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Sample records for amber biomolecular simulation

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Introduction. Biomolecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Mulholland, Adrian J

    2008-12-01

    '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.

  4. 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

  5. Exploring Biomolecular Recognition by Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wade, Rebecca

    2007-12-01

    Biomolecular recognition is complex. The balance between the different molecular properties that contribute to molecular recognition, such as shape, electrostatics, dynamics and entropy, varies from case to case. This, along with the extent of experimental characterization, influences the choice of appropriate computational approaches to study biomolecular interactions. I will present computational studies in which we aim to make concerted use of bioinformatics, biochemical network modeling and molecular simulation techniques to study protein-protein and protein-small molecule interactions and to facilitate computer-aided drug design.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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 . PMID:24830957

  11. 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

  12. Improved model of hydrated calcium ion for molecular dynamics simulations using classical biomolecular force fields.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Jejoong; Wilson, James; Aksimentiev, Aleksei

    2016-10-01

    Calcium ions (Ca(2+) ) play key roles in various fundamental biological processes such as cell signaling and brain function. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been used to study such interactions, however, the accuracy of the Ca(2+) models provided by the standard MD force fields has not been rigorously tested. Here, we assess the performance of the Ca(2+) models from the most popular classical force fields AMBER and CHARMM by computing the osmotic pressure of model compounds and the free energy of DNA-DNA interactions. In the simulations performed using the two standard models, Ca(2+) ions are seen to form artificial clusters with chloride, acetate, and phosphate species; the osmotic pressure of CaAc2 and CaCl2 solutions is a small fraction of the experimental values for both force fields. Using the standard parameterization of Ca(2+) ions in the simulations of Ca(2+) -mediated DNA-DNA interactions leads to qualitatively wrong outcomes: both AMBER and CHARMM simulations suggest strong inter-DNA attraction whereas, in experiment, DNA molecules repel one another. The artificial attraction of Ca(2+) to DNA phosphate is strong enough to affect the direction of the electric field-driven translocation of DNA through a solid-state nanopore. To address these shortcomings of the standard Ca(2+) model, we introduce a custom model of a hydrated Ca(2+) ion and show that using our model brings the results of the above MD simulations in quantitative agreement with experiment. Our improved model of Ca(2+) can be readily applied to MD simulations of various biomolecular systems, including nucleic acids, proteins and lipid bilayer membranes. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 105: 752-763, 2016.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26331258

  15. Using FPGA Devices to Accelerate Biomolecular Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Alam, Sadaf R; Agarwal, Pratul K; Smith, Melissa C; Vetter, Jeffrey S; Caliga, David E

    2007-03-01

    A field-programmable gate array implementation of the particle-mesh Ewald a molecular dynamics simulation method reduces the microprocessor time-to-solution by a factor of three while using only high-level languages. The application speedup on FPGA devices increases with the problem size. The authors use a performance model to analyze the potential of simulating large-scale biological systems faster than many cluster-based supercomputing platforms.

  16. Energy Efficient Biomolecular Simulations with FPGA-based Reconfigurable Computing

    SciTech Connect

    Hampton, Scott S; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2010-05-01

    Reconfigurable computing (RC) is being investigated as a hardware solution for improving time-to-solution for biomolecular simulations. A number of popular molecular dynamics (MD) codes are used to study various aspects of biomolecules. These codes are now capable of simulating nanosecond time-scale trajectories per day on conventional microprocessor-based hardware, but biomolecular processes often occur at the microsecond time-scale or longer. A wide gap exists between the desired and achievable simulation capability; therefore, there is considerable interest in alternative algorithms and hardware for improving the time-to-solution of MD codes. The fine-grain parallelism provided by Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) combined with their low power consumption make them an attractive solution for improving the performance of MD simulations. In this work, we use an FPGA-based coprocessor to accelerate the compute-intensive calculations of LAMMPS, a popular MD code, achieving up to 5.5 fold speed-up on the non-bonded force computations of the particle mesh Ewald method and up to 2.2 fold speed-up in overall time-to-solution, and potentially an increase by a factor of 9 in power-performance efficiencies for the pair-wise computations. The results presented here provide an example of the multi-faceted benefits to an application in a heterogeneous computing environment.

  17. GROMOS++ Software for the Analysis of Biomolecular Simulation Trajectories.

    PubMed

    Eichenberger, Andreas P; Allison, Jane R; Dolenc, Jožica; Geerke, Daan P; Horta, Bruno A C; Meier, Katharina; Oostenbrink, Chris; Schmid, Nathan; Steiner, Denise; Wang, Dongqi; van Gunsteren, Wilfred F

    2011-10-11

    GROMOS++ is a set of C++ programs for pre- and postprocessing of molecular dynamics simulation trajectories and as such is part of the GROningen MOlecular Simulation software for (bio)molecular simulation. It contains more than 70 programs that can be used to prepare data for the production of molecular simulation trajectories and to analyze these. These programs are reviewed and the various structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic quantities that can be analyzed using time series, correlation functions, and distributions are described together with technical aspects of their implementation in GROMOS. A few examples of the use of GROMOS++ for the analysis of MD trajectories are given. A full list of all GROMOS++ programs, together with an indication of their capabilities, is given in the Appendix . PMID:26598168

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. Optimal utilization of heterogeneous resources for biomolecular simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Hampton, Scott S; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2010-01-01

    Biomolecular simulations have traditionally benefited from increases in the processor clock speed and coarse-grain inter-node parallelism on large-scale clusters. With stagnating clock frequencies, the evolutionary path for performance of microprocessors is maintained by virtue of core multiplication. Graphical processing units (GPUs) offer revolutionary performance potential at the cost of increased programming complexity. Furthermore, it has been extremely challenging to effectively utilize heterogeneous resources (host processor and GPU cores) for scientific simulations, as underlying systems, programming models and tools are continually evolving. In this paper, we present a parametric study demonstrating approaches to exploit resources of heterogeneous systems to reduce time-to-solution of a production-level application for biological simulations. By overlapping and pipelining computation and communication, we observe up to 10-fold application acceleration in multi-core and multi-GPU environments illustrating significant performance improvements over code acceleration approaches, where the host-to-accelerator ratio is static, and is constrained by a given algorithmic implementation.

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

    PubMed

    Pang, Yuan-Ping

    2016-10-01

    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 sp(3) 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Towards an accurate representation of electrostatics in classical force fields: Efficient implementation of multipolar interactions in biomolecular simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagui, Celeste; Pedersen, Lee G.; Darden, Thomas A.

    2004-01-01

    The accurate simulation of biologically active macromolecules faces serious limitations that originate in the treatment of electrostatics in the empirical force fields. The current use of "partial charges" is a significant source of errors, since these vary widely with different conformations. By contrast, the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) obtained through the use of a distributed multipole moment description, has been shown to converge to the quantum MEP outside the van der Waals surface, when higher order multipoles are used. However, in spite of the considerable improvement to the representation of the electronic cloud, higher order multipoles are not part of current classical biomolecular force fields due to the excessive computational cost. In this paper we present an efficient formalism for the treatment of higher order multipoles in Cartesian tensor formalism. The Ewald "direct sum" is evaluated through a McMurchie-Davidson formalism [L. McMurchie and E. Davidson, J. Comput. Phys. 26, 218 (1978)]. The "reciprocal sum" has been implemented in three different ways: using an Ewald scheme, a particle mesh Ewald (PME) method, and a multigrid-based approach. We find that even though the use of the McMurchie-Davidson formalism considerably reduces the cost of the calculation with respect to the standard matrix implementation of multipole interactions, the calculation in direct space remains expensive. When most of the calculation is moved to reciprocal space via the PME method, the cost of a calculation where all multipolar interactions (up to hexadecapole-hexadecapole) are included is only about 8.5 times more expensive than a regular AMBER 7 [D. A. Pearlman et al., Comput. Phys. Commun. 91, 1 (1995)] implementation with only charge-charge interactions. The multigrid implementation is slower but shows very promising results for parallelization. It provides a natural way to interface with continuous, Gaussian-based electrostatics in the future. It is

  7. Towards an accurate representation of electrostatics in classical force fields: efficient implementation of multipolar interactions in biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Sagui, Celeste; Pedersen, Lee G; Darden, Thomas A

    2004-01-01

    The accurate simulation of biologically active macromolecules faces serious limitations that originate in the treatment of electrostatics in the empirical force fields. The current use of "partial charges" is a significant source of errors, since these vary widely with different conformations. By contrast, the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) obtained through the use of a distributed multipole moment description, has been shown to converge to the quantum MEP outside the van der Waals surface, when higher order multipoles are used. However, in spite of the considerable improvement to the representation of the electronic cloud, higher order multipoles are not part of current classical biomolecular force fields due to the excessive computational cost. In this paper we present an efficient formalism for the treatment of higher order multipoles in Cartesian tensor formalism. The Ewald "direct sum" is evaluated through a McMurchie-Davidson formalism [L. McMurchie and E. Davidson, J. Comput. Phys. 26, 218 (1978)]. The "reciprocal sum" has been implemented in three different ways: using an Ewald scheme, a particle mesh Ewald (PME) method, and a multigrid-based approach. We find that even though the use of the McMurchie-Davidson formalism considerably reduces the cost of the calculation with respect to the standard matrix implementation of multipole interactions, the calculation in direct space remains expensive. When most of the calculation is moved to reciprocal space via the PME method, the cost of a calculation where all multipolar interactions (up to hexadecapole-hexadecapole) are included is only about 8.5 times more expensive than a regular AMBER 7 [D. A. Pearlman et al., Comput. Phys. Commun. 91, 1 (1995)] implementation with only charge-charge interactions. The multigrid implementation is slower but shows very promising results for parallelization. It provides a natural way to interface with continuous, Gaussian-based electrostatics in the future. It is

  8. 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

  9. Development of an informatics infrastructure for data exchange of biomolecular simulations: Architecture, data models and ontology.

    PubMed

    Thibault, J C; Roe, D R; Eilbeck, K; Cheatham Iii, 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Götz, Andreas W; Williamson, Mark J; Xu, Dong; Poole, Duncan; Le Grand, Scott; Walker, Ross C

    2012-05-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:27547799

  15. Routine Microsecond Molecular Dynamics Simulations with AMBER on GPUs. 2. Explicit Solvent Particle Mesh Ewald.

    PubMed

    Salomon-Ferrer, Romelia; Götz, Andreas W; Poole, Duncan; Le Grand, Scott; Walker, Ross C

    2013-09-10

    We present an implementation of explicit solvent all atom classical molecular dynamics (MD) within the AMBER program package that runs entirely on CUDA-enabled GPUs. First released publicly in April 2010 as part of version 11 of the AMBER MD package and further improved and optimized over the last two years, this implementation supports the three most widely used statistical mechanical ensembles (NVE, NVT, and NPT), uses particle mesh Ewald (PME) for the long-range electrostatics, and runs entirely on CUDA-enabled NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs), providing results that are statistically indistinguishable from the traditional CPU version of the software and with performance that exceeds that achievable by the CPU version of AMBER software running on all conventional CPU-based clusters and supercomputers. We briefly discuss three different precision models developed specifically for this work (SPDP, SPFP, and DPDP) and highlight the technical details of the approach as it extends beyond previously reported work [Götz et al., J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2012, DOI: 10.1021/ct200909j; Le Grand et al., Comp. Phys. Comm. 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.cpc.2012.09.022].We highlight the substantial improvements in performance that are seen over traditional CPU-only machines and provide validation of our implementation and precision models. We also provide evidence supporting our decision to deprecate the previously described fully single precision (SPSP) model from the latest release of the AMBER software package. PMID:26592383

  16. Routine Microsecond Molecular Dynamics Simulations with AMBER on GPUs. 2. Explicit Solvent Particle Mesh Ewald.

    PubMed

    Salomon-Ferrer, Romelia; Götz, Andreas W; Poole, Duncan; Le Grand, Scott; Walker, Ross C

    2013-09-10

    We present an implementation of explicit solvent all atom classical molecular dynamics (MD) within the AMBER program package that runs entirely on CUDA-enabled GPUs. First released publicly in April 2010 as part of version 11 of the AMBER MD package and further improved and optimized over the last two years, this implementation supports the three most widely used statistical mechanical ensembles (NVE, NVT, and NPT), uses particle mesh Ewald (PME) for the long-range electrostatics, and runs entirely on CUDA-enabled NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs), providing results that are statistically indistinguishable from the traditional CPU version of the software and with performance that exceeds that achievable by the CPU version of AMBER software running on all conventional CPU-based clusters and supercomputers. We briefly discuss three different precision models developed specifically for this work (SPDP, SPFP, and DPDP) and highlight the technical details of the approach as it extends beyond previously reported work [Götz et al., J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2012, DOI: 10.1021/ct200909j; Le Grand et al., Comp. Phys. Comm. 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.cpc.2012.09.022].We highlight the substantial improvements in performance that are seen over traditional CPU-only machines and provide validation of our implementation and precision models. We also provide evidence supporting our decision to deprecate the previously described fully single precision (SPSP) model from the latest release of the AMBER software package.

  17. 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.

  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. Strike a balance: optimization of backbone torsion parameters of AMBER polarizable force field for simulations of proteins and peptides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Xiang; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Chun; Lei, Hongxing; Cieplak, Piotr; Duan, Yong

    2006-04-30

    Based on the AMBER polarizable model (ff02), we have re-optimized the parameters related to the main-chain (Phi, Psi) torsion angles by fitting to the Boltzmann-weighted average quantum mechanical (QM) energies of the important regions (i.e., beta, P(II), alpha(R), and alpha(L) 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 beta, P(II) and alpha(R) 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Conformational dynamics of HIV-1 protease: a comparative molecular dynamics simulation study with multiple amber force fields.

    PubMed

    Meher, Biswa Ranjan; Kumar, Mattaparthi Venkata Satish; Sharma, Smriti; Bandyopadhyay, Pradipta

    2012-12-01

    Flap dynamics of HIV-1 protease (HIV-pr) controls the entry of inhibitors and substrates to the active site. Dynamical models from previous simulations are not all consistent with each other and not all are supported by the NMR results. In the present work, the effect of force field on the dynamics of HIV-pr is investigated by MD simulations using three AMBER force fields ff99, ff99SB, and ff03. The generalized order parameters for amide backbone are calculated from the three force fields and compared with the NMR S2 values. We found that the ff99SB and ff03 force field calculated order parameters agree reasonably well with the NMR S2 values, whereas ff99 calculated values deviate most from the NMR order parameters. Stereochemical geometry of protein models from each force field also agrees well with the remarks from NMR S2 values. However, between ff99SB and ff03, there are several differences, most notably in the loop regions. It is found that these loops are, in general, more flexible in the ff03 force field. This results in a larger active site cavity in the simulation with the ff03 force field. The effect of this difference in computer-aided drug design against flexible receptors is discussed.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2013-04-01

    biomolecular simulations. PMID:23406326

  8. 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.

  9. Lipid14: The Amber Lipid Force Field.

    PubMed

    Dickson, Callum J; Madej, Benjamin D; Skjevik, Age A; Betz, Robin M; Teigen, Knut; Gould, Ian R; Walker, Ross C

    2014-02-11

    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.

  10. 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.; Yeom, Min Sun; Eastman, Peter K.; Lemkul, Justin A.; Wei, Shuai; Buckner, Joshua; Jeong, Jong Cheol; Qi, Yifei; et al

    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

  11. 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.

  12. PUPIL: A Software Integration System for Multi-Scale QM/MM-MD Simulations and Its Application to Biomolecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Torras, Juan; Roberts, Benjamin P; Seabra, Gustavo M; Trickey, Samuel B

    2015-01-01

    PUPIL (Program for User Package Interfacing and Linking) implements a distinctive multi-scale approach to hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical molecular dynamics (QM/MM-MD) simulations. Originally developed to interface different external programs for multi-scale simulation with applications in the materials sciences, PUPIL is finding increasing use in the study of complex biological systems. Advanced MD techniques from the external packages can be applied readily to a hybrid QM/MM treatment in which the forces and energy for the QM region can be computed by any of the QM methods available in any of the other external packages. Here, we give a survey of PUPIL design philosophy, main features, and key implementation decisions, with an orientation to biomolecular simulation. We discuss recently implemented features which enable highly realistic simulations of complex biological systems which have more than one active site that must be treated concurrently. Examples are given.

  13. AMBER data reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatulli, E.; Duvert, G.

    2007-10-01

    This course describes the data reduction process of the AMBER instrument, the three beam-recombiner of the very large telescope interferometer (VLTI). In body of this paper, we develop its principles from a theoretical point of view and we illustrate the main points with examples taken from the practical AMBER data reduction session given during school. The detailed practical application making use of the ESO gasgano tool is then presented. In this lecture, we particularly emphasize what the AMBER data reduction process is (i) a fit of the interferogram in the detector plane, (ii) using an a priori calibration of the instrument, where (iii) the complex visibility of the source is estimated from a least-square determination of a linear inverse problem, and where (iv) the derived AMBER observables are the squared visibility, the closure phase, and the spectral differential phase.

  14. Evaluating the strength of salt bridges: a comparison of current biomolecular force fields.

    PubMed

    Debiec, Karl T; Gronenborn, Angela M; Chong, Lillian T

    2014-06-19

    Recent advances in computer hardware and software have made rigorous evaluation of current biomolecular force fields using microsecond-scale simulations possible. Force fields differ in their treatment of electrostatic interactions, including the formation of salt bridges in proteins. Here we conducted an extensive evaluation of salt bridge interactions in the latest AMBER, CHARMM, and OPLS force fields, using microsecond-scale molecular dynamics simulations of amino acid analogues in explicit solvent. We focused on salt bridges between three different pairs of oppositely charged amino acids: Arg/Asp, Lys/Asp, and His(+)/Asp. Our results reveal considerable variability in the predicted KA values of the salt bridges for these force fields, as well as differences from experimental data: almost all of the force fields overestimate the strengths of the salt bridges. When amino acids are represented by side-chain analogues, the AMBER ff03 force field overestimates the KA values the least, while for complete amino acids, the AMBER ff13α force field yields the lowest KA value, most likely caused by an altered balance of side-chain/side-chain and side-chain/backbone contacts. These findings confirm the notion that the implicit incorporation of solvent polarization improves the accuracy of modeling salt bridge interactions.

  15. 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

    2016-08-01

    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

  16. 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

    2016-08-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Studies of synthetic protein models designed for biomolecular materials applications and model ion channels via molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Hongling

    MD simulation has become an established and powerful tool to study large macromolecular systems including proteins in explicit solvent. Here simulation is applied to two types of synthetic protein models developed for biomolecular materials applications and for understanding complex biological problems, respectively. The simulation work presented in this thesis aims to facilitate the interpretation of experimental data and to provide detailed structural and dynamic information of protein models inaccessible by experiments. Several synthetic protein models have been investigated in this thesis. Firstly, the structure and dynamics of a de novo designed amphiphilic 4-alpha-helix bundle protein model capable of binding biological metallo-porphyrin cofactors are examined. The simulation results are in agreement with the experimental structural determinations available at lower resolution and limited dimension. Then the work proceeds to incorporate a more comprehensive nonbiological conjugated chromophore into this peptide model. The results show that the protein module plays an important role in controlling the chromophore's conformation and dynamics that are critical to optimize its functionality. Secondly, based on the success of the first work, simulation is utilized to test the viability and help improve the design of two computational designed multi-metalloporphyrins binding protein assemblies, which have different structural features and potential applications. Thirdly, the protein model idea is applied to study the mechanism of the general anesthetic binding as well. The simplified model allows for more sophisticated physical techniques, such as infrared spectroscopy, to be used. MD simulation correctly predicts the infrared frequency shift of the vibrational probes at the binding site in the presence of anesthetics. It also provides the interpretation to the experimental results and reveals the nature of the weak bonding between anesthetics and the model ion

  19. Lipid14: The Amber Lipid Force Field.

    PubMed

    Dickson, Callum J; Madej, Benjamin D; Skjevik, Age A; Betz, Robin M; Teigen, Knut; Gould, Ian R; Walker, Ross C

    2014-02-11

    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

  20. Comparison of Secondary Structure Formation Using 10 Different Force Fields in Microsecond Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Cino, Elio A; Choy, Wing-Yiu; Karttunen, Mikko

    2012-08-14

    We have compared molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of a β-hairpin forming peptide derived from the protein Nrf2 with 10 biomolecular force fields using trajectories of at least 1 μs. The total simulation time was 37.2 μs. Previous studies have shown that different force fields, water models, simulation methods, and parameters can affect simulation outcomes. The MD simulations were done in explicit solvent with a 16-mer Nrf2 β-hairpin forming peptide using Amber ff99SB-ILDN, Amber ff99SB*-ILDN, Amber ff99SB, Amber ff99SB*, Amber ff03, Amber ff03*, GROMOS96 43a1p, GROMOS96 53a6, CHARMM27, and OPLS-AA/L force fields. The effects of charge-groups, terminal capping, and phosphorylation on the peptide folding were also examined. Despite using identical starting structures and simulation parameters, we observed clear differences among the various force fields and even between replicates using the same force field. Our simulations show that the uncapped peptide folds into a native-like β-hairpin structure at 310 K when Amber ff99SB-ILDN, Amber ff99SB*-ILDN, Amber ff99SB, Amber ff99SB*, Amber ff03, Amber ff03*, GROMOS96 43a1p, or GROMOS96 53a6 were used. The CHARMM27 simulations were able to form native hairpins in some of the elevated temperature simulations, while the OPLS-AA/L simulations did not yield native hairpin structures at any temperatures tested. Simulations that used charge-groups or peptide capping groups were not largely different from their uncapped counterparts with single atom charge-groups. On the other hand, phosphorylation of the threonine residue located at the β-turn significantly affected the hairpin formation. To our knowledge, this is the first study comparing such a large set of force fields with respect to β-hairpin folding. Such a comprehensive comparison will offer useful guidance to others conducting similar types of simulations.

  1. 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

  2. A multipole-based water potential with implicit polarization for biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Walsh, T R; Liang, T

    2009-04-30

    A new water potential, DMIP (distributed multipoles, implicit polarization), is constructed using distributed multipoles to describe the electrostatic interactions, while accounting for polarization implicitly. In this procedure, small clusters are randomly sampled from atomistic simulations of bulk water using the AMOEBA (Ren and Ponder, J Comput Chem 2002, 23, 1497) potential. The multipole moments of the central water in each cluster are obtained from ab initio densities for each cluster, and the moments are then averaged over all clusters. Properties of bulk water calculated using DMIP compare favorably with existing data from AMOEBA simulations and experiment, with a conservative estimate of reduction in compute time of roughly 40%. The implicit force-field is also shown to work compatibly with existing polarizable multipole-based force-fields for biomolecules.

  3. Identifying localized changes in large systems: Change-point detection for biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Fan, Zhou; Dror, Ron O; Mildorf, Thomas J; Piana, Stefano; Shaw, David E

    2015-06-16

    Research on change-point detection, the classical problem of detecting abrupt changes in sequential data, has focused predominantly on datasets with a single observable. A growing number of time series datasets, however, involve many observables, often with the property that a given change typically affects only a few of the observables. We introduce a general statistical method that, given many noisy observables, detects points in time at which various subsets of the observables exhibit simultaneous changes in data distribution and explicitly identifies those subsets. Our work is motivated by the problem of identifying the nature and timing of biologically interesting conformational changes that occur during atomic-level simulations of biomolecules such as proteins. This problem has proved challenging both because each such conformational change might involve only a small region of the molecule and because these changes are often subtle relative to the ever-present background of faster structural fluctuations. We show that our method is effective in detecting biologically interesting conformational changes in molecular dynamics simulations of both folded and unfolded proteins, even in cases where these changes are difficult to detect using alternative techniques. This method may also facilitate the detection of change points in other types of sequential data involving large numbers of observables--a problem likely to become increasingly important as such data continue to proliferate in a variety of application domains.

  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. 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

  6. 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

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26238484

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Detailed structure of the H2PO4(-)-guanosine diphosphate intermediate in Ras-GAP decoded from FTIR experiments by biomolecular simulations.

    PubMed

    Xia, Fei; Rudack, Till; Cui, Qiang; Kötting, Carsten; Gerwert, Klaus

    2012-12-12

    Essential biochemical processes such as signal transduction, energy conversion, or substrate conversion depend on transient ligand binding. Thus, identifying the detailed structure and transient positioning of small ligands, and their stabilization by the surrounding protein, is of great importance. In this study, by decoding information from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra with biomolecular simulation methods, we identify the precise position and hydrogen network of a small compound, the guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-H(2)PO(4)(-) intermediate, in the surrounding protein-protein complex of Ras and its GTPase-activating protein, a central molecular switch in cellular signal transduction. We validate the simulated structure by comparing the calculated fingerprint vibrational modes of H(2)PO(4)(-) with those obtained from FTIR experiments. The new structural information, below the resolution of X-ray structural analysis, gives detailed insight into the catalytic mechanism.

  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. Biomolecular Science (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-04-01

    A brief fact sheet about NREL Photobiology and Biomolecular Science. The research goal of NREL's Biomolecular Science is to enable cost-competitive advanced lignocellulosic biofuels production by understanding the science critical for overcoming biomass recalcitrance and developing new product and product intermediate pathways. NREL's Photobiology focuses on understanding the capture of solar energy in photosynthetic systems and its use in converting carbon dioxide and water directly into hydrogen and advanced biofuels.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The identity of Romanian amber (rumanite) with Baltic amber (succinite).

    SciTech Connect

    Stout, E. C.; Beck, C. W.; Anderson, K. B.; Chemistry; Vassar Coll.

    2000-11-01

    Romanian amber (rumanite) has been considered to be a separate species of fossil resin for more than a century. While earlier investigators held it to be very similar to succinite (Baltic amber), modern scholars have assigned it a distinctly different botanical origin. We have found that almost all of the constituents of the ether-soluble fractions of 13 specimens of authentic rumanite identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry have previously been reported in the soluble fraction of succinite, including succinic acid and its monoterpene esters. Additionally and significantly, the soluble fraction of rumanite contains a number defunctionalized compounds that do not preexist in succinite, but that are produced by pyrolysis of whole succinite or of its insoluble polymeric fraction. Simultaneous methylation pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of the polymeric fraction of seven of the rumanite specimens yielded further copious amounts of dimethyl succinate, a number of diterpene resin acid methyl esters, and additional defunctionalized compounds known to be pyrolysis products of succinite. The evidence shows conclusively that the botanical origin of rumanite is not distinct from that of succinite. Rather, rumanite is a succinite that has suffered partial thermal degradation in the course of the folding of the Oligocene Kliwa sandstone formation in which it is most commonly found.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Thermodynamic properties of water solvating biomolecular surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyden, Matthias

    Changes in the potential energy and entropy of water molecules hydrating biomolecular interfaces play a significant role for biomolecular solubility and association. Free energy perturbation and thermodynamic integration methods allow calculations of free energy differences between two states from simulations. However, these methods are computationally demanding and do not provide insights into individual thermodynamic contributions, i.e. changes in the solvent energy or entropy. Here, we employ methods to spatially resolve distributions of hydration water thermodynamic properties in the vicinity of biomolecular surfaces. This allows direct insights into thermodynamic signatures of the hydration of hydrophobic and hydrophilic solvent accessible sites of proteins and small molecules and comparisons to ideal model surfaces. We correlate dynamic properties of hydration water molecules, i.e. translational and rotational mobility, to their thermodynamics. The latter can be used as a guide to extract thermodynamic information from experimental measurements of site-resolved water dynamics. Further, we study energy-entropy compensations of water at different hydration sites of biomolecular surfaces. This work is supported by the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV (EXC 1069) funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

  1. 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

  2. Technology for melting amber chips to produce a solid block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vikhareva, A. S.; Melnikov, A. G.; Utyev, O. M.

    2016-04-01

    This research is relevant, because the bulk of the mined amber comes in amber chips. Therefore, we have decided to review the current ways of melting amber chips to develop the most technologically efficient algorithm and to use it further for producing decorative items. The purpose of the work is to perfect the technology of obtaining whole-piece amber from amber chips and to explore the usability of the obtained material in decorative items and jewelry.

  3. NMscatt: a program for calculating inelastic scattering from large biomolecular systems using classical force-field simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merzel, Franci; Fontaine-Vive, Fabien; Johnson, Mark R.

    2007-09-01

    Computational tools for normal mode analysis, which are widely used in physics and materials science problems, are designed here in a single package called NMscatt (Normal Modes & scattering) that allows arbitrarily large systems to be handled. The package allows inelastic neutron and X-ray scattering observables to be calculated, allowing comparison with experimental data produced at large scale facilities. Various simplification schemes are presented for analyzing displacement vectors, which are otherwise too complicated to understand in very large systems. Program summaryTitle of program:NMscatt Catalogue identifier:ADZA_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/ADZA_v1_0.html Program obtainable from:CPC Program Library, Queen's University of Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions:no No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.:573 535 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.:4 516 496 Distribution format:tar.gz Programming language:FORTRAN 77 Computer:x86 PC Operating system:GNU/Linux, UNIX RAM:Depends on the system size to be simulated Word size:32 or 64 bits Classification:16.3 External routines:LAPACK Nature of problem: Normal mode analysis, phonons calculation, derivation of incoherent and coherent inelastic scattering spectra. Solution method: Full diagonalization (producing eigen-vectors and eigen-values) of dynamical matrix which is obtained from potential energy function derivation using finite difference method. Running time: About 7 hours per one k-point evaluation in sampling all modes dispersion curves for a system containing 3550 atoms in the unit cell on AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Presentation of AMBER/VLTI Data Reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatulli, E.; Malbet, F.; Duvert, G.

    This course describes the data reduction process of the AMBER instrument, the three-beam recombiner of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). We develop its principles from a theoretical point of view, and we illustrate the main points with examples taken from AMBER real observations. We particularly emphasize that the AMBER data reduction process is (i) a fit of the interferogram in the detector plane, (ii) using an a priori calibration of the instrument, where (iii) the complex visibility of the source is estimated from a least-square determination of a linear inverse problem, and where (iv) the derived AMBER observables are the squared visibility, the closure phase, and the spectral differential phase.

  7. Amber Plug-In for Protein Shop

    2004-05-10

    The Amber Plug-in for ProteinShop has two main components: an AmberEngine library to compute the protein energy models, and a module to solve the energy minimization problem using an optimization algorithm in the OPTI-+ library. Together, these components allow the visualization of the protein folding process in ProteinShop. AmberEngine is a object-oriented library to compute molecular energies based on the Amber model. The main class is called ProteinEnergy. Its main interface methods are (1) "init"more » to initialize internal variables needed to compute the energy. (2) "eval" to evaluate the total energy given a vector of coordinates. Additional methods allow the user to evaluate the individual components of the energy model (bond, angle, dihedral, non-bonded-1-4, and non-bonded energies) and to obtain the energy of each individual atom. The Amber Engine library source code includes examples and test routines that illustrate the use of the library in stand alone programs. The energy minimization module uses the AmberEngine library and the nonlinear optimization library OPT++. OPT++ is open source software available under the GNU Lesser General Public License. The minimization module currently makes use of the LBFGS optimization algorithm in OPT++ to perform the energy minimization. Future releases may give the user a choice of other algorithms available in OPT++.« less

  8. 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.

  9. Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:22927387

  17. 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.

  18. Male infertility: biomolecular aspects.

    PubMed

    Pizzol, Damiano; Bertoldo, Alessandro; Foresta, Carlo

    2014-12-01

    Male infertility is a problem that faces increasing interest, and the continuous development of assisted reproduction techniques solicits attempts to identify a precise diagnosis, in particular for idiopathic infertile couples and those undergoing assisted reproductive technique cycles. To date, diagnosis of male infertility is commonly based on standard semen analysis, but in many cases, this is not enough to detect any sperm abnormality. A better understanding of biomolecular issues and mechanism of damaged spermatogenesis and the refinement of the molecular techniques for sperm evaluation and selection are important advances that can lead to the optimization of diagnostic and therapeutic management of male and couple infertility. Faced with a growing number of new proposed techniques and diagnostic tests, it is fundamental to know which tests are already routinely used in the clinical practice and those that are likely to be used in the near future. This review focuses on the main molecular diagnostic techniques for male infertility and on newly developed methods that will probably be part of routine sperm analysis in the near future.

  19. Spongillaflies (Neuroptera, Sisyridae) in Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Wichard, Wilfried; Wedmann, Sonja; Weiterschan, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Two spongillaflies species are described and illustrated from Eocene Baltic amber: Paleosisyra minor n. sp. and Paleosisyra electrobaltica Wichard et al., 2009; the latter species was described based on a female and is now re-described in consideration of the male genitalia of two new male specimens. Extant Sisyridae comprise few species, and their fossil record is very scarce. PMID:27615874

  20. 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. PMID:26998926

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Three-dimensional molecular theory of solvation coupled with molecular dynamics in Amber

    PubMed Central

    Luchko, Tyler; Gusarov, Sergey; Roe, Daniel R.; Simmerling, Carlos; Case, David A.; Tuszynski, Jack; Kovalenko, Andriy

    2010-01-01

    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 multi-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. PMID:20440377

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    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.

  9. New taxa of Tanyderidae (Diptera) from Eocene Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Krzeminski, Wiesław; Krzeminska, Ewa; Kania, Iwona; Ross, Andrew J

    2013-01-01

    Macrochile hornei sp. nov. from Baltic amber (Upper Eocene) is described and illustrated. Podemacrochile gen. nov. is described with Podemacrochile baltica (Podenas, 1997) as type species. A key to the genera and species of Tanyderidae known from Baltic amber is presented. PMID:24583815

  10. Lightweight Object Oriented Structure analysis: Tools for building Tools to Analyze Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 120 pre-built tools, including suites of tools for analyzing simulation convergence, 3D histograms, and elastic network models. Through modern C++ design, LOOS is both simple to develop with (requiring knowledge of only 4 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. PMID:25327784

  11. Stochastic computing with biomolecular automata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-07-01

    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.

  12. New-generation amber united-atom force field.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lijiang; Tan, Chun-Hu; Hsieh, Meng-Juei; Wang, Junmei; Duan, Yong; Cieplak, Piotr; Caldwell, James; Kollman, Peter A; Luo, Ray

    2006-07-01

    We have developed a new-generation Amber united-atom force field for simulations involving highly demanding conformational sampling such as protein folding and protein-protein binding. In the new united-atom force field, all hydrogens on aliphatic carbons in all amino acids are united with carbons except those on Calpha. Our choice of explicit representation of all protein backbone atoms aims at minimizing perturbation to protein backbone conformational distributions and to simplify development of backbone torsion terms. Tests with dipeptides and solvated proteins show that our goal is achieved quite successfully. The new united-atom force field uses the same new RESP charging scheme based on B3LYP/cc-pVTZ//HF/6-31g** quantum mechanical calculations in the PCM continuum solvent as that in the Duan et al. force field. van der Waals parameters are empirically refitted starting from published values with respect to experimental solvation free energies of amino acid side-chain analogues. The suitability of mixing new point charges and van der Waals parameters with existing Amber covalent terms is tested on alanine dipeptide and is found to be reasonable. Parameters for all new torsion terms are refitted based on the new point charges and the van der Waals parameters. Molecular dynamics simulations of three small globular proteins in the explicit TIP3P solvent are performed to test the overall stability and accuracy of the new united-atom force field. Good agreements between the united-atom force field and the Duan et al. all-atom force field for both backbone and side-chain conformations are observed. In addition, the per-step efficiency of the new united-atom force field is demonstrated for simulations in the implicit generalized Born solvent. A speedup around two is observed over the Duan et al. all-atom force field for the three tested small proteins. Finally, the efficiency gain of the new united-atom force field in conformational sampling is further demonstrated

  13. An asterid flower from neotropical mid-Tertiary amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George O; Struwe, Lena

    2016-01-01

    Fossils preserved in amber may provide significant palaeoevolutionary and biogeographical data regarding the evolution of life on Earth(1). Although amber is particularly noted for its detailed preservation of arthropods, the same degree of preservation can be found for vascular plant remains(2). Mid-Tertiary Dominican amber is a rich source for such fossils, and representatives of several angiosperm families have been described. However, no fossilized examples of the large asterid plant clade have yet been reported. Here we describe the first fossil neotropical flowers found in amber from a representative of the asterids. The asterids are one of the largest lineages of flowering plants, containing groups such as the sunflower, potato, coffee and mint families, totalling over 80,000 species(3). The new fossils are only known as flowers, more precisely corollas with stamens and styles. We here describe them as a new species, Strychnos electri sp. nov, in the plant family Loganiaceae (Gentianales). PMID:27249345

  14. 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.

