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Sample records for backbone structure variations

  1. External Tank - The Structure Backbone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welzyn, Kenneth; Pilet, Jeffrey C.; Diecidue-Conners, Dawn; Worden, Michelle; Guillot, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    The External Tank forms the structural backbone of the Space Shuttle in the launch configuration. Because the tank flies to orbital velocity with the Space Shuttle Orbiter, minimization of weight is mandatory, to maximize payload performance. Choice of lightweight materials both for structure and thermal conditioning was necessary. The tank is large, and unique manufacturing facilities, tooling, handling, and transportation operations were required. Weld processes and tooling evolved with the design as it matured through several block changes, to reduce weight. Non Destructive Evaluation methods were used to assure integrity of welds and thermal protection system materials. The aluminum-lithium alloy was used near the end of the program and weld processes and weld repair techniques had to be refined. Development and implementation of friction stir welding was a substantial technology development incorporated during the Program. Automated thermal protection system application processes were developed for the majority of the tank surface. Material obsolescence was an issue throughout the 40 year program. The final configuration and tank weight enabled international space station assembly in a high inclination orbit allowing international cooperation with the Russian Federal Space Agency. Numerous process controls were implemented to assure product quality, and innovative proof testing was accomplished prior to delivery. Process controls were implemented to assure cleanliness in the production environment, to control contaminants, and to preclude corrosion. Each tank was accepted via rigorous inspections, including non-destructive evaluation techniques, proof testing, and all systems testing. In the post STS-107 era, the project focused on ascent debris risk reduction. This was accomplished via stringent process controls, post flight assessment using substantially improved imagery, and selective redesigns. These efforts were supported with a number of test programs to

  2. The myosin filament XIV backbone structure.

    PubMed Central

    Ashton, F T; Weisel, J; Pepe, F A

    1992-01-01

    The substructure of the thick filaments of chemically skinned chicken pectoralis muscle was investigated by electron microscopy. Images of transverse sections of the myosin filaments were determined to have threefold symmetry by cross-correlation analysis, which gives an unbiased determination of the rotational symmetry of the images. Resolution, using the phase residual test (Frank et al. 1981. Science [Wash. DC]. 214:1353-1355), was found to be between 3.2 and 3.6 nm. Three arrangements of nine subfilaments in the backbone were found in all regions of the filament at ionic strengths of 20 and 200 mM. In the average images of two of these, there were three dense central subfilaments and three pairs of subfilaments on the surface of the thick filament. In the average image of the third arrangement, all of the protein mass of the nine subfilaments was on the surface of the filament with three of them showing less variation in position than the others. A fourth arrangement appearing to be transitional between two of these was seen often at 200 mM ionic strength and only rarely at 20 mM. On average, the myosin subfilaments were parallel to the long axis of the filament. The different arrangements of subfilaments appear to be randomly distributed among the filaments in a transverse section of the A-band. Relative rotational orientations with respect to the hexagonal filament lattice, using the three densest subfilaments as reference showed a major clustering (32%) of filaments within one 10 degrees spread, a lesser clustering (15%) at 90 degrees to the first, and the remainder scattered thinly over the rest of the 120 degrees range. There was no obvious pattern of distribution of the two predominant orientations that could define a superlattice in the filament lattice. Images FIGURE 2 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 8 PMID:1617136

  3. Structural dependencies of protein backbone 2JNC' couplings.

    PubMed

    Juranić, Nenad; Dannenberg, J J; Cornilescu, Gabriel; Salvador, Pedro; Atanasova, Elena; Ahn, Hee-Chul; Macura, Slobodan; Markley, John L; Prendergast, Franklyn G

    2008-04-01

    Protein folding can introduce strain in peptide covalent geometry, including deviations from planarity that are difficult to detect, especially for a protein in solution. We have found dependencies in protein backbone (2)J(NC') couplings on the planarity and the relative orientation of the sequential peptide planes. These dependences were observed in experimental (2)J(NC') couplings from seven proteins, and also were supported by DFT calculations for a model tripeptide. Findings indicate that elevated (2)J(NC') couplings may serve as reporters of structural strain in the protein backbone imposed by protein folds. Such information, supplemented with the H-bond strengths derived from (h3)J(NC') couplings, provides useful insight into the overall energy profile of the protein backbone in solution.

  4. Error tolerant NMR backbone resonance assignment and automated structure generation.

    PubMed

    Alipanahi, Babak; Gao, Xin; Karakoc, Emre; Li, Shuai Cheng; Balbach, Frank; Feng, Guangyu; Donaldson, Logan; Li, Ming

    2011-02-01

    Error tolerant backbone resonance assignment is the cornerstone of the NMR structure determination process. Although a variety of assignment approaches have been developed, none works sufficiently well on noisy fully automatically picked peaks to enable the subsequent automatic structure determination steps. We have designed an integer linear programming (ILP) based assignment system (IPASS) that has enabled fully automatic protein structure determination for four test proteins. IPASS employs probabilistic spin system typing based on chemical shifts and secondary structure predictions. Furthermore, IPASS extracts connectivity information from the inter-residue information and the (automatically picked) (15)N-edited NOESY peaks which are then used to fix reliable fragments. When applied to automatically picked peaks for real proteins, IPASS achieves an average precision and recall of 82% and 63%, respectively. In contrast, the next best method, MARS, achieves an average precision and recall of 77% and 36%, respectively. The assignments generated by IPASS are then fed into our protein structure calculation system, FALCON-NMR, to determine the 3D structures without human intervention. The final models have backbone RMSDs of 1.25Å, 0.88Å, 1.49Å, and 0.67Å to the reference native structures for proteins TM1112, CASKIN, VRAR, and HACS1, respectively. The web server is publicly available at http://monod.uwaterloo.ca/nmr/ipass.

  5. Retrieving backbone string neighbors provides insights into structural modeling of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiang-Ming; Li, Tong-Hua; Cong, Pei-Sheng; Tang, Sheng-Nan; Xiong, Wen-Wei

    2012-07-01

    Identification of protein structural neighbors to a query is fundamental in structure and function prediction. Here we present BS-align, a systematic method to retrieve backbone string neighbors from primary sequences as templates for protein modeling. The backbone conformation of a protein is represented by the backbone string, as defined in Ramachandran space. The backbone string of a query can be accurately predicted by two innovative technologies: a knowledge-driven sequence alignment and encoding of a backbone string element profile. Then, the predicted backbone string is employed to align against a backbone string database and retrieve a set of backbone string neighbors. The backbone string neighbors were shown to be close to native structures of query proteins. BS-align was successfully employed to predict models of 10 membrane proteins with lengths ranging between 229 and 595 residues, and whose high-resolution structural determinations were difficult to elucidate both by experiment and prediction. The obtained TM-scores and root mean square deviations of the models confirmed that the models based on the backbone string neighbors retrieved by the BS-align were very close to the native membrane structures although the query and the neighbor shared a very low sequence identity. The backbone string system represents a new road for the prediction of protein structure from sequence, and suggests that the similarity of the backbone string would be more informative than describing a protein as belonging to a fold.

  6. A New Secondary Structure Assignment Algorithm Using Cα Backbone Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Chen; Wang, Guishen; Liu, An; Xu, Shutan; Wang, Lincong; Zou, Shuxue

    2016-01-01

    The assignment of secondary structure elements in proteins is a key step in the analysis of their structures and functions. We have developed an algorithm, SACF (secondary structure assignment based on Cα fragments), for secondary structure element (SSE) assignment based on the alignment of Cα backbone fragments with central poses derived by clustering known SSE fragments. The assignment algorithm consists of three steps: First, the outlier fragments on known SSEs are detected. Next, the remaining fragments are clustered to obtain the central fragments for each cluster. Finally, the central fragments are used as a template to make assignments. Following a large-scale comparison of 11 secondary structure assignment methods, SACF, KAKSI and PROSS are found to have similar agreement with DSSP, while PCASSO agrees with DSSP best. SACF and PCASSO show preference to reducing residues in N and C cap regions, whereas KAKSI, P-SEA and SEGNO tend to add residues to the terminals when DSSP assignment is taken as standard. Moreover, our algorithm is able to assign subtle helices (310-helix, π-helix and left-handed helix) and make uniform assignments, as well as to detect rare SSEs in β-sheets or long helices as outlier fragments from other programs. The structural uniformity should be useful for protein structure classification and prediction, while outlier fragments underlie the structure–function relationship. PMID:26978354

  7. Protein backbone torsion angle-based structure comparison and secondary structure database web server.

    PubMed

    Jung, Sunghoon; Bae, Se-Eun; Ahn, Insung; Son, Hyeon S

    2013-09-01

    Structural information has been a major concern for biological and pharmaceutical studies for its intimate relationship to the function of a protein. Three-dimensional representation of the positions of protein atoms is utilized among many structural information repositories that have been published. The reliability of the torsional system, which represents the native processes of structural change in the structural analysis, was partially proven with previous structural alignment studies. Here, a web server providing structural information and analysis based on the backbone torsional representation of a protein structure is newly introduced. The web server offers functions of secondary structure database search, secondary structure calculation, and pair-wise protein structure comparison, based on a backbone torsion angle representation system. Application of the implementation in pair-wise structural alignment showed highly accurate results. The information derived from this web server might be further utilized in the field of ab initio protein structure modeling or protein homology-related analyses.

  8. Changing the topology of protein backbone: the effect of backbone cyclization on the structure and dynamics of a SH3 domain

    PubMed Central

    Schumann, Frank H.; Varadan, Ranjani; Tayakuniyil, Praveen P.; Grossman, Jennifer H.; Camarero, Julio A.; Fushman, David

    2015-01-01

    Understanding of the effects of the backbone cyclization on the structure and dynamics of a protein is essential for using protein topology engineering to alter protein stability and function. Here we have determined, for the first time, the structure and dynamics of the linear and various circular constructs of the N-SH3 domain from protein c-Crk. These constructs differ in the length and amino acid composition of the cyclization region. The backbone cyclization was carried out using intein-mediated intramolecular chemical ligation between the juxtaposed N- and the C-termini. The structure and backbone dynamics studies were performed using solution NMR. Our data suggest that the backbone cyclization has little effect on the overall three-dimensional structure of the SH3 domain: besides the termini, only minor structural changes were found in the proximity of the cyclization region. In contrast to the structure, backbone dynamics are significantly affected by the cyclization. On the subnanosecond time scale, the backbone of all circular constructs on average appears more rigid than that of the linear SH3 domain; this effect is observed over the entire backbone and is not limited to the cyclization site. The backbone mobility of the circular constructs becomes less restricted with increasing length of the circularization loop. In addition, significant conformational exchange motions (on the sub-millisecond time scale) were found in the N-Src loop and in the adjacent β-strands in all circular constructs studied in this work. These effects of backbone cyclization on protein dynamics have potential implications for the stability of the protein fold and for ligand binding. PMID:25905098

  9. East vergent structure of Backbone Range: Insights from A-Lan-Yi area and sandbox modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C. A.; Lu, C. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Southern Taiwan, including Pingtung peninsula and Taitung, is the incipient oblique collision zone of Eurasian plate and Philippine Sea plate. The Luzon volcanic arc converged toward Taiwan Island and formed Hengchun Ridge south offshore Taiwan. Thus, Taiwan mountain belt developed from north to south as the Backbone Range, so that we can infer the incipient feature structure from the topography and outcrop study of southern Taiwan. Our field survey of this study concentrated at the southeast coastline of Taiwan, also known as A-Lan-Yi Trail. According to previous study, the deformational structures such as faults and folds are consistent with regional kinematic processes, and the preserved transpression structure is the most important evidence of incipient collision. In this study, we use the sedimentary sequences of study area to trace the regional tectonics from north to south. Discovered structures in this area show the similar kinematic history as the eastern flank of Backbone Range, so that we suggest they are at the same series of a tectonic event. To complete the regional structure mapping in this accessible area, besides the field geological data, we also applied the LiDAR-derived DTM which is a 3D visualization technology to improve our topography information. In addition, we use the sandbox modeling to demonstrate the development of structures in the eastern flank of Backbone Range. After combining the results of field observation and regional structure mapping, this study provides a strong evidence of backthrusting and backfolding deformation during the incipient oblique collision stage.

  10. On the satisfaction of backbone-carbonyl lone pairs of electrons in protein structures.

    PubMed

    Bartlett, Gail J; Woolfson, Derek N

    2016-04-01

    Protein structures are stabilized by a variety of noncovalent interactions (NCIs), including the hydrophobic effect, hydrogen bonds, electrostatic forces and van der Waals' interactions. Our knowledge of the contributions of NCIs, and the interplay between them remains incomplete. This has implications for computational modeling of NCIs, and our ability to understand and predict protein structure, stability, and function. One consideration is the satisfaction of the full potential for NCIs made by backbone atoms. Most commonly, backbone-carbonyl oxygen atoms located within α-helices and β-sheets are depicted as making a single hydrogen bond. However, there are two lone pairs of electrons to be satisfied for each of these atoms. To explore this, we used operational geometric definitions to generate an inventory of NCIs for backbone-carbonyl oxygen atoms from a set of high-resolution protein structures and associated molecular-dynamics simulations in water. We included more-recently appreciated, but weaker NCIs in our analysis, such as n→π* interactions, Cα-H bonds and methyl-H bonds. The data demonstrate balanced, dynamic systems for all proteins, with most backbone-carbonyl oxygen atoms being satisfied by two NCIs most of the time. Combinations of NCIs made may correlate with secondary structure type, though in subtly different ways from traditional models of α- and β-structure. In addition, we find examples of under- and over-satisfied carbonyl-oxygen atoms, and we identify both sequence-dependent and sequence-independent secondary-structural motifs in which these reside. Our analysis provides a more-detailed understanding of these contributors to protein structure and stability, which will be of use in protein modeling, engineering and design. PMID:26833776

  11. On the satisfaction of backbone-carbonyl lone pairs of electrons in protein structures.

    PubMed

    Bartlett, Gail J; Woolfson, Derek N

    2016-04-01

    Protein structures are stabilized by a variety of noncovalent interactions (NCIs), including the hydrophobic effect, hydrogen bonds, electrostatic forces and van der Waals' interactions. Our knowledge of the contributions of NCIs, and the interplay between them remains incomplete. This has implications for computational modeling of NCIs, and our ability to understand and predict protein structure, stability, and function. One consideration is the satisfaction of the full potential for NCIs made by backbone atoms. Most commonly, backbone-carbonyl oxygen atoms located within α-helices and β-sheets are depicted as making a single hydrogen bond. However, there are two lone pairs of electrons to be satisfied for each of these atoms. To explore this, we used operational geometric definitions to generate an inventory of NCIs for backbone-carbonyl oxygen atoms from a set of high-resolution protein structures and associated molecular-dynamics simulations in water. We included more-recently appreciated, but weaker NCIs in our analysis, such as n→π* interactions, Cα-H bonds and methyl-H bonds. The data demonstrate balanced, dynamic systems for all proteins, with most backbone-carbonyl oxygen atoms being satisfied by two NCIs most of the time. Combinations of NCIs made may correlate with secondary structure type, though in subtly different ways from traditional models of α- and β-structure. In addition, we find examples of under- and over-satisfied carbonyl-oxygen atoms, and we identify both sequence-dependent and sequence-independent secondary-structural motifs in which these reside. Our analysis provides a more-detailed understanding of these contributors to protein structure and stability, which will be of use in protein modeling, engineering and design.

  12. RASP: rapid and robust backbone chemical shift assignments from protein structure.

    PubMed

    MacRaild, Christopher A; Norton, Raymond S

    2014-03-01

    Chemical shift prediction has an unappreciated power to guide backbone resonance assignment in cases where protein structure is known. Here we describe Resonance Assignment by chemical Shift Prediction (RASP), a method that exploits this power to derive protein backbone resonance assignments from chemical shift predictions. Robust assignments can be obtained from a minimal set of only the most sensitive triple-resonance experiments, even for spectroscopically challenging proteins. Over a test set of 154 proteins RASP assigns 88 % of residues with an accuracy of 99.7 %, using only information available from HNCO and HNCA spectra. Applied to experimental data from a challenging 34 kDa protein, RASP assigns 90 % of manually assigned residues using only 40 % of the experimental data required for the manual assignment. RASP has the potential to significantly accelerate the backbone assignment process for a wide range of proteins for which structural information is available, including those for which conventional assignment strategies are not feasible. PMID:24445369

  13. Repacking protein cores with backbone freedom: structure prediction for coiled coils.

    PubMed

    Harbury, P B; Tidor, B; Kim, P S

    1995-08-29

    Progress in homology modeling and protein design has generated considerable interest in methods for predicting side-chain packing in the hydrophobic cores of proteins. Present techniques are not practically useful, however, because they are unable to model protein main-chain flexibility. Parameterization of backbone motions may represent a general and efficient method to incorporate backbone relaxation into such fixed main-chain models. To test this notion, we introduce a method for treating explicitly the backbone motions of alpha-helical bundles based on an algebraic parameterization proposed by Francis Crick in 1953 [Crick, F. H. C. (1953) Acta Crystallogr. 6, 685-689]. Given only the core amino acid sequence, a simple calculation can rapidly reproduce the crystallographic main-chain and core side-chain structures of three coiled coils (one dimer, one trimer, and one tetramer) to within 0.6-A root-mean-square deviations. The speed of the predictive method [approximately 3 min per rotamer choice on a Silicon Graphics (Mountain View, CA) 4D/35 computer] permits it to be used as a design tool.

  14. Toward Atomistic Resolution Structure of Phosphatidylcholine Headgroup and Glycerol Backbone at Different Ambient Conditions.

    PubMed

    Botan, Alexandru; Favela-Rosales, Fernando; Fuchs, Patrick F J; Javanainen, Matti; Kanduč, Matej; Kulig, Waldemar; Lamberg, Antti; Loison, Claire; Lyubartsev, Alexander; Miettinen, Markus S; Monticelli, Luca; Määttä, Jukka; Ollila, O H Samuli; Retegan, Marius; Róg, Tomasz; Santuz, Hubert; Tynkkynen, Joona

    2015-12-10

    Phospholipids are essential building blocks of biological membranes. Despite a vast amount of very accurate experimental data, the atomistic resolution structures sampled by the glycerol backbone and choline headgroup in phoshatidylcholine bilayers are not known. Atomistic resolution molecular dynamics simulations have the potential to resolve the structures, and to give an arrestingly intuitive interpretation of the experimental data, but only if the simulations reproduce the data within experimental accuracy. In the present work, we simulated phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipid bilayers with 13 different atomistic models, and compared simulations with NMR experiments in terms of the highly structurally sensitive C-H bond vector order parameters. Focusing on the glycerol backbone and choline headgroups, we showed that the order parameter comparison can be used to judge the atomistic resolution structural accuracy of the models. Accurate models, in turn, allow molecular dynamics simulations to be used as an interpretation tool that translates these NMR data into a dynamic three-dimensional representation of biomolecules in biologically relevant conditions. In addition to lipid bilayers in fully hydrated conditions, we reviewed previous experimental data for dehydrated bilayers and cholesterol-containing bilayers, and interpreted them with simulations. Although none of the existing models reached experimental accuracy, by critically comparing them we were able to distill relevant chemical information: (1) increase of choline order parameters indicates the P-N vector tilting more parallel to the membrane, and (2) cholesterol induces only minor changes to the PC (glycerol backbone) structure. This work has been done as a fully open collaboration, using nmrlipids.blogspot.fi as a communication platform; all the scientific contributions were made publicly on this blog. During the open research process, the repository holding our simulation trajectories and files ( https

  15. Toward Atomistic Resolution Structure of Phosphatidylcholine Headgroup and Glycerol Backbone at Different Ambient Conditions.

    PubMed

    Botan, Alexandru; Favela-Rosales, Fernando; Fuchs, Patrick F J; Javanainen, Matti; Kanduč, Matej; Kulig, Waldemar; Lamberg, Antti; Loison, Claire; Lyubartsev, Alexander; Miettinen, Markus S; Monticelli, Luca; Määttä, Jukka; Ollila, O H Samuli; Retegan, Marius; Róg, Tomasz; Santuz, Hubert; Tynkkynen, Joona

    2015-12-10

    Phospholipids are essential building blocks of biological membranes. Despite a vast amount of very accurate experimental data, the atomistic resolution structures sampled by the glycerol backbone and choline headgroup in phoshatidylcholine bilayers are not known. Atomistic resolution molecular dynamics simulations have the potential to resolve the structures, and to give an arrestingly intuitive interpretation of the experimental data, but only if the simulations reproduce the data within experimental accuracy. In the present work, we simulated phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipid bilayers with 13 different atomistic models, and compared simulations with NMR experiments in terms of the highly structurally sensitive C-H bond vector order parameters. Focusing on the glycerol backbone and choline headgroups, we showed that the order parameter comparison can be used to judge the atomistic resolution structural accuracy of the models. Accurate models, in turn, allow molecular dynamics simulations to be used as an interpretation tool that translates these NMR data into a dynamic three-dimensional representation of biomolecules in biologically relevant conditions. In addition to lipid bilayers in fully hydrated conditions, we reviewed previous experimental data for dehydrated bilayers and cholesterol-containing bilayers, and interpreted them with simulations. Although none of the existing models reached experimental accuracy, by critically comparing them we were able to distill relevant chemical information: (1) increase of choline order parameters indicates the P-N vector tilting more parallel to the membrane, and (2) cholesterol induces only minor changes to the PC (glycerol backbone) structure. This work has been done as a fully open collaboration, using nmrlipids.blogspot.fi as a communication platform; all the scientific contributions were made publicly on this blog. During the open research process, the repository holding our simulation trajectories and files ( https

  16. Toward Atomistic Resolution Structure of Phosphatidylcholine Headgroup and Glycerol Backbone at Different Ambient Conditions†

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Phospholipids are essential building blocks of biological membranes. Despite a vast amount of very accurate experimental data, the atomistic resolution structures sampled by the glycerol backbone and choline headgroup in phoshatidylcholine bilayers are not known. Atomistic resolution molecular dynamics simulations have the potential to resolve the structures, and to give an arrestingly intuitive interpretation of the experimental data, but only if the simulations reproduce the data within experimental accuracy. In the present work, we simulated phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipid bilayers with 13 different atomistic models, and compared simulations with NMR experiments in terms of the highly structurally sensitive C–H bond vector order parameters. Focusing on the glycerol backbone and choline headgroups, we showed that the order parameter comparison can be used to judge the atomistic resolution structural accuracy of the models. Accurate models, in turn, allow molecular dynamics simulations to be used as an interpretation tool that translates these NMR data into a dynamic three-dimensional representation of biomolecules in biologically relevant conditions. In addition to lipid bilayers in fully hydrated conditions, we reviewed previous experimental data for dehydrated bilayers and cholesterol-containing bilayers, and interpreted them with simulations. Although none of the existing models reached experimental accuracy, by critically comparing them we were able to distill relevant chemical information: (1) increase of choline order parameters indicates the P–N vector tilting more parallel to the membrane, and (2) cholesterol induces only minor changes to the PC (glycerol backbone) structure. This work has been done as a fully open collaboration, using nmrlipids.blogspot.fi as a communication platform; all the scientific contributions were made publicly on this blog. During the open research process, the repository holding our simulation trajectories and files (https

  17. Effect of Liquid-Crystalline Epoxy Backbone Structure on Thermal Conductivity of Epoxy-Alumina Composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giang, Thanhkieu; Kim, Jinhwan

    2016-06-01

    In a series of papers published recently, we clearly demonstrated that the most important factor governing the thermal conductivity of epoxy-Al2O3 composites is the backbone structure of the epoxy. In this study, three more epoxies based on diglycidyl ester-terminated liquid-crystalline epoxy (LCE) have been synthesized to draw conclusions regarding the effect of the epoxy backbone structure on the thermal conductivity of epoxy-alumina composites. The synthesized structures were characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, and optical microscopy were also employed to examine the thermal and optical properties of the synthesized LCEs and the cured composites. All three LCE resins exhibited typical liquid-crystalline behaviors: clear solid crystalline state below the melting temperature (T m), sharp crystalline melting at T m, and transition to nematic phase above T m with consequent isotropic phase above the isotropic temperature (T i). The LCE resins displayed distinct nematic liquid-crystalline phase over a wide temperature range and retained liquid-crystalline phase after curing, with high thermal conductivity of the resulting composite. The thermal conductivity values ranged from 3.09 W/m-K to 3.89 W/m-K for LCE-Al2O3 composites with 50 vol.% filler loading. The steric effect played a governing role in the difference. The neat epoxy resin thermal conductivity was obtained as 0.35 W/m-K to 0.49 W/m-K based on analysis using the Agari-Uno model. The results clearly support the objective of this study in that the thermal conductivity of the LCE-containing networks strongly depended on the epoxy backbone structure and the degree of ordering in the cured network.

  18. The structure of the carbohydrate backbone of the lipopolysaccharide of Pectinatus frisingensis strain VTT E-79104.

    PubMed

    Vinogradov, Evgeny; Li, Jianjun; Sadovskaya, Irina; Jabbouri, Said; Helander, Ilkka M

    2004-06-22

    The structure of the carbohydrate backbone of the lipopolysaccharide from Pectinatus frisingensis strain VTT E-79104 was analyzed using chemical degradations, NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and chemical methods. The LPS contains two major structural variants, differing in the presence or absence of an octasaccharide fragment. The largest structure of the carbohydrate backbone of the LPS, that could be deduced from experimental results, consists of 20 monosaccharides arranged in a nonrepetitive sequence: [carbohydrate structure: see text] where R is H or 4-O-Me-alpha-L-Fuc-(1-2)-4-O-Me-beta-Hep-(1-3)-alpha-GlcNAc-(1-2)-beta-Man-(1-3)-beta-ManNAc-(1-4)-alpha-Gal-(1-4)-beta-Hep-(1-3)-beta-GalNAc-(1- where Hep is a residue of D-glycero-D-galacto-heptose; all monosaccharides have the D-configuration except for 4-O-Me-L-Fuc and L-Ara4N. This structure is architecturally similar to the oligosaccharide system reported previously in P. frisingensis VTT E-82164 LPS, but differs from the latter in composition and also in the size of the outer region.

  19. Structure and assembly of group B streptococcus pilus 2b backbone protein.

    PubMed

    Cozzi, Roberta; Malito, Enrico; Lazzarin, Maddalena; Nuccitelli, Annalisa; Castagnetti, Andrea; Bottomley, Matthew J; Margarit, Immaculada; Maione, Domenico; Rinaudo, C Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major cause of invasive disease in infants. Like other Gram-positive bacteria, GBS uses a sortase C-catalyzed transpeptidation mechanism to generate cell surface pili from backbone and ancillary pilin precursor substrates. The three pilus types identified in GBS contain structural subunits that are highly immunogenic and are promising candidates for the development of a broadly-protective vaccine. Here we report the X-ray crystal structure of the backbone protein of pilus 2b (BP-2b) at 1.06Å resolution. The structure reveals a classical IgG-like fold typical of the pilin subunits of other Gram-positive bacteria. The crystallized portion of the protein (residues 185-468) encompasses domains D2 and D3 that together confer high stability to the protein due to the presence of an internal isopeptide bond within each domain. The D2+D3 region, lacking the N-terminal D1 domain, was as potent as the entire protein in conferring protection against GBS challenge in a well-established mouse model. By site-directed mutagenesis and complementation studies in GBS knock-out strains we identified the residues and motives essential for assembly of the BP-2b monomers into high-molecular weight complexes, thus providing new insights into pilus 2b polymerization.

  20. Structure and Assembly of Group B Streptococcus Pilus 2b Backbone Protein

    PubMed Central

    Cozzi, Roberta; Malito, Enrico; Lazzarin, Maddalena; Nuccitelli, Annalisa; Castagnetti, Andrea; Bottomley, Matthew J.; Margarit, Immaculada; Maione, Domenico; Rinaudo, C. Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major cause of invasive disease in infants. Like other Gram-positive bacteria, GBS uses a sortase C-catalyzed transpeptidation mechanism to generate cell surface pili from backbone and ancillary pilin precursor substrates. The three pilus types identified in GBS contain structural subunits that are highly immunogenic and are promising candidates for the development of a broadly-protective vaccine. Here we report the X-ray crystal structure of the backbone protein of pilus 2b (BP-2b) at 1.06Å resolution. The structure reveals a classical IgG-like fold typical of the pilin subunits of other Gram-positive bacteria. The crystallized portion of the protein (residues 185-468) encompasses domains D2 and D3 that together confer high stability to the protein due to the presence of an internal isopeptide bond within each domain. The D2+D3 region, lacking the N-terminal D1 domain, was as potent as the entire protein in conferring protection against GBS challenge in a well-established mouse model. By site-directed mutagenesis and complementation studies in GBS knock-out strains we identified the residues and motives essential for assembly of the BP-2b monomers into high-molecular weight complexes, thus providing new insights into pilus 2b polymerization. PMID:25942637

  1. RosettaBackrub—a web server for flexible backbone protein structure modeling and design

    PubMed Central

    Lauck, Florian; Smith, Colin A.; Friedland, Gregory F.; Humphris, Elisabeth L.; Kortemme, Tanja

    2010-01-01

    The RosettaBackrub server (http://kortemmelab.ucsf.edu/backrub) implements the Backrub method, derived from observations of alternative conformations in high-resolution protein crystal structures, for flexible backbone protein modeling. Backrub modeling is applied to three related applications using the Rosetta program for structure prediction and design: (I) modeling of structures of point mutations, (II) generating protein conformational ensembles and designing sequences consistent with these conformations and (III) predicting tolerated sequences at protein–protein interfaces. The three protocols have been validated on experimental data. Starting from a user-provided single input protein structure in PDB format, the server generates near-native conformational ensembles. The predicted conformations and sequences can be used for different applications, such as to guide mutagenesis experiments, for ensemble-docking approaches or to generate sequence libraries for protein design. PMID:20462859

  2. NMR Structure Determination for Larger Proteins Using Backbone-Only Data

    PubMed Central

    Raman, Srivatsan; Lange, Oliver F.; Rossi, Paolo; Tyka, Michael; Wang, Xu; Aramini, James; Liu, Gaohua; Ramelot, Theresa; Eletsky, Alexander; Szyperski, Thomas; Kennedy, Michael; Prestegard, James; Montelione, Gaetano T.; Baker, David

    2010-01-01

    Conventional protein structure determination from nuclear magnetic resonance data relies heavily on side-chain proton-proton distances. The necessary side-chain resonance assignment, however, is labor intensive and prone to error. Here we show that structures can be accurately determined without NMR information on the sidechains for proteins up to 25 kDa by incorporating backbone chemical shifts, residual dipolar couplings, and amide proton distances into the Rosetta protein structure modelling methodology. These data, which are too sparse for conventional methods, serve only to guide conformational search towards the lowest energy conformations in the folding landscape; the details of the computed models are determined by the physical chemistry implicit in the Rosetta all atom energy function. The new method is not hindered by the deuteration required to suppress nuclear relaxation processes for proteins greater than 15 kDa, and should enable routine NMR structure determination for larger proteins. PMID:20133520

  3. Structural Conservation, Variability, and Immunogenicity of the T6 Backbone Pilin of Serotype M6 Streptococcus pyogenes

    PubMed Central

    Moreland, Nicole J.; Loh, Jacelyn M.; Bell, Anita; Atatoa Carr, Polly; Proft, Thomas; Baker, Edward N.

    2014-01-01

    Group A streptococcus (GAS; Streptococcus pyogenes) is a Gram-positive human pathogen that causes a broad range of diseases ranging from acute pharyngitis to the poststreptococcal sequelae of acute rheumatic fever. GAS pili are highly diverse, long protein polymers that extend from the cell surface. They have multiple roles in infection and are promising candidates for vaccine development. This study describes the structure of the T6 backbone pilin (BP; Lancefield T-antigen) from the important M6 serotype. The structure reveals a modular arrangement of three tandem immunoglobulin-like domains, two with internal isopeptide bonds. The T6 pilin lysine, essential for polymerization, is located in a novel VAKS motif that is structurally homologous to the canonical YPKN pilin lysine in other three- and four-domain Gram-positive pilins. The T6 structure also highlights a conserved pilin core whose surface is decorated with highly variable loops and extensions. Comparison to other Gram-positive BPs shows that many of the largest variable extensions are found in conserved locations. Studies with sera from patients diagnosed with GAS-associated acute rheumatic fever showed that each of the three T6 domains, and the largest of the variable extensions (V8), are targeted by IgG during infection in vivo. Although the GAS BP show large variations in size and sequence, the modular nature of the pilus proteins revealed by the T6 structure may aid the future design of a pilus-based vaccine. PMID:24778112

  4. Insights on peptide backbone N-H acidity: Structure of anions, hydration effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva, Antoni; Henry, Bernard; Ruiz-López, Manuel F.

    2013-03-01

    Despite the key role played by deamidation reactions in biochemical phenomena such as aging processes, knowledge of factors determining peptide backbone N-H acidities is scarce. We report a theoretical study on this topic by means of quantum-chemical calculations. Gas-phase acidities and pKa's in water have been estimated. The results agree reasonably well with available experimental data. Further analysis suggests that the secondary peptide structure, in addition to hydration effects, is the main factor determining pKa. In particular, we predict N-H protons to be more acidic in β-turns than in α-helices, a finding that may have broad biological implications.

  5. Proton NMR assignments and regular backbone structure of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A in aqueous solution

    SciTech Connect

    Robertson, A.D. ); Purisima, E.O. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY ); Eastman, M.A.; Scheraga, H.A. )

    1989-07-11

    Proton NMR assignments have been made for 121 of the 124 residues of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A (RNase A). During the first stage of assignment, COSY and relayed COSY data were used to identify 40 amino acid spin systems belonging to alanine, valine, threonine, isoleucine, and serine residues. Approximately 60 other NH-{alpha}CH-{beta}CH systems were also identified but not assigned to specific amino acid type. NOESY data then were used to connect sequentially neighboring spin systems; approximately 475 of the possible 700 resonances in RNase A were assigned in this way. The authors' assignments agree with those for 20 residues assigned previously. NOESY correlations were used to identify regular backbone structure elements in RNase A, which are very similar to those observed in X-ray crystallographic studies.

  6. Solution structure and backbone dynamics of Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV) nucleocapsid protein.

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Y.; Kaluarachchi, K.; Giedroc, D. P.

    1998-01-01

    Retroviral nucleocapsid proteins (NCPs) are CCHC-type zinc finger proteins that mediate virion RNA binding activities associated with retrovirus assembly and genomic RNA encapsidation. Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV), a type D retrovirus, encodes a 96-amino acid nucleocapsid protein, which contains two Cys-X2-Cys-X4-His-X4-Cys (CCHC) zinc fingers connected by an unusually long 15-amino acid linker. Homonuclear, two-dimensional sensitivity-enhanced 15N-1H, three-dimensional 15N-1H, and triple resonance NMR spectroscopy have been used to determine the solution structure and residue-specific backbone dynamics of the structured core domain of MPMV NCP containing residues 21-80. Structure calculations and spectral density mapping of N-H bond vector mobility reveal that MPMV NCP 21-80 is best described as two independently folded, rotationally uncorrelated globular domains connected by a seven-residue flexible linker consisting of residues 42-48. The N-terminal CCHC zinc finger domain (residues 24-37) appears to adopt a fold like that described previously for HIV-1 NCP; however, residues within this domain and the immediately adjacent linker region (residues 38-41) are characterized by extensive conformational averaging on the micros-ms time scale at 25 degrees C. In contrast to other NCPs, residues 49-77, which includes the C-terminal CCHC zinc-finger (residues 53-66), comprise a well-folded globular domain with the Val49-Pro-Gly-Leu52 sequence and C-terminal tail residues 67-77 characterized by amide proton exchange properties and 15N R1, R2, and (1H-15N) NOE values indistinguishable to residues in the core C-terminal finger. Twelve refined structural models of MPMV NCP residues 49-80 (pairwise backbone RMSD of 0.77 A) reveal that the side chains of the conserved Pro50 and Trp62 are in van der Waals contact with one another. Residues 70-73 in the C-terminal tail adopt a reverse turn-like structure. Ile77 is involved in extensive van der Waals contact with the core

  7. Structure and backbone dynamics of a microcrystalline metalloprotein by solid-state NMR.

    PubMed

    Knight, Michael J; Pell, Andrew J; Bertini, Ivano; Felli, Isabella C; Gonnelli, Leonardo; Pierattelli, Roberta; Herrmann, Torsten; Emsley, Lyndon; Pintacuda, Guido

    2012-07-10

    We introduce a new approach to improve structural and dynamical determination of large metalloproteins using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with (1)H detection under ultrafast magic angle spinning (MAS). The approach is based on the rapid and sensitive acquisition of an extensive set of (15)N and (13)C nuclear relaxation rates. The system on which we demonstrate these methods is the enzyme Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD), which coordinates a Cu ion available either in Cu(+) (diamagnetic) or Cu(2+) (paramagnetic) form. Paramagnetic relaxation enhancements are obtained from the difference in rates measured in the two forms and are employed as structural constraints for the determination of the protein structure. When added to (1)H-(1)H distance restraints, they are shown to yield a twofold improvement of the precision of the structure. Site-specific order parameters and timescales of motion are obtained by a gaussian axial fluctuation (GAF) analysis of the relaxation rates of the diamagnetic molecule, and interpreted in relation to backbone structure and metal binding. Timescales for motion are found to be in the range of the overall correlation time in solution, where internal motions characterized here would not be observable.

  8. Dual-functional ROMP-based betaines: effect of hydrophilicity and backbone structure on nonfouling properties.

    PubMed

    Colak, Semra; Tew, Gregory N

    2012-01-10

    Foundational materials for nonfouling coatings were designed and synthesized from a series of novel dual-functional zwitterionic polymers, Poly[NRZI], which were easily obtained via ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) followed by a single step transformation of the cationic precursor, Poly[NR(+)], to the zwitterion, Poly[NRZI]. The resulting unique dual-functional structure contained the anion and the cation within the same repeat unit but on separate side chains, enabling the hydrophilicity of the system to be tuned at the repeat unit level. These dual-functional zwitterionic polymers were specifically designed to investigate the impact of structural changes, including the backbone, hydrophilicity, and charge, on the overall nonfouling properties. To evaluate the importance of backbone structure, and as a direct comparison to previously studied methacrylate-based betaines, norbornene-based carbo- and sulfobetaines (Poly[NCarboZI] and Poly[NSulfoZI]) as well as a methacrylate-based sulfobetaine (Poly[MASulfoZI]) were synthesized. These structures contain the anion-cation pairs on the same side chain. Nonfouling coatings were prepared from copolymers, composed of the zwitterionic/cationic precursor monomer and an ethoxysilane-containing monomer. The coatings were evaluated by using protein adsorption studies, which clearly indicated that the overall hydrophilicity has a major influence on the nonfouling character of the materials. The most hydrophilic coating, from the oligoethylene glycol (OEG)-containing dual-functional betaine, Poly[NOEGZI-co-NSi], showed the best resistance to nonspecific protein adsorption (Γ(FIB) = 0.039 ng/mm(2)). Both norbornene-based polymers systems, Poly[NSulfoZI] and Poly[NCarboZI], were more hydrophilic and thus more resistant to protein adsorption than the methacrylate-based Poly[MASulfoZI]. Comparing the protein resistance of the dual-functional zwitterionic coatings, Poly[NRZI-co-NSi], to that of their cationic

  9. Solution structure and backbone dynamics of the defunct domain of calcium vector protein.

    PubMed

    Théret, I; Baladi, S; Cox, J A; Gallay, J; Sakamoto, H; Craescu, C T

    2001-11-20

    CaVP (calcium vector protein) is a Ca(2+) sensor of the EF-hand protein family which is highly abundant in the muscle of Amphioxus. Its three-dimensional structure is not known, but according to the sequence analysis, the protein is composed of two domains, each containing a pair of EF-hand motifs. We determined recently the solution structure of the C-terminal domain (Trp81-Ser161) and characterized the large conformational and dynamic changes induced by Ca(2+) binding. In contrast, the N-terminal domain (Ala1-Asp86) has lost the capacity to bind the metal ion due to critical mutations and insertions in the two calcium loops. In this paper, we report the solution structure of the N-terminal domain and its backbone dynamics based on NMR spectroscopy, nuclear relaxation, and molecular modeling. The well-resolved three-dimensional structure is typical of a pair of EF-hand motifs, joined together by a short antiparallel beta-sheet. The tertiary arrangement of the two EF-hands results in a closed-type conformation, with near-antiparallel alpha-helices, similar to other EF-hand pairs in the absence of calcium ions. To characterize the internal dynamics of the protein, we measured the (15)N nuclear relaxation rates and the heteronuclear NOE effect in (15)N-labeled N-CaVP at a magnetic field of 11.74 T and 298 K. The domain is mainly monomeric in solution and undergoes an isotropic Brownian rotational diffusion with a correlation time of 7.1 ns, in good agreement with the fluorescence anisotropy decay measurements. Data analysis using a model-free procedure showed that the amide backbone groups in the alpha-helices and beta-strands undergo highly restricted movements on a picosecond to nanosecond time scale. The amide groups in Ca(2+) binding loops and in the linker fragment also display rapid fluctuations with slightly increased amplitudes. PMID:11705378

  10. Polarity engineering of conjugated polymers by variation of chemical linkages connecting conjugated backbones.

    PubMed

    Yun, Hui-Jun; Choi, Hyun Ho; Kwon, Soon-Ki; Kim, Yun-Hi; Cho, Kilwon

    2015-03-18

    The fine tuning of the dominant polarity in polymer semiconductors is a key issue for high-performance organic complementary circuits. In this paper, we demonstrate a new methodology for addressing this issue in terms of molecular design. In an alternating conjugated donor-acceptor copolymer system, we systematically engineered the chemical linkages that connect the aromatic units in donor moieties. Three donor moieties, thiophene-vinylene-thiophene (TVT), thiophene-acetylene-thiophene (TAT), and thiophene-cyanovinylene-thiophene (TCNT), were combined with an acceptor moiety, thienoisoindigo (TIID), and finally, three novel TIID-based copolymers were synthesized: PTIID-TVT, PTIID-TAT, and PTIID-TCNT. We found that the vinylene, acetylene, and cyanovinylene linkages decisively affect the energy structure, molecular orbital delocalization, microstructure, and, most importantly, the dominant polarity of the polymers. The vinylene-linked PTIID-TVT field-effect transistors (FETs) exhibited intrinsic hole and electron mobilities of 0.12 and 1.5 × 10(-3) cm(2) V(-1 )s(-1), respectively. By contrast, the acetylene-linked PTIID-TAT FETs exhibited significantly improved intrinsic hole and electron mobilities of 0.38 and 0.03 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), respectively. Interestingly, cyanovinylene-linked PTIID-TCNT FETs exhibited reverse polarity, with hole and electron mobilities of 0.07 and 0.19 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1). As a result, the polarity balance, which is quantified as the electron/hole mobility ratio, was dramatically tuned from 0.01 to 2.7. Our finding demonstrates a new methodology for the molecular design of high-performance organic complementary circuits.

  11. A Multi-Objective Approach for Protein Structure Prediction Based on an Energy Model and Backbone Angle Preferences.

    PubMed

    Tsay, Jyh-Jong; Su, Shih-Chieh; Yu, Chin-Sheng

    2015-07-03

    Protein structure prediction (PSP) is concerned with the prediction of protein tertiary structure from primary structure and is a challenging calculation problem. After decades of research effort, numerous solutions have been proposed for optimisation methods based on energy models. However, further investigation and improvement is still needed to increase the accuracy and similarity of structures. This study presents a novel backbone angle preference factor, which is one of the factors inducing protein folding. The proposed multiobjective optimisation approach simultaneously considers energy models and backbone angle preferences to solve the ab initio PSP. To prove the effectiveness of the multiobjective optimisation approach based on the energy models and backbone angle preferences, 75 amino acid sequences with lengths ranging from 22 to 88 amino acids were selected from the CB513 data set to be the benchmarks. The data sets were highly dissimilar, therefore indicating that they are meaningful. The experimental results showed that the root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) of the multiobjective optimization approach based on energy model and backbone angle preferences was superior to those of typical energy models, indicating that the proposed approach can facilitate the ab initio PSP.

  12. A Multi-Objective Approach for Protein Structure Prediction Based on an Energy Model and Backbone Angle Preferences

    PubMed Central

    Tsay, Jyh-Jong; Su, Shih-Chieh; Yu, Chin-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Protein structure prediction (PSP) is concerned with the prediction of protein tertiary structure from primary structure and is a challenging calculation problem. After decades of research effort, numerous solutions have been proposed for optimisation methods based on energy models. However, further investigation and improvement is still needed to increase the accuracy and similarity of structures. This study presents a novel backbone angle preference factor, which is one of the factors inducing protein folding. The proposed multiobjective optimisation approach simultaneously considers energy models and backbone angle preferences to solve the ab initio PSP. To prove the effectiveness of the multiobjective optimisation approach based on the energy models and backbone angle preferences, 75 amino acid sequences with lengths ranging from 22 to 88 amino acids were selected from the CB513 data set to be the benchmarks. The data sets were highly dissimilar, therefore indicating that they are meaningful. The experimental results showed that the root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) of the multiobjective optimization approach based on energy model and backbone angle preferences was superior to those of typical energy models, indicating that the proposed approach can facilitate the ab initio PSP. PMID:26151847

  13. Unconventional N-H…N Hydrogen Bonds Involving Proline Backbone Nitrogen in Protein Structures.

    PubMed

    Deepak, R N V Krishna; Sankararamakrishnan, Ramasubbu

    2016-05-10

    Contrary to DNA double-helical structures, hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) involving nitrogen as the acceptor are not common in protein structures. We systematically searched N-H…N H-bonds in two different sets of protein structures. Data set I consists of neutron diffraction and ultrahigh-resolution x-ray structures (0.9 Å resolution or better) and the hydrogen atom positions in these structures were determined experimentally. Data set II contains structures determined using x-ray diffraction (resolution ≤ 1.8 Å) and the positions of hydrogen atoms were generated using a computational method. We identified 114 and 14,347 potential N-H…N H-bonds from these two data sets, respectively, and 56-66% of these were of the Ni+1-Hi+1…Ni type, with Ni being the proline backbone nitrogen. To further understand the nature of such unusual contacts, we performed quantum chemical calculations on the model compound N-acetyl-L-proline-N-methylamide (Ace-Pro-NMe) with coordinates taken from the experimentally determined structures. A potential energy profile generated by varying the ψ dihedral angle in Ace-Pro-NMe indicates that the conformation with the N-H…N H-bond is the most stable. An analysis of H-bond-forming proline residues reveals that more than 30% of the proline carbonyl groups are also involved in n → π(∗) interactions with the carbonyl carbon of the preceding residue. Natural bond orbital analyses demonstrate that the strength of N-H…N H-bonds is less than half of that observed for a conventional H-bond. This study clearly establishes the H-bonding capability of proline nitrogen and its prevalence in protein structures. We found many proteins with multiple instances of H-bond-forming prolines. With more than 15% of all proline residues participating in N-H…N H-bonds, we suggest a new, to our knowledge, structural role for proline in providing stability to loops and capping regions of secondary structures in proteins. PMID:27166805

  14. Unconventional N-H…N Hydrogen Bonds Involving Proline Backbone Nitrogen in Protein Structures.

    PubMed

    Deepak, R N V Krishna; Sankararamakrishnan, Ramasubbu

    2016-05-10

    Contrary to DNA double-helical structures, hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) involving nitrogen as the acceptor are not common in protein structures. We systematically searched N-H…N H-bonds in two different sets of protein structures. Data set I consists of neutron diffraction and ultrahigh-resolution x-ray structures (0.9 Å resolution or better) and the hydrogen atom positions in these structures were determined experimentally. Data set II contains structures determined using x-ray diffraction (resolution ≤ 1.8 Å) and the positions of hydrogen atoms were generated using a computational method. We identified 114 and 14,347 potential N-H…N H-bonds from these two data sets, respectively, and 56-66% of these were of the Ni+1-Hi+1…Ni type, with Ni being the proline backbone nitrogen. To further understand the nature of such unusual contacts, we performed quantum chemical calculations on the model compound N-acetyl-L-proline-N-methylamide (Ace-Pro-NMe) with coordinates taken from the experimentally determined structures. A potential energy profile generated by varying the ψ dihedral angle in Ace-Pro-NMe indicates that the conformation with the N-H…N H-bond is the most stable. An analysis of H-bond-forming proline residues reveals that more than 30% of the proline carbonyl groups are also involved in n → π(∗) interactions with the carbonyl carbon of the preceding residue. Natural bond orbital analyses demonstrate that the strength of N-H…N H-bonds is less than half of that observed for a conventional H-bond. This study clearly establishes the H-bonding capability of proline nitrogen and its prevalence in protein structures. We found many proteins with multiple instances of H-bond-forming prolines. With more than 15% of all proline residues participating in N-H…N H-bonds, we suggest a new, to our knowledge, structural role for proline in providing stability to loops and capping regions of secondary structures in proteins.

  15. STARD6 on steroids: solution structure, multiple timescale backbone dynamics and ligand binding mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Létourneau, Danny; Bédard, Mikaël; Cabana, Jérôme; Lefebvre, Andrée; LeHoux, Jean-Guy; Lavigne, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    START domain proteins are conserved α/β helix-grip fold that play a role in the non-vesicular and intracellular transport of lipids and sterols. The mechanism and conformational changes permitting the entry of the ligand into their buried binding sites is not well understood. Moreover, their functions and the identification of cognate ligands is still an active area of research. Here, we report the solution structure of STARD6 and the characterization of its backbone dynamics on multiple time-scales through 15N spin-relaxation and amide exchange studies. We reveal for the first time the presence of concerted fluctuations in the Ω1 loop and the C-terminal helix on the microsecond-millisecond time-scale that allows for the opening of the binding site and ligand entry. We also report that STARD6 binds specifically testosterone. Our work represents a milestone for the study of ligand binding mechanism by other START domains and the elucidation of the biological function of STARD6. PMID:27340016

  16. Improving prediction of secondary structure, local backbone angles, and solvent accessible surface area of proteins by iterative deep learning.

    PubMed

    Heffernan, Rhys; Paliwal, Kuldip; Lyons, James; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Sharma, Alok; Wang, Jihua; Sattar, Abdul; Yang, Yuedong; Zhou, Yaoqi

    2015-01-01

    Direct prediction of protein structure from sequence is a challenging problem. An effective approach is to break it up into independent sub-problems. These sub-problems such as prediction of protein secondary structure can then be solved independently. In a previous study, we found that an iterative use of predicted secondary structure and backbone torsion angles can further improve secondary structure and torsion angle prediction. In this study, we expand the iterative features to include solvent accessible surface area and backbone angles and dihedrals based on Cα atoms. By using a deep learning neural network in three iterations, we achieved 82% accuracy for secondary structure prediction, 0.76 for the correlation coefficient between predicted and actual solvent accessible surface area, 19° and 30° for mean absolute errors of backbone φ and ψ angles, respectively, and 8° and 32° for mean absolute errors of Cα-based θ and τ angles, respectively, for an independent test dataset of 1199 proteins. The accuracy of the method is slightly lower for 72 CASP 11 targets but much higher than those of model structures from current state-of-the-art techniques. This suggests the potentially beneficial use of these predicted properties for model assessment and ranking.

  17. Improving prediction of secondary structure, local backbone angles, and solvent accessible surface area of proteins by iterative deep learning

    PubMed Central

    Heffernan, Rhys; Paliwal, Kuldip; Lyons, James; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Sharma, Alok; Wang, Jihua; Sattar, Abdul; Yang, Yuedong; Zhou, Yaoqi

    2015-01-01

    Direct prediction of protein structure from sequence is a challenging problem. An effective approach is to break it up into independent sub-problems. These sub-problems such as prediction of protein secondary structure can then be solved independently. In a previous study, we found that an iterative use of predicted secondary structure and backbone torsion angles can further improve secondary structure and torsion angle prediction. In this study, we expand the iterative features to include solvent accessible surface area and backbone angles and dihedrals based on Cα atoms. By using a deep learning neural network in three iterations, we achieved 82% accuracy for secondary structure prediction, 0.76 for the correlation coefficient between predicted and actual solvent accessible surface area, 19° and 30° for mean absolute errors of backbone φ and ψ angles, respectively, and 8° and 32° for mean absolute errors of Cα-based θ and τ angles, respectively, for an independent test dataset of 1199 proteins. The accuracy of the method is slightly lower for 72 CASP 11 targets but much higher than those of model structures from current state-of-the-art techniques. This suggests the potentially beneficial use of these predicted properties for model assessment and ranking. PMID:26098304

  18. Improving prediction of secondary structure, local backbone angles, and solvent accessible surface area of proteins by iterative deep learning.

    PubMed

    Heffernan, Rhys; Paliwal, Kuldip; Lyons, James; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Sharma, Alok; Wang, Jihua; Sattar, Abdul; Yang, Yuedong; Zhou, Yaoqi

    2015-01-01

    Direct prediction of protein structure from sequence is a challenging problem. An effective approach is to break it up into independent sub-problems. These sub-problems such as prediction of protein secondary structure can then be solved independently. In a previous study, we found that an iterative use of predicted secondary structure and backbone torsion angles can further improve secondary structure and torsion angle prediction. In this study, we expand the iterative features to include solvent accessible surface area and backbone angles and dihedrals based on Cα atoms. By using a deep learning neural network in three iterations, we achieved 82% accuracy for secondary structure prediction, 0.76 for the correlation coefficient between predicted and actual solvent accessible surface area, 19° and 30° for mean absolute errors of backbone φ and ψ angles, respectively, and 8° and 32° for mean absolute errors of Cα-based θ and τ angles, respectively, for an independent test dataset of 1199 proteins. The accuracy of the method is slightly lower for 72 CASP 11 targets but much higher than those of model structures from current state-of-the-art techniques. This suggests the potentially beneficial use of these predicted properties for model assessment and ranking. PMID:26098304

  19. Slow dynamics of a protein backbone in molecular dynamics simulation revealed by time-structure based independent component analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naritomi, Yusuke; Fuchigami, Sotaro

    2013-12-01

    We recently proposed the method of time-structure based independent component analysis (tICA) to examine the slow dynamics involved in conformational fluctuations of a protein as estimated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation [Y. Naritomi and S. Fuchigami, J. Chem. Phys. 134, 065101 (2011)]. Our previous study focused on domain motions of the protein and examined its dynamics by using rigid-body domain analysis and tICA. However, the protein changes its conformation not only through domain motions but also by various types of motions involving its backbone and side chains. Some of these motions might occur on a slow time scale: we hypothesize that if so, we could effectively detect and characterize them using tICA. In the present study, we investigated slow dynamics of the protein backbone using MD simulation and tICA. The selected target protein was lysine-, arginine-, ornithine-binding protein (LAO), which comprises two domains and undergoes large domain motions. MD simulation of LAO in explicit water was performed for 1 μs, and the obtained trajectory of Cα atoms in the backbone was analyzed by tICA. This analysis successfully provided us with slow modes for LAO that represented either domain motions or local movements of the backbone. Further analysis elucidated the atomic details of the suggested local motions and confirmed that these motions truly occurred on the expected slow time scale.

  20. Slow dynamics of a protein backbone in molecular dynamics simulation revealed by time-structure based independent component analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Naritomi, Yusuke; Fuchigami, Sotaro

    2013-12-07

    We recently proposed the method of time-structure based independent component analysis (tICA) to examine the slow dynamics involved in conformational fluctuations of a protein as estimated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation [Y. Naritomi and S. Fuchigami, J. Chem. Phys. 134, 065101 (2011)]. Our previous study focused on domain motions of the protein and examined its dynamics by using rigid-body domain analysis and tICA. However, the protein changes its conformation not only through domain motions but also by various types of motions involving its backbone and side chains. Some of these motions might occur on a slow time scale: we hypothesize that if so, we could effectively detect and characterize them using tICA. In the present study, we investigated slow dynamics of the protein backbone using MD simulation and tICA. The selected target protein was lysine-, arginine-, ornithine-binding protein (LAO), which comprises two domains and undergoes large domain motions. MD simulation of LAO in explicit water was performed for 1 μs, and the obtained trajectory of C{sub α} atoms in the backbone was analyzed by tICA. This analysis successfully provided us with slow modes for LAO that represented either domain motions or local movements of the backbone. Further analysis elucidated the atomic details of the suggested local motions and confirmed that these motions truly occurred on the expected slow time scale.

  1. Slow dynamics of a protein backbone in molecular dynamics simulation revealed by time-structure based independent component analysis.

    PubMed

    Naritomi, Yusuke; Fuchigami, Sotaro

    2013-12-01

    We recently proposed the method of time-structure based independent component analysis (tICA) to examine the slow dynamics involved in conformational fluctuations of a protein as estimated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation [Y. Naritomi and S. Fuchigami, J. Chem. Phys. 134, 065101 (2011)]. Our previous study focused on domain motions of the protein and examined its dynamics by using rigid-body domain analysis and tICA. However, the protein changes its conformation not only through domain motions but also by various types of motions involving its backbone and side chains. Some of these motions might occur on a slow time scale: we hypothesize that if so, we could effectively detect and characterize them using tICA. In the present study, we investigated slow dynamics of the protein backbone using MD simulation and tICA. The selected target protein was lysine-, arginine-, ornithine-binding protein (LAO), which comprises two domains and undergoes large domain motions. MD simulation of LAO in explicit water was performed for 1 μs, and the obtained trajectory of C(α) atoms in the backbone was analyzed by tICA. This analysis successfully provided us with slow modes for LAO that represented either domain motions or local movements of the backbone. Further analysis elucidated the atomic details of the suggested local motions and confirmed that these motions truly occurred on the expected slow time scale.

  2. Backbone structures in human milk oligosaccharides: trans-glycosylation by metagenomic β-N-acetylhexosaminidases.

    PubMed

    Nyffenegger, Christian; Nordvang, Rune Thorbjørn; Zeuner, Birgitte; Łężyk, Mateusz; Difilippo, Elisabetta; Logtenberg, Madelon J; Schols, Henk A; Meyer, Anne S; Mikkelsen, Jørn Dalgaard

    2015-10-01

    This paper describes the discovery and characterization of two novel β-N-acetylhexosaminidases HEX1 and HEX2, capable of catalyzing the synthesis of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) backbone structures with fair yields using chitin oligomers as β-N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) donor. The enzyme-encoding genes were identified by functional screening of a soil-derived metagenomic library. The β-N-acetylhexosaminidases were expressed in Escherichia coli with an N-terminal His6-tag and were purified by nickel affinity chromatography. The sequence similarities of the enzymes with their respective closest homologues are 59 % for HEX1 and 51 % for HEX2 on the protein level. Both β-N-acetylhexosaminidases are classified into glycosyl hydrolase family 20 (GH 20) are able to hydrolyze para-nitrophenyl-β-N-acetylglucosamine (pNP-GlcNAc) as well as para-nitrophenyl-β-N-acetylgalactosamine (pNP-GalNAc) and exhibit pH optima of 8 and 6 for HEX1 and HEX2, respectively. The enzymes are able to hydrolyze N-acetylchitooligosaccharides with a degree of polymerization of two, three, and four. The major findings were, that HEX1 and HEX2 catalyze trans-glycosylation reactions with lactose as acceptor, giving rise to the human milk oligosaccharide precursor lacto-N-triose II (LNT2) with yields of 2 and 8 % based on the donor substrate. In total, trans-glycosylation reactions were tested with the disaccharide acceptors β-lactose, sucrose, and maltose, as well as with the monosaccharides galactose and glucose resulting in the successful attachment of GlcNAc to the acceptor in all cases.

  3. Backbone structures in human milk oligosaccharides: trans-glycosylation by metagenomic β-N-acetylhexosaminidases.

    PubMed

    Nyffenegger, Christian; Nordvang, Rune Thorbjørn; Zeuner, Birgitte; Łężyk, Mateusz; Difilippo, Elisabetta; Logtenberg, Madelon J; Schols, Henk A; Meyer, Anne S; Mikkelsen, Jørn Dalgaard

    2015-10-01

    This paper describes the discovery and characterization of two novel β-N-acetylhexosaminidases HEX1 and HEX2, capable of catalyzing the synthesis of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) backbone structures with fair yields using chitin oligomers as β-N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) donor. The enzyme-encoding genes were identified by functional screening of a soil-derived metagenomic library. The β-N-acetylhexosaminidases were expressed in Escherichia coli with an N-terminal His6-tag and were purified by nickel affinity chromatography. The sequence similarities of the enzymes with their respective closest homologues are 59 % for HEX1 and 51 % for HEX2 on the protein level. Both β-N-acetylhexosaminidases are classified into glycosyl hydrolase family 20 (GH 20) are able to hydrolyze para-nitrophenyl-β-N-acetylglucosamine (pNP-GlcNAc) as well as para-nitrophenyl-β-N-acetylgalactosamine (pNP-GalNAc) and exhibit pH optima of 8 and 6 for HEX1 and HEX2, respectively. The enzymes are able to hydrolyze N-acetylchitooligosaccharides with a degree of polymerization of two, three, and four. The major findings were, that HEX1 and HEX2 catalyze trans-glycosylation reactions with lactose as acceptor, giving rise to the human milk oligosaccharide precursor lacto-N-triose II (LNT2) with yields of 2 and 8 % based on the donor substrate. In total, trans-glycosylation reactions were tested with the disaccharide acceptors β-lactose, sucrose, and maltose, as well as with the monosaccharides galactose and glucose resulting in the successful attachment of GlcNAc to the acceptor in all cases. PMID:25843303

  4. Backbone assignment and secondary structure of Rnd1, an unusual Rho family small GTPase.

    PubMed

    Cao, Shufen; Mao, Xi'an; Liu, Deli; Buck, Matthias

    2013-10-01

    Rho GTPases have attracted considerable interest as signaling molecules due to their variety of functional roles in cells. Rnd1 is a relatively recently discovered Rho GTPase with no enzymatic activity against its bound GTP nucleotide, setting it apart from other family members. Research has revealed a critical role for Rnd1 not only in neurite outgrowth, dendrite development, axon guidance, but also in gastric cancer and in endothelial cells during inflammation. Structural information is crucial for understanding the mechanism that forms the basis for protein-protein interactions and functions, but until recently there were no reports of NMR studies directly on the Rnd1 protein. In this paper we report assignments for the majority of Rnd1 NMR resonances based on 2D and 3D NMR spectra. Rnd1 assignment was a challenging task, however, despite optimization strategies that have facilitated NMR studies of the protein (Cao and Buck in Small GTPase 2:295-304, 2012). Besides common triple-resonance experiments, 3D HNCA, 3D HN(CO)CA, 3D HNCO which are usually employed for sequence assignment, 3D NOESY experiments and specific labeling of 13 kinds of amino acids were also utilized to gain as many (1)H(N), (13)C, and (15)N resonances assignments as possible. For 170 cross peaks observed out of 183 possible mainchain N-H correlations in the (1)H-(15)N TROSY spectrum, backbone assignment was finally completed for 127 resonances. The secondary structure was then defined by chemical shifts and TALOS+ based on the assignments. The overall structure in solution compares well with that of Rnd1 in a crystal, except for two short segments, residues 77-83 and residues 127-131. Given that some features are shared among Rho GTPases, Rnd1 assignments are also compared with two other family members, Cdc42 and Rac1. The overall level of Rnd1 assignment is lower than for Cdc42 and Rac1, consistent with its lower stability and possibly increased internal dynamics. However, while the Rnd1

  5. Backbone assignment and secondary structure of Rnd1, an unusual Rho family small GTPase.

    PubMed

    Cao, Shufen; Mao, Xi'an; Liu, Deli; Buck, Matthias

    2013-10-01

    Rho GTPases have attracted considerable interest as signaling molecules due to their variety of functional roles in cells. Rnd1 is a relatively recently discovered Rho GTPase with no enzymatic activity against its bound GTP nucleotide, setting it apart from other family members. Research has revealed a critical role for Rnd1 not only in neurite outgrowth, dendrite development, axon guidance, but also in gastric cancer and in endothelial cells during inflammation. Structural information is crucial for understanding the mechanism that forms the basis for protein-protein interactions and functions, but until recently there were no reports of NMR studies directly on the Rnd1 protein. In this paper we report assignments for the majority of Rnd1 NMR resonances based on 2D and 3D NMR spectra. Rnd1 assignment was a challenging task, however, despite optimization strategies that have facilitated NMR studies of the protein (Cao and Buck in Small GTPase 2:295-304, 2012). Besides common triple-resonance experiments, 3D HNCA, 3D HN(CO)CA, 3D HNCO which are usually employed for sequence assignment, 3D NOESY experiments and specific labeling of 13 kinds of amino acids were also utilized to gain as many (1)H(N), (13)C, and (15)N resonances assignments as possible. For 170 cross peaks observed out of 183 possible mainchain N-H correlations in the (1)H-(15)N TROSY spectrum, backbone assignment was finally completed for 127 resonances. The secondary structure was then defined by chemical shifts and TALOS+ based on the assignments. The overall structure in solution compares well with that of Rnd1 in a crystal, except for two short segments, residues 77-83 and residues 127-131. Given that some features are shared among Rho GTPases, Rnd1 assignments are also compared with two other family members, Cdc42 and Rac1. The overall level of Rnd1 assignment is lower than for Cdc42 and Rac1, consistent with its lower stability and possibly increased internal dynamics. However, while the Rnd1

  6. Protein inhibitors of serine proteinases: role of backbone structure and dynamics in controlling the hydrolysis constant.

    PubMed

    Song, Jikui; Markley, John L

    2003-05-13

    Standard mechanism protein inhibitors of serine proteinases bind as substrates and are cleaved by cognate proteinases at their reactive sites. The hydrolysis constant for this cleavage reaction at the P(1)-P(1)' peptide bond (K(hyd)) is determined by the relative concentrations at equilibrium of the "intact" (uncleaved, I) and "modified" (reactive site cleaved, I*) forms of the inhibitor. The pH dependence of K(hyd) can be explained in terms of a pH-independent term, K(hyd) degrees, plus the proton dissociation constants of the newly formed amino and carboxylate groups at the cleavage site. Two protein inhibitors that differ from one another by a single residue substitution have been found to have K(hyd) degrees values that differ by a factor of 5 [Ardelt, W., and Laskowski, M., Jr. (1991) J. Mol. Biol. 220, 1041-1052]: turkey ovomucoid third domain (OMTKY3) has K(hyd) degrees = 1.0, and Indian peafowl ovomucoid third domain (OMIPF3), which differs from OMTKY3 by the substitution P(2)'-Tyr(20)His, has K(hyd) degrees = 5.15. What mechanism is responsible for this small difference? Is it structural (enthalpic) or dynamic (entropic)? Does the mutation affect the free energy of the I state, the I* state, or both? We have addressed these questions through NMR investigations of the I and I forms of OMTKY3 and OMIPF3. Information about structure was derived from measurements of NMR chemical shift changes and trans-hydrogen-bond J-couplings; information about dynamics was obtained through measurements of (15)N relaxation rates and (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear NOEs with model-free analysis of the results. Although the I forms of each variant are more dynamic than the corresponding I forms, the study revealed no appreciable difference in the backbone dynamics of either intact inhibitor (OMIPF3 vs OMTKY3) or modified inhibitor (OMIPF3* vs OMTKY3*). Instead, changes in chemical shifts and trans-hydrogen-bond J-couplings suggested that the K(hyd) degrees difference arises from

  7. Protein inhibitors of serine proteinases: role of backbone structure and dynamics in controlling the hydrolysis constant.

    PubMed

    Song, Jikui; Markley, John L

    2003-05-13

    Standard mechanism protein inhibitors of serine proteinases bind as substrates and are cleaved by cognate proteinases at their reactive sites. The hydrolysis constant for this cleavage reaction at the P(1)-P(1)' peptide bond (K(hyd)) is determined by the relative concentrations at equilibrium of the "intact" (uncleaved, I) and "modified" (reactive site cleaved, I*) forms of the inhibitor. The pH dependence of K(hyd) can be explained in terms of a pH-independent term, K(hyd) degrees, plus the proton dissociation constants of the newly formed amino and carboxylate groups at the cleavage site. Two protein inhibitors that differ from one another by a single residue substitution have been found to have K(hyd) degrees values that differ by a factor of 5 [Ardelt, W., and Laskowski, M., Jr. (1991) J. Mol. Biol. 220, 1041-1052]: turkey ovomucoid third domain (OMTKY3) has K(hyd) degrees = 1.0, and Indian peafowl ovomucoid third domain (OMIPF3), which differs from OMTKY3 by the substitution P(2)'-Tyr(20)His, has K(hyd) degrees = 5.15. What mechanism is responsible for this small difference? Is it structural (enthalpic) or dynamic (entropic)? Does the mutation affect the free energy of the I state, the I* state, or both? We have addressed these questions through NMR investigations of the I and I forms of OMTKY3 and OMIPF3. Information about structure was derived from measurements of NMR chemical shift changes and trans-hydrogen-bond J-couplings; information about dynamics was obtained through measurements of (15)N relaxation rates and (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear NOEs with model-free analysis of the results. Although the I forms of each variant are more dynamic than the corresponding I forms, the study revealed no appreciable difference in the backbone dynamics of either intact inhibitor (OMIPF3 vs OMTKY3) or modified inhibitor (OMIPF3* vs OMTKY3*). Instead, changes in chemical shifts and trans-hydrogen-bond J-couplings suggested that the K(hyd) degrees difference arises from

  8. RNA-Binding Affinities and Crystal Structure of Oligonucleotides Containing Five-Atom Amide-Based Backbone Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Pallan, Pradeep S.; von Matt, Peter; Wilds, Christopher J.; Altmann, Karl-Heinz; Egli, Martin

    2010-03-08

    Among the hundreds of nucleic acid analogues that have been studied over the last two decades only very few exhibit backbones with linkers between residues that are either shorter or longer than the four-atom linker O3{prime}-P-O5{prime}-C5{prime} connecting sugar ring moieties in DNA and RNA. 2{prime}-Deoxyribonucleoside dimers connected by a five-atom linker O3{prime}-CH*(CH{sub 3})-CO-NH-CH{sub 2} (* designates a chiral center) were reported to lead to only a slight destabilization of RNA-DNA hybrids in which the DNA strand contained one or several of these amide-linked dimers (De Napoli, L., Iadonisi, A., Montesarchio, D., Varra, M., and Piccialli, G. (1995) Synthesis of thymidine dimers containing a new internucleosidic amide linkage and their incorporation into oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 5, 1647-1652). To analyze the influence of various chemistries of such five-atom amide linkers on the RNA-binding affinity of modified DNA strands, we have synthesized five different amide-linked dimers, including structures with homochiral linkers of the type X3{prime}-C*H(CH{sub 3})-CO-NH-CH{sub 2} (X = O, CH{sub 2}) as well as the corresponding analogues carrying methoxy groups at the 2{prime}-position of the 3{prime}-nucleosides. We have conducted a detailed thermodynamic analysis of duplex formation between the modified DNA and RNA, with the DNA strands containing between one and seven consecutive modified dimers. Some of the five-atom-linked dimers lead to significantly higher RNA-binding affinities compared with that of native DNA. Interestingly, the linkers with opposite stereochemistry at the chiral center stabilize duplexes between the modified DNA and RNA to different degrees. CD spectroscopy in solution and a crystal structure of an RNA-DNA duplex with a single amide-linked dimer demonstrate that the longer amide backbones do not disrupt the duplex geometry. These observations provide further evidence that stable cross-pairing between two

  9. The DNA and RNA sugar-phosphate backbone emerges as the key player. An overview of quantum-chemical, structural biology and simulation studies.

    PubMed

    Šponer, Jiří; Mládek, Arnošt; Šponer, Judit E; Svozil, Daniel; Zgarbová, Marie; Banáš, Pavel; Jurečka, Petr; Otyepka, Michal

    2012-11-28

    Knowledge of geometrical and physico-chemical properties of the sugar-phosphate backbone substantially contributes to the comprehension of the structural dynamics, function and evolution of nucleic acids. We provide a side by side overview of structural biology/bioinformatics, quantum chemical and molecular mechanical/simulation studies of the nucleic acids backbone. We highlight main features, advantages and limitations of these techniques, with a special emphasis given to their synergy. The present status of the research is then illustrated by selected examples which include classification of DNA and RNA backbone families, benchmark structure-energy quantum chemical calculations, parameterization of the dihedral space of simulation force fields, incorporation of arsenate into DNA, sugar-phosphate backbone self-cleavage in small RNA enzymes, and intricate geometries of the backbone in recurrent RNA building blocks. Although not apparent from the current literature showing limited overlaps between the QM, simulation and bioinformatics studies of the nucleic acids backbone, there in fact should be a major cooperative interaction between these three approaches in studies of the sugar-phosphate backbone.

