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Sample records for biological rna molecules

  1. 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.

  2. Computational biology of RNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Dieterich, Christoph; Stadler, Peter F

    2013-01-01

    The biodiversity of the RNA world has been underestimated for decades. RNA molecules are key building blocks, sensors, and regulators of modern cells. The biological function of RNA molecules cannot be separated from their ability to bind to and interact with a wide space of chemical species, including small molecules, nucleic acids, and proteins. Computational chemists, physicists, and biologists have developed a rich tool set for modeling and predicting RNA interactions. These interactions are to some extent determined by the binding conformation of the RNA molecule. RNA binding conformations are approximated with often acceptable accuracy by sequence and secondary structure motifs. Secondary structure ensembles of a given RNA molecule can be efficiently computed in many relevant situations by employing a standard energy model for base pair interactions and dynamic programming techniques. The case of bi-molecular RNA-RNA interactions can be seen as an extension of this approach. However, unbiased transcriptome-wide scans for local RNA-RNA interactions are computationally challenging yet become efficient if the binding motif/mode is known and other external information can be used to confine the search space. Computational methods are less developed for proteins and small molecules, which bind to RNA with very high specificity. Binding descriptors of proteins are usually determined by in vitro high-throughput assays (e.g., microarrays or sequencing). Intriguingly, recent experimental advances, which are mostly based on light-induced cross-linking of binding partners, render in vivo binding patterns accessible yet require new computational methods for careful data interpretation. The grand challenge is to model the in vivo situation where a complex interplay of RNA binders competes for the same target RNA molecule. Evidently, bioinformaticians are just catching up with the impressive pace of these developments.

  3. Computation of generating functions for biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Howell, J.A.; Smith, T.F.; Waterman, M.S.

    1980-08-01

    The object of this paper is to give algorithms and techniques for computing generating functions of certain RNA configurations. Combinatorics and symbolic computation are utilized to calculate the generating functions for small RNA molecules. From these generating functions, it is possible to obtain information about the bonding and structure of the molecules. Specific examples of interest to biology are given and discussed.

  4. 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…

  5. Synthetic biology with RNA motifs.

    PubMed

    Saito, Hirohide; Inoue, Tan

    2009-02-01

    Structural motifs in naturally occurring RNAs and RNPs can be employed as new molecular parts for synthetic biology to facilitate the development of novel devices and systems that modulate cellular functions. In this review, we focus on the following: (i) experimental evolution techniques of RNA molecules in vitro and (ii) their applications for regulating gene expression systems in vivo. For experimental evolution, new artificial RNA aptamers and RNA enzymes (ribozymes) have been selected in vitro. These functional RNA molecules are likely to be applicable in the reprogramming of existing gene regulatory systems. Furthermore, they may be used for designing hypothetical RNA-based living systems in the so-called RNA world. For the regulation of gene expressions in living cells, the development of new riboswitches allows us to modulate the target gene expression in a tailor-made manner. Moreover, recently RNA-based synthetic genetic circuits have been reported by employing functional RNA molecules, expanding the repertory of synthetic biology with RNA motifs. PMID:18775792

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Visualizing large RNA molecules in solution

    PubMed Central

    Gopal, Ajaykumar; Zhou, Z. Hong; Knobler, Charles M.; Gelbart, William M.

    2012-01-01

    Single-stranded RNAs (ssRNAs) longer than a few hundred nucleotides do not have a unique structure in solution. Their equilibrium properties therefore reflect the average of an ensemble of structures. We use cryo-electron microscopy to image projections of individual long ssRNA molecules and characterize the anisotropy of their ensembles in solution. A flattened prolate volume is found to best represent the shapes of these ensembles. The measured sizes and anisotropies are in good agreement with complementary determinations using small-angle X-ray scattering and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. A long viral ssRNA is compared with shorter noncoding transcripts to demonstrate that prolate geometry and flatness are generic properties independent of sequence length and origin. The anisotropy persists under physiological as well as low-ionic-strength conditions, revealing a direct correlation between secondary structure asymmetry and 3D shape and size. We discuss the physical origin of the generic anisotropy and its biological implications. PMID:22190747

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Combinatorial analysis of interacting RNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Li, Thomas J X; Reidys, Christian M

    2011-09-01

    Recently several minimum free energy (MFE) folding algorithms for predicting the joint structure of two interacting RNA molecules have been proposed. Their folding targets are interaction structures, that can be represented as diagrams with two backbones drawn horizontally on top of each other such that (1) intramolecular and intermolecular bonds are noncrossing and (2) there is no "zigzag" configuration. This paper studies joint structures with arc-length at least four in which both, interior and exterior stack-lengths are at least two (no isolated arcs). The key idea in this paper is to consider a new type of shape, based on which joint structures can be derived via symbolic enumeration. Our results imply simple asymptotic formulas for the number of joint structures with surprisingly small exponential growth rates. They are of interest in the context of designing prediction algorithms for RNA-RNA interactions. PMID:21689666

  13. RNA aptamers for an essential prebiotic molecule: adenine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meli, M.; Vergne, J.; Josse, T.; Décout, J.-L.; Maurel, M.-C.

    2001-08-01

    Among all known bio-organic molecules within the living cells, RNA molecules are the only ones storing genetic information and performing catalysis. The RNA world hypthesis assumes that livings on earth are derived from an RNA molecular ancestor where RNA both stored the genetic information and catalyzed the first metabolic reactions. Among diverse RNA worlds proposed, it is thought that the invention of translation and encoded peptide synthesis took place with a "breakthrough organism", then giving rise to a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) world. Finally, modern biochemistry arose with the invention of DNA and the birth of modern molecular biology where the information flows from DNA to RNA which directs protein synthesis. Considering modern metabolism, it is possible to assign biochemical traits to the last common ancestor by simple parsimony rules, and assumptions about earlier metabolisms are possible using chemical criteria. According to this point of view, modern metabolism is considered as a palimpsest that has to be read and deciphered in ordered to understand its origin and evolution.

  14. 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…

  15. Single molecule nanometry for biological physics

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hajin; Ha, Taekjip

    2013-01-01

    Precision measurement is a hallmark of physics but the small length scale (~ nanometer) of elementary biological components and thermal fluctuations surrounding them challenge our ability to visualize their action. Here, we highlight the recent developments in single molecule nanometry where the position of a single fluorescent molecule can be determined with nanometer precision, reaching the limit imposed by the shot noise, and the relative motion between two molecules can be determined with ~ 0.3 nm precision at ~ 1 millisecond time resolution, and how these new tools are providing fundamental insights on how motor proteins move on cellular highways. We will also discuss how interactions between three and four fluorescent molecules can be used to measure three and six coordinates, respectively, allowing us to correlate movements of multiple components. Finally, we will discuss recent progress in combining angstrom precision optical tweezers with single molecule fluorescent detection, opening new windows for multi-dimensional single molecule nanometry for biological physics. PMID:23249673

  16. Helicase-mediated changes in RNA structure at the single-molecule level

    PubMed Central

    König, Sebastian L.B.; Liyanage, Pramodha S.; Sigel, Roland K.O.; Rueda, David

    2013-01-01

    RNA helicases are a diverse group of RNA-dependent ATPases known to play a large number of biological roles inside the cell, such as RNA unwinding, remodeling, export and degradation. Understanding how helicases mediate changes in RNA structure is therefore of fundamental interest. The advent of single-molecule spectroscopic techniques has unveiled with unprecedented detail the interplay of RNA helicases with their substrates. In this review, we describe the characterization of helicase-RNA interactions by single-molecule approaches. State-of-the-art techniques are presented, followed by a discussion of recent advancements in this exciting field. PMID:23353571

  17. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Studies of RNA: A Decade's Progress

    PubMed Central

    Karunatilaka, Krishanthi S.; Rueda, David

    2009-01-01

    Over the past decade, single-molecule fluorescence studies have elucidated the structure-function relationship of RNA molecules. The real-time observation of individual RNAs by single-molecule fluorescence has unveiled the dynamic behavior of complex RNA systems in unprecedented detail, revealing the presence of transient intermediate states and their kinetic pathways. This review provides an overview of how single-molecule fluorescence has been used to explore the dynamics of RNA folding and catalysis. PMID:20161154

  18. Development and utilization of non-coding RNA-small molecule interactions.

    PubMed

    Georgianna, Wesleigh E; Young, Douglas D

    2011-12-01

    RNA plays a crucial role in cellular biology as a carrier of genetic information. However, beyond this passive role, RNA has been shown to regulate various cellular processes in a form that is not translated into protein. Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) has been shown to be important in gene regulation, and its aberrant activity has been associated with several disease states. As such, ncRNAs represent a novel target for small molecule regulation and recently, significant advances have been made towards elucidating small molecule regulators of ncRNAs. Herein, we provide an overview of miRNA, siRNA, RNA aptamers, riboswitches, and ribozymes, within the context of recent findings regarding the exogenous regulation of these ncRNAs by small molecules. The development of these small molecule tools has far-reaching applications in the advancement of molecular therapeutics.

