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Sample records for biological rna molecules

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Aggregation and folding phase transitions of RNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundschuh, Ralf

    2007-03-01

    RNA is a biomolecule that is involved in nearly all aspects of cellular functions. In order to perform many of these functions, RNA molecules have to fold into specific secondary structures. This folding is driven by the tendency of the bases to form Watson-Crick base pairs. Beyond the biological importance of RNA, the relatively simple rules for structure formation of RNA make it a very interesting system from the statistical physics point of view. We will present examples of phase transitions in RNA secondary structure formation that are amenable to analytical descriptions. A special focus will be on aggregation between several RNA molecules which is important for some regulatory circuits based on RNA structure, triplet repeat diseases like Huntington's, and as a model for prion diseases. We show that depending on the relative strength of the intramolecular and the intermolecular base pairing, RNA molecules undergo a transition into an aggregated phase and quantitatively characterize this transition.

  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. Small Molecule-Mediated Cleavage of RNA in Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Lirui

    2013-01-01

    Antisense oligonucleotides and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) control gene expression by triggering the degradation of a mRNA via recruitment of RNase H or the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), respectively.[1] These approaches are hampered, however, by the poor cellular permeability of oligonucleotides. A small molecule approach to cleave RNA targets could obviate uptake issues. Several compounds can induce RNA cleavage in vitro,[2] however, to the best of our knowledge no small molecules have been previously described to cleave RNA in living cells. Herein, we describe the development of a potentially general approach to design small molecules that specifically cleave an RNA in a living cell, affecting biological function. Specifically, a designed, modularly assembled small molecule that binds the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1)[3] was appended with a moiety that generates hydroxyl radicals upon irradiation. Cleavage of the transcript improves DM1-associated defects in cell culture, and compounds are non-toxic at an efficacious dose as determined by a MTT viability assay. This approach may allow for the site-specific cleavage and inactivation of other cellular RNAs.[4] Compounds that bind to and cleave RNA have the potential to serve as chemical genetics probes of function or lead therapeutics with spatial and temporal control. PMID:23280953

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Covalent small-molecule-RNA complex formation enables cellular profiling of small-molecule-RNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2013-09-16

    Won't let you go! A strategy is described to design small molecules that react with their cellular RNA targets. This approach not only improves the activity of compounds targeting RNA in cell culture by a factor of about 2500 but also enables cell-wide profiling of its RNA targets.

  15. tRNA--the golden standard in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Barciszewska, Mirosława Z; Perrigue, Patrick M; Barciszewski, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) represent a major class of RNA molecules. Their primary function is to help decode a messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence in order to synthesize protein and thus ensures the precise translation of genetic information that is imprinted in DNA. The discovery of tRNA in the late 1950's provided critical insight into a genetic machinery when little was known about the central dogma of molecular biology. In 1965, Robert Holley determined the first nucleotide sequence of alanine transfer RNA (tRNA(Ala)) which earned him the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Today, tRNA is one of the best described and characterized biological molecules. Here we review some of the key historical events in tRNA research which led to breakthrough discoveries and new developments in molecular biology.

  16. RNA tectonics (tectoRNA) for RNA nanostructure design and its application in synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Junya; Furuta, Hiroyuki; Ikawa, Yoshiya

    2013-01-01

    RNA molecules are versatile biomaterials that act not only as DNA-like genetic materials but also have diverse functions in regulation of cellular biosystems. RNA is capable of regulating gene expression by sequence-specific hybridization. This feature allows the design of RNA-based artificial gene regulators (riboregulators). RNA can also build complex two-dimensional (2D) and 3D nanostructures, which afford protein-like functions and make RNA an attractive material for nanobiotechnology. RNA tectonics is a methodology in RNA nanobiotechnology for the design and construction of RNA nanostructures/nanoobjects through controlled self-assembly of modular RNA units (tectoRNAs). RNA nanostructures designed according to the concept of RNA tectonics are also attractive as tools in synthetic biology, but in vivo RNA tectonics is still in the early stages. This review presents a summary of the achievements of RNA tectonics and its related researches in vitro, and also introduces recent developments that facilitated the use of RNA nanostructures in bacterial cells.

  17. Single molecule RNA folding studied with optical trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieregg, Jeffrey Robert

    The RNA folding problem (predicting the equilibrium structure and folding pathway of an RNA molecule from its sequence) is one of the classic problems of biophysics. Recent discoveries of many new functions for RNA have increased its importance, and new instrumental techniques have provided new ways to characterize molecular behavior. In particular, optical trapping (optical tweezers) allows controlled mechanical force to be applied to single RNA molecules while their end-to-end extension is monitored in real time. This enables characterization of RNA folding dynamics at a level unreachable by traditional bulk methods. Furthermore, recent advances in statistical mechanics make it possible to recover equilibrium quantities such as free energy from reactions which occur away from equilibrium. This dissertation describes the application of optical trapping and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to quantitatively characterize folding of RNA secondary structures. By measuring the folding free energy of several specially designed hairpins in solutions containing various amounts of sodium and potassium, we were able to determine that RNA secondary structure thermodynamics depends not only on monovalent cation concentration but also surprisingly, on species. We also investigated the temperature dependence of hairpin folding thermodynamics and kinetics, which provided a direct measurement of enthalpy and entropy for RNA folding at physiological temperatures. We found that the folding pathway was quite sensitive to both salt and temperature, as measured by the folding success rate of a biologically important hairpin from the HIV-1 viral genome. Finally, I discuss modeling of force-induced RNA folding and unfolding, as well as a series of efforts which have dramatically improved the performance of our optical trapping instrument.

  18. Bringing RNA into View: RNA and Its Roles in Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkins, John F.; Ellington, Andrew; Friedman, B. Ellen; Gesteland, Raymond F.; Noller, Harry F.; Pasquale, Stephen M.; Storey, Richard D.; Uhlenbeck, Olke C.; Weiner, Alan M.

    This guide presents a module for college students on ribonucleic acid (RNA) and its role in biology. The module aims to integrate the latest research and its findings into college-level biology and provide an opportunity for students to understand biological processes. Four activities are presented: (1) "RNA Structure: Tapes to Shapes"; (2) "RNA…

  19. Biological significance of RNA editing in cells.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wei; Fei, Yongjun; Page, Michael

    2012-09-01

    RNA editing is one of the post-transcriptional RNA processes. RNA editing generates RNA and protein diversity in eukaryotes and results in specific amino acid substitutions, deletions, and changes in gene expression levels. Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing represents the most important class of editing in human and affects function of many genes. The importance of balancing RNA modification levels across time and space is becoming increasingly evident. In this review, we overview the biological significance of RNA editing including RNA editing in tumorigenesis, RNA editing in neuronal tissues, RNA editing as a regulator of gene expression, and RNA editing in dsRNA-mediated gene silencing, which may increase our understanding of RNA biology.

  20. 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.

  1. Recent advances in developing small molecules targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2012-01-20

    RNAs are underexploited targets for small molecule drugs or chemical probes of function. This may be due, in part, to a fundamental lack of understanding of the types of small molecules that bind RNA specifically and the types of RNA motifs that specifically bind small molecules. In this review, we describe recent advances in the development and design of small molecules that bind to RNA and modulate function that aim to fill this void.

  2. Predicting the sizes of large RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Yoffe, Aron M.; Prinsen, Peter; Gopal, Ajaykumar; Knobler, Charles M.; Gelbart, William M.; Ben-Shaul, Avinoam

    2008-01-01

    We present a theory of the dependence on sequence of the three-dimensional size of large single-stranded (ss) RNA molecules. The work is motivated by the fact that the genomes of many viruses are large ssRNA molecules—often several thousand nucleotides long—and that these RNAs are spontaneously packaged into small rigid protein shells. We argue that there has been evolutionary pressure for the genome to have overall spatial properties—including an appropriate radius of gyration, Rg—that facilitate this assembly process. For an arbitrary RNA sequence, we introduce the (thermal) average maximum ladder distance (〈MLD〉) and use it as a measure of the “extendedness” of the RNA secondary structure. The 〈MLD〉 values of viral ssRNAs that package into capsids of fixed size are shown to be consistently smaller than those for randomly permuted sequences of the same length and base composition, and also smaller than those of natural ssRNAs that are not under evolutionary pressure to have a compact native form. By mapping these secondary structures onto a linear polymer model and by using 〈MLD〉 as a measure of effective contour length, we predict the Rg values of viral ssRNAs are smaller than those of nonviral sequences. More generally, we predict the average 〈MLD〉 values of large nonviral ssRNAs scale as N0.67±0.01, where N is the number of nucleotides, and that their Rg values vary as 〈MLD〉0.5 in an ideal solvent, and hence as N0.34. An alternative analysis, which explicitly includes all branches, is introduced and shown to yield consistent results. PMID:18845685

  3. Biology Today: Respect for RNA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flannery, Maura C., Ed.

    1991-01-01

    The high points of the story of RNA are presented. The functions of RNA within the cell, how these functions are carried out, and how they evolved are described. The topics of splicing, self-splicing, RNA editing, transcription and translation, and antisense RNA are discussed. (KR)

  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. Viral RNA-directed RNA polymerases use diverse mechanisms to promote recombination between RNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Chetverin, Alexander B; Kopein, Damir S; Chetverina, Helena V; Demidenko, Alexander A; Ugarov, Victor I

    2005-03-11

    An earlier developed purified cell-free system was used to explore the potential of two RNA-directed RNA polymerases (RdRps), Qbeta phage replicase and the poliovirus 3Dpol protein, to promote RNA recombination through a primer extension mechanism. The substrates of recombination were fragments of complementary strands of a Qbeta phage-derived RNA, such that if aligned at complementary 3'-termini and extended using one another as a template, they would produce replicable molecules detectable as RNA colonies grown in a Qbeta replicase-containing agarose. The results show that while 3Dpol efficiently extends the aligned fragments to produce the expected homologous recombinant sequences, only nonhomologous recombinants are generated by Qbeta replicase at a much lower yield and through a mechanism not involving the extension of RNA primers. It follows that the mechanisms of RNA recombination by poliovirus and Qbeta RdRps are quite different. The data favor an RNA transesterification reaction catalyzed by a conformation acquired by Qbeta replicase during RNA synthesis and provide a likely explanation for the very low frequency of homologous recombination in Qbeta phage.

  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.

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Multivalent Molecules as Modulators of RNA Granule Size and Composition.

    PubMed

    Falkenberg, Cibele Vieira; Carson, John H; Blinov, Michael L

    2017-02-24

    RNA granules are ensembles of specific RNA and protein molecules that mediate localized translation in eukaryotic cells. The mechanisms for formation and selectivity of RNA granules are unknown. Here we present a model for assembly of one type of RNA granule based on experimentally measured binding interactions among three core multivalent molecular components necessary for such assembly: specific RNA molecules that contain a cis-acting sequence called the A2 response element (A2RE), hnRNP A2 proteins that bind specifically (with high affinity) to A2RE sequences or nonspecifically (with lower affinity) to other RNA sequences, and heptavalent protein cytoskeleton-associated protein 5 (CKAP5, an alternative name for TOG protein) that binds both hnRNP A2 molecules and RNA. Non-A2RE RNA molecules (RNA without the A2RE sequence) that may be recruited to the granules through nonspecific interactions are also considered in the model. Modeling multivalent molecular interactions in granules is challenging because of combinatorial complexity in the number of potential molecular complexes among these core components and dynamic changes in granule composition and structure in response to changes in local intracellular environment. We use a hybrid modeling approach (deterministic-stochastic-statistical) that is appropriate when the overall compositions of multimolecular ensembles are of greater importance than the specific interactions among individual molecular components. Modeling studies titrating the concentrations of various granule components and varying effective site pair affinities and RNA valency demonstrate that interactions between multivalent components (TOG and RNA) are modulated by a bivalent adaptor molecule (hnRNP A2). Formation and disruption of granules, as well as RNA selectivity in granule composition are regulated by distinct concentration regimes of A2. Our results suggest that granule assembly is tightly controlled by multivalent molecular interactions

  9. Chemical and structural diversity of siRNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Nawrot, Barbara; Sipa, Katarzyna

    2006-01-01

    Short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are 21-23 nt long double-stranded oligoribonucleotides which in mammalian cells exhibit a potency for sequence-specific gene silencing via an RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. It has been already proven that exogenous, chemically synthesized siRNA molecules are effective inhibitors of gene expression and are widely applied for analysis of protein function and proteomics-based target identification. Moreover, since their discovery siRNA molecules have been implemented as potential candidates for therapeutic applications. Variously modified siRNA molecules containing sugar modifications (2'-OMe, -F, -O-allyl, -amino, orthoesters and LNA analogues), internucleotide phospodiester bond modifications (phosphorothioates, boranophosphates), base modifications (s(2)U) as well as 3'-terminal cholesterol-conjugated constructs were investigated as potential candidates for effective inhibition of gene expression. This chapter reviews an impact of chemical and structural modifications of siRNA molecules on their serum and thermal stability, cellular and in vivo activity, cellular uptake, biodistribution and cytotoxicity. Functional analysis of chemically modified siRNA molecules allows for better understanding of the mechanism of the RNA interference process as well as demonstrates immense efforts in optimizing in vivo potency of siRNA molecules for RNAi-based drug design.

  10. Characterizing 3D RNA structure by single molecule FRET.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, James D; Kenyon, Julia C; Symmons, Martyn F; Lever, Andrew M L

    2016-07-01

    The importance of elucidating the three dimensional structures of RNA molecules is becoming increasingly clear. However, traditional protein structural techniques such as NMR and X-ray crystallography have several important drawbacks when probing long RNA molecules. Single molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has emerged as a useful alternative as it allows native sequences to be probed in physiological conditions and allows multiple conformations to be probed simultaneously. This review serves to describe the method of generating a three dimensional RNA structure from smFRET data from the biochemical probing of the secondary structure to the computational refinement of the final model.

  11. Did the Pre-RNA World Rest Upon DNA Molecules?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lazcano, Antonio; Dworkin, Jason P.; Miller, Stanley L.

    2004-01-01

    The isolation of a DNA sequence that catalyzes the ligation of oligodeoxynucleotides via the formation of 3' - 5' phosphodiester linkage significance in selection experiments has been reported. Ball recently used this to discuss the possibility that natural DNA molecules may have formed in the primitive Earth leading to the origin of life. As noted by Ferris and Usher, if metabolic pathways evolved backwards, it could be argued that the biosynthesis of 2-deoxyribose from ribose suggests that RNA came from DNA. As summarized elsewhere, there are several properties of deoxyribose which could be interpreted to support the possibility that DNA-like molecules arose prior to the RNA world. For example, 2-deoxyribose is slightly more soluble than ribose (which may have been an advantage in a drying pool scenario), may have been more reactive under possible prebiotic conditions (it forms a nucleoside approx. 150 times faster than ribose with the alternative base urazole at 25 C), while it decomposes in solution (approximately 2.6 times more slowly than ribose at 100 C). Other advantages of DNA over RNA are that it has one fewer chiral center, has a greater stability at the 8.2 pH value of the current oceans, and does not has the 2'5' and 3'5' ambiguity in polymerizations. Yet, there is strong molecular biological and biochemical evidence that RNA was featured in the biology well before the last common ancestor. The presence of sugar acids, including both ribo- and deoxysugar acids, in the 4.6 Ga old Murchison meteorite suggest that both may have been available in the primitive Earth, derived from the accretion of extraterrestrial sources and/or from endogenous processes involving formaldehyde and its derivatives. However, the abiotic synthesis of deoxyribose, ribose, and other sugars from glyceraldehyde and acetaldehyde under alkaline conditions is inefficient and unespecific. Although sugars are labile compounds, the role of cyanamide or borate minerals in the

  12. Inhibitory RNA molecules in immunotherapy for cancer.

    PubMed

    Mao, Chih-Ping; Wu, T-C

    2010-01-01

    Over the past few decades, our expanding knowledge of the mammalian immune system - how it is developed, activated, and regulated - has fostered hope that it may be harnessed in the future to successfully treat human cancer. The immune system activated by cancer vaccines may have the unique ability to selectively eradicate tumor cells at multiple sites in the body without inflicting damage on normal tissue. However, progress in the development of cancer vaccines that effectively capitalize on this ability has been limited and slow. The immune system is restrained by complex, negative feedback mechanisms that evolved to protect the host against autoimmunity and may also prevent antitumor immunity. In addition, tumor cells exploit a plethora of strategies to evade detection and elimination by the immune system. For these reasons, the field of cancer immunotherapy has suffered considerable setbacks in the past and faces great challenges at the present time. Some of these challenges may be overcome through the use of RNA interference, a process by which gene expression can be efficiently and specifically "knocked down" in cells. This chapter focuses on the current status and future prospects in the application of small interfering RNA and microRNA, two main forms of RNA interference, to treat cancer by curtailing mechanisms that attenuate the host immune response.

  13. Computational Biology in microRNA.

    PubMed

    Li, Yue; Zhang, Zhaolei

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) is a class of small endogenous noncoding RNA species, which regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by forming imperfect base-pair at the 3' untranslated regions of the messenger RNAs. Since the 1993 discovery of the first miRNA let-7 in worms, a vast number of studies have been dedicated to functionally characterizing miRNAs with a special emphasis on their roles in cancer. A single miRNA can potentially target ∼ 400 distinct genes, and there are over a 1000 distinct endogenous miRNAs in the human genome. Thus, miRNAs are likely involved in virtually all biological processes and pathways including carcinogenesis. However, functionally characterizing miRNAs hinges on the accurate identification of their mRNA targets, which has been a challenging problem due to imperfect base-pairing and condition-specific miRNA regulatory dynamics. In this review, we will survey the current state-of-the-art computational methods to predict miRNA targets, which are divided into three main categories: (1) sequence-based methods that primarily utilizes the canonical seed-match model, evolutionary conservation, and binding energy; (2) expression-based target prediction methods using the increasingly available miRNA and mRNA expression data measured for the same sample; and (3) network-based method that aims identify miRNA regulatory modules, which reflect their synergism in conferring a global impact to the biological system of interest. We hope that the review will serve as a good reference to the new comers to the ever-growing miRNA research field as well as veterans, who would appreciate the detailed review on the technicalities, strength, and limitations of each representative computational method.

  14. Turbo FISH: A Method for Rapid Single Molecule RNA FISH

    PubMed Central

    Shaffer, Sydney M.; Wu, Min-Tzu; Levesque, Marshall J.; Raj, Arjun

    2013-01-01

    Advances in RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA FISH) have allowed practitioners to detect individual RNA molecules in single cells via fluorescence microscopy, enabling highly accurate and sensitive quantification of gene expression. However, current methods typically employ hybridization times on the order of 2–16 hours, limiting its potential in applications like rapid diagnostics. We present here a set of conditions for RNA FISH (dubbed Turbo RNA FISH) that allow us to make accurate measurements with no more than 5 minutes of hybridization time and 3 minutes of washing, and show that hybridization times can go as low as 30 seconds while still producing quantifiable images. We further show that rapid hybridization is compatible with our recently developed iceFISH and SNP FISH variants of RNA FISH that enable chromosome and single base discrimination, respectively. Our method is simple and cost effective, and has the potential to dramatically increase the throughput and realm of applicability of RNA FISH. PMID:24066168

  15. 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.

  16. Structural biology of bacterial RNA polymerase.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Katsuhiko S

    2015-05-11

    Since its discovery and characterization in the early 1960s (Hurwitz, J. The discovery of RNA polymerase. J. Biol. Chem. 2005, 280, 42477-42485), an enormous amount of biochemical, biophysical and genetic data has been collected on bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). In the late 1990s, structural information pertaining to bacterial RNAP has emerged that provided unprecedented insights into the function and mechanism of RNA transcription. In this review, I list all structures related to bacterial RNAP (as determined by X-ray crystallography and NMR methods available from the Protein Data Bank), describe their contributions to bacterial transcription research and discuss the role that small molecules play in inhibiting bacterial RNA transcription.

  17. Design of a small molecule against an oncogenic noncoding RNA

    PubMed Central

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Cameron, Michael D.; Haga, Christopher L.; Rosenberg, Laura H.; Lafitte, Marie; Duckett, Derek R.; Phinney, Donald G.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2016-01-01

    The design of precision, preclinical therapeutics from sequence is difficult, but advances in this area, particularly those focused on rational design, could quickly transform the sequence of disease-causing gene products into lead modalities. Herein, we describe the use of Inforna, a computational approach that enables the rational design of small molecules targeting RNA to quickly provide a potent modulator of oncogenic microRNA-96 (miR-96). We mined the secondary structure of primary microRNA-96 (pri-miR-96) hairpin precursor against a database of RNA motif–small molecule interactions, which identified modules that bound RNA motifs nearby and in the Drosha processing site. Precise linking of these modules together provided Targaprimir-96 (3), which selectively modulates miR-96 production in cancer cells and triggers apoptosis. Importantly, the compound is ineffective on healthy breast cells, and exogenous overexpression of pri-miR-96 reduced compound potency in breast cancer cells. Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull-Down (Chem-CLIP), a small-molecule RNA target validation approach, shows that 3 directly engages pri-miR-96 in breast cancer cells. In vivo, 3 has a favorable pharmacokinetic profile and decreases tumor burden in a mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer. Thus, rational design can quickly produce precision, in vivo bioactive lead small molecules against hard-to-treat cancers by targeting oncogenic noncoding RNAs, advancing a disease-to-gene-to-drug paradigm. PMID:27170187

  18. Design of a small molecule against an oncogenic noncoding RNA.

    PubMed

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Cameron, Michael D; Haga, Christopher L; Rosenberg, Laura H; Lafitte, Marie; Duckett, Derek R; Phinney, Donald G; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-05-24

    The design of precision, preclinical therapeutics from sequence is difficult, but advances in this area, particularly those focused on rational design, could quickly transform the sequence of disease-causing gene products into lead modalities. Herein, we describe the use of Inforna, a computational approach that enables the rational design of small molecules targeting RNA to quickly provide a potent modulator of oncogenic microRNA-96 (miR-96). We mined the secondary structure of primary microRNA-96 (pri-miR-96) hairpin precursor against a database of RNA motif-small molecule interactions, which identified modules that bound RNA motifs nearby and in the Drosha processing site. Precise linking of these modules together provided Targaprimir-96 (3), which selectively modulates miR-96 production in cancer cells and triggers apoptosis. Importantly, the compound is ineffective on healthy breast cells, and exogenous overexpression of pri-miR-96 reduced compound potency in breast cancer cells. Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull-Down (Chem-CLIP), a small-molecule RNA target validation approach, shows that 3 directly engages pri-miR-96 in breast cancer cells. In vivo, 3 has a favorable pharmacokinetic profile and decreases tumor burden in a mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer. Thus, rational design can quickly produce precision, in vivo bioactive lead small molecules against hard-to-treat cancers by targeting oncogenic noncoding RNAs, advancing a disease-to-gene-to-drug paradigm.

  19. 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.

  20. RNA and RNP as Building Blocks for Nanotechnology and Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Hirohisa; Saito, Hirohide

    2016-01-01

    Recent technologies that aimed to elucidate cellular function have revealed essential roles for RNA molecules in living systems. Our knowledge concerning functional and structural information of naturally occurring RNA and RNA-protein (RNP) complexes is increasing rapidly. RNA and RNP interaction motifs are structural units that function as building blocks to constitute variety of complex structures. RNA-central synthetic biology and nanotechnology are constructive approaches that employ the accumulated information and build synthetic RNA (RNP)-based circuits and nanostructures. Here, we describe how to design and construct synthetic RNA (RNP)-based devices and structures at the nanometer-scale for biological and future therapeutic applications. RNA/RNP nanostructures can also be utilized as the molecular scaffold to control the localization or interactions of target molecule(s). Moreover, RNA motifs recognized by RNA-binding proteins can be applied to make protein-responsive translational "switches" that can turn gene expression "on" or "off" depending on the intracellular environment. This "synthetic RNA and RNP world" will expand tools for nanotechnology and synthetic biology. In addition, these reconstructive approaches would lead to a greater understanding of building principle in naturally occurring RNA/RNP molecules and systems.

  1. Metabolic influences on RNA biology and translation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chien-Der; Tu, Benjamin P

    2017-04-01

    Protein translation is one of the most energetically demanding processes for a cell to undertake. Changes in the nutrient environment may result in conditions that cannot support the rates of translation required for cell proliferation. As such, a cell must monitor its metabolic state to determine which mRNAs to translate into protein. How the various RNA species that participate in translation might relay information about metabolic state to regulate this process is not well understood. In this review, we discuss emerging examples of the influence of metabolism on aspects of RNA biology. We discuss how metabolic state impacts the localization and fate of different RNA species, as well as how nutrient cues can impact post-transcriptional modifications of RNA to regulate their functions in the control of translation.

  2. Characterising the Canine Oral Microbiome by Direct Sequencing of Reverse-Transcribed rRNA Molecules

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, James E.; Larsen, Niels; Pennington, Andrea; Connolly, John; Wallis, Corrin; Rooks, David J.; Hall, Neil; McCarthy, Alan J.; Allison, Heather E.

    2016-01-01

    PCR amplification and sequencing of phylogenetic markers, primarily Small Sub-Unit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) genes, has been the paradigm for defining the taxonomic composition of microbiomes. However, ‘universal’ SSU rRNA gene PCR primer sets are likely to miss much of the diversity therein. We sequenced a library comprising purified and reverse-transcribed SSU rRNA (RT-SSU rRNA) molecules from the canine oral microbiome and compared it to a general bacterial 16S rRNA gene PCR amplicon library generated from the same biological sample. In addition, we have developed BIONmeta, a novel, open-source, computer package for the processing and taxonomic classification of the randomly fragmented RT-SSU rRNA reads produced. Direct RT-SSU rRNA sequencing revealed that 16S rRNA molecules belonging to the bacterial phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Spirochaetes, were most abundant in the canine oral microbiome (92.5% of total bacterial SSU rRNA). The direct rRNA sequencing approach detected greater taxonomic diversity (1 additional phylum, 2 classes, 1 order, 10 families and 61 genera) when compared with general bacterial 16S rRNA amplicons from the same sample, simultaneously provided SSU rRNA gene inventories of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya, and detected significant numbers of sequences not recognised by ‘universal’ primer sets. Proteobacteria and Spirochaetes were found to be under-represented by PCR-based analysis of the microbiome, and this was due to primer mismatches and taxon-specific variations in amplification efficiency, validated by qPCR analysis of 16S rRNA amplicons from a mock community. This demonstrated the veracity of direct RT-SSU rRNA sequencing for molecular microbial ecology. PMID:27276347

  3. Precise small-molecule recognition of a toxic CUG RNA repeat expansion.

    PubMed

    Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Colgan, Lesley A; Nakai, Yoshio; Cameron, Michael D; Furling, Denis; Yasuda, Ryohei; Disney, Matthew D

    2017-02-01

    Excluding the ribosome and riboswitches, developing small molecules that selectively target RNA is a longstanding problem in chemical biology. A typical cellular RNA is difficult to target because it has little tertiary, but abundant secondary structure. We designed allele-selective compounds that target such an RNA, the toxic noncoding repeat expansion (r(CUG)(exp)) that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). We developed several strategies to generate allele-selective small molecules, including non-covalent binding, covalent binding, cleavage and on-site probe synthesis. Covalent binding and cleavage enabled target profiling in cells derived from individuals with DM1, showing precise recognition of r(CUG)(exp). In the on-site probe synthesis approach, small molecules bound adjacent sites in r(CUG)(exp) and reacted to afford picomolar inhibitors via a proximity-based click reaction only in DM1-affected cells. We expanded this approach to image r(CUG)(exp) in its natural context.

  4. [Subviral molecules of RNA associated with plant ss(+)RNA viruses].

    PubMed

    Pelczyk, Marta; Obrepalska-Steplowska, Aleksandra; Pospieszny, Henryk

    2006-01-01

    Plant ss(+)RNA viruses besides their genome RNAs often are associated with additional subviral RNA molecules which occur naturally or are generated de novo during infection. There are such molecules like: satellite, defective, defective interfering and chimeric RNAs. Subviral RNAs can not replicate and encapsidate by oneself. Helper viruses supply the protein complexes that are necessary to these processes. The subviral molecules are characterized by small size. Recombination, deletion and accumulation of mutation are the main ways of arising subviral elements, although the origin of satRNAs is unknown. The unique feature of subviral RNAs is their ability to modify of infection progress caused by helper virus. They can attenuate or enhance the intensity of disease symptoms. The overall influence on disease development depends on three-component complex consisting of: plant host-virus' strain--subviral RNA. This article is a synthetic review of information concerning subviral RNA molecules of plant viruses, their structure, functions and origin.

  5. Studying a Drug-like, RNA-Focused Small Molecule Library Identifies Compounds That Inhibit RNA Toxicity in Myotonic Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Rzuczek, Suzanne G.; Southern, Mark R.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2016-01-01

    There are many RNA targets in the transcriptome to which small molecule chemical probes and lead therapeutics are desired. However, identifying compounds that bind and modulate RNA function in cellulo is difficult. Although rational design approaches have been developed, they are still in their infancies and leave many RNAs “undruggable”. In an effort to develop a small molecule library that is biased for binding RNA, we computationally identified “drug-like” compounds from screening collections that have favorable properties for binding RNA and for suitability as lead drugs. As proof-of-concept, this collection was screened for binding to and modulating the cellular dysfunction of the expanded repeating RNA (r(CUG)exp) that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1. Hit compounds bind the target in cellulo, as determined by the target identification approach Competitive Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull-down (C-ChemCLIP), and selectively improve several disease-associated defects. The best compounds identified from our 320-member library are more potent in cellulo than compounds identified by high-throughput screening (HTS) campaigns against this RNA. Furthermore, the compound collection has a higher hit rate (9% compared to 0.01–3%), and the bioactive compounds identified are not charged; thus, RNA can be “drugged” with compounds that have favorable pharmacological properties. Finally, this RNA-focused small molecule library may serve as a useful starting point to identify lead “drug-like” chemical probes that affect the biological (dys)function of other RNA targets by direct target engagement. PMID:26414664

  6. Studying a Drug-like, RNA-Focused Small Molecule Library Identifies Compounds That Inhibit RNA Toxicity in Myotonic Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Southern, Mark R; Disney, Matthew D

    2015-12-18

    There are many RNA targets in the transcriptome to which small molecule chemical probes and lead therapeutics are desired. However, identifying compounds that bind and modulate RNA function in cellulo is difficult. Although rational design approaches have been developed, they are still in their infancies and leave many RNAs "undruggable". In an effort to develop a small molecule library that is biased for binding RNA, we computationally identified "drug-like" compounds from screening collections that have favorable properties for binding RNA and for suitability as lead drugs. As proof-of-concept, this collection was screened for binding to and modulating the cellular dysfunction of the expanded repeating RNA (r(CUG)(exp)) that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1. Hit compounds bind the target in cellulo, as determined by the target identification approach Competitive Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull-down (C-ChemCLIP), and selectively improve several disease-associated defects. The best compounds identified from our 320-member library are more potent in cellulo than compounds identified by high-throughput screening (HTS) campaigns against this RNA. Furthermore, the compound collection has a higher hit rate (9% compared to 0.01-3%), and the bioactive compounds identified are not charged; thus, RNA can be "drugged" with compounds that have favorable pharmacological properties. Finally, this RNA-focused small molecule library may serve as a useful starting point to identify lead "drug-like" chemical probes that affect the biological (dys)function of other RNA targets by direct target engagement.

  7. RNA damage in biological conflicts and the diversity of responding RNA repair systems

    PubMed Central

    Burroughs, A. Maxwell; Aravind, L.

    2016-01-01

    RNA is targeted in biological conflicts by enzymatic toxins or effectors. A vast diversity of systems which repair or ‘heal’ this damage has only recently become apparent. Here, we summarize the known effectors, their modes of action, and RNA targets before surveying the diverse systems which counter this damage from a comparative genomics viewpoint. RNA-repair systems show a modular organization with extensive shuffling and displacement of the constituent domains; however, a general ‘syntax’ is strongly maintained whereby systems typically contain: a RNA ligase (either ATP-grasp or RtcB superfamilies), nucleotidyltransferases, enzymes modifying RNA-termini for ligation (phosphatases and kinases) or protection (methylases), and scaffold or cofactor proteins. We highlight poorly-understood or previously-uncharacterized repair systems and components, e.g. potential scaffolding cofactors (Rot/TROVE and SPFH/Band-7 modules) with their respective cognate non-coding RNAs (YRNAs and a novel tRNA-like molecule) and a novel nucleotidyltransferase associating with diverse ligases. These systems have been extensively disseminated by lateral transfer between distant prokaryotic and microbial eukaryotic lineages consistent with intense inter-organismal conflict. Components have also often been ‘institutionalized’ for non-conflict roles, e.g. in RNA-splicing and in RNAi systems (e.g. in kinetoplastids) which combine a distinct family of RNA-acting prim-pol domains with DICER-like proteins. PMID:27536007

  8. Quantitative Analysis of Single-Molecule RNA-Protein Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Fuhrmann, Alexander; Schoening, Jan C.; Anselmetti, Dario; Staiger, Dorothee; Ros, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Abstract RNA-binding proteins impact gene expression at the posttranscriptional level by interacting with cognate cis elements within the transcripts. Here, we apply dynamic single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the interaction of the Arabidopsis glycine-rich RNA-binding protein AtGRP8 with its RNA target. A dwell-time-dependent analysis of the single-molecule data in combination with competition assays and site-directed mutagenesis of both the RNA target and the RNA-binding domain of the protein allowed us to distinguish and quantify two different binding modes. For dwell times <0.21 s an unspecific complex with a lifetime of 0.56 s is observed, whereas dwell times >0.33 s result in a specific interaction with a lifetime of 208 s. The corresponding reaction lengths are 0.28 nm for the unspecific and 0.55 nm for the specific AtGRP8-RNA interactions, indicating formation of a tighter complex with increasing dwell time. These two binding modes cannot be dissected in ensemble experiments. Quantitative titration in RNA bandshift experiments yields an ensemble-averaged equilibrium constant of dissociation of KD = 2 × 10−7 M. Assuming comparable on-rates for the specific and nonspecific binding modes allows us to estimate their free energies as ΔG0 = −42 kJ/mol and ΔG0 = −28 kJ/mol for the specific and nonspecific binding modes, respectively. Thus, we show that single-molecule force spectroscopy with a refined statistical analysis is a potent tool for the analysis of protein-RNA interactions without the drawback of ensemble averaging. This makes it possible to discriminate between different binding modes or sites and to analyze them quantitatively. We propose that this method could be applied to complex interactions of biomolecules in general, and be of particular interest for the investigation of multivalent binding reactions. PMID:19527663

  9. Translocation of Small Interfering RNA and Cholesterol Molecules in Biomembranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalia, Rajiv

    2013-03-01

    This presentation will focus on all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies of (1) structural and mechanical barriers to translocation of small interfering RNA (siRNA) across a phospholipid bilayer, and (2) flip-flop dynamics of cholesterol (CHOL) molecules across a phospholipid bilayer. In the first case, we find that the siRNA induces a liquid-to-gel phase transformation. In the gel phase we find large compressive lateral stresses in the hydrocarbon chains of lipid molecules, which present a considerable barrier to siRNA passage across the bilayer. In the second case, we study spontaneous CHOL inter-leaflet transport (flip-flop), the effect of this process on mechanical stresses across the bilayer, and the role of CHOL in inducing molecular order in bilayer leaflets. The simulation was run for 15 microseconds and we found 24 CHOL flip-flop events over that duration. On average, a CHOL molecule migrates across the lipid bilayer in about 73 ns after a flip-flop event is triggered. We have calculated diffusion maps and determined free energy surfaces and flip-flop mechanisms for CHOL molecules. Work supported by NSF-OCI-0749360 and NSF-IOS-125317.

  10. 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.…

  11. Bioinformatics of cardiovascular miRNA biology.

    PubMed

    Kunz, Meik; Xiao, Ke; Liang, Chunguang; Viereck, Janika; Pachel, Christina; Frantz, Stefan; Thum, Thomas; Dandekar, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small ~22 nucleotide non-coding RNAs and are highly conserved among species. Moreover, miRNAs regulate gene expression of a large number of genes associated with important biological functions and signaling pathways. Recently, several miRNAs have been found to be associated with cardiovascular diseases. Thus, investigating the complex regulatory effect of miRNAs may lead to a better understanding of their functional role in the heart. To achieve this, bioinformatics approaches have to be coupled with validation and screening experiments to understand the complex interactions of miRNAs with the genome. This will boost the subsequent development of diagnostic markers and our understanding of the physiological and therapeutic role of miRNAs in cardiac remodeling. In this review, we focus on and explain different bioinformatics strategies and algorithms for the identification and analysis of miRNAs and their regulatory elements to better understand cardiac miRNA biology. Starting with the biogenesis of miRNAs, we present approaches such as LocARNA and miRBase for combining sequence and structure analysis including phylogenetic comparisons as well as detailed analysis of RNA folding patterns, functional target prediction, signaling pathway as well as functional analysis. We also show how far bioinformatics helps to tackle the unprecedented level of complexity and systemic effects by miRNA, underlining the strong therapeutic potential of miRNA and miRNA target structures in cardiovascular disease. In addition, we discuss drawbacks and limitations of bioinformatics algorithms and the necessity of experimental approaches for miRNA target identification. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Non-coding RNAs'.

  12. 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.

  13. tRNA Biology in Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Salinas-Giegé, Thalia; Giegé, Richard; Giegé, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are the powerhouses of eukaryotic cells. They are considered as semi-autonomous because they have retained genomes inherited from their prokaryotic ancestor and host fully functional gene expression machineries. These organelles have attracted considerable attention because they combine bacterial-like traits with novel features that evolved in the host cell. Among them, mitochondria use many specific pathways to obtain complete and functional sets of tRNAs as required for translation. In some instances, tRNA genes have been partially or entirely transferred to the nucleus and mitochondria require precise import systems to attain their pool of tRNAs. Still, tRNA genes have also often been maintained in mitochondria. Their genetic arrangement is more diverse than previously envisaged. The expression and maturation of mitochondrial tRNAs often use specific enzymes that evolved during eukaryote history. For instance many mitochondria use a eukaryote-specific RNase P enzyme devoid of RNA. The structure itself of mitochondrial encoded tRNAs is also very diverse, as e.g., in Metazoan, where tRNAs often show non canonical or truncated structures. As a result, the translational machinery in mitochondria evolved adapted strategies to accommodate the peculiarities of these tRNAs, in particular simplified identity rules for their aminoacylation. Here, we review the specific features of tRNA biology in mitochondria from model species representing the major eukaryotic groups, with an emphasis on recent research on tRNA import, maturation and aminoacylation. PMID:25734984

  14. A small molecule enhances RNA interference and promotes microRNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Ge; Li, Yujing; Zhang, Junliang; Li, Wendi; Szulwach, Keith E; Duan, Ranhui; Faghihi, Mohammad A; Khalil, Ahmad M; Lu, Lianghua; Paroo, Zain; Chan, Anthony W S; Shi, Zhangjie; Liu, Qinghua; Wahlestedt, Claes; He, Chuan; Jin, Peng

    2010-01-01

    Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) are sequence-specific post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Although major components of the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway have been identified, regulatory mechanisms for this pathway remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that the RNAi pathway can be modulated intracellularly by small molecules. We have developed a cell-based assay to monitor the activity of the RNAi pathway and find that the small-molecule enoxacin (Penetrex) enhances siRNA-mediated mRNA degradation and promotes the biogenesis of endogenous miRNAs. We show that this RNAi-enhancing activity depends on the trans-activation-responsive region RNA-binding protein. Our results provide a proof-of-principle demonstration that small molecules can be used to modulate the activity of the RNAi pathway. RNAi enhancers may be useful in the development of research tools and therapeutics. PMID:18641635

  15. Competing endogenous RNA networks: tying the essential knots for cancer biology and therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mejias, Avencia; Tay, Yvonne

    2015-03-28

    A recently discovered dimension of post-transcriptional gene regulation involves co-regulatory crosstalk between RNA transcripts, which compete for common pools of microRNA (miRNA) molecules. These competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs), or natural miRNA sponges, have an active role in regulating miRNA availability within the cell and form intertwined regulatory networks. Recent reports have implicated diverse RNA species including protein-coding messenger RNAs and non-coding RNAs as ceRNAs in human development and diseases including human cancer. In this review, we discuss the most recent discoveries that implicate natural miRNA decoys in human cancer biology, as well as exciting advances in the study of ceRNA networks and dynamics. The structure and topology of intricate genome-scale ceRNA networks can be predicted computationally, and their dynamic response to fluctuations in ceRNA and miRNA levels can be studied via mathematical modeling. Additionally, the development of new methods to quantitatively determine absolute expression levels of miRNA and ceRNA molecules have expanded the capacity to accurately study the efficiency of ceRNA crosstalk in diverse biological models. These major milestones are of critical importance to identify key components of ceRNA regulatory networks that could aid the development of new approaches to cancer diagnostics and oligonucleotide-based therapeutics.

  16. Single-Molecule Imaging of RNA Splicing in Live Cells.

    PubMed

    Rino, José; Martin, Robert M; Carvalho, Célia; de Jesus, Ana C; Carmo-Fonseca, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Expression of genetic information in eukaryotes involves a series of interconnected processes that ultimately determine the quality and amount of proteins in the cell. Many individual steps in gene expression are kinetically coupled, but tools are lacking to determine how temporal relationships between chemical reactions contribute to the output of the final gene product. Here, we describe a strategy that permits direct measurements of intron dynamics in single pre-mRNA molecules in live cells. This approach reveals that splicing can occur much faster than previously proposed and opens new avenues for studying how kinetic mechanisms impact on RNA biogenesis.

  17. Tracking single mRNA molecules in live cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, Hyungseok C.; Lee, Byung Hun; Lim, Kiseong; Son, Jae Seok; Song, Minho S.; Park, Hye Yoon

    2016-06-01

    mRNAs inside cells interact with numerous RNA-binding proteins, microRNAs, and ribosomes that together compose a highly heterogeneous population of messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) particles. Perhaps one of the best ways to investigate the complex regulation of mRNA is to observe individual molecules. Single molecule imaging allows the collection of quantitative and statistical data on subpopulations and transient states that are otherwise obscured by ensemble averaging. In addition, single particle tracking reveals the sequence of events that occur in the formation and remodeling of mRNPs in real time. Here, we review the current state-of-the-art techniques in tagging, delivery, and imaging to track single mRNAs in live cells. We also discuss how these techniques are applied to extract dynamic information on the transcription, transport, localization, and translation of mRNAs. These studies demonstrate how single molecule tracking is transforming the understanding of mRNA regulation in live cells.

  18. Examining small molecule: HIV RNA interactions using arrayed imaging reflectometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaimayo, Wanaruk; Miller, Benjamin L.

    2014-03-01

    Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has been the subject of intense research for more than three decades as it causes an uncurable disease: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, AIDS. In the pursuit of a medical treatment, RNAtargeted small molecules are emerging as promising targets. In order to understand the binding kinetics of small molecules and HIV RNA, association (ka) and dissociation (kd) kinetic constants must be obtained, ideally for a large number of sequences to assess selectivity. We have developed Aqueous Array Imaged Reflectometry (Aq-AIR) to address this challenge. Using a simple light interference phenomenon, Aq-AIR provides real-time high-throughput multiplex capabilities to detect binding of targets to surface-immobilized probes in a label-free microarray format. The second generation of Aq-AIR consisting of high-sensitivity CCD camera and 12-μL flow cell was fabricated. The system performance was assessed by real-time detection of MBNL1-(CUG)10 and neomycin B - HIV RNA bindings. The results establish this second-generation Aq-AIR to be able to examine small molecules binding to RNA sequences specific to HIV.