  10. Phase behaviors, molecular and supramolecular structures in polymers containing rigid-rod backbones with cyanobiphenyl side chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruan, Jrjeng

    One of the most important and challenging topics in materials chemistry involves designing nano-structures in synthetic materials via self-assembly for various highly technical applications. A specially designed combined liquid crystalline polymer containing a polyester backbone with cyanobiphenyl side chains has been studied in aspects of phase behaviors and crystal structures. The triclinic crystal phases identified in this series of polymer are all found to be constricted by 4-monomer unit cells. This discovery of 4-monomer triclinic unit cells motivates a search for the existence of supramolecular phases and understanding the possible molecular packing. A series of newly designed polyimides, which are composed of aromatic polyimide backbones with 4-cyanobiphenyl mesogens on the side chains has been synthesized. This series of polymers possesses a lesser degree of coupling between the backbones and side chains, which indicates the possibility of microphase separation between them. The representative polyimides of BPDA-7CBBP and BPDA-11CBBP in this series, in which 4-cyanobiphenyl side chains are connected onto the backbones through seven and eleven methylene units respectively have systematically studied in this research. Two crystal forms were recognized in BPDA-11CBBA, and one of them possesses six repeating units in one monoclinic unit cell. Moreover, the existence of a supramolecular phase has been proposed based on 2D WAXD fiber patterns. In the case of BPDA-7CBBP, three crystal forms were identified: two of them are constructed by triclinic lattices with large unit cells. The numbers of repeating units in those unit cells are seven and eight, respectively. Complicated phase behaviors including a second-order transition between the supramolecular phase and a high-order liquid crystal phase have been explored. The fact that large unit cells in both polymers with the numbers of repeating units in unit cells being 6, 7, and 8 leads to an important issue for

  11. The backbone structure of the thermophilic Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis ribose binding protein is essentially identical to its mesophilic E. coli homolog

    SciTech Connect

    Cuneo, Matthew J.; Tian, Yaji; Allert, Malin; Hellinga, Homme W.

    2008-10-27

    We report the X-ray crystal structure of a Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis ribose binding protein (tteRBP) determined to 1.9 {angstrom} resolution. We find that tteRBP is significantly more stable ({sup app}T{sub m} value {approx} 102 C) than the mesophilic Escherichia coli ribose binding protein (ecRBP) ({sup app}T{sub m} value {approx} 56 C). The tteRBP has essentially the identical backbone conformation (0.41 {angstrom} RMSD of 235/271 C{sub {alpha}} positions and 0.65 {angstrom} RMSD of 270/271 C{sub {alpha}} positions) as ecRBP. Classification of the amino acid substitutions as a function of structure therefore allows the identification of amino acids which potentially contribute to the observed thermal stability of tteRBP in the absence of large structural heterogeneities.

  12. Structure of the exceptionally large nonrepetitive carbohydrate backbone of the lipopolysaccharide of Pectinatus frisingensis strain VTT E-82164.

    PubMed

    Vinogradov, Evgeny; Petersen, Bent O; Sadovskaya, Irina; Jabbouri, Said; Duus, Jens Ø; Helander, Ilkka M

    2003-07-01

    The structures of the oligosaccharides obtained after acetic acid hydrolysis and alkaline deacylation of the rough-type lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Pectinatus frisingensis strain VTT E-82164 were analysed using NMR spectroscopy, MS and chemical methods. The LPS contains two major structural variants, differing by a decasaccharide fragment, and some minor variants lacking the terminal glucose residue. The largest structure of the carbohydrate backbone of the LPS that could be deduced from experimental results consists of 25 monosaccharides (including the previously found Ara4NP residue in lipid A) arranged in a well-defined nonrepetitive structure: We presume that the shorter variant with R1 = H represents the core-lipid A part of the LPS, and the additional fragment is present instead of the O-specific polysaccharide. Structures of this type have not been previously described. Analysis of the deacylation products obtained from the LPS of the smooth strain, VTT E-79100T, showed that it contains a very similar core but with one different glycosidic linkage.

  13. Protein structure quality assessment based on the distance profiles of consecutive backbone Cα atoms.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Sandeep; Venkatramani, Ravindra; Rao, Basuthkar J; Asgeirsson, Bjarni; Dandekar, Abhaya M

    2013-01-01

    Predicting the three dimensional native state structure of a protein from its primary sequence is an unsolved grand challenge in molecular biology. Two main computational approaches have evolved to obtain the structure from the protein sequence - ab initio/de novo methods and template-based modeling - both of which typically generate multiple possible native state structures. Model quality assessment programs (MQAP) validate these predicted structures in order to identify the correct native state structure. Here, we propose a MQAP for assessing the quality of protein structures based on the distances of consecutive Cα atoms. We hypothesize that the root-mean-square deviation of the distance of consecutive Cα (RDCC) atoms from the ideal value of 3.8 Å, derived from a statistical analysis of high quality protein structures (top100H database), is minimized in native structures. Based on tests with the top100H set, we propose a RDCC cutoff value of 0.012 Å, above which a structure can be filtered out as a non-native structure. We applied the RDCC discriminator on decoy sets from the Decoys 'R' Us database to show that the native structures in all decoy sets tested have RDCC below the 0.012 Å cutoff. While most decoy sets were either indistinguishable using this discriminator or had very few violations, all the decoy structures in the fisa decoy set were discriminated by applying the RDCC criterion. This highlights the physical non-viability of the fisa decoy set, and possible issues in benchmarking other methods using this set. The source code and manual is made available at https://github.com/sanchak/mqap and permanently available on 10.5281/zenodo.7134.

  14. The role of molecular structure of sugar-phosphate backbone and nucleic acid bases in the formation of single-stranded and double-stranded DNA structures.

    PubMed

    Poltev, Valeri; Anisimov, Victor M; Danilov, Victor I; Garcia, Dolores; Sanchez, Carolina; Deriabina, Alexandra; Gonzalez, Eduardo; Rivas, Francisco; Polteva, Nina

    2014-06-01

    Our previous DFT computations of deoxydinucleoside monophosphate complexes with Na(+)-ions (dDMPs) have demonstrated that the main characteristics of Watson-Crick (WC) right-handed duplex families are predefined in the local energy minima of dDMPs. In this work, we study the mechanisms of contribution of chemically monotonous sugar-phosphate backbone and the bases into the double helix irregularity. Geometry optimization of sugar-phosphate backbone produces energy minima matching the WC DNA conformations. Studying the conformational variability of dDMPs in response to sequence permutation, we found that simple replacement of bases in the previously fully optimized dDMPs, e.g. by constructing Pyr-Pur from Pur-Pyr, and Pur-Pyr from Pyr-Pur sequences, while retaining the backbone geometry, automatically produces the mutual base position characteristic of the target sequence. Based on that, we infer that the directionality and the preferable regions of the sugar-phosphate torsions, combined with the difference of purines from pyrimidines in ring shape, determines the sequence dependence of the structure of WC DNA. No such sequence dependence exists in dDMPs corresponding to other DNA conformations (e.g., Z-family and Hoogsteen duplexes). Unlike other duplexes, WC helix is unique by its ability to match the local energy minima of the free single strand to the preferable conformations of the duplex.

  15. Role of the backbone conformation at position 7 in the structure and activity of marinostatin, an ester-linked serine protease inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Taichi, Misako; Yamazaki, Toshimasa; Nishiuchi, Yuji

    2012-09-01

    Rational design of inhibitors: The cis-amide backbone at position 7 in the serine protease inhibitor marinostatin was replaced with an E or Z olefin. The E olefin analogue was not active, but the Z analogue was. The cis conformation might play a critical role in organizing a canonical structure for binding to proteases.

  16. HMM-based prediction for protein structural motifs' two local properties: solvent accessibility and backbone torsion angles.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jianyong; Xiang, Leijun; Hong, Jiang; Zhang, Weidong

    2013-02-01

    Protein structure prediction is often assisted by predicting one-dimensional structural properties including relative solvent accessibility (RSA) surface and backbone torsion angles (BTA) of residues, and these two properties are continuously varying variables because proteins can move freely in a three-dimensional space. Instead of subdividing them into a few arbitrarily defined states that many popular approaches used, this paper proposes an integrated system for realvalue prediction of protein structural motifs' two local properties, based on the modified Hidden Markov Model that we previously presented. The model was used to capture the relevance of RSA and the dependency of BTA between adjacent residues along the local protein chain in motifs with definite probabilities. These two properties were predicted according to their own probability distribution. The method was applied to a protein fragment library. For nine different classes of motifs, real values of RSA were predicted with mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.122-0.175 and Pearson's correlation coefficient (PCC) of 0.623-0.714 between predicted and actual RSA. Meanwhile, real values of BTA were obtained with MAE of 8.5⁰-29.4⁰ for Φ angles, 11.2⁰-38.5⁰ for ψ angles and PCC of 0.601-0.716 for Φ, 0.597-0.713 for ψ. The results were compared with well-known Real-SPINE Server, and indicate the proposed method may at least serve as the foundation to obtain better local properties from structural motifs for protein structure prediction. PMID:22894152

  17. a Proposal for a General Method for Determining Semi-Experimental Equilibrium Structures of Carbon Atom Backbones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craig, Norman C.

    2010-06-01

    Semi-experimental equilibrium structures are determined from ground state rotational constants derived from the analysis of rotational transitions in high-resolution spectra and from the quantum chemical calculation of spectroscopic alphas. In the full application of this method, spectra of numerous isotopic species must be investigated. Most of these isotopic species require specialized synthesis. We now propose focusing on the carbon atoms, for which microwave spectroscopy routinely yields spectra for polar molecules with 13C substitution in natural abundance. Needed spectroscopic alphas can be computed with Gaussian software. Application of the Kraitchman substitution relationships gives Cartesian coordinates for the carbon atoms and thence bond parameters for the carbon backbone. This method will be evaluated with ethylene, 1,1-difluoroethylene, 1,1-difluorocyclopropane, propene, and butadiene. The method will then be applied to cis-hexatriene and the two conformers of glycidol. R. D. Suenram, B. H. Pate, A. Lessari, J. L. Neill, S. Shipman, R. A. Holmes, M. C. Leyden, and N. C. Craig, J. Phys. Chem. A 113, 1864-1868 (2009). A. R. Conrad, N. H. Teumelsan, P. E. Wang, and M. J. Tubergen, J. Phys. Chem. A 114, 336-342 (2010).

  18. Variational identities and Hamiltonian structures

    SciTech Connect

    Ma Wenxiu

    2010-03-08

    This report is concerned with Hamiltonian structures of classical and super soliton hierarchies. In the classical case, basic tools are variational identities associated with continuous and discrete matrix spectral problems, targeted to soliton equations derived from zero curvature equations over general Lie algebras, both semisimple and non-semisimple. In the super case, a supertrace identity is presented for constructing Hamiltonian structures of super soliton equations associated with Lie superalgebras. We illustrate the general theories by the KdV hierarchy, the Volterra lattice hierarchy, the super AKNS hierarchy, and two hierarchies of dark KdV equations and dark Volterra lattices. The resulting Hamiltonian structures show the commutativity of each hierarchy discussed and thus the existence of infinitely many commuting symmetries and conservation laws.

  19. DFT study of H-bonds in the peptide secondary structures: The backbone-side-chain and polar side-chains interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vener, M. V.; Egorova, A. N.; Fomin, D. P.; Tsirelson, V. G.

    2010-05-01

    The backbone-side-chain interactions in the peptide secondary structures are studied by the density functional theory methods with/without periodic boundary conditions. The alanine-based two-stranded β-sheet structure infinite models and the cluster models of the C5 structures modified by the glutamic acid residue are considered. Several low-energy structures have been localized in the BLYP/plane-wave and the BLYP/6-311++G** approximations. Combined use of the quantum-topological analysis of the electron density and frequency shifts enables us to detect and describe quantitatively the non-covalent interactions and H-bonds. We found that the strongest backbone-side-chain interaction (˜37 kJ/mol) is due to the intra-chain H-bond formed by the C dbnd O backbone group and by the COOH side-chain group. The OH…O distance equals to 1.727 Å and the frequency shift of the OH stretching vibration is 370 cm -1. The polar side-chains interaction is studied in the infinite model of the alanine-based two-stranded β-sheet structure modified by the glutamic acid/lysine residues. Moderate inter-chain H-bond (˜40 kJ/mol) is formed by glutamic acid COOH group and lysine NH 2 group. The OH…N distance equals to 1.707 Å and the frequency shift of the OH stretching vibration is 770 cm -1.

  20. Structural mimicry of the α-helix in aqueous solution with an isoatomic α/β/γ-peptide backbone.

    PubMed

    Sawada, Tomohisa; Gellman, Samuel H

    2011-05-18

    Artificial mimicry of α-helices offers a basis for development of protein-protein interaction antagonists. Here we report a new type of unnatural peptidic backbone, containing α-, β-, and γ-amino acid residues in an αγααβα repeat pattern, for this purpose. This unnatural hexad has the same number of backbone atoms as a heptad of α residues. Two-dimensional NMR data clearly establish the formation of an α-helix-like conformation in aqueous solution. The helix formed by our 12-mer α/β/γ-peptide is considerably more stable than the α-helix formed by an analogous 14-mer α-peptide, presumably because of the preorganized β and γ residues employed.

  1. Dissecting the relationship between protein structure and sequence variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahmoradi, Amir; Wilke, Claus; Wilke Lab Team

    2015-03-01

    Over the past decade several independent works have shown that some structural properties of proteins are capable of predicting protein evolution. The strength and significance of these structure-sequence relations, however, appear to vary widely among different proteins, with absolute correlation strengths ranging from 0 . 1 to 0 . 8 . Here we present the results from a comprehensive search for the potential biophysical and structural determinants of protein evolution by studying more than 200 structural and evolutionary properties in a dataset of 209 monomeric enzymes. We discuss the main protein characteristics responsible for the general patterns of protein evolution, and identify sequence divergence as the main determinant of the strengths of virtually all structure-evolution relationships, explaining ~ 10 - 30 % of observed variation in sequence-structure relations. In addition to sequence divergence, we identify several protein structural properties that are moderately but significantly coupled with the strength of sequence-structure relations. In particular, proteins with more homogeneous back-bone hydrogen bond energies, large fractions of helical secondary structures and low fraction of beta sheets tend to have the strongest sequence-structure relation. BEACON-NSF center for the study of evolution in action.

  2. Solution structure and backbone dynamics of the N-terminal region of the calcium regulatory domain from soybean calcium-dependent protein kinase alpha.

    PubMed

    Weljie, Aalim M; Gagné, Stéphane M; Vogel, Hans J

    2004-12-01

    Ca(2+)-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are vital Ca(2+)-signaling proteins in plants and protists which have both a kinase domain and a self-contained calcium regulatory calmodulin-like domain (CLD). Despite being very similar to CaM (>40% identity) and sharing the same fold, recent biochemical and structural evidence suggests that the behavior of CLD is distinct from its namesake, calmodulin. In this study, NMR spectroscopy is employed to examine the structure and backbone dynamics of a 168 amino acid Ca(2+)-saturated construct of the CLD (NtH-CLD) in which almost the entire C-terminal domain is exchange broadened and not visible in the NMR spectra. Structural characterization of the N-terminal domain indicates that the first Ca(2+)-binding loop is significantly more open than in a recently reported structure of the CLD complexed with a putative intramolecular binding region (JD) in the CDPK. Backbone dynamics suggest that parts of the third helix exhibit unusually high mobility, and significant exchange, consistent with previous findings that this helix interacts with the C-terminal domain. Dynamics data also show that the "tether" region, consisting of the first 11 amino acids of CLD, is highly mobile and these residues exhibit distinctive beta-type secondary structure, which may help to position the JD and CLD. Finally, the unusual global dynamic behavior of the protein is rationalized on the basis of possible interdomain rearrangements and the highly variable environments of the C- and N-terminal domains.

  3. Detection of closed influenza virus hemagglutinin fusion peptide structures in membranes by backbone (13)CO- (15)N rotational-echo double-resonance solid-state NMR.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Ujjayini; Xie, Li; Weliky, David P

    2013-02-01

    The influenza virus fusion peptide is the N-terminal ~20 residues of the HA2 subunit of the hemagglutinin protein and this peptide plays a key role in the fusion of the viral and endosomal membranes during initial infection of a cell. The fusion peptide adopts N-helix/turn/C-helix structure in both detergent and membranes with reports of both open and closed interhelical topologies. In the present study, backbone (13)CO-(15)N REDOR solid-state NMR was applied to the membrane-associated fusion peptide to detect the distribution of interhelical distances. The data clearly showed a large fraction of closed and semi-closed topologies and were best-fitted to a mixture of two structures that do not exchange. One of the earlier open structural models may have incorrect G13 dihedral angles derived from TALOS analysis of experimentally correct (13)C shifts.

  4. Solution NMR structure, backbone dynamics, and heme-binding properties of a novel cytochrome c maturation protein CcmE from Desulfovibrio vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Aramini, James M; Hamilton, Keith; Rossi, Paolo; Ertekin, Asli; Lee, Hsiau-Wei; Lemak, Alexander; Wang, Huang; Xiao, Rong; Acton, Thomas B; Everett, John K; Montelione, Gaetano T

    2012-05-01

    Cytochrome c maturation protein E, CcmE, plays an integral role in the transfer of heme to apocytochrome c in many prokaryotes and some mitochondria. A novel subclass featuring a heme-binding cysteine has been identified in archaea and some bacteria. Here we describe the solution NMR structure, backbone dynamics, and heme binding properties of the soluble C-terminal domain of Desulfovibrio vulgaris CcmE, dvCcmE'. The structure adopts a conserved β-barrel OB fold followed by an unstructured C-terminal tail encompassing the CxxxY heme-binding motif. Heme binding analyses of wild-type and mutant dvCcmE' demonstrate the absolute requirement of residue C127 for noncovalent heme binding in vitro.

  5. Structure Elucidation of Poly-Faldaprevir: Polymer Backbone Solved Using Solid-State and Solution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Gonnella, Nina C; Busacca, Carl A; Zhang, Li; Saha, Anjan; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Li, Guisheng; Davis, Mark; Offerdahl, Thomas; Jones, Paul-James; Herfurth, Lars; Reddig, Tim; Wagner, Klaus; Niemann, Michael; Werthmann, Ulrike; Grupe, Julia; Roos, Helmut; Reckzügel, Gaby; Ding, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    A large-scale synthesis of the hepatitis C virus drug Faldaprevir revealed precipitation of an unknown insoluble solid from methanol solutions of the drug substance. The unknown impurity was determined to be a polymer of Faldaprevir based on analytical methods that included size exclusion chromatography in combination with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight, ultracentrifugation, elemental analysis, and sodium quantitation by atom absorption spectroscopy. Structure elucidation of the polymeric backbone was achieved using solid-state NMR cross-polarization/magic angle spinning (CP/MAS), cross polarization-polarization inversion, and heteronuclear correlation (HETCOR) experiments. The polymerization was found to occur at the vinyl cyclopropane via a likely free radical initiation mechanism. Full proton and carbon chemical shift assignments of the polymer were obtained using solution NMR spectroscopy. The polymer structure was corroborated with chemical synthesis of the polymer and solution NMR analysis. PMID:27238486

  6. Solution NMR structure, backbone dynamics, and heme-binding properties of a novel cytochrome c maturation protein CcmE from Desulfovibrio vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Aramini, James M; Hamilton, Keith; Rossi, Paolo; Ertekin, Asli; Lee, Hsiau-Wei; Lemak, Alexander; Wang, Huang; Xiao, Rong; Acton, Thomas B; Everett, John K; Montelione, Gaetano T

    2012-05-01

    Cytochrome c maturation protein E, CcmE, plays an integral role in the transfer of heme to apocytochrome c in many prokaryotes and some mitochondria. A novel subclass featuring a heme-binding cysteine has been identified in archaea and some bacteria. Here we describe the solution NMR structure, backbone dynamics, and heme binding properties of the soluble C-terminal domain of Desulfovibrio vulgaris CcmE, dvCcmE'. The structure adopts a conserved β-barrel OB fold followed by an unstructured C-terminal tail encompassing the CxxxY heme-binding motif. Heme binding analyses of wild-type and mutant dvCcmE' demonstrate the absolute requirement of residue C127 for noncovalent heme binding in vitro. PMID:22497251

  7. NMR solution structure and backbone dynamics of domain III of the E protein of tick-borne Langat flavivirus suggests a potential site for molecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Munia; Dutta, Kaushik; White, Mark A; Cowburn, David; Fox, Robert O

    2006-06-01

    Flaviviruses cause many human diseases, including dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile viral encephalitis, and hemorrhagic fevers, and are transmitted to their vertebrate hosts by infected mosquitoes and ticks. Domain III of the envelope protein (E-D3) is considered to be the primary viral determinant involved in the virus-host-cell receptor interaction, and thus represents an excellent target for antiviral drug development. Langat (LGT) virus is a naturally attenuated BSL-2 TBE virus and is a model for the pathogenic BSL-3 and BSL-4 viruses in the serogroup. We have determined the solution structure of LGT-E-D3 using heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy. The backbone dynamics of LGT-E-D3 have been investigated using 15N relaxation measurements. A detailed analysis of the solution structure and dynamics of LGT-E-D3 suggests potential residues that could form a surface for molecular recognition, and thereby represent a target site for antiviral therapeutics design.

  8. Structure variations of pumpkin balloon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yajima, N.; Izutsu, N.; Honda, H.

    2004-01-01

    A lobed pumpkin balloon by 3-D gore design concept is recognized as a basic form for a super-pressure balloon. This paper deals with extensions of this design concept for other large pressurized membrane structures, such as a stratospheric airship and a balloon of which volume is controllable. The structural modifications are performed by means of additional ropes, belts or a strut. When the original pumpkin shape is modified by these systems, the superior characteristics of the 3-D gore design, incorporating large bulges with a small local radius and unidirectional film tension, should be maintained. Improved design methods which are adequate for the above subjects will be discussed in detail. Application for ground structures are also mentioned.

  9. Structure variations of pumpkin balloon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yajima, N.; Izutsu, N.; Honda, H.

    A robed pumpkin balloon by 3-D gore design concept is recognized as a basic form for a super -pressure balloon. This paper deals with an extension of this design concept for other large pressurized membrane structures, such as a stratospheric airship and a balloon of which volume is controllable. The structural modifications are performed by means of additional ropes or poles. When the original pumpkin shape is modified for those systems, superior characteristics of 3-D gore design, those are large bulges with a small local radius and unidirectional film tension, should be maintained. Improved design methods which are adequate for the above subjects will be discussed in detail.

  10. Improvement of the treatment of loop structures in the UNRES force field by inclusion of coupling between backbone- and side-chain-local conformational states

    PubMed Central

    Baranowski, Maciej; Ołldziej, Stanisław; Scheraga, Harold A.; Liwo, Adam; Czaplewski, Cezary

    2013-01-01

    The UNited RESidue (UNRES) coarse-grained model of polypeptide chains, developed in our laboratory, enables us to carry out millisecond-scale molecular-dynamics simulations of large proteins effectively. It performs well in ab initio predictions of protein structure, as demonstrated in the last Community Wide Experiment on the Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP10). However, the resolution of the simulated structure is too coarse, especially in loop regions, which results from insufficient specificity of the model of local interactions. To improve the representation of local interactions, in this work we introduced new side-chain-backbone correlation potentials, derived from a statistical analysis of loop regions of 4585 proteins. To obtain sufficient statistics, we reduced the set of amino-acid-residue types to five groups, derived in our earlier work on structurally optimized reduced alphabets, based on a statistical analysis of the properties of amino-acid structures. The new correlation potentials are expressed as one-dimensional Fourier series in the virtual-bond-dihedral angles involving side-chain centroids. The weight of these new terms was determined by a trial-and-error method, in which Multiplexed Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics (MREMD) simulations were run on selected test proteins. The best average root-mean-square deviations (RMSDs) of the calculated structures from the experimental structures below the folding-transition temperatures were obtained with the weight of the new side-chain-backbone correlation potentials equal to 0.57. The resulting conformational ensembles were analyzed in detail by using the Weighted Histogram Analysis Method (WHAM) and Ward's minimum-variance clustering. This analysis showed that the RMSDs from the experimental structures dropped by 0.5 Å on average, compared to simulations without the new terms, and the deviation of individual residues in the loop region of the computed

  11. Structural Insights into the Evolution of a Sexy Protein: Novel Topology and Restricted Backbone Flexibility in a Hypervariable Pheromone from the Red-Legged Salamander, Plethodon shermani

    PubMed Central

    Wilburn, Damien B.; Bowen, Kathleen E.; Doty, Kari A.; Arumugam, Sengodagounder; Lane, Andrew N.; Feldhoff, Pamela W.; Feldhoff, Richard C.

    2014-01-01

    In response to pervasive sexual selection, protein sex pheromones often display rapid mutation and accelerated evolution of corresponding gene sequences. For proteins, the general dogma is that structure is maintained even as sequence or function may rapidly change. This phenomenon is well exemplified by the three-finger protein (TFP) superfamily: a diverse class of vertebrate proteins co-opted for many biological functions – such as components of snake venoms, regulators of the complement system, and coordinators of amphibian limb regeneration. All of the >200 structurally characterized TFPs adopt the namesake “three-finger” topology. In male red-legged salamanders, the TFP pheromone Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF) is a hypervariable protein such that, through extensive gene duplication and pervasive sexual selection, individual male salamanders express more than 30 unique isoforms. However, it remained unclear how this accelerated evolution affected the protein structure of PMF. Using LC/MS-MS and multidimensional NMR, we report the 3D structure of the most abundant PMF isoform, PMF-G. The high resolution structural ensemble revealed a highly modified TFP structure, including a unique disulfide bonding pattern and loss of secondary structure, that define a novel protein topology with greater backbone flexibility in the third peptide finger. Sequence comparison, models of molecular evolution, and homology modeling together support that this flexible third finger is the most rapidly evolving segment of PMF. Combined with PMF sequence hypervariability, this structural flexibility may enhance the plasticity of PMF as a chemical signal by permitting potentially thousands of structural conformers. We propose that the flexible third finger plays a critical role in PMF:receptor interactions. As female receptors co-evolve, this flexibility may allow PMF to still bind its receptor(s) without the immediate need for complementary mutations. Consequently, this

  12. Structural insights into the evolution of a sexy protein: novel topology and restricted backbone flexibility in a hypervariable pheromone from the red-legged salamander, Plethodon shermani.

    PubMed

    Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Doty, Kari A; Arumugam, Sengodagounder; Lane, Andrew N; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    In response to pervasive sexual selection, protein sex pheromones often display rapid mutation and accelerated evolution of corresponding gene sequences. For proteins, the general dogma is that structure is maintained even as sequence or function may rapidly change. This phenomenon is well exemplified by the three-finger protein (TFP) superfamily: a diverse class of vertebrate proteins co-opted for many biological functions - such as components of snake venoms, regulators of the complement system, and coordinators of amphibian limb regeneration. All of the >200 structurally characterized TFPs adopt the namesake "three-finger" topology. In male red-legged salamanders, the TFP pheromone Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF) is a hypervariable protein such that, through extensive gene duplication and pervasive sexual selection, individual male salamanders express more than 30 unique isoforms. However, it remained unclear how this accelerated evolution affected the protein structure of PMF. Using LC/MS-MS and multidimensional NMR, we report the 3D structure of the most abundant PMF isoform, PMF-G. The high resolution structural ensemble revealed a highly modified TFP structure, including a unique disulfide bonding pattern and loss of secondary structure, that define a novel protein topology with greater backbone flexibility in the third peptide finger. Sequence comparison, models of molecular evolution, and homology modeling together support that this flexible third finger is the most rapidly evolving segment of PMF. Combined with PMF sequence hypervariability, this structural flexibility may enhance the plasticity of PMF as a chemical signal by permitting potentially thousands of structural conformers. We propose that the flexible third finger plays a critical role in PMF:receptor interactions. As female receptors co-evolve, this flexibility may allow PMF to still bind its receptor(s) without the immediate need for complementary mutations. Consequently, this unique

  13. Structural insights into the evolution of a sexy protein: novel topology and restricted backbone flexibility in a hypervariable pheromone from the red-legged salamander, Plethodon shermani.

    PubMed

    Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Doty, Kari A; Arumugam, Sengodagounder; Lane, Andrew N; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    In response to pervasive sexual selection, protein sex pheromones often display rapid mutation and accelerated evolution of corresponding gene sequences. For proteins, the general dogma is that structure is maintained even as sequence or function may rapidly change. This phenomenon is well exemplified by the three-finger protein (TFP) superfamily: a diverse class of vertebrate proteins co-opted for many biological functions - such as components of snake venoms, regulators of the complement system, and coordinators of amphibian limb regeneration. All of the >200 structurally characterized TFPs adopt the namesake "three-finger" topology. In male red-legged salamanders, the TFP pheromone Plethodontid Modulating Factor (PMF) is a hypervariable protein such that, through extensive gene duplication and pervasive sexual selection, individual male salamanders express more than 30 unique isoforms. However, it remained unclear how this accelerated evolution affected the protein structure of PMF. Using LC/MS-MS and multidimensional NMR, we report the 3D structure of the most abundant PMF isoform, PMF-G. The high resolution structural ensemble revealed a highly modified TFP structure, including a unique disulfide bonding pattern and loss of secondary structure, that define a novel protein topology with greater backbone flexibility in the third peptide finger. Sequence comparison, models of molecular evolution, and homology modeling together support that this flexible third finger is the most rapidly evolving segment of PMF. Combined with PMF sequence hypervariability, this structural flexibility may enhance the plasticity of PMF as a chemical signal by permitting potentially thousands of structural conformers. We propose that the flexible third finger plays a critical role in PMF:receptor interactions. As female receptors co-evolve, this flexibility may allow PMF to still bind its receptor(s) without the immediate need for complementary mutations. Consequently, this unique

  14. Understanding traffic dynamics at a backbone POP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taft, Nina; Bhattacharyya, Supratik; Jetcheva, Jorjeta; Diot, Christophe

    2001-07-01

    Spatial and temporal information about traffic dynamics is central to the design of effective traffic engineering practices for IP backbones. In this paper we study backbone traffic dynamics using data collected at a major POP on a tier-1 IP backbone. We develop a methodology that combines packet-level traces from access links in the POP and BGP routing information to build components of POP-to-POP traffic matrices. Our results show that there is wide disparity in the volume of traffic headed towards different egress POPs. At the same time, we find that current routing practices in the backbone tend to constrain traffic between ingress-egress POP pairs to a small number of paths. As a result, there is a wide variation in the utilization level of links in the backbone. Frequent capacity upgrades of the heavily used links are expensive; the need for such upgrades can be reduced by designing load balancing policies that will route more traffic over less utilized links. We identify traffic aggregates based on destination address prefixes and find that this set of criteria isolates a few aggregates that account for an overwhelmingly large portion of inter-POP traffic. We also demonstrate that these aggregates exhibit stability throughout the day on per-hour time scales, and thus they form a natural basis for splitting traffic over multiple paths in order to improve load balancing.

  15. Structural and dynamic implications of an effector-induced backbone amide cis-trans isomerization in cytochrome P450cam

    PubMed Central

    Asciutto, Eliana K.; Madura, Jeffry D.; Pochapsky, Susan Sondej; OuYang, Bo; Pochapsky, Thomas C.

    2009-01-01

    Experimental evidence has been provided for a functionally relevant cis-trans isomerization of the Ile 88-Pro 89 peptide bond in cytochrome P450cam (CYP101). The isomerization is proposed to be a key element of the structural reorganization leading to the catalytically competent form of CYP101 upon binding of the effector protein putidaredoxin (Pdx). A detailed comparison of the results of molecular dynamics simulations on the cis and trans conformations of substrate- and carbonmonoxy-bound ferrous CYP101 with sequence-specific Pdx-induced structural perturbations identified by nuclear magnetic resonance is presented, providing insight into the structural and dynamic consequences of the isomerization. The mechanical coupling between the Pdx binding site on the proximal face of CYP101 and the site of isomerization is described. PMID:19327368

  16. Solution Structure, Copper Binding and Backbone Dynamics of Recombinant Ber e 1–The Major Allergen from Brazil Nut

    PubMed Central

    Rundqvist, Louise; Tengel, Tobias; Zdunek, Janusz; Björn, Erik; Schleucher, Jürgen; Alcocer, Marcos J. C.; Larsson, Göran

    2012-01-01

    Background The 2S albumin Ber e 1 is the major allergen in Brazil nuts. Previous findings indicated that the protein alone does not cause an allergenic response in mice, but the addition of components from a Brazil nut lipid fraction were required. Structural details of Ber e 1 may contribute to the understanding of the allergenic properties of the protein and its potential interaction partners. Methodology/Principal Findings The solution structure of recombinant Ber e 1 was solved using NMR spectroscopy and measurements of the protein back bone dynamics at a residue-specific level were extracted using 15N-spin relaxation. A hydrophobic cavity was identified in the structure of Ber e 1. Using the paramagnetic relaxation enhancement property of Cu2+ in conjunction with NMR, it was shown that Ber e 1 is able to specifically interact with the divalent copper ion and the binding site was modeled into the structure. The IgE binding region as well as the copper binding site show increased dynamics on both fast ps-ns timescale as well as slower µs-ms timescale. Conclusions/Significance The overall fold of Ber e 1 is similar to other 2S albumins, but the hydrophobic cavity resembles that of a homologous non-specific lipid transfer protein. Ber e 1 is the first 2S albumin shown to interact with Cu2+ ions. This Cu2+ binding has minimal effect on the electrostatic potential on the surface of the protein, but the charge distribution within the hydrophobic cavity is significantly altered. As the hydrophobic cavity is likely to be involved in a putative lipid interaction the Cu2+ can in turn affect the interaction that is essential to provoke an allergenic response. PMID:23056307

  17. Drug screening strategy for human membrane proteins: from NMR protein backbone structure to in silica- and NMR-screened hits

    PubMed Central

    Lindert, Steffen; Maslennikov, Innokentiy; Chiu, Ellis; Pierce, Levi C; McCammon, J. Andrew; Choe, Senyon

    2015-01-01

    About 8,000 genes encode membrane proteins in the human genome. The information about their druggability will be very useful to facilitate drug discovery and development. The main problem, however, consists of limited structural and functional information about these proteins because they are difficult to produce biochemically and to study. In this paper we describe the strategy that combines Cell-free protein expression, NMR spectroscopy, and molecular DYnamics simulation (CNDY) techniques. Results of a pilot CNDY experiment provide us with a guiding light towards expedited identification of the hit compounds against a new uncharacterized membrane protein as a potentially druggable target. These hits can then be further characterized and optimized to develop the initial lead compound quicker. We illustrate such “omics” approach for drug discovery with the CNDY strategy applied to two example proteins: hypoxia-induced genes HIGD1A and HIGD1B. PMID:24525125

  18. Backbone dynamics in collagen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliev, Abil E.

    2004-11-01

    Peptide backbone motions of collagen have been extensively studied in the past. The experimental results were interpreted using a model of a collagen rod librating about its helix axis. Considering the size of the collagen molecule and the presence of cross-linked molecules, motional amplitudes derived for the helix axis libration were unusually high. Using solid-state NMR 13C chemical shift anisotropy and 2H quadrupolar lineshape analysis for five different isotope labelled collagens we show that motional averaging of the NMR interactions occurs primarily via small-angle librations about internal bond directions. This type of dynamics is compatible with both the presence of cross-links in collagen and the X-ray data, as well as dynamic models used for other proteins.

  19. The population genetics of structural variation

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Donald F; Hurles, Matthew E

    2009-01-01

    Population genetics is central to our understanding of human variation, and by linking medical and evolutionary themes, it enables us to understand the origins and impacts of our genomic differences. Despite current limitations in our knowledge of the locations, sizes and mutational origins of structural variants, our characterization of their population genetics is developing apace, bringing new insights into recent human adaptation, genome biology and disease. We summarize recent dramatic advances, describe the diverse mutational origins of chromosomal rearrangements and argue that their complexity necessitates a re-evaluation of existing population genetic methods. PMID:17597779

  20. Invariant variational structures on fibered manifolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krupka, Demeter

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this paper is to present a relatively complete theory of invariance of global, higher-order integral variational functionals in fibered spaces, as developed during a few past decades. We unify and extend recent results of the geometric invariance theory; new results on deformations of extremals are also included. We show that the theory can be developed by means of the general concept of invariance of a differential form in geometry, which does not require different ad hoc modifications. The concept applies to invariance of Lagrangians, source forms and Euler-Lagrange forms, as well as to extremals of the given variational functional. Equations for generators of invariance transformations of the Lagrangians and the Euler-Lagrange forms are characterized in terms of Lie derivatives. As a consequence of invariance, we derive the global Noether's theorem on existence of conserved currents along extremals, and discuss the meaning of conservation equations. We prove a theorem describing extremals, whose deformations by a vector field are again extremals. The general settings and structures we use admit extension of the global invariance theory to variational principles in physics, especially in field theory.

  1. Variational approach for static mirror structures

    SciTech Connect

    Kuznetsov, E. A.; Passot, T.; Sulem, P. L.; Ruban, V. P.

    2015-04-15

    Anisotropic static plasma equilibria where the parallel and perpendicular pressures are only functions of the amplitude of the local magnetic field are shown to be amenable to a variational principle with a free energy density given by the parallel tension. This approach is used to demonstrate that two-dimensional small-amplitude static magnetic holes constructed from a Grad-Shafranov type equation slightly below the (subcritical) mirror instability threshold identify with lump solitons of KPII equation, but turn out to be unstable. Differently, large-amplitude magnetic structures, which are stable as they realize a minimum of the free energy, are computed using a gradient method within two-dimensional numerical simulations where the regularizing effect of finite Larmor radius corrections is retained. Interestingly, these structures transform from stripes to bubbles when the angle of the magnetic field with the coordinate plane is increased.

  2. Human structural variation: mechanisms of chromosome rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    Weckselblatt, Brooke; Rudd, M. Katharine

    2015-01-01

    Chromosome structural variation (SV) is a normal part of variation in the human genome, but some classes of SV can cause neurodevelopmental disorders. Analysis of the DNA sequence at SV breakpoints can reveal mutational mechanisms and risk factors for chromosome rearrangement. Large-scale SV breakpoint studies have become possible recently owing to advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) including whole-genome sequencing (WGS). These findings have shed light on complex forms of SV such as triplications, inverted duplications, insertional translocations, and chromothripsis. Sequence-level breakpoint data resolve SV structure and determine how genes are disrupted, fused, and/or misregulated by breakpoints. Recent improvements in breakpoint sequencing have also revealed non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) between paralogous long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) or human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) repeats as a cause of deletions, duplications, and translocations. This review covers the genomic organization of simple and complex constitutional SVs, as well as the molecular mechanisms of their formation. PMID:26209074

  3. Dirac structures in Lagrangian mechanics Part II: Variational structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshimura, Hiroaki; Marsden, Jerrold E.

    2006-12-01

    Part I of this paper introduced the notion of implicit Lagrangian systems and their geometric structure was explored in the context of Dirac structures. In this part, we develop the variational structure of implicit Lagrangian systems. Specifically, we show that the implicit Euler-Lagrange equations can be formulated using an extended variational principle of Hamilton called the Hamilton-Pontryagin principle. This variational formulation incorporates, in a natural way, the generalized Legendre transformation, which enables one to treat degenerate Lagrangian systems. The definition of this generalized Legendre transformation makes use of natural maps between iterated tangent and cotangent spaces. Then, we develop an extension of the classical Lagrange-d'Alembert principle called the Lagrange-d'Alembert-Pontryagin principle for implicit Lagrangian systems with constraints and external forces. A particularly interesting case is that of nonholonomic mechanical systems that can have both constraints and external forces. In addition, we define a constrained Dirac structure on the constraint momentum space, namely the image of the Legendre transformation (which, in the degenerate case, need not equal the whole cotangent bundle). We construct an implicit constrained Lagrangian system associated with this constrained Dirac structure by making use of an Ehresmann connection. Two examples, namely a vertical rolling disk on a plane and an L- C circuit are given to illustrate the results.

  4. Mechanical reliability of porous low-k dielectrics for advanced interconnect: Study of the instability mechanisms in porous low-k dielectrics and their mediation through inert plasma induced re-polymerization of the backbone structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sa, Yoonki

    Continuous scaling down of critical dimensions in interconnect structures requires the use of ultralow dielectric constant (k) films as interlayer dielectrics to reduce resistance-capacitance delays. Porous carbon-doped silicon oxide (p-SiCOH) dielectrics have been the leading approach to produce these ultralow-k materials. However, embedding of porosity into dielectric layer necessarily decreases the mechanical reliability and increases its susceptibility to adsorption of potentially deleterious chemical species during device fabrication process. Among those, exposure of porous-SiCOH low-k (PLK) dielectrics to oxidizing plasma environment causes the increase in dielectric constant and their vulnerability to mechanical instability of PLKs due to the loss of methyl species and increase in moisture uptake. These changes in PLK properties and physical stability have been persisting challenges for next-generation interconnects because they are the sources of failure in interconnect integration as well as functional and physical failures appearing later in IC device manufacturing. It is therefore essential to study the fundamentals of the interactions on p-SiCOH matrix induced by plasma exposure and find an effective and easy-to-implement way to reverse such changes by repairing damage in PLK structure. From these perspectives, the present dissertation proposes 1) a fundamental understanding of structural transformation occurring during oxidative plasma exposure in PLK matrix structure and 2) its restoration by using silylating treatment, soft x-ray and inert Ar-plasma radiation, respectively. Equally important, 3) as an alternative way of increasing the thermo-mechanical reliability, PLK dielectric film with an intrinsically robust structure by controlling pore morphology is fabricated and investigated. Based on the investigations, stability of PLK films studied by time-dependent ball indentation tester under the elevated temperature, variation in film thickness and

  5. Chapter 6: Structural variation and medical genomics.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Benjamin J

    2012-01-01

    Differences between individual human genomes, or between human and cancer genomes, range in scale from single nucleotide variants (SNVs) through intermediate and large-scale duplications, deletions, and rearrangements of genomic segments. The latter class, called structural variants (SVs), have received considerable attention in the past several years as they are a previously under appreciated source of variation in human genomes. Much of this recent attention is the result of the availability of higher-resolution technologies for measuring these variants, including both microarray-based techniques, and more recently, high-throughput DNA sequencing. We describe the genomic technologies and computational techniques currently used to measure SVs, focusing on applications in human and cancer genomics.

  6. NMR structure determination of the Escherichia coli DnaJ molecular chaperone: secondary structure and backbone fold of the N-terminal region (residues 2-108) containing the highly conserved J domain.

    PubMed Central

    Szyperski, T; Pellecchia, M; Wall, D; Georgopoulos, C; Wüthrich, K

    1994-01-01

    DnaJ from Escherichia coli is a 376-amino acid protein that functions in conjunction with DnaK and GrpE as a chaperone machine. The N-terminal fragment of residues 2-108, DnaJ-(2-108), retains many of the activities of the full-length protein and contains a structural motif, the J domain of residues 2-72, which is highly conserved in a superfamily of proteins. In this paper, NMR spectroscopy was used to determine the secondary structure and the three-dimensional polypeptide backbone fold of DnaJ-(2-108). By using 13C/15N doubly labeled DnaJ-(2-108), nearly complete sequence-specific assignments were obtained for 1H, 15N, 13C alpha, and 13C beta, and about 40% of the peripheral aliphatic carbon resonances were also assigned. Four alpha-helices in polypeptide segments of residues 6-11, 18-31, 41-55, and 61-68 in the J domain were identified by sequential and medium-range nuclear Overhauser effects. For the J domain, the three-dimensional structure was calculated with the program DIANA from an input of 536 nuclear Overhauser effect upper-distance constraints and 52 spin-spin coupling constants. The polypeptide backbone fold is characterized by the formation of an antiparallel bundle of two long helices, residues 18-31 and 41-55, which is stabilized by a hydrophobic core of side chains that are highly conserved in homologous J domain sequences. The Gly/Phe-rich region from residues 77 to 108 is flexibly disordered in solution. Images PMID:7972061

  7. The "universal polymer backbone" concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollino, Joel Matthew

    This thesis begins with a brief analysis of the synthetic methodologies utilized in polymer science. A conclusion is drawn inferring that upper limits in molecular design are inevitable, arising as a direct consequence of the predominance of covalent strategies in the field. To address these concerns, the 'universal polymer backbone' (UPB) concept has been hypothesized. A UPB has been defined as any copolymer, side-chain functionalized with multiple recognition elements that are individually capable of forming strong, directional, and reversible non-covalent bonds. Non-covalent functionalization of these scaffolds can lead to the formation of a multitude of new polymer structures, each stemming from a single parent or 'universal polymer backbone'. To prepare such a UPB, isomerically pure exo-norbornene esters containing either a PdII SCS pincer complex or a diaminopyridine residue were synthesized, polymerized, and copolymerized via ROMP. All polymerizations were living under mild reaction conditions. Kinetic studies showed that the kp values are highly dependent upon the isomeric purity but completely independent of the terminal recognition units. Non-covalent functionalization of these copolymers was accomplished via (1) directed self-assembly, (2) multi-step self-assembly , and (3) one-step orthogonal self-assembly. This system shows complete specificity of each recognition motif for its complementary unit with no observable changes in the association constant upon functionalization. To explore potential applications of this UPB concept, random terpolymers possessing high concentrations of pendant alkyl chains and small amounts of recognition units were synthesized. Non-covalent crosslinking using a directed functionalization strategy resulted in dramatic increases in solution viscosities for metal crosslinked polymers with only minor changes in viscosity for hydrogen bonding motifs. The crosslinked materials were further functionalized via self-assembly by

  8. Backbone and side chain NMR assignment, along with the secondary structure prediction of RRM2 domain of La protein from a lower eukaryote exhibiting identical structural organization with its human homolog.

    PubMed

    Argyriou, Aikaterini I; Chasapis, Christos T; Apostolidi, Maria; Konstantinidou, Parthena; Stathopoulos, Constantinos; Bentrop, Detlef; Spyroulias, Georgios A

    2015-04-01

    The La protein (Lupus antigen), a key mediator during biogenesis of RNA polymerase III transcripts, contains a characteristic La motif and one or two RNA recognition motif (RRM) domains, depending on the organism of origin. The RRM1 domain is conserved in higher eukaryotes and located in the N-terminal region, whereas the C-terminal RRM2 domain is absent in most lower eukaryotes and its specific role remains, so far, uncharacterized. Here, we present the backbone and side-chain assignment of the (1)H, (13)C and (15)N resonances of RRM2 of La protein from Dictyostelium discoideum. Interestingly, the La protein in this lower eukaryote, exhibits high homology to its human counterpart. Moreover, it contains two RRM domains, instead of one, raising questions on its evolutionary origin and the putative role of RRM2 in vivo. We also provide its secondary structure as predicted by the TALOS+ online tool.

  9. A sampling approach for protein backbone fragment conformations.

    PubMed

    Yu, J Y; Zhang, W

    2013-01-01

    In protein structure prediction, backbone fragment bias information can narrow down the conformational space of the whole polypeptide chain significantly. Unlike existing methods that use fragments as building blocks, the paper presents a probabilistic sampling approach for protein backbone torsion angles by modelling angular correlation of (phi, psi) with a directional statistics distribution. Given a protein sequence and secondary structure information, this method samples backbone fragments conformations by using a backtrack sampling algorithm for the hidden Markov model with multiple inputs and a single output. The proposed approach is applied to a fragment library, and some well-known structural motifs are sampled very well on the optimal path. Computational results show that the method can help to obtain native-like backbone fragments conformations. PMID:23777175

  10. Analysis of the Rotational Structure in the High-Resolution Infrared Spectrum of trans-Hexatriene-1-13C1; a Semiexperimental Equilibrium Structure for the C6 Backbone for trans-Hexatriene

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Norman C.; Tian, Hengfeng; Blake, Thomas A.

    2012-03-29

    trans-Hexatriene-1-13C1 (tHTE-1-13C1) has been synthesized, and its high-resolution (0.0015 cm-1) infrared spectrum has been recorded. The rotational structure in the C-type bands for v26 at 1011 cm-1 and v30 at 894 cm-1 has been analyzed. To the 1458 ground state combination differences from these bands, ground state rotational constants were fitted to a Watson-type Hamiltonian to give A0 = 0.8728202(9), B0 = 0.0435868(4), and C0 = 0.0415314(2) cm-1. Upper state rotational constants for the v30 band were also fitted. Predictions of the ground state rotational constants for t-HTE-1-13C1 from a B3LYP/cc-pVTZ model with scale factors based on the normal species were in excellent agreement with observations. Similar good agreement was found between predicted and observed ground state rotational constants for the three 13C1 isotopologues of cis-hexatriene (cHTE), as determined from microwave spectroscopy. Equilibrium rotational constants for tHTE and its three 13C1 isotopologues, of which two were predicted, were used to find a semiexperimental equilibrium structure for the C6 backbone of tHTE. This structure shows increased structural effects of pi-electron delocalization in comparison with butadiene.

  11. Triazine-Based Sequence-Defined Polymers with Side-Chain Diversity and Backbone-Backbone Interaction Motifs.

    PubMed

    Grate, Jay W; Mo, Kai-For; Daily, Michael D

    2016-03-14

    Sequence control in polymers, well-known in nature, encodes structure and functionality. Here we introduce a new architecture, based on the nucleophilic aromatic substitution chemistry of cyanuric chloride, that creates a new class of sequence-defined polymers dubbed TZPs. Proof of concept is demonstrated with two synthesized hexamers, having neutral and ionizable side chains. Molecular dynamics simulations show backbone-backbone interactions, including H-bonding motifs and pi-pi interactions. This architecture is arguably biomimetic while differing from sequence-defined polymers having peptide bonds. The synthetic methodology supports the structural diversity of side chains known in peptides, as well as backbone-backbone hydrogen-bonding motifs, and will thus enable new macromolecules and materials with useful functions. PMID:26865312

  12. Mechanical reliability of porous low-k dielectrics for advanced interconnect: Study of the instability mechanisms in porous low-k dielectrics and their mediation through inert plasma induced re-polymerization of the backbone structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sa, Yoonki

    Continuous scaling down of critical dimensions in interconnect structures requires the use of ultralow dielectric constant (k) films as interlayer dielectrics to reduce resistance-capacitance delays. Porous carbon-doped silicon oxide (p-SiCOH) dielectrics have been the leading approach to produce these ultralow-k materials. However, embedding of porosity into dielectric layer necessarily decreases the mechanical reliability and increases its susceptibility to adsorption of potentially deleterious chemical species during device fabrication process. Among those, exposure of porous-SiCOH low-k (PLK) dielectrics to oxidizing plasma environment causes the increase in dielectric constant and their vulnerability to mechanical instability of PLKs due to the loss of methyl species and increase in moisture uptake. These changes in PLK properties and physical stability have been persisting challenges for next-generation interconnects because they are the sources of failure in interconnect integration as well as functional and physical failures appearing later in IC device manufacturing. It is therefore essential to study the fundamentals of the interactions on p-SiCOH matrix induced by plasma exposure and find an effective and easy-to-implement way to reverse such changes by repairing damage in PLK structure. From these perspectives, the present dissertation proposes 1) a fundamental understanding of structural transformation occurring during oxidative plasma exposure in PLK matrix structure and 2) its restoration by using silylating treatment, soft x-ray and inert Ar-plasma radiation, respectively. Equally important, 3) as an alternative way of increasing the thermo-mechanical reliability, PLK dielectric film with an intrinsically robust structure by controlling pore morphology is fabricated and investigated. Based on the investigations, stability of PLK films studied by time-dependent ball indentation tester under the elevated temperature, variation in film thickness and

  13. Child Development and Structural Variation in the Human Genome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Ying; Haraksingh, Rajini; Grubert, Fabian; Abyzov, Alexej; Gerstein, Mark; Weissman, Sherman; Urban, Alexander E.

    2013-01-01

    Structural variation of the human genome sequence is the insertion, deletion, or rearrangement of stretches of DNA sequence sized from around 1,000 to millions of base pairs. Over the past few years, structural variation has been shown to be far more common in human genomes than previously thought. Very little is currently known about the effects…

  14. Analysis of the rotational structure in the high-resolution infrared spectrum of trans-hexatriene-1-13C1: a semiexperimental equilibrium structure for the C6 backbone of trans-hexatriene.

    PubMed

    Craig, Norman C; Tian, Hengfeng; Blake, Thomas A

    2012-03-29

    trans-Hexatriene-1-(13)C(1) (tHTE-1-(13)C(1)) has been synthesized, and its high-resolution (0.0015 cm(-1)) infrared spectrum has been recorded. The rotational structure in the C-type bands for ν(26) at 1011 cm(-1) and ν(30) at 894 cm(-1) has been analyzed. To the 1458 ground state combination differences from these bands, ground state rotational constants were fitted to a Watson-type Hamiltonian to give A(0) = 0.8728202(9), B(0) = 0.0435868(4), and C(0) = 0.0415314(2) cm(-1). Upper state rotational constants for the ν(30) band were also fitted. Predictions of the ground state rotational constants for tHTE-1-(13)C(1) from a B3LYP/cc-pVTZ model with scale factors based on the normal species were in excellent agreement with observations. Similar good agreement was found between predicted and observed ground state rotational constants for the three (13)C(1) isotopologues of cis-hexatriene, as determined from microwave spectroscopy. Equilibrium rotational constants for tHTE and its three (13)C(1) isotopologues, of which two were predicted, were used to find a semiexperimental equilibrium structure for the C(6) backbone of tHTE. This structure shows increased structural effects of π-electron delocalization in comparison with butadiene and some differences from the cis isomer of HTE. Structures predicted with the MP2/cc-pVTZ model are also compared.

  15. Self-assembly of diphenylalanine backbone homologues and their combination with functionalized carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinesh, Bhimareddy; Squillaci, Marco A.; Ménard-Moyon, Cécilia; Samorì, Paolo; Bianco, Alberto

    2015-09-01

    The integration of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into organized nanostructures is of great interest for applications in materials science and biomedicine. In this work we studied the self-assembly of β and γ homologues of diphenylalanine peptides under different solvent and pH conditions. We aimed to investigate the role of peptide backbone in tuning the formation of different types of nanostructures alone or in combination with carbon nanotubes. In spite of having the same side chain, β and γ peptides formed distinctively different nanofibers, a clear indication of the role played by the backbone homologation on the self-assembly. The variation of the pH allowed to transform the nanofibers into spherical structures. Moreover, the co-assembly of β and γ peptides with carbon nanotubes covalently functionalized with the same peptide generated unique dendritic assemblies. This comparative study on self-assembly using diphenylalanine backbone homologues and of the co-assembly with CNT covalent conjugates is the first example exploring the capacity of β and γ peptides to adopt precise nanostructures, particularly in combination with carbon nanotubes. The dendritic organization obtained by mixing carbon nanotubes and peptides might find interesting applications in tissue engineering and neuronal interfacing.The integration of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into organized nanostructures is of great interest for applications in materials science and biomedicine. In this work we studied the self-assembly of β and γ homologues of diphenylalanine peptides under different solvent and pH conditions. We aimed to investigate the role of peptide backbone in tuning the formation of different types of nanostructures alone or in combination with carbon nanotubes. In spite of having the same side chain, β and γ peptides formed distinctively different nanofibers, a clear indication of the role played by the backbone homologation on the self-assembly. The variation of the pH allowed to

  16. ANSS Backbone Station Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeds, A.; McNamara, D.; Benz, H.; Gee, L.

    2006-12-01

    In this study we assess the ambient noise levels of the broadband seismic stations within the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) backbone network. The backbone consists of stations operated by the USGS as well as several regional network stations operated by universities. We also assess the improved detection capability of the network due to the installation of 13 additional backbone stations and the upgrade of 26 existing stations funded by the Earthscope initiative. This assessment makes use of probability density functions (PDF) of power spectral densities (PSD) (after McNamara and Buland, 2004) computed by a continuous noise monitoring system developed by the USGS- ANSS and the Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC). We compute the median and mode of the PDF distribution and rank the stations relative to the Peterson Low noise model (LNM) (Peterson, 1993) for 11 different period bands. The power of the method lies in the fact that there is no need to screen the data for system transients, earthquakes or general data artifacts since they map into a background probability level. Previous studies have shown that most regional stations, instrumented with short period or extended short period instruments, have a higher noise level in all period bands while stations in the US network have lower noise levels at short periods (0.0625-8.0 seconds), high frequencies (8.0- 0.125Hz). The overall network is evaluated with respect to accomplishing the design goals set for the USArray/ANSS backbone project which were intended to increase broadband performance for the national monitoring network.

  17. Variations in the Circumplex Structure of Mood.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldman, Lisa A.

    1995-01-01

    Researchers have emphasized the similarity of the semantic and self-report mood circumplexes. Study investigated systematic differences in theses structures. Demonstrated that when making judgments of their mood, people weigh the arousal dimension less than the valence dimension. Dimensions are weighed equally in semantic structure. (JBJ)

  18. Evolution of functional nucleic acids in the presence of nonheritable backbone heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Trevino, Simon G; Zhang, Na; Elenko, Mark P; Lupták, Andrej; Szostak, Jack W

    2011-08-16

    Multiple lines of evidence support the hypothesis that the early evolution of life was dominated by RNA, which can both transfer information from generation to generation through replication directed by base-pairing, and carry out biochemical activities by folding into functional structures. To understand how life emerged from prebiotic chemistry we must therefore explain the steps that led to the emergence of the RNA world, and in particular, the synthesis of RNA. The generation of pools of highly pure ribonucleotides on the early Earth seems unlikely, but the presence of alternative nucleotides would support the assembly of nucleic acid polymers containing nonheritable backbone heterogeneity. We suggest that homogeneous monomers might not have been necessary if populations of heterogeneous nucleic acid molecules could evolve reproducible function. For such evolution to be possible, function would have to be maintained despite the repeated scrambling of backbone chemistry from generation to generation. We have tested this possibility in a simplified model system, by using a T7 RNA polymerase variant capable of transcribing nucleic acids that contain an approximately 11 mixture of deoxy- and ribonucleotides. We readily isolated nucleotide-binding aptamers by utilizing an in vitro selection process that shuffles the order of deoxy- and ribonucleotides in each round. We describe two such RNA/DNA mosaic nucleic acid aptamers that specifically bind ATP and GTP, respectively. We conclude that nonheritable variations in nucleic acid backbone structure may not have posed an insurmountable barrier to the emergence of functionality in early nucleic acids.

  19. Structure-activity study for (bis)ureidopropyl- and (bis)thioureidopropyldiamine LSD1 inhibitors with 3-5-3 and 3-6-3 carbon backbone architectures

    PubMed Central

    Nowotarski, Shannon L.; Pachaiyappan, Boobalan; Holshouser, Steven L.; Kutz, Craig J.; Li, Youxuan; Huang, Yi; Sharma, Shiv K.; Casero, Robert A.; Woster, Patrick M.

    2015-01-01

    Methylation at specific histone lysine residues is a critical post-translational modification that alters chromatin architecture, and dysregulated lysine methylation/demethylation is associated with the silencing of tumor suppressor genes. The enzyme lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) complexed to specific transcription factors catalyzes the oxidative demethylation of mono- and dimethyllysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4me and H3K4me2 respectively). We have previously reported potent (bis)urea and (bis)thiourea LSD1 inhibitors that increase cellular levels of H3K4me and H3K4me2, promote the re-expression of silenced tumor suppressor genes and suppress tumor growth in vitro. Here we report the design additional (bis)urea and (bis)thiourea LSD1 inhibitors that feature 3-5-3 or 3-6-3 carbon backbone architectures. Three of these compounds displayed single-digit IC50 values in a recombinant LSD1 assay. In addition, compound 6d exhibited an IC50 of 4.2 μM against the Calu-6 human lung adenocarcinoma line, and 4.8 μM against the MCF7 breast tumor cell line, in an MTS cell viability assay. Following treatment with 6b–6d, Calu-6 cells exhibited a significant increase in the mRNA expression for the silenced tumor suppressor genes SFRP2, HCAD and p16, and modest increases in GATA4 message. The compounds described in this paper represent the most potent epigenetic modulators in this series, and have potential for use as antitumor agents. PMID:25725609

  20. The backbone of a city

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scellato, S.; Cardillo, A.; Latora, V.; Porta, S.

    2006-03-01

    Recent studies have revealed the importance of centrality measures to analyze various spatial factors affecting human life in cities. Here we show how it is possible to extract the backbone of a city by deriving spanning trees based on edge betweenness and edge information. By using as sample cases the cities of Bologna and San Francisco, we show how the obtained trees are radically different from those based on edge lengths, and allow an extended comprehension of the “skeleton” of most important routes that so much affects pedestrian/vehicular flows, retail commerce vitality, land-use separation, urban crime and collective dynamical behaviours.

  1. Algorithm of detecting structural variations in DNA sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nałecz-Charkiewicz, Katarzyna; Nowak, Robert

    2014-11-01

    Whole genome sequencing enables to use the longest common subsequence algorithm to detect genetic structure variations. We propose to search position of short unique fragments, genetic markers, to achieve acceptable time and space complexity. The markers are generated by algorithms searching the genetic sequence or its Fourier transformation. The presented methods are checked on structural variations generated in silico on bacterial genomes giving the comparable or better results than other solutions.

  2. Identification of random variation in structures and their parameter estimates.

    SciTech Connect

    Farrar, C. R.; Aumann, R. J.; McCarty, A. A.; Olson, C. C.

    2002-01-01

    Structures that are members of an ensemble of nominally identical systems actually differ due to variations in details among individuals. Furthermore, there are variations in the system response of an individual structure that can be attributed to unmeasured conditions (such as temperature and humidity) that are present during experiments. Finally, noise is present in all measurements of structural excitations and responses. For these reasons, there is always random variation associated with the characterizations of structural dynamic systems, and descriptions of results must be in statistical or probabilistic terms;. This study identifies and assesses the sources and the degrees of randomness in a metric of structural dynamics of a given system through experiments and analysis.

  3. Nonlinear backbone torsional pair correlations in proteins

    PubMed Central

    Long, Shiyang; Tian, Pu

    2016-01-01

    Protein allostery requires dynamical structural correlations. Physical origin of which, however, remain elusive despite intensive studies during last two and half decades. Based on analysis of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories for ten proteins with different sizes and folds, we found that nonlinear backbone torsional pair (BTP) correlations, which are mainly spatially long-ranged and are dominantly executed by loop residues, exist extensively in most analyzed proteins. Examination of torsional motion for correlated BTPs suggested that such nonlinear correlations are mainly associated aharmonic torsional state transitions and in some cases strongly anisotropic local torsional motion of participating torsions, and occur on widely different and relatively longer time scales. In contrast, correlations between backbone torsions in stable α helices and β strands are mainly linear and spatially short-ranged, and are more likely to associate with harmonic local torsional motion. Further analysis revealed that the direct cause of nonlinear contributions are heterogeneous linear correlations. These findings implicate a general search strategy for novel allosteric modulation sites of protein activities. PMID:27708342

  4. Nonlinear backbone torsional pair correlations in proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Shiyang; Tian, Pu

    2016-10-01

    Protein allostery requires dynamical structural correlations. Physical origin of which, however, remain elusive despite intensive studies during last two and half decades. Based on analysis of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories for ten proteins with different sizes and folds, we found that nonlinear backbone torsional pair (BTP) correlations, which are mainly spatially long-ranged and are dominantly executed by loop residues, exist extensively in most analyzed proteins. Examination of torsional motion for correlated BTPs suggested that such nonlinear correlations are mainly associated aharmonic torsional state transitions and in some cases strongly anisotropic local torsional motion of participating torsions, and occur on widely different and relatively longer time scales. In contrast, correlations between backbone torsions in stable α helices and β strands are mainly linear and spatially short-ranged, and are more likely to associate with harmonic local torsional motion. Further analysis revealed that the direct cause of nonlinear contributions are heterogeneous linear correlations. These findings implicate a general search strategy for novel allosteric modulation sites of protein activities.

  5. Self-assembly of diphenylalanine backbone homologues and their combination with functionalized carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Dinesh, Bhimareddy; Squillaci, Marco A; Ménard-Moyon, Cécilia; Samorì, Paolo; Bianco, Alberto

    2015-10-14

    The integration of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into organized nanostructures is of great interest for applications in materials science and biomedicine. In this work we studied the self-assembly of β and γ homologues of diphenylalanine peptides under different solvent and pH conditions. We aimed to investigate the role of peptide backbone in tuning the formation of different types of nanostructures alone or in combination with carbon nanotubes. In spite of having the same side chain, β and γ peptides formed distinctively different nanofibers, a clear indication of the role played by the backbone homologation on the self-assembly. The variation of the pH allowed to transform the nanofibers into spherical structures. Moreover, the co-assembly of β and γ peptides with carbon nanotubes covalently functionalized with the same peptide generated unique dendritic assemblies. This comparative study on self-assembly using diphenylalanine backbone homologues and of the co-assembly with CNT covalent conjugates is the first example exploring the capacity of β and γ peptides to adopt precise nanostructures, particularly in combination with carbon nanotubes. The dendritic organization obtained by mixing carbon nanotubes and peptides might find interesting applications in tissue engineering and neuronal interfacing.

  6. Peptide Amphiphile Nanofibers with Conjugated Polydiacetylene Backbones in Their Core

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Lorraine; Cvetanovich, Gregory L.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2008-01-01

    The coupling of electronic and biological functionality through self-assembly is an interesting target in supramolecular chemistry. We report here on a set of diacetylene-derivatized peptide amphiphiles (PAs) that react to form conjugated polydiacetylene backbones following self-assembly into cylindrical nanofibers. The polymerization reaction yields highly conjugated backbones when the peptidic segment of the PAs has a linear, as opposed to a branched, architecture. Given the topotactic nature of the polymerization, these results suggest that a high degree of internal order exists in the supramolecular nanofibers formed by the linear PA. On the basis of microscopy, the formation of a polydiacetylene backbone to covalently connect the β-sheets that help form the fibers does not disrupt the fiber shape. Interestingly, we observe the appearance of a polydiacetylene (PDA) circular dichroism band at 547 nm in linear PA nanofibers suggesting the conjugated backbone in the core of the nanostructures is twisted. We believe this CD signal is due to chiral induction by the β-sheets, which are normally twisted in helical fashion. Heating and cooling shows simultaneous changes in β-sheet and conjugated backbone structure, indicating they are both correlated. At the same time, poor polymerization in nanofibers formed by branched PAs indicates that less internal order exists in these nanostructures and, as expected, then a circular dichroism signal is not observed for the conjugated backbone. The general variety of materials investigated here has the obvious potential to couple electronic properties and in vitro bioactivity. Furthermore, the polymerization of monomers in peptide amphiphile assemblies by a rigid conjugated backbone also leads to mechanical robustness and insolubility, two properties that may be important for the patterning of these materials at the cellular scale. PMID:18314978

  7. 1H, 15N, and 13C backbone chemical shift assignments, secondary structure, and magnesium-binding characteristics of the Bacillus subtilis response regulator, Spo0F, determined by heteronuclear high-resolution NMR.

    PubMed Central

    Feher, V. A.; Zapf, J. W.; Hoch, J. A.; Dahlquist, F. W.; Whiteley, J. M.; Cavanagh, J.

    1995-01-01

    Spo0F, sporulation stage 0 F protein, a 124-residue protein responsible, in part, for regulating the transition of Bacillus subtilis from a vegetative state to a dormant endospore, has been studied by high-resolution NMR. The 1H, 15N, and 13C chemical shift assignments for the backbone residues have been determined from analyses of 3D spectra, 15N TOCSY-HSQC, 15N NOESY-HSQC, HNCA, and HN(CO)CA. Assignments for many sidechain proton resonances are also reported. The secondary structure, inferred from short- and medium-range NOEs, 3JHN alpha coupling constants, and hydrogen exchange patterns, define a topology consistent with a doubly wound (alpha/beta)5 fold. Interestingly, comparison of the secondary structure of Spo0F to the structure of the Escherichia coli response regulator, chemotaxis Y protein (CheY) (Volz K, Matsumura P, 1991, J Biol Chem 266:15511-15519; Bruix M et al., 1993, Eur J Biochem 215:573-585), show differences in the relative length of secondary structure elements that map onto a single face of the tertiary structure of CheY. This surface may define a region of binding specificity for response regulators. Magnesium titration of Spo0F, followed by amide chemical shift changes, gives an equilibrium dissociation constant of 20 +/- 5 mM. Amide resonances most perturbed by magnesium binding are near the putative site of phosphorylation, Asp 54. PMID:8528078

  8. Past, Present, and Future Variations in Community College Organizational Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Underwood, James C.; Hammons, James O.

    1999-01-01

    Presents the results of a 1991 survey of 118 community college presidents, which elicited details about how their colleges were organized five years prior to and in 1991, as well as their preferred organization structures for the future. Reports variations in structure by three college size categories (enrollment levels) and indicates significant…

  9. A Variational Monte Carlo Approach to Atomic Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Stephen L.

    2007-01-01

    The practicality and usefulness of variational Monte Carlo calculations to atomic structure are demonstrated. It is found to succeed in quantitatively illustrating electron shielding, effective nuclear charge, l-dependence of the orbital energies, and singlet-tripetenergy splitting and ionization energy trends in atomic structure theory.

  10. Thin Films Formed from Conjugated Polymers with Ionic, Water-Soluble Backbones.

    PubMed

    Voortman, Thomas P; Chiechi, Ryan C

    2015-12-30

    This paper compares the morphologies of films of conjugated polymers in which the backbone (main chain) and pendant groups are varied between ionic/hydrophilic and aliphatic/hydrophobic. We observe that conjugated polymers in which the pendant groups and backbone are matched, either ionic-ionic or hydrophobic-hydrophobic, form smooth, structured, homogeneous films from water (ionic) or tetrahydrofuran (hydrophobic). Mismatched conjugated polymers, by contrast, form inhomogeneous films with rough topologies. The polymers with ionic backbone chains are conjugated polyions (conjugated polymers with closed-shell charges in the backbone), which are semiconducting materials with tunable bad-gaps, not unlike uncharged conjugated polymers.

  11. Adding Diverse Noncanonical Backbones to Rosetta: Enabling Peptidomimetic Design

    PubMed Central

    Craven, Timothy W.; Butterfoss, Glenn L.; Chou, Fang-Chieh; Lyskov, Sergey; Bullock, Brooke N.; Watkins, Andrew; Labonte, Jason W.; Pacella, Michael; Kilambi, Krishna Praneeth; Leaver-Fay, Andrew; Kuhlman, Brian; Gray, Jeffrey J.; Bradley, Philip; Kirshenbaum, Kent; Arora, Paramjit S.; Das, Rhiju; Bonneau, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Peptidomimetics are classes of molecules that mimic structural and functional attributes of polypeptides. Peptidomimetic oligomers can frequently be synthesized using efficient solid phase synthesis procedures similar to peptide synthesis. Conformationally ordered peptidomimetic oligomers are finding broad applications for molecular recognition and for inhibiting protein-protein interactions. One critical limitation is the limited set of design tools for identifying oligomer sequences that can adopt desired conformations. Here, we present expansions to the ROSETTA platform that enable structure prediction and design of five non-peptidic oligomer scaffolds (noncanonical backbones), oligooxopiperazines, oligo-peptoids, -peptides, hydrogen bond surrogate helices and oligosaccharides. This work is complementary to prior additions to model noncanonical protein side chains in ROSETTA. The main purpose of our manuscript is to give a detailed description to current and future developers of how each of these noncanonical backbones was implemented. Furthermore, we provide a general outline for implementation of new backbone types not discussed here. To illustrate the utility of this approach, we describe the first tests of the ROSETTA molecular mechanics energy function in the context of oligooxopiperazines, using quantum mechanical calculations as comparison points, scanning through backbone and side chain torsion angles for a model peptidomimetic. Finally, as an example of a novel design application, we describe the automated design of an oligooxopiperazine that inhibits the p53-MDM2 protein-protein interaction. For the general biological and bioengineering community, several noncanonical backbones have been incorporated into web applications that allow users to freely and rapidly test the presented protocols (http://rosie.rosettacommons.org). This work helps address the peptidomimetic community's need for an automated and expandable modeling tool for noncanonical

  12. New insights about pilus formation in gut-adapted Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG from the crystal structure of the SpaA backbone-pilin subunit

    PubMed Central

    Chaurasia, Priyanka; Pratap, Shivendra; von Ossowski, Ingemar; Palva, Airi; Krishnan, Vengadesan

    2016-01-01

    Thus far, all solved structures of pilin-proteins comprising sortase-assembled pili are from pathogenic genera and species. Here, we present the first crystal structure of a pilin subunit (SpaA) from a non-pathogen host (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG). SpaA consists of two tandem CnaB-type domains, each with an isopeptide bond and E-box motif. Intriguingly, while the isopeptide bond in the N-terminal domain forms between lysine and asparagine, the one in the C-terminal domain atypically involves aspartate. We also solved crystal structures of mutant proteins where residues implicated in forming isopeptide bonds were replaced. Expectedly, the E-box-substituted E139A mutant lacks an isopeptide bond in the N-terminal domain. However, the C-terminal E269A substitution gave two structures; one of both domains with their isopeptide bonds present, and another of only the N-terminal domain, but with an unformed isopeptide bond and significant conformational changes. This latter crystal structure has never been observed for any other Gram-positive pilin. Notably, the C-terminal isopeptide bond still forms in D295N-substituted SpaA, irrespective of E269 being present or absent. Although E-box mutations affect SpaA proteolytic and thermal stability, a cumulative effect perturbing normal pilus polymerization was unobserved. A model showing the polymerized arrangement of SpaA within the SpaCBA pilus is proposed. PMID:27349405

  13. Bats aloft: Variation in echolocation call structure at high altitudes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bats alter their echolocation calls in response to changes in ecological and behavioral conditions, but little is known about how they adjust their call structure in response to changes in altitude. This study examines altitudinal variation in the echolocation calls of Brazilian free-tailed bats, T...

  14. New Tests for Variations of the Fine Structure Constant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prestage, John D.

    1995-01-01

    We describe a new test for possible variations of the fine structure constant, by comparisons of rates between clocks based on hyperfine transitions in alkali atomos with different atomic number Z. H- maser, Cs and Hg+ clocks have a different dependence on ia relativistic contributions of order (Z. Recent H-maser vs Hg+ clock comparison data improves laboratory limits on a time variation by 100-fold to giveFuture laser cooled clocks (Be+, Rb, Cs, Hg+, etc.), when compared, will yield the most senstive of all tests for.

