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Sample records for activity studies revealed

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Structural Studies of FlaA1 from Helicobacter Pylori Reveal the Mechanism for Inverting 4,6-dehydratase Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Ishiyama,N.; Creuzenet, C.; Miller, W.; Demendi, M.; Anderson, E.; Harauz, G.; Lam, J.; Berghuis, A.

    2006-01-01

    FlaA1 from the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori is an enzyme involved in saccharide biosynthesis that has been shown to be essential for pathogenicity. Here we present five crystal structures of FlaA1 in the presence of substrate, inhibitors, and bound cofactor, with resolutions ranging from 2.8 to 1.9 {angstrom}. These structures reveal that the enzyme is a novel member of the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily. Additional electron microscopy studies show the enzyme to possess a hexameric doughnut-shaped quaternary structure. NMR analyses of 'real time' enzyme-substrate reactions indicate that FlaA1 is a UDP-GlcNAc-inverting 4,6-dehydratase, suggesting that the enzyme catalyzes the first step in the biosynthetic pathway of a pseudaminic acid derivative, which is implicated in protein glycosylation. Guided by evidence from site-directed mutagenesis and computational simulations, a three-step reaction mechanism is proposed that involves Lys-133 functioning as both a catalytic acid and base.

  4. A structure activity-relationship study of the bacterial signal molecule HHQ reveals swarming motility inhibition in Bacillus atrophaeus.

    PubMed

    Reen, F Jerry; Shanahan, Rachel; Cano, Rafael; O'Gara, Fergal; McGlacken, Gerard P

    2015-05-21

    The sharp rise in antimicrobial resistance has been matched by a decline in the identification and clinical introduction of new classes of drugs to target microbial infections. Thus new approaches are being sought to counter the pending threat of a post-antibiotic era. In that context, the use of non-growth limiting small molecules, that target virulence behaviour in pathogens, has emerged as a solution with real clinical potential. We have previously shown that two signal molecules (HHQ and PQS) from the nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa have modulatory activity towards other microorganisms. This current study involves the synthesis and evaluation of analogues of HHQ towards swarming and biofilm virulence behaviour in Bacillus atrophaeus, a soil bacterium and co-inhibitor with P. aeruginosa. Compounds with altered C6-C8 positions on the anthranilate-derived ring of HHQ, display a surprising degree of biological specificity, with certain candidates displaying complete motility inhibition. In contrast, anti-biofilm activity of the parent molecule was completely lost upon alteration at any position indicating a remarkable degree of specificity and delineation of phenotype. PMID:25880413

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Episodic nature of earthquake activity in stable continental regions revealed by palaeoseismicity studies of Australian and North American Quaternary faults

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crone, A.J.; Machette, M.N.; Bowman, J.R.

    1997-01-01

    Palaeoseismic investigations of recent faulting in stable continental regions of Australia, North America and India show that these faults typically have a long-term behaviour characterised by episodes of activity separated by quiescent intervals of at least 10 000 and commonly 100 000 years or more. Long recurrence intervals such as these are well documented by detailed studies of the faults that ruptured during the 1986 Marryat Creek, South Australia and 1988 Tennant Creek, Northern Territory earthquakes. Thus, neotectonic features associated with stable continental region faults such as scarps and grabens commonly have subtle geomorphic expression and may be poorly preserved. Many potentially hazardous faults in stable continental regions are aseismic, which is one reason why the inventory of these faults is incomplete. Although they may be currently aseismic, faults in stable continental regions that are favourably oriented for movement in the current stress field could produce damaging earthquakes, often in unexpected places. Comprehensive palaeoseismic investigations of modern and prehistoric faulting events in stable continental regions are needed to understand the long-term behaviour of these faults, and thereby, improve seismic-hazard assessments.

  8. Structural studies on full-length talin1 reveal a compact auto-inhibited dimer: Implications for talin activation

    PubMed Central

    Goult, Benjamin T.; Xu, Xiao-Ping; Gingras, Alexandre R.; Swift, Mark; Patel, Bipin; Bate, Neil; Kopp, Petra M.; Barsukov, Igor L.; Critchley, David R.; Volkmann, Niels; Hanein, Dorit

    2013-01-01

    Talin is a large adaptor protein that activates integrins and couples them to cytoskeletal actin. Talin contains an N-terminal FERM (band 4.1, ezrin, radixin, moesin) domain (the head) linked to a flexible rod comprised of 13 amphipathic helical bundles (R1–R13) that terminate in a C-terminal helix (DD) that forms an anti-parallel dimer. We derived a three-dimensional structural model of full-length talin at a resolution of approximately 2.5 nm using EM reconstruction of full-length talin and the known shapes of the individual domains and inter-domain angles as derived from small angle X-ray scattering. Talin adopts a compact conformation consistent with a dimer in which the two talin rods form a donut-shaped structure, with the two talin heads packed side by side occupying the hole at the center of this donut. In this configuration, the integrin binding site in the head domain and the actin-binding site at the carboxy-terminus of the rod are masked, implying that talin must unravel before it can support integrin activation and engage the actin cytoskeleton. PMID:23726984

  9. Targeted Lipidomics Studies Reveal that Linolenic Acid Promotes Cotton Fiber Elongation by Activating Phosphatidylinositol and Phosphatidylinositol Monophosphate Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Gao-Jun; Xiao, Guang-Hui; Liu, Ning-Jing; Liu, Dan; Chen, Pei-Shuang; Qin, Yong-Mei; Zhu, Yu-Xian

    2015-06-01

    The membrane lipids from fast-elongating wild-type cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fibers at 10 days post-anthesis, wild-type ovules with fiber cells removed, and ovules from the fuzzless-lintless mutant harvested at the same age, were extracted, separated, and quantified. Fiber cells contained significantly higher amounts of phosphatidylinositol (PI) than both ovule samples with PI 34:3 being the most predominant species. The genes encoding fatty acid desaturases (Δ(15)GhFAD), PI synthase (PIS) and PI kinase (PIK) were expressed in a fiber-preferential manner. Further analysis of phosphatidylinositol monophosphate (PIP) indicated that elongating fibers contained four- to five-fold higher amounts of PIP 34:3 than the ovules. Exogenously applied linolenic acid (C18:3), soybean L-α-PI, and PIPs containing PIP 34:3 promoted significant fiber growth, whereas a liver PI lacking the C18:3 moiety, linoleic acid, and PIP 36:2 were completely ineffective. The growth inhibitory effects of carbenoxolone, 5-hydroxytryptamine, and wortmannin were reverted by C18:3, PI, or PIP, respectively, suggesting that PIP signaling is essential for fiber cell growth. Furthermore, cotton plants expressing virus-induced gene-silencing constructs that specifically suppressed GhΔ(15)FAD, GhPIS, or GhPIK expression, resulted in significantly short-fibered phenotypes. Our data provide the basis for in-depth studies on the roles of PI and PIP in mediating cotton fiber growth.

  10. Quantitative meta-analysis of fMRI and PET studies reveals consistent activation in fronto-striatal-parietal regions and cerebellum during antisaccades and prosaccades

    PubMed Central

    Jamadar, Sharna D.; Fielding, Joanne; Egan, Gary F.

    2013-01-01

    The antisaccade task is a classic task of oculomotor control that requires participants to inhibit a saccade to a target and instead make a voluntary saccade to the mirror opposite location. By comparison, the prosaccade task requires participants to make a visually-guided saccade to the target. These tasks have been studied extensively using behavioral oculomotor, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging in both non-human primates and humans. In humans, the antisaccade task is under active investigation as a potential endophenotype or biomarker for multiple psychiatric and neurological disorders. A large and growing body of literature has used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) to study the neural correlates of the antisaccade and prosaccade tasks. We present a quantitative meta-analysis of all published voxel-wise fMRI and PET studies (18) of the antisaccade task and show that consistent activation for antisaccades and prosaccades is obtained in a fronto-subcortical-parietal network encompassing frontal and supplementary eye fields (SEFs), thalamus, striatum, and intraparietal cortex. This network is strongly linked to oculomotor control and was activated to a greater extent for antisaccade than prosaccade trials. Antisaccade but not prosaccade trials additionally activated dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices. We also found that a number of additional regions not classically linked to oculomotor control were activated to a greater extent for antisaccade vs. prosaccade trials; these regions are often reported in antisaccade studies but rarely commented upon. While the number of studies eligible to be included in this meta-analysis was small, the results of this systematic review reveal that antisaccade and prosaccade trials consistently activate a distributed network of regions both within and outside the classic definition of the oculomotor network. PMID:24137150

  11. Interaction of Di-2-pyridylketone 2-pyridine Carboxylic Acid Hydrazone and Its Copper Complex with BSA: Effect on Antitumor Activity as Revealed by Spectroscopic Studies.

    PubMed

    Li, Cuiping; Huang, Tengfei; Fu, Yun; Liu, Youxun; Zhou, Sufeng; Qi, Zhangyang; Li, Changzheng

    2016-04-28

    The drug, di-2-pyridylketone-2-pyridine carboxylic acid hydrazone (DPPCAH) and its copper complex (DPPCAH-Cu) exhibit significant antitumor activity. However, the mechanism of their pharmacological interaction with the biological molecule bovine serum albumin (BSA) remains poorly understood. The present study elucidates the interactions between the drug and BSA through MTT assays, spectroscopic methods and molecular docking analysis. Our results indicate that BSA could attenuate effect on the cytotoxicity of DPPCAH, but not DPPCAH-Cu. Data from fluorescence quenching measurements demonstrated that both DPPCAH and DPPCAH-Cu could bind to BSA, with a reversed effect on the environment of tryptophan residues in polarity. CD spectra revealed that the DPPCAH-Cu exerted a slightly stronger effect on the secondary structure of BSA than DPPCAH. The association constant of DPPCAH with BSA was greater than that of DPPCAH-Cu. Docking studies indicated that the binding of DPPCAH to BSA involved a greater number of hydrogen bonds compared to DPPCAH-Cu. The calculated distances between bound ligands and tryptophans in BSA were in agreement with fluorescence resonance energy transfer results. Thus, the binding affinity of the drug (DPPCAH or DPPCAH-Cu) with BSA partially contributes to its antitumor activity; the greater the drug affinity is to BSA, the less is its antitumor activity.

  12. Interaction of Di-2-pyridylketone 2-pyridine Carboxylic Acid Hydrazone and Its Copper Complex with BSA: Effect on Antitumor Activity as Revealed by Spectroscopic Studies.

    PubMed

    Li, Cuiping; Huang, Tengfei; Fu, Yun; Liu, Youxun; Zhou, Sufeng; Qi, Zhangyang; Li, Changzheng

    2016-01-01

    The drug, di-2-pyridylketone-2-pyridine carboxylic acid hydrazone (DPPCAH) and its copper complex (DPPCAH-Cu) exhibit significant antitumor activity. However, the mechanism of their pharmacological interaction with the biological molecule bovine serum albumin (BSA) remains poorly understood. The present study elucidates the interactions between the drug and BSA through MTT assays, spectroscopic methods and molecular docking analysis. Our results indicate that BSA could attenuate effect on the cytotoxicity of DPPCAH, but not DPPCAH-Cu. Data from fluorescence quenching measurements demonstrated that both DPPCAH and DPPCAH-Cu could bind to BSA, with a reversed effect on the environment of tryptophan residues in polarity. CD spectra revealed that the DPPCAH-Cu exerted a slightly stronger effect on the secondary structure of BSA than DPPCAH. The association constant of DPPCAH with BSA was greater than that of DPPCAH-Cu. Docking studies indicated that the binding of DPPCAH to BSA involved a greater number of hydrogen bonds compared to DPPCAH-Cu. The calculated distances between bound ligands and tryptophans in BSA were in agreement with fluorescence resonance energy transfer results. Thus, the binding affinity of the drug (DPPCAH or DPPCAH-Cu) with BSA partially contributes to its antitumor activity; the greater the drug affinity is to BSA, the less is its antitumor activity. PMID:27136517

  13. A comprehensive alanine-scanning mutagenesis study reveals roles for salt bridges in the structure and activity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase.

    PubMed

    Bian, Fei; Yue, Shousong; Peng, Zhenying; Zhang, Xiaowei; Chen, Gao; Yu, Jinhui; Xuan, Ning; Bi, Yuping

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between salt bridges and stability/enzymatic activity is unclear. We studied this relationship by systematic alanine-scanning mutation analysis using the typical M4 family metalloprotease Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase (PAE, also known as pseudolysin) as a model. Structural analysis revealed seven salt bridges in the PAE structure. We constructed ten mutants for six salt bridges. Among these mutants, six (Asp189Ala, Arg179Ala, Asp201Ala, Arg205Ala, Arg245Ala and Glu249Ala) were active and four (Asp168Ala, Arg198Ala, Arg253Ala, and Arg279Ala) were inactive. Five mutants were purified, and their catalytic efficiencies (kcat/Km), half-lives (t1/2) and thermal unfolding curves were compared with those of PAE. Mutants Asp189Ala and Arg179Ala both showed decreased thermal stabilities and increased activities, suggesting that the salt bridge Asp189-Arg179 stabilizes the protein at the expense of catalytic efficiency. In contrast, mutants Asp201Ala and Arg205Ala both showed slightly increased thermal stability and slightly decreased activity, suggesting that the salt bridge Asp201-Arg205 destabilizes the protein. Mutant Glu249Ala is related to a C-terminal salt bridge network and showed both decreased thermal stability and decreased activity. Furthermore, Glu249Ala showed a thermal unfolding curve with three discernable states [the native state (N), the partially unfolded state (I) and the unfolded state (U)]. In comparison, there were only two discernable states (N and U) in the thermal unfolding curve of PAE. These results suggest that Glu249 is important for catalytic efficiency, stability and unfolding cooperativity. This study represents a systematic mutational analyses of salt bridges in the model metalloprotease PAE and provides important insights into the structure-function relationship of enzymes.

  14. A comprehensive alanine-scanning mutagenesis study reveals roles for salt bridges in the structure and activity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase.

    PubMed

    Bian, Fei; Yue, Shousong; Peng, Zhenying; Zhang, Xiaowei; Chen, Gao; Yu, Jinhui; Xuan, Ning; Bi, Yuping

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between salt bridges and stability/enzymatic activity is unclear. We studied this relationship by systematic alanine-scanning mutation analysis using the typical M4 family metalloprotease Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase (PAE, also known as pseudolysin) as a model. Structural analysis revealed seven salt bridges in the PAE structure. We constructed ten mutants for six salt bridges. Among these mutants, six (Asp189Ala, Arg179Ala, Asp201Ala, Arg205Ala, Arg245Ala and Glu249Ala) were active and four (Asp168Ala, Arg198Ala, Arg253Ala, and Arg279Ala) were inactive. Five mutants were purified, and their catalytic efficiencies (kcat/Km), half-lives (t1/2) and thermal unfolding curves were compared with those of PAE. Mutants Asp189Ala and Arg179Ala both showed decreased thermal stabilities and increased activities, suggesting that the salt bridge Asp189-Arg179 stabilizes the protein at the expense of catalytic efficiency. In contrast, mutants Asp201Ala and Arg205Ala both showed slightly increased thermal stability and slightly decreased activity, suggesting that the salt bridge Asp201-Arg205 destabilizes the protein. Mutant Glu249Ala is related to a C-terminal salt bridge network and showed both decreased thermal stability and decreased activity. Furthermore, Glu249Ala showed a thermal unfolding curve with three discernable states [the native state (N), the partially unfolded state (I) and the unfolded state (U)]. In comparison, there were only two discernable states (N and U) in the thermal unfolding curve of PAE. These results suggest that Glu249 is important for catalytic efficiency, stability and unfolding cooperativity. This study represents a systematic mutational analyses of salt bridges in the model metalloprotease PAE and provides important insights into the structure-function relationship of enzymes. PMID:25815820

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Study of Arsenic Sulfide in Solid Tumor Cells Reveals Regulation of Nuclear Factors of Activated T-cells by PML and p53

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Wenping; Tong, Yingying; Zhang, Xiuli; Pan, Minggui; Chen, Siyu

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic sulfide (AS) has excellent cytotoxic activity in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) but its activity in solid tumors remains to be explored. Here we show that AS and cyclosporine A (CsA) exerted synergistic inhibitory effect on cell growth and c-Myc expression in HCT116 cells. AS inhibited the expression of PML, c-Myc, NFATc1, NFATc3, and NFATc4, while stimulating the expression of p53 and NFATc2. Knockdown of PML reduced NFATc1, NFATc2, NFATc3 and NFATc4 expression while overexpression of p53 stimulated NFATc2-luciferase activity that was further augmented by AS by binding to a set of p53 responsive elements (PREs) on the NFATc2 promoter. Additionally, overexpression of p53 suppressed NFATc3 and NFATc4. Reciprocally, NFATc3 knockdown enhanced p53 while reducing MDM2 expression indicating that NFATc3 is a negative regulator of p53 while a positive regulator of MDM2, consistent with its tumor-promoting property as knockdown of NFATc3 retarded cell growth in vitro and tumor growth in xenograft. In patients with colon cancer, tumor expression of NFATc2 correlated with superior survival, while nuclear NFATc1 with inferior survival. These results indicate that AS differentially regulates NFAT pathway through PML and p53 and reveal an intricate reciprocal regulatory relationship between NFAT proteins and p53 pathway. PMID:26795951

  18. Fluctuations in electrodermal activity reveal variations in single trial brain responses to painful laser stimuli--a fMRI/EEG study.

