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Sample records for amber biomolecular simulation

  1. The Amber Biomolecular Simulation Programs

    PubMed Central

    CASE, DAVID A.; CHEATHAM, THOMAS E.; DARDEN, TOM; GOHLKE, HOLGER; LUO, RAY; MERZ, KENNETH M.; ONUFRIEV, ALEXEY; SIMMERLING, CARLOS; WANG, BING; WOODS, ROBERT J.

    2006-01-01

    We describe the development, current features, and some directions for future development of the Amber package of computer programs. This package evolved from a program that was constructed in the late 1970s to do Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement, and now contains a group of programs embodying a number of powerful tools of modern computational chemistry, focused on molecular dynamics and free energy calculations of proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates. PMID:16200636

  2. Atomic-level simulations of biomolecular systems with a modified Amber force field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmerling, Carlos L.

    2008-03-01

    Experimental methods have been highly successful in determining 3-dimensional biomolecular structures. However, most approaches provide only time- or ensemble-averaged data, making it much more difficult to study the dynamic and energetic aspects of biological systems. Atomic-resolution simulations are highly complementary to experiments, and can provide data with unparalleled resolution in time and space. Due to the long timescales of biologically relevant events, as well as the complexity of the energy function, accurate and precise simulations remain highly computationally challenging. This seminar will highlight recent progress in both areas, illustrating how energy functions that have been trained on simple peptide models can be successfully used for the study of much more complex systems. We demonstrate that our newly trained energy parameters significantly reduce the secondary structure bias reported for previous Amber parameter sets. Applications of the parameters include studies of folding behavior of peptides and small proteins, and the dynamic behavior of larger biomolecular systems such as conformational changes during drug binding in HIV-1 protease.

  3. fireball/amber: An Efficient Local-Orbital DFT QM/MM Method for Biomolecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Mendieta-Moreno, Jesús I; Walker, Ross C; Lewis, James P; Gómez-Puertas, Paulino; Mendieta, Jesús; Ortega, José

    2014-05-13

    In recent years, quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods have become an important computational tool for the study of chemical reactions and other processes in biomolecular systems. In the QM/MM technique, the active region is described by means of QM calculations, while the remainder of the system is described using a MM approach. Because of the complexity of biomolecules and the desire to achieve converged sampling, it is important that the QM method presents a good balance between accuracy and computational efficiency. Here, we report on the implementation of a QM/MM technique that combines a DFT approach specially designed for the study of complex systems using first-principles molecular dynamics simulations (fireball) with the amber force fields and simulation programs. We also present examples of the application of this QM/MM approach to three representative biomolecular systems: the analysis of the effect of electrostatic embedding in the behavior of a salt bridge between an aspartic acid and a lysine residue, a study of the intermediate states for the triosephosphate isomerase catalyzed conversion of dihydroxyacetone phosphate into glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, and the detailed description, using DFT QM/MM molecular dynamics, of the cleavage of a phosphodiester bond in RNA catalyzed by the enzyme RNase A.

  4. Grid computing and biomolecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Woods, Christopher J; Ng, Muan Hong; Johnston, Steven; Murdock, Stuart E; Wu, Bing; Tai, Kaihsu; Fangohr, Hans; Jeffreys, Paul; Cox, Simon; Frey, Jeremy G; Sansom, Mark S P; Essex, Jonathan W

    2005-08-15

    Biomolecular computer simulations are now widely used not only in an academic setting to understand the fundamental role of molecular dynamics on biological function, but also in the industrial context to assist in drug design. In this paper, two applications of Grid computing to this area will be outlined. The first, involving the coupling of distributed computing resources to dedicated Beowulf clusters, is targeted at simulating protein conformational change using the Replica Exchange methodology. In the second, the rationale and design of a database of biomolecular simulation trajectories is described. Both applications illustrate the increasingly important role modern computational methods are playing in the life sciences.

  5. Introduction. Biomolecular simulation

    PubMed Central

    Mulholland, Adrian J.

    2008-01-01

    ‘Everything that living things do can be understood in terms of the jigglings and wigglings of atoms’ as Richard Feynman provocatively stated nearly 50 years ago. But how can we ‘see’ this wiggling and jiggling and understand how it drives biology? Increasingly, computer simulations of biological macromolecules are helping to meet this challenge. PMID:18826912

  6. Introduction. Biomolecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Mulholland, Adrian J

    2008-12-06

    'Everything that living things do can be understood in terms of the jigglings and wigglings of atoms' as Richard Feynman provocatively stated nearly 50 years ago. But how can we 'see' this wiggling and jiggling and understand how it drives biology? Increasingly, computer simulations of biological macromolecules are helping to meet this challenge.

  7. Biomolecular simulation: historical picture and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    van Gunsteren, Wilfred F; Dolenc, Jozica

    2008-02-01

    Over the last 30 years, computation based on molecular models is playing an increasingly important role in biology, biological chemistry and biophysics. Since only a very limited number of properties of biomolecular systems are actually accessible to measurement by experimental means, computer simulation complements experiments by providing not only averages, but also distributions and time series of any definable, observable or non-observable, quantity. Biomolecular simulation may be used (i) to interpret experimental data, (ii) to provoke new experiments, (iii) to replace experiments and (iv) to protect intellectual property. Progress over the last 30 years is sketched and perspectives are outlined for the future.

  8. CHARMM-GUI 10 years for biomolecular modeling and simulation.

    PubMed

    Jo, Sunhwan; Cheng, Xi; Lee, Jumin; Kim, Seonghoon; Park, Sang-Jun; Patel, Dhilon S; Beaven, Andrew H; Lee, Kyu Il; Rui, Huan; Park, Soohyung; Lee, Hui Sun; Roux, Benoît; MacKerell, Alexander D; Klauda, Jeffrey B; Qi, Yifei; Im, Wonpil

    2017-06-05

    CHARMM-GUI, http://www.charmm-gui.org, is a web-based graphical user interface that prepares complex biomolecular systems for molecular simulations. CHARMM-GUI creates input files for a number of programs including CHARMM, NAMD, GROMACS, AMBER, GENESIS, LAMMPS, Desmond, OpenMM, and CHARMM/OpenMM. Since its original development in 2006, CHARMM-GUI has been widely adopted for various purposes and now contains a number of different modules designed to set up a broad range of simulations: (1) PDB Reader & Manipulator, Glycan Reader, and Ligand Reader & Modeler for reading and modifying molecules; (2) Quick MD Simulator, Membrane Builder, Nanodisc Builder, HMMM Builder, Monolayer Builder, Micelle Builder, and Hex Phase Builder for building all-atom simulation systems in various environments; (3) PACE CG Builder and Martini Maker for building coarse-grained simulation systems; (4) DEER Facilitator and MDFF/xMDFF Utilizer for experimentally guided simulations; (5) Implicit Solvent Modeler, PBEQ-Solver, and GCMC/BD Ion Simulator for implicit solvent related calculations; (6) Ligand Binder for ligand solvation and binding free energy simulations; and (7) Drude Prepper for preparation of simulations with the CHARMM Drude polarizable force field. Recently, new modules have been integrated into CHARMM-GUI, such as Glycolipid Modeler for generation of various glycolipid structures, and LPS Modeler for generation of lipopolysaccharide structures from various Gram-negative bacteria. These new features together with existing modules are expected to facilitate advanced molecular modeling and simulation thereby leading to an improved understanding of the structure and dynamics of complex biomolecular systems. Here, we briefly review these capabilities and discuss potential future directions in the CHARMM-GUI development project. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Biomolecular Network Simulator: Software for Stochastic Simulations of Biomolecular Reaction Networks on Supercomputers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chushak, Yaroslav; Foy, Brent; Frazier, John

    2008-03-01

    At the functional level, all biological processes in cells can be represented as a series of biochemical reactions that are stochastic in nature. We have developed a software package called Biomolecular Network Simulator (BNS) that uses a stochastic approach to model and simulate complex biomolecular reaction networks. Two simulation algorithms - the exact Gillespie stochastic simulation algorithm and the approximate adaptive tau-leaping algorithm - are implemented for generating Monte Carlo trajectories that describe the evolution of a system of biochemical reactions. The software uses a combination of MATLAB and C-coded functions and is parallelized with the Message Passing Interface (MPI) library to run on multiprocessor architectures. We will present a brief description of the Biomolecular Network Simulator software along with some examples.

  10. AMBER-DYES: Characterization of Charge Fluctuations and Force Field Parameterization of Fluorescent Dyes for Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Graen, Timo; Hoefling, Martin; Grubmüller, Helmut

    2014-12-09

    Recent advances in single molecule fluorescence experiments and theory allow a direct comparison and improved interpretation of experiment and simulation. To this end, force fields for a larger number of dyes are required which are compatible with and can be integrated into existing biomolecular force fields. Here, we developed, characterized, and implemented AMBER-DYES, a modular fluorescent label force field, for a set of 22 fluorescent dyes and their linkers from the Alexa, Atto, and Cy families, which are in common use for single molecule spectroscopy experiments. The force field is compatible with the AMBER protein force fields and the GROMACS molecular dynamics simulation program. The high electronic polarizability of the delocalized π-electron orbitals, as found in many fluorescent dyes, poses a particular challenge to point charge based force fields such as AMBER. To quantify the charge fluctuations due to the electronic polarizability, we simulated the 22 dyes in explicit solvent and sampled the charge fluctuations using QM/MM simulations at the B3LYP/6-31G*//TIP3P level of theory. The analysis of the simulations enabled us to derive ensemble fitted RESP charges from the solvated charge distributions of multiple trajectories. We observed broad, single peaked charge distributions for the conjugated ring atoms with well-defined mean values. The charge fitting procedure was validated against published charges of the dyelike amino acid tryptophan, which showed good agreement with existing tryptophan parameters from the AMBER, CHARMM, and OPLS force field families. A principal component analysis of the charge fluctuations revealed that a small number of collective coordinates suffices to describe most of the in-plane dye polarizability. The AMBER-DYES force field allows the rapid preparation of all atom molecular dynamics simulations of fluorescent systems for state of the art multi microsecond trajectories.

  11. Equilibrium Sampling in Biomolecular Simulation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Equilibrium sampling of biomolecules remains an unmet challenge after more than 30 years of atomistic simulation. Efforts to enhance sampling capability, which are reviewed here, range from the development of new algorithms to parallelization to novel uses of hardware. Special focus is placed on classifying algorithms — most of which are underpinned by a few key ideas — in order to understand their fundamental strengths and limitations. Although algorithms have proliferated, progress resulting from novel hardware use appears to be more clear-cut than from algorithms alone, partly due to the lack of widely used sampling measures. PMID:21370970

  12. CHARMM: the biomolecular simulation program.

    PubMed

    Brooks, B R; Brooks, C L; Mackerell, A D; Nilsson, L; Petrella, R J; Roux, B; Won, Y; Archontis, G; Bartels, C; Boresch, S; Caflisch, A; Caves, L; Cui, Q; Dinner, A R; Feig, M; Fischer, S; Gao, J; Hodoscek, M; Im, W; Kuczera, K; Lazaridis, T; Ma, J; Ovchinnikov, V; Paci, E; Pastor, R W; Post, C B; Pu, J Z; Schaefer, M; Tidor, B; Venable, R M; Woodcock, H L; Wu, X; Yang, W; York, D M; Karplus, M

    2009-07-30

    CHARMM (Chemistry at HARvard Molecular Mechanics) is a highly versatile and widely used molecular simulation program. It has been developed over the last three decades with a primary focus on molecules of biological interest, including proteins, peptides, lipids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and small molecule ligands, as they occur in solution, crystals, and membrane environments. For the study of such systems, the program provides a large suite of computational tools that include numerous conformational and path sampling methods, free energy estimators, molecular minimization, dynamics, and analysis techniques, and model-building capabilities. The CHARMM program is applicable to problems involving a much broader class of many-particle systems. Calculations with CHARMM can be performed using a number of different energy functions and models, from mixed quantum mechanical-molecular mechanical force fields, to all-atom classical potential energy functions with explicit solvent and various boundary conditions, to implicit solvent and membrane models. The program has been ported to numerous platforms in both serial and parallel architectures. This article provides an overview of the program as it exists today with an emphasis on developments since the publication of the original CHARMM article in 1983. Copyright 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. CHARMM: The Biomolecular Simulation Program

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, B.R.; Brooks, C.L.; MacKerell, A.D.; Nilsson, L.; Petrella, R.J.; Roux, B.; Won, Y.; Archontis, G.; Bartels, C.; Boresch, S.; Caflisch, A.; Caves, L.; Cui, Q.; Dinner, A.R.; Feig, M.; Fischer, S.; Gao, J.; Hodoscek, M.; Im, W.; Kuczera, K.; Lazaridis, T.; Ma, J.; Ovchinnikov, V.; Paci, E.; Pastor, R.W.; Post, C.B.; Pu, J.Z.; Schaefer, M.; Tidor, B.; Venable, R. M.; Woodcock, H. L.; Wu, X.; Yang, W.; York, D.M.; Karplus, M.

    2009-01-01

    CHARMM (Chemistry at HARvard Molecular Mechanics) is a highly versatile and widely used molecular simulation program. It has been developed over the last three decades with a primary focus on molecules of biological interest, including proteins, peptides, lipids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and small molecule ligands, as they occur in solution, crystals, and membrane environments. For the study of such systems, the program provides a large suite of computational tools that include numerous conformational and path sampling methods, free energy estimators, molecular minimization, dynamics, and analysis techniques, and model-building capabilities. In addition, the CHARMM program is applicable to problems involving a much broader class of many-particle systems. Calculations with CHARMM can be performed using a number of different energy functions and models, from mixed quantum mechanical-molecular mechanical force fields, to all-atom classical potential energy functions with explicit solvent and various boundary conditions, to implicit solvent and membrane models. The program has been ported to numerous platforms in both serial and parallel architectures. This paper provides an overview of the program as it exists today with an emphasis on developments since the publication of the original CHARMM paper in 1983. PMID:19444816

  14. Stochastic Simulation of Biomolecular Reaction Networks Using the Biomolecular Network Simulator Software

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    investigate the simulation of a biomolecular reaction network with BNS, a simple model of a generic self-assembling catalytic ligation reaction in a...Amino Acid Pools Nucleotide Triphosphate Pools Nucleotide Monophosphate Pools Ligation Reaction 1551 517 7 RESULTS Simulation of exemplar...and reaction r8 is the catalytic ligation reaction . In figures 5(B) through 5(F), both the time-averaged event rate for a single simulation run

  15. Enhanced sampling techniques in biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Spiwok, Vojtech; Sucur, Zoran; Hosek, Petr

    2015-11-01

    Biomolecular simulations are routinely used in biochemistry and molecular biology research; however, they often fail to match expectations of their impact on pharmaceutical and biotech industry. This is caused by the fact that a vast amount of computer time is required to simulate short episodes from the life of biomolecules. Several approaches have been developed to overcome this obstacle, including application of massively parallel and special purpose computers or non-conventional hardware. Methodological approaches are represented by coarse-grained models and enhanced sampling techniques. These techniques can show how the studied system behaves in long time-scales on the basis of relatively short simulations. This review presents an overview of new simulation approaches, the theory behind enhanced sampling methods and success stories of their applications with a direct impact on biotechnology or drug design. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Biomolecular simulation on thousands of processors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, James Christopher

    Classical molecular dynamics simulation is a generally applicable method for the study of biomolecular aggregates of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. As experimental techniques have revealed the structures of larger and more complex biomolecular machines, the time required to complete even a single meaningful simulation of such systems has become prohibitive. We have developed the program NAMD to simulate systems of 50,000--500,000 atoms efficiently with full electrostatics on parallel computers with 1000 and more processors. NAMD's scalability is achieved through latency tolerant adaptive message-driven execution and measurement-based load balancing. NAMD is implemented in C++ and uses object-oriented design and threads to shield the basic algorithms from the necessary complexity of high-performance parallel execution. Apolipoprotein A-I is the primary protein constituent of high density lipoprotein particles, which transport cholesterol in the bloodstream. In collaboration with A. Jonas, we have constructed and simulated models of the nascent discoidal form of these particles, providing theoretical insight to the debate regarding the lipid-bound structure of the protein. Recently, S. Sligar and coworkers have created 10 nm phospholipid bilayer nanoparticles comprising a small lipid bilayer disk solubilized by synthetic membrane scaffold proteins derived from apolipoprotein A-I. Membrane proteins may be embedded in the water-soluble disks, with various medical and technological applications. We are working to develop variant scaffold proteins that produce disks of greater size, stability, and homogeneity. Our simulations have demonstrated a significant deviation from idealized cylindrical structure, and are being used in the interpretation of small angle x-ray scattering data.

  17. Biomolecular simulations on petascale: promises and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agarwal, Pratul K.; Alam, Sadaf R.

    2006-09-01

    Proteins work as highly efficient machines at the molecular level and are responsible for a variety of processes in all living cells. There is wide interest in understanding these machines for implications in biochemical/biotechnology industries as well as in health related fields. Over the last century, investigations of proteins based on a variety of experimental techniques have provided a wealth of information. More recently, theoretical and computational modeling using large scale simulations is providing novel insights into the functioning of these machines. The next generation supercomputers with petascale computing power, hold great promises as well as challenges for the biomolecular simulation scientists. We briefly discuss the progress being made in this area.

  18. Assessment of biomolecular force fields for molecular dynamics simulations in a protein crystal.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongqiao; Jiang, Jianwen

    2010-01-30

    Different biomolecular force fields (OPLS-AA, AMBER03, and GROMOS96) in conjunction with SPC, SPC/E and TIP3P water models are assessed for molecular dynamics simulations in a tetragonal lysozyme crystal. The root mean square deviations for the C(a) atoms of lysozymes are about 0.1 to 0.2 nm from OPLS-AA and AMBER03, smaller than 0.4 nm from GROMOS96. All force fields exhibit similar pattern in B-factors, whereas OPLS-AA and AMBER03 accurately reproduce experimental measurements. Despite slight variations, the primary secondary structures are well conserved using different force fields. Water diffusion in the crystal is approximately ten-fold slower than in bulk phase. The directional and average water diffusivities from OPLS-AA and AMBER03 along with SPC/E model match fairly well with experimental data. Compared to GROMOS96, OPLS-AA and AMBER03 predict larger hydrophilic solvent-accessible surface area of lysozyme, more hydrogen bonds between lysozyme and water, and higher percentage of water in hydration shell. SPC, SPC/E and TIP3P water models have similar performance in most energetic and structural properties, but SPC/E outperforms in water diffusion. While all force fields overestimate the mobility and electrical conductivity of NaCl, a combination of OPLS-AA for lysozyme and the Kirkwood-Buff model for ions is superior to others. As attributed to the steric restraints and surface interactions, the mobility and conductivity in the crystal are reduced by one to two orders of magnitude from aqueous solution.

  19. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Nitrobenzene Dioxygenase Using AMBER Force Field

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulation of the oxygenase component of nitrobenzene dioxygenase (NBDO) system, a member of the naphthalene family of Rieske nonheme iron dioxygenases, has been carried out using the AMBER force field combined with a new set of parameters for the description of the mononuclear nonheme iron center and iron–sulfur Rieske cluster. Simulation results provide information on the structure and dynamics of nitrobenzene dioxygenase in an aqueous environment and shed light on specific interactions that occur in its catalytic center. The results suggest that the architecture of the active site is stabilized by key hydrogen bonds, and Asn258 positions the substrate for oxidation. Analysis of protein–water interactions reveal the presence of a network of solvent molecules at the entrance to the active site, which could be of potential catalytic importance. PMID:24955078

  20. Charge Group Partitioning in Biomolecular Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Canzar, Stefan; El-Kebir, Mohammed; Pool, René; Elbassioni, Khaled; Mark, Alan E.; Geerke, Daan P.; Stougie, Leen; Klau, Gunnar W.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Molecular simulation techniques are increasingly being used to study biomolecular systems at an atomic level. Such simulations rely on empirical force fields to represent the intermolecular interactions. There are many different force fields available—each based on a different set of assumptions and thus requiring different parametrization procedures. Recently, efforts have been made to fully automate the assignment of force-field parameters, including atomic partial charges, for novel molecules. In this work, we focus on a problem arising in the automated parametrization of molecules for use in combination with the gromos family of force fields: namely, the assignment of atoms to charge groups such that for every charge group the sum of the partial charges is ideally equal to its formal charge. In addition, charge groups are required to have size at most k. We show \\documentclass{aastex}\\usepackage{amsbsy}\\usepackage{amsfonts}\\usepackage{amssymb}\\usepackage{bm}\\usepackage{mathrsfs}\\usepackage{pifont}\\usepackage{stmaryrd}\\usepackage{textcomp}\\usepackage{portland, xspace}\\usepackage{amsmath, amsxtra}\\pagestyle{empty}\\DeclareMathSizes{10}{9}{7}{6}\\begin{document}$${ \\cal N P}$$\\end{document}-hardness and give an exact algorithm that solves practical problem instances to provable optimality in a fraction of a second. PMID:23461571

  1. Communication: Quantum polarized fluctuating charge model: a practical method to include ligand polarizability in biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Kimura, S Roy; Rajamani, Ramkumar; Langley, David R

    2011-12-21

    We present a simple and practical method to include ligand electronic polarization in molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of biomolecular systems. The method involves periodically spawning quantum mechanical (QM) electrostatic potential (ESP) calculations on an extra set of computer processors using molecular coordinate snapshots from a running parallel MD simulation. The QM ESPs are evaluated for the small-molecule ligand in the presence of the electric field induced by the protein, solvent, and ion charges within the MD snapshot. Partial charges on ligand atom centers are fit through the multi-conformer restrained electrostatic potential (RESP) fit method on several successive ESPs. The RESP method was selected since it produces charges consistent with the AMBER/GAFF force-field used in the simulations. The updated charges are introduced back into the running simulation when the next snapshot is saved. The result is a simulation whose ligand partial charges continuously respond in real-time to the short-term mean electrostatic field of the evolving environment without incurring additional wall-clock time. We show that (1) by incorporating the cost of polarization back into the potential energy of the MD simulation, the algorithm conserves energy when run in the microcanonical ensemble and (2) the mean solvation free energies for 15 neutral amino acid side chains calculated with the quantum polarized fluctuating charge method and thermodynamic integration agree better with experiment relative to the Amber fixed charge force-field.

  2. iBIOMES Lite: Summarizing Biomolecular Simulation Data in Limited Settings

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    As the amount of data generated by biomolecular simulations dramatically increases, new tools need to be developed to help manage this data at the individual investigator or small research group level. In this paper, we introduce iBIOMES Lite, a lightweight tool for biomolecular simulation data indexing and summarization. The main goal of iBIOMES Lite is to provide a simple interface to summarize computational experiments in a setting where the user might have limited privileges and limited access to IT resources. A command-line interface allows the user to summarize, publish, and search local simulation data sets. Published data sets are accessible via static hypertext markup language (HTML) pages that summarize the simulation protocols and also display data analysis graphically. The publication process is customized via extensible markup language (XML) descriptors while the HTML summary template is customized through extensible stylesheet language (XSL). iBIOMES Lite was tested on different platforms and at several national computing centers using various data sets generated through classical and quantum molecular dynamics, quantum chemistry, and QM/MM. The associated parsers currently support AMBER, GROMACS, Gaussian, and NWChem data set publication. The code is available at https://github.com/jcvthibault/ibiomes. PMID:24830957

  3. iBIOMES Lite: summarizing biomolecular simulation data in limited settings.

    PubMed

    Thibault, Julien C; Cheatham, Thomas E; Facelli, Julio C

    2014-06-23

    As the amount of data generated by biomolecular simulations dramatically increases, new tools need to be developed to help manage this data at the individual investigator or small research group level. In this paper, we introduce iBIOMES Lite, a lightweight tool for biomolecular simulation data indexing and summarization. The main goal of iBIOMES Lite is to provide a simple interface to summarize computational experiments in a setting where the user might have limited privileges and limited access to IT resources. A command-line interface allows the user to summarize, publish, and search local simulation data sets. Published data sets are accessible via static hypertext markup language (HTML) pages that summarize the simulation protocols and also display data analysis graphically. The publication process is customized via extensible markup language (XML) descriptors while the HTML summary template is customized through extensible stylesheet language (XSL). iBIOMES Lite was tested on different platforms and at several national computing centers using various data sets generated through classical and quantum molecular dynamics, quantum chemistry, and QM/MM. The associated parsers currently support AMBER, GROMACS, Gaussian, and NWChem data set publication. The code is available at https://github.com/jcvthibault/ibiomes .

  4. Biomolecular simulation and modelling: status, progress and prospects

    PubMed Central

    van der Kamp, Marc W.; Shaw, Katherine E.; Woods, Christopher J.; Mulholland, Adrian J.

    2008-01-01

    Molecular simulation is increasingly demonstrating its practical value in the investigation of biological systems. Computational modelling of biomolecular systems is an exciting and rapidly developing area, which is expanding significantly in scope. A range of simulation methods has been developed that can be applied to study a wide variety of problems in structural biology and at the interfaces between physics, chemistry and biology. Here, we give an overview of methods and some recent developments in atomistic biomolecular simulation. Some recent applications and theoretical developments are highlighted. PMID:18611844

  5. The power of coarse graining in biomolecular simulations

    PubMed Central

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Lopez, Cesar A; Uusitalo, Jaakko J; de Jong, Djurre H; Gopal, Srinivasa M; Periole, Xavier; Marrink, Siewert J

    2014-01-01

    Computational modeling of biological systems is challenging because of the multitude of spatial and temporal scales involved. Replacing atomistic detail with lower resolution, coarse grained (CG), beads has opened the way to simulate large-scale biomolecular processes on time scales inaccessible to all-atom models. We provide an overview of some of the more popular CG models used in biomolecular applications to date, focusing on models that retain chemical specificity. A few state-of-the-art examples of protein folding, membrane protein gating and self-assembly, DNA hybridization, and modeling of carbohydrate fibers are used to illustrate the power and diversity of current CG modeling. PMID:25309628

  6. Stochastic simulation and analysis of biomolecular reaction networks

    PubMed Central

    Frazier, John M; Chushak, Yaroslav; Foy, Brent

    2009-01-01

    Background In recent years, several stochastic simulation algorithms have been developed to generate Monte Carlo trajectories that describe the time evolution of the behavior of biomolecular reaction networks. However, the effects of various stochastic simulation and data analysis conditions on the observed dynamics of complex biomolecular reaction networks have not recieved much attention. In order to investigate these issues, we employed a a software package developed in out group, called Biomolecular Network Simulator (BNS), to simulate and analyze the behavior of such systems. The behavior of a hypothetical two gene in vitro transcription-translation reaction network is investigated using the Gillespie exact stochastic algorithm to illustrate some of the factors that influence the analysis and interpretation of these data. Results Specific issues affecting the analysis and interpretation of simulation data are investigated, including: (1) the effect of time interval on data presentation and time-weighted averaging of molecule numbers, (2) effect of time averaging interval on reaction rate analysis, (3) effect of number of simulations on precision of model predictions, and (4) implications of stochastic simulations on optimization procedures. Conclusion The two main factors affecting the analysis of stochastic simulations are: (1) the selection of time intervals to compute or average state variables and (2) the number of simulations generated to evaluate the system behavior. PMID:19534796

  7. Stochastic simulation and analysis of biomolecular reaction networks.

    PubMed

    Frazier, John M; Chushak, Yaroslav; Foy, Brent

    2009-06-17

    In recent years, several stochastic simulation algorithms have been developed to generate Monte Carlo trajectories that describe the time evolution of the behavior of biomolecular reaction networks. However, the effects of various stochastic simulation and data analysis conditions on the observed dynamics of complex biomolecular reaction networks have not received much attention. In order to investigate these issues, we employed a a software package developed in out group, called Biomolecular Network Simulator (BNS), to simulate and analyze the behavior of such systems. The behavior of a hypothetical two gene in vitro transcription-translation reaction network is investigated using the Gillespie exact stochastic algorithm to illustrate some of the factors that influence the analysis and interpretation of these data. Specific issues affecting the analysis and interpretation of simulation data are investigated, including: (1) the effect of time interval on data presentation and time-weighted averaging of molecule numbers, (2) effect of time averaging interval on reaction rate analysis, (3) effect of number of simulations on precision of model predictions, and (4) implications of stochastic simulations on optimization procedures. The two main factors affecting the analysis of stochastic simulations are: (1) the selection of time intervals to compute or average state variables and (2) the number of simulations generated to evaluate the system behavior.

  8. An Analysis of Biomolecular Force Fields for Simulations of Polyglutamine in Solution

    SciTech Connect

    Fluitt, Aaron M.; de Pablo, Juan J.

    2015-09-01

    Polyglutamine (polyQ) peptides are a useful model system for biophysical studies of protein folding and aggregation, both for their intriguing aggregation properties and their own relevance to human disease. The genetic expansion of a polyQ tract triggers the formation of amyloid aggregates associated with nine neurodegenerative diseases. Several clearly identifiable and separable factors, notably the length of the polyQ tract, influence the mechanism of aggregation, its associated kinetics, and the ensemble of structures formed. Atomistic simulations are well positioned to answer open questions regarding the thermodynamics and kinetics of polyQ folding and aggregation. The additional, explicit representation of water permits deeper investigation of the role of solvent dynamics, and it permits a direct comparison of simulation results with infrared spectroscopy experiments. The generation of meaningful simulation results hinges on satisfying two essential criteria: achieving sufficient conformational sampling to draw statistically valid conclusions, and accurately reproducing the intermolecular forces that govern system structure and dynamics. In this work, we examine the ability of 12 biomolecular force fields to reproduce the properties of a simple, 30-residue polyQ peptide (Q30) in explicit water. In addition to secondary and tertiary structure, we consider generic structural properties of polymers that provide additional dimensions for analysis of the highly degenerate disordered states of the molecule. We find that the 12 force fields produce a wide range of predictions. We identify AMBER ff99SB, AMBER ff99SB*, and OPLS-AA/L to be most suitable for studies of polyQ folding and aggregation.

  9. A Parameterization of Cholesterol for Mixed Lipid Bilayer Simulation within the Amber Lipid14 Force Field.

    PubMed

    Madej, Benjamin D; Gould, Ian R; Walker, Ross C

    2015-09-24

    The Amber Lipid14 force field is expanded to include cholesterol parameters for all-atom cholesterol and lipid bilayer molecular dynamics simulations. The General Amber and Lipid14 force fields are used as a basis for assigning atom types and basic parameters. A new RESP charge derivation for cholesterol is presented, and tail parameters are adapted from Lipid14 alkane tails. 1,2-Dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC), and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) bilayers are simulated at a range of cholesterol contents. Experimental bilayer structural properties are compared with bilayer simulations and are found to be in good agreement. With this parameterization, another component of complex membranes is available for molecular dynamics with the Amber Lipid14 force field.

  10. Determination of Alkali and Halide Monovalent Ion Parameters for Use in Explicitly Solvated Biomolecular Simulations

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Alkali (Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, and Cs+) and halide (F−, Cl−, Br−, and I−) ions play an important role in many biological phenomena, roles that range from stabilization of biomolecular structure, to influence on biomolecular dynamics, to key physiological influence on homeostasis and signaling. To properly model ionic interaction and stability in atomistic simulations of biomolecular structure, dynamics, folding, catalysis, and function, an accurate model or representation of the monovalent ions is critically necessary. A good model needs to simultaneously reproduce many properties of ions, including their structure, dynamics, solvation, and moreover both the interactions of these ions with each other in the crystal and in solution and the interactions of ions with other molecules. At present, the best force fields for biomolecules employ a simple additive, nonpolarizable, and pairwise potential for atomic interaction. In this work, we describe our efforts to build better models of the monovalent ions within the pairwise Coulombic and 6-12 Lennard-Jones framework, where the models are tuned to balance crystal and solution properties in Ewald simulations with specific choices of well-known water models. Although it has been clearly demonstrated that truly accurate treatments of ions will require inclusion of nonadditivity and polarizability (particularly with the anions) and ultimately even a quantum mechanical treatment, our goal was to simply push the limits of the additive treatments to see if a balanced model could be created. The applied methodology is general and can be extended to other ions and to polarizable force-field models. Our starting point centered on observations from long simulations of biomolecules in salt solution with the AMBER force fields where salt crystals formed well below their solubility limit. The likely cause of the artifact in the AMBER parameters relates to the naive mixing of the Smith and Dang chloride parameters with AMBER

  11. Biomolecular structure refinement using the GROMOS simulation software.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Nathan; Allison, Jane R; Dolenc, Jožica; Eichenberger, Andreas P; Kunz, Anna-Pitschna E; van Gunsteren, Wilfred F

    2011-11-01

    For the understanding of cellular processes the molecular structure of biomolecules has to be accurately determined. Initial models can be significantly improved by structure refinement techniques. Here, we present the refinement methods and analysis techniques implemented in the GROMOS software for biomolecular simulation. The methodology and some implementation details of the computation of NMR NOE data, (3)J-couplings and residual dipolar couplings, X-ray scattering intensities from crystals and solutions and neutron scattering intensities used in GROMOS is described and refinement strategies and concepts are discussed using example applications. The GROMOS software allows structure refinement combining different types of experimental data with different types of restraining functions, while using a variety of methods to enhance conformational searching and sampling and the thermodynamically calibrated GROMOS force field for biomolecular simulation. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

  12. Application of Hidden Markov Models in Biomolecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Saurabh; Shamsi, Zahra; Moffett, Alexander S; Selvam, Balaji; Shukla, Diwakar

    2017-01-01

    Hidden Markov models (HMMs) provide a framework to analyze large trajectories of biomolecular simulation datasets. HMMs decompose the conformational space of a biological molecule into finite number of states that interconvert among each other with certain rates. HMMs simplify long timescale trajectories for human comprehension, and allow comparison of simulations with experimental data. In this chapter, we provide an overview of building HMMs for analyzing bimolecular simulation datasets. We demonstrate the procedure for building a Hidden Markov model for Met-enkephalin peptide simulation dataset and compare the timescales of the process.

  13. Stochastic Simulation and Analysis of Biomolecular Reaction Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    and data analysis conditions on the observed dynamics of complex biomolecular reaction networks have not recieved much attention. In order to...exact stochastic algorithm to illustrate some of the factors that influence the analysis and interpretation of these data . Results: Specific issues...affecting the analysis and interpretation of simulation data are investigated, including: (1) the effect of time interval on data presentation and time

  14. Biomolecular simulations of membranes: Physical properties from different force fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siu, Shirley W. I.; Vácha, Robert; Jungwirth, Pavel; Böckmann, Rainer A.

    2008-03-01

    Phospholipid force fields are of ample importance for the simulation of artificial bilayers, membranes, and also for the simulation of integral membrane proteins. Here, we compare the two most applied atomic force fields for phospholipids, the all-atom CHARMM27 and the united atom Berger force field, with a newly developed all-atom generalized AMBER force field (GAFF) for dioleoylphosphatidylcholine molecules. Only the latter displays the experimentally observed difference in the order of the C2 atom between the two acyl chains. The interfacial water dynamics is smoothly increased between the lipid carbonyl region and the bulk water phase for all force fields; however, the water order and with it the electrostatic potential across the bilayer showed distinct differences between the force fields. Both Berger and GAFF underestimate the lipid self-diffusion. GAFF offers a consistent force field for the atomic scale simulation of biomembranes.

  15. Biomembrane simulations of 12 lipid types using the general amber force field in a tensionless ensemble.

    PubMed

    Coimbra, João T S; Sousa, Sérgio F; Fernandes, Pedro A; Rangel, Maria; Ramos, Maria J

    2014-01-01

    The AMBER family of force fields is one of the most commonly used alternatives to describe proteins and drug-like molecules in molecular dynamics simulations. However, the absence of a specific set of parameters for lipids has been limiting the widespread application of this force field in biomembrane simulations, including membrane protein simulations and drug-membrane simulations. Here, we report the systematic parameterization of 12 common lipid types consistent with the General Amber Force Field (GAFF), with charge-parameters determined with RESP at the HF/6-31G(d) level of theory, to be consistent with AMBER. The accuracy of the scheme was evaluated by comparing predicted and experimental values for structural lipid properties in MD simulations in an NPT ensemble with explicit solvent in 100:100 bilayer systems. Globally, a consistent agreement with experimental reference data on membrane structures was achieved for some lipid types when using the typical MD conditions normally employed when handling membrane proteins and drug-membrane simulations (a tensionless NPT ensemble, 310 K), without the application of any of the constraints often used in other biomembrane simulations (such as the surface tension and the total simulation box area). The present set of parameters and the universal approach used in the parameterization of all the lipid types described here, as well as the consistency with the AMBER force field family, together with the tensionless NPT ensemble used, opens the door to systematic studies combining lipid components with small drug-like molecules or membrane proteins and show the potential of GAFF in dealing with biomembranes.

  16. Biomolecular Simulation of Base Excision Repair and Protein Signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Straatsma, TP; McCammon, J A; Miller, John H; Smith, Paul E; Vorpagel, Erich R; Wong, Chung F; Zacharias, Martin W

    2006-03-03

    The goal of the Biomolecular Simulation of Base Excision Repair and Protein Signaling project is to enhance our understanding of the mechanism of human polymerase-β, one of the key enzymes in base excision repair (BER) and the cell-signaling enzymes cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase. This work used molecular modeling and simulation studies to specifically focus on the • dynamics of DNA and damaged DNA • dynamics and energetics of base flipping in DNA • mechanism and fidelity of nucleotide insertion by BER enzyme human polymerase-β • mechanism and inhibitor design for cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase. Molecular dynamics simulations and electronic structure calculations have been performed using the computer resources at the Molecular Science Computing Facility at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory.

  17. Systematic evaluation of bundled SPC water for biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Gopal, Srinivasa M; Kuhn, Alexander B; Schäfer, Lars V

    2015-04-07

    In bundled SPC water models, the relative motion of groups of four water molecules is restrained by distance-dependent potentials. Bundled SPC models have been used in hybrid all-atom/coarse-grained (AA/CG) multiscale simulations, since they enable to couple atomistic SPC water with supra-molecular CG water models that effectively represent more than a single water molecule. In the present work, we systematically validated and critically tested bundled SPC water models as solvent for biomolecular simulations. To that aim, we investigated both thermodynamic and structural properties of various biomolecular systems through molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Potentials of mean force of dimerization of pairs of amino acid side chains as well as hydration free energies of single side chains obtained with bundled SPC and standard (unrestrained) SPC water agree closely with each other and with experimental data. Decomposition of the hydration free energies into enthalpic and entropic contributions reveals that in bundled SPC, this favorable agreement of the free energies is due to a larger degree of error compensation between hydration enthalpy and entropy. The Ramachandran maps of Ala3, Ala5, and Ala7 peptides are similar in bundled and unrestrained SPC, whereas for the (GS)2 peptide, bundled water leads to a slight overpopulation of extended conformations. Analysis of the end-to-end distance autocorrelation times of the Ala5 and (GS)2 peptides shows that sampling in more viscous bundled SPC water is about two times slower. Pronounced differences between the water models were found for the structure of a coiled-coil dimer, which is instable in bundled SPC but not in standard SPC. In addition, the hydration of the active site of the serine protease α-chymotrypsin depends on the water model. Bundled SPC leads to an increased hydration of the active site region, more hydrogen bonds between water and catalytic triad residues, and a significantly slower exchange of water

  18. Recent advances in implicit solvent based methods for biomolecular simulations

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianhan; Brooks, Charles L.; Khandogin, Jana

    2008-01-01

    Implicit solvent based methods play an increasingly important role in molecular modeling of biomolecular structure and dynamics. Recent methodological developments have mainly focused on extension of the generalized Born (GB) formalism for variable dielectric environments and accurate treatment of nonpolar solvation. Extensive efforts in parameterization of GB models and implicit solvent force fields have enabled ab initio simulation of protein folding to native or near-native structures. Another exciting area that has benefitted from the advances in implicit solvent models is the development of constant pH molecular dynamics methods, which have recently been applied to calculations of protein pKa values and studies of pH-dependent peptide and protein folding. PMID:18304802

  19. Stochastic Simulation of Biomolecular Networks in Dynamic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Voliotis, Margaritis; Thomas, Philipp; Grima, Ramon; Bowsher, Clive G.

    2016-01-01

    Simulation of biomolecular networks is now indispensable for studying biological systems, from small reaction networks to large ensembles of cells. Here we present a novel approach for stochastic simulation of networks embedded in the dynamic environment of the cell and its surroundings. We thus sample trajectories of the stochastic process described by the chemical master equation with time-varying propensities. A comparative analysis shows that existing approaches can either fail dramatically, or else can impose impractical computational burdens due to numerical integration of reaction propensities, especially when cell ensembles are studied. Here we introduce the Extrande method which, given a simulated time course of dynamic network inputs, provides a conditionally exact and several orders-of-magnitude faster simulation solution. The new approach makes it feasible to demonstrate—using decision-making by a large population of quorum sensing bacteria—that robustness to fluctuations from upstream signaling places strong constraints on the design of networks determining cell fate. Our approach has the potential to significantly advance both understanding of molecular systems biology and design of synthetic circuits. PMID:27248512

  20. Stochastic Simulation of Biomolecular Networks in Dynamic Environments.

    PubMed

    Voliotis, Margaritis; Thomas, Philipp; Grima, Ramon; Bowsher, Clive G

    2016-06-01

    Simulation of biomolecular networks is now indispensable for studying biological systems, from small reaction networks to large ensembles of cells. Here we present a novel approach for stochastic simulation of networks embedded in the dynamic environment of the cell and its surroundings. We thus sample trajectories of the stochastic process described by the chemical master equation with time-varying propensities. A comparative analysis shows that existing approaches can either fail dramatically, or else can impose impractical computational burdens due to numerical integration of reaction propensities, especially when cell ensembles are studied. Here we introduce the Extrande method which, given a simulated time course of dynamic network inputs, provides a conditionally exact and several orders-of-magnitude faster simulation solution. The new approach makes it feasible to demonstrate-using decision-making by a large population of quorum sensing bacteria-that robustness to fluctuations from upstream signaling places strong constraints on the design of networks determining cell fate. Our approach has the potential to significantly advance both understanding of molecular systems biology and design of synthetic circuits.

  1. A fast mollified impulse method for biomolecular atomistic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fath, L.; Hochbruck, M.; Singh, C. V.

    2017-03-01

    Classical integration methods for molecular dynamics are inherently limited due to resonance phenomena occurring at certain time-step sizes. The mollified impulse method can partially avoid this problem by using appropriate filters based on averaging or projection techniques. However, existing filters are computationally expensive and tedious in implementation since they require either analytical Hessians or they need to solve nonlinear systems from constraints. In this work we follow a different approach based on corotation for the construction of a new filter for (flexible) biomolecular simulations. The main advantages of the proposed filter are its excellent stability properties and ease of implementation in standard softwares without Hessians or solving constraint systems. By simulating multiple realistic examples such as peptide, protein, ice equilibrium and ice-ice friction, the new filter is shown to speed up the computations of long-range interactions by approximately 20%. The proposed filtered integrators allow step sizes as large as 10 fs while keeping the energy drift less than 1% on a 50 ps simulation.

  2. Computer simulations of interferometric imaging with the VLT Interferometer and the AMBER instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloecker, Thomas; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Przygodda, Frank; Weigelt, Gerd

    2000-07-01

    We present computer simulations of interferometric imaging with the VLT interferometer and the AMBER instrument. These simulations include both the astrophysical modeling of a stellar object by radiative transfer calculations and the simulation of light propagation from the object to the detector (through atmosphere, telescopes, and the AMBER instrument), simulation of photon noise and detector read- out noise, and finally data processing of the interferograms. The results show the dependence of the visibility error bars on the following observational parameters: different seeing during the observation of object and reference star (Fried parameters r0,object equals 2.4 m, r0,ref. equals 2.5 m), different residual tip- tilt error ((delta) tt,object equals 2% of the Airy disk diameter, (delta) tt,ref. equals 0.1%), and object brightness (Kobject equals 3.5 mag and 11 mag, Kref. equals 3.5 mag). Exemplarily, we focus on stars in late stages of stellar evolution and study one of its key objects, the dusty supergiant IRC + 10420 that is rapidly evolving on human timescales. We show computer simulations of VLTI interferometry of IRC + 10420 with two ATs (wide-field mode, i.e. without fiber optics spatial filters) and discuss whether the visibility accuracy is sufficient to distinguish between different theoretical model predictions.

  3. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulation of DNA: implementation and validation of the AMBER98 force field in LAMMPS.

    PubMed

    Grindon, Christina; Harris, Sarah; Evans, Tom; Novik, Keir; Coveney, Peter; Laughton, Charles

    2004-07-15

    Molecular modelling played a central role in the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick. Today, such modelling is done on computers: the more powerful these computers are, the more detailed and extensive can be the study of the dynamics of such biological macromolecules. To fully harness the power of modern massively parallel computers, however, we need to develop and deploy algorithms which can exploit the structure of such hardware. The Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) is a scalable molecular dynamics code including long-range Coulomb interactions, which has been specifically designed to function efficiently on parallel platforms. Here we describe the implementation of the AMBER98 force field in LAMMPS and its validation for molecular dynamics investigations of DNA structure and flexibility against the benchmark of results obtained with the long-established code AMBER6 (Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement, version 6). Extended molecular dynamics simulations on the hydrated DNA dodecamer d(CTTTTGCAAAAG)(2), which has previously been the subject of extensive dynamical analysis using AMBER6, show that it is possible to obtain excellent agreement in terms of static, dynamic and thermodynamic parameters between AMBER6 and LAMMPS. In comparison with AMBER6, LAMMPS shows greatly improved scalability in massively parallel environments, opening up the possibility of efficient simulations of order-of-magnitude larger systems and/or for order-of-magnitude greater simulation times.

  4. FF12MC: A revised AMBER forcefield and new protein simulation protocol

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Specialized to simulate proteins in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with explicit solvation, FF12MC is a combination of a new protein simulation protocol employing uniformly reduced atomic masses by tenfold and a revised AMBER forcefield FF99 with (i) shortened C—H bonds, (ii) removal of torsions involving a nonperipheral sp3 atom, and (iii) reduced 1–4 interaction scaling factors of torsions ϕ and ψ. This article reports that in multiple, distinct, independent, unrestricted, unbiased, isobaric–isothermal, and classical MD simulations FF12MC can (i) simulate the experimentally observed flipping between left‐ and right‐handed configurations for C14–C38 of BPTI in solution, (ii) autonomously fold chignolin, CLN025, and Trp‐cage with folding times that agree with the experimental values, (iii) simulate subsequent unfolding and refolding of these miniproteins, and (iv) achieve a robust Z score of 1.33 for refining protein models TMR01, TMR04, and TMR07. By comparison, the latest general‐purpose AMBER forcefield FF14SB locks the C14–C38 bond to the right‐handed configuration in solution under the same protein simulation conditions. Statistical survival analysis shows that FF12MC folds chignolin and CLN025 in isobaric–isothermal MD simulations 2–4 times faster than FF14SB under the same protein simulation conditions. These results suggest that FF12MC may be used for protein simulations to study kinetics and thermodynamics of miniprotein folding as well as protein structure and dynamics. Proteins 2016; 84:1490–1516. © 2016 The Authors Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27348292

  5. An extensible interface for QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations with AMBER.

    PubMed

    Götz, Andreas W; Clark, Matthew A; Walker, Ross C

    2014-01-15

    We present an extensible interface between the AMBER molecular dynamics (MD) software package and electronic structure software packages for quantum mechanical (QM) and mixed QM and classical molecular mechanical (MM) MD simulations within both mechanical and electronic embedding schemes. With this interface, ab initio wave function theory and density functional theory methods, as available in the supported electronic structure software packages, become available for QM/MM MD simulations with AMBER. The interface has been written in a modular fashion that allows straight forward extensions to support additional QM software packages and can easily be ported to other MD software. Data exchange between the MD and QM software is implemented by means of files and system calls or the message passing interface standard. Based on extensive tests, default settings for the supported QM packages are provided such that energy is conserved for typical QM/MM MD simulations in the microcanonical ensemble. Results for the free energy of binding of calcium ions to aspartate in aqueous solution comparing semiempirical and density functional Hamiltonians are shown to demonstrate features of this interface.

  6. An extensible interface for QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations with AMBER

    PubMed Central

    Götz, Andreas W.; Clark, Matthew A.; Walker, Ross C.

    2014-01-01

    We present an extensible interface between the AMBER molecular dynamics (MD) software package and electronic structure software packages for quantum mechanical (QM) and mixed QM and classical molecular mechanical (MM) MD simulations within both mechanical and electronic embedding schemes. With this interface, ab initio wave function theory and density functional theory methods, as available in the supported electronic structure software packages, become available for QM/MM MD simulations with AMBER. The interface has been written in a modular fashion that allows straight forward extensions to support additional QM software packages and can easily be ported to other MD software. Data exchange between the MD and QM software is implemented by means of files and system calls or the message passing interface standard. Based on extensive tests, default settings for the supported QM packages are provided such that energy is conserved for typical QM/MM MD simulations in the microcanonical ensemble. Results for the free energy of binding of calcium ions to aspartate in aqueous solution comparing semiempirical and density functional Hamiltonians are shown to demonstrate features of this interface. PMID:24122798

  7. Development of an informatics infrastructure for data exchange of biomolecular simulations: architecture, data models and ontology$

    PubMed Central

    Thibault, J. C.; Roe, D. R.; Eilbeck, K.; Cheatham, T. E.; Facelli, J. C.

    2015-01-01

    Biomolecular simulations aim to simulate structure, dynamics, interactions, and energetics of complex biomolecular systems. With the recent advances in hardware, it is now possible to use more complex and accurate models, but also reach time scales that are biologically significant. Molecular simulations have become a standard tool for toxicology and pharmacology research, but organizing and sharing data – both within the same organization and among different ones – remains a substantial challenge. In this paper we review our recent work leading to the development of a comprehensive informatics infrastructure to facilitate the organization and exchange of biomolecular simulations data. Our efforts include the design of data models and dictionary tools that allow the standardization of the metadata used to describe the biomedical simulations, the development of a thesaurus and ontology for computational reasoning when searching for biomolecular simulations in distributed environments, and the development of systems based on these models to manage and share the data at a large scale (iBIOMES), and within smaller groups of researchers at laboratory scale (iBIOMES Lite), that take advantage of the standardization of the meta data used to describe biomolecular simulations. PMID:26387907

  8. Peptoid conformational free energy landscapes from implicit-solvent molecular simulations in AMBER.

    PubMed

    Voelz, Vincent A; Dill, Ken A; Chorny, Ilya

    2011-01-01

    To test the accuracy of existing AMBER force field models in predicting peptoid conformation and dynamics, we simulated a set of model peptoid molecules recently examined by Butterfoss et al. (JACS 2009, 131, 16798-16807) using QM methods as well as three peptoid sequences with experimentally determined structures. We found that AMBER force fields, when used with a Generalized Born/Surface Area (GBSA) implicit solvation model, could accurately reproduce the peptoid torsional landscape as well as the major conformers of known peptoid structures. Enhanced sampling by replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD) using temperatures from 300 to 800 K was used to sample over cis-trans isomerization barriers. Compared to (Nrch)5 and cyclo-octasarcosyl, the free energy of N-(2-nitro-3-hydroxyl phenyl)glycine-N-(phenyl)glycine has the most "foldable" free energy landscape, due to deep trans-amide minima dictated by N-aryl sidechains. For peptoids with (S)-N (1-phenylethyl) (Nspe) side chains, we observe a discrepancy in backbone dihedral propensities between molecular simulations and QM calculations, which may be due to force field effects or the inability to capture n --> n* interactions. For these residues, an empirical phi-angle biasing potential can "rescue" the backbone propensities seen in QM. This approach can serve as a general strategy for addressing force fields without resorting to a complete reparameterization. Overall, this study demonstrates the utility of implicit-solvent REMD simulations for efficient sampling to predict peptoid conformational landscapes, providing a potential tool for first-principles design of sequences with specific folding properties.

  9. Balancing simulation accuracy and efficiency with the Amber united atom force field.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Meng-Juei; Luo, Ray

    2010-03-04

    We have analyzed the quality of a recently proposed Amber united-atom model and its overall efficiency in ab initio folding and thermodynamic sampling of two stable beta-hairpins. It is found that the mean backbone structures are quite consistent between the simulations in the united-atom and its corresponding all-atom models in Amber. More importantly, the simulated beta turns are also consistent between the two models. Finally, the chemical shifts on H alpha are highly consistent between simulations in the two models, although the simulated chemical shifts are lower than experiment, indicating less structured peptides, probably due to the omission of the hydrophobic term in the simulations. More interestingly, the stabilities of both beta-hairpins at room temperature are similar to those derived from the NMR measurement, whether the united-atom or the all-atom model is used. Detailed analysis shows high percentages of backbone torsion angles within the beta region and high percentages of native contacts. Given the reasonable quality of the united-atom model with respect to experimental data, we have further studied the simulation efficiency of the united-atom model over the all-atom model. Our data shows that the united-atom model is a factor of 6-8 faster than the all-atom model as measured with the ab initio first pass folding time for the two tested beta-hairpins. Detailed structural analysis shows that all ab initio folded trajectories enter the native basin, whether the united-atom model or the all-atom model is used. Finally, we have also studied the simulation efficiency of the united-atom model as measured in terms of how fast thermodynamic convergence can be achieved. It is apparent that the united-atom simulations reach convergence faster than the all-atom simulations with respect to both mean potential energies and mean native contacts. These findings show that the efficiency of the united-atom model is clearly beyond the per-step dynamics simulation

  10. Routine Microsecond Molecular Dynamics Simulations with AMBER on GPUs. 1. Generalized Born

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    We present an implementation of generalized Born implicit solvent all-atom classical molecular dynamics (MD) within the AMBER program package that runs entirely on CUDA enabled NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs). We discuss the algorithms that are used to exploit the processing power of the GPUs and show the performance that can be achieved in comparison to simulations on conventional CPU clusters. The implementation supports three different precision models in which the contributions to the forces are calculated in single precision floating point arithmetic but accumulated in double precision (SPDP), or everything is computed in single precision (SPSP) or double precision (DPDP). In addition to performance, we have focused on understanding the implications of the different precision models on the outcome of implicit solvent MD simulations. We show results for a range of tests including the accuracy of single point force evaluations and energy conservation as well as structural properties pertainining to protein dynamics. The numerical noise due to rounding errors within the SPSP precision model is sufficiently large to lead to an accumulation of errors which can result in unphysical trajectories for long time scale simulations. We recommend the use of the mixed-precision SPDP model since the numerical results obtained are comparable with those of the full double precision DPDP model and the reference double precision CPU implementation but at significantly reduced computational cost. Our implementation provides performance for GB simulations on a single desktop that is on par with, and in some cases exceeds, that of traditional supercomputers. PMID:22582031

  11. iBIOMES: managing and sharing biomolecular simulation data in a distributed environment.

    PubMed

    Thibault, Julien C; Facelli, Julio C; Cheatham, Thomas E

    2013-03-25

    Biomolecular simulations, which were once batch queue or compute limited, have now become data analysis and management limited. In this paper we introduce a new management system for large biomolecular simulation and computational chemistry data sets. The system can be easily deployed on distributed servers to create a mini-grid at the researcher's site. The system not only offers a simple data deposition mechanism but also a way to register data into the system without moving the data from their original location. Any registered data set can be searched and downloaded using a set of defined metadata for molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics and visualized through a dynamic Web interface.

  12. Exploring accurate Poisson–Boltzmann methods for biomolecular simulations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Changhao; Wang, Jun; Cai, Qin; Li, Zhilin; Zhao, Hong-Kai; Luo, Ray

    2013-01-01

    Accurate and efficient treatment of electrostatics is a crucial step in computational analyses of biomolecular structures and dynamics. In this study, we have explored a second-order finite-difference numerical method to solve the widely used Poisson–Boltzmann equation for electrostatic analyses of realistic bio-molecules. The so-called immersed interface method was first validated and found to be consistent with the classical weighted harmonic averaging method for a diversified set of test biomolecules. The numerical accuracy and convergence behaviors of the new method were next analyzed in its computation of numerical reaction field grid potentials, energies, and atomic solvation forces. Overall similar convergence behaviors were observed as those by the classical method. Interestingly, the new method was found to deliver more accurate and better-converged grid potentials than the classical method on or nearby the molecular surface, though the numerical advantage of the new method is reduced when grid potentials are extrapolated to the molecular surface. Our exploratory study indicates the need for further improving interpolation/extrapolation schemes in addition to the developments of higher-order numerical methods that have attracted most attention in the field. PMID:24443709

  13. Data for molecular dynamics simulations of B-type cytochrome c oxidase with the Amber force field.

    PubMed

    Yang, Longhua; Skjevik, Åge A; Han Du, Wen-Ge; Noodleman, Louis; Walker, Ross C; Götz, Andreas W

    2016-09-01

    Cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) is a vital enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of molecular oxygen to water and pumps protons across mitochondrial and bacterial membranes. This article presents parameters for the cofactors of ba3-type CcO that are compatible with the all-atom Amber ff12SB and ff14SB force fields. Specifically, parameters were developed for the CuA pair, heme b, and the dinuclear center that consists of heme a3 and CuB bridged by a hydroperoxo group. The data includes geometries in XYZ coordinate format for cluster models that were employed to compute proton transfer energies and derive bond parameters and point charges for the force field using density functional theory. Also included are the final parameter files that can be employed with the Amber leap program to generate input files for molecular dynamics simulations with the Amber software package. Based on the high resolution (1.8 Å) X-ray crystal structure of the ba3-type CcO from Thermus thermophilus (Protein Data Bank ID number PDB: 3S8F), we built a model that is embedded in a POPC lipid bilayer membrane and solvated with TIP3P water molecules and counterions. We provide PDB data files of the initial model and the equilibrated model that can be used for further studies.

  14. Data model, dictionaries, and desiderata for biomolecular simulation data indexing and sharing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Few environments have been developed or deployed to widely share biomolecular simulation data or to enable collaborative networks to facilitate data exploration and reuse. As the amount and complexity of data generated by these simulations is dramatically increasing and the methods are being more widely applied, the need for new tools to manage and share this data has become obvious. In this paper we present the results of a process aimed at assessing the needs of the community for data representation standards to guide the implementation of future repositories for biomolecular simulations. Results We introduce a list of common data elements, inspired by previous work, and updated according to feedback from the community collected through a survey and personal interviews. These data elements integrate the concepts for multiple types of computational methods, including quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics. The identified core data elements were organized into a logical model to guide the design of new databases and application programming interfaces. Finally a set of dictionaries was implemented to be used via SQL queries or locally via a Java API built upon the Apache Lucene text-search engine. Conclusions The model and its associated dictionaries provide a simple yet rich representation of the concepts related to biomolecular simulations, which should guide future developments of repositories and more complex terminologies and ontologies. The model still remains extensible through the decomposition of virtual experiments into tasks and parameter sets, and via the use of extended attributes. The benefits of a common logical model for biomolecular simulations was illustrated through various use cases, including data storage, indexing, and presentation. All the models and dictionaries introduced in this paper are available for download at http://ibiomes.chpc.utah.edu/mediawiki/index.php/Downloads. PMID:24484917

  15. The VLT Interferometer and its AMBER Instrument: Simulations of Interferometric Imaging in the Wide-Field Mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blöcker, T.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Przygodda, F.; Weigelt, G.

    We present computer simulations of interferometric imaging with the VLT interferometer and the AMBER instrument. These simulations include both the astrophysical modelling of a stellar object by radiative transfer calculations and the simulation of light propagation from the object to the detector (through atmosphere, telescopes, and the AMBER instrument), simulation of photon noise and detector read-out noise, and finally data processing of the interferograms. The results show the dependence of the visibility error bars on the following observational parameters: different seeing during the observation of object and reference star (Fried parameters r0,object and r0,ref. ranging between 0.9 m and 1.2 m), different residual tip-tilt error (δtt,object and δtt,ref. ranging between 0.1% and 20% of the Airy disk diameter), and object brightness (Kobject=3.5 mag to 13 mag, Kref.=3.5 mag). Exemplarily, we focus on stars in late stages of stellar evolution and study one of its key objects, the dusty supergiant IRC +10 420 that is rapidly evolving on human timescales. We show computer simulations of VLT interferometry of IRC +10 420 with two ATs (wide-field mode, i.e. without fiber optics spatial filters) and discuss whether the visibility accuracy is sufficient to distinguish between different theoretical model predictions.

  16. The oxygen-binding vs. oxygen-consuming paradigm in biocatalysis: structural biology and biomolecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Baron, Riccardo; McCammon, J Andrew; Mattevi, Andrea

    2009-12-01

    Oxygen biocatalysis and regulation is crucial to a variety of biochemical processes in nature. Oxygen-binding proteins cover only a limited part of oxygen biocatalysis, which involves numerous examples of oxygen-consuming biocatalysts with low oxygen affinities. The integration of experiments with powerful biomolecular simulation opens appealing possibilities to investigate crucial questions on the fascinating relationship between enzyme dynamics and oxygen biocatalysis in new protein structures.

  17. Strike a Balance: Optimization of Backbone Torsion Parameters of AMBER Polarizable Force Field for Simulations of Proteins and Peptides

    PubMed Central

    WANG, ZHI-XIANG; ZHANG, WEI; WU, CHUN; LEI, HONGXING; CIEPLAK, PIOTR; DUAN, YONG

    2014-01-01

    Based on the AMBER polarizable model (ff02), we have reoptimized the parameters related to the main-chain (Φ, Ψ) torsion angles by fitting to the Boltzmann-weighted average quantum mechanical (QM) energies of the important regions (i.e., β, PII, αR, and αL regions). Following the naming convention of the AMBER force field series, this release will be called ff02pol.rl The force field has been assessed both by energetic comparison against the QM data and by the replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations of short alanine peptides in water. For Ace-Ala-Nme, the simulated populations in the β, PII and αR regions were approximately 30, 43, and 26%, respectively. For Ace-(Ala)7-Nme, the populations in these three regions were approximately 24, 49, and 26%. Both were in qualitative agreement with the NMR and CD experimental conclusions. In comparison with the previous force field, ff02pol.rl demonstrated good balance among these three important regions. The optimized torsion parameters, together with those in ff02, allow us to carry out simulations on proteins and peptides with the consideration of polarization. PMID:16526038

  18. Potential energy functions for atomic-level simulations of water and organic and biomolecular systems.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, William L; Tirado-Rives, Julian

    2005-05-10

    An overview is provided on the development and status of potential energy functions that are used in atomic-level statistical mechanics and molecular dynamics simulations of water and of organic and biomolecular systems. Some topics that are considered are the form of force fields, their parameterization and performance, simulations of organic liquids, computation of free energies of hydration, universal extension for organic molecules, and choice of atomic charges. The discussion of water models covers some history, performance issues, and special topics such as nuclear quantum effects.

  19. An improved simple polarisable water model for use in biomolecular simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Bachmann, Stephan J.; Gunsteren, Wilfred F. van

    2014-12-14

    The accuracy of biomolecular simulations depends to some degree on the accuracy of the water model used to solvate the biomolecules. Because many biomolecules such as proteins are electrostatically rather inhomogeneous, containing apolar, polar, and charged moieties or side chains, a water model should be able to represent the polarisation response to a local electrostatic field, while being compatible with the force field used to model the biomolecules or protein. The two polarisable water models, COS/G2 and COS/D, that are compatible with the GROMOS biomolecular force fields leave room for improvement. The COS/G2 model has a slightly too large dielectric permittivity and the COS/D model displays a much too slow dynamics. The proposed COS/D2 model has four interaction sites: only one Lennard-Jones interaction site, the oxygen atom, and three permanent charge sites, the two hydrogens, and one massless off-atom site that also serves as charge-on-spring (COS) polarisable site with a damped or sub-linear dependence of the induced dipole on the electric field strength for large values of the latter. These properties make it a cheap and yet realistic water model for biomolecular solvation.

  20. Resolution-Adapted All-Atomic and Coarse-Grained Model for Biomolecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Shen, Lin; Hu, Hao

    2014-06-10

    We develop here an adaptive multiresolution method for the simulation of complex heterogeneous systems such as the protein molecules. The target molecular system is described with the atomistic structure while maintaining concurrently a mapping to the coarse-grained models. The theoretical model, or force field, used to describe the interactions between two sites is automatically adjusted in the simulation processes according to the interaction distance/strength. Therefore, all-atomic, coarse-grained, or mixed all-atomic and coarse-grained models would be used together to describe the interactions between a group of atoms and its surroundings. Because the choice of theory is made on the force field level while the sampling is always carried out in the atomic space, the new adaptive method preserves naturally the atomic structure and thermodynamic properties of the entire system throughout the simulation processes. The new method will be very useful in many biomolecular simulations where atomistic details are critically needed.

  1. Interfacing the GROMOS (bio)molecular simulation software to quantum-chemical program packages.

    PubMed

    Meier, Katharina; Schmid, Nathan; van Gunsteren, Wilfred F

    2012-10-05

    The newly implemented quantum-chemical/molecular-mechanical (QM/MM) functionality of the Groningen molecular simulation (GROMOS) software for (bio)molecular simulation is described. The implementation scheme is based on direct coupling of the GROMOS C++ software to executables of the quantum-chemical program packages MNDO and TURBOMOLE, allowing for an independent further development of these packages. The new functions are validated for different test systems using program and model testing techniques. The effect of truncating the QM/MM electrostatic interactions at various QM/MM cutoff radii is discussed and the application of semiempirical versus density-functional Hamiltonians for a solute molecule in aqueous solution is compared. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. The levantine amber belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nissenbaum, A.; Horowitz, A.

    1992-02-01

    Amber, a fossil resin, is found in Early Cretaceous sanstones and fine clastics in Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. The term "Levantine amber belt" is coined for this amber-containing sediment belt. The amber occurs as small nodules of various colors and frequently contains inclusions of macro- and microorganisms. The Lebanese amber contains Lepidoptera and the amber from southern Israel is rich in fungal remains. The source of the amber, based on geochemical and palynological evidence, is assumed to be from a conifer belonging to the Araucariaceae. The resins were produced by trees growing in a tropical near shore environment. The amber was transported into small swamps and was preserved there together with lignite. Later reworking of those deposits resulted in redeposition of the amber in oxidized sandstones.

  3. Development of constant-pH simulation methods in implicit solvent and applications in biomolecular systems.

    PubMed

    Barroso daSilva, Fernando Luís; Dias, Luis Gustavo

    2017-09-18

    pH is a critical parameter for biological and technological systems directly related with electrical charges. It can give rise to peculiar electrostatic phenomena, which also makes them more challenging. Due to the quantum nature of the process, involving the forming and breaking of chemical bonds, quantum methods should ideally by employed. Nevertheless, due to the very large number of ionizable sites, different macromolecular conformations, salt conditions, and all other charged species, the CPU time cost simply becomes prohibitive for computer simulations, making this a quite complex problem. Simplified methods based on Monte Carlo sampling have been devised and will be reviewed here, highlighting the updated state-of-the-art of this field, advantages, and limitations of different theoretical protocols for biomolecular systems (proteins and nucleic acids). Following a historical perspective, the discussion will be associated with the applications to protein interactions with other proteins, polyelectrolytes, and nanoparticles.

  4. Dynamical fingerprints for probing individual relaxation processes in biomolecular dynamics with simulations and kinetic experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Noe, F; Diadone, Isabella; Lollmann, Marc; Sauer, Marcus; Chondera, John D; Smith, Jeremy C

    2011-01-01

    There is a gap between kinetic experiment and simulation in their views of the dynamics of complex biomolecular systems. Whereas experiments typically reveal only a few readily discernible exponential relaxations, simulations often indicate complex multistate behavior. Here, a theoretical framework is presented that reconciles these two approaches. The central concept is dynamical fingerprints which contain peaks at the time scales of the dynamical processes involved with amplitudes determined by the experimental observable. Fingerprints can be generated from both experimental and simulation data, and their comparison by matching peaks permits assignment of structural changes present in the simulation to experimentally observed relaxation processes. The approach is applied here to a test case interpreting single molecule fluorescence correlation spectroscopy experiments on a set of fluorescent peptides with molecular dynamics simulations. The peptides exhibit complex kinetics shown to be consistent with the apparent simplicity of the experimental data. Moreover, the fingerprint approach can be used to design new experiments with site-specific labels that optimally probe specific dynamical processes in the molecule under investigation.

