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Sample records for activity tests revealed

  1. 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

  2. Test-retest Stability Analysis of Resting Brain Activity Revealed by BOLD fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhengjun; Kadivar, Aniseh; Pluta, John; Dunlop, John; Wang, Ze

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To assess test-retest stability of four fMRI-derived resting brain activity metrics: the seed-region-based functional connectivity (SRFC), independent component analysis (ICA)-derived network-based FC (NTFC), regional homogeneity (ReHo), and the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF). Methods Simulations were used to assess the sensitivity of SRFC, ReHo, and ALFF to noise interference. Repeat resting blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI were acquired from 32 healthy subjects. The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to assess the stability of the 4 metrics. Results Random noise yielded small random SRFC, small but consistent ReHo and ALFF. A neighborhood size greater than 20 voxels should be used for calculating ReHo in order to reduce the noise interference. Both the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)-based SRFC were reproducible in more spatially extended regions than ICA NTFC. The two regional spontaneous brain activity (SBA) measures, ReHo and ALFF, showed test-retest reproducibility in almost the whole grey matter. Conclusion SRFC, ReHo, and ALFF are robust to random noise interference. The neighborhood size for calculating ReHo should be larger than 20 voxels. ICC>0.5 and cluster size>11 should be used to assess the ICC maps for ACC/PCC SRFC, ReHo and ALFF. BOLD fMRI-based SBA can be reliably measured using ACC/PCC SRFC, ReHo and ALFF after two months. PMID:22535702

  3. Reveal for Salmonella test system.

    PubMed

    Bird, C B; Miller, R L; Miller, B M

    1999-01-01

    The Reveal for Salmonella (RSS) test system is a presumptive qualitative test that detects the presence of Salmonella organisms in foods within 21 h total testing time, allowing the user to release negative products 24 h earlier than when using other rapid test kits. Foods are enriched with a proprietary resuscitation medium called Revive and then selectively enriched with either Selenite Cystine or Rappaport-Vassiliadis selective media. The enriched culture is used to inoculate the RSS detection device, which initiates a lateral flow through a reagent zone containing anti-Salmonella antibodies conjugated to colloidal gold particles that capture antigens present in the culture. The antigen-antibody complex migrates farther and is captured by an additional anti-Salmonella antibody, causing the colloidal gold to precipitate and form a visual line, indicating a positive result. A procedural control line also will form regardless of the presence of Salmonella organisms to indicate the test is working properly. Existing AOAC Official Methods for Salmonella organisms require a 48 h enrichment before testing. Hence, a food product has to be held before release, adding extra cost to the company and the consumer. The RSS test system was evaluated by quantitative spiking studies. Although AOAC encourages inclusion of naturally contaminated foods, almost all microbiological AOAC validation studies have been performed with artificially contaminated foods for absolute control over the study. The RSS test system is designed to test many food types for Salmonella organisms and has a limit of detection of 5-10 colony-forming units (cfu)/25 g with a false-negative rate of < 1% and a false-positive rate of < 5.0%. It showed an 81% overall agreement with the traditional procedure of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service. PMID:10367381

  4. Frantic activity revealed in dusty stellar factories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-01-01

    Thanks to the Very Large Telescope's acute and powerful near-infrared eye, astronomers have uncovered a host of new young, massive and dusty stellar nurseries in nearby galaxy NGC 253. The centre of this galaxy appears to harbour a twin of our own Milky Way's supermassive black hole. ESO PR Photo 02a/09 The Spiral Galaxy NGC 253 Astronomers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain) used NACO, a sharp-eyed adaptive optics instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), to study the fine detail in NGC 253, one of the brightest and dustiest spiral galaxies in the sky. Adaptive Optics (AO) corrects for the blurring effect introduced by the Earth's atmosphere. This turbulence causes the stars to twinkle in a way that delights poets, but frustrates astronomers, since it smears out the images. With AO in action the telescope can produce images that are as sharp as is theoretically possible, as if the telescope were in space. NACO revealed features in the galaxy that were only 11 light-years across. "Our observations provide us with so much spatially resolved detail that we can, for the first time, compare them with the finest radio maps for this galaxy -- maps that have existed for more than a decade," says Juan Antonio Fernández-Ontiveros, the lead author of the paper reporting the results [1]. Astronomers identified 37 distinct bright regions, a threefold increase on previous results, packed into a tiny region at the core of the galaxy, comprising just one percent of the galaxy's total size. The astronomers combined their NACO images with data from another VLT instrument, VISIR, as well as with images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and radio observations made by the Very Large Array and the Very Large Baseline Interferometer. Combining these observations, taken in different wavelength regimes, provided a clue to the nature of these regions. "We now think that these are probably very active nurseries that contain many stars bursting from their

  5. 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

  6. TESTING TESTS ON ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI MICROVARIABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    De Diego, Jose A.

    2010-03-15

    Literature on optical and infrared microvariability in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) reflects a diversity of statistical tests and strategies to detect tiny variations in the light curves of these sources. Comparison between the results obtained using different methodologies is difficult, and the pros and cons of each statistical method are often badly understood or even ignored. Even worse, improperly tested methodologies are becoming more and more common, and biased results may be misleading with regard to the origin of the AGN microvariability. This paper intends to point future research on AGN microvariability toward the use of powerful and well-tested statistical methodologies, providing a reference for choosing the best strategy to obtain unbiased results. Light curves monitoring has been simulated for quasars and for reference and comparison stars. Changes for the quasar light curves include both Gaussian fluctuations and linear variations. Simulated light curves have been analyzed using {chi}{sup 2} tests, F tests for variances, one-way analyses of variance and C-statistics. Statistical Type I and Type II errors, which indicate the robustness and the power of the tests, have been obtained in each case. One-way analyses of variance and {chi}{sup 2} prove to be powerful and robust estimators for microvariations, while the C-statistic is not a reliable methodology and its use should be avoided.

  7. ID-Check: Online Concealed Information Test Reveals True Identity.

    PubMed

    Verschuere, Bruno; Kleinberg, Bennett

    2016-01-01

    The Internet has already changed people's lives considerably and is likely to drastically change forensic research. We developed a web-based test to reveal concealed autobiographical information. Initial studies identified a number of conditions that affect diagnostic efficiency. By combining these moderators, this study investigated the full potential of the online ID-check. Participants (n = 101) tried to hide their identity and claimed a false identity in a reaction time-based Concealed Information Test. Half of the participants were presented with personal details (e.g., first name, last name, birthday), whereas the others only saw irrelevant details. Results showed that participants' true identity could be detected with high accuracy (AUC = 0.98; overall accuracy: 86-94%). Online memory detection can reliably and validly detect whether someone is hiding their true identity. This suggests that online memory detection might become a valuable tool for forensic applications. PMID:26390033

  8. Hydrogen ICE Vehicle Testing Activities

    SciTech Connect

    J. Francfort; D. Karner

    2006-04-01

    The Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity teamed with Electric Transportation Applications and Arizona Public Service to develop and monitor the operations of the APS Alternative Fuel (Hydrogen) Pilot Plant. The Pilot Plant provides 100% hydrogen, and hydrogen and compressed natural gas (H/CNG)-blended fuels for the evaluation of hydrogen and H/CNG internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in controlled and fleet testing environments. Since June 2002, twenty hydrogen and H/CNG vehicles have accumulated 300,000 test miles and 5,700 fueling events. The AVTA is part of the Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program. These testing activities are managed by the Idaho National Laboratory. This paper discusses the Pilot Plant design and monitoring, and hydrogen ICE vehicle testing methods and results.

  9. Active SWIR laboratory testing methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, Curtis M.; White, Steve; Rich, Brian

    2013-06-01

    Active Short Wave InfraRed (SWIR) imaging presents unique challenges to laboratory testing. It is always important to have laboratory testing that will directly relate to field performance. This paper will present the modeling and corresponding laboratory testing that was developed for these types of systems. The paper will present the modeling that was used to derive the lab metric used for verification testing of the system and provide details into the design of the lab equipment that was necessary to ensure accurate lab testing. The Noise Limited Resolution (NLR) test, first developed for low light imaging systems in the 1960s, serves as the basic lab metric for the evaluation of the active SWIR system. This test serves well for a quick test (go-no go) and is used to evaluate this system during production testing. The test derivation will be described and shown how it relates to the modeling results. The test equipment developed by Santa Barbara InfraRed (SBIR) for this application allows for accurate uniform radiance levels from an integrating sphere for both 1.06um and 1.57um imaging applications. The source has the ability to directly mimic any laser system and can provide pulsed laser source radiation from 20 nanoseconds to 500 nanoseconds resulting in levels from 0.4 to 85 nJ/cm2/sr, peak radiance levels. The light source can be triggered to replicate a laser return at any range from 100m to 100,000m. Additionally, the source provides the ability to output Mid Wave IR (MWIR) illumination through the use of a small extended area IR source in the integrating sphere. This is useful for boresighting the active SWIR sensor with other sensors such as Forward Looking IR (FLIR).

  10. Deciphering CAPTCHAs: what a Turing test reveals about human cognition.

    PubMed

    Hannagan, Thomas; Ktori, Maria; Chanceaux, Myriam; Grainger, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Turning Turing's logic on its head, we used widespread letter-based Turing Tests found on the internet (CAPTCHAs) to shed light on human cognition. We examined the basis of the human ability to solve CAPTCHAs, where machines fail. We asked whether this is due to our use of slow-acting inferential processes that would not be available to machines, or whether fast-acting automatic orthographic processing in humans has superior robustness to shape variations. A masked priming lexical decision experiment revealed efficient processing of CAPTCHA words in conditions that rule out the use of slow inferential processing. This shows that the human superiority in solving CAPTCHAs builds on a high degree of invariance to location and continuous transforms, which is achieved during the very early stages of visual word recognition in skilled readers. PMID:22396750

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Active Matrix OLED Test Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salazar, George

    2013-01-01

    This report focuses on the limited environmental testing of the AMOLED display performed as an engineering evaluation by The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC)-specifically. EMI. Thermal Vac, and radiation tests. The AMOLED display is an active-matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. The testing provided an initial understanding of the technology and its suitability for space applications. Relative to light emitting diode (LED) displays or liquid crystal displays (LCDs), AMOLED displays provide a superior viewing experience even though they are much lighter and smaller, produce higher contrast ratio and richer colors, and require less power to operate than LCDs. However, AMOLED technology has not been demonstrated in a space environment. Therefore, some risks with the technology must be addressed before they can be seriously considered for human spaceflight. The environmental tests provided preliminary performance data on the ability of the display technology to handle some of the simulated induced space/spacecraft environments that an AMOLED display will see during a spacecraft certification test program. This engineering evaluation is part of a Space Act Agreement (SM) between The NASA/JSC and Honeywell International (HI) as a collaborative effort to evaluate the potential use of AMOLED technology for future human spaceflight missions- both government-led and commercial. Under this SM, HI is responsible for doing optical performance evaluation, as well as temperature and touch screen studies. The NASA/JSC is responsible for performing environmental testing comprised of EMI, Thermal Vac, and radiation tests. Additionally, as part of the testing, limited optical data was acquired to assess performance as the display was subjected to the induced environments. The NASA will benefit from this engineering evaluation by understanding AMOLED suitability for future use in space as well as becoming a smarter buyer (or developer) of the technology. HI benefits

  14. [Psychodynamic aspects of severalsheumatic diseases as revealed in tests].

    PubMed

    Pfitzner, R

    1976-01-01

    Three groups of patients with rheumafactor-negative diseases (Palindromic Rheumatism, Reiter's disease, Psoriatic Arthritis) took psychodiagnostic investigations. Tests administrated: MMPI, Rorschach-test, Szondi-test and TAT. The findings of the qualitative psychoanalytic investigations and interpretations of the three groups were compared with the psychological topics of patients with chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as with the findings of the psychoanalytic explorations by Zander. Finally some considerations to the link as well as to the reduction of movement responses in the Rorschach-test are made. PMID:1087793

  15. Memory activation reveals abnormal EEG in preclinical Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    van der Hiele, Karin; Jurgens, Caroline K; Vein, Alla A; Reijntjes, Robert H A M; Witjes-Ané, Marie-Noëlle W; Roos, Raymund A C; van Dijk, Gert; Middelkoop, Huub A M

    2007-04-15

    The EEG is potentially useful as a marker of early Huntington's disease (HD). In dementia, the EEG during a memory activation challenge showed abnormalities where the resting EEG did not. We investigated whether memory activation also reveals EEG abnormalities in preclinical HD. Sixteen mutation carriers for HD and 13 nonmutation carriers underwent neurological, neuropsychological, MRI and EEG investigations. The EEG was registered during a rest condition, i.e. eyes closed, and a working memory task. In each condition we determined absolute power in the theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) bands and subsequently calculated relative alpha power. The EEG during eyes closed did not differ between groups. The EEG during memory activation showed less relative alpha power in mutation carriers as compared to nonmutation carriers, even though memory performance was similar [F (1,27) = 10.87; P = 0.003]. Absolute powers also showed less alpha power [F (1,27) = 7.02; P = 0.013] but similar theta power. No correlations were found between absolute and relative alpha power on the one hand and neuropsychological scores, motor scores or number of CAG repeats on the other. In conclusion, memory activation reveals functional brain changes in Huntington's disease before clinical signs become overt. PMID:17266047

  16. Boron-10 ABUNCL Active Testing

    SciTech Connect

    Kouzes, Richard T.; Ely, James H.; Lintereur, Azaree T.; Siciliano, Edward R.

    2013-07-09

    The Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security (NA-241) is supporting the project Coincidence Counting With Boron-Based Alternative Neutron Detection Technology at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the development of a 3He proportional counter alternative neutron coincidence counter. The goal of this project is to design, build and demonstrate a system based upon 10B-lined proportional tubes in a configuration typical for 3He-based coincidence counter applications. This report provides results from testing of the active mode of the General Electric Reuter-Stokes Alternative Boron-Based Uranium Neutron Coincidence Collar (ABUNCL) at Los Alamos National Laboratory using sources and fuel pins.

  17. 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

  18. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

    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

  19. Indentation Tests Reveal Geometry-Regulated Stiffening of Nanotube Junctions.

    PubMed

    Ozden, Sehmus; Yang, Yang; Tiwary, Chandra Sekhar; Bhowmick, Sanjit; Asif, Syed; Penev, Evgeni S; Yakobson, Boris I; Ajayan, Pulickel M

    2016-01-13

    Here we report a unique method to locally determine the mechanical response of individual covalent junctions between carbon nanotubes (CNTs), in various configurations such as "X", "Y", and "Λ"-like. The setup is based on in situ indentation using a picoindenter integrated within a scanning electron microscope. This allows for precise mapping between junction geometry and mechanical behavior and uncovers geometry-regulated junction stiffening. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the dominant contribution to the nanoindentation response is due to the CNT walls stretching at the junction. Targeted synthesis of desired junction geometries can therefore provide a "structural alphabet" for construction of macroscopic CNT networks with tunable mechanical response. PMID:26618517

  20. Gaia Payload Module Testing and Analysis Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soula, Laurent

    2012-07-01

    The Gaia objective is to produce a very accurate catalogue of 1 billion of sky objects in our galaxy and beyond. ASTRIUM’s extensive experience on silicon carbide (SiC) instruments has helped developing the latest-generation payload module. It integrates the most sensitive and stable telescopes ever made, mounted on a SiC torus structure supported by three bipods. This payload module has been tested in June 2011 by ASTRIUM at INTESPACE facilities in Toulouse. To conduct the sine qualification tests and support the data analyses in real-time, advanced tools have been used. Most of them have been developed in a previous ESA R&D project [1] “DYNamics: AssessMent and Improvement of TEst Data (DYNAMITED)” and implemented in a DynaWorks® environment. Mass Operator calculation, to evaluate the payload module interface loads from measured accelerations, or automatic correlation through a criterion based on FRF from tests or predictions, are part of these tools. Testing such a structure also revealed some piloting difficulties due to a quite low and varying damping of the structure and a strong coupling with the shaker. To take into account such phenomena in the correlation work, enhanced simulations have also been performed considering multi-points phased excitations. These analyses demonstrate the payload module qualification status and allow derivate a more representative model to be used in further coupled system activities.

  1. Aberrant Activity in Degenerated Retinas Revealed by Electrical Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Zeck, Günther

    2016-01-01

    In this review, I present and discuss the current understanding of aberrant electrical activity found in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of rod-degenerated (rd) mouse retinas. The reported electrophysiological properties revealed by electrical imaging using high-density microelectrode arrays can be subdivided between spiking activity originating from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and local field potentials (LFPs) reflecting strong trans-membrane currents within the GCL. RGCs in rd retinas show increased and rhythmic spiking compared to age-matched wild-type retinas. Fundamental spiking frequencies range from 5 to 15 Hz in various mouse models. The rhythmic RGC spiking is driven by a presynaptic network comprising AII amacrine and bipolar cells. In the healthy retina this rhythm-generating circuit is inhibited by photoreceptor input. A unique physiological feature of rd retinas is rhythmic LFP manifested as spatially-restricted low-frequency (5–15 Hz) voltage changes. Their spatiotemporal characterization revealed propagation and correlation with RGC spiking. LFPs rely on gap-junctional coupling and are shaped by glycinergic and by GABAergic transmission. The aberrant RGC spiking and LFPs provide a simple readout of the functionality of the remaining retinal circuitry which can be used in the development of improved vision restoration strategies. PMID:26903810

  2. Recombinant Human Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins Reveal Antichlamydial Activity.

    PubMed

    Bobrovsky, Pavel; Manuvera, Valentin; Polina, Nadezhda; Podgorny, Oleg; Prusakov, Kirill; Govorun, Vadim; Lazarev, Vassili

    2016-07-01

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGLYRPs) are innate immune components that recognize the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharides of bacteria and exhibit antibacterial activity. Recently, the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis was shown to have peptidoglycan. However, the antichlamydial activity of PGLYRPs has not yet been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to test whether PGLYRPs exhibit antibacterial activity against C. trachomatis Thus, we cloned the regions containing the human Pglyrp1, Pglyrp2, Pglyrp3, and Pglyrp4 genes for subsequent expression in human cell lines. We obtained stable HeLa cell lines that secrete recombinant human PGLYRPs into culture medium. We also generated purified recombinant PGLYRP1, -2, and -4 and confirmed their activities against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Furthermore, we examined the activities of recombinant PGLYRPs against C. trachomatis and determined their MICs. We also observed a decrease in the infectious ability of chlamydial elementary bodies in the next generation after a single exposure to PGLYRPs. Finally, we demonstrated that PGLYRPs attach to C. trachomatis elementary bodies and activate the expression of the chlamydial two-component stress response system. Thus, PGLYRPs inhibit the development of chlamydial infection. PMID:27160295

  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. Three dimensional reconstructions of Nummulites tests reveal complex chamber shapes.

    PubMed

    Renema, Willem; Cotton, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Larger benthic foraminifera (LBF) are important and prolific carbonate producers both in modern and ancient shallow tropical seas. During the Paleogene the genus Nummulites was particularly abundant with a global distribution, leading it to be frequently used in biostratigraphy. However, their evolution is poorly understood as classification is Europe-centered and mostly based on external characters and equatorial thin sections. New occurrences from regions outside the northern Tethys which poorly fit in thus reference frame, show that a more rigid framework for the classification of Nummulites is needed. Here we apply micro computed-tomographical scanning, a tool that recently has become available, to visualise 3D chamber shape of Nummulites djokdjokartae and compare these to traditional morphometrical characters. We find that despite the regular shape in equatorial and axial thin section the irregular 3D chamber shape is not predicted by these sections. We argue that 3D reconstructions of Nummulites tests will be a great aid in improving our understanding of lineages within the genus Nummulites, and to elucidate its evolutionary and biogeographical history. PMID:26157635

  5. Standardization Activities in TMF Test Methodologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Verrilli, M. J.; Castelli, M. G.; Bressers, J.; Oehmke, R. L. T.

    1996-01-01

    No standard test practice currently exists for strain-controlled thermomechanical fatigue (TMF) testing. This paper discusses recent activities which lay the foundation for standardization of TMF test methods. Specifically, the paper documents the results of two interlaboratory TMF test programs, identifies key TMF symposia and workshops, and discusses efforts toward drafting a TMF standard test practice.

  6. Covert Waking Brain Activity Reveals Instantaneous Sleep Depth

    PubMed Central

    McKinney, Scott M.; Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh; Buxton, Orfeu M.; Solet, Jo M.; Ellenbogen, Jeffrey M.

    2011-01-01

    The neural correlates of the wake-sleep continuum remain incompletely understood, limiting the development of adaptive drug delivery systems for promoting sleep maintenance. The most useful measure for resolving early positions along this continuum is the alpha oscillation, an 8–13 Hz electroencephalographic rhythm prominent over posterior scalp locations. The brain activation signature of wakefulness, alpha expression discloses immediate levels of alertness and dissipates in concert with fading awareness as sleep begins. This brain activity pattern, however, is largely ignored once sleep begins. Here we show that the intensity of spectral power in the alpha band actually continues to disclose instantaneous responsiveness to noise—a measure of sleep depth—throughout a night of sleep. By systematically challenging sleep with realistic and varied acoustic disruption, we found that sleepers exhibited markedly greater sensitivity to sounds during moments of elevated alpha expression. This result demonstrates that alpha power is not a binary marker of the transition between sleep and wakefulness, but carries rich information about immediate sleep stability. Further, it shows that an empirical and ecologically relevant form of sleep depth is revealed in real-time by EEG spectral content in the alpha band, a measure that affords prediction on the order of minutes. This signal, which transcends the boundaries of classical sleep stages, could potentially be used for real-time feedback to novel, adaptive drug delivery systems for inducing sleep. PMID:21408616

  7. Reveal Salmonella 2.0 test for detection of Salmonella spp. in foods and environmental samples. Performance Tested Method 960801.

    PubMed

    Hoerner, Rebecca; Feldpausch, Jill; Gray, R Lucas; Curry, Stephanie; Islam, Zahidul; Goldy, Tim; Klein, Frank; Tadese, Theodros; Rice, Jennifer; Mozola, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Reveal Salmonella 2.0 is an improved version of the original Reveal Salmonella lateral flow immunoassay and is applicable to the detection of Salmonella enterica serogroups A-E in a variety of food and environmental samples. A Performance Tested Method validation study was conducted to compare performance of the Reveal 2.0 method with that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service or U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Bacteriological Analytical Manual reference culture methods for detection of Salmonella spp. in chicken carcass rinse, raw ground turkey, raw ground beef, hot dogs, raw shrimp, a ready-to-eat meal product, dry pet food, ice cream, spinach, cantaloupe, peanut butter, stainless steel surface, and sprout irrigation water. In a total of 17 trials performed internally and four trials performed in an independent laboratory, there were no statistically significant differences in performance of the Reveal 2.0 and reference culture procedures as determined by Chi-square analysis, with the exception of one trial with stainless steel surface and one trial with sprout irrigation water where there were significantly more positive results by the Reveal 2.0 method. Considering all data generated in testing food samples using enrichment procedures specifically designed for the Reveal method, overall sensitivity of the Reveal method relative to the reference culture methods was 99%. In testing environmental samples, sensitivity of the Reveal method relative to the reference culture method was 164%. For select foods, use of the Reveal test in conjunction with reference method enrichment resulted in overall sensitivity of 92%. There were no unconfirmed positive results on uninoculated control samples in any trials for specificity of 100%. In inclusivity testing, 102 different Salmonella serovars belonging to serogroups A-E were tested and 99 were consistently positive in the Reveal test. In exclusivity testing of 33 strains of non

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:26547558

  10. Structure-Based Simulations Reveal Concerted Dynamics of GPCR Activation

    PubMed Central

    Leioatts, Nicholas; Suresh, Pooja; Romo, Tod D.; Grossfield, Alan

    2014-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a vital class of proteins that transduce biological signals across the cell membrane. However, their allosteric activation mechanism is not fully understood; crystal structures of active and inactive receptors have been reported, but the functional pathway between these two states remains elusive. Here, we employ structure-based (Gō-like) models to simulate activation of two GPCRs, rhodopsin and the β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR). We used data-derived reaction coordinates that capture the activation mechanism for both proteins, showing that activation proceeds through quantitatively different paths in the two systems. Both reaction coordinates are determined from the dominant concerted motions in the simulations so the technique is broadly applicable. There were two surprising results. First, the main structural changes in the simulations were distributed throughout the transmembrane bundle, and not localized to the obvious areas of interest, such as the intracellular portion of helix 6. Second, the activation (and deactivation) paths were distinctly non-monotonic, populating states that were not simply interpolations between the inactive and active structures. These transitions also suggest a functional explanation for β2AR’s basal activity: it can proceed through a more broadly defined path during the observed transitions. PMID:24889093

  11. Characterization of Drosophila CMP-sialic acid synthetase activity reveals unusual enzymatic properties.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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 CSASs 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 characterized 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 Zn(2+), Fe(2+), Co(2+) and Mn(2+), whereas the activity with Mg(2+) 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 co-ordinating 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

  12. Development and testing of an active platen for IC manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Redmond, J.; Barney, P.; Smith, T.; Darnold, J.

    1998-11-01

    The conflicting demands for finer features and increased production rates in integrated circuit manufacturing have emphasized the need for improved wafer positioning technology. In this paper we present operational test results from a magnetically levitated platen with structurally integrated piezoelectric acctuators. The strain based actuators provide active damping of the platen`s flexible body modes, enabling increased bandwidth on the mag-lev positioning system. Test results reveal a dramatic reduction in steady state positioning error and settling time through implementation of active vibration control.

  13. Sensors at Centrosomes Reveal Determinants of Local Separase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Agircan, Fikret Gurkan; Schiebel, Elmar

    2014-01-01

    Separase is best known for its function in sister chromatid separation at the metaphase-anaphase transition. It also has a role in centriole disengagement in late mitosis/G1. To gain insight into the activity of separase at centrosomes, we developed two separase activity sensors: mCherry-Scc1(142-467)-ΔNLS-eGFP-PACT and mCherry-kendrin(2059-2398)-eGFP-PACT. Both localize to the centrosomes and enabled us to monitor local separase activity at the centrosome in real time. Both centrosomal sensors were cleaved by separase before anaphase onset, earlier than the corresponding H2B-mCherry-Scc1(142-467)-eGFP sensor at chromosomes. This indicates that substrate cleavage by separase is not synchronous in the cells. Depletion of the proteins astrin or Aki1, which have been described as inhibitors of centrosomal separase, did not led to a significant activation of separase at centrosomes, emphasizing the importance of direct separase activity measurements at the centrosomes. Inhibition of polo-like kinase Plk1, on the other hand, decreased the separase activity towards the Scc1 but not the kendrin reporter. Together these findings indicate that Plk1 regulates separase activity at the level of substrate affinity at centrosomes and may explain in part the role of Plk1 in centriole disengagement. PMID:25299182

  14. New signatures of underground nuclear tests revealed by satellite radar interferometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vincent, P.; Larsen, S.; Galloway, D.; Laczniak, R.J.; Walter, W.R.; Foxall, W.; Zucca, J.J.

    2003-01-01

    New observations of surface displacement caused by past underground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) are presented using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). The InSAR data reveal both coseismic and postseismic subsidence signals that extend one kilometer or more across regardless of whether or not a surface crater was formed from each test. While surface craters and other coseismic surface effects (ground cracks, etc.) may be detectable using high resolution optical or other remote sensing techniques, these broader, more subtle subsidence signals (one to several centimeters distributed over an area 1-2 kilometers across) are not detectable using other methods [Barker et al., 1998]. A time series of interferograms reveal that the postseismic signals develop and persist for months to years after the tests and that different rates and styles of deformation occur depending on the geologic and hydrologic setting and conditions of the local test area.

  15. Enceladus's activity as revealed by Cassini-Huygens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Juergen

    2015-08-01

    The activity of Enceladus has been monitored by Cassini for nearly one decade after its discovery (see Science, 2006, 311, special issue). Thus, crucial properties of the vapor and dust plumes, heat output, surface properties, and the gravity field of the satellite are constrained in a fairly detailed manner. In this paper I review key observational facts and discuss implications for the vent geometries as well as interior structure and composition. Special emphasize I will give to data recorded by the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer, and the conclusions drawn from it, concerning the number, size, and composition of grains ejected by the plumes associated with the south polar activity.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. Phosphoproteomic network analysis in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus reveals new candidates in egg activation.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongbo; Garcia-Vedrenne, Ana Elisa; Isserlin, Ruth; Lugowski, Andrew; Morada, Anthony; Sun, Alex; Miao, Yishen; Kuzmanov, Uros; Wan, Cuihong; Ma, Hongyue; Foltz, Kathy; Emili, Andrew

    2015-12-01

    Fertilization triggers a dynamic symphony of molecular transformations induced by a rapid rise in intracellular calcium. Most prominent are surface alterations, metabolic activation, cytoskeletal reorganization, and cell-cycle reentry. While the activation process appears to be broadly evolutionarily conserved, and protein phosphorylation is known to play a key role, the signaling networks mediating the response to fertilization are not well described. To address this gap, we performed a time course phosphoproteomic analysis of egg activation in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, a system that offers biochemical tractability coupled with exquisite synchronicity. By coupling large-scale phosphopeptide enrichment with unbiased quantitative MS, we identified striking changes in global phosphoprotein patterns at 2- and 5-min postfertilization as compared to unfertilized eggs. Overall, we mapped 8796 distinct phosphosite modifications on 2833 phosphoproteins, of which 15% were differentially regulated in early egg activation. Activated kinases were identified by phosphosite mapping, while enrichment analyses revealed conserved signaling cascades not previously associated with egg activation. This work represents the most comprehensive study of signaling associated with egg activation to date, suggesting novel mechanisms that can be experimentally tested and providing a valuable resource for the broader research community. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002239 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD002239). PMID:26227301

  20. Geothermal reservoir characterization through active thermal testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Martin; Klepikova, Maria; Jalali, Mohammadreza; Fisch, Hansruedi; Loew, Simon; Amann, Florian

    2016-04-01

    Development and deployment of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) as renewable energy resources are part of the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050. To pioneer further EGS projects in Switzerland, a decameter-scale in-situ hydraulic stimulation and circulation (ISC) experiment has been launched at the Grimsel Test Site (GTS). The experiments are hosted in a low fracture density volume of the Grimsel granodiorite, similar to those expected at the potential enhanced geothermal system sites in the deep basement rocks of Northern Switzerland. One of the key goals of this multi-disciplinary experiment is to provide a pre- and post-stimulation characterization of the hydraulic and thermal properties of the stimulated fracture network with high resolution and to determine natural structures controlling the fluid flow and heat transport. Active thermal tests including thermal dilution tests and heat tracer tests allow for investigation of groundwater fluid flow and heat transport. Moreover, the spatial and temporal integrity of distributed temperature sensing (DTS) monitoring upgrades the potential and applicability of thermal tests in boreholes (e.g. Read et al., 2013). Here, we present active thermal test results and discuss the advantages and limitations of this method compared to classical approaches (hydraulic packer tests, solute tracer tests, flowing fluid electrical conductivity logging). The experimental tests were conducted in two boreholes intersected by a few low to moderately transmissive fault zones (fracture transmissivity of about 1E-9 m2/s - 1E-7 m2/s). Our preliminary results show that even in low-permeable environments active thermal testing may provide valuable insights into groundwater and heat transport pathways. Read T., O. Bour, V. Bense, T. Le Borgne, P. Goderniaux, M.V. Klepikova, R. Hochreutener, N. Lavenant, and V. Boschero (2013), Characterizing groundwater flow and heat transport in fractured rock using Fiber-Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Thromboelastography, thrombin generation test and thrombodynamics reveal hypercoagulability in patients with multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Gracheva, Marina A; Urnova, Evdokiya S; Sinauridze, Elena I; Tarandovskiy, Ivan D; Orel, Elena B; Poletaev, Alexander V; Mendeleeva, Larisa P; Ataullakhanov, Fazoil I; Balandina, Anna N

    2015-01-01

    Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) are at increased risk of venous thromboembolism. Therefore, adequate laboratory control of hemostasis and subsequent adjustments of anticoagulant therapy are necessary. We studied hemostasis changes using thromboelastography (TEG), thrombin generation test (TGT) and thrombodynamics (TD) in primary MM patients (PMMpt, n=25) and patients in remission (RMMpt, n=34) during blood stem cell (BSC) mobilization. TD and TEG reveal hypercoagulability in PMMpt (*p<0.05) in relation to healthy volunteers. There was no difference in any of the tests between PMMpt and RMMpt. We detected no heparin effect in 22% of patients one day after the onset of the prophylactic heparin treatment (500 IU/h) during BSC mobilization; tests shifted toward the hypercoagulability in 75% of patients one day after cyclophosphamide (4 g/m2) chemotherapy. Global hemostasis tests were in good agreement with each other, revealed hypercoagulability and heparin "resistance" in patients with MM and may be useful for therapy individualization. PMID:25907422

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:25875210

  6. Autotaxin Structure Activity Relationships Revealed through Lysophosphatidylcholine Analogs

    PubMed Central

    North, E. Jeffrey; Osborne, Daniel A.; Bridson, Peter K.; Baker, Daniel L.; Parrill, Abby L.

    2009-01-01

    Autotaxin (ATX) catalyzes the hydrolysis of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to form the bioactive lipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA stimulates cell proliferation, cell survival, and cell migration and is involved in obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic pain, atherosclerosis and various cancers, suggesting that ATX inhibitors have broad therapeutic potential. Product feedback inhibition of ATX by LPA has stimulated structure activity studies focused on LPA analogs. However, LPA displays mixed mode inhibition, indicating it can bind to both the enzyme and the enzyme-substrate complex. This suggests that LPA may not interact solely with the catalytic site. In this report we have prepared LPC analogs to help map out substrate structure activity relationships. The structural variances include length and unsaturation of the fatty tail, choline and polar linker presence, acyl versus ether linkage of the hydrocarbon chain, and methylene and nitrogen replacement of the choline oxygen. All LPC analogs were assayed in competition with the synthetic substrate, FS-3, to show the preference ATX has for each alteration. Choline presence and methylene replacement of the choline oxygen were detrimental to ATX recognition. These findings provide insights into the structure of the enzyme in the vicinity of the catalytic site as well as suggesting that ATX produces rate enhancement, at least in part, by substrate destabilization. PMID:19345587

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 19th century auroral observations reveal solar activity patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, Sam

    Growing interest in the aurora in the early part of the eighteenth century, which resulted from the spectacular reappearance of the aurora in 1707 and 1716, followed a relative scarcity of great auroras during the Maunder minimum, a period of prolonged reduced solar activity from about 1645-1715. Observations in the early eighteenth century led to questions about the geographical extent, nature, and temporal variability of the auroras. Typically, such observations were included as part of recorded meteorological notations, though occasionally early astronomers, such as Tycho Brahe in the 1590s, included auroras in their observations. Meteorological observations were important because of the effects of weather and climate on agriculture, and, according to the belief at the time, on disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. 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

  14. A HUPO test sample study reveals common problems in mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

    PubMed

    Bell, Alexander W; Deutsch, Eric W; Au, Catherine E; Kearney, Robert E; Beavis, Ron; Sechi, Salvatore; Nilsson, Tommy; Bergeron, John J M

    2009-06-01

    We performed a test sample study to try to identify errors leading to irreproducibility, including incompleteness of peptide sampling, in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based proteomics. We distributed an equimolar test sample, comprising 20 highly purified recombinant human proteins, to 27 laboratories. Each protein contained one or more unique tryptic peptides of 1,250 Da to test for ion selection and sampling in the mass spectrometer. Of the 27 labs, members of only 7 labs initially reported all 20 proteins correctly, and members of only 1 lab reported all tryptic peptides of 1,250 Da. Centralized analysis of the raw data, however, revealed that all 20 proteins and most of the 1,250 Da peptides had been detected in all 27 labs. Our centralized analysis determined missed identifications (false negatives), environmental contamination, database matching and curation of protein identifications as sources of problems. Improved search engines and databases are needed for mass spectrometry-based proteomics. PMID:19448641

  15. Dynamic Docking Test System (DDTS) active table frequency response test results. [Apollo Soyuz Test Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gates, R. M.

    1974-01-01

    Results are presented of the frequency response test performed on the dynamic docking test system (DDTS) active table. Sinusoidal displacement commands were applied to the table and the dynamic response determined from measured actuator responses and accelerometers mounted to the table and one actuator.

  16. Haplotype test reveals departure from neutrality in a segment of the white gene of Drosophila melanogaster

    SciTech Connect

    Kirby, D.A.; Stephan, W.

    1995-12-01

    Restriction map studies previously revealed extensive linkage disequilibria in the transcriptional unit of the white locus in natural Drosophila melanogaster populations. To understand the causes of these disequilibria, we sequenced a 4722-bp region of the white gene from 15 lines of D. melanogaster and 1 line of Drosophila simulans. Statistical tests applied to the entire 4722-bp region do not reject neutrality. In contrast, a test for high-frequency haplotypes ({open_quotes}Haplotype test{close_quotes}) revealed an 834-bp segment, encompassing the 3{prime} end of intron 1 to the 3{prime} end of intron 2, in which the structure of variation deviates significantly from the predictions of a neutral equilibrium model. The variants in this 834-bp segment segregate as single haplotype blocks. We propose that these unusually large haplotype blocks are due to positive selection on polymorphisms within the white gene, including a replacement polymorphism, Arg{yields}Leu, within this segment. 45 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  17. Optogenetic activation of mechanically insensitive afferents in mouse colorectum reveals chemosensitivity.