  19. Circulating RNA Molecules as Biomarkers in Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    Enache, Liviu S.; Enache, Elena L.; Ramière, Christophe; Diaz, Olivier; Bancu, Ligia; Sin, Anca; André, Patrice

    2014-01-01

    Liver disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. As in other fields of medicine, there is a stringent need for non-invasive markers to improve patient diagnostics, monitoring and prognostic ability in liver pathology. Cell-free circulating RNA molecules have been recently acknowledged as an important source of potential medical biomarkers. However, many aspects related to the biology of these molecules remain to be elucidated. In this review, we summarize current concepts related to the origin, transportation and possible functions of cell-free RNA. We outline current development of extracellular RNA-based biomarkers in the main forms of non-inherited liver disease: chronic viral hepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma, non-alcoholic fatty liver, hepato-toxicity, and liver transplantation. Despite recent technological advances, the lack of standardization in the assessment of these markers makes their adoption into clinical practice difficult. We thus finally review the main factors influencing quantification of circulating RNA. These factors should be considered in the reporting and interpretation of current findings, as well as in the proper planning of future studies, to improve reliability and reproducibility of results. PMID:25272224

  20. A Small Molecule That Represses Translation of G-Quadruplex-Containing mRNA.

    PubMed

    Katsuda, Yousuke; Sato, Shin-Ichi; Asano, Lisa; Morimura, Yoshitaka; Furuta, Tomoyuki; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Hagihara, Masaki; Uesugi, Motonari

    2016-07-27

    The G-quadruplexes form highly stable nucleic acid structures, which are implicated in various biological processes in both DNA and RNA. Although DNA G-quadruplexes have been studied in great detail, biological roles of RNA G-quadruplexes have received less attention. Here, a screening of a chemical library permitted identification of a small-molecule tool that binds selectively to RNA G-quadruplex structures. The polyaromatic molecule, RGB-1, stabilizes RNA G-quadruplex, but not DNA versions or other RNA structures. RGB-1 intensified the G-quadruplex-mediated inhibition of RNA translation in mammalian cells, decreased expression of the NRAS proto-oncogene in breast cancer cells, and permitted identification of a novel sequence that forms G-quadruplex in NRAS mRNA. RGB-1 may serve as a unique tool for understanding cellular roles of RNA G-quadruplex structures. PMID:27410677

  1. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

    The plant hormone auxin regulates virtually every aspect of plant growth and development and unraveling its molecular and cellular modes of action is fundamental for plant biology research. Chemical genomics is the use of small molecules to modify protein functions. This approach currently rises as a powerful technology for basic research. Small compounds with auxin-like activities or affecting auxin-mediated biological processes have been widely used in auxin research. They can serve as a tool complementary to genetic and genomic methods, facilitating the identification of an array of components modulating auxin metabolism, transport and signaling. The employment of high-throughput screening technologies combined with informatics-based chemical design and organic chemical synthesis has since yielded many novel small molecules with more instantaneous, precise and specific functionalities. By applying those small molecules, novel molecular targets can be isolated to further understand and dissect auxin-related pathways and networks that otherwise are too complex to be elucidated only by gene-based methods. Here, we will review examples of recently characterized molecules used in auxin research, highlight the strategies of unraveling the mechanisms of these small molecules and discuss future perspectives of small molecule applications in auxin biology. PMID:24252105

  2. Toward reprogramming bacteria with small molecules and RNA.

    PubMed

    Gallivan, Justin P

    2007-12-01

    A major goal of synthetic biology is to reprogram bacteria to carry out complex tasks, such as synthesizing and delivering drugs, and seeking and destroying environmental pollutants. Advances in molecular biology and bacterial genetics have made it straightforward to modify, insert, or delete genes in many bacterial strains, and advances in gene synthesis have opened the door to replacing entire genomes. However, rewriting the underlying genetic code is only part of the challenge of reprogramming cellular behavior. A remaining challenge is to control how and when the modified genes are expressed. Several recent studies have highlighted how synthetic riboswitches, which are RNA sequences that undergo a ligand-induced conformational change to alter gene expression, can be used to reprogram how bacteria respond to small molecules. PMID:17967431

  3. Linking RNA biology to lncRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Goff, Loyal A.; Rinn, John L.

    2015-01-01

    The regulatory potential of RNA has never ceased to amaze: from RNA catalysis, to RNA-mediated splicing, to RNA-based silencing of an entire chromosome during dosage compensation. More recently, thousands of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcripts have been identified, the majority with unknown function. Thus, it is tempting to think that these lncRNAs represent a cadre of new factors that function through ribonucleic mechanisms. Some evidence points to several lncRNAs with tantalizing physiological contributions and thought-provoking molecular modalities. However, dissecting the RNA biology of lncRNAs has been difficult, and distinguishing the independent contributions of functional RNAs from underlying DNA elements, or the local act of transcription, is challenging. Here, we aim to survey the existing literature and highlight future approaches that will be needed to link the RNA-based biology and mechanisms of lncRNAs in vitro and in vivo. PMID:26430155

  4. Reversible Unfolding of Single RNA Molecules by Mechanical Force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liphardt, Jan; Onoa, Bibiana; Smith, Steven B.; Tinoco, Ignacio; Bustamante, Carlos

    2001-04-01

    Here we use mechanical force to induce the unfolding and refolding of single RNA molecules: a simple RNA hairpin, a molecule containing a three-helix junction, and the P5abc domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme. All three molecules (P5abc only in the absence of Mg2+) can be mechanically unfolded at equilibrium, and when kept at constant force within a critical force range, are bi-stable and hop between folded and unfolded states. We determine the force-dependent equilibrium constants for folding/unfolding these single RNA molecules and the positions of their transition states along the reaction coordinate.

  5. Transfer RNA: From pioneering crystallographic studies to contemporary tRNA biology.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Millán, Pablo; Schelcher, Cédric; Chihade, Joseph; Masquida, Benoît; Giegé, Philippe; Sauter, Claude

    2016-07-15

    Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) play a key role in protein synthesis as adaptor molecules between messenger RNA and protein sequences on the ribosome. Their discovery in the early sixties provoked a worldwide infatuation with the study of their architecture and their function in the decoding of genetic information. tRNAs are also emblematic molecules in crystallography: the determination of the first tRNA crystal structures represented a milestone in structural biology and tRNAs were for a long period the sole source of information on RNA folding, architecture, and post-transcriptional modifications. Crystallographic data on tRNAs in complex with aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) also provided the first insight into protein:RNA interactions. Beyond the translation process and the history of structural investigations on tRNA, this review also illustrates the renewal of tRNA biology with the discovery of a growing number of tRNA partners in the cell, the involvement of tRNAs in a variety of regulatory and metabolic pathways, and emerging applications in biotechnology and synthetic biology.

  6. Energy landscape exploration of the folding processes of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Megan Clare

    For decades, scientists from every discipline have struggled to understand the mechanism of biological self-assembly, which allows proteins and nucleic acids to fold reliably into functional three-dimensional structures. Such an understanding may hold the key to eliminating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and to effective protein engineering. The current best framework for describing biological folding processes is that of statistical mechanical energy landscape theory, and one of the most promising experimental techniques for exploring molecular energy landscapes is single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), in which molecules are mechanically denatured. Theoretical advances have enabled the extraction of complete energy landscape profiles from SMFS data. Here, SMFS experiments performed using laser optical tweezers are analyzed to yield the first ever full landscape profile for an RNA pseudoknot. Further, a promising novel landscape reconstruction technique is validated for the first time using experimental data from a DNA hairpin.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Vibrational Raman optical activity of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barron, L. D.; Gargaro, A. R.; Hecht, Lutz; Wen, Z. Q.; Hug, W.