  5. Bookshelf: a simple curation system for the storage of biomolecular simulation data.

    PubMed

    Vohra, Shabana; Hall, Benjamin A; Holdbrook, Daniel A; Khalid, Syma; Biggin, Philip C

    2010-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations can now routinely generate data sets of several hundreds of gigabytes in size. The ability to generate this data has become easier over recent years and the rate of data production is likely to increase rapidly in the near future. One major problem associated with this vast amount of data is how to store it in a way that it can be easily retrieved at a later date. The obvious answer to this problem is a database. However, a key issue in the development and maintenance of such a database is its sustainability, which in turn depends on the ease of the deposition and retrieval process. Encouraging users to care about meta-data is difficult and thus the success of any storage system will ultimately depend on how well used by end-users the system is. In this respect we suggest that even a minimal amount of metadata if stored in a sensible fashion is useful, if only at the level of individual research groups. We discuss here, a simple database system which we call 'Bookshelf', that uses python in conjunction with a mysql database to provide an extremely simple system for curating and keeping track of molecular simulation data. It provides a user-friendly, scriptable solution to the common problem amongst biomolecular simulation laboratories; the storage, logging and subsequent retrieval of large numbers of simulations. Download URL: http://sbcb.bioch.ox.ac.uk/bookshelf/

  6. Bookshelf: a simple curation system for the storage of biomolecular simulation data

    PubMed Central

    Vohra, Shabana; Hall, Benjamin A.; Holdbrook, Daniel A.; Khalid, Syma; Biggin, Philip C.

    2010-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations can now routinely generate data sets of several hundreds of gigabytes in size. The ability to generate this data has become easier over recent years and the rate of data production is likely to increase rapidly in the near future. One major problem associated with this vast amount of data is how to store it in a way that it can be easily retrieved at a later date. The obvious answer to this problem is a database. However, a key issue in the development and maintenance of such a database is its sustainability, which in turn depends on the ease of the deposition and retrieval process. Encouraging users to care about meta-data is difficult and thus the success of any storage system will ultimately depend on how well used by end-users the system is. In this respect we suggest that even a minimal amount of metadata if stored in a sensible fashion is useful, if only at the level of individual research groups. We discuss here, a simple database system which we call ‘Bookshelf’, that uses python in conjunction with a mysql database to provide an extremely simple system for curating and keeping track of molecular simulation data. It provides a user-friendly, scriptable solution to the common problem amongst biomolecular simulation laboratories; the storage, logging and subsequent retrieval of large numbers of simulations. Download URL: http://sbcb.bioch.ox.ac.uk/bookshelf/ PMID:21169341

  7. Modeling Structural Dynamics of Biomolecular Complexes by Coarse-Grained Molecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Takada, Shoji; Kanada, Ryo; Tan, Cheng; Terakawa, Tsuyoshi; Li, Wenfei; Kenzaki, Hiroo

    2015-12-15

    Due to hierarchic nature of biomolecular systems, their computational modeling calls for multiscale approaches, in which coarse-grained (CG) simulations are used to address long-time dynamics of large systems. Here, we review recent developments and applications of CG modeling methods, focusing on our methods primarily for proteins, DNA, and their complexes. These methods have been implemented in the CG biomolecular simulator, CafeMol. Our CG model has resolution such that ∼10 non-hydrogen atoms are grouped into one CG particle on average. For proteins, each amino acid is represented by one CG particle. For DNA, one nucleotide is simplified by three CG particles, representing sugar, phosphate, and base. The protein modeling is based on the idea that proteins have a globally funnel-like energy landscape, which is encoded in the structure-based potential energy function. We first describe two representative minimal models of proteins, called the elastic network model and the classic Go̅ model. We then present a more elaborate protein model, which extends the minimal model to incorporate sequence and context dependent local flexibility and nonlocal contacts. For DNA, we describe a model developed by de Pablo's group that was tuned to well reproduce sequence-dependent structural and thermodynamic experimental data for single- and double-stranded DNAs. Protein-DNA interactions are modeled either by the structure-based term for specific cases or by electrostatic and excluded volume terms for nonspecific cases. We also discuss the time scale mapping in CG molecular dynamics simulations. While the apparent single time step of our CGMD is about 10 times larger than that in the fully atomistic molecular dynamics for small-scale dynamics, large-scale motions can be further accelerated by two-orders of magnitude with the use of CG model and a low friction constant in Langevin dynamics. Next, we present four examples of applications. First, the classic Go̅ model was used to

  8. Evaluation of Emerging Energy-Efficient Heterogeneous Computing Platforms for Biomolecular and Cellular Simulation Workloads

    PubMed Central

    Stone, John E.; Hallock, Michael J.; Phillips, James C.; Peterson, Joseph R.; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida; Schulten, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Many of the continuing scientific advances achieved through computational biology are predicated on the availability of ongoing increases in computational power required for detailed simulation and analysis of cellular processes on biologically-relevant timescales. A critical challenge facing the development of future exascale supercomputer systems is the development of new computing hardware and associated scientific applications that dramatically improve upon the energy efficiency of existing solutions, while providing increased simulation, analysis, and visualization performance. Mobile computing platforms have recently become powerful enough to support interactive molecular visualization tasks that were previously only possible on laptops and workstations, creating future opportunities for their convenient use for meetings, remote collaboration, and as head mounted displays for immersive stereoscopic viewing. We describe early experiences adapting several biomolecular simulation and analysis applications for emerging heterogeneous computing platforms that combine power-efficient system-on-chip multi-core CPUs with high-performance massively parallel GPUs. We present low-cost power monitoring instrumentation that provides sufficient temporal resolution to evaluate the power consumption of individual CPU algorithms and GPU kernels. We compare the performance and energy efficiency of scientific applications running on emerging platforms with results obtained on traditional platforms, identify hardware and algorithmic performance bottlenecks that affect the usability of these platforms, and describe avenues for improving both the hardware and applications in pursuit of the needs of molecular modeling tasks on mobile devices and future exascale computers. PMID:27516922

  9. Evaluation of Emerging Energy-Efficient Heterogeneous Computing Platforms for Biomolecular and Cellular Simulation Workloads.

    PubMed

    Stone, John E; Hallock, Michael J; Phillips, James C; Peterson, Joseph R; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida; Schulten, Klaus

    2016-05-01

    Many of the continuing scientific advances achieved through computational biology are predicated on the availability of ongoing increases in computational power required for detailed simulation and analysis of cellular processes on biologically-relevant timescales. A critical challenge facing the development of future exascale supercomputer systems is the development of new computing hardware and associated scientific applications that dramatically improve upon the energy efficiency of existing solutions, while providing increased simulation, analysis, and visualization performance. Mobile computing platforms have recently become powerful enough to support interactive molecular visualization tasks that were previously only possible on laptops and workstations, creating future opportunities for their convenient use for meetings, remote collaboration, and as head mounted displays for immersive stereoscopic viewing. We describe early experiences adapting several biomolecular simulation and analysis applications for emerging heterogeneous computing platforms that combine power-efficient system-on-chip multi-core CPUs with high-performance massively parallel GPUs. We present low-cost power monitoring instrumentation that provides sufficient temporal resolution to evaluate the power consumption of individual CPU algorithms and GPU kernels. We compare the performance and energy efficiency of scientific applications running on emerging platforms with results obtained on traditional platforms, identify hardware and algorithmic performance bottlenecks that affect the usability of these platforms, and describe avenues for improving both the hardware and applications in pursuit of the needs of molecular modeling tasks on mobile devices and future exascale computers.

  10. Agent-Based Spatiotemporal Simulation of Biomolecular Systems within the Open Source MASON Framework

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Gael; Pérez-Pérez, Martín; Glez-Peña, Daniel; Azevedo, Nuno F.; Lourenço, Anália

    2015-01-01

    Agent-based modelling is being used to represent biological systems with increasing frequency and success. This paper presents the implementation of a new tool for biomolecular reaction modelling in the open source Multiagent Simulator of Neighborhoods framework. The rationale behind this new tool is the necessity to describe interactions at the molecular level to be able to grasp emergent and meaningful biological behaviour. We are particularly interested in characterising and quantifying the various effects that facilitate biocatalysis. Enzymes may display high specificity for their substrates and this information is crucial to the engineering and optimisation of bioprocesses. Simulation results demonstrate that molecule distributions, reaction rate parameters, and structural parameters can be adjusted separately in the simulation allowing a comprehensive study of individual effects in the context of realistic cell environments. While higher percentage of collisions with occurrence of reaction increases the affinity of the enzyme to the substrate, a faster reaction (i.e., turnover number) leads to a smaller number of time steps. Slower diffusion rates and molecular crowding (physical hurdles) decrease the collision rate of reactants, hence reducing the reaction rate, as expected. Also, the random distribution of molecules affects the results significantly. PMID:25874228

  11. Mixing MARTINI: electrostatic coupling in hybrid atomistic-coarse-grained biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Wassenaar, Tsjerk A; Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Priess, Marten; Marrink, Siewert J; Schäfer, Lars V

    2013-04-04

    biomolecular simulations.

  12. A coarse-grained model for the simulations of biomolecular interactions in cellular environments

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Zhong-Ru; Chen, Jiawen; Wu, Yinghao

    2014-02-07

    The interactions of bio-molecules constitute the key steps of cellular functions. However, in vivo binding properties differ significantly from their in vitro measurements due to the heterogeneity of cellular environments. Here we introduce a coarse-grained model based on rigid-body representation to study how factors such as cellular crowding and membrane confinement affect molecular binding. The macroscopic parameters such as the equilibrium constant and the kinetic rate constant are calibrated by adjusting the microscopic coefficients used in the numerical simulations. By changing these model parameters that are experimentally approachable, we are able to study the kinetic and thermodynamic properties of molecular binding, as well as the effects caused by specific cellular environments. We investigate the volumetric effects of crowded intracellular space on bio-molecular diffusion and diffusion-limited reactions. Furthermore, the binding constants of membrane proteins are currently difficult to measure. We provide quantitative estimations about how the binding of membrane proteins deviates from soluble proteins under different degrees of membrane confinements. The simulation results provide biological insights to the functions of membrane receptors on cell surfaces. Overall, our studies establish a connection between the details of molecular interactions and the heterogeneity of cellular environments.

  13. Molecular dynamics simulations of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-s-triazine (RDX) using a combined Sorescu-Rice-Thompson AMBER force field.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Paras M; Rice, Betsy M; Zheng, Lianqing; Thompson, Donald L

    2006-12-28

    We present the results of molecular dynamics simulations of crystalline hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-s-triazine (RDX) using the SRT-AMBER force field (P. M. Agrawal et al., J. Phys. Chem. B 2006, 110, 5721), which combines the rigid-molecule force field developed by Sorescu-Rice-Thompson (D. C. Sorescu, B. M. Rice, and D. L. Thompson, J. Phys. Chem. B 1997, 101, 798) with the intramolecular interactions obtained from the Generalized AMBER Force Field (Wang et al., J. Comput. Chem. 2004, 25, 1157). The calculated crystal density at room conditions is about 10% lower than the measured value, while the lattice parameters and thermodynamic melting point are within about 5% at ambient pressure. The chair and inverted chair conformation, bond lengths, and bond angles of the RDX molecule are accurately predicted; however, there are some inaccuracies in the calculated orientations of the NO2 groups. The SRT-AMBER force field predicts overall reasonable results, but modifications, probably in the torsional parameters, are needed for a more accurate force field.

  14. Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations for simulating biomolecular diffusion-reaction processes I: Finite element solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Lu Benzhuo; Andrew McCammon, J.; Zhou, Y.C.

    2010-09-20

    In this paper we developed accurate finite element methods for solving 3-D Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equations with singular permanent charges for simulating electrodiffusion in solvated biomolecular systems. The electrostatic Poisson equation was defined in the biomolecules and in the solvent, while the Nernst-Planck equation was defined only in the solvent. We applied a stable regularization scheme to remove the singular component of the electrostatic potential induced by the permanent charges inside biomolecules, and formulated regular, well-posed PNP equations. An inexact-Newton method was used to solve the coupled nonlinear elliptic equations for the steady problems; while an Adams-Bashforth-Crank-Nicolson method was devised for time integration for the unsteady electrodiffusion. We numerically investigated the conditioning of the stiffness matrices for the finite element approximations of the two formulations of the Nernst-Planck equation, and theoretically proved that the transformed formulation is always associated with an ill-conditioned stiffness matrix. We also studied the electroneutrality of the solution and its relation with the boundary conditions on the molecular surface, and concluded that a large net charge concentration is always present near the molecular surface due to the presence of multiple species of charged particles in the solution. The numerical methods are shown to be accurate and stable by various test problems, and are applicable to real large-scale biophysical electrodiffusion problems.

  15. Sop-GPU: accelerating biomolecular simulations in the centisecond timescale using graphics processors.

    PubMed

    Zhmurov, A; Dima, R I; Kholodov, Y; Barsegov, V

    2010-11-01

    Theoretical exploration of fundamental biological processes involving the forced unraveling of multimeric proteins, the sliding motion in protein fibers and the mechanical deformation of biomolecular assemblies under physiological force loads is challenging even for distributed computing systems. Using a C(α)-based coarse-grained self organized polymer (SOP) model, we implemented the Langevin simulations of proteins on graphics processing units (SOP-GPU program). We assessed the computational performance of an end-to-end application of the program, where all the steps of the algorithm are running on a GPU, by profiling the simulation time and memory usage for a number of test systems. The ∼90-fold computational speedup on a GPU, compared with an optimized central processing unit program, enabled us to follow the dynamics in the centisecond timescale, and to obtain the force-extension profiles using experimental pulling speeds (v(f) = 1-10 μm/s) employed in atomic force microscopy and in optical tweezers-based dynamic force spectroscopy. We found that the mechanical molecular response critically depends on the conditions of force application and that the kinetics and pathways for unfolding change drastically even upon a modest 10-fold increase in v(f). This implies that, to resolve accurately the free energy landscape and to relate the results of single-molecule experiments in vitro and in silico, molecular simulations should be carried out under the experimentally relevant force loads. This can be accomplished in reasonable wall-clock time for biomolecules of size as large as 10(5) residues using the SOP-GPU package. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. A synergic simulation-optimization approach for analyzing biomolecular dynamics in living organisms.

    PubMed

    Sadegh Zadeh, Kouroush

    2011-01-01

    A synergic duo simulation-optimization approach was developed and implemented to study protein-substrate dynamics and binding kinetics in living organisms. The forward problem is a system of several coupled nonlinear partial differential equations which, with a given set of kinetics and diffusion parameters, can provide not only the commonly used bleached area-averaged time series in fluorescence microscopy experiments but more informative full biomolecular/drug space-time series and can be successfully used to study dynamics of both Dirac and Gaussian fluorescence-labeled biomacromolecules in vivo. The incomplete Cholesky preconditioner was coupled with the finite difference discretization scheme and an adaptive time-stepping strategy to solve the forward problem. The proposed approach was validated with analytical as well as reference solutions and used to simulate dynamics of GFP-tagged glucocorticoid receptor (GFP-GR) in mouse cancer cell during a fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiment. Model analysis indicates that the commonly practiced bleach spot-averaged time series is not an efficient approach to extract physiological information from the fluorescence microscopy protocols. It was recommended that experimental biophysicists should use full space-time series, resulting from experimental protocols, to study dynamics of biomacromolecules and drugs in living organisms. It was also concluded that in parameterization of biological mass transfer processes, setting the norm of the gradient of the penalty function at the solution to zero is not an efficient stopping rule to end the inverse algorithm. Theoreticians should use multi-criteria stopping rules to quantify model parameters by optimization.

  17. CHARMM-GUI Input Generator for NAMD, GROMACS, AMBER, OpenMM, and CHARMM/OpenMM Simulations Using the CHARMM36 Additive Force Field.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jumin; Cheng, Xi; Swails, Jason M; Yeom, Min Sun; Eastman, Peter K; Lemkul, Justin A; Wei, Shuai; Buckner, Joshua; Jeong, Jong Cheol; Qi, Yifei; Jo, Sunhwan; Pande, Vijay S; Case, David A; Brooks, Charles L; MacKerell, Alexander D; Klauda, Jeffery B; Im, Wonpil

    2016-01-12

    Proper treatment of nonbonded interactions is essential for the accuracy of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, especially in studies of lipid bilayers. The use of the CHARMM36 force field (C36 FF) in different MD simulation programs can result in disagreements with published simulations performed with CHARMM due to differences in the protocols used to treat the long-range and 1-4 nonbonded interactions. In this study, we systematically test the use of the C36 lipid FF in NAMD, GROMACS, AMBER, OpenMM, and CHARMM/OpenMM. A wide range of Lennard-Jones (LJ) cutoff schemes and integrator algorithms were tested to find the optimal simulation protocol to best match bilayer properties of six lipids with varying acyl chain saturation and head groups. MD simulations of a 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayer were used to obtain the optimal protocol for each program. MD simulations with all programs were found to reasonably match the DPPC bilayer properties (surface area per lipid, chain order parameters, and area compressibility modulus) obtained using the standard protocol used in CHARMM as well as from experiments. The optimal simulation protocol was then applied to the other five lipid simulations and resulted in excellent agreement between results from most simulation programs as well as with experimental data. AMBER compared least favorably with the expected membrane properties, which appears to be due to its use of the hard-truncation in the LJ potential versus a force-based switching function used to smooth the LJ potential as it approaches the cutoff distance. The optimal simulation protocol for each program has been implemented in CHARMM-GUI. This protocol is expected to be applicable to the remainder of the additive C36 FF including the proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and small molecules.

  18. CHARMM-GUI Input Generator for NAMD, GROMACS, AMBER, OpenMM, and CHARMM/OpenMM Simulations Using the CHARMM36 Additive Force Field

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, Jumin; Cheng, Xi; Swails, Jason M.; ...

    2015-11-12

    Here we report that proper treatment of nonbonded interactions is essential for the accuracy of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, especially in studies of lipid bilayers. The use of the CHARMM36 force field (C36 FF) in different MD simulation programs can result in disagreements with published simulations performed with CHARMM due to differences in the protocols used to treat the long-range and 1-4 nonbonded interactions. In this study, we systematically test the use of the C36 lipid FF in NAMD, GROMACS, AMBER, OpenMM, and CHARMM/OpenMM. A wide range of Lennard-Jones (LJ) cutoff schemes and integrator algorithms were tested to find themore » optimal simulation protocol to best match bilayer properties of six lipids with varying acyl chain saturation and head groups. MD simulations of a 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayer were used to obtain the optimal protocol for each program. MD simulations with all programs were found to reasonably match the DPPC bilayer properties (surface area per lipid, chain order parameters, and area compressibility modulus) obtained using the standard protocol used in CHARMM as well as from experiments. The optimal simulation protocol was then applied to the other five lipid simulations and resulted in excellent agreement between results from most simulation programs as well as with experimental data. AMBER compared least favorably with the expected membrane properties, which appears to be due to its use of the hard-truncation in the LJ potential versus a force-based switching function used to smooth the LJ potential as it approaches the cutoff distance. The optimal simulation protocol for each program has been implemented in CHARMM-GUI. This protocol is expected to be applicable to the remainder of the additive C36 FF including the proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and small molecules.« less

  19. CHARMM-GUI Input Generator for NAMD, GROMACS, AMBER, OpenMM, and CHARMM/OpenMM Simulations Using the CHARMM36 Additive Force Field

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Jumin; Cheng, Xi; Swails, Jason M.; Yeom, Min Sun; Eastman, Peter K.; Lemkul, Justin A.; Wei, Shuai; Buckner, Joshua; Jeong, Jong Cheol; Qi, Yifei; Jo, Sunhwan; Pande, Vijay S.; Case, David A.; Brooks, Charles L.; MacKerell, Alexander D.; Klauda, Jeffery B.; Im, Wonpil

    2015-11-12

    Here we report that proper treatment of nonbonded interactions is essential for the accuracy of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, especially in studies of lipid bilayers. The use of the CHARMM36 force field (C36 FF) in different MD simulation programs can result in disagreements with published simulations performed with CHARMM due to differences in the protocols used to treat the long-range and 1-4 nonbonded interactions. In this study, we systematically test the use of the C36 lipid FF in NAMD, GROMACS, AMBER, OpenMM, and CHARMM/OpenMM. A wide range of Lennard-Jones (LJ) cutoff schemes and integrator algorithms were tested to find the optimal simulation protocol to best match bilayer properties of six lipids with varying acyl chain saturation and head groups. MD simulations of a 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayer were used to obtain the optimal protocol for each program. MD simulations with all programs were found to reasonably match the DPPC bilayer properties (surface area per lipid, chain order parameters, and area compressibility modulus) obtained using the standard protocol used in CHARMM as well as from experiments. The optimal simulation protocol was then applied to the other five lipid simulations and resulted in excellent agreement between results from most simulation programs as well as with experimental data. AMBER compared least favorably with the expected membrane properties, which appears to be due to its use of the hard-truncation in the LJ potential versus a force-based switching function used to smooth the LJ potential as it approaches the cutoff distance. The optimal simulation protocol for each program has been implemented in CHARMM-GUI. This protocol is expected to be applicable to the remainder of the additive C36 FF including the proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and small molecules.

  20. Optimal Use of Data in Parallel Tempering Simulations for the Construction of Discrete-State Markov Models of Biomolecular Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Prinz, Jan-Hendrik; Chondera, John D; Pande, Vijay S; Swope, William C; Smith, Jeremy C; Noe, F

    2011-01-01

    Parallel tempering (PT) molecular dynamics simulations have been extensively investigated as a means of efficient sampling of the configurations of biomolecular systems. Recent work has demonstrated how the short physical trajectories generated in PT simulations of biomolecules can be used to construct the Markov models describing biomolecular dynamics at each simulated temperature. While this approach describes the temperature-dependent kinetics, it does not make optimal use of all available PT data, instead estimating the rates at a given temperature using only data from that temperature. This can be problematic, as some relevant transitions or states may not be sufficiently sampled at the temperature of interest, but might be readily sampled at nearby temperatures. Further, the comparison of temperature-dependent properties can suffer from the false assumption that data collected from different temperatures are uncorrelated. We propose here a strategy in which, by a simple modification of the PT protocol, the harvested trajectories can be reweighted, permitting data from all temperatures to contribute to the estimated kinetic model. The method reduces the statistical uncertainty in the kinetic model relative to the single temperature approach and provides estimates of transition probabilities even for transitions not observed at the temperature of interest. Further, the method allows the kinetics to be estimated at temperatures other than those at which simulations were run. We illustrate this method by applying it to the generation of a Markov model of the conformational dynamics of the solvated terminally blocked alanine peptide.

  1. Geometry and Excitation Energy Fluctuations of NMA in Aqueous Solution with CHARMM, AMBER, OPLS, and GROMOS Force Fields: Implications for Protein Ultraviolet Spectra Simulation.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhenyu; Yu, Haibo; Zhuang, Wei; Mukamel, Shaul

    2008-02-04

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed for N-methylamide (NMA) in water at 300 K with different force fields. Compared to the three all-atom force fields (CHARMM22, AMBER03, and OPLS-AA), the united-atom force field (GROMOS96) predicts a broader distribution of the peptide OCNH dehedral angle. A map constructed by fitting the npi* and pipi* transition energies as quadratic functions of the NMA geometric variables is used to simulate the excitation energy fluctuations. GROMOS96 predicts blue-shifted npi* and pipi* energies and stronger fluctuations compared to the other three force fields, which indicates that different force fields may predict different spectral lineshapes for proteins.

  2. Geometry and excitation energy fluctuations of NMA in aqueous solution with CHARMM, AMBER, OPLS, and GROMOS force fields: Implications for protein ultraviolet spectra simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhenyu; Yu, Haibo; Zhuang, Wei; Mukamel, Shaul

    2008-02-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed for N-methylacetamide (NMA) in water at 300 K with different force fields. Compared to the three all-atom force fields (CHARMM22, AMBER03, and OPLS-AA), the united-atom force field (GROMOS96) predicts a broader distribution of the peptide OCNH dehedral angle. A map constructed by fitting the nπ∗ and ππ∗ transition energies as quadratic functions of the NMA geometric variables is used to simulate the excitation energy fluctuations. GROMOS96 predicts blue shifted nπ∗ and ππ∗ energies and stronger fluctuations compared to the other three force fields, which indicates that different force fields may predict different spectral lineshapes for proteins.

  3. Message-passing implementation of the data diffusion communication model in fast multipole methods: large scale biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Kurzak, Jakub; Pettitt, B Montgomery

    2008-01-01

    Biomolecular simulations require increasingly efficient parallel codes. We present an efficient communication algorithm for irregular problems exhibiting an all-to-many communication pattern. The algorithm is developed using message passing on distributed memory machines and assumes explicit knowledge of the interconnection topology. The algorithm maximizes locality of interprocessor communication by adopting to an arbitrary interconnection topology and at the same time takes multiprocessor nodes into account. The solution is incorporated into our implementation of the fast multipole method with periodic boundary conditions used for molecular dynamics simulations, but we believe it generalizes to many algorithms demonstrating an all-to-many communication pattern. We show that an irregular algorithm can be forced to behave like a systolic algorithm.

  4. Assessing the Current State of Amber Force Field Modifications for DNA.

    PubMed

    Galindo-Murillo, Rodrigo; Robertson, James C; Zgarbová, Marie; Šponer, Jiří; Otyepka, Michal; Jurečka, Petr; Cheatham, Thomas E

    2016-08-09

    The utility of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to model biomolecular structure, dynamics, and interactions has witnessed enormous advances in recent years due to the availability of optimized MD software and access to significant computational power, including GPU multicore computing engines and other specialized hardware. This has led researchers to routinely extend conformational sampling times to the microsecond level and beyond. The extended sampling time has allowed the community not only to converge conformational ensembles through complete sampling but also to discover deficiencies and overcome problems with the force fields. Accuracy of the force fields is a key component, along with sampling, toward being able to generate accurate and stable structures of biopolymers. The Amber force field for nucleic acids has been used extensively since the 1990s, and multiple artifacts have been discovered, corrected, and reassessed by different research groups. We present a direct comparison of two of the most recent and state-of-the-art Amber force field modifications, bsc1 and OL15, that focus on accurate modeling of double-stranded DNA. After extensive MD simulations with five test cases and two different water models, we conclude that both modifications are a remarkable improvement over the previous bsc0 force field. Both force field modifications show better agreement when compared to experimental structures. To ensure convergence, the Drew-Dickerson dodecamer (DDD) system was simulated using 100 independent MD simulations, each extended to at least 10 μs, and the independent MD simulations were concatenated into a single 1 ms long trajectory for each combination of force field and water model. This is significantly beyond the time scale needed to converge the conformational ensemble of the internal portions of a DNA helix absent internal base pair opening. Considering all of the simulations discussed in the current work, the MD simulations performed to

  5. A consistent S-Adenosylmethionine force field improved by dynamic Hirshfeld-I atomic charges for biomolecular simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saez, David Adrian; Vöhringer-Martinez, Esteban

    2015-10-01

    S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) is involved in many biological processes as cofactor in enzymes transferring its sulfonium methyl group to various substrates. Additionally, it is used as drug and nutritional supplement to reduce the pain in osteoarthritis and against depression. Due to the biological relevance of AdoMet it has been part of various computational simulation studies and will also be in the future. However, to our knowledge no rigorous force field parameter development for its simulation in biological systems has been reported. Here, we use electronic structure calculations combined with molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent to develop force field parameters compatible with the AMBER99 force field. Additionally, we propose new dynamic Hirshfeld-I atomic charges which are derived from the polarized electron density of AdoMet in aqueous solution to describe its electrostatic interactions in biological systems. The validation of the force field parameters and the atomic charges is performed against experimental interproton NOE distances of AdoMet in aqueous solution and crystal structures of AdoMet in the cavity of three representative proteins.

  6. A consistent S-Adenosylmethionine force field improved by dynamic Hirshfeld-I atomic charges for biomolecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Saez, David Adrian; Vöhringer-Martinez, Esteban

    2015-10-01

    S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) is involved in many biological processes as cofactor in enzymes transferring its sulfonium methyl group to various substrates. Additionally, it is used as drug and nutritional supplement to reduce the pain in osteoarthritis and against depression. Due to the biological relevance of AdoMet it has been part of various computational simulation studies and will also be in the future. However, to our knowledge no rigorous force field parameter development for its simulation in biological systems has been reported. Here, we use electronic structure calculations combined with molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent to develop force field parameters compatible with the AMBER99 force field. Additionally, we propose new dynamic Hirshfeld-I atomic charges which are derived from the polarized electron density of AdoMet in aqueous solution to describe its electrostatic interactions in biological systems. The validation of the force field parameters and the atomic charges is performed against experimental interproton NOE distances of AdoMet in aqueous solution and crystal structures of AdoMet in the cavity of three representative proteins.

  7. Effect of warmup protocol and sampling time on convergence of molecular dynamics simulations of a DNA dodecamer using AMBER 4.1 and particle-mesh Ewald method.

    PubMed

    Norberto de Souza, O; Ornstein, R L

    1997-04-01

    This report describes one 3000 ps and two 1500 ps molecular dynamic simulations on a TATA box containing dodecamer DNA duplex in a periodic box of TIP3P water molecules, using the AMBER 4.1 implementation of the particle-mesh Ewald method. We compare the effect of warmup protocol and simulation time length on the root-mean square deviation (RMSD) parameter. For the longer simulation, the RMSD computed for the 500-1000 ps time interval is representative of longer time intervals, including 500-3000 ps. The various warmup protocols do not appear to have a significant effect on the simulation results. Based on the present results, DNA sequence-dependent differences in RMSD, or related properties, should exceed two standard deviations before being attributed to non-simulation factors, such as warmup protocol and sampling time effects; we recommend a minimum criterion of at least a three standard deviation difference with a sampling period of at least 500-1000 ps. In addition, while end effects appear negligible there is a consistent dependence of RMSD on DNA helix length.

  8. Event detection and sub-state discovery from biomolecular simulations using higher-order statistics: application to enzyme adenylate kinase.

    PubMed

    Ramanathan, Arvind; Savol, Andrej J; Agarwal, Pratul K; Chennubhotla, Chakra S

    2012-11-01

    Biomolecular simulations at millisecond and longer time-scales can provide vital insights into functional mechanisms. Because post-simulation analyses of such large trajectory datasets can be a limiting factor in obtaining biological insights, there is an emerging need to identify key dynamical events and relating these events to the biological function online, that is, as simulations are progressing. Recently, we have introduced a novel computational technique, quasi-anharmonic analysis (QAA) (Ramanathan et al., PLoS One 2011;6:e15827), for partitioning the conformational landscape into a hierarchy of functionally relevant sub-states. The unique capabilities of QAA are enabled by exploiting anharmonicity in the form of fourth-order statistics for characterizing atomic fluctuations. In this article, we extend QAA for analyzing long time-scale simulations online. In particular, we present HOST4MD--a higher-order statistical toolbox for molecular dynamics simulations, which (1) identifies key dynamical events as simulations are in progress, (2) explores potential sub-states, and (3) identifies conformational transitions that enable the protein to access those sub-states. We demonstrate HOST4MD on microsecond timescale simulations of the enzyme adenylate kinase in its apo state. HOST4MD identifies several conformational events in these simulations, revealing how the intrinsic coupling between the three subdomains (LID, CORE, and NMP) changes during the simulations. Further, it also identifies an inherent asymmetry in the opening/closing of the two binding sites. We anticipate that HOST4MD will provide a powerful and extensible framework for detecting biophysically relevant conformational coordinates from long time-scale simulations.

  9. Poisson-Nernst-Planck Equations for Simulating Biomolecular Diffusion-Reaction Processes I: Finite Element Solutions.

    PubMed

    Lu, Benzhuo; Holst, Michael J; McCammon, J Andrew; Zhou, Y C

    2010-09-20

    In this paper we developed accurate finite element methods for solving 3-D Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equations with singular permanent charges for electrodiffusion in solvated biomolecular systems. The electrostatic Poisson equation was defined in the biomolecules and in the solvent, while the Nernst-Planck equation was defined only in the solvent. We applied a stable regularization scheme to remove the singular component of the electrostatic potential induced by the permanent charges inside biomolecules, and formulated regular, well-posed PNP equations. An inexact-Newton method was used to solve the coupled nonlinear elliptic equations for the steady problems; while an Adams-Bashforth-Crank-Nicolson method was devised for time integration for the unsteady electrodiffusion. We numerically investigated the conditioning of the stiffness matrices for the finite element approximations of the two formulations of the Nernst-Planck equation, and theoretically proved that the transformed formulation is always associated with an ill-conditioned stiffness matrix. We also studied the electroneutrality of the solution and its relation with the boundary conditions on the molecular surface, and concluded that a large net charge concentration is always present near the molecular surface due to the presence of multiple species of charged particles in the solution. The numerical methods are shown to be accurate and stable by various test problems, and are applicable to real large-scale biophysical electrodiffusion problems.

  10. Poisson-Nernst-Planck Equations for Simulating Biomolecular Diffusion-Reaction Processes I: Finite Element Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Benzhuo; Holst, Michael J.; McCammon, J. Andrew; Zhou, Y. C.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we developed accurate finite element methods for solving 3-D Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equations with singular permanent charges for electrodiffusion in solvated biomolecular systems. The electrostatic Poisson equation was defined in the biomolecules and in the solvent, while the Nernst-Planck equation was defined only in the solvent. We applied a stable regularization scheme to remove the singular component of the electrostatic potential induced by the permanent charges inside biomolecules, and formulated regular, well-posed PNP equations. An inexact-Newton method was used to solve the coupled nonlinear elliptic equations for the steady problems; while an Adams-Bashforth-Crank-Nicolson method was devised for time integration for the unsteady electrodiffusion. We numerically investigated the conditioning of the stiffness matrices for the finite element approximations of the two formulations of the Nernst-Planck equation, and theoretically proved that the transformed formulation is always associated with an ill-conditioned stiffness matrix. We also studied the electroneutrality of the solution and its relation with the boundary conditions on the molecular surface, and concluded that a large net charge concentration is always present near the molecular surface due to the presence of multiple species of charged particles in the solution. The numerical methods are shown to be accurate and stable by various test problems, and are applicable to real large-scale biophysical electrodiffusion problems. PMID:21709855

  11. A test of AMBER force fields in predicting the secondary structure of α-helical and β-hairpin peptides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Ya; Zhang, Chaomin; Wang, Xianwei; Zhu, Tong

    2017-07-01

    We tested the ability of some current AMBER force fields, namely, AMBER03, AMBER99SB, AMBER99SB-ildn, AMBER99SB-nmr, AMBER12SB, AMBER14SB, and AMBER14ipq, with implicit solvent model in reproducing the folding behavior of two peptides by REMD simulations. AMBER99SB-nmr force field provides the most reliable performance. After a novel polarized hydrogen bond charge model is considered, the α-helix successfully folded to its native state, while the further folding of the β-hairpin is not observed. This study strongly suggests that polarization effect and correct torsional term are important to investigate dynamic and conformational properties of peptides with different secondary structures.

  12. Derivation of original RESP atomic partial charges for MD simulations of the LDAO surfactant with AMBER: applications to a model of micelle and a fragment of the lipid kinase PI4KA.

    PubMed

    Karakas, Esra; Taveneau, Cyntia; Bressanelli, Stéphane; Marchi, Massimo; Robert, Bruno; Abel, Stéphane

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the derivation and the validation of original RESP atomic partial charges for the N, N-dimethyl-dodecylamine oxide (LDAO) surfactant. These charges, designed to be fully compatible with all the AMBER force fields, are at first tested against molecular dynamics simulations of pure LDAO micelles and with a fragment of the lipid kinase PIK4A (DI) modeled with the QUARK molecular modeling server. To model the micelle, we used two distinct AMBER force fields (i.e. Amber99SB and Lipid14) and a variety of starting conditions. We find that the micelle structural properties (such as the shape, size, the LDAO headgroup hydration, and alkyl chain conformation) slightly depend on the force field but not on the starting conditions and more importantly are in good agreement with experiments and previous simulations. We also show that the Lipid14 force field should be used instead of the Amber99SB one to better reproduce the C(sp3)C(sp3)C(sp3)C(sp3) conformation in the surfactant alkyl chain. Concerning the simulations with LDAO-DI protein, we carried out different runs at two NaCl concentrations (i.e. 0 and 300 mM) to mimic, in the latter case, the experimental conditions. We notice a small dependence of the simulation results with the LDAO parameters and the salt concentration. However, we find that in the simulations, three out of four tryptophans of the DI protein are not accessible to water in agreement with our fluorescence spectroscopy experiments reported in the paper.

  13. Lipid14: The Amber Lipid Force Field

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The AMBER lipid force field has been updated to create Lipid14, allowing tensionless simulation of a number of lipid types with the AMBER MD package. The modular nature of this force field allows numerous combinations of head and tail groups to create different lipid types, enabling the easy insertion of new lipid species. The Lennard-Jones and torsion parameters of both the head and tail groups have been revised and updated partial charges calculated. The force field has been validated by simulating bilayers of six different lipid types for a total of 0.5 μs each without applying a surface tension; with favorable comparison to experiment for properties such as area per lipid, volume per lipid, bilayer thickness, NMR order parameters, scattering data, and lipid lateral diffusion. As the derivation of this force field is consistent with the AMBER development philosophy, Lipid14 is compatible with the AMBER protein, nucleic acid, carbohydrate, and small molecule force fields. PMID:24803855

  14. Bend-twist-stretch model for coarse elastic network simulation of biomolecular motion.

    PubMed

    Stember, Joseph N; Wriggers, Willy

    2009-08-21

    The empirical harmonic potential function of elastic network models (ENMs) is augmented by three- and four-body interactions as well as by a parameter-free connection rule. In the new bend-twist-stretch (BTS) model the complexity of the parametrization is shifted from the spatial level of detail to the potential function, enabling an arbitrary coarse graining of the network. Compared to distance cutoff-based Hookean springs, the approach yields a more stable parametrization of coarse-grained ENMs for biomolecular dynamics. Traditional ENMs give rise to unbounded zero-frequency vibrations when (pseudo)atoms are connected to fewer than three neighbors. A large cutoff is therefore chosen in an ENM (about twice the average nearest-neighbor distance), resulting in many false-positive connections that reduce the spatial detail that can be resolved. More importantly, the required three-neighbor connectedness also limits the coarse graining, i.e., the network must be dense, even in the case of low-resolution structures that exhibit few spatial features. The new BTS model achieves such coarse graining by extending the ENM potential to include three-and four-atom interactions (bending and twisting, respectively) in addition to the traditional two-atom stretching. Thus, the BTS model enables reliable modeling of any three-dimensional graph irrespective of the atom connectedness. The additional potential terms were parametrized using continuum elastic theory of elastic rods, and the distance cutoff was replaced by a competitive Hebb connection rule, setting all free parameters in the model. We validate the approach on a carbon-alpha representation of adenylate kinase and illustrate its use with electron microscopy maps of E. coli RNA polymerase, E. coli ribosome, and eukaryotic chaperonin containing T-complex polypeptide 1, which were difficult to model with traditional ENMs. For adenylate kinase, we find excellent reproduction (>90% overlap) of the ENM modes and B factors

  15. Extension of the CHARMM General Force Field to Sulfonyl-Containing Compounds and Its Utility in Biomolecular Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wenbo; He, Xibing; Vanommeslaeghe, Kenno; MacKerell, Alexander D.

    2012-01-01

    Presented is an extension of the CHARMM General force field (CGenFF) to enable the modeling of sulfonyl-containing compounds. Model compounds containing chemical moieties such as sulfone, sulfonamide, sulfonate and sulfamate were used as the basis for the parameter optimization. Targeting high-level quantum mechanical and experimental crystal data, the new parameters were optimized in a hierarchical fashion designed to maintain compatibility with the remainder of the CHARMM additive force field. The optimized parameters satisfactorily reproduced equilibrium geometries, vibrational frequencies, interactions with water, gas phase dipole moments and dihedral potential energy scans. Validation involved both crystalline and liquid phase calculations showing the newly developed parameters to satisfactorily reproduce experimental unit cell geometries, crystal intramolecular geometries and pure solvent densities. The force field was subsequently applied to study conformational preference of a sulfonamide based peptide system. Good agreement with experimental IR/NMR data further validated the newly developed CGenFF parameters as a tool to investigate the dynamic behavior of sulfonyl groups in a biological environment. CGenFF now covers sulfonyl group containing moieties allowing for modeling and simulation of sulfonyl-containing compounds in the context of biomolecular systems including compounds of medicinal interest. PMID:22821581

  16. PIP(2)-binding site in Kir channels: definition by multiscale biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Stansfeld, Phillip J; Hopkinson, Richard; Ashcroft, Frances M; Sansom, Mark S P

    2009-11-24

    Phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP(2)) is an activator of mammalian inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels. Multiscale simulations, via a sequential combination of coarse-grained and atomistic molecular dynamics, enabled exploration of the interactions of PIP(2) molecules within the inner leaflet of a lipid bilayer membrane with possible binding sites on Kir channels. Three Kir channel structures were investigated: X-ray structures of KirBac1.1 and of a Kir3.1-KirBac1.3 chimera and a homology model of Kir6.2. Coarse-grained simulations of the Kir channels in PIP(2)-containing lipid bilayers identified the PIP(2)-binding site on each channel. These models of the PIP(2)-channel complexes were refined by conversion to an atomistic representation followed by molecular dynamics simulation in a lipid bilayer. All three channels were revealed to contain a conserved binding site at the N-terminal end of the slide (M0) helix, at the interface between adjacent subunits of the channel. This binding site agrees with mutagenesis data and is in the proximity of the site occupied by a detergent molecule in the Kir chimera channel crystal. Polar contacts in the coarse-grained simulations corresponded to long-lived electrostatic and H-bonding interactions between the channel and PIP(2) in the atomistic simulations, enabling identification of key side chains.

  17. REACH Coarse-Grained Biomolecular Simulation: Transferability between Different Protein Structural Classes

    PubMed Central

    Moritsugu, Kei; Smith, Jeremy C.

    2008-01-01

    Coarse graining of protein interactions provides a means of simulating large biological systems. The REACH (Realistic Extension Algorithm via Covariance Hessian) coarse-graining method, in which the force constants of a residue-scale elastic network model are calculated from the variance-covariance matrix obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, involves direct mapping between scales without the need for iterative optimization. Here, the transferability of the REACH force field is examined between protein molecules of different structural classes. As test cases, myoglobin (all α), plastocyanin (all β), and dihydrofolate reductase (α/β) are taken. The force constants derived are found to be closely similar in all three proteins. An MD version of REACH is presented, and low-temperature coarse-grained (CG) REACH MD simulations of the three proteins are compared with atomistic MD results. The mean-square fluctuations of the atomistic MD are well reproduced by the CGMD. Model functions for the CG interactions, derived by averaging over the three proteins, are also shown to produce fluctuations in good agreement with the atomistic MD. The results indicate that, similarly to the use of atomistic force fields, it is now possible to use a single, generic REACH force field for all protein studies, without having first to derive parameters from atomistic MD simulation for each individual system studied. The REACH method is thus likely to be a reliable way of determining spatiotemporal motion of a variety of proteins without the need for expensive computation of long atomistic MD simulations. PMID:18469078

  18. Mapping to Irregular Torus Topologies and Other Techniques for Petascale Biomolecular Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, James C.; Sun, Yanhua; Jain, Nikhil; Bohm, Eric J.; Kalé, Laxmikant V.

    2014-01-01

    Currently deployed petascale supercomputers typically use toroidal network topologies in three or more dimensions. While these networks perform well for topology-agnostic codes on a few thousand nodes, leadership machines with 20,000 nodes require topology awareness to avoid network contention for communication-intensive codes. Topology adaptation is complicated by irregular node allocation shapes and holes due to dedicated input/output nodes or hardware failure. In the context of the popular molecular dynamics program NAMD, we present methods for mapping a periodic 3-D grid of fixed-size spatial decomposition domains to 3-D Cray Gemini and 5-D IBM Blue Gene/Q toroidal networks to enable hundred-million atom full machine simulations, and to similarly partition node allocations into compact domains for smaller simulations using multiple-copy algorithms. Additional enabling techniques are discussed and performance is reported for NCSA Blue Waters, ORNL Titan, ANL Mira, TACC Stampede, and NERSC Edison. PMID:25594075

  19. Mapping to Irregular Torus Topologies and Other Techniques for Petascale Biomolecular Simulation.

    PubMed

    Phillips, James C; Sun, Yanhua; Jain, Nikhil; Bohm, Eric J; Kalé, Laxmikant V

    Currently deployed petascale supercomputers typically use toroidal network topologies in three or more dimensions. While these networks perform well for topology-agnostic codes on a few thousand nodes, leadership machines with 20,000 nodes require topology awareness to avoid network contention for communication-intensive codes. Topology adaptation is complicated by irregular node allocation shapes and holes due to dedicated input/output nodes or hardware failure. In the context of the popular molecular dynamics program NAMD, we present methods for mapping a periodic 3-D grid of fixed-size spatial decomposition domains to 3-D Cray Gemini and 5-D IBM Blue Gene/Q toroidal networks to enable hundred-million atom full machine simulations, and to similarly partition node allocations into compact domains for smaller simulations using multiple-copy algorithms. Additional enabling techniques are discussed and performance is reported for NCSA Blue Waters, ORNL Titan, ANL Mira, TACC Stampede, and NERSC Edison.

  20. Coarse-Grained Biomolecular Simulation with REACH: Realistic Extension Algorithm via Covariance Hessian

    PubMed Central

    Moritsugu, Kei; Smith, Jeremy C.

    2007-01-01

    Coarse-graining of protein interactions provides a means of simulating large biological systems. Here, a coarse-graining method, REACH, is introduced, in which the force constants of a residue-scale elastic network model are calculated from the variance-covariance matrix obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. In test calculations, the Cα-atoms variance-covariance matrices are calculated from the ensembles of 1-ns atomistic MD trajectories in monomeric and dimeric myoglobin, and used to derive coarse-grained force constants for the local and nonbonded interactions. Construction of analytical model functions of the distance-dependence of the interresidue force constants allows rapid calculation of the REACH normal modes. The model force constants from monomeric and dimeric myoglobin are found to be similar in magnitude to each other. The MD intra- and intermolecular mean-square fluctuations and the vibrational density of states are well reproduced by the residue-scale REACH normal modes without requiring rescaling of the force constant parameters. The temperature-dependence of the myoglobin REACH force constants reveals that the dynamical transition in protein internal fluctuations arises principally from softening of the elasticity in the nonlocal interactions. The REACH method is found to be a reliable way of determining spatiotemporal protein motion without the need for expensive computations of long atomistic MD simulations. PMID:17693469

  1. Congruent qualitative behavior of complete and reconstructed phase space trajectories from biomolecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Caves, Leo S D; Verma, Chandra S

    2002-04-01

    Central to the study of a complex dynamical system is knowledge of its phase space behavior. Experimentally, it is rarely possible to record a system's (multidimensional) phase space variables. Rather, the system is observed via one (or few) scalar-valued signal(s) of emission or response. In dynamical systems analysis, the multidimensional phase space of a system can be reconstructed by manipulation of a one-dimensional signal. The trick is in the construction of a (higher-dimensional) space through the use of a time lag (or delay) on the signal time series. The trajectory in this embedding space can then be examined using phase portraits generated in selected subspaces. By contrast, in computer simulation, one has an embarrassment of riches: direct access to the complete multidimensional phase space variables, at arbitrary time resolution and precision. Here, the problem is one of reducing the dimensionality to make analysis tractable. This can be achieved through linear or nonlinear projection of the trajectory into subspaces containing high information content. This study considers trajectories of the small protein crambin from molecular dynamics simulations. The phase space behavior is examined using principal component analysis on the Cartesian coordinate covariance matrix of 138 dimensions. In addition, the phase space is reconstructed from a one dimensional signal, representing the radius of gyration of the structure along the trajectory. Comparison of low-dimensional phase portraits obtained from the two methods shows that the complete phase space distribution is well represented by the reconstruction. The study suggests that it may be possible to develop a deeper connection between the experimental and simulated dynamics of biomolecules via phase space reconstruction using data emerging from recent advances in single-molecule time-resolved biophysical techniques.

  2. Multisequence algorithm for coarse-grained biomolecular simulations: Exploring the sequence-structure relationship of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aina, A.; Wallin, S.

    2017-09-01

    We consider a generalized-ensemble algorithm for coarse-grained simulations of biomolecules which allows the thermodynamic behavior of two or more sequences to be determined in a single multisequence run. By carrying out a random walk in sequence space, the method also enhances conformational sampling. Escape from local energy minima is accelerated by visiting sequences for which the minima are more shallow or absent. We test the method on an intermediate-resolution coarse-grained model for protein folding with 3 amino acid types and explore the potential for a large-scale coverage of sequence space by applying the method to sets of more than 1000 sequences. The resulting thermodynamic data are used to analyze the structures and stability properties of sequences covering the space between folds with different secondary structures.

  3. Multisequence algorithm for coarse-grained biomolecular simulations: Exploring the sequence-structure relationship of proteins.

    PubMed

    Aina, A; Wallin, S

    2017-09-07

    We consider a generalized-ensemble algorithm for coarse-grained simulations of biomolecules which allows the thermodynamic behavior of two or more sequences to be determined in a single multisequence run. By carrying out a random walk in sequence space, the method also enhances conformational sampling. Escape from local energy minima is accelerated by visiting sequences for which the minima are more shallow or absent. We test the method on an intermediate-resolution coarse-grained model for protein folding with 3 amino acid types and explore the potential for a large-scale coverage of sequence space by applying the method to sets of more than 1000 sequences. The resulting thermodynamic data are used to analyze the structures and stability properties of sequences covering the space between folds with different secondary structures.

  4. Biomolecular simulations with the transferable potentials for phase equilibria: extension to phospholipids.

    PubMed

    Bhatnagar, Navendu; Kamath, Ganesh; Potoff, Jeffrey J

    2013-08-29

    The Transferable Potentials for Phase Equilibria (TraPPE) is extended to zwitterionic and charged lipids including phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS), and phosphatidylglycerol (PG). The performance of the force field is validated through isothermal-isobaric ensemble (NPT) molecular dynamics simulations of hydrated lipid bilayers performed with the aforementioned head groups combined with saturated and unsaturated alkyl tails containing 12-18 carbon atoms. The effects of water model and sodium ion parameters on the performance of the lipid force field are determined. The predictions of the TraPPE force field for the area per lipid, bilayer thickness, and volume per lipid are within 1-5% of experimental values. Key structural properties of the bilayer, such as order parameter splitting in the sn-2 chain and X-ray form factors, are found to be in close agreement with experimental data.

  5. Biomolecular dynamics at long timesteps: bridging the timescale gap between simulation and experimentation.

    PubMed

    Schlick, T; Barth, E; Mandziuk, M

    1997-01-01

    Innovative algorithms have been developed during the past decade for simulating Newtonian physics for macromolecules. A major goal is alleviation of the severe requirement that the integration timestep be small enough to resolve the fastest components of the motion and thus guarantee numerical stability. This timestep problem is challenging if strictly faster methods with the same all-atom resolution at small timesteps are sought. Mathematical techniques that have worked well in other multiple-timescale contexts--where the fast motions are rapidly decaying or largely decoupled from others--have not been as successful for biomolecules, where vibrational coupling is strong. This review examines general issues that limit the timestep and describes available methods (constrained, reduced-variable, implicit, symplectic, multiple-timestep, and normal-mode-based schemes). A section compares results of selected integrators for a model dipeptide, assessing physical and numerical performance. Included is our dual timestep method LN, which relies on an approximate linearization of the equations of motion every delta t interval (5 fs or less), the solution of which is obtained by explicit integration at the inner timestep delta tau (e.g., 0.5 fs). LN is computationally competitive, providing 4-5 speedup factors, and results are in good agreement, in comparison to 0.5 fs trajectories. These collective algorithmic efforts help fill the gap between the time range that can be simulated and the timespans of major biological interest (milliseconds and longer). Still, only a hierarchy of models and methods, along with experimentational improvements, will ultimately give theoretical modeling the status of partner with experiment.

  6. Best bang for your buck: GPU nodes for GROMACS biomolecular simulations

    PubMed Central

    Páll, Szilárd; Fechner, Martin; Esztermann, Ansgar; de Groot, Bert L.; Grubmüller, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    The molecular dynamics simulation package GROMACS runs efficiently on a wide variety of hardware from commodity workstations to high performance computing clusters. Hardware features are well‐exploited with a combination of single instruction multiple data, multithreading, and message passing interface (MPI)‐based single program multiple data/multiple program multiple data parallelism while graphics processing units (GPUs) can be used as accelerators to compute interactions off‐loaded from the CPU. Here, we evaluate which hardware produces trajectories with GROMACS 4.6 or 5.0 in the most economical way. We have assembled and benchmarked compute nodes with various CPU/GPU combinations to identify optimal compositions in terms of raw trajectory production rate, performance‐to‐price ratio, energy efficiency, and several other criteria. Although hardware prices are naturally subject to trends and fluctuations, general tendencies are clearly visible. Adding any type of GPU significantly boosts a node's simulation performance. For inexpensive consumer‐class GPUs this improvement equally reflects in the performance‐to‐price ratio. Although memory issues in consumer‐class GPUs could pass unnoticed as these cards do not support error checking and correction memory, unreliable GPUs can be sorted out with memory checking tools. Apart from the obvious determinants for cost‐efficiency like hardware expenses and raw performance, the energy consumption of a node is a major cost factor. Over the typical hardware lifetime until replacement of a few years, the costs for electrical power and cooling can become larger than the costs of the hardware itself. Taking that into account, nodes with a well‐balanced ratio of CPU and consumer‐class GPU resources produce the maximum amount of GROMACS trajectory over their lifetime. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Computational Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26238484

  7. Best bang for your buck: GPU nodes for GROMACS biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Kutzner, Carsten; Páll, Szilárd; Fechner, Martin; Esztermann, Ansgar; de Groot, Bert L; Grubmüller, Helmut

    2015-10-05

    The molecular dynamics simulation package GROMACS runs efficiently on a wide variety of hardware from commodity workstations to high performance computing clusters. Hardware features are well-exploited with a combination of single instruction multiple data, multithreading, and message passing interface (MPI)-based single program multiple data/multiple program multiple data parallelism while graphics processing units (GPUs) can be used as accelerators to compute interactions off-loaded from the CPU. Here, we evaluate which hardware produces trajectories with GROMACS 4.6 or 5.0 in the most economical way. We have assembled and benchmarked compute nodes with various CPU/GPU combinations to identify optimal compositions in terms of raw trajectory production rate, performance-to-price ratio, energy efficiency, and several other criteria. Although hardware prices are naturally subject to trends and fluctuations, general tendencies are clearly visible. Adding any type of GPU significantly boosts a node's simulation performance. For inexpensive consumer-class GPUs this improvement equally reflects in the performance-to-price ratio. Although memory issues in consumer-class GPUs could pass unnoticed as these cards do not support error checking and correction memory, unreliable GPUs can be sorted out with memory checking tools. Apart from the obvious determinants for cost-efficiency like hardware expenses and raw performance, the energy consumption of a node is a major cost factor. Over the typical hardware lifetime until replacement of a few years, the costs for electrical power and cooling can become larger than the costs of the hardware itself. Taking that into account, nodes with a well-balanced ratio of CPU and consumer-class GPU resources produce the maximum amount of GROMACS trajectory over their lifetime. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Computational Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Reproducing kernel potential energy surfaces in biomolecular simulations: Nitric oxide binding to myoglobin

    SciTech Connect

    Soloviov, Maksym; Meuwly, Markus

    2015-09-14

    Multidimensional potential energy surfaces based on reproducing kernel-interpolation are employed to explore the energetics and dynamics of free and bound nitric oxide in myoglobin (Mb). Combining a force field description for the majority of degrees of freedom and the higher-accuracy representation for the NO ligand and the Fe out-of-plane motion allows for a simulation approach akin to a mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics treatment. However, the kernel-representation can be evaluated at conventional force-field speed. With the explicit inclusion of the Fe-out-of-plane (Fe-oop) coordinate, the dynamics and structural equilibrium after photodissociation of the ligand are correctly described compared to experiment. Experimentally, the Fe-oop coordinate plays an important role for the ligand dynamics. This is also found here where the isomerization dynamics between the Fe–ON and Fe–NO state is significantly affected whether or not this co-ordinate is explicitly included. Although the Fe–ON conformation is metastable when considering only the bound {sup 2}A state, it may disappear once the {sup 4}A state is included. This explains the absence of the Fe–ON state in previous experimental investigations of MbNO.

  9. H++ 3.0: automating pK prediction and the preparation of biomolecular structures for atomistic molecular modeling and simulations.

    PubMed

    Anandakrishnan, Ramu; Aguilar, Boris; Onufriev, Alexey V

    2012-07-01

    The accuracy of atomistic biomolecular modeling and simulation studies depend on the accuracy of the input structures. Preparing these structures for an atomistic modeling task, such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, can involve the use of a variety of different tools for: correcting errors, adding missing atoms, filling valences with hydrogens, predicting pK values for titratable amino acids, assigning predefined partial charges and radii to all atoms, and generating force field parameter/topology files for MD. Identifying, installing and effectively using the appropriate tools for each of these tasks can be difficult for novice and time-consuming for experienced users. H++ (http://biophysics.cs.vt.edu/) is a free open-source web server that automates the above key steps in the preparation of biomolecular structures for molecular modeling and simulations. H++ also performs extensive error and consistency checking, providing error/warning messages together with the suggested corrections. In addition to numerous minor improvements, the latest version of H++ includes several new capabilities and options: fix erroneous (flipped) side chain conformations for HIS, GLN and ASN, include a ligand in the input structure, process nucleic acid structures and generate a solvent box with specified number of common ions for explicit solvent MD.

  10. Dynamics of biomolecular processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behringer, Hans; Eichhorn, Ralf; Wallin, Stefan

    2013-05-01

    The last few years have seen enormous progress in the availability of computational resources, so that the size and complexity of physical systems that can be investigated numerically has increased substantially. The physical mechanisms behind the processes creating life, such as those in a living cell, are of foremost interest in biophysical research. A main challenge here is that complexity not only emerges from interactions of many macro-molecular compounds, but is already evident at the level of a single molecule. An exciting recent development in this context is, therefore, that detailed atomistic level characterization of large-scale dynamics of individual bio-macromolecules, such as proteins and DNA, is starting to become feasible in some cases. This has contributed to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of, e.g. protein folding and aggregation, as well as DNA dynamics. Nevertheless, simulations of the dynamical behaviour of complex multicomponent cellular processes at an all-atom level will remain beyond reach for the foreseeable future, and may not even be desirable. Ultimate understanding of many biological processes will require the development of methods targeting different time and length scales and, importantly, ways to bridge these in multiscale approaches. At the scientific programme Dynamics of biomolecular processes: from atomistic representations to coarse-grained models held between 27 February and 23 March 2012, and hosted by the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics, new modelling approaches and results for particular biological systems were presented and discussed. The programme was attended by around 30 scientists from the Nordic countries and elsewhere. It also included a PhD and postdoc 'winter school', where basic theoretical concepts and techniques of biomolecular modelling and simulations were presented. One to two decades ago, the biomolecular modelling field was dominated by two widely different and largely

  11. Where Does Amber Come from?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Booth, Bibi

    2005-01-01

    Amber is the fossilized resin of now-extinct trees, primarily ancient conifers but also some flowering tropical trees. An aromatic, soft, sticky substance, resin in extinct trees probably served the same purposes as resin in modern trees: to protect the plant by sealing cuts and by excluding bacteria, fungi, and insects.

  12. Where Does Amber Come from?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Booth, Bibi

    2005-01-01

    Amber is the fossilized resin of now-extinct trees, primarily ancient conifers but also some flowering tropical trees. An aromatic, soft, sticky substance, resin in extinct trees probably served the same purposes as resin in modern trees: to protect the plant by sealing cuts and by excluding bacteria, fungi, and insects.

  13. New Distributed Multipole Methods for Accurate Electrostatics for Large-Scale Biomolecular Simultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagui, Celeste

    2006-03-01

    An accurate and numerically efficient treatment of electrostatics is essential for biomolecular simulations, as this stabilizes much of the delicate 3-d structure associated with biomolecules. Currently, force fields such as AMBER and CHARMM assign ``partial charges'' to every atom in a simulation in order to model the interatomic electrostatic forces, so that the calculation of the electrostatics rapidly becomes the computational bottleneck in large-scale simulations. There are two main issues associated with the current treatment of classical electrostatics: (i) how does one eliminate the artifacts associated with the point-charges (e.g., the underdetermined nature of the current RESP fitting procedure for large, flexible molecules) used in the force fields in a physically meaningful way? (ii) how does one efficiently simulate the very costly long-range electrostatic interactions? Recently, we have dealt with both of these challenges as follows. In order to improve the description of the molecular electrostatic potentials (MEPs), a new distributed multipole analysis based on localized functions -- Wannier, Boys, and Edminston-Ruedenberg -- was introduced, which allows for a first principles calculation of the partial charges and multipoles. Through a suitable generalization of the particle mesh Ewald (PME) and multigrid method, one can treat electrostatic multipoles all the way to hexadecapoles all without prohibitive extra costs. The importance of these methods for large-scale simulations will be discussed, and examplified by simulations from polarizable DNA models.

  14. The molecular composition of ambers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimalt, J.O.; Simoneit, B.R.T.; Hatcher, P.G.; Nissenbaum, A.

    1988-01-01

    Bulk (elemental composition, IR, CP/MAS 13C NMR) and molecular (GC-MS) analyses have been performed on a series of ambers and resins derived from different locations (Dominican Republic, Philippines, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Chile) having diverse botanical affinities (Araucariaceae, Hymenaea) and variable age (from Holocene to Early Cretaceous). No major differences have been observed from the elemental composition and the spectroscopic data; however, the molecular analyses of the solvent extractable fraction show that a specific mixture of components is present in each sample. These are mainly diterpenoid products that in general are also found abundantly in the higher plants from which the ambers and resins originate. Nevertheless, a direct relationship between major terpenoid constituents in fossil resins and precursor plant materials can only be established for the younger samples. Irrespective of the geographical or botanical origin of the ambers and resins, several common age-dependent molecular transformation trends can be recognized: (1) progressive loss of olefinic bonds (especially those located in exocyclic positions), (2) decrease of functionalized products, and (3) increasing proportion of aromatized components. However, even in the samples of older age (Cretaceous) the degree of aromatization is very low when compared with that of other higher-plant related materials such as fossilized woods or low rank coals. This indicates that maturation must involve essentially olefin polymerization processes instead of extensive aromatization. ?? 1988.

  15. Evidence for marine microfossils from amber.

    PubMed

    Girard, Vincent; Schmidt, Alexander R; Saint Martin, Simona; Struwe, Steffi; Perrichot, Vincent; Saint Martin, Jean-Paul; Grosheny, Danièle; Breton, Gérard; Néraudeau, Didier

    2008-11-11

    Amber usually contains inclusions of terrestrial and rarely limnetic organisms that were embedded in the places were they lived in the amber forests. Therefore, it has been supposed that amber could not have preserved marine organisms. Here, we report the discovery amber-preserved marine microfossils. Diverse marine diatoms as well as radiolarians, sponge spicules, a foraminifer, and a spine of a larval echinoderm were found in Late Albian and Early Cenomanian amber samples of southwestern France. The highly fossiliferous resin samples solidified approximately 100 million years ago on the floor of coastal mixed forests dominated by conifers. The amber forests of southwestern France grew directly along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and were influenced by the nearby sea: shells and remnants of marine organisms were probably introduced by wind, spray, or high tide from the beach or the sea onto the resin flows.

  16. Evidence for marine microfossils from amber

    PubMed Central

    Girard, Vincent; Schmidt, Alexander R.; Saint Martin, Simona; Struwe, Steffi; Perrichot, Vincent; Saint Martin, Jean-Paul; Grosheny, Danièle; Breton, Gérard; Néraudeau, Didier

    2008-01-01

    Amber usually contains inclusions of terrestrial and rarely limnetic organisms that were embedded in the places were they lived in the amber forests. Therefore, it has been supposed that amber could not have preserved marine organisms. Here, we report the discovery amber-preserved marine microfossils. Diverse marine diatoms as well as radiolarians, sponge spicules, a foraminifer, and a spine of a larval echinoderm were found in Late Albian and Early Cenomanian amber samples of southwestern France. The highly fossiliferous resin samples solidified ≈100 million years ago on the floor of coastal mixed forests dominated by conifers. The amber forests of southwestern France grew directly along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and were influenced by the nearby sea: shells and remnants of marine organisms were probably introduced by wind, spray, or high tide from the beach or the sea onto the resin flows. PMID:18981417

  17. Comparing amber fossil assemblages across the Cenozoic.

    PubMed

    Penney, David; Langan, A Mark

    2006-06-22

    To justify faunistic comparisons of ambers that differ botanically, geographically and by age, we need to determine that resins sampled uniformly. Our pluralistic approach, analysing size distributions of 671 fossilized spider species from different behavioural guilds, demonstrates that ecological information about the communities of two well-studied ambers is retained. Several lines of evidence show that greater structural complexity of Baltic compared to Dominican amber trees explains the presence of larger web-spinners. No size differences occur in active hunters. Consequently, we demonstrate for the first time that resins were trapping organisms uniformly and that comparisons of amber palaeoecosystem structure across deep time are possible.

  18. Comparing amber fossil assemblages across the Cenozoic

    PubMed Central

    Penney, David; Langan, A. Mark

    2006-01-01

    To justify faunistic comparisons of ambers that differ botanically, geographically and by age, we need to determine that resins sampled uniformly. Our pluralistic approach, analysing size distributions of 671 fossilized spider species from different behavioural guilds, demonstrates that ecological information about the communities of two well-studied ambers is retained. Several lines of evidence show that greater structural complexity of Baltic compared to Dominican amber trees explains the presence of larger web-spinners. No size differences occur in active hunters. Consequently, we demonstrate for the first time that resins were trapping organisms uniformly and that comparisons of amber palaeoecosystem structure across deep time are possible. PMID:17148379

  19. Reparameterization of RNA χ Torsion Parameters for the AMBER Force Field and Comparison to NMR Spectra for Cytidine and Uridine

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    A reparameterization of the torsional parameters for the glycosidic dihedral angle, χ, for the AMBER99 force field in RNA nucleosides is used to provide a modified force field, AMBER99χ. Molecular dynamics simulations of cytidine, uridine, adenosine, and guanosine in aqueous solution using the AMBER99 and AMBER99χ force fields are compared with NMR results. For each nucleoside and force field, 10 individual molecular dynamics simulations of 30 ns each were run. For cytidine with AMBER99χ force field, each molecular dynamics simulation time was extended to 120 ns for convergence purposes. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, including one-dimensional (1D) 1H, steady-state 1D 1H nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE), and transient 1D 1H NOE, was used to determine the sugar puckering and preferred base orientation with respect to the ribose of cytidine and uridine. The AMBER99 force field overestimates the population of syn conformations of the base orientation and of C2′-endo sugar puckering of the pyrimidines, while the AMBER99χ force field’s predictions are more consistent with NMR results. Moreover, the AMBER99 force field prefers high anti conformations with glycosidic dihedral angles around 310° for the base orientation of purines. The AMBER99χ force field prefers anti conformations around 185°, which is more consistent with the quantum mechanical calculations and known 3D structures of folded ribonucleic acids (RNAs). Evidently, the AMBER99χ force field predicts the structural characteristics of ribonucleosides better than the AMBER99 force field and should improve structural and thermodynamic predictions of RNA structures. PMID:20463845

  20. Reparameterization of RNA chi Torsion Parameters for the AMBER Force Field and Comparison to NMR Spectra for Cytidine and Uridine.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Ilyas; Stern, Harry A; Kennedy, Scott D; Tubbs, Jason D; Turner, Douglas H

    2010-05-11

    A reparameterization of the torsional parameters for the glycosidic dihedral angle, chi, for the AMBER99 force field in RNA nucleosides is used to provide a modified force field, AMBER99chi. Molecular dynamics simulations of cytidine, uridine, adenosine, and guanosine in aqueous solution using the AMBER99 and AMBER99chi force fields are compared with NMR results. For each nucleoside and force field, 10 individual molecular dynamics simulations of 30 ns each were run. For cytidine with AMBER99chi force field, each molecular dynamics simulation time was extended to 120 ns for convergence purposes. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, including one-dimensional (1D) (1)H, steady-state 1D (1)H nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE), and transient 1D (1)H NOE, was used to determine the sugar puckering and preferred base orientation with respect to the ribose of cytidine and uridine. The AMBER99 force field overestimates the population of syn conformations of the base orientation and of C2'-endo sugar puckering of the pyrimidines, while the AMBER99chi force field's predictions are more consistent with NMR results. Moreover, the AMBER99 force field prefers high anti conformations with glycosidic dihedral angles around 310 degrees for the base orientation of purines. The AMBER99chi force field prefers anti conformations around 185 degrees , which is more consistent with the quantum mechanical calculations and known 3D structures of folded ribonucleic acids (RNAs). Evidently, the AMBER99chi force field predicts the structural characteristics of ribonucleosides better than the AMBER99 force field and should improve structural and thermodynamic predictions of RNA structures.

