phosphate group positioned at the binuclear zinc center and molecular dynamic simulations indicate that the intrinsic flexibility of the saposin domain is important for monomer-dimer exchange and for membrane interactions. Overall, ASM uses a combination of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions to cause local disruptions of target bilayers in order to bring the lipid headgroup to the catalytic center in a membrane-bound reaction.

  14. Polycomb repressive complex 2 structure with inhibitor reveals a mechanism of activation and drug resistance

    PubMed Central

    Brooun, Alexei; Gajiwala, Ketan S.; Deng, Ya-Li; Liu, Wei; Bolaños, Ben; Bingham, Patrick; He, You-Ai; Diehl, Wade; Grable, Nicole; Kung, Pei-Pei; Sutton, Scott; Maegley, Karen A.; Yu, Xiu; Stewart, Al E.

    2016-01-01

    Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) mediates gene silencing through chromatin reorganization by methylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27). Overexpression of the complex and point mutations in the individual subunits of PRC2 have been shown to contribute to tumorigenesis. Several inhibitors of the PRC2 activity have shown efficacy in EZH2-mutated lymphomas and are currently in clinical development, although the molecular basis of inhibitor recognition remains unknown. Here we report the crystal structures of the inhibitor-bound wild-type and Y641N PRC2. The structures illuminate an important role played by a stretch of 17 residues in the N-terminal region of EZH2, we call the activation loop, in the stimulation of the enzyme activity, inhibitor recognition and the potential development of the mutation-mediated drug resistance. The work presented here provides new avenues for the design and development of next-generation PRC2 inhibitors through establishment of a structure-based drug design platform. PMID:27122193

  15. Retinal orientation and interactions in rhodopsin reveal a two-stage trigger mechanism for activation.

    PubMed

    Kimata, Naoki; Pope, Andreyah; Eilers, Markus; Opefi, Chikwado A; Ziliox, Martine; Hirshfeld, Amiram; Zaitseva, Ekaterina; Vogel, Reiner; Sheves, Mordechai; Reeves, Philip J; Smith, Steven O

    2016-01-01

    The 11-cis retinal chromophore is tightly packed within the interior of the visual receptor rhodopsin and isomerizes to the all-trans configuration following absorption of light. The mechanism by which this isomerization event drives the outward rotation of transmembrane helix H6, a hallmark of activated G protein-coupled receptors, is not well established. To address this question, we use solid-state NMR and FTIR spectroscopy to define the orientation and interactions of the retinal chromophore in the active metarhodopsin II intermediate. Here we show that isomerization of the 11-cis retinal chromophore generates strong steric interactions between its β-ionone ring and transmembrane helices H5 and H6, while deprotonation of its protonated Schiff's base triggers the rearrangement of the hydrogen-bonding network involving residues on H6 and within the second extracellular loop. We integrate these observations with previous structural and functional studies to propose a two-stage mechanism for rhodopsin activation. PMID:27585742

  16. 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

  17. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M. Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; de Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P.; Gutiérrez, Pedro J.; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F.; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M.; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J.; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

  18. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface. PMID:26135448

  19. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Mechanisms of Allosteric Activation of Hsp90 by Designed Ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vettoretti, Gerolamo; Moroni, Elisabetta; Sattin, Sara; Tao, Jiahui; Agard, David A.; Bernardi, Anna; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-04-01

    Controlling biochemical pathways through chemically designed modulators may provide novel opportunities to develop therapeutic drugs and chemical tools. The underlying challenge is to design new molecular entities able to act as allosteric chemical switches that selectively turn on/off functions by modulating the conformational dynamics of their target protein. We examine the origins of the stimulation of ATPase and closure kinetics in the molecular chaperone Hsp90 by allosteric modulators through atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and analysis of protein-ligand interactions. In particular, we focus on the cross-talk between allosteric ligands and protein conformations and its effect on the dynamic properties of the chaperone’s active state. We examine the impact of different allosteric modulators on the stability, structural and internal dynamics properties of Hsp90 closed state. A critical aspect of this study is the development of a quantitative model that correlates Hsp90 activation to the presence of a certain compound, making use of information on the dynamic adaptation of protein conformations to the presence of the ligand, which allows to capture conformational states relevant in the activation process. We discuss the implications of considering the conformational dialogue between allosteric ligands and protein conformations for the design of new functional modulators.

  20. Active methanotrophs in two contrasting North American peatland ecosystems revealed using DNA-SIP.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Varun; Smemo, Kurt A; Yavitt, Joseph B; Basiliko, Nathan

    2012-02-01

    The active methanotroph community was investigated in two contrasting North American peatlands, a nutrient-rich sedge fen and nutrient-poor Sphagnum bog using in vitro incubations and (13)C-DNA stable-isotope probing (SIP) to measure methane (CH(4)) oxidation rates and label active microbes followed by fingerprinting and sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rDNA and methane monooxygenase (pmoA and mmoX) genes. Rates of CH(4) oxidation were slightly, but significantly, faster in the bog and methanotrophs belonged to the class Alphaproteobacteria and were similar to other methanotrophs of the genera Methylocystis, Methylosinus, and Methylocapsa or Methylocella detected in, or isolated from, European bogs. The fen had a greater phylogenetic diversity of organisms that had assimilated (13)C, including methanotrophs from both the Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria classes and other potentially non-methanotrophic organisms that were similar to bacteria detected in a UK and Finnish fen. Based on similarities between bacteria in our sites and those in Europe, including Russia, we conclude that site physicochemical characteristics rather than biogeography controlled the phylogenetic diversity of active methanotrophs and that differences in phylogenetic diversity between the bog and fen did not relate to measured CH(4) oxidation rates. A single crenarchaeon in the bog site appeared to be assimilating (13)C in 16S rDNA; however, its phylogenetic similarity to other CO(2)-utilizing archaea probably indicates that this organism is not directly involved in CH(4) oxidation in peat.

  1. Structural basis for PPAR partial or full activation revealed by a novel ligand binding mode

    PubMed Central

    Capelli, Davide; Cerchia, Carmen; Montanari, Roberta; Loiodice, Fulvio; Tortorella, Paolo; Laghezza, Antonio; Cervoni, Laura; Pochetti, Giorgio; Lavecchia, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed PPARγ full agonists, is considered the major challenge for the pharmaceutical companies. Here we present a structure-based virtual screening approach that let us identify a novel PPAR pan-agonist with a very attractive activity profile and its crystal structure in the complex with PPARα and PPARγ, respectively. In PPARα this ligand occupies a new pocket whose filling is allowed by the ligand-induced switching of the F273 side chain from a closed to an open conformation. The comparison between this pocket and the corresponding cavity in PPARγ provides a rationale for the different activation of the ligand towards PPARα and PPARγ, suggesting a novel basis for ligand design. PMID:27708429

  2. Active faults in the deformation zone off Noto Peninsula, Japan, revealed by high- resolution seismic profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, T.; Okamura, Y.; Murakami, F.; Kimura, H.; Ikehara, K.

    2008-12-01

    Recently, a lot of earthquakes occur in Japan. The deformation zone which many faults and folds have concentrated exists on the Japan Sea side of Japan. The 2007 Noto Hanto Earthquake (MJMA 6.9) and 2007 Chuetsu-oki Earthquake (MJMA 6.8) were caused by activity of parts of faults in this deformation zone. The Noto Hanto Earthquake occurred on 25 March, 2007 under the northwestern coast of Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. This earthquake is located in Quaternary deformation zone that is continued from northern margin of Noto Peninsula to southeast direction (Okamura, 2007a). National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) carried out high-resolution seismic survey using Boomer and 12 channels short streamer cable in the northern part off Noto Peninsula, in order to clarify distribution and activities of active faults in the deformation zone. A twelve channels short streamer cable with 2.5 meter channel spacing developed by AIST and private corporation is designed to get high resolution seismic profiles in shallow sea area. The multi-channel system is possible to equip on a small fishing boat, because the data acquisition system is based on PC and the length of the cable is short and easy to handle. Moreover, because the channel spacing is short, this cable is very effective for a high- resolution seismic profiling survey in the shallow sea, and seismic data obtained by multi-channel cable can be improved by velocity analysis and CDP stack. In the northern part off Noto Peninsula, seismic profiles depicting geologic structure up to 100 meters deep under sea floor were obtained. The most remarkable reflection surface recognized in the seismic profiles is erosion surface at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In the western part, sediments about 30 meters (40 msec) thick cover the erosional surface that is distributed under the shelf shallower than 100m in depth and the sediments thin toward offshore and east. Flexures like deformation in

  3. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

    2013-06-27

    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time. PMID:23803848

  4. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

    2013-06-27

    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time.

  5. Native Electrophoresis-Coupled Activity Assays Reveal Catalytically-Active Protein Aggregates of Escherichia coli β-Glucuronidase

    PubMed Central

    Burchett, Gina G.; Folsom, Charles G.; Lane, Kimberly T.

    2015-01-01

    β-glucuronidase is found as a functional homotetramer in a variety of organisms, including humans and other animals, as well as a number of bacteria. This enzyme is important in these organisms, catalyzing the hydrolytic removal of a glucuronide moiety from substrate molecules. This process serves to break down sugar conjugates in animals and provide sugars for metabolism in bacteria. While β-glucuronidase is primarily found as a homotetramer, previous studies have indicated that the human form of the protein is also catalytically active as a dimer. Here we present evidence for not only an active dimer of the E. coli form of the protein, but also for several larger active complexes, including an octomer and a 16-mer. Additionally, we propose a model for the structures of these large complexes, based on computationally-derived molecular modeling studies. These structures may have application in the study of human disease, as several diseases have been associated with the aggregation of proteins. PMID:26121040

  6. A genome scale overexpression screen to reveal drug activity in human cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Target identification is a critical step in the lengthy and expensive process of drug development. Here, we describe a genome-wide screening platform that uses systematic overexpression of pooled human ORFs to understand drug mode-of-action and resistance mechanisms. We first calibrated our screen with the well-characterized drug methotrexate. We then identified new genes involved in the bioactivity of diverse drugs including antineoplastic agents and biologically active molecules. Finally, we focused on the transcription factor RHOXF2 whose overexpression conferred resistance to DNA damaging agents. This approach represents an orthogonal method for functional screening and, to our knowledge, has never been reported before. PMID:24944581

  7. The asymmetry of (-)α-pinene as revealed from its raman optical activity spectrum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Peijie; Fang, Yan; Wu, Guozhen

    2013-10-01

    An algorithm is employed to retrieve the differential bond polarizabilities of the C-C bonds from the Raman optical activity (ROA) spectrum of (-)α-pinene. (-)α-pinene possesses two asymmetric centers (carbon atoms) and a local mirror symmetry. These differential bond polarizabilities show the characteristics of the asymmetry around the asymmetric carbons with respect to the mirror reflection. This analysis is accompanied along with the ROA mode signatures and the calculated β(G ')(2) and β(A)(2) which show the ROA coupling mechanisms involving the electric/magnetic dipoles and the electric dipole/quadrupole, respectively.

  8. Phyllosilicate diversity and past aqueous activity revealed at Mawrth Vallis, Mars.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Janice L; Dobrea, Eldar Z Noe; McKeown, Nancy K; Parente, Mario; Ehlmann, Bethany L; Michalski, Joseph R; Milliken, Ralph E; Poulet, Francois; Swayze, Gregg A; Mustard, John F; Murchie, Scott L; Bibring, Jean-Pierre

    2008-08-01

    Observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter/Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars in the Mawrth Vallis region show several phyllosilicate species, indicating a wide range of past aqueous activity. Iron/magnesium (Fe/Mg)-smectite is observed in light-toned outcrops that probably formed via aqueous alteration of basalt of the ancient cratered terrain. This unit is overlain by rocks rich in hydrated silica, montmorillonite, and kaolinite that may have formed via subsequent leaching of Fe and Mg through extended aqueous events or a change in aqueous chemistry. A spectral feature attributed to an Fe2+ phase is present in many locations in the Mawrth Vallis region at the transition from Fe/Mg-smectite to aluminum/silicon (Al/Si)-rich units. Fe2+-bearing materials in terrestrial sediments are typically associated with microorganisms or changes in pH or cations and could be explained here by hydrothermal activity. The stratigraphy of Fe/Mg-smectite overlain by a ferrous phase, hydrated silica, and then Al-phyllosilicates implies a complex aqueous history.

  9. Phyllosilicate diversity and past aqueous activity revealed at Mawrth Vallis, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bishop, J.L.; Dobrea, E.Z.N.; McKeown, N.K.; Parente, M.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Michalski, J.R.; Milliken, R.E.; Poulet, F.; Swayze, G.A.; Mustard, J.F.; Murchie, S.L.; Bibring, J.-P.

    2008-01-01

    Observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter/Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars in the Mawrth Vallis region show several phyllosilicate species, indicating a wide range of past aqueous activity. Iron/magnesium (Fe/Mg)-smectite is observed in light-toned outcrops that probably formed via aqueous alteration of basalt of the ancient cratered terrain. This unit is overlain by rocks rich in hydrated silica, montmorillonite, and kaolinite that may have formed via subsequent leaching of Fe and Mg through extended aqueous events or a change in aqueous chemistry. A spectral feature attributed to an Fe2+ phase is present in many locations in the Mawrth Vallis region at the transition from Fe/Mg-smectite to aluminum/silicon (Al/Si)-rich units. Fe2+-bearing materials in terrestrial sediments are typically associated with microorganisms or changes in pH or cations and could be explained here by hydrothermal activity. The stratigraphy of Fe/Mg-smectite overlain by a ferrous phase, hydrated silica, and then Al-phyllosilicates implies a complex aqueous history.

  10. Coseismic landslides reveal near-surface rock strength in a high-relief tectonically active setting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallen, Sean F; Clark, Marin K; Godt, Jonathan W.