  15. Chemical Characterization and Botanical Origin of French Ambers.

    PubMed

    Nohra, Youssef A; Perrichot, Vincent; Jeanneau, Laurent; Le Pollès, Laurent; Azar, Dany

    2015-06-26

    The molecular composition of 10 Cretaceous and one Eocene ambers from France was analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, solid-state (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and thermochemolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The terpenoids identified in the samples were used as biomarkers for the botanical origin of the resins. The Cretaceous samples, comprising the so-called Alpine, Anjou, Charentese, Provence, Pyrenean, and Vendean ambers, ranged from the Albian-Cenomanian transition to the early Santonian (100 to 85 Ma) and correspond to class Ib resins typical of conifers. The extinct conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae was proposed as the plant source of Pyrenean and brown Charentese ambers. Araucariaceae or Cheirolepidiaceae were the plant sources of the Cenomanian Alpine, Anjou, and yellow Charentese ambers. The Santonian ambers of Provence and Vendée were found to derive from the Cupressaceae. The Eocene Oise amber (ca. 53 Ma) is a class Ic resin typical of angiosperms and was produced by a Fabaceae. The evolution of resin sources from the early Cretaceous to the Eocene periods is discussed. Finally, a possible fingerprint hitherto unveiled is proposed for cheirolepidiaceous resins, defined by the simultaneous presence of phenolic diterpenoids, labdanoic acids, callitrisate structures, and their respective derivatives.

  16. 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

  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. Identification of rumanite (Romanian amber) as thermally altered succinite (Baltic amber)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, E. C.; Beck, C. W.; Anderson, K. B.

    Romanian amber (rumanite) has been considered to be a separate species of fossil resin for more than a century. While earlier investigators held it to be very similar to succinite (Baltic amber), modern scholars have assigned it a distinctly different botanical origin. We have found that almost all of the constituents of the ether-soluble fractions of 13 specimens of authentic rumanite identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry have previously been reported in the soluble fraction of succinite, including succinic acid and its monoterpene esters. Additionally and significantly, the soluble fraction of rumanite contains a number defunctionalized compounds that do not preexist in succinite, but that are produced by pyrolysis of whole succinite or of its insoluble polymeric fraction. Simultaneous methylation pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of the polymeric fraction of seven of the rumanite specimens yielded further copious amounts of dimethyl succinate, a number of diterpene resin acid methyl esters, and additional defunctionalized compounds known to be pyrolysis products of succinite. The evidence shows conclusively that the botanical origin of rumanite is not distinct from that of succinite. Rather, rumanite is a succinite that has suffered partial thermal degradation in the course of the folding of the Oligocene Kliwa sandstone formation in which it is most commonly found.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. ...

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Fragment-based error estimation in biomolecular modeling

    PubMed Central

    Faver, John C.; Merz, Kenneth M.

    2013-01-01

    Computer simulations are becoming an increasingly more important component of drug discovery. Computational models are now often able to reproduce and sometimes even predict outcomes of experiments. Still, potential energy models such as force fields contain significant amounts of bias and imprecision. We have shown how even small uncertainties in potential energy models can propagate to yield large errors, and have devised some general error-handling protocols for biomolecular modeling with imprecise energy functions. Herein we discuss those protocols within the contexts of protein–ligand binding and protein folding. PMID:23993915

  9. Perspective: Markov models for long-timescale biomolecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Schwantes, C. R.; McGibbon, R. T.; Pande, V. S.

    2014-09-07

    Molecular dynamics simulations have the potential to provide atomic-level detail and insight to important questions in chemical physics that cannot be observed in typical experiments. However, simply generating a long trajectory is insufficient, as researchers must be able to transform the data in a simulation trajectory into specific scientific insights. Although this analysis step has often been taken for granted, it deserves further attention as large-scale simulations become increasingly routine. In this perspective, we discuss the application of Markov models to the analysis of large-scale biomolecular simulations. We draw attention to recent improvements in the construction of these models as well as several important open issues. In addition, we highlight recent theoretical advances that pave the way for a new generation of models of molecular kinetics.

  10. Perspective: Markov models for long-timescale biomolecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Schwantes, C. R.; McGibbon, R. T.; Pande, V. S.

    2014-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have the potential to provide atomic-level detail and insight to important questions in chemical physics that cannot be observed in typical experiments. However, simply generating a long trajectory is insufficient, as researchers must be able to transform the data in a simulation trajectory into specific scientific insights. Although this analysis step has often been taken for granted, it deserves further attention as large-scale simulations become increasingly routine. In this perspective, we discuss the application of Markov models to the analysis of large-scale biomolecular simulations. We draw attention to recent improvements in the construction of these models as well as several important open issues. In addition, we highlight recent theoretical advances that pave the way for a new generation of models of molecular kinetics. PMID:25194354

  11. Empirical Corrections to the Amber RNA Force Field with Target Metadynamics.

    PubMed

    Gil-Ley, Alejandro; Bottaro, Sandro; Bussi, Giovanni

    2016-06-14

    The computational study of conformational transitions in nucleic acids still faces many challenges. For example, in the case of single stranded RNA tetranucleotides, agreement between simulations and experiments is not satisfactory due to inaccuracies in the force fields commonly used in molecular dynamics simulations. We here use experimental data collected from high-resolution X-ray structures to attempt an improvement of the latest version of the AMBER force field. A modified metadynamics algorithm is used to calculate correcting potentials designed to enforce experimental distributions of backbone torsion angles. Replica-exchange simulations of tetranucleotides including these correcting potentials show significantly better agreement with independent solution experiments for the oligonucleotides containing pyrimidine bases. Although the proposed corrections do not seem to be portable to generic RNA systems, the simulations revealed the importance of the α and ζ backbone angles for the modulation of the RNA conformational ensemble. The correction protocol presented here suggests a systematic procedure for force-field refinement.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Bird's nest fungi (Nidulariales: Nidulariaceae) in Baltic and Dominican amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George

    2014-03-01

    Nidula baltica sp. nov. and Cyathus dominicanus sp. nov. are described from Cenozoic Baltic and Dominican amber. These are the first fossil members of the Family Nidulariaceae and show that the basic characteristics of this group were already established some 40-50 million years ago. PMID:24607356

  15. Symmetrization of the AMBER and CHARMM force fields.

    PubMed

    Małolepsza, Edyta; Strodel, Birgit; Khalili, Mey; Trygubenko, Semen; Fejer, Szilard N; Wales, David J

    2010-05-01

    The AMBER and CHARMM force fields are analyzed from the viewpoint of the permutational symmetry of the potential for feasible exchanges of identical atoms and chemical groups in amino and nucleic acids. In each case, we propose schemes for symmetrizing the potentials, which greatly facilitate the bookkeeping associated with constructing kinetic transition networks via geometry optimization. PMID:20082393

  16. Conditional Lethal Amber Mutations in Essential Escherichia coli Genes†

    PubMed Central

    Herring, Christopher D.; Blattner, Frederick R.

    2004-01-01

    The essential genes of microorganisms encode biological functions important for survival and thus tend to be of high scientific interest. Drugs that interfere with essential functions are likely to be interesting candidates for antimicrobials. However, these genes are hard to study genetically because knockout mutations in them are by definition inviable. We recently described a conditional mutation system in Escherichia coli that uses a plasmid to produce an amber suppressor tRNA regulated by the arabinose promoter. This suppressor was used here in the construction of amber mutations in seven essential E. coli genes. Amber stop codons were introduced as “tagalong” mutations in the flanking DNA of a downstream antibiotic resistance marker by lambda red recombination. The drug marker was removed by expression of I-SceI meganuclease, leaving a markerless mutation. We demonstrate the method with the genes frr, gcpE, lpxC, map, murA, ppa, and rpsA. We were unable to isolate an amber mutation in ftsZ. Kinetics of cell death and morphological changes were measured following removal of arabinose. As expected given the wide range of cellular mechanisms represented, different mutants showed widely different death curves. All of the mutations were bactericidal except the mutation in gcpE, which was bacteriostatic. The strain carrying an amber mutation in murA was by far the most sensitive, showing rapid killing in nonpermissive medium. The MurA protein is critical for peptidoglycan synthesis and is the target for the antibiotic fosfomycin. Such experiments may inexpensively provide valuable information for the identification and prioritization of targets for antibiotic development. PMID:15090508

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. [Infrared Spectral Characteristics of Ambers from Three Main Sources (Baltic, Dominica and Myanmar)].

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Shi, Guang-hai; Shi, Wei; Wu, Rui-hua

    2015-08-01

    Infrared spectra of ambers from Baltic, Dominica and Myanmar are obtained by Specular Reflection and KBr Pellet Transmission Methods. Although the infrared spectra of these ambers present similar features for ambers from different locations, refined differences in location and intensity of absorption peaks could be identified among them. Between 3000 and 2800 cm(-1), two obvious bands with a weak shoulder peak are seen in the Baltic amber spectrum, whereas there are two bands in the Dominica's and three bands in the Myanmar's. In region of 1740~1690 cm(-1), one band appears at 1732 cm(-1) in the spectra of the Baltic amber sample, distinctly different from those of the Dominican and Myanmar ambers which have a doublet at 1730 and 1695 cm(-1). For the Dominican amber, the intensity of 1730 cm(-1) is much stronger than that of 1695 cm(-1), being contrary to the spectra of the Myanmar amber, whose intensity of 1730 cm(-1) is weaker than that of 1695 cm(-1). Within region of 1300~1000 cm(-1), Baltic amber can be distinguished from other two origin ambers by a horizontal shoulder, often called "Baltic shoulder", with a definite band at 1163 cm(-1). Spectra of the Dominican amber show a unique band at 1240 cm(-1), while spectra of the Myanmar amber have a triplet at 1224, 1130 or 1154 cm(-1) and 1033 cm(-1), like "wave of mountain" altogether. Ratios of absorption intensity of 1381 vs. 1456 cm(-1) are about 0.9, 0.8 and 0.7 respectively for the Baltic, Dominican and Myanmar ambers. These differences of absorption spectra could be used as the identifiable characteristics corresponding to the ambers locality. The correlation between the ambers' infrared spectra and localities is probably due to their age, plant provenance and geological environment indivadually. On the basis of presence and intensity of the bands attributed to exocyclic methylene groups, it is suggested that the Myanmar amber formed earliest, followed by Baltic and then the youngest Dominican. These

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

    PubMed

    Pang, Yuan-Ping

    2015-03-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

  5. Conformational Dynamics of Two Natively Unfolded Fragment Peptides: Comparison of the AMBER and CHARMM Force Fields.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-25

    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 NTL9 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

  6. Conformational Dynamics of Two Natively Unfolded Fragment Peptides: Comparison of the AMBER and CHARMM Force Fields.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-25

    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 NTL9 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. New fossil Stylops (Strepsiptera: Stylopidae) from Dominican amber.

    PubMed

    Kogan, Marcos; Poinar, George

    2010-01-01

    Description of a new species of the genus Stylops from Dominican amber expands the number of families of this order represented by fossils of the mid-Eocene in the Neotropical region. The specimen described herein is reasonably well preserved, except for the tip of the abdomen that hampered observation of the aedeagus. The specimen fits definition of the comtemporary genus Stylops and differs from a related species, Jantarostylops kinzelbachi Kulicka, from Baltic amber, by the larger number of ommatidia, relative proportion of antennal segments, and venation of hind wings. The specimen differs from other contemporary species of Nearctic Stylops in, among other characters, the smaller size, sub-costa detached from costa and maxillary structure. Discovery of this fossil species of Stylops provides evidence of a possibly more temperate climate in the Antilles, since most contemporary species of the genus occur predominantly in the temperate zones of the Nearctic, Palearctic, and Oriental regions. All known species of the genus parasitize bees of the genus Andrena ( sensu lato). Existence of a fossil andrenid, Protandrena eickworti Rozen Jr, of the same Dominican amber, offers evidence of a potential host for this new species of Stylops. PMID:20498960

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. Diversity of Scydmaeninae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) in Upper Eocene Rovno amber.

    PubMed

    Jałoszyński, Paweł; Perkovsky, Evgeny

    2016-01-01

    Among nearly 1270 inclusions of Coleoptera found in Upper Eocene Rovno amber, 69 were identified as ant-like stone beetles (Scydmaeninae); 34 were possible to unambiguously determine to the tribal level and were studied in detail. Rovnoleptochromus ableptonoides gen. & sp. n. (Mastigitae: Clidicini), Vertheia quadrisetosa gen. & sp. n. (Cephenniitae: Eutheiini), Cephennomicrus giganteus sp. n. (Cephenniitae: Cephenniini), Glaesoconnus unicus gen. & sp. n. (Scydmaenitae: Glandulariini), Rovnoscydmus frontalis gen. & sp. n. (Scydmaenitae: Glandulariini; type species of Rovnoscydmus), Rovnoscydmus microscopicus sp. n., Euconnus (incertae sedis, near Cladoconnus) palaeogenus sp. n. (Scydmaenitae: Glandulariini), and Stenichnus (s. str.) proavus sp. n. (Scydmaenitae: Glandulariini) are described. Additionally, specimens representing one undescribed species of Vertheia, one of Cephennodes, five of Cephennomicrus, one of Euconnus, one of Microscydmus are recorded, and nine specimens representing an unknown number of species of Rovnoscydmus (and two putative Rovnoscydmus), one Euconnus (and one putative Euconnus), two putative Microscydmus and one putative Scydmoraphes were found in the studied material. The composition of Scydmaeninae fauna in Rovno amber is discussed in the context of ecological preferences and distribution of extant taxa. It is concluded that subtropical and tropical taxa were present in the region where Rovno amber has formed, most notably the second genus and species of the extant tribe Clidicini known from the Eocene of Europe, and six species of the extant genus Cephennomicrus, for the first time found in the fossil record. An annotated catalog of nominal species of Scydmaeninae known in the fossil record is given. PMID:27615867

  12. Dynamic microcantilever sensors for discerning biomolecular interactions.

    PubMed

    Tian, Fang; Hansen, Karolyn M; Ferrell, Thomas L; Thundat, Thomas; Hansen, Douglas C

    2005-03-15

    Response of a conductive micromechanical cantilever placed in close proximity to a surface undergoing electrical excitation near the resonance frequency of the cantilever is influenced by the presence of microscopic dielectrics in the gap between the cantilever and the sample surface. The variations of the resonance response of unmodified cantilevers at gap distances below a few hundred nanometers are used to discern biomolecular differences of oligomeric nucleic acids in an array format without the use of extrinsic labels. The resonance response variation paves the way for the development of high throughput detection of biomolecular reactions, such as DNA hybridization reactions or antibody-antigen interactions without the use of external labels, in which the need is only to see the presence or absence of interaction. This dynamic method is simple, does not require immobilizing individual elements on a cantilever array, and is compatible with current generation DNA chips in which DNA spots are deposited in micro- and nanoarray format.

  13. 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.

  14. Aligning Biomolecular Networks Using Modular Graph Kernels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Towfic, Fadi; Greenlee, M. Heather West; Honavar, Vasant

    Comparative analysis of biomolecular networks constructed using measurements from different conditions, tissues, and organisms offer a powerful approach to understanding the structure, function, dynamics, and evolution of complex biological systems. We explore a class of algorithms for aligning large biomolecular networks by breaking down such networks into subgraphs and computing the alignment of the networks based on the alignment of their subgraphs. The resulting subnetworks are compared using graph kernels as scoring functions. We provide implementations of the resulting algorithms as part of BiNA, an open source biomolecular network alignment toolkit. Our experiments using Drosophila melanogaster, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Mus musculus and Homo sapiens protein-protein interaction networks extracted from the DIP repository of protein-protein interaction data demonstrate that the performance of the proposed algorithms (as measured by % GO term enrichment of subnetworks identified by the alignment) is competitive with some of the state-of-the-art algorithms for pair-wise alignment of large protein-protein interaction networks. Our results also show that the inter-species similarity scores computed based on graph kernels can be used to cluster the species into a species tree that is consistent with the known phylogenetic relationships among the species.

  15. Photosynthesis biomolecular electronics, and renewable fuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.

    1995-12-31

    The term {open_quotes}biomolecular electronics{close_quotes} evokes two powerful images of 20th century science and technology. First, the {open_quotes}bio{close_quotes} prefix of {open_quotes}molecular{close_quotes} explicitly acknowledges the molecular basis and understanding of living state systems. It is this understanding that forms the foundation of molecular biology, immunology, and genetic engineering. Second, {open_quotes}electronics{close_quotes} in the context of technology is understood to be that of electronic devices, starting from vacuum tubes and progressing through transistors, integrated circuits, and the semiconductor electronics industry comprising communications and consumer electronics, as examples. The conflation of these two terms into {open_quotes}biomolecular electronics{close_quotes} implies a radical concept: the construction of practical electronic devices from biomolecular components. This presentation will focus on an understanding and interpretation of the molecular architecture of the photosynthetic membrane and its potential application for the construction of optoelectronic devices and the production of renewable hydrogen via photosynthetic water splitting. Recent advances on direct electrical contact of the electron transport chain of photosynthesis with metallocatalysts as well as the discovery of new photoreactions in mutants of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii will be discussed.

  16. Visualization of confocal microscopic biomolecular data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhanping; Moorhead, Robert J., II

    2005-04-01

    Biomolecular visualization facilitates insightful interpretation of molecular structures and complex mechanisms underlying bio-chemical processes. Effective visualization techniques are required to deal with confocal microscopic biomolecular data in which intricate structures, fine features, and obscure patterns might be overlooked without sophisticated data processing and image synthesis. This paper presents major challenges in visualizing confocal microscopic biomolecular data, followed by a survey of related work. We then introduce a case study conducted to investigate the interaction between two proteins contained in a budding yeast saccharomyces cerevisiae by embedding custom modules in Amira. The multi-channel confocal microscopic volume data was first processed using an exponential operator to correct z-drop artifacts introduced during data acquisition. Channel correlation was then exploited to extract the overlap between the proteins as a new channel to represent the interaction while a statistical method was employed to compute the intensity of interaction to locate hot spots. To take advantage of crisp surface representation of region boundaries by iso-surfaces and visually pleasing translucent delineation of dense volumes by volume rendering, we adopted hybrid rendering that incorporates these two methods to display clear-cut protein boundaries, amorphous interior materials, and the scattered interaction in the same view volume with suppressed and highlighted parts selected by the user. The highlighted overlap helped biologists learn where the interaction happens and how it spreads, particularly when the volume was investigated in an immersive Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) for intuitive comprehension of the data.

  17. 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

  18. A quantum mechanical polarizable force field for biomolecular interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-31

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. General AMBER Force Field Parameters for Diphenyl Diselenides and Diphenyl Ditellurides.

    PubMed

    Torsello, Mauro; Pimenta, Antonio C; Wolters, Lando P; Moreira, Irina S; Orian, Laura; Polimeno, Antonino

    2016-06-30

    The General AMBER Force Field (GAFF) has been extended to describe a series of selenium and tellurium diphenyl dichalcogenides. These compounds, besides being eco-friendly catalysts for numerous oxidations in organic chemistry, display peroxidase activity, i.e., can reduce hydrogen peroxide and harmful organic hydroperoxides to water/alcohols and as such are very promising antioxidant drugs. The novel GAFF parameters are tested in MD simulations in different solvents and the (77)Se NMR chemical shift of diphenyl diselenide is computed using structures extracted from MD snapshots and found in nice agreement with the measured value in CDCl3. The whole computational protocol is described in detail and integrated with in-house code to allow easy derivation of the force field parameters for analogous compounds as well as for Se/Te organocompounds in general. PMID:27267296

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

    PubMed

    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 1150cm(-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. PMID:27116473

  2. 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.

  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. PMID:27567715

  4. 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.

  5. A remarkable fossil leptosaldine bug from Mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Leptopodomorpha: Leptopodidae).

    PubMed

    Popov, Yuri A; Heiss, Ernst

    2016-01-01

    A new genus and species of leptosaldine bugs, Leptosaldinea cobbeni gen. et sp. nov. (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Leptopodidae) is described and illustrated from Burmese Middle Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) amber found in Kachin State, northern Myanmar. This is the third record of a leptosaldine bug from Burmese amber. A brief analysis of the characters and systematic relationships of Leptosaldinae is provided. PMID:27470718

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Photochemical concepts on the origin of biomolecular asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Meierhenrich, Uwe J; Thiemann, Wolfram H P

    2004-02-01

    Biopolymers like DNA and proteins are strongly selective towards the chirality of their monomer units. The use of homochiral monomers is regarded as essential for the construction and function of biopolymers; the emergence of the molecular asymmetry is therefore considered as a fundamental step in Chemical Evolution. This work focuses on physicochemical mechanisms for the origin of biomolecular asymmetry. Very recently two groups, one from Allamandola at NASA Ames and the other from our Inter-European team, demonstrated simultaneously the spontaneous photoformation of a variety of chiral amino acid structures under simulated interstellar conditions. Since both groups used unpolarized light for the photoreaction the obtained amino acids turned out racemic as expected. The obtained experimental data support the assumption that tiny ice grains can furthermore play host to important asymmetric reactions when irradiated by interstellar circularly polarized ultraviolet light. It is possible that such ice grains could have become incorporated into the early cloud that formed our Solar System and ended up on Earth, assisting life to start. Several lines of evidence suggest that some of the building blocks of life were delivered to the primitive Earth via (micro-) meteoroids and/or comets. These results suggest that asymmetric interstellar photochemistry may have played a significant part in supplying Earth with some of the enantioenriched organic materials needed to trigger life. The search for the origin of biomolecular homochirality leads to a strong interest in the fields of asymmetric photochemistry with special emphasis on absolute asymmetric synthesis. We outline here the theoretical background on asymmetric interstellar ice photochemistry, summarize recent concepts and advances in the field, and discuss briefly its implications. The obtained data are crucial for the design of the enantioselective COSAC GC-MS experiment onboard the ROSETTA spacecraft to a comet to be

  11. Photochemical concepts on the origin of biomolecular asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Meierhenrich, Uwe J; Thiemann, Wolfram H P

    2004-02-01

    Biopolymers like DNA and proteins are strongly selective towards the chirality of their monomer units. The use of homochiral monomers is regarded as essential for the construction and function of biopolymers; the emergence of the molecular asymmetry is therefore considered as a fundamental step in Chemical Evolution. This work focuses on physicochemical mechanisms for the origin of biomolecular asymmetry. Very recently two groups, one from Allamandola at NASA Ames and the other from our Inter-European team, demonstrated simultaneously the spontaneous photoformation of a variety of chiral amino acid structures under simulated interstellar conditions. Since both groups used unpolarized light for the photoreaction the obtained amino acids turned out racemic as expected. The obtained experimental data support the assumption that tiny ice grains can furthermore play host to important asymmetric reactions when irradiated by interstellar circularly polarized ultraviolet light. It is possible that such ice grains could have become incorporated into the early cloud that formed our Solar System and ended up on Earth, assisting life to start. Several lines of evidence suggest that some of the building blocks of life were delivered to the primitive Earth via (micro-) meteoroids and/or comets. These results suggest that asymmetric interstellar photochemistry may have played a significant part in supplying Earth with some of the enantioenriched organic materials needed to trigger life. The search for the origin of biomolecular homochirality leads to a strong interest in the fields of asymmetric photochemistry with special emphasis on absolute asymmetric synthesis. We outline here the theoretical background on asymmetric interstellar ice photochemistry, summarize recent concepts and advances in the field, and discuss briefly its implications. The obtained data are crucial for the design of the enantioselective COSAC GC-MS experiment onboard the ROSETTA spacecraft to a comet to be

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. 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

  17. Observing jets in young stellar objects with AMBER/VLTI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil, Carla S.; Thiebaut, Eric M.; Garcia, Paulo; Schoeller, Markus

    2004-10-01

    AMBER is a 3 beam combiner for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). It will soon add to VLTI tremendous angular resolution, sensitivity and spectral resolution (λ/Δλ) up to 10,000. This combination opens important new opportunities for the study of the close environment of pre-main-sequence stars. In order to understand star formation and its evolution, one needs to solve the problem of ejection and collimation mechanisms in jets from young stars. The importance of jets in pre-main-sequence stars relies on the fact that they regulate its angular momentum. By measuring the jet opening angle at the ejection region we can test models for jet origin. In particular, AMBER will provide crucial information on the mechanisms of mass loss and collimation observed in the most active objects. It will allow, for the first time, the differentiation of competing models for jet origin and collimation, namely the X-wind model of Shu and the disk-wind model of Blandford & Payne. In this paper we compare different jet models presented in the literature.

  18. Biomolecular detection with a thin membrane transducer.

    PubMed

    Cha, Misun; Shin, Jaeha; Kim, June-Hyung; Kim, Ilchaek; Choi, Junbo; Lee, Nahum; Kim, Byung-Gee; Lee, Junghoon

    2008-06-01

    We present a thin membrane transducer (TMT) that can detect nucleic acid based biomolecular reactions including DNA hybridization and protein recognition by aptamers. Specific molecular interactions on an extremely thin and flexible membrane surface cause the deflection of the membrane due to surface stress change which can be measured by a compact capacitive circuit. A gold-coated thin PDMS membrane assembled with metal patterned glass substrate is used to realize the capacitive detection. It is demonstrated that perfect match and mismatch hybridizations can be sharply discriminated with a 16-mer DNA oligonucleotide immobilized on the gold-coated surface. While the mismatched sample caused little capacitance change, the perfectly matched sample caused a well-defined capacitance decrease vs. time due to an upward deformation of the membrane by a compressive surface stress. Additionally, the TMT demonstrated the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) capabilities which enabled a detection of mismatching base pairs in the middle of the sequence. It is intriguing that the increase of capacitance, therefore a downward deflection due to tensile stress, was observed with the internal double mismatch hybridization. We further present the detection of thrombin protein through ligand-receptor type recognition with 15-mer thrombin aptamer as a receptor. Key aspects of this detection such as the effect of concentration variation are investigated. This capacitive thin membrane transducer presents a completely new approach for detecting biomolecular reactions with high sensitivity and specificity without molecular labelling and optical measurement. PMID:18497914

  19. 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

  20. Empirical Corrections to the Amber RNA Force Field with Target Metadynamics.

    PubMed

    Gil-Ley, Alejandro; Bottaro, Sandro; Bussi, Giovanni

    2016-06-14

    The computational study of conformational transitions in nucleic acids still faces many challenges. For example, in the case of single stranded RNA tetranucleotides, agreement between simulations and experiments is not satisfactory due to inaccuracies in the force fields commonly used in molecular dynamics simulations. We here use experimental data collected from high-resolution X-ray structures to attempt an improvement of the latest version of the AMBER force field. A modified metadynamics algorithm is used to calculate correcting potentials designed to enforce experimental distributions of backbone torsion angles. Replica-exchange simulations of tetranucleotides including these correcting potentials show significantly better agreement with independent solution experiments for the oligonucleotides containing pyrimidine bases. Although the proposed corrections do not seem to be portable to generic RNA systems, the simulations revealed the importance of the α and ζ backbone angles for the modulation of the RNA conformational ensemble. The correction protocol presented here suggests a systematic procedure for force-field refinement. PMID:27153317

  1. Empirical Corrections to the Amber RNA Force Field with Target Metadynamics

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The computational study of conformational transitions in nucleic acids still faces many challenges. For example, in the case of single stranded RNA tetranucleotides, agreement between simulations and experiments is not satisfactory due to inaccuracies in the force fields commonly used in molecular dynamics simulations. We here use experimental data collected from high-resolution X-ray structures to attempt an improvement of the latest version of the AMBER force field. A modified metadynamics algorithm is used to calculate correcting potentials designed to enforce experimental distributions of backbone torsion angles. Replica-exchange simulations of tetranucleotides including these correcting potentials show significantly better agreement with independent solution experiments for the oligonucleotides containing pyrimidine bases. Although the proposed corrections do not seem to be portable to generic RNA systems, the simulations revealed the importance of the α and ζ backbone angles for the modulation of the RNA conformational ensemble. The correction protocol presented here suggests a systematic procedure for force-field refinement. PMID:27153317

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Towards a biomolecular computer. Information processing capabilities of biomolecular nonlinear dynamic media.

    PubMed

    Rambidi, N G; Maximychev, A V

    1997-01-01

    The information processing capabilities of biomolecular excitable media based on nonlinear dynamic mechanisms are discussed. Given even the simplest medium geometry, dynamics and information processing features inherent in biomolecular excitable media proves to be diverse and sophisticated. For the case of pseudo two-dimensional versions these media can be described in terms of neural networks having lateral connections. The main responses of shunting on-center off-surround feedback neural networks and pseudo two-dimensional excitable systems to the external excitations are surprisingly similar. The excitable media are capable of short-time memory, of contour enhancement and quenching or amplifying small features depending on medium state. The analogies discussed reaffirm specific neural net characteristics of excitable media and give the opportunity to estimate more accurate excitable medium characteristics. PMID:9113354

  5. Geology of an amber locality in the Hukawng Valley, Northern Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruickshank, R. D.; Ko, Ko

    2003-02-01

    Amber ('Burmite') from the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar has been known since at least the 1st century AD. It is currently being produced from a hill known as Noije Bum, which was first documented as a source of amber in 1836. Several geologists visited the locality between 1892 and 1930. All of them believed that the host rocks to the amber are Tertiary (most said Eocene) in age, and this conclusion has been widely quoted in the literature. However, recent work indicates a Cretaceous age. Insect inclusions in amber are considered to be Turonian-Cenomanian, and a specimen of the ammonite Mortoniceras (of Middle-Upper Albian age) was discovered during the authors' visit. Palynomorphs in samples collected by the authors suggest that the amber-bearing horizon is Upper Albian to Lower Cenomanian. The preponderance of the evidence suggests that both rocks and amber are most probably Upper Albian. This determination is significant for the study of insect evolution, indicating that the oldest known definitive ants have been identified in this amber [American Museum Novitates 3361 (2002) 72]. This site occurs within the Hukawng Basin, which is comprised of folded sedimentary (±volcanic) rocks of Cretaceous and Cenozoic age. The mine exposes a variety of clastic sedimentary rocks, with thin limestone beds, and abundant carbonaceous material. The sediments were deposited in a nearshore marine environment, such as a bay or estuary. Amber is found in a fine clastic facies, principally as disk shaped clasts, oriented parallel to bedding. A minority occurs as runnels (stalactite shaped), with concentric layering caused by recurring flows of resin. An Upper Albian age is similar to that of Orbitolina limestones known from a number of locations in northern Myanmar. One of these, at Nam Sakhaw, 90 km SW of Noije Bum, has also been a source of amber.

  6. Imaging the dynamical atmosphere of the red supergiant Betelgeuse in the CO first overtone lines with VLTI/AMBER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohnaka, K.; Weigelt, G.; Millour, F.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Driebe, T.; Schertl, D.; Chelli, A.; Massi, F.; Petrov, R.; Stee, Ph.

    2011-05-01

    for the continuum-forming layer. These diameters confirm that the near-IR size of Betelgeuse was nearly constant over the last 18 years, in marked contrast to the recently reported noticeable decrease in the mid-IR size. The continuum data taken in 2008 and 2009 reveal no or only marginal time variations, much smaller than the maximum variation predicted by the current three-dimensional convection simulations. Conclusions: Our two-epoch AMBER observations show that the outer atmosphere extending to ~1.3-1.4 R⋆ is asymmetric and its dynamics is dominated by vigorous, inhomogeneous large-scale motions, whose overall nature changes drastically within one year. This is likely linked to the wind-driving mechanism in red supergiants. Based on AMBER observations made with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer of the European Southern Observatory. Program ID: 082.D-0280 (AMBER Guaranteed Time Observation).Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Nonequilibrium phase transitions in biomolecular signal transduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Eric; Krishnamurthy, Supriya; Fontana, Walter; Krakauer, David

    2011-11-01

    We study a mechanism for reliable switching in biomolecular signal-transduction cascades. Steady bistable states are created by system-size cooperative effects in populations of proteins, in spite of the fact that the phosphorylation-state transitions of any molecule, by means of which the switch is implemented, are highly stochastic. The emergence of switching is a nonequilibrium phase transition in an energetically driven, dissipative system described by a master equation. We use operator and functional integral methods from reaction-diffusion theory to solve for the phase structure, noise spectrum, and escape trajectories and first-passage times of a class of minimal models of switches, showing how all critical properties for switch behavior can be computed within a unified framework.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Examination of the quality of various force fields and solvation models for the equilibrium simulations of GA88 and GB88.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Juan; Li, Yongxiu; Zhang, John Z H; Mei, Ye

    2016-08-01

    Elucidating the relationship between sequence and conformation is essential for the understanding of functions of proteins. While sharing 88 % sequence identity and differing by only seven residues, GA88 and GB88 have completely different structures and serve as ideal systems for investigating the relationship between sequence and function. Benefiting from the continuous advancement of the computational ability of modern computers, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is now playing an increasingly important role in the study of proteins. However, the reliability of MD simulations is limited by the accuracy of the force fields and solvent model approximations. In this work, several AMBER force fields (AMBER03, AMBER99SB, AMBER12SB, AMBER14SB, AMBER96) and solvent models (TIP3P, IGB5, IGB7, IGB8) have been employed in the simulations of GA88 and GB88. The statistical results from 19 simulations show that GA88 and GB88 both adopt more compact structures than the native structures. GB88 is more stable than GA88 regardless of the force fields and solvent models utilized. Most of the simulations overestimated the salt bridge interaction. The combination of AMBER14SB force field and IGB8 solvent model shows the best overall performance in the simulations of both GA88 and GB88. AMBER03 and AMBER12SB also yield reasonable results but only in the TIP3P explicit solvent model. PMID:27392746

  15. Examination of the quality of various force fields and solvation models for the equilibrium simulations of GA88 and GB88.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Juan; Li, Yongxiu; Zhang, John Z H; Mei, Ye

    2016-08-01

    Elucidating the relationship between sequence and conformation is essential for the understanding of functions of proteins. While sharing 88 % sequence identity and differing by only seven residues, GA88 and GB88 have completely different structures and serve as ideal systems for investigating the relationship between sequence and function. Benefiting from the continuous advancement of the computational ability of modern computers, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is now playing an increasingly important role in the study of proteins. However, the reliability of MD simulations is limited by the accuracy of the force fields and solvent model approximations. In this work, several AMBER force fields (AMBER03, AMBER99SB, AMBER12SB, AMBER14SB, AMBER96) and solvent models (TIP3P, IGB5, IGB7, IGB8) have been employed in the simulations of GA88 and GB88. The statistical results from 19 simulations show that GA88 and GB88 both adopt more compact structures than the native structures. GB88 is more stable than GA88 regardless of the force fields and solvent models utilized. Most of the simulations overestimated the salt bridge interaction. The combination of AMBER14SB force field and IGB8 solvent model shows the best overall performance in the simulations of both GA88 and GB88. AMBER03 and AMBER12SB also yield reasonable results but only in the TIP3P explicit solvent model.

  16. Morphological stasis of protists in lower cretaceous amber.

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

    Paleomicrobiological studies of terrestrial and freshwater protists are extremely rare in comparison with studies of eukaryotic microfossils from marine ecosystems. Using optical and electron microscopy (SEM-BSE) for hard substrates, we have examined protists trapped in Lower Cretaceous amber from Peñacerrada (Alava, Spain). We present the earliest reasonably confident microfossils of three taxa: Excavata (Euglenozoa), that are similar to the extant genera Euglena and Phacus; Chlorophyceae identified as members of the genus Chlamydomonas, and finally, in the taxon Ciliophora (Chromalveolata), two ciliated protozoa identified as Colpoda (Class Colpodea) and Prorodon (Class Prostomatea). Morphological stasis is evident, and identification based on phenotypic traits indicates the existence of conservative phenotypes persisting over geological time scales.