  1. pyPcazip: A PCA-based toolkit for compression and analysis of molecular simulation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shkurti, Ardita; Goni, Ramon; Andrio, Pau; Breitmoser, Elena; Bethune, Iain; Orozco, Modesto; Laughton, Charles A.

    The biomolecular simulation community is currently in need of novel and optimised software tools that can analyse and process, in reasonable timescales, the large generated amounts of molecular simulation data. In light of this, we have developed and present here pyPcazip: a suite of software tools for compression and analysis of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation data. The software is compatible with trajectory file formats generated by most contemporary MD engines such as AMBER, CHARMM, GROMACS and NAMD, and is MPI parallelised to permit the efficient processing of very large datasets. pyPcazip is a Unix based open-source software (BSD licenced) written in Python.

  2. Extension of the GLYCAM06 Biomolecular Force Field to Lipids, Lipid Bilayers and Glycolipids.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Matthew B; Demarco, Mari L; Yongye, Austin B; Woods, Robert J

    2008-01-01

    GLYCAM06 is a generalisable biomolecular force field that is extendible to diverse molecular classes in the spirit of a small-molecule force field. Here we report parameters for lipids, lipid bilayers and glycolipids for use with GLYCAM06. Only three lipid-specific atom types have been introduced, in keeping with the general philosophy of transferable parameter development. Bond stretching, angle bending, and torsional force constants were derived by fitting to quantum mechanical data for a collection of minimal molecular fragments and related small molecules. Partial atomic charges were computed by fitting to ensemble-averaged quantum-computed molecular electrostatic potentials.In addition to reproducing quantum mechanical internal rotational energies and experimental valence geometries for an array of small molecules, condensed-phase simulations employing the new parameters are shown to reproduce the bulk physical properties of a DMPC lipid bilayer. The new parameters allow for molecular dynamics simulations of complex systems containing lipids, lipid bilayers, glycolipids, and carbohydrates, using an internally consistent force field. By combining the AMBER parameters for proteins with the GLYCAM06 parameters, it is also possible to simulate protein-lipid complexes and proteins in biologically relevant membrane-like environments.

  3. First AMBER/VLTI Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malbet, F.; Petrov, R.; Weigelt, G.; Chesneau, O.; Domiciano de Souza, A.; Meilland, A.; Millour, F.; Tatulli, E.; Amber Consortium

    2007-03-01

    Three years after the installation of AMBER, the first scientific observations have been carried out mostly during Science Demonstration Time and Guaranteed Time. The first science has mainly focused on the environment of various types of stars. Observations described are: the discs and wind in the young star MWC297; the rotating gas envelope around the hot active star CPD-57 2874; mass loss from the massive star Eta Carinae; the colliding wind WR and O star binary gamma2 Velorum; the outburst of the recurrent nova RS Oph.

  4. Micrococcus luteus -- survival in amber.

    PubMed

    Greenblatt, C L; Baum, J; Klein, B Y; Nachshon, S; Koltunov, V; Cano, R J

    2004-07-01

    A growing body of evidence now supports the isolation of microorganisms from ancient materials. However, questions about the stringency of extraction methods and the genetic relatedness of isolated organisms to their closest living relatives continue to challenge the authenticity of these ancient life forms. Previous studies have successfully isolated a number of spore-forming bacteria from organic and inorganic deposits of considerable age whose survival is explained by their ability to enter suspended animation for extended periods of time. However, despite a number of putative reports, the isolation of non-spore-forming bacteria and an explanation for their survival have remained enigmatic. Here we describe the isolation of non-spore-forming cocci from a 120-million-year-old block of amber, which by genetic, morphological, and biochemical analyses are identified as belonging to the bacterial species Micrococcus luteus. Although comparison of 16S rRNA sequences from the ancient isolates with their modern counterparts is unable to confirm the precise age of these bacteria, we demonstrate, using complementary molecular and cell biological techniques, evidence supporting the view that these (and related modern members of the genus) have numerous adaptations for survival in extreme, nutrient-poor environments, traits that will assist in this bacteria's persistence and dispersal in the environment. The bacteria's ability to utilize succinic acid and process terpine-related compounds, both major components of natural amber, support its survival in this oligotrophic environment.

  5. Theory of biomolecular recognition.

    PubMed

    McCammon, J A

    1998-04-01

    Specific, noncovalent binding of biomolecules can only be understood by considering structural, thermodynamic, and kinetic issues. The theoretical foundations for such analyses have been clarified in the past year. Computational techniques for both particle-based and continuum models continue to improve and to yield useful insights into an ever wider range of biomolecular systems.

  6. Foundations of Biomolecular Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, William L.

    2014-01-01

    The 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Martin Kaplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel for “Development of Multiscale Models for Complex Chemical Systems”. The honored work from the 1970s has provided a foundation for the widespread activities today in modeling organic and biomolecular systems. PMID:24315087

  7. Spectroscopic investigation of amber color silicate glasses and factors affecting the amber related absorption bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morsi, Morsi M.; El-sherbiny, Samya I.; Mohamed, Karam M.

    2015-06-01

    The effects of carbon, Fe2O3 and Na2SO4 contents on the amber color of glass with composition (wt%) 64.3 SiO2, 25.7 CaO, 10 Na2O were studied. The effect of some additives that could be found in glass batch or cullets on the amber related absorption band(s) was also studied. An amber related absorption band due to the chromophore Fe3+O3S2- was recorded at 420 nm with shoulder at 440 nm. A second amber related band recorded at 474 nm with shoulder at 483 nm was assigned to FeS. Increasing melting time at 1400 °C up to 6 h caused fainting of the amber color, decreases the intensities of the amber related bands and shifted the first band to 406 nm. Addition of ZnO, Cu2O and NaNO3 to the glass produced decolorizing effect and vanishing of the amber related bands. The effects of melting time and these additives were explained on the bases of destruction the amber chromophore and its conversion into Fe3+ in tetrahedral sites or ZnS. Addition of Se intensifies the amber related bands and may cause dark coloration due to the formation of Se° and polyselenide. Amber color can be monitored through measuring the absorption in the range 406-420 nm.

  8. Spectroscopic investigation of amber color silicate glasses and factors affecting the amber related absorption bands.

    PubMed

    Morsi, Morsi M; El-Sherbiny, Samya I; Mohamed, Karam M

    2015-06-15

    The effects of carbon, Fe2O3 and Na2SO4 contents on the amber color of glass with composition (wt%) 64.3 SiO2, 25.7 CaO, 10 Na2O were studied. The effect of some additives that could be found in glass batch or cullets on the amber related absorption band(s) was also studied. An amber related absorption band due to the chromophore Fe(3+)O3S(2-) was recorded at 420 nm with shoulder at 440 nm. A second amber related band recorded at 474 nm with shoulder at 483 nm was assigned to FeS. Increasing melting time at 1400°C up to 6h caused fainting of the amber color, decreases the intensities of the amber related bands and shifted the first band to 406 nm. Addition of ZnO, Cu2O and NaNO3 to the glass produced decolorizing effect and vanishing of the amber related bands. The effects of melting time and these additives were explained on the bases of destruction the amber chromophore and its conversion into Fe(3+) in tetrahedral sites or ZnS. Addition of Se intensifies the amber related bands and may cause dark coloration due to the formation of Se° and polyselenide. Amber color can be monitored through measuring the absorption in the range 406-420 nm. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Palaeontology: Chinese amber insects bridge the gap.

    PubMed

    Ross, Andrew

    2014-07-21

    n the study of fossil insects, Chinese amber from Fushun has been largely overlooked. A new study now reveals a highly diverse biota and provides a wealth of new information on the past Asian insect fauna.

  10. The search for new amber ingredients.

    PubMed

    Narula, Anubhav P S

    2014-10-01

    There is a constant need for developing new fragrance ingredients in the flavor and fragrance industry, as it allows perfumers to create unique and differentiating perfumes for fine as well as functional products. Among all the categories of notes used in perfume creation, amber notes are indispensible and ubiquitous in their presence in all perfumes. Not only amber notes impart high performance and substantivity to fragrances, but they are paramount in the development of classic and legendary fragrances. This article is based on the plenary lecture delivered at the flavor & fragrance 2013 conference of the German Chemical Society in Leipzig, Germany. The strategy, rationale, and the various synthetic approaches that led to the discovery of two new very powerful, woody, amber materials, Amber Xtreme(®) (1) and Trisamber(®) (2), are delineated. Copyright © 2014 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  11. Biomolecular adsorption at aqueous silver interfaces: first-principles calculations, polarizable force-field simulations, and comparisons with gold.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Zak E; Wright, Louise B; Walsh, Tiffany R

    2013-10-29

    The molecular simulation of biomolecules adsorbed at noble metal interfaces can assist in the development of bionanotechnology applications. In line with advances in polarizable force fields for adsorption at aqueous gold interfaces, there is scope for developing a similar force field for silver. One way to accomplish this is via the generation of in vacuo adsorption energies calculated using first-principles approaches for a wide range of different but biologically relevant small molecules, including water. Here, we present such first-principles data for a comprehensive range of bio-organic molecules obtained from plane-wave density functional theory calculations using the vdW-DF functional. As reported previously for the gold force field, GolP-CHARMM (Wright, L. B.; Rodger, P. M.; Corni, S.; Walsh, T. R. GolP-CHARMM: first-principles based force-fields for the interaction of proteins with Au(111) and Au(100). J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2013, 9, 1616-1630), we have used these data to construct a a new force field, AgP-CHARMM, suitable for the simulation of biomolecules at the aqueous Ag(111) and Ag(100) interfaces. This force field is derived to be consistent with GolP-CHARMM such that adsorption on Ag and Au can be compared on an equal footing. Our force fields are used to evaluate the water overlayer stability on both silver and gold, finding good agreement with known behaviors. We also calculate and compare the structuring (spatial and orientational) of liquid water adsorbed at both silver and gold. Finally, we report the adsorption free energy of a range of amino acids at both the Au(111) and Ag(111) aqueous interfaces, calculated using metadynamics. Stronger adsorption on gold was noted in most cases, with the exception being the carboxylate group present in aspartic acid. Our findings also indicate differences in the binding free energy profile between silver and gold for some amino acids, notably for His and Arg. Our analysis suggests that the relatively

  12. A Kepler Workflow Tool for Reproducible AMBER GPU Molecular Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Purawat, Shweta; Ieong, Pek U; Malmstrom, Robert D; Chan, Garrett J; Yeung, Alan K; Walker, Ross C; Altintas, Ilkay; Amaro, Rommie E

    2017-06-20

    With the drive toward high throughput molecular dynamics (MD) simulations involving ever-greater numbers of simulation replicates run for longer, biologically relevant timescales (microseconds), the need for improved computational methods that facilitate fully automated MD workflows gains more importance. Here we report the development of an automated workflow tool to perform AMBER GPU MD simulations. Our workflow tool capitalizes on the capabilities of the Kepler platform to deliver a flexible, intuitive, and user-friendly environment and the AMBER GPU code for a robust and high-performance simulation engine. Additionally, the workflow tool reduces user input time by automating repetitive processes and facilitates access to GPU clusters, whose high-performance processing power makes simulations of large numerical scale possible. The presented workflow tool facilitates the management and deployment of large sets of MD simulations on heterogeneous computing resources. The workflow tool also performs systematic analysis on the simulation outputs and enhances simulation reproducibility, execution scalability, and MD method development including benchmarking and validation. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Protist-like inclusions in amber, as evidenced by Charentes amber.

    PubMed

    Girard, Vincent; Néraudeau, Didier; Adl, Sina M; Breton, Gérard

    2011-05-01

    The mid-Cretaceous amber of France contains thousands of protist-like inclusions similar in shape to some ciliates, flagellates and amoebae. The sheer abundance of these inclusions and their size variation within a single amber piece are not concordant with true fossil protists. French amber is coniferous in origin, which generally does not preserve well protists without cell walls. Thus, it would be surprising if French Cretaceous amber had preserved millions of protists. Here, we present a survey of the protist-like inclusions from French amber and attempt to elucidate their origins. Diverse Cretaceous ambers (from Spain, Germany and Lebanon), also derived from conifer resins, contain thousands of protist-like inclusions. In contrast, Tertiary ambers and modern resins are poor in protist-like fossils. This suggests these inclusions originated from early Cretaceous plant resins, probably secreted with the resin by trees that did not survive after the Cretaceous (such as the Cheirolepidiaceae). A review of the recent literature on amber microfossils indicates several protist-like inclusions that are unlikely to have a biological origin have already been described as real fossil protists. This is problematic in that it will bias our understanding of protist evolution. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Seyfullah, Leyla J; Sadowski, Friederike; Fleischmann, Andreas; Behling, Hermann; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2015-01-06

    The fossil record of carnivorous plants is very scarce and macrofossil evidence has been restricted to seeds of the extant aquatic genus Aldrovanda of the Droseraceae family. No case of carnivorous plant traps has so far been reported from the fossil record. Here, we present two angiosperm leaves enclosed in a piece of Eocene Baltic amber that share relevant morphological features with extant Roridulaceae, a carnivorous plant family that is today endemic to the Cape flora of South Africa. Modern Roridula species are unique among carnivorous plants as they digest prey in a complex mutualistic association in which the prey-derived nutrient uptake depends on heteropteran insects. As in extant Roridula, the fossil leaves possess two types of plant trichomes, including unicellular hairs and five size classes of multicellular stalked glands (or tentacles) with an apical pore. The apices of the narrow and perfectly tapered fossil leaves end in a single tentacle, as in both modern Roridula species. The glandular hairs of the fossils are restricted to the leaf margins and to the abaxial lamina, as in extant Roridula gorgonias. Our discovery supports current molecular age estimates for Roridulaceae and suggests a wide Eocene distribution of roridulid plants.

  15. Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber

    PubMed Central

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Seyfullah, Leyla J.; Sadowski, Friederike; Fleischmann, Andreas; Behling, Hermann; Schmidt, Alexander R.

    2015-01-01

    The fossil record of carnivorous plants is very scarce and macrofossil evidence has been restricted to seeds of the extant aquatic genus Aldrovanda of the Droseraceae family. No case of carnivorous plant traps has so far been reported from the fossil record. Here, we present two angiosperm leaves enclosed in a piece of Eocene Baltic amber that share relevant morphological features with extant Roridulaceae, a carnivorous plant family that is today endemic to the Cape flora of South Africa. Modern Roridula species are unique among carnivorous plants as they digest prey in a complex mutualistic association in which the prey-derived nutrient uptake depends on heteropteran insects. As in extant Roridula, the fossil leaves possess two types of plant trichomes, including unicellular hairs and five size classes of multicellular stalked glands (or tentacles) with an apical pore. The apices of the narrow and perfectly tapered fossil leaves end in a single tentacle, as in both modern Roridula species. The glandular hairs of the fossils are restricted to the leaf margins and to the abaxial lamina, as in extant Roridula gorgonias. Our discovery supports current molecular age estimates for Roridulaceae and suggests a wide Eocene distribution of roridulid plants. PMID:25453067

  16. Simulation of Biomolecular Nanomechanical Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-10-01

    PDMS, Parylene - Adhesives: UV curable adhesive, uncured PDMS - Burst pressure chosen as device failure criteria. b. Completed the test fixture... viruses and 100fg (femtogram) of DNA from bacteria Hand-held battery-operated device Commercialization and Technology Transfer Based on the

  17. Improving the Efficiency of Free Energy Calculations in the Amber Molecular Dynamics Package

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Levi T.; Walker, Ross C.; McCammont, J. Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Alchemical transformations are widely used methods to calculate free energies. Amber has traditionally included support for alchemical transformations as part of the sander molecular dynamics (MD) engine. Here we describe the implementation of a more efficient approach to alchemical transformations in the Amber MD package. Specifically we have implemented this new approach within the more computational efficient and scalable pmemd MD engine that is included with the Amber MD package. The majority of the gain in efficiency comes from the improved design of the calculation, which includes better parallel scaling and reduction in the calculation of redundant terms. This new implementation is able to reproduce results from equivalent simulations run with the existing functionality, but at 2.5 times greater computational efficiency. This new implementation is also able to run softcore simulations at the λ end states making direct calculation of free energies more accurate, compared to the extrapolation required in the existing implementation. The updated alchemical transformation functionality will be included in the next major release of Amber (scheduled for release in Q1 2014) and will be available at http://ambermd.org, under the Amber license. PMID:24185531

  18. Biomolecular Interaction Assay

    SciTech Connect

    Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Brown, L; Holman, David A.; Olson, Lydia; Grate, Jay W.

    2000-12-29

    Understanding the binding interactions of complexes of multiple proteins is an important area of medical research since many biological signaling pathways involve multiple protein complexes. A number of sensor technologies have been adapted to monitoring biomolecular interactions. Acoustic wave devices such as flexural plate wave devices, surface transverse waves, and quartz crystal microbalances detect the mass increase observed upon binding of a solution biomolecule to a surface bound biomolecule. However, these devices will also respond to changes in viscosity, temperature, liquid density, and viscoelastic effects, which may confound the interpretation of observed signals. Nonspecific binding is indistinguishable from specific binding. Several techniques for refractive index sensing, such as planar wave guides and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), can also be used to observe biomolecular interactions localized at a surface. Again, nonspecific binding is indistinguishable from specific binding. In addition, the derivatized surface must be very thin and uniform to obtain adequate sensitivity and reproducibility, and the technique is not suited for monitoring large multiple protein complexes since the measurement sensitivity decreases rapidly with distance from the sensor surface. All of these techniques use planar surfaces that are difficult to prepare and characterize, and must be prepared fresh for each assay.

  19. Arthropods in amber from the Triassic Period.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Alexander R; Jancke, Saskia; Lindquist, Evert E; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Nascimbene, Paul C; Schmidt, Kerstin; Wappler, Torsten; Grimaldi, David A

    2012-09-11

    The occurrence of arthropods in amber exclusively from the Cretaceous and Cenozoic is widely regarded to be a result of the production and preservation of large amounts of tree resin beginning ca. 130 million years (Ma) ago. Abundant 230 million-year-old amber from the Late Triassic (Carnian) of northeastern Italy has previously yielded myriad microorganisms, but we report here that it also preserves arthropods some 100 Ma older than the earliest prior records in amber. The Triassic specimens are a nematoceran fly (Diptera) and two disparate species of mites, Triasacarus fedelei gen. et sp. nov., and Ampezzoa triassica gen. et sp. nov. These mites are the oldest definitive fossils of a group, the Eriophyoidea, which includes the gall mites and comprises at least 3,500 Recent species, 97% of which feed on angiosperms and represents one of the most specialized lineages of phytophagous arthropods. Antiquity of the gall mites in much their extant form was unexpected, particularly with the Triassic species already having many of their present-day features (such as only two pairs of legs); further, it establishes conifer feeding as an ancestral trait. Feeding by the fossil mites may have contributed to the formation of the amber droplets, but we find that the abundance of amber during the Carnian (ca. 230 Ma) is globally anomalous for the pre-Cretaceous and may, alternatively, be related to paleoclimate. Further recovery of arthropods in Carnian-aged amber is promising and will have profound implications for understanding the evolution of terrestrial members of the most diverse phylum of organisms.

  20. Arthropods in amber from the Triassic Period

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Alexander R.; Jancke, Saskia; Lindquist, Evert E.; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Schmidt, Kerstin; Wappler, Torsten; Grimaldi, David A.

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence of arthropods in amber exclusively from the Cretaceous and Cenozoic is widely regarded to be a result of the production and preservation of large amounts of tree resin beginning ca. 130 million years (Ma) ago. Abundant 230 million-year-old amber from the Late Triassic (Carnian) of northeastern Italy has previously yielded myriad microorganisms, but we report here that it also preserves arthropods some 100 Ma older than the earliest prior records in amber. The Triassic specimens are a nematoceran fly (Diptera) and two disparate species of mites, Triasacarus fedelei gen. et sp. nov., and Ampezzoa triassica gen. et sp. nov. These mites are the oldest definitive fossils of a group, the Eriophyoidea, which includes the gall mites and comprises at least 3,500 Recent species, 97% of which feed on angiosperms and represents one of the most specialized lineages of phytophagous arthropods. Antiquity of the gall mites in much their extant form was unexpected, particularly with the Triassic species already having many of their present-day features (such as only two pairs of legs); further, it establishes conifer feeding as an ancestral trait. Feeding by the fossil mites may have contributed to the formation of the amber droplets, but we find that the abundance of amber during the Carnian (ca. 230 Ma) is globally anomalous for the pre-Cretaceous and may, alternatively, be related to paleoclimate. Further recovery of arthropods in Carnian-aged amber is promising and will have profound implications for understanding the evolution of terrestrial members of the most diverse phylum of organisms. PMID:22927387

  1. Arthropods in amber from the Triassic Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Alexander R.; Jancke, Saskia; Lindquist, Evert E.; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Schmidt, Kerstin; Wappler, Torsten; Grimaldi, David A.

    2012-09-01

    The occurrence of arthropods in amber exclusively from the Cretaceous and Cenozoic is widely regarded to be a result of the production and preservation of large amounts of tree resin beginning ca. 130 million years (Ma) ago. Abundant 230 million-year-old amber from the Late Triassic (Carnian) of northeastern Italy has previously yielded myriad microorganisms, but we report here that it also preserves arthropods some 100 Ma older than the earliest prior records in amber. The Triassic specimens are a nematoceran fly (Diptera) and two disparate species of mites, Triasacarus fedelei gen. et sp. nov., and Ampezzoa triassica gen. et sp. nov. These mites are the oldest definitive fossils of a group, the Eriophyoidea, which includes the gall mites and comprises at least 3,500 Recent species, 97% of which feed on angiosperms and represents one of the most specialized lineages of phytophagous arthropods. Antiquity of the gall mites in much their extant form was unexpected, particularly with the Triassic species already having many of their present-day features (such as only two pairs of legs); further, it establishes conifer feeding as an ancestral trait. Feeding by the fossil mites may have contributed to the formation of the amber droplets, but we find that the abundance of amber during the Carnian (ca. 230 Ma) is globally anomalous for the pre-Cretaceous and may, alternatively, be related to paleoclimate. Further recovery of arthropods in Carnian-aged amber is promising and will have profound implications for understanding the evolution of terrestrial members of the most diverse phylum of organisms.

  2. An opilioacarid mite in Cretaceous Burmese amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlop, Jason A.; de Oliveira Bernardi, Leopoldo Ferreira

    2014-09-01

    A fossil opilioacarid mite (Parasitiformes: Opilioacarida) in Burmese amber is described as ? Opilioacarus groehni sp. nov. This ca. 99 Ma record (Upper Cretaceous: Cenomanian) represents only the third fossil example of this putatively basal mite lineage, the others originating from Eocene Baltic amber (ca. 44-49 Ma). Our new record is not only the oldest record of Opilioacarida, but it is also one of the oldest examples of the entire Parasitiformes clade. The presence of Opilioacarida—potentially Opiloacarus—in the Cretaceous of SE Asia suggests that some modern genus groups were formerly more widely distributed across the northern hemisphere, raising questions about previously suggested Gondwanan origins for these mites.

  3. Biomolecular halogen bonds.

    PubMed

    Ho, P Shing

    2015-01-01

    Halogens are atypical elements in biology, but are common as substituents in ligands, including thyroid hormones and inhibitors, which bind specifically to proteins and nucleic acids. The short-range, stabilizing interactions of halogens - now seen as relatively common in biology - conform generally to halogen bonds characterized in small molecule systems and as described by the σ-hole model. The unique properties of biomolecular halogen bonds (BXBs), particularly in their geometric and energetic relationship to classic hydrogen bonds, make them potentially powerful tools for inhibitor design and molecular engineering. This chapter reviews the current research on BXBs, focusing on experimental studies on their structure-energy relationships, how these studies inform the development of computational methods to model BXBs, and considers how BXBs can be applied to the rational design of more effective inhibitors against therapeutic targets and of new biological-based materials.

  4. GENESIS: a hybrid-parallel and multi-scale molecular dynamics simulator with enhanced sampling algorithms for biomolecular and cellular simulations.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jaewoon; Mori, Takaharu; Kobayashi, Chigusa; Matsunaga, Yasuhiro; Yoda, Takao; Feig, Michael; Sugita, Yuji

    2015-07-01

    GENESIS (Generalized-Ensemble Simulation System) is a new software package for molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of macromolecules. It has two MD simulators, called ATDYN and SPDYN. ATDYN is parallelized based on an atomic decomposition algorithm for the simulations of all-atom force-field models as well as coarse-grained Go-like models. SPDYN is highly parallelized based on a domain decomposition scheme, allowing large-scale MD simulations on supercomputers. Hybrid schemes combining OpenMP and MPI are used in both simulators to target modern multicore computer architectures. Key advantages of GENESIS are (1) the highly parallel performance of SPDYN for very large biological systems consisting of more than one million atoms and (2) the availability of various REMD algorithms (T-REMD, REUS, multi-dimensional REMD for both all-atom and Go-like models under the NVT, NPT, NPAT, and NPγT ensembles). The former is achieved by a combination of the midpoint cell method and the efficient three-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform algorithm, where the domain decomposition space is shared in real-space and reciprocal-space calculations. Other features in SPDYN, such as avoiding concurrent memory access, reducing communication times, and usage of parallel input/output files, also contribute to the performance. We show the REMD simulation results of a mixed (POPC/DMPC) lipid bilayer as a real application using GENESIS. GENESIS is released as free software under the GPLv2 licence and can be easily modified for the development of new algorithms and molecular models. WIREs Comput Mol Sci 2015, 5:310-323. doi: 10.1002/wcms.1220.

  5. GENESIS: a hybrid-parallel and multi-scale molecular dynamics simulator with enhanced sampling algorithms for biomolecular and cellular simulations

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Jaewoon; Mori, Takaharu; Kobayashi, Chigusa; Matsunaga, Yasuhiro; Yoda, Takao; Feig, Michael; Sugita, Yuji

    2015-01-01

    GENESIS (Generalized-Ensemble Simulation System) is a new software package for molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of macromolecules. It has two MD simulators, called ATDYN and SPDYN. ATDYN is parallelized based on an atomic decomposition algorithm for the simulations of all-atom force-field models as well as coarse-grained Go-like models. SPDYN is highly parallelized based on a domain decomposition scheme, allowing large-scale MD simulations on supercomputers. Hybrid schemes combining OpenMP and MPI are used in both simulators to target modern multicore computer architectures. Key advantages of GENESIS are (1) the highly parallel performance of SPDYN for very large biological systems consisting of more than one million atoms and (2) the availability of various REMD algorithms (T-REMD, REUS, multi-dimensional REMD for both all-atom and Go-like models under the NVT, NPT, NPAT, and NPγT ensembles). The former is achieved by a combination of the midpoint cell method and the efficient three-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform algorithm, where the domain decomposition space is shared in real-space and reciprocal-space calculations. Other features in SPDYN, such as avoiding concurrent memory access, reducing communication times, and usage of parallel input/output files, also contribute to the performance. We show the REMD simulation results of a mixed (POPC/DMPC) lipid bilayer as a real application using GENESIS. GENESIS is released as free software under the GPLv2 licence and can be easily modified for the development of new algorithms and molecular models. WIREs Comput Mol Sci 2015, 5:310–323. doi: 10.1002/wcms.1220 PMID:26753008

  6. Cretaceous African life captured in amber

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Alexander R.; Perrichot, Vincent; Svojtka, Matthias; Anderson, Ken B.; Belete, Kebede H.; Bussert, Robert; Dörfelt, Heinrich; Jancke, Saskia; Mohr, Barbara; Mohrmann, Eva; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Nel, André; Nel, Patricia; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Saupe, Erin E.; Schmidt, Kerstin; Schneider, Harald; Selden, Paul A.; Vávra, Norbert

    2010-01-01

    Amber is of great paleontological importance because it preserves a diverse array of organisms and associated remains from different habitats in and close to the amber-producing forests. Therefore, the discovery of amber inclusions is important not only for tracing the evolutionary history of lineages with otherwise poor fossil records, but also for elucidating the composition, diversity, and ecology of terrestrial paleoecosystems. Here, we report a unique find of African amber with inclusions, from the Cretaceous of Ethiopia. Ancient arthropods belonging to the ants, wasps, thrips, zorapterans, and spiders are the earliest African records of these ecologically important groups and constitute significant discoveries providing insight into the temporal and geographical origins of these lineages. Together with diverse microscopic inclusions, these findings reveal the interactions of plants, fungi and arthropods during an epoch of major change in terrestrial ecosystems, which was caused by the initial radiation of the angiosperms. Because of its age, paleogeographic location and the exceptional preservation of the inclusions, this fossil resin broadens our understanding of the ecology of Cretaceous woodlands. PMID:20368427

  7. Cretaceous African life captured in amber.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Alexander R; Perrichot, Vincent; Svojtka, Matthias; Anderson, Ken B; Belete, Kebede H; Bussert, Robert; Dörfelt, Heinrich; Jancke, Saskia; Mohr, Barbara; Mohrmann, Eva; Nascimbene, Paul C; Nel, André; Nel, Patricia; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Saupe, Erin E; Schmidt, Kerstin; Schneider, Harald; Selden, Paul A; Vávra, Norbert

    2010-04-20

    Amber is of great paleontological importance because it preserves a diverse array of organisms and associated remains from different habitats in and close to the amber-producing forests. Therefore, the discovery of amber inclusions is important not only for tracing the evolutionary history of lineages with otherwise poor fossil records, but also for elucidating the composition, diversity, and ecology of terrestrial paleoecosystems. Here, we report a unique find of African amber with inclusions, from the Cretaceous of Ethiopia. Ancient arthropods belonging to the ants, wasps, thrips, zorapterans, and spiders are the earliest African records of these ecologically important groups and constitute significant discoveries providing insight into the temporal and geographical origins of these lineages. Together with diverse microscopic inclusions, these findings reveal the interactions of plants, fungi and arthropods during an epoch of major change in terrestrial ecosystems, which was caused by the initial radiation of the angiosperms. Because of its age, paleogeographic location and the exceptional preservation of the inclusions, this fossil resin broadens our understanding of the ecology of Cretaceous woodlands.

  8. Engineering applications of biomolecular motors.

    PubMed

    Hess, Henry

    2011-08-15

    Biomolecular motors, in particular motor proteins from the kinesin and myosin families, can be used to explore engineering applications of molecular motors in general. Their outstanding performance enables the experimental study of hybrid systems, where bio-inspired functions such as sensing, actuation, and transport rely on the nanoscale generation of mechanical force. Scaling laws and theoretical studies demonstrate the optimality of biomolecular motor designs and inform the development of synthetic molecular motors.

  9. VFFDT: A New Software for Preparing AMBER Force Field Parameters for Metal-Containing Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Suqing; Tang, Qing; He, Jian; Du, Shiyu; Xu, Shaofang; Wang, Chaojie; Xu, Yong; Lin, Fu

    2016-04-25

    Force fields are fundamental to molecular dynamics simulations. However, the incompleteness of force field parameters has been a long-standing problem, especially for metal-related systems. In our previous work, we adopted the Seminario method based on the Hessian matrix to systematically derive the zinc-related force field parameters for AMBER. In this work, in order to further simplify the whole protocol, we have implemented a user-friendly Visual Force Field Derivation Toolkit (VFFDT) to derive the force field parameters via simply clicking on the bond or angle in the 3D viewer, and we have further extended our previous program to support the Hessian matrix output from a variety of quantum mechanics (QM) packages, including Gaussian 03/09, ORCA 3.0, QChem, GAMESS-US, and MOPAC 2009/2012. In this toolkit, a universal VFFDT XYZ file format containing the raw Hessian matrix is available for all of the QM packages, and an instant force field parametrization protocol based on a semiempirical quantum mechanics (SQM) method is introduced. The new function that can automatically obtain the relevant parameters for zinc, copper, iron, etc., which can be exported in AMBER Frcmod format, has been added. Furthermore, our VFFDT program can read and write files in AMBER Prepc, AMBER Frcmod, and AMBER Mol2 format and can also be used to customize, view, copy, and paste the force field parameters in the context of the 3D viewer, which provides utilities complementary to ANTECHAMBER, MCPB, and MCPB.py in the AmberTools.

  10. Penis morphology in a Burmese amber harvestman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlop, Jason A.; Selden, Paul A.; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-02-01

    A unique specimen of the fossil harvestman Halitherses grimaldii Giribet and Dunlop, 2005 (Arachnida: Opiliones) from the Cretaceous (ca. 99 Ma) Burmese amber of Myanmar reveals a fully extended penis. This is the first record of a male copulatory organ of this nature preserved in amber and is of special importance due to the age of the deposit. The penis has a slender, distally flattened truncus, a spatulate heart-shaped glans and a short distal stylus, twisted at the tip. In living harvestmen, the penis yields crucial characters for their systematics. Male genital morphology in H. grimaldii appears to be unique among the wider Dyspnoi clade to which this fossil belongs. The large eyes in the fossil differ markedly from other members of the subfamily Ortholasmatinae to which H. grimaldii was originally referred. Based on recent data, it has been argued that large eyes may be plesiomorphic for Palpatores (i.e. the suborders Eupnoi and Dyspnoi), potentially rendering this character plesiomorphic for the fossil too. Thus, the unique structure of the penis seen here, and the probable lack of diaphanous teeth, present in all other extant non-acropsopilionid Dyspnoi, suggest that H. grimaldii represents a new, extinct family of large-eyed dyspnoid harvestmen, Halithersidae fam. nov.; a higher taxon in amber diagnosed here on both somatic and genital characters.

  11. Penis morphology in a Burmese amber harvestman.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-02-01

    A unique specimen of the fossil harvestman Halitherses grimaldii Giribet and Dunlop, 2005 (Arachnida: Opiliones) from the Cretaceous (ca. 99 Ma) Burmese amber of Myanmar reveals a fully extended penis. This is the first record of a male copulatory organ of this nature preserved in amber and is of special importance due to the age of the deposit. The penis has a slender, distally flattened truncus, a spatulate heart-shaped glans and a short distal stylus, twisted at the tip. In living harvestmen, the penis yields crucial characters for their systematics. Male genital morphology in H. grimaldii appears to be unique among the wider Dyspnoi clade to which this fossil belongs. The large eyes in the fossil differ markedly from other members of the subfamily Ortholasmatinae to which H. grimaldii was originally referred. Based on recent data, it has been argued that large eyes may be plesiomorphic for Palpatores (i.e. the suborders Eupnoi and Dyspnoi), potentially rendering this character plesiomorphic for the fossil too. Thus, the unique structure of the penis seen here, and the probable lack of diaphanous teeth, present in all other extant non-acropsopilionid Dyspnoi, suggest that H. grimaldii represents a new, extinct family of large-eyed dyspnoid harvestmen, Halithersidae fam. nov.; a higher taxon in amber diagnosed here on both somatic and genital characters.

  12. Three-Dimensional Molecular Theory of Solvation Coupled with Molecular Dynamics in Amber

    SciTech Connect

    Luchko, T.; Simmerling, C.; Gusarov, S.; Roe, D.R., Case, D.A.; Tuszynski, J.; Kovalenko, A.

    2010-02-01

    We present the three-dimensional molecular theory of solvation (also known as 3D-RISM) coupled with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation by contracting solvent degrees of freedom, accelerated by extrapolating solvent-induced forces and applying them in large multiple time steps (up to 20 fs) to enable simulation of large biomolecules. The method has been implemented in the Amber molecular modeling package and is illustrated here on alanine-dipeptide and protein-G.

  13. First early Mesozoic amber in the Western Hemisphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litwin, Ronald J.; Ash, Sidney R.

    1991-03-01

    Detrital amber pebbles and granules have been discovered in Upper Triassic strata on the Colorado Plateau. Although amber pre-viously has been reported from Pennsylvanian, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary strata, we know of no other reported Triassic occurrence in North America or the Western Hemisphere. The newly discovered occurrences of amber are at two localities in the lower part of the Petrified }Forest Member of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. The paper coals and carbonaceous paper shales containing the amber also contain fossil palynomorph assemblages that indicate a late Carnian age for these occurrences.

  14. First early Mesozoic amber in the Western Hemisphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Litwin, R.J.; Ash, S.R.

    1991-01-01

    Detrital amber pebbles and granules have been discovered in Upper Triassic strata on the Colorado Plateau. Although amber previously has been reported from Pennsylvanian, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary strata, we know of no other reported Triassic occurrence in North America or the Western Hemisphere. The new discovered occurrences of amber are at two localities in the lower part of the Petrified Forest Member of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. The paper coals and carbonaceous paper shales containing the amber also contain fossil palynomorph assemblages that indicate a late Carnian age for these occurrences. -Authors

  15. Improvements in continuum modeling for biomolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Qiao; Ben-Zhuo, Lu

    2016-01-01

    Modeling of biomolecular systems plays an essential role in understanding biological processes, such as ionic flow across channels, protein modification or interaction, and cell signaling. The continuum model described by the Poisson- Boltzmann (PB)/Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equations has made great contributions towards simulation of these processes. However, the model has shortcomings in its commonly used form and cannot capture (or cannot accurately capture) some important physical properties of the biological systems. Considerable efforts have been made to improve the continuum model to account for discrete particle interactions and to make progress in numerical methods to provide accurate and efficient simulations. This review will summarize recent main improvements in continuum modeling for biomolecular systems, with focus on the size-modified models, the coupling of the classical density functional theory and the PNP equations, the coupling of polar and nonpolar interactions, and numerical progress. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 91230106) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Program for Cross & Cooperative Team of the Science & Technology Innovation.

  16. Markov state models of biomolecular conformational dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Chodera, John D.; Noé, Frank

    2014-01-01

    It has recently become practical to construct Markov state models (MSMs) that reproduce the long-time statistical conformational dynamics of biomolecules using data from molecular dynamics simulations. MSMs can predict both stationary and kinetic quantities on long timescales (e.g. milliseconds) using a set of atomistic molecular dynamics simulations that are individually much shorter, thus addressing the well-known sampling problem in molecular dynamics simulation. In addition to providing predictive quantitative models, MSMs greatly facilitate both the extraction of insight into biomolecular mechanism (such as folding and functional dynamics) and quantitative comparison with single-molecule and ensemble kinetics experiments. A variety of methodological advances and software packages now bring the construction of these models closer to routine practice. Here, we review recent progress in this field, considering theoretical and methodological advances, new software tools, and recent applications of these approaches in several domains of biochemistry and biophysics, commenting on remaining challenges. PMID:24836551

  17. Improved side-chain torsion potentials for the Amber ff99SB protein force field

    PubMed Central

    Lindorff-Larsen, Kresten; Piana, Stefano; Palmo, Kim; Maragakis, Paul; Klepeis, John L; Dror, Ron O; Shaw, David E

    2010-01-01

    Recent advances in hardware and software have enabled increasingly long molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of biomolecules, exposing certain limitations in the accuracy of the force fields used for such simulations and spurring efforts to refine these force fields. Recent modifications to the Amber and CHARMM protein force fields, for example, have improved the backbone torsion potentials, remedying deficiencies in earlier versions. Here, we further advance simulation accuracy by improving the amino acid side-chain torsion potentials of the Amber ff99SB force field. First, we used simulations of model alpha-helical systems to identify the four residue types whose rotamer distribution differed the most from expectations based on Protein Data Bank statistics. Second, we optimized the side-chain torsion potentials of these residues to match new, high-level quantum-mechanical calculations. Finally, we used microsecond-timescale MD simulations in explicit solvent to validate the resulting force field against a large set of experimental NMR measurements that directly probe side-chain conformations. The new force field, which we have termed Amber ff99SB-ILDN, exhibits considerably better agreement with the NMR data. Proteins 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:20408171

  18. Molecular dynamics simulation of triclinic lysozyme in a crystal lattice.

    PubMed

    Janowski, Pawel A; Liu, Chunmei; Deckman, Jason; Case, David A

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations of crystals can enlighten interpretation of experimental X-ray crystallography data and elucidate structural dynamics and heterogeneity in biomolecular crystals. Furthermore, because of the direct comparison against experimental data, they can inform assessment of molecular dynamics methods and force fields. We present microsecond scale results for triclinic hen egg-white lysozyme in a supercell consisting of 12 independent unit cells using four contemporary force fields (Amber ff99SB, ff14ipq, ff14SB, and CHARMM 36) in crystalline and solvated states (for ff14SB only). We find the crystal simulations consistent across multiple runs of the same force field and robust to various solvent equilibration schemes. However, convergence is slow compared with solvent simulations. All the tested force fields reproduce experimental structural and dynamic properties well, but Amber ff14SB maintains structure and reproduces fluctuations closest to the experimental model: its average backbone structure differs from the deposited structure by 0.37Å; by contrast, the average backbone structure in solution differs from the deposited by 0.65Å. All the simulations are affected by a small progressive deterioration of the crystal lattice, presumably due to imperfect modeling of hydrogen bonding and other crystal contact interactions; this artifact is smallest in ff14SB, with average lattice positions deviating by 0.20Å from ideal. Side-chain disorder is surprisingly low with fewer than 30% of the nonglycine or alanine residues exhibiting significantly populated alternate rotamers. Our results provide helpful insight into the methodology of biomolecular crystal simulations and indicate directions for future work to obtain more accurate energy models for molecular dynamics. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  19. OHANA, the AMBER/VLTI Snapshot Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivinius, T.; de Wit, W.; Demers, Z.; Quirrenbach, A.; VLTI Science Operations Team

    2016-11-01

    We report on the OHANA interferometric snapshot survey, carried out by the VLTI group at the Paranal observatory. It makes use of observing time not useful for any other scheduled scientific or technical tasks in the sense of a backup programme, to characterize the mass-loss for early-type stars. The survey employs the combination of AMBER's high spectral and spatial resolution. The spatially unresolved central object provides a reference frame for the fringe properties observed in the light of the continuum.

  20. Ambered kernels in stenospermocarpic fruit of eastern black walnut

    Treesearch

    Michele R. Warmund; J.W. Van Sambeek

    2014-01-01

    "Ambers" is a term used to describe poorly filled, shriveled eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) kernels with a dark brown or black-colored pellicle that are unmarketable. Studies were conducted to determine the incidence of ambered black walnut kernels and to ascertain when symptoms were apparent in specific tissues. The occurrence of...

  1. Global Langevin model of multidimensional biomolecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaudinnus, Norbert; Lickert, Benjamin; Biswas, Mithun; Stock, Gerhard

    2016-11-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations of biomolecular processes are often discussed in terms of diffusive motion on a low-dimensional free energy landscape F ( 𝒙 ) . To provide a theoretical basis for this interpretation, one may invoke the system-bath ansatz á la Zwanzig. That is, by assuming a time scale separation between the slow motion along the system coordinate x and the fast fluctuations of the bath, a memory-free Langevin equation can be derived that describes the system's motion on the free energy landscape F ( 𝒙 ) , which is damped by a friction field and driven by a stochastic force that is related to the friction via the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. While the theoretical formulation of Zwanzig typically assumes a highly idealized form of the bath Hamiltonian and the system-bath coupling, one would like to extend the approach to realistic data-based biomolecular systems. Here a practical method is proposed to construct an analytically defined global model of structural dynamics. Given a molecular dynamics simulation and adequate collective coordinates, the approach employs an "empirical valence bond"-type model which is suitable to represent multidimensional free energy landscapes as well as an approximate description of the friction field. Adopting alanine dipeptide and a three-dimensional model of heptaalanine as simple examples, the resulting Langevin model is shown to reproduce the results of the underlying all-atom simulations. Because the Langevin equation can also be shown to satisfy the underlying assumptions of the theory (such as a delta-correlated Gaussian-distributed noise), the global model provides a correct, albeit empirical, realization of Zwanzig's formulation. As an application, the model can be used to investigate the dependence of the system on parameter changes and to predict the effect of site-selective mutations on the dynamics.

  2. Lightweight object oriented structure analysis: tools for building tools to analyze molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Romo, Tod D; Leioatts, Nicholas; Grossfield, Alan

    2014-12-15

    LOOS (Lightweight Object Oriented Structure-analysis) is a C++ library designed to facilitate making novel tools for analyzing molecular dynamics simulations by abstracting out the repetitive tasks, allowing developers to focus on the scientifically relevant part of the problem. LOOS supports input using the native file formats of most common biomolecular simulation packages, including CHARMM, NAMD, Amber, Tinker, and Gromacs. A dynamic atom selection language based on the C expression syntax is included and is easily accessible to the tool-writer. In addition, LOOS is bundled with over 140 prebuilt tools, including suites of tools for analyzing simulation convergence, three-dimensional histograms, and elastic network models. Through modern C++ design, LOOS is both simple to develop with (requiring knowledge of only four core classes and a few utility functions) and is easily extensible. A python interface to the core classes is also provided, further facilitating tool development.

  3. Benchmarking AMBER Force Fields for RNA: Comparisons to NMR Spectra for Single-Stranded r(GACC) Are Improved by Revised χ Torsions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Accurately modeling unpaired regions of RNA is important for predicting structure, dynamics, and thermodynamics of folded RNA. Comparisons between NMR data and molecular dynamics simulations provide a test of force fields used for modeling. Here, NMR spectroscopy, including NOESY, 1H–31P HETCOR, DQF-COSY, and TOCSY, was used to determine conformational preferences for single-stranded GACC RNA. The spectra are consistent with a conformational ensemble containing major and minor A-form-like structures. In a series of 50 ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the AMBER99 force field in explicit solvent, initial A-form-like structures rapidly evolve to disordered conformations. A set of 50 ns simulations with revised χ torsions (AMBER99χ force field) gives two primary conformations, consistent with the NMR spectra. A single 1.9 μs MD simulation with the AMBER99χ force field showed that the major and minor conformations are retained for almost 68% of the time in the first 700 ns, with multiple transformations from A-form to non-A-form conformations. For the rest of the simulation, random-coil structures and a stable non-A-form conformation inconsistent with NMR spectra were seen. Evidently, the AMBER99χ force field improves structural predictions for single-stranded GACC RNA compared to the AMBER99 force field, but further force field improvements are needed. PMID:21721539

  4. Applications of diamond crystal ATR FTIR spectroscopy to the characterization of ambers.

    PubMed

    Guiliano, Michel; Asia, Laurence; Onoratini, Gérard; Mille, Gilbert

    2007-08-01

    Diamond crystal ATR FTIR spectroscopy is a rapid technique with virtually no sample preparation which requires small sample amounts and showed potential in the study of ambers. FTIR spectra of ambers present discriminating patterns and can be used to distinguish amber from immature resins as copal, to determine local or Baltic origin of archaeological ambers and to detect most of the falsifications encountered in the amber commercialisation.

  5. Stochastic computing with biomolecular automata.

    PubMed

    Adar, Rivka; Benenson, Yaakov; Linshiz, Gregory; Rosner, Amit; Tishby, Naftali; Shapiro, Ehud

    2004-07-06

    Stochastic computing has a broad range of applications, yet electronic computers realize its basic step, stochastic choice between alternative computation paths, in a cumbersome way. Biomolecular computers use a different computational paradigm and hence afford novel designs. We constructed a stochastic molecular automaton in which stochastic choice is realized by means of competition between alternative biochemical pathways, and choice probabilities are programmed by the relative molar concentrations of the software molecules coding for the alternatives. Programmable and autonomous stochastic molecular automata have been shown to perform direct analysis of disease-related molecular indicators in vitro and may have the potential to provide in situ medical diagnosis and cure.

  6. Effect of Mutation to Streptomycin Resistance on Amber Suppressor Genes

    PubMed Central

    Otsuji, Nozomu; Aono, Hiroyuki

    1968-01-01

    Three classes of nonidentical streptomycin-resistant mutations were distinguished in Escherichia coli by their effect on the efficiency of suppression by an amber suppressor gene, sup E. The first class of mutation caused a strong restriction in efficiency of suppression of an amber codon in various cistrons of phage λ and in an alkaline phosphatase structural gene of E. coli. The second class caused weak restriction, and the third class caused no restriction. The restrictive effect of the streptomycin resistance mutation of the first class on the sup E gene was reduced by addition of streptomycin. This mutation had little effect on efficiencies of suppression by amber suppressor genes sup D and sup F. Analyses on the alkaline phosphatase formed in the suppressor strain indicated that mutation to restrictive streptomycin resistance causes a reduction in translation of the amber codon in the alkaline phosphatase structural gene. Images PMID:4874314

  7. Ras and GTPase-activating protein (GAP) drive GTP into a precatalytic state as revealed by combining FTIR and biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Rudack, Till; Xia, Fei; Schlitter, Jürgen; Kötting, Carsten; Gerwert, Klaus

    2012-09-18

    Members of the Ras superfamily regulate many cellular processes. They are down-regulated by a GTPase reaction in which GTP is cleaved into GDP and P(i) by nucleophilic attack of a water molecule. Ras proteins accelerate GTP hydrolysis by a factor of 10(5) compared to GTP in water. GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) accelerate hydrolysis by another factor of 10(5) compared to Ras alone. Oncogenic mutations in Ras and GAPs slow GTP hydrolysis and are a factor in many cancers. Here, we elucidate in detail how this remarkable catalysis is brought about. We refined the protein-bound GTP structure and protein-induced charge shifts within GTP beyond the current resolution of X-ray structural models by combining quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics simulations with time-resolved Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The simulations were validated by comparing experimental and theoretical IR difference spectra. The reactant structure of GTP is destabilized by Ras via a conformational change from a staggered to an eclipsed position of the nonbridging oxygen atoms of the γ- relative to the β-phosphates and the further rotation of the nonbridging oxygen atoms of α- relative to the β- and γ-phosphates by GAP. Further, the γ-phosphate becomes more positive although two of its oxygen atoms remain negative. This facilitates the nucleophilic attack by the water oxygen at the phosphate and proton transfer to the oxygen. Detailed changes in geometry and charge distribution in the ligand below the resolution of X-ray structure analysis are important for catalysis. Such high resolution appears crucial for the understanding of enzyme catalysis.

  8. Incoporating Existing Large Applications in the PUPIL System: Amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trickey, Sam; Torras Costa, Juan; Seabra, Gustavo De Miranda; Roitberg, Adrian; Deumens, E.

    2007-03-01

    PUPIL (Program for User Package Interfacing and Linking)^1 inter-operates existing codes for multi-threaded, multi-scale quantum and classical mechanical simulations via JAVA, XML, JAVA, a C++ library, and minimally intrusive wrappers for each code. An architectural challenge for PUPIL is support of modules from a multi-scale QM-MD suite with much internal coupling. We have succeeded with the AMBER suite MD module (Sander), with Gaussian03 for QM. Our demonstration study is the decomposition of Angelis' salt with explict water. A variable quantum zone (solute and first solvation cell) was used, with the remaining waters via TIP3P. Sander calculated the Potential of Mean Force for the reaction through umbrella sampling, with the QM forces from Gaussian. We summarize PUPIL architecture and implementation aspects, report efficiency and overhead measures, and discuss the computed results. ^1J. Torras, E. Deumens and S.B. Trickey, J. Computer Aided Mat. Des. 13, 201 (2006); J. Torras et al. Comp. Phys. Comm. 2006 [accepted

  9. Ultraviolet photofragmentation of biomolecular ions

    PubMed Central

    Reilly, James P.

    2009-01-01

    Mass spectrometric identification of all types of molecules relies on the observation and interpretation of ion fragmentation patterns. Peptides, proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids that are often found as components of complex biological samples represent particularly important challenges. The most common strategies for fragmenting biomolecular ions include low- and high-energy collisional activation, post-source decay, and electron capture or transfer dissociation. Each of these methods has its own idiosyncrasies and advantages but encounters problems with some types of samples. Novel fragmentation methods that can offer improvements are always desirable. One approach that has been under study for years but is not yet incorporated into a commercial instrument is ultraviolet photofragmentation. This review discusses experimental results on various biological molecules that have been generated by several research groups using different light wavelengths and mass analyzers. Work involving short-wavelength vacuum ultraviolet light is particularly emphasized. The characteristics of photofragmentation are examined and its advantages summarized. PMID:19241462

  10. Integrative NMR for biomolecular research.

    PubMed

    Lee, Woonghee; Cornilescu, Gabriel; Dashti, Hesam; Eghbalnia, Hamid R; Tonelli, Marco; Westler, William M; Butcher, Samuel E; Henzler-Wildman, Katherine A; Markley, John L

    2016-04-01

    NMR spectroscopy is a powerful technique for determining structural and functional features of biomolecules in physiological solution as well as for observing their intermolecular interactions in real-time. However, complex steps associated with its practice have made the approach daunting for non-specialists. We introduce an NMR platform that makes biomolecular NMR spectroscopy much more accessible by integrating tools, databases, web services, and video tutorials that can be launched by simple installation of NMRFAM software packages or using a cross-platform virtual machine that can be run on any standard laptop or desktop computer. The software package can be downloaded freely from the NMRFAM software download page ( http://pine.nmrfam.wisc.edu/download_packages.html ), and detailed instructions are available from the Integrative NMR Video Tutorial page ( http://pine.nmrfam.wisc.edu/integrative.html ).

  11. Mining and state-space modeling and verification of sub-networks from large-scale biomolecular networks.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiaohua; Wu, Fang-Xiang

    2007-08-31

    Biomolecular networks dynamically respond to stimuli and implement cellular function. Understanding these dynamic changes is the key challenge for cell biologists. As biomolecular networks grow in size and complexity, the model of a biomolecular network must become more rigorous to keep track of all the components and their interactions. In general this presents the need for computer simulation to manipulate and understand the biomolecular network model. In this paper, we present a novel method to model the regulatory system which executes a cellular function and can be represented as a biomolecular network. Our method consists of two steps. First, a novel scale-free network clustering approach is applied to the large-scale biomolecular network to obtain various sub-networks. Second, a state-space model is generated for the sub-networks and simulated to predict their behavior in the cellular context. The modeling results represent hypotheses that are tested against high-throughput data sets (microarrays and/or genetic screens) for both the natural system and perturbations. Notably, the dynamic modeling component of this method depends on the automated network structure generation of the first component and the sub-network clustering, which are both essential to make the solution tractable. Experimental results on time series gene expression data for the human cell cycle indicate our approach is promising for sub-network mining and simulation from large-scale biomolecular network.

  12. Mining and state-space modeling and verification of sub-networks from large-scale biomolecular networks

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiaohua; Wu, Fang-Xiang

    2007-01-01

    Background Biomolecular networks dynamically respond to stimuli and implement cellular function. Understanding these dynamic changes is the key challenge for cell biologists. As biomolecular networks grow in size and complexity, the model of a biomolecular network must become more rigorous to keep track of all the components and their interactions. In general this presents the need for computer simulation to manipulate and understand the biomolecular network model. Results In this paper, we present a novel method to model the regulatory system which executes a cellular function and can be represented as a biomolecular network. Our method consists of two steps. First, a novel scale-free network clustering approach is applied to the large-scale biomolecular network to obtain various sub-networks. Second, a state-space model is generated for the sub-networks and simulated to predict their behavior in the cellular context. The modeling results represent hypotheses that are tested against high-throughput data sets (microarrays and/or genetic screens) for both the natural system and perturbations. Notably, the dynamic modeling component of this method depends on the automated network structure generation of the first component and the sub-network clustering, which are both essential to make the solution tractable. Conclusion Experimental results on time series gene expression data for the human cell cycle indicate our approach is promising for sub-network mining and simulation from large-scale biomolecular network. PMID:17764552

  13. Building a More Predictive Protein Force Field: A Systematic and Reproducible Route to AMBER-FB15.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lee-Ping; McKiernan, Keri A; Gomes, Joseph; Beauchamp, Kyle A; Head-Gordon, Teresa; Rice, Julia E; Swope, William C; Martínez, Todd J; Pande, Vijay S

    2017-04-06

    The increasing availability of high-quality experimental data and first-principles calculations creates opportunities for developing more accurate empirical force fields for simulation of proteins. We developed the AMBER-FB15 protein force field by building a high-quality quantum chemical data set consisting of comprehensive potential energy scans and employing the ForceBalance software package for parameter optimization. The optimized potential surface allows for more significant thermodynamic fluctuations away from local minima. In validation studies where simulation results are compared to experimental measurements, AMBER-FB15 in combination with the updated TIP3P-FB water model predicts equilibrium properties with equivalent accuracy, and temperature dependent properties with significantly improved accuracy, in comparison with published models. We also discuss the effect of changing the protein force field and water model on the simulation results.

  14. Evaluating amber force fields using computed NMR chemical shifts.

    PubMed

    Koes, David R; Vries, John K

    2017-10-01

    NMR chemical shifts can be computed from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using a template matching approach and a library of conformers containing chemical shifts generated from ab initio quantum calculations. This approach has potential utility for evaluating the force fields that underlie these simulations. Imperfections in force fields generate flawed atomic coordinates. Chemical shifts obtained from flawed coordinates have errors that can be traced back to these imperfections. We use this approach to evaluate a series of AMBER force fields that have been refined over the course of two decades (ff94, ff96, ff99SB, ff14SB, ff14ipq, and ff15ipq). For each force field a series of MD simulations are carried out for eight model proteins. The calculated chemical shifts for the (1) H, (15) N, and (13) C(a) atoms are compared with experimental values. Initial evaluations are based on root mean squared (RMS) errors at the protein level. These results are further refined based on secondary structure and the types of atoms involved in nonbonded interactions. The best chemical shift for identifying force field differences is the shift associated with peptide protons. Examination of the model proteins on a residue by residue basis reveals that force field performance is highly dependent on residue position. Examination of the time course of nonbonded interactions at these sites provides explanations for chemical shift differences at the atomic coordinate level. Results show that the newer ff14ipq and ff15ipq force fields developed with the implicitly polarized charge method perform better than the older force fields. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Microbial Cretaceous park: biodiversity of microbial fossils entrapped in amber.

    PubMed

    Martín-González, Ana; Wierzchos, Jacek; Gutiérrez, Juan C; Alonso, Jesús; Ascaso, Carmen

    2009-05-01

    Microorganisms are the most ancient cells on this planet and they include key phyla for understanding cell evolution and Earth history, but, unfortunately, their microbial records are scarce. Here, we present a critical review of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms entrapped in Cretaceous ambers (but not exclusively from this geological period) obtained from deposits worldwide. Microbiota in ambers are rather diverse and include bacteria, fungi, and protists. We comment on the most important microbial records from the last 25 years, although it is not an exhaustive bibliographic compilation. The most frequently reported eukaryotic microfossils are shells of amoebae and protists with a cell wall or a complex cortex. Likewise, diverse dormant stages (palmeloid forms, resting cysts, spores, etc.) are abundant in ambers. Besides, viral and protist pathogens have been identified inside insects entrapped in amber. The situation regarding filamentous bacteria and fungi is quite confusing because in some cases, the same record was identified consecutively as a member of these phylogenetically distant groups. To avoid these identification errors in the future, we propose to apply a more resolute microscopic and analytical method in amber studies. Also, we discuss the most recent findings about ancient DNA repair and bacterial survival in remote substrates, which support the real possibility of ancient DNA amplification and bacterial resuscitation from Cretaceous resins.

  16. Microbial Cretaceous park: biodiversity of microbial fossils entrapped in amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-González, Ana; Wierzchos, Jacek; Gutiérrez, Juan C.; Alonso, Jesús; Ascaso, Carmen

    2009-05-01

    Microorganisms are the most ancient cells on this planet and they include key phyla for understanding cell evolution and Earth history, but, unfortunately, their microbial records are scarce. Here, we present a critical review of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms entrapped in Cretaceous ambers (but not exclusively from this geological period) obtained from deposits worldwide. Microbiota in ambers are rather diverse and include bacteria, fungi, and protists. We comment on the most important microbial records from the last 25 years, although it is not an exhaustive bibliographic compilation. The most frequently reported eukaryotic microfossils are shells of amoebae and protists with a cell wall or a complex cortex. Likewise, diverse dormant stages (palmeloid forms, resting cysts, spores, etc.) are abundant in ambers. Besides, viral and protist pathogens have been identified inside insects entrapped in amber. The situation regarding filamentous bacteria and fungi is quite confusing because in some cases, the same record was identified consecutively as a member of these phylogenetically distant groups. To avoid these identification errors in the future, we propose to apply a more resolute microscopic and analytical method in amber studies. Also, we discuss the most recent findings about ancient DNA repair and bacterial survival in remote substrates, which support the real possibility of ancient DNA amplification and bacterial resuscitation from Cretaceous resins.

  17. Solution influence on biomolecular equilibria - Nucleic acid base associations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, A.; Pratt, L. R.; Burt, S. K.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1984-01-01

    Various attempts to construct an understanding of the influence of solution environment on biomolecular equilibria at the molecular level using computer simulation are discussed. First, the application of the formal statistical thermodynamic program for investigating biomolecular equilibria in solution is presented, addressing modeling and conceptual simplications such as perturbative methods, long-range interaction approximations, surface thermodynamics, and hydration shell. Then, Monte Carlo calculations on the associations of nucleic acid bases in both polar and nonpolar solvents such as water and carbon tetrachloride are carried out. The solvent contribution to the enthalpy of base association is positive (destabilizing) in both polar and nonpolar solvents while negative enthalpies for stacked complexes are obtained only when the solute-solute in vacuo energy is added to the total energy. The release upon association of solvent molecules from the first hydration layer around a solute to the bulk is accompanied by an increase in solute-solvent energy and decrease in solvent-solvent energy. The techniques presented are expectd to displace less molecular and more heuristic modeling of biomolecular equilibria in solution.

  18. Solution influence on biomolecular equilibria - Nucleic acid base associations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, A.; Pratt, L. R.; Burt, S. K.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1984-01-01

    Various attempts to construct an understanding of the influence of solution environment on biomolecular equilibria at the molecular level using computer simulation are discussed. First, the application of the formal statistical thermodynamic program for investigating biomolecular equilibria in solution is presented, addressing modeling and conceptual simplications such as perturbative methods, long-range interaction approximations, surface thermodynamics, and hydration shell. Then, Monte Carlo calculations on the associations of nucleic acid bases in both polar and nonpolar solvents such as water and carbon tetrachloride are carried out. The solvent contribution to the enthalpy of base association is positive (destabilizing) in both polar and nonpolar solvents while negative enthalpies for stacked complexes are obtained only when the solute-solute in vacuo energy is added to the total energy. The release upon association of solvent molecules from the first hydration layer around a solute to the bulk is accompanied by an increase in solute-solvent energy and decrease in solvent-solvent energy. The techniques presented are expectd to displace less molecular and more heuristic modeling of biomolecular equilibria in solution.

  19. Mining, modeling, and evaluation of subnetworks from large biomolecular networks and its comparison study.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiaohua; Ng, Michael; Wu, Fang-Xiang; Sokhansanj, Bahrad A

    2009-03-01

    In this paper, we present a novel method to mine, model, and evaluate a regulatory system executing cellular functions that can be represented as a biomolecular network. Our method consists of two steps. First, a novel scale-free network clustering approach is applied to such a biomolecular network to obtain various subnetworks. Second, computational models are generated for the subnetworks and simulated to predict their behavior in the cellular context. We discuss and evaluate some of the advanced computational modeling approaches, in particular, state-space modeling, probabilistic Boolean network modeling, and fuzzy logic modeling. The modeling and simulation results represent hypotheses that are tested against high-throughput biological datasets (microarrays and/or genetic screens) under normal and perturbation conditions. Experimental results on time-series gene expression data for the human cell cycle indicate that our approach is promising for subnetwork mining and simulation from large biomolecular networks.

  20. Two new fossil species of Cryptocephalus Geoffroy (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) from Baltic and Dominican Amber

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Two new species of Cryptocephalus Geoffroy (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) are described and illustrated from fossil resin: Cryptocephalus groehni sp. nov (Baltic amber) and Cryptocephalus kheelorum sp. nov. (Dominican amber). These are the first described species of Cryptocephalinae from fossil resin. ...

  1. Impact Amber, Popcorn, and Pathology: The Biology of Impact Melt Breccias and Implications for Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, R. S.; Schultz, P. H.

    2007-03-01

    We present evidence that superheated impact melts can trap and preserve both floral and faunal remains forming "impact amber." We discuss terrestrial occurrences of impact amber and the strategy it suggests in searching for evidence of past life on other

  2. [Advances in biomolecular machine: methane monooxygenases].

    PubMed

    Lu, Jixue; Wang, Shizhen; Fang, Baishan

    2015-07-01

    Methane monooxygenases (MMO), regarded as "an amazing biomolecular machine", catalyze the oxidation of methane to methanol under aerobic conditions. MMO catalyze the oxidation of methane elaborately, which is a novel way to catalyze methane to methanol. Furthermore, MMO can inspire the biomolecular machine design. In this review, we introduced MMO including structure, gene and catalytic mechanism. The history and the taxonomy of MMO were also introduced.

  3. A new proposal concerning the botanical origin of Baltic amber

    PubMed Central

    Wolfe, Alexander P.; Tappert, Ralf; Muehlenbachs, Karlis; Boudreau, Marc; McKellar, Ryan C.; Basinger, James F.; Garrett, Amber

    2009-01-01

    Baltic amber constitutes the largest known deposit of fossil plant resin and the richest repository of fossil insects of any age. Despite a remarkable legacy of archaeological, geochemical and palaeobiological investigation, the botanical origin of this exceptional resource remains controversial. Here, we use taxonomically explicit applications of solid-state Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy, coupled with multivariate clustering and palaeobotanical observations, to propose that conifers of the family Sciadopityaceae, closely allied to the sole extant representative, Sciadopitys verticillata, were involved in the genesis of Baltic amber. The fidelity of FTIR-based chemotaxonomic inferences is upheld by modern–fossil comparisons of resins from additional conifer families and genera (Cupressaceae: Metasequoia; Pinaceae: Pinus and Pseudolarix). Our conclusions challenge hypotheses advocating members of either of the families Araucariaceae or Pinaceae as the primary amber-producing trees and correlate favourably with the progressive demise of subtropical forest biomes from northern Europe as palaeotemperatures cooled following the Eocene climate optimum. PMID:19570786

  4. Examination of amber and related materials by NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Joseph B; Santiago-Blay, Jorge A; Wu, Yuyang; Levy, Allison J

    2015-01-01

    Examination of the solid-state (13)C and solution (1)H NMR spectra of fossilized resins (ambers) has generated five groupings of materials based on spectral characteristics. The worldwide Group A is associated with the botanical family of the Araucariaceae. The worldwide Group B is associated with the Dipterocarpaceae. Baltic amber or succinite (Group C) is related to Group A but with a disputed conifer source. Amber from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa is associated with the Fabaceae, the genus Hymenaea in particular. The minor Group E contains the rare fossil polystyrene. The spectra of jet indicate that it is a coal-like material with a rank between lignite and sub-bituminous coal.

  5. IOT Overview: Calibrations of the VLTI Instruments (MIDI and AMBER)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morel, S.; Rantakyrö, F.; Rivinius, T.; Stefl, S.; Hummel, C.; Brillant, S.; Schöller, M.; Percheron, I.; Wittkowski, M.; Richichi, A.; Ballester, P.

    We present here a short review of the calibration processes that are currently applied to the instruments AMBER and MIDI of the VLTI (Very Large Telescope Interferometer) at Paranal. We first introduce the general principles to calibrate the raw data (the "visibilities") that have been measured by long-baseline optical interferometry. Then, we focus on the specific case of the scientific operation of the VLTI instruments. We explain the criteria that have been used to select calibrator stars for the observations with the VLTI instruments, as well as the routine internal calibration techniques. Among these techniques, the "P2VM" (Pixel-to-Visibility Matrix) in the case of AMBER is explained. Also, the daily monitoring of AMBER and MIDI, that has recently been implemented, is shortly introduced.