    PubMed

    Feng, Bin; Joyce, Sonali C; Gebhart, G F

    2016-05-15

    The sensory innervation of the distal colorectum includes mechanically insensitive afferents (MIAs; ∼25%), which acquire mechanosensitivity in persistent visceral hypersensitivity and thus generate de novo input to the central nervous system. We utilized an optogenetic approach to bypass the process of transduction (generator potential) and focus on transformation (spike initiation) at colorectal MIA sensory terminals, which is otherwise not possible in typical functional studies. From channelrhodopsin2-expressing mice (driven by Advillin-Cre), the distal colorectum with attached pelvic nerve was harvested for ex vivo single-fiber recordings. Afferent receptive fields (RFs) were identified by electrical stimulation and tested for response to mechanical stimuli (probing, stroking, and stretch), and afferents were classified as either MIAs or mechanosensitive afferents (MSAs). All MIA and MSA RFs were subsequently stimulated optically and MIAs were also tested for activation/sensitization with inflammatory soup (IS), acidic hypertonic solution (AHS), and/or bile salts (BS). Responses to pulsed optical stimuli (1-10 Hz) were comparable between MSAs and MIAs whereas 43% of MIAs compared with 86% of MSAs responded tonically to stepped optical stimuli. Tonic-spiking MIAs responded preferentially to AHS (an osmotic stimulus) whereas non-tonic-spiking MIAs responded to IS (an inflammatory stimulus). A significant proportion of MIAs were also sensitized by BS. These results reveal transformation as a critical factor underlying the differences between MIAs (osmosensors vs. inflammatory sensors), revealing a previously unappreciated heterogeneity of MIA endings. The current study draws attention to the sensory encoding of MIA nerve endings that likely contribute to afferent sensitization and thus have important roles in visceral pain. PMID:26950857

  18. Methotrimeprazine-induced corneal deposits and cataract revealed by urine drug profiling test.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seong Taeck; Koh, Jae Woong; Kim, Joon Mo; Kim, Won Young; Choi, Gwang Ju

    2010-11-01

    Two schizophrenic patients who had been taking medication for a long period presented with visual disturbance of 6-month duration. Slit-lamp examination revealed fine, discrete, and brownish deposits on the posterior cornea. In addition, bilateral star-shaped anterior subcapsular lens opacities, which were dense, dust-like granular deposits, were noted. Although we strongly suspected that the patient might have taken one of the drugs of the phenothiazine family, we were unable to obtain a history of medications other than haloperidol and risperidone, which were taken for 3 yr. We performed a drug profiling test using urine samples and detected methotrimeprazine. The patient underwent surgery for anterior subcapsular lens opacities. Visual acuity improved in both eyes, but the corneal deposits remained. We report an unusual case of methotrimeprazine-induced corneal deposits and cataract in a patient with psychosis, identified by using the urine drug profiling test. PMID:21060765

  19. Comparative analyses of Podospora anserina secretomes reveal a large array of lignocellulose-active enzymes.

    PubMed

    Poidevin, Laetitia; Berrin, Jean-Guy; Bennati-Granier, Chloé; Levasseur, Anthony; Herpoël-Gimbert, Isabelle; Chevret, Didier; Coutinho, Pedro M; Henrissat, Bernard; Heiss-Blanquet, Senta; Record, Eric

    2014-09-01

    The genome of the coprophilous fungus Podospora anserina harbors a large and highly diverse set of putative lignocellulose-acting enzymes. In this study, we investigated the enzymatic diversity of a broad range of P. anserina secretomes induced by various carbon sources (dextrin, glucose, xylose, arabinose, lactose, cellobiose, saccharose, Avicel, Solka-floc, birchwood xylan, wheat straw, maize bran, and sugar beet pulp (SBP)). Compared with the Trichoderma reesei enzymatic cocktail, P. anserina secretomes displayed similar cellulase, xylanase, and pectinase activities and greater arabinofuranosidase, arabinanase, and galactanase activities. The secretomes were further tested for their capacity to supplement a T. reesei cocktail. Four of them improved significantly the saccharification yield of steam-exploded wheat straw up to 48 %. Fine analysis of the P. anserina secretomes produced with Avicel and SBP using proteomics revealed a large array of CAZymes with a high number of GH6 and GH7 cellulases, CE1 esterases, GH43 arabinofuranosidases, and AA1 laccase-like multicopper oxidases. Moreover, a preponderance of AA9 (formerly GH61) was exclusively produced in the SBP condition. This study brings additional insights into the P. anserina enzymatic machinery and will facilitate the selection of promising targets for the development of future biorefineries. PMID:24695830

  20. A new autoinhibited kinase conformation reveals a salt-bridge switch in kinase activation

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Qiang; Yang, Shaoyuan; Li, Dan; Zhang, Xiaoying; Zheng, Jimin; Jia, Zongchao

    2016-01-01

    In the structure of autoinhibited EphA2 tyrosine kinase reported herein, we have captured the entire activation segment, revealing a previously unknown role of the conserved Arg762 in kinase autoinhibition by interacting with the essential Mg2+-chelating Asp757. While it is well known that this Arg residue is involved in an electrostatic interaction with the phospho-residue of the activation loop to stabilize the active conformation, our structure determination revealed a new role for the Arg, acting as a switch between the autoinhibited and activated conformations. Mutation of Arg762 to Ala in EphA2 sensitized Mg2+ response, resulting in enhanced kinase catalytic activity and Mg2+ cooperativity. Furthermore, mutation of the corresponding Arg/Lys to Ala in PKA and p38MAPK also exhibited similar behavior. This new salt bridge-mediated switch may thus be an important mechanism of activation on a broader scope for kinases which utilize autophosphorylation. PMID:27324091

  1. Some Trends in Radioactive Waste Form Behavior Revealed in Long-Term Field Tests

    SciTech Connect

    Ojovan, M. I.; Ojovan, N. V.; Startceva, I. V.; Barinov, A. S.

    2002-02-25

    Results from long-term field tests with borosilicate glass, cement and bitumen waste forms containing actual intermediate-level radioactive waste are summarized and discussed in the paper. Leaching behavior of the waste forms was evaluated by monitoring the contamination of contacting water. Measured leach rates of the three waste-form materials were in a narrow range in shallow subsurface repositories, but varied in a wide range at an open testing site owing to weathering of bitumen and cement materials. The repositories were opened after 12-year testing for visual examination, sampling and analysis. All retrieved waste forms were in good physical condition. The study has not revealed any negative changes in the waste glass. Some ageing processes were detected in cement and bitumen waste forms, which can positively (bitumen) or negatively (cement) affect physical and containment properties of these waste materials. It has been established that a significant proportion of the radioactive inventory in the bitumen waste form became associated with the bitumen phase. Phase separation of this radioactive bitumen has shown, than the asphaltene fraction is responsible for the major part of the radioactivity retained by the bitumen.

  2. 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

  3. Testing activities at the National Battery Test Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hornstra, F.; Deluca, W. H.; Mulcahey, T. P.

    The National Battery Test Laboratory (NBTL) is an Argonne National Laboratory facility for testing, evaluating, and studying advanced electric storage batteries. The facility tests batteries developed under Department of Energy programs and from private industry. These include batteries intended for future electric vehicle (EV) propulsion, electric utility load leveling (LL), and solar energy storage. Since becoming operational, the NBTL has evaluated well over 1400 cells (generally in the form of three- to six-cell modules, but up to 140-cell batteries) of various technologies. Performance characterization assessments are conducted under a series of charge/discharge cycles with constant current, constant power, peak power, and computer simulated dynamic load profile conditions. Flexible charging algorithms are provided to accommodate the specific needs of each battery under test. Special studies are conducted to explore and optimize charge procedures, to investigate the impact of unique load demands on battery performance, and to analyze the thermal management requirements of battery systems.

  4. In vivo role of the HNF4α AF-1 activation domain revealed by exon swapping

    PubMed Central

    Briançon, Nadège; Weiss, Mary C

    2006-01-01

    The gene encoding the nuclear receptor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) generates isoforms HNF4α1 and HNF4α7 from usage of alternative promoters. In particular, HNF4α7 is expressed in the pancreas whereas HNF4α1 is found in liver, and mutations affecting HNF4α function cause impaired insulin secretion and/or hepatic defects in humans and in tissue-specific ‘knockout' mice. HNF4α1 and α7 isoforms differ exclusively by amino acids encoded by the first exon which, in HNF4α1 but not in HNF4α7, includes the activating function (AF)-1 transactivation domain. To investigate the roles of HNF4α1 and HNF4α7 in vivo, we generated mice expressing only one isoform under control of both promoters, via reciprocal swapping of the isoform-specific first exons. Unlike Hnf4α gene disruption which causes embryonic lethality, these ‘α7-only' and ‘α1-only' mice are viable, indicating functional redundancy of the isoforms. However, the former show dyslipidemia and preliminary results indicate impaired glucose tolerance for the latter, revealing functional specificities of the isoforms. These ‘knock-in' mice provide the first test in vivo of the HNF4α AF-1 function and have permitted identification of AF-1-dependent target genes. PMID:16498401

  5. 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.

  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. Immunological Testing Reveals Exposure to Malaria in the Hypoendemic Region of Iran.

    PubMed

    Obeidi, Narges; Rajasekariah, G-Halli; Nabipour, Iraj; Amirinejad, Roya; Dogcio, Diane; Emami, Habib

    2014-01-01

    Background. South eastern parts of Iran remain endemic for malaria infection. There is some concern that malaria infection may spread into Bushehr, which is located in the south western part bordering the Persian Gulf and at the periphery of the declared endemic region Hormozgan province due to frequency of visitors from eastern endemic areas and from neighboring malaria endemic countries. We investigated malaria prevalence in Bushehr. Methods and Results. Attempts were made to identify malaria active infection in blood smears and malaria specific antibody and antigens in serum samples. Traditional blood smears prepared from 1955 blood specimens yielded no definitive malaria positive case by microscopic technique. A total of 270 (13.8%) serum samples were positive for malaria antibodies. Using specific ELISA kits, presence of histidine rich proteins and lactate dehydrogenase antigens were investigated in serum samples. No histidine rich proteins specific for P. falciparum were detected amongst 270 antibody positive samples. However, six samples representing 0.3% of total population, were found to be positive for plasmodium pan specific lactate dehydrogenase antigens. This suggested the possibility of low level exposure to malaria in Bushehr community. Conclusions. Out of a total of 1955 samples tested, 270 (13.8%) were positive for malaria antibodies and six (0.3%) of these were positive for plasmodium-specific lactate dehydrogenase antigen suggesting a low level exposure to malaria in a hypoendemic region based on immunological testing. Since none of the 270 antibody samples were positive for histidine rich protein antigens, there is scope for further testing of blood samples by molecular methods such as polymerase chain reactions to confirm the plasmodium species and provide information valuable for future investigations. Our testing strategy for hypoemdemic malaria can be used as a template for investing malaria in 32 eliminating countries for testing ongoing

  8. Protein phosphorylation changes reveal new candidates in the regulation of egg activation and early embryogenesis in D. melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Krauchunas, Amber R.; Horner, Vanessa L.; Wolfner, Mariana F.

    2012-01-01

    Egg activation is the series of events that must occur for a mature oocyte to become capable of supporting embryogenesis. These events include changes to the egg’s outer coverings, the resumption and completion of meiosis, the translation of new proteins, and the degradation of specific maternal mRNAs. While we know some of the molecules that direct the initial events of egg activation, it remains unclear how multiple pathways are coordinated to change the cellular state from mature oocyte to activated egg. Using a proteomic approach we have identified new candidates for the regulation and progression of egg activation. Reasoning that phosphorylation can simultaneously and rapidly modulate the activity of many proteins, we identified proteins that are post-translationally modified during the transition from oocyte to activated egg in Drosophila melanogaster. We find that at least 311 proteins change in phosphorylation state between mature oocytes and activated eggs. These proteins fall into various functional classes related to the events of egg activation including calcium binding, proteolysis, and protein translation. Our set of candidates includes genes already associated with egg activation, as well as many genes not previously studied during this developmental period. RNAi knockdown of a subset of these genes revealed a new gene, mrityu, necessary for embryonic development past the first mitosis. Thus, by identifying phospho-modulated proteins we have produced a focused candidate set for future genetic studies to test their roles in egg activation and the initiation of embryogenesis. PMID:22884528

  9. Expression of the vertebrate Gli proteins in Drosophila reveals a distribution of activator and repressor activities.

    PubMed

    Aza-Blanc, P; Lin, H Y; Ruiz i Altaba, A; Kornberg, T B

    2000-10-01

    The Cubitus interruptus (Ci) and Gli proteins are transcription factors that mediate responses to Hedgehog proteins (Hh) in flies and vertebrates, respectively. During development of the Drosophila wing, Ci transduces the Hh signal and regulates transcription of different target genes at different locations. In vertebrates, the three Gli proteins are expressed in overlapping domains and are partially redundant. To assess how the vertebrate Glis correlate with Drosophila Ci, we expressed each in Drosophila and monitored their behaviors and activities. We found that each Gli has distinct activities that are equivalent to portions of the regulatory arsenal of Ci. Gli2 and Gli1 have activator functions that depend on Hh. Gli2 and Gli3 are proteolyzed to produce a repressor form able to inhibit hh expression. However, while Gli3 repressor activity is regulated by Hh, Gli2 repressor activity is not. These observations suggest that the separate activator and repressor functions of Ci are unevenly partitioned among the three Glis, yielding proteins with related yet distinct properties. PMID:10976059

  10. 26 CFR 1.141-2 - Private activity bond tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... test and private security or payment test of section 141(b) or the private loan financing test of section 141(c). The private business use and private security or payment tests are described in §§ 1.141-3... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Private activity bond tests. 1.141-2 Section...

  11. 26 CFR 1.141-2 - Private activity bond tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... test and private security or payment test of section 141(b) or the private loan financing test of section 141(c). The private business use and private security or payment tests are described in §§ 1.141-3... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Private activity bond tests. 1.141-2 Section...

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

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Morphology-based mammalian stem cell tests reveal potential developmental toxicity of donepezil.

    PubMed

    Lau, Caroline G Y; Marikawa, Yusuke

    2014-11-01

    Various compounds, including therapeutic drugs, can adversely impact the survival and development of embryos in the uterus. Identification of such development-interfering agents is a challenging task, although multi-angle approaches--including the use of in vitro toxicology studies involving embryonic stem cells--should alleviate some of the current difficulties. In the present study, we utilized the in vitro elongation of embryoid bodies (EBs) derived from mouse embryonal carcinoma stem cell line P19C5 as a model of early embryological events, specifically that of gastrulation and axial patterning. From our study, we identified donepezil, a medication indicated for the management of Alzheimer's disease, as a potential developmental toxicant. The extent of P19C5 EB axial elongation was diminished by donepezil in a dose-dependent manner. Although donepezil is a known inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, interference of elongation was not mediated through this enzyme. Quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR revealed that donepezil altered the expression pattern of a specific set of developmental regulator genes involved in patterning along the anterior-posterior body axis. When tested in mouse whole embryo culture, donepezil caused morphological abnormalities including impaired somitogenesis. Donepezil also diminished elongation morphogenesis of EBs generated from human embryonic stem cells. These results suggest that donepezil interferes with axial elongation morphogenesis of early embryos by altering the expression pattern of regulators of axial development. PMID:25269881

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Improved tests reveal that the accelarating moment release hypothesis is statistically insignificant

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hardebeck, J.L.; Felzer, K.R.; Michael, A.J.

    2008-01-01

    We test the hypothesis that accelerating moment release (AMR) is a precursor to large earthquakes, using data from California, Nevada, and Sumatra. Spurious cases of AMR can arise from data fitting because the time period, area, and sometimes magnitude range analyzed before each main shock are often optimized to produce the strongest AMR signal. Optimizing the search criteria can identify apparent AMR even if no robust signal exists. For both 1950-2006 California-Nevada M ??? 6.5 earthquakes and the 2004 M9.3 Sumatra earthquake, we can find two contradictory patterns in the pre-main shock earthquakes by data fitting: AMR and decelerating moment release. We compare the apparent AMR found in the real data to the apparent AMR found in four types of synthetic catalogs with no inherent AMR. When spatiotemporal clustering is included in the simulations, similar AMR signals are found by data fitting in both the real and synthetic data sets even though the synthetic data sets contain no real AMR. These tests demonstrate that apparent AMR may arise from a combination of data fitting and normal foreshock and aftershock activity. In principle, data-fitting artifacts could be avoided if the free parameters were determined from scaling relationships between the duration and spatial extent of the AMR pattern and the magnitude of the earthquake that follows it. However, we demonstrate that previously proposed scaling relationships are unstable, statistical artifacts caused by the use of a minimum magnitude for the earthquake catalog that scales with the main shock magnitude. Some recent AMR studies have used spatial regions based on hypothetical stress loading patterns, rather than circles, to select the data. We show that previous tests were biased and that unbiased tests do not find this change to the method to be an improvement. The use of declustered catalogs has also been proposed to eliminate the effect of clustering but we demonstrate that this does not increase the

  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. Targeted mutagenesis of the human papillomavirus type 16 E2 transactivation domain reveals separable transcriptional activation and DNA replication functions.

    PubMed

    Sakai, H; Yasugi, T; Benson, J D; Dowhanick, J J; Howley, P M

    1996-03-01

    The E2 gene products of papillomavirus play key roles in viral replication, both as regulators of viral transcription and as auxiliary factors that act with E1 in viral DNA replication. We have carried out a detailed structure-function analysis of conserved amino acids within the N-terminal domain of the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) E2 protein. These mutants were tested for their transcriptional activation activities as well as transient DNA replication and E1 binding activities. Analysis of the stably expressed mutants revealed that the transcriptional activation and replication activities of HPV16 E2 could be dissociated. The 173A mutant was defective for the transcriptional activation function but retained wild-type DNA replication activity, whereas the E39A mutant wild-type transcriptional activation function but was defective in transient DNA replication assays. The E39A mutant was also defective for HPV16 E1 binding in vitro, suggesting that the ability of E2 protein to form a complex with E1 appears to be essential for its function as an auxiliary replication factor. PMID:8627680

  3. Survey of activated kinase proteins reveals potential targets for cholangiocarcinoma treatment.

    PubMed

    Dokduang, Hasaya; Juntana, Sirinun; Techasen, Anchalee; Namwat, Nisana; Yongvanit, Puangrat; Khuntikeo, Narong; Riggins, Gregory J; Loilome, Watcharin

    2013-12-01

    Improving therapy for patients with cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) presents a significant challenge. This is made more difficult by a lack of a clear understanding of potential molecular targets, such as deregulated kinases. In this work, we profiled the activated kinases in CCA in order to apply them as the targets for CCA therapy. Human phospho-receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and phospho-kinase array analyses revealed that multiple kinases are activated in both CCA cell lines and human CCA tissues that included cell growth, apoptosis, cell to cell interaction, movement, and angiogenesis RTKs. Predominately, the kinases activated downstream were those in the PI3K/Akt, Ras/MAPK, JAK/STAT, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. Western blot analysis confirms that Erk1/2 and Akt activation were increased in CCA tissues when compared with their normal adjacent tissue. The inhibition of kinase activation using multi-targeted kinase inhibitors, sorafenib and sunitinib led to significant cell growth inhibition and apoptosis induction via suppression of Erk1/2 and Akt activation, whereas drugs with specificity to a single kinase showed less potency. In conclusion, our study reveals the involvement of multiple kinase proteins in CCA growth that might serve as therapeutic targets for combined kinase inhibition. PMID:23812726

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Goldstone field test activities: Target search

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarter, J.

    1986-01-01

    In March of this year prototype SETI equipment was installed at DSS13, the 26 meter research and development antenna at NASA's Goldstone complex of satellite tracking dishes. The SETI equipment will remain at this site at least through the end of the summer so that the hardware and software developed for signal detection and recognition can be fully tested in a dynamic observatory environment. The field tests are expected to help understand which strategies for observing and which signal recognition algorithms perform best in the presence of strong man-made interfering signals (RFI) and natural astronomical sources.

  7. Natural and semisynthetic analogues of manadoperoxide B reveal new structural requirements for trypanocidal activity.

    PubMed

    Chianese, Giuseppina; Scala, Fernando; Calcinai, Barbara; Cerrano, Carlo; Dien, Henny A; Kaiser, Marcel; Tasdemir, Deniz; Taglialatela-Scafati, Orazio

    2013-09-01

    Chemical analysis of the Indonesian sponge Plakortis cfr. lita afforded two new analogues of the potent trypanocidal agent manadoperoxide B (1), namely 12-isomanadoperoxide B (2) and manadoperoxidic acid B (3). These compounds were isolated along with a new short chain dicarboxylate monoester (4), bearing some interesting relationships with the polyketide endoperoxides found in this sponge. Some semi-synthetic analogues of manadoperoxide B (6-8) were prepared and evaluated for antitrypanosomal activity and cytotoxicity. These studies revealed crucial structure-activity relationships that should be taken into account in the design of optimized and simplified endoperoxyketal trypanocidal agents. PMID:23989650

  8. A High-Throughput Screen Reveals New Small-Molecule Activators and Inhibitors of Pantothenate Kinases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Pantothenate kinase (PanK) is a regulatory enzyme that controls coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. The association of PanK with neurodegeneration and diabetes suggests that chemical modifiers of PanK activity may be useful therapeutics. We performed a high throughput screen of >520000 compounds from the St. Jude compound library and identified new potent PanK inhibitors and activators with chemically tractable scaffolds. The HTS identified PanK inhibitors exemplified by the detailed characterization of a tricyclic compound (7) and a preliminary SAR. Biophysical studies reveal that the PanK inhibitor acts by binding to the ATP–enzyme complex. PMID:25569308

  9. Recovery Efficiency Test Project: Phase 1, Activity report

    SciTech Connect

    Overbey, W.K. Jr.; Wilkins, D.W.; Keltch, B.; Saradji, B.; Salamy, S.P.

    1988-04-01

    This report is the second volume of the Recovery Efficiency Test Phase I Report of Activities. Volume 1 covered selection, well planning, drilling, coring, logging and completion operations. This volume reports on well testing activities, reclamation activities on the drilling site and access roads, and the results of physical and mechanical properties tests on the oriented core material obtained from a horizontal section of the well. 3 refs., 21 figs., 10 tabs.

  10. DNA polymerase beta reveals enhanced activity and processivity in reverse micelles.

    PubMed

    Anarbaev, Rashid O; Rogozina, Anastasia L; Lavrik, Olga I

    2009-04-01

    Water is essential for the stability and functions of proteins and DNA. Reverse micelles are simple model systems where the structure and dynamics of water are controlled. We have estimated the size of complex reverse micelles by light scattering technique and examined the local microenvironment using fluorescein as molecular probe. The micelle size and water polarity inside reverse micelles depend on water volume fraction. We have investigated the different hydration and confinement effects on activity, processivity, and stability of mammalian DNA polymerase beta in reverse micelles. The enzyme displays high processivity on primed single-stranded M13mp19 DNA with maximal activity at 10% of water content. The processivity and activity of DNA polymerase strongly depend on the protein concentration. The enzyme reveals also the enhanced stability in the presence of template-primer and at high protein concentration. The data provide direct evidence for strong influence of microenvironment on DNA polymerase activity. PMID:19138815

  11. An Overview of Follow-On Testing Activities of the A-3 Subscale Diffuser Test Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryan, James E.

    2009-01-01

    An overview of NASA Stennis Space Center's (SSC) A-3 Subscale Diffuser Test (SDT) Project is presented. The original scope of the SDT Project, conducted from April 2007 to January 2008, collected data to support mitigation of risk associated with design and procurement activities of the A-3 Test Stand Project, an effort to construct a simulated altitude test facility at SSC in support of NASA's Constellation Program. Follow-on tests were conducted from May 2008 through August 2009, utilizing the SDT test setup as a testbed for additional risk mitigation activities. Included are descriptions of the Subscale Diffuser (SD) test article, the test facility configuration, and test approaches.

  12. Designing an Active Target Test Projection Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koci, James; Tan Ahn Collaboration, Dr.; Nicolas Dixneuf Collaboration

    2015-10-01

    The development of instrumentation in nuclear physics is crucial for advancing our ability to measure the properties of exotic nuclei. One limitation of the use of exotic nuclei in experiment is their very low production intensities. Recently, detectors, called active-target dectectors, have been developed to address this issue. Active-target detectors use a gas medium to image charged-particle tracks that are emitted in nuclear reactions. Last semester, I designed a vacuum chamber to be used in developing Micro-Pattern Gas detectors that will upgrade the capabilities of an active-target detector called the Prototype AT-TPC. With the exterior of the chamber complete, I have now been using an electric field modeling program, Garfield, developed by CERN to design a field cage to be placed within the vacuum chamber. The field cage will be a box-like apparatus consisting of two parallel metal plates connected with a resistor chain and attached to wires wrapped between them. The cage will provide a uniform electric field within the chamber to drift electrons from nuclear reactions down to the detector in the bottom of the chamber. These signals are then amplified by a proportional counter, and the data is sent to a computer. For the long term, we would like to incorporate a Micro-Pattern Gas Detectors in the interior of the chamber and eventually use the AT-TPC to examine various nuclei. Dr. Ahn is my advising professor.

  13. Bacterial biofilm formation inhibitory activity revealed for plant derived natural compounds.

    PubMed

    Artini, M; Papa, R; Barbato, G; Scoarughi, G L; Cellini, A; Morazzoni, P; Bombardelli, E; Selan, L

    2012-01-15

    Use of herbal plant remedies to treat infectious diseases is a common practice in many countries in traditional and alternative medicine. However to date there are only few antimicrobial agents derived from botanics. Based on microbiological screening tests of crude plant extracts we identified four compounds derived from Krameria, Aesculus hippocastanum and Chelidonium majus that showed a potentially interesting antimicrobial activity. In this work we present an in depth characterization of the inhibition activity of these pure compounds on the formation of biofilm of Staphylococcus aureus as well as of Staphylococcus epidermidis strains. We show that two of these compounds possess interesting potential to become active principles of new drugs. PMID:22182580

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Whole-brain activity maps reveal stereotyped, distributed networks for visuomotor behavior

    PubMed Central

    Portugues, Ruben; Feierstein, Claudia E.; Engert, Florian; Orger, Michael B.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Most behaviors, even simple innate reflexes, are mediated by circuits of neurons spanning areas throughout the brain. However, in most cases, the distribution and dynamics of firing patterns of these neurons during behavior are not known. We imaged activity, with cellular resolution, throughout the whole brains of zebrafish performing the optokinetic response. We found a sparse, broadly distributed network that has an elaborate, but ordered, pattern, with a bilaterally symmetrical organization. Activity patterns fell into distinct clusters reflecting sensory and motor processing. By correlating neuronal responses with an array of sensory and motor variables, we find that the network can be clearly divided into distinct functional modules. Comparing aligned data from multiple fish, we find that the spatiotemporal activity dynamics and functional organization are highly stereotyped across individuals. These experiments reveal, for the first time in a vertebrate, the comprehensive functional architecture of the neural circuits underlying a sensorimotor behavior. PMID:24656252

  17. Integrative analysis of breast cancer reveals prognostic haematopoietic activity and patient-specific immune response profiles

    PubMed Central

    Varn, Frederick S.; Andrews, Erik H.; Mullins, David W.; Cheng, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional programmes active in haematopoietic cells enable a variety of functions including dedifferentiation, innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Understanding how these programmes function in the context of cancer can provide valuable insights into host immune response, cancer severity and potential therapy response. Here we present a method that uses the transcriptomes of over 200 murine haematopoietic cells, to infer the lineage-specific haematopoietic activity present in human breast tumours. Correlating this activity with patient survival and tumour purity reveals that the transcriptional programmes of many cell types influence patient prognosis and are found in environments of high lymphocytic infiltration. Collectively, these results allow for a detailed and personalized assessment of the patient immune response to a tumour. When combined with routinely collected patient biopsy genomic data, this method can enable a richer understanding of the complex interplay between the host immune system and cancer. PMID:26725977

  18. Integrative analysis of breast cancer reveals prognostic haematopoietic activity and patient-specific immune response profiles.

    PubMed

    Varn, Frederick S; Andrews, Erik H; Mullins, David W; Cheng, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional programmes active in haematopoietic cells enable a variety of functions including dedifferentiation, innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Understanding how these programmes function in the context of cancer can provide valuable insights into host immune response, cancer severity and potential therapy response. Here we present a method that uses the transcriptomes of over 200 murine haematopoietic cells, to infer the lineage-specific haematopoietic activity present in human breast tumours. Correlating this activity with patient survival and tumour purity reveals that the transcriptional programmes of many cell types influence patient prognosis and are found in environments of high lymphocytic infiltration. Collectively, these results allow for a detailed and personalized assessment of the patient immune response to a tumour. When combined with routinely collected patient biopsy genomic data, this method can enable a richer understanding of the complex interplay between the host immune system and cancer. PMID:26725977

  19. 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

  20. Goldstone field test activities: Sky survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulkis, S.; Olsen, E. T.

    1986-01-01

    The goals are to conduct a research and development program aimed at determining the most effective way to do SETI within the constraints of current technology and estimated budgets. The general search strategy adopted is that which is recommended by the SETI Science Working Group. The strategy for an all sky survey for SETI was further developed over the last year. Scan patterns, scan rates, and signal detection algorithms were developed. Spectral power measurement instrumentation was tested at the Venus Station of the Goldstone Deep Space Communication Complex. A specially designed radio frequency interference (RFI) measurement system was built and installed at the Venus Station. A data base management system for storage and retrieval of the RFI data was partially implemented on a VAX 750 computer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  1. 26 CFR 1.141-2 - Private activity bond tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Private activity bond tests. 1.141-2 Section 1.141-2 Internal Revenue INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (CONTINUED) INCOME TAX (CONTINUED) INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED) Tax Exemption Requirements for State and Local Bonds § 1.141-2 Private activity bond tests. (a) Overview....

  2. 26 CFR 1.141-2 - Private activity bond tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Private activity bond tests. 1.141-2 Section 1.141-2 Internal Revenue INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (CONTINUED) INCOME TAX (CONTINUED) INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED) Tax Exemption Requirements for State and Local Bonds § 1.141-2 Private activity bond tests. (a) Overview....

  3. 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

  4. Structural snapshots reveal distinct mechanisms of procaspase-3 and -7 activation

    PubMed Central

    Thomsen, Nathan D.; Koerber, James T.; Wells, James A.

    2013-01-01

    Procaspase-3 (P3) and procaspase-7 (P7) are activated through proteolytic maturation to form caspase-3 (C3) and caspase-7 (C7), respectively, which serve overlapping but nonredundant roles as the executioners of apoptosis in humans. However, it is unclear if differences in P3 and P7 maturation mechanisms underlie their unique biological functions, as the structure of P3 remains unknown. Here, we report structures of P3 in a catalytically inactive conformation, structures of P3 and P7 bound to covalent peptide inhibitors that reveal the active conformation of the zymogens, and the structure of a partially matured C7:P7 heterodimer. Along with a biochemical analysis, we show that P3 is catalytically inactive and matures through a symmetric all-or-nothing process. In contrast, P7 contains latent catalytic activity and matures through an asymmetric and tiered mechanism, suggesting a lower threshold for activation. Finally, we use our structures to design a selection strategy for conformation specific antibody fragments that stimulate procaspase activity, showing that executioner procaspase conformational equilibrium can be rationally modulated. Our studies provide a structural framework that may help to explain the unique roles of these important proapoptotic enzymes, and suggest general strategies for the discovery of proenzyme activators. PMID:23650375

  5. Metabolomics reveal 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine production by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α[S

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Phenotype Specific Analyses Reveal Distinct Regulatory Mechanism for Chronically Activated p53

    PubMed Central

    Cairns, Jonathan M.; Menon, Suraj; Pérez-Mancera, Pedro A.; Tomimatsu, Kosuke; Bermejo-Rodriguez, Camino; Ito, Yoko; Chandra, Tamir; Narita, Masako; Lyons, Scott K.; Lynch, Andy G.; Kimura, Hiroshi; Ohbayashi, Tetsuya; Tavaré, Simon; Narita, Masashi

    2015-01-01

    The downstream functions of the DNA binding tumor suppressor p53 vary depending on the cellular context, and persistent p53 activation has recently been implicated in tumor suppression and senescence. However, genome-wide information about p53-target gene regulation has been derived mostly from acute genotoxic conditions. Using ChIP-seq and expression data, we have found distinct p53 binding profiles between acutely activated (through DNA damage) and chronically activated (in senescent or pro-apoptotic conditions) p53. Compared to the classical ‘acute’ p53 binding profile, ‘chronic’ p53 peaks were closely associated with CpG-islands. Furthermore, the chronic CpG-island binding of p53 conferred distinct expression patterns between senescent and pro-apoptotic conditions. Using the p53 targets seen in the chronic conditions together with external high-throughput datasets, we have built p53 networks that revealed extensive self-regulatory ‘p53 hubs’ where p53 and many p53 targets can physically interact with each other. Integrating these results with public clinical datasets identified the cancer-associated lipogenic enzyme, SCD, which we found to be directly repressed by p53 through the CpG-island promoter, providing a mechanistic link between p53 and the ‘lipogenic phenotype’, a hallmark of cancer. Our data reveal distinct phenotype associations of chronic p53 targets that underlie specific gene regulatory mechanisms. PMID:25790137

  7. Active infrared thermographic testing with distance heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogasawara, N.; Ando, H.; Kobayashi, C.; Yamada, H.

    2015-05-01

    In order to efficiently inspect very wide area of concrete structure wall, an infrared thermographic testing with a distance heating was developed in this study. The researched subjects were the following three; 1. Improvement of radiant heating efficiency, 2. Development of distance heating method and 3. Development of data analysis method against nonuniformity of a heating and/or a wall absorptivity. In this paper, we focus on the first issue. In order to investigate about combinations between the spectral emissivity of radiant heater and the spectral absorptivity of concrete, three different types of radiant heater, a near infrared type, a far infrared type and blackbody type, were used to heat concrete specimens. As a results, both a blackbody type and a far infrared type, e.g. a ceramics heater and a blackbody coated heater, can heat a concrete wall more efficiently than a near infrared type, e.g. a halogen lamp heater and a xenon lamp heater. This is because the spectral absorptivity of concrete is higher in a far infrared region than in a near infrared region. We find that the efficiency of the heating process may be improved by choosing a heater whose radiation is concentrated near wavelengths at which the structure to be heated exhibits maximal absorptivity. The efficiency of the concrete heating process may be easily improved simply by covering the surface of a near infrared heater with a blackbody surface coating to mimic the radiation characteristics of a blackbody.

  8. Severe Accident Test Station Activity Report

    SciTech Connect

    Pint, Bruce A.; Terrani, Kurt A.

    2015-06-01

    Enhancing safety margins in light water reactor (LWR) severe accidents is currently the focus of a number of international R&D programs. The current UO2/Zr-based alloy fuel system is particularly susceptible since the Zr-based cladding experiences rapid oxidation kinetics in steam at elevated temperatures. Therefore, alternative cladding materials that offer slower oxidation kinetics and a smaller enthalpy of oxidation can significantly reduce the rate of heat and hydrogen generation in the core during a coolant-limited severe accident. In the U.S. program, the high temperature steam oxidation performance of accident tolerant fuel (ATF) cladding solutions has been evaluated in the Severe Accident Test Station (SATS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) since 2012. This report summarizes the capabilities of the SATS and provides an overview of the oxidation kinetics of several candidate cladding materials. A suggested baseline for evaluating ATF candidates is a two order of magnitude reduction in the steam oxidation resistance above 1000ºC compared to Zr-based alloys. The ATF candidates are categorized based on the protective external oxide or scale that forms during exposure to steam at high temperature: chromia, alumina, and silica. Comparisons are made to literature and SATS data for Zr-based alloys and other less-protective materials.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Dynamic Transcription Factor Activity Profiles Reveal Key Regulatory Interactions During Megakaryocytic and Erythroid Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Mark T.; Shin, Seungjin; Wu, Jia J.; Mays, Zachary; Weng, Stanley; Bagheri, Neda; Miller, William M.; Shea, Lonnie D.

    2014-01-01

    The directed differentiation toward erythroid (E) or megakaryocytic (MK) lineages by the MK-E progenitor (MEP) could enhance the ex vivo generation of red blood cells and platelets for therapeutic transfusions. The lineage choice at the MEP bifurcation is controlled in large part by activity within the intracellular signal transduction network, the output of which determines the activity of transcription factors (TFs) and ultimately gene expression. Although many TFs have been implicated, E or MK differentiation is a complex process requiring multiple days, and the dynamics of TF activities during commitment and terminal maturation are relatively unexplored. Herein, we applied a living cell array for the large-scale, dynamic quantification of TF activities during MEP bifurcation. A panel of hematopoietic TFs (GATA-1, GATA-2, SCL/TAL1, FLI-1, NF-E2, PU.1, c-Myb) was characterized during E and MK differentiation of bipotent K562 cells. Dynamic TF activity profiles associated with differentiation towards each lineage were identified, and validated with previous reports. From these activity profiles, we show that GATA-1 is an important hub during early hemin- and PMA-induced differentiation, and reveal several characteristic TF interactions for E and MK differentiation that confirm regulatory mechanisms documented in the literature. Additionally, we highlight several novel TF interactions at various stages of E and MK differentiation. Furthermore, we investigated the mechanism by which nicotinamide (NIC) promoted terminal MK maturation using an MK-committed cell line, CHRF-288-11 (CHRF). Concomitant with its enhancement of ploidy, NIC strongly enhanced the activity of three TFs with known involvement in terminal MK maturation: FLI-1, NF-E2, and p53. Dynamic profiling of TF activity represents a novel tool to complement traditional assays focused on mRNA and protein expression levels to understand progenitor cell differentiation. PMID:24853077

  12. Dynamic transcription factor activity profiles reveal key regulatory interactions during megakaryocytic and erythroid differentiation.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Mark T; Shin, Seungjin; Wu, Jia J; Mays, Zachary; Weng, Stanley; Bagheri, Neda; Miller, William M; Shea, Lonnie D

    2014-10-01

    The directed differentiation toward erythroid (E) or megakaryocytic (MK) lineages by the MK-E progenitor (MEP) could enhance the ex vivo generation of red blood cells and platelets for therapeutic transfusions. The lineage choice at the MEP bifurcation is controlled in large part by activity within the intracellular signal transduction network, the output of which determines the activity of transcription factors (TFs) and ultimately gene expression. Although many TFs have been implicated, E or MK differentiation is a complex process requiring multiple days, and the dynamics of TF activities during commitment and terminal maturation are relatively unexplored. Herein, we applied a living cell array for the large-scale, dynamic quantification of TF activities during MEP bifurcation. A panel of hematopoietic TFs (GATA-1, GATA-2, SCL/TAL1, FLI-1, NF-E2, PU.1, c-Myb) was characterized during E and MK differentiation of bipotent K562 cells. Dynamic TF activity profiles associated with differentiation towards each lineage were identified, and validated with previous reports. From these activity profiles, we show that GATA-1 is an important hub during early hemin- and PMA-induced differentiation, and reveal several characteristic TF interactions for E and MK differentiation that confirm regulatory mechanisms documented in the literature. Additionally, we highlight several novel TF interactions at various stages of E and MK differentiation. Furthermore, we investigated the mechanism by which nicotinamide (NIC) promoted terminal MK maturation using an MK-committed cell line, CHRF-288-11 (CHRF). Concomitant with its enhancement of ploidy, NIC strongly enhanced the activity of three TFs with known involvement in terminal MK maturation: FLI-1, NF-E2, and p53. Dynamic profiling of TF activity represents a novel tool to complement traditional assays focused on mRNA and protein expression levels to understand progenitor cell differentiation. PMID:24853077

  13. A Pattern of Perseveration in Cocaine Addiction May Reveal Neurocognitive Processes Implicit in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woicik, Patricia A.; Urban, Catherine; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Henry, Ashley; Maloney, Thomas; Telang, Frank; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D.; Goldstein, Rita Z.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to adapt behavior in a changing environment is necessary for humans to achieve their goals and can be measured in the lab with tests of rule-based switching. Disease models, such as cocaine addiction, have revealed that alterations in dopamine interfere with adaptive set switching, culminating in perseveration. We explore perseverative…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bowman, Gregory R.; Konerding, David E.; Belov, Dan; Altman, Russ B.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2014-01-01

    Simulations can provide tremendous insight into atomistic details of biological mechanisms, but micro- to milliseconds timescales are historically only accessible on dedicated supercomputers. We demonstrate that cloud computing is a viable alternative, bringing long-timescale processes within reach of a broader community. We used Google's Exacycle cloud computing platform to simulate 2 milliseconds of dynamics of the β2 adrenergic receptor — a major drug target G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). 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 GPCR, revealing multiple activation pathways. Agonists and inverse agonists interact differentially with these pathways, with profound implications for drug design PMID:24345941

  18. Single-cell transcriptome analyses reveal signals to activate dormant neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuping; Coskun, Volkan; Liang, Aibing; Yu, Juehua; Cheng, Liming; Ge, Weihong; Shi, Zhanping; Zhang, Kunshan; Li, Chun; Cui, Yaru; Lin, Haijun; Luo, Dandan; Wang, Junbang; Lin, Connie; Dai, Zachary; Zhu, Hongwen; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Jie; Liu, Hailiang; deVellis, Jean; Horvath, Steve; Sun, Yi Eve; Li, Siguang

    2015-05-21

    The scarcity of tissue-specific stem cells and the complexity of their surrounding environment have made molecular characterization of these cells particularly challenging. Through single-cell transcriptome and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we uncovered molecular properties of CD133(+)/GFAP(-) ependymal (E) cells in the adult mouse forebrain neurogenic zone. Surprisingly, prominent hub genes of the gene network unique to ependymal CD133(+)/GFAP(-) quiescent cells were enriched for immune-responsive genes, as well as genes encoding receptors for angiogenic factors. Administration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) activated CD133(+) ependymal neural stem cells (NSCs), lining not only the lateral but also the fourth ventricles and, together with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), elicited subsequent neural lineage differentiation and migration. This study revealed the existence of dormant ependymal NSCs throughout the ventricular surface of the CNS, as well as signals abundant after injury for their activation. PMID:26000486

  19. 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.