    2014-01-01

    We present quantitative estimates of near-surface rock strength relevant to landscape evolution and landslide hazard assessment for 15 geologic map units of the Longmen Shan, China. Strength estimates are derived from a novel method that inverts earthquake peak ground acceleration models and coseismic landslide inventories to obtain material proper- ties and landslide thickness. Aggregate rock strength is determined by prescribing a friction angle of 30° and solving for effective cohesion. Effective cohesion ranges are from 70 kPa to 107 kPa for 15 geologic map units, and are approximately an order of magnitude less than typical laboratory measurements, probably because laboratory tests on hand-sized specimens do not incorporate the effects of heterogeneity and fracturing that likely control near-surface strength at the hillslope scale. We find that strength among the geologic map units studied varies by less than a factor of two. However, increased weakening of units with proximity to the range front, where precipitation and active fault density are the greatest, suggests that cli- matic and tectonic factors overwhelm lithologic differences in rock strength in this high-relief tectonically active setting.

  11. Delineation of Platelet Activation Pathway of Scutellarein Revealed Its Intracellular Target as Protein Kinase C.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xiaoxuan; Chang, Lianying; Ma, Guangyin; Wang, Taiyi; Lv, Ming; Wang, Zhilong; Chen, Liping; Wang, Yuefei; Gao, Xiumei; Zhu, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Erigeron breviscapus has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its total flavonoid component is commonly used to treat ischemic stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Scutellarin is the major ingredient of E. breviscapus and scutellarein is one of the main bioactive metabolites of scutellarin in vivo, but the latter's pharmacological activities have not been fully characterized. Provided evidence that could inhibit platelet aggregation, the effect of scutellarein on rat washed platelets and its underlying mechanisms were evaluated in our research. Scutellarein inhibited platelet adhesion and aggregation induced by multiple G protein coupled receptor agonists such as thrombin, U46619 and ADP, in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, the mild effect of scutellarein on intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization and cyclic AMP (cAMP) level was observed. On the other hand, the role of scutellarein as potential protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor was confirmed by PKC activity analysis and molecular docking. The phorbol myristate acetate-induced platelets aggregation assay with or without ADP implied that the scutellarein takes PKC(s) as its primary target(s), and acts on it in a reversible way. Finally, scutellarein as a promising agent exhibited a high inhibition effect on ADP-induced platelet aggregation among its analogues. This study clarifies the PKC-related signaling pathway involved in antiplatelet action of scutellarein, and may be beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. PMID:26581323

  12. Deep sequencing of subseafloor eukaryotic rRNA reveals active Fungi across marine subsurface provinces.

    PubMed

    Orsi, William; Biddle, Jennifer F; Edgcomb, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The deep marine subsurface is a vast habitat for microbial life where cells may live on geologic timescales. Because DNA in sediments may be preserved on long timescales, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is suggested to be a proxy for the active fraction of a microbial community in the subsurface. During an investigation of eukaryotic 18S rRNA by amplicon pyrosequencing, unique profiles of Fungi were found across a range of marine subsurface provinces including ridge flanks, continental margins, and abyssal plains. Subseafloor fungal populations exhibit statistically significant correlations with total organic carbon (TOC), nitrate, sulfide, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). These correlations are supported by terminal restriction length polymorphism (TRFLP) analyses of fungal rRNA. Geochemical correlations with fungal pyrosequencing and TRFLP data from this geographically broad sample set suggests environmental selection of active Fungi in the marine subsurface. Within the same dataset, ancient rRNA signatures were recovered from plants and diatoms in marine sediments ranging from 0.03 to 2.7 million years old, suggesting that rRNA from some eukaryotic taxa may be much more stable than previously considered in the marine subsurface.

  13. Length and activity of the root apical meristem revealed in vivo by infrared imaging

    PubMed Central

    Bizet, François; Hummel, Irène; Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how cell division and cell elongation influence organ growth and development is a long-standing issue in plant biology. In plant roots, most of the cell divisions occur in a short and specialized region, the root apical meristem (RAM). Although RAM activity has been suggested to be of high importance to understand how roots grow and how the cell cycle is regulated, few experimental and numeric data are currently available. The characterization of the RAM is difficult and essentially based upon cell length measurements through destructive and time-consuming microscopy approaches. Here, a new non-invasive method is described that couples infrared light imaging and kinematic analyses and that allows in vivo measurements of the RAM length. This study provides a detailed description of the RAM activity, especially in terms of cell flux and cell division rate. We focused on roots of hydroponic grown poplars and confirmed our method on maize roots. How the RAM affects root growth rate is studied by taking advantage of the high inter-individual variability of poplar root growth. An osmotic stress was applied and did not significantly affect the RAM length, highlighting its homeostasis in short to middle-term responses. The methodology described here simplifies a lot experimental procedures, allows an increase in the number of individuals that can be taken into account in experiments, and means new experiments can be formulated that allow temporal monitoring of the RAM length. PMID:25540436

  14. Prodigiosin inhibits motility and activates bacterial cell death revealing molecular biomarkers of programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Darshan, N; Manonmani, H K

    2016-12-01

    The antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin from Serratia nematodiphila darsh1, a bacterial pigment was tested against few food borne bacterial pathogens Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The mode of action of prodigiosin was studied. Prodigiosin induced bactericidal activity indicating a stereotypical set of biochemical and morphological feature of Programmed cell death (PCD). PCD involves DNA fragmentation, generation of ROS, and expression of a protein with caspase-like substrate specificity in bacterial cells. Prodigiosin was observed to be internalized into bacterial cells and was localized predominantly in the membrane and the nuclear fraction, thus, facilitating intracellular trafficking and then binding of prodigiosin to the bacterial DNA. Corresponding to an increasing concentration of prodigiosin, the level of certain proteases were observed to increase in bacteria studied, thus initiating the onset of PCD. Prodigiosin at a sub-inhibitory concentration inhibits motility of pathogens. Our observations indicated that prodigiosin could be a promising antibacterial agent and could be used in the prevention of bacterial infections. PMID:27460563

  15. Deep Sequencing of Subseafloor Eukaryotic rRNA Reveals Active Fungi across Marine Subsurface Provinces

    PubMed Central

    Orsi, William; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Edgcomb, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The deep marine subsurface is a vast habitat for microbial life where cells may live on geologic timescales. Because DNA in sediments may be preserved on long timescales, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is suggested to be a proxy for the active fraction of a microbial community in the subsurface. During an investigation of eukaryotic 18S rRNA by amplicon pyrosequencing, unique profiles of Fungi were found across a range of marine subsurface provinces including ridge flanks, continental margins, and abyssal plains. Subseafloor fungal populations exhibit statistically significant correlations with total organic carbon (TOC), nitrate, sulfide, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). These correlations are supported by terminal restriction length polymorphism (TRFLP) analyses of fungal rRNA. Geochemical correlations with fungal pyrosequencing and TRFLP data from this geographically broad sample set suggests environmental selection of active Fungi in the marine subsurface. Within the same dataset, ancient rRNA signatures were recovered from plants and diatoms in marine sediments ranging from 0.03 to 2.7 million years old, suggesting that rRNA from some eukaryotic taxa may be much more stable than previously considered in the marine subsurface. PMID:23418556

  16. X-ray structure of human aromatase reveals an androgen-specific active site.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Debashis; Griswold, Jennifer; Erman, Mary; Pangborn, Walter

    2010-02-28

    Aromatase is a unique cytochrome P450 that catalyzes the removal of the 19-methyl group and aromatization of the A-ring of androgens for the synthesis of estrogens. All human estrogens are synthesized via this enzymatic aromatization pathway. Aromatase inhibitors thus constitute a frontline therapy for estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Despite decades of intense investigation, this enzyme of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane has eluded all structure determination efforts. We have determined the crystal structure of the highly active aromatase purified from human placenta, in complex with its natural substrate androstenedione. The structure shows the binding mode of androstenedione in the catalytically active oxidized high-spin ferric state of the enzyme. Hydrogen bond-forming interactions and tight packing hydrophobic side chains that complement the puckering of the steroid backbone provide the molecular basis for the exclusive androgenic specificity of aromatase. Locations of catalytic residues and water molecules shed new light on the mechanism of the aromatization step. The structure also suggests a membrane integration model indicative of the passage of steroids through the lipid bilayer.

  17. Prodigiosin inhibits motility and activates bacterial cell death revealing molecular biomarkers of programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Darshan, N; Manonmani, H K

    2016-12-01

    The antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin from Serratia nematodiphila darsh1, a bacterial pigment was tested against few food borne bacterial pathogens Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The mode of action of prodigiosin was studied. Prodigiosin induced bactericidal activity indicating a stereotypical set of biochemical and morphological feature of Programmed cell death (PCD). PCD involves DNA fragmentation, generation of ROS, and expression of a protein with caspase-like substrate specificity in bacterial cells. Prodigiosin was observed to be internalized into bacterial cells and was localized predominantly in the membrane and the nuclear fraction, thus, facilitating intracellular trafficking and then binding of prodigiosin to the bacterial DNA. Corresponding to an increasing concentration of prodigiosin, the level of certain proteases were observed to increase in bacteria studied, thus initiating the onset of PCD. Prodigiosin at a sub-inhibitory concentration inhibits motility of pathogens. Our observations indicated that prodigiosin could be a promising antibacterial agent and could be used in the prevention of bacterial infections.

  18. Tectonic activity revealed by morphostructural analysis: Development of the Sierra de la Candelaria range, northwestern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barcelona, H.; Peri, G.; Tobal, J.; Sagripanti, L.; Favetto, A.

    2014-12-01

    The tectonically active broken foreland of NW Argentina is a recent analog of the eastern margin of the Puna plateau during Mio-Pliocene times and likely of other broken forelands worldwide. In order to evaluate active tectonism in the broken foreland of the NW Argentine Andes, we examined the complex geomorphology in the vicinity of the basement-cored Sierra de la Candelaria range at ˜26°S and deciphered multiple episodes of crustal deformation spanning the Pliocene to the Quaternary. Digital elevation models, satellite images and geological data within a GIS environment allowed us to analyze the terrain, drainage networks, river dynamics and structure, as well as to obtain detailed geomorphological mapping, active tectonic indices, longitudinal river profiles and structural sections. Three morphostructural segments were defined based on the structural features, the differential vertical dissection pattern over the basement, the faulted Pliocene to recent deposits, the stepwise propagation of anticlines and the distortion over the fluvial system. By combining the several lines of evidence, we concluded that the Sierra de la Candelaria range was subjected to a multi-stage development. The first stage uplifted the central segment concomitant with the formation of the surrounding ranges and with the main partition phase of the foreland. After a significant time lapse, the mountain range was subjected to southward thick-skinned growth and northward growth via stepwise thin-skinned deformation and exerted control over the dynamics of the Río Rosario. Taking into account the surrounding basins and ranges of the Sierra de la Candelaria, the southern Santa Bárbara System is characterized by partially isolated intramontane basins (Choromoro and Rosario) limited by shielded ranges that caused moisture block and shows continuous deformation. These features were related to early stages of a broken foreland evolution model and modern analogs were found at the northern

  19. Equinoctial Activity Over Titan Dune Fields Revealed by Cassini/vims

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, S.; Le Mouelic, S.; Barnes, J. W.; Hirtzig, M.; Rannou, P.; Sotin, C.; Brown, R. H.; Bow, J.; Vixie, G.; Cornet, T.; Bourgeois, O.; Narteau, C.; Courrech Du Pont, S.; Le Gall, A.; Reffet, E.; Griffith, C. A.; Jaumann, R.; Stephan, K.; Buratti, B. J.; Clark, R. N.; Baines, K. H.; Nicholson, P. D.; Coustenis, A.

    2012-12-01

    Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, is the only satellite in the solar system with a dense atmosphere. The close and continuous observations of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since July 2004, bring us evidences that Titan troposphere and low stratosphere experience an exotic, but complete meteorological cycle similar to the Earth hydrological cycle, with hydrocarbons evaporation, condensation in clouds, and rainfall. Cassini monitoring campaigns also demonstrate that Titan's cloud coverage and climate vary with latitude. Titan's tropics, with globally weak meteorological activity and widespread dune fields, seem to be slightly more arid than the poles, where extensive and numerous liquid reservoirs and sustained cloud activity have been discovered. Only a few tropo-spheric clouds have been observed at Titan's tropics during the southern summer. As equinox was approaching (in August 2009), they occurred more frequently and appeared to grow in strength and size. We present here the observation of intense brightening at Titan's tropics, very close to the equinox. These detections were conducted with the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard Cassini. We will discuss the VIMS images of the three individual events detected so far, observed during the Titan's flybys T56 (22 May 2009), T65 (13 January 2010) and T70 (21 June 2010). T56, T65 and T70 observations show an intense and transient brighten-ing of large regions very close to the equator, right over the extensive dune fields of Senkyo, Belet and Shangri-La. They all appear spectrally and morphologically different from all transient surface features or atmospheric phenomena previously reported. Indeed, these events share in particular a strong brightening at wavelengths greater than 2 μm (especially at 5 μm), making them spectrally distinct from the small tropical clouds observed before the equinox and the large storms observed near the equator in September and October

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Thermal infrared imaging of GGD27-IRS. The active pre-main sequence star revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aspin, C.; Puxley, P. J.; Blanco, P. R.; Pina, R. K.; Pickup, D. A.; Paterson, M. J.; Sylvester, J.; Laird, D. C.; Bridger, A.; Daly, P. N.; Griffin, J. L.

    1994-12-01

    We present near-IR (NIR) 2.2-4.7 micrometer imaging of the core region of the pre-main sequence bipolar CO outflow source GGD27-IRS. Indirect evidence from earlier imaging polarimetry and long-slit spectroscopy suggested that the true young active star in the region, GGD27-ILL, is heavily embedded and completely obscured even at 2 micrometers. Our new 4.7 micrometer images directly detect this source for the first time locating it at 2.0 sec west, 1.3 sec south of the bright NIR source IRS2. This position is 0.2 sec from the position derived from our earlier NIR polarization maps. New mid-IR images of the core region show three point-like sources which are identified as GGD27-ILL, IRS7 and IRS8. We discuss the morphological composition of the core region in light of our discovery.