  6. MSMBuilder: Statistical Models for Biomolecular Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Harrigan, Matthew P; Sultan, Mohammad M; Hernández, Carlos X; Husic, Brooke E; Eastman, Peter; Schwantes, Christian R; Beauchamp, Kyle A; McGibbon, Robert T; Pande, Vijay S

    2017-01-10

    MSMBuilder is a software package for building statistical models of high-dimensional time-series data. It is designed with a particular focus on the analysis of atomistic simulations of biomolecular dynamics such as protein folding and conformational change. MSMBuilder is named for its ability to construct Markov state models (MSMs), a class of models that has gained favor among computational biophysicists. In addition to both well-established and newer MSM methods, the package includes complementary algorithms for understanding time-series data such as hidden Markov models and time-structure based independent component analysis. MSMBuilder boasts an easy to use command-line interface, as well as clear and consistent abstractions through its Python application programming interface. MSMBuilder was developed with careful consideration for compatibility with the broader machine learning community by following the design of scikit-learn. The package is used primarily by practitioners of molecular dynamics, but is just as applicable to other computational or experimental time-series measurements. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Coordination and control inside simple biomolecular machines.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jin

    2014-01-01

    Biomolecular machines can achieve physiological functions precisely and efficiently, though they always operate under fluctuations and noises. We review two types of simple machinery that we have recently studied. The machinery can be regarded as molecular motors. They transform chemical free energy from NTP hydrolysis to mechanical work. One type belongs to small monomeric helicases that move directionally along single-stranded nucleic acid, and may further unwind the duplex part for gene replication or repair. The other type belongs to ring-shaped NTPase motors that also move or transport nucleic acid or protein substrate in a directional manner, such as for genome packaging or protein degradation. The central issue in this review is on how the machinery coordinates essential degrees of freedom during the mechanochemical coupling process. Further concerns include how the coordination and control are manifested in experiments, and how they can be captured well in modeling and computational research. We employed atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, coarse-grained analyses, and stochastic modeling techniques to examine the molecular machines at multiple resolutions and timescales. Detailed descriptions on how the protein interacts with its substrate at interface, as well as how multiple protein subunits are coordinated are summarized.

  8. BIND—The Biomolecular Interaction Network Database

    PubMed Central

    Bader, Gary D.; Donaldson, Ian; Wolting, Cheryl; Ouellette, B. F. Francis; Pawson, Tony; Hogue, Christopher W. V.

    2001-01-01

    The Biomolecular Interaction Network Database (BIND; http://binddb.org) is a database designed to store full descriptions of interactions, molecular complexes and pathways. Development of the BIND 2.0 data model has led to the incorporation of virtually all components of molecular mechanisms including interactions between any two molecules composed of proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules. Chemical reactions, photochemical activation and conformational changes can also be described. Everything from small molecule biochemistry to signal transduction is abstracted in such a way that graph theory methods may be applied for data mining. The database can be used to study networks of interactions, to map pathways across taxonomic branches and to generate information for kinetic simulations. BIND anticipates the coming large influx of interaction information from high-throughput proteomics efforts including detailed information about post-translational modifications from mass spectrometry. Version 2.0 of the BIND data model is discussed as well as implementation, content and the open nature of the BIND project. The BIND data specification is available as ASN.1 and XML DTD. PMID:11125103

  9. Multidimensional persistence in biomolecular data.

    PubMed

    Xia, Kelin; Wei, Guo-Wei

    2015-07-30

    Persistent homology has emerged as a popular technique for the topological simplification of big data, including biomolecular data. Multidimensional persistence bears considerable promise to bridge the gap between geometry and topology. However, its practical and robust construction has been a challenge. We introduce two families of multidimensional persistence, namely pseudomultidimensional persistence and multiscale multidimensional persistence. The former is generated via the repeated applications of persistent homology filtration to high-dimensional data, such as results from molecular dynamics or partial differential equations. The latter is constructed via isotropic and anisotropic scales that create new simiplicial complexes and associated topological spaces. The utility, robustness, and efficiency of the proposed topological methods are demonstrated via protein folding, protein flexibility analysis, the topological denoising of cryoelectron microscopy data, and the scale dependence of nanoparticles. Topological transition between partial folded and unfolded proteins has been observed in multidimensional persistence. The separation between noise topological signatures and molecular topological fingerprints is achieved by the Laplace-Beltrami flow. The multiscale multidimensional persistent homology reveals relative local features in Betti-0 invariants and the relatively global characteristics of Betti-1 and Betti-2 invariants. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Engineered nanoparticles for biomolecular imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmoudi, Morteza; Serpooshan, Vahid; Laurent, Sophie

    2011-08-01

    In recent years, the production of nanoparticles (NPs) and exploration of their unusual properties have attracted the attention of physicists, chemists, biologists and engineers. Interest in NPs arises from the fact that the mechanical, chemical, electrical, optical, magnetic, electro-optical and magneto-optical properties of these particles are different from their bulk properties and depend on the particle size. There are numerous areas where nanoparticulate systems are of scientific and technological interest, particularly in biomedicine where the emergence of NPs with specific properties (e.g. magnetic and fluorescence) for contrast agents can lead to advancing the understanding of biological processes at the biomolecular level. This review will cover a full description of the physics of various imaging methods, including MRI, optical techniques, X-rays and CT. In addition, the effect of NPs on the improvement of the mentioned non-invasive imaging methods will be discussed together with their advantages and disadvantages. A detailed discussion will also be provided on the recent advances in imaging agents, such as fluorescent dye-doped silica NPs, quantum dots, gold- and engineered polymeric-NPs, superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs (SPIONs), and multimodal NPs (i.e. nanomaterials that are active in both MRI and optical methods), which are employed to overcome many of the limitations of conventional contrast agents (e.g. gadolinium).

  11. Multidimensional persistence in biomolecular data

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Kelin; Wei, Guo-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Persistent homology has emerged as a popular technique for the topological simplification of big data, including biomolecular data. Multidimensional persistence bears considerable promise to bridge the gap between geometry and topology. However, its practical and robust construction has been a challenge. We introduce two families of multidimensional persistence, namely pseudo-multidimensional persistence and multiscale multidimensional persistence. The former is generated via the repeated applications of persistent homology filtration to high dimensional data, such as results from molecular dynamics or partial differential equations. The latter is constructed via isotropic and anisotropic scales that create new simiplicial complexes and associated topological spaces. The utility, robustness and efficiency of the proposed topological methods are demonstrated via protein folding, protein flexibility analysis, the topological denoising of cryo-electron microscopy data, and the scale dependence of nano particles. Topological transition between partial folded and unfolded proteins has been observed in multidimensional persistence. The separation between noise topological signatures and molecular topological fingerprints is achieved by the Laplace-Beltrami flow. The multiscale multidimensional persistent homology reveals relative local features in Betti-0 invariants and the relatively global characteristics of Betti-1 and Betti-2 invariants. PMID:26032339

  12. Improving Computational Predictions of Single-Stranded RNA Tetramers with Revised α/γ Torsional Parameters for the Amber Force Field.

    PubMed

    Wales, David J; Yildirim, Ilyas

    2017-04-13

    With current advancements in RNA based therapeutics, it is becoming crucial to utilize theoretical and computational methods to describe properly the physical properties of RNA molecules. NMR and X-ray crystallography are two powerful techniques for investigating structural properties. However, if the RNA molecules are complex or dynamic, these methods might not be adequate. For computational approaches, the quality of the force field will determine accuracy of our predictions. In this contribution, we revise the α/γ torsional parameters of RNA for amber force field using a model system representing an RNA dimer backbone. Combined with revised χ torsional parameters, previously shown to improve computational predictions, we benchmarked the revised force field on five single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) tetramers, three RNA dodecamer duplexes, and an RNA hairpin. A total of 60 μs of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were run. We also employ the discrete path sampling (DPS) approach to compare the predictions for the revised amber force field with those for amber10. Our results indicate that the unphysical states observed with amber10 in ssRNA MD simulations are suppressed for the revised amber force field. In line with NMR experimental observations, incorporation of the revised α/γ and χ torsional parameters leads to A-form-like conformational states as the most favorable ssRNA tetramer conformations. Furthermore, the revised force field maintains the A-form geometry in regular RNA duplexes. Our revised amber force field for RNA should therefore improve structural and thermodynamic predictions for challenging RNA systems.

  13. Microsecond-Scale MD Simulations of HIV-1 DIS Kissing-Loop Complexes Predict Bulged-In Conformation of the Bulged Bases and Reveal Interesting Differences between Available Variants of the AMBER RNA Force Fields.

    PubMed

    Havrila, Marek; Zgarbová, Marie; Jurečka, Petr; Banáš, Pavel; Krepl, Miroslav; Otyepka, Michal; Šponer, Jiří

    2015-12-10

    We report an extensive set of explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations (∼25 μs of accumulated simulation time) of the RNA kissing-loop complex of the HIV-1 virus initiation dimerization site. Despite many structural investigations by X-ray, NMR, and MD techniques, the position of the bulged purines of the kissing complex has not been unambiguously resolved. The X-ray structures consistently show bulged-out positions of the unpaired bases, while several NMR studies show bulged-in conformations. The NMR studies are, however, mutually inconsistent regarding the exact orientations of the bases. The earlier simulation studies predicted the bulged-out conformation; however, this finding could have been biased by the short simulation time scales. Our microsecond-long simulations reveal that all unpaired bases of the kissing-loop complex stay preferably in the interior of the kissing-loop complex. The MD results are discussed in the context of the available experimental data and we suggest that both conformations are biochemically relevant. We also show that MD provides a quite satisfactory description of this RNA system, contrasting recent reports of unsatisfactory performance of the RNA force fields for smaller systems such as tetranucleotides and tetraloops. We explain this by the fact that the kissing complex is primarily stabilized by an extensive network of Watson-Crick interactions which are rather well described by the force fields. We tested several different sets of water/ion parameters but they all lead to consistent results. However, we demonstrate that a recently suggested modification of van der Waals interactions of the Cornell et al. force field deteriorates the description of the kissing complex by the loss of key stacking interactions stabilizing the interhelical junction and excessive hydrogen-bonding interactions.

  14. Introduction to Molecular Dynamics: Theory and Applications in Biomolecular Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yi; McCammon, J. Andrew

    Since the first molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of a protein was performed over 30 years ago[87], MD has been used to study a variety of biomolecular systems, including proteins, nucleotides, lipid bilayers, and carbohydrates[88, 16, 64, 101]. Today, the problems tackled by MD range from large conformational changes in proteins to free energy differences associated with subtle modifications in ligands[65, 46, 62, 127]. Since the high spatial and temporal resolution of MD is rarely achieved in conventional experimental techniques, MD is increasingly used in combination with various experimental methods to provide a multiscale description of the structure, dynamics, and function of a biomolecule.

  15. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Nel, André; Néraudeau, Didier; Lacau, Sébastien; Guyot, Thierry

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  16. GPU acceleration of Dock6's Amber scoring computation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hailong; Zhou, Qiongqiong; Li, Bo; Wang, Yongjian; Luan, Zhongzhi; Qian, Depei; Li, Hanlu

    2010-01-01

    Dressing the problem of virtual screening is a long-term goal in the drug discovery field, which if properly solved, can significantly shorten new drugs' R&D cycle. The scoring functionality that evaluates the fitness of the docking result is one of the major challenges in virtual screening. In general, scoring functionality in docking requires a large amount of floating-point calculations, which usually takes several weeks or even months to be finished. This time-consuming procedure is unacceptable, especially when highly fatal and infectious virus arises such as SARS and H1N1, which forces the scoring task to be done in a limited time. This paper presents how to leverage the computational power of GPU to accelerate Dock6's (http://dock.compbio.ucsf.edu/DOCK_6/) Amber (J. Comput. Chem. 25: 1157-1174, 2004) scoring with NVIDIA CUDA (NVIDIA Corporation Technical Staff, Compute Unified Device Architecture - Programming Guide, NVIDIA Corporation, 2008) (Compute Unified Device Architecture) platform. We also discuss many factors that will greatly influence the performance after porting the Amber scoring to GPU, including thread management, data transfer, and divergence hidden. Our experiments show that the GPU-accelerated Amber scoring achieves a 6.5× speedup with respect to the original version running on AMD dual-core CPU for the same problem size. This acceleration makes the Amber scoring more competitive and efficient for large-scale virtual screening problems.

  17. Structural changes in amber due to uranium mineralization.

    PubMed

    Havelcová, Martina; Machovič, Vladimír; Mizera, Jiří; Sýkorová, Ivana; René, Miloš; Borecká, Lenka; Lapčák, Ladislav; Bičáková, Olga; Janeček, Oldřich; Dvořák, Zdeněk

    2016-07-01

    The presence of uranium, with a bulk mass fraction of about 1.5 wt% and radiolytic alterations are a feature of Cenomanian amber from Křižany, at the northeastern edge of the North Bohemian Cretaceous uranium ore district. Pores and microcracks in the amber were filled with a mineral admixture, mainly in the form of Zr-Y-REE enriched uraninite. As a result of radiolytic alterations due to the presence of uranium, structural changes were observed in the Křižany amber in comparison with a reference amber from Nové Strašecí in central Bohemia; this was of similar age and botanical origin but did not contain elevated levels of uranium. Structural changes involved an increase in aromaticity due to dehydroaromatization of aliphatic cyclic hydrocarbons, loss of oxygen functional groups, an increase in the degree of polymerization, crosslinking of CC bonds, formation of a three-dimensional hydrocarbon network in the bulk organic matrix, and carbonization of the organic matrix around the uraninite infill.

  18. Biomolecular electrostatics and solvation: a computational perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Pengyu; Chun, Jaehun; Thomas, Dennis G.; Schnieders, Michael; Marucho, Marcelo; Zhang, Jiajing; Baker, Nathan A.

    2012-11-01

    An understanding of molecular interactions is essential for insight into biological systems at the molecular scale. Among the various components of molecular interactions, electrostatics are of special importance because of their long-range nature and their influence on polar or charged molecules, including water, aqueous ions, proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and membrane lipids. In particular, robust models of electrostatic interactions are essential for understanding the solvation properties of biomolecules and the effects of solvation upon biomolecular folding, binding, enzyme catalysis and dynamics. Electrostatics, therefore, are of central importance to understanding biomolecular structure and modeling interactions within and among biological molecules. This review discusses the solvation of biomolecules with a computational biophysics view towards describing the phenomenon. While our main focus lies on the computational aspect of the models, we summarize the common characteristics of biomolecular solvation (e.g., solvent structure, polarization, ion binding, and nonpolar behavior) in order to provide reasonable backgrounds to understand the solvation models.

  19. A Validation Study of the General Amber Force Field Applied to Energetic Molecular Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergh, Magnus; Caleman, Carl

    2016-01-01

    Molecula dynamics is a well-established tool to computationally study molecules. However, to reach predictive capability at the level required for applied research and design, extensive validation of the available force fields is pertinent. Here we present a study of density, isothermal compressibility and coefficients of thermal expansion of four energetic materials (FOX-7, RDX, CL-20 and HMX) based on molecular dynamics simulations with the General Amber Force Field (GAFF), and compare the results to experimental measurements from the literature. Furthermore, we quantify the accuracy of the calculated properties through hydrocode simulation of a typical impact scenario. We find that molecular dynamics simulations with generic and computationally efficient force fields may be used to understand and estimate important physical properties of nitramine-like energetic materials.

  20. Logistic map analysis of biomolecular network evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, R. R.; Isambert, H.

    2011-11-01

    We study the expansion of biomolecular networks from the view point of first evolutionary principles based on the duplication and divergence of ancestral genes. The expansion of gene families and subnetworks is analyzed in terms of logistic map compositions, which capture the varying functional constraints of individual genes in the course of evolution. Using a mean-field approach, we then demonstrate the existence of spontaneous growth-rate variations between gene families and discuss the relevance of such heterogeneous expansions for the emergent properties of actual biomolecular networks.

  1. A Test on Peptide Stability of AMBER Force Fields with Implicit Solvation

    PubMed Central

    Shell, M. Scott; Ritterson, Ryan; Dill, Ken A.

    2009-01-01

    We used replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD) simulations to evaluate four different AMBER force fields and three different implicit solvent models. Our aim was to determine if these physics-based models captured the correct secondary structures of two α-helical and two β-peptides: the 14-mer EK helix of Baldwin and co-workers, the C-terminal helix of ribonuclease, the 16-mer C-terminal hairpin of protein G, and the trpzip2 miniprotein. The different models gave different results, but generally we found that AMBER ff96 plus the implicit solvent model of Onufriev, Bashford, and Case gave reasonable structures, and is fairly well-balanced between helix and sheet. We also observed differences in the strength of ion pairing in the solvent models, we but found that the native secondary structures were retained even when salt bridges were prevented in the conformational sampling. Overall, this work indicates that some of these all-atom physics-based force fields may be good starting points for protein folding and protein structure prediction. PMID:18471007

  2. At least 10% shorter C-H bonds in cryogenic protein crystal structures than in current AMBER forcefields.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yuan-Ping

    2015-03-06

    High resolution protein crystal structures resolved with X-ray diffraction data at cryogenic temperature are commonly used as experimental data to refine forcefields and evaluate protein folding simulations. However, it has been unclear hitherto whether the C-H bond lengths in cryogenic protein structures are significantly different from those defined in forcefields to affect protein folding simulations. This article reports the finding that the C-H bonds in high resolution cryogenic protein structures are 10-14% shorter than those defined in current AMBER forcefields, according to 3709 C-H bonds in the cryogenic protein structures with resolutions of 0.62-0.79 Å. Also, 20 all-atom, isothermal-isobaric, 0.5-μs molecular dynamics simulations showed that chignolin folded from a fully-extended backbone formation to the native β-hairpin conformation in the simulations using AMBER forcefield FF12SB at 300 K with an aggregated native state population including standard error of 10 ± 4%. However, the aggregated native state population with standard error reduced to 3 ± 2% in the same simulations except that C-H bonds were shortened by 10-14%. Furthermore, the aggregated native state populations with standard errors increased to 35 ± 3% and 26 ± 3% when using FF12MC, which is based on AMBER forcefield FF99, with and without the shortened C-H bonds, respectively. These results show that the 10-14% bond length differences can significantly affect protein folding simulations and suggest that re-parameterization of C-H bonds according to the cryogenic structures could improve the ability of a forcefield to fold proteins in molecular dynamics simulations. Copyright © 2015 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. VIBE: A virtual biomolecular environment for interactive molecular modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Cruz-Neira, C.; Langley, R.; Bash, P.A.

    1996-12-31

    Virtual reality tightly coupled to high performance computing and communications ushers in a new era for the study of molecular recognition and the rational design of pharmaceutical compounds. We have created a Virtual Biomolecular Environment (VIBE), which consists of (1) massively parallel computing to simulate the physical and chemical properties of a molecular system, (2) the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) for immersive display and interaction with the molecular system, and (3) a high-speed network interface to exchange data between the simulation and the CAVE. VIBE enables molecular scientists to have a visual, auditory, and haptic experience with a chemical system, while simultaneously manipulating its physical properties by steering, in real-time, a simulation executed on a supercomputer. We demonstrate the characteristics of VIBE using an HIV protease-cyclic urea inhibitor complex. 22 refs., 4 figs.

  4. 40Ar/39Ar systematics and argon diffusion in amber: implications for ancient earth atmospheres

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Landis, G.P.; Snee, L.W.

    1991-01-01

    Argon isotope data indicate retained argon in bulk amber (matrix gas) is radiogenic [40Ar/39Ar ???32o] than the much more abundant surface absorbed argon [40Ar/39Ar ???295.5]. Neutron-induced 39Ar is retained in amber during heating experiments to 150?? -250??C, with no evidence of recoiled 39Ar found after irradiation. A maximum permissible volume diffusion coefficient of argon in amber (at ambient temperature) D???1.5 x 10-17 cm2S-1 is calculated from 39Ar retention. 40Ar/39Ar age calculations indicate Dominican Republic amber is ??? 45 Ma and North Dakota amber is ??? 89 Ma, both at least reasonable ages for the amber based upon stratigraphic and paleontological constraints and upon the small amount of radiogenic 40Ar. To date, over 300 gas analyses of ambers and resins of Cretaceous to Recent age that are geographically distributed among fifteen noted world locations identify mixtures of gases in different sites within amber (Berner and Landis, 1988). The presence of multiple mixing trends between compositionally distinct end-members gases within the same sample and evidence for retained radiogenic argon within the amber argue persuasivley against rapid exchange by diffusion of amber-contained gases with moder air. Only gas in primary bubbles entrapped between successive flows of tree resin has been interpreted as original "ancient air", which is an O2-rich end-member gas with air-like N2/Ar ratios. Gas analyses of these primary bubbles indicate atmospheric O2 levels in the Late Cretaceous of ??? 35%, and that atmospheric O2 dropped by early Tertiary time to near a present atmospheric level of 21% O2. A very low argon diffusion coefficient in amber persuasively argues for a gas in primary bubbles trapped in amber being ancient air (possibly modified only by O2 reaction with amber). ?? 1991.

  5. 40Ar/ 39Ar systematics and argon diffusion in amber: implications for ancient earth atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landis, G. P.; Snee, L. W.

    1991-12-01

    Argon isotope data indicate retained argon in bulk amber (matrix gas) is radiogenic [ 40Ar/ 39Ar ≃32o] than the much more abundant surface absorbed argon [ 40Ar/ 39Ar ≃295.5]. Neutron-induced 39Ar is retained in amber during heating experiments to 150° -250°C, with no evidence of recoiled 39Ar found after irradiation. A maximum permissible volume diffusion coefficient of argon in amber (at ambient temperature) D≤1.5 x 10 -17 cm 2S -1 is calculated from 39Ar retention. 40Ar/ 39Ar age calculations indicate Dominican Republic amber is ≃ 45 Ma and North Dakota amber is ≃ 89 Ma, both at least reasonable ages for the amber based upon stratigraphic and paleontological constraints and upon the small amount of radiogenic 40Ar. To date, over 300 gas analyses of ambers and resins of Cretaceous to Recent age that are geographically distributed among fifteen noted world locations identify mixtures of gases in different sites within amber (Berner and Landis, 1988). The presence of multiple mixing trends between compositionally distinct end-members gases within the same sample and evidence for retained radiogenic argon within the amber argue persuasivley against rapid exchange by diffusion of amber-contained gases with moder air. Only gas in primary bubbles entrapped between successive flows of tree resin has been interpreted as original "ancient air", which is an O 2-rich end-member gas with air-like N 2/Ar ratios. Gas analyses of these primary bubbles indicate atmospheric O 2 levels in the Late Cretaceous of ≃ 35%, and that atmospheric O 2 dropped by early Tertiary time to near a present atmospheric level of 21% O 2. A very low argon diffusion coefficient in amber persuasively argues for a gas in primary bubbles trapped in amber being ancient air (possibly modified only by O 2 reaction with amber).

  6. Biomolecular engineering for nanobio/bionanotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagamune, Teruyuki

    2017-04-01

    Biomolecular engineering can be used to purposefully manipulate biomolecules, such as peptides, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids, within the framework of the relations among their structures, functions and properties, as well as their applicability to such areas as developing novel biomaterials, biosensing, bioimaging, and clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. Nanotechnology can also be used to design and tune the sizes, shapes, properties and functionality of nanomaterials. As such, there are considerable overlaps between nanotechnology and biomolecular engineering, in that both are concerned with the structure and behavior of materials on the nanometer scale or smaller. Therefore, in combination with nanotechnology, biomolecular engineering is expected to open up new fields of nanobio/bionanotechnology and to contribute to the development of novel nanobiomaterials, nanobiodevices and nanobiosystems. This review highlights recent studies using engineered biological molecules (e.g., oligonucleotides, peptides, proteins, enzymes, polysaccharides, lipids, biological cofactors and ligands) combined with functional nanomaterials in nanobio/bionanotechnology applications, including therapeutics, diagnostics, biosensing, bioanalysis and biocatalysts. Furthermore, this review focuses on five areas of recent advances in biomolecular engineering: (a) nucleic acid engineering, (b) gene engineering, (c) protein engineering, (d) chemical and enzymatic conjugation technologies, and (e) linker engineering. Precisely engineered nanobiomaterials, nanobiodevices and nanobiosystems are anticipated to emerge as next-generation platforms for bioelectronics, biosensors, biocatalysts, molecular imaging modalities, biological actuators, and biomedical applications.

  7. Multiphoton excited fluorescence spectroscopy of biomolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birch, David J. S.

    2001-09-01

    Recent work on the emerging application of multiphoton excitation to fluorescence studies of biomolecular dynamics and structure is reviewed. The fundamental principles and experimental techniques of multiphoton excitation are outlined, fluorescence lifetimes, anisotropy and spectra in membranes, proteins, hydrocarbons, skin, tissue and metabolites are featured, and future opportunities are highlighted.

  8. A Unified AMBER-Compatible Molecular Mechanics Force Field for Thiolate-Protected Gold Nanoclusters.

    PubMed

    Pohjolainen, Emmi; Chen, Xi; Malola, Sami; Groenhof, Gerrit; Häkkinen, Hannu

    2016-03-08

    We present transferable AMBER-compatible force field parameters for thiolate-protected gold nanoclusters. Five different sized clusters containing both organo-soluble and water-soluble thiolate ligands served as test systems in MD simulations, and parameters were validated against DFT and experimental results. The cluster geometries remain intact during the MD simulations in various solvents, and structural fluctuations and energetics showed agreement with DFT calculations. Experimental diffusion coefficients and crystal structures were also reproduced with sufficient accuracy. The presented parameter set contains the minimum number of cluster-specific parameters enabling the use of these parameters for several different gold nanoclusters. The parameterization of ligands can also be extended to different types of ligands.

  9. Mummified precocial bird wings in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Lida; McKellar, Ryan C.; Wang, Min; Bai, Ming; O'Connor, Jingmai K.; Benton, Michael J.; Zhang, Jianping; Wang, Yan; Tseng, Kuowei; Lockley, Martin G.; Li, Gang; Zhang, Weiwei; Xu, Xing

    2016-01-01

    Our knowledge of Cretaceous plumage is limited by the fossil record itself: compression fossils surrounding skeletons lack the finest morphological details and seldom preserve visible traces of colour, while discoveries in amber have been disassociated from their source animals. Here we report the osteology, plumage and pterylosis of two exceptionally preserved theropod wings from Burmese amber, with vestiges of soft tissues. The extremely small size and osteological development of the wings, combined with their digit proportions, strongly suggests that the remains represent precocial hatchlings of enantiornithine birds. These specimens demonstrate that the plumage types associated with modern birds were present within single individuals of Enantiornithes by the Cenomanian (99 million years ago), providing insights into plumage arrangement and microstructure alongside immature skeletal remains. This finding brings new detail to our understanding of infrequently preserved juveniles, including the first concrete examples of follicles, feather tracts and apteria in Cretaceous avialans. PMID:27352215

  10. Adaptive resolution simulation of salt solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bevc, Staš; Junghans, Christoph; Kremer, Kurt; Praprotnik, Matej

    2013-10-01

    We present an adaptive resolution simulation of aqueous salt (NaCl) solutions at ambient conditions using the adaptive resolution scheme. Our multiscale approach concurrently couples the atomistic and coarse-grained models of the aqueous NaCl, where water molecules and ions change their resolution while moving from one resolution domain to the other. We employ standard extended simple point charge (SPC/E) and simple point charge (SPC) water models in combination with AMBER and GROMOS force fields for ion interactions in the atomistic domain. Electrostatics in our model are described by the generalized reaction field method. The effective interactions for water-water and water-ion interactions in the coarse-grained model are derived using structure-based coarse-graining approach while the Coulomb interactions between ions are appropriately screened. To ensure an even distribution of water molecules and ions across the simulation box we employ thermodynamic forces. We demonstrate that the equilibrium structural, e.g. radial distribution functions and density distributions of all the species, and dynamical properties are correctly reproduced by our adaptive resolution method. Our multiscale approach, which is general and can be used for any classical non-polarizable force-field and/or types of ions, will significantly speed up biomolecular simulation involving aqueous salt.

  11. Conformational dynamics of two natively unfolded fragment peptides: Comparison of the AMBER and CHARMM force fields

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei; Shi, Chuanyin; MacKerell, Alexander D.; Shen, Jana

    2015-01-01

    Physics-based force fields are the backbone of molecular dynamics simulations. In recent years, significant progress has been made in the assessment and improvement of commonly-used force fields for describing conformational dynamics of folded proteins. However, the accuracy for the unfolded states remains unclear. The latter is however important for detailed studies of protein folding pathways, conformational transitions involving unfolded states and dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins. In this work we compare the three commonly-used force fields, AMBER ff99SB-ILDN, CHARMM22/CMAP and CHARMM36, for modeling the natively unfolded fragment peptides, NTL9(1-22) and NTL9(6-17), using explicit-solvent replica-exchange molecular dynamics simulations. All three simulations show that NTL9(6-17) is completely unstructured, while NTL9(1-22) transiently samples various β-hairpin states, reminiscent of the first β-hairpin in the structure of the intact NT9 protein. The radius of gyration of the two peptides is force field independent but likely underestimated due to the current deficiency of additive force fields. Compared to the CHARMM force fields, ff99SB-ILDN gives slightly higher β-sheet propensity and more native-like residual structures for NTL9(1-22), which may be attributed to its known β preference. Surprisingly, only two sequence-local pairs of charged residues make appreciable ionic contacts in the simulations of NTL9(1-22), which are sampled slightly more by the CHARMM force fields. Taken together, these data suggest that the current CHARMM and AMBER force fields are globally in agreement in modeling the unfolded states corresponding to β-sheet in the folded structure, while differing in details such as the native-likeness of the residual structures and interactions. PMID:26020564

  12. Webspinners in Early Eocene amber from western India (Insecta, Embiodea)

    PubMed Central

    Engel, Michael S.; Grimaldi, David A.; Singh, Hukam; Nascimbene, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The family Scelembiidae (Neoembiodea: Embiomorpha: Archembioidea) is recorded from Asia for the first time, based on two individuals preserved in Early Eocene amber from the Cambay Basin, western India. Kumarembia hurleyi Engel & Grimaldi, gen. n. et sp. n., is described, figured, and distinguished from other archembioid genera. The genus shares male genitalic features with scelembiids, otherwise known from South America and Africa. PMID:22287898

  13. Double fossilization in eukaryotic microorganisms from Lower Cretaceous amber

    PubMed Central

    Martín-González, Ana; Wierzchos, Jacek; Gutiérrez, Juan-Carlos; Alonso, Jesús; Ascaso, Carmen

    2009-01-01

    Background Microfossils are not only useful for elucidating biological macro- and microevolution but also the biogeochemical history of our planet. Pyritization is the most important and extensive mode of preservation of animals and especially of plants. Entrapping in amber, a fossilized resin, is considered an alternative mode of biological preservation. For the first time, the internal organization of 114-million-year-old microfossils entrapped in Lower Cretaceous amber is described and analyzed, using adapted scanning electron microscopy in backscattered electron mode in association with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy microanalysis. Double fossilization of several protists included in diverse taxonomical groups and some vegetal debris is described and analyzed. Results In protists without an exoskeleton or shell (ciliates, naked amoebae, flagellates), determinate structures, including the nuclei, surface envelopes (cortex or cytoplasmic membrane) and hyaloplasm are the main sites of pyritization. In protists with a biomineralized skeleton (diatoms), silicon was replaced by pyrite. Permineralization was the main mode of pyritization. Framboidal, subhedral and microcrystalline are the predominant pyrite textures detected in the cells. Abundant pyritized vegetal debris have also been found inside the amber nuggets and the surrounding sediments. This vegetal debris usually contained numerous pyrite framboids and very densely packed polycrystalline pyrite formations infilled with different elements of the secondary xylem. Conclusion Embedding in amber and pyritization are not always alternative modes of biological preservation during geological times, but double fossilization is possible under certain environmental conditions. Pyritization in protists shows a quite different pattern with regard to plants, due to the different composition and cellular architecture in these microorganisms and organisms. Anaerobic sulphate-reducing bacteria could play a crucial

  14. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-06-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  15. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Daniel B; Nascimbene, Paul C; Dove, Carla J; Grimaldi, David A; James, Helen F

    2014-06-09

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  16. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-01-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy. PMID:24909554

  17. Snakefly diversity in Early Cretaceous amber from Spain (Neuropterida, Raphidioptera)

    PubMed Central

    la Fuente, Ricardo Pérez-de; Peñalver, Enrique; Delclòs, Xavier; Engel, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The Albian amber from Spain presently harbors the greatest number and diversity of amber adult fossil snakeflies (Raphidioptera). Within Baissopteridae, Baissoptera? cretaceoelectra sp. n., from the Peñacerrada I outcrop (Moraza, Burgos), is the first amber inclusion belonging to the family and described from western Eurasia, thus substantially expanding the paleogeographical range of the family formerly known from the Cretaceous of Brazil and eastern Asia. Within the family Mesoraphidiidae, Necroraphidia arcuata gen. et sp. n. and Amarantoraphidia ventolina gen. et sp. n. are described from the El Soplao outcrop (Rábago, Cantabria), whereas Styporaphidia? hispanica sp. n. and Alavaraphidia imperterrita gen. et sp. n. are describedfrom Peñacerrada I. In addition, three morphospecies are recognized from fragmentary remains. The following combinations are restored: Yanoraphidia gaoi Ren, 1995, stat. rest., Mesoraphidia durlstonensis Jepson, Coram and Jarzembowski, 2009, stat. rest., and Mesoraphidia heteroneura Ren, 1997, stat. rest. The singularity of this rich paleodiversity could be due to the paleogeographic isolation of the Iberian territory and also the prevalence of wildfires during the Cretaceous. PMID:22787417

  18. Energy Fluctuations Shape Free Energy of Nonspecific Biomolecular Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkin, Michael; Andre, Ingemar; Lukatsky, David B.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding design principles of biomolecular recognition is a key question of molecular biology. Yet the enormous complexity and diversity of biological molecules hamper the efforts to gain a predictive ability for the free energy of protein-protein, protein-DNA, and protein-RNA binding. Here, using a variant of the Derrida model, we predict that for a large class of biomolecular interactions, it is possible to accurately estimate the relative free energy of binding based on the fluctuation properties of their energy spectra, even if a finite number of the energy levels is known. We show that the free energy of the system possessing a wider binding energy spectrum is almost surely lower compared with the system possessing a narrower energy spectrum. Our predictions imply that low-affinity binding scores, usually wasted in protein-protein and protein-DNA docking algorithms, can be efficiently utilized to compute the free energy. Using the results of Rosetta docking simulations of protein-protein interactions from Andre et al. (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:16148, 2008), we demonstrate the power of our predictions.

  19. Computational and theoretical aspects of biomolecular structure and dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia, A.E.; Berendzen, J.; Catasti, P., Chen, X.

    1996-09-01

    This is the final report for a project that sought to evaluate and develop theoretical, and computational bases for designing, performing, and analyzing experimental studies in structural biology. Simulations of large biomolecular systems in solution, hydrophobic interactions, and quantum chemical calculations for large systems have been performed. We have developed a code that implements the Fast Multipole Algorithm (FMA) that scales linearly in the number of particles simulated in a large system. New methods have been developed for the analysis of multidimensional NMR data in order to obtain high resolution atomic structures. These methods have been applied to the study of DNA sequences in the human centromere, sequences linked to genetic diseases, and the dynamics and structure of myoglobin.

  20. Problems of reproducibility--does geologically ancient DNA survive in amber-preserved insects?

    PubMed Central

    Austin, J J; Ross, A J; Smith, A B; Fortey, R A; Thomas, R H

    1997-01-01

    Apparently ancient DNA has been reported from amber-preserved insects many millions of years old. Rigorous attempts to reproduce these DNA sequences from amber- and copal-preserved bees and flies have failed to detect any authentic ancient insect DNA. Lack of reproducibility suggests that DNA does not survive over millions of years even in amber, the most promising of fossil environments. PMID:9149422

  1. Amber bearing deposit in SW Saaremaa, Estonia - sedimentary environment and palaeogeography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Post, Triine; Ots, Mirja; Rosentau, Alar

    2015-04-01

    The paper describes a deposit of natural amber found form Estonia. Finds of natural amber are important in the context of the Bronze Age archaeology, because the amount of Bronze Age archaeological amber found in Estonia is very small. Most of the amber is from the Late Bronze Age and is mainly discovered from the fortified settlements in Saaremaa, some also from burials of the same time. Now, the discovery of the deposit of natural amber in the island of Saaremaa makes us reconsider the general opinion that all archaeological amber items found in Estonia have been imported. The aim of this study is to clarify the origin and age of the natural amber using scientific methods. A layer of buried organic matter (BOM) containing pieces of natural amber was discovered in Holocene coastal plain on Sõrve peninsula, island of Saaremaa. The BOM layer is buried under ca 90 cm-thick sandy coastal deposits and consists of remains of coastal plants and pieces of driftwood. Palaeogeographic reconstructions and sediment composition indicate that the layer was deposited in the coastal zone and buried quickly by sandy marine sediments. According to radiocarbon dating of the seeds of Polygonum lapathifolium the formation of the BOM layer remained in the Late Bronze Age (2480 ± 30 14C yr BP). Amber finds have been characterized using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and isotope analysis of light elements (H and C) - both are referring to Baltic amber. Therefore it is probable that amber was transported to Saaremaa within organic matter from the Latvian-Lithuanian coastal zone where secondary Baltic amber deposits are widely known.

  2. A Grid-enabled web portal for NMR structure refinement with AMBER.

    PubMed

    Bertini, Ivano; Case, David A; Ferella, Lucio; Giachetti, Andrea; Rosato, Antonio

    2011-09-01

    The typical workflow for NMR structure determination involves collecting thousands of conformational restraints, calculating a bundle of 20-40 conformers in agreement with them and refining the energetics of these conformers. The structure calculation step employs simulated annealing based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with very simplified force fields. The value of refining the calculated conformers using restrained MD (rMD) simulations with state-of-art force fields is documented. This refinement however presents various subtleties, from the proper formatting of conformational restraints to the definition of suitable protocols. We describe a web interface to set up and run calculations with the AMBER package, which we called AMPS-NMR (AMBER-based Portal Server for NMR structures). The interface allows the refinement of NMR structures through rMD. Some predefined protocols are provided for this purpose, which can be personalized; it is also possible to create an entirely new protocol. AMPS-NMR can handle various restraint types. Standard rMD refinement in explicit water of the structures of three different proteins are shown as examples. AMPS-NMR additionally includes a workspace for the user to store different calculations. As an ancillary service, a web interface to AnteChamber is available, enabling the calculation of force field parameters for organic molecules such as ligands in protein-ligand adducts. AMPS-NMR is embedded within the NMR services of the WeNMR project and is available at http://py-enmr.cerm.unifi.it/access/index/amps-nmr; its use requires registration with a digital certificate. ivanobertini@cerm.unifi.it Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  3. A statistical mechanical description of biomolecular hydration

    SciTech Connect

    1996-02-01

    We present an efficient and accurate theoretical description of the structural hydration of biological macromolecules. The hydration of molecules of almost arbitrary size (tRNA, antibody-antigen complexes, photosynthetic reaction centre) can be studied in solution and in the crystal environment. The biomolecular structure obtained from x-ray crystallography, NMR, or modeling is required as input information. The structural arrangement of water molecules near a biomolecular surface is represented by the local water density analogous to the corresponding electron density in an x-ray diffraction experiment. The water-density distribution is approximated in terms of two- and three-particle correlation functions of solute atoms with water using a potentials-of-mean-force expansion.

  4. Solvation thermodynamic mapping of molecular surfaces in AmberTools: GIST.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Steven; Nguyen, Crystal; Salomon-Ferrer, Romelia; Walker, Ross C; Gilson, Michael K; Kurtzman, Tom

    2016-08-05

    The expulsion of water from surfaces upon molecular recognition and nonspecific association makes a major contribution to the free energy changes of these processes. In order to facilitate the characterization of water structure and thermodynamics on surfaces, we have incorporated Grid Inhomogeneous Solvation Theory (GIST) into the CPPTRAJ toolset of AmberTools. GIST is a grid-based implementation of Inhomogeneous Fluid Solvation Theory, which analyzes the output from molecular dynamics simulations to map out solvation thermodynamic and structural properties on a high-resolution, three-dimensional grid. The CPPTRAJ implementation, called GIST-cpptraj, has a simple, easy-to-use command line interface, and is open source and freely distributed. We have also developed a set of open-source tools, called GISTPP, which facilitate the analysis of GIST output grids. Tutorials for both GIST-cpptraj and GISTPP can be found at ambermd.org. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. New records and species of Crepidodera Chevrolat (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Eocene European amber, with a brief review of described fossil beetles from Bitterfeld amber.

    PubMed

    Bukejs, Andris; Biondi, Maurizio; Alekseev, Vitalii I

    2016-11-15

    Based on six relatively well-preserved specimens from Eocene Baltic amber, Crepidodera tertiotertiaria sp. nov. is described. The new species is illustrated and compared with morphologically similar extant and fossil relatives. It is the third described fossil species of Crepidodera Chevrolat. In addition to the new taxon, new fossil records of C. decolorata Nadein & Perkovsky from Baltic and Bitterfeld amber are presented. A key to species of Crepidodera described from fossil resins is provided, and a checklist of Coleoptera described from Bitterfeld amber is compiled.

  6. Biomolecular electrostatics and solvation: a computational perspective

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Pengyu; Chun, Jaehun; Thomas, Dennis G.; Schnieders, Michael J.; Marucho, Marcelo; Zhang, Jiajing; Baker, Nathan A.

    2012-01-01

    An understanding of molecular interactions is essential for insight into biological systems at the molecular scale. Among the various components of molecular interactions, electrostatics are of special importance because of their long-range nature and their influence on polar or charged molecules, including water, aqueous ions, proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and membrane lipids. In particular, robust models of electrostatic interactions are essential for understanding the solvation properties of biomolecules and the effects of solvation upon biomolecular folding, binding, enzyme catalysis, and dynamics. Electrostatics, therefore, are of central importance to understanding biomolecular structure and modeling interactions within and among biological molecules. This review discusses the solvation of biomolecules with a computational biophysics view towards describing the phenomenon. While our main focus lies on the computational aspect of the models, we provide an overview of the basic elements of biomolecular solvation (e.g., solvent structure, polarization, ion binding, and nonpolar behavior) in order to provide a background to understand the different types of solvation models. PMID:23217364

  7. Characterization of tradeoffs in biomolecular signaling.

    PubMed

    Sen, Shaunak

    2013-12-01

    Systems-level tradeoffs are fundamental in engineering, and recent work has highlighted an analogous role for them in biology. However, the extent of validity of these tradeoffs, especially for biomolecular systems, is generally unclear. Here, we address this issue for signaling tradeoffs that can constrain, for a fixed concentration of the signaling protein, a simultaneous enhancement of the gain and range of an amplifier or of the gain and threshold of a switch. We find that these gain-related tradeoffs persist in mathematical models of biomolecular reaction mechanisms that are at the core of large classes of signaling systems. Further, we find that these tradeoffs are also prevalent in the parametric functional forms commonly used to describe input-output curves in experimental analyses. Finally, we find that these tradeoffs can persist even in the presence of transcriptional feedback mechanisms that can change the concentration of the signaling protein. These results present a systematic characterization of these tradeoffs in biomolecular signaling systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Biomolecular electrostatics and solvation: a computational perspective.

    PubMed

    Ren, Pengyu; Chun, Jaehun; Thomas, Dennis G; Schnieders, Michael J; Marucho, Marcelo; Zhang, Jiajing; Baker, Nathan A

    2012-11-01

    An understanding of molecular interactions is essential for insight into biological systems at the molecular scale. Among the various components of molecular interactions, electrostatics are of special importance because of their long-range nature and their influence on polar or charged molecules, including water, aqueous ions, proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and membrane lipids. In particular, robust models of electrostatic interactions are essential for understanding the solvation properties of biomolecules and the effects of solvation upon biomolecular folding, binding, enzyme catalysis, and dynamics. Electrostatics, therefore, are of central importance to understanding biomolecular structure and modeling interactions within and among biological molecules. This review discusses the solvation of biomolecules with a computational biophysics view toward describing the phenomenon. While our main focus lies on the computational aspect of the models, we provide an overview of the basic elements of biomolecular solvation (e.g. solvent structure, polarization, ion binding, and non-polar behavior) in order to provide a background to understand the different types of solvation models.

  9. Ultrafast Electrons and X-rays as Probe of Biomolecular Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramanian, Ganesh

    The structure-function relation in Biology suggests that every biological molecule has evolved its structure to carry out a specific function. However, for many of these processes (such as those with catalytic activity) the structure of the biomolecule changes during the course of a reaction. Understanding the structure-function relation thus becomes a question of understanding biomolecular dynamics that span a variety of timescales (from electronic rearrangements in the femtoseconds to side-chain alteration in the microseconds and more). This dissertation deals with the study of biomolecular dynamics in the ultrafast timescales (fs-ns) using electron and X-ray probes in both time and frequency domains. It starts with establishing the limitations of traditional electron diffraction coupled with molecular replacement to study biomolecular structure and proceeds to suggest a pulsed electron source Hollow-Cone Transmission Electron Microscope as an alternative scheme to pursue ultrafast biomolecular imaging. In frequency domain, the use of Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy as a tool to access ultrafast nuclear dynamics in the steady state, is detailed with the new monochromated NiON UltraSTEM and examples demonstrating this instrument's capability are provided. Ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy as a tool to elucidate biomolecular dynamics is presented in studying X-ray as a probe, with the study of the photolysis of Methylcobalamin using time-resolved laser pump--X-ray probe absorption spectroscopy. The analysis in comparison to prior literature as well as DFT based XAS simulations offer good agreement and understanding to the steady state spectra but are so far inadequate in explaining the time-resolved data. However, the trends in the absorption simulations for the transient intermediates show a strong anisotropic dependence on the axial ligation, which would define the direction for future studies on this material to achieve a solution.

  10. IR and py/GC/MS examination of amber relics excavated from 6th century royal tomb in Korean Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jongseo; Yun, Eunyoung; Kang, Hyungtae; Ahn, Jooyoung; Kim, Gyuho

    2016-08-01

    Relics of amber were excavated from King Muryeong's tomb constructed in the 6th century on the Korean peninsula. To estimate the provenance, FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) and py/GC/MS (pyrolysis/gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) analysis were utilized. The reference Baltic amber sample was also analyzed with the same method for comparison. The relics were confirmed to be amber from the FTIR analysis where an absorption band near 1150 cm- 1, characteristic one in Baltic amber, was also observed. In py/GC/MS analysis, pyrolyzed products like butanedioic acid and dehydroabietic acid, known constituents of amber, were observed. In addition, D-fenchyl alcohol, camphor, borneol and butanedioic acid, typical constituents of Baltic amber, were observed in some samples. From this, it appears that some of relics were made from Baltic amber and that Baltic amber was transported to the Korean peninsula in the time of tomb construction.

  11. A quantum mechanical polarizable force field for biomolecular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Donchev, A. G.; Ozrin, V. D.; Subbotin, M. V.; Tarasov, O. V.; Tarasov, V. I.

    2005-01-01

    We introduce a quantum mechanical polarizable force field (QMPFF) fitted solely to QM data at the MP2/aTZ(-hp) level. Atomic charge density is modeled by point-charge nuclei and floating exponentially shaped electron clouds. The functional form of interaction energy parallels quantum mechanics by including electrostatic, exchange, induction, and dispersion terms. Separate fitting of each term to the counterpart calculated from high-quality QM data ensures high transferability of QMPFF parameters to different molecular environments, as well as accurate fit to a broad range of experimental data in both gas and liquid phases. QMPFF, which is much more efficient than ab initio QM, is optimized for the accurate simulation of biomolecular systems and the design of drugs. PMID:15911753

  12. Biomolecular decision-making process for self assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Osbourn, Gordon Cecil

    2005-01-01

    The brain is often identified with decision-making processes in the biological world. In fact, single cells, single macromolecules (proteins) and populations of molecules also make simple decisions. These decision processes are essential to survival and to the biological self-assembly and self-repair processes that we seek to emulate. How do these tiny systems make effective decisions? How do they make decisions in concert with a cooperative network of other molecules or cells? How can we emulate the decision-making behaviors of small-scale biological systems to program and self-assemble microsystems? This LDRD supported research to answer these questions. Our work included modeling and simulation of protein populations to help us understand, mimic, and categorize molecular decision-making mechanisms that nonequilibrium systems can exhibit. This work is an early step towards mimicking such nanoscale and microscale biomolecular decision-making processes in inorganic systems.

  13. Biomolecular dynamics of DNA: statistical mechanics and dynamical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peyrard, M.; Dauxois, T.; Hoyet, H.; Willis, C. R.

    1993-09-01

    There is a growing feeling that biomolecular structure is not sufficient to determine biological activity which is also governed by large amplitude dynamics of the molecules. The transcription of DNA or its thermal denaturation are typical examples. Traditional approaches use Ising models to describe the denaturation transition of DNA. They have to introduce phenomenological “cooperativity factors” to explain the rather sharp “melting” of this quasi one-dimensional system. We present models which describe the full dynamics of the melting. Using molecular dynamics simulations and statistical analysis, we discuss the mechanism of the denaturation, including precursor effects that can be related to large amplitude localized nonlinear excitations of the molecule in which discreteness effects play a large role. We also show the microscopic origin of the cooperativity factors.

  14. Earliest Onychophoran in Amber Reveals Gondwanan Migration Patterns.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Ivo de Sena; Bai, Ming; Jahn, Henry; Gross, Vladimir; Martin, Christine; Hammel, Jörg U; Zhang, Weiwei; Mayer, Georg

    2016-10-10

    The anomalous occurrence of supposedly Gondwanan taxa in Laurasian-derived regions remains an intriguing chapter of paleobiogeographical history. Representatives of Peripatidae, a major subgroup of velvet worms (Onychophora), show a disjointed distribution in the neotropics, tropical Africa, and Southeast Asia, the latter being the only landmass previously associated with Laurasia [1, 2]. The arrival of these animals in Southeast Asia is explained by two alternative, albeit not mutually exclusive, hypotheses: an early migration via Europe before continental drift (Eurogondwana hypothesis) or transportation via insular India during the Cretaceous and Paleogene ("out-of-India" hypothesis) [3-6]. The latter hypothesis is based on a single extant species of Peripatidae, Typhloperipatus williamsoni, in India. †Cretoperipatus burmiticus from Myanmar is the oldest fossil onychophoran found in amber [7], dating to sometime between the two proposed scenarios, and hence crucial for clarifying how Gondwanan lineages of these low-vagility animals reached Southeast Asia (see also Supplemental Information). Based on the anatomical reconstruction of †C. burmiticus using synchrotron radiation-based X-ray microtomography (SRμCT) and comparisons with extant taxa, we resolved this fossil species within Onychophora, particularly within Peripatidae, with T. williamsoni as its closest extant relative. This suggests that an early Eurogondwanan migration of peripatids was the most likely event, as Burmese amber is too old to be compatible with the out-of-India hypothesis. Moreover, peripatids probably colonized India only recently from Myanmar, refuting the putative Gondwanan relict status of Indian onychophorans. Finally, preservation artifacts identified in the novel amber material might have a major impact on studies of onychophoran stem and/or crown groups.

  15. First identifiable Mesozoic harvestman (Opiliones: Dyspnoi) from Cretaceous Burmese amber.

    PubMed

    Giribet, Gonzalo; Dunlop, Jason A

    2005-05-22

    Two inclusions in a piece of Upper Cretaceous (Albian) Burmese amber from Myanmar are described as a harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones), Halitherses grimaldii new genus and species. The first Mesozoic harvestman to be named can be referred to the suborder Dyspnoi for the following reasons: prosoma divided into two regions, the posterior formed by the fusion of the meso- and metapeltidium; palp lacking a terminal claw, with clavate setae, and tarsus considerably shorter than the tibia. The bilobed, anteriorly projecting ocular tubercle is reminiscent of that of ortholasmatine nemastomatids. The status of other Mesozoic fossils referred to Opiliones is briefly reviewed.

  16. First identifiable Mesozoic harvestman (Opiliones: Dyspnoi) from Cretaceous Burmese amber

    PubMed Central

    Giribet, Gonzalo; Dunlop, Jason A

    2005-01-01

    Two inclusions in a piece of Upper Cretaceous (Albian) Burmese amber from Myanmar are described as a harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones), Halitherses grimaldii new genus and species. The first Mesozoic harvestman to be named can be referred to the suborder Dyspnoi for the following reasons: prosoma divided into two regions, the posterior formed by the fusion of the meso- and metapeltidium; palp lacking a terminal claw, with clavate setae, and tarsus considerably shorter than the tibia. The bilobed, anteriorly projecting ocular tubercle is reminiscent of that of ortholasmatine nemastomatids. The status of other Mesozoic fossils referred to Opiliones is briefly reviewed. PMID:16024358

  17. An ant-associated mesostigmatid mite in Baltic amber

    PubMed Central

    Dunlop, Jason A.; Kontschán, Jenő; Walter, David E.; Perrichot, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Fossil mesostigmatid mites (Acari: Parasitiformes: Mesostigmata) are extremely rare, and specimens from only nine families, including four named species, have been described so far. A new record of Myrmozercon sp. described here from Eocene (ca 44–49 Myr) Baltic amber represents the first—and so far only—fossil example of the derived, extant family Laelapidae. Significantly, modern species of this genus are habitually myrmecophilous and the fossil mite described here is preserved attached to the head of the dolichoderine ant Ctenobethylus goepperti (Mayr, 1868). It thus offers the oldest unequivocal evidence for an ecological association between mesostigmatid mites and social insects in the order Hymenoptera. PMID:25209198

  18. Passandra septentrionaria sp. nov.: the first described species of Passandridae (Coleoptera: Cucujoidea) from Eocene Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Bukejs, Andris; Alekseev, Vitalii I; Mckellar, Ryan C

    2016-07-26

    Based on two relatively well-preserved specimens from Eocene Baltic amber, Passandra septentrionaria sp. nov. is described and illustrated. It is the first formally described species of Passandridae from Baltic amber, and the first known European representative of the family. The global distribution of extant Passandra Dalman is mapped, and the historical distribution of the group is briefly discussed.

  19. Phase contrast X-ray synchrotron imaging: opening access to fossil inclusions in opaque amber.

    PubMed

    Lak, Malvina; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André; Cloetens, Peter; Perrichot, Vincent; Tafforeau, Paul

    2008-06-01

    A significant portion of Mesozoic amber is fully opaque. Biological inclusions in such amber are invisible even after polishing, leading to potential bias in paleoecological and phylogenetic studies. Until now, studies using conventional X-ray microtomography focused on translucent or semi-opaque amber. In these cases, organisms of interest were visualized prior to X-ray analyses. It was recently demonstrated that propagation phase contrast X-ray synchrotron imaging techniques are powerful tools to access invisible inclusions in fully opaque amber. Here we describe an optimized synchrotron microradiographic protocol that allowed us to investigate efficiently and rapidly large amounts of opaque amber pieces from Charentes (southwestern France). Amber pieces were imaged with microradiography after immersion in water, which optimizes the visibility of inclusions. Determination is not accurate enough to allow precise phylogenetic studies, but provides preliminary data on biodiversity and ecotypes distribution; phase contrast microtomography remains necessary for precise determination. Because the organisms are generally much smaller than the amber pieces, we optimized local microtomography by using a continuous acquisition mode (sample moving during projection integration). As tomographic investigation of all inclusions is not practical, we suggest the use of a synchrotron for a microradiographic survey of opaque amber, coupled with microtomographic investigations of the most valuable organisms.

  20. A new stem-coenagrionoid genus of damselflies (Odonata: Zygoptera) from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber.

    PubMed

    Möstel, Claudia; Schorr, Martin; Bechly, Günter

    2017-03-13

    A new genus and species of damselfly, Burmagrion marjanmatoki, gen. et sp. nov., is described from Early Cretaceous Burmese amber. It is attributed to the basal stem group of Coenagrionoidea. The inclusion of five wings from the same species suggests that the amber piece contains the remains of a mating pair of damselflies.

  1. Forcefield_PTM: Ab Initio Charge and AMBER Forcefield Parameters for Frequently Occurring Post-Translational Modifications.

    PubMed

    Khoury, George A; Thompson, Jeff P; Smadbeck, James; Kieslich, Chris A; Floudas, Christodoulos A

    2013-12-10

    In this work, we introduce Forcefield_PTM, a set of AMBER forcefield parameters consistent with ff03 for 32 common post-translational modifications. Partial charges were calculated through ab initio calculations and a two-stage RESP-fitting procedure in an ether-like implicit solvent environment. The charges were found to be generally consistent with others previously reported for phosphorylated amino acids, and trimethyllysine, using different parameterization methods. Pairs of modified and their corresponding unmodified structures were curated from the PDB for both single and multiple modifications. Background structural similarity was assessed in the context of secondary and tertiary structures from the global dataset. Next, the charges derived for Forcefield_PTM were tested on a macroscopic scale using unrestrained all-atom Langevin molecular dynamics simulations in AMBER for 34 (17 pairs of modified/unmodified) systems in implicit solvent. Assessment was performed in the context of secondary structure preservation, stability in energies, and correlations between the modified and unmodified structure trajectories on the aggregate. As an illustration of their utility, the parameters were used to compare the structural stability of the phosphorylated and dephosphorylated forms of OdhI. Microscopic comparisons between quantum and AMBER single point energies along key χ torsions on several PTMs were performed and corrections to improve their agreement in terms of mean squared errors and squared correlation coefficients were parameterized. This forcefield for post-translational modifications in condensed-phase simulations can be applied to a number of biologically relevant and timely applications including protein structure prediction, protein and peptide design, docking, and to study the effect of PTMs on folding and dynamics. We make the derived parameters and an associated interactive webtool capable of performing post-translational modifications on proteins

  2. Forcefield_PTM: Ab Initio Charge and AMBER Forcefield Parameters for Frequently Occurring Post-Translational Modifications

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, George A.; Thompson, Jeff P.; Smadbeck, James; Kieslich, Chris A.; Floudas, Christodoulos A.

    2014-01-01

    In this work, we introduce Forcefield_PTM, a set of AMBER forcefield parameters consistent with ff03 for 32 common post-translational modifications. Partial charges were calculated through ab initio calculations and a two-stage RESP-fitting procedure in an ether-like implicit solvent environment. The charges were found to be generally consistent with others previously reported for phosphorylated amino acids, and trimethyllysine, using different parameterization methods. Pairs of modified and their corresponding unmodified structures were curated from the PDB for both single and multiple modifications. Background structural similarity was assessed in the context of secondary and tertiary structures from the global dataset. Next, the charges derived for Forcefield_PTM were tested on a macroscopic scale using unrestrained all-atom Langevin molecular dynamics simulations in AMBER for 34 (17 pairs of modified/unmodified) systems in implicit solvent. Assessment was performed in the context of secondary structure preservation, stability in energies, and correlations between the modified and unmodified structure trajectories on the aggregate. As an illustration of their utility, the parameters were used to compare the structural stability of the phosphorylated and dephosphorylated forms of OdhI. Microscopic comparisons between quantum and AMBER single point energies along key χ torsions on several PTMs were performed and corrections to improve their agreement in terms of mean squared errors and squared correlation coefficients were parameterized. This forcefield for post-translational modifications in condensed-phase simulations can be applied to a number of biologically relevant and timely applications including protein structure prediction, protein and peptide design, docking, and to study the effect of PTMs on folding and dynamics. We make the derived parameters and an associated interactive webtool capable of performing post-translational modifications on proteins

  3. Development of an AMBER-compatible transferable force field for poly(ethylene glycol) ethers (glymes).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Nathalia S V; Zhang, Yong; Lima, Eduardo R A; Tavares, Frederico W; Maginn, Edward J

    2017-06-01

    An all-atom force field consistent with the general AMBER force field (GAFF) format for poly(ethylene glycol) dimethyl ether (diglyme or G2) was developed by fitting to experimental liquid densities and dielectric constants. Not surprisingly, the new force field gives excellent agreement with experimental liquid phase densities and dielectric constants over a wide temperature range. Other dynamic and thermodynamic properties of liquid G2 such as its self-diffusion coefficient, shear viscosity, and vaporization enthalpy were also calculated and compared to experimental data. For all of the properties studied, the performance of the proposed new force field is better than that of the standard GAFF force field. The force field parameters were transferred to model two other poly(ethylene glycol) ethers: monoglyme (G1) and tetraglyme (G4). The predictive ability of the modified force field for G1 and G4 was significantly better than that of the original GAFF force field. The proposed force field provides an alternative option for the simulation of mixtures containing glymes using GAFF-compatible force fields, particularly for electrochemical applications. The accuracy of a previously published force field based on the OPLS-AA format and the accuracies of two modified versions of that force field were also examined for G1, G2, and G4. It was found that the original OPLS-AA force field is superior to the modified versions of it, and that it has a similar accuracy to the proposed new GAFF-compatible force field. Graphical abstract Transferability of an AMBER-compatible force field parameterized for G2 to other glymes.

  4. Brachyceran Diptera (Insecta) in Cretaceous ambers, Part IV, Significant New Orthorrhaphous Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Grimaldi, David A.; Arillo, Antonio; Cumming, Jeffrey M.; Hauser, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Thirteen species of basal Brachycera (11 described as new) are reported, belonging to nine families and three infraorders. They are preserved in amber from the Early Cretaceous (Neocomian) of Lebanon, Albian of northern Spain, upper Albian to lower Cenomanian of northern Myanmar, and Late Cretaceous of New Jersey USA (Turonian) and Alberta, Canada (Campanian). Taxa are as follows, with significance as noted: In Stratiomyomorpha: Stratiomyidae (Cretaceogaster pygmaeus Teskey [2 new specimens in Canadian amber], Lysistrata emerita Grimaldi & Arillo, gen. et sp. n. [stem-group species of the family in Spanish amber]), and Xylomyidae (Cretoxyla azari Grimaldi & Cumming, gen. et sp. n. [in Lebanese amber], and an undescribed species from Spain). In Tabanomorpha: Tabanidae (Cratotabanus newjerseyensis Grimaldi, sp. n., in New Jersey amber). In Muscomorpha: Acroceridae (Schlingeromyia minuta Grimaldi & Hauser, gen. et sp. n. and Burmacyrtus rusmithi Grimaldi & Hauser gen. et sp. n., in Burmese amber, the only definitive species of the family from the Cretaceous); Mythicomyiidae (Microburmyia analvena Grimaldi & Cumming gen. et sp. n. and Microburmyia veanalvena Grimaldi & Cumming, sp. n., stem-group species of the family, both in Burmese amber); Apsilocephalidae or near (therevoid family-group) (Kumaromyia burmitica Grimaldi & Hauser, gen. et sp. n. [in Burmese amber]); Apystomyiidae (Hilarimorphites burmanica Grimaldi & Cumming, sp. n. [in Burmese amber], whose closest relatives are from the Late Jurassic of Kazachstan, the Late Cretaceous of New Jersey, and Recent of California). Lastly, two species belonging to families incertae sedis, both in Burmese amber: Tethepomyiidae (Tethepomyia zigrasi Grimaldi & Arillo sp. n., the aculeate oviscapt of which indicates this family was probably parasitoidal and related to Eremochaetidae); and unplaced to family is Myanmyia asteiformia Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n., a minute fly with highly reduced venation. These new taxa

  5. Brachyceran Diptera (Insecta) in Cretaceous ambers, Part IV, Significant New Orthorrhaphous Taxa.

    PubMed

    Grimaldi, David A; Arillo, Antonio; Cumming, Jeffrey M; Hauser, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Thirteen species of basal Brachycera (11 described as new) are reported, belonging to nine families and three infraorders. They are preserved in amber from the Early Cretaceous (Neocomian) of Lebanon, Albian of northern Spain, upper Albian to lower Cenomanian of northern Myanmar, and Late Cretaceous of New Jersey USA (Turonian) and Alberta, Canada (Campanian). Taxa are as follows, with significance as noted: In Stratiomyomorpha: Stratiomyidae (Cretaceogaster pygmaeus Teskey [2 new specimens in Canadian amber], Lysistrata emerita Grimaldi & Arillo, gen. et sp. n. [stem-group species of the family in Spanish amber]), and Xylomyidae (Cretoxyla azari Grimaldi & Cumming, gen. et sp. n. [in Lebanese amber], and an undescribed species from Spain). In Tabanomorpha: Tabanidae (Cratotabanus newjerseyensis Grimaldi, sp. n., in New Jersey amber). In Muscomorpha: Acroceridae (Schlingeromyia minuta Grimaldi & Hauser, gen. et sp. n. and Burmacyrtus rusmithi Grimaldi & Hauser gen. etsp. n., in Burmese amber, the only definitive species of the family from the Cretaceous); Mythicomyiidae (Microburmyia analvena Grimaldi & Cumming gen. et sp. n. and Microburmyia veanalvena Grimaldi & Cumming, sp. n., stem-group species of the family, both in Burmese amber); Apsilocephalidae or near (therevoid family-group) (Kumaromyia burmitica Grimaldi & Hauser, gen. et sp. n. [in Burmese amber]); Apystomyiidae (Hilarimorphites burmanica Grimaldi & Cumming, sp. n. [in Burmese amber], whose closest relatives are from the Late Jurassic of Kazachstan, the Late Cretaceous of New Jersey, and Recent of California). Lastly, two species belonging to families incertae sedis, both in Burmese amber: Tethepomyiidae (Tethepomyia zigrasi Grimaldi & Arillo sp. n., the aculeate oviscapt of which indicates this family was probably parasitoidal and related to Eremochaetidae); and unplaced to family is Myanmyia asteiformia Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n., a minute fly with highly reduced venation. These new taxa significantly

  6. Use of enveloping distribution sampling to evaluate important characteristics of biomolecular force fields.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; Lin, Zhixiong; van Gunsteren, Wilfred F

    2014-06-19

    The predictive power of biomolecular simulation critically depends on the quality of the force field or molecular model used and on the extent of conformational sampling that can be achieved. Both issues are addressed. First, it is shown that widely used force fields for simulation of proteins in aqueous solution appear to have rather different propensities to stabilize or destabilize α-, π-, and 3(10)- helical structures, which is an important feature of a biomolecular force field due to the omni-presence of such secondary structure in proteins. Second, the relative stability of secondary structure elements in proteins can only be computationally determined through so-called free-energy calculations, the accuracy of which critically depends on the extent of configurational sampling. It is shown that the method of enveloping distribution sampling is a very efficient method to extensively sample different parts of configurational space.

  7. Ancient butterfly-ant symbiosis: direct evidence from Dominican amber

    PubMed Central

    Devries, P. J.; Poinar, G. O.

    1997-01-01

    Although symbiotic association with ants is pervasive in the butterfly families Lycaenidae and Riodinidae the age of these symbioses has never been estimated explicitly. Here we report the first known fossil riodinid caterpillar. This fossil can be dated minimally between 15 and 20 Ma old, and confidently placed in the extant genus Theope. Differing little from modern day Theope, this fossil from Dominican amber provides direct evidence that secretory and acoustical organs used by modern caterpillars to mediate symbioses with ants have been highly developed at least since the Miocene. This fossil therefore becomes the point of reference for future studies using molecular clock methods for dating these symbioses within the riodinid butterflies. Modern evidence, and the abundance of dolichoderine ants in Dominican amber (now extinct in the West Indies) imply that specialized symbiotic relationships between Theope caterpillars and these ants were likely in existence at least 15 Ma ago. The current distribution of neotropical riodinid butterfly and ant faunas indicates the extinction in the West Indies of at least two unrelated taxa that formed a tightly linked symbiotic association, which persisted to the present elsewhere.