  15. Free backbone carbonyls mediate rhodopsin activation.

    PubMed

    Kimata, Naoki; Pope, Andreyah; Sanchez-Reyes, Omar B; Eilers, Markus; Opefi, Chikwado A; Ziliox, Martine; Reeves, Philip J; Smith, Steven O

    2016-08-01

    Conserved prolines in the transmembrane helices of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are often considered to function as hinges that divide the helix into two segments capable of independent motion. Depending on their potential to hydrogen-bond, the free C=O groups associated with these prolines can facilitate conformational flexibility, conformational switching or stabilization of the receptor structure. To address the role of conserved prolines in family A GPCRs through solid-state NMR spectroscopy, we focus on bovine rhodopsin, a GPCR in the visual receptor subfamily. The free backbone C=O groups on helices H5 and H7 stabilize the inactive rhodopsin structure through hydrogen-bonds to residues on adjacent helices. In response to light-induced isomerization of the retinal chromophore, hydrogen-bonding interactions involving these C=O groups are released, thus facilitating repacking of H5 and H7 onto the transmembrane core of the receptor. These results provide insights into the multiple structural and functional roles of prolines in membrane proteins. PMID:27376589

  16. Time variation of the fine structure constant driven by quintessence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anchordoqui, Luis; Goldberg, Haim

    2003-10-01

    There are indications from the study of quasar absorption spectra that the fine structure constant α may have been measurably smaller for redshifts z>2. Analyses of other data (149Sm fission rate for the Oklo natural reactor, variation of 187Re β-decay rate in meteorite studies, atomic clock measurements) which probe variations of α in the more recent past imply much smaller deviations from its present value. In this work we tie the variation of α to the evolution of the quintessence field proposed by Albrecht and Skordis, and show that agreement with all these data, as well as consistency with Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe observations, can be achieved for a range of parameters. Some definite predictions follow for upcoming space missions searching for violations of the equivalence principle.

  17. Major Variations in HIV-1 Capsid Assembly Morphologies Involve Minor Variations in Molecular Structures of Structurally Ordered Protein Segments.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jun-Xia; Bayro, Marvin J; Tycko, Robert

    2016-06-17

    We present the results of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments on HIV-1 capsid protein (CA) assemblies with three different morphologies, namely wild-type CA (WT-CA) tubes with 35-60 nm diameters, planar sheets formed by the Arg(18)-Leu mutant (R18L-CA), and R18L-CA spheres with 20-100 nm diameters. The experiments are intended to elucidate molecular structural variations that underlie these variations in CA assembly morphology. We find that multidimensional solid state NMR spectra of (15)N,(13)C-labeled CA assemblies are remarkably similar for the three morphologies, with only small differences in (15)N and (13)C chemical shifts, no significant differences in NMR line widths, and few differences in the number of detectable NMR cross-peaks. Thus, the pronounced differences in morphology do not involve major differences in the conformations and identities of structurally ordered protein segments. Instead, morphological variations are attributable to variations in conformational distributions within disordered segments, which do not contribute to the solid state NMR spectra. Variations in solid state NMR signals from certain amino acid side chains are also observed, suggesting differences in the intermolecular dimerization interface between curved and planar CA lattices, as well as possible differences in intramolecular helix-helix packing. PMID:27129282

  18. Latitudinal variation in population structure of wintering Pacific Black Brant

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schamber, J.L.; Sedinger, J.S.; Ward, D.H.; Hagmeier, K.R.

    2007-01-01

    Latitudinal variation in population structure during the winter has been reported in many migratory birds, but has been documented in few species of waterfowl. Variation in environmental and social conditions at wintering sites can potentially influence the population dynamics of differential migrants. We examined latitudinal variation in sex and age classes of wintering Pacific Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans). Brant are distributed along a wide latitudinal gradient from Alaska to Mexico during the winter. Accordingly, migration distances for brant using different wintering locations are highly variable and winter settlement patterns are likely associated with a spatially variable food resource. We used resightings of brant banded in southwestern Alaska to examine sex and age ratios of birds wintering at Boundary Bay in British Columbia, and at San Quintin Bay, Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, and San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California from 1998 to 2000. Sex ratios were similar among wintering locations for adults and were consistent with the mating strategy of geese. The distribution of juveniles varied among wintering areas, with greater proportions of juveniles observed at northern (San Quintin Bay and Ojo de Liebre Lagoon) than at southern (San Ignacio Lagoon) locations in Baja California. We suggest that age-related variation in the winter distribution of Pacific Black Brant is mediated by variation in productivity among individuals at different wintering locations and by social interactions among wintering family groups.

  19. Computation-Guided Backbone Grafting of a Discontinuous Motif onto a Protein Scaffold

    SciTech Connect

    Azoitei, Mihai L.; Correia, Bruno E.; Ban, Yih-En Andrew; Carrico, Chris; Kalyuzhniy, Oleksandr; Chen, Lei; Schroeter, Alexandria; Huang, Po-Ssu; McLellan, Jason S.; Kwong, Peter D.; Baker, David; Strong, Roland K.; Schief, William R.

    2012-02-07

    The manipulation of protein backbone structure to control interaction and function is a challenge for protein engineering. We integrated computational design with experimental selection for grafting the backbone and side chains of a two-segment HIV gp120 epitope, targeted by the cross-neutralizing antibody b12, onto an unrelated scaffold protein. The final scaffolds bound b12 with high specificity and with affinity similar to that of gp120, and crystallographic analysis of a scaffold bound to b12 revealed high structural mimicry of the gp120-b12 complex structure. The method can be generalized to design other functional proteins through backbone grafting.

  20. Geographic variation in salt marsh structure and function.

    PubMed

    McCall, Brittany D; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

    We examined geographic variation in the structure and function of salt marsh communities along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Focusing on the arthropod community in the dominant salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora, we tested two hypotheses: first, that marsh community structure varies geographically, and second, that two aspects of marsh function (response to eutrophication and addition of dead plant material) also vary geographically. We worked at eleven sites on the Gulf Coast and eleven sites on the Atlantic Coast, dividing each coast up into two geographic areas. Abiotic conditions (tidal range, soil organic content, and water content, but not soil salinity), plant variables (Spartina nitrogen content, height, cover of dead plant material, but not live Spartina percent cover or light interception), and arthropod variables (proportional abundances of predators, sucking herbivores, stem-boring herbivores, parasitoids, and detritivores, but not total arthropod numbers) varied among the four geographic regions. Latitude and mean tidal range explained much of this geographic variation. Nutrient enrichment increased all arthropod functional groups in the community, consistent with previous experimental results, and had similar effects in all geographic regions, contrary to our hypothesis, suggesting widespread consistency in this aspect of ecosystem function. The addition of dead plant material had surprisingly little effect on the arthropod community. Our results caution against the uncritical extrapolation of work done in one geographic region to another, but indicate that some aspects of marsh function may operate in similar ways in different geographic regions, despite spatial variation in community structure. PMID:22614261

  1. Exercise: The Backbone of Spine Treatment

    MedlinePlus

    Exercise: The Backbone of Spine Treatment | View Video Back About Video Struggling with Low Back Pain? Many people are surprised to learn that carefully selected exercise can actually reduce back pain. Some exercises can ...

  2. Controls-structures integrated design optimization with shape variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koganti, Gopichand; Hou, Gene

    1993-01-01

    The shape design variables have been introduced into the set of design variables of the Controls-Structure Integrated (CSI) Design of space-structures. The importance of the shape variations in improving the design (obtained with only control and sizing variables) has been aptly illustrated. Two different types of design variables that describe the shape variations of the structure have been introduced. In the first case, the nodal coordinates have been considered as design variables. This has the inherent difficulty of having too many design variables. This not only is time consuming but also memory intensive and may not yield a manufacturable shape to the structure. The second approach has been introduced to overcome this difficulty. The structure is allowed to vary in a particular pre defined pattern. The coefficients of these patterns are considered as the shape design variables. The eigenvalue and eigenvector sensitivity equations with respect to these coefficient design variables have been developed and are used to approximate the eigenvalues and eigenvectors in a perturbed design.

  3. Post-translational heterocyclic backbone modifications in the 43-peptide antibiotic microcin B17. Structure elucidation and NMR study of a 13C,15N-labelled gyrase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Bayer, A; Freund, S; Jung, G

    1995-12-01

    Microcin B17 (McB17), the first known gyrase inhibitor of peptidic nature, is produced by ribosomal synthesis and post-translational modification of the 69-residue precursor protein by an Escherichia coli strain. To elucidate the chemical structure of the mature 43-residue peptide antibiotic, fermentation and purification protocols were established and optimized which allowed the isolation and purification of substantial amounts of highly pure McB17 (non-labelled, 15N-labelled and 13C/15N-labelled peptide. By ultraviolet-absorption spectroscopy. HPLC-electrospray mass spectrometry and GC-mass spectrometry, amino acid analysis, protein sequencing, and, in particular, multidimensional NMR, we could demonstrate and unequivocally prove that the enzymic modification of the precursor backbone at Gly-Cys and Gly-Ser segments leads to the formation of 2-aminomethylthiazole-4-carboxylic acid and 2-aminomethyloxazole-4-carboxylic acid, respectively. In addition, two bicyclic modifications 2-(2-aminomethyloxazolyl)thiazole-4-carboxylic acid and 2-(2-aminomethylthiazolyl)oxazole-4-carboxylic acid were found that consist of directly linked thiazole and oxazole rings derived from one Gly-Ser-Cys and one Gly-Cys-Ser segment. Analogous to the thiazole and oxazole rings found in antitumor peptides of microbial and marine origin, these heteroaromatic ring systems of McB17 presumably play an important role in its gyrase-inhibiting activity, e.g. interacting with the DNA to trap the covalent protein-DNA intermediate of the breakage-reunion reaction of the gyrase.

  4. Variational structure of inverse problems in wave propagation and vibration

    SciTech Connect

    Berryman, J.G.

    1995-03-01

    Practical algorithms for solving realistic inverse problems may often be viewed as problems in nonlinear programming with the data serving as constraints. Such problems are most easily analyzed when it is possible to segment the solution space into regions that are feasible (satisfying all the known constraints) and infeasible (violating some of the constraints). Then, if the feasible set is convex or at least compact, the solution to the problem will normally lie on the boundary of the feasible set. A nonlinear program may seek the solution by systematically exploring the boundary while satisfying progressively more constraints. Examples of inverse problems in wave propagation (traveltime tomography) and vibration (modal analysis) will be presented to illustrate how the variational structure of these problems may be used to create nonlinear programs using implicit variational constraints.

  5. Massively parallel sequencing approaches for characterization of structural variation.

    PubMed

    Koboldt, Daniel C; Larson, David E; Chen, Ken; Ding, Li; Wilson, Richard K

    2012-01-01

    The emergence of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies offers an incredible opportunity to comprehensively study DNA sequence variation in human genomes. Commercially available platforms from Roche (454), Illumina (Genome Analyzer and Hiseq 2000), and Applied Biosystems (SOLiD) have the capability to completely sequence individual genomes to high levels of coverage. NGS data is particularly advantageous for the study of structural variation (SV) because it offers the sensitivity to detect variants of various sizes and types, as well as the precision to characterize their breakpoints at base pair resolution. In this chapter, we present methods and software algorithms that have been developed to detect SVs and copy number changes using massively parallel sequencing data. We describe visualization and de novo assembly strategies for characterizing SV breakpoints and removing false positives.

  6. Recurrent somatic structural variations contribute to tumorigenesis in pediatric osteosarcoma.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiang; Bahrami, Armita; Pappo, Alberto; Easton, John; Dalton, James; Hedlund, Erin; Ellison, David; Shurtleff, Sheila; Wu, Gang; Wei, Lei; Parker, Matthew; Rusch, Michael; Nagahawatte, Panduka; Wu, Jianrong; Mao, Shenghua; Boggs, Kristy; Mulder, Heather; Yergeau, Donald; Lu, Charles; Ding, Li; Edmonson, Michael; Qu, Chunxu; Wang, Jianmin; Li, Yongjin; Navid, Fariba; Daw, Najat C; Mardis, Elaine R; Wilson, Richard K; Downing, James R; Zhang, Jinghui; Dyer, Michael A

    2014-04-10

    Pediatric osteosarcoma is characterized by multiple somatic chromosomal lesions, including structural variations (SVs) and copy number alterations (CNAs). To define the landscape of somatic mutations in pediatric osteosarcoma, we performed whole-genome sequencing of DNA from 20 osteosarcoma tumor samples and matched normal tissue in a discovery cohort, as well as 14 samples in a validation cohort. Single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) exhibited a pattern of localized hypermutation called kataegis in 50% of the tumors. We identified p53 pathway lesions in all tumors in the discovery cohort, nine of which were translocations in the first intron of the TP53 gene. Beyond TP53, the RB1, ATRX, and DLG2 genes showed recurrent somatic alterations in 29%-53% of the tumors. These data highlight the power of whole-genome sequencing for identifying recurrent somatic alterations in cancer genomes that may be missed using other methods. PMID:24703847

  7. Atomic Clocks and Variations of the FIne Structure Constant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prestage, John D.; Tjoelker, Robert L.; Maleki, Lute

    1995-01-01

    We describe a new test for possible variations of the fine structure constant alpha by comparisons of rates between clocks based on hyperfine transitions in alkali atoms with different atomic number Z. H-maser, Cs, and Hg(+) clocks have a different dependence on alpha via relativistic contributions of order (Z-alpha)(sup 2). Recent H-maser vs Hg(+) clock comparison data improve laboratory limits on a time variation by 100-fold to give dot-alpha less than or equal to 3.7 x 10(exp -14)/yr. Future laser cooled clocks (Be(+), Rb, Cs, Hg(+), etc.), when compared, will yield the most sensitive of all tests for dot-alpha/alpha.

  8. Increasing Sequence Diversity with Flexible Backbone Protein Design: The Complete Redesign of a Protein Hydrophobic Core

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, Grant S.; Mills, Jeffrey L.; Miley, Michael J.; Machius, Mischa; Szyperski, Thomas; Kuhlman, Brian

    2015-10-15

    Protein design tests our understanding of protein stability and structure. Successful design methods should allow the exploration of sequence space not found in nature. However, when redesigning naturally occurring protein structures, most fixed backbone design algorithms return amino acid sequences that share strong sequence identity with wild-type sequences, especially in the protein core. This behavior places a restriction on functional space that can be explored and is not consistent with observations from nature, where sequences of low identity have similar structures. Here, we allow backbone flexibility during design to mutate every position in the core (38 residues) of a four-helix bundle protein. Only small perturbations to the backbone, 12 {angstrom}, were needed to entirely mutate the core. The redesigned protein, DRNN, is exceptionally stable (melting point >140C). An NMR and X-ray crystal structure show that the side chains and backbone were accurately modeled (all-atom RMSD = 1.3 {angstrom}).

  9. Variation in Community Structure across Vertical Intertidal Stress Gradients: How Does It Compare with Horizontal Variation at Different Scales?

    PubMed Central

    Valdivia, Nelson; Scrosati, Ricardo A.; Molis, Markus; Knox, Amanda S.

    2011-01-01

    In rocky intertidal habitats, the pronounced increase in environmental stress from low to high elevations greatly affects community structure, that is, the combined measure of species identity and their relative abundance. Recent studies have shown that ecological variation also occurs along the coastline at a variety of spatial scales. Little is known, however, on how vertical variation compares with horizontal variation measured at increasing spatial scales (in terms of sampling interval). Because broad-scale processes can generate geographical patterns in community structure, we tested the hypothesis that vertical ecological variation is higher than fine-scale horizontal variation but lower than broad-scale horizontal variation. To test this prediction, we compared the variation in community structure across intertidal elevations on rocky shores of Helgoland Island with independent estimates of horizontal variation measured at the scale of patches (quadrats separated by 10s of cm), sites (quadrats separated by a few m), and shores (quadrats separated by 100s to 1000s of m). The multivariate analyses done on community structure supported our prediction. Specifically, vertical variation was significantly higher than patch- and site-scale horizontal variation but lower than shore-scale horizontal variation. Similar patterns were found for the variation in abundance of foundation taxa such as Fucus spp. and Mastocarpus stellatus, suggesting that the effects of these canopy-forming algae, known to function as ecosystem engineers, may explain part of the observed variability in community structure. Our findings suggest that broad-scale processes affecting species performance increase ecological variability relative to the pervasive fine-scale patchiness already described for marine coasts and the well known variation caused by vertical stress gradients. Our results also indicate that experimental research aiming to understand community structure on marine shores

  10. Trabecular bone structural variation throughout the human lower limb.

    PubMed

    Saers, Jaap P P; Cazorla-Bak, Yasmin; Shaw, Colin N; Stock, Jay T; Ryan, Timothy M

    2016-08-01

    Trabecular bone is responsive to mechanical loading, and thus may be a useful tool for interpreting past behaviour from fossil morphology. However, the ability to meaningfully interpret variation in archaeological and hominin trabecular morphology depends on the extent to which trabecular bone properties are integrated throughout the postcranium or are locally variable in response to joint specific loading. We investigate both of these factors by comparing trabecular bone throughout the lower limb between a group of highly mobile foragers and two groups of sedentary agriculturalists. Trabecular bone structure is quantified in four volumes of interest placed within the proximal and distal joints of the femur and tibia. We determine how trabecular structures correspond to inferred behavioural differences between populations and whether the patterns are consistent throughout the limb. A significant correlation was found between inferred mobility level and trabecular bone structure in all volumes of interest along the lower limb. The greater terrestrial mobility of foragers is associated with higher bone volume fraction, and thicker and fewer trabeculae (lower connectivity density). In all populations, bone volume fraction decreases while anisotropy increases proximodistally throughout the lower limb. This observation mirrors reductions in cortical bone mass resulting from proximodistal limb tapering. The reduction in strength associated with reduced bone volume fraction may be compensated for by the increased anisotropy in the distal tibia. A similar pattern of trabecular structure is found throughout the lower limb in all populations, upon which a signal of terrestrial mobility appears to be superimposed. These results support the validity of using lower limb trabecular bone microstructure to reconstruct terrestrial mobility levels from the archaeological and fossil records. The results further indicate that care should be taken to appreciate variation resulting from

  11. fastSTRUCTURE: variational inference of population structure in large SNP data sets.

    PubMed

    Raj, Anil; Stephens, Matthew; Pritchard, Jonathan K

    2014-06-01

    Tools for estimating population structure from genetic data are now used in a wide variety of applications in population genetics. However, inferring population structure in large modern data sets imposes severe computational challenges. Here, we develop efficient algorithms for approximate inference of the model underlying the STRUCTURE program using a variational Bayesian framework. Variational methods pose the problem of computing relevant posterior distributions as an optimization problem, allowing us to build on recent advances in optimization theory to develop fast inference tools. In addition, we propose useful heuristic scores to identify the number of populations represented in a data set and a new hierarchical prior to detect weak population structure in the data. We test the variational algorithms on simulated data and illustrate using genotype data from the CEPH-Human Genome Diversity Panel. The variational algorithms are almost two orders of magnitude faster than STRUCTURE and achieve accuracies comparable to those of ADMIXTURE. Furthermore, our results show that the heuristic scores for choosing model complexity provide a reasonable range of values for the number of populations represented in the data, with minimal bias toward detecting structure when it is very weak. Our algorithm, fastSTRUCTURE, is freely available online at http://pritchardlab.stanford.edu/structure.html.

  12. Seismic velocity structure variation along northern Izu-Bonin arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obana, K.; Kamiya, S.; Kodaira, S.; Suetsugu, D.; Takahashi, N.; Takahashi, T.; Tamura, Y.; Sakaguchi, H.

    2009-12-01

    The Izu-Bonin Island arc is an intra-oceanic island arc, where the Pacific plate subducts beneath the Philippine Sea plate. Recent active seismic surveys in the Izu-Bonin arc show significant variations in thickness of the middle crust along the volcanic front [Kodaira et al, 2007]. To understand the crustal evolution in the oceanic island arc, we have to clarify structures in the mantle wedge along the arc in addition to the oceanic island arc crust. We conducted seismicity observations to investigate structure variations in northern Izu-Bonin arc using natural earthquakes. A temporal ocean bottom seismograph (OBS) network consists of 40 pop-up type OBSs was deployed in April 2006 between Tori-shima and Hachijo-jima islands. These OBSs were retrieved in July after about 80-day observations. We used continuous seismic data at 36 OBSs and three F-net and Hi-net seismic stations on Hachijo-jima and Aoga-shima islands operated by National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention. During the OBS observations, more than 4000 earthquakes were observed by the OBSs. First, we modeled 1-D velocity structure using the VELEST [Kissling et al., 1995]. We used 325 earthquakes of which both P- and S-wave arrivals observed at 10 or more stations and occurred within the OBS network. The number of arrival data is 5382 and 5764 for P- and S-wave arrival, respectively. Then, we estimated 3-D velocity structure using the method by Kamiya and Kobayashi [2007]. The result of the 1-D velocity modeling was used for the initial model in the 3-D velocity tomography. We used about 2000 earthquakes for the 3-D tomography. The number of P- and S-wave arrivals are about 23000 and 26000, respectively. The 3-D velocity model indicates heterogeneous structures in the mantle along the arc. Low velocity anomalies down to the subducting slab beneath the volcanic front correspond to thicker parts of the arc crust around Hachijo-jima and Sumisu-jima islands. The low velocity

  13. Mapping the backbone of science.

    SciTech Connect

    Klavans, Richard; BÞorner, Katy; Boyack, Kevin W.

    2004-11-01

    This paper presents a new map representing the structure of all of science, based on journal articles, including both the natural and social sciences. Similar to cartographic maps of our world, the map of science provides a bird's eye view of today's scientific landscape. It can be used to visually identify major areas of science, their size, similarity, and interconnectedness. In order to be useful, the map needs to be accurate on a local and on a global scale. While our recent work has focused on the former aspect, this paper summarizes results on how to achieve structural accuracy. Eight alternative measures of journal similarity were applied to a data set of 7,121 journals covering over 1 million documents in the combined Science Citation and Social Science Citation Indexes. For each journal similarity measure we generated two-dimensional spatial layouts using the force-directed graph layout tool, VxOrd. Next, mutual information values were calculated for each graph at different clustering levels to give a measure of structural accuracy for each map. The best co-citation and inter-citation maps according to local and structural accuracy were selected and are presented and characterized. These two maps are compared to establish robustness. The inter-citation map is then used to examine linkages between disciplines. Biochemistry appears as the most interdisciplinary discipline in science.

  14. Structural variation of chromosomes in autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Christian R; Noor, Abdul; Vincent, John B; Lionel, Anath C; Feuk, Lars; Skaug, Jennifer; Shago, Mary; Moessner, Rainald; Pinto, Dalila; Ren, Yan; Thiruvahindrapduram, Bhooma; Fiebig, Andreas; Schreiber, Stefan; Friedman, Jan; Ketelaars, Cees E J; Vos, Yvonne J; Ficicioglu, Can; Kirkpatrick, Susan; Nicolson, Rob; Sloman, Leon; Summers, Anne; Gibbons, Clare A; Teebi, Ahmad; Chitayat, David; Weksberg, Rosanna; Thompson, Ann; Vardy, Cathy; Crosbie, Vicki; Luscombe, Sandra; Baatjes, Rebecca; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Roberts, Wendy; Fernandez, Bridget; Szatmari, Peter; Scherer, Stephen W

    2008-02-01

    Structural variation (copy number variation [CNV] including deletion and duplication, translocation, inversion) of chromosomes has been identified in some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the full etiologic role is unknown. We performed genome-wide assessment for structural abnormalities in 427 unrelated ASD cases via single-nucleotide polymorphism microarrays and karyotyping. With microarrays, we discovered 277 unbalanced CNVs in 44% of ASD families not present in 500 controls (and re-examined in another 1152 controls). Karyotyping detected additional balanced changes. Although most variants were inherited, we found a total of 27 cases with de novo alterations, and in three (11%) of these individuals, two or more new variants were observed. De novo CNVs were found in approximately 7% and approximately 2% of idiopathic families having one child, or two or more ASD siblings, respectively. We also detected 13 loci with recurrent/overlapping CNV in unrelated cases, and at these sites, deletions and duplications affecting the same gene(s) in different individuals and sometimes in asymptomatic carriers were also found. Notwithstanding complexities, our results further implicate the SHANK3-NLGN4-NRXN1 postsynaptic density genes and also identify novel loci at DPP6-DPP10-PCDH9 (synapse complex), ANKRD11, DPYD, PTCHD1, 15q24, among others, for a role in ASD susceptibility. Our most compelling result discovered CNV at 16p11.2 (p = 0.002) (with characteristics of a genomic disorder) at approximately 1% frequency. Some of the ASD regions were also common to mental retardation loci. Structural variants were found in sufficiently high frequency influencing ASD to suggest that cytogenetic and microarray analyses be considered in routine clinical workup. PMID:18252227

  15. Geographic variation and genetic structure in Spotted Owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haig, Susan M.; Wagner, R.S.; Forsman, E.D.; Mullins, Thomas D.

    2001-01-01

    We examined genetic variation, population structure, and definition of conservation units in Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis). Spotted Owls are mostly non-migratory, long-lived, socially monogamous birds that have decreased population viability due to their occupation of highly-fragmented late successional forests in western North America. To investigate potential effects of habitat fragmentation on population structure, we used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to examine genetic variation hierarchically among local breeding areas, subregional groups, regional groups, and subspecies via sampling of 21 breeding areas (276 individuals) among the three subspecies of Spotted Owls. Data from 11 variable bands suggest a significant relationship between geographic distance among local breeding groups and genetic distance (Mantel r = 0.53, P < 0.02) although multi-dimensional scaling of three significant axes did not identify significant grouping at any hierarchical level. Similarly, neighbor-joining clustering of Manhattan distances indicated geographic structure at all levels and identified Mexican Spotted Owls as a distinct clade. RAPD analyses did not clearly differentiate Northern Spotted Owls from California Spotted Owls. Among Northern Spotted Owls, estimates of population differentiation (FST) ranged from 0.27 among breeding areas to 0.11 among regions. Concordantly, within-group agreement values estimated via multi-response permutation procedures of Jaccarda??s distances ranged from 0.22 among local sites to 0.11 among regions. Pairwise comparisons of FST and geographic distance within regions suggested only the Klamath region was in equilibrium with respect to gene flow and genetic drift. Merging nuclear data with recent mitochondrial data provides support for designation of an Evolutionary Significant Unit for Mexican Spotted Owls and two overlapping Management Units for Northern and California Spotted Owls.

  16. Statistical Analysis of RNA Backbone

    PubMed Central

    Hershkovitz, Eli; Sapiro, Guillermo; Tannenbaum, Allen; Williams, Loren Dean

    2009-01-01

    Local conformation is an important determinant of RNA catalysis and binding. The analysis of RNA conformation is particularly difficult due to the large number of degrees of freedom (torsion angles) per residue. Proteins, by comparison, have many fewer degrees of freedom per residue. In this work, we use and extend classical tools from statistics and signal processing to search for clusters in RNA conformational space. Results are reported both for scalar analysis, where each torsion angle is separately studied, and for vectorial analysis, where several angles are simultaneously clustered. Adapting techniques from vector quantization and clustering to the RNA structure, we find torsion angle clusters and RNA conformational motifs. We validate the technique using well-known conformational motifs, showing that the simultaneous study of the total torsion angle space leads to results consistent with known motifs reported in the literature and also to the finding of new ones. PMID:17048391

  17. The challenges and importance of structural variation detection in livestock

    PubMed Central

    Bickhart, Derek M.; Liu, George E.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in humans and other model organisms have demonstrated that structural variants (SVs) comprise a substantial proportion of variation among individuals of each species. Many of these variants have been linked to debilitating diseases in humans, thereby cementing the importance of refining methods for their detection. Despite progress in the field, reliable detection of SVs still remains a problem even for human subjects. Many of the underlying problems that make SVs difficult to detect in humans are amplified in livestock species, whose lower quality genome assemblies and incomplete gene annotation can often give rise to false positive SV discoveries. Regardless of the challenges, SV detection is just as important for livestock researchers as it is for human researchers, given that several productive traits and diseases have been linked to copy number variations (CNVs) in cattle, sheep, and pig. Already, there is evidence that many beneficial SVs have been artificially selected in livestock such as a duplication of the agouti signaling protein gene that causes white coat color in sheep. In this review, we will list current SV and CNV discoveries in livestock and discuss the problems that hinder routine discovery and tracking of these polymorphisms. We will also discuss the impacts of selective breeding on CNV and SV frequencies and mention how SV genotyping could be used in the future to improve genetic selection. PMID:24600474

  18. Morphological structure and variations of lumbar plexus in human fetuses.

    PubMed

    Yasar, Soner; Kaya, Serdar; Temiz, Cağlar; Tehli, Ozkan; Kural, Cahit; Izci, Yusuf

    2014-04-01

    The objective of this study is to study the anatomy of lumbar plexus on human fetuses and to establish its morphometric characteristics and differences compared with adults. Twenty lumbar plexus of 10 human fetal cadavers in different gestational ages and genders were dissected. Lumbar spinal nerves, ganglions, and peripheral nerves were exposed. Normal anatomical structure and variations of lumbar plexus were investigated and morphometric analyses were performed. The diameters of lumbar spinal nerves increased from L1 to L4. The thickest nerve forming the plexus was femoral nerve, the thinnest was ilioinguinal nerve, the longest nerve through posterior abdominal wall was iliohypogastric nerve, and the shortest nerve was femoral nerve. Each plexus had a single furcal nerve and this arose from L4 nerve in all fetuses. No prefix or postfix plexus variation was observed. In two plexuses, L1 nerve was in the form of a single branch. Also, in two plexuses, genitofemoral nerve arose only from L2 nerve. Accessory obturator nerve was observed in four plexuses. According to these findings, the morphological pattern of the lumbar plexus in the fetus was found to be very similar to the lumbar plexus in adults. PMID:22696243

  19. Insights into structural variations and genome rearrangements in prokaryotic genomes.

    PubMed

    Periwal, Vinita; Scaria, Vinod

    2015-01-01

    Structural variations (SVs) are genomic rearrangements that affect fairly large fragments of DNA. Most of the SVs such as inversions, deletions and translocations have been largely studied in context of genetic diseases in eukaryotes. However, recent studies demonstrate that genome rearrangements can also have profound impact on prokaryotic genomes, leading to altered cell phenotype. In contrast to single-nucleotide variations, SVs provide a much deeper insight into organization of bacterial genomes at a much better resolution. SVs can confer change in gene copy number, creation of new genes, altered gene expression and many other functional consequences. High-throughput technologies have now made it possible to explore SVs at a much refined resolution in bacterial genomes. Through this review, we aim to highlight the importance of the less explored field of SVs in prokaryotic genomes and their impact. We also discuss its potential applicability in the emerging fields of synthetic biology and genome engineering where targeted SVs could serve to create sophisticated and accurate genome editing.

  20. Evolution of polymer photovoltaic performances from subtle chemical structure variations.

    PubMed

    Yan, Han; Li, Denghua; Lu, Kun; Zhu, Xiangwei; Zhang, Yajie; Yang, Yanlian; Wei, Zhixiang

    2012-11-21

    Conjugated polymers are promising replacements for their inorganic counterparts in photovoltaics due to their low cost, ease of processing, and straightforward thin film formation. New materials have been able to improve the power conversion efficiency of photovoltaic cells up to 8%. However, rules for rational material design are still lacking, and subtle chemical structure variations usually result in large performance discrepancies. The present paper reports a detailed study on the crystalline structure, morphology, and in situ optoelectronic properties of blend films of polythiophene derivatives and [6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester by changing the alkyl side chain length and position of polythiophene. The correlation among the molecular structure, mesoscopic morphology, mesoscopic optoelectronic property and macroscopic device performance (highest efficiency above 4%) was directly established. Both solubility and intermolecular interactions should be considered in rational molecular design. Knowledge obtained from this study can aid the selection of appropriate processing conditions that improve blend film morphology, charge transport property, and overall solar cell efficiency. PMID:23042235

  1. Evolution of polymer photovoltaic performances from subtle chemical structure variations.

    PubMed

    Yan, Han; Li, Denghua; Lu, Kun; Zhu, Xiangwei; Zhang, Yajie; Yang, Yanlian; Wei, Zhixiang

    2012-11-21

    Conjugated polymers are promising replacements for their inorganic counterparts in photovoltaics due to their low cost, ease of processing, and straightforward thin film formation. New materials have been able to improve the power conversion efficiency of photovoltaic cells up to 8%. However, rules for rational material design are still lacking, and subtle chemical structure variations usually result in large performance discrepancies. The present paper reports a detailed study on the crystalline structure, morphology, and in situ optoelectronic properties of blend films of polythiophene derivatives and [6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester by changing the alkyl side chain length and position of polythiophene. The correlation among the molecular structure, mesoscopic morphology, mesoscopic optoelectronic property and macroscopic device performance (highest efficiency above 4%) was directly established. Both solubility and intermolecular interactions should be considered in rational molecular design. Knowledge obtained from this study can aid the selection of appropriate processing conditions that improve blend film morphology, charge transport property, and overall solar cell efficiency.

  2. Symplectic structures related with higher order variational problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kijowski, Jerzy; Moreno, Giovanni

    2015-06-01

    In this paper, we derive the symplectic framework for field theories defined by higher order Lagrangians. The construction is based on the symplectic reduction of suitable spaces of iterated jets. The possibility of reducing a higher order system of partial differential equations to a constrained first-order one, the symplectic structures naturally arising in the dynamics of a first-order Lagrangian theory, and the importance of the Poincaré-Cartan form for variational problems, are all well-established facts. However, their adequate combination corresponding to higher order theories is missing in the literature. Here we obtain a consistent and truly finite-dimensional canonical formalism, as well as a higher order version of the Poincaré-Cartan form. In our exposition, the rigorous global proofs of the main results are always accompanied by their local coordinate descriptions, indispensable to work out practical examples.

  3. Temperature variation of the structure factor of liquid helium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isihara, A.

    1981-07-01

    The temperature variation of the structure factor S( q) of liquid helium follows S(q) = h̷2q 2{{1 + 2f(ɛ)}}/{2}mɛ , where f(ɛ) is the Bose distribution function of the quasiparticles of energy ɛ( q). For very low temperatures, the formula predicts that S( q) increases linearly with q starting from a constant, S(0) = {kT}/{mc 2}. This trend changes at temperatures higher than T I = {c h̷}/{k}√24δ 1, where δ 1 is the coefficient to q2 of the energy dispersion relation. Therefore, above around 2.78 K, a minimum of S( q) is expected. These theoretical predictions are in good agreement with the recent experimental data of Sears, Svensson, Woods and Martel based on neutron diffraction and of Hallock obtained by X-ray scattering.

  4. Computing Lagrangian coherent structures from their variational theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farazmand, Mohammad; Haller, George

    2012-03-01

    Using the recently developed variational theory of hyperbolic Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs), we introduce a computational approach that renders attracting and repelling LCSs as smooth, parametrized curves in two-dimensional flows. The curves are obtained as trajectories of an autonomous ordinary differential equation for the tensor lines of the Cauchy-Green strain tensor. This approach eliminates false positives and negatives in LCS detection by separating true exponential stretching from shear in a frame-independent fashion. Having an explicitly parametrized form for hyperbolic LCSs also allows for their further in-depth analysis and accurate advection as material lines. We illustrate these results on a kinematic model flow and on a direct numerical simulation of two-dimensional turbulence.

  5. Altitude Variations of the Peak Auroral Emissions within Auroral Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangalli, L.

    2015-12-01

    The MIRACLE network monitors auroral activity in the Fennoscandian sector of Europe. Network stations cover the range of 55° to 57° magnetic latitude North and span two hours in magnetic local time. Some of the MIRACLE network stations include digital all-sky cameras (ASC) with overlapping field-of-views located at the latitude aurora occurs. The ASCs in this network operate at three different wavelengths: 427.8 nm (blue line), 557.7 nm (green line) and 630.0 nm (red line). These wavelengths are selected using narrow band filters. The new ASC systems are based on electron multiplying CCDs (emCCD), which allow higher time and spatial resolutions. The peak auroral emission altitude is determined using two ASC images from a station pair. Different auroral events are used to evaluate the altitude variations of the peak auroral emissions within auroral structures and its evolution in time.

  6. Temporal Variations in the Vertical Structure of Jupiter's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanover, Nancy Janet

    1997-11-01

    We present models of Jupiter's center-to-limb reflectivity at wavelengths ranging from the near-ultraviolet to the near-infrared, the largest wavelength range ever used in such an analysis. In particular, we modeled center-to-limb scans of four latitudes using a multi-layered model of Jupiter's atmospheric vertical structure. Modeling Jupiter's center-to-limb reflectivity in methane absorption bands of different strengths allows us to probe the optical depths of the different gas layers. Modeling at continuum wavelengths yields information about the haze and cloud layers. The imaging data were collected using the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 meter telescope, the New Mexico State University 0.6 meter telescope, and the Hubble Space Telescope. Our standard model for the jovian atmospheric structure consists of two cloud decks and a stratospheric haze layer, all interleaved with aerosol-free gas layers. The radiative transfer code uses a doubling adding algorithm that performs a gradient search of the parameter space using a linearization of the fitting function. We added new opacity sources and the associated calculations to an existing program to adapt the model to our extended wavelength range. The model was also used to fit reflectivity variations of the convective plumes and adjacent dark regions in the north Equatorial Zone, at the latitude of the Galileo Probe entry. We find that the recovery time of Jupiter's atmosphere after a convective disturbance can be as long as seven years. Episodic events such as a South Equatorial Belt Disturbance can result in a variation in the ammonia cloud single scattering albedo and the optical depth of the stratospheric haze layer. Access to near-infrared wavelengths has allowed us to characterize the variability of the stratosphere for the first time. The stratospheric haze layer has its highest extent (not including the polar regions) above the northern Equatorial Zone. Active convection is likely the source of at least some

  7. Extensive Natural Variation in Arabidopsis Seed Mucilage Structure

    PubMed Central

    Voiniciuc, Cătălin; Zimmermann, Eva; Schmidt, Maximilian Heinrich-Wilhelm; Günl, Markus; Fu, Lanbao; North, Helen M.; Usadel, Björn

    2016-01-01

    Hydrated Arabidopsis thaliana seeds are coated by a gelatinous layer called mucilage, which is mainly composed of cell wall polysaccharides. Since mucilage is rich in pectin, its architecture can be visualized with the ruthenium red (RR) dye. We screened the seeds of around 280 Arabidopsis natural accessions for variation in mucilage structure, and identified a large number of novel variants that differed from the Col-0 wild-type. Most of the accessions released smaller RR-stained capsules compared to the Col-0 reference. By biochemically characterizing the phenotypes of 25 of these accessions in greater detail, we discovered that distinct changes in polysaccharide structure resulted in gelatinous coatings with a deceptively similar appearance. Monosaccharide composition analysis of total mucilage extracts revealed a remarkable variation (from 50 to 200% of Col-0 levels) in the content of galactose and mannose, which are important subunits of heteromannan. In addition, most of the natural variants had altered Pontamine Fast Scarlet 4B staining of cellulose and significantly reduced birefringence of crystalline structures. This indicates that the production or organization of cellulose may be affected by the presence of different amounts of hemicellulose. Although, the accessions described in this study were primarily collected from Western Europe, they form five different phenotypic classes based on the combined results of our experiments. This suggests that polymorphisms at multiple loci are likely responsible for the observed mucilage structure. The transcription of MUCILAGE-RELATED10 (MUCI10), which encodes a key enzyme for galactoglucomannan synthesis, was severely reduced in multiple variants that phenocopied the muci10-1 insertion mutant. Although, we could not pinpoint any causal polymorphisms in this gene, constitutive expression of fluorescently-tagged MUCI10 proteins complemented the mucilage defects of a muci10-like accession. This leads us to

  8. Crustal structure variations along the Lesser Antilles Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlaphorst, D.; Kendall, J. M.; Melekhova, E.; Blundy, J.; Baptie, B.; Latchman, J. L.

    2013-12-01

    Continental crust is predominantly formed along subduction zones. Therefore, an investigation of the crustal and mantle structure variation of these areas is crucial for understanding the growth of continental crust. This work deals with the seismological characteristics along the Lesser Antilles Arc, an island arc system built by the relatively slow subduction (~2cm/yr) of the North and South American plates beneath the Caribbean plate. The amount of subducted sediments changes significantly from sediment-rich subduction in the South to sediment-poor subduction in the North. The abundance of broadband seismic stations on the Lesser Antilles islands enables a range of seismic methods to be used to study arc processes. Furthermore, the abundance of cumulate samples allows for a detailed petrological analysis, which can be related to the seismological patterns. We use data from three component broadband stations located on the individual islands along the arc. From the island of Grenada in the South to the Virgin Islands in the North significant variations in sediment load, petrology and volcanism are observed along the arc. In this work, we investigate crustal structure using receiver functions to determine Moho depth and Vp/Vs ratio. The ratio gives an idea about the material of the subsurface as well as its water and its melt contents. The receiver functions are computed using the extended-time multitaper frequency domain cross-correlation receiver-function (ETMTRF) by Helffrich (2006). This method has the advantage of resistance to noise, which is helpful since most of the data around the arc will have been collected by stations close to the ocean, thus containing a large amount of noise. Our results show clear variations in these measurements. There are also regions where the Moho is not very sharp due to a low velocity contrast. The real data results were then compared to synthetic receiver functions from subsurface models. We compute a range of synthetic

  9. WDM backbone network with guaranteed performance planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Peng; Sheng, Wang; Zhong, Xusi; Li, Lemin

    2005-11-01

    Wavelength-Division multiplexing (WDM), which allows a single fibre to carry multiple signals simultaneously, has been widely used to increase link capacity and is a promising technology in backbone transport network. But designing such WDM backbone network is hard for two reasons, one is the uncertainty of future traffic demand, the other is difficulty of planning of the backup resource for failure conditions. As a result, enormous amount of link capacity for the network has to be provided for the network. Recently, a new approach called Valiant Load-Balanced Scheme (VLBS) has been proposed to design the WDM backbone network. The network planned by Valiant Load-Balanced Scheme is insensitive to the traffic and continues to guarantee performance under a user defined number of link or node failures. In this paper, the Valiant Load-Balanced Scheme (VLBS) for backbone network planning has been studied and a new Valiant Load-Balanced Scheme has been proposed. Compared with the early work, the new Valiant Load-Balanced Scheme is much more general and can be used for the computation of the link capacity of both homogeneous and heterogeneous networks. The abbreviation for the general Valiant Load-Balanced Scheme is GVLBS. After a brief description of the VLBS, we will give the detail derivation of the GVLBS. The central concept of the derivation of GVLBS is transforming the heterogeneous network into a homogeneous network, and taking advantage of VLBS to get GVLBS. Such transformation process is described and the derivation and analysis of GVLBS for link capacity under normal and failure conditions is also given. The numerical results show that GVLBS can compute the minimum link capacity required for the heterogeneous backbone network under different conditions (normal or failure).

  10. Vertical variations in the turbulent structure over vineyards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alfieri, J. G.; Kustas, W. P.; Prueger, J. H.; Hipps, L.

    2015-12-01

    Due to their highly-structured canopy, turbulent characteristics within and above vineyards, may not conform to those exhibited by other agricultural and natural ecosystems. As a result, the current generation of land surface models may not adequately describe the turbulent exchange of heat and moisture between the atmosphere and the surface over vineyards. Using data collected during 2014 as a part of the Grape Remote Sensing Atmospheric Profiling and Evapotranspiration Experiment (GRAPEX), an ongoing multi-agency field campaign conducted in the Central Valley of California, this study sought to characterize the variations in the turbulent structure over vineyards. Focusing on unstable daytime conditions, the study compared the turbulent structure at three above-canopy heights: 2.5 m, 3.75 m, and 8 m, agl. Both wavelet and Fourier-based spectral analysis of the wind velocity components indicates a strong tendency for the spectral peak to broaden and shift to lower frequencies as the measurement height increases. Also, beginning with the highest-frequency eddies, the turbulent structure at differing heights become increasingly decoupled as the distance between the measurements increases. In other terms, eddies contributing to a measurement at one height act independently of similarly-sized eddies at another height. As a result, the overall correlation between the turbulent flows measured at differing heights decreases exponential with increasing separation distance. While this effect was seen for all of the periods analyzed, the magnitude of the effect does appear to vary in response to the direction of the wind relative to the vineyard rows.

  11. Primate genome architecture influences structural variation mechanisms and functional consequences.

    PubMed

    Gokcumen, Omer; Tischler, Verena; Tica, Jelena; Zhu, Qihui; Iskow, Rebecca C; Lee, Eunjung; Fritz, Markus Hsi-Yang; Langdon, Amy; Stütz, Adrian M; Pavlidis, Pavlos; Benes, Vladimir; Mills, Ryan E; Park, Peter J; Lee, Charles; Korbel, Jan O

    2013-09-24

    Although nucleotide resolution maps of genomic structural variants (SVs) have provided insights into the origin and impact of phenotypic diversity in humans, comparable maps in nonhuman primates have thus far been lacking. Using massively parallel DNA sequencing, we constructed fine-resolution genomic structural variation maps in five chimpanzees, five orang-utans, and five rhesus macaques. The SV maps, which are comprised of thousands of deletions, duplications, and mobile element insertions, revealed a high activity of retrotransposition in macaques compared with great apes. By comparison, nonallelic homologous recombination is specifically active in the great apes, which is correlated with architectural differences between the genomes of great apes and macaque. Transcriptome analyses across nonhuman primates and humans revealed effects of species-specific whole-gene duplication on gene expression. We identified 13 gene duplications coinciding with the species-specific gain of tissue-specific gene expression in keeping with a role of gene duplication in the promotion of diversification and the acquisition of unique functions. Differences in the present day activity of SV formation mechanisms that our study revealed may contribute to ongoing diversification and adaptation of great ape and Old World monkey lineages.

  12. Primate genome architecture influences structural variation mechanisms and functional consequences

    PubMed Central

    Gokcumen, Omer; Tischler, Verena; Tica, Jelena; Zhu, Qihui; Iskow, Rebecca C.; Lee, Eunjung; Fritz, Markus Hsi-Yang; Langdon, Amy; Stütz, Adrian M.; Pavlidis, Pavlos; Benes, Vladimir; Mills, Ryan E.; Park, Peter J.; Lee, Charles; Korbel, Jan O.

    2013-01-01

    Although nucleotide resolution maps of genomic structural variants (SVs) have provided insights into the origin and impact of phenotypic diversity in humans, comparable maps in nonhuman primates have thus far been lacking. Using massively parallel DNA sequencing, we constructed fine-resolution genomic structural variation maps in five chimpanzees, five orang-utans, and five rhesus macaques. The SV maps, which are comprised of thousands of deletions, duplications, and mobile element insertions, revealed a high activity of retrotransposition in macaques compared with great apes. By comparison, nonallelic homologous recombination is specifically active in the great apes, which is correlated with architectural differences between the genomes of great apes and macaque. Transcriptome analyses across nonhuman primates and humans revealed effects of species-specific whole-gene duplication on gene expression. We identified 13 gene duplications coinciding with the species-specific gain of tissue-specific gene expression in keeping with a role of gene duplication in the promotion of diversification and the acquisition of unique functions. Differences in the present day activity of SV formation mechanisms that our study revealed may contribute to ongoing diversification and adaptation of great ape and Old World monkey lineages. PMID:24014587

  13. Modeling (15)N NMR chemical shift changes in protein backbone with pressure.

    PubMed

    La Penna, Giovanni; Mori, Yoshiharu; Kitahara, Ryo; Akasaka, Kazuyuki; Okamoto, Yuko

    2016-08-28

    Nitrogen chemical shift is a useful parameter for determining the backbone three-dimensional structure of proteins. Empirical models for fast calculation of N chemical shift are improving their reliability, but there are subtle effects that cannot be easily interpreted. Among these, the effects of slight changes in hydrogen bonds, both intramolecular and with water molecules in the solvent, are particularly difficult to predict. On the other hand, these hydrogen bonds are sensitive to changes in protein environment. In this work, the change of N chemical shift with pressure for backbone segments in the protein ubiquitin is correlated with the change in the population of hydrogen bonds involving the backbone amide group. The different extent of interaction of protein backbone with the water molecules in the solvent is put in evidence. PMID:27586953

  14. Modeling 15N NMR chemical shift changes in protein backbone with pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Penna, Giovanni; Mori, Yoshiharu; Kitahara, Ryo; Akasaka, Kazuyuki; Okamoto, Yuko

    2016-08-01

    Nitrogen chemical shift is a useful parameter for determining the backbone three-dimensional structure of proteins. Empirical models for fast calculation of N chemical shift are improving their reliability, but there are subtle effects that cannot be easily interpreted. Among these, the effects of slight changes in hydrogen bonds, both intramolecular and with water molecules in the solvent, are particularly difficult to predict. On the other hand, these hydrogen bonds are sensitive to changes in protein environment. In this work, the change of N chemical shift with pressure for backbone segments in the protein ubiquitin is correlated with the change in the population of hydrogen bonds involving the backbone amide group. The different extent of interaction of protein backbone with the water molecules in the solvent is put in evidence.

  15. Crustal structure variation along the Lesser Antilles Arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlaphorst, David; Kendall, Mike; Blundy, Jon; Melekhova, Elena; Baptie, Brian; Latchman, Joan; Bouin, Marie-Paule; Tait, Steve

    2014-05-01

    Subduction zones are the major location for the formation of continental crust. Therefore, an investigation of the crustal and mantle structure variation of these areas helps understanding the process of continental crust growth. Here we focus on a seismological investigation of the Lesser Antilles Arc. This island arc system is built by the relatively slow subduction (~ 2cm/yr) of the North and South American plates beneath the Caribbean plate. From the island of Grenada in the South to the Virgin Islands in the North significant variations in sediment load, petrology and volcanism are observed along the arc. The abundance of broadband seismic stations on the Lesser Antilles islands in combination with the abundance of cumulated samples allows for a link between the seismic methods with a detailed petrological analysis. We use data from three-component broadband stations located on the individual islands along the arc. We investigate crustal structure using receiver functions to determine Moho depth and V P/V S ratio. The ratio gives an idea about the material of the subsurface as well as its water and its melt contents. We use the extended-time multitaper frequency domain cross-correlation receiver-function (ETMTRF) by Helffrich (2006) to compute the receiver functions. This method has the advantage of resistance to noise and gives stable solutions for the data, despite its large amount of oceanic noise. Our results show clear along-arc crustal properties. There are regions where the Moho is not very sharp due to a low velocity contrast. The real data results are then compared to synthetic receiver functions based on plausible models. We compute a range of synthetic crustal models and receiver functions based on petrologic constraints from cumulates. The seismic velocities are obtained from experimental data using different temperatures and pressures to simulate different depths. The initial water content was also varied to model dry and wet slab conditions. Our

  16. Relaxation of backbone bond geometry improves protein energy landscape modeling.

    PubMed

    Conway, Patrick; Tyka, Michael D; DiMaio, Frank; Konerding, David E; Baker, David

    2014-01-01

    A key issue in macromolecular structure modeling is the granularity of the molecular representation. A fine-grained representation can approximate the actual structure more accurately, but may require many more degrees of freedom than a coarse-grained representation and hence make conformational search more challenging. We investigate this tradeoff between the accuracy and the size of protein conformational search space for two frequently used representations: one with fixed bond angles and lengths and one that has full flexibility. We performed large-scale explorations of the energy landscapes of 82 protein domains under each model, and find that the introduction of bond angle flexibility significantly increases the average energy gap between native and non-native structures. We also find that incorporating bonded geometry flexibility improves low resolution X-ray crystallographic refinement. These results suggest that backbone bond angle relaxation makes an important contribution to native structure energetics, that current energy functions are sufficiently accurate to capture the energetic gain associated with subtle deformations from chain ideality, and more speculatively, that backbone geometry distortions occur late in protein folding to optimize packing in the native state.

  17. Vibroacoustic processes and structural variations in muscular tissue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonets, V. A.; Klochkov, B. N.; Kovaleva, E. P.

    1995-03-01

    This paper reviews the problems and results obtained in the course of experimental and theoretical investigations of the vibroacoustic activity of contracting muscles. Two types of such processes are examined: (1) acoustic vibrations due to the macromolecular recombinations of muscle proteins, which are responsible for the muscle contraction, and (2) acoustic vibrations associated with the finite accuracy and speed of the receptor-effector system that controls the muscle contraction. By investigating the acoustic vibrations, we examine structural recombinations (conformation variations) in macromolecules during mechanochemical reactions. Since chemical reactions of macromolecules are always accompanied by conformational recombinations, the generation mechanism, which is responsible for the contraction processes in a muscular tissue, can also be extended to other macromolecular media. Investigation of infrasound vibrations makes it possible to explore the quality and error of control for the processes in the muscle under different types of loading. Since a living body is controlled via perceptions, the latter can be quantitatively estimated by the parametess of infrasound vibrations.

  18. Electric field induced localization phenomena in a ladder network with superlattice configuration: Effect of backbone environment

    SciTech Connect

    Dutta, Paramita; Karmakar, S. N.; Maiti, Santanu K.

    2014-09-15

    Electric field induced localization properties of a tight-binding ladder network in presence of backbone sites are investigated. Based on Green's function formalism we numerically calculate two-terminal transport together with density of states for different arrangements of atomic sites in the ladder and its backbone. Our results lead to a possibility of getting multiple mobility edges which essentially plays a switching action between a completely opaque to fully or partly conducting region upon the variation of system Fermi energy, and thus, support in fabricating mesoscopic or DNA-based switching devices.

  19. Conceptual Structure and Semantic Variation for Spatial Relations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khetarpal, Naveen Mohan

    2012-01-01

    Semantic categories across languages appear to reflect both universal conceptual tendencies and linguistic convention. To accommodate this pattern of constrained variation, many theories assume the existence of a universal conceptual space and explain cross-language variation in category extension as language-specific partitions of that space.…

  20. Prosomes. Ubiquity and inter-species structural variation.

    PubMed

    Martins de Sa, C; Grossi de Sa, M F; Akhayat, O; Broders, F; Scherrer, K; Horsch, A; Schmid, H P

    1986-02-20

    that, in its structural variations shown here, reflects function and species.

  1. Prosomes. Ubiquity and inter-species structural variation.

    PubMed

    Martins de Sa, C; Grossi de Sa, M F; Akhayat, O; Broders, F; Scherrer, K; Horsch, A; Schmid, H P

    1986-02-20

    that, in its structural variations shown here, reflects function and species. PMID:2423694

  2. Electron Transfer Dissociation Reveals Changes in the Cleavage Frequencies of Backbone Bonds Distant to Amide-to-Ester Substitutions in Polypeptides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Thomas A.; Jung, Hye R.; Kjeldsen, Frank

    2011-11-01

    Interrogation of electron transfer dissociation (ETD) mass spectra of peptide amide-to-ester backbone bond substituted analogues (depsipeptides) reveals substantial differences in the entire backbone cleavage frequencies. It is suggested that the point permutation of backbone bonds leads to changes in the predominant ion structures by removal/weakening of specific hydrogen bonding. ETD responds to these changes by redistributing the cleavage frequencies of the peptide backbone bonds. In comparison, no distinction between depsi-/peptide was observed using collision-activated dissociation, which is consistent with a general unfolding and elimination of structural information of these ions. These results should encourage further exploration of depsipeptides for gas-phase structural characterization.

  3. Telephone wire is backbone of security system

    SciTech Connect

    Brede, K.; Rackson, L.T.

    1995-09-01

    Video provides a variety of low-cost, high-quality solutions in today`s security environment. Cost-conscious managers of power generation stations, casinos, prison facilities, military bases and office buildings are considering using regular telephone wire (unshielded twisted pair-UTP) within their existing systems as the backbone of a video to the PC, personal and video-conferencing and training are other areas where phone wire in a building can save money and provide an alternative to coax or fiber for video. More and more, businesses and government agencies are meeting their needs efficiently by using telephone wires for more than just telephones.

  4. Backbone and side-chain resonance assignments of the membrane localization domain from Pasteurella multocida toxin.

    PubMed

    Brothers, Michael C; Geissler, Brett; Hisao, Grant S; Satchell, Karla J F; Wilson, Brenda A; Rienstra, Chad M

    2014-04-01

    (1)H, (13)C, and (15)N chemical shift assignments are presented for the isolated four-helical bundle membrane localization domain (MLD) from Pasteurella multocida toxin (PMT) in its solution state. We have assigned 99% of all backbone and side-chain carbon atoms, including 99% of all backbone residues excluding proline amide nitrogens. Secondary chemical shift analysis using TALOS+ demonstrates four helices, which align with those observed within the MLD in the crystal structure of the C-terminus of PMT (PDB 2EBF) and confirm the use of the available crystal structures as templates for the isolated MLDs.

  5. Computational structural variation discovery in genomes: state of the art and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osipowski, Paweł; Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2014-11-01

    Identifying structural variations is crucial to obtain comprehensive knowledge on genomic differentiation. Massive data generated by present technologies determines researchers to make use of computational methods for variation discovery in genomes. Focusing on results and trying to specify challenges remained and possible solutions for the future, here we give a review of state-of-the-art methods and software utilized for structural variation discovery.

  6. Active structural vibration control: Robust to temperature variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Vivek; Sharma, Manu; Thakur, Nagesh

    2012-11-01

    d-form augmented piezoelectric constitutive equations which take into account temperature dependence of piezoelectric strain coefficient (d31) and permittivity (∈33), are converted into e-form. Using e-form constitutive equations, a finite element model of a smart two dimensional plate instrumented with piezoelectric patches is derived. Equations of motion are derived using Hamilton's variational principle. Coupled equations of motion are uncoupled using modal analysis. Modal state vectors are estimated using the Kalman observer. The first mode of smart cantilevered plate is actively controlled using negative first modal velocity feedback at various temperatures. Total control effort required to do so is calculated using the electro-mechanical impedance method. The temperature dependence of sensor voltage, control voltage, control effort and Kalman observer equations is shown analytically. Simulation results are presented using MATLAB. Variations in (i) peak sensor voltage, (ii) actual and estimated first modal velocities, (iii) peak control voltage, (iv) total control effort and (v) settling time with respect to temperature are presented. Active vibration control performance is not maintained at temperature away from reference temperature when the temperature dependence of piezoelectric stress coefficient ‘e31' and permittivity ‘∈33' is not included in piezoelectric constitutive equations. Active control of vibrations becomes robust to temperature variations when the temperature dependence of ‘e31' and ‘∈33' is included in piezoelectric constitutive equations.

  7. Sofosbuvir as backbone of interferon free treatments.

    PubMed

    Bourlière, Marc; Oules, Valèrie; Ansaldi, Christelle; Adhoute, Xavier; Castellani, Paul

    2014-12-15

    Sofosbuvir is the first-in-class NS5B nucleotide analogues to be launched for hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. Its viral potency, pangenotypic activity and high barrier to resistance make it the ideal candidate to become a backbone for several IFN-free regimens. Recent data demonstrated that sofosbuvir either with ribavirin alone or in combination with other direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) as daclatasvir, ledipasvir or simeprevir are able to cure HCV in at least 90% or over of patients. Treatment experienced genotype 3 population may remain the most difficult to treat population, but ongoing DAA combination studies will help to fill this gap. Safety profile of sofosbuvir or combination with other DAAs is good. Resistance to sofosbuvir did not appear as a significant issue. The rationale for using this class of drug and the available clinical data are reviewed.

  8. Extracting the information backbone in online system.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian-Ming; Zeng, An; Shang, Ming-Sheng

    2013-01-01

    Information overload is a serious problem in modern society and many solutions such as recommender system have been proposed to filter out irrelevant information. In the literature, researchers have been mainly dedicated to improving the recommendation performance (accuracy and diversity) of the algorithms while they have overlooked the influence of topology of the online user-object bipartite networks. In this paper, we find that some information provided by the bipartite networks is not only redundant but also misleading. With such "less can be more" feature, we design some algorithms to improve the recommendation performance by eliminating some links from the original networks. Moreover, we propose a hybrid method combining the time-aware and topology-aware link removal algorithms to extract the backbone which contains the essential information for the recommender systems. From the practical point of view, our method can improve the performance and reduce the computational time of the recommendation system, thus improving both of their effectiveness and efficiency.

  9. Variations in Classroom Structure and Growth in Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Hermine H.

    This study investigated the effect of various dimensions of classroom structure on children's reading skills. Two classrooms each from grades one to three were selected by district administrators as outstanding examples of different types of classroom structure. A sample of 16 children was drawn from each class. Each classroom was observed on the…

  10. Morphodynamics structures induced by variations of the channel width

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duro, Gonzalo; Crosato, Alessandra; Tassi, Pablo

    2014-05-01

    In alluvial channels, forcing effects, such as a longitudinally varying width, can induce the formation of steady bars (Olesen, 1984). The type of bars that form, such as alternate, central or multiple, will mainly depend on the local flow width-to-depth ratio and on upstream conditions (Struiksma et al., 1985). The effects on bar formation of varying the channel width received attention only recently and investigations, based on flume experiments and mathematical modelling, are mostly restricted to small longitudinal sinusoidal variations of the channel width (e.g. Repetto et al., 2002; Wu and Yeh, 2005, Zolezzi et al., 2012; Frascati and Lanzoni, 2013). In this work, we analyze the variations in equilibrium bed topography in a longitudinal width-varying channel with characteristic scales of the Waal River (The Netherlands) using two different 2D depth-averaged morphodynamic models, one based on the Delft3D code and one on Telemac-Mascaret system. In particular, we explore the effects of changing the wavelength of sinusoidal width variations in a straight channel, focusing on the effects of the spatial lag between bar formation and forcing that is observed in numerical models and laboratory experiments (e.g. Crosato et al, 2011). We extend the investigations to finite width variations in which longitudinal changes of the width-to-depth ratio are such that they may affect the type of bars that become unstable (alternate, central or multiple bars). Numerical results are qualitatively validated with field observations and the resulting morphodynamic pattern is compared with the physics-based predictor of river bar modes by Crosato and Mosselman (2009). The numerical models are finally used to analyse the experimental conditions of Wu and Yeh (2005). The study should be seen as merely exploratory. The aim is to investigate possible approaches for future research aiming at assessing the effects of artificial river widening and narrowing to control bar formation in

  11. Engineering the polymer backbone to strengthen nonfouling sulfobetaine hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Carr, Louisa; Cheng, Gang; Xue, Hong; Jiang, Shaoyi

    2010-09-21

    We have demonstrated that molecularly engineering the chemical structure of a monomer can lead to hydrogels with improved mechanical strength. In this case, hydrogels from zwitterionic sulfobetaine methacrylate monomers were compared to sulfobetaine vinylimidazole (pSBVI) hydrogels. We show that the introduction of the vinylimidazole backbone improves the tensile and compressive mechanical properties of the sulfobetaine hydrogel by an order of magnitude over the same properties of a methacrylate hydrogel. Zwitterionic groups have been shown to create surface coating materials with ultralow fouling properties, and we demonstrate here that the presence of the imidazole group does not compromise the nonfouling properties attributed to the zwitterionic sulfobetaine: surfaces coated with pSBVI exhibited exceptionally low nonspecific protein adsorption, and cell adhesion was reduced by 97% relative to low-fouling poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA) hydrogels. PMID:20731337

  12. A Native to Amyloidogenic Transition Regulated by a Backbone Trigger

    SciTech Connect

    Eakin,C.; Berman, A.; Miranker, A.

    2006-01-01

    Many polypeptides can self-associate into linear, aggregated assemblies termed amyloid fibers. High-resolution structural insights into the mechanism of fibrillogenesis are elusive owing to the transient and mixed oligomeric nature of assembly intermediates. Here, we report the conformational changes that initiate fiber formation by beta-2-microglobulin (beta2m) in dialysis-related amyloidosis. Access of beta2m to amyloidogenic conformations is catalyzed by selective binding of divalent cations. The chemical basis of this process was determined to be backbone isomerization of a conserved proline. On the basis of this finding, we designed a beta2m variant that closely adopts this intermediate state. The variant has kinetic, thermodynamic and catalytic properties consistent with its being a fibrillogenic intermediate of wild-type beta2m. Furthermore, it is stable and folded, enabling us to unambiguously determine the initiating conformational changes for amyloid assembly at atomic resolution.

  13. Carbon backbone topology of the metabolome of a cell.

    PubMed

    Bingol, Kerem; Zhang, Fengli; Bruschweiler-Li, Lei; Brüschweiler, Rafael

    2012-05-30

    The complex metabolic makeup of a biological system, such as a cell, is a key determinant of its biological state providing unique insights into its function. Here we characterize the metabolome of a cell by a novel homonuclear (13)C 2D NMR approach applied to a nonfractionated uniformly (13)C-enriched lysate of E. coli cells and determine de novo their carbon backbone topologies that constitute the "topolome". A protocol was developed, which first identifies traces in a constant-time (13)C-(13)C TOCSY NMR spectrum that are unique for individual mixture components and then assembles for each trace the corresponding carbon-bond topology network by consensus clustering. This led to the determination of 112 topologies of unique metabolites from a single sample. The topolome is dominated by carbon topologies of carbohydrates (34.8%) and amino acids (45.5%) that can constitute building blocks of more complex structures. PMID:22540339

  14. Antigenic variation in ciliates: antigen structure, function, expression.

    PubMed

    Simon, Martin C; Schmidt, Helmut J

    2007-01-01

    In the past decades, the major focus of antigen variation research has been on parasitic protists. However, antigenic variation occurs also in free-living protists. The antigenic systems of the ciliates Paramecium and Tetrahymena have been studied for more than 100 yr. In spite of different life strategies and distant phylogenetic relationships of free-living ciliates and parasitic protists, their antigenic systems have features in common, such as the presence of repeated protein motifs and multigene families. The function of variable surface antigens in free-living ciliates is still unknown. Up to now no detailed monitoring of antigen expression in free-living ciliates in natural habitats has been performed. Unlike stochastic switching in parasites, antigen expression in ciliates can be directed, e.g. by temperature, which holds great advantages for research on the expression mechanism. Regulated expression of surface antigens occurs in an exclusive way and the responsible mechanism is complex, involving both transcriptional and post-transcriptional features. The involvement of homology-dependent effects has been proposed several times but has not been proved yet.

  15. Sequence variation and haplotype structure at the human HFE locus.

    PubMed Central

    Toomajian, Christopher; Kreitman, Martin

    2002-01-01

    The HFE locus encodes an HLA class-I-type protein important in iron regulation and segregates replacement mutations that give rise to the most common form of genetic hemochromatosis. The high frequency of one disease-associated mutation, C282Y, and the nature of this disease have led some to suggest a selective advantage for this mutation. To investigate the context in which this mutation arose and gain a better understanding of HFE genetic variation, we surveyed nucleotide variability in 11.2 kb encompassing the HFE locus and experimentally determined haplotypes. We fully resequenced 60 chromosomes of African, Asian, or European ancestry as well as one chimpanzee, revealing 41 variable sites and a nucleotide diversity of 0.08%. This indicates that linkage to the HLA region has not substantially increased the level of HFE variation. Although several haplotypes are shared between populations, one haplotype predominates in Asia but is nearly absent elsewhere, causing higher than average genetic differentiation among the three major populations. Our samples show evidence of intragenic recombination, so the scarcity of recombination events within the C282Y allele class is consistent with selection increasing the frequency of a young allele. Otherwise, the pattern of variability in this region does not clearly indicate the action of positive selection at this or linked loci. PMID:12196404

  16. Genome-Wide Structural Variation Detection by Genome Mapping on Nanochannel Arrays

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Angel C. Y.; Lai, Yvonne Y. Y.; Lam, Ernest T.; Kwok, Tsz-Piu; Leung, Alden K. Y.; Poon, Annie; Mostovoy, Yulia; Hastie, Alex R.; Stedman, William; Anantharaman, Thomas; Andrews, Warren; Zhou, Xiang; Pang, Andy W. C.; Dai, Heng; Chu, Catherine; Lin, Chin; Wu, Jacob J. K.; Li, Catherine M. L.; Li, Jing-Woei; Yim, Aldrin K. Y.; Chan, Saki; Sibert, Justin; Džakula, Željko; Cao, Han; Yiu, Siu-Ming; Chan, Ting-Fung; Yip, Kevin Y.; Xiao, Ming; Kwok, Pui-Yan

    2016-01-01

    Comprehensive whole-genome structural variation detection is challenging with current approaches. With diploid cells as DNA source and the presence of numerous repetitive elements, short-read DNA sequencing cannot be used to detect structural variation efficiently. In this report, we show that genome mapping with long, fluorescently labeled DNA molecules imaged on nanochannel arrays can be used for whole-genome structural variation detection without sequencing. While whole-genome haplotyping is not achieved, local phasing (across >150-kb regions) is routine, as molecules from the parental chromosomes are examined separately. In one experiment, we generated genome maps from a trio from the 1000 Genomes Project, compared the maps against that derived from the reference human genome, and identified structural variations that are >5 kb in size. We find that these individuals have many more structural variants than those published, including some with the potential of disrupting gene function or regulation. PMID:26510793

  17. Genome-Wide Structural Variation Detection by Genome Mapping on Nanochannel Arrays.

    PubMed

    Mak, Angel C Y; Lai, Yvonne Y Y; Lam, Ernest T; Kwok, Tsz-Piu; Leung, Alden K Y; Poon, Annie; Mostovoy, Yulia; Hastie, Alex R; Stedman, William; Anantharaman, Thomas; Andrews, Warren; Zhou, Xiang; Pang, Andy W C; Dai, Heng; Chu, Catherine; Lin, Chin; Wu, Jacob J K; Li, Catherine M L; Li, Jing-Woei; Yim, Aldrin K Y; Chan, Saki; Sibert, Justin; Džakula, Željko; Cao, Han; Yiu, Siu-Ming; Chan, Ting-Fung; Yip, Kevin Y; Xiao, Ming; Kwok, Pui-Yan

    2016-01-01

    Comprehensive whole-genome structural variation detection is challenging with current approaches. With diploid cells as DNA source and the presence of numerous repetitive elements, short-read DNA sequencing cannot be used to detect structural variation efficiently. In this report, we show that genome mapping with long, fluorescently labeled DNA molecules imaged on nanochannel arrays can be used for whole-genome structural variation detection without sequencing. While whole-genome haplotyping is not achieved, local phasing (across >150-kb regions) is routine, as molecules from the parental chromosomes are examined separately. In one experiment, we generated genome maps from a trio from the 1000 Genomes Project, compared the maps against that derived from the reference human genome, and identified structural variations that are >5 kb in size. We find that these individuals have many more structural variants than those published, including some with the potential of disrupting gene function or regulation.

  18. Impact of Temperature on Cooling Structural Variation of Forging Dies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piesova, Marianna; Czan, Andrej

    2014-12-01

    The article is focused on the issue of die forging in the automotive industry. The cooling effect of temperature on the structure of forged die are under review. In the article, there is elaborated the analysis of theoretical knowledge in the field, focusing on die forging and experimentally proven effect of the cooling rate on the final structure of forged dies made of hypoeutectic carbon steel C56E2.

  19. Structural Variations and Solvent Structure of r(UGGGGU) Quadruplexes Stabilized by Sr(2+) Ions.

    PubMed

    Fyfe, Alastair C; Dunten, Pete W; Martick, Monika M; Scott, William G

    2015-06-19

    Guanine-rich sequences can, under appropriate conditions, adopt a distinctive, four-stranded, helical fold known as a G-quadruplex. Interest in quadruplex folds has grown in recent years as evidence of their biological relevance has accumulated from both sequence analysis and function-specific assays. The folds are unusually stable and their formation appears to require close management to maintain cell health; regulatory failure correlates with genomic instability and a number of cancer phenotypes. Biologically relevant quadruplex folds are anticipated to form transiently in mRNA and in single-stranded, unwound DNA. To elucidate factors, including bound solvent, that contribute to the stability of RNA quadruplexes, we examine, by X-ray crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering, the structure of a previously reported tetramolecular quadruplex, UGGGGU stabilized by Sr(2+) ions. Crystal forms of the octameric assembly formed by this sequence exhibit unusually strong diffraction and anomalous signal enabling the construction of reliable models to a resolution of 0.88Å. The solvent structure confirms hydration patterns reported for other nucleic acid helical conformations and provides support for the greater stability of RNA quadruplexes relative to DNA. Novel features detected in the octameric RNA assembly include a new crystal form, evidence of multiple conformations and structural variations in the 3' U tetrad, including one that leads to the formation of a hydrated internal cavity.

  20. Structural Variations and Solvent Structure of r(UGGGGU) Quadruplexes Stabilized by Sr2+ Ions

    PubMed Central

    Fyfe, Alastair C.; Dunten, Pete W.; Martick, Monika M.; Scott, William G.

    2015-01-01

    Guanine-rich sequences can, under appropriate conditions, adopt a distinctive, four-stranded, helical fold known as a G-quadruplex. Interest in quadruplex folds has grown in recent years as evidence of their biological relevance has accumulated from both sequence analysis and function-specific assays. The folds are unusually stable and their formation appears to require close management to maintain cell health; regulatory failure correlates with genomic instability and a number of cancer phenotypes. Biologically relevant quadruplex folds are anticipated to form transiently in mRNA and in single-stranded, unwound DNA. To elucidate factors, including bound solvent, that contribute to the stability of RNA quadruplexes, we examine, by X-ray crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering, the structure of a previously reported tetramolecular quadruplex, UGGGGU stabilized by Sr2+ ions. Crystal forms of the octameric assembly formed by this sequence exhibit unusually strong diffraction and anomalous signal enabling the construction of reliable models to a resolution of 0.88 Å. The solvent structure confirms hydration patterns reported for other nucleic acid helical conformations and provides support for the greater stability of RNA quadruplexes relative to DNA. Novel features detected in the octameric RNA assembly include a new crystal form, evidence of multiple conformations and structural variations in the 3′ U tetrad, including one that leads to the formation of a hydrated internal cavity. PMID:25861762

  1. Buckling of Thermoviscoelastic Structures Under Temporal and Spatial Temperature Variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsuyuki, Richard; Knauss, Wolfgang G.