  19. Unfolding single RNA molecules: bridging the gap between equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical thermodynamics.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Carlos

    2005-11-01

    During the last 15 years, scientists have developed methods that permit the direct mechanical manipulation of individual molecules. Using this approach, they have begun to investigate the effect of force and torque in chemical and biochemical reactions. These studies span from the study of the mechanical properties of macromolecules, to the characterization of molecular motors, to the mechanical unfolding of individual proteins and RNA. Here I present a review of some of our most recent results using mechanical force to unfold individual molecules of RNA. These studies make it possible to follow in real time the trajectory of each molecule as it unfolds and characterize the various intermediates of the reaction. Moreover, if the process takes place reversibly it is possible to extract both kinetic and thermodynamic information from these experiments at the same time that we characterize the forces that maintain the three-dimensional structure of the molecule in solution. These studies bring us closer to the biological unfolding processes in the cell as they simulate in vitro, the mechanical unfolding of RNAs carried out in the cell by helicases. If the unfolding process occurs irreversibly, I show here that single-molecule experiments can still provide equilibrium, thermodynamic information from non-equilibrium data by using recently discovered fluctuation theorems. Such theorems represent a bridge between equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. In fact, first derived in 1997, the first experimental demonstration of the validity of fluctuation theorems was obtained by unfolding mechanically a single molecule of RNA. It is perhaps a sign of the times that important physical results are these days used to extract information about biological systems and that biological systems are being used to test and confirm fundamental new laws in physics.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Single-Molecule Electrical Random Resequencing of DNA and RNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohshiro, Takahito; Matsubara, Kazuki; Tsutsui, Makusu; Furuhashi, Masayuki; Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2012-07-01

    Two paradigm shifts in DNA sequencing technologies--from bulk to single molecules and from optical to electrical detection--are expected to realize label-free, low-cost DNA sequencing that does not require PCR amplification. It will lead to development of high-throughput third-generation sequencing technologies for personalized medicine. Although nanopore devices have been proposed as third-generation DNA-sequencing devices, a significant milestone in these technologies has been attained by demonstrating a novel technique for resequencing DNA using electrical signals. Here we report single-molecule electrical resequencing of DNA and RNA using a hybrid method of identifying single-base molecules via tunneling currents and random sequencing. Our method reads sequences of nine types of DNA oligomers. The complete sequence of 5'-UGAGGUA-3' from the let-7 microRNA family was also identified by creating a composite of overlapping fragment sequences, which was randomly determined using tunneling current conducted by single-base molecules as they passed between a pair of nanoelectrodes.

  3. Using Amino-Labeled Nucleotide Probes for Simultaneous Single Molecule RNA-DNA FISH

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jun; Shao, Fangwei; Zhang, Li-Feng

    2014-01-01

    Using amino-labeled oligonucleotide probes, we established a simple, robust and low-noise method for simultaneous detection of RNA and DNA by fluorescence in situ hybridization, a highly useful tool to study the large pool of long non-coding RNAs being identified in the current research. With probes either chemically or biologically synthesized, we demonstrate that the method can be applied to study a wide range of RNA and DNA targets at the single-cell and single-molecule level in cellular contexts. PMID:25226542

  4. 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.

  5. Cardiac-targeted delivery of regulatory RNA molecules and genes for the treatment of heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Poller, Wolfgang; Hajjar, Roger; Schultheiss, Heinz-Peter; Fechner, Henry

    2010-01-01

    Ribonucleic acid (RNA) in its many facets of structure and function is becoming more fully understood, and, therefore, it is possible to design and use RNAs as valuable tools in molecular biology and medicine. Understanding of the role of RNAs within the cell has changed dramatically during the past few years. Therapeutic strategies based on non-coding regulatory RNAs include RNA interference (RNAi) for the silencing of specific genes, and microRNA (miRNA) modulations to alter complex gene expression patterns. Recent progress has allowed the targeting of therapeutic RNAi to the heart for the treatment of heart failure, and we discuss current strategies in this field. Owing to the peculiar biochemical properties of small RNA molecules, the actual therapeutic translation of findings in vitro or in cell cultures is more demanding than with small molecule drugs or proteins. The critical requirement for animal studies after pre-testing of RNAi tools in vitro likewise applies for miRNA modulations, which also have complex consequences for the recipient that are dependent on stability and distribution of the RNA tools. Problems in the field that are not yet fully solved are the prediction of targets and specificity of the RNA tools as well as their tissue-specific and regulatable expression. We discuss analogies and differences between regulatory RNA therapy and classical gene therapy, since recent breakthroughs in vector technology are of importance for both. Recent years have witnessed parallel progress in the fields of gene-based and regulatory RNA-based therapies that are likely to significantly expand the cardiovascular therapeutic repertoire within the next decade. PMID:20176815

  6. Importance and key events of prokaryotic RNA decay: the ultimate fate of an RNA molecule.

    PubMed

    Silva, Inês Jesus; Saramago, Margarida; Dressaire, Clémentine; Domingues, Susana; Viegas, Sandra Cristina; Arraiano, Cecília Maria

    2011-01-01

    RNAs are important effectors in the process of gene expression. In bacteria, constant adaptation to environmental demands is accompanied by a continual adjustment of transcripts' levels. The cellular concentration of a given RNA is the result of the balance between its synthesis and degradation. RNA degradation is a complex process encompassing multiple pathways. Ribonucleases (RNases) are the enzymes that directly process and degrade the transcripts, regulating their amounts. They are also important in quality control of RNAs by detecting and destroying defective molecules. The rate at which RNA decay occurs depends on the availability of ribonucleases and their specificities according to the sequence and/or the structural elements of the RNA molecule. Ribosome loading and the 5'-phosphorylation status can also modulate the stability of transcripts. The wide diversity of RNases present in different microorganisms is another factor that conditions the pathways and mechanisms of RNA degradation. RNases are themselves carefully regulated by distinct mechanisms. Several other factors modulate RNA degradation, namely polyadenylation, which plays a multifunctional role in RNA metabolism. Additionally, small non-coding RNAs are crucial regulators of gene expression, and can directly modulate the stability of their mRNA targets. In many cases this regulation is dependent on Hfq, an RNA binding protein which can act in concert with polyadenylation enzymes and is often necessary for the activity of sRNAs. All of the above-mentioned aspects are discussed in the present review, which also highlights the principal differences between the RNA degradation pathways for the two main Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial models.

  7. RNA graph partitioning for the discovery of RNA modularity: a novel application of graph partition algorithm to biology.

    PubMed

    Kim, Namhee; Zheng, Zhe; Elmetwaly, Shereef; Schlick, Tamar

    2014-01-01

    Graph representations have been widely used to analyze and design various economic, social, military, political, and biological networks. In systems biology, networks of cells and organs are useful for understanding disease and medical treatments and, in structural biology, structures of molecules can be described, including RNA structures. In our RNA-As-Graphs (RAG) framework, we represent RNA structures as tree graphs by translating unpaired regions into vertices and helices into edges. Here we explore the modularity of RNA structures by applying graph partitioning known in graph theory to divide an RNA graph into subgraphs. To our knowledge, this is the first application of graph partitioning to biology, and the results suggest a systematic approach for modular design in general. The graph partitioning algorithms utilize mathematical properties of the Laplacian eigenvector (µ2) corresponding to the second eigenvalues (λ2) associated with the topology matrix defining the graph: λ2 describes the overall topology, and the sum of µ2's components is zero. The three types of algorithms, termed median, sign, and gap cuts, divide a graph by determining nodes of cut by median, zero, and largest gap of µ2's components, respectively. We apply these algorithms to 45 graphs corresponding to all solved RNA structures up through 11 vertices (∼ 220 nucleotides). While we observe that the median cut divides a graph into two similar-sized subgraphs, the sign and gap cuts partition a graph into two topologically-distinct subgraphs. We find that the gap cut produces the best biologically-relevant partitioning for RNA because it divides RNAs at less stable connections while maintaining junctions intact. The iterative gap cuts suggest basic modules and assembly protocols to design large RNA structures. Our graph substructuring thus suggests a systematic approach to explore the modularity of biological networks. In our applications to RNA structures, subgraphs also suggest

  8. 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.

  9. Single-Molecule mRNA Detection in Live Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Lenstra, Tineke L.

    2016-01-01

    Visualization of single RNA molecules in living cells has enabled the study of synthesis, movement, and localization of mRNAs and has provided insight into gene regulation with sub-second temporal resolution and nanometer spatial resolution. Following transcription in single cells indicates that gene activity is heterogeneous between cells and also exhibits random variability over time even within single cells. Studies of mRNAs in yeast can take advantage of the powerful genetics available in this model organism and allow mechanistic questions to be addressed. In this chapter, we describe an approach for visualizing mRNA and transcription in live yeast cells. The method is based on binding of fluorescently labeled MS2 and PP7 coat proteins to stem loops sequences that are introduced into the gene of interest. We give detailed protocols for the construction of the necessary yeast strains, for image acquisition, and for validation. PMID:27110320

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Phenotypic effect of mutations in evolving populations of RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The secondary structure of folded RNA sequences is a good model to map phenotype onto genotype, as represented by the RNA sequence. Computational studies of the evolution of ensembles of RNA molecules towards target secondary structures yield valuable clues to the mechanisms behind adaptation of complex populations. The relationship between the space of sequences and structures, the organization of RNA ensembles at mutation-selection equilibrium, the time of adaptation as a function of the population parameters, the presence of collective effects in quasispecies, or the optimal mutation rates to promote adaptation all are issues that can be explored within this framework. Results We investigate the effect of microscopic mutations on the phenotype of RNA molecules during their in silico evolution and adaptation. We calculate the distribution of the effects of mutations on fitness, the relative fractions of beneficial and deleterious mutations and the corresponding selection coefficients for populations evolving under different mutation rates. Three different situations are explored: the mutation-selection equilibrium (optimized population) in three different fitness landscapes, the dynamics during adaptation towards a goal structure (adapting population), and the behavior under periodic population bottlenecks (perturbed population). Conclusions The ratio between the number of beneficial and deleterious mutations experienced by a population of RNA sequences increases with the value of the mutation rate μ at which evolution proceeds. In contrast, the selective value of mutations remains almost constant, independent of μ, indicating that adaptation occurs through an increase in the amount of beneficial mutations, with little variations in the average effect they have on fitness. Statistical analyses of the distribution of fitness effects reveal that small effects, either beneficial or deleterious, are well described by a Pareto distribution. These results

  14. 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.

  15. A Crystal Structure of a Functional RNA Molecule Containing an Artificial Nucleobase Pair.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Armando R; Shao, Yaming; Hoshika, Shuichi; Yang, Zunyi; Shelke, Sandip A; Herrou, Julien; Kim, Hyo-Joong; Kim, Myong-Jung; Piccirilli, Joseph A; Benner, Steven A

    2015-08-17

    As one of its goals, synthetic biology seeks to increase the number of building blocks in nucleic acids. While efforts towards this goal are well advanced for DNA, they have hardly begun for RNA. Herein, we present a crystal structure for an RNA riboswitch where a stem C:G pair has been replaced by a pair between two components of an artificially expanded genetic-information system (AEGIS), Z and P, (6-amino-5-nitro-2(1H)-pyridone and 2-amino-imidazo[1,2-a]-1,3,5-triazin-4-(8H)-one). The structure shows that the Z:P pair does not greatly change the conformation of the RNA molecule nor the details of its interaction with a hypoxanthine ligand. This was confirmed in solution by in-line probing, which also measured a 3.7 nM affinity of the riboswitch for guanine. These data show that the Z:P pair mimics the natural Watson-Crick geometry in RNA in the first example of a crystal structure of an RNA molecule that contains an orthogonal added nucleobase pair.

  16. Small RNA zippers lock miRNA molecules and block miRNA function in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Lingyu; Liu, Cuicui; Lü, Jinhui; Zhao, Qian; Deng, Shengqiong; Wang, Guangxue; Qiao, Jing; Zhang, Chuyi; Zhen, Lixiao; Lu, Ying; Li, Wenshu; Zhang, Yuzhen; Pestell, Richard G.; Fan, Huiming; Chen, Yi-Han; Liu, Zhongmin; Yu, Zuoren

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) loss-of-function phenotypes are mainly induced by chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides. Here we develop an alternative inhibitor for miRNAs, termed ‘small RNA zipper'. It is designed to connect miRNA molecules end to end, forming a DNA–RNA duplex through a complementary interaction with high affinity, high specificity and high stability. Two miRNAs, miR-221 and miR-17, are tested in human breast cancer cell lines, demonstrating the 70∼90% knockdown of miRNA levels by 30–50 nM small RNA zippers. The miR-221 zipper shows capability in rescuing the expression of target genes of miR-221 and reversing the oncogenic function of miR-221 in breast cancer cells. In addition, we demonstrate that the miR-221 zipper attenuates doxorubicin resistance with higher efficiency than anti-miR-221 in human breast cancer cells. Taken together, small RNA zippers are a miRNA inhibitor, which can be used to induce miRNA loss-of-function phenotypes and validate miRNA target genes. PMID:28045030

  17. Designing Efficient Double RNA trans-Splicing Molecules for Targeted RNA Repair

    PubMed Central

    Hüttner, Clemens; Murauer, Eva M.; Hainzl, Stefan; Kocher, Thomas; Neumayer, Anna; Reichelt, Julia; Bauer, Johann W.; Koller, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    RNA trans-splicing is a promising tool for mRNA modification in a diversity of genetic disorders. In particular, the substitution of internal exons of a gene by combining 3′ and 5′ RNA trans-splicing seems to be an elegant way to modify especially large pre-mRNAs. Here we discuss a robust method for designing double RNA trans-splicing molecules (dRTM). We demonstrate how the technique can be implemented in an endogenous setting, using COL7A1, the gene encoding type VII collagen, as a target. An RTM screening system was developed with the aim of testing the replacement of two internal COL7A1 exons, harbouring a homozygous mutation, with the wild-type version. The most efficient RTMs from a pool of randomly generated variants were selected via our fluorescence-based screening system and adapted for use in an in vitro disease model system. Transduction of type VII collagen-deficient keratinocytes with the selected dRTM led to accurate replacement of two internal COL7A1 exons resulting in a restored wild-type RNA sequence. This is the first study demonstrating specific exon replacement by double RNA trans-splicing within an endogenous transcript in cultured cells, corroborating the utility of this technology for mRNA repair in a variety of genetic disorders. PMID:27669223

  18. MicroRNA function in mast cell biology: protocols to characterize and modulate microRNA expression.

    PubMed

    Maltby, Steven; Plank, Maximilian; Ptaschinski, Catherine; Mattes, Joerg; Foster, Paul S

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules that can modulate mRNA levels through RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC)-mediated degradation. Recognition of target mRNAs occurs through imperfect base pairing between an miRNA and its target, meaning that each miRNA can target a number of different mRNAs to modulate gene expression. miRNAs have been proposed as novel therapeutic targets and many studies are aimed at characterizing miRNA expression patterns and functions within a range of cell types. To date, limited research has focused on the function of miRNAs specifically in mast cells; however, this is an emerging field. In this chapter, we will briefly overview miRNA synthesis and function and the current understanding of miRNAs in hematopoietic development and immune function, emphasizing studies related to mast cell biology. The chapter will conclude with fundamental techniques used in miRNA studies, including RNA isolation, real-time PCR and microarray approaches for quantification of miRNA expression levels, and antagomir design to interfere with miRNA function.

  19. Synthetic biology devices and circuits for RNA-based 'smart vaccines': a propositional review.

    PubMed

    Andries, Oliwia; Kitada, Tasuku; Bodner, Katie; Sanders, Niek N; Weiss, Ron

    2015-02-01

    Nucleic acid vaccines have been gaining attention as an alternative to the standard attenuated pathogen or protein based vaccine. However, an unrealized advantage of using such DNA or RNA based vaccination modalities is the ability to program within these nucleic acids regulatory devices that would provide an immunologist with the power to control the production of antigens and adjuvants in a desirable manner by administering small molecule drugs as chemical triggers. Advances in synthetic biology have resulted in the creation of highly predictable and modular genetic parts and devices that can be composed into synthetic gene circuits with complex behaviors. With the recent advent of modified RNA gene delivery methods and developments in the RNA replicon platform, we foresee a future in which mammalian synthetic biologists will create genetic circuits encoded exclusively on RNA. Here, we review the current repertoire of devices used in RNA synthetic biology and propose how programmable 'smart vaccines' will revolutionize the field of RNA vaccination.

  20. A New Three-Dimensional Educational Model Kit for Building DNA and RNA Molecules: Development and Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beltramini, Leila Maria; Araujo, Ana Paula Ulian; de Oliveira, Tales Henrique Goncalves; dos Santos Abel, Luciano Douglas; da Silva, Aparecido Rodrigues; dos Santos, Neusa Fernandes

    2006-01-01

    International specialized literature focused on research in biology education is sadly scarce, especially regarding biochemical and molecular aspects. In this light, researchers from this Centre for Structural Molecular Biotechnology developed and evaluated a three-dimensional educational model named "Building Life Molecules DNA and RNA." The…

  1. Engineering RNA-binding proteins for biology.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Varani, Gabriele

    2013-08-01

    RNA-binding proteins play essential roles in the regulation of gene expression. Many have modular structures and combine relatively few common domains in various arrangements to recognize RNA sequences and/or structures. Recent progress in engineering the specificity of the PUF class RNA-binding proteins has shown that RNA-binding domains may be combined with various effector or functional domains to regulate the metabolism of targeted RNAs. Designer RNA-binding proteins with tailored sequence specificity will provide valuable tools for biochemical research as well as potential therapeutic applications. In this review, we discuss the suitability of various RNA-binding domains for engineering RNA-binding specificity, based on the structural basis for their recognition. We also compare various protein engineering and design methods applied to RNA-binding proteins, and discuss future applications of these proteins.

  2. Development of novel cardiovascular therapeutics from small regulatory RNA molecules--an outline of key requirements.

    PubMed

    Poller, W; Fechner, H

    2010-01-01

    Understanding of the roles of RNAs within the cell has changed and expanded dramatically during the past few years. Based on fundamentally new insights it is now increasingly possible to employ RNAs as highly valuable tools in molecular biology and medicine. At present, the most important therapeutic strategies are based on non-coding regulatory RNAs inducing RNA interference (RNAi) to silence single genes, and on modulation of cellular microRNAs (miRNAs) to alter complex gene expression patterns in diseased organs. Only recently it became possible to target therapeutic RNAi to specific organs via organotropic viral vector systems and we discuss the most recent strategies in this field, e.g. heart failure treatment by cardiac-targeted RNAi. Due to the peculiar biochemical properties of small RNA molecules, true therapeutic translation of results in vitro is more demanding than with small molecule drugs or proteins. Specifically, there is a critical requirement for extensive studies in animal models of human disease after pre-testing of the RNAi tools in vitro. This requirement likewise applies for miRNA modulations which have complex consequences in the recipient dependent on biochemical stability and distribution of the therapeutic RNA. Problems not yet fully solved are the prediction of targets and specificity of the RNA tools. However, major progress has been made to achieve their tissue-specific and regulatable expression, and breakthroughs in vector technologies from the gene therapy field have fundamentally improved safety and efficacy of RNA-based therapeutic approaches, too. In summary, insight into the molecular mechanisms of action of regulatory RNAs in combination with new delivery tools for RNA therapeutics will significantly expand our cardiovascular therapeutic repertoire beyond classical pharmacology.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Bottom-up design of small molecules that stimulate exon 10 skipping in mutant MAPT pre-mRNA.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yiling; Disney, Matthew D

    2014-09-22

    One challenge in chemical biology is to develop small molecules that control cellular protein content. The amount and identity of proteins are influenced by the RNAs that encode them; thus, protein content in a cell could be affected by targeting mRNA. However, RNA has been traditionally difficult to target with small molecules. In this report, we describe controlling the protein products of the mutated microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) mature mRNA with a small molecule. MAPT mutations in exon 10 are associated with inherited frontotemporal dementia and Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), an incurable disease that is directly caused by increased inclusion of exon 10 in MAPT mRNA. Recent studies have shown that mutations within a hairpin at the MAPT exon 10-intron junction decrease the thermodynamic stability of the RNA, increasing binding to U1 snRNP and thus exon 10 inclusion. Therefore, we designed small molecules that bind and stabilize a mutant MAPT by using Inforna, a computational approach based on information about RNA-small-molecule interactions. The optimal compound selectively bound the mutant MAPT hairpin and thermodynamically stabilized its folding, facilitating exon 10 exclusion.

  6. 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

  7. A-to-I RNA Editing: Current Knowledge Sources and Computational Approaches with Special Emphasis on Non-Coding RNA Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Nigita, Giovanni; Veneziano, Dario; Ferro, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    RNA editing is a dynamic mechanism for gene regulation attained through the alteration of the sequence of primary RNA transcripts. A-to-I (adenosine-to-inosine) RNA editing, which is catalyzed by members of the adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) family of enzymes, is the most common post-transcriptional modification in humans. The ADARs bind double-stranded regions and deaminate adenosine (A) into inosine (I), which in turn is interpreted by the translation and splicing machineries as guanosine (G). In recent years, this modification has been discovered to occur not only in coding RNAs but also in non-coding RNAs (ncRNA), such as microRNAs, small interfering RNAs, transfer RNAs, and long non-coding RNAs. This may have several consequences, such as the creation or disruption of microRNA/mRNA binding sites, and thus affect the biogenesis, stability, and target recognition properties of ncRNAs. The malfunction of the editing machinery is not surprisingly associated with various human diseases, such as neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and carcinogenic diseases. Despite the enormous efforts made so far, the real biological function of this phenomenon, as well as the features of the ADAR substrate, in particular in non-coding RNAs, has still not been fully understood. In this work, we focus on the current knowledge of RNA editing on ncRNA molecules and provide a few examples of computational approaches to elucidate its biological function. PMID:25859542

  8. The emerging role of triple helices in RNA biology.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Nicholas K

    2014-01-01

    The ability of RNA to form sophisticated secondary and tertiary structures enables it to perform a wide variety of cellular functions. One tertiary structure, the RNA triple helix, was first observed in vitro over 50 years ago, but biological activities for triple helices are only beginning to be appreciated. The recent determination of several RNA structures has implicated triple helices in distinct biological functions. For example, the SAM-II riboswitch forms a triple helix that creates a highly specific binding pocket for S-adenosylmethionine. In addition, a triple helix in the conserved pseudoknot domain of the telomerase-associated RNA TER is essential for telomerase activity. A viral RNA cis-acting RNA element called the ENE contributes to the nuclear stability of a viral noncoding RNA by forming a triple helix with the poly(A) tail. Finally, a cellular noncoding RNA, MALAT1, includes a triple helix at its 3'-end that contributes to RNA stability, but surprisingly also supports translation. These examples highlight the diverse roles that RNA triple helices play in biology. Moreover, the dissection of triple helix mechanisms has the potential to uncover fundamental pathways in cell biology.

  9. Recurrent RNA motifs as scaffolds for genetically encodable small-molecule biosensors.

    PubMed

    Porter, Ely B; Polaski, Jacob T; Morck, Makenna M; Batey, Robert T

    2017-03-01

    Allosteric RNA devices are increasingly being viewed as important tools capable of monitoring enzyme evolution, optimizing engineered metabolic pathways, facilitating gene discovery and regulators of nucleic acid-based therapeutics. A key bottleneck in the development of these platforms is the availability of small-molecule-binding RNA aptamers that robustly function in the cellular environment. Although aptamers can be raised against nearly any desired target through in vitro selection, many cannot easily be integrated into devices or do not reliably function in a cellular context. Here, we describe a new approach using secondary- and tertiary-structural scaffolds derived from biologically active riboswitches and small ribozymes. When applied to the neurotransmitter precursors 5-hydroxytryptophan and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, this approach yielded easily identifiable and characterizable aptamers predisposed for coupling to readout domains to allow engineering of nucleic acid-sensory devices that function in vitro and in the cellular context.

  10. RNA Interference: Biology, Mechanism, and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Neema; Dasaradhi, P. V. N.; Mohmmed, Asif; Malhotra, Pawan; Bhatnagar, Raj K.; Mukherjee, Sunil K.

    2003-01-01

    Double-stranded RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) is a simple and rapid method of silencing gene expression in a range of organisms. The silencing of a gene is a consequence of degradation of RNA into short RNAs that activate ribonucleases to target homologous mRNA. The resulting phenotypes either are identical to those of genetic null mutants or resemble an allelic series of mutants. Specific gene silencing has been shown to be related to two ancient processes, cosuppression in plants and quelling in fungi, and has also been associated with regulatory processes such as transposon silencing, antiviral defense mechanisms, gene regulation, and chromosomal modification. Extensive genetic and biochemical analysis revealed a two-step mechanism of RNAi-induced gene silencing. The first step involves degradation of dsRNA into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), 21 to 25 nucleotides long, by an RNase III-like activity. In the second step, the siRNAs join an RNase complex, RISC (RNA-induced silencing complex), which acts on the cognate mRNA and degrades it. Several key components such as Dicer, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, helicases, and dsRNA endonucleases have been identified in different organisms for their roles in RNAi. Some of these components also control the development of many organisms by processing many noncoding RNAs, called micro-RNAs. The biogenesis and function of micro-RNAs resemble RNAi activities to a large extent. Recent studies indicate that in the context of RNAi, the genome also undergoes alterations in the form of DNA methylation, heterochromatin formation, and programmed DNA elimination. As a result of these changes, the silencing effect of gene functions is exercised as tightly as possible. Because of its exquisite specificity and efficiency, RNAi is being considered as an important tool not only for functional genomics, but also for gene-specific therapeutic activities that target the mRNAs of disease-related genes. PMID:14665679

  11. Small Molecule Inhibition of microRNA-210 Reprograms an Oncogenic Hypoxic Circuit.

    PubMed

    Costales, Matthew G; Haga, Christopher L; Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Phinney, Donald G; Disney, Matthew D

    2017-03-08

    A hypoxic state is critical to the metastatic and invasive characteristics of cancer. Numerous pathways play critical roles in cancer maintenance, many of which include noncoding RNAs such as microRNA (miR)-210 that regulates hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs). Herein, we describe the identification of a small molecule named Targapremir-210 that binds to the Dicer site of the miR-210 hairpin precursor. This interaction inhibits production of the mature miRNA, derepresses glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase 1-like enzyme (GPD1L), a hypoxia-associated protein negatively regulated by miR-210, decreases HIF-1α, and triggers apoptosis of triple negative breast cancer cells only under hypoxic conditions. Further, Targapremir-210 inhibits tumorigenesis in a mouse xenograft model of hypoxic triple negative breast cancer. Many factors govern molecular recognition of biological targets by small molecules. For protein, chemoproteomics and activity-based protein profiling are invaluable tools to study small molecule target engagement and selectivity in cells. Such approaches are lacking for RNA, leaving a void in the understanding of its druggability. We applied Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull Down (Chem-CLIP) to study the cellular selectivity and the on- and off-targets of Targapremir-210. Targapremir-210 selectively recognizes the miR-210 precursor and can differentially recognize RNAs in cells that have the same target motif but have different expression levels, revealing this important feature for selectively drugging RNAs for the first time. These studies show that small molecules can be rapidly designed to selectively target RNAs and affect cellular responses to environmental conditions, resulting in favorable benefits against cancer. Further, they help define rules for identifying druggable targets in the transcriptome.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Methods to enable the design of bioactive small molecules targeting RNA

    PubMed Central

    Disney, Matthew D.; Yildirim, Ilyas; Childs-Disney, Jessica L.

    2014-01-01

    RNA is an immensely important target for small molecule therapeutics or chemical probes of function. However, methods that identify, annotate, and optimize RNA-small molecule interactions that could enable the design of compounds that modulate RNA function are in their infancies. This review describes recent approaches that have been developed to understand and optimize RNA motif-small molecule interactions, including Structure-Activity Relationships Through Sequencing (StARTS), quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR), chemical similarity searching, structure-based design and docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Case studies described include the design of small molecules targeting RNA expansions, the bacterial A-site, viral RNAs, and telomerase RNA. These approaches can be combined to afford a synergistic method to exploit the myriad of RNA targets in the transcriptome. PMID:24357181

  16. Methods to enable the design of bioactive small molecules targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Yildirim, Ilyas; Childs-Disney, Jessica L

    2014-02-21

    RNA is an immensely important target for small molecule therapeutics or chemical probes of function. However, methods that identify, annotate, and optimize RNA-small molecule interactions that could enable the design of compounds that modulate RNA function are in their infancies. This review describes recent approaches that have been developed to understand and optimize RNA motif-small molecule interactions, including structure-activity relationships through sequencing (StARTS), quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR), chemical similarity searching, structure-based design and docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Case studies described include the design of small molecules targeting RNA expansions, the bacterial A-site, viral RNAs, and telomerase RNA. These approaches can be combined to afford a synergistic method to exploit the myriad of RNA targets in the transcriptome.

  17. mRNA capping: biological functions and applications

    PubMed Central

    Ramanathan, Anand; Robb, G. Brett; Chan, Siu-Hong

    2016-01-01

    The 5′ m7G cap is an evolutionarily conserved modification of eukaryotic mRNA. Decades of research have established that the m7G cap serves as a unique molecular module that recruits cellular proteins and mediates cap-related biological functions such as pre-mRNA processing, nuclear export and cap-dependent protein synthesis. Only recently has the role of the cap 2′O methylation as an identifier of self RNA in the innate immune system against foreign RNA has become clear. The discovery of the cytoplasmic capping machinery suggests a novel level of control network. These new findings underscore the importance of a proper cap structure in the synthesis of functional messenger RNA. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the biological roles of mRNA caps in eukaryotic cells. We will also discuss different means that viruses and their host cells use to cap their RNA and the application of these capping machineries to synthesize functional mRNA. Novel applications of RNA capping enzymes in the discovery of new RNA species and sequencing the microbiome transcriptome will also be discussed. We will end with a summary of novel findings in RNA capping and the questions these findings pose. PMID:27317694

  18. Defining RNA–Small Molecule Affinity Landscapes Enables Design of a Small Molecule Inhibitor of an Oncogenic Noncoding RNA

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    RNA drug targets are pervasive in cells, but methods to design small molecules that target them are sparse. Herein, we report a general approach to score the affinity and selectivity of RNA motif–small molecule interactions identified via selection. Named High Throughput Structure–Activity Relationships Through Sequencing (HiT-StARTS), HiT-StARTS is statistical in nature and compares input nucleic acid sequences to selected library members that bind a ligand via high throughput sequencing. The approach allowed facile definition of the fitness landscape of hundreds of thousands of RNA motif–small molecule binding partners. These results were mined against folded RNAs in the human transcriptome and identified an avid interaction between a small molecule and the Dicer nuclease-processing site in the oncogenic microRNA (miR)-18a hairpin precursor, which is a member of the miR-17-92 cluster. Application of the small molecule, Targapremir-18a, to prostate cancer cells inhibited production of miR-18a from the cluster, de-repressed serine/threonine protein kinase 4 protein (STK4), and triggered apoptosis. Profiling the cellular targets of Targapremir-18a via Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull Down (Chem-CLIP), a covalent small molecule–RNA cellular profiling approach, and other studies showed specific binding of the compound to the miR-18a precursor, revealing broadly applicable factors that govern small molecule drugging of noncoding RNAs. PMID:28386598

  19. 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

  20. Native purification and labeling of RNA for single molecule fluorescence studies

    PubMed Central

    Rinaldi, Arlie J.; Suddala, Krishna C.; Walter, Nils G.

    2012-01-01

    The recent discovery that non-coding RNAs are considerably more abundant and serve a much wider range of critical cellular functions than recognized over previous decades of research into molecular biology has sparked a renewed interest in the study of structure-function relationships of RNA. To perform their functions in the cell, RNAs must dominantly adopt their native conformations, avoiding deep, non-productive kinetic traps that may exist along a frustrated (rugged) folding free energy landscape. Intracellularly, RNAs are synthesized by RNA polymerase and fold co-transcriptionally starting from the 5’ end, sometimes with the aid of protein chaperones. By contrast, in the laboratory RNAs are commonly generated by in vitro transcription or chemical synthesis, followed by purification in a manner that includes the use of high concentrations of urea, heat and UV light (for detection), resulting in the denaturation and subsequent refolding of the entire RNA. Recent studies into the nature of heterogeneous RNA populations resulting from this process have underscored the need for non-denaturing (native) purification methods that maintain the co-transcriptional fold of an RNA. Here, we present protocols for the native purification of an RNA after its in vitro transcription and for fluorophore and biotin labeling methods designed to preserve its native conformation for use in single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) inquiries into its structure and function. Finally, we present methods for taking smFRET data and for analyzing them, as well as a description of plausible overall preparation schemes for the plethora of non-coding RNAs. PMID:25352138

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Determination of RNA orientation during translocation through a biological nanopore.

    PubMed

    Butler, Tom Z; Gundlach, Jens H; Troll, Mark A

    2006-01-01

    We investigate single-molecule electrophoretic translocation of A(50), C(50), A(25)C(50), and C(50)A(25) RNA molecules through the alpha-hemolysin transmembrane protein pore. We observe pronounced bilevel current blockages during translocation of A(25)C(50) and C(50)A(25) molecules. The two current levels observed during these bilevel blockages are very similar to the characteristic current levels observed during A(50) and C(50) translocation. From the temporal ordering of the two levels within the bilevel current blockages, we infer whether individual A(25)C(50) and C(50)A(25) molecules pass through the pore in a 3'-->5' or 5'-->3' orientation. Correlation between the level of current obstruction and the inferred A(25)C(50) or C(50)A(25) orientation indicates that 3'-->5' translocation of a poly C segment causes a significantly deeper current obstruction than 5'-->3' translocation. Our analysis also suggests that the 3' ends of C(50) and A(25)C(50) RNA molecules are more likely to initiate translocation than the 5' ends. Orientation dependent differences in a smaller current blockage that immediately precedes many translocation events suggest that this blockage also contains information about RNA orientation during translocation. These findings emphasize that the directionality of polynucleotide molecules is an important factor in translocation and demonstrate how structure within ionic current signals can give new insights into the translocation process.

  4. Synergistic self-assembly of RNA and DNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ko, Seung Hyeon; Su, Min; Zhang, Chuan; Ribbe, Alexander E.; Jiang, Wen; Mao, Chengde

    2010-12-01

    DNA has recently been used as a programmable 'smart' building block for the assembly of a wide range of nanostructures. It remains difficult, however, to construct DNA assemblies that are also functional. Incorporating RNA is a promising strategy to circumvent this issue as RNA is structurally related to DNA but exhibits rich chemical, structural and functional diversities. However, only a few examples of rationally designed RNA structures have been reported. Herein, we describe a simple, general strategy for the de novo design of nanostructures in which the self-assembly of RNA strands is programmed by DNA strands. To demonstrate the versatility of this approach, we have designed and constructed three different RNA-DNA hybrid branched nanomotifs (tiles), which readily assemble into one-dimensional nanofibres, extended two-dimensional arrays and a discrete three-dimensional object. The current strategy could enable the integration of the precise programmability of DNA with the rich functionality of RNA.

  5. Discovering New Biology through Sequencing of RNA1

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Andreas P.M.

    2015-01-01

    Sequencing of RNA (RNA-Seq) was invented approximately 1 decade ago and has since revolutionized biological research. This update provides a brief historic perspective on the development of RNA-Seq and then focuses on the application of RNA-Seq in qualitative and quantitative analyses of transcriptomes. Particular emphasis is given to aspects of data analysis. Since the wet-lab and data analysis aspects of RNA-Seq are still rapidly evolving and novel applications are continuously reported, a printed review will be rapidly outdated and can only serve to provide some examples and general guidelines for planning and conducting RNA-Seq studies. Hence, selected references to frequently update online resources are given. PMID:26353759

  6. Delivery of RNA-based molecules to human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells for modulation of gene expression.

    PubMed

    Diener, Yvonne; Bosio, Andreas; Bissels, Ute

    2016-11-01

    Gene modulation of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) harbors great potential for therapeutic application of these cells and presents a versatile tool in basic research to enhance our understanding of HSPC biology. However, stable genetic modification might be adverse, particularly in clinical settings. Here, we review a broad range of approaches to transient, nonviral modulation of protein expression with a focus on RNA-based methods. We compare different delivery methods and describe the usefulness of RNA molecules for overexpression as well as downregulation of proteins in HSPCs.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ribonuclease T1 generates circular RNA molecules from viroid-specific RNA transcripts by cleavage and intramolecular ligation.

    PubMed Central

    Tsagris, M; Tabler, M; Sänger, H L

    1991-01-01

    A 406 nucleotide long potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd)-specific linear RNA transcript was synthesized in vitro and subjected to limited digestion with ribonuclease (RNase) T1. Under certain conditions this guanosine-specific endoribonuclease proved to be capable of processing the longer-than-unit-length, precursor-like viroid RNA transcript by cleaving out a linear 358 nucleotide long product and ligating that to a circular RNA molecule. The new finding that RNase T1 acts as an RNA processing enzyme and, in particular, as an RNA 'circulase' can be explained by the unique structural preconditions inherent in the viroid-specific substrate and by the well characterized two-step cleavage mechanism of the enzyme. These in vitro potentials of RNase T1 suggest that also in vivo procaryotic and eucaryotic RNases with a similar reaction mechanism might not only be involved in RNA degradation and trimming, but also in processing, ligation and recombination of RNA. Images PMID:1709278

  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. Photochemically induced gene silencing using small interfering RNA molecules in combination with lipid carriers.

    PubMed

    Bøe, S; Longva, A S; Hovig, E

    2007-01-01

    Novel strategies for efficient delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules with a potential for targeting are required for development of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. Here, we present a strategy that is based on delivery of siRNA molecules through the endocytic pathway, in order to develop a method for site-specific gene silencing. To achieve this, we combined the use of cationic lipids and photochemical internalization (PCI). Using the human S100A4 gene as a model system, we obtained potent gene silencing in four tested human cancer cell lines following PCI induction when using the cationic lipid jetSI-ENDO. Gene silencing was shown at both the RNA and protein levels, with no observed PCI toxicity when using the jetSI reagent and an optimized PCI protocol. This novel induction method opens for in vivo site-specific delivery of siRNA molecules toward a sequence of interest.

  12. Recruitment of RNA molecules by connexin RNA-binding motifs: Implication in RNA and DNA transport through microvesicles and exosomes.

    PubMed

    Varela-Eirin, Marta; Varela-Vazquez, Adrian; Rodríguez-Candela Mateos, Marina; Vila-Sanjurjo, Anton; Fonseca, Eduardo; Mascareñas, José L; Eugenio Vázquez, M; Mayan, Maria D

    2017-04-01

    Connexins (Cxs) are integral membrane proteins that form high-conductance plasma membrane channels, allowing communication from cell to cell (via gap junctions) and from cells to the extracellular environment (via hemichannels). Initially described for their role in joining excitable cells (nerve and muscle), gap junctions (GJs) are found between virtually all cells in solid tissues and are essential for functional coordination by enabling the direct transfer of small signalling molecules, metabolites, ions, and electrical signals from cell to cell. Several studies have revealed diverse channel-independent functions of Cxs, which include the control of cell growth and tumourigenicity. Connexin43 (Cx43) is the most widespread Cx in the human body. The myriad roles of Cx43 and its implication in the development of disorders such as cancer, inflammation, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer's disease have given rise to many novel questions. Several RNA- and DNA-binding motifs were predicted in the Cx43 and Cx26 sequences using different computational methods. This review provides insights into new, ground-breaking functions of Cxs, highlighting important areas for future work such as transfer of genetic information through extracellular vesicles. We discuss the implication of potential RNA- and DNA-binding domains in the Cx43 and Cx26 sequences in the cellular communication and control of signalling pathways.

  13. 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.

  14. Synthetic RNA-cleaving molecules mimicking ribonuclease A active center. Design and cleavage of tRNA transcripts.

    PubMed Central

    Podyminogin, M A; Vlassov, V V; Giegé, R

    1993-01-01

    RNA cleaving molecules were synthesized by conjugating imidazole residues imitating the essential imidazoles in the active center of pancreatic ribonuclease to an intercalating compound, derivative of phenazine capable of binding to the double stranded regions of polynucleotides. Action of the molecules on tRNA was investigated. It was found, that some of the compounds bearing two imidazole residues cleave tRNA under physiological conditions. The cleavage reaction shows a bell-shaped pH dependence with a maximum at pH 7.0 indicating participation of protonated and non-protonated imidazole residues in the process. Under the conditions stabilizing the tRNA structure, a tRNAAsp transcript was cleaved preferentially at the junctions of the stem and loop regions of the cloverleaf tRNA fold, at the five positions C56, C43, C20.1, U13, and U8, with a marked preference for C56. This cleavage pattern is consistent with a hydrolysis mechanism involving non-covalent binding of the compounds to the double-stranded regions of tRNA followed by an attack of the imidazole residues at the juxtaposed flexible single-stranded regions of the molecule. The compounds provide new probes for the investigation of RNA structure in solution and potential reactive groups for antisense oligonucleotide derivatives. Images PMID:7507235

  15. 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.

  16. Don't kill the messenger: Long-distance trafficking of mRNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Spiegelman, Ziv; Golan, Guy; Wolf, Shmuel

    2013-12-01

    The phloem sap contains numerous macromolecules such as proteins and RNAs, in addition to photoassimilates, amino acids and other small molecules. The transcription profile of messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules in the sieve tubes is unique and does not reflect the transcript profile in the neighboring companion cells. This discovery suggests tight regulation on cell-to-cell movement of mRNA molecules from the companion cells into the sieve tube. Heterografting experiments and RNA-detection methods have provided unequivocal evidence for the trafficking of several specific mRNA molecules between distant organs. Detection of various plant transcripts in their respective plant parasites further confirms this long-distance movement. The finding that several of these trafficked transcripts are involved in the control of developmental processes as well as responses to growth substances or environmental cues has led to a new paradigm that mRNA molecules act as non-cell-autonomous signaling agents operating in the vascular system. Trafficking of these molecules creates a communication network between distant organs that is required for coordinated development of the whole plant under adverse conditions. The generality of this concept, however, is still under debate, because the raison d'être for long-distance movement of mRNA is not clear. In this review we discuss the identity and potential function of phloem-sap mRNA molecules, the factors facilitating RNA transport, and the rationale for their action as long-distance signaling agents in the control of developmental processes.

  17. Small molecule modulators of pre-mRNA splicing in cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Salton, Maayan; Misteli, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is a fundamental process in mammalian gene expression and alternative RNA splicing plays a considerable role in generating protein diversity. RNA splicing events are key to the pathology of numerous diseases, including cancers. Some tumors are molecularly addicted to specific RNA splicing isoforms making interference with pre-mRNA processing a viable therapeutic strategy. Several RNA splicing modulators have been recently characterized showing promise in pre-clinical studies. While the targets of most splicing modulators are constitutive RNA processing components, with undesirable side effects, selectivity for individual splicing events has been observed. Given the high prevalence of splicing defects in cancer, small molecule modulators of RNA processing represent a novel therapeutic strategy in cancer treatment. Here, we review their reported effects, potential mechanisms, and limitations. PMID:26700537

  18. Single-molecule tracking of mRNA exiting from RNA polymerase II.

    PubMed

    Andrecka, Joanna; Lewis, Robert; Brückner, Florian; Lehmann, Elisabeth; Cramer, Patrick; Michaelis, Jens

    2008-01-08

    Single-pair fluorescence resonance energy transfer was used to track RNA exiting from RNA polymerase II (Pol II) in elongation complexes. Measuring the distance between the RNA 5' end and three known locations within the elongation complex allows us determine its position by means of triangulation. RNA leaves the polymerase active center cleft via the previously proposed exit tunnel and then disengages from the enzyme surface. When the RNA reaches lengths of 26 and 29 nt, its 5' end associates with Pol II at the base of the dock domain. Because the initiation factor TFIIB binds to the dock domain and exit tunnel, exiting RNA may prevent TFIIB reassociation during elongation. RNA further extends toward the linker connecting to the polymerase C-terminal repeat domain (CTD), which binds the 5'-capping enzyme and other RNA processing factors.