  20. TAF4 Inactivation Reveals the 3 Dimensional Growth Promoting Activities of Collagen 6A3

    PubMed Central

    Duluc, Isabelle; Vicaire, Serge; Philipps, Muriel; Freund, Jean-Noel; Davidson, Irwin

    2014-01-01

    Collagen 6A3 (Col6a3), a component of extracellular matrix, is often up-regulated in tumours and is believed to play a pro-oncogenic role. However the mechanisms of its tumorigenic activity are poorly understood. We show here that Col6a3 is highly expressed in densely growing mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). In MEFs where the TAF4 subunit of general transcription factor IID (TFIID) has been inactivated, elevated Col6a3 expression prevents contact inhibition promoting their 3 dimensional growth as foci and fibrospheres. Analyses of gene expression in densely growing Taf4−/− MEFs revealed repression of the Hippo pathway and activation of Wnt signalling. The Hippo activator Kibra/Wwc1 is repressed under dense conditions in Taf4−/− MEFs, leading to nuclear accumulation of the proliferation factor YAP1 in the cells forming 3D foci. At the same time, Wnt9a is activated and the Sfrp2 antagonist of Wnt signalling is repressed. Surprisingly, treatment of Taf4−/− MEFs with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) restores contact inhibition suppressing 3D growth. ATRA represses Col6a3 expression independently of TAF4 expression and Col6a3 silencing is sufficient to restore contact inhibition in Taf4−/− MEFs and to suppress 3D growth by reactivating Kibra expression to induce Hippo signalling and by inducing Sfrp2 expression to antagonize Wnt signalling. All together, these results reveal a critical role for Col6a3 in regulating both Hippo and Wnt signalling to promote 3D growth, and show that the TFIID subunit TAF4 is essential to restrain the growth promoting properties of Col6a3. Our data provide new insight into the role of extra cellular matrix components in regulating cell growth. PMID:24498316

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Interdomain conformational changes in Akt activation revealed by chemical cross-linking and tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bill X; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2006-06-01

    Akt, a serine/threonine kinase, plays a critical role in cell survival. Upon growth factor receptor stimulation, cytosolic Akt is recruited to the plasma membrane by phospholipid binding and activated through phosphorylation at Thr(308) and Ser(473). Although crystal structures for the parts of Akt have been reported, neither the three-dimensional structure of the whole molecule nor sequential conformational changes during activation have been demonstrated. In this study, we demonstrated that Akt undergoes dramatic interdomain conformational changes during activation processes by probing the three-dimensional structure of full-length Akt in solution using chemical cross-linking and tandem mass spectrometry. The cross-linking results not only provided new structural information but also revealed distinctive spatial arrangements of individual domains in the Akt molecule in resting, membrane-interacted, phosphorylated, and substrate-bound states. Our data allowed a new model for stepwise interdomain conformational changes in Akt activation sequence, setting a stage for the further investigation on Akt-membrane, Akt-protein, and/or Akt-drug interactions in solution to understand molecular mechanisms involved in physiological and pathophysiological processes of cell survival. PMID:16531397

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:24316230

  6. A Simple Test of Class-Level Genetic Association Can Reveal Novel Cardiometabolic Trait Loci

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Jing; Nunez, Sara; Reed, Eric; Reilly, Muredach P.; Foulkes, Andrea S.

    2016-01-01

    Background Characterizing the genetic determinants of complex diseases can be further augmented by incorporating knowledge of underlying structure or classifications of the genome, such as newly developed mappings of protein-coding genes, epigenetic marks, enhancer elements and non-coding RNAs. Methods We apply a simple class-level testing framework, termed Genetic Class Association Testing (GenCAT), to identify protein-coding gene association with 14 cardiometabolic (CMD) related traits across 6 publicly available genome wide association (GWA) meta-analysis data resources. GenCAT uses SNP-level meta-analysis test statistics across all SNPs within a class of elements, as well as the size of the class and its unique correlation structure, to determine if the class is statistically meaningful. The novelty of findings is evaluated through investigation of regional signals. A subset of findings are validated using recently updated, larger meta-analysis resources. A simulation study is presented to characterize overall performance with respect to power, control of family-wise error and computational efficiency. All analysis is performed using the GenCAT package, R version 3.2.1. Results We demonstrate that class-level testing complements the common first stage minP approach that involves individual SNP-level testing followed by post-hoc ascribing of statistically significant SNPs to genes and loci. GenCAT suggests 54 protein-coding genes at 41 distinct loci for the 13 CMD traits investigated in the discovery analysis, that are beyond the discoveries of minP alone. An additional application to biological pathways demonstrates flexibility in defining genetic classes. Conclusions We conclude that it would be prudent to include class-level testing as standard practice in GWA analysis. GenCAT, for example, can be used as a simple, complementary and efficient strategy for class-level testing that leverages existing data resources, requires only summary level data in the form

  7. Suppression of voluntary motor activity revealed using transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex in man.

    PubMed Central

    Davey, N J; Romaiguère, P; Maskill, D W; Ellaway, P H

    1994-01-01

    1. Suppression of voluntary muscle activity of hand and arm muscles in response to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex has been investigated in man. 2. Suppression could be elicited by low levels of TMS without any prior excitatory response. The latency of the suppression was 3-8 ms longer than the excitation observed at a higher stimulus intensity. The duration of the suppression ranged from 8 to 26 ms. 3. A circular stimulating coil was used to determine threshold intensity for excitation and suppression of contraction of thenar muscles in response to TMS at different locations over the motor cortex. The locations for lowest threshold excitation coincided with those for lowest threshold suppression. Suppression was elicited at a lower threshold than excitation at all locations. 4. A figure-of-eight stimulating coil was positioned over the left motor cortex at the lowest threshold point for excitation of the right thenar muscles. The orientation for the lowest threshold excitatory and inhibitory responses was the same for all subjects. That orientation induced a stimulating current travelling in an antero-medial direction. Suppression was invariably elicited at lower thresholds than excitation. 5. When antagonistic muscles (second and third dorsal interosseus) were co-contracted, TMS evoked coincident suppression of voluntary EMG in the two muscles without prior excitation of either muscle. This suggests that the suppression is not mediated via corticospinal activation of spinal interneurones. 6. Test responses to electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord were evoked in both relaxed and activated thenar muscles. In the relaxed muscle, prior TMS at an intensity that would suppress voluntary activity failed to influence the test responses, suggesting absence of inhibition at a spinal level. However, in the activated muscle, prior TMS could reduce the test response. This may be explained by disfacilitation of motoneurones due to

  8. Energy-efficiency testing activities of the Mobile Energy Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, G.B.

    1991-01-01

    This report summarizes energy-efficiency testing activities during the first and second quarters of fiscal year 1990 applying the Mobile Energy Laboratory (MEL) testing capabilities. Four MELs, developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), are administered by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) for energy testing and program support functions at federal facilities. The using agencies principally fund MEL applications, while DOE/FEMP funds program administration and capability enhancement activities. This report fulfills the requirements established in the MEL Use Plan (PNL-6861) for semiannual reporting on energy-efficiency testing activities using the MEL capabilities. The MEL Use Committee, formally established in 1989, developed the MEL Use Plan and meets semiannually to establish priorities for energy-efficient testing applications using the MEL capabilities.

  9. On the way of revealing coactivator complexes cross-talk during transcriptional activation.

    PubMed

    Krasnov, Aleksey N; Mazina, Marina Yu; Nikolenko, Julia V; Vorobyeva, Nadezhda E

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional activation is a complex, multistage process implemented by hundreds of proteins. Many transcriptional proteins are organized into coactivator complexes, which participate in transcription regulation at numerous genes and are a driver of this process. The molecular action mechanisms of coactivator complexes remain largely understudied. Relevant publications usually deal with the involvement of these complexes in the entire process of transcription, and only a few studies are aimed to elucidate their functions at its particular stages. This review summarizes available information on the participation of key coactivator complexes in transcriptional activation. The timing of coactivator complex binding/removal has been used for restructuring previously described information about the transcriptional process. Several major stages of transcriptional activation have been distinguished based on the presence of covalent histone modifications and general transcriptional factors, and the recruitment and/or removal phases have been determined for each coactivator included in analysis. Recruitment of Mediator, SWItch/Sucrose Non-Fermentable and NUcleosome Remodeling Factor complexes during transcription activation has been investigated thoroughly; CHD and INOsitol auxotrophy 80 families are less well studied. In most cases, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the removal of certain coactivator complexes after the termination of their functions at the promoters are still not understood. On the basis of the summarized information, we propose a scheme that illustrates the involvement of coactivator complexes in different stages of the transcription activation process. This scheme may help to gain a deeper insight into the molecular mechanism of functioning of coactivator complexes, find novel participants of the process, and reveal novel structural or functional connections between different coactivators. PMID:26913181

  10. Identification of Chronic Stress Activated Regions Reveals a Potential Recruited Circuit in Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Flak, Jonathan N.; Solomon, Matia B.; Jankord, Ryan; Krause, Eric G.; Herman, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic stress induces pre-synaptic and post-synaptic modifications in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) that are consistent with enhanced excitatory hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis drive. The brain regions mediating these molecular modifications are not known. We hypothesized that chronic variable stress (CVS) tonically activates stress-excitatory regions that interact with the PVN, culminating in stress facilitation. In order to identify chronically activated brain regions, ΔFosB, a documented marker of tonic neuronal activation, was assessed in known stress regulatory limbic and brainstem sites. Four experimental groups were included: CVS, repeated restraint (RR) (control for HPA habituation), animals weight-matched (WM) to CVS animals (control for changes in circulating metabolic factors due to reduced weight gain), and non-handled controls. CVS, but not RR or WM, induced adrenal hypertrophy, indicating that sustained HPA axis drive only occurred in the CVS group. CVS (but not RR or WM) selectively increased the number of FosB/ΔFosB nuclei in the nucleus of the solitary tract, posterior hypothalamic nucleus, and both the infralimbic and prelimbic divisions of the medial prefrontal cortex, indicating an involvement of these regions in chronic drive of the HPA axis. Increases in FosB/ΔFosB-immunoreactive cells were observed following both RR and CVS in the other regions (e.g., the dorsomedial hypothalamus), suggesting activation by both habituating and non-habituating stress conditions. The data suggest that unpredictable stress uniquely activates interconnected cortical, hypothalamic, and brainstem nuclei, potentially revealing the existence of a recruited circuitry mediating chronic drive of brain stress effector systems. PMID:22789020

  11. 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. PMID:25278250

  12. 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

  13. Comparative Proteomic Analysis Reveals Activation of Mucosal Innate Immune Signaling Pathways during Cholera

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25561705

  14. 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. PMID:25561705

  15. Implicit and Explicit Tests of Odor Memory Reveal Different Outcomes Following Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, Richard J.; Case, Trevor I.; Boakes, Robert A.

    2005-01-01

    Experiencing two odors as a mixture can later increase their perceived similarity when presented separately. Such an increase in similarity can be used as an implicit measure of how well participants remember the mixture. Three experiments tested the resistance to interference of this effect by first giving participants exposure to two 2-odor…

  16. Mental Imagery as Revealed by Eye Movements and Spoken Predicates: A Test of Neurolinguistic Programming.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elich, Matthew; And Others

    1985-01-01

    Tested Bandler and Grinder's proposal that eye movement direction and spoken predicates are indicative of sensory modality of imagery. Subjects reported images in the three modes, but no relation between imagery and eye movements or predicates was found. Visual images were most vivid and often reported. Most subjects rated themselves as visual,…

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-11-01

    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 [(18)F]BR-351 showed MMP activity within the first days after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo), followed by increased [(18)F]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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Timing of posterior parahippocampal gyrus activity reveals multiple scene processing stages.

    PubMed

    Bastin, Julien; Committeri, Giorgia; Kahane, Philippe; Galati, Gaspare; Minotti, Lorella; Lachaux, Jean-Philippe; Berthoz, Alain

    2013-06-01

    Posterior parahippocampal gyrus (PPHG) is strongly involved during scene recognition and spatial cognition. How PPHG electrophysiological activity could underlie these functions, and whether they share similar timing mechanisms is unknown. We addressed this question in two intracerebral experiments which revealed that PPHG neural activity dissociated an early stimulus-driven effect (>200 and <500 ms) and a late task-related effect (>600 and <800 ms). Strongest PPHG gamma band (50-150 Hz) activities were found early when subjects passively viewed scenes (scene selectivity effect) and lately when they had to estimate the position of an object relative to the environment (allocentric effect). Based on single trial analyses, we were able to predict when patients viewed scenes (compared to other visual categories) and when they performed allocentric judgments (compared to other spatial judgments). The anatomical location corresponding to the strongest effects was in the depth of the collateral sulcus. Our findings directly affect current theories of visual scene processing and spatial orientation by providing new timing constraints and by demonstrating the existence of separable information processing stages in the functionally defined parahippocampal place area. PMID:22287281

  3. Launch Deployment Assembly Extravehicular Activity Neutral Buoyancy Development Test Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loughead, T.

    1996-01-01

    This test evaluated the Launch Deployment Assembly (LDA) design for Extravehicular Activity (EVA) work sites (setup, igress, egress), reach and visual access, and translation required for cargo item removal. As part of the LDA design, this document describes the method and results of the LDA EVA Neutral Buoyancy Development Test to ensure that the LDA hardware support the deployment of the cargo items from the pallet. This document includes the test objectives, flight and mockup hardware description, descriptions of procedures and data collection used in the testing, and the results of the development test at the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Neutral Buoyancy Simulator (NBS).

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:24921648

  8. Core Microbial Functional Activities in Ocean Environments Revealed by Global Metagenomic Profiling Analyses

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24921648

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2008-03-01

    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-alpha, but not IL-1beta or lymphotoxin-alpha (LT-alpha), induced adherence of platelets to cerebrovascular endothelium. Peak platelet adhesion was found 12 h after TNF-alpha 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

  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. Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals how calmodulin activates NO synthase by controlling its conformational fluctuation dynamics

    PubMed Central

    He, Yufan; Haque, Mohammad Mahfuzul; Stuehr, Dennis J.; Lu, H. Peter

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms that regulate the nitric oxide synthase enzymes (NOS) are of interest in biology and medicine. Although NOS catalysis relies on domain motions, and is activated by calmodulin binding, the relationships are unclear. We used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy to elucidate the conformational states distribution and associated conformational fluctuation dynamics of the two electron transfer domains in a FRET dye-labeled neuronal NOS reductase domain, and to understand how calmodulin affects the dynamics to regulate catalysis. We found that calmodulin alters NOS conformational behaviors in several ways: It changes the distance distribution between the NOS domains, shortens the lifetimes of the individual conformational states, and instills conformational discipline by greatly narrowing the distributions of the conformational states and fluctuation rates. This information was specifically obtainable only by single-molecule spectroscopic measurements, and reveals how calmodulin promotes catalysis by shaping the physical and temporal conformational behaviors of NOS. PMID:26311846

  13. Single-molecule spectroscopy reveals how calmodulin activates NO synthase by controlling its conformational fluctuation dynamics.

    PubMed

    He, Yufan; Haque, Mohammad Mahfuzul; Stuehr, Dennis J; Lu, H Peter

    2015-09-22

    Mechanisms that regulate the nitric oxide synthase enzymes (NOS) are of interest in biology and medicine. Although NOS catalysis relies on domain motions, and is activated by calmodulin binding, the relationships are unclear. We used single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy to elucidate the conformational states distribution and associated conformational fluctuation dynamics of the two electron transfer domains in a FRET dye-labeled neuronal NOS reductase domain, and to understand how calmodulin affects the dynamics to regulate catalysis. We found that calmodulin alters NOS conformational behaviors in several ways: It changes the distance distribution between the NOS domains, shortens the lifetimes of the individual conformational states, and instills conformational discipline by greatly narrowing the distributions of the conformational states and fluctuation rates. This information was specifically obtainable only by single-molecule spectroscopic measurements, and reveals how calmodulin promotes catalysis by shaping the physical and temporal conformational behaviors of NOS. PMID:26311846

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

    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. PMID:16511113

  16. Electrophilic activity-based RNA probes reveal a self-alkylating RNA for RNA labeling

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Richard I.; Guilinger, John P.; Mukherji, Shankar; Curtis, Edward A.; Lee, Won I.; Liu, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Probes that form covalent bonds with RNA molecules based on their chemical reactivity would advance our ability to study the transcriptome. We developed a set of electrophilic activity-based RNA probes designed to react with unusually nucleophilic RNAs. We used these probes to identify reactive genome-encoded RNAs, resulting in the discovery of a 42-nt catalytic RNA from an archaebacterium that reacts with a 2,3-disubstituted epoxide at N7 of a specific guanosine. Detailed characterization of the catalytic RNA revealed the structural requirements for reactivity. We developed this catalytic RNA into a general tool to selectively conjugate a small molecule to an RNA of interest. This strategy enabled up to 500-fold enrichment of target RNA from total mammalian RNA or from cell lysate. We demonstrated the utility of this approach by selectively capturing proteins in yeast cell lysate that bind to the ASH1 mRNA. PMID:25306441

  17. Predicting Work Activities with Divergent Thinking Tests: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clapham, Maria M.; Cowdery, Edwina M.; King, Kelly E.; Montang, Melissa A.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined whether divergent thinking test scores obtained from engineering students during college predicted creative work activities fifteen years later. Results showed that a subscore of the "Owens Creativity Test", which assesses divergent thinking about mechanical objects, correlated significantly with self-ratings of creative work…

  18. Multigene phylogeny and mating tests reveal three cryptic species related to Calonectria pauciramosa

    PubMed Central

    Lombard, L.; Crous, P.W.; Wingfield, B.D.; Wingfield, M.J.

    2010-01-01

    Calonectria pauciramosa is a pathogen of numerous plant hosts worldwide. Recent studies have indicated that it included cryptic species, some of which are identified in this study. Isolates from various geographical origins were collected and compared based on morphology, DNA sequence data of the β-tubulin, histone H3 and translation elongation factor-1α regions and mating compatibility. Comparisons of the DNA sequence data and mating compatibility revealed three new species. These included Ca. colombiana sp. nov. from Colombia, Ca. polizzii sp. nov. from Italy and Ca. zuluensis sp. nov. from South Africa, all of which had distinguishing morphological features. Based on DNA sequence data, Ca. brasiliensis is also elevated to species level. PMID:20806004

  19. Identification of β-hematin inhibitors in a high-throughput screening effort reveals scaffolds with in vitro antimalarial activity

    PubMed Central

    Sandlin, Rebecca D.; Fong, Kim Y.; Wicht, Kathryn J.; Carrell, Holly M.; Egan, Timothy J.; Wright, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of drug resistant strains of Plasmodium spp. creates a critical need for the development of novel antimalarials. Formation of hemozoin, a crystalline heme detoxification process vital to parasite survival serves as an important drug target. The quinoline antimalarials including chloroquine and amodiaquine owe their antimalarial activity to inhibition of hemozoin formation. Though in vivo formation of hemozoin occurs within the presence of neutral lipids, the lipophilic detergent NP-40 was previously shown to serve as a surrogate in the β-hematin (synthetic hemozoin) formation process. Consequently, an NP-40 mediated β-hematin formation assay was developed for use in high-throughput screening. Here, the assay was utilized to screen 144,330 compounds for the identification of inhibitors of crystallization, resulting in 530 hits. To establish the effectiveness of these target-based β-hematin inhibitors against Plasmodiumfalciparum, each hit was further tested in cultures of parasitized red blood cells. This effort revealed that 171 of the β-hematin inhibitors are also active against the parasite. Dose–response data identified 73 of these β-hematin inhibitors have IC50 values ⩽5 μM, including 25 compounds with nanomolar activity against P. falciparum. A scaffold-based analysis of this data identified 14 primary scaffolds that represent 46% of the 530 total hits. Representative compounds from each of the classes were further assessed for hemozoin inhibitory activity in P. falciparum infected human erythrocytes. Each of the hit compounds tested were found to be positive inhibitors, while a negative control did not perturb this biological pathway in culture. PMID:25516843

  20. Subtle Cognitive Dysfunction in Resolving High Altitude Cerebral Edema Revealed by a Clock Drawing Test.

    PubMed

    Quigley, Ian; Zafren, Ken

    2016-06-01

    High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) is a life-threatening condition that can affect people who ascend to altitudes above 2500 m. Altered mental status and the presence of ataxia distinguishes HACE from acute mountain sickness (AMS). We describe a patient with subtle cognitive dysfunction, likely due to HACE that had not fully resolved. When he initially presented, the patient appeared to have normal mental status and was not ataxic. The diagnosis of HACE was missed initially but was made when further history became available. Cognitive dysfunction was then diagnosed based on abnormal performance of a clock drawing test. A formal mental status examination, using a clock drawing test, may be helpful in assessing whether a patient at high altitude with apparently normal mental status and with normal gait has HACE. PMID:26874815

  1. The dJ/dS Ratio Test Reveals Hundreds of Novel Putative Cancer Drivers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Han; Xing, Ke; He, Xionglei

    2015-08-01

    Computational tools with a balanced sensitivity and specificity in identification of candidate cancer drivers are highly desired. In this study, we propose a new statistical test, namely the dJ/dS ratio test, to compute the relative mutation rate of exon/intron junction sites (dJ) to synonymous sites (dS); observation of dJ/dS ratio larger than 1 in cancer indicates positive selection for splicing deregulation, a signature of cancer driver genes. Using this method, we analyzed the data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and identified hundreds of novel putative cancer drivers. Interestingly, these genes are highly enriched in biological processes related to the development and maintenance of multicellularity, paralleling a previous finding that cancer evolves back to be unicellular by knocking down the multicellularity-associated genetic network. PMID:25873590

  2. 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.

  3. Chronic Malaria Revealed by a New Fluorescence Pattern on the Antinuclear Autoantibodies Test

    PubMed Central

    Hommel, Benjamin; Charuel, Jean-Luc; Jaureguiberry, Stéphane; Arnaud, Laurent; Courtin, Regis; Kassab, Petra; Prendki, Virginie; Paris, Luc; Ghillani-Dalbin, Pascale; Thellier, Marc; Caumes, Eric; Amoura, Zahir; Mazier, Dominique; Musset, Lucile; Buffet, Pierre; Miyara, Makoto

    2014-01-01

    Background Several clinical forms of malaria such as chronic carriage, gestational malaria or hyper-reactive malarial splenomegaly may follow a cryptic evolution with afebrile chronic fatigue sometimes accompanied by anemia and/or splenomegaly. Conventional parasitological tests are often negative or not performed, and severe complications may occur. Extensive explorations of these conditions often include the search for antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA). Methods We analysed fluorescence patterns in the ANA test in patients with either chronic cryptic or acute symptomatic malaria, then conducted a one-year prospective study at a single hospital on all available sera drawn for ANA detections. We then identified autoantibodies differentially expressed in malaria patients and in controls using human protein microarray. Results We uncovered and defined a new, malaria-related, nucleo-cytoplasmic ANA pattern displaying the specific association of a nuclear speckled pattern with diffuse cytoplasmic perinuclearly-enhanced fluorescence. In the one-year prospective analysis, 79% of sera displaying this new nucleo-cytoplasmic fluorescence were from patients with malaria. This specific pattern, not seen in other parasitic diseases, allowed a timely reorientation of the diagnosis toward malaria. To assess if the autoantibody immune response was due to autoreactivity or molecular mimicry we isolated 42 autoantigens, targets of malarial autoantibodies. BLAST analysis indicated that 23 of recognized autoantigens were homologous to plasmodial proteins suggesting autoimmune responses directly driven by the plasmodial infection. Conclusion In patients with malaria in whom parasitological tests have not been performed recognition of this new, malaria-related fluorescence pattern on the ANA test is highly suggestive of the diagnosis and triggers immediate, easy confirmation and adapted therapy. PMID:24551116

  4. A test revealing the slow acquisition and the dorsal stream substrate of visuo-spatial perception.

    PubMed

    Pisella, L; André, V; Gavault, E; Le Flem, A; Luc-Pupat, E; Glissoux, C; Barrière, A; Vindras, P; Rossetti, Y; Gonzalez-Monge, S

    2013-01-01

    We propose a battery of simple clinical tests to assess the development of elementary visuo-spatial perception. We postulate that most of the tasks we selected rely on the visual dorsal stream, although the dual-stream theory (Milner & Goodale, 1995) discards the role of the dorsal stream for visual perception. In order to test the contribution of this anatomical substrate in visuo-spatial perception, we evaluated the performance of two adult patients with acquired bilateral occipito-parietal (dorsal stream) damage. Additionally, the developmental evolution was assessed by testing 96 children from 4 to 12 years old (4 two-year age groups of 24 children). In order to determine the point at which children achieved adult performance, and to provide a control group for the two patients, we also tested a group of 14 healthy adults. The results highlighted the necessity for age-dependent normative values: adult performance was achieved only at the age of 8 for length and size comparisons and at 12 for dot localisation. In contrast, the ability to judge angles and midlines did not reach adult performance even in the oldest group of children, suggesting further acquisition through adolescence. Occipito-parietal lesions strongly and differentially affected elementary visuo-spatial tasks. In overall scores, the two adult patients were approximately at the level of 6-year olds, below the outlier limit of the adult group. They were on average within the adult interquartile range for processing length and size but clearly outside for the 4 other subtests (Angle, Midline, Position perception and Position selection). As a whole, these data both shed light on the neuroanatomical bases of visuo-spatial perception and allow for age-specific comparisons in children with developmental disorders potentially linked to visuo-spatial and/or attentional defects. PMID:23174400

  5. Simple F Test Reveals Gene-Gene Interactions in Case-Control Studies

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Guanjie; Yuan, Ao; Zhou, Jie; Bentley, Amy R.; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Rotimi, Charles N.

    2012-01-01

    Missing heritability is still a challenge for Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). Gene-gene interactions may partially explain this residual genetic influence and contribute broadly to complex disease. To analyze the gene-gene interactions in case-control studies of complex disease, we propose a simple, non-parametric method that utilizes the F-statistic. This approach consists of three steps. First, we examine the joint distribution of a pair of SNPs in cases and controls separately. Second, an F-test is used to evaluate the ratio of dependence in cases to that of controls. Finally, results are adjusted for multiple tests. This method was used to evaluate gene-gene interactions that are associated with risk of Type 2 Diabetes among African Americans in the Howard University Family Study. We identified 18 gene-gene interactions (P < 0.0001). Compared with the commonly-used logistical regression method, we demonstrate that the F-ratio test is an efficient approach to measuring gene-gene interactions, especially for studies with limited sample size. PMID:22837643

  6. 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

  7. Associative symmetry of the memory for object-location associations as revealed by the testing effect.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Tobias; Schoell, Eszter; Büchel, Christian

    2008-06-01

    The nature of episodic associations has been subject to a long standing debate, where the two opposing positions postulate associations as either a holistic representation of the constituent elements or as independently modifiable pointers between them. In spite of a history of inconsistent findings, evidence in favour of the theory of symmetric associations has accumulated, yet only for verbal memory [Caplan, J. B., Glaholt, M. G., & McIntosh, A. R. (2006). Linking associative and serial list memory: Pairs versus triples. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32(6), 1244-1265; Kahana, M. J. (2002). Associative symmetry and memory theory. Memory and Cognition, 30(6), 823-840]. Although object-location associations differ in several fundamental characteristics from verbal paired-associates, we recently found associative symmetry in the memory for this class of associations as well [Sommer, T., Rose, M., & Büchel, C. (2007). Associative symmetry vs. independent associations in the memory for object-location associations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33(1), 90-106]. Due to the inconsistencies in the verbal literature, we felt it to be pertinent to confirm this finding using another experimental approach. Based on recent advances in understanding the effects of successive testing, we were able to make use of this knowledge and introduce this effect as an experimental manipulation in the study of associative symmetry. In particular, we investigated whether the influence of a prior memory test on a subsequent memory test differs when the same or opposite constituent element of an object-location paired-associate cues the retrieval on each test. We observed an identical testing effect for both conditions, which was exclusively driven by reminiscence, the recovery of previously inaccessible information. This finding lends strong support in favour of holistically or symmetrically represented object

  8. Physical Activity and Cervical Cancer Testing among American Indian Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muus, Kyle J.; Baker-Demaray, Twyla B.; Bogart, T. Andy; Duncan, Glen E.; Jacobsen, Clemma; Buchwald, Dedra S.; Henderson, Jeffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Studies have shown that women who engage in high levels of physical activity have higher rates of cancer screening, including Papanicalaou (Pap) tests. Because American Indian (AI) women are at high risk for cervical cancer morbidity and mortality, we examined Pap screening prevalence and assessed whether physical activity was associated…

  9. Effects of Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity on Mathematics Test Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, David S.; Hannon, James C.; Castelli, Darla M.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of an acute bout of physical activity on academic performance in school-based settings is under researched. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between a single, vigorous (70-85%) bout of physical activity completed during physical education on standardized mathematics test performance among 72, eighth grade students…

  10. Active Protection of an MgB2 Test Coil

    PubMed Central

    Park, Dong Keun; Hahn, Seungyong; Bascuñán, Juan; Iwasa, Yukikazu

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents results of a study, experimental and computational, of a detect-and-activate-the-heater protection technique applied to a magnesium diboride (MgB2) test coil operated in semi-persistent mode. The test coil with a winding ID of 25 cm and wound with ~500-m long reacted MgB2 wire was operated at 4.2 K immersed in a bath of liquid helium. In this active technique, upon the initiation of a “hot spot” of a length ~10 cm, induced by a “quench heater,” a “protection heater” (PH) of ~600-cm long planted within the test coil is activated. The normal zone created by the PH is large enough to absorb the test coil’s entire initial stored energy and still keeps the peak temperature within the winding below ~260 K. PMID:22081754

  11. Potential genotoxic effects of melted snow from an urban area revealed by the Allium cepa test.

    PubMed

    Blagojević, Jelena; Stamenković, Gorana; Vujosević, Mladen

    2009-09-01

    The presence of well-known atmospheric pollutants is regularly screened for in large towns but knowledge about the effects of mixtures of different pollutants and especially their genotoxic potential is largely missing. Since falling snow collects pollutants from the air, melted snow samples could be suitable for evaluating potential genotoxicity. For this purpose the Allium cepa anaphase-telophase test was used to analyse melted snow samples from Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia. Samples of snow were taken at two sites, characterized by differences in pollution intensity, in three successive years. At the more polluted site the analyses showed a very high degree of both toxicity and genotoxicity in the first year of the study corresponding to the effects of the known mutagen used as the positive control. At the other site the situation was much better but not without warning signals. The results showed that standard analyses for the presence of certain contaminants in the air do not give an accurate picture of the possible consequences of urban air pollution because the genotoxic potential remains hidden. The A. cepa test has been demonstrated to be very convenient for evaluation of air pollution through analyses of melted snow samples. PMID:19589556

  12. Differential proteome and gene expression reveal response to carbon ion irradiation in pubertal mice testes.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongyan; He, Yuxuan; Zhang, Hong; Miao, Guoying

    2014-03-21

    Heavy ion radiation, a high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation, has been shown to have adverse effects on reproduction in male mice. The aim of this study was to profile and investigate the differentially expressed proteins in pubertal male mice testes following carbon ion radiation (CIR). Male mice underwent whole-body irradiation with CIR (1 and 4 Gy), and MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis was used to investigate the alteration in protein expression in 2-DE (two-dimensional gel electrophoresis) gels of testes caused by irradiation after 14 days. 8 differentially expressed proteins were identified and these proteins were mainly involved in energy supply, the endoplasmic reticulum, cell proliferation, cell cycle, antioxidant capacity and mitochondrial respiration, which play important roles in the inhibition of testicular function in response to CIR. Furthermore, we confirmed the relationship between transcription of mRNA and the abundance of proteins. Our results indicated that these proteins may lead to new insights into the molecular mechanism of CIR toxicity, and suggested that the gene expression response to CIR involves diverse regulatory mechanisms from transcription of mRNA to the formation of functional proteins. PMID:24440814

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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

  15. 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

  16. Structural characterization reveals the keratinolytic activity of an arthrobacter nicotinovorans protease.

    PubMed

    Sone, Teruo; Haraguchi, Yumiko; Kuwahara, Aki; Ose, Toyoyuki; Takano, Megumi; Abe, Ayumi; Tanaka, Michiko; Tanaka, Isao; Asano, Kozo

    2015-01-01

    Elevated cadmium (Cd) concentrations in fishery byproducts are an environmental concern, that might be reduced by enzymatic removal and adsorption of the contaminants during recycling the byproducts as animal food. We cloned the gene for Arthrobacter nicotinovorans serine protease (ANISEP), which was isolated from the hepatopancreas of the Japanese scallop (Patiopecten yessoensis) and has been found to be an effective enzyme for Cd(II) removal. The gene is 993 bp in length and encodes 330 amino acids, including the pre (1-30) and pro (31-111) sequences. The catalytic triad consists of His, Asp, and Ser. Sequence similarities indicate that ANISEP is a extracellular serine protease. X-ray crystallography revealed structural similarities between ANISEP and the trypsin-like serine protease NAALP from Nesterenkonia sp. Site-directed mutagenesis identified Ser171 as catalytic residue. The keratinolytic activity of ANISEP was 10-fold greater than that of trypsin. ANISEP digested Cd(II)-bound recombinant metallothionein MT-10a from Laternula elliptica, but did not release Cd. These results further suggest ANISEP is a trypsin-like serine protease that can release Cd from the Japanese scallop hepatopancreas because of its strong keratinolytic activity. PMID:25256266

  17. 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

  18. Structure analysis reveals the flexibility of the ADAMTS-5 active site.

    PubMed

    Shieh, Huey-Sheng; Tomasselli, Alfredo G; Mathis, Karl J; Schnute, Mark E; Woodard, Scott S; Caspers, Nicole; Williams, Jennifer M; Kiefer, James R; Munie, Grace; Wittwer, Arthur; Malfait, Anne-Marie; Tortorella, Micky D

    2011-04-01

    A ((1S,2R)-2-hydroxy-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-yl) succinamide derivative (here referred to as Compound 12) shows significant activity toward many matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), including MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-13. Modeling studies had predicted that this compound would not bind to ADAMTS-5 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-5) due to its shallow S1' pocket. However, inhibition analysis revealed it to be a nanomolar inhibitor of both ADAMTS-4 and -5. The observed inconsistency was explained by analysis of crystallographic structures, which showed that Compound 12 in complex with the catalytic domain of ADAMTS-5 (cataTS5) exhibits an unusual conformation in the S1' pocket of the protein. This first demonstration that cataTS5 can undergo an induced conformational change in its active site pocket by a molecule like Compound 12 should enable the design of new aggrecanase inhibitors with better potency and selectivity profiles. PMID:21370305

  19. Neuroinformatics analyses reveal GABAt and SSADH as major proteins involved in anticonvulsant activity of valproic acid.

    PubMed

    Piplani, Sakshi; Verma, Prabhakar Kumar; Kumar, Ajit

    2016-07-01

    The unequivocal hypotheses about anticonvulsant activity of valproic acid (VPA) have always been a basic hurdle in designing next generation neurotherapeutics, particularly the anti-epileptic drugs. The present study reports about a comprehensive in-silico investigation into qualitative and quantitative binding of VPA and corresponding natural ligands of four major enzymes involved in neurotransmissions, namely-GABA transaminase (GABAt), α-keto glutarate dehydrogenase (α-KGDH), Succinate Semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) and Glutamate Decarboxylase (GAD), respectively. The molecular docking analyses revealed that VPA inhibits GABAt and α-KGDH through allosteric while SSADH through competitive mode of binding. There is an observed elevation in binding of glutamate over GAD in the presence of VPA. The docking inhibition constant (Ki) of VPA to all the studied enzymatic receptors were observed to be well below the therapeutic concentration of VPA in blood, except for α-KGDH, thus favouring GABAergic over glutamatergic mode of anticonvulsant activity of VPA. The report is probably the first comprehensive in-silico molecular study about VPA action. PMID:27261619

  20. 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.