  8. New and revised maimetshid wasps from Cretaceous ambers (Hymenoptera, Maimetshidae)

    PubMed Central

    Perrichot, Vincent; Ortega-Blanco, Jaime; McKellar, Ryan C.; Delclòs, Xavier; Azar, Dany; Nel, André; Tafforeau, Paul; Engel, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract New material of the wasp family Maimetshidae (Apocrita) is presented from four Cretaceous amber deposits – the Neocomian of Lebanon, the Early Albian of Spain, the latest Albian/earliest Cenomanian of France, and the Campanian of Canada. The new record from Canadian Cretaceous amber extends the temporal and paleogeographical range of the family. New material from France is assignable to Guyotemaimetsha enigmatica Perrichot et al. including the first females for the species, while a series of males and females from Spain are described and figured as Iberomaimetsha Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot & Engel, gen. n., with the two new species Iberomaimetsha rasnitsyni Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot & Engel, sp. n. and Iberomaimetsha nihtmara Ortega-Blanco, Delclòs & Engel, sp. n.; a single female from Lebanon is described and figured as Ahiromaimetsha najlae Perrichot, Azar, Nel & Engel, gen. et sp. n., and a single male from Canada is described and figured as Ahstemiam cellula McKellar & Engel, gen. et sp. n. The taxa are compared with other maimetshids, a key to genera and species is given, and brief comments made on the family. PMID:22259291

  9. At least 10% shorter C–H bonds in cryogenic protein crystal structures than in current AMBER forcefields

    SciTech Connect

    Pang, Yuan-Ping

    2015-03-06

    High resolution protein crystal structures resolved with X-ray diffraction data at cryogenic temperature are commonly used as experimental data to refine forcefields and evaluate protein folding simulations. However, it has been unclear hitherto whether the C–H bond lengths in cryogenic protein structures are significantly different from those defined in forcefields to affect protein folding simulations. This article reports the finding that the C–H bonds in high resolution cryogenic protein structures are 10–14% shorter than those defined in current AMBER forcefields, according to 3709 C–H bonds in the cryogenic protein structures with resolutions of 0.62–0.79 Å. Also, 20 all-atom, isothermal–isobaric, 0.5-μs molecular dynamics simulations showed that chignolin folded from a fully-extended backbone formation to the native β-hairpin conformation in the simulations using AMBER forcefield FF12SB at 300 K with an aggregated native state population including standard error of 10 ± 4%. However, the aggregated native state population with standard error reduced to 3 ± 2% in the same simulations except that C–H bonds were shortened by 10–14%. Furthermore, the aggregated native state populations with standard errors increased to 35 ± 3% and 26 ± 3% when using FF12MC, which is based on AMBER forcefield FF99, with and without the shortened C–H bonds, respectively. These results show that the 10–14% bond length differences can significantly affect protein folding simulations and suggest that re-parameterization of C–H bonds according to the cryogenic structures could improve the ability of a forcefield to fold proteins in molecular dynamics simulations. - Highlights: • Cryogenic crystal structures are commonly used in computational studies of proteins. • C–H bonds in the cryogenic structures are shorter than those defined in forcefields. • A survey of 3709 C–H bonds shows that the cryogenic bonds are 10–14% shorter. • The

  10. Azurin for Biomolecular Electronics: a Reliability Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bramanti, Alessandro; Pompa, Pier Paolo; Maruccio, Giuseppe; Calabi, Franco; Arima, Valentina; Cingolani, Roberto; Corni, Stefano; Di Felice, Rosa; De Rienzo, Francesca; Rinaldi, Ross

    2005-09-01

    The metalloprotein azurin, used in biomolecular electronics, is investigated with respect to its resilience to high electric fields and ambient conditions, which are crucial reliability issues. Concerning the effect of electric fields, two models of different complexity agree indicating an unexpectedly high robustness. Experiments in device-like conditions confirm that no structural modifications occur, according to fluorescence spectra, even after a 40-min exposure to tens of MV/m. Ageing is then investigated experimentally, at ambient conditions and without field, over several days. Only a small conformational rearrangement is observed in the first tens of hours, followed by an equilibrium state.

  11. Nanoarchitectonics of biomolecular assemblies for functional applications.

    PubMed

    Avinash, M B; Govindaraju, T

    2014-11-21

    The stringent processes of natural selection and evolution have enabled extraordinary structure-function properties of biomolecules. Specifically, the archetypal designs of biomolecules, such as amino acids, nucleobases, carbohydrates and lipids amongst others, encode unparalleled information, selectivity and specificity. The integration of biomolecules either with functional molecules or with an embodied functionality ensures an eclectic approach for novel and advanced nanotechnological applications ranging from electronics to biomedicine, besides bright prospects in systems chemistry and synthetic biology. Given this intriguing scenario, our feature article intends to shed light on the emerging field of functional biomolecular engineering.

  12. Nanoarchitectonics of biomolecular assemblies for functional applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avinash, M. B.; Govindaraju, T.

    2014-10-01

    The stringent processes of natural selection and evolution have enabled extraordinary structure-function properties of biomolecules. Specifically, the archetypal designs of biomolecules, such as amino acids, nucleobases, carbohydrates and lipids amongst others, encode unparalleled information, selectivity and specificity. The integration of biomolecules either with functional molecules or with an embodied functionality ensures an eclectic approach for novel and advanced nanotechnological applications ranging from electronics to biomedicine, besides bright prospects in systems chemistry and synthetic biology. Given this intriguing scenario, our feature article intends to shed light on the emerging field of functional biomolecular engineering.

  13. Supernovae, neutron stars and biomolecular chirality.

    PubMed

    Bonner, W A; Rubenstein, E

    1987-01-01

    Recent theoretical and experimental investigations of the origin of biomolecular chirality are reviewed briefly. Biotic and abiotic theories are evaluated critically with the conclusion that asymmetric photochemical processes with circulary polarized light (CPL), particularly asymmetric photolyses, constitute the most viable mechanisms. Solar CPL sources appear too weak and random to be effective. We suggest an alternative CPL source, namely, the synchrotron radiation from the neutron star remnants of supernova explosions. This could asymmetrically process racemic compounds in the organic mantles of the dust grains in interstellar clouds, and the resulting chiral molecules could be transferred to Earth by cold accretion as the solar system periodically traverses these interstellar clouds.

  14. Thermodynamic Uncertainty Relation for Biomolecular Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barato, Andre C.; Seifert, Udo

    2015-04-01

    Biomolecular systems like molecular motors or pumps, transcription and translation machinery, and other enzymatic reactions, can be described as Markov processes on a suitable network. We show quite generally that, in a steady state, the dispersion of observables, like the number of consumed or produced molecules or the number of steps of a motor, is constrained by the thermodynamic cost of generating it. An uncertainty ɛ requires at least a cost of 2 kBT /ɛ2 independent of the time required to generate the output.

  15. Molecular dynamics simulations of a new branched antimicrobial peptide: A comparison of force fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jianguo; Lakshminarayanan, Rajamani; Bai, Yang; Liu, Shouping; Zhou, Lei; Pervushin, Konstantin; Verma, Chandra; Beuerman, Roger W.

    2012-12-01

    Branched antimicrobial peptides are promising as a new class of antibiotics displaying high activity and low toxicity and appear to work through a unique mechanism of action. We explore the structural dynamics of a covalently branched 18 amino acid peptide (referred to as B2088) in aqueous and membrane mimicking environments through molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Towards this, we carry out conventional MD simulations and supplement these with replica exchange simulations. The simulations are carried out using four different force fields that are commonly employed for simulating biomolecular systems. These force fields are GROMOS53a6, CHARMM27 with cMAP, CHARMM27 without cMAP and AMBER99sb. The force fields are benchmarked against experimental data available from circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies, and show that CHARMM27 without cMAP correction is the most successful in reproducing the structural dynamics of B2088 both in water and in the presence of micelles. Although the four force fields predict different structures of B2088, they all show that B2088 stabilizes against the head group of the lipid through hydrogen bonding of its Lys and Arg side chains. This leads us to hypothesize that B2088 is unlikely to penetrate into the hydrophobic region of the membrane owing to the high free energy costs of transfer from water, and possibly acts by carpeting and thus disrupting the membrane.

  16. Molecular dynamics simulation of HIV-protease with polarizable and non-polarizable force fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meher, B. R.; Satish Kumar, M. V.; Bandyopadhyay, Pradipta

    2009-01-01

    The effect of polarization in biomolecular force field is investigated by performing Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation of HIV-protease by using two AMBER force fields, namely ff99 (non-polarizable) and ff02 (polarizable). The results of simulation show that the overall structural fluctuation of HIV-protease is reduced in the polarizable simulation. Comparison with the NMR order parameters with the calculated values shows that although some residues are less flexible in the ff02 simulation, the dynamics of two β-hairpins (flaps), the most flexible part of the protein, is relatively insensitive to the effect of polarization. The flap-active site distance, a measure of flap opening, is distinctly more in the non-polarizable simulation. The water count and radial distribution functions are investigated near a representative residue of three types — charged, polar and hydrophobic. Both water count and radial distribution function differ significantly near the charged residue (catalytic Asp25) between the force fields. However, the water movement is similar near the polar (Ser37) and hydrophobic (Ile85) residues. The preliminary results of this investigation show that polarization is likely to influence both global and specific local motions of protein and solvent.

  17. Bio-molecular sensors based on guided mode resonance filters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saleem, M. R.; Ali, R.; Honkanen, S.; Turunen, J.

    2016-08-01

    In this work a low surface roughness and homogenous, high refractive index, and amorphous TiO2 layer on corrugated structures of diffractive optical element is coated by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) for biosensors. The design of Guided Mode Resonance Filters (GMRFs) is based on refractive indices and thicknesses of the waveguide biomolecular layers. The designed spectral shifts are calculated by Fourier Modal Method (FMM) and depend on the magnitude of the variations in refractive index of the biomolecular layer on waveguide structures. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the biomolecular sensors depends on the thickness of biomolecular layer and periodicity of the structures. The waveguide structures designed for larger periods show an enhancement in the sensitivity (nm/RIU) of the biomolecular sensor at longer wavelengths. The periodicities of nanophotonic structures are varied from 300 to 500 nm in design calculations with predominance of increase in effective index of the structure to support leaky waveguide modes.

  18. Optimization of an AMBER Force Field for the Artificial Nucleic Acid, LNA, and Benchmarking with NMR of L(CAAU)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Locked Nucleic Acids (LNAs) are RNA analogues with an O2′-C4′ methylene bridge which locks the sugar into a C3′-endo conformation. This enhances hybridization to DNA and RNA, making LNAs useful in microarrays and potential therapeutics. Here, the LNA, L(CAAU), provides a simplified benchmark for testing the ability of molecular dynamics (MD) to approximate nucleic acid properties. LNA χ torsions and partial charges were parametrized to create AMBER parm99_LNA. The revisions were tested by comparing MD predictions with AMBER parm99 and parm99_LNA against a 200 ms NOESY NMR spectrum of L(CAAU). NMR indicates an A-Form equilibrium ensemble. In 3000 ns simulations starting with an A-form structure, parm99_LNA and parm99 provide 66% and 35% agreement, respectively, with NMR NOE volumes and 3J-couplings. In simulations of L(CAAU) starting with all χ torsions in a syn conformation, only parm99_LNA is able to repair the structure. This implies methods for parametrizing force fields for nucleic acid mimics can reasonably approximate key interactions and that parm99_LNA will improve reliability of MD studies for systems with LNA. A method for approximating χ population distribution on the basis of base to sugar NOEs is also introduced. PMID:24377321

  19. Smartphones for cell and biomolecular detection.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiyuan; Lin, Tung-Yi; Lillehoj, Peter B

    2014-11-01

    Recent advances in biomedical science and technology have played a significant role in the development of new sensors and assays for cell and biomolecular detection. Generally, these efforts are aimed at reducing the complexity and costs associated with diagnostic testing so that it can be performed outside of a laboratory or hospital setting, requiring minimal equipment and user involvement. In particular, point-of-care (POC) testing offers immense potential for many important applications including medical diagnosis, environmental monitoring, food safety, and biosecurity. When coupled with smartphones, POC systems can offer portability, ease of use and enhanced functionality while maintaining performance. This review article focuses on recent advancements and developments in smartphone-based POC systems within the last 6 years with an emphasis on cell and biomolecular detection. These devices typically comprise multiple components, such as detectors, sample processors, disposable chips, batteries, and software, which are integrated with a commercial smartphone. One of the most important aspects of developing these systems is the integration of these components onto a compact and lightweight platform that requires minimal power. Researchers have demonstrated several promising approaches employing various detection schemes and device configurations, and it is expected that further developments in biosensors, battery technology and miniaturized electronics will enable smartphone-based POC technologies to become more mainstream tools in the scientific and biomedical communities.

  20. The aquatic and semiaquatic biota in Miocene amber from the Campo LA Granja mine (Chiapas, Mexico): Paleoenvironmental implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrano-Sánchez, María de Lourdes; Hegna, Thomas A.; Schaaf, Peter; Pérez, Liseth; Centeno-García, Elena; Vega, Francisco J.

    2015-10-01

    Amber from the Campo La Granja mine in Chiapas, Mexico, is distinct from other sources of amber in Chiapas. Campo La Granja amber has distinct layers created by successive flows of resin with thin layers of sand on most surfaces. Aquatic and semi-aquatic arthropods are commonly found. Together these pieces of evidence suggest an estuarine environment similar to modern mangrove communities. The aquatic crustaceans are the most intriguing aspect of the biota. A large number of ostracods have been found in the amber-many with their carapaces open, suggesting that they were alive and submerged in water at the time of entombment. The only known examples of brachyuran crabs preserved in amber are found in the Campo La Granja amber. Amphipods, copepods, isopods, and tanaids are also members of the crustacean fauna preserved in amber.

  1. Entrapment bias of arthropods in Miocene amber revealed by trapping experiments in a tropical forest in Chiapas, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Solórzano Kraemer, Mónica M; Kraemer, Mónica M Solórzano; Kraemer, Atahualpa S; Stebner, Frauke; Bickel, Daniel J; Rust, Jes

    2015-01-01

    All entomological traps have a capturing bias, and amber, viewed as a trap, is no exception. Thus the fauna trapped in amber does not represent the total existing fauna of the former amber forest, rather the fauna living in and around the resin producing tree. In this paper we compare arthropods from a forest very similar to the reconstruction of the Miocene Mexican amber forest, and determine the bias of different trapping methods, including amber. We also show, using cluster analyses, measurements of the trapped arthropods, and guild distribution, that the amber trap is a complex entomological trap not comparable with a single artificial trap. At the order level, the most similar trap to amber is the sticky trap. However, in the case of Diptera, at the family level, the Malaise trap is also very similar to amber. Amber captured a higher diversity of arthropods than each of the artificial traps, based on our study of Mexican amber from the Middle Miocene, a time of climate optimum, where temperature and humidity were probably higher than in modern Central America. We conclude that the size bias is qualitatively independent of the kind of trap for non-extreme values. We suggest that frequent specimens in amber were not necessarily the most frequent arthropods in the former amber forest. Selected taxa with higher numbers of specimens appear in amber because of their ecology and behavior, usually closely related with a tree-inhabiting life. Finally, changes of diversity from the Middle Miocene to Recent time in Central and South America can be analyzed by comparing the rich amber faunas from Mexico and the Dominican Republic with the fauna trapped using sticky and Malaise traps in Central America.

  2. Entrapment Bias of Arthropods in Miocene Amber Revealed by Trapping Experiments in a Tropical Forest in Chiapas, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Solórzano Kraemer, Mónica M.; Kraemer, Atahualpa S.; Stebner, Frauke; Bickel, Daniel J.; Rust, Jes

    2015-01-01

    All entomological traps have a capturing bias, and amber, viewed as a trap, is no exception. Thus the fauna trapped in amber does not represent the total existing fauna of the former amber forest, rather the fauna living in and around the resin producing tree. In this paper we compare arthropods from a forest very similar to the reconstruction of the Miocene Mexican amber forest, and determine the bias of different trapping methods, including amber. We also show, using cluster analyses, measurements of the trapped arthropods, and guild distribution, that the amber trap is a complex entomological trap not comparable with a single artificial trap. At the order level, the most similar trap to amber is the sticky trap. However, in the case of Diptera, at the family level, the Malaise trap is also very similar to amber. Amber captured a higher diversity of arthropods than each of the artificial traps, based on our study of Mexican amber from the Middle Miocene, a time of climate optimum, where temperature and humidity were probably higher than in modern Central America. We conclude that the size bias is qualitatively independent of the kind of trap for non–extreme values. We suggest that frequent specimens in amber were not necessarily the most frequent arthropods in the former amber forest. Selected taxa with higher numbers of specimens appear in amber because of their ecology and behavior, usually closely related with a tree–inhabiting life. Finally, changes of diversity from the Middle Miocene to Recent time in Central and South America can be analyzed by comparing the rich amber faunas from Mexico and the Dominican Republic with the fauna trapped using sticky and Malaise traps in Central America. PMID:25785584

  3. Ancient hastisetae of Cretaceous carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in Myanmar amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George; Poinar, Roberta

    2016-11-01

    Hastisetae are extremely elaborate and intricate insect setae that occur solely on dermestid larvae (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). The present work characterizes hastisetae found in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar and compares them to hastisetae found on extant dermestid larvae. The presence of hastisetae in Myanmar amber shows that lineages of dermestid beetles had already developed hastisetae by the mid-Cretaceous and their presence allows us to follow the evolutionary development of this particular arthropod structure over the past 100 million years. Hastisetae attached to a parasitic wasp in the same piece of amber indicates that ancient dermestid beetles used their hastisetae for defense, similar to their function today.

  4. Response to "Evidence from amber for the origins of termitophily".

    PubMed

    Cai, Chenyang; Huang, Diying; Newton, Alfred F; Eldredge, K Taro; Engel, Michael S

    2017-08-21

    In a recent Current Biology paper [1], we reported the oldest, morphologically specialized, and obligate termitophiles, Cretotrichopsenius burmiticus (Figure 1, left), from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber, about 99 million years old. Cretotrichopsenius, belonging to the obligately termitophilous rove beetle tribe Trichopseniini, display the protective horseshoe-crab-shaped body typical of many extant termitophiles. However, the termitophilous lifestyle of Cretotrichopsenius is being questioned by Yamamoto et al.[2] based on their representation of the termitophile-related features and premature and presumptive phylogenetic placement of Cretotrichopsenius within Trichopseniini. We stand by our interpretation that Cretotrichopsenius are obligate termitophiles, and Mesosymbion[3], a member of the largely free-living Mesoporini, are not necessarily termitophilous. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. GLYCAM06: A Generalizable Biomolecular Force Field. Carbohydrates

    PubMed Central

    KIRSCHNER, KARL N.; YONGYE, AUSTIN B.; TSCHAMPEL, SARAH M.; GONZÁLEZ-OUTEIRIÑO, JORGE; DANIELS, CHARLISA R.; FOLEY, B. LACHELE; WOODS, ROBERT J.

    2015-01-01

    A new derivation of the GLYCAM06 force field, which removes its previous specificity for carbohydrates, and its dependency on the AMBER force field and parameters, is presented. All pertinent force field terms have been explicitly specified and so no default or generic parameters are employed. The new GLYCAM is no longer limited to any particular class of biomolecules, but is extendible to all molecular classes in the spirit of a small-molecule force field. The torsion terms in the present work were all derived from quantum mechanical data from a collection of minimal molecular fragments and related small molecules. For carbohydrates, there is now a single parameter set applicable to both α- and β-anomers and to all monosaccharide ring sizes and conformations. We demonstrate that deriving dihedral parameters by fitting to QM data for internal rotational energy curves for representative small molecules generally leads to correct rotamer populations in molecular dynamics simulations, and that this approach removes the need for phase corrections in the dihedral terms. However, we note that there are cases where this approach is inadequate. Reported here are the basic components of the new force field as well as an illustration of its extension to carbohydrates. In addition to reproducing the gas-phase properties of an array of small test molecules, condensed-phase simulations employing GLYCAM06 are shown to reproduce rotamer populations for key small molecules and representative biopolymer building blocks in explicit water, as well as crystalline lattice properties, such as unit cell dimensions, and vibrational frequencies. PMID:17849372

  6. Micro- and nanodevices integrated with biomolecular probes

    PubMed Central

    Alapan, Yunus; Icoz, Kutay; Gurkan, Umut A.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how biomolecules, proteins and cells interact with their surroundings and other biological entities has become the fundamental design criterion for most biomedical micro- and nanodevices. Advances in biology, medicine, and nanofabrication technologies complement each other and allow us to engineer new tools based on biomolecules utilized as probes. Engineered micro/nanosystems and biomolecules in nature have remarkably robust compatibility in terms of function, size, and physical properties. This article presents the state of the art in micro- and nanoscale devices designed and fabricated with biomolecular probes as their vital constituents. General design and fabrication concepts are presented and three major platform technologies are highlighted: microcantilevers, micro/nanopillars, and microfluidics. Overview of each technology, typical fabrication details, and application areas are presented by emphasizing significant achievements, current challenges, and future opportunities. PMID:26363089

  7. Semisynthetic and Biomolecular Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts.

    PubMed

    Kandemir, Banu; Chakraborty, Saikat; Guo, Yixing; Bren, Kara L

    2016-01-19

    There has been great interest in the development of stable, inexpensive, efficient catalysts capable of reducing aqueous protons to hydrogen (H2), an alternative to fossil fuels. While synthetic H2 evolution catalysts have been in development for decades, recently there has been great progress in engineering biomolecular catalysts and assemblies of synthetic catalysts and biomolecules. In this Forum Article, progress in engineering proteins to catalyze H2 evolution from water is discussed. The artificial enzymes described include assemblies of synthetic catalysts and photosynthetic proteins, proteins with cofactors replaced with synthetic catalysts, and derivatives of electron-transfer proteins. In addition, a new catalyst consisting of a thermophilic cobalt-substituted cytochrome c is reported. As an electrocatalyst, the cobalt cytochrome shows nearly quantitative Faradaic efficiency and excellent longevity with a turnover number of >270000.

  8. Micro- and nanodevices integrated with biomolecular probes.

    PubMed

    Alapan, Yunus; Icoz, Kutay; Gurkan, Umut A

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how biomolecules, proteins and cells interact with their surroundings and other biological entities has become the fundamental design criterion for most biomedical micro- and nanodevices. Advances in biology, medicine, and nanofabrication technologies complement each other and allow us to engineer new tools based on biomolecules utilized as probes. Engineered micro/nanosystems and biomolecules in nature have remarkably robust compatibility in terms of function, size, and physical properties. This article presents the state of the art in micro- and nanoscale devices designed and fabricated with biomolecular probes as their vital constituents. General design and fabrication concepts are presented and three major platform technologies are highlighted: microcantilevers, micro/nanopillars, and microfluidics. Overview of each technology, typical fabrication details, and application areas are presented by emphasizing significant achievements, current challenges, and future opportunities.

  9. Design of environment-responsive biomolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aizawa, Masuo; Niimi, T.; Haruyama, T.; Kobatake, E.

    1996-02-01

    Two different types of biomolecular network systems have been designed to respond to the environmental conditions. One is the calmodulin and enzyme (phosphodiesterase, PDE) that activates phosphodiesterase through the conformational change in responding calcium ion. Calmodulin was genetically engineered to be fused with glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Calmodulin/GST fused protein was self-assembled on the gold surface through glutathione. The calmodulin/GST protein layer exhibited an ability to modulate the PDE activity in a solution phase depending on the calcium ion concentration. The other is the engineered gene structure that produces firefly luciferase in responding environmental pollutants. A TOL plasmid, encoding a binding protein xyl R for xyline and a marker enzyme firefly luciferase, has been implemented in a bacterial cell. The whole cell responded to environmentally hazardous substances such as xylene in emitting light.

  10. Biomolecular rods and tubes in nanotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bittner, Alexander M.

    2005-02-01

    Biomolecules are vitally important elements in nanoscale science and also in future nanotechnology. Their shape and their chemical and physical functionality can give them a big advantage over inorganic and organic substances. While this becomes most obvious in proteins and peptides, with their complicated, but easily controlled chemistry, other biomolecular substances such as DNA, lipids and carbohydrates can also be important. In this review, the emphasis is on one-dimensional molecules and on molecules that self-assemble into linear structures, and on their potential applications. An important aspect is that biomolecules can act as templates, i.e. their shape and chemical properties can be employed to arrange inorganic substances such as metals or metal compounds on the nanometre scale. In particular, rod- and tube-like nanostructures can show physical properties that are different from those of the bulk material, and thus these structures are likely to be a basis for new technology.

  11. Biomolecular rods and tubes in nanotechnology.

    PubMed

    Bittner, Alexander M

    2005-02-01

    Biomolecules are vitally important elements in nanoscale science and also in future nanotechnology. Their shape and their chemical and physical functionality can give them a big advantage over inorganic and organic substances. While this becomes most obvious in proteins and peptides, with their complicated, but easily controlled chemistry, other biomolecular substances such as DNA, lipids and carbohydrates can also be important. In this review, the emphasis is on one-dimensional molecules and on molecules that self-assemble into linear structures, and on their potential applications. An important aspect is that biomolecules can act as templates, i.e. their shape and chemical properties can be employed to arrange inorganic substances -- such as metals or metal compounds -- on the nanometre scale. In particular, rod- and tube-like nanostructures can show physical properties that are different from those of the bulk material, and thus these structures are likely to be a basis for new technology.

  12. Epigenetic molecular recognition: a biomolecular modeling perspective.

    PubMed

    Vellore, Nadeem A; Baron, Riccardo

    2014-03-01

    The abnormal regulation of epigenetic protein families is associated with the onset and progression of various human diseases. However, epigenetic processes remain relatively obscure at the molecular level, thus preventing the rational design of chemical therapeutics. An array of robust computational and modeling approaches can complement experiments to shed light on the complex mechanisms of epigenetic molecular recognition and can guide medicinal chemists in designing selective and potent drug molecules. Herein we present a review of studies focused on epigenetic molecular recognition from a biomolecular modeling viewpoint. Although the known epigenetic targets are numerous, this review focuses on the more limited protein families on which computational modeling has been successfully applied. Therefore, we review three main topics: 1) histone deacetylases, 2) histone demethylases, and 3) histone tail dynamics. A brief review of the biological background and biomedical relevance is presented for each topic, followed by a detailed discussion of the computational studies and their relevance.

  13. Biomolecular Imaging with Coherent Nonlinear Vibrational Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Chao-Yu; Boik, John; Potma, Eric O.

    2014-01-01

    Optical imaging with spectroscopic vibrational contrast is a label-free solution for visualizing, identifying, and quantifying a wide range of biomolecular compounds in biological materials. Both linear and nonlinear vibrational microscopy techniques derive their imaging contrast from infrared active or Raman allowed molecular transitions, which provide a rich palette for interrogating chemical and structural details of the sample. Yet nonlinear optical methods, which include both second-order sum-frequency generation (SFG) and third-order coherent Raman scattering (CRS) techniques, offer several improved imaging capabilities over their linear precursors. Nonlinear vibrational microscopy features unprecedented vibrational imaging speeds, provides strategies for higher spatial resolution, and gives access to additional molecular parameters. These advances have turned vibrational microscopy into a premier tool for chemically dissecting live cells and tissues. This review discusses the molecular contrast of SFG and CRS microscopy and highlights several of the advanced imaging capabilities that have impacted biological and biomedical research. PMID:23245525

  14. Biomolecular computing systems: principles, progress and potential.

    PubMed

    Benenson, Yaakov

    2012-06-12

    The task of information processing, or computation, can be performed by natural and man-made 'devices'. Man-made computers are made from silicon chips, whereas natural 'computers', such as the brain, use cells and molecules. Computation also occurs on a much smaller scale in regulatory and signalling pathways in individual cells and even within single biomolecules. Indeed, much of what we recognize as life results from the remarkable capacity of biological building blocks to compute in highly sophisticated ways. Rational design and engineering of biological computing systems can greatly enhance our ability to study and to control biological systems. Potential applications include tissue engineering and regeneration and medical treatments. This Review introduces key concepts and discusses recent progress that has been made in biomolecular computing.

  15. Quantitative biomolecular imaging by dynamic nanomechanical mapping.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuai; Aslan, Hüsnü; Besenbacher, Flemming; Dong, Mingdong

    2014-11-07

    The ability to 'see' down to nanoscale has always been one of the most challenging obstacles for researchers to address fundamental questions. For many years, researchers have been developing scanning probe microscopy techniques to improve imaging capability at nanoscale. Among them, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has received considerable attention, which allows probing topography of biological species at real space under physiological environment. Importantly, force measurements in AFM enable researchers to reveal not only the topography but also the relevant physical-chemical properties. AFM-based dynamic nanomechanical mapping (DNM) provides insights into the functions of biological systems by the interpretation of 'force', which are inaccessible by most of the other analytic techniques. This review is aiming to shed light on these recently developed AFM-based DNM techniques for biomolecular imaging, and discuss the relative applications in biological research from the nanomechanical point of view.

  16. The termites of Early Eocene Cambay amber, with the earliest record of the Termitidae (Isoptera).

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S; Grimaldi, David A; Nascimbene, Paul C; Singh, Hukam

    2011-01-01

    The fauna of termites (Isoptera) preserved in Early Eocene amber from the Cambay Basin (Gujarat, India) are described and figured. Three new genera and four new species are recognized, all of them Neoisoptera - Parastylotermes krishnai Engel & Grimaldi, sp. n. (Stylotermitidae); Prostylotermes kamboja Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Stylotermitidae?); Zophotermes Engel, gen. n., with Zophotermes ashoki Engel & Singh, sp. n. (Rhinotermitidae: Prorhinotermitinae); and Nanotermes isaacae Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Termitidae: Termitinae?). Together these species represent the earliest Tertiary records of the Neoisoptera and the oldest definitive record of Termitidae, a family that comprises >75% of the living species of Isoptera. Interestingly, the affinities of the Cambay amber termites are with largely Laurasian lineages, in this regard paralleling relationships seen between the fauna of bees and some flies. Diversity of Neoisoptera in Indian amber may reflect origin of the amber deposit in Dipterocarpaceae forests formed at or near the paleoequator.

  17. Natural amber, copal resin and colophony investigated by UV-VIS, infrared and Raman spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, ZhiFan; Dong, Kun; Yang, XiaoYun; Lin, JinChang; Cui, XiaoYing; Zhou, RongFeng; Deng, Qing

    2013-08-01

    Natural amber, copal resin and colophony are have investigated by UV-VIS, infrared and Raman spectrum. In order to distinguish the natural amber, copal resin and colophony, we have successfully used the nondestructive examination (NDE) technology. The results show that UV-VIS could not distinguish these compositions. The infrared spectra can distinguish them, but the technology may destroy the specimen. The Raman spectra show three characteristic peaks of vibration near position 932 cm-1 and position 1179 cm-1 of copal resin, which confirm the existence of terpenes compounds in it. In the Raman spectra of colophony, the vibration characteristic peak at position 1589 cm-1, caused by the conjugate double bond of internal unsaturated resin acid, is the basis of the characteristic difference between colophony and natural amber. The advantages of the distinguished technology by Raman spectroscopy are convenient and nondestructive examination for natural amber, copal resin and colophony.

  18. The termites of Early Eocene Cambay amber, with the earliest record of the Termitidae (Isoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Engel, Michael S.; Grimaldi, David A.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Singh, Hukam

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The fauna of termites (Isoptera) preserved in Early Eocene amber from the Cambay Basin (Gujarat, India) are described and figured. Three new genera and four new species are recognized, all of them Neoisoptera – Parastylotermes krishnai Engel & Grimaldi, sp. n. (Stylotermitidae); Prostylotermes kamboja Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Stylotermitidae?); Zophotermes Engel, gen. n., with Zophotermes ashoki Engel & Singh, sp. n. (Rhinotermitidae: Prorhinotermitinae); and Nanotermes isaacae Engel & Grimaldi, gen. et sp. n. (Termitidae: Termitinae?). Together these species represent the earliest Tertiary records of the Neoisoptera and the oldest definitive record of Termitidae, a family that comprises >75% of the living species of Isoptera. Interestingly, the affinities of the Cambay amber termites are with largely Laurasian lineages, in this regard paralleling relationships seen between the fauna of bees and some flies. Diversity of Neoisoptera in Indian amber may reflect origin of the amber deposit in Dipterocarpaceae forests formed at or near the paleoequator. PMID:22287892

  19. The Range of Bioinclusions and Pseudoinclusions Preserved in a New Turonian (~90 Ma) Amber Occurrence from Southern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Quinney, Annie; Mays, Chris; Stilwell, Jeffrey D.; Zelenitsky, Darla K.; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    A new Turonian amber occurrence, representing the oldest in situ amber locality in Australia and the southern-most locality in Gondwana, has recently been discovered in the Otway Basin of Victoria. The amber was collected from petroleum cores and many pieces contain a range of inclusions that can provide information on the depositional history of the resin. To date, one species of fern spore (Cyathidites minor) and one species of lycophyte spore (Kraeuselisporites sp?) have been conclusively identified in the amber, along with filamentous microorganisms and degraded plant matter. Several samples are also rife with pseudoinclusions as reported recently in other ambers. The abundance of preserved particulate debris and wind dispersed spores suggest that the Otway amber formed subaerially. Furthermore, based on the range of bioinclusions and forms of pseudoinclusions preserved within a single piece of amber, the locus of hardening for individual samples is variably interpreted as occurring in the tree tops, on the tree trunk or on the ground surface. Notably, specific inclusion assemblages are associated with certain colours of amber. By extension, and in accordance with recent studies, amber colour may be indicative of depositional environment. Variation in the environment of solidification may, therefore, be sufficient to account for the broad range of morphological characteristics preserved in a single amber deposit. PMID:25970501

  20. The range of bioinclusions and pseudoinclusions preserved in a new Turonian (~90 ma) amber occurrence from Southern Australia.

    PubMed

    Quinney, Annie; Mays, Chris; Stilwell, Jeffrey D; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    A new Turonian amber occurrence, representing the oldest in situ amber locality in Australia and the southern-most locality in Gondwana, has recently been discovered in the Otway Basin of Victoria. The amber was collected from petroleum cores and many pieces contain a range of inclusions that can provide information on the depositional history of the resin. To date, one species of fern spore (Cyathidites minor) and one species of lycophyte spore (Kraeuselisporites sp?) have been conclusively identified in the amber, along with filamentous microorganisms and degraded plant matter. Several samples are also rife with pseudoinclusions as reported recently in other ambers. The abundance of preserved particulate debris and wind dispersed spores suggest that the Otway amber formed subaerially. Furthermore, based on the range of bioinclusions and forms of pseudoinclusions preserved within a single piece of amber, the locus of hardening for individual samples is variably interpreted as occurring in the tree tops, on the tree trunk or on the ground surface. Notably, specific inclusion assemblages are associated with certain colours of amber. By extension, and in accordance with recent studies, amber colour may be indicative of depositional environment. Variation in the environment of solidification may, therefore, be sufficient to account for the broad range of morphological characteristics preserved in a single amber deposit.

  1. Lilioceris groehni sp. n.: the first authentic species of Criocerinae (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) from Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Bukejs, Andris; Schmitt, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Based on a single well-preserved specimen from Eocene Baltic amber, Lilioceris groehnisp. n. is described and illustrated using phase-contrast X-ray microtomography. It is the first described species of Criocerinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) from Baltic amber. A check-list of fossil Criocerinae is provided. Placement of Crioceris pristiana (Germar, 1813) is discussed, this species is removed from Criocerinae and placed in Coleoptera incertae sedis.

  2. A new genus and species of Dictyopharidae (Homoptera) from Rovno and Baltic amber based on nymphs

    PubMed Central

    Emeljanov, Alexander F.; Shcherbakov, Dmitry E.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Alicodoxa rasnitsyni gen. et sp. n. (Dictyopharinae: Orthopagini) is described based on a nymph from Rovno amber; it also occurs in Baltic amber. A small additional wax plate dorsal to the large wax plate of abdominal tergites VI–VIII is first reported in this and other genera of Dictyopharidae. A lectotype is designated for Pseudophana reticulata Germar & Berendt, 1856 transferred to Protepiptera (Achilidae): Protepiptera reticulata (Germar & Berendt, 1856), comb. n. PMID:22259275

  3. A gilled mushroom, Gerontomyces lepidotus gen. et sp. nov. (Basidiomycota: Agaricales), in Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George

    2016-09-01

    A densely scaled small mushroom in Baltic amber is described as Gerontomyces lepidotus gen. et sp. nov. and is characterized by a convex pileus 1.0 mm in diameter, distant to subdistant lamellae with smooth margins and a centrally inserted cylindrical, solid stipe. Its taxonomic placement is uncertain. This is the first mushroom described from Baltic amber. Copyright © 2016 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. First Record of Anisoptera (Insecta: Odonata) from mid-Cretaceous Burmese Amber.

    PubMed

    Schädel, Mario; Bechly, Günter

    2016-04-18

    The fossil dragonfly Burmalindenia imperfecta gen. et sp. nov. is described from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber as the first record of the odonate suborder Anisoptera for this locality and one of the few records from amber in general. The inclusion comprises two fragments of the two hind wings of a dragonfly. The fossil can be attributed to a new genus and species of the family Gomphidae, presumably in the subfamily Lindeniinae, and features a strange teratological phenomenon in its wing venation.

  5. Lilioceris groehni sp. n.: the first authentic species of Criocerinae (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) from Baltic amber

    PubMed Central

    Bukejs, Andris; Schmitt, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Based on a single well-preserved specimen from Eocene Baltic amber, Lilioceris groehni sp. n. is described and illustrated using phase-contrast X-ray microtomography. It is the first described species of Criocerinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) from Baltic amber. A check-list of fossil Criocerinae is provided. Placement of Crioceris pristiana (Germar, 1813) is discussed, this species is removed from Criocerinae and placed in Coleoptera incertae sedis. PMID:27853400

  6. Terpenoid Compositions and Botanical Origins of Late Cretaceous and Miocene Amber from China

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Gongle; Dutta, Suryendu; Paul, Swagata; Wang, Bo; Jacques, Frédéric M. B.

    2014-01-01

    The terpenoid compositions of the Late Cretaceous Xixia amber from Central China and the middle Miocene Zhangpu amber from Southeast China were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to elucidate their botanical origins. The Xixia amber is characterized by sesquiterpenoids, abietane and phyllocladane type diterpenoids, but lacks phenolic abietanes and labdane derivatives. The molecular compositions indicate that the Xixia amber is most likely contributed by the conifer family Araucariaceae, which is today distributed primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, but widely occurred in the Northern Hemisphere during the Mesozoic according to paleobotanical evidence. The middle Miocene Zhangpu amber is characterized by amyrin and amyrone-based triterpenoids and cadalene-based sesquiterpenoids. It is considered derived from the tropical angiosperm family Dipterocarpaceae based on these compounds and the co-occurring fossil winged fruits of the family in Zhangpu. This provides new evidence for the occurrence of a dipterocarp forest in the middle Miocene of Southeast China. It is the first detailed biomarker study for amber from East Asia. PMID:25354364

  7. Game Theory Model of Traffic Participants within Amber Time at Signalized Intersection

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Weiwei; Wen, Huiying; Fu, Chuanyun; Song, Mo

    2014-01-01

    The traffic light scheme is composed of red, green, and amber lights, and it has been defined clearly for the traffic access of red and green lights; however, the definition of that for the amber light is indistinct, which leads to the appearance of uncertainty factors and serious traffic conflicts during the amber light. At present, the traffic administrations are faced with the decision of whether to forbid passing or not during the amber light in the cities of China. On one hand, it will go against the purpose of setting amber lights if forbidding passing; on the other hand, it may lead to a mess of traffic flow running if not. And meanwhile the drivers are faced with the decision of passing the intersection or stopping during the amber light as well. So the decision-making behavior of traffic administrations and drivers can be converted into a double game model. And through quantification of their earnings in different choice conditions, the optimum decision-making plan under specific conditions could be solved via the Nash equilibrium solution concept. Thus the results will provide a basis for the formulation of the traffic management strategy. PMID:25580108

  8. Diverse early dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium), ecological keystones of the Eocene Baltic amber biota.

    PubMed

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Seyfullah, Leyla J; Wilson, Carol A; Calvin, Clyde L; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2017-05-01

    Extant dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium M. Bieb., Viscaceae) are hemiparasites with complex roles in nature. They are one of the most severe pests in northern hemisphere conifer forests, but they also enhance the structural complexity and species diversity of the forests. Here, we describe the first pre-Miocene macrofossils of dwarf mistletoes. The fossils from Eocene Baltic amber provide new insights into the morphological evolution of the Arceuthobium lineage and its paleobiogeography. The amber inclusions were investigated with light microscopy and compared with extant Viscaceae and to historic descriptions of lost Baltic amber fossils with affinities to Viscaceae. Six fossil species of the Arceuthobium lineage, A. johnianum comb. nov., A. mengeanum comb. nov., A. conwentzii sp. nov., A. groehnii sp. nov., A. viscoides comb. nov. and A. obovatum sp. nov., occurred in source forests of Baltic amber, representing the oldest macrofossil evidence of dwarf mistletoes. They share morphological features of their bracts, internodes, fruits, and stomata with extant Arceuthobium. Differences from extant dwarf mistletoes, such as the perianth merosity, the nonfusion of squamate bracts and presence of oblanceolate expanded leaves, indicate their affiliation to an ancient lineage of the genus. The occurrence of six species of dwarf mistletoes in a single amber deposit suggests Arceuthobium was a keystone taxon of the Baltic amber source area. As in extant conifer forests, they probably influenced the structural complexity of the forest, not only leading to more open woodlands but also increasing species diversity, at least at a microhabitat scale. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  9. Insect outbreaks produce distinctive carbon isotope signatures in defensive resins and fossiliferous ambers.

    PubMed

    McKellar, Ryan C; Wolfe, Alexander P; Muehlenbachs, Karlis; Tappert, Ralf; Engel, Michael S; Cheng, Tao; Sánchez-Azofeifa, G Arturo

    2011-11-07

    Despite centuries of research addressing amber and its various inclusions, relatively little is known about the specific events having stimulated the production of geologically relevant volumes of plant resin, ultimately yielding amber deposits. Although numerous hypotheses have invoked the role of insects, to date these have proven difficult to test. Here, we use the current mountain pine beetle outbreak in western Canada as an analogy for the effects of infestation on the stable isotopic composition of carbon in resins. We show that infestation results in a rapid (approx. 1 year) (13)C enrichment of fresh lodgepole pine resins, in a pattern directly comparable with that observed in resins collected from uninfested trees subjected to water stress. Furthermore, resin isotopic values are shown to track both the progression of infestation and instances of recovery. These findings can be extended to fossil resins, including Miocene amber from the Dominican Republic and Late Cretaceous New Jersey amber, revealing similar carbon-isotopic patterns between visually clean ambers and those associated with the attack of wood-boring insects. Plant exudate δ(13)C values constitute a sensitive monitor of ecological stress in both modern and ancient forest ecosystems, and provide considerable insight concerning the genesis of amber in the geological record.

  10. Insect outbreaks produce distinctive carbon isotope signatures in defensive resins and fossiliferous ambers

    PubMed Central

    McKellar, Ryan C.; Wolfe, Alexander P.; Muehlenbachs, Karlis; Tappert, Ralf; Engel, Michael S.; Cheng, Tao; Sánchez-Azofeifa, G. Arturo

    2011-01-01

    Despite centuries of research addressing amber and its various inclusions, relatively little is known about the specific events having stimulated the production of geologically relevant volumes of plant resin, ultimately yielding amber deposits. Although numerous hypotheses have invoked the role of insects, to date these have proven difficult to test. Here, we use the current mountain pine beetle outbreak in western Canada as an analogy for the effects of infestation on the stable isotopic composition of carbon in resins. We show that infestation results in a rapid (approx. 1 year) 13C enrichment of fresh lodgepole pine resins, in a pattern directly comparable with that observed in resins collected from uninfested trees subjected to water stress. Furthermore, resin isotopic values are shown to track both the progression of infestation and instances of recovery. These findings can be extended to fossil resins, including Miocene amber from the Dominican Republic and Late Cretaceous New Jersey amber, revealing similar carbon-isotopic patterns between visually clean ambers and those associated with the attack of wood-boring insects. Plant exudate δ13C values constitute a sensitive monitor of ecological stress in both modern and ancient forest ecosystems, and provide considerable insight concerning the genesis of amber in the geological record. PMID:21429925

  11. Game theory model of traffic participants within amber time at signalized intersection.

    PubMed

    Qi, Weiwei; Wen, Huiying; Fu, Chuanyun; Song, Mo

    2014-01-01

    The traffic light scheme is composed of red, green, and amber lights, and it has been defined clearly for the traffic access of red and green lights; however, the definition of that for the amber light is indistinct, which leads to the appearance of uncertainty factors and serious traffic conflicts during the amber light. At present, the traffic administrations are faced with the decision of whether to forbid passing or not during the amber light in the cities of China. On one hand, it will go against the purpose of setting amber lights if forbidding passing; on the other hand, it may lead to a mess of traffic flow running if not. And meanwhile the drivers are faced with the decision of passing the intersection or stopping during the amber light as well. So the decision-making behavior of traffic administrations and drivers can be converted into a double game model. And through quantification of their earnings in different choice conditions, the optimum decision-making plan under specific conditions could be solved via the Nash equilibrium solution concept. Thus the results will provide a basis for the formulation of the traffic management strategy.

  12. Terpenoid compositions and botanical origins of Late Cretaceous and Miocene amber from China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Gongle; Dutta, Suryendu; Paul, Swagata; Wang, Bo; Jacques, Frédéric M B

    2014-01-01

    The terpenoid compositions of the Late Cretaceous Xixia amber from Central China and the middle Miocene Zhangpu amber from Southeast China were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to elucidate their botanical origins. The Xixia amber is characterized by sesquiterpenoids, abietane and phyllocladane type diterpenoids, but lacks phenolic abietanes and labdane derivatives. The molecular compositions indicate that the Xixia amber is most likely contributed by the conifer family Araucariaceae, which is today distributed primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, but widely occurred in the Northern Hemisphere during the Mesozoic according to paleobotanical evidence. The middle Miocene Zhangpu amber is characterized by amyrin and amyrone-based triterpenoids and cadalene-based sesquiterpenoids. It is considered derived from the tropical angiosperm family Dipterocarpaceae based on these compounds and the co-occurring fossil winged fruits of the family in Zhangpu. This provides new evidence for the occurrence of a dipterocarp forest in the middle Miocene of Southeast China. It is the first detailed biomarker study for amber from East Asia.

  13. New Fossil Scorpion from the Chiapas Amber Lagerstätte.

    PubMed

    Riquelme, Francisco; Villegas-Guzmán, Gabriel; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Córdova-Tabares, Víctor; Francke, Oscar F; Piedra-Jiménez, Dulce; Estrada-Ruiz, Emilio; Luna-Castro, Bibiano

    2015-01-01

    A new species of scorpion is described based on a rare entire adult male preserved in a cloudy amber from Miocene rocks in the Chiapas Highlands, south of Mexico. The amber-bearing beds in Chiapas constitute a Conservation Lagerstätte with outstanding organic preservation inside plant resin. The new species is diagnosed as having putative characters that largely correspond with the genus Tityus Koch, 1836 (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Accordingly, it is now referred to as Tityus apozonalli sp. nov. Its previously unclear phylogenetic relationship among fossil taxa of the family Buthidae from both Dominican and Mexican amber is also examined herein. Preliminarily results indicate a basal condition of T. apozonalli regarding to Tityus geratus Santiago-Blay and Poinar, 1988, Tityus (Brazilotityus) hartkorni Lourenço, 2009, and Tityus azari Lourenço, 2013 from Dominican amber, as was Tityus (Brazilotityus) knodeli Lourenço, 2014 from Mexican amber. Its close relationships with extant Neotropic Tityus-like subclades such as 'Tityus clathratus' and the subgenus Tityus (Archaeotityus) are also discussed. This new taxon adds to the knowledge of New World scorpions from the Miocene that are rarely found trapped in amber.

  14. New Fossil Scorpion from the Chiapas Amber Lagerstätte

    PubMed Central

    Riquelme, Francisco; Villegas-Guzmán, Gabriel; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Córdova-Tabares, Víctor; Francke, Oscar F.; Piedra-Jiménez, Dulce; Estrada-Ruiz, Emilio; Luna-Castro, Bibiano

    2015-01-01

    A new species of scorpion is described based on a rare entire adult male preserved in a cloudy amber from Miocene rocks in the Chiapas Highlands, south of Mexico. The amber-bearing beds in Chiapas constitute a Conservation Lagerstätte with outstanding organic preservation inside plant resin. The new species is diagnosed as having putative characters that largely correspond with the genus Tityus Koch, 1836 (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Accordingly, it is now referred to as Tityus apozonalli sp. nov. Its previously unclear phylogenetic relationship among fossil taxa of the family Buthidae from both Dominican and Mexican amber is also examined herein. Preliminarily results indicate a basal condition of T. apozonalli regarding to Tityus geratus Santiago-Blay and Poinar, 1988, Tityus (Brazilotityus) hartkorni Lourenço, 2009, and Tityus azari Lourenço, 2013 from Dominican amber, as was Tityus (Brazilotityus) knodeli Lourenço, 2014 from Mexican amber. Its close relationships with extant Neotropic Tityus-like subclades such as ‘Tityus clathratus’ and the subgenus Tityus (Archaeotityus) are also discussed. This new taxon adds to the knowledge of New World scorpions from the Miocene that are rarely found trapped in amber. PMID:26244974

  15. Reverse engineering biomolecular systems using -omic data: challenges, progress and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Quo, Chang F; Kaddi, Chanchala; Phan, John H; Zollanvari, Amin; Xu, Mingqing; Wang, May D; Alterovitz, Gil

    2012-07-01

    Recent advances in high-throughput biotechnologies have led to the rapid growing research interest in reverse engineering of biomolecular systems (REBMS). 'Data-driven' approaches, i.e. data mining, can be used to extract patterns from large volumes of biochemical data at molecular-level resolution while 'design-driven' approaches, i.e. systems modeling, can be used to simulate emergent system properties. Consequently, both data- and design-driven approaches applied to -omic data may lead to novel insights in reverse engineering biological systems that could not be expected before using low-throughput platforms. However, there exist several challenges in this fast growing field of reverse engineering biomolecular systems: (i) to integrate heterogeneous biochemical data for data mining, (ii) to combine top-down and bottom-up approaches for systems modeling and (iii) to validate system models experimentally. In addition to reviewing progress made by the community and opportunities encountered in addressing these challenges, we explore the emerging field of synthetic biology, which is an exciting approach to validate and analyze theoretical system models directly through experimental synthesis, i.e. analysis-by-synthesis. The ultimate goal is to address the present and future challenges in reverse engineering biomolecular systems (REBMS) using integrated workflow of data mining, systems modeling and synthetic biology.

  16. Reverse engineering biomolecular systems using −omic data: challenges, progress and opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Quo, Chang F.; Kaddi, Chanchala; Phan, John H.; Zollanvari, Amin; Xu, Mingqing

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in high-throughput biotechnologies have led to the rapid growing research interest in reverse engineering of biomolecular systems (REBMS). ‘Data-driven’ approaches, i.e. data mining, can be used to extract patterns from large volumes of biochemical data at molecular-level resolution while ‘design-driven’ approaches, i.e. systems modeling, can be used to simulate emergent system properties. Consequently, both data- and design-driven approaches applied to –omic data may lead to novel insights in reverse engineering biological systems that could not be expected before using low-throughput platforms. However, there exist several challenges in this fast growing field of reverse engineering biomolecular systems: (i) to integrate heterogeneous biochemical data for data mining, (ii) to combine top–down and bottom–up approaches for systems modeling and (iii) to validate system models experimentally. In addition to reviewing progress made by the community and opportunities encountered in addressing these challenges, we explore the emerging field of synthetic biology, which is an exciting approach to validate and analyze theoretical system models directly through experimental synthesis, i.e. analysis-by-synthesis. The ultimate goal is to address the present and future challenges in reverse engineering biomolecular systems (REBMS) using integrated workflow of data mining, systems modeling and synthetic biology. PMID:22833495

  17. Development and initial testing of an empirical forcefield for simulation of poly(alkylthiophenes)

    PubMed Central

    Widge, Alik S.; Matsuoka, Yoky; Kurnikova, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Conductive polymers from the polythiophene (PT) family have attracted interest in numerous domains, including potential applications in biosensing. Despite this, atomistic simulations of PTs have tended to use general organic force fields without well-tuned PT parameters, and there exists no optimized and well-validated PT force field that is compatible and consistent with existing biomolecular simulation suites. We present here the development of a new PT forcefield following the AMBER approach, using the program ANTECHAMBER and ab initio calculations at the HF/6-31G* level of theory to assign partial charges and parameterize the critical backbone torsion potential. The optimized geometries and force field potentials match well with both empirical data and previous investigators' calculations. Initial testing of these parameters through a series of replica exchange simulations of two PT derivatives in aqueous and organic implicit solvents demonstrates that the parameters can match empirical expectations within the limits of an implicit solvent model. This new force field forms a framework for modeling of proposed PT-based devices and sensors, and is expected to accelerate device design and eventual deployment. PMID:18485769

  18. Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Tau Peptides for the Investigation of Conformational Changes Induced by Specific Phosphorylation Patterns.

    PubMed

    Gandhi, Neha S; Kukic, Predrag; Lippens, Guy; Mancera, Ricardo L

    2017-01-01

    The Tau protein plays an important role due to its biomolecular interactions in neurodegenerative diseases. The lack of stable structure and various posttranslational modifications such as phosphorylation at various sites in the Tau protein pose a challenge for many experimental methods that are traditionally used to study protein folding and aggregation. Atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can help around deciphering relationship between phosphorylation and various intermediate and stable conformations of the Tau protein which occur on longer timescales. This chapter outlines protocols for the preparation, execution, and analysis of all-atom MD simulations of a 21-amino acid-long phosphorylated Tau peptide with the aim of generating biologically relevant structural and dynamic information. The simulations are done in explicit solvent and starting from nearly extended configurations of the peptide. The scaled MD method implemented in AMBER14 was chosen to achieve enhanced conformational sampling in addition to a conventional MD approach, thereby allowing the characterization of folding for such an intrinsically disordered peptide at 293 K. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of the simulation trajectories to establish correlations with NMR data (i.e., chemical shifts and NOEs). Finally, in-depth discussions are provided for commonly encountered problems.

  19. Modified Amber Force Field Correctly Models the Conformational Preference for Tandem GA pairs in RNA

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Molecular mechanics with all-atom models was used to understand the conformational preference of tandem guanine-adenine (GA) noncanonical pairs in RNA. These tandem GA pairs play important roles in determining stability, flexibility, and structural dynamics of RNA tertiary structures. Previous solution structures showed that these tandem GA pairs adopt either imino (cis Watson–Crick/Watson–Crick A-G) or sheared (trans Hoogsteen/sugar edge A-G) conformations depending on the sequence and orientation of the adjacent closing base pairs. The solution structures (GCGGACGC)2 [Biochemistry, 1996, 35, 9677–9689] and (GCGGAUGC)2 [Biochemistry, 2007, 46, 1511–1522] demonstrate imino and sheared conformations for the two central GA pairs, respectively. These systems were studied using molecular dynamics and free energy change calculations for conformational changes, using umbrella sampling. For the structures to maintain their native conformations during molecular dynamics simulations, a modification to the standard Amber ff10 force field was required, which allowed the amino group of guanine to leave the plane of the base [J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2009, 5, 2088–2100] and form out-of-plane hydrogen bonds with a cross-strand cytosine or uracil. The requirement for this modification suggests the importance of out-of-plane hydrogen bonds in stabilizing the native structures. Free energy change calculations for each sequence demonstrated the correct conformational preference when the force field modification was used, but the extent of the preference is underestimated. PMID:24803859

  20. Extension of the AMBER molecular dynamics software to Intel's Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Needham, Perri J.; Bhuiyan, Ashraf; Walker, Ross C.

    2016-04-01

    We present an implementation of explicit solvent particle mesh Ewald (PME) classical molecular dynamics (MD) within the PMEMD molecular dynamics engine, that forms part of the AMBER v14 MD software package, that makes use of Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors by offloading portions of the PME direct summation and neighbor list build to the coprocessor. We refer to this implementation as pmemd MIC offload and in this paper present the technical details of the algorithm, including basic models for MPI and OpenMP configuration, and analyze the resultant performance. The algorithm provides the best performance improvement for large systems (>400,000 atoms), achieving a ∼35% performance improvement for satellite tobacco mosaic virus (1,067,095 atoms) when 2 Intel E5-2697 v2 processors (2 ×12 cores, 30M cache, 2.7 GHz) are coupled to an Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor (Model 7120P-1.238/1.333 GHz, 61 cores). The implementation utilizes a two-fold decomposition strategy: spatial decomposition using an MPI library and thread-based decomposition using OpenMP. We also present compiler optimization settings that improve the performance on Intel Xeon processors, while retaining simulation accuracy.

  1. Biomolecular surface construction by PDE transform.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Qiong; Yang, Siyang; Wei, Guo-Wei

    2012-03-01

    This work proposes a new framework for the surface generation based on the partial differential equation (PDE) transform. The PDE transform has recently been introduced as a general approach for the mode decomposition of images, signals, and data. It relies on the use of arbitrarily high-order PDEs to achieve the time-frequency localization, control the spectral distribution, and regulate the spatial resolution. The present work provides a new variational derivation of high-order PDE transforms. The fast Fourier transform is utilized to accomplish the PDE transform so as to avoid stringent stability constraints in solving high-order PDEs. As a consequence, the time integration of high-order PDEs can be done efficiently with the fast Fourier transform. The present approach is validated with a variety of test examples in two-dimensional and three-dimensional settings. We explore the impact of the PDE transform parameters, such as the PDE order and propagation time, on the quality of resulting surfaces. Additionally, we utilize a set of 10 proteins to compare the computational efficiency of the present surface generation method and a standard approach in Cartesian meshes. Moreover, we analyze the present method by examining some benchmark indicators of biomolecular surface, that is, surface area, surface-enclosed volume, solvation free energy, and surface electrostatic potential. A test set of 13 protein molecules is used in the present investigation. The electrostatic analysis is carried out via the Poisson-Boltzmann equation model. To further demonstrate the utility of the present PDE transform-based surface method, we solve the Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations with a PDE transform surface of a protein. Second-order convergence is observed for the electrostatic potential and concentrations. Finally, to test the capability and efficiency of the present PDE transform-based surface generation method, we apply it to the construction of an excessively large biomolecule, a

  2. Biomolecular surface construction by PDE transform

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qiong; Yang, Siyang; Wei, Guo-Wei

    2011-01-01

    This work proposes a new framework for the surface generation based on the partial differential equation (PDE) transform. The PDE transform has recently been introduced as a general approach for the mode decomposition of images, signals, and data. It relies on the use of arbitrarily high order PDEs to achieve the time-frequency localization, control the spectral distribution, and regulate the spatial resolution. The present work provides a new variational derivation of high order PDE transforms. The fast Fourier transform is utilized to accomplish the PDE transform so as to avoid stringent stability constraints in solving high order PDEs. As a consequence, the time integration of high order PDEs can be done efficiently with the fast Fourier transform. The present approach is validated with a variety of test examples in two and three-dimensional settings. We explore the impact of the PDE transform parameters, such as the PDE order and propagation time, on the quality of resulting surfaces. Additionally, we utilize a set of 10 proteins to compare the computational efficiency of the present surface generation method and the MSMS approach in Cartesian meshes. Moreover, we analyze the present method by examining some benchmark indicators of biomolecular surface, i.e., surface area, surface enclosed volume, solvation free energy and surface electrostatic potential. A test set of 13 protein molecules is used in the present investigation. The electrostatic analysis is carried out via the Poisson-Boltzmann equation model. To further demonstrate the utility of the present PDE transform based surface method, we solve the Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP) equations with a PDE transform surface of a protein. Second order convergence is observed for the electrostatic potential and concentrations. Finally, to test the capability and efficiency of the present PDE transform based surface generation method, we apply it to the construction of an excessively large biomolecule, a virus

  3. Microwave spectroscopy of biomolecular building blocks.

    PubMed

    Alonso, José L; López, Juan C

    2015-01-01

    Microwave spectroscopy, considered as the most definitive gas phase structural probe, is able to distinguish between different conformational structures of a molecule, because they have unique spectroscopic constants and give rise to distinct individual rotational spectra.Previously, application of this technique was limited to molecular specimens possessing appreciable vapor pressures, thus discarding the possibility of studying many other molecules of biological importance, in particular those with high melting points, which had a tendency to undergo thermal reactions, and ultimately degradation, upon heating.Nowadays, the combination of laser ablation with Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy techniques, in supersonic jets, has enabled the gas-phase study of such systems. In this chapter, these techniques, including broadband spectroscopy, as well as results of their application into the study of the conformational panorama and structure of biomolecular building blocks, such as amino acids, nucleic bases, and monosaccharides, are briefly discussed, and with them, the tools for conformational assignation - rotational constants, nuclear quadrupole coupling interaction, and dipole moment.

  4. NMR Studies of Dynamic Biomolecular Conformational Ensembles

    PubMed Central

    Torchia, Dennis A.

    2015-01-01

    Multidimensional heteronuclear NMR approaches can provide nearly complete sequential signal assignments of isotopically enriched biomolecules. The availability of assignments together with measurements of spin relaxation rates, residual spin interactions, J-couplings and chemical shifts provides information at atomic resolution about internal dynamics on timescales ranging from ps to ms, both in solution and in the solid state. However, due to the complexity of biomolecules, it is not possible to extract a unique atomic-resolution description of biomolecular motions even from extensive NMR data when many conformations are sampled on multiple timescales. For this reason, powerful computational approaches are increasingly applied to large NMR data sets to elucidate conformational ensembles sampled by biomolecules. In the past decade, considerable attention has been directed at an important class of biomolecules that function by binding to a wide variety of target molecules. Questions of current interest are: “Does the free biomolecule sample a conformational ensemble that encompasses the conformations found when it binds to various targets; and if so, on what time scale is the ensemble sampled?” This article reviews recent efforts to answer these questions, with a focus on comparing ensembles obtained for the same biomolecules by different investigators. A detailed comparison of results obtained is provided for three biomolecules: ubiquitin, calmodulin and the HIV-1 trans-activation response RNA. PMID:25669739

  5. Interferometric label-free biomolecular detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hradetzky, David; Mueller, Claas; Reinecke, Holger

    2006-07-01

    This work presents a simple evanescent wave sensing system based on an interferometric approach, suitable to meet the requirements of label-free sensor systems for detecting biomolecular interactions. It represents a basic concept towards label-free detection systems in various applications. The basic objectives of transducers for evanescent wave sensing are discussed. An optical detection system based on a interferometric approach using Young's double slit configuration is discussed, set-up and characterized. With refractometric measurements of various sucrose dilutions, the performance of the pure optical set-up is evaluated. A mean resolution of the effective refractive index of 3\\sigma (\\overline {\\Delta n}_{\\mathrm {eff}})=0.9 \\times 10^{-6} without averaging was obtained and a reproducibility below σr(neff) = 0.1 × 10-6 was achieved. Furthermore basic experiments were carried out, for proofing the concept's suitability as a highly sensitive biosensor by detecting the hybridization of 21-mer DNA with an immobilized counterpart on the surface.

  6. Data driven Langevin modeling of biomolecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaudinnus, Norbert; Rzepiela, Andrzej J.; Hegger, Rainer; Stock, Gerhard

    2013-05-01

    Based on a given time series, the data-driven Langevin equation proposed by Hegger and Stock [J. Chem. Phys. 130, 034106 (2009), 10.1063/1.3058436] aims to construct a low-dimensional dynamical model of the system. Adopting various simple model problems of biomolecular dynamics, this work presents a systematic study of the theoretical virtues and limitations as well as of the practical applicability and performance of the method. As the method requires only local information, the input data need not to be Boltzmann weighted in order to warrant that the Langevin model yields correct Boltzmann-distributed results. Moreover, a delay embedding of the state vector allows for the treatment of memory effects. The robustness of the modeling with respect to wrongly chosen model parameters or low sampling is discussed, as well as the treatment of inertial effects. Given sufficiently sampled input data, the Langevin modeling is shown to successfully recover the correct statistics (such as the probability distribution) and the dynamics (such as the position autocorrelation function) of all considered problems.

  7. Unique spatiotemporal biomolecular emission profiles on single zinc oxide nanorods and applications in ultrasensitive biosensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Manpreet

    There has been longstanding interest in improving the optical detection capabilities of fluorescence spectroscopy to achieve ultrahigh resolution and sensitivity in chemical and biological sensing applications. To promote these efforts, I present my work characterizing and developing zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO NRs) as advanced optical detection platforms that can enable enhanced intensity and stability of adsorbed fluorophore-coupled biomolecules. First, I present my unique findings profiling the temporal and spatial characteristics of biomolecular fluorescence on individual ZnO NRs in which I've identified highly localized, non-linear optical phenomena of fluorescence intensification on nanorod ends (FINE) and enhanced photostability. Using combined experimental and computational strategies, I elucidate the fundamental physicochemical origins of these optical phenomena by systematically decoupling various biomolecular, chemical, and nanomaterial factors. On the biomolecular side, I evaluate the roles of fluorophores with varying spectroscopic properties and concentrations as well as facet-selective biomolecular adsorption on the unique spatiotemporal optical responses on single ZnO NRs. From the chemical/nanomaterial context, I profile the biomolecular emission behaviors on single ZnO NRs as a function of varying NR physical dimensions, NR orientations, and positions along the NR long axis I also present the results of employing finite-difference time domain (FDTD) simulations to corroborate my multifold experimental findings. The FDTD results further clarify the passive waveguiding capacity of the ZnO NRs to couple the radiation of surface-adsorpbed emitters and form evanescent waves that propagate to the NR ends before final emission into the far-field, confirming the experimental manifestation of FINE.. I also present an application exploiting the optical enhancement enabled by ZnO NRs in which I've engineered and validated a novel biosensing assay for the

  8. Fossil mesostigmatid mites (Mesostigmata: Gamasina, Microgyniina, Uropodina), associated with longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Baltic amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlop, Jason A.; Kontschán, Jenő; Zwanzig, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Fossil mesostigmatid mites are extremely rare. Inclusions assignable to the tortoise mites (Mesostigmata, Uropodina) are described here for the first time from Eocene (ca. 44-49 Ma) Baltic amber. This is the oldest record of Uropodina and documents the first unequivocal amber examples potentially assignable to the extant genus Uroobovella Berlese, 1903 (Uropodoidea: Urodinychidae). Further mites in the same amber pieces are tentatively assigned to Microgynioidea (Microgyniina) and Ascidae (Gamasina), both potentially representing the oldest records of their respective superfamily and family groups. This new material also preserves behavioural ecology in the form of phoretic deutonymphs attached to their carriers via a characteristic anal pedicel. These deutonymphs in amber are intimately associated with longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), probably belonging to the extinct species Nothorhina granulicollis Zang, 1905. Modern uropodines have been recorded phoretic on species belonging to several beetle families, including records of living Uroobovella spp. occurring on longhorn beetles. Through these amber inclusions, a uropodine-cerambycid association can now be dated back to at least the Eocene.

  9. Estimation and Inference of Diffusion Coefficients in Complex Biomolecular Environments.

    PubMed

    Calderon, Christopher P

    2011-02-08

    The 1-D diffusion coefficient associated with a charged atom fluctuating in an ion-channel binding pocket is statistically analyzed. More specifically, unconstrained and constrained molecular dynamics simulations of potassium in gramicidin A are studied. Time domain transition density based inference methods are used to fit simple stochastic differential equations and also to carry out frequentist goodness of fit tests. Particular attention is paid to varying the time between adjacent time series observations due to the well-known "non-Markovian noise" that can appear in this system due to inertia and other unresolved coordinates influencing the dynamics. Different types of non-Markovian noise are shown by the goodness of fit tests to be statistically significant on vastly different time scales. On intermediate scales, a Markovian model is not rejected by the tests; models calibrated at these intermediate scales demonstrate a predictive capability for some physical quantities. However, in this intermediate regime, ergodic sampling does not occur over the length of a time series, but a local diffusion coefficient is deemed statistically acceptable for the observed raw data. It is demonstrated that a linear mixed effects model can be used to summarize the variation induced by slow unresolved degrees of freedom acting as a non-Markovian noise source. The utility of quantitative criteria for assessing low-dimensional stochastic models calibrated from time series generated by high-dimensional biomolecular systems is briefly discussed. Less coarse-grained data summaries of this type show promise for better understanding the kinetic signature of unresolved degrees of freedom in time series coming from simulations and single-molecule experiments.