  17. Identification of an amber nonsense mutation in the rosy516 gene by germline transformation of an amber suppressor tRNA gene.

    PubMed Central

    Doerig, R E; Suter, B; Gray, M; Kubli, E

    1988-01-01

    Seven xanthine dehydrogenase and cross-reacting material negative Drosophila melanogaster rosy stocks were screened for amber and ochre nonsense mutations. Amber and ochre nonsense suppressors were created by site-directed mutagenesis starting from a wild-type tRNA(Tyr) gene. The suppressor tRNA genes were subcloned into a pUChsneo transformation vector providing heat-shock controlled neomycin resistance. The seven rosy stocks were germline transformed with amber and ochre tDNA(Tyr), and the G1 generation was screened for Geneticin resistance. Surviving rosy516 flies transformed with the amber suppressor showed an eye colour intermediate between the original ry516 stock and the wild-type, suggesting that ry516 is an amber nonsense mutant. This was confirmed by sequencing the relevant part of the ry516 gene; the analysis revealed a C-to-T transition in a CAG glutamine codon at nucleotide 1522 of the wild-type rosy gene. Images PMID:3142765

  18. Unique Temporal and Spatial Biomolecular Emission Profile on Individual Zinc Oxide Nanorods

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Manpreet; Song, Sheng; Hahm, Jong-in

    2013-01-01

    Zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO NRs) have emerged in recent years as extremely useful, optical signal-enhancing platforms in DNA and protein detection. Although the use of ZnO NRs in biodetection has been demonstrated so far in systems involving many ZnO NRs per detection element, their future applications will likely take place in a miniaturized setting while exploiting single ZnO NRs in a low-volume, high-throughput bioanalysis. In this paper, we investigate temporal and spatial characteristics of biomolecular fluorescence on individual ZnO NR systems. Quantitative and qualitative examinations of biomolecular intensity and photostability are carried out as a function of two important criteria, time and position along the long axis (length) of NRs. Photostability profiles are also measured with respect to the position on NRs and compared to those characteristics of biomolecules on polymeric control platforms. Unlike uniformly distributed signal observed on the control platforms, both fluorescence intensity and photostability are position-dependent on individual ZnO NRs. We have identified a unique phenomenon of highly localized, fluorescence intensification on the nanorod ends (FINE) of well-characterized, individual ZnO nanostructures. When compared to the polymeric controls, biomolecular fluorescence intensity and photostability are determined to be higher on individual ZnO NRs regardless of the position on NRs. We have also carried out finite-difference time-domain simulations whose results agree well with the observed FINE. The outcomes of our investigation will offer a much needed basis for signal interpretation for biodetection devices and platforms consisting of single ZnO NRs and, at the same time, contribute significantly to provide insight in understanding biomolecular fluorescence observed from ZnO NR ensemble-based systems. PMID:24193145

  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. 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.

  1. Band structure and optical properties of amber studied by first principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Zhi-Fan; Zhou, Rong-Feng

    2013-03-01

    The band structure and density of states of amber is studied by the first principles calculation based on density of functional theory. The complex structure of amber has 214 atoms and the band gap is 5.0 eV. The covalent bond is combined C/O atoms with H atoms. The O 2p orbital is the biggest effect near the Fermi level. The optical properties' results show that the reflectivity is low, and the refractive index is 1.65 in visible light range. The highest absorption coefficient peak is at 172 nm and another higher peak is at 136 nm. These convince that the amber would have a pretty sheen and that amber is a good and suitable crystal for jewelry and ornaments.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

    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.

  4. Principle and potential of the near infrared VLTI focal instrument AMBER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, Romain G.; Malbet, Fabien; Weigelt, Gerd; Lisi, Franco; Puget, Pascal; Antonelli, Pierre; Beckman, Udo; Lagarde, Stéphane; Le Coarer, Etienne; Robbe-Dubois, Sylvie; Rousselet-Perraut, Karine; Martinot-Lagarde, Grégoire; Dugué, Michel

    2001-05-01

    AMBER is the first general user near infrared VLTI focal instrument. It combines low and middle resolution spectroscopy with some imaging capability thanks to the measure of phase closures between three telescopes. It is optimized for high accuracy measurements thanks to a spatial filtering of each beam using single mode fibers. The poster presents AMBER main characteristics, discusses its potential and lists some of its scientific programs.

  5. 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

    2011-11-01

    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) (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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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. PMID:25580108

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Status of biomolecular recognition using electrochemical techniques.

    PubMed

    Sadik, Omowunmi A; Aluoch, Austin O; Zhou, Ailing

    2009-05-15

    The use of nanoscale materials (e.g., nanoparticles, nanowires, and nanorods) for electrochemical biosensing has seen explosive growth in recent years following the discovery of carbon nanotubes by Sumio Ijima in 1991. Although the resulting label-free sensors could potentially simplify the molecular recognition process, there are several important hurdles to be overcome. These include issues of validating the biosensor on statistically large population of real samples rather than the commonly reported relatively short synthetic oligonucleotides, pristine laboratory standards or bioreagents; multiplexing the sensors to accommodate high-throughput, multianalyte detection as well as application in complex clinical and environmental samples. This article reviews the status of biomolecular recognition using electrochemical detection by analyzing the trends, limitations, challenges and commercial devices in the field of electrochemical biosensors. It provides a survey of recent advances in electrochemical biosensors including integrated microelectrode arrays with microfluidic technologies, commercial multiplex electrochemical biosensors, aptamer-based sensors, and metal-enhanced electrochemical detection (MED), with limits of detection in the attomole range. Novel applications are also reviewed for cancer monitoring, detection of food pathogens, as well as recent advances in electrochemical glucose biosensors.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Amber mutation affecting the length of Escherichia coli cells.

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Salas, E; Vicente, M

    1980-01-01

    An amber mutation in a newly found gene (wee) of Escherichia coli has been isolated from strain OV-2, which harbors a temperature-sensitive suppressor. At 42 degrees C cells of the mutant, OV-25, increased in mass and deoxyribonucleic acid content and divided at normal rates, compared with the wild type under the same growth conditions. Total cell length increased under the restrictive conditions, although at a slightly lower rate. Values of mean cell length and cell volume, contrary to what would be expected from the increment in the rate of increase in particles, mass, and deoxyribonucleic acid, became at 42 degrees C smaller than those found in the wild type. A parallel increase in protein content per length and cell density and a loss of viability were found to occur after four generations at the restrictive temperature. The behavior of strain OV-25 in the absence of the wee gene product could be interpreted in terms of either a faulty regulation of the elongation processes or their abnormal coordination with the cell cycle. The genetic location of the wee gene has been found to be at 83.5 min on the E. coli genetic map. PMID:7000749

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23546538

  3. Deuterium isotopic exchangeability of resin and amber at low thermal stress under hydrous conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, G.; Tappert, R.; Wolfe, A. P.; Muehlenbachs, K.

    2012-04-01

    Hydrous deuterium-exchange experiments have shown that a significant fraction of the original D/H composition of bulk kerogens, bitumens and expelled oils may participate in isotopic exchange reactions during burial diagenesis. However, it is unknown to what extent plant-derived secondary metabolites, namely resins and their fossil counterpart amber, exchange hydrogen isotopes following their biosynthesis. This situation hinders the application of resin D/H measurements in paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Here, we assess explicitly hydrogen exchange in resins and ambers using a series of immersion experiments in deuterated (D-enriched) waters over a period of several months at several temperatures. We are especially interested in assessing whether significant H-isotopic exchange occurs between resins and meteoric waters during early thermal maturation and polymerization. At 90°C, equivalent to ~3km of burial in most diagenetic regimes, modern conifer and angiosperm resins have an average post-metabolic H exchange of 4.6%, compared to only 1.1% for mature, polymerized ambers. At 55°C the degree of exchange is considerably lower: 1.9% for resins and 0.6% for ambers. These results indicate that most D/H isotopic exchange occurs prior to polymerization reactions, thereby confirming that D/H measurements from amber constitute a potentially sensitive proxy for environmental change.

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

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Ehud

    2012-08-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Ehud

    2012-08-01

    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

  6. Ultrasensitive biomolecular assays with amplifying nanowire FET biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chui, Chi On; Shin, Kyeong-Sik; Mao, Yufei

    2013-09-01

    In this paper, we review our recent development and validation of the ultrasensitive electronic biomolecular assays enabled by our novel amplifying nanowire field-effect transistor (nwFET) biosensors. Our semiconductor nwFET biosensor platform technology performs extreme proximity signal amplification in the electrical domain that requires neither labeling nor enzymes nor optics. We have designed and fabricated the biomolecular assay prototypes and developed the corresponding analytical procedures. We have also confirmed their analytical performance in quantitating key protein biomarker in human serum, demonstrating an ultralow limit of detection and concurrently high output current level for the first time.

  7. 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. PMID:27296627

  8. Stability of dacarbazine in amber glass vials and polyvinyl chloride bags.

    PubMed

    El Aatmani, Mohamed; Poujol, Sylvain; Astre, Cecile; Malosse, Françoise; Pinguet, Frederic

    2002-07-15

    The stability of dacarbazine in commercial glass vials and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bags in various storage conditions and the emergence of 2-azahypoxanthine, a major degradation product possibly linked with some adverse effects, were studied. Triplicate samples of reconstituted (11 mg/mL) and diluted (1.40 mg/mL) dacarbazine admixtures were prepared and stored at 4 degrees C or at 25 degrees C in daylight, fluorescent light, or the dark. The effect of several light-protective measures (amber glass vials, aluminum foil wrapping, and opaque tubing) on dacarbazine stability in a simulated i.v. infusion system was also evaluated. Dacarbazine quantification and main degradation product determination were performed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Stability was defined as conservation of 90-105% of initial dacarbazine concentration without major variations in clarity, color, or pH and without precipitate formation. Reconstituted dacarbazine solutions were stable for 24 hours at room temperature and during light exposure and stable for at least 96 hours at 2-6 degrees C when stored in the dark. After dilution in PVC bags, stability time increased from 2 hours in daylight to 24 hours in fluorescent light and to 72 hours when covered with aluminum foil. After two hours of simulated infusion, dacarbazine remained stable. Diluted dacarbazine solutions stored at 2-6 degrees C were stable for at least 168 hours. The only degradation product found was 2-azahypoxanthine, which was detected in every sample. The storage and handling of dacarbazine should take into account both the loss of the drug and the production of its potentially toxic degradation product. Dacarbazine must be carefully protected from light, administered using opaque infusion tubing, and, if necessary, refrigerated before administration to reduce 2-azahypoxanthine formation. PMID:12132562

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Ancient Ephemeroptera-Collembola symbiosis fossilized in amber predicts contemporary phoretic associations.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Schädel, Mario; Bechly, Günter

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27394756

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25885453

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Fast Analytical Methods for Macroscopic Electrostatic Models in Biomolecular Simulations*

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zhenli; Cai, Wei

    2013-01-01

    We review recent developments of fast analytical methods for macroscopic electrostatic calculations in biological applications, including the Poisson–Boltzmann (PB) and the generalized Born models for electrostatic solvation energy. The focus is on analytical approaches for hybrid solvation models, especially the image charge method for a spherical cavity, and also the generalized Born theory as an approximation to the PB model. This review places much emphasis on the mathematical details behind these methods. PMID:23745011

  19. Adaptive time stepping in biomolecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Franklin, J; Doniach, S

    2005-09-22

    , it is easier to see the effects when damping is considered to be physical--that is, we do not view our method as a perturbation of Newtonian dynamics, we associate the damping with the environment, for example, a water bath (with gamma approximately 90 ps(-1)) [Zagrovic and Pande, J. Comp. Chem. 24, 1432 (2003)]. All stochastic approaches to MD are stabilized by large physical damping, but here, we are really using it only to show that the resonance frequency can be obtained. Another simplifying assumption used in this paper is "heavy" hydrogen (we take the hydrogen mass to be 10 amu)--the view here is that we are interested primarily in the slowest degrees of freedom, and this approach has effects similar to bond freezing and united atom treatments of hydrogen. So from the point of view of biomolecular applications, the method described here is best suited to studies in which water is not explicit (so that damping in the problem can really be viewed as environmental interaction), and the interest is in slow dynamics where the effects of hydrogen are neglectable. There are a number of parameters in the LN method and the one derived here, and we cannot in a short paper address all adjustments, so our primary goal as a first pass is to show that stability can be recovered for a set of numerically forced (and hence artificial) bond oscillations, and compare stability to fixed-step methods.

  20. 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

  1. Output-input ratio in thermally fluctuating biomolecular machines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2010-10-26

    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

  6. 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.

  7. A swarm of whiteflies--the first record of gregarious behavior from Eocene Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27023734

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:27340217

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

    PubMed

    Garrouste, Romain; Azar, Dany; Nel, Andre

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27394507

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Color image detection by biomolecular photoreceptor using bacteriorhodopsin-based complex LB films.

    PubMed

    Choi, H G; Jung, W C; Min, J; Lee, W H; Choi, J W

    2001-12-01

    A biomolecular photoreceptor consisting of bacteriorhodopsin (bR)-based complex Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films was developed for color image detection. By mimicking the functions of the pigments in retina of human visual system, biomolecules with photoelectric conversion function were chosen and used as constituents for an artificial photoreceptor. bR and flavin were deposited onto the patterned (9-pixelized) ITO glass by LB technique. A 9-pixel biomolecular photoreceptor was fabricated with a sandwich-type structure of ITO/LB films/electrolyte gel/Pt. Since each functional molecule shows its own response characteristic according to the light illumination in the visible region, the simplified knowledge-based algorithm for interpretation of the incident light wavelength (color) was proposed based on the basic rule describing the relationship between the photoelectric response characteristics and the incident light wavelength. When simple color images were projected onto the photoreceptor, the primary colors in visible light region, red, green, and blue were clearly recognized, and the projected color images were fairly well reproduced onto the color monitor by the proposed photoreceptor with the knowledge-based algorithm. It is concluded that the proposed device has a capability of recognizing the color images and can be used as a model system to simulate the information processing function of the human visual system.

  18. 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. PMID:23437034

  19. 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. PMID:27408601

  20. The adaptive buffered force QM/MM method in the CP2K and AMBER software packages.

    PubMed

    Mones, Letif; Jones, Andrew; Götz, Andreas W; Laino, Teodoro; Walker, Ross C; Leimkuhler, Ben; Csányi, Gábor; Bernstein, Noam

    2015-04-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Properties of the CO and H2O MOLsphere of the red supergiant Betelgeuse from VLTI/AMBER observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montargès, M.; Kervella, P.; Perrin, G.; Ohnaka, K.; Chiavassa, A.; Ridgway, S. T.; Lacour, S.

    2014-12-01

    Context. Betelgeuse is the closest red supergiant (RSG); therefore, it is well suited for studying the complex processes in its atmosphere that lead to the chemical enrichment of the interstellar medium. Aims: We intend to investigate the shape and composition of the close molecular layer (also known as the MOLsphere) that surrounds the star. This analysis is part of a wider program that aims at understanding the dynamics of the circumstellar envelope of Betelgeuse. Methods: On January and February 2011, Betelgeuse was observed using the Astronomical Multi-BEam combineR (AMBER) instrument of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in the H and K bands. Using the medium spectral resolution of the instrument (R ~ 1500), we were able to investigate the carbon monoxide band heads and the water-vapor bands. We used two different approaches to analyse our data: a model fit in both the continuum and absorption lines and then a fit with a radiative hydrodynamics (RHD) simulation. Results: Using the continuum data, we derive a uniform disk diameter of 41.01 ± 0.41 mas, a power law type limb-darkened disk diameter of 42.28 ± 0.43 mas and a limb-darkening exponent of 0.155 ± 0.009. Within the absorption lines, using a single layer model, we obtain parameters of the MOLsphere. Using a RHD simulation, we unveil the convection pattern in the visibilities. Conclusions: We derived a new value of the angular diameter of Betelgeuse in the K band continuum. Our observations in the absorption lines are well reproduced by a molecular layer at 1.2 stellar radii containing both CO and H2O. The visibilities at higher spatial frequencies are matching a convection pattern in a RHD simulation. Based on AMBER observations made with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programmes ID 086.D-0351 and 286.D-5036(A).Table 1 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  3. The HADDOCK web server for data-driven biomolecular docking.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Sjoerd J; van Dijk, Marc; Bonvin, Alexandre M J J

    2010-05-01

    Computational docking is the prediction or modeling of the three-dimensional structure of a biomolecular complex, starting from the structures of the individual molecules in their free, unbound form. HADDOCK is a popular docking program that takes a data-driven approach to docking, with support for a wide range of experimental data. Here we present the HADDOCK web server protocol, facilitating the modeling of biomolecular complexes for a wide community. The main web interface is user-friendly, requiring only the structures of the individual components and a list of interacting residues as input. Additional web interfaces allow the more advanced user to exploit the full range of experimental data supported by HADDOCK and to customize the docking process. The HADDOCK server has access to the resources of a dedicated cluster and of the e-NMR GRID infrastructure. Therefore, a typical docking run takes only a few minutes to prepare and a few hours to complete.

  4. A biomolecular isolation framework for eco-systems biology.

    PubMed

    Roume, Hugo; Muller, Emilie E L; Cordes, Thekla; Renaut, Jenny; Hiller, Karsten; Wilmes, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Mixed microbial communities are complex, dynamic and heterogeneous. It is therefore essential that biomolecular fractions obtained for high-throughput omic analyses are representative of single samples to facilitate meaningful data integration, analysis and modeling. We have developed a new methodological framework for the reproducible isolation of high-quality genomic DNA, large and small RNA, proteins, and polar and non-polar metabolites from single unique mixed microbial community samples. The methodology is based around reproducible cryogenic sample preservation and cell lysis. Metabolites are extracted first using organic solvents, followed by the sequential isolation of nucleic acids and proteins using chromatographic spin columns. The methodology was validated by comparison to traditional dedicated and simultaneous biomolecular isolation methods. To prove the broad applicability of the methodology, we applied it to microbial consortia of biotechnological, environmental and biomedical research interest. The developed methodological framework lays the foundation for standardized molecular eco-systematic studies on a range of different microbial communities in the future.

  5. Label-free molecular beacons for biomolecular detection.

    PubMed

    Tan, Xiaohong; Wang, Yi; Armitage, Bruce A; Bruchez, Marcel P

    2014-11-01

    Biomolecular detection and imaging methods provide quantitative measurements essential for biological research. In this context, molecular beacon based sensors have emerged as powerful, no-wash imaging agents, providing target-specific fluorescent activation for nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules. Conventional molecular beacons require double-labeled DNA sequences, which are costly and time-consuming to prepare. To address this issue, we developed DNA based label-free molecular beacons consisting of two regions: a signal-generating region based on human telomeric G-quadruplex sequence that activates Thioflavin T fluorescence and a target recognition sequence designed to interact in a molecular beacon format. We demonstrated the utility of these probes for the selective detection of DNA, RNA, and protein. Multiple probes were applied against a single target to achieve improved brightness in fluorescence detection of nucleic acid targets. This label-free strategy provides a straightforward, cost-effective alternative to fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides in biomolecular detection and imaging.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. On the potential of hyperpolarized water in biomolecular NMR studies

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Talia; Szekely, Or; Frydman, Lucio

    2016-01-01

    A main obstacle arising when using ex-situ hyperpolarization to increase the sensitivity of biomolecular NMR, is the fast relaxation that macromolecular spins undergo upon being transferred from the polarizer to the spectrometer where their observation takes place. To cope with this limitation the present study explores the use of hyperpolarized water, as a means to enhance the sensitivity of nuclei in biomolecules. Methods to achieve proton polarizations in excess of 5% in water transferred into the NMR spectrometer were devised, as were methods enabling this polarization to last for up to 30 sec. Upon dissolving aminoacids and polypeptides sited at the spectrometer into such hyperpolarized water, a substantial enhancement of certain biomolecular amide and amine proton resonances was observed. This exchange driven 1H enhancement was further passed on to sidechain and to backbone nitrogens, owing to spontaneous one-bond Overhauser processes. 15N signal enhancements >500 over 11.7 T thermal counterparts could thus be imparted, in a kinetic process that enabled multi-scan signal averaging. Besides potential bioanalytical uses, this approach opens interesting possibilities in the monitoring of dynamic biomolecular processes -including solvent accessibility and exchange process. PMID:24417324

  9. A Generalized Knowledge-Based Discriminatory Function for Biomolecular Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, Brady; Samudrala, Ram

    2010-01-01

    Several novel and established knowledge-based discriminatory function formulations and reference state derivations have been evaluated to identify parameter sets capable of distinguishing native and near-native biomolecular interactions from incorrect ones. We developed the r·m·r function, a novel atomic level radial distribution function with mean reference state that averages over all pairwise atom types from a reduced atom type composition, using experimentally determined intermolecular complexes in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) and the Protein Data Bank (PDB) as the information sources. We demonstrate that r·m·r had the best discriminatory accuracy and power for protein-small molecule and protein-DNA interactions, regardless of whether the native complex was included or excluded from the test set. The superior performance of the r·m·r discriminatory function compared to seventeen alternative functions evaluated on publicly available test sets for protein-small molecule and protein-DNA interactions indicated that the function was not over optimized through back testing on a single class of biomolecular interactions. The initial success of the reduced composition and superior performance with the CSD as the distribution set over the PDB implies that further improvements and generality of the function are possible by deriving probabilities from subsets of the CSD, using structures that consist of only the atom types to be considered for given biomolecular interactions. The method is available as a web server module at http://protinfo.compbio.washington.edu. PMID:19127590

  10. Biomolecular electrostatics with the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann equation.

    PubMed Central

    Fogolari, F; Zuccato, P; Esposito, G; Viglino, P

    1999-01-01

    Electrostatics plays a key role in many biological processes. The Poisson-Boltzmann equation (PBE) and its linearized form (LPBE) allow prediction of electrostatic effects for biomolecular systems. The discrepancies between the solutions of the PBE and those of the LPBE are well known for systems with a simple geometry, but much less for biomolecular systems. Results for high charge density systems show that there are limitations to the applicability of the LPBE at low ionic strength and, to a lesser extent, at higher ionic strength. For systems with a simple geometry, the onset of nonlinear effects has been shown to be governed by the ratio of the electric field over the Debye screening constant. This ratio is used in the present work to correct the LPBE results to reproduce fairly accurately those obtained from the PBE for systems with a simple geometry. Since the correction does not involve any geometrical parameter, it can be easily applied to real biomolecular systems. The error on the potential for the LPBE (compared to the PBE) spans few kT/q for the systems studied here and is greatly reduced by the correction. This allows for a more accurate evaluation of the electrostatic free energy of the systems. PMID:9876118

  11. 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.

  12. Biomolecular templating of functional hybrid nanostructures using repeat protein scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Romera, David; Couleaud, Pierre; Mejias, Sara H; Aires, Antonio; Cortajarena, Aitziber L

    2015-10-01

    The precise synthesis of materials and devices with tailored complex structures and properties is a requisite for the development of the next generation of products based on nanotechnology. Nowadays, the technology for the generation of this type of devices lacks the precision to determine their properties and is accomplished mostly by 'trial and error' experimental approaches. The use of bottom-up approaches that rely on highly specific biomolecular interactions of small and simple components is an attractive approach for the templating of nanoscale elements. In nature, protein assemblies define complex structures and functions. Engineering novel bio-inspired assemblies by exploiting the same rules and interactions that encode the natural diversity is an emerging field that opens the door to create nanostructures with numerous potential applications in synthetic biology and nanotechnology. Self-assembly of biological molecules into defined functional structures has a tremendous potential in nano-patterning and the design of novel materials and functional devices. Molecular self-assembly is a process by which complex 3D structures with specified functions are constructed from simple molecular building blocks. Here we discuss the basis of biomolecular templating, the great potential of repeat proteins as building blocks for biomolecular templating and nano-patterning. In particular, we focus on the designed consensus tetratricopeptide repeats (CTPRs), the control on the assembly of these proteins into higher order structures and their potential as building blocks in order to generate functional nanostructures and materials.

  13. 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

    2016-08-01

    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

  14. Base Flipping in a GCGC Containing DNA Dodecamer:  A Comparative Study of the Performance of the Nucleic Acid Force Fields, CHARMM, AMBER, and BMS.

    PubMed

    Priyakumar, U Deva; MacKerell, Alexander D

    2006-01-01

    The improving quality of empirical force field parameters along with other methodological improvements and ever increasing computational resources have lead to more reliable computations on biological macromolecules. In the case of oligonucleotides, three force fields, namely CHARMM27, AMBER4.1, and BMS, have been developed and are widely used by the simulation community. Testing of these force fields to date has primarily focused on their treatment of the canonical forms of DNA and RNA. However, many biological functions of oligonucleotides involve significant variation of their structures from the canonical forms. In the present work, the three force fields are evaluated via computation of potentials of mean force (PMF) of the base flipping process in a DNA dodecamer, 5'-GTCAGCGCATGG-3'. Results are compared with available experimental data on the equilibrium between the opened and closed (i.e. Watson-Crick base paired) state of the underlined C and its WC partner G. Quantitative analysis shows CHARMM to be in the best agreement with experiment, closely followed by AMBER with BMS in the poorest agreement. Various components contributing to the change in the free energy such as base pair interactions, stacking interactions, solvation effects, and intrinsic potential energy changes were evaluated and compared. The results indicate that while all three force fields reasonably represent the canonical structures, the balance of forces contributing to their structural and dynamic properties differ significantly. PMID:26626393

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  17. 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. PMID:25328495

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Enhanced semiempirical QM methods for biomolecular interactions.

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2015-10-01

    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.

  3. First records of Chevrolatiini and Cephenniini in Eocene Baltic amber (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Scydmaeninae).

    PubMed

    Jałoszyński, Paweł; Kubisz, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Fossils of two tribes of the ant-like stone beetles, previously unknown in Eocene deposits, are recorded, based on inclusions in Baltic amber. Well-preserved specimens of Chevrolatia sp. (Chevrolatiini) and Cephennodes sp. (Cephenniini) are described, but the species lack reliable diagnostic characters and remain unnamed. This is the first record of a fossil of Chevrolatiini, an extant tribe that includes only one genus, Chevrolatia Jacquelin du Val, distributed in the Holarctic, Mexico, West Palaearctic and Afrotropical regions. The extant tribe Cephenniini, in turn, is cosmopolitan, but the only fossil unambiguously assigned to this taxon, an unnamed genus, was known from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber. Many extant species of Cephennodes Reitter are known from Palaearctic, but they predominantly inhabit its eastern part, with only two species occurring in Europe. The Eocene specimen of Cephennodes sp. is also the first known fossil of this genus. PMID:27395147

  4. 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

    2002-02-01

    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.

  5. Spirochete and protist symbionts of a termite (Mastotermes electrodominicus) in Miocene amber

    PubMed Central

    Wier, Andrew; Dolan, Michael; Grimaldi, David; Guerrero, Ricardo; Wagensberg, Jorge; Margulis, Lynn

    2002-01-01

    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. PMID:11818534

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Terrestrial soft-bodied protists and other microorganisms in triassic amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, G O; Waggoner, B M; Bauer, U C

    1993-01-01

    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. PMID:17790989

  11. Terrestrial soft-bodied protists and other microorganisms in triassic amber.

    PubMed

    Poinar, G O; Waggoner, B M; Bauer, U C

    1993-01-01

    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.

  12. 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. PMID:22259293

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The anamorphic genus Monotosporella (Ascomycota) from Eocene amber and from modern Agathis resin.

    PubMed

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Beimforde, Christina; Gube, Matthias; Rikkinen, Jouko; Singh, Hukam; Seyfullah, Leyla J; Heinrichs, Jochen; Nascimbene, Paul C; Reitner, Joachim; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2012-10-01

    The anamorphic fungal genus Monotosporella (Ascomycota, Sordariomycetes) has been reco-vered from a piece of Early Eocene Indian amber, as well as from the surface of extant resin flows in New Caledonia. The fossil fungus was obtained from the Tarkeshwar Lignite Mine of Gujarat State, western India, and was part of the biota of an early tropical angiosperm rainforest. The amber inclusion represents the second fossil record of Sordariomycetes, as well as the first fossil of its particular order (either Savoryellales or Chaetosphaeriales). The fossil fungus is distinguished from extant representatives by possessing both short conidiophores and small two-septate pyriform conidia, and is described as Monotosporella doerfeltii sp. nov. Inside the amber, the anamorph is attached to its substrate, which is likely the degraded thallus of a cladoniform lichen. The extant New Caledonian species is assigned to Monotosporella setosa. It was found growing on semi-solidified resin flows of Agathis ovata (Araucariaceae), and is the first record of Monotosporella from modern resin substrates. PMID:23063189

  18. Thermal coupling at aqueous and biomolecular interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shenogina, Natalia B.

    Heat flow in the materials with nanoscopic features is dominated by thermal properties of the interfaces. While thermal properties of the solid-solid and solid-liquid interfaces are well studied, research of the thermal transport properties across soft (liquid-liquid) interfaces is very limited. Such interfaces are, however, plentiful in biological systems. In such systems the temperature control is of a great importance, because biochemical reactions, conformation of biomolecules as well as processes in biological cells and membranes have strong temperature sensitivity. The critical ingredient to temperature control in biological systems is the understanding of heat flow and thermal coupling across soft interfaces. To investigate heat transfer across biological and aqueous interfaces we chose to study a number of soft interfacial systems by means of molecular dynamic simulations. One of the interfaces under our investigation is the interface between protein (specifically green fluorescent protein) and water. Using this model we concentrated on the importance of vibrational frequency on coupling between water and proteins, and on significant differences between the roles of low and high frequency vibrations. Our thermal interfacial analysis allowed us to shed new light on to the issue of protein to water slaving, i.e., the concept of water controlling protein dynamics. Considering that the surface of the protein is composed of a complicated mixture of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic domains, to systematically explore the role of interfacial interactions we studied less complicated models with homogenous interfaces whith interfacial chemistry that could be changed in a controlled manner. We demonstrated that thermal transport measurements can be used to probe interfacial environments and to quantify interfacial bonding strength. Such ability provides a unique opportunity to characterize a variety of interfaces, which can be difficult to achieve with more direct

  19. 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.

  20. Automatic extraction of biomolecular interactions: an empirical approach

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background We describe a method for extracting data about how biomolecule pairs interact from texts. This method relies on empirically determined characteristics of sentences. The characteristics are efficient to compute, making this approach to extraction of biomolecular interactions scalable. The results of such interaction mining can support interaction network annotation, question answering, database construction, and other applications. Results We constructed a software system to search MEDLINE for sentences likely to describe interactions between given biomolecules. The system extracts a list of the interaction-indicating terms appearing in those sentences, then ranks those terms based on their likelihood of correctly characterizing how the biomolecules interact. The ranking process uses a tf-idf (term frequency–inverse document frequency) based technique using empirically derived knowledge about sentences, and was applied to the MEDLINE literature collection. Software was developed as part of the MetNet toolkit (http://www.metnetdb.org). Conclusions Specific, efficiently computable characteristics of sentences about biomolecular interactions were analyzed to better understand how to use these characteristics to extract how biomolecules interact. The text empirics method that was investigated, though arising from a classical tradition, has yet to be fully explored for the task of extracting biomolecular interactions from the literature. The conclusions we reach about the sentence characteristics investigated in this work, as well as the technique itself, could be used by other systems to provide evidence about putative interactions, thus supporting efforts to maximize the ability of hybrid systems to support such tasks as annotating and constructing interaction networks. PMID:23883165

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Knowledge based cluster ensemble for cancer discovery from biomolecular data.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhiwen; Wongb, Hau-San; You, Jane; Yang, Qinmin; Liao, Hongying

    2011-06-01

    The adoption of microarray techniques in biological and medical research provides a new way for cancer diagnosis and treatment. In order to perform successful diagnosis and treatment of cancer, discovering and classifying cancer types correctly is essential. Class discovery is one of the most important tasks in cancer classification using biomolecular data. Most of the existing works adopt single clustering algorithms to perform class discovery from biomolecular data. However, single clustering algorithms have limitations, which include a lack of robustness, stability, and accuracy. In this paper, we propose a new cluster ensemble approach called knowledge based cluster ensemble (KCE) which incorporates the prior knowledge of the data sets into the cluster ensemble framework. Specifically, KCE represents the prior knowledge of a data set in the form of pairwise constraints. Then, the spectral clustering algorithm (SC) is adopted to generate a set of clustering solutions. Next, KCE transforms pairwise constraints into confidence factors for these clustering solutions. After that, a consensus matrix is constructed by considering all the clustering solutions and their corresponding confidence factors. The final clustering result is obtained by partitioning the consensus matrix. Comparison with single clustering algorithms and conventional cluster ensemble approaches, knowledge based cluster ensemble approaches are more robust, stable and accurate. The experiments on cancer data sets show that: 1) KCE works well on these data sets; 2) KCE not only outperforms most of the state-of-the-art single clustering algorithms, but also outperforms most of the state-of-the-art cluster ensemble approaches.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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

    2015-09-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Analysis of biomolecular interactions using affinity microcolumns: a review.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiwei; Li, Zhao; Beeram, Sandya; Podariu, Maria; Matsuda, Ryan; Pfaunmiller, Erika L; White, Christopher J; Carter, NaTasha; Hage, David S

    2014-10-01

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Investigation of amber light-emitting diodes based on InGaN/AlN/AlGaN quantum wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iida, Daisuke; Lu, Shen; Hirahara, Sota; Niwa, Kazumasa; Kamiyama, Satoshi; Ohkawa, Kazuhiro

    2016-05-01

    We investigated InGaN-based amber light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with AlN/(Al)GaN barrier layers grown by metalorganic vapor-phase epitaxy. Tensilely strained AlN/Al0.03Ga0.97N barriers improved the crystalline quality of compressively strained InGaN quantum wells. We found that strain compensation among wells and barriers improves the external quantum efficiency of high-In-content InGaN-based amber LEDs. The amber LEDs with AlN/Al0.03Ga0.97N barriers have shown an electroluminescence (EL) intensity approximately 2.5-fold that of LEDs with the AlN/GaN barriers at 20 mA.

  18. Subfamily Limoniinae Speiser, 1909 (Diptera, Limoniidae) from Baltic amber (Eocene): the genus Elephantomyia Osten Sacken, 1860.

    PubMed

    Kania, Iwona

    2015-01-01

    A revision of the genus Elephantomyia Osten Sacken (Diptera: Limoniidae) from Baltic amber (Eocene) is presented. Four species--E. baltica Alexander, E. brevipalpa Loew, E. longirostris Loew, and E. pulchella Loew--are redescribed and documented with photographs and drawings. In addition, two new species of the genus are described: Elephantomyia bozenae sp. nov., and Elephantomyia irinae sp. nov. All these fossil species are placed within the subgenus Elephantomyia. A key to the extinct species of Elephantomyia is provided, and the genus' ecological pattern and evolutionary aspects are discussed. PMID:25706127

  19. Subfamily Limoniinae Speiser, 1909 (Diptera, Limoniidae) from Baltic Amber (Eocene): The Genus Elephantomyia Osten Sacken, 1860

    PubMed Central

    Kania, Iwona

    2015-01-01

    A revision of the genus Elephantomyia Osten Sacken (Diptera: Limoniidae) from Baltic amber (Eocene) is presented. Four species—E. baltica Alexander, E. brevipalpa Loew, E. longirostris Loew, and E. pulchella Loew—are redescribed and documented with photographs and drawings. In addition, two new species of the genus are described: Elephantomyia bozenae sp. nov., and Elephantomyia irinae sp. nov. All these fossil species are placed within the subgenus Elephantomyia. A key to the extinct species of Elephantomyia is provided, and the genus’ ecological pattern and evolutionary aspects are discussed. PMID:25706127

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Sucinolivolia torpida--a new genus and species of flea-beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae) from Baltic amber.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

    Sucinolivolia torpida gen. nov. et sp. nov. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini) is described and illustrated from Eocene Baltic amber. The new monotypic genus is compared with fossil and extant flea-beetle genera. Sucinolivolia gen. nov. is similar to the extant Livolia Jacoby and Orthaltica Crotch, but difference include the absence of an antebasal pronotal sulcus, not crenulate lateral pronotal margins, possessing very short genae, more robust legs, and the shape of tibiae. Including this new record, six described species of Alticini are known from Baltic amber.