  3. Unmasking the ancestral activity of integron integrases reveals a smooth evolutionary transition during functional innovation

    PubMed Central

    Escudero, Jose Antonio; Loot, Celine; Parissi, Vincent; Nivina, Aleksandra; Bouchier, Christiane; Mazel, Didier

    2016-01-01

    Tyrosine (Y)-recombinases have evolved to deliver mechanistically different reactions on a variety of substrates, but these evolutionary transitions are poorly understood. Among them, integron integrases are hybrid systems recombining single- and double-stranded DNA partners. These reactions are asymmetric and need a replicative resolution pathway, an exception to the canonical second strand exchange model of Y-recombinases. Integron integrases possess a specific domain for this specialized pathway. Here we show that despite this, integrases are still capable of efficiently operating the ancestral second strand exchange in symmetrical reactions between double-stranded substrates. During these reactions, both strands are reactive and Holliday junction resolution can follow either pathway. A novel deep-sequencing approach allows mapping of the crossover point for the second strand exchange. The persistence of the ancestral activity in integrases illustrates their robustness and shows that innovation towards new recombination substrates and resolution pathways was a smooth evolutionary process. PMID:26961432

  4. In Vivo Activation of Azipropofol Prolongs Anesthesia and Reveals Synaptic Targets*

    PubMed Central

    Weiser, Brian P.; Kelz, Max B.; Eckenhoff, Roderic G.

    2013-01-01

    General anesthetic photolabels have been instrumental in discovering and confirming protein binding partners and binding sites of these promiscuous ligands. We report the in vivo photoactivation of meta-azipropofol, a potent analog of propofol, in Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Covalent adduction of meta-azipropofol in vivo prolongs the primary pharmacologic effect of general anesthetics in a behavioral phenotype we termed “optoanesthesia.” Coupling this behavior with a tritiated probe, we performed unbiased, time-resolved gel proteomics to identify neuronal targets of meta-azipropofol in vivo. We have identified synaptic binding partners, such as synaptosomal-associated protein 25, as well as voltage-dependent anion channels as potential facilitators of the general anesthetic state. Pairing behavioral phenotypes elicited by the activation of efficacious photolabels in vivo with time-resolved proteomics provides a novel approach to investigate molecular mechanisms of general anesthetics. PMID:23184948

  5. Metaproteogenomics reveals the soil microbial communities active in nutrient cycling processes under different tree species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiblinger, Katharina Maria; Masse, Jacynthe; Zühlke, Daniela; Riedel, Katharina; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie; Prescott, Cindy E.; Grayston, Sue

    2016-04-01

    Tree species exert strong effects on microbial communities in litter and soil and may alter rates of soil processes fundamental to nutrient cycling and carbon fluxes (Prescott and Grayston 2013). However, the influence of tree species on decomposition processes are still contradictory and poorly understood. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant influences on soil processes is important for our ability to predict ecosystem response to altered global/environmental conditions. In order to link microbial community structure and function to forest-floor nutrient cycling processes, we sampled forest floors under western redcedar (Thuja plicata), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) grown in nutrient-poor sites in common garden experiments on Vancouver island (Canada). We measured forest-floor total N, total C, initial NH4+ and NO3‑ concentrations, DOC, Cmic and Nmic. Gross rates of ammonification and NH4+ consumption were measured using the 15N pool-dilution method. Organic carbon quality was assessed through FTIR analyses. Microbial community structure was analysed by a metaproteogenomic approach using 16S and ITS amplification and sequencing with MiSeq platform. Proteins were extracted and peptides characterized via LC-MS/MS on a Velos Orbitrap to assess the active microbial community. Different microbial communities were active under the three tree species and variation in process rates were observed and will be discussed. This research provides new insights on microbial processes during organic matter decomposition. The metaproteogenomic approach enables us to investigate these changes with respect to possible effects on soil C-storage at even finer taxonomic resolution.

  6. Substrate-bound Structures of Benzylsuccinate Synthase Reveal How Toluene Is Activated in Anaerobic Hydrocarbon Degradation*

    PubMed Central

    Funk, Michael A.; Marsh, E. Neil G.; Drennan, Catherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Various bacteria perform anaerobic degradation of small hydrocarbons as a source of energy and cellular carbon. To activate non-reactive hydrocarbons such as toluene, enzymes conjugate these molecules to fumarate in a radical-catalyzed, C—C bond-forming reaction. We have determined x-ray crystal structures of the glycyl radical enzyme that catalyzes the addition of toluene to fumarate, benzylsuccinate synthase (BSS), in two oligomeric states with fumarate alone or with both substrates. We find that fumarate is secured at the bottom of a long active site cavity with toluene bound directly above it. The two substrates adopt orientations that appear ideal for radical-mediated C—C bond formation; the methyl group of toluene is positioned between fumarate and a cysteine that forms a thiyl radical during catalysis, which is in turn adjacent to the glycine that serves as a radical storage residue. Toluene is held in place by fumarate on one face and tight packing by hydrophobic residues on the other face and sides. These hydrophobic residues appear to become ordered, thus encapsulating toluene, only in the presence of BSSβ, a small protein subunit that forms a tight complex with BSSα, the catalytic subunit. Enzymes related to BSS are able to metabolize a wide range of hydrocarbons through attachment to fumarate. Using our structures as a guide, we have constructed homology models of several of these “X-succinate synthases” and determined conservation patterns that will be useful in understanding the basis for catalysis and specificity in this family of enzymes. PMID:26224635

  7. Metaproteogenomics reveals the soil microbial communities active in nutrient cycling processes under different tree species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiblinger, Katharina Maria; Masse, Jacynthe; Zühlke, Daniela; Riedel, Katharina; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie; Prescott, Cindy E.; Grayston, Sue

    2016-04-01

    Tree species exert strong effects on microbial communities in litter and soil and may alter rates of soil processes fundamental to nutrient cycling and carbon fluxes (Prescott and Grayston 2013). However, the influence of tree species on decomposition processes are still contradictory and poorly understood. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant influences on soil processes is important for our ability to predict ecosystem response to altered global/environmental conditions. In order to link microbial community structure and function to forest-floor nutrient cycling processes, we sampled forest floors under western redcedar (Thuja plicata), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) grown in nutrient-poor sites in common garden experiments on Vancouver island (Canada). We measured forest-floor total N, total C, initial NH4+ and NO3- concentrations, DOC, Cmic and Nmic. Gross rates of ammonification and NH4+ consumption were measured using the 15N pool-dilution method. Organic carbon quality was assessed through FTIR analyses. Microbial community structure was analysed by a metaproteogenomic approach using 16S and ITS amplification and sequencing with MiSeq platform. Proteins were extracted and peptides characterized via LC-MS/MS on a Velos Orbitrap to assess the active microbial community. Different microbial communities were active under the three tree species and variation in process rates were observed and will be discussed. This research provides new insights on microbial processes during organic matter decomposition. The metaproteogenomic approach enables us to investigate these changes with respect to possible effects on soil C-storage at even finer taxonomic resolution.

  8. Representing Microbial Dormancy in Soil Decomposition Models Improves Model Performance and Reveals Key Ecosystem Controls on Microbial Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Y.; Yang, J.; Zhuang, Q.; Wang, G.; Liu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change and subsequent responses of plant and microbial communities and nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and strategy may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to microbial physiology and community changes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. In this study, we developed an explicit microbial-enzyme decomposition model and examined model performance with and without representation of dormancy at six temperate forest sites with observed soil efflux ranged from 4 to 10 years across different forest types. We then extrapolated the model to all temperate forests in the Northern Hemisphere (25-50°N) to investigate spatial controls on microbial and soil C dynamics. Both models captured the observed soil heterotrophic respiration (RH), yet no-dormancy model consistently exhibited large seasonal amplitude and overestimation in microbial biomass. Spatially, the total RH from temperate forests based on dormancy model amounts to 6.88PgC/yr, and 7.99PgC/yr based on no-dormancy model. However, no-dormancy model notably overestimated the ratio of microbial biomass to SOC. Spatial correlation analysis revealed key controls of soil C:N ratio on the active proportion of microbial biomass, whereas local dormancy is primarily controlled by soil moisture and temperature, indicating scale-dependent environmental and biotic controls on microbial and SOC dynamics. These developments should provide essential support to modeling future soil carbon dynamics and enhance the avenue for collaboration between empirical soil experiment and modeling in the sense that more microbial physiological measurements are needed to better constrain and evaluate the models.

  9. Viscous roots of active seismogenic faults revealed by geologic slip rate variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, P. A.; Scholz, C. H.; Roberts, G.; Faure Walker, J.; Steer, P.

    2013-12-01

    Viscous flow at depth contributes to elastic strain accumulation along seismogenic faults during both post-seismic and inter-seismic phases of the earthquake cycle. Evaluating the importance of this contribution is hampered by uncertainties regarding (i) the extent to which viscous deformation occurs in shear zones or by distributed flow within the crust and/or upper mantle, and (ii) the value of the exponent, n, in the flow law that relates strain rate to applied stress. Geodetic data, rock deformation experiments, and field observations of exhumed (inactive) faults provide strong evidence for non-linear viscous flow but may not fully capture the long term, in situ behaviour of active fault zones. Here we demonstrate that strain rates derived from Holocene offsets on seismogenic normal faults in the actively uplifting and extending central and southern Italian Apennines may be used to address this issue. The measured strain rates, averaged over a time scale of 104 years, exhibit a well-defined power-law dependence on topographic elevation with a power-law exponent ≈ 3.0 (2.7 - 3.4 at 95% CI; 2.3 - 4.0 at 99% CI). Contemporary seismicity indicates that the upper crust in this area is at the threshold for frictional failure within an extensional stress field and therefore differential stress is directly proportional to elevation. Our data thus imply a relationship between strain rate and stress that is consistent with non-linear viscous flow, with n ≈ 3, but because the measurements are derived from slip along major crustal faults they do not represent deformation of a continuum. We know that, down-dip of the seismogenic part of active faults, cataclasis, hydrous alteration, and shear heating all contribute to grain size reduction and material weakening. These processes initiate localisation at the frictional-viscous transition and the development of mylonitic shear zones within the viscous regime. Furthermore, in quartzo-feldspathic crust, mylonites form a

  10. Structure of recombinant Leishmania donovani pteridine reductase reveals a disordered active site

    PubMed Central

    Barrack, Keri L.; Tulloch, Lindsay B.; Burke, Lynsey-Ann; Fyfe, Paul K.; Hunter, William N.

    2011-01-01

    Pteridine reductase (PTR1) is a potential target for drug development against parasitic Trypanosoma and Leishmania species, protozoa that are responsible for a range of serious diseases found in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. As part of a structure-based approach to inhibitor development, specifically targeting Leishmania species, well ordered crystals of L. donovani PTR1 were sought to support the characterization of complexes formed with inhibitors. An efficient system for recombinant protein production was prepared and the enzyme was purified and crystallized in an orthorhombic form with ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. Diffraction data were measured to 2.5 Å resolution and the structure was solved by molecular replacement. However, a sulfate occupies a phosphate-binding site used by NADPH and occludes cofactor binding. The nicotinamide moiety is a critical component of the active site and without it this part of the structure is disordered. The crystal form obtained under these conditions is therefore unsuitable for the characterization of inhibitor complexes. PMID:21206018

  11. Synchrotron X-ray imaging reveals a correlation of tumor copper speciation with Clioquinol's anticancer activity

    SciTech Connect

    Barrea, Raul A.; Chen, Di; Irving, Thomas C.; Dou, Q. Ping

    2009-10-21

    Tumor development and metastasis depend on angiogenesis that requires certain growth factors, proteases, and the trace element copper (Cu). Recent studies suggest that Cu could be used as a novel target for cancer therapies. Clioquinol (CQ), an antibiotic that is able to form stable complexes with Cu or zinc (Zn), has shown proteasome-inhibitory, androgen receptor-suppressing, apoptosis-inducing, and antitumor activities in human cancer cells and xenografts. The mechanisms underlying the interaction of CQ with cellular Cu, the alteration of the Cu/Zn ratio and the antitumor role of CQ in vivo have not been fully elucidated. We report here that Cu accumulates in tumor tissue and that the Cu/Zn balances in tumor, but not normal, tissue change significantly after the treatment with CQ. Cu speciation analysis showed that the Cu(I) species is predominant in both normal and tumor tissues and that Cu(II) content was significantly increased in tumor, but not normal tissue after CQ treatment. Our findings indicate that CQ can interact with cellular Cu in vivo, dysregulates the Cu/Zn balance and is able to convert Cu(I) to Cu(II) in tumor tissue. This conversion of Cu(I) to Cu(II) may be associated with CQ-induced proteasome inhibition and growth suppression in the human prostate tumor xenografts.

  12. Interspecific metabolic diversity of root-colonizing endophytic fungi revealed by enzyme activity tests.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Dániel G; Kovács, Gábor M

    2016-12-01

    Although dark septate endophytes (DSE) represent a worldwide dispersed form group of root-colonizing endophytic fungi, our knowledge on their role in ecosystem functioning is far limited. In this study, we aimed to test if functional diversity exists among DSE fungi representing different lineages of root endophytic fungal community of semiarid sandy grasslands. To address this question and to gain general information on function of DSE fungi, we adopted api-ZYM and BioLog FF assays to study those non-sporulating filamentous fungi and characterized the metabolic activity of 15 different DSE species. Although there were striking differences among the species, all of the substrates tested were utilized by the DSE fungi. When endophytes characteristic to grasses and non-grass host plants were separately considered, we found that the whole substrate repertoire was used by both groups. This might illustrate the complementary functional diversity of the communities root endophytic plant-associated fungi. The broad spectra of substrates utilized by these root endophytes illustrate the functional importance of their diversity, which can play role not only in nutrient mobilization and uptake of plants from with nutrient poor soils, but also in general plant performance and ecosystem functioning. PMID:27604257

  13. Comparative analysis of carbohydrate active enzymes in Clostridium termitidis CT1112 reveals complex carbohydrate degradation ability.

