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Sample records for biological molecules multi-quantum

  1. Diversity in Biological Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newbury, H. John

    2010-01-01

    One of the striking characteristics of fundamental biological processes, such as genetic inheritance, development and primary metabolism, is the limited amount of variation in the molecules involved. Natural selective pressures act strongly on these core processes and individuals carrying mutations and producing slightly sub-optimal versions of…

  2. Geochemical Origin of Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassez, Marie-Paule

    2013-04-01

    A model for the geochemical origin of biological molecules is presented. Rocks such as peridotites and basalts, which contain ferromagnesian minerals, evolve in the presence of water. Their hydrolysis is an exothermic reaction which generates heat and a release of H2 and of minerals with modified structures. The hydrogen reacts with the CO2 embedded inside the rock or with the CO2 of the environment to form CO in an hydrothermal process. With the N2 of the environment, and with an activation source arising from cosmic radiation, ferromagnesian rocks might evolve towards the abiotic formation of biological molecules, such as peptide like macromolecules which produce amino acids after acid hydrolysis. The reactions concerned are described. The production of hydrothermal CO is discussed in geological sites containing ferromagnesian silicate minerals and the low intensity of the Earth's magnetic field during Paleoarchaean Era is also discussed. It is concluded that excitation sources arising from cosmic radiation were much more abundant during Paleoarchaean Era and that macromolecular structures of biological relevance might consequently form during Archaean Eon, as a product of the chemical evolution of the rocks and of their mineral contents. This synthesis of abiotically formed biological molecules is consecutively discussed for meteorites and other planets such as Mars. This model for the geochemical origin of biological molecules has first been proposed in 2008 in the context of reactions involving catalysers such as kaolinite [Bassez 2008a] and then presented in conferences and articles [Bassez 2008b, 2009, 2012; Bassez et al. 2009a to 2012b]. BASSEZ M.P. 2008a Synthèse prébiotique dans les conditions hydrothermales, CNRIUT'08, Lyon 29-30/05/2008, Conf. and open access article:http://liris.cnrs.fr/~cnriut08/actes/ 29 mai 11h-12h40. BASSEZ M.P. 2008b Prebiotic synthesis under hydrothermal conditions, ISSOL'08, P2-6, Firenze-Italy, 24-29/08/2008. Poster at the

  3. Variationally optimized basis orbitals for biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozaki, T.; Kino, H.

    2004-12-01

    Numerical atomic basis orbitals are variationally optimized for biological molecules such as proteins, polysaccharides, and deoxyribonucleic acid within a density functional theory. Based on a statistical treatment of results of a fully variational optimization of basis orbitals ( full optimized basis orbitals) for 43 biological model molecules, simple sets of preoptimized basis orbitals classified under the local chemical environment (simple preoptimized basis orbitals) are constructed for hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur atoms, each of which contains double valence plus polarization basis function. For a wide variety of molecules we show that the simple preoptimized orbitals provide well convergent energy and physical quantities comparable to those calculated by the full optimized orbitals, which demonstrates that the simple preoptimized orbitals possess substantial transferability for biological molecules.

  4. Single molecule thermodynamics in biological motors.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Yuichi; Karagiannis, Peter; Nishiyama, Masayoshi; Ishii, Yoshiharu; Yanagida, Toshio

    2007-04-01

    Biological molecular machines use thermal activation energy to carry out various functions. The process of thermal activation has the stochastic nature of output events that can be described according to the laws of thermodynamics. Recently developed single molecule detection techniques have allowed each distinct enzymatic event of single biological machines to be characterized providing clues to the underlying thermodynamics. In this study, the thermodynamic properties in the stepping movement of a biological molecular motor have been examined. A single molecule detection technique was used to measure the stepping movements at various loads and temperatures and a range of thermodynamic parameters associated with the production of each forward and backward step including free energy, enthalpy, entropy and characteristic distance were obtained. The results show that an asymmetry in entropy is a primary factor that controls the direction in which the motor will step. The investigation on single molecule thermodynamics has the potential to reveal dynamic properties underlying the mechanisms of how biological molecular machines work.

  5. Electron Correlation Effects in Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, D. L.; Endres, R.; Kulkarni, R. V.; Labute, M.; Singh, R. R. P.

    2002-07-01

    Allosteric (conformation changing) proteins with transition metal atoms are at the heart of much important biological function (e.g., myoglobin hemoglobin used for storing and transporting oxygen in the bloodstream). In the case of myoglobin and hemoglobin, oxygen ligation to the iron center induces a spin crossover (high to low) coupled to a structural change; apart from the role of Hunds' exchange in the spin crossover, electron interaction effects have been ignored. We argue that the spin crossover/structure change observed in the similarly structured but far simpler cobalt valence tautomer molecules1 necessitates an inclusion of underscreened Kondo like correlations for a complete description of the energetics of the transition and dynamics, e.g., for x-ray absorption data. We carry this study out with Varma-Yafet-Gunnarsson-Schonhammer wave functions, which, in chemistry language, are basis set restricted configuration interaction in character. We briefly review the applicability of such wave functions to the description of the putative Kondo molecules cerocene (Ce[(CH)5]2) and ytterbocene bipyridine (Yb[(CH)5]2(bipy)) and to the problem of electron transfer in biological molecules and organic conductors, where anomalous long range tunneling may occur.

  6. Electron Correlation Effects in Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, D. L.; Endres, R.; Kulkarni, R. V.; Labute, M.; Singh, R. R. P.

    Allosteric (conformation changing) proteins with transition metal atoms are at the heart of much important biological function (e.g., myoglobin hemoglobin used for storing and transporting oxygen in the bloodstream). In the case of myoglobin and hemoglobin, oxygen ligation to the iron center induces a spin crossover (high to low) coupled to a structural change; apart from the role of Hunds' exchange in the spin crossover, electron interaction effects have been ignored. We argue that the spin crossover/structure change observed in the similarly structured but far simpler cobalt valence tautomer molecules1 necessitates an inclusion of underscreened Kondo like correlations for a complete description of the energetics of the transition and dynamics, e.g., for x-ray absorption data. We carry this study out with Varma-Yafet-Gunnarsson-Schonhammer wave functions, which, in chemistry language, are basis set restricted configuration interaction in character. We briefly review the applicability of such wave functions to the description of the putative Kondo molecules cerocene (Ce[(CH)5]2) and ytterbocene bipyridine (Yb[(CH)5]2(bipy)) and to the problem of electron transfer in biological molecules and organic conductors, where anomalous long range tunneling may occur. Research supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Research.

  7. Microfluidics for biological measurements with single-molecule resolution.

    PubMed

    Streets, Aaron M; Huang, Yanyi

    2014-02-01

    Single-molecule approaches in biology have been critical in studies ranging from the examination of physical properties of biological macromolecules to the extraction of genetic information from DNA. The variation intrinsic to many biological processes necessitates measurements with single-molecule resolution in order to accurately recapitulate population distributions. Microfluidic technology has proven to be useful in the facilitation and even enhancement of single-molecule studies because of the precise liquid handling, small volume manipulation, and high throughput capabilities of microfluidic devices. In this review we survey the microfluidic "toolbox" available to the single-molecule specialist and summarize some recent biological applications of single-molecule detection on chip.

  8. Single molecule measurements and biological motors.

    PubMed

    Knight, Alex E; Mashanov, Gregory; Molloy, Justin E

    2005-12-01

    Recent technological advances in lasers and optical detectors have enabled a variety of new, single molecule technologies to be developed. Using intense and highly collimated laser light sources in addition to super-sensitive cameras, the fluorescence of single fluorophores can now be imaged in aqueous solution. Also, laser optical tweezers have enabled the piconewton forces produced by pair of interacting biomolecules to be measured directly. However, for a researcher new to the field to begin to use such techniques in their own research might seem a daunting prospect. Most of the equipment that is in use is custom-built. However, most of the equipment is essence fairly simple and the aim of this article is to provide an entry point to the field for a newcomer. It focuses mainly on those practical aspects which are not particularly well covered in the literature, and aims to provide an overview of the field as a whole with references and web links to more detailed sources elsewhere. Indeed, the opportunity to publish an article such as this on the Internet affords many new opportunities (and more space!) for presenting scientific ideas and information. For example, we have illustrated the nature of optical trap data with an interactive Java simulation; provided links to relevant web sites and technical documents, and included a large number of colour figures and plots. Our group's research focuses on molecular motors, and the bias of this article reflects this. It turns out that molecular motors have been a paradigm (or prototype) for single molecule research and the field has seen a rapid development in the techniques. It is hoped that the methods described here will be broadly applicable to other biological systems.

  9. Computer Modelling of Biological Molecules: Free Resources on the Internet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Neil

    1996-01-01

    Describes a three-dimensional computer modeling system for biological molecules which is suitable for sixth-form teaching. Consists of the modeling program "RasMol" together with structure files of proteins, DNA, and small biological molecules. Describes how the whole system can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.…

  10. Mathematical models in biology: from molecules to life.

    PubMed

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N

    2011-01-01

    A vexing question in the biological sciences is the following: can biological phenotypes be explained with mathematical models of molecules that interact according to physical laws? At the crux of the matter lies the doubt that humans can develop physically faithful mathematical representations of living organisms. We discuss advantages that synthetic biological systems confer that may help us describe life's distinctiveness with tractable mathematics that are grounded on universal laws of thermodynamics and molecular biology.

  11. Mathematical models in biology: from molecules to life

    PubMed Central

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N.

    2011-01-01

    A vexing question in the biological sciences is the following: can biological phenotypes be explained with mathematical models of molecules that interact according to physical laws? At the crux of the matter lies the doubt that humans can develop physically faithful mathematical representations of living organisms. We discuss advantages that synthetic biological systems confer that may help us describe life’s distinctiveness with tractable mathematics that are grounded on universal laws of thermodynamics and molecular biology. PMID:21472998

  12. Computer display and manipulation of biological molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coeckelenbergh, Y.; Macelroy, R. D.; Hart, J.; Rein, R.

    1978-01-01

    This paper describes a computer model that was designed to investigate the conformation of molecules, macromolecules and subsequent complexes. Utilizing an advanced 3-D dynamic computer display system, the model is sufficiently versatile to accommodate a large variety of molecular input and to generate data for multiple purposes such as visual representation of conformational changes, and calculation of conformation and interaction energy. Molecules can be built on the basis of several levels of information. These include the specification of atomic coordinates and connectivities and the grouping of building blocks and duplicated substructures using symmetry rules found in crystals and polymers such as proteins and nucleic acids. Called AIMS (Ames Interactive Molecular modeling System), the model is now being used to study pre-biotic molecular evolution toward life.

  13. First molecules, biological chirality, origin(s) of life.

    PubMed

    Caglioti, Luciano; Micskei, Károly; Pályi, Gyula

    2011-01-01

    Origin(s) of biological chirality appear(s) to be intimately connected to origin(s) of life. Prebiotic evolution toward these important turning points can be traced back to single chiral molecules. These can be small (monomeric) units as amino acids or monosaccharides or oligomers as oligo-RNA type molecules. Earlier speculations about these two kinds of entries to biological chirality are critically reviewed.

  14. Photoactive molecules for applications in molecular imaging and cell biology.

    PubMed

    Shao, Qing; Xing, Bengang

    2010-08-01

    Photoactive technology has proven successful for non-invasive regulation of biological activities and processes in living cells. With the light-directed generation of biomaterials or signals, mechanisms in cell biology can be investigated at the molecular level with spatial and temporal resolution. In this tutorial review, we aim to introduce the important applications of photoactive molecules for elucidating cell biology on aspects of protein engineering, fluorescence labelling, gene regulation and cell physiological functions.

  15. Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Makarov, Dmitrii E.

    2016-01-21

    Coupling of mechanical forces and chemical transformations is central to the biophysics of molecular machines, polymer chemistry, fracture mechanics, tribology, and other disciplines. As a consequence, the same physical principles and theoretical models should be applicable in all of those fields; in fact, similar models have been invoked (and often repeatedly reinvented) to describe, for example, cell adhesion, dry and wet friction, propagation of cracks, and action of molecular motors. This perspective offers a unified view of these phenomena, described in terms of chemical kinetics with rates of elementary steps that are force dependent. The central question is then to describe how the rate of a chemical transformation (and its other measurable properties such as the transition path) depends on the applied force. I will describe physical models used to answer this question and compare them with experimental measurements, which employ single-molecule force spectroscopy and which become increasingly common. Multidimensionality of the underlying molecular energy landscapes and the ensuing frequent misalignment between chemical and mechanical coordinates result in a number of distinct scenarios, each showing a nontrivial force dependence of the reaction rate. I will discuss these scenarios, their commonness (or its lack), and the prospects for their experimental validation. Finally, I will discuss open issues in the field.

  16. Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makarov, Dmitrii E.

    2016-01-01

    Coupling of mechanical forces and chemical transformations is central to the biophysics of molecular machines, polymer chemistry, fracture mechanics, tribology, and other disciplines. As a consequence, the same physical principles and theoretical models should be applicable in all of those fields; in fact, similar models have been invoked (and often repeatedly reinvented) to describe, for example, cell adhesion, dry and wet friction, propagation of cracks, and action of molecular motors. This perspective offers a unified view of these phenomena, described in terms of chemical kinetics with rates of elementary steps that are force dependent. The central question is then to describe how the rate of a chemical transformation (and its other measurable properties such as the transition path) depends on the applied force. I will describe physical models used to answer this question and compare them with experimental measurements, which employ single-molecule force spectroscopy and which become increasingly common. Multidimensionality of the underlying molecular energy landscapes and the ensuing frequent misalignment between chemical and mechanical coordinates result in a number of distinct scenarios, each showing a nontrivial force dependence of the reaction rate. I will discuss these scenarios, their commonness (or its lack), and the prospects for their experimental validation. Finally, I will discuss open issues in the field.

  17. High-resolution waveguide THz spectroscopy of biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Laman, N; Harsha, S Sree; Grischkowsky, D; Melinger, Joseph S

    2008-02-01

    Low-frequency vibrational modes of biological molecules consist of intramolecular modes, which are dependent on the molecule as a whole, as well as intermolecular modes, which arise from hydrogen-bonding interactions and van der Waals forces. Vibrational modes thus contain important information about conformation dynamics of biological molecules, and can also be used for identification purposes. However, conventional Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) often result in broad, overlapping features that are difficult to distinguish. The technique of waveguide THz-TDS has been recently developed, resulting in sharper features. For this technique, an ordered polycrystalline film of the molecule is formed on a metal sample plate. This plate is incorporated into a metal parallel-plate waveguide and probed via waveguide THz-TDS. The planar order of the film reduces the inhomogeneous broadening, and cooling of the samples to 77K reduces the homogenous broadening. This combination results in the line-narrowing of THz vibrational modes, in some cases to an unprecedented degree. Here, this technique has been demonstrated with seven small biological molecules, thymine, deoxycytidine, adenosine, D-glucose, tryptophan, glycine, and L-alanine. The successful demonstration of this technique shows the possibilities and promise for future studies of internal vibrational modes of large biological molecules.

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    How can we complement Caenorhabditis elegans genomics and proteomics with a comprehensive structural and functional annotation of its metabolome? Several lines of evidence indicate that small molecules of largely undetermined structure play important roles in C. elegans biology, including key pathw...

  19. On the biological activity of drug molecules: Busulfan and nabumetone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novak, Igor; Kovač, Branka

    2010-10-01

    The electronic structures of drug molecules busulfan (BSU) and nabumetone (NAB) have been investigated by HeI and HeII UV photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), quantum chemical calculations and virtual docking studies. Their biological activities are discussed in the framework of their electronic and molecular structures, reactivity and drug-enzyme binding.

  20. Photodissociation mass spectrometry: New tools for characterization of biological molecules

    PubMed Central

    Brodbelt, Jennifer S.

    2014-01-01

    Photodissociation mass spectrometry combines the ability to activate and fragment ions using photons with the sensitive detection of the resulting product ions by mass spectrometry. The resulting combination affords a versatile tool for characterization of biological molecules. The scope and breadth of photodissociation mass spectrometry have increased substantially over the past decade as new research groups have entered the field and developed a number of innovative applications that illustrate the ability of photodissociation to produce rich fragmentation patterns, to cleave bonds selectively, and to target specific molecules based on incorporation of chromophores. This review focuses on many of the key developments in photodissociation mass spectrometry over the past decade with a particular emphasis on its applications to biological molecules. PMID:24481009

  1. Pulse requirements for electron diffraction imaging of single biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Hau-Riege, S; London, R; Chapman, H

    2004-10-20

    The pulse requirements for electron diffraction imaging of single biological molecules are calculated. We find that the electron fluence and pulse length requirements imposed by the damage limit and by the need to classify the diffraction patterns according to their angular orientation cannot be achieved with today's electron beam technology. A simple analytical model shows that the pulse requirements cannot be achieved due to beam broadening due to spacecharge effects.

  2. Method for imaging informational biological molecules on a semiconductor substrate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coles, L. Stephen (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    Imaging biological molecules such as DNA at rates several times faster than conventional imaging techniques is carried out using a patterned silicon wafer having nano-machined grooves which hold individual molecular strands and periodically spaced unique bar codes permitting repeatably locating all images. The strands are coaxed into the grooves preferably using gravity and pulsed electric fields which induce electric charge attraction to the molecular strands in the bottom surfaces of the grooves. Differential imaging removes substrate artifacts.

  3. NMR studies of electrostatic potential distribution around biologically important molecules.

    PubMed Central

    Likhtenshtein, G I; Adin, I; Novoselsky, A; Shames, A; Vaisbuch, I; Glaser, R

    1999-01-01

    A new experimental approach has been developed to study the distribution of local electrostatic potential around specific protons in biologically important molecules. The approach is the development of a method denoted as "spin label/spin probe," which was proposed by one of us (. Mol. Biol. 6:498-507). The proposed method is based upon the quantitative measurement of the contribution of differently charged nitroxide probes to the spin lattice relaxation rate (1/T1) of protons in the molecule of interest, followed by calculation of local electrostatic potential using the classical Debye equation. In parallel, the theoretical calculation of potential distribution with the use of the MacSpartan Plus 1.0 program has been performed. Application of the method to solutions of simple organic molecules (aliphatic and aromatic alcohols, aliphatic carboxylates (propionate anion), and protonated ethyl amine and imidazole) allowed us to estimate the effective potential around the molecules under investigation. These were found to be in good agreement with theoretically expected values. This technique was then applied to zwitterionic amino acids bearing neutral and charged side chains (glycine, lysine, histidine, and aspartic acid). The reliability of the general approach is proved by the data presented in this paper. Application of this new methodology can afford insight into the biochemical significance of electrostatic effects in biological systems. PMID:10388770

  4. Complex molecules in galactic dust cores: Biologically interesting molecules and dust chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shen-Yuan

    2000-06-01

    The astronomical study of molecules has been an essential research field since the development of radio astronomy. Presently nearly 120 molecules have been identified in interstellar and circumstellar environments. The complexity of molecular species, and particularly organic molecules, that can be synthesized in the interstellar medium (ISM) leads to one interesting and important subfield in interstellar molecular studies, namely, the search and study for molecules of possible biological interest. Observationally, complex and most saturated molecules are observed exclusively toward compact hot, dense regions, often called ``hot cores'', in molecular clouds. To account for the observed amount of saturated organic molecules, interstellar dust particles play an important role. It has often been suggested that solid state reactions on grain surfaces provide an efficient way to synthesis saturated organic molecules. The objective of this study is to obtain observational data on biologically interesting molecules and to study important complex interstellar molecules. Since hot molecular cores are inherently compact, interferometric observations are therefore an ideal approach to study these sources. All our observations were all made with the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland-Association (BIMA) Array. We conducted the first survey of formic acid (HCOOH) with an interferometric array, and identified at least three sources. HCOOH is found with column densities above 1015 cm-2 in these sources. The correlation between HCOOH and HCOOCH3 emission implies a surface chemistry origin of HCOOH. Details of the results are given in Chapter 2. Meanwhile, we continued to search for molecules of biological interest, namely urea, acetic acid, and glycine. In Chapter 3, the results of column density limits set by our observations are discussed. We have also investigated properties of individual hot molecular cores. It is very important to obtain the physical and chemical properties of these

  5. GaAs/InAs Multi Quantum Well Solar Cell

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-12-01

    4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE GaAs /InAs MULTI QUANTUM WELL SOLAR CELL 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S) Evangelos Koletsios 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME... GaAs /InAs MULTI QUANTUM WELL SOLAR CELL Evangelos Koletsios Lieutenant, Hellenic Navy B.S., Hellenic Naval Academy, 2001 Submitted in...similar, such as a GaAs crystal, which is mainly used in solar cells and it is described as a direct bandgap semiconductor. On the other hand, for

  6. A simple backscattering microscope for fast tracking of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sowa, Yoshiyuki; Steel, Bradley C.; Berry, Richard M.

    2010-11-01

    Recent developments in techniques for observing single molecules under light microscopes have helped reveal the mechanisms by which molecular machines work. A wide range of markers can be used to detect molecules, from single fluorophores to micron sized markers, depending on the research interest. Here, we present a new and simple objective-type backscattering microscope to track gold nanoparticles with nanometer and microsecond resolution. The total noise of our system in a 55 kHz bandwidth is ˜0.6 nm per axis, sufficient to measure molecular movement. We found our backscattering microscopy to be useful not only for in vitro but also for in vivo experiments because of lower background scattering from cells than in conventional dark-field microscopy. We demonstrate the application of this technique to measuring the motion of a biological rotary molecular motor, the bacterial flagellar motor, in live Escherichia coli cells.

  7. Tracking electrons in biological macromolecules: from ensemble to single molecule.

    PubMed

    Tabares, Leandro C; Gupta, Ankur; Aartsma, Thijs J; Canters, Gerard W

    2014-08-06

    Nature utilizes oxido-reductases to cater to the energy demands of most biochemical processes in respiratory species. Oxido-reductases are capable of meeting this challenge by utilizing redox active sites, often containing transition metal ions, which facilitate movement and relocation of electrons/protons to create a potential gradient that is used to energize redox reactions. There has been a consistent struggle by researchers to estimate the electron transfer rate constants in physiologically relevant processes. This review provides a brief background on the measurements of electron transfer rates in biological molecules, in particular Cu-containing enzymes, and highlights the recent advances in monitoring these electron transfer events at the single molecule level or better to say, at the individual event level.

  8. Imaging biological molecules with single molecule sensitivity using near-field scanning optical microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ambrose, W.P.; Affleck, R.L.; Goodwin, P.M.; Keller, R.A.; Martin, J.C.; Petty, J.T.; Schecker, J.A.; Wu, Ming

    1995-12-01

    We have developed a near-field scanning optical microscope with the sensitivity to detect single fluorescent molecules. Our microscope is based on scanning a sample under a tapered and metal coated fiber optic probe and has an illumination-aperture diameter as small as 100 nm. The microscope simultaneously acquires a shear force image with a height noise of {approximately} 1 nm. We have used this system to demonstrate the detection of single molecules of Rhodamine-6G on silica. In this paper, we explore the use of NSOM for investigations of biological molecules. We have prepared and imaged double-stranded DNA intercalated with thiazole orange homodimer (TOTO); single chromosomes stained with propidium iodide; and {beta}-phycoerythrin proteins on dry, borosilicate-glass surfaces. At very dilute coverages, isolated fluorescent spots are observed for the un-intercalated TOTO dye and for {beta}-phycoerythrin. These fluorescent spots exhibit-emission intensity fluctuations and abrupt bleaching transitions, similar to the intensity behavior observed previously for single Rhodamine 6G molecules on silica.

  9. Small molecule screening at Helmholtz Zentrum München - from biology to molecules.

    PubMed

    Schorpp, Kenji; Hadian, Kamyar

    2014-03-01

    Within the last few years the Helmholtz Zentrum München has established several initiatives enabling the translation of basic research results into discovery of novel small molecules that affect pathomechanisms of chronic and complex diseases. Here, one of the main operations is the Assay Development and Screening Platform (ADSP) that has state-of-the-art equipment for compound screening and provides knowledge in a variety of biochemical or cell-based phenotypic assays. In particular, ADSP has a strong focus on complex assays such as high-content screening in stem cells that are likely to provide an innovative approach complementary to biochemical assays for the discovery of novel small molecules modulating key biological processes.

  10. Interferometric observations of large biologically interesting interstellar and cometary molecules

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Lewis E.

    2006-01-01

    Interferometric observations of high-mass regions in interstellar molecular clouds have revealed hot molecular cores that have substantial column densities of large, partly hydrogen-saturated molecules. Many of these molecules are of interest to biology and thus are labeled “biomolecules.” Because the clouds containing these molecules provide the material for star formation, they may provide insight into presolar nebular chemistry, and the biomolecules may provide information about the potential of the associated interstellar chemistry for seeding newly formed planets with prebiotic organic chemistry. In this overview, events are outlined that led to the current interferometric array observations. Clues that connect this interstellar hot core chemistry to the solar system can be found in the cometary detection of methyl formate and the interferometric maps of cometary methanol. Major obstacles to understanding hot core chemistry remain because chemical models are not well developed and interferometric observations have not been very sensitive. Differentiation in the molecular isomers glycolaldehdye, methyl formate, and acetic acid has been observed, but not explained. The extended source structure for certain sugars, aldehydes, and alcohols may require nonthermal formation mechanisms such as shock heating of grains. Major advances in understanding the formation chemistry of hot core species can come from observations with the next generation of sensitive, high-resolution arrays. PMID:16894168

  11. Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications.

    PubMed

    Ritort, F

    2006-08-16

    I review single-molecule experiments (SMEs) in biological physics. Recent technological developments have provided the tools to design and build scientific instruments of high enough sensitivity and precision to manipulate and visualize individual molecules and measure microscopic forces. Using SMEs it is possible to manipulate molecules one at a time and measure distributions describing molecular properties, characterize the kinetics of biomolecular reactions and detect molecular intermediates. SMEs provide additional information about thermodynamics and kinetics of biomolecular processes. This complements information obtained in traditional bulk assays. In SMEs it is also possible to measure small energies and detect large Brownian deviations in biomolecular reactions, thereby offering new methods and systems to scrutinize the basic foundations of statistical mechanics. This review is written at a very introductory level, emphasizing the importance of SMEs to scientists interested in knowing the common playground of ideas and the interdisciplinary topics accessible by these techniques. The review discusses SMEs from an experimental perspective, first exposing the most common experimental methodologies and later presenting various molecular systems where such techniques have been applied. I briefly discuss experimental techniques such as atomic-force microscopy (AFM), laser optical tweezers (LOTs), magnetic tweezers (MTs), biomembrane force probes (BFPs) and single-molecule fluorescence (SMF). I then present several applications of SME to the study of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA and DNA condensation) and proteins (protein-protein interactions, protein folding and molecular motors). Finally, I discuss applications of SMEs to the study of the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of small systems and the experimental verification of fluctuation theorems. I conclude with a discussion of open questions and future perspectives.

  12. Novel nuclear magnetic resonance techniques for studying biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, David Douglas

    2000-06-01

    Over the fifty-five year history of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), considerable progress has been made in the development of techniques for studying the structure, function, and dynamics of biological molecules. The majority of this research has involved the development of multi-dimensional NMR experiments for studying molecules in solution, although in recent years a number of groups have begun to explore NMR methods for studying biological systems in the solid-state. Despite this new effort, a need still exists for the development of techniques that improve sensitivity, maximize information, and take advantage of all the NMR interactions available in biological molecules. In this dissertation, a variety of novel NMR techniques for studying biomolecules are discussed. A method for determining backbone (Φ/Ψ) dihedral angles by comparing experimentally determined 13Ca, chemical-shift anisotropies with theoretical calculations is presented, along with a brief description of the theory behind chemical-shift computation in proteins and peptides. The utility of the Spin-Polarization Induced Nuclear Overhauser Effect (SPINOE) to selectively enhance NMR signals in solution is examined in a variety of systems, as are methods for extracting structural information from cross-relaxation rates that can be measured in SPINOE experiments. Techniques for the production of supercritical and liquid laser-polarized xenon are discussed, as well as the prospects for using optically pumped xenon as a polarizing solvent. In addition, a detailed study of the structure of PrP 89-143 is presented. PrP 89-143 is a 54 residue fragment of the prion proteins which, upon mutation and aggregation, can induce prion diseases in transgenic mice. Whereas the structure of the wild-type PrP 89-143 is a generally unstructured mixture of α-helical and β-sheet conformers in the solid state, the aggregates formed from the PrP 89-143 mutants appear to be mostly β-sheet.

  13. Myricetin: A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities.

    PubMed

    Semwal, Deepak Kumar; Semwal, Ruchi Badoni; Combrinck, Sandra; Viljoen, Alvaro

    2016-02-16

    Myricetin is a common plant-derived flavonoid and is well recognised for its nutraceuticals value. It is one of the key ingredients of various foods and beverages. The compound exhibits a wide range of activities that include strong anti-oxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities. It displays several activities that are related to the central nervous system and numerous studies have suggested that the compound may be beneficial to protect against diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The use of myricetin as a preserving agent to extend the shelf life of foods containing oils and fats is attributed to the compound's ability to protect lipids against oxidation. A detailed search of existing literature revealed that there is currently no comprehensive review available on this important molecule. Hence, the present work includes the history, synthesis, pharmaceutical applications and toxicity studies of myricetin. This report also highlights structure-activity relationships and mechanisms of action for various biological activities.

  14. Chromatography and mass spectrometry of prebiological and biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navale, Vivek

    The detection and identification of prebiological and biological molecules are of importance for understanding chemical and biological processes occurring within the solar system. Molecular mass measurements, peptide mapping, and disulfide bond analysis of enzymes and recombinant proteins are important in the development of therapeutic drugs for human diseases. Separation of hydrocarbons (C1 to C6) and nitriles was achieved by 14%-cyanopropylphenyl-86%- dimethylpolysiloxane (CPPS-DMPS) stationary phase in a narrow bore metal capillary column. The calculation of modeling numbers enabled the differentiation of the C4 hydrocarbon isomers of 1-butene (cis and trans). The modeled retention time values for benzene, toluene, xylene, acetonitrile, propane, and propene nitriles were in good agreement with the measurements. The separation of C2 hydrocarbons (ethane and ethene) from predominantly N2 matrix was demonstrated for the first time on wall coated narrow bore low temperature glassy carbon column. Identification and accurate mass measurements of pepsin, an enzymatic protein with less number of basic amino acid residues were successfully demonstrated by matrix- assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The molecular mass of pepsin was found to be 34,787 Da. Several decomposition products of pepsin, in m/z range of 3,500 to 4,700 were identified. Trypsin, an important endopeptidase enzyme had a mass of 46829.7 Da. Lower mass components with m/z 8047.5, 7776.6, 5722, 5446.2 and 5185 Da were also observed in trypsin spectrum. Both chemokine and growth factor recombinant proteins were mass analyzed as 8848.1 ± 3.5 and 16178.52 ± 4.1 Da, respectively. The accuracy of the measurements was in the range of 0.01 to 0.02%. Reduction and alkylation experiments on the chemokine showed the presence of six cysteines and three disulfide bonds. The two cysteines of the growth factor contained the free sulfhydryl groups and the accurate average mass of the

  15. Progress in Small Molecule and Biologic Therapeutics Targeting Ghrelin Signaling.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Kayleigh R; Darling, Joseph E; Hougland, James L

    2016-01-01

    Ghrelin is a circulating peptide hormone involved in regulation of a wide array of physiological processes. As an endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR1a), ghrelin is responsible for signaling involved in energy homeostasis, including appetite stimulation, glucose metabolism, insulin signaling, and adiposity. Ghrelin has also been implicated in modulation of several neurological processes. Dysregulation of ghrelin signaling is implicated in diseases related to these pathways, including obesity, type II diabetes, and regulation of appetite and body weight in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. Multiple steps in the ghrelin signaling pathway are available for targeting in the development of therapeutics for these diseases. Agonists and antagonists of GHS-R1a have been widely studied and have shown varying levels of effectiveness within ghrelin-related physiological pathways. Agents targeting ghrelin directly, either through depletion of ghrelin levels in circulation or inhibitors of ghrelin O-acyltransferase whose action is required for ghrelin to become biologically active, are receiving increasing attention as potential therapeutic options. We discuss the approaches utilized to target ghrelin signaling and highlight the current challenges toward developing small-molecule agents as potential therapeutics for ghrelin-related diseases.

  16. Myricetin: A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities

    PubMed Central

    Semwal, Deepak Kumar; Semwal, Ruchi Badoni; Combrinck, Sandra; Viljoen, Alvaro

    2016-01-01

    Myricetin is a common plant-derived flavonoid and is well recognised for its nutraceuticals value. It is one of the key ingredients of various foods and beverages. The compound exhibits a wide range of activities that include strong anti-oxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities. It displays several activities that are related to the central nervous system and numerous studies have suggested that the compound may be beneficial to protect against diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The use of myricetin as a preserving agent to extend the shelf life of foods containing oils and fats is attributed to the compound’s ability to protect lipids against oxidation. A detailed search of existing literature revealed that there is currently no comprehensive review available on this important molecule. Hence, the present work includes the history, synthesis, pharmaceutical applications and toxicity studies of myricetin. This report also highlights structure-activity relationships and mechanisms of action for various biological activities. PMID:26891321

  17. Voltammetric detection of biological molecules using chopped carbon fiber.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, Kazuharu; Yugami, Asako; Kojima, Akira

    2010-01-01

    Voltammetric detection of biological molecules was carried out using chopped carbon fibers produced from carbon fiber reinforced plastics that are biocompatible and inexpensive. Because chopped carbon fibers normally are covered with a sizing agent, they are difficult to use as an electrode. However, when the surface of a chopped carbon fiber was treated with ethanol and hydrochloric acid, it became conductive. To evaluate the functioning of chopped carbon fibers, voltammetric measurements of [Fe(CN)(6)](3-) were carried out. Redoxes of FAD, ascorbic acid and NADH as biomolecules were recorded using cyclic voltammetry. The sizing agents used to bundle the fibers were epoxy, polyamide and polyurethane resins. The peak currents were the greatest when using the chopped carbon fibers that were created with epoxy resins. When the electrode response of the chopped carbon fibers was compared with that of a glassy carbon electrode, the peak currents and the reversibility of the electrode reaction were sufficient. Therefore, the chopped carbon fibers will be useful as disposable electrodes for the sensing of biomolecules.

  18. Single molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update

    PubMed Central

    Widom, Julia R.; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A.; Walter, Nils G.

    2015-01-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution, and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. PMID:25212907

  19. Single-molecule tools for enzymology, structural biology, systems biology and nanotechnology: an update.

    PubMed

    Widom, Julia R; Dhakal, Soma; Heinicke, Laurie A; Walter, Nils G

    2014-11-01

    Toxicology is the highly interdisciplinary field studying the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It requires sensitive tools to detect such effects. After their initial implementation during the 1990s, single-molecule fluorescence detection tools were quickly recognized for their potential to contribute greatly to many different areas of scientific inquiry. In the intervening time, technical advances in the field have generated ever-improving spatial and temporal resolution and have enabled the application of single-molecule fluorescence to increasingly complex systems, such as live cells. In this review, we give an overview of the optical components necessary to implement the most common versions of single-molecule fluorescence detection. We then discuss current applications to enzymology and structural studies, systems biology, and nanotechnology, presenting the technical considerations that are unique to each area of study, along with noteworthy recent results. We also highlight future directions that have the potential to revolutionize these areas of study by further exploiting the capabilities of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy.

  20. Sustainable production of biologically active molecules of marine based origin.

    PubMed

    Murray, Patrick M; Moane, Siobhan; Collins, Catherine; Beletskaya, Tanya; Thomas, Olivier P; Duarte, Alysson W F; Nobre, Fernando S; Owoyemi, Ifeloju O; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Sette, L D; McHugh, Edward; Causse, Eric; Pérez-López, Paula; Feijoo, Gumersindo; Moreira, Ma T; Rubiolo, Juan; Leirós, Marta; Botana, Luis M; Pinteus, Susete; Alves, Celso; Horta, André; Pedrosa, Rui; Jeffryes, Clayton; Agathos, Spiros N; Allewaert, Celine; Verween, Annick; Vyverman, Wim; Laptev, Ivan; Sineoky, Sergei; Bisio, Angela; Manconi, Renata; Ledda, Fabio; Marchi, Mario; Pronzato, Roberto; Walsh, Daniel J

    2013-09-25

    The marine environment offers both economic and scientific potential which are relatively untapped from a biotechnological point of view. These environments whilst harsh are ironically fragile and dependent on a harmonious life form balance. Exploitation of natural resources by exhaustive wild harvesting has obvious negative environmental consequences. From a European industry perspective marine organisms are a largely underutilised resource. This is not due to lack of interest but due to a lack of choice the industry faces for cost competitive, sustainable and environmentally conscientious product alternatives. Knowledge of the biotechnological potential of marine organisms together with the development of sustainable systems for their cultivation, processing and utilisation are essential. In 2010, the European Commission recognised this need and funded a collaborative RTD/SME project under the Framework 7-Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) Theme 2 Programme 'Sustainable culture of marine microorganisms, algae and/or invertebrates for high value added products'. The scope of that project entitled 'Sustainable Production of Biologically Active Molecules of Marine Based Origin' (BAMMBO) is outlined. Although the Union is a global leader in many technologies, it faces increasing competition from traditional rivals and emerging economies alike and must therefore improve its innovation performance. For this reason innovation is placed at the heart of a European Horizon 2020 Strategy wherein the challenge is to connect economic performance to eco performance. This article provides a synopsis of the research activities of the BAMMBO project as they fit within the wider scope of sustainable environmentally conscientious marine resource exploitation for high-value biomolecules.

  1. Vibrational self-consistent field calculations for spectroscopy of biological molecules: new algorithmic developments and applications.

    PubMed

    Roy, Tapta Kanchan; Gerber, R Benny

    2013-06-28

    This review describes the vibrational self-consistent field (VSCF) method and its other variants for computing anharmonic vibrational spectroscopy of biological molecules. The superiority and limitations of this algorithm are discussed with examples. The spectroscopic accuracy of the VSCF method is compared with experimental results and other available state-of-the-art algorithms for various biologically important systems. For large biological molecules with many vibrational modes, the scaling of computational effort is investigated. The accuracy of the vibrational spectra of biological molecules using the VSCF approach for different electronic structure methods is also assessed. Finally, a few open problems and challenges in this field are discussed.

  2. Proteoglycans and more – from molecules to biology

    PubMed Central

    Heinegård, Dick

    2009-01-01

    In this article the organization and functional details of the extracellular matrix, with particular focus on cartilage, are described. All tissues contain a set of molecules that are arranged to contribute structural elements. Examples are fibril-forming collagens forming major fibrillar networks in most tissues. The assembly process is regulated by a number of proteins (thrombospondins, LRR-proteins, matrilins and other collagens) that can bind to the collagen molecule and in many cases remain bound to the formed fibre providing additional stability and enhancing networking to other structural networks. One such network is formed by collagen VI molecules assembled to beaded filaments in the matrix catalysed by interactions with small proteoglycans of the LRR-family, which remain bound to the filament providing for interactions via a linker of a matrilin to other matrix constituents like collagen fibres and the large proteoglycans, e.g. aggrecan in cartilage. Aggrecan is contributing an extreme anionic charge density to the extracellular matrix, which by osmotic effects leads to water retention and strive to swelling, resisted by the tensile properties of the collagen fibres. Aggrecan is bound via one end to hyaluronan, including such molecules retained at the cell surface, to form very large molecular entities that interact with other constituents of the matrix, e.g. fibulins that can form their own network. Other important interactions are those with cell surface receptors such as integrins, heparan sulphfate proteoglycans, hyaluronan receptors and others. Many of the molecules with an ability to interact with these receptors can also bind to molecules in the matrix and provide a bridge from the matrix to the cell and induce various responses. In pathology, there is an imbalance in matrix turnover with often excessive proteolytic breakdown. This results in the formation of protein fragments, where cleavage provides information on the active enzyme. Those

  3. Semiconductor Quantum Rods as Single Molecule FluorescentBiological Labels

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, Aihua; Gu, Weiwei; Boussert, Benjamine; Koski, Kristie; Gerion, Daniele; Manna, Liberato; Le Gros, Mark; Larabell, Carolyn; Alivisatos, A. Paul

    2006-05-29

    In recent years, semiconductor quantum dots have beenapplied with great advantage in a wide range of biological imagingapplications. The continuing developments in the synthesis of nanoscalematerials and specifically in the area of colloidal semiconductornanocrystals have created an opportunity to generate a next generation ofbiological labels with complementary or in some cases enhanced propertiescompared to colloidal quantum dots. In this paper, we report thedevelopment of rod shaped semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum rods) asnew fluorescent biological labels. We have engineered biocompatiblequantum rods by surface silanization and have applied them fornon-specific cell tracking as well as specific cellular targeting. Theproperties of quantum rods as demonstrated here are enhanced sensitivityand greater resistance for degradation as compared to quantum dots.Quantum rods have many potential applications as biological labels insituations where their properties offer advantages over quantumdots.

  4. Chemokines as effector and target molecules in vascular biology.

    PubMed

    Sozzani, Silvano; Del Prete, Annalisa; Bonecchi, Raffaella; Locati, Massimo

    2015-08-01

    Chemokines are key mediators of inflammation. In pathological tissues, the main roles of chemokines are to regulate leucocyte accumulation through the activation of oriented cell migration and the activation of limited programs of gene transcription. Through these activities, chemokines exert many crucial functions, including the regulation of angiogenesis. The 'chemokine system' is tightly regulated at several levels, such as the post-transcriptional processing of ligands, the regulation of the expression and function of the receptors and through the expression of molecules known as 'atypical chemokine receptors', proteins that function as chemokine scavenging and presenting molecules. Several experimental evidence obtained in vitro, in animal models and in human studies, has defined a crucial role of chemokines in cardiovascular diseases. An intense area of research is currently exploring the possibility to develop new effective therapeutic strategies through the identification of chemokine receptor antagonists.

  5. Intersubband optical transients in multi-quantum-well structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luc, F.; Rosencher, E.; Bois, Ph.

    1993-05-01

    We show that optical transients due to the intersubband photoionization of the electrons from quantum wells may be observed by inserting a multi-quantum-well structure in the space-charge layer of a Schottky diode. This method provides a direct measurement of the photoionization cross section of a quantum well. The escape probability of the photoexcited electron from the quantum well can thus be unambiguously deduced. Its variation with the electric field may be described by a simple model based on the statistical fluctuation of the quantum-well width.

  6. Ferroelectric tunnel junctions with multi-quantum well structures

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Zhijun; Zhang, Tianjin; Liang, Kun; Qi, Yajun; Wang, Duofa; Wang, Jinzhao; Jiang, Juan

    2014-06-02

    Ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs) with multi-quantum well structures are proposed and the tunneling electroresistance (TER) effect is investigated theoretically. Compared with conventional FTJs with monolayer ferroelectric barriers, FTJs with single-well structures provide TER ratio improvements of one order of magnitude, while FTJs with optimized multi-well structures can enhance this improvement by another order of magnitude. It is believed that the increased resonant tunneling strength combined with appropriate asymmetry in these FTJs contributes to the improvement. These studies may help to fabricate FTJs with large TER ratio experimentally and put them into practice.

  7. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph

    2000-01-01

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  8. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph

    2004-10-12

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  9. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    SciTech Connect

    Antwerp, W.P. van; Mastrototaro, J.J.

    2000-01-04

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  10. SINGLE MOLECULE APPROACHES TO BIOLOGY, 2010 GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JUNE 27-JULY 2, 2010, ITALY

    SciTech Connect

    Professor William Moerner

    2010-07-09

    The 2010 Gordon Conference on Single-Molecule Approaches to Biology focuses on cutting-edge research in single-molecule science. Tremendous technical developments have made it possible to detect, identify, track, and manipulate single biomolecules in an ambient environment or even in a live cell. Single-molecule approaches have changed the way many biological problems are addressed, and new knowledge derived from these approaches continues to emerge. The ability of single-molecule approaches to avoid ensemble averaging and to capture transient intermediates and heterogeneous behavior renders them particularly powerful in elucidating mechanisms of biomolecular machines: what they do, how they work individually, how they work together, and finally, how they work inside live cells. The burgeoning use of single-molecule methods to elucidate biological problems is a highly multidisciplinary pursuit, involving both force- and fluorescence-based methods, the most up-to-date advances in microscopy, innovative biological and chemical approaches, and nanotechnology tools. This conference seeks to bring together top experts in molecular and cell biology with innovators in the measurement and manipulation of single molecules, and will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format and to exchange ideas with leaders in the field. A number of excellent poster presenters will be selected for short oral talks. Topics as diverse as single-molecule sequencing, DNA/RNA/protein interactions, folding machines, cellular biophysics, synthetic biology and bioengineering, force spectroscopy, new method developments, superresolution imaging in cells, and novel probes for single-molecule imaging will be on the program. Additionally, the collegial atmosphere of this Conference, with programmed discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings in the beauty of the Il Ciocco site in

  11. Spatial Simulations in Systems Biology: From Molecules to Cells

    PubMed Central

    Klann, Michael; Koeppl, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Cells are highly organized objects containing millions of molecules. Each biomolecule has a specific shape in order to interact with others in the complex machinery. Spatial dynamics emerge in this system on length and time scales which can not yet be modeled with full atomic detail. This review gives an overview of methods which can be used to simulate the complete cell at least with molecular detail, especially Brownian dynamics simulations. Such simulations require correct implementation of the diffusion-controlled reaction scheme occurring on this level. Implementations and applications of spatial simulations are presented, and finally it is discussed how the atomic level can be included for instance in multi-scale simulation methods. PMID:22837728

  12. Detection of biological molecules using chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph

    2001-01-01

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal. Specifically, the analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix can be a boronic acid moiety.

  13. Cellular and System Biology of Memory: Timing, Molecules, and Beyond.

    PubMed

    Korte, Martin; Schmitz, Dietmar

    2016-04-01

    The storage of information in the mammalian nervous systems is dependent on a delicate balance between change and stability of neuronal networks. The induction and maintenance of processes that lead to changes in synaptic strength to a multistep process which can lead to long-lasting changes, which starts and ends with a highly choreographed and perfectly timed dance of molecules in different cell types of the central nervous system. This is accompanied by synchronization of specific networks, resulting in the generation of characteristic "macroscopic" rhythmic electrical fields, whose characteristic frequencies correspond to certain activity and information-processing states of the brain. Molecular events and macroscopic fields influence each other reciprocally. We review here cellular processes of synaptic plasticity, particularly functional and structural changes, and focus on timing events that are important for the initial memory acquisition, as well as mechanisms of short- and long-term memory storage. Then, we cover the importance of epigenetic events on the long-time range. Furthermore, we consider how brain rhythms at the network level participate in processes of information storage and by what means they participating in it. Finally, we examine memory consolidation at the system level during processes of sleep.

  14. Uncovering the basis for nonideal behavior of biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Rösgen, Jörg; Pettitt, Bernard Montgomery; Bolen, David Wayne

    2004-11-16

    The molecular origin of the nonideal behavior for concentrated binary solutions of biochemical compounds is examined. The difference between activities expressed in the molar and molal conventions can be large. Considering the range from dilute to concentrated, we show that molar activity coefficients can be represented by simple but rigorous equations involving between one and three parameters only. We derive a universal relationship interconverting the scales of molarity and molality without requiring the density of the solution. The equations are developed from first principles using a statistical thermodynamic theory of molar activity coefficients. It is shown how to express activity coefficients in different concentration scales, and the advantages and disadvantages of using certain scales are discussed and compared with the experimental data. Several classes of biochemically relevant compounds, many of which are naturally occurring osmolytes, are discussed: six saccharides (glucose, xylose, maltose, mannose, raffinose, and sucrose), four polyols (glycerol, mannitol, erythritol, and sorbitol), five amino acids (glycine, alanine, sarcosine, glycine betaine, and proline), and urea. Of the 16 solutes, 10 could be described in terms of a single parameter that is due to pure first-order effects (packing, hydration, or space limitation). The remaining six exhibit significant second-order effects (solute-solute interactions) and require two additional parameters, one typically identified with the volume occupied per solute molecule in the pure solute (crystal or liquid) and the other with a self-association constant. The activity coefficients of the osmolytes roughly display the rank order found with respect to their ability to stabilize proteins. These findings are discussed in terms of the physical principles that give rise to the activity coefficients.

  15. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  16. Experimental approaches for addressing fundamental biological questions in living, functioning cells with single molecule precision.

    PubMed

    Lenn, Tchern; Leake, Mark C

    2012-06-01

    In recent years, single molecule experimentation has allowed researchers to observe biological processes at the sensitivity level of single molecules in actual functioning, living cells, thereby allowing us to observe the molecular basis of the key mechanistic processes in question in a very direct way, rather than inferring these from ensemble average data gained from traditional molecular and biochemical techniques. In this short review, we demonstrate the impact that the application of single molecule bioscience experimentation has had on our understanding of various cellular systems and processes, and the potential that this approach has for the future to really address very challenging and fundamental questions in the life sciences.

  17. Reverse pharmacognosy: identifying biological properties for plants by means of their molecule constituents: application to meranzin.

    PubMed

    Do, Quoc-Tuan; Lamy, Cécile; Renimel, Isabelle; Sauvan, Nancy; André, Patrice; Himbert, Franck; Morin-Allory, Luc; Bernard, Philippe

    2007-10-01

    Reverse pharmacognosy aims at finding biological targets for natural compounds by virtual or real screening and identifying natural resources that contain the active molecules. We report herein a study focused on the identification of biological properties of meranzin, a major component isolated from Limnocitrus littoralis (Miq.) Swingle. Selnergy, an IN SILICO biological profiling software, was used to identify putative binding targets of meranzin. Among the 400 screened proteins, 3 targets were selected: COX1, COX2 and PPARgamma. Binding tests were realised for these 3 protein candidates, as well as two negative controls. The predictions made by Selnergy were consistent with the experimental results, meaning that these 3 targets can be modulated by an extract containing this compound in a suitable concentration. These results demonstrate that reverse pharmacognosy and its inverse docking component is a powerful tool to identify biological properties for natural molecules and hence for plants containing these compounds.

  18. A semantic web ontology for small molecules and their biological targets.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jooyoung; Davis, Melissa J; Newman, Andrew F; Ragan, Mark A

    2010-05-24

    A wide range of data on sequences, structures, pathways, and networks of genes and gene products is available for hypothesis testing and discovery in biological and biomedical research. However, data describing the physical, chemical, and biological properties of small molecules have not been well-integrated with these resources. Semantically rich representations of chemical data, combined with Semantic Web technologies, have the potential to enable the integration of small molecule and biomolecular data resources, expanding the scope and power of biomedical and pharmacological research. We employed the Semantic Web technologies Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL) to generate a Small Molecule Ontology (SMO) that represents concepts and provides unique identifiers for biologically relevant properties of small molecules and their interactions with biomolecules, such as proteins. We instanced SMO using data from three public data sources, i.e., DrugBank, PubChem and UniProt, and converted to RDF triples. Evaluation of SMO by use of predetermined competency questions implemented as SPARQL queries demonstrated that data from chemical and biomolecular data sources were effectively represented and that useful knowledge can be extracted. These results illustrate the potential of Semantic Web technologies in chemical, biological, and pharmacological research and in drug discovery.

  19. Unintended consequences? Water molecules at biological and crystallographic protein-protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Mostafa H; Habtemariam, Mesay; Safo, Martin K; Scarsdale, J Neel; Spyrakis, Francesca; Cozzini, Pietro; Mozzarelli, Andrea; Kellogg, Glen E

    2013-12-01

    The importance of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is becoming increasingly appreciated, as these interactions lie at the core of virtually every biological process. Small molecule modulators that target PPIs are under exploration as new therapies. One of the greatest obstacles faced in crystallographically determining the 3D structures of proteins is coaxing the proteins to form "artificial" PPIs that lead to uniform crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction. This work compares interactions formed naturally, i.e., "biological", with those artificially formed under crystallization conditions or "non-biological". In particular, a detailed analysis of water molecules at the interfaces of high-resolution (≤2.30 Å) X-ray crystal structures of protein-protein complexes, where 140 are biological protein-protein complex structures and 112 include non-biological protein-protein interfaces, was carried out using modeling tools based on the HINT forcefield. Surprisingly few and relatively subtle differences were observed between the two types of interfaces: (i) non-biological interfaces are more polar than biological interfaces, yet there is better organized hydrogen bonding at the latter; (ii) biological associations rely more on water-mediated interactions with backbone atoms compared to non-biological associations; (iii) aromatic/planar residues play a larger role in biological associations with respect to water, and (iv) Lys has a particularly large role at non-biological interfaces. A support vector machines (SVMs) classifier using descriptors from this study was devised that was able to correctly classify 84% of the two interface types.

  20. Branching out of single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy: challenges for chemistry and influence on biology.

    PubMed

    Tinnefeld, Philip; Sauer, Markus

    2005-04-29

    In the last decade emerging single-molecule fluorescence-spectroscopy tools have been developed and adapted to analyze individual molecules under various conditions. Single-molecule-sensitive optical techniques are now well established and help to increase our understanding of complex problems in different disciplines ranging from materials science to cell biology. Previous dreams, such as the monitoring of the motility and structural changes of single motor proteins in living cells or the detection of single-copy genes and the determination of their distance from polymerase molecules in transcription factories in the nucleus of a living cell, no longer constitute unsolvable problems. In this Review we demonstrate that single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has become an independent discipline capable of solving problems in molecular biology. We outline the challenges and future prospects for optical single-molecule techniques which can be used in combination with smart labeling strategies to yield quantitative three-dimensional information about the dynamic organization of living cells.

  1. SERS of whole-cell bacteria and trace levels of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzelian, Andrew A.; Sylvia, James M.; Janni, James A.; Clauson, Susan L.; Spencer, Kevin M.

    2002-02-01

    Through its several orders of magnitude signal enhancement over normal Raman, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) provides an opportunity to extend the benefits of vibrational spectroscopy to trace level detection. SERS in particular holds great potential for biological sensing due to the weak Raman bands of water and the reduction in fluorescence backgrounds from interactions of the analyte with the metal SERS substrate. This work examines the trace level detection of biological molecules and oligomers such as amino acids, peptides, and oligonucleotides as well as the detection of whole cell bacteria. The SERS substrates employed are electrochemically roughened gold. The biological molecules show well-resolved and intense bands that are an effective spectral signature; these bands also persist in corresponding oligomeric compounds. Spectra from whole cell bacteria have been obtained for several species, including gram-positive and gram-negative strains. Viable and nonviable cells have also been examined and significant spectral differences are observed. The results show the potential for using SERS as an analytical tool for the identification of biological molecules and microorganisms with applications in biological agent detection, food and water monitoring, and the search for signs of extraterrestrial life.

  2. Suppression and enhancement of non-native molecules within biological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, E. A.; Lockyer, N. P.; Vickerman, J. C.

    2006-07-01

    With the aim of evaluating the potential of SIMS to provide molecular information from small molecules within biological systems, here we investigate the effect of different biological compounds as they act as matrices. The results highlight the fact that the chemical environment of a molecule can have a significant effect on its limit of detection. This has implications for the imaging of drugs and xenobiotics in tissue sections and other biological matrices. A 1:1 mixture of the organic acid 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone and the dipeptide valine-valine demonstrates that almost complete suppression of the [M + H] + ion of one compound can be caused by the presence of a compound of higher proton affinity. The significance of this is highlighted when two similar drug molecules, atropine (a neutral molecule) and ipratropium bromide (a quaternary nitrogen containing salt) are mixed with brain homogenate. The atropine [M + H] + ion shows significant suppression whilst the [M - Br] + of ipratopium bromide is detected at an intensity that can be rationalised by its decreased surface concentration. By investigating the effect of two abundant tissue lipids, cholesterol and dipalmitoylphosphatidyl choline (DPPC), on the atropine [M + H] + signal detected in mixtures with these lipids we see that the DPPC has a strong suppressing effect, which may be attributed to gas phase proton transfer.

  3. Multicomponent redox catalysts for reduction of large biological molecules using molecular hydrogen as the reductant

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, S.; Simon, R.A.; Mallouk, T.E.; Wrighton, M.S.

    1988-03-30

    One-electron reduction of the large biological molecules horse heart cytochrome c, sperm whale myoglobin, and horseradish peroxidase using H/sub 2/ as the reductant can be catalyzed by two-component, high surface area heterogeneous catalysts. The catalysts can be prepared by first functionalizing high surface area SiO/sub 2/ with a polycationic polymer into which is dispersed MCl/sub 4//sup 2 -/ (M = Pd, Pt). Reduction with H/sub 2/ yields elemental Pd or Pt dispersed in the polymer. The particles are finally functionalized with a redox polymer derived from hydrolysis of Si(OR)/sub 3/ groups of an N,N'-dialkyl-4,4'-bipyridinium- or from a cobalticenium-based monomer. The two components of the heterogeneous catalysts are the buried noble metal capable of activating the H/sub 2/ and the redox polymer, which can equilibrate both with the noble metal and with the large biological molecule. Reduction of the large biological molecules in aqueous solution can be effected at room temperature and 1 atm H/sub 2/ using the catalysts under conditions where the biological materials would not be reducible with H/sub 2/ alone or when the noble metal alone would be used as the catalyst.

  4. Modulation of Host Biology by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing Signal Molecules: Messengers or Traitors.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi-Chia; Chan, Kok-Gan; Chang, Chien-Yi

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial cells sense their population density and respond accordingly by producing various signal molecules to the surrounding environments thereby trigger a plethora of gene expression. This regulatory pathway is termed quorum sensing (QS). Plenty of bacterial virulence factors are controlled by QS or QS-mediated regulatory systems and QS signal molecules (QSSMs) play crucial roles in bacterial signaling transduction. Moreover, bacterial QSSMs were shown to interfere with host cell signaling and modulate host immune responses. QSSMs not only regulate the expression of bacterial virulence factors but themselves act in the modulation of host biology that can be potential therapeutic targets.