  19. Integrated structural biology to unravel molecular mechanisms of protein-RNA recognition.

    PubMed

    Schlundt, Andreas; Tants, Jan-Niklas; Sattler, Michael

    2017-03-16

    Recent advances in RNA sequencing technologies have greatly expanded our knowledge of the RNA landscape in cells, often with spatiotemporal resolution. These techniques identified many new (often non-coding) RNA molecules. Large-scale studies have also discovered novel RNA binding proteins (RBPs), which exhibit single or multiple RNA binding domains (RBDs) for recognition of specific sequence or structured motifs in RNA. Starting from these large-scale approaches it is crucial to unravel the molecular principles of protein-RNA recognition in ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) to understand the underlying mechanisms of gene regulation. Structural biology and biophysical studies at highest possible resolution are key to elucidate molecular mechanisms of RNA recognition by RBPs and how conformational dynamics, weak interactions and cooperative binding contribute to the formation of specific, context-dependent RNPs. While large compact RNPs can be well studied by X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM, analysis of dynamics and weak interaction necessitates the use of solution methods to capture these properties. Here, we illustrate methods to study the structure and conformational dynamics of protein-RNA complexes in solution starting from the identification of interaction partners in a given RNP. Biophysical and biochemical techniques support the characterization of a protein-RNA complex and identify regions relevant in structural analysis. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a powerful tool to gain information on folding, stability and dynamics of RNAs and characterize RNPs in solution. It provides crucial information that is complementary to the static pictures derived from other techniques. NMR can be readily combined with other solution techniques, such as small angle X-ray and/or neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), which provide information about overall shapes, internal domain

  20. Target Biological Structures: The Cell, Organelles, DNA and RNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Holst, Marcelis; Grant, Maxine P.; Aldrich-Wright, Janice

    Living organisms are self replicating molecular factories of staggering complexity [1]. As a result, we are often overwhelmed when trying to identify potential targets for therapeutics. Water, inorganic ions and a large array of relatively small organic molecules (e.g., sugars, vitamins and fatty acids) account for approximately 80% of living matter, with water being the most abundant. Macromolecules such as proteins, polysaccharides, ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) constitute the rest. The majority of potential therapeutic targets are found within the cell. Small molecules which are vital for cellular function are imported into the cell by a variety of mechanisms but unlike smaller molecules, macromolecules are assembled within the cell itself. Drugs are usually designed to target cellular macromolecules, as they perform very specific roles in the metabolic processes.

  1. 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

  2. Bioconjugation of Small Molecules to RNA Impedes Its Recognition by Toll-Like Receptor 7

    PubMed Central

    Hellmuth, Isabell; Freund, Isabel; Schlöder, Janine; Seidu-Larry, Salifu; Thüring, Kathrin; Slama, Kaouthar; Langhanki, Jens; Kaloyanova, Stefka; Eigenbrod, Tatjana; Krumb, Matthias; Röhm, Sandra; Peneva, Kalina; Opatz, Till; Jonuleit, Helmut; Dalpke, Alexander H.; Helm, Mark

    2017-01-01

    A fundamental mechanism of the innate immune system is the recognition, via extra- and intracellular pattern-recognition receptors, of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. A prominent example is represented by foreign nucleic acids, triggering the activation of several signaling pathways. Among these, the endosomal toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) is known to be activated by single-stranded RNA (ssRNA), which can be specifically influenced through elements of sequence structure and posttranscriptional modifications. Furthermore, small molecules TLR7 agonists (smTLRa) are applied as boosting adjuvants in vaccination processes. In this context, covalent conjugations between adjuvant and vaccines have been reported to exhibit synergistic effects. Here, we describe a concept to chemically combine three therapeutic functions in one RNA bioconjugate. This consists in the simultaneous TLR7 stimulation by ssRNA and smTLRa as well as the therapeutic function of the RNA itself, e.g., as a vaccinating or knockdown agent. We have hence synthesized bioconjugates of mRNA and siRNA containing covalently attached smTLRa and tested their function in TLR7 stimulation. Strikingly, the bioconjugates displayed decreased rather than synergistically increased stimulation. The decrease was distinct from the antagonistic action of an siRNA bearing a Gm motive, as observed by direct comparison of the effects in the presence of otherwise stimulatory RNA. In summary, these investigations showed that TRL7 activation can be impeded by bioconjugation of small molecules to RNA. PMID:28392787

  3. MORPHEUS' MOLECULE1 is required to prevent aberrant RNA transcriptional read-through in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yue; Zhang, Jun; Lin, Huixin; Guo, Guangqin; Guo, Yan

    2010-11-01

    Several pathways function to remove aberrant mRNA in eukaryotic cells; however, the exact mechanisms underlying the restriction of aberrant mRNA transcription are poorly understood. In this study, we found that MORPHEUS' MOLECULE1 (MOM1) is a key component of this regulatory machinery. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mom1-44 mutation was identified by luciferase imaging in transgenic plants harboring a cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter-LUCIFERASE transgene lacking the 3'-untranslated region. In the mom1-44 mutant, transcriptional read-though occurred in genes with an aberrant RNA structure. Analysis of an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase2 mom1 double mutant revealed that the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway is not involved in this regulatory process. Moreover, the prevention of aberrant mRNA transcriptional read-through by MOM1 is gene locus and transgene copy number independent.

  4. Discovery and biological characterization of geranylated RNA in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Dumelin, Christoph E.; Chen, Yiyun; Leconte, Aaron M.; Chen, Y. Grace; Liu, David R.

    2012-01-01

    A general mass spectrometry-based screen for unusually hydrophobic cellular small-molecule RNA conjugates revealed geranylated RNA in E. coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella thyphimurium. The geranyl group is conjugated to the sulfur atom in two 5-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridine nucleotides. These geranylated nucleotides occur in the first anticodon position of tRNAGluUUC, tRNALysUUU, tRNAGlnUUG at a frequency of up to 6.7% (~400 geranylated nucleotides per cell). RNA geranylation levels can be increased or abolished by mutation or deletion of the selU (ybbB) gene in E. coli, and purified SelU protein in the presence of geranyl pyrophosphate and tRNA can produce geranylated tRNA. The presence or absence of the geranyl group in tRNAGluUUC, tRNALysUUU, and tRNAGlnUUG affects codon bias and frameshifting during translation. These RNAs represent the first reported examples of oligoisoprenylated cellular nucleic acids. PMID:22983156

  5. MicroRNA Biomarkers of Toxicity in Biological Matrices ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Biomarker measurements that reliably correlate with tissue injury and can be measured from sampling accessible biofluids offer enormous benefits in terms of cost, time, and convenience when assessing environmental and drug-induced toxicity in model systems or human cohorts. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged in recent years as a promising new type of biomarker for monitoring toxicity. Recent enthusiasm for miRNA biomarker research has been fueled by discoveries that certain miRNA species are cell-type specific and released during injury, thus raising the possibility of using biofluid-based miRNAs as a “liquid biopsy” that may be obtained by sampling extracellular fluids. As biomarkers, miRNAs demonstrate improved stability as compared to many protein markers and sequences are largely conserved across species, simplifying analytical techniques. Recent efforts have sought to identify miRNAs that are released into accessible biofluids following xenobiotic exposure, using compounds that target specific organs. While still early in the discovery phase, miRNA biomarkers will have an increasingly important role in the assessment of adverse effects of both environmental chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs. Here, we review the current findings of biofluid-based miRNAs, as well as highlight technical challenges in assessing toxicologic pathology using these biomarkers. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA species that selectively bind mRNA molecules and alter thei

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. On Finding All Suboptimal Foldings of an RNA Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuker, Michael

    1989-04-01

    An algorithm and a computer program have been prepared for determining RNA secondary structures within any prescribed increment of the computed global minimum free energy. The mathematical problem of determining how well defined a minimum energy folding is can now be solved. All predicted base pairs that can participate in suboptimal structures may be displayed and analyzed graphically. Representative suboptimal foldings are generated by selecting these base pairs one at a time and computing the best foldings that contain them. A distance criterion that ensures that no two structures are ``too close'' is used to avoid multiple generation of similar structures. Thermodynamic parameters, including free-energy increments for single-base stacking at the ends of helices and for terminal mismatched pairs in interior and hairpin loops, are incorporated into the underlying folding model of the above algorithm.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Development of pharmacophore models for small molecules targeting RNA: Application to the RNA repeat expansion in myotonic dystrophy type 1.

    PubMed

    Angelbello, Alicia J; González, Àlex L; Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-12-01

    RNA is an important drug target, but current approaches to identify bioactive small molecules have been engineered primarily for protein targets. Moreover, the identification of small molecules that bind a specific RNA target with sufficient potency remains a challenge. Computer-aided drug design (CADD) and, in particular, ligand-based drug design provide a myriad of tools to identify rapidly new chemical entities for modulating a target based on previous knowledge of active compounds without relying on a ligand complex. Herein we describe pharmacophore virtual screening based on previously reported active molecules that target the toxic RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). DM1-associated defects are caused by sequestration of muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1), an alternative splicing regulator, by expanded CUG repeats (r(CUG)(exp)). Several small molecules have been found to disrupt the MBNL1-r(CUG)(exp) complex, ameliorating DM1 defects. Our pharmacophore model identified a number of potential lead compounds from which we selected 11 compounds to evaluate. Of the 11 compounds, several improved DM1 defects both in vitro and in cells.

  13. 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.

  14. The predictive power of synthetic nucleic acid technologies in RNA biology.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Saikat; Mehtab, Shabana; Krishnan, Yamuna

    2014-06-17

    CONSPECTUS: The impact of nucleic acid nanotechnology in terms of transforming motifs from biology in synthetic and translational ways is widely appreciated. But it is also emerging that the thinking and vision behind nucleic acids as construction material has broader implications, not just in nanotechnology or even synthetic biology, but can feed back into our understanding of biology itself. Physicists have treated nucleic acids as polymers and connected physical principles to biology by abstracting out the molecular interactions. In contrast, biologists delineate molecular players and pathways related to nucleic acids and how they may be networked. But in vitro nucleic acid nanotechnology has provided a valuable framework for nucleic acids by connecting its biomolecular interactions with its materials properties and thereby superarchitecture ultramanipulation that on multiple occasions has pre-empted the elucidation of how living cells themselves are exploiting these same structural concepts. This Account seeks to showcase the larger implications of certain architectural principles that have arisen from the field of structural DNA/RNA nanotechnology in biology. Here we draw connections between these principles and particular molecular phenomena within living systems that have fed in to our understanding of how the cell uses nucleic acids as construction material to achieve different functions. We illustrate this by considering a few exciting and emerging examples in biology in the context of both switchable systems and scaffolding type systems. Due to the scope of this Account, we will focus our discussion on examples of the RNA scaffold as summarized. In the context of switchable RNA architectures, the synthetic demonstration of small molecules blocking RNA translation preceded the discovery of riboswitches. In another example, it was after the description of aptazymes that the first allosteric ribozyme, glmS, was discovered. In the context of RNA architectures

  15. Comparison of small molecules and oligonucleotides that target a toxic, non-coding RNA.

    PubMed

    Costales, Matthew G; Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-06-01

    Potential RNA targets for chemical probes and therapeutic modalities are pervasive in the transcriptome. Oligonucleotide-based therapeutics are commonly used to target RNA sequence. Small molecules are emerging as a modality to target RNA structures selectively, but their development is still in its infancy. In this work, we compare the activity of oligonucleotides and several classes of small molecules that target the non-coding r(CCUG) repeat expansion (r(CCUG)(exp)) that causes myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2), an incurable disease that is the second-most common cause of adult onset muscular dystrophy. Small molecule types investigated include monomers, dimers, and multivalent compounds synthesized on-site by using RNA-templated click chemistry. Oligonucleotides investigated include phosphorothioates that cleave their target and vivo-morpholinos that modulate target RNA activity via binding. We show that compounds assembled on-site that recognize structure have the highest potencies amongst small molecules and are similar in potency to a vivo-morpholino modified oligonucleotide that targets sequence. These studies are likely to impact the design of therapeutic modalities targeting other repeats expansions that cause fragile X syndrome and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, for example.

  16. The separation between the 5′-3′ ends in long RNA molecules is short and nearly constant

    PubMed Central

    Leija-Martínez, Nehemías; Casas-Flores, Sergio; Cadena-Nava, Rubén D.; Roca, Joan A.; Mendez-Cabañas, José A.; Gomez, Eduardo; Ruiz-Garcia, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    RNA molecules play different roles in coding, decoding and gene expression regulation. Such roles are often associated to the RNA secondary or tertiary structures. The folding dynamics lead to multiple secondary structures of long RNA molecules, since an RNA molecule might fold into multiple distinct native states. Despite an ensemble of different structures, it has been theoretically proposed that the separation between the 5′ and 3′ ends of long single-stranded RNA molecules (ssRNA) remains constant, independent of their base content and length. Here, we present the first experimental measurements of the end-to-end separation in long ssRNA molecules. To determine this separation, we use single molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer of fluorescently end-labeled ssRNA molecules ranging from 500 to 5500 nucleotides in length, obtained from two viruses and a fungus. We found that the end-to-end separation is indeed short, within 5–9 nm. It is remarkable that the separation of the ends of all RNA molecules studied remains small and similar, despite the origin, length and differences in their secondary structure. This implies that the ssRNA molecules are ‘effectively circularized’ something that might be a general feature of RNAs, and could result in fine-tuning for translation and gene expression regulation. PMID:25428360

  17. Design of a bioactive small molecule that targets the myotonic dystrophy type 1 RNA via an RNA motif-ligand database and chemical similarity searching.

    PubMed

    Parkesh, Raman; Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Nakamori, Masayuki; Kumar, Amit; Wang, Eric; Wang, Thomas; Hoskins, Jason; Tran, Tuan; Housman, David; Thornton, Charles A; Disney, Matthew D

    2012-03-14

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a triplet repeating disorder caused by expanded CTG repeats in the 3'-untranslated region of the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) gene. The transcribed repeats fold into an RNA hairpin with multiple copies of a 5'CUG/3'GUC motif that binds the RNA splicing regulator muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1). Sequestration of MBNL1 by expanded r(CUG) repeats causes splicing defects in a subset of pre-mRNAs including the insulin receptor, the muscle-specific chloride ion channel, sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase 1, and cardiac troponin T. Based on these observations, the development of small-molecule ligands that target specifically expanded DM1 repeats could be of use as therapeutics. In the present study, chemical similarity searching was employed to improve the efficacy of pentamidine and Hoechst 33258 ligands that have been shown previously to target the DM1 triplet repeat. A series of in vitro inhibitors of the RNA-protein complex were identified with low micromolar IC(50)'s, which are >20-fold more potent than the query compounds. Importantly, a bis-benzimidazole identified from the Hoechst query improves DM1-associated pre-mRNA splicing defects in cell and mouse models of DM1 (when dosed with 1 mM and 100 mg/kg, respectively). Since Hoechst 33258 was identified as a DM1 binder through analysis of an RNA motif-ligand database, these studies suggest that lead ligands targeting RNA with improved biological activity can be identified by using a synergistic approach that combines analysis of known RNA-ligand interactions with chemical similarity searching.

  18. Roadmap to cellular reprogramming--manipulating transcriptional networks with DNA, RNA, proteins and small molecules.

    PubMed

    Wörsdörfer, P; Thier, M; Kadari, A; Edenhofer, F

    2013-06-01

    Recent reports demonstrate that the plasticity of mammalian somatic cells is much higher than previously assumed and that ectopic expression of transcription factors may have the potential to induce the conversion of any cell type into another. Fibroblast cells can be converted into embryonic stem cell-like cells, neural cells, cardiomyocytes, macrophage-like cells as well as blood progenitors. Additionally, the conversion of astrocytes into neurons or neural stem cells into monocytes has been demonstrated. Nowadays, in the era of systems biology, continuously growing holistic data sets are providing increasing insights into core transcriptional networks and cellular signaling pathways. This knowledge enables cell biologists to understand how cellular fate is determined and how it could be manipulated. As a consequence for biomedical applications, it might be soon possible to convert patient specific somatic cells directly into desired transplantable other cell types. The clinical value, however, of such reprogrammed cells is currently limited due to the invasiveness of methods applied to induce reprogramming factor activity. This review will focus on experimental strategies to ectopically induce cell fate modulators. We will emphasize those strategies that enable efficient and robust overexpression of transcription factors by minimal genetic alterations of the host genome. Furthermore, we will discuss procedures devoid of any genomic manipulation, such as the direct delivery of mRNA, proteins, or the use of small molecules. By this, we aim to give a comprehensive overview on state of the art techniques that harbor the potential to generate safe reprogrammed cells for clinical applications.

  19. Identification of antisense nucleic acid hybridization sites in mRNA molecules with self-quenching fluorescent reporter molecules.

    PubMed

    Gifford, Lida K; Opalinska, Joanna B; Jordan, David; Pattanayak, Vikram; Greenham, Paul; Kalota, Anna; Robbins, Michelle; Vernovsky, Kathy; Rodriguez, Lesbeth C; Do, Bao T; Lu, Ponzy; Gewirtz, Alan M

    2005-02-17

    We describe a physical mRNA mapping strategy employing fluorescent self-quenching reporter molecules (SQRMs) that facilitates the identification of mRNA sequence accessible for hybridization with antisense nucleic acids in vitro and in vivo, real time. SQRMs are 20-30 base oligodeoxynucleotides with 5-6 bp complementary ends to which a 5' fluorophore and 3' quenching group are attached. Alone, the SQRM complementary ends form a stem that holds the fluorophore and quencher in contact. When the SQRM forms base pairs with its target, the structure separates the fluorophore from the quencher. This event can be reported by fluorescence emission when the fluorophore is excited. The stem-loop of the SQRM suggests that SQRM be made to target natural stem-loop structures formed during mRNA synthesis. The general utility of this method is demonstrated by SQRM identification of targetable sequence within c-myb and bcl-6 mRNA. Corresponding antisense oligonucleotides reduce these gene products in cells.

  20. Identification of Small Molecule Modulators of MicroRNA by Library Screening.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Zhangang; Chen, Yangchao

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors and are dysregulated in cancer. miRNAs therefore represent promising therapeutic targets for cancer. Small molecules that could modulate the expression of miRNAs would thus have potential as anticancer agents. Library screening of small molecules targeting miRNAs is a useful technology platform for anticancer drug development. Here, we describe a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell-based luciferase reporter system which could be used to screen for small molecule modulators of tumor suppressor microRNA-34a.

  1. Three-dimensional model of a selective theophylline-binding RNA molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Tung, Chang-Shung; Oprea, T.I.; Hummer, G.; Garcia, A.E.

    1995-07-01

    We propose a three-dimensional (3D) model for an RNA molecule that selectively binds theophylline but not caffeine. This RNA, which was found using SELEX [Jenison, R.D., et al., Science (1994) 263:1425] is 10,000 times more specific for theophylline (Kd=320 nM) than for caffeine (Kd=3.5 mM), although the two ligands are identical except for a methyl group substituted at N7 (present only in caffeine). The binding affinity for ten xanthine-based ligands was used to derive a Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA) model (R{sup 2} = 0.93 for 3 components, with cross-validated R{sup 2} of 0.73), using the SYBYL and GOLPE programs. A pharmacophoric map was generated to locate steric and electrostatic interactions between theophylline and the RNA binding site. This information was used to identify putative functional groups of the binding pocket and to generate distance constraints. Based on a model for the secondary structure (Jenison et al., idem), the 3D structure of this RNA was then generated using the following method: each helical region of the RNA molecule was treated as a rigid body; single-stranded loops with specific end-to-end distances were generated. The structures of RNA-xanthine complexes were studied using a modified Monte Carlo algorithm. The detailed structure of an RNA-ligand complex model, as well as possible explanations for the theophylline selectivity will be discussed.

  2. Exosomes for targeted siRNA delivery across biological barriers.

    PubMed

    El Andaloussi, Samir; Lakhal, Samira; Mäger, Imre; Wood, Matthew J A

    2013-03-01

    Using oligonucleotide-based drugs to modulate gene expression has opened a new avenue for drug discovery. In particular small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are being rapidly recognized as promising therapeutic tools, but their poor bioavailability limits the full realization of their clinical potential. In recent years, cumulating evidence has emerged for the role of membrane vesicles, secreted by most cells and found in all body fluids, as key mediators of information transmission between cells. Importantly, a sub-group of these termed exosomes, have recently been shown to contain various RNA species and to mediate their horizontal transfer to neighbouring- or distant recipient cells. Here, we provide a brief overview on membrane vesicles and their role in exchange of genetic information. We also describe how these natural carriers of genetic material can be harnessed to overcome the obstacle of poor delivery and allow efficient systemic delivery of exogenous siRNA across biological barriers such as the blood-brain barrier.

  3. 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.

  4. Conformational dynamics of single pre-mRNA molecules during in vitro splicing.

    PubMed

    Abelson, John; Blanco, Mario; Ditzler, Mark A; Fuller, Franklin; Aravamudhan, Pavithra; Wood, Mona; Villa, Tommaso; Ryan, Daniel E; Pleiss, Jeffrey A; Maeder, Corina; Guthrie, Christine; Walter, Nils G

    2010-04-01

    The spliceosome is a complex small nuclear RNA (snRNA)-protein machine that removes introns from pre-mRNAs via two successive phosphoryl transfer reactions. The chemical steps are isoenergetic, yet splicing requires at least eight RNA-dependent ATPases responsible for substantial conformational rearrangements. To comprehensively monitor pre-mRNA conformational dynamics, we developed a strategy for single-molecule FRET (smFRET) that uses a small, efficiently spliced yeast pre-mRNA, Ubc4, in which donor and acceptor fluorophores are placed in the exons adjacent to the 5' and 3' splice sites. During splicing in vitro, we observed a multitude of generally reversible time- and ATP-dependent conformational transitions of individual pre-mRNAs. The conformational dynamics of branchpoint and 3'-splice site mutants differ from one another and from wild type. Because all transitions are reversible, spliceosome assembly appears to be occurring close to thermal equilibrium.

  5. Structure and Stability of Individual DNA or RNA Hairpin Molecules Captured in an Ion Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akeson, Mark

    2002-03-01

    Nanoscale pores can be used to analyze individual DNA or RNA molecules. For example, a prototype device based on the alpha-hemolysin protein permits serial examination of hundreds to thousands of molecules per minute. It is routinely used to identify individual polynucleotide homopolymers, and to read segments within single DNA or RNA block copolymers as they thread through a narrow, trans-membrane pore formed by the protein (1.5 nm limiting aperture). In recent reports, we have shown that this device can also be used to examine structural details of individual DNA or RNA hairpins at single base-pair precision. This is achieved by capturing each hairpin in a vestibule of the channel leading to the trans-membrane pore. Under a 120 mV applied voltage, ionic current through the channel is gated by the RNA or DNA hairpin as it is perched in the vestibule, resulting in a dynamic current pattern that is exquisitely sensitive to sequence identity. In this presentation, I will explain the ion channel device and then describe structural details of the hairpin molecules that can be resolved by the instrument. These include: i) Watson-Crick base-pair identity at the hairpin stem terminus; ii) duplex fraying caused by single base pair mismatches internal to the hairpin stem; and iii) A form (RNA) versus B form (DNA) helix conformation. I will then discuss alternative mechanisms that can account for the discrete gating patterns that underlie the analysis.

  6. Approaches to Validate and Manipulate RNA Targets with Small Molecules in Cells

    PubMed Central

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2016-01-01

    RNA has become an increasingly important target for therapeutic interventions and for chemical probes that dissect and manipulate its cellular function. Emerging targets include human RNAs that have been shown to directly cause cancer, metabolic disorders, and genetic disease. In this review, we describe various routes to obtain bioactive compounds that target RNA, with a particular emphasis on the development of small molecules. We use these cases to describe approaches that are being developed for target validation, which include target-directed cleavage, classic pull-down experiments, and covalent cross-linking. Thus, tools are available to design small molecules to target RNA and to identify the cellular RNAs that are their targets. PMID:26514201

  7. Approaches to Validate and Manipulate RNA Targets with Small Molecules in Cells.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-01-01

    RNA has become an increasingly important target for therapeutic interventions and for chemical probes that dissect and manipulate its cellular function. Emerging targets include human RNAs that have been shown to directly cause cancer, metabolic disorders, and genetic disease. In this review, we describe various routes to obtain bioactive compounds that target RNA, with a particular emphasis on the development of small molecules. We use these cases to describe approaches that are being developed for target validation, which include target-directed cleavage, classic pull-down experiments, and covalent cross-linking. Thus, tools are available to design small molecules to target RNA and to identify the cellular RNAs that are their targets.

  8. Rationally Designed Small Molecules Targeting the RNA That Causes Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 Are Potently Bioactive

    PubMed Central

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L.; Hoskins, Jason; Rzuczek, Suzanne G.; Thornton, Charles A.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2012-01-01

    RNA is an important drug target, but it is difficult to design or discover small molecules that modulate RNA function. In the present study, we report that rationally designed, modularly assembled small molecules that bind the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) are potently bioactive in cell culture models. DM1 is caused when an expansion of r(CUG) repeats, or r(CUG)exp, is present in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) mRNA. r(CUG)exp folds into a hairpin with regularly repeating 5′CUG/3′GUC motifs and sequester muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1). A variety of defects are associated with DM1 including: (i) formation of nuclear foci, (ii) decreased translation of DMPK mRNA due to its nuclear retention, and (iii) pre-mRNA splicing defects due to inactivation of MBNL1, which controls the alternative splicing of various pre-mRNAs. Previously, modularly assembled ligands targeting r(CUG)exp were designed using information in an RNA motif-ligand database. These studies showed that a bis-benzimidazole (H) binds the 5′CUG/3′GUC motif in r(CUG)exp. Therefore, we designed multivalent ligands to bind multiple copies of this motif simultaneously in r(CUG)exp. Herein, we report that the designed compounds improve DM1-associated defects including improvement of translational and pre-mRNA splicing defects and the disruption of nuclear foci. These studies may establish a foundation to exploit other RNA targets in genomic sequence. PMID:22332923

  9. Rationally designed small molecules targeting the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 are potently bioactive.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Hoskins, Jason; Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Thornton, Charles A; Disney, Matthew D

    2012-05-18

    RNA is an important drug target, but it is difficult to design or discover small molecules that modulate RNA function. In the present study, we report that rationally designed, modularly assembled small molecules that bind the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) are potently bioactive in cell culture models. DM1 is caused when an expansion of r(CUG) repeats, or r(CUG)(exp), is present in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) mRNA. r(CUG)(exp) folds into a hairpin with regularly repeating 5'CUG/3'GUC motifs and sequesters muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1). A variety of defects are associated with DM1, including (i) formation of nuclear foci, (ii) decreased translation of DMPK mRNA due to its nuclear retention, and (iii) pre-mRNA splicing defects due to inactivation of MBNL1, which controls the alternative splicing of various pre-mRNAs. Previously, modularly assembled ligands targeting r(CUG)(exp) were designed using information in an RNA motif-ligand database. These studies showed that a bis-benzimidazole (H) binds the 5'CUG/3'GUC motif in r(CUG)(exp.) Therefore, we designed multivalent ligands to bind simultaneously multiple copies of this motif in r(CUG)(exp). Herein, we report that the designed compounds improve DM1-associated defects including improvement of translational and pre-mRNA splicing defects and the disruption of nuclear foci. These studies may establish a foundation to exploit other RNA targets in genomic sequence.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Creation of RNA molecules that recognize the oxidative lesion 7,8-dihydro-8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in DNA

    PubMed Central

    Rink, Stacia M.; Shen, Jiang-Cheng; Loeb, Lawrence A.

    1998-01-01

    We used in vitro evolution to obtain RNA molecules that specifically recognize and bind with high affinity to the oxidative lesion 7,8-dihydro-8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in DNA. A pool of ≈1015 RNA molecules containing a random insert of 45 nucleotides in length was subject to 10 successive rounds of chromatographic enrichment using an 8-oxodG affinity matrix, reverse transcription, PCR amplification, and RNA synthesis. Selected RNA molecules bind to 8-oxodG located at the 3′ terminus (Kd ≤ 270 nM) or in the center (Kd ≤ 2.8 μM) of a 19-nt strand of DNA, with no detectable affinity for the corresponding dG-containing DNA sequences. These 8-oxodG-binding RNAs will be used to monitor levels of 8-oxodG in DNA from biological sources and should provide a unique method for evaluating oxygen-mediated DNA damage. This approach should be applicable for the creation of RNA molecules that can bind to and identify the different modifications of DNA produced by a variety of environmental agents. PMID:9751715

  14. Prediction of RNA secondary structures: from theory to models and real molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Peter

    2006-05-01

    RNA secondary structures are derived from RNA sequences, which are strings built form the natural four letter nucleotide alphabet, {AUGC}. These coarse-grained structures, in turn, are tantamount to constrained strings over a three letter alphabet. Hence, the secondary structures are discrete objects and the number of sequences always exceeds the number of structures. The sequences built from two letter alphabets form perfect structures when the nucleotides can form a base pair, as is the case with {GC} or {AU}, but the relation between the sequences and structures differs strongly from the four letter alphabet. A comprehensive theory of RNA structure is presented, which is based on the concepts of sequence space and shape space, being a space of structures. It sets the stage for modelling processes in ensembles of RNA molecules like evolutionary optimization or kinetic folding as dynamical phenomena guided by mappings between the two spaces. The number of minimum free energy (mfe) structures is always smaller than the number of sequences, even for two letter alphabets. Folding of RNA molecules into mfe energy structures constitutes a non-invertible mapping from sequence space onto shape space. The preimage of a structure in sequence space is defined as its neutral network. Similarly the set of suboptimal structures is the preimage of a sequence in shape space. This set represents the conformation space of a given sequence. The evolutionary optimization of structures in populations is a process taking place in sequence space, whereas kinetic folding occurs in molecular ensembles that optimize free energy in conformation space. Efficient folding algorithms based on dynamic programming are available for the prediction of secondary structures for given sequences. The inverse problem, the computation of sequences for predefined structures, is an important tool for the design of RNA molecules with tailored properties. Simultaneous folding or cofolding of two or more RNA

  15. Do we know whether potential G-quadruplexes actually form in long functional RNA molecules?

    PubMed Central

    Weldon, Carika; Eperon, Ian C.; Dominguez, Cyril

    2016-01-01

    The roles of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) G-quadruplex structures in gene expression and telomere maintenance have been well characterized. Recent results suggest that such structures could also play pivotal roles in ribonucleic acid (RNA) biology, such as splicing or translation regulation. However, it has been difficult to show that RNA G-quadruplexes (G4s) exist in specific long RNA sequences, such as precursor messenger RNA, in a functional or cellular context. Most current methods for identifying G4s involve the use of short, purified RNA sequences in vitro, in the absence of competition with secondary structures or protein binding. Therefore, novel methods need to be developed to allow the characterization of G4s in long functional RNAs and in a cellular context. This need has in part been met by our recent development of a method based on a comparison of RNA and 7-deaza-RNA that provides a test for identifying RNA G4s in such conditions. PMID:27913687

  16. Single-molecule kinetics of the eukaryotic initiation factor 4AI upon RNA unwinding.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yingjie; Atas, Evrim; Lindqvist, Lisa M; Sonenberg, Nahum; Pelletier, Jerry; Meller, Amit

    2014-07-08

    The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4AI (eIF4AI) is the prototypical DEAD-box RNA helicase. It has a "dumbbell" structure consisting of two domains connected by a flexible linker. Previous studies demonstrated that eIF4AI, in conjunction with eIF4H, bind to loop structures and repetitively unwind RNA hairpins. Here, we probe the conformational dynamics of eIF4AI in real time using single-molecule FRET. We demonstrate that eIF4AI/eIF4H complex can repetitively unwind RNA hairpins by transitioning between an eIF4AI "open" and a "closed" conformation using the energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. Our experiments directly track the conformational changes in the catalytic cycle of eIF4AI and eIF4H, and this correlates precisely with the kinetics of RNA unwinding. Furthermore, we show that the small-molecule eIF4A inhibitor hippuristanol locks eIF4AI in the closed conformation, thus efficiently inhibiting RNA unwinding. These results indicate that the large conformational changes undertaken by eIF4A during the helicase catalytic cycle are rate limiting.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Insight into lncRNA biology using hybridization capture analyses

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Matthew D.

    2015-01-01

    Despite mounting evidence of the importance of large non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in biological regulation, we still know little about how these lncRNAs function. One approach to understand the function of lncRNAs is to biochemically purify endogenous lncRNAs from fixed cells using complementary oligonucleotides. These hybridization capture approaches can reveal the genomic localization of lncRNAs, as well as the proteins and RNAs with which they interact. To help researchers understand how these tools can uncover lncRNA function, this review discusses the considerations and influences of different parameters, (e.g., crosslinking reagents, oliognucleotide chemistry and hybridization conditions) and controls to avoid artifacts. By examining the application of these tools, this review will highlight the progress and pitfalls of studying lncRNAs using hybridization capture approaches. PMID:26381323

  1. Real-time control of the energy landscape by force directs the folding of RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Li, Pan T. X.; Bustamante, Carlos; Tinoco, Ignacio

    2007-01-01

    The rugged folding-energy landscapes of RNAs often display many competing minima. How do RNAs discriminate among competing conformations in their search for the native state? By using optical tweezers, we show that the folding-energy landscape can be manipulated to control the fate of an RNA: individual RNA molecules can be induced into either native or misfolding pathways by modulating the relaxation rate of applied force and even be redirected during the folding process to switch from misfolding to native folding pathways. Controlling folding pathways at the single-molecule level provides a way to survey the manifold of folding trajectories and intermediates, a capability that previously was available only to theoretical studies. PMID:17438300

  2. Molecular-crowding effects on single-molecule RNA folding/unfolding thermodynamics and kinetics.

    PubMed

    Dupuis, Nicholas F; Holmstrom, Erik D; Nesbitt, David J

    2014-06-10

    The effects of "molecular crowding" on elementary biochemical processes due to high solute concentrations are poorly understood and yet clearly essential to the folding of nucleic acids and proteins into correct, native structures. The present work presents, to our knowledge, first results on the single-molecule kinetics of solute molecular crowding, specifically focusing on GAAA tetraloop-receptor folding to isolate a single RNA tertiary interaction using time-correlated single-photon counting and confocal single-molecule FRET microscopy. The impact of crowding by high-molecular-weight polyethylene glycol on the RNA folding thermodynamics is dramatic, with up to ΔΔG° ∼ -2.5 kcal/mol changes in free energy and thus >60-fold increase in the folding equilibrium constant (Keq) for excluded volume fractions of 15%. Most importantly, time-correlated single-molecule methods permit crowding effects on the kinetics of RNA folding/unfolding to be explored for the first time (to our knowledge), which reveal that this large jump in Keq is dominated by a 35-fold increase in tetraloop-receptor folding rate, with only a modest decrease in the corresponding unfolding rate. This is further explored with temperature-dependent single-molecule RNA folding measurements, which identify that crowding effects are dominated by entropic rather than enthalpic contributions to the overall free energy change. Finally, a simple "hard-sphere" treatment of the solute excluded volume is invoked to model the observed kinetic trends, and which predict ΔΔG° ∼ -5 kcal/mol free-energy stabilization at excluded volume fractions of 30%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Inhibition of Non-ATG Translational Events in Cells via Covalent Small Molecules Targeting RNA

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Wang-Yong; Wilson, Henry D.; Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep

    2016-01-01

    One major class of disease-causing RNAs is expanded repeating transcripts. These RNAs cause diseases via multiple mechanisms, including: (i) gain-of-function, in which repeating RNAs bind and sequester proteins involved in RNA biogenesis and (ii) repeat associated non-ATG (RAN) translation, in which repeating transcripts are translated into toxic proteins without use of a canonical, AUG, start codon. Herein, we develop and study chemical probes that bind and react with an expanded r(CGG) repeat (r(CGG)exp) present in a 5′ untranslated region that causes fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Reactive compounds bind to r(CGG)exp in cellulo as shown with Chem-CLIP-Map, an approach to map small molecule binding sites within RNAs in cells. Compounds also potently improve FXTAS-associated pre-mRNA splicing and RAN translational defects, while not affecting translation of the downstream open reading frame. In contrast, oligonucleotides affect both RAN and canonical translation when they bind to r(CGG)exp, which is mechanistically traced to a decrease in polysome loading. Thus, designer small molecules that react with RNA targets can be used to profile the RNAs to which they bind in cells, including identification of binding sites, and can modulate several aspects of RNA-mediated disease pathology in a manner that may be more beneficial than oligonucleotides. PMID:25825793

  7. Identification of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Pre-mRNA Splicing*

    PubMed Central

    Pawellek, Andrea; McElroy, Stuart; Samatov, Timur; Mitchell, Lee; Woodland, Andrew; Ryder, Ursula; Gray, David; Lührmann, Reinhard; Lamond, Angus I.

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic pre-mRNA splicing is an essential step in gene expression for all genes that contain introns. In contrast to transcription and translation, few well characterized chemical inhibitors are available with which to dissect the splicing process, particularly in cells. Therefore, the identification of specific small molecules that either inhibit or modify pre-mRNA splicing would be valuable for research and potentially also for therapeutic applications. We have screened a highly curated library of 71,504 drug-like small molecules using a high throughput in vitro splicing assay. This identified 10 new compounds that both inhibit pre-mRNA splicing in vitro and modify splicing of endogenous pre-mRNA in cells. One of these splicing modulators, DDD00107587 (termed “madrasin,” i.e. 2-((7methoxy-4-methylquinazolin-2-yl)amino)-5,6-dimethylpyrimidin-4(3H)-one RNAsplicing inhibitor), was studied in more detail. Madrasin interferes with the early stages of spliceosome assembly and stalls spliceosome assembly at the A complex. Madrasin is cytotoxic at higher concentrations, although at lower concentrations it induces cell cycle arrest, promotes a specific reorganization of subnuclear protein localization, and modulates splicing of multiple pre-mRNAs in both HeLa and HEK293 cells. PMID:25281741

  8. Direct observation of mobility state transitions in RNA trajectories by sensitive single molecule feedback tracking

    PubMed Central

    Spille, Jan-Hendrik; Kaminski, Tim P.; Scherer, Katharina; Rinne, Jennifer S.; Heckel, Alexander; Kubitscheck, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Observation and tracking of fluorescently labeled molecules and particles in living cells reveals detailed information about intracellular processes on the molecular level. Whereas light microscopic particle observation is usually limited to two-dimensional projections of short trajectory segments, we report here image-based real-time three-dimensional single particle tracking in an active feedback loop with single molecule sensitivity. We tracked particles carrying only 1–3 fluorophores deep inside living tissue with high spatio-temporal resolution. Using this approach, we succeeded to acquire trajectories containing several hundred localizations. We present statistical methods to find significant deviations from random Brownian motion in such trajectories. The analysis allowed us to directly observe transitions in the mobility of ribosomal (r)RNA and Balbiani ring (BR) messenger (m)RNA particles in living Chironomus tentans salivary gland cell nuclei. We found that BR mRNA particles displayed phases of reduced mobility, while rRNA particles showed distinct binding events in and near nucleoli. PMID:25414330

  9. Inhibition of Non-ATG Translational Events in Cells via Covalent Small Molecules Targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wang-Yong; Wilson, Henry D; Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Disney, Matthew D

    2015-04-29

    One major class of disease-causing RNAs is expanded repeating transcripts. These RNAs cause diseases via multiple mechanisms, including: (i) gain-of-function, in which repeating RNAs bind and sequester proteins involved in RNA biogenesis and (ii) repeat associated non-ATG (RAN) translation, in which repeating transcripts are translated into toxic proteins without use of a canonical, AUG, start codon. Herein, we develop and study chemical probes that bind and react with an expanded r(CGG) repeat (r(CGG)(exp)) present in a 5' untranslated region that causes fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Reactive compounds bind to r(CGG)(exp) in cellulo as shown with Chem-CLIP-Map, an approach to map small molecule binding sites within RNAs in cells. Compounds also potently improve FXTAS-associated pre-mRNA splicing and RAN translational defects, while not affecting translation of the downstream open reading frame. In contrast, oligonucleotides affect both RAN and canonical translation when they bind to r(CGG)(exp), which is mechanistically traced to a decrease in polysome loading. Thus, designer small molecules that react with RNA targets can be used to profile the RNAs to which they bind in cells, including identification of binding sites, and can modulate several aspects of RNA-mediated disease pathology in a manner that may be more beneficial than oligonucleotides.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular analysis of different classes of RNA molecules from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded autoptic tissues: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Muciaccia, Barbara; Vico, Carmen; Aromatario, Mariarosaria; Fazi, Francesco; Cecchi, Rossana

    2015-01-01

    For a long time, it has been thought that fresh and frozen tissues are the only possible source of biological material useful to extract nucleic acids suitable for downstream molecular analysis. Recently, for forensic purpose such as personal identification, also fixed tissues have been used to recover DNA molecules, whereas RNA extracted from such material is still considered too degraded for gene expression studies. In the present pilot study, we evaluated the possibility to use forensic formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, collected at autopsy at different postmortem intervals (PMI) from four individuals, to perform advanced molecular analyses. In particular, we performed qualitative and quantitative analyses of total RNAs extracted from different FFPE tissues and put expression profiles in relation with the organ type and the duration of PMI. Different classes of RNA molecular targets were studied by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. We report molecular evidence that small RNAs are the only RNA molecules still detectable in all the FFPE autoptic tissues. In particular, microRNAs (miRNAs) represent a consistent, stable, and well-preserved molecular target detectable even from tissue sources displaying signs of ongoing putrefaction at autopsy. In this pilot study, we show that miRNAs could represent a highly sensitive and potentially useful forensic marker. Amplification of specific miRNAs using paraffin-embedded blocks could facilitate retrospective molecular analysis using specific forensic-archived tissues chosen as most suitable according to PMI, and this approach would address molecular evidence in forensic cases in which fresh or frozen material is no longer available.

  13. Inhibition of pathologic immunoglobulin free light chain production by small interfering RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Phipps, Jonathan E.; Kestler, Daniel P.; Foster, James S.; Kennel, Stephen J.; Donnell, Robert; Weiss, Deborah T.; Solomon, Alan; Wall, Jonathan S.