    PubMed

    Munir, Riffat I; Schellenberg, John; Henrissat, Bernard; Verbeke, Tobin J; Sparling, Richard; Levin, David B

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium termitidis strain CT1112 is an anaerobic, gram positive, mesophilic, cellulolytic bacillus isolated from the gut of the wood-feeding termite, Nasutitermes lujae. It produces biofuels such as hydrogen and ethanol from cellulose, cellobiose, xylan, xylose, glucose, and other sugars, and therefore could be used for biofuel production from biomass through consolidated bioprocessing. The first step in the production of biofuel from biomass by microorganisms is the hydrolysis of complex carbohydrates present in biomass. This is achieved through the presence of a repertoire of secreted or complexed carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes), sometimes organized in an extracellular organelle called cellulosome. To assess the ability and understand the mechanism of polysaccharide hydrolysis in C. termitidis, the recently sequenced strain CT1112 of C. termitidis was analyzed for both CAZymes and cellulosomal components, and compared to other cellulolytic bacteria. A total of 355 CAZyme sequences were identified in C. termitidis, significantly higher than other Clostridial species. Of these, high numbers of glycoside hydrolases (199) and carbohydrate binding modules (95) were identified. The presence of a variety of CAZymes involved with polysaccharide utilization/degradation ability suggests hydrolysis potential for a wide range of polysaccharides. In addition, dockerin-bearing enzymes, cohesion domains and a cellulosomal gene cluster were identified, indicating the presence of potential cellulosome assembly.

  14. Prefrontal activation during two Japanese Stroop tasks revealed with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yukina; Sumitani, Satsuki; Hosokawa, Mai; Ohmori, Tetsuro

    2015-01-01

    The Stroop task is sometimes used in psychiatric research to elicit prefrontal activity, which presumably reflects cognitive functioning. Although there are two Stroop tasks (Kana script and Kanji script) in Japan, it is unclear whether these tasks elicit the same hemoglobin changes. Moreover, it is unclear whether psychological conditions or characteristics influence hemoglobin changes in the Japanese Stroop task. The aim of this study was to clarify whether hemoglobin changes elicited by the two Japanese Stroop tasks accurately reflected cognitive functioning. Hemoglobin changes were measured with multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in 100 healthy Japanese participants performing two Japanese Stroop tasks. The Beck-Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Maudsley Obsessive Compulsive Inventory (MOCI) were administered to participants to identify psychological conditions or personality characteristics. Compared with the Kanji task, the Kana task produced a greater Stroop effect and a larger increase in oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration. Moreover there were no significant correlations between oxy-Hb concentration and BDI, STAI-trait, STAI-state, or MOCI scores. Therefore we found that a participant's psychological conditions or characteristics did not influence the hemodynamic changes during either task. These data suggest the Kana Stroop task is more useful than the Kanji Stroop task for NIRS studies in psychiatric research.

  15. Interspecific metabolic diversity of root-colonizing endophytic fungi revealed by enzyme activity tests.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Dániel G; Kovács, Gábor M

    2016-12-01

    Although dark septate endophytes (DSE) represent a worldwide dispersed form group of root-colonizing endophytic fungi, our knowledge on their role in ecosystem functioning is far limited. In this study, we aimed to test if functional diversity exists among DSE fungi representing different lineages of root endophytic fungal community of semiarid sandy grasslands. To address this question and to gain general information on function of DSE fungi, we adopted api-ZYM and BioLog FF assays to study those non-sporulating filamentous fungi and characterized the metabolic activity of 15 different DSE species. Although there were striking differences among the species, all of the substrates tested were utilized by the DSE fungi. When endophytes characteristic to grasses and non-grass host plants were separately considered, we found that the whole substrate repertoire was used by both groups. This might illustrate the complementary functional diversity of the communities root endophytic plant-associated fungi. The broad spectra of substrates utilized by these root endophytes illustrate the functional importance of their diversity, which can play role not only in nutrient mobilization and uptake of plants from with nutrient poor soils, but also in general plant performance and ecosystem functioning.

  16. A genetic screen reveals a periplasmic copper chaperone required for nitrite reductase activity in pathogenic Neisseria.

    PubMed

    Jen, Freda E-C; Djoko, Karrera Y; Bent, Stephen J; Day, Christopher J; McEwan, Alastair G; Jennings, Michael P

    2015-09-01

    Under conditions of low oxygen availability, Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are able to respire via a partial denitrification pathway in which nitrite is converted to nitrous oxide. In this process, nitrite reductase (AniA), a copper (Cu)-containing protein converts nitrite to NO, and this product is converted to nitrous oxide by nitric oxide reductase (NorB). NorB also confers protection against toxic NO, and so we devised a conditional lethal screen, using a norB mutant, to identify mutants that were resistant to nitrite-dependent killing. After random-deletion mutagenesis of N. meningitidis, this genetic screen identified a gene encoding a Cu chaperone that is essential for AniA function, AccA. Purified AccA binds one Cu (I) ion and also possesses a second binding site for Cu (II). This novel periplasmic Cu chaperone (AccA) appears to be essential for provision of Cu ions to AniA of pathogenic Neisseria to generate an active nitrite reductase. Apart from the Neisseria genus, AccA is distributed across a wide range of environmental Proteobacteria species.

  17. High-throughput Protease Activity Cytometry Reveals Dose-dependent Heterogeneity in PMA-mediated ADAM17 Activation†

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Lidan; Claas, Allison M.; Sarkar, Aniruddh; Lauffenburger, Douglas A.; Han, Jongyoon

    2015-01-01

    As key components of autocrine signaling, pericellular proteases, A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinases (ADAMs) in particular, are known to impact the microenvironment of individual cells and have significant implications in various pathological situations including cancer, inflammatory and vascular diseases.1-3 There is great incentive to develop a high-throughput platform for single-cell measurement of pericellular protease activity, as it is essential for studying the heterogeneity of protease response and the corresponding cell behavioral consequences. In this work, we developed a microfluidic platform to simultaneously monitor protease activity of many single cells in a time-dependent manner. This platform isolates individual microwells rapidly on demand and thus allows single-cell activity measurement of both cell-surface and secreted proteases by confining individual cells with diffusive FRET-based substrates. With this platform, we observed dose-dependent heterogeneous protease activation of HepG2 cells treated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). To study the temporal behavior of PMA-induced protease response, we monitored the pericellular protease activity of the same single cells during three different time periods and revealed the diversity in the dynamic patterns of single-cell protease activity profile upon PMA stimulation. The unique temporal information of single-cell protease response can help unveil the complicated functional role of pericellular proteases. PMID:25832727

  18. Activity-Based Protein Profiling of Oncogene-Driven Changes in Metabolism Reveals Broad Dysregulation of PAFAH1B2 and 1B3 in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kohnz, Rebecca A.; Mulvihill, Melinda M.; Chang, Jae Won; Hsu, Ku-Lung; Sorrentino, Antonio; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Bandyopadhyay, Sourav; Goga, Andrei; Nomura, Daniel K.

    2015-01-01

    Targeting dysregulated metabolic pathways is a promising therapeutic strategy for eradicating cancer. Understanding how frequently altered oncogenes regulate metabolic enzyme targets would be useful in identifying both broad-spectrum and targeted metabolic therapies for cancer. Here, we used activity-based protein profiling to identify serine hydrolase activities that were consistently upregulated by various human oncogenes. Through this profiling effort, we found oncogenic regulatory mechanisms for several cancer-relevant serine hydrolases and discovered that platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase 1B2 and 1B3 (PAFAH1B2 and PAFAH1B3) activities were consistently upregulated by several oncogenes, alongside previously discovered cancer-relevant hydrolases fatty acid synthase and monoacylglycerol lipase. While we previously showed that PAFAH1B2 and 1B3 were important in breast cancer our most recent profiling studies have revealed that these enzymes may be dysregulated broadly across many types of cancers. Here, we find that pharmacological blockade of both enzymes impairs cancer pathogenicity across multiple different types of cancer cells, including breast, ovarian, melanoma, and prostate cancer. We also show that pharmacological blockade of PAFAH1B2 and 1B3 cause unique changes in lipid metabolism, including heightened levels of tumor-suppressing lipids. Our results reveal oncogenic regulatory mechanisms of several cancer-relevant serine hydrolases using activity-based protein profiling and we show that PAFAH1B2 and 1B3 are important in maintaining cancer pathogenicity across a wide spectrum of cancer types. PMID:25945974

  19. Suzaku Observations of Luminous Quasars: Revealing the Nature of High-energy Blazar Emission in Low-level Activity States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdo, A. A.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Antolini, E.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Baring, M. G.; Bastieri, D.; Bechtol, K.; Bellazzini, R.; Berenji, B.; Blandford, R. D.; Bloom, E. D.; Bonamente, E.; Borgland, A. W.; Bregeon, J.; Brez, A.; Brigida, M.; Bruel, P.; Buehler, R.; Buson, S.; Caliandro, G. A.; Cameron, R. A.; Carrigan, S.; Casandjian, J. M.; Cavazzuti, E.; Cecchi, C.; Çelik, Ö.; Chekhtman, A.; Chen, A. W.; Chiang, J.; Ciprini, S.; Claus, R.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Colafrancesco, S.; Conrad, J.; Cutini, S.; Dermer, C. D.; de Palma, F.; Digel, S. W.; Silva, E. do Couto e.; Drell, P. S.; Dubois, R.; Dumora, D.; Farnier, C.; Favuzzi, C.; Fegan, S. J.; Ferrara, E. C.; Focke, W. B.; Frailis, M.; Fukazawa, Y.; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Gasparrini, D.; Gehrels, N.; Giebels, B.; Giglietto, N.; Giommi, P.; Giordano, F.; Giroletti, M.; Glanzman, T.; Godfrey, G.; Grandi, P.; Grenier, I. A.; Guillemot, L.; Guiriec, S.; Hadasch, D.; Harding, A. K.; Hayashida, M.; Horan, D.; Hughes, R. E.; Itoh, R.; Jackson, M. S.; Jóhannesson, G.; Johnson, A. S.; Johnson, W. N.; Kamae, T.; Katagiri, H.; Kataoka, J.; Kawai, N.; Knödlseder, J.; Kuss, M.; Lande, J.; Latronico, L.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Lott, B.; Lovellette, M. N.; Lubrano, P.; Madejski, G. M.; Makeev, A.; Mazziotta, M. N.; McEnery, J. E.; McGlynn, S.; Meurer, C.; Michelson, P. F.; Mitthumsiri, W.; Mizuno, T.; Monte, C.; Monzani, M. E.; Morselli, A.; Moskalenko, I. V.; Murgia, S.; Nestoras, I.; Nolan, P. L.; Norris, J. P.; Nuss, E.; Ohsugi, T.; Okumura, A.; Orlando, E.; Ormes, J. F.; Ozaki, M.; Paneque, D.; Panetta, J. H.; Parent, D.; Pelassa, V.; Pepe, M.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piron, F.; Porter, T. A.; Rainò, S.; Rando, R.; Razzano, M.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Reyes, L. C.; Rodriguez, A. Y.; Roth, M.; Ryde, F.; Sadrozinski, H. F.-W.; Sambruna, R.; Sander, A.; Sato, R.; Sgrò, C.; Shaw, M. S.; Siskind, E. J.; Smith, P. D.; Spandre, G.; Spinelli, P.; Stawarz, Ł.; Stecker, F. W.; Strickman, M. S.; Suson, D. J.; Takahashi, H.; Takahashi, T.; Tanaka, T.; Thayer, J. B.; Thayer, J. G.; Thompson, D. J.; Tibolla, O.; Torres, D. F.; Tosti, G.; Tramacere, A.; Uchiyama, Y.; Usher, T. L.; Vasileiou, V.; Vilchez, N.; Villata, M.; Vitale, V.; von Kienlin, A.; Waite, A. P.; Wang, P.; Winer, B. L.; Wood, K. S.; Yang, Z.; Ylinen, T.; Ziegler, M.; Tavecchio, F.; Sikora, M.; Schady, P.; Roming, P.; Chester, M. M.; Maraschi, L.

    2010-06-01

    We present the results from the Suzaku X-ray observations of five flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs), namely PKS 0208-512, Q 0827+243, PKS 1127-145, PKS 1510-089, and 3C 454.3. All these sources were additionally monitored simultaneously or quasi-simultaneously by the Fermi satellite in gamma rays and the Swift UVOT in the UV and optical bands, respectively. We constructed their broadband spectra covering the frequency range from 1014 Hz up to 1025 Hz, and those reveal the nature of high-energy emission of luminous blazars in their low-activity states. The analyzed X-ray spectra are well fitted by a power-law model with photoelectric absorption. In the case of PKS 0208-512, PKS 1127-145, and 3C 454.3, the X-ray continuum showed indication of hardening at low energies. Moreover, when compared with the previous X-ray observations, we see a significantly increasing contribution of low-energy photons to the total X-ray fluxes when the sources are getting fainter. The same behavior can be noted in the Suzaku data alone. A likely explanation involves a variable, flat-spectrum component produced via inverse-Compton emission, plus an additional, possibly steady soft X-ray component prominent when the source gets fainter. This soft X-ray excess is represented either by a steep power-law (photon indices Γ ~ 3-5) or a blackbody-type emission with temperatures kT ~ 0.1-0.2 keV. We model the broadband spectra of the five observed FSRQs using synchrotron self-Compton and/or external-Compton radiation models. Our modeling suggests that the difference between the low- and high-activity states in luminous blazars is due to the different total kinetic power of the jet, most likely related to varying bulk Lorentz factor of the outflow within the blazar emission zone.