    1992-01-01

    The problem of lateral instability of a viscoelastic in-plane loaded structure is considered in terms of thermorheolgically simple materials. As an example of a generally in-plane loaded structure, we examine the simple column under axial load: Both cyclic loading is considered (with constant or in-phase variable temperature excursions) as well as the case of constant load in the presence of thermal gradients through the thickness of the structure. The latter case involves a continuous movement of the neutral axis from the center to the colder side and then back to the center. In both cases, temperature has a very strong effect on the instability evolution, and under in-phase thermal cycling the critical loads are reduced compared to those at constant temperatures. The primary effect of thermal gradients beyond that of thermally-induced rate accelerations is occasioned by the generation of an "initial imperfection" or "structural bowing." Because the coefficient of thermal expansion tends to be large for many polymeric materials, it it may be necessary to take special care in lay-up design of composite structures intended for use under compressive loads in high-temperature applications. Finally, the implications for the temperature sensitivities of composites to micro-instability (fiber crimping) are also apparent from the results delineated here.

  2. Studies on cattle genomic structural variation provide insights into ruminant speciation and adaptation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic structural variations, including segmental duplications (SD) and copy number variations (CNV), contribute significantly to individual health and disease in primates and rodents. As a part of the bovine genome annotation effort, we performed the first genome-wide analysis of SD in cattle usin...

  3. Variation in Narrative Structure: A Simple Text vs. an Innovative Work of Art.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bjorklund, Martina; Virtanen, Tuija

    The focus of this paper is the variation within the narrative type of text. Specific attention is on the variation between two rather extreme forms of narrative: simple stories written for children that may be described as stereotypical in structure, and an artistic story, "The Steppe," by A. Cexov. The view is taken that stories are comparable…

  4. DNA and RNA ligases: structural variations and shared mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Pascal, John M

    2008-02-01

    DNA and RNA ligases join 3' OH and 5' PO4 ends in polynucleotide substrates using a three-step reaction mechanism that involves covalent modification of both the ligase enzyme and the polynucleotide substrate with AMP. In the past three years, several polynucleotide ligases have been crystallized in complex with nucleic acid, providing the introductory views of ligase enzymes engaging their substrates. Crystal structures for two ATP-dependent DNA ligases, an NAD+-dependent DNA ligase, and an ATP-dependent RNA ligase demonstrate how ligases utilize the AMP group and their multi-domain architectures to manipulate nucleic acid structure and catalyze the end-joining reaction. Together with unliganded crystal structures of DNA and RNA ligases, a more comprehensive and dynamic understanding of the multi-step ligation reaction mechanism has emerged.

  5. Identification of local variations within secondary structures of proteins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prasun; Bansal, Manju

    2015-05-01

    Secondary-structure elements (SSEs) play an important role in the folding of proteins. Identification of SSEs in proteins is a common problem in structural biology. A new method, ASSP (Assignment of Secondary Structure in Proteins), using only the path traversed by the C(α) atoms has been developed. The algorithm is based on the premise that the protein structure can be divided into continuous or uniform stretches, which can be defined in terms of helical parameters, and depending on their values the stretches can be classified into different SSEs, namely α-helices, 310-helices, π-helices, extended β-strands and polyproline II (PPII) and other left-handed helices. The methodology was validated using an unbiased clustering of these parameters for a protein data set consisting of 1008 protein chains, which suggested that there are seven well defined clusters associated with different SSEs. Apart from α-helices and extended β-strands, 310-helices and π-helices were also found to occur in substantial numbers. ASSP was able to discriminate non-α-helical segments from flanking α-helices, which were often identified as part of α-helices by other algorithms. ASSP can also lead to the identification of novel SSEs. It is believed that ASSP could provide a better understanding of the finer nuances of protein secondary structure and could make an important contribution to the better understanding of comparatively less frequently occurring structural motifs. At the same time, it can contribute to the identification of novel SSEs. A standalone version of the program for the Linux as well as the Windows operating systems is freely downloadable and a web-server version is also available at http://nucleix.mbu.iisc.ernet.in/assp/index.php.

  6. Identification of local variations within secondary structures of proteins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prasun; Bansal, Manju

    2015-05-01

    Secondary-structure elements (SSEs) play an important role in the folding of proteins. Identification of SSEs in proteins is a common problem in structural biology. A new method, ASSP (Assignment of Secondary Structure in Proteins), using only the path traversed by the C(α) atoms has been developed. The algorithm is based on the premise that the protein structure can be divided into continuous or uniform stretches, which can be defined in terms of helical parameters, and depending on their values the stretches can be classified into different SSEs, namely α-helices, 310-helices, π-helices, extended β-strands and polyproline II (PPII) and other left-handed helices. The methodology was validated using an unbiased clustering of these parameters for a protein data set consisting of 1008 protein chains, which suggested that there are seven well defined clusters associated with different SSEs. Apart from α-helices and extended β-strands, 310-helices and π-helices were also found to occur in substantial numbers. ASSP was able to discriminate non-α-helical segments from flanking α-helices, which were often identified as part of α-helices by other algorithms. ASSP can also lead to the identification of novel SSEs. It is believed that ASSP could provide a better understanding of the finer nuances of protein secondary structure and could make an important contribution to the better understanding of comparatively less frequently occurring structural motifs. At the same time, it can contribute to the identification of novel SSEs. A standalone version of the program for the Linux as well as the Windows operating systems is freely downloadable and a web-server version is also available at http://nucleix.mbu.iisc.ernet.in/assp/index.php. PMID:25945573

  7. Integrating population variation and protein structural analysis to improve clinical interpretation of missense variation: application to the WD40 domain.

    PubMed

    Laskowski, Roman A; Tyagi, Nidhi; Johnson, Diana; Joss, Shelagh; Kinning, Esther; McWilliam, Catherine; Splitt, Miranda; Thornton, Janet M; Firth, Helen V; Wright, Caroline F

    2016-03-01

    We present a generic, multidisciplinary approach for improving our understanding of novel missense variants in recently discovered disease genes exhibiting genetic heterogeneity, by combining clinical and population genetics with protein structural analysis. Using six new de novo missense diagnoses in TBL1XR1 from the Deciphering Developmental Disorders study, together with population variation data, we show that the β-propeller structure of the ubiquitous WD40 domain provides a convincing way to discriminate between pathogenic and benign variation. Children with likely pathogenic mutations in this gene have severely delayed language development, often accompanied by intellectual disability, autism, dysmorphology and gastrointestinal problems. Amino acids affected by likely pathogenic missense mutations are either crucial for the stability of the fold, forming part of a highly conserved symmetrically repeating hydrogen-bonded tetrad, or located at the top face of the β-propeller, where 'hotspot' residues affect the binding of β-catenin to the TBLR1 protein. In contrast, those altered by population variation are significantly less likely to be spatially clustered towards the top face or to be at buried or highly conserved residues. This result is useful not only for interpreting benign and pathogenic missense variants in this gene, but also in other WD40 domains, many of which are associated with disease. PMID:26740553

  8. Integrating population variation and protein structural analysis to improve clinical interpretation of missense variation: application to the WD40 domain

    PubMed Central

    Laskowski, Roman A.; Tyagi, Nidhi; Johnson, Diana; Joss, Shelagh; Kinning, Esther; McWilliam, Catherine; Splitt, Miranda; Thornton, Janet M.; Firth, Helen V.; Wright, Caroline F.

    2016-01-01

    We present a generic, multidisciplinary approach for improving our understanding of novel missense variants in recently discovered disease genes exhibiting genetic heterogeneity, by combining clinical and population genetics with protein structural analysis. Using six new de novo missense diagnoses in TBL1XR1 from the Deciphering Developmental Disorders study, together with population variation data, we show that the β-propeller structure of the ubiquitous WD40 domain provides a convincing way to discriminate between pathogenic and benign variation. Children with likely pathogenic mutations in this gene have severely delayed language development, often accompanied by intellectual disability, autism, dysmorphology and gastrointestinal problems. Amino acids affected by likely pathogenic missense mutations are either crucial for the stability of the fold, forming part of a highly conserved symmetrically repeating hydrogen-bonded tetrad, or located at the top face of the β-propeller, where ‘hotspot’ residues affect the binding of β-catenin to the TBLR1 protein. In contrast, those altered by population variation are significantly less likely to be spatially clustered towards the top face or to be at buried or highly conserved residues. This result is useful not only for interpreting benign and pathogenic missense variants in this gene, but also in other WD40 domains, many of which are associated with disease. PMID:26740553

  9. Detection and interpretation of genomic structural variation in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Vandeweyer, Geert; Kooy, R Frank

    2013-01-01

    Recent technological advances in the detection of genomic structural variation have revolutionized the field of medical genetics. Genome-wide screening for copy-number variants in routine molecular diagnostics unveiled the presence of an unforeseen amount of structural variation in the genome. Owing to the massive amount of patients analyzed, the analysis of the resulting data became exponentially more complex. Simultaneously, novel insights in the impact of structural variation on the phenotype forced the re-evaluation of the pathogenicity of copy-number variations in more complex inheritance models. As a consequence, the challenge of today's genetics shifted from the mere detection of structural variation to the correct annotation and interpretation of the data. Various databases and data mining tools are available to help in the interpretation of the data, but making decisions on the pathogeniticy of the variation is still challenging. This review provides an overview of current laboratory techniques to detect structural variation, options to analyze and annotate data from genome-wide methods and caveats to take into account in interpretation of results.

  10. Single-molecule analysis reveals widespread structural variation in multiple myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Aditya; Place, Michael; Goldstein, Steven; Sarkar, Deepayan; Zhou, Shiguo; Potamousis, Konstantinos; Kim, Jaehyup; Flanagan, Claire; Li, Yang; Newton, Michael A.; Callander, Natalie S.; Hematti, Peiman; Bresnick, Emery H.; Ma, Jian; Asimakopoulos, Fotis; Schwartz, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM), a malignancy of plasma cells, is characterized by widespread genomic heterogeneity and, consequently, differences in disease progression and drug response. Although recent large-scale sequencing studies have greatly improved our understanding of MM genomes, our knowledge about genomic structural variation in MM is attenuated due to the limitations of commonly used sequencing approaches. In this study, we present the application of optical mapping, a single-molecule, whole-genome analysis system, to discover new structural variants in a primary MM genome. Through our analysis, we have identified and characterized widespread structural variation in this tumor genome. Additionally, we describe our efforts toward comprehensive characterization of genome structure and variation by integrating our findings from optical mapping with those from DNA sequencing-based genomic analysis. Finally, by studying this MM genome at two time points during tumor progression, we have demonstrated an increase in mutational burden with tumor progression at all length scales of variation. PMID:26056298

  11. NHC Backbone Configuration in Ruthenium-Catalyzed Olefin Metathesis.

    PubMed

    Paradiso, Veronica; Costabile, Chiara; Grisi, Fabia

    2016-01-20

    The catalytic properties of olefin metathesis ruthenium complexes bearing N-heterocyclic carbene ligands with stereogenic centers on the backbone are described. Differences in catalytic behavior depending on the backbone configurations of symmetrical and unsymmetrical NHCs are discussed. In addition, an overview on asymmetric olefin metathesis promoted by chiral catalysts bearing C₂-symmetric and C₁-symmetric NHCs is provided.

  12. NHC Backbone Configuration in Ruthenium-Catalyzed Olefin Metathesis.

    PubMed

    Paradiso, Veronica; Costabile, Chiara; Grisi, Fabia

    2016-01-01

    The catalytic properties of olefin metathesis ruthenium complexes bearing N-heterocyclic carbene ligands with stereogenic centers on the backbone are described. Differences in catalytic behavior depending on the backbone configurations of symmetrical and unsymmetrical NHCs are discussed. In addition, an overview on asymmetric olefin metathesis promoted by chiral catalysts bearing C₂-symmetric and C₁-symmetric NHCs is provided. PMID:26805793

  13. Two worlds collide: Image analysis methods for quantifying structural variation in cluster molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Steenbergen, K. G.; Gaston, N.

    2014-02-14

    Inspired by methods of remote sensing image analysis, we analyze structural variation in cluster molecular dynamics (MD) simulations through a unique application of the principal component analysis (PCA) and Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC). The PCA analysis characterizes the geometric shape of the cluster structure at each time step, yielding a detailed and quantitative measure of structural stability and variation at finite temperature. Our PCC analysis captures bond structure variation in MD, which can be used to both supplement the PCA analysis as well as compare bond patterns between different cluster sizes. Relying only on atomic position data, without requirement for a priori structural input, PCA and PCC can be used to analyze both classical and ab initio MD simulations for any cluster composition or electronic configuration. Taken together, these statistical tools represent powerful new techniques for quantitative structural characterization and isomer identification in cluster MD.

  14. Extracting the Information Backbone in Online System

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qian-Ming; Zeng, An; Shang, Ming-Sheng

    2013-01-01

    Information overload is a serious problem in modern society and many solutions such as recommender system have been proposed to filter out irrelevant information. In the literature, researchers have been mainly dedicated to improving the recommendation performance (accuracy and diversity) of the algorithms while they have overlooked the influence of topology of the online user-object bipartite networks. In this paper, we find that some information provided by the bipartite networks is not only redundant but also misleading. With such “less can be more” feature, we design some algorithms to improve the recommendation performance by eliminating some links from the original networks. Moreover, we propose a hybrid method combining the time-aware and topology-aware link removal algorithms to extract the backbone which contains the essential information for the recommender systems. From the practical point of view, our method can improve the performance and reduce the computational time of the recommendation system, thus improving both of their effectiveness and efficiency. PMID:23690946

  15. Variations in the fine-structure constant constraining gravity theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezerra, V. B.; Cunha, M. S.; Muniz, C. R.; Tahim, M. O.; Vieira, H. S.

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, we investigate how the fine-structure constant, α, locally varies in the presence of a static and spherically symmetric gravitational source. The procedure consists in calculating the solution and the energy eigenvalues of a massive scalar field around that source, considering the weak-field regime. From this result, we obtain expressions for a spatially variable fine-structure constant by considering suitable modifications in the involved parameters admitting some scenarios of semi-classical and quantum gravities. Constraints on free parameters of the approached theories are calculated from astrophysical observations of the emission spectra of a white dwarf. Such constraints are finally compared with those obtained in the literature.

  16. Variation in the modal parameters of space structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crawley, Edward F.; Barlow, Mark S.; Van Schoor, Marthinus C.; Bicos, Andrew S.

    1992-01-01

    An analytic and experimental study of gravity and suspension influences on space structural test articles is presented. A modular test article including deployable, erectable, and rotary modules was assembled in three one- and two-dimensional structures. The two deployable modules utilized cable diagonal bracing rather than rigid cross members; within a bay of one of the deployable modules, the cable preload was adjustable. A friction lock was used on the alpha joint to either allow or prohibit rotary motion. Suspension systems with plunge fundamentals of 1, 2, and 5 Hz were used for ground testing to evaluate the influences of suspension stiffness. Assembly and reassembly testing was performed, as was testing on two separate shipsets at two test sites. Trends and statistical variances in modal parameters are presented as a function of force amplitude, joint preload, reassembly, shipset and suspension. Linear finite element modeling of each structure provided analytical results for 0-g unsuspended and 1-g suspended models, which are correlated with the analytical model.

  17. Self-similarity of biopolymer backbones in the ribosome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chang-Yong

    2008-08-01

    Self-similar properties of the biopolymer backbones in the ribosome are investigated in terms of the fractal dimension. We especially estimate the chain fractal and capacity dimensions of the ribosomal RNAs and proteins, which are constituents of the ribosome. The fractal dimensions of both biopolymers are compared with that of the self-avoiding walk, which is a typical model of a polymer without interaction between monomers. We demonstrate that the fractality found in the ribosomal RNAs is pertinent to explain their structural characteristics: local helix formation and long-range tertiary interaction forming three-dimensional structures. The fractal dimension of the ribosomal protein supports the existence of the long and extended domain, which is hardly seen in the globular protein. The self-similarity also upholds the fact that the ribosomal proteins function primarily to stabilize the structure of the ribosome by both the long-extended domain of the protein penetrating into the inside of the RNA, and the globular domain interacting with the RNA on the exterior of it. These results partially, if not whole, unravel the structural characteristics of the biopolymers in the ribosome.

  18. Mosaic structural variation in children with developmental disorders

    PubMed Central

    King, Daniel A.; Jones, Wendy D.; Crow, Yanick J.; Dominiczak, Anna F.; Foster, Nicola A.; Gaunt, Tom R.; Harris, Jade; Hellens, Stephen W.; Homfray, Tessa; Innes, Josie; Jones, Elizabeth A.; Joss, Shelagh; Kulkarni, Abhijit; Mansour, Sahar; Morris, Andrew D.; Parker, Michael J.; Porteous, David J.; Shihab, Hashem A.; Smith, Blair H.; Tatton-Brown, Katrina; Tolmie, John L.; Trzaskowski, Maciej; Vasudevan, Pradeep C.; Wakeling, Emma; Wright, Michael; Plomin, Robert; Timpson, Nicholas J.; Hurles, Matthew E.

    2015-01-01

    Delineating the genetic causes of developmental disorders is an area of active investigation. Mosaic structural abnormalities, defined as copy number or loss of heterozygosity events that are large and present in only a subset of cells, have been detected in 0.2–1.0% of children ascertained for clinical genetic testing. However, the frequency among healthy children in the community is not well characterized, which, if known, could inform better interpretation of the pathogenic burden of this mutational category in children with developmental disorders. In a case–control analysis, we compared the rate of large-scale mosaicism between 1303 children with developmental disorders and 5094 children lacking developmental disorders, using an analytical pipeline we developed, and identified a substantial enrichment in cases (odds ratio = 39.4, P-value 1.073e − 6). A meta-analysis that included frequency estimates among an additional 7000 children with congenital diseases yielded an even stronger statistical enrichment (P-value 1.784e − 11). In addition, to maximize the detection of low-clonality events in probands, we applied a trio-based mosaic detection algorithm, which detected two additional events in probands, including an individual with genome-wide suspected chimerism. In total, we detected 12 structural mosaic abnormalities among 1303 children (0.9%). Given the burden of mosaicism detected in cases, we suspected that many of the events detected in probands were pathogenic. Scrutiny of the genotypic–phenotypic relationship of each detected variant assessed that the majority of events are very likely pathogenic. This work quantifies the burden of structural mosaicism as a cause of developmental disorders. PMID:25634561

  19. Mosaic structural variation in children with developmental disorders.

    PubMed

    King, Daniel A; Jones, Wendy D; Crow, Yanick J; Dominiczak, Anna F; Foster, Nicola A; Gaunt, Tom R; Harris, Jade; Hellens, Stephen W; Homfray, Tessa; Innes, Josie; Jones, Elizabeth A; Joss, Shelagh; Kulkarni, Abhijit; Mansour, Sahar; Morris, Andrew D; Parker, Michael J; Porteous, David J; Shihab, Hashem A; Smith, Blair H; Tatton-Brown, Katrina; Tolmie, John L; Trzaskowski, Maciej; Vasudevan, Pradeep C; Wakeling, Emma; Wright, Michael; Plomin, Robert; Timpson, Nicholas J; Hurles, Matthew E

    2015-05-15

    Delineating the genetic causes of developmental disorders is an area of active investigation. Mosaic structural abnormalities, defined as copy number or loss of heterozygosity events that are large and present in only a subset of cells, have been detected in 0.2-1.0% of children ascertained for clinical genetic testing. However, the frequency among healthy children in the community is not well characterized, which, if known, could inform better interpretation of the pathogenic burden of this mutational category in children with developmental disorders. In a case-control analysis, we compared the rate of large-scale mosaicism between 1303 children with developmental disorders and 5094 children lacking developmental disorders, using an analytical pipeline we developed, and identified a substantial enrichment in cases (odds ratio = 39.4, P-value 1.073e - 6). A meta-analysis that included frequency estimates among an additional 7000 children with congenital diseases yielded an even stronger statistical enrichment (P-value 1.784e - 11). In addition, to maximize the detection of low-clonality events in probands, we applied a trio-based mosaic detection algorithm, which detected two additional events in probands, including an individual with genome-wide suspected chimerism. In total, we detected 12 structural mosaic abnormalities among 1303 children (0.9%). Given the burden of mosaicism detected in cases, we suspected that many of the events detected in probands were pathogenic. Scrutiny of the genotypic-phenotypic relationship of each detected variant assessed that the majority of events are very likely pathogenic. This work quantifies the burden of structural mosaicism as a cause of developmental disorders.

  20. Temporal variation in the mating structure of Sanday, Orkney Islands.

    PubMed

    Brennan, E R; Relethford, J H

    1983-01-01

    Pedigree and vital statistics data from the population of Sanday, Orkney Islands, Scotland, were used to assess temporal changes in population structure. Secular trends in patterns of mate choice were analysed for three separate birth cohorts of spouses: 1855-1884, 1885-1924 and 1925-1964. The degree to which mating was random or assortative with respect to both genealogical and geographic distance was determined by comparing average characteristics of all potential mates of married males with those of actual wives. We integrated this procedure, originally developed by Dyke (1971), into a three-fold investigation of population structure: (1) comparison of random and non-random components of relatedness as measured from pedigree data; (2) an analysis of marital distance distributions for actual and potential mates of married males; and (3) the relationship between genealogical relatedness and geographic distance. As population size decreased from 1881 to the present, total kinship and spatial distances between spouses increased. Whereas the random component of relatedness increased over time, consanguinity avoidance was sufficient to decrease the total coefficient of kinship over time. Part of the increase in consanguinity avoidance was associated with isolate breakdown, as distances between island-born spouses, as well as the total amount of off-island migration, increased from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Mate choice was influenced by geographic distance for all time periods, although this effect diminished over time. Since decreases in population size, concomitant with increases in consanguinity avoidance and community exogamy, have probably occurred quite frequently in small human populations, as well as in rural Western communities in the past century, observed secular trends illustrate the potential for change in population structure characteristic of isolate breakdown.

  1. Enhanced Sensitivity of Micro Mechanical Chemical Sensors Through Structural Variation

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, J.C.

    2001-04-16

    Chemical detection devices are very effective; however, their bulkiness makes them undesirable for portable applications. The next generation of chemical detectors is microscopic mechanical devices capable of measuring trace amounts of chemical vapor within the environment. The chemicals do not react directly with the detector, instead intermolecular forces cause chemicals to adhere to the surface. This surface adhesion of the chemical creates surface stress on the detectors leading to measurable movement. Modifications to the structural design of these microstructures have resulted in signal enhancement to over seven hundred percent.

  2. Genetic Variation and Population Structure in Native Americans

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Sohini; Ray, Nicolas; Bedoya, Gabriel; Rojas, Winston; Parra, Maria V; Molina, Julio A; Gallo, Carla; Mazzotti, Guido; Poletti, Giovanni; Hill, Kim; Hurtado, Ana M; Labuda, Damian; Klitz, William; Barrantes, Ramiro; Bortolini, Maria Cátira; Salzano, Francisco M; Petzl-Erler, Maria Luiza; Tsuneto, Luiza T; Llop, Elena; Rothhammer, Francisco; Excoffier, Laurent; Feldman, Marcus W; Rosenberg, Noah A; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés

    2007-01-01

    We examined genetic diversity and population structure in the American landmass using 678 autosomal microsatellite markers genotyped in 422 individuals representing 24 Native American populations sampled from North, Central, and South America. These data were analyzed jointly with similar data available in 54 other indigenous populations worldwide, including an additional five Native American groups. The Native American populations have lower genetic diversity and greater differentiation than populations from other continental regions. We observe gradients both of decreasing genetic diversity as a function of geographic distance from the Bering Strait and of decreasing genetic similarity to Siberians—signals of the southward dispersal of human populations from the northwestern tip of the Americas. We also observe evidence of: (1) a higher level of diversity and lower level of population structure in western South America compared to eastern South America, (2) a relative lack of differentiation between Mesoamerican and Andean populations, (3) a scenario in which coastal routes were easier for migrating peoples to traverse in comparison with inland routes, and (4) a partial agreement on a local scale between genetic similarity and the linguistic classification of populations. These findings offer new insights into the process of population dispersal and differentiation during the peopling of the Americas. PMID:18039031

  3. Genetic variation and population structure in native Americans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sijia; Lewis, Cecil M; Jakobsson, Mattias; Ramachandran, Sohini; Ray, Nicolas; Bedoya, Gabriel; Rojas, Winston; Parra, Maria V; Molina, Julio A; Gallo, Carla; Mazzotti, Guido; Poletti, Giovanni; Hill, Kim; Hurtado, Ana M; Labuda, Damian; Klitz, William; Barrantes, Ramiro; Bortolini, Maria Cátira; Salzano, Francisco M; Petzl-Erler, Maria Luiza; Tsuneto, Luiza T; Llop, Elena; Rothhammer, Francisco; Excoffier, Laurent; Feldman, Marcus W; Rosenberg, Noah A; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés

    2007-11-01

    We examined genetic diversity and population structure in the American landmass using 678 autosomal microsatellite markers genotyped in 422 individuals representing 24 Native American populations sampled from North, Central, and South America. These data were analyzed jointly with similar data available in 54 other indigenous populations worldwide, including an additional five Native American groups. The Native American populations have lower genetic diversity and greater differentiation than populations from other continental regions. We observe gradients both of decreasing genetic diversity as a function of geographic distance from the Bering Strait and of decreasing genetic similarity to Siberians--signals of the southward dispersal of human populations from the northwestern tip of the Americas. We also observe evidence of: (1) a higher level of diversity and lower level of population structure in western South America compared to eastern South America, (2) a relative lack of differentiation between Mesoamerican and Andean populations, (3) a scenario in which coastal routes were easier for migrating peoples to traverse in comparison with inland routes, and (4) a partial agreement on a local scale between genetic similarity and the linguistic classification of populations. These findings offer new insights into the process of population dispersal and differentiation during the peopling of the Americas. PMID:18039031

  4. Quantitative Statistical Analysis of Atomic Scale Structural and Chemical Variations in Complex Oxides Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hao

    Grain boundaries (GBs) are known to have far-reaching effects on the electrical and mechanical properties of materials. Understanding the atomic scale mechanisms behind these effects requires an accurate determination of the interplay between GB structure and composition. Based on the analysis of a range of grain boundaries using aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), a general structural units model has been derived for the structure of grain boundaries in various dense packing cubic materials including FCC metals, perovskites and fluorites. The similarities in the observed grain boundary structures of these materials originate from related space (and point) group symmetries of the parent structures. The presence of structural variations away from the general structural units model may be caused by frustrations of certain symmetry operations that result from the incorporation of point defects (vacancies and impurities). A clear understanding of the similarity and variation in grain boundary atomic structures will not only provide a means to infer the structure-property relationships in broad classes of materials, but also enables us eventually to effectively manipulate the GB structures to achieve better materials properties. To understand these chemical induced variations, and further quantify exactly how atomic scale variations at the boundary plane extend to the practical mesoscale operating length of the system, statistical analysis has been applied to the aberration corrected STEM Z-contrast images acquired from a series of undoped and doped SrTiO3 GBs. In order to understand the effects of oxygen vacancies incorporation, in-situ characterization of GB atomic structures were performed using the Environmental TEM under the reduced gas and heating environment. This analysis of GB similarity and variation provides insights into the structure-composition relationship in GBs to understand the influence of nonstoichiometry and dopant

  5. LINE-1 Elements in Structural Variation and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Christine R.; Garcia-Perez, José Luis; Badge, Richard M.; Moran, John V.

    2014-01-01

    The completion of the human genome reference sequence ushered in a new era for the study and discovery of human transposable elements. It now is undeniable that transposable elements, historically dismissed as junk DNA, have had an instrumental role in sculpting the structure and function of our genomes. In particular, long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) and short interspersed elements (SINEs) continue to affect our genome, and their movement can lead to sporadic cases of disease. Here, we briefly review the types of transposable elements present in the human genome and their mechanisms of mobility. We next highlight how advances in DNA sequencing and genomic technologies have enabled the discovery of novel retrotransposons in individual genomes. Finally, we discuss how L1-mediated retrotransposition events impact human genomes. PMID:21801021

  6. Crustal structure variations in northeast India from converted phases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, M. Ravi; Raju, P. Solomon; Devi, E. Uma; Saul, J.; Ramesh, D. S.

    2004-09-01

    Teleseismic receiver functions from a ten station network deployed in northeast India region sampling the Shillong plateau, Mikir Hills, Himalayan foredeep and the Himalayan convergence zone, are analyzed to obtain the crustal structure in this seismically active but less studied region. The Shillong plateau and Mikir hills, away from the convergent margins, reveal remarkably simple crust with thickness (~35 km) and Poisson's ratio (~0.25), akin to the Indian shield values. A surprisingly thin crust for the uplifted Shillong plateau may be explained invoking presence of an uncompensated crust that popped up in response to tectonic forces. In contrast, crustal signatures from Assam valley suggest a thicker crust and higher Poisson's ratio with evidences for a dipping Moho. Predictably, the crust is much thicker and complicated in the eastern Himalaya further north, with values in excess of 50 km.

  7. Population Structure Shapes Copy Number Variation in Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Cheeseman, Ian H.; Miller, Becky; Tan, John C.; Tan, Asako; Nair, Shalini; Nkhoma, Standwell C.; De Donato, Marcos; Rodulfo, Hectorina; Dondorp, Arjen; Branch, Oralee H.; Mesia, Lastenia Ruiz; Newton, Paul; Mayxay, Mayfong; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J.; Nosten, François; Ferdig, Michael T.; Anderson, Tim J. C.

    2016-01-01

    If copy number variants (CNVs) are predominantly deleterious, we would expect them to be more efficiently purged from populations with a large effective population size (Ne) than from populations with a small Ne. Malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) provide an excellent organism to examine this prediction, because this protozoan shows a broad spectrum of population structures within a single species, with large, stable, outbred populations in Africa, small unstable inbred populations in South America and with intermediate population characteristics in South East Asia. We characterized 122 single-clone parasites, without prior laboratory culture, from malaria-infected patients in seven countries in Africa, South East Asia and South America using a high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism/CNV microarray. We scored 134 high-confidence CNVs across the parasite exome, including 33 deletions and 102 amplifications, which ranged in size from <500 bp to 59 kb, as well as 10,107 flanking, biallelic single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, CNVs were rare, small, and skewed toward low frequency variants, consistent with the deleterious model. Relative to African and South East Asian populations, CNVs were significantly more common in South America, showed significantly less skew in allele frequencies, and were significantly larger. On this background of low frequency CNV, we also identified several high-frequency CNVs under putative positive selection using an FST outlier analysis. These included known adaptive CNVs containing rh2b and pfmdr1, and several other CNVs (e.g., DNA helicase and three conserved proteins) that require further investigation. Our data are consistent with a significant impact of genetic structure on CNV burden in an important human pathogen. PMID:26613787

  8. Population Structure Shapes Copy Number Variation in Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Cheeseman, Ian H; Miller, Becky; Tan, John C; Tan, Asako; Nair, Shalini; Nkhoma, Standwell C; De Donato, Marcos; Rodulfo, Hectorina; Dondorp, Arjen; Branch, Oralee H; Mesia, Lastenia Ruiz; Newton, Paul; Mayxay, Mayfong; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Conway, David J; Nosten, François; Ferdig, Michael T; Anderson, Tim J C

    2016-03-01

    If copy number variants (CNVs) are predominantly deleterious, we would expect them to be more efficiently purged from populations with a large effective population size (Ne) than from populations with a small Ne. Malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) provide an excellent organism to examine this prediction, because this protozoan shows a broad spectrum of population structures within a single species, with large, stable, outbred populations in Africa, small unstable inbred populations in South America and with intermediate population characteristics in South East Asia. We characterized 122 single-clone parasites, without prior laboratory culture, from malaria-infected patients in seven countries in Africa, South East Asia and South America using a high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism/CNV microarray. We scored 134 high-confidence CNVs across the parasite exome, including 33 deletions and 102 amplifications, which ranged in size from <500 bp to 59 kb, as well as 10,107 flanking, biallelic single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, CNVs were rare, small, and skewed toward low frequency variants, consistent with the deleterious model. Relative to African and South East Asian populations, CNVs were significantly more common in South America, showed significantly less skew in allele frequencies, and were significantly larger. On this background of low frequency CNV, we also identified several high-frequency CNVs under putative positive selection using an FST outlier analysis. These included known adaptive CNVs containing rh2b and pfmdr1, and several other CNVs (e.g., DNA helicase and three conserved proteins) that require further investigation. Our data are consistent with a significant impact of genetic structure on CNV burden in an important human pathogen.

  9. Experimental investigation of crustacean swimming with variation of limb structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Hong Kuan; Samaee, Milad; Donnell, Geoffrey; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind; Guy, Robert; Lewis, Timothy

    2015-11-01

    Crustaceans such as crayfish and krill swim by rhythmically paddling a set of four to five limbs (known as swimmerets or pleopods) originating from their abdomen. The limb motion in these animals has been observed to follow tail-to-head metachronal wave pattern with an approximate quarter-period inter-limb phase difference. The goal of this study is to investigate the hydrodynamics of this swimming mechanism as a function of inter-limb phase difference, inclusion of hinges in the limbs, and Reynolds number (Re). 2D PIV measurements were conducted on a scaled robotic model of metachronal paddling, consisting of a rectangular tank fitted with stepper motors coupled to a four-bar linkage that actuated four paddles immersed in water-glycerin fluid medium. The inter-limb phase difference was varied from 0% (synchronous paddling) through 50% across Re range of O(10-1000). Two types of limb models were used, including a simple flat plate and a `split-paddle' structure with two flat plates connected halfway with hinges. The results of the study show that limb models with hinges generated increased horizontal (thrust-producing direction) fluid velocity compared to the simple flat plate paddles, suggesting that asymmetry between power and return strokes is important to augment thrust.

  10. Spatial variation of phytoplankton community structure in Daya Bay, China.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Zhao-Yu; Wang, You-Shao; Cheng, Hao; Zhang, Jian-Dong; Fei, Jiao

    2015-10-01

    Daya Bay is one of the largest and most important gulfs in the southern coast of China, in the northern part of the South China Sea. The phylogenetic diversity and spatial distribution of phytoplankton from the Daya Bay surface water and the relationship with the in situ water environment were investigated by the clone library of the large subunit of ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcL) gene. The dominant species of phytoplankton were diatoms and eustigmatophytes, which accounted for 81.9 % of all the clones of the rbcL genes. Prymnesiophytes were widely spread and wide varieties lived in Daya Bay, whereas the quantity was limited. The community structure of phytoplankton was shaped by pH and salinity and the concentration of silicate, phosphorus and nitrite. The phytoplankton biomass was significantly positively affected by phosphorus and nitrite but negatively by salinity and pH. Therefore, the phytoplankton distribution and biomass from Daya Bay were doubly affected by anthropic activities and natural factors.

  11. The dominant folding route minimizes backbone distortion in SH3.

    PubMed

    Lammert, Heiko; Noel, Jeffrey K; Onuchic, José N

    2012-01-01

    Energetic frustration in protein folding is minimized by evolution to create a smooth and robust energy landscape. As a result the geometry of the native structure provides key constraints that shape protein folding mechanisms. Chain connectivity in particular has been identified as an essential component for realistic behavior of protein folding models. We study the quantitative balance of energetic and geometrical influences on the folding of SH3 in a structure-based model with minimal energetic frustration. A decomposition of the two-dimensional free energy landscape for the folding reaction into relevant energy and entropy contributions reveals that the entropy of the chain is not responsible for the folding mechanism. Instead the preferred folding route through the transition state arises from a cooperative energetic effect. Off-pathway structures are penalized by excess distortion in local backbone configurations and contact pair distances. This energy cost is a new ingredient in the malleable balance of interactions that controls the choice of routes during protein folding.

  12. Studies on the structural variations of pentosan polysulfate sodium (NaPPS) from different sources by capillary electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Degenhardt, M; Ghosh, P; Wätzig, H

    2001-01-01

    Commercial pentosan polysulfate sodium salts (NaPPS) are highly sulfated polysaccharides derived from beechwood hemicellulose by sulfate esterification with a Mrel range of 1500-6000. The polysaccharide backbone of NaPPS consists of repeating linear units of 1-4 linked beta-D-xylopyranose with laterally substituted 4-methylglucopyranosyluronic acid units glycosidically linked to the 2 position of the main chain at every 10th xylopyranose unit on average. For many years NaPPS has been used for antithrombotic prophylaxis in Europe and interstitial cystitis in the USA and Australia. More recently NaPPS has found veterinary application for the treatment of osteoarthritis and related conditions in domestic animals and is registered for this use in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Eire, and several Scandanavian countries. At present the use of NaPPS for human disorders is confined to material manufactured by one company. However, for veterinary applications, NaPPS from three manufactures have been described. Since it is well known that the biological activities of sulfated polysaccharides are dependent on their molecular structures we considered it important to characterise these various NaPPS preparations using an established method of analysis. Unfortunately, traditional analytical techniques such as TLC, OR, UV/Vis spectroscopy, and size exclusion chromatography were incapable of providing structural information which would distinguish these NaPPS preparations from each other. In contrast, a capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) method facilitated characterisation of the different NaPPS by a highly reproducible fingerprint, using a benzene-1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid buffer (8.75 mmol/L, pH = 4.9) with indirect UV detection (lambda = 217 nm) and a special capillary pre-treatment (1 M NaOH for 1 h at 25 degrees C, then running buffer for 120 min at 25 degrees C applying -20 kV). In the present study more than 20 batches of NaPPS from the three manufacturers have been

  13. Radiation Safety System (RSS) backbones: Design, engineering, fabrication, and installation

    SciTech Connect

    Wilmarth, J. E.; Sturrock, J. C.; Gallegos, F. R.

    1998-12-10

    The Radiation Safety System (RSS) backbones are part of an electrical/electronic/mechanical system ensuring safe access and exclusion of personnel to areas at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) accelerator. The RSS backbones control the safety-fusible beam plugs which terminate transmission of accelerated ion beams in response to predefined conditions. Any beam or access fault of the backbone inputs will cause insertion of the beam plugs in the low-energy beam transport. The backbones serve the function of tying the beam plugs to the access control systems, beam spill monitoring systems and current-level limiting systems. In some ways the backbones may be thought of as a spinal column with beam plugs at the head and nerve centers along the spinal column. The two linac backbone segments and the experimental area segments form a continuous cable plant over 3500 feet from the beam plugs to the tip on the longest tail. The backbones were installed in compliance with current safety standards, such as installation of the two segments in separate conduits or tray. Monitoring for ground-faults and input wiring verification was an added enhancement to the system. The system has the capability to be tested remotely.

  14. Radiation safety system (RSS) backbones: Design, engineering, fabrication and installation

    SciTech Connect

    Wilmarth, J.E.; Sturrock, J.C.; Gallegos, F.R.

    1998-12-01

    The Radiation Safety System (RSS) Backbones are part of an electrical/electronic/mechanical system insuring safe access and exclusion of personnel to areas at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) accelerator. The RSS Backbones control the safety fusible beam plugs which terminate transmission of accelerated ion beams in response to predefined conditions. Any beam or access fault of the backbone inputs will cause insertion of the beam plugs in the low energy beam transport. The Backbones serve the function of tying the beam plugs to the access control systems, beam spill monitoring systems and current-level limiting systems. In some ways the Backbones may be thought of as a spinal column with beam plugs at the head and nerve centers along the spinal column. The two Linac Backbone segments and experimental area segments form a continuous cable plant over 3,500 feet from beam plugs to the tip on the longest tail. The Backbones were installed in compliance with current safety standards, such as installation of the two segments in separate conduits or tray. Monitoring for ground-faults and input wiring verification was an added enhancement to the system. The system has the capability to be tested remotely.

  15. Radiation Safety System (RSS) backbones: Design, engineering, fabrication, and installation

    SciTech Connect

    Wilmarth, J.E.; Sturrock, J.C.; Gallegos, F.R.

    1998-12-01

    The Radiation Safety System (RSS) backbones are part of an electrical/electronic/mechanical system ensuring safe access and exclusion of personnel to areas at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) accelerator. The RSS backbones control the safety-fusible beam plugs which terminate transmission of accelerated ion beams in response to predefined conditions. Any beam or access fault of the backbone inputs will cause insertion of the beam plugs in the low-energy beam transport. The backbones serve the function of tying the beam plugs to the access control systems, beam spill monitoring systems and current-level limiting systems. In some ways the backbones may be thought of as a spinal column with beam plugs at the head and nerve centers along the spinal column. The two linac backbone segments and the experimental area segments form a continuous cable plant over 3500 feet from the beam plugs to the tip on the longest tail. The backbones were installed in compliance with current safety standards, such as installation of the two segments in separate conduits or tray. Monitoring for ground-faults and input wiring verification was an added enhancement to the system. The system has the capability to be tested remotely. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  16. Radiation Safety System (RSS) backbones: Design, engineering, fabrication, and installation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilmarth, J. E.; Sturrock, J. C.; Gallegos, F. R.

    1998-12-01

    The Radiation Safety System (RSS) backbones are part of an electrical/electronic/mechanical system ensuring safe access and exclusion of personnel to areas at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) accelerator. The RSS backbones control the safety-fusible beam plugs which terminate transmission of accelerated ion beams in response to predefined conditions. Any beam or access fault of the backbone inputs will cause insertion of the beam plugs in the low-energy beam transport. The backbones serve the function of tying the beam plugs to the access control systems, beam spill monitoring systems and current-level limiting systems. In some ways the backbones may be thought of as a spinal column with beam plugs at the head and nerve centers along the spinal column. The two linac backbone segments and the experimental area segments form a continuous cable plant over 3500 feet from the beam plugs to the tip on the longest tail. The backbones were installed in compliance with current safety standards, such as installation of the two segments in separate conduits or tray. Monitoring for ground-faults and input wiring verification was an added enhancement to the system. The system has the capability to be tested remotely.

  17. Towards Structural Analysis of Audio Recordings in the Presence of Musical Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Meinard; Kurth, Frank

    2006-12-01

    One major goal of structural analysis of an audio recording is to automatically extract the repetitive structure or, more generally, the musical form of the underlying piece of music. Recent approaches to this problem work well for music, where the repetitions largely agree with respect to instrumentation and tempo, as is typically the case for popular music. For other classes of music such as Western classical music, however, musically similar audio segments may exhibit significant variations in parameters such as dynamics, timbre, execution of note groups, modulation, articulation, and tempo progression. In this paper, we propose a robust and efficient algorithm for audio structure analysis, which allows to identify musically similar segments even in the presence of large variations in these parameters. To account for such variations, our main idea is to incorporate invariance at various levels simultaneously: we design a new type of statistical features to absorb microvariations, introduce an enhanced local distance measure to account for local variations, and describe a new strategy for structure extraction that can cope with the global variations. Our experimental results with classical and popular music show that our algorithm performs successfully even in the presence of significant musical variations.

  18. NMR study of non-structural proteins--part I: (1)H, (13)C, (15)N backbone and side-chain resonance assignment of macro domain from Mayaro virus (MAYV).

    PubMed

    Melekis, Efstathios; Tsika, Aikaterini C; Lichière, Julie; Chasapis, Christos T; Margiolaki, Irene; Papageorgiou, Nicolas; Coutard, Bruno; Bentrop, Detlef; Spyroulias, Georgios A

    2015-04-01

    Macro domains are ADP-ribose-binding modules present in all eukaryotic organisms, bacteria and archaea. They are also found in non-structural proteins of several positive strand RNA viruses such as alphaviruses. Here, we report the high yield expression and preliminary structural analysis through solution NMR spectroscopy of the macro domain from New World Mayaro Alphavirus. The recombinant protein was well-folded and in a monomeric state. An almost complete sequence-specific assignment of its (1)H, (15)N and (13)C resonances was obtained and its secondary structure determined by TALOS+.

  19. On the relationship between NMR-derived amide order parameters and protein backbone entropy changes.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Kim A; O'Brien, Evan; Kasinath, Vignesh; Wand, A Joshua

    2015-05-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations are used to analyze the relationship between NMR-derived squared generalized order parameters of amide NH groups and backbone entropy. Amide order parameters (O(2) NH ) are largely determined by the secondary structure and average values appear unrelated to the overall flexibility of the protein. However, analysis of the more flexible subset (O(2) NH  < 0.8) shows that these report both on the local flexibility of the protein and on a different component of the conformational entropy than that reported by the side chain methyl axis order parameters, O(2) axis . A calibration curve for backbone entropy vs. O(2) NH is developed, which accounts for both correlations between amide group motions of different residues, and correlations between backbone and side chain motions. This calibration curve can be used with experimental values of O(2) NH changes obtained by NMR relaxation measurements to extract backbone entropy changes, for example, upon ligand binding. In conjunction with our previous calibration for side chain entropy derived from measured O(2) axis values this provides a prescription for determination of the total protein conformational entropy changes from NMR relaxation measurements.

  20. Effects of Protein Stabilizing Agents on Thermal Backbone Motions: A Disulfide Trapping Study†

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Scott L.; Falke, Joseph J.

    2010-01-01

    Chemical stabilizers are widely used to enhance protein stability, both in nature and in the laboratory. Here, the molecular mechanism of chemical stabilizers is studied using a disulfide trapping assay to measure the effects of stabilizers on thermal backbone dynamics in the Escherichia coli galactose/glucose binding protein. Two types of backbone fluctuations are examined: (a) relative movements of adjacent surface α-helices within the same domain and (b) interdomain twisting motions. Both types of fluctuations are significantly reduced by all six stabilizers tested (glycerol, sucrose, trehalose, l-glucose, d-glucose, and d-galactose), and in each case larger amplitude motions are inhibited more than smaller ones. Motional inhibition does not require a high-affinity stabilizer binding site, indicating that the effects of stabilizers are nonspecific. Overall, the results support the theory that effective stabilizing agents act by favoring the most compact structure of a protein, thereby reducing local backbone fluctuations away from the fully folded state. Such inhibition of protein backbone dynamics may be a general mechanism of protein stabilization in extreme thermal or chemical environments. PMID:8718847

  1. On the relationship between NMR-derived amide order parameters and protein backbone entropy changes

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Kim A.; O’Brien, Evan; Kasinath, Vignesh; Wand, A. Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations are used to analyze the relationship between NMR-derived squared generalized order parameters of amide NH groups and backbone entropy. Amide order parameters (O2NH) are largely determined by the secondary structure and average values appear unrelated to the overall flexibility of the protein. However, analysis of the more flexible subset (O2NH < 0.8) shows that these report both on the local flexibility of the protein and on a different component of the conformational entropy than that reported by the side chain methyl axis order parameters, O2axis. A calibration curve for backbone entropy vs. O2NH is developed which accounts for both correlations between amide group motions of different residues, and correlations between backbone and side chain motions. This calibration curve can be used with experimental values of O2NH changes obtained by NMR relaxation measurements to extract backbone entropy changes, e.g. upon ligand binding. In conjunction with our previous calibration for side chain entropy derived from measured O2axis values this provides a prescription for determination of the total protein conformational entropy changes from NMR relaxation measurements. PMID:25739366

  2. Backbone dependency further improves side chain prediction efficiency in the Energy-based Conformer Library (bEBL).

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Sabareesh; Senes, Alessandro

    2014-11-01

    Side chain optimization is an integral component of many protein modeling applications. In these applications, the conformational freedom of the side chains is often explored using libraries of discrete, frequently occurring conformations. Because side chain optimization can pose a computationally intensive combinatorial problem, the nature of these conformer libraries is important for ensuring efficiency and accuracy in side chain prediction. We have previously developed an innovative method to create a conformer library with enhanced performance. The Energy-based Library (EBL) was obtained by analyzing the energetic interactions between conformers and a large number of natural protein environments from crystal structures. This process guided the selection of conformers with the highest propensity to fit into spaces that should accommodate a side chain. Because the method requires a large crystallographic data-set, the EBL was created in a backbone-independent fashion. However, it is well established that side chain conformation is strongly dependent on the local backbone geometry, and that backbone-dependent libraries are more efficient in side chain optimization. Here we present the backbone-dependent EBL (bEBL), whose conformers are independently sorted for each populated region of Ramachandran space. The resulting library closely mirrors the local backbone-dependent distribution of side chain conformation. Compared to the EBL, we demonstrate that the bEBL uses fewer conformers to produce similar side chain prediction outcomes, thus further improving performance with respect to the already efficient backbone-independent version of the library.

  3. Genotypic variation in foundation species generates network structure that may drive community dynamics and evolution.

    PubMed

    Lau, Matthew K; Keith, Arthur R; Borrett, Stuart R; Shuster, Stephen M; Whitham, Thomas G

    2016-03-01

    Although genetics in a single species is known to impact whole communities, little is known about how genetic variation influences species interaction networks in complex ecosystems. Here, we examine the interactions in a community of arthropod species on replicated genotypes (clones) of a foundation tree species, Populus angustifolia James (narrowleaf cottonwood), in a long-term, common garden experiment using a bipartite "genotype-species" network perspective. We combine this empirical work with a simulation experiment designed to further investigate how variation among individual tree genotypes can impact network structure. Three findings emerged: (1) the empirical "genotype-species network" exhibited significant network structure with modularity being greater than the highly conservative null model; (2) as would be expected given a modular network structure, the empirical network displayed significant positive arthropod co-occurrence patterns; and (3) furthermore, the simulations of "genotype-species" networks displayed variation in network structure, with modularity in particular clearly increasing, as genotypic variation increased. These results support the conclusion that genetic variation in a single species contributes to the structure of ecological interaction networks, which could influence eco-ogical dynamics (e.g., assembly and stability) and evolution in a community context. PMID:27197399

  4. Genotypic variation in foundation species generates network structure that may drive community dynamics and evolution.

    PubMed

    Lau, Matthew K; Keith, Arthur R; Borrett, Stuart R; Shuster, Stephen M; Whitham, Thomas G

    2016-03-01

    Although genetics in a single species is known to impact whole communities, little is known about how genetic variation influences species interaction networks in complex ecosystems. Here, we examine the interactions in a community of arthropod species on replicated genotypes (clones) of a foundation tree species, Populus angustifolia James (narrowleaf cottonwood), in a long-term, common garden experiment using a bipartite "genotype-species" network perspective. We combine this empirical work with a simulation experiment designed to further investigate how variation among individual tree genotypes can impact network structure. Three findings emerged: (1) the empirical "genotype-species network" exhibited significant network structure with modularity being greater than the highly conservative null model; (2) as would be expected given a modular network structure, the empirical network displayed significant positive arthropod co-occurrence patterns; and (3) furthermore, the simulations of "genotype-species" networks displayed variation in network structure, with modularity in particular clearly increasing, as genotypic variation increased. These results support the conclusion that genetic variation in a single species contributes to the structure of ecological interaction networks, which could influence eco-ogical dynamics (e.g., assembly and stability) and evolution in a community context.

  5. Backbone and side chain chemical shift assignments of apolipophorin III from Galleria mellonella.

    PubMed

    Crowhurst, Karin A; Horn, James V C; Weers, Paul M M

    2016-04-01

    Apolipophorin III, a 163 residue monomeric protein from the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella (abbreviated as apoLp-IIIGM), has roles in upregulating expression of antimicrobial proteins as well as binding and deforming bacterial membranes. Due to its similarity to vertebrate apolipoproteins there is interest in performing atomic resolution analysis of apoLp-IIIGM as part of an effort to better understand its mechanism of action in innate immunity. In the first step towards structural characterization of apoLp-IIIGM, 99 % of backbone and 88 % of side chain (1)H, (13)C and (15)N chemical shifts were assigned. TALOS+ analysis of the backbone resonances has predicted that the protein is composed of five long helices, which is consistent with the reported structures of apolipophorins from other insect species. The next stage in the characterization of apoLp-III from G. mellonella will be to utilize these resonance assignments in solving the solution structure of this protein.

  6. Territory size variation in the ovenbird: the role of habitat structure. [Seiurus aurocapillus

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.M.; Shugart, H.H.

    1987-06-01

    The hypothesis that structural habitat cues are the proximate factor determining territory size was tested by examining the relationships among habitat structure, prey abundance, and intrapopulation variation in territory size in Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus). Territory size was negatively correlated with prey abundance, with territory size decreasing as prey abundance per unit area increased. In addition, there was a significant difference in prey abundance per unit area between territory sites and areas of the study site not occupied by ovenbirds. A regression of prey abundance with variables describing the habitat structure of territory sites was significant, with habitat structure accounting for 73% of the variation in prey abundance among territories. This regression analysis, in combination with an additional discriminant function analysis of habitat occupancy, suggested a gradient of habitat quality as a function of vegetation structure that is related to both habitat selection and variation in territory size. To determine the possible mechanisms responsible for the inverse relationship between prey abundance and territory size, several hypotheses were considered. A partial correlation analysis of territory size with prey abundance and predicted prey abundance supported a structural cues hypothesis, with variation in territory size being related to structural features of the habitat rather than prey abundance per se.

  7. Intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator affects multitrophic lake metacommunity structure

    PubMed Central

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Weis, Jerome J; Brodersen, Jakob; Hatton, Elizabeth C; Post, David M

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary insights from evolutionary ecology suggest that population divergence in ecologically important traits within predators can generate diversifying ecological selection on local community structure. Many studies acknowledging these effects of intraspecific variation assume that local populations are situated in communities that are unconnected to similar communities within a shared region. Recent work from metacommunity ecology suggests that species dispersal among communities can also influence species diversity and composition but can depend upon the relative importance of the local environment. Here, we study the relative effects of intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator and spatial processes related to plankton species dispersal on multitrophic lake plankton metacommunity structure. Intraspecific diversification in foraging traits and residence time of the planktivorous fish alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) among coastal lakes yields lake metacommunities supporting three lake types which differ in the phenotype and incidence of alewife: lakes with anadromous, landlocked, or no alewives. In coastal lakes, plankton community composition was attributed to dispersal versus local environmental predictors, including intraspecific variation in alewives. Local and beta diversity of zooplankton and phytoplankton was additionally measured in response to intraspecific variation in alewives. Zooplankton communities were structured by species sorting, with a strong influence of intraspecific variation in A. pseudoharengus. Intraspecific variation altered zooplankton species richness and beta diversity, where lake communities with landlocked alewives exhibited intermediate richness between lakes with anadromous alewives and without alewives, and greater community similarity. Phytoplankton diversity, in contrast, was highest in lakes with landlocked alewives. The results indicate that plankton dispersal in the region supplied a migrant pool that was

  8. High Density LD-Based Structural Variations Analysis in Cattle Genome

    PubMed Central

    Salomon-Torres, Ricardo; Matukumalli, Lakshmi K.; Van Tassell, Curtis P.; Villa-Angulo, Carlos; Gonzalez-Vizcarra, Víctor M.; Villa-Angulo, Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Genomic structural variations represent an important source of genetic variation in mammal genomes, thus, they are commonly related to phenotypic expressions. In this work, ∼770,000 single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes from 506 animals from 19 cattle breeds were analyzed. A simple LD-based structural variation was defined, and a genome-wide analysis was performed. After applying some quality control filters, for each breed and each chromosome we calculated the linkage disequilibrium (r2) of short range (≤100 Kb). We sorted SNP pairs by distance and obtained a set of LD means (called the expected means) using bins of 5 Kb. We identified 15,246 segments of at least 1 Kb, among the 19 breeds, consisting of sets of at least 3 adjacent SNPs so that, for each SNP, r2 within its neighbors in a 100 Kb range, to the right side of that SNP, were all bigger than, or all smaller than, the corresponding expected mean, and their P-value were significant after a Benjamini-Hochberg multiple testing correction. In addition, to account just for homogeneously distributed regions we considered only SNPs having at least 15 SNP neighbors within 100 Kb. We defined such segments as structural variations. By grouping all variations across all animals in the sample we defined 9,146 regions, involving a total of 53,137 SNPs; representing the 6.40% (160.98 Mb) from the bovine genome. The identified structural variations covered 3,109 genes. Clustering analysis showed the relatedness of breeds given the geographic region in which they are evolving. In summary, we present an analysis of structural variations based on the deviation of the expected short range LD between SNPs in the bovine genome. With an intuitive and simple definition based only on SNPs data it was possible to discern closeness of breeds due to grouping by geographic region in which they are evolving. PMID:25050984

  9. A backbone lever-arm effect enhances polymer mechanochemistry.

    PubMed

    Klukovich, Hope M; Kouznetsova, Tatiana B; Kean, Zachary S; Lenhardt, Jeremy M; Craig, Stephen L

    2013-02-01

    Mechanical forces along a polymer backbone can be used to bring about remarkable reactivity in embedded mechanically active functional groups, but little attention has been paid to how a given polymer backbone delivers that force to the reactant. Here, single-molecule force spectroscopy was used to directly quantify and compare the forces associated with the ring opening of gem-dibromo and gem-dichlorocyclopropanes affixed along the backbone of cis-polynorbornene and cis-polybutadiene. The critical force for isomerization drops by about one-third in the polynorbornene scaffold relative to polybutadiene. The root of the effect lies in more efficient chemomechanical coupling through the polynorbornene backbone, which acts as a phenomenological lever with greater mechanical advantage than polybutadiene. The experimental results are supported computationally and provide the foundation for a new strategy by which to engineer mechanochemical reactivity. PMID:23344431

  10. A backbone lever-arm effect enhances polymer mechanochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klukovich, Hope M.; Kouznetsova, Tatiana B.; Kean, Zachary S.; Lenhardt, Jeremy M.; Craig, Stephen L.

    2013-02-01

    Mechanical forces along a polymer backbone can be used to bring about remarkable reactivity in embedded mechanically active functional groups, but little attention has been paid to how a given polymer backbone delivers that force to the reactant. Here, single-molecule force spectroscopy was used to directly quantify and compare the forces associated with the ring opening of gem-dibromo and gem-dichlorocyclopropanes affixed along the backbone of cis-polynorbornene and cis-polybutadiene. The critical force for isomerization drops by about one-third in the polynorbornene scaffold relative to polybutadiene. The root of the effect lies in more efficient chemomechanical coupling through the polynorbornene backbone, which acts as a phenomenological lever with greater mechanical advantage than polybutadiene. The experimental results are supported computationally and provide the foundation for a new strategy by which to engineer mechanochemical reactivity.

  11. Photocleavage of the Polypeptide Backbone by 2-Nitrophenylalanine

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Francis B.; Brock, Ansgar; Wang, Jiangyun; Schultz, Peter G.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Photocleavage of the polypeptide backbone is potentially a powerful and general method to activate or deactivate functional peptides and proteins with high spatial and temporal resolution. Here we show that 2-nitrophenylalanine is able to photochemically cleave the polypeptide backbone by an unusual cinnoline forming reaction. This unnatural amino acid was genetically encoded in E. coli, and protein containing 2-nitrophenylalanine was expressed and site specifically photocleaved. PMID:19246005

  12. ViVar: A Comprehensive Platform for the Analysis and Visualization of Structural Genomic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Sante, Tom; Vergult, Sarah; Volders, Pieter-Jan; Kloosterman, Wigard P.; Trooskens, Geert; De Preter, Katleen; Dheedene, Annelies; Speleman, Frank; De Meyer, Tim; Menten, Björn

    2014-01-01

    Structural genomic variations play an important role in human disease and phenotypic diversity. With the rise of high-throughput sequencing tools, mate-pair/paired-end/single-read sequencing has become an important technique for the detection and exploration of structural variation. Several analysis tools exist to handle different parts and aspects of such sequencing based structural variation analyses pipelines. A comprehensive analysis platform to handle all steps, from processing the sequencing data, to the discovery and visualization of structural variants, is missing. The ViVar platform is built to handle the discovery of structural variants, from Depth Of Coverage analysis, aberrant read pair clustering to split read analysis. ViVar provides you with powerful visualization options, enables easy reporting of results and better usability and data management. The platform facilitates the processing, analysis and visualization, of structural variation based on massive parallel sequencing data, enabling the rapid identification of disease loci or genes. ViVar allows you to scale your analysis with your work load over multiple (cloud) servers, has user access control to keep your data safe and is easy expandable as analysis techniques advance. URL: https://www.cmgg.be/vivar/ PMID:25503062

  13. Rare Variation Facilitates Inferences of Fine-Scale Population Structure in Humans

    PubMed Central

    O’Connor, Timothy D.; Fu, Wenqing; Mychaleckyj, Josyf C.; Logsdon, Benjamin; Auer, Paul; Carlson, Christopher S.; Leal, Suzanne M.; Smith, Joshua D.; Rieder, Mark J.; Bamshad, Michael J.; Nickerson, Deborah A.; Akey, Joshua M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the genetic structure of human populations has important implications for the design and interpretation of disease mapping studies and reconstructing human evolutionary history. To date, inferences of human population structure have primarily been made with common variants. However, recent large-scale resequencing studies have shown an abundance of rare variation in humans, which may be particularly useful for making inferences of fine-scale population structure. To this end, we used an information theory framework and extensive coalescent simulations to rigorously quantify the informativeness of rare and common variation to detect signatures of fine-scale population structure. We show that rare variation affords unique insights into patterns of recent population structure. Furthermore, to empirically assess our theoretical findings, we analyzed high-coverage exome sequences in 6,515 European and African American individuals. As predicted, rare variants are more informative than common polymorphisms in revealing a distinct cluster of European–American individuals, and subsequent analyses demonstrate that these individuals are likely of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Our results provide new insights into the population structure using rare variation, which will be an important factor to account for in rare variant association studies. PMID:25415970

  14. A unified NMR strategy for high-throughput determination of backbone fold of small proteins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Dinesh; Gautam, Anmol; Hosur, Ramakrishna V

    2012-12-01

    An efficient semi-automated strategy called PFBD (i.e. Protein Fold from Backbone Data only) has been presented for rapid backbone fold determination of small proteins. It makes use of NMR parameters involving backbone atoms only. These include chemical shifts, amide-amide NOEs and H-bonds. The backbone chemical shifts are obtained in an automated manner from the orthogonal 2D projections of variants of HNN and HN(C)N experiments (Kumar et al., in Magn Reson Chem 50(5):357-363, 2012) using AUTOBA (Borkar et al. in J Biomol NMR 50(3):285-297, 2011); backbone H-bonds are manually derived from constant time long-range 2D-HnCO spectrum (Cordier and Grzesiek in J Am Chem Soc 121:1601-1602, 1999); and amide-amide NOEs are derived from 3D HNCO NOESY experiment which provides NOEs along the direct (1)H dimension that has maximum resolution (Lohr and Ruterjans in J Biomol NMR 9(1):371-388, 1997). All the experiments needed for the execution of PFBD can be recorded and analyzed in about 24-48 h depending upon the concentration of the protein and dispersion of amide cross-peaks in the (1)H-(15)N correlation spectrum. Thus, we believe that the strategy, because of its speed and simplicity will be very valuable in Biomolecular NMR community for high-throughput structural proteomics of small folded proteins of MW < 10-12 kDa, the regime where NMR is generally preferred over X-ray crystallography. The strategy has been validated and demonstrated here on two small globular proteins: human ubiquitin (76 aa) and chicken SH3 domain (62 aa). PMID:23054485

  15. Landscape and variation of RNA secondary structure across the human transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Wan, Yue; Qu, Kun; Zhang, Qiangfeng Cliff; Flynn, Ryan A; Manor, Ohad; Ouyang, Zhengqing; Zhang, Jiajing; Spitale, Robert C; Snyder, Michael P; Segal, Eran; Chang, Howard Y

    2014-01-30

    In parallel to the genetic code for protein synthesis, a second layer of information is embedded in all RNA transcripts in the form of RNA structure. RNA structure influences practically every step in the gene expression program. However, the nature of most RNA structures or effects of sequence variation on structure are not known. Here we report the initial landscape and variation of RNA secondary structures (RSSs) in a human family trio (mother, father and their child). This provides a comprehensive RSS map of human coding and non-coding RNAs. We identify unique RSS signatures that demarcate open reading frames and splicing junctions, and define authentic microRNA-binding sites. Comparison of native deproteinized RNA isolated from cells versus refolded purified RNA suggests that the majority of the RSS information is encoded within RNA sequence. Over 1,900 transcribed single nucleotide variants (approximately 15% of all transcribed single nucleotide variants) alter local RNA structure. We discover simple sequence and spacing rules that determine the ability of point mutations to impact RSSs. Selective depletion of 'riboSNitches' versus structurally synonymous variants at precise locations suggests selection for specific RNA shapes at thousands of sites, including 3' untranslated regions, binding sites of microRNAs and RNA-binding proteins genome-wide. These results highlight the potentially broad contribution of RNA structure and its variation to gene regulation.

  16. The Inherent Conformational Preferences of Glutamine-Containing Peptides: the Role for Side-Chain Backbone Hydrogen Bonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, Patrick S.; McBurney, Carl; Gellman, Samuel H.; Zwier, Timothy S.

    2015-06-01

    Glutamine is widely known to be found in critical regions of peptides which readily fold into amyloid fibrils, the structures commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease and glutamine repeat diseases such as Huntington's disease. Building on previous single-conformation data on Gln-containing peptides containing an aromatic cap on the N-terminus (Z-Gln-OH and Z-Gln-NHMe), we present here single-conformation UV and IR spectra of Ac-Gln-NHBn and Ac-Ala-Gln-NHBn, with its C-terminal benzyl cap. These results point towards side-chain to backbone hydrogen bonds dominating the structures observed in the cold, isolated environment of a molecular beam. We have identified and assigned three main conformers for Ac-Gln-NHBn all involving primary side-chain to backbone interactions. Ac-Ala-Gln-NHBn extends the peptide chain by one amino acid, but affords an improvement in the conformational flexibility. Despite this increase in the flexibility, only a single conformation is observed in the gas-phase: a structure which makes use of both side-chain-to-backbone and backbone-to-backbone hydrogen bonds.

  17. Protein backbone and sidechain torsion angles predicted from NMR chemical shifts using artificial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yang; Bax, Ad

    2013-07-01

    A new program, TALOS-N, is introduced for predicting protein backbone torsion angles from NMR chemical shifts. The program relies far more extensively on the use of trained artificial neural networks than its predecessor, TALOS+. Validation on an independent set of proteins indicates that backbone torsion angles can be predicted for a larger, ≥90 % fraction of the residues, with an error rate smaller than ca 3.5 %, using an acceptance criterion that is nearly two-fold tighter than that used previously, and a root mean square difference between predicted and crystallographically observed (ϕ, ψ) torsion angles of ca 12º. TALOS-N also reports sidechain χ(1) rotameric states for about 50 % of the residues, and a consistency with reference structures of 89 %. The program includes a neural network trained to identify secondary structure from residue sequence and chemical shifts.

  18. Backbone of complex networks of corporations: The flow of control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glattfelder, J. B.; Battiston, S.

    2009-09-01

    We present a methodology to extract the backbone of complex networks based on the weight and direction of links, as well as on nontopological properties of nodes. We show how the methodology can be applied in general to networks in which mass or energy is flowing along the links. In particular, the procedure enables us to address important questions in economics, namely, how control and wealth are structured and concentrated across national markets. We report on the first cross-country investigation of ownership networks, focusing on the stock markets of 48 countries around the world. On the one hand, our analysis confirms results expected on the basis of the literature on corporate control, namely, that in Anglo-Saxon countries control tends to be dispersed among numerous shareholders. On the other hand, it also reveals that in the same countries, control is found to be highly concentrated at the global level, namely, lying in the hands of very few important shareholders. Interestingly, the exact opposite is observed for European countries. These results have previously not been reported as they are not observable without the kind of network analysis developed here.

  19. Backbone of complex networks of corporations: the flow of control.

    PubMed

    Glattfelder, J B; Battiston, S

    2009-09-01

    We present a methodology to extract the backbone of complex networks based on the weight and direction of links, as well as on nontopological properties of nodes. We show how the methodology can be applied in general to networks in which mass or energy is flowing along the links. In particular, the procedure enables us to address important questions in economics, namely, how control and wealth are structured and concentrated across national markets. We report on the first cross-country investigation of ownership networks, focusing on the stock markets of 48 countries around the world. On the one hand, our analysis confirms results expected on the basis of the literature on corporate control, namely, that in Anglo-Saxon countries control tends to be dispersed among numerous shareholders. On the other hand, it also reveals that in the same countries, control is found to be highly concentrated at the global level, namely, lying in the hands of very few important shareholders. Interestingly, the exact opposite is observed for European countries. These results have previously not been reported as they are not observable without the kind of network analysis developed here.

  20. Parametric reduced-order models of battery pack vibration including structural variation and prestress effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Sung-Kwon; Epureanu, Bogdan I.; Castanier, Matthew P.

    2014-09-01

    The goal of this work is to develop a numerical model for the vibration of hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) battery packs to enable probabilistic forced response simulations for the effects of variations. There are two important types of variations that affect their structural response significantly: the prestress that is applied when joining the cells within a pack; and the small, random structural property discrepancies among the cells of a battery pack. The main contributions of this work are summarized as follows. In order to account for these two important variations, a new parametric reduced order model (PROM) formulation is derived by employing three key observations: (1) the stiffness matrix can be parameterized for different levels of prestress, (2) the mode shapes of a battery pack with cell-to-cell variation can be represented as a linear combination of the mode shapes of the nominal system, and (3) the frame holding each cell has vibratory motion. A numerical example of an academic battery pack with pouch cells is presented to demonstrate that the PROM captures the effects of both prestress and structural variation on battery packs. The PROM is validated numerically by comparing full-order finite element models (FEMs) of the same systems.

  1. Temperature dependence of fast carbonyl backbone dynamics in chicken villin headpiece subdomain.

    PubMed

    Vugmeyster, Liliya; Ostrovsky, Dmitry

    2011-06-01

    Temperature-dependence of protein dynamics can provide information on details of the free energy landscape by probing the characteristics of the potential responsible for the fluctuations. We have investigated the temperature-dependence of picosecond to nanosecond backbone dynamics at carbonyl carbon sites in chicken villin headpiece subdomain protein using a combination of three NMR relaxation rates: (13)C' longitudinal rate, and two cross-correlated rates involving dipolar and chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) relaxation mechanisms, (13)C'/(13)C'-(13)C(α) CSA/dipolar and (13)C'/(13)C'-(15)N CSA/dipolar. Order parameters have been extracted using the Lipari-Szabo model-free approach assuming a separation of the time scales of internal and molecular motions in the 2-16°C temperature range. There is a gradual deviation from this assumption from lower to higher temperatures, such that above 16°C the separation of the time scales is inconsistent with the experimental data and, thus, the Lipari-Szabo formalism can not be applied. While there are variations among the residues, on the average the order parameters indicate a markedly steeper temperature dependence at backbone carbonyl carbons compared to that probed at amide nitrogens in an earlier study. This strongly advocates for probing sites other than amide nitrogen for accurate characterization of the potential and other thermodynamics characteristics of protein backbone.

  2. Mining the Protein Data Bank to Differentiate Error from Structural Variation in Clustered Static Structures: An Examination of HIV Protease

    PubMed Central

    Venkatakrishnan, Balasubramanian; Palii, Miorel-Lucian; Agbandje-McKenna, Mavis; McKenna, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) contains over 71,000 structures. Extensively studied proteins have hundreds of submissions available, including mutations, different complexes, and space groups, allowing for application of data-mining algorithms to analyze an array of static structures and gain insight about a protein’s structural variation and possibly its dynamics. This investigation is a case study of HIV protease (PR) using in-house algorithms for data mining and structure superposition through generalized formulæ that account for multiple conformations and fractional occupancies. Temperature factors (B-factors) are compared with spatial displacement from the mean structure over the entire study set and separately over bound and ligand-free structures, to assess the significance of structural deviation in a statistical context. Space group differences are also examined. PMID:22590675

  3. NMR study of non-structural proteins--part II: (1)H, (13)C, (15)N backbone and side-chain resonance assignment of macro domain from Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV).

    PubMed

    Makrynitsa, Garyfallia I; Ntonti, Dioni; Marousis, Konstantinos D; Tsika, Aikaterini C; Lichière, Julie; Papageorgiou, Nicolas; Coutard, Bruno; Bentrop, Detlef; Spyroulias, Georgios A

    2015-10-01

    Macro domains consist of 130-190 amino acid residues and appear to be highly conserved in all kingdoms of life. Intense research on this field has shown that macro domains bind ADP-ribose and other similar molecules, but their exact function still remains intangible. Macro domains are highly conserved in the Alphavirus genus and the Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is a member of this genus that causes fatal encephalitis to equines and humans. In this study we report the high yield recombinant expression and preliminary solution NMR study of the macro domain of VEEV. An almost complete sequence-specific assignment of its (1)H, (15)N and (13)C resonances was obtained and its secondary structure predicted by TALOS+. The protein shows a unique mixed α/β-fold.

  4. Constraints on field theoretical models for variation of the fine structure constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinhardt, Charles L.

    2005-02-01

    Recent theoretical ideas and observational claims suggest that the fine structure constant α may be variable. We examine a spectrum of models in which α is a function of a scalar field. Specifically, we consider three scenarios: oscillating α, monotonic time variation of α, and time-independent α that is spatially varying. We examine the constraints imposed upon these theories by cosmological observations, particle detector experiments, and “fifth force” experiments. These constraints are very strong on models involving oscillation but cannot compete with bounds from the Oklo subnuclear reactor on models with monotonic timelike variation of α. One particular model with spatial variation is consistent with all current experimental and observational measurements, including those from two seemingly conflicting measurements of the fine structure constant using the many multiplet method on absorption lines.