    PubMed

    Mobascher, A; Brinkmeyer, J; Warbrick, T; Musso, F; Wittsack, H J; Stoermer, R; Saleh, A; Schnitzler, A; Winterer, G

    2009-02-01

    Pain is a complex experience with sensory, emotional and cognitive aspects. It also includes a sympathetic response that can be captured by measuring the electrodermal activity (EDA). The present study was performed to investigate which brain areas are associated with sympathetic activation in experimental pain; an issue that has not been addressed with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) thus far. Twelve healthy subjects received painful laser stimulation to the left hand. The event-related fMRI BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) response was measured together with simultaneous EEG (electroencephalography) and EDA recordings. Laser stimuli induced the expected EDA response, evoked EEG potentials and BOLD responses. Single trial EDA amplitudes were used to guide further analysis of fMRI and EEG data. We found significantly higher BOLD responses in trials with high EDA vs. low EDA trials, predominantly in the insula and somatosensory cortex (S1/S2). Likewise, in the EEG we found the N2 laser evoked potentials to have significantly higher amplitudes in trials with high vs. low EDA. Furthermore EDA-informed BOLD modeling explained additional signal variance in sensory areas and yielded higher group level activation. We conclude that the sympathetic response to pain is associated with activation in pain-processing brain regions, predominantly in sensory areas and that single trial (EDA)-information can add to BOLD modeling by taking some of the response variability across trials and subjects into account. Thus, EDA is a useful additional, objective index when pain is studied with fMRI/EEG which might be of particular relevance in the context of genetic- and pharmacoimaging. PMID:18848631

  19. Quaternary migration of active extension revealed by a syn-tectonic alluvial fan shift. A case study in the Northern Apennines of Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirabella, Francesco; Bucci, Francesco; Cardinali, Mauro; Santangelo, Michele; Guzzetti, Fausto

    2016-04-01

    In areas characterized by the progressive migration of active extension through time, shifts in the position of the active depocenter occur. Such shifts through time produces peculiar geomorphological settings that are often characterized by wind gaps, abandoned valleys, streams captures and drainage inversions. These features provide the opportunity to investigate active areas by studying the recent-most geological history of the related nearby basins. We investigate this topic in a tectonically active area in the Northern Apennines of Italy, as indicated by both instrumental and historical seismicity (maximum epicentral intensity I0=VIII) and extension rates in the order of 2.5-2.7 mm/yr. In particular, we study the Montefalco ridge drainage inversion. Here, fluvial sands and imbricated conglomerates deposited in a lower Pleistocene depocenter constituted by an extensional subsiding basin, are presently uplifted more than 200 m above the present day alluvial plain. The Montefalco ridge drainage inversion, at about 400 m a.s.l., separates two valleys, the Gualdo Cattaneo - Bastardo valley to the West (300 m a.s.l.) and the Foligno present-day alluvial plain to the East (200 m a.s.l.). Seismic reflection data show that the maximum thickness of the continental sequence in the Foligno valley is in the order of 500 m. This valley is presently occupied by a 37 km2 alluvial fan produced by the Topino river flowing from NE to SW. To unravel the Quaternary tectonic evolution of the area, we integrate different data sets collected by field mapping, detailed photo-geological data, sediments provenance information, and subsurface data. We interpret the Montefalco ridge as a paleo-Foligno-like alluvial fan representing the evidence of the recent migration of the active extension to the East of around 7 km. Considering an age of deformation of 2.5 My, an extension rate of about 2.8 mm/yr is derived, which corresponds to the present-day geodetic rates. We stress the importance

  20. 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.

  1. Simultaneous structure-activity studies and arming of natural products by C-H amination reveal cellular targets of eupalmerin acetate.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Cisar, Justin S; Zhou, Cong-Ying; Vera, Brunilda; Williams, Howard; Rodríguez, Abimael D; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Romo, Daniel

    2013-06-01

    Natural products have a venerable history of, and enduring potential for the discovery of useful biological activity. To fully exploit this, the development of chemical methodology that can functionalize unique sites within these complex structures is highly desirable. Here, we describe the use of rhodium(II)-catalysed C-H amination reactions developed by Du Bois to carry out simultaneous structure-activity relationship studies and arming (alkynylation) of natural products at 'unfunctionalized' positions. Allylic and benzylic C-H bonds in the natural products undergo amination while olefins undergo aziridination, and tertiary amine-containing natural products are converted to amidines by a C-H amination-oxidation sequence or to hydrazine sulfamate zwitterions by an unusual N-amination. The alkynylated derivatives are ready for conversion into cellular probes that can be used for mechanism-of-action studies. Chemo- and site-selectivity was studied with a diverse library of natural products. For one of these-the marine-derived anticancer diterpene, eupalmerin acetate-quantitative proteome profiling led to the identification of several protein targets in HL-60 cells, suggesting a polypharmacological mode of action. PMID:23695633

  2. Simultaneous structure-activity studies and arming of natural products by C-H amination reveal cellular targets of eupalmerin acetate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jing; Cisar, Justin S.; Zhou, Cong-Ying; Vera, Brunilda; Williams, Howard; Rodríguez, Abimael D.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Romo, Daniel

    2013-06-01

    Natural products have a venerable history of, and enduring potential for the discovery of useful biological activity. To fully exploit this, the development of chemical methodology that can functionalize unique sites within these complex structures is highly desirable. Here, we describe the use of rhodium(II)-catalysed C-H amination reactions developed by Du Bois to carry out simultaneous structure-activity relationship studies and arming (alkynylation) of natural products at ‘unfunctionalized’ positions. Allylic and benzylic C-H bonds in the natural products undergo amination while olefins undergo aziridination, and tertiary amine-containing natural products are converted to amidines by a C-H amination-oxidation sequence or to hydrazine sulfamate zwitterions by an unusual N-amination. The alkynylated derivatives are ready for conversion into cellular probes that can be used for mechanism-of-action studies. Chemo- and site-selectivity was studied with a diverse library of natural products. For one of these—the marine-derived anticancer diterpene, eupalmerin acetate—quantitative proteome profiling led to the identification of several protein targets in HL-60 cells, suggesting a polypharmacological mode of action.

  3. 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.

  4. Mechanistic and Structural Studies of Protein-Only RNase P Compared to Ribonucleoproteins Reveal the Two Faces of the Same Enzymatic Activity.

    PubMed

    Schelcher, Cédric; Sauter, Claude; Giegé, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    RNase P, the essential activity that performs the 5' maturation of tRNA precursors, can be achieved either by ribonucleoproteins containing a ribozyme present in the three domains of life or by protein-only enzymes called protein-only RNase P (PRORP) that occur in eukaryote nuclei and organelles. A fast growing list of studies has investigated three-dimensional structures and mode of action of PRORP proteins. Results suggest that similar to ribozymes, PRORP proteins have two main domains. A clear functional analogy can be drawn between the specificity domain of the RNase P ribozyme and PRORP pentatricopeptide repeat domain, and between the ribozyme catalytic domain and PRORP N4BP1, YacP-like Nuclease domain. Moreover, both types of enzymes appear to dock with the acceptor arm of tRNA precursors and make specific contacts with the corner of pre-tRNAs. While some clear differences can still be delineated between PRORP and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) RNase P, the two types of enzymes seem to use, fundamentally, the same catalytic mechanism involving two metal ions. The occurrence of PRORP and RNP RNase P represents a remarkable example of convergent evolution. It might be the unique witness of an ongoing replacement of catalytic RNAs by proteins for enzymatic activities. PMID:27348014

  5. Mechanistic and Structural Studies of Protein-Only RNase P Compared to Ribonucleoproteins Reveal the Two Faces of the Same Enzymatic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Schelcher, Cédric; Sauter, Claude; Giegé, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    RNase P, the essential activity that performs the 5′ maturation of tRNA precursors, can be achieved either by ribonucleoproteins containing a ribozyme present in the three domains of life or by protein-only enzymes called protein-only RNase P (PRORP) that occur in eukaryote nuclei and organelles. A fast growing list of studies has investigated three-dimensional structures and mode of action of PRORP proteins. Results suggest that similar to ribozymes, PRORP proteins have two main domains. A clear functional analogy can be drawn between the specificity domain of the RNase P ribozyme and PRORP pentatricopeptide repeat domain, and between the ribozyme catalytic domain and PRORP N4BP1, YacP-like Nuclease domain. Moreover, both types of enzymes appear to dock with the acceptor arm of tRNA precursors and make specific contacts with the corner of pre-tRNAs. While some clear differences can still be delineated between PRORP and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) RNase P, the two types of enzymes seem to use, fundamentally, the same catalytic mechanism involving two metal ions. The occurrence of PRORP and RNP RNase P represents a remarkable example of convergent evolution. It might be the unique witness of an ongoing replacement of catalytic RNAs by proteins for enzymatic activities. PMID:27348014

  6. Simultaneous structure-activity studies and arming of natural products by C–H amination reveal cellular targets of eupalmerin acetate

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jing; Cisar, Justin S.; Zhou, Congying; Vera, Brunilda; Williams, Howard; Rodríguez, Abimael D.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Romo, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    To fully exploit the inherent and enduring potential of natural products for fundamental cell biology and drug lead discovery, synthetic methods for functionalizing unique sites are highly desirable. Here we describe a strategy for the derivatization of natural products at ‘unfunctionalized’ positions via Rh(II)-catalyzed amination enabling simultaneous structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and arming (alkynylation) of natural products. Employing Du Bois C–H amination, allylic and benzylic C–H bonds underwent amination and olefins underwent aziridination. With tertiary amine-containing natural products, amidines were produced via C–H amination/oxidation and unusual N-aminations provided hydrazine sulfamate inner salts. The alkynylated derivatives are readied for subsequent conjugation to access cellular probes for mechanism of action studies. Both chemo- and site-selectivity was studied by application to a diverse set of natural products including the marine-derived anticancer diterpene, eupalmerin acetate (EPA). Quantitative proteome profiling with an alkynyl EPA derivative obtained by site-selective, allylic C–H amination led to identification of several protein targets in HL-60 cells, including several known to be associated with cancer proliferation, suggestive of a polypharmacological mode of action for EPA. PMID:23695633

  7. 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...

  8. Binding interaction of quercetin-3-beta-galactoside and its synthetic derivatives with SARS-CoV 3CL(pro): structure-activity relationship studies reveal salient pharmacophore features.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lili; Li, Jian; Luo, Cheng; Liu, Hong; Xu, Weijun; Chen, Gang; Liew, Oi Wah; Zhu, Weiliang; Puah, Chum Mok; Shen, Xu; Jiang, Hualiang

    2006-12-15

    The 3C-like protease (3CL(pro)) of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is one of the most promising targets for discovery of drugs against SARS, because of its critical role in the viral life cycle. In this study, a natural compound called quercetin-3-beta-galactoside was identified as an inhibitor of the protease by molecular docking, SPR/FRET-based bioassays, and mutagenesis studies. Both molecular modeling and Q189A mutation revealed that Gln189 plays a key role in the binding. Furthermore, experimental evidence showed that the secondary structure and enzymatic activity of SARS-CoV 3CL(pro) were not affected by the Q189A mutation. With the help of molecular modeling, eight new derivatives of the natural product were designed and synthesized. Bioassay results reveal salient features of the structure-activity relationship of the new compounds: (1) removal of the 7-hydroxy group of the quercetin moiety decreases the bioactivity of the derivatives; (2) acetoxylation of the sugar moiety abolishes inhibitor action; (3) introduction of a large sugar substituent on 7-hydroxy of quercetin can be tolerated; (4) replacement of the galactose moiety with other sugars does not affect inhibitor potency. This study not only reveals a new class of compounds as potential drug leads against the SARS virus, but also provides a solid understanding of the mechanism of inhibition against the target enzyme.

  9. 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

  10. The interaction between active normal faulting and large scale gravitational mass movements revealed by paleoseismological techniques: A case study from central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moro, M.; Saroli, M.; Gori, S.; Falcucci, E.; Galadini, F.; Messina, P.

    2012-05-01

    Paleoseismological techniques have been applied to characterize the kinematic behaviour of large-scale gravitational phenomena located in proximity of the seismogenic fault responsible for the Mw 7.0, 1915 Avezzano earthquake and to identify evidence of a possible coseismic reactivation. The above mentioned techniques were applied to the surface expression of the main sliding planes of the Mt. Serrone gravitational deformation, located in the southeastern border of the Fucino basin (central Italy). The approach allows us to detect instantaneous events of deformation along the uphill-facing scarp. These events are testified by the presence of faulted deposits and colluvial wedges. The identified and chronologically-constrained episodes of rapid displacement can be probably correlated with seismic events determined by the activation of the Fucino seismogenic fault, affecting the toe of the gravitationally unstable rock mass. Indeed this fault can produce strong, short-term dynamic stresses able to trigger the release of local gravitational stress accumulated by Mt. Serrone's large-scale gravitational phenomena. The applied methodology could allow us to better understand the geometric and kinematic relationships between active tectonic structures and large-scale gravitational phenomena. It would be more important in seismically active regions, since deep-seated gravitational slope deformations can evolve into a catastrophic collapse and can strongly increase the level of earthquake-induced hazards.

  11. 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.

  12. Fundamental studies and development of nickel-catalyzed trifluoromethylthiolation of aryl chlorides: active catalytic species and key roles of ligand and traceless MeCN additive revealed.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guoyin; Kalvet, Indrek; Englert, Ulli; Schoenebeck, Franziska

    2015-04-01

    A catalytic protocol to convert aryl and heteroaryl chlorides to the corresponding trifluoromethyl sulfides is reported herein. It relies on a relatively inexpensive Ni(cod)2/dppf (cod = 1,5-cyclooctadiene; dppf = 1,1'-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene) catalyst system and the readily accessible coupling reagent (Me4N)SCF3. Our computational and experimental mechanistic data are consistent with a Ni(0)/Ni(II) cycle and inconsistent with Ni(I) as the reactive species. The relevant intermediates were prepared, characterized by X-ray crystallography, and tested for their catalytic competence. This revealed that a monomeric tricoordinate Ni(I) complex is favored for dppf and Cl whose role was unambiguously assigned as being an off-cycle catalyst deactivation product. Only bidentate ligands with wide bite angles (e.g., dppf) are effective. These bulky ligands render the catalyst resting state as [(P-P)Ni(cod)]. The latter is more reactive than Ni(P-P)2, which was found to be the resting state for ligands with smaller bite angles and suffers from an initial high-energy dissociation of one ligand prior to oxidative addition, rendering the system unreactive. The key to effective catalysis is hence the presence of a labile auxiliary ligand in the catalyst resting state. For more challenging substrates, high conversions were achieved via the employment of MeCN as a traceless additive. Mechanistic data suggest that its beneficial role lies in decreasing the energetic span, therefore accelerating product formation. Finally, the methodology has been applied to synthetic targets of pharmaceutical relevance. PMID:25790253

  13. Structural and Functional Studies of a Newly Grouped Haloquadratum walsbyi Bacteriorhodopsin Reveal the Acid-resistant Light-driven Proton Pumping Activity.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Min-Feng; Fu, Hsu-Yuan; Cai, Chun-Jie; Yi, Hsiu-Pin; Yang, Chii-Shen; Wang, Andrew H-J

    2015-12-01

    Retinal bound light-driven proton pumps are widespread in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Among these pumps, bacteriorhodopsin (BR) proteins cooperate with ATP synthase to convert captured solar energy into a biologically consumable form, ATP. In an acidic environment or when pumped-out protons accumulate in the extracellular region, the maximum absorbance of BR proteins shifts markedly to the longer wavelengths. These conditions affect the light-driven proton pumping functional exertion as well. In this study, wild-type crystal structure of a BR with optical stability under wide pH range from a square halophilic archaeon, Haloquadratum walsbyi (HwBR), was solved in two crystal forms. One crystal form, refined to 1.85 Å resolution, contains a trimer in the asymmetric unit, whereas another contains an antiparallel dimer was refined at 2.58 Å. HwBR could not be classified into any existing subgroup of archaeal BR proteins based on the protein sequence phylogenetic tree, and it showed unique absorption spectral stability when exposed to low pH values. All structures showed a unique hydrogen-bonding network between Arg(82) and Thr(201), linking the BC and FG loops to shield the retinal-binding pocket in the interior from the extracellular environment. This result was supported by R82E mutation that attenuated the optical stability. The negatively charged cytoplasmic side and the Arg(82)-Thr(201) hydrogen bond may play an important role in the proton translocation trend in HwBR under acidic conditions. Our findings have unveiled a strategy adopted by BR proteins to solidify their defenses against unfavorable environments and maintain their optical properties associated with proton pumping.