  20. Metaproteomics of cellulose methanisation under thermophilic conditions reveals a surprisingly high proteolytic activity

    PubMed Central

    Lü, Fan; Bize, Ariane; Guillot, Alain; Monnet, Véronique; Madigou, Céline; Chapleur, Olivier; Mazéas, Laurent; He, Pinjing; Bouchez, Théodore

    2014-01-01

    Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on Earth. Optimising energy recovery from this renewable but recalcitrant material is a key issue. The metaproteome expressed by thermophilic communities during cellulose anaerobic digestion was investigated in microcosms. By multiplying the analytical replicates (65 protein fractions analysed by MS/MS) and relying solely on public protein databases, more than 500 non-redundant protein functions were identified. The taxonomic community structure as inferred from the metaproteomic data set was in good overall agreement with 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing and fluorescent in situ hybridisation analyses. Numerous functions related to cellulose and hemicellulose hydrolysis and fermentation catalysed by bacteria related to Caldicellulosiruptor spp. and Clostridium thermocellum were retrieved, indicating their key role in the cellulose-degradation process and also suggesting their complementary action. Despite the abundance of acetate as a major fermentation product, key methanogenesis enzymes from the acetoclastic pathway were not detected. In contrast, enzymes from the hydrogenotrophic pathway affiliated to Methanothermobacter were almost exclusively identified for methanogenesis, suggesting a syntrophic acetate oxidation process coupled to hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Isotopic analyses confirmed the high dominance of the hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Very surprising was the identification of an abundant proteolytic activity from Coprothermobacter proteolyticus strains, probably acting as scavenger and/or predator performing proteolysis and fermentation. Metaproteomics thus appeared as an efficient tool to unravel and characterise metabolic networks as well as ecological interactions during methanisation bioprocesses. More generally, metaproteomics provides direct functional insights at a limited cost, and its attractiveness should increase in the future as sequence databases are growing exponentially. PMID:23949661

  1. Metaproteomics of cellulose methanisation under thermophilic conditions reveals a surprisingly high proteolytic activity.

    PubMed

    Lü, Fan; Bize, Ariane; Guillot, Alain; Monnet, Véronique; Madigou, Céline; Chapleur, Olivier; Mazéas, Laurent; He, Pinjing; Bouchez, Théodore

    2014-01-01

    Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on Earth. Optimising energy recovery from this renewable but recalcitrant material is a key issue. The metaproteome expressed by thermophilic communities during cellulose anaerobic digestion was investigated in microcosms. By multiplying the analytical replicates (65 protein fractions analysed by MS/MS) and relying solely on public protein databases, more than 500 non-redundant protein functions were identified. The taxonomic community structure as inferred from the metaproteomic data set was in good overall agreement with 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing and fluorescent in situ hybridisation analyses. Numerous functions related to cellulose and hemicellulose hydrolysis and fermentation catalysed by bacteria related to Caldicellulosiruptor spp. and Clostridium thermocellum were retrieved, indicating their key role in the cellulose-degradation process and also suggesting their complementary action. Despite the abundance of acetate as a major fermentation product, key methanogenesis enzymes from the acetoclastic pathway were not detected. In contrast, enzymes from the hydrogenotrophic pathway affiliated to Methanothermobacter were almost exclusively identified for methanogenesis, suggesting a syntrophic acetate oxidation process coupled to hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Isotopic analyses confirmed the high dominance of the hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Very surprising was the identification of an abundant proteolytic activity from Coprothermobacter proteolyticus strains, probably acting as scavenger and/or predator performing proteolysis and fermentation. Metaproteomics thus appeared as an efficient tool to unravel and characterise metabolic networks as well as ecological interactions during methanisation bioprocesses. More generally, metaproteomics provides direct functional insights at a limited cost, and its attractiveness should increase in the future as sequence databases are growing exponentially. PMID:23949661

  2. Characterization of AhR agonists reveals antagonistic activity in European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs.

    PubMed

    Muusse, Martine; Christensen, Guttorm; Gomes, Tânia; Kočan, Anton; Langford, Katherine; Tollefsen, Knut Erik; Vaňková, Lenka; Thomas, Kevin V

    2015-05-01

    European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs from two Norwegian islands, Musvær in the south east and Reiaren in Northern Norway, were screened for dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like and selected non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and subjected to non-target analysis to try to identify the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists, responsible for elevated levels measured using the dioxin responsive chemically activated luciferase expression (DR-CALUX) assay. Eggs from Musvær contained chemically calculated toxic equivalent (WHO TEQ) levels of between 109 and 483 pg TEQ/g lw, and between 82 and 337 pg TEQ/g lw was determined in eggs from Reiaren. In particular PCB126 contributed highly to the total TEQ (69-82%). In 19 of the 23 samples the calculated WHO TEQ was higher than the TEQCALUX. Using CALUX specific relative effect potencies (REPs), the levels were lower at between 77 and 292 pg/g lw in eggs from Musvær and between 55 and 223 pg/g lw in eggs from Reiaren, which was higher than the TEQCALUX in 16 of the 23 samples. However, the means of the REP values and the TEQCALUX were not significantly different. This suggests the presence of compounds that can elicit antagonist effects, with a low binding affinity to the AhR. Non-target analysis identified the presence of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) (quantified at 9.6-185 pg/g lw) but neither this compound nor high concentrations of PCB126 and non-dioxin-like PCBs could explain the differences between the calculated TEQ or REP values and the TEQCALUX. Even though, for most AhR agonists, the sensitivity of herring gulls is not known, the reported levels can be considered to represent a risk for biological effects in the developing embryo, compared to LC50 values in chicken embryos. For human consumers of herring gull eggs, these eggs contain TEQ levels up to four times higher than the maximum tolerable weekly intake.

  3. Sediment Yields Revealed and Fluid Modelling by Twice LiDAR Surveys in Active Tectonics Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Y.; Chan, Y.; Hu, J.; Lin, C.

    2010-12-01

    LiDAR technique allows rapid acquisition of high resolution and high precision topographic data. The technique has found considerable use in the earth sciences, for example for fluvial morphology and flood modelling. These developments have offered new opportunities for investigating spatial and temporal patterns of morphological change in gravel-bed river and have contributed to develop in two points: (1)morphometric estimates of sediment transport and sediment yields ;(2)boundary conditions for numerical models, including computational fluid dynamics and modelling. This topographic research funded by the Taiwan Central Geological Survey, surveyed the terrain of the Lanyang River before and after the typhoon season using Airborne LiDAR technique, and computed the terrain variations. The Lanyang River is one of main rivers in Taiwan and often suffers the influence of typhoon during summer. Most of sediments generated from slump and soil erosion into river were transported from the upstream watershed and resulted in the riverbed changes during the typhoon season. In 2008, there are four significant typhoon events influencing this area, including the Kalmaegi, Fung-wong, Sinlaku, and Jangmi typhoons. At present, sediment yield calculation often used empirical or theoretical formula as well as data collected at hydrological stations, and rarely had the actual measured value through high-resolution topography. The variations of the terrain on the riverbed may be regarded as the sediment yield of the bed load transported during the typhoon season. This research used high-resolution terrain models to compute sediment yield of the bed load, and further discussed volumes of sediment yield in watershed during the typhoon season. In the Lanyang River we discovered that the upstream and midstream channel still had the characteristics of erosion and transportation during the typhoon season. The results imply significant sediment yield and transportation from the upstream

  4. Phosphoproteomic Analysis of KSHV-Infected Cells Reveals Roles of ORF45-Activated RSK during Lytic Replication

    PubMed Central

    Avey, Denis; Tepper, Sarah; Li, Wenwei; Turpin, Zachary; Zhu, Fanxiu

    2015-01-01

    Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic virus which has adapted unique mechanisms to modulate the cellular microenvironment of its human host. The pathogenesis of KSHV is intimately linked to its manipulation of cellular signaling pathways, including the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. We have previously shown that KSHV ORF45 contributes to the sustained activation of both ERK and p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK, a major functional mediator of ERK/MAPK signaling) during KSHV lytic replication. ORF45-activated RSK is required for optimal KSHV lytic gene expression and progeny virion production, though the underlying mechanisms downstream of this activation are still unclear. We hypothesized that the activation of RSK by ORF45 causes differential phosphorylation of cellular and viral substrates, affecting biological processes essential for efficient KSHV lytic replication. Accordingly, we observed widespread and significant differences in protein phosphorylation upon induction of lytic replication. Mass-spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic screening identified putative substrates of ORF45-activated RSK in KSHV-infected cells. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that nuclear proteins, including several transcriptional regulators, were overrepresented among these candidates. We validated the ORF45/RSK-dependent phosphorylation of several putative substrates by employing KSHV BAC mutagenesis, kinase inhibitor treatments, and/or CRISPR-mediated knockout of RSK in KSHV-infected cells. Furthermore, we assessed the consequences of knocking out these substrates on ORF45/RSK-dependent regulation of gene expression and KSHV progeny virion production. Finally, we show data to support that ORF45 regulates the translational efficiency of a subset of viral/cellular genes with complex secondary structure in their 5’ UTR. Altogether, these data shed light on the mechanisms by which KSHV ORF45 manipulates

  5. Structures of lipoyl synthase reveal a compact active site for controlling sequential sulfur insertion reactions.

    PubMed

    Harmer, Jenny E; Hiscox, Martyn J; Dinis, Pedro C; Fox, Stephen J; Iliopoulos, Andreas; Hussey, James E; Sandy, James; Van Beek, Florian T; Essex, Jonathan W; Roach, Peter L

    2014-11-15

    Lipoyl cofactors are essential for living organisms and are produced by the insertion of two sulfur atoms into the relatively unreactive C-H bonds of an octanoyl substrate. This reaction requires lipoyl synthase, a member of the radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) enzyme superfamily. In the present study, we solved crystal structures of lipoyl synthase with two [4Fe-4S] clusters bound at opposite ends of the TIM barrel, the usual fold of the radical SAM superfamily. The cluster required for reductive SAM cleavage conserves the features of the radical SAM superfamily, but the auxiliary cluster is bound by a CX4CX5C motif unique to lipoyl synthase. The fourth ligand to the auxiliary cluster is an extremely unusual serine residue. Site-directed mutants show this conserved serine ligand is essential for the sulfur insertion steps. One crystallized lipoyl synthase (LipA) complex contains 5'-methylthioadenosine (MTA), a breakdown product of SAM, bound in the likely SAM-binding site. Modelling has identified an 18 Å (1 Å=0.1 nm) deep channel, well-proportioned to accommodate an octanoyl substrate. These results suggest that the auxiliary cluster is the likely sulfur donor, but access to a sulfide ion for the second sulfur insertion reaction requires the loss of an iron atom from the auxiliary cluster, which the serine ligand may enable.

  6. Active microrheology reveals molecular-level variations in the viscoelastic properties of Chaetopterus mucus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weigand, William; Messmore, Ashley; Anderson, Rae

    The sea annelid, Chaetopterus Variopedatus, secretes a bioluminescent mucus that also exhibits complex viscoelastic properties. The constituents of the mucus are relatively unknown but it does play an important role in the development of the worms' parchment-like housing tubes. In order to determine how and why this mucus can exhibit material properties ranging from fluidity to rigidity we perform microrheology experiments. We determine the microscale viscoelastic properties by using optical tweezers to produce small oscillations in the mucus which allow us to determine both the linear storage and loss moduli (G',G'') along with the viscosity of the fluid. By varying the size of the microspheres (2-10 µm) and oscillation amplitude (.5-10 µm) we are able to determine the dominant intrinsic length scales of the molecular mesh comprising the mucus. By varying the oscillation frequency (1-15Hz) we determine the crossover frequency at which G' surpasses G'', to quantify the longest relaxation time of the mesh network. Initial results show a strong dependence on bead size which indicate that the dominant entanglement lengthscale of the mucus mesh is ~5 um. Microspheres of this size exhibit a wide variety of stress responses in different regions of the mucus demonstrating the substantial microscale heterogeneity of the mucus. We carry out measurements on a population of worms of varying size and age to determine mucus variability between worms.

  7. Directed random walks and constraint programming reveal active pathways in hepatocyte growth factor signaling.

    PubMed

    Kittas, Aristotelis; Delobelle, Aurélien; Schmitt, Sabrina; Breuhahn, Kai; Guziolowski, Carito; Grabe, Niels

    2016-01-01

    An effective means to analyze mRNA expression data is to take advantage of established knowledge from pathway databases, using methods such as pathway-enrichment analyses. However, pathway databases are not case-specific and expression data could be used to infer gene-regulation patterns in the context of specific pathways. In addition, canonical pathways may not always describe the signaling mechanisms properly, because interactions can frequently occur between genes in different pathways. Relatively few methods have been proposed to date for generating and analyzing such networks, preserving the causality between gene interactions and reasoning over the qualitative logic of regulatory effects. We present an algorithm (MCWalk) integrated with a logic programming approach, to discover subgraphs in large-scale signaling networks by random walks in a fully automated pipeline. As an exemplary application, we uncover the signal transduction mechanisms in a gene interaction network describing hepatocyte growth factor-stimulated cell migration and proliferation from gene-expression measured with microarray and RT-qPCR using in-house perturbation experiments in a keratinocyte-fibroblast co-culture. The resulting subgraphs illustrate possible associations of hepatocyte growth factor receptor c-Met nodes, differentially expressed genes and cellular states. Using perturbation experiments and Answer Set programming, we are able to select those which are more consistent with the experimental data. We discover key regulator nodes by measuring the frequency with which they are traversed when connecting signaling between receptors and significantly regulated genes and predict their expression-shift consistently with the measured data. The Java implementation of MCWalk is publicly available under the MIT license at: https://bitbucket.org/akittas/biosubg.

  8. IFNAR signaling directly modulates T lymphocyte activity, resulting in milder experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis development.