    2010-01-01

    Objectives Morbidity and mortality occurring in patients with multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis, and light chain deposition disease can result from the pathologic deposition of monoclonal Ig light chains (LCs) in kidneys and other organs. To reduce synthesis of such components, therapy for these disorders typically has involved anti-plasma cell agents; however, this approach is not always effective and can have adverse consequences. We have investigated another means to achieve this objective; namely, RNA interference (RNAi). Materials and Methods SP2/O mouse myeloma cells were stably transfected with a construct encoding a λ6 LC (Wil) under control of the CMV promoter, while λ2-producing myeloma cell line RPMI 8226 was purchased from the ATCC. Both were treated with small interfering RNA (siRNA) directed specifically to the V, J, or C portions of the molecules and then analyzed by ELISA, flow cytometry and real time PCR. Results Transfected cells were found to constitutively express detectable quantities of mRNA and protein Wil and, after exposure to siRNAs, an ~40% reduction in mRNA and LC production was evidenced at 48 hours. An even greater effect was seen with the 8226 cells. Conclusion Our results have shown that RNAi can markedly reduce LC synthesis and provide the basis for testing the therapeutic potential of this strategy using in vivo experimental models of multiple myeloma. PMID:20637260

  14. Nuclear export of single native mRNA molecules observed by light sheet fluorescence microscopy.

    PubMed

    Siebrasse, Jan Peter; Kaminski, Tim; Kubitscheck, Ulrich

    2012-06-12

    Nuclear export of mRNA is a key transport process in eukaryotic cells. To investigate it, we labeled native mRNP particles in living Chironomus tentans salivary gland cells with fluorescent hrp36, the hnRNP A1 homolog, and the nuclear envelope by fluorescent NTF2. Using light sheet microscopy, we traced single native mRNA particles across the nuclear envelope. The particles were observed to often probe nuclear pore complexes (NPC) at their nuclear face, and in only 25% of the cases yielded actual export. The complete export process took between 65 ms up to several seconds. A rate-limiting step was observed, which could be assigned to the nuclear basket of the pore and might correspond to a repositioning and unfolding of mRNPs before the actual translocation. Analysis of single fluorescent Dbp5 molecules, the RNA helicase essential for mRNA export, revealed that Dbp5 most often approached the cytoplasmic face of the NPC, and exhibited a binding duration of approximately 55 ms. Our results have allowed a refinement of the current models for mRNA export.

  15. Periodic-shRNA molecules are capable of gene silencing, cytotoxicity and innate immune activation in cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Shopsowitz, Kevin E.; Wu, Connie; Liu, Gina; Dreaden, Erik C.; Hammond, Paula T.

    2016-01-01

    Large dsRNA molecules can cause potent cytotoxic and immunostimulatory effects through the activation of pattern recognition receptors; however, synthetic versions of these molecules are mostly limited to simple sequences like poly-I:C and poly-A:U. Here we show that large RNA molecules generated by rolling circle transcription fold into periodic-shRNA (p-shRNA) structures and cause potent cytotoxicity and gene silencing when delivered to cancer cells. We determined structural requirements for the dumbbell templates used to synthesize p-shRNA, and showed that these molecules likely adopt a co-transcriptionally folded structure. The cytotoxicity of p-shRNA was robustly observed across four different cancer cell lines using two different delivery systems. Despite having a considerably different folded structure than conventional dsRNA, the cytotoxicity of p-shRNA was either equal to or substantially greater than that of poly-I:C depending on the delivery vehicle. Furthermore, p-shRNA caused greater NF-κB activation in SKOV3 cells compared to poly-I:C, indicating that it is a powerful activator of innate immunity. The tuneable sequence and combined gene silencing, immunostimulatory and cytotoxic capacity of p-shRNA make it an attractive platform for cancer immunotherapy. PMID:26704983

  16. 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.

  17. Tethered particle motion method for studying transcript elongation by a single RNA polymerase molecule.

    PubMed Central

    Yin, H; Landick, R; Gelles, J

    1994-01-01

    Schafer et al. (Nature 352:444-448 (1991)) devised the tethered particle motion (TPM) method to detect directly the movement of single, isolated molecules of a processive nucleic acid polymerase along a template DNA molecule. In TPM studies, the polymerase molecule is immobilized on a glass surface, and a particle (e.g., a 0.23 microns diameter polystyrene bead) is attached to one end of the enzyme-bound DNA molecule. Time-resolved measurements of the DNA contour length between the particle and the immobilized enzyme (the "tether length") are made by determining the magnitude of the Brownian motion of the DNA-tethered particle using light microscopy and digital image processing. We report here improved sample preparation methods that permit TPM data collection on transcript elongation by the Escherichia coli RNA polymerase at rates (approximately 10(2)-fold higher than those previously obtained) sufficient for practical use of microscopic kinetics techniques to analyze polymerase reaction mechanisms. In earlier TPM experiments, calculation of tether length from the observed Brownian motion was based on an untested numerical simulation of tethered bead Brownian motion. Using the improved methods, we have now empirically validated the TPM technique for tether lengths of 308-1915 base pairs (bp) using calibration specimens containing particles tethered by individual DNA molecules of known lengths. TPM analysis of such specimens yielded a linear calibration curve relating observed Brownian motion to tether length and allowed determination of the accuracy of the technique and measurement of how temporal bandwidth, tether length, and other experimental variables affect measurement precision. Under a standard set of experimental conditions (0.23 microns diameter bead, 0.23 Hz bandwidth, 23 degrees), accuracy is 108 and 258 bp r.m.s. at tether lengths of 308 and 1915 bp, respectively. Precision improves linearly with decreasing tether length to an extrapolated

  18. 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.

  19. Legume genomics: understanding biology through DNA and RNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    O'Rourke, Jamie A.; Bolon, Yung-Tsi; Bucciarelli, Bruna; Vance, Carroll P.

    2014-01-01

    Background The legume family (Leguminosae) consists of approx. 17 000 species. A few of these species, including, but not limited to, Phaseolus vulgaris, Cicer arietinum and Cajanus cajan, are important dietary components, providing protein for approx. 300 million people worldwide. Additional species, including soybean (Glycine max) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa), are important crops utilized mainly in animal feed. In addition, legumes are important contributors to biological nitrogen, forming symbiotic relationships with rhizobia to fix atmospheric N2 and providing up to 30 % of available nitrogen for the next season of crops. The application of high-throughput genomic technologies including genome sequencing projects, genome re-sequencing (DNA-seq) and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) by the legume research community has provided major insights into genome evolution, genomic architecture and domestication. Scope and Conclusions This review presents an overview of the current state of legume genomics and explores the role that next-generation sequencing technologies play in advancing legume genomics. The adoption of next-generation sequencing and implementation of associated bioinformatic tools has allowed researchers to turn each species of interest into their own model organism. To illustrate the power of next-generation sequencing, an in-depth overview of the transcriptomes of both soybean and white lupin (Lupinus albus) is provided. The soybean transcriptome focuses on analysing seed development in two near-isogenic lines, examining the role of transporters, oil biosynthesis and nitrogen utilization. The white lupin transcriptome analysis examines how phosphate deficiency alters gene expression patterns, inducing the formation of cluster roots. Such studies illustrate the power of next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analyses in elucidating the gene networks underlying biological processes. PMID:24769535

  20. Dynamics of Translation of Single mRNA Molecules In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Yan, Xiaowei; Hoek, Tim A; Vale, Ronald D; Tanenbaum, Marvin E

    2016-05-05

    Regulation of mRNA translation, the process by which ribosomes decode mRNAs into polypeptides, is used to tune cellular protein levels. Currently, methods for observing the complete process of translation from single mRNAs in vivo are unavailable. Here, we report the long-term (>1 hr) imaging of single mRNAs undergoing hundreds of rounds of translation in live cells, enabling quantitative measurements of ribosome initiation, elongation, and stalling. This approach reveals a surprising heterogeneity in the translation of individual mRNAs within the same cell, including rapid and reversible transitions between a translating and non-translating state. Applying this method to the cell-cycle gene Emi1, we find strong overall repression of translation initiation by specific 5' UTR sequences, but individual mRNA molecules in the same cell can exhibit dramatically different translational efficiencies. The ability to observe translation of single mRNA molecules in live cells provides a powerful tool to study translation regulation.

  1. Small Molecule Targeting of a MicroRNA Associated with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L.

    2016-01-01

    Development of precision therapeutics is of immense interest, particularly as applied to the treatment of cancer. By analyzing the preferred cellular RNA targets of small molecules, we discovered that 5″-azido neomycin B binds the Drosha processing site in the microRNA (miR)-525 precursor. MiR-525 confers invasive properties to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Although HCC is one of the most common cancers, treatment options are limited, making the disease often fatal. Herein, we find that addition of 5″-azido neomycin B and its FDA-approved precursor, neomycin B, to an HCC cell line selectively inhibits production of the mature miRNA, boosts a downstream protein, and inhibits invasion. Interestingly, neomycin B is a second-line agent for hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and bacterial infections due to cirrhosis. Our results provocatively suggest that neomycin B, or second-generation derivatives, may be dual functioning molecules to treat both HE and HCC. Collectively, these studies show that rational design approaches can be tailored to disease-associated RNAs to afford potential lead therapeutics. PMID:26551630

  2. Small Molecule Targeting of a MicroRNA Associated with Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-02-19

    Development of precision therapeutics is of immense interest, particularly as applied to the treatment of cancer. By analyzing the preferred cellular RNA targets of small molecules, we discovered that 5"-azido neomycin B binds the Drosha processing site in the microRNA (miR)-525 precursor. MiR-525 confers invasive properties to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Although HCC is one of the most common cancers, treatment options are limited, making the disease often fatal. Herein, we find that addition of 5"-azido neomycin B and its FDA-approved precursor, neomycin B, to an HCC cell line selectively inhibits production of the mature miRNA, boosts a downstream protein, and inhibits invasion. Interestingly, neomycin B is a second-line agent for hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and bacterial infections due to cirrhosis. Our results provocatively suggest that neomycin B, or second-generation derivatives, may be dual functioning molecules to treat both HE and HCC. Collectively, these studies show that rational design approaches can be tailored to disease-associated RNAs to afford potential lead therapeutics.

  3. Structure of the Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2 RNA and Designed Small Molecules That Reduce Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Park, HaJeung; Lohman, Jeremy R.; Guan, Lirui; Tran, Tuan; Sarkar, Partha; Schatz, George C.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is an untreatable neuromuscular disorder caused by a r(CCUG) expansion (r(CCUG)exp) that folds into an extended hairpin with periodically repeating 2×2 nucleotide internal loops (5’CCUG/3’GUCC). We designed multivalent compounds that improve DM2-associated defects using information about RNA-small molecule interactions. We also report the first crystal structure of r(CCUG)exp refined to 2.35 Å. Structural analysis of the three 5’CCUG/3’GUCC repeat internal loops (L) reveals that the CU pairs in L1 are each stabilized by one hydrogen bond and a water-mediated hydrogen bond while CU pairs in L2 and L3 are stabilized by two hydrogen bonds. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal that the CU pairs are dynamic and stabilized by Na+ and water molecules. MD simulations of the binding of the small molecule to r(CCUG) repeats reveal that the lowest free energy binding mode occurs via the major groove, in which one C residue is unstacked and the cross-strand nucleotides are displaced. Moreover, we modeled the binding of our dimeric compound to two 5’CCUG/3’GUCC motifs, which shows that the scaffold on which the RNA-binding modules are displayed provides an optimal distance to span two adjacent loops. PMID:24341895

  4. Structure of the myotonic dystrophy type 2 RNA and designed small molecules that reduce toxicity.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Yildirim, Ilyas; Park, HaJeung; Lohman, Jeremy R; Guan, Lirui; Tran, Tuan; Sarkar, Partha; Schatz, George C; Disney, Matthew D

    2014-02-21

    Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is an incurable neuromuscular disorder caused by a r(CCUG) expansion (r(CCUG)(exp)) that folds into an extended hairpin with periodically repeating 2×2 nucleotide internal loops (5'CCUG/3'GUCC). We designed multivalent compounds that improve DM2-associated defects using information about RNA-small molecule interactions. We also report the first crystal structure of r(CCUG) repeats refined to 2.35 Å. Structural analysis of the three 5'CCUG/3'GUCC repeat internal loops (L) reveals that the CU pairs in L1 are each stabilized by one hydrogen bond and a water-mediated hydrogen bond, while CU pairs in L2 and L3 are stabilized by two hydrogen bonds. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal that the CU pairs are dynamic and stabilized by Na(+) and water molecules. MD simulations of the binding of the small molecule to r(CCUG) repeats reveal that the lowest free energy binding mode occurs via the major groove, in which one C residue is unstacked and the cross-strand nucleotides are displaced. Moreover, we modeled the binding of our dimeric compound to two 5'CCUG/3'GUCC motifs, which shows that the scaffold on which the RNA-binding modules are displayed provides an optimal distance to span two adjacent loops.

  5. 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.

  6. Single-molecule FRET reveals the pre-initiation and initiation conformations of influenza virus promoter RNA

    PubMed Central

    Robb, Nicole C.; te Velthuis, Aartjan J. W.; Wieneke, Ralph; Tampé, Robert; Cordes, Thorben; Fodor, Ervin; Kapanidis, Achillefs N.

    2016-01-01

    Influenza viruses have a segmented viral RNA (vRNA) genome, which is replicated by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP). Replication initiates on the vRNA 3′ terminus, producing a complementary RNA (cRNA) intermediate, which serves as a template for the synthesis of new vRNA. RNAP structures show the 3′ terminus of the vRNA template in a pre-initiation state, bound on the surface of the RNAP rather than in the active site; no information is available on 3′ cRNA binding. Here, we have used single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to probe the viral RNA conformations that occur during RNAP binding and initial replication. We show that even in the absence of nucleotides, the RNAP-bound 3′ termini of both vRNA and cRNA exist in two conformations, corresponding to the pre-initiation state and an initiation conformation in which the 3′ terminus of the viral RNA is in the RNAP active site. Nucleotide addition stabilises the 3′ vRNA in the active site and results in unwinding of the duplexed region of the promoter. Our data provide insights into the dynamic motions of RNA that occur during initial influenza replication and has implications for our understanding of the replication mechanisms of similar pathogenic viruses. PMID:27694620

  7. Single-molecule imaging reveals a switch between spurious and functional ncRNA transcription

    PubMed Central

    Lenstra, Tineke L.; Coulon, Antoine; Chow, Carson C.; Larson, Daniel R.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Eukaryotic transcription is pervasive, and many of the resulting RNAs are non-coding. It is unknown if ubiquitous transcription is functional or simply reflects stochastic transcriptional noise. By single-molecule visualization of the dynamic interplay between coding and non-coding transcription at the GAL locus in living yeast cells, we show that antisense GAL10 ncRNA transcription can switch between functional and spurious under different conditions. During galactose induction, GAL10 sense transcription occurs in short stochastic bursts which are unaffected by transcription of antisense GAL10 ncRNA, even when both are present simultaneously at the same locus. In contrast, when GAL10 is not induced, ncRNA transcription is critical to prevent transcriptional leakage of GAL1 and GAL10. Suppression of ncRNA transcription by strand-specific CRISPR/dCas9 results in transcriptional leakage of the inducer GAL1, leading to a more sensitive transcription activation threshold, an alteration of metabolic switching, and a fitness defect in competition experiments. PMID:26549684

  8. The glmS ribozyme: use of a small molecule coenzyme by a gene-regulatory RNA.

    PubMed

    Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R

    2010-11-01

    The glmS ribozyme is the first known example of a natural ribozyme that has evolved to require binding of an exogenous small molecule for activity. In Gram-positive bacteria, this RNA domain is part of the messenger RNA (mRNA) encoding the essential enzyme that synthesizes glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P). When present at physiologic concentration, this small molecule binds to the glmS ribozyme and uncovers a latent self-cleavage activity that ultimately leads to degradation of the mRNA. Biochemical and structural studies reveal that the RNA adopts a rigid fold stabilized by three pseudoknots and the packing of a peripheral domain against the ribozyme core. GlcN6P binding to this pre-organized RNA does not induce conformational changes; rather, the small molecule functions as a coenzyme, providing a catalytically essential amine group to the active site. The ribozyme is not a passive player, however. Active site functional groups are essential for catalysis, even in the presence of GlcN6P. In addition to being a superb experimental system with which to analyze how RNA catalysts can exploit small molecule coenzymes to broaden their chemical versatility, the presence of the glmS ribozyme in numerous pathogenic bacteria make this RNA an attractive target for the development of new antibiotics and antibacterial strategies.

  9. Single Molecule Studies of Transcription: From One RNA Polymerase at a Time to the Gene Expression Profile of a Cell

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Feng; Greene, Eric C.

    2011-01-01

    Single molecule techniques have emerged as powerful tools for deciphering mechanistic details of transcription, and have yielded discoveries that would otherwise have been impossible to make through the use of more traditional biochemical and/or biophysical techniques. Here we provide a brief overview of single molecule techniques most commonly used for studying RNA polymerase and transcription. We then present specific examples of single molecule studies that have contributed to our understanding of key mechanistic details for each different stage of the transcription cycle. Finally, we discuss emerging single molecule approaches and future directions, including efforts to study transcription at the single molecule level in living cells. PMID:21255583

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Chemical Derivatives of a Small Molecule Deubiquitinase Inhibitor Have Antiviral Activity against Several RNA Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Hernandez, Marta J.; Pal, Anupama; Gyan, Kofi E.; Charbonneau, Marie-Eve; Showalter, Hollis D.; Donato, Nicholas J.; O'Riordan, Mary; Wobus, Christiane E.

    2014-01-01

    Most antiviral treatment options target the invading pathogen and unavoidably encounter loss of efficacy as the pathogen mutates to overcome replication restrictions. A good strategy for circumventing drug resistance, or for pathogens without treatment options, is to target host cell proteins that are utilized by viruses during infection. The small molecule WP1130 is a selective deubiquitinase inhibitor shown previously to successfully reduce replication of noroviruses and some other RNA viruses. In this study, we screened a library of 31 small molecule derivatives of WP1130 to identify compounds that retained the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of the parent compound in vitro but exhibited improved drug-like properties, particularly increased aqueous solubility. Seventeen compounds significantly reduced murine norovirus infection in murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells, with four causing decreases in viral titers that were similar or slightly better than WP1130 (1.9 to 2.6 log scale). Antiviral activity was observed following pre-treatment and up to 1 hour postinfection in RAW 264.7 cells as well as in primary bone marrow-derived macrophages. Treatment of the human norovirus replicon system cell line with the same four compounds also decreased levels of Norwalk virus RNA. No significant cytotoxicity was observed at the working concentration of 5 µM for all compounds tested. In addition, the WP1130 derivatives maintained their broad-spectrum antiviral activity against other RNA viruses, Sindbis virus, LaCrosse virus, encephalomyocarditis virus, and Tulane virus. Thus, altering structural characteristics of WP1130 can maintain effective broad-spectrum antiviral activity while increasing aqueous solubility. PMID:24722666

  13. Chemical derivatives of a small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitor have antiviral activity against several RNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Hernandez, Marta J; Pal, Anupama; Gyan, Kofi E; Charbonneau, Marie-Eve; Showalter, Hollis D; Donato, Nicholas J; O'Riordan, Mary; Wobus, Christiane E

    2014-01-01

    Most antiviral treatment options target the invading pathogen and unavoidably encounter loss of efficacy as the pathogen mutates to overcome replication restrictions. A good strategy for circumventing drug resistance, or for pathogens without treatment options, is to target host cell proteins that are utilized by viruses during infection. The small molecule WP1130 is a selective deubiquitinase inhibitor shown previously to successfully reduce replication of noroviruses and some other RNA viruses. In this study, we screened a library of 31 small molecule derivatives of WP1130 to identify compounds that retained the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of the parent compound in vitro but exhibited improved drug-like properties, particularly increased aqueous solubility. Seventeen compounds significantly reduced murine norovirus infection in murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells, with four causing decreases in viral titers that were similar or slightly better than WP1130 (1.9 to 2.6 log scale). Antiviral activity was observed following pre-treatment and up to 1 hour postinfection in RAW 264.7 cells as well as in primary bone marrow-derived macrophages. Treatment of the human norovirus replicon system cell line with the same four compounds also decreased levels of Norwalk virus RNA. No significant cytotoxicity was observed at the working concentration of 5 µM for all compounds tested. In addition, the WP1130 derivatives maintained their broad-spectrum antiviral activity against other RNA viruses, Sindbis virus, LaCrosse virus, encephalomyocarditis virus, and Tulane virus. Thus, altering structural characteristics of WP1130 can maintain effective broad-spectrum antiviral activity while increasing aqueous solubility.

  14. Rationally designed small molecules that target both the DNA and RNA causing myotonic dystrophy type 1.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Lien; Luu, Long M; Peng, Shaohong; Serrano, Julio F; Chan, H Y Edwin; Zimmerman, Steven C

    2015-11-11

    Single-agent, single-target therapeutic approaches are often limited by a complex disease pathobiology. We report rationally designed, multi-target agents for myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). DM1 originates in an abnormal expansion of CTG repeats (CTG(exp)) in the DMPK gene. The resultant expanded CUG transcript (CUG(exp)) identified as a toxic agent sequesters important proteins, such as muscleblind-like proteins (MBNL), undergoes repeat-associated non-ATG (RAN) translation, and potentially causes microRNA dysregulation. We report rationally designed small molecules that target the DM1 pathobiology in vitro in three distinct ways by acting simultaneously as transcription inhibitors, by inhibiting aberrant protein binding to the toxic RNA, and by acting as RNase mimics to degrade the toxic RNA. In vitro, the agents are shown to (1) bind CTG(exp) and inhibit formation of the CUG(exp) transcript, (2) bind CUG(exp) and inhibit sequestration of MBNL1, and (3) cleave CUG(exp) in an RNase-like manner. The most potent compounds are capable of reducing the levels of CUG(exp) in DM1 model cells, and one reverses two separate CUG(exp)-induced phenotypes in a DM1 Drosophila model.

  15. Single-molecule FRET-Rosetta reveals RNA structural rearrangements during human telomerase catalysis.

    PubMed

    Parks, Joseph W; Kappel, Kalli; Das, Rhiju; Stone, Michael D

    2017-02-01

    Maintenance of telomeres by telomerase permits continuous proliferation of rapidly dividing cells, including the majority of human cancers. Despite its direct biomedical significance, the architecture of the human telomerase complex remains unknown. Generating homogeneous telomerase samples has presented a significant barrier to developing improved structural models. Here we pair single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) measurements with Rosetta modeling to map the conformations of the essential telomerase RNA core domain within the active ribonucleoprotein. FRET-guided modeling places the essential pseudoknot fold distal to the active site on a protein surface comprising the C-terminal element, a domain that shares structural homology with canonical polymerase thumb domains. An independently solved medium-resolution structure of Tetrahymena telomerase provides a blind test of our modeling methodology and sheds light on the structural homology of this domain across diverse organisms. Our smFRET-Rosetta models reveal nanometer-scale rearrangements within the RNA core domain during catalysis. Taken together, our FRET data and pseudoatomic molecular models permit us to propose a possible mechanism for how RNA core domain rearrangement is coupled to template hybrid elongation.

  16. MicroRNA-regulated networks: the perfect storm for classical molecular biology, the ideal scenario for systems biology.

    PubMed

    Vera, Julio; Lai, Xin; Schmitz, Ulf; Wolkenhauer, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in many regulatory pathways some of which are complex networks enriched in regulatory motifs like positive or negative feedback loops or coherent and incoherent feedforward loops. Their complexity makes the understanding of their regulation difficult and the interpretation of experimental data cumbersome. In this book chapter we claim that systems biology is the appropriate approach to investigate the regulation of these miRNA-regulated networks. Systems biology is an interdisciplinary approach by which biomedical questions on biochemical networks are addressed by integrating experiments with mathematical modelling and simulation. We here introduce the foundations of the systems biology approach, the basic theoretical and computational tools used to perform model-based analyses of miRNA-regulated networks and review the scientific literature in systems biology of miRNA regulation, with a focus on cancer.

  17. Targeting Th17 Cells with Small Molecules and Small Interference RNA.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui; Song, Pingfang; Zhao, Yi; Xue, Li-Jia; Liu, Yi; Chu, Cong-Qiu

    2015-01-01

    T helper 17 (Th17) cells play a central role in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases via the production of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin- (IL-) 17, IL-17F, and IL-22. Anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibodies show potent efficacy in psoriasis but poor effect in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease. Alternative agents targeting Th17 cells may be a better way to inhibit the development and function of Th17 cells than antibodies of blocking a single effector cytokine. Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt) which acts as the master transcription factor of Th17 differentiation has been an attractive pharmacologic target for the treatment of Th17-mediated autoimmune disease. Recent progress in technology of chemical screen and engineering nucleic acid enable two new classes of therapeutics targeting RORγt. Chemical screen technology identified several small molecule specific inhibitors of RORγt from a small molecule library. Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technology enabled target specific aptamers to be isolated from a random sequence oligonucleotide library. In this review, we highlight the development and therapeutic potential of small molecules inhibiting Th17 cells by targeting RORγt and aptamer mediated CD4(+) T cell specific delivery of small interference RNA against RORγt gene expression to inhibit pathogenic effector functions of Th17 lineage.

  18. Determination of the Absolute Number of Cytokine mRNA Molecules within Individual Activated Human T Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karr, Laurel J.; Marshall, Gwen; Hockett, Richard D.; Bucy, R. Pat; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A primary function of activated T cells is the expression and subsequent secretion of cytokines, which orchestrate the differentiation of other lymphocytes, modulate antigen presenting cell activity, and alter vascular endothelium to mediate an immune response. Since many features of immune regulation probably result from modest alterations of endogenous rates of multiple interacting processes, quantitative analysis of the frequency and specific activity of individual T cells is critically important. Using a coordinated set of quantitative methods, the absolute number of molecules of several key cytokine mRNA species in individual T cells has been determined. The frequency of human blood T cells activated in vitro by mitogens and recall protein antigens was determined by intracellular cytokine protein staining, in situ hybridization for cytokine mRNA, and by limiting dilution analysis for cytokine mRNA+ cells. The absolute number of mRNA molecules was simultaneously determined in both homogenates of the entire population of cells and in individual cells obtained by limiting dilution, using a quantitative, competitive RT-PCR assay. The absolute numbers of mRNA molecules in a population of cells divided by the frequency of individual positive cells, yielded essentially the same number of mRNA molecules per cell as direct analysis of individual cells by limiting dilution analysis. Mean numbers of mRNA per positive cell from both mitogen and antigen activated T cells, using these stimulation conditions, were 6000 for IL-2, 6300 for IFN-gamma, and 1600 for IL-4.

  19. 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.

  20. The up-regulation of ferritin expression using a small-molecule ligand to the native mRNA

    PubMed Central

    Tibodeau, Jennifer D.; Fox, Paige M.; Ropp, Patricia A.; Theil, Elizabeth C.; Thorp, H. Holden

    2006-01-01

    The binding of small molecules to distinctive three-dimensional structures in mRNA provides a new dimension in RNA control, previously limited to the targeting of secondary structures with antisense and RNA interference; such targeting can modulate mRNA function and rates of protein biosynthesis. Small molecules that selectively bind the iron-responsive element (IRE), a specific three-dimensional structure in the noncoding region of the ferritin mRNA model that is recognized by the iron-regulatory protein repressor, were identified by using chemical footprinting. The assay used involved an oxoruthenium(IV) complex that oxidizes guanine bases in RNA sequences. Small molecules that blocked oxidation of guanines in the internal loop region were expected to selectively increase the rate of ferritin synthesis, because the internal loop region of the ferritin IRE is distinctive from those of other IREs. The natural product yohimbine was found (based on gel mobility shifts) to block cleavage of the internal loop RNA site by >50% and seemed to inhibit protein binding. In the presence of yohimbine, the rate of biosynthesis of ferritin in a cell-free expression system (rabbit reticulocyte lysate) increased by 40%. Assignment of the IRE–yohimbine interaction as the origin of this effect was supported by a similar increase in synthesis of luciferase protein in a chimera of the IRE and luciferase gene. The identification of a small, drug-like molecule that recognizes a naturally occurring three-dimensional mRNA structure and regulates protein biosynthesis rates raises the possibility that small molecules can regulate protein biosynthesis by selectively binding to mRNA. PMID:16381820

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Unbinding forces and energies between a siRNA molecule and a dendrimer measured by force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumitru, Andra C.; Herruzo, Elena T.; Rausell, Estrella; Ceña, Valentin; Garcia, Ricardo

    2015-11-01

    We have measured the intermolecular forces between small interference RNA (siRNA) and polyamidoamine dendrimers at the single molecular level. A single molecule force spectroscopy approach has been developed to measure the unbinding forces and energies between a siRNA molecule and polyamidoamine dendrimers deposited on a mica surface in a buffer solution. We report three types of unbinding events which are characterized by forces and free unbinding energies, respectively, of 28 pN, 0.709 eV; 38 pN, 0.722 eV; and 50 pN, 0.724 eV. These events reflect different possible electrostatic interactions between the positive charges of one or two dendrimers and the negatively charged phosphate groups of a single siRNA. We have evidence of a high binding affinity of siRNA towards polyamidoamine dendrimers that leads to a 45% probability of measuring specific unbinding events.

  4. Unbinding forces and energies between a siRNA molecule and a dendrimer measured by force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Dumitru, Andra C; Herruzo, Elena T; Rausell, Estrella; Ceña, Valentin; Garcia, Ricardo

    2015-12-21

    We have measured the intermolecular forces between small interference RNA (siRNA) and polyamidoamine dendrimers at the single molecular level. A single molecule force spectroscopy approach has been developed to measure the unbinding forces and energies between a siRNA molecule and polyamidoamine dendrimers deposited on a mica surface in a buffer solution. We report three types of unbinding events which are characterized by forces and free unbinding energies, respectively, of 28 pN, 0.709 eV; 38 pN, 0.722 eV; and 50 pN, 0.724 eV. These events reflect different possible electrostatic interactions between the positive charges of one or two dendrimers and the negatively charged phosphate groups of a single siRNA. We have evidence of a high binding affinity of siRNA towards polyamidoamine dendrimers that leads to a 45% probability of measuring specific unbinding events.

  5. 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.

  6. Biological analysis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia: integration of mRNA and microRNA expression profiles.

    PubMed

    Dong, L; Bi, K H; Huang, N; Chen, C Y

    2016-01-08

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a disease that involves progressive accumulation of nonfunctioning lymphocytes and has a low cure rate. There is an urgent requirement to determine the molecular mechanism underlying this disease in order to improve the early diagnosis and treatment of CLL. In this study, genes differentially expressed between CLL samples and age-matched controls were identified using microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression profiles. Differentially expressed (DE) miRNA targets were predicted by combining five algorithms. Common genes were obtained on overlapping the DE mRNA and DE miRNA targets. Then, network and module analyses were performed. A total of 239 miRNA targets were predicted and 357 DE mRNAs were obtained. On intersecting miRNA targets and DE mRNAs, 33 common genes were obtained. The protein-protein interaction network and module analysis identified several crucial genes and modules that might be associated with the development of CLL. These DE mRNAs were significantly enriched in the hematopoietic cell lineage (P = 2.58E-4), mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway (P = 0.0025), and leukocyte transendothelial migration pathway (P = 0.0026). Thus, we conducted biological analysis on integration of DE mRNAs and DE miRNAs in CLL, determined gene expression patterns, and screened out several important genes that might be related to CLL.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Amino Acid Specific Effects on RNA Tertiary Interactions: Single-Molecule Kinetic and Thermodynamic Studies.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Abhigyan; Sung, Hsuan-Lei; Nesbitt, David J

    2016-10-10

    In light of the current models for an early RNA-based universe, the potential influence of simple amino acids on tertiary folding of ribozymal RNA into biochemically competent structures is speculated to be of significant evolutionary importance. In the present work, the folding-unfolding kinetics of a ubiquitous tertiary interaction motif, the GAAA tetraloop-tetraloop receptor (TL-TLR), is investigated by single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer spectroscopy in the presence of natural amino acids both with (e.g., lysine, arginine) and without (e.g., glycine) protonated side chain residues. By way of control, we also investigate the effects of a special amino acid (e.g., proline) and amino acid mimetic (e.g., betaine) that contain secondary or quaternary amine groups rather than a primary amine group. This combination permits systematic study of amino acid induced (or amino acid like) RNA folding dynamics as a function of side chain complexity, pKa, charge state, and amine group content. Most importantly, each of the naturally occurring amino acids is found to destabilize the TL-TLR tertiary folding equilibrium, the kinetic origin of which is dominated by a decrease in the folding rate constant (kdock), also affected by a strongly amino acid selective increase in the unfolding rate constant (kundock). To further elucidate the underlying thermodynamics, single-molecule equilibrium constants (Keq) for TL-TLR folding have been probed as a function of temperature, which reveal an amino acid dependent decrease in both overall exothermicity (ΔΔH° > 0) and entropic cost (-TΔΔS° < 0) for the overall folding process. Temperature-dependent studies on the folding/unfolding kinetic rate constants reveal analogous amino acid specific changes in both enthalpy (ΔΔH(⧧)) and entropy (ΔΔS(⧧)) for accessing the transition state barrier. The maximum destabilization of the TL-TLR tertiary interaction is observed for arginine, which is consistent with early

  12. Insects' RNA Profiling Reveals Absence of "Hidden Break" in 28S Ribosomal RNA Molecule of Onion Thrips, Thrips tabaci.

    PubMed

    Macharia, Rosaline Wanjiru; Ombura, Fidelis Levi; Aroko, Erick Onyango

    2015-01-01

    With an exception of aphids, insects' 28S rRNA is thought to harbor a "hidden break" which cleaves under denaturing conditions to comigrate with 18S rRNA band to exhibit a degraded appearance on native agarose gels. The degraded appearance confounds determination of RNA integrity in laboratories that rely on gel electrophoresis. To provide guidelines for RNA profiles, RNA from five major insect orders, namely, Diptera, Hemiptera, Thysanoptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera, was compared under denaturing and nondenaturing conditions. This study confirmed that although present in most of insect's RNA, the "hidden break" is absent in the 28S rRNA of onion thrips, Thrips tabaci. On the other hand, presence of "hidden break" was depicted in whiteflies' 28S rRNA despite their evolutionary grouping under same order with aphids. Divergence of 28S rRNA sequences confirms variation of both size and composition of gap region among insect species. However, phylogeny reconstruction does not support speciation as a possible source of the hidden break in insect's 28S rRNA. In conclusion, we show that RNA from a given insect order does not conform to a particular banding profile and therefore this approach cannot be reliably used to characterize newly discovered species.

  13. 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.

  14. Biological mechanisms determining the success of RNA interference in insects.

    PubMed

    Wynant, Niels; Santos, Dulce; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2014-01-01

    Insects constitute the largest group of animals on this planet, having a huge impact on our environment, as well as on our quality of life. RNA interference (RNAi) is a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism triggered by double-stranded (ds)RNA fragments. This process not only forms the basis of a widely used reverse genetics research method in many different eukaryotes but also holds great promise to contribute to the species-specific control of agricultural pests and to combat viral infections in beneficial and disease vectoring insects. However, in many economically important insect species, such as flies, mosquitoes, and caterpillars, systemic delivery of naked dsRNA does not trigger effective gene silencing. Although many components of the RNAi pathway have initially been deciphered in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, it will be of major importance to investigate this process in a wider variety of species, including dsRNA-sensitive insects such as locusts and beetles, to elucidate the factors responsible for the remarkable variability in RNAi efficiency, as observed in different insects. In this chapter, we review the current knowledge on the RNAi pathway, as well as the most recent insights into the mechanisms that might determine successful RNAi in insects.

  15. Metabolite sensing in eukaryotic mRNA biology

    PubMed Central

    Clingman, Carina C

    2016-01-01

    All living creatures change their gene expression program in response to nutrient availability and metabolic demands. Nutrients and metabolites can directly control transcription and activate second-messenger systems. More recent studies reveal that metabolites also affect post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. Here, we review the increasing number of connections between metabolism and post-transcriptional regulation in eukaryotic organisms. First, we present evidence that riboswitches, a common mechanism of metabolite sensing in bacteria, also function in eukaryotes. Next, we review an example of a double stranded RNA modifying enzyme that directly interacts with a metabolite, suggesting a link between RNA editing and metabolic state. Finally, we discuss work that shows some metabolic enzymes bind directly to RNA to affect mRNA stability or translation efficiency. These examples were discovered through gene-specific genetic, biochemical, and structural studies. A directed systems level approach will be necessary to determine whether they are anomalies of evolution or pioneer discoveries in what may be a broadly connected network of metabolism and post-transcriptional regulation. PMID:23653333

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Ionic current blockades from DNA and RNA molecules in the alpha-hemolysin nanopore.

    PubMed

    Butler, Tom Z; Gundlach, Jens H; Troll, Mark

    2007-11-01

    We characterize the substate structure of current blockades produced when single-stranded polynucleotide molecules were electrophoretically driven into the alpha-hemolysin protein pore. We frequently observe substates where the ionic current is reduced by approximately 50%. Most of these substates can be associated with a molecular configuration where a polymer occupies only the vestibule region of the pore, though a few appear related to a polymer occupying only the transmembrane beta-barrel region of the pore. The duration of the vestibule configuration depends on polymer composition and on which end of the polymer, 3' or 5', subsequently threads into the narrowest constriction and initiates translocation. Below approximately 140 mV a polymer is more likely to escape from the vestibule against the applied voltage gradient, while at higher voltages a polymer is more likely to follow the voltage gradient by threading through the narrowest constriction and translocating through the pore. Increasing the applied voltage also increases the duration of the vestibule configuration. A semiquantitative model of these trends suggests that escape has stronger voltage dependence than threading, and that threading is sensitive to polymer orientation while escape is not. These results emphasize the utility of alpha-hemolysin as a model system to study biologically relevant physical and chemical processes at the single-molecule level.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A systems biology approach for miRNA-mRNA expression patterns analysis in non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Najafi, Ali; Tavallaei, Mahmood; Hosseini, Sayed Mostafa

    2016-01-01

    Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) is a prevalent and heterogeneous subtype of lung cancer accounting for 85 percent of patients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small endogenous non-coding RNAs, incorporate into regulation of gene expression post-transcriptionally. Therefore, deregulation of miRNAs' expression has provided further layers of complexity to the molecular etiology and pathogenesis of different diseases and malignancies. Although, until now considerable number of studies has been carried out to illuminate this complexity in NSCLC, they have remained less effective in their goal due to lack of a holistic and integrative systems biology approach which considers all natural elaborations of miRNAs' function. It is able to reliably nominate most affected signaling pathways and therapeutic target genes by deregulated miRNAs during a particular pathological condition. Herein, we utilized a holistic systems biology approach, based on appropriate re-analyses of microarray datasets followed by reliable data filtering, to analyze integrative and combinatorial deregulated miRNA-mRNA interaction network in NSCLC, aiming to ascertain miRNA-dysregulated signaling pathway and potential therapeutic miRNAs and mRNAs which represent a lion' share during various aspects of NSCLC's pathogenesis. Our systems biology approach introduced and nominated 1) important deregulated miRNAs in NSCLCs compared with normal tissue 2) significant and confident deregulated mRNAs which were anti-correlatively targeted by deregulated miRNA in NSCLCs and 3) dysregulated signaling pathways in association with deregulated miRNA-mRNAs interactions in NSCLCs. These results introduce possible mechanism of function of deregulated miRNAs and mRNAs in NSCLC that could be used as potential therapeutic targets.

  5. 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

  6. MicroRNA Biomarkers of Toxicity in Biological Matrices.

    PubMed

    Harrill, Alison H; McCullough, Shaun D; Wood, Charles E; Kahle, Juliette J; Chorley, Brian N

    2016-08-01

    Biomarker measurements that reliably correlate with tissue injury and that can be measured within accessible biofluids offer benefits in terms of cost, time, and convenience when assessing chemical and drug-induced toxicity in model systems or human cohorts. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged in recent years as a promising new class of biomarker for monitoring toxicity. Recent enthusiasm for miRNA biomarker research has been fueled by evidence that certain miRNAs are cell-type specific and are released during injury, thus raising the possibility of using biofluid-based miRNAs as a "liquid biopsy" that may be obtained by sampling extracellular fluids. As biomarkers, miRNAs demonstrate improved stability as compared with many protein markers and sequences are largely conserved across species, simplifying analytical techniques. Recent efforts have sought to identify miRNAs that are released into accessible biofluids following xenobiotic exposure, using compounds that target specific organs. Whereas still early in the discovery phase, miRNA biomarkers will have an increasingly important role in the assessment of adverse effects of both environmental chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs. Here, we review the current findings of biofluid-based miRNAs, as well as highlight technical challenges in assessing toxicologic pathology using these biomarkers.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Single-molecule detection and tracking of RNA transcripts in living cells using phosphorothioate-optimized 2'-O-methyl RNA molecular beacons.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Dan; Yang, Yantao; Qu, Na; Chen, Mingming; Ma, Zhao; Krueger, Christopher J; Behlke, Mark A; Chen, Antony K

    2016-09-01

    Molecular Beacons (MBs) composed of 2'-O-methyl RNA (2Me) and phosphorothioate (PS) linkages throughout the backbone (2Me/PSFULL MBs) have enabled long-term imaging of RNA in living cells, but excess PS modification can induce nonspecific binding, causing false-positive signals. In this study, we evaluate the intracellular stability of MBs composed of 2Me with various PS modifications, and found that false-positive signals could be reduced to marginal levels when the MBs possess a fully PS-modified loop domain and a phosphodiester stem (2Me/PSLOOP MB). Additionally, 2Me/PSLOOP MBs exhibited uncompromised hybridization kinetics, prolonged functionality and >88% detection accuracy for single RNA transcripts, and could do so without interfering with gene expression or cell growth. Finally, 2Me/PSLOOP MBs could image the dynamics of single mRNA transcripts in the nucleus and the cytoplasm simultaneously, regardless of whether the MBs targeted the 5'- or the 3'-UTR. Together, these findings demonstrate the effectiveness of loop-domain PS modification in reducing nonspecific signals and the potential for sensitive and accurate imaging of individual RNAs at the single-molecule level. With the growing interest in the role of RNA localization and dynamics in health and disease, 2Me/PSLOOP MBs could enable new discoveries in RNA research.

  14. 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

  15. Induction and Reversal of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 Pre-mRNA Splicing Defects by Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L.; Stepniak-Konieczna, Ewa; Tran, Tuan; Yildirim, Ilyas; Park, HaJeung; Chen, Catherine Z.; Hoskins, Jason; Southall, Noel; Marugan, Juan J.; Patnaik, Samarjit; Zheng, Wei; Austin, Chris P.; Schatz, George C.; Sobczak, Krzysztof; Thornton, Charles A.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to control pre-mRNA splicing with small molecules could facilitate the development of therapeutics or cell-based circuits that control gene function. Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by the dysregulation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing due to sequestration of muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1) by expanded, non-coding r(CUG) repeats (r(CUG)exp). Here we report two small molecules that induce or ameliorate alternative splicing dysregulation. The thiophene-containing small molecule (1) inhibits the interaction of MBNL1 with its natural pre-mRNA substrates. Compound (2), a substituted naphthyridine, binds r(CUG)exp and displaces MBNL1. Structural models show that 1 binds MBNL1 in the Zn-finger domain and that 2 interacts with UU loops in r(CUG)exp. This study provides a structural framework for small molecules that target MBNL1 by mimicking r(CUG)exp and shows that targeting MBNL1 causes dysregulation of alternative splicing, suggesting that MBNL1 is thus not a suitable therapeutic target for the treatment of DM1. PMID:23806903

  16. Induction and reversal of myotonic dystrophy type 1 pre-mRNA splicing defects by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Stepniak-Konieczna, Ewa; Tran, Tuan; Yildirim, Ilyas; Park, HaJeung; Chen, Catherine Z; Hoskins, Jason; Southall, Noel; Marugan, Juan J; Patnaik, Samarjit; Zheng, Wei; Austin, Chris P; Schatz, George C; Sobczak, Krzysztof; Thornton, Charles A; Disney, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    The ability to control pre-mRNA splicing with small molecules could facilitate the development of therapeutics or cell-based circuits that control gene function. Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is caused by the dysregulation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing due to sequestration of muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1) by expanded, non-coding r(CUG) repeats (r(CUG)(exp)). Here we report two small molecules that induce or ameliorate alternative splicing dysregulation. A thiophene-containing small molecule (1) inhibits the interaction of MBNL1 with its natural pre-mRNA substrates. Compound (2), a substituted naphthyridine, binds r(CUG)(exp) and displaces MBNL1. Structural models show that 1 binds MBNL1 in the Zn-finger domain and that 2 interacts with UU loops in r(CUG)(exp). This study provides a structural framework for small molecules that target MBNL1 by mimicking r(CUG)(exp) and shows that targeting MBNL1 causes dysregulation of alternative splicing, suggesting that MBNL1 is thus not a suitable therapeutic target for the treatment of myotonic dystrophy type 1.