    1991-05-01

    Advances in Raman optical activity (ROA) instrumentation based on the employment of a backscattering geometry together with a cooled CCD detector have now enhanced the sensitivity to the level necessary to provide vibrational ROA spectra of biological molecules in aqueous solution. Preliminary results on peptides and proteins show features originating in coupled Ca-H and N-H deformations of the peptide backbone which appear to be sensitive to the secondary conformation. Also carbohydrates show many features that appear to be characteristic of the central aspects of carbohydrate architecture with effects from the glycosidic link in di- and oligosaccharides particularly prominent. 1.

  10. Discovering New Biology through Sequencing of RNA.

    PubMed

    Weber, Andreas P M

    2015-11-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Capture, Unfolding, and Detection of Individual tRNA Molecules Using a Nanopore Device

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Andrew M.; Abu-Shumays, Robin; Akeson, Mark; Bernick, David L.

    2015-01-01

    Transfer RNAs (tRNA) are the most common RNA molecules in cells and have critical roles as both translators of the genetic code and regulators of protein synthesis. As such, numerous methods have focused on studying tRNA abundance and regulation, with the most widely used methods being RNA-seq and microarrays. Though revolutionary to transcriptomics, these assays are limited by an inability to encode tRNA modifications in the requisite cDNA. These modifications are abundant in tRNA and critical to their function. Here, we describe proof-of-concept experiments where individual tRNA molecules are examined as linear strands using a biological nanopore. This method utilizes an enzymatically ligated synthetic DNA adapter to concentrate tRNA at the lipid bilayer of the nanopore device and efficiently denature individual tRNA molecules, as they are pulled through the α-hemolysin (α-HL) nanopore. Additionally, the DNA adapter provides a loading site for ϕ29 DNA polymerase (ϕ29 DNAP), which acts as a brake on the translocating tRNA. This increases the dwell time of adapted tRNA in the nanopore, allowing us to identify the region of the nanopore signal that is produced by the translocating tRNA itself. Using adapter-modified Escherichia coli tRNAfMet and tRNALys, we show that the nanopore signal during controlled translocation is dependent on the identity of the tRNA. This confirms that adapter-modified tRNA can translocate end-to-end through nanopores and provide the foundation for future work in direct sequencing of individual transfer RNA with a nanopore-based device. PMID:26157798

  13. Vibrational Raman optical activity of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barron, L. D.; Hecht, Lutz; Wen, Z. Q.; Ford, Steven J.; Bell, A. F.

    1993-06-01

    Advances in Raman optical activity (ROA) instrumentation based on the employment of a backscattering geometry together with a cooled backthinned CCD detector, a holographic notch filter, and a high-efficiency single-grating spectrograph have now enhanced the sensitivity to the level necessary to provide vibrational ROA spectra of most biological molecules in aqueous solution. Results on peptides and proteins show features originating in coupled C(alpha )-H and N-H deformations of the peptide backbone which appear to be sensitive to the secondary conformation including loop and turn structures. Also carbohydrates show many features characteristic of the central aspects of carbohydrate architecture, with effects from the glycosidic link in oligosaccharides particularly prominent. Preliminary ROA spectra of pyrimidine nucleosides appear to reflect the mutual orientation of the sugar and base rings and the dominant furanose conformations.

  14. Computational Design of Artificial RNA Molecules for Gene Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Laganà, Alessandro; Veneziano, Dario; Russo, Francesco; Pulvirenti, Alfredo; Giugno, Rosalba; Croce, Carlo Maria; Ferro, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for the regulation of gene expression. Small exogenous noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) such as siRNA and shRNA are the active silencing agents, intended to target and cleave complementary mRNAs in a specific way. They are widely and successfully employed in functional studies, and several ongoing and already completed siRNA-based clinical trials suggest encouraging results in the regulation of overexpressed genes in disease. siRNAs share many aspects of their biogenesis and function with miRNAs, small ncRNA molecules transcribed from endogenous genes which are able to repress the expression of target mRNAs by either inhibiting their translation or promoting their degradation. Although siRNA and artificial miRNA molecules can significantly reduce the expression of overexpressed target genes, cancer and other diseases can also be triggered or sustained by upregulated miRNAs. Thus, in the past recent years, molecular tools for miRNA silencing, such as antagomiRs and miRNA sponges, have been developed. These molecules have shown their efficacy in the derepression of genes downregulated by overexpressed miRNAs. In particular, while a single antagomiR is able to inhibit a single complementary miRNA, an artificial sponge construct usually contains one or more binding sites for one or more miRNAs and functions by competing with the natural targets of these miRNAs. As a consequence, natural miRNA targets are reexpressed at their physiological level. In this chapter we review the most successful methods for the computational design of siRNAs, antagomiRs, and miRNA sponges and describe the most popular tools that implement them. PMID:25577393

  15. 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.

  16. Mitochondrial biology: From molecules to diseases.

    PubMed

    Kabekkodu, Shama Prasada; Chakrabarty, Sanjiban; Shukla, Vaibhav; Varghese, Vinay Koshy; Singh, Keshav K; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Satyamoorthy, Kapaettu

    2015-09-01

    As an integral part of the cell, mitochondria play a pivotal role in the regulation of energy metabolism, signaling pathways, cell differentiation, cell proliferation and cell death. Mitochondrion with its own genetic material has characteristics distinct from those of the nuclear counterpart and its dysregulation is associated with a myriad of diseases. The discovery of interplay between the nuclear and mitochondrial genes, and various post-transcriptional modifications associated with their products has added excitement in the field. This has led to a better understanding of the basic mitochondrial function in normal and disease states, and is important for diagnosis and prognosis of a large number of disorders. The Fourth Annual Conference of Society for Mitochondrial Research and Medicine - India (SMRM) was titled "Mitochondrial Biology: from Molecules to Disease". The conference was organized by K. Satyamoorthy and K. Thangaraj at School of Life Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, India, during 8-9 December, 2014. The aim of the conference was to bring researchers and clinicians to a common platform; create an opportunity for networking between laboratories; and to discuss about the recent development in mitochondrial biology, diagnosis, and therapy. This review summarizes the key outcomes of the conference.

  17. 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.

  18. Origins and Early Evolution of the tRNA Molecule

    PubMed Central

    Tamura, Koji

    2015-01-01

    Modern transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are composed of ~76 nucleotides and play an important role as “adaptor” molecules that mediate the translation of information from messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Many studies suggest that the contemporary full-length tRNA was formed by the ligation of half-sized hairpin-like RNAs. A minihelix (a coaxial stack of the acceptor stem on the T-stem of tRNA) can function both in aminoacylation by aminoacyl tRNA synthetases and in peptide bond formation on the ribosome, indicating that it may be a vestige of the ancestral tRNA. The universal CCA-3′ terminus of tRNA is also a typical characteristic of the molecule. “Why CCA?” is the fundamental unanswered question, but several findings give a comprehensive picture of its origin. Here, the origins and early evolution of tRNA are discussed in terms of various perspectives, including nucleotide ligation, chiral selectivity of amino acids, genetic code evolution, and the organization of the ribosomal peptidyl transferase center (PTC). The proto-tRNA molecules may have evolved not only as adaptors but also as contributors to the composition of the ribosome. PMID:26633518

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

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Highly efficient ligation of small RNA molecules for microRNA quantitation by high-throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jerome E; Yi, Rui

    2014-01-01

    MiRNA cloning and high-throughput sequencing, termed miR-Seq, stands alone as a transcriptome-wide approach to quantify miRNAs with single nucleotide resolution. This technique captures miRNAs by attaching 3' and 5' oligonucleotide adapters to miRNA molecules and allows de novo miRNA discovery. Coupling with powerful next-generation sequencing platforms, miR-Seq has been instrumental in the study of miRNA biology. However, significant biases introduced by oligonucleotide ligation steps have prevented miR-Seq from being employed as an accurate quantitation tool. Previous studies demonstrate that biases in current miR-Seq methods often lead to inaccurate miRNA quantification with errors up to 1,000-fold for some miRNAs. To resolve these biases imparted by RNA ligation, we have developed a small RNA ligation method that results in ligation efficiencies of over 95% for both 3' and 5' ligation steps. Benchmarking this improved library construction method using equimolar or differentially mixed synthetic miRNAs, consistently yields reads numbers with less than two-fold deviation from the expected value. Furthermore, this high-efficiency miR-Seq method permits accurate genome-wide miRNA profiling from in vivo total RNA samples. PMID:25490151

  4. 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

  5. Correlation of mRNA and protein in complex biological samples.

    PubMed

    Maier, Tobias; Güell, Marc; Serrano, Luis

    2009-12-17

    The correlation between mRNA and protein abundances in the cell has been reported to be notoriously poor. Recent technological advances in the quantitative analysis of mRNA and protein species in complex samples allow the detailed analysis of this pathway at the center of biological systems. We give an overview of available methods for the identification and quantification of free and ribosome-bound mRNA, protein abundances and individual protein turnover rates. We review available literature on the correlation of mRNA and protein abundances and discuss biological and technical parameters influencing the correlation of these central biological molecules.