  10. Biomolecular Modification of Inorganic Crystal Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Yoreo, James J.

    2007-06-01

    The fascinating shapes and hierarchical designs of biomineralized structures are an inspiration to materials scientists because of the potential they suggest for biomolecular control over materials synthesis. Conversely, the failure to prevent or limit tissue mineralization in the vascular, skeletal, and urinary systems is a common source of disease. Understanding the mechanisms by which organisms direct or limit crystallization has long been a central challenge to the biomineralization community. One prevailing view is that mineral-associated macromolecules are responsible for either inhibiting crystallization or initiating and stabilizing non-equilibrium crystal polymorphs and morphologies through interactions between anionic moieties and cations in solution or at mineralizing surfaces. In particular, biomolecules that present carboxyl groups to the growing crystal have been implicated as primary modulators of growth. Here we review the results from a combination of in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) and molecular modeling (MM) studies to investigate the effect of specific interactions between carboxylate-rich biomolecules and atomic steps on crystal surfaces during the growth of carbonates, oxalates and phosphates of calcium. Specifically, we how the growth kinetics and morphology depend on the concentration of additives that include citrate, simple amino acids, synthetic Asp-rich polypeptides, and naturally occurring Asp-rich proteins found in both functional and pathological mineral tissues. The results reveal a consistent picture of shape modification in which stereochemical matching of modifiers to specific atomic steps drives shape modification. Inhibition and other changes in growth kinetics are shown to be due to a range of mechanisms that depend on chemistry and molecular size. Some effects are well described by classic crystal growth theories, but others, such as step acceleration due to peptide charge and hydrophylicity, were previously unrealized

  11. Biomolecular Modification of Inorganic Crystal Growth

    SciTech Connect

    De Yoreo, J J

    2007-04-27

    The fascinating shapes and hierarchical designs of biomineralized structures are an inspiration to materials scientists because of the potential they suggest for biomolecular control over materials synthesis. Conversely, the failure to prevent or limit tissue mineralization in the vascular, skeletal, and urinary systems is a common source of disease. Understanding the mechanisms by which organisms direct or limit crystallization has long been a central challenge to the biomineralization community. One prevailing view is that mineral-associated macromolecules are responsible for either inhibiting crystallization or initiating and stabilizing non-equilibrium crystal polymorphs and morphologies through interactions between anionic moieties and cations in solution or at mineralizing surfaces. In particular, biomolecules that present carboxyl groups to the growing crystal have been implicated as primary modulators of growth. Here we review the results from a combination of in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) and molecular modeling (MM) studies to investigate the effect of specific interactions between carboxylate-rich biomolecules and atomic steps on crystal surfaces during the growth of carbonates, oxalates and phosphates of calcium. Specifically, we how the growth kinetics and morphology depend on the concentration of additives that include citrate, simple amino acids, synthetic Asp-rich polypeptides, and naturally occurring Asp-rich proteins found in both functional and pathological mineral tissues. The results reveal a consistent picture of shape modification in which stereochemical matching of modifiers to specific atomic steps drives shape modification. Inhibition and other changes in growth kinetics are shown to be due to a range of mechanisms that depend on chemistry and molecular size. Some effects are well described by classic crystal growth theories, but others, such as step acceleration due to peptide charge and hydrophylicity, were previously unrealized

  12. Microfluidic Devices for Studying Biomolecular Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Wilbur W.; Garcia, Carlos d.; Henry, Charles S.

    2006-01-01

    Microfluidic devices for monitoring biomolecular interactions have been invented. These devices are basically highly miniaturized liquid-chromatography columns. They are intended to be prototypes of miniature analytical devices of the laboratory on a chip type that could be fabricated rapidly and inexpensively and that, because of their small sizes, would yield analytical results from very small amounts of expensive analytes (typically, proteins). Other advantages to be gained by this scaling down of liquid-chromatography columns may include increases in resolution and speed, decreases in the consumption of reagents, and the possibility of performing multiple simultaneous and highly integrated analyses by use of multiple devices of this type, each possibly containing multiple parallel analytical microchannels. The principle of operation is the same as that of a macroscopic liquid-chromatography column: The column is a channel packed with particles, upon which are immobilized molecules of the protein of interest (or one of the proteins of interest if there are more than one). Starting at a known time, a solution or suspension containing molecules of the protein or other substance of interest is pumped into the channel at its inlet. The liquid emerging from the outlet of the channel is monitored to detect the molecules of the dissolved or suspended substance(s). The time that it takes these molecules to flow from the inlet to the outlet is a measure of the degree of interaction between the immobilized and the dissolved or suspended molecules. Depending on the precise natures of the molecules, this measure can be used for diverse purposes: examples include screening for solution conditions that favor crystallization of proteins, screening for interactions between drugs and proteins, and determining the functions of biomolecules.

  13. Biomolecular Dynamics: Order-Disorder Transitions and Energy Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Whitford, Paul C.; Sanbonmatsu, Karissa Y.; Onuchic, José N.

    2013-01-01

    While the energy landscape theory of protein folding is now a widely accepted view for understanding how relatively-weak molecular interactions lead to rapid and cooperative protein folding, such a framework must be extended to describe the large-scale functional motions observed in molecular machines. In this review, we discuss 1) the development of the energy landscape theory of biomolecular folding, 2) recent advances towards establishing a consistent understanding of folding and function, and 3) emerging themes in the functional motions of enzymes, biomolecular motors, and other biomolecular machines. Recent theoretical, computational, and experimental lines of investigation are providing a very dynamic picture of biomolecular motion. In contrast to earlier ideas, where molecular machines were thought to function similarly to macroscopic machines, with rigid components that move along a few degrees of freedom in a deterministic fashion, biomolecular complexes are only marginally stable. Since the stabilizing contribution of each atomic interaction is on the order of the thermal fluctuations in solution, the rigid body description of molecular function must be revisited. An emerging theme is that functional motions encompass order-disorder transitions and structural flexibility provide significant contributions to the free-energy. In this review, we describe the biological importance of order-disorder transitions and discuss the statistical-mechanical foundation of theoretical approaches that can characterize such transitions. PMID:22790780

  14. Nonorthogonal tRNAcysAmber for protein and nascent chain labeling

    PubMed Central

    Koubek, Jiří; Chen, Yet-Ran; Cheng, Richard Ping; Huang, Joseph Jen-Tse

    2015-01-01

    In vitro-transcribed suppressor tRNAs are commonly used in site-specific fluorescence labeling for protein and ribosome-bound nascent chains (RNCs) studies. Here, we describe the production of nonorthogonal Bacillus subtilis tRNAcysAmber from Escherichia coli, a process that is superior to in vitro transcription in terms of yield, ease of manipulation, and tRNA stability. As cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase was previously shown to aminoacylate tRNAcysAmber with lower efficiency, multiple tRNA synthetase mutants were designed to optimize aminoacylation. Aminoacylated tRNA was conjugated to a fluorophore to produce BODIPY FL-cysteinyl-tRNAcysAmber, which was used to generate ribosome-bound nascent chains of different lengths with the fluorophore incorporated at various predetermined sites. This tRNA tool may be beneficial in the site-specific labeling of full-length proteins as well as RNCs for biophysical and biological research. PMID:26194135

  15. A fossil biting midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from early Eocene Indian amber with a complex pheromone evaporator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stebner, Frauke; Szadziewski, Ryszard; Rühr, Peter T.; Singh, Hukam; Hammel, Jörg U.; Kvifte, Gunnar Mikalsen; Rust, Jes

    2016-10-01

    The life-like fidelity of organisms captured in amber is unique among all kinds of fossilization and represents an invaluable source for different fields of palaeontological and biological research. One of the most challenging aspects in amber research is the study of traits related to behaviour. Here, indirect evidence for pheromone-mediated mating behaviour is recorded from a biting midge (Ceratopogonidae) in 54 million-year-old Indian amber. Camptopterohelea odora n. sp. exhibits a complex, pocket shaped structure on the wings, which resembles the wing folds of certain moth flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) and scent organs that are only known from butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) so far. Our studies suggests that pheromone releasing structures on the wings have evolved independently in biting midges and might be much more widespread in fossil as well as modern insects than known so far.

  16. A fossil biting midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from early Eocene Indian amber with a complex pheromone evaporator

    PubMed Central

    Stebner, Frauke; Szadziewski, Ryszard; Rühr, Peter T.; Singh, Hukam; Hammel, Jörg U.; Kvifte, Gunnar Mikalsen; Rust, Jes

    2016-01-01

    The life-like fidelity of organisms captured in amber is unique among all kinds of fossilization and represents an invaluable source for different fields of palaeontological and biological research. One of the most challenging aspects in amber research is the study of traits related to behaviour. Here, indirect evidence for pheromone-mediated mating behaviour is recorded from a biting midge (Ceratopogonidae) in 54 million-year-old Indian amber. Camptopterohelea odora n. sp. exhibits a complex, pocket shaped structure on the wings, which resembles the wing folds of certain moth flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) and scent organs that are only known from butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) so far. Our studies suggests that pheromone releasing structures on the wings have evolved independently in biting midges and might be much more widespread in fossil as well as modern insects than known so far. PMID:27698490

  17. Gene replacement without selection: regulated suppression of amber mutations in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Herring, Christopher D; Glasner, Jeremy D; Blattner, Frederick R

    2003-06-05

    We have developed a method called "gene gorging" to make precise mutations in the Escherichia coli genome at frequencies high enough (1-15%) to allow direct identification of mutants by PCR or other screen rather than by selection. Gene gorging begins by establishing a donor plasmid carrying the desired mutation in the target cell. This plasmid is linearized by in vivo expression of the meganuclease I-SceI, providing a DNA substrate for lambda Red mediated recombination. This results in efficient replacement of the wild type allele on the chromosome with the modified sequence. We demonstrate gene gorging by introducing amber stop codons into the genes xylA, melA, galK, fucI, citA, ybdO, and lacZ. To compliment this approach we developed an arabinose inducible amber suppressor tRNA. Controlled expression mediated by the suppressor was demonstrated for the lacZ and xylA amber mutants.

  18. A mechanical Turing machine: blueprint for a biomolecular computer

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Ehud

    2012-01-01

    We describe a working mechanical device that embodies the theoretical computing machine of Alan Turing, and as such is a universal programmable computer. The device operates on three-dimensional building blocks by applying mechanical analogues of polymer elongation, cleavage and ligation, movement along a polymer, and control by molecular recognition unleashing allosteric conformational changes. Logically, the device is not more complicated than biomolecular machines of the living cell, and all its operations are part of the standard repertoire of these machines; hence, a biomolecular embodiment of the device is not infeasible. If implemented, such a biomolecular device may operate in vivo, interacting with its biochemical environment in a program-controlled manner. In particular, it may ‘compute’ synthetic biopolymers and release them into its environment in response to input from the environment, a capability that may have broad pharmaceutical and biological applications. PMID:22649583

  19. CRISPRi-Manipulation of Genetic Code Expansion via RF1 for Reassignment of Amber Codon in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bo; Yang, Qi; Chen, Jingxian; Wu, Ling; Yao, Tianzhuo; Wu, Yiming; Xu, Huan; Zhang, Lihe; Xia, Qing; Zhou, Demin

    2016-01-01

    The precise engineering of proteins in bacteria via the amber codon has been hampered by the poor incorporation of unnatural amino acid (UAA). Here we explored the amber assignment as a sense codon for UAA by CRISPRi targeting release factor 1 (RF1). Scanning of RF1 gene with sgRNAs identified target loci that differentiate RF1 repressions. Quantitation of RF1 repressions versus UAA incorporation indicated an increasing interrelation with the amber reassignment maximized upon RF1 knockdown to ~30%, disclosing the beneficial role of RF1 in amber assignment. However, further RF1 repression reversed this trend resulting from the detrimental effects on host cell growth, disclosing the harmful aspect of RF1 in reassignment of the amber codon. Our data indicate RF1 as a switch manipulating genetic code expansion and pave a direction via CRISPRi for precise engineering and efficient production of proteins in bacteria. PMID:26818534

  20. A fungal-like organism associated with a wasp (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) in Dominican amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George; Spatafora, Joseph W

    2012-05-01

    A fungal-like organism emerging from a parasitic wasp (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) in Dominican amber is characterized. The fossil consists of a white sclerotium-like formation in the wasp's abdomen and a flattened clava-like structure with an ovoid terminus emerging from the sclerotium-like formation. The ovoid terminus bears a protruding elliptical appendix. The fossil, which is characterized by its small size, somatic configuration, pteromalid host and presence in Dominican amber, cannot be placed with assurance in any extant fungal group at this time.

  1. Ancient Ephemeroptera–Collembola Symbiosis Fossilized in Amber Predicts Contemporary Phoretic Associations

    PubMed Central

    Penney, David; McNeil, Andrew; Green, David I.; Bradley, Robert S.; Jepson, James E.; Withers, Philip J.; Preziosi, Richard F.

    2012-01-01

    X-ray computed tomography is used to identify a unique example of fossilized phoresy in 16 million-year-old Miocene Dominican amber involving a springtail being transported by a mayfly. It represents the first evidence (fossil or extant) of phoresy in adult Ephemeroptera and only the second record in Collembola (the first is also preserved in amber). This is the first record of Collembola using winged insects for dispersal. This fossil predicts the occurrence of similar behaviour in living springtails and helps explain the global distribution of Collembola today. PMID:23082186

  2. Revival and Identification of Bacterial Spores in 25- to 40-Million-Year-Old Dominican Amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cano, Raul J.; Borucki, Monica K.

    1995-05-01

    A bacterial spore was revived, cultured, and identified from the abdominal contents of extinct bees preserved for 25 to 40 million years in buried Dominican amber. Rigorous surface decontamination of the amber and aseptic procedures were used during the recovery of the bacterium. Several lines of evidence indicated that the isolated bacterium was of ancient origin and not an extant contaminant. The characteristic enzymatic, biochemical, and 16S ribosomal DNA profiles indicated that the ancient bacterium is most closely related to extant Bacillus sphaericus.

  3. Comparing the catalytic strategy of ATP hydrolysis in biomolecular motors.

    PubMed

    Kiani, Farooq Ahmad; Fischer, Stefan

    2016-07-27

    ATP-driven biomolecular motors utilize the chemical energy obtained from the ATP hydrolysis to perform vital tasks in living cells. Understanding the mechanism of enzyme-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis reaction has substantially progressed lately thanks to combined quantum/classical molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulations. Here, we present a comparative summary of the most recent QM/MM results for myosin, kinesin and F1-ATPase motors. These completely different motors achieve the acceleration of ATP hydrolysis through a very similar catalytic mechanism. ATP hydrolysis has high activation energy because it involves the breaking of two strong bonds, namely the Pγ-Oβγ bond of ATP and the H-O bond of lytic water. The key to the four-fold decrease in the activation barrier by the three enzymes is that the breaking of the Pγ-Oβγ bond precedes the deprotonation of the lytic water molecule, generating a metaphosphate hydrate complex. The resulting singly charged trigonal planar PγO3(-) metaphosphate is a better electrophilic target for attack by an OaH(-) hydroxyl group. The formation of this OaH(-) is promoted by a strong polarization of the lytic water: in all three proteins, this water is forming a hydrogen-bond with a backbone carbonyl group and interacts with the carboxylate group of glutamate (either directly or via an intercalated water molecule). This favors the shedding of one proton by the attacking water. The abstracted proton is transferred to the γ-phosphate via various proton wires, resulting in a H2PγO4(-)/ADP(3-) product state. This catalytic strategy is so effective that most other nucleotide hydrolyzing enzymes adopt a similar approach, as suggested by their very similar triphosphate binding sites.

  4. Ultrasensitive electrochemical biomolecular detection using nanostructured microelectrodes.

    PubMed

    Sage, Andrew T; Besant, Justin D; Lam, Brian; Sargent, Edward H; Kelley, Shana O

    2014-08-19

    Electrochemical sensors have the potential to achieve sensitive, specific, and low-cost detection of biomolecules--a capability that is ever more relevant to the diagnosis and monitored treatment of disease. The development of devices for clinical diagnostics based on electrochemical detection could provide a powerful solution for the routine use of biomarkers in patient treatment and monitoring and may overcome the many issues created by current methods, including the long sample-to-answer times, high cost, and limited prospects for lab-free use of traditional polymerase chain reaction, microarrays, and gene-sequencing technologies. In this Account, we summarize the advances in electrochemical biomolecular detection, focusing on a new and integrated platform that exploits the bottom-up fabrication of multiplexed electrochemical sensors composed of electrodeposited noble metals. We trace the evolution of these sensors from gold nanoelectrode ensembles to nanostructured microelectrodes (NMEs) and discuss the effects of surface morphology and size on assay performance. The development of a novel electrocatalytic assay based on Ru(3+) adsorption and Fe(3+) amplification at the electrode surface as a means to enable ultrasensitive analyte detection is discussed. Electrochemical measurements of changes in hybridization events at the electrode surface are performed using a simple potentiostat, which enables integration into a portable, cost-effective device. We summarize the strategies for proximal sample processing and detection in addition to those that enable high degrees of sensor multiplexing capable of measuring 100 different analytes on a single chip. By evaluating the cost and performance of various sensor substrates, we explore the development of practical lab-on-a-chip prototype devices. By functionalizing the NMEs with capture probes specific to nucleic acid, small molecule, and protein targets, we can successfully detect a wide variety of analytes at

  5. Accurate Three States Model for Amino Acids with Two Chemically Coupled Titrating Sites in Explicit Solvent Atomistic Constant pH Simulations and pKa Calculations.

    PubMed

    Dobrev, Plamen; Donnini, Serena; Groenhof, Gerrit; Grubmüller, Helmut

    2017-01-10

    Correct protonation of titratable groups in biomolecules is crucial for their accurate description by molecular dynamics simulations. In the context of constant pH simulations, an additional protonation degree of freedom is introduced for each titratable site, allowing the protonation state to change dynamically with changing structure or electrostatics. Here, we extend previous approaches for an accurate description of chemically coupled titrating sites. A second reaction coordinate is used to switch between two tautomeric states of an amino acid with chemically coupled titratable sites, such as aspartate (Asp), glutamate (Glu), and histidine (His). To this aim, we test a scheme involving three protonation states. To facilitate charge neutrality as required for periodic boundary conditions and Particle Mesh Ewald (PME) electrostatics, titration of each respective amino acid is coupled to a "water" molecule that is charged in the opposite direction. Additionally, a force field modification for Amber99sb is introduced and tested for the description of carboxyl group protonation. Our three states model is tested by titration simulations of Asp, Glu, and His, yielding a good agreement, reproducing the correct geometry of the groups in their different protonation forms. We further show that the ion concentration change due to the neutralizing "water" molecules does not significantly affect the protonation free energies of the titratable groups, suggesting that the three states model provides a good description of biomolecular dynamics at constant pH.

  6. Perspective: Watching low-frequency vibrations of water in biomolecular recognition by THz spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yao; Havenith, Martina

    2015-11-07

    Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy has turned out to be a powerful tool which is able to shed new light on the role of water in biomolecular processes. The low frequency spectrum of the solvated biomolecule in combination with MD simulations provides deep insights into the collective hydrogen bond dynamics on the sub-ps time scale. The absorption spectrum between 1 THz and 10 THz of solvated biomolecules is sensitive to changes in the fast fluctuations of the water network. Systematic studies on mutants of antifreeze proteins indicate a direct correlation between biological activity and a retardation of the (sub)-ps hydration dynamics at the protein binding site, i.e., a "hydration funnel." Kinetic THz absorption studies probe the temporal changes of THz absorption during a biological process, and give access to the kinetics of the coupled protein-hydration dynamics. When combined with simulations, the observed results can be explained in terms of a two-tier model involving a local binding and a long range influence on the hydration bond dynamics of the water around the binding site that highlights the significance of the changes in the hydration dynamics at recognition site for biomolecular recognition. Water is shown to assist molecular recognition processes.

  7. Perspective: Watching low-frequency vibrations of water in biomolecular recognition by THz spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yao; Havenith, Martina

    2015-11-01

    Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy has turned out to be a powerful tool which is able to shed new light on the role of water in biomolecular processes. The low frequency spectrum of the solvated biomolecule in combination with MD simulations provides deep insights into the collective hydrogen bond dynamics on the sub-ps time scale. The absorption spectrum between 1 THz and 10 THz of solvated biomolecules is sensitive to changes in the fast fluctuations of the water network. Systematic studies on mutants of antifreeze proteins indicate a direct correlation between biological activity and a retardation of the (sub)-ps hydration dynamics at the protein binding site, i.e., a "hydration funnel." Kinetic THz absorption studies probe the temporal changes of THz absorption during a biological process, and give access to the kinetics of the coupled protein-hydration dynamics. When combined with simulations, the observed results can be explained in terms of a two-tier model involving a local binding and a long range influence on the hydration bond dynamics of the water around the binding site that highlights the significance of the changes in the hydration dynamics at recognition site for biomolecular recognition. Water is shown to assist molecular recognition processes.

  8. Revision of AMBER Torsional Parameters for RNA Improves Free Energy Predictions for Tetramer Duplexes with GC and iGiC Base Pairs

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    All-atom force fields are important for predicting thermodynamic, structural, and dynamic properties of RNA. In this paper, results are reported for thermodynamic integration calculations of free energy differences of duplex formation when CG pairs in the RNA duplexes r(CCGG)2, r(GGCC)2, r(GCGC)2, and r(CGCG)2 are replaced by isocytidine–isoguanosine (iCiG) pairs. Agreement with experiment was improved when ε/ζ, α/γ, β, and χ torsional parameters in the AMBER99 force field were revised on the basis of quantum mechanical calculations. The revised force field, AMBER99TOR, brings free energy difference predictions to within 1.3, 1.4, 2.3, and 2.6 kcal/mol at 300 K, respectively, compared to experimental results for the thermodynamic cycles of CCGG → iCiCiGiG, GGCC → iGiGiCiC, GCGC → iGiCiGiC, and CGCG → iCiGiCiG. In contrast, unmodified AMBER99 predictions for GGCC → iGiGiCiC and GCGC → iGiCiGiC differ from experiment by 11.7 and 12.6 kcal/mol, respectively. In order to test the dynamic stability of the above duplexes with AMBER99TOR, four individual 50 ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in explicit solvent were run. All except r(CCGG)2 retained A-form conformation for ≥82% of the time. This is consistent with NMR spectra of r(iGiGiCiC)2, which reveal an A-form conformation. In MD simulations, r(CCGG)2 retained A-form conformation 52% of the time, suggesting that its terminal base pairs may fray. The results indicate that revised backbone parameters improve predictions of RNA properties and that comparisons to measured sequence dependent thermodynamics provide useful benchmarks for testing force fields and computational methods. PMID:22249447

  9. The Universal Statistical Distributions of the Affinity, Equilibrium Constants, Kinetics and Specificity in Biomolecular Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Xiliang; Wang, Jin

    2015-01-01

    We uncovered the universal statistical laws for the biomolecular recognition/binding process. We quantified the statistical energy landscapes for binding, from which we can characterize the distributions of the binding free energy (affinity), the equilibrium constants, the kinetics and the specificity by exploring the different ligands binding with a particular receptor. The results of the analytical studies are confirmed by the microscopic flexible docking simulations. The distribution of binding affinity is Gaussian around the mean and becomes exponential near the tail. The equilibrium constants of the binding follow a log-normal distribution around the mean and a power law distribution in the tail. The intrinsic specificity for biomolecular recognition measures the degree of discrimination of native versus non-native binding and the optimization of which becomes the maximization of the ratio of the free energy gap between the native state and the average of non-native states versus the roughness measured by the variance of the free energy landscape around its mean. The intrinsic specificity obeys a Gaussian distribution near the mean and an exponential distribution near the tail. Furthermore, the kinetics of binding follows a log-normal distribution near the mean and a power law distribution at the tail. Our study provides new insights into the statistical nature of thermodynamics, kinetics and function from different ligands binding with a specific receptor or equivalently specific ligand binding with different receptors. The elucidation of distributions of the kinetics and free energy has guiding roles in studying biomolecular recognition and function through small-molecule evolution and chemical genetics. PMID:25885453

  10. The universal statistical distributions of the affinity, equilibrium constants, kinetics and specificity in biomolecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiliang; Wang, Jin

    2015-04-01

    We uncovered the universal statistical laws for the biomolecular recognition/binding process. We quantified the statistical energy landscapes for binding, from which we can characterize the distributions of the binding free energy (affinity), the equilibrium constants, the kinetics and the specificity by exploring the different ligands binding with a particular receptor. The results of the analytical studies are confirmed by the microscopic flexible docking simulations. The distribution of binding affinity is Gaussian around the mean and becomes exponential near the tail. The equilibrium constants of the binding follow a log-normal distribution around the mean and a power law distribution in the tail. The intrinsic specificity for biomolecular recognition measures the degree of discrimination of native versus non-native binding and the optimization of which becomes the maximization of the ratio of the free energy gap between the native state and the average of non-native states versus the roughness measured by the variance of the free energy landscape around its mean. The intrinsic specificity obeys a Gaussian distribution near the mean and an exponential distribution near the tail. Furthermore, the kinetics of binding follows a log-normal distribution near the mean and a power law distribution at the tail. Our study provides new insights into the statistical nature of thermodynamics, kinetics and function from different ligands binding with a specific receptor or equivalently specific ligand binding with different receptors. The elucidation of distributions of the kinetics and free energy has guiding roles in studying biomolecular recognition and function through small-molecule evolution and chemical genetics.

  11. Modeling, Analysis, Simulation, and Synthesis of Biomolecular Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-10-01

    stringent response in Mycobacterium tuberculosis The stringent response in a number of bacteria, including E . coli and M. tuberculosis, is mediated by...networks, we have generated in silico gene to metabolite knockout maps for a variety of nutrient media settings for E . coli using a recently...species in the network through a simple traversal of ESCR. Computing the non-water-containing ESCR for the E . coli iJR904 genome scale metabolic

  12. Biogeographic and evolutionary implications of a diverse paleobiota in amber from the early Eocene of India

    PubMed Central

    Rust, Jes; Singh, Hukam; Rana, Rajendra S.; McCann, Tom; Singh, Lacham; Anderson, Ken; Sarkar, Nivedita; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Stebner, Frauke; Thomas, Jennifer C.; Solórzano Kraemer, Monica; Williams, Christopher J.; Engel, Michael S.; Sahni, Ashok; Grimaldi, David

    2010-01-01

    For nearly 100 million years, the India subcontinent drifted from Gondwana until its collision with Asia some 50 Ma, during which time the landmass presumably evolved a highly endemic biota. Recent excavations of rich outcrops of 50–52-million-year-old amber with diverse inclusions from the Cambay Shale of Gujarat, western India address this issue. Cambay amber occurs in lignitic and muddy sediments concentrated by near-shore chenier systems; its chemistry and the anatomy of associated fossil wood indicates a definitive source of Dipterocarpaceae. The amber is very partially polymerized and readily dissolves in organic solvents, thus allowing extraction of whole insects whose cuticle retains microscopic fidelity. Fourteen orders and more than 55 families and 100 species of arthropod inclusions have been discovered thus far, which have affinities to taxa from the Eocene of northern Europe, to the Recent of Australasia, and the Miocene to Recent of tropical America. Thus, India just prior to or immediately following contact shows little biological insularity. A significant diversity of eusocial insects are fossilized, including corbiculate bees, rhinotermitid termites, and modern subfamilies of ants (Formicidae), groups that apparently radiated during the contemporaneous Early Eocene Climatic Optimum or just prior to it during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Cambay amber preserves a uniquely diverse and early biota of a modern-type of broad-leaf tropical forest, revealing 50 Ma of stasis and change in biological communities of the dipterocarp primary forests that dominate southeastern Asia today. PMID:20974929

  13. New predatory cockroaches (Insecta: Blattaria: Manipulatoridae fam.n.) from the Upper Cretaceous Myanmar amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vršanský, Peter; Bechly, Günter

    2015-04-01

    We describe a new extinct lineage Manipulatoridae (new family) of cockroaches from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) amber of Myanmar. Manipulator modificaputis gen. et sp. n. is a morphologically unique extinct cockroach that represents the first (of a total of 29 known worldwide) cockroach family reported exclusively from the Myanmar amber. This family represents an early side branch of the stem group of Mantodea (most probably a sister group of Eadiidae within Blattaria/Corydioidea) because it has some synapomorphies with the Mantodea (including the stem group and Eadiidae). This family also retains symplesiomorphies that exclude a position in the crown group, and furthermore has unique autapomorphies that exclude a position as a direct ancestor of Mantodea. The unique adaptations such as strongly elongated extremities and freely movable head on a long neck suggest that these animals were pursuit predators. Five additional specimens (including two immatures) reported from the Myanmar amber suggest that this group was relatively rare but belonged to the indigenous and autochthonous inhabitants of the ancient amber forest of the Myanmar region.

  14. Amber: Using "Tree Tears Turned to Stone" to Teach Biology, Ecology, and More!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clary, Renee M.; Wandersee, James H.

    2009-01-01

    Amber is a fossil by itself, and can also contain plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Some of these perfectly preserved specimens give scientists a convenient window to past environments, including the biology, ecology, geology, and chemistry of Earth's past. By using an interdisciplinary approach, we can demonstrate to students a…

  15. Amino acid racemization in amber-entombed insects: implications for DNA preservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bada, J. L.; Wang, X. S.; Poinar, H. N.; Paabo, S.; Poinar, G. O.

    1994-01-01

    DNA depurination and amino acid racemization take place at similar rates in aqueous solution at neutral pH. This relationship suggests that amino acid racemization may be useful in accessing the extent of DNA chain breakage in ancient biological remains. To test this suggestion, we have investigated the amino acids in insects entombed in fossilized tree resins ranging in age from <100 years to 130 million years. The amino acids present in 40 to 130 million year old amber-entombed insects resemble those in a modern fly and are probably the most ancient, unaltered amino acids found so far on Earth. In comparison to other geochemical environments on the surface of the Earth, the amino acid racemization rate in amber insect inclusions is retarded by a factor of >10(4). These results suggest that in amber insect inclusions DNA depurination rates would also likely be retarded in comparison to aqueous solution measurements, and thus DNA fragments containing many hundreds of base pairs should be preserved. This conclusion is consistent with the reported successful retrieval of DNA sequences from amber-entombed organisms.

  16. The oldest accurate record of Scenopinidae in the Lowermost Eocene amber of France (Diptera: Brachycera).

    PubMed

    Garrouste, Romain; Azar, Dany; Nel, Andre

    2016-03-22

    Eocenotrichia magnifica gen. et sp. nov. (Diptera: Scenopinidae: Metatrichini) is described and illustrated from the Lowermost Eocene amber of Oise (France) and represents the oldest definitive window fly fossil. The present discovery in the Earliest Eocene supports the Late Cretaceous-Paleocene age currently proposed for the emergence of Metatrichini.

  17. A new genus of highly specialized ants in Cretaceous Burmese amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David

    2013-01-01

    A new genus of ants, Zigrasimecia Barden and Grimaldi, is described for a new and uniquely specialized species, Z. tonsora Barden and Grimaldi n.sp., preserved in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar. The amber is radiometrically dated at 99 myo. Zigrasimecia is closely related to another basal genus of ants known only in Burmese and French Cretaceous amber, Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi, based in part on the shared possession of a comb of pegs on the clypeal margin, as well as mandible structure. Highly specialized features of Zigrasimecia include extensive development of the clypeal comb, a thick brush of setae on the oral surface of the mandibles and on the labrum, and a head that is broad, flattened, and which bears a crown of blackened, rugose cuticle. Mouthparts are hypothesized to have functioned in a unique manner, showing no clear signs of dentition representative of "chewing" or otherwise processing solid food. Although all ants in Burmese amber are basal, stem-group taxa, there is an unexpected diversity of mouthpart morphologies and probable feeding modes.

  18. A stink bug, Edessa protera sp. n. (Pentatomidae: Edessinae) in Mexican amber

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A new species of stink bug, Edessa protera sp. n. (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae: Edessinae) is described from Mexican amber. Diagnostic characters include: an anterior thin but strongly carinate mesosternum, a scutellum with a long tongue and obtuse apex, alternate connexiva and the configuration of the ...

  19. A swarm of whiteflies—the first record of gregarious behavior from Eocene Baltic amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szwedo, Jacek; Drohojowska, Jowita

    2016-04-01

    A new whitefly Snotra christelae gen. et sp. n. is characterized, illustrated, and described from the Baltic amber. It represents the first record of gregarious behavior of Aleyrodinae (Aleyrodidae) whiteflies in fossil state. Implications of this finding on interpretation of whiteflies and their host-plant relationships and evolutionary traits of the group are discussed.

  20. The oldest psyllipsocid booklice, in Lower Cretaceous amber from Lebanon (Psocodea, Trogiomorpha, Psocathropetae, Psyllipsocidae)

    PubMed Central

    Azar, Dany; Nel, André

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Libanopsyllipsocus alexanderasnitsyni gen. et sp. n., of Psyllipsocidae is described and figured from the Lower Cretaceous amber of Lebanon. The position of the new taxon is discussed and the fossil is compared to other psyllipsocids. The species represents the earliest record of the family Psyllipsocidae. PMID:22259273

  1. Amber lenses to block blue light and improve sleep: a randomized trial.

    PubMed

    Burkhart, Kimberly; Phelps, James R

    2009-12-01

    All light is not equal: blue wavelengths are the most potent portion of the visible electromagnetic spectrum for circadian regulation. Therefore, blocking blue light could create a form of physiologic darkness. Because the timing and quantity of light and darkness both affect sleep, evening use of amber lenses to block blue light might affect sleep quality. Mood is also affected by light and sleep; therefore, mood might be affected by blue light blockade. In this study, 20 adult volunteers were randomized to wear either blue-blocking (amber) or yellow-tinted (blocking ultraviolet only) safety glasses for 3 h prior to sleep. Participants completed sleep diaries during a one-week baseline assessment and two weeks' use of glasses. Outcome measures were subjective: change in overall sleep quality and positive/negative affect. Results demonstrated that sleep quality at study outset was poorer in the amber lens than the control group. Two- by three-way ANOVA revealed significant (p < .001) interaction between quality of sleep over the three weeks and experimental condition. At the end of the study, the amber lens group experienced significant (p < .001) improvement in sleep quality relative to the control group and positive affect (p = .005). Mood also improved significantly relative to controls. A replication with more detailed data on the subjects' circadian baseline and objective outcome measures is warranted.

  2. Amino acid racemization in amber-entombed insects: implications for DNA preservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bada, J. L.; Wang, X. S.; Poinar, H. N.; Paabo, S.; Poinar, G. O.

    1994-01-01

    DNA depurination and amino acid racemization take place at similar rates in aqueous solution at neutral pH. This relationship suggests that amino acid racemization may be useful in accessing the extent of DNA chain breakage in ancient biological remains. To test this suggestion, we have investigated the amino acids in insects entombed in fossilized tree resins ranging in age from <100 years to 130 million years. The amino acids present in 40 to 130 million year old amber-entombed insects resemble those in a modern fly and are probably the most ancient, unaltered amino acids found so far on Earth. In comparison to other geochemical environments on the surface of the Earth, the amino acid racemization rate in amber insect inclusions is retarded by a factor of >10(4). These results suggest that in amber insect inclusions DNA depurination rates would also likely be retarded in comparison to aqueous solution measurements, and thus DNA fragments containing many hundreds of base pairs should be preserved. This conclusion is consistent with the reported successful retrieval of DNA sequences from amber-entombed organisms.

  3. 13C Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and µ-Raman Spectroscopic Characterization of Sicilian Amber.

    PubMed

    Barone, Germana; Capitani, Donatella; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Proietti, Noemi; Raneri, Simona; Longobardo, Ugo; Di Tullio, Valeria

    2016-08-01

    (13)C cross-polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and µ-Raman spectroscopy were applied to characterize Sicilian amber samples. The main goal of this work was to supply a complete study of simetite, highlighting discriminating criteria useful to distinguish Sicilian amber from fossil resins from other regions and laying the foundations for building a spectroscopic database of Sicilian amber. With this aim, a private collection of unrefined simetite samples and fossil resins from the Baltic region and Dominican Republic was analyzed. Overall, the obtained spectra permitted simetite to be distinguished from the other resins. In addition, principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to the spectroscopic data, allowing the clustering of simetite samples with respect to the Baltic and Dominican samples and to group the simetite samples in two sets, depending on their maturity. Finally, the analysis of loadings allowed for a better understanding of the spectral features that mainly influenced the discriminating characteristics of the investigated ambers. © The Author(s) 2016.

  4. Story as a Bridge to Transformation: The Way beyond Death in Philip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lenz, Millicent

    2003-01-01

    Explains that in "The Amber Spyglass," Philip Pullman extends the psychological depth of literature for young readers by presenting in palpable terms a confrontation with death met by the human capacity for dealing creatively, through story, with personal mortality. Contends that Pullman's portrayal of the power of storytelling is placed within…

  5. Spatial dynamics of the invasive defoliator amber-marked birch leafminer across the Anchorage landscape

    Treesearch

    J.E. Lundquist; R.M. Reich; M. Tuffly

    2012-01-01

    The amber-marked birch leafminer has caused severe infestations of birch species in Anchorage, AK, since 2002. Its spatial distribution has been monitored since 2006 and summarized using interpolated surfaces based on simple kriging. In this study, we developed methods of assessing and describing spatial distribution of the leafminer as they vary from year to year, and...

  6. Story as a Bridge to Transformation: The Way beyond Death in Philip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lenz, Millicent

    2003-01-01

    Explains that in "The Amber Spyglass," Philip Pullman extends the psychological depth of literature for young readers by presenting in palpable terms a confrontation with death met by the human capacity for dealing creatively, through story, with personal mortality. Contends that Pullman's portrayal of the power of storytelling is placed within…

  7. Amber: Using "Tree Tears Turned to Stone" to Teach Biology, Ecology, and More!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clary, Renee M.; Wandersee, James H.

    2009-01-01

    Amber is a fossil by itself, and can also contain plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Some of these perfectly preserved specimens give scientists a convenient window to past environments, including the biology, ecology, geology, and chemistry of Earth's past. By using an interdisciplinary approach, we can demonstrate to students a…

  8. A remarkable new pygmy grasshopper (Orthoptera, Tetrigidae) in Miocene amber from the Dominican Republic

    PubMed Central

    Heads, Sam W.; Thomas, M. Jared; Wang, Yinan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A new genus and species of pygmy grasshopper (Orthoptera: Tetrigidae) is described from Early Miocene (Burdigalian) Dominican amber. Electrotettix attenboroughi Heads & Thomas, gen. et sp. n. is assigned to the subfamily Cladonotinae based on the deeply forked frontal costa, but is remarkable for the presence of tegmina and hind wings, hitherto unknown in this subfamily. PMID:25147472

  9. Biomolecular motors in nanoscale materials, devices, and systems.

    PubMed

    Bachand, George D; Bouxsein, Nathan F; VanDelinder, Virginia; Bachand, Marlene

    2014-01-01

    Biomolecular motors are a unique class of intracellular proteins that are fundamental to a considerable number of physiological functions such as DNA replication, organelle trafficking, and cell division. The efficient transformation of chemical energy into useful work by these proteins provides strong motivation for their utilization as nanoscale actuators in ex vivo, meso- and macro-scale hybrid systems. Biomolecular motors involved in cytoskeletal transport are quite attractive models within this context due to their ability to direct the transport of nano-/micro-scale objects at rates significantly greater than diffusion, and in the absence of bulk fluid flow. As in living organisms, biomolecular motors involved in cytoskeletal transport (i.e., kinesin, dynein, and myosin) function outside of their native environment to dissipatively self-assemble biological, biomimetic, and hybrid nanostructures that exhibit nonequilibrium behaviors such as self-healing. These systems also provide nanofluidic transport function in hybrid nanodevices where target analytes are actively captured, sorted, and transported for autonomous sensing and analytical applications. Moving forward, the implementation of biomolecular motors will continue to enable a wide range of unique functionalities that are presently limited to living systems, and support the development of nanoscale systems for addressing critical engineering challenges.

  10. Transient response characteristics in a biomolecular integral controller.

    PubMed

    Sen, Shaunak

    2016-04-01

    The cellular behaviour of perfect adaptation is achieved through the use of an integral control element in the underlying biomolecular circuit. It is generally unclear how integral action affects the important aspect of transient response in these biomolecular systems, especially in light of the fact that it typically deteriorates the transient response in engineering contexts. To address this issue, the authors investigated the transient response in a computational model of a simple biomolecular integral control system involved in bacterial signalling. They find that the transient response can actually speed up as the integral gain parameter increases. On further analysis, they find that the underlying dynamics are composed of slow and fast modes and the speed-up of the transient response is because of the speed-up of the slow-mode dynamics. Finally, they note how an increase in the integral gain parameter also leads to a decrease in the amplitude of the transient response, consistent with the overall improvement in the transient response. These results should be useful in understanding the overall effect of integral action on system dynamics, particularly for biomolecular systems.

  11. Biomolecular strategies for cell surface engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, John Tanner

    Islet transplantation has emerged as a promising cell-based therapy for the treatment of diabetes, but its clinical efficacy remains limited by deleterious host responses that underlie islet destruction. In this dissertation, we describe the assembly of ultrathin conformal coatings that confer molecular-level control over the composition and biophysicochemical properties of the islet surface with implications for improving islet engraftment. Significantly, this work provides novel biomolecular strategies for cell surface engineering with broad biomedical and biotechnological applications in cell-based therapeutics and beyond. Encapsulation of cells and tissue offers a rational approach for attenuating deleterious host responses towards transplanted cells, but a need exists to develop cell encapsulation strategies that minimize transplant volume. Towards this end, we endeavored to generate nanothin films of diverse architecture with tunable properties on the extracellular surface of individual pancreatic islets through a process of layer-by-layer (LbL) self assembly. We first describe the formation of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-rich conformal coatings on islets via LbL self assembly of poly(L-lysine)-g-PEG(biotin) and streptavidin. Multilayer thin films conformed to the geometrically and chemically heterogeneous islet surface, and could be assembled without loss of islet viability or function. Significantly, coated islets performed comparably to untreated controls in a murine model of allogenic intraportal islet transplantation, and, to our knowledge, this is the first study to report in vivo survival and function of nanoencapsulated cells or cell aggregates. Based on these findings, we next postulated that structurally similar PLL-g-PEG copolymers comprised of shorter PEG grafts might be used to initiate and propagate the assembly of polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) films on pancreatic islets, while simultaneously preserving islet viability. Through control of PLL

  12. A preliminary synopsis on amber scorpions with special reference to Burmite species: an extraordinary development of our knowledge in only 20 years.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R

    2016-01-01

    A preliminary study on fossil scorpions found in amber, from the Lower Cretaceous through the Palaeocene and up to the Miocene is proposed. Scorpions remain rare among the arthropods found trapped in amber. Only 24 specimens are known from Cretaceous amber, representing eight families and subfamilies, ten genera and 21 species; in parallel, 10 specimens have been recorded from Baltic amber representing seven genera and ten species. A few more recent fossils from Dominican and Mexican amber have also been described. The present study of a new scorpion specimen from the Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burmite) resulted in the description of one new species, Betaburmesebuthus bellus sp. n. - belonging to the subfamily Palaeoburmesebuthinae Lourenço, 2015. The new description brings further elements to the clarification of the status of this subfamily, which is now raised to family level. Once again, this new Burmite element attests to the considerable degree of diversity in the Burmese amber-producing forests.

  13. A self-regulating biomolecular comparator for processing oscillatory signals

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Deepak K.; Franco, Elisa; Schulman, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    While many cellular processes are driven by biomolecular oscillators, precise control of a downstream on/off process by a biochemical oscillator signal can be difficult: over an oscillator's period, its output signal varies continuously between its amplitude limits and spends a significant fraction of the time at intermediate values between these limits. Further, the oscillator's output is often noisy, with particularly large variations in the amplitude. In electronic systems, an oscillating signal is generally processed by a downstream device such as a comparator that converts a potentially noisy oscillatory input into a square wave output that is predominantly in one of two well-defined on and off states. The comparator's output then controls downstream processes. We describe a method for constructing a synthetic biochemical device that likewise produces a square-wave-type biomolecular output for a variety of oscillatory inputs. The method relies on a separation of time scales between the slow rate of production of an oscillatory signal molecule and the fast rates of intermolecular binding and conformational changes. We show how to control the characteristics of the output by varying the concentrations of the species and the reaction rates. We then use this control to show how our approach could be applied to process different in vitro and in vivo biomolecular oscillators, including the p53-Mdm2 transcriptional oscillator and two types of in vitro transcriptional oscillators. These results demonstrate how modular biomolecular circuits could, in principle, be combined to build complex dynamical systems. The simplicity of our approach also suggests that natural molecular circuits may process some biomolecular oscillator outputs before they are applied downstream. PMID:26378119

  14. Output-input ratio in thermally fluctuating biomolecular machines.

    PubMed

    Kurzynski, Michal; Torchala, Mieczyslaw; Chelminiak, Przemyslaw

    2014-01-01

    Biological molecular machines are proteins that operate under isothermal conditions and hence are referred to as free energy transducers. They can be formally considered as enzymes that simultaneously catalyze two chemical reactions: the free energy-donating (input) reaction and the free energy-accepting (output) one. Most if not all biologically active proteins display a slow stochastic dynamics of transitions between a variety of conformational substates composing their native state. This makes the description of the enzymatic reaction kinetics in terms of conventional rate constants insufficient. In the steady state, upon taking advantage of the assumption that each reaction proceeds through a single pair (the gate) of transition conformational substates of the enzyme-substrates complex, the degree of coupling between the output and the input reaction fluxes has been expressed in terms of the mean first-passage times on a conformational transition network between the distinguished substates. The theory is confronted with the results of random-walk simulations on the five-dimensional hypercube. The formal proof is given that, for single input and output gates, the output-input degree of coupling cannot exceed unity. As some experiments suggest such exceeding, looking for the conditions for increasing the degree of coupling value over unity challenges the theory. Performed simulations of random walks on several model networks involving more extended gates indicate that the case of the degree of coupling value higher than 1 is realized in a natural way on critical branching trees extended by long-range shortcuts. Such networks are scale-free and display the property of the small world. For short-range shortcuts, the networks are scale-free and fractal, representing a reasonable model for biomolecular machines displaying tight coupling, i.e., the degree of coupling equal exactly to unity. A hypothesis is stated that the protein conformational transition networks, as

  15. The adaptive buffered force QM/MM method in the CP2K and AMBER software packages

    DOE PAGES

    Mones, Letif; Jones, Andrew; Götz, Andreas W.; ...

    2015-02-03

    We present the implementation and validation of the adaptive buffered force (AdBF) quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics (QM/MM) method in two popular packages, CP2K and AMBER. The implementations build on the existing QM/MM functionality in each code, extending it to allow for redefinition of the QM and MM regions during the simulation and reducing QM-MM interface errors by discarding forces near the boundary according to the buffered force-mixing approach. New adaptive thermostats, needed by force-mixing methods, are also implemented. Different variants of the method are benchmarked by simulating the structure of bulk water, water autoprotolysis in the presence of zinc and dimethyl-phosphate hydrolysis usingmore » various semiempirical Hamiltonians and density functional theory as the QM model. It is shown that with suitable parameters, based on force convergence tests, the AdBF QM/MM scheme can provide an accurate approximation of the structure in the dynamical QM region matching the corresponding fully QM simulations, as well as reproducing the correct energetics in all cases. Adaptive unbuffered force-mixing and adaptive conventional QM/MM methods also provide reasonable results for some systems, but are more likely to suffer from instabilities and inaccuracies.« less

  16. The adaptive buffered force QM/MM method in the CP2K and AMBER software packages

    SciTech Connect

    Mones, Letif; Jones, Andrew; Götz, Andreas W.; Laino, Teodoro; Walker, Ross C.; Leimkuhler, Ben; Csányi, Gábor; Bernstein, Noam

    2015-02-03

    We present the implementation and validation of the adaptive buffered force (AdBF) quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics (QM/MM) method in two popular packages, CP2K and AMBER. The implementations build on the existing QM/MM functionality in each code, extending it to allow for redefinition of the QM and MM regions during the simulation and reducing QM-MM interface errors by discarding forces near the boundary according to the buffered force-mixing approach. New adaptive thermostats, needed by force-mixing methods, are also implemented. Different variants of the method are benchmarked by simulating the structure of bulk water, water autoprotolysis in the presence of zinc and dimethyl-phosphate hydrolysis using various semiempirical Hamiltonians and density functional theory as the QM model. It is shown that with suitable parameters, based on force convergence tests, the AdBF QM/MM scheme can provide an accurate approximation of the structure in the dynamical QM region matching the corresponding fully QM simulations, as well as reproducing the correct energetics in all cases. Adaptive unbuffered force-mixing and adaptive conventional QM/MM methods also provide reasonable results for some systems, but are more likely to suffer from instabilities and inaccuracies.

  17. The adaptive buffered force QM/MM method in the CP2K and AMBER software packages

    DOE PAGES

    Mones, Letif; Jones, Andrew; Götz, Andreas W.; ...

    2015-02-03

    We present the implementation and validation of the adaptive buffered force (AdBF) quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics (QM/MM) method in two popular packages, CP2K and AMBER. The implementations build on the existing QM/MM functionality in each code, extending it to allow for redefinition of the QM and MM regions during the simulation and reducing QM-MM interface errors by discarding forces near the boundary according to the buffered force-mixing approach. New adaptive thermostats, needed by force-mixing methods, are also implemented. Different variants of the method are benchmarked by simulating the structure of bulk water, water autoprotolysis in the presence of zinc and dimethyl-phosphate hydrolysis usingmore » various semiempirical Hamiltonians and density functional theory as the QM model. It is shown that with suitable parameters, based on force convergence tests, the AdBF QM/MM scheme can provide an accurate approximation of the structure in the dynamical QM region matching the corresponding fully QM simulations, as well as reproducing the correct energetics in all cases. Adaptive unbuffered force-mixing and adaptive conventional QM/MM methods also provide reasonable results for some systems, but are more likely to suffer from instabilities and inaccuracies.« less

  18. The adaptive buffered force QM/MM method in the CP2K and AMBER software packages

    PubMed Central

    Mones, Letif; Jones, Andrew; Götz, Andreas W; Laino, Teodoro; Walker, Ross C; Leimkuhler, Ben; Csányi, Gábor; Bernstein, Noam

    2015-01-01

    The implementation and validation of the adaptive buffered force (AdBF) quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics (QM/MM) method in two popular packages, CP2K and AMBER are presented. The implementations build on the existing QM/MM functionality in each code, extending it to allow for redefinition of the QM and MM regions during the simulation and reducing QM-MM interface errors by discarding forces near the boundary according to the buffered force-mixing approach. New adaptive thermostats, needed by force-mixing methods, are also implemented. Different variants of the method are benchmarked by simulating the structure of bulk water, water autoprotolysis in the presence of zinc and dimethyl-phosphate hydrolysis using various semiempirical Hamiltonians and density functional theory as the QM model. It is shown that with suitable parameters, based on force convergence tests, the AdBF QM/MM scheme can provide an accurate approximation of the structure in the dynamical QM region matching the corresponding fully QM simulations, as well as reproducing the correct energetics in all cases. Adaptive unbuffered force-mixing and adaptive conventional QM/MM methods also provide reasonable results for some systems, but are more likely to suffer from instabilities and inaccuracies. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Computational Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25649827

  19. Toward theoretical analysis of long-range proton transfer kinetics in biomolecular pumps.

    PubMed

    König, P H; Ghosh, N; Hoffmann, M; Elstner, M; Tajkhorshid, E; Frauenheim, Th; Cui, Q

    2006-01-19

    Motivated by the long-term goal of theoretically analyzing long-range proton transfer (PT) kinetics in biomolecular pumps, researchers made a number of technical developments in the framework of quantum mechanics-molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulations. A set of collective reaction coordinates is proposed for characterizing the progress of long-range proton transfers; unlike previous suggestions, the new coordinates can describe PT along highly nonlinear three-dimensional pathways. Calculations using a realistic model of carbonic anhydrase demonstrated that adiabatic mapping using these collective coordinates gives reliable energetics and critical geometrical parameters as compared to minimum energy path calculations, which suggests that the new coordinates can be effectively used as reaction coordinate in potential of mean force calculations for long-range PT in complex systems. In addition, the generalized solvent boundary potential was implemented in the QM/MM framework for rectangular geometries, which is useful for studying reactions in membrane systems. The resulting protocol was found to produce water structure in the interior of aquaporin consistent with previous studies including a much larger number of explicit solvent and lipid molecules. The effect of electrostatics for PT through a membrane protein was also illustrated with a simple model channel embedded in different dielectric continuum environments. The encouraging results observed so far suggest that robust theoretical analysis of long-range PT kinetics in biomolecular pumps can soon be realized in a QM/MM framework.

  20. Towards theoretical analysis of long-range proton transfer kinetics in biomolecular pumps

    PubMed Central

    König, P. H.; Ghosh, N.; Hoffmann, M.; Elstner, M.; Tajkhorshid, E.; Frauenheim, Th.; Cui, Q.

    2008-01-01

    Motivated by the long-term goal of theoretically analyzing long-range proton transfer (PT) kinetics in biomolecular pumps, a number of technical developments were made in the framework of QM/MM simulations. A set of collective reaction co-ordinates is proposed for characterizing the progress of long-range proton transfers; unlike previous suggestions, the new coordinates can describe PT along highly non-linear three-dimensional pathways. Calculations using a realistic model of carbonic anhydrase demonstrated that adiabatic mapping using these collective coordinates gives reliable energetics and critical geometrical parameters as compared to minimum energy path calculations, which suggests that the new coordinates can be effectively used as reaction coordinate in potential of mean force calculations for long-range PT in complex systems. In addition, the generalized solvent boundary potential was implemented in the QM/MM framework for rectangular geometries, which is useful for studying reactions in membrane systems. The resulting protocol was found to produce water structure in the interior of aquaporin consistent with previous studies including much larger number of explicit solvent and lipid molecules. The effect of electrostatics for PT through membrane protein was also illustrated with a simple model channel embedded in different dielectric continuum environments. The encouraging results observed so far suggest that robust theoretical analysis of long-range PT kinetics in biomolecular pumps can soon be realized in a QM/MM framework. PMID:16405327

  1. The Interplay of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Bounded Noises in Biomolecular Networks

    PubMed Central

    Mauri, Giancarlo

    2013-01-01

    After being considered as a nuisance to be filtered out, it became recently clear that biochemical noise plays a complex role, often fully functional, for a biomolecular network. The influence of intrinsic and extrinsic noises on biomolecular networks has intensively been investigated in last ten years, though contributions on the co-presence of both are sparse. Extrinsic noise is usually modeled as an unbounded white or colored gaussian stochastic process, even though realistic stochastic perturbations are clearly bounded. In this paper we consider Gillespie-like stochastic models of nonlinear networks, i.e. the intrinsic noise, where the model jump rates are affected by colored bounded extrinsic noises synthesized by a suitable biochemical state-dependent Langevin system. These systems are described by a master equation, and a simulation algorithm to analyze them is derived. This new modeling paradigm should enlarge the class of systems amenable at modeling. We investigated the influence of both amplitude and autocorrelation time of a extrinsic Sine-Wiener noise on: the Michaelis-Menten approximation of noisy enzymatic reactions, which we show to be applicable also in co-presence of both intrinsic and extrinsic noise, a model of enzymatic futile cycle and a genetic toggle switch. In and we show that the presence of a bounded extrinsic noise induces qualitative modifications in the probability densities of the involved chemicals, where new modes emerge, thus suggesting the possible functional role of bounded noises. PMID:23437034

  2. The interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic bounded noises in biomolecular networks.

    PubMed

    Caravagna, Giulio; Mauri, Giancarlo; d'Onofrio, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    After being considered as a nuisance to be filtered out, it became recently clear that biochemical noise plays a complex role, often fully functional, for a biomolecular network. The influence of intrinsic and extrinsic noises on biomolecular networks has intensively been investigated in last ten years, though contributions on the co-presence of both are sparse. Extrinsic noise is usually modeled as an unbounded white or colored gaussian stochastic process, even though realistic stochastic perturbations are clearly bounded. In this paper we consider Gillespie-like stochastic models of nonlinear networks, i.e. the intrinsic noise, where the model jump rates are affected by colored bounded extrinsic noises synthesized by a suitable biochemical state-dependent Langevin system. These systems are described by a master equation, and a simulation algorithm to analyze them is derived. This new modeling paradigm should enlarge the class of systems amenable at modeling. We investigated the influence of both amplitude and autocorrelation time of a extrinsic Sine-Wiener noise on: (i) the Michaelis-Menten approximation of noisy enzymatic reactions, which we show to be applicable also in co-presence of both intrinsic and extrinsic noise, (ii) a model of enzymatic futile cycle and (iii) a genetic toggle switch. In (ii) and (iii) we show that the presence of a bounded extrinsic noise induces qualitative modifications in the probability densities of the involved chemicals, where new modes emerge, thus suggesting the possible functional role of bounded noises.

  3. X3DBio2: A visual analysis tool for biomolecular structure comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Hong; Thakur, Sidharth; Sethaphong, Latsavongsakda; Yingling, Yaroslava G.

    2013-01-01

    A major problem in structural biology is the recognition of differences and similarities between related three dimensional (3D) biomolecular structures. Investigating these structure relationships is important not only for understanding of functional properties of biologically significant molecules, but also for development of new and improved materials based on naturally-occurring molecules. We developed a new visual analysis tool, X3DBio2, for 3D biomolecular structure comparison and analysis. The tool is designed for elucidation of structural effects of mutations in proteins and nucleic acids and for assessment of time dependent trajectories from molecular dynamics simulations. X3DBio2 is a freely downloadable open source software and provides tightly integrated features to perform many standard analysis and visual exploration tasks. We expect this tool can be applied to solve a variety of biological problems and illustrate the use of the tool on the example study of the differences and similarities between two proteins of the glycosyltransferase family 2 that synthesize polysaccharides oligomers. The size and conformational distances and retained core structural similarity of proteins SpsA to K4CP represent significant epochs in the evolution of inverting glycosyltransferases.

  4. Group transfer theory of single molecule imaging experiments in the F-ATPase biomolecular motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volkan-Kacso, Sandor; Marcus, Rudolph

    I describe a chemo-mechanical theory to treat single molecule imaging and ``stalling'' experiments on the F-ATPase enzyme. This enzyme is an effective stepping biomolecular rotary motor with a rotor shaft and a stator ring. Using group transfer theoretical approach the proposed structure-based theory couples the binding transition of nucleotides in the stator subunits and the physics of torsional elasticity in the rotor. The twisting of the elastic rotor domain acts as a perturbation upon the driving potential, the Gibbs free energy. In the theory, without the use of adjustastable parameters, we predict the rate and equilibrium constant dependence of steps such as ATP binding and phosphate release as a function of manipulated rotor angle. Then we compare these predictions to available data from stalling experiments. Besides treating experiments, the theory can provide guides for atomistic simulations, which could calculate the reorganization parameter and the torsional spring constant. The framework is generic and I discuss its application to other single molecule experiments, such as controlled rotation and other biomolecular motors, including motor-DNA complexes and linear motors.[PNAS, Early Edition, Oct. 19, 2015, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1518489112] The authors would like to acknowledge support from the Office of the Naval Research, the Army Research Office, and the James W. Glanville Foundation.

  5. Group transfer theory of single molecule imaging experiments in the F-ATPase biomolecular motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volkan-Kacso, Sandor; Marcus, Rudolph

    I describe a chemo-mechanical theory to treat single molecule imaging and ``stalling'' experiments on the F-ATPase enzyme. This enzyme is an effective stepping biomolecular rotary motor with a rotor shaft and a stator ring. Using group transfer theoretical approach the proposed structure-based theory couples the binding transition of nucleotides in the stator subunits and the physics of torsional elasticity in the rotor. The twisting of the elastic rotor domain acts as a perturbation upon the driving potential, the Gibbs free energy. In the theory, without the use of adjustastable parameters, we predict the rate and equilibrium constant dependence of steps such as ATP binding and phosphate release as a function of manipulated rotor angle. Then we compare these predictions to available data from stalling experiments. Besides treating experiments, the theory can provide guides for atomistic simulations, which could calculate the reorganization parameter and the torsional spring constant. The framework is generic and I discuss its application to other single molecule experiments, such as controlled rotation and other biomolecular motors, including motor-DNA complexes and linear motors.[PNAS, Early Edition, Oct. 19, 2015, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1518489112

  6. Phage-based biomolecular filter for the capture of bacterial pathogens in liquid streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Songtao; Chen, I.-Hsuan; Horikawa, Shin; Lu, Xu; Liu, Yuzhe; Wikle, Howard C.; Suh, Sang Jin; Chin, Bryan A.

    2017-05-01

    This paper investigates a phage-based biomolecular filter that enables the evaluation of large volumes of liquids for the presence of small quantities of bacterial pathogens. The filter is a planar arrangement of phage-coated, strip-shaped magnetoelastic (ME) biosensors (4 mm × 0.8 mm × 0.03 mm), magnetically coupled to a filter frame structure, through which a liquid of interest flows. This "phage filter" is designed to capture specific bacterial pathogens and allow non-specific debris to pass, eliminating the common clogging issue in conventional bead filters. ANSYS Maxwell was used to simulate the magnetic field pattern required to hold ME biosensors densely and to optimize the frame design. Based on the simulation results, a phage filter structure was constructed, and a proof-in-concept experiment was conducted where a Salmonella solution of known concentration were passed through the filter, and the number of captured Salmonella was quantified by plate counting.

  7. VLTI/AMBER spectro-interferometric imaging of VX Sagittarii's inhomogenous outer atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiavassa, A.; Lacour, S.; Millour, F.; Driebe, T.; Wittkowski, M.; Plez, B.; Thiébaut, E.; Josselin, E.; Freytag, B.; Scholz, M.; Haubois, X.

    2010-02-01

    Aims: We aim to explore the photosphere of the very cool late-type star VX Sgr and in particular the characterization of molecular layers above the continuum forming photosphere. Methods: We obtained interferometric observations with the VLTI/AMBER interferometer using the fringe tracker FINITO in the spectral domain 1.45-2.50 μm with a spectral resolution of ≈35 and baselines ranging from 15 to 88 m. We performed independent image reconstruction for different wavelength bins and fit the interferometric data with a geometrical toy model. We also compared the data to 1D dynamical models of Miras atmosphere and to 3D hydrodynamical simulations of red supergiant (RSG) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Results: Reconstructed images and visibilities show a strong wavelength dependence. The H-band images display two bright spots whose positions are confirmed by the geometrical toy model. The inhomogeneities are qualitatively predicted by 3D simulations. At ≈2.00 μm and in the region 2.35-2.50 μm, the photosphere appears extended and the radius is larger than in the H band. In this spectral region, the geometrical toy model locates a third bright spot outside the photosphere that can be a feature of the molecular layers. The wavelength dependence of the visibility can be qualitatively explained by 1D dynamical models of Mira atmospheres. The best-fitting photospheric models show a good match with the observed visibilities and give a photospheric diameter of Theta=8.82 ± 0.50 mas. The H2O molecule seems to be the dominant absorber in the molecular layers. Conclusions: We show that the atmosphere of VX Sgr seems to resemble Mira/AGB star model atmospheres more closely than do RSG model atmospheres. In particular, we see molecular (water) layers that are typical of Mira stars. Based on the observations made with VLTI-ESO Paranal, Chile under the programs IDs 081.D-0005(A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H).

  8. Mass spectrometry in the characterization of ambers. I. Studies of amber samples of different origin and ages by laser desorption ionization, atmospheric pressure chemical ionization and atmospheric pressure photoionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Tonidandel, Loris; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Traldi, Pietro

    2008-01-01

    Amber is a fossil resin constituted of organic polymers derived through complex maturation processes of the original plant resin. A classification of eight samples of amber of different geological age (Miocene to Triassic) and geographical origin is here proposed using direct mass spectrometric techniques, i.e. laser desorption ionization (LDI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI), in order to obtain a fingerprint related to the amber origin. Differences and similarities were detected among the spectra with the four methods, showing quite complex spectra, full of ionic species in the mass range investigated (up to m/z 2000). The evaluation required statistical analysis involving multivariate techniques. Cluster analysis or principal component analysis (PCA) generally did not show a clear clustering with respect to the age of samples, except for the APPI method, which allowed a satisfying clustering. Using the total ion current (TIC) obtained by the different analytical approaches on equal quantities of the different amber samples and plotted against the age, the only significant correlation appeared to be that involving APPI. To validate the method, four amber samples from Cretaceous of Spain were analyzed. Also in this case a significant correlation with age was found only with APPI data. PCA obtained with TIC values from all the MS methods showed a fair grouping of samples, according to their age. Three main clusters could be detected, belonging to younger, intermediate and older fossil resins, respectively. This MS analysis on crude amber, either solid or extract, followed by appropriate multivariate statistical evaluation, can provide useful information on amber age. The best results are those obtained by APPI, indicating that the quantity of amber soluble components that can be photoionized decreases with increasing age, in agreement with the formation of highly stable, insoluble polymers.

  9. Further along the Road Less Traveled: AMBER ff15ipq, an Original Protein Force Field Built on a Self-Consistent Physical Model

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    We present the AMBER ff15ipq force field for proteins, the second-generation force field developed using the Implicitly Polarized Q (IPolQ) scheme for deriving implicitly polarized atomic charges in the presence of explicit solvent. The ff15ipq force field is a complete rederivation including more than 300 unique atomic charges, 900 unique torsion terms, 60 new angle parameters, and new atomic radii for polar hydrogens. The atomic charges were derived in the context of the SPC/Eb water model, which yields more-accurate rotational diffusion of proteins and enables direct calculation of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation parameters from molecular dynamics simulations. The atomic radii improve the accuracy of modeling salt bridge interactions relative to contemporary fixed-charge force fields, rectifying a limitation of ff14ipq that resulted from its use of pair-specific Lennard-Jones radii. In addition, ff15ipq reproduces penta-alanine J-coupling constants exceptionally well, gives reasonable agreement with NMR relaxation rates, and maintains the expected conformational propensities of structured proteins/peptides, as well as disordered peptides—all on the microsecond (μs) time scale, which is a critical regime for drug design applications. These encouraging results demonstrate the power and robustness of our automated methods for deriving new force fields. All parameters described here and the mdgx program used to fit them are included in the AmberTools16 distribution. PMID:27399642

  10. Further along the Road Less Traveled: AMBER ff15ipq, an Original Protein Force Field Built on a Self-Consistent Physical Model.

    PubMed

    Debiec, Karl T; Cerutti, David S; Baker, Lewis R; Gronenborn, Angela M; Case, David A; Chong, Lillian T

    2016-08-09

    We present the AMBER ff15ipq force field for proteins, the second-generation force field developed using the Implicitly Polarized Q (IPolQ) scheme for deriving implicitly polarized atomic charges in the presence of explicit solvent. The ff15ipq force field is a complete rederivation including more than 300 unique atomic charges, 900 unique torsion terms, 60 new angle parameters, and new atomic radii for polar hydrogens. The atomic charges were derived in the context of the SPC/Eb water model, which yields more-accurate rotational diffusion of proteins and enables direct calculation of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation parameters from molecular dynamics simulations. The atomic radii improve the accuracy of modeling salt bridge interactions relative to contemporary fixed-charge force fields, rectifying a limitation of ff14ipq that resulted from its use of pair-specific Lennard-Jones radii. In addition, ff15ipq reproduces penta-alanine J-coupling constants exceptionally well, gives reasonable agreement with NMR relaxation rates, and maintains the expected conformational propensities of structured proteins/peptides, as well as disordered peptides-all on the microsecond (μs) time scale, which is a critical regime for drug design applications. These encouraging results demonstrate the power and robustness of our automated methods for deriving new force fields. All parameters described here and the mdgx program used to fit them are included in the AmberTools16 distribution.

  11. Noncanonical α/γ Backbone Conformations in RNA and the Accuracy of Their Description by the AMBER Force Field.

    PubMed

    Zgarbová, Marie; Jurečka, Petr; Banáš, Pavel; Havrila, Marek; Šponer, Jiří; Otyepka, Michal

    2017-03-23

    The sugar-phosphate backbone of RNA can exist in diverse rotameric substates, giving RNA molecules enormous conformational variability. The most frequent noncanonical backbone conformation in RNA is α/γ = t/t, which is derived from the canonical backbone by a crankshaft motion and largely preserves the standard geometry of the RNA duplex. A similar conformation also exists in DNA, where it has been extensively studied and shown to be involved in DNA-protein interactions. However, the function of the α/γ = t/t conformation in RNA is poorly understood. Here, we present molecular dynamics simulations of several prototypical RNA structures obtained from X-ray and NMR experiments, including canonical and mismatched RNA duplexes, UUCG and GAGA tetraloops, Loop E, the sarcin-ricin loop, a parallel guanine quadruplex, and a viral pseudoknot. The stability of various noncanonical α/γ backbone conformations was analyzed with two AMBER force fields, ff99bsc0χOL3 and ff99bsc0χOL3 with the recent εζOL1 and βOL1 corrections for DNA. Although some α/γ substates were stable with seemingly well-described equilibria, many were unstable in our simulations. Notably, the most frequent noncanonical conformer α/γ = t/t was unstable in both tested force fields. Possible reasons for this instability are discussed. Our work reveals a potentially important artifact in RNA force fields and highlights a need for further force field refinement.