  5. Protein backbone angle restraints from searching a database for chemical shift and sequence homology.

    PubMed

    Cornilescu, G; Delaglio, F; Bax, A

    1999-03-01

    Chemical shifts of backbone atoms in proteins are exquisitely sensitive to local conformation, and homologous proteins show quite similar patterns of secondary chemical shifts. The inverse of this relation is used to search a database for triplets of adjacent residues with secondary chemical shifts and sequence similarity which provide the best match to the query triplet of interest. The database contains 13C alpha, 13C beta, 13C', 1H alpha and 15N chemical shifts for 20 proteins for which a high resolution X-ray structure is available. The computer program TALOS was developed to search this database for strings of residues with chemical shift and residue type homology. The relative importance of the weighting factors attached to the secondary chemical shifts of the five types of resonances relative to that of sequence similarity was optimized empirically. TALOS yields the 10 triplets which have the closest similarity in secondary chemical shift and amino acid sequence to those of the query sequence. If the central residues in these 10 triplets exhibit similar phi and psi backbone angles, their averages can reliably be used as angular restraints for the protein whose structure is being studied. Tests carried out for proteins of known structure indicate that the root-mean-square difference (rmsd) between the output of TALOS and the X-ray derived backbone angles is about 15 degrees. Approximately 3% of the predictions made by TALOS are found to be in error.

  6. The determination of the in situ structure by nuclear spin contrast variation

    SciTech Connect

    Stuhrmann, H.B.; Nierhaus, K.H.

    1994-12-31

    Polarized neutron scattering from polarized nuclear spins in hydrogenous substances opens a new way of contrast variation. The enhanced contrast due to proton spin polarization was used for the in situ structure determination of tRNA of the functional complex of the E.coli ribosome.

  7. Histidine-Directed Arylation/Alkenylation of Backbone N-H Bonds Mediated by Copper(II).

    PubMed

    Ohata, Jun; Minus, Matthew B; Abernathy, Morgan E; Ball, Zachary T

    2016-06-22

    Chemical modification of proteins and peptides represents a challenge of reaction design as well as an important biological tool. In contrast to side-chain modification, synthetic methods to alter backbone structure are extremely limited. In this communication, copper-mediated backbone N-alkenylation or N-arylation of peptides and proteins by direct modification of natural sequences is described. Histidine residues direct oxidative coupling of boronic acids at the backbone NH of a neighboring amino acid. The mild reaction conditions in common physiological buffers, at ambient temperature, are compatible with proteins and biological systems. This simple reaction demonstrates the potential for directed reactions in complex systems to allow modification of N-H bonds that directly affect polypeptide structure, stability, and function. PMID:27249339

  8. Variation in mangrove forest structure and sediment characteristics in Bocas del Toro, Panama

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovelock, C.E.; Feller, Ilka C.; McKee, K.L.; Thompson, R.

    2005-01-01

    Mangrove forest structure and sediment characteristics were examined in the extensive mangroves of Bocas del Toro, Republic of Panama. Forest structure was characterized to determine if spatial vegetation patterns were repeated over the Bocas del Toro landscape. Using a series of permanent plots and transects we found that the forests of Bocas del Toro were dominated by Rhizophora mangle with very few individuals of Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa. Despite this low species diversity, there was large variation in forest structure and in edaphic conditions (salinity, concentration of available phosphorus, Eh and sulphide concentration). Aboveground biomass varied 20-fold, from 6.8 Mg ha-1 in dwarf forests to 194.3 Mg ha-1 in the forests fringing the land. But variation in forest structure was predictable across the intertidal zone. There was a strong tree height gradient from seaward fringe (mean tree height 3.9 m), decreasing in stature in the interior dwarf forests (mean tree height 0.7 m), and increasing in stature in forests adjacent to the terrestrial forest (mean tree height 4.1 m). The predictable variation in forest structure emerges due to the complex interactions among edaphic and plant factors. Identifying predictable patterns in forest structure will aid in scaling up the ecosystem services provided by mangrove forests in coastal landscapes. Copyright 2005 College of Arts and Sciences.

  9. Spatial and spatiotemporal variation in metapopulation structure affects population dynamics in a passively dispersing arthropod.

    PubMed

    De Roissart, Annelies; Wang, Shaopeng; Bonte, Dries

    2015-11-01

    The spatial and temporal variation in the availability of suitable habitat within metapopulations determines colonization-extinction events, regulates local population sizes and eventually affects local population and metapopulation stability. Insights into the impact of such a spatiotemporal variation on the local population and metapopulation dynamics are principally derived from classical metapopulation theory and have not been experimentally validated. By manipulating spatial structure in artificial metapopulations of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, we test to which degree spatial (mainland-island metapopulations) and spatiotemporal variation (classical metapopulations) in habitat availability affects the dynamics of the metapopulations relative to systems where habitat is constantly available in time and space (patchy metapopulations). Our experiment demonstrates that (i) spatial variation in habitat availability decreases variance in metapopulation size and decreases density-dependent dispersal at the metapopulation level, while (ii) spatiotemporal variation in habitat availability increases patch extinction rates, decreases local population and metapopulation sizes and decreases density dependence in population growth rates. We found dispersal to be negatively density dependent and overall low in the spatial variable mainland-island metapopulation. This demographic variation subsequently impacts local and regional population dynamics and determines patterns of metapopulation stability. Both local and metapopulation-level variabilities are minimized in mainland-island metapopulations relative to classical and patchy ones.

  10. Genomic variations in non-coding RNAs: Structure, function and regulation.

    PubMed

    Bhartiya, Deeksha; Scaria, Vinod

    2016-03-01

    The last decade has seen tremendous improvements in the understanding of human variations and their association with human traits and diseases. The availability of high-resolution map of the human transcriptome and the discovery of a large number of non-protein coding RNA genes has created a paradigm shift in the understanding of functional variations in non-coding RNAs. Several groups in recent years have reported functional variations and trait or disease associated variations mapping to non-coding RNAs including microRNAs, small nucleolar RNAs and long non-coding RNAs. The understanding of the functional consequences of variations in non-coding RNAs has been largely restricted by the limitations in understanding the functionalities of the non-coding RNAs. In this short review, we outline the current state-of-the-art of the field with emphasis on providing a conceptual outline as on how variations could modulate changes in the sequence, structure, and thereby the functionality of non-coding RNAs.

  11. Spatial and spatiotemporal variation in metapopulation structure affects population dynamics in a passively dispersing arthropod.

    PubMed

    De Roissart, Annelies; Wang, Shaopeng; Bonte, Dries

    2015-11-01

    The spatial and temporal variation in the availability of suitable habitat within metapopulations determines colonization-extinction events, regulates local population sizes and eventually affects local population and metapopulation stability. Insights into the impact of such a spatiotemporal variation on the local population and metapopulation dynamics are principally derived from classical metapopulation theory and have not been experimentally validated. By manipulating spatial structure in artificial metapopulations of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, we test to which degree spatial (mainland-island metapopulations) and spatiotemporal variation (classical metapopulations) in habitat availability affects the dynamics of the metapopulations relative to systems where habitat is constantly available in time and space (patchy metapopulations). Our experiment demonstrates that (i) spatial variation in habitat availability decreases variance in metapopulation size and decreases density-dependent dispersal at the metapopulation level, while (ii) spatiotemporal variation in habitat availability increases patch extinction rates, decreases local population and metapopulation sizes and decreases density dependence in population growth rates. We found dispersal to be negatively density dependent and overall low in the spatial variable mainland-island metapopulation. This demographic variation subsequently impacts local and regional population dynamics and determines patterns of metapopulation stability. Both local and metapopulation-level variabilities are minimized in mainland-island metapopulations relative to classical and patchy ones. PMID:25988264

  12. Environmental diel variation, parasite loads, and local population structuring of a mixed-mating mangrove fish.

    PubMed

    Ellison, Amy; Wright, Patricia; Taylor, D Scott; Cooper, Chris; Regan, Kelly; Currie, Suzie; Consuegra, Sofia

    2012-07-01

    Genetic variation within populations depends on population size, spatial structuring, and environmental variation, but is also influenced by mating system. Mangroves are some of the most productive and threatened ecosystems on earth and harbor a large proportion of species with mixed-mating (self-fertilization and outcrossing). Understanding population structuring in mixed-mating species is critical for conserving and managing these complex ecosystems. Kryptolebias marmoratus is a unique mixed-mating vertebrate inhabiting mangrove swamps under highly variable tidal regimes and environmental conditions. We hypothesized that geographical isolation and ecological pressures influence outcrossing rates and genetic diversity, and ultimately determine the local population structuring of K. marmoratus. By comparing genetic variation at 32 microsatellites, diel fluctuations of environmental parameters, and parasite loads among four locations with different degrees of isolation, we found significant differences in genetic diversity and genotypic composition but little evidence of isolation by distance. Locations also differed in environmental diel fluctuation and parasite composition. Our results suggest that mating system, influenced by environmental instability and parasites, underpins local population structuring of K. marmoratus. More generally, we discuss how the conservation of selfing species inhabiting mangroves and other biodiversity hotspots may benefit from knowledge of mating strategies and population structuring at small spatial scales. PMID:22957172

  13. Environmental diel variation, parasite loads, and local population structuring of a mixed-mating mangrove fish

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, Amy; Wright, Patricia; Taylor, D Scott; Cooper, Chris; Regan, Kelly; Currie, Suzie; Consuegra, Sofia

    2012-01-01

    Genetic variation within populations depends on population size, spatial structuring, and environmental variation, but is also influenced by mating system. Mangroves are some of the most productive and threatened ecosystems on earth and harbor a large proportion of species with mixed-mating (self-fertilization and outcrossing). Understanding population structuring in mixed-mating species is critical for conserving and managing these complex ecosystems. Kryptolebias marmoratus is a unique mixed-mating vertebrate inhabiting mangrove swamps under highly variable tidal regimes and environmental conditions. We hypothesized that geographical isolation and ecological pressures influence outcrossing rates and genetic diversity, and ultimately determine the local population structuring of K. marmoratus. By comparing genetic variation at 32 microsatellites, diel fluctuations of environmental parameters, and parasite loads among four locations with different degrees of isolation, we found significant differences in genetic diversity and genotypic composition but little evidence of isolation by distance. Locations also differed in environmental diel fluctuation and parasite composition. Our results suggest that mating system, influenced by environmental instability and parasites, underpins local population structuring of K. marmoratus. More generally, we discuss how the conservation of selfing species inhabiting mangroves and other biodiversity hotspots may benefit from knowledge of mating strategies and population structuring at small spatial scales. PMID:22957172

  14. Comprehensive characterization of complex structural variations in cancer by directly comparing genome sequence reads.

    PubMed

    Moncunill, Valentí; Gonzalez, Santi; Beà, Sílvia; Andrieux, Lise O; Salaverria, Itziar; Royo, Cristina; Martinez, Laura; Puiggròs, Montserrat; Segura-Wang, Maia; Stütz, Adrian M; Navarro, Alba; Royo, Romina; Gelpí, Josep L; Gut, Ivo G; López-Otín, Carlos; Orozco, Modesto; Korbel, Jan O; Campo, Elias; Puente, Xose S; Torrents, David

    2014-11-01

    The development of high-throughput sequencing technologies has advanced our understanding of cancer. However, characterizing somatic structural variants in tumor genomes is still challenging because current strategies depend on the initial alignment of reads to a reference genome. Here, we describe SMUFIN (somatic mutation finder), a single program that directly compares sequence reads from normal and tumor genomes to accurately identify and characterize a range of somatic sequence variation, from single-nucleotide variants (SNV) to large structural variants at base pair resolution. Performance tests on modeled tumor genomes showed average sensitivity of 92% and 74% for SNVs and structural variants, with specificities of 95% and 91%, respectively. Analyses of aggressive forms of solid and hematological tumors revealed that SMUFIN identifies breakpoints associated with chromothripsis and chromoplexy with high specificity. SMUFIN provides an integrated solution for the accurate, fast and comprehensive characterization of somatic sequence variation in cancer. PMID:25344728

  15. Multilayer manipulated diffraction in flower beetles Torynorrhina flammea: intraspecific structural colouration variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, C. X.; Liu, F.; Hao, Y. H.; Hu, X. H.; Zhang, Y. F.; Liu, X. H.

    2014-10-01

    We report that the intraspecific structural colouration variation of the beetle Torynorrhina flammea is a result of diffraction shifting manipulated by a multilayer sub-structure contained in a three-dimensional (3D) photonic architecture. With a perpendicularly 2D quasiperiodic diffraction grating inserted into the multilayer, the 3D photonic structure gives rise to anticrossing bandgaps of diffraction from the coupling of grating and multilayer bands. The angular dispersion of diffraction induced by the multilayer band shift behaves normally, in contrast to the ‘ultranegative’ behaviour controlled by the quasiperiodic grating. In addition, the diffraction wavelength is more sensitive to the multilayer periodicity than the diffraction grating constant, which explains the ‘smart’ biological selection of T. flammea in its intraspecific colouration variation from red to green to blue. The elucidated mechanism could be advantageous for the potential exploration of novel dispersive optical elements.

  16. Intraspecific phytochemical variation shapes community and population structure for specialist caterpillars.

    PubMed

    Glassmire, Andrea E; Jeffrey, Christopher S; Forister, Matthew L; Parchman, Thomas L; Nice, Chris C; Jahner, Joshua P; Wilson, Joseph S; Walla, Thomas R; Richards, Lora A; Smilanich, Angela M; Leonard, Michael D; Morrison, Colin R; Simbaña, Wilmer; Salagaje, Luis A; Dodson, Craig D; Miller, Jim S; Tepe, Eric J; Villamarin-Cortez, Santiago; Dyer, Lee A

    2016-10-01

    Chemically mediated plant-herbivore interactions contribute to the diversity of terrestrial communities and the diversification of plants and insects. While our understanding of the processes affecting community structure and evolutionary diversification has grown, few studies have investigated how trait variation shapes genetic and species diversity simultaneously in a tropical ecosystem. We investigated secondary metabolite variation among subpopulations of a single plant species, Piper kelleyi (Piperaceae), using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), to understand associations between plant phytochemistry and host-specialized caterpillars in the genus Eois (Geometridae: Larentiinae) and associated parasitoid wasps and flies. In addition, we used a genotyping-by-sequencing approach to examine the genetic structure of one abundant caterpillar species, Eois encina, in relation to host phytochemical variation. We found substantive concentration differences among three major secondary metabolites, and these differences in chemistry predicted caterpillar and parasitoid community structure among host plant populations. Furthermore, E. encina populations located at high elevations were genetically different from other populations. They fed on plants containing high concentrations of prenylated benzoic acid. Thus, phytochemistry potentially shapes caterpillar and wasp community composition and geographic variation in species interactions, both of which can contribute to diversification of plants and insects.

  17. Intraspecific phytochemical variation shapes community and population structure for specialist caterpillars.

    PubMed

    Glassmire, Andrea E; Jeffrey, Christopher S; Forister, Matthew L; Parchman, Thomas L; Nice, Chris C; Jahner, Joshua P; Wilson, Joseph S; Walla, Thomas R; Richards, Lora A; Smilanich, Angela M; Leonard, Michael D; Morrison, Colin R; Simbaña, Wilmer; Salagaje, Luis A; Dodson, Craig D; Miller, Jim S; Tepe, Eric J; Villamarin-Cortez, Santiago; Dyer, Lee A

    2016-10-01

    Chemically mediated plant-herbivore interactions contribute to the diversity of terrestrial communities and the diversification of plants and insects. While our understanding of the processes affecting community structure and evolutionary diversification has grown, few studies have investigated how trait variation shapes genetic and species diversity simultaneously in a tropical ecosystem. We investigated secondary metabolite variation among subpopulations of a single plant species, Piper kelleyi (Piperaceae), using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), to understand associations between plant phytochemistry and host-specialized caterpillars in the genus Eois (Geometridae: Larentiinae) and associated parasitoid wasps and flies. In addition, we used a genotyping-by-sequencing approach to examine the genetic structure of one abundant caterpillar species, Eois encina, in relation to host phytochemical variation. We found substantive concentration differences among three major secondary metabolites, and these differences in chemistry predicted caterpillar and parasitoid community structure among host plant populations. Furthermore, E. encina populations located at high elevations were genetically different from other populations. They fed on plants containing high concentrations of prenylated benzoic acid. Thus, phytochemistry potentially shapes caterpillar and wasp community composition and geographic variation in species interactions, both of which can contribute to diversification of plants and insects. PMID:27279551

  18. Strong limit on the spatial and temporal variations of the fine-structure constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le, T. D.

    2016-10-01

    Observed spectra of quasars provide a powerful tool to test the possible spatial and temporal variations of the fine-structure constant α = e 2/ћc over the history of the Universe. It is demonstrated that high sensitivity to the variation of α can be obtained from a comparison of the spectra of quasars and laboratories. We reported a new constraint on the variation of the fine-structure constant based on the analysis of the optical spectra of the fine-structure transitions in [NeIII], [NeV], [OIII], [OI] and [SII] multiplets from 14 Seyfert 1.5 galaxies. The weighted mean value of the α-variation derived from our analysis over the redshift range 0.035 < z < 0.281 Δα/α= (4.50 +/- 5.53) \\times 10-5. This result presents strong limit improvements on the constraint on Δα/α compared to the published in the literature

  19. Variation in structure and delivery of care between kidney transplant centers in the United States.

    PubMed

    Israni, Ajay; Dean, Carl E; Salkowski, Nicholas; Li, Suying; Ratner, Lloyd E; Rabb, Hamid; Powe, Neil R; Kim, S Joseph

    2014-09-15

    Although the United States possesses one of the most comprehensive transplant registries in the world, nationally representative data on how transplant care is structured and delivered is lacking. Therefore, we surveyed all 208 adult kidney transplant centers in the United States, excluding 37 pediatric and 58 inactive adult centers. Respondents were asked about the characteristics of their kidney transplant programs (25 items), the structure and process of care (18 items), coordination of care (10 items), and the characteristics of transplant physicians and surgeons (9 items). The survey was completed by directors of 156 transplant centers (75% response). The results demonstrated significant variation between centers in several domains. Sixty-five percent of transplant centers do not have a dedicated transplant pharmacist in outpatient care. Two thirds of transplant centers do not see the kidney transplant recipients at least monthly during the first year. Less than 30% of centers perform joint sit-down or walking rounds between nephrology and transplant surgery. There was significant variation in the structure and process of care in kidney transplantation. This implies variation in the use of resources at the transplant centers. This variation should be studied to determine best practices associated with optimal kidney allograft and patient survival.

  20. Sensitivity of hyperfine structure to nuclear radius and quark mass variation

    SciTech Connect

    Dinh, T. H.; Dunning, A.; Dzuba, V. A.; Flambaum, V. V.

    2009-05-15

    To search for the temporal variation in the fundamental constants, one needs to know dependence of atomic transition frequencies on these constants. We study the dependence of the hyperfine structure of atomic s levels on nuclear radius and, via radius, on quark masses. An analytical formula has been derived and tested by the numerical relativistic Hartree-Fock calculations for Rb, Cd{sup +}, Cs, Yb{sup +}, and Hg{sup +}. The results of this work allow the use of the results of past and future atomic clock experiments and quasar spectra measurements to put constraints on time variation in the quark masses.

  1. Vertical structure and variation of currents observed in autumn in the Korea Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Ho; Choi, Byoung-Ju

    2015-06-01

    To observe vertical structure and temporal variations of currents in the Tsushima Warm Current region of the Korea Strait, a moored buoy system was deployed in autumn 2009. The moored buoy system measured vertical profiles of current, temperature, and salinity for 24 days and a background hydrographic survey was performed. Along-strait northeastward currents were dominant in the upper layer (8-35 m). The mean current veers counterclockwise from 48 m to 74 m as much as 50°, and its speed is reduced with depth. There were distinct northward onshore currents near the bottom (65-80 m). It was demonstrated that thermal wind relation holds in the inclined pycnocline layer, which generates the counterclockwise veering current structure. Density gradient along the strait is a main factor producing the cross-strait onshore current component below the upper-layer and the cross-strait density gradient reduces the along-strait current component with depth. Previous studies have never focused on the effect of the along-strait density structure on current structure. The first Empirical Orthogonal Function mode (CM1) of current variability explains 70% of local current variations and its vertical structure is close to the mean current structure. The correlation analysis among variations of CM1 current, slope of sea level anomaly (SSLA) and local wind anomaly revealed that the variation of CM1 current is mainly related to the variation of SSLA across the strait (c-SSLA), which is known to be controlled by remote and local wind forcing. Similarity between vertical structures of mean and CM1 current suggests that thermal wind relation is the main dynamics maintaining the counterclockwise turning of CM1 current below the upper layer although the upperlayer CM1 current is controlled by c-SSLA through barotropic geostrophic relation. Time series of temperature and salinity indicate that the thermohaline front between Korean Coastal Water and Tsushima Warm Current Water meanders in

  2. A polarizable force field for computing the infrared spectra of the polypeptide backbone.

    PubMed

    Schultheis, Verena; Reichold, Rudolf; Schropp, Bernhard; Tavan, Paul

    2008-10-01

    The shapes of the amide bands in the infrared (IR) spectra of proteins and peptides are caused by electrostatically coupled vibrations within the polypeptide backbone and code the structures of these biopolymers. A structural decoding of the amide bands has to resort to simplified models because the huge size of these macromolecules prevents the application of accurate quantum mechanical methods such as density functional theory (DFT). Previous models employed transition-dipole coupling methods that are of limited accuracy. Here we propose a concept for the computation of protein IR spectra, which describes the molecular mechanics (MM) of polypeptide backbones by a polarizable force field of "type II". By extending the concepts of conventional polarizable MM force fields, such a PMM/II approach employs field-dependent parameters not only for the electrostatic signatures of the molecular components but also for the local potentials modeling the stiffness of chemical bonds with respect to elongations, angle deformations, and torsions. Using a PMM/II force field, the IR spectra of the polypeptide backbone can be efficiently calculated from the time dependence of the backbone's dipole moment during a short (e.g., 100 ps) MD simulation by Fourier transformation. PMM/II parameters are derived for harmonic bonding potentials of amide groups in polypeptides from a series of DFT calculations on the model molecule N-methylacetamide (NMA) exposed to homogeneous external electric fields. The amide force constants are shown to vary by as much as 20% for relevant field strengths. As a proof of principle, it is shown that the large solvatochromic effects observed in the IR spectra of NMA upon transfer from the gas phase into aqueous solution are not only excellently reproduced by DFT/MM simulations but are also nicely modeled by the PMM/II approach. The tasks remaining for a proof of practice are specified.

  3. Tuning backbones and side-chains of cationic conjugated polymers for optical signal amplification of fluorescent DNA detection.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yan-Qin; Liu, Xing-Fen; Fan, Qu-Li; Wang, Lihua; Song, Shiping; Wang, Lian-Hui; Fan, Chunhai; Huang, Wei

    2009-06-15

    Three cationic conjugated polymers (CCPs) exhibiting different backbone geometries and charge densities were used to investigate how their conjugated backbone and side chain properties, together with the transitions of DNA amphiphilic properties, interplay in the CCP/DNA-C* (DNA-C*: fluorophore-labeled DNA) complexes to influence the optical signal amplification of fluorescent DNA detection based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). By examining the FRET efficiencies to dsDNA-C* (dsDNA: double-stranded DNA) and ssDNA-C* (ssDNA: single-stranded DNA) for each CCP, twisted conjugated backbones and higher charge densities were proved to facilitate electrostatic attraction in CCP/dsDNA-C* complexes, and induced improved sensitivity to DNA hybridization. Especially, by using the CCP with twisted conjugated backbone and the highest charge density, a more than 7-fold higher efficiency of FRET to dsDNA-C* was found than to ssDNA-C*, indicating a high signal amplification for discriminating between dsDNA and ssDNA. By contrast, linear conjugated backbones and lower charge density were demonstrated to favor hydrophobic interactions in CCP/ssDNA-C* complexes. These findings provided guidelines for the design of novel sensitive CCP, which can be useful to recognize many other important DNA activities involving transitions of DNA amphiphilic properties like DNA hybridization, such as specific DNA binding with ions, some secondary or tertiary structural changes of DNA, and so forth.

  4. Constraints on a possible variation of the fine structure constant from galaxy cluster data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holanda, R. F. L.; Landau, S. J.; Alcaniz, J. S.; Sánchez G., I. E.; Busti, V. C.

    2016-05-01

    We propose a new method to probe a possible time evolution of the fine structure constant α from X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich measurements of the gas mass fraction (fgas) in galaxy clusters. Taking into account a direct relation between variations of α and violations of the distance-duality relation, we discuss constraints on α for a class of dilaton runaway models. Although not yet competitive with bounds from high-z quasar absorption systems, our constraints, considering a sample of 29 measurements of fgas, in the redshift interval 0.14 < z < 0.89, provide an independent estimate of α variation at low and intermediate redshifts. Furthermore, current and planned surveys will provide a larger amount of data and thus allow to improve the limits on α variation obtained in the present analysis.

  5. Lateral structural variation within the overlying plate and its correlation to the Tonankai earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujie, G.; Nakanishi, A.; Park, J.; Obana, K.; Kodaira, S.; Kaneda, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Destructive interplate earthquakes have repeatedly occurred every 100-150 years beneath the Kumano-nada, off the Kii peninsula owing to the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate beneath the southwest Japan arc. The last great interplate earthquakes in this seismogenic subduction zone was the 1944 Tonankai earthquakes, and a number of coseismic slip distribution models derived from seismic and tsunami data show remarkable lateral variations along the trough axis. In 2006 and 2007, we conducted extensive wide-angle seismic refraction and reflection surveys in the entire rupture zone of the 1944 Tonankai earthquake. We designed two along-trough and two across-trench seismic survey lines and deployed a number of OBSs (Ocean Bottom Seismometers) with a spacing of 5km and fired an airgun array with a total volume of 200L at every 0.2km. The quality of the obtained wide-angle seismic record section is substantially good and we observed remarkable regional variation in the amplitude of refraction and reflection phases. For example, in some record sections, we can trace seismic signals up to the offset of more than 100 km, but in other sections, the airgun signals become dim at the offset of less than 30km. Such regional variation in the amplitude indicates the lateral variation of the seismic attenuation structure. For revealing lateral structural variation, we developed seismic structure models by the following approach. First, we applied the first arrival tomography for developing P-wave velocity structure models. Then, we imaged structural boundaries by the reflection traveltime mapping method. Finally, we developed seismic attenuation models by using raypaths and amplitude of first arrivals. Our seismic structure models showed remarkable along-trench structural variation. In the P-wave velocity models, we found a height on the subducting Philippine plate at the eastern end of the Kumano basin (south-east off Shima peninsula). In the western area (i.e. Kumano Basin

  6. Compositional variations at ultra-structure length scales in coral skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meibom, Anders; Cuif, Jean-Pierre; Houlbreque, Fanny; Mostefaoui, Smail; Dauphin, Yannicke; Meibom, Karin L.; Dunbar, Robert

    2008-03-01

    Distributions of Mg and Sr in the skeletons of a deep-sea coral ( Caryophyllia ambrosia) and a shallow-water, reef-building coral ( Pavona clavus) have been obtained with a spatial resolution of 150 nm, using the NanoSIMS ion microprobe at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. These trace element analyses focus on the two primary ultra-structural components in the skeleton: centers of calcification (COC) and fibrous aragonite. In fibrous aragonite, the trace element variations are typically on the order of 10% or more, on length scales on the order of 1-10 μm. Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca variations are not correlated. However, Mg/Ca variations in Pavona are strongly correlated with the layered organization of the skeleton. These data allow for a direct comparison of trace element variations in zooxanthellate and non-zooxanthellate corals. In both corals, all trace elements show variations far beyond what can be attributed to variations in the marine environment. Furthermore, the observed trace element variations in the fibrous (bulk) part of the skeletons are not related to the activity of zooxanthellae, but result from other biological activity in the coral organism. To a large degree, this biological forcing is independent of the ambient marine environment, which is essentially constant on the growth timescales considered here. Finally, we discuss the possible detection of a new high-Mg calcium carbonate phase, which appears to be present in both deep-sea and reef-building corals and is neither aragonite nor calcite.

  7. Genetic and Ontogenetic Variation in an Endangered Tree Structures Dependent Arthropod and Fungal Communities

    PubMed Central

    Gosney, Benjamin J.; O′Reilly-Wapstra, Julianne M.; Forster, Lynne G.; Barbour, Robert C.; Iason, Glenn R.; Potts, Brad M.

    2014-01-01

    Plant genetic and ontogenetic variation can significantly impact dependent fungal and arthropod communities. However, little is known of the relative importance of these extended genetic and ontogenetic effects within a species. Using a common garden trial, we compared the dependent arthropod and fungal community on 222 progeny from two highly differentiated populations of the endangered heteroblastic tree species, Eucalyptus morrisbyi. We assessed arthropod and fungal communities on both juvenile and adult foliage. The community variation was related to previous levels of marsupial browsing, as well as the variation in the physicochemical properties of leaves using near-infrared spectroscopy. We found highly significant differences in community composition, abundance and diversity parameters between eucalypt source populations in the common garden, and these were comparable to differences between the distinctive juvenile and adult foliage. The physicochemical properties assessed accounted for a significant percentage of the community variation but did not explain fully the community differences between populations and foliage types. Similarly, while differences in population susceptibility to a major marsupial herbivore may result in diffuse genetic effects on the dependent community, this still did not account for the large genetic-based differences in dependent communities between populations. Our results emphasize the importance of maintaining the populations of this rare species as separate management units, as not only are the populations highly genetically structured, this variation may alter the trajectory of biotic colonization of conservation plantings. PMID:25469641

  8. 21-cm radiation: a new probe of variation in the fine-structure constant.

    PubMed

    Khatri, Rishi; Wandelt, Benjamin D

    2007-03-16

    We investigate the effect of variation in the value of the fine-structure constant (alpha) at high redshifts (recombination > z > 30) on the absorption of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at 21 cm hyperfine transition of the neutral atomic hydrogen. We find that the 21 cm signal is very sensitive to the variations in alpha and it is so far the only probe of the fine-structure constant in this redshift range. A change in the value of alpha by 1% changes the mean brightness temperature decrement of the CMB due to 21 cm absorption by >5% over the redshift range z < 50. There is an effect of similar magnitude on the amplitude of the fluctuations in the brightness temperature. The redshift of maximum absorption also changes by approximately 5%.

  9. Structural Variation Mutagenesis of the Human Genome: Impact on Disease and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lupski, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Watson-Crick base-pair changes, or single-nucleotide variants (SNV), have long been known as a source of mutations. However, the extent to which DNA structural variation, including duplication and deletion copy number variants (CNV) and copy number neutral inversions and translocations, contribute to human genome variation and disease has been appreciated only recently. Moreover, the potential complexity of structural variants (SV) was not envisioned; thus, the frequency of complex genomic rearrangements (CGR) and how such events form remained a mystery. The concept of genomic disorders, diseases due to genomic rearrangements and not sequence-based changes for which genomic architecture incite genomic instability, delineated a new category of conditions distinct from chromosomal syndromes and single-gene Mendelian diseases. Nevertheless, it is the mechanistic understanding of CNV/SV formation that has promoted further understanding of human biology and disease and provided insights into human genome and gene evolution. PMID:25892534

  10. Backbone and sidechain 1H, 15N and 13C assignments of the KSR1 CA1 domain

    PubMed Central

    Koveal, Dorothy; Pinheiro, Anderson S.; Peti, Wolfgang; Page, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    The backbone and side chain resonance assignments of the murine KSR1 CA1 domain have been determined based on triple-resonance experiments using uniformly [13C, 15N]-labeled protein. This assignment is the first step towards the determination of the three-dimensional structure of the unique KSR1 CA1 domain. PMID:20737253

  11. Cosmological variation of the fine-structure constant versus a new interaction

    SciTech Connect

    Angstmann, E.J.; Flambaum, V.V.; Karshenboim, S.G.

    2004-10-01

    We show that using the modified form of the Dirac Hamiltonian as suggested by Bekenstein does not affect the analysis of QSO data pertaining to a measurement of {alpha} variation. We obtain the present time limit on Bekenstein's parameter, tan{sup 2} {chi}=(0.2{+-}0.7)x10{sup -6}, from the measurement of the hydrogen 2p fine structure using a value of {alpha} obtained from different experiments.

  12. Enhanced effect of temporal variation of the fine-structure constant in diatomic molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Flambaum, V. V.

    2006-03-15

    We show that the relative effect of variation of the fine-structure constant in microwave transitions between very close and narrow rotational-hyperfine levels may be enhanced 2-3 orders of magnitude in diatomic molecules with unpaired electrons like LaS, LaO, LuS, LuO, YbF, and similar molecular ions. The enhancement is result of cancellation between the hyperfine and rotational intervals.

  13. Seasonal variation in the structure of three Mediterranean algal communities in various light conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martí, Ruth; Uriz, Maria J.; Ballesteros, Enric; Turon, Xavier

    2005-09-01

    Three algal communities subjected to different light conditions were analysed using structure descriptors such as α-diversity (Shannon diversity index), similarity (Kulczynski index), diversity/area and similarity/area curves, the number and size of patches and their spatial distribution (Morisita index). The data used to calculate the structure descriptors were obtained from 20 pictures taken at random in each community in June (Spring) and November (Autumn) to assess seasonal variation. The value of α-diversity was quite similar in all communities. The structural minimal area obtained from the spectra of diversity at increasing areas was higher in the photophilic and the hemisciaphilic communities than in the sciaphilic. Moreover, this area was smaller in November than in June in the three communities. Seasonal variation was also detected for the Kulczynski similarity index in the photophilic and hemisciaphilic communities, with similarity values higher in November than in June, which points to the stronger homogeneity of the communities in November. As for the distribution patterns, the number of species with a clumped distribution decreased from the sciaphilic to the photophilic communities. Species distribution showed seasonal variation in the photophilic and, to a lesser extent, in the hemisciaphilic community. These communities had smaller but more numerous patches in November than in June. It is concluded that most of the used descriptors indicate a higher seasonal variation of community structure in the most illuminated communities (i.e. the photophilic and to a lesser extent the hemisciaphilic communities) than in the least illuminated one (i.e. the sciaphilic).

  14. Interspecific variations of inner ear structure in the deep-sea fish family melamphaidae.

    PubMed

    Deng, Xiaohong; Wagner, Hans-Joachim; Popper, Arthur N

    2013-07-01

    Inner ear structures are compared among three major genera of the deep-sea fish family Melamphaidae (bigscales and ridgeheads). Substantial interspecific variation is found in the saccular otoliths, including the presence of a unique otolithic "spur" in the genera Melamphaes and Poromitra. The variation in the saccular otolith is correlated with an increase in the number of hair bundle orientation groups on the sensory epithelia from the genera Scopelogadus to Poromitra to Melamphaes. The diverse structural variations found in the saccule may reflect the evolutionary history of these species. The sensory hair cell bundles in this family have the most variable shapes yet encountered in fish ears. In the saccule, most of the hair bundles are 15-20 μm high, an exceptional height for fish otolithic end organs. These bundles have large numbers of stereovilli, including some that reach the length of the kinocilium. In the utricle, the striolar region separates into two unusually shaped areas that have not been described in any other vertebrates. The brains in all species have a relatively small olfactory bulb and optic tectum, as well as an enlarged posterior cerebellar region that is likely to be involved in inner ear and lateral line (octavolateral) functions. Data from melamphaids support the hypothesis that specialized anatomical structures are found in the ears of some (if not most) deep-sea fishes, presumably enhancing their hearing sensitivity.

  15. Variation and Genetic Structure in Platanus mexicana (Platanaceae) along Riparian Altitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Galván-Hernández, Dulce M.; Lozada-García, J. Armando; Flores-Estévez, Norma; Galindo-González, Jorge; Vázquez-Torres, S. Mario

    2015-01-01

    Platanus mexicana is a dominant arboreal species of riparian ecosystems. These ecosystems are associated with altitudinal gradients that can generate genetic differences in the species, especially in the extremes of the distribution. However, studies on the altitudinal effect on genetic variation to riparian species are scarce. In Mexico, the population of P. mexicana along the Colipa River (Veracruz State) grows below its reported minimum altitude range, possibly the lowest where this tree grows. This suggests that altitude might be an important factor in population genetics differentiation. We examined the genetic variation and population structuring at four sites with different altitudes (70, 200, 600 and 1700 m a.s.l.) using ten inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) markers. The highest value for Shannon index and Nei’s gene diversity was obtained at 1700 m a.s.l. (He = 0.27, Ne = 1.47, I = 0.42) and polymorphism reached the top value at the middle altitude (% p = 88.57). Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and STRUCTURE analysis indicated intrapopulation genetic differentiation. The arithmetic average (UPGMA) dendrogram identified 70 m a.s.l. as the most genetically distant site. The genetic structuring resulted from limited gene flow and genetic drift. This is the first report of genetic variation in populations of P. mexicana in Mexico. This research highlights its importance as a dominant species, and its ecological and evolutionary implications in altitudinal gradients of riparian ecosystems. PMID:25607732

  16. Structural variation of the ribosomal gene cluster within the class Insecta

    SciTech Connect

    Mukha, D.V.; Sidorenko, A.P.; Lazebnaya, I.V.

    1995-09-01

    General estimation of ribosomal DNA variation within the class Insecta is presented. It is shown that, using blot-hybridization, one can detect differences in the structure of the ribosomal gene cluster not only between genera within an order, but also between species within a genera, including sibling species. Structure of the ribosomal gene cluster of the Coccinellidae family (ladybirds) is analyzed. It is shown that cloned highly conservative regions of ribosomal DNA of Tetrahymena pyriformis can be used as probes for analyzing ribosomal genes in insects. 24 refs., 4 figs.

  17. Backbone Additivity in the Transfer Model of Protein Solvation

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Char Y.; Kokubo, Hironori; Lynch, Gillian C.; Bolen, D Wayne; Pettitt, Bernard M.

    2010-05-01

    The transfer model implying additivity of the peptide backbone free energy of transfer is computationally tested. Molecular dynamics simulations are used to determine the extent of change in transfer free energy (ΔGtr) with increase in chain length of oligoglycine with capped end groups. Solvation free energies of oligoglycine models of varying lengths in pure water and in the osmolyte solutions, 2M urea and 2M trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), were calculated from simulations of all atom models, and ΔGtr values for peptide backbone transfer from water to the osmolyte solutions were determined. The results show that the transfer free energies change linearly with increasing chain length, demonstrating the principle of additivity, and provide values in reasonable agreement with experiment. The peptide backbone transfer free energy contributions arise from van der Waals interactions in the case of transfer to urea, but from electrostatics on transfer to TMAO solution. The simulations used here allow for the calculation of the solvation and transfer free energy of longer oligoglycine models to be evaluated than is currently possible through experiment. The peptide backbone unit computed transfer free energy of –54 cal/mol/Mcompares quite favorably with –43 cal/mol/M determined experimentally.

  18. Increasing protein production by directed vector backbone evolution

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Recombinant protein production in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms was a key enabling technology for the rapid development of industrial and molecular biotechnology. However, despite all progress the improvement of protein production is an ongoing challenge and of high importance for cost-effective enzyme production. With the epMEGAWHOP mutagenesis protocol for vector backbone optimization we report a novel directed evolution based approach to increase protein production levels by randomly introducing mutations in the vector backbone. In the current study we validate the epMEGAWHOP mutagenesis protocol for three different expression systems. The latter demonstrated the general applicability of the epMEGAWHOP method. Cellulase and lipase production was doubled in one round of directed evolution by random mutagenesis of pET28a(+) and pET22b(+) vector backbones. Protease production using the vector pHY300PLK was increased ~4-times with an average of ~1.25 mutations per kb vector backbone. The epMEGAWHOP does not require any rational understanding of the expression machinery and can generally be applied to enzymes, expression vectors and related hosts. epMEGAWHOP is therefore from our point of view a robust, rapid and straight forward alternative for increasing protein production in general and for biotechnological applications. PMID:23890095

  19. The Graphical Representation of the Digital Astronaut Physiology Backbone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briers, Demarcus

    2010-01-01

    This report summarizes my internship project with the NASA Digital Astronaut Project to analyze the Digital Astronaut (DA) physiology backbone model. The Digital Astronaut Project (DAP) applies integrated physiology models to support space biomedical operations, and to assist NASA researchers in closing knowledge gaps related to human physiologic responses to space flight. The DA physiology backbone is a set of integrated physiological equations and functions that model the interacting systems of the human body. The current release of the model is HumMod (Human Model) version 1.5 and was developed over forty years at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). The physiology equations and functions are scripted in an XML schema specifically designed for physiology modeling by Dr. Thomas G. Coleman at UMMC. Currently it is difficult to examine the physiology backbone without being knowledgeable of the XML schema. While investigating and documenting the tags and algorithms used in the XML schema, I proposed a standard methodology for a graphical representation. This standard methodology may be used to transcribe graphical representations from the DA physiology backbone. In turn, the graphical representations can allow examination of the physiological functions and equations without the need to be familiar with the computer programming languages or markup languages used by DA modeling software.

  20. Cooperative UAV-Based Communications Backbone for Sensor Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, R S

    2001-10-07

    The objective of this project is to investigate the use of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) as mobile, adaptive communications backbones for ground-based sensor networks. In this type of network, the UAVs provide communication connectivity to sensors that cannot communicate with each other because of terrain, distance, or other geographical constraints. In these situations, UAVs provide a vertical communication path for the sensors, thereby mitigating geographic obstacles often imposed on networks. With the proper use of UAVs, connectivity to a widely disbursed sensor network in rugged terrain is readily achieved. Our investigation has focused on networks where multiple cooperating UAVs are used to form a network backbone. The advantage of using multiple UAVs to form the network backbone is parallelization of sensor connectivity. Many widely spaced or isolated sensors can be connected to the network at once using this approach. In these networks, the UAVs logically partition the sensor network into sub-networks (subnets), with one UAV assigned per subnet. Partitioning the network into subnets allows the UAVs to service sensors in parallel thereby decreasing the sensor-to-network connectivity. A UAV services sensors in its subnet by flying a route (path) through the subnet, uplinking data collected by the sensors, and forwarding the data to a ground station. An additional advantage of using multiple UAVs in the network is that they provide redundancy in the communications backbone, so that the failure of a single UAV does not necessarily imply the loss of the network.

  1. Protein-Backbone Thermodynamics across the Membrane Interface.

    PubMed

    Bereau, Tristan; Kremer, Kurt

    2016-07-01

    The thermodynamics of insertion of a protein in a membrane depends on the fine interplay between backbone and side-chain contributions interacting with the lipid environment. Using computer simulations, we probe how different descriptions of the backbone glycyl unit affect the thermodynamics of insertion of individual residues, dipeptides, and entire transmembrane helices. Due to the lack of reference data, we first introduce an efficient methodology to estimate atomistic potential of mean force (PMF) curves from a series of representative and uncorrelated coarse-grained (CG) snapshots. We find strong discrepancies between two CG models, Martini and PLUM, against reference atomistic PMFs and experiments. Atomistic simulations suggest a weak free energy of insertion between water and a POPC membrane for the glycyl unit, in overall agreement with experimental results despite severe assumptions in our calculations. We show that refining the backbone contribution in PLUM significantly improves the PMF of insertion of the WALP16 transmembrane peptide. An improper balance between the glycyl backbone and the attached side chain will lead to energetic artifacts, rationalizing Martini's overstabilization of WALP's adsorbed interfacial state. It illustrates difficulties associated with free-energy-based parametrizations of single-residue models, as the relevant free energy of partitioning used for force-field parametrization does not arise from the entire residue but rather the solvent-accessible chemical groups. PMID:27138459

  2. Backbone resonance assignments of the α sub-domain of Brevibacillus thermoruber Lon protease.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Da; Wu, Shih-Hsiung; Hsu, Chun-Hua

    2014-10-01

    Lon is an ATPases associated with diverse cellular activities protease and belongs to a unique group that binds DNA. The α sub-domain of Lon protease is responsible for DNA-binding, but the structural information for its DNA-recognition mode is still limited. Here, we report (1)H, (15)N and (13)C backbone assignment for the α sub-domain from Brevibacillus thermoruber Lon protease as the basis for the elucidation of its structure and interactions with DNA, necessary for understanding the allosteric regulatory mechanism of the enzymatic function.

  3. Phenotypic variation and water selection potential in the stem structure of invasive alligator weed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Leshan; Yang, Beifen; Guan, Wenbin; Li, Junmin

    2016-02-01

    The morphological and anatomical characteristics of stems have been found to be related to drought resistance in plants. Testing the phenotypic selection of water availability on stem anatomical traits would be useful for exploring the evolutionary potential of the stem in response to water availability. To test the phenotypic variation of the stem anatomical traits of an invasive plant in response to water availability, we collected a total of 320 individuals of Alternanthera philoxeroides from 16 populations from terrestrial and aquatic habitats in 8 plots in China and then analyzed the variation, differentiation, plasticity and selection potential of water availability on the stem anatomical traits. We found that except for the thickness of the cortex, all of the examined phenotypic parameters of the A. philoxeroides stem were significantly and positively correlated with soil water availability. The phenotypic differentiation coefficient for all of the anatomical structural parameters indicated that most of the variation existed between habitats within the same plot, whereas there was little variation among plots or among individuals within the same habitat except for variation in the thickness of the cortex. A significant phenotypic plasticity response to water availability was found for all of the anatomical traits of A. philoxeroides stem except for the thickness of the cortex. The associations between fitness and some of the anatomical traits, such as the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio, the pith cavity area-to-stem area ratio and the density of vascular bundles, differed with heterogeneous water availability. In both the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, no significant directional selection gradient was found for the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio or the density of vascular bundles. These results indicated that the anatomical structure of the A. philoxeroides stem may play an important role in the adaptation to changes

  4. Hydrophobic Core Variations Provide a Structural Framework for Tyrosine Kinase Evolution and Functional Specialization.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Smita; Oruganty, Krishnadev; Kwon, Annie; Byrne, Dominic P; Ferries, Samantha; Ruan, Zheng; Hanold, Laura E; Katiyar, Samiksha; Kennedy, Eileen J; Eyers, Patrick A; Kannan, Natarajan

    2016-02-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) are a group of closely related enzymes that have evolutionarily diverged from serine/threonine kinases (STKs) to regulate pathways associated with multi-cellularity. Evolutionary divergence of PTKs from STKs has occurred through accumulation of mutations in the active site as well as in the commonly conserved hydrophobic core. While the functional significance of active site variations is well understood, relatively little is known about how hydrophobic core variations contribute to PTK evolutionary divergence. Here, using a combination of statistical sequence comparisons, molecular dynamics simulations, mutational analysis and in vitro thermostability and kinase assays, we investigate the structural and functional significance of key PTK-specific variations in the kinase core. We find that the nature of residues and interactions in the hydrophobic core of PTKs is strikingly different from other protein kinases, and PTK-specific variations in the core contribute to functional divergence by altering the stability and dynamics of the kinase domain. In particular, a functionally critical STK-conserved histidine that stabilizes the regulatory spine in STKs is selectively mutated to an alanine, serine or glutamate in PTKs, and this loss-of-function mutation is accommodated, in part, through compensatory PTK-specific interactions in the core. In particular, a PTK-conserved phenylalanine in the I-helix appears to structurally and functionally compensate for the loss of STK-histidine by interacting with the regulatory spine, which has far-reaching effects on enzyme activity, inhibitor sensing, and stability. We propose that hydrophobic core variations provide a selective advantage during PTK evolution by increasing the conformational flexibility, and therefore the allosteric potential of the kinase domain. Our studies also suggest that Tyrosine Kinase Like kinases such as RAF are intermediates in PTK evolutionary divergence inasmuch as they

  5. [Spatial variation of non-structural carbohydrates in Betula platyphylla and Tilia amurensis stems].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hai-Yan; Wang, Chuan-Kuan; Wang, Xing-Chang; Cheng, Fang-Yan

    2013-11-01

    Taking the two diffuse-porous tree species Betula platyphylla and Tilia amurensis in a temperate forest in Northeast China as test objects, this paper studied the spatial variation of the non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) concentrations in the stem xylem after leaf-fall. For the two tree species, the concentrations of total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC, soluble sugars plus starch) and soluble sugars in the stem xylem decreased gradually with the increasing depth from cambium to pith, whereas the starch concentration showed little radial variation. There was still a substantial amount of NSC in the inner wood close to pith. The concentrations of the NSC in the two species stems decreased gradually from the stump to the breast height, and then increased vertically. The maximum concentrations of the TNC, soluble sugars, and starch occurred at different heights, depending on the species and the TNC components. The ratio of sugar to starch showed a contrasting vertical trend for the two species, i. e., increasing from the stump to the top for B. platyphylla, but decreasing for T. amurensis. The estimation error of the stem NSC storage was mainly from the axial variation, and then, from the radial variation of NSC concentration. The TNC concentration (1.0% dry mass) in the stem of shade-intolerant species B. platyphylla was significantly lower than that (4.3% dry mass) of shade-tolerant species T. amurensis, which could be related to their different life-history strategies. Applying the sampling protocols considering the axial and radial variations of NSC could effectively reduce the potential uncertainty in estimating the NSC storage at tree or stand level.

  6. Hydrophobic Core Variations Provide a Structural Framework for Tyrosine Kinase Evolution and Functional Specialization

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Annie; Byrne, Dominic P.; Ferries, Samantha; Ruan, Zheng; Hanold, Laura E.; Katiyar, Samiksha; Kennedy, Eileen J.; Eyers, Patrick A.; Kannan, Natarajan

    2016-01-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) are a group of closely related enzymes that have evolutionarily diverged from serine/threonine kinases (STKs) to regulate pathways associated with multi-cellularity. Evolutionary divergence of PTKs from STKs has occurred through accumulation of mutations in the active site as well as in the commonly conserved hydrophobic core. While the functional significance of active site variations is well understood, relatively little is known about how hydrophobic core variations contribute to PTK evolutionary divergence. Here, using a combination of statistical sequence comparisons, molecular dynamics simulations, mutational analysis and in vitro thermostability and kinase assays, we investigate the structural and functional significance of key PTK-specific variations in the kinase core. We find that the nature of residues and interactions in the hydrophobic core of PTKs is strikingly different from other protein kinases, and PTK-specific variations in the core contribute to functional divergence by altering the stability and dynamics of the kinase domain. In particular, a functionally critical STK-conserved histidine that stabilizes the regulatory spine in STKs is selectively mutated to an alanine, serine or glutamate in PTKs, and this loss-of-function mutation is accommodated, in part, through compensatory PTK-specific interactions in the core. In particular, a PTK-conserved phenylalanine in the I-helix appears to structurally and functionally compensate for the loss of STK-histidine by interacting with the regulatory spine, which has far-reaching effects on enzyme activity, inhibitor sensing, and stability. We propose that hydrophobic core variations provide a selective advantage during PTK evolution by increasing the conformational flexibility, and therefore the allosteric potential of the kinase domain. Our studies also suggest that Tyrosine Kinase Like kinases such as RAF are intermediates in PTK evolutionary divergence inasmuch as they

  7. Structural Basis of Allele Variation of Human Thiopurine-S-Methyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hong; Horton, John R.; Battaile, Kevin; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Martin, Fernando; Zeng, Hong; Loppnau, Peter; Vedadi, Masoud; Bochkarev, Alexey; Plotnikov, Alexander N.; Cheng, Xiaodong

    2009-01-01

    Human thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) exhibits considerable person-to-person variation in activity to thiopurine drugs. We have produced an N-terminal truncation of human TPMT protein, crystallized the protein in complex with the methyl donor product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine, and determined the atomic structure to the resolution of 1.58 and 1.89 Å, respectively, for the seleno-methionine incorporated and wild type proteins. The structure of TPMT indicates that the naturally occurring amino acid polymorphisms scatter throughout the structure, and that the amino acids whose alteration have the most influence on function are those that form intra-molecular stabilizing interactions (mainly van der Waals contacts). Furthermore, we have produced four TPMT mutant proteins containing variant alleles of TPMT*2, *3A, *3B, and *3C and examined the structure-function relationship of the mutant proteins based on their expression and solubility in bacteria and their thermostability profile. PMID:17243178

  8. Simulation of variation characteristics at thermostabilization of 27 GHz biperiodical accelerating structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluchevskaya, Y. D.; Polozov, S. M.

    2016-07-01

    It was proposed to develop the biperiodical accelerating structure with operating frequency of 27 GHz to assess the possibility of design a compact accelerating structure for medical application. It is necessary to do the more careful simulation of variation characteristics this case because of decrease of wavelength 3-10 times in comparison with conventional structures 10 and 3 cm ranges. Results of such study are presented in the article. Also a combination of high electromagnetic fields and long pulses at a high operating frequency leads to the temperature increase in the structure, thermal deformation and significant change of the resonator characteristics, including the frequency of the RF pulse. Development results of three versions of system of temperature stabilization also discuses.

  9. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J.; Treier, Urs A.; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  10. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J; Treier, Urs A; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  11. Characterization of the Poplar Pan-Genome by Genome-Wide Identification of Structural Variation.

    PubMed

    Pinosio, Sara; Giacomello, Stefania; Faivre-Rampant, Patricia; Taylor, Gail; Jorge, Veronique; Le Paslier, Marie Christine; Zaina, Giusi; Bastien, Catherine; Cattonaro, Federica; Marroni, Fabio; Morgante, Michele

    2016-10-01

    Many recent studies have emphasized the important role of structural variation (SV) in determining human genetic and phenotypic variation. In plants, studies aimed at elucidating the extent of SV are still in their infancy. Evidence has indicated a high presence and an active role of SV in driving plant genome evolution in different plant species.With the aim of characterizing the size and the composition of the poplar pan-genome, we performed a genome-wide analysis of structural variation in three intercrossable poplar species: Populus nigra, Populus deltoides, and Populus trichocarpa We detected a total of 7,889 deletions and 10,586 insertions relative to the P. trichocarpa reference genome, covering respectively 33.2 Mb and 62.9 Mb of genomic sequence, and 3,230 genes affected by copy number variation (CNV). The majority of the detected variants are inter-specific in agreement with a recent origin following separation of species.Insertions and deletions (INDELs) were preferentially located in low-gene density regions of the poplar genome and were, for the majority, associated with the activity of transposable elements. Genes affected by SV showed lower-than-average expression levels and higher levels of dN/dS, suggesting that they are subject to relaxed selective pressure or correspond to pseudogenes.Functional annotation of genes affected by INDELs showed over-representation of categories associated with transposable elements activity, while genes affected by genic CNVs showed enrichment in categories related to resistance to stress and pathogens. This study provides a genome-wide catalogue of SV and the first insight on functional and structural properties of the poplar pan-genome. PMID:27499133

  12. Characterization of the Poplar Pan-Genome by Genome-Wide Identification of Structural Variation

    PubMed Central

    Pinosio, Sara; Giacomello, Stefania; Faivre-Rampant, Patricia; Taylor, Gail; Jorge, Veronique; Le Paslier, Marie Christine; Zaina, Giusi; Bastien, Catherine; Cattonaro, Federica; Marroni, Fabio; Morgante, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Many recent studies have emphasized the important role of structural variation (SV) in determining human genetic and phenotypic variation. In plants, studies aimed at elucidating the extent of SV are still in their infancy. Evidence has indicated a high presence and an active role of SV in driving plant genome evolution in different plant species. With the aim of characterizing the size and the composition of the poplar pan-genome, we performed a genome-wide analysis of structural variation in three intercrossable poplar species: Populus nigra, Populus deltoides, and Populus trichocarpa. We detected a total of 7,889 deletions and 10,586 insertions relative to the P. trichocarpa reference genome, covering respectively 33.2 Mb and 62.9 Mb of genomic sequence, and 3,230 genes affected by copy number variation (CNV). The majority of the detected variants are inter-specific in agreement with a recent origin following separation of species. Insertions and deletions (INDELs) were preferentially located in low-gene density regions of the poplar genome and were, for the majority, associated with the activity of transposable elements. Genes affected by SV showed lower-than-average expression levels and higher levels of dN/dS, suggesting that they are subject to relaxed selective pressure or correspond to pseudogenes. Functional annotation of genes affected by INDELs showed over-representation of categories associated with transposable elements activity, while genes affected by genic CNVs showed enrichment in categories related to resistance to stress and pathogens. This study provides a genome-wide catalogue of SV and the first insight on functional and structural properties of the poplar pan-genome. PMID:27499133

  13. Limit on the Temporal Variation of the Fine-Structure Constant Using Atomic Dysprosium

    SciTech Connect

    Cingoez, A.; Lapierre, A.; Leefer, N.; Nguyen, A.-T.; Lamoreaux, S. K.; Torgerson, J. R.; Budker, D.

    2007-01-26

    Over 8 months, we monitored transition frequencies between nearly degenerate, opposite-parity levels in two isotopes of atomic dysprosium (Dy). These frequencies are sensitive to variation of the fine-structure constant ({alpha}) due to relativistic corrections of opposite sign for the opposite-parity levels. In this unique system, in contrast to atomic-clock comparisons, the difference of the electronic energies of the opposite-parity levels can be monitored directly utilizing a rf electric-dipole transition between them. Our measurements show that the frequency variation of the 3.1-MHz transition in {sup 163}Dy and the 235-MHz transition in {sup 162}Dy are 9.0{+-}6.7 Hz/yr and -0.6{+-}6.5 Hz/yr, respectively. These results provide a rate of fractional variation of {alpha} of (-2.7{+-}2.6)x10{sup -15} yr{sup -1} (1{sigma}) without assumptions on constancy of other fundamental constants, indicating absence of significant variation at the present level of sensitivity.

  14. An effective approach for alleviating cation-induced backbone degradation in aromatic ether-based alkaline polymer electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Han, Juanjuan; Liu, Qiong; Li, Xueqi; Pan, Jing; Wei, Ling; Wu, Ying; Peng, Hanqing; Wang, Ying; Li, Guangwei; Chen, Chen; Xiao, Li; Lu, Juntao; Zhuang, Lin

    2015-02-01

    Aromatic ether-based alkaline polymer electrolytes (APEs) are one of the most popular types of APEs being used in fuel cells. However, recent studies have demonstrated that upon being grafted by proximal cations some polar groups in the backbone of such APEs can be attacked by OH(-), leading to backbone degradation in an alkaline environment. To resolve this issue, we performed a systematic study on six APEs. We first replaced the polysulfone (PS) backbone with polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) and polyphenylether (PPO), whose molecular structures contain fewer polar groups. Although improved stability was seen after this change, cation-induced degradation was still obvious. Thus, our second move was to replace the ordinary quaternary ammonia (QA) cation, which had been closely attached to the polymer backbone, with a pendant-type QA (pQA), which was linked to the backbone through a long side chain. After a stability test in a 1 mol/L KOH solution at 80 °C for 30 days, all pQA-type APEs (pQAPS, pQAPPSU, and pQAPPO) exhibited as low as 8 wt % weight loss, which is close to the level of the bare backbone (5 wt %) and remarkably lower than those of the QA-type APEs (QAPS, QAPPSU, and QAPPO), whose weight losses under the same conditions were >30%. The pQA-type APEs also possessed clear microphase segregation morphology, which led to ionic conductivities that were higher, and water uptakes and degrees of membrane swelling that were lower, than those of the QA-type APEs. These observations unambiguously indicate that designing pendant-type cations is an effective approach to increasing the chemical stability of aromatic ether-based APEs.

  15. An effective approach for alleviating cation-induced backbone degradation in aromatic ether-based alkaline polymer electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Han, Juanjuan; Liu, Qiong; Li, Xueqi; Pan, Jing; Wei, Ling; Wu, Ying; Peng, Hanqing; Wang, Ying; Li, Guangwei; Chen, Chen; Xiao, Li; Lu, Juntao; Zhuang, Lin

    2015-02-01

    Aromatic ether-based alkaline polymer electrolytes (APEs) are one of the most popular types of APEs being used in fuel cells. However, recent studies have demonstrated that upon being grafted by proximal cations some polar groups in the backbone of such APEs can be attacked by OH(-), leading to backbone degradation in an alkaline environment. To resolve this issue, we performed a systematic study on six APEs. We first replaced the polysulfone (PS) backbone with polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) and polyphenylether (PPO), whose molecular structures contain fewer polar groups. Although improved stability was seen after this change, cation-induced degradation was still obvious. Thus, our second move was to replace the ordinary quaternary ammonia (QA) cation, which had been closely attached to the polymer backbone, with a pendant-type QA (pQA), which was linked to the backbone through a long side chain. After a stability test in a 1 mol/L KOH solution at 80 °C for 30 days, all pQA-type APEs (pQAPS, pQAPPSU, and pQAPPO) exhibited as low as 8 wt % weight loss, which is close to the level of the bare backbone (5 wt %) and remarkably lower than those of the QA-type APEs (QAPS, QAPPSU, and QAPPO), whose weight losses under the same conditions were >30%. The pQA-type APEs also possessed clear microphase segregation morphology, which led to ionic conductivities that were higher, and water uptakes and degrees of membrane swelling that were lower, than those of the QA-type APEs. These observations unambiguously indicate that designing pendant-type cations is an effective approach to increasing the chemical stability of aromatic ether-based APEs. PMID:25594224

  16. Triazole linkages and backbone branches in nucleic acids for biological and extra-biological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paredes, Eduardo

    The recently increasing evidence of nucleic acids' alternative roles in biology and potential as useful nanomaterials and therapeutic agents has enabled the development of useful probes, elaborate nanostructures and therapeutic effectors based on nucleic acids. The study of alternative nucleic acid structure and function, particularly RNA, hinges on the ability to introduce site-specific modifications that either provide clues to the nucleic acid structure function relationship or alter the nucleic acid's function. Although the available chemistries allow for the conjugation of useful labels and molecules, their limitations lie in their tedious conjugation conditions or the lability of the installed probes. The development and optimization of click chemistry with RNA now provides the access to a robust and orthogonal conjugation methodology while providing stable conjugates. Our ability to introduce click reactive groups enzymatically, rather than only in the solid-phase, allows for the modification of larger, more cell relevant RNAs. Additionally, ligation of modified RNAs with larger RNA constructs through click chemistry represents an improvement over traditional ligation techniques. We determined that the triazole linkage generated through click chemistry is compatible in diverse nucleic acid based biological systems. Click chemistry has also been developed for extra-biological applications, particularly with DNA. We have expanded its use to generate useful polymer-DNA conjugates which can form controllable soft nanoparticles which take advantage of DNA's properties, i.e. DNA hybridization and computing. Additionally, we have generated protein-DNA conjugates and assembled protein-polymer hybrids mediated by DNA hybridization. The use of click chemistry in these reactions allows for the facile synthesis of these unnatural conjugates. We have also developed backbone branched DNA through click chemistry and showed that these branched DNAs are useful in generating

  17. Polar front associated variation in prokaryotic community structure in Arctic shelf seafloor

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Tan T.; Landfald, Bjarne

    2015-01-01

    Spatial variations in composition of marine microbial communities and its causes have largely been disclosed in studies comprising rather large environmental and spatial differences. In the present study, we explored if a moderate but temporally permanent climatic division within a contiguous arctic shelf seafloor was traceable in the diversity patterns of its bacterial and archaeal communities. Soft bottom sediment samples were collected at 10 geographical locations, spanning spatial distances of up to 640 km, transecting the oceanic polar front in the Barents Sea. The northern sampling sites were generally colder, less saline, shallower, and showed higher concentrations of freshly sedimented phytopigments compared to the southern study locations. Sampling sites depicted low variation in relative abundances of taxa at class level, with persistent numerical dominance by lineages of Gamma- and Deltaproteobacteria (57–66% of bacterial sequence reads). The Archaea, which constituted 0.7–1.8% of 16S rRNA gene copy numbers in the sediment, were overwhelmingly (85.8%) affiliated with the Thaumarchaeota. Beta-diversity analyses showed the environmental variations throughout the sampling range to have a stronger impact on the structuring of both the bacterial and archaeal communities than spatial effects. While bacterial communities were significantly influenced by the combined effect of several weakly selective environmental differences, including temperature, archaeal communities appeared to be more uniquely structured by the level of freshly sedimented phytopigments. PMID:25667586

  18. Line profiles variations from atmospheric eclipses: Constraints on the wind structure in Wolf-Rayet stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Auer, L. H.; Koenigsberger, G.

    1994-01-01

    Binary systems in which one of the components has a stellar wind may present a phenomenon known as 'wind' or 'atmospheric eclipse', in which that wind occults the luminous disk of the companion. The enhanced absorption profile, relative to the spectrum at uneclipsed orbital phases, can be be modeled to yield constraints on the spatial structure of the eclipsing wind. A new, very efficient approach to the radiative transfer problem, which makes no requirements with respect to monotonicity of the velocity gradient or size of that gradient, is presented. The technique recovers both the comoving frame calculation and the Sobolev approximation in the appropiate limits. Sample computer simulations of the line profile variations induced by wind eclipses are presented. It is shown that the location of the wind absorption features in frequency is a diagnostic tool for identifying the size of the wind acceleration region. Comparison of the model profile variations with the observed variations in the Wolf-Rayet (W-R)+6 binary system V444 Cyg illustrate how the method can be used to derive information on the structure of the wind of the W-R star constrain the size of the W-R core radius.

  19. The variation of the fine-structure constant from disformal couplings

    SciTech Connect

    De Bruck, Carsten van; Mifsud, Jurgen; Nunes, Nelson J. E-mail: jmifsud1@sheffield.ac.uk

    2015-12-01

    We study a theory in which the electromagnetic field is disformally coupled to a scalar field, in addition to a usual non-minimal electromagnetic coupling. We show that disformal couplings modify the expression for the fine-structure constant, α. As a result, the theory we consider can explain the non-zero reported variation in the evolution of α by purely considering disformal couplings. We also find that if matter and photons are coupled in the same way to the scalar field, disformal couplings itself do not lead to a variation of the fine-structure constant. A number of scenarios are discussed consistent with the current astrophysical, geochemical, laboratory and the cosmic microwave background radiation constraints on the cosmological evolution of α. The models presented are also consistent with the current type Ia supernovae constraints on the effective dark energy equation of state. We find that the Oklo bound in particular puts strong constraints on the model parameters. From our numerical results, we find that the introduction of a non-minimal electromagnetic coupling enhances the cosmological variation in α. Better constrained data is expected to be reported by ALMA and with the forthcoming generation of high-resolution ultra-stable spectrographs such as PEPSI, ESPRESSO, and ELT-HIRES. Furthermore, an expected increase in the sensitivity of molecular and nuclear clocks will put a more stringent constraint on the theory.

  20. Iterative image reconstruction for multienergy computed tomography via structure tensor total variation regularization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Dong; Bian, Zhaoying; Gong, Changfei; Huang, Jing; He, Ji; Zhang, Hua; Lu, Lijun; Feng, Qianjin; Liang, Zhengrong; Ma, Jianhua

    2016-03-01

    Multienergy computed tomography (MECT) has the potential to simultaneously offer multiple sets of energy- selective data belonging to specific energy windows. However, because sufficient photon counts are not available in the specific energy windows compared with that in the whole energy window, the MECT images reconstructed by the analytical approach often suffer from poor signal-to-noise (SNR) and strong streak artifacts. To eliminate this drawback, in this work we present a penalized weighted least-squares (PWLS) scheme by incorporating the new concept of structure tensor total variation (STV) regularization to improve the MECT images quality from low-milliampere-seconds (low-mAs) data acquisitions. Henceforth the present scheme is referred to as `PWLS- STV' for simplicity. Specifically, the STV regularization is derived by penalizing the eigenvalues of the structure tensor of every point in the MECT images. Thus it can provide more robust measures of image variation, which can eliminate the patchy artifacts often observed in total variation regularization. Subsequently, an alternating optimization algorithm was adopted to minimize the objective function. Experiments with a digital XCAT phantom clearly demonstrate that the present PWLS-STV algorithm can achieve more gains than the existing TV-based algorithms and the conventional filtered backpeojection (FBP) algorithm in terms of noise-induced artifacts suppression, resolution preservation, and material decomposition assessment.

  1. Spatial variation in parasite abundance: evidence of geographical population structuring in southern garfish Hyporhamphus melanochir.

    PubMed

    Hutson, K S; Brock, E L; Steer, M A

    2011-01-01

    Southern garfish Hyporhamphus melanochir were examined for metazoan parasites from nine sites in three regions (Spencer Gulf, Gulf St Vincent and northern Kangaroo Island) in South Australia to document parasite assemblages, identify candidate species suitable for use as biological tags and investigate spatial variation in parasite abundance. Four ectoparasite and 10 endoparasite species were identified representing Cestoda, Trematoda, Monogenea, Nematoda, Acanthocephala, Copepoda and Isopoda. Lernaeenicus hemirhamphi, Micracanthorhynchina hemirhamphi, Mothocya halei and Philometra sp. were suggested for 'permanent' biological markers. Multivariate discriminant function analysis showed that most sites could be distinguished based on differences in parasite abundance. Four endoparasites (Conohelmins sp., Hysterothylacium sp., M. hemirhamphi and Philometra sp.) were most important for site characterization. Limited spatial variation in permanent endoparasite abundance among localities in northern Spencer Gulf provided evidence for a distinct northern Spencer Gulf population with little interregional mixing. In contrast, considerable spatial variation in permanent endoparasite abundance between localities sampled off Kangaroo Island implied limited local movement and suggested H. melanochir may comprise a metapopulation structure. These results largely align with recent evidence from otolith chemistry that indicates fine-scale geographical population structuring in South Australian waters. PMID:21235553

  2. Molecular mechanical studies of DNA flexibility: coupled backbone torsion angles and base-pair openings.

    PubMed

    Keepers, J W; Kollman, P A; Weiner, P K; James, T L

    1982-09-01

    Molecular mechanics studies have been carried out on "B-DNA-like" structures of [d(C-G-C-G-A-A-T-T-C-G-C-G)](2) and [d(A)](12).[d(T)](12). Each of the backbone torsion angles (psi, phi, omega, omega', phi') has been "forced" to alternative values from the normal B-DNA values (g(+), t, g(-), g(-), t conformations). Compensating torsion angle changes preserve most of the base stacking energy in the double helix. In a second part of the study, one purine N3-pyrimidine N1 distance at a time has been forced to a value of 6 A in an attempt to simulate the base opening motions required to rationalize proton exchange data for DNA. When the 6-A constraint is removed, many of the structures revert to the normal Watson-Crick hydrogen-bonded structure, but a number are trapped in structures approximately 5 kcal/mol higher in energy than the starting B-DNA structure. The relative energy of these structures, some of which involve a non-Watson-Crick thymine C2(carbonyl)[unk]adenine 6NH(2) hydrogen bond, are qualitatively consistent with the DeltaH for a "base pair-open state" suggested by Mandal et al. of 4-6 kcal/mol [Mandal, C., Kallenbach, N. R. & Englander, S. W. (1979) J. Mol. Biol. 135, 391-411]. The picture of DNA flexibility emerging from this study depicts the backbone as undergoing rapid motion between local torsional minima on a nanosecond time scale. Backbone motion is mainly localized within a dinucleoside segment and generally not conformationally coupled along the chain or across the base pairs. Base motions are much smaller in magnitude than backbone motions. Base sliding allows imino N-H exchange, but it is localized, and only a small fraction of the N-H groups is exposed at any one time. Stacking and hydrogen bonding cause a rigid core of bases in the center of the molecule accounting for the hydrodynamic properties of DNA.

  3. Significant role of the DNA backbone in mediating the transition origin of electronic excitations of B-DNA - implication from long range corrected TDDFT and quantified NTO analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jian-Hao; Chai, Jeng-Da; Guo, Guang-Yu; Hayashi, Michitoshi

    We systematically investigate the possible complex transition origin of electronic excitations of giant molecular systems by using the recently proposed QNTO analysis [J.-H. Li, J.-D. Chai, G. Y. Guo and M. Hayashi, Chem. Phys. Lett., 2011, 514, 362.] combined with long-range corrected TDDFT calculations. Thymine (Thy) related excitations of biomolecule B-DNA are then studied as examples, where the model systems have been constructed extracting from the perfect or a X-ray crystal (PDB code 3BSE) B-DNA structure with at least one Thy included. In the first part, we consider the systems composed of a core molecular segment (e.g. Thy, di-Thy) and a surrounding physical/chemical environment of interest (e.g. backbone, adjacent stacking nucleobases) and examine how the excitation properties of the core vary in response to the environment. We find that the orbitals contributed from DNA backbone and surrounding nucleobases often participate in a transition of Thy-related excitations affecting their composition, absorption energy, and oscillator strength. In the second part, we take into account geometrically induced variation of the excitation properties of various B-DNA segments, e.g. di-Thy, dTpdT etc., obtained from different sources (ideal and 3BSE). It is found that the transition origin of several Thy-related excitations of these segments is sensitive to slight conformational variations, suggesting that DNA with thermal motions in cells may from time to time exhibit very different photo-induced physical and/or chemical processes.