  3. 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. PMID:26879963

  4. 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.

  5. Processivity and collectivity of biomolecular motors extracting membrane nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Fontenele Araujo, Francisco; Storm, Cornelis

    2012-07-01

    Biomolecular motors can pull and viscously drag membranes. The resulting elongations include cell protrusions, tether networks, and sensorial tentacles. Here we focus on the extraction of a single tube from a vesicle. Via a force balance coupled to binding kinetics, we analytically determine the phase diagram of tube formation as function of the motor processivity, the surface viscosity of the membrane η'(m), and the density of motors on the vesicle ρ. Three tubulation mechanisms are identified: (i) tip pulling, due to the accumulation of motors at the leading edge of the membrane, (ii) viscous drag, emergent from the translation of motors along the tube, and (iii) hybrid extraction, such that tip pulling and viscous drag are equally important. For experimental values of η'(m) and ρ, we find that the growth of bionanotubes tends to be driven by viscous forces, whereas artificial membranes are dominated by tip pulling.

  6. Carbon Substrates: A Stable Foundation for Biomolecular Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lockett, Matthew R.; Smith, Lloyd M.

    2015-07-01

    Since their advent in the early 1990s, microarray technologies have developed into a powerful and ubiquitous platform for biomolecular analysis. Microarrays consist of three major elements: the substrate upon which they are constructed, the chemistry employed to attach biomolecules, and the biomolecules themselves. Although glass substrates and silane-based attachment chemistries are used for the vast majority of current microarray platforms, these materials suffer from severe limitations in stability, due to hydrolysis of both the substrate material itself and of the silyl ether linkages employed for attachment. These limitations in stability compromise assay performance and render impossible many potential microarray applications. We describe here a suite of alternative carbon-based substrates and associated attachment chemistries for microarray fabrication. The substrates themselves, as well as the carbon-carbon bond-based attachment chemistries, offer greatly increased chemical stability, enabling a myriad of novel applications.

  7. 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.

  8. Facing and Overcoming Sensitivity Challenges in Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ardenkjaer-Larsen, Jan-Henrik; Boebinger, Gregory S; Comment, Arnaud; Duckett, Simon; Edison, Arthur S; Engelke, Frank; Griesinger, Christian; Griffin, Robert G; Hilty, Christian; Maeda, Hidaeki; Parigi, Giacomo; Prisner, Thomas; Ravera, Enrico; van Bentum, Jan; Vega, Shimon; Webb, Andrew; Luchinat, Claudio; Schwalbe, Harald; Frydman, Lucio

    2015-08-01

    In the Spring of 2013, NMR spectroscopists convened at the Weizmann Institute in Israel to brainstorm on approaches to improve the sensitivity of NMR experiments, particularly when applied in biomolecular settings. This multi-author interdisciplinary Review presents a state-of-the-art description of the primary approaches that were considered. Topics discussed included the future of ultrahigh-field NMR systems, emerging NMR detection technologies, new approaches to nuclear hyperpolarization, and progress in sample preparation. All of these are orthogonal efforts, whose gains could multiply and thereby enhance the sensitivity of solid- and liquid-state experiments. While substantial advances have been made in all these areas, numerous challenges remain in the quest of endowing NMR spectroscopy with the sensitivity that has characterized forms of spectroscopies based on electrical or optical measurements. These challenges, and the ways by which scientists and engineers are striving to solve them, are also addressed. PMID:26136394

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Facing and Overcoming Sensitivity Challenges in Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ardenkjaer-Larsen, Jan-Henrik; Boebinger, Gregory S; Comment, Arnaud; Duckett, Simon; Edison, Arthur S; Engelke, Frank; Griesinger, Christian; Griffin, Robert G; Hilty, Christian; Maeda, Hidaeki; Parigi, Giacomo; Prisner, Thomas; Ravera, Enrico; van Bentum, Jan; Vega, Shimon; Webb, Andrew; Luchinat, Claudio; Schwalbe, Harald; Frydman, Lucio

    2015-08-01

    In the Spring of 2013, NMR spectroscopists convened at the Weizmann Institute in Israel to brainstorm on approaches to improve the sensitivity of NMR experiments, particularly when applied in biomolecular settings. This multi-author interdisciplinary Review presents a state-of-the-art description of the primary approaches that were considered. Topics discussed included the future of ultrahigh-field NMR systems, emerging NMR detection technologies, new approaches to nuclear hyperpolarization, and progress in sample preparation. All of these are orthogonal efforts, whose gains could multiply and thereby enhance the sensitivity of solid- and liquid-state experiments. While substantial advances have been made in all these areas, numerous challenges remain in the quest of endowing NMR spectroscopy with the sensitivity that has characterized forms of spectroscopies based on electrical or optical measurements. These challenges, and the ways by which scientists and engineers are striving to solve them, are also addressed.

  12. Applied Graph-Mining Algorithms to Study Biomolecular Interaction Networks

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks carry vital information on the organization of molecular interactions in cellular systems. The identification of functionally relevant modules in PPI networks is one of the most important applications of biological network analysis. Computational analysis is becoming an indispensable tool to understand large-scale biomolecular interaction networks. Several types of computational methods have been developed and employed for the analysis of PPI networks. Of these computational methods, graph comparison and module detection are the two most commonly used strategies. This review summarizes current literature on graph kernel and graph alignment methods for graph comparison strategies, as well as module detection approaches including seed-and-extend, hierarchical clustering, optimization-based, probabilistic, and frequent subgraph methods. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of the major algorithms employed under each theme, including our recently published frequent subgraph method, for detecting functional modules commonly shared across multiple cancer PPI networks. PMID:24800226

  13. Microwave transmission line dielectric probe to detect biomolecular surface interactions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qin; McMurdie, Joey; Roitman, Daniel; Knoesen, Andre

    2004-01-01

    A probe was developed to detect biomolecular binding events at a liquid-solid interface in the microwave regime in real time and without using fluorescence labels. The probe consists of a coplanar transmission line (CTL) fabricated on a glass slide that can detect dielectric changes in close proximity of the interface. The CTL geometry concentrates the electric flux density in the gap region between the signal and ground electrodes and makes it very sensitive to permittivity changes at the liquid-solid interface. The probe operation was demonstrated by immobilizing protein A on the glass surface and detecting rabbit IgG molecules in a flow channel. The sensitivity was conservatively estimated to be 100 pg/mm(2).

  14. 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.

  15. Minimal metabolic pathway structure is consistent with associated biomolecular interactions.

    PubMed

    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

  16. Structure and Interactions of Isolated Biomolecular Building Blocks.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vries, Mattanjah

    2006-03-01

    We investigate biomolecular building blocks and their clusters with each other and with water on a single molecular level. The motivation is the need to distinguish between intrinsic molecular properties and those that result from the biological environment. This is achieved by a combination of laser desorption and jet cooling, applied to aromatic amino acids, small peptides containing those, nucleobases and nucleosides. This approach is coupled with a number of laser spectroscopic techniques, including resonant multi-photon ionization, spectral hole burning and infra-red ion-dip spectroscopy. We will discuss examples illustrating how information can be obtained on spatial structure of individual biomolecules, including peptide conformations and details of DNA base-pairing.

  17. 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

  18. High-speed AFM for Studying Dynamic Biomolecular Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ando, Toshio

    2008-03-01

    Biological molecules show their vital activities only in aqueous solutions. It had been one of dreams in biological sciences to directly observe biological macromolecules (protein, DNA) at work under a physiological condition because such observation is straightforward to understanding their dynamic behaviors and functional mechanisms. Optical microscopy has no sufficient spatial resolution and electron microscopy is not applicable to in-liquid samples. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) can visualize molecules in liquids at high resolution but its imaging rate was too low to capture dynamic biological processes. This slow imaging rate is because AFM employs mechanical probes (cantilevers) and mechanical scanners to detect the sample height at each pixel. It is quite difficult to quickly move a mechanical device of macroscopic size with sub-nanometer accuracy without producing unwanted vibrations. It is also difficult to maintain the delicate contact between a probe tip and fragile samples. Two key techniques are required to realize high-speed AFM for biological research; fast feedback control to maintain a weak tip-sample interaction force and a technique to suppress mechanical vibrations of the scanner. Various efforts have been carried out in the past decade to materialize high-speed AFM. The current high-speed AFM can capture images on video at 30-60 frames/s for a scan range of 250nm and 100 scan lines, without significantly disturbing week biomolecular interaction. Our recent studies demonstrated that this new microscope can reveal biomolecular processes such as myosin V walking along actin tracks and association/dissociation dynamics of chaperonin GroEL-GroES that occurs in a negatively cooperative manner. The capacity of nanometer-scale visualization of dynamic processes in liquids will innovate on biological research. In addition, it will open a new way to study dynamic chemical/physical processes of various phenomena that occur at the liquid-solid interfaces.

  19. 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.

  20. Sequence co-evolutionary information is a natural partner to minimally-frustrated models of biomolecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Noel, Jeffrey K; Morcos, Faruck; Onuchic, Jose N

    2016-01-01

    Experimentally derived structural constraints have been crucial to the implementation of computational models of biomolecular dynamics. For example, not only does crystallography provide essential starting points for molecular simulations but also high-resolution structures permit for parameterization of simplified models. Since the energy landscapes for proteins and other biomolecules have been shown to be minimally frustrated and therefore funneled, these structure-based models have played a major role in understanding the mechanisms governing folding and many functions of these systems. Structural information, however, may be limited in many interesting cases. Recently, the statistical analysis of residue co-evolution in families of protein sequences has provided a complementary method of discovering residue-residue contact interactions involved in functional configurations. These functional configurations are often transient and difficult to capture experimentally. Thus, co-evolutionary information can be merged with that available for experimentally characterized low free-energy structures, in order to more fully capture the true underlying biomolecular energy landscape. PMID:26918164

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27244582

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Amber, ochre and opal suppressor tRNA genes derived from a human serine tRNA gene.

    PubMed Central

    Capone, J P; Sharp, P A; RajBhandary, U L

    1985-01-01

    Amber, ochre and opal suppressor tRNA genes have been generated by using oligonucleotide directed site-specific mutagenesis to change one or two nucleotides in a human serine tRNA gene. The amber and ochre suppressor (Su+) tRNA genes are efficiently expressed in CV-1 cells when introduced as part of a SV40 recombinant. The expressed amber and ochre Su+ tRNAs are functional as suppressors as demonstrated by readthrough of the amber codon which terminates the NS1 gene of an influenza virus or the ochre codon which terminates the hexon gene of adenovirus, respectively. Interestingly, several attempts to obtain the equivalent virus stock of an SV40 recombinant containing the opal suppressor tRNA gene yielded virus lacking the opal suppressor tRNA gene. This suggests that expression of an efficient opal suppressor derived from a human serine tRNA gene is highly detrimental to either cellular or viral processes. Images Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. PMID:2990894

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Spatially-Interactive Biomolecular Networks Organized by Nucleic Acid Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Jinglin; Liu, Minghui; Liu, Yan; Yan, Hao

    2013-01-01

    Conspectus Living systems have evolved a variety of nanostructures to control the molecular interactions that mediate many functions including the recognition of targets by receptors, the binding of enzymes to substrates, and the regulation of enzymatic activity. Mimicking these structures outside of the cell requires methods that offer nanoscale control over the organization of individual network components. Advances in DNA nanotechnology have enabled the design and fabrication of sophisticated one-, two- and three-dimensional (1D, 2D and 3D) nanostructures that utilize spontaneous and sequence specific DNA hybridization. Compared to other self-assembling biopolymers, DNA nanostructures offer predictable and programmable interactions, and surface features to which other nanoparticles and bio-molecules can be precisely positioned. The ability to control the spatial arrangement of the components while constructing highly-organized networks will lead to various applications of these systems. For example, DNA nanoarrays with surface displays of molecular probes can sense noncovalent hybridization interactions with DNA, RNA, and proteins and covalent chemical reactions. DNA nanostructures can also align external molecules into well-defined arrays, which may improve the resolution of many structural determination methods, such as X-ray diffraction, cryo-EM, NMR, and super-resolution fluorescence. Moreover, by constraining target entities to specific conformations, self-assembled DNA nanostructures can serve as molecular rulers to evaluate conformation-dependent activities. This Account describes the most recent advances in the DNA nanostructure directed assembly of biomolecular networks and explores the possibility of applying this technology to other fields of study. Recently, several reports have demonstrated the DNA nanostructure directed assembly of spatially-interactive biomolecular networks. For example, researchers have constructed synthetic multi-enzyme cascades

  15. Biomolecular detection employing the Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS).

    PubMed

    Lopez, Carlos A; Daaboul, George G; Ahn, Sunmin; Reddington, Alexander P; Monroe, Margo R; Zhang, Xirui; Irani, Rostem J; Yu, Chunxiao; Genco, Caroline A; Cretich, Marina; Chiari, Marcella; Goldberg, Bennett B; Connor, John H; Ünlü, M Selim

    2011-05-03

    The sensitive measurement of biomolecular interactions has use in many fields and industries such as basic biology and microbiology, environmental/agricultural/biodefense monitoring, nanobiotechnology, and more. For diagnostic applications, monitoring (detecting) the presence, absence, or abnormal expression of targeted proteomic or genomic biomarkers found in patient samples can be used to determine treatment approaches or therapy efficacy. In the research arena, information on molecular affinities and specificities are useful for fully characterizing the systems under investigation. Many of the current systems employed to determine molecular concentrations or affinities rely on the use of labels. Examples of these systems include immunoassays such as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques, gel electrophoresis assays, and mass spectrometry (MS). Generally, these labels are fluorescent, radiological, or colorimetric in nature and are directly or indirectly attached to the molecular target of interest. Though the use of labels is widely accepted and has some benefits, there are drawbacks which are stimulating the development of new label-free methods for measuring these interactions. These drawbacks include practical facets such as increased assay cost, reagent lifespan and usability, storage and safety concerns, wasted time and effort in labelling, and variability among the different reagents due to the labelling processes or labels themselves. On a scientific research basis, the use of these labels can also introduce difficulties such as concerns with effects on protein functionality/structure due to the presence of the attached labels and the inability to directly measure the interactions in real time. Presented here is the use of a new label-free optical biosensor that is amenable to microarray studies, termed the Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS), for detecting proteins, DNA, antigenic material

  16. An Atomic Force Microscope with Dual Actuation Capability for Biomolecular Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Sevim, Semih; Shamsudhin, Naveen; Ozer, Sevil; Feng, Luying; Fakhraee, Arielle; Ergeneman, Olgaç; Pané, Salvador; Nelson, Bradley J.; Torun, Hamdi

    2016-01-01

    We report a modular atomic force microscope (AFM) design for biomolecular experiments. The AFM head uses readily available components and incorporates deflection-based optics and a piezotube-based cantilever actuator. Jetted-polymers have been used in the mechanical assembly, which allows rapid manufacturing. In addition, a FeCo-tipped electromagnet provides high-force cantilever actuation with vertical magnetic fields up to 0.55 T. Magnetic field calibration has been performed with a micro-hall sensor, which corresponds well with results from finite element magnetostatics simulations. An integrated force resolution of 1.82 and 2.98 pN, in air and in DI water, respectively was achieved in 1 kHz bandwidth with commercially available cantilevers made of Silicon Nitride. The controller and user interface are implemented on modular hardware to ensure scalability. The AFM can be operated in different modes, such as molecular pulling or force-clamp, by actuating the cantilever with the available actuators. The electromagnetic and piezoelectric actuation capabilities have been demonstrated in unbinding experiments of the biotin-streptavidin complex. PMID:27273214

  17. An Atomic Force Microscope with Dual Actuation Capability for Biomolecular Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sevim, Semih; Shamsudhin, Naveen; Ozer, Sevil; Feng, Luying; Fakhraee, Arielle; Ergeneman, Olgaç; Pané, Salvador; Nelson, Bradley J.; Torun, Hamdi

    2016-06-01

    We report a modular atomic force microscope (AFM) design for biomolecular experiments. The AFM head uses readily available components and incorporates deflection-based optics and a piezotube-based cantilever actuator. Jetted-polymers have been used in the mechanical assembly, which allows rapid manufacturing. In addition, a FeCo-tipped electromagnet provides high-force cantilever actuation with vertical magnetic fields up to 0.55 T. Magnetic field calibration has been performed with a micro-hall sensor, which corresponds well with results from finite element magnetostatics simulations. An integrated force resolution of 1.82 and 2.98 pN, in air and in DI water, respectively was achieved in 1 kHz bandwidth with commercially available cantilevers made of Silicon Nitride. The controller and user interface are implemented on modular hardware to ensure scalability. The AFM can be operated in different modes, such as molecular pulling or force-clamp, by actuating the cantilever with the available actuators. The electromagnetic and piezoelectric actuation capabilities have been demonstrated in unbinding experiments of the biotin-streptavidin complex.

  18. An Atomic Force Microscope with Dual Actuation Capability for Biomolecular Experiments.

    PubMed

    Sevim, Semih; Shamsudhin, Naveen; Ozer, Sevil; Feng, Luying; Fakhraee, Arielle; Ergeneman, Olgaç; Pané, Salvador; Nelson, Bradley J; Torun, Hamdi

    2016-01-01

    We report a modular atomic force microscope (AFM) design for biomolecular experiments. The AFM head uses readily available components and incorporates deflection-based optics and a piezotube-based cantilever actuator. Jetted-polymers have been used in the mechanical assembly, which allows rapid manufacturing. In addition, a FeCo-tipped electromagnet provides high-force cantilever actuation with vertical magnetic fields up to 0.55 T. Magnetic field calibration has been performed with a micro-hall sensor, which corresponds well with results from finite element magnetostatics simulations. An integrated force resolution of 1.82 and 2.98 pN, in air and in DI water, respectively was achieved in 1 kHz bandwidth with commercially available cantilevers made of Silicon Nitride. The controller and user interface are implemented on modular hardware to ensure scalability. The AFM can be operated in different modes, such as molecular pulling or force-clamp, by actuating the cantilever with the available actuators. The electromagnetic and piezoelectric actuation capabilities have been demonstrated in unbinding experiments of the biotin-streptavidin complex. PMID:27273214

  19. Indirect readout in protein-peptide recognition: a different story from classical biomolecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hua; Zhou, Peng; Deng, Maolin; Shang, Zhicai

    2014-07-28

    Protein-peptide interactions are prevalent and play essential roles in many living activities. Peptides recognize their protein partners by direct nonbonded interactions and indirect adjustment of conformations. Although processes of protein-peptide recognition have been comprehensively studied in both sequences and structures recently, flexibility of peptides and the configuration entropy penalty in recognition did not get enough attention. In this study, 20 protein-peptide complexes and their corresponding unbound peptides were investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. Energy analysis revealed that configurational entropy penalty introduced by restriction of the degrees of freedom of peptides in indirect readout process of protein-peptide recognition is significant. Configurational entropy penalty has become the main content of the indirect readout energy in protein-peptide recognition instead of deformation energy which is the main source of the indirect readout energy in classical biomolecular recognition phenomena, such as protein-DNA binding. These results provide us a better understanding of protein-peptide recognition and give us some implications in peptide ligand design.

  20. Computational Recipe for Efficient Description of Large-Scale Conformational Changes in Biomolecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Moradi, Mahmoud; Tajkhorshid, Emad

    2014-07-01

    Characterizing large-scale structural transitions in biomolecular systems poses major technical challenges to both experimental and computational approaches. On the computational side, efficient sampling of the configuration space along the transition pathway remains the most daunting challenge. Recognizing this issue, we introduce a knowledge-based computational approach toward describing large-scale conformational transitions using (i) nonequilibrium, driven simulations combined with work measurements and (ii) free energy calculations using empirically optimized biasing protocols. The first part is based on designing mechanistically relevant, system-specific reaction coordinates whose usefulness and applicability in inducing the transition of interest are examined using knowledge-based, qualitative assessments along with nonequilirbrium work measurements which provide an empirical framework for optimizing the biasing protocol. The second part employs the optimized biasing protocol resulting from the first part to initiate free energy calculations and characterize the transition quantitatively. Using a biasing protocol fine-tuned to a particular transition not only improves the accuracy of the resulting free energies but also speeds up the convergence. The efficiency of the sampling will be assessed by employing dimensionality reduction techniques to help detect possible flaws and provide potential improvements in the design of the biasing protocol. Structural transition of a membrane transporter will be used as an example to illustrate the workings of the proposed approach.

  1. Biological systems modeling and analysis: a biomolecular technique of the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Goel, Gautam; Chou, I-Chun; Voit, Eberhard O

    2006-09-01

    It is proposed that computational systems biology should be considered a biomolecular technique of the twenty-first century, because it complements experimental biology and bioinformatics in unique ways that will eventually lead to insights and a depth of understanding not achievable without systems approaches. This article begins with a summary of traditional and novel modeling techniques. In the second part, it proposes concept map modeling as a useful link between experimental biology and biological systems modeling and analysis. Concept map modeling requires the collaboration between biologist and modeler. The biologist designs a regulated connectivity diagram of processes comprising a biological system and also provides semi-quantitative information on stimuli and measured or expected responses of the system. The modeler converts this information through methods of forward and inverse modeling into a mathematical construct that can be used for simulations and to generate and test new hypotheses. The biologist and the modeler collaboratively interpret the results and devise improved concept maps. The third part of the article describes software, BST-Box, supporting the various modeling activities.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27027519

  4. Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Daza, Juan D; Stanley, Edward L; Wagner, Philipp; Bauer, Aaron M; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-03-01

    Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships. PMID:26973870

  5. New earwigs in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Dermaptera, Neodermaptera).

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2011-01-01

    Two new earwigs (Dermaptera) recently discovered in mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian) amber from Myanmar are described and figured. Astreptolabis ethirosomatiagen. et sp. n. is represented by a peculiar pygidicranoid female, assigned to a new subfamily, Astreptolabidinaesubfam. n., and differs from other protodermapterans in the structure of the head, pronotum, tegmina, and cercal forceps. Tytthodiplatys mecynocercusgen. et sp. n. is a distinctive form of first-instar nymph of the Diplatyidae, the earliest record for this basal earwig family. The taxon can be distinguished from other Early Cretaceous nymphs by the structure of the head, antennae, legs, and most notably its filamentous and annulate cerci. The character affinities of these taxa among Neodermaptera are generally discussed as is the identity of an enigmatic 'earwig-like' species from the Jurassic of China.

  6. New earwigs in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Dermaptera, Neodermaptera)

    PubMed Central

    Engel, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Two new earwigs (Dermaptera) recently discovered in mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian) amber from Myanmar are described and figured. Astreptolabis ethirosomatia gen. et sp. n. is represented by a peculiar pygidicranoid female, assigned to a new subfamily, Astreptolabidinae subfam. n., and differs from other protodermapterans in the structure of the head, pronotum, tegmina, and cercal forceps. Tytthodiplatys mecynocercus gen. et sp. n. is a distinctive form of first-instar nymph of the Diplatyidae, the earliest record for this basal earwig family. The taxon can be distinguished from other Early Cretaceous nymphs by the structure of the head, antennae, legs, and most notably its filamentous and annulate cerci. The character affinities of these taxa among Neodermaptera are generally discussed as is the identity of an enigmatic ‘earwig-like’ species from the Jurassic of China. PMID:22259272

  7. 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

  8. Moth flies and sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Cretaceous Burmese amber.

    PubMed

    Stebner, Frauke; 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.

  9. The genus Macroteleia Westwood in Middle Miocene amber from Peru (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae s.l., Scelioninae).

    PubMed

    Perrichot, Vincent; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J; Engel, Michael S

    2014-01-01

    A new species of the scelionine genus Macroteleia Westwood (Platygastridae s.l., Scelioninae) is described and figured from a female beautifully preserved in Middle Miocene amber from Peru. Macroteleia yaguarum Perrichot & Engel, sp. n., shows a unique combination of characters otherwise seen independently within its congeners. It is most similar to the modern M. surfacei Brues, but differs from it by the non-foveolate notauli, the contiguous punctures of the vertex, and the continuous propodeum. The new species is the first New World fossil of the genus, suggesting a Cretaceous origin for the group and a relatively old age of the South American, tropical African, and Australian faunas, and a younger age of the modern Holarctic faunas. PMID:25147461

  10. AMBER-ii: New Combining Rules and Force Field for Perfluoroalkanes.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, Alexei; Milchevskiy, Yury; Lyubartsev, Alexander

    2015-11-19

    A molecular mechanics force field of the AMBER/OPLS family for perfluoroalkanes, noble gases, and their mixtures with alkanes has been proposed. We had to abandon the traditional Lorentz-Berthelot combining rules for the Lennard-Jones potential to be able to uniformly describe these substance classes and their mixtures. Instead, the Waldman-Hagler rules developed for noble gases were used for all of these elements except hydrogen. Hydrogen is considered to be a particular substance to which the usual Lorentz-Berthelot rules are applied. The proposed rules have little effect on the organic chemistry of H, C, N, and O elements but make it compliant with the chemistry of heavy elements. Because of assigning a relatively high partial charge of -0.37e to fluorine atoms, the new force field reproduces the mutual insolubility of higher liquid alkanes and perfluoroalkanes. PMID:26498002

  11. Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Daza, Juan D; Stanley, Edward L; Wagner, Philipp; Bauer, Aaron M; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-03-01

    Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships.

  12. 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.

  13. Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards

    PubMed Central

    Daza, Juan D.; Stanley, Edward L.; Wagner, Philipp; Bauer, Aaron M.; Grimaldi, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships. PMID:26973870

  14. X-shooter, NACO, and AMBER observations of the LBV Pistol Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martayan, C.; Blomme, R.; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Merand, A.; Montagnier, G.; Selman, F.; Girard, J.; Fox, A.; Baade, D.; Frémat, Y.; Lobel, A.; Martins, F.; Patru, F.; Rivinius, T.; Sana, H.; Stefl, S.; Zorec, J.; Semaan, T.

    2011-01-01

    We present multi-instrument and multi-wavelength observations of the famous LBV star Pistol Star. These observations are part of a larger program on early O stars at different metallicities. The Pistol Star has been claimed to be one of the most massive star known, with 250 solar masses. We present preliminary results based on X-shooter spectra, as well as observations performed with the VLTI-AMBER and the VLT-NACO adaptive optics. The X-shooter spectrograph provides simultaneously a spectrum from the UV to the K-band with a resolving power of ˜15000. The preliminary results obtained indicate that Pistol Star has similar properties to η Car, including shells of matter, but is also a binary.

  15. The genus Macroteleia Westwood in Middle Miocene amber from Peru (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae s.l., Scelioninae)

    PubMed Central

    Perrichot, Vincent; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J.; Engel, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the scelionine genus Macroteleia Westwood (Platygastridae s.l., Scelioninae) is described and figured from a female beautifully preserved in Middle Miocene amber from Peru. Macroteleia yaguarum Perrichot & Engel, sp. n., shows a unique combination of characters otherwise seen independently within its congeners. It is most similar to the modern M. surfacei Brues, but differs from it by the non-foveolate notauli, the contiguous punctures of the vertex, and the continuous propodeum. The new species is the first New World fossil of the genus, suggesting a Cretaceous origin for the group and a relatively old age of the South American, tropical African, and Australian faunas, and a younger age of the modern Holarctic faunas. PMID:25147461

  16. [Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI). Implications for pathology].

    PubMed

    Viertler, C; Zatloukal, K

    2008-11-01

    High quality human biological samples (e.g. blood, tissue or DNA) with associated, well documented clinical and research data are key resources for advancement of life sciences, biotechnology, clinical medicine, drug development and also molecular pathology. Millions of samples of diseased tissues have been collected in the context of routine histopathological diagnosis and are stored in the archives of hospitals and institutes of pathology. A concerted effort is necessary to overcome the current fragmentation of the European biobanking community in order to tap the full research potential of existing biobanks. A pan-European research infrastructure for biobanking and biomolecular resources (BBMRI) is currently in its planning phase. The mission is to link and provide access to local biobanks of different formats, including tissue collections, harmonize standards, establish operational procedures which properly consider ethical, legal, societal aspects, and to secure sustainable funding. Pathology plays a key role in development and administration of tissue banks and is, thus, a major partner for collaboration, expertise and construction of this pan-European research infrastructure.

  17. Microdevices for biomolecular detection and single cell analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manalis, Scott

    2008-03-01

    Recent advances towards developing biomolecular and single cell applications for a mass-based biosensor known as the suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) will be presented. In SMR detection, target molecules or cells flow through a vibrating suspended microchannel and are captured by receptor molecules attached to the interior channel walls. What separates the SMR from the existing resonant mass sensors is that the receptors, targets, and their aqueous environment are confined inside the resonator, while the resonator itself can oscillate at high Q in an external vacuum environment, thus yielding extraordinarily high sensitivity. This approach solves the problem of viscous damping that degrades the sensitivity of cantilever resonators in solution. We have achieved a resolution of approximately 1 femtogram (1 Hz bandwidth) which is represents an improvement of six order of magnitude improvement over a high-end commercial quartz crystal microbalance. This gives access to intriguing applications such as mass based flow cytometry, real-time monitoring of single cell growth, and the direct detection of protein biomarkers.

  18. Self-assembling biomolecular catalysts for hydrogen production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Paul C.; Patterson, Dustin P.; Saboda, Kendall N.; Edwards, Ethan J.; Miettinen, Heini M.; Basu, Gautam; Thielges, Megan C.; Douglas, Trevor

    2016-02-01

    The chemistry of highly evolved protein-based compartments has inspired the design of new catalytically active materials that self-assemble from biological components. A frontier of this biodesign is the potential to contribute new catalytic systems for the production of sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen. Here, we show the encapsulation and protection of an active hydrogen-producing and oxygen-tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenase, sequestered within the capsid of the bacteriophage P22 through directed self-assembly. We co-opted Escherichia coli for biomolecular synthesis and assembly of this nanomaterial by expressing and maturing the EcHyd-1 hydrogenase prior to expression of the P22 coat protein, which subsequently self assembles. By probing the infrared spectroscopic signatures and catalytic activity of the engineered material, we demonstrate that the capsid provides stability and protection to the hydrogenase cargo. These results illustrate how combining biological function with directed supramolecular self-assembly can be used to create new materials for sustainable catalysis.

  19. Biomolecular Surface Engineering of Pancreatic Islets with Thrombomodulin

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, John T.; Haller, Carolyn A.; Qu, Zheng; Cui, Wanxing; Urlam, Murali K.; Chaikof, Elliot L.

    2010-01-01

    Islet transplantation has emerged as a promising treatment for Type 1 diabetes, but its clinical impact remains limited by early islet destruction mediated by prothrombotic and innate inflammatory responses elicited upon transplantation. Thrombomodulin (TM) acts as an important regulator of thrombosis and inflammation through its capacity to channel the catalytic activity of thrombin towards generation of activated protein C (APC), a potent anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory agent. We describe herein a novel biomolecular strategy for re-engineering the surface of pancreatic islets with TM. A biosynthetic approach was employed to generate recombinant human TM (rTM) bearing a C-terminal azide group, which facilitated site-specific biotinylation of rTM through Staudinger ligation. Murine pancreatic islets were covalently biotinylated through targeting of cell surface amines and aldehydes, and both islet viability and the surface density of streptavidin were maximized through optimization of biotinylation conditions. rTM was immobilized on islet surfaces through streptavidin-biotin interactions, resulting in a nearly three-fold increase in the catalytic capacity of islets to generate APC. PMID:20102751

  20. Electron interactions with positively and negatively multiply charged biomolecular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feketeová, Linda

    2012-07-01

    Interactions of positively and negatively multiply charged biomolecular clusters with low-energy electrons, from ~ 0 up to 50 eV of electron energy, were investigated in a high resolution Fourier-Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance mass spectrometer equipped with an electrospray ionisation source. Electron-induced dissociation reactions of these clusters depend on the energy of the electrons, the size and the charge state of the cluster. The positively charged clusters [Mn+2H]2+ of zwitterionic betaines, M = (CH3)2XCH2CO2 (X = NCH3 and S), do capture an electron in the low electron energy region (< 10 eV). At higher electron energies neutral evaporation from the cluster becomes competitive with Coulomb explosion. In addition, a series of singly charged fragments arise from bond cleavage reactions, including decarboxylation and CH3 group transfer, due to the access of electronic excited states of the precursor ions. These fragmentation reactions depend on the type of betaine (X = NCH3 or S). For the negative dianionic clusters of tryptophan [Trp9-2H]2-, the important channel at low electron energies is loss of a neutral. Coulomb explosion competes from 19.8 eV and dominates at high electron energies. A small amount of [Trp2-H-NH3]- is observed at 21.8 eV.

  1. A programmable biomolecular computing machine with bacterial phenotype output.

    PubMed

    Kossoy, Elizaveta; Lavid, Noa; Soreni-Harari, Michal; Shoham, Yuval; Keinan, Ehud

    2007-07-23

    The main advantage of autonomous biomolecular computing devices over electronic computers is their ability to interact directly with biological systems. No interface is required since all components of molecular computers, including hardware, software, input, and output are molecules that interact in solution along a cascade of programmable chemical events. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that the output of a computation preduced by a molecular finite automaton can be a visible bacterial phenotype. Our 2-symbol-2-state finite automaton utilized linear double-stranded DNA inputs that were prepared by inserting a string of six base pair symbols into the lacZ gene on the pUC18 plasmid. The computation resulted in a circular plasmid that differed from the original pUC18 by either a 9 base pair (accepting state) or 11 base pair insert (unaccepting state) within the lacZ alpha region gene. Upon transformation and expression of the resultant plasmids in E. coli, the accepting state was represented by production of functional beta-galactosidase and formation of blue colonies on X-gal medium. In contrast, the unaccepting state was represented by white colonies due to a shift in the open reading frame of lacZ. PMID:17562552

  2. Nanotemplated polyelectrolyte films as porous biomolecular delivery systems

    PubMed Central

    Gand, Adeline; Hindié, Mathilde; Chacon, Diane; van Tassel, Paul R; Pauthe, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Biomaterials capable of delivering controlled quantities of bioactive agents, while maintaining mechanical integrity, are needed for a variety of cell contacting applications. We describe here a nanotemplating strategy toward porous, polyelectrolyte-based thin films capable of controlled biomolecular loading and release. Films are formed via the layer-by-layer assembly of charged polymers and nanoparticles (NP), then chemically cross-linked to increase mechanical rigidity and stability, and finally exposed to tetrahydrofuran to dissolve the NP and create an intra-film porous network. We report here on the loading and release of the growth factor bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2), and the influence of BMP-2 loaded films on contacting murine C2C12 myoblasts. We observe nanotemplating to enable stable BMP-2 loading throughout the thickness of the film, and find the nanotemplated film to exhibit comparable cell adhesion, and enhanced cell differentiation, compared with a non-porous cross-linked film (where BMP-2 loading is mainly confined to the film surface). PMID:25482416

  3. A formicine in New Jersey Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and early evolution of the ants

    PubMed Central

    Grimaldi, David; Agosti, Donat

    2000-01-01

    A worker ant preserved with microscopic detail has been discovered in Turonian-aged New Jersey amber [ca. 92 mega-annum (Ma)]. The apex of the gaster has an acidopore and, thus, allows definitive assignment of the fossil to the large extant subfamily Formicinae, members of which use a defensive spray of formic acid. This specimen is the only Cretaceous record of the subfamily, and only two other fossil ants are known from the Cretaceous that unequivocally belong to an extant subfamily (Brownimecia and Canapone of the Ponerinae, in New Jersey and Canadian amber, respectively). In lieu of a cladogram of formicine genera, generalized morphology of this fossil suggests a basal position in the subfamily. Formicinae and Ponerinae in the mid Cretaceous indicate divergence of basal lineages of ants near the Albian (ca. 105–110 Ma) when they presumably diverged from the Sphecomyrminae. Sphecomyrmines are the plesiomorphic sister group to all other ants, or they are a paraphyletic stem group ancestral to all other ants—they apparently became extinct in the Late Cretaceous. Ant abundance in major deposits of Cretaceous and Tertiary insects indicates that they did not become common and presumably dominant in terrestrial ecosystems until the Eocene (ca. 45 Ma). It is at this time that modern genera that form very large colonies (at least 10,000 individuals) first appear. During the Cretaceous, eusocial termites, bees, and vespid wasps also first appear—they show a similar pattern of diversification and proliferation in the Tertiary. The Cretaceous ants have further implications for interpreting distributions of modern ants. PMID:11078527

  4. An Updated Test of AMBER Force Fields and Implicit Solvent Models in Predicting the Secondary Structure of Helical, β-Hairpin, and Intrinsically Disordered Peptides.