  6. 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.

  7. 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'.

  8. Single-molecule correlated chemical probing of RNA.

    PubMed

    Homan, Philip J; Favorov, Oleg V; Lavender, Christopher A; Kursun, Olcay; Ge, Xiyuan; Busan, Steven; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Weeks, Kevin M

    2014-09-23

    Complex higher-order RNA structures play critical roles in all facets of gene expression; however, the through-space interaction networks that define tertiary structures and govern sampling of multiple conformations are poorly understood. Here we describe single-molecule RNA structure analysis in which multiple sites of chemical modification are identified in single RNA strands by massively parallel sequencing and then analyzed for correlated and clustered interactions. The strategy thus identifies RNA interaction groups by mutational profiling (RING-MaP) and makes possible two expansive applications. First, we identify through-space interactions, create 3D models for RNAs spanning 80-265 nucleotides, and characterize broad classes of intramolecular interactions that stabilize RNA. Second, we distinguish distinct conformations in solution ensembles and reveal previously undetected hidden states and large-scale structural reconfigurations that occur in unfolded RNAs relative to native states. RING-MaP single-molecule nucleic acid structure interrogation enables concise and facile analysis of the global architectures and multiple conformations that govern function in RNA. PMID:25205807

  9. 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

  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. (Author/JRH)

  11. Engineering modular ‘ON’ RNA switches using biological components

    PubMed Central

    Ceres, Pablo; Trausch, Jeremiah J.; Batey, Robert T.

    2013-01-01

    Riboswitches are cis-acting regulatory elements broadly distributed in bacterial mRNAs that control a wide range of critical metabolic activities. Expression is governed by two distinct domains within the mRNA leader: a sensory ‘aptamer domain’ and a regulatory ‘expression platform’. Riboswitches have also received considerable attention as important tools in synthetic biology because of their conceptually simple structure and the ability to obtain aptamers that bind almost any conceivable small molecule using in vitro selection (referred to as SELEX). In the design of artificial riboswitches, a significant hurdle has been to couple the two domains enabling their efficient communication. We previously demonstrated that biological transcriptional ‘OFF’ expression platforms are easily coupled to diverse aptamers, both biological and SELEX-derived, using simple design rules. Here, we present two modular transcriptional ‘ON’ riboswitch expression platforms that are also capable of hosting foreign aptamers. We demonstrate that these biological parts can be used to facilely generate artificial chimeric riboswitches capable of robustly regulating transcription both in vitro and in vivo. We expect that these modular expression platforms will be of great utility for various synthetic biological applications that use RNA-based biosensors. PMID:23999097

  12. Engineering modular 'ON' RNA switches using biological components.

    PubMed

    Ceres, Pablo; Trausch, Jeremiah J; Batey, Robert T

    2013-12-01

    Riboswitches are cis-acting regulatory elements broadly distributed in bacterial mRNAs that control a wide range of critical metabolic activities. Expression is governed by two distinct domains within the mRNA leader: a sensory 'aptamer domain' and a regulatory 'expression platform'. Riboswitches have also received considerable attention as important tools in synthetic biology because of their conceptually simple structure and the ability to obtain aptamers that bind almost any conceivable small molecule using in vitro selection (referred to as SELEX). In the design of artificial riboswitches, a significant hurdle has been to couple the two domains enabling their efficient communication. We previously demonstrated that biological transcriptional 'OFF' expression platforms are easily coupled to diverse aptamers, both biological and SELEX-derived, using simple design rules. Here, we present two modular transcriptional 'ON' riboswitch expression platforms that are also capable of hosting foreign aptamers. We demonstrate that these biological parts can be used to facilely generate artificial chimeric riboswitches capable of robustly regulating transcription both in vitro and in vivo. We expect that these modular expression platforms will be of great utility for various synthetic biological applications that use RNA-based biosensors. PMID:23999097

  13. Advancing Biological Understanding and Therapeutics Discovery with Small Molecule Probes

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Stuart L.; Kotz, Joanne D.; Li, Min; Aubé, Jeffrey; Austin, Christopher P.; Reed, John C.; Rosen, Hugh; White, E. Lucile; Sklar, Larry A.; Lindsley, Craig W.; Alexander, Benjamin R.; Bittker, Joshua A.; Clemons, Paul A.; de Souza, Andrea; Foley, Michael A.; Palmer, Michelle; Shamji, Alykhan F.; Wawer, Mathias J.; McManus, Owen; Wu, Meng; Zou, Beiyan; Yu, Haibo; Golden, Jennifer E.; Schoenen, Frank J.; Simeonov, Anton; Jadhav, Ajit; Jackson, Michael R.; Pinkerton, Anthony B.; Chung, Thomas D.Y.; Griffin, Patrick R.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Hodder, Peter S.; Roush, William R.; Roberts, Edward; Chung, Dong-Hoon; Jonsson, Colleen B.; Noah, James W.; Severson, William E.; Ananthan, Subramaniam; Edwards, Bruce; Oprea, Tudor I.; Conn, P. Jeffrey; Hopkins, Corey R.; Wood, Michael R.; Stauffer, Shaun R.; Emmitte, Kyle A.

    2015-01-01

    Small-molecule probes can illuminate biological processes and aid in the assessment of emerging therapeutic targets by perturbing biological systems in a manner distinct from other experimental approaches. Despite the tremendous promise of chemical tools for investigating biology and disease, small-molecule probes were unavailable for most targets and pathways as recently as a decade ago. In 2005, the U.S. National Institutes of Health launched the decade-long Molecular Libraries Program with the intent of innovating in and broadening access to small-molecule science. This Perspective describes how novel small-molecule probes identified through the program are enabling the exploration of biological pathways and therapeutic hypotheses not otherwise testable. These experiences illustrate how small-molecule probes can help bridge the chasm between biological research and the development of medicines, but also highlight the need to innovate the science of therapeutic discovery. PMID:26046436

  14. 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.

  15. Single-molecule Studies of RNA Polymerase: Motoring Along

    PubMed Central

    Herbert, Kristina M.; Greenleaf, William J.; Block, Steven M.

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule techniques have advanced our understanding of transcription by RNA polymerase. A new arsenal of approaches, including single-molecule fluorescence, atomic-force microscopy, magnetic tweezers, and optical traps have been employed to probe the many facets of the transcription cycle. These approaches supply fresh insights into the means by which RNA polymerase identifies a promoter; initiates transcription, translocates and pauses along the DNA template, proofreads errors, and ultimately terminates transcription. Results from single-molecule experiments complement knowledge gained from biochemical and genetic assays by facilitating the observation of states that are otherwise obscured by ensemble averaging, such as those resulting from heterogeneity in molecular structure, elongation rate, or pause propensity. Most studies to date have been performed with bacterial RNA polymerase, but work is also being carried out with eukaryotic polymerase (Pol II) and single-subunit polymerases from bacteriophages. We discuss recent progress achieved by single-molecule studies, highlighting some of the unresolved questions and ongoing debates. PMID:18410247

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Folding and unfolding single RNA molecules under tension

    PubMed Central

    Woodside, Michael T; García-García, Cuauhtémoc; Block, Steven M

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy constitutes a powerful method for probing RNA folding: it allows the kinetic, energetic, and structural properties of intermediate and transition states to be determined quantitatively, yielding new insights into folding pathways and energy landscapes. Recent advances in experimental and theoretical methods, including fluctuation theorems, kinetic theories, novel force clamps, and ultrastable instruments, have opened new avenues for study. These tools have been used to probe folding in simple model systems, for example, RNA and DNA hairpins. Knowledge gained from such systems is helping to build our understanding of more complex RNA structures composed of multiple elements, as well as how nucleic acids interact with proteins involved in key cellular activities, such as transcription and translation. PMID:18786653

  20. 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

  1. A Single-Molecule Study of RNA Catalysis and Folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Xiaowei; Bartley, Laura E.; Babcock, Hazen P.; Russell, Rick; Ha, Taekjip; Herschlag, Daniel; Chu, Steven

    2000-06-01

    Using fluorescence microscopy, we studied the catalysis by and folding of individual Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme molecules . The dye-labeled and surface-immobilized ribozymes used were shown to be functionally indistinguishable from the unmodified free ribozyme in solution. A reversible local folding step in which a duplex docks and undocks from the ribozyme core was observed directly in single-molecule time trajectories, allowing the determination of the rate constants and characterization of the transition state. A rarely populated docked state, not measurable by ensemble methods, was observed. In the overall folding process, intermediate folding states and multiple folding pathways were observed. In addition to observing previously established folding pathways, a pathway with an observed folding rate constant of 1 per second was discovered. These results establish single-molecule fluorescence as a powerful tool for examining RNA folding.