  4. The influence of clan structure on the genetic variation in a single Ghanaian village.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Faddeev, Hernando; Pijpe, Jeroen; van der Hulle, Tom; Meij, Hans J; van der Gaag, Kristiaan J; Slagboom, P Eline; Westendorp, Rudi G J; de Knijff, Peter

    2013-10-01

    Socioeconomic and cultural factors are thought to have an important role in influencing human population genetic structure. To explain such population structure differences, most studies analyse genetic differences among widely dispersed human populations. In contrast, we have studied the genetic structure of an ethnic group occupying a single village in north-eastern Ghana. We found a markedly skewed male population substructure because of an almost complete lack of male gene flow among Bimoba clans in this village. We also observed a deep male substructure within one of the clans in this village. Among all males, we observed only three Y-single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplogroups: E1b1a*-M2, E1b1a7a*-U174 and E1b1a8a*-U209, P277, P278. In contrast to the marked Y-chromosomal substructure, mitochondrial DNA HVS-1 sequence variation and autosomal short-tandem repeats variation patterns indicate high genetic diversities and a virtually random female-mediated gene flow among clans. On the extreme micro-geographical scale of this single Bimoba village, correspondence between the Y-chromosome lineages and clan membership could be due to the combined effects of the strict patrilocal and patrilineal structure. If translated to larger geographic scales, our results would imply that the extent of variation in uniparentally inherited genetic markers, which are typically associated with historical migration on a continental scale, could equally likely be the result of many small and different cumulative effects of social factors such as clan membership that act at a local scale. Such local scale effects should therefore be considered in genetic studies, especially those that use uniparental markers, before making inferences about human history at large.

  5. Site-Specific Structural Variations Accompanying Tubular Assembly of the HIV-1 Capsid Protein

    PubMed Central

    Bayro, Marvin J.; Chen, Bo; Yau, Wai-Ming; Tycko, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The 231-residue capsid (CA) protein of HIV-1 spontaneously self-assembles into tubes with a hexagonal lattice that is believed to mimic the surface lattice of conical capsid cores within intact virions. We report the results of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements on HIV-1 CA tubes that provide new information regarding changes in molecular structure that accompany CA self-assembly, local dynamics within CA tubes, and possible mechanisms for the generation of lattice curvature. This information is contained in site-specific assignments of signals in two- and three-dimensional solid state NMR spectra, conformation-dependent 15N and 13C NMR chemical shifts, detection of highly dynamic residues under solution NMR conditions, measurements of local variations in transverse spin relaxation rates of amide 1H nuclei, and quantitative measurements of site-specific 15N-15N dipole-dipole couplings. Our data show that most of the CA sequence is conformationally ordered and relatively rigid in tubular assemblies and that the structures of N-terminal and C-terminal domains (NTD and CTD) observed in solution are largely retained. However, specific segments, including the N-terminal β-hairpin, the cyclophilin A binding loop, the inter-domain linker, segments involved in intermolecular NTD-CTD interactions, and the C-terminal tail, have substantial static or dynamical disorder in tubular assemblies. Other segments, including the 310-helical segment in CTD, undergo clear conformational changes. Structural variations associated with curvature of the CA lattice appear to be localized in the inter-domain linker and intermolecular NTD-CTD interface, while structural variations within NTD hexamers, around local three-fold symmetry axes, and in CTD-CTD dimerization interfaces are less significant. PMID:24370930

  6. TALOS+: a hybrid method for predicting protein backbone torsion angles from NMR chemical shifts.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yang; Delaglio, Frank; Cornilescu, Gabriel; Bax, Ad

    2009-08-01

    NMR chemical shifts in proteins depend strongly on local structure. The program TALOS establishes an empirical relation between 13C, 15N and 1H chemical shifts and backbone torsion angles phi and psi (Cornilescu et al. J Biomol NMR 13 289-302, 1999). Extension of the original 20-protein database to 200 proteins increased the fraction of residues for which backbone angles could be predicted from 65 to 74%, while reducing the error rate from 3 to 2.5%. Addition of a two-layer neural network filter to the database fragment selection process forms the basis for a new program, TALOS+, which further enhances the prediction rate to 88.5%, without increasing the error rate. Excluding the 2.5% of residues for which TALOS+ makes predictions that strongly differ from those observed in the crystalline state, the accuracy of predicted phi and psi angles, equals +/-13 degrees . Large discrepancies between predictions and crystal structures are primarily limited to loop regions, and for the few cases where multiple X-ray structures are available such residues are often found in different states in the different structures. The TALOS+ output includes predictions for individual residues with missing chemical shifts, and the neural network component of the program also predicts secondary structure with good accuracy.

  7. Variation Principles and Applications in the Study of Cell Structure and Aging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Economos, Angelos C.; Miquel, Jaime; Ballard, Ralph C.; Johnson, John E., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    In this report we have attempted to show that "some reality lies concealed in biological variation". This "reality" has its principles, laws, mechanisms, and rules, only a few of which we have sketched. A related idea we pursued was that important information may be lost in the process of ignoring frequency distributions of physiological variables (as is customary in experimental physiology and gerontology). We suggested that it may be advantageous to expand one's "statistical field of vision" beyond simple averages +/- standard deviations. Indeed, frequency distribution analysis may make visible some hidden information not evident from a simple qualitative analysis, particularly when the effect of some external factor or condition (e.g., aging, dietary chemicals) is being investigated. This was clearly illustrated by the application of distribution analysis in the study of variation in mouse liver cellular and fine structure, and may be true of fine structural studies in general. In living systems, structure and function interact in a dynamic way; they are "inseparable," unlike in technological systems or machines. Changes in fine structure therefore reflect changes in function. If such changes do not exceed a certain physiologic range, a quantitative analysis of structure will provide valuable information on quantitative changes in function that may not be possible or easy to measure directly. Because there is a large inherent variation in fine structure of cells in a given organ of an individual and among individuals, changes in fine structure can be analyzed only by studying frequency distribution curves of various structural characteristics (dimensions). Simple averages +/- S.D. do not in general reveal all information on the effect of a certain factor, because often this effect is not uniform; on the contrary, this will be apparent from distribution analysis because the form of the curves will be affected. We have also attempted to show in this chapter that

  8. Mixed variational formulations of finite element analysis of elastoacoustic/slosh fluid-structure interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Felippa, Carlos A.; Ohayon, Roger

    1991-01-01

    A general three-field variational principle is obtained for the motion of an acoustic fluid enclosed in a rigid or flexible container by the method of canonical decomposition applied to a modified form of the wave equation in the displacement potential. The general principle is specialized to a mixed two-field principle that contains the fluid displacement potential and pressure as independent fields. This principle contains a free parameter alpha. Semidiscrete finite-element equations of motion based on this principle are displayed and applied to the transient response and free-vibrations of the coupled fluid-structure problem. It is shown that a particular setting of alpha yields a rich set of formulations that can be customized to fit physical and computational requirements. The variational principle is then extended to handle slosh motions in a uniform gravity field, and used to derive semidiscrete equations of motion that account for such effects.

  9. Enhanced sensitivity to the fine-structure-constant variation in the Th IV atomic clock transition

    SciTech Connect

    Flambaum, V. V.; Porsev, S. G.

    2009-12-15

    Our calculations have shown that the 5f{sub 5/2}-7s{sub 1/2} 23 131 cm{sup -1} transition from the ground state in the ion Th{sup 3+} is very sensitive to the temporal variation of the fine-structure constant alpha=e{sup 2}/(Planck constant/2pi)c (q=-75 300 cm{sup -1}). The line is very narrow, the ion has been trapped and laser cooled, and the positive shifter line 5f{sub 5/2}-5f{sub 7/2} 4325 cm{sup -1} (q=+2900 cm{sup -1}) may be used as a reference. A comparison may also be made with a positive shifter in another atom or ion. This makes Th{sup 3+} a good candidate to search for the alpha variation.

  10. Mixed variational formulation of finite element analysis of acoustoelastic/slosh fluid-structure interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Felippa, C. A.; Ohayon, R.

    1990-01-01

    A general three-field variational principle is obtained for the motion of an acoustic fluid enclosed in a rigid or flexible container by the method of canonical decomposition applied to a modified form of the wave equation in the displacement potential. The general principle is specialized to a mixed two-field principle that contains the fluid displacement potential and pressure as independent fields. This principle contains a free parameter alpha. Semidiscrete finite-element equations of motion based on this principle are displayed and applied to the transient response and free-vibrations of the coupled fluid-structure problem. It is shown that a particular setting of alpha yields a rich set of formulations that can be customized to fit physical and computational requirements. The variational principle is then extended to handle slosh motions in a uniform gravity field, and used to derived semidiscrete equations of motion that account for such effects.

  11. Variation of the fine-structure constant from the de Sitter invariant special relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Shao-Xia; Xiao, Neng-Chao; Yan, Mu-Lin

    2008-08-01

    We discuss the variation of the fine-structure constant, α. There are obvious discrepancies among the results of α-variation from recent Quasi-stellar observation experiments and from the Oklo uranium mine analysis. We use dS Sitter invariant Special Relativity (Script SScript Rc,R) and Dirac large number hypothesis to discuss this puzzle, and present a possible solution to the disagreement. By means of the observational data and the discussions presented in this paper, we estimate the radius of the Universe in Script SScript Rc,R which is about ~2√5×1011l.y. Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (90403021) and PhD Program Funds of Education Ministry of China (20020358040)

  12. Highly charged ions for atomic clocks and search for variation of the fine structure constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzuba, V. A.; Flambaum, V. V.

    2015-11-01

    We review a number of highly charged ions which have optical transitions suitable for building extremely accurate atomic clocks. This includes ions from Hf 12+ to U 34+, which have the 4 f 12 configuration of valence electrons, the Ir 17+ ion, which has a hole in almost filled 4 f subshell, the Ho 14+, Cf 15+, Es 17+ and Es 16+ ions. Clock transitions in most of these ions are sensitive to variation of the fine structure constant, α (α = e2/hbar c). E.g., californium and einsteinium ions have largest known sensitivity to α-variation while holmium ion looks as the most suitable ion for experimental study. We study the spectra of the ions and their features relevant to the use as frequency standards.

  13. What common structural features and variations of mammalian P450s are known to date?

    PubMed

    Otyepka, Michal; Skopalík, Josef; Anzenbacherová, Eva; Anzenbacher, Pavel

    2007-03-01

    Sufficient structural information on mammalian cytochromes P450 has now been published (including seventeen X-ray structures of these enzymes by June 2006) to allow characteristic features of these enzymes to be identified, including: (i) the presence of a common fold, typical of all P450s, (ii) similarities in the positioning of the heme cofactor, (iii) the spatial arrangement of certain structural elements, and (iv) the access/egress paths for substrates and products, (v) probably common orientation in the membrane, (vi) characteristic properties of the active sites with networks of water molecules, (vii) mode of interaction with redox partners and (viii) a certain degree of flexibility of the structure and active site determining the ease with which the enzyme may bind the substrates. As well as facilitating the identification of common features, comparison of the available structures allows differences among the structures to be identified, including variations in: (i) preferred access/egress paths to/from the active site, (ii) the active site volume and (iii) flexible regions. The availability of crystal structures provides opportunities for molecular dynamic simulations, providing data that are apparently complementary to experimental findings but also allow the dynamic behavior of access/egress paths and other dynamic features of the enzymes to be explored. PMID:17069978

  14. Seasonal and spatial variations in fish and macrocrustacean assemblage structure in Mad Island Marsh estuary, Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akin, S.; Winemiller, K. O.; Gelwick, F. P.

    2003-05-01

    Fish and macrocrustacean assemblage structure was analyzed along an estuarine gradient at Mad Island Marsh (MIM), Matagorda Bay, TX, during March 1998-August 1999. Eight estuarine-dependent fish species accounted for 94% of the individual fishes collected, and three species accounted for 96% of macrocrustacean abundance. Consistent with evidence from other Gulf of Mexico estuarine studies, species richness and abundance were highest during late spring and summer, and lowest during winter and early spring. Sites near the bay supported the most individuals and species. Associations between fish abundance and environmental variables were examined with canonical correspondence analysis. The dominant gradient was associated with water depth and distance from the bay. The secondary gradient reflected seasonal variation and was associated with temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and vegetation cover. At the scales examined, estuarine biota responded to seasonal variation more than spatial variation. Estuarine-dependent species dominated the fauna and were common throughout the open waters of the shallow lake during winter-early spring when water temperature and salinity were low and dissolved oxygen high. During summer-early fall, sub-optimal environmental conditions (high temperature, low DO) in upper reaches accounted for strong spatial variation in assemblage composition. Small estuarine-resident fishes and the blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus) were common in warm, shallow, vegetated inland sites during summer-fall. Estuarine-dependent species were common at deeper, more saline locations near the bay during this period. During summer, freshwater species, such as gizzard shad ( Dorosoma cepedianum) and gars ( Lepisosteus spp.), were positively associated with water depth and proximity to the bay. The distribution and abundance of fishes in MIM appear to result from the combined effects of endogenous, seasonal patterns of reproduction and migration operating on large

  15. Real-time aircraft structural damage identification with flight condition variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lew, Jiann-Shiun; Loh, Chin-Hsiung

    2012-04-01

    This paper presents a real-time structural damage identification method for aircraft with flight condition variations. The proposed approach begins by identifying the dynamic models under various test conditions from time-domain input/output data. A singular value decomposition technique is then used to characterize and quantify the parameter uncertainties from the identified models. The uncertainty coordinates, corresponding to the identified principal directions, of the identified models are computed, and the residual errors between the identified uncertainty coordinates and the estimated uncertainty coordinates of the health structure are used to identify damage status. A correlation approach is applied to identify damage type and intensity, based on the difference between the identified parameters and the estimated parameters of the healthy structure. The proposed approach is demonstrated by application to the Benchmark Active Controls Technology (BACT) wind-tunnel model.

  16. CONSTRAINTS ON SPATIAL VARIATIONS IN THE FINE-STRUCTURE CONSTANT FROM PLANCK

    SciTech Connect

    O'Bryan, Jon; Smidt, Joseph; De Bernardis, Francesco; Cooray, Asantha

    2015-01-01

    We use the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy data from Planck to constrain the spatial fluctuations of the fine-structure constant α at a redshift of 1100. We use a quadratic estimator to measure the four-point correlation function of the CMB temperature anisotropies and extract the angular power spectrum fine-structure constant spatial variations projected along the line of sight at the last scattering surface. At tens of degree angular scales and above, we constrain the fractional rms fluctuations of the fine-structure constant to be (δα/α){sub rms} < 3.4 × 10{sup –3} at the 68% confidence level. We find no evidence for a spatially varying α at a redshift of 10{sup 3}.

  17. Prediction of individual differences in risky behavior in young adults via variations in local brain structure

    PubMed Central

    Nasiriavanaki, Zahra; ArianNik, Mohsen; Abbassian, Abdolhosein; Mahmoudi, Elham; Roufigari, Neda; Shahzadi, Sohrab; Nasiriavanaki, Mohammadreza; Bahrami, Bahador

    2015-01-01

    In recent years the problem of how inter-individual differences play a role in risk-taking behavior has become a much debated issue. We investigated this problem based on the well-known balloon analog risk task (BART) in 48 healthy subjects in which participants inflate a virtual balloon opting for a higher score in the face of a riskier chance of the balloon explosion. In this study, based on a structural Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM) technique we demonstrate a significant positive correlation between BART score and size of the gray matter volume in the anterior insula in riskier subjects. Although the anterior insula is among the candidate brain areas that were involved in the risk taking behavior in fMRI studies, here based on our structural data it is the only area that was significantly related to structural variation among different subjects. PMID:26500482

  18. Paired-Duplication Signatures Mark Cryptic Inversions and Other Complex Structural Variation.

    PubMed

    Brand, Harrison; Collins, Ryan L; Hanscom, Carrie; Rosenfeld, Jill A; Pillalamarri, Vamsee; Stone, Matthew R; Kelley, Fontina; Mason, Tamara; Margolin, Lauren; Eggert, Stacey; Mitchell, Elyse; Hodge, Jennelle C; Gusella, James F; Sanders, Stephan J; Talkowski, Michael E

    2015-07-01

    Copy-number variants (CNVs) have been the predominant focus of genetic studies of structural variation, and chromosomal microarray (CMA) for genome-wide CNV detection is the recommended first-tier genetic diagnostic screen in neurodevelopmental disorders. We compared CNVs observed by CMA to the structural variation detected by whole-genome large-insert sequencing in 259 individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from the Simons Simplex Collection. These analyses revealed a diverse landscape of complex duplications in the human genome. One remarkably common class of complex rearrangement, which we term dupINVdup, involves two closely located duplications ("paired duplications") that flank the breakpoints of an inversion. This complex variant class is cryptic to CMA, but we observed it in 8.1% of all subjects. We also detected other paired-duplication signatures and duplication-mediated complex rearrangements in 15.8% of all ASD subjects. Breakpoint analysis showed that the predominant mechanism of formation of these complex duplication-associated variants was microhomology-mediated repair. On the basis of the striking prevalence of dupINVdups in this cohort, we explored the landscape of all inversion variation among the 235 highest-quality libraries and found abundant complexity among these variants: only 39.3% of inversions were canonical, or simple, inversions without additional rearrangement. Collectively, these findings indicate that dupINVdups, as well as other complex duplication-associated rearrangements, represent relatively common sources of genomic variation that is cryptic to population-based microarray and low-depth whole-genome sequencing. They also suggest that paired-duplication signatures detected by CMA warrant further scrutiny in genetic diagnostic testing given that they might mark complex rearrangements of potential clinical relevance.

  19. Paired-Duplication Signatures Mark Cryptic Inversions and Other Complex Structural Variation

    PubMed Central

    Brand, Harrison; Collins, Ryan L.; Hanscom, Carrie; Rosenfeld, Jill A.; Pillalamarri, Vamsee; Stone, Matthew R.; Kelley, Fontina; Mason, Tamara; Margolin, Lauren; Eggert, Stacey; Mitchell, Elyse; Hodge, Jennelle C.; Gusella, James F.; Sanders, Stephan J.; Talkowski, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    Copy-number variants (CNVs) have been the predominant focus of genetic studies of structural variation, and chromosomal microarray (CMA) for genome-wide CNV detection is the recommended first-tier genetic diagnostic screen in neurodevelopmental disorders. We compared CNVs observed by CMA to the structural variation detected by whole-genome large-insert sequencing in 259 individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from the Simons Simplex Collection. These analyses revealed a diverse landscape of complex duplications in the human genome. One remarkably common class of complex rearrangement, which we term dupINVdup, involves two closely located duplications (“paired duplications”) that flank the breakpoints of an inversion. This complex variant class is cryptic to CMA, but we observed it in 8.1% of all subjects. We also detected other paired-duplication signatures and duplication-mediated complex rearrangements in 15.8% of all ASD subjects. Breakpoint analysis showed that the predominant mechanism of formation of these complex duplication-associated variants was microhomology-mediated repair. On the basis of the striking prevalence of dupINVdups in this cohort, we explored the landscape of all inversion variation among the 235 highest-quality libraries and found abundant complexity among these variants: only 39.3% of inversions were canonical, or simple, inversions without additional rearrangement. Collectively, these findings indicate that dupINVdups, as well as other complex duplication-associated rearrangements, represent relatively common sources of genomic variation that is cryptic to population-based microarray and low-depth whole-genome sequencing. They also suggest that paired-duplication signatures detected by CMA warrant further scrutiny in genetic diagnostic testing given that they might mark complex rearrangements of potential clinical relevance. PMID:26094575

  20. ngs_backbone: a pipeline for read cleaning, mapping and SNP calling using Next Generation Sequence

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The possibilities offered by next generation sequencing (NGS) platforms are revolutionizing biotechnological laboratories. Moreover, the combination of NGS sequencing and affordable high-throughput genotyping technologies is facilitating the rapid discovery and use of SNPs in non-model species. However, this abundance of sequences and polymorphisms creates new software needs. To fulfill these needs, we have developed a powerful, yet easy-to-use application. Results The ngs_backbone software is a parallel pipeline capable of analyzing Sanger, 454, Illumina and SOLiD (Sequencing by Oligonucleotide Ligation and Detection) sequence reads. Its main supported analyses are: read cleaning, transcriptome assembly and annotation, read mapping and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) calling and selection. In order to build a truly useful tool, the software development was paired with a laboratory experiment. All public tomato Sanger EST reads plus 14.2 million Illumina reads were employed to test the tool and predict polymorphism in tomato. The cleaned reads were mapped to the SGN tomato transcriptome obtaining a coverage of 4.2 for Sanger and 8.5 for Illumina. 23,360 single nucleotide variations (SNVs) were predicted. A total of 76 SNVs were experimentally validated, and 85% were found to be real. Conclusions ngs_backbone is a new software package capable of analyzing sequences produced by NGS technologies and predicting SNVs with great accuracy. In our tomato example, we created a highly polymorphic collection of SNVs that will be a useful resource for tomato researchers and breeders. The software developed along with its documentation is freely available under the AGPL license and can be downloaded from http://bioinf.comav.upv.es/ngs_backbone/ or http://github.com/JoseBlanca/franklin. PMID:21635747

  1. Variations of structural components: specific intercultural differences in facial morphology, skin type, and structures.

    PubMed

    McKnight, Aisha; Momoh, Adeyiza O; Bullocks, Jamal M

    2009-08-01

    Analysis of the differences in facial morphology and skin structure and tone among ethnic groups within the realm of plastic surgery is relevant due to the increasing number of ethnic individuals seeking cosmetic surgery. Previous classifications of ideal facial morphologic characteristics have been revised and challenged over the years to accurately reflect the differences in facial structure that are aesthetically pleasing to individuals of differing ethnic groups. The traditional neoclassic canons reflected the European Caucasian facial morphology and cannot be used to classify facial characteristics in ethnic groups due to drastic differences in measurement and proportion. In addition, differences in biophysiologic properties of ethnic skin types influence the progression of aging and the ability of skin to withstand environmental insults. Thickness of the stratum corneum, water content, and melanin composition are important factors that were analyzed in varying ethnic groups. Although it appears that Caucasian Americans are subject to earlier onset of skin wrinkling and sagging than are African Americans due to thinner stratum corneum layers and decreased water content, more research needs to be conducted to be inclusive of other ethnic groups. These data will enable plastic surgeons to treat these groups more effectively while preserving their unique characteristics. PMID:20676309

  2. Variations of structural components: specific intercultural differences in facial morphology, skin type, and structures.

    PubMed

    McKnight, Aisha; Momoh, Adeyiza O; Bullocks, Jamal M

    2009-08-01

    Analysis of the differences in facial morphology and skin structure and tone among ethnic groups within the realm of plastic surgery is relevant due to the increasing number of ethnic individuals seeking cosmetic surgery. Previous classifications of ideal facial morphologic characteristics have been revised and challenged over the years to accurately reflect the differences in facial structure that are aesthetically pleasing to individuals of differing ethnic groups. The traditional neoclassic canons reflected the European Caucasian facial morphology and cannot be used to classify facial characteristics in ethnic groups due to drastic differences in measurement and proportion. In addition, differences in biophysiologic properties of ethnic skin types influence the progression of aging and the ability of skin to withstand environmental insults. Thickness of the stratum corneum, water content, and melanin composition are important factors that were analyzed in varying ethnic groups. Although it appears that Caucasian Americans are subject to earlier onset of skin wrinkling and sagging than are African Americans due to thinner stratum corneum layers and decreased water content, more research needs to be conducted to be inclusive of other ethnic groups. These data will enable plastic surgeons to treat these groups more effectively while preserving their unique characteristics.

  3. RNA backbone: Consensus all-angle conformers and modular string nomenclature (an RNA Ontology Consortium contribution)

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Jane S.; Schneider, Bohdan; Murray, Laura W.; Kapral, Gary J.; Immormino, Robert M.; Headd, Jeffrey J.; Richardson, David C.; Ham, Daniela; Hershkovits, Eli; Williams, Loren Dean; Keating, Kevin S.; Pyle, Anna Marie; Micallef, David; Westbrook, John; Berman, Helen M.

    2008-01-01

    A consensus classification and nomenclature are defined for RNA backbone structure using all of the backbone torsion angles. By a consensus of several independent analysis methods, 46 discrete conformers are identified as suitably clustered in a quality-filtered, multidimensional dihedral angle distribution. Most of these conformers represent identifiable features or roles within RNA structures. The conformers are given two-character names that reflect the seven-angle δεζαβγδ combinations empirically found favorable for the sugar-to-sugar “suite” unit within which the angle correlations are strongest (e.g., 1a for A-form, 5z for the start of S-motifs). Since the half-nucleotides are specified by a number for δεζ and a lowercase letter for αβγδ, this modular system can also be parsed to describe traditional nucleotide units (e.g., a1) or the dinucleotides (e.g., a1a1) that are especially useful at the level of crystallographic map fitting. This nomenclature can also be written as a string with two-character suite names between the uppercase letters of the base sequence (N1aG1gN1aR1aA1cN1a for a GNRA tetraloop), facilitating bioinformatic comparisons. Cluster means, standard deviations, coordinates, and examples are made available, as well as the Suitename software that assigns suite conformer names and conformer match quality (suiteness) from atomic coordinates. The RNA Ontology Consortium will combine this new backbone system with others that define base pairs, base-stacking, and hydrogen-bond relationships to provide a full description of RNA structural motifs. PMID:18192612

  4. Small-angle Neutron Scattering and Contrast Variation: A Powerful Combination for Studying Biological Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Heller, William T

    2010-01-01

    The use of small-angle scattering (SAS) in the biological sciences continues to increase, driven as much by the need to study increasingly complex systems that are often resistant to crystallization or are too large for NMR as by the availability of user facilities and advancements in the modelling of biological structures from SAS data. SAS, whether with neutrons (SANS) or X-rays (SAXS), is a structural probe of length scales ranging from 10 to 10,000 {angstrom}. When applied to biological complexes in dilute solution, it provides size and shape information that can be used to produce structural models that can provide insight into function. SANS enables the use of contrast-variation methods through the unique interaction of neutrons with hydrogen and its isotope deuterium. SANS with contrast variation enables the visualization of components within multisubunit complexes, making it a powerful tool for probing protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid complexes, as well as the interaction of proteins with lipids and detergents.

  5. Condition-dependent variation in the blue-ultraviolet coloration of a structurally based plumage ornament

    PubMed Central

    Keyser, A. J.; Hill, G. E.

    1999-01-01

    After years of investigation into the function of sexually dimorphic ornamental traits, researchers are beginning to understand how bright plumage colour in birds acts as an intraspecific signal. This work has focused primarily on pigment-based ornaments because they are highly variable in patch size, hue and brightness for some species. In contrast, structurally based ornaments have been little studied, in part because they do not appear to be as variable as pigment-based ornaments. We investigated a structurally based plumage ornament in a wild population of blue grosbeaks (Guiraca caerulea), a sexually dimorphic passerine. We report plumage variation that extends into the ultraviolet region of the spectrum. The pattern of covariation between four out of five elements of plumage variation suggests that structurally based ornamentation is pushed towards extreme expression of the trait as predicted by the sexual selection theory. The 'bluest' birds have the highest percentage of blue feathers on the body. These ornamental feathers reflect light maximally at the shortest wavelengths (ultraviolet), with the greatest intensity and the greatest contrast. Age may have some effect on expression of blueness. In addition, plumage variables are correlated with growth bars in tail feathers (a record of nutritional condition during moult in a non-ornamental trait). This suggests that the ornament is partially condition dependent. Thus, blue plumage in male grosbeaks may serve as an honest indicator of age and quality.

  6. Phylogenetic, functional, and structural components of variation in bone growth rate of amniotes.

    PubMed

    Cubo, Jorge; Legendre, Pierre; de Ricqlès, Armand; Montes, Laëtitia; de Margerie, Emmanuel; Castanet, Jacques; Desdevises, Yves

    2008-01-01

    The biological features observed in every living organism are the outcome of three sets of factors: historical (inherited by homology), functional (biological adaptation), and structural (properties inherent to the materials with which organs are constructed, and the morphogenetic rules by which they grow). Integrating them should bring satisfactory causal explanations of empirical data. However, little progress has been accomplished in practice toward this goal, because a methodologically efficient tool was lacking. Here we use a new statistical method of variation partitioning to analyze bone growth in amniotes. (1) Historical component. The variation of bone growth rates contains a significant phylogenetic signal, suggesting that the observed patterns are partly the outcome of shared ancestry. (2) Functional causation. High growth rates, although energy costly, may be adaptive (i.e., they may increase survival rates) in taxa showing short growth periods (e.g., birds). In ectothermic amniotes, low resting metabolic rates may limit the maximum possible growth rates. (3) Structural constraint. Whereas soft tissues grow through a multiplicative process, growth of mineralized tissues is accretionary (additive, i.e., mineralization fronts occur only at free surfaces). Bone growth of many amniotes partially circumvents this constraint: it is achieved not only at the external surface of the bone shaft, but also within cavities included in the bone cortex as it grows centrifugally. Our approach contributes to the unification of historicism, functionalism, and structuralism toward a more integrated evolutionary biology.

  7. Variation in multiring basic structures as a function of impact angle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wichman, R. W.; Schultz, P. H.

    1992-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the impact process in the laboratory varies as a function of impact angle. This variation is attributed to changes in energy partitioning and projectile failure during the impact and, in simple craters, produces a sequence of progressively smaller and more asymmetric crater forms as impact angle decreases from approximately 20 degrees. Variations in impact angle can produce differences in the appearance of multiring impact basins. Comparisons of Orientale to the more oblique impact structure at Crisium also suggests that these differences primarily reflect the degree of cavity collapse. The relative changes in massif ring topography, basin scarp relief, and the distribution of peripheral mare units are consistent with a reduction in degree of cavity collapse with decreasing impact angle. The prominent uprange basin scarps and the restriction of tectonically derived peripheral mare units along uprange ring structures also may indicate an uprange enhancement of failure during cavity collapse. Finally, although basin ring faults appear to be preferred pathways for mare volcanism, fault-controlled peripheral mare volcanism occurs most readily uprange of an oblique impact; elsewhere such volcanism apparently requires superposition of an impact structure on the ring fault.

  8. Beyond sex differences: new approaches for thinking about variation in brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Joel, Daphna; Fausto-Sterling, Anne

    2016-02-19

    In the study of variation in brain structure and function that might relate to sex and gender, language matters because it frames our research questions and methods. In this article, we offer an approach to thinking about variation in brain structure and function that pulls us outside the sex differences formulation. We argue that the existence of differences between the brains of males and females does not unravel the relations between sex and the brain nor is it sufficient to characterize a population of brains. Such characterization is necessary for studying sex effects on the brain as well as for studying brain structure and function in general. Animal studies show that sex interacts with environmental, developmental and genetic factors to affect the brain. Studies of humans further suggest that human brains are better described as belonging to a single heterogeneous population rather than two distinct populations. We discuss the implications of these observations for studies of brain and behaviour in humans and in laboratory animals. We believe that studying sex effects in context and developing or adopting analytical methods that take into account the heterogeneity of the brain are crucial for the advancement of human health and well-being.

  9. Assessing the effects of common variation in the FOXP2 gene on human brain structure.

    PubMed

    Hoogman, Martine; Guadalupe, Tulio; Zwiers, Marcel P; Klarenbeek, Patricia; Francks, Clyde; Fisher, Simon E

    2014-01-01

    The FOXP2 transcription factor is one of the most well-known genes to have been implicated in developmental speech and language disorders. Rare mutations disrupting the function of this gene have been described in different families and cases. In a large three-generation family carrying a missense mutation, neuroimaging studies revealed significant effects on brain structure and function, most notably in the inferior frontal gyrus, caudate nucleus, and cerebellum. After the identification of rare disruptive FOXP2 variants impacting on brain structure, several reports proposed that common variants at this locus may also have detectable effects on the brain, extending beyond disorder into normal phenotypic variation. These neuroimaging genetics studies used groups of between 14 and 96 participants. The current study assessed effects of common FOXP2 variants on neuroanatomy using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and volumetric techniques in a sample of >1300 people from the general population. In a first targeted stage we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) claimed to have effects in prior smaller studies (rs2253478, rs12533005, rs2396753, rs6980093, rs7784315, rs17137124, rs10230558, rs7782412, rs1456031), beginning with regions proposed in the relevant papers, then assessing impact across the entire brain. In the second gene-wide stage, we tested all common FOXP2 variation, focusing on volumetry of those regions most strongly implicated from analyses of rare disruptive mutations. Despite using a sample that is more than 10 times that used for prior studies of common FOXP2 variation, we found no evidence for effects of SNPs on variability in neuroanatomy in the general population. Thus, the impact of this gene on brain structure may be largely limited to extreme cases of rare disruptive alleles. Alternatively, effects of common variants at this gene exist but are too subtle to be detected with standard volumetric techniques.

  10. Conformation-dependent backbone geometry restraints set a new standard for protein crystallographic refinement

    DOE PAGES

    Moriarty, Nigel W.; Tronrud, Dale E.; Adams, Paul D.; Karplus, P. Andrew

    2014-06-17

    Ideal values of bond angles and lengths used as external restraints are crucial for the successful refinement of protein crystal structures at all but the highest of resolutions. The restraints in common usage today have been designed based on the assumption that each type of bond or angle has a single ideal value independent of context. However, recent work has shown that the ideal values are, in fact, sensitive to local conformation, and as a first step toward using such information to build more accurate models, ultra-high resolution protein crystal structures have been used to derive a conformation-dependent library (CDL)more » of restraints for the protein backbone (Berkholz et al. 2009. Structure. 17, 1316). Here, we report the introduction of this CDL into the Phenix package and the results of test refinements of thousands of structures across a wide range of resolutions. These tests show that use of the conformation dependent library yields models that have substantially better agreement with ideal main-chain bond angles and lengths and, on average, a slightly enhanced fit to the X-ray data. No disadvantages of using the backbone CDL are apparent. In Phenix usage of the CDL can be selected by simply specifying the cdl=True option. This successful implementation paves the way for further aspects of the context-dependence of ideal geometry to be characterized and applied to improve experimental and predictive modelling accuracy.« less

  11. Conformation-dependent backbone geometry restraints set a new standard for protein crystallographic refinement

    SciTech Connect

    Moriarty, Nigel W.; Tronrud, Dale E.; Adams, Paul D.; Karplus, P. Andrew

    2014-06-17

    Ideal values of bond angles and lengths used as external restraints are crucial for the successful refinement of protein crystal structures at all but the highest of resolutions. The restraints in common usage today have been designed based on the assumption that each type of bond or angle has a single ideal value independent of context. However, recent work has shown that the ideal values are, in fact, sensitive to local conformation, and as a first step toward using such information to build more accurate models, ultra-high resolution protein crystal structures have been used to derive a conformation-dependent library (CDL) of restraints for the protein backbone (Berkholz et al. 2009. Structure. 17, 1316). Here, we report the introduction of this CDL into the Phenix package and the results of test refinements of thousands of structures across a wide range of resolutions. These tests show that use of the conformation dependent library yields models that have substantially better agreement with ideal main-chain bond angles and lengths and, on average, a slightly enhanced fit to the X-ray data. No disadvantages of using the backbone CDL are apparent. In Phenix usage of the CDL can be selected by simply specifying the cdl=True option. This successful implementation paves the way for further aspects of the context-dependence of ideal geometry to be characterized and applied to improve experimental and predictive modelling accuracy.

  12. Enhanced Laboratory Sensitivity to Variation of the Fine-Structure Constant using Highly Charged Ions

    SciTech Connect

    Berengut, J. C.; Dzuba, V. A.; Flambaum, V. V.

    2010-09-17

    We study atomic systems that are in the frequency range of optical atomic clocks and have enhanced sensitivity to potential time variation of the fine-structure constant {alpha}. The high sensitivity is due to coherent contributions from three factors: high nuclear charge Z, high ionization degree, and significant differences in the configuration composition of the states involved. Configuration crossing keeps the frequencies in the optical range despite the large ionization energies. We discuss a few promising examples that have the largest {alpha} sensitivities seen in atomic systems.

  13. Effect of magnetospheric electric field variations on the structure of the plasmasphere

    SciTech Connect

    Voronov, E.V.; Krinberg, I.A.

    1986-11-01

    An analysis of the effect of time variations of the magnetospheric electric field on the structure of the plasmasphere and plasmapause is presented. The concentration of charged particles in the plane of the geomagnetic equator at L > 3.5 decreases as n about L/sup -4/. When the electric field is strengthening, the plasmapause is elongated not only in the evening sector but also in the day sector, while the existence of two or more plasmapauses is possible when the field is weakening.

  14. Time Variation of the Fine Structure Constant in the Spacetime of a Cosmic Domain Wall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campanelli, L.; Cea, P.; Tedesco, L.

    The gravitational field produced by a domain wall acts as a medium with spacetime-dependent permittivity ɛ. Therefore, the fine structure constant α=e2/4πɛ will be a time-dependent function at fixed position. The most stringent constraint on the time-variation of α comes from the natural reactor Oklo and gives |˙ α /α | < few × 10-17 yr-1. This limit constrains the tension of a cosmic domain wall to be less than σ ≲ 10-2 MeV3, and then represents the most severe limit on the energy density of a cosmic wall stretching our Universe.

  15. Along strike structural variation in the northern part of the Japan Trench axis region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Y.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.; Miura, S.; Fujie, G.

    2015-12-01

    Great earthquakes have occurred along the Japan trench subduction zone, and some of them, e.g. Meiji Sanriku earthquake in 1896, could have ruptured the shallow portion of the plate boundary fault similar to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Geological/geophysical structure in the vicinity of the trench axis is one of the keys to understand the nature of shallow mega thrust events and tsunamigenesis. We have conducted high resolution seismic surveys in the northern part of the Japan Trench axis region in 38 - 40.5 N to investigate the detailed structure in the trench axis area. Thrust faults and possible slope failures are observed landward of the trench axis, beneath the lowermost landward trench slope. The deformation and evolution styles of the lowermost landward slope show variation along the trench strike. To the south of the survey area in 38 - 39 N, imbricate thrust-and-fold packages is observed but limited within the vicinity of the trench axis. Thickness of the hanging wall sediment is relatively thinner in the lowermost landward slope. These observation could suggest that the lowermost slope has not been well developed in this area. To the north around 40 - 40.5 N, frontal thrusts and imbricate structure are clearly observed on the seismic profiles through ~ 10 - 15 km landward of the trench axis. Thickness of the hanging wall sediment is thicker in this area. The bending-related faults on the subducted plate are generally not located beneath the lowermost slope up to ~ 10 km landward of the trench. These observations suggest that the imbricate structure has been well developed in the last ~ 10 kyr in this area. Around 39.5 N, it is suggested that slope failures have occurred. The trench axis is filled by slump deposits and debris with chaotic acoustic characteristics. Above mentioned variations in the deformation and evolution style in the lowermost landward slope could affect the mechanism of tsunami generation in the northern Japan Trench. The variation on

  16. Backbone resonance assignments for the SET domain of the human methyltransferase NSD2.

    PubMed

    Bobby, Romel; Peciak, Karolina; Milbradt, Alexander G

    2016-10-01

    Aberrant NSD2 methyltransferase activity is implicated as the oncogenic driver in multiple myeloma, suggesting opportunities for novel therapeutic intervention. The methyltransferase activity of NSD2 resides in its catalytic SET domain, which is conserved among most lysine methyltransferases. Here we report the backbone [Formula: see text], N, C[Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and side-chain [Formula: see text] assignments of a 25 kDa NSD2 SET domain construct, spanning residues 991-1203. A chemical shift analysis of C[Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] resonances predicts a secondary structural pattern that is in agreement with homology models.

  17. Primary Structural Variation in Anaplasma marginale Msp2 Efficiently Generates Immune Escape Variants

    PubMed Central

    Paradiso, Lydia; Broschat, Shira L.; Noh, Susan M.; Palmer, Guy H.

    2015-01-01

    Antigenic variation allows microbial pathogens to evade immune clearance and establish persistent infection. Anaplasma marginale utilizes gene conversion of a repertoire of silent msp2 alleles into a single active expression site to encode unique Msp2 variants. As the genomic complement of msp2 alleles alone is insufficient to generate the number of variants required for persistence, A. marginale uses segmental gene conversion, in which oligonucleotide segments from multiple alleles are recombined into the expression site to generate a novel msp2 mosaic not represented elsewhere in the genome. Whether these segmental changes are sufficient to evade a broad antibody response is unknown. We addressed this question by identifying Msp2 variants that differed in primary structure within the immunogenic hypervariable region microdomains and tested whether they represented true antigenic variants. The minimal primary structural difference between variants was a single amino acid resulting from a codon insertion, and overall, the amino acid identity among paired microdomains ranged from 18 to 92%. Collectively, 89% of the expressed structural variants were also antigenic variants across all biological replicates, independent of a specific host major histocompatibility complex haplotype. Biological relevance is supported by the following: (i) all structural variants were expressed during infection of a natural host, (ii) the structural variation observed in the microdomains corresponded to the mean length of variants generated by segmental gene conversion, and (iii) antigenic variants were identified using a broad antibody response that developed during infection of a natural host. The findings demonstrate that segmental gene conversion efficiently generates Msp2 antigenic variants. PMID:26259814

  18. New limits on variation of the fine-structure constant using atomic dysprosium.

    PubMed

    Leefer, N; Weber, C T M; Cingöz, A; Torgerson, J R; Budker, D

    2013-08-01

    We report on the spectroscopy of radio-frequency transitions between nearly degenerate, opposite-parity excited states in atomic dysprosium (Dy). Theoretical calculations predict that these states are very sensitive to variation of the fine-structure constant α owing to large relativistic corrections of opposite sign for the opposite-parity levels. The near degeneracy reduces the relative precision necessary to place constraints on variation of α, competitive with results obtained from the best atomic clocks in the world. Additionally, the existence of several abundant isotopes of Dy allows isotopic comparisons that suppress common-mode systematic errors. The frequencies of the 754-MHz transition in 164Dy and 235-MHz transition in 162Dy are measured over the span of two years. The linear variation of α is α·/α=(-5.8±6.9([1σ]))×10(-17)  yr(-1), consistent with zero. The same data are used to constrain the dimensionless parameter kα characterizing a possible coupling of α to a changing gravitational potential. We find that kα=(-5.5±5.2([1σ]))×10(-7), essentially consistent with zero and the best constraint to date.

  19. New limits on variation of the fine-structure constant using atomic dysprosium.

    PubMed

    Leefer, N; Weber, C T M; Cingöz, A; Torgerson, J R; Budker, D

    2013-08-01

    We report on the spectroscopy of radio-frequency transitions between nearly degenerate, opposite-parity excited states in atomic dysprosium (Dy). Theoretical calculations predict that these states are very sensitive to variation of the fine-structure constant α owing to large relativistic corrections of opposite sign for the opposite-parity levels. The near degeneracy reduces the relative precision necessary to place constraints on variation of α, competitive with results obtained from the best atomic clocks in the world. Additionally, the existence of several abundant isotopes of Dy allows isotopic comparisons that suppress common-mode systematic errors. The frequencies of the 754-MHz transition in 164Dy and 235-MHz transition in 162Dy are measured over the span of two years. The linear variation of α is α·/α=(-5.8±6.9([1σ]))×10(-17)  yr(-1), consistent with zero. The same data are used to constrain the dimensionless parameter kα characterizing a possible coupling of α to a changing gravitational potential. We find that kα=(-5.5±5.2([1σ]))×10(-7), essentially consistent with zero and the best constraint to date. PMID:23971546

  20. The effect of individual variation on the structure and function of interaction networks in harvester ants

    PubMed Central

    Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Wollman, Roy; Guetz, Adam; Holmes, Susan; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2011-01-01

    Social insects exhibit coordinated behaviour without central control. Local interactions among individuals determine their behaviour and regulate the activity of the colony. Harvester ants are recruited for outside work, using networks of brief antennal contacts, in the nest chamber closest to the nest exit: the entrance chamber. Here, we combine empirical observations, image analysis and computer simulations to investigate the structure and function of the interaction network in the entrance chamber. Ant interactions were distributed heterogeneously in the chamber, with an interaction hot-spot at the entrance leading further into the nest. The distribution of the total interactions per ant followed a right-skewed distribution, indicating the presence of highly connected individuals. Numbers of ant encounters observed positively correlated with the duration of observation. Individuals varied in interaction frequency, even after accounting for the duration of observation. An ant's interaction frequency was explained by its path shape and location within the entrance chamber. Computer simulations demonstrate that variation among individuals in connectivity accelerates information flow to an extent equivalent to an increase in the total number of interactions. Individual variation in connectivity, arising from variation among ants in location and spatial behaviour, creates interaction centres, which may expedite information flow. PMID:21490001

  1. Effects of temperature variations on guided waves propagating in composite structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoja, Siavash; Berbyuk, Viktor; Boström, Anders

    2016-04-01

    Effects of temperature on guided waves propagating in composite materials is a well-known problem which has been investigated in many studies. The majority of the studies is focused on effects of high temperature. Understanding the effects of low temperature has major importance in composite structures and components which are operating in cold climate conditions such as e.g. wind turbines operating in cold climate regions. In this study first the effects of temperature variations on guided waves propagating in a composite plate is investigated experimentally in a cold climate chamber. The material is a common material used to manufacture rotor blades of wind turbines. The temperature range is 25°C to -25°C and effects of temperature variations on amplitude and phase shift of the received signal are investigated. In order to apply the effects of lowering the temperature on the received signal, the Baseline Signal Stretch (BSS) method is modified and used. The modification is based on decomposing the signal into symmetric and asymmetric modes and applying two different stretch factors on each of them. Finally the results obtained based on the new method is compared with the results of application of BSS with one stretch factor and experimental measurements. Comparisons show that an improvement is obtained using the BSS with the mode decomposition method at temperature variations of more than 25°C.

  2. Extracting the multiscale backbone of complex weighted networks

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, M. Ángeles; Boguñá, Marián; Vespignani, Alessandro

    2009-01-01

    A large number of complex systems find a natural abstraction in the form of weighted networks whose nodes represent the elements of the system and the weighted edges identify the presence of an interaction and its relative strength. In recent years, the study of an increasing number of large-scale networks has highlighted the statistical heterogeneity of their interaction pattern, with degree and weight distributions that vary over many orders of magnitude. These features, along with the large number of elements and links, make the extraction of the truly relevant connections forming the network's backbone a very challenging problem. More specifically, coarse-graining approaches and filtering techniques come into conflict with the multiscale nature of large-scale systems. Here, we define a filtering method that offers a practical procedure to extract the relevant connection backbone in complex multiscale networks, preserving the edges that represent statistically significant deviations with respect to a null model for the local assignment of weights to edges. An important aspect of the method is that it does not belittle small-scale interactions and operates at all scales defined by the weight distribution. We apply our method to real-world network instances and compare the obtained results with alternative backbone extraction techniques. PMID:19357301

  3. Determination of backbone nitrogen-nitrogen J correlations in proteins.

    PubMed

    Theis, K; Dingley, A J; Hoffmann, A; Omichinski, J G; Grzesiek, S

    1997-12-01

    Recently, a quantitative J correlation technique has been presented which makes use of homonuclear Hartmann-Hahn cross-polarization (TOCSY) to measure (3)J(C)'(C)' in proteins isotopically enriched with (13)C [Grzesiek, S. and Bax, A. (1997) J. Biomol. NMR, 9, 207-211]. Since homonuclear Hartmann-Hahn is twice as fast as conventional COSY transfer, this method is much less sensitive to transverse relaxation, which is the principal limiting factor in achieving long-range J-coupling correlations in macromolecules. Here we describe a similar experiment which is used to measure(3) J(NN) coupling constants between sequential amide(15) N nuclei in the backbone of ubiquitin. As expected from the low magnetic moment of (15)N, the (3)J(NN) coupling constants are exceedingly small, with values between 0.14 and 0.36 Hz for residues in β-conformations and values below 0.15 Hz for residues in α-conformations. In contrast to what is expected from a Karplus-type dependence on the backbone angle ψ, large differences in the values of(3) J(NN) are observed for a number of residues with very similar backbone ψ angles. A quantitative description of statistical and systematic errors, in particular of relaxation effects during the TOCSY transfer, shows that these differences are highly significant. PMID:20859784

  4. Structural Variations in Amorphous Silicon and Germanium: a Vibrational Spectroscopy Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maley, Nagendranath

    Variations in short range structural order in the tetrahedral amorphous semiconductors Si and Ge have been studied by means of vibrational spectroscopy. Short range order (SRO) in in a-Si and a-Ge can be described by bond length, bond angle and dihedral angle distributions. While the existence of SRO in amorphous (a-) Si and Ge has been known for a long time, it was believed until recently that it was not variable. This notion was, in part, based on the results of conventional diffraction studies which showed negligible changes in the radial distribution function for different samples. Thus the observed variations in physical properties as a function of sample preparation conditions were attributed to extrinsic effects such as voids. However, recent studies in this laboratory showed that SRO is variable, primarily through modifications of P((THETA)), the bond angle distribution, and that Raman scattering can be used to measure small variations in (DELTA)(THETA), the width of P((THETA)). Subsequent studies here and elsewhere have shown strong correlations between Raman and various physical properties suggesting that variations in SRO have important consequences on electronic as well as vibrational properties of both a-Si and a-Ge. A detailed study has been carried out to investigate the extent of variation in SRO and the effect of preparation conditions. The results show the bond angle distribution width to be very sensitive to preparation conditions, particularly, temperature, bombardment and hydrogen incorporation. Phonon spectra of highly ordered and highly disordered samples of a-Ge have been obtained by means of inelastic neutron scattering. Detailed comparisons between theory and experiment for phonon as well as Raman spectra show qualitative agreement. The discrepancies provide suggestions for further improvements in theory. Estimates from a combination of optical, Raman and RDF data and comparisons between theory and experiment suggest that (DELTA

  5. Structural Variation and Uniformity among Tetraloop-Receptor Interactions and Other Loop-Helix Interactions in RNA Crystal Structures

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Li; Chai, Dinggeng; Fraser, Marie E.; Zimmerly, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Tetraloop-receptor interactions are prevalent structural units in RNAs, and include the GAAA/11-nt and GNRA-minor groove interactions. In this study, we have compiled a set of 78 nonredundant loop-helix interactions from X-ray crystal structures, and examined them for the extent of their sequence and structural variation. Of the 78 interactions in the set, only four were classical GAAA/11-nt motifs, while over half (48) were GNRA-minor groove interactions. The GNRA-minor groove interactions were not a homogeneous set, but were divided into five subclasses. The most predominant subclass is characterized by two triple base pair interactions in the minor groove, flanked by two ribose zipper contacts. This geometry may be considered the “standard” GNRA-minor groove interaction, while the other four subclasses are alternative ways to form interfaces between a minor groove and tetraloop. The remaining 26 structures in the set of 78 have loops interacting with mostly idiosyncratic receptors. Among the entire set, a number of sequence-structure correlations can be identified, which may be used as initial hypotheses in predicting three-dimensional structures from primary sequences. Conversely, other sequence patterns are not predictive; for example, GAAA loop sequences and GG/CC receptors bind to each other with three distinct geometries. Finally, we observe an example of structural evolution in group II introns, in which loop-receptor motifs are substituted for each other while maintaining the larger three-dimensional geometry. Overall, the study gives a more complete view of RNA loop-helix interactions that exist in nature. PMID:23152878

  6. Generation of transgenic Drosophila expressing shRNAs in the miR-1 backbone.

    PubMed

    Chang, Kenneth; Marran, Krista; Valentine, Amy; Hannon, Gregory J

    2014-05-01

    In Drosophila, long-term effects of RNA interference (RNAi) must be achieved by integrating into the genome a template from which an RNAi trigger is transcribed by cellular RNA polymerases, generally RNA polymerase II or III. With encoded triggers, not only can essentially permanent silencing be achieved, but control can also be exerted over the level of trigger expression, with a resulting variation in the degree to which the target is silenced. Knockdown can also be controlled in a temporal and cell-type-dependent fashion through the use of well-established transgenic methodologies and well-tested promoters. The forms of encoded triggers vary. Long double-stranded RNAs can be expressed as extended inverted repeats. The nearest equivalent of a small interfering RNA is an artificial microRNA (miRNA) or short hairpin RNA (shRNA), where a natural miRNA backbone (also called a scaffold) is remodeled to produce a different small RNA or a small inverted repeat (<30 nucleotides) is simply expressed. This protocol describes creation of transgenic Drosophila carrying shRNA inserts in a remodeled endogenous miRNA backbone. The protocol applies to the use of miRNA-based shRNAs, but most of the vectors, principles of experimental design, and methods are also applicable to long inverted repeat transgenes. PMID:24786506

  7. Structural propensities of kinase family proteins from a Potts model of residue co-variation.

    PubMed

    Haldane, Allan; Flynn, William F; He, Peng; Vijayan, R S K; Levy, Ronald M

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the conformational propensities of proteins is key to solving many problems in structural biology and biophysics. The co-variation of pairs of mutations contained in multiple sequence alignments of protein families can be used to build a Potts Hamiltonian model of the sequence patterns which accurately predicts structural contacts. This observation paves the way to develop deeper connections between evolutionary fitness landscapes of entire protein families and the corresponding free energy landscapes which determine the conformational propensities of individual proteins. Using statistical energies determined from the Potts model and an alignment of 2896 PDB structures, we predict the propensity for particular kinase family proteins to assume a "DFG-out" conformation implicated in the susceptibility of some kinases to type-II inhibitors, and validate the predictions by comparison with the observed structural propensities of the corresponding proteins and experimental binding affinity data. We decompose the statistical energies to investigate which interactions contribute the most to the conformational preference for particular sequences and the corresponding proteins. We find that interactions involving the activation loop and the C-helix and HRD motif are primarily responsible for stabilizing the DFG-in state. This work illustrates how structural free energy landscapes and fitness landscapes of proteins can be used in an integrated way, and in the context of kinase family proteins, can potentially impact therapeutic design strategies. PMID:27241634

  8. Robust classification of protein variation using structural modelling and large-scale data integration.

    PubMed

    Baugh, Evan H; Simmons-Edler, Riley; Müller, Christian L; Alford, Rebecca F; Volfovsky, Natalia; Lash, Alex E; Bonneau, Richard

    2016-04-01

    Existing methods for interpreting protein variation focus on annotating mutation pathogenicity rather than detailed interpretation of variant deleteriousness and frequently use only sequence-based or structure-based information. We present VIPUR, a computational framework that seamlessly integrates sequence analysis and structural modelling (using the Rosetta protein modelling suite) to identify and interpret deleterious protein variants. To train VIPUR, we collected 9477 protein variants with known effects on protein function from multiple organisms and curated structural models for each variant from crystal structures and homology models. VIPUR can be applied to mutations in any organism's proteome with improved generalized accuracy (AUROC .83) and interpretability (AUPR .87) compared to other methods. We demonstrate that VIPUR's predictions of deleteriousness match the biological phenotypes in ClinVar and provide a clear ranking of prediction confidence. We use VIPUR to interpret known mutations associated with inflammation and diabetes, demonstrating the structural diversity of disrupted functional sites and improved interpretation of mutations associated with human diseases. Lastly, we demonstrate VIPUR's ability to highlight candidate variants associated with human diseases by applying VIPUR to de novo variants associated with autism spectrum disorders. PMID:26926108

  9. Robust classification of protein variation using structural modelling and large-scale data integration

    PubMed Central

    Baugh, Evan H.; Simmons-Edler, Riley; Müller, Christian L.; Alford, Rebecca F.; Volfovsky, Natalia; Lash, Alex E.; Bonneau, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Existing methods for interpreting protein variation focus on annotating mutation pathogenicity rather than detailed interpretation of variant deleteriousness and frequently use only sequence-based or structure-based information. We present VIPUR, a computational framework that seamlessly integrates sequence analysis and structural modelling (using the Rosetta protein modelling suite) to identify and interpret deleterious protein variants. To train VIPUR, we collected 9477 protein variants with known effects on protein function from multiple organisms and curated structural models for each variant from crystal structures and homology models. VIPUR can be applied to mutations in any organism's proteome with improved generalized accuracy (AUROC .83) and interpretability (AUPR .87) compared to other methods. We demonstrate that VIPUR's predictions of deleteriousness match the biological phenotypes in ClinVar and provide a clear ranking of prediction confidence. We use VIPUR to interpret known mutations associated with inflammation and diabetes, demonstrating the structural diversity of disrupted functional sites and improved interpretation of mutations associated with human diseases. Lastly, we demonstrate VIPUR's ability to highlight candidate variants associated with human diseases by applying VIPUR to de novo variants associated with autism spectrum disorders. PMID:26926108

  10. The relationship between cyclic variations in spark-ignition engines and the small structure of turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, P.G.; Kapil, A. . Dept. of Mechanical Engineering)

    1989-11-01

    The hypothesis that cyclic variations in combustion in spark-ignition engines originate in the small-scale structure of turbulence is further examined in the light of experimental data from a single-cylinder research engine. The data cover a wide range of engine speed and equivalence ratio. The effects of spark electrode geometry, spark gap, chamber geometry, and throttling are examined. The general conclusion is that the standard deviation in burning time, deduced for the smallest size flame kernels, is estimated within experimental uncertainty by a parameter {lambda}4{mu}/sub l/, in which {lambda} is the Taylor microscale and {mu}/sub l/ is the laminar burning velocity of the unburned mixture. The experimental results are thus consistent with the interaction of an effectively point-source ignition with the turbulence structure model of Tennekes, and with the idea that rapid burning takes place in the vortex tube regions of high dissipation.

  11. [Structure of livestock and variation of fecal nitrogen pollution load in China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu-Mei; Dong, Yuan-Hua; Wang, Hui; Shen, Dan

    2007-06-01

    Based on the livestock statistical data of 31 provinces of 1997 - 2004, this paper analyzed the structure of livestock and the variation of fecal nitrogen pollution load in China. The results showed that the relationship between structure of livestock and the economic situation of different provinces was obviously significant. The nitrogen pollution load of livestock was increasing gradually from the northwest to the southeast, and could be divided into relative higher and lower parts, in line with the boundary of 400 mm rainfall of China. Meanwhile, in Beijing and Shanghai, with population concentrated and economy developed, the livestock had developed at a higher speed. However, in the last few years, the developing speed had been decreased slowly; the pollution load had begun to decrease, while the pollution load of livestock in the provinces around Beijing and Shanghai has been increased gradually. Additionally, it is found that only eight provinces are not facing the risk of livestock pollution theoretically.

  12. Precision Measurements: Testing the Time Variation of the Fine Structure Constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamoreaux, Steve

    2004-05-01

    Often, precision measurements from diverse fields can be used to learn new facts about the universe. The usual definition of "precision" is based on improvements over previous measurements. A review of the present state of knowledge regarding the possible time variation of the fine structure constant α will be presented; "precise" data from natural phenomena, which include an apparent shift in the red-shift-scaled fine structure in the absorption spectra of quasar light, and the isotopic abundances in the fission products of a prehistoric natural reactor in Oklo, Gabon. Prospects to improve the accuracy for the constancy of α with laboratory experiments will be discussed. Our two experimental investigations currently being developed are based on optical spectroscopy of trapped ions and on radiofrequency spectroscopy of an atomic dysprosium beam. A sensitivity of dotα/α≈ 10-18/yr is anticipated. Because this accuracy exceeds that by which the second is defined, these measurements will necessarily be differential.

  13. Cloud vertical structure, radiative heating profile and diurnal variation during TOGA COARE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Taotao

    This thesis consists of two parts: (1) the vertical structure of clouds and radiative heating during TOGA COARE and (2) diurnal variations during TOGA COARE. The purpose of the first part (Chapter 1) is to determine a realistic gridded (1 degree by 1 degree) cloud vertical structure and radiative heating profile for the Intensive Flux Array (IFA) during the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE). First, we deduce the cloud vertical structure from the sounding data using an improved relative humidity (RH) threshold method. The RH threshold is height-dependent and is tuned by three surface and TOA observations of clouds: the Micropulse Lidar (MPL), the High-Resolution Infrared Sounder (HIRS) and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP). Then, a modified CCM3 Column Radiation Model (CRM) is used to calculate the radiative heating profiles. The modification of the CRM replaces the model microphysics with the observed microphysics profiles. The calculated radiation budgets are shown to be consistent with the surface and top of the atmosphere (TOA) observations and are much better than those of the standard version of the CRM. The purpose of the second part (Chapter 2) is to test different diurnal variation mechanisms, that have been proposed in previous studies, by using the abundant observational data obtained during TOGA COARE. The preliminary findings are: (1) The stratiform precipitation lags the convective precipitation, suggesting that the effect of the life cycle of the mesoscale convective systems (MCS) is important to the midnight rainfall maximum; i.e., the stratiform component helps to shift the maximum toward midnight. This supports the MCS life cycle mechanism. (2) This study supports the direct radiation-convection interaction mechanism and emphasize that the variation is strongly affected by the variation of upper-level clouds. (3) The current study does not, however, support the

  14. Exposing Hidden Alternative Backbone Conformations in X-ray Crystallography Using qFit

    PubMed Central

    Keedy, Daniel A.; Fraser, James S.; van den Bedem, Henry

    2015-01-01

    Proteins must move between different conformations of their native ensemble to perform their functions. Crystal structures obtained from high-resolution X-ray diffraction data reflect this heterogeneity as a spatial and temporal conformational average. Although movement between natively populated alternative conformations can be critical for characterizing molecular mechanisms, it is challenging to identify these conformations within electron density maps. Alternative side chain conformations are generally well separated into distinct rotameric conformations, but alternative backbone conformations can overlap at several atomic positions. Our model building program qFit uses mixed integer quadratic programming (MIQP) to evaluate an extremely large number of combinations of sidechain conformers and backbone fragments to locally explain the electron density. Here, we describe two major modeling enhancements to qFit: peptide flips and alternative glycine conformations. We find that peptide flips fall into four stereotypical clusters and are enriched in glycine residues at the n+1 position. The potential for insights uncovered by new peptide flips and glycine conformations is exemplified by HIV protease, where different inhibitors are associated with peptide flips in the “flap” regions adjacent to the inhibitor binding site. Our results paint a picture of peptide flips as conformational switches, often enabled by glycine flexibility, that result in dramatic local rearrangements. Our results furthermore demonstrate the power of large-scale computational analysis to provide new insights into conformational heterogeneity. Overall, improved modeling of backbone heterogeneity with high-resolution X-ray data will connect dynamics to the structure-function relationship and help drive new design strategies for inhibitors of biomedically important systems. PMID:26506617

  15. On the role of thermal backbone fluctuations in myoglobin ligand gate dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krokhotin, Andrey; Niemi, Antti J.; Peng, Xubiao

    2013-05-01

    We construct an energy function that describes the crystallographic structure of sperm whale myoglobin backbone. As a model in our construction, we use the Protein Data Bank entry 1ABS that has been measured at liquid helium temperature. Consequently, the thermal B-factor fluctuations are very small, which is an advantage in our construction. The energy function that we utilize resembles that of the discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation. Likewise, ours supports topological solitons as local minimum energy configurations. We describe the 1ABS backbone in terms of topological solitons with a precision that deviates from 1ABS by an average root-mean-square distance, which is less than the experimentally observed Debye-Waller B-factor fluctuation distance. We then subject the topological multi-soliton solution to extensive numerical heating and cooling experiments, over a very wide range of temperatures. We concentrate in particular to temperatures above 300 K and below the Θ-point unfolding temperature, which is around 348 K. We confirm that the behavior of the topological multi-soliton is fully consistent with Anfinsen's thermodynamic principle, up to very high temperatures. We observe that the structure responds to an increase of temperature consistently in a very similar manner. This enables us to characterize the onset of thermally induced conformational changes in terms of three distinct backbone ligand gates. One of the gates is made of the helix F and the helix E. The two other gates are chosen similarly, when open they provide a direct access route for a ligand to reach the heme. We find that out of the three gates we investigate, the one which is formed by helices B and G is the most sensitive to thermally induced conformational changes. Our approach provides a novel perspective to the important problem of ligand entry and exit.

  16. On the role of thermal backbone fluctuations in myoglobin ligand gate dynamics.

    PubMed

    Krokhotin, Andrey; Niemi, Antti J; Peng, Xubiao

    2013-05-01

    We construct an energy function that describes the crystallographic structure of sperm whale myoglobin backbone. As a model in our construction, we use the Protein Data Bank entry 1ABS that has been measured at liquid helium temperature. Consequently, the thermal B-factor fluctuations are very small, which is an advantage in our construction. The energy function that we utilize resembles that of the discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation. Likewise, ours supports topological solitons as local minimum energy configurations. We describe the 1ABS backbone in terms of topological solitons with a precision that deviates from 1ABS by an average root-mean-square distance, which is less than the experimentally observed Debye-Waller B-factor fluctuation distance. We then subject the topological multi-soliton solution to extensive numerical heating and cooling experiments, over a very wide range of temperatures. We concentrate in particular to temperatures above 300 K and below the Θ-point unfolding temperature, which is around 348 K. We confirm that the behavior of the topological multi-soliton is fully consistent with Anfinsen's thermodynamic principle, up to very high temperatures. We observe that the structure responds to an increase of temperature consistently in a very similar manner. This enables us to characterize the onset of thermally induced conformational changes in terms of three distinct backbone ligand gates. One of the gates is made of the helix F and the helix E. The two other gates are chosen similarly, when open they provide a direct access route for a ligand to reach the heme. We find that out of the three gates we investigate, the one which is formed by helices B and G is the most sensitive to thermally induced conformational changes. Our approach provides a novel perspective to the important problem of ligand entry and exit. PMID:23656161

  17. Exposing hidden alternative backbone conformations in X-ray crystallography using qFit

    SciTech Connect

    Keedy, Daniel A.; Fraser, James S.; van den Bedem, Henry; Shehu, Amarda

    2015-10-27

    Proteins must move between different conformations of their native ensemble to perform their functions. Crystal structures obtained from high-resolution X-ray diffraction data reflect this heterogeneity as a spatial and temporal conformational average. Although movement between natively populated alternative conformations can be critical for characterizing molecular mechanisms, it is challenging to identify these conformations within electron density maps. Alternative side chain conformations are generally well separated into distinct rotameric conformations, but alternative backbone conformations can overlap at several atomic positions. Our model building program qFit uses mixed integer quadratic programming (MIQP) to evaluate an extremely large number of combinations of sidechain conformers and backbone fragments to locally explain the electron density. Here, we describe two major modeling enhancements to qFit: peptide flips and alternative glycine conformations. We find that peptide flips fall into four stereotypical clusters and are enriched in glycine residues at the n+1 position. The potential for insights uncovered by new peptide flips and glycine conformations is exemplified by HIV protease, where different inhibitors are associated with peptide flips in the “flap” regions adjacent to the inhibitor binding site. Our results paint a picture of peptide flips as conformational switches, often enabled by glycine flexibility, that result in dramatic local rearrangements. Our results furthermore demonstrate the power of large-scale computational analysis to provide new insights into conformational heterogeneity. Furthermore, improved modeling of backbone heterogeneity with high-resolution X-ray data will connect dynamics to the structure-function relationship and help drive new design strategies for inhibitors of biomedically important systems.

  18. Exposing hidden alternative backbone conformations in X-ray crystallography using qFit

    DOE PAGES

    Keedy, Daniel A.; Fraser, James S.; van den Bedem, Henry; Shehu, Amarda

    2015-10-27

    Proteins must move between different conformations of their native ensemble to perform their functions. Crystal structures obtained from high-resolution X-ray diffraction data reflect this heterogeneity as a spatial and temporal conformational average. Although movement between natively populated alternative conformations can be critical for characterizing molecular mechanisms, it is challenging to identify these conformations within electron density maps. Alternative side chain conformations are generally well separated into distinct rotameric conformations, but alternative backbone conformations can overlap at several atomic positions. Our model building program qFit uses mixed integer quadratic programming (MIQP) to evaluate an extremely large number of combinations of sidechainmore » conformers and backbone fragments to locally explain the electron density. Here, we describe two major modeling enhancements to qFit: peptide flips and alternative glycine conformations. We find that peptide flips fall into four stereotypical clusters and are enriched in glycine residues at the n+1 position. The potential for insights uncovered by new peptide flips and glycine conformations is exemplified by HIV protease, where different inhibitors are associated with peptide flips in the “flap” regions adjacent to the inhibitor binding site. Our results paint a picture of peptide flips as conformational switches, often enabled by glycine flexibility, that result in dramatic local rearrangements. Our results furthermore demonstrate the power of large-scale computational analysis to provide new insights into conformational heterogeneity. Furthermore, improved modeling of backbone heterogeneity with high-resolution X-ray data will connect dynamics to the structure-function relationship and help drive new design strategies for inhibitors of biomedically important systems.« less

  19. Implementation of Speed Variation in the Structural Dynamic Assessment of Turbomachinery Flow-Path Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Andrew M.; Davis, R. Benjamin; DeHaye, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    During the design of turbomachinery flow path components, the assessment of possible structural resonant conditions is critical. Higher frequency modes of these structures are frequently found to be subject to resonance, and in these cases, design criteria require a forced response analysis of the structure with the assumption that the excitation speed exactly equals the resonant frequency. The design becomes problematic if the response analysis shows a violation of the HCF criteria. One possible solution is to perform "finite-life" analysis, where Miner's rule is used to calculate the actual life in seconds in comparison to the required life. In this situation, it is beneficial to incorporate the fact that, for a variety of turbomachinery control reasons, the speed of the rotor does not actually dwell at a single value but instead dithers about a nominal mean speed and during the time that the excitation frequency is not equal to the resonant frequency, the damage accumulated by the structure is diminished significantly. Building on previous investigations into this process, we show that a steady-state assumption of the response is extremely accurate for this typical case, resulting in the ability to quickly account for speed variation in the finite-life analysis of a component which has previously had its peak dynamic stress at resonance calculated. A technique using Monte Carlo simulation is also presented which can be used when specific speed time histories are not available. The implementation of these techniques can prove critical for successful turbopump design, as the improvement in life when speed variation is considered is shown to be greater than a factor of two.

  20. Understanding device-structure-induced variations in open-circuit voltage for organic photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiping; Uemura, Yu; Zhou, Ying; Miyadera, Tetsuhiko; Azumi, Reiko; Yoshida, Yuji; Chikamatsu, Masayuki

    2015-05-27

    We investigate the structural influences on the device performance, especially on open-circuit voltage (V(OC)) in squaraine (SQ)/fullerene (C60) bilayer cells. Simply changing the SQ thickness could lead to 40% variation in V(OC) from 0.62 to 0.86 V. The ionization potential (IP) of SQ films and recombination at the anode surface as well as donor/acceptor (D/A) interface sensitively vary with film thicknesses, which account for the shifts in V(OC). The anode recombination can be effectively suppressed by preventing direct contact between C60 and the anode with a buffer layer, delivering an elevated V(OC). Through polarized infrared-multiple-angle incidence resolution spectroscopy measurement, the molecular structure of SQ films is found to gradually evolve from lying-down on indium-tin oxide substrates with noncentrosymmetric orientation at low thicknesses to random structure at high thicknesses. The different molecular orientation may yield different strengths of electronic coupling, which affects the charge-carrier recombination and thus V(OC). Moreover, the oriented SQ films would spontaneously compose aligned dipole moments at the D/A interface because of the strong dipolar effects in SQ molecules identified by density functional theory calculations, whereas no aligned interfacial dipole moment exists in the random structure. The resulting interfacial dipole moments would form an electric field at the D/A interface, leading to variations in the IP and thus impacting V(OC). Our findings demonstrate that V(OC) in organic photovoltaic cells is critically associated with the molecular orientation that affects the charge-carrier recombination and interfacial dipole alignment, which should be seriously taken into consideration for the design of organic molecules and optimization of the cell efficiency.

  1. Implementation of Speed Variation in the Structural Dynamic Assessment of Turbomachinery Flow-Path Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Andrew M.; Davis, R. Benjamin; DeHaye, Michael

    2013-01-01

    During the design of turbomachinery flow path components, the assessment of possible structural resonant conditions is critical. Higher frequency modes of these structures are frequently found to be subject to resonance, and in these cases, design criteria require a forced response analysis of the structure with the assumption that the excitation speed exactly equals the resonant frequency. The design becomes problematic if the response analysis shows a violation of the HCF criteria. One possible solution is to perform "finite-life" analysis, where Miner's rule is used to calculate the actual life in seconds in comparison to the required life. In this situation, it is beneficial to incorporate the fact that, for a variety of turbomachinery control reasons, the speed of the rotor does not actually dwell at a single value but instead dithers about a nominal mean speed and during the time that the excitation frequency is not equal to the resonant frequency, the damage accumulated by the structure is diminished significantly. Building on previous investigations into this process, we show that a steady-state assumption of the response is extremely accurate for this typical case, resulting in the ability to quickly account for speed variation in the finite-life analysis of a component which has previously had its peak dynamic stress at resonance calculated. A technique using Monte Carlo simulation is also presented which can be used when specific speed time histories are not available. The implementation of these techniques can prove critical for successful turbopump design, as the improvement in life when speed variation is considered is shown to be greater than a factor of two

  2. Copy Number Variation in TAS2R Bitter Taste Receptor Genes: Structure, Origin, and Population Genetics.

    PubMed

    Roudnitzky, Natacha; Risso, Davide; Drayna, Dennis; Behrens, Maik; Meyerhof, Wolfgang; Wooding, Stephen P

    2016-10-01

    Bitter taste receptor genes (TAS2Rs) harbor extensive diversity, which is broadly distributed across human populations and strongly associated with taste response phenotypes. The majority of TAS2R variation is composed of single-nucleotide polymorphisms. However, 2 closely positioned loci at 12p13, TAS2R43 and -45, harbor high-frequency deletion (Δ) alleles in which genomic segments are absent, resulting in copy number variation (CNV). To resolve their chromosomal structure and organization, we generated maps using long-range contig alignments and local sequencing across the TAS2R43-45 region. These revealed that the deletion alleles (43Δ and 45Δ) are 37.8 and 32.2kb in length, respectively and span the complete coding region of each gene (~1kb) along with extensive up- and downstream flanking sequence, producing separate CNVs at the 2 loci. Comparisons with a chimpanzee genome, which contained intact homologs of TAS2R43, -45, and nearby TAS2Rs, indicated that the deletions evolved recently, through unequal recombination in a cluster of closely related loci. Population genetic analyses in 946 subjects from 52 worldwide populations revealed that copy number ranged from 0 to 2 at both TAS2R43 and TAS2R45, with 43Δ and 45Δ occurring at high global frequencies (0.33 and 0.18). Estimated recombination rates between the loci were low (ρ = 2.7×10(-4); r = 6.6×10(-9)) and linkage disequilibrium was high (D' = 1.0), consistent with their adjacent genomic positioning and recent origin. Geographic variation pointed to an African origin for the deletions. However, no signatures of natural selection were found in population structure or integrated haplotype scores spanning the region, suggesting that patterns of diversity at TAS2R43 and -45 are primarily due to genetic drift.