  1. Active control rotor model testing at Princeton's Rotorcraft Dynamics Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckillip, Robert M., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    A description of the model helicopter rotor tests currently in progress at Princeton's Rotorcraft Dynamics Laboratory is presented. The tests are designed to provide data for rotor dynamic modeling for use with active control system design. The model rotor to be used incoporates the capability for Individual Blade Control (IBC) or Higher Harmonic Control through the use of a standard swashplate on a three bladed hub. Sample results from the first series of tests are presented, along with the methodology used for state and parameter identification. Finally, pending experiments and possible research directions using this model and test facility are outlined.

  2. PDC Bit Testing at Sandia Reveals Influence of Chatter in Hard-Rock Drilling

    SciTech Connect

    RAYMOND,DAVID W.

    1999-10-14

    Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits have yet to be routinely applied to drilling the hard-rock formations characteristic of geothermal reservoirs. Most geothermal production wells are currently drilled with tungsten-carbide-insert roller-cone bits. PDC bits have significantly improved penetration rates and bit life beyond roller-cone bits in the oil and gas industry where soft to medium-hard rock types are encountered. If PDC bits could be used to double current penetration rates in hard rock geothermal well-drilling costs could be reduced by 15 percent or more. PDC bits exhibit reasonable life in hard-rock wear testing using the relatively rigid setups typical of laboratory testing. Unfortunately, field experience indicates otherwise. The prevailing mode of failure encountered by PDC bits returning from hard-rock formations in the field is catastrophic, presumably due to impact loading. These failures usually occur in advance of any appreciable wear that might dictate cutter replacement. Self-induced bit vibration, or ''chatter'', is one of the mechanisms that may be responsible for impact damage to PDC cutters in hard-rock drilling. Chatter is more severe in hard-rock formations since they induce significant dynamic loading on the cutter elements. Chatter is a phenomenon whereby the drillstring becomes dynamically unstable and excessive sustained vibrations occur. Unlike forced vibration, the force (i.e., weight on bit) that drives self-induced vibration is coupled with the response it produces. Many of the chatter principles derived in the machine tool industry are applicable to drilling. It is a simple matter to make changes to a machine tool to study the chatter phenomenon. This is not the case with drilling. Chatter occurs in field drilling due to the flexibility of the drillstring. Hence, laboratory setups must be made compliant to observe chatter.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Angiogenesis Interactome and Time Course Microarray Data Reveal the Distinct Activation Patterns in Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Liang-Hui; Lee, Esak; Bader, Joel S.; Popel, Aleksander S.

    2014-01-01

    Angiogenesis involves stimulation of endothelial cells (EC) by various cytokines and growth factors, but the signaling mechanisms are not completely understood. Combining dynamic gene expression time-course data for stimulated EC with protein-protein interactions associated with angiogenesis (the “angiome”) could reveal how different stimuli result in different patterns of network activation and could implicate signaling intermediates as points for control or intervention. We constructed the protein-protein interaction networks of positive and negative regulation of angiogenesis comprising 367 and 245 proteins, respectively. We used five published gene expression datasets derived from in vitro assays using different types of blood endothelial cells stimulated by VEGFA (vascular endothelial growth factor A). We used the Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM) to identify significant temporal gene expression profiles. The statistically significant patterns between 2D fibronectin and 3D type I collagen substrates for telomerase-immortalized EC (TIME) show that different substrates could influence the temporal gene activation patterns in the same cell line. We investigated the different activation patterns among 18 transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors, and experimentally measured the protein level of the tyrosine-kinase receptors VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 in human umbilical vein EC (HUVEC) and human microvascular EC (MEC). The results show that VEGFR1–VEGFR2 levels are more closely coupled than VEGFR1–VEGFR3 or VEGFR2–VEGFR3 in HUVEC and MEC. This computational methodology can be extended to investigate other molecules or biological processes such as cell cycle. PMID:25329517

  5. 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

  6. Extensive hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau basin revealed by ROV dives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Embley, R. W.; Resing, J. A.; Tebo, B.; Baker, E. T.; Butterfield, D. A.; Chadwick, B.; Davis, R.; de Ronde, C. E. J.; Lilley, M. D.; Lupton, J. E.; Merle, S. G.; Rubin, K. H.; Shank, T. M.; Walker, S. L.; Arculus, R. J.; Bobbitt, A. M.; Buck, N. J.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Crowhurst, P. V.; Mitchell, E.; Olson, E. J.; Ratmeyer, V.; Richards, S.; Roe, K. K.; Kenner-Chavis, P.; Martinez-Lyons, A.; Sheehan, C.; Brian, R.

    2014-12-01

    Dives with the QUEST 4000 ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) in September 2012 discovered nine hydrothermal sites in the arc and rear-arc region of the NE Lau Basin in 1150 m to 2630 m depth. These sites, originally detected by water column and seafloor surveys conducted in 2008-2011, include: (1) a paired sulfur-rich/black smoker field on the summit of a tectonically deformed magmatic arc volcano (Niua), (2) fracture-controlled black smoker venting on several small en echelon seamounts (north Matas) that lie between the magmatic arc and the backarc spreading center and (3) a magmatic degassing site on the summit of a dacite cone within a large (~12 km diameter) caldera volcano (Niuatahi). Dives at West Mata Seamount, which was undergoing strombolian volcanic activity and effusive rift-zone eruptions from 2008 to 2010, revealed a dormant volcanic phase in September 2012, with continued low-temperature diffuse venting. The high-temperature venting is likely driven by magmatic heat indicative of underlying partial melt zones and/or melt pockets distributed through the region. The occurrence of the youngest known boninite eruptions on the Mata volcanoes is consistent with subduction fluid flux melting extending into the rear-arc zone. Extension related to the transition from subduction to strike-slip motion of the northern Tonga Arc over the active Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault probably contributes to the enhanced volcanism/hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau Basin. Chemosynthetic ecosystems at these sites range from mostly motile, lower diversity ecosystems at the eruptive/magmatically-degassing sites to higher diversity ecosystems with less mobile faunal components at the black-smoker systems. The wide range of fluid chemistry, water depth and geologic settings of the hydrothermal systems in this area provides an intriguing template to study the interaction of hydrothermal fluid chemistry, chemosynthetic habitats and their geologic underpinning

  7. Hyperactive hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau basin revealed by ROV dives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Embley, R. W.; Resing, J. A.; Tebo, B.; Baker, E. T.; Butterfield, D. A.; Chadwick, B.; Davis, R.; de Ronde, C. E.; Lilley, M. D.; Lupton, J. E.; Merle, S. G.; Rubin, K. H.; Shank, T. M.; Walker, S. L.; Arculus, R. J.; Bobbitt, A. M.; Buck, N.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Crowhurst, P. V.; Mitchell, E.; Olson, E. J.; Ratmeyer, V.; Richards, S.; Roe, K. K.; Keener, P.; Martinez Lyons, A.; Sheehan, C.; Brian, R.

    2013-12-01

    Dives with the QUEST 4000 ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) in September 2012 discovered nine hydrothermal sites in the arc and rear-arc region of the NE Lau Basin in 1150 m to 2630 m depth. These sites, originally detected by water column and seafloor surveys conducted in 2008-2011, include: (1) a paired sulfur-rich/black smoker field on the summit of a tectonically deformed magmatic arc volcano (Niua), (2) fracture-controlled black smoker venting on several small en echelon seamounts (north Matas) that lie between the magmatic arc and the backarc spreading center and (3) a magmatic degassing site on the summit of a dacite cone within a large (~12 km diameter) caldera volcano (Niuatahi). Dives at West Mata Seamount, which was undergoing strombolian volcanic activity and effusive rift-zone eruptions from 2008 to 2010, revealed a dormant volcanic phase in September 2012, with continued low-temperature diffuse venting. The high-temperature venting is likely driven by magmatic heat indicative of underlying partial melt zones and/or melt pockets distributed through the region. The occurrence of the youngest known boninite eruptions on the Mata volcanoes is consistent with subduction fluid flux melting extending into the rear-arc zone. Extension related to the transition from subduction to strike-slip motion of the northern Tonga Arc over the active Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) fault probably contributes to the enhanced volcanism/hydrothermal activity in the NE Lau Basin. Chemosynthetic ecosystems at these sites range from mostly motile, lower diversity ecosystems at the eruptive/magmatically-degassing sites to higher diversity ecosystems with less mobile faunal components at the black-smoker systems. The wide range of fluid chemistry, water depth and geologic settings of the hydrothermal systems in this area provides an intriguing template to study the interaction of hydrothermal fluid chemistry, chemosynthetic habitats and their geologic underpinning

  8. U.S. Department of Energy -- Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Testing and Demonstration Activities

    SciTech Connect

    James E. Francfort; Donald Karner; John G. Smart

    2009-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA) tests plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in closed track, dynamometer and onroad testing environments. The onroad testing includes the use of dedicated drivers on repeated urban and highway driving cycles that range from 10 to 200 miles, with recharging between each loop. Fleet demonstrations with onboard data collectors are also ongoing with PHEVs operating in several dozen states and Canadian Provinces, during which trips- and miles-per-charge, charging demand and energy profiles, and miles-per-gallon and miles-per-kilowatt-hour fuel use results are all documented, allowing an understanding of fuel use when vehicles are operated in charge depleting, charge sustaining, and mixed charge modes. The intent of the PHEV testing includes documenting the petroleum reduction potential of the PHEV concept, the infrastructure requirements, and operator recharging influences and profiles. As of May 2008, the AVTA has conducted track and dynamometer testing on six PHEV conversion models and fleet testing on 70 PHEVs representing nine PHEV conversion models. A total of 150 PHEVs will be in fleet testing by the end of 2008, all with onboard data loggers. The onroad testing to date has demonstrated 100+ miles per gallon results in mostly urban applications for approximately the first 40 miles of PHEV operations. The primary goal of the AVTA is to provide advanced technology vehicle performance benchmark data for technology modelers, research and development programs, and technology goal setters. The AVTA testing results also assist fleet managers in making informed vehicle purchase, deployment and operating decisions. The AVTA is part of DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program. These AVTA testing activities are conducted by the Idaho National Laboratory and Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation, with Argonne National Laboratory providing dynamometer testing support. The proposed paper

  9. Apoptotic human neutrophil peptide-1 anti-tumor activity revealed by cellular biomechanics.

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Diana; Freire, João M; Pacheco, Teresa R; Barata, João T; Castanho, Miguel A R B

    2015-02-01

    Cancer remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although progress has been made regarding chemotherapeutic agents, new therapies that combine increased selectivity and efficacy with low resistance are still needed. In the search for new anticancer agents, therapies based on biologically active peptides, in particular, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), have attracted attention for their decreased resistance development and low cytotoxicity. Many AMPs have proved to be tumoricidal agents against human cancer cells, but their mode of action is still controversial. The existence of common properties shared by the membranes of bacteria and tumor cells points to similar lipid-targeting mechanisms in both cases. On the other hand, anticancer peptides (ACPs) also induce apoptosis and inhibit angiogenesis. Human neutrophil peptide-1 (HNP-1) is an endogenous AMP that has been implicated in different cellular phenomena such as tumor proliferation. The presence of HNP-1 in the serum/plasma of oncologic patients turns this peptide into a potential tumor biomarker. The present work reveals the different effects of HNP-1 on the biophysical and nanomechanical properties of solid and hematological tumor cells. Studies on cellular morphology, cellular stiffness, and membrane ultrastructure and charge using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and zeta potential measurements show a preferential binding of HNP-1 to solid tumor cells from human prostate adenocarcinoma when compared to human leukemia cells. AFM also reveals induction of apoptosis with cellular membrane defects at very low peptide concentrations. Understanding ACPs mode(s) of action will certainly open innovative pathways for drug development in cancer treatment. PMID:25447543

  10. 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.

  11. Odor-Specific Loss of Smell Sensitivity with Age as Revealed by the Specific Sensitivity Test.

    PubMed

    Seow, Yi-Xin; Ong, Peter K C; Huang, Dejian

    2016-07-01

    The perception of odor mixtures plays an important role in human food intake, behavior, and emotions. Decline of smell acuity with normal aging could impact food perception and preferences at various ages. However, since the landmark Smell Survey by National Geographic, little has been elucidated on differences in the onset and extent of loss in olfactory sensitivity toward single odorants. Here, using the Specific Sensitivity test, we show the onset and extent of loss in both identification and detection thresholds of odorants with age are odorant-specific. Subjects of Chinese descent in Singapore (186 women, 95 men), aged 21-80 years, were assessed for olfactory sensitivity of 10 odorants from various odor groups. Notably, subjects in their 70s required 179 times concentration of rose-like odorant (2-phenylethanol) than subjects in the 20s, while thresholds for onion-like 2-methyloxolane-3-thiol only differed by 3 times between the age groups. In addition, identification rate for 2-phenylethanol was negatively correlated with age throughout adult life whereas mushroom-like oct-1-en-3-ol was equally identified by subjects across all ages. Our results demonstrated the girth of differentiated olfactory loss due to normal ageing, which potentially affect overall perception and preferences of odor mixtures with age. PMID:27001718

  12. Genotypic Resistance Tests Sequences Reveal the Role of Marginalized Populations in HIV-1 Transmission in Switzerland

    PubMed Central

    Shilaih, Mohaned; Marzel, Alex; Yang, Wan Lin; Scherrer, Alexandra U.; Schüpbach, Jörg; Böni, Jürg; Yerly, Sabine; Hirsch, Hans H.; Aubert, Vincent; Cavassini, Matthias; Klimkait, Thomas; Vernazza, Pietro L.; Bernasconi, Enos; Furrer, Hansjakob; Günthard, Huldrych F.; Kouyos, Roger; Battegay, Manuel; Braun, Dominique; Bucher, Heiner; Burton-Jeangros, Claudine; Calmy, Alexandra; Dollenmaier, Günter; Egger, Matthias; Elzi, Luigia; Fehr, Jan; Fellay, Jaque; Fux, Christoph; Gorgievski, Meri; Haerry, David; Hasse, Barbara; Hoffmann, Matthias; Hösli, Irene; Kahlert, Christian; Kaiser, Laurent; Keiser, Olivia; Kovari, Helen; Ledergerber, Bruno; Martinetti, Gladys; de Tejada, Begoña Martinez; Marzolini, Catia; Metzner, Karin; Müller, Nicolas; Nadal, David; Nicca, Dunja; Pantaleo, Giuseppe; Rauch, Andre; Regenass, Stephan; Rudin, Christoph; Schöni-Affolter, Franziska; Schmid, Patrick; Speck, Roberto; Stöckle, Marcel; Tarr, Philip; Trkola, Alexandra; Weber, Reiner

    2016-01-01

    Targeting hard-to-reach/marginalized populations is essential for preventing HIV-transmission. A unique opportunity to identify such populations in Switzerland is provided by a database of all genotypic-resistance-tests from Switzerland, including both sequences from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) and non-cohort sequences. A phylogenetic tree was built using 11,127 SHCS and 2,875 Swiss non-SHCS sequences. Demographics were imputed for non-SHCS patients using a phylogenetic proximity approach. Factors associated with non-cohort outbreaks were determined using logistic regression. Non-B subtype (univariable odds-ratio (OR): 1.9; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.8–2.1), female gender (OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.4–1.7), black ethnicity (OR: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.7–2.1) and heterosexual transmission group (OR:1.8; 95% CI: 1.6–2.0), were all associated with underrepresentation in the SHCS. We found 344 purely non-SHCS transmission clusters, however, these outbreaks were small (median 2, maximum 7 patients) with a strong overlap with the SHCS’. 65% of non-SHCS sequences were part of clusters composed of >= 50% SHCS sequences. Our data suggests that marginalized-populations are underrepresented in the SHCS. However, the limited size of outbreaks among non-SHCS patients in-care implies that no major HIV outbreak in Switzerland was missed by the SHCS surveillance. This study demonstrates the potential of sequence data to assess and extend the scope of infectious-disease surveillance. PMID:27297284

  13. Genotypic Resistance Tests Sequences Reveal the Role of Marginalized Populations in HIV-1 Transmission in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Shilaih, Mohaned; Marzel, Alex; Yang, Wan Lin; Scherrer, Alexandra U; Schüpbach, Jörg; Böni, Jürg; Yerly, Sabine; Hirsch, Hans H; Aubert, Vincent; Cavassini, Matthias; Klimkait, Thomas; Vernazza, Pietro L; Bernasconi, Enos; Furrer, Hansjakob; Günthard, Huldrych F; Kouyos, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Targeting hard-to-reach/marginalized populations is essential for preventing HIV-transmission. A unique opportunity to identify such populations in Switzerland is provided by a database of all genotypic-resistance-tests from Switzerland, including both sequences from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) and non-cohort sequences. A phylogenetic tree was built using 11,127 SHCS and 2,875 Swiss non-SHCS sequences. Demographics were imputed for non-SHCS patients using a phylogenetic proximity approach. Factors associated with non-cohort outbreaks were determined using logistic regression. Non-B subtype (univariable odds-ratio (OR): 1.9; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.8-2.1), female gender (OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.4-1.7), black ethnicity (OR: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.7-2.1) and heterosexual transmission group (OR:1.8; 95% CI: 1.6-2.0), were all associated with underrepresentation in the SHCS. We found 344 purely non-SHCS transmission clusters, however, these outbreaks were small (median 2, maximum 7 patients) with a strong overlap with the SHCS'. 65% of non-SHCS sequences were part of clusters composed of >= 50% SHCS sequences. Our data suggests that marginalized-populations are underrepresented in the SHCS. However, the limited size of outbreaks among non-SHCS patients in-care implies that no major HIV outbreak in Switzerland was missed by the SHCS surveillance. This study demonstrates the potential of sequence data to assess and extend the scope of infectious-disease surveillance. PMID:27297284

  14. 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

  15. [Application of basophil activation test in diagnosing aspirin hypersensitivity].

    PubMed

    Gawinowska, Marika; Specjalski, Krzysztof; Chełmińska, Marta; Łata, Jakub; Zieliński, Maciej

    2015-01-01

    In the face of increasing prevalence of hypersensitivity reactions, introduction of effective, reliable and safe methods plays a crucial role in their diagnosing. Among the currently available laboratory (in vitro) methods is basophil activation test (BAT). It is a flow- cytometry based assay that allows to identificate in the blood sample basophils and additionally to asses the degree of cell activation after exposure to an antigen. The most common superficial identification markers are CD63 and CD203c, which increase in number after activation. Basophil actvation test can be applied to confirm diagnosis of allergy to Hymenoptera venoms, food, pollens and hypersensitivity to drugs. The aim of present paper is to present theoretical methods of this test as well as its pros and cons. We focus also on presentation of clinical case where BAT seemed to be a necessary addition to a routine diagnostic pathway. We present a case of identification of the culprit drug which caused an anaphylactic reaction. PMID:25577537

  16. Space shuttle orbiter approach and landing test evaluation report. Captive-active flight test summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Captive-active tests consisted of three mated carrier aircraft/Orbiter flights with an active manned Orbiter. The objectives of this series of flights were to (1) verify the separation profile, (2) verify the integrated structure, aerodynamics, and flight control system, (3) verify Orbiter integrated system operations, and (4) refine and finalize carrier aircraft, Orbiter crew, and ground procedures in preparation for free flight tests. A summary description of the flights is presented with assessments of flight test requirements, and of the performance operations, and of significant flight anomalies is included.

  17. Some results of a simulated test for administration of activity in nuclear medicine.

    PubMed

    Oropesa, P; Hernández, A T; Serra, R A; Varela, C; Woods, M J

    2006-04-01

    This paper describes the results obtained using a simulated test for administration of activity in nuclear medicine between 2002 and 2004. Measurements in the radionuclide calibrator are made during the different stages of the procedure. The test attempts to obtain supplementary information on the quality of the measurement, with the aim of evaluating in a more complete way the accuracy of the administered activity value compared with the prescribed one. The participants' performance has been assessed by means of a statistical analysis of the reported data. Dependences between several attributes of the simulated administration tests results are discussed. Specifically, the proportion of satisfactory results in the 2003-2004 period was found to be higher than in 2002. It reveals an improvement of the activity administration in the Cuban nuclear medicine departments since 2003. PMID:16303312

  18. Revealing divergent evolution, identifying circular permutations and detecting active-sites by protein structure comparison

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Luonan; Wu, Ling-Yun; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Shihua; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2006-01-01

    Background Protein structure comparison is one of the most important problems in computational biology and plays a key role in protein structure prediction, fold family classification, motif finding, phylogenetic tree reconstruction and protein docking. Results We propose a novel method to compare the protein structures in an accurate and efficient manner. Such a method can be used to not only reveal divergent evolution, but also identify circular permutations and further detect active-sites. Specifically, we define the structure alignment as a multi-objective optimization problem, i.e., maximizing the number of aligned atoms and minimizing their root mean square distance. By controlling a single distance-related parameter, theoretically we can obtain a variety of optimal alignments corresponding to different optimal matching patterns, i.e., from a large matching portion to a small matching portion. The number of variables in our algorithm increases with the number of atoms of protein pairs in almost a linear manner. In addition to solid theoretical background, numerical experiments demonstrated significant improvement of our approach over the existing methods in terms of quality and efficiency. In particular, we show that divergent evolution, circular permutations and active-sites (or structural motifs) can be identified by our method. The software SAMO is available upon request from the authors, or from and . Conclusion A novel formulation is proposed to accurately align protein structures in the framework of multi-objective optimization, based on a sequence order-independent strategy. A fast and accurate algorithm based on the bipartite matching algorithm is developed by exploiting the special features. Convergence of computation is shown in experiments and is also theoretically proven. PMID:16948858

  19. 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.

  20. Activation of Nanoscale Allosteric Protein Domain Motion Revealed by Neutron Spin Echo Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Farago, Bela; Li, Jianquan; Cornilescu, Gabriel; Callaway, David J.E.; Bu, Zimei

    2010-01-01

    NHERF1 is a multidomain scaffolding protein that assembles signaling complexes, and regulates the cell surface expression and endocytic recycling of a variety of membrane proteins. The ability of the two PDZ domains in NHERF1 to assemble protein complexes is allosterically modulated by the membrane-cytoskeleton linker protein ezrin, whose binding site is located as far as 110 Ångstroms away from the PDZ domains. Here, using neutron spin echo (NSE) spectroscopy, selective deuterium labeling, and theoretical analyses, we reveal the activation of interdomain motion in NHERF1 on nanometer length-scales and on submicrosecond timescales upon forming a complex with ezrin. We show that a much-simplified coarse-grained model suffices to describe interdomain motion of a multidomain protein or protein complex. We expect that future NSE experiments will benefit by exploiting our approach of selective deuteration to resolve the specific domain motions of interest from a plethora of global translational and rotational motions. Our results demonstrate that the dynamic propagation of allosteric signals to distal sites involves changes in long-range coupled domain motions on submicrosecond timescales, and that these coupled motions can be distinguished and characterized by NSE. PMID:21081097

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. High-speed in vivo calcium imaging reveals neuronal network activity with near-millisecond precision.

    PubMed

    Grewe, Benjamin F; Langer, Dominik; Kasper, Hansjörg; Kampa, Björn M; Helmchen, Fritjof

    2010-05-01

    Two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal populations enables optical recording of spiking activity in living animals, but standard laser scanners are too slow to accurately determine spike times. Here we report in vivo imaging in mouse neocortex with greatly improved temporal resolution using random-access scanning with acousto-optic deflectors. We obtained fluorescence measurements from 34-91 layer 2/3 neurons at a 180-490 Hz sampling rate. We detected single action potential-evoked calcium transients with signal-to-noise ratios of 2-5 and determined spike times with near-millisecond precision and 5-15 ms confidence intervals. An automated 'peeling' algorithm enabled reconstruction of complex spike trains from fluorescence traces up to 20-30 Hz frequency, uncovering spatiotemporal trial-to-trial variability of sensory responses in barrel cortex and visual cortex. By revealing spike sequences in neuronal populations on a fast time scale, high-speed calcium imaging will facilitate optical studies of information processing in brain microcircuits. PMID:20400966

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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. PMID:25680890

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27434674

  9. 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.

  10. Chlorophyll a fluorescence lifetime reveals reversible UV-induced photosynthetic activity in the green algae Tetraselmis.

    PubMed

    Kristoffersen, Arne S; Hamre, Børge; Frette, Øyvind; Erga, Svein R

    2016-04-01

    The fluorescence lifetime is a very useful parameter for investigating biological materials on the molecular level as it is mostly independent of the fluorophore concentration. The green alga Tetraselmis blooms in summer, and therefore its response to UV irradiation is of particular interest. In vivo fluorescence lifetimes of chlorophyll a were measured under both normal and UV-stressed conditions of Tetraselmis. Fluorescence was induced by two-photon excitation using a femtosecond laser and laser scanning microscope. The lifetimes were measured in the time domain by time-correlated single-photon counting. Under normal conditions, the fluorescence lifetime was 262 ps, while after 2 h of exposure to UV radiation the lifetime increased to 389 ps, indicating decreased photochemical quenching, likely caused by a damaged and down-regulated photosynthetic apparatus. This was supported by a similar increase in the lifetime to 425 ps when inhibiting photosynthesis chemically using DCMU. Furthermore, the UV-stressed sample was dark-adapted overnight, resulting in a return of the lifetime to 280 ps, revealing that the damage caused by UV radiation is repairable on a relatively short time scale. This reversal of photosynthetic activity was also confirmed by [Formula: see text] measurements. PMID:26538330

  11. 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

  12. Charpy impact test results for low-activation ferritic alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Cannon, N.S.; Hu, W.L.; Gelles, D.S.

    1987-05-01

    The objective of this work is to evaluate the shift of the ductile to brittle transition temperature (DBTT) and the reduction of the upper shelf energy (USE) due to neutron irradiation of low activation ferritic alloys. Six low activation ferritic alloys have been tested following irradiation at 365/sup 0/C to 10 dpa and compared with control specimens in order to assess the effect of irradiation on Charpy impact properties.

  13. 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.

  14. Prodigiosin inhibits motility and activates bacterial cell death revealing molecular biomarkers of programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Darshan, N; Manonmani, H K

    2016-12-01

    The antimicrobial activity of prodigiosin from Serratia nematodiphila darsh1, a bacterial pigment was tested against few food borne bacterial pathogens Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The mode of action of prodigiosin was studied. Prodigiosin induced bactericidal activity indicating a stereotypical set of biochemical and morphological feature of Programmed cell death (PCD). PCD involves DNA fragmentation, generation of ROS, and expression of a protein with caspase-like substrate specificity in bacterial cells. Prodigiosin was observed to be internalized into bacterial cells and was localized predominantly in the membrane and the nuclear fraction, thus, facilitating intracellular trafficking and then binding of prodigiosin to the bacterial DNA. Corresponding to an increasing concentration of prodigiosin, the level of certain proteases were observed to increase in bacteria studied, thus initiating the onset of PCD. Prodigiosin at a sub-inhibitory concentration inhibits motility of pathogens. Our observations indicated that prodigiosin could be a promising antibacterial agent and could be used in the prevention of bacterial infections. PMID:27460563

  15. 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

  16. Testing a Theoretical Model of Immigration Transition and Physical Activity.

    PubMed

    Chang, Sun Ju; Im, Eun-Ok

    2015-01-01

    The purposes of the study were to develop a theoretical model to explain the relationships between immigration transition and midlife women's physical activity and test the relationships among the major variables of the model. A theoretical model, which was developed based on transitions theory and the midlife women's attitudes toward physical activity theory, consists of 4 major variables, including length of stay in the United States, country of birth, level of acculturation, and midlife women's physical activity. To test the theoretical model, a secondary analysis with data from 127 Hispanic women and 123 non-Hispanic (NH) Asian women in a national Internet study was used. Among the major variables of the model, length of stay in the United States was negatively associated with physical activity in Hispanic women. Level of acculturation in NH Asian women was positively correlated with women's physical activity. Country of birth and level of acculturation were significant factors that influenced physical activity in both Hispanic and NH Asian women. The findings support the theoretical model that was developed to examine relationships between immigration transition and physical activity; it shows that immigration transition can play an essential role in influencing health behaviors of immigrant populations in the United States. The NH theoretical model can be widely used in nursing practice and research that focus on immigrant women and their health behaviors. Health care providers need to consider the influences of immigration transition to promote immigrant women's physical activity. PMID:26502554

  17. Spacecraft Environmental Testing SMAP (Soil, Moisture, Active, Passive)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fields, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Testing a complete full up spacecraft to verify it will survive the environment, in which it will be exposed to during its mission, is a formidable task in itself. However, the ''test like you fly'' philosophy sometimes gets compromised because of cost, design and or time. This paper describes the thermal-vacuum and mass properties testing of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) earth orbiting satellite. SMAP will provide global observations of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state (the hydrosphere state). SMAP hydrosphere state measurements will be used to enhance understanding of processes that link the water, energy, and carbon cycles, and to extend the capabilities of weather and climate prediction models. It will explain the problems encountered, and the solutions developed, which minimized the risk typically associated with such an arduous process. Also discussed, the future of testing on expensive long lead-time spacecraft. Will we ever reach the ''build and shoot" scenario with minimal or no verification testing?

  18. Microcalorimetric and manometric tests to assess anammox activity.

    PubMed

    Scaglione, D; Buttiglieri, G; Ficara, E; Caffaz, S; Lubello, C; Malpei, F

    2009-01-01

    The present study compares two experimental methods to evaluate Anammox activity based on the assessment of (1) the N(2) production rate by a manometric device, as previously proposed, and (2) the heat production rate by a microcalorimeter. Two samples of Anammox suspended biomass were taken from a pilot-plant, and their specific Anammox activity measured by both techniques. Both methods were successfully applied. As for calorimetric tests, they were performed for the first time on Anammox enriched sludge samples. Comparisons between the specific Anammox activities estimated by manometry and calorimetry and between expected (from the reaction enthalpy) and measured heat productions were performed. Promising results were obtained. PMID:19923777

  19. HIPPARCOS satellite: Aeritalia involvement and system test activities and results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strim, B.; Cugno, W.; Morsillo, G.

    In 1989 the European Space Agency is scheduled to launch HIPPARCOS on a 2.5-year mission that will revolutionize the state of astronomy. This is the first satellite to be dedicated to astrometry, a branch of astronomy that deals with the position of celestial objects and their motion in space. With an accuracy impossible to achieve from Earth, HIPPARCOS will make position, trigonometric parallax and proper motion measurements of some 100.000 pre-selected stars. The data will be used to calculate each star's distance and motion, providing astronomers with an unprecedented map of the heavens. In the end, the HIPPARCOS mission is expected to reveal surprisingly new insight into theories of stellar evolution, as well as into the nature of our galaxy and the universe. The program has been awarded to the MESH industrial consortium for definition, development and production. The French firm MATRA (prime contractor) and the AERITALIA SPACE SYSTEMS GROUP (major co-contractor) share program responsibility. AERITALIA is in charge of the spacecraft or "service module". This is the structural platform for the telescope payload and provides all subsystem services including thermal control, data handling, telecommunications, electrical power distribution, power generation, attitude and orbit control, and apogee kick motor. AERITALIA is responsible for the procurement of all spacecraft subsystems for which it directs the activities of a multinational team of subcontractors. In addition, it is in charge of the satellite's final assembly, integration and testing, as well as for the procurement of all ground support equipment for satellite testing. HIPPARCOS stands for HIgh Precision PARallax COllecting Satellite. Its name is also intended to honor the Greek astronomer Hipparchus (190-120 BC) who compiled the first star catalog and who first used trigonometric parallax to calculate the distance to the moon. (Parallax is the apparent shift in a celestial body's position in the sky

  20. Activated carbon testing for the 200 area effluent treatment facility

    SciTech Connect

    Wagner, R.N.

    1997-01-17

    This report documents pilot and laboratory scale testing of activated carbon for use in the 200 Area Effluent Treatment Facility peroxide decomposer columns. Recommendations are made concerning column operating conditions and hardware design, the optimum type of carbon for use in the plant, and possible further studies.

  1. Wide-field Ca2+ imaging reveals visually evoked activity in the retrosplenial area

    PubMed Central

    Murakami, Tomonari; Yoshida, Takashi; Matsui, Teppei; Ohki, Kenichi

    2015-01-01

    Due to recent advances of genetic manipulation, mouse brain has become a useful model for studying brain function, which demands whole brain functional mapping techniques in the mouse brain. In the present study, to finely map visual responsive areas in the mouse brain, we combined high-resolution wide-field optical imaging with transgenic mice containing the genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator, GCaMP3. With the high signal amplitude of GCaMP3 expressing in excitatory neurons, this system allowed neural activity to be observed with relatively fine spatial resolution and cell-type specificity. To evaluate this system, we examined whether non-visual areas exhibited a visual response over the entire surface of the mouse hemisphere. We found that two association areas, the retrosplenial area (RS) and secondary motor/anterior cingulate area (M2/AC), were significantly responsive to drifting gratings. Examination using gratings with distinct spatiotemporal frequency parameters revealed that the RS strongly responded to high-spatial and low-temporal frequency gratings. The M2/AC exhibited a response property similar to that of the RS, though it was not statistically significant. Finally, we performed cellular imaging using two-photon microscopy to examine orientation and direction selectivity of individual neurons, and found that a minority of neurons in the RS clearly showed visual responses sharply selective for orientation and direction. These results suggest that neurons in RS encode visual information of fine spatial details in images. Thus, the present study shows the usefulness of the functional mapping method using a combination of wide-field and two-photon Ca2+ imaging, which allows for whole brain mapping with high spatiotemporal resolution and cell-type specificity. PMID:26106292

  2. 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.

  3. Active fault creep variations at Chihshang, Taiwan, revealed by creep meter monitoring, 1998-2001

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jian-Cheng; Angelier, Jacques; Chu, Hao-Tsu; Hu, Jyr-Ching; Jeng, Fu-Shu; Rau, Ruey-Juin

    2003-11-01

    The daily creep meter data recorded at Chihshang in 1998-2001 are presented. The Chihshang creep meter experiment was set up across the Chihshang thrust fault, the most active segment of the Longitudinal Valley Fault, which is the present-day plate suture between the Eurasian and the Philippine Sea plates in eastern Taiwan. Near-continuous data recording at two sites revealed different surface fault motions yet similar annual shortening rates: 16.2 mm at the Tapo site (comprising two connected creep meters) and 15.0 mm at the Chinyuan site (three creep meters straddling parallel fault branches). Four of the five creep meters showed a seasonal variation, with the fault moving steadily during the rainy season from April to October, and remaining quiescent during the rest of the year. The only exception was recorded by the creep meter located on a mélange-composed hillslope, where local gravitational landsliding played an additional role other than tectonic faulting. Through comparison with daily precipitation data, we inferred that moderate rainfall suffices to trigger or facilitate slippage on the surface fault, during the transition period of the dry/wet season. During the observation period from 1998 to 2001, the subsurface seismicity exhibited clusters of microearthquakes on the Chihshang Fault at depths of 10-25 km. Recurrent earthquakes occurred regardless of whether the season was wet or dry, indicating that the stress relaxation associated with seismicity in the seismogenic zone did not transfer immediately up to the surface. The accumulated strain on the Chihshang Fault at shallow surface levels was released through creep during the wet season. In addition to these short-term seasonal variations, an apparent decrease in the annual slipping rate on the Chihshang Fault during the last few years deserves further investigation in order to mitigate against seismic hazard.

  4. Saccharomyces cerevisiae a-Factor Mutants Reveal Residues Critical for Processing, Activity, and Export

    PubMed Central

    Huyer, Gregory; Kistler, Amy; Nouvet, Franklin J.; George, Carolyn M.; Boyle, Meredith L.; Michaelis, Susan

    2006-01-01

    The Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating pheromone a-factor provides a paradigm for understanding the biogenesis of prenylated fungal pheromones. The biogenesis of a-factor involves multiple steps: (i) C-terminal CAAX modification (where C is cysteine, A is aliphatic, and X is any residue) which includes prenylation, proteolysis, and carboxymethylation (by Ram1p/Ram2p, Ste24p or Rce1p, and Ste14p, respectively); (ii) N-terminal processing, involving two sequential proteolytic cleavages (by Ste24p and Axl1p); and (iii) nonclassical export (by Ste6p). Once exported, mature a-factor interacts with the Ste3p receptor on MATα cells to stimulate mating. The a-factor biogenesis machinery is well defined, as is the CAAX motif that directs C-terminal modification; however, very little is known about the sequence determinants within a-factor required for N-terminal processing, activity, and export. Here we generated a large collection of a-factor mutants and identified residues critical for the N-terminal processing steps mediated by Ste24p and Axl1p. We also identified mutants that fail to support mating but do not affect biogenesis or export, suggesting a defective interaction with the Ste3p receptor. Mutants significantly impaired in export were also found, providing evidence that the Ste6p transporter recognizes sequence determinants as well as CAAX modifications. We also performed a phenotypic analysis of the entire set of isogenic a-factor biogenesis machinery mutants, which revealed information about the dependency of biogenesis steps upon one another, and demonstrated that export by Ste6p requires the completion of all processing events. Overall, this comprehensive analysis will provide a useful framework for the study of other fungal pheromones, as well as prenylated metazoan proteins involved in development and aging. PMID:16963638

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Numerically bridging lamellipodial and filopodial activity during cell spreading reveals a potentially novel trigger of focal adhesion maturation.