  14. Structural and Functional Studies of a Newly Grouped Haloquadratum walsbyi Bacteriorhodopsin Reveal the Acid-resistant Light-driven Proton Pumping Activity*

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Min-Feng; Fu, Hsu-Yuan; Cai, Chun-Jie; Yi, Hsiu-Pin; Yang, Chii-Shen; Wang, Andrew H.-J.

    2015-01-01

    Retinal bound light-driven proton pumps are widespread in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Among these pumps, bacteriorhodopsin (BR) proteins cooperate with ATP synthase to convert captured solar energy into a biologically consumable form, ATP. In an acidic environment or when pumped-out protons accumulate in the extracellular region, the maximum absorbance of BR proteins shifts markedly to the longer wavelengths. These conditions affect the light-driven proton pumping functional exertion as well. In this study, wild-type crystal structure of a BR with optical stability under wide pH range from a square halophilic archaeon, Haloquadratum walsbyi (HwBR), was solved in two crystal forms. One crystal form, refined to 1.85 Å resolution, contains a trimer in the asymmetric unit, whereas another contains an antiparallel dimer was refined at 2.58 Å. HwBR could not be classified into any existing subgroup of archaeal BR proteins based on the protein sequence phylogenetic tree, and it showed unique absorption spectral stability when exposed to low pH values. All structures showed a unique hydrogen-bonding network between Arg82 and Thr201, linking the BC and FG loops to shield the retinal-binding pocket in the interior from the extracellular environment. This result was supported by R82E mutation that attenuated the optical stability. The negatively charged cytoplasmic side and the Arg82–Thr201 hydrogen bond may play an important role in the proton translocation trend in HwBR under acidic conditions. Our findings have unveiled a strategy adopted by BR proteins to solidify their defenses against unfavorable environments and maintain their optical properties associated with proton pumping. PMID:26483542

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Single molecule studies reveal new mechanisms for microtubule severing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Jennifer; Diaz-Valencia, Juan Daniel; Morelli, Margaret; Zhang, Dong; Sharp, David

    2011-03-01

    Microtubule-severing enzymes are hexameric complexes made from monomeric enzyme subunits that remove tubulin dimers from the microtubule lattice. Severing proteins are known to remodel the cytoskeleton during interphase and mitosis, and are required in proper axon morphology and mammalian bone and cartilage development. We have performed the first single molecule imaging to determine where and how severing enzymes act to cut microtubules. We have focused on the original member of the group, katanin, and the newest member, fidgetin to compare their biophysical activities in vitro. We find that, as expected, severing proteins localize to areas of activity. Interestingly, the association is very brief: they do not stay bound nor do they bind cooperatively at active sites. The association duration changes with the nucleotide content, implying that the state in the catalytic cycle dictates binding affinity with the microtubule. We also discovered that, at lower concentrations, both katanin and fidgetin can depolymerize taxol-stabilized microtubules by removing terminal dimers. These studies reveal the physical regulation schemes to control severing activity in cells, and ultimately regulate cytoskeletal architecture. This work is supported by the March of Dimes Grant #5-FY09-46.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Hospital study reveals strategies for improving media relations.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, P E; Embrey-Wahl, L

    1987-01-01

    A nationwide study revealed that hospital administrators feel inadequate when dealing with the media, and also think the media does not understand the hospital business. Many strategies are available to counter these problems, including some that emphasize issues related to bed size. PMID:3583722

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Cys-Gly specific dipeptidase Dug1p from S. cerevisiae binds promiscuously to di-, tri-, and tetra-peptides: Peptide-protein interaction, homology modeling, and activity studies reveal a latent promiscuity in substrate recognition.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Hardeep; Datt, Manish; Ekka, Mary Krishna; Mittal, Monica; Singh, Appu Kumar; Kumaran, Sangaralingam

    2011-02-01

    Dug1p is a recently identified novel dipeptidase and plays an important role in glutathione (GSH) degradation. To understand the mechanism of its substrate recognition and specificity towards Cys-Gly dipeptides, we characterized the solution properties of Dug1p and studied the thermodynamics of Dug1p-peptide interactions. In addition, we used homology modeling and ligand docking approaches to get structural insights into Dug1p-peptide interaction. Dug1p exists as dimer and the stoichiometry of peptide-Dug1p complex is 2:1 indicating each monomer in the dimer binds to one peptide. Thermodynamic studies indicate that the free energy change for Dug1p-peptide complex formation is similar (▵G(bind) ∼ -7.0 kcal/mol) for a variety of peptides of different composition and length (22 peptides). Three-dimensional model of Dug1p is constructed and docking of peptides to the modeled structure suggests that hydrogen bonding to active site residues (E172, E171, and D137) lock the N-terminal of the peptide into the binding site. Dug1p recognizes peptides in a metal independent manner and peptide binding is not sensitive to salts (dlogK/dlog[salt] ∼ 0) over a range of [NaCl] (0.02-0.5 M), [ZnCl(2)], and [MnCl(2)] (0-0.5 mM). Our results indicate that promiscuity in peptide binding results from the locking of peptide N-terminus into the active site. These observations were supported by our competitive inhibition activity assays. Dug1p activity towards Cys-Gly peptide is significantly reduced (∼ 70%) in the presence of Glu-Cys-Gly. Therefore, Dug1p can recognize a variety of oligopeptides, but has evolved with post-binding screening potential to hydrolyze Cys-Gly peptides selectively.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Ethiopian population dermatoglyphic study reveals linguistic stratification of diversity.

    PubMed

    Yohannes, Seile; Bekele, Endashaw

    2015-01-01

    The manifestation of ethnic, blood type, & gender-wise population variations regarding Dermatoglyphic manifestations are of interest to assess intra-group diversity and differentiation. The present study reports on the analysis of qualitaive and quantitative finger Dermatoglyphic traits of 382 individuals cross-sectionally sampled from an administrative region of Ethiopia, consisting of five ethnic cohorts from the Afro-Asiatic & Nilo-Saharan affiliations. These Dermatoglyphic parameters were then applied in the assessment of diversity & differentiation, including Heterozygosity, Fixation, Panmixia, Wahlund's variance, Nei's measure of genetic diversity, and thumb & finger pattern genotypes, which were inturn used in homology inferences as summarized by a Neighbour-Joining tree constructed from Nei's standard genetic distance. Results revealed significant correlation between Dermatoglyphics & population parameters that were further found to be in concordance with the historical accounts of the ethnic groups. Such inductions as the ancient north-eastern presence and subsequent admixure events of the Oromos (PII= 15.01), the high diversity of the Amharas (H= 0.1978, F= 0.6453, and P= 0.4144), and the Nilo-Saharan origin of the Berta group (PII= 10.66) are evidences to this. The study has further tested the possibility of applying Dermatoglyphics in population genetic & anthropologic research, highlighting on the prospect of developing a method to trace back population origins & ancient movement patterns. Additionally, linguistic clustering was deemed significant for the Ethiopian population, coinciding with recent genome wide studies that have ascertained that linguistic clustering as to being more crucial than the geographical patterning in the Ethiopian context. Finally, Dermatoglyphic markers have been proven to be endowed with a strong potential as non-invasive preliminary tools applicable prior to genetic studies to analyze ethnically sub-divided populations and

  5. Ethiopian Population Dermatoglyphic Study Reveals Linguistic Stratification of Diversity

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The manifestation of ethnic, blood type, & gender-wise population variations regarding Dermatoglyphic manifestations are of interest to assess intra-group diversity and differentiation. The present study reports on the analysis of qualitaive and quantitative finger Dermatoglyphic traits of 382 individuals cross-sectionally sampled from an administrative region of Ethiopia, consisting of five ethnic cohorts from the Afro-Asiatic & Nilo-Saharan affiliations. These Dermatoglyphic parameters were then applied in the assessment of diversity & differentiation, including Heterozygosity, Fixation, Panmixia, Wahlund’s variance, Nei’s measure of genetic diversity, and thumb & finger pattern genotypes, which were inturn used in homology inferences as summarized by a Neighbour-Joining tree constructed from Nei’s standard genetic distance. Results revealed significant correlation between Dermatoglyphics & population parameters that were further found to be in concordance with the historical accounts of the ethnic groups. Such inductions as the ancient north-eastern presence and subsequent admixure events of the Oromos (PII= 15.01), the high diversity of the Amharas (H= 0.1978, F= 0.6453, and P= 0.4144), and the Nilo-Saharan origin of the Berta group (PII= 10.66) are evidences to this. The study has further tested the possibility of applying Dermatoglyphics in population genetic & anthropologic research, highlighting on the prospect of developing a method to trace back population origins & ancient movement patterns. Additionally, linguistic clustering was deemed significant for the Ethiopian population, coinciding with recent genome wide studies that have ascertained that linguistic clustering as to being more crucial than the geographical patterning in the Ethiopian context. Finally, Dermatoglyphic markers have been proven to be endowed with a strong potential as non-invasive preliminary tools applicable prior to genetic studies to analyze ethnically sub

  6. Ethiopian population dermatoglyphic study reveals linguistic stratification of diversity.

    PubMed

    Yohannes, Seile; Bekele, Endashaw

    2015-01-01

    The manifestation of ethnic, blood type, & gender-wise population variations regarding Dermatoglyphic manifestations are of interest to assess intra-group diversity and differentiation. The present study reports on the analysis of qualitaive and quantitative finger Dermatoglyphic traits of 382 individuals cross-sectionally sampled from an administrative region of Ethiopia, consisting of five ethnic cohorts from the Afro-Asiatic & Nilo-Saharan affiliations. These Dermatoglyphic parameters were then applied in the assessment of diversity & differentiation, including Heterozygosity, Fixation, Panmixia, Wahlund's variance, Nei's measure of genetic diversity, and thumb & finger pattern genotypes, which were inturn used in homology inferences as summarized by a Neighbour-Joining tree constructed from Nei's standard genetic distance. Results revealed significant correlation between Dermatoglyphics & population parameters that were further found to be in concordance with the historical accounts of the ethnic groups. Such inductions as the ancient north-eastern presence and subsequent admixure events of the Oromos (PII= 15.01), the high diversity of the Amharas (H= 0.1978, F= 0.6453, and P= 0.4144), and the Nilo-Saharan origin of the Berta group (PII= 10.66) are evidences to this. The study has further tested the possibility of applying Dermatoglyphics in population genetic & anthropologic research, highlighting on the prospect of developing a method to trace back population origins & ancient movement patterns. Additionally, linguistic clustering was deemed significant for the Ethiopian population, coinciding with recent genome wide studies that have ascertained that linguistic clustering as to being more crucial than the geographical patterning in the Ethiopian context. Finally, Dermatoglyphic markers have been proven to be endowed with a strong potential as non-invasive preliminary tools applicable prior to genetic studies to analyze ethnically sub-divided populations and

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Use of new guidance to profile 'equivalent minutes' of aerobic physical activity for adults in England reveals gender, geographical, and socio-economic inequalities in meeting public health guidance: A cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Roberts, David; Townsend, Nick; Foster, Charlie

    2016-12-01

    English physical activity guidance now recognises a double weighting of vigorous over moderate activity; 1 min of vigorous activity is the same as two 'equivalent' minutes of moderate activity. In addition, concerns of over-estimation of occupational PA led to newly applied measurement methods for this domain. Vigorous activity is associated with higher socio-economic position and occupational PA has the opposite association, so these changes may increase inequalities. We profiled adults' total and domain-specific 'equivalent minutes' of weekly PA in England 2012, and investigated inequalities in PA participation, accounting for the new weighting of vigorous PA, and new measurements of occupational PA. Nationally representative cross-sectional survey data on the self-reported PA of 8158 adults was used to produce a profile of the domain and duration of weekly 'equivalent minutes' of PA. Vigorous PA was double-weighted compared to moderate PA, and the percentage contribution from each PA domain quantified, stratified by gender and activity status and split by socio-demographic variables. Women, older adults, and adults without qualifications, from deprived areas, with worse employment conditions, or living in the North of England were significantly less likely to meet MVPA guidance. Type of activity was also socially patterned, particularly sport participation, which contributed a higher percentage of PA in adults of higher socioeconomic status. For active men, sporting activity was the most prevalent domain, and sports and walking for active women. In England, there are important socio-demographic differences in how adults participate in PA, and in percentage meeting public health guidance. PMID:27413661

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Phase II-I-II Study of Two Different Doses and Schedules of Pralatrexate, a High-Affinity Substrate for the Reduced Folate Carrier, in Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Lymphoma Reveals Marked Activity in T-Cell Malignancies

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, Owen A.; Horwitz, Steven; Hamlin, Paul; Portlock, Carol; Moskowitz, Craig H.; Sarasohn, Debra; Neylon, Ellen; Mastrella, Jill; Hamelers, Rachel; MacGregor-Cortelli, Barbara; Patterson, Molly; Seshan, Venkatraman E.; Sirotnak, Frank; Fleisher, Martin; Mould, Diane R.; Saunders, Mike; Zelenetz, Andrew D.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and efficacy of pralatrexate in patients with lymphoma. Patients and Methods Pralatrexate, initially given at a dose of 135 mg/m2 on an every-other-week basis, was associated with stomatitis. A redesigned, weekly phase I/II study established an MTD of 30 mg/m2 weekly for six weeks every 7 weeks. Patients were required to have relapsed/refractory disease, an absolute neutrophil greater than 1,000/μL, and a platelet count greater than 50,000/μL for the first dose of any cycle. Results The every-other-week, phase II experience was associated with an increased risk of stomatitis and hematologic toxicity. On a weekly schedule, the MTD was 30 mg/m2 weekly for 6 weeks every 7 weeks. This schedule modification resulted in a 50% reduction in the major hematologic toxicities and abrogation of the grades 3 to 4 stomatitis. Stomatitis was associated with elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid, which were reduced by folate and vitamin B12 supplementation. Of 48 assessable patients, the overall response rate was 31% (26% by intention to treat), including 17% who experienced complete remission (CR). When analyzed by lineage, the overall response rates were 10% and 54% in patients with B- and T-cell lymphomas, respectively. All eight patients who experienced CR had T-cell lymphoma, and four of the six patients with a partial remission were positron emission tomography negative. The duration of responses ranged from 3 to 26 months. Conclusion Pralatrexate has significant single-agent activity in patients with relapsed/refractory T-cell lymphoma. PMID:19652067

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. Toxin Diversity Revealed by a Transcriptomic Study of Ornithoctonus huwena

    PubMed Central

    He, Quanze; Liu, Jinyan; Luo, Ji; Zhu, Li; Lu, Shanshan; Huang, Pengfei; Chen, Xinyi; Zeng, Xiongzhi; Liang, Songping

    2014-01-01

    Spider venom comprises a mixture of compounds with diverse biological activities, which are used to capture prey and defend against predators. The peptide components bind a broad range of cellular targets with high affinity and selectivity, and appear to have remarkable structural diversity. Although spider venoms have been intensively investigated over the past few decades, venomic strategies to date have generally focused on high-abundance peptides. In addition, the lack of complete spider genomes or representative cDNA libraries has presented significant limitations for researchers interested in molecular diversity and understanding the genetic mechanisms of toxin evolution. In the present study, second-generation sequencing technologies, combined with proteomic analysis, were applied to determine the diverse peptide toxins in venom of the Chinese bird spider Ornithoctonus huwena. In total, 626 toxin precursor sequences were retrieved from transcriptomic data. All toxin precursors clustered into 16 gene superfamilies, which included six novel superfamilies and six novel cysteine patterns. A surprisingly high number of hypermutations and fragment insertions/deletions were detected, which accounted for the majority of toxin gene sequences with low-level expression. These mutations contribute to the formation of diverse cysteine patterns and highly variable isoforms. Furthermore, intraspecific venom variability, in combination with variable transcripts and peptide processing, contributes to the hypervariability of toxins in venoms, and associated rapid and adaptive evolution of toxins for prey capture and defense. PMID:24949878

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Microscopic study reveals the singular origins of growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaari, G.; Nowak, A.; Rakocy, K.; Solomon, S.