  17. 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.

  18. In vitro selection of RNA molecules that displace cocaine from the membrane-bound nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, H; Ippolito, J E; Pagán, O R; Eterović, V A; Hann, R M; Shi, H; Lis, J T; Eldefrawi, M E; Hess, G P

    1998-11-24

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) controls signal transmission between cells in the nervous system. Abused drugs such as cocaine inhibit this receptor. Transient kinetic investigations indicate that inhibitors decrease the channel-opening equilibrium constant [Hess, G. P. & Grewer, C. (1998) Methods Enzymol. 291, 443-473]. Can compounds be found that compete with inhibitors for their binding site but do not change the channel-opening equilibrium? The systematic evolution of RNA ligands by exponential enrichment methodology and the AChR in Torpedo californica electroplax membranes were used to find RNAs that can displace inhibitors from the receptor. The selection of RNA ligands was carried out in two consecutive steps: (i) a gel-shift selection of high-affinity ligands bound to the AChR in the electroplax membrane, and (ii) subsequent use of nitrocellulose filters to which both the membrane-bound receptor and RNAs bind strongly, but from which the desired RNA can be displaced from the receptor by a high-affinity AChR inhibitor, phencyclidine. After nine selection rounds, two classes of RNA molecules that bind to the AChR with nanomolar affinities were isolated and sequenced. Both classes of RNA molecules are displaced by phencyclidine and cocaine from their binding site on the AChR. Class I molecules are potent inhibitors of AChR activity in BC3H1 muscle cells, as determined by using the whole-cell current-recording technique. Class II molecules, although competing with AChR inhibitors, do not affect receptor activity in this assay; such compounds or derivatives may be useful for alleviating the toxicity experienced by millions of addicts.

  19. RNA systems biology: uniting functional discoveries and structural tools to understand global roles of RNAs.

    PubMed

    Strobel, Eric J; Watters, Kyle E; Loughrey, David; Lucks, Julius B

    2016-06-01

    RNAs assume sophisticated structures that are active in myriad cellular processes. In this review, we highlight newly identified ribozymes, riboswitches, and small RNAs, some of which control the function of cellular metabolic and gene expression networks. We then examine recent developments in genome-wide RNA structure probing technologies that are yielding new insights into the structural landscape of the transcriptome. Finally, we discuss how these RNA 'structomic' methods can address emerging questions in RNA systems biology, from the mechanisms behind long non-coding RNAs to new bases for human diseases.

  20. 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.

  1. Assessing specific oligonucleotides and small molecule antibiotics for the ability to inhibit the CRD-BP-CD44 RNA interaction.

    PubMed

    King, Dustin T; Barnes, Mark; Thomsen, Dana; Lee, Chow H

    2014-01-01

    Studies on Coding Region Determinant-Binding Protein (CRD-BP) and its orthologs have confirmed their functional role in mRNA stability and localization. CRD-BP is present in extremely low levels in normal adult tissues, but it is over-expressed in many types of aggressive human cancers and in neonatal tissues. Although the exact role of CRD-BP in tumour progression is unclear, cumulative evidence suggests that its ability to physically associate with target mRNAs is an important criterion for its oncogenic role. CRD-BP has high affinity for the 3'UTR of the oncogenic CD44 mRNA and depletion of CRD-BP in cells led to destabilization of CD44 mRNA, decreased CD44 expression, reduced adhesion and disruption of invadopodia formation. Here, we further characterize the CRD-BP-CD44 RNA interaction and assess specific antisense oligonucleotides and small molecule antibiotics for their ability to inhibit the CRD-BP-CD44 RNA interaction. CRD-BP has a high affinity for binding to CD44 RNA nts 2862-3055 with a Kd of 645 nM. Out of ten antisense oligonucleotides spanning nts 2862-3055, only three antisense oligonucleotides (DD4, DD7 and DD10) were effective in competing with CRD-BP for binding to 32P-labeled CD44 RNA. The potency of DD4, DD7 and DD10 in inhibiting the CRD-BP-CD44 RNA interaction in vitro correlated with their ability to specifically reduce the steady-state level of CD44 mRNA in cells. The aminoglycoside antibiotics neomycin, paramomycin, kanamycin and streptomycin effectively inhibited the CRD-BP-CD44 RNA interaction in vitro. Assessing the potential inhibitory effect of aminoglycoside antibiotics including neomycin on the CRD-BP-CD44 mRNA interaction in cells proved difficult, likely due to their propensity to non-specifically bind nucleic acids. Our results have important implications for future studies in finding small molecules and nucleic acid-based inhibitors that interfere with protein-RNA interactions.

  2. Structure, Properties, and Biological Relevance of the DNA and RNA G-Quadruplexes: Overview 50 Years after Their Discovery.

    PubMed

    Dolinnaya, N G; Ogloblina, A M; Yakubovskaya, M G

    2016-12-01

    G-quadruplexes (G4s), which are known to have important roles in regulation of key biological processes in both normal and pathological cells, are the most actively studied non-canonical structures of nucleic acids. In this review, we summarize the results of studies published in recent years that change significantly scientific views on various aspects of our understanding of quadruplexes. Modern notions on the polymorphism of DNA quadruplexes, on factors affecting thermodynamics and kinetics of G4 folding-unfolding, on structural organization of multiquadruplex systems, and on conformational features of RNA G4s and hybrid DNA-RNA G4s are discussed. Here we report the data on location of G4 sequence motifs in the genomes of eukaryotes, bacteria, and viruses, characterize G4-specific small-molecule ligands and proteins, as well as the mechanisms of their interactions with quadruplexes. New information on the structure and stability of G4s in telomeric DNA and oncogene promoters is discussed as well as proof being provided on the occurrence of G-quadruplexes in cells. Prominence is given to novel experimental techniques (single molecule manipulations, optical and magnetic tweezers, original chemical approaches, G4 detection in situ, in-cell NMR spectroscopy) that facilitate breakthroughs in the investigation of the structure and functions of G-quadruplexes.

  3. An RNA interference screen uncovers a new molecule in stem cell self-renewal and long-term regeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ting; Heller, Evan; Beronja, Slobodan; Oshimori, Naoki; Stokes, Nicole; Fuchs, Elaine

    2012-04-04

    Adult stem cells sustain tissue maintenance and regeneration throughout the lifetime of an animal. These cells often reside in specific signalling niches that orchestrate the stem cell's balancing act between quiescence and cell-cycle re-entry based on the demand for tissue regeneration. How stem cells maintain their capacity to replenish themselves after tissue regeneration is poorly understood. Here we use RNA-interference-based loss-of-function screening as a powerful approach to uncover transcriptional regulators that govern the self-renewal capacity and regenerative potential of stem cells. Hair follicle stem cells provide an ideal model. These cells have been purified and characterized from their native niche in vivo and, in contrast to their rapidly dividing progeny, they can be maintained and passaged long-term in vitro. Focusing on the nuclear proteins and/or transcription factors that are enriched in stem cells compared with their progeny, we screened ∼2,000 short hairpin RNAs for their effect on long-term, but not short-term, stem cell self-renewal in vitro. To address the physiological relevance of our findings, we selected one candidate that was uncovered in the screen: TBX1. This transcription factor is expressed in many tissues but has not been studied in the context of stem cell biology. By conditionally ablating Tbx1 in vivo, we showed that during homeostasis, tissue regeneration occurs normally but is markedly delayed. We then devised an in vivo assay for stem cell replenishment and found that when challenged with repetitive rounds of regeneration, the Tbx1-deficient stem cell niche becomes progressively depleted. Addressing the mechanism of TBX1 action, we discovered that TBX1 acts as an intrinsic rheostat of BMP signalling: it is a gatekeeper that governs the transition between stem cell quiescence and proliferation in hair follicles. Our results validate the RNA interference screen and underscore its power in unearthing new molecules that

  4. Theory and Modeling of RNA Structure and Interactions with Metal Ions and Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li-Zhen; Zhang, Dong; Chen, Shi-Jie

    2017-03-15

    In addition to continuous rapid progress in RNA structure determination, probing, and biophysical studies, the past decade has seen remarkable advances in the development of a new generation of RNA folding theories and models. In this article, we review RNA structure prediction models and models for ion-RNA and ligand-RNA interactions. These new models are becoming increasingly important for a mechanistic understanding of RNA function and quantitative design of RNA nanotechnology. We focus on new methods for physics-based, knowledge-based, and experimental data-directed modeling for RNA structures and explore the new theories for the predictions of metal ion and ligand binding sites and metal iondependent RNA stabilities. The integration of these new methods with theories about the cellular environment effects in RNA folding, such as molecular crowding and cotranscriptional kinetic effects, may ultimately lead to an all-encompassing RNA folding model. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biophysics Volume 46 is May 20, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  5. Biological role of microRNA-103 based on expression profile and target genes analysis in pigs.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoxi; Wu, Zongsong; Li, Xinjian; Ning, Xiaomin; Li, Yanjie; Yang, Gongshe

    2011-10-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenously expressed RNAs consisting of 20-24 nucleotides. These molecules are thought to repress protein translation by binding to target mRNAs. However, biological functions have not been assigned to most of the 175 porcine miRNAs registered in miRBase (release 15.0). In an effort to uncover miR-103 important in pigs, we examined the integrative tissue expression profile and gene ontology (GO) term enrichment of predicted target genes to determine the global biological functions of miR-103. Our results demonstrated that miR-103 is involved in various biological processes including brain development, lipid metabolism, adipocyte differentiation, hematopoiesis, and immunity. Moreover, we also experimentally verified effects of miR-103 in porcine preadipocytes. miR-103 levels increased in differentiating adipocytes, and inhibition of miR-103 effectively inhibited preadipocyte differentiation. In addition, mRNA levels of the putative miR-103 target RAI14 were higher in miR-103 inhibitor-treated adipocytes. These results demonstrate that miR-103 is involved in porcine preadipocyte differentiation and may act through the putative target gene RAI14. In a word, our data provide new insights into the global biological role of miR-103.

  6. A human haploid gene trap collection to study lncRNAs with unusual RNA biology.

    PubMed

    Kornienko, Aleksandra E; Vlatkovic, Irena; Neesen, Jürgen; Barlow, Denise P; Pauler, Florian M

    2016-01-01

    Many thousand long non-coding (lnc) RNAs are mapped in the human genome. Time consuming studies using reverse genetic approaches by post-transcriptional knock-down or genetic modification of the locus demonstrated diverse biological functions for a few of these transcripts. The Human Gene Trap Mutant Collection in haploid KBM7 cells is a ready-to-use tool for studying protein-coding gene function. As lncRNAs show remarkable differences in RNA biology compared to protein-coding genes, it is unclear if this gene trap collection is useful for functional analysis of lncRNAs. Here we use the uncharacterized LOC100288798 lncRNA as a model to answer this question. Using public RNA-seq data we show that LOC100288798 is ubiquitously expressed, but inefficiently spliced. The minor spliced LOC100288798 isoforms are exported to the cytoplasm, whereas the major unspliced isoform is nuclear localized. This shows that LOC100288798 RNA biology differs markedly from typical mRNAs. De novo assembly from RNA-seq data suggests that LOC100288798 extends 289kb beyond its annotated 3' end and overlaps the downstream SLC38A4 gene. Three cell lines with independent gene trap insertions in LOC100288798 were available from the KBM7 gene trap collection. RT-qPCR and RNA-seq confirmed successful lncRNA truncation and its extended length. Expression analysis from RNA-seq data shows significant deregulation of 41 protein-coding genes upon LOC100288798 truncation. Our data shows that gene trap collections in human haploid cell lines are useful tools to study lncRNAs, and identifies the previously uncharacterized LOC100288798 as a potential gene regulator.

  7. 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.

  8. Small Molecule Binding, Docking, and Characterization of the Interaction between Pth1 and Peptidyl-tRNA

    SciTech Connect

    Hames, Mary C; McFeeters, Hana; Holloway, W Blake; Stanley, Christopher B; Urban, Volker S; McFeeters, Robert L

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial Pth1 is essential for viability. Pth1 cleaves the ester bond between the peptide and nucleotide of peptidyl-tRNA generated from aborted translation, expression of mini-genes, and short ORFs. We have determined the shape of the Pth1:peptidyl-tRNA complex using small angle neutron scattering. Binding of piperonylpiperazine, a small molecule constituent of a combinatorial synthetic library common to most compounds with inhibitory activity, was mapped to Pth1 via NMR spectroscopy. We also report computational docking results, modeling piperonylpiperazine binding based on chemical shift perturbation mapping. Overall these studies promote Pth1 as a novel antibiotic target, contributing to understanding how Pth1 interacts with its substrate, advancing the current model for cleavage, and demonstrating feasibility of small molecule inhibition.

  9. Biological mechanism analysis of acute renal allograft rejection: integrated of mRNA and microRNA expression profiles

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shi-Ming; Zhao, Xia; Zhao, Xue-Mei; Wang, Xiao-Ying; Li, Shan-Shan; Zhu, Yu-Hui

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Renal transplantation is the preferred method for most patients with end-stage renal disease, however, acute renal allograft rejection is still a major risk factor for recipients leading to renal injury. To improve the early diagnosis and treatment of acute rejection, study on the molecular mechanism of it is urgent. Methods: MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profile and mRNA expression profile of acute renal allograft rejection and well-functioning allograft downloaded from ArrayExpress database were applied to identify differentially expressed (DE) miRNAs and DE mRNAs. DE miRNAs targets were predicted by combining five algorithm. By overlapping the DE mRNAs and DE miRNAs targets, common genes were obtained. Differentially co-expressed genes (DCGs) were identified by differential co-expression profile (DCp) and differential co-expression enrichment (DCe) methods in Differentially Co-expressed Genes and Links (DCGL) package. Then, co-expression network of DCGs and the cluster analysis were performed. Functional enrichment analysis for DCGs was undergone. Results: A total of 1270 miRNA targets were predicted and 698 DE mRNAs were obtained. While overlapping miRNA targets and DE mRNAs, 59 common genes were gained. We obtained 103 DCGs and 5 transcription factors (TFs) based on regulatory impact factors (RIF), then built the regulation network of miRNA targets and DE mRNAs. By clustering the co-expression network, 5 modules were obtained. Thereinto, module 1 had the highest degree and module 2 showed the most number of DCGs and common genes. TF CEBPB and several common genes, such as RXRA, BASP1 and AKAP10, were mapped on the co-expression network. C1R showed the highest degree in the network. These genes might be associated with human acute renal allograft rejection. Conclusions: We conducted biological analysis on integration of DE mRNA and DE miRNA in acute renal allograft rejection, displayed gene expression patterns and screened out genes and TFs that may

  10. The Juxtaposition of Ribose Hydroxyl Groups: The Root of Biological Catalysis and the RNA World?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, Harold S.

    2015-06-01

    We normally think of enzymes as being proteins; however, the RNA world hypothesis suggests that the earliest biological catalysts may have been composed of RNA. One of the oldest surviving RNA enzymes we are aware of is the peptidyl transferase centre (PTC) of the large ribosomal RNA, which joins amino acids together to form proteins. Recent evidence indicates that the enzymatic activity of the PTC is principally due to ribose 2 '-OHs. Many other reactions catalyzed by RNA and/or in which RNA is a substrate similarly utilize ribose 2 '-OHs, including phosphoryl transfer reactions that involve the cleavage and/or ligation of the ribose-phosphate backbone. It has recently been proposed by Yakhnin (2013) that phosphoryl transfer reactions were important in the prebiotic chemical evolution of RNA, by enabling macromolecules composed of polyols joined by phosphodiester linkages to undergo recombination reactions, with the reaction energy supplied by the phosphodiester bond itself. The almost unique juxtaposition of the ribose 2'-hydroxyl and 3'-oxygen in ribose-containing polymers such as RNA, which gives ribose the ability to catalyze such reactions, may have been an important factor in the selection of ribose as a component of the first biopolymer. In addition, the juxtaposition of hydroxyl groups in free ribose: (i) allows coordination of borate ions, which could have provided significant and preferential stabilization of ribose in a prebiotic environment; and (ii) enhances the rate of permeation by ribose into a variety of lipid membrane systems, possibly favouring its incorporation into early metabolic pathways and an ancestral ribose-phosphate polymer. Somewhat more speculatively, hydrogen bonds formed by juxtaposed ribose hydroxyl groups may have stabilized an ancestral ribose-phosphate polymer against degradation (Bernhardt and Sandwick 2014). I propose that the almost unique juxtaposition of ribose hydroxyl groups constitutes the root of both biological

  11. 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.

  12. Small RNA Library Construction for Exosomal RNA from Biological Samples for the Ion Torrent PGM™ and Ion S5™ System.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Lesley; Hill, Andrew F

    2017-01-01

    Next-generation deep sequencing (NGS) technology represents a powerful and innovative approach to profile small RNA. Currently, there are a number of large-scale and benchtop sequencing platforms available on the market. Although each platform is relatively straightforward to operate, constructing cDNA libraries can be the most difficult part of the NGS workflow. Constructing quality libraries is essential to obtaining a successful sequencing run of high-quality reads and coverage. The quality and yield of RNA affect hybridization and ligation of sequencing adapters. In the field of biomarker discovery, there has been an interest in profiling exosomal RNA from biological fluids. However, very little RNA yield is obtained when extracting RNA from exosomes, thus making library construction difficult. Here, this protocol describes an optimized protocol for constructing small RNA libraries from low yields of RNA, in particular, extracted from exosomes isolated from biological fluids.

  13. Identification of distinct biological functions for four 3′-5′ RNA polymerases

    PubMed Central

    Long, Yicheng; Abad, Maria G.; Olson, Erik D.; Carrillo, Elisabeth Y.; Jackman, Jane E.

    2016-01-01

    The superfamily of 3′-5′ polymerases synthesize RNA in the opposite direction to all other DNA/RNA polymerases, and its members include eukaryotic tRNAHis guanylyltransferase (Thg1), as well as Thg1-like proteins (TLPs) of unknown function that are broadly distributed, with family members in all three domains of life. Dictyostelium discoideum encodes one Thg1 and three TLPs (DdiTLP2, DdiTLP3 and DdiTLP4). Here, we demonstrate that depletion of each of the genes results in a significant growth defect, and that each protein catalyzes a unique biological reaction, taking advantage of specialized biochemical properties. DdiTLP2 catalyzes a mitochondria-specific tRNAHis maturation reaction, which is distinct from the tRNAHis maturation reaction typically catalyzed by Thg1 enzymes on cytosolic tRNA. DdiTLP3 catalyzes tRNA repair during mitochondrial tRNA 5′-editing in vivo and in vitro, establishing template-dependent 3′-5′ polymerase activity of TLPs as a bona fide biological activity for the first time since its unexpected discovery more than a decade ago. DdiTLP4 is cytosolic and, surprisingly, catalyzes robust 3′-5′ polymerase activity on non-tRNA substrates, strongly implying further roles for TLP 3′-5′ polymerases in eukaryotes. PMID:27484477

  14. 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.

  15. RNA around the clock – regulation at the RNA level in biological timing

    PubMed Central

    Nolte, Christine; Staiger, Dorothee

    2015-01-01

    The circadian timing system in plants synchronizes their physiological functions with the environment. This is achieved by a global control of gene expression programs with a considerable part of the transcriptome undergoing 24-h oscillations in steady-state abundance. These circadian oscillations are driven by a set of core clock proteins that generate their own 24-h rhythm through periodic feedback on their own transcription. Additionally, post-transcriptional events are instrumental for oscillations of core clock genes and genes in clock output. Here we provide an update on molecular events at the RNA level that contribute to the 24-h rhythm of the core clock proteins and shape the circadian transcriptome. We focus on the circadian system of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana but also discuss selected regulatory principles in other organisms. PMID:25999975

  16. New Insights into the Biological Role of Mammalian ADARs; the RNA Editing Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Mannion, Niamh; Arieti, Fabiana; Gallo, Angela; Keegan, Liam P.; O’Connell, Mary A.

    2015-01-01

    The ADAR proteins deaminate adenosine to inosine in double-stranded RNA which is one of the most abundant modifications present in mammalian RNA. Inosine can have a profound effect on the RNAs that are edited, not only changing the base-pairing properties, but can also result in recoding, as inosine behaves as if it were guanosine. In mammals there are three ADAR proteins and two ADAR-related proteins (ADAD) expressed. All have a very similar modular structure; however, both their expression and biological function differ significantly. Only two of the ADAR proteins have enzymatic activity. However, both ADAR and ADAD proteins possess the ability to bind double-strand RNA. Mutations in ADARs have been associated with many diseases ranging from cancer, innate immunity to neurological disorders. Here, we will discuss in detail the domain structure of mammalian ADARs, the effects of RNA editing, and the role of ADARs in human diseases. PMID:26437436

  17. Single-molecule RNA observation in vivo reveals dynamics of co-transcriptional splicing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, M. L.; Coulon, A.; de Turris, V.; Palangat, M.; Chow, C. C.; Singer, R. H.; Larson, D. R.

    2013-03-01

    The synthesis of pre-mRNA and the splicing of that pre-mRNA to form completed transcripts requires coordination between two large multi-subunit complexes (the transcription elongation complex and the spliceosome). How this coordination occurs in vivo is unknown. Here we report the first experimental observation of transcription and splicing occurring at the same gene in living cells. By utilizing the PP7/MS2 fluorescent RNA reporter system, we can directly observe two distinct regions of the nascent RNA, allowing us to measure the rise and fall time of the intron and exon of a reporter gene stably integrated into a human cell line. The reporter gene consists of a beta globin gene where we have inserted a 24 RNA hairpin cassette into the intron/exon. Upon synthesis, the RNA hairpins are tightly bound by fluorescently-labeled PP7/MS2 bacteriophage coat proteins. After gene induction, a single locus of active transcription in the nucleus shows fluorescence intensity changes characteristic of the synthesis and excision of the intron/exon. Using fluctuation analysis, we determine the elongation rate to be 1.5 kb/min. From the temporal cross correlation function, we determine that splicing of this gene must be co-transcriptional with a splicing time of ~100 seconds before termination and a ~200 second pause at termination. We propose that dual-color RNA imaging may be extended to investigate other mechanisms of transcription, gene regulation, and RNA processing.

  18. 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

  19. The T box mechanism: tRNA as a regulatory molecule

    PubMed Central

    Green, Nicholas J.; Grundy, Frank J.; Henkin, Tina M.

    2009-01-01

    The T box mechanism is widely used in Gram-positive bacteria to regulate expression of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase genes and genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis and uptake. Binding of a specific uncharged tRNA to a riboswitch element in the nascent transcript causes a structural change in the transcript that promotes expression of the downstream coding sequence. In most cases, this occurs by stabilization of an antiterminator element that competes with formation of a terminator helix. Specific tRNA recognition by the nascent transcript results in increased expression of genes important for tRNA aminoacylation in response to decreased pools of charged tRNA. PMID:19932103

  20. 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

  1. Control of rRNA Synthesis in Escherichia coli: a Systems Biology Approach†

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Patrick P.; Ehrenberg, Mans; Bremer, Hans

    2004-01-01

    The first part of this review contains an overview of the various contributions and models relating to the control of rRNA synthesis reported over the last 45 years. The second part describes a systems biology approach to identify the factors and effectors that control the interactions between RNA polymerase and rRNA (rrn) promoters of Escherichia coli bacteria during exponential growth in different media. This analysis is based on measurements of absolute rrn promoter activities as transcripts per minute per promoter in bacterial strains either deficient or proficient in the synthesis of the factor Fis and/or the effector ppGpp. These absolute promoter activities are evaluated in terms of rrn promoter strength (Vmax/Km) and free RNA polymerase concentrations. Three major conclusions emerge from this evaluation. First, the rrn promoters are not saturated with RNA polymerase. As a consequence, changes in the concentration of free RNA polymerase contribute to changes in rrn promoter activities. Second, rrn P2 promoter strength is not specifically regulated during exponential growth at different rates; its activity changes only when the concentration of free RNA polymerase changes. Third, the effector ppGpp reduces the strength of the rrn P1 promoter both directly and indirectly by reducing synthesis of the stimulating factor Fis. This control of rrn P1 promoter strength forms part of a larger feedback loop that adjusts the synthesis of ribosomes to the availability of amino acids via amino acid-dependent control of ppGpp accumulation. PMID:15590778

  2. Role of the primer activation signal in tRNA annealing onto the HIV-1 genome studied by single-molecule FRET microscopy.

    PubMed

    Beerens, Nancy; Jepsen, Mette D E; Nechyporuk-Zloy, Volodymyr; Krüger, Asger C; Darlix, Jean-Luc; Kjems, Jørgen; Birkedal, Victoria

    2013-04-01

    HIV-1 reverse transcription is primed by a cellular tRNAlys3 molecule that binds to the primer binding site (PBS) in the genomic RNA. An additional interaction between the tRNA molecule and the primer activation signal (PAS) is thought to regulate the initiation of reverse transcription. The mechanism of tRNA annealing onto the HIV-1 genome was examined using ensemble and single-molecule Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) assays, in which fluorescent donor and acceptor molecules were covalently attached to an RNA template mimicking the PBS region. The role of the viral nucleocapsid (NC) protein in tRNA annealing was studied. Both heat annealing and NC-mediated annealing of tRNAlys3 were found to change the FRET efficiency, and thus the conformation of the HIV-1 RNA template. The results are consistent with a model for tRNA annealing that involves an interaction between the tRNAlys3 molecule and the PAS sequence in the HIV-1 genome. The NC protein may stimulate the interaction of the tRNA molecule with the PAS, thereby regulating the initiation of reverse transcription.

  3. Exosomes from iPSCs Delivering siRNA Attenuate Intracellular Adhesion Molecule-1 Expression and Neutrophils Adhesion in Pulmonary Microvascular Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Ju, Zhihai; Ma, Jinhui; Wang, Chen; Yu, Jie; Qiao, Yeru; Hei, Feilong

    2017-04-01

    The pro-inflammatory activation of pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells resulting in continuous expression of cellular adhesion molecules, and subsequently recruiting primed neutrophils to form a firm neutrophils-endothelium (PMN-EC) adhesion, has been examined and found to play a vital role in acute lung injury (ALI). RNA interference (RNAi) is a cellular process through harnessing a natural pathway silencing target gene based on recognition and subsequent degradation of specific mRNA sequences. It opens a promising approach for precision medicine. However, this application was hampered by many obstacles, such as immunogenicity, instability, toxicity problems, and difficulty in across the biological membrane. In this study, we reprogrammed urine exfoliated renal epithelial cells into human induced pluripotent stem cells (huiPSCs) and purified the exosomes (Exo) from huiPSCs as RNAi delivery system. Through choosing the episomal system to deliver transcription factors, we obtained a non-integrating huiPSCs. Experiments in both vitro and vivo demonstrated that these huiPSCs possess the pluripotent properties. The exosomes of huiPSCs isolated by differential centrifugation were visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showing a typical exosomal appearance with an average diameter of 122 nm. Immunoblotting confirmed the presence of the typical exosomal markers, including CD63, TSG 101, and Alix. Co-cultured PKH26-labeled exosomes with human primary pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) confirmed that they could be internalized by recipient cells at a time-dependent manner. Then, electroporation was used to introduce siRNA against intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) into exosomes to form an Exo/siRNA compound. The Exo/siRNA compound efficiently delivered the target siRNA into HMVECs causing selective gene silencing, inhibiting the ICAM-1 protein expression, and PMN-EC adhesion induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). These data suggest

  4. The Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO): a comprehensive resource for the unification of non-coding RNA biology.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jingshan; Eilbeck, Karen; Smith, Barry; Blake, Judith A; Dou, Dejing; Huang, Weili; Natale, Darren A; Ruttenberg, Alan; Huan, Jun; Zimmermann, Michael T; Jiang, Guoqian; Lin, Yu; Wu, Bin; Strachan, Harrison J; He, Yongqun; Zhang, Shaojie; Wang, Xiaowei; Liu, Zixing; Borchert, Glen M; Tan, Ming

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of a wide range of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Unfortunately, annotation and integration of ncRNA data has lagged behind their identification. Given the large quantity of information being obtained in this area, there emerges an urgent need to integrate what is being discovered by a broad range of relevant communities. To this end, the Non-Coding RNA Ontology (NCRO) is being developed to provide a systematically structured and precisely defined controlled vocabulary for the domain of ncRNAs, thereby facilitating the discovery, curation, analysis, exchange, and reasoning of data about structures of ncRNAs, their molecular and cellular functions, and their impacts upon phenotypes. The goal of NCRO is to serve as a common resource for annotations of diverse research in a way that will significantly enhance integrative and comparative analysis of the myriad resources currently housed in disparate sources. It is our belief that the NCRO ontology can perform an important role in the comprehensive unification of ncRNA biology and, indeed, fill a critical gap in both the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Library and the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) BioPortal. Our initial focus is on the ontological representation of small regulatory ncRNAs, which we see as the first step in providing a resource for the annotation of data about all forms of ncRNAs. The NCRO ontology is free and open to all users, accessible at: http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/ncro.owl.

  5. Designing microarray and RNA-Seq experiments for greater systems biology discovery in modern plant genomics.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chuanping; Wei, Hairong

    2015-02-01

    Microarray and RNA-seq experiments have become an important part of modern genomics and systems biology. Obtaining meaningful biological data from these experiments is an arduous task that demands close attention to many details. Negligence at any step can lead to gene expression data containing inadequate or composite information that is recalcitrant for pattern extraction. Therefore, it is imperative to carefully consider experimental design before launching a time-consuming and costly experiment. Contemporarily, most genomics experiments have two objectives: (1) to generate two or more groups of comparable data for identifying differentially expressed genes, gene families, biological processes, or metabolic pathways under experimental conditions; (2) to build local gene regulatory networks and identify hierarchically important regulators governing biological processes and pathways of interest. Since the first objective aims to identify the active molecular identities and the second provides a basis for understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms through inferring causality relationships mediated by treatment, an optimal experiment is to produce biologically relevant and extractable data to meet both objectives without substantially increasing the cost. This review discusses the major issues that researchers commonly face when embarking on microarray or RNA-seq experiments and summarizes important aspects of experimental design, which aim to help researchers deliberate how to generate gene expression profiles with low background noise but with more interaction to facilitate novel biological discoveries in modern plant genomics.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Small molecule probes finely differentiate between various ds- and ss-DNA and RNA by fluorescence, CD and NMR response.

    PubMed

    Crnolatac, Ivo; Rogan, Iva; Majić, Boris; Tomić, Sanja; Deligeorgiev, Todor; Horvat, Gordan; Makuc, Damjan; Plavec, Janez; Pescitelli, Gennaro; Piantanida, Ivo

    2016-10-12

    Two small molecules showed intriguing properties of analytical multipurpose probes, whereby one chromophore gives different signal for many different DNA/RNA by application of several highly sensitive spectroscopic methods. Dyes revealed pronounced fluorescence ratiomeric differentiation between ds-AU-RNA, AT-DNA and GC-DNA in approximate order 10:8:1. Particularly interesting, dyes showed specific fluorimetric response for poly rA even at 10-fold excess of any other ss-RNA, and moreover such emission selectivity is preserved in multicomponent ss-RNA mixtures. The dyes also showed specific chiral recognition of poly rU in respect to the other ss-RNA by induced CD (ICD) pattern in visible range (400-500 nm), which was attributed to the dye-side-chain contribution to binding (confirmed by absence of any ICD band for reference compound lacking side-chain). Most intriguingly, minor difference in the side-chain attached to dye chromophore resulted in opposite sign of dye-ICD pattern, whereby differences in NMR NOESY contacts and proton chemical shifts between two dye/oligo rU complexes combined with MD simulations and CD calculations attributed observed bisignate ICD to the dimeric dye aggregate within oligo rU.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Interaction between cationic agents and small interfering RNA and DNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unksov, I. N.; Slita, A. V.; Petrova, A. V.; Pereviazko, I.; Bakulev, V. M.; Rolich, V. I.; Bondarenko, A. B.; Kasyanenko, N. A.

    2016-11-01

    Azobenzene containing surfactant AzoTAB was used for investigation of binding in cationic- agent + nucleic acid in NaCl salt aqueous solutions. Two nucleic acids, macromolecular DNA and small interfering RNA, were examined upon the interaction with the surfactant. For DNA the interaction was studied using spectral methods and the methods of viscometry and flow birefringence measurement. For siRNA the possibility of surfactant-based delivery was checked in vitro.

  14. Unfolding single RNA molecules by mechanical force: A stochastic kinetic method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Fei; Ou-Yang, Zhong-Can

    2004-10-01

    Using simple polymer elastic theory and known RNA free energies, we study the single RNA folding and unfolding on the secondary structure level under mechanical constant force by stochastic kinetic simulation. As a primary application, this method is used to simulate the experiment performed by Liphardt [Science 292, 733 (2001)]. The extension-force curves in equilibrium and kinetic reaction rate constants for folding and unfolding are calculated. Our results show that the agreement between simulation and experimental measurements is satisfactory.

  15. Reading Out Single-Molecule Digital RNA and DNA Isothermal Amplification in Nanoliter Volumes with Unmodified Camera Phones.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Manzano, Jesus; Karymov, Mikhail A; Begolo, Stefano; Selck, David A; Zhukov, Dmitriy V; Jue, Erik; Ismagilov, Rustem F

    2016-03-22

    Digital single-molecule technologies are expanding diagnostic capabilities, enabling the ultrasensitive quantification of targets, such as viral load in HIV and hepatitis C infections, by directly counting single molecules. Replacing fluorescent readout with a robust visual readout that can be captured by any unmodified cell phone camera will facilitate the global distribution of diagnostic tests, including in limited-resource settings where the need is greatest. This paper describes a methodology for developing a visual readout system for digital single-molecule amplification of RNA and DNA by (i) selecting colorimetric amplification-indicator dyes that are compatible with the spectral sensitivity of standard mobile phones, and (ii) identifying an optimal ratiometric image-process for a selected dye to achieve a readout that is robust to lighting conditions and camera hardware and provides unambiguous quantitative results, even for colorblind users. We also include an analysis of the limitations of this methodology, and provide a microfluidic approach that can be applied to expand dynamic range and improve reaction performance, allowing ultrasensitive, quantitative measurements at volumes as low as 5 nL. We validate this methodology using SlipChip-based digital single-molecule isothermal amplification with λDNA as a model and hepatitis C viral RNA as a clinically relevant target. The innovative combination of isothermal amplification chemistry in the presence of a judiciously chosen indicator dye and ratiometric image processing with SlipChip technology allowed the sequence-specific visual readout of single nucleic acid molecules in nanoliter volumes with an unmodified cell phone camera. When paired with devices that integrate sample preparation and nucleic acid amplification, this hardware-agnostic approach will increase the affordability and the distribution of quantitative diagnostic and environmental tests.

  16. Reading Out Single-Molecule Digital RNA and DNA Isothermal Amplification in Nanoliter Volumes with Unmodified Camera Phones

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Digital single-molecule technologies are expanding diagnostic capabilities, enabling the ultrasensitive quantification of targets, such as viral load in HIV and hepatitis C infections, by directly counting single molecules. Replacing fluorescent readout with a robust visual readout that can be captured by any unmodified cell phone camera will facilitate the global distribution of diagnostic tests, including in limited-resource settings where the need is greatest. This paper describes a methodology for developing a visual readout system for digital single-molecule amplification of RNA and DNA by (i) selecting colorimetric amplification-indicator dyes that are compatible with the spectral sensitivity of standard mobile phones, and (ii) identifying an optimal ratiometric image-process for a selected dye to achieve a readout that is robust to lighting conditions and camera hardware and provides unambiguous quantitative results, even for colorblind users. We also include an analysis of the limitations of this methodology, and provide a microfluidic approach that can be applied to expand dynamic range and improve reaction performance, allowing ultrasensitive, quantitative measurements at volumes as low as 5 nL. We validate this methodology using SlipChip-based digital single-molecule isothermal amplification with λDNA as a model and hepatitis C viral RNA as a clinically relevant target. The innovative combination of isothermal amplification chemistry in the presence of a judiciously chosen indicator dye and ratiometric image processing with SlipChip technology allowed the sequence-specific visual readout of single nucleic acid molecules in nanoliter volumes with an unmodified cell phone camera. When paired with devices that integrate sample preparation and nucleic acid amplification, this hardware-agnostic approach will increase the affordability and the distribution of quantitative diagnostic and environmental tests. PMID:26900709

  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. RNAiFold 2.0: a web server and software to design custom and Rfam-based RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Martin, Juan Antonio; Dotu, Ivan; Clote, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Several algorithms for RNA inverse folding have been used to design synthetic riboswitches, ribozymes and thermoswitches, whose activity has been experimentally validated. The RNAiFold software is unique among approaches for inverse folding in that (exhaustive) constraint programming is used instead of heuristic methods. For that reason, RNAiFold can generate all sequences that fold into the target structure or determine that there is no solution. RNAiFold 2.0 is a complete overhaul of RNAiFold 1.0, rewritten from the now defunct COMET language to C++. The new code properly extends the capabilities of its predecessor by providing a user-friendly pipeline to design synthetic constructs having the functionality of given Rfam families. In addition, the new software supports amino acid constraints, even for proteins translated in different reading frames from overlapping coding sequences; moreover, structure compatibility/incompatibility constraints have been expanded. With these features, RNAiFold 2.0 allows the user to design single RNA molecules as well as hybridization complexes of two RNA molecules. Availability: the web server, source code and linux binaries are publicly accessible at http://bioinformatics.bc.edu/clotelab/RNAiFold2.0. PMID:26019176

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Genome-wide Approaches in the Study of microRNA Biology

    PubMed Central

    Wilbert, Melissa L.; Yeo, Gene W.

    2010-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of ~21-23 nucleotide long non-coding RNAs, have critical roles in diverse biological processes that encompass development, proliferation, apoptosis, stress response, and fat metabolism. MiRNAs recognize their target mRNA transcripts by partial sequence complementarity and collectively have been estimated to regulate the majority of human genes. Consequently, misregulation of miRNAs or disruption of their target sites in genes has been implicated in a variety of human diseases ranging from cancer metastasis to neurological disorders. With the development and availability of genomic technologies and computational approaches, the field of miRNA biology has advanced tremendously over the last decade. Here, we review the genome-wide approaches that have allowed for the discovery of new miRNAs, the characterization of their targets, and a systems-level view of their impact. PMID:21197653

  4. Selection of an RNA molecule that mimics a major autoantigenic epitope of human insulin receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Doudna, J A; Cech, T R; Sullenger, B A

    1995-01-01

    Autoimmunity often involves the abnormal targeting of self-antigens by antibodies, leading to tissue destruction and other pathologies. This process could potentially be disrupted by small ligands that bind specifically to autoantibodies and inhibit their interaction with the target antigen. Here we report the identification of an RNA sequence that binds a mouse monoclonal antibody specific for an autoantigenic epitope of human insulin receptor. The RNA ligand binds specifically and with high affinity (apparent Kd congruent to 2 nM) to the anti-insulin receptor antibody and not to other mouse IgGs. The RNA can also act as a decoy, blocking the antibody from binding the insulin receptor. Thus, it probably binds near the combining site on the antibody. Strikingly, the RNA cross-reacts with autoantibodies from patients with extreme insulin resistance. One simple explanation is that the selected RNA may structurally mimic the antigenic epitope on the insulin receptor protein. These results suggest that decoy RNAs may be used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:7534420

  5. Single molecule imaging of RNA polymerase II using atomic force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhodin, Thor; Fu, Jianhua; Umemura, Kazuo; Gad, Mohammed; Jarvis, Suzi; Ishikawa, Mitsuru

    2003-03-01

    An atomic force microscopy (AFM) study of the shape, orientation and surface topology of RNA polymerase II supported on silanized freshly cleaved mica was made. The overall aim is to define the molecular topology of RNA polymerase II in appropriate fluids to help clarify the relationship of conformational features to biofunctionality. A Nanoscope III atomic force microscope was used in the tapping mode with oxide-sharpened (8-10 nm) Si 3N 4 probes in aqueous zinc chloride buffer. The main structural features observed by AFM were compared to those derived from electron-density plots based on X-ray crystallographic studies. The conformational features included a bilobal silhouette with an inverted umbrella-shaped crater connected to a reaction site. These studies provide a starting point for constructing a 3D-AFM profiling analysis of proteins such as RNA polymerase complexes.

  6. MicroRNA-221 controls expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in epithelial cells in response to Cryptosporidium parvum infection

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Ai-Yu; Hu, Guoku; Zhou, Rui; Liu, Jun; Feng, Yaoyu; Soukup, Garrett A.; Chen, Xian-Ming

    2011-01-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum is a protozoan parasite that infects gastrointestinal epithelial cells and causes diarrheal disease in humans and animals globally. Pathological changes following C. parvum infection include crypt hyperplasia, a modest inflammatory reaction with increased infiltration of lymphocytes into intestinal mucosa. Expression of adhesion molecules such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), on infected epithelial cell surfaces may facilitate adhesion and recognition of lymphocytes at infection sites. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules of 23 nucleotides that negatively regulate protein-coding gene expression via translational suppression or mRNA degradation. We recently reported that microRNA-221 (miR-221) regulates ICAM-1 translation through targeting the ICAM-1 3′-untranslated region (UTR). In this study, we tested the role of miR-221 in regulating ICAM-1 expression in epithelial cells in response to C. parvum infection using an in vitro model of human biliary cryptosporidiosis. Up-regulation of ICAM-1 at both message and protein levels was detected in epithelial cells following C. parvum infection. Inhibition of ICAM-1 transcription with actinomycin D could only partially block C. parvum-induced ICAM-1 expression at the protein level. Cryptosporidium parvum infection decreased miR-221 expression in infected epithelial cells. When cells were transfected with a luciferase reporter construct covering the miR-221 binding site in the ICAM-1 3′-UTR and then exposed to C. parvum, an enhanced luciferase activity was detected. Transfection of miR-221 precursor abolished C. parvum-stimulated ICAM-1 protein expression. In addition, expression of ICAM-1 on infected epithelial cells facilitated epithelial adherence of co-cultured Jurkat cells. These results indicate that miR-221-mediated translational suppression controls ICAM-1 expression in epithelial cells in response to C. parvum infection. PMID:21236259

  7. Crystal structures of the thi-box riboswitch bound to thiamine pyrophosphate analogs reveal adaptive RNA-small molecule recognition.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Thomas E; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R

    2006-09-01

    Riboswitches are noncoding mRNA elements that bind small-molecule metabolites with high affinity and specificity, and they regulate the expression of associated genes. The thi-box riboswitch can exhibit a 1000-fold higher affinity for thiamine pyrophosphate over closely related noncognate compounds such as thiamine monophosphate. To understand the chemical basis of thi-box pyrophosphate specificity, we have determined crystal structures of an E. coli thi-box bound to thiamine pyrophosphate, thiamine monophosphate, and the structural analogs benfotiamine and pyrithiamine. When bound to monophosphorylated compounds, the RNA elements that recognize the thiamine and phosphate moieties of the ligand move closer together. This allows the riboswitch to recognize the monophosphate in a manner similar to how it recognizes the beta-phosphate of thiamine pyrophosphate. In the pyrithiamine complex, the pyrophosphate binding site is largely unstructured. These results show how the riboswitch can bind to various metabolites, and why the thi-box preferentially binds thiamine pyrophosphate.