  12. A multi-analytical approach for the assessment of the provenience of geological amber: the collection of the Earth Sciences Museum of Bari (Italy).

    PubMed

    van der Werf, Inez Dorothé; Monno, Alessandro; Fico, Daniela; Germinario, Giulia; De Benedetto, Giuseppe Egidio; Sabbatini, Luigia

    2017-01-01

    The Earth Sciences Museum of the University of Bari Aldo Moro (Italy) exhibits a wide collection of amber samples. These have been catalogued as Baltic amber (succinite), Sicilian amber (simetite), amber from New Jersey, Apennine amber and New Zealand copaline. However, some samples revealed to be erroneously classified as a consequence of incorrect information on the labels or in the museum catalogue. This may be due to historical forgeries, as is often the case of simetite, or to a possible exchange of samples that probably occurred during the displacement of the museum collection from the Central University Building to the Geo-environmental and Earth Sciences Department. In this study, all amber samples were systematically investigated with long wave UV rays, attenuated total reflectance (ATR), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) using on-line thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation. The combined use of the latter two analytical techniques allowed for a complete characterisation of the ambers, whereas UV fluorescence showed to be of little value. The compositional data could be used for a better classification and valorisation of the amber samples of the museum collection. Two of the purported amber samples were shown to be copal, while four others are ambers but had been wrongly classified. Moreover, for some samples, it could be established that they had been subjected to treatment with a drying oil.

  13. Earth's orbital chirality and driving force of biomolecular evolution.

    PubMed

    He, Y J; Qi, F; Qi, S C

    2001-04-01

    In our recent studies, it has been suggested that both symmetry breaking (violation) and biological rhythms could be caused by the natural rhythmic right-handed helical force field produced by the Earth's orbital chirality (EOC) (1--3). In this essay, according to the further theoretical and experimental studies, it was suggested that the natural EOC force field could serve as the diving force of biomolecular evolution via the chiral interactions. In addition, the following suggestions also were pointed out: (1) The EOC force field could cause the origin of non-coding repetitive DNA sequences ('Junk DNA') to increase the genomes stability and complexity; (2) The EOC force field could increase the structural order of biological systems via the biomolecular EOC stabilization energy effects; (3) The biological information could be spontaneously produced by the chiral interactions of the protogenes with the EOC force field. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

  14. Regeneration of commercial Biacore chips to analyze biomolecular interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Yong J.; Gopinath, Subash C. B.; Kumar, Penmetcha K. R.

    2011-03-01

    Surface plasmon resonance is particularly important due to the ability of biomolecules of interest to interact with a specific binding partner, and may therefore be more informative than generic measurement techniques. A growing number of robust and reproducible immobilized surfaces chips are available from Biacore, allowing us to analyze various biomolecular interactions. Here we describe a protocol by which the Biacore chips may be reused multiple times to analyze biomolecular interactions without interfering analysis from previously used surfaces or analytes. This procedure will not only help to extend the lifetime of these chips but at the same time render them to be more commercially affordable, especially in a resource-poor setting. The time range for the entire protocol is ~1 day, including stripping off previously immobilized materials and re-functionalization of gold surface.

  15. Subsystem-based theoretical spectroscopy of biomolecules and biomolecular assemblies.

    PubMed

    Neugebauer, Johannes

    2009-12-21

    The absorption properties of chromophores in biomolecular systems are subject to several fine-tuning mechanisms. Specific interactions with the surrounding protein environment often lead to significant changes in the excitation energies, but bulk dielectric effects can also play an important role. Moreover, strong excitonic interactions can occur in systems with several chromophores at close distances. For interpretation purposes, it is often desirable to distinguish different types of environmental effects, such as geometrical, electrostatic, polarization, and response (or differential polarization) effects. Methods that can be applied for theoretical analyses of such effects are reviewed herein, ranging from continuum and point-charge models to explicit quantum chemical subsystem methods for environmental effects. Connections to physical model theories are also outlined. Prototypical applications to optical spectra and excited states of fluorescent proteins, biomolecular photoreceptors, and photosynthetic protein complexes are discussed.

  16. Bacteriorhodopsin as an electronic conduction medium for biomolecular electronics.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yongdong; Honig, Tal; Ron, Izhar; Friedman, Noga; Sheves, Mordechai; Cahen, David

    2008-11-01

    Interfacing functional proteins with solid supports for device applications is a promising route to possible applications in bio-electronics, -sensors, and -optics. Various possible applications of bacteriorhodopsin (bR) have been explored and reviewed since the discovery of bR. This tutorial review discusses bR as a medium for biomolecular optoelectronics, emphasizing ways in which it can be interfaced, especially as a thin film, solid-state current-carrying electronic element.

  17. Geometric and potential driving formation and evolution of biomolecular surfaces.

    PubMed

    Bates, P W; Chen, Zhan; Sun, Yuhui; Wei, Guo-Wei; Zhao, Shan

    2009-08-01

    This paper presents new geometrical flow equations for the theoretical modeling of biomolecular surfaces in the context of multiscale implicit solvent models. To account for the local variations near the biomolecular surfaces due to interactions between solvent molecules, and between solvent and solute molecules, we propose potential driven geometric flows, which balance the intrinsic geometric forces that would occur for a surface separating two homogeneous materials with the potential forces induced by the atomic interactions. Stochastic geometric flows are introduced to account for the random fluctuation and dissipation in density and pressure near the solvent-solute interface. Physical properties, such as free energy minimization (area decreasing) and incompressibility (volume preserving), are realized by some of our geometric flow equations. The proposed approach for geometric and potential forces driving the formation and evolution of biological surfaces is illustrated by extensive numerical experiments and compared with established minimal molecular surfaces and molecular surfaces. Local modification of biomolecular surfaces is demonstrated with potential driven geometric flows. High order geometric flows are also considered and tested in the present work for surface generation. Biomolecular surfaces generated by these approaches are typically free of geometric singularities. As the speed of surface generation is crucial to implicit solvent model based molecular dynamics, four numerical algorithms, a semi-implicit scheme, a Crank-Nicolson scheme, and two alternating direction implicit (ADI) schemes, are constructed and tested. Being either stable or conditionally stable but admitting a large critical time step size, these schemes overcome the stability constraint of the earlier forward Euler scheme. Aided with the Thomas algorithm, one of the ADI schemes is found to be very efficient as it balances the speed and accuracy.

  18. Biting Midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from Cambay Amber Indicate that the Eocene Fauna of the Indian Subcontinent Was Not Isolated

    PubMed Central

    Stebner, Frauke; Szadziewski, Ryszard; Singh, Hukam; Gunkel, Simon; Rust, Jes

    2017-01-01

    India’s unique and highly diverse biota combined with its unique geodynamical history has generated significant interest in the patterns and processes that have shaped the current distribution of India’s flora and fauna and their biogeographical relationships. Fifty four million year old Cambay amber from northwestern India provides the opportunity to address questions relating to endemism and biogeographic history by studying fossil insects. Within the present study seven extant and three fossil genera of biting midges are recorded from Cambay amber and five new species are described: Eohelea indica Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., Gedanohelea gerdesorum Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., Meunierohelea cambayana Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., Meunierohelea borkenti Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., and Meunierohelea orientalis Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp. Fossils of species in the genera Leptoconops Skuse, 1889, Forcipomyia Meigen, 1818, Brachypogon Kieffer, 1899, Stilobezzia Kieffer, 1911, Serromyia Meigen, 1818, and Mantohelea Szadziewski, 1988 are recorded without formal description. Furthermore, one fossil belonging to the genus Camptopterohelea Wirth & Hubert, 1960 is included in the present study. Our study reveals faunal links among Ceratopogonidae from Cambay amber and contemporaneous amber from Fushun, China, Eocene Baltic amber from Europe, as well as the modern Australasian and the Oriental regions. These findings imply that faunal exchange between Europe, Asia and India took place before the formation of Cambay amber in the early Eocene. PMID:28076427

  19. Biting Midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from Cambay Amber Indicate that the Eocene Fauna of the Indian Subcontinent Was Not Isolated.

    PubMed

    Stebner, Frauke; Szadziewski, Ryszard; Singh, Hukam; Gunkel, Simon; Rust, Jes

    2017-01-01

    India's unique and highly diverse biota combined with its unique geodynamical history has generated significant interest in the patterns and processes that have shaped the current distribution of India's flora and fauna and their biogeographical relationships. Fifty four million year old Cambay amber from northwestern India provides the opportunity to address questions relating to endemism and biogeographic history by studying fossil insects. Within the present study seven extant and three fossil genera of biting midges are recorded from Cambay amber and five new species are described: Eohelea indica Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., Gedanohelea gerdesorum Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., Meunierohelea cambayana Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., Meunierohelea borkenti Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp., and Meunierohelea orientalis Stebner & Szadziewski n. sp. Fossils of species in the genera Leptoconops Skuse, 1889, Forcipomyia Meigen, 1818, Brachypogon Kieffer, 1899, Stilobezzia Kieffer, 1911, Serromyia Meigen, 1818, and Mantohelea Szadziewski, 1988 are recorded without formal description. Furthermore, one fossil belonging to the genus Camptopterohelea Wirth & Hubert, 1960 is included in the present study. Our study reveals faunal links among Ceratopogonidae from Cambay amber and contemporaneous amber from Fushun, China, Eocene Baltic amber from Europe, as well as the modern Australasian and the Oriental regions. These findings imply that faunal exchange between Europe, Asia and India took place before the formation of Cambay amber in the early Eocene.

  20. Youngest representative of the extinct genus Microphorites in the Eocene amber of France (Diptera: Dolichopodidae: Microphorinae).

    PubMed

    Bramuzzo, Simone; Nel, André

    2017-02-13

    Prior to the present study, seven species of the fossil microphorine (Dolichopodidae s. lat.) genus Microphorites Hennig, 1971 have been described: Microphorites extinctus Hennig, 1971 (type species), M. oculeus Grimaldi & Cumming, 1999, and M. similis Grimaldi & Cumming, 1999 (all from the Early Cretaceous Lebanese amber), M. deploegi Nel et al., 2004 (from the Early Cretaceous of France), M. utrillensis Peñalver, 2008 (from the Early Cretaceous amber of Spain), M. magaliae Perrichot & Engel, 2014 (from the Late Cretaceous amber of France), M. moravicus Tkoč et al., 2016 (possibly from the Paleogene amber of Moravia) (Hennig 1971; Grimaldi & Cumming 1999; Nel et al. 2004; Arillo et al. 2008; Perrichot & Engel 2014; Tkoč et al. 2016). Based on the dating of these amber species, Microphorites could be among the rare insect genera recorded from both the Cretaceous and the Paleogene. Here we describe Microphorites erikai sp. nov., first accurate Eocene Microphorites from the Oise amber (France), on the basis of a complete female specimen.

  1. Retroactivity in the Context of Modularly Structured Biomolecular Systems

    PubMed Central

    Pantoja-Hernández, Libertad; Martínez-García, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology has intensively promoted the technical implementation of modular strategies in the fabrication of biological devices. Modules are considered as networks of reactions. The behavior displayed by biomolecular systems results from the information processes carried out by the interconnection of the involved modules. However, in natural systems, module wiring is not a free-of-charge process; as a consequence of interconnection, a reactive phenomenon called retroactivity emerges. This phenomenon is characterized by signals that propagate from downstream modules (the modules that receive the incoming signals upon interconnection) to upstream ones (the modules that send the signals upon interconnection). Such retroactivity signals, depending of their strength, may change and sometimes even disrupt the behavior of modular biomolecular systems. Thus, analysis of retroactivity effects in natural biological and biosynthetic systems is crucial to achieve a deeper understanding of how this interconnection between functionally characterized modules takes place and how it impacts the overall behavior of the involved cell. By discussing the modules interconnection in natural and synthetic biomolecular systems, we propose that such systems should be considered as quasi-modular. PMID:26137457

  2. Retroactivity in the Context of Modularly Structured Biomolecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Pantoja-Hernández, Libertad; Martínez-García, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology has intensively promoted the technical implementation of modular strategies in the fabrication of biological devices. Modules are considered as networks of reactions. The behavior displayed by biomolecular systems results from the information processes carried out by the interconnection of the involved modules. However, in natural systems, module wiring is not a free-of-charge process; as a consequence of interconnection, a reactive phenomenon called retroactivity emerges. This phenomenon is characterized by signals that propagate from downstream modules (the modules that receive the incoming signals upon interconnection) to upstream ones (the modules that send the signals upon interconnection). Such retroactivity signals, depending of their strength, may change and sometimes even disrupt the behavior of modular biomolecular systems. Thus, analysis of retroactivity effects in natural biological and biosynthetic systems is crucial to achieve a deeper understanding of how this interconnection between functionally characterized modules takes place and how it impacts the overall behavior of the involved cell. By discussing the modules interconnection in natural and synthetic biomolecular systems, we propose that such systems should be considered as quasi-modular.

  3. Biomolecular recognition and detection using gold-based nanoprobes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crew, Elizabeth

    The ability to control the biomolecular interactions is important for developing bioanalytical probes used in biomolecule and biomarker detections. This work aims at a fundamental understanding of the interactions and reactivities involving DNA, miRNA, and amino acids using gold-based nanoparticles as nanoprobes, which has implications for developing new strategies for the early detection of diseases, such as cancer, and controlled delivery of drugs. Surface modifications of the nanoprobes with DNA, miRNA, and amino acids and the nanoprobe directed biomolecular reactivities, such as complementary-strand binding, enzymatic cutting and amino acid interactions, have been investigated. Among various analytical techniques employed for the analysis of the biomolecule-nanoprobe interactions, surface enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy (SERS) has been demonstrated to provide a powerful tool for real time monitoring of the DNA assembly and enzymatic cutting processes in solutions. This demonstration harnesses the "hot-spot" characteristic tuned by the interparticle biomolecular-regulated interactions and distances. The assembly of gold nanoparticles has also been exploited as sensing thin films on chemiresistor arrays for the detection of volatile organic compounds, including biomarker molecules associated with diabetes. Important findings of the nanoprobes in delivering miRNA to cells, detecting DNA hybridization kinetics, discerning chiral recognition with enantiomeric cysteines, and sensing biomarker molecules with the nanostructured thin films will be discussed, along with their implications to enhancing sensitivity, selectivity and limits of detection.

  4. Extrasolar Planets with AMBER/VLTI, What can we expect from current performances?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millour, F.; Vannier, M.; Petrov, R. G.; Lopez, B.; Rantakyrö, F.

    We present the current performances of the AMBER / VLTI instrument in terms of differential observables (differential phase and differential visibility) and show that we are already able to reach a sufficient precision for very low mass companions spectroscopy and mass characterization. We perform some extrapolations with the knowledge of the current limitations of the instrument facility.We show that with the current setup of the AMBER instrument, we can already reach 3σ = 10-3 radians and have the potential to some low mass companions characterization (Brown dwarves or hypothetical very hot Extra Solar Giant Planets). With some upgrades of the VLTI infrastructure, improvements of the instrument calibration and improvements of the observing strategy, we will be able to reach 3σ = 10-4 radians and will have the potential to perform Extra Solar Giant Planets spectroscopy and mass characterization.

  5. The first ant-termite syninclusion in amber with CT-scan analysis of taphonomy.

    PubMed

    Coty, David; Aria, Cédric; Garrouste, Romain; Wils, Patricia; Legendre, Frédéric; Nel, André

    2014-01-01

    We describe here a co-occurrence (i.e. a syninclusion) of ants and termites in a piece of Mexican amber (Totolapa deposit, Chiapas), whose importance is two-fold. First, this finding suggests at least a middle Miocene antiquity for the modern, though poorly documented, relationship between Azteca ants and Nasutitermes termites. Second, the presence of a Neivamyrmex army ant documents an in situ raiding behaviour of the same age and within the same community, confirmed by the fact that the army ant is holding one of the termite worker between its mandibles and by the presence of a termite with bitten abdomen. In addition, we present how CT-scan imaging can be an efficient tool to describe the topology of resin flows within amber pieces, and to point out the different states of preservation of the embedded insects. This can help achieving a better understanding of taphonomical processes, and tests ethological and ecological hypotheses in such complex syninclusions.

  6. Spirochete and protist symbionts of a termite (Mastotermes electrodominicus) in Miocene amber.

    PubMed

    Wier, Andrew; Dolan, Michael; Grimaldi, David; Guerrero, Ricardo; Wagensberg, Jorge; Margulis, Lynn

    2002-02-05

    Extraordinary preservation in amber of the Miocene termite Mastotermes electrodominicus has led to the discovery of fossil symbiotic microbes. Spirochete bacteria and wood-digesting protists were identified in the intestinal tissue of the insect. Fossil wood (xylem: developing vessel-element cells, fibers, pit connections), protists (most likely xylophagic amitochondriates), an endospore (probably of the filamentous intestinal bacterium Arthromitus = Bacillus), and large spirochetes were seen in thin section by light and transmission electron microscopy. The intestinal microbiota of the living termite Mastotermes darwiniensis, a genus now restricted to northern Australia, markedly resembles that preserved in amber. This is a direct observation of a 20-million-year-old xylophagus termite fossil microbial community.

  7. A new genus of fossil Mymaridae (Hymenoptera) from Cretaceous amber and key to Cretaceous mymarid genera.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George; Huber, John T

    2011-01-01

    Myanmymar aresconoidesgen n., sp. n. is described from one female in Burmese amber, dated as about 100 my. It is similar to Arescon on wing features but is unique among Mymaridae in having distinctly segmented palpi. It is the fifth mymarid genus definitely referable to the Cretaceous period. A key to Cretaceous mymarid genera is presented and the features of Myanmymar are compared with the other Cretaceous and extant mymarid genera.

  8. Amber light-emitting diode comprising a group III-nitride nanowire active region

    DOEpatents

    Wang, George T.; Li, Qiming; Wierer, Jr., Jonathan J.; Koleske, Daniel

    2014-07-22

    A temperature stable (color and efficiency) III-nitride based amber (585 nm) light-emitting diode is based on a novel hybrid nanowire-planar structure. The arrays of GaN nanowires enable radial InGaN/GaN quantum well LED structures with high indium content and high material quality. The high efficiency and temperature stable direct yellow and red phosphor-free emitters enable high efficiency white LEDs based on the RGYB color-mixing approach.

  9. The oldest micropepline beetle from Cretaceous Burmese amber and its phylogenetic implications (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Chen-Yang; Huang, Di-Ying

    2014-10-01

    The staphylinid subfamily Micropeplinae includes small strongly sclerotized beetles with truncate elytra leaving the most part of abdomen exposed. Fossil micropeplines are rare and confined to Cenozoic representatives of extant genera. Here, we describe the oldest micropepline, Protopeplus cretaceus gen. and sp. n., from the Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber. Fluorescence microscope and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) were both used to reveal diagnostic features of Micropeplinae and some primitive traits that place Protopeplus very basally within Micropeplinae.

  10. Cyclic terpenoids of contemporary resinous plant detritus and of fossil woods, ambers and coals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simoneit, B.R.T.; Grimalt, J.O.; Wang, T.-G.; Cox, R.E.; Hatcher, P.G.; Nissenbaum, A.

    1986-01-01

    Cyclic terpenoids present in the solvent extractable material of fossil woods, ambers and brown coals have been analyzed. The sample series chosen consisted of wood remains preserved in Holocene to Jurassic sediments and a set of of ambers from the Philippines (copalite), Israel, Canada and Dominican Republic. The brown coals selected were from the Fortuna Garsdorf Mine and Miocene formations on Fiji. The fossil wood extracts contained dominant diterpenoid or sesquiterpenoid skeletons, and aromatized species were present at high concentrations, with a major amount of two-ring aromatic compounds. Tricyclic diterpenoids were the predominant compounds in the ambers. Aromatized derivatives were the major components, consisting of one or two aromatic ring species with the abietane and occasionally pimarane skeletons. The saturated structures were comprised primarily of the abietane and pimarane skeletons having from three to five carbon (C1, C2, etc.) substituents. Kaurane and phyllocladane isomers were present in only minor amounts. Bicyclic sesquiterpenoids as saturated and partial or fully aromatized forms were also common in these samples, but only traces of sesterterpenoids and triterpenoid derivatives were found. The brown coal extracts were composed of major amounts of one- and two-ring aromatized terpenoids, with a greater proportion of triterpenoid derivatives than in the case of the woods and ambers. This was especially noticeable for the German coal, where the triterpenoids were predominant. Open C-ring aromatized structures were also present in this coal. Steroid compounds were not detectable, but some hopanes were found as minor components in the German brown coal. An overview of the skeletal structure classes identified in each sample, as well as the general mass spectrometric characteristics of the unknown compounds are included in the present paper. It can be concluded from these structural distributions that aromatization is the main process for the

  11. A new species of the bee genus Ctenoplectrella in middle Eocene Baltic amber (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae)

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Victor H.; Engel, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the extinct bee genus Ctenoplectrella Cockerell (Megachilinae: Ctenoplectrellini) is described and figured from two females preserved in middle Eocene (Lutetian) Baltic amber. Ctenoplectrella phaeton sp. n. is distinguished from its congeners on the basis of its body proportions, integumental sculpturing, wing venation, and pubescence, and is one of the more distinctive members of the genus. A revised key to the species of Ctenoplectrella is provided. PMID:21852938

  12. Terrestrial soft-bodied protists and other microorganisms in triassic amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, G O; Waggoner, B M; Bauer, U C

    1993-01-08

    Protozoa, cyanobacteria, sheathed algae, sheathed fungi, germinating pollen or spores, and fungal spores have been found in amber 220 to 230 million years old. Many of these microorganisms can be assigned to present-day groups. This discovery of terrestrial, soft-bodied protists that can be referred to modern groups indicates that morphological evolution is very gradual in many protists and that both structural and probably functional stasis extend back at least to the Upper Triassic period.

  13. ff14ipq: A Self-Consistent Force Field for Condensed-Phase Simulations of Proteins

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We present the ff14ipq force field, implementing the previously published IPolQ charge set for simulations of complete proteins. Minor modifications to the charge derivation scheme and van der Waals interactions between polar atoms are introduced. Torsion parameters are developed through a generational learning approach, based on gas-phase MP2/cc-pVTZ single-point energies computed of structures optimized by the force field itself rather than the quantum benchmark. In this manner, we sacrifice information about the true quantum minima in order to ensure that the force field maintains optimal agreement with the MP2/cc-pVTZ benchmark for the ensembles it will actually produce in simulations. A means of making the gas-phase torsion parameters compatible with solution-phase IPolQ charges is presented. The ff14ipq model is an alternative to ff99SB and other Amber force fields for protein simulations in programs that accommodate pair-specific Lennard–Jones combining rules. The force field gives strong performance on α-helical and β-sheet oligopeptides as well as globular proteins over microsecond time scale simulations, although it has not yet been tested in conjunction with lipid and nucleic acid models. We show how our choices in parameter development influence the resulting force field and how other choices that may have appeared reasonable would actually have led to poorer results. The tools we developed may also aid in the development of future fixed-charge and even polarizable biomolecular force fields. PMID:25328495

  14. ff14ipq: A Self-Consistent Force Field for Condensed-Phase Simulations of Proteins.

    PubMed

    Cerutti, David S; Swope, William C; Rice, Julia E; Case, David A

    2014-10-14

    We present the ff14ipq force field, implementing the previously published IPolQ charge set for simulations of complete proteins. Minor modifications to the charge derivation scheme and van der Waals interactions between polar atoms are introduced. Torsion parameters are developed through a generational learning approach, based on gas-phase MP2/cc-pVTZ single-point energies computed of structures optimized by the force field itself rather than the quantum benchmark. In this manner, we sacrifice information about the true quantum minima in order to ensure that the force field maintains optimal agreement with the MP2/cc-pVTZ benchmark for the ensembles it will actually produce in simulations. A means of making the gas-phase torsion parameters compatible with solution-phase IPolQ charges is presented. The ff14ipq model is an alternative to ff99SB and other Amber force fields for protein simulations in programs that accommodate pair-specific Lennard-Jones combining rules. The force field gives strong performance on α-helical and β-sheet oligopeptides as well as globular proteins over microsecond time scale simulations, although it has not yet been tested in conjunction with lipid and nucleic acid models. We show how our choices in parameter development influence the resulting force field and how other choices that may have appeared reasonable would actually have led to poorer results. The tools we developed may also aid in the development of future fixed-charge and even polarizable biomolecular force fields.

  15. Gas bubbles in fossil amber as possible indicators of the major gas composition of ancient air

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berner, R.A.; Landis, G.P.

    1988-01-01

    Gases trapped in Miocene to Upper Cretaceous amber were released by gently crushing the amber under vacuum and were analyzed by quadrupole mass spectrometry. After discounting the possibility that the major gases N2, O2, and CO2 underwent appreciable diffusion and diagenetic exchange with their surroundings or reaction with the amber, it has been concluded that in primary bubbles (gas released during initial breakage) these gases represent mainly original ancient air modified by the aerobic respiration of microorganisms. Values of N2/(CO2+O2) for each time period give consistent results despite varying O2/CO2 ratios that presumably were due to varying degrees of respiration. This allows calculation of original oxygen concentrations, which, on the basis of these preliminary results, appear to have changed from greater than 30 percent O2 during one part ofthe Late Cretaceous (between 75 and 95 million years ago) to 21 percent during the Eocene-Oligocene and for present-day samples, with possibly lower values during the Oligocene-Early Miocene. Variable O2 levels over time in general confirm theoretical isotope-mass balance calculations and suggest that the atmosphere has evolved over Phanerozoic time.

  16. DNA Changes in Tissues Entrapped in Plant Resins (the Precursors of Amber)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, S. O.; Langenegger, K.; Holdenrieder, O.

    There have been many reports characterizing DNA from amber, which is a fossil version of plant resin. Here we report an investigation of the effects of plant resin (from Pseudotsuga menziesii) and drying conditions on the preservation of DNA in biological tissues. We examined the degree of degradation of the DNA by agarose gel electrophoresis of extracted DNA, by polymerase chain reaction, and by DNA sequencing. The plant resin alone appeared to cause little or no damage to DNA. Tissue immersed in plant resin that dried rapidly (exposed to sunlight) contained DNA with little apparent damage. Tissue immersed in the resin that was dried slowly (in shade without sunlight) contained DNA with some degradation (3.5% nucleotide changes). The tissue that was immersed in the resin that was constantly hydrated (by immersion in water) yielded DNA that was severely damaged (50-62% nucleotide changes). Transversions outnumbered transitions in these samples by a ratio of 1.4 : 1. A piece of Baltic amber immersed in water for 5days appeared to be impervious to the water. Thus amber inclusions that initially dried rapidly have the potential to yield undamaged DNA. Those that dried slowly may contain damaged DNA and may be unsuitable for phylogenetic and other studies.

  17. Early Miocene amber inclusions from Mexico reveal antiquity of mangrove-associated copepods

    PubMed Central

    Huys, Rony; Suárez-Morales, Eduardo; Serrano-Sánchez, María de Lourdes; Centeno-García, Elena; Vega, Francisco J.

    2016-01-01

    Copepods are aquatic microcrustaceans and represent the most abundant metazoans on Earth, outnumbering insects and nematode worms. Their position of numerical world predominance can be attributed to three principal radiation events, i.e. their major habitat shift into the marine plankton, the colonization of freshwater and semiterrestrial environments, and the evolution of parasitism. Their variety of life strategies has generated an incredible morphological plasticity and disparity in body form and shape that are arguably unrivalled among the Crustacea. Although their chitinous exoskeleton is largely resistant to chemical degradation copepods are exceedingly scarce in the geological record with limited body fossil evidence being available for only three of the eight currently recognized orders. The preservation of aquatic arthropods in amber is unusual but offers a unique insight into ancient subtropical and tropical ecosystems. Here we report the first discovery of amber-preserved harpacticoid copepods, represented by ten putative species belonging to five families, based on Early Miocene (22.8 million years ago) samples from Chiapas, southeast Mexico. Their close resemblance to Recent mangrove-associated copepods highlights the antiquity of the specialized harpacticoid fauna living in this habitat. With the taxa reported herein, the Mexican amber holds the greatest diversity of fossil copepods worldwide. PMID:27731321

  18. Computed tomography recovers data from historical amber: an example from huntsman spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunlop, Jason A.; Penney, David; Dalüge, Natalie; Jäger, Peter; McNeil, Andrew; Bradley, Robert S.; Withers, Philip J.; Preziosi, Richard F.

    2011-06-01

    Computed tomography (CT) methods were applied to a problematic fossil spider (Arachnida: Araneae) from the historical Berendt collection of Eocene (ca. 44-49 Ma) Baltic amber. The original specimens of Ocypete crassipes Koch and Berendt 1854 are in dark, oxidised amber and the published descriptions lack detail. Despite this, they were subsequently assigned to the living Pantropical genus Heteropoda Latreille, 1804 and are ostensibly the oldest records of huntsman spiders (Sparassidae) in general. Given their normally large size, and presumptive ability to free themselves more easily from resin, it would be surprising to find a sparassid in amber and traditional (optical) methods of study would likely have left O. crassipes as an equivocal record—probably a nomen dubium. However, phase contrast enhanced X-ray CT revealed exquisite morphological detail and thus `saved' this historical name by revealing characters which confirm that it's a bona fide member both of Sparassidae and the subfamily Eusparassinae. We demonstrate here that CT studies facilitate taxonomic equivalence even between recent spiders and unpromising fossils described in older monographs. In our case, fine structural details such as eye arrangement, cheliceral dentition, and leg characters like a trilobate membrane, spination and claws, allow a precise referral of this fossil to an extant genus as Eusparassus crassipes (Koch and Berendt 1854) comb. nov.

  19. Microplastics in sea coastal zone: Lessons learned from the Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Chubarenko, Irina; Stepanova, Natalia

    2017-05-01

    Baltic amber, adored for its beauty already in Homer's Odyssey (ca. 800 B.C.E), has its material density close to that of wide-spread plastics like polyamide, polystyrene, or acrylic. Migrations of amber stones in the sea and their massive washing ashore have been monitored by Baltic citizens for ages. Based on the collected information, we present the hypothesis on the behaviour of microplastic particles in sea coastal zone. Fresh-to-strong winds generate surface waves, currents and roll-structures, whose joint effect washes ashore from the underwater slope both amber stones and plastics - and carries them back to the sea in a few days. Analysis of underlying hydrophysical processes suggests that sea coastal zone under stormy winds plays a role of a mill for plastics, and negatively buoyant pieces seem to repeatedly migrate between beaches and underwater slopes until they are broken into small enough fragments that can be transported by currents to deeper areas and deposited out of reach of stormy waves. Direct observations on microplastics migrations are urged to prove the hypothesis.

  20. DNA changes in tissues entrapped in plant resins (the precursors of amber).

    PubMed

    Rogers, S O; Langenegger, K; Holdenrieder, O

    2000-02-01

    There have been many reports characterizing DNA from amber, which is a fossil version of plant resin. Here we report an investigation of the effects of plant resin (from Pseudotsuga menziesii) and drying conditions on the preservation of DNA in biological tissues. We examined the degree of degradation of the DNA by agarose gel electrophoresis of extracted DNA, by polymerase chain reaction, and by DNA sequencing. The plant resin alone appeared to cause little or no damage to DNA. Tissue immersed in plant resin that dried rapidly (exposed to sunlight) contained DNA with little apparent damage. Tissue immersed in the resin that was dried slowly (in shade without sunlight) contained DNA with some degradation (3.5% nucleotide changes). The tissue that was immersed in the resin that was constantly hydrated (by immersion in water) yielded DNA that was severely damaged (50-62% nucleotide changes). Transversions outnumbered transitions in these samples by a ratio of 1.4 : 1. A piece of Baltic amber immersed in water for 5 days appeared to be impervious to the water. Thus amber inclusions that initially dried rapidly have the potential to yield undamaged DNA. Those that dried slowly may contain damaged DNA and may be unsuitable for phylogenetic and other studies.

  1. Extinction and biogeography in the Caribbean: new evidence from a fossil riodinid butterfly in Dominican amber.

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Jason P. W.; Robbins, Robert K.; Harvey, Donald J.

    2004-01-01

    We describe a new species of extinct riodinid butterfly, Voltinia dramba, from Oligo-Miocene Dominican amber (15-25 Myr ago). This appears to be the first butterfly to be taxonomically described from amber, and the first adult riodinid fossil. The series of five specimens represents probably the best-preserved fossil record for any lepidopteran. The phenomenon of extant Voltinia females ovipositing on arboreal epiphytes probably explains the discovery of multiple female V. dramba specimens in amber. Voltinia dramba appears to be one of many extinct butterfly species on Hispaniola. The northwestern Mexican distribution of the explicitly hypothesized sister species, the extant V. danforthi, supports the hypothesis that V. dramba reached Hispaniola by the 'proto-Greater Antillean arc', dating the divergence of V. dramba and V. danforthi to 40-50 Myr ago. This date is contemporaneous with the oldest known butterfly fossils, and implies a more ancient date of origin for many of the higher-level butterfly taxa than is often conceded. PMID:15255097

  2. Early Miocene amber inclusions from Mexico reveal antiquity of mangrove-associated copepods.

    PubMed

    Huys, Rony; Suárez-Morales, Eduardo; Serrano-Sánchez, María de Lourdes; Centeno-García, Elena; Vega, Francisco J

    2016-10-12

    Copepods are aquatic microcrustaceans and represent the most abundant metazoans on Earth, outnumbering insects and nematode worms. Their position of numerical world predominance can be attributed to three principal radiation events, i.e. their major habitat shift into the marine plankton, the colonization of freshwater and semiterrestrial environments, and the evolution of parasitism. Their variety of life strategies has generated an incredible morphological plasticity and disparity in body form and shape that are arguably unrivalled among the Crustacea. Although their chitinous exoskeleton is largely resistant to chemical degradation copepods are exceedingly scarce in the geological record with limited body fossil evidence being available for only three of the eight currently recognized orders. The preservation of aquatic arthropods in amber is unusual but offers a unique insight into ancient subtropical and tropical ecosystems. Here we report the first discovery of amber-preserved harpacticoid copepods, represented by ten putative species belonging to five families, based on Early Miocene (22.8 million years ago) samples from Chiapas, southeast Mexico. Their close resemblance to Recent mangrove-associated copepods highlights the antiquity of the specialized harpacticoid fauna living in this habitat. With the taxa reported herein, the Mexican amber holds the greatest diversity of fossil copepods worldwide.

  3. Mapping mechanical force propagation through biomolecular complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeler, Constantin; Bernardi, Rafael C.; Malinowska, Klara H.; Durner, Ellis; Ott, Wolfgang; Bayer, Edward A.; Schulten, Klaus; Nash, Michael A.; Gaub, Hermann E.

    2015-08-11

    In this paper, we employ single-molecule force spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope (AFM) and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations to reveal force propagation pathways through a mechanically ultrastable multidomain cellulosome protein complex. We demonstrate a new combination of network-based correlation analysis supported by AFM directional pulling experiments, which allowed us to visualize stiff paths through the protein complex along which force is transmitted. Finally, the results implicate specific force-propagation routes nonparallel to the pulling axis that are advantageous for achieving high dissociation forces.

  4. Enhanced semiempirical QM methods for biomolecular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yilmazer, Nusret Duygu; Korth, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Recent successes and failures of the application of ‘enhanced’ semiempirical QM (SQM) methods are reviewed in the light of the benefits and backdraws of adding dispersion (D) and hydrogen-bond (H) correction terms. We find that the accuracy of SQM-DH methods for non-covalent interactions is very often reported to be comparable to dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D), while computation times are about three orders of magnitude lower. SQM-DH methods thus open up a possibility to simulate realistically large model systems for problems both in life and materials science with comparably high accuracy. PMID:25848495

  5. Mathematical approaches to biomolecular structure and dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Mesirov, J.P.; Sumners, D.W.; Schulten, K.

    1996-12-31

    The revolutionary progress in molecular biology within the last 30 years opens the way to full understanding of the molecular structures and mechanisms of living organisms. The papers in this volume cover the spectrum from experiment to computation to simulation to theory. This is one of two volumes based on the proceedings of the 1994 IMA Summer Program on Molecular Biology and comprises Weeks 3 and 4 of the four-week program. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  6. Gold nanoshells with gain-assisted silica core for ultra-sensitive bio-molecular sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Yifei; Guo, Zhongyi; Zhang, Anjun; Zhang, Jingran; Wang, Benyang; Qu, Shiliang

    2015-08-01

    A novel bio-molecular nanostructured sensor composed of Au spherical nanoshell and gain-assisted silica-core has been proposed and investigated theoretically, which shows a superior performance compared to the existing structured sensor. Using quasi-static approximation calculation, it is found that the scattering efficiency and the quality factor of SPR can be enhanced greatly by introducing proper amount of gain. The simulated results demonstrate that our designed Au spherical nanoshell and gain-assisted silica-core can obtain as high as 166.7 nm/RIU for the sensitivity of refractive index, and the sensors' figure of merit is enhanced 2000 times nearly compared to that of g=0, which indicates that the designed spherical core-shell sensors have the powerful ability to detect a subtle change in the concentration of its background medium.

  7. Stealth effect of biomolecular corona on nanoparticle uptake by immune cells.

    PubMed

    Caracciolo, Giulio; Palchetti, Sara; Colapicchioni, Valentina; Digiacomo, Luca; Pozzi, Daniela; Capriotti, Anna Laura; La Barbera, Giorgia; Laganà, Aldo

    2015-10-06

    When injected in a biological milieu, a nanomaterial rapidly adsorbs biomolecules forming a biomolecular corona. The biomolecular corona changes the interfacial composition of a nanomaterial giving it a biological identity that determines the physiological response. Characterization of the biomolecular structure and composition has received increasing attention mostly due to its detrimental impact on the nanomaterial's metabolism in vivo. It is generally accepted that an opsonin-enriched biomolecular corona promotes immune system recognition and rapid clearance from circulation. Here we applied dynamic light scattering and nanoliquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to thoroughly characterize the biomolecular corona formed around lipid and silica nanoparticles (NPs). Incubation with human plasma resulted in the formation of NP-biomolecular coronas enriched with immunoglobulins, complement factors, and coagulation proteins that bind to surface receptors on immune cells and elicit phagocytosis. Conversely, we found that protein-coated NPs were protected from uptake by macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. This implies that the biomolecular corona formation provides a stealth effect on macrophage recognition. Our results suggest that correct prediction of the NP's fate in vivo will require more than just the knowledge of the biomolecular corona composition. Validation of efficient methods for mapping protein binding sites on the biomolecular corona of NPs is an urgent task for future research.

  8. How Actuated Particles Effectively Capture Biomolecular Targets

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Because of their high surface-to-volume ratio and adaptable surface functionalization, particles are widely used in bioanalytical methods to capture molecular targets. In this article, a comprehensive study is reported of the effectiveness of protein capture by actuated magnetic particles. Association rate constants are quantified in experiments as well as in Brownian dynamics simulations for different particle actuation configurations. The data reveal how the association rate depends on the particle velocity, particle density, and particle assembly characteristics. Interestingly, single particles appear to exhibit target depletion zones near their surface, caused by the high density of capture molecules. The depletion effects are even more limiting in cases with high particle densities. The depletion effects are overcome and protein capture rates are enhanced by applying dynamic particle actuation, resulting in an increase in the association rate constants by up to 2 orders of magnitude. PMID:28192952

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Simple Liquids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Speer, Owner F.; Wengerter, Brian C.; Taylor, Ramona S.

    2004-01-01

    An experiment, in which students were given the opportunity to perform molecular dynamics simulations on a series of molecular liquids using the Amber suite of programs, is presented. They were introduced to both physical theories underlying classical mechanics simulations and to the atom-atom pair distribution function.

  10. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Simple Liquids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Speer, Owner F.; Wengerter, Brian C.; Taylor, Ramona S.

    2004-01-01

    An experiment, in which students were given the opportunity to perform molecular dynamics simulations on a series of molecular liquids using the Amber suite of programs, is presented. They were introduced to both physical theories underlying classical mechanics simulations and to the atom-atom pair distribution function.

  11. Extension of the AMBER force field for nitroxide radicals and combined QM/MM/PCM approach to the accurate determination of EPR parameters of DMPOH in solution

    PubMed Central

    Hermosilla, Laura; Prampolini, Giacomo; Calle, Paloma; García de la Vega, José Manuel; Brancato, Giuseppe; Barone, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    A computational strategy that combines both time-dependent and time-independent approaches is exploited to accurately model molecular dynamics and solvent effects on the isotropic hyperfine coupling constants of the DMPO-H nitroxide. Our recent general force field for nitroxides derived from AMBER ff99SB is further extended to systems involving hydrogen atoms in β-positions with respect to NO. The resulting force-field has been employed in a series of classical molecular dynamics simulations, comparing the computed EPR parameters from selected molecular configurations to the corresponding experimental data in different solvents. The effect of vibrational averaging on the spectroscopic parameters is also taken into account, by second order vibrational perturbation theory involving semi-diagonal third energy derivatives together first and second property derivatives. PMID:26584116

  12. Quantitative analysis of numerical solvers for oscillatory biomolecular system models

    PubMed Central

    Quo, Chang F; Wang, May D

    2008-01-01

    Background This article provides guidelines for selecting optimal numerical solvers for biomolecular system models. Because various parameters of the same system could have drastically different ranges from 10-15 to 1010, the ODEs can be stiff and ill-conditioned, resulting in non-unique, non-existing, or non-reproducible modeling solutions. Previous studies have not examined in depth how to best select numerical solvers for biomolecular system models, which makes it difficult to experimentally validate the modeling results. To address this problem, we have chosen one of the well-known stiff initial value problems with limit cycle behavior as a test-bed system model. Solving this model, we have illustrated that different answers may result from different numerical solvers. We use MATLAB numerical solvers because they are optimized and widely used by the modeling community. We have also conducted a systematic study of numerical solver performances by using qualitative and quantitative measures such as convergence, accuracy, and computational cost (i.e. in terms of function evaluation, partial derivative, LU decomposition, and "take-off" points). The results show that the modeling solutions can be drastically different using different numerical solvers. Thus, it is important to intelligently select numerical solvers when solving biomolecular system models. Results The classic Belousov-Zhabotinskii (BZ) reaction is described by the Oregonator model and is used as a case study. We report two guidelines in selecting optimal numerical solver(s) for stiff, complex oscillatory systems: (i) for problems with unknown parameters, ode45 is the optimal choice regardless of the relative error tolerance; (ii) for known stiff problems, both ode113 and ode15s are good choices under strict relative tolerance conditions. Conclusions For any given biomolecular model, by building a library of numerical solvers with quantitative performance assessment metric, we show that it is possible

  13. Efficient designs for powering microscale devices with nanoscale biomolecular motors.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chih-Ting; Kao, Ming-Tse; Kurabayashi, Katsuo; Meyhöfer, Edgar

    2006-02-01

    Current MEMS and microfluidic designs require external power sources and actuators, which principally limit such technology. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a number of microfluidic systems into which we can seamlessly integrate a biomolecular motor, kinesin, that transports microtubules by extracting chemical energy from its aqueous working environment. Here we establish that our microfabricated structures, the self-assembly of the bio-derived transducer, and guided, unidirectional transport of microtubules are ideally suited to create engineered arrays for efficiently powering nano- and microscale devices.

  14. Evaluating thermodynamic integration performance of the new amber molecular dynamics package and assess potential halogen bonds of enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI) benzimidazole inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Su, Pin-Chih; Johnson, Michael E

    2016-04-05

    Thermodynamic integration (TI) can provide accurate binding free energy insights in a lead optimization program, but its high computational expense has limited its usage. In the effort of developing an efficient and accurate TI protocol for FabI inhibitors lead optimization program, we carefully compared TI with different Amber molecular dynamics (MD) engines (sander and pmemd), MD simulation lengths, the number of intermediate states and transformation steps, and the Lennard-Jones and Coulomb Softcore potentials parameters in the one-step TI, using eleven benzimidazole inhibitors in complex with Francisella tularensis enoyl acyl reductase (FtFabI). To our knowledge, this is the first study to extensively test the new AMBER MD engine, pmemd, on TI and compare the parameters of the Softcore potentials in the one-step TI in a protein-ligand binding system. The best performing model, the one-step pmemd TI, using 6 intermediate states and 1 ns MD simulations, provides better agreement with experimental results (RMSD = 0.52 kcal/mol) than the best performing implicit solvent method, QM/MM-GBSA from our previous study (RMSD = 3.00 kcal/mol), while maintaining similar efficiency. Briefly, we show the optimized TI protocol to be highly accurate and affordable for the FtFabI system. This approach can be implemented in a larger scale benzimidazole scaffold lead optimization against FtFabI. Lastly, the TI results here also provide structure-activity relationship insights, and suggest the parahalogen in benzimidazole compounds might form a weak halogen bond with FabI, which is a well-known halogen bond favoring enzyme.

  15. Evaluating Thermodynamic Integration Performance of the New Amber Molecular Dynamics Package and Assess Potential Halogen Bonds of Enoyl-ACP Reductase (FabI) Benzimidazole Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Su, Pin-Chih; Johnson, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    Thermodynamic integration (TI) can provide accurate binding free energy insights in a lead optimization program, but its high computational expense has limited its usage. In the effort of developing an efficient and accurate TI protocol for FabI inhibitors lead optimization program, we carefully compared TI with different Amber molecular dynamics (MD) engines (sander and pmemd), MD simulation lengths, the number of intermediate states and transformation steps, and the Lennard-Jones and Coulomb Softcore potentials parameters in the one-step TI, using eleven benzimidazole inhibitors in complex with Francisella tularensis enoyl acyl reductase (FtFabI). To our knowledge, this is the first study to extensively test the new AMBER MD engine, pmemd, on TI and compare the parameters of the Softcore potentials in the one-step TI in a protein-ligand binding system. The best performing model, the one-step pmemd TI, using 6 intermediate states and 1 ns MD simulations, provides better agreement with experimental results (RMSD = 0.52 kcal/mol) than the best performing implicit solvent method, QM/MM-GBSA from our previous study (RMSD = 3.00 kcal/mol), while maintaining similar efficiency. Briefly, we show the optimized TI protocol to be highly accurate and affordable for the FtFabI system. This approach can be implemented in a larger scale benzimidazole scaffold lead optimization against FtFabI. Lastly, the TI results here also provide structure-activity relationship insights, and suggest the para-halogen in benzimidazole compounds might form a weak halogen bond with FabI, which is a well-known halogen bond favoring enzyme. PMID:26666582

  16. Mixture of experts models to exploit global sequence similarity on biomolecular sequence labeling

    PubMed Central

    Caragea, Cornelia; Sinapov, Jivko; Dobbs, Drena; Honavar, Vasant

    2009-01-01

    Background Identification of functionally important sites in biomolecular sequences has broad applications ranging from rational drug design to the analysis of metabolic and signal transduction networks. Experimental determination of such sites lags far behind the number of known biomolecular sequences. Hence, there is a need to develop reliable computational methods for identifying functionally important sites from biomolecular sequences. Results We present a mixture of experts approach to biomolecular sequence labeling that takes into account the global similarity between biomolecular sequences. Our approach combines unsupervised and supervised learning techniques. Given a set of sequences and a similarity measure defined on pairs of sequences, we learn a mixture of experts model by using spectral clustering to learn the hierarchical structure of the model and by using bayesian techniques to combine the predictions of the experts. We evaluate our approach on two biomolecular sequence labeling problems: RNA-protein and DNA-protein interface prediction problems. The results of our experiments show that global sequence similarity can be exploited to improve the performance of classifiers trained to label biomolecular sequence data. Conclusion The mixture of experts model helps improve the performance of machine learning methods for identifying functionally important sites in biomolecular sequences. PMID:19426452

  17. Creating biomolecular motors based on dynein and actin-binding proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuta, Akane; Amino, Misako; Yoshio, Maki; Oiwa, Kazuhiro; Kojima, Hiroaki; Furuta, Ken'ya

    2017-03-01

    Biomolecular motors such as myosin, kinesin and dynein are protein machines that can drive directional movement along cytoskeletal tracks and have the potential to be used as molecule-sized actuators. Although control of the velocity and directionality of biomolecular motors has been achieved, the design and construction of novel biomolecular motors remains a challenge. Here we show that naturally occurring protein building blocks from different cytoskeletal systems can be combined to create a new series of biomolecular motors. We show that the hybrid motors—combinations of a motor core derived from the microtubule-based dynein motor and non-motor actin-binding proteins—robustly drive the sliding movement of an actin filament. Furthermore, the direction of actin movement can be reversed by simply changing the geometric arrangement of these building blocks. Our synthetic strategy provides an approach to fabricating biomolecular machines that work along artificial tracks at nanoscale dimensions.

  18. Creating biomolecular motors based on dynein and actin-binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Furuta, Akane; Amino, Misako; Yoshio, Maki; Oiwa, Kazuhiro; Kojima, Hiroaki; Furuta, Ken'ya

    2017-03-01

    Biomolecular motors such as myosin, kinesin and dynein are protein machines that can drive directional movement along cytoskeletal tracks and have the potential to be used as molecule-sized actuators. Although control of the velocity and directionality of biomolecular motors has been achieved, the design and construction of novel biomolecular motors remains a challenge. Here we show that naturally occurring protein building blocks from different cytoskeletal systems can be combined to create a new series of biomolecular motors. We show that the hybrid motors-combinations of a motor core derived from the microtubule-based dynein motor and non-motor actin-binding proteins-robustly drive the sliding movement of an actin filament. Furthermore, the direction of actin movement can be reversed by simply changing the geometric arrangement of these building blocks. Our synthetic strategy provides an approach to fabricating biomolecular machines that work along artificial tracks at nanoscale dimensions.

  19. Creating biomolecular motors based on dynein and actin-binding proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuta, Akane; Amino, Misako; Yoshio, Maki; Oiwa, Kazuhiro; Kojima, Hiroaki; Furuta, Ken'ya

    2016-11-01

    Biomolecular motors such as myosin, kinesin and dynein are protein machines that can drive directional movement along cytoskeletal tracks and have the potential to be used as molecule-sized actuators. Although control of the velocity and directionality of biomolecular motors has been achieved, the design and construction of novel biomolecular motors remains a challenge. Here we show that naturally occurring protein building blocks from different cytoskeletal systems can be combined to create a new series of biomolecular motors. We show that the hybrid motors—combinations of a motor core derived from the microtubule-based dynein motor and non-motor actin-binding proteins—robustly drive the sliding movement of an actin filament. Furthermore, the direction of actin movement can be reversed by simply changing the geometric arrangement of these building blocks. Our synthetic strategy provides an approach to fabricating biomolecular machines that work along artificial tracks at nanoscale dimensions.

  20. A Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber.

    PubMed

    Xing, Lida; McKellar, Ryan C; Xu, Xing; Li, Gang; Bai, Ming; Persons, W Scott; Miyashita, Tetsuto; Benton, Michael J; Zhang, Jianping; Wolfe, Alexander P; Yi, Qiru; Tseng, Kuowei; Ran, Hao; Currie, Philip J

    2016-12-19

    In the two decades since the discovery of feathered dinosaurs [1-3], the range of plumage known from non-avialan theropods has expanded significantly, confirming several features predicted by developmentally informed models of feather evolution [4-10]. However, three-dimensional feather morphology and evolutionary patterns remain difficult to interpret, due to compression in sedimentary rocks [9, 11]. Recent discoveries in Cretaceous amber from Canada, France, Japan, Lebanon, Myanmar, and the United States [12-18] reveal much finer levels of structural detail, but taxonomic placement is uncertain because plumage is rarely associated with identifiable skeletal material [14]. Here we describe the feathered tail of a non-avialan theropod preserved in mid-Cretaceous (∼99 Ma) amber from Kachin State, Myanmar [17], with plumage structure that directly informs the evolutionary developmental pathway of feathers. This specimen provides an opportunity to document pristine feathers in direct association with a putative juvenile coelurosaur, preserving fine morphological details, including the spatial arrangement of follicles and feathers on the body, and micrometer-scale features of the plumage. Many feathers exhibit a short, slender rachis with alternating barbs and a uniform series of contiguous barbules, supporting the developmental hypothesis that barbs already possessed barbules when they fused to form the rachis [19]. Beneath the feathers, carbonized soft tissues offer a glimpse of preservational potential and history for the inclusion; abundant Fe(2+) suggests that vestiges of primary hemoglobin and ferritin remain trapped within the tail. The new finding highlights the unique preservation potential of amber for understanding the morphology and evolution of coelurosaurian integumentary structures.

  1. Fossilised microcenoses and microdebris in Cretaceous amber Alava (Spain) explored using several microscopy techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ascaso, C.; Wierzchos, J.; Corral, J. C.; López, R.; Alonso, J.

    2003-04-01

    It is obvious that Mars return missions are not likely to provide us with fossil-bearing amber resins. Nonetheless, there is much to learn from the study of the biodiversity of fossilised microorganisms, their fossilization processes and detection strategies. In particular, if we are able to determine the endurance of biomolecules in this ancient material, this might contribute to existing knowledge on the persistence of dormant forms over millennia. Amber is a superb medium for the fossilization of organisms. Besides light microscopy techniques, this report describes the use of scanning electron microscopy both in backscattered electron (SEM-BSE) and low temperature (LTSEM) modes, and confocal laser scanning microscopy to examine microorganisms and microdebris (remains of pluricellular organisms). These novel techniques were applied to inclusions in amber (dated as Allaian: Early Cretaceous) from Álava (N Spain). Confocal microscopy provides a 3D image of microcenoses showing very well preserved biomolecules; fungal hyphae and protozoan cells emitting a strong autofluorescence signal. The huge potential of SEM-BSE was demonstrated by high resolution images, in which the relationship between fossilized (mineralized) protozoa and fungal hyphae could be observed. Moreover, this technique enabled the observation and description of further ultrastructural details of the cytoplasm of protozoa and fungal hyphae. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy revealed that protozoan and fungal cells were transformed by mineralisation process into fossils composed of iron sulphide with highly preserved ultrastructural details. LTSEM performed on protozoan inclusions generated images showing many vacuoles. Finally, SEM in secondary electron detection mode was found to provide micromorphological information on mummified (not mineralized) bacteria-like microbiota trapped in gas bubbles

  2. Water-soluble luminescent quantum dots and biomolecular conjugates thereof and related compositions and method of use

    DOEpatents

    Nie, Shuming; Chan, Warren C. W.; Emory, Steven R.

    2002-01-01

    The present invention provides a water-soluble luminescent quantum dot, a biomolecular conjugate thereof and a composition comprising such a quantum dot or conjugate. Additionally, the present invention provides a method of obtaining a luminescent quantum dot, a method of making a biomolecular conjugate thereof, and methods of using a biomolecular conjugate for ultrasensitive nonisotopic detection in vitro and in vivo.

  3. Water-soluble luminescent quantum dots and biomolecular conjugates thereof and related compositions and methods of use

    DOEpatents

    Nie, Shuming; Chan, Warren C. W.; Emory, Stephen

    2007-03-20

    The present invention provides a water-soluble luminescent quantum dot, a biomolecular conjugate thereof and a composition comprising such a quantum dot or conjugate. Additionally, the present invention provides a method of obtaining a luminescent quantum dot, a method of making a biomolecular conjugate thereof, and methods of using a biomolecular conjugate for ultrasensitive nonisotopic detection in vitro and in vivo.

  4. An Overview of Biomolecular Event Extraction from Scientific Documents

    PubMed Central

    Vanegas, Jorge A.; Matos, Sérgio; González, Fabio; Oliveira, José L.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a review of state-of-the-art approaches to automatic extraction of biomolecular events from scientific texts. Events involving biomolecules such as genes, transcription factors, or enzymes, for example, have a central role in biological processes and functions and provide valuable information for describing physiological and pathogenesis mechanisms. Event extraction from biomedical literature has a broad range of applications, including support for information retrieval, knowledge summarization, and information extraction and discovery. However, automatic event extraction is a challenging task due to the ambiguity and diversity of natural language and higher-level linguistic phenomena, such as speculations and negations, which occur in biological texts and can lead to misunderstanding or incorrect interpretation. Many strategies have been proposed in the last decade, originating from different research areas such as natural language processing, machine learning, and statistics. This review summarizes the most representative approaches in biomolecular event extraction and presents an analysis of the current state of the art and of commonly used methods, features, and tools. Finally, current research trends and future perspectives are also discussed. PMID:26587051

  5. Role of biomolecular logic systems in biosensors and bioactuators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mailloux, Shay; Katz, Evgeny

    2014-09-01

    An overview of recent advances in biosensors and bioactuators based on biocomputing systems is presented. Biosensors digitally process multiple biochemical signals through Boolean logic networks of coupled biomolecular reactions and produce an output in the form of a YES/NO response. Compared to traditional single-analyte sensing devices, the biocomputing approach enables high-fidelity multianalyte biosensing, which is particularly beneficial for biomedical applications. Multisignal digital biosensors thus promise advances in rapid diagnosis and treatment of diseases by processing complex patterns of physiological biomarkers. Specifically, they can provide timely detection and alert medical personnel of medical emergencies together with immediate therapeutic intervention. Application of the biocomputing concept has been successfully demonstrated for systems performing logic analysis of biomarkers corresponding to different injuries, particularly as exemplified for liver injury. Wide-ranging applications of multianalyte digital biosensors in medicine, environmental monitoring, and homeland security are anticipated. "Smart" bioactuators, for signal-triggered drug release, for example, were designed by interfacing switchable electrodes with biocomputing systems. Integration of biosensing and bioactuating systems with biomolecular information processing systems advances the potential for further scientific innovations and various practical applications.

  6. Biomolecular logic systems: applications to biosensors and bioactuators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, Evgeny

    2014-05-01

    The paper presents an overview of recent advances in biosensors and bioactuators based on the biocomputing concept. Novel biosensors digitally process multiple biochemical signals through Boolean logic networks of coupled biomolecular reactions and produce output in the form of YES/NO response. Compared to traditional single-analyte sensing devices, biocomputing approach enables a high-fidelity multi-analyte biosensing, particularly beneficial for biomedical applications. Multi-signal digital biosensors thus promise advances in rapid diagnosis and treatment of diseases by processing complex patterns of physiological biomarkers. Specifically, they can provide timely detection and alert to medical emergencies, along with an immediate therapeutic intervention. Application of the biocomputing concept has been successfully demonstrated for systems performing logic analysis of biomarkers corresponding to different injuries, particularly exemplified for liver injury. Wide-ranging applications of multi-analyte digital biosensors in medicine, environmental monitoring and homeland security are anticipated. "Smart" bioactuators, for example for signal-triggered drug release, were designed by interfacing switchable electrodes and biocomputing systems. Integration of novel biosensing and bioactuating systems with the biomolecular information processing systems keeps promise for further scientific advances and numerous practical applications.

  7. Force Field Model of Periodic Trends in Biomolecular Halogen Bonds.

    PubMed

    Scholfield, Matthew R; Ford, Melissa Coates; Vander Zanden, Crystal M; Billman, M Marie; Ho, P Shing; Rappé, Anthony K

    2015-07-23

    The study of the noncovalent interaction now defined as a halogen bond (X-bond) has become one of the fastest growing areas in experimental and theoretical chemistry--its applications as a design tool are highly extensive. The significance of the interaction in biology has only recently been recognized, but has now become important in medicinal chemistry. We had previously derived a set of empirical potential energy functions to model the structure-energy relationships for bromines in biomolecular X-bonds (BXBs). Here, we have extended this force field for BXBs (ffBXB) to the halogens (Cl, Br, and I) that are commonly seen to form stable X-bonds. The ffBXB calculated energies show a remarkable one-to-one linear relationship to explicit BXB energies determined from an experimental DNA junction system, thereby validating the approach and the model. The resulting parameters allow us to interpret the stabilizing effects of BXBs in terms of well-defined physical properties of the halogen atoms, including their size, shape, and charge, showing periodic trends that are predictable along the Group VII column of elements. Consequently, we have established the ffBXB as an accurate computational tool that can be applied, for example, for the design of new therapeutic compounds against clinically important targets and new biomolecular-based materials.

  8. MPBEC, a Matlab Program for Biomolecular Electrostatic Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vergara-Perez, Sandra; Marucho, Marcelo

    2016-01-01

    One of the most used and efficient approaches to compute electrostatic properties of biological systems is to numerically solve the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) equation. There are several software packages available that solve the PB equation for molecules in aqueous electrolyte solutions. Most of these software packages are useful for scientists with specialized training and expertise in computational biophysics. However, the user is usually required to manually take several important choices, depending on the complexity of the biological system, to successfully obtain the numerical solution of the PB equation. This may become an obstacle for researchers, experimentalists, even students with no special training in computational methodologies. Aiming to overcome this limitation, in this article we present MPBEC, a free, cross-platform, open-source software that provides non-experts in the field an easy and efficient way to perform biomolecular electrostatic calculations on single processor computers. MPBEC is a Matlab script based on the Adaptative Poisson-Boltzmann Solver, one of the most popular approaches used to solve the PB equation. MPBEC does not require any user programming, text editing or extensive statistical skills, and comes with detailed user-guide documentation. As a unique feature, MPBEC includes a useful graphical user interface (GUI) application which helps and guides users to configure and setup the optimal parameters and approximations to successfully perform the required biomolecular electrostatic calculations. The GUI also incorporates visualization tools to facilitate users pre- and post-analysis of structural and electrical properties of biomolecules.

  9. The biomolecular corona of nanoparticles in circulating biological media.

    PubMed

    Pozzi, D; Caracciolo, G; Digiacomo, L; Colapicchioni, V; Palchetti, S; Capriotti, A L; Cavaliere, C; Zenezini Chiozzi, R; Puglisi, A; Laganà, A

    2015-09-07

    When nanoparticles come into contact with biological media, they are covered by a biomolecular 'corona', which confers a new identity to the particles. In all the studies reported so far nanoparticles are incubated with isolated plasma or serum that are used as a model for protein adsorption. Anyway, bodily fluids are dynamic in nature so the question arises on whether the incubation protocol, i.e. dynamic vs. static incubation, could affect the composition and structure of the biomolecular corona. Here we let multicomponent liposomes interact with fetal bovine serum (FBS) both statically and dynamically, i.e. in contact with circulating FBS (≈40 cm s(-1)). The structure and composition of the liposome-protein corona, as determined by dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic light scattering and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, were found to be dependent on the incubation protocol. Specifically, following dynamic exposure to FBS, multicomponent liposomes were less enriched in complement proteins and appreciably more enriched in apolipoproteins and acute phase proteins (e.g. alpha-1-antitrypsin and inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain H3) that are involved in relevant interactions between nanoparticles and living systems. Supported by our results, we speculate that efficient predictive modeling of nanoparticle behavior in vivo will require accurate knowledge of nanoparticle-specific protein fingerprints in circulating biological media.

  10. Perspective: Coarse-grained models for biomolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noid, W. G.

    2013-09-01

    By focusing on essential features, while averaging over less important details, coarse-grained (CG) models provide significant computational and conceptual advantages with respect to more detailed models. Consequently, despite dramatic advances in computational methodologies and resources, CG models enjoy surging popularity and are becoming increasingly equal partners to atomically detailed models. This perspective surveys the rapidly developing landscape of CG models for biomolecular systems. In particular, this review seeks to provide a balanced, coherent, and unified presentation of several distinct approaches for developing CG models, including top-down, network-based, native-centric, knowledge-based, and bottom-up modeling strategies. The review summarizes their basic philosophies, theoretical foundations, typical applications, and recent developments. Additionally, the review identifies fundamental inter-relationships among the diverse approaches and discusses outstanding challenges in the field. When carefully applied and assessed, current CG models provide highly efficient means for investigating the biological consequences of basic physicochemical principles. Moreover, rigorous bottom-up approaches hold great promise for further improving the accuracy and scope of CG models for biomolecular systems.

  11. The Biomolecular Interaction Network Database and related tools 2005 update

    PubMed Central

    Alfarano, C.; Andrade, C. E.; Anthony, K.; Bahroos, N.; Bajec, M.; Bantoft, K.; Betel, D.; Bobechko, B.; Boutilier, K.; Burgess, E.; Buzadzija, K.; Cavero, R.; D'Abreo, C.; Donaldson, I.; Dorairajoo, D.; Dumontier, M. J.; Dumontier, M. R.; Earles, V.; Farrall, R.; Feldman, H.; Garderman, E.; Gong, Y.; Gonzaga, R.; Grytsan, V.; Gryz, E.; Gu, V.; Haldorsen, E.; Halupa, A.; Haw, R.; Hrvojic, A.; Hurrell, L.; Isserlin, R.; Jack, F.; Juma, F.; Khan, A.; Kon, T.; Konopinsky, S.; Le, V.; Lee, E.; Ling, S.; Magidin, M.; Moniakis, J.; Montojo, J.; Moore, S.; Muskat, B.; Ng, I.; Paraiso, J. P.; Parker, B.; Pintilie, G.; Pirone, R.; Salama, J. J.; Sgro, S.; Shan, T.; Shu, Y.; Siew, J.; Skinner, D.; Snyder, K.; Stasiuk, R.; Strumpf, D.; Tuekam, B.; Tao, S.; Wang, Z.; White, M.; Willis, R.; Wolting, C.; Wong, S.; Wrong, A.; Xin, C.; Yao, R.; Yates, B.; Zhang, S.; Zheng, K.; Pawson, T.; Ouellette, B. F. F.; Hogue, C. W. V.

    2005-01-01

    The Biomolecular Interaction Network Database (BIND) (http://bind.ca) archives biomolecular interaction, reaction, complex and pathway information. Our aim is to curate the details about molecular interactions that arise from published experimental research and to provide this information, as well as tools to enable data analysis, freely to researchers worldwide. BIND data are curated into a comprehensive machine-readable archive of computable information and provides users with methods to discover interactions and molecular mechanisms. BIND has worked to develop new methods for visualization that amplify the underlying annotation of genes and proteins to facilitate the study of molecular interaction networks. BIND has maintained an open database policy since its inception in 1999. Data growth has proceeded at a tremendous rate, approaching over 100 000 records. New services provided include a new BIND Query and Submission interface, a Standard Object Access Protocol service and the Small Molecule Interaction Database (http://smid.blueprint.org) that allows users to determine probable small molecule binding sites of new sequences and examine conserved binding residues. PMID:15608229

  12. Selected topics in solution-phase biomolecular NMR spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kay, Lewis E.; Frydman, Lucio

    2017-05-01

    Solution bio-NMR spectroscopy continues to enjoy a preeminent role as an important tool in elucidating the structure and dynamics of a range of important biomolecules and in relating these to function. Equally impressive is how NMR continues to 'reinvent' itself through the efforts of many brilliant practitioners who ask increasingly demanding and increasingly biologically relevant questions. The ability to manipulate spin Hamiltonians - almost at will - to dissect the information of interest contributes to the success of the endeavor and ensures that the NMR technology will be well poised to contribute to as yet unknown frontiers in the future. As a tribute to the versatility of solution NMR in biomolecular studies and to the continued rapid advances in the field we present a Virtual Special Issue (VSI) that includes over 40 articles on various aspects of solution-state biomolecular NMR that have been published in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance in the past 7 years. These, in total, help celebrate the achievements of this vibrant field.

  13. Force Field Model of Periodic Trends in Biomolecular Halogen Bonds

    PubMed Central

    Scholfield, Matthew R.; Ford, Melissa Coates; Vander Zanden, Crystal M.; Billman, M. Marie; Ho, P. Shing; Rappé, Anthony K.