    PubMed

    Kavrochorianou, Nadia; Evangelidou, Maria; Markogiannaki, Melina; Tovey, Michael; Thyphronitis, George; Haralambous, Sylva

    2016-01-01

    Although interferon-β is used as first-line therapy for multiple sclerosis, the cell type-specific activity of type I interferons in multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, remains obscure. In this study, we have elucidated the in vivo immunomodulatory role of type I interferon signaling in T cells during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by use of a novel transgenic mouse, carrying a cd2-ifnar1 transgene on a interferon-α/β receptor 1 null genetic background, thus allowing expression of the interferon-α/β receptor 1 and hence, a functional type I interferon receptor exclusively on T cells. These transgenic mice exhibited milder experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis with reduced T cell infiltration, demyelination, and axonal damage in the central nervous system. It is noteworthy that interferon-β administration in transgenic mice generated a more pronounced, protective effect against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis compared with untreated littermates. In vivo studies demonstrated that before experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis onset, endogenous type I interferon receptor signaling in T cells led to impaired T-helper 17 responses, with a reduced fraction of CCR6(+) CD4(+) T cells in the periphery. At the acute phase, an increased proportion of interleukin-10- and interferon-γ-producing CD4(+) T cells was detected in the periphery of the transgenic mice, accompanied by up-regulation of the interferon-γ-induced gene Irgm1 in peripheral T cells. Together, these results reveal a hitherto unknown T cell-associated protective role of type I interferon in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis that may provide valuable clues for designing novel therapeutic strategies for multiple sclerosis.

  9. IFNAR signaling directly modulates T lymphocyte activity, resulting in milder experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis development.

    PubMed

    Kavrochorianou, Nadia; Evangelidou, Maria; Markogiannaki, Melina; Tovey, Michael; Thyphronitis, George; Haralambous, Sylva

    2016-01-01

    Although interferon-β is used as first-line therapy for multiple sclerosis, the cell type-specific activity of type I interferons in multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, remains obscure. In this study, we have elucidated the in vivo immunomodulatory role of type I interferon signaling in T cells during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by use of a novel transgenic mouse, carrying a cd2-ifnar1 transgene on a interferon-α/β receptor 1 null genetic background, thus allowing expression of the interferon-α/β receptor 1 and hence, a functional type I interferon receptor exclusively on T cells. These transgenic mice exhibited milder experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis with reduced T cell infiltration, demyelination, and axonal damage in the central nervous system. It is noteworthy that interferon-β administration in transgenic mice generated a more pronounced, protective effect against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis compared with untreated littermates. In vivo studies demonstrated that before experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis onset, endogenous type I interferon receptor signaling in T cells led to impaired T-helper 17 responses, with a reduced fraction of CCR6(+) CD4(+) T cells in the periphery. At the acute phase, an increased proportion of interleukin-10- and interferon-γ-producing CD4(+) T cells was detected in the periphery of the transgenic mice, accompanied by up-regulation of the interferon-γ-induced gene Irgm1 in peripheral T cells. Together, these results reveal a hitherto unknown T cell-associated protective role of type I interferon in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis that may provide valuable clues for designing novel therapeutic strategies for multiple sclerosis. PMID:26232452

  10. A VIN1 GUS::GFP fusion reveals activated sucrose metabolism programming occurring in interspersed cells during tomato fruit ripening.

    PubMed

    Estornell, Leandro Hueso; Pons, Clara; Martínez, Alicia; O'Connor, José Enrique; Orzaez, Diego; Granell, Antonio

    2013-08-15

    The tomato is a model for fleshy fruit development and ripening. Here we report on the identification of a novel unique cell autonomous/cellular pattern of expression that was detected in fruits of transgenic tomato lines carrying a GFP GUS driven by the fruit specific vacuolar invertase promoter VIN1. The VIN1 promoter sequence faithfully reproduced the global endogenous VIN expression by conferring a biphasic pattern of expression with a second phase clearly associated to fruit ripening. A closer view revealed a salt and pepper pattern of expression characterized by individual cells exhibiting a range of expression levels (from high to low) surrounded by cells with no expression. This type of pattern was detected across different fruit tissues and cell types with some preferences for vascular, sub-epidermal layer and the inner part of the fruit. Cell ability to show promoter activity was neither directly associated with overall ripening - as we find VIN+ and - VIN- cells at all stages of ripening, nor with cell size. Nevertheless the number of cells with active VIN-driven expression increased with ripening and the activity of the VIN promoter seems to be inversely correlated with cell size in VIN+ cells. Gene expression analysis of FACS-sorted VIN+ cells revealed a transcriptionally distinct subpopulation of cells defined by increased expression of genes related to sucrose metabolism, and decreased activity in protein synthesis and chromatin remodeling. This finding suggests that local micro heterogeneity may underlie some aspects (i.e. the futile cycles involving sucrose metabolism) of an otherwise more uniform looking ripening program.

  11. Reducing contralateral SI activity reveals hindlimb receptive fields in the SI forelimb-stump representation of neonatally amputated rats.

    PubMed

    Pluto, Charles P; Chiaia, Nicolas L; Rhoades, Robert W; Lane, Richard D

    2005-09-01

    In adult rats that sustained forelimb amputation on the day of birth, >30% of multiunit recording sites in the forelimb-stump representation of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) also respond to cutaneous hindlimb stimulation when cortical GABA(A+B) receptors are blocked (GRB). This study examined whether hindlimb receptive fields could also be revealed in forelimb-stump sites by reducing one known source of excitatory input to SI GABAergic neurons, the contralateral SI cortex. Corpus callosum projection neurons connect homotopic SI regions, making excitatory contacts onto pyramidal cells and interneurons. Thus in addition to providing monosynaptic excitation in SI, callosal fibers can produce disynaptic inhibition through excitatory synapses with inhibitory interneurons. Based on the latter of these connections, we hypothesized that inactivating the contralateral (intact) SI forelimb region would "unmask" normally suppressed hindlimb responses by reducing the activity of SI GABAergic neurons. The SI forelimb-stump representation was first mapped under normal conditions and then during GRB to identify stump/hindlimb responsive sites. After GRB had dissipated, the contralateral (intact) SI forelimb region was mapped and reversibly inactivated with injections of 4% lidocaine, and selected forelimb-stump sites were retested. Contralateral SI inactivation revealed hindlimb responses in approximately 60% of sites that were stump/hindlimb responsive during GRB. These findings indicate that activity in the contralateral SI contributes to the suppression of reorganized hindlimb receptive fields in neonatally amputated rats.

  12. Active and secreted IgA-coated bacterial fractions from the human gut reveal an under-represented microbiota core

    PubMed Central

    D'Auria, Giuseppe; Peris-Bondia, Francesc; Džunková, Mária; Mira, Alex; Collado, Maria Carmen; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés

    2013-01-01

    Host-associated microbiota varies in distribution depending on the body area inhabited. Gut microbes are known to interact with the human immune system, maintaining gut homoeostasis. Thus, we studied whether secreted-IgA (S-IgA) coat specific microbial taxa without inducing strong immune responses. To do so, we fractionated gut microbiota by flow cytometry. We found that active and S-IgA-coated bacterial fractions were characterized by a higher diversity than those observed in raw faecal suspensions. A long-tail effect was observed in family distribution, revealing that rare bacteria represent up to 20% of total diversity. While Firmicutes was the most abundant phylum, the majority of its sequences were not assigned at the genus level. Finally, the single-cell-based approach enabled us to focus on active and S-IgA-coated bacteria. Thus, we revealed a microbiota core common to the healthy volunteers participating in the study. Interestingly, this core was composed mainly of low frequency taxa (e.g. Sphingomonadaceae). PMID:24343271

  13. An investigation of herpes simplex virus promoter activity compatible with latency establishment reveals VP16-independent activation of immediate-early promoters in sensory neurones.

    PubMed

    Proença, João T; Coleman, Heather M; Nicoll, Michael P; Connor, Viv; Preston, Christopher M; Arthur, Jane; Efstathiou, Stacey

    2011-11-01

    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type-1 establishes lifelong latency in sensory neurones and it is widely assumed that latency is the consequence of a failure to initiate virus immediate-early (IE) gene expression. However, using a Cre reporter mouse system in conjunction with Cre-expressing HSV-1 recombinants we have previously shown that activation of the IE ICP0 promoter can precede latency establishment in at least 30% of latently infected cells. During productive infection of non-neuronal cells, IE promoter activation is largely dependent on the transactivator VP16 a late structural component of the virion. Of significance, VP16 has recently been shown to exhibit altered regulation in neurones; where its de novo synthesis is necessary for IE gene expression during both lytic infection and reactivation from latency. In the current study, we utilized the Cre reporter mouse model system to characterize the full extent of viral promoter activity compatible with cell survival and latency establishment. In contrast to the high frequency activation of representative IE promoters prior to latency establishment, cell marking using a virus recombinant expressing Cre under VP16 promoter control was very inefficient. Furthermore, infection of neuronal cultures with VP16 mutants reveals a strong VP16 requirement for IE promoter activity in non-neuronal cells, but not sensory neurones. We conclude that only IE promoter activation can efficiently precede latency establishment and that this activation is likely to occur through a VP16-independent mechanism. PMID:21752961

  14. Low dose cadmium poisoning results in sustained ERK phosphorylation and caspase activation

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Patrick . E-mail: pmartin@unice.fr; Poggi, Marie Christine . E-mail: poggi@unice.fr; Chambard, Jean Claude . E-mail: chambard@unice.fr; Boulukos, Kim E. . E-mail: boulukos@unice.fr; Pognonec, Philippe . E-mail: pognonec@unice.fr

    2006-11-24

    Cadmium poisoning has been known to result in a wide variety of cellular responses, including oxidative stress and kinase activation. It has been reported that ERK is activated following acute cadmium exposure, and this response is commonly seen as a classical ERK survival mechanism. Here, we analyzed different cell types for their responses to low concentrations of cadmium poisoning. We found that there is an association between cell susceptibility to cadmium toxicity and ERK activation. This activation is atypical, since it consists of a sustained ERK phosphorylation, that lasts up to 6 days post stimulation. This activation is associated with the appearance of cleaved caspases 8 and 3, processed PARP, and irreversible damage. Pharmacological inhibition of ERK phosphorylation results in the ability of cells to resist cadmium poisoning. Our data indicate that low cadmium concentrations result in an unconventional ERK sustained phosphorylation, which in turn leads to death signaling.

  15. Genetic elimination of GABAergic neurotransmission reveals two distinct pacemakers for spontaneous waves of activity in the developing mouse cortex.

    PubMed

    Easton, Curtis R; Weir, Keiko; Scott, Adina; Moen, Samantha P; Barger, Zeke; Folch, Albert; Hevner, Robert F; Moody, William J

    2014-03-12

    Many structures of the mammalian CNS generate propagating waves of electrical activity early in development. These waves are essential to CNS development, mediating a variety of developmental processes, such as axonal outgrowth and pathfinding, synaptogenesis, and the maturation of ion channel and receptor properties. In the mouse cerebral cortex, waves of activity occur between embryonic day 18 and postnatal day 8 and originate in pacemaker circuits in the septal nucleus and the piriform cortex. Here we show that genetic knock-out of the major synthetic enzyme for GABA, GAD67, selectively eliminates the picrotoxin-sensitive fraction of these waves. The waves that remain in the GAD67 knock-out have a much higher probability of propagating into the dorsal neocortex, as do the picrotoxin-resistant fraction of waves in controls. Field potential recordings at the point of wave initiation reveal different electrical signatures for GABAergic and glutamatergic waves. These data indicate that: (1) there are separate GABAergic and glutamatergic pacemaker circuits within the piriform cortex, each of which can initiate waves of activity; (2) the glutamatergic pacemaker initiates waves that preferentially propagate into the neocortex; and (3) the initial appearance of the glutamatergic pacemaker does not require preceding GABAergic waves. In the absence of GAD67, the electrical activity underlying glutamatergic waves shows greatly increased tendency to burst, indicating that GABAergic inputs inhibit the glutamatergic pacemaker, even at stages when GABAergic pacemaker circuitry can itself initiate waves.

  16. Superresolution microscopy reveals nanometer-scale reorganization of inhibitory natural killer cell receptors upon activation of NKG2D.

    PubMed

    Pageon, Sophie V; Cordoba, Shaun-Paul; Owen, Dylan M; Rothery, Stephen M; Oszmiana, Anna; Davis, Daniel M

    2013-07-23

    Natural killer (NK) cell responses are regulated by a dynamic equilibrium between activating and inhibitory receptor signals at the immune synapse (or interface) with target cells. Although the organization of receptors at the immune synapse is important for appropriate integration of these signals, there is little understanding of this in detail, because research has been hampered by the limited resolution of light microscopy. Through the use of superresolution single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to reveal the organization of the NK cell surface at the single-protein level, we report that the inhibitory receptor KIR2DL1 is organized in nanometer-scale clusters at the surface of human resting NK cells. Nanoclusters of KIR2DL1 became smaller and denser upon engagement of the activating receptor NKG2D, establishing an unexpected crosstalk between activating receptor signals and the positioning of inhibitory receptors. These rearrangements in the nanoscale organization of surface NK cell receptors were dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. Together, these data establish that NK cell activation involves a nanometer-scale reorganization of surface receptors, which in turn affects models for signal integration and thresholds that control NK cell effector functions and NK cell development. PMID:23882121

  17. Oscillatory phase modulates the timing of neuronal activations and resulting behavior.

    PubMed

    Coon, W G; Gunduz, A; Brunner, P; Ritaccio, A L; Pesaran, B; Schalk, G

    2016-06-01

    Human behavioral response timing is highly variable from trial to trial. While it is generally understood that behavioral variability must be due to trial-by-trial variations in brain function, it is still largely unknown which physiological mechanisms govern the timing of neural activity as it travels through networks of neuronal populations, and how variations in the timing of neural activity relate to variations in the timing of behavior. In our study, we submitted recordings from the cortical surface to novel analytic techniques to chart the trajectory of neuronal population activity across the human cortex in single trials, and found joint modulation of the timing of this activity and of consequent behavior by neuronal oscillations in the alpha band (8-12Hz). Specifically, we established that the onset of population activity tends to occur during the trough of oscillatory activity, and that deviations from this preferred relationship are related to changes in the timing of population activity and the speed of the resulting behavioral response. These results indicate that neuronal activity incurs variable delays as it propagates across neuronal populations, and that the duration of each delay is a function of the instantaneous phase of oscillatory activity. We conclude that the results presented in this paper are supportive of a general model for variability in the effective speed of information transmission in the human brain and for variability in the timing of human behavior. PMID:26975551

  18. Active Learning in Large Classes: Can Small Interventions Produce Greater Results than Are Statistically Predictable?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adrian, Lynne M.