  2. Telomeric repeat-containing RNA TERRA: a noncoding RNA connecting telomere biology to genome integrity.

    PubMed

    Cusanelli, Emilio; Chartrand, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Telomeres are dynamic nucleoprotein structures that protect the ends of chromosomes from degradation and activation of DNA damage response. For this reason, telomeres are essential to genome integrity. Chromosome ends are enriched in heterochromatic marks and proper organization of telomeric chromatin is important to telomere stability. Despite their heterochromatic state, telomeres are transcribed giving rise to long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) called TERRA (telomeric repeat-containing RNA). TERRA molecules play critical roles in telomere biology, including regulation of telomerase activity and heterochromatin formation at chromosome ends. Emerging evidence indicate that TERRA transcripts form DNA-RNA hybrids at chromosome ends which can promote homologous recombination among telomeres, delaying cellular senescence and sustaining genome instability. Intriguingly, TERRA RNA-telomeric DNA hybrids are involved in telomere length homeostasis of telomerase-negative cancer cells. Furthermore, TERRA transcripts play a role in the DNA damage response (DDR) triggered by dysfunctional telomeres. We discuss here recent developments on TERRA's role in telomere biology and genome integrity, and its implication in cancer.

  3. 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.

  4. Origins of the handedness of biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Mason, S F

    1991-01-01

    Pasteur (1860) showed that many organic molecules form enantiomeric pairs with non-superposable mirror-image shapes, characterized by their oppositely signed optical rotation but otherwise apparently identical. Equal numbers of left-handed and right-handed molecules resulted from laboratory synthesis, whereas biosynthetic processes afforded only one of the two enantiomers, leading Pasteur to conclude that biosynthesis involves a chiral force. Fischer demonstrated (1890-1919) that functional biomolecules are composed specifically of the D-sugars and the L-amino acids and that the laboratory synthetic reactions of such molecules propagate with chiral stereoselectivity. Given a primordial enantiomer, biomolecular homochirality follows without the intervention of a chiral natural force, except prebiotically. Chiral forces known at the time were found to be even handed on a time and space average, exemplifying parity conservation (1927). The weak nuclear force, shown to violate parity (1956), was unified with electro-magnetism in the electroweak force (1970). Ab initio estimations including the chiral electroweak force indicate that the L-amino acids and the D-sugars are more stable than the corresponding enantiomers. The small energy difference between these enantiomeric pairs, with Darwinian reaction kinetics in a flow reactor, account for the choice of biomolecular handedness made when life began.

  5. Intramolecular RNA replicase: Possibly the first self-replicating molecule in the RNA world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Wentao; Yu, Chunwu

    2006-08-01

    Although there is more and more evidence suggested the existence of an RNA World during the origin of life, the scenario concerning the origin of the RNA World remains blurry. Usually it is speculated that it originated from a prebiotic nucleotide pool, during which a self-replicating RNA synthesis ribozyme may have emerged as the first ribozyme the RNA replicase. However, there is yet no ersuasive supposition for the mechanism for the self-favouring feature of the replicase, thus the speculation remains unconvincing. Here we suggest that intramolecular catalysis is a possible solution. Two RNA synthesis ribozymes may be integrated into one RNA molecule, as two functional domains which could catalyze the copy of each other. Thus the RNA molecule could self-replicate and be referred to as “intramolecular replicase“ here. Computational simulation to get insight into the dynamic mechanism of emergence of the intramolecular replicase from a nucleotide pool is valuable and would be included in a following work of our group.

  6. A molecular-beacon-based screen for small molecule inhibitors of miRNA maturation.

    PubMed

    Bose, Debojit; Jayaraj, Gopal Gunanathan; Kumar, Santosh; Maiti, Souvik

    2013-05-17

    miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that regulate about 60% of mammalian genes by modulating their transcript levels. Network scale studies of miRNA-mediated regulatory circuits demonstrate the central importance of this class of small RNA in the maintenance of biological robustness. More recently, several reports have described the deregulation of numerous miRNA to be causally associated with many diseases, including cancer. These studies have highlighted the potential for development of therapeutic modalities against miRNA. Previous screening protocols, for small molecules targeting miRNA function, are either costly or technically too complex to be applied in a high-throughput manner in standard chemical laboratories. We describe a simple in vitro screening method using a DNA-based molecular beacon that overcomes the limitations associated with earlier screens. We used this method to identify inhibitors of miR-27a function from a library of 14 aminoglycosides as a pilot study. Inhibitory molecules identified were further scrutinized to identify the validity of screen. With this proof of concept we illustrate the utility of a scalable molecular-beacon-based screening strategy for miRNA inhibitors.

  7. Single-Molecule Spectroscopic Investigations of RNA Structural Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiore, Julie L.; Nesbitt, David J.

    2007-03-01

    To function properly, catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) fold into specific three-dimensional shapes stabilized by multiple tertiary interactions. However, only limited information is available on the contributions of individual tertiary contacts to RNA conformational dynamics. The Tetrahymena ribozymes's P4--P6 domain forms a hinged, ``candy-cane'' structure with parallel helices clamped by two motifs, the GAAA tetraloop-tetraloop receptor and adenosine (A)-rich bulge--P4 helix interactions. Previously, we characterized RNA folding due to a tetraloop-receptor interaction. In this study, we employ time-resolved single-molecule FRET methods to probe A-rich bulge induced structural dynamics. Specifically, fluorescently labeled RNA constructs excited by a pulsed 532 nm laser are detected in the confocal region of an inverted microscope, with each photon sorted by arrival time, color and polarization. We resolve the kinetic dependence of A-rich bulge-P4 helix docking/undocking on cationic environment (e.g. Na^+ and Mg^2+ concentration.) At saturating [Mg^2+], the docked structure appears only weakly stabilized, while only 50% of the molecules exhibit efficient folding.

  8. Intramolecular phenotypic capacitance in a modular RNA molecule

    PubMed Central

    Hayden, Eric J.; Bendixsen, Devin P.; Wagner, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic capacitance refers to the ability of a genome to accumulate mutations that are conditionally hidden and only reveal phenotype-altering effects after certain environmental or genetic changes. Capacitance has important implications for the evolution of novel forms and functions, but experimentally studied mechanisms behind capacitance are mostly limited to complex, multicomponent systems often involving several interacting protein molecules. Here we demonstrate phenotypic capacitance within a much simpler system, an individual RNA molecule with catalytic activity (ribozyme). This naturally occurring RNA molecule has a modular structure, where a scaffold module acts as an intramolecular chaperone that facilitates folding of a second catalytic module. Previous studies have shown that the scaffold module is not absolutely required for activity, but dramatically decreases the concentration of magnesium ions required for the formation of an active site. Here, we use an experimental perturbation of magnesium ion concentration that disrupts the folding of certain genetic variants of this ribozyme and use in vitro selection followed by deep sequencing to identify genotypes with altered phenotypes (catalytic activity). We identify multiple conditional mutations that alter the wild-type ribozyme phenotype under a stressful environmental condition of low magnesium ion concentration, but preserve the phenotype under more relaxed conditions. This conditional buffering is confined to the scaffold module, but controls the catalytic phenotype, demonstrating how modularity can enable phenotypic capacitance within a single macromolecule. RNA’s ancient role in life suggests that phenotypic capacitance may have influenced evolution since life’s origins. PMID:26401020

  9. 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

  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. 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

  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. Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26801011

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-22

    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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:25566800

  19. Deciphering Transcriptional Dynamics In Vivo by Counting Nascent RNA Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Choubey, Sandeep; Kondev, Jane; Sanchez, Alvaro