  5. Modulation of Host Biology by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing Signal Molecules: Messengers or Traitors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yi-Chia; Chan, Kok-Gan; Chang, Chien-Yi

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial cells sense their population density and respond accordingly by producing various signal molecules to the surrounding environments thereby trigger a plethora of gene expression. This regulatory pathway is termed quorum sensing (QS). Plenty of bacterial virulence factors are controlled by QS or QS-mediated regulatory systems and QS signal molecules (QSSMs) play crucial roles in bacterial signaling transduction. Moreover, bacterial QSSMs were shown to interfere with host cell signaling and modulate host immune responses. QSSMs not only regulate the expression of bacterial virulence factors but themselves act in the modulation of host biology that can be potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26617576

  6. Single-molecule FRET and crosslinking studies in structural biology enabled by noncanonical amino acids.

    PubMed

    Tyagi, Swati; Lemke, Edward A

    2015-06-01

    Contemporary structural biology research promises more than just static snap-shots of molecular machineries. This goal is not just facilitated by combining different structural biology techniques, but also by new tools from the field of protein and genetic engineering, as well as from chemistry. Genetic encoding of noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) through codon-suppression technology provides an excellent opportunity to probe biomolecules using different structural biology methods. In this article, we review the applications of ncAA incorporation into proteins for determining structural information through various techniques with the main focus on crosslinking mass spectrometry and single-molecule FRET-based techniques. Furthermore, advances and limitations of the incorporation of multiple ncAAs are discussed, with respect to design of an ideal host organism for modern and integrative structural biology research.

  7. Pragmatic turn in biology: From biological molecules to genetic content operators

    PubMed Central

    Witzany, Guenther

    2014-01-01

    Erwin Schrödinger‘s question “What is life?” received the answer for decades of “physics + chemistry”. The concepts of Alain Turing and John von Neumann introduced a third term: “information”. This led to the understanding of nucleic acid sequences as a natural code. Manfred Eigen adapted the concept of Hammings “sequence space”. Similar to Hilbert space, in which every ontological entity could be defined by an unequivocal point in a mathematical axiomatic system, in the abstract ”sequence space” concept each point represents a unique syntactic structure and the value of their separation represents their dissimilarity. In this concept molecular features of the genetic code evolve by means of self-organisation of matter. Biological selection determines the fittest types among varieties of replication errors of quasi-species. The quasi-species concept dominated evolution theory for many decades. In contrast to this, recent empirical data on the evolution of DNA and its forerunners, the RNA-world and viruses indicate cooperative agent-based interactions. Group behaviour of quasi-species consortia constitute de novo and arrange available genetic content for adaptational purposes within real-life contexts that determine epigenetic markings. This review focuses on some fundamental changes in biology, discarding its traditional status as a subdiscipline of physics and chemistry. PMID:25225596

  8. Pragmatic turn in biology: From biological molecules to genetic content operators.

    PubMed

    Witzany, Guenther

    2014-08-26

    Erwin Schrödinger's question "What is life?" received the answer for decades of "physics + chemistry". The concepts of Alain Turing and John von Neumann introduced a third term: "information". This led to the understanding of nucleic acid sequences as a natural code. Manfred Eigen adapted the concept of Hammings "sequence space". Similar to Hilbert space, in which every ontological entity could be defined by an unequivocal point in a mathematical axiomatic system, in the abstract "sequence space" concept each point represents a unique syntactic structure and the value of their separation represents their dissimilarity. In this concept molecular features of the genetic code evolve by means of self-organisation of matter. Biological selection determines the fittest types among varieties of replication errors of quasi-species. The quasi-species concept dominated evolution theory for many decades. In contrast to this, recent empirical data on the evolution of DNA and its forerunners, the RNA-world and viruses indicate cooperative agent-based interactions. Group behaviour of quasi-species consortia constitute de novo and arrange available genetic content for adaptational purposes within real-life contexts that determine epigenetic markings. This review focuses on some fundamental changes in biology, discarding its traditional status as a subdiscipline of physics and chemistry.

  9. The corrosion inhibition of iron and aluminum by various naturally occurring biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    McCafferty, E.; Hansen, D.C.

    1995-12-31

    Biological polymers that exhibit a strong affinity for metal surfaces are increasingly becoming the focus of research toward the development of environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitors. This paper deals with the use of various naturally occurring organic molecules as corrosion inhibitors for iron or aluminum. Among the organic molecules considered are catecholate and hydroxamate siderophores isolated from bacteria, the adhesive protein from the blue mussel Mytilus edulis L, and caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. FTIR analysis, anodic polarization curves, and AC impedance measurements were used to determine the adsorption and effectiveness of the various organic molecules as corrosion inhibitors. Parabactin, a catecholate siderophore, was effective in inhibiting both the corrosion of iron in hydrochloric acid and the pitting of aluminum in 0.1 M sodium chloride. The adhesive protein from the blue mussel was also effective in inhibiting the pitting of aluminum.

  10. The Design of a Molecular Assembly Line Based on Biological Molecules

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-06-01

    and will demonstrate how one can construct a purely synthetic analogue of a polyketide synthase . 15. SUBJECT TERMS 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF...scaffold in programmed assembly and molecular electronics. It is based on the principles of the biological molecules polyketide synthase and kinesin, and in...stereoselective centers) with any reasonable yield, not including the R&D and process development time. Figure 1.6 shows how a polyketide synthase

  11. Graphene as a transparent conductive support for studying biological molecules by transmission electron microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Nair, R. R.; Anissimova, S.; Novoselov, K. S.; Blake, P.; Blake, J. R.; Geim, A. K.; Zan, R.; Bangert, U.; Golovanov, A. P.; Morozov, S. V.; Latychevskaia, T.

    2010-10-11

    We demonstrate the application of graphene as a support for imaging individual biological molecules in transmission electron microscope (TEM). A simple procedure to produce free-standing graphene membranes has been designed. Such membranes are extremely robust and can support practically any submicrometer object. Tobacco mosaic virus has been deposited on graphene samples and observed in a TEM. High contrast has been achieved even though no staining has been applied.

  12. Structure-property relationship of quinuclidinium surfactants--Towards multifunctional biologically active molecules.

    PubMed

    Skočibušić, Mirjana; Odžak, Renata; Štefanić, Zoran; Križić, Ivana; Krišto, Lucija; Jović, Ozren; Hrenar, Tomica; Primožič, Ines; Jurašin, Darija

    2016-04-01

    Motivated by diverse biological and pharmacological activity of quinuclidine and oxime compounds we have synthesized and characterized novel class of surfactants, 3-hydroxyimino quinuclidinium bromides with different alkyl chains lengths (CnQNOH; n=12, 14 and 16). The incorporation of non conventional hydroxyimino quinuclidinium headgroup and variation in alkyl chain length affects hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance of surfactant molecule and thereby physicochemical properties important for its application. Therefore, newly synthesized surfactants were characterized by the combination of different experimental techniques: X-ray analysis, potentiometry, electrical conductivity, surface tension and dynamic light scattering measurements, as well as antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Comprehensive investigation of CnQNOH surfactants enabled insight into structure-property relationship i.e., way in which the arrangement of surfactant molecules in the crystal phase correlates with their solution behavior and biologically activity. The synthesized CnQNOH surfactants exhibited high adsorption efficiency and relatively low critical micelle concentrations. In addition, all investigated compounds showed very potent and promising activity against Gram-positive and clinically relevant Gram-negative bacterial strains compared to conventional antimicrobial agents: tetracycline and gentamicin. The overall results indicate that bicyclic headgroup with oxime moiety, which affects both hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity of CnQNOH molecule in addition to enabling hydrogen bonding, has dominant effect on crystal packing and physicochemical properties. The unique structural features of cationic surfactants with hydroxyimino quinuclidine headgroup along with diverse biological activity have made them promising structures in novel drug discovery. Obtained fundamental understanding how combination of different functionalities in a single surfactant molecule affects its physicochemical

  13. In vivo diffusion MRS investigation of non-water molecules in biological tissues.

    PubMed

    Cao, Peng; Wu, Ed X

    2017-03-01

    Diffusion MRS of non-water molecules offers great potential in directly revealing various tissue microstructures and physiology at both cellular and subcellular levels. In brain, (1) H diffusion MRS has been demonstrated as a new tool for probing normal tissue microstructures and their pathological changes. In skeletal muscle, (1) H diffusion MRS could characterize slow and restricted intramyocellular lipid diffusion, providing a sensitive marker for metabolic alterations, while (31) P diffusion MRS can measure ATP and PCr diffusion, which may reflect the capacity of cellular energy transport, complementing the information from frequently used (31) P MRS in muscle. In intervertebral disk, (1) H diffusion MRS can directly monitor extracellular matrix integrity by quantifying the mobility of macromolecules such as proteoglycans and collagens. In tumor tissue, (13) C diffusion MRS could probe intracellular glycolytic metabolism, while (1) H diffusion MRS may separate the spectrally overlapped lactate and lipid resonances. In this review, recent diffusion MRS studies of these biologically relevant non-water molecules under normal and diseased conditions will be presented. Technical considerations for diffusion MRS experiments will be discussed. With advances in MRI hardware and diffusion methodology, diffusion MRS of non-water molecules is expected to provide increasingly valuable and biologically specific information on tissue microstructures and physiology, complementing the traditional diffusion MRI of small and ubiquitous water molecules. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Shaping Small Bioactive Molecules to Untangle Their Biological Function: A Focus on Fluorescent Plant Hormones.

    PubMed

    Lace, Beatrice; Prandi, Cristina

    2016-08-01

    Modern biology overlaps with chemistry in explaining the structure and function of all cellular processes at the molecular level. Plant hormone research is perfectly located at the interface between these two disciplines, taking advantage of synthetic and computational chemistry as a tool to decipher the complex biological mechanisms regulating the action of plant hormones. These small signaling molecules regulate a wide range of developmental processes, adapting plant growth to ever changing environmental conditions. The synthesis of small bioactive molecules mimicking the activity of endogenous hormones allows us to unveil many molecular features of their functioning, giving rise to a new field, plant chemical biology. In this framework, fluorescence labeling of plant hormones is emerging as a successful strategy to track the fate of these challenging molecules inside living organisms. Thanks to the increasing availability of new fluorescent probes as well as advanced and innovative imaging technologies, we are now in a position to investigate many of the dynamic mechanisms through which plant hormones exert their action. Such a deep and detailed comprehension is mandatory for the development of new green technologies for practical applications. In this review, we summarize the results obtained so far concerning the fluorescent labeling of plant hormones, highlighting the basic steps leading to the design and synthesis of these compelling molecular tools and their applications.

  15. Vibrational spectroscopy and the development of new force fields for biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Gerber, R B; Chaban, G M; Gregurick, S K; Brauer, B

    2003-03-01

    The role of vibrational spectroscopy in the testing of force fields of biological molecules and in the determination of improved force fields is discussed. Analysis shows that quantitative testing of potential energy surfaces by comparison with spectroscopic data generally requires calculations that include anharmonic couplings between different vibrational modes. Applications of the vibrational self-consistent field (VSCF) method to calculations of spectroscopy of biological molecules are presented, and comparison with experiment is used to determine the merits and flaws of various types of force fields. The main conclusions include the following: (1) Potential surfaces from ab initio methods at the level of MP2 yield very satisfactory agreement with spectroscopic experimental data. (2) By the test of spectroscopy, ab initio force fields are considerably superior to the standard versions of force fields such as AMBER or OPLS. (3) Much of the spectroscopic weakness of AMBER and OPLS is due to incorrect description of anharmonic coupling between different vibrational modes. (4) Potential surfaces of the QM/MM (Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics) type, and potentials based on improved versions of semi-empirical electronic structure theory, which are feasible for large biological molecules, yield encouraging results by the test of vibrational spectroscopy.

  16. Transport and Stability of Biological Molecules in Surfactant-Alginate Composite Hydrogels

    PubMed Central

    Stoppel, Whitney L.; White, Joseph C.; Horava, Sarena D.; Bhatia, Surita R.; Roberts, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Obstructed transport of biological molecules can result in improper release of pharmaceuticals or biologics from biomedical devices. Recent studies have shown that nonionic surfactants, such as Pluronic® F68 (F68), positively alter biomaterial properties, such as mesh size and microcapsule diameter. To further understand the effect of F68 (incorporated at concentrations well above the critical micelle concentration (CMC)) in traditional biomaterials, the transport properties of BSA and riboflavin were investigated in F68-alginate composite hydrogels. Results indicate that small molecule transport (represented by riboflavin) was not significantly hindered by F68 in homogeneously crosslinked hydrogels (up to an 11% decrease in loading capacity and 14% increase in effective diffusion coefficient, Deff), while protein transport in homogeneously crosslinked hydrogels (represented by BSA) was significantly affected (up to a 43% decrease in loading capacity and 40% increase in Deff). For inhomogeneously crosslinked hydrogels (CaCl2 or BaCl2 gelation), the Deff increased up to 50% and 83% for small molecule and proteins, respectively. Variation in the alginate gelation method was shown to affect transport through measurable changes in swelling ratio (30% decrease) and observable changes in crosslinking structure as well as up to a 3.6 and 11.8-fold difference in Deff for riboflavin and BSA, respectively. The change in protein transport properties is a product of mesh size restrictions (10–25 nm estimated by mechanical properties) and BSA-F68 interaction (DLS). Taken as a whole, these results show that incorporation of a nonionic surfactant at concentrations above the CMC can affect device functionality by impeding the transport of large biological molecules. PMID:21798381

  17. Bioturbo similarity searching: combining chemical and biological similarity to discover structurally diverse bioactive molecules.

    PubMed

    Wassermann, Anne Mai; Lounkine, Eugen; Glick, Meir

    2013-03-25

    Virtual screening using bioactivity profiles has become an integral part of currently applied hit finding methods in pharmaceutical industry. However, a significant drawback of this approach is that it is only applicable to compounds that have been biologically tested in the past and have sufficient activity annotations for meaningful profile comparisons. Although bioactivity data generated in pharmaceutical institutions are growing on an unprecedented scale, the number of biologically annotated compounds still covers only a minuscule fraction of chemical space. For a newly synthesized compound or an isolated natural product to be biologically characterized across multiple assays, it may take a considerable amount of time. Consequently, this chemical matter will not be included in virtual screening campaigns based on bioactivity profiles. To overcome this problem, we herein introduce bioturbo similarity searching that uses chemical similarity to map molecules without biological annotations into bioactivity space and then searches for biologically similar compounds in this reference system. In benchmark calculations on primary screening data, we demonstrate that our approach generally achieves higher hit rates and identifies structurally more diverse compounds than approaches using chemical information only. Furthermore, our method is able to discover hits with novel modes of inhibition that traditional 2D and 3D similarity approaches are unlikely to discover. Test calculations on a set of natural products reveal the practical utility of the approach for identifying novel and synthetically more accessible chemical matter.

  18. Engineering Bacteria to Search for Specific Concentrations of Molecules by a Systematic Synthetic Biology Design Method

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria navigate environments full of various chemicals to seek favorable places for survival by controlling the flagella’s rotation using a complicated signal transduction pathway. By influencing the pathway, bacteria can be engineered to search for specific molecules, which has great potential for application to biomedicine and bioremediation. In this study, genetic circuits were constructed to make bacteria search for a specific molecule at particular concentrations in their environment through a synthetic biology method. In addition, by replacing the “brake component” in the synthetic circuit with some specific sensitivities, the bacteria can be engineered to locate areas containing specific concentrations of the molecule. Measured by the swarm assay qualitatively and microfluidic techniques quantitatively, the characteristics of each “brake component” were identified and represented by a mathematical model. Furthermore, we established another mathematical model to anticipate the characteristics of the “brake component”. Based on this model, an abundant component library can be established to provide adequate component selection for different searching conditions without identifying all components individually. Finally, a systematic design procedure was proposed. Following this systematic procedure, one can design a genetic circuit for bacteria to rapidly search for and locate different concentrations of particular molecules by selecting the most adequate “brake component” in the library. Moreover, following simple procedures, one can also establish an exclusive component library suitable for other cultivated environments, promoter systems, or bacterial strains. PMID:27096615

  19. Application of terahertz spectroscopy for characterization of biologically active organic molecules in natural environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karaliūnas, Mindaugas; Jakštas, Vytautas; Nasser, Kinan E.; Venckevičius, Rimvydas; Urbanowicz, Andrzej; Kašalynas, Irmantas; Valušis, Gintaras

    2016-09-01

    In this work, a comparative research of biologically active organic molecules in its natural environment using the terahertz (THz) time domain spectroscopy (TDS) and Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTS) systems is carried out. Absorption coefficient and refractive index of Nicotiana tabacum L. leaves containing nicotine, Cannabis sativa L. leaves containing tetrahydrocannabinol, and Humulu lupulus L. leaves containing α-acids, active organic molecules that obtain in natural environment, were measured in broad frequency range from 0.1 to 13 THz at room temperature. In the spectra of absorption coefficient the features were found to be unique for N. tabacum, C. sativa and H. lupulus. Moreover, those features can be exploited for identification of C. sativa sex and N. tabacum origin. The refractive index can be also used to characterize different species.

  20. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with precise calculations. Thus the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule has become a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), will be presented in this paper. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The accuracy of structure determination of the inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  1. Ab Initio Calculations of the Electronic Structures and Biological Functions of Protein Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-04-01

    The self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) calculation method reduces the computational effort from M3 to about M1 (M is the number of atoms in the system) with unchanged calculation precision. So the ab initio, all-electron calculation of the electronic structure and biological function of protein molecule becomes a reality, which will promote new proteomics considerably. The calculated results of two real protein molecules, the trypsin inhibitor from the seeds of squash Cucurbita maxima (CMTI-I, 436 atoms) and the Ascaris trypsin inhibitor (912 atoms, two three-dimensional structures), are presented. The reactive sites of the inhibitors are determined and explained. The precision of structure determination of inhibitors are tested theoretically.

  2. Collective vibrational modes in biological molecules investigated by terahertz time-domain spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Walther, M; Plochocka, P; Fischer, B; Helm, H; Uhd Jepsen, P

    2002-01-01

    We present well-resolved absorption spectra of biological molecules in the far-IR (FIR) spectral region recorded by terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS). As an illustrative example we discuss the absorption spectra of benzoic acid, its monosubstitutes salicylic acid (2-hydroxy-benzoic acid), 3- and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) in the spectral region between 18 and 150 cm(-1). The spectra exhibit distinct features originating from low-frequency vibrational modes caused by intra- or intermolecular collective motion and lattice modes. Due to the collective origin of the observed modes the absorption spectra are highly sensitive to the overall structure and configuration of the molecules, as well as their environment. The THz-TDS procedure can provide a direct fingerprint of the molecular structure or conformational state of a compound.

  3. An Unbiased Cell Morphology–Based Screen for New, Biologically Active Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Masahiro; Bateman, Raynard; Rauh, Daniel; Vaisberg, Eugeni; Ramachandani, Shyam; Zhang, Chao; Hansen, Kirk C; Burlingame, Alma L; Trautman, Jay K; Adams, Cynthia L

    2005-01-01

    We have implemented an unbiased cell morphology–based screen to identify small-molecule modulators of cellular processes using the Cytometrix (TM) automated imaging and analysis system. This assay format provides unbiased analysis of morphological effects induced by small molecules by capturing phenotypic readouts of most known classes of pharmacological agents and has the potential to read out pathways for which little is known. Four human-cancer cell lines and one noncancerous primary cell type were treated with 107 small molecules comprising four different protein kinase–inhibitor scaffolds. Cellular phenotypes induced by each compound were quantified by multivariate statistical analysis of the morphology, staining intensity, and spatial attributes of the cellular nuclei, microtubules, and Golgi compartments. Principal component analysis was used to identify inhibitors of cellular components not targeted by known protein kinase inhibitors. Here we focus on a hydroxyl-substituted analog (hydroxy-PP) of the known Src-family kinase inhibitor PP2 because it induced cell-specific morphological features distinct from all known kinase inhibitors in the collection. We used affinity purification to identify a target of hydroxy-PP, carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1), a short-chain dehydrogenase-reductase. We solved the X-ray crystal structure of the CBR1/hydroxy-PP complex to 1.24 Å resolution. Structure-based design of more potent and selective CBR1 inhibitors provided probes for analyzing the biological function of CBR1 in A549 cells. These studies revealed a previously unknown function for CBR1 in serum-withdrawal-induced apoptosis. Further studies indicate CBR1 inhibitors may enhance the effectiveness of anticancer anthracyclines. Morphology-based screening of diverse cancer cell types has provided a method for discovering potent new small-molecule probes for cell biological studies and anticancer drug candidates. PMID:15799708

  4. Single ionization and capture cross sections from biological molecules by bare projectile impact*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinto, Michele A.; Monti, Juan M.; Montenegro, Pablo D.; Fojón, Omar A.; Champion, Christophe; Rivarola, Roberto D.

    2017-02-01

    We report calculations on single differential and total cross sections for single ionization and single electron capture from biological targets, namely, vapor water and DNA nucleobasese molecules, by bare projectile impact: H+, He2+, and C6+. They are performed within the Continuum Distorted Wave - Eikonal Initial State approximation and compared to several existing experimental data. This study is oriented to the obtention of a reliable set of theoretical data to be used as input in a Monte Carlo code destined to micro- and nano- dosimetry.

  5. Concepts of neuroendocrine cardiology and neuroendocrine immunology, chemistry and biology of signal molecules.

    PubMed

    Galoyan, Armen

    2010-12-01

    Discovery of neurosecretion of cardioactive neurohormones produced by hypothalamic nuclei (NSO and NPV), as well as the biosynthesis of several immunomodulators (signal molecules of the neuroendocrine immune system of brain), deciphering of their chemical structure and study of their biological properties led to the foundation of two important trends of neurobiology: neuroendocrine immunology and cardiology. Hormone formation by atrium ganglionary nerve cells and auriculum establishment of neurohumoral interactions between hypothalamic and atrium neurosecretion indicated the existence of the system neuroendocrine hypothalamus--endocrine heart. Study of their biological properties promoted creation of powerful neurohormonal preparations for the treatment of immune, cardio-vascular, neurodegenerative, infectious and tumor diseases. Concepts suggested by us on neuroendocrine cardiology and immunology, create large perspectives for development of the theory and its implementation in medicine.

  6. Electron Momentum Spectroscopy and Its Applications to Molecules of Biological Interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Feng

    2007-11-01

    Energy and wave function are the heart and soul of Schrödinger quantum mechanics. Electron momentum spectroscopy (EMS) so far provides the most stringent test for quantum mechanical models (theory, basis sets and the combination of both) through observables such as binding energy spectra and Dyson orbital momentum distributions. The capability of EMS to measure Dyson orbitals of a molecule as momentum distributions provides a unique opportunity to assess the models of quantum mechanics based on orbitals, rather than on energy dominated (mostly isotropic) properties. Recently, the author introduced a technique called dual space analysis (DSA), which is based on EMS and quantum mechanics to analyze orbital based information in the more familiar position space as well as the less familiar momentum space. In this article, the development of EMS and DSA is reviewed through the applications to molecules of biological interest such as amino acids, nucleic acid bases and recently nucleosides. The emphasis is the applications of DSA to study isomerization processes and chemical bonding mechanisms of these molecules.

  7. Second-harmonic generation for studying structural motion of biological molecules in real time and space.

    PubMed

    Salafsky, Joshua S

    2007-11-14

    SHG and sum-frequency generation (SFG) are surface-selective, nonlinear optical techniques whose ability to measure the average tilt angle of molecules on surfaces is well known in non-biological systems. By labeling molecules with a second-harmonic-active dye probe, SHG detection is extended to any biological molecule. The method has been used in previous work to detect biomolecules at an interface and their ligand-induced conformational changes. Here I demonstrate that SHG can be used to study structural motion quantitatively using a probe placed at a specific site (Cys-77) in adenylate kinase, a protein. The protein is also labeled non-site-specifically via amines. Labeled protein is absorbed to a surface and a baseline SH signal is measured. Upon introducing ATP, AMP or a specific inhibitor, AP(5)A, the baseline signal changes depending on the ligand and the labeling site. In particular, a substantial change in SH intensity is produced upon binding ATP to the amine-labeled protein, consistent with the X-ray crystal structures. In contrast, SHG polarization measurements are used to quantitatively determine that no rotation occurs at site Cys-77, in agreement with the lack of motion observed at this site in the X-ray crystal structures. A method for building a global map of conformational change in real time and space is proposed using a set of probes placed at different sites in a biomolecule. For this purpose, SH-active unnatural amino acids are attractive complements to exogenous labels.

  8. Single molecule photobleaching (SMPB) technology for counting of RNA, DNA, protein and other molecules in nanoparticles and biological complexes by TIRF instrumentation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Guo, Peixuan

    2014-05-15

    Direct counting of biomolecules within biological complexes or nanomachines is demanding. Single molecule counting using optical microscopy is challenging due to the diffraction limit. The single molecule photobleaching (SMPB) technology for direct counting developed by our team (Shu et al., 2007 [18]; Zhang et al., 2007 [19]) offers a simple and straightforward method to determine the stoichiometry of molecules or subunits within biocomplexes or nanomachines at nanometer scales. Stoichiometry is determined by real-time observation of the number of descending steps resulted from the photobleaching of individual fluorophore. This technology has now been used extensively for single molecule counting of protein, RNA, and other macromolecules in a variety of complexes or nanostructures. Here, we elucidate the SMPB technology, using the counting of RNA molecules within a bacteriophage phi29 DNA-packaging biomotor as an example. The method described here can be applied to the single molecule counting of other molecules in other systems. The construction of a concise, simple and economical single molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope combining prism-type and objective-type TIRF is described. The imaging system contains a deep-cooled sensitive EMCCD camera with single fluorophore detection sensitivity, a laser combiner for simultaneous dual-color excitation, and a Dual-View™ imager to split the multiple outcome signals to different detector channels based on their wavelengths. Methodology of the single molecule photobleaching assay used to elucidate the stoichiometry of RNA on phi29 DNA packaging motor and the mechanism of protein/RNA interaction are described. Different methods for single fluorophore labeling of RNA molecules are reviewed. The process of statistical modeling to reveal the true copy number of the biomolecules based on binomial distribution is also described.

  9. Single Molecule Detection in Living Biological Cells using Carbon Nanotube Optical Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strano, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Nanoscale sensing elements offer promise for single molecule analyte detection in physically or biologically constrained environments. Molecular adsorption can be amplified via modulation of sharp singularities in the electronic density of states that arise from 1D quantum confinement [1]. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), as single molecule optical sensors [2-3], offer unique advantages such as photostable near-infrared (n-IR) emission for prolonged detection through biological media, single-molecule sensitivity and, nearly orthogonal optical modes for signal transduction that can be used to identify distinct classes of analytes. Selective binding to the SWNT surface is difficult to engineer [4]. In this lecture, we will briefly review the immerging field of fluorescent diagnostics using band gap emission from SWNT. In recent work, we demonstrate that even a single pair of SWNT provides at least four optical modes that can be modulated to uniquely fingerprint chemical agents by the degree to which they alter either the emission band intensity or wavelength. We validate this identification method in vitro by demonstrating detection and identification of six genotoxic analytes, including chemotherapeutic drugs and reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are spectroscopically differentiated into four distinct classes. We also demonstrate single-molecule sensitivity in detecting hydrogen peroxide, one of the most common genotoxins and an important cellular signal. Finally, we employ our sensing and fingerprinting method of these analytes in real time within live 3T3 cells, demonstrating the first multiplexed optical detection from a nanoscale biosensor and the first label-free tool to optically discriminate between genotoxins. We will also discuss our recent efforts to fabricate biomedical sensors for real time detection of glucose and other important physiologically relevant analytes in-vivo. The response of embedded SWNT in a swellable hydrogel construct to

  10. Challenges of biological sample preparation for SIMS imaging of elements and molecules at subcellular resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandra, Subhash

    2008-12-01

    Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) based imaging techniques capable of subcellular resolution characterization of elements and molecules are becoming valuable tools in many areas of biology and medicine. Due to high vacuum requirements of SIMS, the live cells cannot be analyzed directly in the instrument. The sample preparation, therefore, plays a critical role in preserving the native chemical composition for SIMS analysis. This work focuses on the evaluation of frozen-hydrated and frozen freeze-dried sample preparations for SIMS studies of cultured cells with a CAMECA IMS-3f dynamic SIMS ion microscope instrument capable of producing SIMS images with a spatial resolution of 500 nm. The sandwich freeze-fracture method was used for fracturing the cells. The complimentary fracture planes in the plasma membrane were characterized by field-emission secondary electron microscopy (FESEM) in the frozen-hydrated state. The cells fractured at the dorsal surface were used for SIMS analysis. The frozen-hydrated SIMS analysis of individual cells under dynamic primary ion beam (O 2+) revealed local secondary ion signal enhancements correlated with the water image signals of 19(H 3O) +. A preferential removal of water from the frozen cell matrix in the Z-axis was also observed. These complications render the frozen-hydrated sample type less desirable for subcellular dynamic SIMS studies. The freeze-drying of frozen-hydrated cells, either inside the instrument or externally in a freeze-drier, allowed SIMS imaging of subcellular chemical composition. Morphological evaluations of fractured freeze-dried cells with SEM and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) revealed well-preserved mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, and stress fibers. SIMS analysis of fractured freeze-dried cells revealed well-preserved chemical composition of even the most highly diffusible ions like K + and Na + in physiologically relevant concentrations. The high K-low Na signature in individual cells

  11. Higher sensitivity secondary ion mass spectrometry of biological molecules for high resolution, chemically specific imaging.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, Liam A; Heeren, Ron M A; de Lange, Robert P J; Fletcher, Ian W

    2006-09-01

    To expand the role of high spatial resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) in biological studies, numerous developments have been reported in recent years for enhancing the molecular ion yield of high mass molecules. These include both surface modification, including matrix-enhanced SIMS and metal-assisted SIMS, and polyatomic primary ions. Using rat brain tissue sections and a bismuth primary ion gun able to produce atomic and polyatomic primary ions, we report here how the sensitivity enhancements provided by these developments are additive. Combined surface modification and polyatomic primary ions provided approximately 15.8 times more signal than using atomic primary ions on the raw sample, whereas surface modification and polyatomic primary ions yield approximately 3.8 and approximately 8.4 times more signal. This higher sensitivity is used to generate chemically specific images of higher mass biomolecules using a single molecular ion peak.

  12. Extension of in vivo half-life of biologically active molecules by XTEN protein polymers.

    PubMed

    Podust, Vladimir N; Balan, Sibu; Sim, Bee-Cheng; Coyle, Michael P; Ernst, Ulrich; Peters, Robert T; Schellenberger, Volker

    2016-10-28

    XTEN™ is a class of unstructured hydrophilic, biodegradable protein polymers designed to increase the half-lives of therapeutic peptides and proteins. XTEN polymers and XTEN fusion proteins are typically expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by conventional protein chromatography as monodisperse polypeptides of exact length and sequence. Unstructured XTEN polypeptides have hydrodynamic volumes significantly larger than typical globular proteins of similar mass, thus imparting a bulking effect to the therapeutic payloads attached to them. Since their invention, XTEN polypeptides have been utilized to extend the half-lives of a variety of peptide- and protein-based therapeutics. Multiple clinical and preclinical studies and related drug discovery and development efforts are in progress. This review details the most current understanding of physicochemical properties and biological behavior of XTEN and XTENylated molecules. Additionally, the development path and status of several advanced drug discovery and development efforts are highlighted.

  13. Small molecules unravel complex interplay between auxin biology and endomembrane trafficking.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Siamsa M; Vain, Thomas; Robert, Stéphanie

    2015-08-01

    The establishment and maintenance of controlled auxin gradients within plant tissues are essential for a multitude of developmental processes. Auxin gradient formation is co-ordinated via local biosynthesis and transport. Cell to cell auxin transport is facilitated and precisely regulated by complex endomembrane trafficking mechanisms that target auxin carrier proteins to their final destinations. In turn, auxin and cross-talk with other phytohormones regulate the endomembrane trafficking of auxin carriers. Dissecting such rapid and complicated processes is challenging for classical genetic experiments due to trafficking pathway diversity, gene functional redundancy, and lethality in loss-of-function mutants. Many of these difficulties can be bypassed via the use of small molecules to modify or disrupt the function or localization of proteins. Here, we will review examples of the knowledge acquired by the use of such chemical tools in this field, outlining the advantages afforded by chemical biology approaches.

  14. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy at single-molecule scale and its implications in biology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuling; Irudayaraj, Joseph

    2013-02-05

    Single-molecule (SM) spectroscopy has been an exciting area of research offering significant promise and hope in the field of sensor development to detect targets at ultra-low levels down to SM resolution. To the experts and developers in the field of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), this has often been a challenge and a significant opportunity for exploration. Needless to say, the opportunities and excitement of this multidisciplinary area impacts span the fields of physics, chemistry and engineering, along with a significant thrust in applications constituting areas in medicine, biology, environment and agriculture among others. In this review, we will attempt to provide a quick snapshot of the basics of SM-SERS, nanostructures and devices that can enable SM Raman measurement. We will conclude with a discussion on SERS implications in biomedical sciences.

  15. The subcellular distribution of small molecules: from pharmacokinetics to synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Nan; Tsai, Hobart Ng; Zhang, Xinyuan; Rosania, Gus R

    2011-10-03

    The systemic pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of small molecules are determined by subcellular transport phenomena. Although approaches used to study the subcellular distribution of small molecules have gradually evolved over the past several decades, experimental analysis and prediction of cellular pharmacokinetics remains a challenge. In this review, we survey the progress of subcellular distribution research since the 1960s, with a focus on the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of the various experimental techniques. Critical review of the existing body of knowledge points to many opportunities to advance the rational design of organelle-targeted chemical agents. These opportunities include (1) development of quantitative, non-fluorescence-based, whole cell methods and techniques to measure the subcellular distribution of chemical agents in multiple compartments; (2) exploratory experimentation with nonspecific transport probes that have not been enriched with putative, organelle-targeting features; (3) elaboration of hypothesis-driven, mechanistic and modeling-based approaches to guide experiments aimed at elucidating subcellular distribution and transport; and (4) introduction of revolutionary conceptual approaches borrowed from the field of synthetic biology combined with cutting edge experimental strategies. In our laboratory, state-of-the-art subcellular transport studies are now being aimed at understanding the formation of new intracellular membrane structures in response to drug therapy, exploring the function of drug-membrane complexes as intracellular drug depots, and synthesizing new organelles with extraordinary physical and chemical properties.

  16. Semiexperimental equilibrium structures for building blocks of organic and biological molecules: the B2PLYP route.

    PubMed

    Penocchio, Emanuele; Piccardo, Matteo; Barone, Vincenzo

    2015-10-13

    The B2PLYP double hybrid functional, coupled with the correlation-consistent triple-ζ cc-pVTZ (VTZ) basis set, has been validated in the framework of the semiexperimental (SE) approach for deriving accurate equilibrium structures of molecules containing up to 15 atoms. A systematic comparison between new B2PLYP/VTZ results and several equilibrium SE structures previously determined at other levels, in particular B3LYP/SNSD and CCSD(T) with various basis sets, has put in evidence the accuracy and the remarkable stability of such model chemistry for both equilibrium structures and vibrational corrections. New SE equilibrium structures for phenylacetylene, pyruvic acid, peroxyformic acid, and phenyl radical are discussed and compared with literature data. Particular attention has been devoted to the discussion of systems for which lack of sufficient experimental data prevents a complete SE determination. In order to obtain an accurate equilibrium SE structure for these situations, the so-called templating molecule approach is discussed and generalized with respect to our previous work. Important applications are those involving biological building blocks, like uracil and thiouracil. In addition, for more general situations the linear regression approach has been proposed and validated.

  17. Aqueous phase separation as a possible route to compartmentalization of biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Keating, Christine D

    2012-12-18

    How could the incredible complexity of modern cells evolve from something simple enough to have appeared in a primordial soup? This enduring question has sparked the interest of researchers since Darwin first considered his theory of natural selection. Organic molecules, even potentially functional molecules including peptides and nucleotides, can be produced abiotically. Amphiphiles such as surfactants and lipids display remarkable self-assembly processes including the spontaneous formation of vesicles resembling the membranes of living cells. Nonetheless, numerous questions remain. Given the presumably dilute concentrations of macromolecules in the prebiotic pools where the earliest cells are thought to have appeared, how could the necessary components become concentrated and encapsulated within a semipermeable membrane? What would drive the further structural complexity that is a hallmark of modern living systems? The interior of modern cells is subdivided into microcompartments such as the nucleoid of bacteria or the organelles of eukaryotic cells. Even within what at first appears to be a single compartment, for example, the cytoplasm or nucleus, chemical composition is often nonuniform, containing gradients, macromolecular assemblies, and/or liquid droplets. What might the internal structure of intermediate evolutionary forms have looked like? The nonideal aqueous solution chemistry of macromolecules offers an attractive possible answer to these questions. Aqueous polymer solutions will form multiple coexisting thermodynamic phases under a variety of readily accessible conditions. In this Account, we describe aqueous phase separation as a model system for biological compartmentalization in both early and modern cells, with an emphasis on systems that have been encapsulated within a lipid bilayer. We begin with an introduction to aqueous phase separation and discuss how this phenomenon can lead to microcompartmentalization and could facilitate biopolymer

  18. Aqueous Phase Separation as a Possible Route to Compartmentalization of Biological Molecules

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    How could the incredible complexity of modern cells evolve from something simple enough to have appeared in a primordial soup? This enduring question has sparked the interest of researchers since Darwin first considered his theory of natural selection. Organic molecules, even potentially functional molecules including peptides and nucleotides, can be produced abiotically. Amphiphiles such as surfactants and lipids display remarkable self-assembly processes including the spontaneous formation of vesicles resembling the membranes of living cells. Nonetheless, numerous questions remain. Given the presumably dilute concentrations of macromolecules in the prebiotic pools where the earliest cells are thought to have appeared, how could the necessary components become concentrated and encapsulated within a semipermeable membrane? What would drive the further structural complexity that is a hallmark of modern living systems? The interior of modern cells is subdivided into microcompartments such as the nucleoid of bacteria or the organelles of eukaryotic cells. Even within what at first appears to be a single compartment, for example, the cytoplasm or nucleus, chemical composition is often nonuniform, containing gradients, macromolecular assemblies, and/or liquid droplets. What might the internal structure of intermediate evolutionary forms have looked like? The nonideal aqueous solution chemistry of macromolecules offers an attractive possible answer to these questions. Aqueous polymer solutions will form multiple coexisting thermodynamic phases under a variety of readily accessible conditions. In this Account, we describe aqueous phase separation as a model system for biological compartmentalization in both early and modern cells, with an emphasis on systems that have been encapsulated within a lipid bilayer. We begin with an introduction to aqueous phase separation and discuss how this phenomenon can lead to microcompartmentalization and could facilitate biopolymer

  19. Force per cross-sectional area from molecules to muscles: a general property of biological motors.

    PubMed

    Rospars, Jean-Pierre; Meyer-Vernet, Nicole

    2016-07-01

    We propose to formally extend the notion of specific tension, i.e. force per cross-sectional area-classically used for muscles, to quantify forces in molecular motors exerting various biological functions. In doing so, we review and compare the maximum tensions exerted by about 265 biological motors operated by about 150 species of different taxonomic groups. The motors considered range from single molecules and motile appendages of microorganisms to whole muscles of large animals. We show that specific tensions exerted by molecular and non-molecular motors follow similar statistical distributions, with in particular, similar medians and (logarithmic) means. Over the 10(19) mass (M) range of the cell or body from which the motors are extracted, their specific tensions vary as M(α) with α not significantly different from zero. The typical specific tension found in most motors is about 200 kPa, which generalizes to individual molecular motors and microorganisms a classical property of macroscopic muscles. We propose a basic order-of-magnitude interpretation of this result.

  20. Phosphate ester hydrolysis of biologically relevant molecules by cerium oxide nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Kuchma, Melissa Hirsch; Komanski, Christopher B; Colon, Jimmie; Teblum, Andrew; Masunov, Artëm E; Alvarado, Beatrice; Babu, Suresh; Seal, Sudipta; Summy, Justin; Baker, Cheryl H

    2010-12-01

    In an effort to characterize the interaction of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CNPs) in biological systems, we explored the reactivity of CNPs with the phosphate ester bonds of p-nitrophenylphosphate (pNPP), ATP, o-phospho-l-tyrosine, and DNA. The activity of the bond cleavage for pNPP at pH 7 is calculated to be 0.860 ± 0.010 nmol p-nitrophenol/min/μg CNPs. Interestingly, when CNPs bind to plasmid DNA, no cleavage products are detected. While cerium(IV) complexes generally exhibit the ability to break phosphorus-oxygen bonds, the reactions we report appear to be dependent on the availability of cerium(III) sites, not cerium(IV) sites. We investigated the dephosphorylation mechanism from the first principles and find the reaction proceeds through inversion of the phosphate group similar to an S(N)2 mechanism. The ability of CNPs to interact with phosphate ester bonds of biologically relevant molecules has important implications for their use as potential therapeutics.

  1. Force per cross-sectional area from molecules to muscles: a general property of biological motors

    PubMed Central

    Meyer-Vernet, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    We propose to formally extend the notion of specific tension, i.e. force per cross-sectional area—classically used for muscles, to quantify forces in molecular motors exerting various biological functions. In doing so, we review and compare the maximum tensions exerted by about 265 biological motors operated by about 150 species of different taxonomic groups. The motors considered range from single molecules and motile appendages of microorganisms to whole muscles of large animals. We show that specific tensions exerted by molecular and non-molecular motors follow similar statistical distributions, with in particular, similar medians and (logarithmic) means. Over the 1019 mass (M) range of the cell or body from which the motors are extracted, their specific tensions vary as Mα with α not significantly different from zero. The typical specific tension found in most motors is about 200 kPa, which generalizes to individual molecular motors and microorganisms a classical property of macroscopic muscles. We propose a basic order-of-magnitude interpretation of this result. PMID:27493785

  2. MicroRNA: a small molecule with a big biological impact.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaofeng; Yang, Pan-Chyr

    2012-01-01

    One of the most significant achievements in biological science in the last decade is the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi), a process within living cells that regulates gene expression at post-transcriptional levels. Historically, this process was described by other more generic names, such as co-suppression and post transcriptional gene silencing. Only after the molecular mechanism underlying these apparently unrelated processes was fully understood did it become apparent that they all described the RNAi phenomenon. In 2006, Dr. Andrew Fire and Dr. Craig C. Mello were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on RNAi interference. RNAi is an RNA-dependent gene silencing process that is controlled by the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) and is initiated by two types of small RNA molecules - microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA). However, the function of microRNA appears to be far beyond RNAi alone, including direct interaction with the gene promoter and epigenetic regulation of the DNA methylation and histone modification. By regulating gene expression, miRNAs are likely to be involved in diverse biological activities, such as tumorigenesis, immune response, insulin secretion, neurotransmitter synthesis, and circadian rhythm, to name a few. MicroRNAs are 21-23 nucleotide single stranded RNA molecules found in eukaryotic cells. The first miRNA, lin-4, was characterized in C. elegans in the early 1990s [1]. In the early years, the progress on microRNA research was slow and experienced substantial growing pains. The short length and uniqueness of each microRNA rendered many conventional hybridization based methods ineffective; very small RNAs are difficult to reliably amplify or label without introducing bias. In addition, hybridization-based methods for microRNA profiling relied on probes designed to detect known microRNAs or known microRNA species previously identified by sequencing or homology search. Recent evidence of

  3. 2012 SINGLE MOLECULE APPROACHES TO BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE (JULY 15-20, 2012 - MOUNT SNOW RESORT, WEST DOVER VT)

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, Julio

    2012-04-20

    Single molecule techniques are rapidly occupying a central role in biological research at all levels. This transition was made possible by the availability and dissemination of robust techniques that use fluorescence and force probes to track the conformation of molecules one at a time, in vitro as well as in live cells. Single-molecule approaches have changed the way many biological problems are studied. These novel techniques provide previously unobtainable data on fundamental biochemical processes that are essential for all forms of life. The ability of single-molecule approaches to avoid ensemble averaging and to capture transient intermediates and heterogeneous behavior renders them particularly powerful in elucidating mechanisms of the molecular systems that underpin the functioning of living cells. Hence, our conference seeks to disseminate the implementation and use of single molecule techniques in the pursuit of new biological knowledge. Topics covered include: Molecular Motors on the Move; Origin And Fate Of Proteins; Physical Principles Of Life; Molecules and Super-resolution Microscopy; Nanoswitches In Action; Active Motion Or Random Diffusion?; Building Blocks Of Living Cells; From Molecular Mechanics To Physiology; Tug-of-war: Force Spectroscopy Of Single Proteins.

  4. Single-molecule conformational dynamics of a biologically functional hydroxocobalamin riboswitch.

    PubMed

    Holmstrom, Erik D; Polaski, Jacob T; Batey, Robert T; Nesbitt, David J

    2014-12-03

    Riboswitches represent a family of highly structured regulatory elements found primarily in the leader sequences of bacterial mRNAs. They function as molecular switches capable of altering gene expression; commonly, this occurs via a conformational change in a regulatory element of a riboswitch that results from ligand binding in the aptamer domain. Numerous studies have investigated the ligand binding process, but little is known about the structural changes in the regulatory element. A mechanistic description of both processes is essential for deeply understanding how riboswitches modulate gene expression. This task is greatly facilitated by studying all aspects of riboswitch structure/dynamics/function in the same model system. To this end, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) techniques have been used to directly observe the conformational dynamics of a hydroxocobalamin (HyCbl) binding riboswitch (env8HyCbl) with a known crystallographic structure.1 The single-molecule RNA construct studied in this work is unique in that it contains all of the structural elements both necessary and sufficient for regulation of gene expression in a biological context. The results of this investigation reveal that the undocking rate constant associated with the disruption of a long-range kissing-loop (KL) interaction is substantially decreased when the ligand is bound to the RNA, resulting in a preferential stabilization of the docked conformation. Notably, the formation of this tertiary KL interaction directly sequesters the Shine-Dalgarno sequence (i.e., the ribosome binding site) via base-pairing, thus preventing translation initiation. These results reveal that the conformational dynamics of this regulatory switch are quantitatively described by a four-state kinetic model, whereby ligand binding promotes formation of the KL interaction. The results of complementary cell-based gene expression experiments conducted in Escherichia coli are highly

  5. Design and Synthesis of Functional Molecules Based on Complexation and Their Biological Applications.

    PubMed

    Hisamatsu, Yosuke

    2016-01-01

     In this review, we introduce the development of supermolecules, host-guest complexes, and metal complexes formed from the combination of non-covalent interactions and/or coordination bonds, as well as their biological applications. An adenine selective host molecule 1 provides a correctly oriented array of complementary hydrogen bonding sites for the adenine nucleobase. Furthermore, the new DDAA (D: hydrogen bond donor, A: hydrogen bond acceptor) module 4 and ADDA module 7 have been developed as quadruple hydrogen-bonding modules. A quadruple zwitterion 8 forms supramolecular gel in dimethyl sulfoxide, driven by the formation of ion-paired dimers between the zwitterionic units. The obtained supramolecular gel exhibits reversible gel-sol transitions in response to both acid, base, and heating. Self-assembly of a dimeric zinc(II) complex, dianion of cyanuric acid (CA) or 5,5-diethylbarbituric acid (Bar), and copper(II) ion (Cu(2+)) in an aqueous solution provides 4 : 4 : 4 and 2 : 2 : 2 supermolecules 10 and 11, respectively. These supermolecules possess Cu2(μ-OH)2 centers, and accelerate the hydrolysis of a phosphate monoester dianion, mono(4-nitrophenyl)phosphate (MNP), at neutral pH. Regioselective substitution reactions of tris-cyclometalated iridium (Ir) complexes at the 5'-position on 2-phenylpyridine type ligands, and their subsequent conversions to a variety of functional groups are described. For example, pH-sensitive Ir complexes having basic functional groups have been developed. Tris-cyclometalated Ir complexes containing cationic peptides, such as Lys-Lys-Gly-Gly (KKGG) peptides, work as inducers and detectors of cancer cell death. Mechanistic studies suggest that the Ir complex interacts with anionic molecules on the cell surface and/or membrane receptors to trigger an intracellular Ca(2+) response, resulting in necrosis accompanied by membrane disruption.

  6. Tailored treatment options for patients with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis: review of established and new biologic and small molecule therapies.

    PubMed

    Elyoussfi, Sarah; Thomas, Benjamin J; Ciurtin, Coziana

    2016-05-01

    The diverse clinical picture of PsA suggests the need to identify suitable therapies to address the different combinations of clinical manifestations. This review aimed to classify the available biologic agents and new small molecule inhibitors (licensed and nonlicensed) based on their proven efficacy in treating different clinical manifestations associated with psoriasis and PsA. This review presents the level of evidence of efficacy of different biologic treatments and small molecule inhibitors for certain clinical features of treatment of PsA and psoriasis, which was graded in categories I-IV. The literature searches were performed on the following classes of biologic agents and small molecules: TNF inhibitors (adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, golimumab, certolizumab), anti-IL12/IL23 (ustekinumab), anti-IL17 (secukinumab, brodalumab, ixekizumab), anti-IL6 (tocilizumab), T cell modulators (alefacept, efalizumab, abatacept, itolizumab), B cell depletion therapy (rituximab), phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor (apremilast) and Janus kinase inhibitor (tofacitinib). A comprehensive table including 17 different biologic agents and small molecule inhibitors previously tested in psoriasis and PsA was generated, including the level of evidence of their efficacy for each of the clinical features included in our review (axial and peripheral arthritis, enthesitis, dactylitis, and nail and skin disease). We also proposed a limited set of recommendations for a sequential biologic treatment algorithm for patients with PsA who failed the first anti-TNF therapy, based on the available literature data. There is good evidence that many of the biologic treatments initially tested in psoriasis are also effective in PsA. Further research into both prognostic biomarkers and patient stratification is required to allow clinicians the possibility to make better use of the various biologic treatment options available. This review showed that there are many potentially new treatments that are

  7. Smell sensing and visualizing based on multi-quantum wells spatial light modulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Fengchun; Zhao, Zhenzhen; Jia, Pengfei; Liao, Hailin; Chen, Danyu; Liu, Shouqiong

    2014-09-01

    For the existing drawbacks of traditional detecting methods which use gratings or prisms to detect light intensity distribution at each wavelength of polychromatic light, a novel method based on multi-quantum wells spatial light modulator (MQWs-SLM) has been proposed in this paper. In the proposed method, MQWs-SLM serves as a distribution features detector of the signal light. It is on the basis of quantum-confine Stark effect (QCSE) that the vertical applied voltage can change the absorption features of exciton in multi-quantum wells, and further change the distribution features of the readout polychromatic light of MQWs-SLM. It can be not only an universal detecting method, but also especially recommended to use in the Electronic nose system for features detecting of signal light so as to realize smell sensing and visualizing. The feasibility of the proposed method has been confirmed by mathematical modeling and analysis, simulation experiments and research status analysis.

  8. Current and Future Perspectives on the Structural Identification of Small Molecules in Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Daniel A.; Jones, Oliver A.H.; Beale, David J.; Boughton, Berin A.; Benheim, Devin; Kouremenos, Konstantinos A.; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Wishart, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Although significant advances have been made in recent years, the structural elucidation of small molecules continues to remain a challenging issue for metabolite profiling. Many metabolomic studies feature unknown compounds; sometimes even in the list of features identified as “statistically significant” in the study. Such metabolic “dark matter” means that much of the potential information collected by metabolomics studies is lost. Accurate structure elucidation allows researchers to identify these compounds. This in turn, facilitates downstream metabolite pathway analysis, and a better understanding of the underlying biology of the system under investigation. This review covers a range of methods for the structural elucidation of individual compounds, including those based on gas and liquid chromatography hyphenated to mass spectrometry, single and multi-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and high-resolution mass spectrometry and includes discussion of data standardization. Future perspectives in structure elucidation are also discussed; with a focus on the potential development of instruments and techniques, in both nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry that, may help solve some of the current issues that are hampering the complete identification of metabolite structure and function. PMID:27983674

  9. Introducing Bond-Line Organic Structures in High School Biology: An Activity that Incorporates Pleasant-Smelling Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rios, Andro C.; French, Gerald

    2011-01-01

    Chemical education occurs in settings other than just the chemistry classroom. High school biology courses are frequently where students are introduced to organic molecules and their importance to cellular chemistry. However, structural representations are often intimidating because students have not been introduced to the language. As part of a…

  10. Laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry for direct profiling and imaging of small molecules from raw biological materials

    SciTech Connect

    Cha, Sangwon

    2008-01-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization(MALDI) mass spectrometry(MS) has been widely used for analysis of biological molecules, especially macromolecules such as proteins. However, MALDI MS has a problem in small molecule (less than 1 kDa) analysis because of the signal saturation by organic matrixes in the low mass region. In imaging MS (IMS), inhomogeneous surface formation due to the co-crystallization process by organic MALDI matrixes limits the spatial resolution of the mass spectral image. Therefore, to make laser desorption/ionization (LDI) MS more suitable for mass spectral profiling and imaging of small molecules directly from raw biological tissues, LDI MS protocols with various alternative assisting materials were developed and applied to many biological systems of interest. Colloidal graphite was used as a matrix for IMS of small molecules for the first time and methodologies for analyses of small metabolites in rat brain tissues, fruits, and plant tissues were developed. With rat brain tissues, the signal enhancement for cerebroside species by colloidal graphite was observed and images of cerebrosides were successfully generated by IMS. In addition, separation of isobaric lipid ions was performed by imaging tandem MS. Directly from Arabidopsis flowers, flavonoids were successfully profiled and heterogeneous distribution of flavonoids in petals was observed for the first time by graphite-assisted LDI(GALDI) IMS.

  11. The Molecule Microscope: A New Instrument for Biological and Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Weaver, James C.; King, John G.

    1973-01-01

    We describe a new instrument, the molecule microscope, which reveals directly spatial variations in the rate of evaporation of molecules from surfaces by using neutral molecules instead of light or charged particles used in existing kinds of microscopes. The surface composition of the sample determines the binding energy of the evaporating molecules and, hence, the rate of evaporation, which also depends on permeability of the sample when the molecules come either from within or from the other side. We show first results obtained with our apparatus, discuss the design of an instrument now under construction with ≈1-μm resolution, and describe briefly some more advanced versions under consideration with ≈100-Å resolution. Images PMID:4542778

  12. Electrons, Photons, and Force: Quantitative Single-Molecule Measurements from Physics to Biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule measurement techniques have illuminated unprecedented details of chemical behavior, including observations of the motion of a single molecule on a surface, and even the vibration of a single bond within a molecule. Such measurements are critical to our understanding of entities ranging from single atoms to the most complex protein assemblies. We provide an overview of the strikingly diverse classes of measurements that can be used to quantify single-molecule properties, including those of single macromolecules and single molecular assemblies, and discuss the quantitative insights they provide. Examples are drawn from across the single-molecule literature, ranging from ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy studies of adsorbate diffusion on surfaces to fluorescence studies of protein conformational changes in solution. PMID:21338175

  13. Electrons, photons, and force: quantitative single-molecule measurements from physics to biology.

    PubMed

    Claridge, Shelley A; Schwartz, Jeffrey J; Weiss, Paul S

    2011-02-22

    Single-molecule measurement techniques have illuminated unprecedented details of chemical behavior, including observations of the motion of a single molecule on a surface, and even the vibration of a single bond within a molecule. Such measurements are critical to our understanding of entities ranging from single atoms to the most complex protein assemblies. We provide an overview of the strikingly diverse classes of measurements that can be used to quantify single-molecule properties, including those of single macromolecules and single molecular assemblies, and discuss the quantitative insights they provide. Examples are drawn from across the single-molecule literature, ranging from ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy studies of adsorbate diffusion on surfaces to fluorescence studies of protein conformational changes in solution.

  14. Applications of Engineered DNA-Binding Molecules Such as TAL Proteins and the CRISPR/Cas System in Biology Research

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Toshitsugu; Fujii, Hodaka

    2015-01-01

    Engineered DNA-binding molecules such as transcription activator-like effector (TAL or TALE) proteins and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) (CRISPR/Cas) system have been used extensively for genome editing in cells of various types and species. The sequence-specific DNA-binding activities of these engineered DNA-binding molecules can also be utilized for other purposes, such as transcriptional activation, transcriptional repression, chromatin modification, visualization of genomic regions, and isolation of chromatin in a locus-specific manner. In this review, we describe applications of these engineered DNA-binding molecules for biological purposes other than genome editing. PMID:26404236

  15. Conformational, spectroscopic and nonlinear optical properties of biologically active N,N-dimethyltryptamine molecule: A theoretical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Öner, Nazmiye; Tamer, Ömer; Avcı, Davut; Atalay, Yusuf

    2014-12-01

    The effective psychoactive properties of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) known as the near-death molecule have encouraged the imagination of many research disciplines for several decades. Although there is no theoretical study, a number of paper composed by experimental techniques have been reported for DMT molecule. In this study, the molecular modeling of DMT was carried out using B3LYP and HSEh1PBE levels of density functional theory (DFT). Our calculations showed that the energy gap between HOMO and LUMO is low, demonstrating that DMT is a biologically active molecule. Large hyperconjugation interaction energies imply that molecular charge transfer occurs in DMT. Moreover, NLO analysis indicates that DMT can be used an effective NLO material.

  16. Conformational, spectroscopic and nonlinear optical properties of biologically active N,N-dimethyltryptamine molecule: a theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Öner, Nazmiye; Tamer, Ömer; Avcı, Davut; Atalay, Yusuf

    2014-12-10

    The effective psychoactive properties of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) known as the near-death molecule have encouraged the imagination of many research disciplines for several decades. Although there is no theoretical study, a number of paper composed by experimental techniques have been reported for DMT molecule. In this study, the molecular modeling of DMT was carried out using B3LYP and HSEh1PBE levels of density functional theory (DFT). Our calculations showed that the energy gap between HOMO and LUMO is low, demonstrating that DMT is a biologically active molecule. Large hyperconjugation interaction energies imply that molecular charge transfer occurs in DMT. Moreover, NLO analysis indicates that DMT can be used an effective NLO material.

  17. Silicon-Germanium multi-quantum well photodetectors in the near infrared.

    PubMed

    Onaran, Efe; Onbasli, M Cengiz; Yesilyurt, Alper; Yu, Hyun Yong; Nayfeh, Ammar M; Okyay, Ali K

    2012-03-26

    Single crystal Silicon-Germanium multi-quantum well layers were epitaxially grown on silicon substrates. Very high quality films were achieved with high level of control utilizing recently developed MHAH epitaxial technique. MHAH growth technique facilitates the monolithic integration of photonic functionality such as modulators and photodetectors with low-cost silicon VLSI technology. Mesa structured p-i-n photodetectors were fabricated with low reverse leakage currents of ~10 mA/cm² and responsivity values exceeding 0.1 A/W. Moreover, the spectral responsivity of fabricated detectors can be tuned by applied voltage.