    2008-04-01

    Anderson [Science 177, 293 (1972)] proposed the concept of complexity in order to describe the emergence and growth of macroscopic collective patterns out of the simple interactions of many microscopic agents. In the physical sciences this paradigm was implemented systematically and confirmed repeatedly by successful confrontation with reality. In the social sciences however, the possibilities to stage experiments to validate it are limited. During the 90's a series of dramatic political and economic events have provided the opportunity to do so. We exploit the resulting empirical evidence to validate a simple agent based alternative to the classical logistic dynamics. The post-liberalization empirical data from Poland confirm the theoretical prediction that the dynamics is dominated by singular rare events which insure the resilience and adaptability of the system. We have shown that growth is led by few singular “growth centers" (Fig. 1), that initially developed at a tremendous rate (Fig. 3), followed by a diffusion process to the rest of the country and leading to a positive growth rate uniform across the counties. In addition to the interdisciplinary unifying potential of our generic formal approach, the present work reveals the strong causal ties between the “softer" social conditions and their “hard" economic consequences.

  5. Implementing Japanese Lesson Study in Foreign Countries: Misconceptions Revealed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fujii, Toshiakira

    2014-01-01

    This paper is based on data gathered during visits to Uganda and Malawi, conducted by the International Math-teacher Professionalization Using Lesson Study (IMPULS) project and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The author's observations and experiences highlighted misconceptions about lesson study. The paper concludes that…

  6. Study Reveals Brain Biology behind Self-Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sparks, Sarah D.

    2011-01-01

    A new neuroscience twist on a classic psychology study offers some clues to what makes one student able to buckle down for hours of homework before a test while his classmates party. The study published in the September 2011 edition of "Proceedings of the National Academy of Science," suggests environmental cues may "hijack" the brain's mechanisms…

  7. 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.

  8. Multitargeting by curcumin as revealed by molecular interaction studies

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Subash C.; Prasad, Sahdeo; Kim, Ji Hye; Patchva, Sridevi; Webb, Lauren J.; Priyadarsini, Indira K.

    2012-01-01

    Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the active ingredient in turmeric (Curcuma longa), is a highly pleiotropic molecule with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, chemopreventive, chemosensitization, and radiosensitization activities. The pleiotropic activities attributed to curcumin come from its complex molecular structure and chemistry, as well as its ability to influence multiple signaling molecules. Curcumin has been shown to bind by multiple forces directly to numerous signaling molecules, such as inflammatory molecules, cell survival proteins, protein kinases, protein reductases, histone acetyltransferase, histone deacetylase, glyoxalase I, xanthine oxidase, proteasome, HIV1 integrase, HIV1 protease, sarco (endo) plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase, DNA methyltransferases 1, FtsZ protofilaments, carrier proteins, and metal ions. Curcumin can also bind directly to DNA and RNA. Owing to its β-diketone moiety, curcumin undergoes keto–enol tautomerism that has been reported as a favorable state for direct binding. The functional groups on curcumin found suitable for interaction with other macromolecules include the α, β-unsaturated β-diketone moiety, carbonyl and enolic groups of the β-diketone moiety, methoxy and phenolic hydroxyl groups, and the phenyl rings. Various biophysical tools have been used to monitor direct interaction of curcumin with other proteins, including absorption, fluorescence, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, competitive ligand binding, Forster type fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), radiolabeling, site-directed mutagenesis, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), immunoprecipitation, phage display biopanning, electron microscopy, 1-anilino-8-naphthalene-sulfonate (ANS) displacement, and co-localization. Molecular docking, the most commonly employed computational tool for calculating binding affinities and predicting

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Developmental palaeontology of Reptilia as revealed by histological studies.

    PubMed

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Klein, Nicole; Sander, P Martin

    2010-06-01

    Among the fossilized ontogenetic series known for tetrapods, only more basal groups like temnospondyl amphibians have been used extensively in developmental studies, whereas reptilian and synapsid data have been largely neglected so far. However, before such ontogenetic series can be subject to study, the relative age and affiliation of putative specimens within a series has to be verified. Bone histology has a long-standing tradition as being a source of palaeobiological and growth history data in fossil amniotes and indeed, the analysis of bone microstructures still remains the most important and most reliable tool for determining the absolute ontogenetic age of fossil vertebrates. It is also the only direct way to reconstruct life histories and growth strategies for extinct animals. Herein the record of bone histology among Reptilia and its application to elucidate and expand fossilized ontogenies as a source of developmental data are reviewed.

  15. Recent advances in maize nuclear proteomic studies reveal histone modifications.

    PubMed

    Casati, Paula

    2012-01-01

    The nucleus of eukaryotic organisms is highly dynamic and complex, containing different types of macromolecules including DNA, RNA, and a wide range of proteins. Novel proteomic applications have led to a better overall determination of nucleus protein content. Although nuclear plant proteomics is only at the initial phase, several studies have been reported and are summarized in this review using different plants species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, rice, cowpea, onion, garden cress, and barrel clover. These include the description of the total nuclear or phospho-proteome (i.e., Arabidopsis, cowpea, onion), or the analysis of the differential nuclear proteome under different growth environments (i.e., Arabidopsis, rice, cowpea, onion, garden cress, and barrel clover). However, only few reports exist on the analysis of the maize nuclear proteome or its changes under various conditions. This review will present recent data on the study of the nuclear maize proteome, including the analysis of changes in posttranslational modifications in histone proteins. PMID:23248634

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Outdoor Activities for Environmental Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Clifford E.

    This booklet is a compilation of field-tested outdoor activities introducing basic projects for small group or individualized study in monitoring certain aspects of the environment. Its purpose is to provide teachers with new ways to involve children directly in meaningful and developmental learning activities and to help students become more…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Studies of Ancient Lice Reveal Unsuspected Past Migrations of Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Drali, Rezak; Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y.; Yesilyurt, Gonca; Raoult, Didier

    2015-01-01

    Lice are among the oldest parasites of humans representing an excellent marker of the evolution and migration of our species over time. Here, we analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) developed in this study the mitochondrial DNA of seven ancient head louse eggs found on hair remains recovered from two sites in Israel: 1) five nits dating from Chalcolithic period (4,000 bc) were found in the Cave of the Treasure located at Nahal Mishmar, in the Judean Desert and 2) two nits dating from Early Islamic Period (ad 650–810) were found in Nahal Omer in the Arava Valley (between Dead Sea and Red Sea). Our results suggest that these eggs belonged to people originating from west Africa based on identification of the louse mitochondrial sub-clade specific to that region. PMID:26078317

  3. Epistatic study reveals two genetic interactions in blood pressure regulation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Although numerous candidate gene and genome-wide association studies have been performed on blood pressure, a small number of regulating genetic variants having a limited effect have been identified. This phenomenon can partially be explained by possible gene-gene/epistasis interactions that were little investigated so far. Methods We performed a pre-planned two-phase investigation: in phase 1, one hundred single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 65 candidate genes were genotyped in 1,912 French unrelated adults in order to study their two-locus combined effects on blood pressure (BP) levels. In phase 2, the significant epistatic interactions observed in phase 1 were tested in an independent population gathering 1,755 unrelated European adults. Results Among the 9 genetic variants significantly associated with systolic and diastolic BP in phase 1, some may act through altering the corresponding protein levels: SNPs rs5742910 (Padjusted≤0.03) and rs6046 (Padjusted =0.044) in F7 and rs1800469 (Padjusted ≤0.036) in TGFB1; whereas some may be functional through altering the corresponding protein structure: rs1800590 (Padjusted =0.028, SE=0.088) in LPL and rs2228570 (Padjusted ≤9.48×10-4) in VDR. The two epistatic interactions found for systolic and diastolic BP in the discovery phase: VCAM1 (rs1041163) * APOB (rs1367117), and SCGB1A1 (rs3741240) * LPL (rs1800590), were tested in the replication population and we observed significant interactions on DBP. In silico analyses yielded putative functional properties of the SNPs involved in these epistatic interactions trough the alteration of corresponding protein structures. Conclusions These findings support the hypothesis that different pathways and then different genes may act synergistically in order to modify BP. This could highlight novel pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying hypertension. PMID:23298194

  4. Studies in geophysics: Active tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Active tectonics is defined within the study as tectonic movements that are expected to occur within a future time span of concern to society. Such movements and their associated hazards include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and land subsidence and emergence. The entire range of geology, geophysics, and geodesy is, to some extent, pertinent to this topic. The needs for useful forecasts of tectonic activity, so that actions may be taken to mitigate hazards, call for special attention to ongoing tectonic activity. Further progress in understanding active tectonics depends on continued research. Particularly important is improvement in the accuracy of dating techniques for recent geologic materials.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. A Trade-Off Study Revealing Nested Timescales of Constraint

    PubMed Central

    Wijnants, M. L.; Cox, R. F. A.; Hasselman, F.; Bosman, A. M. T.; Van Orden, G.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates human performance in a cyclic Fitts task at three different scales of observation, either in the presence (difficult condition) or in the absence (easy condition) of a speed–accuracy trade-off. At the fastest scale, the harmonicity of the back and forth movements, which reflects the dissipation of mechanical energy, was measured within the timeframe of single trials. At an intermediate scale, speed and accuracy measures were determined over a trial. The slowest scale pertains to the temporal structure of movement variability, which evolves over multiple trials. In the difficult condition, reliable correlations across each of the measures corroborated a coupling of nested scales of performance. Participants who predominantly emphasized the speed-side of the trade-off (despite the instruction to be both fast and accurate) produced more harmonic movements and clearer 1/f scaling in the produced movement time series, but were less accurate and produced more random variability in the produced movement amplitudes (vice versa for more accurate participants). This implied that speed–accuracy trade-off was accompanied by a trade-off between temporal and spatial streams of 1/f scaling, as confirmed by entropy measures. In the easy condition, however, no trade-offs nor couplings among scales of performance were observed. Together, these results suggest that 1/f scaling is more than just a byproduct of cognition. These findings rather support the claim that interaction-dominant dynamics constitute a coordinative basis for goal-directed behavior. PMID:22654760

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Abnormal affective decision making revealed in adolescent binge drinkers using a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Lin; Bechara, Antoine; Gong, Qiyong; Huang, Xiaoqi; Li, Xiangrui; Xue, Gui; Wong, Savio; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Palmer, Paula; Wei, Yonglan; Jia, Yong; Johnson, C Anderson

    2013-06-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the neural correlates of affective decision making, as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), which are associated with adolescent binge drinking. Fourteen adolescent binge drinkers (16-18 years of age) and 14 age-matched adolescents who had never consumed alcohol--never drinkers--were recruited from local high schools in Chengdu, China. Questionnaires were used to assess academic performance, drinking experience, and urgency. Brain regions activated by the IGT performance were identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results showed that, compared to never drinkers, binge drinkers performed worse on the IGT and showed higher activity in the subcomponents of the decision-making neural circuitry implicated in the execution of emotional and incentive-related behaviors, namely, the left amygdala and insula bilaterally. Moreover, measures of the severity of drinking problems in real life, as well as high urgency scores, were associated with increased activity within the insula, combined with decreased activity within the orbitofrontal cortex. These results suggest that hyperreactivity of a neural system implicated in the execution of emotional and incentive-related behaviors can be associated with socially undesirable behaviors, such as binge drinking, among adolescents. These findings have social implications because they potentially reveal underlying neural mechanisms for making poor decisions, which may increase an individual's risk and vulnerability for alcoholism.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Backpocket: Activities for Nature Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hendry, Ian; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Leading naturalist-teachers share outdoor learning activities and techniques, including using binoculars as magnifiers, scavenger hunts, games such as "what's it called" and "I spy," insect study, guessing the age of trees by examining the bark, leading bird walks, exploring nature in the community, and enhancing nature hikes with props. (LP)

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Revealing Nature’s Synthetic Potential Through the Study of Ribosomal Natural Product Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Dunbar, Kyle L.; Mitchell, Douglas A.

    2013-01-01

    Ribosomally synthesized posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a rapidly growing class of natural products with diverse structures and activities. In recent years, a great deal of progress has been made in elucidating the biosynthesis of various RiPP family members. As with the study of nonribosomal peptide and polyketide biosynthetic enzymes, these investigations have led to the discovery of entirely new biological chemistry. With each unique enzyme investigated, a more complex picture of Nature’s synthetic potential is revealed. This review focuses on recent reports (since 2008) that have changed the way that we think about ribosomal natural product biosynthesis and the enzymology of complex bond-forming reactions. PMID:23286465

  13. 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

  14. Glycoproteomic Study Reveals Altered Plasma Proteins Associated with HIV Elite Suppressors

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Weiming; Laeyendecker, Oliver; Wendel, Sarah K.; Zhang, Bai; Sun, Shisheng; Zhou, Jian-Ying; Ao, Minghui; Moore, Richard D.; Jackson, J. Brooks; Zhang, Hui

    2014-01-01

    HIV elite suppressors (ES) or controllers are individuals achieving control of viremia by their natural immunological mechanisms without highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Study of the mechanisms responsible for the immunological suppression of viremia in ES may lead to the detection of individuals with ES and the effective control of HIV infection. We hypothesize that plasma glycoproteins play essential roles in the immune system of ES since plasma proteins are critical and highly relevant in anti-viral immunity and most plasma proteins are glycoproteins. To examine glycoproteins associated with ES, plasma samples from ES individuals (n=20), and from individuals on HAART (n=20), with AIDS (n=20), and no HIV infection (n=10) were analyzed by quantitative glycoproteomics. We found that a number of glycoproteins changed between ES versus HAART, AIDS and HIV- individuals. In sharp contrast, the level of plasma glycoproteins in the HAART cohort showed fewer changes compared with AIDS and HIV- individuals. These results showed that although both ES and HAART effectively suppress viremia, ES appeared to profoundly affect immunologically relevant glycoproteins in plasma as consequence of or support for anti-viral immunity. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that altered proteins in ES plasma were mainly associated with inflammation. This analysis suggests that overlapping, while distinguishable, glycoprotein profiles for inflammation and immune activation appeared to be present between ES and non-ES (HAART+AIDS) cohorts, indicating different triggers for inflammation and immune activation between natural and treatment-related viral suppression. PMID:25285165

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Transcription closed and open complex dynamics studies reveal balance between genetic determinants and co-factors.

    PubMed

    Sala, Adrien; Shoaib, Muhammad; Anufrieva, Olga; Mutharasu, Gnanavel; Jahan Hoque, Rawnak; Yli-Harja, Olli; Kandhavelu, Meenakshisundaram

    2015-05-19

    In E. coli, promoter closed and open complexes are key steps in transcription initiation, where magnesium-dependent RNA polymerase catalyzes RNA synthesis. However, the exact mechanism of initiation remains to be fully elucidated. Here, using single mRNA detection and dual reporter studies, we show that increased intracellular magnesium concentration affects Plac initiation complex formation resulting in a highly dynamic process over the cell growth phases. Mg2+ regulates transcription transition, which modulates bimodality of mRNA distribution in the exponential phase. We reveal that Mg2+ regulates the size and frequency of the mRNA burst by changing the open complex duration. Moreover, increasing magnesium concentration leads to higher intrinsic and extrinsic noise in the exponential phase. RNAP-Mg2+ interaction simulation reveals critical movements creating a shorter contact distance between aspartic acid residues and Nucleotide Triphosphate residues and increasing electrostatic charges in the active site. Our findings provide unique biophysical insights into the balanced mechanism of genetic determinants and magnesium ion in transcription initiation regulation during cell growth.