  3. Copy Number Variation in TAS2R Bitter Taste Receptor Genes: Structure, Origin, and Population Genetics.

    PubMed

    Roudnitzky, Natacha; Risso, Davide; Drayna, Dennis; Behrens, Maik; Meyerhof, Wolfgang; Wooding, Stephen P

    2016-10-01

    Bitter taste receptor genes (TAS2Rs) harbor extensive diversity, which is broadly distributed across human populations and strongly associated with taste response phenotypes. The majority of TAS2R variation is composed of single-nucleotide polymorphisms. However, 2 closely positioned loci at 12p13, TAS2R43 and -45, harbor high-frequency deletion (Δ) alleles in which genomic segments are absent, resulting in copy number variation (CNV). To resolve their chromosomal structure and organization, we generated maps using long-range contig alignments and local sequencing across the TAS2R43-45 region. These revealed that the deletion alleles (43Δ and 45Δ) are 37.8 and 32.2kb in length, respectively and span the complete coding region of each gene (~1kb) along with extensive up- and downstream flanking sequence, producing separate CNVs at the 2 loci. Comparisons with a chimpanzee genome, which contained intact homologs of TAS2R43, -45, and nearby TAS2Rs, indicated that the deletions evolved recently, through unequal recombination in a cluster of closely related loci. Population genetic analyses in 946 subjects from 52 worldwide populations revealed that copy number ranged from 0 to 2 at both TAS2R43 and TAS2R45, with 43Δ and 45Δ occurring at high global frequencies (0.33 and 0.18). Estimated recombination rates between the loci were low (ρ = 2.7×10(-4); r = 6.6×10(-9)) and linkage disequilibrium was high (D' = 1.0), consistent with their adjacent genomic positioning and recent origin. Geographic variation pointed to an African origin for the deletions. However, no signatures of natural selection were found in population structure or integrated haplotype scores spanning the region, suggesting that patterns of diversity at TAS2R43 and -45 are primarily due to genetic drift. PMID:27340135

  4. Absence of geographical structure of chloroplast DNA variation in sallow, Salix caprea L.

    PubMed

    Palmé, A E; Semerikov, V; Lascoux, M

    2003-11-01

    In the present study, we have used PCR-RFLP markers to investigate the chloroplast DNA variation in 24 European populations of Salix caprea L. A subset of these populations has also been analysed with chloroplast microsatellites. The main feature of both markers is the absence of a clear geographic structure (G(ST(PCR-RFLP))=0.090, G(ST(microsatellites))=-0.017) and high levels of variation within populations. This lack of phylogeographic structure in S. caprea is suggested to be the consequence of the joint action of several factors: (i) presence of intermediate latitude refugia with large population sizes during the last glacial maximum, (ii) a high speed of recolonisation and dispersal ability, (iii) a high mutation rate and (iv) extensive hybridisation with other willow species. In addition to the S. caprea samples, a limited number of individuals from several other Salix species were also analysed with PCR-RFLP: S. cinerea, S. aurita, S. purpurea, S. atrocinerea, S. appendiculata, S. elaeagnos, S. fragilis and S. alba. Many of the haplotypes found in Salix caprea were also detected in S. cinerea, S. aurita, S. purpurea, S. atrocinerea and/ or S. appendiculata but not in S. alba, S. elaeagnos or S. fragilis. Our data suggest that hybridisation and gene flow have occurred within these two groups but not between them.

  5. Geology, Soils and Basin-wide variations in Amazon Forest Structure and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quesada, Carlos Alberto; Phillips, Oliver; Lopes-Gonzales, Gabriela; Lloyd, Jon; Rainfor Team

    2015-04-01

    Forest productivity, tree turnover time and above ground biomass vary across the Amazon Basin in an east-west gradient in a pattern which coincides with variations in soil nutrient availability and geology. Forest productivity rates are higher on the most nutrient rich soils close to the Andes while is lower in the ancient, highly weathered soils of central Amazonia. On the other hand above ground biomass is lower in the most productive forests and higher on the least, this being a consequence of higher tree turnover rates in the forests over less weathered and nutrient rich soils. Major geological events have influenced Amazonian soil characteristics profoundly and play an important role in explaining Basin-wide variations in forest biomass, growth and stem turnover rates. Here we show how geology and soil development combine to shape the functioning of Amazonian forests and its carbon stocks and fluxes. To assess the importance of edaphic properties in affect forest structure and dynamics, soil samples were collected in a total of 154 different forest plots across nine different Amazonian countries. Samples were analyzed for exchangeable cations, C, N, pH with various P fractions and soil physical properties also determined. Overall, forest structure and dynamics were found to be strongly and quantitatively related to edaphic conditions.

  6. Impact of genomic structural variation in Drosophila melanogaster based on population-scale sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Zichner, Thomas; Garfield, David A.; Rausch, Tobias; Stütz, Adrian M.; Cannavó, Enrico; Braun, Martina; Furlong, Eileen E.M.; Korbel, Jan O.

    2013-01-01

    Genomic structural variation (SV) is a major determinant for phenotypic variation. Although it has been extensively studied in humans, the nucleotide resolution structure of SVs within the widely used model organism Drosophila remains unknown. We report a highly accurate, densely validated map of unbalanced SVs comprising 8962 deletions and 916 tandem duplications in 39 lines derived from short-read DNA sequencing in a natural population (the “Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel,” DGRP). Most SVs (>90%) were inferred at nucleotide resolution, and a large fraction was genotyped across all samples. Comprehensive analyses of SV formation mechanisms using the short-read data revealed an abundance of SVs formed by mobile element and nonhomologous end-joining-mediated rearrangements, and clustering of variants into SV hotspots. We further observed a strong depletion of SVs overlapping genes, which, along with population genetics analyses, suggests that these SVs are often deleterious. We inferred several gene fusion events also highlighting the potential role of SVs in the generation of novel protein products. Expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping revealed the functional impact of our high-resolution SV map, with quantifiable effects at >100 genic loci. Our map represents a resource for population-level studies of SVs in an important model organism. PMID:23222910

  7. Biogenic sedimentary structures on a Korean mud flat: Spring-neap variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Youn-Ho; Koh, Chul-Hwan

    Biogenic sedimentary structures created by dominant benthic animals of a mud flat were investigated in a small embayment at Panweol on the west coast of Korea. Burrows were replicated using the resin casting method on a sufficiently large scale to evaluate their variations statistically. The size and shape of burrows and other traces varied with locations and tidal phases. Burrows of the upper-intertidal crabs Helice tridens sheni and Ilyoplax dentimerosa were T- or I-shaped, vertical and deep whereas those of the mid-intertidal crab Macrophthalmus japonicus were U-shaped, oblique and shallow. The upper-intertidal polychaete Perineris aibuhitensis, a subsurface feeder, had sinuous and highly-branched burrows while the mid-internal one Periserrula leucophryna, a surface feeder, had vertical burrows without subsurface branches. Variations of crab burrows with tidal phases were distinct: The burrows of both H. tridens sheni and M. japonicus were significantly deeper and wider during neap tides than during spring tides. Sediment mounds were common in the upper intertidal zone, while crawling and feeding traces such as trails, trackways and cheliped scrapings were more prominent in the mid-intertidal zone. These traces were also observed in the upper intertidal zone during spring tides when surface sediments became watery. The size of the sediment mounds varied, being largest during neap tides. These biogenic sedimentary structures observed at Panweol were distinctly different from those found near Inchon only 50 km away, probably due to differences in hydrology and sedimentology.

  8. SoftSearch: Integration of Multiple Sequence Features to Identify Breakpoints of Structural Variations

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Steven N.; Sarangi, Vivekananda; Moore, Raymond; Baheti, Saurabh; Bhavsar, Jaysheel D.; Couch, Fergus J.; Kocher, Jean-Pierre A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Structural variation (SV) represents a significant, yet poorly understood contribution to an individual’s genetic makeup. Advanced next-generation sequencing technologies are widely used to discover such variations, but there is no single detection tool that is considered a community standard. In an attempt to fulfil this need, we developed an algorithm, SoftSearch, for discovering structural variant breakpoints in Illumina paired-end next-generation sequencing data. SoftSearch combines multiple strategies for detecting SV including split-read, discordant read-pair, and unmated pairs. Co-localized split-reads and discordant read pairs are used to refine the breakpoints. Results We developed and validated SoftSearch using real and synthetic datasets. SoftSearch’s key features are 1) not requiring secondary (or exhaustive primary) alignment, 2) portability into established sequencing workflows, and 3) is applicable to any DNA-sequencing experiment (e.g. whole genome, exome, custom capture, etc.). SoftSearch identifies breakpoints from a small number of soft-clipped bases from split reads and a few discordant read-pairs which on their own would not be sufficient to make an SV call. Conclusions We show that SoftSearch can identify more true SVs by combining multiple sequence features. SoftSearch was able to call clinically relevant SVs in the BRCA2 gene not reported by other tools while offering significantly improved overall performance. PMID:24358278

  9. Lipopolysaccharide variation in Coxiella burnetti: intrastrain heterogeneity in structure and antigenicity.

    PubMed Central

    Hackstadt, T; Peacock, M G; Hitchcock, P J; Cole, R L

    1985-01-01

    We isolated lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) from phase variants of Coxiella burnetii Nine Mile and compared the isolated LPS and C. burnetii cells by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting. The LPSs were found to be the predominant component which varied structurally and antigenically between virulent phase I and avirulent phase II. A comparison of techniques historically used to extract the phase I antigenic component revealed that the aqueous phase of phenol-water, trichloroacetic acid, and dimethyl sulfoxide extractions of phase I C. burnettii cells all contained phase I LPS, although the efficiency and specificity of extraction varied. Our studies provide additional evidence that phase variation in C. burnetii is analogous to the smooth-to-rough LPS variation of gram-negative enteric bacteria, with phase I LPS being equivalent to smooth LPS and phase II being equivalent to rough LPS. In addition, we identified a variant with a third LPS chemotype with appears to have a structural complexity intermediate to phase I and II LPSs. All three C. burnetii LPS contain a 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid-like substance, heptose, and gel Limulus amoebocyte lysates in subnanogram amounts. The C. burnetii LPSs were nontoxic to chicken embryos at doses of over 80 micrograms per embryo, in contrast to Salmonella typhimurium smooth- and rough-type LPSs, which were toxic in nanogram amounts. Images PMID:3988339

  10. Genetic variation versus recombination rate in a structured population of mice.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Aya; Liu, Yu-Hua; Saitou, Naruya

    2004-02-01

    The correlation between genetic variation and recombination rate was investigated in a structured mouse population. Nucleotide sequence data from 19 autosomal DNA loci from eight inbred strains of mouse (Mus musculus) sampled from three major subspecies were analyzed. The recombination rate was estimated from the comparison of genetic and physical map distances between markers flanking a 10-cM region of each locus. The strains were categorized into four groups (subpopulations) based on geography. By partitioning the genetic diversity into within-group and among-group variation, we detected a positive correlation between the recombination rate and nucleotide diversity within groups. The level of nucleotide differentiation among groups (G(ST)) showed a negative correlation with the rate of recombination. There was no significant correlation between recombination rate and nucleotide diversity when data from different subpopulations were pooled. No correlation was detected between recombination rate and nucleotide divergence of M. musculus and M. spicilegus. These patterns deviate from the strict neutral expectation under the constant nucleotide substitution rate, and they are likely to have been formed either by a hitchhiking effect of positively selected mutants or by background selection of deleterious mutants occurring in a subdivided population. Our series of comparisons show that because a real population always has some structure, incorporation of its information is important in detecting non-neutral evolution. PMID:14660688

  11. Pressure-induced variation of structural, elastic, vibrational, electronic, thermodynamic properties and hardness of Ruthenium Carbides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopalakrishna Pillai, Harikrishnan; Kulangara Madam, Ajith; Natarajan, Sathish; Chandra, Sharat; Mundachali Cheruvalath, Valsakumar

    2016-07-01

    Three of the five structures obtained from the evolutionary algorithm based structure search of Ruthenium Carbide systems in the stoichiometries RuC, Ru2C and Ru3C are relaxed at different pressures in the range 0-200 GPa and the pressure-induced variation of their structural, elastic, dynamical, electronic and thermodynamic properties as well as hardness is investigated in detail. No structural transition is present for these systems in this pressure range. RuC-Zinc blende is mechanically and dynamically unstable close to 100 GPa. RuC-Rhombohedral and Ru3C-Hexagonal retain mechanical and dynamical stability up to 200 GPa. For all three systems the electronic bands and density of states spread out with pressure and the band gap increases with pressure for the semiconducting RuC-Zinc blende. From the computed IR spectrum of RuC-Zinc blende at 50 GPa it is noted that the IR frequency increases with pressure. Using a semi-empirical model for hardness it is estimated that hardness of all three systems consistently increases with pressure. The hardness of RuC-Zinc blende increases towards the superhard regime up to the limiting pressure of its mechanical stability while that of RuC-Rhombohedral becomes 30 GPa at the pressure of 150 GPa.

  12. Small structural differences of targeted anti-tumor toxins result in strong variation of protein expression.

    PubMed

    Gilabert-Oriol, Roger; Thakur, Mayank; Weise, Christoph; Dernedde, Jens; von Mallinckrodt, Benedicta; Fuchs, Hendrik; Weng, Alexander

    2013-09-01

    Targeted anti-tumor toxins consist of a toxic functional moiety that is chemically linked or recombinantly fused to a cell-directing ligand. Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), especially type I RIPs such as saporin or dianthin, are commonly used as toxin components. Although expression of type I RIP-based fusion proteins is well reported, the achievement of higher protein yields in heterologous expression systems through innovative strategies is of major interest. In the present study, the targeted toxins (his)saporin-EGF (SE) and (his)dianthin-EGF (DE) were expressed as fusion proteins under identical expression conditions. However, the total amount of DE was nearly two-times higher than SE. The identity of the heterologously expressed targeted toxins was confirmed by mass spectrometric studies. Their biological specific activity, monitored in real time, was almost equal. Sequence alignment shows 84% identity and a structural comparison revealed five major differences, two of which affect the secondary structure resulting in a loop (SE) to β-strand (DE) conversion and one introduces a gap in SE (after position 57). In conclusion, these structural variations resulted in different protein expression levels while codon usage and toxicity to bacteria were excluded as a cause. Minor structural differences identified in this study may be considered responsible for the protection of DE from bacterial proteases and therefore may serve as a lead to modify certain domains in type I RIP-based targeted toxins.

  13. UNCOVERING THE ORIGINS OF SPIRAL STRUCTURE BY MEASURING RADIAL VARIATION IN PATTERN SPEEDS

    SciTech Connect

    Meidt, Sharon E.; Rand, Richard J.; Merrifield, Michael R.

    2009-09-01

    Current theories of spiral and bar structure predict a variety of pattern speed behaviors, calling for detailed, direct measurement of the radial variation of pattern speeds. Our recently developed Radial Tremaine-Weinberg (TWR) method allows this goal to be achieved for the first time. Here, we present TWR spiral pattern speed estimates for M101, IC 342, NGC 3938, and NGC 3344 in order to investigate whether spiral structure is steady or winding, whether spirals are described by multiple pattern speeds, and the relation between bar and spiral speeds. Where possible, we interpret our pattern speeds estimates according to the resonance radii associated with each (established with the disk angular rotation), and compare these to previous determinations. By analyzing the high-quality H I and CO data cubes available for these galaxies, we show that it is possible to determine directly multiple pattern speeds within these systems, and hence identify the characteristic signatures of the processes that drive the spiral structure. Even this small sample of galaxies reveals a surprisingly complex taxonomy, with the first direct evidence for the presence of resonant coupling of multiple patterns found in some systems, and the measurement of a simple single-pattern speed in others. Overall, this study demonstrates that we are now in a position to uncover more of the apparently complex physics that lies behind spiral structure.

  14. The emerging role of structural variations in common disorders: initial findings and discovery challenges.

    PubMed

    Armengol, L; Rabionet, R; Estivill, X

    2008-01-01

    After the successful discoveries of genetic associations for common disorders using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genome-wide association scans (GWAS), new efforts are ongoing to evaluate the contribution of structural variations to disease, mainly in the form of copy number variants (CNVs). These are mainly motivated after the identification of consistent relationships between CNVs and disease, and the recognition that there is not a unique human genome sequence at the structural level. The current knowledge reflects that few regions of the genome are free of structural rearrangements and that genes with a role in response to environment are particularly prone to contain CNVs with phenotypic consequences. In the following years many individuals will be sequenced, defining the variability of the genome at the sequence and structural levels. The characterization of regions of the genome that are variable in the orientation and order of genes and genomic segments between individuals is a major challenge, which can only be reliably tackled by high-throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatics designs. The goal is to explore the whole set of genome diversity to extract the molecular basis of disorders that could affect any individual in the population and that is inherent to the adaptation of human groups to environmental conditions.

  15. Using evolutionary sequence variation to make inferences about protein structure and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colwell, Lucy

    2015-03-01

    The evolutionary trajectory of a protein through sequence space is constrained by its function. Collections of sequence homologs record the outcomes of millions of evolutionary experiments in which the protein evolves according to these constraints. The explosive growth in the number of available protein sequences raises the possibility of using the natural variation present in homologous protein sequences to infer these constraints and thus identify residues that control different protein phenotypes. Because in many cases phenotypic changes are controlled by more than one amino acid, the mutations that separate one phenotype from another may not be independent, requiring us to understand the correlation structure of the data. To address this we build a maximum entropy probability model for the protein sequence. The parameters of the inferred model are constrained by the statistics of a large sequence alignment. Pairs of sequence positions with the strongest interactions accurately predict contacts in protein tertiary structure, enabling all atom structural models to be constructed. We describe development of a theoretical inference framework that enables the relationship between the amount of available input data and the reliability of structural predictions to be better understood.

  16. Observational definition of the Venus mesopause: vertical structure, diurnal variation, and temporal instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clancy, R. T.; Sandor, B. J.; Moriarty-Schieven, G. H.

    2003-01-01

    Submillimeter line observations of CO in the Venus middle atmosphere (mesosphere) were observed with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT, Mauna Kea) about the May 2000, February 2002 superior and July 1999, March 2001 inferior conjunctions of Venus. Combined 12CO and 13CO isotope spectral line measurements at 345 and 330 gHz frequencies, respectively, provided enhanced sensitivity and vertical coverage for simultaneous retrievals of atmospheric temperatures and CO mixing ratios over the altitude region 75-105 km with vertical resolution 4-5 km. Supporting millimeter 12CO spectral line observations with the Kitt Peak 12-m telescope (Steward Observatories) provide enhanced temporal coverage and CO mixing sensitivity. Implementation of CO/temperature profile retrievals for the 2000, 2002 dayside (superior conjunction) and 1999, 2001 nightside (inferior conjunction) periods yields a first-time definition of the vertical structure and diurnal variation of a low-to-mid-latitude mesopause within the Venus atmosphere. At the times of these 1999-2002 observations, the Venus mesopause was located at a slightly lower level in the nightside (0.5 mbar, ˜87 km) versus the dayside (0.2 mbar, ˜91 km) atmosphere. Average diurnal variation of Venus mesospheric temperatures appears to be ≤ 5 K at and below the mesopause. Diurnal variation of Venus thermospheric temperatures increases abruptly just above the mesopause, reaching 50 K by the 0.01-mbar pressure level (˜102 km). Atmospheric temperatures above and below the Venus mesopause exhibited global-scale (≥4000 km horizontal) variations of large amplitude (7-15 K) on surprisingly short timescales (daily to monthly) during the 2001 nightside and 2002 dayside observing periods. Venus dayside mesospheric temperatures observed during the 2002 superior conjunction were also 10-15 K warmer than observed during the 2000 superior conjunction. A characteristic timescale for these global temperature variations is not defined, but

  17. The determinants of bond angle variability in protein/peptide backbones: A comprehensive statistical/quantum mechanics analysis.

    PubMed

    Improta, Roberto; Vitagliano, Luigi; Esposito, Luciana

    2015-11-01

    The elucidation of the mutual influence between peptide bond geometry and local conformation has important implications for protein structure refinement, validation, and prediction. To gain insights into the structural determinants and the energetic contributions associated with protein/peptide backbone plasticity, we here report an extensive analysis of the variability of the peptide bond angles by combining statistical analyses of protein structures and quantum mechanics calculations on small model peptide systems. Our analyses demonstrate that all the backbone bond angles strongly depend on the peptide conformation and unveil the existence of regular trends as function of ψ and/or φ. The excellent agreement of the quantum mechanics calculations with the statistical surveys of protein structures validates the computational scheme here employed and demonstrates that the valence geometry of protein/peptide backbone is primarily dictated by local interactions. Notably, for the first time we show that the position of the H(α) hydrogen atom, which is an important parameter in NMR structural studies, is also dependent on the local conformation. Most of the trends observed may be satisfactorily explained by invoking steric repulsive interactions; in some specific cases the valence bond variability is also influenced by hydrogen-bond like interactions. Moreover, we can provide a reliable estimate of the energies involved in the interplay between geometry and conformations.

  18. Synthesis and biological activities of new side chain and backbone cyclic bradykinin analogues.

    PubMed

    Schumann, C; Seyfarth, L; Greiner, G; Paegelow, I; Reissmann, S

    2002-08-01

    A series of conformationally constrained cyclic analogues of the peptide hormone bradykinin (BK, Arg-Pro-Pro-Gly-Phe-Ser-Pro-Phe-Arg) was synthesized to check different turned structures proposed for the bioactive conformation of BK agonists and antagonists. Cycles differing in the size and direction of the lactam bridge were performed at the C- and N-terminal sequences of the molecule. Glutamic acid and lysine were introduced into the native BK sequence at different positions for cyclization through their side chains. Backbone cyclic analogues were synthesized by incorporation of N-carboxy alkylated and N-amino alkylated amino acids into the peptide chain. Although the coupling of Fmoc-glycine to the N-alkylated phenylalanine derivatives was effected with DIC/HOAt in SPPS, the dipeptide building units with more bulky amino acids were pre-built in solution. For backbone cyclization at the C-terminus an alternative building unit with an acylated reduced peptide bond was preformed in solution. Both types of building units were handled in the SPPS in the same manner as amino acids. The agonistic and antagonistic activities of the cyclic BK analogues were determined in rat uterus (RUT) and guinea-pig ileum (GPI) assays. Additionally, the potentiation of the BK-induced effects was examined. Among the series of cyclic BK agonists only compound 3 with backbone cyclization between positions 2 and 5 shows a significant agonistic activity on RUT. To study the influence of intramolecular ring closure we used an antagonistic analogue with weak activity, [D-Phe7]-BK. Side chain as well as backbone cyclization in the N-terminus of [D-Phe7]-BK resulted in analogues with moderate antagonistic activity on RUT. Also, compound 18 in which a lactam bridge between positions 6 and 9 was achieved via an acylated reduced peptide bond has moderate antagonistic activity on RUT. These results support the hypothesis of turn structures in both parts of the molecule as a requirement for BK

  19. Genome structure analysis of molluscs revealed whole genome duplication and lineage specific repeat variation.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Masa-aki; Ishikura, Yukiko; Moritaki, Takeya; Shoguchi, Eiichi; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Sese, Jun; Ogura, Atsushi

    2011-09-01

    Comparative genome structure analysis allows us to identify novel genes, repetitive sequences and gene duplications. To explore lineage-specific genomic changes of the molluscs that is good model for development of nervous system in invertebrate, we conducted comparative genome structure analyses of three molluscs, pygmy squid, nautilus and scallops using partial genome shotgun sequencing. Most effective elements on the genome structural changes are repetitive elements (REs) causing expansion of genome size and whole genome duplication producing large amount of novel functional genes. Therefore, we investigated variation and proportion of REs and whole genome duplication. We, first, identified variations of REs in the three molluscan genomes by homology-based and de novo RE detection. Proportion of REs were 9.2%, 4.0%, and 3.8% in the pygmy squid, nautilus and scallop, respectively. We, then, estimated genome size of the species as 2.1, 4.2 and 1.8 Gb, respectively, with 2× coverage frequency and DNA sequencing theory. We also performed a gene duplication assay based on coding genes, and found that large-scale duplication events occurred after divergence from the limpet Lottia, an out-group of the three molluscan species. Comparison of all the results suggested that RE expansion did not relate to the increase in genome size of nautilus. Despite close relationships to nautilus, the squid has the largest portion of REs and smaller genome size than nautilus. We also identified lineage-specific RE and gene-family expansions, possibly relate to acquisition of the most complicated eye and brain systems in the three species.

  20. The probabilistic niche model reveals substantial variation in the niche structure of empirical food webs.

    PubMed

    Williams, Richard J; Purves, Drew W

    2011-09-01

    The structure of food webs, complex networks of interspecies feeding interactions, plays a crucial role in ecosystem resilience and function, and understanding food web structure remains a central problem in ecology. Previous studies have shown that key features of empirical food webs can be reproduced by low-dimensional "niche" models. Here we examine the form and variability of food web niche structure by fitting a probabilistic niche model to 37 empirical food webs, a much larger number of food webs than used in previous studies. The model relaxes previous assumptions about parameter distributions and hierarchy and returns parameter estimates for each species in each web. The model significantly outperforms previous niche model variants and also performs well for several webs where a body-size-based niche model performs poorly, implying that traits other than body size are important in structuring these webs' niche space. Parameter estimates frequently violate previous models' assumptions: in 19 of 37 webs, parameter values are not significantly hierarchical, 32 of 37 webs have nonuniform niche value distributions, and 15 of 37 webs lack a correlation between niche width and niche position. Extending the model to a two-dimensional niche space yields networks with a mixture of one- and two-dimensional niches and provides a significantly better fit for webs with a large number of species and links. These results confirm that food webs are strongly niche-structured but reveal substantial variation in the form of the niche structuring, a result with fundamental implications for ecosystem resilience and function.

  1. Intraspecific variation in group size in the blackbuck antelope: the roles of habitat structure and forage at different spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Isvaran, Kavita

    2007-11-01

    The main ecological factors that are hypothesized to explain the striking variation in the size of social groups among large herbivores are habitat structure, predation, and forage abundance and distribution; however, their relative roles in wild populations are not well understood. I combined analyses of ecological correlates of spatial variation in group size with analyses of individual behaviour in groups of different sizes to investigate factors maintaining variation in group size in an Indian antelope, the blackbuck Antilope cervicapra. I measured group size, habitat structure, forage, and the occurrence of predators in ten blackbuck populations, and, at a smaller spatial scale, within an intensively studied population. To examine the processes by which these ecological factors influence group size, I used behavioural observations and an experiment to estimate the shape of the relationship between group size and potential costs and benefits to individuals. Group size varied extensively both among and within populations. Analyses of spatial variation in group size suggested that both forage and habitat structure influence group size: large-scale, among-population variation in group size was primarily related to habitat structure, while small-scale, within-population variation was most closely related to forage abundance. Analyses of individual behaviour suggested that larger groups incur greater travel costs while foraging. However, individuals in larger groups appeared to experience greater benefits, namely the earlier detection of a "predator", a reduction in vigilance, and an increase in the time spent feeding. Overall, these findings suggest that individuals in groups experience a trade-off between predation-related benefits and costs arising from feeding competition. Habitat structure and forage likely influence the nature of this trade-off; thus, variation in these ecological factors may maintain variation in group size. The role of predation pressure and

  2. RNA-Redesign: a web server for fixed-backbone 3D design of RNA.

    PubMed

    Yesselman, Joseph D; Das, Rhiju

    2015-07-01

    RNA is rising in importance as a design medium for interrogating fundamental biology and for developing therapeutic and bioengineering applications. While there are several online servers for design of RNA secondary structure, there are no tools available for the rational design of 3D RNA structure. Here we present RNA-Redesign (http://rnaredesign.stanford.edu), an online 3D design tool for RNA. This resource utilizes fixed-backbone design to optimize the sequence identity and nucleobase conformations of an RNA to match a desired backbone, analogous to fundamental tools that underlie rational protein engineering. The resulting sequences suggest thermostabilizing mutations that can be experimentally verified. Further, sequence preferences that differ between natural and computationally designed sequences can suggest whether natural sequences possess functional constraints besides folding stability, such as cofactor binding or conformational switching. Finally, for biochemical studies, the designed sequences can suggest experimental tests of 3D models, including concomitant mutation of base triples. In addition to the designs generated, detailed graphical analysis is presented through an integrated and user-friendly environment.

  3. Colloidal quantum dot lasers built on a passive two-dimensional photonic crystal backbone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Hojun; Min, Kyungtaek; Lee, Myungjae; Kang, Minsu; Park, Yeonsang; Cho, Kyung-Sang; Roh, Young-Geun; Woo Hwang, Sung; Jeon, Heonsu

    2016-03-01

    We report the room-temperature lasing action from two-dimensional photonic crystal (PC) structures composed of a passive Si3N4 backbone with an over-coat of CdSe/CdS/ZnS colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) for optical gain. When optically excited, devices lased in dual PC band-edge modes, with the modal dominance governed by the thickness of the CQD over-layer. The demonstrated laser platform should have an impact on future photonic integrated circuits as the on-chip coupling between active and passive components is readily achievable.We report the room-temperature lasing action from two-dimensional photonic crystal (PC) structures composed of a passive Si3N4 backbone with an over-coat of CdSe/CdS/ZnS colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) for optical gain. When optically excited, devices lased in dual PC band-edge modes, with the modal dominance governed by the thickness of the CQD over-layer. The demonstrated laser platform should have an impact on future photonic integrated circuits as the on-chip coupling between active and passive components is readily achievable. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr08544f

  4. Supramolecular organization of the repetitive backbone unit of the Streptococcus pneumoniae pilus.

    PubMed

    Spraggon, Glen; Koesema, Eric; Scarselli, Maria; Malito, Enrico; Biagini, Massimiliano; Norais, Nathalie; Emolo, Carla; Barocchi, Michèle Anne; Giusti, Fabiola; Hilleringmann, Markus; Rappuoli, Rino; Lesley, Scott; Covacci, Antonello; Masignani, Vega; Ferlenghi, Ilaria

    2010-06-15

    Streptococcus pneumoniae, like many other Gram-positive bacteria, assembles long filamentous pili on their surface through which they adhere to host cells. Pneumococcal pili are formed by a backbone, consisting of the repetition of the major component RrgB, and two accessory proteins (RrgA and RrgC). Here we reconstruct by transmission electron microscopy and single particle image reconstruction method the three dimensional arrangement of two neighbouring RrgB molecules, which represent the minimal repetitive structural domain of the native pilus. The crystal structure of the D2-D4 domains of RrgB was solved at 1.6 A resolution. Rigid-body fitting of the X-ray coordinates into the electron density map enabled us to define the arrangement of the backbone subunits into the S. pneumoniae native pilus. The quantitative fitting provide evidence that the pneumococcal pilus consists uniquely of RrgB monomers assembled in a head-to-tail organization. The presence of short intra-subunit linker regions connecting neighbouring domains provides the molecular basis for the intrinsic pilus flexibility.

  5. Supramolecular Organization of the Repetitive Backbone Unit of the Streptococcus pneumoniae Pilus

    PubMed Central

    Spraggon, Glen; Koesema, Eric; Scarselli, Maria; Malito, Enrico; Biagini, Massimiliano; Norais, Nathalie; Emolo, Carla; Barocchi, Michèle Anne; Giusti, Fabiola; Hilleringmann, Markus; Rappuoli, Rino; Lesley, Scott; Covacci, Antonello; Masignani, Vega; Ferlenghi, Ilaria

    2010-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae, like many other Gram-positive bacteria, assembles long filamentous pili on their surface through which they adhere to host cells. Pneumococcal pili are formed by a backbone, consisting of the repetition of the major component RrgB, and two accessory proteins (RrgA and RrgC). Here we reconstruct by transmission electron microscopy and single particle image reconstruction method the three dimensional arrangement of two neighbouring RrgB molecules, which represent the minimal repetitive structural domain of the native pilus. The crystal structure of the D2-D4 domains of RrgB was solved at 1.6 Å resolution. Rigid-body fitting of the X-ray coordinates into the electron density map enabled us to define the arrangement of the backbone subunits into the S. pneumoniae native pilus. The quantitative fitting provide evidence that the pneumococcal pilus consists uniquely of RrgB monomers assembled in a head-to-tail organization. The presence of short intra-subunit linker regions connecting neighbouring domains provides the molecular basis for the intrinsic pilus flexibility. PMID:20559564

  6. RNA-Redesign: a web server for fixed-backbone 3D design of RNA

    PubMed Central

    Yesselman, Joseph D.; Das, Rhiju

    2015-01-01

    RNA is rising in importance as a design medium for interrogating fundamental biology and for developing therapeutic and bioengineering applications. While there are several online servers for design of RNA secondary structure, there are no tools available for the rational design of 3D RNA structure. Here we present RNA-Redesign (http://rnaredesign.stanford.edu), an online 3D design tool for RNA. This resource utilizes fixed-backbone design to optimize the sequence identity and nucleobase conformations of an RNA to match a desired backbone, analogous to fundamental tools that underlie rational protein engineering. The resulting sequences suggest thermostabilizing mutations that can be experimentally verified. Further, sequence preferences that differ between natural and computationally designed sequences can suggest whether natural sequences possess functional constraints besides folding stability, such as cofactor binding or conformational switching. Finally, for biochemical studies, the designed sequences can suggest experimental tests of 3D models, including concomitant mutation of base triples. In addition to the designs generated, detailed graphical analysis is presented through an integrated and user-friendly environment. PMID:25964298

  7. Mean bond-length variation in crystal structures: a bond-valence approach.

    PubMed

    Bosi, Ferdinando

    2014-08-01

    The distortion theorem of the bond-valence theory predicts that the mean bond length 〈D〉 increases with increasing deviation of the individual bond lengths from their mean value according to the equation 〈D〉 = (D' + ΔD), where D' is the length found in a polyhedron having equivalent bonds and ΔD is the bond distortion. For a given atom, D' is expected to be similar from one structure to another, whereas 〈D〉 should vary as a function of ΔD. However, in several crystal structures 〈D〉 significantly varies without any relevant contribution from ΔD. In accordance with bond-valence theory, 〈D〉 variation is described here by a new equation: 〈D〉 = (DRU + ΔDtop + ΔDiso + ΔDaniso + ΔDelec), where DRU is a constant related to the type of cation and coordination environment, ΔDtop is the topological distortion related to the way the atoms are linked, ΔDiso is an isotropic effect of compression (or stretching) in the bonds produced by steric strain and represents the same increase (or decrease) in all the bond lengths in the coordination sphere, ΔDaniso is the distortion produced by compression and stretching of bonds in the same coordination sphere, ΔDelec is the distortion produced by electronic effects. If present, ΔDelec can be combined with ΔDaniso because they lead to the same kind of distortions in line with the distortion theorem. Each D-index, in the new equation, corresponds to an algebraic expression containing experimental and theoretical bond valences. On the basis of this study, the ΔD index defined in bond valence theory is a result of both the bond topology and the distortion theorem (ΔD = ΔDtop + ΔDaniso + ΔDelec), and D' is a result of the compression, or stretching, of bonds (D' = DRU + ΔDiso). The deficiencies present in the bond-valence theory in explaining mean bond-length variations can therefore be overcome, and the observed variations of 〈D〉 in crystal structures can be

  8. Genomic structural variation contributes to phenotypic change of industrial bioethanol yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Li-Jie; Fang, Ya-Hong; Jin, Xin-Na; Qi, Lei; Wu, Xue-Chang; Zheng, Dao-Qiong

    2016-03-01

    Genomic structural variation (GSV) is a ubiquitous phenomenon observed in the genomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with different genetic backgrounds; however, the physiological and phenotypic effects of GSV are not well understood. Here, we first revealed the genetic characteristics of a widely used industrial S. cerevisiae strain, ZTW1, by whole genome sequencing. ZTW1 was identified as an aneuploidy strain and a large-scale GSV was observed in the ZTW1 genome compared with the genome of a diploid strain YJS329. These GSV events led to copy number variations (CNVs) in many chromosomal segments as well as one whole chromosome in the ZTW1 genome. Changes in the DNA dosage of certain functional genes directly affected their expression levels and the resultant ZTW1 phenotypes. Moreover, CNVs of large chromosomal regions triggered an aneuploidy stress in ZTW1. This stress decreased the proliferation ability and tolerance of ZTW1 to various stresses, while aneuploidy response stress may also provide some benefits to the fermentation performance of the yeast, including increased fermentation rates and decreased byproduct generation. This work reveals genomic characters of the bioethanol S. cerevisiae strain ZTW1 and suggests that GSV is an important kind of mutation that changes the traits of industrial S. cerevisiae strains.

  9. Population Structure in a Comprehensive Genomic Data Set on Human Microsatellite Variation

    PubMed Central

    Pemberton, Trevor J.; DeGiorgio, Michael; Rosenberg, Noah A.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, microsatellite genotypes have provided the data for landmark studies of human population-genetic variation. However, the various microsatellite data sets have been prepared with different procedures and sets of markers, so that it has been difficult to synthesize available data for a comprehensive analysis. Here, we combine eight human population-genetic data sets at the 645 microsatellite loci they share in common, accounting for procedural differences in the production of the different data sets, to assemble a single data set containing 5795 individuals from 267 worldwide populations. We perform a systematic analysis of genetic relatedness, detecting 240 intra-population and 92 inter-population pairs of previously unidentified close relatives and proposing standardized subsets of unrelated individuals for use in future studies. We then augment the human data with a data set of 84 chimpanzees at the 246 loci they share in common with the human samples. Multidimensional scaling and neighbor-joining analyses of these data sets offer new insights into the structure of human populations and enable a comparison of genetic variation patterns in chimpanzees with those in humans. Our combined data sets are the largest of their kind reported to date and provide a resource for use in human population-genetic studies. PMID:23550135

  10. The Rate-Size Trade-Off Structures Intraspecific Variation in Daphnia ambigua Life History Parameters

    PubMed Central

    DeLong, John P.; Hanley, Torrance C.

    2013-01-01

    The identification of trade-offs is necessary for understanding the evolution and maintenance of diversity. Here we employ the supply-demand (SD) body size optimization model to predict a trade-off between asymptotic body size and growth rate. We use the SD model to quantitatively predict the slope of the relationship between asymptotic body size and growth rate under high and low food regimes and then test the predictions against observations for Daphnia ambigua. Close quantitative agreement between observed and predicted slopes at both food levels lends support to the model and confirms that a ‘rate-size’ trade-off structures life history variation in this population. In contrast to classic life history expectations, growth and reproduction were positively correlated after controlling for the rate-size trade-off. We included 12 Daphnia clones in our study, but clone identity explained only some of the variation in life history traits. We also tested the hypothesis that growth rate would be positively related to intergenic spacer length (i.e. the growth rate hypothesis) across clones, but we found that clones with intermediate intergenic spacer lengths had larger asymptotic sizes and slower growth rates. Our results strongly support a resource-based optimization of body size following the SD model. Furthermore, because some resource allocation decisions necessarily precede others, understanding interdependent life history traits may require a more nested approach. PMID:24312518

  11. Spatial variations in denitrification activity in wetland sediments explained by hydrology and denitrifying community structure.

    PubMed

    Kjellin, Johan; Hallin, Sara; Wörman, Anders

    2007-12-01

    We determined spatial variations in potential denitrification activity and the controlling hydrological as well as biochemical processes in the sediments of a Swedish treatment wetland. Hydrological processes, including water residence times, were analyzed using a 2D depth-averaged flow model and the denitrifier community structure was analyzed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoreses (DGGE) of nosZ genes, encoding nitrous oxide reductase. In addition, we provide a theoretical basis for evaluation of denitrification rates useful in nitrate-limited conditions. The results demonstrate that potential denitrification rates differed significantly between the sampling locations (CV=0.34). The variations were best described by concentration of nitrogen in sediments and water residence time. DGGE analyses indicated that a few key populations dominated and that the community diversity increased with decreasing nutrient levels and increasing water residence times. Moreover, we found that denitrification rates in terms of Menten and first-order kinetics can be evaluated by fitting a mathematical expression, comparing denitrification and other nitrogen-transforming processes to measured product formation in nitrate-limited experiments.

  12. Tuning polyelectrolyte multilayer structure by exploiting natural variation in fucoidan chemistry.

    PubMed

    Ho, Tracey T M; Bremmell, Kristen E; Krasowska, Marta; Stringer, Damien N; Thierry, Benjamin; Beattie, David A

    2015-03-21

    Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide that is extracted primarily from seaweed. The polymer contains a natural variation in chemistry based upon the species of seaweed from which it is extracted. We have used two different fucoidans from two different seaweed species (Fucus vesiculosus - FV; and Undaria pinnatifida - UP) as polyanions for the formation of polysaccharide-based polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs), to determine if the chemistry of different fucoidans can be chosen to fine-tune the structure of the polymer film. Partially acetylated chitosan was chosen as the polycation for the work, and the presented data illustrate the effect of secondary hydrogen bonding interactions on PEM build-up and properties. Ellipsometry and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) measurements performed during film build-up enabled detailed measurements of layer thickness, adsorbed mass, and the dynamics of the multilayer formation process. High quality atomic force microscopy (AFM) images revealed the differences in morphology of the PEMs formed from the two fucoidans, and allowed for a more direct layer thickness measurement. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed the chemistry of the films, and an indication of the altered interactions between chitosan and fucoidan with variation in fucoidan type, but also with layer number. Distinct differences were observed between multilayers formed with the two fucoidans, with those constructed using UP having thinner, denser, less hydrated layers than those constructed using FV. These differences are discussed in the context of their varied chemistry, primarily their difference in molecular weight and degree of acetylation.

  13. Non-linear electrodynamics and the variation of the fine structure constant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbelek, Jean Paul; Mosquera Cuesta, Herman J.

    2008-09-01

    It has been claimed that during the late-time history of our Universe, the fine structure constant of electromagnetism, α, has been increasing. The conclusion is achieved after looking at the separation between lines of ions like CIV, MgII, SiII, FeII, among others in the absorption spectra of very distant quasars, and comparing them with their counterparts obtained in the laboratory. However, in the meantime, other teams have claimed either a null result or a decreasing α with respect to the cosmic time. Also, the current precision of laboratory tests does not allow one to either comfort or reject any of these astronomical observations. Here, we suggest that as photons are the sidereal messengers, a non-linear electrodynamics (NLED) description of the interaction of photons with the weak local background magnetic fields of a gas cloud absorber around the emitting quasar can reconcile the Chand et al. and Levshakov et al. findings with the negative variation found by Murphy et al. and Webb et al., and also to find a bridge with the positive variation argued more recently by Levshakov et al. We also show that NLED photon propagation in a vacuum permeated by a background magnetic field presents a full agreement with constraints from Oklo natural reactor data. Finally, we show that NLED may render a null result only in a narrow range of the local background magnetic field which should be the case of both the claims by Chand et al. and by Srianand et al.

  14. Cosmological variation of the fine structure constant from an ultralight scalar field: The effects of mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Carl L.

    2003-08-01

    Cosmological variation of the fine structure constant α due to the evolution of a spatially homogeneous ultralight scalar field (m˜H0) during the matter and Λ dominated eras is analyzed. Agreement of Δα/α with the value suggested by recent observations of quasar absorption lines is obtained by adjusting a single parameter, the coupling of the scalar field to matter. Asymptotically α(t) in this model goes to a constant value α¯≈α0 in the early radiation and the late Λ dominated eras. The coupling of the scalar field to (nonrelativistic) matter drives α slightly away from α¯ in the epochs when the density of matter is important. Simultaneous agreement with the more restrictive bounds on the variation |Δα/α| from the Oklo natural fission reactor and from meteorite samples can be achieved if the mass of the scalar field is on the order of 0.5 0.6 HΛ, where HΛ=Ω1/2ΛH0. Depending on the scalar field mass, α may be slightly smaller or larger than α0 at the times of big bang nucleosynthesis, the emission of the cosmic microwave background, the formation of early solar system meteorites, and the Oklo reactor. The effects on the evolution of α due to nonzero mass for the scalar field are emphasized. An order of magnitude improvement in the laboratory technique could lead to a detection of (α˙/α)0.

  15. A preliminary investigation into the genetic variation and population structure of Taenia hydatigena from Sardinia, Italy.

    PubMed

    Boufana, Belgees; Scala, Antonio; Lahmar, Samia; Pointing, Steve; Craig, Philip S; Dessì, Giorgia; Zidda, Antonella; Pipia, Anna Paola; Varcasia, Antonio

    2015-11-30

    Cysticercosis caused by the metacestode stage of Taenia hydatigena is endemic in Sardinia. Information on the genetic variation of this parasite is important for epidemiological studies and implementation of control programs. Using two mitochondrial genes, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) we investigated the genetic variation and population structure of Cysticercus tenuicollis from Sardinian intermediate hosts and compared it to that from other hosts from various geographical regions. The parsimony cox1 network analysis indicated the existence of a common lineage for T. hydatigena and the overall diversity and neutrality indices indicated demographic expansion. Using the cox1 sequences, low pairwise fixation index (Fst) values were recorded for Sardinian, Iranian and Palestinian sheep C. tenuicollis which suggested the absence of genetic differentiation. Using the ND1 sequences, C. tenuicollis from Sardinian sheep appeared to be differentiated from those of goat and pig origin. In addition, goat C. tenuicollis were genetically different from adult T. hydatigena as indicated by the statistically significant Fst value. Our results are consistent with biochemical and morphological studies that suggest the existence of variants of T. hydatigena. PMID:26296591

  16. Variations in Crystalline Structures and Electrical Properties of Single Crystalline Boron Nitride Nanosheets.

    PubMed

    Aldalbahi, Ali; Zhou, Andrew Feng; Feng, Peter

    2015-01-01

    We report the studies of (1) the basic mechanism underlying the formation of defect-free, single crystalline boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) synthesized using pulsed laser plasma deposition (PLPD) technique, (2) the variation in the crystalline structure at the edges of the hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheets, and (3) the basic electrical properties related to the BNNSs tunneling effect and electrical breakdown voltage. The nanoscale morphologies of BNNSs are characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The results show that each sample consisted of a number of transparent BNNSs that partially overlapped one another. Varying the deposition duration yielded different thicknesses of sample but did not affect the morphology, structure, and thickness of individual BNNSs pieces. Analysis of the SEM and HRTEM data revealed changes in the spatial period of the B3-N3 hexagonal structures and the interlayer distance at the edge of the BNNSs, which occurred due to the limited number of atomic layers and was confirmed further by x-ray diffraction (XRD) study. The experimental results clearly indicate that the values of the electrical conductivities of the super-thin BNNSs and the effect of temperature relied strongly on the direction of observation. PMID:26563901

  17. Multimodal Image Reconstruction Using Supplementary Structural Information in Total Variation Regularization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazantsev, Daniil; Lionheart, William R. B.; Withers, Philip J.; Lee, Peter D.

    2014-11-01

    In this paper, we propose an iterative reconstruction algorithm which uses available information from one dataset collected using one modality to increase the resolution and signal-to-noise ratio of one collected by another modality. The method operates on the structural information only which increases its suitability across various applications. Consequently, the main aim of this method is to exploit available supplementary data within the regularization framework. The source of primary and supplementary datasets can be acquired using complementary imaging modes where different types of information are obtained (e.g. in medical imaging: anatomical and functional). It is shown by extracting structural information from the supplementary image (direction of level sets) one can enhance the resolution of the other image. Notably, the method enhances edges that are common to both images while not suppressing features that show high contrast in the primary image alone. In our iterative algorithm we use available structural information within a modified total variation penalty term. We provide numerical experiments to show the advantages and feasibility of the proposed technique in comparison to other methods.

  18. Slope variation and population structure of tree species from different ecological groups in South Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bianchini, Edmilson; Garcia, Cristina C; Pimenta, José A; Torezan, José M D

    2010-09-01

    Size structure and spatial arrangement of 13 abundant tree species were determined in a riparian forest fragment in Paraná State, South Brazil (23°16'S and 51°01'W). The studied species were Aspidosperma polyneuron Müll. Arg., Astronium graveolens Jacq. and Gallesia integrifolia (Spreng) Harms (emergent species); Alseis floribunda Schott, Ruprechtia laxiflora Meisn. and Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd. (shade-intolerant canopy species); Machaerium paraguariense Hassl, Myroxylum peruiferum L. and Chrysophyllum gonocarpum (Mart. & Eichler ex Miq.) Engl. (shade-tolerant canopy species); Sorocea bonplandii (Baill.) Bürger, Trichilia casaretti C. Dc, Trichilia catigua A. Juss. and Actinostemon concolor (Spreng.) Müll. Arg. (understory small trees species). Height and diameter structures and basal area of species were analyzed. Spatial patterns and slope correlation were analyzed by Moran's / spatial autocorrelation coefficient and partial Mantel test, respectively. The emergent and small understory species showed the highest and the lowest variations in height, diameter and basal area. Size distribution differed among emergent species and also among canopy shade-intolerant species. The spatial pattern ranged among species in all groups, except in understory small tree species. The slope was correlated with spatial pattern for A. polyneuron, A. graveolens, A. floribunda, R. laxiflora, M. peruiferum and T. casaretti. The results indicated that most species occurred in specific places, suggesting that niche differentiation can be an important factor in structuring the tree community.

  19. Multimodal Image Reconstruction Using Supplementary Structural Information in Total Variation Regularization.

    PubMed

    Kazantsev, Daniil; Lionheart, William R B; Withers, Philip J; Lee, Peter D

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an iterative reconstruction algorithm which uses available information from one dataset collected using one modality to increase the resolution and signal-to-noise ratio of one collected by another modality. The method operates on the structural information only which increases its suitability across various applications. Consequently, the main aim of this method is to exploit available supplementary data within the regularization framework. The source of primary and supplementary datasets can be acquired using complementary imaging modes where different types of information are obtained (e.g. in medical imaging: anatomical and functional). It is shown by extracting structural information from the supplementary image (direction of level sets) one can enhance the resolution of the other image. Notably, the method enhances edges that are common to both images while not suppressing features that show high contrast in the primary image alone. In our iterative algorithm we use available structural information within a modified total variation penalty term. We provide numerical experiments to show the advantages and feasibility of the proposed technique in comparison to other methods.

  20. Multimodal Image Reconstruction Using Supplementary Structural Information in Total Variation Regularization.

    PubMed

    Kazantsev, Daniil; Lionheart, William R B; Withers, Philip J; Lee, Peter D

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an iterative reconstruction algorithm which uses available information from one dataset collected using one modality to increase the resolution and signal-to-noise ratio of one collected by another modality. The method operates on the structural information only which increases its suitability across various applications. Consequently, the main aim of this method is to exploit available supplementary data within the regularization framework. The source of primary and supplementary datasets can be acquired using complementary imaging modes where different types of information are obtained (e.g. in medical imaging: anatomical and functional). It is shown by extracting structural information from the supplementary image (direction of level sets) one can enhance the resolution of the other image. Notably, the method enhances edges that are common to both images while not suppressing features that show high contrast in the primary image alone. In our iterative algorithm we use available structural information within a modified total variation penalty term. We provide numerical experiments to show the advantages and feasibility of the proposed technique in comparison to other methods. PMID:25484635

  1. Variations in Crystalline Structures and Electrical Properties of Single Crystalline Boron Nitride Nanosheets

    PubMed Central

    Aldalbahi, Ali; Zhou, Andrew Feng; Feng, Peter

    2015-01-01

    We report the studies of (1) the basic mechanism underlying the formation of defect-free, single crystalline boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) synthesized using pulsed laser plasma deposition (PLPD) technique, (2) the variation in the crystalline structure at the edges of the hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheets, and (3) the basic electrical properties related to the BNNSs tunneling effect and electrical breakdown voltage. The nanoscale morphologies of BNNSs are characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The results show that each sample consisted of a number of transparent BNNSs that partially overlapped one another. Varying the deposition duration yielded different thicknesses of sample but did not affect the morphology, structure, and thickness of individual BNNSs pieces. Analysis of the SEM and HRTEM data revealed changes in the spatial period of the B3–N3 hexagonal structures and the interlayer distance at the edge of the BNNSs, which occurred due to the limited number of atomic layers and was confirmed further by x-ray diffraction (XRD) study. The experimental results clearly indicate that the values of the electrical conductivities of the super-thin BNNSs and the effect of temperature relied strongly on the direction of observation. PMID:26563901

  2. Geographic variation and genetic structure in the Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi), a critically endangered synanthropic species

    PubMed Central

    Person, Carl; Hayes, William K.

    2015-01-01

    Bird species may exhibit unexpected population structuring over small distances, with gene flow restricted by geographic features such as water or mountains. The Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi) is a critically endangered, synanthropic island endemic with a declining population of fewer than 300 individuals. It now remains only on Andros Island (The Bahamas), which is riddled with waterways that past studies assumed did not hinder gene flow. We examined 1,858 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA sequenced from four gene regions in 14 birds (roughly 5% of the remaining population) found on the largest land masses of Andros Island (North Andros and Mangrove Cay/South Andros). We sought to discern genetic structuring between the remaining subpopulations and its relationship to current conservation concerns. Four unique haplotypes were identified, with only one shared between the two subpopulations. Nucleotide and haplotype diversity were higher for the North Andros subpopulation than for the Mangrove Cay/South Andros subpopulation. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) yielded a Wright’s fixation index (Fst) of 0.60 (PFst = 0.016), with 40.2% of the molecular variation explained by within-population differences and 59.8% by among-population differences. Based on the mitochondrial regions examined in this study, we suggest the extant subpopulations of Bahama Oriole exhibit significant population structuring over short distances, consistent with some other non-migratory tropical songbird species. PMID:26644974

  3. Geographic variation and genetic structure in the Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi), a critically endangered synanthropic species.

    PubMed

    Price, Melissa R; Person, Carl; Hayes, William K

    2015-01-01

    Bird species may exhibit unexpected population structuring over small distances, with gene flow restricted by geographic features such as water or mountains. The Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi) is a critically endangered, synanthropic island endemic with a declining population of fewer than 300 individuals. It now remains only on Andros Island (The Bahamas), which is riddled with waterways that past studies assumed did not hinder gene flow. We examined 1,858 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA sequenced from four gene regions in 14 birds (roughly 5% of the remaining population) found on the largest land masses of Andros Island (North Andros and Mangrove Cay/South Andros). We sought to discern genetic structuring between the remaining subpopulations and its relationship to current conservation concerns. Four unique haplotypes were identified, with only one shared between the two subpopulations. Nucleotide and haplotype diversity were higher for the North Andros subpopulation than for the Mangrove Cay/South Andros subpopulation. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) yielded a Wright's fixation index (F st) of 0.60 (P Fst = 0.016), with 40.2% of the molecular variation explained by within-population differences and 59.8% by among-population differences. Based on the mitochondrial regions examined in this study, we suggest the extant subpopulations of Bahama Oriole exhibit significant population structuring over short distances, consistent with some other non-migratory tropical songbird species. PMID:26644974

  4. Studying the Variation of the Fine-Structure Constant Using Emission-Line Multiplets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grupe, Dirk; Pradhan, Anil K.; Frank, Stephan

    2005-08-01

    As an extension of the method by Bahcall and coworkers to investigate the time dependence of the fine-structure constant, we describe an approach based on new observations of forbidden-line multiplets from different ionic species. We obtain optical spectra of fine-structure transitions in [Ne III], [Ne V], [O III], [O I], and [S II] multiplets from a sample of 14 Seyfert 1.5 galaxies in the low-z range 0.035variation of the fine-structure constant. The approach can be further extended and generalized to a ``many-multiplet emission-line method'' analogous in principle to the corresponding method using absorption lines. With that aim, we note that the theoretical limits on emission-line ratios of selected ions are precisely known and provide well-constrained selection criteria. We also discuss several other forbidden and allowed lines that may constitute the basis for a more rigorous study using high-resolution instruments on the next generation of 8 m class telescopes. Based on observations obtained at MDM Observatory, Arizona.

  5. Constraints on the Time Variation of the Fine Structure Constant by the 5-Year WMAP Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakashima, M.; Nagata, R.; Yokoyama, J.

    2008-12-01

    The constraints on the time variation of the fine structure constant at recombination epoch relative to its present value, Δα/α ≡ (α_{rec} - α_{now})/α_{now}, are obtained from the analysis of the 5-year WMAP cosmic microwave background data. As a result of Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo analysis, it is found that, contrary to the analysis based on the previous WMAP data, the mean value of Δα/α = -0.0009 does not change significantly whether we use the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) measurement of the Hubble parameter as a prior or not. The resultant 95% confidence ranges of Δα/α are -0.028 < Δα/α < 0.026 with HST prior and -0.050 < Δα/α < 0.042 without HST prior.

  6. New limit on the present temporal variation of the fine structure constant

    SciTech Connect

    Peik, E.; Lipphardt, B.; Schnatz, H.; Schneider, T.; Tamm, Chr.; Karshenboim, S.G.

    2005-05-05

    A comparison of different atomic frequency standards over time can be used to perform a measurement of the present value of the temporal derivative of the fine structure constant {alpha} in a model-independent way without assumptions on constancy or variability of other parameters. We have measured an optical transition frequency at 688 THz in Yb+ with a cesium atomic clock at two times separated by 2.8 years and find that a variation of this frequency can be excluded within a 1{sigma} relative uncertainty of 4.4{center_dot}10-15 yr-1. Combined with recently published values for the constancy of other transition frequencies this measurement provides a limit on the present variability of {alpha} at the level of 2.0{center_dot}10-15 yr-1. Constraints are also derived for the drift rates of other fundamental constants like the electron/proton mass ratio and the proton g-factor.

  7. Spatial and temporal variations in the age structure of Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belchansky, G.I.; Douglas, D.C.; Platonov, N.G.

    2005-01-01

    Spatial and temporal variations in the age structure of Arctic sea ice are investigated using a new reverse chronology algorithm that tracks ice-covered pixels to their location and date of origin based on ice motion and concentration data. The Beaufort Gyre tends to harbor the oldest (>10 years old) sea ice in the western Arctic while direct ice advection pathways toward the Transpolar Drift Stream maintain relatively young (10 years old (10+ year age class) were observed during 1989-2003. Since the mid-1990s, losses to the 10+ year age class lacked compensation by recruitment due to a prior depletion of all mature (6-10 year) age classes. Survival of the 1994 and 1996-1998 sea ice generations reestablished most mature age classes, and thereby the potential to increase extent of the 10+ year age class during the mid-2000s.

  8. BSSV: Bayesian based somatic structural variation identification with whole genome DNA-seq data.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xi; Shi, Xu; Shajahan, Ayesha N; Hilakivi-Clarke, Leena; Clarke, Robert; Xuan, Jianhua

    2014-01-01

    High coverage whole genome DNA-sequencing enables identification of somatic structural variation (SSV) more evident in paired tumor and normal samples. Recent studies show that simultaneous analysis of paired samples provides a better resolution of SSV detection than subtracting shared SVs. However, available tools can neither identify all types of SSVs nor provide any rank information regarding their somatic features. In this paper, we have developed a Bayesian framework, by integrating read alignment information from both tumor and normal samples, called BSSV, to calculate the significance of each SSV. Tested by simulated data, the precision of BSSV is comparable to that of available tools and the false negative rate is significantly lowered. We have also applied this approach to The Cancer Genome Atlas breast cancer data for SSV detection. Many known breast cancer specific mutated genes like RAD51, BRIP1, ER, PGR and PTPRD have been successfully identified.

  9. Resistance of Feynman diagrams and the percolation backbone dimension.

    PubMed

    Janssen, H K; Stenull, O; Oerding, K

    1999-06-01

    We present an alternative view of Feynman diagrams for the field theory of random resistor networks, in which the diagrams are interpreted as being resistor networks themselves. This simplifies the field theory considerably as we demonstrate by calculating the fractal dimension D(B) of the percolation backbone to three loop order. Using renormalization group methods we obtain D(B)=2+epsilon/21-172epsilon(2)/9261+2epsilon(3)[-74 639+22 680zeta(3)]/4 084 101, where epsilon=6-d with d being the spatial dimension and zeta(3)=1.202 057... .

  10. Triazine‐Based Sequence‐Defined Polymers with Side‐Chain Diversity and Backbone–Backbone Interaction Motifs

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Kai‐For; Daily, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Sequence control in polymers, well‐known in nature, encodes structure and functionality. Here we introduce a new architecture, based on the nucleophilic aromatic substitution chemistry of cyanuric chloride, that creates a new class of sequence‐defined polymers dubbed TZPs. Proof of concept is demonstrated with two synthesized hexamers, having neutral and ionizable side chains. Molecular dynamics simulations show backbone–backbone interactions, including H‐bonding motifs and pi–pi interactions. This architecture is arguably biomimetic while differing from sequence‐defined polymers having peptide bonds. The synthetic methodology supports the structural diversity of side chains known in peptides, as well as backbone–backbone hydrogen‐bonding motifs, and will thus enable new macromolecules and materials with useful functions. PMID:26865312

  11. Backbone and side-chain assignments of an effector membrane localization domain from Vibrio vulnificus MARTX toxin.

    PubMed

    Brothers, Michael C; Geissler, Brett; Hisao, Grant S; Wilson, Brenda A; Satchell, Karla J F; Rienstra, Chad M

    2014-10-01

    (1)H, (13)C, and (15)N chemical shift assignments are presented for the isolated four-helical bundle membrane localization domain from the domain of unknown function 5 (DUF5) effector (MLD(VvDUF5)) of the MARTX toxin from Vibrio vulnificus in its solution state. We have assigned 97% of all backbone and side-chain carbon atoms, including 96% of all backbone residues. Secondary chemical shift analysis using TALOS+ demonstrates four helices that align with those predicted by structure homology modeling using the MLDs of Pasteurella multocida toxin (PMT) and the clostridial TcdB and TcsL toxins as templates. Future studies will be towards solving the structure and determining the dynamics in the solution state.

  12. Fast–slow continuum and reproductive strategies structure plant life-history variation worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Jones, Owen R.; Jongejans, Eelke; Blomberg, Simon P.; Hodgson, David J.; Mbeau-Ache, Cyril; Zuidema, Pieter A.; de Kroon, Hans; Buckley, Yvonne M.

    2016-01-01

    The identification of patterns in life-history strategies across the tree of life is essential to our prediction of population persistence, extinction, and diversification. Plants exhibit a wide range of patterns of longevity, growth, and reproduction, but the general determinants of this enormous variation in life history are poorly understood. We use demographic data from 418 plant species in the wild, from annual herbs to supercentennial trees, to examine how growth form, habitat, and phylogenetic relationships structure plant life histories and to develop a framework to predict population performance. We show that 55% of the variation in plant life-history strategies is adequately characterized using two independent axes: the fast–slow continuum, including fast-growing, short-lived plant species at one end and slow-growing, long-lived species at the other, and a reproductive strategy axis, with highly reproductive, iteroparous species at one extreme and poorly reproductive, semelparous plants with frequent shrinkage at the other. Our findings remain consistent across major habitats and are minimally affected by plant growth form and phylogenetic ancestry, suggesting that the relative independence of the fast–slow and reproduction strategy axes is general in the plant kingdom. Our findings have similarities with how life-history strategies are structured in mammals, birds, and reptiles. The position of plant species populations in the 2D space produced by both axes predicts their rate of recovery from disturbances and population growth rate. This life-history framework may complement trait-based frameworks on leaf and wood economics; together these frameworks may allow prediction of responses of plants to anthropogenic disturbances and changing environments. PMID:26699477

  13. Fast-slow continuum and reproductive strategies structure plant life-history variation worldwide.

    PubMed

    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Jones, Owen R; Jongejans, Eelke; Blomberg, Simon P; Hodgson, David J; Mbeau-Ache, Cyril; Zuidema, Pieter A; de Kroon, Hans; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2016-01-01

    The identification of patterns in life-history strategies across the tree of life is essential to our prediction of population persistence, extinction, and diversification. Plants exhibit a wide range of patterns of longevity, growth, and reproduction, but the general determinants of this enormous variation in life history are poorly understood. We use demographic data from 418 plant species in the wild, from annual herbs to supercentennial trees, to examine how growth form, habitat, and phylogenetic relationships structure plant life histories and to develop a framework to predict population performance. We show that 55% of the variation in plant life-history strategies is adequately characterized using two independent axes: the fast-slow continuum, including fast-growing, short-lived plant species at one end and slow-growing, long-lived species at the other, and a reproductive strategy axis, with highly reproductive, iteroparous species at one extreme and poorly reproductive, semelparous plants with frequent shrinkage at the other. Our findings remain consistent across major habitats and are minimally affected by plant growth form and phylogenetic ancestry, suggesting that the relative independence of the fast-slow and reproduction strategy axes is general in the plant kingdom. Our findings have similarities with how life-history strategies are structured in mammals, birds, and reptiles. The position of plant species populations in the 2D space produced by both axes predicts their rate of recovery from disturbances and population growth rate. This life-history framework may complement trait-based frameworks on leaf and wood economics; together these frameworks may allow prediction of responses of plants to anthropogenic disturbances and changing environments.

  14. Variation and fitness costs for tolerance to different types of herbivore damage in Boechera stricta genotypes with contrasting glucosinolate structures

    PubMed Central

    Manzaneda, Antonio J.; Prasad, Kasavajhala V. S. K.; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Summary Analyses of plant tolerance in response to different modes of herbivory are essential to understand plant defense evolution, yet are still scarce. Allocation costs and trade-offs between tolerance and plant chemical defenses may influence genetic variation for tolerance. However, variation in defenses occurs also for presence or absence of discrete chemical structures, yet, effects of intra-specific polymorphisms on tolerance to multiple herbivores have not been evaluated.Here, in a glasshouse experiment, we investigated variation for tolerance to different types of herbivory damage, and direct allocation costs in 10 genotypes of Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae), a wild relative of Arabidopsis, with contrasting foliar glucosinolate chemical structures (methionine-derived glucosinolates vs glucosinolates derived from branched-chain amino acids).We found significant genetic variation for tolerance to different types of herbivory. Structural variations in the glucosinolate profile did not influence tolerance to damage, but predicted plant fitness. Levels of constitutive and induced glucosinolates varied between genotypes with different structural profiles, but we did not detect any cost of tolerance explaining genetic variation in tolerance among genotypes.Trade-offs among plant tolerance to multiple herbivores may not explain the existence of intermediate levels of tolerance to damage in plants with contrasting chemical defensive profiles. PMID:20663059

  15. Physico-chemical properties and cytotoxic effects of sugar-based surfactants: Impact of structural variations.

    PubMed

    Lu, Biao; Vayssade, Muriel; Miao, Yong; Chagnault, Vincent; Grand, Eric; Wadouachi, Anne; Postel, Denis; Drelich, Audrey; Egles, Christophe; Pezron, Isabelle

    2016-09-01

    Surfactants derived from the biorefinery process can present interesting surface-active properties, low cytotoxicity, high biocompatibility and biodegradability. They are therefore considered as potential sustainable substitutes to currently used petroleum-based surfactants. To better understand and anticipate their performances, structure-property relationships need to be carefully investigated. For this reason, we applied a multidisciplinary approach to systematically explore the effect of subtle structural variations on both physico-chemical properties and biological effects. Four sugar-based surfactants, each with an eight carbon alkyl chain bound to a glucose or maltose head group by an amide linkage, were synthesized and evaluated together along with two commercially available standard surfactants. Physico-chemical properties including solubility, Krafft point, surface-tension lowering and critical micellar concentration (CMC) in water and biological medium were explored. Cytotoxicity evaluation by measuring proliferation index and metabolic activity against dermal fibroblasts showed that all surfactants studied may induce cell death at low concentrations (below their CMC). Results revealed significant differences in both physico-chemical properties and cytotoxic effects depending on molecule structural features, such as the position of the linkage on the sugar head-group, or the orientation of the amide linkage. Furthermore, the cytotoxic response increased with the reduction of surfactant CMC. This study underscores the relevance of a methodical and multidisciplinary approach that enables the consideration of surfactant solution properties when applied to biological materials. Overall, our results will contribute to a better understanding of the concomitant impact of surfactant structure at physico-chemical and biological levels. PMID:27137806

  16. Characterizing Aciniform Silk Repetitive Domain Backbone Dynamics and Hydrodynamic Modularity.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Xu, Lingling; Sarker, Muzaddid; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K

    2016-01-01

    Spider aciniform (wrapping) silk is a remarkable fibrillar biomaterial with outstanding mechanical properties. It is a modular protein consisting, in Argiope trifasciata, of a core repetitive domain of 200 amino acid units (W units). In solution, the W units comprise a globular folded core, with five α-helices, and disordered tails that are linked to form a ~63-residue intrinsically disordered linker in concatemers. Herein, we present nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based (15)N spin relaxation analysis, allowing characterization of backbone dynamics as a function of residue on the ps-ns timescale in the context of the single W unit (W₁) and the two unit concatemer (W₂). Unambiguous mapping of backbone dynamics throughout W₂ was made possible by segmental NMR active isotope-enrichment through split intein-mediated trans-splicing. Spectral density mapping for W₁ and W₂ reveals a striking disparity in dynamics between the folded core and the disordered linker and tail regions. These data are also consistent with rotational diffusion behaviour where each globular domain tumbles almost independently of its neighbour. At a localized level, helix 5 exhibits elevated high frequency dynamics relative to the proximal helix 4, supporting a model of fibrillogenesis where this helix unfolds as part of the transition to a mixed α-helix/β-sheet fibre. PMID:27517921

  17. A phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia: an RNA-seq approach.

    PubMed

    González, Vanessa L; Andrade, Sónia C S; Bieler, Rüdiger; Collins, Timothy M; Dunn, Casey W; Mikkelsen, Paula M; Taylor, John D; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2015-02-22

    Bivalves are an ancient and ubiquitous group of aquatic invertebrates with an estimated 10 000-20 000 living species. They are economically significant as a human food source, and ecologically important given their biomass and effects on communities. Their phylogenetic relationships have been studied for decades, and their unparalleled fossil record extends from the Cambrian to the Recent. Nevertheless, a robustly supported phylogeny of the deepest nodes, needed to fully exploit the bivalves as a model for testing macroevolutionary theories, is lacking. Here, we present the first phylogenomic approach for this important group of molluscs, including novel transcriptomic data for 31 bivalves obtained through an RNA-seq approach, and analyse these data with published genomes and transcriptomes of other bivalves plus outgroups. Our results provide a well-resolved, robust phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia with all major lineages delineated, addressing long-standing questions about the monophyly of Protobranchia and Heterodonta, and resolving the position of particular groups such as Palaeoheterodonta, Archiheterodonta and Anomalodesmata. This now fully resolved backbone demonstrates that genomic approaches using hundreds of genes are feasible for resolving phylogenetic questions in bivalves and other animals.

  18. Characterizing Aciniform Silk Repetitive Domain Backbone Dynamics and Hydrodynamic Modularity

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Xu, Lingling; Sarker, Muzaddid; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K.

    2016-01-01

    Spider aciniform (wrapping) silk is a remarkable fibrillar biomaterial with outstanding mechanical properties. It is a modular protein consisting, in Argiope trifasciata, of a core repetitive domain of 200 amino acid units (W units). In solution, the W units comprise a globular folded core, with five α-helices, and disordered tails that are linked to form a ~63-residue intrinsically disordered linker in concatemers. Herein, we present nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based 15N spin relaxation analysis, allowing characterization of backbone dynamics as a function of residue on the ps–ns timescale in the context of the single W unit (W1) and the two unit concatemer (W2). Unambiguous mapping of backbone dynamics throughout W2 was made possible by segmental NMR active isotope-enrichment through split intein-mediated trans-splicing. Spectral density mapping for W1 and W2 reveals a striking disparity in dynamics between the folded core and the disordered linker and tail regions. These data are also consistent with rotational diffusion behaviour where each globular domain tumbles almost independently of its neighbour. At a localized level, helix 5 exhibits elevated high frequency dynamics relative to the proximal helix 4, supporting a model of fibrillogenesis where this helix unfolds as part of the transition to a mixed α-helix/β-sheet fibre. PMID:27517921

  19. Long-term forecasting of internet backbone traffic.

    PubMed

    Papagiannaki, Konstantina; Taft, Nina; Zhang, Zhi-Li; Diot, Christophe

    2005-09-01

    We introduce a methodology to predict when and where link additions/upgrades have to take place in an Internet protocol (IP) backbone network. Using simple network management protocol (SNMP) statistics, collected continuously since 1999, we compute aggregate demand between any two adjacent points of presence (PoPs) and look at its evolution at time scales larger than 1 h. We show that IP backbone traffic exhibits visible long term trends, strong periodicities, and variability at multiple time scales. Our methodology relies on the wavelet multiresolution analysis (MRA) and linear time series models. Using wavelet MRA, we smooth the collected measurements until we identify the overall long-term trend. The fluctuations around the obtained trend are further analyzed at multiple time scales. We show that the largest amount of variability in the original signal is due to its fluctuations at the 12-h time scale. We model inter-PoP aggregate demand as a multiple linear regression model, consisting of the two identified components. We show that this model accounts for 98% of the total energy in the original signal, while explaining 90% of its variance. Weekly approximations of those components can be accurately modeled with low-order autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models. We show that forecasting the long term trend and the fluctuations of the traffic at the 12-h time scale yields accurate estimates for at least 6 months in the future.