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Deciphering how the regulatory DNA sequence of a gene dictates its expression in response to intra and extracellular cues is one of the leading challenges in modern genomics. The development of novel single-cell sequencing and imaging techniques, as well as a better exploitation of currently available single-molecule imaging techniques, provides an avenue to interrogate the process of transcription and its dynamics in cells by quantifying the number of RNA polymerases engaged in the transcription of a gene (or equivalently the number of nascent RNAs) at a given moment in time. In this paper, we propose that measurements of the cell-to-cell variability in the number of nascent RNAs provide a mostly unexplored method for deciphering mechanisms of transcription initiation in cells. We propose a simple kinetic model of transcription initiation and elongation from which we calculate nascent RNA copy-number fluctuations. To demonstrate the usefulness of this approach, we test our theory against published nascent RNA data for twelve constitutively expressed yeast genes. Rather than transcription being initiated through a single rate limiting step, as it had been previously proposed, our single-cell analysis reveals the presence of at least two rate limiting steps. Surprisingly, half of the genes analyzed have nearly identical rates of transcription initiation, suggesting a common mechanism. Our analytical framework can be used to extract quantitative information about dynamics of transcription from single-cell sequencing data, as well as from single-molecule imaging and electron micrographs of fixed cells, and provides the mathematical means to exploit the quantitative power of these technologies. PMID:26544860

  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. Three-dimensional Nanowire Structures for Ultra-Fast Separation of DNA, Protein and RNA Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Rahong, Sakon; Yasui, Takao; Yanagida, Takeshi; Nagashima, Kazuki; Kanai, Masaki; Meng, Gang; He, Yong; Zhuge, Fuwei; Kaji, Noritada; Kawai, Tomoji; Baba, Yoshinobu

    2015-01-01

    Separation and analysis of biomolecules represent crucial processes for biological and biomedical engineering development; however, separation resolution and speed for biomolecules analysis still require improvements. To achieve separation and analysis of biomolecules in a short time, the use of highly-ordered nanostructures fabricated by top-down or bottom-up approaches have been proposed. Here, we reported on the use of three-dimensional (3D) nanowire structures embedded in microchannels fabricated by a bottom-up approach for ultrafast separation of small biomolecules, such as DNA, protein, and RNA molecules. The 3D nanowire structures could analyze a mixture of DNA molecules (50–1000 bp) within 50 s, a mixture of protein molecules (20–340 kDa) within 5 s, and a mixture of RNA molecules (100–1000 bases) within 25 s. And, we could observe the electrophoretic mobility difference of biomolecules as a function of molecular size in the 3D nanowire structures. Since the present methodology allows users to control the pore size of sieving materials by varying the number of cycles for nanowire growth, the 3D nanowire structures have a good potential for use as alternatives for other sieving materials. PMID:26073192

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Biologically-supported structural model for a viral satellite RNA

    PubMed Central

    Ashton, Peter; Wu, Baodong; D'Angelo, Jessica; Grigull, Jörg; White, K. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Satellite RNAs (satRNAs) are a class of small parasitic RNA replicon that associate with different viruses, including plus-strand RNA viruses. Because satRNAs do not encode a polymerase or capsid subunit, they rely on a companion virus to provide these proteins for their RNA replication and packaging. SatRNAs recruit these and other required factors via their RNA sequences and structures. Here, through a combination of chemical probing analysis of RNA structure, phylogenetic structural comparisons, and viability assays of satRNA mutants in infected cells, the biological importance of a deduced higher-order structure for a 619 nt long tombusvirus satRNA was assessed. Functionally-relevant secondary and tertiary RNA structures were identified throughout the length of the satRNA. Notably, a 3′-terminal segment was found to adopt two mutually-exclusive RNA secondary structures, both of which were required for efficient satRNA accumulation. Accordingly, these alternative conformations likely function as a type of RNA switch. The RNA switch was also found to engage in a required long-range kissing-loop interaction with an upstream sequence. Collectively, these results establish a high level of conformational complexity within this small parasitic RNA and provide a valuable structural framework for detailed mechanistic studies. PMID:26384416

  5. mRNA capping: biological functions and applications.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-19

    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

  6. mRNA capping: biological functions and applications.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-19

    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.

  7. 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

  8. RNA triplexes: from structural principles to biological and biotech applications.

    PubMed

    Devi, Gitali; Zhou, Yuan; Zhong, Zhensheng; Toh, Desiree-Faye Kaixin; Chen, Gang

    2015-01-01

    The diverse biological functions of RNA are determined by the complex structures of RNA stabilized by both secondary and tertiary interactions. An RNA triplex is an important tertiary structure motif that is found in many pseudoknots and other structured RNAs. A triplex structure usually forms through tertiary interactions in the major or minor groove of a Watson-Crick base-paired stem. A major-groove RNA triplex structure is stable in isolation by forming consecutive major-groove base triples such as U·A-U and C(+) ·G-C. Minor-groove RNA triplexes, e.g., A-minor motif triplexes, are found in almost all large structured RNAs. As double-stranded RNA stem regions are often involved in biologically important tertiary triplex structure formation and protein binding, the ability to sequence specifically target any desired RNA duplexes by triplex formation would have great potential for biomedical applications. Programmable chemically modified triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) and triplex-forming peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) have been developed to form TFO·RNA2 and PNA·RNA2 triplexes, respectively, with enhanced binding affinity and sequence specificity at physiological conditions. Here, we (1) provide an overview of naturally occurring RNA triplexes, (2) summarize the experimental methods for studying triplexes, and (3) review the development of TFOs and triplex-forming PNAs for targeting an HIV-1 ribosomal frameshift-inducing RNA, a bacterial ribosomal A-site RNA, and a human microRNA hairpin precursor, and for inhibiting the RNA-protein interactions involving human RNA-dependent protein kinase and HIV-1 viral protein Rev.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The technology and biology of single-cell RNA sequencing.

    PubMed

    Kolodziejczyk, Aleksandra A; Kim, Jong Kyoung; Svensson, Valentine; Marioni, John C; Teichmann, Sarah A

    2015-05-21

    The differences between individual cells can have profound functional consequences, in both unicellular and multicellular organisms. Recently developed single-cell mRNA-sequencing methods enable unbiased, high-throughput, and high-resolution transcriptomic analysis of individual cells. This provides an additional dimension to transcriptomic information relative to traditional methods that profile bulk populations of cells. Already, single-cell RNA-sequencing methods have revealed new biology in terms of the composition of tissues, the dynamics of transcription, and the regulatory relationships between genes. Rapid technological developments at the level of cell capture, phenotyping, molecular biology, and bioinformatics promise an exciting future with numerous biological and medical applications. PMID:26000846

  13. Target identification for biologically active small molecules using chemical biology approaches.

    PubMed

    Lee, Heesu; Lee, Jae Wook

    2016-09-01

    The identification and validation of the targets of biologically active molecules is an important step in the field of chemical biology. While recent advances in proteomic and genomic technology have accelerated this identification process, the discovery of small molecule targets remains the most challenging step. A general method for the identification of these small molecule targets has not yet been established. To overcome the difficulty in target identification, new technology derived from the fields of genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics has been developed. To date, pull-down methods using small molecules immobilized on a solid support followed by mass spectrometry have been the most successful approach. Here, we discuss current procedures for target identification. We also review the most recent target identification approaches and present several examples that illustrate advanced target identification technology.

  14. 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.

  15. Novel nuclear magnetic resonance techniques for studying biological molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, David D.

    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 ({phi}/{psi}) dihedral angles by comparing experimentally determined {sup 13}C{sub a}, 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 {alpha}-helical and {beta}-sheet conformers in the solid state, the aggregates formed from the PrP 89-143 mutants appear to be mostly {beta}-sheet.

  16. Transcription by single molecules of RNA polymerase observed by light microscopy.

    PubMed

    Schafer, D A; Gelles, J; Sheetz, M P; Landick, R

    1991-08-01

    The kinetics of transcription by Escherichia coli RNA polymerase relate directly to the regulation of transcription and to the properties of processive enzymes in general, but analysis of RNA polymerase movement along the DNA template has so far been limited to the study of populations of enzyme molecules. The ability to view nanometre-sized particles with the light microscope suggested a method of monitoring transcription by individual RNA polymerase molecules. We describe here the behaviour of 40-nm-diameter particles of colloidal gold attached to the ends of DNA molecules being transcribed by RNA polymerase immobilized on a glass surface. The tethered gold particles are released from the surface at times after addition of nucleoside triphosphates that are consistent with the kinetics of transcription by RNA polymerase in solution. Analysis of the brownian motion of the gold particles enabled us to measure the movement along the template DNA of individual polymerase molecules.