    2016-01-01

    The study of the noncovalent interaction now defined as a halogen bond (X-bond) has become one of the fastest growing areas in experimental and theoretical chemistry—its applications as a design tool are highly extensive. The significance of the interaction in biology has only recently been recognized, but has now become important in medicinal chemistry. We had previously derived a set of empirical potential energy functions to model the structure-energy relationships for bromines in biomolecular X-bonds (BXBs). Here, we have extended this force field for BXBs (ffBXB) to the halogens (Cl, Br, and I) that are commonly seen to form stable X-bonds. The ffBXB calculated energies show a remarkable one-to-one linear relationship to explicit BXB energies determined from an experimental DNA junction system, thereby validating the approach and the model. The resulting parameters allow us to interpret the stabilizing effects of BXBs in terms of well-defined physical properties of the halogen atoms, including their size, shape, and charge, showing periodic trends that are predictable along the Group VII column of elements. Consequently, we have established the ffBXB as accurate computational tool that can be applied to, for example, for the design of new therapeutic compounds against clinically important targets and new biomolecular based materials. PMID:25338128

  14. MPBEC, a Matlab Program for Biomolecular Electrostatic Calculations.

    PubMed

    Vergara-Perez, Sandra; Marucho, Marcelo

    2016-01-01

    One of the most used and efficient approaches to compute electrostatic properties of biological systems is to numerically solve the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) equation. There are several software packages available that solve the PB equation for molecules in aqueous electrolyte solutions. Most of these software packages are useful for scientists with specialized training and expertise in computational biophysics. However, the user is usually required to manually take several important choices, depending on the complexity of the biological system, to successfully obtain the numerical solution of the PB equation. This may become an obstacle for researchers, experimentalists, even students with no special training in computational methodologies. Aiming to overcome this limitation, in this article we present MPBEC, a free, cross-platform, open-source software that provides non-experts in the field an easy and efficient way to perform biomolecular electrostatic calculations on single processor computers. MPBEC is a Matlab script based on the Adaptative Poisson Boltzmann Solver, one of the most popular approaches used to solve the PB equation. MPBEC does not require any user programming, text editing or extensive statistical skills, and comes with detailed user-guide documentation. As a unique feature, MPBEC includes a useful graphical user interface (GUI) application which helps and guides users to configure and setup the optimal parameters and approximations to successfully perform the required biomolecular electrostatic calculations. The GUI also incorporates visualization tools to facilitate users pre- and post- analysis of structural and electrical properties of biomolecules.

  15. MPBEC, a Matlab Program for Biomolecular Electrostatic Calculations

    PubMed Central

    Vergara-Perez, Sandra; Marucho, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    One of the most used and efficient approaches to compute electrostatic properties of biological systems is to numerically solve the Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) equation. There are several software packages available that solve the PB equation for molecules in aqueous electrolyte solutions. Most of these software packages are useful for scientists with specialized training and expertise in computational biophysics. However, the user is usually required to manually take several important choices, depending on the complexity of the biological system, to successfully obtain the numerical solution of the PB equation. This may become an obstacle for researchers, experimentalists, even students with no special training in computational methodologies. Aiming to overcome this limitation, in this article we present MPBEC, a free, cross-platform, open-source software that provides non-experts in the field an easy and efficient way to perform biomolecular electrostatic calculations on single processor computers. MPBEC is a Matlab script based on the Adaptative Poisson Boltzmann Solver, one of the most popular approaches used to solve the PB equation. MPBEC does not require any user programming, text editing or extensive statistical skills, and comes with detailed user-guide documentation. As a unique feature, MPBEC includes a useful graphical user interface (GUI) application which helps and guides users to configure and setup the optimal parameters and approximations to successfully perform the required biomolecular electrostatic calculations. The GUI also incorporates visualization tools to facilitate users pre- and post- analysis of structural and electrical properties of biomolecules. PMID:26924848

  16. Analysis of biomolecular interactions using affinity microcolumns: A review

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Xiwei; Li, Zhao; Beeram, Sandya; Podariu, Maria; Matsuda, Ryan; Pfaunmiller, Erika L.; White, Christopher J.; Carter, NaTasha; Hage, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Affinity chromatography has become an important tool for characterizing biomolecular interactions. The use of affinity microcolumns, which contain immobilized binding agents and have volumes in the mid-to-low microliter range, has received particular attention in recent years. Potential advantages of affinity microcolumns include the many analysis and detection formats that can be used with these columns, as well as the need for only small amounts of supports and immobilized binding agents. This review examines how affinity microcolumns have been used to examine biomolecular interactions. Both capillary-based microcolumns and short microcolumns are considered. The use of affinity microcolumns with zonal elution and frontal analysis methods are discussed. The techniques of peak decay analysis, ultrafast affinity extraction, split-peak analysis, and band-broadening studies are also explored. The principles of these methods are examined and various applications are provided to illustrate the use of these methods with affinity microcolumns. It is shown how these techniques can be utilized to provide information on the binding strength and kinetics of an interaction, as well as on the number and types of binding sites. It is further demonstrated how information on competition or displacement effects can be obtained by these methods. PMID:24572459

  17. Bayesian Modeling of Biomolecular Assemblies with Cryo-EM Maps

    PubMed Central

    Habeck, Michael

    2017-01-01

    A growing array of experimental techniques allows us to characterize the three-dimensional structure of large biological assemblies at increasingly higher resolution. In addition to X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance in solution, new structure determination methods such cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), crosslinking/mass spectrometry and solid-state NMR have emerged. Often it is not sufficient to use a single experimental method, but complementary data need to be collected by using multiple techniques. The integration of all datasets can only be achieved by computational means. This article describes Inferential structure determination, a Bayesian approach to integrative modeling of biomolecular complexes with hybrid structural data. I will introduce probabilistic models for cryo-EM maps and outline Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for sampling model structures from the posterior distribution. I will focus on rigid and flexible modeling with cryo-EM data and discuss some of the computational challenges of Bayesian inference in the context of biomolecular modeling. PMID:28382301

  18. The amber theory of Lyme arthritis: initial description and clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Wormser, Gary P; Nadelman, Robert B; Schwartz, Ira

    2012-06-01

    Lyme arthritis differs in many respects from other bacterial causes of arthritis. Based on an observation made for a patient with Lyme arthritis, we propose that the pathogenesis of joint swelling in Lyme arthritis is due to the introduction into the joint space of non-viable spirochetes or more likely spirochetal debris enmeshed in a host-derived fibrinous or collagenous matrix. This "amber" hypothesis can account for the clinical and laboratory features of Lyme arthritis and is amenable to experimental validation. Validation would directly impact the clinical management of patients with Lyme arthritis.

  19. Amber from western Amazonia reveals Neotropical diversity during the middle Miocene

    PubMed Central

    Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; De Franceschi, Dario; Flynn, John J.; Nel, André; Baby, Patrice; Benammi, Mouloud; Calderón, Ysabel; Espurt, Nicolas; Goswami, Anjali; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo

    2006-01-01

    Tertiary insects and arachnids have been virtually unknown from the vast western Amazonian basin. We report here the discovery of amber from this region containing a diverse fossil arthropod fauna (13 hexapod families and 3 arachnid species) and abundant microfossil inclusions (pollen, spores, algae, and cyanophyceae). This unique fossil assemblage, recovered from middle Miocene deposits of northeastern Peru, greatly increases the known diversity of Cenozoic tropical–equatorial arthropods and microorganisms and provides insights into the biogeography and evolutionary history of modern Neotropical biota. It also strengthens evidence for the presence of more modern, high-diversity tropical rainforest ecosystems during the middle Miocene in western Amazonia. PMID:16950875

  20. Description of the second fossil Baltic amber species of Monotomidae (Coleoptera: Cucujoidea).

    PubMed

    Bukejs, Andris; Alekseev, Vitalii I

    2015-04-10

    Based on a specimen from the Upper Eocene Baltic amber (Kaliningrad Region, Russia), Aneurops daugpilensis sp. nov. is described. The new species is similar to the extant A. convergens (Sharp, 1900) and A. championi Sharp, 1900 distributed in North and Central America, but differs in the larger punctation of pronotum, and shorter and sparser setation of the median plaque on ventrite 1. Aneurops daugpilensis sp. nov. is distinguished from Europs insterburgensis Alekseev, 2014 by having a median plaque on ventrite 1, a larger body size, and distinctly sparser punctation of the forebody.

  1. Amber from western Amazonia reveals Neotropical diversity during the middle Miocene.

    PubMed

    Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; De Franceschi, Dario; Flynn, John J; Nel, André; Baby, Patrice; Benammi, Mouloud; Calderón, Ysabel; Espurt, Nicolas; Goswami, Anjali; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo

    2006-09-12

    Tertiary insects and arachnids have been virtually unknown from the vast western Amazonian basin. We report here the discovery of amber from this region containing a diverse fossil arthropod fauna (13 hexapod families and 3 arachnid species) and abundant microfossil inclusions (pollen, spores, algae, and cyanophyceae). This unique fossil assemblage, recovered from middle Miocene deposits of northeastern Peru, greatly increases the known diversity of Cenozoic tropical-equatorial arthropods and microorganisms and provides insights into the biogeography and evolutionary history of modern Neotropical biota. It also strengthens evidence for the presence of more modern, high-diversity tropical rainforest ecosystems during the middle Miocene in western Amazonia.

  2. Multiple infection of amber Succinea putris snails with sporocysts of Leucochloridium spp. (Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Ataev, G L; Zhukova, A A; Tokmakova, А S; Prokhorova, Е E

    2016-08-01

    Amber Succinea putris snails were collected in the Leningrad Region (Russia). Some of them were infected with trematodes Leucochloridium paradoxum, Leucochloridium perturbatum and Leucochloridium vogtianum. One snail had triple infection with all these species. Genotyping of sporocysts by ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 nucleotide sequences of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and phylogenetic analysis were performed. The results confirmed the species identification of sporocysts of Leucochloridium based on the shape and colour of mature broodsacs. Sporocyst broodsacs could leave the host snail on their own, remaining viable in the environment for up to an hour. This ability of sporocysts may prevent the excessive infection of the molluscan host.

  3. Spatial dynamics of the invasive defoliator amber-marked birch leafminer across the Anchorage landscape.

    PubMed

    Lundquist, J E; Reich, R M; Tuffly, M

    2012-10-01

    The amber-marked birch leafminer (Profenusa thomsoni [Konow]) (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) has caused severe infestations of birch species in Anchorage, AK, since 2002. Its spatial distribution has been monitored since 2006 and summarized using interpolated surfaces based on simple kriging. Results indicate that this insect pest is unevenly distributed, occurring in multineighborhood sized patches that migrate from year to year. Patches showing heavy infestation one year are followed by light infestations the following year. In this study, we developed methods of assessing and describing spatial distributions of P. thomsoni as they vary from year to year, and speculate on potential causes of these trends in landscape patterns.

  4. First record of hawker dragonflies from Eocene Baltic amber (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphaeschnidae).

    PubMed

    Pinkert, Stefan; Bechly, Günter; Nel, André

    2017-05-29

    Based on three specimens, the first record of hawker dragonflies from Baltic amber is described in a new genus with two new species: Elektrogomphaeschna peterthieli gen. et sp. nov. and E. annekeae sp. nov.. They belong to the family Gomphaeschnidae and are tentatively attributed to the extinct subfamily Gomphaeschnaoidinae. The latter was previously only known from Cretaceous fossils and is here shown to have survived the K-Pg mass extinction event. This discovery also confirms the still higher diversity of Gomphaeschnidae during the Paleogene compared to the Neogene that was dominated by the more derived Aeshnidae sensu stricto.

  5. Nematode (Nematoda: Mermithidae) and hairworm (Nematomorpha: Chordodidae) parasites in Early Cretaceous amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George; Buckley, Ron

    2006-09-01

    The present report describes a mermithid nematode (Nematoda: Mermithidae) and a gordiid hairworm (Nematomorpha: Chordodidae) from Early Cretaceous Burmese amber dated at 100-110 million years. The mermithid, Cretacimermis protus sp. n., is emerging from a biting midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) while the hairworm, Cretachordodes burmitis, gen. n., sp. n. had already emerged from its host. These rare specimens represent the first fossil mermithid parasite of a ceratopogonid midge and second oldest described nematode and the earliest known and only Mesozoic fossil of the phylum Nematomorpha. A list of previously described fossil mermithids is included.

  6. PREFACE: Radiation Damage in Biomolecular Systems (RADAM07)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuigan, Kevin G.

    2008-03-01

    The annual meeting of the COST P9 Action `Radiation damage in biomolecular systems' took place from 19-22 June 2007 in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, in Dublin. The conference was structured into 5 Working Group sessions: Electrons and biomolecular interactions Ions and biomolecular interactions Radiation in physiological environments Theoretical developments for radiation damage Track structure in cells Each of the five working groups presented two sessions of invited talks. Professor Ron Chesser of Texas Tech University, USA gave a riveting plenary talk on `Mechanisms of Adaptive Radiation Responses in Mammals at Chernobyl' and the implications his work has on the Linear-No Threshold model of radiation damage. In addition, this was the first RADAM meeting to take place after the Alexander Litvenenko affair and we were fortunate to have one of the leading scientists involved in the European response Professor Herwig Paretzke of GSF-Institut für Strahlenschutz, Neuherberg, Germany, available to speak. The remaining contributions were presented in the poster session. A total of 72 scientific contributions (32 oral, 40 poster), presented by 97 participants from 22 different countries, gave an overview on the current progress in the 5 different subfields. A 1-day pre-conference `Early Researcher Tutorial Workshop' on the same topic kicked off on 19 June attended by more than 40 postgrads, postdocs and senior researchers. Twenty papers, based on these reports, are included in this volume of Journal of Physics: Conference Series. All the contributions in this volume were fully refereed, and they represent a sample of the courses, invited talks and contributed talks presented during RADAM07. The interdisciplinary RADAM07 conference brought together researchers from a variety of different fields with a common interest in biomolecular radiation damage. This is reflected by the disparate backgrounds of the authors of the papers presented in these proceedings

  7. First record of Microscapha LeConte from Baltic amber with description of a new species and list of fossil Melandryidae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea).

    PubMed

    Bukejs, Andris; Alekseev, Vitalii I

    2015-09-03

    Microscapha andrzeji sp. nov., the first fossil representative of the genus is described from Eocene Baltic amber. An updated list of fossil Melandryidae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea) is provided. The presence of Microscapha within Baltic amber suggests some potential for palaeoenvironmental inferences based on the melandryid assemblage within the deposit.

  8. An effective hierarchical model for the biomolecular covalent bond: an approach integrating artificial chemistry and an actual terrestrial life system.

    PubMed

    Oohashi, Tsutomu; Ueno, Osamu; Maekawa, Tadao; Kawai, Norie; Nishina, Emi; Honda, Manabu

    2009-01-01

    Under the AChem paradigm and the programmed self-decomposition (PSD) model, we propose a hierarchical model for the biomolecular covalent bond (HBCB model). This model assumes that terrestrial organisms arrange their biomolecules in a hierarchical structure according to the energy strength of their covalent bonds. It also assumes that they have evolutionarily selected the PSD mechanism of turning biological polymers (BPs) into biological monomers (BMs) as an efficient biomolecular recycling strategy We have examined the validity and effectiveness of the HBCB model by coordinating two complementary approaches: biological experiments using existent terrestrial life, and simulation experiments using an AChem system. Biological experiments have shown that terrestrial life possesses a PSD mechanism as an endergonic, genetically regulated process and that hydrolysis, which decomposes a BP into BMs, is one of the main processes of such a mechanism. In simulation experiments, we compared different virtual self-decomposition processes. The virtual species in which the self-decomposition process mainly involved covalent bond cleavage from a BP to BMs showed evolutionary superiority over other species in which the self-decomposition process involved cleavage from BP to classes lower than BM. These converging findings strongly support the existence of PSD and the validity and effectiveness of the HBCB model.

  9. Motional timescale predictions by molecular dynamics simulations: Case study using proline and hydroxyproline sidechain dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Aliev, Abil E; Kulke, Martin; Khaneja, Harmeet S; Chudasama, Vijay; Sheppard, Tom D; Lanigan, Rachel M

    2014-01-01

    We propose a new approach for force field optimizations which aims at reproducing dynamics characteristics using biomolecular MD simulations, in addition to improved prediction of motionally averaged structural properties available from experiment. As the source of experimental data for dynamics fittings, we use 13C NMR spin-lattice relaxation times T1 of backbone and sidechain carbons, which allow to determine correlation times of both overall molecular and intramolecular motions. For structural fittings, we use motionally averaged experimental values of NMR J couplings. The proline residue and its derivative 4-hydroxyproline with relatively simple cyclic structure and sidechain dynamics were chosen for the assessment of the new approach in this work. Initially, grid search and simplexed MD simulations identified large number of parameter sets which fit equally well experimental J couplings. Using the Arrhenius-type relationship between the force constant and the correlation time, the available MD data for a series of parameter sets were analyzed to predict the value of the force constant that best reproduces experimental timescale of the sidechain dynamics. Verification of the new force-field (termed as AMBER99SB-ILDNP) against NMR J couplings and correlation times showed consistent and significant improvements compared to the original force field in reproducing both structural and dynamics properties. The results suggest that matching experimental timescales of motions together with motionally averaged characteristics is the valid approach for force field parameter optimization. Such a comprehensive approach is not restricted to cyclic residues and can be extended to other amino acid residues, as well as to the backbone. Proteins 2014; 82:195–215. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23818175

  10. The first Mesozoic microwhip scorpion (Palpigradi): a new genus and species in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S; Breitkreuz, Laura C V; Cai, Chenyang; Alvarado, Mabel; Azar, Dany; Huang, Diying

    2016-04-01

    A fossil palpigrade is described and figured from mid-Cretaceous (Cenomanian) amber from northern Myanmar. Electrokoenenia yaksha Engel and Huang, gen. n. et sp. n., is the first Mesozoic fossil of its order and the only one known as an inclusion in amber, the only other fossil being a series of individuals encased in Pliocene onyx marble and 94-97 million years younger than E. yaksha. The genus is distinguished from other members of the order but is remarkably consistent in observable morphological details when compared to extant relatives, likely reflecting a consistent microhabitat and biological preferences over the last 100 million years.

  11. Compression fossil Mymaridae (Hymenoptera) from Kishenehn oil shales, with description of two new genera and review of Tertiary amber genera

    PubMed Central

    Huber, John T.; Greenwalt, Dale

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Compression fossils of three genera and six species of Mymaridae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) are described from 46 million year old Kishenehn oil shales in Montana, USA. Two new genera are described: Eoeustochus Huber, gen. n., with two included species, Eoeustochus kishenehn Huber (type species) and Eoeustochus borchersi Huber, sp. n., and Eoanaphes, gen. n., with Eoanaphes stethynioides Huber, sp. n. Three new species of Gonatocerus are also described, Gonatocerus greenwalti Huber, sp. n. , Gonatocerus kootenai Huber, sp. n., and Gonatocerus rasnitsyni Huber, sp. n. Previously described amber fossil genera are discussed and five genera in Baltic amber are tentatively recorded as fossils: Anagroidea, Camptoptera, Dorya, Eustochus, and Mimalaptus. PMID:22259294

  12. The first Mesozoic microwhip scorpion (Palpigradi): a new genus and species in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Michael S.; Breitkreuz, Laura C. V.; Cai, Chenyang; Alvarado, Mabel; Azar, Dany; Huang, Diying

    2016-04-01

    A fossil palpigrade is described and figured from mid-Cretaceous (Cenomanian) amber from northern Myanmar. Electrokoenenia yaksha Engel and Huang, gen. n. et sp. n., is the first Mesozoic fossil of its order and the only one known as an inclusion in amber, the only other fossil being a series of individuals encased in Pliocene onyx marble and 94-97 million years younger than E. yaksha. The genus is distinguished from other members of the order but is remarkably consistent in observable morphological details when compared to extant relatives, likely reflecting a consistent microhabitat and biological preferences over the last 100 million years.

  13. Compression fossil Mymaridae (Hymenoptera) from Kishenehn oil shales, with description of two new genera and review of Tertiary amber genera.

    PubMed

    Huber, John T; Greenwalt, Dale

    2011-01-01

    Compression fossils of three genera and six species of Mymaridae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) are described from 46 million year old Kishenehn oil shales in Montana, USA. Two new genera are described: Eoeustochus Huber, gen. n., with two included species, Eoeustochus kishenehn Huber (type species) and Eoeustochus borchersi Huber, sp. n., and Eoanaphes, gen. n., with Eoanaphes stethynioides Huber, sp. n. Three new species of Gonatocerus are also described, Gonatocerus greenwalti Huber, sp. n. , Gonatocerus kootenai Huber, sp. n., and Gonatocerus rasnitsyni Huber, sp. n. Previously described amber fossil genera are discussed and five genera in Baltic amber are tentatively recorded as fossils: Anagroidea, Camptoptera, Dorya, Eustochus, and Mimalaptus.

  14. Aquatic organisms as amber inclusions and examples from a modern swamp forest.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Alexander R; Dilcher, David L

    2007-10-16

    To find aquatic organisms in tree resin may seem to be highly unlikely, but the fossil record provides numerous amber-preserved limnetic arthropods (e.g., water beetles, water striders, and crustaceans) and microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, algae, ciliates, testate amoebae, and rotifers). Here we explain the frequently discussed process of embedding aquatic organisms in tree resin based on field studies in a Florida swamp forest. Different aquatic arthropods and all major groups of limnetic microorganisms were found embedded in resin that had contact with swamp water. The taphonomy of aquatic organisms differs from that of terrestrial plants and animals that get stuck on resin surfaces and are enclosed by successive resin outflows. Large and highly motile arthropods are predestined for embedding. The number of microbial inclusions is increased when tiny drops of water with aquatic organisms become enclosed in resin while it is flowing in an aquatic environment. Bacteria and fungi may grow inside the resin as long as it has not solidified and therefore become secondarily accumulated. In contact with air, even resin that had initially been flowing into water may solidify and potentially form amber.

  15. Aquatic organisms as amber inclusions and examples from a modern swamp forest

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Alexander R.; Dilcher, David L.

    2007-01-01

    To find aquatic organisms in tree resin may seem to be highly unlikely, but the fossil record provides numerous amber-preserved limnetic arthropods (e.g., water beetles, water striders, and crustaceans) and microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, algae, ciliates, testate amoebae, and rotifers). Here we explain the frequently discussed process of embedding aquatic organisms in tree resin based on field studies in a Florida swamp forest. Different aquatic arthropods and all major groups of limnetic microorganisms were found embedded in resin that had contact with swamp water. The taphonomy of aquatic organisms differs from that of terrestrial plants and animals that get stuck on resin surfaces and are enclosed by successive resin outflows. Large and highly motile arthropods are predestined for embedding. The number of microbial inclusions is increased when tiny drops of water with aquatic organisms become enclosed in resin while it is flowing in an aquatic environment. Bacteria and fungi may grow inside the resin as long as it has not solidified and therefore become secondarily accumulated. In contact with air, even resin that had initially been flowing into water may solidify and potentially form amber. PMID:17940051

  16. The First Ant-Termite Syninclusion in Amber with CT-Scan Analysis of Taphonomy

    PubMed Central

    Coty, David; Aria, Cédric; Garrouste, Romain; Wils, Patricia; Legendre, Frédéric; Nel, André

    2014-01-01

    We describe here a co-occurrence (i.e. a syninclusion) of ants and termites in a piece of Mexican amber (Totolapa deposit, Chiapas), whose importance is two-fold. First, this finding suggests at least a middle Miocene antiquity for the modern, though poorly documented, relationship between Azteca ants and Nasutitermes termites. Second, the presence of a Neivamyrmex army ant documents an in situ raiding behaviour of the same age and within the same community, confirmed by the fact that the army ant is holding one of the termite worker between its mandibles and by the presence of a termite with bitten abdomen. In addition, we present how CT-scan imaging can be an efficient tool to describe the topology of resin flows within amber pieces, and to point out the different states of preservation of the embedded insects. This can help achieving a better understanding of taphonomical processes, and tests ethological and ecological hypotheses in such complex syninclusions. PMID:25140873

  17. Bulk carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen stable isotope composition of recent resins from amber-producing Hymenaea.

    PubMed

    Nissenbaum, Arie; Yakir, Dan; Langenheim, Jean H

    2005-01-01

    Resins of Hymenaea, an angiosperm tree genus known to be a copious resin producer and a major source of amber since the Oligo-Miocene, were collected from a wide range of tropical environments from Latin America and Africa, and analyzed for their carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen stable isotope composition. The average value for delta13C in the resins was found to be -27.0+/-1.3 per thousand, which is very similar to the values reported for resins in other studies. Delta18O values for the Hymenaea resins averaged +11.2+/-1.6 per thousand, or about 20 per thousand more depleted than normal plant cellulose. DeltaD values of the resins ranged from -196 to -319 per thousand, with an average of -243+/-30 per thousand. Rough estimates suggest a fractionation of -200 to -210 per thousand between the resins and the environmental water. This value is similar to the -200 per thousand value observed for the fractionation between other plant lipids and environmental water. The present study suggests that the stable isotope composition of fossil resins (amber) has the potential to provide information on ancient environmental waters.

  18. luxS in bacteria isolated from 25- to 40-million-year-old amber.

    PubMed

    Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M; Patrício, Ana R; Rivera, Jessica I; Coradin, Mariel; Gonzalez, Alfredo; Tirado, Gabriela; Cano, Raúl J; Toranzos, Gary A

    2014-01-01

    Interspecies bacterial communication is mediated by autoinducer-2, whose synthesis depends on luxS. Due to the apparent universality of luxS (present in more than 40 bacterial species), it may have an ancient origin; however, no direct evidence is currently available. We amplified luxS in bacteria isolated from 25- to 40-million-year-old amber. The phylogenies and molecular clocks of luxS and the 16S rRNA gene from ancient and extant bacteria were determined as well. Luminescence assays using Vibrio harveyi BB170 aimed to determine the activity of luxS. While the phylogeny of luxS was very similar to that of extant Bacillus spp., amber isolates exhibited unique 16S rRNA gene phylogenies. This suggests that luxS may have been acquired by horizontal transfer millions of years ago. Molecular clocks of luxS suggest slow evolutionary rates, similar to those of the 16S rRNA gene and consistent with a conserved gene. Dendograms of the 16S rRNA gene and luxS show two separate clusters for the extant and ancient bacteria, confirming the uniqueness of the latter group. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Recognition of the amber UAG stop codon by release factor RF1

    SciTech Connect

    Korostelev, Andrei; Zhu, Jianyu; Asahara, Haruichi; Noller, Harry F.

    2010-08-23

    We report the crystal structure of a termination complex containing release factor RF1 bound to the 70S ribosome in response to an amber (UAG) codon at 3.6-{angstrom} resolution. The amber codon is recognized in the 30S subunit-decoding centre directly by conserved elements of domain 2 of RF1, including T186 of the PVT motif. Together with earlier structures, the mechanisms of recognition of all three stop codons by release factors RF1 and RF2 can now be described. Our structure confirms that the backbone amide of Q230 of the universally conserved GGQ motif is positioned to contribute directly to the catalysis of the peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis reaction through stabilization of the leaving group and/or transition state. We also observe synthetic-negative interactions between mutations in the switch loop of RF1 and in helix 69 of 23S rRNA, revealing that these structural features interact functionally in the termination process. These findings are consistent with our proposal that structural rearrangements of RF1 and RF2 are critical to accurate translation termination.

  20. Crown Group Lejeuneaceae and Pleurocarpous Mosses in Early Eocene (Ypresian) Indian Amber.

    PubMed

    Heinrichs, Jochen; Scheben, Armin; Bechteler, Julia; Lee, Gaik Ee; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons; Hedenäs, Lars; Singh, Hukam; Pócs, Tamás; Nascimbene, Paul C; Peralta, Denilson F; Renner, Matt; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2016-01-01

    Cambay amber originates from the warmest period of the Eocene, which is also well known for the appearance of early angiosperm-dominated megathermal forests. The humid climate of these forests may have triggered the evolution of epiphytic lineages of bryophytes; however, early Eocene fossils of bryophytes are rare. Here, we present evidence for lejeuneoid liverworts and pleurocarpous mosses in Cambay amber. The preserved morphology of the moss fossil is inconclusive for a detailed taxonomic treatment. The liverwort fossil is, however, distinctive; its zig-zagged stems, suberect complicate-bilobed leaves, large leaf lobules, and small, deeply bifid underleaves suggest a member of Lejeuneaceae subtribe Lejeuneinae (Harpalejeunea, Lejeunea, Microlejeunea). We tested alternative classification possibilities by conducting divergence time estimates based on DNA sequence variation of Lejeuneinae using the age of the fossil for corresponding age constraints. Consideration of the fossil as a stem group member of Microlejeunea or Lejeunea resulted in an Eocene to Late Cretaceous age of the Lejeuneinae crown group. This reconstruction is in good accordance with published divergence time estimates generated without the newly presented fossil evidence. Balancing available evidence, we describe the liverwort fossil as the extinct species Microlejeunea nyiahae, representing the oldest crown group fossil of Lejeuneaceae.

  1. Crown Group Lejeuneaceae and Pleurocarpous Mosses in Early Eocene (Ypresian) Indian Amber

    PubMed Central

    Heinrichs, Jochen; Scheben, Armin; Bechteler, Julia; Lee, Gaik Ee; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons; Hedenäs, Lars; Singh, Hukam; Pócs, Tamás; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Peralta, Denilson F.; Renner, Matt; Schmidt, Alexander R.

    2016-01-01

    Cambay amber originates from the warmest period of the Eocene, which is also well known for the appearance of early angiosperm-dominated megathermal forests. The humid climate of these forests may have triggered the evolution of epiphytic lineages of bryophytes; however, early Eocene fossils of bryophytes are rare. Here, we present evidence for lejeuneoid liverworts and pleurocarpous mosses in Cambay amber. The preserved morphology of the moss fossil is inconclusive for a detailed taxonomic treatment. The liverwort fossil is, however, distinctive; its zig-zagged stems, suberect complicate-bilobed leaves, large leaf lobules, and small, deeply bifid underleaves suggest a member of Lejeuneaceae subtribe Lejeuneinae (Harpalejeunea, Lejeunea, Microlejeunea). We tested alternative classification possibilities by conducting divergence time estimates based on DNA sequence variation of Lejeuneinae using the age of the fossil for corresponding age constraints. Consideration of the fossil as a stem group member of Microlejeunea or Lejeunea resulted in an Eocene to Late Cretaceous age of the Lejeuneinae crown group. This reconstruction is in good accordance with published divergence time estimates generated without the newly presented fossil evidence. Balancing available evidence, we describe the liverwort fossil as the extinct species Microlejeunea nyiahae, representing the oldest crown group fossil of Lejeuneaceae. PMID:27244582

  2. The use of a GIS Red-Amber-Green (RAG) system to define search priorities for burials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somma, Roberta; Silvestro, Massimiliano; Cascio, Maria; Dawson, Lorna; Donnelly, Laurance; Harrison, Mark; McKinley, Jennifer; Ruffell, Alastair

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this research is to promote among the Italian police, magistrates, and geologists, the applications of a Geographical Information System (GIS)-based RAG system for use in ground searches for burials. To date the RAG system has not been used and documented in Italy and would potentially be useful for searches related to clandestine burial sites. This technique, was originally documented by the British Army in the 1st World War. The RAG method is based on the construction of theme maps. RAG maps can facilitate the deployment of appropriate search assets (such as geophysics, probe or search dogs) and therefore applied to ground searches for the potential location of homicide graves or other buried objects (including weapons, explosives, etc.). RAG maps also may assist in the management of resources such as the deployment of search personnel, search teams and dogs. A GIS RAG (Red-Amber-Green) system related to a search for a homicide grave was applied to a test site in Italy, simulating the concealment of a victim in the area of Alì. This is an area of hill in Sicily, characterized by Palaeozoic phyllites. It was assumed during this test that information was provided by an observer who saw a suspect carrying tools on his land during daylight hours. A desktop study of the rural area was first implemented. Data was collated from previous geological, geomorphological, hydrogeological, geophysical and land use surveys. All these data were stored and independently analysed in a GIS using ArcGIS software. For the development of the GIS-based RAG map a digital elevation model (DEM) including a digital surface model (DTS) and digital terrain model (DTM) types were used. These were integrated with data from soil surveys to provide a preliminary assessment of "diggability" - including the possible thickness of loose superficial deposits and soils. Data were stored in different layers within the GIS. These included the delineation of the search area with consideration

  3. Clumpy dust clouds and extended atmosphere of the AGB star W Hydrae revealed with VLT/SPHERE-ZIMPOL and VLTI/AMBER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohnaka, K.; Weigelt, G.; Hofmann, K.-H.

    2016-05-01

    the prediction of the hydrodynamical models for the mass loss driven by the scattering due to micron-sized grains. The detection of the clumpy dust clouds close to the star lends support to the dust formation induced by pulsation and large convective cells as predicted by the 3D simulations for AGB stars. Based on SPHERE and AMBER observations made with the Very Large Telescope and Very Large Telescope Interferometer of the European Southern Observatory. Program ID: 095.D-0397(D) and 093.D-0468(A).

  4. Biomolecular Network-Based Synergistic Drug Combination Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiangyi; Qin, Guangrong; Yang, Qingmin

    2016-01-01

    Drug combination is a powerful and promising approach for complex disease therapy such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, the number of synergistic drug combinations approved by the Food and Drug Administration is very small. To bridge the gap between urgent need and low yield, researchers have constructed various models to identify synergistic drug combinations. Among these models, biomolecular network-based model is outstanding because of its ability to reflect and illustrate the relationships among drugs, disease-related genes, therapeutic targets, and disease-specific signaling pathways as a system. In this review, we analyzed and classified models for synergistic drug combination prediction in recent decade according to their respective algorithms. Besides, we collected useful resources including databases and analysis tools for synergistic drug combination prediction. It should provide a quick resource for computational biologists who work with network medicine or synergistic drug combination designing. PMID:27891522

  5. Self-Assembled Biomolecular Materials Confined on Lithographic Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfohl, Thomas; Kim, Joon Heon; Case, Ryan; Li, Youli; Safinya, Cyrus R.

    2000-03-01

    Lithographically patterned Si-surfaces with different geometries (linear and circular channels) are used for confining and orienting assemblies of biomacromolecules. In order to direct the self assembly, the surfaces are coated with thin organic layers to change the hydrophobicity and surface charge. Droplet casting, spin coating and microinjection are used to fill the channels with biomaterials. In particular, the use of the microinjection technique allows us to control the formation of biomolecular assemblies for highly oriented x-ray samples as well as to fill single channels (width < 5μm) with dilute solutions for single molecule investigations. Biomaterials based on tubulin are our primary interest. We use fluorescence, confocal, and polarization microscopy to observe the polymerization of microtubules from tubulin and the formation of tubulin-cationic lipid complexes. Supported by NSF DMR-9972246, University of California Biotech Research, and Education Program Training Grant 99-14, DFG Pf 375/1-1.

  6. Mapping protein binding sites on the biomolecular corona of nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Philip M.; Åberg, Christoffer; Polo, Ester; O'Connell, Ann; Cookman, Jennifer; Fallon, Jonathan; Krpetić, Željka; Dawson, Kenneth A.

    2015-05-01

    Nanoparticles in a biological milieu are known to form a sufficiently long-lived and well-organized ‘corona’ of biomolecules to confer a biological identity to the particle. Because this nanoparticle-biomolecule complex interacts with cells and biological barriers, potentially engaging with different biological pathways, it is important to clarify the presentation of functional biomolecular motifs at its interface. Here, we demonstrate that by using antibody-labelled gold nanoparticles, differential centrifugal sedimentation and various imaging techniques it is possible to identify the spatial location of proteins, their functional motifs and their binding sites. We show that for transferrin-coated polystyrene nanoparticles only a minority of adsorbed proteins exhibit functional motifs and the spatial organization appears random, which is consistent, overall, with a stochastic and irreversible adsorption process. Our methods are applicable to a wide array of nanoparticles and can offer a microscopic molecular description of the biological identity of nanoparticles.

  7. Design and Implementation of a Biomolecular Concentration Tracker

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    As a field, synthetic biology strives to engineer increasingly complex artificial systems in living cells. Active feedback in closed loop systems offers a dynamic and adaptive way to ensure constant relative activity independent of intrinsic and extrinsic noise. In this work, we use synthetic protein scaffolds as a modular and tunable mechanism for concentration tracking through negative feedback. Input to the circuit initiates scaffold production, leading to colocalization of a two-component system and resulting in the production of an inhibitory antiscaffold protein. Using a combination of modeling and experimental work, we show that the biomolecular concentration tracker circuit achieves dynamic protein concentration tracking in Escherichia coli and that steady state outputs can be tuned. PMID:24847683

  8. Dynamic and Active Proteins: Biomolecular Motors in Engineered Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Vélez, Marisela

    In Nature, proteins perform functions that go well beyond controlled self-assembly at the nano scale. They are the principal components of diverse "biological machines" that can self-assemble into dynamic aggregates that achieve the cold conversion of chemical energy into motion to realize complex functions involved in cell division, cellular transport and cell motility. Nowadays, we have identified many of the proteins involved in these "molecular machines" and know much about their biochemistry, structure and biophysical behavior. Additionally, we have a rich toolbox of resources to engineer the basic dynamic working units into nanostructures to provide them with motion and the capacity to manipulate, transport, separate or sense single molecules to develop in vitro sensors and bioassays. This chapter summarizes some of the progress made in incorporating bio-molecular motors and dynamic self-organizing proteins into protein based functional nanostructures.

  9. Biomolecular recognition in DNA tagged CdSe nanowires.

    PubMed

    Sarangi, S N; Goswami, K; Sahu, S N

    2007-06-15

    DNA template driven CdSe nanobeads (NBs) and nanowires (NWs) have been synthesized by an electrodeposition technique. The synthesis protocol has yielded randomly oriented cubic CdSe NBs with mean size approximately 3.0 nm in presence of single stranded DNA, poly G(30). Monocrystalline cubic CdSe NWs of width approximately 4.0 nm with string-like morphology have been achieved when synthesized in presence of both poly G(30) and its conjugate, poly C(30). Optical absorption of CdSe NBs show a blue shift of 0.8 eV and long wavelength tailing where as NWs show steep increase of absorption in shorter wavelength regime accompanied by a further blue shift. DNA tags to the NBs or NWs have been confirmed from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy measurements. Biomolecular recognition with CdSe NWs have been established by photoluminescence measurements.

  10. Association of biomolecular resource facilities survey: service laboratory funding.

    PubMed

    Ogorzalek Loo, Rachel; Nicolet, Charles M; Niece, Ronald L; Young, Mary; Simpson, John T

    2009-07-01

    In 2007, The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) Survey Committee surveyed the ABRF membership and scientists at-large concerning the current state of funding in service-oriented laboratories. Questions pertained to services offered, cost recovery, capital equipment funding, and future outlook. The web-based survey, available for 3 weeks, achieved participation from 209 respondents in 13 countries, 77% of which represented academic laboratories. Most respondents (75%) directed their laboratories. Laboratories depend largely on institutional support and customer recharges to fund operations, but National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation Shared Instrumentation Grant programs are considered critical to meeting future needs. Source allocations supporting capital equipment acquisitions, operations, and laboratory director salary are presented.

  11. The biomolecular corona of nanoparticles in circulating biological media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozzi, D.; Caracciolo, G.; Digiacomo, L.; Colapicchioni, V.; Palchetti, S.; Capriotti, A. L.; Cavaliere, C.; Zenezini Chiozzi, R.; Puglisi, A.; Laganà, A.

    2015-08-01

    When nanoparticles come into contact with biological media, they are covered by a biomolecular `corona', which confers a new identity to the particles. In all the studies reported so far nanoparticles are incubated with isolated plasma or serum that are used as a model for protein adsorption. Anyway, bodily fluids are dynamic in nature so the question arises on whether the incubation protocol, i.e. dynamic vs. static incubation, could affect the composition and structure of the biomolecular corona. Here we let multicomponent liposomes interact with fetal bovine serum (FBS) both statically and dynamically, i.e. in contact with circulating FBS (~40 cm s-1). The structure and composition of the liposome-protein corona, as determined by dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic light scattering and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, were found to be dependent on the incubation protocol. Specifically, following dynamic exposure to FBS, multicomponent liposomes were less enriched in complement proteins and appreciably more enriched in apolipoproteins and acute phase proteins (e.g. alpha-1-antitrypsin and inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain H3) that are involved in relevant interactions between nanoparticles and living systems. Supported by our results, we speculate that efficient predictive modeling of nanoparticle behavior in vivo will require accurate knowledge of nanoparticle-specific protein fingerprints in circulating biological media.When nanoparticles come into contact with biological media, they are covered by a biomolecular `corona', which confers a new identity to the particles. In all the studies reported so far nanoparticles are incubated with isolated plasma or serum that are used as a model for protein adsorption. Anyway, bodily fluids are dynamic in nature so the question arises on whether the incubation protocol, i.e. dynamic vs. static incubation, could affect the composition and structure of the biomolecular corona. Here we let

  12. Biomolecular detection with an interferometric microfiber-capillary optofluidic sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Lili; Jin, Long; Guan, Bai-Ou

    2017-04-01

    We have developed a chip-scale optofluidic sensor for biomolecular detection, by tapering laterally aligned silica microfiber and capillary to form a modal interferometer. With the pre-immobilization of DNA probes, the sensor is capable of selectively detecting single-stranded microRNA-let7a (molecular weight: 6.5 k) by measuring the spectral shift of the interferometric spectrum. A log-linear response from 2 nM to 20 μM and a minimum detectable concentration of 212 pM (1.43 ng/mL) have been achieved. The sensor is promising for future diagnosis applications due to its high sensitivity, resistance to environmental perturbations, improved portability, and intrinsic connection to fiber optic measurement.

  13. The role of dynamic conformational ensembles in biomolecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Boehr, David D; Nussinov, Ruth; Wright, Peter E

    2009-11-01

    Molecular recognition is central to all biological processes. For the past 50 years, Koshland's 'induced fit' hypothesis has been the textbook explanation for molecular recognition events. However, recent experimental evidence supports an alternative mechanism. 'Conformational selection' postulates that all protein conformations pre-exist, and the ligand selects the most favored conformation. Following binding the ensemble undergoes a population shift, redistributing the conformational states. Both conformational selection and induced fit appear to play roles. Following binding by a primary conformational selection event, optimization of side chain and backbone interactions is likely to proceed by an induced fit mechanism. Conformational selection has been observed for protein-ligand, protein-protein, protein-DNA, protein-RNA and RNA-ligand interactions. These data support a new molecular recognition paradigm for processes as diverse as signaling, catalysis, gene regulation and protein aggregation in disease, which has the potential to significantly impact our views and strategies in drug design, biomolecular engineering and molecular evolution.

  14. Nanostructured biomolecular detectors: pushing performance at the nanoscale.

    PubMed

    Cederquist, Kristin B; Kelley, Shana O

    2012-08-01

    Nanomaterial-based biosensing strategies offer a number of advantages over traditional molecular diagnostic and cellular analysis techniques, including signal amplification, improved sensitivity and speed, and versatile sensing schemes that can be tailored to a desired target. In this article, we highlight a variety of nanomaterial-based sensors, and discuss the advantages of different nanomaterials compositions and probes of different biomolecular classes. Recent advances in the development of optical, electrical, or electrochemical transduction mechanisms are covered, with special regard to breakthroughs in sensitivity. The works reviewed herein emphasize the improvements that nanomaterials offer in the realm of diagnostic assays and make a solid case for further advancement with automation and multiplexing. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Design and implementation of a biomolecular concentration tracker.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Victoria; de los Santos, Emmanuel L C; Whitaker, Weston R; Dueber, John E; Murray, Richard M

    2015-02-20

    As a field, synthetic biology strives to engineer increasingly complex artificial systems in living cells. Active feedback in closed loop systems offers a dynamic and adaptive way to ensure constant relative activity independent of intrinsic and extrinsic noise. In this work, we use synthetic protein scaffolds as a modular and tunable mechanism for concentration tracking through negative feedback. Input to the circuit initiates scaffold production, leading to colocalization of a two-component system and resulting in the production of an inhibitory antiscaffold protein. Using a combination of modeling and experimental work, we show that the biomolecular concentration tracker circuit achieves dynamic protein concentration tracking in Escherichia coli and that steady state outputs can be tuned.

  16. Biomolecular interactions at phospholipid-decorated surfaces of liquid crystals.

    PubMed

    Brake, Jeffrey M; Daschner, Maren K; Luk, Yan-Yeung; Abbott, Nicholas L

    2003-12-19

    The spontaneous assembly of phospholipids at planar interfaces between thermotropic liquid crystals and aqueous phases gives rise to patterned orientations of the liquid crystals that reflect the spatial and temporal organization of the phospholipids. Strong and weak specific-binding events involving proteins at these interfaces drive the reorganization of the phospholipids and trigger orientational transitions in the liquid crystals. Because these interfaces are fluid, processes involving the lateral organization of proteins (such as the formation of protein- and phospholipid-rich domains) are also readily imaged by the orientational response of the liquid crystal, as are stereospecific enzymatic events. These results provide principles for label-free monitoring of aqueous streams for molecular and biomolecular species without the need for complex instrumentation.

  17. Protein-Protein Interface and Disease: Perspective from Biomolecular Networks.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guang; Xiao, Fei; Li, Yuqian; Li, Yuan; Vongsangnak, Wanwipa

    Protein-protein interactions are involved in many important biological processes and molecular mechanisms of disease association. Structural studies of interfacial residues in protein complexes provide information on protein-protein interactions. Characterizing protein-protein interfaces, including binding sites and allosteric changes, thus pose an imminent challenge. With special focus on protein complexes, approaches based on network theory are proposed to meet this challenge. In this review we pay attention to protein-protein interfaces from the perspective of biomolecular networks and their roles in disease. We first describe the different roles of protein complexes in disease through several structural aspects of interfaces. We then discuss some recent advances in predicting hot spots and communication pathway analysis in terms of amino acid networks. Finally, we highlight possible future aspects of this area with respect to both methodology development and applications for disease treatment.

  18. Minimal metabolic pathway structure is consistent with associated biomolecular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bordbar, Aarash; Nagarajan, Harish; Lewis, Nathan E; Latif, Haythem; Ebrahim, Ali; Federowicz, Stephen; Schellenberger, Jan; Palsson, Bernhard O

    2014-01-01

    Pathways are a universal paradigm for functionally describing cellular processes. Even though advances in high-throughput data generation have transformed biology, the core of our biological understanding, and hence data interpretation, is still predicated on human-defined pathways. Here, we introduce an unbiased, pathway structure for genome-scale metabolic networks defined based on principles of parsimony that do not mimic canonical human-defined textbook pathways. Instead, these minimal pathways better describe multiple independent pathway-associated biomolecular interaction datasets suggesting a functional organization for metabolism based on parsimonious use of cellular components. We use the inherent predictive capability of these pathways to experimentally discover novel transcriptional regulatory interactions in Escherichia coli metabolism for three transcription factors, effectively doubling the known regulatory roles for Nac and MntR. This study suggests an underlying and fundamental principle in the evolutionary selection of pathway structures; namely, that pathways may be minimal, independent, and segregated. PMID:24987116

  19. Review of MEMS differential scanning calorimetry for biomolecular study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Shifeng; Wang, Shuyu; Lu, Ming; Zuo, Lei

    2017-07-01

    Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is one of the few techniques that allow direct determination of enthalpy values for binding reactions and conformational transitions in biomolecules. It provides the thermodynamics information of the biomolecules which consists of Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy in a straightforward manner that enables deep understanding of the structure function relationship in biomolecules such as the folding/unfolding of protein and DNA, and ligand bindings. This review provides an up to date overview of the applications of DSC in biomolecular study such as the bovine serum albumin denaturation study, the relationship between the melting point of lysozyme and the scanning rate. We also introduce the recent advances of the development of micro-electro-mechanic-system (MEMS) based DSCs.

  20. Hybrid organic semiconductor lasers for bio-molecular sensing.

    PubMed

    Haughey, Anne-Marie; Foucher, Caroline; Guilhabert, Benoit; Kanibolotsky, Alexander L; Skabara, Peter J; Burley, Glenn; Dawson, Martin D; Laurand, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Bio-functionalised luminescent organic semiconductors are attractive for biophotonics because they can act as efficient laser materials while simultaneously interacting with molecules. In this paper, we present and discuss a laser biosensor platform that utilises a gain layer made of such an organic semiconductor material. The simple structure of the sensor and its operation principle are described. Nanolayer detection is shown experimentally and analysed theoretically in order to assess the potential and the limits of the biosensor. The advantage conferred by the organic semiconductor is explained, and comparisons to laser sensors using alternative dye-doped materials are made. Specific biomolecular sensing is demonstrated, and routes to functionalisation with nucleic acid probes, and future developments opened up by this achievement, are highlighted. Finally, attractive formats for sensing applications are mentioned, as well as colloidal quantum dots, which in the future could be used in conjunction with organic semiconductors.

  1. Insights into cancer severity from biomolecular interaction mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Raimondi, Francesco; Singh, Gurdeep; Betts, Matthew J.; Apic, Gordana; Vukotic, Ranka; Andreone, Pietro; Stein, Lincoln; Russell, Robert B.

    2016-01-01

    To attain a deeper understanding of diseases like cancer, it is critical to couple genetics with biomolecular mechanisms. High-throughput sequencing has identified thousands of somatic mutations across dozens of cancers, and there is a pressing need to identify the few that are pathologically relevant. Here we use protein structure and interaction data to interrogate nonsynonymous somatic cancer mutations, identifying a set of 213 molecular interfaces (protein-protein, -small molecule or –nucleic acid) most often perturbed in cancer, highlighting several potentially novel cancer genes. Over half of these interfaces involve protein-small-molecule interactions highlighting their overall importance in cancer. We found distinct differences in the predominance of perturbed interfaces between cancers and histological subtypes and presence or absence of certain interfaces appears to correlate with cancer severity. PMID:27698488

  2. Evolution of biomolecular networks: lessons from metabolic and protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Takuji; Bork, Peer

    2009-11-01

    Despite only becoming popular at the beginning of this decade, biomolecular networks are now frameworks that facilitate many discoveries in molecular biology. The nodes of these networks are usually proteins (specifically enzymes in metabolic networks), whereas the links (or edges) are their interactions with other molecules. These networks are made up of protein-protein interactions or enzyme-enzyme interactions through shared metabolites in the case of metabolic networks. Evolutionary analysis has revealed that changes in the nodes and links in protein-protein interaction and metabolic networks are subject to different selection pressures owing to distinct topological features. However, many evolutionary constraints can be uncovered only if temporal and spatial aspects are included in the network analysis.

  3. Calculating free-energy profiles in biomolecular systems from fast nonequilibrium processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forney, Michael W.; Janosi, Lorant; Kosztin, Ioan

    2008-11-01

    Often gaining insight into the functioning of biomolecular systems requires to follow their dynamics along a microscopic reaction coordinate (RC) on a macroscopic time scale, which is beyond the reach of current all atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A practical approach to this inherently multiscale problem is to model the system as a fictitious overdamped Brownian particle that diffuses along the RC in the presence of an effective potential of mean force (PMF) due to the rest of the system. By employing the recently proposed FR method [I. Kosztin , J. Chem. Phys. 124, 064106 (2006)], which requires only a small number of fast nonequilibrium MD simulations of the system in both forward and time reversed directions along the RC, we reconstruct the PMF: (1) of deca-alanine as a function of its end-to-end distance, and (2) that guides the motion of potassium ions through the gramicidin A channel. In both cases the computed PMFs are found to be in good agreement with previous results obtained by different methods. Our approach appears to be about one order of magnitude faster than the other PMF calculation methods and, in addition, it also provides the position-dependent diffusion coefficient along the RC. Thus, the obtained PMF and diffusion coefficient can be used in an overdamped Brownian model to estimate important characteristics of the studied systems, e.g., the mean folding time of the stretched deca-alanine and the mean diffusion time of the potassium ion through gramicidin A.

  4. Middle and upper cretaceous amber from the Taimyr Peninsula, Siberia: Evidence for a new structural sub-class of resinite

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, K.B.

    1994-08-01

    Analysis of three amber (resinite) samples collected from Middle and Upper Cretaceous sediments in the Taimyr Peninsula, Siberia, indicates that these materials are based on copolymers of biformene (I) and communol (II). No resinites of similar structural character have previously been described and hence, these samples represent a previously unknown structural sub-class of resinite.

  5. First fossil Lamprosomatinae leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) with descriptions of new genera and species from Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Bukejs, Andris; Nadein, Konstantin

    2015-03-11

    In the current paper the first fossil representatives of leaf-beetles from the subfamily Lamprosomatinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) are described and illustrated from Upper Eocene Baltic amber: Succinoomorphus warchalowskii gen. et sp. nov., Archelamprosomius balticus gen. et sp. nov., and Archelamprosomius kirejtshuki sp. nov. A key to fossil Lamprosomatinae is provided.

  6. Evaluating the use of amber in palaeoatmospheric reconstructions: The carbon-isotope variability of modern and Cretaceous conifer resins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dal Corso, Jacopo; Schmidt, Alexander R.; Seyfullah, Leyla J.; Preto, Nereo; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Jenkyns, Hugh C.; Delclòs, Xavier; Néraudeau, Didier; Roghi, Guido

    2017-02-01

    Stable carbon-isotope geochemistry of fossilized tree resin (amber) potentially could be a very useful tool to infer the composition of past atmospheres. To test the reliability of amber as a proxy for the atmosphere, we studied the variability of modern resin δ13C at both local and global scales. An amber δ13C curve was then built for the Cretaceous, a period of abundant resin production, and interpreted in light of data from modern resins. Our data show that hardening changes the pristine δ13C value by causing a 13C-depletion in solid resin when compared to fresh liquid-viscous resin, probably due to the loss of 13C-enriched volatiles. Modern resin δ13C values vary as a function of physiological and environmental parameters in ways that are similar to those described for leaves and wood. Resin δ13C varies between plant species and localities, within the same tree and between different plant tissues by up to 6‰, and in general increases with increasing altitudes of the plant-growing site. We show that, as is the case with modern resin, Cretaceous amber δ13C has a high variability, generally higher than that of other fossil material. Despite the high natural variability, amber shows a negative 2.5-3‰ δ13C trend from the middle Early Cretaceous to the Maastrichtian that parallels published terrestrial δ13C records. This trend mirrors changes in the atmospheric δ13C calculated from the δ13C and δ18O of benthic foraminiferal tests, although the magnitude of the shift is larger in plant material than in the atmosphere. Increasing mean annual precipitation and pO2 could have enhanced plant carbon-isotope fractionation during the Late Cretaceous, whereas changing pCO2 levels seem to have had no effect on plant carbon-isotope fractionation. The results of this study suggest that amber is a powerful fossil plant material for palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions. Improvement of the resolution of the existing data coupled with more detailed

  7. A preliminary synopsis on amber scorpions with special reference to Burmite species: an extraordinary development of our knowledge in only 20 years

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Wilson R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A preliminary study on fossil scorpions found in amber, from the Lower Cretaceous through the Palaeocene and up to the Miocene is proposed. Scorpions remain rare among the arthropods found trapped in amber. Only 24 specimens are known from Cretaceous amber, representing eight families and subfamilies, ten genera and 21 species; in parallel, 10 specimens have been recorded from Baltic amber representing seven genera and ten species. A few more recent fossils from Dominican and Mexican amber have also been described. The present study of a new scorpion specimen from the Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burmite) resulted in the description of one new species, Betaburmesebuthus bellus sp. n. – belonging to the subfamily Palaeoburmesebuthinae Lourenço, 2015. The new description brings further elements to the clarification of the status of this subfamily, which is now raised to family level. Once again, this new Burmite element attests to the considerable degree of diversity in the Burmese amber-producing forests. PMID:27408601

  8. Characterization of am404, an amber mutation in the simian virus 40 T antigen gene.

    PubMed Central

    Rawlins, D R; Collis, P; Muzyczka, N

    1983-01-01

    We analyzed the biological activity of an amber mutation, am404, at map position 0.27 in the T antigen gene of simian virus 40. Immunoprecipitation of extracts from am404-infected cells demonstrated the presence of an amber protein fragment (am T antigen) of the expected molecular weight (67,000). Differential immunoprecipitation with monoclonal antibody demonstrated that am T antigen was missing the carboxy-terminal antigenic determinants. The amber mutant was shown to be defective for most of the functions associated with wild-type T antigen. The mutant did not replicate autonomously, but this defect could be complemented by a helper virus (D. R. Rawlins and N. Muzyczka, J. Virol. 36:611-616, 1980). The mutant failed to transform nonpermissive rodent cells and did not relieve the host range restriction of adenovirus 2 in monkey cells. However, stimulation of host cell DNA, whose functional region domain has been mapped within that portion of the protein synthesized by the mutant, could be demonstrated in am404-infected cells. A number of unexpected observations were made. First, the am T antigen was produced in unusually large amounts in a simian virus 40-transformed monkey cell line (COS-1), but overproduction was not seen in nontransformed monkey cells regardless of whether or not a helper virus was present. This feature of the mutant was presumably the result of the inability of am T antigen to autoregulate, the level of wild-type T antigen in COS-1 cells, and the unusually short half-life of am T antigen in vivo. Pulse-chase experiments indicated that am T antigen had an intracellular half-life of approximately 10 min. In addition, although the am T antigen retained the major phosphorylation site found in simian virus 40 T antigen, it was not phosphorylated. Thus, phosphorylation of simian virus 40 T antigen is not required for the stimulation of host cell DNA synthesis. Finally, fusion of am404-infected monkey cells with Escherichia coli protoplasts

  9. Evaluating time-reminder strategies before amber: common signal, green flashing and green countdown.

    PubMed

    Huang, Helai; Wang, Duo; Zheng, Liang; Li, Xiaoqing

    2014-10-01

    The safety level of signalized intersection depends greatly on drivers' decision-making behaviors, which are significantly influenced by the time-reminder strategy before amber of the signal device. However, previous related studies are mainly based on the statistical results from the field data rather than explore the influence mechanism of the signal device on the signalized intersection's safety level. Therefore, this study aims to find out how these three typical signal devices with various time-reminder strategies, i.e., common signal device (CSD), green signal flashing device (GSFD), and green signal countdown device (GSCD), affect drivers' decision-making processes during the period from the end of the green phase to the onset of the red phase (i.e., G2R) and then evaluate their safety performance from the aspect of RLR violations. Firstly, an overall decision-making framework during G2R is presented to describe the driver-signal interaction and encloses four decision-making processes, which can be analyzed and modeled based on the field data collected from six signalized intersections in Changsha, China. Empirical analyses show that the time point of decision-making before amber under GSCD is the earliest and that under CSD is the latest, which can also be modeled and reproduced by back propagation neural network (BPNN). After that, five binary logistic regression models are developed to determine the safety effect during other various processes and results show that red-light-running (RLR) violations are not only dependent on the range of dilemma zones (DZ) but also substantially on stop and go decisions of those vehicles in DZ, both of which are the potential cause and direct factors to RLR violations and found to be significantly affected by the time-reminder strategy of the green signal device. Finally, although GSCD stimulates the drivers in DZ to choose to cross the intersection during amber, which produces a higher RLR risk compared with CSD and GSFD

  10. Insights into molecular chemistry of Chiapas amber using infrared-light microscopy, PIXE/RBS, and sulfur K-edge XANES spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riquelme, Francisco; Northrup, Paul; Ruvalcaba-Sil, José Luis; Stojanoff, Vivian; Peter Siddons, D.; Alvarado-Ortega, Jesús

    2014-07-01

    Chiapas amber is a natural occurring fossil resin structurally composed of long macromolecule chains with semicrystalline phases associated with both fossil and polymerization process. The most conspicuous characteristic of this fossil polymer is that it preserves ancient organic inclusions. In the present work, PIXE/RBS spectrometry (particle-induced X-ray emission/Rutherford backscattering) were combined with complementary K-edge XANES spectroscopy (X-ray absorption near-edge structure) to identify the amount of sulfur in Chiapas amber. Initially, the amber samples were examined using infrared reflected photomicrography. Amber is transparent to infrared light and so embedded plants and animals are easily visible, showing them in extraordinary detail, as if they were immersed in a water-like solution. The PIXE/RBS data show that the proportion of sulfur in amber is significantly higher than that found in recently formed resins, consistent with the biogeochemical process that transforms the resin into amber during long-term burial in geological deposits. The sulfur K-edge XANES spectra from amber confirm the sulfur abundance and reveal sulfur species in the reduced and intermediate oxidation states in amber. Almost no oxidized sulfur was found, whereas the recent resins show mostly oxidized sulfur fractions. This indicates that labile oxidized sulfur decays during fossilization and resin maturation must occur under conditions of oxygen depletion. The implications of the presence of sulfur in amber for organic preservation is also discussed here. Sulfur compounds work as a polymer additive that promotes intense resin solidification. This restricts the early oxidant-specific biodegradation of the embedded biomatter and, over geological time, provides greater stability against chemical changes.

  11. Microbe-like inclusions in tree resins and implications for the fossil record of protists in amber.

    PubMed

    Thiel, V; Lausmaa, J; Sjövall, P; Ragazzi, E; Seyfullah, L J; Schmidt, A R

    2016-07-01

    During the past two decades, a plethora of fossil micro-organisms have been described from various Triassic to Miocene ambers. However, in addition to entrapped microbes, ambers commonly contain microscopic inclusions that sometimes resemble amoebae, ciliates, microfungi, and unicellular algae in size and shape, but do not provide further diagnostic features thereof. For a better assessment of the actual fossil record of unicellular eukaryotes in amber, we studied equivalent inclusions in modern resin of the Araucariaceae; this conifer family comprises important amber-producers in Earth history. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), we investigated the chemical nature of the inclusion matter and the resin matrix. Whereas the matrix, as expected, showed a more hydrocarbon/aromatic-dominated composition, the inclusions contain abundant salt ions and polar organics. However, the absence of signals characteristic for cellular biomass, namely distinctive proteinaceous amino acids and lipid moieties, indicates that the inclusions do not contain microbial cellular matter but salts and hydrophilic organic substances that probably derived from the plant itself. Rather than representing protists or their remains, these microbe-like inclusions, for which we propose the term 'pseudoinclusions', consist of compounds that are immiscible with the terpenoid resin matrix and were probably secreted in small amounts together with the actual resin by the plant tissue. Consequently, reports of protists from amber that are only based on the similarity of the overall shape and size to extant taxa, but do not provide relevant features at light-microscopical and ultrastructural level, cannot be accepted as unambiguous fossil evidence for these particular groups. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. DockScreen: A database of in silico biomolecular interactions to support computational toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have developed DockScreen, a database of in silico biomolecular interactions designed to enable rational molecular toxicological insight within a computational toxicology framework. This database is composed of chemical/target (receptor and enzyme) binding scores calculated by...

  13. DockScreen: A database of in silico biomolecular interactions to support computational toxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have developed DockScreen, a database of in silico biomolecular interactions designed to enable rational molecular toxicological insight within a computational toxicology framework. This database is composed of chemical/target (receptor and enzyme) binding scores calculated by...

  14. Electrochemical Behavior of Disposable Electrodes Prepared by Ion Beam Based Surface Modification for Biomolecular Recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Erdem, A.; Karadeniz, H.; Caliskan, A.; Urkac, E. Sokullu; Oztarhan, A.; Oks, E.; Nikolayev, A.

    2009-03-10

    Many important technological advances have been made in the development of technologies to monitor interactions and recognition events of biomolecules in solution and on solid substrates. The development of advanced biosensors could impact significantly the areas of genomics, proteomics, biomedical diagnostics and drug discovery. In the literature, there have recently appeared an impressive number of intensive designs for electrochemical monitoring of biomolecular recognition. Herein, the influence of ion implanted disposable graphite electrodes on biomolecular recognition and their electrochemical behaviour was investigated.

  15. Biomolecular Stress-Sensitive Gauges: Surface-Mediated Immobilization of Mechanosensitive Membrane Protein

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-01-01

    Immobilization of Mechanosensitive Membrane Protein 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER...8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 Biomolecular Stress-Sensitive Gauges: Surface-Mediated Immobilization of Mechanosensitive Membrane Protein...biomolecular gauges.1 Studies of a mechanosensitive protein of large conductance (MscL) had shown that a dramatic change in the protein conformation

  16. Combinatorial Biomolecular Nanopatterning for High-Throughput Screening of Stem-Cell Behavior.

    PubMed

    Amin, Yacoub Y I; Runager, Kasper; Simoes, Fabio; Celiz, Adam; Taresco, Vincenzo; Rossi, Roberto; Enghild, Jan J; Abildtrup, Lisbeth A; Kraft, David C E; Sutherland, Duncan S; Alexander, Morgan R; Foss, Morten; Ogaki, Ryosuke

    2016-02-17

    A novel combinatorial biomolecular nanopatterning method is reported, in which multiple biomolecular ligands can be patterned in multiple nanoscale dimensions on a single surface. The applicability of the combinatorial platform toward cell-biology applications is demonstrated by screening the adhesion behavior of a population of human dental pulp stem cell (hDPSC) on 64 combinations of nanopatterned extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in parallel.

  17. Moth flies and sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Cretaceous Burmese amber

    PubMed Central

    Solórzano Kraemer, Mónica M.; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; Wagner, Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    One new subfamily, four new genera and 10 new species of Psychodidae are described from Burmese amber which significantly increases our knowledge about this group in the Cretaceous. Protopsychodinae n. subfam. probably represents the oldest known ancestor of modern Psychodinae and includes three species within two genera: Datzia setosa gen. et sp. n., Datzia bispina gen. et sp. n., and Mandalayia beumersorum gen. et sp. n. Sycoracinae and Phlebotominae are represented by two genera each in the studied material, Palaeoparasycorax globosus gen. et sp. n., Palaeoparasycorax suppus gen. et sp. n., Parasycorax simplex sp. n., and Phlebotomites aphoe sp. n. and Phlebotomus vetus sp. n., respectively. Bruchomyiinae is represented by Nemopalpus quadrispiculatus sp. n. Furthermore, one genus of an incertae sedis subfamily, Bamara groehni gen. et sp. n., is described. The systematic positions of the new taxa are discussed. PMID:26401462

  18. ESR characterization of point defects in amber colored c-BN super abrasive powders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nistor, S. V.; Ghica, D.; Stefan, M.; Bouwen, A.; Goovaerts, E.

    2004-09-01

    Cubic boron nitride (c-BN) crystalline superabrasive powder (Borazon* CBN 400), consisting of 200-300 microns sized amber colored crystallites prepared by HP/HT synthesis, has been examined from 2.1 K to 293 K by X-band ESR spectroscopy. The observed spectrum consists of a component line A1, visible in the whole temperature range, and two component lines A2 and A3, visible at high and low temperatures, respectively. The A1 and A3 lines originate from transitions inside S = 1/2 ground states of distinct paramagnetic species and A2 from transitions inside an excited state of another paramagnetic center. The intensity of the A1 and A3 lines changes differently during in situ low temperature illumination in the UV-VIS range.* Borazon is a registered trademark of Diamond Innovations, Inc.

  19. The early evolution of feathers: fossil evidence from Cretaceous amber of France.

    PubMed

    Perrichot, Vincent; Marion, Loïc; Néraudeau, Didier; Vullo, Romain; Tafforeau, Paul

    2008-05-22

    The developmental stages of feathers are of major importance in the evolution of body covering and the origin of avian flight. Until now, there were significant gaps in knowledge of early morphologies in theoretical stages of feathers as well as in palaeontological material. Here we report fossil evidence of an intermediate and critical stage in the incremental evolution of feathers which has been predicted by developmental theories but hitherto undocumented by evidence from both the recent and the fossil records. Seven feathers have been found in an Early Cretaceous (Late Albian, ca 100 Myr) amber of western France, which display a flattened shaft composed by the still distinct and incompletely fused bases of the barbs forming two irregular vanes. Considering their remarkably primitive features, and since recent discoveries have yielded feathers of modern type in some derived theropod dinosaurs, the Albian feathers from France might have been derived either from an early bird or from a non-avian dinosaur.

  20. Aboard a spider—a complex developmental strategy fossilized in amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohl, Michael

    2011-05-01

    Mantid flies (Mantispidae) are an unusual group of lacewings (Neuroptera). Adults markedly resemble mantids in their general appearance and predatory behavior. The larvae of most mantispids exclusively prey on spider eggs, whereby the first instar larva is highly mobile and active and the other two larval stages immobile and maggot like. One of the larval strategies to pursue spider eggs is spider-boarding. Here, I report on the first record of a fossil mantispid larva. It was found in Middle Eocene Baltic amber, and it is the first record of Mantispidae from this deposit. The larva is attached to a clubionoid spider in a position typical for most mantispid larvae, and, thus, it is also the first fossil record of this complex larval behavior and development.