    PubMed

    Maffucci, Irene; Contini, Alessandro

    2016-02-01

    Replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations were performed to test the ability of six AMBER force fields and three implicit solvent models of predicting the native conformation of two helical peptides, three β-hairpins, and three intrinsically disordered peptides. Although a combination of the force field and implicit solvation models able to accurately predict the native structure of all the considered peptides was not identified, we found that the GB-Neck2 model seems to well compensate for some of the conformational biases showed by ff96 and ff99SB/ildn/ildn-φ. Indeed, the force fields of the ff99SB series coupled with GB-Neck2 reasonably discriminated helices from disordered peptides, while a good prediction of β-hairpin conformations was only achieved by performing two independent simulations: one with the ff96/GB-Neck2 combination and the other with GB-Neck2 coupled with any of the ff99SB/ildn/ildn-φ force fields.

  5. Duplication and Divergence Effect on Network Motifs in Undirected Bio-Molecular Networks.

    PubMed

    Pei Wang; Jinhu Lu; Xinghuo Yu; Zengrong Liu

    2015-06-01

    Duplication and divergence are two basic evolutionary mechanisms of bio-molecular networks. Real-world bio-molecular networks and their statistical characteristics can be well mimicked by artificial algorithms based on the two mechanisms. Bio-molecular networks consist of network motifs, which act as building blocks of large-scale networks. A fundamental question is how network motifs are evolved from long time evolution and natural selection. By considering the effect of various duplication and divergence strategies, we find that the underlying duplication scheme of the real-world undirected bio-molecular networks would rather follow the anti-preference strategy than the random one. The anti-preference duplication mechanism and the dimerization processes can lead to the formation of various motifs, and robustly conserve proper quantities of motifs in the artificial networks as that in the real-world ones. Furthermore, the anti-preference mechanism and edge deletion divergence can robustly preserve the sparsity of the networks. The investigations reveal the possible evolutionary mechanisms of network motifs in real-world bio-molecular networks, and have potential implications in the design, synthesis and reengineering of biological networks for biomedical purpose. PMID:25203993

  6. Functional and Regulatory Biomolecular Networks Organized by DNA Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Minghui

    DNA has recently emerged as an extremely promising material to organize molecules on nanoscale. The reliability of base recognition, self-assembling behavior, and attractive structural properties of DNA are of unparalleled value in systems of this size. DNA scaffolds have already been used to organize a variety of molecules including nanoparticles and proteins. New protein-DNA bio-conjugation chemistries make it possible to precisely position proteins and other biomolecules on underlying DNA scaffolds, generating multi-biomolecule pathways with the ability to modulate intermolecular interactions and the local environment. This dissertation focuses on studying the application of using DNA nanostructure to direct the self-assembly of other biomolecular networks to translate biochemical pathways to non-cellular environments. Presented here are a series of studies toward this application. First, a novel strategy utilized DNA origami as a scaffold to arrange spherical virus capsids into one-dimensional arrays with precise nanoscale positioning. This hierarchical self-assembly allows us to position the virus particles with unprecedented control and allows the future construction of integrated multi-component systems from biological scaffolds using the power of rationally engineered DNA nanostructures. Next, discrete glucose oxidase (GOx)/ horseradish peroxidase (HRP) enzyme pairs were organized on DNA origami tiles with controlled interenzyme spacing and position. This study revealed two different distance-dependent kinetic processes associated with the assembled enzyme pairs. Finally, a tweezer-like DNA nanodevice was designed and constructed to actuate the activity of an enzyme/cofactor pair. Using this approach, several cycles of externally controlled enzyme inhibition and activation were successfully demonstrated. This principle of responsive enzyme nanodevices may be used to regulate other types of enzymes and to introduce feedback or feed-forward control loops.

  7. Kinetic analysis of biomolecular interactions by surface plasmon enhanced ellipsometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Hyun Mo; Chegal, Won; Cho, Yong Jai; Won, Jong Myoung; Lee, Hak Min; Jo, Jae Heung

    2011-10-01

    We present the application of ellipsometry to the phase measurement of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in biomolecular detection. In this work, the experimental setup for the SPR sensor was based on a custom-built rotating analyzer ellipsometer, which was equipped with a SPR cell and a microfluidic system. We investigate the sensitivity of SPR sensor which is dependent on the thickness and roughness of metal film, alignment of optical system, and stability of microfluidics. In the drug discovery process, to directly monitor the interaction of small molecule-protein, it is necessary to design a high-sensitivity SPR sensor with a sensitivity of greater than 1 pg/mm2. Our sensor demonstrates a much better sensitivity in comparison to other SPR sensors based on reflectometry or phase measurements. The results of calibration indicate that the phase change, δ▵, had an almost linear response to the concentration of ethanol in the double-distilled water solutions. A quantitative analysis of refractive index variation was possible using the results of the ellipsometric model fits for the multilayered thin film on the gold film. Thus, this method is applicable not only to sensor applications, such as affinity biosensors, but also to highly sensitive kinetics for drug discovery. In this paper, we demonstrate how a custom-built rotating analyzer ellipsometer in the SPR condition can be used to directly obtain the interactions and binding kinetics of analytes (biotins, peptides) with immobilized ligand (streptavidin, antibody). We achieved a detection limit of lower than 1.0 x10-7 RIU, which is the equivalent of 0.1 pg/mm2.

  8. Biomolecular network motif counting and discovery by color coding.

    PubMed

    Alon, Noga; Dao, Phuong; Hajirasouliha, Iman; Hormozdiari, Fereydoun; Sahinalp, S Cenk

    2008-07-01

    Protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of many organisms share global topological features such as degree distribution, k-hop reachability, betweenness and closeness. Yet, some of these networks can differ significantly from the others in terms of local structures: e.g. the number of specific network motifs can vary significantly among PPI networks. Counting the number of network motifs provides a major challenge to compare biomolecular networks. Recently developed algorithms have been able to count the number of induced occurrences of subgraphs with k < or = 7 vertices. Yet no practical algorithm exists for counting non-induced occurrences, or counting subgraphs with k > or = 8 vertices. Counting non-induced occurrences of network motifs is not only challenging but also quite desirable as available PPI networks include several false interactions and miss many others. In this article, we show how to apply the 'color coding' technique for counting non-induced occurrences of subgraph topologies in the form of trees and bounded treewidth subgraphs. Our algorithm can count all occurrences of motif G' with k vertices in a network G with n vertices in time polynomial with n, provided k = O(log n). We use our algorithm to obtain 'treelet' distributions for k < or = 10 of available PPI networks of unicellular organisms (Saccharomyces cerevisiae Escherichia coli and Helicobacter Pyloris), which are all quite similar, and a multicellular organism (Caenorhabditis elegans) which is significantly different. Furthermore, the treelet distribution of the unicellular organisms are similar to that obtained by the 'duplication model' but are quite different from that of the 'preferential attachment model'. The treelet distribution is robust w.r.t. sparsification with bait/edge coverage of 70% but differences can be observed when bait/edge coverage drops to 50%. PMID:18586721

  9. Soft supercharging of biomolecular ions in electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Chingin, Konstantin; Xu, Ning; Chen, Huanwen

    2014-06-01

    The charge states of biomolecular ions in ESI-MS can be significantly increased by the addition of low-vapor supercharging (SC) reagents into the spraying solution. Despite the considerable interest from the community, the mechanistic aspects of SC are not well understood and are hotly debated. Arguments that denaturation accounts for the increased charging observed in proteins sprayed from aqueous solutions containing SC reagent have been published widely, but often with incomplete or ambiguous supporting data. In this work, we explored ESI MS charging and SC behavior of several biopolymers including proteins and DNA oligonucleotides. Analytes were ionized from 100 mM ammonium acetate (NH4Ac) aqueous buffer in both positive (ESI+) and negative (ESI-) ion modes. SC was induced either with m-NBA or by the elevated temperature of ESI capillary. For all the analytes studied we, found striking differences in the ESI MS response to these two modes of activation. The data suggest that activation with m-NBA results in more extensive analyte charging with lower degree of denaturation. When working solution with m-NBA was analyzed at elevated temperatures, the SC effect from m-NBA was neutralized. Instead, the net SC effect was similar to the SC effect achieved by thermal activation only. Overall, our observations indicate that SC reagents enhance ESI charging of biomolecules via distinctly different mechanism compared with the traditional approaches based on analyte denaturation. Instead, the data support the hypothesis that the SC phenomenon involves a direct interaction between a biopolymer and SC reagent occurring in evaporating ESI droplets. PMID:24733276

  10. Biomolecular detection using a metal semiconductor field effect transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estephan, Elias; Saab, Marie-Belle; Buzatu, Petre; Aulombard, Roger; Cuisinier, Frédéric J. G.; Gergely, Csilla; Cloitre, Thierry

    2010-04-01

    In this work, our attention was drawn towards developing affinity-based electrical biosensors, using a MESFET (Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor). Semiconductor (SC) surfaces must be prepared before the incubations with biomolecules. The peptides route was adapted to exceed and bypass the limits revealed by other types of surface modification due to the unwanted unspecific interactions. As these peptides reveal specific recognition of materials, then controlled functionalization can be achieved. Peptides were produced by phage display technology using a library of M13 bacteriophage. After several rounds of bio-panning, the phages presenting affinities for GaAs SC were isolated; the DNA of these specific phages were sequenced, and the peptide with the highest affinity was synthesized and biotinylated. To explore the possibility of electrical detection, the MESFET fabricated with the GaAs SC were used to detect the streptavidin via the biotinylated peptide in the presence of the bovine Serum Albumin. After each surface modification step, the IDS (current between the drain and the source) of the transistor was measured and a decrease in the intensity was detected. Furthermore, fluorescent microscopy was used in order to prove the specificity of this peptide and the specific localisation of biomolecules. In conclusion, the feasibility of producing an electrical biosensor using a MESFET has been demonstrated. Controlled placement, specific localization and detection of biomolecules on a MESFET transistor were achieved without covering the drain and the source. This method of functionalization and detection can be of great utility for biosensing application opening a new way for developing bioFETs (Biomolecular Field-Effect Transistor).

  11. Bridging Nano- and Microtribology in Mechanical and Biomolecular Layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomala, Agnieszka; Göçerler, Hakan; Gebeshuber, Ille C.

    The physical and chemical composition of surfaces determine various important properties of solids such as corrosion rates, adhesive properties, frictional properties, catalytic activity, wettability, contact potential and - finally and most importantly - failure mechanisms. Very thin, weak layers (of man-made and biological origin) on much harder substrates that reduce friction are the focus of the micro- and nanotribological investigations presented in this chapter.Biomolecular layers fulfil various functions in organs of the human body. Examples comprise the skin that provides a protective physical barrier between the body and the environment, preventing unwanted inward and outward passage of water and electrolytes, reducing penetration by destructive chemicals, arresting the penetration of microorganisms and external antigens and absorbing radiation from the sun, or the epithelium of the cornea that blocks the passage of foreign material, such as dust, water and bacteria, into the eye and that contributes to the lubrication layer that ensures smooth movement of the eyelids over the eyeballs.Monomolecular thin films, additive-derived reaction layers and hard coatings are widely used to tailor tribological properties of surfaces. Nanotribological investigations on these substrates can reveal novel properties regarding the orientation of chemisorbed additive layers, development of rubbing films with time and the relation of frictional properties to surface characteristics in diamond coatings.Depending on the questions to be answered with the tribological research, various micro- and nanotribological measurement methods are applied, including scanning probe microscopy (AFM, FFM), scanning electron microscopy, microtribometer investigations, angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy and optical microscopy. Thoughts on the feasibility of a unified approach to energy-dissipating systems and how it might be reached (touching upon new ways of scientific publishing

  12. Fossil carabids from Baltic amber--III--Tarsitachys bilobus Erwin, 1971 an interesting fossil ground beetle from Baltic amber (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Trechinae): Redescription and comments on its taxonomic placement.

    PubMed

    Ortuño, Vicente M; Arillo, Antonio

    2015-10-06

    Tarsitachys bilobus (Coleoptera, Carabidae) is a fossil species described by Erwin from Baltic amber. Its description was based on only one known specimen, and thus, part of its anatomical structures were unknown as they were poorly preserved in the Holotype. In this paper we complete the description with a second specimen. A new placement among Tachyina and a new status for the genus are proposed.

  13. Fossil carabids from Baltic amber--III--Tarsitachys bilobus Erwin, 1971 an interesting fossil ground beetle from Baltic amber (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Trechinae): Redescription and comments on its taxonomic placement.

    PubMed

    Ortuño, Vicente M; Arillo, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Tarsitachys bilobus (Coleoptera, Carabidae) is a fossil species described by Erwin from Baltic amber. Its description was based on only one known specimen, and thus, part of its anatomical structures were unknown as they were poorly preserved in the Holotype. In this paper we complete the description with a second specimen. A new placement among Tachyina and a new status for the genus are proposed. PMID:26624198

  14. Full down-conversion of amber-emitting phosphor-converted light-emitting diodes with powder phosphors and a long-wave pass filter.

    PubMed

    Oh, Jeong Rok; Cho, Sang-Hwan; Park, Hoo Keun; Oh, Ji Hye; Lee, Yong-Hee; Do, Young Rag

    2010-05-24

    This paper reports the possibility of a facile optical structure to realize a highly efficient monochromatic amber-emitting light-emitting diode (LED) using a powder-based phosphor-converted LED combined with a long-wave pass filter (LWPF). The capping of a blue-reflecting and amber-passing LWPF enhances both the amber emission from the silicate amber phosphor layer and the color purity due to the blocking and recycling of the pumping blue light from the InGaN LED. The enhancement of the luminous efficacy of the amber pc-LED with a LWPF (phosphor concentration 20 wt%, 39.4 lm/W) is 34% over that of an amber pc-LED without a LWPF (phosphor concentration 55 wt%, 29.4 lm/W) at 100 mA and a high color purity (>96%) with Commission International d'Eclairage (CIE) color coordinates of x=0.57 and y=0.42.

  15. The VLTI focal instrument Amber: results of the first phase of the alignment, integration, and verification in Paranal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robbe-Dubois, Sylvie; Petrov, Romain G.; Lagarde, Stephane; Antonelli, Pierre; Bresson, Yves; Roussel, Alain; Mourard, Denis; Malbet, Fabien; Millour, Florentin; Zins, Gerard; Delboulbe, Alain; Duvert, Gilles; Gluck, Laurence; Kern, Pierre Y.; Le Coarer, Etienne P.; Rousselet-Perraut, Karine; Tatulli, Eric; Beckmann, Udo; Heininger, Matthias; Weigelt, Gerd P.; Lisi, Franco; Stefanini, Paolo; Accardo, Matteo; Gil, Carla S.; Vannier, Martin; Haddad, Nicholas; Housen, Nico; Kiekebusch, Mario; Mardones, Pedro; Puech, Florence; Rantakyro, Fredrik T.; Richichi, Andrea; Schoeller, Markus

    2004-10-01

    AMBER, Astronomical Multi BEam combineR, is the near-infrared focal instrument dedicated to the VLTI. It is designed to combine three of the VLTI Telescopes and to work simultaneously in the J, H and K spectral bands (1.0 to 2.4 μm). The project successfully passed the Preliminary Acceptance in Europe in November 2003, resulting in the validation of the instrument laboratory performance1, of the compliance with the initial scientific specifications, and of the acceptance of ESO for AMBER to be part of the VLTI. After the transportation of the instrument to Paranal, Chile in January 2004, the Assembly Integration and Verification phase occurred mid-March to succeed with the first fringes observing bright stars with the VLTI siderostats. This paper describes the different steps of the AIV and the first results in terms of instrumental stability, estimated visibility and differential phase.

  16. A new genus and species of micro bee fly from the Earliest Eocene French amber (Diptera: Mythicomyiidae: Psiloderoidinae).

    PubMed

    Myskowiak, Justine; Garrouste, Romain; Nel, Andre

    2016-01-01

    Mythicomyiidae, or micro bee flies, are tiny flies (0.5-5.0 mm) that are found throughout most parts of the world except the highest altitudes and latitudes (Greathead & Evenhuis 2001). Including all extinct and extant taxa, the Mythicomyiidae currently comprise more than 380 valid taxonomic species distributed among 30 genera. The subfamily Psiloderoidinae is especially well represented among the fossil Mythicomyiidae by seven Cretaceous or Cenozoic genera. We here describe a new genus and a new species of this subfamily based on fossils from the Earliest Eocene of Oise (France). A Psiloderoidinae, Proplatypygus matilei Nel & DePloëg, 2004, is already described in this amber. Another mythicomyiid, Eurodoliopteryx inexpectatus Nel, 2006, is the most frequent bombylioid in this amber (Nel & DePloëg, 2004; Nel, 2006). PMID:27395149

  17. Two-level systems and boson peak remain stable in 110-million-year-old amber glass.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Castañeda, Tomás; Jiménez-Riobóo, Rafael J; Ramos, Miguel A

    2014-04-25

    The two most prominent and ubiquitous features of glasses at low temperatures, namely the presence of tunneling two-level systems and the so-called boson peak in the reduced vibrational density of states, are shown to persist essentially unchanged in highly stabilized glasses, contrary to what was usually envisaged. Specifically, we have measured the specific heat of 110 million-year-old amber samples from El Soplao (Spain), both at very low temperatures and around the glass transition Tg. In particular, the amount of two-level systems, assessed at the lowest temperatures, was surprisingly found to be exactly the same for the pristine hyperaged amber as for the, subsequently, partially and fully rejuvenated samples.

  18. Two-level systems and boson peak remain stable in 110-million-year-old amber glass.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Castañeda, Tomás; Jiménez-Riobóo, Rafael J; Ramos, Miguel A

    2014-04-25

    The two most prominent and ubiquitous features of glasses at low temperatures, namely the presence of tunneling two-level systems and the so-called boson peak in the reduced vibrational density of states, are shown to persist essentially unchanged in highly stabilized glasses, contrary to what was usually envisaged. Specifically, we have measured the specific heat of 110 million-year-old amber samples from El Soplao (Spain), both at very low temperatures and around the glass transition Tg. In particular, the amount of two-level systems, assessed at the lowest temperatures, was surprisingly found to be exactly the same for the pristine hyperaged amber as for the, subsequently, partially and fully rejuvenated samples. PMID:24815658

  19. Effects of Clear and Amber Cullet on Physical and Mechanical Properties of Glass-Ceramics Containing Zinc Hydrometallurgy Waste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanpongpun, Wilasinee; Jiemsirilers, Sirithan; Thavorniti, Parjaree

    The effect of glass cullet on physical and mechanical properties of glass-ceramics developed from zinc hydrometallurgy waste and glass cullet was investigated. The glass-ceramics were prepared by mixing zinc hydrometallurgy waste with glass cullet through vitrification process. Two difference types of glass cullet (clear and amber cullet) were used. The parent glasses were ground and pressed into bars and sintered at low temperature (850°C) for 2 hours. The obtained glass-ceramics had low porosity. The glass-ceramics with clear cullet exhibited higher density and strength, comparing with the glass-ceramics with amber cullet. The type and the amount of the glass cullet present in the glass-ceramics have strong effect on their properties.

  20. The first fossil record of the Emesinae genus Emesopsis Uhler (Hemiptera: Heteroptera, Reduviidae) from Eocene Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Popov, Yuri A; Chłond, Dominik

    2015-01-01

    Two new fossil representatives of the assassin bug family Reduviidae are described as new from Baltic amber (Upper Eocene), belonging to the genus Emesopsis of the tribe Ploiariolini (Emesinae): Emesopsis putshkovi sp. nov. and E. similis sp. nov. These representatives of the Emesinae are the oldest fossil bugs of the genus Emesopsis known so far, and reported for the first time. This genus is also briefly diagnosed. PMID:26624642

  1. Third contribution on Rovno amber silken fungus beetles: a new Eocene species of Cryptophagus (Coleoptera, Clavicornia, Cryptophagidae)

    PubMed Central

    Lyubarsky, G.Yu.; Perkovsky, E.E.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Cryptophagus alexagrestis Lyubarsky & Perkovsky, sp. n. is described based on a fossil inclusion in Late Eocene Rovno amber (Ukraine). The new species is similar to the extant Cryptophagus skalitzkyi Reitter and Cryptophagus dilutus Reitter, differing from the latter by having a very transverse, short and dilated 10th antennal segment, and from the former by the very elongate segments of the flagellum. PMID:22259281

  2. Recent applications of AC electrokinetics in biomolecular analysis on microfluidic devices.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Naoki

    2012-01-01

    AC electrokinetics is a generic term that refers to an induced motion of particles and fluids under nonuniform AC electric fields. The AC electric fields are formed by application of AC voltages to microelectrodes, which can be easily integrated into microfluidic devices by standard microfabrication techniques. Moreover, the magnitude of the motion is large enough to control the mass transfer on the devices. These advantages are attractive for biomolecular analysis on the microfluidic devices, in which the characteristics of small space and microfluidics have been mainly employed. In this review, I describe recent applications of AC electrokinetics in biomolecular analysis on microfluidic devices. The applications include fluid pumping and mixing by AC electrokinetic flow, and manipulation of biomolecules such as DNA and proteins by various AC electrokinetic techniques. Future prospects for highly functional biomolecular analysis on microfluidic devices with the aid of AC electrokinetics are also discussed.

  3. Improved amber and opal suppressor tRNAs for incorporation of unnatural amino acids in vivo. Part 1: Minimizing misacylation

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Erik A.; Lester, Henry A.; Dougherty, Dennis A.

    2007-01-01

    The incorporation of unnatural amino acids site-specifically is a valuable technique for structure–function studies, incorporation of biophysical probes, and determining protein–protein interactions. THG73 is an amber suppressor tRNA used extensively for the incorporation of >100 different residues in over 20 proteins, but under certain conditions THG73 is aminoacylated in vivo by endogenous aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. Similar aminoacylation is seen with the Escherichia coli Asn amber suppressor tRNA, which has also been used to incorporate UAAs in many studies. We now find that the natural amino acid placed on THG73 is Gln. Since the E. coli GlnRS recognizes positions in the acceptor stem, we made several acceptor stem mutations in the second to fourth positions on THG73. All mutations reduce aminoacylation in vivo and allow for the selection of highly orthogonal tRNAs. To show the generality of these mutations, we created opal suppressor tRNAs that show less aminoacylation in Xenopus oocytes relative to THG73. We have created a library of Tetrahymena thermophila Gln amber suppressor tRNAs that will be useful for determining optimal suppressor tRNAs for use in other eukaryotic cells. PMID:17698638

  4. Molecular and Morphological Evidence Challenges the Records of the Extant Liverwort Ptilidium pulcherrimum in Eocene Baltic Amber.

    PubMed

    Heinrichs, Jochen; Scheben, Armin; Lee, Gaik Ee; Váňa, Jiří; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons; Krings, Michael; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2015-01-01

    Preservation of liverworts in amber, a fossilized tree resin, is often exquisite. Twenty-three fossil species of liverworts have been described to date from Eocene (35-50 Ma) Baltic amber. In addition, two inclusions have been assigned to the extant species Ptilidium pulcherrimum (Ptilidiales or Porellales). However, the presence of the boreal P. pulcherrimum in the subtropical or warm-temperate Baltic amber forest challenges the phytogeographical interpretation of the Eocene flora. A re-investigation of one of the fossils believed to be P. pulcherrimum reveals that this specimen in fact represents the first fossil evidence of the genus Tetralophozia, and thus is re-described here as Tetralophozia groehnii sp. nov. A second fossil initially assigned to P. pulcherrimum is apparently lost, and can be reassessed only based on the original description and illustrations. This fossil is morphologically similar to the extant North Pacific endemic Ptilidium californicum, rather than P. pulcherrimum. Divergence time estimates based on chloroplast DNA sequences provide evidence of a Miocene origin of P. pulcherrimum, and thus also argue against the presence of this taxon in the Eocene. Ptilidium californicum originated 25-43 Ma ago. As a result, we cannot rule out that the Eocene fossil belongs to P. californicum. Alternatively, the fossil might represent a stem lineage element of Ptilidium or an early crown group species with morphological similarities to P. californicum. PMID:26536603

  5. Molecular and Morphological Evidence Challenges the Records of the Extant Liverwort Ptilidium pulcherrimum in Eocene Baltic Amber.

    PubMed

    Heinrichs, Jochen; Scheben, Armin; Lee, Gaik Ee; Váňa, Jiří; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons; Krings, Michael; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2015-01-01

    Preservation of liverworts in amber, a fossilized tree resin, is often exquisite. Twenty-three fossil species of liverworts have been described to date from Eocene (35-50 Ma) Baltic amber. In addition, two inclusions have been assigned to the extant species Ptilidium pulcherrimum (Ptilidiales or Porellales). However, the presence of the boreal P. pulcherrimum in the subtropical or warm-temperate Baltic amber forest challenges the phytogeographical interpretation of the Eocene flora. A re-investigation of one of the fossils believed to be P. pulcherrimum reveals that this specimen in fact represents the first fossil evidence of the genus Tetralophozia, and thus is re-described here as Tetralophozia groehnii sp. nov. A second fossil initially assigned to P. pulcherrimum is apparently lost, and can be reassessed only based on the original description and illustrations. This fossil is morphologically similar to the extant North Pacific endemic Ptilidium californicum, rather than P. pulcherrimum. Divergence time estimates based on chloroplast DNA sequences provide evidence of a Miocene origin of P. pulcherrimum, and thus also argue against the presence of this taxon in the Eocene. Ptilidium californicum originated 25-43 Ma ago. As a result, we cannot rule out that the Eocene fossil belongs to P. californicum. Alternatively, the fossil might represent a stem lineage element of Ptilidium or an early crown group species with morphological similarities to P. californicum.

  6. Molecular and Morphological Evidence Challenges the Records of the Extant Liverwort Ptilidium pulcherrimum in Eocene Baltic Amber

    PubMed Central

    Heinrichs, Jochen; Scheben, Armin; Lee, Gaik Ee; Váňa, Jiří; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons; Krings, Michael; Schmidt, Alexander R.

    2015-01-01

    Preservation of liverworts in amber, a fossilized tree resin, is often exquisite. Twenty-three fossil species of liverworts have been described to date from Eocene (35–50 Ma) Baltic amber. In addition, two inclusions have been assigned to the extant species Ptilidium pulcherrimum (Ptilidiales or Porellales). However, the presence of the boreal P. pulcherrimum in the subtropical or warm-temperate Baltic amber forest challenges the phytogeographical interpretation of the Eocene flora. A re-investigation of one of the fossils believed to be P. pulcherrimum reveals that this specimen in fact represents the first fossil evidence of the genus Tetralophozia, and thus is re-described here as Tetralophozia groehnii sp. nov. A second fossil initially assigned to P. pulcherrimum is apparently lost, and can be reassessed only based on the original description and illustrations. This fossil is morphologically similar to the extant North Pacific endemic Ptilidium californicum, rather than P. pulcherrimum. Divergence time estimates based on chloroplast DNA sequences provide evidence of a Miocene origin of P. pulcherrimum, and thus also argue against the presence of this taxon in the Eocene. Ptilidium californicum originated 25–43 Ma ago. As a result, we cannot rule out that the Eocene fossil belongs to P. californicum. Alternatively, the fossil might represent a stem lineage element of Ptilidium or an early crown group species with morphological similarities to P. californicum. PMID:26536603

  7. g_contacts: Fast contact search in bio-molecular ensemble data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blau, Christian; Grubmuller, Helmut

    2013-12-01

    Short-range interatomic interactions govern many bio-molecular processes. Therefore, identifying close interaction partners in ensemble data is an essential task in structural biology and computational biophysics. A contact search can be cast as a typical range search problem for which efficient algorithms have been developed. However, none of those has yet been adapted to the context of macromolecular ensembles, particularly in a molecular dynamics (MD) framework. Here a set-decomposition algorithm is implemented which detects all contacting atoms or residues in maximum O(Nlog(N)) run-time, in contrast to the O(N2) complexity of a brute-force approach. Catalogue identifier: AEQA_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEQA_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen’s University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 8945 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 981604 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: C99. Computer: PC. Operating system: Linux. RAM: ≈Size of input frame Classification: 3, 4.14. External routines: Gromacs 4.6[1] Nature of problem: Finding atoms or residues that are closer to one another than a given cut-off. Solution method: Excluding distant atoms from distance calculations by decomposing the given set of atoms into disjoint subsets. Running time:≤O(Nlog(N)) References: [1] S. Pronk, S. Pall, R. Schulz, P. Larsson, P. Bjelkmar, R. Apostolov, M. R. Shirts, J.C. Smith, P. M. Kasson, D. van der Spoel, B. Hess and Erik Lindahl, Gromacs 4.5: a high-throughput and highly parallel open source molecular simulation toolkit, Bioinformatics 29 (7) (2013).

  8. Engineering intracellular active transport systems as in vivo biomolecular tools.

    SciTech Connect

    Bachand, George David; Carroll-Portillo, Amanda

    2006-11-01

    Active transport systems provide essential functions in terms of cell physiology and metastasis. These systems, however, are also co-opted by invading viruses, enabling directed transport of the virus to and from the cell's nucleus (i.e., the site of virus replication). Based on this concept, fundamentally new approaches for interrogating and manipulating the inner workings of living cells may be achievable by co-opting Nature's active transport systems as an in vivo biomolecular tool. The overall goal of this project was to investigate the ability to engineer kinesin-based transport systems for in vivo applications, specifically the collection of effector proteins (e.g., transcriptional regulators) within single cells. In the first part of this project, a chimeric fusion protein consisting of kinesin and a single chain variable fragment (scFv) of an antibody was successfully produced through a recombinant expression system. The kinesin-scFv retained both catalytic and antigenic functionality, enabling selective capture and transport of target antigens. The incorporation of a rabbit IgG-specific scFv into the kinesin established a generalized system for functionalizing kinesin with a wide range of target-selective antibodies raised in rabbits. The second objective was to develop methods of isolating the intact microtubule network from live cells as a platform for evaluating kinesin-based transport within the cytoskeletal architecture of a cell. Successful isolation of intact microtubule networks from two distinct cell types was demonstrated using glutaraldehyde and methanol fixation methods. This work provides a platform for inferring the ability of kinesin-scFv to function in vivo, and may also serve as a three-dimensional scaffold for evaluating and exploiting kinesin-based transport for nanotechnological applications. Overall, the technology developed in this project represents a first-step in engineering active transport system for in vivo applications. Further

  9. Magnetic-based microfluidic platform for biomolecular separation.

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Qasem; Samper, Victor; Poenar, Daniel; Yu, Chen

    2006-06-01

    A novel microfluidic platform for manipulation of micro/nano magnetic particles was designed, fabricated and tested for applications dealing with biomolecular separation. Recently, magnetic immunomagnetic cell separation has attracted a noticeable attention due to the high selectivity of such separation methods. Strong magnetic field gradients can be developed along the entire wire, and the miniaturized size of these current-carrying conductors strongly enhances the magnetic field gradient and therefore produces large, tunable and localized magnetic forces that can be applied on magnetic particles and confine them in very small spots. Further increases in the values of the generated magnetic field gradients can be achieved by employing miniaturized ferromagnetic structures (pillars) which can be magnetized by an external magnetic field or by micro-coils on the same chip. In this study, we demonstrate magnetic beads trapping, concentration, transportation and sensing in a liquid sample under continuous flow by employing high magnetic field gradients generated by novel multi-functional magnetic micro-devices. Each individual magnetic micro-device consists of the following components: 1. Cu micro-coils array embedded in the silicon substrate with high aspect ratio conductors for efficient magnetic field generation 2. Magnetic pillar(s) made of the magnetic alloy NiCoP for magnetic field focusing and magnetic field gradient enhancement. Each pillar is magnetized by its corresponding coil 3. Integrated sensing coil for magnetic beads detection 4. Microfluidic chamber containing all the previous components. Magnetic fields of about 0.1 T and field gradients of around 300 T/cm have been achieved, which allowed to develop a magnetic force of 3 x 10(-9) N on a magnetic particle with radius of 1 mum. This force is large enough to trap/move this particle as the required force to affect such particles in a liquid sample is on the order of approximately pN. Trapping rates of up

  10. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulation: Effect of polarization on thrombin-ligand binding energy.

    PubMed

    Duan, Li L; Feng, Guo Q; Zhang, Qing G

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations lasting 500 ns were performed in explicit water to investigate the effect of polarization on the binding of ligands to human α-thrombin based on the standard nonpolarizable AMBER force field and the quantum-derived polarized protein-specific charge (PPC). The PPC includes the electronic polarization effect of the thrombin-ligand complex, which is absent in the standard force field. A detailed analysis and comparison of the results of the MD simulation with experimental data provided strong evidence that intra-protein, protein-ligand hydrogen bonds and the root-mean-square deviation of backbone atoms were significantly stabilized through electronic polarization. Specifically, two critical hydrogen bonds between thrombin and the ligand were broken at approximately 190 ns when AMBER force field was used and the number of intra-protein backbone hydrogen bonds was higher under PPC than under AMBER. The thrombin-ligand binding energy was computed using the molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) method, and the results were consistent with the experimental value obtained using PPC. Because hydrogen bonds were unstable, it was failed to predict the binding affinity under the AMBER force field. Furthermore, the results of the present study revealed that differences in the binding free energy between AMBER and PPC almost comes from the electrostatic interaction. Thus, this study provides evidence that protein polarization is critical to accurately describe protein-ligand binding. PMID:27507430

  11. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulation: Effect of polarization on thrombin-ligand binding energy

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Li L.; Feng, Guo Q.; Zhang, Qing G.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations lasting 500 ns were performed in explicit water to investigate the effect of polarization on the binding of ligands to human α-thrombin based on the standard nonpolarizable AMBER force field and the quantum-derived polarized protein-specific charge (PPC). The PPC includes the electronic polarization effect of the thrombin-ligand complex, which is absent in the standard force field. A detailed analysis and comparison of the results of the MD simulation with experimental data provided strong evidence that intra-protein, protein-ligand hydrogen bonds and the root-mean-square deviation of backbone atoms were significantly stabilized through electronic polarization. Specifically, two critical hydrogen bonds between thrombin and the ligand were broken at approximately 190 ns when AMBER force field was used and the number of intra-protein backbone hydrogen bonds was higher under PPC than under AMBER. The thrombin-ligand binding energy was computed using the molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) method, and the results were consistent with the experimental value obtained using PPC. Because hydrogen bonds were unstable, it was failed to predict the binding affinity under the AMBER force field. Furthermore, the results of the present study revealed that differences in the binding free energy between AMBER and PPC almost comes from the electrostatic interaction. Thus, this study provides evidence that protein polarization is critical to accurately describe protein-ligand binding. PMID:27507430

  12. Refinement of the Sugar-Phosphate Backbone Torsion Beta for AMBER Force Fields Improves the Description of Z- and B-DNA.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Z-DNA duplexes are a particularly complicated test case for current force fields. We performed a set of explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with various AMBER force field parametrizations including our recent refinements of the ε/ζ and glycosidic torsions. None of these force fields described the ZI/ZII and other backbone substates correctly, and all of them underpredicted the population of the important ZI substate. We show that this underprediction can be attributed to an inaccurate potential for the sugar-phosphate backbone torsion angle β. We suggest a refinement of this potential, β(OL1), which was derived using our recently introduced methodology that includes conformation-dependent solvation effects. The new potential significantly increases the stability of the dominant ZI backbone substate and improves the overall description of the Z-DNA backbone. It also has a positive (albeit small) impact on another important DNA form, the antiparallel guanine quadruplex (G-DNA), and improves the description of the canonical B-DNA backbone by increasing the population of BII backbone substates, providing a better agreement with experiment. We recommend using β(OL1) in combination with our previously introduced corrections, εζ(OL1) and χ(OL4), (the combination being named OL15) as a possible alternative to the current β torsion potential for more accurate modeling of nucleic acids. PMID:26588601

  13. Refinement of the Sugar-Phosphate Backbone Torsion Beta for AMBER Force Fields Improves the Description of Z- and B-DNA.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Z-DNA duplexes are a particularly complicated test case for current force fields. We performed a set of explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with various AMBER force field parametrizations including our recent refinements of the ε/ζ and glycosidic torsions. None of these force fields described the ZI/ZII and other backbone substates correctly, and all of them underpredicted the population of the important ZI substate. We show that this underprediction can be attributed to an inaccurate potential for the sugar-phosphate backbone torsion angle β. We suggest a refinement of this potential, β(OL1), which was derived using our recently introduced methodology that includes conformation-dependent solvation effects. The new potential significantly increases the stability of the dominant ZI backbone substate and improves the overall description of the Z-DNA backbone. It also has a positive (albeit small) impact on another important DNA form, the antiparallel guanine quadruplex (G-DNA), and improves the description of the canonical B-DNA backbone by increasing the population of BII backbone substates, providing a better agreement with experiment. We recommend using β(OL1) in combination with our previously introduced corrections, εζ(OL1) and χ(OL4), (the combination being named OL15) as a possible alternative to the current β torsion potential for more accurate modeling of nucleic acids.