  18. The characterization of the sol-gel encapsulated curcumin as a possible sensor for small biologically important molecules.

    PubMed

    Iwunze, M O; McEwan, D

    2007-05-15

    Curcumin, a known phytochemical antioxidant was found to be useful as a potential sensor for some small biologically important molecules. Hydrogen peroxide, the sodium salt of nitrite (NO2-), hydroxide (OH-), bromide (Br-) and iodide (I-) were observed to quench the fluorescence of sol-gel encapsulated curcumin, which emits radiation at 530 nm when excited at 420 nm. The observed bimolecular quenching constant which is related to the Stern-Volmer quenching constant, KSV, for the species studied in this work was determined by a modified Stern-Volmer relation for molecular surface accessibility, was observed to be specific for each of these anions and correlates quite well with their half-wave potentials, E1/2. The extent of permeability of these molecules through the pores of the sol-gel matrix was determined and they, also, correlated with these molecules' charge densities and sizes. In all the species, the reaction was quite exergonic and the free energy change, DeltaGoET, obtained in each case, suggest an outer-sphere, long range electron transfer mechanism. These observations open up the possible use of curcumin as a sensor for probing and characterizing some relevant bio-molecules in biological systems.

  19. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W.; Cai, Jiye

    2014-10-01

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  20. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine.

    PubMed

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W; Cai, Jiye

    2014-11-07

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  1. Case studies in quantitative biology: Biochemistry on a leash and a single-molecule Hershey-Chase experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Valen, David

    2011-12-01

    The last 50 years of biological research has seen a marked increase in the amount of quantitative data that describes living systems. This wealth of data provides a unique opportunity to recast the pictorial level descriptions of biological processes in the language of mathematics, with the hope that such an undertaking will lead to deeper insights into the behavior of living systems. To achieve this end, we have undertaken three case studies in physical biology. In the first case study, we used statistical mechanics and polymer physics to construct a simple model that describes how flexible chains of amino acids, referred to as tethers, influence the information processing properties of signaling proteins. In the second case study, we studied the DNA ejection process of phage lambda in vitro. In particular, we used bulk and single-molecule methods to study the control parameters that govern the force and kinematics of the ejection process in vitro. In the last case study, we studied the DNA ejection process of phage lambda in vivo. We developed an assay that allows real-time monitoring of DNA ejection in vivo at the single-molecule level. We also developed a parallel system that allows the simultaneous visualization of both phage capsids and phage DNA at the single-cell level, constituting a true single-molecule Hershey-Chase experiment. The work described in this thesis outlines new tools, both in theory and experiment, that can be used to study biological systems as well as a paradigm that can be employed to mathematicize the cartoons of biology.

  2. Chemocavity: specific concavity in protein reserved for the binding of biologically functional small molecules.

    PubMed

    Soga, Shinji; Shirai, Hiroki; Kobori, Masato; Hirayama, Noriaki

    2008-08-01

    The idea that there should be a specific site on a protein for a particular functional small molecule is widespread. It is, however, usually not so easy to understand what characteristics of the site determine the binding ability of the functional small molecule. We have focused on the concurrence rate of the 20 standard amino acids at such binding sites. In order to correlate the concurrence rate and the specific binding site, we have analyzed high-quality X-ray structures of complexes between proteins and small molecules. A novel index characterizing the binding site based on the concurrency rate has been introduced. Using this index we have identified that there is a specific concavity designated as a chemocavity where a specific group of small molecules, i.e., canonical molecular group, is highly inclined to be bound. This study has demonstrated that a chemocavity is reserved for a specific canonical molecular group, and the prevalent idea has been confirmed.

  3. SASSIE: A program to study intrinsically disordered biological molecules and macromolecular ensembles using experimental scattering restraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curtis, Joseph E.; Raghunandan, Sindhu; Nanda, Hirsh; Krueger, Susan

    2012-02-01

    A program to construct ensembles of biomolecular structures that are consistent with experimental scattering data are described. Specifically, we generate an ensemble of biomolecular structures by varying sets of backbone dihedral angles that are then filtered using experimentally determined restraints to rapidly determine structures that have scattering profiles that are consistent with scattering data. We discuss an application of these tools to predict a set of structures for the HIV-1 Gag protein, an intrinsically disordered protein, that are consistent with small-angle neutron scattering experimental data. We have assembled these algorithms into a program called SASSIE for structure generation, visualization, and analysis of intrinsically disordered proteins and other macromolecular ensembles using neutron and X-ray scattering restraints. Program summaryProgram title: SASSIE Catalogue identifier: AEKL_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEKL_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: GNU General Public License v3 No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 3 991 624 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 826 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Python, C/C++, Fortran Computer: PC/Mac Operating system: 32- and 64-bit Linux (Ubuntu 10.04, Centos 5.6) and Mac OS X (10.6.6) RAM: 1 GB Classification: 3 External routines: Python 2.6.5, numpy 1.4.0, swig 1.3.40, scipy 0.8.0, Gnuplot-py-1.8, Tcl 8.5, Tk 8.5, Mac installation requires aquaterm 1.0 (or X window system) and Xcode 3 development tools. Nature of problem: Open source software to generate structures of disordered biological molecules that subsequently allow for the comparison of computational and experimental results is limiting the use of scattering resources. Solution method: Starting with an all atom model of a protein, for example, users can input

  4. Wavy growth onset in strain-balanced InGaAs multi-quantum wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasi, L.; Ferrari, C.; Lanzi, A.; Lazzarini, L.; Balboni, R.; Clarke, G.; Mazzer, M.; Rohr, C.; Abbott, P.; Barnham, K. W. J.

    2005-01-01

    Different strain-balanced InGaAs/InGaAs multi-quantum wells (MQWs) were grown on (0 0 1) InP to be used as active layers of thermophotovoltaic devices. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) were performed to correlate the evolution of the layer interfaces from planar to wavy and the consequent nucleation of extended defects with the well and barrier compositions and thicknesses and the growth temperature. The existence of a critical elastic energy density for the wavy growth onset has been experimentally confirmed by changing both the well and barrier misfit and the multi-quantum well layer thickness. A decrease of the growth temperature shifts the critical energy to higher values. An empirical model to predict the maximum number of layers that can be grown without modulations as a function of the strain energy stored in the MQW period and the growth temperature is presented and successfully applied for the growth of high quality 40 repetitions MQWs with a well misfit of about 1.5%.

  5. Identification and biological activities of a new antiangiogenic small molecule that suppresses mitochondrial reactive oxygen species

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Ki Hyun; Park, Ju Yeol; Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2011-01-07

    Research highlights: {yields} YCG063 was screened as a new angiogenesis inhibitor which suppresses mitochondrial ROS generation in a phenotypic cell-based screening of a small molecule-focused library. {yields} The compound inhibited in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner. {yields} This new small molecule tool will provide a basis for a better understanding of angiogenesis driven under hypoxic conditions. -- Abstract: Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) are associated with multiple cellular functions such as cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In particular, high levels of mitochondrial ROS in hypoxic cells regulate many angiogenesis-related diseases, including cancer and ischemic disorders. Here we report a new angiogenesis inhibitor, YCG063, which suppressed mitochondrial ROS generation in a phenotypic cell-based screening of a small molecule-focused library with an ArrayScan HCS reader. YCG063 suppressed mitochondrial ROS generation under a hypoxic condition in a dose-dependent manner, leading to the inhibition of in vitro angiogenic tube formation and chemoinvasion as well as in vivo angiogenesis of the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) at non-toxic doses. In addition, YCG063 decreased the expression levels of HIF-1{alpha} and its target gene, VEGF. Collectively, a new antiangiogenic small molecule that suppresses mitochondrial ROS was identified. This new small molecule tool will provide a basis for a better understanding of angiogenesis driven under hypoxic conditions.

  6. Ridge InGaAs/InP multi-quantum-well selective growth in nanoscale trenches on Si (001) substrate

    SciTech Connect

    Li, S.; Zhou, X.; Li, M.; Kong, X.; Mi, J.; Wang, M.; Wang, W.; Pan, J.

    2016-01-11

    Metal organic chemical vapor deposition of InGaAs/InP multi-quantum-well in nanoscale V-grooved trenches on Si (001) substrate was studied using the aspect ratio trapping method. A high quality GaAs/InP buffer layer with two convex (111) B facets was selectively grown to promote the highly uniform, single-crystal ridge InP/InGaAs multi-quantum-well structure growth. Material quality was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and room temperature micro-photoluminescence measurements. This approach shows great promise for the fabrication of photonics devices and nanolasers on Si substrate.

  7. Rodent Preclinical Models for Developing Novel Antiarthritic Molecules: Comparative Biology and Preferred Methods for Evaluating Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Bolon, Brad; Stolina, Marina; King, Caroline; Middleton, Scot; Gasser, Jill; Zack, Debra; Feige, Ulrich

    2011-01-01

    Rodent models of immune-mediated arthritis (RMIA) are the conventional approach to evaluating mechanisms of inflammatory joint disease and the comparative efficacy of antiarthritic agents. Rat adjuvant-induced (AIA), collagen-induced (CIA), and streptococcal cell wall-induced (SCW) arthritides are preferred models of the joint pathology that occurs in human rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Lesions of AIA are most severe and consistent; structural and immunological changes of CIA best resemble RA. Lesion extent and severity in RMIA depends on experimental methodology (inciting agent, adjuvant, etc.) and individual physiologic parameters (age, genetics, hormonal status, etc.). The effectiveness of antiarthritic molecules varies with the agent, therapeutic regimen, and choice of RMIA. All RMIA are driven by overactivity of proinflammatory pathways, but the dominant molecules differ among the models. Hence, as with the human clinical experience, the efficacy of various antiarthritic molecules differs among RMIA, especially when the agent is a specific cytokine inhibitor. PMID:21253435

  8. Single molecule optical measurements of orientation and rotations of biological macromolecules

    PubMed Central

    Shroder, Deborah Y; Lippert, Lisa G; Goldman, Yale E

    2016-01-01

    The subdomains of macromolecules often undergo large orientation changes during their catalytic cycles that are essential for their activity. Tracking these rearrangements in real time opens a powerful window into the link between protein structure and functional output. Site-specific labeling of individual molecules with polarized optical probes and measuring their spatial orientation can give insight into the crucial conformational changes, dynamics, and fluctuations of macromolecules. Here we describe the range of single molecule optical technologies that can extract orientation information from these probes, we review the relevant types of probes and labeling techniques, and we highlight the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies for addressing specific inquiries. PMID:28192292

  9. Monte Carlo simulation of several biologically relevant molecules and zwitterions in water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patuwo, Michael Y.; Bettens, Ryan P. A.

    2012-02-01

    In this work, we study the hydration free energies of butane, zwitterionic alanine, valine, serine, threonine, and asparagine, and two neuraminidase inhibitors by means of Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. The solute molecule, represented in the form of distributed multipoles and modified 6-12 potential, was varied from a non-interacting 'ghost' molecule to its full potential functions in TIP4P water. Intermediate systems with soft-core solute-solvent interaction potentials are simulated separately and then subjected to Bennett's Acceptance ratio (BAR) for the free energy calculation. Hydration shells surrounding the solute particles were used to assess the quality of potential functions.

  10. Single molecule optical measurements of orientation and rotations of biological macromolecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shroder, Deborah Y.; Lippert, Lisa G.; Goldman, Yale E.

    2016-12-01

    Subdomains of macromolecules often undergo large orientation changes during their catalytic cycles that are essential for their activity. Tracking these rearrangements in real time opens a powerful window into the link between protein structure and functional output. Site-specific labeling of individual molecules with polarized optical probes and measurement of their spatial orientation can give insight into the crucial conformational changes, dynamics, and fluctuations of macromolecules. Here we describe the range of single molecule optical technologies that can extract orientation information from these probes, review the relevant types of probes and labeling techniques, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies for addressing specific inquiries.

  11. PDMS-glass bonding using grafted polymeric adhesive--alternative process flow for compatibility with patterned biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Beh, Cyrus Weijie; Zhou, Weizhuang; Wang, Tza-Huei

    2012-10-21

    We report a novel modification of silicone elastomer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with a polymer graft that allows interfacial bonding between an elastomer and glass substrate to be performed without exposure of the substrate to harsh treatment conditions, such as oxygen plasma. Organic molecules can thus be patterned within microfluidic channels and still remain functional post-bonding. In addition, after polymer grafting the PDMS can be stored in a desiccator for at least 40 days, and activated upon exposure to acidic buffer for bonding. The bonded devices remain fully bonded in excess of 80 psi driving pressure, with no signs of compromise to the bond integrity. Finally, we demonstrate the compatibility of our method with biological molecules using a proof-of-concept DNA sensing device, in which fluorescently-labelled DNA targets are successfully captured by a patterned probe in a device sealed using our method, while the pattern on a plasma-treated device was completely destroyed. Therefore, this method provides a much-needed alternative bonding process for incorporation of biological molecules in microfluidic devices.

  12. PDMS-Glass bonding using grafted polymeric adhesive - Alternative process flow for compatibility with patterned biological molecules

    PubMed Central

    Beh, Cyrus Weijie; Zhou, Weizhuang

    2013-01-01

    We report a novel modification of silicone elastomer, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with a polymer graft that allows interfacial bonding between elastomer and glass substrate to be performed without exposure of said substrate to harsh treatment conditions like oxygen plasma. Organic molecules can thus be patterned within microfluidic channels and still remain functional post-bonding. In addition, after polymer grafting the PDMS can be stored in a desiccator for at least 40 days, and activated upon exposure to acidic buffer for bonding. The bonded devices remain fully bonded in excess of 80 psi driving pressure, with no signs of compromise to the bond integrity. Finally, we demonstrate the compatibility of our method with biological molecules using a proof-of-concept DNA sensing device, in which fluorescently-labelled DNA targets are successfully captured by a patterned probe in a device sealed using our method, while the pattern on a plasma-treated device was completely destroyed. Therefore, this method provides a much-needed alternative bonding process for incorporation of biological molecules in microfluidic devices. PMID:22858861

  13. Expedient construction of small molecule macroarrays via sequential palladium- and copper-mediated reactions and their ex situ biological testing†

    PubMed Central

    Frei, Reto; Breitbach, Anthony S.

    2012-01-01

    We report the highly efficient syntheses of a series of focused libraries in the small molecule macroarray format using Suzuki–Miyaura and copper-catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition (or “click”) reactions. The libraries were based on stilbene and triazole scaffolds, which are known to have a broad range of biological activities, including quorum-sensing (QS) modulation in bacteria. The library products were generated in parallel on the macroarray in extremely short reaction times (~10–20 min) and isolated in excellent purities. Biological testing of one macroarray library post-cleavage (ex situ) revealed several potent agonists of the QS receptor, LuxR, in Vibrio fischeri. These synthetic agonists, in contrast to others that we have reported, were only active in the presence of the native QS signal in V. fischeri, which is suggestive of a different mode of activity. Notably, the results presented herein showcase the ready compatibility of the macroarray platform with chemical reactions that are commonly utilized in small molecule probe and drug discovery today. As such, this work serves to expand the utility of the small molecule macroarray as a rapid and operationally straightforward approach toward the synthesis and screening of bioactive agents. PMID:23198087

  14. Unequal Activities of Enantiomers via Biological Receptors: Examples of Chiral Drug, Pesticide, and Fragrance Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mannschreck, Albrecht; Kiesswetter, Roland; von Angerer, Erwin

    2007-01-01

    A molecule coming from outside an organism can form a ligand-receptor complex. Upon its formation, a message is transmitted, for example, to certain cells. In this way, two enantiomers can emit messages that differ, either quantitatively or qualitatively. In the present article, these facts are taken as a common basis for the actions of chiral…

  15. Integration of biological ion channels onto optically addressable micro-fluidic electrode arrays for single molecule characterization.

    SciTech Connect

    Brozik, Susan Marie; Frink, Laura J. Douglas; Bachand, George David; Keller, David J.; Patrick, Elizabeth L.; Marshall, Jason A.; Ortiz, Theodore P.; Meyer, Lauren A.; Davis, Ryan W.; Brozik, James A.; Flemming, Jeb Hunter

    2004-12-01

    The challenge of modeling the organization and function of biological membranes on a solid support has received considerable attention in recent years, primarily driven by potential applications in biosensor design. Affinity-based biosensors show great promise for extremely sensitive detection of BW agents and toxins. Receptor molecules have been successfully incorporated into phospholipid bilayers supported on sensing platforms. However, a collective body of data detailing a mechanistic understanding of membrane processes involved in receptor-substrate interactions and the competition between localized perturbations and delocalized responses resulting in reorganization of transmembrane protein structure, has yet to be produced. This report describes a systematic procedure to develop detailed correlation between (recognition-induced) protein restructuring and function of a ligand gated ion channel by combining single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and single channel current recordings. This document is divided into three sections: (1) reported are the thermodynamics and diffusion properties of gramicidin using single molecule fluorescence imaging and (2) preliminary work on the 5HT{sub 3} serotonin receptor. Thirdly, we describe the design and fabrication of a miniaturized platform using the concepts of these two technologies (spectroscopic and single channel electrochemical techniques) for single molecule analysis, with a longer term goal of using the physical and electronic changes caused by a specific molecular recognition event as a transduction pathway in affinity based biosensors for biotoxin detection.

  16. The lifetime of the soliton in the improved Davydov model at the biological temperature 300 K for protein molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao-feng, Pang

    We study the effects of quantum fluctuations and thermal perturbations on the lifetime of the soliton in the improved Davydov model proposed by us with two-quanta and with an added interaction. By using quantum perturbation theory, we compute the soliton lifetime for a wide ranges of parameter values relevant for protein molecules. The lifetime of the new soliton at the biological temperature 300 K is of the order of 10-10 second or τ/τ>= 500 for parameters appropriate to α-helical protein molecules. This shows clearly that the new soliton in the improved model is a viable mechanism for the bio-energy transport in the α-helix region of proteins.

  17. Coulomb explosion and binary encounter processes in collisions between slow ions and small molecules of biological interest

    SciTech Connect

    Juhasz, Z.; Sulik, B.

    2008-12-08

    In this work we study the ion impact induced fragmentation of small molecules, which are relevant for radiation damage studies in biological tissues. We present double differential ion emission yields for collisions of N{sup 6+} ions with water and methane molecules at 15 and 30 keV impact energies. The angular distribution of the fragment ions shows post-collision and nucleus-nucleus binary collision effects. In the multiple capture energy range, a strong interplay is indicated between the Coulomb explosion and the binary collision mechanisms. In the energy region, where triple capture is dominant, an unexpected angular distribution was found for water fragments, which may be attributed to orientation sensitivity of some of the capture channels. Such processes are relevant for astrophysics and radiation therapy.

  18. Effect of co-existing biologically relevant molecules and ions on DNA photocleavage caused by pyrene and its derivatives.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuguang; Yu, Hongtao

    2005-04-01

    Inorganic ions, coenzymes, amino acids, and saccharides could co-exist with toxic environmental chemicals, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), in the cell. The presence of these co-existing chemicals can modulate the toxicity of the PAHs. One of the genotoxic effects by PAHs is light-induced cleavage, or photocleavage, of DNA. The effect of inorganic ions I-, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe3+, Mn2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ and biological molecules riboflavin, histidine, mannitol, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), glutathione, and glutamic acid on the DNA photocleavage by pyrene, 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HP), and 1-aminopyrene (1-AP), is studied. The non-transition metal ions Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+, usually have very little inhibitory effects, while the transition metal ions Fe3+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ enhance, Mn2+ inhibits the DNA photocleavage. The effect by biological molecules is complex, depending on the photochemical reaction mechanisms of the compounds tested (1-AP, 1-HP and pyrene) and on the chemical nature of the added biological molecules. Riboflavin, histidine, and mannitol enhance DNA photocleavage by all three compounds, except that mannitol has no effect on the photocleavage of DNA by pyrene. Glutathione inhibits the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP and 1-HP, but has no effect on that by pyrene. NAD enhances the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP, but has no effect on that by 1-HP and pyrene. Glutamic acid enhances the DNA photocleavage by 1-AP and pyrene, but inhibits that by 1-HP. These results show that the co-existing chemicals may have a profound effect on the toxicity of PAHs, or possibly on the toxicity of many other chemicals. Therefore, if one studies the toxic effects of PAHs or other toxic chemicals, the effect of the co-existing chemicals or ions needs to be considered.

  19. Studies of the dynamics of biological macromolecules using Au nanoparticle-DNA artificial molecules.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qian; Smith, Jessica M; Rasool, Haider I; Zettl, Alex; Alivisatos, A Paul

    2014-01-01

    The recent development of graphene liquid cells, a nanoscale version of liquid bubble wrap, is a breakthrough for in situ liquid phase electron microscopy (EM). Using ultrathin graphene sheets as the liquid sample container, graphene liquid cells have allowed the unprecedented atomic resolution observation of solution phase growth and dynamics of nanocrystals. Here we explore the potential of this technique to probe nanoscale structure and dynamics of biomolecules in situ, using artificial Au nanoparticle-DNA artificial molecules as model systems. The interactions of electrons with both the artificial molecules and the liquid environment have been demonstrated and discussed, revealing both the opportunities and challenges of using graphene liquid cell EM as a new method of bio-imaging.

  20. Normal Mode Flexible Fitting of High-Resolution Structures of Biological Molecules Toward SAXS Data

    PubMed Central

    Gorba, Christian; Tama, Florence

    2010-01-01

    We present a method to reconstruct a three-dimensional protein structure from an atomic pair distribution function derived from the scattering intensity profile from SAXS data by flexibly fitting known x-ray structures. This method uses a linear combination of low-frequency normal modes from an elastic network description of the molecule in an iterative manner to deform the structure to conform optimally to the target pair distribution function derived from SAXS data. For computational efficiency, the protein and water molecules included in the protein first hydration shell are coarse-grained. In this paper, we demonstrate the validity of our coarse-graining approach to study SAXS data. Illustrative results of our flexible fitting studies on simulated SAXS data from five different proteins are presented. PMID:20634984

  1. High-throughput, dual probe biological assays based on single molecule detection

    DOEpatents

    Hollars, Christopher W.; Huser, Thomas R.; Lane, Stephen M.; Balhorn, Rodney L.; Bakajin, Olgica; Darrow, Christopher; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.

    2006-07-11

    A method and apparatus with the sensitivity to detect and identify single target molecules through the localization of dual, fluorescently labeled probe molecules. This can be accomplished through specific attachment of the taget to a surface or in a two-dimensional (2D) flowing fluid sheet having approximate dimensions of 0.5 .mu.m.times.100 .mu.m.times.100 .mu.m. A device using these methods would have 10.sup.3 10.sup.4 greater throughput than previous one-dimensional (1D) micro-stream devices having 1 .mu.m.sup.3 interrogation volumes and would for the first time allow immuno- and DNA assays at ultra-low (femtomolar) concentrations to be performed in short time periods (.about.10 minutes). The use of novel labels (such as metal or semiconductor nanoparticles) may be incorporated to further extend the sensitivity possibly into the attomolar range.

  2. Ncm, a Photolabile Group for Preparation of Caged Molecules: Synthesis and Biological Application

    PubMed Central

    Muralidharan, Sukumaran; Dirda, Nathaniel D. A.; Katz, Elizabeth J.; Tang, Cha-Min; Bandyopadhyay, Sharba; Kanold, Patrick O.

    2016-01-01

    Ncm, 6-nitrocoumarin-7-ylmethyl, is a photolabile protective group useful for making “caged” molecules. Ncm marries the reliable photochemistry of 2-nitrobenzyl systems with the excellent stability and spectroscopic properties of the coumarin chromophore. From simple, commercially available starting materials, preparation of Ncm and its caged derivatives is both quick and easy. Photorelease of Ncm-caged molecules occurs on the microsecond time scale, with quantum efficiencies of 0.05–0.08. We report the synthesis and physical properties of Ncm and its caged derivatives. The utility of Ncm-caged glutamate for neuronal photostimulation is demonstrated in cultured hippocampal neurons and in brain slice preparations. PMID:27695074

  3. Adsorption of biological molecules to a solid support for scanning probe microscopy.

    PubMed

    Müller, D J; Amrein, M; Engel, A

    1997-07-01

    Scanning probe microscopes are now established tools to study the surface structure of biological macromolecules under physiological conditions. Sample preparation methods for this microscopy all have the objective to attach the specimen firmly to a support. Here we analyse the commonly used method of adsorbing biological specimens to freshly cleaved mica. This is facilitated by adjusting the electrolyte concentration and the pH of the buffer solution. Native macromolecular systems absorbed to mica in this way can be reproducibly imaged at submolecular resolution.

  4. Mass spectrometry imaging of small molecules in biological tissues using graphene oxide as a matrix.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Dan; Guo, Shuai; Zhang, Mo; Liu, Yujie; Chen, Tianjing; Li, Zhili

    2017-04-15

    With the development of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI), molecular interrogation of tissue sections over a wide mass range has become feasible, but small molecule analysis is still far from being fully reached due to the limited sensitivity and matrix interference. Herein, graphene oxide (GO) is used as a MALDI matrix to image small molecules in tissues in negative ion mode. Finally, 212 of molecules including 190 of lipids and 22 of low molecular weight metabolites were detected and spatially visualized in mouse brain tissue sections without the interference of matrix ions/clusters, and the structures of 69 of the lipids were confirmed by using in situ tandem mass spectrometry. A further application of GO matrix could reveal distinct spatio-molecular signatures in viable and necrotic tumor regions derived from a mouse breast cancer tissue. In addition, GO as a MALDI matrix has exhibited a better performance in MSI of lipids relative to N-(1-naphthyl) ethylenediamine dihydrochloride and 9-aminoacridine.

  5. Experimental evidence of hot carriers solar cell operation in multi-quantum wells heterostructures

    SciTech Connect

    Rodière, Jean; Lombez, Laurent; Le Corre, Alain; Durand, Olivier; Guillemoles, Jean-François

    2015-05-04

    We investigated a semiconductor heterostructure based on InGaAsP multi quantum wells (QWs) using optical characterizations and demonstrate its potential to work as a hot carrier cell absorber. By analyzing photoluminescence spectra, the quasi Fermi level splitting Δμ and the carrier temperature are quantitatively measured as a function of the excitation power. Moreover, both thermodynamics values are measured at the QWs and the barrier emission energy. High values of Δμ are found for both transition, and high carrier temperature values in the QWs. Remarkably, the quasi Fermi level splitting measured at the barrier energy exceeds the absorption threshold of the QWs. This indicates a working condition beyond the classical Shockley-Queisser limit.

  6. The RCSB PDB “Molecule of the Month”: Inspiring a Molecular View of Biology

    PubMed Central

    Goodsell, David S.; Dutta, Shuchismita; Zardecki, Christine; Voigt, Maria; Berman, Helen M.; Burley, Stephen K.

    2015-01-01

    The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) Molecule of the Month series provides a curated introduction to the 3-D biomolecular structures available in the Protein Data Bank archive and the tools that are available at the RCSB website for accessing and exploring them. A variety of educational materials, such as articles, videos, posters, hands-on activities, lesson plans, and curricula, build on this series for use in a variety of educational settings as a general introduction to key topics, such as enzyme action, protein synthesis, and viruses. The series and associated educational materials are freely available at www.rcsb.org. PMID:25942442

  7. The RCSB PDB "Molecule of the Month": Inspiring a Molecular View of Biology.

    PubMed

    Goodsell, David S; Dutta, Shuchismita; Zardecki, Christine; Voigt, Maria; Berman, Helen M; Burley, Stephen K

    2015-05-01

    The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) Molecule of the Month series provides a curated introduction to the 3-D biomolecular structures available in the Protein Data Bank archive and the tools that are available at the RCSB website for accessing and exploring them. A variety of educational materials, such as articles, videos, posters, hands-on activities, lesson plans, and curricula, build on this series for use in a variety of educational settings as a general introduction to key topics, such as enzyme action, protein synthesis, and viruses. The series and associated educational materials are freely available at www.rcsb.org.

  8. Late-Stage Diversification of Biologically Active Molecules via Chemoenzymatic C-H Functionalization.

    PubMed

    Durak, Landon J; Payne, James T; Lewis, Jared C

    2016-03-04

    Engineered variants of rebeccamycin halogenase were used to selectively halogenate a number of biologically active aromatic compounds. Subsequent Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions on the crude extracts of these reactions were used to install aryl, amine, and ether substituents at the halogenation site. This simple, chemoenzymatic method enables non-directed functionalization of C-H bonds on a range of substrates to provide access to derivatives that would be challenging or inefficient to prepare by other means.

  9. Detection of biological molecules using boronate-based chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph; Lane, Stephen M.; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.; Darrow, Christopher B.; Peyser, Thomas A.; Harder, Jennifer

    1999-01-01

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  10. Detection of biological molecules using boronate-based chemical amplification and optical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Van Antwerp, William Peter; Mastrototaro, John Joseph; Lane, Stephen M.; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.; Darrow, Christopher B.; Peyser, Thomas A.; Harder, Jennifer

    2004-06-15

    Methods are provided for the determination of the concentration of biological levels of polyhydroxylated compounds, particularly glucose. The methods utilize an amplification system that is an analyte transducer immobilized in a polymeric matrix, where the system is implantable and biocompatible. Upon interrogation by an optical system, the amplification system produces a signal capable of detection external to the skin of the patient. Quantitation of the analyte of interest is achieved by measurement of the emitted signal.

  11. Topology simplification: Important biological phenomenon or evolutionary relic?. Comment on "Disentangling DNA molecules" by Alexander Vologodskii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Andrew D.; Maxwell, Anthony

    2016-09-01

    The review, Disentangling DNA molecules[1], gives an excellent technical description of the phenomenon of topology simplification (TS) by type IIA DNA topoisomerases (topos). In the 20 years since its discovery [2], this effect has attracted a good deal of attention, probably because of its apparently magical nature, and because it seemed to offer a solution to the conundrum that all type II topos rely on ATP hydrolysis, but only bacterial DNA gyrases were known to transduce the free energy of hydrolysis into torsion (supercoiling) in the DNA. It made good sense to think that the other enzymes are using the energy to reduce the level of supercoiling, knotting, and particularly decatenation (unlinking), below equilibrium, since the key activity of the non-supercoiling topos is the removal of links between daughter chromosomes [3]. As Vologodskii discusses [1], there have been a number of theoretical models developed to explain how the local effect of a type II topo can influence the global level of knotting and catenation in large DNA molecules, and he explains how features of two of the most successful models (bent G segment and hooked juxtapositions) may be combined to explain the magnitude of the effect and overcome a kinetic problem with the hooked juxtaposition model.

  12. Crystallography Without Crystals: Determining the Structure of Individual Biological Molecules and Nanoparticles

    ScienceCinema

    Ourmazd, Abbas [University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

    2016-07-12

    Ever shattered a valuable vase into 10 to the 6th power pieces and tried to reassemble it under a light providing a mean photon count of 10 minus 2 per detector pixel with shot noise? If you can do that, you can do single-molecule crystallography. This talk will outline how this can be done in principle. In more technical terms, the talk will describe how the combination of scattering physics and Bayesian algorithms can be used to reconstruct the 3-D diffracted intensity distribution from a collection of individual 2-D diffiraction patterns down to a mean photon count of 10 minus 2 per pixel, the signal level anticipated from the Linac Coherent Light Source, and hence determine the structure of individual macromolecules and nanoparticles.

  13. Design, synthesis and biological activity of novel molecules designed to target PARP and DNA.

    PubMed

    Goodfellow, Elliot; Senhaji Mouhri, Zhor; Williams, Christopher; Jean-Claude, Bertrand J

    2017-02-01

    In order to enhance the cytotoxic potential of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in BRCA1 or 2 deficient tumours, we designed a series of molecules containing a 1,2,3-triazene moiety tethered to a PARP targeting scaffold. A cell-based selectivity assay involving a BRCA2-deficient Chinese hamster cell line and its corresponding BRCA2 wild type transfectant, was used to predict the PARP targeting potential of the latter agents. The results showed that adding a DNA damaging function to the PARP inhibitors decreased but did not abrogate the selective targeting of the BRCA2-deficient cells. The DNA damaging moiety augmented the potency in BRCA2 deficient cells by 2-20 fold. The most selective dual PARP-DNA targeting agent 14b was found to possess dual DNA and PARP targeting properties.

  14. Role of ATP as a Key Signaling Molecule Mediating Radiation-Induced Biological Effects.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Shuji; Ohshima, Yasuhiro; Nakatsukasa, Hiroko; Tsukimoto, Mitsutoshi

    2017-01-01

    Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) serves as a signaling molecule for adaptive responses to a variety of cytotoxic agents and plays an important role in mediating the radiation stress-induced responses that serve to mitigate or repair the injurious effects of γ radiation on the body. Indeed, low doses of radiation may have a net beneficial effect by activating a variety of protective mechanisms, including antitumor immune responses. On the other hand, ATP signaling may be involved in the radiation resistance of cancer cells. Here, focusing on our previous work, we review the evidence that low-dose γ irradiation (0.25-0.5 Gy) induces release of extracellular ATP, and that the released ATP mediates multiple radiation-induced responses, including increased intracellular antioxidant synthesis, cell-mediated immune responses, induction of DNA damage repair systems, and differentiation of regulatory T cells.

  15. Role of ATP as a Key Signaling Molecule Mediating Radiation-Induced Biological Effects

    PubMed Central

    Ohshima, Yasuhiro; Nakatsukasa, Hiroko; Tsukimoto, Mitsutoshi

    2017-01-01

    Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) serves as a signaling molecule for adaptive responses to a variety of cytotoxic agents and plays an important role in mediating the radiation stress-induced responses that serve to mitigate or repair the injurious effects of γ radiation on the body. Indeed, low doses of radiation may have a net beneficial effect by activating a variety of protective mechanisms, including antitumor immune responses. On the other hand, ATP signaling may be involved in the radiation resistance of cancer cells. Here, focusing on our previous work, we review the evidence that low-dose γ irradiation (0.25-0.5 Gy) induces release of extracellular ATP, and that the released ATP mediates multiple radiation-induced responses, including increased intracellular antioxidant synthesis, cell-mediated immune responses, induction of DNA damage repair systems, and differentiation of regulatory T cells. PMID:28250717

  16. Stable organic field-effect transistors for continuous and nondestructive sensing of chemical and biologically relevant molecules in aqueous environment.

    PubMed

    Yun, Minseong; Sharma, Asha; Fuentes-Hernandez, Canek; Hwang, Do Kyung; Dindar, Amir; Singh, Sanjeev; Choi, Sangmoo; Kippelen, Bernard

    2014-02-12

    The use of organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) as sensors in aqueous media has gained increased attention for environmental monitoring and medical diagnostics. However, stable operation of OFETs in aqueous media is particularly challenging because of electrolytic hydrolysis of water, high ionic conduction through the analyte, and irreversible damage of organic semiconductors when exposed to water. To date, OFET sensors have shown the capability of label-free sensing of various chemical/biological species, but they could only be used once because their operational stability and lifetime while operating in aqueous environments has been poor, and their response times typically slow. Here, we report on OFETs with unprecedented water stability. These OFETs are suitable for the implementation of reusable chemical/biological sensors because they primarily respond to charged species diluted in an aqueous media by rapidly shifting their threshold voltage. These OFET sensors present stable current baselines and saturated signals which are ideal for detection of low concentration of small or large molecules that alter the pH of an aqueous environment. The overall response of these OFET sensors paves the way for the development of continuous chemical/biological nondestructive sensor applications in aqueous media.

  17. Directed Evolution of RebH for Site Selective Halogenation of Large, Biologically Active Molecules**

    PubMed Central

    Payne, James T.; Poor, Catherine B.

    2015-01-01

    We recently characterized the substrate scope of wild-type RebH and evolved variants of this enzyme with improved stability for biocatalysis. The substrate scopes of both RebH and the stabilized variants, however, are limited primarily to compounds similar in size to tryptophan. We have now used a substrate walking approach to further evolve RebH variants with expanded substrate scope. Two particularly notable variants were identified: 3-SS, which provides high conversion of tricyclic tryptoline derivatives; and 4-V, which accepts a broad range of large indoles and carbazoles. This constitutes the first reported use of directed evolution to enable functionalization of substrates not accepted by wild-type RebH and demonstrates the utility of RebH variants for site-selective halogenation of biologically active compounds. PMID:25678465

  18. Fluid Flows and Their Role in the Regulation of Biological Molecules in the Bloodstream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sing, Charles; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo

    2010-03-01

    We use computer simulations to elucidate the physics underlying blood clotting mechanisms. A straightforward and general model for the behavior of proteins such as von Willebrand Factor (vWF) under various flow conditions has been developed. The particular case of vWF is considered in depth, since it demonstrates the counter-intuitive behavior of adsorbing to a surface at higher flow rates. We use the globule-stretch transition of a collapsed polymer to explain this phenomenon, and have identified the conditions necessary to induce this transition. We have also developed a theory to explain the mechanism of this transition, which is based on the nucleation and growth of large thermal protrusions. Upon the consideration of the specific length and time scales present under biological conditions, it is apparent that vWF is strongly regulated by elongational flows. We can show how phenomena from the molecular to physiological levels are supplemented by this understanding of vWF function.

  19. The Origin of Universal Scaling Laws in Biology from Molecules and Cells to Whales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Geoffrey B.

    1999-10-01

    Even though biological systems are the most complex physical systems known, they satisfy remarkably simple scaling laws. For example, metabolic rate (the power needed to sustain life) scales like the -power of mass over 26 orders of magnitude ranging from the molecular respiratory complex within mitochondria up through the smallest unicellular organism (mycoplasma) to the largest animals (whales) and plants (giant sequoia). Other scaling laws relate how organismal features change with size over many orders of magnitude; these include time-scales (such as lifespan and heart-rate) and sizes (such as the radius of a tree trunk or the aorta). All of these can be expressed as power laws with exponents which are typically simple multiples of . Their phenomenology will be discussed and a quantitative, unified model presented that can explain their origin, including that of the universal -power.

  20. Detection of nerve agents and biological molecules using embedded piezoresistive microcantilever sensors.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Timothy; Vail, Tim; Wooley, Amanda

    2008-03-01

    Embedded piezoresistive microcantilever (EPM) sensors have been used in the detection of a variety of analyte species. EPM sensors utilize a tiny piezoresistive microcantilever partially embedded into a sensing material to produce a sensing element that is compact, simple, resistant to movement and shock, and suitable for remote sensing applications. In the current project, we have used sensing materials comprised of an immobilizing polymer functionalized with either target enzymes or antibodies to detect two biological agents, bacillus globigi (BG) and Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP). DFP is an organophosphate used as a simulant for organophosphate nerve agents, while BG is a large bacterial spore used as a simulant for other bacterial spores such as bacillus anthracis. Sensing results are presented for both types of EPM sensors.

  1. Biology of HLA-G in cancer: a candidate molecule for therapeutic intervention?

    PubMed Central

    Amiot, Laurence; Ferrone, Soldano; Grosse-Wilde, Hans; Seliger, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    Although the expression of the non-classical HLA class I molecule HLA-G was first reported to be restricted to the fetal–maternal interface on the extravillous cytotrophoblasts, the distribution of HLA-G in normal tissues appears broader than originally described. HLA-G expression was found in embryonic tissues, in adult immune privileged organs, and in cells of the hematopoietic lineage. More interestingly, under pathophysiological conditions HLA-G antigens may be expressed on various types of malignant cells suggesting that HLA-G antigen expression is one strategy used by tumor cells to escape immune surveillance. In this article, we will focus on HLA-G expression in cancers of distinct histology and its association with the clinical course of diseases, on the underlying molecular mechanisms of impaired HLA-G expression, on the immune tolerant function of HLA-G in tumors, and on the use of membrane-bound and soluble HLA-G as a diagnostic or prognostic biomarker to identify tumors and to monitor disease stage, as well as on the use of HLA-G as a novel therapeutic target in cancer. PMID:21063893

  2. Probing autoinducer-2 based quorum sensing: the biological consequences of molecules unable to traverse equilibrium states.

    PubMed

    Tsuchikama, Kyoji; Lowery, Colin A; Janda, Kim D

    2011-09-02

    Bacteria have developed a cell-to-cell communication system, termed quorum sensing (QS), which allows for the population-dependent coordination of their behavior via the exchange of chemical signals. Autoinducer-2 (AI-2), a class of QS signals derived from 4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentandione (DPD), has been revealed as a universal signaling molecule in a variety of bacterial species. In spite of considerable interest, the study of putative AI-2 based QS systems remains a challenging topic in part due to the rapid interconversion between the linear and cyclic forms of DPD. Herein, we report the design and development of efficient syntheses of carbocyclic analogues of DPD, which are locked in the cyclic form. The synthetic analogues were evaluated for the modulation of AI-2-based QS in Vibrio harveyi and Salmonella typhimurium. No agonists were uncovered in either V. harveyi or S. typhimurium assay, whereas weak to moderate antagonists were found against V. harveyi. On the basis of NMR analyses and DFT calculations, the heterocyclic oxygen atom within DPD appears necessary to promote hydration at the C3 position of cyclic DPD to afford the active tetrahydroxy species. These results also shed light on the interaction between the heterocyclic oxygen atom and receptor proteins as well as the importance of the linear form and dynamic equilibrium of DPD as crucial requirements for activation of AI-2 based QS circuits.

  3. Biological functions of hCG and hCG-related molecules

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background hCG is a term referring to 4 independent molecules, each produced by separate cells and each having completely separate functions. These are hCG produced by villous syncytiotrophoblast cells, hyperglycosylated hCG produced by cytotrophoblast cells, free beta-subunit made by multiple primary non-trophoblastic malignancies, and pituitary hCG made by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary. Results and discussion hCG has numerous functions. hCG promotes progesterone production by corpus luteal cells; promotes angiogenesis in uterine vasculature; promoted the fusion of cytotrophoblast cell and differentiation to make syncytiotrophoblast cells; causes the blockage of any immune or macrophage action by mother on foreign invading placental cells; causes uterine growth parallel to fetal growth; suppresses any myometrial contractions during the course of pregnancy; causes growth and differentiation of the umbilical cord; signals the endometrium about forthcoming implantation; acts on receptor in mother's brain causing hyperemesis gravidarum, and seemingly promotes growth of fetal organs during pregnancy. Hyperglycosylated hCG functions to promote growth of cytotrophoblast cells and invasion by these cells, as occurs in implantation of pregnancy, and growth and invasion by choriocarcinoma cells. hCG free beta-subunit is produced by numerous non-trophoblastic malignancies of different primaries. The detection of free beta-subunit in these malignancies is generally considered a sign of poor prognosis. The free beta-subunit blocks apoptosis in cancer cells and promotes the growth and malignancy of the cancer. Pituitary hCG is a sulfated variant of hCG produced at low levels during the menstrual cycle. Pituitary hCG seems to mimic luteinizing hormone actions during the menstrual cycle. PMID:20735820

  4. Absorption into fluorescence. A method to sense biologically relevant gas molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strianese, Maria; Varriale, Antonio; Staiano, Maria; Pellecchia, Claudio; D'Auria, Sabato

    2011-01-01

    In this work we present an innovative optical sensing methodology based on the use of biomolecules as molecular gating nano-systems. Here, as an example, we report on the detection ofanalytes related to climate change. In particular, we focused our attention on the detection ofnitric oxide (NO) and oxygen (O2). Our methodology builds on the possibility of modulating the excitation intensity of a fluorescent probe used as a transducer and a sensor molecule whose absorption is strongly affected by the binding of an analyte of interest used as a filter. The two simple conditions that have to be fulfilled for the method to work are: (a) the absorption spectrum of the sensor placed inside the cuvette, and acting as the recognition element for the analyte of interest, should strongly change upon the binding of the analyte and (b) the fluorescence dye transducer should exhibit an excitation band which overlaps with one or more absorption bands of the sensor. The absorption band of the sensor affected by the binding of the specific analyte should overlap with the excitation band of the transducer. The high sensitivity of fluorescence detection combined with the use of proteins as highly selective sensors makes this method a powerful basis for the development of a new generation of analytical assays. Proof-of-principle results showing that cytochrome c peroxidase (CcP) for NO detection and myoglobin (Mb) for O2 detection can be successfully used by exploiting our new methodology are reported. The proposed technology can be easily expanded to the determination of different target analytes.

  5. Absorption into fluorescence. A method to sense biologically relevant gas molecules.

    PubMed

    Strianese, Maria; Varriale, Antonio; Staiano, Maria; Pellecchia, Claudio; D'Auria, Sabato

    2011-01-01

    In this work we present an innovative optical sensing methodology based on the use of biomolecules as molecular gating nano-systems. Here, as an example, we report on the detection of analytes related to climate change. In particular, we focused our attention on the detection of nitric oxide (NO) and oxygen (O2). Our methodology builds on the possibility of modulating the excitation intensity of a fluorescent probe used as a transducer and a sensor molecule whose absorption is strongly affected by the binding of an analyte of interest used as a filter. The two simple conditions that have to be fulfilled for the method to work are: (a) the absorption spectrum of the sensor placed inside the cuvette, and acting as the recognition element for the analyte of interest, should strongly change upon the binding of the analyte and (b) the fluorescence dye transducer should exhibit an excitation band which overlaps with one or more absorption bands of the sensor. The absorption band of the sensor affected by the binding of the specific analyte should overlap with the excitation band of the transducer. The high sensitivity of fluorescence detection combined with the use of proteins as highly selective sensors makes this method a powerful basis for the development of a new generation of analytical assays. Proof-of-principle results showing that cytochrome c peroxidase (CcP) for NO detection and myoglobin (Mb) for O2 detection can be successfully used by exploiting our new methodology are reported. The proposed technology can be easily expanded to the determination of different target analytes.

  6. Evolution of conformational changes in the dynamics of small biological molecules: a hybrid MD/RRK approach.

    PubMed

    Segev, Elad; Grumbach, Mikael; Gerber, Robert Benny

    2006-11-14

    The dynamics of long timescale evolution of conformational changes in small biological molecules is described by a hybrid molecular dynamics/RRK algorithm. The approach employs classical trajectories for transitions between adjacent structures separated by a low barrier, and the classical statistical RRK approximation when the barrier involved is high. In determining the long-time dynamics from an initial structure to a final structure of interest, an algorithm is introduced for determining the most efficient pathways (sequence of the intermediate conformers). This method uses the Dijkstra algorithm for finding optimal paths on networks. Three applications of the method using an AMBER force field are presented: a detailed study of conformational transitions in a blocked valine dipeptide; a multiple reaction path study of the blocked valine tripeptide; and the evolution in time from the beta hairpin to alpha helix structure of a blocked alanine hexapeptide. Advantages and limitations of the method are discussed in light of the results.

  7. Intermolecular hydrogen bonds in hetero-complexes of biologically active aromatic molecules probed by the methods of vibrational spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Semenov, M A; Blyzniuk, Iu N; Bolbukh, T V; Shestopalova, A V; Evstigneev, M P; Maleev, V Ya

    2012-09-01

    By the methods of vibrational spectroscopy (Infrared and Raman) the investigation of the hetero-association of biologically active aromatic compounds: flavin-mononucleotide (FMN), ethidium bromide (EB) and proflavine (PRF) was performed in aqueous solutions. It was shown that between the functional groups (CO and NH(2)) the intermolecular hydrogen bonds are formed in the hetero-complexes FMN-EB and FMN-PRF, additionally stabilizing these structures. An estimation of the enthalpy of Н-bonding obtained from experimental shifts of carbonyl vibrational frequencies has shown that the H-bonds do not dominate in the magnitude of experimentally measured total enthalpy of the hetero-association reactions. The main stabilization is likely due to intermolecular interactions of the molecules in these complexes and their interaction with water environment.

  8. Intermolecular hydrogen bonds in hetero-complexes of biologically active aromatic molecules probed by the methods of vibrational spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenov, M. A.; Blyzniuk, Iu. N.; Bolbukh, T. V.; Shestopalova, A. V.; Evstigneev, M. P.; Maleev, V. Ya.

    2012-09-01

    By the methods of vibrational spectroscopy (Infrared and Raman) the investigation of the hetero-association of biologically active aromatic compounds: flavin-mononucleotide (FMN), ethidium bromide (EB) and proflavine (PRF) was performed in aqueous solutions. It was shown that between the functional groups (Cdbnd O and NH2) the intermolecular hydrogen bonds are formed in the hetero-complexes FMN-EB and FMN-PRF, additionally stabilizing these structures. An estimation of the enthalpy of Н-bonding obtained from experimental shifts of carbonyl vibrational frequencies has shown that the H-bonds do not dominate in the magnitude of experimentally measured total enthalpy of the hetero-association reactions. The main stabilization is likely due to intermolecular interactions of the molecules in these complexes and their interaction with water environment.

  9. In vivo biochemistry: Applications for small molecule biosensors in plant biology

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Alexander; Grossmann, Guido; Danielson, Jonas Å.H.; Sosso, Davide; Chen, Li-Qing; Ho, Cheng Hsun; Frommer, Wolf B.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Revolutionary new technologies, namely in the areas of DNA sequencing and molecular imaging, continue to impact new discoveries in plant science and beyond. For decades we have been able to determine properties of enzymes, receptors and transporters in vitro or in heterologous systems, and more recently been able to analyze their regulation at the transcriptional level, use GFP reporters to obtain insights into cellular and subcellular localization, and measure ion and metabolite levels with unprecedented precision using mass spectrometry. However, we lack key information on location and dynamics of the substrates of enzymes, receptors and transporters, and on the regulation of these proteins in their cellular environment. Such information can now be obtained by transitioning from in vitro to in vivo biochemistry using biosensors. Genetically encoded fluorescent protein-based sensors for ion and metabolite dynamics provide highly resolved spatial and temporal information, and are complemented by sensors for pH, redox, voltage, and tension. They serve as powerful tools for identifying missing processes (e.g. glucose transport across ER membranes), components (e.g. SWEET sugar transporters for cellular sugar efflux), and signaling networks (e.g. from systematic screening of mutants that affect sugar transport or cytosolic and vacuolar pH). Combined with the knowledge of properties of enzymes and transporters and their interactions with the regulatory machinery, biosensors promise to be key diagnostic tools for systems and synthetic biology. PMID:23587939

  10. Characterization of the electronic states of the biological relevant SSNO molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayari, Tarek; Hochlaf, Majdi; Mogren Al-Mogren, Muneerah; Francisco, Joseph S.

    2017-02-01

    Using configuration interaction ab initio methods, we investigate the lowest electronic states of doublet and quartet spin multiplicities of SSNO where the one-dimensional cuts of the six-dimensional potential energy surfaces of these electronic states along the stretching and bending coordinates are computed. Mainly, these electronic states are found to be repulsive along the central SN distance. A high density of electronic states is computed even at low excitation energies that may favor their couplings. Therefore, the dynamics of the SSNO electronic states is expected to be very complex. We also characterized the bound electronic states spectroscopically where we derived their equilibrium structures and vibrational frequencies. Our calculations show the importance of taking into account of dynamical correlation, in addition to static correlation, for the accurate description of SSNO electronic excited states and more generally for those of R-NO molecular species. Finally, we highlighted the potential role of SSNO in light-induced NO delivery from SSNO related species in biological media.

  11. Identifying Organic Molecules in Space: The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ennico, Kimberly; Sandford, S.; Allamandola, L.; Bregman, J.; Cohen, M.; Cruikshank, D.; Dumas, C.; Greene, T.; Hudgins, D.; Kwok, S.

    2004-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept consists of a modest dedicated space observatory having a 60 cm class primary mirror cooled to T less than 50 K equipped with medium resolution cross-dispersed spectrometers having cooled large format near- and mid-infrared detector arrays. Such a system would be capable of addressing outstanding problems in Astrochemistry and Astrophysics that are particularly relevant to Astrobiology and addressable via astronomical observation. The mission's observaticxiai program woiild make fundamental scieztific: prngress in establishing the nature, distribution, formation and evolution of organic and other molecular materials in the following extra-terrestrial environments: 1) The Outflow of Dying Stars; 2) The Diffuse Interstellar Medium (DISM); 3) Dense Molecular Clouds, Star Formation Regions, and Young Stellar/Planetary Systems; 4) Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies within the Solar System; and 5) The Interstellar Media of Other Galaxies ABE could make fundamental progress in all of these area by conducting a 1 to 2 year mission to obtain a coordinated set of infrared spectroscopic observations over the 2.5 - 20 micron spectral range at a spectral resolution of R greater than 2500 of about 1500 galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, young stellar objects, and solar system objects.

  12. Identifying Organic Molecules in Space - The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ennico, K. A.; Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L. J.; Bregman, J. D.; Cohen, M.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Dumas, C.; Greene, T. P.; Hudgins, D. M.; Kwok, S.; Lord, S. D.; Madden, S. C.; McCreight, C. R.; Roellig, T. L.; Strecker, D. W.; Tielens, A. G.; Werner, M. W.; Wilmoth, K. L.

    2003-12-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept consists of a modest dedicated space observatory having a 60 cm class primary mirror cooled to T < 50 K equipped with a modest resolution cross-dispersed spectrometers having cooled large format near- and mid-infrared detector arrays. Such as system would be capable of addressing outstanding problems in Astrochemistry and Astrophysics that are particularly relevant to Astrobiology and addressable via astronomical observation. This mission's observationsal program would make fundamental scientific progress in establishing the nature, distribution, formation and evolution of organic and other molecular materials in the following extraterrestrial environments: 1 The Outflow of Dying Stars 2 The Diffuse Interstellar Medium 3 Dense Molecular Clouds, Star Formation Regions, and Young Stellar/Planetary Systems 4 Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies within the Solar System, and 5 Interstellar Media of Other Galaxies ABE could make fundamental progress in all of these areas by conducting a 1 to 2 year mission to obtain a coordinated set of infrared spectroscopic observations over the 2.5-20 micron spectral range at a spectral resolution of R > 2500 of about 1500 galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, young stellar objects, and solar system objects.

  13. Identifying organic molecules in space: the AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ennico, Kimberly A.; Sandford, Scott A.

    2004-10-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept consists of a dedicated space observatory having a 60 cm class primary mirror cooled to T < 50 K equipped with medium resolution cross-dispersed spectrometers having cooled large format near- and mid-infrared detector arrays. Such a system would be capable of addressing outstanding problems in Astrochemistry and Astrophysics that are particularly relevant to Astrobiology and addressable via astronomical observation. The mission's observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in establishing the nature, distribution, formation and evolution of organic and other molecular materials in the following extra-terrestrial environments: 1) The Outflow of Dying Stars, 2) The Diffuse Interstellar Medium, 3) Dense Molecular Clouds, Star Formation Regions, and Young Stellar/Planetary Systems, 4) Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies within the Solar System, and 5) The Interstellar Media of Other Galaxies. ABE could make fundamental progress in all of these areas by conducting a 1 to 2 year mission to obtain a coordinated set of infrared spectroscopic observations over the 2.5-20 micron spectral range at a spectral resolution of R > 2000 of about 1500 objects including galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, young stellar objects, and solar system objects.

  14. Identifying Organic Molecules in Space: The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ennico, K. A.; Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L.; Bregman, J.; Cohen, M.; Cruikshank, D.; Dumas, C.; Greene, T.; Hudgins, D.; Kwok, S.

    2004-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission concept consists of a dedicated space observatory having a 60 cm class primary mirror cooled to T < 50 K equipped with medium resolution cross-dispersed spectrometers having cooled large format near- and mid-infrared detector arrays. Such a system would be capable of addressing outstanding problems in Astrochemistry and Astrophysics that are particularly relevant to Astrobiology and addressable via astronomical observation. The mission s observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in establishing the nature, distribution, formation and evolution of organic and other molecular materials in the following extra-terrestrial environments: 1) The Outflow of Dying Stars, 2) The Diffuse Interstellar Medium, 3) Dense Molecular Clouds, Star Formation Regions, and Young StellarPlanetary Systems, 4) Planets, Satellites, and Small Bodies within the Solar System, and 5 ) The Interstellar Media of Other Galaxies. ABE could make fundamental progress in all of these areas by conducting a 1 to 2 year mission to obtain a coordinated set of infrared spectroscopic observations over the 2.5-20 micron spectral range at a spectral resolution of R > 2000 of about 1500 objects including galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, young stellar objects, and solar system objects. Keywords: Astrobiology, infrared, Explorers, interstellar organics, telescope, spectrometer, space, infrared detectors

  15. Applications of Path Integral Langevin Dynamics to Weakly Bound Clusters and Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ing, Christopher; Hinsen, Conrad; Yang, Jing; Roy, Pierre-Nicholas

    2011-06-01

    We present the use of path integral molecular dynamics (PIMD) in conjunction with the path integral Langevin equation thermostat for sampling systems that exhibit nuclear quantum effects, notably those at low temperatures or those consisting mainly of hydrogen or helium. To test this approach, the internal energy of doped helium clusters are compared with white-noise Langevin thermostatting and high precision path integral monte carlo (PIMC) simulations. We comment on the structural evolution of these clusters in the absence of rotation and exchange as a function of cluster size. To quantify the importance of both rotation and exchange in our PIMD simulation, we compute band origin shifts for (He)_N-CO_2 as a function of cluster size and compare to previously published experimental and theoretical shifts. A convergence study is presented to confirm the systematic error reduction introduced by increasing path integral beads for our implementation in the Molecular Modelling Toolkit (MMTK) software package. Applications to carbohydrates are explored at biological temperatures by calculating both equilibrium and dynamical properties using the methods presented. M. Ceriotti, M. Parrinello, and D. E. Manolopoulos, J Chem Phys 133, 124104. H. Li, N. Blinov, P.-N. Roy, and R. J. L. Roy, J Chem Phys 130, 144305.

  16. A ligation-triggered DNAzyme cascade for amplified fluorescence detection of biological small molecules with zero-background signal.