  8. Transcription closed and open complex dynamics studies reveal balance between genetic determinants and co-factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sala, Adrien; Shoaib, Muhammad; Anufrieva, Olga; Mutharasu, Gnanavel; Jahan Hoque, Rawnak; Yli-Harja, Olli; Kandhavelu, Meenakshisundaram

    2015-05-01

    In E. coli, promoter closed and open complexes are key steps in transcription initiation, where magnesium-dependent RNA polymerase catalyzes RNA synthesis. However, the exact mechanism of initiation remains to be fully elucidated. Here, using single mRNA detection and dual reporter studies, we show that increased intracellular magnesium concentration affects Plac initiation complex formation resulting in a highly dynamic process over the cell growth phases. Mg2+ regulates transcription transition, which modulates bimodality of mRNA distribution in the exponential phase. We reveal that Mg2+ regulates the size and frequency of the mRNA burst by changing the open complex duration. Moreover, increasing magnesium concentration leads to higher intrinsic and extrinsic noise in the exponential phase. RNAP-Mg2+ interaction simulation reveals critical movements creating a shorter contact distance between aspartic acid residues and Nucleotide Triphosphate residues and increasing electrostatic charges in the active site. Our findings provide unique biophysical insights into the balanced mechanism of genetic determinants and magnesium ion in transcription initiation regulation during cell growth.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Optical Studies of Active Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1998-01-01

    This grant was to support optical studies of comets close enough to the sun to be outgassing. The main focus of the observations was drawn to the two extraordinarily bright comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, but other active comets were also studied in detail during the period of funding. Major findings (all fully published) under this grant include: (1) Combined optical and submillimeter observations of the comet/Centaur P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 were used to study the nature of mass loss from this object. The submillimeter observations show directly that the optically prominent dust coma is ejected by the sublimation of carbon monoxide. Simultaneous optical-submillimeter observations allowed us to test earlier determinations of the dust mass loss rate. (2) We modelled the rotation of cometary nuclei using time-resolved images of dust jets as the primary constraint. (3) We obtained broad-band optical images of several comets for which we subsequently attempted submillimeter observations, in order to test and update the cometary ephemerides. (4) Broad-band continuum images of a set of weakly active comets and, apparently, inactive asteroids were obtained in BVRI using the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope. These images were taken in support of a program to test the paradigm that many near-Earth asteroids might be dead or dormant comets. We measured coma vs. nucleus colors in active comets (finding that coma particle scattering is different from, and cannot be simply related to, nucleus color). We obtained spectroscopic observations of weakly active comets and other small bodies using the HIRES spectrograph on the Keck 10-m telescope. These observation place sensitive limits to outgassing from these bodies, aided by the high (40,000) spectral resolution of HIRES.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Multiwavelength Search and Studies of Active Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-06-01

    Since 1950s, Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) has always been one of the centres for surveys and studies of active galaxies. Here I review our search and studies of active galaxies during last 30 years using various wavelength ranges, as well as some recent related works. These projects since late 1980s were focused on multiwavelength search and studies of AGN and Starbursts (SB). 1103 blue stellar objects (BSOs) on the basis of their UV-excess were selected using Markarian Survey (First Byurakan Survey, FBS) plates and Markarian's criteria used for the galaxies. Among many blue stars, QSOs and Seyfert galaxies were found by follow-up observations. 1577 IRAS point sources were optically identified using FBS low-dispersion spectra and many AGN, SB and high-luminosity IR galaxies (LIRG/ULIRG) were discovered. 32 extremely high IR/opt flux ratio galaxies were studies with Spitzer. 2791 ROSAT FSC sources were optically identified using Hamburg Quasar Survey (HQS) low-dispersion spectra and many AGN were discovered by follow-up observations. Fine analysis of emission line spectra was carried out using spectral line decomposition software to establish true profiles and calculate physical parameters for the emitting regions, as well as to study the spectral variability of these objects. X-ray and radio selection criteria were used to find new AGN and variable objects for further studies. Multiwavelength approach allowed revealing many new AGN and SB and obtaining a number of interesting relations using their observational characteristics and physical properties.

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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 system for juxtaposing developmental phenotypes with mechanism discovery using organism genetics. We carried out a phenotype-based screen of uncharacterized small molecules in zebrafish that produced a variety of chemically-induced phenotypes with potential genetic parallels. Specifically, kalihinol F caused an undulated notochord, defects in pigment formation, hematopoiesis and neural development. These phenotypes were strikingly similar to the zebrafish mutant, calamity, an established model of copper deficiency. Further studies into the mechanism of action of kalihinol F revealed a novel copper chelating activity. Our data support a novel mechanism of action for kalihinol F and the utility of zebrafish as an effective system for identifying new therapeutics and target pathways. PMID:23790486

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. PMID:27460563

  18. 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.

  19. Revealed social preference for potable groundwater: An Eastern Iowa case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raunikar, R. P.; Bernknopf, R. L.; Forney, W.; Mishra, S.

    2011-12-01

    The spatially explicit land use and land cover information provided by Landsat moderate-resolution land imagery (MRLI) is needed to more efficiently balance the production of goods and services over landscapes. For example, economic trade-offs are needed to provide both clean groundwater resources and other non-environmental goods and services produced by activities that affect the vadose zone and thus contribute to contamination of groundwater. These trade-off choices are made by numerous economic agents and are constrained by many social institutions including governmental regulations at many levels, contractual obligations and traditions. In effect, on a social level, society acts as if it values groundwater by foregoing other goods to protect these resources. The result of the protection afforded to groundwater resources is observable by measuring contamination in well samples. This observed level of groundwater contamination risk is the revealed preference of society as a whole for clean groundwater. We observed the risk of groundwater contamination in a sampling of well data from our study area (35 counties of Eastern Iowa.) We used a proportional hazard model to quantify the nitrate contamination survival implied by the panel of 19,873 well data, where remaining below a 10 mg/ml maximum contamination level (MCL) is defined as survival. We tested the data for evidence that the levels of protection provided to these resources is correlated with aquifer and vadose zone characteristics and geographic location and whether it changed over time and with economic and other conditions. We demonstrate the use of a nitrate conditioned hazard function for projecting the survival of wells based on nitrate exposure information over the 1940 to 2010 time period. We discuss results of simulations of the survival process that demonstrate the economic significance of this approach. We find that aquifer survival has been significantly improving over time. The principle of

  20. Characterization of CLL exosomes reveals a distinct microRNA signature and enhanced secretion by activation of BCR signaling

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Yuh-Ying; Ozer, Hatice Gulcin; Lehman, Amy M.; Maddocks, Kami; Yu, Lianbo; Byrd, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple studies show that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells are heavily dependent on their microenvironment for survival. Communication between CLL cells and the microenvironment is mediated through direct cell contact, soluble factors, and extracellular vesicles. Exosomes are small particles enclosed with lipids, proteins, and small RNAs that can convey biological materials to surrounding cells. Our data herein demonstrate that CLL cells release significant amounts of exosomes in plasma that exhibit abundant CD37, CD9, and CD63 expression. Our work also pinpoints the regulation of B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling in the release of CLL exosomes: BCR activation by α-immunoglobulin (Ig)M induces exosome secretion, whereas BCR inactivation via ibrutinib impedes α-IgM-stimulated exosome release. Moreover, analysis of serial plasma samples collected from CLL patients on an ibrutinib clinical trial revealed that exosome plasma concentration was significantly decreased following ibrutinib therapy. Furthermore, microRNA (miR) profiling of plasma-derived exosomes identified a distinct exosome microRNA signature, including miR-29 family, miR-150, miR-155, and miR-223 that have been associated with CLL disease. Interestingly, expression of exosome miR-150 and miR-155 increases with BCR activation. In all, this study successfully characterized CLL exosomes, demonstrated the control of BCR signaling in the release of CLL exosomes, and uncovered a disease-relevant exosome microRNA profile. PMID:25833959

  1. 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.

  2. 101 Environmental Education Activities. Booklet 6--Social Studies Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitney, Helen, Comp.

    Based on the environment and directed at elementary and intermediate level students, 5 field trips are a significant part of the 12 social studies activities in the sixth booklet by the Upper Mississippi River ECO-Center outlining environmental and outdoor education activities. Most of the activities include objectives, activity description,…

  3. 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.

  4. Structural Studies of a Bacterial Condensin Complex Reveal ATP-Dependent Disruption of Intersubunit Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Woo, J.; Lim, J; Shin, H; Suh, M; Ku, B; Lee, H; Joo, K; Robinson, H; Lee, J; et. al.

    2009-01-01

    Condensins are key mediators of chromosome condensation across organisms. Like other condensins, the bacterial MukBEF condensin complex consists of an SMC family protein dimer containing two ATPase head domains, MukB, and two interacting subunits, MukE and MukF. We report complete structural views of the intersubunit interactions of this condensin along with ensuing studies that reveal a role for the ATPase activity of MukB. MukE and MukF together form an elongated dimeric frame, and MukF's C-terminal winged-helix domains (C-WHDs) bind MukB heads to constitute closed ring-like structures. Surprisingly, one of the two bound C-WHDs is forced to detach upon ATP-mediated engagement of MukB heads. This detachment reaction depends on the linker segment preceding the C-WHD, and mutations on the linker restrict cell growth. Thus ATP-dependent transient disruption of the MukB-MukF interaction, which creates openings in condensin ring structures, is likely to be a critical feature of the functional mechanism of condensins.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Dimeric structure of pseudokinase RNase L bound to 2-5A reveals a basis for interferon induced antiviral activity

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hao; Zeqiraj, Elton; Dong, Beihua; Jha, Babal Kant; Duffy, Nicole; Orlicky, Stephen; Thevakumaran, Neroshan; Talukdar, Manisha; Pillon, Monica C.; Ceccarelli, Derek F.; Wan, Leo; Juang, Yu-Chi; Mao, Daniel Y.L.; Gaughan, Christina; Brinton, Margo A.; Perelygin, Andrey A.; Kourinov, Igor; Guarné, Alba; Silverman, Robert H.; Sicheri, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Summary RNase L is an ankyrin repeat domain containing dual endoribonuclease-pseudokinase that is activated by unusual 2′,5′-oligoadenylate (2-5A) second messengers and which impedes viral infections in higher vertebrates. Despite its importance in interferon regulated antiviral innate immunity, relatively little is known about its precise mechanism of action. Here, we present a functional characterization of 2.5 Å and 3.25 Å X-ray crystal and small angle x-ray scattering structures of RNase L bound to a natural 2-5A activator with and without ADP or the non-hydrolysable ATP mimetic AMP-PNP. These studies reveal how recognition of 2-5A through interactions with the ankyrin repeat domain and the pseudokinase domain together with nucleotide binding, impose a rigid intertwined dimer configuration that is essential for RNase catalytic and anti-viral functions. The involvement of the pseudokinase domain of RNase L in 2-5A sensing, nucleotide binding, dimerization, and ribonuclease functions highlights the evolutionary adaptability of the eukaryotic protein kinase fold. PMID:24462203

  19. The Structure of the GM-CSF Receptor Complex Reveals a Distinct Mode of Cytokine Receptor Activation

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, Guido; Hercus, Timothy R.; McClure, Barbara J.; Stomski, Frank C.; Dottore, Mara; Powell, Jason; Ramshaw, Hayley; Woodcock, Joanna M.; Xu, Yibin; Guthridge, Mark; McKinstry, William J.; Lopez, Angel F.; Parker, Michael W.

    2008-08-11

    Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a pleiotropic cytokine that controls the production and function of blood cells, is deregulated in clinical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and leukemia, yet offers therapeutic value for other diseases. Its receptors are heterodimers consisting of a ligand-specific {alpha} subunit and a {beta}c subunit that is shared with the interleukin (IL)-3 and IL-5 receptors. How signaling is initiated remains an enigma. We report here the crystal structure of the human GM-CSF/GM-CSF receptor ternary complex and its assembly into an unexpected dodecamer or higher-order complex. Importantly, mutagenesis of the GM-CSF receptor at the dodecamer interface and functional studies reveal that dodecamer formation is required for receptor activation and signaling. This unusual form of receptor assembly likely applies also to IL-3 and IL-5 receptors, providing a structural basis for understanding their mechanism of activation and for the development of therapeutics.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Dual-color STED microscopy reveals a sandwich structure of Bassoon and Piccolo in active zones of adult and aged mice

    PubMed Central

    Nishimune, Hiroshi; Badawi, Yomna; Mori, Shuuichi; Shigemoto, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-01

    Presynaptic active zones play a pivotal role as synaptic vesicle release sites for synaptic transmission, but the molecular architecture of active zones in mammalian neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) at sub-diffraction limited resolution remains unknown. Bassoon and Piccolo are active zone specific cytosolic proteins essential for active zone assembly in NMJs, ribbon synapses, and brain synapses. These proteins are thought to colocalize and share some functions at active zones. Here, we report an unexpected finding of non-overlapping localization of these two proteins in mouse NMJs revealed using dual-color stimulated emission depletion (STED) super resolution microscopy. Piccolo puncta sandwiched Bassoon puncta and aligned in a Piccolo-Bassoon-Piccolo structure in adult NMJs. P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) puncta colocalized with Bassoon puncta. The P/Q-type VGCC and Bassoon protein levels decreased significantly in NMJs from aged mouse. In contrast, the Piccolo levels in NMJs from aged mice were comparable to levels in adult mice. This study revealed the molecular architecture of active zones in mouse NMJs at sub-diffraction limited resolution, and described the selective degeneration mechanism of active zone proteins in NMJs from aged mice. Interestingly, the localization pattern of active zone proteins described herein is similar to active zone structures described using electron microscope tomography. PMID:27321892

  11. Dual-color STED microscopy reveals a sandwich structure of Bassoon and Piccolo in active zones of adult and aged mice.

    PubMed

    Nishimune, Hiroshi; Badawi, Yomna; Mori, Shuuichi; Shigemoto, Kazuhiro

    2016-06-20

    Presynaptic active zones play a pivotal role as synaptic vesicle release sites for synaptic transmission, but the molecular architecture of active zones in mammalian neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) at sub-diffraction limited resolution remains unknown. Bassoon and Piccolo are active zone specific cytosolic proteins essential for active zone assembly in NMJs, ribbon synapses, and brain synapses. These proteins are thought to colocalize and share some functions at active zones. Here, we report an unexpected finding of non-overlapping localization of these two proteins in mouse NMJs revealed using dual-color stimulated emission depletion (STED) super resolution microscopy. Piccolo puncta sandwiched Bassoon puncta and aligned in a Piccolo-Bassoon-Piccolo structure in adult NMJs. P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) puncta colocalized with Bassoon puncta. The P/Q-type VGCC and Bassoon protein levels decreased significantly in NMJs from aged mouse. In contrast, the Piccolo levels in NMJs from aged mice were comparable to levels in adult mice. This study revealed the molecular architecture of active zones in mouse NMJs at sub-diffraction limited resolution, and described the selective degeneration mechanism of active zone proteins in NMJs from aged mice. Interestingly, the localization pattern of active zone proteins described herein is similar to active zone structures described using electron microscope tomography.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Insights into Brown Adipose Tissue Physiology as Revealed by Imaging Studies

    PubMed Central

    Izzi-Engbeaya, Chioma; Salem, Victoria; Atkar, Rajveer S; Dhillo, Waljit S

    2014-01-01

    There has been resurgence in interest in brown adipose tissue (BAT) following radiological and histological identification of metabolically active BAT in adult humans. Imaging enables BAT to be studied non-invasively and therefore imaging studies have contributed a significant amount to what is known about BAT function in humans. In this review the current knowledge (derived from imaging studies) about the prevalence, function, activity and regulation of BAT in humans (as well as relevant rodent studies), will be summarized. PMID:26167397

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Active Media Studies for PASER

    SciTech Connect

    Antipov, Sergey P.; Kanareykin, Alexei; Schoessow, Paul; Schaechter, Levi

    2009-01-22

    The Particle Acceleration by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (PASER) is a concept that is based on the direct transfer of energy from active medium to a charged particle beam. The PASER was originally formulated and demonstrated for optical (laser) media; we are pursuing a PASER demonstration experiment based on an optically pumped paramagnetic medium active in the X-band. The activity in this case is produced via Zeeman Effect. We report on the development of an active medium based on fullerene (C{sub 60}). Various aspects like temperature dependence, concentration effects and the role of the host media are presented. Application of the technology to accelerators and microwave components will be discussed.

  3. 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

  4. Transcriptomes reveal alterations in gravity impact circadian clocks and activate mechanotransduction pathways with adaptation through epigenetic change.

    PubMed

    Casey, Theresa; Patel, Osman V; Plaut, Karen

    2015-04-01

    Few studies have investigated the impact of alterations in gravity on mammalian transcriptomes. Here, we describe the impact of spaceflight on mammary transcriptome of late pregnant rats and the effect of hypergravity exposure on mammary, liver, and adipose transcriptomes in late pregnancy and at the onset of lactation. RNA was isolated from mammary collected on pregnancy day 20 from rats exposed to spaceflight from days 11 to 20 of gestation. To measure the impact of hypergravity on mammary, liver, and adipose transcriptomes we isolated RNA from tissues collected on P20 and lactation day 1 from rats exposed to hypergravity beginning on pregnancy day 9. Gene expression was measured with Affymetrix GeneChips. Microarray analysis of variance revealed alterations in gravity affected the expression of genes that regulate circadian clocks and activate mechanotransduction pathways. Changes in these systems may explain global gene expression changes in immune response, metabolism, and cell proliferation. Expression of genes that modify chromatin structure and methylation was affected, suggesting adaptation to gravity alterations may proceed through epigenetic change. Altered gravity experiments offer insights into the role of forces omnipresent on Earth that shape genomes in heritable ways. Our study is the first to analyze the impact of alterations in gravity on transcriptomes of pregnant and lactating mammals. Findings provide insight into systems that sense gravity and the way in which they affect phenotype, as well as the possibility of sustaining life beyond Earth's orbit. PMID:25649141

  5. 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.