  17. Telomeric noncoding RNA TERRA is induced by telomere shortening to nucleate telomerase molecules at short telomeres.

    PubMed

    Cusanelli, Emilio; Romero, Carmina Angelica Perez; Chartrand, Pascal

    2013-09-26

    Elongation of a short telomere depends on the action of multiple telomerase molecules, which are visible as telomerase RNA foci or clusters associated with telomeres in yeast and mammalian cells. How several telomerase molecules act on a single short telomere is unknown. Herein, we report that the telomeric noncoding RNA TERRA is involved in the nucleation of telomerase molecules into clusters prior to their recruitment at a short telomere. We find that telomere shortening induces TERRA expression, leading to the accumulation of TERRA molecules into a nuclear focus. Simultaneous time-lapse imaging of telomerase RNA and TERRA reveals spontaneous events of telomerase nucleation on TERRA foci in early S phase, generating TERRA-telomerase clusters. This cluster is subsequently recruited to the short telomere from which TERRA transcripts originate during S phase. We propose that telomere shortening induces noncoding RNA expression to coordinate the recruitment and activity of telomerase molecules at short telomeres.

  18. Recoding aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases for synthetic biology by rational protein-RNA engineering.

    PubMed

    Hadd, Andrew; Perona, John J

    2014-12-19

    We have taken a rational approach to redesigning the amino acid binding and aminoacyl-tRNA pairing specificities of bacterial glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase. The four-stage engineering incorporates generalizable design principles and improves the pairing efficiency of noncognate glutamate with tRNA(Gln) by over 10(5)-fold compared to the wild-type enzyme. Better optimized designs of the protein-RNA complex include substantial reengineering of the globular core region of the tRNA, demonstrating a role for specific tRNA nucleotides in specifying the identity of the genetically encoded amino acid. Principles emerging from this engineering effort open new prospects for combining rational and genetic selection approaches to design novel aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases that ligate noncanonical amino acids onto tRNAs. This will facilitate reconstruction of the cellular translation apparatus for applications in synthetic biology. PMID:25310879

  19. Visualizing repetitive diffusion activity of double-strand RNA binding proteins by single molecule fluorescence assays.

    PubMed

    Koh, Hye Ran; Wang, Xinlei; Myong, Sua

    2016-08-01

    TRBP, one of double strand RNA binding proteins (dsRBPs), is an essential cofactor of Dicer in the RNA interference pathway. Previously we reported that TRBP exhibits repetitive diffusion activity on double strand (ds)RNA in an ATP independent manner. In the TRBP-Dicer complex, the diffusion mobility of TRBP facilitates Dicer-mediated RNA cleavage. Such repetitive diffusion of dsRBPs on a nucleic acid at the nanometer scale can be appropriately captured by several single molecule detection techniques. Here, we provide a step-by-step guide to four different single molecule fluorescence assays by which the diffusion activity of dsRBPs on dsRNA can be detected. One color assay, termed protein induced fluorescence enhancement enables detection of unlabeled protein binding and diffusion on a singly labeled RNA. Two-color Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) in which labeled dsRBPs is applied to labeled RNA, allows for probing the motion of protein along the RNA axis. Three color FRET reports on the diffusion movement of dsRBPs from one to the other end of RNA. The single molecule pull down assay provides an opportunity to collect dsRBPs from mammalian cells and examine the protein-RNA interaction at single molecule platform. PMID:27012177

  20. 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.

  1. The 7th Japan-Korea chemical biology symposium: chemical biology of natural bioactive molecules.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Ramesh Prasad; Kwon, Ho Jeong; Ahn, Jong Seog; Osada, Hiroyuki; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2014-05-16

    Natural bioactive molecules possess supreme chemical diversity and drug-like properties and are an important source for drug lead compounds. At the seventh Japan-Korea Chemical Biology Symposium at Jeju Island, Korea, chemical biologists from Korea and Japan highlighted the remarkable features of natural products and their significance.

  2. Localization of single biological molecules out of the focal plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardini, L.; Capitanio, M.; Pavone, F. S.

    2014-03-01

    Since the behaviour of proteins and biological molecules is tightly related to the cell's environment, more and more microscopy techniques are moving from in vitro to in living cells experiments. Looking at both diffusion and active transportation processes inside a cell requires three-dimensional localization over a few microns range, high SNR images and high temporal resolution (ms order of magnitude). We developed an apparatus that combines different microscopy techniques to satisfy all the technical requirements for 3D tracking of single fluorescent molecules inside living cells with nanometer accuracy. To account for the optical sectioning of thick samples we built up a HILO (Highly Inclined and Laminated Optical sheet) microscopy system through which we can excite the sample in a widefield (WF) configuration by a thin sheet of light that can follow the molecule up and down along the z axis spanning the entire thickness of the cell with a SNR much higher than traditional WF microscopy. Since protein dynamics inside a cell involve all three dimensions, we included a method to measure the x, y, and z coordinates with nanometer accuracy, exploiting the properties of the point-spread-function of out-of-focus quantum dots bound to the protein of interest. Finally, a feedback system stabilizes the microscope from thermal drifts, assuring accurate localization during the entire duration of the experiment.

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

    PubMed

    Snyder, Lewis E

    2006-08-15

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Observations of large biologically important interstellar and cometary molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Remijan, Anthony John

    There has been much interest in recent years in astronomical searches for large biologically-important molecules which possess known millimeter wavelength transitions. Biologically-important species include amino acids, possible precursors to amino acids, and other biologically interesting molecules. This thesis continued the search for large biomolecules towards hot molecular cores (HMCs) associated with ultracompact (HC) HII regions and comets. First, we followed up the detection of acetic acid (CH3COOH) towards Sgr B2(N-LMH) by performing a survey of transitions with large line strengths toward several hot core regions. There has been great interest in searching a variety of star forming regions for interstellar acetic acid because it shares common structural elements with glycine (NH2CH2 COOH), the simplest amino acid, and because it is an isomer to both methyl formate (HCOOCH3) and glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO). In our survey we detected two new sources of acetic acid and placed constraints on the detectability of acetic acid elsewhere with current generation radio telescopes. Second, in order to study the physical conditions that lead to the formation of large biomolecules toward HMCs, we observed the hot core regions W51 e1 and e2 using the symmetric top species methyl cyanide (CH3CN). Symmetric tops have properties that make them ideal probes of hot molecular cores. Thus, we obtained better measurements of the physical conditions present in these regions and a better understanding of the chemistry that forms large molecular species. Third, using multiply degenerate transitions in both the 3 mm and 1 mm wavelength regions, we conducted the most extensive survey for the elusive biomolecule urea [(NH2)2CO] toward the high mass hot molecular core sources, Sgr B2(N-LMH) and W51 e2. As a result, our spectral line data support the first detection of interstellar urea toward Sgr B2(N-LMH). Finally, we discuss the observational results of an extensive survey for

  6. RNA Systems Biology for Cancer: From Diagnosis to Therapy.

    PubMed

    Amirkhah, Raheleh; Farazmand, Ali; Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Schmitz, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    It is due to the advances in high-throughput omics data generation that RNA species have re-entered the focus of biomedical research. International collaborate efforts, like the ENCODE and GENCODE projects, have spawned thousands of previously unknown functional non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) with various but primarily regulatory roles. Many of these are linked to the emergence and progression of human diseases. In particular, interdisciplinary studies integrating bioinformatics, systems biology, and biotechnological approaches have successfully characterized the role of ncRNAs in different human cancers. These efforts led to the identification of a new tool-kit for cancer diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment, which is now starting to enter and impact on clinical practice. This chapter is to elaborate on the state of the art in RNA systems biology, including a review and perspective on clinical applications toward an integrative RNA systems medicine approach. The focus is on the role of ncRNAs in cancer.

  7. Nanosecond and femtosecond laser spectroscopy of molecules of biological interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villani, P.; Orlando, S.; Santagata, A.; De Bonis, A.; Veronesi, S.; Giardini, A.