    PubMed

    Lu, Li-Min; Zhang, Xiao-Bing; Kong, Rong-Mei; Yang, Bin; Tan, Weihong

    2011-08-03

    Many types of fluorescent sensing systems have been reported for biological small molecules. Particularly, several methods have been developed for the recognition of ATP or NAD(+), but they only show moderate sensitivity, and they cannot discriminate either ATP or NAD(+) from their respective analogues. We have addressed these limitations and report here a dual strategy which combines split DNAzyme-based background reduction with catalytic and molecular beacon (CAMB)-based amplified detection to develop a ligation-triggered DNAzyme cascade, resulting in ultrahigh sensitivity. First, the 8-17 DNAzyme is split into two separate oligonucleotide fragments as the building blocks for the DNA ligation reaction, thereby providing a zero-background signal to improve overall sensitivity. Next, a CAMB strategy is further employed for amplified signal detection achieved through cycling and regenerating the DNAzyme to realize the true enzymatic multiple turnover (one enzyme catalyzes the cleavage of several substrates) of catalytic beacons. This combination of zero-background signal and signal amplification significantly improves the sensitivity of the sensing systems, resulting in detection limits of 100 and 50 pM for ATP and NAD(+), respectively, much lower than those of previously reported biosensors. Moreover, by taking advantage of the highly specific biomolecule-dependence of the DNA ligation reaction, the developed DNAzyme cascades show significantly high selectivity toward the target cofactor (ATP or NAD(+)), and the target biological small molecule can be distinguished from its analogues. Therefore, as a new and universal platform for the design of DNA ligation reaction-based sensing systems, this novel ligation-triggered DNAzyme cascade method may find a broad spectrum of applications in both environmental and biomedical fields.

  17. Multi-Quantum Well Structures to Improve the Performance of Multijunction Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samberg, Joshua Paul

    Current, lattice matched triple junction solar cell efficiency is approximately 44% at a solar concentration of 942x. Higher efficiency for such cells can be realized with the development of a 1eV bandgap material lattice matched to Ge. One of the more promising materials for this application is that of the InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum well (MQW) structure. By inserting a stress/strain-balanced InGaAs/GaAsP MQW structure into the iregion of a GaAs p-i-n diode, the absorption edge of the p-i-n diode can be red shifted with respect to that of a standard GaAs p-n diode. Compressive stress in the InGaAs wells are balanced via GaAsP barriers subjected to tensile stress. Individually, the InGaAs and GaAsP layers are grown below their critical layer thickness to prevent the formation of misfit and threading dislocations. Until recently InGaAs/GaAsP MQWs have been somewhat hindered by their usage of low phosphorus-GaAsP barriers. Presented within is the development of a high-P composition GaAsP and the merits for using such a high composition of phosphorus are discussed. It is believed that these barriers represent the highest phosphorus content to date in such a structure. By using high composition GaAsP the carriers are collected via tunneling (for barriers .30A) as opposed to thermionic emission. Thus, by utilizing thin, high content GaAsP barriers one can increase the percentage of the intrinsic region in a p-i-n structure that is comprised of the InGaAs well in addition to increasing the number of periods that can be grown for a given depletion width. However, standard MQWs of this type inherently possess undesirable compressive strain and quantum size effects (QSE) that cause the optical absorption of the InGaAs wells to blue shift. To circumvent these deleterious QSEs stress balanced, pseudomorphic InGaAs/GaAsP staggered MQWs were developed. Tunneling is still a viable mode for carrier transport in the staggered MQW structures. GaAs interfacial layers within the multi-quantum

  18. Biologically active molecules regulating the IgE antibody system: biochemical and biological comparisons of suppressive factor of allergy (SFA) and enhancing factor of allergy (EFA).

    PubMed

    Katz, D H; Chen, S S; Liu, F T; Bogowitz, C A; Katz, L R

    1984-01-01

    Studies in recent years directed at unraveling the complex regulatory mechanisms controlling IgE antibody production have demonstrated the existence of soluble factors that exert selective regulatory effects on the IgE antibody system. In addition, the demonstration of IgE-specific Fc receptors (FcR epsilon) on B and T lymphocytes, especially after exposure to high concentrations of IgE either in vivo or in vitro, has provided increasingly strong indications of an important role for such cells in the overall control of the IgE system. In our own laboratory, we have been studying soluble regulatory factors known as suppressive factor of allergy (SFA) and enhancing factor of allergy (EFA), which were initially identified by their selective, and opposing, regulatory effects on in vivo IgE responses in inbred mice. More recently, in an in vitro system in which it is possible to induce the de novo expression of FcR epsilon on lymphocytes cultured in the presence of monoclonal IgE, we reported that concomitant exposure of such cultured cells to SFA selectively blocked the induction of FcR epsilon expression. In the present study, we have extended these investigations by making a direct comparison between certain biological properties and biochemical characteristics of SFA and EFA. We found that SFA and EFA can be distinguished biochemically on the basis of size, SFA falling in the range of 30,000 daltons or so, and EFA falling in the range of 15,000 daltons. In examining their biological properties, we unexpectedly found that although SFA-enriched and EFA-enriched fractions exert dramatically distinct biological effects on in vivo IgE antibody synthesis (as implied by their names), the two respective active fractions are totally indistinguishable in their inhibitory effects on IgE-mediated induction of FcR epsilon + lymphocytes in vitro when intact spleen cell populations are exposed to monoclonal IgE. That the active entities in SFA and EFA responsible for inhibition of

  19. Holography and coherent diffraction with low-energy electrons: A route towards structural biology at the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    Latychevskaia, Tatiana; Longchamp, Jean-Nicolas; Escher, Conrad; Fink, Hans-Werner

    2015-12-01

    The current state of the art in structural biology is led by NMR, X-ray crystallography and TEM investigations. These powerful tools however all rely on averaging over a large ensemble of molecules. Here, we present an alternative concept aiming at structural analysis at the single molecule level. We show that by combining electron holography and coherent diffraction imaging estimations concerning the phase of the scattered wave become needless as the phase information is extracted from the data directly and unambiguously. Performed with low-energy electrons the resolution of this lens-less microscope is just limited by the De Broglie wavelength of the electron wave and the numerical aperture, given by detector geometry. In imaging freestanding graphene, a resolution of 2Å has been achieved revealing the 660.000 unit cells of the graphene sheet from a single data set. Once applied to individual biomolecules the method shall ultimately allow for non-destructive imaging and imports the potential to distinguish between different conformations of proteins with atomic resolution.

  20. Characterization of the biological activity of a potent small molecule Hec1 inhibitor TAI-1

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hec1 (NDC80) is an integral part of the kinetochore and is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, making it an attractive molecular target for the design of novel anticancer therapeutics. A highly potent first-in-class compound targeting Hec1, TAI-1, was identified and is characterized in this study to determine its potential as an anticancer agent for clinical utility. Methods The in vitro potency, cancer cell specificity, synergy activity, and markers for response of TAI-1 were evaluated with cell lines. Mechanism of action was confirmed with western blotting and immunofluorescent staining. The in vivo potency of TAI-1 was evaluated in three xenograft models in mice. Preliminary toxicity was evaluated in mice. Specificity to the target was tested with a kinase panel. Cardiac safety was evaluated with hERG assay. Clinical correlation was performed with human gene database. Results TAI-1 showed strong potency across a broad spectrum of tumor cells. TAI-1 disrupted Hec1-Nek2 protein interaction, led to Nek2 degradation, induced significant chromosomal misalignment in metaphase, and induced apoptotic cell death. TAI-1 was effective orally in in vivo animal models of triple negative breast cancer, colon cancer and liver cancer. Preliminary toxicity shows no effect on the body weights, organ weights, and blood indices at efficacious doses. TAI-1 shows high specificity to cancer cells and to target and had no effect on the cardiac channel hERG. TAI-1 is synergistic with doxorubicin, topotecan and paclitaxel in leukemia, breast and liver cancer cells. Sensitivity to TAI-1 was associated with the status of RB and P53 gene. Knockdown of RB and P53 in cancer cells increased sensitivity to TAI-1. Hec1-overexpressing molecular subtypes of human lung cancer were identified. Conclusions The excellent potency, safety and synergistic profiles of this potent first-in-class Hec1-targeted small molecule TAI-1 show its potential for clinically utility in anti

  1. From animal to molecule: aspects of the biology of insulin-like growth factors.

    PubMed Central

    Gilmour, R. S.; Prosser, C. G.; Fleet, I. R.; Cocco, L.; Saunders, J. C.; Brown, K. D.; Corps, A. N.

    1988-01-01

    The synthesis of IGF-II mRNA in sheep foetal tissues is considerably higher than IGF-I. IGF-II probably has a paracrine role in the foetus; however it is likely that IGF-I originates mainly from the foetal liver and has an endocrine function. Although in the adult system IGF-I is tightly bound to serum carrier proteins it is potentially biologically active. Galactopoiesis in the goat mammary gland provides a useful model for demonstrating the importance of circulating IGF-I as a mediator of GH action. Ligand-receptor interactions involved in the stimulation of Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts by IGF-I, II and insulin were examined. It was found that the potency of binding to type I receptors was IGF-I greater than IGF-II much greater than insulin by competitive binding assays and chemical cross-linking studies, and that some cell lines secrete an IGF binding protein which is specific for IGF-I and II and which acts as an inhibitor in cellular binding assays. Maximal stimulation of DNA synthesis induced by IGF-I, II and insulin in the presence of synergising mitogens were similar. While the actions of the IGFs were consistent with type I receptor binding insulin appeared to act through its own receptor. The reduction of EGF receptor affinity following the addition of IGF-I and insulin to 3T3 cells may involve a protein kinase that is not sensitive to phorbol esters. 3T3 cell nuclei contain endogenous inositol phospholipids and their corresponding kinases and monoesterases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) Images Figure 4 Figure 6 PMID:2855464

  2. 2-nitroglycals as powerful glycosyl donors: application in the synthesis of biologically important molecules.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Richard R; Vankar, Yashwant D

    2008-08-01

    [Reaction: see text]. The biological significance of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates is profound and wide-ranging. For example, the mucins have attracted attention because of their role in fundamental cellular processes such as fertilization, parasitic infection, inflammation, immune defense, cell growth, and cell-cell adhesion. Increased expression of mucins is implicated in malignant transformation of cells. Antifreeze glycoproteins also are of interest because they are important for the survival of many marine teleost fishes that live in polar and subpolar waters. The synthesis of glycoconjugates requires methods for glycoside bond formation, the most difficult aspect of which is the assembly of monosaccharide building blocks. This Account discusses a valuable addition to the repertoire of methods for glycoconjugate synthesis: an approach that involves 2-nitroglycal concatenation. For a long time, methods for glycosylation via glycosyl donor generation required either an anomeric oxygen exchange reaction or anomeric oxygen retention. In the case of an anomeric oxygen exchange reaction, activation of the glycosyl donors demands a promoter in at least equimolar amounts. However, anomeric oxygen retention, such as base-catalyzed formation of O-glycosyl trichloroacetimidates, can be activated by catalytic amounts of acid or Lewis acid. Alternatively, glycals, which are readily available from sugars, can be an attractive starting material for glycoside bond formation. Their nucleophilic character at C-2 permits reactions with oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur electrophiles that under high substrate stereocontrol generally lead to three-membered rings; ring opening under acid catalysis furnishes the corresponding glycosides, whichdepending on the electrophile Xare also employed for 2-deoxyglycoside synthesis. Glycals also can be transformed into derivatives that have at C-2 an electron-withdrawing group and are amenable to Michael-type addition. A good example are 2

  3. Radiation response of multi-quantum well solar cells: Electron-beam-induced current analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Maximenko, S. I. Scheiman, D. A.; Jenkins, P. P.; Walters, R. J.; Lumb, M. P.; Hoheisel, R.; Gonzalez, M.; Messenger, S. R.; Tibbits, T. N. D.; Imaizumi, M.; Ohshima, T.; Sato, S. I.

    2015-12-28

    Solar cells utilizing multi-quantum well (MQW) structures are considered promising candidate materials for space applications. An open question is how well these structures can resist the impact of particle irradiation. The aim of this work is to provide feedback about the radiation response of In{sub 0.01}Ga{sub 0.99}As solar cells grown on Ge with MQWs incorporated within the i-region of the device. In particular, the local electronic transport properties of the MQW i-regions of solar cells subjected to electron and proton irradiation were evaluated experimentally using the electron beam induced current (EBIC) technique. The change in carrier collection distribution across the MQW i-region was analyzed using a 2D EBIC diffusion model in conjunction with numerical modeling of the electrical field distribution. Both experimental and simulated findings show carrier removal and type conversion from n- to p-type in MQW i-region at a displacement damage dose as low as ∼6.06–9.88 × 10{sup 9} MeV/g. This leads to a redistribution of the electric field and significant degradation in charge carrier collection.

  4. Investigation of carrier collection in multi-quantum well solar cells by luminescence spectra analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delamarre, Amaury; Fujii, Hiromasa; Watanabe, Kentaroh; Guillemoles, Jean-François; Nakano, Yoshiaki; Sugiyama, Masakazu

    2015-03-01

    Multi-Quantum well solar cells (MQWSC) have been shown to present several advantages, among which are low dark currents and tunable bandgaps. They are especially suited for implementation in multi-junction cells, and are highly promising for absorbers in Hot Carrier Solar Cells (HCSC). Such applications require high concentration ratio, which arises the issue of collection efficiency. Whereas it is usually considered that collection in MQW is very close to unity at one sun, it has been shown to not be the case under high concentration at the maximum power point. We propose in this work to take advantage of the luminescence spectral variation to investigate the depth collection efficiency. In order to validate the model, a series of strain compensated InGaAs/GaAsP MQW solar cells with intentional variation of the MQW doping concentration are grown. This has the effect of switching the space charge region position and width as well as the electric field intensity. Recording the luminescence spectra at various illumination intensities and applied voltages, we show that the in-depth quasi-Fermi level splitting and thus collection properties can be probed. Other measurements (EQE, luminescence intensity variation) are shown to be consistent with these results. Regarding their use as HCSC, the luminescence of MQW solar cells has been mainly used so far for investigating the quasi-Fermi level splitting and the temperature. Our results improve our understanding by adding information on carrier transport.

  5. Radiation response of multi-quantum well solar cells: Electron-beam-induced current analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maximenko, S. I.; Lumb, M. P.; Hoheisel, R.; Gonzalez, M.; Scheiman, D. A.; Messenger, S. R.; Tibbits, T. N. D.; Imaizumi, M.; Ohshima, T.; Sato, S. I.; Jenkins, P. P.; Walters, R. J.

    2015-12-01

    Solar cells utilizing multi-quantum well (MQW) structures are considered promising candidate materials for space applications. An open question is how well these structures can resist the impact of particle irradiation. The aim of this work is to provide feedback about the radiation response of In0.01Ga0.99As solar cells grown on Ge with MQWs incorporated within the i-region of the device. In particular, the local electronic transport properties of the MQW i-regions of solar cells subjected to electron and proton irradiation were evaluated experimentally using the electron beam induced current (EBIC) technique. The change in carrier collection distribution across the MQW i-region was analyzed using a 2D EBIC diffusion model in conjunction with numerical modeling of the electrical field distribution. Both experimental and simulated findings show carrier removal and type conversion from n- to p-type in MQW i-region at a displacement damage dose as low as ˜6.06-9.88 × 109 MeV/g. This leads to a redistribution of the electric field and significant degradation in charge carrier collection.

  6. Regulatory forum opinion piece: differences between protein-based biologic products (biotherapeutics) and chemical entities (small molecules) of relevance to the toxicologic pathologist.

    PubMed

    Leach, Michael W

    2013-01-01

    With the advances in cell culture methodologies and molecular biology that have occurred over the past several decades, biologics have become as common as small molecules within the portfolios of the pharmaceutical industry. Toxicologic pathologists should be aware of some of the fundamental differences between small molecules and biologics. Effects are not always observed in studies following administration of biologics. When findings are observed, the toxicologic pathologist should initially determine whether the effect(s) are mediated (directly or indirectly) via the intended pharmacology, exaggerated pharmacology, an immune response, and/or off target effects. Following this determination, the toxicologic pathologist should provide an assessment regarding the relevance of the findings to the intended clinical population, usually humans. The toxicologic pathologist may also be asked to assess unusual species and models. Given their broad background in physiology and immunology, toxicologic pathologists are uniquely positioned to provide this input to drug development teams.

  7. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Liefeng E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn; Yang, Xiufang; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng; Li, Yang; Li, Ding; Hu, Xiaodong; Li, Hongru E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn

    2015-04-15

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}, as shown in Fig. 2; I{sub th}{sup l} is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; I{sub th}{sup u} is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (V{sub j}) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}. The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region.

  8. Poly-(amidoamine) dendrimers with a precisely core positioned sulforhodamine B molecule for comparative biological tracing and profiling.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lin-Ping; Ficker, Mario; Mejlsøe, Søren L; Hall, Arnaldur; Paolucci, Valentina; Christensen, Jørn B; Trohopoulos, Panagiotis N; Moghimi, Seyed M

    2017-01-28

    We report on a simple robust procedure for synthesis of generation-4 poly-(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers with a precisely core positioned single sulforhodamine B molecule. The labelled dendrimers exhibited high fluorescent quantum yields where the absorbance and fluorescence spectrum of the fluorophore was not affected by pH and temperature. Since the stoichiometry of the fluorophore to the dendrimer is 1:1, we were able to directly compare uptake kinetics, the mode of uptake, trafficking and safety of dendrimers of different end-terminal functionality (carboxylated vs. pyrrolidonated) by two phenotypically different human endothelial cell types (the human brain capillary endothelial cell line hCMEC/D3 and human umbilical vein endothelial cells), and without interference of the fluorophore in uptake processes. The results demonstrate comparable uptake kinetics and a predominantly clathrin-mediated endocytotic mechanism, irrespective of dendrimer end-terminal functionality, where the majority of dendrimers are directed to the endo-lysosomal compartments in both cell types. A minor fraction of dendrimers, however, localize to endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus, presumably through the recycling endosomes. In contrast to amino-terminated PAMAM dendrimers, we confirm safety of carboxylic acid- and pyrrolidone-terminated PAMAM dendrimers through determination of cell membrane integrity and comprehensive respiratory profiling (measurements of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and determination of its coupling efficiency). Our dendrimer core-labelling approach could provide a new conceptual basis for improved understanding of dendrimer performance within biological settings.

  9. Utilization of Microwave Spectroscopy to Identify and Probe Reaction Dynamics of Hsno, a Crucial Biological Signaling Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nava, Matthew; Martin-Drumel, Marie-Aline; Stanton, John F.; Cummins, Christopher; McCarthy, Michael C.

    2016-06-01

    Thionitrous acid (HSNO), a potential key intermediate in biological signaling pathways, has been proposed to link NO and H2S biochemistries. Its existence and stability in vivo, however, remain controversial. By means of Fourier-transform microwave spectroscopy, we establish that HSNO is spontaneously formed in high concentration when NO and H2S gases are simply mixed at room temperature in the presence of metallic surfaces. Our measurements reveal that HSNO is formed with high efficiency by the reaction H2S and N2O3 to produce HSNO and HNO2, where N2O3 is a product of NO disproportionation. These studies also suggest that further reaction of HSNO with H2S may form HNO and HSSH. The length of the S--N bond has been derived to high precision from isotopic studies, and is found to be unusually long, 1.84 Å -- the longest S--N bond reported to date for an SNO compound. The present structural and reactivity investigations of this elusive molecule provide a firm fundation to better understand its physiological chemistry and propensity to undergo S--N bond homolysis in vivo.

  10. Prospect of detection and recognition of single biological molecules using ultrafast coherent dynamics in quantum dot-metallic nanoparticle systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi, S. M.

    2015-08-01

    Conventional plasmonic sensors are based on the intrinsic resonances of metallic nanoparticles. In such sensors wavelength shift of such resonances are used to detect biological molecules. Recently we introduced ultra-sensitive timedomain nanosensors based on the way variations in the environmental conditions influence coherent dynamics of hybrid systems consisting of metallic nanoparticles and quantum dots. Such dynamics are generated via interaction of these systems with a laser field, generating quantum coherence and coherent exciton-plasmon coupling. These sensors are based on impact of variations of the refractive index of the environment on such dynamics, generating time-dependent changes in the emission of the QDs. In this paper we study the impact of material properties of the metallic nanoparticles on this process and demonstrate the key role played by the design of the quantum dots. We show that Ag nanoparticles, even in a simple spherical shape, may allow these sensors to operate at room temperature, owing to the special properties of quantum dot-metallic nanoparticle systems that may allow coherent effects utilized in such sensors happen in the presence of the ultrafast polarization dephasing of quantum dots.

  11. Supramolecular assembly of biological molecules purified from bovine nerve cells: from microtubule bundles and necklaces to neurofilament networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Needleman, Daniel J.; Jones, Jayna B.; Raviv, Uri; Ojeda-Lopez, Miguel A.; Miller, H. P.; Li, Y.; Wilson, L.; Safinya, C. R.

    2005-11-01

    With the completion of the human genome project, the biosciences community is beginning the daunting task of understanding the structures and functions of a large number of interacting biological macromolecules. Examples include the interacting molecules involved in the process of DNA condensation during the cell cycle, and in the formation of bundles and networks of filamentous actin proteins in cell attachment, motility and cytokinesis. In this proceedings paper we present examples of supramolecular assembly based on proteins derived from the vertebrate nerve cell cytoskeleton. The axonal cytoskeleton in vertebrate neurons provides a rich example of bundles and networks of neurofilaments, microtubules (MTs) and filamentous actin, where the nature of the interactions, structures, and structure-function correlations remains poorly understood. We describe synchrotron x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and optical imaging data, in reconstituted protein systems purified from bovine central nervous system, which reveal unexpected structures not predicted by current electrostatic theories of polyelectrolyte bundling, including three-dimensional MT bundles and two-dimensional MT necklaces.

  12. Bioorganic chemistry à la baguette: studies on molecular recognition in biological systems using rigid-rod molecules.

    PubMed

    Matile, S

    2001-01-01

    Initial studies using rigid-rod molecules or "baguettes" to address bioorganic topics of current scientific concern are reported. It is illustrated how transmembrane oligo(p-phenylene)s as representative model rods can be tuned to recognize lipid bilayer membranes either by their thickness or polarization. The construction of otherwise problematic hydrogen-bonded chains along transmembrane rods yields "proton wires," which act by a mechanism that is central in bioenergetics but poorly explored by means of synthetic models. Another example focuses on multivalent ligands assembling rigid-rod cell-surface receptors into transmembrane dynamic arene arrays. The potassium transport mediated by these ligand-receptor complexes provides experimental support for the potential biological importances of the controversial cation-pi mechanism. More complex supramolecular architecture is portrayed in the first artificial beta-barrels. It is shown how programmed assembly of toroidal rigid-rod supramolecules in detergent-free water permits control of diameter of the chemical nature of their interior. Reversed rigid-rod beta-barrels are assembled to function as self-assembled ionophores, ion channel models, and transmembrane nanopores. The potential of future intratoroidal chemistry is exemplified by encapsulation and planarization of beta-carotene in water and the construction of transmembrane B-DNA at the center of a second-sphere host-guest complex à al baguette.

  13. Design of monocrystalline Si/SiGe multi-quantum well microbolometer detector for infrared imaging systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafique, Atia; Durmaz, Emre C.; Cetindogan, Barbaros; Yazici, Melik; Kaynak, Mehmet; Kaynak, Canan B.; Gurbuz, Yasar

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents the design, modelling and simulation results of silicon/silicon-germanium (Si/SiGe) multi-quantum well based bolometer detector for uncooled infrared imaging system. The microbolometer is designed to detect light in the long wave length infrared (LWIR) range from 8 to 14 μm with pixel size of 25 x 25 μm. The design optimization strategy leads to achieve the temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) 4.5%/K with maximum germanium (Ge) concentration of 50%. The design of microbolometer entirely relies on standard CMOS and MEMS processes which makes it suitable candidate for commercial infrared imaging systems.

  14. Recent advances in experimental techniques to probe fast excited-state dynamics in biological molecules in the gas phase: dynamics in nucleotides, amino acids and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Staniforth, Michael; Stavros, Vasilios G.

    2013-01-01

    In many chemical reactions, an activation barrier must be overcome before a chemical transformation can occur. As such, understanding the behaviour of molecules in energetically excited states is critical to understanding the chemical changes that these molecules undergo. Among the most prominent reactions for mankind to understand are chemical changes that occur in our own biological molecules. A notable example is the focus towards understanding the interaction of DNA with ultraviolet radiation and the subsequent chemical changes. However, the interaction of radiation with large biological structures is highly complex, and thus the photochemistry of these systems as a whole is poorly understood. Studying the gas-phase spectroscopy and ultrafast dynamics of the building blocks of these more complex biomolecules offers the tantalizing prospect of providing a scientifically intuitive bottom-up approach, beginning with the study of the subunits of large polymeric biomolecules and monitoring the evolution in photochemistry as the complexity of the molecules is increased. While highly attractive, one of the main challenges of this approach is in transferring large, and in many cases, thermally labile molecules into vacuum. This review discusses the recent advances in cutting-edge experimental methodologies, emerging as excellent candidates for progressing this bottom-up approach. PMID:24204191

  15. Prion-like nanofibrils of small molecules (PriSM): A new frontier at the intersection of supramolecular chemistry and cell biology.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jie; Du, Xuewen; Xu, Bing

    2015-01-01

    Formed by non-covalent interactions and not defined at genetic level, the assemblies of small molecules in biology are complicated and less explored. A common morphology of the supramolecular assemblies of small molecules is nanofibrils, which coincidentally resembles the nanofibrils formed by proteins such as prions. So these supramolecular assemblies are termed as prion-like nanofibrils of small molecules (PriSM). Emerging evidence from several unrelated fields over the past decade implies the significance of PriSM in biology and medicine. This perspective aims to highlight some recent advances of the research on PriSM. This paper starts with description of the intriguing similarities between PriSM and prions, discusses the paradoxical features of PriSM, introduces the methods for elucidating the biological functions of PriSM, illustrates several examples of beneficial aspects of PriSM, and finishes with the promises and current challenges in the research of PriSM. We anticipate that the research of PriSM will contribute to the fundamental understanding at the intersection of supramolecular chemistry and cell biology and ultimately lead to a new paradigm of molecular (or supramolecular) therapeutics for biomedicine.

  16. Encapsulation and Diffraction-Pattern-Correction Methods to Reduce the Effect of Damage in X-Ray Diffraction Imaging of Single Biological Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Hau-Riege, Stefan P.; London, Richard A.; Chapman, Henry N.; Szoke, Abraham; Timneanu, Nicusor

    2007-05-11

    Short and intense x-ray pulses may be used for atomic-resolution diffraction imaging of single biological molecules. Radiation damage and a low signal-to-noise ratio impose stringent pulse requirements. In this Letter, we describe methods for decreasing the damage and improving the signal by encapsulating the molecule in a sacrificial layer (tamper) that reduces atomic motion and by postprocessing the pulse-averaged diffraction pattern to correct for ionization damage. Simulations show that these methods greatly improve the image quality.

  17. A novel method developed for estimating mineralization efficiencies and its application in PC and PEC degradations of large molecule biological compounds with unknown chemical formula.

    PubMed

    Li, Guiying; Liu, Xiaolu; An, Taicheng; Wong, Po Keung; Zhao, Huijun

    2016-05-15

    A new method to estimate the photocatalytic (PC) and photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) mineralization efficiencies of large molecule biological compounds with unknown chemical formula in water was firstly developed and experimentally validated. The method employed chemical oxidation under the standard dichromate chemical oxygen demand (COD) conditions to obtain QCOD values of model compounds with unknown chemical formula. The measured QCOD values were used as the reference to replace QCOD values of model compounds for calculation of the mineralization efficiencies (in %) by assuming the obtained QCOD values are the measure of the theoretical charge required for the complete mineralization of organic pollutants. Total organic carbon (TOC) was also employed as a reference to confirm the mineralization capacity of dichromate chemical oxidation. The developed method was applied to determine the degradation extent of model compounds, such as bovine serum albumin (BSA), lecithin and bacterial DNA, by PC and PEC. Incomplete PC mineralization of all large molecule biological compounds was observed, especially for BSA. But the introduction of electrochemical technique into a PC oxidation process could profoundly improve the mineralization efficiencies of model compounds. PEC mineralization efficiencies of bacterial DNA was the highest, while that of lecithin was the lowest. Overall, PEC degradation method was found to be much effective than PC method for all large molecule biological compounds investigated, with PEC/PC mineralization ratios followed an order of BSA > lecithin > DNA.

  18. Breaking the Nanometer Barrier: Progress in Biological Nanoscience, Measured One Molecule at a Time (How a Biophysicist Watches DNA Transcription)

    SciTech Connect

    Block, Stephen

    2006-03-20

    A new field of scientific exploration - single molecule biophysics - is currently reshaping and redefining our understanding of the mechanochemistry of life. The development of laser-based optical traps, or 'optical tweezers,' has allowed for physiological assessments of such precision that bio-molecules can now be measured and studied one at a time. In this colloquium, Professor Block will present findings based on his group's construction of optical trapping instrumentation that has broken the nanometer barrier, allowing researchers to study single-molecule displacements on the Angstrom level. Focusing on RNA polymerase, the motor enzyme responsible for transcribing the genetic code contained in DNA, Block's group has been able to measure, in real time, the motion of a single molecule of RNA polymerase as it moves from base to base along the DNA template.

  19. Hydration Structures and Thermodynamic Properties of Cationized Biologically Relevant Molecules, M+(Indole)(H2O)n (M = Na, K; n = 3-6)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ke, Haochen; Lisy, James

    2015-03-01

    The balance between various noncovalent interactions plays a key role in determining the hydration structures and thermodynamic properties of biologically relevant molecules in biological mediums. Such properties of biologically relevant molecules are closely related to their often unique biological functionalities. The indole moiety is a basic functional group of many important neurotransmitters and hormones and has been used as tractable model for more complex biomolecules. The cationized indole water cluster is a perfect system for the quantitative and systematic study of the competition and cooperation of noncovalent interactions, as electrostatic interactions can be adjusted by introducing different monovalent cations and hydrogen bonding interactions can be adjusted by varying the level of hydration. IRPD spectra with isotopic (H/D) analysis helped unravel the overlapping N-H and O-H stretching modes, a major challenge of earlier studies. Thermodynamic analysis using relative Gibbs free energies, for energy ordering, together with spectral analysis provided unambiguous assignment of spectral features and structural configurations. A systematic hydration model with an in-depth account of noncovalent interactions is presented.

  20. Effect of potential barrier height on the carrier transport in InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum wells and photoelectric properties of laser diode.

    PubMed

    Dong, Hailiang; Sun, Jing; Ma, Shufang; Liang, Jian; Lu, Taiping; Jia, Zhigang; Liu, Xuguang; Xu, Bingshe

    2016-03-07

    The growth and strain-compensation behaviour of InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum wells, which were fabricated by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, have been studied towards the application of these quantum wells in high-power laser diodes. The effect of the height of the potential barrier on the confined level of carrier transport was studied by incorporating different levels of phosphorus content into the GaAsP barrier. The crystal quality and interface roughness of the InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum wells with different phosphorus contents were evaluated by high resolution X-ray diffraction and in situ optical surface reflectivity measurements during the growth. The surface morphology and roughness were characterized by atomic force microscopy, which indicates the variation law of surface roughness, terrace width and uniformity with increasing phosphorus content, owing to strain accumulation. Moreover, the defect generation and structural disorder of the multi-quantum wells were investigated by Raman spectroscopy. The optical properties of the multi-quantum wells were characterized by photoluminescence, which shows that the spectral intensity increases as the phosphorus content increases. The results suggest that more electrons are well bound in InGaAs because of the high potential barrier. Finally, the mechanism of the effect of the height of the potential barrier on laser performance was proposed on the basis of simulation calculations and experimental results.

  1. Specificity and mechanism of action of alpha-helical membrane-active peptides interacting with model and biological membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shiyu; Zhao, Guangxu; Huang, Yibing; Cai, Mingjun; Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda; Chen, Yuxin

    2016-07-01

    In this study, to systematically investigate the targeting specificity of membrane-active peptides on different types of cell membranes, we evaluated the effects of peptides on different large unilamellar vesicles mimicking prokaryotic, normal eukaryotic, and cancer cell membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy and spectrum technology. We revealed that cationic membrane-active peptides can exclusively target negatively charged prokaryotic and cancer cell model membranes rather than normal eukaryotic cell model membranes. Using Acholeplasma laidlawii, 3T3-L1, and HeLa cells to represent prokaryotic cells, normal eukaryotic cells, and cancer cells in atomic force microscopy experiments, respectively, we further studied that the single-molecule targeting interaction between peptides and biological membranes. Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of peptides exhibited strong correlations with the interaction probability determined by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which illustrates strong correlations of peptide biological activities and peptide hydrophobicity and charge. Peptide specificity significantly depends on the lipid compositions of different cell membranes, which validates the de novo design of peptide therapeutics against bacteria and cancers.

  2. Specificity and mechanism of action of alpha-helical membrane-active peptides interacting with model and biological membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Shiyu; Zhao, Guangxu; Huang, Yibing; Cai, Mingjun; Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda; Chen, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    In this study, to systematically investigate the targeting specificity of membrane-active peptides on different types of cell membranes, we evaluated the effects of peptides on different large unilamellar vesicles mimicking prokaryotic, normal eukaryotic, and cancer cell membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy and spectrum technology. We revealed that cationic membrane-active peptides can exclusively target negatively charged prokaryotic and cancer cell model membranes rather than normal eukaryotic cell model membranes. Using Acholeplasma laidlawii, 3T3-L1, and HeLa cells to represent prokaryotic cells, normal eukaryotic cells, and cancer cells in atomic force microscopy experiments, respectively, we further studied that the single-molecule targeting interaction between peptides and biological membranes. Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of peptides exhibited strong correlations with the interaction probability determined by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which illustrates strong correlations of peptide biological activities and peptide hydrophobicity and charge. Peptide specificity significantly depends on the lipid compositions of different cell membranes, which validates the de novo design of peptide therapeutics against bacteria and cancers. PMID:27363513

  3. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-induced syncytium formation mediated by vascular cell adhesion molecule-1: evidence for involvement of cell adhesion molecules in HTLV-1 biology.

    PubMed Central

    Hildreth, J E; Subramanium, A; Hampton, R A

    1997-01-01

    While studying the potential role of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in infection of endothelial cells by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), we found that VCAM-1 can mediate human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-induced syncytium formation. Both expression-vector-encoded and endogenously expressed VCAM-1 supported fusion of uninfected cells with HTLV-1-infected cells. Fusion was obtained with cell lines carrying the HTLV-1 genome and expressing viral proteins but not with an HTLV-1-transformed cell line that does not express viral proteins. In clones of VCAM-1-transfected cells, the degree of syncytium formation observed directly reflected the level of VCAM-1 expression. Syncytium formation between HTLV-1-expressing cells and VCAM-1+ cells could be blocked with antiserum against HTLV-1 gp46 and with a monoclonal antibody (MAb) against VCAM-1. Fusion was not blocked by antiserum against HIV or a MAb against VLA-4, the physiological counter-receptor for VCAM-1. The results indicate that VCAM-1 can serve as an accessory molecule or potential coreceptor for HTLV-1-induced cell fusion and provide direct evidence of a role for cell adhesion molecules in the biology of HTLV-1. PMID:8995639

  4. Room temperature mid-infrared InAsSbN multi-quantum well photodiodes grown by MBE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kesaria, M.; de la Mare, M.; Krier, A.

    2016-11-01

    Room temperature photoresponse in the mid-infrared spectral region is demonstrated from InAsSbN/InAs multi-quantum well photodiodes grown by nitrogen plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. The structural quality of the InAsSbN MQWs was ascertained in situ by reflection high energy electron diffraction and ex situ by high resolution x-ray diffraction and photoluminescence measurements. The extended long wavelength photoresponse is identified to originate from the electron-heavy hole (e1-hh1) and electron-light hole (e1-lh1) transitions in the InAsSbN MQW, with a cut off wavelength ~4.20 µm and peak detectivity D *  =  1.25  ×  109 cm Hz1/2 W-1.

  5. Stress influenced trapping processes in Si based multi-quantum well structures and heavy ions implanted Si

    SciTech Connect

    Ciurea, Magdalena Lidia Lazanu, Sorina

    2014-10-06

    Multi-quantum well structures and Si wafers implanted with heavy iodine and bismuth ions are studied in order to evaluate the influence of stress on the parameters of trapping centers. The experimental method of thermostimullatedcurrents without applied bias is used, and the trapping centers are filled by illumination. By modeling the discharge curves, we found in multilayered structures the parameters of both 'normal' traps and 'stress-induced' ones, the last having a Gaussian-shaped temperature dependence of the cross section. The stress field due to the presence of stopped heavy ions implanted into Si was modeled by a permanent electric field. The increase of the strain from the neighborhood of I ions to the neighborhood of Bi ions produces the broadening of some energy levels and also a temperature dependence of the cross sections for all levels.

  6. Observation of weak carrier localization in green emitting InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well structure

    SciTech Connect

    Mohanta, Antaryami; Wang, Shiang-Fu; Jang, Der-Jun; Young, Tai-Fa; Yeh, Ping-Hung; Ling, Dah-Chin; Lee, Meng-En

    2015-04-14

    Green emitting InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well samples were investigated using transmission electron microscopy, photoluminescence (PL), and time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) spectroscopy. Weak carrier localization with characteristic energy of ∼12 meV due to an inhomogeneous distribution of In in the InGaN quantum (QW) layer is observed. The temperature dependence of the PL peak energy exhibits S-shape phenomenon and is comparatively discussed within the framework of the Varshni's empirical formula. The full width at half maximum of the PL emission band shows an increasing-decreasing-increasing behavior with increasing temperature arising from the localized states caused by potential fluctuations. The radiative life time, τ{sub r}, extracted from the TRPL profile shows ∼T{sup 3/2} dependence on temperature above 200 K, which confirms the absence of the effect of carrier localization at room temperature.

  7. Terahertz absorbing AlGaN/GaN multi-quantum-wells: Demonstration of a robust 4-layer design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beeler, M.; Bougerol, C.; Bellet-Amalric, E.; Monroy, E.

    2013-08-01

    We report on AlGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well structures displaying intersubband absorption in the THz spectral range. First, we theoretically analyze the weaknesses of the state-of-the-art GaN-based step-quantum-well architecture from an optoelectronic standpoint. We then propose a modified geometry with improved structural robustness considering the uncertainties associated to the growth. This later structure, consisting of 4-layer quantum wells, has been grown by plasma-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy and characterized structurally and optically. Low temperature absorption of samples with different Si doping levels confirms intersubband transitions in the far-infrared, centred at 28 μm.

  8. Carrier dynamics in Ga(NAsP)/Si multi-quantum well heterostructures with varying well thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakfa, M. K.; Woscholski, R.; Gies, S.; Wegele, T.; Wiemer, M.; Ludewig, P.; Jandieri, K.; Baranovskii, S. D.; Stolz, W.; Volz, K.; Heimbrodt, W.; Koch, M.

    2016-05-01

    Time-resolved photoluminescence (TR-PL) measurements have been performed in Ga(NAsP)/(BGa)(AsP) multi-quantum well heterostructures (MQWHs) with different well thicknesses. The studied structures have been pseudomorphically grown on Si substrates by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) with an N content of about 7%. Experimental results reveal a shortening in the PL decay time with increasing QW thickness, meanwhile, accompanied by a decrease in the PL intensity. We attribute this behavior to an increasing non-radiative recombination rate for broader QWs which arises from an increasing number of defects in the QW material. The emission-energy distribution of the PL decay time is studied at various temperatures. The PL decay time strongly depends on the emission energy at low temperatures and becomes emission-energy-independent close to room temperature. This is discussed in terms of the carrier localization in the studied structures.

  9. Thermal Stability of the New Soliton Transported Bio-Energy Under Influence of Fluctuations of Characteristic Parameters at Biological Temperature in the Protein Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, Xiao-Feng; Zhang, Huai-Wu; Yu, Jia-Feng; Luo, Yu-Hui

    The dynamic behaviors of the new soliton in the improved Davydov model in the protein molecules at biological temperature have been numerically simulated by utilizing the dynamic equations for the bio-energy transport and the Runge-Kutta way. In this simulation the influences of the temperature and structure disorders of the protein molecules on the soliton transporting the bio-energy have been completely considered. We find that the new soliton is quite stable in the cases of motion of a long time of 300 ps and of disorders of the structures of the proteins at biological temperatures of 300 K-320 K. The disorders of the structures contain the disorder of mass sequence of amino acids and the fluctuations of the coupling constant, force constant and dipole- dipole interaction constant and ground state energy of the proteins, designating the features of its structure and interactions between the particles in it. However, the soliton disperses in the cases of higher temperature of 325 K and larger structure disorders. The numerical results show that the new soliton is very robust against the influences of the thermal perturbation and structure disorders at biological temperature 300 K, its lifetime and critical temperature are at least 300 ps at 300 K and 320 K, respectively. These results are also consistent with analytical data.

  10. Mapping protein pockets through their potential small-molecule binding volumes: QSCD applied to biological protein structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Keith; Patel, Nehal M.; Ledel, Aric; Moallemi, Ciamac C.; Wintner, Edward A.

    2004-01-01

    Previously we demonstrated a method, Quantized Surface Complementarity Diversity (QSCD), of defining molecular diversity by measuring shape and functional complementarity of molecules to a basis set of theoretical target surfaces [Wintner E.A. and Moallemi C.C., J. Med. Chem., 43 (2000) 1993]. In this paper we demonstrate a method of mapping actual protein pockets to the same basis set of theoretical target surfaces, thereby allowing categorization of protein pockets by their properties of shape and functionality. The key step in the mapping is a `dissection' algorithm that breaks any protein pocket into a set of potential small molecule binding volumes. It is these binding volumes that are mapped to the basis set of theoretical target surfaces, thus measuring a protein pocket not as a single surface but as a collection of molecular recognition environments.

  11. 1H NMR analysis of complexation of hydrotropic agents nicotinamide and caffeine with aromatic biologically active molecules in aqueous solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lantushenko, Anastasia O.; Mukhina, Yulia V.; Veselkov, Kyrill A.; Davies, David B.; Veselkov, Alexei N.

    2004-07-01

    NMR spectroscopy has been used to elucidate the molecular mechanism of solubilization action of hydrotropic agents nicotinamide (NA) and caffeine (CAF). Hetero-association of NA with riboflavine-mononucleotide (FMN) and CAF with low soluble in aqueous solution synthetic analogue of antibiotic actinomycin D, actinocyl-bis-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) amine (Actill), has been investigated by 500 MHz 1H NMR spectroscopy. Concentration and temperature dependences of proton chemical shifts have been analysed in terms of a statistical-thermodynamic model of indefinite self- and heteroassociation of aromatic molecules. The obtained results enable to conclude that NA-FMN and CAF-Actill intermolecular complexes are mainly stabilized by the stacking interactions of the aromatic chromophores. Hetero-association of the investigated molecules plays an important role in solubilization of aromatic drugs by hydrotropic agents nicotinamide and caffeine.

  12. Chemical biology based on target-selective degradation of proteins and carbohydrates using light-activatable organic molecules.

    PubMed

    Toshima, Kazunobu

    2013-05-01

    Proteins and carbohydrates play crucial roles in a wide range of biological processes, including serious diseases. The development of novel and innovative methods for selective control of specific proteins and carbohydrates functions has attracted much attention in the field of chemical biology. In this account article, the development of novel chemical tools, which can degrade target proteins and carbohydrates by irradiation with a specific wavelength of light under mild conditions without any additives, is introduced. This novel class of photochemical agents promise bright prospects for finding not only molecular-targeted bioprobes for understanding of the structure-activity relationships of proteins and carbohydrates but also novel therapeutic drugs targeting proteins and carbohydrates.

  13. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission: Using Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify Organic Molecules in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, S. A.

    2002-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) mission is one of four selected for Phase A Concept Study in NASA's current call for MIDEX class missions. ABE is a cooled space telescope equipped with spectrographs covering the 2.5-20 micron spectral range. The ABE mission is devoted to the detection and identification of organic and related molecular species in space. ABE is currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace.

  14. Small molecule intercalation with double stranded DNA: implications for normal gene regulation and for predicting the biological efficacy and genotoxicity of drugs and other chemicals.

    PubMed

    Hendry, Lawrence B; Mahesh, Virendra B; Bransome, Edwin D; Ewing, Douglas E

    2007-10-01

    The binding of small molecules to double stranded DNA including intercalation between base pairs has been a topic of research for over 40 years. For the most part, however, intercalation has been of marginal interest given the prevailing notion that binding of small molecules to protein receptors is largely responsible for governing biological function. This picture is now changing with the discovery of nuclear enzymes, e.g. topoisomerases that modulate intercalation of various compounds including certain antitumor drugs and genotoxins. While intercalators are classically flat, aromatic structures that can easily insert between base pairs, our laboratories reported in 1977 that a number of biologically active compounds with greater molecular thickness, e.g. steroid hormones, could fit stereospecifically between base pairs. The hypothesis was advanced that intercalation was a salient feature of the action of gene regulatory molecules. Two parallel lines of research were pursued: (1) development of technology to employ intercalation in the design of safe and effective chemicals, e.g. pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, agricultural chemicals; (2) exploration of intercalation in the mode of action of nuclear receptor proteins. Computer modeling demonstrated that degree of fit of certain small molecules into DNA intercalation sites correlated with degree of biological activity but not with strength of receptor binding. These findings led to computational tools including pharmacophores and search engines to design new drug candidates by predicting desirable and undesirable activities. The specific sequences in DNA into which ligands best intercalated were later found in the consensus sequences of genes activated by nuclear receptors implying intercalation was central to their mode of action. Recently, the orientation of ligands bound to nuclear receptors was found to match closely the spatial locations of ligands derived from intercalation into unwound gene sequences

  15. Fabrication of surface enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) substrates made from nanoparticle printing inks for detection of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa, Manuel Alejandro

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has generated great interest as a surface analytical technique because it can produce amplification factors between 108-1012. Silver and gold are the most widely used components as their size and structure allows for light to induce conduction electrons to oscillate locally within the nanoparticle structure. When a molecule lies in the interparticle space between two nanoparticles, highly detailed vibrational information becomes detectable. The objective of this study is to reproducibly fabricate such an arrangement in a nanoparticle substrate while maintaining stability. In this work, nanoparticle printing inks -- colloidal nanoparticles encapsulated by a stabilizing ligand -- are used as the main component of SERS substrates. The ligand shell is partially removed by controlled heating, which reduces spacing between nanoparticles creating a broad distribution of interparticle distances. Similar to fractal aggregates this arrangement allows localized plasmons to naturally resonate over a broad range of spectral frequencies. Microwave absorption is applied as a non-invasive method to sensitively monitor nanoparticle sintering in order to gauge the substrates' tuning for large amplification factors. The global arrangement of nanoparticles has always been difficult to measure during heating through DC resistivity measurements and surface imaging techniques. Microwave absorption occurs in the weak resistive links formed between particles during sintering due to the microwave losses in loosely coupled particles. By placing the substrate in a microwave cavity, absorption can be monitored globally during heating. The largest SERS amplification factors occur at a stage immediately preceding the largest microwave absorption gains. This provides a useful method for determining a thermal window for heating when optimizing SERS substrates. Finally, these optimized SERS substrates are used to detect hyaluronic acid. This complex molecule

  16. A rapid means of separating A14-/sup 125/I-insulin from heterogeneously labeled insulin molecules for biologic studies

    SciTech Connect

    Stentz, F.B.; Wright, R.K.; Kitabchi, A.E.

    1982-12-01

    We have used two methods for the preparation of a highly homogeneous insulin with high specific activity. After iodination with chloramine T, the labeled peptides were retained on a disposable Sep Pak cartridge and subsequently eluted. The eluted labeled insulins were further purified by either DEAE cellulose or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to separate A14-/sup 125/I- from A19-/sup 125/I-insulin. Both methods of chromatography were effective, but HPLC offered the advantage of better resolution in less time and higher yields of A14-/sup 125/I-insulin, which is suitable for biologic studies in various target tissues.

  17. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, part II: Grafting of polyphenols extracted from grape skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Polyphenols, as one of the most important family of phytochemicals protective substances from grape fruit, possess various biological activities and health-promoting benefits, for example: inhibition of some degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers, reduction of plasma oxidative stress and slowing aging. The combination of polyphenols and biomaterials may have good potential to reach good bioavailability and controlled release, as well as to give biological signaling properties to the biomaterial surfaces. In this research, conventional solvent extraction was developed for obtaining polyphenols from dry grape skins. The Folin&Ciocalteu method was used to determine the amount of total polyphenols in the extracts. Surface functionalization of two bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2) was performed by grafting the extracted polyphenols on their surfaces. The effectiveness of the functionalization was tested by UV spectroscopy, which analyzes the amount of polyphenols in the uptake solution (before and after functionalization) and on solid samples, and XPS, which analyzes the presence of phenols on the material surface.

  18. Adsorption of small biological molecules on silica from diluted aqueous solutions: Quantitative characterization and implications to the Bernal's hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basiuk, Vladimir A.; Gromovoy, Taras Yu.; Khil'Chevskaya, Elena G.

    1995-08-01

    To describe quantitatively the adsorption of prebiotically important compounds of low molecular weight (amino acids, short linear peptides, cyclic dipeptides, the Krebs's cycle and other carboxylic acids, nucleosides and related phosphates) on silica surface from diluted neutral aqueous solutions, equilibrium constants (K) and free energies (-ΔG) of adsorption were determined from the retention values measured by means of high-performance liquid chromatography on a silica gel column and from the isotherms measured under static conditions. For most carboxylic acids (including amino acids and linear peptides) -ΔG values were negative and K<1, thus showing very weak adsorption. Cyclic dipeptides (2,5-piperazinediones) exhibited higher adsorbability; -ΔG>0 and K>1 were found for most of them. Influence of the structure of α-substituent on the adsorbability is analyzed. A linear dependence of -ΔG on the number of aliphatic carbon atoms in a sorbate molecule was found for the series of aliphatic bifunctional amino acids, related dipeptides and 2,5-piperazinediones, as well as for the row from glycine to triglycyl glycine. The adsorption of nucleosides and their phosphates is characterized by much higherK and -ΔG values (of the order of 102 and 104, respectively). The adsorption data available from our work and literature are summarized and discussed with implications to the Bernal's hypothesis on the roles of solid surfaces in the prebiotic formation of biopolymers from monomeric ‘building blocks’.

  19. Search for biochemical fossils on earth and non-biological organic molecules on Jupiter, Saturn and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagy, Bartholomew

    1982-07-01

    Recognizable remnants of ancient biochemicals may survive under mild/moderate geological environments. Acyclic isoprenoid hydrocarbons, cyclic hydrocarbons with terpenoid carbon skeletons (e.g. hopanes) and vanadyl and nickel porphyrins have been isolated from organic matter, including petroleum, in Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks. Remnants of lignin have also been found. Usually, carbohydrates do not survive long; they degrade and/or react with other organic substances to form macromolecular matter. Proteins, e.g. apparently those in dinosaur bone collagen, break down relatively rapidly. Life arose during the Precambrian and potential biochemical fossils, e.g. n-alkanes, 2,5-dimethylfuran have been isolated from Precambrian kerogens. Traces of hydrocarbons, NH3, PH3 occur on Jupiter and Saturn. Hydrocarbons, N2 and HCN, the latter a key intermediary in the laboratory abiological syntheses of amino acids and nucleic acid bases, are present on Titan where life could not have evolved. Precursor abiological organic molecules of some complexity may have been synthesized on Titan and the Jovian planets.

  20. Investigating how the attributes of self-associated drug complexes influence the passive transport of molecules through biological membranes.

    PubMed

    Inacio, R; Barlow, D; Kong, X; Keeble, J; Jones, S A

    2016-05-01

    Relatively little is known about how drug self-association influences absorption into the human body. This study presented two hydrophobic membranes with a series of solutions containing different types of tetracaine aggregates with the aim of understanding how the attributes of supramolecular aggregate formation influenced passive membrane transport. The data showed that aqueous solutions of the unprotonated form of tetracaine displayed a significantly higher (p<0.05) passive membrane transport compared to solutions with mixtures of the unprotonated and protonated drug microspecies (e.g. transport through the skin was 0.96±0.31μgcm(-2)min(-1) and 1.59±0.26μgcm(-2)min(-1) respectively). However, despite an enhanced rate of drug transport and a better membrane partitioning the unionised molecules showed a significantly longer (p<0.05) lag time to membrane penetration compared solutions rich in the ionised microspecies. Analytical characterisation of the solutions applied to the apical surface of the membranes in the transport studies showed that larger tetracaine aggregates with smaller surface charge gave rise to the longer lag times. These large aggregates demonstrated more extensive intermolecular bonding and therefore, it was suggest that it was the enhanced propensity of the unionised species to form tightly bound drug aggregates that caused the delay in the membrane penetration.

  1. Investigating how the attributes of self-associated drug complexes influence the passive transport of molecules through biological membranes

    PubMed Central

    Inacio, R.; Barlow, D.; Kong, X.; Keeble, J.; Jones, S.A.

    2016-01-01

    Relatively little is known about how drug self-association influences absorption into the human body. This study presented two hydrophobic membranes with a series of solutions containing different types of tetracaine aggregates with the aim of understanding how the attributes of supramolecular aggregate formation influenced passive membrane transport. The data showed that aqueous solutions of the unprotonated form of tetracaine displayed a significantly higher (p < 0.05) passive membrane transport compared to solutions with mixtures of the unprotonated and protonated drug microspecies (e.g. transport through the skin was 0.96 ± 0.31 μg cm−2 min−1 and 1.59 ± 0.26 μg cm−2 min−1 respectively). However, despite an enhanced rate of drug transport and a better membrane partitioning the unionised molecules showed a significantly longer (p < 0.05) lag time to membrane penetration compared solutions rich in the ionised microspecies. Analytical characterisation of the solutions applied to the apical surface of the membranes in the transport studies showed that larger tetracaine aggregates with smaller surface charge gave rise to the longer lag times. These large aggregates demonstrated more extensive intermolecular bonding and therefore, it was suggest that it was the enhanced propensity of the unionised species to form tightly bound drug aggregates that caused the delay in the membrane penetration. PMID:26965142

  2. Enhanced Light Emission due to Formation of Semi-polar InGaN/GaN Multi-quantum Wells.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wan-Ru; Weng, Guo-En; Wang, Jian-Yu; Zhang, Jiang-Yong; Liang, Hong-Wei; Sekiguchi, Takashi; Zhang, Bao-Ping

    2015-12-01

    InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells (MQWs) are grown on (0001) sapphire substrates by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) with special growth parameters to form V-shaped pits simultaneously. Measurements by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) demonstrate the formation of MQWs on both (0001) and ([Formula: see text]) side surface of the V-shaped pits. The latter is known to be a semi-polar surface. Optical characterizations together with theoretical calculation enable us to identify the optical transitions from these MQWs. The layer thickness on ([Formula: see text]) surface is smaller than that on (0001) surface, and the energy level in the ([Formula: see text]) semi-polar quantum well (QW) is higher than in the (0001) QW. As the sample temperature is increased from 15 K, the integrated cathodoluminescence (CL) intensity of (0001) MQWs increases first and then decreases while that of the ([Formula: see text]) MQWs decreases monotonically. The integrated photoluminescence (PL) intensity of (0001) MQWs increases significantly from 15 to 70 K. These results are explained by carrier injection from ([Formula: see text]) to (0001) MQWs due to thermal excitation. It is therefore concluded that the emission efficiency of (0001) MQWs at high temperatures can be greatly improved due to the formation of semi-polar MQWs.

  3. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept: Using Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify Organic Molecules in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Vincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    One of the principal means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space is by infrared spectroscopy. Past IR studies (telescopic and laboratory) have demonstrated that much of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) is in complex organic species of a variety of types, but the distribution, abundance, and evolutionary relationships of these materials are not well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEAST mission concept designed to conduct IR spectroscopic observations to detect and identify these materials to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. Systematic studies include the observation of planetary nebulae and stellar outflows, protostellar objects, Solar System Objects, and galaxies, and multiple lines of sight through dense molecular clouds and the diffuse ISM. ABE will also search for evidence of D enrichment in complex molecules in all these environments. The mission is currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. ABE is a cryogenically-cooled 60 cm diameter space telescope equipped with 3 cryogenic cross-dispersed spectrographs that share a single common slit. The 3 spectrometers each measure single spectral octaves (2.5-5, 5-10, 10-20 microns) and together cover the entire 2.5 - 20 micron region simultaneously. The spectrometers use state-of-the-art 1024x1024 pixel detectors, with a single InSb array for the 2.5-5 micron region and two Si:As arrays for the 5-10 and 10-20 micron regions. The spectral resolution is wavelength dependent but is greater than 2000 across the entire spectral range. ABE would operate in a heliocentric, Earth drift-away orbit and is designed to take maximum advantage of this environment for cooling, thermal stability, and mission lifetime. ABE would have a core science mission lasting approximately 1.5 years.

  4. Design, facile synthesis and biological evaluations of novel pyrano[3,2-a]phenazine hybrid molecules as antitumor agents.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yuanyuan; Yan, Yuru; Wang, Linlin; Wang, Xiaobing; Gao, Jing; Xi, Tao; Wang, Zhixiang; Jiang, Feng

    2017-02-15

    A series of novel pyrano[3,2-a]phenazine derivatives (1a-1r and 2a-2q), designed as hybrid molecules of phenazine and pyran pharmocophores, were facilely synthesized in two steps with 77-93% overall yields in this study. Cytotoxic evaluation indicates that many compounds exhibited cytotoxicity against HCT116, MCF7, HepG2 and A549 cancer cell lines in vitro, in which compounds 1c, 1i, 2e, and 2l were found to have excellent antiproliferative activity against the HepG2 cancer cell line. Thus, inhibitory effect of subcutaneously implanted xenografted mice in vivo (H22H8D8 cells) of the four compounds as well as topoisomerase I and IIα inhibitory activities in vitro (HepG2 cells) were determined. Significantly, compound 1i showed more potent than positive control drug both in vivo and in vitro. Further mechanism studies against HepG2 cells in vitro revealed that compound 1i up-regulated the expression of both p53 and p21, which inhibited the expression of both cyclin B and CDK1, and arrested HepG2 cells in the G2/M phase. Concomitantly, after treating with compound 1i, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was significantly increased, the cytochrome C was released from mitochondria to cytosol, and the cleavage of caspase-3 and caspase-9 expression levels were both increased. Together, all these evidences implicated that compound 1i acts as topoisomerase I and IIα dual inhibitor, cell cycle arrester and apoptosis inducer against HepG2 cells.