    PubMed

    Loosli, Y; Vianay, B; Luginbuehl, R; Snedeker, J G

    2012-05-01

    We present a novel approach to modeling cell spreading, and use it to reveal a potentially central mechanism regulating focal adhesion maturation in various cell phenotypes. Actin bundles that span neighboring focal complexes at the lamellipodium-lamellum interface were assumed to be loaded by intracellular forces in proportion to bundle length. We hypothesized that the length of an actin bundle (with the corresponding accumulated force at its adhesions) may thus regulate adhesion maturation to ensure cell mechanical stability and morphological integrity. We developed a model to test this hypothesis, implementing a "top-down" approach to simplify certain cellular processes while explicitly incorporating complexity of other key subcellular mechanisms. Filopodial and lamellipodial activities were treated as modular processes with functional spatiotemporal interactions coordinated by rules regarding focal adhesion turnover and actin bundle dynamics. This theoretical framework was able to robustly predict temporal evolution of cell area and cytoskeletal organization as reported from a wide range of cell spreading experiments using micropatterned substrates. We conclude that a geometric/temporal modeling framework can capture the key functional aspects of the rapid spreading phase and resultant cytoskeletal complexity. Hence the model is used to reveal mechanistic insight into basic cell behavior essential for spreading. It demonstrates that actin bundles spanning nascent focal adhesions such that they are aligned to the leading edge may accumulate centripetal endogenous forces along their length, and could thus trigger focal adhesion maturation in a force-length dependent fashion. We suggest that this mechanism could be a central "integrating" factor that effectively coordinates force-mediated adhesion maturation at the lamellipodium-lamellum interface. PMID:22453759

  10. Perceptual Distortions in Pitch and Time Reveal Active Prediction and Support for an Auditory Pitch-Motion Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Molly J.; McAuley, J. Devin

    2013-01-01

    A number of accounts of human auditory perception assume that listeners use prior stimulus context to generate predictions about future stimulation. Here, we tested an auditory pitch-motion hypothesis that was developed from this perspective. Listeners judged either the time change (i.e., duration) or pitch change of a comparison frequency glide relative to a standard (referent) glide. Under a constant-velocity assumption, listeners were hypothesized to use the pitch velocity (Δf/Δt) of the standard glide to generate predictions about the pitch velocity of the comparison glide, leading to perceptual distortions along the to-be-judged dimension when the velocities of the two glides differed. These predictions were borne out in the pattern of relative points of subjective equality by a significant three-way interaction between the velocities of the two glides and task. In general, listeners’ judgments along the task-relevant dimension (pitch or time) were affected by expectations generated by the constant-velocity standard, but in an opposite manner for the two stimulus dimensions. When the comparison glide velocity was faster than the standard, listeners overestimated time change, but underestimated pitch change, whereas when the comparison glide velocity was slower than the standard, listeners underestimated time change, but overestimated pitch change. Perceptual distortions were least evident when the velocities of the standard and comparison glides were matched. Fits of an imputed velocity model further revealed increasingly larger distortions at faster velocities. The present findings provide support for the auditory pitch-motion hypothesis and add to a larger body of work revealing a role for active prediction in human auditory perception. PMID:23936462

  11. A review of DOE HEPA filter component test activities

    SciTech Connect

    Slawski, J.W.; Bresson, J.F.; Scripsick, R.C.

    1997-08-01

    All HEPA filters purchased for installation in DOE nuclear facilities are required to be tested at a Filter Test Facility (FTF) prior to installation. The number of HEPA filters purchased by DOE has been reduced so much that the Hanford FTF was closed. From Fiscal Year (FY) 1992 to 1994, funding was not provided to the FTF Technical Support Group (TSG) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. As a consequence, Round Robin Tests (RRTs), performed twice each year by the FTFs to assess constituency of test results among the FTFs, were not performed in FY 1992 and FY 1993. The Annual Reports of FTF test activities were not prepared for FY 1992 - 1995. Technical support provided to the FTFs was minimal. There is talk of closing a second FTF, and ongoing discussions as to whether DOE will continue to fund operation of the FTFs. In FY 1994, DOE Defense Programs commenced funding the TSG. RRT data for FY 1994 and 1995 have been entered into the database; the FY 1994 RRT report has been issued; and the FY 1995 RRT report is in progress. Data from semiannual reports have been retrieved and entered into the database. Standards related to HEPA filter test and procurement activities are now scheduled for issuance by FY 1996. Continuation of these activities depends on whether DOE will continue to support the HEPA filter test program. The history and activities of the FTFs and the TSG at Los Alamos have been reported at previous Air Cleaning Conferences. Data from the FY 1991 Annual Report of FTF activities was presented at the 1992 Air Cleaning Conference. Preparation of the Annual Reports was temporarily suspended in 1992. However, all of the FTF Semiannual report data have been retrieved and entered into the data base. This paper focuses primarily on the results of HEPA filter tests conducted by FTFs during FY 1992 - FY 1995, and the possible effects of the DOE program uncertainties on the quality of HEPA filters for installation at the DOE sites. 15 refs., 13 tabs.

  12. Microfluidic glucose stimulation reveals limited coordination of intracellular Ca2+ activity oscillations in pancreatic islets

    PubMed Central

    Rocheleau, Jonathan V.; Walker, Glenn M.; Head, W. Steven; McGuinness, Owen P.; Piston, David W.

    2004-01-01

    The pancreatic islet is a functional microorgan involved in maintaining normoglycemia through regulated secretion of insulin and other hormones. Extracellular glucose stimulates insulin secretion from islet β cells through an increase in redox state, which can be measured by NAD(P)H autofluorescence. Glucose concentrations over ≈7 mM generate synchronous oscillations in β cell intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), which lead to pulsatile insulin secretion. Prevailing models assume that the pancreatic islet acts as a functional syncytium, and the whole islet [Ca2+]i response has been modeled in terms of islet bursting and pacemaker models. To test these models, we developed a microfluidic device capable of partially stimulating an islet, while allowing observation of the NAD(P)H and [Ca2+]i responses. We show that β cell [Ca2+]i oscillations occur only within regions stimulated with more than ≈6.6 mM glucose. Furthermore, we show that tolbutamide, an antagonist of the ATP-sensitive K+ channel, allows these oscillations to travel farther into the nonstimulated regions of the islet. Our approach shows that the extent of Ca2+ propagation across the islet depends on a delicate interaction between the degree of coupling and the extent of ATP-sensitive K+-channel activation and illustrates an experimental paradigm that will have utility for many other biological systems. PMID:15317941

  13. Neural activity in the medial temporal lobe reveals the fidelity of mental time travel.

    PubMed

    Kragel, James E; Morton, Neal W; Polyn, Sean M

    2015-02-18

    Neural circuitry in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is critically involved in mental time travel, which involves the vivid retrieval of the details of past experience. Neuroscientific theories propose that the MTL supports memory of the past by retrieving previously encoded episodic information, as well as by reactivating a temporal code specifying the position of a particular event within an episode. However, the neural computations supporting these abilities are underspecified. To test hypotheses regarding the computational mechanisms supported by different MTL subregions during mental time travel, we developed a computational model that linked a blood oxygenation level-dependent signal to cognitive operations, allowing us to predict human performance in a memory search task. Activity in the posterior MTL, including parahippocampal cortex, reflected how strongly one reactivates the temporal context of a retrieved memory, allowing the model to predict whether the next memory will correspond to a nearby moment in the study episode. A signal in the anterior MTL, including perirhinal cortex, indicated the successful retrieval of list items, without providing information regarding temporal organization. A hippocampal signal reflected both processes, consistent with theories that this region binds item and context information together to form episodic memories. These findings provide evidence for modern theories that describe complementary roles of the hippocampus and surrounding parahippocampal and perirhinal cortices during the retrieval of episodic memories, shaping how humans revisit the past. PMID:25698731

  14. A pattern of perseveration in cocaine addiction may reveal neurocognitive processes implicit in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.

    PubMed

    Woicik, Patricia A; Urban, Catherine; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Henry, Ashley; Maloney, Thomas; Telang, Frank; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D; Goldstein, Rita Z

    2011-06-01

    The ability to adapt behavior in a changing environment is necessary for humans to achieve their goals and can be measured in the lab with tests of rule-based switching. Disease models, such as cocaine addiction, have revealed that alterations in dopamine interfere with adaptive set switching, culminating in perseveration. We explore perseverative behavior in individuals with cocaine use disorders (CUD) and healthy controls (CON) during performance of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) (N=107 in each group). By examining perseverative errors within each of the 6 blocks of the WCST, we uniquely test two forms of set switching that are differentiated by either the presence (extradimensional set shifting (EDS) - first 3 blocks) or absence (task-set switching - last 3 blocks) of new contingency learning. We also explore relationships between perseveration and select cognitive and drug use factors including verbal learning and memory, trait inhibitory control, motivational state, and urine status for cocaine (in CUD). Results indicate greater impairment for CUD than CON on the WCST, even in higher performing CUD who completed all 6 blocks of the WCST. Block by block analysis conducted on completers' scores indicate a tendency for greater perseveration in CUD than CON but only during the first task-set switch; no such deficits were observed during EDS. This task-set switching impairment was modestly associated with two indices of immediate recall (r=-.32, -.29) and urine status for cocaine [t (134)=2.3, p<.03]. By distinguishing these two forms of switching on the WCST, the current study reveals a neurocognitive context (i.e. initial stage of task-set switching) implicit in the WCST that possibly relies upon intact dopaminergic function, but that is impaired in CUD, as associated with worse recall and possibly withdrawal from cocaine. Future studies should investigate whether dopaminergically innervated pathways alone, or in combination with other monoamines

  15. A Pattern of Perseveration in Cocaine Addiction May Reveal Neurocognitive Processes Implicit in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

    PubMed Central

    Woicik, Patricia A.; Urban, Catherine; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Henry, Ashley; Maloney, Thomas; Telang, Frank; Wang, Gene-Jack; Volkow, Nora D.; Goldstein, Rita Z.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to adapt behavior in a changing environment is necessary for humans to achieve their goals and can be measured in the lab with tests of rule-based switching. Disease models, such as cocaine addiction, have revealed that alterations in dopamine interfere with adaptive set switching, culminating in perseveration. We explore perseverative behavior in individuals with cocaine use disorders (CUD) and healthy controls (CON) during performance of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) (N = 107 in each group). By examining perseverative errors within each of the 6 blocks of the WCST, we uniquely test two forms of set switching that are differentiated by either the presence (extradimensional set shifting (EDS) – first 3 blocks) or absence (task-set switching – last 3 blocks) of contingency learning. We also explore relationships between perseveration and select cognitive and drug use factors including verbal learning and memory, trait inhibitory control, motivational state, and urine status for cocaine (in CUD). Results indicate greater impairment for CUD than CON on the WCST, even in higher performing CUD who completed all 6 blocks of the WCST. Block by block analysis conducted on completers’ scores indicate a tendency for greater perseveration in CUD than CON but only during the first task-set switch; no such deficits were observed during EDS. This task-set switching impairment was modestly associated with two indices of immediate recall (r = −.32, −.29) and urine status for cocaine [t (134) = 2.3, p <.03]. By distinguishing these two forms of switching on the WCST, the current study reveals a neurocognitive context (i.e. initial stage of task-set switching) implicit in the WCST that possibly relies upon intact dopaminergic function, but that is impaired in CUD, as associated with worse recall and possibly withdrawal from cocaine. Future studies should investigate whether dopaminergically innervated pathways alone, or in combination with other

  16. Oratest: a new concept to test caries activity.

    PubMed

    Saxena, S; Pundir, Siddharth; Aena, Jain

    2013-01-01

    Caries activity tests are based on the concept of a specific odontogenic infection, the principle causative organism being streptococci mutans. Their predominance is attributed to its acidogenic and aciduric nature after a selective growth advantages over the other non- acid tolerant organisms. Many studies on caries activity are aimed at finding relevant microorganisms. Till date, the ideal method to evaluate in terms of sensitivity, specialization and reliability has not been found. Many of these caries activity tests require extensive work up time and additional equipment. Rosenberg et al. in 1989 developed Oratest, a simple, economical, non- invasive and less time-consuming test for estimating the oral microbial level. The test is simple and consists of rinsing the mouth with 10 ml of sterile milk, 3 ml of which is mixed with 0.12 ml of 0.1% methylene blue dye and observed for colour change. The present study sample consists of twenty five children with dental caries and twenty five controls, free of caries, gingivitis and other oral ailments. This study is being conducted in the department of Oral Pathology & Microbiology and is in the preliminary phase so further results are awaited. PMID:23727739

  17. The active flexible wing aeroservoelastic wind-tunnel test program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noll, Thomas; Perry, Boyd

    1989-01-01

    For a specific application of aeroservoelastic technology, Rockwell International Corporation developed a concept known as the Active Flexible Wing (AFW). The concept incorporates multiple active leading-and trailing-edge control surfaces with a very flexible wing such that wing shape is varied in an optimum manner resulting in improved performance and reduced weight. As a result of a cooperative program between the AFWAL's Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Rockwell, and NASA LaRC, a scaled aeroelastic wind-tunnel model of an advanced fighter was designed, fabricated, and tested in the NASA LaRC Transonic Dynamics Tunnel (TDT) to validate the AFW concept. Besides conducting the wind-tunnel tests NASA provided a design of an Active Roll Control (ARC) System that was implemented and evaluated during the tests. The ARC system used a concept referred to as Control Law Parameterization which involves maintaining constant performance, robustness, and stability while using different combinations of multiple control surface displacements. Since the ARC system used measured control surface stability derivatives during the design, the predicted performance and stability results correlated very well with test measurements.

  18. Dislocation-mediated relaxation in nanograined columnar palladium films revealed by on-chip time-resolved HRTEM testing

    PubMed Central

    Colla, M. -S.; Amin-Ahmadi, B.; Idrissi, H.; Malet, L.; Godet, S.; Raskin, J. -P.; Schryvers, D.; Pardoen, T.

    2015-01-01

    The high-rate sensitivity of nanostructured metallic materials demonstrated in the recent literature is related to the predominance of thermally activated deformation mechanisms favoured by a large density of internal interfaces. Here we report time-resolved high-resolution electron transmission microscopy creep tests on thin nanograined films using on-chip nanomechanical testing. Tests are performed on palladium, which exhibited unexpectedly large creep rates at room temperature. Despite the small 30-nm grain size, relaxation is found to be mediated by dislocation mechanisms. The dislocations interact with the growth nanotwins present in the grains, leading to a loss of coherency of twin boundaries. The density of stored dislocations first increases with applied deformation, and then decreases with time to drive additional deformation while no grain boundary mechanism is observed. This fast relaxation constitutes a key issue in the development of various micro- and nanotechnologies such as palladium membranes for hydrogen applications. PMID:25557273

  19. Shuttle active thermal control system development testing. Volume 5: Integrated radiator/expendable cooling system tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scheps, P. B.

    1974-01-01

    Tests were conducted to gather data on a space shuttle active control system (ATCS) incorporating both radiators and an expendable cooling device to provide vehicle heat removal. Two systems were tested and design information was provided for both nominal and limit conditions. The tests verified the concept that an integrated radiator/expendable cooling system can adequately maintain desired water quantities while responding to variations in heat loads and environments. In addition, the need for duct heating was demonstrated, while exhaust nozzle heating was also shown to be unnecessary.

  20. Depletion of interfering antibodies in chronic hepatitis C patients and vaccinated chimpanzees reveals broad cross-genotype neutralizing activity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Pei; Zhong, Lilin; Struble, Evi Budo; Watanabe, Hisayoshi; Kachko, Alla; Mihalik, Kathleen; Virata-Theimer, Maria Luisa; Alter, Harvey J.; Feinstone, Stephen; Major, Marian

    2009-01-01

    Using human immune globulins made from antihepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive plasma, we recently identified two antibody epitopes in the E2 protein at residues 412–426 (epitope I) and 434–446 (epitope II). Whereas epitope I is highly conserved among genotypes, epitope II varies. We discovered that epitope I was implicated in HCV neutralization whereas the binding of non-neutralizing antibody to epitope II disrupted virus neutralization mediated by antibody binding at epitope I. These findings suggested that, if this interfering mechanism operates in vivo during HCV infection, a neutralizing antibody against epitope I can be restrained by an interfering antibody, which may account for the persistence of HCV even in the presence of an abundance of neutralizing antibodies. We tested this hypothesis by affinity depletion and peptide-blocking of epitope-II-specific antibodies in plasma of a chronically HCV-infected patient and recombinant E1E2 vaccinated chimpanzees. We demonstrate that, by removing the restraints imposed by the interfering antibodies to epitope-II, neutralizing activity can be revealed in plasma that previously failed to neutralize viral stock in cell culture. Further, cross-genotype neutralization could be generated from monospecific plasma. Our studies contribute to understanding the mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization and interference and provide a practical approach to the development of more potent and broadly reactive hepatitis C immune globulins. PMID:19380744

  1. Polyclonal B-cell activation reveals antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in HIV-1-seronegative individuals.

    PubMed Central

    Jehuda-Cohen, T; Slade, B A; Powell, J D; Villinger, F; De, B; Folks, T M; McClure, H M; Sell, K W; Ahmed-Ansari, A

    1990-01-01

    Identification of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals is of paramount importance for the control of the spread of AIDS worldwide. Currently, the vast majority of screening centers throughout the world rely on serological techniques. As such, clinically asymptomatic but HIV-infected, seronegative individuals are rarely identified. In this report we show that 18% (30/165) of seronegative individuals who were considered to be a unique cohort of patients at high risk for HIV infection had circulating B cells that, upon in vitro polyclonal activation with pokeweed mitogen, produced antibodies reactive with HIV. Furthermore, polymerase chain reaction analysis of DNA obtained from aliquots of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from these seronegative but pokeweed mitogen assay-positive individuals tested revealed the presence of HIV-specific sequences in a significant number of samples. In addition, depletion of CD8+ T cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HIV-1-seronegative individuals prior to in vitro culture with pokeweed mitogen resulted in increased sensitivity for detecting HIV-reactive antibodies. This assay has obvious epidemiological implications, especially in the case of high-risk groups, and also provides a simple technique to enhance detection of HIV-infected individuals. Of further interest is the determination of the mechanisms related to the lack of HIV-specific antibodies in the serum of these infected individuals. Images PMID:2111024

  2. The Activity of Antimicrobial Surfaces Varies by Testing Protocol Utilized

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Matias D.; Zucchi, Paola C.; Phung, Ann; Leonard, Steven N.; Hirsch, Elizabeth B.

    2016-01-01

    Background Contaminated hospital surfaces are an important source of nosocomial infections. A major obstacle in marketing antimicrobial surfaces is a lack of efficacy data based on standardized testing protocols. Aim We compared the efficacy of multiple testing protocols against several “antimicrobial” film surfaces. Methods Four clinical isolates were used: one Escherichia coli, one Klebsiella pneumoniae, and two Staphylococcus aureus strains. Two industry methods (modified ISO 22196 and ASTM E2149), a “dried droplet”, and a “transfer” method were tested against two commercially available antimicrobial films, one film in development, an untreated control, and a positive (silver) control film. At 2 (only ISO) and 24 hours following inoculation, bacteria were collected from film surfaces and enumerated. Results Compared to untreated films in all protocols, there were no significant differences in recovery on either commercial brand at 2 or 24 hours after inoculation. The silver surface demonstrated significant microbicidal activity (mean loss 4.9 Log10 CFU/ml) in all methods and time points with the exception of 2 hours in the ISO protocol and the transfer method. Using our novel droplet method, no differences between placebo and active surfaces were detected. The surface in development demonstrated variable activity depending on method, organism, and time point. The ISO demonstrated minimal activity at 2 hours but significant activity at 24 hours (mean 4.5 Log10 CFU/ml difference versus placebo). The ASTEM protocol exhibited significant differences in recovery of staphylococci (mean 5 Log10 CFU/ml) but not Gram-negative isolates (10 fold decrease). Minimal activity was observed with this film in the transfer method. Conclusions Varying results between protocols suggested that efficacy of antimicrobial surfaces cannot be easily and reproducibly compared. Clinical use should be considered and further development of representative methods is needed. PMID

  3. Taming Test Anxiety: The Activation of Failure-Related Concepts Enhances Cognitive Test Performance of Test-Anxious Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tempel, Tobias; Neumann, Roland

    2016-01-01

    We investigated processes underlying performance decrements of highly test-anxious persons. Three experiments contrasted conditions that differed in the degree of activation of concepts related to failure. Participants memorized a list of words either containing words related to failure or containing no words related to failure in Experiment 1. In…

  4. Relaxation training affects success and activation on a teaching test.

    PubMed

    Helin, P; Hänninen, O

    1987-12-01

    We studied the effects of an audiocassette-relaxation training period (ART) and its timing on success at a teaching test (lecture type), on observed tension and on a number of physiological responses. The electrical activity of the upper trapezius muscle (EMG), heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), of female and male instructor candidates, were examined before, during and after the teaching test as well as during its critique. The relaxation period (18 min) was presented either on the preceding night (ARTnt) or immediately before the teaching test (ARTimm). The influence of personality (types A-B and extrovert-introvert) was also studied. ART improved success at the teaching test in both sexes. In males (but not in females), ARTimm decreased EMG level during the test, but ARTnt increased EMG at the test period as compared to the control group. In females, both ARTnt and ARTimm lowered HR more than in the control group. ARTimm lowered systolic BP in both sexes. Personality types affected the ART responses; ART was more beneficial for type A than B subjects. PMID:3325481

  5. Wind Tunnel Test of the SMART Active Flap Rotor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Straub, Friedrich K.; Anand, Vaidyanthan R.; Birchette, Terrence S.; Lau, Benton H.

    2009-01-01

    Boeing and a team from Air Force, NASA, Army, DARPA, MIT, UCLA, and U. of Maryland have successfully completed a wind-tunnel test of the smart material actuated rotor technology (SMART) rotor in the 40- by 80-foot wind-tunnel of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex at NASA Ames Research Center. The Boeing SMART rotor is a full-scale, five-bladed bearingless MD 900 helicopter rotor modified with a piezoelectric-actuated trailing edge flap on each blade. The eleven-week test program evaluated the forward flight characteristics of the active-flap rotor at speeds up to 155 knots, gathered data to validate state-of-the-art codes for rotor aero-acoustic analysis, and quantified the effects of open and closed loop active flap control on rotor loads, noise, and performance. The test demonstrated on-blade smart material control of flaps on a full-scale rotor for the first time in a wind tunnel. The effectiveness of the active flap control on noise and vibration was conclusively demonstrated. Results showed significant reductions up to 6dB in blade-vortex-interaction and in-plane noise, as well as reductions in vibratory hub loads up to 80%. Trailing-edge flap deflections were controlled within 0.1 degrees of the commanded value. The impact of the active flap on control power, rotor smoothing, and performance was also demonstrated. Finally, the reliability of the flap actuation system was successfully proven in more than 60 hours of wind-tunnel testing.

  6. Use of modified Fraser's stain in Promoting Activity Test (PAT).

    PubMed

    Borràs, M

    1988-09-01

    The Promoting Activity Test (PAT) requires a staining procedure that allows rapid, accurate and reliable counting of mitotic figures. We propose use of Fraser's kernechtrot-crystal violet technique, but eliminating the picric-alcoholic differentiation to avoid fading. This modified protocol gives higher mitotic counts in adult mouse adrenal cortex than the hematoxylin-eosin originally used, especially with respect to less conspicuous prophases. PMID:2464217

  7. Preference as a Function of Active Interresponse Times: A Test of the Active Time Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Misak, Paul; Cleaveland, J. Mark

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we describe a test of the active time model for concurrent variable interval (VI) choice. The active time model (ATM) suggests that the time since the most recent response is one of the variables controlling choice in concurrent VI VI schedules of reinforcement. In our experiment, pigeons were trained in a multiple concurrent…

  8. 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.

  9. The Angiotensin Infusion Test and Peripheral Venous Renin Activity

    PubMed Central

    Silah, J. G.; Strong, C. G.; Nowaczynski, W.; Genest, J.

    1967-01-01

    Forty hypertensive patients were studied to examine the assumption that the angiotensin pressor dose reflects endogenous renin activity. Peripheral renin activity was assayed by the method of Boucher et al.4 Sensitivity to the infusion of synthetic angiotensin II was determined as suggested by Kaplan and Silah.1 Sixteen patients with essential hypertension with normal renal angiography required 3.8 ng. angiotensin/kg./min. to raise the diastolic pressure 20 mm. Hg. All but one were sensitive to angiotensin infusion of less than 5 ng./kg./min. Renin activity was normal in all except in one sensitive subject. Angiotensin infusion response and mean renin activity in 13 patients with essential hypertension with abnormal renal angiography were similar to that of the first group. The pressor dose in 11 renovascular hypertensives was 9.8 ng./kg./min. All but three had elevated plasma renin activity. Our results suggest that: (1) the angiotensin infusion test is suitable for differentiating patients with true renovascular hypertension from those with essential hypertension with or without associated renal artery disease; (2) the angiotensin pressor dose correlates with the level of peripheral venous renin activity (p < 0.01). PMID:4290836

  10. The angiotensin infusion test and peripheral venous renin activity.

    PubMed

    Silah, J G; Strong, C G; Nowaczynski, W; Genest, J

    1967-05-27

    Forty hypertensive patients were studied to examine the assumption that the angiotensin pressor dose reflects endogenous renin activity. Peripheral renin activity was assayed by the method of Boucher et al.(4) Sensitivity to the infusion of synthetic angiotensin II was determined as suggested by Kaplan and Silah.(1)Sixteen patients with essential hypertension with normal renal angiography required 3.8 ng. angiotensin/kg./min. to raise the diastolic pressure 20 mm. Hg. All but one were sensitive to angiotensin infusion of less than 5 ng./kg./min. Renin activity was normal in all except in one sensitive subject. Angiotensin infusion response and mean renin activity in 13 patients with essential hypertension with abnormal renal angiography were similar to that of the first group. The pressor dose in 11 renovascular hypertensives was 9.8 ng./kg./min. All but three had elevated plasma renin activity.OUR RESULTS SUGGEST THAT: (1) the angiotensin infusion test is suitable for differentiating patients with true renovascular hypertension from those with essential hypertension with or without associated renal artery disease; (2) the angiotensin pressor dose correlates with the level of peripheral venous renin activity (p < 0.01). PMID:4290836

  11. Honey shows potent inhibitory activity against the bovine testes hyaluronidase.

    PubMed

    Kolayli, Sevgi; Sahin, Huseyin; Can, Zehra; Yildiz, Oktay; Sahin, Kübra

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-hyaluronidase activities of honeys from different botanical origins honeys in order to determine their anti-inflammatory properties. The total phenolic contents, total flavonoids and total tannin levels of six types of honey, chestnut, oak, heather, pine, buckwheat and mixed blossom, were determined. Concentration-related inhibition values were tested turbidimetrically on bovine testis hyaluronidase (BTHase) as IC50 (mg/mL). All honeys exhibited various concentration-dependent degrees of inhibition against BTHase. Inhibition values varied significantly depending on honeys' levels of phenolic contents, flavonoid and tannin. The honeys with the highest anti-hyaluronidase activity were oak, chestnut and heather. In conclusion, polyphenol-rich honeys have high anti-hyaluronidase activity, and these honeys have high protective and complementary potential against hyaluronidase-induced anti-inflammatory failures. PMID:26076195

  12. What does the head impulse test versus caloric dissociation reveal about vestibular dysfunction in Ménière's disease?

    PubMed

    McGarvie, Leigh A; Curthoys, Ian S; MacDougall, Hamish G; Halmagyi, G Michael

    2015-04-01

    In patients with Ménière's disease (MD), caloric testing can show, depending on the stage and activity of the disease, a variety of results. Between attacks, many, or perhaps even most, patients with unilateral early or mild MD have normal caloric tests; late MD can show abnormalities ranging from mild to severe unilateral canal paresis with or without directional preponderance. The explanation of canal paresis in MD is not clear. The most obvious explanation, severe loss of lateral canal hair cells, is not likely to be correct because hair cell loss will not explain the fluctuating canal paresis to caloric stimulation. In contrast, the published evidence is that rotational testing of semicircular canal function in MD patients typically shows little reduction in function and even enhancement of vestibulo-ocular reflex gain, at least in the early stages of the disease. Here, we offer a novel explanation for this dissociation. We propose that hydropic expansion of the lateral canal membranous labyrinth permits convective recirculation within the duct that allows dissipation of the hydrostatic force that would normally cause cupular displacement and nystagmus in the caloric test. PMID:25721760

  13. First Test of Fan Active Noise Control (ANC) Completed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    With the advent of ultrahigh-bypass engines, the space available for passive acoustic treatment is becoming more limited, whereas noise regulations are becoming more stringent. Active noise control (ANC) holds promise as a solution to this problem. It uses secondary (added) noise sources to reduce or eliminate the offending noise radiation. The first active noise control test on the low-speed fan test bed was a General Electric Company system designed to control either the exhaust or inlet fan tone. This system consists of a "ring source," an induct array of error microphones, and a control computer. Fan tone noise propagates in a duct in the form of spinning waves. These waves are detected by the microphone array, and the computer identifies their spinning structure. The computer then controls the "ring source" to generate waves that have the same spinning structure and amplitude, but 180 out of phase with the fan noise. This computer generated tone cancels the fan tone before it radiates from the duct and is heard in the far field. The "ring source" used in these tests is a cylindrical array of 16 flat-plate acoustic radiators that are driven by thin piezoceramic sheets bonded to their back surfaces. The resulting source can produce spinning waves up to mode 7 at levels high enough to cancel the fan tone. The control software is flexible enough to work on spinning mode orders from -6 to 6. In this test, the fan was configured to produce a tone of order 6. The complete modal (spinning and radial) structure of the tones was measured with two builtin sets of rotating microphone rakes. These rakes provide a measurement of the system performance independent from the control system error microphones. In addition, the far-field noise was measured with a semicircular array of 28 microphones. This test represents the first in a series of tests that demonstrate different active noise control concepts, each on a progressively more complicated modal structure. The tests are

  14. Individual Variability and Test-Retest Reliability Revealed by Ten Repeated Resting-State Brain Scans over One Month

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Changle; Wang, Luoyu; Yang, Ning; Wang, Ze; Dong, Hao-Ming; Yang, Zhi; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Weng, Xu-Chu

    2015-01-01

    Individual differences in mind and behavior are believed to reflect the functional variability of the human brain. Due to the lack of a large-scale longitudinal dataset, the full landscape of variability within and between individual functional connectomes is largely unknown. We collected 300 resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI) datasets from 30 healthy participants who were scanned every three days for one month. With these data, both intra- and inter-individual variability of six common rfMRI metrics, as well as their test-retest reliability, were estimated across multiple spatial scales. Global metrics were more dynamic than local regional metrics. Cognitive components involving working memory, inhibition, attention, language and related neural networks exhibited high intra-individual variability. In contrast, inter-individual variability demonstrated a more complex picture across the multiple scales of metrics. Limbic, default, frontoparietal and visual networks and their related cognitive components were more differentiable than somatomotor and attention networks across the participants. Analyzing both intra- and inter-individual variability revealed a set of high-resolution maps on test-retest reliability of the multi-scale connectomic metrics. These findings represent the first collection of individual differences in multi-scale and multi-metric characterization of the human functional connectomes in-vivo, serving as normal references for the field to guide the use of common functional metrics in rfMRI-based applications. PMID:26714192

  15. The Vanderbilt Expertise Test Reveals Domain-General and Domain-Specific Sex Effects in Object Recognition

    PubMed Central

    McGugin, Rankin W.; Richler, Jennifer J.; Herzmann, Grit; Speegle, Magen; Gauthier, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Individual differences in face recognition are often contrasted with differences in object recognition using a single object category. Likewise, individual differences in perceptual expertise for a given object domain have typically been measured relative to only a single category baseline. In Experiment 1, we present a new test of object recognition, the Vanderbilt Expertise Test (VET), which is comparable in methods to the Cambridge Face Memory Task (CFMT) but uses eight different object categories. Principal component analysis reveals that the underlying structure of the VET can be largely explained by two independent factors, which demonstrate good reliability and capture interesting sex differences inherent in the VET structure. In Experiment 2, we show how the VET can be used to separate domain-specific from domain-general contributions to a standard measure of perceptual expertise. While domain-specific contributions are found for car matching for both men and women and for plane matching in men, women in this sample appear to use more domain-general strategies to match planes. In Experiment 3, we use the VET to demonstrate that holistic processing of faces predicts face recognition independently of general object recognition ability, which has a sex-specific contribution to face recognition. Overall, the results suggest that the VET is a reliable and valid measure of object recognition abilities and can measure both domain-general skills and domain-specific expertise, which were both found to depend on the sex of observers. PMID:22877929

  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. A proteomic approach reveals integrin activation state-dependent control of microtubule cortical targeting.

    PubMed

    Byron, Adam; Askari, Janet A; Humphries, Jonathan D; Jacquemet, Guillaume; Koper, Ewa J; Warwood, Stacey; Choi, Colin K; Stroud, Matthew J; Chen, Christopher S; Knight, David; Humphries, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Integrin activation, which is regulated by allosteric changes in receptor conformation, enables cellular responses to the chemical, mechanical and topological features of the extracellular microenvironment. A global view of how activation state converts the molecular composition of the region proximal to integrins into functional readouts is, however, lacking. Here, using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies, we report the isolation of integrin activation state-dependent complexes and their characterization by mass spectrometry. Quantitative comparisons, integrating network, clustering, pathway and image analyses, define multiple functional protein modules enriched in a conformation-specific manner. Notably, active integrin complexes are specifically enriched for proteins associated with microtubule-based functions. Visualization of microtubules on micropatterned surfaces and live cell imaging demonstrate that active integrins establish an environment that stabilizes microtubules at the cell periphery. These data provide a resource for the interrogation of the global molecular connections that link integrin activation to adhesion signalling. PMID:25609142

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. A proteomic approach reveals integrin activation state-dependent control of microtubule cortical targeting

    PubMed Central

    Byron, Adam; Askari, Janet A.; Humphries, Jonathan D.; Jacquemet, Guillaume; Koper, Ewa J.; Warwood, Stacey; Choi, Colin K.; Stroud, Matthew J.; Chen, Christopher S.; Knight, David; Humphries, Martin J.

    2015-01-01

    Integrin activation, which is regulated by allosteric changes in receptor conformation, enables cellular responses to the chemical, mechanical and topological features of the extracellular microenvironment. A global view of how activation state converts the molecular composition of the region proximal to integrins into functional readouts is, however, lacking. Here, using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies, we report the isolation of integrin activation state-dependent complexes and their characterization by mass spectrometry. Quantitative comparisons, integrating network, clustering, pathway and image analyses, define multiple functional protein modules enriched in a conformation-specific manner. Notably, active integrin complexes are specifically enriched for proteins associated with microtubule-based functions. Visualization of microtubules on micropatterned surfaces and live cell imaging demonstrate that active integrins establish an environment that stabilizes microtubules at the cell periphery. These data provide a resource for the interrogation of the global molecular connections that link integrin activation to adhesion signalling. PMID:25609142

  1. SOFIA Telescope Functional Integration and Performance Test Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddell, P.; Haas, M. R.; Dunham, E. W.; Bremers, E.; Harms, F.; Keas, P. J.; Lattner, K.; Lillienthal, D.; Meyer, A. W.; Wolf, J.

    2004-12-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.7-m telescope installed in a Boeing 747SP. Collaborators developing the SOFIA telescope and observatory completed an intense period of activation between mid-June and mid-August, 2004. The integration activities included a preliminary modal survey; alignment of the Wide Field, Fine Field, and Focal Plane Imagers; installation of the secondary and tertiary mirrors; and their alignment relative to the primary mirror. Once these preliminaries were completed, SOFIA was rolled out of its hangar for a series of ground-based, on-sky tests using HIPO, the first science instrument to be installed on the telescope. First light was achieved observing Polaris on August 18, 2004. The on-sky test period encompassed 12 nights in late August and early September and included telescope step function response and first-order pointing control, image quality and optical tracking stability measurements, evaluation of the tracking imagers, gravity deformation studies, gyro alignment and bias rate measurement and correction, and performance tests of the secondary mirror Focus Centering Mechanism and Tilt Chopping Mechanism. It also included tests of the complete telescope command set, including Image Quality Compensation (IQC), quasi-static Flexible Body Compensation (FBC), reference frame transformations and trajectory estimation algorithms. This poster summarizes the results and describes the expected performance of SOFIA at the start of science observations. SOFIA is jointly funded by NASA and DLR and is managed by USRA and DSI. The successful, on-schedule completion of these tests involved close coordination by these three parties, CSA Engineering, CSEM, Kayser-Threde, L-3 Communications, Lowell Observatory, MAN-Technologies, Orbital Sciences, and others.

  2. Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) Environmental Test Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salazar, George A.

    2013-01-01

    This report focuses on the limited environmental testing of the AMOLED display performed as an engineering evaluation by The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC)-specifically. EMI. Thermal Vac, and radiation tests. The AMOLED display is an active-matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. The testing provided an initial understanding of the technology and its suitability for space applications. Relative to light emitting diode (LED) displays or liquid crystal displays (LCDs), AMOLED displays provide a superior viewing experience even though they are much lighter and smaller, produce higher contrast ratio and richer colors, and require less power to operate than LCDs. However, AMOLED technology has not been demonstrated in a space environment. Therefore, some risks with the technology must be addressed before they can be seriously considered for human spaceflight. The environmental tests provided preliminary performance data on the ability of the display technology to handle some of the simulated induced space/spacecraft environments that an AMOLED display will see during a spacecraft certification test program. This engineering evaluation is part of a Space Act Agreement (SM) between The NASA/JSC and Honeywell International (HI) as a collaborative effort to evaluate the potential use of AMOLED technology for future human spaceflight missions- both government-led and commercial. Under this SM, HI is responsible for doing optical performance evaluation, as well as temperature and touch screen studies. The NASA/JSC is responsible for performing environmental testing comprised of EMI, Thermal Vac, and radiation tests. Additionally, as part of the testing, limited optical data was acquired to assess performance as the display was subjected to the induced environments. The NASA will benefit from this engineering evaluation by understanding AMOLED suitability for future use in space as well as becoming a smarter buyer (or developer) of the technology. HI benefits

  3. A 220-nucleotide deletion of the intronic enhancer reveals an epigenetic hierarchy in immunoglobulin heavy chain locus activation

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Tirtha; Perlot, Thomas; Subrahmanyam, Ramesh; Jani, Anant; Goff, Peter H.; Zhang, Yu; Ivanova, Irina; Alt, Frederick W.

    2009-01-01

    A tissue-specific transcriptional enhancer, Eμ, has been implicated in developmentally regulated recombination and transcription of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene locus. We demonstrate that deleting 220 nucleotides that constitute the core Eμ results in partially active locus, characterized by reduced histone acetylation, chromatin remodeling, transcription, and recombination, whereas other hallmarks of tissue-specific locus activation, such as loss of H3K9 dimethylation or gain of H3K4 dimethylation, are less affected. These observations define Eμ-independent and Eμ-dependent phases of locus activation that reveal an unappreciated epigenetic hierarchy in tissue-specific gene expression. PMID:19414554

  4. Activated carbon passes tests for acid-gas cleanup

    SciTech Connect

    Harruff, L.G.; Bushkuhl, S.J.