    2010-01-01

    Six online postings and six one-minute papers were added to an introductory first-year class, forming 5 percent of the final grade, but represented significant intervention in class functioning and amount of active learning. Active learning produced results in student performance beyond the percentage of the final grade it constituted. (Contains 1…

  19. Does Pedometer Goal Setting Improve Physical Activity among Native Elders? Results from a Randomized Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawchuk, Craig N.; Russo, Joan E.; Charles, Steve; Goldberg, Jack; Forquera, Ralph; Roy-Byrne, Peter; Buchwald, Dedra

    2011-01-01

    We examined if step-count goal setting resulted in increases in physical activity and walking compared to only monitoring step counts with pedometers among American Indian/Alaska Native elders. Outcomes included step counts, self-reported physical activity and well-being, and performance on the 6-minute walk test. Although no significant…

  20. Multifunctional bioscaffolds for 3D culture of melanoma cells reveal increased MMP activity and migration with BRAF kinase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Leight, Jennifer L; Tokuda, Emi Y; Jones, Caitlin E; Lin, Austin J; Anseth, Kristi S

    2015-04-28

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important for many different types of cancer-related processes, including metastasis. Understanding the functional impact of changes in MMP activity during cancer treatment is an important facet not typically evaluated as part of preclinical research. With MMP activity being a critical component of the metastatic cascade, we designed a 3D hydrogel system to probe whether pharmacological inhibition affected human melanoma cell proteolytic activity; metastatic melanoma is a highly aggressive and drug-resistant form of skin cancer. The relationship between MMP activity and drug treatment is unknown, and therefore we used an in situ fluorogenic MMP sensor peptide to determine how drug treatment affects melanoma cell MMP activity in three dimensions. We encapsulated melanoma cells from varying stages of progression within PEG-based hydrogels to examine the relationship between drug treatment and MMP activity. From these results, a metastatic melanoma cell line (A375) and two inhibitors that inhibit RAF (PLX4032 and sorafenib) were studied further to determine whether changes in MMP activity led to a functional change in cell behavior. A375 cells exhibited increased MMP activity despite an overall decrease in metabolic activity with PLX4032 treatment. The changes in proteolytic activity correlated with increased cell elongation and increased single-cell migration. In contrast, sorafenib did not alter MMP activity or cell motility, showing that the changes induced by PLX4032 were not a universal response to small-molecule inhibition. Therefore, we argue the importance of studying MMP activity with drug treatment and its possible implications for unwanted side effects. PMID:25870264

  1. Chemical Synthesis of Arabidopsis CLV3 Glycopeptide Reveals the Impact of Hydroxyproline Arabinosylation on Peptide Conformation and Activity

    PubMed Central

    Shinohara, Hidefumi; Matsubayashi, Yoshikatsu

    2013-01-01

    Arabinosylation of hydroxyproline (Hyp) is a post-translational modification often found in secreted peptide signals in plants. The physiological importance of this modification was highlighted by the finding that CLAVATA3 (CLV3), a key peptide signal for regulating the fate of stem cells in the shoot apical meristem in Arabidopsis, contains three l-arabinose residues linked via linear β-1,2-linkages. However, understanding the functions and properties of arabinosylated peptides has been hindered by difficulties in synthesizing the complex arabinose chain. Here we report the stereoselective total synthesis of β-1,2-linked triarabinosylated CLV3 peptide ([Ara3]CLV3). Chemically synthesized [Ara3]CLV3 restricted stem cell activity more effectively than did unmodified CLV3 peptide. Comparison of mono-, di- and triarabinosylated CLV3 glycopeptides revealed that the biological activity increased progressively as the arabinose chain length increased. Thus, the arabinose chain length of CLV3 is important for its biological activity. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and nuclear Overhauser effect-based structure calculations further revealed the structural impact of the arabinose chain on peptide conformation. The arabinose chain of [Ara3]CLV3 extends toward the C-terminal end of the peptide, and its non-reducing end is positioned proximal to the peptide backbone. Consequently, the arabinose chain causes distinct distortion in the C-terminal half of the peptide in a highly directional manner. The established synthetic route of [Ara3]CLV3 will greatly contribute to our understanding of the biology and biochemistry of arabinosylated peptide signals in plants. PMID:23256149

  2. Chemical synthesis of Arabidopsis CLV3 glycopeptide reveals the impact of hydroxyproline arabinosylation on peptide conformation and activity.

    PubMed

    Shinohara, Hidefumi; Matsubayashi, Yoshikatsu

    2013-03-01

    Arabinosylation of hydroxyproline (Hyp) is a post-translational modification often found in secreted peptide signals in plants. The physiological importance of this modification was highlighted by the finding that CLAVATA3 (CLV3), a key peptide signal for regulating the fate of stem cells in the shoot apical meristem in Arabidopsis, contains three l-arabinose residues linked via linear β-1,2-linkages. However, understanding the functions and properties of arabinosylated peptides has been hindered by difficulties in synthesizing the complex arabinose chain. Here we report the stereoselective total synthesis of β-1,2-linked triarabinosylated CLV3 peptide ([Ara3]CLV3). Chemically synthesized [Ara3]CLV3 restricted stem cell activity more effectively than did unmodified CLV3 peptide. Comparison of mono-, di- and triarabinosylated CLV3 glycopeptides revealed that the biological activity increased progressively as the arabinose chain length increased. Thus, the arabinose chain length of CLV3 is important for its biological activity. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and nuclear Overhauser effect-based structure calculations further revealed the structural impact of the arabinose chain on peptide conformation. The arabinose chain of [Ara3]CLV3 extends toward the C-terminal end of the peptide, and its non-reducing end is positioned proximal to the peptide backbone. Consequently, the arabinose chain causes distinct distortion in the C-terminal half of the peptide in a highly directional manner. The established synthetic route of [Ara3]CLV3 will greatly contribute to our understanding of the biology and biochemistry of arabinosylated peptide signals in plants.

  3. Do Media Use and Physical Activity Compete in Adolescents? Results of the MoMo Study

    PubMed Central

    Spengler, Sarah; Mess, Filip; Woll, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The displacement hypothesis predicts that physical activity and media use compete in adolescents; however, findings are inconsistent. A more differentiated approach at determining the co-occurrence of physical activity and media use behaviors within subjects may be warranted. The aim of this study was to determine the co-occurrence of physical activity and media use by identifying clusters of adolescents with specific behavior patterns including physical activity in various settings (school, sports club, leisure time) and different types of media use (watching TV, playing console games, using PC / Internet). Methods Cross-sectional data of 2,083 adolescents (11–17 years) from all over Germany were collected between 2009 and 2012 in the Motorik-Modul Study. Physical activity and media use were self-reported. Cluster analyses (Ward’s method and K-means analysis) were used to identify behavior patterns of boys and girls separately. Results Eight clusters were identified for boys and seven for girls. The clusters demonstrated that a high proportion of boys (33%) as well as girls (42%) show low engagement in both physical activity and media use, irrespective of setting or type of media. Other adolescents are engaged in both behaviors, but either physical activity (35% of boys, 27% of girls) or media use (31% of boys and girls) predominates. These adolescents belong to different clusters, whereat in most clusters either one specific setting of physical activity or a specific combination of different types of media predominates. Conclusion The results of this study support to some extent the hypothesis that media use and physical activity compete: Very high media use occurred with low physical activity behavior, but very high activity levels co-occurred with considerable amounts of time using any media. There was no evidence that type of used media was related to physical activity levels, neither setting of physical activity was related to amount of media use

  4. Constitutively Active Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Versions Reveal Functions of Arabidopsis MPK4 in Pathogen Defense Signaling[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Berriri, Souha; Garcia, Ana Victoria; dit Frey, Nicolas Frei; Rozhon, Wilfried; Pateyron, Stéphanie; Leonhardt, Nathalie; Montillet, Jean-Luc; Leung, Jeffrey; Hirt, Heribert; Colcombet, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Plant mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are involved in important processes, including stress signaling and development. In a functional yeast screen, we identified mutations that render Arabidopsis thaliana MAPKs constitutively active (CA). Importantly, CA-MAPKs maintain their specificity toward known activators and substrates. As a proof-of-concept, Arabidopsis MAPK4 (MPK4) function in plant immunity was investigated. In agreement with the phenotype of mpk4 mutants, CA-MPK4 plants were compromised in pathogen-induced salicylic acid accumulation and disease resistance. MPK4 activity was found to negatively regulate pathogen-associated molecular pattern-induced reactive oxygen species production but had no impact on callose deposition, indicating that CA-MPK4 allows discriminating between processes regulated by MPK4 activity from processes indirectly affected by mpk4 mutation. Finally, MPK4 activity was also found to compromise effector-triggered immunity conditioned by the Toll Interleukin-1 Receptor–nucleotide binding (NB)–Leu-rich repeat (LRR) receptors RPS4 and RPP4 but not by the coiled coil–NB-LRR receptors RPM1 and RPS2. Overall, these data reveal important insights on how MPK4 regulates plant defenses and establishes that CA-MAPKs offer a powerful tool to analyze the function of plant MAPK pathways. PMID:23115249

  5. Preliminary results from a study of the impact of digital activity trackers on health risk status.

    PubMed

    Rowe-Roberts, Dinah; Cercos, Robert; Mueller, Florian 'Floyd'

    2014-01-01

    Digital activity trackers are becoming increasingly more widespread and affordable, providing new opportunities to support participatory e-health programs in which participants take an active role. However, there is limited knowledge of how to deploy these activity trackers within these programs. In response, we conducted a 7-month study with 212 employees using a wireless activity tracker to log step count. Our results suggest that these devices can support improving physical activity levels and consequently reduce diabetes risk factors. Furthermore, the intervention seems more effective for people with higher risk factors. With our work we aim to contribute to a better understanding of the issues and challenges involved in the design of participatory e-health programs that include activity trackers. PMID:25087541

  6. Single cell genomics reveals activation signatures of endogenous SCAR's networks in aneuploid human embryos and clinically intractable malignant tumors.

    PubMed

    Glinsky, Gennadi V

    2016-10-10

    Somatic mutations and chromosome instability are hallmarks of genomic aberrations in cancer cells. Aneuploidies represent common manifestations of chromosome instability, which is frequently observed in human embryos and malignant solid tumors. Activation of human endogenous retroviruses (HERV)-derived loci is documented in preimplantation human embryos, hESC, and multiple types of human malignancies. It remains unknown whether the HERV activation may highlight a common molecular pathway contributing to the frequent occurrence of chromosome instability in the early stages of human embryonic development and the emergence of genomic aberrations in cancer. Single cell RNA sequencing analysis of human preimplantation embryos reveals activation of specific LTR7/HERVH loci during the transition from the oocytes to zygotes and identifies HERVH network signatures associated with the aneuploidy in human embryos. The correlation patterns' analysis links transcriptome signatures of the HERVH network activation of the in vivo matured human oocytes with gene expression profiles of clinical samples of prostate tumors supporting the existence of a cancer progression pathway from putative precursor lesions (prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia) to localized and metastatic prostate cancers. Tracking signatures of HERVH networks' activation in tumor samples from cancer patients with known long-term therapy outcomes enabled patients' stratification into sub-groups with markedly distinct likelihoods of therapy failure and death from cancer. Genome-wide analyses of human-specific genetic elements of stem cell-associated retroviruses (SCARs)-regulated networks in 12,093 clinical tumor samples across 29 cancer types revealed pan-cancer genomic signatures of clinically-lethal therapy resistant disease defined by the presence of somatic non-silent mutations (SNMs), gene-level copy number changes, and transcripts and proteins' expression of SCARs-regulated host genes. More than 73% of all

  7. Systems Level Analyses Reveal Multiple Regulatory Activities of CodY Controlling Metabolism, Motility and Virulence in Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed

    Lobel, Lior; Herskovits, Anat A

    2016-02-01

    Bacteria sense and respond to many environmental cues, rewiring their regulatory network to facilitate adaptation to new conditions/niches. Global transcription factors that co-regulate multiple pathways simultaneously are essential to this regulatory rewiring. CodY is one such global regulator, controlling expression of both metabolic and virulence genes in Gram-positive bacteria. Branch chained amino acids (BCAAs) serve as a ligand for CodY and modulate its activity. Classically, CodY was considered to function primarily as a repressor under rich growth conditions. However, our previous studies of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes revealed that CodY is active also when the bacteria are starved for BCAAs. Under these conditions, CodY loses the ability to repress genes (e.g., metabolic genes) and functions as a direct activator of the master virulence regulator gene, prfA. This observation raised the possibility that CodY possesses multiple functions that allow it to coordinate gene expression across a wide spectrum of metabolic growth conditions, and thus better adapt bacteria to the mammalian niche. To gain a deeper understanding of CodY's regulatory repertoire and identify direct target genes, we performed a genome wide analysis of the CodY regulon and DNA binding under both rich and minimal growth conditions, using RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq techniques. We demonstrate here that CodY is indeed active (i.e., binds DNA) under both conditions, serving as a repressor and activator of different genes. Further, we identified new genes and pathways that are directly regulated by CodY (e.g., sigB, arg, his, actA, glpF, gadG, gdhA, poxB, glnR and fla genes), integrating metabolism, stress responses, motility and virulence in L. monocytogenes. This study establishes CodY as a multifaceted factor regulating L. monocytogenes physiology in a highly versatile manner. PMID:26895237

  8. Systems Level Analyses Reveal Multiple Regulatory Activities of CodY Controlling Metabolism, Motility and Virulence in Listeria monocytogenes

    PubMed Central

    Lobel, Lior; Herskovits, Anat A.