  8. Measuring expression levels of small regulatory RNA molecules from body fluids and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples.

    PubMed

    Gyongyosi, Adrienn; Docs, Otto; Czimmerer, Zsolt; Orosz, Laszlo; Horvath, Attila; Török, Olga; Mehes, Gabor; Nagy, Laszlo; Balint, Balint L

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs are involved in the regulation of various pathophysiological processes such as immune regulation and cancer. Next-generation sequencing methods enable us to monitor their presence in various types of samples but we need flexible methods for validating datasets generated by high-throughput methods. Here we describe the detailed protocols to be used with our MiRNA Primer Design Tool assay design system. The presented methods allow the flexible design of the oligonucleotides needed for the RT-qPCR detection of any variant of small regulatory RNA molecules from virtually any species. This method can be used to measure miRNA levels from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples and various body fluids. As an example, we show the results of the hsa-miR-515-3p, hsa-miR-325, and hsa-miR-155 quantification using a specific UPL probe (Universal Probe Library) and a stem-loop RT-qPCR assay. The small nucleolar RNA RNU43 is used as endogenous control for normalization of the results. Urine from healthy pregnant women and FFPE samples from patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer and treated with antibody-based anti-EGFR monotherapy were used as samples.

  9. 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.

  10. Increased rDNA synthesis in germinated conidia of Neurospora crassa is caused by RNA primer molecules found in its culture medium

    SciTech Connect

    Dutta, S.K.; Beljanski, M.

    1984-01-01

    Purine rich small primer RNA molecules (10-15 nucleotides) were isolated from growth medium of germinated (3 hr sprout) conidia of N. crassa. These RNA-primer molecules strongly stimulated in vitro DNA synthesis in N. crassa 74A wild type, as well as in DNAs from mice spleen and lung, and quail testis. These increases of in vitro DNA synthesis was dependent on the concentration of these RNA primer molecules. In contrast, such molecules were not found in 1 or 10 hour sprouts, nor in the culture medium of mycelia (24 hr). These RNA-primer molecules could be hydrolyzed by T1 RNAse but not by pancreatic RNase. Dutta et al. reported increased (250) copies of rRNA genes in germinated conidia (3 hr sprouts) compared to 100 copies of rRNA genes in mycelial cells grown for 24 hours. These observations suggest excessive transcription of rDNAs in the germinated conidial cells which undergo cleavages by nucleates after 3-4 hours of cell growth. Some degradation products were excreted into the culture medium and acted as RNA-primers.

  11. Modeling the Structure of RNA Molecules with Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering Data

    PubMed Central

    Gajda, Michal Jan; Martinez Zapien, Denise; Uchikawa, Emiko; Dock-Bregeon, Anne-Catherine

    2013-01-01

    We propose a novel fragment assembly method for low-resolution modeling of RNA and show how it may be used along with small-angle X-ray solution scattering (SAXS) data to model low-resolution structures of particles having as many as 12 independent secondary structure elements. We assessed this model-building procedure by using both artificial data on a previously proposed benchmark and publicly available data. With the artificial data, SAXS-guided models show better similarity to native structures than ROSETTA decoys. The publicly available data showed that SAXS-guided models can be used to reinterpret RNA structures previously deposited in the Protein Data Bank. Our approach allows for fast and efficient building of de novo models of RNA using approximate secondary structures that can be readily obtained from existing bioinformatic approaches. We also offer a rigorous assessment of the resolving power of SAXS in the case of small RNA structures, along with a small multimetric benchmark of the proposed method. PMID:24223750

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. RNA. Introduction.

    PubMed

    Bao, Marie Z; Kruger, Robert P; Rivas, Fabiola; Smith, Orla; Szewczak, Lara

    2009-02-20

    Two scientists walk into a bar. After a pint and an exchange of pleasantries, one says to the other, "Where do you come from? Scientifically, I mean." The queried scientist responds, "Out of the RNA world." "Don't we all," the asker responds chuckling. Fifteen years ago, the joke would have been made with a nod to the notion that life arose from an RNA-based precursor, the so-called "RNA world." Yet had this conversation happened last week, the scientists would also be grinning in appreciation of the extent to which contemporary cellular biology is steeped in all things RNA. Ours is truly an RNA world.In this year's special review issue, the Cell editorial team has brought together articles focused on RNA in the modern world, providing perspectives on classical and emerging areas of inquiry. We extend our thanks to the many distinguished experts who contributed their time and effort as authors and reviewers to make the issue informative, thought-provoking, and timely. We hope that this collection of articles, written as we stand on the verge of a new wave of RNA biology, edifies and inspires by revealing the inner workings of these versatile molecules and by highlighting the next key questions that need to be addressed as we strive to understand the full functional scope of RNA in cells.

  15. LigandRNA: computational predictor of RNA-ligand interactions.

    PubMed

    Philips, Anna; Milanowska, Kaja; Lach, Grzegorz; Bujnicki, Janusz M

    2013-12-01

    RNA molecules have recently become attractive as potential drug targets due to the increased awareness of their importance in key biological processes. The increase of the number of experimentally determined RNA 3D structures enabled structure-based searches for small molecules that can specifically bind to defined sites in RNA molecules, thereby blocking or otherwise modulating their function. However, as of yet, computational methods for structure-based docking of small molecule ligands to RNA molecules are not as well established as analogous methods for protein-ligand docking. This motivated us to create LigandRNA, a scoring function for the prediction of RNA-small molecule interactions. Our method employs a grid-based algorithm and a knowledge-based potential derived from ligand-binding sites in the experimentally solved RNA-ligand complexes. As an input, LigandRNA takes an RNA receptor file and a file with ligand poses. As an output, it returns a ranking of the poses according to their score. The predictive power of LigandRNA favorably compares to five other publicly available methods. We found that the combination of LigandRNA and Dock6 into a "meta-predictor" leads to further improvement in the identification of near-native ligand poses. The LigandRNA program is available free of charge as a web server at http://ligandrna.genesilico.pl.

  16. 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

  17. RNA Profiling for the Identification of the Tissue Origin of Dried Stains in Forensic Biology.

    PubMed

    Hanson, E K; Ballantyne, J

    2010-07-01

    Examination of crime scene items for biological evidence typically begins with a preliminary screening for the presence of biological fluids in order to identify possible sources of DNA. Conventional biochemical and immunological assays employed for this screening require multiple tests to be performed in a serial manner, can consume a significant amount of valuable evidentiary material, and can require a significant amount of time and labor for completion. Moreover, the presence of several biological fluids, such as saliva, vaginal secretions, and menstrual blood, cannot be conclusively identified using current methods. Due to the disadvantages of conventional body fluid testing, some operational crime laboratories have chosen to bypass the body fluid identification process and proceed directly to DNA analysis. However, while reducing the time spent on each case, this "shortcut" could result in a failure to provide important probative information regarding the nature of the crime as well as result in increased cost to crime laboratories if unnecessary DNA testing is performed. In the past several years, a number of forensic researchers have attempted to develop molecular-based approaches to body fluid identification that would provide operational crime laboratories with significantly improved specificity. This has resulted in an increased interest in the use of RNA profiling strategies for the identification of forensically relevant biological fluids. This review provides an overview of studies carried out on the use of both messenger RNA and small (micro) RNA profiling. The results of these studies are encouraging and presage the routine identification the tissue source(s) of forensic evidence using molecular-based approaches.

  18. 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…

  19. Biological basis of miRNA action when their targets are located in human protein coding region.

    PubMed

    Gu, Wanjun; Wang, Xiaofei; Zhai, Chuanying; Zhou, Tong; Xie, Xueying

    2013-01-01

    Recent analyses have revealed many functional microRNA (miRNA) targets in mammalian protein coding regions. But, the mechanisms that ensure miRNA function when their target sites are located in protein coding regions of mammalian mRNA transcripts are largely unknown. In this paper, we investigate some potential biological factors, such as target site accessibility and local translation efficiency. We computationally analyze these two factors using experimentally identified miRNA targets in human protein coding region. We find site accessibility is significantly increased in miRNA target region to facilitate miRNA binding. At the mean time, local translation efficiency is also selectively decreased near miRNA target region. GC-poor codons are preferred in the flank region of miRNA target sites to ease the access of miRNA targets. Within-genome analysis shows substantial variations of site accessibility and local translation efficiency among different miRNA targets in the genome. Further analyses suggest target gene's GC content and conservation level could explain some of the differences in site accessibility. On the other hand, target gene's functional importance and conservation level can affect local translation efficiency near miRNA target region. We hence propose both site accessibility and local translation efficiency are important in miRNA action when miRNA target sites are located in mammalian protein coding regions.

  20. RNA SAMPLE PREPARATION APPLIED TO GENE EXPRESSION PROFILING FOR THE HORSE BIOLOGICAL PASSPORT.

    PubMed

    Bailly-Chouriberry, Ludovic; Baudoin, Florent; Cormant, Florence; Glavieux, Yohan; Loup, Benoit; Garcia, Patrice; Popot, Marie-Agnès; Bonnaire, Yves

    2017-04-05

    The improvement of doping control is an on-going race. Techniques to fight against doping are usually based on the direct detection of drugs or their metabolites by analytical methods such as chromatography hyphenated to mass spectrometry after ad hoc sample preparation. Nowadays, omic methods constitute an attractive development and advances have been achieved particularly by application of molecular biology tools for detection of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) or to control human growth hormone misuses. These interesting results across different animal species have suggested that modification of gene expression offers promising new methods of improving the window of detection of banned substances by targeting their effects on blood cell gene expression. In this context, the present study describes the possibility of using a modified version of the dedicated Human IVD (in vitro Diagnostics) PAXgene® Blood RNA Kit for horse gene expression analysis in blood collected on PAXgene® tubes applied to the Horse Biological Passport. The commercial kit was only approved for human blood samples and has required an optimization of specific technical requirements for equine blood samples. Improvements and recommendations were achieved for sample collection, storage and RNA extraction procedure. Following these developments, RNA yield and quality were demonstrated to be suitable for downstream gene expression analysis by qPCR techniques.

  1. The landscape of fusion transcripts in spitzoid melanoma and biologically indeterminate spitzoid tumors by RNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Gang; Barnhill, Raymond L.; Lee, Seungjae; Li, Yongjin; Shao, Ying; Easton, John; Dalton, James; Zhang, Jinghui; Pappo, Alberto; Bahrami, Armita

    2016-01-01

    Kinase activation by chromosomal translocations is a common mechanism that drives tumorigenesis in spitzoid neoplasms. To explore the landscape of fusion transcripts in these tumors, we performed whole-transcriptome sequencing using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues in malignant or biologically indeterminate spitzoid tumors from 7 patients (age 2–14 years). RNA sequence libraries enriched for coding regions were prepared and the sequencing was analyzed by a novel assembly-based algorithm designed for detecting complex fusions. In addition, tumor samples were screened for hotspot TERT promoter mutations, and telomerase expression was assessed by TERT mRNA in situ hybridization (ISH). Two patients had widespread metastasis and subsequently died of disease, and 5 patients had a benign clinical course on limited follow-up (mean: 30 months). RNA sequencing and TERT mRNA ISH were successful in 6 tumors and unsuccessful in 1 disseminating tumor due to low RNA quality. RNA sequencing identified a kinase fusion in 5 of the 6 sequenced tumors: TPM3–NTRK1 (2 tumors), complex rearrangements involving TPM3, ALK, and IL6R (1 tumor), BAIAP2L1–BRAF (1 tumor), and EML4–BRAF (1 disseminating tumor). All predicted chimeric transcripts were expressed at high levels and contained the intact kinase domain. In addition, 2 tumors each contained a second fusion gene, ARID1B-SNX9 or PTPRZ1-NFAM1. The detected chimeric genes were validated by home-brew break-apart or fusion fluorescence in situ hybridization. The 2 disseminating tumors each harbored the TERT promoter −124C>T (Chr 5:1,295,228 hg19 coordinate) mutation whereas the remaining 5 tumors retained the wild-type gene. The presence of the −124C>T mutation correlated with telomerase expression by TERT mRNA ISH. In summary, we demonstrated complex fusion transcripts and novel partner genes for BRAF by RNA sequencing of FFPE samples. The diversity of gene fusions demonstrated by RNA sequencing defines the molecular

  2. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression in experimental alcoholic liver disease: relationship to endotoxemia and TNF alpha messenger RNA.

    PubMed

    Nanji, A A; Griniuviene, B; Yacoub, L K; Fogt, F; Tahan, S R

    1995-02-01

    We used the intragastric feeding rat model for alcoholic liver disease to evaluate the relationship among intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), plasma endotoxin, and inflammatory changes in the liver. Rats were fed different dietary fats (saturated fat, corn oil, and fish oil) with ethanol; control rats were fed isocaloric amounts of dextrose instead of ethanol. At sacrifice the following were evaluated: liver pathologic changes, TNF-alpha mRNA by reverse transcription-PCR, plasma endotoxin, and ICAM-1 by immunohistochemistry and immunoblot analysis. Upregulation of ICAM-1 in endothelial lining cells in central and portal veins was observed in rats showing evidence of pathologic changes. Rats fed fish oil and ethanol, which exhibited the most severe inflammation, also showed hepatocyte ICAM-1 staining. The presence of ICAM-1 staining, in general, correlated with the level of TNF-alpha mRNA expression and plasma endotoxin levels. Upregulation of ICAM-1 in rats fed ethanol may contribute to the inflammatory changes seen in this model. The association between ICAM-1 upregulation and endotoxin and TNF-alpha mRNA suggests a role for these mediators in the inflammatory process in alcoholic liver injury.

  3. RNA targeting by small molecule alkaloids: Studies on the binding of berberine and palmatine to polyribonucleotides and comparison to ethidium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Islam, Md. Maidul; Suresh Kumar, Gopinatha

    2008-03-01

    The binding affinity, energetics and conformational aspects of the interaction of isoquinoline alkaloids berberine and palmatine to four single stranded polyribonucleotides polyguanylic acid [poly(G)], polyinosinic acid [poly(I)], polycytidylic acid [poly(C)] and polyuridylic acid [poly(U)] were studied by absorption, fluorescence, isothermal titration calorimetry and circular dichroism spectroscopy and compared with ethidium. Berberine, palmatine and ethidium binds strongly with poly(G) and poly(I) with affinity in the order 10 5 M -1 while their binding to poly(C) and poly(U) were very weak or practically nil. The same conclusions have also emerged from isothermal titration calorimetric studies. The binding of all the three compounds to poly(C) and poly(I) was exothermic and favored by both negative enthalpy change and positive entropy change. Conformational change in the polymer associated with the binding was observed in poly(I) with all the three molecules and poly(U) with ethidium but not in poly(G) and poly(C) revealing differences in the orientation of the bound molecules in the hitherto different helical organization of these polymers. These fundamental results may be useful and serve as database for the development of futuristic RNA based small molecule therapeutics.

  4. MicroRNA-8 promotes robust motor axon targeting by coordinate regulation of cell adhesion molecules during synapse development

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Cecilia S.; Zhai, Bo; Mauss, Alex; Landgraf, Matthias; Gygi, Stephen; Van Vactor, David

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal connectivity and specificity rely upon precise coordinated deployment of multiple cell-surface and secreted molecules. MicroRNAs have tremendous potential for shaping neural circuitry by fine-tuning the spatio-temporal expression of key synaptic effector molecules. The highly conserved microRNA miR-8 is required during late stages of neuromuscular synapse development in Drosophila. However, its role in initial synapse formation was previously unknown. Detailed analysis of synaptogenesis in this system now reveals that miR-8 is required at the earliest stages of muscle target contact by RP3 motor axons. We find that the localization of multiple synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) is dependent on the expression of miR-8, suggesting that miR-8 regulates the initial assembly of synaptic sites. Using stable isotope labelling in vivo and comparative mass spectrometry, we find that miR-8 is required for normal expression of multiple proteins, including the CAMs Fasciclin III (FasIII) and Neuroglian (Nrg). Genetic analysis suggests that Nrg and FasIII collaborate downstream of miR-8 to promote accurate target recognition. Unlike the function of miR-8 at mature larval neuromuscular junctions, at the embryonic stage we find that miR-8 controls key effectors on both sides of the synapse. MiR-8 controls multiple stages of synapse formation through the coordinate regulation of both pre- and postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins. PMID:25135978

  5. The active translation of MHCII mRNA during dendritic cells maturation supplies new molecules to the cell surface pool.

    PubMed

    Malanga, Donatella; Barba, Pasquale; Harris, Paul E; Maffei, Antonella; Del Pozzo, Giovanna

    2007-04-01

    The transition of human dendritic cells (DCs) from the immature to the mature phenotype is characterized by an increased density of MHC class II (MHCII) molecules on the plasma membrane, a key requirement of their competence as professional antigen presenting cells (APCs). MHCII molecules on the cell surface derive from newly synthesized as well as from preexisting proteins. So far, all the studies done on DCs during maturation, to establish the relative contribution of newly synthesized MHCII molecules to the cell surface pool did not produced a clear, unified scenario. We report that, in human DCs stimulated ex vivo with LPS, the changes in the RNA accumulation specific for at least two MHCII genes (HLA-DRA and HLA-DQA1) due to transcriptional upregulation, is associated with the active translation at high rate of these transcripts. Our finding reveals that, across the 24h of the maturation process in human DCs, newly synthesized MHCII proteins are supplied to the APCs cell surface pool.

  6. Biologically responsive carrier-mediated anti-angiogenesis shRNA delivery for tumor treatment

    PubMed Central

    Che, Junyi; Tao, Anqi; Chen, Shun; Li, Xiaoming; Zhao, Yi; Yuan, Weien

    2016-01-01

    Small interfering RNA (siRNA) has increased the hope for highly-efficient treatment of gene-related diseases. However, the stable and efficient delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids is a prerequisite for the successful clinical translation of RNA interfering therapy. To achieve this, we condensed the low molecular weight polyethyleneimine (PEI, Mw < 2000) with 2,6-pyridinedicarboxaldehyde (PDA) to synthesize a biologically responsive and degradable cationic polymer (abbreviated to PDAPEI) which was utilized as a gene vector for the delivery of a VEGF-A shRNA expression plasmid DNA (pDNA). The resulting electrostatic interaction between PDAPEI and pDNA led to the self-assembly of nanoscale polyplexes with suitable particle size and stable zeta potential. The PDAPEI/pDNA polyplexes demonstrated an outstanding gene transfection and silencing efficiency at 30 w/w ratio, as well as negligible cytotoxicity. Also, the designed polymer showed no stimulation to the innate immune system. Moreover, compared with PEI 25 KDa, the polyplexes accomplished comparatively better anti-angiogenesis efficacy, which resulted in the inhibition of tumor growth in subcutaneous tumor mice models. In conclusion, PDAPEI has great potential to be a gene delivery vector for cancer therapy. PMID:27759095

  7. A system biology approach for understanding the miRNA regulatory network in colon rectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Meeta; Nagulapalli, Kshithija; Ledford, Lakenvia; Pandit, Yogesh; Palakal, Mathew

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we present a systems biology approach to the understanding of the miRNA-regulatory network in colon rectal cancer. An initial set of significant genes in Colon Rectal Cancer (CRC) were obtained by mining relevant literature. An initial set of cancer-related miRNAs were obtained from three databases: miRBase, miRWalk, Targetscan and GEO microarray experiment. First principle methods were then used to generate the global miRNA-gene network. Significant miRNAs and associated transcription factors in the global miRNA-gene network were identified using topological and sub-graph analyses. Eleven novel miRNAs were identified and three of the novel miRNAs, hsa-miR-630, hsa-miR-100 and hsa-miR-99a, were further analysed to elucidate their role in CRC. The proposed methodology effectively made use of literature data and was able to show novel, significant miRNA-transcription associations in CRC.

  8. RNA binding protein and binding site useful for expression of recombinant molecules

    DOEpatents

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2006-10-17

    The present invention relates to a gene expression system in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, preferably plant cells and intact plants. In particular, the invention relates to an expression system having a RB47 binding site upstream of a translation initiation site for regulation of translation mediated by binding of RB47 protein, a member of the poly(A) binding protein family. Regulation is further effected by RB60, a protein disulfide isomerase. The expression system is capable of functioning in the nuclear/cytoplasm of cells and in the chloroplast of plants. Translation regulation of a desired molecule is enhanced approximately 100 fold over that obtained without RB47 binding site activation.

  9. RNA binding protein and binding site useful for expression of recombinant molecules

    DOEpatents

    Mayfield, Stephen

    2000-01-01

    The present invention relates to a gene expression system in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, preferably plant cells and intact plants. In particular, the invention relates to an expression system having a RB47 binding site upstream of a translation initiation site for regulation of translation mediated by binding of RB47 protein, a member of the poly(A) binding protein family. Regulation is further effected by RB60, a protein disulfide isomerase. The expression system is capable of functioning in the nuclear/cytoplasm of cells and in the chloroplast of plants. Translation regulation of a desired molecule is enhanced approximately 100 fold over that obtained without RB47 binding site activation.

  10. Novel hypovirulence-associated RNA mycovirus in the plant pathogenic fungus botrytis cinerea: molecular and biological characterization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botrytis cinerea is a pathogenic fungus causing gray mold disease on numerous economically important crops and ornamental plants. This study was conducted to characterize the biological and molecular features of a novel RNA mycovirus, Botrytis cinerea RNA virus 1 (BcRV1), in the hypovirulent strain ...

  11. Interaction of small molecules with double-stranded RNA: spectroscopic, viscometric, and calorimetric study of hoechst and proflavine binding to PolyCG structures.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Rangana; Hossain, Maidul; Kumar, Gopinatha Suresh

    2009-04-01

    Design and synthesis of new small molecules binding to double-stranded RNA necessitate complete understanding of the molecular aspects of the binding of many existing molecules. Toward this goal, in this work we evaluated the biophysical aspects of the interaction of a DNA intercalator (proflavine) and a minor groove binder (hoechst 33258) with two polymorphic forms of polyCG, namely, the right-handed Watson-Crick base paired A-form and the left-handed Hoogsteen base paired H(L)-form, by absorption, fluorescence, and viscometry experiments. The energetics of the interaction of these molecules with the RNA structures has also been elucidated by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Results suggest that proflavine strongly intercalates in both forms of polyCG, whereas hoechst shows mainly groove-binding modes. The binding of both drugs to both forms of RNA resulted in significant conformational change to the RNA structure with the bound molecules being placed in the chiral RNA helix. ITC profiles for both proflavine and hoechst show two binding sites. Binding of proflavine to both forms of RNA is endothermic and entropy driven in the first site and exothermic and enthalpy driven in the second site, whereas hoechst binding to both forms of RNA is exothermic and enthalpy driven in the first site and endothermic and entropy driven in the second site. This study suggests that the binding affinity characteristics and energetics of interaction of these DNA binding molecules with the RNA conformations are significantly different and may serve as data for future development of effective structure-selective RNA-based drugs.

  12. Peptide nucleic acids rather than RNA may have been the first genetic molecule

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, K. E.; Levy, M.; Miller, S. L.

    2000-01-01

    Numerous problems exist with the current thinking of RNA as the first genetic material. No plausible prebiotic processes have yet been demonstrated to produce the nucleosides or nucleotides or for efficient two-way nonenzymatic replication. Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) is a promising precursor to RNA, consisting of N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine (AEG) and the adenine, uracil, guanine, and cytosine-N-acetic acids. However, PNA has not yet been demonstrated to be prebiotic. We show here that AEG is produced directly in electric discharge reactions from CH(4), N(2), NH(3), and H(2)O. Electric discharges also produce ethylenediamine, as do NH(4)CN polymerizations. AEG is produced from the robust Strecker synthesis with ethylenediamine. The NH(4)CN polymerization in the presence of glycine leads to the adenine and guanine-N(9)-acetic acids, and the cytosine and uracil-N(1)-acetic acids are produced in high yield from the reaction of cyanoacetaldehyde with hydantoic acid, rather than urea. Preliminary experiments suggest that AEG may polymerize rapidly at 100 degrees C to give the polypeptide backbone of PNA. The ease of synthesis of the components of PNA and possibility of polymerization of AEG reinforce the possibility that PNA may have been the first genetic material.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. RNA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darnell, James E., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Ribonucleic acid (RNA) converts genetic information into protein and usually must be processed to serve its function. RNA types, chemical structure, protein synthesis, translation, manufacture, and processing are discussed. Concludes that the first genes might have been spliced RNA and that humans might be closer than bacteria to primitive…

  16. Nanoencapsulated anti-CK2 small molecule drug or siRNA specifically targets malignant cancer but not benign cells.

    PubMed

    Trembley, Janeen H; Unger, Gretchen M; Korman, Vicci L; Tobolt, Diane K; Kazimierczuk, Zygmunt; Pinna, Lorenzo A; Kren, Betsy T; Ahmed, Khalil

    2012-02-01

    CK2, a pleiotropic Ser/Thr kinase, is an important target for cancer therapy. We tested our novel tenfibgen-based nanocapsule for delivery of the inhibitor 2-dimethylamino-4,5,6,7-tetrabromo-1H-benzimidazole (DMAT) and an siRNA directed against both CK2α and α' catalytic subunits to prostate cancer cells. We present data on the TBG nanocapsule itself and on CK2 inhibition or downregulation in treated cells, including effects on Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-κB) p65. By direct comparison of two CK2-directed cargos, our data provide proof that the TBG encapsulation design for delivery of drugs specifically to cancer cells has strong potential for small molecule- and nucleic acid-based cancer therapy.

  17. IFIT1: A dual sensor and effector molecule that detects non-2'-O methylated viral RNA and inhibits its translation

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the antiviral actions of IFIT1, one of the most strongly induced interferon stimulated genes (ISGs), has advanced remarkably within the last few years. This review focuses on the recent cellular, biochemical, and structural discoveries that have provided new insight as to how IFIT1 functions as both a sensor and effector molecule of the cellular innate immune system. IFIT1 can detect viral RNA lacking 2’-O methylation on their cap structures or displaying a 5’-triphosphate moiety and inhibit their translation or sequester them from active replication. Because of these inhibitory actions, many viruses have evolved unique mechanisms to evade IFIT1 to facilitate replication, spread of infection, and disease pathogenesis. PMID:24909568

  18. Hairpins under tension: RNA versus DNA

    PubMed Central

    Bercy, Mathilde; Bockelmann, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    We use optical tweezers to control the folding and unfolding of individual DNA and RNA hairpins by force. Four hairpin molecules are studied in comparison: two DNA and two RNA ones. We observe that the conformational dynamics is slower for the RNA hairpins than for their DNA counterparts. Our results indicate that structures made of RNA are dynamically more stable. This difference might contribute to the fact that DNA and RNA play fundamentally different biological roles in spite of chemical similarity. PMID:26323319

  19. Codelivery of small molecule hedgehog inhibitor and miRNA for treating pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Virender; Mondal, Goutam; Slavik, Paige; Rachagani, Satyanarayna; Batra, Surinder K; Mahato, Ram I

    2015-04-06

    Successful treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a challenge due to the desmoplastic microenvironment that promotes both tumor growth and metastasis and forms a barrier to chemotherapy. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is implicated in initiation and progression of PDAC and also contributes to desmoplasia. While Hh levels are increased in pancreatic cancer cells, levels of tumor suppressor miR-let7b, which targets several genes involved in PDAC pathogenesis, is downregulated. Therefore, our overall objective was to inhibit Hh pathway and restore miR-let7b simultaneously for synergistically treating PDAC. miR-let7b and Hh inhibitor GDC-0449 could inhibit the proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cells (Capan-1, HPAF-II, T3M4, and MIA PaCa-2), and there was synergistic effect when miR-let7b and GDC-0449 were coformulated into micelles using methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(2-methyl- 2-carboxyl-propylenecarbonate-graft-dodecanol-graft-tetraethylene-pentamine) (mPEG-b-PCC-g-DC-g-TEPA). This copolymer self-assembled into micelles of <100 nm and encapsulated hydrophobic GDC-0449 into its core with 5% w/w drug loading and allowed complex formation between miR-let7b and its cationic pendant chains. Complete polyplex formation with miRNA was observed at the N/P ratio of 16/1. Almost 80% of GDC-0449 was released from the polyplex in a sustained manner in 2 days. miRNA in the micelle formulation was stable for up to 24 h in the presence of serum and high uptake efficiency was achieved with low cytotoxicity. This combination therapy effectively inhibited tumor growth when injected to athymic nude mice bearing ectopic tumor generated using MIA PaCa-2 cells compared to micelles carrying GDC-0449 or miR-let7b alone. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed decreased tumor cell proliferation with increased apoptosis in the animals treated with miR-let7b and GDC-0449 combination.

  20. RNA-seq in the tetraploid Xenopus laevis enables genome-wide insight in a classic developmental biology model organism.

    PubMed

    Amin, Nirav M; Tandon, Panna; Osborne Nishimura, Erin; Conlon, Frank L

    2014-04-01

    Advances in sequencing technology have significantly advanced the landscape of developmental biology research. The dissection of genetic networks in model and non-model organisms has been greatly enhanced with high-throughput sequencing technologies. RNA-seq has revolutionized the ability to perform developmental biology research in organisms without a published genome sequence. Here, we describe a protocol for developmental biologists to perform RNA-seq on dissected tissue or whole embryos. We start with the isolation of RNA and generation of sequencing libraries. We further show how to interpret and analyze the large amount of sequencing data that is generated in RNA-seq. We explore the abilities to examine differential expression, gene duplication, transcript assembly, alternative splicing and SNP discovery. For the purposes of this article, we use Xenopus laevis as the model organism to discuss uses of RNA-seq in an organism without a fully annotated genome sequence.

  1. Influence of cationic molecules on the hairpin to duplex equilibria of self-complementary DNA and RNA oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Nakano, Shu-ichi; Kirihata, Toshimasa; Fujii, Satoshi; Sakai, Hiroshi; Kuwahara, Masayasu; Sawai, Hiroaki; Sugimoto, Naoki

    2007-01-01

    A self-complementary nucleotide sequence can form both a unimolecular hairpin and a bimolecular duplex. In this study, the secondary structures of the self-complementary DNA and RNA oligonucleotides with different sequences and lengths were investigated under various solution conditions by gel electrophoresis, circular dichroism (CD) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and a ultraviolet (UV) melting analysis. The DNA sequences tended to adopt a hairpin conformation at low cation concentrations, but a bimolecular duplex was preferentially formed at an elevated cationic strength. On the other hand, fully matched RNA sequences adopted a bimolecular duplex regardless of the cation concentration. The thermal melting experiments indicated a greater change in the melting temperature of the bimolecular duplexes (by ∼20°C) than that of the hairpin (by ∼10°C) by increasing the NaCl concentration from 10 mM to 1 M. Hairpin formations were also observed for the palindrome DNA sequences derived from Escherichia coli, but association of the complementary palindrome sequences was observed when spermine, one of the major cationic molecules in a cell, existed at the physiological concentration. The results indicate the role of cations for shifting the structural equilibrium toward a nucleotide assembly and implicate nucleotide structures in cells. PMID:17169988

  2. A single-molecule view of transcription reveals convoys of RNA polymerases and multi-scale bursting

    PubMed Central

    Tantale, Katjana; Mueller, Florian; Kozulic-Pirher, Alja; Lesne, Annick; Victor, Jean-Marc; Robert, Marie-Cécile; Capozi, Serena; Chouaib, Racha; Bäcker, Volker; Mateos-Langerak, Julio; Darzacq, Xavier; Zimmer, Christophe; Basyuk, Eugenia; Bertrand, Edouard

    2016-01-01

    Live-cell imaging has revealed unexpected features of gene expression. Here using improved single-molecule RNA microscopy, we show that synthesis of HIV-1 RNA is achieved by groups of closely spaced polymerases, termed convoys, as opposed to single isolated enzymes. Convoys arise by a Mediator-dependent reinitiation mechanism, which generates a transient but rapid succession of polymerases initiating and escaping the promoter. During elongation, polymerases are spaced by few hundred nucleotides, and physical modelling suggests that DNA torsional stress may maintain polymerase spacing. We additionally observe that the HIV-1 promoter displays stochastic fluctuations on two time scales, which we refer to as multi-scale bursting. Each time scale is regulated independently: Mediator controls minute-scale fluctuation (convoys), while TBP-TATA-box interaction controls sub-hour fluctuations (long permissive/non-permissive periods). A cellular promoter also produces polymerase convoys and displays multi-scale bursting. We propose that slow, TBP-dependent fluctuations are important for phenotypic variability of single cells. PMID:27461529

  3. De-repressing LncRNA-Targeted Genes to Upregulate Gene Expression: Focus on Small Molecule Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Fatemi, Roya Pedram; Velmeshev, Dmitry; Faghihi, Mohammad Ali

    2014-11-18

    Non-protein coding RNAs (ncRNAs) make up the overwhelming majority of transcripts in the genome and have recently gained attention for their complex regulatory role in cells, including the regulation of protein-coding genes. Furthermore, ncRNAs play an important role in normal development and their expression levels are dysregulated in several diseases. Recently, several long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to alter the epigenetic status of genomic loci and suppress the expression of target genes. This review will present examples of such a mechanism and focus on the potential to target lncRNAs for achieving therapeutic gene upregulation by de-repressing genes that are epigenetically silenced in various diseases. Finally, the potential to target lncRNAs, through their interactions with epigenetic enzymes, using various tools, such as small molecules, viral vectors and antisense oligonucleotides, will be discussed. We suggest that small molecule modulators of a novel class of drug targets, lncRNA-protein interactions, have great potential to treat some cancers, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Ligand-induced changes in 2-aminopurine fluorescence as a probe for small molecule binding to HIV-1 TAR RNA

    PubMed Central

    BRADRICK, THOMAS D.; MARINO, JOHN P.

    2004-01-01

    Replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is regulated in part through an interaction between the virally encoded trans-activator protein Tat and the trans-activator responsive region (TAR) of the viral RNA genome. Because TAR is highly conserved and its interaction with Tat is required for efficient viral replication, it has received much attention as an antiviral drug target. Here, we report a 2-aminopurine (2-AP) fluorescence-based assay for evaluating potential TAR inhibitors. Through selective incorporation of 2-AP within the bulge (C23 or U24) of a truncated form of the TAR sequence (Δ TAR-ap23 and Δ TAR-ap24), binding of argininamide, a 24-residue arginine-rich peptide derived from Tat, and Neomycin has been characterized using steady-state fluorescence. Binding of argininamide to the 2-AP ΔTAR constructs results in a four- to 11-fold increase in fluorescence intensity, thus providing a sensitive reporter of that interaction (KD ~ 1 mM). Similarly, binding of the Tat peptide results in an initial 14-fold increase in fluorescence (KD ~ 25 nM), but is then followed by a slight decrease that is attributed to an additional, lower-affinity association(s). Using the ΔTAR-ap23 and TAR-ap24 constructs, two classes of Neomycin binding sites are detected; the first molecule of antibiotic binds as a noncompetitive inhibitor of Tat/argininamide (KD ~ 200 nM), whereas the second, more weakly bound molecule(s) becomes associated in a presumably nonspecific manner (KD ~ 4 μM). Taken together, the results demonstrate that the 2-AP fluorescence-detected binding assays provide accurate and general methods for quantitatively assessing TAR interactions. PMID:15273324

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Efficient in vitro synthesis of biologically active RNA and RNA hybridization probes from plasmids containing a bacteriophage SP6 promoter.

    PubMed

    Melton, D A; Krieg, P A; Rebagliati, M R; Maniatis, T; Zinn, K; Green, M R

    1984-09-25

    A simple and efficient method for synthesizing pure single stranded RNAs of virtually any structure is described. This in vitro transcription system is based on the unusually specific RNA synthesis by bacteriophage SP6 RNA polymerase which initiates transcription exclusively at an SP6 promoter. We have constructed convenient cloning vectors that contain an SP6 promoter immediately upstream from a polylinker sequence. Using these SP6 vectors, optimal conditions have been established for in vitro RNA synthesis. The advantages and uses of SP6 derived RNAs as probes for nucleic acid blot and solution hybridizations are demonstrated. We show that single stranded RNA probes of a high specific activity are easy to prepare and can significantly increase the sensitivity of nucleic acid hybridization methods. Furthermore, the SP6 transcription system can be used to prepare RNA substrates for studies on RNA processing (1,5,9) and translation (see accompanying paper).

  12. 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.

  13. Use of a coenzyme by the glmS ribozyme-riboswitch suggests primordial expansion of RNA chemistry by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R

    2011-10-27

    The glmS ribozyme-riboswitch is the first known example of a naturally occurring catalytic RNA that employs a small molecule as a coenzyme. Binding of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) activates self-cleavage of the bacterial ribozyme, which is part of the mRNA encoding the metabolic enzyme GlcN6P-synthetase. Cleavage leads to negative feedback regulation. GlcN6P binds in the active site of the ribozyme, where its amine could function as a general acid and electrostatic catalyst. The ribozyme is pre-folded but inactive in the absence of GlcN6P, demonstrating it has evolved strict dependence on the exogenous small molecule. The ribozyme showcases the ability of RNA to co-opt non-covalently bound small molecules to expand its chemical repertoire. Analogue studies demonstrate that some molecules other than GlcN6P, such as l-serine (but not d-serine), can function as weak activators. This suggests how coenzyme use by RNA world ribozymes may have led to evolution of proteins. Primordial cofactor-dependent ribozymes may have evolved to bind their cofactors covalently. If amino acids were used as cofactors, this could have driven the evolution of RNA aminoacylation. The ability to make covalently bound peptide coenzymes may have further increased the fitness of such primordial ribozymes, providing a selective pressure for the invention of translation.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Poitiers School of Mathematical and Theoretical Biology: Besson-Gavaudan-Schützenberger's Conjectures on Genetic Code and RNA Structures.

    PubMed

    Demongeot, J; Hazgui, H

    2016-12-01

    The French school of theoretical biology has been mainly initiated in Poitiers during the sixties by scientists like J. Besson, G. Bouligand, P. Gavaudan, M. P. Schützenberger and R. Thom, launching many new research domains on the fractal dimension, the combinatorial properties of the genetic code and related amino-acids as well as on the genetic regulation of the biological processes. Presently, the biological science knows that RNA molecules are often involved in the regulation of complex genetic networks as effectors, e.g., activators (small RNAs as transcription factors), inhibitors (micro-RNAs) or hybrids (circular RNAs). Examples of such networks will be given showing that (1) there exist RNA "relics" that have played an important role during evolution and have survived in many genomes, whose probability distribution of their sub-sequences is quantified by the Shannon entropy, and (2) the robustness of the dynamics of the networks they regulate can be characterized by the Kolmogorov-Sinaï dynamic entropy and attractor entropy.

  19. The master switchers in the aging of cardiovascular system, reverse senescence by microRNA signatures; as highly conserved molecules.

    PubMed

    Pourrajab, Fatemeh; Vakili Zarch, Abbas; Hekmatimoghaddam, Seyedhossein; Zare-Khormizi, Mohamad Reza

    2015-11-01

    The incidence of CVD increases with aging, because of long-term exposure to risk factors/stressors. Aging is a complex biological process resulting in progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death. The main hallmarks of aging are cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intracellular communication. The major hallmarks of senescence are mitochondrial dysfunction, genomic instability, telomere attrition and epigenetic alterations, all of which contributing to cellular aging. Such events are controls by a family of small, non-coding RNAs (miRNAs) that interact with component of cellular senescence pathway; mitochondrial biogenesis/removal, DNA damage response machinery and IGF-1 signaling pathway. Here, we review recent in vivo/in vitro reports that miRNAs are key modulators of heart senescence, and act as master switchers to influence reprogramming pathway. We discuss evidence that abrupt deregulation of some mit-miRNAs governing senescence programs underlies age-associated CVD. In particular, due to the highly conserved nature and well-recognized target sites, miRNAs have been defined as master switchers in controlling heart progenitor cell biology. Modulation of mit-miRNA expression holds the great promise in switching off/on cellular senescence/reprogramming to rejuvenate stem cells to aid regenerative process.

  20. 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)

  1. 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

  2. Computational approaches towards understanding human long non-coding RNA biology.

    PubMed

    Jalali, Saakshi; Kapoor, Shruti; Sivadas, Ambily; Bhartiya, Deeksha; Scaria, Vinod

    2015-07-15

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) form the largest class of non-protein coding genes in the human genome. While a small subset of well-characterized lncRNAs has demonstrated their significant role in diverse biological functions like chromatin modifications, post-transcriptional regulation, imprinting etc., the functional significance of a vast majority of them still remains an enigma. Increasing evidence of the implications of lncRNAs in various diseases including cancer and major developmental processes has further enhanced the need to gain mechanistic insights into the lncRNA functions. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the various computational approaches and tools available for the identification and annotation of long non-coding RNAs. We also discuss a conceptual roadmap to systematically explore the functional properties of the lncRNAs using computational approaches.

  3. 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.