    1996-06-24

    Use of activated carbon to remove hydrocarbon contaminants from the acid-gas feed to Claus sulfur-recovery units has been successfully pilot tested in Saudi Arabia. Pilot plant results are discussed here along with issues involved in scale-up to commercial size. Heavy hydrocarbons, particularly benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) have been linked to coke formation and catalyst deactivation in Claus converters. This deactivation results in reduced sulfur recovery and increased sulfur emissions from these plants. This clean-up process was proven to be capable of removing 95% of the BTX and other C{sub 6}+s from acid gas over a wide range of actual plant conditions. Following the adsorption step, the activated carbon was easily regenerated by use of low-pressure steam. A post-regeneration drying step using plant fuel gas also proved beneficial. The paper discusses feed contaminants, vapor-phase cleanup, testing design, test parameters and results, bed drying after regeneration, regeneration conditions, basic flow, system control, and full-scale installation.

  5. Active Blade Vibration Control Being Developed and Tested

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Dexter

    2003-01-01

    Gas turbine engines are currently being designed to have increased performance, lower weight and manufacturing costs, and higher reliability. Consequently, turbomachinery components, such as turbine and compressor blades, have designs that are susceptible to new vibration problems and eventual in-service failure due to high-cycle fatigue. To address this problem, researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing and testing innovative active blade vibration control concepts. Preliminary results of using an active blade vibration control system, involving a rotor supported by an active magnetic bearing in Glenn's Dynamic Spin Rig, indicate promising results (see the photograph). Active blade vibration control was achieved using feedback of blade strain gauge signals within the magnetic bearing control loop. The vibration amplitude was reduced substantially (see the graphs). Also, vibration amplitude amplification was demonstrated; this could be used to enhance structural mode identification, if desired. These results were for a nonrotating two-bladed disk. Tests for rotating blades are planned. Current and future active blade vibration control research is planned to use a fully magnetically suspended rotor and smart materials. For the fully magnetically suspended rotor work, three magnetic bearings (two radial and one axial) will be used as actuators instead of one magnetic bearing. This will allow additional degrees of freedom to be used for control. For the smart materials work, control effectors located on and off the blade will be considered. Piezoelectric materials will be considered for on-the-blade actuation, and actuator placement on a stator vane, or other nearby structure, will be investigated for off-the-blade actuation. Initial work will focus on determining the feasibility of these methods by performing basic analysis and simple experiments involving feedback control.

  6. Antiparasitic activity of parbendazole in critical tests in horses.

    PubMed

    Lyons, E T; Drudge, J H; Tolliver, S C

    1980-01-01

    Critical tests were conducted in 11 naturally infected horses to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of parbendazole. Single doses at the rates of 30, 20, 10, 5, or 2.5 mg/kg of body weight were administered by stomach tube to 1, 4, 2, 2, and 2 horses, respectively. Parbendazole was active against Parascaris equorum, Oxyuris equi, Strongylus vulgaris, Strongylus edentatus, and small strongyles throughout the range of doses. Generally, small numbers of P equorum were present, but apparently a dose rate higher than 2.5 mg/kg is necessary for complete clearance. Removal of O equi was virtually 100%, even at the 2.5 mg/kg dose rate, although mature forms were present in small numbers. Removal of S vulgaris and S edentatus was 98% to 100% at the largest and smallest dose rates and was somewhat inconsistent, especially of S edentatus, at most intermediate dose rates. Overall removal of small strongyles was good even at smallest dose rate. Activity was limited or lacking against stomach parasites. Transient diarrhea was observed for 24 to 48 hours after treatment at each dose rate tested. PMID:6892671

  7. 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.

  8. A caspase active site probe reveals high fractional inhibition needed to block DNA fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Méthot, Nathalie; Vaillancourt, John P; Huang, JingQi; Colucci, John; Han, Yongxin; Ménard, Stéphane; Zamboni, Robert; Toulmond, Sylvie; Nicholson, Donald W; Roy, Sophie

    2004-07-01

    Apoptotic markers consist of either caspase substrate cleavage products or phenotypic changes that manifest themselves as a consequence of caspase-mediated substrate cleavage. We have shown recently that pharmacological inhibitors of caspase activity prevent the appearance of two such apoptotic manifestations, alphaII-spectrin cleavage and DNA fragmentation, but that blockade of the latter required a significantly higher concentration of inhibitor. We investigated this phenomenon through the use of a novel radiolabeled caspase inhibitor, [(125)I]M808, which acts as a caspase active site probe. [(125)I]M808 bound to active caspases irreversibly and with high sensitivity in apoptotic cell extracts, in tissue extracts from several commonly used animal models of cellular injury, and in living cells. Moreover, [(125)I]M808 detected active caspases in septic mice when injected intravenously. Using this caspase probe, an active site occupancy assay was developed and used to measure the fractional inhibition required to block apoptosis-induced DNA fragmentation. In thymocytes, occupancy of up to 40% of caspase active sites had no effect on DNA fragmentation, whereas inhibition of half of the DNA cleaving activity required between 65 and 75% of active site occupancy. These results suggest that a high and persistent fractional inhibition will be required for successful caspase inhibition-based therapies. PMID:15067000

  9. Validation of the Reveal(®) 2.0 Group D1 Salmonella Test for Detection of Salmonella Enteritidis in Raw Shell Eggs and Poultry-Associated Matrixes.

    PubMed

    Mozola, Mark; Biswas, Preetha; Viator, Ryan; Feldpausch, Emily; Foti, Debra; Li, Lin; Le, Quynh-Nhi; Alles, Susan; Rice, Jennifer

    2016-07-01

    A study was conducted to assess the performance of the Reveal(®) 2.0 Group D1 Salmonella lateral flow immunoassay for use in detection of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in raw shell eggs and poultry-associated matrixes, including chicken carcass rinse and poultry feed. In inclusivity testing, the Reveal 2.0 test detected all 37 strains of SE tested. The test also detected all but one of 18 non-Enteritidis somatic group D1 Salmonella serovars examined. In exclusivity testing, none of 42 strains tested was detected. The exclusivity panel included Salmonella strains of somatic groups other than D1, as well as strains of other genera of Gram-negative bacteria. In matrix testing, performance of the Reveal 2.0 test was compared to that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook reference culture procedure for chicken carcass rinse and to that of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual for raw shell eggs and poultry feed. For all matrixes evaluated, there were no significant differences in the ability to detect SE when comparing the Reveal 2.0 method and the appropriate reference culture procedure as determined by probability of detection statistical analysis. The ability of the Reveal 2.0 test to withstand modest perturbations to normal operating parameters was examined in robustness experiments. Results showed that the test can withstand deviations in up to three operating parameters simultaneously without significantly affecting performance. Real-time stability testing of multiple lots of Reveal 2.0 devices established the shelf life of the test device at 16 months postmanufacture. PMID:27214854

  10. Information Technology Measurement and Testing Activities at NIST

    PubMed Central

    Hogan, Michael D.; Carnahan, Lisa J.; Carpenter, Robert J.; Flater, David W.; Fowler, James E.; Frechette, Simon P.; Gray, Martha M.; Johnson, L. Arnold; McCabe, R. Michael; Montgomery, Douglas; Radack, Shirley M.; Rosenthal, Robert; Shakarji, Craig M.

    2001-01-01

    Our high technology society continues to rely more and more upon sophisticated measurements, technical standards, and associated testing activities. This was true for the industrial society of the 20th century and remains true for the information society of the 21st century. Over the last half of the 20th century, information technology (IT) has been a powerful agent of change in almost every sector of the economy. The complexity and rapidly changing nature of IT have presented unique technical challenges to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and to the scientific measurement community in developing a sound measurement and testing infrastructure for IT. This measurement and testing infrastructure for the important non-physical and non-chemical properties associated with complex IT systems is still in an early stage of development. This paper explains key terms and concepts of IT metrology, briefly reviews the history of the National Bureau of Standards/National Institute of Standards and Technology (NBS/NIST) in the field of IT, and reviews NIST’s current capabilities and work in measurement and testing for IT. It concludes with a look at what is likely to occur in the field of IT over the next ten years and what metrology roles NIST is likely to play. PMID:27500026

  11. Boron-10 ABUNCL Prototype Models And Initial Active Testing

    SciTech Connect

    Kouzes, Richard T.; Ely, James H.; Lintereur, Azaree T.; Siciliano, Edward R.

    2013-04-23

    The Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security (NA-241) is supporting the project Coincidence Counting With Boron-Based Alternative Neutron Detection Technology at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the development of a 3He proportional counter alternative neutron coincidence counter. The goal of this project is to design, build and demonstrate a system based upon 10B-lined proportional tubes in a configuration typical for 3He-based coincidence counter applications. This report provides results from MCNPX model simulations and initial testing of the active mode variation of the Alternative Boron-Based Uranium Neutron Coincidence Collar (ABUNCL) design built by General Electric Reuter-Stokes. Initial experimental testing of the as-delivered passive ABUNCL was previously reported.

  12. Uranium Adsorption on Granular Activated Carbon – Batch Testing

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, Kent E.; Golovich, Elizabeth C.; Wellman, Dawn M.

    2013-09-01

    The uranium adsorption performance of two activated carbon samples (Tusaar Lot B-64, Tusaar ER2-189A) was tested using unadjusted source water from well 299-W19-36. These batch tests support ongoing performance optimization efforts to use the best material for uranium treatment in the Hanford Site 200 West Area groundwater pump-and-treat system. A linear response of uranium loading as a function of the solution-to-solid ratio was observed for both materials. Kd values ranged from ~380,000 to >1,900,000 ml/g for the B-64 material and ~200,000 to >1,900,000 ml/g for the ER2-189A material. Uranium loading values ranged from 10.4 to 41.6 μg/g for the two Tusaar materials.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Properties of active nucleosomes as revealed by HMG 14 and 17 chromatography.

    PubMed Central

    Weisbrod, S T

    1982-01-01

    Nucleosomes from actively transcribed genes (active nucleosomes) contain nonhistone proteins HMG 14 and 17 and are preferentially sensitive to digestion by DNAse I. Active nucleosomes isolated by chromatography on an HMG 14 and 17 glass bead affinity column were analyzed with respect to overall structure, accessory nonhistone components and modifications to the DNA and histones. The experiments lead to the following conclusions: the DNA in the active nucleosome is undermethylated compared to bulk DNA; topoisomerase I is a non-stoichiometric component of the active nucleosome fraction; the level of histone acetylation is enriched in active nucleosomes, but the extent of enrichment cannot account for HMG binding; and the two histone H3 molecules in the active nucleosome can dimerize more readily and are, therefore, probably closer together than those in the bulk of the nucleosomes. Additionally it is shown that HMG 14 and 17 prefer to bind to single- vs. double-stranded nucleic acids. The role of HMG 14 and 17 in producing a highly DNAse I sensitive structure and correspondingly helping to facilitate transcription is discussed in terms of these properties. Images PMID:6210882

  16. Utilisation of Wearable Computing for Space Programmes Test Activities Optimasation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basso, V.; Lazzari, D.; Alemanni, M.

    2004-08-01

    New technologies are assuming a relevant importance in the Space business domain also in the Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) activities allowing process optimization and capability that were unthinkable only few years ago. This paper has the aim to describe Alenia Spazio (ALS) gained experience on the remote interaction techniques as a results of collaborations established both on European Communities (EC) initiatives, with Alenia Aeronautica (ALA) and Politecnico of Torino (POLITO). The H/W and S/W components performances increase and costs reduction due to the home computing massive utilization (especially demanded by the games business) together with the network technology possibility (offered by the web as well as the hi-speed links and the wireless communications) allow today to re-think the traditional AIT process activities in the light of the multimedia data exchange: graphical, voice video and by sure more in the future. Aerospace business confirm its innovation vocation which in the year '80 represents the cradle of the CAD systems and today is oriented to the 3D data visualization/ interaction technologies and remote visualisation/ interaction in collaborative way on a much more user friendly bases (i.e. not for specialists). Fig. 1 collects AIT extended scenario studied and adopted by ALS in these years. ALS experimented two possibilities of remote visualization/interaction: Portable [e.g. Fig.2 Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), Wearable] and walls (e.g.VR-Lab) screens as both 2D/3D visualisation and interaction devices which could support many types of traditional (mainly based on EGSE and PDM/CAD utilisation/reports) company internal AIT applications: 1. design review support 2. facility management 3. storage management 4. personnel training 5. integration sequences definition 6. assembly and test operations follow up 7. documentation review and external access to AIT activities for remote operations (e.g. tele-testing) EGSE Portable Clean room

  17. A biosensor of local kinesin activity reveals roles of PKC and EB1 in KIF17 activation

    PubMed Central

    Espenel, Cedric; Acharya, Bipul R.

    2013-01-01

    We showed previously that the kinesin-2 motor KIF17 regulates microtubule (MT) dynamics and organization to promote epithelial differentiation. How KIF17 activity is regulated during this process remains unclear. Several kinesins, including KIF17, adopt compact and extended conformations that reflect autoinhibited and active states, respectively. We designed biosensors of KIF17 to monitor its activity directly in single cells using fluorescence lifetime imaging to detect Förster resonance energy transfer. Lifetime data are mapped on a phasor plot, allowing us to resolve populations of active and inactive motors in individual cells. Using this biosensor, we demonstrate that PKC contributes to the activation of KIF17 and that this is required for KIF17 to stabilize MTs in epithelia. Furthermore, we show that EB1 recruits KIF17 to dynamic MTs, enabling its accumulation at MT ends and thus promoting MT stabilization at discrete cellular domains. PMID:24189273

  18. Standards Development Activities at White Sands Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baker, D. L.; Beeson, H. D.; Saulsberry, R. L.; Julien, H. L.; Woods, S. S.

    2003-01-01

    The development of standards and standard activities at the JSC White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) has been expanded to include the transfer of technology and standards to voluntary consensus organizations in five technical areas of importance to NASA. This effort is in direct response to the National Technology Transfer Act designed to accelerate transfer of technology to industry and promote government-industry partnerships. Technology transfer is especially important for WSTF, whose longterm mission has been to develop and provide vital propellant safety and hazards information to aerospace designers, operations personnel, and safety personnel. Meeting this mission is being accomplished through the preparation of consensus guidelines and standards, propellant hazards analysis protocols, and safety courses for the propellant use of hydrogen, oxygen, and hypergols, as well as the design and inspection of spacecraft pressure vessels and the use of pyrovalves in spacecraft propulsion systems. The overall WSTF technology transfer program is described and the current status of technology transfer activities are summarized.

  19. Testing Punctuated Equilibrium Theory Using Evolutionary Activity Statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodberry, O. G.; Korb, K. B.; Nicholson, A. E.

    The Punctuated Equilibrium hypothesis (Eldredge and Gould,1972) asserts that most evolutionary change occurs during geologically rapid speciation events, with species exhibiting stasis most of the time. Punctuated Equilibrium is a natural extension of Mayr's theories on peripatric speciation via the founder effect, (Mayr, 1963; Eldredge and Gould, 1972) which associates changes in diversity to a population bottleneck. That is, while the formation of a foundation bottleneck brings an initial loss of genetic variation, it may subsequently result in the emergence of a child species distinctly different from its parent species. In this paper we adapt Bedau's evolutionary activity statistics (Bedau and Packard, 1991) to test these effects in an ALife simulation of speciation. We find a relative increase in evolutionary activity during speciations events, indicating that punctuation is occurring.

  20. Active-site mobility revealed by the crystal structure of arylmalonate decarboxylase from Bordetella bronchiseptica.

    PubMed

    Kuettner, E Bartholomeus; Keim, Antje; Kircher, Markus; Rosmus, Susann; Sträter, Norbert

    2008-03-21

    Arylmalonate decarboxylase (AMDase) from Bordetella bronchiseptica catalyzes the enantioselective decarboxylation of arylmethylmalonates without the need for an organic cofactor or metal ion. The decarboxylation reaction is of interest for the synthesis of fine chemicals. As basis for an analysis of the catalytic mechanism of AMDase and for a rational enzyme design, we determined the X-ray structure of the enzyme up to 1.9 A resolution. Like the distantly related aspartate or glutamate racemases, AMDase has an aspartate transcarbamoylase fold consisting of two alpha/beta domains related by a pseudo dyad. However, the domain orientation of AMDase differs by about 30 degrees from that of the glutamate racemases, and also significant differences in active-site structures are observed. In the crystals, four independent subunits showing different conformations of active-site loops are present. This finding is likely to reflect the active-site mobility necessary for catalytic activity. PMID:18258259

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Transcriptomic Analysis of Musca domestica to Reveal Key Genes of the Prophenoloxidase-Activating System

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dianxiang; Liang, Yongli; Wang, Xianwei; Wang, Lei; Qi, Mei; Yu, Yang; Luan, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    The proPO system regulates melanization in arthropods. However, the genes that are involved in the proPO system in housefly Musca domestica remain unclear. Thus, this study analyzed the combined transcriptome obtained from M. domestica larvae, pupae, and adults that were either normal or bacteria-challenged by an Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus mixture. A total of 54,821,138 clean reads (4.93 Gb) were yielded by Illumina sequencing, which were de novo assembled into 89,842 unigenes. Of the 89,842 unigenes, based on a similarity search with known genes in other insects, 24 putative genes related to the proPO system were identified. Eight of the identified genes encoded for peptidoglycan recognition receptors, two encoded for prophenoloxidases, three encoded for prophenoloxidase-activating enzymes, and 11 encoded for serine proteinase inhibitors. The expression levels of these identified genes were investigated by qRT-PCR assay, which were consistent with expected activation process of the proPO system, and their activation functions were confirmed by the measurement of phenoloxidase activity in bacteria-infected larvae after proPO antibody blockage, suggesting these candidate genes might have potentially different roles in the activation of proPO system. Collectively, this study has provided the comprehensive transcriptomic data of an insect and some fundamental basis toward achieving understanding of the activation mechanisms and immune functions of the proPO system in M. domestica. PMID:26156588

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. β-Arrestin biosensors reveal a rapid, receptor-dependent activation/deactivation cycle.

    PubMed

    Nuber, Susanne; Zabel, Ulrike; Lorenz, Kristina; Nuber, Andreas; Milligan, Graeme; Tobin, Andrew B; Lohse, Martin J; Hoffmann, Carsten

    2016-03-31

    (β-)Arrestins are important regulators of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). They bind to active, phosphorylated GPCRs and thereby shut off 'classical' signalling to G proteins, trigger internalization of GPCRs via interaction with the clathrin machinery and mediate signalling via 'non-classical' pathways. In addition to two visual arrestins that bind to rod and cone photoreceptors (termed arrestin1 and arrestin4), there are only two (non-visual) β-arrestin proteins (β-arrestin1 and β-arrestin2, also termed arrestin2 and arrestin3), which regulate hundreds of different (non-visual) GPCRs. Binding of these proteins to GPCRs usually requires the active form of the receptors plus their phosphorylation by G-protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs). The binding of receptors or their carboxy terminus as well as certain truncations induce active conformations of (β-)arrestins that have recently been solved by X-ray crystallography. Here we investigate both the interaction of β-arrestin with GPCRs, and the β-arrestin conformational changes in real time and in living human cells, using a series of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based β-arrestin2 biosensors. We observe receptor-specific patterns of conformational changes in β-arrestin2 that occur rapidly after the receptor-β-arrestin2 interaction. After agonist removal, these changes persist for longer than the direct receptor interaction. Our data indicate a rapid, receptor-type-specific, two-step binding and activation process between GPCRs and β-arrestins. They further indicate that β-arrestins remain active after dissociation from receptors, allowing them to remain at the cell surface and presumably signal independently. Thus, GPCRs trigger a rapid, receptor-specific activation/deactivation cycle of β-arrestins, which permits their active signalling. PMID:27007855

  9. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Buckholtz, Joshua W; Martin, Justin W; Treadway, Michael T; Jan, Katherine; Zald, David H; Jones, Owen; Marois, René

    2015-09-23

    The social welfare provided by cooperation depends on the enforcement of social norms. Determining blameworthiness and assigning a deserved punishment are two cognitive cornerstones of norm enforcement. Although prior work has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in norm-based judgments, the relative contribution of this region to blameworthiness and punishment decisions remains poorly understood. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and fMRI to determine the specific role of DLPFC function in norm-enforcement behavior. DLPFC rTMS reduced punishment for wrongful acts without affecting blameworthiness ratings, and fMRI revealed punishment-selective DLPFC recruitment, suggesting that these two facets of norm-based decision making are neurobiologically dissociable. Finally, we show that DLPFC rTMS affects punishment decision making by altering the integration of information about culpability and harm. Together, these findings reveal a selective, causal role for DLPFC in norm enforcement: representational integration of the distinct information streams used to make punishment decisions. PMID:26386518

  10. Small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering reveal conformational changes in rhodopsin activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Utsab R.; Bhowmik, Debsindhu; Perera, Suchitrhanga M. C. D.; Chawla, Udeep; Struts, Andrey V.; Graziono, Vito; Pingali, Sai Venkatesh; Heller, William T.; Qian, Shuo; Brown, Michael F.; Chu, Xiang-Qiang

    2015-03-01

    Understanding G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation plays a crucial role in the development of novel improved molecular drugs. During photo-activation, the retinal chromophore of the visual GPCR rhodopsin isomerizes from 11-cis to all-trans conformation, yielding an equilibrium between inactive Meta-I and active Meta-II states. The principal goals of this work are to address whether the activation of rhodopsin leads to a single state or a conformational ensemble, and how protein organizational structure changes with detergent environment in solution. We use both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques to answer the above questions. For the first time we observe the change in protein conformational ensemble upon photo-activation by SANS with contrast variation, which enables the separate study of the protein structure within the detergent assembly. In addition, SAXS study of protein structure within detergent assembly suggests that the detergent molecules form a belt of monolayer (micelle) around protein with different geometrical shapes to keep the protein in folded state.

  11. Mutant N143P Reveals How Na[superscript +] Activates Thrombin

    SciTech Connect

    Niu, Weiling; Chen, Zhiwei; Bush-Pelc, Leslie A.; Bah, Alaji; Gandhi, Prafull S.; Di Cera, Enrico

    2010-01-12

    The molecular mechanism of thrombin activation by Na{sup +} remains elusive. Its kinetic formulation requires extension of the classical Botts-Morales theory for the action of a modifier on an enzyme to correctly account for the contribution of the E*, E, and E:Na{sup +} forms. The extended scheme establishes that analysis of k{sub cat} unequivocally identifies allosteric transduction of Na{sup +} binding into enhanced catalytic activity. The thrombin mutant N143P features no Na{sup +}-dependent enhancement of k{sub cat} yet binds Na{sup +} with an affinity comparable to that of wild type. Crystal structures of the mutant in the presence and absence of Na{sup +} confirm that Pro{sup 143} abrogates the important H-bond between the backbone N atom of residue 143 and the carbonyl O atom of Glu{sup 192}, which in turn controls the orientation of the Glu{sup 192}-Gly{sup 193} peptide bond and the correct architecture of the oxyanion hole. We conclude that Na{sup +} activates thrombin by securing the correct orientation of the Glu{sup 192}-Gly{sup 193} peptide bond, which is likely flipped in the absence of cation. Absolute conservation of the 143-192 H-bond in trypsin-like proteases and the importance of the oxyanion hole in protease function suggest that this mechanism of Na{sup +} activation is present in all Na{sup +}-activated trypsin-like proteases.

  12. Genetically encoded proton sensors reveal activity-dependent pH changes in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Raimondo, Joseph V.; Irkle, Agnese; Wefelmeyer, Winnie; Newey, Sarah E.; Akerman, Colin J.

    2011-01-01

    The regulation of hydrogen ion concentration (pH) is fundamental to cell viability, metabolism, and enzymatic function. Within the nervous system, the control of pH is also involved in diverse and dynamic processes including development, synaptic transmission, and the control of network excitability. As pH affects neuronal activity, and can also itself be altered by neuronal activity, the existence of tools to accurately measure hydrogen ion fluctuations is important for understanding the role pH plays under physiological and pathological conditions. Outside of their use as a marker of synaptic release, genetically encoded pH sensors have not been utilized to study hydrogen ion fluxes associated with network activity. By combining whole-cell patch clamp with simultaneous two-photon or confocal imaging, we quantified the amplitude and time course of neuronal, intracellular, acidic transients evoked by epileptiform activity in two separate in vitro models of temporal lobe epilepsy. In doing so, we demonstrate the suitability of three genetically encoded pH sensors: deGFP4, E2GFP, and Cl-sensor for investigating activity-dependent pH changes at the level of single neurons. PMID:22666186

  13. fMRI reveals neural activity overlap between adult and infant pain

    PubMed Central

    Goksan, Sezgi; Hartley, Caroline; Emery, Faith; Cockrill, Naomi; Poorun, Ravi; Moultrie, Fiona; Rogers, Richard; Campbell, Jon; Sanders, Michael; Adams, Eleri; Clare, Stuart; Jenkinson, Mark; Tracey, Irene; Slater, Rebeccah

    2015-01-01

    Limited understanding of infant pain has led to its lack of recognition in clinical practice. While the network of brain regions that encode the affective and sensory aspects of adult pain are well described, the brain structures involved in infant nociceptive processing are less well known, meaning little can be inferred about the nature of the infant pain experience. Using fMRI we identified the network of brain regions that are active following acute noxious stimulation in newborn infants, and compared the activity to that observed in adults. Significant infant brain activity was observed in 18 of the 20 active adult brain regions but not in the infant amygdala or orbitofrontal cortex. Brain regions that encode sensory and affective components of pain are active in infants, suggesting that the infant pain experience closely resembles that seen in adults. This highlights the importance of developing effective pain management strategies in this vulnerable population. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06356.001 PMID:25895592

  14. 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

  15. Engagement in activities revealing the body and psychosocial adjustment in adults with a trans-tibial prosthesis.

    PubMed

    Donovan-Hall, M K; Yardley, L; Watts, R J

    2002-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the appearance of a prosthesis on social behaviour, social discomfort and psychological well-being in eleven amputees taking delivery of a prosthesis with a silicone cover. Two new scales were developed: the 'Engagement in everyday activities involving revealing the body' (EEARB); and the 'Discomfort-Engagement in everyday activities involving revealing the body' (Discomfort-EEARB) scales. The psychometric properties of these scales were determined using a sample of 101 able-bodied adults. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were also used to measure psychological well-being in the amputee sample. The EEARB and Discomfort-EEARB proved to have good reliability and validity. Comparison of amputees' scores prior to receiving the silicone cosmesis with those of the able-bodied adults revealed significant behavioural limitations and social discomfort, associated with low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. There was a significant increase in amputees' scores three months afier taking delivery of their prosthesis, indicating that amputees reported engaging in more activities which involved revealing their body, and that they would feel more comfortable in situations which involved revealing the body. As the amputee sample available was small and self-selected, it is not possible to generalise these findings to the amputee population as a whole. However, since there is little previous research investigating the effects of the appearance of the prosthesis, these findings demonstrate the need for further research in this area. PMID:12043922

  16. Design and test of three active flutter suppression controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christhilf, David M.; Waszak, Martin R.; Adams, William M.; Srinathkumar, S.; Mukhopadhyay, Vivek

    1991-01-01

    Three flutter suppression control law design techniques are presented. Each uses multiple control surfaces and/or sensors. The first uses linear combinations of several accelerometer signals together with dynamic compensation to synthesize the modal rate of the critical mode for feedback to distributed control surfaces. The second uses traditional tools (pole/zero loci and Nyquist diagrams) to develop a good understanding of the flutter mechanism and produce a controller with minimal complexity and good robustness to plant uncertainty. The third starts with a minimum energy Linear Quadratic Gaussian controller, applies controller order reduction, and then modifies weight and noise covariance matrices to improve multi-variable robustness. The resulting designs were implemented digitally and tested subsonically on the Active Flexible Wing (AFW) wind tunnel model. Test results presented here include plant characteristics, maximum attained closed-loop dynamic pressure, and Root Mean Square control surface activity. A key result is that simultaneous symmetric and antisymmetric flutter suppression was achieved by the second control law, with a 24 percent increase in attainable dynamic pressure.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-12-01

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

  18. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    PubMed Central

    Wernimont, Amy K.; Artz, Jennifer D.; Finerty, Patrick; Lin, Y.; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2013-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) play pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites, and comprise a 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. PMID:20436473

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Analysis of protein phosphorylation in nerve terminal reveals extensive changes in active zone proteins upon exocytosis.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27115346

  2. 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.

  3. In vivo imaging of alphaherpesvirus infection reveals synchronized activity dependent on axonal sorting of viral proteins

    PubMed Central

    Granstedt, Andrea E.; Bosse, Jens B.; Thiberge, Stephan Y.; Enquist, Lynn W.

    2013-01-01

    A clinical hallmark of human alphaherpesvirus infections is peripheral pain or itching. Pseudorabies virus (PRV), a broad host range alphaherpesvirus, causes violent pruritus in many different animals, but the mechanism is unknown. Previous in vitro studies have shown that infected, cultured peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons exhibited aberrant electrical activity after PRV infection due to the action of viral membrane fusion proteins, yet it is unclear if such activity occurs in infected PNS ganglia in living animals and if it correlates with disease symptoms. Using two-photon microscopy, we imaged autonomic ganglia in living mice infected with PRV strains expressing GCaMP3, a genetically encoded calcium indicator, and used the changes in calcium flux to monitor the activity of many neurons simultaneously with single-cell resolution. Infection with virulent PRV caused these PNS neurons to fire synchronously and cyclically in highly correlated patterns among infected neurons. This activity persisted even when we severed the presynaptic axons, showing that infection-induced firing is independent of input from presynaptic brainstem neurons. This activity was not observed after infections with an attenuated PRV recombinant used for circuit tracing or with PRV mutants lacking either viral glycoprotein B, required for membrane fusion, or viral membrane protein Us9, required for sorting virions and viral glycoproteins into axons. We propose that the viral fusion proteins produced by virulent PRV infection induce electrical coupling in unmyelinated axons in vivo. This action would then give rise to the synchronous and cyclical activity in the ganglia and contribute to the characteristic peripheral neuropathy. PMID:23980169

  4. 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

  5. Thermal activation of a group II intron ribozyme reveals multiple conformational states.

    PubMed

    Franzen, J S; Zhang, M; Chay, T R; Peebles, C L

    1994-09-20

    Conformational changes often accompany biological catalysis. Group II introns promote a variety of reactions in vitro that show an unusually sharp temperature dependence. This suggests that the chemical steps are accompanied by the conversion of a folded-but-inactive form to a differently folded active state. We report here the kinetic analysis of 5'-splice-junction hydrolysis (SJH) by E1:12345, a transcript containing the 5'-exon plus the first five of six intron secondary structure domains. The pseudo-first-order SJH reaction shows (1) activation by added KCl to 1.5 M; (2) cooperative activation by added MgCl2, nHill = 4.1-4.3, and [MgCl2]vmax/2 approximately 0.040 M; and (3) a rather high apparent activation energy, Ea approximately 50 kcal mol-l. In contrast, the 5'-terminal phosphodiester bond of a domain 5 transcript (GGD5) was hydrolyzed with Ea approximately 30 kcal mol-1 under SJH conditions; the 5'-GG leader dinucleotide presumably lacks secondary structure constraints. The effect of adding the chaotropic salt tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA) was also investigated. TEA reduced the melting temperatures of GGD5 and E1:12345. TEA also shifted the profile of rate versus temperature for SJH by E1:12345 toward lower temperatures without affecting the maximum rate. TEA had little effect on the rate of hydrolysis of the 5'-phosphodiester bond of GGD5. The high apparent activation enthalpy and entropy for SJH along with the effect of TEA on these parameters imply that conversion of an inactive form of E1:12345 to an active conformation accompanies enhanced occupation of the transition state as the temperature is raised to that for maximum SJH. Analytical modeling indicates that either a two-state model (open and disordered, with open being active) or a three-state model (compact, open, and disordered) could account for the temperature dependence of kSJH. However, the three-state model is clearly preferable, since it does not require that the activation parameters

  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. Activity profiling reveals changes in the diversity and activity of proteins in Arabidopsis roots in response to nematode infection.

    PubMed

    Hütten, Marion; Geukes, Melanie; Misas-Villamil, Johana C; van der Hoorn, Renier A L; Grundler, Florian M W; Siddique, Shahid

    2015-12-01

    Cyst nematodes are obligate, sedentary endoparasites with a highly specialised biology and a huge economic impact in agriculture. Successful parasitism involves morphological and physiological modifications of the host cells which lead to the formation of specialised syncytial feeding structures in roots. The development of the syncytium is aided by a cocktail of nematode effectors that manipulate the host plant activities in a complex network of interactions through post-translational modifications. Traditional transcriptomic and proteomic approaches cannot display this functional proteomic information. Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) is a powerful technology that can be used to investigate the activity of the proteome through activity-based probes. To better understand the functional proteomics of syncytium, ABPP was conducted on syncytia induced by the beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii in Arabidopsis roots. Our results demonstrated that the activity of several enzymes is differentially regulated in the syncytium compared to the control roots. Among those specifically activated in the syncytium are a putative S-formyl-glutathione hydrolase (SFGH), a putative methylesterase (MES) and two unidentified enzymes. In contrast, the activities of vacuolar processing enzymes (VPEs) are specifically suppressed in the syncytium. Competition labelling, quantitative gene expression and T-DNA knock-out mutants were used to further characterise the roles of the differentially regulated enzymes during plant-nematode interaction. In conclusion, our study will open the door to generate a comprehensive and integrated view of the host-pathogen warfare that results in the formation of long-term feeding sites for pathogens. PMID:26408809

  8. German National Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) Testing Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habrich, Heinz; Söhne, Wolfgang

    2013-04-01

    The European Global Navigation System (GNSS) Galileo is going to be established in the near future. Currently, four satellites are in place forming the In-Orbit-Testing (IOT) phase. Within the next years, the constellation will be filled. Full Operational Capability (FOC) will be reached 2019. Beside the Open Service (OS) which is comparable to other OS of existing GNSS, e.g., GPS C/A, there is a so-called Public Regulated Service (PRS) included in the IOT satellites already. The PRS will have improved robustness, i.e. robust signals which will be resistant against involuntary interferences, jamming and spoofing. The PRS signal is encrypted and there will be a restricted access to authorized users, e.g. safety and emergency services, authorities with security task, critical infrastructure organizations etc. The access to the PRS which will be controlled through a special key management will be managed and supervised within the European Union (EU) Member States (MS) by national authorities, the Competent PRS Authority (CPA). But a set of Common Minimum Standards (CMS) will define the minimum requirements applicable to each PRS participant. Nevertheless, each MS is responsible for its national key management. This presentation will inform about the testing activities for Galileo PRS in Germany. The coarse concept for the testing is explained, the schedule is outlined. Finally, the paper will formulate some expectations to the Galileo PRS, e.g. for international cooperation.

  9. Testing and evaluation for astronaut extravehicular activity (EVA) operability.

    PubMed

    Shields, N; King, L C

    1998-09-01

    Because it is the human component that defines space mission success, careful planning is required to ensure that hardware can be operated and maintained by crews on-orbit. Several methods exist to allow researchers and designers to better predict how hardware designs will behave under the harsh environment of low Earth orbit, and whether designs incorporate the necessary features for Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) operability. Testing under conditions of simulated microgravity can occur during the design concept phase when verifying design operability, during mission training, or concurrently with on-orbit mission operations. The bulk of testing is focused on normal operations, but also includes evaluation of credible mission contingencies or "what would happen if" planning. The astronauts and cosmonauts who fly these space missions are well prepared and trained to survive and be productive in Earth's orbit. The engineers, designers, and training crews involved in space missions subject themselves to Earth based simulation techniques that also expose them to extreme environments. Aircraft falling ten thousand feet, alternating g-loads, underwater testing at 45 foot depth, enclosure in a vacuum chamber and subject to thermal extremes, each carries with it inherent risks to the humans preparing for space missions. PMID:12190075

  10. Active role of the liquid phase of developer in revealing surface flaws by capillary methods

    SciTech Connect

    Prokhorenko, P.P.; Dezhkunov, N.V.; Stoicheva, I.V.

    1988-08-01

    The article investigates the interaction of two chemically nonreacting liquids after they have been brought into contact with each other in a capillary. It is established that the liquid phase of the developer is not only a passive carrier of the developing component but also exerts an active influence on the process of development, and consequently, on the detectability of flaws.

  11. Single Particle Tracking Reveals that EGFR Signaling Activity Is Amplified in Clathrin-Coated Pits

    PubMed Central

    Ibach, Jenny; Radon, Yvonne; Gelléri, Márton; Sonntag, Michael H.; Brunsveld, Luc; Bastiaens, Philippe I. H.; Verveer, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Signaling from the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) via phosphorylation on its C-terminal tyrosine residues requires self-association, which depends on the diffusional properties of the receptor and its density in the plasma membrane. Dimerization is a key event for EGFR activation, but the role of higher order clustering is unknown. We employed single particle tracking to relate the mobility and aggregation of EGFR to its signaling activity. EGFR mobility alternates between short-lived free, confined and immobile states. In the immobile state, EGFR tends to aggregate in clathrin-coated pits, which is further enhanced in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and does not require ligand binding. EGFR phosphorylation is further amplified by cross-phosphorylation in clathrin-coated pits. Because phosphorylated receptors can escape from the pits, local gradients of signaling active EGFR are formed. These results show that amplification of EGFR phosphorylation by receptor clustering in clathrin-coated pits supports signal activation at the plasma membrane. PMID:26575183

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Skipped-Stimulus Approach Reveals That Short-Term Plasticity Dominates Synaptic Strength during Ongoing Activity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hua

    2015-01-01

    All synapses show activity-dependent changes in strength, which affect the fidelity of postsynaptic spiking. This is particularly important at auditory nerve synapses, where the presence and timing of spikes carry information about a sound's structure, which must be passed along for proper processing. However, it is not clear how synaptic plasticity influences spiking during ongoing activity. Under these conditions, conventional analyses erroneously suggest that synaptic plasticity has no influence on EPSC amplitude or spiking. Therefore, we developed new approaches to study how ongoing activity influences synaptic strength, using voltage- and current-clamp recordings from bushy cells in brain slices from mouse anteroventral cochlear nucleus. We applied identical trains of stimuli, except for one skipped stimulus, and found that EPSC amplitude was affected for 60 ms following a skipped stimulus. We further showed that the initial probability of release, calcium-dependent mechanisms of recovery, and desensitization all play a role even during ongoing activity. Current-clamp experiments indicated that these processes had a significant effect on postsynaptic spiking, as did the refractory period to a smaller extent. Thus short-term plasticity has real, important functional consequences. PMID:26019343

  17. 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…

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Ceftaroline activity tested against viridans group streptococci from US hospitals.