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria sense and respond to many environmental cues, rewiring their regulatory network to facilitate adaptation to new conditions/niches. Global transcription factors that co-regulate multiple pathways simultaneously are essential to this regulatory rewiring. CodY is one such global regulator, controlling expression of both metabolic and virulence genes in Gram-positive bacteria. Branch chained amino acids (BCAAs) serve as a ligand for CodY and modulate its activity. Classically, CodY was considered to function primarily as a repressor under rich growth conditions. However, our previous studies of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes revealed that CodY is active also when the bacteria are starved for BCAAs. Under these conditions, CodY loses the ability to repress genes (e.g., metabolic genes) and functions as a direct activator of the master virulence regulator gene, prfA. This observation raised the possibility that CodY possesses multiple functions that allow it to coordinate gene expression across a wide spectrum of metabolic growth conditions, and thus better adapt bacteria to the mammalian niche. To gain a deeper understanding of CodY’s regulatory repertoire and identify direct target genes, we performed a genome wide analysis of the CodY regulon and DNA binding under both rich and minimal growth conditions, using RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq techniques. We demonstrate here that CodY is indeed active (i.e., binds DNA) under both conditions, serving as a repressor and activator of different genes. Further, we identified new genes and pathways that are directly regulated by CodY (e.g., sigB, arg, his, actA, glpF, gadG, gdhA, poxB, glnR and fla genes), integrating metabolism, stress responses, motility and virulence in L. monocytogenes. This study establishes CodY as a multifaceted factor regulating L. monocytogenes physiology in a highly versatile manner. PMID:26895237

  9. The crystal structure of Escherichia coli heat shock protein YedU reveals three potential catalytic active sites

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yonghong; Liu, Deqian; Kaluarachchi, Warna D.; Bellamy, Henry D.; White, Mark A.; Fox, Robert O.

    2003-01-01

    The mRNA of Escherichia coli yedU gene is induced 31-fold upon heat shock. The 31-kD YedU protein, also calls Hsp31, is highly conserved in several human pathogens and has chaperone activity. We solved the crystal structure of YedU at 2.2 Å resolution. YedU monomer has an α/β/α sandwich domain and a small α/β domain. YedU is a dimer in solution, and its crystal structure indicates that a significant amount of surface area is buried upon dimerization. There is an extended hydrophobic patch that crosses the dimer interface on the surface of the protein. This hydrophobic patch is likely the substrate-binding site responsible for the chaperone activity. The structure also reveals a potential protease-like catalytic triad composed of Cys184, His185, and Asp213, although no enzymatic activity could be identified. YedU coordinates a metal ion using His85, His122, and Glu90. This 2-His-1-carboxylate motif is present in carboxypeptidase A (a zinc enzyme), and a number of dioxygenases and hydroxylases that utilize iron as a cofactor, suggesting another potential function for YedU. PMID:14500888

  10. Comparative Proteomics Analysis Reveals L-Arginine Activates Ethanol Degradation Pathways in HepG2 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Guokai; Lestari, Retno; Long, Baisheng; Fan, Qiwen; Wang, Zhichang; Guo, Xiaozhen; Yu, Jie; Hu, Jun; Yang, Xingya; Chen, Changqing; Liu, Lu; Li, Xiuzhi; Purnomoadi, Agung; Achmadi, Joelal; Yan, Xianghua

    2016-01-01

    L-Arginine (Arg) is a versatile amino acid that plays crucial roles in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. In this study, to investigate the alteration induced by Arg supplementation in proteome scale, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) based proteomic approach was employed to comparatively characterize the differentially expressed proteins between Arg deprivation (Ctrl) and Arg supplementation (+Arg) treated human liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells. A total of 21 proteins were identified as differentially expressed proteins and these 21 proteins were all up-regulated by Arg supplementation. Six amino acid metabolism-related proteins, mostly metabolic enzymes, showed differential expressions. Intriguingly, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) based pathway analysis suggested that the three ethanol degradation pathways were significantly altered between Ctrl and +Arg. Western blotting and enzymatic activity assays validated that the key enzymes ADH1C, ALDH1A1, and ALDH2, which are mainly involved in ethanol degradation pathways, were highly differentially expressed, and activated between Ctrl and +Arg in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, 10 mM Arg significantly attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by 100 mM ethanol treatment (P < 0.0001). This study is the first time to reveal that Arg activates ethanol degradation pathways in HepG2 cells. PMID:26983598

  11. 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

  12. A novel approach to PTSD modeling in rats reveals alternating patterns of limbic activity in different types of stress reaction.

    PubMed

    Ritov, G; Boltyansky, B; Richter-Levin, G

    2016-05-01

    Human reactions to trauma exposure are extremely diverse, with some individuals exhibiting only time-limited distress and others qualifying for posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis (PTSD). Furthermore, whereas most PTSD patients mainly display fear-based symptoms, a minority of patients display a co-morbid anhedonic phenotype. We employed an individual profiling approach to model these intriguing facets of the psychiatric condition in underwater-trauma exposed rats. Based on long-term assessments of anxiety-like and anhedonic behaviors, our analysis uncovered three separate phenotypes of stress response; an anxious, fear-based (38%), a co-morbid, fear-anhedonic (15%), and an exposed-unaffected group (47%). Immunohistochemical assessments for cellular activation (c-Fos) and activation of inhibition (c-Fos+GAD67) revealed a differential involvement of limbic regions and distinct co-activity patterns for each of these phenotypes, validating the behavioral categorization. In accordance with recent neurocognitive hypotheses for posttraumatic depression, we show that enhanced pretrauma anxiety predicts the progression of posttraumatic anhedonia only in the fear-anhedonic phenotype.

  13. 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.

  14. Subliminal psychodynamic activation: updated comprehensive list of experimental results and comments on previous lists.

    PubMed

    Fudin, R; Benjamin, C

    1992-06-01

    A comprehensive list of results from visual subliminal psychodynamic activation experiments is presented. This list includes results reported since the publication of the last comprehensive list by Weinberger and Hardaway in 1990 and several results not found on that list. On the present list, SPA results are categorized according to criteria that we contend are more objective than those used previously. In contrast to conclusions drawn from previous lists prepared by Silverman in 1980 and 1983, by Weinberger and Hardaway in 1990, and by Weinberger and Silverman in 1987, the present list indicates that the results of a majority of experiments do not clearly support hypotheses tested by the subliminal psychodynamic activation method. Aspects of Hardaway's meta-analyses from 1987 and 1990 for major areas of research on subliminal psychodynamic activation are discussed in terms of suggestions for further research. PMID:1608734

  15. Distribution of glass transition temperatures Tg in polystyrene thin films as revealed by low-energy muon spin relaxation: A comparison with neutron reflectivity results.

    PubMed

    Kanaya, Toshiji; Ogawa, Hiroki; Kishimoto, Mizuki; Inoue, Rintaro; Suter, Andreas; Prokscha, Thomas

    2015-08-01

    In a previous paper [Phys. Rev. E 83, 021801 (2011)] we performed neutron reflectivity (NR) measurements on a five-layer polystyrene (PS) thin film consisting of alternatively stacked deuterated polystyrene (dPS) and hydrogenated polystyrene (hPS) layers (dPS/hPS/dPS/hPS/dPS, ∼100 nm thick) on a Si substrate to reveal the distribution of Tg along the depth direction. Information on the Tg distribution is very useful to understand the interesting but unusual properties of polymer thin films. However, one problem that we have to clarify is if there are effects of deuterium labeling on Tg or not. To tackle the problem we performed low-energy muon spin relaxation (μSR) measurements on the above-mentioned deuterium-labeled five-layer PS thin film as well as dPS and hPS single-layer thin films ∼100 nm thick as a function of muon implantation energy. It was found that the deuterium labeling had no significant effects on the Tg distribution, guaranteeing that we can safely discuss the unusual thin film properties based on the Tg distribution revealed by NR on the deuterium-labeled thin films. In addition, the μSR result suggested that the higher Tg near the Si substrate is due to the strong orientation of phenyl rings. PMID:26382423

  16. Distribution of glass transition temperatures Tg in polystyrene thin films as revealed by low-energy muon spin relaxation: A comparison with neutron reflectivity results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanaya, Toshiji; Ogawa, Hiroki; Kishimoto, Mizuki; Inoue, Rintaro; Suter, Andreas; Prokscha, Thomas

    2015-08-01

    In a previous paper [Phys. Rev. E 83, 021801 (2011), 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.021801] we performed neutron reflectivity (NR) measurements on a five-layer polystyrene (PS) thin film consisting of alternatively stacked deuterated polystyrene (dPS) and hydrogenated polystyrene (hPS) layers (dPS/hPS/dPS/hPS/dPS, ˜100 nm thick) on a Si substrate to reveal the distribution of Tg along the depth direction. Information on the Tg distribution is very useful to understand the interesting but unusual properties of polymer thin films. However, one problem that we have to clarify is if there are effects of deuterium labeling on Tg or not. To tackle the problem we performed low-energy muon spin relaxation (μ SR ) measurements on the above-mentioned deuterium-labeled five-layer PS thin film as well as dPS and hPS single-layer thin films ˜100 nm thick as a function of muon implantation energy. It was found that the deuterium labeling had no significant effects on the Tg distribution, guaranteeing that we can safely discuss the unusual thin film properties based on the Tg distribution revealed by NR on the deuterium-labeled thin films. In addition, the μ SR result suggested that the higher Tg near the Si substrate is due to the strong orientation of phenyl rings.

  17. Distribution of glass transition temperatures Tg in polystyrene thin films as revealed by low-energy muon spin relaxation: A comparison with neutron reflectivity results.

    PubMed

    Kanaya, Toshiji; Ogawa, Hiroki; Kishimoto, Mizuki; Inoue, Rintaro; Suter, Andreas; Prokscha, Thomas

    2015-08-01

    In a previous paper [Phys. Rev. E 83, 021801 (2011)] we performed neutron reflectivity (NR) measurements on a five-layer polystyrene (PS) thin film consisting of alternatively stacked deuterated polystyrene (dPS) and hydrogenated polystyrene (hPS) layers (dPS/hPS/dPS/hPS/dPS, ∼100 nm thick) on a Si substrate to reveal the distribution of Tg along the depth direction. Information on the Tg distribution is very useful to understand the interesting but unusual properties of polymer thin films. However, one problem that we have to clarify is if there are effects of deuterium labeling on Tg or not. To tackle the problem we performed low-energy muon spin relaxation (μSR) measurements on the above-mentioned deuterium-labeled five-layer PS thin film as well as dPS and hPS single-layer thin films ∼100 nm thick as a function of muon implantation energy. It was found that the deuterium labeling had no significant effects on the Tg distribution, guaranteeing that we can safely discuss the unusual thin film properties based on the Tg distribution revealed by NR on the deuterium-labeled thin films. In addition, the μSR result suggested that the higher Tg near the Si substrate is due to the strong orientation of phenyl rings.

  18. Transcriptional profiling of Vibrio parahaemolyticus exsA reveals a complex activation network for type III secretion

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Aaron C.; Thomas, Nikhil A.

    2015-01-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) is a marine halophilic bacterium that is commonly associated with oysters and shrimp. Human consumption of contaminated shellfish can result in Vp mediated gastroenteritis and severe diarrheal disease. Vp encodes two type 3 secretion systems (T3SS-1 and T3SS2) that have been functionally implicated in cytotoxicity and enterotoxicity respectively. In this study, we profiled protein secretion and temporal promoter activities associated with exsA and exsB gene expression. exsA is an AraC-like transcriptional activator that is critical for activating multiple operons that encode T3SS-1 genes, whereas exsB is thought to encode an outer membrane pilotin component for T3SS-1. The exsBA genetic locus has two predicted promoter elements. The predicted exsB and exsA promoters were individually cloned upstream of luxCDABE genes in reporter plasmid constructs allowing for in situ, real-time quantitative light emission measurements under many growth conditions. Low calcium growth conditions supported maximal exsB and exsA promoter activation. exsB promoter activity exhibited high basal activity and resulted in an exsBA co-transcript. Furthermore, a separate proximal exsA promoter showed initial low basal activity yet eventually exceeded that of exsB and reached maximal levels after 2.5 h corresponding to an entry into early log phase. exsA promoter activity was significantly higher at 30°C than 37°C, which also coincided with increased secretion levels of specific T3SS-1 effector proteins. Lastly, bioinformatic analyses identified a putative expanded ExsA binding motif for multiple transcriptional operons. These findings suggest a two wave model of Vp T3SS-I induction that integrates two distinct promoter elements and environmental signals into a complex ExsA activation framework. PMID:26539165

  19. Crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment reveals the mechanism for its molecular chaperone activity in UPR.

    PubMed

    Tao, Jiahui; Petrova, Kseniya; Ron, David; Sha, Bingdong

    2010-04-16

    P58(IPK) might function as an endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperone to maintain protein folding homeostasis during unfolded protein responses. P58(IPK) contains nine tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) motifs and a C-terminal J-domain within its primary sequence. To investigate the mechanism by which P58(IPK) functions to promote protein folding within the endoplasmic reticulum, we have determined the crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment to 2.5 A resolution by the SAD method. The crystal structure of P58(IPK) revealed three domains (I-III) with similar folds and each domain contains three TPR motifs. An ELISA assay indicated that P58(IPK) acts as a molecular chaperone by interacting with misfolded proteins such as luciferase and rhodanese. The P58(IPK) structure reveals a conserved hydrophobic patch located in domain I that might be involved in binding the misfolded polypeptides. Structure-based mutagenesis for the conserved hydrophobic residues located in domain I significantly reduced the molecular chaperone activity of P58(IPK).

  20. Juxtaposition of chemical and mutation- induced developmental defects in zebrafish reveal a novel copper-chelating activity for kalihinol F

    PubMed Central

    Sandoval, Imelda T.; Manos, Elizabeth J.; Van Wagoner, Ryan M.; Delacruz, Richard Glenn C.; Edes, Kornelia; Winge, Dennis R.; Ireland, Chris M.; Jones, David A.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY A major hurdle in using complex systems for drug screening is the difficulty of defining the mechanistic targets of small molecules. The zebrafish provides an excellent model s