  20. A phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia: an RNA-seq approach

    PubMed Central

    González, Vanessa L.; Andrade, Sónia C. S.; Bieler, Rüdiger; Collins, Timothy M.; Dunn, Casey W.; Mikkelsen, Paula M.; Taylor, John D.; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    Bivalves are an ancient and ubiquitous group of aquatic invertebrates with an estimated 10 000–20 000 living species. They are economically significant as a human food source, and ecologically important given their biomass and effects on communities. Their phylogenetic relationships have been studied for decades, and their unparalleled fossil record extends from the Cambrian to the Recent. Nevertheless, a robustly supported phylogeny of the deepest nodes, needed to fully exploit the bivalves as a model for testing macroevolutionary theories, is lacking. Here, we present the first phylogenomic approach for this important group of molluscs, including novel transcriptomic data for 31 bivalves obtained through an RNA-seq approach, and analyse these data with published genomes and transcriptomes of other bivalves plus outgroups. Our results provide a well-resolved, robust phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia with all major lineages delineated, addressing long-standing questions about the monophyly of Protobranchia and Heterodonta, and resolving the position of particular groups such as Palaeoheterodonta, Archiheterodonta and Anomalodesmata. This now fully resolved backbone demonstrates that genomic approaches using hundreds of genes are feasible for resolving phylogenetic questions in bivalves and other animals. PMID:25589608

  1. Predicting protein backbone chemical shifts from Cα coordinates: extracting high resolution experimental observables from low resolution models.

    PubMed

    Frank, Aaron T; Law, Sean M; Ahlstrom, Logan S; Brooks, Charles L

    2015-01-13

    Given the demonstrated utility of coarse-grained modeling and simulations approaches in studying protein structure and dynamics, developing methods that allow experimental observables to be directly recovered from coarse-grained models is of great importance. In this work, we develop one such method that enables protein backbone chemical shifts (1HN, 1Hα, 13Cα, 13C, 13Cβ, and 15N) to be predicted from Cα coordinates. We show that our Cα-based method, LARMORCα, predicts backbone chemical shifts with comparable accuracy to some all-atom approaches. More importantly, we demonstrate that LARMORCα predicted chemical shifts are able to resolve native structure from decoy pools that contain both native and non-native models, and so it is sensitive to protein structure. As an application, we use LARMORCα to characterize the transient state of the fast-folding protein gpW using recently published NMR relaxation dispersion derived backbone chemical shifts. The model we obtain is consistent with the previously proposed model based on independent analysis of the chemical shift dispersion pattern of the transient state. We anticipate that LARMORCα will find utility as a tool that enables important protein conformational substates to be identified by “parsing” trajectories and ensembles generated using coarse-grained modeling and simulations.

  2. RNABC: forward kinematics to reduce all-atom steric clashes in RNA backbone.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xueyi; Kapral, Gary; Murray, Laura; Richardson, David; Richardson, Jane; Snoeyink, Jack

    2008-01-01

    Although accurate details in RNA structure are of great importance for understanding RNA function, the backbone conformation is difficult to determine, and most existing RNA structures show serious steric clashes (>or= 0.4 A overlap) when hydrogen atoms are taken into account. We have developed a program called RNABC (RNA Backbone Correction) that performs local perturbations to search for alternative conformations that avoid those steric clashes or other local geometry problems. Its input is an all-atom coordinate file for an RNA crystal structure (usually from the MolProbity web service), with problem areas specified. RNABC rebuilds a suite (the unit from sugar to sugar) by anchoring the phosphorus and base positions, which are clearest in crystallographic electron density, and reconstructing the other atoms using forward kinematics. Geometric parameters are constrained within user-specified tolerance of canonical or original values, and torsion angles are constrained to ranges defined through empirical database analyses. Several optimizations reduce the time required to search the many possible conformations. The output results are clustered and presented to the user, who can choose whether to accept one of the alternative conformations. Two test evaluations show the effectiveness of RNABC, first on the S-motifs from 42 RNA structures, and second on the worst problem suites (clusters of bad clashes, or serious sugar pucker outliers) in 25 unrelated RNA structures. Among the 101 S-motifs, 88 had diagnosed problems, and RNABC produced clash-free conformations with acceptable geometry for 71 of those (about 80%). For the 154 worst problem suites, RNABC proposed alternative conformations for 72. All but 8 of those were judged acceptable after examining electron density (where available) and local conformation. Thus, even for these worst cases, nearly half the time RNABC suggested corrections suitable to initiate further crystallographic refinement. The program is

  3. Optimization of Protein Backbone Dihedral Angles by Means of Hamiltonian Reweighting

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations depend critically on the accuracy of the underlying force fields in properly representing biomolecules. Hence, it is crucial to validate the force-field parameter sets in this respect. In the context of the GROMOS force field, this is usually achieved by comparing simulation data to experimental observables for small molecules. In this study, we develop new amino acid backbone dihedral angle potential energy parameters based on the widely used 54A7 parameter set by matching to experimental J values and secondary structure propensity scales. In order to find the most appropriate backbone parameters, close to 100 000 different combinations of parameters have been screened. However, since the sheer number of combinations considered prohibits actual molecular dynamics simulations for each of them, we instead predicted the values for every combination using Hamiltonian reweighting. While the original 54A7 parameter set fails to reproduce the experimental data, we are able to provide parameters that match significantly better. However, to ensure applicability in the context of larger peptides and full proteins, further studies have to be undertaken. PMID:27559757

  4. The Nanomechanical Properties of Lactococcus lactis Pili Are Conditioned by the Polymerized Backbone Pilin

    PubMed Central

    Castelain, Mickaël; Duviau, Marie-Pierre; Canette, Alexis; Schmitz, Philippe; Loubière, Pascal; Cocaign-Bousquet, Muriel; Piard, Jean-Christophe; Mercier-Bonin, Muriel

    2016-01-01

    Pili produced by Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis are putative linear structures consisting of repetitive subunits of the major pilin PilB that forms the backbone, pilin PilA situated at the distal end of the pilus, and an anchoring pilin PilC that tethers the pilus to the peptidoglycan. We determined the nanomechanical properties of pili using optical-tweezers force spectroscopy. Single pili were exposed to optical forces that yielded force-versus-extension spectra fitted using the Worm-Like Chain model. Native pili subjected to a force of 0–200 pN exhibit an inextensible, but highly flexible ultrastructure, reflected by their short persistence length. We tested a panel of derived strains to understand the functional role of the different pilins. First, we found that both the major pilin PilB and sortase C organize the backbone into a full-length organelle and dictate the nanomechanical properties of the pili. Second, we found that both PilA tip pilin and PilC anchoring pilin were not essential for the nanomechanical properties of pili. However, PilC maintains the pilus on the bacterial surface and may play a crucial role in the adhesion- and biofilm-forming properties of L. lactis. PMID:27010408

  5. Large-scale variation in lithospheric structure along and across the Kenya rift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prodehl, C.; Mechie, J.; Kaminski, W.; Fuchs, K.; Grosse, C.; Hoffmann, H.; Stangl, R.; Stellrecht, R.; Khan, M.A.; Maguire, Peter K.H.; Kirk, W.; Keller, Gordon R.; Githui, A.; Baker, M.; Mooney, W.; Criley, E.; Luetgert, J.; Jacob, B.; Thybo, H.; Demartin, M.; Scarascia, S.; Hirn, A.; Bowman, J.R.; Nyambok, I.; Gaciri, S.; Patel, J.; Dindi, E.; Griffiths, D.H.; King, R.F.; Mussett, A.E.; Braile, L.W.; Thompson, G.; Olsen, K.; Harder, S.; Vees, R.; Gajewski, D.; Schulte, A.; Obel, J.; Mwango, F.; Mukinya, J.; Riaroh, D.

    1991-01-01

    The Kenya rift is one of the classic examples of a continental rift zone: models for its evolution range from extension of the lithosphere by pure shear1, through extension by simple shear2, to diapiric upwelling of an asthenolith3. Following a pilot study in 19854, the present work involved the shooting of three seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection profiles along the axis, across the margins, and on the northeastern flank of the rift (Fig. 1). These lines were intended to reconcile the different crustal thickness estimates for the northern and southern parts of the rift4-6 and to reveal the structure across the rift, including that beneath the flanks. The data, presented here, reveal significant lateral variations in structure both along and across the rift. The crust thins along the rift axis from 35 km in the south to 20 km in the north; there are abrupt changes in Mono depth and uppermost-mantle seismic velocity across the rift margins, and crustal thickening across the boundary between the Archaean craton and PanAfrican orogenic belt immediately west of the rift. These results suggest that thickened crust may have controlled the rift's location, that there is a decrease in extension from north to south, and that the upper mantle immediately beneath the rift may contain reservoirs of magma generated at greater depth.

  6. A model-reduction approach in micromechanics of materials preserving the variational structure of constitutive relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Jean-Claude; Suquet, Pierre

    2016-05-01

    In 2003 the authors proposed a model-reduction technique, called the Nonuniform Transformation Field Analysis (NTFA), based on a decomposition of the local fields of internal variables on a reduced basis of modes, to analyze the effective response of composite materials. The present study extends and improves on this approach in different directions. It is first shown that when the constitutive relations of the constituents derive from two potentials, this structure is passed to the NTFA model. Another structure-preserving model, the hybrid NTFA model of Fritzen and Leuschner, is analyzed and found to differ (slightly) from the primal NTFA model (it does not exhibit the same variational upper bound character). To avoid the "on-line" computation of local fields required by the hybrid model, new reduced evolution equations for the reduced variables are proposed, based on an expansion to second order (TSO) of the potential of the hybrid model. The coarse dynamics can then be entirely expressed in terms of quantities which can be pre-computed once for all. Roughly speaking, these pre-computed quantities depend only on the average and fluctuations per phase of the modes and of the associated stress fields. The accuracy of the new NTFA-TSO model is assessed by comparison with full-field simulations. The acceleration provided by the new coarse dynamics over the full-field computations (and over the hybrid model) is then spectacular, larger by three orders of magnitude than the acceleration due to the sole reduction of unknowns.

  7. Variation in forest structure and carbon dynamics in tropical rain forests of Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieira, S.; Selhorst, D.; Hutyra, L.; da Silva, R.; Camargo, P.; Chambers, J. Q.; Brown, I. F.; Higuchi, N.; Dos Santos, J.; Martinelli, L. A.; Trumbore, S.

    2002-12-01

    A better understanding of the variations in the dynamics and structure of trees in tropical forests is necessary for predicting the potential for these ecosystems to lose or store carbon. Data from forest inventory plotsshow large differences in forest structure, biomass, and tree growth rates among plots in three location. The number of stems (g.t. 10cm diameter)per hectare is higher in the Manaus site (626 ha-1) than in the Rio Branco (466 ha-1) or Santrem (460 ha-1) sites. Stocks of C in above-ground biomass in the three areas were 180.1 (Manaus), 122.1 (Rio Branco), and 140.6 (Santarem) MgC ha-1. Estimates of mean annual accumulation of C in living trees based on monthly dendrometer band measurements ranged from 1.6 (Manaus), 2.5 (Rio Branco), to 2.8 (Santarem) MgC ha-1 yr-1. Our results showed marked seasonality to growth, with highest growth rates in the wet and lowest rates in the dry season. This effect was most pronounced for trees with diameter g. t. 50cm. Comparing the three areas investigated suggests that forests experiencing a longer dry season have larger annual diameter growth increments for individual trees, and more of the forest biomass in the largest trees.

  8. Hygroscopic movements in Geraniaceae: the structural variations that are responsible for coiling or bending.

    PubMed

    Abraham, Yael; Elbaum, Rivka

    2013-07-01

    The family Geraniaceae is characterized by a beak-like fruit, consisting of five seeds appended by a tapering awn. The awns exhibit coiling or bending hygroscopic movement as part of the seed dispersal strategy. Here we explain the variation in the hygroscopic reaction based on structural principles. We examined five representative species from three genera: Erodium, Geranium, and Pelargonium. Using X-ray diffraction, and electron and polarized light microscopy, we measured the cellulose microfibril angles in relation to the cell and cellulose helix axes. The behavior of separated single cells during dehydration was also examined. A bi-layered structure characterizes all the representative genera studied, with a hygroscopically contracting inner layer, and a stiff outer layer. We found that the cellulose arrangement in the inner layer is responsible for the type of awn deformation (coiling or bending). In three of the five awns examined, we identified an additional coiling outer sublayer, which adds coiling deformation to the awn. We divide the movements into three types: bending, coiling, and coiled-bending. All movement types are found in the Geranium genus. These characteristics are of importance for understanding the evolution of seed dispersal mechanisms in the Geraniaceae family. PMID:23574364

  9. Spatial-temporal variation of precipitation concentration and structure in the Wei River Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shengzhi; Huang, Qiang; Chen, Yutong; Xing, Li; Leng, Guoyong

    2016-07-01

    It is of significant importance to investigate precipitation structure and precipitation concentration due to their great impact on droughts, floods, soil erosion, as well as water resources management. A complete investigation of precipitation structure and its distribution pattern in the Wei River Basin was performed based on recorded daily precipitation data in this study. Two indicators were used: concentration index based on daily precipitation (CID), to assess the distribution of rainy days, and concentration index based on monthly precipitation (CIM), to estimate the seasonality of the precipitation. Besides, the modified Mann-Kendall trend test method was employed to capture the variation trends of CID and CIM. The results indicate that: (1) the 1-3-day events are the predominant precipitation events in terms of the occurrence and fractional contribution; (2) the obvious differences in the CID of various areas are found in the Wei River Basin, and the high CID values mainly concentrate in the northern basin, conversely, the southern basin has a relatively low CID value; (3) high CIM values are primarily in the western and northern basin, reflecting a remarkable seasonality of precipitation in these regions; and (4) all of the stations show a downward trend of CIM, which indicates that the monthly precipitation distribution tends to be more uniform.

  10. Structural Diagnostics of Ballistic-Like Damage Variation via Wave Propagation-Based Filtering Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayers, J.; Apetre, N.; Ruzzene, M.

    2010-02-01

    This paper evaluates the ability of wave filtering techniques to identify and quantify defect variations in structures. The proposed techniques are based on the evaluation of reflection, transmission, and conversion of different Lamb wave modes in the presence of damages and of the spatial evaluation of their phases. The structure is excited by an enhanced fundamental symmetric mode, and the damage is initially located by evaluating the phase gradient of the converted Lamb mode. The process relies on mode separation and incident-wave removal procedures implemented in the frequency/wavenumber domain. Such procedures rely on the spatial integration of wave amplitudes in contrast to point-wise estimation previously proposed in the literature, as a way to reduce the effect of noise. Numerical and experimental parametric studies are conducted, where the specific damage geometry is varied to represent common external ballistic impact, from a sharp rectangular notch to a semi-circular depression. Likewise, the techniques are demonstrated on experimental data obtained from a Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer setup.

  11. Structure of Ground state Wave Functions for the Fractional Quantum Hall Effect: A Variational Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukherjee, Sutirtha; Mandal, Sudhansu

    The internal structure and topology of the ground states for fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE) are determined by the relative angular momenta between all the possible pairs of electrons. Laughlin wave function is the only known microscopic wave function for which these relative angular momenta are homogeneous (same) for any pair of electrons and depend solely on the filling factor. Without invoking any microscopic theory, considering only the relationship between number of flux quanta and particles in spherical geometry, and allowing the possibility of inhomogeneous (different) relative angular momenta between any two electrons, we develop a general method for determining a closed-form ground state wave function for any incompressible FQHE state. Our procedure provides variationally obtained very accurate wave functions, yet having simpler structure compared to any other known complex microscopic wave functions for the FQHE states. This method, thus, has potential in predicting a very accurate ground state wave function for the puzzling states such as the state at filling fraction 5/2. We acknowledge support from Department of Science and Technology, India.

  12. Archaeomagnetic investigation of three Etruscan firing structures in Pisa - Data for the Italian Secular Variation Curve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Principe, Claudia; Malfatti, Jonas; Le Goff, Maxime; Grandinetti, Giuditta; Paribeni, Emanuela; Arias, Claudio

    2010-05-01

    Archaeomagnetic studies have recently undergone a significant progress in Italy, and a preliminary Italian Secular Variation Curve (Tema et al., 2007) for the last three millennia is available as a useful reference curve to compare archaeomagnetic directions from both archaeological and geological undated burnt features. However the number of well-dated and accurate archaeomagnetic directional results in our country is still far away to build a reliable dating tool, above all for times older than the 6 century BC. We present here three unpublished archaeomagnetic directional results carried out from a small Etruscan archaeological area excavated in Pisa, Tuscany (Italy). The importance of this study, a small settled area from the Orientalizzante phase (IX-VI centuries BC) with a well defined metallurgical area inside, is underlined by the fact that, at the moment, these are the only Italian directional investigations coming from a well-dated and constrained archaeological (stratigraphic) context for this time period. In particular, we sampled two different kind of structures (two firing plains and a circular oven) which were used during the iron ore reduction activities; according with different historical sources, the iron ore was probably from the Elba island deposit (Tuscany, Italy), famous for its abundance during Etruscan and Roman times. In addition we present also an updated list of our previous archaeomagnetic investigations from other Etruscan and Roman archaeological structures, in order to contribute improving the non-uniform dataset used to build the preliminary Italian Secular Variation Curve for the period BC. All the presented archaeological structures have been collected by using the modified "Thellier&Thellier" technique, while the analytical measurements have been carried out thanks to a joint collaboration between the IGG-CNR and the Paleomagnetic Laboratory of Institute the Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP). The thermo-remanent magnetization

  13. Towards inferring elastic structural variations from Earth's response to surface mass loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martens, H. R.; Simons, M.; Rivera, L. A.; Owen, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    We explore the sensitivity of surface mass loading displacement response to perturbations in elastic structure, with the goal to refine profiles of elastic moduli and density through the crust and upper mantle. Examples of surface mass loads include tidal and non-tidal ocean loads, atmospheric loads and hydrological loads. Using software developed in-house (LoadDef), we derive sensitivity kernels for Love numbers and load Green's functions (LGFs) using calculus of variations and finite difference methods. Perturbations to the two elastic moduli and density exhibit unique LGF sensitivity patterns, retaining the possibility that the material parameters may be independently constrained given a spatially distributed set of sufficiently accurate loading response observations. To further elucidate the ability to invert for structure in a particular region, a thorough investigation into model resolution must also be performed. We garner a more palpable sense for the effects of structural variations on the response to surface mass loading by calculating and comparing sets of predicted ocean tidal loading (OTL) displacement responses across a global network of land-based locations, generated from convolutions of an ocean tide model with LGFs derived from a variety of reference Earth models. We find that discrepancies between predictions for the M2 harmonic differ by less than 0.2 mm at over 95% of the locations considered, a value generally exceeded, albeit not substantially, by current observational and forward modeling errors. Although predicted discrepancies can reach 2 mm or more at some coastal locations, errors in the ocean tide models and convolution algorithms are also largest near the coasts. As a case study, we examine the residuals between Global Positioning System (GPS) observations and modeled predictions of OTL response across the South American continent. A comparison of ocean models suggests that a common mode (mean displacement) accounts for a dominant

  14. Constraining the variation of the fine-structure constant with observations of narrow quasar absorption lines

    SciTech Connect

    Songaila, A.; Cowie, L. L.

    2014-10-01

    The unequivocal demonstration of temporal or spatial variability in a fundamental constant of nature would be of enormous significance. Recent attempts to measure the variability of the fine-structure constant α over cosmological time, using high-resolution spectra of high-redshift quasars observed with 10 m class telescopes, have produced conflicting results. We use the many multiplet (MM) method with Mg II and Fe II lines on very high signal-to-noise, high-resolution (R = 72, 000) Keck HIRES spectra of eight narrow quasar absorption systems. We consider both systematic uncertainties in spectrograph wavelength calibration and also velocity offsets introduced by complex velocity structure in even apparently simple and weak narrow lines and analyze their effect on claimed variations in α. We find no significant change in α, Δα/α = (0.43 ± 0.34) × 10{sup –5}, in the redshift range z = 0.7-1.5, where this includes both statistical and systematic errors. We also show that the scatter in measurements of Δα/α arising from absorption line structure can be considerably larger than assigned statistical errors even for apparently simple and narrow absorption systems. We find a null result of Δα/α = (– 0.59 ± 0.55) × 10{sup –5} in a system at z = 1.7382 using lines of Cr II, Zn II, and Mn II, whereas using Cr II and Zn II lines in a system at z = 1.6614 we find a systematic velocity trend that, if interpreted as a shift in α, would correspond to Δα/α = (1.88 ± 0.47) × 10{sup –5}, where both results include both statistical and systematic errors. This latter result is almost certainly caused by varying ionic abundances in subcomponents of the line: using Mn II, Ni II, and Cr II in the analysis changes the result to Δα/α = (– 0.47 ± 0.53) × 10{sup –5}. Combining the Mg II and Fe II results with estimates based on Mn II, Ni II, and Cr II gives Δα/α = (– 0.01 ± 0.26) × 10{sup –5}. We conclude that spectroscopic measurements of

  15. Variations in community structure and diversity associated with methane-rich sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, L.; Lin, J.; Wu, L.; Wang, P.

    2012-12-01

    Subseafloor sediments have been estimated to harbor more than 50% of the global prokaryotic cells. Such a large quantity of biomass has been considered to play an important role in regulating the elemental cycling between hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere. On the basis of pore water geochemistry and molecular results, numerous studies have demonstrated that sulfate reduction, anaerobic methanotrophy, and methanogenesis appear to be the essential metabolic pathways controlling the organic mineralization and methane cycling in sediments of continental margins. As the extent of microbial community varies from site to site, spatial variations in community structures directly or indirectly catalyzing these metabolic pathways remain to be elucidated. This study aims to uncover community structures along a sediment core collected offshore southwestern Taiwan where the convergence between the Eurasian and Philippine Sea Plates leads to the rapid accumulation of sediments eroded from onshore mountainous regions. The samples were obtained at a 50-cm interval from a gravity core which penetrated to 5 m below seafloor. Crude DNA was extracted and the V4-V6 and V4-V5 regions of 16S rRNA genes in bacteria and archaea were amplified using the barcoded primers, respectively. The amplicons were pooled for sequencing on a Roche GS Junior platform. A total of more than 130,000 bacterial and archaeal reads each were obtained after the processing of raw data for quality check, and chimera, barcode and primer removals. The output reads were clustered into different OTU on the basis of 97% similarity and taxonomically categorized against the Silva database. Despite a significant proportion of sequences whose taxonomical assignments remain to be resolved, sequences affiliated with Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi within Bacteria, and Thermoplasmata, MBG-B, ANME-1, and MCG within Archaea outnumber the other lineages. The proportions of major OTUs exhibit different trends of

  16. Living in isolation - population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation of the endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar pink).

    PubMed

    Putz, Christina M; Schmid, Christoph; Reisch, Christoph

    2015-09-01

    The endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus exhibits a highly fragmented distribution range comprising many isolated populations. Based upon this pattern of distribution, we selected a study region in Switzerland with a lower magnitude of isolation (Swiss Jura) and another study region in Germany with a higher degree of isolation (Franconian Jura). In each region, we chose ten populations to analyze population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation in a comparative approach. Therefore, we determined population density, cushion size, and cushion density to analyze population structure, investigated reproductive traits, including number of flowers, capsules, and germination rate, and analyzed amplified fragment length polymorphisms to study genetic variation. Population and cushion density were credibly higher in German than in Swiss populations, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were similar in both study regions. However, genetic variation among populations and isolation by distance were stronger in Germany than in Switzerland. Generally, cushion size and density as well as flower and capsule production increased with population size and density, whereas genetic variation decreased with population density. In contrast to our assumptions, we observed denser populations and cushions in the region with the higher magnitude of isolation, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were comparable in both regions. This corroborates the assumption that stronger isolation must not necessarily result in the loss of fitness and genetic variation. Furthermore, it supports our conclusion that the protection of strongly isolated populations contributes essentially to the conservation of a species' full evolutionary potential.

  17. Living in isolation – population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation of the endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar pink)

    PubMed Central

    Putz, Christina M; Schmid, Christoph; Reisch, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    The endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus exhibits a highly fragmented distribution range comprising many isolated populations. Based upon this pattern of distribution, we selected a study region in Switzerland with a lower magnitude of isolation (Swiss Jura) and another study region in Germany with a higher degree of isolation (Franconian Jura). In each region, we chose ten populations to analyze population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation in a comparative approach. Therefore, we determined population density, cushion size, and cushion density to analyze population structure, investigated reproductive traits, including number of flowers, capsules, and germination rate, and analyzed amplified fragment length polymorphisms to study genetic variation. Population and cushion density were credibly higher in German than in Swiss populations, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were similar in both study regions. However, genetic variation among populations and isolation by distance were stronger in Germany than in Switzerland. Generally, cushion size and density as well as flower and capsule production increased with population size and density, whereas genetic variation decreased with population density. In contrast to our assumptions, we observed denser populations and cushions in the region with the higher magnitude of isolation, whereas reproductive traits and genetic variation within populations were comparable in both regions. This corroborates the assumption that stronger isolation must not necessarily result in the loss of fitness and genetic variation. Furthermore, it supports our conclusion that the protection of strongly isolated populations contributes essentially to the conservation of a species' full evolutionary potential. PMID:26380690

  18. Investigations of secular variations spatial structure in the Ukrainian repeat stations network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksymchuk, V.; Horodyskyy, Yu.

    2009-04-01

    spring season indicate seasonal nature of such effects. These seasonal anomalies are connected with peculiarities of hydro-regulations and changes in subterranean waters level, depending from spring rains, snow thawing and strengthening of nature filtering processes in upper layer of sediments. Last one may cause appearance of anomalous changes in magnetic field due to electro-kinetic phenomena caused by filtrating. To define electro-magnetic precursors of local earthquakes also were fulfilled magnetic-variation observations by means of digital station LEMI. Vectors of induction in the range 2.5 - 60 min. for DP-variations were calculated. Time series analysis for induction vectors components allows to define their season, daily and episodically variations. Unambiguous connection of anomalous induction vectors values with local earthquakes were not defined. So, for 29 earthquakes with M≤3 in the range of 30 km during 2000 - 2004 only in 10 cases (34%) anomalous values of induction vectors preceded seismic events, in 11 cases they were observed after earthquakes (38%). At the same time, some peculiarities of spatial distribution for earthquakes with anomalous induction vectors distribution were observed. It was determined that for earthquakes with epicenters near Transcarpathian deep fault anomalous values of induction arrows can be observed before an earthquake. And for earthquakes with epicenters in the central part of the Carpathian backdeep - after an earthquake. Probably, in the Transcarpathian deep fault zone take place some changes in electric conductivity before earthquake. This result agrees with a hypothesis that a nature of electric-conductivity Transcarpathian anomaly was caused by partial melting of rocks with presence of water, but not by presence of graphitic sediments. And in the Carpathian backdeep changes of electric-conductivity are the result of structural elements destruction. For more confident conclusions concerning defined problem it is necessary

  19. Increased Diels-Alderase activity through backbone remodeling guided by Foldit players.

    PubMed

    Eiben, Christopher B; Siegel, Justin B; Bale, Jacob B; Cooper, Seth; Khatib, Firas; Shen, Betty W; Players, Foldit; Stoddard, Barry L; Popovic, Zoran; Baker, David

    2012-02-01

    Computational enzyme design holds promise for the production of renewable fuels, drugs and chemicals. De novo enzyme design has generated catalysts for several reactions, but with lower catalytic efficiencies than naturally occurring enzymes. Here we report the use of game-driven crowdsourcing to enhance the activity of a computationally designed enzyme through the functional remodeling of its structure. Players of the online game Foldit were challenged to remodel the backbone of a computationally designed bimolecular Diels-Alderase to enable additional interactions with substrates. Several iterations of design and characterization generated a 24-residue helix-turn-helix motif, including a 13-residue insertion, that increased enzyme activity >18-fold. X-ray crystallography showed that the large insertion adopts a helix-turn-helix structure positioned as in the Foldit model. These results demonstrate that human creativity can extend beyond the macroscopic challenges encountered in everyday life to molecular-scale design problems. PMID:22267011

  20. Along-strike variation in subducting plate velocity induced by along-strike variation in overriding plate structure: Insights from 3D numerical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-González, Juan; Billen, Magali I.; Negredo, Ana M.; Montesi, Laurent G. J.

    2016-10-01

    Subduction dynamics can be understood as the result of the balance between driving and resisting forces. Previous work has traditionally regarded gravitational slab pull and viscous mantle drag as the main driving and resistive forces for plate motion respectively. However, this paradigm fails to explain many of the observations in subduction zones. For example, subducting plate velocity varies significantly along-strike in many subduction zones and this variation is not correlated to the age of subducting lithosphere. Here we present three-dimensional and time-dependent numerical models of subduction. We show that along-strike variations of the overriding plate thermal structure can lead to along-strike variations in subducting plate velocity. In turn, velocity variations lead to significant migration of the Euler pole over time. Our results show that the subducting plate is slower beneath the colder portion of the overriding plate due to two related mechanisms. First, the mantle wedge beneath the colder portion of the overriding plate is more viscous, which increases mantle drag. Second, where the mantle wedge is more viscous, hydrodynamic suction increases, leading to a lower slab dip. Both factors contribute to decreasing subducting plate velocity in the region; therefore, if the overriding plate is not uniform, the resulting velocity varies significantly along-strike, which causes the Euler pole to migrate closer to the subducting plate. We present a new mechanism to explain observations of subducting plate velocity in the Cocos and Nazca plates. These results shed new light on the balance of forces that control subduction dynamics and prove that future studies should take into consideration the three-dimensional structure of the overriding plate.

  1. Vegetation structure and fire weather influence variation in burn severity and fuel consumption during peatland wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, G. M.; Domènech, R.; Gray, A.; Johnson, P. C. D.

    2015-09-01

    Temperate peatland wildfires are of significant environmental concern but information on their environmental effects is lacking. We assessed variation in burn severity and fuel consumption within and between wildfires that burnt British moorlands in 2011 and 2012. We adapted the Composite Burn Index (pCBI) to provide semi-quantitative estimates of burn severity. Pre- and post-fire surface (shrubs and graminoids) and ground (litter, moss, duff) fuel loads associated with large wildfires were assessed using destructive sampling and analysed using a Generalised Linear Mixed Model (GLMM). Consumption during wildfires was compared with published estimates of consumption during prescribed burns. Burn severity and fuel consumption were related to fire weather, assessed using the Canadian Fire Weather Index System (FWI System), and pre-fire fuel structure. pCBI varied 1.6 fold between, and up to 1.7 fold within, wildfires. pCBI was higher where moisture codes of the FWI System indicated drier fuels. Spatial variation in pre- and post-fire fuel load accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in fuel loads. Average surface fuel consumption was a linear function of pre-fire fuel load. Average ground fuel combustion completeness could be predicted by the Buildup Index. Carbon release ranged between 0.36 and 1.00 kg C m-2. The flammability of ground fuel layers may explain the higher C release-rates seen for wildfires in comparison to prescribed burns. Drier moorland community types appear to be at greater risk of severe burns than blanket-bog communities.

  2. Geographic variation in plant community structure of salt marshes: species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M; Pennings, Steven C

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  3. Geographic Variation in Plant Community Structure of Salt Marshes: Species, Functional and Phylogenetic Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A.; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M.; Pennings, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  4. Decadal-Scale Variations in Eastern Pacific Thermocline Structure from Soledad Basin, Baja California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levi, C.; van Geen, A.; Ortiz, J. D.; Zheng, Y.; Marchitto, T. M.; Dean, W. E.; Carriquiry, J.

    2004-12-01

    Soledad Basin, a semi-enclosed basin on the Pacific margin of southern Baja California at 25oN, is ideally located to document past variations of ocean/atmosphere interactions responding to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Very high sedimentation rates (~108 cm/kyr; van Geen et al., Paleoceanography, v. 8, no. 4, 2003) combined with low bottow-water oxygen levels have prevented sediment bioturbation throughout the Holocene, setting the stage for high-resolution paleoclimatic reconstructions in this key climatic area. Current studies of this site focus on the combination of a 210Pb-dated multicore and 14C-dated gravity and piston cores. Available data include a 1-cm resolution diffuse spectral reflectance record, indicative of diagenetic processes linked to productivity (Ortiz et al., Geology, v. 32, no. 6, 2004) and Mg/Ca ratios for several planktonic foraminifera species. Mg/Ca results for two shallow-dwelling species in the multicore indicate little change in sea surface temperature (+/-1.1 deg C) over the mean value of 23 deg C observed over the past two centuries. In contrast, variations of Mg/Ca ratios for a deeper-dwelling species suggest considerably larger temperature variations of +/-1.8 deg C with respect to the mean value of 17.5 deg C at the depth habitat of this species. This suggests fluctuations in the temperature, and therefore nutrient content, of thermocline waters upwelling toward the surface at this site without any appreciable changes in upwelling. Periods of low subsurface temperatures in the water column inferred from Mg/Ca correspond to darker sediment bands, suggesting a connection between the structure of the thermocline, the supply of nutrients to the photic zone, and surface productivity. This interpretation is supported by elevated authigenic Mo concentrations in those same dark bands of 30-40 mg/kg. The presentation will include a comparison of these results with instrumental and other

  5. Variations in methanobactin structure influences copper utilization by methane-oxidizing bacteria

    PubMed Central

    El Ghazouani, Abdelnasser; Baslé, Arnaud; Gray, Joe; Graham, David W.; Firbank, Susan J.; Dennison, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    Methane-oxidizing bacteria are nature’s primary biological mechanism for suppressing atmospheric levels of the second-most important greenhouse gas via methane monooxygenases (MMOs). The copper-containing particulate enzyme is the most widespread and efficient MMO. Under low-copper conditions methane-oxidizing bacteria secrete the small copper-binding peptide methanobactin (mbtin) to acquire copper, but how variations in the structures of mbtins influence copper metabolism and species selection are unknown. Methanobactins have been isolated from Methylocystis strains M and hirsuta CSC1, organisms that can switch to using an iron-containing soluble MMO when copper is limiting, and the nonswitchover Methylocystis rosea. These mbtins are shorter, and have different amino acid compositions, than the characterized mbtin from Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b. A coordinating pyrazinedione ring in the Methylocystis mbtins has little influence on the Cu(I) site structure. The Methylocystis mbtins have a sulfate group that helps stabilize the Cu(I) forms, resulting in affinities of approximately 1021 M-1. The Cu(II) affinities vary over three orders of magnitude with reduction potentials covering approximately 250 mV, which may dictate the mechanism of intracellular copper release. Copper uptake and the switchover from using the iron-containing soluble MMO to the copper-containing particulate enzyme is faster when mediated by the native mbtin, suggesting that the amino acid sequence is important for the interaction of mbtins with receptors. The differences in structures and properties of mbtins, and their influence on copper utilization by methane-oxidizing bacteria, have important implications for the ecology and global function of these environmentally vital organisms. PMID:22582172

  6. Structure-adaptive CBCT reconstruction using weighted total variation and Hessian penalties

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Qi; Sun, Nanbo; Sun, Tao; Wang, Jing; Tan, Shan

    2016-01-01

    The exposure of normal tissues to high radiation during cone-beam CT (CBCT) imaging increases the risk of cancer and genetic defects. Statistical iterative algorithms with the total variation (TV) penalty have been widely used for low dose CBCT reconstruction, with state-of-the-art performance in suppressing noise and preserving edges. However, TV is a first-order penalty and sometimes leads to the so-called staircase effect, particularly over regions with smooth intensity transition in the reconstruction images. A second-order penalty known as the Hessian penalty was recently used to replace TV to suppress the staircase effect in CBCT reconstruction at the cost of slightly blurring object edges. In this study, we proposed a new penalty, the TV-H, which combines TV and Hessian penalties for CBCT reconstruction in a structure-adaptive way. The TV-H penalty automatically differentiates the edges, gradual transition and uniform local regions within an image using the voxel gradient, and adaptively weights TV and Hessian according to the local image structures in the reconstruction process. Our proposed penalty retains the benefits of TV, including noise suppression and edge preservation. It also maintains the structures in regions with gradual intensity transition more successfully. A majorization-minimization (MM) approach was designed to optimize the objective energy function constructed with the TV-H penalty. The MM approach employed a quadratic upper bound of the original objective function, and the original optimization problem was changed to a series of quadratic optimization problems, which could be efficiently solved using the Gauss-Seidel update strategy. We tested the reconstruction algorithm on two simulated digital phantoms and two physical phantoms. Our experiments indicated that the TV-H penalty visually and quantitatively outperformed both TV and Hessian penalties.

  7. Structure-adaptive CBCT reconstruction using weighted total variation and Hessian penalties

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Qi; Sun, Nanbo; Sun, Tao; Wang, Jing; Tan, Shan

    2016-01-01

    The exposure of normal tissues to high radiation during cone-beam CT (CBCT) imaging increases the risk of cancer and genetic defects. Statistical iterative algorithms with the total variation (TV) penalty have been widely used for low dose CBCT reconstruction, with state-of-the-art performance in suppressing noise and preserving edges. However, TV is a first-order penalty and sometimes leads to the so-called staircase effect, particularly over regions with smooth intensity transition in the reconstruction images. A second-order penalty known as the Hessian penalty was recently used to replace TV to suppress the staircase effect in CBCT reconstruction at the cost of slightly blurring object edges. In this study, we proposed a new penalty, the TV-H, which combines TV and Hessian penalties for CBCT reconstruction in a structure-adaptive way. The TV-H penalty automatically differentiates the edges, gradual transition and uniform local regions within an image using the voxel gradient, and adaptively weights TV and Hessian according to the local image structures in the reconstruction process. Our proposed penalty retains the benefits of TV, including noise suppression and edge preservation. It also maintains the structures in regions with gradual intensity transition more successfully. A majorization-minimization (MM) approach was designed to optimize the objective energy function constructed with the TV-H penalty. The MM approach employed a quadratic upper bound of the original objective function, and the original optimization problem was changed to a series of quadratic optimization problems, which could be efficiently solved using the Gauss-Seidel update strategy. We tested the reconstruction algorithm on two simulated digital phantoms and two physical phantoms. Our experiments indicated that the TV-H penalty visually and quantitatively outperformed both TV and Hessian penalties. PMID:27699100

  8. Large-insert genome analysis technology detects structural variation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical strains from cystic fibrosis patients.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Hillary S; Gillett, Will; Saenphimmachak, Channakhone; Lim, Regina; Zhou, Yang; Jacobs, Michael A; Chang, Jean; Rohmer, Laurence; D'Argenio, David A; Palmieri, Anthony; Levy, Ruth; Haugen, Eric; Wong, Gane K S; Brittnacher, Mitch J; Burns, Jane L; Miller, Samuel I; Olson, Maynard V; Kaul, Rajinder

    2008-06-01

    Large-insert genome analysis (LIGAN) is a broadly applicable, high-throughput technology designed to characterize genome-scale structural variation. Fosmid paired-end sequences and DNA fingerprints from a query genome are compared to a reference sequence using the Genomic Variation Analysis (GenVal) suite of software tools to pinpoint locations of insertions, deletions, and rearrangements. Fosmids spanning regions that contain new structural variants can then be sequenced. Clonal pairs of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from four cystic fibrosis patients were used to validate the LIGAN technology. Approximately 1.5 Mb of inserted sequences were identified, including 743 kb containing 615 ORFs that are absent from published P. aeruginosa genomes. Six rearrangement breakpoints and 220 kb of deleted sequences were also identified. Our study expands the "genome universe" of P. aeruginosa and validates a technology that complements emerging, short-read sequencing methods that are better suited to characterizing single-nucleotide polymorphisms than structural variation.

  9. Large-insert genome analysis technology detects structural variation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical strains from cystic fibrosis patients.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Hillary S; Gillett, Will; Saenphimmachak, Channakhone; Lim, Regina; Zhou, Yang; Jacobs, Michael A; Chang, Jean; Rohmer, Laurence; D'Argenio, David A; Palmieri, Anthony; Levy, Ruth; Haugen, Eric; Wong, Gane K S; Brittnacher, Mitch J; Burns, Jane L; Miller, Samuel I; Olson, Maynard V; Kaul, Rajinder

    2008-06-01

    Large-insert genome analysis (LIGAN) is a broadly applicable, high-throughput technology designed to characterize genome-scale structural variation. Fosmid paired-end sequences and DNA fingerprints from a query genome are compared to a reference sequence using the Genomic Variation Analysis (GenVal) suite of software tools to pinpoint locations of insertions, deletions, and rearrangements. Fosmids spanning regions that contain new structural variants can then be sequenced. Clonal pairs of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from four cystic fibrosis patients were used to validate the LIGAN technology. Approximately 1.5 Mb of inserted sequences were identified, including 743 kb containing 615 ORFs that are absent from published P. aeruginosa genomes. Six rearrangement breakpoints and 220 kb of deleted sequences were also identified. Our study expands the "genome universe" of P. aeruginosa and validates a technology that complements emerging, short-read sequencing methods that are better suited to characterizing single-nucleotide polymorphisms than structural variation. PMID:18445516

  10. Genetic Variation and Structure in Contrasting Geographic Distributions: Widespread Versus Restricted Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Subgenus Cynomys).

    PubMed

    Castellanos-Morales, Gabriela; Ortega, Jorge; Castillo-Gámez, Reyna A; Sackett, Loren C; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2015-01-01

    Species of restricted distribution are considered more vulnerable to extinction because of low levels of genetic variation relative to widespread taxa. Species of the subgenus Cynomys are an excellent system to compare genetic variation and degree of genetic structure in contrasting geographic distributions. We assessed levels of genetic variation, genetic structure, and genetic differentiation in widespread Cynomys ludovicianus and restricted C. mexicanus using 1997bp from the cytochrome b and control region (n = 223 C. ludovicianus; 77 C. mexicanus), and 10 nuclear microsatellite loci (n = 207 and 78, respectively). Genetic variation for both species was high, and genetic structure in the widespread species was higher than in the restricted species. C. mexicanus showed values of genetic variation, genetic structure, and genetic differentiation similar to C. ludovicianus at smaller geographic scales. Results suggest the presence of at least 2 historical refuges for C. ludovicianus and that the Sierra Madre Occidental represents a barrier to gene flow. Chihuahua and New Mexico possess high levels of genetic diversity and should be protected, while Sonora should be treated as an independent management unit. For C. mexicanus, connectivity among colonies is very important and habitat fragmentation and habitat loss should be mitigated to maintain gene flow.

  11. Genetic Variation and Structure in Contrasting Geographic Distributions: Widespread Versus Restricted Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Subgenus Cynomys).

    PubMed

    Castellanos-Morales, Gabriela; Ortega, Jorge; Castillo-Gámez, Reyna A; Sackett, Loren C; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2015-01-01

    Species of restricted distribution are considered more vulnerable to extinction because of low levels of genetic variation relative to widespread taxa. Species of the subgenus Cynomys are an excellent system to compare genetic variation and degree of genetic structure in contrasting geographic distributions. We assessed levels of genetic variation, genetic structure, and genetic differentiation in widespread Cynomys ludovicianus and restricted C. mexicanus using 1997bp from the cytochrome b and control region (n = 223 C. ludovicianus; 77 C. mexicanus), and 10 nuclear microsatellite loci (n = 207 and 78, respectively). Genetic variation for both species was high, and genetic structure in the widespread species was higher than in the restricted species. C. mexicanus showed values of genetic variation, genetic structure, and genetic differentiation similar to C. ludovicianus at smaller geographic scales. Results suggest the presence of at least 2 historical refuges for C. ludovicianus and that the Sierra Madre Occidental represents a barrier to gene flow. Chihuahua and New Mexico possess high levels of genetic diversity and should be protected, while Sonora should be treated as an independent management unit. For C. mexicanus, connectivity among colonies is very important and habitat fragmentation and habitat loss should be mitigated to maintain gene flow. PMID:26245783

  12. Structural variation along the southwestern Nankai seismogenic zone related to various earthquake phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakanishi, A.; Shimomura, N.; Kodaira, S.; Obana, K.; Takahashi, T.; Yamamoto, Y.; Sato, T.; Kashiwase, K.; Fujimori, H.; Kaneda, Y.; Mochizuki, K.; Kato, A.; Iidaka, T.; Kurashimo, E.; Shinohara, M.; Takeda, T.; Shiomi, K.

    2011-12-01

    In the Nankai Trough subduction seismogenic zone, the Nankai and Tonankai earthquakes had often occurred simultaneously, and caused a great event. In order to reduce a great deal of damage to coastal area from both strong ground motion and tsunami generation, it is necessary to understand rupture synchronization and segmentation of the Nankai megathrust earthquake. For a precise estimate of the rupture area of the Nankai megathrust event, it is important to know the geometry of the subducting Philippine Sea plate and deep subduction structure along the Nankai Trough. To obtain the deep subduction structure of the coseismic rupture area of the Nankai earthquake in 1946 off Shikoku area, the large-scale high-resolution wide-angle seismic study was conducted in 2009 and 2010. In this study, 201 and 200 ocean bottom seismographs were deployed off the Shikoku Island and the Kii channel respectively. A tuned airgun system (7800 cu. in.) shot every 200m along 13 profiles. Airgun shots were also recorded along an onshore seismic profile (prepared by ERI, univ. of Tokyo and NIED) prolonged from the offshore profile off the Kii Peninsula. Long-term observation was conducted for ~9 months by 21 OBSs off the Shikoku area and 20 OBSs off the Kii channel.This research is part of 'Research concerning Interaction Between the Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai Earthquakes' funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Structural images of the overriding plate indicate the old accreted sediments (the Cretaceous-Tertiary accretionary prism) with the velocity greater than 6km/s extend seaward from off the Shikoku to the Hyuga-nada. Moreover, the young accreted sediments become relatively thinner eastward from off the cape Ashizuri to Muroto. These structural variations might be related to the different rupture pattern of the Nankai event. Structural image of the deep low frequency earthquakes and tremors is shown by using the airgun shots recorded at onshore

  13. A new default restraint library for the protein backbone in Phenix: a conformation-dependent geometry goes mainstream

    PubMed Central

    Moriarty, Nigel W.; Tronrud, Dale E.; Adams, Paul D.; Karplus, P. Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Chemical restraints are a fundamental part of crystallographic protein structure refinement. In response to mounting evidence that conventional restraints have shortcomings, it has previously been documented that using backbone restraints that depend on the protein backbone conformation helps to address these shortcomings and improves the performance of refinements [Moriarty et al. (2014 ▸), FEBS J. 281, 4061–4071]. It is important that these improvements be made available to all in the protein crystallography community. Toward this end, a change in the default geometry library used by Phenix is described here. Tests are presented showing that this change will not generate increased numbers of outliers during validation, or deposition in the Protein Data Bank, during the transition period in which some validation tools still use the conventional restraint libraries. PMID:26894545

  14. Variation of the upper mantle velocity structure along the central-south Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Xiaofeng; Sandvol, Eric; Shen, Yang; Gao, Haiying

    2014-05-01

    Variations in the subduction angle of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate has lead to different modes of deformation and volcanism along the Andean active margin. The volcanic gap between the central and southern Andean volcanic zones is correlated with the Pampean flat-slab subduction zone, where the subducting Nazca slab changes from a 30-degree dipping slab beneath the Puna plateau to a horizontal slab beneath the Sierras Pampeanas, and then to a 30-degree dipping slab beneath the south Andes from north to south. The Pampean flat-slab subduction correlates spatially with the track of the Juan Fernandez Ridge, and is associated with the inboard migration of crustal deformation. A major Pliocene delamination event beneath the southern Puna plateau has previously been inferred from geochemical and geological and preliminary geophysical data. The mechanisms for the transition between dipping- and flat-subduction slab and the mountain building process of the central Andean plateau are key issues to understanding the Andean-type orogenic process. We use a new frequency-time normalization approach with non-linear stacking to extract very-broadband (up to 300 second) empirical Green's functions (EGFs) from continuous seismic records. The long-period EGFs provide the deeper depth-sensitivity needed to constrain the mantle structure. The broadband waveform data are from 393 portable stations of four temporary networks: PUNA, SIEMBRA, CHARGE, RAMP, East Sierras Pampeanas, BANJO/SEDA, REFUCA, ANCORP, and 31 permanent stations accessed from both the IRIS DMC and GFZ GEOFON DMC. A finite difference waveform propagation method is used to generate synthetic seismograms from 3-D velocity model. We use 3-D traveltime sensitivity kernels, and traveltime residuals measurement by waveform cross-correlation to directly invert the upper mantle shear-wave velocity structure. The preliminary model shows strong along-strike velocity variations within in the mantle wedge and

  15. Variation of the upper mantle velocity structure along the central-south Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, X.; Sandvol, E. A.; Shen, Y.; Gao, H.; Zhang, Z.

    2013-12-01

    Variations in the subduction angle of the Nazca plate beneath the South American plate has lead to different modes of deformation and volcanism along the Andean active margin. The volcanic gap between the central and southern Andean volcanic zones is correlated with the Pampean flat-slab subduction zone, where the subducting Nazca slab changes from a 30-degree dipping slab beneath the Puna plateau to a horizontal slab beneath the Sierras Pampeanas, and then to a 30-degree dipping slab beneath the south Andes from north to south. The Pampean flat-slab subduction correlates spatially with the track of the Juan Fernandez Ridge, and is associated with the inboard migration of crustal deformation. A major Pliocene delamination event beneath the southern Puna plateau has previously been inferred from geochemical, geological, and preliminary geophysical data. The mechanisms for the transition between dipping- and flat-subduction slab and the mountain building process of the central Andean plateau are key issues to understanding the Andean-type orogenic process. We use a new frequency-time normalization approach to extract very-broadband (up to 300 second) empirical Green's functions (EGFs) from continuous seismic records. The long-period EGFs provide the sensitivity needed to constrain the deep mantle structure. The broadband waveform data are from 393 portable stations of eight temporary networks: PUNA, SIEMBRA, CHARGE, RAMP, East Sierras Pampeanas, BANJO/SEDA, REFUCA, ANCORP, and 31 permanent stations accessed from both the IRIS DMC and GFZ GEOFON DMC. A finite difference wave propagation method is used to generate synthetic seismograms from 3-D velocity model. We use 3-D traveltime sensitivity kernels, and traveltime residuals measured by waveform cross-correlation to directly invert the upper mantle shear-wave velocity structure. The preliminary model shows strong along-strike velocity variations within in the mantle wedge and the subducting NAZCA slab. Low upper

  16. Comparison between spatial-temporal variations in paleoelevation and modern lithospheric structure of the Andean plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garzione, C. N.; Beck, S. L.; Zandt, G.; Bershaw, J.; Auerbach, D.; Smith, J. J.

    2008-12-01

    Modern lithospheric structure of active mountain belts in comparison to paleoelevation reconstructions provides insights into the geodynamic processes that lead to the rise of orogenic plateaus. High altitude stable isotope records of fossil mammal teeth and pedogenic carbonates, collected between 17°S and 24°S, are used to reconstruct spatial and temporal variations in isotopic composition of paleo-surface waters. Both Subandean and Altiplano records are compared to modern rainfall compositions to evaluate climate trends over time that are potentially related to changes in paleoelevation. Prior paleoelevation estimates from the northern Altiplano near Callapa (17.5°S, 3800 m) suggest rapid late Miocene surface uplift of ~2.5 ± 1 km between 10.3 and 6.4 Ma. Based on relatively positive δ18O values of sedimentary carbonates that range in age from 16.3 Ma to 10.3 Ma from sites in both the northern and southern Altiplano, we infer a regional middle Miocene elevation approximately 1.5 to 2.5 km lower than modern elevations. Further evaluation of a late Miocene site near Quehua (20.0°S, 3800 m) in the southern Altiplano will indicate whether there is similar evidence for late Miocene surface uplift that would support the inference that a vast region of lower lithosphere was removed. Present day lithospheric structure, imaged by seismological studies, indicate that the upper mantle beneath the Altiplano and Eastern Cordillera is heterogeneous with large north south variations. The northern Altiplano is underlain by low seismic velocities consistent with little or no lithosphere. The central Altiplano seismic images indicate high velocities consistent with lithospheric mantle. However, the upper mantle beneath the Altiplano-Eastern Cordillera boundary has low seismic velocities strongly suggestive of little if any lithospheric mantle. The southern Altiplano and northern Puna appear to have much less mantle lithosphere and major surface volcanism. Taken together the

  17. Seasonal variations in phytoplankton community structure in the Sanggou, Ailian, and Lidao Bays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Mingli; Zhang, Cuixia; Jiang, Zengjie; Guo, Shujin; Sun, Jun

    2014-12-01

    The seasonal variations in phytoplankton community structure were investigated for the Sanggou Bay (SGB) and the adjacent Ailian Bay (ALB) and Lidao Bay (LDB) in Shandong Peninsula, eastern China. The species composition and cell abundance of phytoplankton in the bay waters in spring (April 2011), summer (August 2011), autumn (October 2011), and winter (January 2012) were examined using the Utermöhl method. A total of 80 taxa of phytoplankton that belong to 39 genera of 3 phyla were identified. These included 64 species of 30 genera in the Phylum Bacillariophyta, 13 species of 8 genera in the Phylum Dinophyta, and 3 species of 1 genus in the Phylum Chrysophyta. During the four seasons, the number of phytoplankton species (43) was the highest in spring, followed by summer and autumn (40), and the lowest number of phytoplankton species (35) was found in winter. Diatoms, especially Paralia sulcata (Ehrenberg) Cleve and Coscinodiscus oculus-iridis Ehrenberg, were predominant in the phytoplankton community throughout the study period, whereas the dominance of dinoflagellate appeared in summer only. The maximum cell abundance of phytoplankton was detected in summer (average 8.08 × 103 cells L-1) whereas their minimum abundance was found in autumn (average 2.60 × 103 cells L-1). The phytoplankton abundance was generally higher in the outer bay than in the inner bay in spring and autumn. In summer, the phytoplankton cells were mainly concentrated in the south of inner SGB, with peak abundance observed along the western coast. In winter, the distribution of phytoplankton cells showed 3 patches, with peak abundance along the western coast as well. On seasonal average, the Shannon-Wiener diversity indices of phytoplankton community ranged from 1.17 to 1.78 (autumn > summer > spring > winter), and the Pielou's evenness indices of phytoplankton ranged from 0.45 to 0.65 (autumn > spring > summer > winter). According to the results of canonical correspondence analysis

  18. Backbone dynamics of barstar: a (15)N NMR relaxation study.

    PubMed

    Sahu, S C; Bhuyan, A K; Majumdar, A; Udgaonkar, J B

    2000-12-01

    Backbone dynamics of uniformly (15)N-labeled barstar have been studied at 32 degrees C, pH 6.7, by using (15)N relaxation data obtained from proton-detected 2D (1)H-(15)N NMR spectroscopy. (15)N spin-lattice relaxation rate constants (R(1)), spin-spin relaxation rate constants (R(2)), and steady-state heteronuclear (1)H-(15)N NOEs have been determined for 69 of the 86 (excluding two prolines and the N-terminal residue) backbone amide (15)N at a magnetic field strength of 14.1 Tesla. The primary relaxation data have been analyzed by using the model-free formalism of molecular dynamics, using both isotropic and axially symmetric diffusion of the molecule, to determine the overall rotational correlation time (tau(m)), the generalized order parameter (S(2)), the effective correlation time for internal motions (tau(e)), and NH exchange broadening contributions (R(ex)) for each residue. As per the axially symmetric diffusion, the ratio of diffusion rates about the unique and perpendicular axes (D( parallel)/D( perpendicular)) is 0.82 +/- 0.03. The two results have only marginal differences. The relaxation data have also been used to map reduced spectral densities for the NH vectors of these residues at three frequencies: 0, omega(H), and omega(N), where omega(H),(N) are proton and nitrogen Larmor frequencies. The value of tau(m) obtained from model-free analysis of the relaxation data is 5.2 ns. The reduced spectral density analysis, however, yields a value of 5.7 ns. The tau(m) determined here is different from that calculated previously from time-resolved fluorescence data (4.1 ns). The order parameter ranges from 0.68 to 0.98, with an average value of 0.85 +/- 0.02. A comparison of the order parameters with the X-ray B-factors for the backbone nitrogens of wild-type barstar does not show any considerable correlation. Model-free analysis of the relaxation data for seven residues required the inclusion of an exchange broadening term, the magnitude of which ranges from 2

  19. Reduced dimensionality (4,3)D-hnCOCANH experiment: an efficient backbone assignment tool for NMR studies of proteins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Dinesh

    2013-09-01

    Sequence specific resonance assignment of proteins forms the basis for variety of structural and functional proteomics studies by NMR. In this context, an efficient standalone method for rapid assignment of backbone ((1)H, (15)N, (13)C(α) and (13)C') resonances of proteins has been presented here. Compared to currently available strategies used for the purpose, the method employs only a single reduced dimensionality experiment--(4,3)D-hnCOCANH and exploits the linear combinations of backbone ((13)C(α) and (13)C') chemical shifts to achieve a dispersion relatively better compared to those of individual chemical shifts (see the text). The resulted increased dispersion of peaks--which is different in sum (CA + CO) and difference (CA - CO) frequency regions--greatly facilitates the analysis of the spectrum by resolving the problems (associated with routine assignment strategies) arising because of degenerate amide (15)N and backbone (13)C chemical shifts. Further, the spectrum provides direct distinction between intra- and inter-residue correlations because of their opposite peak signs. The other beneficial feature of the spectrum is that it provides: (a) multiple unidirectional sequential (i→i + 1) (15)N and (13)C correlations and (b) facile identification of certain specific triplet sequences which serve as check points for mapping the stretches of sequentially connected HSQC cross peaks on to the primary sequence for assigning the resonances sequence specifically. On top of all this, the F₂-F₃ planes of the spectrum corresponding to sum (CA + CO) and difference (CA - CO) chemical shifts enable rapid and unambiguous identification of sequential HSQC peaks through matching their coordinates in these two planes (see the text). Overall, the experiment presented here will serve as an important backbone assignment tool for variety of structural and functional proteomics and drug discovery research programs by NMR involving well behaved small folded proteins (MW

  20. Photomodulation of conformational states. II. Mono- and bicyclic peptides with (4-aminomethyl)phenylazobenzoic acid as backbone constituent.

    PubMed

    Renner, C; Cramer, J; Behrendt, R; Moroder, L

    2000-12-01

    It has been reported that backbone cyclization of octapeptides with the photoresponsive (4-aminomethyl)phenylazobenzoic acid imparts sufficient restraints to induce and stabilize ordered conformations of the peptide backbone in both the cis- and trans-azo-isomers (L. Ulysse, J. Cubillos, and J. Chmielewski, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1995, Vol. 117, pp. 8466-8467). Correspondingly, the active-site octapeptide fragment H-Ala-Cys-Ala-Thr-Cys-Asp-Gly-Phe-OH [134-141] of thioredoxin reductase, with its high preference for a 3(10)-helix turn conformation centered on the Thr-Cys sequence, was backbone cyclized with this azobenzene moiety in the attempt to design a photoresponsive system where the conformational states of the peptide backbone are dictated by the configuration of the azobenzene and can be further modulated by the disulfide bridge. Nuclear magnetic resonance conformational analysis of the monocyclic compound clearly revealed the presence of two conformational families in both the cis- and trans-azo configuration. Of the higher populated conformational families, the structure of the trans-isomer seems like a pretzel-like folding, while the cis-isomer relaxes into a significantly less defined conformational state that does not exhibit any regular structural elements. Further restrictions imparted by disulfide bridging of the peptide moiety leads to an even better defined conformation for the trans-azo-isomer, whereas the cis-isomer can be described as a frustrated system without pronounced energy minima and thus with little conformational preferences. Our findings would suggest that this photoresponsive peptide template may not be of general usefulness for light-induced conformational transitions between two well-defined conformational states at least under the experimental conditions employed, even in the bicyclic form. However, trans --> cis isomerization of the bicyclic peptide is accompanied by a switch from a well-defined conformation to

  1. Chemical characteristics and antithrombotic effect of chondroitin sulfates from sturgeon skull and sturgeon backbone.

    PubMed

    Gui, Meng; Song, Juyi; Zhang, Lu; Wang, Shun; Wu, Ruiyun; Ma, Changwei; Li, Pinglan

    2015-06-01

    Chondroitin sulfates (CSs) were extracted from sturgeon skull and backbone, and their chemical composition, anticoagulant, anti-platelet and thrombolysis activities were evaluated. The average molecular weights of CS from sturgeon skull and backbone were 38.5kDa and 49.2kDa, respectively. Disaccharide analysis indicated that the sturgeon backbone CS was primarily composed of disaccharide monosulfated in position four of the GalNAc (37.8%) and disaccharide monosulfated in position six of the GalNAc (59.6%) while sturgeon skull CS was primarily composed of nonsulfated disaccharide (74.2%). Sturgeon backbone CS showed stronger antithrombotic effect than sturgeon skull CS. Sturgeon backbone CS could significantly prolong activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) and thrombin time (TT), inhibited ADP-induced platelet aggregation and dissolved platelet plasma clots in vitro. The results suggested that sturgeon backbone CS can be explored as a functional food with antithrombotic function.

  2. Genetic variation, population structure and linkage disequilibrium in peach commercial varieties

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] is one of the most economically important fruit crops that, due to its genetic and biological characteristics (small genome size, taxonomic proximity to other important species and short juvenile period), has become a model plant in genomic studies of fruit trees. Our aim was an in-depth study of the extent, distribution and structure of peach genetic variation in North American and European commercial varieties as well as old Spanish varieties and several founders used in the early USA peach breeding programmes. For this we genotyped 224 peach cultivars using 50 SSRs evenly distributed along the 8 linkage groups of the Prunus reference map. Results Genetic distance analysis based on SSRs divided the peach cultivars in three main groups based mainly on their fruit characteristics: melting flesh peaches, melting flesh nectarines and non-melting varieties. Whereas non-melting flesh peaches had a higher number of alleles than melting peaches and nectarines, they were more homozygous. With some exceptions ('Admiral Dewey', 'Early Crawford' and 'Chinese Cling'), the founder US cultivars clustered together with the commercial melting peaches, indicating that their germplasm is well represented in modern cultivars. Population structure analysis showed a similar subdivision of the sample into subpopulations. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis in three unstructured, or barely structured, subpopulations revealed a high level of LD conservation in peach extending up to 13-15 cM. Conclusions Using a much larger set of SSRs, our results confirm previous observations on peach variability and population structure and provide additional tools for breeding and breeders' rights enforcement. SSR data are also used for the estimation of marker mutation rates and allow pedigree inferences, particularly with founder genotypes of the currently grown cultivars, which are useful to understand the evolution of peach as a crop. Results on LD

  3. Marburg virus VP35 can both fully coat the backbone and cap the ends of dsRNA for interferon antagonism.

    PubMed

    Bale, Shridhar; Julien, Jean-Philippe; Bornholdt, Zachary A; Kimberlin, Christopher R; Halfmann, Peter; Zandonatti, Michelle A; Kunert, John; Kroon, Gerard J A; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; MacRae, Ian J; Wilson, Ian A; Saphire, Erica Ollmann

    2012-09-01

    Filoviruses, including Marburg virus (MARV) and Ebola virus (EBOV), cause fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. All filoviruses encode a unique multi-functional protein termed VP35. The C-terminal double-stranded (ds)RNA-binding domain (RBD) of VP35 has been implicated in interferon antagonism and immune evasion. Crystal structures of the VP35 RBD from two ebolaviruses have previously demonstrated that the viral protein caps the ends of dsRNA. However, it is not yet understood how the expanses of dsRNA backbone, between the ends, are masked from immune surveillance during filovirus infection. Here, we report the crystal structure of MARV VP35 RBD bound to dsRNA. In the crystal structure, molecules of dsRNA stack end-to-end to form a pseudo-continuous oligonucleotide. This oligonucleotide is continuously and completely coated along its sugar-phosphate backbone by the MARV VP35 RBD. Analysis of dsRNA binding by dot-blot and isothermal titration calorimetry reveals that multiple copies of MARV VP35 RBD can indeed bind the dsRNA sugar-phosphate backbone in a cooperative manner in solution. Further, MARV VP35 RBD can also cap the ends of the dsRNA in solution, although this arrangement was not captured in crystals. Together, these studies suggest that MARV VP35 can both coat the backbone and cap the ends, and that for MARV, coating of the dsRNA backbone may be an essential mechanism by which dsRNA is masked from backbone-sensing immune surveillance molecules.

  4. Backbones of evolutionary history test biodiversity theory for microbes.

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, James P; Kembel, Steven W; Sharpton, Thomas J

    2015-07-01

    Identifying the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that determine biological diversity is a central question in ecology. In microbial ecology, phylogenetic diversity is an increasingly common and relevant means of quantifying community diversity, particularly given the challenges in defining unambiguous species units from environmental sequence data. We explore patterns of phylogenetic diversity across multiple bacterial communities drawn from different habitats and compare these data to evolutionary trees generated using theoretical models of biodiversity. We have two central findings. First, although on finer scales the empirical trees are highly idiosyncratic, on coarse scales the backbone of these trees is simple and robust, consistent across habitats, and displays bursts of diversification dotted throughout. Second, we find that these data demonstrate a clear departure from the predictions of standard neutral theories of biodiversity and that an alternative family of generalized models provides a qualitatively better description. Together, these results lay the groundwork for a theoretical framework to connect ecological mechanisms to observed phylogenetic patterns in microbial communities.

  5. Transforming plastic surfaces with electrophilic backbones from hydrophobic to hydrophilic.

    PubMed

    Kim, Samuel; Bowen, Raffick A R; Zare, Richard N

    2015-01-28

    We demonstrate a simple nonaqueous reaction scheme for transforming the surface of plastics from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. The chemical modification is achieved by base-catalyzed trans-esterification with polyols. It is permanent, does not release contaminants, and causes no optical or mechanical distortion of the plastic. We present contact angle measurements to show successful modification of several types of plastics including poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and polycarbonate (PC). Its applicability to blood analysis is explored using chemically modified PET blood collection tubes and found to be quite satisfactory. We expect this approach will reduce the cost of manufacturing plastic devices with optimized wettability and can be generalized to other types of plastic materials having an electrophilic linkage as its backbone.

  6. Spatial structure of morphological and neutral genetic variation in Brook Trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kazyak, David C.; Hilderbrand, Robert H.; Keller, Stephen R.; Colaw, Mark C.; Holloway, Amanda E.; Morgan, Raymond P.; King, Timothy L.

    2015-01-01

    Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis exhibit exceptional levels of life history variation, remarkable genetic variability, and fine-scale population structure. In many cases, neighboring populations may be highly differentiated from one another to an extent that is comparable with species-level distinctions in other taxa. Although genetic samples have been collected from hundreds of populations and tens of thousands of individuals, little is known about whether differentiation at neutral markers reflects phenotypic differences among Brook Trout populations. We compared differentiation in morphology and neutral molecular markers among populations from four geographically proximate locations (all within 24 km) to examine how genetic diversity covaries with morphology. We found significant differences among and/or within streams for all three morphological axes examined and identified the source stream of many individuals based on morphology (52.3% classification efficiency). Although molecular and morphological differentiation among streams ranged considerably (mean pairwise FST: 0.023–0.264; pairwise PST: 0.000–0.339), the two measures were not significantly correlated. While in some cases morphological characters appear to have diverged to a greater extent than expected by neutral genetic drift, many traits were conserved to a greater extent than were neutral genetic markers. Thus, while Brook Trout exhibit fine-scale spatial patterns in both morphology and neutral genetic diversity, these types of biological variabilities are being structured by different ecological and evolutionary processes. The relative influences of genetic drift versus selection and phenotypic plasticity in shaping morphology appear to vary among populations occupying nearby streams.

  7. Detecting rare structural variation in evolving microbial populations from new sequence junctions using breseq

    PubMed Central

    Deatherage, Daniel E.; Traverse, Charles C.; Wolf, Lindsey N.; Barrick, Jeffrey E.

    2014-01-01

    New mutations leading to structural variation (SV) in genomes—in the form of mobile element insertions, large deletions, gene duplications, and other chromosomal rearrangements—can play a key role in microbial evolution. Yet, SV is considerably more difficult to predict from short-read genome resequencing data than single-nucleotide substitutions and indels (SN), so it is not yet routinely identified in studies that profile population-level genetic diversity over time in evolution experiments. We implemented an algorithm for detecting polymorphic SV as part of the breseq computational pipeline. This procedure examines split-read alignments, in which the two ends of a single sequencing read match disjoint locations in the reference genome, in order to detect structural variants and estimate their frequencies within a sample. We tested our algorithm using simulated Escherichia coli data and then applied it to 500- and 1000-generation population samples from the Lenski E. coli long-term evolution experiment (LTEE). Knowledge of genes that are targets of selection in the LTEE and mutations present in previously analyzed clonal isolates allowed us to evaluate the accuracy of our procedure. Overall, SV accounted for ~25% of the genetic diversity found in these samples. By profiling rare SV, we were able to identify many cases where alternative mutations in key genes transiently competed within a single population. We also found, unexpectedly, that mutations in two genes that rose to prominence at these early time points always went extinct in the long term. Because it is not limited by the base-calling error rate of the sequencing technology, our approach for identifying rare SV in whole-population samples may have a lower detection limit than similar predictions of SNs in these data sets. We anticipate that this functionality of breseq will be useful for providing a more complete picture of genome dynamics during evolution experiments with haploid microorganisms

  8. Variations in the abundance of fisheries resources and ecosystem structure in the Japan/East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chang Ik; Lee, Jae Bong; Seo, Young Il; Yoon, Sang Cheol; Kim, Suam

    2004-05-01

    Evidence supports the hypothesis that two climatic regime shifts in the North Pacific and the Japan/East Sea, have affected the dynamics of the marine ecosystem and fisheries resources from 1960 to 2000. Changes in both mixed layer depth (MLD) and primary production were detected in the Japan/East Sea after 1976. The 1976 regime shift appears to have caused the biomass replacement with changes in catch production of major exploited fisheries resources, including Pacific saury, Pacific sardine and filefish. Both fisheries yield and fish distribution are reflected in these decadal fluctuations. In the 1960s and 1990s, common squid dominated the catches whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, it was replaced by walleye pollock. In the post-1988 regime shift, the distribution of horse mackerel shifted westward and southward and its distributional overlap with common mackerel decreased. The habitat of Pacific sardine also shifted away from mackerel habitats during this period. To evaluate changes in the organization and structure of the ecosystem in the Japan/East Sea, a mass-balanced model, Ecopath, was employed. Based on two mass-balanced models, representing before (1970-75) and after (1978-84) the 1976 regime shift, the weighted mean trophic level of catch increased from 3.09 before to 3.28 after. Total biomass of species groups in the Japan/East Sea ecosystem increased by 15% and total catch production increased by 48% due to the 1976 regime shift. The largest changes occurred at mid-trophic levels, occupied by fishes and cephalopods. The dominant predatory species shifted from cephalopods to walleye pollock due to the 1976 regime shift. It is concluded that the climatic regime shifts caused changes in the structure of the ecosystem and the roles of major species, as well as, large variations in biomass and production of fisheries resources.

  9. Variations in soil microbial community structure induced by the conversion from paddy fields to upland fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, X.

    2015-12-01

    Land-use conversion is an important factor influencing the carbon and nitrogen gas exchange between land and atmosphere, and soil microorganisms is main driver of soil carbon and nitrogen gas production. Understanding the effect of land-use conversion on soil microbial communities and its influencing factor is important for greenhouse gas emission reduction and soil organic carbon and nitrogen sequestration and stability. The influence of land use conversion on soil process was undergoing a dynamic change, but little research has been done to understand the effect on soil microbial communities during the initial years after land conversion. In the study, the influences of land-use conversion from double rice cropping (RR) to maize-maize (MM) and soybean-peanut (SP) double cropping systems on soil physical and chemical properties, and microbial community structure was studied after two years of the conversion in southern China. The results showed that land use conversion significantly changed soil properties, microbial communities and biomass. Soil pH significantly decreased by 0.50 and 0.52 after conversion to MM and SP, respectively. Soil TN and NH4-N also significantly decreased by 9%-15% and 60% after conversion to upland fields, respectively. The total PLFAs, bacterial, gram-positive bacterial (G+), gram-negative bacterial (G-) and actinomycetic PLFAs decreased significantly. The ng g-1 soil concentration of monounsaturated chain PLFAs 16:1ω7c and 18:1ω9t were significantly higher at paddy fields than at upland fields. No significant differences in soil properties, microbial communities and biomass were found between conversed MM and SP. Our results indicated that land use conversion, not crop type conversed had a significant effects on soil properties and microbial communities at the initial of land conversion. And soil pH was the key factor regulating the variations in soil microbial community structure after land use conversion from paddy to upland fields.

  10. Structure and temporal variation of the phytoplankton of a macrotidal beach from the Amazon coastal zone.

    PubMed

    Matos, Jislene B; Oliveira, Suellen M O DE; Pereira, Luci C C; Costa, Rauquírio M DA

    2016-09-01

    The present study aimed to analyze the structure and the temporal vari