    PubMed

    Sader, Helio S; Rhomberg, Paul R; Castanheira, Mariana; Farrell, David J; Flamm, Robert K; Mendes, Rodrigo E; Jones, Ronald N

    2016-03-01

    A total of 840 clinically relevant viridans group streptococci (VGS) isolates (1/patient episode) were collected from 71 US medical centers in 2013-2014. These organisms were tested for susceptibility by reference broth microdilution methods against ceftaroline and selected comparator agents. All isolates were speciated by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and were primarily from skin/soft tissue (32.6%) and bloodstream (32.3%) infections. Ceftaroline was highly active against all VGS species/groups with MIC50 and MIC90 values ranging from ≤0.015 to 0.03μg/mL and ≤0.015 to 0.06μg/mL, respectively. The highest ceftaroline MIC value was only 0.5μg/mL (0.5% of strains) and ceftaroline (MIC50/90, 0.03/0.06μg/mL) was 8-fold more active than ceftriaxone (MIC50/90, 0.25/0.5μg/mL). The VGS groups most susceptible to ceftaroline were Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus bovis (MIC90, ≤0.015μg/mL), whereas the highest ceftaroline MIC values were observed among Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus sanguinis groups. In summary, ceftaroline exhibited potent in vitro activity against VGS, including many uncommonly isolated species/groups for which very limited susceptibility information is currently available to guide therapy. PMID:26658313

  2. Haloxon: critical tests of antiparasitic activity in equids.

    PubMed

    Lyons, E T; Drudge, J H; Tolliver, S C

    1981-06-01

    Critical tests were conducted in 14 naturally infected equids (13 horses and 1 pony) to evaluate the antiparasitic activity of haloxon. Single doses were administered by stomach tube to 3 horses and 1 pony (60 mg/kg of body weight), by addition to the feed of 3 horses (60 mg/kg), and intraorally by powder gun to 7 horses (65 mg/kg). Haloxon was efficacious (99% to 100%) against infections of Parascaris equorum, Oxyuris equi (mature and immature), and Strongylus vulgaris at both dosage levels. Probstmayria vivipara parasites were removed in 1 horse treated at 60 mg/kg by stomach tube and S equinus was removed (1 specimen) in 1 horse treated at 65 mg/kg with the powder gun. Removal activity against small strongyles varied from 67% to 92%, and averaged 88% in ther aggregate. Removal of S edentatus fluctuated from 2% to 100%, and was 49% in the aggregate. Haloxon was generally ineffective against Gasterophilus intestinalis and G nasalis, except that it seemed active against 2nd instar G intestinalis when administered at the 60 mg/kg dosage rate in feed and at the 65 mg/kg dosage rate by powder gun. The compound was inactive against Trichostrongylus axei, Habronema muscae, Draschia megastoma, Anoplocephala perfoliata, and A magna. Clinical signs of toxicosis were not observed after treatment. Problems were not encountered in administration of haloxon directly into the back of the mouth with the powder gun. PMID:7283234

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. Basophil activation test: food challenge in a test tube or specialist research tool?

    PubMed

    Santos, Alexandra F; Lack, Gideon

    2016-01-01

    Oral food challenge (OFC) is the gold-standard to diagnose food allergy; however, it is a labour and resource-intensive procedure with the risk of causing an acute allergic reaction, which is potentially severe. Therefore, OFC are reserved for cases where the clinical history and the results of skin prick test and/or specific IgE do not confirm or exclude the diagnosis of food allergy. This is a significant proportion of patients seen in Allergy clinics and results in a high demand for OFC. The basophil activation test (BAT) has emerged as a new diagnostic test for food allergy. With high diagnostic accuracy, it can be particularly helpful in the cases where skin prick test and specific IgE are equivocal and may allow reducing the need for OFC. BAT has high specificity, which confers a high degree of certainty in confirming the diagnosis of food allergy and allows deferring the performance of OFC in patients with a positive BAT. The diagnostic utility of BAT is allergen-specific and needs to be validated for different allergens and in specific patient populations. Standardisation of the laboratory methodology and of the data analyses would help to enable a wider clinical application of BAT. PMID:26981234

  8. [Activity of ISO/TC212, clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems].

    PubMed

    Kawai, T

    1998-10-01

    ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, which is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from 130 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. ISO/TC212, Clinical laboratory testing and in vitro diagnostic test systems was newly established in 1995, consisting of 86 P-members and 12 O-members. ISO/TC212 secretariat is the American National Standards Institute, and NCCLS carries out its secretarial activity. On behalf of the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC), the Japanese Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (JCCLS) serves as the secretariat for the ISO/TC212 National Technical Advisory Group. Three working groups are in the process of preparing the Draft International Standards (DIS) among 9 work items. The next plenary session of ISO/TC212 will be held on May 19-21, 1999 in Tokyo, Japan. PMID:9816905

  9. 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...

  10. 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. PMID:27100272

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Aromatic C-H bond activation revealed by infrared multiphoton dissociation spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Jašíková, Lucie; Hanikýřová, Eva; Schröder, Detlef; Roithová, Jana

    2012-04-01

    Metal-oxide cations are models of catalyst mediating the C-H bond activation of organic substrates. One of the most powerful reagents suggested in the gas phase is based on CuO(+) . Here, we describe the activation of the aromatic C-H bonds of phenanthroline in its complex with CuO(+) . The reaction sequence starts with a hydrogen atom abstraction by the oxygen atom from the 2-position of the phenanthroline ring, followed by OH migration to the ring. Using infrared multiphoton spectroscopy, it is shown that the reaction can be energetically facilitated by additional coordination of a water ligand to the copper ion. As the reaction is intramolecular, a spectroscopic characterization of the product is mandatory in order to unambiguously address the reaction mechanism. PMID:22689621

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity.

    PubMed

    van der Meij, Roemer; 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

  19. Unexpected hormonal activity of a catechol equine estrogen metabolite reveals reversible glutathione conjugation

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Kuan-Wei; Chang, Minsun; Wang, Yue-Ting; Wang, Zhican; Qin, Zhihui; Bolton, Judy L.; Thatcher, Gregory R. J.

    2010-01-01

    4-Hydroxyequilenin (4-OHEN) is a major phase I metabolite of the equine estrogens present in widely prescribed hormone replacement formulations. 4-OHEN is autoxidized to an electrophilic o-quinone that has been shown to redox cycle, generating ROS, and to covalently modify proteins and DNA and thus potentially to act as a chemical carcinogen. To establish the ability of 4-OHEN to act as a hormonal carcinogen at the estrogen receptor (ER), estrogen responsive gene expression and proliferation were studied in ER(+) breast cancer cells. Recruitment by 4-OHEN of ER to estrogen responsive elements (ERE) of DNA in MCF-7 cells was also studied and observed. 4-OHEN was a potent estrogen, with additional weak activity associated with binding to the arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR). The potency of 4-OHEN towards classical ERα mediated activity was unexpected given the reported rapid autoxidation and trapping of the resultant quinone by GSH. Addition of thiols to cell cultures did not attenuate the estrogenic activity of 4-OHEN and pre-formed thiol conjugates added to cell incubations only marginally reduced ERE-luciferase induction. On reaction of the 4OHEN-GSH conjugate with NADPH, 4-OHEN was observed to be regenerated at a rate dependent upon NADPH concentration, indicating that intracellular non-enzymatic and enzymatic regeneration of 4-OHEN accounts for the observed estrogenic activity of 4-OHEN. 4-OHEN is therefore capable of inducing chemical and hormonal pathways that may contribute to estrogen-dependent carcinogenesis, and trapping by cellular thiols does not provide a mechanism of termination of these pathways. PMID:20540524

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Force and power generating mechanism(s) in active muscle as revealed from temperature perturbation studies.

    PubMed

    Ranatunga, K W

    2010-10-01

    The basic characteristics of the process of force and power generation in active muscle that have emerged from temperature studies are examined. This is done by reviewing complementary findings from temperature-dependence studies and rapid temperature-jump (T-jump) experiments and from intact and skinned fast mammalian muscle fibres. In isometric muscle, a small T-jump leads to a characteristic rise in force showing that crossbridge force generation is endothermic (heat absorbed) and associated with increased entropy (disorder). The sensitivity of the T-jump force generation to added inorganic phosphate (Pi) indicates that a T-jump enhances an early step in the actomyosin (crossbridge) ATPase cycle before Pi-release. During muscle lengthening when steady force is increased, the T-jump force generation is inhibited. Conversely, during shortening when steady force is decreased, the T-jump force generation is enhanced in a velocity-dependent manner, showing that T-jump force generation is strain sensitive. Within the temperature range of ∼5–35◦C, the temperature dependence of steady active force is sigmoidal both in isometric and in shortening muscle. However, in shortening muscle, the endothermic character of force generation becomes more pronounced with increased velocity and this can, at least partly, account for the marked increase with warming of the mechanical power output of active muscle. PMID:20660565

  3. 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. PMID:27030597

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Mechanistic Studies of Bismuth(V)-Mediated Thioglycoside Activation Reveal Differential Reactivity of Anomers.

    PubMed

    Goswami, Manibarsha; Ashley, Daniel C; Baik, Mu-Hyun; Pohl, Nicola L B

    2016-07-15

    The mechanism of bismuth(V)-mediated thioglycoside activation was examined using reaction kinetics and quantum chemical reaction models. NMR experiments show an unusual nonlinear growth/decay curve for the glycosylation reaction. Further studies suggest an anomeric inversion of the β-glycoside donor to the α-donor during its activation, even in the presence of a neighboring 2-position acetate. Interestingly, in situ anomerization was not observed in the activation of an α-glycoside donor, and this anomer also showed faster reaction times and higher product diastereoselectivites. Density functional theory calculations identify the structure of the promoter triphenyl bismuth ditriflate, [Ph3Bi(OTf)2, 1], in solution and map out the energetics of its interactions with the two thioglycoside anomers. These calculations suggest that 1 must bind the thiopropyl arm to induce triflate loss. The computational analyses also show that, unlike most O-glycosides, the β- and α-donor S-glycosides are similar in energy. One energetically reasonable anomerization pathway of the donors is an SN1-like mechanism promoted by forming a bismuth-sulfonium adduct with the Lewis acidic Bi(V) for the formation of an oxacarbenium intermediate. Finally, the computed energy compensations needed to form these α vs β Bi adducts is a possible explanation for the differential reactivity of these donors. PMID:27295299

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  2. Being PRO-ACTive: What can a Clinical Trial Database Reveal About ALS?

    PubMed

    Zach, Neta; Ennist, David L; Taylor, Albert A; Alon, Hagit; Sherman, Alexander; Kueffner, Robert; Walker, Jason; Sinani, Ervin; Katsovskiy, Igor; Cudkowicz, Merit; Leitner, Melanie L

    2015-04-01

    Advancing research and clinical care, and conducting successful and cost-effective clinical trials requires characterizing a given patient population. To gather a sufficiently large cohort of patients in rare diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we developed the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) platform. The PRO-ACT database currently consists of >8600 ALS patient records from 17 completed clinical trials, and more trials are being incorporated. The database was launched in an open-access mode in December 2012; since then, >400 researchers from >40 countries have requested the data. This review gives an overview on the research enabled by this resource, through several examples of research already carried out with the goal of improving patient care and understanding the disease. These examples include predicting ALS progression, the simulation of future ALS clinical trials, the verification of previously proposed predictive features, the discovery of novel predictors of ALS progression and survival, the newly identified stratification of patients based on their disease progression profiles, and the development of tools for better clinical trial recruitment and monitoring. Results from these approaches clearly demonstrate the value of large datasets for developing a better understanding of ALS natural history, prognostic factors, patient stratification, and more. The increasing use by the community suggests that further analyses of the PRO-ACT database will continue to reveal more information about this disease that has for so long defied our understanding. PMID:25613183

  3. Stability of active mantle upwelling revealed by net characteristics of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Clinton P; Steinberger, Bernhard; Torsvik, Trond H

    2013-06-27

    Viscous convection within the mantle is linked to tectonic plate motions and deforms Earth's surface across wide areas. Such close links between surface geology and deep mantle dynamics presumably operated throughout Earth's history, but are difficult to investigate for past times because the history of mantle flow is poorly known. Here we show that the time dependence of global-scale mantle flow can be deduced from the net behaviour of surface plate motions. In particular, we tracked the geographic locations of net convergence and divergence for harmonic degrees 1 and 2 by computing the dipole and quadrupole moments of plate motions from tectonic reconstructions extended back to the early Mesozoic era. For present-day plate motions, we find dipole convergence in eastern Asia and quadrupole divergence in both central Africa and the central Pacific. These orientations are nearly identical to the dipole and quadrupole orientations of underlying mantle flow, which indicates that these 'net characteristics' of plate motions reveal deeper flow patterns. The positions of quadrupole divergence have not moved significantly during the past 250 million years, which suggests long-term stability of mantle upwelling beneath Africa and the Pacific Ocean. These upwelling locations are positioned above two compositionally and seismologically distinct regions of the lowermost mantle, which may organize global mantle flow as they remain stationary over geologic time. PMID:23803848

  4. Motif module map reveals enforcement of aging by continual NF-κB activity

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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-κB. Inducible genetic blockade of NF-κB 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-κB blockade and orthogonal cell cycle interventions revealed that NF-κB 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-κB is continually required to enforce many features of aging in a tissue-specific manner. PMID:18055696

  5. Neutron activation analysis; A sensitive test for trace elements

    SciTech Connect

    Hossain, T.Z. . Ward Lab.)

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses neutron activation analysis (NAA), an extremely sensitive technique for determining the elemental constituents of an unknown specimen. Currently, there are some twenty-five moderate-power TRIGA reactors scattered across the United States (fourteen of them at universities), and one of their principal uses is for NAA. NAA is procedurally simple. A small amount of the material to be tested (typically between one and one hundred milligrams) is irradiated for a period that varies from a few minutes to several hours in a neutron flux of around 10{sup 12} neutrons per square centimeter per second. A tiny fraction of the nuclei present (about 10{sup {minus}8}) is transmuted by nuclear reactions into radioactive forms. Subsequently, the nuclei decay, and the energy and intensity of the gamma rays that they emit can be measured in a gamma-ray spectrometer.

  6. Quantitative cell signalling analysis reveals down-regulation of MAPK pathway activation in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Gulmann, Christian; Sheehan, Katherine M; Conroy, Ronán M; Wulfkuhle, Julia D; Espina, Virginia; Mullarkey, Michelle J; Kay, Elaine W; Liotta, Lance A; Petricoin, Emanuel F

    2009-08-01

    Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) are considered to play significant roles in colonic carcinogenesis and kinase inhibitor therapy has been proposed as a potential tool in the treatment of this disease. Reverse-phase microarray assays using phospho-specific antibodies can directly measure levels of phosphorylated protein isoforms. In the current study, samples from 35 cases of untreated colorectal cancer colectomies were laser capture-microdissected to isolate epithelium and stroma from cancer as well as normal (i.e. uninvolved) mucosa. Lysates generated from these four tissue types were spotted onto reverse-phase protein microarrays and probed with a panel of antibodies to ERK, p-ERK, p38, p-p38, p-JNK, MEK and p-MEK. Whereas total protein levels were unchanged, or slightly elevated (p38, p = 0.0025) in cancers, activated isoforms, including p-ERK, p-p38 and p-JNK, were decreased two- to four-fold in cancers compared with uninvolved mucosa (p < 0.0023 in all cases except for p-JNK in epithelium, where decrement was non-significant). This was backed up by western blotting. Dukes' stage B and C cancers displayed lower p-ERK and p-p38 expression than Dukes' stage A cancers, although this was not statistically significant. It is concluded that MAPK activity may be down-regulated in colorectal cancer and that further exploration of inhibitory therapy in this system should be carefully evaluated if this finding is confirmed in larger series. PMID:19396842

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:25688923

  9. 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

  10. Mycobactericidal activity of selected disinfectants using a quantitative suspension test.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, P A; Babb, J R; Fraise, A P

    1999-02-01

    In this study, a quantitative suspension test carried out under both clean and dirty conditions was used to assess the activity of various instrument and environmental disinfectants against the type strain NCTC 946 and an endoscope washer disinfector isolate of Mycobacterium chelonae, Mycobacterium fortuitum NCTC 10,394, Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37 Rv NCTC 7416 and a clinical isolate of Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare (MAI). The disinfectants tested were; a chlorine releasing agent, sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) at 1000 ppm and 10,000 ppm av Cl; chlorine dioxide at 1100 ppm av ClO2 (Tristel, MediChem International Limited); 70% industrial methylated spirits (IMS); 2% alkaline glutaraldehyde (Asep, Galan); 10% succinedialdehyde and formaldehyde mixture (Gigasept, Schulke & Mayr); 0.35% peracetic acid (NuCidex, Johnson & Johnson); and a peroxygen compound at 1% and 3% (Virkon, Antec International). Results showed that the clinical isolate of MAI was much more resistant than M. tuberculosis to all the disinfectants, while the type strains of M. chelonae and M. fortuitum were far more sensitive. The washer disinfector isolate of M. chelonae was extremely resistant to 2% alkaline activated glutaraldehyde and appeared to be slightly more resistant than the type strain to Nu-Cidex, Gigasept, Virkon and the lower concentration of NaDCC. This study has shown peracetic acid (Nu-Cidex), chlorine dioxide (Tristel), alcohol (IMS) and high concentrations of a chlorine releasing agent (NaDCC) are rapidly mycobactericidal. Glutaraldehyde, although effective, is a slow mycobactericide. Gigasept and Virkon are poor mycobactericidal agents and are not therefore recommended for instruments or spillage if mycobacteria are likely to be present. PMID:10063473

  11. 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.

  12. Mapping the Human Platelet Lipidome Reveals Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 as a Regulator of Mitochondrial Bioenergetics during Activation.

    PubMed

    Slatter, David A; Aldrovandi, Maceler; O'Connor, Anne; Allen, Stuart M; Brasher, Christopher J; Murphy, Robert C; Mecklemann, Sven; Ravi, Saranya; Darley-Usmar, Victor; O'Donnell, Valerie B

    2016-05-10

    Human platelets acutely increase mitochondrial energy generation following stimulation. Herein, a lipidomic circuit was uncovered whereby the substrates for this are exclusively provided by cPLA2, including multiple fatty acids and oxidized species that support energy generation via β-oxidation. This indicates that acute lipid membrane remodeling is required to support energetic demands during platelet activation. Phospholipase activity is linked to energy metabolism, revealing cPLA2 as a central regulator of both lipidomics and energy flux. Using a lipidomic approach (LipidArrays), we also estimated the total number of lipids in resting, thrombin-activated, and aspirinized platelets. Significant diversity between genetically unrelated individuals and a wealth of species was revealed. Resting platelets demonstrated ∼5,600 unique species, with only ∼50% being putatively identified. Thrombin elevated ∼900 lipids >2-fold with 86% newly appearing and 45% inhibited by aspirin supplementation, indicating COX-1 is required for major activation-dependent lipidomic fluxes. Many lipids were structurally identified. With ∼50% of the lipids being absent from databases, a major opportunity for mining lipids relevant to human health and disease is presented. PMID:27133131

  13. Transcriptional activity around bacterial cell death reveals molecular biomarkers for cell viability

    PubMed Central

    Kort, Remco; Keijser, Bart J; Caspers, Martien PM; Schuren, Frank H; Montijn, Roy

    2008-01-01

    Background In bacteriology, the ability to grow in selective media and to form colonies on nutrient agar plates is routinely used as a retrospective criterion for the detection of living bacteria. However, the utilization of indicators for bacterial viability-such as the presence of specific transcripts or membrane integrity-would overcome bias introduced by cultivation and reduces the time span of analysis from initiation to read out. Therefore, we investigated the correlation between transcriptional activity, membrane integrity and cultivation-based viability in the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Results We present microbiological, cytological and molecular analyses of the physiological response to lethal heat stress under accurately defined conditions through systematic sampling of bacteria from a single culture exposed to gradually increasing temperatures. We identified a coherent transcriptional program including known heat shock responses as well as the rapid expression of a small number of sporulation and competence genes, the latter only known to be active in the stationary growth phase. Conclusion The observed coordinated gene expression continued even after cell death, in other words after all bacteria permanently lost their ability to reproduce. Transcription of a very limited number of genes correlated with cell viability under the applied killing regime. The transcripts of the expressed genes in living bacteria – but silent in dead bacteria-include those of essential genes encoding chaperones of the protein folding machinery and can serve as molecular biomarkers for bacterial cell viability. PMID:19061518

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-17

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

  16. Molecular Network Analysis of Endometriosis Reveals a Novel Role for c-Jun Regulated Macrophage Activation

    PubMed Central

    Beste, Michael T.; Pfäffle-Doyle, Nicole; Prentice, Emily A.; Morris, Stephanie N.; Lauffenburger, Douglas A.; Isaacson, Keith B.; Griffith, Linda G.

    2014-01-01

    Clinical management of endometriosis is limited by the complex relationship between symptom severity, heterogeneous surgical presentations, and variability in clinical outcomes. As a complement to visual classification schemes, molecular profiles of disease activity may improve risk stratification to better inform treatment decisions and identify novel approaches to targeted treatment. Here, we employ a network analysis of information flow within and between inflammatory cells to discern consensus behaviors characterizing patient sub-populations. Unsupervised multivariate analysis of cytokine profiles quantified by multiplex immunoassays identified a subset of patients with a shared “consensus signature” of thirteen elevated cytokines that was associated with common clinical features, but was not observed among patient subpopulations defined by morphologic presentation alone. Enrichment analysis of consensus markers reinforced the primacy of peritoneal macrophage infiltration and activation, which was demonstrably elevated in ex vivo cultures. Although familiar targets of the NFκB family emerged among over-represented transcriptional binding sites for consensus markers, our analysis provides evidence for a previously unrecognized contribution from c-Jun, c-Fos, and AP-1 effectors of mitogen associated kinase signaling. Their crucial involvement in propagation of macrophage-driven inflammatory networks was confirmed via targeted inhibition of upstream kinases. Collectively, these analyses provide in vivo validation of a clinically relevant inflammatory network that may serve as an objective measure for guiding treatment decisions for endometriosis management, and in the future may provide a mechanistic endpoint for assessing efficacy of novel agents aimed at curtailing inflammatory mechanisms that drive disease progression. PMID:24500404

  17. Activation of TRPM3 by a potent synthetic ligand reveals a role in peptide release

    PubMed Central

    Held, Katharina; Kichko, Tatjana; De Clercq, Katrien; Klaassen, Hugo; Van Bree, Rieta; Vanherck, Jean-Christophe; Marchand, Arnaud; Reeh, Peter W.; Chaltin, Patrick; Voets, Thomas; Vriens, Joris

    2015-01-01

    Transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel subfamily M member 3 (TRPM3), a member of the TRP channel superfamily, was recently identified as a nociceptor channel in the somatosensory system, where it is involved in the detection of noxious heat; however, owing to the lack of potent and selective agonists, little is known about other potential physiological consequences of the opening of TRPM3. Here we identify and characterize a synthetic TRPM3 activator, CIM0216, whose potency and apparent affinity greatly exceeds that of the canonical TRPM3 agonist, pregnenolone sulfate (PS). In particular, a single application of CIM0216 causes opening of both the central calcium-conducting pore and the alternative cation permeation pathway in a membrane-delimited manner. CIM0216 evoked robust calcium influx in TRPM3-expressing somatosensory neurons, and intradermal injection of the compound induced a TRPM3-dependent nocifensive behavior. Moreover, CIM0216 elicited the release of the peptides calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from sensory nerve terminals and insulin from isolated pancreatic islets in a TRPM3-dependent manner. These experiments identify CIM0216 as a powerful tool for use in investigating the physiological roles of TRPM3, and indicate that TRPM3 activation in sensory nerve endings can contribute to neurogenic inflammation. PMID:25733887

  18. Characterization of 10-hydroxygeraniol dehydrogenase from Catharanthus roseus reveals cascaded enzymatic activity in iridoid biosynthesis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Cortical Effects on Ipsilateral Hindlimb Muscles Revealed with Stimulus-Triggered Averaging of EMG Activity.

    PubMed

    Messamore, William G; Van Acker, Gustaf M; Hudson, Heather M; Zhang, Hongyu Y; Kovac, Anthony; Nazzaro, Jules; Cheney, Paul D

    2016-07-01

    While a large body of evidence supports the view that ipsilateral motor cortex may make an important contribution to normal movements and to recovery of function following cortical injury (Chollet et al. 1991; Fisher 1992; Caramia et al. 2000; Feydy et al. 2002), relatively little is known about the properties of output from motor cortex to ipsilateral muscles. Our aim in this study was to characterize the organization of output effects on hindlimb muscles from ipsilateral motor cortex using stimulus-triggered averaging of EMG activity. Stimulus-triggered averages of EMG activity were computed from microstimuli applied at 60-120 μA to sites in both contralateral and ipsilateral M1 of macaque monkeys during the performance of a hindlimb push-pull task. Although the poststimulus effects (PStEs) from ipsilateral M1 were fewer in number and substantially weaker, clear and consistent effects were obtained at an intensity of 120 μA. The mean onset latency of ipsilateral poststimulus facilitation was longer than contralateral effects by an average of 0.7 ms. However, the shortest latency effects in ipsilateral muscles were as short as the shortest latency effects in the corresponding contralateral muscles suggesting a minimal synaptic linkage that is equally direct in both cases. PMID:26088970

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. Active sites of two orthologous cytochromes P450 2E1: Differences revealed by spectroscopic methods

    SciTech Connect

    Anzenbacherova, Eva; Hudecek, Jiri; Murgida, Daniel; Hildebrandt, Peter; Marchal, Stephane; Lange, Reinhard; Anzenbacher, Pavel . E-mail: anzen@tunw.upol.cz

    2005-12-09

    Cytochromes P450 2E1 of human and minipig origin were examined by absorption spectroscopy under high hydrostatic pressure and by resonance Raman spectroscopy. Human enzyme tends to denature to the P420 form more easily than the minipig form; moreover, the apparent compressibility of the heme active site (as judged from a redshift of the absorption maximum with pressure) is greater than that of the minipig counterpart. Relative compactness of the minipig enzyme is also seen in the Raman spectra, where the presence of planar heme conformation was inferred from band positions characteristic of the low-spin heme with high degree of symmetry. In this respect, the CYP2E1 seems to be another example of P450 conformational heterogeneity as shown, e.g., by Davydov et al. for CYP3A4 [Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 312 (2003) 121-130]. The results indicate that the flexibility of the CYP active site is likely one of its basic structural characteristics.

  3. 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

  4. Length and activity of the root apical meristem revealed in vivo by infrared imaging.

    PubMed

    Bizet, François; Hummel, Irène; Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice

    2015-03-01

    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

  5. The dynamic surface tension of atmospheric aerosol surfactants reveals new aspects of cloud activation

    PubMed Central

    Nozière, Barbara; Baduel, Christine; Jaffrezo, Jean-Luc

    2014-01-01

    The activation of aerosol particles into cloud droplets in the Earth’s atmosphere is both a key process for the climate budget and a main source of uncertainty. Its investigation is facing major experimental challenges, as no technique can measure the main driving parameters, the Raoult’s term and surface tension, σ, for sub-micron atmospheric particles. In addition, the surfactant fraction of atmospheric aerosols could not be isolated until recently. Here we present the first dynamic investigation of the total surfactant fraction of atmospheric aerosols, evidencing adsorption barriers that limit their gradient (partitioning) in particles and should enhance their cloud-forming efficiency compared with current models. The results also show that the equilibration time of surfactants in sub-micron atmospheric particles should be beyond the detection of most on-line instruments. Such instrumental and theoretical shortcomings would be consistent with atmospheric and laboratory observations and could have limited the understanding of cloud activation until now. PMID:24566451

  6. Aberrant spontaneous brain activity in chronic tinnitus patients revealed by resting-state functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Zhang, Jian; Li, Xiao-Wei; Xia, Wenqing; Feng, Xu; Gao, Bo; Ju, Sheng-Hong; Wang, Jian; Salvi, Richard; Teng, Gao-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Objective The neural mechanisms that give rise to the phantom sound of tinnitus are poorly understood. This study aims to investigate whether aberrant spontaneous brain activity exists in chronic tinnitus patients using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Materials and methods A total of 31 patients with chronic tinnitus patients and 32 healthy age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy controls were prospectively examined. Both groups had normal hearing thresholds. We calculated the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFFs) of fMRI signals to measure spontaneous neuronal activity and detect the relationship between fMRI information and clinical data of tinnitus. Results Compared with healthy controls, we observed significant increased ALFF within several selected regions including the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG), right superior frontal gyrus (SFG), and right angular gyrus; decreased ALFF was detected in the left cuneus, right middle occipital gyrus and bilateral thalamus. Moreover, tinnitus distress correlated positively with increased ALFF in right MTG and right SFG; tinnitus duration correlated positively with higher ALFF values in right SFG. Conclusions The present study confirms that chronic tinnitus patients have aberrant ALFF in many brain regions, which is associated with specific clinical tinnitus characteristics. ALFF disturbance in specific brain regions might be used to identify the neuro-pathophysiological mechanisms in chronic tinnitus patients. PMID:25379434

  7. Activity-dependent silencing reveals functionally distinct itch-generating sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Roberson, David P.; Gudes, Sagi; Sprague, Jared M.; Patoski, Haley A. W.; Robson, Victoria K.; Blasl, Felix; Duan, Bo; Oh, Seog Bae; Bean, Bruce P.; Ma, Qiufu

    2013-01-01

    The peripheral terminals of primary sensory neurons detect histamine and non-histamine itch-provoking ligands through molecularly distinct transduction mechanisms. It remains unclear, however, whether these distinct pruritogens activate the same or different afferent fibers. We utilized a strategy of reversibly silencing specific subsets of murine pruritogen-sensitive sensory axons by targeted delivery of a charged sodium-channel blocker and found that functional blockade of histamine itch did not affect the itch evoked by chloroquine or SLIGRL-NH2, and vice versa. Notably, blocking itch-generating fibers did not reduce pain-associated behavior. However, silencing TRPV1+ or TRPA1+ neurons allowed AITC or capsaicin respectively to evoke itch, implying that certain peripheral afferents may normally indirectly inhibit algogens from eliciting itch. These findings support the presence of functionally distinct sets of itch-generating neurons and suggest that targeted silencing of activated sensory fibers may represent a clinically useful anti-pruritic therapeutic approach for histaminergic and non-histaminergic pruritus. PMID:23685721

  8. 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

  9. Nuclear Fractionation Reveals Thousands of Chromatin-Tethered Noncoding RNAs Adjacent to Active Genes.

    PubMed

    Werner, Michael S; Ruthenburg, Alexander J

    2015-08-18

    A number of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported to regulate transcription via recruitment of chromatin modifiers or bridging distal enhancer elements to gene promoters. However, the generality of these modes of regulation and the mechanisms of chromatin attachment for thousands of unstudied human lncRNAs remain unclear. To address these questions, we performed stringent nuclear fractionation coupled to RNA sequencing. We provide genome-wide identification of human chromatin-associated lncRNAs and demonstrate tethering of RNA to chromatin by RNAPII is a pervasive mechanism of attachment. We also uncovered thousands of chromatin-enriched RNAs (cheRNAs) that share molecular properties with known lncRNAs. Although distinct from eRNAs derived from active prototypical enhancers, the production of cheRNAs is strongly correlated with the expression of neighboring protein-coding genes. This work provides an updated framework for nuclear RNA organization that includes a large chromatin-associated transcript population correlated with active genes and may prove useful in de novo enhancer annotation. PMID:26257179

  10. 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

  11. Asymmetric mutations in the tetrameric R67 dihydrofolate reductase reveal high tolerance to active-site substitutions

    PubMed Central

    Ebert, Maximilian C C J C; Morley, Krista L; Volpato, Jordan P; Schmitzer, Andreea R; Pelletier, Joelle N

    2015-01-01

    Type II R67 dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a bacterial plasmid-encoded enzyme that is intrinsically resistant to the widely-administered antibiotic trimethoprim. R67 DHFR is genetically and structurally unrelated to E. coli chromosomal DHFR and has an unusual architecture, in that four identical protomers form a single symmetrical active site tunnel that allows only one substrate binding/catalytic event at any given time. As a result, substitution of an active-site residue has as many as four distinct consequences on catalysis, constituting an atypical model of enzyme evolution. Although we previously demonstrated that no single residue of the native active site is indispensable for function, library selection here revealed a strong bias toward maintenance of two native protomers per mutated tetramer. A variety of such “half-native” tetramers were shown to procure native-like catalytic activity, with similar KM values but kcat values 5- to 33-fold lower, illustrating a high tolerance for active-site substitutions. The selected variants showed a reduced thermal stability (Tm ∼12°C lower), which appears to result from looser association of the protomers, but generally showed a marked increase in resilience to heat denaturation, recovering activity to a significantly greater extent than the variant with no active-site substitutions. Our results suggest that the presence of two native protomers in the R67 DHFR tetramer is sufficient to provide native-like catalytic rate and thus ensure cellular proliferation. PMID:25401264

  12. Design, test, and evaluation of three active flutter suppression controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, William M., Jr.; Christhilf, David M.; Waszak, Martin R.; Mukhopadhyay, Vivek; Srinathkumar, S.

    1992-01-01

    Three control law design techniques for flutter suppression are presented. Each technique uses multiple control surfaces and/or sensors. The first method uses traditional tools (such as pole/zero loci and Nyquist diagrams) for producing a controller that has minimal complexity and which is sufficiently robust to handle plant uncertainty. The second procedure uses linear combinations of several accelerometer signals and dynamic compensation to synthesize the model rate of the critical mode for feedback to the distributed control surfaces. The third technique starts with a minimum-energy linear quadratic Gaussian controller, iteratively modifies intensity matrices corresponding to input and output noise, and applies controller order reduction to achieve a low-order, robust controller. The resulting designs were implemented digitally and tested subsonically on the active flexible wing wind-tunnel model in the Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel. Only the traditional pole/zero loci design was sufficiently robust to errors in the nominal plant to successfully suppress flutter during the test. The traditional pole/zero loci design provided simultaneous suppression of symmetric and antisymmetric flutter with a 24-percent increase in attainable dynamic pressure. Posttest analyses are shown which illustrate the problems encountered with the other laws.

  13. Basophil Activation Test with Food Additives in Chronic Urticaria Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Min-Gyu; Song, Woo-Jung; Park, Han-Ki; Lim, Kyung-Hwan; Kim, Su-Jung; Lee, Suh-Young; Kim, Sae-Hoon; Cho, Sang-Heon; Min, Kyung-Up

    2014-01-01

    The role of food additives in chronic urticaria (CU) is still under investigation. In this study, we aimed to explore the association between food additives and CU by using the basophil activation test (BAT). The BAT using 15 common food additives was performed for 15 patients with CU who had a history of recurrent urticarial aggravation following intake of various foods without a definite food-specific IgE. Of the 15 patients studied, two (13.3%) showed positive BAT results for one of the tested food additives. One patient responded to monosodium glutamate, showing 18.7% of CD203c-positive basophils. Another patient showed a positive BAT result to sodium benzoate. Both patients had clinical correlations with the agents, which were partly determined by elimination diets. The present study suggested that at least a small proportion of patients with CU had symptoms associated with food additives. The results may suggest the potential utility of the BAT to identity the role of food additives in CU. PMID:24527415

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Analysis of Geminivirus AL2 and L2 Proteins Reveals a Novel AL2 Silencing Suppressor Activity

    PubMed Central

    Jackel, Jamie N.; Buchmann, R. Cody; Singhal, Udit

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Both posttranscriptional and transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS and TGS, respectively) participate in defense against the DNA-containing geminiviruses. As a countermeasure, members of the genus Begomovirus (e.g., Cabbage leaf curl virus) encode an AL2 protein that is both a transcriptional activator and a silencing suppressor. The related L2 protein of Beet curly top virus (genus Curtovirus) lacks transcription activation activity. Previous studies showed that both AL2 and L2 suppress silencing by a mechanism that correlates with adenosine kinase (ADK) inhibition, while AL2 in addition activates transcription of cellular genes that negatively regulate silencing pathways. The goal of this study was to clarify the general means by which these viral proteins inhibit various aspects of silencing. We confirmed that AL2 inhibits systemic silencing spread by a mechanism that requires transcription activation activity. Surprisingly, we also found that reversal of PTGS and TGS by ADK inactivation depended on whether experiments were conducted in vegetative or reproductive Nicotiana benthamiana plants (i.e., before or after the vegetative-to-reproductive transition). While AL2 was able to reverse silencing in both vegetative and reproductive plants, L2 and ADK inhibition were effective only in vegetative plants. This suggests that silencing maintenance mechanisms can change during development or in response to stress. Remarkably, we also observed that AL2 lacking its transcription activation domain could reverse TGS in reproductive plants, revealing a third, previously unsuspected AL2 suppression mechanism that depends on neither ADK inactivation nor transcription activation. IMPORTANCE RNA silencing in plants is a multivalent antiviral defense, and viruses respond by elaborating multiple and sometimes multifunctional proteins that inhibit various aspects of silencing. The studies described here add an additional layer of complexity to this interplay. By examining

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. In vivo activation of azipropofol prolongs anesthesia and reveals synaptic targets.