  5. Preface - From molecules to molecular materials, biological molecular systems and nanostructures: A collection of contributions presented at the XIIIth International Conference on Molecular Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratajczak, Henryk; Drozd, Marek; Fausto, Rui

    2016-12-01

    This volume contains a series of selected contributions presented at the XIIIth International Conference on Molecular Spectroscopy (ICMS): "From Molecules to Molecular Materials, Biological Molecular Systems and Nanostructures" held in Wrocław, Poland, 9-12 September 2015, under the auspices of the Mayor of Wrocław and the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Humanities. Wrocław was chosen not accidentally as venue for the conference. With more than a thousand years of history, Wrocław is the location of one of the oldest universities in Central Europe. Being a place where education and science play major roles in the daily life of its inhabitants, Wrocław is also a privileged center for spectroscopy in Poland.

  6. The biological role of the unique molecule RCAS1: a bioactive marker that induces connective tissue remodeling and lymphocyte apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Sonoda, Kenzo; Miyamoto, Shingo; Nakashima, Manabu; Wake, Norio

    2008-01-01

    RCAS1 is a receptor-binding cancer antigen which is expressed on human uterine cervical adenocarcinoma cell line (SiSo). Finding a correlation between the expression of this gene and the overall survival of patients with 14 different types of cancer points to the clinical significance of this gene. Moreover, the expression RCAS1 correlates with other clinicopathological parameters including the histological type of cancer, its differentiation, tumor size, clinical stage, the depth of invasion, lymphovascular space involvement, lymph node metastasis, and positive peritoneal cytological results. RCAS1 can induce apoptosis in peripheral lymphocytes in vitro as well as in an increased number of apoptotic tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. RCAS1 is also believed to contribute to the escape of tumor cells from immune surveillance. RCAS1 is secreted via ectodomain shedding, and its expression is related to changes in the characteristics of the extracellular matrix and to a reduced number of vimentin-positive tumor stromal cells, findings that suggest that RCAS1 may induce connective tissue remodeling. The concentration of RCAS1 in serum or pleural effusions has been found to be significantly higher in patients with several different types of cancer as compared to normal controls. Together, the available data shows that RCAS1 may have value as a biomarker for monitoring therapeutic efficacy. Further exploration of the biological function of RCAS1 should help in the development of new therapeutic strategies against human malignancies.

  7. Artemether Combined with shRNA Interference of Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 Significantly Inhibited the Malignant Biological Behavior of Human Glioma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ping; Xue, Yi-Xue; Yao, Yi-Long; Yu, Bo; Liu, Yun-Hui

    2013-01-01

    Artemether is the derivative extracted from Chinese traditional herb and originally used for malaria. Artemether also has potential therapeutic effects against tumors. Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) is an important cell surface adhesion molecule associated with malignancy of gliomas. In this work, we investigated the role and mechanism of artemether combined with shRNA interference of VCAM-1 (shRNA-VCAM-1) on the migration, invasion and apoptosis of glioma cells. U87 human glioma cells were treated with artemether at various concentrations and shRNA interfering technology was employed to silence the expression of VCAM-1. Cell viability, migration, invasiveness and apoptosis were assessed with MTT, wound healing, Transwell and Annexin V-FITC/PI staining. The expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) was checked by Western blot assay. Results showed that artemether and shRNA-VCAM-1 not only significantly inhibited the migration, invasiveness and expression of MMP-2/9 and p-Akt, but also promoted the apoptosis of U87 cells. Combined treatment of both displayed the maximum inhibitory effects on the malignant biological behavior of glioma cells. Our work revealed the potential therapeutic effects of artemether and antiVCAM-1 in the treatments of gliomas. PMID:23593320

  8. Systems biology network-based discovery of a small molecule activator BL-AD008 targeting AMPK/ZIPK and inducing apoptosis in cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xupeng; Zhang, Jin; Zhang, Yonghui; Ouyang, Liang; Liu, Bo; Huang, Jian

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to discover a small molecule activator BL-AD008 targeting AMPK/ZIPK and inducing apoptosis in cervical cancer. In this study, we systematically constructed the global protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and predicted apoptosis-related protein connections by the Naïve Bayesian model. Then, we identified some classical apoptotic PPIs and other previously unrecognized PPIs between apoptotic kinases, such as AMPK and ZIPK. Subsequently, we screened a series of candidate compounds targeting AMPK/ZIPK, synthesized some compounds and eventually discovered a novel dual-target activator (BL-AD008). Moreover, we found BL-AD008 bear remarkable anti-proliferative activities toward cervical cancer cells and could induce apoptosis by death-receptor and mitochondrial pathways. Additionally, we found that BL-AD008-induced apoptosis was affected by the combination of AMPK and ZIPK. Then, we found that BL-AD008 bear its anti-tumor activities and induced apoptosis by targeting AMPK/ZIPK in vivo. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the ability of systems biology network to identify some key apoptotic kinase targets AMPK and ZIPK; thus providing a dual-target small molecule activator (BL-AD008) as a potential new apoptosis-modulating drug in future cervical cancer therapy. PMID:25797270

  9. Second-harmonic generation of biological interfaces: probing the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin and imaging membrane potential around GFP molecules at specific sites in neuronal cells of C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Aaron; Khatchatouriants, Artium; Treinin, Millet; Chen, Zhongping; Peleg, Gadi; Friedman, Noga; Bouevitch, Oleg; Rothman, Zvi; Loew, Leslie; Sheres, Mordechai

    1999-07-01

    Second-harmonic generation (SHG) is applied to problems of probing membrane proteins and functionally imaging around selective sites and at single molecules in biological membranes. The membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) has been shown to have large second-harmonic (SH) intensities that are modulated by protein/retinylidene chromophore interactions. The nonlinear optical properties of model compounds, which simulate these protein chromophore interactions in retinal proteins, are studied in this work by surface SHG and by hyper-Rayleigh scattering. Our results indicate that non-conjugated charges and hydrogen bonding effects have a large effect on the molecular hyperpolarizability of the retinal chromophore. However, mbR, the model system studies suggest that polarizable amino acids strongly affect the vertically excited state of the retinylidene chromophore and appear to play the major role in the observed protein enhancement (>50%) of the retinylidene chromophore molecular hyperpolarizability and associated induced dipole. Furthermore, the data provide insights on emulating these interactions for the design of organic nonlinear optical materials. Our studies have also led to the development of dyes with large SH intensities that can be embedded in cell membranes and can functionally image membrane potential. Single molecules of such dyes in selected single molecular regions of a cell membrane have been detected. SHG from green fluorescent protein (GFP) selectively expressed in concert with a specific protein in neuronal cells in a transgenic form of the worm C. elegans is also reported. The membrane potential around the GFP molecules expressed in these cells has been imaged with SHG in live animals.

  10. FOB-SH: Fragment orbital-based surface hopping for charge carrier transport in organic and biological molecules and materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, J.; Gajdos, F.; Blumberger, J.

    2016-08-01

    We introduce a fragment orbital-based fewest switches surface hopping method, FOB-SH, designed to efficiently simulate charge carrier transport in strongly fluctuating condensed phase systems such as organic semiconductors and biomolecules. The charge carrier wavefunction is expanded and the electronic Hamiltonian constructed in a set of singly occupied molecular orbitals of the molecular sites that mediate the charge transfer. Diagonal elements of the electronic Hamiltonian (site energies) are obtained from a force field, whereas the off-diagonal or electronic coupling matrix elements are obtained using our recently developed analytic overlap method. We derive a general expression for the exact forces on the adiabatic ground and excited electronic state surfaces from the nuclear gradients of the charge localized electronic states. Applications to electron hole transfer in a model ethylene dimer and through a chain of ten model ethylenes validate our implementation and demonstrate its computational efficiency. On the larger system, we calculate the qualitative behaviour of charge mobility with change in temperature T for different regimes of the intermolecular electronic coupling. For small couplings, FOB-SH predicts a crossover from a thermally activated regime at low temperatures to a band-like transport regime at higher temperatures. For higher electronic couplings, the thermally activated regime disappears and the mobility decreases according to a power law. This is interpreted by a gradual loss in probability for resonance between the sites as the temperature increases. The polaron hopping model solved for the same system gives a qualitatively different result and underestimates the mobility decay at higher temperatures. Taken together, the FOB-SH methodology introduced here shows promise for a realistic investigation of charge carrier transport in complex organic, aqueous, and biological systems.

  11. Manipulation of silver nanoparticles in a droplet for label-free detection of biological molecules using surface-enhanced Raman scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Çulha, Mustafa; Altunbek, Mine; Keskin, Sercan; Saatçi, Deniz

    2011-03-01

    Detection and identification of biomacromolecules is of critical importance in many fields ranging from biotechnology to medicine. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is an emerging technique for the label-free detection and identification of biological molecules and structures with its fingerprinting properties and high sensitivity. However, there are a number of obstacles for its applications for biological macromolecules due to their complexity. In this report, manipulation of microscopic processes in play during the drying of a sessile droplet as a tool to influence the nanoparticle-macromolecule packing, which has dramatic effect on SERS performance, before the SERS acquisition is demonstrated. A process known as the coffee ring phenomenon jams all particles and molecular species to the edges of the droplet during drying. This uncontrolled process has dramatic effects on a SERS experiment, using colloidal metal nanoparticles as substrates, by sweeping everything to the edges and influencing the packing of nanoparticles in the droplet area. A plastic tip was dipped into a drying sample droplet to influence the uncontrolled piling up. A negatively-charged protein, BSA, a positively-charged protein, cytochrom c, and a 20-base long oligonucleotide, were used as model biomacromolecules in this study. While a minimum of one order of magnitude lower concentration improvement in detection limit was observed with negatively-charged biomacromolecules, no significant improvement was observed with positively-charged ones compared to a sample droplet left on the surface without any interference. With the demonstrated approach, picomolar-level biomolecular detection using SERS is possible.

  12. Different design of enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs) reveals quantitative differences in biological activities in terms of toxicity and inflammation.

    PubMed

    Stamellou, E; Storz, D; Botov, S; Ntasis, E; Wedel, J; Sollazzo, S; Krämer, B K; van Son, W; Seelen, M; Schmalz, H G; Schmidt, A; Hafner, M; Yard, B A

    2014-01-01

    Acyloxydiene-Fe(CO)3 complexes can act as enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs). Their biological activity strongly depends on the mother compound from which they are derived, i.e. cyclohexenone or cyclohexanedione, and on the position of the ester functionality they harbour. The present study addresses if the latter characteristic affects CO release, if cytotoxicity of ET-CORMs is mediated through iron release or inhibition of cell respiration and to what extent cyclohexenone and cyclohexanedione derived ET-CORMs differ in their ability to counteract TNF-α mediated inflammation. Irrespective of the formulation (DMSO or cyclodextrin), toxicity in HUVEC was significantly higher for ET-CORMs bearing the ester functionality at the outer (rac-4), as compared to the inner (rac-1) position of the cyclohexenone moiety. This was paralleled by an increased CO release from the former ET-CORM. Toxicity was not mediated via iron as EC50 values for rac-4 were significantly lower than for FeCl2 or FeCl3 and were not influenced by iron chelation. ATP depletion preceded toxicity suggesting impaired cell respiration as putative cause for cell death. In long-term HUVEC cultures inhibition of VCAM-1 expression by rac-1 waned in time, while for the cyclohexanedione derived rac-8 inhibition seems to increase. NFκB was inhibited by both rac-1 and rac-8 independent of IκBα degradation. Both ET-CORMs activated Nrf-2 and consequently induced the expression of HO-1. This study further provides a rational framework for designing acyloxydiene-Fe(CO)3 complexes as ET-CORMs with differential CO release and biological activities. We also provide a better understanding of how these complexes affect cell-biology in mechanistic terms.

  13. How dependent are molecular and atomic properties on the electronic structure method? Comparison of Hartree-Fock, DFT, and MP2 on a biologically relevant set of molecules.

    PubMed

    Matta, Chérif F

    2010-04-30

    This article compares molecular properties and atomic properties defined by the quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM) obtained from three underlying levels of theory: MP2(full), density functional theory (DFT) (B3LYP), and Hartree-Fock (H-F). The same basis set (6-311++G(d,p)) has been used throughout the study. The calculations and comparisons were applied to a set of 30 small molecules representing common fragments of biological molecules. The molecular properties investigated are the energies and the electrostatic moments (up to and including the quadrupoles), and the atomic properties include electron populations (and atomic charge), atomic dipolar and quadrupolar polarizations, atomic volumes, and corrected and raw atomic energies. The Cartesian distance between dipole vectors and the Frobenius distance between the quadrupole tensors calculated at the three levels of theory provide a measure of their correlation (or lack thereof). With the exception of energies (atomic and molecular), it is found that both DFT and H-F are in excellent agreement with MP2, especially with regards to the electrostatic mutipoles up to the quadrupoles, but DFT and MP2 agree better in almost all studied properties (with the exception of molecular geometries). QTAIM properties whether obtained from H-F, DFT(B3LYP), or MP2 calculations when used in the construction of empirical correlations with experiment such as quantitative structure-activity-(or property)-relationships (QSAR/QSPR) are equivalent (because the properties calculated at the three levels are very highly correlated among themselves with r(2) typically >0.95, and therefore preserving trends). These results suggest that the massive volume of results that were published in the older literature at the H-F level is valid especially when used to study trends or in QSAR or QSPR studies, and, as long as our test set of molecules is representative, there is no pressing need to re-evaluate them at other levels of theory

  14. Electron transfer in biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, H.B.

    1995-12-01

    Electron-transfer reactions are key stemps in photosynthesis, respiration, drug metabolism, and many other biochemical processes. These reactions commonly occur between protein-bound prosthetic groups that are separated by large molecular distances (often greater than 10 {Angstrom}). Although the electron donors and acceptors are expected to be weakly coupled, the reactions are remarkably fast and proceed with high specificity. Recent work on structurally engineered iron and cooper proteins has shown that the chemical bonds in the intervening medium potentially can control the rates of these electron-transfer reactions.

  15. Imaging the behavior of molecules in biological systems: breaking the 3D speed barrier with 3D multi-resolution microscopy.

    PubMed

    Welsher, Kevin; Yang, Haw

    2015-01-01

    The overwhelming effort in the development of new microscopy methods has been focused on increasing the spatial and temporal resolution in all three dimensions to enable the measurement of the molecular scale phenomena at the heart of biological processes. However, there exists a significant speed barrier to existing 3D imaging methods, which is associated with the overhead required to image large volumes. This overhead can be overcome to provide nearly unlimited temporal precision by simply focusing on a single molecule or particle via real-time 3D single-particle tracking and the newly developed 3D Multi-resolution Microscopy (3D-MM). Here, we investigate the optical and mechanical limits of real-time 3D single-particle tracking in the context of other methods. In particular, we investigate the use of an optical cantilever for position sensitive detection, finding that this method yields system magnifications of over 3000×. We also investigate the ideal PID control parameters and their effect on the power spectrum of simulated trajectories. Taken together, these data suggest that the speed limit in real-time 3D single particle-tracking is a result of slow piezoelectric stage response as opposed to optical sensitivity or PID control.

  16. Fundamental studies of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, using time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Eades, D.; Wruck, D.; Gregg, H.

    1996-11-11

    MALDI MS was developed as a way of getting molecular weight information on small quantities (picomole to femtomole levels) of high-mass, thermally labile macromolecules. While most other analytical MS ionization techniques cause fragmentation, decomposition, or multiple charging, MALDI efficiently places intact macromolecules into the gas phase with little fragmentation or rearrangement. This project had 3 objectives: establish the MALDI capability at LLNL, perform fundamental studies of analyte-matrix interactions, and apply the technique for biochemical research. A retired time-of-flight instrument was adapted for MALDI analyses, relevant parameters influencing the MALDI process were identified for further study (matrix molar absorptivity, sample crystal preparation), and collaborations were established with research groups in the Biology and Biotechnology Research Program at LLNL. In MALDI, the macromolecule of interest is mixed with a high-molar excess (1:100 to 1:10,000) of an organic matrix which readily absorbs energy at the wavelength corresponding to a UV laser. Upon laser irradiation, the matrix absorbs the majority of the energy, causing it to desorb from the surface and gently release the macromolecule into the gas phase with little or no fragmentation. Once in the gas phase, ion-molecule reactions between excited matrix and neutral macromolecules generated ionized analyte species which then can be focused into a MS for detection.

  17. Distance measurements in model Bis-Gd(III) complexes with flexible “bridge”. Emulation of biological molecules having flexible structure with Gd(III) labels attached

    PubMed Central

    Potapov, A.; Song, Y.; Meade, T. J.; Goldfarb, D.; Astashkin, A.V.; Raitsimring, A.

    2010-01-01

    In this work, we continue to explore Gd(III) as a possible spin label for high field Double Electron Electron Resonance (DEER) based distance measurements in biological molecules with flexible geometry. For this purpose, a bis-Gd(III) complex with a flexible “bridge” was used as a model. The distances in the model were expected to be distributed in the range of 5-26 Å, allowing us to probe the shortest limits of accessible distances which were found to be as small as 13 Å. The upper distance limit for these labels was also evaluated and was found to be about 60 Å. Various pulse duration setups can result in apparent differences in the distribution function derived from DEER kinetics due to short distance limit variations. The advantages, such as the ability to perform measurements at cryogenic temperatures and high repetition rates simultaneously, the use of very short pumping and observation pulses without mutual interference, the lack of orientational selectivity, as well as the shortcomings, such as the limited mw operational frequency range and intrinsically smaller amplitude of oscillation related to dipolar interaction as compared with nitroxide spin labels are discussed. Most probably the use of nitroxide and Gd based labels for distance measurements will be complementary depending on the particulars of the problem and the availability of instrumentation. PMID:20418132

  18. A novel model on time-resolved photoluminescence measurements of polar InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well structures

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Yuchen; Wang, Lai; Yang, Di; Wang, Zilan; Hao, Zhibiao; Sun, Changzheng; Xiong, Bing; Luo, Yi; Han, Yanjun; Wang, Jian; Li, Hongtao

    2017-01-01

    Based on carrier rate equation, a new model is proposed to explain the non-exponential nature of time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) decay curves in the polar InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well structures. From the study of TRPL curves at different temperatures, it is found that both radiative and non-radiative recombination coefficients vary from low temperature to room temperature. The variation of the coefficients is compatible with the carrier density of states distribution as well as the carrier localization process. These results suggest that there is a novel method to calculate the internal quantum efficiency, which is a complement to the traditional one based on temperature dependent photoluminescence measurement. PMID:28327629

  19. Mid-infrared electro-luminescence and absorption from AlGaN/GaN-based multi-quantum well inter-subband structures

    SciTech Connect

    Hofstetter, Daniel; Bour, David P.; Kirste, Lutz

    2014-06-16

    We present electro-modulated absorption and electro-luminescence measurements on chirped AlGaN/GaN-based multi-quantum well inter-subband structures grown by metal-organic vapour phase epitaxy. The absorption signal is a TM-polarized, 70 meV wide feature centred at 230 meV. At medium injection current, a 58 meV wide luminescence peak corresponding to an inter-subband transition at 1450 cm{sup −1} (180 meV) is observed. Under high injection current, we measured a 4 meV wide structure peaking at 92.5 meV in the luminescence spectrum. The energy location of this peak is exactly at the longitudinal optical phonon of GaN.

  20. Optical and structural properties of GaN nanopillar and nanostripe arrays with embedded InGaN /GaN multi-quantum wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, S.; Schaake, C.; Fichtenbaum, N. A.; Neufeld, C. J.; Wu, Y.; McGroddy, K.; David, A.; DenBaars, S. P.; Weisbuch, C.; Speck, J. S.; Mishra, U. K.

    2006-09-01

    GaN nanopillar and nanostripe arrays with embedded InGaN /GaN multi-quantum wells (MQWs) were fabricated by holographic lithography and subsequent reactive ion etching. Etch related damage of the nanostructures was successfully healed through annealing in NH3/N2 mixtures under optimized conditions. The nanopatterned samples exhibited enhanced luminescence in comparison to the planar wafers. X-ray reciprocal space maps recorded around the asymmetric (101¯5) reflection revealed that the MQWs in both nanopillars and nanostripes relaxed after nanopatterning and adopted a larger in-plane lattice constant than the underlying GaN layer. The pillar relaxation process had no measurable effect on the Stokes shift typically observed in MQWs on c-plane GaN, as evaluated by excitation power dependent photoluminescence (PL) measurements. Angular-resolved PL measurements revealed the extraction of guided modes from the nanopillar arrays.

  1. Optical and structural characteristics of high indium content InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells with varying GaN cap layer thickness

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, J.; Zhao, D. G. Jiang, D. S.; Chen, P.; Zhu, J. J.; Liu, Z. S.; Le, L. C.; Li, X. J.; He, X. G.; Liu, J. P.; Yang, H.; Zhang, Y. T.; Du, G. T.

    2015-02-07

    The optical and structural properties of InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells (MQWs) with different thicknesses of low temperature grown GaN cap layers are investigated. It is found that the MQW emission energy red-shifts and the peak intensity decreases with increasing GaN cap layer thickness, which may be partly caused by increased floating indium atoms accumulated at quantum well (QW) surface. They will result in the increased interface roughness, higher defect density, and even lead to a thermal degradation of QW layers. An extra growth interruption introduced before the growth of GaN cap layer can help with evaporating the floating indium atoms, and therefore is an effective method to improve the optical properties of high indium content InGaN/GaN MQWs.

  2. A novel model on time-resolved photoluminescence measurements of polar InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xing, Yuchen; Wang, Lai; Yang, Di; Wang, Zilan; Hao, Zhibiao; Sun, Changzheng; Xiong, Bing; Luo, Yi; Han, Yanjun; Wang, Jian; Li, Hongtao

    2017-03-01

    Based on carrier rate equation, a new model is proposed to explain the non-exponential nature of time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) decay curves in the polar InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well structures. From the study of TRPL curves at different temperatures, it is found that both radiative and non-radiative recombination coefficients vary from low temperature to room temperature. The variation of the coefficients is compatible with the carrier density of states distribution as well as the carrier localization process. These results suggest that there is a novel method to calculate the internal quantum efficiency, which is a complement to the traditional one based on temperature dependent photoluminescence measurement.

  3. Characterization of the InGaN/GaN Multi-Quantum-Wells Light-Emitting Diode Grown on Patterned Sapphire Substrate with Wide Electroluminescence Spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ah Reum; Jeon, Hunsoo; Lee, Gang-Seok; Ok, Jin-Eun; Jo, Dong-Wan; Kim, Kyoung Hwa; Yi, Sam Nyung; Yang, Min; Ahn, Hyung Soo; Cho, Chae-Ryong; Kim, Suok-Whan; Lee, Jae-Hak; Ha, Hong-Ju

    2011-01-01

    We report the characterization of the InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well (MQW) light-emitting diode (LED) grown on a patterned sapphire substrate by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) using the selective area growth (SAG) method. The SAG patterns were designed to be circular and their diameters were 700 and 200 μm. After the growth, the InGaN/GaN MQW LED of 200 μm diameter had various crystal facets and a shape similar to volcanic craters, which were not observed in the 700-μm-diameter sample. We obtained an active layer with compositional nonuniformity and superior optical properties. We found wide electroluminescence (EL) spectral peaks near 470, 570, and 600 nm. The distribution of the EL spectrum of the sample was similar to that of a conventional phosphor-converted white LED.

  4. Characterization of the InGaN/GaN Multi-Quantum-Wells Light-Emitting Diode Grown on Patterned Sapphire Substrate with Wide Electroluminescence Spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reum Lee, Ah; Jeon, Hunsoo; Lee, Gang-Seok; Ok, Jin-Eun; Jo, Dong-Wan; Kim, Kyoung Hwa; Yi, Sam Nyung; Yang, Min; Ahn, Hyung Soo; Cho, Chae-Ryong; Kim, Suok-Whan; Lee, Jae-Hak; Ha, Hong-Ju

    2011-01-01

    We report the characterization of the InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well (MQW) light-emitting diode (LED) grown on a patterned sapphire substrate by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) using the selective area growth (SAG) method. The SAG patterns were designed to be circular and their diameters were 700 and 200 µm. After the growth, the InGaN/GaN MQW LED of 200 µm diameter had various crystal facets and a shape similar to volcanic craters, which were not observed in the 700-µm-diameter sample. We obtained an active layer with compositional nonuniformity and superior optical properties. We found wide electroluminescence (EL) spectral peaks near 470, 570, and 600 nm. The distribution of the EL spectrum of the sample was similar to that of a conventional phosphor-converted white LED.

  5. Effect of selective area growth mask width on multi-quantum-well electroabsorption modulated lasers investigated by synchrotron radiation X-ray microprobe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mino, Lorenzo; Agostino, Angelo; Codato, Simone; Martinez-Criado, Gema; Lamberti, Carlo

    2012-08-01

    High performance optoelectronic devices require monolithic integration of different functions at chip level. This is the case of multi-quantum well (MQW) electroabsorption modulated laser (EML), employed in long-distance, high-frequency optical fiber communication applications, which is realized exploiting the selective area growth (SAG) technique. Optimization of the growth parameters is carried out by empirical approaches since a direct characterization of the MQW is not possible with laboratory X-ray sources, owing to the micrometer-variation of composition and thickness inherent to the SAG technique. In this work we combined micrometer-resolved photoluminescence with synchrotron radiation micrometer-resolved X-ray fluorescence to study the effect of different SAG masks on the electronic properties and chemical composition of the SAG MQW EML device.

  6. A novel model on time-resolved photoluminescence measurements of polar InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well structures.

    PubMed

    Xing, Yuchen; Wang, Lai; Yang, Di; Wang, Zilan; Hao, Zhibiao; Sun, Changzheng; Xiong, Bing; Luo, Yi; Han, Yanjun; Wang, Jian; Li, Hongtao

    2017-03-22

    Based on carrier rate equation, a new model is proposed to explain the non-exponential nature of time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) decay curves in the polar InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well structures. From the study of TRPL curves at different temperatures, it is found that both radiative and non-radiative recombination coefficients vary from low temperature to room temperature. The variation of the coefficients is compatible with the carrier density of states distribution as well as the carrier localization process. These results suggest that there is a novel method to calculate the internal quantum efficiency, which is a complement to the traditional one based on temperature dependent photoluminescence measurement.

  7. Molecule nanoweaver

    DOEpatents

    Gerald, II; Rex E.; Klingler, Robert J.; Rathke, Jerome W.; Diaz, Rocio; Vukovic, Lela

    2009-03-10

    A method, apparatus, and system for constructing uniform macroscopic films with tailored geometric assemblies of molecules on the nanometer scale. The method, apparatus, and system include providing starting molecules of selected character, applying one or more force fields to the molecules to cause them to order and condense with NMR spectra and images being used to monitor progress in creating the desired geometrical assembly and functionality of molecules that comprise the films.

  8. Synthesis and in Vivo Biological Evaluation of (68)Ga-Labeled Carbonic Anhydrase IX Targeting Small Molecules for Positron Emission Tomography.

    PubMed

    Sneddon, Deborah; Niemans, Raymon; Bauwens, Matthias; Yaromina, Ala; van Kuijk, Simon J A; Lieuwes, Natasja G; Biemans, Rianne; Pooters, Ivo; Pellegrini, Paul A; Lengkeek, Nigel A; Greguric, Ivan; Tonissen, Kathryn F; Supuran, Claudiu T; Lambin, Philippe; Dubois, Ludwig; Poulsen, Sally-Ann

    2016-07-14

    Tumor hypoxia contributes resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy, while oxygenated tumors are sensitive to these treatments. The indirect detection of hypoxic tumors is possible by targeting carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX), an enzyme overexpressed in hypoxic tumors, with sulfonamide-based imaging agents. In this study, we present the design and synthesis of novel gallium-radiolabeled small-molecule sulfonamides targeting CA IX. The compounds display favorable in vivo pharmacokinetics and stability. We demonstrate that our lead compound, [(68)Ga]-2, discriminates CA IX-expressing tumors in vivo in a mouse xenograft model using positron emission tomography (PET). This compound shows specific tumor accumulation and low uptake in blood and clears intact to the urine. These findings were reproduced in a second study using PET/computed tomography. Small molecules investigated to date utilizing (68)Ga for preclinical CA IX imaging are scarce, and this is one of the first effective (68)Ga compounds reported for PET imaging of CA IX.

  9. High resolution UV resonance enhanced two-photon ionization spectroscopy with mass selection of biologically relevant molecules in the gas phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chervenkov, S.; Wang, P. Q.; Karaminkov, R.; Chakraborty, T.; Braun, Juergen E.; Neusser, Hans J.

    2005-04-01

    The high resolution Doppler-free resonance-enhanced two-photon ionization (R2PI) spectroscopy with mass selection of jet-cooled (2-12 K) molecular species is a powerful experimental method providing comprehensive information on both isolated molecules and molecular clusters. We have demonstrated for the first time that this technique can be applied to large molecules and provides detailed information on their conformational structure. It allows rotationally resolved (FWHM = 70 MHz) spectra of the vibronic bands of the S1<--S0 electronic transition of the studied molecular systems to be measured. A specially designed computer-assisted fitting routine based on genetic algorithms is used to determine their rotational constants in the ground and excited electronic states, respectively, and the transition moment ratio. To interpret the experimental information and to discriminate and unambiguously assign the observed approach to the study of the neurotransmitter molecule, ephedrine. The results elucidate the role of the intramolecular hydrogen bonds stabilizing the respective conformations and affecting their intrinsic properties.

  10. Microbial Mats in the Tswaing Impact Crater: Results of a South African Exobiology Expedition and Implications for the Search for Biological Molecules on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Brandt, D.; Hand, K.; Lee, P. C.

    2001-01-01

    We describe microbial mats from the Tswaing impact crater in South Africa. The mats provide insights into the unique biological characteristics of impact craters and can help strategies for the search for biomolecules on Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Influence of chloramine T iodination on the biological and immunological activity or the molecular radius of the human growth hormone molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Bartolini, P.; Ribela, M.T.

    1986-01-01

    Potential alterations of the somatotropic activity of human growth hormone (hGH) resulting from Chloramine T labelling reaction, iodination up to 2.7 atoms/molecule and indirect radiation effects, have been studied. Three 2X2 factorial assays, performed in hypophysectomized rats, failed to reveal any significant difference (P greater than 0.05) in true growth promoting activity between hGH and (127-I)hGH, even after storing the latter with 125-I. Similar results were obtained applying a sensitive and precise gel filtration technique for Stokes Radius determination and radioimmunoassay.

  12. Biomimetic polymers responsive to a biological signaling molecule: nitric oxide triggered reversible self-assembly of single macromolecular chains into nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jinming; Whittaker, Michael R; Duong, Hien; Li, Yang; Boyer, Cyrille; Davis, Thomas P

    2014-07-21

    Novel nitric oxide (NO) responsive monomers (NAPMA and APUEMA) containing o-phenylenediamine functional groups have been polymerized to form NO-responsive macromolecular chains as truly biomimetic polymers. Upon exposure to NO--a ubiquitous cellular signaling molecule--the NAPMA- and APUEMA-labeled thermoresponsive copolymers exhibited substantial changes in solubility, clearly characterized by tuneable LCST behavior, thereby inducing self-assembly into nanoparticulate structures. Moreover, the NO-triggered self-assembly process in combination with environmentally sensitive fluorescence dyes could be employed to detect and image endogenous NO.

  13. Interstellar Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solomon, Philip M.

    1973-01-01

    Radioastronomy reveals that clouds between the stars, once believed to consist of simple atoms, contain molecules as complex as seven atoms and may be the most massive objects in our Galaxy. (Author/DF)

  14. Modeling Molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The molecule modeling method known as Multibody Order (N) Dynamics, or MBO(N)D, was developed by Moldyn, Inc. at Goddard Space Flight Center through funding provided by the SBIR program. The software can model the dynamics of molecules through technology which stimulates low-frequency molecular motions and properties, such as movements among a molecule's constituent parts. With MBO(N)D, a molecule is substructured into a set of interconnected rigid and flexible bodies. These bodies replace the computation burden of mapping individual atoms. Moldyn's technology cuts computation time while increasing accuracy. The MBO(N)D technology is available as Insight II 97.0 from Molecular Simulations, Inc. Currently the technology is used to account for forces on spacecraft parts and to perform molecular analyses for pharmaceutical purposes. It permits the solution of molecular dynamics problems on a moderate workstation, as opposed to on a supercomputer.

  15. Mobius Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eckert, J. M.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses formation of chemical molecules via Mobius strip intermediates, and concludes that many special physics-chemical properties of the fully closed circular form (1) of polyoma DNA are explainable by this topological feature. (CC)

  16. Combined electrical and resonant optical excitation characterization of multi-quantum well InGaN-based light-emitting diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presa, S.; Maaskant, P. P.; Kappers, M. J.; Humphreys, C. J.; Corbett, B.

    2016-07-01

    We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra and electrical characteristics of InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well light-emitting diode (LED) structures under resonant optical pumping and varying electrical bias. A 5 quantum well LED with a thin well (1.5 nm) and a relatively thick barrier (6.6 nm) shows strong bias-dependent properties in the emission spectra, poor photovoltaic carrier escape under forward bias and an increase in effective resistance when compared with a 10 quantum well LED with a thin (4 nm) barrier. These properties are due to a strong piezoelectric field in the well and associated reduced field in the thicker barrier. We compare the voltage ideality factors for the LEDs under electrical injection, light emission with current, photovoltaic mode (PV) and photoluminescence (PL) emission. The PV and PL methods provide similar values for the ideality which are lower than for the resistance-limited electrical method. Under optical pumping the presence of an n-type InGaN underlayer in a commercial LED sample is shown to act as a second photovoltaic source reducing the photovoltage and the extracted ideality factor to less than 1. The use of photovoltaic measurements together with bias-dependent spectrally resolved luminescence is a powerful method to provide valuable insights into the dynamics of GaN LEDs.

  17. Bond lengths at buried InAsP/InP interfaces in InP/InGaAs multi quantum wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boscherini, F.; Pascarelli, S.; Lamberti, C.; Bordiga, S.; Schiavini, G. M.

    1995-05-01

    As K-edge EXAFS has been carried out on InAsxP1-x/InP buried, epitaxial interfaces in strained layer InAsxP1-x/InP superlattices. Very little is known on the local structure of thin semiconductor layers in strained (multi) quantum wells. In particular the question which is still open is to what extent tetragonal distorsion and/or interface strain can alter the known "rigidity" of semiconductor bonds. The EXAFS analysis shows that the first shell environment of As at these interfaces is similar to that found in bulk InAsxP1-x alloys of similar composition, as determined experimentally and by comparison with recent theories of bond lengths in semiconductor alloys. In particular we measure an Assbnd In bond length which varies at most 0.02Åwith As concentration at the interface; this implies that epitaxy with InP is accompanied by local structural distortions, such as bond angle variations, which accommodate the nearly constant Assbnd In bond length. For completeness we also report results from high resolution X-ray diffraction and high resolution transmission electron microscopy which confirm the high crystalline perfection of the investigated samples.

  18. Enumerating molecules.

    SciTech Connect

    Visco, Donald Patrick, Jr.; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Roe, Diana C.

    2004-04-01

    This report is a comprehensive review of the field of molecular enumeration from early isomer counting theories to evolutionary algorithms that design molecules in silico. The core of the review is a detail account on how molecules are counted, enumerated, and sampled. The practical applications of molecular enumeration are also reviewed for chemical information, structure elucidation, molecular design, and combinatorial library design purposes. This review is to appear as a chapter in Reviews in Computational Chemistry volume 21 edited by Kenny B. Lipkowitz.

  19. Integrating computational and chemical biology tools in the discovery of antiangiogenic small molecule ligands of FGF2 derived from endogenous inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Foglieni, Chiara; Pagano, Katiuscia; Lessi, Marco; Bugatti, Antonella; Moroni, Elisabetta; Pinessi, Denise; Resovi, Andrea; Ribatti, Domenico; Bertini, Sabrina; Ragona, Laura; Bellina, Fabio; Rusnati, Marco; Colombo, Giorgio; Taraboletti, Giulia

    2016-01-01

    The FGFs/FGFRs system is a recognized actionable target for therapeutic approaches aimed at inhibiting tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, and resistance to therapy. We previously identified a non-peptidic compound (SM27) that retains the structural and functional properties of the FGF2-binding sequence of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a major endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis. Here we identified new small molecule inhibitors of FGF2 based on the initial lead. A similarity-based screening of small molecule libraries, followed by docking calculations and experimental studies, allowed selecting 7 bi-naphthalenic compounds that bound FGF2 inhibiting its binding to both heparan sulfate proteoglycans and FGFR-1. The compounds inhibit FGF2 activity in in vitro and ex vivo models of angiogenesis, with improved potency over SM27. Comparative analysis of the selected hits, complemented by NMR and biochemical analysis of 4 newly synthesized functionalized phenylamino-substituted naphthalenes, allowed identifying the minimal stereochemical requirements to improve the design of naphthalene sulfonates as FGF2 inhibitors. PMID:27000667

  20. JAK/STAT signalling--an executable model assembled from molecule-centred modules demonstrating a module-oriented database concept for systems and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Blätke, Mary Ann; Dittrich, Anna; Rohr, Christian; Heiner, Monika; Schaper, Fred; Marwan, Wolfgang

    2013-06-01

    Mathematical models of molecular networks regulating biological processes in cells or organisms are most frequently designed as sets of ordinary differential equations. Various modularisation methods have been applied to reduce the complexity of models, to analyse their structural properties, to separate biological processes, or to reuse model parts. Taking the JAK/STAT signalling pathway with the extensive combinatorial cross-talk of its components as a case study, we make a natural approach to modularisation by creating one module for each biomolecule. Each module consists of a Petri net and associated metadata and is organised in a database publically accessible through a web interface (). The Petri net describes the reaction mechanism of a given biomolecule and its functional interactions with other components including relevant conformational states. The database is designed to support the curation, documentation, version control, and update of individual modules, and to assist the user in automatically composing complex models from modules. Biomolecule centred modules, associated metadata, and database support together allow the automatic creation of models by considering differential gene expression in given cell types or under certain physiological conditions or states of disease. Modularity also facilitates exploring the consequences of alternative molecular mechanisms by comparative simulation of automatically created models even for users without mathematical skills. Models may be selectively executed as an ODE system, stochastic, or qualitative models or hybrid and exported in the SBML format. The fully automated generation of models of redesigned networks by metadata-guided modification of modules representing biomolecules with mutated function or specificity is proposed.

  1. The IgG molecule as a biological immune response modifier: mechanisms of action of intravenous immune serum globulin in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

    PubMed

    Ballow, Mark

    2011-02-01

    Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) is an important treatment modality in patients with humoral or B-cell immune deficiency as replacement therapy. Soon after its introduction in the early 1980s for the treatment of patients with immune deficiency, IVIG was used in the treatment of children with idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura. Presently, more commercial IVIG is used for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders than as replacement therapy in patients with immune deficiency. Understanding the mechanisms of action of IVIG in these autoimmune and inflammatory disorders has occupied investigators over the past 3 decades. A number of mechanisms for the immune modulation and anti-inflammatory actions of IVIG have been described, including Fc receptor blockade, inhibition of complement deposition, enhancement of regulatory T cells, inhibition or neutralization of cytokines and growth factors, accelerated clearance of autoantibodies, modulation of adhesion molecules and cell receptors, and activation of regulatory macrophages through the FcγRIIb receptor. It can now be appreciated that IVIG affects many different pathways to modulate the immune and inflammatory response. Further delineation of these pathways might lead to new treatment strategies.

  2. Drug Delivery Through the Skin: Molecular Simulations of Barrier Lipids to Design more Effective Noninvasive Dermal and Transdermal Delivery Systems for Small Molecules Biologics and Cosmetics

    SciTech Connect

    J Torin Huzil; S Sivaloganathan; M Kohandel; M Foldvari

    2011-12-31

    The delivery of drugs through the skin provides a convenient route of administration that is often preferable to injection because it is noninvasive and can typically be self-administered. These two factors alone result in a significant reduction of medical complications and improvement in patient compliance. Unfortunately, a significant obstacle to dermal and transdermal drug delivery alike is the resilient barrier that the epidermal layers of the skin, primarily the stratum corneum, presents for the diffusion of exogenous chemical agents. Further advancement of transdermal drug delivery requires the development of novel delivery systems that are suitable for modern, macromolecular protein and nucleotide therapeutic agents. Significant effort has already been devoted to obtain a functional understanding of the physical barrier properties imparted by the epidermis, specifically the membrane structures of the stratum corneum. However, structural observations of membrane systems are often hindered by low resolutions, making it difficult to resolve the molecular mechanisms related to interactions between lipids found within the stratum corneum. Several models describing the molecular diffusion of drug molecules through the stratum corneum have now been postulated, where chemical permeation enhancers are thought to disrupt the underlying lipid structure, resulting in enhanced permeability. Recent investigations using biphasic vesicles also suggested a possibility for novel mechanisms involving the formation of complex polymorphic lipid phases. In this review, we discuss the advantages and limitations of permeation-enhancing strategies and how computational simulations, at the atomic scale, coupled with physical observations can provide insight into the mechanisms of diffusion through the stratum corneum.

  3. InGaAs/GaAsP strain balanced multi-quantum wires grown on misoriented GaAs substrates for high efficiency solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Álvarez, D.; Thomas, T.; Führer, M.; Hylton, N. P.; Ekins-Daukes, N. J.; Lackner, D.; Philipps, S. P.; Bett, A. W.; Sodabanlu, H.; Fujii, H.; Watanabe, K.; Sugiyama, M.; Nasi, L.; Campanini, M.

    2014-08-01

    Quantum wires (QWRs) form naturally when growing strain balanced InGaAs/GaAsP multi-quantum wells (MQW) on GaAs [100] 6° misoriented substrates under the usual growth conditions. The presence of wires instead of wells could have several unexpected consequences for the performance of the MQW solar cells, both positive and negative, that need to be assessed to achieve high conversion efficiencies. In this letter, we study QWR properties from the point of view of their performance as solar cells by means of transmission electron microscopy, time resolved photoluminescence and external quantum efficiency (EQE) using polarised light. We find that these QWRs have longer lifetimes than nominally identical QWs grown on exact [100] GaAs substrates, of up to 1 μs, at any level of illumination. We attribute this effect to an asymmetric carrier escape from the nanostructures leading to a strong 1D-photo-charging, keeping electrons confined along the wire and holes in the barriers. In principle, these extended lifetimes could be exploited to enhance carrier collection and reduce dark current losses. Light absorption by these QWRs is 1.6 times weaker than QWs, as revealed by EQE measurements, which emphasises the need for more layers of nanostructures or the use light trapping techniques. Contrary to what we expected, QWR show very low absorption anisotropy, only 3.5%, which was the main drawback a priori of this nanostructure. We attribute this to a reduced lateral confinement inside the wires. These results encourage further study and optimization of QWRs for high efficiency solar cells.

  4. Correlation of optical and structural properties of GaN/AlN multi-quantum wells—Ab initio and experimental study

    SciTech Connect

    Kaminska, A.; Strak, P.; Sakowski, K.; Sobczak, K.; Domagala, J. Z.; Grzanka, E.

    2016-01-07

    The results of comprehensive theoretical and experimental study of binary GaN/AlN multi-quantum well (MQW) systems oriented along polar c-direction of their wurtzite structure are presented. A series of structures with quantum wells and barriers of various thicknesses were grown by plasma-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy and characterized by x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. It was shown that in general the structures of good quality were obtained, with the defect density decreasing with increasing quantum well thickness. The optical transition energies in these structures were investigated comparing experimental measurements with ab initio calculations of the entire GaN/AlN MQW structure depending on the QW widths and strains, allowing for direct determination of the energies of optical transitions and the electric fields in wells/barriers by electric potential double averaging procedure. Photoluminescence (PL) measurements revealed that the emission efficiency as well as the shape of luminescence spectra correlated well with their structural quality. Additionally, due to the Quantum-Confined Stark Effect, the emission energy decreased by over 1 eV for quantum well thicknesses increasing from 1 nm up to 6 nm, and this effect was accompanied by the drastic drop of the PL efficiency. The experimental results are consistent with theoretical models. Comparison of experimental data obtained by a number of different characterization techniques with the density functional theory results received on the same geometry structure allowed to prove directly the theoretical models and to determine the polarization and the oscillator strengths in the AlN/GaN nitride systems for the first time.

  5. Synthesis and biological evaluation of new 3-(6-hydroxyindol-2-yl)-5-(Phenyl) pyridine or pyrazine V-Shaped molecules as kinase inhibitors and cytotoxic agents.

    PubMed

    Kassis, Pamela; Brzeszcz, Joanna; Bénéteau, Valérie; Lozach, Olivier; Meijer, Laurent; Le Guével, Rémi; Guillouzo, Christiane; Lewiński, Krzysztof; Bourg, Stéphane; Colliandre, Lionel; Routier, Sylvain; Mérour, Jean-Yves

    2011-11-01

    We here report the synthesis and biological evaluation of new 3-[(2-indolyl)]-5-phenyl-3,5-pyridine, 3-[(2-indolyl)]-5-phenyl-2,4-pyridine and 3-[(2-indolyl)]-5-phenyl-2,6-pyrazine derivatives designed as potential CDK inhibitors. Indoles and phenyls were used to generate several substitutions of the pyridine and pyrazine rings. The synthesis included Stille or Suzuki type reactions, which were carried out on the 3,5-dibromopyridine, 2,4-dichloropyridine and 2,6-dichloro-1-4-pyrazine moieties. Cell effects of the V-shaped family were in the micromolar range. Kinase assays were conducted and showed that compound 11 inhibited CDK5 with an inhibitory concentration of 160 nM with a moderate selectivity over GSK3 compared to the reference C which exhibited a slightly lower activity on CDK5 (1.5 μM). Compound 11 was also found to be the most potent compound in the series and was identified as a new lead for DYRK1A inhibitor discovery (IC(50) = 60 nM). Docking studies were carried out in order to investigate the inhibition of DYRK1A.

  6. An optical conveyor for molecules.

    PubMed

    Weinert, Franz M; Braun, Dieter

    2009-12-01

    Trapping single ions under vacuum allows for precise spectroscopy in atomic physics. The confinement of biological molecules in bulk water is hindered by the lack of comparably strong forces. Molecules have been immobilized to surfaces, however often with detrimental effects on their function. Here, we optically trap molecules by creating the microscale analogue of a conveyor belt: a bidirectional flow is combined with a perpendicular thermophoretic molecule drift. Arranged in a toroidal geometry, the conveyor accumulates a hundredfold excess of 5-base DNA within seconds. The concentrations of the trapped DNA scale exponentially with length, reaching trapping potential depths of 14 kT for 50 bases. The mechanism does not require microfluidics, electrodes, or surface modifications. As a result, the trap can be dynamically relocated. The optical conveyor can be used to enhance diffusion-limited surface reactions, redirect cellular signaling, observe individual biomolecules over a prolonged time, or approach single-molecule chemistry in bulk water.

  7. Enhanced Raman scattering of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montoya, Joseph R.

    The results presented in this thesis, originate from the aspiration to develop an identification algorithm for Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis (S. enterica), Escherichia coli (E. coli), Bacillus globigii ( B. globigii), and Bacillus megaterium ( B. megaterium) using "enhanced" Raman scattering. We realized our goal, with a method utilizing an immunoassay process in a spectroscopic technique, and the direct use of the enhanced spectral response due to bacterial surface elements. The enhanced Raman signal originates from Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) and/or Morphological Dependent Resonances (MDR's). We utilized a modified Lee-Meisel colloidal production method to produce a SERS active substrate, which was applied to a SERS application for the amino acid Glycine. The comparison indicates that the SERS/FRACTAL/MDR process can produce an increase of 107 times more signal than the bulk Raman signal from Glycine. In the extension of the Glycine results, we studied the use of SERS related to S. enterica, where we have shown that the aromatic amino acid contribution from Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, and Tryptophan produces a SERS response that can be used to identify the associated SERS vibrational modes of a S. enterica one or two antibody complexes. The "fingerprint" associated with the spectral signature in conjunction with an enhanced Raman signal allows conclusions to be made: (1) about the orientation of the secondary structure on the metal; (2) whether bound/unbound antibody can be neglected; (3) whether we can lower the detection limit. We have lowered the detection limit of S. enterica to 106 bacteria/ml. We also show a profound difference between S. enterica and E. coli SERS spectra even when there exists non-specific binding on E. coli indicating a protein conformation change induced by the addition of the antigen S. enterica. We confirm TEM imagery data, indicating that the source of the aromatic amino acid SERS response is originating from fractal structures on the surface of the bacteria with appropriate associated absorption spectra. In addition, we show that SERS may be used by directly detecting cell surface chemistry, with a report of a SERS response from gram-positive bacteria, B. globigii and B. megaterium combined, with silver fractal aggregates.

  8. The Biological Revolution: Commercialization of the Molecule.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lasagna, Louis

    1987-01-01

    Academia and industry both have an interest in the economic aspects of drug development, including the rising cost of new drug discovery, the decrease in the effective patent life of new drugs as the drug improvement process lengthens, and the impact of drug-related litigation. (MLW)

  9. Interaction of Phenyldichloroarsine with Biological Molecules

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-08-01

    study the binding of PDA to glutathione, meso-2,3-dimercapto- succinic acid ( DMSA ), and British anti-Lewisite (BAL). The results clearly show that PDA...spectroscopy ( C-NMR) was used to study the binding of PDA to glutathione, meso-2,3-dimercapto- succinic acid ( DMSA ), and British anti-Lewisite (BAL). The...PDAandBAL. . . . * . . . . . . . 5 PDA and BAL .a.io . . . . . . . . . 5PDA and Glutathione .. .. .. . .. 7 PDA and DMSA . . . .. ......... 10 CONCLUSIONS

  10. Mind Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Solomon H.

    2011-01-01

    Scientific styles vary tremendously. For me, research is largely about the unfettered pursuit of novel ideas and experiments that can test multiple ideas in a day, not a year, an approach that I learned from my mentor Julius “Julie” Axelrod. This focus on creative conceptualizations has been my métier since working in the summers during medical school at the National Institutes of Health, during my two years in the Axelrod laboratory, and throughout my forty-five years at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Equally important has been the “high” that emerges from brainstorming with my students. Nothing can compare with the eureka moments when, together, we sense new insights and, better yet, when high-risk, high-payoff experiments succeed. Although I have studied many different questions over the years, a common theme emerges: simple biochemical approaches to understanding molecular messengers, usually small molecules. Equally important has been identifying, purifying, and cloning the messengers' relevant biosynthetic, degradative, or target proteins, at all times seeking potential therapeutic relevance in the form of drugs. In the interests of brevity, this Reflections article is highly selective, and, with a few exceptions, literature citations are only of findings of our laboratory that illustrate notable themes. PMID:21543333

  11. Computational Systems Chemical Biology

    PubMed Central

    Oprea, Tudor I.; May, Elebeoba E.; Leitão, Andrei; Tropsha, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology, SCB (Oprea et al., 2007). The overarching goal of computational SCB is to develop tools for integrated chemical-biological data acquisition, filtering and processing, by taking into account relevant information related to interactions between proteins and small molecules, possible metabolic transformations of small molecules, as well as associated information related to genes, networks, small molecules and, where applicable, mutants and variants of those proteins. There is yet an unmet need to develop an integrated in silico pharmacology / systems biology continuum that embeds drug-target-clinical outcome (DTCO) triplets, a capability that is vital to the future of chemical biology, pharmacology and systems biology. Through the development of the SCB approach, scientists will be able to start addressing, in an integrated simulation environment, questions that make the best use of our ever-growing chemical and biological data repositories at the system-wide level. This chapter reviews some of the major research concepts and describes key components that constitute the emerging area of computational systems chemical biology. PMID:20838980

  12. Computational systems chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Oprea, Tudor I; May, Elebeoba E; Leitão, Andrei; Tropsha, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    There is a critical need for improving the level of chemistry awareness in systems biology. The data and information related to modulation of genes and proteins by small molecules continue to accumulate at the same time as simulation tools in systems biology and whole body physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) continue to evolve. We called this emerging area at the interface between chemical biology and systems biology systems chemical biology (SCB) (Nat Chem Biol 3: 447-450, 2007).The overarching goal of computational SCB is to develop tools for integrated chemical-biological data acquisition, filtering and processing, by taking into account relevant information related to interactions between proteins and small molecules, possible metabolic transformations of small molecules, as well as associated information related to genes, networks, small molecules, and, where applicable, mutants and variants of those proteins. There is yet an unmet need to develop an integrated in silico pharmacology/systems biology continuum that embeds drug-target-clinical outcome (DTCO) triplets, a capability that is vital to the future of chemical biology, pharmacology, and systems biology. Through the development of the SCB approach, scientists will be able to start addressing, in an integrated simulation environment, questions that make the best use of our ever-growing chemical and biological data repositories at the system-wide level. This chapter reviews some of the major research concepts and describes key components that constitute the emerging area of computational systems chemical biology.

  13. Nucleic Acids as Information Molecules.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McInerney, Joseph D.

    1996-01-01

    Presents an activity that aims at enabling students to recognize that DNA and RNA are information molecules whose function is to store, copy, and make available the information in biological systems, without feeling overwhelmed by the specialized vocabulary and the minutia of the central dogma. (JRH)

  14. Nanodevices for Single Molecule Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craighead, H. G.; Stavis, S. M.; Samiee, K. T.

    During the last two decades, biotechnology research has resulted in progress in fields as diverse as the life sciences, agriculture and healthcare. While existing technology enables the analysis of a variety of biological systems, new tools are needed for increasing the efficiency of current methods, and for developing new ones altogether. Interest has grown in single molecule analysis for these reasons.

  15. Excitonic localization in AlN-rich Al{sub x}Ga{sub 1−x}N/Al{sub y}Ga{sub 1−y}N multi-quantum-well grain boundaries

    SciTech Connect

    Ajia, Idris A.; Roqan, I. S.; Edwards, P. R.; Martin, R. W.; Liu, Z.; Yan, J. C.

    2014-09-22

    AlGaN/AlGaN multi-quantum-wells (MQW) with AlN-rich grains have been grown by metal organic chemical vapor deposition. The grains are observed to have strong excitonic localization characteristics that are affected by their sizes. The tendency to confine excitons progressively intensifies with increasing grain boundary area. Photoluminescence results indicate that the MQW have a dominant effect on the peak energy of the near-bandedge emission at temperatures below 150 K, with the localization properties of the grains becoming evident beyond 150 K. Cathodoluminescence maps reveal that the grain boundary has no effect on the peak intensities of the AlGaN/AlGaN samples.

  16. Correction: El Azab, I.H., et al. Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Novel 2H-Chromene Derivatives Bearing Phenylthiazolidinones and Their Biological Activity Assessment. Molecules 2014, 19, 19648-19664.

    PubMed

    El Azab, Islam H; Youssef, Mohamed M; Amin, Amin M

    2015-02-09

    The authors wish to revise the Author Affiliation section of the title paper, published in Molecules [1], (doi:10.3390/molecules191219648, website: http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/12/19648). To recognize the fact that the research described was performed in part at the facilities of Taif University and to acknowledge that institution's generous financial support[...].

  17. Small Molecule CXCR3 Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Stephen P; Cox, Rhona J

    2016-04-14

    Chemokines and their receptors are known to play important roles in disease. More than 40 chemokine ligands and 20 chemokine receptors have been identified, but, to date, only two small molecule chemokine receptor antagonists have been approved by the FDA. The chemokine receptor CXCR3 was identified in 1996, and nearly 20 years later, new areas of CXCR3 disease biology continue to emerge. Several classes of small molecule CXCR3 antagonists have been developed, and two have shown efficacy in preclinical models of inflammatory disease. However, only one CXCR3 antagonist has been evaluated in clinical trials, and there remain many opportunities to further investigate known classes of CXCR3 antagonists and to identify new chemotypes. This Perspective reviews the known CXCR3 antagonists and considers future opportunities for the development of small molecules for clinical evaluation.

  18. Superresolution Imaging using Single-Molecule Localization

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, George; Davidson, Michael; Manley, Suliana; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Superresolution imaging is a rapidly emerging new field of microscopy that dramatically improves the spatial resolution of light microscopy by over an order of magnitude (∼10–20-nm resolution), allowing biological processes to be described at the molecular scale. Here, we discuss a form of superresolution microscopy based on the controlled activation and sampling of sparse subsets of photoconvertible fluorescent molecules. In this single-molecule based imaging approach, a wide variety of probes have proved valuable, ranging from genetically encodable photoactivatable fluorescent proteins to photoswitchable cyanine dyes. These have been used in diverse applications of superresolution imaging: from three-dimensional, multicolor molecule localization to tracking of nanometric structures and molecules in living cells. Single-molecule-based superresolution imaging thus offers exciting possibilities for obtaining molecular-scale information on biological events occurring at variable timescales. PMID:20055680

  19. Spectroscopic (FT-IR, FT-Raman, UV, 1H and 13C NMR) profiling and computational studies on methyl 5-methoxy-1H-indole-2-carboxylate: A potential precursor to biologically active molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almutairi, Maha S.; Xavier, S.; Sathish, M.; Ghabbour, Hazem A.; Sebastian, S.; Periandy, S.; Al-Wabli, Reem I.; Attia, Mohamed I.

    2017-04-01

    Methyl 5-methoxy-1H-indole-2-carboxylate (MMIC) was prepared via esterification of commercially available 5-methoxyindole-2-carboxylic acid. The title molecule MMIC was characterised using FT-IR and FT-Raman in the ranges of 4000-500 and 4000-50 cm-1, respectively. The fundamental modes of the vibrations were assigned and the UV-visible spectrum of the MMIC molecule was recorded in the range of 200-400 nm to explore its electronic nature. The HOMO-LUMO energy distribution was calculated and the bonding and anti-bonding structures of the title molecule were studied and analysed using the natural bond orbital (NBO) approach. The reactivity of the MMIC molecule was also investigated and both the positive and negative centres of the molecule were identified using chemical descriptors and molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) analysis. The chemical shifts of the 1H and 13C NMR spectra were noted and the magnetic field environment of the MMIC molecule are discussed. The non-linear optical (NLO) properties of the title molecule were studied based on its calculated values of polarisability and hyperpolarisability. All computations were obtained by DFT methods using the 6-311++G (d,p) basis set.

  20. Physics of Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Many varieties of molecule have been detected in the Milky Way and in other galaxies. The processes by which these molecules are formed and destroyed are now broadly understood (see INTERSTELLAR CHEMISTRY). These molecules are important components of galaxies in two ways. Firstly, radiation emitted by molecules enables us to trace the presence of diffuse gas, to infer its physical properties and ...