  14. Amber fossils demonstrate deep-time stability of Caribbean lizard communities.

    PubMed

    Sherratt, Emma; del Rosario Castañeda, María; Garwood, Russell J; Mahler, D Luke; Sanger, Thomas J; Herrel, Anthony; de Queiroz, Kevin; Losos, Jonathan B

    2015-08-11

    Whether the structure of ecological communities can exhibit stability over macroevolutionary timescales has long been debated. The similarity of independently evolved Anolis lizard communities on environmentally similar Greater Antillean islands supports the notion that community evolution is deterministic. However, a dearth of Caribbean Anolis fossils--only three have been described to date--has precluded direct investigation of the stability of anole communities through time. Here we report on an additional 17 fossil anoles in Dominican amber dating to 15-20 My before the present. Using data collected primarily by X-ray microcomputed tomography (X-ray micro-CT), we demonstrate that the main elements of Hispaniolan anole ecomorphological diversity were in place in the Miocene. Phylogenetic analysis yields results consistent with the hypothesis that the ecomorphs that evolved in the Miocene are members of the same ecomorph clades extant today. The primary axes of ecomorphological diversity in the Hispaniolan anole fauna appear to have changed little between the Miocene and the present, providing evidence for the stability of ecological communities over macroevolutionary timescales.

  15. The early evolution of feathers: fossil evidence from Cretaceous amber of France

    PubMed Central

    Perrichot, Vincent; Marion, Loïc; Néraudeau, Didier; Vullo, Romain; Tafforeau, Paul

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18285280

  16. Interferometric data reduction with AMBER/VLTI. Principle, estimators, and illustration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatulli, E.; Millour, F.; Chelli, A.; Duvert, G.; Acke, B.; Hernandez Utrera, O.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Kraus, S.; Malbet, F.; Mège, P.; Petrov, R. G.; Vannier, M.; Zins, G.; Antonelli, P.; Beckmann, U.; Bresson, Y.; Dugué, M.; Gennari, S.; Glück, L.; Kern, P.; Lagarde, S.; Le Coarer, E.; Lisi, F.; Perraut, K.; Puget, P.; Rantakyrö, F.; Robbe-Dubois, S.; Roussel, A.; Weigelt, G.; Accardo, M.; Agabi, K.; Altariba, E.; Arezki, B.; Aristidi, E.; Baffa, C.; Behrend, J.; Blöcker, T.; Bonhomme, S.; Busoni, S.; Cassaing, F.; Clausse, J.-M.; Colin, J.; Connot, C.; Delboulbé, A.; Domiciano de Souza, A.; Driebe, T.; Feautrier, P.; Ferruzzi, D.; Forveille, T.; Fossat, E.; Foy, R.; Fraix-Burnet, D.; Gallardo, A.; Giani, E.; Gil, C.; Glentzlin, A.; Heiden, M.; Heininger, M.; Kamm, D.; Kiekebusch, M.; Le Contel, D.; Le Contel, J.-M.; Lesourd, T.; Lopez, B.; Lopez, M.; Magnard, Y.; Marconi, A.; Mars, G.; Martinot-Lagarde, G.; Mathias, P.; Monin, J.-L.; Mouillet, D.; Mourard, D.; Nussbaum, E.; Ohnaka, K.; Pacheco, J.; Perrier, C.; Rabbia, Y.; Rebattu, S.; Reynaud, F.; Richichi, A.; Robini, A.; Sacchettini, M.; Schertl, D.; Schöller, M.; Solscheid, W.; Spang, A.; Stee, P.; Stefanini, P.; Tallon, M.; Tallon-Bosc, I.; Tasso, D.; Testi, L.; Vakili, F.; von der Lühe, O.; Valtier, J.-C.; Ventura, N.

    2007-03-01

    Aims:In this paper, we present an innovative data reduction method for single-mode interferometry. It has been specifically developed for the AMBER instrument, the three-beam combiner of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer, but it can be derived for any single-mode interferometer. Methods: The algorithm is based on a direct modelling of the fringes in the detector plane. As such, it requires a preliminary calibration of the instrument in order to obtain the calibration matrix that builds the linear relationship between the interferogram and the interferometric observable, which is the complex visibility. Once the calibration procedure has been performed, the signal processing appears to be a classical least-square determination of a linear inverse problem. From the estimated complex visibility, we derive the squared visibility, the closure phase, and the spectral differential phase. Results: The data reduction procedures have been gathered into the so-called amdlib software, now available for the community, and are presented in this paper. Furthermore, each step in this original algorithm is illustrated and discussed from various on-sky observations conducted with the VLTI, with a focus on the control of the data quality and the effective execution of the data reduction procedures. We point out the present limited performances of the instrument due to VLTI instrumental vibrations which are difficult to calibrate. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile.

  17. Structural investigation of naturally occurring peptides by electron capture dissociation and AMBER force field modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polfer, Nick C.; Haselmann, Kim F.; Langridge-Smith, Pat R. R.; Barran, Perdita E.

    We present a detailed analysis of the relative yields in dissociation products of doubly protonated polypeptide cations obtained via electron capture dissociation (ECD). These experimental studies are complemented by molecular dynamics force field modelling, using the AMBER force field, to correlate with putative gas-phase conformations for these peptides. It is shown that the highest gas-phase basicity amino acid residue (i.e. arginine) is included in all the charged fragments. This is of particular use in determining the primary structure tryptic digest peptides, which will ordinarily posses a high basicity C-terminal residue (i.e. arginine or lysine). Further, these results suggest that the relative ECD dissociation pattern is related to the secondary structure of the peptide. In particular, the ECD fragmentation pattern in gonadatropin releasing hormone (GnRH) variants appears to depend on whether a β-turn or an extended α-helical structure is formed. In the peptide bradykinin, modelling suggests that the C-terminal arginine engages in much more extended solvation of the backbone than the N-terminal arginine. This strongly correlates with the observed dominance of c over z fragments. This work forms the first attempt at a systematic qualitative correlation of the low-energy structures of modelled gas-phase polypeptides, and their corresponding ECD dissociation pattern.

  18. Angular diameter estimation of interferometric calibrators. Example of λ Gruis, calibrator for VLTI-AMBER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruzalèbes, P.; Jorissen, A.; Sacuto, S.; Bonneau, D.

    2010-06-01

    Context. Accurate long-baseline interferometric measurements require careful calibration with reference stars. Small calibrators with high angular diameter accuracy ensure the true visibility uncertainty to be dominated by the measurement errors. Aims: We review some indirect methods for estimating angular diameter, using various types of input data. Each diameter estimate, obtained for the test-case calibrator star λ Gru, is compared with the value 2.71 mas found in the Bordé calibrator catalogue published in 2002. Methods: Angular size estimations from spectral type, spectral index, in-band magnitude, broadband photometry, and spectrophotometry give close estimates of the angular diameter, with slightly variable uncertainties. Fits on photometry and spectrophotometry need physical atmosphere models with “plausible” stellar parameters. Angular diameter uncertainties were estimated by means of residual bootstrapping confidence intervals. All numerical results and graphical outputs presented in this paper were obtained using the routines developed under PV-WAVE®, which compose the modular software suite SPIDAST, created to calibrate and interprete spectroscopic and interferometric measurements, particularly those obtained with VLTI-AMBER. Results: The final angular diameter estimate 2.70 mas of λ Gru, with 68% confidence interval 2.65-2.81 mas, is obtained by fit of the MARCS model on the ISO-SWS 2.38-27.5 μm spectrum, with the stellar parameters Te = 4250 K, log g = 2.0, z = 0.0 dex, M = 1.0 M⊙, and ξ_t = 2.0 km s-1.

  19. Amber fossils demonstrate deep-time stability of Caribbean lizard communities

    PubMed Central

    Sherratt, Emma; del Rosario Castañeda, María; Garwood, Russell J.; Mahler, D. Luke; Sanger, Thomas J.; Herrel, Anthony; de Queiroz, Kevin; Losos, Jonathan B.

    2015-01-01

    Whether the structure of ecological communities can exhibit stability over macroevolutionary timescales has long been debated. The similarity of independently evolved Anolis lizard communities on environmentally similar Greater Antillean islands supports the notion that community evolution is deterministic. However, a dearth of Caribbean Anolis fossils—only three have been described to date—has precluded direct investigation of the stability of anole communities through time. Here we report on an additional 17 fossil anoles in Dominican amber dating to 15–20 My before the present. Using data collected primarily by X-ray microcomputed tomography (X-ray micro-CT), we demonstrate that the main elements of Hispaniolan anole ecomorphological diversity were in place in the Miocene. Phylogenetic analysis yields results consistent with the hypothesis that the ecomorphs that evolved in the Miocene are members of the same ecomorph clades extant today. The primary axes of ecomorphological diversity in the Hispaniolan anole fauna appear to have changed little between the Miocene and the present, providing evidence for the stability of ecological communities over macroevolutionary timescales. PMID:26216976

  20. Patient and carer experiences of clinical uncertainty and deterioration, in the face of limited reversibility: A comparative observational study of the AMBER care bundle

    PubMed Central

    Bristowe, Katherine; Carey, Irene; Hopper, Adrian; Shouls, Susanna; Prentice, Wendy; Caulkin, Ruth; Higginson, Irene J; Koffman, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Clinical uncertainty is emotionally challenging for patients and carers and creates additional pressures for those clinicians in acute hospitals. The AMBER care bundle was designed to improve care for patients identified as clinically unstable, deteriorating, with limited reversibility and at risk of dying in the next 1–2 months. Aim: To examine the experience of care supported by the AMBER care bundle compared to standard care in the context of clinical uncertainty, deterioration and limited reversibility. Design: A comparative observational mixed-methods study using semi-structured qualitative interviews and a followback survey. Setting/participants: Three large London acute tertiary National Health Service hospitals. Nineteen interviews with 23 patients and carers (10 supported by AMBER care bundle and 9 standard care). Surveys completed by next of kin of 95 deceased patients (59 AMBER care bundle and 36 standard care). Results: The AMBER care bundle was associated with increased frequency of discussions about prognosis between clinicians and patients (χ2 = 4.09, p = 0.04), higher awareness of their prognosis by patients (χ2 = 4.29, p = 0.04) and lower clarity in the information received about their condition (χ2 = 6.26, p = 0.04). Although the consistency and quality of communication were not different between the two groups, those supported by the AMBER care bundle described more unresolved concerns about caring for someone at home. Conclusion: Awareness of prognosis appears to be higher among patients supported by the AMBER care bundle, but in this small study this was not translated into higher quality communication, and information was judged less easy to understand. Adequately powered comparative evaluation is urgently needed. PMID:25829443

  1. Species-level determination of closely related araucarian resins using FTIR spectroscopy and its implications for the provenance of New Zealand amber.

    PubMed

    Seyfullah, Leyla J; Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2015-01-01

    Some higher plants, both angiosperms and gymnosperms, can produce resins and some of these resins can polymerize and fossilize to form ambers. Various physical and chemical techniques have been used to identify and profile different plant resins and have then been applied to fossilized resins (ambers), to try to detect their parent plant affinities and understand the process of polymerization, with varying levels of success. Here we focus on resins produced from today's most resinous conifer family, the Araucariaceae, which are thought to be the parent plants of some of the Southern Hemisphere's fossil resin deposits. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of the resins of closely related Araucariaceae species were examined to test whether they could be distinguished at genus and species level and whether the results could then be used to infer the parent plant of a New Zealand amber. The resin FTIR spectra are distinguishable from each other, and the three Araucaria species sampled produced similar FTIR spectra, to which Wollemia resin is most similar. Interspecific variability of the FTIR spectra is greatest in the three Agathis species tested. The New Zealand amber sample is similar in key shared features with the resin samples, but it does differ from the extant resin samples in key distinguishing features, nonetheless it is most similar to the resin of Agathis australis in this dataset. However on comparison with previously published FTIR spectra of similar aged amber and older (Eocene) resinites both found in coals from New Zealand and fresh Agathis australis resin, our amber has some features that imply a relatively immature resin, which was not expected from an amber of the Miocene age.

  2. Species-level determination of closely related araucarian resins using FTIR spectroscopy and its implications for the provenance of New Zealand amber

    PubMed Central

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Schmidt, Alexander R.

    2015-01-01

    Some higher plants, both angiosperms and gymnosperms, can produce resins and some of these resins can polymerize and fossilize to form ambers. Various physical and chemical techniques have been used to identify and profile different plant resins and have then been applied to fossilized resins (ambers), to try to detect their parent plant affinities and understand the process of polymerization, with varying levels of success. Here we focus on resins produced from today’s most resinous conifer family, the Araucariaceae, which are thought to be the parent plants of some of the Southern Hemisphere’s fossil resin deposits. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of the resins of closely related Araucariaceae species were examined to test whether they could be distinguished at genus and species level and whether the results could then be used to infer the parent plant of a New Zealand amber. The resin FTIR spectra are distinguishable from each other, and the three Araucaria species sampled produced similar FTIR spectra, to which Wollemia resin is most similar. Interspecific variability of the FTIR spectra is greatest in the three Agathis species tested. The New Zealand amber sample is similar in key shared features with the resin samples, but it does differ from the extant resin samples in key distinguishing features, nonetheless it is most similar to the resin of Agathis australis in this dataset. However on comparison with previously published FTIR spectra of similar aged amber and older (Eocene) resinites both found in coals from New Zealand and fresh Agathis australis resin, our amber has some features that imply a relatively immature resin, which was not expected from an amber of the Miocene age. PMID:26157631

  3. AFMPB: An adaptive fast multipole Poisson-Boltzmann solver for calculating electrostatics in biomolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Benzhuo; Cheng, Xiaolin; Huang, Jingfang; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2010-06-01

    A Fortran program package is introduced for rapid evaluation of the electrostatic potentials and forces in biomolecular systems modeled by the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann equation. The numerical solver utilizes a well-conditioned boundary integral equation (BIE) formulation, a node-patch discretization scheme, a Krylov subspace iterative solver package with reverse communication protocols, and an adaptive new version of fast multipole method in which the exponential expansions are used to diagonalize the multipole-to-local translations. The program and its full description, as well as several closely related libraries and utility tools are available at http://lsec.cc.ac.cn/~lubz/afmpb.html and a mirror site at http://mccammon.ucsd.edu/. This paper is a brief summary of the program: the algorithms, the implementation and the usage. Program summaryProgram title: AFMPB: Adaptive fast multipole Poisson-Boltzmann solver Catalogue identifier: AEGB_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEGB_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: GPL 2.0 No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 453 649 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 8 764 754 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Fortran Computer: Any Operating system: Any RAM: Depends on the size of the discretized biomolecular system Classification: 3 External routines: Pre- and post-processing tools are required for generating the boundary elements and for visualization. Users can use MSMS ( http://www.scripps.edu/~sanner/html/msms_home.html) for pre-processing, and VMD ( http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/) for visualization. Sub-programs included: An iterative Krylov subspace solvers package from SPARSKIT by Yousef Saad ( http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~saad/software/SPARSKIT/sparskit.html), and the fast multipole methods subroutines from FMMSuite ( http

  4. Computer Programming and Biomolecular Structure Studies: A Step beyond Internet Bioinformatics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Likic, Vladimir A.

    2006-01-01

    This article describes the experience of teaching structural bioinformatics to third year undergraduate students in a subject titled "Biomolecular Structure and Bioinformatics." Students were introduced to computer programming and used this knowledge in a practical application as an alternative to the well established Internet bioinformatics…

  5. Student Learning about Biomolecular Self-Assembly Using Two Different External Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Host, Gunnar E.; Larsson, Caroline; Olson, Arthur; Tibell, Lena A. E.

    2013-01-01

    Self-assembly is the fundamental but counterintuitive principle that explains how ordered biomolecular complexes form spontaneously in the cell. This study investigated the impact of using two external representations of virus self-assembly, an interactive tangible three-dimensional model and a static two-dimensional image, on student learning…

  6. Supporting Representational Competence in High School Biology with Computer-Based Biomolecular Visualizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilder, Anna; Brinkerhoff, Jonathan

    2007-01-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of computer-based biomolecular visualization activities on the development of high school biology students' representational competence as a means of understanding and visualizing protein structure/function relationships. Also assessed were students' attitudes toward these activities. Sixty-nine students…

  7. Real-Time Biomolecular Binding Detection Using a Sensitive Photonic Crystal Biosensor

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yunbo; Ye, Jing Yong; Divin, Charles; Huang, Baohua; Thomas, Thommey P.; Baker, James R.; Norris, Theodore B.

    2010-01-01

    Real-time measurement of specific biomolecular interactions is critical to many areas of biological research. A number of label-free techniques for directly monitoring biomolecular binding have been developed, but it is still challenging to measure the binding kinetics of very small molecules, to detect low concentrations of analyte molecules, or to detect low affinity interactions. In this study, we report the development of a highly sensitive photonic crystal biosensor for label-free, real-time biomolecular binding analysis. We characterize the performance of this biosensor using a standard streptavidin-biotin binding system. Optimization of the surface functionalization methods for streptavidin immobilization on the silica sensing surface is presented, and the specific binding of biotinylated analyte molecules ranging over 3 orders of magnitude in molecular weight, including very small molecules (<250 Da), DNA oligonucleotides, proteins, and antibodies (>150 000 Da), are detected in real time with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Finally, we document the sensor efficiency for low mass adsorption, as well as multilayered molecular interactions. By all important metrics for sensitivity, we anticipate this photonic crystal biosensor will provide new capabilities for highly sensitive measurements of biomolecular binding. PMID:20486666

  8. A COMPUTATIONAL LIBRARY OF THE BIOMOLECULAR TARGETS FOR TOXICITY: RECEPTORS IN THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    A Computational Library of the Biomolecular Targets for Toxicity: Receptors in the Endocrine System

    Authors: James R. Rabinowitz and Stephen B. Little, MTB/ECD/NHEERL/ORD, and Huajun Fan, Curriculum in Toxicology, University of North Carolina
    Structure activity models ...

  9. Composition and origin of amber ice and its influence on the behaviour of cold glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mager, Sarah; Fitzsimons, Sean; Frew, Russell; Samyn, Denis; Lorrain, Reginald

    This paper examines the basal ice sequence of Rhone Glacier, a cold-based glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, using isotopic and solute chemistry data. Three different ice facies are identified: englacial, amber and stratified. The englacial facies is clean, bubbly ice of meteoric origin and is underlain by an amber facies. Amber ice is a characteristic of cold alpine glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys and is distinctive for its high solute concentrations and much higher strain rates compared with the overlying englacial ice and the underlying stratified ice. Analysis of the stratified facies reveals an isotopic signature indicative of melt then refreeze processes and it is most likely associated with apron entrainment at the margin. By contrast, the amber facies has a co-isotopic slope of 8 and plots on a meteoric waterline. The inclusion of impurities in the amber ice reveals prolonged contact with the bed, and its depleted isotopic signature is consistent with ice formed during a cooler period. Comparison of the basal sequence of Rhone Glacier with other cold-based glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys reveals strong similarities between valley-side glaciers (e.g. Meserve and Rhone Glaciers), whereas valley-floor glacier basal sequences (e.g. Suess Glacier) are characterized by structurally complex amalgamations of ice and debris.

  10. Force-Field Induced Bias in the Structure of Aβ21-30: A Comparison of OPLS, AMBER, CHARMM, and GROMOS Force Fields.

    PubMed

    Smith, Micholas Dean; Rao, J Srinivasa; Segelken, Elizabeth; Cruz, Luis

    2015-12-28

    In this work we examine the dynamics of an intrinsically disordered protein fragment of the amyloid β, the Aβ21-30, under seven commonly used molecular dynamics force fields (OPLS-AA, CHARMM27-CMAP, AMBER99, AMBER99SB, AMBER99SB-ILDN, AMBER03, and GROMOS53A6), and three water models (TIP3P, TIP4P, and SPC/E). We find that the tested force fields and water models have little effect on the measures of radii of gyration and solvent accessible surface area (SASA); however, secondary structure measures and intrapeptide hydrogen-bonding are significantly modified, with AMBER (99, 99SB, 99SB-ILDN, and 03) and CHARMM22/27 force-fields readily increasing helical content and the variety of intrapeptide hydrogen bonds. On the basis of a comparison between the population of helical and β structures found in experiments, our data suggest that force fields that suppress the formation of helical structure might be a better choice to model the Aβ21-30 peptide. PMID:26629886

  11. Yeast Ca(2+)-signal transduction inhibitors isolated from Dominican amber prevent the degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells through the inhibition of Ca(2+)-influx.

    PubMed

    Abe, Tomomi; Kobayashi, Miki; Okawa, Yusuke; Inui, Tomoki; Yoshida, Jun; Higashio, Hironori; Shinden, Hisao; Uesugi, Shota; Koshino, Hiroyuki; Kimura, Ken-Ichi

    2016-09-01

    A new norlabdane compound, named kujigamberol has previously been isolated from Kuji amber (but not from Baltic amber) by activity guided fractionation. However, there has been no study of biological compounds in Dominican amber. Biological activities were examined using the hypersensitive mutant yeast (zds1Δ erg3Δ pdr1Δ pdr3Δ) with respect to Ca(2+)-signal transduction, enzymes and rat basophilic leukemia (RBL)-2H3 cells. The structures were elucidated on the basis of spectral analysis including high resolution (HR)-EI-MS, 1D NMR and 2D NMR. Three diterpenoid compounds, 5(10)-halimen-15-oic acid (1), 3-cleroden-15-oic acid (2) and 8-labden-15-oic acid (3), which are different from the bioactive compounds in Kuji and Baltic ambers, were isolated from Dominican amber. They inhibited both calcineurin (CN) (IC50=40.0, 21.2 and 34.2μM) and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) (IC50=48.9, 43.8 and 41.1μM) which are involved in the growth restored activity against the mutant yeast. The most abundant compound 2 showed inhibitory activity against both degranulation and Ca(2+)-influx in RBL-2H3 cells. The compounds having the growth restoring activity against the mutant yeast have potential as anti-allergic compounds.

  12. Force-Field Induced Bias in the Structure of Aβ21-30: A Comparison of OPLS, AMBER, CHARMM, and GROMOS Force Fields.

    PubMed

    Smith, Micholas Dean; Rao, J Srinivasa; Segelken, Elizabeth; Cruz, Luis

    2015-12-28

    In this work we examine the dynamics of an intrinsically disordered protein fragment of the amyloid β, the Aβ21-30, under seven commonly used molecular dynamics force fields (OPLS-AA, CHARMM27-CMAP, AMBER99, AMBER99SB, AMBER99SB-ILDN, AMBER03, and GROMOS53A6), and three water models (TIP3P, TIP4P, and SPC/E). We find that the tested force fields and water models have little effect on the measures of radii of gyration and solvent accessible surface area (SASA); however, secondary structure measures and intrapeptide hydrogen-bonding are significantly modified, with AMBER (99, 99SB, 99SB-ILDN, and 03) and CHARMM22/27 force-fields readily increasing helical content and the variety of intrapeptide hydrogen bonds. On the basis of a comparison between the population of helical and β structures found in experiments, our data suggest that force fields that suppress the formation of helical structure might be a better choice to model the Aβ21-30 peptide.

  13. Yeast Ca(2+)-signal transduction inhibitors isolated from Dominican amber prevent the degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells through the inhibition of Ca(2+)-influx.

    PubMed

    Abe, Tomomi; Kobayashi, Miki; Okawa, Yusuke; Inui, Tomoki; Yoshida, Jun; Higashio, Hironori; Shinden, Hisao; Uesugi, Shota; Koshino, Hiroyuki; Kimura, Ken-Ichi

    2016-09-01

    A new norlabdane compound, named kujigamberol has previously been isolated from Kuji amber (but not from Baltic amber) by activity guided fractionation. However, there has been no study of biological compounds in Dominican amber. Biological activities were examined using the hypersensitive mutant yeast (zds1Δ erg3Δ pdr1Δ pdr3Δ) with respect to Ca(2+)-signal transduction, enzymes and rat basophilic leukemia (RBL)-2H3 cells. The structures were elucidated on the basis of spectral analysis including high resolution (HR)-EI-MS, 1D NMR and 2D NMR. Three diterpenoid compounds, 5(10)-halimen-15-oic acid (1), 3-cleroden-15-oic acid (2) and 8-labden-15-oic acid (3), which are different from the bioactive compounds in Kuji and Baltic ambers, were isolated from Dominican amber. They inhibited both calcineurin (CN) (IC50=40.0, 21.2 and 34.2μM) and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) (IC50=48.9, 43.8 and 41.1μM) which are involved in the growth restored activity against the mutant yeast. The most abundant compound 2 showed inhibitory activity against both degranulation and Ca(2+)-influx in RBL-2H3 cells. The compounds having the growth restoring activity against the mutant yeast have potential as anti-allergic compounds. PMID:27491756

  14. Exploring biomolecular dynamics and interactions using advanced sampling methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luitz, Manuel; Bomblies, Rainer; Ostermeir, Katja; Zacharias, Martin

    2015-08-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations have emerged as a valuable tool to investigate statistical mechanics and kinetics of biomolecules and synthetic soft matter materials. However, major limitations for routine applications are due to the accuracy of the molecular mechanics force field and due to the maximum simulation time that can be achieved in current simulations studies. For improving the sampling a number of advanced sampling approaches have been designed in recent years. In particular, variants of the parallel tempering replica-exchange methodology are widely used in many simulation studies. Recent methodological advancements and a discussion of specific aims and advantages are given. This includes improved free energy simulation approaches and conformational search applications.

  15. Resolving the stellar components of the massive multiple system Herschel 36 with AMBER/VLTI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Bermudez, J.; Alberdi, A.; Schödel, R.; Hummel, C. A.; Arias, J. I.; Barbá, R. H.; Maíz Apellániz, J.; Pott, J.-U.

    2014-12-01

    Context. Massive stars are extremely important for the evolution of the galaxies; there are large gaps in our understanding of their properties and formation, however, mainly because they evolve rapidly, are rare, and distant. Recent findings suggest that most O-stars belong to multiple systems. It may well be that almost all massive stars are born as triples or higher multiples, but their large distances require very high angular resolution to directly detect the companions at milliarcsecond scales. Aims: Herschel 36 is a young massive system located at 1.3 kpc. It has a combined smallest predicted mass of 45 M⊙. Multi-epoch spectroscopic data suggest the existence of at least three gravitationally bound components. Two of them, system Ab, are tightly bound in a spectroscopic binary, and the third one, component Aa, orbits in a wider orbit. Our aim was to image and obtain astrometric and photometric measurements of components Aa and Ab using, for the first time, long-baseline optical interferometry to further constrain its nature. Methods: We observed Herschel 36 with the near-infrared instrument AMBER attached to the ESO VLT Interferometer, which provides an angular resolution of ~2 mas. We used the code BSMEM to perform the interferometric image reconstruction. We fitted the interferometric observables using proprietary IDL routines and the code LitPro. Results: We imaged the Aa + Ab components of Herschel 36 in H and K filters. Component Ab is located at a projected distance of 1.81 mas, at a position angle of ~222° east of north, the flux ratio between components Aa and Ab is close to one. These findings agree with previous predictions about the properties of Herschel 36. The small measured angular separation indicates that system Ab and Ab may be approaching the periastron of their orbits. These results, only achievable with long-baseline near-infrared interferometry, constitute the first step toward a thorough understanding of this massive triple system.

  16. Immersion mode ice nucleation measurements with the new Portable Immersion Mode Cooling chAmber (PIMCA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohn, Monika; Lohmann, Ulrike; Welti, André; Kanji, Zamin A.

    2016-05-01

    The new Portable Immersion Mode Cooling chAmber (PIMCA) has been developed for online immersion freezing of single-immersed aerosol particles. PIMCA is a vertical extension of the established Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber (PINC). PIMCA immerses aerosol particles into cloud droplets before they enter PINC. Immersion freezing experiments on cloud droplets with a radius of 5-7 μm at a prescribed supercooled temperature (T) and water saturation can be conducted, while other ice nucleation mechanisms (deposition, condensation, and contact mode) are excluded. Validation experiments on reference aerosol (kaolinite, ammonium sulfate, and ammonium nitrate) showed good agreement with theory and literature. The PIMCA-PINC setup was tested in the field during the Zurich AMBient Immersion freezing Study (ZAMBIS) in spring 2014 in Zurich, Switzerland. Significant concentrations of submicron ambient aerosol triggering immersion freezing at T > 236 K were rare. The mean frozen cloud droplet number concentration was estimated to be 7.22·105 L-1 for T < 238 K and determined from the measured frozen fraction and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations predicted for the site at a typical supersaturation of SS = 0.3%. This value should be considered as an upper limit of cloud droplet freezing via immersion and homogeneous freezing processes. The predicted ice nucleating particle (INP) concentration based on measured total aerosol larger than 0.5 μm and the parameterization by DeMott et al. (2010) at T = 238 K is INPD10=54 ± 39 L-1. This is a lower limit as supermicron particles were not sampled with PIMCA-PINC during ZAMBIS.

  17. Afro-Asian cockroach from Chiapas amber and the lost Tertiary American entomofauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vršanský, Peter; Cifuentes-Ruiz, Paulina; Vidlička, Ľubomír; Čiampor, Fedor; Vega, Francisco J.

    2011-10-01

    Cockroach genera with synanthropic species (Blattella, Ectobius, Supella, Periplaneta, Diploptera and ?Blatta), as well as other insects such as honeybees, although natively limited to certain continents nowadays, had circumtropic distribution in the past. The ease of their reintroduction into their former range suggests a post-Early Miocene environmental stress which led to the extinction of cosmopolitan Tertiary entomofauna in the Americas, whilst in Eurasia, Africa and Australia this fauna survived. This phenomenon is demonstrated here on a low diversity (10 spp.) living cockroach genus Supella, which is peculiar for the circumtropical synanthropic brownbanded cockroach S. longipalpa and also for its exclusively free-living cavicolous species restricted to Africa. S. (Nemosupella) miocenica sp. nov. from the Miocene amber of Chiapas in Mexico is a sister species to the living S. mirabilis from the Lower Guinea forests and adjacent savannas. The difference is restricted to the shape of the central macula on the pronotum, and size, which may indicate the around-Miocene origin of the living, extremely polymorphic Supella species and possibly also the isochronic invasion into the Americas. The species also has a number of characteristics of the Asian (and possibly also Australian) uniform genus Allacta (falling within the generic variability of Supella) suggesting Supella is a direct ancestor of the former. The present species is the first significant evidence for incomplete hiati between well defined cockroach genera — a result of the extensive fossil record of the group. The reported specimen is covered by a mycelium of a parasitic fungus Cordyceps or Entomophthora.

  18. An improved AMBER force field for α,α-dialkylated peptides: intrinsic and solvent-induced conformational preferences of model systems.

    PubMed

    Grubišić, Sonja; Brancato, Giuseppe; Barone, Vincenzo

    2013-10-28

    α,α-Dialkylated amino acid residues have acquired considerable importance as effective means for introducing backbone conformation constraints in synthetic peptides. The prototype of such a class of residues, namely Aib (α-aminoisobutyric acid), appears to play a dominant role in determining the preferred conformations of host proteins. We have recently introduced into the standard AMBER force field some new parameters, fitted against high-level quantum mechanical (QM) data, for simulating peptides containing α,α-dialkylated residues with cyclic side chains, such as TOAC (TOAC, 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl-4-amino-4-carboxylic acid) and Ac6c (Ac6c = 1-aminocyclohexaneacetic acid). Here, we show that in order to accurately reproduce the observed conformational geometries and structural fluctuations of linear α,α-dialkylated peptides based on Aib, further improvements of the non-bonding and side chain torsion potential parameters have to be considered, due to the expected larger structural flexibility of linear residues with respect to cyclic ones. To this end, we present an extended set of parameters, which have been optimized by fitting the energies of multiple conformations of the Aib dipeptide analogue to corresponding QM calculations that properly account for dispersion interactions (B3LYP-D3). The quality, transferability and size-consistency of the proposed force field have been assessed both by considering a series of poly-Aib peptides, modeled at the same QM level, and by performing molecular dynamics simulations in solvents with high and low polarity. As a result, the present parameters allow one to reproduce with good reliability the available QM and experimental data, thus representing a notable improvement over current force field especially in the description of the α/310-helix conformational equilibria of α,α-dialkylated peptides with linear and cyclic side chains.

  19. Enhanced light output power of InGaN-based amber LEDs by strain-compensating AlN/AlGaN barriers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iida, Daisuke; Lu, Shen; Hirahara, Sota; Niwa, Kazumasa; Kamiyama, Satoshi; Ohkawa, Kazuhiro

    2016-08-01

    We investigated the effect of a combined AlN/Al0.03Ga0.97N barrier on InGaN-based amber light-emitting diodes (LEDs) grown by metalorganic vapor-phase epitaxy. InGaN-based multiple quantum wells with a combined AlN/Al0.03Ga0.97N barrier showed intense photoluminescence with a narrow full-width at half-maximum. The amber LEDs with a combined AlN/Al0.03Ga0.97N barrier achieved a light output power enhanced approximately 2.5-fold at 20 mA compared to that of the LED with a combined AlN/GaN barrier, owing to the reduction of defects in InGaN active layers. Thus, the efficiency of high-In-content InGaN-based LEDs can be improved in the spectrum range of amber.