  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. Parallel functional activity profiling reveals valvulopathogens are potent 5-hydroxytryptamine(2B) receptor agonists: implications for drug safety assessment.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xi-Ping; Setola, Vincent; Yadav, Prem N; Allen, John A; Rogan, Sarah C; Hanson, Bonnie J; Revankar, Chetana; Robers, Matt; Doucette, Chris; Roth, Bryan L

    2009-10-01

    Drug-induced valvular heart disease (VHD) is a serious side effect of a few medications, including some that are on the market. Pharmacological studies of VHD-associated medications (e.g., fenfluramine, pergolide, methysergide, and cabergoline) have revealed that they and/or their metabolites are potent 5-hydroxytryptamine(2B) (5-HT(2B)) receptor agonists. We have shown that activation of 5-HT(2B) receptors on human heart valve interstitial cells in vitro induces a proliferative response reminiscent of the fibrosis that typifies VHD. To identify current or future drugs that might induce VHD, we screened approximately 2200 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved or investigational medications to identify 5-HT(2B) receptor agonists, using calcium-based high-throughput screening. Of these 2200 compounds, 27 were 5-HT(2B) receptor agonists (hits); 14 of these had previously been identified as 5-HT(2B) receptor agonists, including seven bona fide valvulopathogens. Six of the hits (guanfacine, quinidine, xylometazoline, oxymetazoline, fenoldopam, and ropinirole) are approved medications. Twenty-three of the hits were then "functionally profiled" (i.e., assayed in parallel for 5-HT(2B) receptor agonism using multiple readouts to test for functional selectivity). In these assays, the known valvulopathogens were efficacious at concentrations as low as 30 nM, whereas the other compounds were less so. Hierarchical clustering analysis of the pEC(50) data revealed that ropinirole (which is not associated with valvulopathy) was clearly segregated from known valvulopathogens. Taken together, our data demonstrate that patterns of 5-HT(2B) receptor functional selectivity might be useful for identifying compounds likely to induce valvular heart disease. PMID:19570945

  8. Gang Activity on Campus: A Crisis Response Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaw, Mahauganee; Meaney, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    This case study challenges readers to consider a contemporary issue for campus threat assessment and emergency preparedness: gang presence on college campuses. A body of research examining the presence of gangs and gang activity on college campuses has developed, revealing that gangs pose a viable threat for institutions of higher education. The…

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Studying Activity Series of Metals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoon, Tien-Ghun; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents teaching strategies that illustrate the linking together of numerous chemical concepts involving the activity of metals (quantitative analysis, corrosion, and electrolysis) through the use of deep-level processing strategies. Concludes that making explicit links in the process of teaching chemistry can lead effectively to meaningful…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Emotions in motion: dynamic compared to static facial expressions of disgust and happiness reveal more widespread emotion-specific activations.

    PubMed

    Trautmann, Sina Alexa; Fehr, Thorsten; Herrmann, Manfred

    2009-08-11

    In social contexts, facial expressions are dynamic in nature and vary rapidly in relation to situational requirements. However, there are very few fMRI studies using dynamic emotional stimuli. The aim of this study was (1) to introduce and evaluate a new stimulus database of static and dynamic emotional facial expressions according to arousal and recognizability investigated by a rating by both participants of the present fMRI study and by an external sample of 30 healthy women, (2) to examine the neural networks involved in emotion perception of static and dynamic facial stimuli separately, and (3) to examine the impact of motion on the emotional processing of dynamic compared to static face stimuli. A total of 16 females participated in the present fMRI study performing a passive emotion perception task including static and dynamic faces of neutral, happy and disgusted expressions. Comparing dynamic stimuli to static faces indicated enhanced emotion-specific brain activation patterns in the parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) including the amygdala (AMG), fusiform gyrus (FG), superior temporal gyrus (STG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and occipital and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). These regions have been discussed to be associated with emotional memory encoding, the perception of threat, facial identity, biological motion, the mirror neuron system, an increase of emotional arousal, and reward processing, respectively. Post hoc ratings of the dynamic stimuli revealed a better recognizability in comparison to the static stimuli. In conclusion, dynamic facial expressions might provide a more appropriate approach to examine the processing of emotional face perception than static stimuli. PMID:19501062

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Studies of Transient Meteor Activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenniskens, Peter M. M.

    2002-01-01

    Meteoroids bombard Earth's atmosphere daily, but occasionally meteor rates increase to unusual high levels when Earth crosses the relatively fresh ejecta of comets. These transient events in meteor activity provide clues about the whereabouts of Earth-threatening long-period comets, the mechanisms of large-grain dust ejection from comets, and the particle composition and size distribution of the cometary ejecta. Observations of these transient events provide important insight in natural processes that determine the large grain dust environment of comets, in natural phenomena that were prevalent during the time of the origin of life, and in processes that determine the hazard of civilizations to large impacts and of man-made satellites to the periodic blizzard of small meteoroids. In this proposal, three tasks form a coherent program aimed at elucidating various aspects of meteor outbursts, with special reference to planetary astronomy and astrobiology. Task 1 was a ground-based effort to observe periods of transient meteor activity. This includes: (1) stereoscopic imaging of meteors during transient meteor events for measurements of particle size distribution, meteoroid orbital dispersions and fluxes; and (2) technical support for Global-MS-Net, a network of amateur-operated automatic counting stations for meteor reflections from commercial VHF radio and TV broadcasting stations, keeping a 24h vigil on the level of meteor activity for the detection of new meteor streams. Task 2 consisted of ground-based and satellite born spectroscopic observations of meteors and meteor trains during transient meteor events for measurements of elemental composition, the presence of organic matter in the meteoroids, and products generated by the interaction of the meteoroid with the atmosphere. Task 3 was an airborne effort to explore the 2000 Leonid meteor outbursts, which are anticipated to be the most significant of transient meteor activity events in the remainder of the

  2. In silico analysis reveals 75 members of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase gene family in rice.

    PubMed

    Rao, Kudupudi Prabhakara; Richa, Tambi; Kumar, Kundan; Raghuram, Badmi; Sinha, Alok Krishna

    2010-06-01

    Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinase Kinases (MAPKKKs) are important components of MAPK cascades, which are universal signal transduction modules and play important role in plant growth and development. In the sequenced Arabidopsis genome 80 MAPKKKs were identified and currently being analysed for its role in different stress. In rice, economically important monocot cereal crop only five MAPKKKs were identified so far. In this study using computational analysis of sequenced rice genome we have identified 75 MAPKKKs. EST hits and full-length cDNA sequences (from KOME or Genbank database) of 75 MAPKKKs supported their existence. Phylogenetic analyses of MAPKKKs from rice and Arabidopsis have classified them into three subgroups, which include Raf, ZIK and MEKK. Conserved motifs in the deduced amino acid sequences of rice MAPKKKs strongly supported their identity as members of Raf, ZIK and MEKK subfamilies. Further expression analysis of the MAPKKKs in MPSS database revealed that their transcripts were differentially regulated in various stress and tissue-specific libraries.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Biochemical evaluation of virtual screening methods reveals a cell-active inhibitor of the cancer-promoting phosphatases of regenerating liver.

    PubMed

    Hoeger, Birgit; Diether, Maren; Ballester, Pedro J; Köhn, Maja

    2014-12-17

    Computationally supported development of small molecule inhibitors has successfully been applied to protein tyrosine phosphatases in the past, revealing a number of cell-active compounds. Similar approaches have also been used to screen for small molecule inhibitors for the cancer-related phosphatases of regenerating liver (PRL) family. Still, selective and cell-active compounds are of limited availability. Since especially PRL-3 remains an attractive drug target due to its clear role in cancer metastasis, such compounds are highly demanded. In this study, we investigated various virtual screening approaches for their applicability to identify novel small molecule entities for PRL-3 as target. Biochemical evaluation of purchasable compounds revealed ligand-based approaches as well suited for this target, compared to docking-based techniques that did not perform well in this context. The best hit of this study, a 2-cyano-2-ene-ester and hence a novel chemotype targeting the PRLs, was further optimized by a structure-activity-relationship (SAR) study, leading to a low micromolar PRL inhibitor with acceptable selectivity over other protein tyrosine phosphatases. The compound is active in cells, as shown by its ability to specifically revert PRL-3 induced cell migration, and exhibits similar effects on PRL-1 and PRL-2. It is furthermore suitable for fluorescence microscopy applications, and it is commercially available. These features make it the only purchasable, cell-active and acceptably selective PRL inhibitor to date that can be used in various cellular applications.

  1. An integrated multi-omics study revealed metabolic alterations underlying the effects of coffee consumption.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Shoko; Saito, Kenji; Jia, Huijuan; Kato, Hisanori

    2014-01-01

    Many epidemiological studies have indicated that coffee consumption may reduce the risks of developing obesity and diabetes, but the underlying mechanisms of these effects are poorly understood. Our previous study revealed the changes on gene expression profiles in the livers of C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet containing three types of coffee (caffeinated, decaffeinated and green unroasted coffee), using DNA microarrays. The results revealed remarkable alterations in lipid metabolism-related molecules which may be involved in the anti-obesity effects of coffee. We conducted the present study to further elucidate the metabolic alterations underlying the effects of coffee consumption through comprehensive proteomic and metabolomic analyses. Proteomics revealed an up-regulation of isocitrate dehydrogenase (a key enzyme in the TCA cycle) and its related proteins, suggesting increased energy generation. The metabolomics showed an up-regulation of metabolites involved in the urea cycle, with which the transcriptome data were highly consistent, indicating accelerated energy expenditure. The TCA cycle and the urea cycle are likely be accelerated in a concerted manner, since they are directly connected by mutually providing each other's intermediates. The up-regulation of these pathways might result in a metabolic shift causing increased ATP turnover, which is related to the alterations of lipid metabolism. This mechanism may play an important part in the suppressive effects of coffee consumption on obesity, inflammation, and hepatosteatosis. This study newly revealed global metabolic alterations induced by coffee intake, providing significant insights into the association between coffee intake and the prevention of type 2 diabetes, utilizing the benefits of multi-omics analyses. PMID:24618914

  2. An Integrated Multi-Omics Study Revealed Metabolic Alterations Underlying the Effects of Coffee Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Shoko; Saito, Kenji; Jia, Huijuan; Kato, Hisanori

    2014-01-01

    Many epidemiological studies have indicated that coffee consumption may reduce the risks of developing obesity and diabetes, but the underlying mechanisms of these effects are poorly understood. Our previous study revealed the changes on gene expression profiles in the livers of C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet containing three types of coffee (caffeinated, decaffeinated and green unroasted coffee), using DNA microarrays. The results revealed remarkable alterations in lipid metabolism-related molecules which may be involved in the anti-obesity effects of coffee. We conducted the present study to further elucidate the metabolic alterations underlying the effects of coffee consumption through comprehensive proteomic and metabolomic analyses. Proteomics revealed an up-regulation of isocitrate dehydrogenase (a key enzyme in the TCA cycle) and its related proteins, suggesting increased energy generation. The metabolomics showed an up-regulation of metabolites involved in the urea cycle, with which the transcriptome data were highly consistent, indicating accelerated energy expenditure. The TCA cycle and the urea cycle are likely be accelerated in a concerted manner, since they are directly connected by mutually providing each other's intermediates. The up-regulation of these pathways might result in a metabolic shift causing increased ATP turnover, which is related to the alterations of lipid metabolism. This mechanism may play an important part in the suppressive effects of coffee consumption on obesity, inflammation, and hepatosteatosis. This study newly revealed global metabolic alterations induced by coffee intake, providing significant insights into the association between coffee intake and the prevention of type 2 diabetes, utilizing the benefits of multi-omics analyses. PMID:24618914

  3. Single-molecule studies reveal the function of a third polymerase in the replisome

    PubMed Central

    Georgescu, Roxana E; Kurth, Isabel; O'Donnell, Mike E

    2013-01-01

    The Escherichia coli replisome contains three polymerases, one more than necessary to duplicate the two parental strands. Using single-molecule studies, we reveal two advantages conferred by the third polymerase. First, dipolymerase replisomes are inefficient at synthesizing lagging strands, leaving single-strand gaps, whereas tripolymerase replisomes fill strands almost to completion. Second, tripolymerase replisomes are much more processive than dipolymerase replisomes. These features account for the unexpected three-polymerase-structure of bacterial replisomes. PMID:22157955

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Small-scale studies of roasted ore waste reveal extreme ranges of stable mercury isotope signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Robin S.; Wiederhold, Jan G.; Jew, Adam D.; Brown, Gordon E.; Bourdon, Bernard; Kretzschmar, Ruben

    2014-07-01

    Active and closed Hg mines are significant sources of Hg contamination to the environment, mainly due to large volumes of mine waste material disposed of on-site. The application of Hg isotopes as source tracer from such contaminated sites requires knowledge of the Hg isotope signatures of different materials potentially released to the environment. Previous work has shown that calcine, the waste residue of the on-site ore roasting process, can exhibit distinct Hg isotope signatures compared with the primary ore. Here, we report results from a detailed small-scale study of Hg isotope variations in calcine collected from the closed New Idria Hg mine, San Benito County, CA, USA. The calcine samples exhibited different internal layering features which were investigated using optical microscopy, micro X-ray fluorescence, micro X-ray absorption spectroscopy (μ-XAS), and stable Hg isotope analysis. Significant Fe, S, and Hg concentration gradients were found across the different internal layers. Isotopic analyses revealed an extreme variation with pronounced isotopic gradients across the internal layered features. Overall, δ202Hg (±0.10‰, 2 SD) describing mass-dependent fractionation (MDF) ranged from -5.96 to 14.49‰, which is by far the largest range of δ202Hg values reported for any environmental sample. In addition, Δ199Hg (±0.06‰, 2 SD) describing mass-independent fractionation (MIF) ranged from -0.17 to 0.21‰. The μ-XAS analyses suggested that cinnabar and metacinnabar are the dominant Hg-bearing phases in the calcine. Our results demonstrate that the incomplete roasting of HgS ores in Hg mines can cause extreme mass-dependent Hg isotope fractionations at the scale of individual calcine pieces with enrichments in both light and heavy Hg isotopes relative to the primary ore signatures. This finding has important implications for the application of Hg isotopes as potential source tracers for Hg released to the environment from closed Hg mines and

  12. 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

  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. PMID:24914961

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Insights into antiviral innate immunity revealed by studying hepatitis C virus

    PubMed Central

    Horner, Stacy M.

    2015-01-01

    Experimental studies on the interactions of the positive strand RNA virus hepatitis C virus (HCV) with the host have contributed to several discoveries in the field of antiviral innate immunity. These include revealing the antiviral sensing pathways that lead to the induction of type I interferon (IFN) during HCV infection and also the importance of type III IFNs in the antiviral immune response to HCV. These studies on HCV/host interactions have contributed to our overall understanding of viral sensing and viral evasion of the antiviral intracellular innate immune response. In this review, I will highlight how these studies of HCV/host interactions have led to new insights into antiviral innate immunity. Overall, I hope to emphasize that studying antiviral immunity in the context of virus infection is necessary to fully understand antiviral immunity and how it controls the outcome of viral infection. PMID:25819428

  4. 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.

  5. FRET analysis using sperm-activating peptides tagged with fluorescent proteins reveals that ligand-binding sites exist as clusters.

    PubMed

    Arcos-Hernández, César; Romero, Francisco; Sánchez-Guevara, Yoloxochitl; Beltrán, Carmen; Nishigaki, Takuya

    2016-02-01

    Long-range cellular communication between the sperm and egg is critical for external fertilization. Sperm-activating peptides (SAPs) are diffusible components of the outer layer of eggs in echinoderms, and function as chemoattractants for spermatozoa. The decapeptide named speract is the best-characterized sea urchin SAP. Biochemical and physiological actions of speract have been studied with purified or chemically synthesized peptides. In this work, we prepared recombinant speract fused to a fluorescent protein (FP; FP-speract) using three color variants: a cyan (eCFP), a yellow (mVenus) and a large Stokes shift yellow (mAmetrine) FP. Although these fluorescence tags are 20 times larger than speract, competitive binding experiments using mAmetrine-speract revealed that this FP-speract has binding affinity to the receptor that is comparable (7.6-fold less) to that of non-labeled speract. Indeed, 10 nmol l(-1) eCFP-speract induces physiological sperm responses such as membrane potential changes and increases in intracellular pH and Ca(2+) concentrations similar to those triggered by 10 nmol l(-1) speract. Furthermore, FP-speract maintains its fluorescence upon binding to its receptor. Using this property, we performed fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements with eCFP-speract and mVenus-speract as probes and obtained a positive FRET signal upon binding to the receptor, which suggests that the speract receptor exists as an oligomer, at least as a dimer, or alternatively that a single speract receptor protein possesses multiple binding sites. This property could partially account for the positive and/or negative cooperative binding of speract to the receptor.

  6. Genetically encoded pH-indicators reveal activity-dependent cytosolic acidification of Drosophila motor nerve termini in vivo.