  1. Chemical biology at the crossroads of molecular structure and mechanism.

    PubMed

    Doudna, Jennifer A

    2005-11-01

    Chemical insight into biological function is the holy grail of structural biology. Small molecules are central players as building blocks, effectors and probes of macromolecular structure and function.

  2. Aggregated Gas Molecules: Toxic to Protein?

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Meng; Zuo, Guanghong; Chen, Jixiu; Gao, Yi; Fang, Haiping

    2013-01-01

    The biological toxicity of high levels of breathing gases has been known for centuries, but the mechanism remains elusive. Earlier work mainly focused on the influences of dispersed gas molecules dissolved in water on biomolecules. However, recent studies confirmed the existence of aggregated gas molecules at the water-solid interface. In this paper, we have investigated the binding preference of aggregated gas molecules on proteins with molecular dynamics simulations, using nitrogen (N2) gas and the Src-homology 3 (SH3) domain as the model system. Aggregated N2 molecules were strongly bound by the active sites of the SH3 domain, which could impair the activity of the protein. In contrast, dispersed N2 molecules did not specifically interact with the SH3 domain. These observations extend our understanding of the possible toxicity of aggregates of gas molecules in the function of proteins. PMID:23588597

  3. Targeting the undruggable proteome: the small molecules of my dreams.

    PubMed

    Crews, Craig M

    2010-06-25

    Biologically active small molecules have long proven useful in the exploration of cell biology. Although many early compounds were by-products of drug development efforts, recent increased small molecule screening efforts in academia have expanded the repertoire of biological processes investigated to include areas of biology that are not of immediate pharmaceutical interest. Many of these new bioassays score for small molecule-induced phenotypic changes at the cellular or even organismal level and thus have been described as "chemical genetic" screens. However, this analogy with traditional genetic screens is misleading; although each gene has roughly an equivalent chance of being mutated in a traditional genetic screen, the amount of "proteomic space" that a chemical genetics approach can reach using current small molecule libraries is considerably smaller. Thus, new chemical biology methodologies are needed to target the remaining "undruggable proteome" with small druglike molecules.

  4. Target molecules detection by waveguiding in a photonic silicon membrane

    DOEpatents

    Letant, Sonia; Van Buuren, Anthony; Terminello, Louis

    2004-08-31

    Disclosed herein is a photonic silicon filter capable of binding and detecting biological and chemical target molecules in liquid or gas samples. A photonic waveguiding silicon filter with chemical and/or biological anchors covalently attached to the pore walls selectively bind target molecules. The system uses transmission curve engineering principles to allow measurements to be made in situ and in real time to detect the presence of various target molecules and determine the concentration of bound target.

  5. Target molecules detection by waveguiding in a photonic silicon membrane

    DOEpatents

    Letant, Sonia E.; Van Buuren, Anthony; Terminello, Louis; Hart, Bradley R.

    2006-12-26

    Disclosed herein is a porous silicon filter capable of binding and detecting biological and chemical target molecules in liquid or gas samples. A photonic waveguiding silicon filter with chemical and/or biological anchors covalently attached to the pore walls bind target molecules. The system uses transmission curve engineering principles to allow measurements to be made in situ and in real time to detect the presence of various target molecules and calculate the concentration of bound target.

  6. Biological spectra analysis: Linking biological activity profiles to molecular structure

    PubMed Central

    Fliri, Anton F.; Loging, William T.; Thadeio, Peter F.; Volkmann, Robert A.

    2005-01-01

    Establishing quantitative relationships between molecular structure and broad biological effects has been a longstanding challenge in science. Currently, no method exists for forecasting broad biological activity profiles of medicinal agents even within narrow boundaries of structurally similar molecules. Starting from the premise that biological activity results from the capacity of small organic molecules to modulate the activity of the proteome, we set out to investigate whether descriptor sets could be developed for measuring and quantifying this molecular property. Using a 1,567-compound database, we show that percent inhibition values, determined at single high drug concentration in a battery of in vitro assays representing a cross section of the proteome, provide precise molecular property descriptors that identify the structure of molecules. When broad biological activity of molecules is represented in spectra form, organic molecules can be sorted by quantifying differences between biological spectra. Unlike traditional structure–activity relationship methods, sorting of molecules by using biospectra comparisons does not require knowledge of a molecule's putative drug targets. To illustrate this finding, we selected as starting point the biological activity spectra of clotrimazole and tioconazole because their putative target, lanosterol demethylase (CYP51), was not included in the bioassay array. Spectra similarity obtained through profile similarity measurements and hierarchical clustering provided an unbiased means for establishing quantitative relationships between chemical structures and biological activity spectra. This methodology, which we have termed biological spectra analysis, provides the capability not only of sorting molecules on the basis of biospectra similarity but also of predicting simultaneous interactions of new molecules with multiple proteins. PMID:15625110

  7. Systems biology, adverse outcome pathways, and ecotoxicology in the 21st century

    EPA Science Inventory

    While many definitions of systems biology exist, the majority of these contain most (if not all) of the following elements: global measurements of biological molecules to the extent technically feasible, dynamic measurements of key biological molecules to establish quantitative r...

  8. Formation properties of an InGaN active layer for high-efficiency InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well-nanowire light-emitting diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Sung Won; Lee, Bongsoo; Choi, Suk-Ho

    2016-09-01

    Nitride-based nanowires (NWs) have several advantages, such as flexibility in choosing a substrate, easy fabrication, large light-emitting area, no internal electric field, enhanced light extraction, and reduced defects by strain relief, that are useful for enhancing the efficiency of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Here, we report how crucial the formation properties of the InGaN active layer are for enhancing the efficiency of core-shell InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-well (MQW)-NW LEDs that are selectively grown on oxide templates with perfectly-circular hole patterns. The nanostructures are analyzed for two types of LEDs, one containing defect-free MQW active layer and the other containing MQW layer with defects by using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The I-V curve of the defect-free LED shows a rectifying behavior with an on/off ratio of ~109, typical of a diode, and the off-state leakage current of the LED with defects is much larger than that of the defect-free LED, resulting in brighter electroluminescence from the latter device. These results suggest that well-defined nonpolar InGaN/GaN MQW-NWs can be utilized for the realization of high-performance LEDs.

  9. CROSS-DISCIPLINARY PHYSICS AND RELATED AREAS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Wavelength Red-Shift of Long Wavelength InGaN/GaN Multi-Quantum Well by Using an InGaN Underlying Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Li-Rong; Wen, Feng; Tong, Liang-Zhu; Huang, De-Xiu

    2009-07-01

    Long-wavelength GaN based light-emitting diodes are of importance in full color displays, monolithic white light- emitting diodes and solid-state lighting, etc. However, their epitaxial growth faces great challenges because high indium (In) compositions of InGaN are difficult to grow. In order to enhance In incorporation and lengthen the emission wavelength of a InGaN/GaN multi-quantum well (MQW), we insert an InGaN underlying layer underneath the MQW. InGaN/GaN MQWs with various InGaN underlying layers, such as graded InyGa1-yN material with linearly increasing In content, or InyGa1-yN with fixed In content but different thicknesses, are grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. Experimental results demonstrate the enhancement of In incorporation and the emission wavelength redshift by the insertion of an InGaN underlying layer.

  10. Small molecule inhibitors of ebola virus infection.

    PubMed

    Picazo, Edwige; Giordanetto, Fabrizio

    2015-02-01

    Ebola viruses are extremely virulent and highly transmissible. They are responsible for sporadic outbreaks of severe hemorrhagic fevers with human mortality rates of up to 90%. No prophylactic or therapeutic treatments in the form of vaccine, biologicals or small molecule, currently exist. Yet, a wealth of antiviral research on ebola virus is being generated and potential inhibitors have been identified in biological screening and medicinal chemistry programs. Here, we detail the state-of-the-art in small molecule inhibitors of ebola virus infection, with >60 examples, including approved drugs, compounds currently in clinical trials, and more exploratory leads, and summarize the associated in vitro and in vivo evidence for their effectiveness.

  11. The origin of life. [genetically important molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horowitz, N. H.; Hubbard, J. S.

    1974-01-01

    Research in the areas of precambrian paleontology, chemical evolution of genetically important monomers, prebiotic dehydration-condensation reactions, organic compounds in meteorites and interstellar space, and biological exploration of the planets is summarized. Fossils in precambrian cherts and findings of eukaryotic cells are described, and recent investigations of prebiotic conditions, energy sources, and starting materials for genetic molecules are outlined. Studies of homogeneous and heterogeneous dehydrations and of nonaqueous thermal dehydrations are described. The detection of amino acids, purines, and pyrimidines in meteorites and of biologically significant molecules in interstellar clouds is discussed, as well as the possibilities of life on Jupiter, Mars, and Titan.

  12. Single Molecule Studies on Dynamics in Liquid Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Täuber, Daniela; von Borczyskowski, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Single molecule (SM) methods are able to resolve structure related dynamics of guest molecules in liquid crystals (LC). Highly diluted small dye molecules on the one hand explore structure formation and LC dynamics, on the other hand they report about a distortion caused by the guest molecules. The anisotropic structure of LC materials is used to retrieve specific conformation related properties of larger guest molecules like conjugated polymers. This in particular sheds light on organization mechanisms within biological cells, where large molecules are found in nematic LC surroundings. This review gives a short overview related to the application of highly sensitive SM detection schemes in LC. PMID:24077123

  13. Single-molecule detection: applications to ultrasensitive biochemical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro, Alonso; Shera, E. Brooks

    1995-06-01

    Recent developments in laser-based detection of fluorescent molecules have made possible the implementation of very sensitive techniques for biochemical analysis. We present and discuss our experiments on the applications of our recently developed technique of single-molecule detection to the analysis of molecules of biological interest. These newly developed methods are capable of detecting and identifying biomolecules at the single-molecule level of sensitivity. In one case, identification is based on measuring fluorescence brightness from single molecules. In another, molecules are classified by determining their electrophoretic velocities.

  14. Life at the Single Molecule Level

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Xiaoliang Sunny

    2011-03-04

    In a living cell, gene expression—the transcription of DNA to messenger RNA followed by translation to protein—occurs stochastically, as a consequence of the low copy number of DNA and mRNA molecules involved. Can one monitor these processes in a living cell in real time? How do cells with identical genes exhibit different phenotypes? Recent advances in single-molecule imaging in living bacterial cells allow these questions to be answered at the molecular level in a quantitative manner. It was found that rare events of single molecules can have important biological consequences.

  15. 7th Annual Systems Biology Symposium: Systems Biology and Engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Galitski, Timothy P.

    2008-04-01

    Systems biology recognizes the complex multi-scale organization of biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems. The International Symposium on Systems Biology has been hosted by the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, since 2002. The annual two-day event gathers the most influential researchers transforming biology into an integrative discipline investingating complex systems. Engineering and application of new technology is a central element of systems biology. Genome-scale, or very small-scale, biological questions drive the enigneering of new technologies, which enable new modes of experimentation and computational analysis, leading to new biological insights and questions. Concepts and analytical methods in engineering are now finding direct applications in biology. Therefore, the 2008 Symposium, funded in partnership with the Department of Energy, featured global leaders in "Systems Biology and Engineering."

  16. Formation of Ultracold Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Cote, Robin

    2016-01-28

    Advances in our ability to slow down and cool atoms and molecules to ultracold temperatures have paved the way to a revolution in basic research on molecules. Ultracold molecules are sensitive of very weak interactions, even when separated by large distances, which allow studies of the effect of those interactions on the behavior of molecules. In this program, we have explored ways to form ultracold molecules starting from pairs of atoms that have already reached the ultracold regime. We devised methods that enhance the efficiency of ultracold molecule production, for example by tuning external magnetic fields and using appropriate laser excitations. We also investigates the properties of those ultracold molecules, especially their de-excitation into stable molecules. We studied the possibility of creating new classes of ultra-long range molecules, named macrodimers, thousand times more extended than regular molecules. Again, such objects are possible because ultra low temperatures prevent their breakup by collision. Finally, we carried out calculations on how chemical reactions are affected and modified at ultracold temperatures. Normally, reactions become less effective as the temperature decreases, but at ultracold temperatures, they can become very effective. We studied this counter-intuitive behavior for benchmark chemical reactions involving molecular hydrogen.

  17. New platinum(II) complexes conjugated at position 7α of 17β-acetyl-testosterone as new combi-molecules against prostate cancer: design, synthesis, structure-activity relationships and biological evaluation.

    PubMed

    Fortin, Sébastien; Brasseur, Kevin; Morin, Nathalie; Asselin, Éric; Bérubé, Gervais

    2013-10-01

    Prostate cancer is a major public health problem worldwide and, more specifically, new treatments for hormone-refractory cancers are highly sought by several research groups. Although platinum(II)-based chemotherapy and other strategies grow in interest to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), they still exhibit modest activity on CRPC and overall patient survival. In this study, we designed and prepared new combi-molecules using 17β-acetyl-testosterone and amino acid platinum(II) complexes linked at the position 7α to target and to improve the antiproliferative activity of platinum(II)-based chemotherapy on prostate cancer cells. Twelve chemical intermediates and six new combi-molecules were prepared and characterized. Structure-activity relationships studies show that the platinum complex moiety is essential for an optimal cytocidal activity. Moreover, stereochemistry of the amino acid involved in the platinum complexes had only minor effects on the antiproliferative activity whereas pyridinyl (10a and b) and thiazolyl (10f) complexes exhibited the highest cytocidal activities that are significantly superior to that of cisplatin used as control on human prostate adenocarcinoma LNCaP (AR+), PC3 (AR-) and DU145 (AR-). Compounds 10a, b and f arrested the cell cycle progression in S-phase and induced double strand breaks as confirmed by the phosphorylation of histone H2AX into γH2AX. Compounds 10a and f showed 33 and 30% inhibition, respectively of the growth of HT-1080 tumors grafted onto chick chorioallantoic membranes. Finally, compounds 10a and 10f exhibited low toxicity on the chick embryos (18 and 21% of death, respectively), indicating that these new combi-molecules might be a promising new class of anticancer agents for prostate cancer.

  18. Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry of small drug molecules and high molecular weight synthetic/biological polymers using electrospun composite nanofibers.

    PubMed

    Bian, Juan; Olesik, Susan V

    2017-03-27

    Polyacrylonitrile/Nafion®/carbon nanotube (PAN/Nafion®/CNT) composite nanofibers were prepared using electrospinning. These electrospun nanofibers were studied as possible substrates for surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) and matrix-enhanced surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ME-SALDI/TOF-MS) for the first time in this paper. Electrospinning provides this novel substrate with a uniform morphology and a narrow size distribution, where CNTs were evenly and firmly immobilized on polymeric nanofibers. The results show that PAN/Nafion®/CNT nanofibrous mats are good substrates for the analysis of both small drug molecules and high molecular weight polymers with high sensitivity. Markedly improved reproducibility was observed relative to MALDI. Due to the composite formation between the polymers and the CNTs, no contamination of the carbon nanotubes to the mass spectrometer was observed. Furthermore, electrospun nanofibers used as SALDI substrates greatly extended the duration of ion signals of target analytes compared to the MALDI matrix. The proposed SALDI approach was successfully used to quantify small drug molecules with no interference in the low mass range. The results show that verapamil could be detected with a surface concentration of 220 femtomoles, indicating the high detection sensitivity of this method. Analysis of peptides and proteins with the electrospun composite substrate using matrix assisted-SALDI was improved and a low limit of detection of approximately 6 femtomoles was obtained for IgG. Both SALDI and ME-SALDI analyses displayed high reproducibility with %RSD ≤ 9% for small drug molecules and %RSD ≤ 14% for synthetic polymers and proteins.

  19. Double point contact single molecule absorption spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, John Brooks

    Our primary objective with the presentation of this thesis is to utilize superconducting transport through microscopic objects to both excite and analyze the vibrational degrees of freedom of various molecules of a biological nature. The technique stems from a Josephson junction's ability to generate radiation that falls in the terahertz gap (≈ 10 THz) and consequently can be used to excite vibrational modes of simple and complex molecules. Analysis of the change in IV characteristics coupled with the differential conductance dIdV allows determination of both the absorption spectra and the vibrational modes of biological molecules. Presented here are both the theoretical foundations of superconductivity relevant to our experimental technique and the fabrication process of our samples. Comparisons between our technique and that of other absorption spectroscopy techniques are included as a means of providing a reference upon which to judge the merits of our novel procedure. This technique is meant to improve not only our understanding of the vibrational degrees of freedom of useful biological molecules, but also these molecule's structural, electronic and mechanical properties.

  20. How organic molecules can control electronic devices.

    PubMed

    Vilan, Ayelet; Cahen, David

    2002-01-01

    This article examines a somewhat counter-intuitive approach to molecular-based electronic devices. Control over the electronic energy levels at the surfaces of conventional semiconductors and metals is achieved by assembling on the solid surfaces, poorly organized, partial monolayers (MLs) of molecules instead of the more commonly used ideal ones. Once those surfaces become interfaces, these layers exert electrostatic rather than electrodynamic control over the resulting devices, based on both electrical monopole and dipole effects of the molecules. Thus electronic transport devices, incorporating molecules, can be constructed without current flow through the molecules. This is illustrated for a gallium arsenide (GaAs) sensor as well as for gold-silicon (Au-Si) and Au-GaAs diodes. Incorporating molecules into solid interfaces becomes possible, using a 'soft' electrical contacting procedure, so as not to damage the molecules. Because there are only a few molecular restrictions, this approach opens up possibilities for the use of more complex (including biologically active) molecules as it circumvents requirements for ideal MLs and for molecules that can tolerate actual electron transport through them.

  1. Evidence of water molecules--a statistical evaluation of water molecules based on electron density.

    PubMed

    Nittinger, Eva; Schneider, Nadine; Lange, Gudrun; Rarey, Matthias

    2015-04-27

    Water molecules play important roles in many biological processes, especially when mediating protein-ligand interactions. Dehydration and the hydrophobic effect are of central importance for estimating binding affinities. Due to the specific geometric characteristics of hydrogen bond functions of water molecules, meaning two acceptor and two donor functions in a tetrahedral arrangement, they have to be modeled accurately. Despite many attempts in the past years, accurate prediction of water molecules-structurally as well as energetically-remains a grand challenge. One reason is certainly the lack of experimental data, since energetic contributions of water molecules can only be measured indirectly. However, on the structural side, the electron density clearly shows the positions of stable water molecules. This information has the potential to improve models on water structure and energy in proteins and protein interfaces. On the basis of a high-resolution subset of the Protein Data Bank, we have conducted an extensive statistical analysis of 2.3 million water molecules, discriminating those water molecules that are well resolved and those without much evidence of electron density. In order to perform this classification, we introduce a new measurement of electron density around an individual atom enabling the automatic quantification of experimental support. On the basis of this measurement, we present an analysis of water molecules with a detailed profile of geometric and structural features. This data, which is freely available, can be applied to not only modeling and validation of new water models in structural biology but also in molecular design.

  2. [Endothelial cell adhesion molecules].

    PubMed

    Ivanov, A N; Norkin, I A; Puchin'ian, D M; Shirokov, V Iu; Zhdanova, O Iu

    2014-01-01

    The review presents current data concerning the functional role of endothelial cell adhesion molecules belonging to different structural families: integrins, selectins, cadherins, and the immunoglobulin super-family. In this manuscript the regulatory mechanisms and factors of adhesion molecules expression and distribution on the surface of endothelial cells are discussed. The data presented reveal the importance of adhesion molecules in the regulation of structural and functional state of endothelial cells in normal conditions and in pathology. Particular attention is paid to the importance of these molecules in the processes of physiological and pathological angiogenesis, regulation of permeability of the endothelial barrier and cell transmigration.

  3. Performance enhancement of blue light-emitting diodes with InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells grown on Si substrates by inserting thin AlGaN interlayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Shigeya; Yoshida, Hisashi; Uesugi, Kenjiro; Ito, Toshihide; Okada, Aoi; Nunoue, Shinya

    2016-09-01

    We have grown blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) having InGaN/GaN multi-quantum wells (MQWs) with thin AlyGa1-yN (0 < y < 0.3) interlayers on Si(111) substrates. It was found by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy observations and three-dimensional atom probe analysis that 1-nm-thick interlayers with an AlN mole fraction of less than y = 0.3 were continuously formed between GaN barriers and InGaN wells, and that the AlN mole fraction up to y = 0.15 could be consistently controlled. The external quantum efficiency of the blue LED was enhanced in the low-current-density region (≤45 A/cm2) but reduced in the high-current-density region by the insertion of the thin Al0.15Ga0.85N interlayers in the MQWs. We also found that reductions in both forward voltage and wavelength shift with current were achieved by inserting the interlayers even though the inserted AlGaN layers had potential higher than that of the GaN barriers. The obtained peak wall-plug efficiency was 83% at room temperature. We suggest that the enhanced electroluminescence (EL) performance was caused by the introduction of polarization-induced hole carriers in the InGaN wells on the side adjacent to the thin AlGaN/InGaN interface and efficient electron carrier transport through multiple wells. This model is supported by temperature-dependent EL properties and band-diagram simulations. We also found that inserting the interlayers brought about a reduction in the Shockley-Read-Hall nonradiative recombination component, corresponding to the shrinkage of V-defects. This is another conceivable reason for the observed performance enhancement.

  4. Wafer-scale controlled exfoliation of metal organic vapor phase epitaxy grown InGaN/GaN multi quantum well structures using low-tack two-dimensional layered h-BN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayari, Taha; Sundaram, Suresh; Li, Xin; El Gmili, Youssef; Voss, Paul L.; Salvestrini, Jean Paul; Ougazzaden, Abdallah

    2016-04-01

    Recent advances in epitaxial growth have led to the growth of III-nitride devices on 2D layered h-BN. This advance has the potential for wafer-scale transfer to arbitrary substrates, which could improve the thermal management and would allow III-N devices to be used more flexibly in a broader range of applications. We report wafer scale exfoliation of a metal organic vapor phase epitaxy grown InGaN/GaN Multi Quantum Well (MQW) structure from a 5 nm thick h-BN layer that was grown on a 2-inch sapphire substrate. The weak van der Waals bonds between h-BN atomic layers break easily, allowing the MQW structure to be mechanically lifted off from the sapphire substrate using a commercial adhesive tape. This results in the surface roughness of only 1.14 nm on the separated surface. Structural characterizations performed before and after the lift-off confirm the conservation of structural properties after lift-off. Cathodoluminescence at 454 nm was present before lift-off and 458 nm was present after. Electroluminescence near 450 nm from the lifted-off structure has also been observed. These results show that the high crystalline quality ultrathin h-BN serves as an effective sacrificial layer—it maintains performance, while also reducing the GaN buffer thickness and temperature ramps as compared to a conventional two-step growth method. These results support the use of h-BN as a low-tack sacrificial underlying layer for GaN-based device structures and demonstrate the feasibility of large area lift-off and transfer to any template, which is important for industrial scale production.

  5. Enzymatic DNA molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joyce, Gerald F. (Inventor); Breaker, Ronald R. (Inventor)

    1998-01-01

    The present invention discloses deoxyribonucleic acid enzymes--catalytic or enzymatic DNA molecules--capable of cleaving nucleic acid sequences or molecules, particularly RNA, in a site-specific manner, as well as compositions including same. Methods of making and using the disclosed enzymes and compositions are also disclosed.

  6. Molecules between the Stars.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verschuur, Gerrit L.

    1987-01-01

    Provides a listing of molecules discovered to date in the vast interstellar clouds of dust and gas. Emphasizes the recent discoveries of organic molecules. Discusses molecular spectral lines, MASERs (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation), molecular clouds, and star birth. (TW)

  7. Single molecule fluorescence and force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Schütz, G J; Hinterdorfer, P

    2002-12-01

    The investigation of biomolecules has entered a new age since the development of methodologies capable of studies at the level of single molecules. In biology, most molecules show a complex dynamical behavior, with individual motions and transitions between different states occurring highly correlated in space and time within an arrangement of various elements. Recent advances in the development of new microscopy techniques with sensitivity at the single molecule have gained access to essentially new types of information obtainable from imaging biomolecular samples. These methodologies are described here in terms of their applicability to the in vivo detection and visualization of molecular processes on surfaces, membranes, and cells. First examples of single molecule microscopy on cell membranes revealed new basic insight into the lateral organization of the plasma membrane, providing the captivating perspective of an ultra-sensitive methodology as a general tool to study local processes and heterogeneities in living cells.

  8. Porous organic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holst, James R.; Trewin, Abbie; Cooper, Andrew I.

    2010-11-01

    Most synthetic materials that show molecular-scale porosity consist of one-, two- or three-dimensional networks. Porous metal-organic frameworks in particular have attracted a lot of recent attention. By contrast, discrete molecules tend to pack efficiently in the solid state, leaving as little empty space as possible, which leads to non-porous materials. This Perspective discusses recent developments with discrete organic molecules that are porous in the solid state. Such molecules, which may be either crystalline or amorphous, can be categorized as either intrinsically porous (containing permanent covalent cavities) or extrinsically porous (inefficiently packed). We focus on the possible advantages of organic molecules over inorganic or hybrid systems in terms of molecular solubility, choice of components and functionalities, and structural mobility and responsiveness in non-covalent extended solids. We also highlight the potential for 'undiscovered' porous systems among the large number of cage-like organic molecules that are already known.

  9. Single Molecule Analysis Research Tool (SMART): An Integrated Approach for Analyzing Single Molecule Data

    PubMed Central

    Mabuchi, Hideo; Herschlag, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Single molecule studies have expanded rapidly over the past decade and have the ability to provide an unprecedented level of understanding of biological systems. A common challenge upon introduction of novel, data-rich approaches is the management, processing, and analysis of the complex data sets that are generated. We provide a standardized approach for analyzing these data in the freely available software package SMART: Single Molecule Analysis Research Tool. SMART provides a format for organizing and easily accessing single molecule data, a general hidden Markov modeling algorithm for fitting an array of possible models specified by the user, a standardized data structure and graphical user interfaces to streamline the analysis and visualization of data. This approach guides experimental design, facilitating acquisition of the maximal information from single molecule experiments. SMART also provides a standardized format to allow dissemination of single molecule data and transparency in the analysis of reported data. PMID:22363412

  10. A brief introduction to single-molecule fluorescence methods.

    PubMed

    van den Wildenberg, Siet M J L; Prevo, Bram; Peterman, Erwin J G

    2011-01-01

    One of the more popular single-molecule approaches in biological science is single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, which is the subject of the following section of this volume. Fluorescence methods provide the sensitivity required to study biology on the single-molecule level, but they also allow access to useful measurable parameters on time and length scales relevant for the biomolecular world. Before several detailed experimental approaches are addressed, we first give a general overview of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. We start with discussing the phenomenon of fluorescence in general and the history of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Next, we review fluorescent probes in more detail and the equipment required to visualize them on the single-molecule level. We end with a description of parameters measurable with such approaches, ranging from protein counting and tracking, to distance measurements with Förster Resonance Energy Transfer and orientation measurements with fluorescence polarization.

  11. Single molecule conformational analysis of DNA G-quadruplexes

    PubMed Central

    Shirude, Pravin S.; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2008-01-01

    Single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) can be employed to study conformational heterogeneity and real-time dynamics of biological macromolecules. Here we present single molecule studies on human genomic DNA G-quadruplex sequences that occur in the telomeres and in the promoter of a proto-oncogene. The findings are discussed with respect to the proposed biological function(s) of such motifs in living cells. PMID:18295608

  12. [Fundamental bases of biological rhythms].

    PubMed

    Shabalin, V N; Shatokhina, S N

    2000-01-01

    The data and theoretical points given in the paper mould basically new views of molecular relationships underlying the function of living beings and biological rhythms. The authors' procedure for wedge biological fluid dehydration reveals a wide autowave spectrum that is clearly detectable when the fluid passes into the solid phase. A hypothesis of the autowave interaction of biologically active molecules is forwarded, which considers autowaves as a basis of organization of physiological and pathological processes occurring in the body.

  13. Dynamics of Activated Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Mullin, Amy S.

    2016-11-16

    Experimental studies have been performed to investigate the collisional energy transfer processes of gas-phase molecules that contain large amounts of internal energy. Such molecules are prototypes for molecules under high temperature conditions relevant in combustion and information about their energy transfer mechanisms is needed for a detailed understanding and modeling of the chemistry. We use high resolution transient IR absorption spectroscopy to measure the full, nascent product distributions for collisions of small bath molecules that relax highly vibrationally excited pyrazine molecules with E=38000 cm-1 of vibrational energy. To perform these studies, we developed new instrumentation based on modern IR light sources to expand our experimental capabilities to investigate new molecules as collision partners. This final report describes our research in four areas: the characterization of a new transient absorption spectrometer and the results of state-resolved collision studies of pyrazine(E) with HCl, methane and ammonia. Through this research we have gained fundamental new insights into the microscopic details of relatively large complex molecules at high energy as they undergo quenching collisions and redistribute their energy.

  14. Single molecule image formation, reconstruction and processing: introduction.

    PubMed

    Ashok, Amit; Piestun, Rafael; Stallinga, Sjoerd

    2016-07-01

    The ability to image at the single molecule scale has revolutionized research in molecular biology. This feature issue presents a collection of articles that provides new insights into the fundamental limits of single molecule imaging and reports novel techniques for image formation and analysis.

  15. Non-proximate detection of small and large molecules by desorption electrospray ionization and desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry: instrumentation and applications in forensics, chemistry, and biology.

    PubMed

    Cotte-Rodríguez, Ismael; Mulligan, Christopher C; Cooks, R Graham

    2007-09-15

    Ambient surfaces are examined by mass spectrometry at distances of up to 3 m from the instrument without any prior sample preparation. Non-proximate versions of the desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionization experiments are shown to allow rapid, sensitive, and selective detection of trace amounts of active ingredients in pharmaceutical drug formulations, illicit drugs (methamphetamine, cocaine, and diacetylmorphine), organic salts, peptides, chemical warfare agent simulants, and other small organic compounds. Utilizing an ion transport tube to transport analyte ions to the mass spectrometer, nonproximate DESI allows one to collect high-quality, largely interference-free spectra with signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios of more than 100. High selectivity is achieved by tandem mass spectrometry and by reactive DESI, a variant experiment in which reagents added into the solvent spray allow bond-forming reactions with the analyte. Ion/molecule reactions were found to selectively suppress the response of mixture components other than the analyte of interest in nonproximate-DESI. Flexible ion transport tubing is also investigated, allowing performance similar to stainless steel tubing in the transport of ions from the sample to the mass spectrometer. Transfer tube temperature effects are examined. A multiple sprayer DESI source capable of analyzing a larger sample area was evaluated to decrease the sampling time and increase sample throughput. Low nanogram detection limits were obtained for the compounds studied from a wide variety of surfaces, even those present in complex matrixes.

  16. All biology is computational biology

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science. PMID:28278152

  17. All biology is computational biology.

    PubMed

    Markowetz, Florian

    2017-03-01

    Here, I argue that computational thinking and techniques are so central to the quest of understanding life that today all biology is computational biology. Computational biology brings order into our understanding of life, it makes biological concepts rigorous and testable, and it provides a reference map that holds together individual insights. The next modern synthesis in biology will be driven by mathematical, statistical, and computational methods being absorbed into mainstream biological training, turning biology into a quantitative science.

  18. Figuration and detection of single molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevels, R.; Welch, G. R.; Cremer, P. S.; Hemmer, P.; Phillips, T.; Scully, S.; Sokolov, A. V.; Svidzinsky, A. A.; Xia, H.; Zheltikov, A.; Scully, M. O.

    2012-08-01

    Recent advances in the description of atoms and molecules based on Dimensional scaling analysis, developed by Dudley Herschbach and co-workers, provided new insights into visualization of molecular structure and chemical bonding. Prof. Herschbach is also a giant in the field of single molecule scattering. We here report on the engineering of molecular detectors. Such systems have a wide range of application from medical diagnostics to the monitoring of chemical, biological and environmental hazards. We discuss ways to identify preselected molecules, in particular, mycotoxin contaminants using coherent laser spectroscopy. Mycotoxin contaminants, e.g. aflatoxin B1 which is present in corn and peanuts, are usually analysed by time-consuming microscopic, chemical and biological assays. We present a new approach that derives from recent experiments in which molecules are prepared by one (or more) femtosecond laser(s) and probed by another set. We call this technique FAST CARS (femto second adaptive spectroscopic technique for coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy). We propose and analyse ways in which FAST CARS can be used to identify preselected molecules, e.g. aflatoxin, rapidly and economically.

  19. Mechanobiology of Short DNA Molecules: A Single Molecule Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raghunathan, Krishnan

    Mechanical properties of DNA are known to play a significant role in several biological processes like wrapping of DNA around histones and looping. Most of these cellular events occur on a DNA length scale of a few hundred basepairs. Single molecule methods have been highly successful in directly investigating heterogeneity in different biomolecular systems and serve as ideal tools to study the mechanical properties of DNA. However, their use in studying DNA of contour lengths less than a kilobase are fraught with experimental difficulties. The research presented in this thesis explores the behavior of short stretches of DNA (≤ 500bp) using existing and novel single molecule methods. We have quantified the variation in persistence lengths between sequences having different elasticity using a constant force axial optical tweezers. Our experiments have also revealed that this difference in persistence lengths manifests itself as a difference in looping lifetimes of lac repressor, in sequences having the aforementioned constructs as the intervening sequence between the operator sites. We have also developed a system to probe DNA dynamics in vivo. We have found that the active processes in the cell have distinct effects on dynamics of DNA and eliminating the active processes causes a 'phase transition' like behavior in the inside the cell. We are currently extending this technique to understand DNA dynamics inside bacterial systems. Our results provide vital insights into mechanical properties of DNA and the effect of athermal fluctuations on DNA dynamics.

  20. Of Molecules and Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brinner, Bonnie

    1992-01-01

    Presents an activity in which models help students visualize both the DNA process and transcription. After constructing DNA, RNA messenger, and RNA transfer molecules; students model cells, protein synthesis, codons, and RNA movement. (MDH)

  1. Enhancing single-molecule fluorescence with nanophotonics.

    PubMed

    Acuna, Guillermo; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-10-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has become an important research tool in the life sciences but a number of limitations hinder the widespread use as a standard technique. The limited dynamic concentration range is one of the major hurdles. Recent developments in the nanophotonic field promise to alleviate these restrictions to an extent that even low affinity biomolecular interactions can be studied. After motivating the need for nanophotonics we introduce the basic concepts of nanophotonic devices such as zero mode waveguides and nanoantennas. We highlight current applications and the future potential of nanophotonic approaches when combined with biological systems and single-molecule spectroscopy.

  2. Single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy: concluding remarks.

    PubMed

    van Hulst, Niek F

    2015-01-01

    Chemistry is all about molecules: control, synthesis, interaction and reaction of molecules. All too easily on a blackboard, one draws molecules, their structures and dynamics, to create an insightful picture. The dream is to see these molecules in reality. This is exactly what "Single Molecule Detection" provides: a look at molecules in action at ambient conditions; a breakthrough technology in chemistry, physics and biology. Within the realms of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Faraday Discussion on "Single Molecule Microscopy and Spectroscopy" was a very appropriate topic for presentation, deliberation and debate. Undoubtedly, the Faraday Discussions have a splendid reputation in stimulating scientific debates along the traditions set by Michael Faraday. Interestingly, back in the 1830's, Faraday himself pursued an experiment that led to the idea that atoms in a compound were joined by an electrical component. He placed two opposite electrodes in a solution of water containing a dissolved compound, and observed that one of the elements of the compound accumulated on one electrode, while the other was deposited on the opposite electrode. Although Faraday was deeply opposed to atomism, he had to recognize that electrical forces were responsible for the joining of atoms. Probably a direct view on the atoms or molecules in his experiment would have convinced him. As such, Michael Faraday might have liked the gathering at Burlington House in September 2015 (). Surely, with the questioning eyes of his bust on the 1st floor corridor, the non-believer Michael Faraday has incited each passer-by to enter into discussion and search for deeper answers at the level of single molecules. In these concluding remarks, highlights of the presented papers and discussions are summarized, complemented by a conclusion on future perspectives.

  3. Special Issue: "Molecules against Alzheimer".

    PubMed

    Decker, Michael; Muñoz-Torrero, Diego

    2016-12-16

    This Special Issue, entitled "Molecules against Alzheimer", gathers a number of original articles, short communications, and review articles on recent research efforts toward the development of novel drug candidates, diagnostic agents and therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder and a leading cause of death worldwide. This Special Issue contains many interesting examples describing the design, synthesis, and pharmacological profiling of novel compounds that hit one or several key biological targets, such as cholinesterases, β-amyloid formation or aggregation, monoamine oxidase B, oxidative stress, biometal dyshomeostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, serotonin and/or melatonin systems, the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, sigma receptors, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, or nuclear erythroid 2-related factor. The development of novel AD diagnostic agents based on tau protein imaging and the use of lithium or intranasal insulin for the prevention or the symptomatic treatment of AD is also covered in some articles of the Special Issue.

  4. Interaction of highly vibrationally excited molecules with clean metal surfaces. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Wodtke, A.M.; Auerbach, D.J.

    1998-11-01

    The authors present results from a grant funded under the Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences. A collaboration between Prof. Alec Wodtke of the Department of Chemistry at UCSB and Daniel J. Auerbach of IBM Almaden Research Labs has allowed new experiments on the dynamics of surface chemical reactivity to be successfully executed. High quality data has been generated which provides an excellent test of theoretical models of surface reactivity, a topic of importance to catalysis. The authors have obtained the first experimental measurements on the influence of reactant velocity on the steric effect in a chemical reaction: the dissociative adsorption of hydrogen on copper. They have also designed and built a molecular beam scattering apparatus for the study of highly vibrationally excited molecules and their interactions with clean and oxidized metal surfaces. With this apparatus they have observed the vibrational energy exchange of highly vibrationally excited NO with an oxidized copper surface. Multi-quantum vibrational relaxation was found ({Delta}v = 1-5). Such remarkably strong and efficient vibrational energy transfer represents a qualitatively new phenomenon and is representative of the exciting new behavior that they had hoped might be observable in this project. Evidence of chemical reactivity of vibrationally excited NO on a clean copper surface was also found.

  5. Long-range effects in electron scattering by polar molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabrikant, Ilya I.

    2016-11-01

    We review long-range effects in electron collisions with polar molecules, starting with elastic scattering. We then go to rotationally and vibrationally inelastic processes and dissociative electron attachment. The last two are strongly affected by vibrational Feshbach resonances which have been observed and described theoretically in many systems from simple diatomic molecules to more complex polyatomics, biologically relevant molecules, and van der Waals clusters. We then review environmental effects which include electron interaction with molecules adsorbed on surfaces and molecules in cluster environments. We concentrate on physics rather than on listing results of ab initio calculations. With increasing complexity of targets and processes model approaches become more relevant. We demonstrate their success in the theoretical description of electron attachment to polyatomic molecules and to molecules in complex environments.

  6. Laser-Assisted Single Molecule Refolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Rui; Marshall, Myles; Aleman, Elvin; Lamichhane, Rajan; Rueda, David

    2010-03-01

    In vivo, many RNA molecules can adopt multiple conformations depending on their biological context such as the HIV Dimerization Initiation Sequence (DIS) or the DsrA RNA in bacteria. It is quite common that the initial interaction between the two RNAs takes place via complementary unpaired regions, thus forming a so-called kissing complex. However, the exact kinetic mechanism by which the two RNA molecules reach the dimerized state is still not well understood. To investigate the refolding energy surface of RNA molecules, we have developed new technology based on the combination of single molecule spectroscopy with laser induced temperature jump kinetics, called Laser Assisted Single-molecule Refolding (LASR). LASR enables us to induce folding reactions of otherwise kinetically trapped RNAs at the single molecule level, and to characterize their folding landscape. LASR provides an exciting new approach to study molecular memory effects and kinetically trapped RNAs in general. LASR should be readily applicable to study DNA and protein folding as well.

  7. Combining supramolecular chemistry with biology.

    PubMed

    Uhlenheuer, Dana A; Petkau, Katja; Brunsveld, Luc

    2010-08-01

    Supramolecular chemistry has primarily found its inspiration in biological molecules, such as proteins and lipids, and their interactions. Currently the supramolecular assembly of designed compounds can be controlled to great extent. This provides the opportunity to combine these synthetic supramolecular elements with biomolecules for the study of biological phenomena. This tutorial review focuses on the possibilities of the marriage of synthetic supramolecular architectures and biological systems. It highlights that synthetic supramolecular elements are for example ideal platforms for the recognition and modulation of proteins and cells. The unique features of synthetic supramolecular systems with control over size, shape, valency, and interaction strength allow the generation of structures fitting the demands to approach the biological problems at hand. Supramolecular chemistry has come full circle, studying the biology and its molecules which initially inspired its conception.

  8. Localized single molecule isotherms of DNA molecules at confined liquid-solid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Liang, Heng; Cheng, Xiaoliang; Ma, Yinfa

    2009-03-15

    The study of dynamics and thermodynamics of single biological molecules at confined liquid-solid interfaces is crucially important, especially in the case of low-copy number molecules in a single cell. Using a high-throughput single molecule imaging system and Lagrangian coordinates of single molecule images, we discovered that the local equilibrium isotherms of single lambdaDNA molecules at a confined liquid-solid interface varied from a stair type for the regions of single or double molecular DNA to a mild "S" type for the regions of triple molecular DNA spots, which does not agree with the conventional equilibrium isotherms in the literature. Single molecule images in time sequence for different lambdaDNA concentrations were statistically analyzed by measuring preferential partitioning from shearing effects, which were used to measure the local velocity of DNA molecules by directly observing the migration of DNA fluorescence spots for the 12 continuous images. The local linear velocity of hydrodynamic flow was calculated by the Hagen-Poiseuille equation in different microregions with a local Lagrangian approach. The local single molecule isotherms for the tracked molecules in the regions of single, double, or triple molecular DNA layers within the laminar flows were obtained according to the average local velocities of both the stochastic molecule events and the corresponding local Poiseuille flows. A millisecond and microvolume approach to directly determine local single molecule isotherms at confined liquid-solid interfaces was established, and the microspace scale effects on the types of isotherms were discovered. This study may have significant impact on preparations of low-copy number proteins in a single cell, membrane separations, and other bioseparation studies.

  9. Biological Technicians

    MedlinePlus

    ... Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. It is important ... Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. It is important ...

  10. Positronium ions and molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, Y. K.

    1990-01-01

    Recent theoretical studies on positronium ions and molecules are discussed. A positronium ion is a three particle system consisting of two electrons in singlet spin state, and a positron. Recent studies include calculations of its binding energy, positron annihilation rate, and investigations of its doubly excited resonant states. A positronium molecule is a four body system consisting of two positrons and two electrons in an overall singlet spin state. The recent calculations of its binding energy against the dissociation into two positronium atoms, and studies of auto-detaching states in positronium molecules are discussed. These auto-dissociating states, which are believed to be part of the Rydberg series as a result of a positron attaching to a negatively charged positronium ion, Ps-, would appear as resonances in Ps-Ps scattering.

  11. Single-Molecule Bioelectronics

    PubMed Central

    Rosenstein, Jacob K.; Lemay, Serge G.; Shepard, Kenneth L.

    2014-01-01

    Experimental techniques which interface single biomolecules directly with microelectronic systems are increasingly being used in a wide range of powerful applications, from fundamental studies of biomolecules to ultra-sensitive assays. Here we review several technologies which can perform electronic measurements of single molecules in solution: ion channels, nanopore sensors, carbon nanotube field-effect transistors, electron tunneling gaps, and redox cycling. We discuss the shared features among these techniques that enable them to resolve individual molecules, and discuss their limitations. Recordings from each of these methods all rely on similar electronic instrumentation, and we discuss the relevant circuit implementations and potential for scaling these single-molecule bioelectronic interfaces to high-throughput arrayed sensing platforms. PMID:25529538

  12. MOLECULES IN {eta} CARINAE

    SciTech Connect

    Loinard, Laurent; Menten, Karl M.; Guesten, Rolf; Zapata, Luis A.; Rodriguez, Luis F.

    2012-04-10

    We report the detection toward {eta} Carinae of six new molecules, CO, CN, HCO{sup +}, HCN, HNC, and N{sub 2}H{sup +}, and of two of their less abundant isotopic counterparts, {sup 13}CO and H{sup 13}CN. The line profiles are moderately broad ({approx}100 km s{sup -1}), indicating that the emission originates in the dense, possibly clumpy, central arcsecond of the Homunculus Nebula. Contrary to previous claims, CO and HCO{sup +} do not appear to be underabundant in {eta} Carinae. On the other hand, molecules containing nitrogen or the {sup 13}C isotope of carbon are overabundant by about one order of magnitude. This demonstrates that, together with the dust responsible for the dimming of {eta} Carinae following the Great Eruption, the molecules detected here must have formed in situ out of CNO-processed stellar material.

  13. Polarization of deuterium molecules

    SciTech Connect

    J. F. J. van den Brand; H. J. Bulten; M. Ferro-Luzzi; Z.-L. Zhou; Ricardo Alarcon; T. Botto; M. Bouwhuis; Rolf Ent; Peter Heimberg; Douglas W. Higinbotham; Kees de Jager; J. Lang; D. J. de Lange; I. Passchier; H. R. Poolman; J. J. M. Steijger; O. Unal; H. de Vries

    1997-08-01

    For molecular systems, spin relaxation is expected to be suppressed compared to the case of atoms, since the paired electrons in a hydrogen or deuterium molecule are chemically stable, and only weakly interact with the spin of the nucleus. Such systems would be largely insensitive to polarization losses due to spin-exchange collisions, to the interaction of the electron spins with external fields (e.g. the RF-field of a bunched charged-particle beam), and/or to the presence of container walls. Here, we discuss the results of a recent experiment where we obtained evidence that nuclear polarization is maintained, when polarized atoms recombine to molecules on a copper surface (in a magnetic field of 23 mT and at a density of about 10{sup 12} molecules {center_dot} cm{sup -3}).

  14. Bioinspired assembly of small molecules in cell milieu.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huaimin; Feng, Zhaoqianqi; Xu, Bing

    2017-03-30

    Self-assembly, the autonomous organization of components to form patterns or structures, is a prevalent process in nature at all scales. Particularly, biological systems offer remarkable examples of diverse structures (as well as building blocks) and processes resulting from self-assembly. The exploration of bioinspired assemblies not only allows for mimicking the structures of living systems, but it also leads to functions for applications in different fields that benefit humans. In the last several decades, efforts on understanding and controlling self-assembly of small molecules have produced a large library of candidates for developing the biomedical applications of assemblies of small molecules. Moreover, recent findings in biology have provided new insights on the assemblies of small molecules to modulate essential cellular processes (such as apoptosis). These observations indicate that the self-assembly of small molecules, as multifaceted entities and processes to interact with multiple proteins, can have profound biological impacts on cells. In this review, we illustrate that the generation of assemblies of small molecules in cell milieu with their interactions with multiple cellular proteins for regulating cellular processes can result in primary phenotypes, thus providing a fundamentally new molecular approach for controlling cell behavior. By discussing the correlation between molecular assemblies in nature and the assemblies of small molecules in cell milieu, illustrating the functions of the assemblies of small molecules, and summarizing some guiding principles, we hope this review will stimulate more molecular scientists to explore the bioinspired self-assembly of small molecules in cell milieu.

  15. Small molecule modifiers of circadian clocks.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zheng; Yoo, Seung-Hee; Takahashi, Joseph S

    2013-08-01

    Circadian clocks orchestrate 24-h oscillations of essential physiological and behavioral processes in response to daily environmental changes. These clocks are remarkably precise under constant conditions yet highly responsive to resetting signals. With the molecular composition of the core oscillator largely established, recent research has increasingly focused on clock-modifying mechanisms/molecules. In particular, small molecule modifiers, intrinsic or extrinsic, are emerging as powerful tools for understanding basic clock biology as well as developing putative therapeutic agents for clock-associated diseases. In this review, we will focus on synthetic compounds capable of modifying the period, phase, or amplitude of circadian clocks, with particular emphasis on the mammalian clock. We will discuss the potential of exploiting these small molecule modifiers in both basic and translational research.

  16. Single molecule diffraction.

    PubMed

    Spence, J C H; Doak, R B

    2004-05-14

    For solving the atomic structure of organic molecules such as small proteins which are difficult to crystallize, the use of a jet of doped liquid helium droplets traversing a continuous high energy electron beam is proposed as a means of obtaining electron diffraction patterns (serial crystallography). Organic molecules (such as small proteins) within the droplet (and within a vitreous ice jacket) may be aligned by use of a polarized laser beam. Iterative methods for solving the phase problem are indicated. Comparisons with a related plan for pulsed x-ray diffraction from single proteins in a molecular beam are provided.

  17. Enzyme molecules as nanomotors.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Samudra; Dey, Krishna K; Muddana, Hari S; Tabouillot, Tristan; Ibele, Michael E; Butler, Peter J; Sen, Ayusman

    2013-01-30

    Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we show that the diffusive movements of catalase enzyme molecules increase in the presence of the substrate, hydrogen peroxide, in a concentration-dependent manner. Employing a microfluidic device to generate a substrate concentration gradient, we show that both catalase and urease enzyme molecules spread toward areas of higher substrate concentration, a form of chemotaxis at the molecular scale. Using glucose oxidase and glucose to generate a hydrogen peroxide gradient, we induce the migration of catalase toward glucose oxidase, thereby showing that chemically interconnected enzymes can be drawn together.

  18. Origin of subdiffusion of water molecules on cell membrane surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Eiji; Akimoto, Takuma; Yasui, Masato; Yasuoka, Kenji

    2014-01-01

    Water molecules play an important role in providing unique environments for biological reactions on cell membranes. It is widely believed that water molecules form bridges that connect lipid molecules and stabilize cell membranes. Using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we show that translational and rotational diffusion of water molecules on lipid membrane surfaces exhibit subdiffusion and aging. Moreover, we provide evidence that both divergent mean trapping time (continuous-time random walk) and long-correlated noise (fractional Brownian motion) contribute to this subdiffusion. These results suggest that subdiffusion on cell membranes causes the water retardation, an enhancement of cell membrane stability, and a higher reaction efficiency. PMID:24739933

  19. Electron Transfer-Induced Fragmentation in (Bio)Molecules by Atom-Molecule Collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limão-Vieira, Paulo; da Silva, Filipe Ferreira; Gómez-Tejedor, Gustavo García

    Ion-pair formation to gas phase molecules induced by electron transfer has been studied by investigating the products of collisions between fast potassium atoms and target molecules using a crossed molecular-beam technique. The negative ions formed in such collisions are TOF mass analysed. As far as (bio)molecules are concerned, TOF mass spectra at different collision energies reveal interesting anionic patterns with reduced fragmentation at lower impact energies. In the unimolecular decomposition of the temporary negative ion (TNI), complex internal rearrangement may involve the cleavage and formation of new bonds. In this chapter we report some of the recent achievements in negative ion formation of some polyatomic molecules with the special attention to biological relevant targets.

  20. Connexin Channel Permeability to Cytoplasmic Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Andrew L.

    2007-01-01

    Connexin channels are known to be permeable to a variety of cytoplasmic molecules. The first observation of second messenger junctional permeability, made ∼30 years ago, sparked broad interest in gap junction channels as mediators of intercellular molecular signaling. Since then, much has been learned about the diversity of connexin channels with regard to isoform diversity, tissue and developmental distribution, modes of channel regulation, assembly and expression, biochemical modification and permeability, all of which appear to be dynamically regulated. This information has expanded the potential roles of connexin channels in development, physiology and disease, and made their elucidation much more complex - 30 years ago such an orchestra of junctional dynamics was unanticipated. Only recently, however, have investigators been able to directly address, in this more complex framework, the key issue: What specific biological molecules, second messengers and others, are able to permeate the various types of connexin channels, and how well? An important related issue, given the ever-growing list of connexin-related pathologies, is how these permeabilities are altered by disease-causing connexin mutations. Together, many studies show that a variety of cytoplasmic molecules can permeate the different types of connexin channels. A few studies reveal differences in permeation by different molecules through a particular type of connexin channel, and differences in permeation by a particular molecule through different types of connexin channels. This article describes and evaluates the various methods used to obtain these data, presents an annotated compilation of the results, and discusses the findings in the context of what can be inferred about mechanism of selectivity and potential relevance to signaling. The data strongly suggest that highly specific interactions take place between connexin pores and specific biological molecular permeants, and that those

  1. BIOLOGICS IN DERMATOLOGIC THERAPY – AN UPDATE

    PubMed Central

    Coondoo, Arijit

    2009-01-01

    Biologics are protein molecules which are used in various diseases to target the specific points in the immunopathogenesis of the diseases. The molecules are produced by recombinant DNA technology. The molecules bind to the specific targets without interfering wtih rest of the pathogenetic pathways. Therefore the so called ‘immunosuppressives’ have, although, a broader broader spectrum of action on immune system, their side-effects are also equally more. The biologics, because of their spefic action on the immune system, have very little side effects. The biologics which have revolutionized the treatment of various dermatologic diseases have been discussed here. PMID:20161849

  2. Sweeping molecules with light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutzler, Nicholas R.

    2017-03-01

    Many areas of physics—precision measurements, quantum information, and physical chemistry, to name a few—are starting to benefit from the enormous advantages offered by cold and ultracold polar molecules. Molecules have more states, more interactions, and more chemical properties compared to atoms, which make them exciting to study but difficult to tame. In particular, the powerful techniques of atomic laser cooling cannot be naïvely applied to molecules due to their complicated structure. Developments over the past few years have made directly laser cooled and trapped molecules a reality, and now much effort is focused on making these samples larger, denser, and colder—an important step to realizing many of their exciting applications. A careful experimental and numerical study by Truppe et al (2017 New J. Phys. 19 022001) demonstrates a significant improvement and advance in understanding of one of the most limiting steps in laser cooling and trapping of molecules—slowing them from a molecular beam to a near-standstill, with small enough kinetic energy that they can be loaded into a trap.

  3. Disentangling DNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Vologodskii, Alexander

    2016-09-01

    The widespread circular form of DNA molecules inside cells creates very serious topological problems during replication. Due to the helical structure of the double helix the parental strands of circular DNA form a link of very high order, and yet they have to be unlinked before the cell division. DNA topoisomerases, the enzymes that catalyze passing of one DNA segment through another, solve this problem in principle. However, it is very difficult to remove all entanglements between the replicated DNA molecules due to huge length of DNA comparing to the cell size. One strategy that nature uses to overcome this problem is to create the topoisomerases that can dramatically reduce the fraction of linked circular DNA molecules relative to the corresponding fraction at thermodynamic equilibrium. This striking property of the enzymes means that the enzymes that interact with DNA only locally can access their topology, a global property of circular DNA molecules. This review considers the experimental studies of the phenomenon and analyzes the theoretical models that have been suggested in attempts to explain it. We describe here how various models of enzyme action can be investigated computationally. There is no doubt at the moment that we understand basic principles governing enzyme action. Still, there are essential quantitative discrepancies between the experimental data and the theoretical predictions. We consider how these discrepancies can be overcome.

  4. Mighty Molecule Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Tom; Rushton, Greg; Bencomo, Marie

    2008-01-01

    As part of the SMATHematics Project: The Wonder of Science, The Power of Mathematics--a collaborative partnership between Kennesaw State University and two local school districts, fifth graders had the opportunity to puzzle out chemical formulas of propane, methanol, and other important molecules. In addition, they explored properties that…

  5. Algebraic theory of molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iachello, Franco

    1995-01-01

    An algebraic formulation of quantum mechanics is presented. In this formulation, operators of interest are expanded onto elements of an algebra, G. For bound state problems in nu dimensions the algebra G is taken to be U(nu + 1). Applications to the structure of molecules are presented.

  6. Single molecules: Thermodynamic limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liphardt, Jan

    2012-09-01

    Technologies aimed at single-molecule resolution of non-equilibrium systems increasingly require sophisticated new ways of thinking about thermodynamics. An elegant extension to standard fluctuation theory grants access to the kinetic intermediate states of these systems -- as DNA-pulling experiments now demonstrate.

  7. Disentangling DNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vologodskii, Alexander

    2016-09-01

    The widespread circular form of DNA molecules inside cells creates very serious topological problems during replication. Due to the helical structure of the double helix the parental strands of circular DNA form a link of very high order, and yet they have to be unlinked before the cell division. DNA topoisomerases, the enzymes that catalyze passing of one DNA segment through another, solve this problem in principle. However, it is very difficult to remove all entanglements between the replicated DNA molecules due to huge length of DNA comparing to the cell size. One strategy that nature uses to overcome this problem is to create the topoisomerases that can dramatically reduce the fraction of linked circular DNA molecules relative to the corresponding fraction at thermodynamic equilibrium. This striking property of the enzymes means that the enzymes that interact with DNA only locally can access their topology, a global property of circular DNA molecules. This review considers the experimental studies of the phenomenon and analyzes the theoretical models that have been suggested in attempts to explain it. We describe here how various models of enzyme action can be investigated computationally. There is no doubt at the moment that we understand basic principles governing enzyme action. Still, there are essential quantitative discrepancies between the experimental data and the theoretical predictions. We consider how these discrepancies can be overcome.

  8. Three new 'nonterrestrial' molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaddeus, P.; Guelin, M.; Linke, R. A.

    1981-05-01

    Eight new interstellar lines have been detected from three molecules not previously observed spectroscopically in space or in the laboratory. One is a linear or nearly linear molecule with microwave constants B0 equals 21,337.15 plus or minus 0.06 MHz, D0 equals 21.4 plus or minus 1.5 kHz. This is the thioformyl ion HCS(plus), first identified because B0 and D0 are close to those calculated, and now confirmed by laboratory detection of one of the present lines (Gudeman et al.). The second molecule, also linear or nearly so, has microwave constants B0 equals 10,691,406 plus or minus 0.043 MHz, D0 equals 1.84 plus or minus 0.91 kHz close to those expected for the isoelectronic systems HOCO(plus) and HOCN; a choice between the two cannot be made on the basis of the available astronomical data. The existence of a third molecule is deduced from an unidentified line at 85,338 MHz that has been found in many sources, is fairly intense in several, and may be self-absorbed in Sgr B2.