  20. Strong carrier localization effect in carrier dynamics of 585 nm InGaN amber light-emitting diodes

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Panpan; Li, Hongjian; Li, Zhi; Kang, Junjie; Yi, Xiaoyan; Li, Jinmin; Wang, Guohong

    2015-02-21

    Temperature dependence and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) have been carried out to study carrier dynamics for 585 nm InGaN amber light-emitting diodes (LEDs). It is found that in InGaN amber LEDs, peak emission energy only shows a slight blueshift from 588 to 575 nm, as temperature increased from 10 K to 300 K. Moreover, radiative recombination lifetime has demonstrated independent of temperature based TRPL results. These two features indicate that a strong carrier localization effect plays a dominant role in carrier dynamics for InGaN amber LEDs. Also, activation energy of 40.3 meV is obtained through Arrhenius plot of PL intensity versus temperature.

  1. Two Flat-Backed Polydesmidan Millipedes from the Miocene Chiapas-Amber Lagerstätte, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Riquelme, Francisco; Hernández-Patricio, Miguel; Martínez-Dávalos, Arnulfo; Rodríguez-Villafuerte, Mercedes; Montejo-Cruz, Maira; Alvarado-Ortega, Jesús; Ruvalcaba-Sil, José L.; Zúñiga-Mijangos, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Two species of fossil polydesmidan millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida) embedded in amber are described from Miocene strata near Simojovel, in the Chiapas Highlands, Mexico. Maatidesmus paachtun gen. et sp. nov., placed into Chelodesmidae Cook, 1895, and Anbarrhacus adamantis gen. et sp. nov., assigned in the family Platyrhacidae Pocock, 1895. Morphological data from fossil specimens have been recovered using 3D X-ray micro-computed tomography and regular to infrared-reflected microscopy. Both fossil species are recognizable as new primarily but not exclusively, by collum margin modification and remarkable paranotal and metatergite dorsal sculpture. PMID:25162220

  2. Two flat-backed polydesmidan millipedes from the Miocene Chiapas-amber Lagerstätte, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Riquelme, Francisco; Hernández-Patricio, Miguel; Martínez-Dávalos, Arnulfo; Rodríguez-Villafuerte, Mercedes; Montejo-Cruz, Maira; Alvarado-Ortega, Jesús; Ruvalcaba-Sil, José L; Zúñiga-Mijangos, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Two species of fossil polydesmidan millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida) embedded in amber are described from Miocene strata near Simojovel, in the Chiapas Highlands, Mexico. Maatidesmus paachtun gen. et sp. nov., placed into Chelodesmidae Cook, 1895, and Anbarrhacus adamantis gen. et sp. nov., assigned in the family Platyrhacidae Pocock, 1895. Morphological data from fossil specimens have been recovered using 3D X-ray micro-computed tomography and regular to infrared-reflected microscopy. Both fossil species are recognizable as new primarily but not exclusively, by collum margin modification and remarkable paranotal and metatergite dorsal sculpture.

  3. Hepatitis Delta Virus RNA Editing Is Highly Specific for the Amber/W Site and Is Suppressed by Hepatitis Delta Antigen

    PubMed Central

    Polson, Andrew G.; Ley, Herbert L.; Bass, Brenda L.; Casey, John L.

    1998-01-01

    RNA editing at adenosine 1012 (amber/W site) in the antigenomic RNA of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) allows two essential forms of the viral protein, hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg), to be synthesized from a single open reading frame. Editing at the amber/W site is thought to be catalyzed by one of the cellular enzymes known as adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADARs). In vitro, the enzymes ADAR1 and ADAR2 deaminate adenosines within many different sequences of base-paired RNA. Since promiscuous deamination could compromise the viability of HDV, we wondered if additional deamination events occurred within the highly base paired HDV RNA. By sequencing cDNAs derived from HDV RNA from transfected Huh-7 cells, we determined that the RNA was not extensively modified at other adenosines. Approximately 0.16 to 0.32 adenosines were modified per antigenome during 6 to 13 days posttransfection. Interestingly, all observed non-amber/W adenosine modifications, which occurred mostly at positions that are highly conserved among naturally occurring HDV isolates, were found in RNAs that were also modified at the amber/W site. Such coordinate modification likely limits potential deleterious effects of promiscuous editing. Neither viral replication nor HDAg was required for the highly specific editing observed in cells. However, HDAg was found to suppress editing at the amber/W site when expressed at levels similar to those found during HDV replication. These data suggest HDAg may regulate amber/W site editing during virus replication. PMID:9528763

  4. PREFACE: India-Japan Workshop on Biomolecular Electronics & Organic Nanotechnology for Environment Preservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onoda, Mitsuyoshi; Malhotra, Bansi D.

    2012-04-01

    The 'India-Japan Workshop on Biomolecular Electronics & Organic Nanotechnology for Environment Preservation' (IJWBME 2011) will be held on 7-10 December 2011 at EGRET Himeji, Himeji, Hyogo, Japan. This workshop was held for the first time on 17-19 December 2009 at NPL, New Delhi. Keeping in mind the importance of organic nanotechnology and biomolecular electronics for environmental preservation and their anticipated impact on the economics of both the developing and the developed world, IJWBME 2009 was jointly organized by the Department of Biological Functions, Graduate School of Life Sciences and Systems Engineering, the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT), Kitakyushu, Japan, and the Department of Science & Technology Centre on Biomolecular Electronics (DSTCBE), National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Much progress in the field of biomolecular electronics and organic nanotechnology for environmental preservation is expected for the 21st Century. Organic optoelectronic devices, such as organic electroluminescent devices, organic thin-film transistors, organic sensors, biological systems and so on have especially attracted much attention. The main purpose of this workshop is to provide an opportunity for researchers interested in biomolecular electronics and organic nanotechnology for environmental preservation, to come together in an informal and friendly atmosphere and exchange technical knowledge and experience. We are sure that this workshop will be very useful and fruitful for all participants in summarizing the recent progress in biomolecular electronics and organic nanotechnology for environmental preservation and preparing new ground for the next generation. Many papers have been submitted from India and Japan and more than 30 papers have been accepted for presentation. The main topics of interest are as follows: Bioelectronics Biomolecular Electronics Fabrication Techniques Self-assembled Monolayers Nano-sensors Environmental Monitoring Organic Devices

  5. Biomolecular implementation of a quasi sliding mode feedback controller based on DNA strand displacement reactions.

    PubMed

    Sawlekar, Rucha; Montefusco, Francesco; Kulkarni, Vishwesh; Bates, Declan G

    2015-08-01

    A fundamental aim of synthetic biology is to achieve the capability to design and implement robust embedded biomolecular feedback control circuits. An approach to realize this objective is to use abstract chemical reaction networks (CRNs) as a programming language for the design of complex circuits and networks. Here, we employ this approach to facilitate the implementation of a class of nonlinear feedback controllers based on sliding mode control theory. We show how a set of two-step irreversible reactions with ultrasensitive response dynamics can provide a biomolecular implementation of a nonlinear quasi sliding mode (QSM) controller. We implement our controller in closed-loop with a prototype of a biological pathway and demonstrate that the nonlinear QSM controller outperforms a traditional linear controller by facilitating faster tracking response dynamics without introducing overshoots in the transient response. PMID:26736420

  6. Biochemical filter with sigmoidal response: increasing the complexity of biomolecular logic.

    PubMed

    Privman, Vladimir; Halámek, Jan; Arugula, Mary A; Melnikov, Dmitriy; Bocharova, Vera; Katz, Evgeny

    2010-11-11

    The first realization of a designed, rather than natural, biochemical filter process is reported and analyzed as a promising network component for increasing the complexity of biomolecular logic systems. Key challenge in biochemical logic research has been achieving scalability for complex network designs. Various logic gates have been realized, but a "toolbox" of analog elements for interconnectivity and signal processing has remained elusive. Filters are important as network elements that allow control of noise in signal transmission and conversion. We report a versatile biochemical filtering mechanism designed to have sigmoidal response in combination with signal-conversion process. Horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed oxidation of chromogenic electron donor by H(2)O(2) was altered by adding ascorbate, allowing to selectively suppress the output signal, modifying the response from convex to sigmoidal. A kinetic model was developed for evaluation of the quality of filtering. The results offer improved capabilities for design of scalable biomolecular information processing systems.

  7. Biomolecular computation with molecular beacons for quantitative analysis of target nucleic acids.

    PubMed

    Lim, Hee-Woong; Lee, Seung Hwan; Yang, Kyung-Ae; Yoo, Suk-In; Park, Tai Hyun; Zhang, Byoung-Tak

    2013-01-01

    Molecular beacons are efficient and useful tools for quantitative detection of specific target nucleic acids. Thanks to their simple protocol, molecular beacons have great potential as substrates for biomolecular computing. Here we present a molecular beacon-based biomolecular computing method for quantitative detection and analysis of target nucleic acids. Whereas the conventional quantitative assays using fluorescent dyes have been designed for single target detection or multiplexed detection, the proposed method enables us not only to detect multiple targets but also to compute their quantitative information by weighted-sum of the targets. The detection and computation are performed on a molecular level simultaneously, and the outputs are detected as fluorescence signals. Experimental results show the feasibility and effectiveness of our weighted detection and linear combination method using molecular beacons. Our method can serve as a primitive operation of molecular pattern analysis, and we demonstrate successful binary classifications of molecular patterns made of synthetic oligonucleotide DNA molecules.

  8. Biomolecular implementation of a quasi sliding mode feedback controller based on DNA strand displacement reactions.

    PubMed

    Sawlekar, Rucha; Montefusco, Francesco; Kulkarni, Vishwesh; Bates, Declan G

    2015-08-01

    A fundamental aim of synthetic biology is to achieve the capability to design and implement robust embedded biomolecular feedback control circuits. An approach to realize this objective is to use abstract chemical reaction networks (CRNs) as a programming language for the design of complex circuits and networks. Here, we employ this approach to facilitate the implementation of a class of nonlinear feedback controllers based on sliding mode control theory. We show how a set of two-step irreversible reactions with ultrasensitive response dynamics can provide a biomolecular implementation of a nonlinear quasi sliding mode (QSM) controller. We implement our controller in closed-loop with a prototype of a biological pathway and demonstrate that the nonlinear QSM controller outperforms a traditional linear controller by facilitating faster tracking response dynamics without introducing overshoots in the transient response.

  9. Exploiting the features of the finite state automata for biomolecular computing.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Pérez, Israel Marck; Ignatova, Zoya; Zimmermann, Karl-Heinz

    2009-01-01

    Here, we review patents that have emerged in the field of DNA-based computing focusing thereby on the discoveries using the concept of molecular finite state automata. A finite state automaton, operating on a finite sequence of symbols and converting information from one to another, provides a basis for developing molecular-scale autonomous programmable models of biomolecular computation at cellular level. We also provide a brief overview on inventions which methodologically support the DNA-based computational approach. PMID:19519583

  10. Assembly of single wall carbon nanotube-metal nanohybrids using biomolecular components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sang Nyon; Slocik, Joseph M.; Naik, Rajesh R.

    2010-08-01

    Biomaterials such as nucleic acids and proteins can be exploited to create higher order structures. The biomolecular components such as DNA and peptides have been used to assemble nanoparticles with high fidelity. Here, we use DNA and peptides, and their preferential interaction with inorganic and carbon nanomaterials to form homogeneous hybrids. The enhanced binding of Pt ions to both DNA and peptide functionalized nanoparticles mediates the assembly of carbon nanotubes functionalized with DNA with peptide coated gold nanoparticles.

  11. Testing Landscape Theory for Biomolecular Processes with Single Molecule Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truex, Katherine; Chung, Hoi Sung; Louis, John M.; Eaton, William A.

    2015-07-01

    Although Kramers' theory for diffusive barrier crossing on a 1D free energy profile plays a central role in landscape theory for complex biomolecular processes, it has not yet been rigorously tested by experiment. Here we test this 1D diffusion scenario with single molecule fluorescence measurements of DNA hairpin folding. We find an upper bound of 2.5 μ s for the average transition path time, consistent with the predictions by theory with parameters determined from optical tweezer measurements.

  12. Efficient multiple time step method for use with Ewald and particle mesh Ewald for large biomolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ruhong; Harder, Edward; Xu, Huafeng; Berne, B. J.

    2001-08-01

    The particle-particle particle-mesh (P3M) method for calculating long-range electrostatic forces in molecular simulations is modified and combined with the reversible reference system propagator algorithm (RESPA) for treating the multiple time scale problems in the molecular dynamics of complex systems with multiple time scales and long-range forces. The resulting particle-particle particle-mesh Ewald RESPA (P3ME/RESPA) method provides a fast and accurate representation of the long-range electrostatic interactions for biomolecular systems such as protein solutions. The method presented here uses a different breakup of the electrostatic forces than was used by other authors when they combined the Particle Mesh Ewald method with RESPA. The usual breakup is inefficient because it treats the reciprocal space forces in an outer loop even though they contain a part that changes rapidly in time. This does not allow use of a large time step for the outer loop. Here, we capture the short-range contributions in the reciprocal space forces and include them in the inner loop, thereby allowing for larger outer loop time steps and thus for a much more efficient RESPA implementation. The new approach has been applied to both regular Ewald and P3ME. The timings of Ewald/RESPA and P3ME/RESPA are compared in detail with the previous approach for protein water solutions as a function of number of atoms in the system, and significant speedups are reported.

  13. Biomolecular Force Field Parameterization via Atoms-in-Molecule Electron Density Partitioning.

    PubMed

    Cole, Daniel J; Vilseck, Jonah Z; Tirado-Rives, Julian; Payne, Mike C; Jorgensen, William L

    2016-05-10

    Molecular mechanics force fields, which are commonly used in biomolecular modeling and computer-aided drug design, typically treat nonbonded interactions using a limited library of empirical parameters that are developed for small molecules. This approach does not account for polarization in larger molecules or proteins, and the parametrization process is labor-intensive. Using linear-scaling density functional theory and atoms-in-molecule electron density partitioning, environment-specific charges and Lennard-Jones parameters are derived directly from quantum mechanical calculations for use in biomolecular modeling of organic and biomolecular systems. The proposed methods significantly reduce the number of empirical parameters needed to construct molecular mechanics force fields, naturally include polarization effects in charge and Lennard-Jones parameters, and scale well to systems comprised of thousands of atoms, including proteins. The feasibility and benefits of this approach are demonstrated by computing free energies of hydration, properties of pure liquids, and the relative binding free energies of indole and benzofuran to the L99A mutant of T4 lysozyme. PMID:27057643

  14. Biomolecular Force Field Parameterization via Atoms-in-Molecule Electron Density Partitioning

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Molecular mechanics force fields, which are commonly used in biomolecular modeling and computer-aided drug design, typically treat nonbonded interactions using a limited library of empirical parameters that are developed for small molecules. This approach does not account for polarization in larger molecules or proteins, and the parametrization process is labor-intensive. Using linear-scaling density functional theory and atoms-in-molecule electron density partitioning, environment-specific charges and Lennard-Jones parameters are derived directly from quantum mechanical calculations for use in biomolecular modeling of organic and biomolecular systems. The proposed methods significantly reduce the number of empirical parameters needed to construct molecular mechanics force fields, naturally include polarization effects in charge and Lennard-Jones parameters, and scale well to systems comprised of thousands of atoms, including proteins. The feasibility and benefits of this approach are demonstrated by computing free energies of hydration, properties of pure liquids, and the relative binding free energies of indole and benzofuran to the L99A mutant of T4 lysozyme. PMID:27057643

  15. Single-Molecule Pull-Down FRET to Dissect the Mechanisms of Biomolecular Machines.

    PubMed

    Kahlscheuer, Matthew L; Widom, Julia; Walter, Nils G

    2015-01-01

    Spliceosomes are multimegadalton RNA-protein complexes responsible for the faithful removal of noncoding segments (introns) from pre-messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs), a process critical for the maturation of eukaryotic mRNAs for subsequent translation by the ribosome. Both the spliceosome and ribosome, as well as many other RNA and DNA processing machineries, contain central RNA components that endow biomolecular complexes with precise, sequence-specific nucleic acid recognition, and versatile structural dynamics. Single-molecule fluorescence (or Förster) resonance energy transfer (smFRET) microscopy is a powerful tool for the study of local and global conformational changes of both simple and complex biomolecular systems involving RNA. The integration of biochemical tools such as immunoprecipitation with advanced methods in smFRET microscopy and data analysis has opened up entirely new avenues toward studying the mechanisms of biomolecular machines isolated directly from complex biological specimens, such as cell extracts. Here, we detail the general steps for using prism-based total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy in exemplary single-molecule pull-down FRET studies of the yeast spliceosome and discuss the broad application potential of this technique.

  16. Changes in biomolecular profile in a single nucleolus during cell fixation.

    PubMed

    Kuzmin, Andrey N; Pliss, Artem; Prasad, Paras N

    2014-11-01

    Fixation of biological sample is an essential technique applied in order to "freeze" in time the intracellular molecular content. However, fixation induces changes of the cellular molecular structure, which mask physiological distribution of biomolecules and bias interpretation of results. Accurate, sensitive, and comprehensive characterization of changes in biomolecular composition, occurring during fixation, is crucial for proper analysis of experimental data. Here we apply biomolecular component analysis for Raman spectra measured in the same nucleoli of HeLa cells before and after fixation by either formaldehyde solution or by chilled ethanol. It is found that fixation in formaldehyde does not strongly affect the Raman spectra of nucleolar biomolecular components, but may significantly decrease the nucleolar RNA concentration. At the same time, ethanol fixation leads to a proportional increase (up to 40%) in concentrations of nucleolar proteins and RNA, most likely due to cell shrinkage occurring in the presence of coagulant fixative. Ethanol fixation also triggers changes in composition of nucleolar proteome, as indicated by an overall reduction of the α-helical structure of proteins and increase in the concentration of proteins containing the β-sheet conformation. We conclude that cross-linking fixation is a more appropriate protocol for mapping of proteins in situ. At the same time, ethanol fixation is preferential for studies of RNA-containing macromolecules. We supplemented our quantitative Raman spectroscopic measurements with mapping of the protein and lipid macromolecular groups in live and fixed cells using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering nonlinear optical imaging.

  17. Single-Molecule Pull-Down FRET to Dissect the Mechanisms of Biomolecular Machines.

    PubMed

    Kahlscheuer, Matthew L; Widom, Julia; Walter, Nils G

    2015-01-01

    Spliceosomes are multimegadalton RNA-protein complexes responsible for the faithful removal of noncoding segments (introns) from pre-messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs), a process critical for the maturation of eukaryotic mRNAs for subsequent translation by the ribosome. Both the spliceosome and ribosome, as well as many other RNA and DNA processing machineries, contain central RNA components that endow biomolecular complexes with precise, sequence-specific nucleic acid recognition, and versatile structural dynamics. Single-molecule fluorescence (or Förster) resonance energy transfer (smFRET) microscopy is a powerful tool for the study of local and global conformational changes of both simple and complex biomolecular systems involving RNA. The integration of biochemical tools such as immunoprecipitation with advanced methods in smFRET microscopy and data analysis has opened up entirely new avenues toward studying the mechanisms of biomolecular machines isolated directly from complex biological specimens, such as cell extracts. Here, we detail the general steps for using prism-based total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy in exemplary single-molecule pull-down FRET studies of the yeast spliceosome and discuss the broad application potential of this technique. PMID:26068753

  18. Multi-core CPU or GPU-accelerated Multiscale Modeling for Biomolecular Complexes.

    PubMed

    Liao, Tao; Zhang, Yongjie; Kekenes-Huskey, Peter M; Cheng, Yuhui; Michailova, Anushka; McCulloch, Andrew D; Holst, Michael; McCammon, J Andrew

    2013-07-01

    Multi-scale modeling plays an important role in understanding the structure and biological functionalities of large biomolecular complexes. In this paper, we present an efficient computational framework to construct multi-scale models from atomic resolution data in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), which is accelerated by multi-core CPU and programmable Graphics Processing Units (GPU). A multi-level summation of Gaus-sian kernel functions is employed to generate implicit models for biomolecules. The coefficients in the summation are designed as functions of the structure indices, which specify the structures at a certain level and enable a local resolution control on the biomolecular surface. A method called neighboring search is adopted to locate the grid points close to the expected biomolecular surface, and reduce the number of grids to be analyzed. For a specific grid point, a KD-tree or bounding volume hierarchy is applied to search for the atoms contributing to its density computation, and faraway atoms are ignored due to the decay of Gaussian kernel functions. In addition to density map construction, three modes are also employed and compared during mesh generation and quality improvement to generate high quality tetrahedral meshes: CPU sequential, multi-core CPU parallel and GPU parallel. We have applied our algorithm to several large proteins and obtained good results.

  19. Biomolecular Force Field Parameterization via Atoms-in-Molecule Electron Density Partitioning.

    PubMed

    Cole, Daniel J; Vilseck, Jonah Z; Tirado-Rives, Julian; Payne, Mike C; Jorgensen, William L

    2016-05-10

    Molecular mechanics force fields, which are commonly used in biomolecular modeling and computer-aided drug design, typically treat nonbonded interactions using a limited library of empirical parameters that are developed for small molecules. This approach does not account for polarization in larger molecules or proteins, and the parametrization process is labor-intensive. Using linear-scaling density functional theory and atoms-in-molecule electron density partitioning, environment-specific charges and Lennard-Jones parameters are derived directly from quantum mechanical calculations for use in biomolecular modeling of organic and biomolecular systems. The proposed methods significantly reduce the number of empirical parameters needed to construct molecular mechanics force fields, naturally include polarization effects in charge and Lennard-Jones parameters, and scale well to systems comprised of thousands of atoms, including proteins. The feasibility and benefits of this approach are demonstrated by computing free energies of hydration, properties of pure liquids, and the relative binding free energies of indole and benzofuran to the L99A mutant of T4 lysozyme.

  20. Rational Design of Biomolecular Templates for Synthesizing Multifunctional Noble Metal Nanoclusters toward Personalized Theranostic Applications.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yong; Mok, Beverly Y L; Loh, Xian Jun; Tan, Yen Nee

    2016-08-01

    Biomolecule-templated or biotemplated metal nanoclusters (NCs) are ultrasmall (<2 nm) metal (Au, Ag) particles stabilized by a certain type of biomolecular template (e.g., peptides, proteins, and DNA). Due to their unique physiochemical properties, biotemplated metal NCs have been widely used in sensing, imaging, delivery and therapy. The overwhelming applications in these individual areas imply the great promise of harnessing biotemplated metal NCs in more advanced biomedical aspects such as theranostics. Although applications of biotemplated metal NCs as theranostic agents are trending, the rational design of biomolecular templates suitable for the synthesis of multifunctional metal NCs for theranostics is comparatively underexplored. This progress report first identifies the essential attributes of biotemplated metal NCs for theranostics by reviewing the state-of-art applications in each of the four modalities of theranostics, namely sensing, imaging, delivery and therapy. To achieve high efficacy in these modalities, we elucidate the design principles underlying the use of biomolecules (proteins, peptides and nucleic acids) to control the NC size, emission color and surface chemistries for post-functionalization of therapeutic moieties. We then propose a unified strategy to engineer biomolecular templates that combine all these modalities to produce multifunctional biotemplated metal NCs that can serve as the next-generation personalized theranostic agents. PMID:27377035

  1. Rational Design of Biomolecular Templates for Synthesizing Multifunctional Noble Metal Nanoclusters toward Personalized Theranostic Applications.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yong; Mok, Beverly Y L; Loh, Xian Jun; Tan, Yen Nee

    2016-08-01

    Biomolecule-templated or biotemplated metal nanoclusters (NCs) are ultrasmall (<2 nm) metal (Au, Ag) particles stabilized by a certain type of biomolecular template (e.g., peptides, proteins, and DNA). Due to their unique physiochemical properties, biotemplated metal NCs have been widely used in sensing, imaging, delivery and therapy. The overwhelming applications in these individual areas imply the great promise of harnessing biotemplated metal NCs in more advanced biomedical aspects such as theranostics. Although applications of biotemplated metal NCs as theranostic agents are trending, the rational design of biomolecular templates suitable for the synthesis of multifunctional metal NCs for theranostics is comparatively underexplored. This progress report first identifies the essential attributes of biotemplated metal NCs for theranostics by reviewing the state-of-art applications in each of the four modalities of theranostics, namely sensing, imaging, delivery and therapy. To achieve high efficacy in these modalities, we elucidate the design principles underlying the use of biomolecules (proteins, peptides and nucleic acids) to control the NC size, emission color and surface chemistries for post-functionalization of therapeutic moieties. We then propose a unified strategy to engineer biomolecular templates that combine all these modalities to produce multifunctional biotemplated metal NCs that can serve as the next-generation personalized theranostic agents.

  2. Minimum steering node set of complex networks and its applications to biomolecular networks.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lin; Li, Min; Wang, Jianxin; Wu, Fang-Xiang

    2016-06-01

    Many systems of interests in practices can be represented as complex networks. For biological systems, biomolecules do not perform their functions alone but interact with each other to form so-called biomolecular networks. A system is said to be controllable if it can be steered from any initial state to any other final state in finite time. The network controllability has become essential to study the dynamics of the networks and understand the importance of individual nodes in the networks. Some interesting biological phenomena have been discovered in terms of the structural controllability of biomolecular networks. Most of current studies investigate the structural controllability of networks in notion of the minimum driver node sets (MDSs). In this study, the authors analyse the network structural controllability in notion of the minimum steering node sets (MSSs). They first develop a graph-theoretic algorithm to identify the MSS for a given network and then apply it to several biomolecular networks. Application results show that biomolecules identified in the MSSs play essential roles in corresponding biological processes. Furthermore, the application results indicate that the MSSs can reflect the network dynamics and node importance in controlling the networks better than the MDSs.

  3. ssDNA-Functionalized Nanoceria: A Redox-Active Aptaswitch for Biomolecular Recognition.

    PubMed

    Bülbül, Gonca; Hayat, Akhtar; Andreescu, Silvana

    2016-04-01

    Quantification of biomolecular binding events is a critical step for the development of biorecognition assays for diagnostics and therapeutic applications. This paper reports the design of redox-active switches based on aptamer conjugated nanoceria for detection and quantification of biomolecular recognition. It is shown that the conformational transition state of the aptamer on nanoceria, combined with the redox properties of these particles can be used to create surface based structure switchable aptasensing platforms. Changes in the redox properties at the nanoceria surface upon binding of the ssDNA and its target analyte enables rapid and highly sensitive measurement of biomolecular interactions. This concept is demonstrated as a general applicable method to the colorimetric detection of DNA binding events. An example of a nanoceria aptaswitch for the colorimetric sensing of Ochratoxin A (OTA) and applicability to other targets is provided. The system can sensitively and selectivity detect as low as 0.15 × 10(-9) m OTA. This novel assay is simple in design and does not involve oligonucleotide labeling or elaborate nanoparticle modification steps. The proposed mechanism discovered here opens up a new way of designing optical sensing methods based on aptamer recognition. This approach can be broadly applicable to many bimolecular recognition processes and related applications. PMID:26844813

  4. In vitro incorporation of nonnatural amino acids into protein using tRNACys-derived opal, ochre, and amber suppressor tRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Gubbens, Jacob; Kim, Soo Jung; Yang, Zhongying; Johnson, Arthur E.; Skach, William R.

    2010-01-01

    Amber suppressor tRNAs are widely used to incorporate nonnatural amino acids into proteins to serve as probes of structure, environment, and function. The utility of this approach would be greatly enhanced if multiple probes could be simultaneously incorporated at different locations in the same protein without other modifications. Toward this end, we have developed amber, opal, and ochre suppressor tRNAs derived from Escherichia coli, and yeast tRNACys that incorporate a chemically modified cysteine residue with high selectivity at the cognate UAG, UGA, and UAA stop codons in an in vitro translation system. These synthetic tRNAs were aminoacylated in vitro, and the labile aminoacyl bond was stabilized by covalently attaching a fluorescent dye to the cysteine sulfhydryl group. Readthrough efficiency (amber > opal > ochre) was substantially improved by eRF1/eRF3 inhibition with an RNA aptamer, thus overcoming an intrinsic hierarchy in stop codon selection that limits UGA and UAA termination suppression in higher eukaryotic translation systems. This approach now allows concurrent incorporation of two different modified amino acids at amber and opal codons with a combined apparent readthrough efficiency of up to 25% when compared with the parent protein lacking a stop codon. As such, it significantly expands the possibilities for incorporating nonnative amino acids for protein structure/function studies. PMID:20581130

  5. In vitro incorporation of nonnatural amino acids into protein using tRNA(Cys)-derived opal, ochre, and amber suppressor tRNAs.

    PubMed

    Gubbens, Jacob; Kim, Soo Jung; Yang, Zhongying; Johnson, Arthur E; Skach, William R

    2010-08-01

    Amber suppressor tRNAs are widely used to incorporate nonnatural amino acids into proteins to serve as probes of structure, environment, and function. The utility of this approach would be greatly enhanced if multiple probes could be simultaneously incorporated at different locations in the same protein without other modifications. Toward this end, we have developed amber, opal, and ochre suppressor tRNAs derived from Escherichia coli, and yeast tRNA(Cys) that incorporate a chemically modified cysteine residue with high selectivity at the cognate UAG, UGA, and UAA stop codons in an in vitro translation system. These synthetic tRNAs were aminoacylated in vitro, and the labile aminoacyl bond was stabilized by covalently attaching a fluorescent dye to the cysteine sulfhydryl group. Readthrough efficiency (amber > opal > ochre) was substantially improved by eRF1/eRF3 inhibition with an RNA aptamer, thus overcoming an intrinsic hierarchy in stop codon selection that limits UGA and UAA termination suppression in higher eukaryotic translation systems. This approach now allows concurrent incorporation of two different modified amino acids at amber and opal codons with a combined apparent readthrough efficiency of up to 25% when compared with the parent protein lacking a stop codon. As such, it significantly expands the possibilities for incorporating nonnative amino acids for protein structure/function studies. PMID:20581130

  6. VLTI/AMBER observations of cold giant stars: atmospheric structures and fundamental parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arroyo-Torres, B.; Martí-Vidal, I.; Marcaide, J. M.; Wittkowski, M.; Guirado, J. C.; Hauschildt, P. H.; Quirrenbach, A.; Fabregat, J.

    2014-06-01

    Aims: The main goal of this research is to determine the angular size and the atmospheric structures of cool giant stars (ɛ Oct, β Peg, NU Pav, ψ Peg, and γ Hya) and to compare them with hydrostatic stellar model atmospheres, to estimate the fundamental parameters, and to obtain a better understanding of the circumstellar environment. Methods: We conducted spectro-interferometric observations of ɛ Oct, β Peg, NU Pav, and ψ Peg in the near-infrared K band (2.13-2.47 μm), and γ Hya (1.9-2.47 μm) with the VLTI/AMBER instrument at medium spectral resolution (~1500). To obtain the fundamental parameters, we compared our data with hydrostatic atmosphere models (PHOENIX). Results: We estimated the Rosseland angular diameters of ɛ Oct, β Peg, NU Pav, ψ Peg, and γ Hya to be 11.66±1.50 mas, 16.87±1.00 mas, 13.03±1.75 mas, 6.31±0.35 mas, and 3.78±0.65 mas, respectively. Together with distances and bolometric fluxes (obtained from the literature), we estimated radii, effective temperatures, and luminosities of our targets. In the β Peg visibility, we observed a molecular layer of CO with a size similar to that modeled with PHOENIX. However, there is an additional slope in absorption starting around 2.3 μm. This slope is possibly due to a shell of H2O that is not modeled with PHOENIX (the size of the layer increases to about 5% with respect to the near-continuum level). The visibility of ψ Peg shows a low increase in the CO bands, compatible with the modeling of the PHOENIX model. The visibility data of ɛ Oct, NU Pav, and γ Hya show no increase in molecular bands. Conclusions: The spectra and visibilities predicted by the PHOENIX atmospheres agree with the spectra and the visibilities observed in our stars (except for β Peg). This indicates that the opacity of the molecular bands is adequately included in the model, and the atmospheres of our targets have an extension similar to the modeled atmospheres. The atmosphere of β Peg is more extended than

  7. Modelling the interaction of several bisphosphonates with hydroxyapatite using the generalised AMBER force field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Janine; Cukrowski, Ignacy; Marques, Helder M.

    2006-12-01

    The ability of the Generalised AMBER Force Field (GAFF) of Kollman and co-workers to model the structures of bisphosphonate ligands, C(R 1)(R 2)(PO 32-) 2, important compounds in the treatment of bone cancer, by molecular mechanics methods is evaluated. The structure of 50 bisphosphonates and nine bisphosphonate esters were predicted and compared to their crystal structures. Partial charges were assigned from a RHF/6-31G ∗ single point calculation at the geometry of the crystal structure. Additional parameters required for GAFF were determined using the methods of the force field's developers. The structures were found to be well replicated with virtually all bond lengths reproduced to within 0.015 Å, or within 1.2 σ of the crystallographic mean. Bond angles were reproduced to within 1.9° (0.8 σ). The observed gauche or anti conformation of the molecules was reproduced, although in several instances gauche conformations observed in the solid state energy-minimised into anti conformations, and vice versa. The interaction of MDP (R 1 = R 2 = H), HEDP (R 1 = OH, R 2 = CH 3), APD (R 1 = OH, R 2 = (CH 2) 2NH 3+), alendronate (R 1 = OH, R 2 = (CH 2) 3NH 3+) and neridronate (R 1 = OH, R 2 = (CH 2) 5NH 3+) with the (001), (010) and (100) faces of hydroxyapaptite was examined by energy-minimising 20 random orientations of each ligand 20 Å from the mineral (where there is no interaction), and then at about 8 Å from the surface whereupon the ligand relaxes onto the surface. The difference in energy between the two systems is the interaction energy. In all cases interaction with hydroxyapatite caused a decrease in energy. When modelled with a dielectric constant of 78 ɛo, non-bonded interactions dominate; electrostatic interactions become important when the dielectric constant is <10 ɛo. Irrespective of the value of the dielectric constant used, the structure of the ligands on the hydroxyapatite surface is very similar. On the (001) face, both phosphonate groups

  8. Optimizing Fine-grained Communication in a Biomolecular Simulation Application on Cray XK6

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Yanhua; Zheng, Gengbin; Mei, Chao; Phillips, James C.; Kale, Laxmikant V; Jones, Terry R

    2012-01-01

    Achieving good scaling for fine-grained communication intensive applications on modern supercomputers remains challenging. In our previous work, we have shown that such an application NAMD scales well on the full Jaguar XT5 without long-range interactions; Yet, with them, the speedup falters beyond 64K cores. Although the new Gemini interconnect on Cray XK6 has improved network performance, the challenges remain, and are likely to remain for other such networks as well. We analyze communication bottlenecks in NAMD and its CHARM++ runtime, using the Projections performance analysis tool. Based on the analysis, we optimize the runtime, built on the uGNI library for Gemini. We present several techniques to improve the fine-grained communication. Consequently, the performance of running 92224-atom Apoa1 with GPUs on TitanDev is improved by 36%. For 100-million-atom STMV, we improve upon the prior Jaguar XT5 result of 26 ms/step to 13 ms/step using 298,992 cores on Jaguar XK6.

  9. Theoretical description of biomolecular hydration - Application to A-DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia, A.E.; Hummer, G.; Soumpasis, D.M.

    1994-12-31

    The local density of water molecules around a biomolecule is constructed from calculated two- and three-points correlation functions of polar solvents in water using a Potential-of-Mean-Force (PMF) expansion. As a simple approximation, the hydration of all polar (including charged) groups in a biomolecule is represented by the hydration of water oxygen in bulk water, and the effect of non-polar groups on hydration are neglected, except for excluded volume effects. Pair and triplet correlation functions are calculated by molecular dynamics simulations. We present calculations of the structural hydration for ideal A-DNA molecules with sequences [d(CG){sub 5}]{sub 2} and [d(C{sub 5}G{sub 5})]{sub 2}. We find that this method can accurately reproduce the hydration patterns of A-DNA observed in neutron diffraction experiments on oriented DNA fibers.

  10. On the systematic position of Electrocrania Kusnezov, 1941 with the description of a new species from Baltic amber (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae).