    PubMed

    Rossano, Adam J; Chouhan, Amit K; Macleod, Gregory T

    2013-04-01

    All biochemical processes, including those underlying synaptic function and plasticity, are pH sensitive. Cytosolic pH (pH(cyto)) shifts are known to accompany nerve activity in situ, but technological limitations have prevented characterization of such shifts in vivo. Genetically encoded pH-indicators (GEpHIs) allow for tissue-specific in vivo measurement of pH. We expressed three different GEpHIs in the cytosol of Drosophila larval motor neurons and observed substantial presynaptic acidification in nerve termini during nerve stimulation in situ. SuperEcliptic pHluorin was the most useful GEpHI for studying pH(cyto) shifts in this model system. We determined the resting pH of the nerve terminal cytosol to be 7.30 ± 0.02, and observed a decrease of 0.16 ± 0.01 pH units when the axon was stimulated at 40 Hz for 4 s. Realkalinization occurred upon cessation of stimulation with a time course of 20.54 ± 1.05 s (τ). The chemical pH-indicator 2,7-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein corroborated these changes in pH(cyto). Bicarbonate-derived buffering did not contribute to buffering of acid loads from short (≤ 4 s) trains of action potentials but did buffer slow (~60 s) acid loads. The magnitude of cytosolic acid transients correlated with cytosolic Ca(2+) increase upon stimulation, and partial inhibition of the plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase, a Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger, attenuated pH(cyto) shifts. Repeated stimulus trains mimicking motor patterns generated greater cytosolic acidification (~0.30 pH units). Imaging through the cuticle of intact larvae revealed spontaneous pH(cyto) shifts in presynaptic termini in vivo, similar to those seen in situ during fictive locomotion, indicating that presynaptic pH(cyto) shifts cannot be dismissed as artifacts of ex vivo preparations.

  7. Deficient Orthographic and Phonological Representations in Children with Dyslexia Revealed by Brain Activation Patterns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cao, Fan; Bitan, Tali; Chou, Tai-Li; Burman, Douglas D.; Booth, James R.

    2006-01-01

    Background: The current study examined the neuro-cognitive network of visual word rhyming judgment in 14 children with dyslexia and 14 age-matched control children (8- to 14-year-olds) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Methods: In order to manipulate the difficulty of mapping orthography to phonology, we used conflicting and…

  8. Revealing the Interactional Features of Learning and Teaching Moments in Outdoor Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waters, Jane; Bateman, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    The data considered in this article was generated as part of a doctoral research study entitled: "A sociocultural consideration of child-initiated interaction with teachers in indoor and outdoor spaces" (Waters 2011) where child-initiated, teacher-child interaction in indoor and outdoor spaces were investigated. The purpose of the…

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Infections Revealing Complement Deficiency in Adults: A French Nationwide Study Enrolling 41 Patients.

    PubMed

    Audemard-Verger, A; Descloux, E; Ponard, D; Deroux, A; Fantin, B; Fieschi, C; John, M; Bouldouyre, A; Karkowsi, L; Moulis, G; Auvinet, H; Valla, F; Lechiche, C; Davido, B; Martinot, M; Biron, C; Lucht, F; Asseray, N; Froissart, A; Buzelé, R; Perlat, A; Boutboul, D; Fremeaux-Bacchi, V; Isnard, S; Bienvenu, B

    2016-05-01

    Complement system is a part of innate immunity, its main function is to protect human from bacterial infection. As genetic disorders, complement deficiencies are often diagnosed in pediatric population. However, complement deficiencies can also be revealed in adults but have been poorly investigated. Herein, we describe a case series of infections revealing complement deficiency in adults to study clinical spectrum and management of complement deficiencies.A nationwide retrospective study was conducted in French university and general hospitals in departments of internal medicine, infectious diseases enrolling patients older than 15 years old who had presented at least one infection leading to a complement deficiency diagnosis.Forty-one patients included between 2002 and 2015 in 19 different departments were enrolled in this study. The male-to-female ratio was 1.3 and the mean age at diagnosis was 28 ± 14 (15-67) years. The main clinical feature was Neisseria meningitidis meningitis 75% (n = 31/41) often involving rare serotype: Y (n = 9) and W 135 (n = 7). The main complement deficiency observed was the common final pathway deficiency 83% (n = 34/41). Half of the cohort displayed severe sepsis or septic shock at diagnosis (n = 22/41) but no patient died. No patient had family history of complement deficiency. The mean follow-up was 1.15 ± 1.95 (0.1-10) years. Half of the patients had already suffered from at least one infection before diagnosis of complement deficiency: meningitis (n = 13), pneumonia (n = 4), fulminans purpura (n = 1), or recurrent otitis (n = 1). Near one-third (n = 10/39) had received prophylactic antibiotics (cotrimoxazole or penicillin) after diagnosis of complement deficiency. The vaccination coverage rate, at the end of the follow-up, for N meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumonia, and Haemophilius influenzae were, respectively, 90% (n = 33/37), 47% (n = 17/36), and 35% (n = 14

  3. Oxidation Induced Doping of Nanoparticles Revealed by in Situ X-ray Absorption Studies.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Soon Gu; Chattopadhyay, Soma; Koo, Bonil; Dos Santos Claro, Paula Cecilia; Shibata, Tomohiro; Requejo, Félix G; Giovanetti, Lisandro J; Liu, Yuzi; Johnson, Christopher; Prakapenka, Vitali; Lee, Byeongdu; Shevchenko, Elena V

    2016-06-01

    Doping is a well-known approach to modulate the electronic and optical properties of nanoparticles (NPs). However, doping at nanoscale is still very challenging, and the reasons for that are not well understood. We studied the formation and doping process of iron and iron oxide NPs in real time by in situ synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Our study revealed that the mass flow of the iron triggered by oxidation is responsible for the internalization of the dopant (molybdenum) adsorbed at the surface of the host iron NPs. The oxidation induced doping allows controlling the doping levels by varying the amount of dopant precursor. Our in situ studies also revealed that the dopant precursor substantially changes the reaction kinetics of formation of iron and iron oxide NPs. Thus, in the presence of dopant precursor we observed significantly faster decomposition rate of iron precursors and substantially higher stability of iron NPs against oxidation. The same doping mechanism and higher stability of host metal NPs against oxidation was observed for cobalt-based systems. Since the internalization of the adsorbed dopant at the surface of the host NPs is driven by the mass transport of the host, this mechanism can be potentially applied to introduce dopants into different oxidized forms of metal and metal alloy NPs providing the extra degree of compositional control in material design. PMID:27152970

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Metabolic profiling of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens revealed activation of unpredicted pathway during encystation.

    PubMed

    Jeelani, Ghulam; Sato, Dan; Husain, Afzal; Escueta-de Cadiz, Aleyla; Sugimoto, Masahiro; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Suematsu, Makoto; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2012-01-01

    Encystation, which is cellular differentiation from the motile, proliferative, labile trophozoite form to the dormant, resistant cyst form, is a crucial process found in parasitic and free-living protozoa such as Entamoeba, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, and Balamuthia. Since encystation is an essential process to deal with the adverse external environmental changes during the life cycle, and often integral to the transmission of the diseases, biochemical understanding of the process potentially provides useful measures against the infections caused by this group of protozoa. In this study, we investigated metabolic and transcriptomic changes that occur during encystation in Entamoeba invadens, the reptilian sibling of mammal-infecting E. histolytica, using capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and DNA microarray-based expression profiling. As the encystation progressed, the levels of majority of metabolites involved in glycolysis and nucleotides drastically decreased, indicating energy generation is ceased. Furthermore, the flux of glycolysis was redirected toward chitin wall biosynthesis. We found remarkable temporal increases in biogenic amines such as isoamylamine, isobutylamine, and cadaverine, during the early period of encystation, when the trophozoites form large multicellular aggregates (precyst). We also found remarkable induction of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) during encystation. This study has unveiled for the first time the dynamics of the transcriptional and metabolic regulatory networks during encystation, and should help in better understanding of the process in pathogenic eukaryotes, and further development of measures controlling infections they cause.

  8. The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1: Unique tissue-specific functions revealed by selective gene knockout studies

    PubMed Central

    Lillis, Anna P.; Van Duyn, Lauren B.; Murphy-Ullrich, Joanne E.; Strickland, Dudley K.

    2008-01-01

    The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein (originally called LRP, but now referred to as LRP1) is a large endocytic receptor that is widely expressed in several tissues. LRP1 is a member of the LDL receptor family that plays diverse roles in various biological processes including lipoprotein metabolism, degradation of proteases, activation of lysosomal enzymes and cellular entry of bacterial toxins and viruses. Deletion of the LRP1 gene leads to lethality in mice, revealing a critical, but as of yet, undefined role in development. Tissue-specific gene deletion studies reveal an important contribution of LRP1 in the vasculature, central nervous system, in macrophages and in adipocytes. Three important properties of LRP1 dictate its diverse role in physiology: first, its ability to recognize more than thirty distinct ligands; second, its ability to bind a large number of cytoplasmic adaptor proteins via determinants located on its cytoplasmic domain in a phosphorylation-specific manner; and third, its ability to associate with and modulate the activity of other transmembrane receptors such as integrins and receptor tyrosine kinases. PMID:18626063

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Phylogenetic and Molecular Variability Studies Reveal a New Genetic Clade of Citrus leprosis virus C.

    PubMed

    Ramos-González, Pedro Luis; Chabi-Jesus, Camila; Guerra-Peraza, Orlene; Breton, Michèle Claire; Arena, Gabriella Dias; Nunes, Maria Andreia; Kitajima, Elliot Watanabe; Machado, Marcos Antonio; Freitas-Astúa, Juliana

    2016-01-01

    Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C) causes a severe disease affecting citrus orchards in the Western hemisphere. This study reveals the molecular variability of the virus by analyzing four genomic regions (p29, p15, MP and RNA2-intergenic region) distributed over its two RNAs. Nucleotide diversity (π) values were relatively low but statistically different over the analyzed genes and subpopulations, indicating their distinct evolutionary history. Values of πp29 and πMP were higher than those of πp15 and πRNA2-IR, whereas πMP was increased due to novel discovered isolates phylogenetically clustered in a divergent clade that we called SJP. Isolate BR_SP_SJP_01 RNA1 and RNA2 sequences, clade SJP, showed an identity of 85.6% and 88.4%, respectively, with those corresponding to CiLV-C, the type member of the genus Cilevirus, and its RNA2 5'-proximal region was revealed as a minor donor in a putative inter-clade recombination event. In addition to citrus, BR_SP_SJP_01 naturally infects the weed Commelina benghalensis and is efficiently transmitted by Brevipalpus yothersi mites. Our data demonstrated that negative selection was the major force operating in the evaluated viral coding regions and defined amino acids putatively relevant for the biological function of cilevirus proteins. This work provides molecular tools and sets up a framework for further epidemiological studies. PMID:27275832

  15. Proteomics study revealed altered proteome of Dichogaster curgensis upon exposure to fly ash.

    PubMed

    Markad, Vijaykumar L; Adav, Sunil S; Ghole, Vikram S; Sze, Siu Kwan; Kodam, Kisan M

    2016-10-01

    Fly ash is toxic and its escalating use as a soil amendment and disposal by dumping into environment is receiving alarming attention due to its impact on environment. Proteomics technology is being used for environmental studies since proteins respond rapidly when an organism is exposed to a toxicant, and hence soil engineers such as earthworms are used as model organisms to assess the toxic effects of soil toxicants. This study adopted proteomics technology and profiled proteome of earthworm Dichogaster curgensis that was exposed to fly ash, with main aim to elucidate fly ash effects on cellular and metabolic pathways. The functional classification of identified proteins revealed carbohydrate metabolism (14.36%), genetic information processing (15.02%), folding, sorting and degradation (10.83%), replication and repair (3.95%); environmental information processing (2.19%), signal transduction (9.61%), transport and catabolism (17.27%), energy metabolism (6.69%), etc. in the proteome. Proteomics data and functional assays revealed that the exposure of earthworm to fly ash induced protein synthesis, up-regulation of gluconeogenesis, disturbed energy metabolism, oxidative and cellular stress, and mis-folding of proteins. The regulation of ubiquitination, proteasome and modified alkaline comet assay in earthworm coelomocytes suggested DNA-protein cross link affecting chromatin remodeling and protein folding. PMID:27371791

  16. Phylogenetic and Molecular Variability Studies Reveal a New Genetic Clade of Citrus leprosis virus C

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-González, Pedro Luis; Chabi-Jesus, Camila; Guerra-Peraza, Orlene; Breton, Michèle Claire; Arena, Gabriella Dias; Nunes, Maria Andreia; Kitajima, Elliot Watanabe; Machado, Marcos Antonio; Freitas-Astúa, Juliana

    2016-01-01

    Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C) causes a severe disease affecting citrus orchards in the Western hemisphere. This study reveals the molecular variability of the virus by analyzing four genomic regions (p29, p15, MP and RNA2-intergenic region) distributed over its two RNAs. Nucleotide diversity (π) values were relatively low but statistically different over the analyzed genes and subpopulations, indicating their distinct evolutionary history. Values of πp29 and πMP were higher than those of πp15 and πRNA2–IR, whereas πMP was increased due to novel discovered isolates phylogenetically clustered in a divergent clade that we called SJP. Isolate BR_SP_SJP_01 RNA1 and RNA2 sequences, clade SJP, showed an identity of 85.6% and 88.4%, respectively, with those corresponding to CiLV-C, the type member of the genus Cilevirus, and its RNA2 5′-proximal region was revealed as a minor donor in a putative inter-clade recombination event. In addition to citrus, BR_SP_SJP_01 naturally infects the weed Commelina benghalensis and is efficiently transmitted by Brevipalpus yothersi mites. Our data demonstrated that negative selection was the major force operating in the evaluated viral coding regions and defined amino acids putatively relevant for the biological function of cilevirus proteins. This work provides molecular tools and sets up a framework for further epidemiological studies. PMID:27275832

  17. Revealing pathologies in the liquid crystalline structures of the brain by polarimetric studies (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakhshetyan, Karen; Melkonyan, Gurgen G.; Galstian, Tigran V.; Saghatelyan, Armen

    2015-10-01

    Natural or "self" alignment of molecular complexes in living tissue represents many similarities with liquid crystals (LC), which are anisotropic liquids. The orientational characteristics of those complexes may be related to many important functional parameters and their study may reveal important pathologies. The know-how, accumulated thanks to the study of LC materials, may thus be used to this end. One of the traditionally used methods, to characterize those materials, is the polarized light imaging (PLI) that allows for label-free analysis of anisotropic structures in the brain tissue and can be used, for example, for the analysis of myelinated fiber bundles. In the current work, we first attempted to apply the PLI on the mouse histological brain sections to create a map of anisotropic structures using cross-polarizer transmission light. Then we implemented the PLI for comparative study of histological sections of human postmortem brain samples under normal and pathological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Imaging the coronal, sagittal and horizontal sections of mouse brain allowed us to create a false color-coded fiber orientation map under polarized light. In human brain datasets for both control and PD groups we measured the pixel intensities in myelin-rich subregions of internal capsule and normalized these to non-myelinated background signal from putamen and caudate nucleus. Quantification of intensities revealed a statistically significant reduction of fiber intensity of PD compared to control subjects (2.801 +/- 0.303 and 3.724 +/- 0.07 respectively; *p < 0.05). Our study confirms the validity of PLI method for visualizing myelinated axonal fibers. This relatively simple technique can become a promising tool for study of neurodegenerative diseases where labeling-free imaging is an important benefit.

  18. Nitric Oxide Mediated Transcriptome Profiling Reveals Activation of Multiple Regulatory Pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Adil; Mun, Bong-Gyu; Imran, Qari M; Lee, Sang-Uk; Adamu, Teferi A; Shahid, Muhammad; Kim, Kyung-Min; Yun, Byung-Wook

    2016-01-01

    Imbalance between the accumulation and removal of nitric oxide and its derivatives is a challenge faced by all plants at the cellular level, and is especially important under stress conditions. Exposure of plants to various biotic and abiotic stresses causes rapid changes in cellular redox tone potentiated by the rise in reactive nitrogen species that serve as signaling molecules in mediating defensive responses. To understand mechanisms mediated by these signaling molecules, we performed a large-scale analysis of the Arabidopsis transcriptome induced by nitrosative stress. We generated an average of 84 and 91 million reads from three replicates each of control and 1 mM S-nitrosocysteine (CysNO)-infiltrated Arabidopsis leaf samples, respectively. After alignment, more than 95% of all reads successfully mapped to the reference and 32,535 genes and 55,682 transcripts were obtained. CysNO infiltration caused differential expression of 6436 genes (3448 up-regulated and 2988 down-regulated) and 6214 transcripts (3335 up-regulated and 2879 down-regulated) 6 h post-infiltration. These differentially expressed genes were found to be involved in key physiological processes, including plant defense against various biotic and abiotic stresses, hormone signaling, and other developmental processes. After quantile normalization of the FPKM values followed by student's T-test (P < 0.05) we identified 1165 DEGs (463 up-regulated and 702 down-regulated) with at least 2-folds change in expression after CysNO treatment. Expression patterns of selected genes involved in various biological pathways were verified using quantitative real-time PCR. This study provides comprehensive information about plant responses to nitrosative stress at transcript level and would prove helpful in understanding and incorporating mechanisms associated with nitrosative stress responses in plants.