  4. RNA-Mediated Silencing in Algae: Biological Roles and Tools for Analysis of Gene Function ▿

    PubMed Central

    Cerutti, Heriberto; Ma, Xinrong; Msanne, Joseph; Repas, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    Algae are a large group of aquatic, typically photosynthetic, eukaryotes that include species from very diverse phylogenetic lineages, from those similar to land plants to those related to protist parasites. The recent sequencing of several algal genomes has provided insights into the great complexity of these organisms. Genomic information has also emphasized our lack of knowledge of the functions of many predicted genes, as well as the gene regulatory mechanisms in algae. Core components of the machinery for RNA-mediated silencing show widespread distribution among algal lineages, but they also seem to have been lost entirely from several species with relatively small nuclear genomes. Complex sets of endogenous small RNAs, including candidate microRNAs and small interfering RNAs, have now been identified by high-throughput sequencing in green, red, and brown algae. However, the natural roles of RNA-mediated silencing in algal biology remain poorly understood. Limited evidence suggests that small RNAs may function, in different algae, in defense mechanisms against transposon mobilization, in responses to nutrient deprivation and, possibly, in the regulation of recently evolved developmental processes. From a practical perspective, RNA interference (RNAi) is becoming a promising tool for assessing gene function by sequence-specific knockdown. Transient gene silencing, triggered with exogenously synthesized nucleic acids, and/or stable gene repression, involving genome-integrated transgenes, have been achieved in green algae, diatoms, yellow-green algae, and euglenoids. The development of RNAi technology in conjunction with system level “omics” approaches may provide the tools needed to advance our understanding of algal physiological and metabolic processes. PMID:21803865

  5. Effect of siRNA silencing of inducible co-stimulatory molecule on myocardial cell hypertrophy after cardiac infarction in rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, W M; Liu, Z; Chen, G

    2016-05-20

    As the most common cardiac disease, myocardial infarction is followed by hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes and reconstruction of ventricular structure. The up-regulation of a series of factors including metalloproteinases, inflammatory factors, and growth factors after primary infarction lead to the hypertrophy, apoptosis, necrosis, and fibroblast proliferation in cardiac muscle tissues. Recent studies have reported on the potency of small interfering RNA (siRNA) in treating cardiac diseases. We thus investigated the efficacy of inducible co-stimulatory molecule (ICOS)-specific siRNA silencing in myocardial hypertrophy in a cardiac infarction rat model. This cardiac infarction model was prepared by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery. ICOS-siRNA treatment was administered in parallel with non-sense siRNA. After 18 days, the cross-sectional area of cardiac muscle tissues and the left ventricle weight index were measured, along with ICOS mRNA and protein expression levels, and pathological staining. Compared to those in the control groups, in myocardial infarcted rats, the application of ICOS-siRNA effectively decreased the left ventricle weight index, as well as the surface area of cardiac myocytes. Both mRNA and protein levels of ICOS were also significantly decreased. HE staining was consistent with these results. In conclusion, ICOS-targeted siRNA can effectively silence gene expression of ICOS, and provided satisfactory treatment efficacy for myocardial cell hypertrophy after infarction.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Si Shen Wan Inhibits mRNA Expression of Apoptosis-Related Molecules in p38 MAPK Signal Pathway in Mice with Colitis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Hai-Mei; Huang, Xiao-Ying; Zhou, Feng; Tong, Wen-Ting; Wan, Pan-Ting; Huang, Min-Fang; Ye, Qing; Liu, Duan-Yong

    2013-01-01

    Si Shen Wan (SSW) is used to effectively treat ulcerative colitis (UC) as a formula of traditional Chinese medicine. To explore the mechanism of SSW-inhibited apoptosis of colonic epithelial cell, the study observed mRNA expression of apoptosis-related molecules in p38 MAPK signal pathway in colonic mucosa in colitis mice treated with SSW. Experimental colitis was induced by 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) in mice; meanwhile, the mice were administrated daily either SSW (5 g/kg) or p38 MAPK inhibitor (2 mg/kg) or vehicle (physiological saline) for 10 days. While microscopical evaluation was observed, apoptosis rate of colonic epithelial cell and mRNA expression of apoptosis-related molecules were tested. Compared with colitis mice without treatment, SSW alleviated colonic mucosal injuries and decreased apoptosis rate of colonic epithelial cell, while the mRNA expressions of p38 MAPK, p53, caspase-3, c-jun, c-fos, Bax, and TNF-α were decreased in the colonic mucosa in colitis mice treated with SSW, and Bcl-2 mRNA and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax were increased. The present study demonstrated that SSW inhibited mRNA expression of apoptosis-related molecules in p38 MAPK signal pathway to downregulate colonic epithelial cells apoptosis in colonic mucosa in mice with colitis. PMID:24223057

  14. Enhanced methods for unbiased deep sequencing of Lassa and Ebola RNA viruses from clinical and biological samples.

    PubMed

    Matranga, Christian B; Andersen, Kristian G; Winnicki, Sarah; Busby, Michele; Gladden, Adrianne D; Tewhey, Ryan; Stremlau, Matthew; Berlin, Aaron; Gire, Stephen K; England, Eleina; Moses, Lina M; Mikkelsen, Tarjei S; Odia, Ikponmwonsa; Ehiane, Philomena E; Folarin, Onikepe; Goba, Augustine; Kahn, S Humarr; Grant, Donald S; Honko, Anna; Hensley, Lisa; Happi, Christian; Garry, Robert F; Malboeuf, Christine M; Birren, Bruce W; Gnirke, Andreas; Levin, Joshua Z; Sabeti, Pardis C

    2014-01-01

    We have developed a robust RNA sequencing method for generating complete de novo assemblies with intra-host variant calls of Lassa and Ebola virus genomes in clinical and biological samples. Our method uses targeted RNase H-based digestion to remove contaminating poly(rA) carrier and ribosomal RNA. This depletion step improves both the quality of data and quantity of informative reads in unbiased total RNA sequencing libraries. We have also developed a hybrid-selection protocol to further enrich the viral content of sequencing libraries. These protocols have enabled rapid deep sequencing of both Lassa and Ebola virus and are broadly applicable to other viral genomics studies.

  15. 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…

  16. Physicochemical and biological characterization of chitosan-microRNA nanocomplexes for gene delivery to MCF-7 breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Carballal, B.; Aaldering, L. J.; Ritzefeld, M.; Pereira, S.; Sewald, N.; Moerschbacher, B. M.; Götte, M.; Goycoolea, F. M.

    2015-01-01

    Cancer gene therapy requires the design of non-viral vectors that carry genetic material and selectively deliver it with minimal toxicity. Non-viral vectors based on cationic natural polymers can form electrostatic complexes with negatively-charged polynucleotides such as microRNAs (miRNAs). Here we investigated the physicochemical/biophysical properties of chitosan–hsa-miRNA-145 (CS–miRNA) nanocomplexes and the biological responses of MCF-7 breast cancer cells cultured in vitro. Self-assembled CS–miRNA nanocomplexes were produced with a range of (+/−) charge ratios (from 0.6 to 8) using chitosans with various degrees of acetylation and molecular weight. The Z-average particle diameter of the complexes was <200 nm. The surface charge increased with increasing amount of chitosan. We observed that chitosan induces the base-stacking of miRNA in a concentration dependent manner. Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy shows that complexes formed by low degree of acetylation chitosans are highly stable, regardless of the molecular weight. We found no evidence that these complexes were cytotoxic towards MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, CS–miRNA nanocomplexes with degree of acetylation 12% and 29% were biologically active, showing successful downregulation of target mRNA expression in MCF-7 cells. Our data, therefore, shows that CS–miRNA complexes offer a promising non-viral platform for breast cancer gene therapy. PMID:26324407

  17. 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.

  18. A transcribed ultraconserved noncoding RNA, Uc.173, is a key molecule for the inhibition of lead-induced neuronal apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Nan, Aruo; Zhou, Xinke; Chen, Lijian; Liu, Meiling; Zhang, Nan; Zhang, Li; Luo, Yuanwei; Liu, Zhenzhong; Dai, Lijun; Jiang, Yiguo

    2016-01-05

    As a common toxic metal, lead has significant neurotoxicity to brain development. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) function in multiple biological processes. However, whether lncRNAs are involved in lead-induced neurotoxicity remains unclear. Uc.173 is a lncRNA from a transcribed ultra-conservative region (T-UCR) of human, mouse and rat genomes. We established a lead-induced nerve injury mouse model. It showed the levels of Uc.173 decreased significantly in hippocampus tissue and serum of the model. We further tested the expression of Uc.173 in serum of lead-exposed children, which also showed a tendency to decrease. To explore the effects of Uc.173 on lead-induced nerve injury, we overexpressed Uc.173 in an N2a mouse nerve cell line and found Uc.173 had an inhibitory effect on lead-induced apoptosis of N2a. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of Uc.173 in apoptosis associated with lead-induced nerve injury, we predicted the target microRNAs of Uc.173 by using miRanda, TargetScan and RegRNA. After performing quantitative real-time PCR and bioinformatics analysis, we showed Uc.173 might inter-regulate with miR-291a-3p in lead-induced apoptosis and regulate apoptosis-associated genes. Our study suggests Uc.173 significantly inhibits the apoptosis of nerve cells, which may be mediated by inter-regulation with miRNAs in lead-induced nerve injury.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. How many biological replicates are needed in an RNA-seq experiment and which differential expression tool should you use?

    PubMed Central

    Gierliński, Marek; Sherstnev, Alexander; Singh, Vijender; Wrobel, Nicola; Gharbi, Karim; Simpson, Gordon G.; Owen-Hughes, Tom; Blaxter, Mark

    2016-01-01

    RNA-seq is now the technology of choice for genome-wide differential gene expression experiments, but it is not clear how many biological replicates are needed to ensure valid biological interpretation of the results or which statistical tools are best for analyzing the data. An RNA-seq experiment with 48 biological replicates in each of two conditions was performed to answer these questions and provide guidelines for experimental design. With three biological replicates, nine of the 11 tools evaluated found only 20%–40% of the significantly differentially expressed (SDE) genes identified with the full set of 42 clean replicates. This rises to >85% for the subset of SDE genes changing in expression by more than fourfold. To achieve >85% for all SDE genes regardless of fold change requires more than 20 biological replicates. The same nine tools successfully control their false discovery rate at ≲5% for all numbers of replicates, while the remaining two tools fail to control their FDR adequately, particularly for low numbers of replicates. For future RNA-seq experiments, these results suggest that at least six biological replicates should be used, rising to at least 12 when it is important to identify SDE genes for all fold changes. If fewer than 12 replicates are used, a superior combination of true positive and false positive performances makes edgeR and DESeq2 the leading tools. For higher replicate numbers, minimizing false positives is more important and DESeq marginally outperforms the other tools. PMID:27022035

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Skeletal muscle plasticity induced by seasonal acclimatization in carp involves differential expression of rRNA and molecules that epigenetically regulate its synthesis.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Eduardo N; Zuloaga, Rodrigo; Nardocci, Gino; Fernandez de la Reguera, Catalina; Simonet, Nicolas; Fumeron, Robinson; Valdes, Juan Antonio; Molina, Alfredo; Alvarez, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Ribosomal biogenesis controls cellular growth in living organisms, with the rate-limiting step of this process being the transcription of ribosomal DNA (rDNA). Considering that epigenetic mechanisms allow an organism to respond to environmental changes, the expression in muscle of several molecules that regulate epigenetic rRNA synthesis, as well as rDNA transcription, were evaluated during the seasonal acclimatization of the carp. First, the nucleotide sequences encoding the components forming the NoRC (ttf-I, tip5) and eNoSC (sirt1, nml, suv39h1), two chromatin remodeling complexes that silence rRNA synthesis, as well as the sequence of ubf1, a key regulator of rDNA transcription, were obtained. Subsequently the transcriptional regulation of the aforementioned molecules, and other key molecules involved in rRNA synthesis (mh2a1, mh2a2, h2a.z, h2a.z.7, nuc, p80), was assessed. The carp sequences for TTF-I, TIP5, SIRT1, NML, SUV39H1, and UBF1 showed a high conservation of domains and key amino acids in comparison with other fish and higher vertebrates. The mRNA contents in muscle for ttf-I, tip5, sirt1, nml, suv39h1, mh2a1, mh2a.z, and nuc were up-regulated during winter in comparison with summer, whereas the mRNA levels of mh2a2, ubf1, and p80 were down-regulated. Also, the contents of molecules involved in processing the rRNA (snoRNAs) and pRNA, a stabilizer of NoRC complex, were analyzed, finding that these non-coding RNAs were not affected by seasonal acclimatization. These results suggest that variations in the expression of rRNA and the molecules that epigenetically regulate its synthesis are contributing to the muscle plasticity induced by seasonal acclimatization in carp.

  10. miRNA as molecular target of polyphenols underlying their biological effects.

    PubMed

    Milenkovic, Dragan; Jude, Baptiste; Morand, Christine

    2013-09-01

    Polyphenols are the most abundant antioxidants in the human diet and are widespread constituents of fruits and beverages, such as tea, coffee, and wine. Epidemiological, clinical, and animal studies support a role of polyphenols in the prevention of various chronic diseases. For a long time, their direct antioxidant effect has been reported as the mechanism responsible for the observed health properties. However, recent findings revealed that polyphenols could interact with cellular signaling cascades regulating the activity of transcription factors and consequently affecting the expression of genes. Together with this classical regulatory pathway, polyphenols have been shown to affect the expression of microRNAs (miRNA). miRNAs are small, noncoding RNAs implicated in the regulation of gene expression that control both physiological and pathological processes such as development and cancer. Furthermore, expression of miRNAs can be affected by different external stimuli including nutrients such as vitamins, lipids, and phytochemicals. In this paper, we review studies assessing modulation of miRNAs expression by dietary polyphenols that could constitute a new pathway by which these compounds may exert their health effects. Over 100 miRNAs, involved in the control of different cellular processes such as inflammation or apoptosis, were identified as modulated by polyphenols. Most of the studies were performed in vitro using different cell lines, particularly cancer cell lines, and few studies were performed in animals. From all these data, miRNAs appear as interesting mediators in regulating polyphenols' biological effects; however, further studies are needed to validate miRNA targets and particularly in physiologically relevant conditions taking into account the bioavailability of dietary polyphenols.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Murine MicroRNA-214 regulates intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM1) gene expression in genital Chlamydia muridarum infection

    PubMed Central

    Arkatkar, Tanvi; Gupta, Rishein; Li, Weidang; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Wali, Shradha; Neal Guentzel, M; Chambers, James P; Christenson, Lane K; Arulanandam, Bernard P

    2015-01-01

    The hallmark of chlamydial infection is the development of upper genital pathology in the form of hydrosalpinx and oviduct and/or tubal dilatation. Although molecular events leading to genital tissue presentation and cellular architectural remodelling are unclear, early-stage host immune responses are believed to contribute to these long-term sequelae. Recently, we reported the contribution of selected infection-associated microRNAs (miRs) in the generation of host immunity at early-stage infection (day 6 after intravaginal Chlamydia muridarum challenge in C57BL/6 mice). In this report, we describe the contribution of an infection-associated microRNA, i.e. miR-214, to host immunity. Chlamydia muridarum infection in the C57BL/6 mouse genital tract significantly down-regulated miR-214 while up-regulating intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1) gene expression. These in vivo observations were confirmed by establishing direct regulation of ICAM-1 by miR-214 in ex vivo genital cell cultures in the presence of miR-214 mimic and inhibitor. Because, ICAM-1 contributes to recruitment of neutrophils following infection, we also demonstrated that alteration of ICAM1 by miR-214 in interleukin-17A-deficient (IL-17A−/−) mice correlated with reduction of neutrophils infiltrating genital tissue at day 6 after challenge. Additionally, these early-stage events resulted in significantly decreased genital pathology in IL-17A−/− mice compared with C57BL/6 mice. This report provides evidence for early-stage regulation of ICAM1 by microRNAs, resulting in reduction of genital pathology associated with chlamydial infection. PMID:25865776

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Inhibition of bone resorption in vitro by antisense RNA and DNA molecules targeted against carbonic anhydrase II or two subunits of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase.

    PubMed Central

    Laitala, T; Väänänen, H K

    1994-01-01

    The bone resorbing cells, osteoclasts, express high levels of carbonic anhydrase II (CA II) and vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) during bone resorption. We have used antisense RNA and DNA molecules targeted against CA II, and against 16- and 60-kD subunits of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase), to block the expression of these proteins in vitro. Osteoclastic bone resorption was studied in two in vitro culture systems: release of 45Calcium from prelabeled newborn mouse calvaria cultures, and resorption pit assays performed with rat osteoclasts cultured on bovine bone slices. Both antisense RNA and DNA against CA II and the V-ATPase were used to compare their specificities as regards inhibiting bone resorption in vitro. The antisense molecules inhibited the synthesis of these proteins by decreasing the amounts of mRNA in the cells in a highly specific manner. In osteoclast cultures treated with the 16-kD V-ATPase antisense RNA, acidification of an unknown population of intracellular vesicles was highly stimulated. The acidification of these vesicles was not sensitive to amiloride or bafilomycin A1. This suggests the existence of a back-up system for acidification of intracellular vesicles, when the expression of the V-ATPase is blocked. Our results further indicate that blocking the expression of CA II and V-ATPase with antisense RNA or DNA leads to decreased bone resorption. Images PMID:8200964

  18. Measuring mRNA copy-number in individual Escherichia coli cells using single-molecule fluorescent in situ hybridization (smFISH)

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Samuel O.; Sepúlveda, Leonardo A.; Xu, Heng; Golding, Ido

    2014-01-01

    We present a method for measuring the absolute number of mRNA molecules from a gene of interest in individual, chemically fixed Escherichia coli cells. A set of fluorescently-labeled oligonucleotide probes are hybridized to the target mRNA, so that each mRNA molecule is decorated by a known number of fluorescent dyes. Cells are then imaged using fluorescence microscopy. The number of target mRNA is estimated from the total intensity of fluorescent foci in the cell, rather than from counting discrete “spots” as in other currently available protocols. Image analysis is performed using an automated algorithm. The measured mRNA copy-number distribution obtained from many individual cells can be used to extract the parameters of stochastic gene activity, namely the frequency and size of transcription bursts from the gene of interest. The experimental procedure takes 2 days, with another 2-3 days typically required for image and data analysis. PMID:23680982

  19. 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.

  20. 2D-RNA-coupling numbers: a new computational chemistry approach to link secondary structure topology with biological function.

    PubMed

    González-Díaz, Humberto; Agüero-Chapin, Guillermín; Varona, Javier; Molina, Reinaldo; Delogu, Giovanna; Santana, Lourdes; Uriarte, Eugenio; Podda, Gianni

    2007-04-30

    Methods for prediction of proteins, DNA, or RNA function and mapping it onto sequence often rely on bioinformatics alignment approach instead of chemical structure. Consequently, it is interesting to develop computational chemistry approaches based on molecular descriptors. In this sense, many researchers used sequence-coupling numbers and our group extended them to 2D proteins representations. However, no coupling numbers have been reported for 2D-RNA topology graphs, which are highly branched and contain useful information. Here, we use a computational chemistry scheme: (a) transforming sequences into RNA secondary structures, (b) defining and calculating new 2D-RNA-coupling numbers, (c) seek a structure-function model, and (d) map biological function onto the folded RNA. We studied as example 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidases known as ACO, which control fruit ripening having importance for biotechnology industry. First, we calculated tau(k)(2D-RNA) values to a set of 90-folded RNAs, including 28 transcripts of ACO and control sequences. Afterwards, we compared the classification performance of 10 different classifiers implemented in the software WEKA. In particular, the logistic equation ACO = 23.8 . tau(1)(2D-RNA) + 41.4 predicts ACOs with 98.9%, 98.0%, and 97.8% of accuracy in training, leave-one-out and 10-fold cross-validation, respectively. Afterwards, with this equation we predict ACO function to a sequence isolated in this work from Coffea arabica (GenBank accession DQ218452). The tau(1)(2D-RNA) also favorably compare with other descriptors. This equation allows us to map the codification of ACO activity on different mRNA topology features. The present computational-chemistry approach is general and could be extended to connect RNA secondary structure topology to other functions.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Structure and thermodynamics of Drug-RNA aptamer interactions.

    PubMed

    Da Costa, J B; Dieckmann, T

    2013-04-01

    This mini-review will provide an overview on the recent studies of structure and thermodynamics of RNA aptamers that target drug molecules. These aptamers are studied to provide insight into RNA drug interactions. This interaction is important due to the many roles RNA plays in cell biology.

  9. Identification of Small Molecule Inhibitors of microRNA Involved in Chemoresistance and Cancer Stem Cells for Ovarian Cancer Intervention

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-01

    tongue cancer and its putative role as a tumor suppressor microRNA . AACR 102 Annual Meeting, 2011. 2. Richards EJ, Coppola M, Guo JP, Kong W, Cheng...JQ. microRNA -641 activates MAPK by targeting NF1 and cooperates with its host gene AKT2 in human cancer . AACR Special Conference “Noncoding RNAs and...Schildkraut JM, Goode EL, Sellers TA. MicroRNA binding site polymorphisms influence ovarian cancer risk in the collaborative oncological gene- environment

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Single molecule identification of homology-dependent interactions between long ssRNA and dsDNA

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chenli; Danilowicz, Claudia; Kleckner, Nancy; Prentiss, Mara

    2017-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are prominently associated with chromosomes in an ever-increasing diversity of roles. To provide further insight into the potential nature of these associations, we have explored, for the first time, the interaction of long single-stranded (ss) RNAs with cognate homologous double-stranded (ds) DNA in vitro. Using magnetic tweezers, we measured the effects of ssRNA on force extension curves for dsDNA. We observe that the presence of ssRNA impedes the extension of dsDNA, specifically at low forces, dependent on homology between the RNA and DNA species, and dependent on ssRNA lengths (≥1 kb). The observed effect also depends on the concentration of ssRNA and is abolished by overstretching of the dsDNA. These findings show that significant homologous contacts can occur between long ssRNA and dsDNA in the absence of protein and that these contacts alter the mechanical properties of the dsDNA. We propose that long ssRNA interacts paranemically with long dsDNA via periodic short homologous interactions, e.g. mediated by RNA/DNA triplex-formation, and that dsDNA extension is impeded by formation of RNA secondary structure in the intervening unbound regions. Analogous interactions in vivo would permit lncRNAs to mediate the juxtaposition of two or more DNA regions on the same or different chromosomes. PMID:27580717

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Network Theory Tools for RNA Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Namhee; Petingi, Louis; Schlick, Tamar

    2014-01-01

    An introduction into the usage of graph or network theory tools for the study of RNA molecules is presented. By using vertices and edges to define RNA secondary structures as tree and dual graphs, we can enumerate, predict, and design RNA topologies. Graph connectivity and associated Laplacian eigenvalues relate to biological properties of RNA and help understand RNA motifs as well as build, by computational design, various RNA target structures. Importantly, graph theoretical representations of RNAs reduce drastically the conformational space size and therefore simplify modeling and prediction tasks. Ongoing challenges remain regarding general RNA design, representation of RNA pseudoknots, and tertiary structure prediction. Thus, developments in network theory may help advance RNA biology. PMID:25414570

  18. Network Theory Tools for RNA Modeling.

    PubMed

    Kim, Namhee; Petingi, Louis; Schlick, Tamar

    2013-09-01

    An introduction into the usage of graph or network theory tools for the study of RNA molecules is presented. By using vertices and edges to define RNA secondary structures as tree and dual graphs, we can enumerate, predict, and design RNA topologies. Graph connectivity and associated Laplacian eigenvalues relate to biological properties of RNA and help understand RNA motifs as well as build, by computational design, various RNA target structures. Importantly, graph theoretical representations of RNAs reduce drastically the conformational space size and therefore simplify modeling and prediction tasks. Ongoing challenges remain regarding general RNA design, representation of RNA pseudoknots, and tertiary structure prediction. Thus, developments in network theory may help advance RNA biology.

  19. Rapid PCR-mediated synthesis of competitor molecules for accurate quantification of beta(2) GABA(A) receptor subunit mRNA.

    PubMed

    Vela, J; Vitorica, J; Ruano, D

    2001-12-01

    We describe a fast and easy method for the synthesis of competitor molecules based on non-specific conditions of PCR. RT-competitive PCR is a sensitive technique that allows quantification of very low quantities of mRNA molecules in small tissue samples. This technique is based on the competition established between the native and standard templates for nucleotides, primers or other factors during PCR. Thus, the most critical parameter is the use of good internal standards to generate a standard curve from which the amount of native sequences can be properly estimated. At the present time different types of internal standards and methods for their synthesis have been described. Normally, most of these methods are time-consuming and require the use of different sets of primers, different rounds of PCR or specific modifications, such as site-directed mutagenesis, that need subsequent analysis of the PCR products. Using our method, we obtained in a single round of PCR and with the same primer pair, competitor molecules that were successfully used in RT-competitive PCR experiments. The principal advantage of this method is high versatility and economy. Theoretically it is possible to synthesize a specific competitor molecule for each primer pair used. Finally, using this method we have been able to quantify the increase in the expression of the beta(2) GABA(A) receptor subunit mRNA that occurs during rat hippocampus development.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Detecting protein-induced folding of the U4 snRNA kink-turn by single-molecule multiparameter FRET measurements

    PubMed Central

    WOŹNIAK, ANNA K.; NOTTROTT, STEPHANIE; KÜHN-HÖLSKEN, EVA; SCHRÖDER, GUNNAR F.; GRUBMÜLLER, HELMUT; LÜHRMANN, REINHARD; SEIDEL, CLAUS A.M.; OESTERHELT, FILIPP

    2005-01-01

    The kink-turn (k-turn), a new RNA structural motif found in the spliceosome and the ribosome, serves as a specific protein recognition element and as a structural building block. While the structure of the spliceosomal U4 snRNA k-turn/15.5K complex is known from a crystal structure, it is unclear whether the k-turn also exists in this folded conformation in the free U4 snRNA. Thus, we investigated the U4 snRNA k-turn by single-molecule FRET measurements in the absence and presence of the 15.5K protein and its dependence on the Na+ and Mg2+ ion concentration. We show that the unfolded U4 snRNA k-turn introduces a kink of 85° ± 15° in an RNA double helix. While Na+ and Mg2+ ions induce this more open conformation of the k-turn, binding of the 15.5K protein was found to induce the tightly kinked conformation in the RNA that increases the kink to 52° ± 15°. By comparison of the measured FRET distances with a computer-modeled structure, we show that this strong kink is due to the k-turn motif adopting its folded conformation. Thus, in the free U4 snRNA, the k-turn exists only in an unfolded conformation, and its folding is induced by binding of the 15.5K protein. PMID:16199764

  7. Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy allows for the analysis of cancer metastasis-specific miRNA distribution on the nanoscale

    PubMed Central

    Tezcan, Kerem Can; Schaufler, Wladimir; Bestvater, Felix; Patil, Nitin; Birk, Udo; Hafner, Mathias; Altevogt, Peter; Cremer, Christoph; Allgayer, Heike

    2015-01-01

    We describe a novel approach for the detection of small non-coding RNAs in single cells by Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy (SMLM). We used a modified SMLM–setup and applied this instrument in a first proof-of-principle concept to human cancer cell lines. Our method is able to visualize single microRNA (miR)-molecules in fixed cells with a localization accuracy of 10–15 nm, and is able to quantify and analyse clustering and localization in particular subcellular sites, including exosomes. We compared the metastasis-site derived (SW620) and primary site derived (SW480) human colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines, and (as a proof of principle) evaluated the metastasis relevant miR-31 as a first example. We observed that the subcellular distribution of miR-31 molecules in both cell lines was very heterogeneous with the largest subpopulation of optically acquired weakly metastatic cells characterized by a low number of miR-31 molecules, as opposed to a significantly higher number in the majority of the highly metastatic cells. Furthermore, the highly metastatic cells had significantly more miR-31-molecules in the extracellular space, which were visualized to co-localize with exosomes in significantly higher numbers. From this study, we conclude that miRs are not only aberrantly expressed and regulated, but also differentially compartmentalized in cells with different metastatic potential. Taken together, this novel approach, by providing single molecule images of miRNAs in cellulo can be used as a powerful supplementary tool in the analysis of miRNA function and behaviour and has far reaching potential in defining metastasis-critical subpopulations within a given heterogeneous cancer cell population. PMID:26561203

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Computational Approaches to RNA Structure Prediction, Analysis and Design

    PubMed Central

    Laing, Christian; Schlick, Tamar

    2011-01-01

    RNA molecules are important cellular components involved in many fundamental biological processes. Understanding the mechanisms behind their functions requires RNA tertiary structure knowledge. While modeling approaches for the study of RNA structures and dynamics lag behind efforts in protein folding, much progress has been achieved in the past two years. Here, we review recent advances in RNA folding algorithms, RNA tertiary motif discovery, applications of graph theory approaches to RNA structure and function, and in silico generation of RNA sequence pools for aptamer design. Advances within each area can be combined to impact many problems in RNA structure and function. PMID:21514143

  18. Structural biology. Structures of the CRISPR-Cmr complex reveal mode of RNA target positioning.

    PubMed

    Taylor, David W; Zhu, Yifan; Staals, Raymond H J; Kornfeld, Jack E; Shinkai, Akeo; van der Oost, John; Nogales, Eva; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-05-01

    Adaptive immunity in bacteria involves RNA-guided surveillance complexes that use CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-associated (Cas) proteins together with CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) to target invasive nucleic acids for degradation. Whereas type I and type II CRISPR-Cas surveillance complexes target double-stranded DNA, type III complexes target single-stranded RNA. Near-atomic resolution cryo-electron microscopy reconstructions of native type III Cmr (CRISPR RAMP module) complexes in the absence and presence of target RNA reveal a helical protein arrangement that positions the crRNA for substrate binding. Thumblike β hairpins intercalate between segments of duplexed crRNA:target RNA to facilitate cleavage of the target at 6-nucleotide intervals. The Cmr complex is architecturally similar to the type I CRISPR-Cascade complex, suggesting divergent evolution of these immune systems from a common ancestor.

  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. microRNA Decay: Refining microRNA Regulatory Activity.

    PubMed

    Pepin, Genevieve; Gantier, Michael P

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short 19-25 nucleotide RNA molecules that impact on most biological processes by regulating the efficiency of messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. To date, most research activities have been focused on the control of miRNA expression and its functional consequences. Nonetheless, much remains unknown about the mechanisms affecting the level of specific miRNAs in the cell, a critical feature impacting their regulatory activity. This review focuses on the factors that regulate the abundance of miRNAs, including synthesis, post-transcriptional modifications, nucleases, target binding, and secretion.

  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. STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY. A Cas9-guide RNA complex preorganized for target DNA recognition.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Fuguo; Zhou, Kaihong; Ma, Linlin; Gressel, Saskia; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-06-26

    Bacterial adaptive immunity uses CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-associated (Cas) proteins together with CRISPR transcripts for foreign DNA degradation. In type II CRISPR-Cas systems, activation of Cas9 endonuclease for DNA recognition upon guide RNA binding occurs by an unknown mechanism. Crystal structures of Cas9 bound to single-guide RNA reveal a conformation distinct from both the apo and DNA-bound states, in which the 10-nucleotide RNA "seed" sequence required for initial DNA interrogation is preordered in an A-form conformation. This segment of the guide RNA is essential for Cas9 to form a DNA recognition-competent structure that is poised to engage double-stranded DNA target sequences. We construe this as convergent evolution of a "seed" mechanism reminiscent of that used by Argonaute proteins during RNA interference in eukaryotes.

  4. Ablation of Stat3 by siRNA alters gene expression profiles in JEG-3 cells: a systems biology approach.

    PubMed

    Jiang, K; Krous, L C; Knowlton, N; Chen, Y; Frank, M B; Cadwell, C; Centola, M; Jarvis, J N

    2009-09-01

    Control of inflammation at the maternal-fetal interface is a critical element in mammalian pregnancy. Previous work from our laboratory has shown that Stat3 may be a placental mediator involved in maintaining immunologic homeostasis at the maternal-fetal interface. The aim of the current study is to further elucidate the role of Stat3 in response to inflammation. As ablation of Stat3 in mice results in embryonic lethality, we evaluated the role of Stat3 in vitro using an siRNA approach. Trophoblast-like JEG-3 cells were transfected with an siRNA construct specific to Stat3. Experimental and control cells were exposed to conditioned medium from PHA-activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells and incubated for 45 min. Cells were then collected and RNA isolated for transcriptional profiling using human Affymetrix U133 plus 2.0 GeneChips. Differences in gene expression between control and Stat3-ablated cells were evaluated using conventional statistical methods. Fifty-two genes were detected as up-regulated in conditioned medium in both mock transfected and in Stat3 siRNA transfected JEG-3 cells. Two genes (EPAS1 and RASGEF1B) were up-regulated only in cells transfected with negative control siRNA, while 36 genes were up-regulated only in cells transfected with Stat3 siRNA. Sixty genes were differentially expressed between Stat3 siRNA transfected cells relative to mock transfected cells both in basal and conditioned medium. These included 31 genes up-regulated with Stat3 siRNA transfected cells and 29 genes down-regulated with Stat3 siRNA. Eleven genes were differentially expressed only in basal medium. Seven of these were up-regulated in the presence of Stat3 siRNA and four were down-regulated. Nine genes were differentially expressed only in conditioned medium. Six of these were up-regulated and three down-regulated in the presence of Stat3 siRNA. Off-target effects were excluded in a second set of experiments in which Stat3 mRNA was targeted at a different site and

  5. Noise Stress-Induced Changes in mRNA Levels of Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Family Molecules and Glucocorticoid Receptors in the Rat Brain.

    PubMed

    Eraslan, E; Akyazi, İ; Ergül-Ekiz, E; Matur, E

    2015-01-01

    Noise is a widespread stress resource that may lead to detrimental effects on the health. However, the molecular basis of the stress response caused by noise remains elusive. We have studied the effects of acute and chronic noise stress on stress-related molecules in the hypothalamus and hippocampus and also corticosterone responses. Sprague Dawley rats were randomized into control, acute and chronic noise stress groups. While the chronic noise stress group animals were exposed to 100 dB white noise for 4 h/a day during 30 days, the acute noise stress group of animals was exposed to the same level of stress once for 4 h. The expression profiles of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), CRH1, CRH2 receptors and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNAs were analysed by RT-PCR. Chronic noise stress upregulated CRH mRNA levels in the hypothalamus. Both acute and chronic noise increased CRH-R1 mRNA in the hypothalamus but decreased it in the hippocampus. GR mRNA levels were decreased by chronic noise stress in the hippocampus. The present results suggest that while corticosterone responses have habituated to continuous noise stress, the involvement of CRH family molecules and glucocorticoid receptors in the noise stress responses are different and structure specific.

  6. Automated insertion of sequences into a ribosomal RNA alignment: An application of computational linguistics in molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, R.C.

    1991-11-01

    This thesis involved the construction of (1) a grammar that incorporates knowledge on base invariancy and secondary structure in a molecule and (2) a parser engine that uses the grammar to position bases into the structural subunits of the molecule. These concepts were combined with a novel pinning technique to form a tool that semi-automates insertion of a new species into the alignment for the 16S rRNA molecule (a component of the ribosome) maintained by Dr. Carl Woese`s group at the University of Illinois at Urbana. The tool was tested on species extracted from the alignment and on a group of entirely new species. The results were very encouraging, and the tool should be substantial aid to the curators of the 16S alignment. The construction of the grammar was itself automated, allowing application of the tool to alignments for other molecules. The logic programming language Prolog was used to construct all programs involved. The computational linguistics approach used here was found to be a useful way to attach the problem of insertion into an alignment.

  7. Automated insertion of sequences into a ribosomal RNA alignment: An application of computational linguistics in molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, R.C.

    1991-11-01

    This thesis involved the construction of (1) a grammar that incorporates knowledge on base invariancy and secondary structure in a molecule and (2) a parser engine that uses the grammar to position bases into the structural subunits of the molecule. These concepts were combined with a novel pinning technique to form a tool that semi-automates insertion of a new species into the alignment for the 16S rRNA molecule (a component of the ribosome) maintained by Dr. Carl Woese's group at the University of Illinois at Urbana. The tool was tested on species extracted from the alignment and on a group of entirely new species. The results were very encouraging, and the tool should be substantial aid to the curators of the 16S alignment. The construction of the grammar was itself automated, allowing application of the tool to alignments for other molecules. The logic programming language Prolog was used to construct all programs involved. The computational linguistics approach used here was found to be a useful way to attach the problem of insertion into an alignment.

  8. An RNA Phage Lab: MS2 in Walter Fiers' laboratory of molecular biology in Ghent, from genetic code to gene and genome, 1963-1976.

    PubMed

    Pierrel, Jérôme

    2012-01-01

    The importance of viruses as model organisms is well-established in molecular biology and Max Delbrück's phage group set standards in the DNA phage field. In this paper, I argue that RNA phages, discovered in the 1960s, were also instrumental in the making of molecular biology. As part of experimental systems, RNA phages stood for messenger RNA (mRNA), genes and genome. RNA was thought to mediate information transfers between DNA and proteins. Furthermore, RNA was more manageable at the bench than DNA due to the availability of specific RNases, enzymes used as chemical tools to analyse RNA. Finally, RNA phages provided scientists with a pure source of mRNA to investigate the genetic code, genes and even a genome sequence. This paper focuses on Walter Fiers' laboratory at Ghent University (Belgium) and their work on the RNA phage MS2. When setting up his Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Fiers planned a comprehensive study of the virus with a strong emphasis on the issue of structure. In his lab, RNA sequencing, now a little-known technique, evolved gradually from a means to solve the genetic code, to a tool for completing the first genome sequence. Thus, I follow the research pathway of Fiers and his 'RNA phage lab' with their evolving experimental system from 1960 to the late 1970s. This study illuminates two decisive shifts in post-war biology: the emergence of molecular biology as a discipline in the 1960s in Europe and of genomics in the 1990s.

  9. RNA Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golden, Barbara L.; Kundrot, Craig E.

    2003-01-01

    RNA molecules may be crystallized using variations of the methods developed for protein crystallography. As the technology has become available to syntheisize and purify RNA molecules in the quantities and with the quality that is required for crystallography, the field of RNA structure has exploded. The first consideration when crystallizing an RNA is the sequence, which may be varied in a rational way to enhance crystallizability or prevent formation of alternate structures. Once a sequence has been designed, the RNA may be synthesized chemically by solid-state synthesis, or it may be produced enzymatically using RNA polymerase and an appropriate DNA template. Purification of milligram quantities of RNA can be accomplished by HPLC or gel electrophoresis. As with proteins, crystallization of RNA is usually accomplished by vapor diffusion techniques. There are several considerations that are either unique to RNA crystallization or more important for RNA crystallization. Techniques for design, synthesis, purification, and crystallization of RNAs will be reviewed here.

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of hypoxanthine substitution in peptide nucleic acids targeting KRAS2 oncogenic mRNA molecules: theory and experiment.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Jeffrey M; Wampole, Matthew E; Chen, Chang-Po; Sethi, Dalip; Singh, Amrita; Dupradeau, François-Yves; Wang, Fan; Gray, Brian D; Thakur, Mathew L; Wickstrom, Eric

    2013-10-03

    Genetic disorders can arise from single base substitutions in a single gene. A single base substitution for wild type guanine in the twelfth codon of KRAS2 mRNA occurs frequently to initiate lung, pancreatic, and colon cancer. We have observed single base mismatch specificity in radioimaging of mutant KRAS2 mRNA in tumors in mice by in vivo hybridization with radiolabeled peptide nucleic acid (PNA) dodecamers. We hypothesized that multimutant specificity could be achieved with a PNA dodecamer incorporating hypoxanthine, which can form Watson-Crick base pairs with adenine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil. Using molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations, we show that hypoxanthine substitutions in PNAs are tolerated in KRAS2 RNA:PNA duplexes where wild type guanine is replaced by mutant uracil or adenine in RNA. To validate our predictions, we synthesized PNA dodecamers with hypoxanthine, and then measured the thermal stability of RNA:PNA duplexes. Circular dichroism thermal melting results showed that hypoxanthine-containing PNAs are more stable in duplexes where hypoxanthine-adenine and hypoxanthine-uracil base pairs are formed than single mismatch duplexes or duplexes containing hypoxanthine-guanine opposition.

  12. Construction and validation of an RNA trans-splicing molecule suitable to repair a large number of COL7A1 mutations

    PubMed Central

    Tockner, B; Kocher, T; Hainzl, S; Reichelt, J; Bauer, J W; Koller, U; Murauer, E M

    2016-01-01

    RNA trans-splicing has become a versatile tool in the gene therapy of monogenetic diseases. This technique is especially valuable for the correction of mutations in large genes such as COL7A1, which underlie the dystrophic subtype of the skin blistering disease epidermolysis bullosa. Over 800 mutations spanning the entire length of the COL7A1 gene have been associated with defects in type VII collagen, leading to excessive fragility of epithelial tissues, the hallmark of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB). In the present study, we designed an RNA trans-splicing molecule (RTM) that is capable of repairing any given mutation within a 4200 nucleotide region spanning the 3′ half of COL7A1. The selected RTM, RTM28, was able to induce accurate trans-splicing into endogenous COL7A1 pre-mRNA transcripts in a type VII collagen-deficient DEB patient-derived cell line. Correct trans-splicing was detected at the RNA level by semiquantitative RT-PCR and correction of full-length type VII collagen was confirmed at the protein level by immunofluorescence and western blot analyses. Our results demonstrate that RTM28, which covers >60% of all mutations reported in DEB and is thus the longest RTM described so far for the repair of COL7A1, represents a promising candidate for therapeutic applications. PMID:27434145

  13. Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer studies of the human telomerase RNA pseudoknot: temperature-/urea-dependent folding kinetics and thermodynamics.

    PubMed

    Holmstrom, Erik D; Nesbitt, David J

    2014-04-10

    The ribonucleoprotein telomerase is an RNA-dependent DNA polymerase that catalyzes the repetitive addition of a short, species-specific, DNA sequence to the ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes. The single RNA component of telomerase contains both the template sequence for DNA synthesis and a functionally critical pseudoknot motif, which can also exist as a less stable hairpin. Here we use a minimal version of the human telomerase RNA pseudoknot to study this hairpin-pseudoknot structural equilibrium using temperature-controlled single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) experiments. The urea dependence of these experiments aids in determination of the folding kinetics and thermodynamics. The wild-type pseudoknot behavior is compared and contrasted to a mutant pseudoknot sequence implicated in a genetic disorder-dyskeratosis congenita. These findings clearly identify that this 2nt noncomplementary mutation destabilizes the folding of the wild-type pseudoknot by substantially reducing the folding rate constant (≈ 400-fold) while only nominally increasing the unfolding rate constant (≈ 5-fold). Furthermore, the urea dependence of the equilibrium and rate constants is used to develop a free energy landscape for this unimolecular equilibrium and propose details about the structure of the transition state. Finally, the urea-dependent folding experiments provide valuable physical insights into the mechanism for destabilization of RNA pseudoknots by such chemical denaturants.

  14. Single-molecule FRET reveals nucleotide-driven conformational changes in molecular machines and their link to RNA unwinding and DNA supercoiling.

    PubMed

    Klostermeier, Dagmar

    2011-04-01

    Many complex cellular processes in the cell are catalysed at the expense of ATP hydrolysis. The enzymes involved bind and hydrolyse ATP and couple ATP hydrolysis to the catalysed process via cycles of nucleotide-driven conformational changes. In this review, I illustrate how smFRET (single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer) can define the underlying conformational changes that drive ATP-dependent molecular machines. The first example is a DEAD-box helicase that alternates between two different conformations in its catalytic cycle during RNA unwinding, and the second is DNA gyrase, a topoisomerase that undergoes a set of concerted conformational changes during negative supercoiling of DNA.

  15. Novel Hypovirulence-Associated RNA Mycovirus in the Plant-Pathogenic Fungus Botrytis cinerea: Molecular and Biological Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lin; Sang, Wen; Wu, Ming-De; Zhang, Jing; Yang, Long; Zhou, Ying-Jun; Chen, Wei-Dong

    2015-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea is a pathogenic fungus causing gray mold on numerous economically important crops and ornamental plants. This study was conducted to characterize the biological and molecular features of a novel RNA mycovirus, Botrytis cinerea RNA virus 1 (BcRV1), in the hypovirulent strain BerBc-1 of B. cinerea. The genome of BcRV1 is 8,952 bp long with two putative overlapped open reading frames (ORFs), ORF1 and ORF2, coding for a hypothetical polypeptide (P1) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), respectively. A −1 frameshifting region (designated the KNOT element) containing a shifty heptamer, a heptanucleotide spacer, and an H-type pseudoknot was predicted in the junction region of ORF1 and ORF2. The −1 frameshifting role of the KNOT element was experimentally confirmed through determination of the production of the fusion protein red fluorescent protein (RFP)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) by the plasmid containing the construct dsRed-KNOT-eGFP in Escherichia coli. BcRV1 belongs to a taxonomically unassigned double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) mycovirus group. It is closely related to grapevine-associated totivirus 2 and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum nonsegmented virus L. BcRV1 in strain BerBc-1 was found capable of being transmitted vertically through macroconidia and horizontally to other B. cinerea strains through hyphal contact. The presence of BcRV1 was found to be positively correlated with hypovirulence in B. cinerea, with the attenuation effects of BcRV1 on mycelial growth and pathogenicity being greatly affected by the accumulation level of BcRV1. PMID:25595766

  16. Repetitive RNA unwinding by RNA helicase A facilitates RNA annealing.

    PubMed

    Koh, Hye Ran; Xing, Li; Kleiman, Lawrence; Myong, Sua

    2014-07-01

    Helicases contribute to diverse biological processes including replication, transcription and translation. Recent reports suggest that unwinding of some helicases display repetitive activity, yet the functional role of the repetitiveness requires further investigation. Using single-molecule fluorescence assays, we elucidated a unique unwinding mechanism of RNA helicase A (RHA) that entails discrete substeps consisting of binding, activation, unwinding, stalling and reactivation stages. This multi-step process is repeated many times by a single RHA molecule without dissociation, resulting in repetitive unwinding/rewinding cycles. Our kinetic and mutational analysis indicates that the two double stand RNA binding domains at the N-terminus of RHA are responsible for such repetitive unwinding behavior in addition to providing an increased binding affinity to RNA. Further, the repetitive unwinding induces an efficient annealing of a complementary RNA by making the unwound strand more accessible. The complex and unusual mechanism displayed by RHA may help in explaining how the repetitive unwinding of helicases contributes to their biological functions.