    PubMed

    Kurz, Michael

    2015-11-19

    A new fossil species of Electrocrania Kusnezov is described, i.e. Electrocrania michalskii sp. nov. The male moth in Baltic amber is in a sufficiently good condition to allow its assignment to the family Micropterigidae on the basis of four re-cognized autapomorphies of this family (Kristensen 1998). The unique venation of the specimen places it in the genus Electrocrania stat. rev. and allows a redescription of that genus that has recently been treated as synonym of Micropterix Hübner. It is argued that Electrocrania is a distinct genus within Micropterigidae that is not associated with Micropterix, but probably can be assigned to the "Northern Hemisphere genera"-lineage of Micropterigidae.

  11. On the systematic position of Baltimartyria Skalski, 1995 and description of a new species from Baltic amber (Lepidoptera, Micropterigidae)

    PubMed Central

    Mey, Wolfram

    2011-01-01

    Abstract This paper describes a rare case of a male moth in Baltic amber in an excellent position for establishing a species. The moth represents the second species of the genus Baltimartyria Skalski, 1995, described herein as Baltimartyria rasnitsyni sp. n. The detection of this new species prompts research on the systematic position of the genus within the family Micropterigidae. The genus was found to provide none of the apomorphic characters that would allow placement in one of the monophyletic lineages within the family. The genus is provisionally assigned to the “southern sabatincoid group”, a weakly supported assemblage of Southern Hemisphere genera. The sister genus has still to be determined. Baltimartyria is the first North Hemisphere representative in this group. Some general aspects of historical biogeography relevant for the group are briefly discussed. PMID:22259287

  12. Near-cognate suppression of amber, opal and quadruplet codons competes with aminoacyl-tRNAPyl for genetic code expansion

    PubMed Central

    O’Donoghue, Patrick; Prat, Laure; Heinemann, Ilka U.; Ling, Jiqiang; Odoi, Keturah; Liu, Wenshe R.; Söll, Dieter

    2012-01-01

    Over 300 amino acids are found in proteins in nature, yet typically only 20 are genetically encoded. Reassigning stop codons and use of quadruplet codons emerged as the main avenues for genetically encoding non-canonical amino acids (NCAAs). Canonical aminoacyl-tRNAs with near-cognate anticodons also read these codons to some extent. This background suppression leads to ‘statistical protein’ that contains some natural amino acid(s) at a site intended for NCAA. We characterize near-cognate suppression of amber, opal and a quadruplet codon in common Escherichia coli laboratory strains and find that the PylRS/tRNAPyl orthogonal pair cannot completely outcompete contamination by natural amino acids. PMID:23036644

  13. Internal quantum efficiency in yellow-amber light emitting AlGaN-InGaN-GaN heterostructures

    SciTech Connect

    Ngo, Thi Huong; Gil, Bernard; Valvin, Pierre; Damilano, Benjamin; Lekhal, Kaddour; De Mierry, Philippe

    2015-09-21

    We determine the internal quantum efficiency of strain-balanced AlGaN-InGaN-GaN hetero-structures designed for yellow-amber light emission, by using a recent model based on the kinetics of the photoluminescence decay initiated by Iwata et al. [J. Appl. Phys. 117, 075701 (2015)]. Our results indicate that low temperature internal quantum efficiencies sit in the 50% range and we measure that adding an AlGaN layer increases the internal quantum efficiency from 50% up to 57% with respect to the GaN-InGaN case. More dramatic, it almost doubles from 2.5% up to 4.3% at room temperature.

  14. Family Panorpodidae (Insecta, Mecoptera) from Baltic amber (upper Eocene): new species, redescription and palaeogeographic remarks of relict scorpionflies.

    PubMed

    Soszyńska-Maj, Agnieszka; Krzemińsk, Wiesław

    2013-01-01

    The history of the species-poor family Panorpodidae is very interesting due to its uneven present distribution. The only fossils of the genus Panorpodes are two species known from Baltic amber, described in 1856 and 1954. A third species, Panorpodes weitschati sp. nov., is herein described. New diagnoses and descriptions as well as new drawings of all fossil species of Panorpodes are provided, including the first illustration of the wing of P. hageni. Fossil Panorpodes display three diametrically opposed patterns of wings markings, from the highly transparent wings of P. brevicauda, through transparent wings with dark bands and spots of P. weitschati sp. nov., to the dark wings with only narrow transparent bands of P. hageni. The fossil specimens are characterized by a great variability in wing venation, even in a single specimen, similar to that of living species. PMID:26042307

  15. Biomolecular conjugation inside synthetic polymer nanopores viaglycoprotein-lectin interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Mubarak; Ramirez, Patricio; Tahir, Muhammad Nawaz; Mafe, Salvador; Siwy, Zuzanna; Neumann, Reinhard; Tremel, Wolfgang; Ensinger, Wolfgang

    2011-04-01

    We demonstrate the supramolecular bioconjugation of concanavalin A (Con A) protein with glycoenzymehorseradish peroxidase (HRP) inside single nanopores, fabricated in heavy ion tracked polymermembranes. Firstly, the HRP-enzyme was covalently immobilized on the inner wall of the pores using carbodiimide coupling chemistry. The immobilized HRP-enzyme molecules bear sugar (mannose) groups available for the binding of Con A protein. Secondly, the bioconjugation of Con A on the pore wall was achieved through its biospecific interactions with the mannose residues of the HRP enzyme. The immobilization of biomolecules inside the nanopore leads to the reduction of the available area for ionic transport, and this blocking effect can be exploited to tune the conductance and selectivity of the nanopore in aqueous solution. Both cylindrical and conical nanopores were used in the experiments. The possibility of obtaining two or more conductance states (output), dictated by the degree of nanopore blocking resulted from the different biomolecules in solution (input), as well as the current rectification properties obtained with the conical nanopore, could also allow implementing information processing at the nanometre scale. Model simulations based on the transport equations further verify the feasibility of the sensing procedure that involves concepts from supramolecular chemistry, molecular imprinting, recognition, and nanotechnology.

  16. Conformational thermodynamics of biomolecular complexes: The histogram-based method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Amit; Sikdar, Samapan; Ghosh, Mahua; Chakrabarti, J.

    2015-09-01

    Conformational changes in biomacromolecules govern majority of biological processes. Complete characterization of conformational contributions to thermodynamics of complexation of biomacromolecules has been challenging. Although, advances in NMR relaxation experiments and several computational studies have revealed important aspects of conformational entropy changes, efficient and large-scale estimations still remain an intriguing facet. Recent histogram-based method (HBM) offers a simple yet rigorous route to estimate both conformational entropy and free energy changes from same set of histograms in an efficient manner. The HBM utilizes the power of histograms which can be generated as accurately as desired from an arbitrarily large sample space from atomistic simulation trajectories. Here we discuss some recent applications of the HBM, using dihedral angles of amino acid residues as conformational variables, which provide good measure of conformational thermodynamics of several protein-peptide complexes, obtained from NMR, metal-ion binding to an important metalloprotein, interfacial changes in protein-protein complex and insight to protein function, coupled with conformational changes. We conclude the paper with a few future directions worth pursuing.

  17. Hierarchical Biomolecular Dynamics: Picosecond Hydrogen Bonding Regulates Microsecond Conformational Transitions.

    PubMed

    Buchenberg, Sebastian; Schaudinnus, Norbert; Stock, Gerhard

    2015-03-10

    Biomolecules exhibit structural dynamics on a number of time scales, including picosecond (ps) motions of a few atoms, nanosecond (ns) local conformational transitions, and microsecond (μs) global conformational rearrangements. Despite this substantial separation of time scales, fast and slow degrees of freedom appear to be coupled in a nonlinear manner; for example, there is theoretical and experimental evidence that fast structural fluctuations are required for slow functional motion to happen. To elucidate a microscopic mechanism of this multiscale behavior, Aib peptide is adopted as a simple model system. Combining extensive molecular dynamics simulations with principal component analysis techniques, a hierarchy of (at least) three tiers of the molecule's free energy landscape is discovered. They correspond to chiral left- to right-handed transitions of the entire peptide that happen on a μs time scale, conformational transitions of individual residues that take about 1 ns, and the opening and closing of structure-stabilizing hydrogen bonds that occur within tens of ps and are triggered by sub-ps structural fluctuations. Providing a simple mechanism of hierarchical dynamics, fast hydrogen bond dynamics is found to be a prerequisite for the ns local conformational transitions, which in turn are a prerequisite for the slow global conformational rearrangement of the peptide. As a consequence of the hierarchical coupling, the various processes exhibit a similar temperature behavior which may be interpreted as a dynamic transition. PMID:26579778

  18. First step to detect an extrasolar planet using simultaneous observations with the VLTI instruments AMBER and MIDI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matter, A.; Vannier, M.; Morel, S.; Lopez, B.; Jaffe, W.; Lagarde, S.; Petrov, R. G.; Leinert, C.

    2010-06-01

    Aims: Performed in November 2007 as a part of the MIDI Guaranteed Time Observation Exoplanet Programme, the observation of Gliese 86b constituted the first attempt at an exoplanet detection with the VLTI instrument MIDI. It is also a technical achievement since it motivated the first VLTI observation using AMBER and MIDI simultaneously. Methods: Fringes were obtained for both instruments with the aim of reaching sufficient precision on the low differential phase signal of Gliese 86b. The principle is to correct the phase measured in N-band from the water vapour dispersion using the fringes in K-band. In N-band, the source, Gliese 86, has an estimated magnitude of 3.8. With a separation of 0.11 AU, a flux ratio of about 10-3 is expected between the planet and the star. According to the measurement principle and the planet signal signature, the effective expected interferometric phase is a curved-like function of the wavelength with a mean amplitude of about 0.03°. Results: Based on the MIDI phase measurements of the calibrator HD 9362, our study shows that a precision on the curvature measurement of about 0.33° is currently reached. Consequently, we stand at a factor 10 above the phase signal from the planet. The AMBER data, obtained in parallel, were too noisy to extrapolate and to remove the corresponding dispersion in N band at the required level of precision. However, we report the set of data obtained, we discuss the calibration process involved, and we estimate its theoretical efficiency. Based on GTO observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO number: 080.C-0344).

  19. Interacting with the biomolecular solvent accessible surface via a haptic feedback device

    PubMed Central

    Stocks, Matthew B; Hayward, Steven; Laycock, Stephen D

    2009-01-01

    Background From the 1950s computer based renderings of molecules have been produced to aid researchers in their understanding of biomolecular structure and function. A major consideration for any molecular graphics software is the ability to visualise the three dimensional structure of the molecule. Traditionally, this was accomplished via stereoscopic pairs of images and later realised with three dimensional display technologies. Using a haptic feedback device in combination with molecular graphics has the potential to enhance three dimensional visualisation. Although haptic feedback devices have been used to feel the interaction forces during molecular docking they have not been used explicitly as an aid to visualisation. Results A haptic rendering application for biomolecular visualisation has been developed that allows the user to gain three-dimensional awareness of the shape of a biomolecule. By using a water molecule as the probe, modelled as an oxygen atom having hard-sphere interactions with the biomolecule, the process of exploration has the further benefit of being able to determine regions on the molecular surface that are accessible to the solvent. This gives insight into how awkward it is for a water molecule to gain access to or escape from channels and cavities, indicating possible entropic bottlenecks. In the case of liver alcohol dehydrogenase bound to the inhibitor SAD, it was found that there is a channel just wide enough for a single water molecule to pass through. Placing the probe coincident with crystallographic water molecules suggests that they are sometimes located within small pockets that provide a sterically stable environment irrespective of hydrogen bonding considerations. Conclusion By using the software, named HaptiMol ISAS (available from ), one can explore the accessible surface of biomolecules using a three-dimensional input device to gain insights into the shape and water accessibility of the biomolecular surface that cannot be

  20. Raman spectroscopy detects biomolecular changes associated with nanoencapsulated hesperetin treatment in experimental oral carcinogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurushankar, K.; Gohulkumar, M.; Kumar, Piyush; Krishna, C. Murali; Krishnakumar, N.

    2016-03-01

    Recently it has been shown that Raman spectroscopy possesses great potential in the investigation of biomolecular changes of tumor tissues with therapeutic drug response in a non-invasive and label-free manner. The present study is designed to investigate the antitumor effect of hespertin-loaded nanoparticles (HETNPs) relative to the efficacy of native hesperetin (HET) in modifying the biomolecular changes during 7,12-dimethyl benz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced oral carcinogenesis using a Raman spectroscopic technique. Significant differences in the intensity and shape of the Raman spectra between the control and the experimental tissues at 1800-500 cm-1 were observed. Tumor tissues are characterized by an increase in the relative amount of proteins, nucleic acids, tryptophan and phenylalanine and a decrease in the percentage of lipids when compared to the control tissues. Further, oral administration of HET and its nanoparticulates restored the status of the lipids and significantly decreased the levels of protein and nucleic acid content. Treatment with HETNPs showed a more potent antitumor effect than treatment with native HET, which resulted in an overall reduction in the intensity of several biochemical Raman bands in DMBA-induced oral carcinogenesis being observed. Principal component and linear discriminant analysis (PC-LDA), together with leave-one-out cross validation (LOOCV) on Raman spectra yielded diagnostic sensitivities of 100%, 80%, 91.6% and 65% and specificities of 100%, 65%, 60% and 55% for classification of control versus DMBA, DMBA versus DMBA  +  HET, DMBA versus DMBA  +  HETNPs and DMBA  +  HET versus DMBA  +  HETNPs treated tissue groups, respectively. These results further demonstrate that Raman spectroscopy associated with multivariate statistical algorithms could be a valuable tool for developing a comprehensive understanding of the process of biomolecular changes, and could reveal the signatures of the

  1. Discovering multi–level structures in bio-molecular data through the Bernstein inequality

    PubMed Central

    Bertoni, Alberto; Valentini, Giorgio

    2008-01-01

    Background The unsupervised discovery of structures (i.e. clusterings) underlying data is a central issue in several branches of bioinformatics. Methods based on the concept of stability have been recently proposed to assess the reliability of a clustering procedure and to estimate the “optimal” number of clusters in bio-molecular data. A major problem with stability-based methods is the detection of multi-level structures (e.g. hierarchical functional classes of genes), and the assessment of their statistical significance. In this context, a chi-square based statistical test of hypothesis has been proposed; however, to assure the correctness of this technique some assumptions about the distribution of the data are needed. Results To assess the statistical significance and to discover multi-level structures in bio-molecular data, a new method based on Bernstein's inequality is proposed. This approach makes no assumptions about the distribution of the data, thus assuring a reliable application to a large range of bioinformatics problems. Results with synthetic and DNA microarray data show the effectiveness of the proposed method. Conclusions The Bernstein test, due to its loose assumptions, is more sensitive than the chi-square test to the detection of multiple structures simultaneously present in the data. Nevertheless it is less selective, that is subject to more false positives, but adding independence assumptions, a more selective variant of the Bernstein inequality-based test is also presented. The proposed methods can be applied to discover multiple structures and to assess their significance in different types of bio-molecular data. PMID:18387206

  2. In situ monitoring of biomolecular processes in living systems using surface-enhanced Raman scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altunbek, Mine; Kelestemur, Seda; Culha, Mustafa

    2015-12-01

    Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) continues to strive to gather molecular level information from dynamic biological systems. It is our ongoing effort to utilize the technique for understanding of the biomolecular processes in living systems such as eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. In this study, the technique is investigated to identify cell death mechanisms in 2D and 3D in vitro cell culture models, which is a very important process in tissue engineering and pharmaceutical applications. Second, in situ biofilm formation monitoring is investigated to understand how microorganisms respond to the environmental stimuli, which inferred information can be used to interfere with biofilm formation and fight against their pathogenic activity.

  3. Dynamic Expression of DNA Complexation with Self-assembled Biomolecular Clusters.

    PubMed

    Bartolami, Eline; Bessin, Yannick; Gervais, Virginie; Dumy, Pascal; Ulrich, Sébastien

    2015-08-24

    We report herein the implementation of a dynamic covalent chemistry approach to the generation of multivalent clusters for DNA recognition. We show that biomolecular clusters can be expressed in situ by a programmed self-assembly process using chemoselective ligations. The cationic clusters are shown, by fluorescence displacement assay, gel electrophoresis and isothermal titration calorimetry, to effectively complex DNA through multivalent interactions. The reversibility of the ligation was exploited to demonstrate that template effects occur, whereby DNA imposes component selection in order to favor the most active DNA-binding clusters. Furthermore, we show that a chemical effector can be used to trigger DNA release through component exchange reactions. PMID:26177835

  4. Two decades of studying non-covalent biomolecular assemblies by means of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Hilton, Gillian R.; Benesch, Justin L. P.

    2012-01-01

    Mass spectrometry (MS) is a recognized approach for characterizing proteins and the complexes they assemble into. This application of a long-established physico-chemical tool to the frontiers of structural biology has stemmed from experiments performed in the early 1990s. While initial studies focused on the elucidation of stoichiometry by means of simple mass determination, developments in MS technology and methodology now allow researchers to address questions of shape, inter-subunit connectivity and protein dynamics. Here, we chart the remarkable rise of MS and its application to biomolecular complexes over the last two decades. PMID:22319100

  5. Nanoscale Resolution, Multi-component Biomolecular Arrays Generated By Aligned Printing With Parylene Peel-Off

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Christine P.; Cipriany, Benjamin R.; Lin, David M.; Craighead, Harold G.

    2010-01-01

    We present Print-and-Peel, a high-throughput method to generate multi-component biomolecular arrays with sub-100nm nanoscale feature width. An inkjet printer is first aligned to a parylene template containing nanoscale openings. After printing, the parylene is peeled off to reveal uniformly patterned nanoscale features, despite the imperfect morphologies of the original inkjet spots. We further patterned combinatorial nanoarrays by performing a second print-run superimposed over the first, thereby extending the multiplexing capability of the technique. PMID:20088589

  6. An optics-based variable-temperature assay system for characterizing thermodynamics of biomolecular reactions on solid support.

    PubMed

    Fei, Yiyan; Landry, James P; Li, Yanhong; Yu, Hai; Lau, Kam; Huang, Shengshu; Chokhawala, Harshal A; Chen, Xi; Zhu, X D

    2013-11-01

    A biological state is equilibrium of multiple concurrent biomolecular reactions. The relative importance of these reactions depends on physiological temperature typically between 10 °C and 50 °C. Experimentally the temperature dependence of binding reaction constants reveals thermodynamics and thus details of these biomolecular processes. We developed a variable-temperature opto-fluidic system for real-time measurement of multiple (400-10,000) biomolecular binding reactions on solid supports from 10 °C to 60 °C within ±0.1 °C. We illustrate the performance of this system with investigation of binding reactions of plant lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) with 24 synthetic glycans (i.e., carbohydrates). We found that the lectin-glycan reactions in general can be enthalpy-driven, entropy-driven, or both, and water molecules play critical roles in the thermodynamics of these reactions.

  7. An optics-based variable-temperature assay system for characterizing thermodynamics of biomolecular reactions on solid support

    SciTech Connect

    Fei, Yiyan; Landry, James P.; Zhu, X. D.; Li, Yanhong; Yu, Hai; Lau, Kam; Huang, Shengshu; Chokhawala, Harshal A.; Chen, Xi

    2013-11-15

    A biological state is equilibrium of multiple concurrent biomolecular reactions. The relative importance of these reactions depends on physiological temperature typically between 10 °C and 50 °C. Experimentally the temperature dependence of binding reaction constants reveals thermodynamics and thus details of these biomolecular processes. We developed a variable-temperature opto-fluidic system for real-time measurement of multiple (400–10 000) biomolecular binding reactions on solid supports from 10 °C to 60 °C within ±0.1 °C. We illustrate the performance of this system with investigation of binding reactions of plant lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) with 24 synthetic glycans (i.e., carbohydrates). We found that the lectin-glycan reactions in general can be enthalpy-driven, entropy-driven, or both, and water molecules play critical roles in the thermodynamics of these reactions.

  8. An optics-based variable-temperature assay system for characterizing thermodynamics of biomolecular reactions on solid support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fei, Yiyan; Landry, James P.; Li, Yanhong; Yu, Hai; Lau, Kam; Huang, Shengshu; Chokhawala, Harshal A.; Chen, Xi; Zhu, X. D.

    2013-11-01

    A biological state is equilibrium of multiple concurrent biomolecular reactions. The relative importance of these reactions depends on physiological temperature typically between 10 °C and 50 °C. Experimentally the temperature dependence of binding reaction constants reveals thermodynamics and thus details of these biomolecular processes. We developed a variable-temperature opto-fluidic system for real-time measurement of multiple (400-10 000) biomolecular binding reactions on solid supports from 10 °C to 60 °C within ±0.1 °C. We illustrate the performance of this system with investigation of binding reactions of plant lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) with 24 synthetic glycans (i.e., carbohydrates). We found that the lectin-glycan reactions in general can be enthalpy-driven, entropy-driven, or both, and water molecules play critical roles in the thermodynamics of these reactions.

  9. The generation of biomolecular patterns in highly porous collagen-GAG scaffolds using direct photolithography.

    PubMed

    Martin, Teresa A; Caliari, Steven R; Williford, Paul D; Harley, Brendan A; Bailey, Ryan C

    2011-06-01

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex organization of structural proteins found within tissues and organs. Heterogeneous tissues with spatially and temporally modulated properties play an important role in organism physiology. Here we present a benzophenone (BP) based direct, photolithographic approach to spatially pattern solution phase biomolecules within collagen-GAG (CG) scaffolds and demonstrate creation of a wide range of patterns composed of multiple biomolecular species in a manner independent from scaffold fabrication steps. We demonstrate the ability to immobilize biomolecules at surface densities of up to 1000 ligands per square micron on the scaffold strut surface and to depths limited by the penetration depth of the excitation source into the scaffold structure. Importantly, while BP photopatterning does further crosslink the CG scaffold, evidenced by increased mechanical properties and collagen crystallinity, it does not affect scaffold microstructural or compositional properties or negatively influence cell adhesion, viability, or proliferation. We show that covalently photoimmobilized fibronectin within a CG scaffold significantly increases the speed of MC3T3-E1 cell attachment relative to the bare CG scaffold or non-specifically adsorbed fibronectin, suggesting that this approach can be used to improve scaffold bioactivity. Our findings, on the whole, establish the use of direct, BP photolithography as a methodology for covalently incorporating activity-improving biochemical cues within 3D collagen biomaterial scaffolds with spatial control over biomolecular deposition.

  10. Submicrometer Hall sensors for detection of magnetic nanoparticles in biomolecular sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mihajlovic, Goran; Xiong, P.; von Molnar, S.; Ohtani, K.; Ohno, H.; Field, M.; Sullivan, G. J.

    2006-03-01

    Significant progress has been made in the recent years in synthesis and biomolecular functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles. These magnetic bio-nanolabels can be utilized as protein or gene markers in biomolecular sensing assays, in contrast to the much larger micron sized magnetic beads that are usually limited to cell labeling. However, the low magnetic moments of individual nanoparticles (10^4-10^5 μB) render their sensitive detection still a challenging task. In order to address this issue we are developing miniaturized Hall sensors from InAs/AlSb quantum well semiconductor heterostructures with active Hall cross areas down to 300 nm x 300 nm. Our preliminary characterization measurements performed at room temperature show functional devices with magnetic field resolution < 100 μT/√Hz at frequencies above 100 Hz, yielding a moment sensitivity ˜ 10^5 μB. In addition to the progress in improving the moment sensitivity of the submicrometer Hall detectors, we will also present efforts in device integration with on-chip microcoils for the generation of local magnetic excitation fields. Results on nanoparticle detection will also be presented.

  11. The detection of specific biomolecular interactions with micro-Hall magnetic sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manandhar, Pradeep; Chen, Kan-Sheng; Aledealat, Khaled; Mihajlović, Goran; Yun, C. Steven; Field, Mark; Sullivan, Gerard J.; Strouse, Geoffrey F.; Bryant Chase, P.; von Molnár, Stephan; Xiong, Peng

    2009-09-01

    The detection of reagent-free specific biomolecular interactions through sensing of nanoscopic magnetic labels provides one of the most promising routes to biosensing with solid-state devices. In particular, Hall sensors based on semiconductor heterostructures have shown exceptional magnetic moment sensitivity over a large dynamic field range suitable for magnetic biosensing using superparamagnetic labels. Here we demonstrate the capability of such micro-Hall sensors to detect specific molecular binding using biotin-streptavidin as a model system. We apply dip-pen nanolithography to selectively biotinylate the active areas of InAs micro-Hall devices with nanoscale precision. Specific binding of complementarily functionalized streptavidin-coated superparamagnetic beads to the Hall crosses occurs via molecular recognition, and magnetic detection of the assembled beads is achieved at room temperature using phase sensitive micro-Hall magnetometry. The experiment constitutes the first unambiguous demonstration of magnetic detection of specific biomolecular interactions with semiconductor micro-Hall sensors, and the selective molecular functionalization and resulting localized bead assembly demonstrate the possibility of multiplexed sensing of multiple target molecules using a single device with an array of micro-Hall sensors.

  12. Thermodynamic basis for the optimization of binding-induced biomolecular switches and structure-switching biosensors.

    PubMed

    Vallée-Bélisle, Alexis; Ricci, Francesco; Plaxco, Kevin W

    2009-08-18

    Binding-induced biomolecular switches are used throughout nature and, increasingly, throughout biotechnology for the detection of chemical moieties and the subsequent transduction of this detection into useful outputs. Here we show that the thermodynamics of these switches are quantitatively described by a simple 3-state population-shift model, in which the equilibrium between a nonbinding, nonsignaling state and the binding-competent, signaling state is shifted toward the latter upon target binding. Because of this, their performance is determined by the tradeoff inherent to their switching thermodynamics; while a switching equilibrium constant favoring the nonbinding, nonsignaling, conformation ensures a larger signal change (more molecules are poised to respond), it also reduces affinity (binding must overcome a more unfavorable conformational free energy). We then derive and employ the relationship between switching thermodynamics and switch signaling to rationally tune the dynamic range and detection limit of a representative structure-switching biosensor, a molecular beacon, over 4 orders of magnitude. These findings demonstrate that the performance of biomolecular switches can be rationally tuned via mutations that alter their switching thermodynamics and suggest a mechanism by which the performance of naturally occurring switches may have evolved.

  13. Biomolecular solid state NMR with magic-angle spinning at 25 K

    PubMed Central

    Thurber, Kent R.; Tycko, Robert

    2009-01-01

    A magic-angle spinning (MAS) probe has been constructed which allows the sample to be cooled with helium, while the MAS bearing and drive gases are nitrogen. The sample can be cooled to 25 K using roughly 3 liters/hour of liquid helium, while the 4 mm diameter rotor spins at 6.7 kHz with good stability (±5 Hz) for many hours. Proton decoupling fields up to at least 130 kHz can be applied. This helium-cooled MAS probe enables a variety of one-dimensional and two-dimensional NMR experiments on biomolecular solids and other materials at low temperatures, with signal-to-noise proportional to 1/T. We show examples of low-temperature 13C NMR data for two biomolecular samples, namely the peptide Aβ14–23 in the form of amyloid fibrils and the protein HP35 in frozen glycerol/water solution. Issues related to temperature calibration, spin-lattice relaxation at low temperatures, paramagnetic doping of frozen solutions, and 13C MAS NMR linewidths are discussed. PMID:18922715

  14. DNA-based high-density memory devices and biomolecular electronics at CSIO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bharadwaj, Lalit M.; Bhondekar, Amol P.; Shukla, A. K.; Bhalla, Vijayender; Bajpai, Ram P.

    2002-11-01

    During the last half century the electronic components and computers have grown more and more powerful with the shrinking dimensions of transistors which is approaching 100nm with about a billion tiny devices working together on a single processor. The laws of quantum mechanics and limitations of materials and fabrication techniques restrict further reduction below 100nm. The most promising area is Biomolecular Electronics concerning design and fabrication of basic electronic components using biomolecules. Various organic polymers are being studied for visualization of individual molecular electronic wires and diode switches but we see enormous potential in use of DNA for such devices due to its inherent characteristics. This is because DNA can act as insulator semiconductor, conductor or superconductor depending upon the base sequence, length and orientation. The DNA can be coated selectively with metals with molecular level precision giving us capability to design molecular electronic components, such as, diode, triode, transistor, etc. This paper discusses the DNA based language developed by our group for coding and decoding any digital information in terms of DNA sequence. Basic arithmetical operations, such as, addition subtraction, multiplication, division and exponential have been defined in terms of DNA sequence and their validity has been demonstrated. Paper will also discuss our programme on study of DNA electrical behaviour in terms of sequence; length and orientation for development of biomolecular electronic components and for understanding DNA damaged chemistry.

  15. Immobilized gold nanoparticle sensor for label-free optical detection of biomolecular interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nath, Nidhi; Chilkoti, Ashutosh

    2002-06-01

    We present a new label free optical technique to study biomolecular interactions in real time on a surface. This method monitors changes in the absorbance spectrum of a monolayer of gold on glass as a function of biomolecular binding. Gold nanoparticles with a diameter of 13 nm were chemisorbed onto an amine-terminated glass surface. The absorbance spectrum of the monolayer exhibited both a red shift as well as an increase in the absorbance at peak wavelength as a function of bulk solution refractive index. The increase in absorbance at peak wavelength as a function of bulk solution refractive index. The increase in absorbance at 550 nm was employed to study the kinetics of fibrinogen adsorption on the immobilized monolayer. The result obtained with the absorbance sensor were compared with those obtained using conventional SPR. This sensor is attractive because of its simplicity: gold nanoparticles are easily prepared with high reproducibility, they can be easily immobilized on glass, and their absorbance spectrum can be easily measured using widely available UV-vis spectrophotometers. Furthermore, this technique should be easily amenable to the design of chips in an array format for application in hgih-throughput immunoassays and proteomics.

  16. The HADDOCK2.2 Web Server: User-Friendly Integrative Modeling of Biomolecular Complexes.

    PubMed

    van Zundert, G C P; Rodrigues, J P G L M; Trellet, M; Schmitz, C; Kastritis, P L; Karaca, E; Melquiond, A S J; van Dijk, M; de Vries, S J; Bonvin, A M J J

    2016-02-22

    The prediction of the quaternary structure of biomolecular macromolecules is of paramount importance for fundamental understanding of cellular processes and drug design. In the era of integrative structural biology, one way of increasing the accuracy of modeling methods used to predict the structure of biomolecular complexes is to include as much experimental or predictive information as possible in the process. This has been at the core of our information-driven docking approach HADDOCK. We present here the updated version 2.2 of the HADDOCK portal, which offers new features such as support for mixed molecule types, additional experimental restraints and improved protocols, all of this in a user-friendly interface. With well over 6000 registered users and 108,000 jobs served, an increasing fraction of which on grid resources, we hope that this timely upgrade will help the community to solve important biological questions and further advance the field. The HADDOCK2.2 Web server is freely accessible to non-profit users at http://haddock.science.uu.nl/services/HADDOCK2.2.

  17. The HADDOCK2.2 Web Server: User-Friendly Integrative Modeling of Biomolecular Complexes.

    PubMed

    van Zundert, G C P; Rodrigues, J P G L M; Trellet, M; Schmitz, C; Kastritis, P L; Karaca, E; Melquiond, A S J; van Dijk, M; de Vries, S J; Bonvin, A M J J

    2016-02-22

    The prediction of the quaternary structure of biomolecular macromolecules is of paramount importance for fundamental understanding of cellular processes and drug design. In the era of integrative structural biology, one way of increasing the accuracy of modeling methods used to predict the structure of biomolecular complexes is to include as much experimental or predictive information as possible in the process. This has been at the core of our information-driven docking approach HADDOCK. We present here the updated version 2.2 of the HADDOCK portal, which offers new features such as support for mixed molecule types, additional experimental restraints and improved protocols, all of this in a user-friendly interface. With well over 6000 registered users and 108,000 jobs served, an increasing fraction of which on grid resources, we hope that this timely upgrade will help the community to solve important biological questions and further advance the field. The HADDOCK2.2 Web server is freely accessible to non-profit users at http://haddock.science.uu.nl/services/HADDOCK2.2. PMID:26410586

  18. Mesopores provide an amorphous state suitable for studying biomolecular structures at cryogenic temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ya-Wen; Lai, Yei-Chen; Tsai, Chia-Jung; Chiang, Yun-Wei

    2011-01-01

    In nano-confinements, aqueous solutions can be found to remain in a liquid state at subfreezing temperatures. The finding provides a means of entering into previously inaccessible temperature regions for studying the dynamics and structure of bulk liquid. Here we show that studying biomolecular structures in nano-confinements improves the accuracy of cryostructures and provides better insight into the relationship between hydration water and biomolecules. Synthetic prion protein peptides are studied in two experimental conditions: (i) in confined nanochannels within mesoporous materials, and (ii) in vitrified bulk solvents, with a temperature range of 50–275 K, using cw/pulse ESR techniques. A large inhomogeneous lineshape broadening is only observed for the spectra from the vitrified bulk solvent below 70 K, suggesting a possible peptide clustering in the solution. The spin-counting and distance measurements by DEER-ESR provide further evidence that peptides are dispersed homogeneously in mesopores but heterogeneously in vitrified solvents wherein the biomolecular structure is disturbed due to heterogeneity in the bulk solvent structure. Our study demonstrates that the nanospace within mesoporous materials provides an amorphous environment that is better than vitrified bulk solvent for studying biostructures at cryogenic temperatures. PMID:21844377

  19. Time-resolved methods in biophysics. 9. Laser temperature-jump methods for investigating biomolecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Kubelka, Jan

    2009-04-01

    Many important biochemical processes occur on the time-scales of nanoseconds and microseconds. The introduction of the laser temperature-jump (T-jump) to biophysics more than a decade ago opened these previously inaccessible time regimes up to direct experimental observation. Since then, laser T-jump methodology has evolved into one of the most versatile and generally applicable methods for studying fast biomolecular kinetics. This perspective is a review of the principles and applications of the laser T-jump technique in biophysics. A brief overview of the T-jump relaxation kinetics and the historical development of laser T-jump methodology is presented. The physical principles and practical experimental considerations that are important for the design of the laser T-jump experiments are summarized. These include the Raman conversion for generating heating pulses, considerations of size, duration and uniformity of the temperature jump, as well as potential adverse effects due to photo-acoustic waves, cavitation and thermal lensing, and their elimination. The laser T-jump apparatus developed at the NIH Laboratory of Chemical Physics is described in detail along with a brief survey of other laser T-jump designs in use today. Finally, applications of the laser T-jump in biophysics are reviewed, with an emphasis on the broad range of problems where the laser T-jump methodology has provided important new results and insights into the dynamics of the biomolecular processes.

  20. Optimizing water hyperpolarization and dissolution for sensitivity-enhanced 2D biomolecular NMR.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Greg; Markhasin, Evgeny; Szekely, Or; Bretschneider, Christian; Frydman, Lucio

    2016-03-01

    A recent study explored the use of hyperpolarized water, to enhance the sensitivity of nuclei in biomolecules thanks to rapid proton exchanges with labile amide backbone and sidechain groups. Further optimizations of this approach have now allowed us to achieve proton polarizations approaching 25% in the water transferred into the NMR spectrometer, effective water T1 times approaching 40s, and a reduction in the dilution demanded for the cryogenic dissolution process. Further hardware developments have allowed us to perform these experiments, repeatedly and reliably, in 5mm NMR tubes. All these ingredients--particularly the ⩾ 3000× (1)H polarization enhancements over 11.7T thermal counterparts, long T1 times and a compatibility with high-resolution biomolecular NMR setups - augur well for hyperpolarized 2D NMR studies of peptides, unfolded proteins and intrinsically disordered systems undergoing fast exchanges of their protons with the solvent. This hypothesis is here explored by detailing the provisions that lead to these significant improvements over previous reports, and demonstrating 1D coherence transfer experiments and 2D biomolecular HMQC acquisitions delivering NMR spectral enhancements of 100-500× over their optimized, thermally-polarized, counterparts. PMID:26920830