    PubMed

    Weiser, Brian P; Kelz, Max B; Eckenhoff, Roderic G

    2013-01-11

    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

  1. Preparatory EMG activity reveals a rapid adaptation pattern in humans performing landing movements in blindfolded condition.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Fernando Henrique; Goroso, Daniel Gustavo

    2009-10-01

    The main questions addressed in this work were whether and how adaptation to suppression of visual information occurs in a free-fall paradigm, and the extent to which vision availability influences the control of landing movements. The prelanding modulation of EMG timing and amplitude of four lower-limb muscles was investigated. Participants performed six consecutive drop-landings from four different heights in two experimental conditions: with and without vision. Experimental design precluded participants from estimating the height of the drop. Since cues provided by proprioceptive and vestibular information acquired during the first trials were processed, the nervous system rapidly adapted to the lack of visual information, and hence produced a motor output (i.e., prelanding EMG modulation) similar to that observed when performing the activity with vision available. PMID:20038004

  2. 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

  3. Quantifying activity: a new assay reveals T-cell signalling in tiny skin biopsy samples.

    PubMed

    Dornmair, Klaus

    2014-06-01

    Tissue-invasive T cells are observed in many inflammatory dermatological diseases, but in most cases, it is not known how they were attracted, what they might recognize, and to which extent they are activated. Answering these questions is surely essential for understanding pathogeneses of the diseases. In a recent issue of Experimental Dermatology, Smith et al. showed that early signalling events in skin-resident T cells may be investigated by multiplex immunoprecipitation flow cytometry, even if only few T cells are available from skin biopsy samples. This new technology will most likely contribute to elucidating the role of skin-invasive T cells and to understanding the pathology of dermatological diseases. PMID:24665970

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Substrate-bound structures of benzylsuccinate synthase reveal how toluene is activated in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation.

    PubMed

    Funk, Michael A; Marsh, E Neil G; Drennan, Catherine L

    2015-09-11

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Expression and activity analysis reveal that heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 is associated with blue egg formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Z P; Liu, R F; Wang, A R; Li, J Y; Deng, X M

    2011-04-01

    Biliverdin is responsible for the coloration of blue eggs and is secreted onto the eggshell by the shell gland. Previous studies confirmed that a significant difference exists in biliverdin content between blue eggs and brown eggs, although the reasons are still unknown. Because the pigment is derived from oxidative degradation of heme catalyzed by heme oxygenase (HO), this study compared heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 (HMOX1), the gene encoding HO expression and HO activity, in the shell glands of the Dongxiang blue-shelled chicken (n = 12) and the Dongxiang brown-shelled chicken (n = 12). Results showed that HMOX1 was highly expressed at the mRNA (1.58-fold; P < 0.05) and protein levels in blue-shelled chickens compared with brown-shelled chickens. At the functional level, blue-shelled chickens also showed 1.40-fold (P < 0.05) higher HO activity than brown-shelled chickens. To explore the reasons for the differential expression of HMOX1, an association study of 6 SNP capturing the majority of HMOX1 variants with the blue egg coloration was performed. Results showed no significant association between SNP and the blue egg coloration in HMOX1 (P > 0.05). Taken together, these results show that blue egg formation is associated with high expression of HMOX1 in the shell gland of Dongxiang blue-shelled chickens, and suggest that differential expression of HMOX1 in the 2 groups of chickens is most likely to arise from an alteration in the trans-acting factor. PMID:21406370

  13. Syringe test (modified larval immersion test): a new bioassay for testing acaricidal activity of plant extracts against Rhipicephalus microplus.

    PubMed

    Sindhu, Zia-ud-Din; Jonsson, Nicholas N; Iqbal, Zafar

    2012-09-10

    We report a new bioassay "syringe test" (modified larval immersion test) for in vitro evaluation of acaricidal activity of crude plant extracts. Prepared syringes, containing eggs of tick, were incubated until 14 d after hatching of eggs, when the bioassay was performed on the larvae. Lethal concentrations for 50% of larvae (LC(50)), LC(90) and LC(99) values were calculated for each tested product. 95% confidence intervals for LC(50) were very narrow, indicating a high degree of repeatability for the new bioassay on larvae of R. microplus. Bioassays were applied to six crude aqueous-methanol extracts from five plants (Acacia nilotica, Buxus papillosa, Fumaria parviflora, Juniperus excelsa, and Operculina turpethum), of which three showed discernible effects. Twenty-four hours post exposure, LC(99) values were 11.9% (w/v) for F. parviflora, 20.8% (w/v) and 29.2% (w/v) for B. papillosa and A. nilotica, respectively. After six days of exposure these values were; 9.1% (w/v), 9.2% (w/v) and 15.5 (w/v) for F. parviflora, A. nilotica and B. papillosa, respectively. PMID:22516644

  14. 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.

  15. Visualization of poly(ADP-ribose) bound to PARG reveals inherent balance between exo- and endo-glycohydrolase activities

    PubMed Central

    Barkauskaite, Eva; Brassington, Amy; Tan, Edwin S.; Warwicker, Jim; Dunstan, Mark S.; Banos, Benito; Lafite, Pierre; Ahel, Marijan; Mitchison, Timothy J.; Ahel, Ivan; Leys, David

    2013-01-01

    Poly-ADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification that regulates processes involved in genome stability. Breakdown of the poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymer is catalysed by poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG), whose endo-glycohydrolase activity generates PAR fragments. Here we present the crystal structure of PARG incorporating the PAR substrate. The two terminal ADP-ribose units of the polymeric substrate are bound in exo-mode. Biochemical and modelling studies reveal that PARG acts predominantly as an exo-glycohydrolase. This preference is linked to Phe902 (human numbering), which is responsible for low-affinity binding of the substrate in endo-mode. Our data reveal the mechanism of poly-ADP-ribosylation reversal, with ADP-ribose as the dominant product, and suggest that the release of apoptotic PAR fragments occurs at unusual PAR/PARG ratios. PMID:23917065

  16. Field-scale tracking of active methane-oxidizing communities in a landfill cover soil reveals spatial and seasonal variability.

    PubMed

    Henneberger, Ruth; Chiri, Eleonora; Bodelier, Paul E L; Frenzel, Peter; Lüke, Claudia; Schroth, Martin H

    2015-05-01

    Aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) in soils mitigate methane (CH4 ) emissions. We assessed spatial and seasonal differences in active MOB communities in a landfill cover soil characterized by highly variable environmental conditions. Field-based measurements of CH4 oxidation activity and stable-isotope probing of polar lipid-derived fatty acids (PLFA-SIP) were complemented by microarray analysis of pmoA genes and transcripts, linking diversity and function at the field scale. In situ CH4 oxidation rates varied between sites and were generally one order of magnitude lower in winter compared with summer. Results from PLFA-SIP and pmoA transcripts were largely congruent, revealing distinct spatial and seasonal clustering. Overall, active MOB communities were highly diverse. Type Ia MOB, specifically Methylomonas and Methylobacter, were key drivers for CH4 oxidation, particularly at a high-activity site. Type II MOB were mainly active at a site showing substantial fluctuations in CH4 loading and soil moisture content. Notably, Upland Soil Cluster-gamma-related pmoA transcripts were also detected, indicating concurrent oxidation of atmospheric CH4 . Spatial separation was less distinct in winter, with Methylobacter and uncultured MOB mediating CH4 oxidation. We propose that high diversity of active MOB communities in this soil is promoted by high variability in environmental conditions, facilitating substantial removal of CH4 generated in the waste body. PMID:25186436

  17. Amplitude-modulated stimuli reveal auditory-visual interactions in brain activity and brain connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Laing, Mark; Rees, Adrian; Vuong, Quoc C.

    2015-01-01

    The temporal congruence between auditory and visual signals coming from the same source can be a powerful means by which the brain integrates information from different senses. To investigate how the brain uses temporal information to integrate auditory and visual information from continuous yet unfamiliar stimuli, we used amplitude-modulated tones and size-modulated shapes with which we could manipulate the temporal congruence between the sensory signals. These signals were independently modulated at a slow or a fast rate. Participants were presented with auditory-only, visual-only, or auditory-visual (AV) trials in the fMRI scanner. On AV trials, the auditory and visual signal could have the same (AV congruent) or different modulation rates (AV incongruent). Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, we found that auditory regions showed increased functional connectivity predominantly with frontal regions for AV incongruent relative to AV congruent stimuli. We further found that superior temporal regions, shown previously to integrate auditory and visual signals, showed increased connectivity with frontal and parietal regions for the same contrast. Our findings provide evidence that both activity in a network of brain regions and their connectivity are important for AV integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies. PMID:26483710

  18. Potentially novel copper resistance genes in copper-enriched activated sludge revealed by metagenomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Li-Guan; Cai, Lin; Zhang, Xu-Xiang; Zhang, Tong

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we utilized the Illumina high-throughput metagenomic approach to investigate diversity and abundance of both microbial community and copper resistance genes (CuRGs) in activated sludge (AS) which was enriched under copper selective stress up to 800 mg/L. The raw datasets (~3.5 Gb for each sample, i.e., the copper-enriched AS and the control AS) were merged and normalized for the BLAST analyses against the SILVA SSU rRNA gene database and self-constructed copper resistance protein database (CuRD). Also, the raw metagenomic sequences were assembled into contigs and analyzed based on Open Reading Frames (ORFs) to identify potentially novel copper resistance genes. Among the different resistance systems for copper detoxification under the high copper stress condition, the Cus system was the most enriched system. The results also indicated that genes encoding multi-copper oxidase played a more important role than those encoding efflux proteins. More significantly, several potentially novel copper resistance ORFs were identified by Pfam search and phylogenic analysis. This study demonstrated a new understanding of microbial-mediated copper resistance under high copper stress using high-throughput shotgun sequencing technique. PMID:25081552

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26031293

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Optical Coherence Tomography angiography reveals laminar microvascular hemodynamics in the rat somatosensory cortex during activation

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Vivek J.; Radhakrishnan, Harsha

    2014-01-01

    The BOLD (blood-oxygen-level dependent) fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) signal is shaped, in part, by changes in red blood cell (RBC) content and flow across vascular compartments over time. These complex dynamics have been challenging to characterize directly due to a lack of appropriate imaging modalities. In this study, making use of infrared light scattering from RBCs, depth-resolved Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) angiography was applied to image laminar functional hyperemia in the rat somatosensory cortex. After defining and validating depth-specific metrics for changes in RBC content and speed, laminar hemodynamic responses in microvasculature up to cortical depths of >1 mm were measured during a forepaw stimulus. The results provide a comprehensive picture of when and where changes in RBC content and speed occur during and immediately following cortical activation. In summary, the earliest and largest microvascular RBC content changes occurred in the middle cortical layers, while post-stimulus undershoots were most prominent superficially. These laminar variations in positive and negative responses paralleled known distributions of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, suggesting neuronal underpinnings. Additionally, the RBC speed response consistently returned to baseline more promptly than RBC content after the stimulus across cortical layers, supporting a “flow-volume mismatch” of hemodynamic origin. PMID:25111471

  7. 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.

  8. HAL/S-360 compiler test activity report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helmers, C. T.

    1974-01-01

    The levels of testing employed in verifying the HAL/S-360 compiler were as follows: (1) typical applications program case testing; (2) functional testing of the compiler system and its generated code; and (3) machine oriented testing of compiler implementation on operational computers. Details of the initial test plan and subsequent adaptation are reported, along with complete test results for each phase which examined the production of object codes for every possible source statement.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Inverse relationship between chitobiase and transglycosylation activities of chitinase-D from Serratia proteamaculans revealed by mutational and biophysical analyses

    PubMed Central

    Madhuprakash, Jogi; Bobbili, Kishore Babu; Moerschbacher, Bruno M.; Singh, Tej Pal; Swamy, Musti J.; Podile, Appa Rao

    2015-01-01

    Serratia proteamaculans chitinase-D (SpChiD) has a unique combination of hydrolytic and transglycosylation (TG) activities. The TG activity of SpChiD can be used for large-scale production of chito-oligosaccharides (CHOS). The multiple activities (hydrolytic and/or chitobiase activities and TG) of SpChiD appear to be strongly influenced by the substrate-binding cleft. Here, we report the unique property of SpChiD substrate-binding cleft, wherein, the residues Tyr28, Val35 and Thr36 control chitobiase activity and the residues Trp160 and Trp290 are crucial for TG activity. Mutants with reduced (V35G and T36G/F) or no (SpChiDΔ30–42 and Y28A) chitobiase activity produced higher amounts of the quantifiable even-chain TG product with degree of polymerization (DP)-6, indicating that the chitobiase and TG activities are inversely related. In addition to its unprecedented catalytic properties, unlike other chitinases, the single modular SpChiD showed dual unfolding transitions. Ligand-induced thermal stability studies with the catalytically inactive mutant of SpChiD (E153A) showed that the transition temperature increased upon binding of CHOS with DP2–6. Isothermal titration calorimetry experiments revealed the exceptionally high binding affinities for E153A to CHOS with DP2–6. These observations strongly support that the architecture of SpChiD substrate-binding cleft adopted to control chitobiase and TG activities, in addition to usual chitinase-mediated hydrolysis. PMID:26493546

  12. The characterization of the endoglucanase Cel12A from Gloeophyllum trabeum reveals an enzyme highly active on β-glucan.

    PubMed

    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

  13. Behavioral Analysis of Dopaminergic Activation in Zebrafish and Rats Reveals Similar Phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Ek, Fredrik; Malo, Marcus; Åberg Andersson, Madelene; Wedding, Christoffer; Kronborg, Joel; Svensson, Peder; Waters, Susanna; Petersson, Per; Olsson, Roger

    2016-05-18

    Zebrafish is emerging as a complement to mammals in behavioral studies; however, there is a lack of comparative studies with rodents and humans to establish the zebrafish as a predictive translational model. Here we present a detailed phenotype evaluation of zebrafish larvae, measuring 300-3000 variables and analyzing them using multivariate analysis to identify the most important ones for further evaluations. The dopamine agonist apomorphine has previously been shown to have a complex U-shaped dose-response relationship in the variable distance traveled. In this study, we focused on breaking down distance traveled into more detailed behavioral phenotypes for both zebrafish and rats and identified in the multivariate analysis low and high dose phenotypes with characteristic behavioral features. Further analysis of single parameters also identified an increased activity at the lowest concentration indicative of a U-shaped dose-response. Apomorphine increased the distance of each swim movement (bout) at both high and low doses, but the underlying behavior of this increase is different; at high dose, both bout duration and frequency increased whereas bout max speed was higher at low dose. Larvae also displayed differences in place preference. The low dose phenotype spent more time in the center, indicative of an anxiolytic effect, while the high-dose phenotype had a wall preference. These dose-dependent effects corroborated findings in a parallel rat study and previous observations in humans. The translational value of pharmacological zebrafish studies was further evaluated by comparing the amino acid sequence of the dopamine receptors (D1-D4), between zebrafish, rats and humans. Humans and zebrafish share 100% of the amino acids in the binding site for D1 and D3 whereas D2 and D4 receptors share 85-95%. Molecular modeling of dopamine D2 and D4 receptors indicated that nonconserved amino acids have limited influence on important ligand-receptor interactions. PMID

  14. 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

  15. Optogenetic activation reveals distinct roles of PIP3 and Akt in adipocyte insulin action.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yingke; Nan, Di; Fan, Jiannan; Bogan, Jonathan S; Toomre, Derek

    2016-05-15

    Glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4; also known as SLC2A4) resides on intracellular vesicles in muscle and adipose cells, and translocates to the plasma membrane in response to insulin. The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt signaling pathway plays a major role in GLUT4 translocation; however, a challenge has been to unravel the potentially distinct contributions of PI3K and Akt (of which there are three isoforms, Akt1-Akt3) to overall insulin action. Here, we describe new optogenetic tools based on CRY2 and the N-terminus of CIB1 (CIBN). We used these 'Opto' modules to activate PI3K and Akt selectively in time and space in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We validated these tools using biochemical assays and performed live-cell kinetic analyses of IRAP-pHluorin translocation (IRAP is also known as LNPEP and acts as a surrogate marker for GLUT4 here). Strikingly, Opto-PIP3 largely mimicked the maximal effects of insulin stimulation, whereas Opto-Akt only partially triggered translocation. Conversely, drug-mediated inhibition of Akt only partially dampened the translocation response of Opto-PIP3 In spatial optogenetic studies, focal targeting of Akt to a region of the cell marked the sites where IRAP-pHluorin vesicles fused, supporting the idea that local Akt-mediated signaling regulates exocytosis. Taken together, these results indicate that PI3K and Akt play distinct roles, and that PI3K stimulates Akt-independent pathways that are important for GLUT4 translocation. PMID:27076519

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Active role of lagging chromosomes in spindle collapse as revealed by live phase contrast and tubulin immunostaining in grasshopper spermatocytes.

    PubMed

    Rebollo, E; Arana, P

    2001-08-01

    Univalents, that is, chromosomes lacking an attached partner at the first meiotic division, show extremely faulty transmission. Most segregational errors stem from amphitelic (mitotic-like) orientation at metaphase I followed by anaphase I lagging. Our studies in living grasshopper spermatocytes show that amphitelic orientation may provoke spindle collapse: spindle elongation and cytokinesis are impaired and an unreduced restitution nucleus is formed. This does not prevent meiotic progression and eventually leads to the production of diploid gametes. The morphology and characteristics of spindle collapse in our material, as revealed by in vivo observation and tubulin immunostaining, indicate an active role of the chromosomes in the whole process. PMID:11534821

  19. [Activity of porcine anti-Brucella abortus immunoglobulins in the acid plate agglutination test (APAT)].

    PubMed

    Stryszak, A; Błaszczyk, B; Królak, M

    1987-01-01

    Serological activity of swine IgM and IgG against Brucella abortus in RBPT was determined in relation to four other reactions used in Poland for diagnosing brucellosis standard agglutination test, complement fixation test, antiglobulin test, 2-mercaptoethanol test). Isolation of IgG was performed by the method of filtration on Sephadex gel G-200 of swine sera raised against Brucella abortus S19 by double immunization with suspension of killed bacteria. The presence of a certain Ig class in the fractions thus obtained was confirmed by immunoelectrophoresis and immunodiffusion tests. RBPT revealed the reaction of antibodies of IgM and IgG class which proves usability of this reaction diagnosis both early (IgM) and chronic (IgG) infection with brucellosis. Both classes of antibodies mentioned above were active also in SAT and CTT. Also the results obtained in AGT and MET were found interesting. In one of the sera, the absence of incomplete antibodies was observed, whereas positive reaction in antiglobulin test was found in its fractions containing IgG. This phenomenon was determined as concealment of incomplete agglutinins through higher level of complete antibodies in normal serum. In swine (the results were different from those obtained for cattle), apart from incomplete antibodies in IgG class, the presence of these agglutinins in IgM class was noted. On the other hand, the results obtained in MET proved that IgM antibodies of swine were not totally reduced when affected by 2-mercaptoethanol. PMID:3137534

  20. 26 CFR 1.141-2 - Private activity bond tests.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... and 1.141-4. The private loan financing test is described in § 1.141-5. (d) Reasonable expectations... tests or the private loan financing test to be met. (2) Reasonable expectations test—(i) In general. In general, the reasonable expectations test must take into account reasonable expectations about events...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Voltage Sensitive Dye Imaging Reveals Improved Topographic Activation of Cortex in Response to Manipulation of Thalamic Microstimulation Parameters

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Voltage sensitive dye (VSD) 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 the 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 stimulating 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. PMID:22327024

  5. 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.

  6. Prognostic value of cortically induced motor evoked activity by TMS in chronic stroke: Caveats from a revealing single clinical case

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background We report the case of a chronic stroke patient (62 months after injury) showing total absence of motor activity evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of spared regions of the left motor cortex, but near-to-complete recovery of motor abilities in the affected hand. Case presentation Multimodal investigations included detailed TMS based motor mapping, motor evoked potentials (MEP), and Cortical Silent period (CSP) as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of motor activity, MRI based lesion analysis and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Tractography of corticospinal tract (CST). Anatomical analysis revealed a left hemisphere subinsular lesion interrupting the descending left CST at the level of the internal capsule. The absence of MEPs after intense TMS pulses to the ipsilesional M1, and the reversible suppression of ongoing electromyographic (EMG) activity (indexed by CSP) demonstrate a weak modulation of subcortical systems by the ipsilesional left frontal cortex, but an inability to induce efficient descending volleys from those cortical locations to right hand and forearm muscles. Functional MRI recordings under grasping and finger tapping patterns involving the affected hand showed slight signs of subcortical recruitment, as compared to the unaffected hand and hemisphere, as well as the expected cortical activations. Conclusions The potential sources of motor voluntary activity for the affected hand in absence of MEPs are discussed. We conclude that multimodal analysis may contribute to a more accurate prognosis of stroke patients. PMID:22682434

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Crystal structures of human soluble adenylyl cyclase reveal mechanisms of catalysis and of its activation through bicarbonate

    PubMed Central

    Kleinboelting, Silke; Diaz, Ana; Moniot, Sebastien; van den Heuvel, Joop; Weyand, Michael; Levin, Lonny R.; Buck, Jochen; Steegborn, Clemens

    2014-01-01

    cAMP is an evolutionary conserved, prototypic second messenger regulating numerous cellular functions. In mammals, cAMP is synthesized by one of 10 homologous adenylyl cyclases (ACs): nine transmembrane enzymes and one soluble AC (sAC). Among these, only sAC is directly activated by bicarbonate (HCO3−); it thereby serves as a cellular sensor for HCO3−, carbon dioxide (CO2), and pH in physiological functions, such as sperm activation, aqueous humor formation, and metabolic regulation. Here, we describe crystal structures of human sAC catalytic domains in the apo state and in complex with substrate analog, products, and regulators. The activator HCO3− binds adjacent to Arg176, which acts as a switch that enables formation of the catalytic cation sites. An anionic inhibitor, 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid, inhibits sAC through binding to the active site entrance, which blocks HCO3− activation through steric hindrance and trapping of the Arg176 side chain. Finally, product complexes reveal small, local rearrangements that facilitate catalysis. Our results provide a molecular mechanism for sAC catalysis and cellular HCO3− sensing and a basis for targeting this system with drugs. PMID:24567411

  10. A novel automated test battery reveals enduring behavioural alterations and cognitive impairments in survivors of murine pneumococcal meningitis.

    PubMed

    Too, L K; Ball, H J; McGregor, I S; Hunt, N H

    2014-01-01

    Pneumococcal meningitis, caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae infection, is a major form of lethal bacterial meningitis. Survivors are predisposed to developing lifelong disabling sequelae, including cognitive impairment, psychological problems and motor deficits. In our experimental model, ventricular inoculation of 10(5) colony-forming units of S. pneumoniae type 3 caused 90% of mice to develop life-threatening meningitis within 48 h. Antibiotic treatment with ceftriaxone 20 h post infection reduced the incidence of severe meningitis to <10%. At the time of treatment, upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines was detected, including interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor. We evaluated the long-term behavioural and cognitive sequelae in control mice and those surviving meningitis using an automated system (the IntelliCage) in which mice perform a range of behavioural and spatial tasks to obtain water rewards from conditioning units in their home cage. Surviving mice showed a number of altered behaviours relative to controls, including (i) hypoexploration when first exposed to the IntelliCage, (ii) altered activity patterns (fewer visits to conditioning stations during the light phase and more in the dark phase), (iii) avoidance of light (a constant or flashing LED stimulus), (iv) impaired spatial learning (a complex patrolling task), and (v) impaired discrimination reversal learning. Overall these results suggest photophobia and weakened learning ability in post-meningitic mice, particularly on tasks engaging hippocampal and prefrontal neural substrates. This study also demonstrates a standardised and comprehensive battery of tests that can be readily used to investigate neurological sequelae in undisturbed mice residing in a complex home cage environment. PMID:24060586

  11. Mechanistic studies of anticancer aptamer AS1411 reveal a novel role for nucleolin in regulating Rac1 activation.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Reyes, E Merit; Šalipur, Francesca R; Shams, Mitra; Forsthoefel, Matthew K; Bates, Paula J

    2015-08-01

    AS1411 is a G-rich quadruplex-forming oligodeoxynucleotide that binds specifically to nucleolin, a protein found on the surface and in the cytoplasm of most malignant cells but absent from the surface/cytoplasm of most normal cells. AS1411 has shown promising clinical activity and is being widely used as a tumor-targeting agent, but its mechanism of action is not fully understood. Previously, we showed that AS1411 is taken up in cancer cells by macropinocytosis (fluid phase endocytosis) and subsequently stimulates further macropinocytosis by a nucleolin-dependent mechanism. In the current study, we have investigated the significance and molecular mechanisms of AS1411-induced macropinocytosis. Our results indicate that the antiproliferative activity of AS1411 in various cell lines correlated with its capacity to stimulate macropinocytosis. In DU145 prostate cancer cells, AS1411 induced activation of EGFR, Akt, p38, and Rac1. Activation of Akt and p38 were not critical for AS1411 activity because Akt activation was not observed in all AS1411-responsive cell lines and knockdown of p38 had no effect on AS1411's ability to inhibit proliferation. On the other hand, activation of EGFR and Rac1 appeared to play a role in AS1411 activity in all cancer cell lines examined (DU145, MDA-MB-468, A549, LNCaP) and their inhibition significantly reduced AS1411-mediated macropinocytosis and AS1411 antiproliferative activity. Interestingly, downregulation of nucleolin expression by siRNA also produced a substantial increase in activated Rac1, revealing a previously unknown role for nucleolin as a negative regulator of Rac1 activation. Our results are consistent with a model whereby AS1411 binding to nucleolin leads to sustained activation of Rac1 and causes methuosis, a novel type of nonapoptotic cell death characterized by hyperstimulation of macropinocytosis. We speculate that methuosis is a tumor/metastasis suppressor mechanism that opposes the malignant functions of Rac1 and that

  12. Testing Damage Scenarios. From Historical Earthquakes To Silent Active Faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galli, P.; Orsini, G.; Bosi, V.; di Pasquale, G.; Galadini, F.

    Italy is rich with historical scenarios of disruption and death that arrived up to us through the insight descriptions of hundreds of manuscripts, reports, treatises, letters and epigraphs. All these historical data constitute today one of the most powerful data-base of earthquake-induced effects. Moreover, it is now possible to relate many of these earthquakes to geological structures, the seismogenetic behavior of which has been investigated by means of paleoseismological studies. On the basis of these information and of those gathered through the national census (performed on popu- lation and dwellings by ISTAT, Italian Institute of Statistics in 1991) we developed a methodology (FaCES, Fault-Controlled Earthquake Scenario) which reproduce the damage scenario caused by the rupture of a defined fault, providing an estimate of the losses in terms of damages to building and consequences to population. The reliabil- ity of scenarios has been tested by comparing the historical damage distribution of an earthquake with that obtained applying FaCES to the responsible fault. Finally, we hypothesize the scenario related to three historically-silent faults of central Apennines (Mt. Vettore, Mt. Gorzano and Gran Sasso faults), the Holocene activity of which has been recently ascertained though paleoseimological analyses.

  13. Rapid toxicity testing based on mitochondrial respiratory activity

    SciTech Connect

    Haubenstricker, M.E. ); Holodnick, S.E.; Mancy, K.H. ); Brabec, M.J. )

    1990-05-01

    The need exists for rapid and inexpensive methods to determine the health effects of environmental contaminants on biological systems. One of the current research approaches for assessing cytotoxicity is to monitor the respiratory activity of the mitochondrion, a sensitive, nonspecific subcellular target site. Detected changes in mitochondrial function after the addition of a test chemical could be correlated to toxic effects. Mitochondrial respiration can be characterized by three indices: state 3 and state 4 respiratory rates, and the respiratory control ratio (RCR). State 4, the idle or resting state, results when coupled mitochondrial respire in a medium containing inorganic phosphate and a Kreb's cycle substrate in the absence of a phosphate acceptor such as adenosine diphosphate (ADP). In the presence of ADP the respiration rate increases to a maximum (state 3), accompanied by phosphorylation of ADP to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ratio of state 3 to state 4, or RCR, indicates how tightly the oxidative phosphorylation process is coupled. The synthesis of ATP by mitochondria is influenced by a number of compounds, most of which are either uncouplers or inhibitors.

  14. 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

  15. A new dye uptake assay to test the activity of antibiotics against intracellular Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Sutera, Vivien; Caspar, Yvan; Boisset, Sandrine; Maurin, Max

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a facultative intracellular bacterium, is the aetiological agent of tularaemia. Antibiotic treatment of this zoonosis is based on the administration of a fluoroquinolone or a tetracycline for cases with mild to moderate severity, whereas an aminoglycoside (streptomycin or gentamicin) is advocated for severe cases. However, treatment failures and relapses remain frequent, especially in patients suffering from chronic lymph node suppuration. Therefore, new treatment alternatives are needed. We have developed a dye uptake assay for determination of minimal inhibitory extracellular concentrations (MIECs) of antibiotics against intracellular F. tularensis, and validated the method by comparing the results obtained using a CFU-enumerating method. We also compared MIECs with MICs of the same compounds determined using a CLSI broth microdilution method. We tested the activity of 11 antibiotics against two clinical strains of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica isolated in France. Both strains displayed low MICs (≤1 μg/mL) to fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and moxifloxacin), gentamicin, doxycycline and rifampicin. Higher MICs (≥8 μg/mL) were found for carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem), daptomycin and linezolid. Erythromycin MICs were 4.0 and 16.0 μg/mL, respectively, for the two clinical strains. MIECs were almost the same with the two methods used. They were concordant with MICs, except for erythromycin and linezolid (respectively, four and eight times more active against intracellular F. tularensis) and gentamicin (four to eight times less active against intracellular F. tularensis). This study validated the dye uptake assay as a new tool for determination of the activity of a large panel of antibiotics against intracellular F. tularensis. This test confirmed the intracellular activity of first-line antibiotics used for tularaemia treatment, but also revealed significant activity of linezolid against intracellular F. tularensis

  16. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis Reveals Molecular Adaptations in the Hippocampal Synaptic Active Zone of Chronic Mild Stress-Unsusceptible Rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jian; Liu, Zhao; Yu, Jia; Han, Xin; Fan, Songhua; Shao, Weihua; Chen, Jianjun; Qiao, Rui

    2016-01-01

    Background: While stressful events are recognized as an important cause of major depressive disorder, some individuals exposed to life stressors maintain normal psychological functioning. The molecular mechanism(s) underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. Abnormal transmission and plasticity of hippocampal synapses have been implied to play a key role in the pathoetiology of major depressive disorder. Methods: A chronic mild stress protocol was applied to separate susceptible and unsusceptible rat subpopulations. Proteomic analysis using an isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation coupled with tandem mass spectrometry was performed to identify differential proteins in enriched hippocampal synaptic junction preparations. Results: A total of 4318 proteins were quantified, and 89 membrane proteins were present in differential amounts. Of these, SynaptomeDB identified 81 (91%) having a synapse-specific localization. The unbiased profiles identified several candidate proteins within the synaptic junction that may be associated with stress vulnerability or insusceptibility. Subsequent functional categorization revealed that protein systems particularly involved in membrane trafficking at the synaptic active zone exhibited a positive strain as potential molecular adaptations in the unsusceptible rats. Moreover, through STRING and immunoblotting analysis, membrane-associated GTP-bound Rab3a and Munc18-1 appear to coregulate syntaxin-1/SNAP25/VAMP2 assembly at the hippocampal presynaptic active zone of unsusceptible rats, facilitating SNARE-mediated membrane fusion and neurotransmitter release, and may be part of a stress-protection mechanism in actively maintaining an emotional homeostasis. Conclusions: The present results support the concept that there is a range of potential protein adaptations in the hippocampal synaptic active zone of unsusceptible rats, revealing new investigative targets that may contribute to a better understanding of stress

  17. Usability testing of a monitoring and feedback tool to stimulate physical activity

    PubMed Central

    van der Weegen, Sanne; Verwey, Renée; Tange, Huibert J; Spreeuwenberg, Marieke D; de Witte, Luc P

    2014-01-01

    Introduction A monitoring and feedback tool to stimulate physical activity, consisting of an activity sensor, smartphone application (app), and website for patients and their practice nurses, has been developed: the ‘It’s LiFe!’ tool. In this study the usability of the tool was evaluated by technology experts and end users (people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or type 2 diabetes, with ages from 40–70 years), to improve the user interfaces and content of the tool. Patients and methods The study had four phases: 1) a heuristic evaluation with six technology experts; 2) a usability test in a laboratory by five patients; 3) a pilot in real life wherein 20 patients used the tool for 3 months; and 4) a final lab test by five patients. In both lab tests (phases 2 and 4) qualitative data were collected through a thinking-aloud procedure and video recordings, and quantitative data through questions about task complexity, text comprehensiveness, and readability. In addition, the post-study system usability questionnaire (PSSUQ) was completed for the app and the website. In the pilot test (phase 3), all patients were interviewed three times and the Software Usability Measurement Inventory (SUMI) was completed. Results After each phase, improvements were made, mainly to the layout and text. The main improvement was a refresh button for active data synchronization between activity sensor, app, and server, implemented after connectivity problems in the pilot test. The mean score on the PSSUQ for the website improved from 5.6 (standard deviation [SD] 1.3) to 6.5 (SD 0.5), and for the app from 5.4 (SD 1.5) to 6.2 (SD 1.1). Satisfaction in the pilot was not very high according to the SUMI. Discussion The use of laboratory versus real-life tests and expert-based versus user-based tests revealed a wide range of usability issues. The usability of the It’s LiFe! tool improved considerably during the study. PMID:24669188

  18. LOW ACTIVITY WASTE FEED SOLIDS CARACTERIZATION AND FILTERABILITY TESTS

    SciTech Connect

    McCabe, D.; Crawford, C.; Duignan, M.; Williams, M.; Burket, P.

    2014-04-03

    The primary treatment of the tank waste at the DOE Hanford site will be done in the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) that is currently under construction. The baseline plan for the WTP Pretreatment facility is to treat the waste, splitting it into High Level Waste (HLW) feed and Low Activity Waste (LAW) feed. Both waste streams are then separately vitrified as glass and sealed in canisters. The LAW glass will be disposed onsite in the Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF). There are currently no plans to treat the waste to remove technetium in the WTP Pretreatment facility, so its disposition path is the LAW glass. Options are being explored to immobilize the LAW portion of the tank waste, i.e., the LAW feed from the WTP Pretreatment facility. Removal of {sup 99}Tc from the LAW Feed, followed by off-site disposal of the {sup 99}Tc, would eliminate a key risk contributor for the IDF Performance Assessment (PA) for supplemental waste forms, and has potential to reduce treatment and disposal costs. Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) is developing some conceptual flow sheets for LAW treatment and disposal that could benefit from technetium removal. One of these flowsheets will specifically examine removing {sup 99}Tc from the LAW feed stream to supplemental immobilization. The conceptual flow sheet of the {sup 99}Tc removal process includes a filter to remove insoluble solids prior to processing the stream in an ion exchange column, but the characteristics and behavior of the liquid and solid phases has not previously been investigated. This report contains results of testing of a simulant that represents the projected composition of the feed to the Supplemental LAW process. This feed composition is not identical to the aqueous tank waste fed to the Waste Treatment Plant because it has been processed through WTP Pretreatment facility and therefore contains internal changes and recycle streams that will be generated within the WTP process. Although

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. International Baccalaureate as a Litmus Test Revealing Conflicting Values and Power Relations in the Israeli Education System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yemini, Miri; Dvir, Yuval

    2016-01-01

    This study comprises a comprehensive attempt to reveal the power relations and conflicting interests within the local-global nexus of the Israeli public education system. The perceptions of different stakeholders were explored, in regard to the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program as an example of a globally oriented…

  4. Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinase-4 Structures Reveal a Metastable Open Conformation Fostering Robust Core-free Basal Activity

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-10-21

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

  5. Active Thermal Control Experiments for LISA Ground Verification Testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higuchi, Sei; DeBra, Daniel B.

    2006-11-01

    The primary mission goal of LISA is detecting gravitational waves. LISA uses laser metrology to measure the distance between proof masses in three identical spacecrafts. The total acceleration disturbance to each proof mass is required to be below 3 × 10-15 m/s2√Hz . Optical path length variations on each optical bench must be kept below 40 pm/√Hz over 1 Hz to 0.1 mHz. Thermal variations due to, for example, solar radiation or temperature gradients across the proof mass housing will distort the spacecraft causing changes in the mass attraction and sensor location. We have developed a thermal control system developed for the LISA gravitational reference sensor (GRS) ground verification testing which provides thermal stability better than 1 mK/√Hz to f < 1 mHz and which by extension is suitable for in-flight thermal control for the LISA spacecraft to compensate solar irradiation. Thermally stable environment is very demanded for LISA performance verification. In a lab environment specifications can be met with considerable amount of insulation and thermal mass. For spacecraft, the very limited thermal mass calls for an active control system which can meet disturbance rejection and stability requirements simultaneously in the presence of long time delay. A simple proportional plus integral control law presently provides approximately 1 mK/√Hz of thermal stability for over 80 hours. Continuing development of a model predictive feed-forward algorithm will extend performance to below 1 mK/√Hz at f < 1 mHz and lower.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Competitive balance of intrabulge BMP/Wnt signaling reveals a robust gene network ruling stem cell homeostasis and cyclic activation

    PubMed Central

    Kandyba, Eve; Leung, Yvonne; Chen, Yi-Bu; Widelitz, Randall; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Kobielak, Krzysztof

    2013-01-01

    Hair follicles facilitate the study of stem cell behavior because stem cells in progressive activation stages, ordered within the follicle architecture, are capable of cyclic regeneration. To study the gene network governing the homeostasis of hair bulge stem cells, we developed a Keratin 15-driven genetic model to directly perturb molecular signaling in the stem cells. We visualize the behavior of these modified stem cells, evaluating their hair-regenerating ability and profile their molecular expression. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-inactivated stem cells exhibit molecular profiles resembling those of hair germs, yet still possess multipotentiality in vivo. These cells also exhibit up-regulation of Wnt7a, Wnt7b, and Wnt16 ligands and Frizzled (Fzd) 10 receptor. We demonstrate direct transcriptional modulation of the Wnt7a promoter. These results highlight a previously unknown intra-stem cell antagonistic competition, between BMP and Wnt signaling, to balance stem cell activity. Reduced BMP signaling and increased Wnt signaling tilts each stem cell toward a hair germ fate and, vice versa, based on a continuous scale dependent on the ratio of BMP/Wnt activity. This work reveals one more hierarchical layer regulating stem cell homeostasis beneath the stem cell–dermal papilla-based epithelial–mesenchymal interaction layer and the hair follicle–intradermal adipocyte-based tissue interaction layer. Although hierarchical layers are all based on BMP/Wnt signaling, the multilayered control ensures that all information is taken into consideration and allows hair stem cells to sum up the total activators/inhibitors involved in making the decision of activation. PMID:23292934

  9. 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

  10. 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 b