  9. OMG: Open Molecule Generator.

    PubMed

    Peironcely, Julio E; Rojas-Chertó, Miguel; Fichera, Davide; Reijmers, Theo; Coulier, Leon; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Hankemeier, Thomas

    2012-09-17

    Computer Assisted Structure Elucidation has been used for decades to discover the chemical structure of unknown compounds. In this work we introduce the first open source structure generator, Open Molecule Generator (OMG), which for a given elemental composition produces all non-isomorphic chemical structures that match that elemental composition. Furthermore, this structure generator can accept as additional input one or multiple non-overlapping prescribed substructures to drastically reduce the number of possible chemical structures. Being open source allows for customization and future extension of its functionality. OMG relies on a modified version of the Canonical Augmentation Path, which grows intermediate chemical structures by adding bonds and checks that at each step only unique molecules are produced. In order to benchmark the tool, we generated chemical structures for the elemental formulas and substructures of different metabolites and compared the results with a commercially available structure generator. The results obtained, i.e. the number of molecules generated, were identical for elemental compositions having only C, O and H. For elemental compositions containing C, O, H, N, P and S, OMG produces all the chemically valid molecules while the other generator produces more, yet chemically impossible, molecules. The chemical completeness of the OMG results comes at the expense of being slower than the commercial generator. In addition to being open source, OMG clearly showed the added value of constraining the solution space by using multiple prescribed substructures as input. We expect this structure generator to be useful in many fields, but to be especially of great importance for metabolomics, where identifying unknown metabolites is still a major bottleneck.

  10. Bacterial invasion reconstructed molecule by molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Werner, James H

    2009-01-01

    We propose to visualize the initial stages of bacterial infection of a human host cell with unmatched spatial and temporal resolution. This work will develop a new capability for the laboratory (super-resolution optical imaging), will test unresolved scientific hypotheses regarding host-pathogen interaction dynamics, and leverages state of the art 3D molecular tracking instrumentation developed recently by our group. There is much to be gained by applying new single molecule tools to the important and familiar problem of pathogen entry into a host cell. For example, conventional fluorescence microscopy has identified key host receptors, such as CD44 and {alpha}5{beta}1 integrin, that aggregate near the site of Salmonella typhimurium infection of human cells. However, due to the small size of the bacteria ({approx} 2 {micro}m) and the diffraction of the emitted light, one just sees a fluorescent 'blob' of host receptors that aggregate at the site of attachment, making it difficult to determine the exact number of receptors present or whether there is any particular spatial arrangement of the receptors that facilitates bacterial adhesion/entry. Using newly developed single molecule based super-resolution imaging methods, we will visualize how host receptors are directed to the site of pathogen adhesion and whether host receptors adopt a specific spatial arrangement for successful infection. Furthermore, we will employ our 3D molecular tracking methods to follow the injection of virulence proteins, or effectors, into the host cell by the pathogen Type III secretion system (TTSS). We expect these studies to provide mechanistic insights into the early events of pathogen infection that have here-to-fore been technically beyond our reach. Our Research Goals are: Goal 1--Construct a super-resolution fluorescence microscope and use this new capability to image the spatial distribution of different host receptors (e.g. CD44, as {alpha}5{beta}1 integrin) at the point of

  11. Single-Molecule Imaging of Nuclear Transport

    PubMed Central

    Goryaynov, Alexander; Sarma, Ashapurna; Ma, Jiong; Yang, Weidong

    2010-01-01

    The utility of single molecule fluorescence microscopy approaches has been proven to be of a great avail in understanding biological reactions over the last decade. The investigation of molecular interactions with high temporal and spatial resolutions deep within cells has remained challenging due to the inherently weak signals arising from individual molecules. Recent works by Yang et al. demonstrated that narrow-field epifluorescence microscopy allows visualization of nucleocytoplasmic transport at the single molecule level. By the single molecule approach, important kinetics, such as nuclear transport time and efficiency, for signal-dependent and independent cargo molecules have been obtained. Here we described a protocol for the methodological approach with an improved spatiotemporal resolution of 0.4 ms and 12 nm. The improved resolution enabled us to capture transient active transport and passive diffusion events through the nuclear pore complexes (NPC) in semi-intact cells. We expect this method to be used in elucidating other binding and trafficking events within cells. PMID:20548283

  12. Biological Filters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klemetson, S. L.

    1978-01-01

    Presents the 1978 literature review of wastewater treatment. The review is concerned with biological filters, and it covers: (1) trickling filters; (2) rotating biological contractors; and (3) miscellaneous reactors. A list of 14 references is also presented. (HM)

  13. Do-it-yourself guide: How to use the modern single molecule toolkit

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Nils G.; Huang, Cheng-Yen; Manzo, Anthony J.; Sobhy, Mohamed A.

    2008-01-01

    Single molecule microscopy has evolved into the ultimate-sensitivity toolkit to study systems from small molecules to living cells, with the prospect of revolutionizing the modern biosciences. Here we survey the current state-of-the-art in single molecule tools including fluorescence spectroscopy, tethered particle microscopy, optical and magnetic tweezers, and atomic force microscopy. Our review seeks to guide the biological scientist in choosing the right approach from the available single molecule toolkit for applications ranging as far as structural biology, enzymology, nanotechnology, and systems biology. PMID:18511916

  14. Towards physiological complexity with in vitro single-molecule biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Duzdevich, Daniel; Greene, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

    Single-molecule biology has matured in recent years, driven to greater sophistication by the development of increasingly advanced experimental techniques. A progressive appreciation for its unique strengths is attracting research that spans an exceptionally broad swath of physiological phenomena—from the function of nucleosomes to protein diffusion in the cell membrane. Newfound enthusiasm notwithstanding, the single-molecule approach is limited to an intrinsically defined set of biological questions; such limitation applies to all experimental approaches, and an explicit statement of the boundaries delineating each set offers a guide to most fruitfully orienting in vitro single-molecule research in the future. Here, we briefly describe a simple conceptual framework to categorize how submolecular, molecular and intracellular processes are studied. We highlight the domain of single-molecule biology in this scheme, with an emphasis on its ability to probe various forms of heterogeneity inherent to populations of discrete biological macromolecules. We then give a general overview of our high-throughput DNA curtain methodology for studying protein–nucleic acid interactions, and by contextualizing it within this framework, we explore what might be the most enticing avenues of future research. We anticipate that a focus on single-molecule biology's unique strengths will suggest a new generation of experiments with greater complexity and more immediately translatable physiological relevance. PMID:23267187

  15. Statistics and Related Topics in Single-Molecule Biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Hong; Kou, S. C.

    2014-01-01

    Since the universal acceptance of atoms and molecules as the fundamental constituents of matter in the early twentieth century, molecular physics, chemistry and molecular biology have all experienced major theoretical breakthroughs. To be able to actually “see” biological macromolecules, one at a time in action, one has to wait until the 1970s. Since then the field of single-molecule biophysics has witnessed extensive growth both in experiments and theory. A distinct feature of single-molecule biophysics is that the motions and interactions of molecules and the transformation of molecular species are necessarily described in the language of stochastic processes, whether one investigates equilibrium or nonequilibrium living behavior. For laboratory measurements following a biological process, if it is sampled over time on individual participating molecules, then the analysis of experimental data naturally calls for the inference of stochastic processes. The theoretical and experimental developments of single-molecule biophysics thus present interesting questions and unique opportunity for applied statisticians and probabilists. In this article, we review some important statistical developments in connection to single-molecule biophysics, emphasizing the application of stochastic-process theory and the statistical questions arising from modeling and analyzing experimental data. PMID:25009825

  16. Molecules in Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berdyugina, Svetlana

    2015-08-01

    Molecules probe cool matter in the Universe and various astrophysical objects. Their ability to sense magnetic fields provides new insights into magnetic properties of these objects. During the past fifteen years we have carried out a theoretical study of molecular magnetic effects such as the Zeeman, Paschen-Back and Hanle effects and their applications for inferring magnetic structures and spatial inhomogeneities on the Sun, cool stars, brown dwarfs, and exoplanets from molecular spectro-polarimetry (e.g., Berdyugina 2011). Here, we present an overview of this study and compare our theoretical predictions with recent laboratory measurements of magnetic properties of some molecules. We present also a new web-based tool to compute molecular magnetic effects and polarized spectra which is supported by the ERC Advanced Grant HotMol.

  17. 'Single molecule': theory and experiments, an introduction.

    PubMed

    Riveline, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    At scales below micrometers, Brownian motion dictates most of the behaviors. The simple observation of a colloid is striking: a permanent and random motion is seen, whereas inertial forces play a negligible role. This Physics, where velocity is proportional to force, has opened new horizons in biology. The random feature is challenged in living systems where some proteins--molecular motors--have a directed motion whereas their passive behaviors of colloid should lead to a Brownian motion. Individual proteins, polymers of living matter such as DNA, RNA, actin or microtubules, molecular motors, all these objects can be viewed as chains of colloids. They are submitted to shocks from molecules of the solvent. Shapes taken by these biopolymers or dynamics imposed by motors can be measured and modeled from single molecules to their collective effects. Thanks to the development of experimental methods such as optical tweezers, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), micropipettes, and quantitative fluorescence (such as Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, FRET), it is possible to manipulate these individual biomolecules in an unprecedented manner: experiments allow to probe the validity of models; and a new Physics has thereby emerged with original biological insights. Theories based on statistical mechanics are needed to explain behaviors of these systems. When force-extension curves of these molecules are extracted, the curves need to be fitted with models that predict the deformation of free objects or submitted to a force. When velocity of motors is altered, a quantitative analysis is required to explain the motions of individual molecules under external forces. This lecture will give some elements of introduction to the lectures of the session 'Nanophysics for Molecular Biology'.

  18. 'Single molecule': theory and experiments, an introduction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    At scales below micrometers, Brownian motion dictates most of the behaviors. The simple observation of a colloid is striking: a permanent and random motion is seen, whereas inertial forces play a negligible role. This Physics, where velocity is proportional to force, has opened new horizons in biology. The random feature is challenged in living systems where some proteins - molecular motors - have a directed motion whereas their passive behaviors of colloid should lead to a Brownian motion. Individual proteins, polymers of living matter such as DNA, RNA, actin or microtubules, molecular motors, all these objects can be viewed as chains of colloids. They are submitted to shocks from molecules of the solvent. Shapes taken by these biopolymers or dynamics imposed by motors can be measured and modeled from single molecules to their collective effects. Thanks to the development of experimental methods such as optical tweezers, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), micropipettes, and quantitative fluorescence (such as Förster Resonance Energy Transfer, FRET), it is possible to manipulate these individual biomolecules in an unprecedented manner: experiments allow to probe the validity of models; and a new Physics has thereby emerged with original biological insights. Theories based on statistical mechanics are needed to explain behaviors of these systems. When force-extension curves of these molecules are extracted, the curves need to be fitted with models that predict the deformation of free objects or submitted to a force. When velocity of motors is altered, a quantitative analysis is required to explain the motions of individual molecules under external forces. This lecture will give some elements of introduction to the lectures of the session 'Nanophysics for Molecular Biology'. PMID:24565227

  19. Strange skyrmion molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopeliovich, Vladimir B.; Stern, Boris E.

    1997-05-01

    Composed skyrmions with B=2, strangeness content close to 0.5 and the binding energy of several tens of Mev are described. These skyrmions are obtained starting from the system of two B=1 hedgehogs located in different SU(2) subgroups of SU(3) and have the mass and baryon number distribution of molecular (dipole) type. The quantization of zero modes of skyrmion molecules and physics consequences of their existence are discussed.

  20. Strange skyrmion molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Kopeliovich, Vladimir B.; Stern, Boris E.

    1997-05-20

    Composed skyrmions with B=2, strangeness content close to 0.5 and the binding energy of several tens of Mev are described. These skyrmions are obtained starting from the system of two B=1 hedgehogs located in different SU(2) subgroups of SU(3) and have the mass and baryon number distribution of molecular (dipole) type. The quantization of zero modes of skyrmion molecules and physics consequences of their existence are discussed.

  1. The aesthetics of chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Glenn

    2012-12-01

    Scientists and philosophers have long reflected on the place of aesthetics in science. In this essay, I review these discussions, identifying work of relevance to chemistry and, in particular, to the field of chemical biology. Topics discussed include the role of aesthetics in scientific theory choice, the aesthetics of molecular images, the beauty-making features of molecules, and the relation between the aesthetics of chemical biology and the aesthetics of industrial design.

  2. Model molecules mimicking asphaltenes.

    PubMed

    Sjöblom, Johan; Simon, Sébastien; Xu, Zhenghe

    2015-04-01

    Asphalthenes are typically defined as the fraction of petroleum insoluble in n-alkanes (typically heptane, but also hexane or pentane) but soluble in toluene. This fraction causes problems of emulsion formation and deposition/precipitation during crude oil production, processing and transport. From the definition it follows that asphaltenes are not a homogeneous fraction but is composed of molecules polydisperse in molecular weight, structure and functionalities. Their complexity makes the understanding of their properties difficult. Proper model molecules with well-defined structures which can resemble the properties of real asphaltenes can help to improve this understanding. Over the last ten years different research groups have proposed different asphaltene model molecules and studied them to determine how well they can mimic the properties of asphaltenes and determine the mechanisms behind the properties of asphaltenes. This article reviews the properties of the different classes of model compounds proposed and present their properties by comparison with fractionated asphaltenes. After presenting the interest of developing model asphaltenes, the composition and properties of asphaltenes are presented, followed by the presentation of approaches and accomplishments of different schools working on asphaltene model compounds. The presentation of bulk and interfacial properties of perylene-based model asphaltene compounds developed by Sjöblom et al. is the subject of the next part. Finally the emulsion-stabilization properties of fractionated asphaltenes and model asphaltene compounds is presented and discussed.

  3. Single Molecule Mechanochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shaowei; Zhang, Yanxing; Ho, Wilson; Wu, Ruqian; Ruqian Wu, Yanxing Zhang Team; Wilson Ho, Shaowei Li Team

    Mechanical forces can be used to trigger chemical reactions through bending and stretching of chemical bonds. Using the reciprocating movement of the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), mechanical energy can be provided to a single molecule sandwiched between the tip and substrate. When the mechanical pulse center was moved to the outer ring feature of a CO molecule, the reaction rate was significantly increased compared with bare Cu surface and over Au atoms. First, DFT calculations show that the presence of CO makes the Cu cavity more attractive toward H2 Second, H2 prefers the horizontal adsorption geometry in the Cu-Cu and Au-Cu cavities and no hybridization occurs between the antibonding states of H2 and states of Cu atoms. While H2 loses electrons from its bonding state in all three cavities, the filling of its anti-bonding state only occurs in the CO-Cu cavity. Both make the CO-Cu cavity much more effectively to chop the H2 molecule. Work was supported by the National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation on Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL) under Grant No. CHE-1414466.

  4. Photonic Molecule Lasers Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagnon, Denis; Dumont, Joey; Déziel, Jean-Luc; Dubé, Louis J.

    2014-05-01

    Photonic molecules (PMs) formed by coupling two or more optical resonators are ideal candidates for the fabrication of integrated microlasers, photonic molecule lasers. Whereas most calculations on PM lasers have been based on cold-cavity (passive) modes, i.e. quasi-bound states, a recently formulated steady-state ab initio laser theory (SALT) offers the possibility to take into account the spectral properties of the underlying gain transition, its position and linewidth, as well as incorporating an arbitrary pump profile. We will combine two theoretical approaches to characterize the lasing properties of PM lasers: for two-dimensional systems, the generalized Lorenz-Mie theory will obtain the resonant modes of the coupled molecules in an active medium described by SALT. Not only is then the theoretical description more complete, the use of an active medium provides additional parameters to control, engineer and harness the lasing properties of PM lasers for ultra-low threshold and directional single-mode emission. We will extend our recent study and present new results for a number of promising geometries. The authors acknowledge financial support from NSERC (Canada) and the CERC in Photonic Innovations of Y. Messaddeq.

  5. EDITORIAL: Physical Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roscoe, Jane

    2004-06-01

    Physical Biology is a new peer-reviewed publication from Institute of Physics Publishing. Launched in 2004, the journal will foster the integration of biology with the traditionally more quantitative fields of physics, chemistry, computer science and other math-based disciplines. Its primary aim is to further the understanding of biological systems at all levels of complexity, ranging from the role of structure and dynamics of a single molecule to cellular networks and organisms. The journal encourages the development of a new biology-driven physics based on the extraordinary and increasingly rich data arising in biology, and provides research directions for those involved in the creation of novel bio-engineered systems. Physical Biology will publish a stimulating combination of full length research articles, communications, perspectives, reviews and tutorials from a wide range of disciplines covering topics such as: Single-molecule studies and nanobiotechnology Molecular interactions and protein folding Charge transfer and photobiology Ion channels; structure, function and ion regulation Molecular motors and force generation Subcellular processes Biological networks and neural systems Modeling aspects of molecular and cell biology Cell-cell signaling and interaction Biological patterns and development Evolutionary processes Novel tools and methods in physical biology Experts in the areas encompassed by the journal's scope have been appointed to the Editorial Scientific Committee and the composition of the Committee will be updated regularly to reflect the developments in this new and exciting field. Physical Biology is free online to everyone in 2004; you are invited to take advantage of this offer by visiting the journal homepage at http://physbio.iop.org This special print edition of Physical Biology is a combination of issues 1 and 2 of this electronic-only journal and it brings together an impressive range of articles in the fields covered, including a popular

  6. The Molecules of Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinberg, Robert A.

    1985-01-01

    New advances in molecular biology have established a biotechnology industry and have changed ways people think about living things. In support of this theme, a discussion on historical development and current practice of gene cloning is presented. The role of nucleic acids, viruses, and therapeutic intervention is also considered. (DH)

  7. Interaction of metallic clusters with biologically active curcumin molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Sanjeev K.; He, Haiying; Liu, Chunhui; Dutta, Ranu; Pandey, Ravindra

    2015-09-01

    We have investigated the interaction of subnano metallic Gd and Au clusters with curcumin, an important biomolecule having pharmacological activity. Gd clusters show different site preference to curcumin and much stronger interaction strength, in support of the successful synthesis of highly stable curcumin-coated Gd nanoparticles as reported recently. It can be attributed to significant charge transfer from the Gd cluster to curcumin together with a relatively strong hybridization of the Gd df-orbitals with curcumin p-orbitals. These results suggest that Gd nanoparticles can effectively be used as delivery carriers for curcumin at the cellular level for therapy and medical imaging applications.

  8. On the accurate molecular dynamics analysis of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Takefumi

    2016-12-01

    As the evolution of computational technology has now enabled long molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, the evaluation of many physical properties shows improved convergence. Therefore, we can examine the detailed conditions of MD simulations and perform quantitative MD analyses. In this study, we address the quantitative and accuracy aspects of MD simulations using two example systems. First, it is found that several conditions of the MD simulations influence the area/lipid of the lipid bilayer. Second, we successfully detect the small but important differences in antibody motion between the antigen-bound and unbound states.

  9. Two-photon fluorescence excitation spectroscopy of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meshalkin, Yuri P.; Alfimov, E. E.; Groshev, D. E.; Makukha, V. K.

    1996-06-01

    The UV fluorescence spectra of aromatic amino-acids and some proteins at two photon excitation by second harmonic of Nd:YAG laser are received. Two-photon absorption cross sections of tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine and proteins: bovine serum albumin, lysozyme, trypsin, (alpha) - chymotrypsinogen and pepsin at wavelength 532 nm were measured by means of the two-quantum standard method.

  10. Cooperativity in noncovalent interactions of biologically relevant molecules.

    PubMed

    Antony, Jens; Brüske, Björn; Grimme, Stefan

    2009-10-14

    Using a recently published benchmark MP2 database of nucleic acid base trimers, the three-body contribution to the interaction energy (TBE, also termed (non)cooperativity) as a function of base composition and complex geometry is studied. In 28 out of 141 cases (or 20%), the counterpoise-corrected MP2/TZV(2df,2pd) TBE exceeds 1 kcal mol(-1). The TBE is below 1 kcal mol(-1) for all trimers in the benchmark set consisting of U, T, and A, irrespective of the geometrical arrangement in the database. The largest MP2/TZV(2df,2pd) cooperativity of -9 kcal mol(-1) is obtained for a hydrogen-bonded guanine trimer. The largest anti-cooperativity occurs for a protonated cytosine-guanine-cytosine trimer (6 kcal mol(-1)). Generally, the many-body non-additivity term is an order of magnitude smaller than the interaction energies (on average -33 kcal mol(-1)). Employing various density functionals (GGA, meta-GGA, and hybrid) and wave function methods up to third order perturbation theory, and using atomic-orbital basis sets of double-, triple-, and quadruple-zeta quality, we find that the non-additivity effects are almost independent of one particle basis set and method. To enable an interpretation of the TBE, the intermolecular interaction energy is subjected to an energy decomposition analysis (EDA) with a similar definition of the energy terms as the Morokuma decomposition scheme. We find that nonadditive effects are mainly due to the induction, while exchange repulsion, electrostatic, and dispersion contributions are essentially additive, the latter also beyond second order at the MP3/SV(d,p) level. The performance of dispersion-corrected density functional theory for the prediction of structures and binding energies is assessed. While an accurate reproduction of the MP2-optimized reference structures of the trimers can already be accomplished with modern density functionals, only the inclusion of the long-range (London) dispersion interaction provides a consistent picture for both structures and binding energies.

  11. Nestedness across biological scales.

    PubMed

    Cantor, Mauricio; Pires, Mathias M; Marquitti, Flavia M D; Raimundo, Rafael L G; Sebastián-González, Esther; Coltri, Patricia P; Perez, S Ivan; Barneche, Diego R; Brandt, Débora Y C; Nunes, Kelly; Daura-Jorge, Fábio G; Floeter, Sergio R; Guimarães, Paulo R

    2017-01-01

    Biological networks pervade nature. They describe systems throughout all levels of biological organization, from molecules regulating metabolism to species interactions that shape ecosystem dynamics. The network thinking revealed recurrent organizational patterns in complex biological systems, such as the formation of semi-independent groups of connected elements (modularity) and non-random distributions of interactions among elements. Other structural patterns, such as nestedness, have been primarily assessed in ecological networks formed by two non-overlapping sets of elements; information on its occurrence on other levels of organization is lacking. Nestedness occurs when interactions of less connected elements form proper subsets of the interactions of more connected elements. Only recently these properties began to be appreciated in one-mode networks (where all elements can interact) which describe a much wider variety of biological phenomena. Here, we compute nestedness in a diverse collection of one-mode networked systems from six different levels of biological organization depicting gene and protein interactions, complex phenotypes, animal societies, metapopulations, food webs and vertebrate metacommunities. Our findings suggest that nestedness emerge independently of interaction type or biological scale and reveal that disparate systems can share nested organization features characterized by inclusive subsets of interacting elements with decreasing connectedness. We primarily explore the implications of a nested structure for each of these studied systems, then theorize on how nested networks are assembled. We hypothesize that nestedness emerges across scales due to processes that, although system-dependent, may share a general compromise between two features: specificity (the number of interactions the elements of the system can have) and affinity (how these elements can be connected to each other). Our findings suggesting occurrence of nestedness

  12. Nestedness across biological scales

    PubMed Central

    Marquitti, Flavia M. D.; Raimundo, Rafael L. G.; Sebastián-González, Esther; Coltri, Patricia P.; Perez, S. Ivan; Brandt, Débora Y. C.; Nunes, Kelly; Daura-Jorge, Fábio G.; Floeter, Sergio R.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2017-01-01

    Biological networks pervade nature. They describe systems throughout all levels of biological organization, from molecules regulating metabolism to species interactions that shape ecosystem dynamics. The network thinking revealed recurrent organizational patterns in complex biological systems, such as the formation of semi-independent groups of connected elements (modularity) and non-random distributions of interactions among elements. Other structural patterns, such as nestedness, have been primarily assessed in ecological networks formed by two non-overlapping sets of elements; information on its occurrence on other levels of organization is lacking. Nestedness occurs when interactions of less connected elements form proper subsets of the interactions of more connected elements. Only recently these properties began to be appreciated in one-mode networks (where all elements can interact) which describe a much wider variety of biological phenomena. Here, we compute nestedness in a diverse collection of one-mode networked systems from six different levels of biological organization depicting gene and protein interactions, complex phenotypes, animal societies, metapopulations, food webs and vertebrate metacommunities. Our findings suggest that nestedness emerge independently of interaction type or biological scale and reveal that disparate systems can share nested organization features characterized by inclusive subsets of interacting elements with decreasing connectedness. We primarily explore the implications of a nested structure for each of these studied systems, then theorize on how nested networks are assembled. We hypothesize that nestedness emerges across scales due to processes that, although system-dependent, may share a general compromise between two features: specificity (the number of interactions the elements of the system can have) and affinity (how these elements can be connected to each other). Our findings suggesting occurrence of nestedness

  13. Negative ions of polyatomic molecules.

    PubMed Central

    Christophorou, L G

    1980-01-01

    In this paper general concepts relating to, and recent advances in, the study of negative ions of polyatomic molecules area discussed with emphasis on halocarbons. The topics dealt with in the paper are as follows: basic electron attachment processes, modes of electron capture by molecules, short-lived transient negative ions, dissociative electron attachment to ground-state molecules and to "hot" molecules (effects of temperature on electron attachment), parent negative ions, effect of density, nature, and state of the medium on electron attachment, electron attachment to electronically excited molecules, the binding of attached electrons to molecules ("electron affinity"), and the basic and the applied significance of negative-ion studies. PMID:7428744

  14. Negative ions of polyatomic molecules.

    PubMed

    Christophorou, L G

    1980-06-01

    In this paper general concepts relating to, and recent advances in, the study of negative ions of polyatomic molecules area discussed with emphasis on halocarbons. The topics dealt with in the paper are as follows: basic electron attachment processes, modes of electron capture by molecules, short-lived transient negative ions, dissociative electron attachment to ground-state molecules and to "hot" molecules (effects of temperature on electron attachment), parent negative ions, effect of density, nature, and state of the medium on electron attachment, electron attachment to electronically excited molecules, the binding of attached electrons to molecules ("electron affinity"), and the basic and the applied significance of negative-ion studies.

  15. Toward Single-Molecule Nanomechanical Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roukes, Michael

    2009-03-01

    Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a preeminent methodology of proteomics since it provides rapid and quantitative identification of protein species with relatively low sample consumption. Yet with the trend toward biological analysis at increasingly smaller scales, ultimately down to the volume of an individual cell, MS with few-to-single molecule resolution will be required. We report the first realization of MS based on single-biological-molecule detection with nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). NEMS provide unparalleled mass resolution, now sufficient for detection of individual molecular species in real time. However, high sensitivity is only one of several components required for MS. We demonstrate a first complete prototype NEMS-MS system for single-molecule mass spectrometry providing proof-of-principle for this new technique. Nanoparticles and protein species are introduced by electrospray injection from the fluid phase in ambient conditions into vacuum and subsequently delivered to the NEMS detector by hexapole ion optics . Mass measurements are then recorded in real-time as analytes adsorb, one-by-one, onto a phase-locked, ultrahigh frequency (UHF) NEMS resonator. These first NEMS-MS spectra, obtained with modest resolution from only several hundred mass adsorption events, presage the future capabilities of this methodology. We outline the substantial improvements feasible in near term, through recent advances and technological avenues that are unique to NEMS-MS.

  16. Detectors for single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    MICHALET, X.; SIEGMUND, O.H.W.; VALLERGA, J.V.; JELINSKY, P.; MILLAUD, J.E.; WEISS, S.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule observation, characterization and manipulation techniques have recently come to the forefront of several research domains spanning chemistry, biology and physics. Due to the exquisite sensitivity, specificity, and unmasking of ensemble averaging, single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy have become, in a short period of time, important tools in cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics. These methods led to new ways of thinking about biological processes such as viral infection, receptor diffusion and oligomerization, cellular signaling, protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions, and molecular machines. Such achievements require a combination of several factors to be met, among which detector sensitivity and bandwidth are crucial. We examine here the needed performance of photodetectors used in these types of experiments, the current state of the art for different categories of detectors, and actual and future developments of single-photon counting detectors for single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy. PMID:20157633

  17. Watching single molecules dance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Amit Dinesh

    Molecular motors convert chemical energy, from ATP hydrolysis or ion flow, into mechanical motion. A variety of increasingly precise mechanical probes have been developed to monitor and perturb these motors at the single molecule level. Several outstanding questions can be best approached at the single molecule level. These include: how far does a motor progress per energy quanta consumed? how does its reaction cycle respond to load? how many productive catalytic cycles can it undergo per diffusional encounter with its track? and what is the mechanical stiffness of a single molecule connection? A dual beam optical trap, in conjunction with in vitro ensemble motility assays, has been used to characterize two members of the myosin superfamily: muscle myosin II and chick brain myosin V. Both move the helical polymer actin, but myosin II acts in large ensembles to drive muscle contraction or cytokinesis, while myosin V acts in small numbers to transport vesicles. An optical trapping apparatus was rendered sufficiently precise to identify a myosin working stroke with 1nm or so, barring systematic errors such as those perhaps due to random protein orientations. This and other light microscopic motility assays were used to characterize myosin V: unlike myosin II this vesicle transport protein moves through many increments of travel while remaining strongly bound to a single actin filament. The step size, stall force, and travel distance of myosin V reveal a remarkably efficient motor capable of moving along a helical track for over a micrometer without significantly spiraling around it. Such properties are fully consistent with the putative role of an organelle transport motor, present in small numbers to maintain movement over long ranges relative to cellular size scales. The contrast between myosin II and myosin V resembles that between a human running on the moon and one walking on earth, where the former allows for faster motion when in larger ensembles but for less

  18. Molecules in crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spackman, Mark A.

    2013-04-01

    Hirshfeld surface analysis has developed from the serendipitous discovery of a novel partitioning of the crystal electron density into discrete molecular fragments, to a suite of computational tools used widely for the identification, analysis and discussion of intermolecular interactions in molecular crystals. The relationship between the Hirshfeld surface and very early ideas on the internal structure of crystals is outlined, and applications of Hirshfeld surface analysis are presented for three molecules of historical importance in the development of modern x-ray crystallography: hexamethylbenzene, hexamethylenetetramine and diketopiperazine.

  19. Laser electrospray mass spectrometry of adsorbed molecules at atmospheric pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, John J.; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Simon, Kuriakose; Levis, Robert J.

    2010-02-01

    Atmospheric pressure mass analysis of solid phase biomolecules is performed using laser electrospray mass spectrometry (LEMS). A non-resonant femtosecond duration laser pulse vaporizes native samples at atmospheric pressure for subsequent electrospray ionization and transfer into a mass spectrometer. LEMS was used to detect a complex molecule (irinotecan HCl), a complex mixture (cold medicine formulation with active ingredients: acetaminophen, dextromethorphan HBr and doxylamine succinate), and a biological building block (deoxyguanosine) deposited on steel surfaces without a matrix molecule.

  20. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1977

    1977-01-01

    Includes procedures for demonstrating anaerobic respiration in peas, isolating virgin Drosophila females, solving mortality problems in young gerbils, measuring dissolved oxygen, constructing models for transpiration and DNA molecules, freezing chick embryos, mixing nutrient media, illustrating Darwinian ecological principles, and detecting…

  1. Imaging methodologies for systems biology.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sarah E; Slaughter, Brian D; Unruh, Jay R

    2014-01-01

    Systems biology has recently achieved significant success in the understanding of complex interconnected phenomena such as cell polarity and migration. In this context, the definition of systems biology has come to encompass the integration of quantitative measurements with sophisticated modeling approaches. This article will review recent progress in live cell imaging technologies that have expanded the possibilities of quantitative in vivo measurements, particularly in regards to molecule counting and quantitative measurements of protein concentration and dynamics. These methods have gained and continue to gain popularity with the biological community. In general, we will discuss three broad categories: protein interactions, protein quantitation, and protein dynamics.

  2. Ultra-cold molecule production.

    SciTech Connect

    Ramirez-Serrano, Jamie; Chandler, David W.; Strecker, Kevin; Rahn, Larry A.

    2005-12-01

    The production of Ultra-cold molecules is a goal of many laboratories through out the world. Here we are pursuing a unique technique that utilizes the kinematics of atomic and molecular collisions to achieve the goal of producing substantial numbers of sub Kelvin molecules confined in a trap. Here a trap is defined as an apparatus that spatially localizes, in a known location in the laboratory, a sample of molecules whose temperature is below one degree absolute Kelvin. Further, the storage time for the molecules must be sufficient to measure and possibly further cool the molecules. We utilize a technique unique to Sandia to form cold molecules from near mass degenerate collisions between atoms and molecules. This report describes the progress we have made using this novel technique and the further progress towards trapping molecules we have cooled.

  3. Covalent Chemistry beyond Molecules.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Juncong; Zhao, Yingbo; Yaghi, Omar M

    2016-03-16

    Linking molecular building units by covalent bonds to make crystalline extended structures has given rise to metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs), thus bringing the precision and versatility of covalent chemistry beyond discrete molecules to extended structures. The key advance in this regard has been the development of strategies to overcome the "crystallization problem", which is usually encountered when attempting to link molecular building units into covalent solids. Currently, numerous MOFs and COFs are made as crystalline materials in which the large size of the constituent units provides for open frameworks. The molecular units thus reticulated become part of a new environment where they have (a) lower degrees of freedom because they are fixed into position within the framework; (b) well-defined spatial arrangements where their properties are influenced by the intricacies of the pores; and (c) ordered patterns onto which functional groups can be covalently attached to produce chemical complexity. The notion of covalent chemistry beyond molecules is further strengthened by the fact that covalent reactions can be carried out on such frameworks, with full retention of their crystallinity and porosity. MOFs are exemplars of how this chemistry has led to porosity with designed metrics and functionality, chemically-rich sequences of information within their frameworks, and well-defined mesoscopic constructs in which nanoMOFs enclose inorganic nanocrystals and give them new levels of spatial definition, stability, and functionality.

  4. Dihydrino molecule identification

    SciTech Connect

    Mills, R.L.; Good, W.R. ); Shaubach, R.M. )

    1994-01-01

    Three sets of heat production and [open quotes]ash[close quotes] identification data are presented. An exothermic reaction is reported wherein the electrons of hydrogen and deuterium atoms are stimulated to relax to quantized potential energy levels below that of the [open quotes]ground state[close quotes] via electrochemical reactants K[sup +] and K[sup +]; Pd[sup 2+] and Li[sup +]; or Pd and O[sub 2] of redox energy resonant with the energy hole that stimulates this transition. Calorimetry of pulsed current and continuous electrolysis of aqueous potassium carbonate (K[sup +]/K[sup +] electrocatalytic couple) at a nickel cathode were performed. The excess output power of 41 W exceeded by a factor >8 the total input power given by the product of the electrolysis voltage and current. The product of the exothermic reaction is atoms having electrons of energy below the ground state, which are predicted to form molecules. The predicted molecules were identified by their lack of reactivity with oxygen, by separation from molecular deuterium by cryofiltration, and by mass spectroscopic analysis. 15 refs., 12 figs., 9 tabs.

  5. Chirally-sensitive electron-molecule interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreiling, J. M.; Gay, T. J.

    2015-09-01

    All molecular forms of life have chemically-specific handedness. However, the origin of these asymmetries is not understood. A possible explanation was suggested by Vester and Ulbricht immediately following the discovery of parity violation in 1957: chiral beta radiation in cosmic rays may have preferentially destroyed one enantiomeric form of various biological precursors. In the experiments reported here, we observed chiral specificity in two electron- molecule interactions: quasi-elastic scattering and dissociative electron attachment. Using low- energy longitudinally spin-polarized (chiral) electrons as substitutes for beta rays, we found that chiral bromocamphor molecules exhibited both a transmission and dissociative electron attachment rate that depended on their handedness for a given direction of incident electron spin. Consequently, these results, especially those with dissociative electron attachment, connect the universal chiral asymmetry of the weak force with a molecular breakup process, thereby demonstrating the viability of the Vester-Ulbricht hypothesis.

  6. Imaging Genetic Molecules At Atomic Resolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coles, L. Stephen

    1993-01-01

    Proposed method of imaging informational polymeric biological molecules at atomic resolution enables determination of sequences of component monomers about 10 to the 3rd power to 10 to the 4th power times as fast as conventional methods do. Accelerates research on genetic structures of animals and plants. Also contributes significantly to imaging processes like scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic-force microscopy (AFM), and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) in cases in which necessary to locate or identify small specimens on relatively large backgrounds and subtract background images to obtain images of specimens in isolation. V-grooves on silicon wafer laid out in square pattern, intersections of which marked to identify coordinates. Specimen molecules held in grooves for reproducible positioning and scanning by AFM or STM.

  7. Electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy for single-molecule investigation.

    PubMed

    Alessandrini, Andrea; Facci, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    The technique of electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (ECSTM) and spectroscopy (ECSTS) for studying electron transport through single redox molecules is here described. Redox molecules of both biological and organic nature have been studied by this technique with the aim of understanding the transport mechanisms ruling the flow of electrons via a single molecule placed in a nanometer-sized gap between two electrodes while elucidating the role of the redox density of states brought about by the molecule. The obtained results provide unique clues to single-molecule transport behavior and support the concept of single-molecule electrochemical gating.

  8. Molecules Best Paper Award 2013.

    PubMed

    McPhee, Derek J

    2013-02-05

    Molecules has started to institute a "Best Paper" award to recognize the most outstanding papers in the area of natural products, medicinal chemistry and molecular diversity published in Molecules. We are pleased to announce the second "Molecules Best Paper Award" for 2013.

  9. Multifunctional and biologically active matrices from multicomponent polymeric solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiick, Kristi L. (Inventor); Yamaguchi, Nori (Inventor); Rabolt, John (Inventor); Casper, Cheryl (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    A functionalized electrospun matrix for the controlled-release of biologically active agents, such as growth factors, is presented. The functionalized matrix comprises a matrix polymer, a compatibilizing polymer and a biomolecule or other small functioning molecule. In certain aspects the electrospun polymer fibers comprise at least one biologically active molecule functionalized with low molecular weight heparin.

  10. Using Genetic Algorithms to Converge on Molecules with Specific Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Stephen; Lindzey, Nathan; Rogers, Jon; West, Carl; Potter, Walt; Smith, Sean; Alexander, Steven

    2007-10-01

    Although it can be a straightforward matter to determine the properties of a molecule from its structure, the inverse problem is much more difficult. We have chosen to generate molecules by using a genetic algorithm, a computer simulation that models biological evolution and natural selection. By creating a population of randomly generated molecules, we can apply a process of selection, mutation, and recombination to ensure that the best members of the population (i.e. those molecules that possess many of the qualities we are looking for) survive, while the worst members of the population ``die.'' The best members are then modified by random mutation and by ``mating'' with other molecules to produce ``offspring.'' After many hundreds (or thousands) of iterations, one hopes that the population will get better and better---that is, that the properties of the individuals in the population will more and more closely match the properties we want.

  11. Micro injector sample delivery system for charged molecules

    DOEpatents

    Davidson, James C.; Balch, Joseph W.

    1999-11-09

    A micro injector sample delivery system for charged molecules. The injector is used for collecting and delivering controlled amounts of charged molecule samples for subsequent analysis. The injector delivery system can be scaled to large numbers (>96) for sample delivery to massively parallel high throughput analysis systems. The essence of the injector system is an electric field controllable loading tip including a section of porous material. By applying the appropriate polarity bias potential to the injector tip, charged molecules will migrate into porous material, and by reversing the polarity bias potential the molecules are ejected or forced away from the tip. The invention has application for uptake of charged biological molecules (e.g. proteins, nucleic acids, polymers, etc.) for delivery to analytical systems, and can be used in automated sample delivery systems.

  12. Distribution of fluorescent probe molecules throughout the phospholipid membrane depth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemkovich, Nicolai A.; Rubinov, Anatoly N.; Savvidi, M. G.; Tomin, V. I.; Shcherbatska, Nina V.

    1991-05-01

    A method to determine the distribution function shape of the luminescent probe molecules over biological membrane depth is suggested. It is based on: - the unhomogeneous model of the probe ensemble which permits its selection alteration selectively of the position and distribution of excited probe molecules by the wavelength of the excitation light - the use of the nonradiative electronic energy transfer (NEET) mechanism from probe molecules in vesicules to the acceptor ones in a buffer solution. The distribution function of the donor-excited molecules for different wavelength of the excitation light was calculated. Using the spectra of probe molecules at different Ae and Lippert''s equation the values of the dielectric constant of the membrane e were obtained for different regions. 1.

  13. Small Molecule Chemical Probes of MicroRNA Function

    PubMed Central

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Vummidi, Balayeshwanth R.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that control protein expression. Aberrant miRNA expression has been linked to various human diseases, and thus miRNAs have been explored as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Although it is challenging to target RNA with small molecules in general, there have been successful campaigns that have identified small molecule modulators of miRNA function by targeting various pathways. For example, small molecules that modulate transcription and target nuclease processing sites in miRNA precursors have been identified. Herein, we describe challenges in developing chemical probes that target miRNAs and highlight aspects of miRNA cellular biology elucidated by using small molecule chemical probes. We expect that this area will expand dramatically in the near future as strides are made to understand small molecule recognition of RNA from a fundamental perspective. PMID:25500006

  14. Analyzing Single-Molecule Time Series via Nonparametric Bayesian Inference

    PubMed Central

    Hines, Keegan E.; Bankston, John R.; Aldrich, Richard W.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to measure the properties of proteins at the single-molecule level offers an unparalleled glimpse into biological systems at the molecular scale. The interpretation of single-molecule time series has often been rooted in statistical mechanics and the theory of Markov processes. While existing analysis methods have been useful, they are not without significant limitations including problems of model selection and parameter nonidentifiability. To address these challenges, we introduce the use of nonparametric Bayesian inference for the analysis of single-molecule time series. These methods provide a flexible way to extract structure from data instead of assuming models beforehand. We demonstrate these methods with applications to several diverse settings in single-molecule biophysics. This approach provides a well-constrained and rigorously grounded method for determining the number of biophysical states underlying single-molecule data. PMID:25650922

  15. Small molecule chemical probes of microRNA function.

    PubMed

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Vummidi, Balayeshwanth R; Disney, Matthew D

    2015-02-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that control protein expression. Aberrant miRNA expression has been linked to various human diseases, and thus miRNAs have been explored as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Although it is challenging to target RNA with small molecules in general, there have been successful campaigns that have identified small molecule modulators of miRNA function by targeting various pathways. For example, small molecules that modulate transcription and target nuclease processing sites in miRNA precursors have been identified. Herein, we describe challenges in developing chemical probes that target miRNAs and highlight aspects of miRNA cellular biology elucidated by using small molecule chemical probes. We expect that this area will expand dramatically in the near future as progress is made in understanding small molecule recognition of RNA.

  16. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    PubMed

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  17. The nature of systems biology.

    PubMed

    Bruggeman, Frank J; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2007-01-01

    The advent of functional genomics has enabled the molecular biosciences to come a long way towards characterizing the molecular constituents of life. Yet, the challenge for biology overall is to understand how organisms function. By discovering how function arises in dynamic interactions, systems biology addresses the missing links between molecules and physiology. Top-down systems biology identifies molecular interaction networks on the basis of correlated molecular behavior observed in genome-wide "omics" studies. Bottom-up systems biology examines the mechanisms through which functional properties arise in the interactions of known components. Here, we outline the challenges faced by systems biology and discuss limitations of the top-down and bottom-up approaches, which, despite these limitations, have already led to the discovery of mechanisms and principles that underlie cell function.

  18. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Describes laboratory procedures, demonstrations, and classroom activities/materials, including chi-square tests on a microcomputer, an integrated biology game, microscope slides of leaf stomata, culturing soil nematodes, technique for watering locust egg-laying tubes, hazards of biological chemicals (such as benzene, benzidene, calchicine,…

  19. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1982

    1982-01-01

    Describes laboratory procedures, demonstrations, and classroom activities/materials, including use of dwarf cichlids (fishes) in secondary school biology, teaching edge effects on stomatal diffusion, computer program on effects of selection on gene frequencies, biological oxidation/reduction reactions, short cuts with Drosophila, computer program…

  20. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1982

    1982-01-01

    Presents procedures, exercises, demonstrations, and information on a variety of biology topics including labeling systems, biological indicators of stream pollution, growth of lichens, reproductive capacity of bulbous buttercups, a straw balance to measure transpiration, interaction of fungi, osmosis, and nitrogen fixation and crop production. (DC)

  1. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1978

    1978-01-01

    Presents experiments, demonstrations, activities and ideas relating to various fields of biology to be used in biology courses in secondary schools. Among those experiments presented are demonstrating the early stages of ferns and mosses and simple culture methods for fern prothalli. (HM)

  2. Biochips - Can molecules compute?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tucker, J. B.

    1984-02-01

    In recent years the possibility has been considered to build 'biochip' computers, in which the silicon transistors of present machines would be replaced by large organic molecules or genetically engineered proteins. Two major advantages of such biochips over current devices would be related to vastly increased densities of computing elements, and entirely new styles of data processing, suited to such high-level tasks as pattern recognition and context-dependent analysis. The limitations of the semiconductor chip with respect to the density of elementary units due to size considerations and heat development could be overcome by making use of molecular switches. Attention is given to soliton switching, soliton logic, bulk molecular devices, analog biochips, 'intelligent' switches based on the employment of enzymes, robot vision, questions of biochip fabrication, protein engineering, and a strategy for the development of biochips.

  3. Molecules in the Spotlight

    SciTech Connect

    Cryan, James

    2010-01-26

    SLAC has just unveiled the world's first X-ray laser, the LCLS. This machine produces pulses of X-rays that are ten billion times brighter than those from conventional sources. One of the goals of this machine is to make movies of chemical reactions, including reactions necessary for life and reactions that might power new energy technologies. This public lecture will show the first results from the LCLS. As a first target, we have chosen nitrogen gas, the main component of the air we breathe. Using the unprecedented power of the LCLS X-rays as a blasting torch, we have created new forms of this molecule and with unique electronic arrangements. Please share with us the first insights from this new technology.

  4. Fiber-mesh photonic molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, Subodha; Satpathy, Sashi

    2008-03-01

    Analogous to the photonic crystal, we introduce the concept of a fiber-mesh photonic molecule made up of optical fibers and study its transmission characteristics. We consider a specific example of a photonic molecule, inspired by the well-known C60 molecule, with the arms of the molecule formed out of single-moded optical fibers. The transmittance consists of sharp peaks determined by the pole structure of the scattering matrix in the complex energy plane. A molecule can be designed to control the positions and the widths of the transmission peaks, opening up the possibility of building new photonic devices such as high quality band-pass filters.

  5. News: Synthetic biology leading to specialty chemicals

    EPA Science Inventory

    Synthetic biology can combine the disciplines of biology, engineering, and chemistry productively to form molecules of great scientific and commercial value. Recent advances in the new field are explored for their connection to new tools that have been used to elucidate productio...

  6. Biology of Bilirubin Photoisomers.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Thor Willy Ruud

    2016-06-01

    Phototherapy is the main treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. In acute treatment of extreme hyperbilirubinemia, intensive phototherapy may have a role in 'detoxifying' the bilirubin molecule to more polar photoisomers, which should be less prone to crossing the blood-brain barrier, providing a 'brain-sparing' effect. This article reviews the biology of bilirubin isomers. Although there is evidence supporting the lower toxicity of bilirubin photoisomers, there are studies showing the opposite. There are methodologic weaknesses in most studies and better-designed experiments are needed. In an infant acutely threatened by bilirubin-induced brain damage, intensified phototherapy should be used expediently and aggressively.

  7. Nanochannels: biological channel analogues.

    PubMed

    Pradeep, H; Rajanikant, G K

    2012-06-01

    The flux of ions across the biological membrane is a central activity to many cellular processes, from conduction of nerve impulse to the apoptosis. Traffic of ions or molecules across the membrane and organelles is governed by natural machines of great precision; ion channels, a special class of proteins, reside in the biological membranes. Recent studies in the field of nanoscience have concentrated on to precisely mimic the physical and chemical properties of these pores that make them increasingly attractive in this field. Synthetic nanoporous materials have a great deal of medical applications, including biosensing, biosorting, immune-isolation and drug delivery. In this review, the authors briefly describe the interesting synthetic channels that are extensively studied, and also attempt to furnish a precise overview of recent advances in this arena.

  8. Evolutionary game theory: molecules as players.

    PubMed

    Bohl, Katrin; Hummert, Sabine; Werner, Sarah; Basanta, David; Deutsch, Andreas; Schuster, Stefan; Theissen, Günter; Schroeter, Anja

    2014-12-01

    In this and an accompanying paper we review the use of game theoretical concepts in cell biology and molecular biology. This review focuses on the subcellular level by considering viruses, genes, and molecules as players. We discuss in which way catalytic RNA can be treated by game theory. Moreover, genes can compete for success in replication and can have different strategies in interactions with other genetic elements. Also transposable elements, or "jumping genes", can act as players because they usually bear different traits or strategies. Viruses compete in the case of co-infecting a host cell. Proteins interact in a game theoretical sense when forming heterodimers. Finally, we describe how the Shapley value can be applied to enzymes in metabolic pathways. We show that game theory can be successfully applied to describe and analyse scenarios at the molecular level resulting in counterintuitive conclusions.

  9. Chiral Sensitivity in Electron-Molecule Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dreiling, Joan

    2015-09-01

    All molecular forms of life possess a chiral asymmetry, with amino acids and sugars found respectively in L- and D-enantiomers only. The primordial origin of this enantiomeric excess is unknown. One possible explanation is given by the Vester- Ulbricht hypothesis, which suggests that left-handed electrons present in beta-radiation, produced by parity-violating weak decays, interacted with biological precursors and preferentially destroyed one of the two enantiomers. Experimental tests of this idea have thus far yielded inconclusive results. We show direct evidence for chirally-dependent bond breaking through a dissociative electron attachment (DEA) reaction when spin-polarized electrons are incident on gas-phase chiral molecules. This provides unambiguous evidence for a well-defined, chirally-sensitive destructive molecular process and, as such, circumstantial evidence for the Vester-Ulbricht hypothesis. I will also present the results of our systematic study of the DEA asymmetry for different chiral halocamphor molecules. Three halocamphor molecules were investigated: 3-bromocamphor (C10H15BrO), 3-iodocamphor(C10H15IO), and 10-iodocamphor. The DEA asymmetries collected for bromocamphor and iodocamphor are qualitatively different, suggesting that the atomic number of the heaviest atom in the molecule plays a crucial role in the asymmetric interactions. The DEA asymmetry data for 3- and 10-iodocamphor have the same qualitative behavior, but the 10-iodocamphor asymmetry is about twice as large at the lowest energies investigated, so the location of the heavy atom in the camphor molecule also affects the asymmetries. This work was performed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This project is funded by NSF Grant PHY-1206067.

  10. Biological Oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

    The ocean is arguably the largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. As a testament to this diversity and its importance, the discipline of biological oceanography spans studies of all levels of biological organization, from that of single genes, to organisms, to their population dynamics. Biological oceanography also includes studies on how organisms interact with, and contribute to, essential global processes. Students of biological oceanography are often as comfortable looking at satellite images as they are electron micrographs. This diversity of perspective begins the textbook Biological Oceanography, with cover graphics including a Coastal Zone Color Scanner image representing chlorophyll concentration, an electron micrograph of a dinoflagellate, and a photograph of a copepod. These images instantly capture the reader's attention and illustrate some of the different scales on which budding oceanographers are required to think. Having taught a core graduate course in biological oceanography for many years, Charlie Miller has used his lecture notes as the genesis for this book. The text covers the subject of biological oceanography in a manner that is targeted to introductory graduate students, but it would also be appropriate for advanced undergraduates.

  11. System-wide detection of protein-small molecule complexes suggests extensive metabolite regulation in plants

    PubMed Central

    Veyel, Daniel; Kierszniowska, Sylwia; Kosmacz, Monika; Sokolowska, Ewelina Maria; Michaelis, Aenne; Luzarowski, Marcin; Szlachetko, Jagoda; Willmitzer, Lothar; Skirycz, Aleksandra

    2017-01-01

    Protein small molecule interactions are at the core of cell regulation controlling metabolism and development. We reasoned that due to the lack of system wide approaches only a minority of those regulatory molecules are known. In order to see whether or not this assumption is true we developed an effective approach for the identification of small molecules having potential regulatory role that obviates the need of protein or small molecule baits. At the core of this approach is a simple biochemical co-fractionation taking advantage of size differences between proteins and small molecules. Metabolomics based analysis of small molecules co-fractionating with proteins identified a multitude of small molecules in Arabidopsis suggesting the existence of numerous, small molecules/metabolites bound to proteins representing potential regulatory molecules. The approach presented here uses Arabidopsis cell cultures, but is generic and hence applicable to all biological systems. PMID:28205532

  12. BIOLOGICAL WARFARE

    PubMed Central

    Beeston, John

    1953-01-01

    The use of biological agents as controlled weapons of war is practical although uncertain. Three types of agents are feasible, including pathogenic organisms and biological pests, toxins, and synthetic hormones regulating plant growth. These agents may be chosen for selective effects varying from prolonged incipient illness to death of plants, man and domestic animals. For specific preventive and control measures required to combat these situations, there must be careful and detailed planning. The nucleus of such a program is available within the existing framework of public health activities. Additional research and expansion of established activities in time of attack are necessary parts of biological warfare defense. PMID:13059641

  13. Foldit Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-07-31

    Report 8/1/2013-7/31/2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER Foldit Biology NOOO 14-13-C-0221 Sb. GRANT NUMBER N/A Sc. PROGRAM ELEMENT...Include area code) Unclassified Unclassified Unclassified (206) 616-2660 Zoran Popović Foldit Biology (Task 1, 2, 3, 4) Final Report...Period Covered by the Report August 1, 2013 – July 31, 2015 Date of Report: July 31, 2015 Project Title: Foldit Biology Contract Number: N00014-13

  14. Geranyl diphosphate synthase molecules, and nucleic acid molecules encoding same

    DOEpatents

    Croteau, Rodney Bruce; Burke, Charles Cullen

    2008-06-24

    In one aspect, the present invention provides isolated nucleic acid molecules that each encode a geranyl diphosphate synthase protein, wherein each isolated nucleic acid molecule hybridizes to a nucleic acid molecule consisting of the sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO:1 under conditions of 5.times.SSC at 45.degree. C. for one hour. The present invention also provides isolated geranyl diphosphate synthase proteins, and methods for altering the level of expression of geranyl diphosphate synthase protein in a host cell.

  15. Organic Molecules in Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, Zita

    2015-08-01

    Carbonaceous meteorites are primitive samples from the asteroid belt, containing 3-5wt% organic carbon. The exogenous delivery of organic matter by carbonaceous meteorites may have contributed to the organic inventory of the early Earth. The majority (>70%) of the meteoritic organic material consist of insoluble organic matter (IOM) [1]. The remaining meteoritic organic material (<30%) consists of a rich organic inventory of soluble organic compounds, including key compounds important in terrestrial biochemistry [2-4]. Different carbonaceous meteorites contain soluble organic molecules with different abundances and distributions, which may reflect the extension of aqueous alteration or thermal metamorphism on the meteorite parent bodies. Extensive aqueous alteration on the meteorite parent body may result on 1) the decomposition of α-amino acids [5, 6]; 2) synthesis of β- and γ-amino acids [2, 6-9]; 3) higher relative abundances of alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [6, 10]; and 4) higher L-enantiomer excess (Lee) value of isovaline [6, 11, 12].The soluble organic content of carbonaceous meteorites may also have a contribution from Fischer-Tropsch/Haber-Bosch type gas-grain reactions after the meteorite parent body cooled to lower temperatures [13, 14].The analysis of the abundances and distribution of the organic molecules present in meteorites helps to determine the physical and chemical conditions of the early solar system, and the prebiotic organic compounds available on the early Earth.[1] Cody and Alexander (2005) GCA 69, 1085. [2] Cronin and Chang (1993) in: The Chemistry of Life’s Origin. pp. 209-258. [3] Martins and Sephton (2009) in: Amino acids, peptides and proteins in organic chemistry. pp. 1-42. [4] Martins (2011) Elements 7, 35. [5] Botta et al. (2007) MAPS 42, 81. [6] Martins et al. (2015) MAPS, in press. [7] Cooper and Cronin (1995) GCA 59, 1003. [8] Glavin et al. (2006) MAPS. 41, 889. [9] Glavin et al. (2011) MAPS 45, 1948. [10

  16. Electron-excited molecule interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Christophorou, L.G. Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN . Dept. of Physics)

    1991-01-01

    In this paper the limited but significant knowledge to date on electron scattering from vibrationally/rotationally excited molecules and electron scattering from and electron impact ionization of electronically excited molecules is briefly summarized and discussed. The profound effects of the internal energy content of a molecule on its electron attachment properties are highlighted focusing in particular on electron attachment to vibrationally/rotationally and to electronically excited molecules. The limited knowledge to date on electron-excited molecule interactions clearly shows that the cross sections for certain electron-molecule collision processes can be very different from those involving ground state molecules. For example, optically enhanced electron attachment studies have shown that electron attachment to electronically excited molecules can occur with cross sections 10{sup 6} to 10{sup 7} times larger compared to ground state molecules. The study of electron-excited molecule interactions offers many experimental and theoretical challenges and opportunities and is both of fundamental and technological significance. 54 refs., 15 figs.

  17. Single-Molecule Tracking in Living Cells Using Single Quantum Dot Applications

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Koichi; Nishida, Kohji

    2012-01-01

    Revealing the behavior of single molecules in living cells is very useful for understanding cellular events. Quantum dot probes are particularly promising tools for revealing how biological events occur at the single molecule level both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we will introduce how single quantum dot applications are used for single molecule tracking. We will discuss how single quantum dot tracking has been used in several examples of complex biological processes, including membrane dynamics, neuronal function, selective transport mechanisms of the nuclear pore complex, and in vivo real-time observation. We also briefly discuss the prospects for single molecule tracking using advanced probes. PMID:22896768

  18. Electrochromic Graphene Molecules

    DOE PAGES

    Ji, Zhiqiang; Doorn, Stephen K.; Sykora, Milan

    2015-03-13

    Polyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, also called Graphene Molecules (GMs), with chemical composition C132H36(COOH)2 were synthesized in-situ on the surface of transparent nanocrystaline indium tin oxide (nc-ITO) electrodes. Their electronic structure was studied electrochemically and spectro-electrochemically. Variations in the potential applied onto the nc-ITO/GM electrodes induce only small changes in the observed current but they produce dramatic changes in the absorption of the GMs, which are associated with their oxidation and reduction. Analysis of the absorption changes using modified Nernst equation is used to determine standard potentials associated with the individual charge transfer processes. For the GMs prepared here these were foundmore » to be E1,ox 0 = 0.77± 0.01 V and E2,ox 0 = 1.24 ± 0.02 V vs. NHE for the first and second oxidation and E1,red 0 = -1.50 ± 0.04 V for the first reduction. The charge transfer processes are found to be non-ideal. The non-ideality factors associated with the oxidation and reduction processes suggest presence of strong interactions between the GM redox centers. Under the conditions of potential cycling GMs show rapid (seconds) color change with high contrast and stability. An electrochromic application is demonstrated wherein the GMs are used as the optically active component.« less

  19. Single molecule tracking

    DOEpatents

    Shera, E.B.