  19. Nitric Oxide Mediated Transcriptome Profiling Reveals Activation of Multiple Regulatory Pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Adil; Mun, Bong-Gyu; Imran, Qari M.; Lee, Sang-Uk; Adamu, Teferi A.; Shahid, Muhammad; Kim, Kyung-Min; Yun, Byung-Wook

    2016-01-01

    Imbalance between the accumulation and removal of nitric oxide and its derivatives is a challenge faced by all plants at the cellular level, and is especially important under stress conditions. Exposure of plants to various biotic and abiotic stresses causes rapid changes in cellular redox tone potentiated by the rise in reactive nitrogen species that serve as signaling molecules in mediating defensive responses. To understand mechanisms mediated by these signaling molecules, we performed a large-scale analysis of the Arabidopsis transcriptome induced by nitrosative stress. We generated an average of 84 and 91 million reads from three replicates each of control and 1 mM S-nitrosocysteine (CysNO)-infiltrated Arabidopsis leaf samples, respectively. After alignment, more than 95% of all reads successfully mapped to the reference and 32,535 genes and 55,682 transcripts were obtained. CysNO infiltration caused differential expression of 6436 genes (3448 up-regulated and 2988 down-regulated) and 6214 transcripts (3335 up-regulated and 2879 down-regulated) 6 h post-infiltration. These differentially expressed genes were found to be involved in key physiological processes, including plant defense against various biotic and abiotic stresses, hormone signaling, and other developmental processes. After quantile normalization of the FPKM values followed by student's T-test (P < 0.05) we identified 1165 DEGs (463 up-regulated and 702 down-regulated) with at least 2-folds change in expression after CysNO treatment. Expression patterns of selected genes involved in various biological pathways were verified using quantitative real-time PCR. This study provides comprehensive information about plant responses to nitrosative stress at transcript level and would prove helpful in understanding and incorporating mechanisms associated with nitrosative stress responses in plants. PMID:27446194

  20. Active Collisions in Altered Gravity Reveal Eye-Hand Coordination Strategies

    PubMed Central

    White, Olivier; Lefèvre, Philippe; Wing, Alan M.; Bracewell, R. Martyn; Thonnard, Jean-Louis

    2012-01-01

    Most object manipulation tasks involve a series of actions demarcated by mechanical contact events, and gaze is usually directed to the locations of these events as the task unfolds. Typically, gaze foveates the target 200 ms in advance of the contact. This strategy improves manual accuracy through visual feedback and the use of gaze-related signals to guide the hand/object. Many studies have investigated eye-hand coordination in experimental and natural tasks; most of them highlighted a strong link between eye movements and hand or object kinematics. In this experiment, we analyzed gaze strategies in a collision task but in a very challenging dynamical context. Participants performed collisions while they were exposed to alternating episodes of microgravity, hypergravity and normal gravity. First, by isolating the effects of inertia in microgravity, we found that peak hand acceleration marked the transition between two modes of grip force control. Participants exerted grip forces that paralleled load force profiles, and then increased grip up to a maximum shifted after the collision. Second, we found that the oculomotor strategy adapted visual feedback of the controlled object around the collision, as demonstrated by longer durations of fixation after collision in new gravitational environments. Finally, despite large variability of arm dynamics in altered gravity, we found that saccades were remarkably time-locked to the peak hand acceleration in all conditions. In conclusion, altered gravity allowed light to be shed on predictive mechanisms used by the central nervous system to coordinate gaze, hand and grip motor actions during a mixed task that involved transport of an object and high impact loads. PMID:22984488

  1. Nitric Oxide Mediated Transcriptome Profiling Reveals Activation of Multiple Regulatory Pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Adil; Mun, Bong-Gyu; Imran, Qari M; Lee, Sang-Uk; Adamu, Teferi A; Shahid, Muhammad; Kim, Kyung-Min; Yun, Byung-Wook

    2016-01-01

    Imbalance between the accumulation and removal of nitric oxide and its derivatives is a challenge faced by all plants at the cellular level, and is especially important under stress conditions. Exposure of plants to various biotic and abiotic stresses causes rapid changes in cellular redox tone potentiated by the rise in reactive nitrogen species that serve as signaling molecules in mediating defensive responses. To understand mechanisms mediated by these signaling molecules, we performed a large-scale analysis of the Arabidopsis transcriptome induced by nitrosative stress. We generated an average of 84 and 91 million reads from three replicates each of control and 1 mM S-nitrosocysteine (CysNO)-infiltrated Arabidopsis leaf samples, respectively. After alignment, more than 95% of all reads successfully mapped to the reference and 32,535 genes and 55,682 transcripts were obtained. CysNO infiltration caused differential expression of 6436 genes (3448 up-regulated and 2988 down-regulated) and 6214 transcripts (3335 up-regulated and 2879 down-regulated) 6 h post-infiltration. These differentially expressed genes were found to be involved in key physiological processes, including plant defense against various biotic and abiotic stresses, hormone signaling, and other developmental processes. After quantile normalization of the FPKM values followed by student's T-test (P < 0.05) we identified 1165 DEGs (463 up-regulated and 702 down-regulated) with at least 2-folds change in expression after CysNO treatment. Expression patterns of selected genes involved in various biological pathways were verified using quantitative real-time PCR. This study provides comprehensive information about plant responses to nitrosative stress at transcript level and would prove helpful in understanding and incorporating mechanisms associated with nitrosative stress responses in plants. PMID:27446194

  2. Active collisions in altered gravity reveal eye-hand coordination strategies.

    PubMed

    White, Olivier; Lefèvre, Philippe; Wing, Alan M; Bracewell, R Martyn; Thonnard, Jean-Louis

    2012-01-01

    Most object manipulation tasks involve a series of actions demarcated by mechanical contact events, and gaze is usually directed to the locations of these events as the task unfolds. Typically, gaze foveates the target 200 ms in advance of the contact. This strategy improves manual accuracy through visual feedback and the use of gaze-related signals to guide the hand/object. Many studies have investigated eye-hand coordination in experimental and natural tasks; most of them highlighted a strong link between eye movements and hand or object kinematics. In this experiment, we analyzed gaze strategies in a collision task but in a very challenging dynamical context. Participants performed collisions while they were exposed to alternating episodes of microgravity, hypergravity and normal gravity. First, by isolating the effects of inertia in microgravity, we found that peak hand acceleration marked the transition between two modes of grip force control. Participants exerted grip forces that paralleled load force profiles, and then increased grip up to a maximum shifted after the collision. Second, we found that the oculomotor strategy adapted visual feedback of the controlled object around the collision, as demonstrated by longer durations of fixation after collision in new gravitational environments. Finally, despite large variability of arm dynamics in altered gravity, we found that saccades were remarkably time-locked to the peak hand acceleration in all conditions. In conclusion, altered gravity allowed light to be shed on predictive mechanisms used by the central nervous system to coordinate gaze, hand and grip motor actions during a mixed task that involved transport of an object and high impact loads.

  3. Active Tectonics of Southern California Revealed by Cluster Analysis of GPS Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thatcher, W. R.; Savage, J. C.; Simpson, R. W.

    2013-12-01

    We use cluster analysis of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Map GPS velocity field for southern California with standard deviations < 1 mm/yr to determine velocity gradients that locate the most important faults, the elastic strain associated with them, and regions of possible block-like behavior. Seven to ten well resolved clusters are statistically significant and spatially distinct with small overlap. In map view (see figure), the 7 clusters solution shows bands of relatively constant velocity sub-parallel to the San Andreas (SAF) and San Jacinto (SJF) faults and the major faults of the eastern Mojave shear zone (EMSZ). These bands are due both to elastic strain accumulation on the SAF and relative motion across lower slip rate faults in the EMSZ and Los Angeles and Ventura basins. At the largest scale, the 7-cluster map shows two main trends. The blue dots define the SJ and SA faults from northwest of the Salton Sea (SS) to Parkfield (P); the grey/magenta boundary suggests that the defined Eastern California Shear Zone could be extended farther south to the Salton Sea. The short ~80-km-long San Gorgonio Pass-San Bernardino Mountains (SGP) segment of the SAF has a much lower slip rate, ~7 mm/yr of right-lateral oblique convergence. As generally shown by previous GPS studies, right-lateral strike-slip movement rates vary considerably along the SAF. In the Imperial Valley (IV) the rate is ~40 mm/yr; east of the Salton Sea it drops to ~20 mm/yr, with 10-15 mm/yr having been shunted westward to the SJF; north of the Salton Sea ~10-15 mm/yr of strike-slip is transferred to the faults of the eastern Mojave; therefore the east-trending faults of San Gorgonio Pass (SGP) take up only ~5 mm/yr of strike slip and ~equal amounts of north-south shortening; on the Mojave (M) segment of the SAF the slip rate increases to ~15-20 mm/yr in the vicinity of Cajon Pass (CP) because of transfer of SJF slip back onto the San Andreas; northwest of Tejon Pass the rate increases again to

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Intraspecies differences in hemostatic venom activities of the South American rattlesnakes, Crotalus durissus cumanensis, as revealed by a range of protease inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Ana M; Aguilar, Irma; Guerrero, Belsy; Girón, María E; Lucena, Sara; Sánchez, Elda E; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2008-09-01

    Crotalus durissus cumanensis is an endemic rattlesnake found in Venezuela and Colombia. In this study, a comparative analysis of hemorrhagic, coagulation and fibrino(geno)lytic activities in the presence or absence of protease inhibitors was performed with venoms of the same species Crotalus durissus cumanensis, from seven geographical regions of Venezuela (Lagunetica, Santa Teresa, Carrizales, Guarenas, Anzoátegui, Margarita and Maracay). Lagunetica, Carrizales and Anzoátegui venoms induced hemorrhagic activity. All venoms, except that of snakes from the Carrizales region presented thrombin-like activity, which was inhibited completely by phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride and ethylene glycol-bis-N, N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid. This effect of the latter could be explained by the high chelant calcium effect, which is a cofactor for the fibrin polymerization process. Soybean trypsin inhibitor was effective on Santa Teresa venom. Antithrombin III/Hep complex and phenantroline partially inhibited this activity in all venoms except Margarita and Anzoátegui, respectively, which were not inhibited. Serine protease inhibitors were more effective against thrombin, kallikrein and plasmin-like amidolytic activities. Additionally, metalloprotease inhibitors significantly inhibited the t-PA-like amidolytic activity and completely the hemorrhagic and fibrino(geno)lytic activities. In conclusion, the thrombin-like activity observed in these venoms was partially reduced by serine protease inhibitors, indicating the possible presence of catalytic domains in those enzymes that do not interact with these inhibitors. Using protease inhibitors on venom hemostatic activities could contribute to our understanding of the active components of snake venom on the hemostatic system, and further reveal the intraspecies variation of venoms, which is important in the treatment of envenomation, and in addition represents an interesting model for the study of venom in hemostasis.

  7. Synthesis and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of polyhydroxylated sulfated steroids: structure/activity studies.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Victoria; Murray, Ana P; Maier, Marta S

    2013-11-01

    Disulfated and trisulfated steroids have been synthesized from cholesterol and their acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity has been evaluated. In our studies we have found that the activity was not only dependent on the location of the sulfate groups but on their configurations. 2β,3α,6α-trihydroxy-5α-cholestan-6-one trisulfate (18) was the most active steroid with an IC50 value of 15.48 μM comparable to that of 2β,3α-dihydroxy-5α-cholestan-6-one disulfate (1). Both compounds were found to be less active than the reference compound eserine. The butyrylcholinesterase activity of 1 and 18 was one magnitude lower than that against acetylcholinesterase revealing a selective inhibitor profile.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Distinct summer and winter bacterial communities in the active layer of Svalbard permafrost revealed by DNA- and RNA-based analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Schostag, Morten; Stibal, Marek; Jacobsen, Carsten S.; Bælum, Jacob; Taş, Neslihan; Elberling, Bo; Jansson, Janet K.; Semenchuk, Philipp; Priemé, Anders

    2015-04-30

    The active layer of soil overlaying permafrost in the Arctic is subjected to dramatic annual changes in temperature and soil chemistry, which likely affect bacterial activity and community structure. We studied seasonal variations in the bacterial community of active layer soil from Svalbard (78°N) by co-extracting DNA and RNA from 12 soil cores collected monthly over a year. PCR amplicons of 16S rRNA genes (DNA) and reverse transcribed transcripts (cDNA) were quantified and sequenced to test for the effect of low winter temperature and seasonal variation in concentration of easily degradable organic matter on the bacterial communities. The copy number of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts revealed no distinct seasonal changes indicating potential bacterial activity during winter despite soil temperatures well below -10°C. Multivariate statistical analysis of the bacterial diversity data (DNA and cDNA libraries) revealed a season-based clustering of the samples, and, e.g., the relative abundance of potentially active Cyanobacteria peaked in June and Alphaproteobacteria increased over the summer and then declined from October to November. The structure of the bulk (DNA-based) community was significantly correlated with pH and dissolved organic carbon, while the potentially active (RNA-based) community structure was not significantly correlated with any of the measured soil parameters. A large fraction of the 16S rRNA transcripts was assigned to nitrogen-fixing bacteria (up to 24% in June) and phototrophic organisms (up to 48% in June) illustrating the potential importance of nitrogen fixation in otherwise nitrogen poor Arctic ecosystems and of phototrophic bacterial activity on the soil surface.

  13. Distinct summer and winter bacterial communities in the active layer of Svalbard permafrost revealed by DNA- and RNA-based analyses

    DOE PAGES

    Schostag, Morten; Stibal, Marek; Jacobsen, Carsten S.; Bælum, Jacob; Taş, Neslihan; Elberling, Bo; Jansson, Janet K.; Semenchuk, Philipp; Priemé, Anders

    2015-04-30

    The active layer of soil overlaying permafrost in the Arctic is subjected to dramatic annual changes in temperature and soil chemistry, which likely affect bacterial activity and community structure. We studied seasonal variations in the bacterial community of active layer soil from Svalbard (78°N) by co-extracting DNA and RNA from 12 soil cores collected monthly over a year. PCR amplicons of 16S rRNA genes (DNA) and reverse transcribed transcripts (cDNA) were quantified and sequenced to test for the effect of low winter temperature and seasonal variation in concentration of easily degradable organic matter on the bacterial communities. The copy numbermore » of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts revealed no distinct seasonal changes indicating potential bacterial activity during winter despite soil temperatures well below -10°C. Multivariate statistical analysis of the bacterial diversity data (DNA and cDNA libraries) revealed a season-based clustering of the samples, and, e.g., the relative abundance of potentially active Cyanobacteria peaked in June and Alphaproteobacteria increased over the summer and then declined from October to November. The structure of the bulk (DNA-based) community was significantly correlated with pH and dissolved organic carbon, while the potentially active (RNA-based) community structure was not significantly correlated with any of the measured soil parameters. A large fraction of the 16S rRNA transcripts was assigned to nitrogen-fixing bacteria (up to 24% in June) and phototrophic organisms (up to 48% in June) illustrating the potential importance of nitrogen fixation in otherwise nitrogen poor Arctic ecosystems and of phototrophic bacterial activity on the soil surface.« less

  14. Distinct summer and winter bacterial communities in the active layer of Svalbard permafrost revealed by DNA- and RNA-based analyses

    PubMed Central

    Schostag, Morten; Stibal, Marek; Jacobsen, Carsten S.; Bælum, Jacob; Taş, Neslihan; Elberling, Bo; Jansson, Janet K.; Semenchuk, Philipp; Priemé, Anders

    2015-01-01

    The active layer of soil overlaying permafrost in the Arctic is subjected to dramatic annual changes in temperature and soil chemistry, which likely affect bacterial activity and community structure. We studied seasonal variations in the bacterial community of active layer soil from Svalbard (78°N) by co-extracting DNA and RNA from 12 soil cores collected monthly over a year. PCR amplicons of 16S rRNA genes (DNA) and reverse transcribed transcripts (cDNA) were quantified and sequenced to test for the effect of low winter temperature and seasonal variation in concentration of easily degradable organic matter on the bacterial communities. The copy number of 16S rRNA genes and transcripts revealed no distinct seasonal changes indicating potential bacterial activity during winter despite soil temperatures well below −10°C. Multivariate statistical analysis of the bacterial diversity data (DNA and cDNA libraries) revealed a season-based clustering of the samples, and, e.g., the relative abundance of potentially active Cyanobacteria peaked in June and Alphaproteobacteria increased over the summer and then declined from October to November. The structure of the bulk (DNA-based) community was significantly correlated with pH and dissolved organic carbon, while the potentially active (RNA-based) community structure was not significantly correlated with any of the measured soil parameters. A large fraction of the 16S rRNA transcripts was assigned to nitrogen-fixing bacteria (up to 24% in June) and phototrophic organisms (up to 48% in June) illustrating the potential importance of nitrogen fixation in otherwise nitrogen poor Arctic ecosystems and of phototrophic bacterial activity on the soil surface. PMID:25983731