  17. The detection of microRNA associated with Alzheimer's disease in biological fluids using next-generation sequencing technologies

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Lesley; Quek, Camelia Y. J.; Sun, Xin; Bellingham, Shayne A.; Hill, Andrew F.

    2013-01-01

    Diagnostic tools for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) currently involve subjective neuropsychological testing and specialized brain imaging techniques. While definitive diagnosis requires a pathological brain evaluation at autopsy, neurodegenerative changes are believed to begin years before the clinical presentation of cognitive decline. Therefore, there is an essential need for reliable biomarkers to aid in the early detection of disease in order to implement preventative strategies. microRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNA species that are involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Expression levels of miRNAs have potential as diagnostic biomarkers as they are known to circulate and tissue specific profiles can be identified in a number of bodily fluids such as plasma, CSF and urine. Recent developments in deep sequencing technology present a viable approach to develop biomarker discovery pipelines in order to profile miRNA signatures in bodily fluids specific to neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review the potential use of miRNA deep sequencing in biomarker identification from biological fluids and its translation into clinical practice. PMID:23964286

  18. Mapping translation 'hot-spots' in live cells by tracking single molecules of mRNA and ribosomes

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Zachary B; English, Brian P; Lionnet, Timothée; Yoon, Young J; Monnier, Nilah; Ovryn, Ben; Bathe, Mark; Singer, Robert H

    2016-01-01

    Messenger RNA localization is important for cell motility by local protein translation. However, while single mRNAs can be imaged and their movements tracked in single cells, it has not yet been possible to determine whether these mRNAs are actively translating. Therefore, we imaged single β-actin mRNAs tagged with MS2 stem loops colocalizing with labeled ribosomes to determine when polysomes formed. A dataset of tracking information consisting of thousands of trajectories per cell demonstrated that mRNAs co-moving with ribosomes have significantly different diffusion properties from non-translating mRNAs that were exposed to translation inhibitors. These data indicate that ribosome load changes mRNA movement and therefore highly translating mRNAs move slower. Importantly, β-actin mRNA near focal adhesions exhibited sub-diffusive corralled movement characteristic of increased translation. This method can identify where ribosomes become engaged for local protein production and how spatial regulation of mRNA-protein interactions mediates cell directionality. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10415.001 PMID:26760529

  19. Mapping translation 'hot-spots' in live cells by tracking single molecules of mRNA and ribosomes.

    PubMed

    Katz, Zachary B; English, Brian P; Lionnet, Timothée; Yoon, Young J; Monnier, Nilah; Ovryn, Ben; Bathe, Mark; Singer, Robert H

    2016-01-13

    Messenger RNA localization is important for cell motility by local protein translation. However, while single mRNAs can be imaged and their movements tracked in single cells, it has not yet been possible to determine whether these mRNAs are actively translating. Therefore, we imaged single β-actin mRNAs tagged with MS2 stem loops colocalizing with labeled ribosomes to determine when polysomes formed. A dataset of tracking information consisting of thousands of trajectories per cell demonstrated that mRNAs co-moving with ribosomes have significantly different diffusion properties from non-translating mRNAs that were exposed to translation inhibitors. These data indicate that ribosome load changes mRNA movement and therefore highly translating mRNAs move slower. Importantly, β-actin mRNA near focal adhesions exhibited sub-diffusive corralled movement characteristic of increased translation. This method can identify where ribosomes become engaged for local protein production and how spatial regulation of mRNA-protein interactions mediates cell directionality.

  20. A microRNA-1280/JAG2 network comprises a novel biological target in high-risk medulloblastoma.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fengfei; Remke, Marc; Bhat, Kruttika; Wong, Eric T; Zhou, Shuang; Ramaswamy, Vijay; Dubuc, Adrian; Fonkem, Ekokobe; Salem, Saeed; Zhang, Hongbing; Hsieh, Tze-Chen; O'Rourke, Stephen T; Wu, Lizi; Li, David W; Hawkins, Cynthia; Kohane, Isaac S; Wu, Joseph M; Wu, Min; Taylor, Michael D; Wu, Erxi

    2015-02-20

    Over-expression of PDGF receptors (PDGFRs) has been previously implicated in high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) pathogenesis. However, the exact biological functions of PDGFRα and PDGFRβ signaling in MB biology remain poorly understood. Here, we report the subgroup specific expression of PDGFRα and PDGFRβ and their associated biological pathways in MB tumors. c-MYC, a downstream target of PDGFRβ but not PDGFRα, is involved in PDGFRβ signaling associated with cell proliferation, cell death, and invasion. Concurrent inhibition of PDGFRβ and c-MYC blocks MB cell proliferation and migration synergistically. Integrated analysis of miRNA and miRNA targets regulated by both PDGFRβ and c-MYC reveals that increased expression of JAG2, a target of miR-1280, is associated with high metastatic dissemination at diagnosis and a poor outcome in MB patients. Our study may resolve the controversy on the role of PDGFRs in MB and unveils JAG2 as a key downstream effector of a PDGFRβ-driven signaling cascade and a potential therapeutic target.

  1. Conceptual Model-Based Systems Biology: Mapping Knowledge and Discovering Gaps in the mRNA Transcription Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Somekh, Judith; Choder, Mordechai; Dori, Dov

    2012-01-01

    We propose a Conceptual Model-based Systems Biology framework for qualitative modeling, executing, and eliciting knowledge gaps in molecular biology systems. The framework is an adaptation of Object-Process Methodology (OPM), a graphical and textual executable modeling language. OPM enables concurrent representation of the system's structure—the objects that comprise the system, and behavior—how processes transform objects over time. Applying a top-down approach of recursively zooming into processes, we model a case in point—the mRNA transcription cycle. Starting with this high level cell function, we model increasingly detailed processes along with participating objects. Our modeling approach is capable of modeling molecular processes such as complex formation, localization and trafficking, molecular binding, enzymatic stimulation, and environmental intervention. At the lowest level, similar to the Gene Ontology, all biological processes boil down to three basic molecular functions: catalysis, binding/dissociation, and transporting. During modeling and execution of the mRNA transcription model, we discovered knowledge gaps, which we present and classify into various types. We also show how model execution enhances a coherent model construction. Identification and pinpointing knowledge gaps is an important feature of the framework, as it suggests where research should focus and whether conjectures about uncertain mechanisms fit into the already verified model. PMID:23308089

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Structural biology. Crystal structure of the CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Ryan N; Golden, Sarah M; van Erp, Paul B G; Carter, Joshua; Westra, Edze R; Brouns, Stan J J; van der Oost, John; Terwilliger, Thomas C; Read, Randy J; Wiedenheft, Blake

    2014-09-19

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) are essential components of RNA-guided adaptive immune systems that protect bacteria and archaea from viruses and plasmids. In Escherichia coli, short CRISPR-derived RNAs (crRNAs) assemble into a 405-kilodalton multisubunit surveillance complex called Cascade (CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense). Here we present the 3.24 angstrom resolution x-ray crystal structure of Cascade. Eleven proteins and a 61-nucleotide crRNA assemble into a seahorse-shaped architecture that binds double-stranded DNA targets complementary to the crRNA-guide sequence. Conserved sequences on the 3' and 5' ends of the crRNA are anchored by proteins at opposite ends of the complex, whereas the guide sequence is displayed along a helical assembly of six interwoven subunits that present five-nucleotide segments of the crRNA in pseudo-A-form configuration. The structure of Cascade suggests a mechanism for assembly and provides insights into the mechanisms of target recognition.

  8. Comparison of the Biolog OmniLog Identification System and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing for accuracy in identification of atypical bacteria of clinical origin.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Megan C; Boyette, Marilyn; Goforth, Chris; Sperry, Katharine Volpe; Greene, Shermalyn R

    2009-12-01

    The Biolog OmniLog Identification System (Biolog) and the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing methods were compared to conventional microbiological methods and evaluated for accuracy of bacterial identification. These methods were evaluated using 159 clinical isolates. Each isolate was initially identified by conventional biochemical tests and morphological characteristics and subsequently placed into one of seven categories: aerobic Actinomycetes, Bacillus, Coryneforms, fastidious Gram-negative rods (GNR), non-fermenting GNR, miscellaneous Gram-positive rods (GPR), and Vibrio/Aeromonas. After comparison to the conventional identification, the Biolog system and 16S rRNA gene sequence identifications were classified as follows: a) correct to the genus and species levels; b) correct to the genus level only; or c) neither (unacceptable) identification. Overall, 16S rRNA gene sequencing had the highest percent accuracy with 90.6% correct identifications, while the Biolog system identified 68.3% of the isolates correctly. For each category, 16S rRNA gene sequencing had a substantially higher percent accuracy compared to the conventional methods. It was determined that the Biolog system is deficient when identifying organisms in the fastidious GNR category (20.0%). The observed data suggest that 16S rRNA gene sequencing provides a more accurate identification of atypical bacteria than the Biolog system.

  9. RNA catalysis and the origins of life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orgel, Leslie E.

    1986-01-01

    The role of RNA catalysis in the origins of life is considered in connection with the discovery of riboszymes, which are RNA molecules that catalyze sequence-specific hydrolysis and transesterification reactions of RNA substrates. Due to this discovery, theories positing protein-free replication as preceding the appearance of the genetic code are more plausible. The scope of RNA catalysis in biology and chemistry is discussed, and it is noted that the development of methods to select (or predict) RNA sequences with preassigned catalytic functions would be a major contribution to the study of life's origins.

  10. Towards a multi protein and mRNA expression of biological predictive and distinguish model for post stroke depression

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Yingying; Jiang, Haitang; Liu, Rui; Yin, Yingying; Zhang, Yuqun; Liang, Jinfeng; Li, Shenghua; Wang, Jun; Lu, Jianxin; Geng, Deqin; Wu, Aiqin; Yuan, Yonggui

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that neurotrophic factors participate in the development of stroke and depression. So we investigated the utility of these biomarkers as predictive and distinguish model for post stroke depression (PSD). 159 individuals including PSD, stroke without depression (Non-PSD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and normal control groups were recruited and examined the protein and mRNA expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR2), placental growth factor (PIGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor receptors (IGF-1R). The chi-square test was used to evaluate categorical variable, while nonparametric test and one-way analysis of variance were applied to continuous variables of general characteristics, clinical and biological changes. In order to explore the predictive and distinguish role of these factors in PSD, discriminant analysis and receiver operating characteristic curve were calculated. The four groups had statistical differences in these neurotrophic factors (all P < 0.05) except VEGF concentration and IGF-1R mRNA (P = 0.776, P = 0.102 respectively). We identified these mRNA expression and protein analytes with general predictive performance for PSD and Non-PSD groups [area under the curve (AUC): 0.805, 95% CI, 0.704-0.907, P < 0.001]. Importantly, there is an excellent predictive performance (AUC: 0.984, 95% CI, 0.964-1.000, P < 0.001) to differentiate PSD patients from MDD patients. This was the first study to explore the changes of neurotrophic factors family in PSD patients, the results intriguingly demonstrated that the combination of protein and mRNA expression of biological factors could use as a predictive and discriminant model for PSD. PMID:27527872

  11. tRNA Core Hypothesis for the Transition from the RNA World to the Ribonucleoprotein World

    PubMed Central

    de Farias, Savio T.; Rêgo, Thais G.; José, Marco V.

    2016-01-01

    Herein we present the tRNA core hypothesis, which emphasizes the central role of tRNAs molecules in the origin and evolution of fundamental biological processes. tRNAs gave origin to the first genes (mRNA) and the peptidyl transferase center (rRNA), proto-tRNAs were at the core of a proto-translation system, and the anticodon and operational codes then arose in tRNAs molecules. Metabolic pathways emerged from evolutionary pressures of the decoding systems. The transitions from the RNA world to the ribonucleoprotein world to modern biological systems were driven by three kinds of tRNAs transitions, to wit, tRNAs leading to both mRNA and rRNA. PMID:27023615

  12. Rift Valley Fever Virus: Molecular Biologic Studies of the M Segment RNA for Application in Disease Prevention.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-08-01

    AD-A174 610 RIFT VALLEY FEVER VIRUS- MOLECULAR BIOLOGIC STUDIES 6F 1/1 THE M SEGMENT RNA (U) MOLECULAR GENETICS INC MINNETONK~A MN M COLLETT AUG 86...Molecular Genetics , In. DTIC ioso Eron Road East --ELECTE -Minetnka, Minnesota 64 DEC 0 11986 DOD DISTRIBUTION unE"--£ Approved for public release...ForNTIS GRA&I DTIC TAB Contract No. DAMD17-8S-C-6220 U:Iannouned Justiff cat toa_____ Molecular Genetlcs. Inc. 1010 Oran Road East Mlnnetonka, Milnneoota

  13. Single-Molecule Imaging of PSD-95 mRNA Translation in Dendrites and Its Dysregulation in a Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ifrim, Marius F; Williams, Kathryn R; Bassell, Gary J

    2015-05-06

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by the loss of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA binding protein that regulates translation of numerous target mRNAs, some of which are dendritically localized. Our previous biochemical studies using synaptoneurosomes demonstrate a role for FMRP and miR-125a in regulating the translation of PSD-95 mRNA. However, the local translation of PSD-95 mRNA within dendrites and spines, as well as the roles of FMRP or miR-125a, have not been directly studied. Herein, local synthesis of a Venus-PSD-95 fusion protein was directly visualized in dendrites and spines using single-molecule imaging of a diffusion-restricted Venus-PSD-95 reporter under control of the PSD-95 3'UTR. The basal translation rates of Venus-PSD-95 mRNA was increased in cultured hippocampal neurons from Fmr1 KO mice compared with WT neurons, which correlated with a transient elevation of endogenous PSD-95 within dendrites. Following mGluR stimulation with (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine, the rate of Venus-PSD-95 mRNA translation increased rapidly in dendrites of WT hippocampal neurons, but not in those of Fmr1 KO neurons or when the binding site of miR125a, previously shown to bind PSD-95 3'UTR, was mutated. This study provides direct support for the hypothesis that local translation within dendrites and spines is dysregulated in FXS. Impairments in the regulated local synthesis of PSD-95, a critical regulator of synaptic structure and function, may affect the spatiotemporal control of PSD-95 levels and affect dendritic spine development and synaptic plasticity in FXS.

  14. RNA-PAIRS: RNA probabilistic assignment of imino resonance shifts

    PubMed Central

    Bahrami, Arash; Clos, Lawrence J.; Markley, John L.; Butcher, Samuel E.

    2012-01-01

    The significant biological role of RNA has further highlighted the need for improving the accuracy, efficiency and the reach of methods for investigating RNA structure and function. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is vital to furthering the goals of RNA structural biology because of its distinctive capabilities. However, the dispersion pattern in the NMR spectra of RNA makes automated resonance assignment, a key step in NMR investigation of biomolecules, remarkably challenging. Herein we present RNA Probabilistic Assignment of Imino Resonance Shifts (RNA-PAIRS), a method for the automated assignment of RNA imino resonances with synchronized verification and correction of predicted secondary structure. RNA-PAIRS represents an advance in modeling the assignment paradigm because it seeds the probabilistic network for assignment with experimental NMR data, and predicted RNA secondary structure, simultaneously and from the start. Subsequently, RNA-PAIRS sets in motion a dynamic network that reverberates between predictions and experimental evidence in order to reconcile and rectify resonance assignments and secondary structure information. The procedure is halted when assignments and base-parings are deemed to be most consistent with observed crosspeaks. The current implementation of RNA-PAIRS uses an initial peak list derived from proton-nitrogen heteronuclear multiple quantum correlation (1H–15N 2D HMQC) and proton–proton nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectroscopy (1H–1H 2D NOESY) experiments. We have evaluated the performance of RNA-PAIRS by using it to analyze NMR datasets from 26 previously studied RNAs, including a 111-nucleotide complex. For moderately sized RNA molecules, and over a range of comparatively complex structural motifs, the average assignment accuracy exceeds 90%, while the average base pair prediction accuracy exceeded 93%. RNA-PAIRS yielded accurate assignments and base pairings consistent with imino resonances for a majority

  15. RTL-P: a sensitive approach for detecting sites of 2′-O-methylation in RNA molecules

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Zhi-Wei; Shao, Peng; Diao, Li-Ting; Zhou, Hui; Yu, Chun-Hong; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2012-01-01

    2′-O-methylation is present within various cellular RNAs and is essential to RNA biogenesis and functionality. Several methods have been developed for the identification and localization of 2′-O-methylated sites in RNAs; however, the detection of RNA modifications, especially in low-abundance RNAs and small non-coding RNAs with a 2′-O-methylation at the 3′-end, remains a difficult task. Here, we introduce a new method to detect 2′-O-methylated sites in diverse RNA species, referred to as RTL-P [Reverse Transcription at Low deoxy-ribonucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) concentrations followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)] that demonstrates precise mapping and superior sensitivity compared with previous techniques. The main procedures of RTL-P include a site-specific primer extension by reverse transcriptase at a low dNTP concentration and a semi-quantitative PCR amplification step. No radiolabeled or fluorescent primers are required. By designing specific RT primers, we used RTL-P to detect both previously identified and novel 2′-O-methylated sites in human and yeast ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), as well as mouse piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). These results demonstrate the powerful application of RTL-P for the systematic analysis of fully or partially methylated residues in diverse RNA species, including low-abundance RNAs or small non-coding RNAs such as piRNAs and microRNAs (miRNAs). PMID:22833606

  16. Phage-mediated counting by the naked eye of miRNA molecules at attomolar concentrations in a Petri dish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xin; Cao, Peng; Zhu, Ye; Lu, Wuguang; Gu, Ning; Mao, Chuanbin

    2015-10-01

    The ability to count biomolecules such as cancer-biomarker miRNAs with the naked eye is seemingly impossible in molecular diagnostics. Here, we show an ultrasensitive naked-eye-counting strategy for quantifying miRNAs by employing T7 phage--a bacteria-specific virus nanoparticle--as a surrogate. The phage is genetically engineered to become fluorescent and capable of binding a miRNA-capturing gold nanoparticle (GNP) in a one-to-one manner. Target miRNAs crosslink the resultant phage-GNP couple and miRNA-capturing magnetic microparticles, forming a sandwich complex containing equimolar phage and miRNA. The phage is then released from the complex and developed into one macroscopic fluorescent plaque in a Petri dish by plating it in a host bacterial medium. Counting the plaques by the naked eye enables the quantification of miRNAs with detection limits of ~3 and ~5 aM for single-target and two-target miRNAs, respectively. This approach offers ultrasensitive and convenient quantification of disease biomarkers by the naked eye.

  17. Phage-mediated counting by the naked eye of miRNA molecules at attomolar concentrations in a Petri dish.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xin; Cao, Peng; Zhu, Ye; Lu, Wuguang; Gu, Ning; Mao, Chuanbin

    2015-10-01

    The ability to count biomolecules such as cancer-biomarker miRNAs with the naked eye is seemingly impossible in molecular diagnostics. Here, we show an ultrasensitive naked-eye-counting strategy for quantifying miRNAs by employing T7 phage-a bacteria-specific virus nanoparticle-as a surrogate. The phage is genetically engineered to become fluorescent and capable of binding a miRNA-capturing gold nanoparticle (GNP) in a one-to-one manner. Target miRNAs crosslink the resultant phage-GNP couple and miRNA-capturing magnetic microparticles, forming a sandwich complex containing equimolar phage and miRNA. The phage is then released from the complex and developed into one macroscopic fluorescent plaque in a Petri dish by plating it in a host bacterial medium. Counting the plaques by the naked eye enables the quantification of miRNAs with detection limits of ∼3 and ∼5 aM for single-target and two-target miRNAs, respectively. This approach offers ultrasensitive and convenient quantification of disease biomarkers by the naked eye.

  18. The Diversity of Ribonuclease P: Protein and RNA Catalysts with Analogous Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Klemm, Bradley P.; Wu, Nancy; Chen, Yu; Liu, Xin; Kaitany, Kipchumba J.; Howard, Michael J.; Fierke, Carol A.

    2016-01-01

    Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is an essential endonuclease responsible for catalyzing 5’ end maturation in precursor transfer RNAs. Since its discovery in the 1970s, RNase P enzymes have been identified and studied throughout the three domains of life. Interestingly, RNase P is either RNA-based, with a catalytic RNA subunit, or a protein-only (PRORP) enzyme with differential evolutionary distribution. The available structural data, including the active site data, provides insight into catalysis and substrate recognition. The hydrolytic and kinetic mechanisms of the two forms of RNase P enzymes are similar, yet features unique to the RNA-based and PRORP enzymes are consistent with different evolutionary origins. The various RNase P enzymes, in addition to their primary role in tRNA 5’ maturation, catalyze cleavage of a variety of alternative substrates, indicating a diversification of RNase P function in vivo. The review concludes with a discussion of recent advances and interesting research directions in the field. PMID:27187488

  19. Quantitation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 RNA in Different Biological Compartments

    PubMed Central

    Shepard, Robin N.; Schock, Jody; Robertson, Kevin; Shugars, Diane C.; Dyer, John; Vernazza, Pietro; Hall, Colin; Cohen, Myron S.; Fiscus, Susan A.

    2000-01-01

    Little information is available describing viral loads in body fluids other than blood. In addition, the suitability of commercially available assays for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA quantitation has not been evaluated in most nonblood fluids. We compared Organon Teknika's nucleic acid sequence-based amplification method (NASBA) and Roche's Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor (reverse transcriptase PCR [RT-PCR]) for quantitating HIV-1 RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), saliva, breast milk, seminal plasma, and cervical-vaginal lavage fluid (CVL). Saliva and breast milk frequently demonstrated some inhibition in the RT-PCR assay, similar to the inhibition previously described in seminal plasma. Inhibition of the RT-PCR assay was not observed with CSF or CVL, nor in any of the NASBA assays. When fluids from HIV-infected individuals were tested by RT-PCR and NASBA, 73 and 27% of CSF samples and 60 and 40% of breast milk specimens had detectable RNA, respectively. These differences were not statistically significant. In cross-sectional studies using RT-PCR to measure viral RNA in paired blood plasma and CSF samples, 71% of blood plasma samples and 42% of CSF samples were positive. A similar analysis using NASBA with paired blood plasma and CVL, saliva, or seminal plasma samples revealed 91% were blood plasma positive and 55% were CVL positive, 76% were blood plasma positive and 46% were saliva positive, and 83% were blood plasma positive and 63% were seminal plasma positive. NASBA worked fairly well to quantitate HIV-1 RNA from all fluids without apparent inhibition. RT-PCR performed well on CVL and CSF, frequently with greater sensitivity, although its use in other fluids appears limited due to the presence of inhibitors. These studies demonstrate that viral loads in nonblood fluids were generally lower than in blood. PMID:10747117

  20. The OPEP protein model: from single molecules, amyloid formation, crowding and hydrodynamics to DNA/RNA systems.

    PubMed

    Sterpone, Fabio; Melchionna, Simone; Tuffery, Pierre; Pasquali, Samuela; Mousseau, Normand; Cragnolini, Tristan; Chebaro, Yassmine; St-Pierre, Jean-Francois; Kalimeri, Maria; Barducci, Alessandro; Laurin, Yoann; Tek, Alex; Baaden, Marc; Nguyen, Phuong Hoang; Derreumaux, Philippe

    2014-07-07

    The OPEP coarse-grained protein model has been applied to a wide range of applications since its first release 15 years ago. The model, which combines energetic and structural accuracy and chemical specificity, allows the study of single protein properties, DNA-RNA complexes, amyloid fibril formation and protein suspensions in a crowded environment. Here we first review the current state of the model and the most exciting applications using advanced conformational sampling methods. We then present the current limitations and a perspective on the ongoing developments.

  1. Single-cell RNA-sequencing: The future of genome biology is now.

    PubMed

    Picelli, Simone

    2016-07-21

    Genome-wide single-cell analysis represents the ultimate frontier of genomics research. In particular, single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) studies have been boosted in the last few years by an explosion of new technologies enabling the study of the transcriptomic landscape of thousands of single cells in complex multicellular organisms. More sensitive and automated methods are being continuously developed and promise to deliver better data quality and higher throughput with less hands-on time. The outstanding amount of knowledge that is going to be gained from present and future studies will have a profound impact in many aspects of our society, from the introduction of truly tailored cancer treatments, to a better understanding of antibiotic resistance and host-pathogen interactions; from the discovery of the mechanisms regulating stem cell differentiation to the characterization of the early event of human embryogenesis.

  2. Estrogen binding, receptor mRNA, and biologic response in osteoblast-like osteosarcoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Komm, B.S.; Terpening, C.M.; Benz, D.J.; Graeme, K.A.; Gallegos, A.; Korc, M.; Greene, G.L.; O'Malley, B.W.; Haussler, M.R.

    1988-07-01

    High specific activity estradiol labeled with iodine-125 was used to detect approximately 200 saturable, high-affinity (dissociation constant approximately equal to 1.0 nM) nuclear binding sites in rat (ROS 17/2.8) and human (HOS TE85) clonal osteoblast-like osteosarcoma cells. Of the steroids tested, only testosterone exhibited significant cross-reactivity with estrogen binding. RNA blot analysis with a complementary DNA probe to the human estrogen receptor revealed putative receptor transcripts of 6 to 6.2 kilobases in both rat and human osteosarcoma cells. Type I procollagen and transforming growth factor-beta messenger RNA levels were enhanced in cultured human osteoblast-like cells treated with 1 nM estradiol. Thus, estrogen can act directly on osteoblasts by a receptor-mediated mechanism and thereby modulate the extracellular matrix and other proteins involved in the maintenance of skeletal mineralization and remodeling.

  3. Study of microRNA in diabetic nephropathy: isolation, quantification and biological function.

    PubMed

    Kantharidis, Phillip; Hagiwara, Shinji; Brennan, Eoin; McClelland, Aaron D

    2015-03-01

    In recent years, several studies have reported dysregulation of microRNA expression in disease with a growing interest focussed on targeting microRNAs as a novel therapy for human disease. This is especially true in diabetic nephropathy where the expression of several microRNAs is dysregulated, contributing to the increased expression and accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins and increased pro-fibrotic signalling, ultimately resulting in renal fibrosis. The development of various techniques and microRNA reagents has enabled work to progress very rapidly in this area. In the present article, the authors describe the methods they have used that have enabled them to contribute to our current understanding of the role of microRNAs in diabetic nephropathy.

  4. Modulating Transfer RNA Anticodon Modifications and Biologic Responses in Human Cells.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-12-15

    ASS70arC 21 . ABSTRACT SECURITY CLASSIPICATION UNCLASSIFIIO/INI.IMITEO I SAM8 AS OF’ CQ 0r C. " UNCLASSIFIED 22& 4A OP RE1SPON8ISI.8 INOIVICUA. 22b6...an isolated case however, since these cells are trisomy 12 and in another malignancy characterized by trisomy 12, CLL, the tRNA may be totally

  5. Standardizing Analysis of Circulating MicroRNA: Clinical and Biological Relevance

    PubMed Central

    Farina, Nicholas H.; Wood, Marie E.; Perrapato, Scott D.; Francklyn, Christopher S.; Stein, Gary S.; Stein, Janet L.; Lian, Jane B.

    2014-01-01

    Circulating microRNAs (c-miRNAs) provide a new dimension as clinical biomarkers for disease diagnosis, progression, and response to treatment. However, the discovery of individual miRNAs from biofluids that reliably reflect disease states is in its infancy. The highly variable nature of published studies exemplifies a need to standardize the analysis of miRNA in circulation. Here, we show that differential sample handling of serum leads to inconsistent and incomparable results. We present a standardized method of RNA isolation from serum that eliminates multiple freeze/thaw cycles, provides at least 3 normalization mechanisms, and can be utilized in studies that compare both archived and prospectively collected samples. It is anticipated that serum processed as described here can be profiled, either globally or on a gene by gene basis, for c-miRNAs and other non-coding RNA in the circulation to reveal novel, clinically relevant epigenetic signatures for a wide range of diseases. PMID:24357537

  6. 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

  7. Identification and characterization of small molecules that inhibit nonsense-mediated RNA decay and suppress nonsense p53 mutations.

    PubMed

    Martin, Leenus; Grigoryan, Arsen; Wang, Ding; Wang, Jinhua; Breda, Laura; Rivella, Stefano; Cardozo, Timothy; Gardner, Lawrence B

    2014-06-01

    Many of the gene mutations found in genetic disorders, including cancer, result in premature termination codons (PTC) and the rapid degradation of their mRNAs by nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD). We used virtual library screening, targeting a pocket in the SMG7 protein, a key component of the NMD mechanism, to identify compounds that disrupt the SMG7-UPF1 complex and inhibit NMD. Several of these compounds upregulated NMD-targeted mRNAs at nanomolar concentrations, with minimal toxicity in cell-based assays. As expected, pharmacologic NMD inhibition disrupted SMG7-UPF1 interactions. When used in cells with PTC-mutated p53, pharmacologic NMD inhibition combined with a PTC "read-through" drug led to restoration of full-length p53 protein, upregulation of p53 downstream transcripts, and cell death. These studies serve as proof-of-concept that pharmacologic NMD inhibitors can restore mRNA integrity in the presence of PTC and can be used as part of a strategy to restore full-length protein in a variety of genetic diseases.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cofactors in the RNA World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ditzler, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    RNA world theories figure prominently in many scenarios for the origin and early evolution of life. These theories posit that RNA molecules played a much larger role in ancient biology than they do now, acting both as the dominant biocatalysts and as the repository of genetic information. Many features of modern RNA biology are potential examples of molecular fossils from an RNA world, such as the pervasive involvement of nucleotides in coenzymes, the existence of natural aptamers that bind these coenzymes, the existence of natural ribozymes, a biosynthetic pathway in which deoxynucleotides are produced from ribonucleotides, and the central role of ribosomal RNA in protein synthesis in the peptidyl transferase center of the ribosome. Here, we uses both a top-down approach that evaluates RNA function in modern biology and a bottom-up approach that examines the capacities of RNA independent of modern biology. These complementary approaches exploit multiple in vitro evolution techniques coupled with high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. Together these complementary approaches advance our understanding of the most primitive organisms, their early evolution, and their eventual transition to modern biochemistry.

  11. 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.

  12. RNA based evolutionary optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Peter

    1993-12-01

    The notion of an RNA world has been introduced for a prebiotic scenario that is dominated by RNA molecules and their properties, in particular their capabilities to act as templates for reproduction and as catalysts for several cleavage and ligation reactions of polynucleotides and polypeptides. This notion is used here also for simple experimental assays which are well suited to study evolution in the test tube. In molecular evolution experiments fitness is determined in essence by the molecular structures of RNA molecules. Evidence is presented for adaptation to environment in cell-free media. RNA based molecular evolution experiments have led to interesting spin-offs in biotechnology, commonly called ‘applied molecular evolution’, which make use of Darwinian trial-and-error strategies in order to synthesize new pharmacological compounds and other advanced materials on a biological basis. Error-propagation in RNA replication leads to formation of mutant spectra called ‘quasispecies’. An increase in the error rate broadens the mutant spectrum. There exists a sharply defined threshold beyond which heredity breaks down and evolutionary adaptation becomes impossible. Almost all RNA viruses studied so far operate at conditions close to this error threshold. Quasispecies and error thresholds are important for an understanding of RNA virus evolution, and they may help to develop novel antiviral strategies. Evolution of RNA molecules can be studied and interpreted by considering secondary structures. The notion of sequence space introduces a distance between pairs of RNA sequences which is tantamount to counting the minimal number of point mutations required to convert the sequences into each other. The mean sensitivity of RNA secondary structures to mutation depends strongly on the base pairing alphabet: structures from sequences which contain only one base pair (GC or AU are much less stable against mutation than those derived from the natural (AUGC) sequences

  13. Evolution in an RNA World

    PubMed Central

    Joyce, Gerald F.

    2009-01-01

    A longstanding research goal has been to develop a self-sustained chemical system that is capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution. The notion of primitive RNA-based life suggests this goal might be achieved by constructing an RNA enzyme that catalyzes the replication of RNA molecules, including the RNA enzyme itself. This reaction recently was demonstrated in a cross-catalytic system involving two RNA enzymes that catalyze each other’s synthesis from a total of four component substrates. The cross-replicating RNA enzymes undergo self-sustained exponential amplification at a constant temperature in the absence of proteins or other biological materials. Amplification occurs with a doubling time of 30–60 min, and can be continued indefinitely. Small populations of cross-replicating RNA enzymes can be made to compete for limited resources within a common environment. The molecules reproduce with high fidelity, but occasionally give rise to recombinants that also can replicate. Over the course of many “generations” of selective amplification, novel variants arise and grow to dominate the population based on their relative fitness under the chosen reaction conditions. This is the first example, outside of biology, of evolutionary adaptation in a molecular genetic system. PMID:19667013

  14. Chemical evolution of life-like system under hydrothermal environments: prebiotic formation, degradation, and functions regarding protein-like molecules and RNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawamura, Kunio

    The accumulation of biopolymers without enzymes is an essential step for the chemical evolu-tion towards a primitive life-like system. Previously, we discussed the relationship between the RNA world hypothesis and the hydrothermal origin of life hypothesis on the basis of the em-pirical data of RNA behaviors under the hydrothermal environments examined using real-time monitoring technique for hydrothermal reactions within the millisecond to second time scale. On the other hand, we have also examined the stabilities and behaviors of amino acids, pep-tides, and proteins under the hydrothermal environments. These observations have shown the possibility that oligopeptides could have been accumulated under near submarine hydrother-mal vent environments on primitive Earth within the relatively short time scale. However, the formation of oligopeptides under the simulated hydrothermal conditions is not so effective in the absence of catalysts and condensation agents. Thus, the investigation of the roles of min-eral catalysis and condensation reagents are very important since these materials could have enhanced efficiently the formation of peptides and stabilize primitive protein-like molecules. Recently, we investigated the roles of condensation reagents for the elongation of oligopeptides in the presence of minerals. In addition, we have designed a mineral-mediated hydrothermal flow reactor system (MHFR), which enables monitoring hydrothermal reactions in the presence of solid particles. By using MHFR, we attempted to examine naturally occurring minerals, such as apatite and quartz, for the elongation of oligopeptides at temperatures over 200 o C within 10 -30 sec. According to these data, the chemical evolution of protein-like molecules on primitive Earth will be discussed.

  15. Effects of 17 β-estradiol on lipopolysacharride-induced intracellular adhesion molecule-1 mRNA expression and Ca2+ homeostasis alteration in human endothelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Thor, Der; Zhang, Rui; Anderson, Leigh; Bose, Diptiman; Dubé, Gregory P.; Rahimian, Roshanak

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence showed that 17 β-estradiol (E2) decreased cytokine-induced expression of cell adhesion molecules (CAM). Changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) has been shown to be associated with CAM expression in endothelial cells. Here, the effects of E2 (1 μM, 24 h) on the expression of intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and [Ca2+]i were investigated in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (100 ng/mL, 18 h)-stimulated human endothelial cell line, EA.hy926, using real-time PCR and spectrofluorometry, respectively. PCR analysis revealed a significant increase in ICAM-1 expression in calcium ionophore A23187 (1 nM)- or LPS-stimulated cells. Pretreatment of cells with E2 significantly inhibited LPS-induced ICAM-1 mRNA expression. [Ca2+]i was monitored in Fura-2 AM-loaded cells in the presence and absence of extracellular Ca2+ with thapsigargin (TG, 1 μM), a sarco/endoplasmic reticulum ATPase inhibitor or ATP (100 μM). The extent of TG- or ATP-induced [Ca2+]i increase was significantly higher in LPS-stimulated cells than in control cells. Pre-treatment of LPS-stimulated cells with E2 limited the Ca2+ response to the same level as in control cells. Furthermore, ICI 182,780, an estrogen receptor antagonist, attenuated the inhibitory actions of E2 on ICAM-1 mRNA expression and Ca2+ responses, suggesting that estrogen receptors mediate, at least in part, the effects of estrogen. These data suggest a potential underlying mechanism for the protective effect of E2 against atherosclerosis. PMID:20843480

  16. The origin, function, and diagnostic potential of RNA within extracellular vesicles present in human biological fluids.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Douglas D; Gercel-Taylor, Cicek

    2013-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated that tumor cells release membranous structures into their extracellular environment, which are termed exosomes, microvesicles or extracellular vesicles depending on specific characteristics, including size, composition and biogenesis pathway. These cell-derived vesicles can exhibit an array of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids derived from the originating tumor. This review focuses of the transcriptome (RNA) of these extracellular vesicles. Based on current data, these vesicular components play essential roles as conveyers of intercellular communication and mediators of many of the pathological conditions associated with cancer development, progression and therapeutic failures. These extracellular vesicles express components responsible for angiogenesis promotion, stromal remodeling, signal pathway activation through growth factor/receptor transfer, chemoresistance, and genetic exchange. These tumor-derived extracellular vesicles not only to represent a central mediator of the tumor microenvironment, but their presence in the peripheral circulation may serve as a surrogate for tumor biopsies, enabling real-time diagnosis and disease monitoring.

  17. Toll-Like Receptor and Accessory Molecule mRNA Expression in Humans and Mice as Well as in Murine Autoimmunity, Transient Inflammation, and Progressive Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Ramaiah, Santhosh Kumar Vankayala; Günthner, Roman; Lech, Maciej; Anders, Hans-Joachim

    2013-01-01

    The cell type-, organ-, and species-specific expression of the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are well described, but little is known about the respective expression profiles of their accessory molecules. We therefore determined the mRNA expression levels of LBP, MD2, CD36, CD14, granulin, HMGB1, LL37, GRP94, UNC93b1, TRIL, PRAT4A, AP3B1, AEP and the respective TLRs in human and mouse solid organs. Humans and mice displayed significant differences between their respective mRNA expression patterns of these factors. In addition, the expression profiles in transient tissue inflammation upon renal ischemia-reperfusion injury, in spleens and kidneys from mice with lupus-like systemic autoimmunity, and in progressive tissue fibrosis upon unilateral ureteral obstruction were studied. Several TLR co-factors were specifically regulated during the different phases of these disease entities, suggesting a functional involvement in the disease process. Thus, the organ- and species-specific expression patterns need to be considered in the design and interpretation of studies related to TLR-mediated innate immunity, which seems to be involved in the tissue injury phase, in the phase of tissue regeneration, and in progressive tissue remodelling. PMID:23803655

  18. Targeting L1 cell adhesion molecule expression using liposome-encapsulated siRNA suppresses prostate cancer bone metastasis and growth

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Shian-Ying; Petros, John A.; Wu, Hsi-Chin; Zeng, Hong-Jie; Huang, Wei-Chien; Chung, Leland W. K.; Hsieh, Chia-Ling

    2014-01-01

    The L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) has been implicated in tumor progression of many types of cancers, but its role in prostate cancer and its application in targeted gene therapy have not been investigated. Herein, we demonstrated that the L1CAM was expressed in androgen-insensitive and highly metastatic human prostate cancer cell lines. The correlation between L1CAM expression and prostate cancer metastasis was also validated in serum samples of prostate cancer patients. Knockdown of L1CAM expression in prostate cancer cells by RNA interference significantly decreased their aggressive behaviors, including colony formation, migration and invasion in vitro, and tumor formation in a metastatic murine model. These anti-malignant phenotypes of L1CAM-knockdown cancer cells were accompanied by G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and suppression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 expression and nuclear factor NF-κB activation. In vivo targeting of L1CAM expression using liposome-encapsulated L1CAM siRNAs effectively inhibited prostate cancer growth in mouse bone, which was associated with decreased L1CAM expression and cell proliferation by tumor cells. These results provide the first evidence for L1CAM being a major contributor to prostate cancer metastasis and translational application of siRNA-based L1CAM-targeted therapy. PMID:25294816

  19. Characterization of RNA-Like Oligomers from Lipid-Assisted Nonenzymatic Synthesis: Implications for Origin of Informational Molecules on Early Earth

    PubMed Central

    Mungi, Chaitanya V.; Rajamani, Sudha

    2015-01-01

    Prebiotic polymerization had to be a nonenzymatic, chemically driven process. These processes would have been particularly favored in scenarios which push reaction regimes far from equilibrium. Dehydration-rehydration (DH-RH) cycles are one such regime thought to have been prevalent on prebiotic Earth in niches like volcanic geothermal pools. The present study defines the optimum DH-RH reaction conditions for lipid-assisted polymerization of nucleotides. The resultant products were characterized to understand their chemical makeup. Primarily, our study demonstrates that the resultant RNA-like oligomers have abasic sites, which means these oligomers lack information-carrying capability because of losing most of their bases during the reaction process. This results from low pH and high temperature conditions, which, importantly, also allows the formation of sugar-phosphate oligomers when ribose 5'-monophosphates are used as the starting monomers instead. Formation of such oligomers would have permitted sampling of a large variety of bases on a preformed polymer backbone, resulting in “prebiotic phosphodiester polymers” prior to the emergence of modern RNA-like molecules. This suggests that primitive genetic polymers could have utilized bases that conferred greater N-glycosyl bond stability, a feature crucial for information propagation in low pH and high temperature regimes of early Earth. PMID:25569237

  20. Characterization of RNA-Like Oligomers from Lipid-Assisted Nonenzymatic Synthesis: Implications for Origin of Informational Molecules on Early Earth.

    PubMed

    Mungi, Chaitanya V; Rajamani, Sudha

    2015-01-05

    Prebiotic polymerization had to be a nonenzymatic, chemically driven process. These processes would have been particularly favored in scenarios which push reaction regimes far from equilibrium. Dehydration-rehydration (DH-RH) cycles are one such regime thought to have been prevalent on prebiotic Earth in niches like volcanic geothermal pools. The present study defines the optimum DH-RH reaction conditions for lipid-assisted polymerization of nucleotides. The resultant products were characterized to understand their chemical makeup. Primarily, our study demonstrates that the resultant RNA-like oligomers have abasic sites, which means these oligomers lack information-carrying capability because of losing most of their bases during the reaction process. This results from low pH and high temperature conditions, which, importantly, also allows the formation of sugar-phosphate oligomers when ribose 5'-monophosphates are used as the starting monomers instead. Formation of such oligomers would have permitted sampling of a large variety of bases on a preformed polymer backbone, resulting in "prebiotic phosphodiester polymers" prior to the emergence of modern RNA-like molecules. This suggests that primitive genetic polymers could have utilized bases that conferred greater N-glycosyl bond stability, a feature crucial for information propagation in low pH and high temperature regimes of early Earth.