    1987-10-07

    A detection system is provided for identifying individual particles or molecules having characteristic emission in a flow train of the particles in a flow cell. A position sensitive sensor is located adjacent the flow cell in a position effective to detect the emissions from the particles within the flow cell and to assign spatial and temporal coordinates for the detected emissions. A computer is then enabled to predict spatial and temporal coordinates for the particle in the flow train as a function of a first detected emission. Comparison hardware or software then compares subsequent detected spatial and temporal coordinates with the predicted spatial and temporal coordinates to determine whether subsequently detected emissions originate from a particle in the train of particles. In one embodiment, the particles include fluorescent dyes which are excited to fluoresce a spectrum characteristic of the particular particle. Photons are emitted adjacent at least one microchannel plate sensor to enable spatial and temporal coordinates to be assigned. The effect of comparing detected coordinates with predicted coordinates is to define a moving sample volume which effectively precludes the effects of background emissions. 3 figs.

  20. Single molecule tracking

    DOEpatents

    Shera, E. Brooks

    1988-01-01

    A detection system is provided for identifying individual particles or molecules having characteristic emission in a flow train of the particles in a flow cell. A position sensitive sensor is located adjacent the flow cell in a position effective to detect the emissions from the particles within the flow cell and to assign spatial and temporal coordinates for the detected emissions. A computer is then enabled to predict spatial and temporal coordinates for the particle in the flow train as a function of a first detected emission. Comparison hardware or software then compares subsequent detected spatial and temporal coordinates with the predicted spatial and temporal coordinates to determine whether subsequently detected emissions originate from a particle in the train of particles. In one embodiment, the particles include fluorescent dyes which are excited to fluoresce a spectrum characteristic of the particular particle. Photones are emitted adjacent at least one microchannel plate sensor to enable spatial and temporal coordinates to be assigned. The effect of comparing detected coordinates with predicted coordinates is to define a moving sample volume which effectively precludes the effects of background emissions.

  1. Atmospheric trace molecule spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, C. B.

    1982-01-01

    The Spacelab investigation entitled Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS) is designed to obtain fundamental information related to the chemistry and physics of the Earth's upper atmosphere using the techniques of infrared absorption spectroscopy. There are two principal objectives to be met. The first is the determination, on a global scale, of the compositional structure of the upper atmosphere and its spatial variability. The establishment of this variability represents the first step toward determining the characteristic residence times for the upper atmospheric constituents; the magnitudes of their sources and sinks; and, ultimately, an understanding of their effects on the stability of the stratosphere. The second objective is to provide the high-resolution, calibrated spectral information which is essential for the detailed design of advanced instrumentation for subsequent global monitoring of specific species found to be critical to atmospheric stability. This information will be disseminated in the form of a three dimensional atlas of solar absorption spectra obtained over a range of latitudes, longitudes, and altitudes.

  2. Biological monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    Ho, M.H.; Dillon, H.K.

    1986-02-01

    Biological monitoring is defined as the measurement and assessment of workplace agents or their metabolites in tissues, secreta, excreta, expired air, or any combination of these to evaluate exposure and health risk compared to an appropriate reference. Biological monitoring offers several advantages: it takes into account individual variability in biological activity resulting from a chemical insult. It takes into account the effects of personal physical activity and individual life styles. It is a valuable adjunct to ambient monitoring and health surveillance. The importance of chemical speciation in the toxicity of pollutants is discussed. Basic protocols for lead, aluminum, cadmium, mercury, selenium, and nickel are presented. Basic criteria for biological monitoring methods are presented. 11 references, 1 table.

  3. Bottle Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CSTA Journal, 1995

    1995-01-01

    Provides hands-on biology activities using plastic bottles that allow students to become engaged in asking questions, creating experiments, testing hypotheses, and generating answers. Activities explore terrestrial and aquatic systems. (MKR)

  4. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1972

    1972-01-01

    Ten ideas that have been tried out by the authors in schools are presented for biology teachers. The areas covered include genetics, dispersal of seeds, habituation in earthworms, respiration, sensory neurons, fats and oils. A reading list is provided. (PS)

  5. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1972

    1972-01-01

    Twelve new experiments in biology are described by teachers for use in classrooms. Broad areas covered include enzyme action, growth regulation, microscopy, respiration, germination, plant succession, leaf structure and blood structure. Explanations are detailed. (PS)

  6. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1973

    1973-01-01

    Some helpful ideas are proposed for use by biology teachers. Topics included are Food Webs,'' Key to Identification of Families,'' Viruses,'' Sieve Tube,'' Woodlice,'' Ecology of Oak Leaf Roller Moth,'' and Model Making.'' (PS)

  7. Improved Dye Stability in Single-Molecule Fluorescence Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    EcheverrÍa Aitken, Colin; Marshall, R. Andrew; Pugi, Joseph D.

    Complex biological systems challenge existing single-molecule methods. In particular, dye stability limits observation time in singlemolecule fluorescence applications. Current approaches to improving dye performance involve the addition of enzymatic oxygen scavenging systems and small molecule additives. We present an enzymatic oxygen scavenging system that improves dye stability in single-molecule experiments. Compared to the currently-employed glucose-oxidase/catalase system, the protocatechuate-3,4-dioxygenase system achieves lower dissolved oxygen concentration and stabilizes single Cy3, Cy5, and Alexa488 fluorophores. Moreover, this system possesses none of the limitations associated with the glucose oxidase/catalase system. We also tested the effects of small molecule additives in this system. Biological reducing agents significantly destabilize the Cy5 fluorophore as a function of reducing potential. In contrast, anti-oxidants stabilize the Cy3 and Alexa488 fluorophores. We recommend use of the protocatechuate-3,4,-dioxygenase system with antioxidant additives, and in the absence of biological reducing agents. This system should have wide application to single-molecule fluorescence experiments.

  8. Chemical genetics: a small molecule approach to neurobiology.

    PubMed

    Koh, Brian; Crews, Craig M

    2002-11-14

    Chemical genetics, or the specific modulation of cellular systems by small molecules, has complemented classical genetic analysis throughout the history of neurobiology. We outline several of its contributions to the understanding of ion channel biology, heat and cold signal transduction, sleep and diurnal rhythm regulation, effects of immunophilin ligands, and cell surface oligosaccharides with respect to neurobiology.

  9. The properties and applications of single-molecule DNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Single-molecule sequencing enables DNA or RNA to be sequenced directly from biological samples, making it well-suited for diagnostic and clinical applications. Here we review the properties and applications of this rapidly evolving and promising technology. PMID:21349208

  10. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Eddy, James A; Funk, Cory C; Price, Nathan D

    2015-08-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules, predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes, generating hypotheses and guiding experimental design, and highlighting knowledge gaps and refining understanding. In turn, incorporating domain expertise and experimental data is crucial for building towards whole cell models. An iterative cycle of interaction between cell and systems biologists advances the goals of both fields and establishes a framework for mechanistic understanding of the genome-to-phenome relationship.

  11. Fostering synergy between cell biology and systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Eddy, James A.; Funk, Cory C.; Price, Nathan D.

    2015-01-01

    In the shared pursuit of elucidating detailed mechanisms of cell function, systems biology presents a natural complement to ongoing efforts in cell biology. Systems biology aims to characterize biological systems through integrated and quantitative modeling of cellular information. The process of model building and analysis provides value through synthesizing and cataloging information about cells and molecules; predicting mechanisms and identifying generalizable themes; generating hypotheses and guiding experimental design; and highlighting knowledge gaps and refining understanding. In turn, incorporating domain expertise and experimental data is critical for building towards whole cell models. An iterative cycle of interaction between cell and systems biologists advances the goals of both fields and establishes a framework for mechanistic understanding of the genome-to-phenome relationship. PMID:26013981

  12. Vibrational autoionization in polyatomic molecules.

    PubMed

    Pratt, S T

    2005-01-01

    The vibrationally autoionizing Rydberg states of small polyatomic molecules provide a fascinating laboratory in which to study fundamental nonadiabatic processes. In this review, recent results on the vibrational mode dependence of vibrational autoionization are discussed. In general, autoionization rates depend strongly on the character of the normal mode driving the process and on the electronic character of the Rydberg electron. Although quantitative calculations based on multichannel quantum defect theory are available for some polyatomic molecules, including H3, only qualitative information exists for most molecules. This review shows how qualitative information, such as Walsh diagrams along different normal coordinates of the molecule, can provide insight into the vibrational autoionization rates.

  13. Electrical Transport through Organic Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, C. N.; Chang, Shun-Chi; Williams, Stan

    2003-03-01

    We investigate electrical transport properties of single organic molecules using electromigration break junctions[1]. A self-assembled monolayer of various organic molecules such as 1,4-di(phenylethynyl-4'-methanethiol)benzene was grown on narrow metal wires, and single or a few molecules were incorporated into the junctions which were created by applying a large voltage and breaking the wires. The transport properties of these molecules were then measured at low temperatures. Latest experimental results will be discussed. [1] Park, J. et al, Nature, 417, 722 (2002); Liang W. et al, Nature, 417, 725 (2002).

  14. Cancer Immunotherapy: Selected Targets and Small-Molecule Modulators.

    PubMed

    Weinmann, Hilmar

    2016-03-04

    There is a significant amount of excitement in the scientific community around cancer immunotherapy, as this approach has renewed hope for many cancer patients owing to some recent successes in the clinic. Currently available immuno-oncology therapeutics under clinical development and on the market are mostly biologics (antibodies, proteins, engineered cells, and oncolytic viruses). However, modulation of the immune system with small molecules offers several advantages that may be complementary and potentially synergistic to the use of large biologicals. Therefore, the discovery and development of novel small-molecule modulators is a rapidly growing research area for medicinal chemists working in cancer immunotherapy. This review provides a brief introduction into recent trends related to selected targets and pathways for cancer immunotherapy and their small-molecule pharmacological modulators.

  15. Unprecedentedly rapid transport of single-file rolling water molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Tong; Huang, Ji-Ping

    2015-10-01

    The realization of rapid and unidirectional single-file water-molecule flow in nanochannels has posed a challenge to date. Here, we report unprecedentedly rapid unidirectional single-file water-molecule flow under a translational terahertz electric field, which is obtained by developing a Debye doublerelaxation theory. In addition, we demonstrate that all the single-file molecules undergo both stable translation and rotation, behaving like high-speed train wheels moving along a railway track. Independent molecular dynamics simulations help to confirm these theoretical results. The mechanism involves the resonant relaxation dynamics of H and O atoms. Further, an experimental demonstration is suggested and discussed. This work has implications for the design of high-efficiency nanochannels or smaller nanomachines in the field of nanotechnology, and the findings also aid in the understanding and control of water flow across biological nanochannels in biology-related research.

  16. Signaling Molecules: Hydrogen Sulfide and Polysulfide

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recognized as a signaling molecule as well as a cytoprotectant. It modulates neurotransmission, regulates vascular tone, and protects various tissues and organs, including neurons, the heart, and kidneys, from oxidative stress and ischemia-reperfusion injury. H2S is produced from l-cysteine by cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST) along with cysteine aminotransferase. Recent Advances: In addition to these enzymes, we recently identified a novel pathway to produce H2S from d-cysteine, which involves d-amino acid oxidase (DAO) along with 3MST. These enzymes are localized in the cytoplasm, mitochondria, and peroxisomes. However, some enzymes translocate to organelles under specific conditions. Moreover, H2S-derived potential signaling molecules such as polysulfides and HSNO have been identified. Critical Issues: The physiological stimulations, which trigger the production of H2S and its derivatives and maintain their local levels, remain unclear. Future Directions: Understanding the regulation of the H2S production and H2S-derived signaling molecules and the specific stimuli that induce their release will provide new insights into the biology of H2S and therapeutic development in diseases involving these substances. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 362–376. PMID:24800864

  17. Physiological roles of small RNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Michaux, Charlotte; Verneuil, Nicolas; Hartke, Axel; Giard, Jean-Christophe

    2014-06-01

    Unlike proteins, RNA molecules have emerged lately as key players in regulation in bacteria. Most reviews hitherto focused on the experimental and/or in silico methods used to identify genes encoding small RNAs (sRNAs) or on the diverse mechanisms of these RNA regulators to modulate expression of their targets. However, less is known about their biological functions and their implications in various physiological responses. This review aims to compile what is known presently about the diverse roles of sRNA transcripts in the regulation of metabolic processes, in different growth conditions, in adaptation to stress and in microbial pathogenesis. Several recent studies revealed that sRNA molecules are implicated in carbon metabolism and transport, amino acid metabolism or metal sensing. Moreover, regulatory RNAs participate in cellular adaptation to environmental changes, e.g. through quorum sensing systems or development of biofilms, and analyses of several sRNAs under various physiological stresses and culture conditions have already been performed. In addition, recent experiments performed with Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens showed that regulatory RNAs play important roles in microbial virulence and during infection. The combined results show the diversity of regulation mechanisms and physiological processes in which sRNA molecules are key actors.

  18. Sizing up single-molecule enzymatic conformational dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lu, H Peter

    2014-02-21

    Enzymatic reactions and related protein conformational dynamics are complex and inhomogeneous, playing crucial roles in biological functions. The relationship between protein conformational dynamics and enzymatic reactions has been a fundamental focus in modern enzymology. It is extremely difficult to characterize and analyze such complex dynamics in an ensemble-averaged measurement, especially when the enzymes are associated with multiple-step, multiple-conformation complex chemical interactions and transformations. Beyond the conventional ensemble-averaged studies, real-time single-molecule approaches have been demonstrated to be powerful in dissecting the complex enzymatic reaction dynamics and related conformational dynamics. Single-molecule enzymology has come a long way since the early demonstrations of the single-molecule spectroscopy studies of enzymatic dynamics about two decades ago. The rapid development of this fundamental protein dynamics field is hand-in-hand with the new development of single-molecule imaging and spectroscopic technology and methodology, theoretical model analyses, and correlations with biological preparation and characterization of the enzyme protein systems. The complex enzymatic reactions can now be studied one molecule at a time under physiological conditions. Most exciting developments include active manipulation of enzymatic conformational changes and energy landscape to regulate and manipulate the enzymatic reactivity and associated conformational dynamics, and the new advancements have established a new stage for studying complex protein dynamics beyond by simply observing but by actively manipulating and observing the enzymatic dynamics at the single-molecule sensitivity temporally and spatially.

  19. Electrochromic Graphene Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, Zhiqiang; Doorn, Stephen K.; Sykora, Milan

    2015-03-13

    Polyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, also called Graphene Molecules (GMs), with chemical composition C132H36(COOH)2 were synthesized in-situ on the surface of transparent nanocrystaline indium tin oxide (nc-ITO) electrodes. Their electronic structure was studied electrochemically and spectro-electrochemically. Variations in the potential applied onto the nc-ITO/GM electrodes induce only small changes in the observed current but they produce dramatic changes in the absorption of the GMs, which are associated with their oxidation and reduction. Analysis of the absorption changes using modified Nernst equation is used to determine standard potentials associated with the individual charge transfer processes. For the GMs prepared here these were found to be E1,ox 0 = 0.77± 0.01 V and E2,ox 0 = 1.24 ± 0.02 V vs. NHE for the first and second oxidation and E1,red 0 = -1.50 ± 0.04 V for the first reduction. The charge transfer processes are found to be non-ideal. The non-ideality factors associated with the oxidation and reduction processes suggest presence of strong interactions between the GM redox centers. Under the conditions of potential cycling GMs show rapid (seconds) color change with high contrast and stability. An electrochromic application is demonstrated wherein the GMs are used as the optically active component.

  20. Minitags for small molecules: detecting targets of reactive small molecules in living plant tissues using 'click chemistry'.

    PubMed

    Kaschani, Farnusch; Verhelst, Steven H L; van Swieten, Paul F; Verdoes, Martijn; Wong, Chung-Sing; Wang, Zheming; Kaiser, Markus; Overkleeft, Herman S; Bogyo, Matthew; van der Hoorn, Renier A L

    2009-01-01

    Small molecules offer unprecedented opportunities for plant research since plants respond to, metabolize, and react with a diverse range of endogenous and exogenous small molecules. Many of these small molecules become covalently attached to proteins. To display these small molecule targets in plants, we introduce a two-step labelling method for minitagged small molecules. Minitags are small chemical moieties (azide or alkyne) that are inert under biological conditions and have little influence on the membrane permeability and specificity of the small molecule. After labelling, proteomes are extracted under denaturing conditions and minitagged proteins are coupled to reporter tags through a 'click chemistry' reaction. We introduce this two-step labelling procedure in plants by studying the well-characterized targets of E-64, a small molecule cysteine protease inhibitor. In contrast to biotinylated E-64, minitagged E-64 efficiently labels vacuolar proteases in vivo. We displayed, purified and identified targets of a minitagged inhibitor that targets the proteasome and cysteine proteases in living plant cells. Chemical interference assays with inhibitors showed that MG132, a frequently used proteasome inhibitor, preferentially inhibits cysteine proteases in vivo. The two-step labelling procedure can be applied on detached leaves, cell cultures, seedlings and other living plant tissues and, when combined with photoreactive groups, can be used to identify targets of herbicides, phytohormones and reactive small molecules selected from chemical genetic screens.

  1. Biological Oceanography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Within the framework of global biogeochemical cycles and ocean productivity, there are two areas that will be of particular interest to biological oceanography in the 1990s. The first is the mapping in space time of the biomass and productivity of phytoplankton in the world ocean. The second area is the coupling of biological and physical processes as it affects the distribution and growth rate of phytoplankton biomass. Certainly other areas will be of interest to biological oceanographers, but these two areas are amenable to observations from satellites. Temporal and spatial variability is a regular feature of marine ecosystems. The temporal and spatial variability of phytoplankton biomass and productivity which is ubiquitous at all time and space scales in the ocean must be characterized. Remote sensing from satellites addresses these problems with global observations of mesocale (2 to 20 days, 10 to 200 km) features over a long period of time.

  2. Biological preconcentrator

    DOEpatents

    Manginell, Ronald P.; Bunker, Bruce C.; Huber, Dale L.

    2008-09-09

    A biological preconcentrator comprises a stimulus-responsive active film on a stimulus-producing microfabricated platform. The active film can comprise a thermally switchable polymer film that can be used to selectively absorb and desorb proteins from a protein mixture. The biological microfabricated platform can comprise a thin membrane suspended on a substrate with an integral resistive heater and/or thermoelectric cooler for thermal switching of the active polymer film disposed on the membrane. The active polymer film can comprise hydrogel-like polymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide) or poly(n-isopropylacrylamide), that are tethered to the membrane. The biological preconcentrator can be fabricated with semiconductor materials and technologies.

  3. Loosely-Bound Diatomic Molecules.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balfour, W. J.

    1979-01-01

    Discusses concept of covalent bonding as related to homonuclear diatomic molecules. Article draws attention to the existence of bound rare gas and alkaline earth diatomic molecules. Summarizes their molecular parameters and offers spectroscopic data. Strength and variation with distance of interatomic attractive forces is given. (Author/SA)

  4. Featured Molecules: Sucrose and Vanillin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, William F.; Wildman, Randall J.

    2003-04-01

    The WebWare molecules of the month for April relate to the sense of taste. Apple Fool, the JCE Classroom Activity, mentions sucrose and vanillin and their use as flavorings. Fully manipulable (Chime) versions of these and other molecules are available at Only@JCE Online.

  5. Micro-Kelvin cold molecules.

    SciTech Connect

    Strecker, Kevin E.; Chandler, David W.

    2009-10-01

    We have developed a novel experimental technique for direct production of cold molecules using a combination of techniques from atomic optical and molecular physics and physical chemistry. The ability to produce samples of cold molecules has application in a broad spectrum of technical fields high-resolution spectroscopy, remote sensing, quantum computing, materials simulation, and understanding fundamental chemical dynamics. Researchers around the world are currently exploring many techniques for producing samples of cold molecules, but to-date these attempts have offered only limited success achieving milli-Kelvin temperatures with low densities. This Laboratory Directed Research and Development project is to develops a new experimental technique for producing micro-Kelvin temperature molecules via collisions with laser cooled samples of trapped atoms. The technique relies on near mass degenerate collisions between the molecule of interest and a laser cooled (micro-Kelvin) atom. A subset of collisions will transfer all (nearly all) of the kinetic energy from the 'hot' molecule, cooling the molecule at the expense of heating the atom. Further collisions with the remaining laser cooled atoms will thermally equilibrate the molecules to the micro-Kelvin temperature of the laser-cooled atoms.

  6. Monitoring Conformational Dynamics with Single-Molecule Fluorescence Energy Transfer: Applications in Nucleosome Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Deindl, Sebastian; Zhuang, Xiaowei

    2016-01-01

    Due to its ability to track distance changes within individual molecules or molecular complexes on the nanometer scale and in real time, single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (single-molecule FRET) is a powerful tool to tackle a wide range of important biological questions. Using our recently developed single-molecule FRET assay to monitor nucleosome translocation as an illustrative example, we describe here in detail how to set up, carry out, and analyze single-molecule FRET experiments that provide time-dependent information on biomolecular processes. PMID:22929765

  7. Functional group dependent dissociative electron attachment to simple organic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prabhudesai, Vaibhav S.; Nandi, Dhananjay; Kelkar, Aditya H.; Krishnakumar, E.

    2008-04-01

    Dissociative electron attachment (DEA) cross sections for simple organic molecules, namely, acetic acid, propanoic acid, methanol, ethanol, and n-propyl amine are measured in a crossed beam experiment. We find that the H- ion formation is the dominant channel of DEA for these molecules and takes place at relatively higher energies (>4eV) through the core excited resonances. Comparison of the cross sections of the H- channel from these molecules with those from NH3, H2O, and CH4 shows the presence of functional group dependence in the DEA process. We analyze this new phenomenon in the context of the results reported on other organic molecules. This discovery of functional group dependence has important implications such as control in electron induced chemistry and understanding radiation induced damage in biological systems.

  8. Quantitative single-molecule imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

    PubMed

    Vukojevic, Vladana; Heidkamp, Marcus; Ming, Yu; Johansson, Björn; Terenius, Lars; Rigler, Rudolf

    2008-11-25

    A new approach to quantitative single-molecule imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is presented. It relies on fluorescence intensity distribution to analyze the molecular occurrence statistics captured by digital imaging and enables direct determination of the number of fluorescent molecules and their diffusion rates without resorting to temporal or spatial autocorrelation analyses. Digital images of fluorescent molecules were recorded by using fast scanning and avalanche photodiode detectors. In this way the signal-to-background ratio was significantly improved, enabling direct quantitative imaging by CLSM. The potential of the proposed approach is demonstrated by using standard solutions of fluorescent dyes, fluorescently labeled DNA molecules, quantum dots, and the Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein in solution and in live cells. The method was verified by using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The relevance for biological applications, in particular, for live cell imaging, is discussed.

  9. The Single-Molecule Approach to Membrane Protein Stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Michael G; Hallworth, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The advent of techniques for imaging solitary fluorescent molecules has made possible many new kinds of biological experiments. Here, we describe the application of single-molecule imaging to the problem of subunit stoichiometry in membrane proteins. A membrane protein of unknown stoichiometry, prestin, is coupled to the fluorescent enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and synthesized in the human embryonic kidney (HEK) cell line. We prepare adherent membrane fragments containing prestin-eGFP by osmotic lysis. The molecules are then exposed to continuous low-level excitation until their fluorescence reaches background levels. Their fluorescence decreases in discrete equal-amplitude steps, consistent with the photobleaching of single fluorophores. We count the number of steps required to photobleach each molecule. The molecular stoichiometry is then deduced using a binomial model.

  10. (Biological dosimetry)

    SciTech Connect

    Sega, G.A.

    1990-11-06

    The traveler participated in an International Symposium on Trends in Biological Dosimetry and presented an invited paper entitled, Adducts in sperm protamine and DNA vs mutation frequency.'' The purpose of the Symposium was to examine the applicability of new methods to study quantitatively the effects of xenobiotic agents (radiation and chemicals) on molecular, cellular and organ systems, with special emphasis on human biological dosimetry. The general areas covered at the meeting included studies on parent compounds and metabolites; protein adducts; DNA adducts; gene mutations; cytogenetic end-points and reproductive methods.

  11. Molecular self-assemblies might discriminate the diffusion of chiral molecules.

    PubMed

    Galstian, Tigran; Allahverdyan, Karen

    2015-06-07

    Biological tissue has many self-aligned anisotropic molecular organizations, which are able to undergo reversible orientational deformations and spatially transfer them. At the same time, the majority of drugs and many biologically important molecules contain chiral centers. It is therefore important to understand the factors affecting the diffusion of chiral molecules in such elastic environments. We experimentally study the diffusion of chiral molecules in a nematic liquid crystal host representing the model of biological tissue. The analogy of Cano's quantization effect is observed (due to the gradient of the chiral dopant) and used to estimate the corresponding diffusion coefficients. It is shown that thanks to the collective orientational correlation of host molecules the diffusion of chiral dopants is noticeably reduced (by a factor of ≈1.6) for the case of rigid alignment of host molecules compared to the case when the same matrix is free to adjust that alignment.

  12. Nanoparticle-based biologic mimetics

    PubMed Central

    Cliffel, David E.; Turner, Brian N.; Huffman, Brian J.

    2009-01-01

    Centered on solid chemistry foundations, biology and materials science have reached a crossroad where bottom-up designs of new biologically important nanomaterials are a reality. The topics discussed here present the interdisciplinary field of creating biological mimics. Specifically, this discussion focuses on mimics that are developed using various types of metal nanoparticles (particularly gold) through facile synthetic methods. These methods conjugate biologically relevant molecules, e.g., small molecules, peptides, proteins, and carbohydrates, in conformationally favorable orientations on the particle surface. These new products provide stable, safe, and effective substitutes for working with potentially hazardous biologicals for applications such as drug targeting, immunological studies, biosensor development, and biocatalysis. Many standard bioanalytical techniques can be used to characterize and validate the efficacy of these new materials, including quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Metal nanoparticle–based biomimetics continue to be developed as potential replacements for the native biomolecule in applications of immunoassays and catalysis. PMID:20049778

  13. Enzyme molecules in solitary confinement.

    PubMed

    Liebherr, Raphaela B; Gorris, Hans H

    2014-09-12

    Large arrays of homogeneous microwells each defining a femtoliter volume are a versatile platform for monitoring the substrate turnover of many individual enzyme molecules in parallel. The high degree of parallelization enables the analysis of a statistically representative enzyme population. Enclosing individual enzyme molecules in microwells does not require any surface immobilization step and enables the kinetic investigation of enzymes free in solution. This review describes various microwell array formats and explores their applications for the detection and investigation of single enzyme molecules. The development of new fabrication techniques and sensitive detection methods drives the field of single molecule enzymology. Here, we introduce recent progress in single enzyme molecule analysis in microwell arrays and discuss the challenges and opportunities.

  14. Characterizing Structural Stability of Amyloid Motif Fibrils Mediated by Water Molecules.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyunsung; Chang, Hyun Joon; Lee, Myeongsang; Na, Sungsoo

    2017-02-04

    In biological systems, structural confinements of amyloid fibrils can be mediated by the role of water molecules. However, the underlying effect of the dynamic behavior of water molecules on structural stabilities of amyloid fibrils is still unclear. By performing molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the dynamic features and the effect of interior water molecules on conformations and mechanical characteristics of various amyloid fibrils. We find that a specific mechanism induced by the dynamic properties of interior water molecules can affect diffusion of water molecules inside amyloid fibrils, inducing their different structural stabilities. The conformation of amyloid fibrils induced by interior water molecules show the fibrils' different mechanical features. We elucidate the role of confined and movable interior water molecules in structural stabilities of various amyloid fibrils. Our results offer insights not only in further understanding of mechanical features of amyloids as mediated by water molecules, but also in the fine-tuning of the functional abilities of amyloid fibrils for applications.

  15. Modeling Atoms and Molecules: A New Lesson for Upper Elementary and Middle School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwaner, Terry D.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Describes a study involving 86 fifth-grade science students to enhance their understandings of basic biological chemistry. Contains a lesson that allows students to build models of atoms and molecules. (ZWH)

  16. The Biology of Neisseria Adhesins

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Miao-Chiu; Christodoulides, Myron

    2013-01-01

    Members of the genus Neisseria include pathogens causing important human diseases such as meningitis, septicaemia, gonorrhoea and pelvic inflammatory disease syndrome. Neisseriae are found on the exposed epithelia of the upper respiratory tract and the urogenital tract. Colonisation of these exposed epithelia is dependent on a repertoire of diverse bacterial molecules, extending not only from the surface of the bacteria but also found within the outer membrane. During invasive disease, pathogenic Neisseriae also interact with immune effector cells, vascular endothelia and the meninges. Neisseria adhesion involves the interplay of these multiple surface factors and in this review we discuss the structure and function of these important molecules and the nature of the host cell receptors and mechanisms involved in their recognition. We also describe the current status for recently identified Neisseria adhesins. Understanding the biology of Neisseria adhesins has an impact not only on the development of new vaccines but also in revealing fundamental knowledge about human biology. PMID:24833056

  17. Nanoscale Assemblies of Small Molecules Control the Fate of Cells.

    PubMed

    Shi, Junfeng; Xu, Bing

    2015-10-01

    Being driven by non-covalent interactions, the formation of functional assemblies (or aggregates) of small molecules at nanoscale is a more common process in water than one would think. While most efforts on self-assembly in cellular environment concentrate on the assemblies of proteins (e.g., microtubules or amyloid fibers), nanoscale assemblies of small molecules are emerging functional entities that exhibit important biological function in cellular environments. This review describes the increasing efforts on the exploration of nanoscale assemblies of small molecules that largely originate from the serendipitous observations in research fields other than nanoscience and technology. Specifically, we describe that nanoscale assemblies of small molecules exhibit unique biological functions in extracellular and intracellular environment, thus inducing various cellular responses, like causing cell death or promoting cell proliferation. We first survey certain common feature of nanoscale molecular assemblies, then discuss several specific examples, such as, nanoscale assemblies of small peptides accumulated in the cells for selectively inhibiting cancer cells via promiscuous interactions with proteins, and nanoscale assemblies of a glycoconjugate for promoting the proliferation of stem cells or for suppressing immune responses. Subsequently, we emphasize the spatiotemporal control of nanoscale assemblies for controlling the cell fate, particularly illustrate a paradigm-shifting approach-enzyme-instructed self-assembly (EISA), that is, the integration of enzymatic reaction and self-assembly-for generating nanoscale assemblies from innocuous monomers for selectively inhibiting cancer cells. Moreover, we introduce a convenient assay for proteomic study of the proteins that interact with nanoscale assemblies of small molecules in cellular environment. Furthermore, we introduce the use of ligand-receptor interaction to catalyze the formation of nanoscale assemblies. By

  18. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Presents content information and/or laboratory procedures and experiments on different biology topics including small-scale cultivation of watercress and its use in water-culture experiments, microbiology of the phylloplane, use of mouthbrooders in science class, and the gene. (DC)

  19. Marine Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  20. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Describes laboratory procedures, demonstrations, and classroom activities/materials, including water relation exercise on auxin-treated artichoke tuber tissue; aerobic respiration in yeast; an improved potometer; use of mobiles in biological classification, and experiments on powdery mildews and banana polyphenol oxidase. Includes reading lists…

  1. Cancer Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dominiecki, Mary E.

    2004-01-01

    University of Colorado's Virtual Student Fellowship available at and developed by Bakemeier, Richard F. This website is designed to give students applying for a fellowship an overview of basic topics in biology and how they are used by cancer researchers to develop new treatments.

  2. (Biological dosimetry)

    SciTech Connect

    Preston, R.J.

    1990-12-17

    The traveler attended the 1st International Conference on Biological Dosimetry in Madrid, Spain. This conference was organized to provide information to a general audience of biologists, physicists, radiotherapists, industrial hygiene personnel and individuals from related fields on the current ability of cytogenetic analysis to provide estimates of radiation dose in cases of occupational or environmental exposure. There is a growing interest in Spain in biological dosimetry because of the increased use of radiation sources for medical and occupational uses, and with this the anticipated and actual increase in numbers of overexposure. The traveler delivered the introductory lecture on Biological Dosimetry: Mechanistic Concepts'' that was intended to provide a framework by which the more applied lectures could be interpreted in a mechanistic way. A second component of the trip was to provide advice with regard to several recent cases of overexposure that had been or were being assessed by the Radiopathology and Radiotherapy Department of the Hospital General Gregorio Maranon'' in Madrid. The traveler had provided information on several of these, and had analyzed cells from some exposed or purportedly exposed individuals. The members of the biological dosimetry group were referred to individuals at REACTS at Oak Ridge Associated Universities for advice on follow-up treatment.

  3. Bottle Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jager, Peter

    1993-01-01

    Describes activities which utilize plastic drink bottles and are designed to foster the development of a wide range of biological and ecological concepts. Includes instructions for making a model compost column and presents a model that illustrates open versus closed ecosystems. (DDR)

  4. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1980

    1980-01-01

    Describes equipment, activities, and experiments useful in biology and environmental education instruction, including, among others, sampling in ecology using an overhead projector, the slide finder as an aid to microscopy, teaching kidney function, and teaching wildlife conservation-sand dune systems. (SK)

  5. Scaffolded biology.

    PubMed

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  6. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on the teaching of nutrition (including new information relating to many current O-level syllabi) and part 16 of a reading list for A- and S-level biology. Also includes a note on using earthworms as a source of material for teaching meiosis. (JN)

  7. Biology Excursions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baldock, R. N.

    1973-01-01

    Provides many useful suggestions and cautions for planning and executing a biology field excursion. Specific procedures are outlined for investigating land communities and coastal areas, and a number of follow-up laboratory activities are described. The appendix provides an extensive bibliography with useful comments on the literature. (JR)

  8. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Organized by topic is a reading list for A- and S-level biology. Described are experiments for measuring rate of water uptake in a shoot; questions to aid students in designing experiments; rise of overhead projection to demonstrate osmosis and blood cell counting; and microbial manufacture of vinegar. (CS)

  9. Biology Notes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1976

    1976-01-01

    Describes nine biology experiments, including osmosis, genetics; oxygen content of blood, enzymes in bean seedlings, preparation of bird skins, vascularization in bean seedlings, a game called "sequences" (applied to review situations), crossword puzzle for human respiration, and physiology of the woodlouse. (CS)

  10. Biology Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Outlines a variety of laboratory procedures, techniques, and materials including construction of a survey frame for field biology, a simple tidal system, isolation and applications of plant protoplasts, tropisms, teaching lung structure, and a key to statistical methods for biologists. (DS)

  11. Computational Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    McDermott, Jason E.; Samudrala, Ram; Bumgarner, Roger E.; Montogomery, Kristina; Ireton, Renee

    2009-05-01

    Computational systems biology is the term that we use to describe computational methods to identify, infer, model, and store relationships between the molecules, pathways, and cells (“systems”) involved in a living organism. Based on this definition, the field of computational systems biology has been in existence for some time. However, the recent confluence of high throughput methodology for biological data gathering, genome-scale sequencing and computational processing power has driven a reinvention and expansion of this field. The expansions include not only modeling of small metabolic{Ishii, 2004 #1129; Ekins, 2006 #1601; Lafaye, 2005 #1744} and signaling systems{Stevenson-Paulik, 2006 #1742; Lafaye, 2005 #1744} but also modeling of the relationships between biological components in very large systems, incluyding whole cells and organisms {Ideker, 2001 #1124; Pe'er, 2001 #1172; Pilpel, 2001 #393; Ideker, 2002 #327; Kelley, 2003 #1117; Shannon, 2003 #1116; Ideker, 2004 #1111}{Schadt, 2003 #475; Schadt, 2006 #1661}{McDermott, 2002 #878; McDermott, 2005 #1271}. Generally these models provide a general overview of one or more aspects of these systems and leave the determination of details to experimentalists focused on smaller subsystems. The promise of such approaches is that they will elucidate patterns, relationships and general features that are not evident from examining specific components or subsystems. These predictions are either interesting in and of themselves (for example, the identification of an evolutionary pattern), or are interesting and valuable to researchers working on a particular problem (for example highlight a previously unknown functional pathway). Two events have occurred to bring about the field computational systems biology to the forefront. One is the advent of high throughput methods that have generated large amounts of information about particular systems in the form of genetic studies, gene expression analyses (both protein and

  12. Design and applications of bifunctional small molecules: Why two heads are better than one

    PubMed Central

    Corson, Timothy W.; Aberle, Nicholas; Crews, Craig M.

    2009-01-01

    Induction of protein-protein interactions is a daunting challenge, but recent studies show promise for small molecules that specifically bring two or more protein molecules together for enhanced or novel biological effect. The first such bifunctional molecules were the rapamycin- and FK506-based “Chemical Inducers of Dimerization”, but the field has since expanded with new molecules and new applications in chemical genetics and cell biology. Examples include coumermycin-mediated gyrase B dimerization, proteolysis targeting chimeric molecules (PROTACS), drug hybrids, and strategies for exploiting multivalency in toxin binding and antibody recruitment. This review discusses these and other advances in the design and use of bifunctional small molecules, and potential strategies for future systems. PMID:19112665

  13. Single Molecule Electronics and Devices

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Makusu; Taniguchi, Masateru

    2012-01-01

    The manufacture of integrated circuits with single-molecule building blocks is a goal of molecular electronics. While research in the past has been limited to bulk experiments on self-assembled monolayers, advances in technology have now enabled us to fabricate single-molecule junctions. This has led to significant progress in understanding electron transport in molecular systems at the single-molecule level and the concomitant emergence of new device concepts. Here, we review recent developments in this field. We summarize the methods currently used to form metal-molecule-metal structures and some single-molecule techniques essential for characterizing molecular junctions such as inelastic electron tunnelling spectroscopy. We then highlight several important achievements, including demonstration of single-molecule diodes, transistors, and switches that make use of electrical, photo, and mechanical stimulation to control the electron transport. We also discuss intriguing issues to be addressed further in the future such as heat and thermoelectric transport in an individual molecule. PMID:22969345

  14. Method of measurement in biological systems

    DOEpatents

    Turteltaub, K.W.; Vogel, J.S.; Felton, J.S.; Gledhill, B.L.: Davis, J.C.; Stanker, L.H.

    1993-05-11

    A method is disclosed of quantifying molecules in biological substances, comprising: selecting a biological host in which radioisotopes are present in concentrations equal to or less than those in the ambient biosphere; preparing a long-lived radioisotope labeled reactive chemical specie; administering the chemical specie to the biological host in doses sufficiently low to avoid significant overt damage to the biological system; allowing a period of time to elapse sufficient for dissemination and interaction of the chemical specie with the host throughout the biological system of the host; isolating a reacted fraction of the biological substance from the host in a manner sufficient to avoid contamination of the substance from extraneous sources; converting the fraction of biological substance by suitable means to a material which efficiently produces charged ions in at least one of several possible ion sources without introduction of significant isotopic fractionation; and measuring the radioisotope concentration in the material by means of direct isotopic counting.

  15. Adhesion molecules in vernal keratoconjunctivitis

    PubMed Central

    El-Asrar, A.; Geboes, K.; Al-Kharashi, S.; Tabbara, K.; Missotten, L.; Desmet, V.

    1997-01-01

    AIMS/BACKGROUND—Adhesion molecules play a key role in the selective recruitment of different leucocyte population to inflammatory sites. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the presence and distribution of adhesion molecules in the conjunctiva of patients with vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC).
METHODS—The presence and distribution of adhesion molecules were studied in 14 conjunctival biopsy specimens from seven patients with active VKC and in four normal conjunctival biopsy specimens. We used a panel of specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3), lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), very late activation antigen-4 (VLA-4), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and endothelial leucocyte adhesion molecule-1 (ELAM-1). In addition, a panel of mAbs were used to characterise the composition of the inflammatory infiltrate.
RESULTS—In the normal conjunctiva, ICAM-1 was expressed on the vascular endothelium only, LFA-1 and ICAM-3 on epithelial and stromal mononuclear cells , and VLA-4 on stromal mononuclear cells. The expression of VCAM-1 and ELAM-1 was absent. The number of cells expressing adhesion molecules was found to be markedly increased in all VKC specimens. This was concurrent with a heavy inflammatory infiltrate. Strong ICAM-1 expression was induced on the basal epithelial cells, and vascular endothelial cells. Furthermore, ICAM-1 was expressed on stromal mononuclear cells. LFA-1 and ICAM-3 were expressed on the majority of epithelial and stromal infiltrating mononuclear cells. VLA-4 expression was noted on stromal mononuclear cells. Compared with controls, VKC specimens showed significantly more ICAM-3+, LFA-1+, and VLA-4+ cells. VCAM-1 and ELAM-1 were induced on the vascular endothelial cells.
CONCLUSIONS—Increased expression of adhesion molecules may play an important role in the pathogenesis of VKC.

 PMID

  16. Resolving metal-molecule interfaces at single-molecule junctions

    PubMed Central

    Komoto, Yuki; Fujii, Shintaro; Nakamura, Hisao; Tada, Tomofumi; Nishino, Tomoaki; Kiguchi, Manabu

    2016-01-01

    Electronic and structural detail at the electrode-molecule interface have a significant influence on charge transport across molecular junctions. Despite the decisive role of the metal-molecule interface, a complete electronic and structural characterization of the interface remains a challenge. This is in no small part due to current experimental limitations. Here, we present a comprehensive approach to obtain a detailed description of the metal-molecule interface in single-molecule junctions, based on current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Contrary to conventional conductance studies, this I-V approach provides a correlated statistical description of both, the degree of electronic coupling across the metal-molecule interface, and the energy alignment between the conduction orbital and the Fermi level of the electrode. This exhaustive statistical approach was employed to study single-molecule junctions of 1,4-benzenediamine (BDA), 1,4-butanediamine (C4DA), and 1,4-benzenedithiol (BDT). A single interfacial configuration was observed for both BDA and C4DA junctions, while three different interfacial arrangements were resolved for BDT. This multiplicity is due to different molecular adsorption sites on the Au surface namely on-top, hollow, and bridge. Furthermore, C4DA junctions present a fluctuating I-V curve arising from the greater conformational freedom of the saturated alkyl chain, in sharp contrast with the rigid aromatic backbone of both BDA and BDT. PMID:27221947

  17. Relative Sizes of Organic Molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This computer graphic depicts the relative complexity of crystallizing large proteins in order to study their structures through x-ray crystallography. Insulin is a vital protein whose structure has several subtle points that scientists are still trying to determine. Large molecules such as insuline are complex with structures that are comparatively difficult to understand. For comparison, a sugar molecule (which many people have grown as hard crystals in science glass) and a water molecule are shown. These images were produced with the Macmolecule program. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  18. Single-molecule force spectroscopy: optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers and atomic force microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Neuman, Keir C.; Nagy, Attila

    2012-01-01

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool to investigate the forces and motions associated with biological molecules and enzymatic activity. The most common force spectroscopy techniques are optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers and atomic force microscopy. These techniques are described and illustrated with examples highlighting current capabilities and limitations. PMID:18511917

  19. Single-molecule force spectroscopy: optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers and atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Neuman, Keir C; Nagy, Attila

    2008-06-01

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool to investigate the forces and motions associated with biological molecules and enzymatic activity. The most common force spectroscopy techniques are optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers and atomic force microscopy. Here we describe these techniques and illustrate them with examples highlighting current capabilities and limitations.

  20. Single-molecule electrical biosensors based on single-walled carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xuefeng

    2013-07-05

    Interactions between biological molecules are fundamental to biology. Probing the complex behaviors of biological systems at the molecular level provides new opportunities to uncover the wealth of molecular information that is usually hidden in conventional ensemble experiments and address the "unanswerable" questions in the physical, chemical and biological sciences. Nanometer-scale materials are particularly well matched with biomolecular interactions due to their biocompatibility, size comparability, and remarkable electrical properties, thus setting the basis for biological sensing with ultrahigh sensitivity. This brief review aims to highlight the recent progress of the burgeoning field of single-molecule electrical biosensors based on nanomaterials, with a particular focus on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), for better understanding of the molecular structure, interacting dynamics, and molecular functions. The perspectives and key issues that will be critical to the success of next-generation single-molecule biosensors toward practical applications are also discussed, such as the device reproducibility, system integration, and theoretical simulation.

  1. Recursive construction of perfect DNA molecules from imperfect oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Linshiz, Gregory; Yehezkel, Tuval Ben; Kaplan, Shai; Gronau, Ilan; Ravid, Sivan; Adar, Rivka; Shapiro, Ehud

    2008-01-01

    Making faultless complex objects from potentially faulty building blocks is a fundamental challenge in computer engineering, nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Here, we show for the first time how recursion can be used to address this challenge and demonstrate a recursive procedure that constructs error-free DNA molecules and their libraries from error-prone oligonucleotides. Divide and Conquer (D&C), the quintessential recursive problem-solving technique, is applied in silico to divide the target DNA sequence into overlapping oligonucleotides short enough to be synthesized directly, albeit with errors; error-prone oligonucleotides are recursively combined in vitro, forming error-prone DNA molecules; error-free fragments of these molecules are then identified, extracted and used as new, typically longer and more accurate, inputs to another iteration of the recursive construction procedure; the entire process repeats until an error-free target molecule is formed. Our recursive construction procedure surpasses existing methods for de novo DNA synthesis in speed, precision, amenability to automation, ease of combining synthetic and natural DNA fragments, and ability to construct designer DNA libraries. It thus provides a novel and robust foundation for the design and construction of synthetic biological molecules and organisms.

  2. Quantum Transport Through Heterocyclic Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    We explore electron transport properties in molecular wires made of heterocyclic molecules (pyrrole, furan and thiophene) by using the Green's function technique. Parametric calculations are given based on the tight-binding model to describe the electron transport in these wires. It is observed that the transport properties are significantly influenced by (a) the heteroatoms in the heterocyclic molecules and (b) the molecule-to-electrodes coupling strength. Conductance (g) shows sharp resonance peaks associated with the molecular energy levels in the limit of weak molecular coupling, while they get broadened in the strong molecular coupling limit. These resonances get shifted with the change of the heteroatoms in these heterocyclic molecules. All the essential features of the electron transfer through these molecular wires become much more clearly visible from the study of our current-voltage (I-V) characteristics, and they provide several key information in the study of molecular transport.

  3. Molecule-hugging graphene nanopores

    PubMed Central

    Garaj, Slaven; Liu, Song; Golovchenko, Jene A.; Branton, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    It has recently been recognized that solid-state nanopores in single-atomic-layer graphene membranes can be used to electronically detect and characterize single long charged polymer molecules. We have now fabricated nanopores in single-layer graphene that are closely matched to the diameter of a double-stranded DNA molecule. Ionic current signals during electrophoretically driven translocation of DNA through these nanopores were experimentally explored and theoretically modeled. Our experiments show that these nanopores have unusually high sensitivity (0.65 nA/Å) to extremely small changes in the translocating molecule’s outer diameter. Such atomically short graphene nanopores can also resolve nanoscale-spaced molecular structures along the length of a polymer, but do so with greatest sensitivity only when the pore and molecule diameters are closely matched. Modeling confirms that our most closely matched pores have an inherent resolution of ≤0.6 nm along the length of the molecule. PMID:23836648

  4. Fluorescence Microscopy of Single Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmermann, Jan; van Dorp, Arthur; Renn, Alois

    2004-01-01

    The investigation of photochemistry and photophysics of individual quantum systems is described with the help of a wide-field fluorescence microscopy approach. The fluorescence single molecules are observed in real time.

  5. Moving Molecules and Mothball Madness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strain, John

    1993-01-01

    Describes concrete demonstrations on the states of matter. In the first demonstration, students represent molecules; and, in the second demonstration, moth balls are heated to produce a change of state. (PR)

  6. Crusts: biological

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  7. Marine biology

    SciTech Connect

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index.

  8. Recent Advances in Developing Small Molecules Targeting Nucleic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Maolin; Yu, Yuanyuan; Liang, Chao; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Nucleic acids participate in a large number of biological processes. However, current approaches for small molecules targeting protein are incompatible with nucleic acids. On the other hand, the lack of crystallization of nucleic acid is the limiting factor for nucleic acid drug design. Because of the improvements in crystallization in recent years, a great many structures of nucleic acids have been reported, providing basic information for nucleic acid drug discovery. This review focuses on the discovery and development of small molecules targeting nucleic acids. PMID:27248995

  9. Single molecule studies of RNA polymerase II transcription in vitro.

    PubMed

    Horn, Abigail E; Goodrich, James A; Kugel, Jennifer F

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic mRNA transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) is the first step in gene expression and a key determinant of cellular regulation. Elucidating the mechanism by which RNAP II synthesizes RNA is therefore vital to determining how genes are controlled under diverse biological conditions. Significant advances in understanding RNAP II transcription have been achieved using classical biochemical and structural techniques; however, aspects of the transcription mechanism cannot be assessed using these approaches. The application of single-molecule techniques to study RNAP II transcription has provided new insight only obtainable by studying molecules in this complex system one at a time.

  10. Monoclonal antibodies directed against surface molecules of multicell spheroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martinez, Andrew O.

    1993-01-01

    The objective of this project is to generate a library of monoclonal antibodies (MAb's) to surface molecules involved in the cell-cell interactions of mammalian cells grown as multicell spheroids (MCS). MCS are highly organized 3-dimensional multicellular structures which exhibit many characteristics in vivo tissues not found in conventional monolayer or suspension culture. They also provide a functional assay for surface adhesion molecules. In brief, MCS combine the relevance of organized tissues with the accuracy of in vitro methodology. Further, one can manipulate these MCS experimentally to discern important information about their biology.

  11. Frameworks for programming biological function through RNA parts and devices

    PubMed Central

    Win, Maung Nyan; Liang, Joe C.; Smolke, Christina D.

    2009-01-01

    One of the long-term goals of synthetic biology is to reliably engineer biological systems that perform human-defined functions. Currently, researchers face several scientific and technical challenges in designing and building biological systems, one of which is associated with our limited ability to access, transmit, and control molecular information through the design of functional biomolecules exhibiting novel properties. The fields of RNA biology and nucleic acid engineering, along with the tremendous interdisciplinary growth of synthetic biology, are fueling advances in the emerging field of RNA programming in living systems. Researchers are designing functional RNA molecules that exhibit increasingly complex functions and integrating these molecules into cellular circuits to program higher-level biological functions. The continued integration and growth of RNA design and synthetic biology presents exciting potential to transform how we interact with and program biology. PMID:19318211

  12. [Adhesion molecules and diabetes mellitus].

    PubMed

    Urso, C; Hopps, E; Caimi, G

    2010-01-01

    Adhesion molecules play a significant role in leukocyte migration across the endothelium and are also involved in regulating immune system. It is shown that diabetic patients have an increase of soluble adhesion molecules (sICAM-1, sICAM-2, sVCAM-1, sE-selectin, sL-selectin, sP-selectin) considered an integral part of inflammatory state. This inflammation is responsible for the increased cardiovascular risk of these patients. There is a close link between hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, coagulopathy and inflammation and between these factors and the vascular damage. Various studies have showed the potential role of adhesion molecules in the pathogenesis of diabetic vasculopathy. They promote leukocyte recruitment, which is one of the initial steps in the genesis of atherosclerotic plaque. Adhesion molecules are also involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus type 1; sICAM-1 would have a particular immunomodulatory role in the process of destroying beta-cells and could be used as a subclinical marker of insulitis. Plasma levels of soluble adhesion molecules correlate with hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and obesity; they are associated with the development of nephropathy, retinopathy, myocardial infarction, stroke and obliterant peripheral arterial disease in diabetic type 1 and 2. Given the role of these molecules in endothelial dysfunction genesis and tissue damage associated with diabetes, they could constitute a therapeutic target for the prevention of genesis and progression of chronic complications of diabetic disease.

  13. The biology of strigolactones.

    PubMed

    Ruyter-Spira, Carolien; Al-Babili, Salim; van der Krol, Sander; Bouwmeester, Harro

    2013-02-01

    The strigolactones are rhizosphere signaling molecules as well as a new class of plant hormones with a still increasing number of biological functions being uncovered. Here, we review a recent major breakthrough in our understanding of strigolactone biosynthesis, which has revealed the unexpected simplicity of the originally postulated complex pathway. Moreover, the discovery and localization of a strigolactone exporter sheds new light on putative strigolactone fluxes to the rhizosphere as well as within the plant. The combination of these data with information on the expression and regulation of strigolactone biosynthetic and downstream signaling genes provides new insights into how strigolactones control the many different aspects of plant development and how their rhizosphere signaling role may have evolved.

  14. Visualizing biological reaction intermediates with DNA curtains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yiling; Jiang, Yanzhou; Qi, Zhi

    2017-04-01

    Single-molecule approaches have tremendous potential analyzing dynamic biological reaction with heterogeneity that cannot be effectively accessed via traditional ensemble-level biochemical approaches. The approach of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) curtains developed by Dr Eric Greene and his research team at Columbia University is a high-throughput single-molecule technique that utilizes fluorescent imaging to visualize protein–DNA interactions directly and allows the acquisition of statistically relevant information from hundreds or even thousands of individual reactions. This review aims to summarize the past, present, and future of DNA curtains, with an emphasis on its applications to solve important biological questions.

  15. Biological oscillations: Fluorescence monitoring by confocal microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chattoraj, Shyamtanu; Bhattacharyya, Kankan

    2016-09-01

    Fluctuations play a vital role in biological systems. Single molecule spectroscopy has recently revealed many new kinds of fluctuations in biological molecules. In this account, we focus on structural fluctuations of an antigen-antibody complex, conformational dynamics of a DNA quadruplex, effects of taxol on dynamics of microtubules, intermittent red-ox oscillations at different organelles in a live cell (mitochondria, lipid droplets, endoplasmic reticulum and cell membrane) and stochastic resonance in gene silencing. We show that there are major differences in these dynamics between a cancer cell and the corresponding non-cancer cell.

  16. Bright Building Blocks for Chemical Biology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Small-molecule fluorophores manifest the ability of chemistry to solve problems in biology. As we noted in a previous review (Lavis, L. D.; Raines, R. T. ACS Chem. Biol.2008, 3, 142–155), the extant collection of fluorescent probes is built on a modest set of “core” scaffolds that evolved during a century of academic and industrial research. Here, we survey traditional and modern synthetic routes to small-molecule fluorophores and highlight recent biological insights attained with customized fluorescent probes. Our intent is to inspire the design and creation of new high-precision tools that empower chemical biologists. PMID:24579725

  17. Recent Advances in Engineering Polyvalent Biological Interactions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Polyvalent interactions, where multiple ligands and receptors interact simultaneously, are ubiquitous in nature. Synthetic polyvalent molecules, therefore, have the ability to affect biological processes ranging from protein–ligand binding to cellular signaling. In this review, we discuss recent advances in polyvalent scaffold design and applications. First, we will describe recent developments in the engineering of polyvalent scaffolds based on biomolecules and novel materials. Then, we will illustrate how polyvalent molecules are finding applications as toxin and pathogen inhibitors, targeting molecules, immune response modulators, and cellular effectors. PMID:25426695

  18. Recent advances in engineering polyvalent biological interactions.

    PubMed

    Varner, Chad T; Rosen, Tania; Martin, Jacob T; Kane, Ravi S

    2015-01-12

    Polyvalent interactions, where multiple ligands and receptors interact simultaneously, are ubiquitous in nature. Synthetic polyvalent molecules, therefore, have the ability to affect biological processes ranging from protein-ligand binding to cellular signaling. In this review, we discuss recent advances in polyvalent scaffold design and applications. First, we will describe recent developments in the engineering of polyvalent scaffolds based on biomolecules and novel materials. Then, we will illustrate how polyvalent molecules are finding applications as toxin and pathogen inhibitors, targeting molecules, immune response modulators, and cellular effectors.

  19. Bomb pulse biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falso, Miranda J. Sarachine; Buchholz, Bruce A.

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has seen an explosion in use of the 14C bomb pulse to do fundamental cell biology. Studies in the 1960s used decay counting to measure tissue turnover when the atmospheric 14C/C concentration was changing rapidly. Today bulk tissue measurements are of marginal interest since most of the carbon in the tissue resides in proteins, lipids and carbohydrates that turn over rapidly. Specific cell types with specialized functions are the focus of cell turnover investigations. Tissue samples need to be fresh or frozen. Fixed or preserved samples contain petroleum-derived carbon that has not been successfully removed. Cell or nuclear surface markers are used to sort specific cell types, typically by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Specific biomolecules need to be isolated with high purity and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements must accommodate samples that generally contain less than 40 μg of carbon. Furthermore, all separations must not add carbon to the sample. Independent means such as UV absorbance must be used to confirm molecule purity. Approaches for separating specific proteins and DNA and combating contamination of undesired molecules are described.

  20. Bomb Pulse Biology.

    PubMed

    Sarachine Falso, Miranda J; Buchholz, Bruce A

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has seen an explosion in use of the (14)C bomb-pulse to do fundamental cell biology. Studies in the 1960's used decay counting to measure tissue turnover when the atmospheric (14)C/C concentration was changing rapidly. Today bulk tissue measurements are of marginal interest since most of the carbon in the tissue resides in proteins, lipids and carbohydrates that turn over rapidly. Specific cell types with specialized functions are the focus of cell turnover investigations. Tissue samples need to be fresh or frozen. Fixed or preserved samples contain petroleum-derived carbon that has not been successfully removed. Cell or nuclear surface markers are used to sort specific cell types, typically by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Specific biomolecules need to be isolated with high purity and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements must accommodate samples that generally contain less than 40 micrograms of carbon. Furthermore, all separations must not add carbon to the sample. Independent means such as UV absorbance must be used to confirm molecule purity. Approaches for separating specific proteins and DNA and combating contamination of undesired molecules are described.