    2007-07-01

    This paper mainly concerns on nanosecond and femtosecond laser spectroscopy of aromatic organic compounds as neurotransmitters, and plume diagnostics of the ablated species, in order to characterize the plasma dynamics, i.e. the temporal and spatial evolution of the plume. Optical emission spectroscopy has been applied to characterize the transient species produced in the femtosecond (fs) and nanosecond (ns) regimes. The laser sources employed for optical emission spectroscopy are a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG Handy ( λ = 532 nm, τ = 5 ns) and a frequency-doubled Nd:glass ( λ = 527 nm, τ = 250 fs). These studies aim to detect and give information on the photoexcitation and photodissociation of these biological molecules and to compare the plasma characteristics in the two ablation regimes.

  8. GW bodies: from RNA biology to clinical implications in autoimmunity.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Esparza, Rafael; Pacheco-Tovar, Deyanira; Avalos-Diaz, Esperanza

    2008-01-01

    Evaluation of: Lian S, Fritzler M, Katz J et al. Small interfering RNA-mediated silencing induces target-dependent assembly of GW/P bodies. Mol. Biol. Cell 18, 3375-3387 (2007). GW bodies (GWBs) are also known as mammalian processing bodies and are involved in 5 -3 mRNA degradation. Conversely, siRNA is a powerful tool for silencing genes. Recently, components of RNAi have been associated with GWBs, but as more components of this complex pathway become known, such relationships remain to be clarified. This paper evaluates the induction of GWBs by siRNA transfection. The main results of these studies indicate that siRNA increased the GWBs, such an increase is also dependent on the endogenous expression of the target mRNA; siRNA increases require GW182 or Ago-2 proteins, but not rck/p54 or LSm1. Results of the present studies propose a regulatory function of RNAi in GWB assembly; therefore, cell biology implications of GWBs may open a new area in pathogenic mechanisms of autoimmunity. PMID:20477583

  9. The replication of cymbidium ringspot tombusvirus defective interfering-satellite RNA hybrid molecules.

    PubMed

    Burgyán, J; Dalmay, T; Rubino, L; Russo, M

    1992-10-01

    A DNA copy of DI RNA of cymbidium ringspot tombusvirus was cloned downstream of a phage T7 promoter. In vitro-transcribed RNA replicated in Nicotiana clevelandii when co-inoculated with full-length viral genomic RNA transcripts and protected plants from apical necrosis. Artificial deletion mutants derived from the DI RNA clone showed that most of the central sequence block is necessary for replication. Hybrid DI RNA-satRNA clones were prepared and in vitro-synthesized RNA was inoculated to plants in the presence of helper viral RNA. There was replication only of in vitro transcripts derived from hybrid clones where satRNA sequences were inserted upstream or downstream from the central block, but not of those derived from clones where satRNA sequence replaced the central block. Progeny RNA of biologically active clones was either full-length or showed deletions depending on the insertion of satRNA sequences in DI RNA. DI RNA-satRNA constructs having part of the 5' region exchanged were not replicated.

  10. Different combinations of atomic interactions predict protein-small molecule and protein-DNA/RNA affinities with similar accuracy.

    PubMed

    Dias, Raquel; Kolazckowski, Bryan

    2015-11-01

    Interactions between proteins and other molecules play essential roles in all biological processes. Although it is widely held that a protein's ligand specificity is determined primarily by its three-dimensional structure, the general principles by which structure determines ligand binding remain poorly understood. Here we use statistical analyses of a large number of protein-ligand complexes with associated binding-affinity measurements to quantitatively characterize how combinations of atomic interactions contribute to ligand affinity. We find that there are significant differences in how atomic interactions determine ligand affinity for proteins that bind small chemical ligands, those that bind DNA/RNA and those that interact with other proteins. Although protein-small molecule and protein-DNA/RNA binding affinities can be accurately predicted from structural data, models predicting one type of interaction perform poorly on the others. Additionally, the particular combinations of atomic interactions required to predict binding affinity differed between small-molecule and DNA/RNA data sets, consistent with the conclusion that the structural bases determining ligand affinity differ among interaction types. In contrast to what we observed for small-molecule and DNA/RNA interactions, no statistical models were capable of predicting protein-protein affinity with >60% correlation. We demonstrate the potential usefulness of protein-DNA/RNA binding prediction as a possible tool for high-throughput virtual screening to guide laboratory investigations, suggesting that quantitative characterization of diverse molecular interactions may have practical applications as well as fundamentally advancing our understanding of how molecular structure translates into function.

  11. Different combinations of atomic interactions predict protein‐small molecule and protein‐DNA/RNA affinities with similar accuracy

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Raquel

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Interactions between proteins and other molecules play essential roles in all biological processes. Although it is widely held that a protein's ligand specificity is determined primarily by its three‐dimensional structure, the general principles by which structure determines ligand binding remain poorly understood. Here we use statistical analyses of a large number of protein−ligand complexes with associated binding‐affinity measurements to quantitatively characterize how combinations of atomic interactions contribute to ligand affinity. We find that there are significant differences in how atomic interactions determine ligand affinity for proteins that bind small chemical ligands, those that bind DNA/RNA and those that interact with other proteins. Although protein‐small molecule and protein‐DNA/RNA binding affinities can be accurately predicted from structural data, models predicting one type of interaction perform poorly on the others. Additionally, the particular combinations of atomic interactions required to predict binding affinity differed between small‐molecule and DNA/RNA data sets, consistent with the conclusion that the structural bases determining ligand affinity differ among interaction types. In contrast to what we observed for small‐molecule and DNA/RNA interactions, no statistical models were capable of predicting protein−protein affinity with >60% correlation. We demonstrate the potential usefulness of protein‐DNA/RNA binding prediction as a possible tool for high‐throughput virtual screening to guide laboratory investigations, suggesting that quantitative characterization of diverse molecular interactions may have practical applications as well as fundamentally advancing our understanding of how molecular structure translates into function. Proteins 2015; 83:2100–2114. © 2015 The Authors. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26370248

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Single-molecule RNA detection at depth by hybridization chain reaction and tissue hydrogel embedding and clearing

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Sheel; Lubeck, Eric; Schwarzkopf, Maayan; He, Ting-Fang; Greenbaum, Alon; Sohn, Chang Ho; Lignell, Antti; Choi, Harry M. T.; Gradinaru, Viviana; Pierce, Niles A.

    2016-01-01

    Accurate and robust detection of mRNA molecules in thick tissue samples can reveal gene expression patterns in single cells within their native environment. Preserving spatial relationships while accessing the transcriptome of selected cells is a crucial feature for advancing many biological areas – from developmental biology to neuroscience. However, because of the high autofluorescence background of many tissue samples, it is difficult to detect single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) signals robustly in opaque thick samples. Here, we draw on principles from the emerging discipline of dynamic nucleic acid nanotechnology to develop a robust method for multi-color, multi-RNA imaging in deep tissues using single-molecule hybridization chain reaction (smHCR). Using this approach, single transcripts can be imaged using epifluorescence, confocal or selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) depending on the imaging depth required. We show that smHCR has high sensitivity in detecting mRNAs in cell culture and whole-mount zebrafish embryos, and that combined with SPIM and PACT (passive CLARITY technique) tissue hydrogel embedding and clearing, smHCR can detect single mRNAs deep within thick (0.5 mm) brain slices. By simultaneously achieving ∼20-fold signal amplification and diffraction-limited spatial resolution, smHCR offers a robust and versatile approach for detecting single mRNAs in situ, including in thick tissues where high background undermines the performance of unamplified smFISH. PMID:27342713

  15. Single-molecule RNA detection at depth by hybridization chain reaction and tissue hydrogel embedding and clearing.

    PubMed

    Shah, Sheel; Lubeck, Eric; Schwarzkopf, Maayan; He, Ting-Fang; Greenbaum, Alon; Sohn, Chang Ho; Lignell, Antti; Choi, Harry M T; Gradinaru, Viviana; Pierce, Niles A; Cai, Long

    2016-08-01

    Accurate and robust detection of mRNA molecules in thick tissue samples can reveal gene expression patterns in single cells within their native environment. Preserving spatial relationships while accessing the transcriptome of selected cells is a crucial feature for advancing many biological areas - from developmental biology to neuroscience. However, because of the high autofluorescence background of many tissue samples, it is difficult to detect single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) signals robustly in opaque thick samples. Here, we draw on principles from the emerging discipline of dynamic nucleic acid nanotechnology to develop a robust method for multi-color, multi-RNA imaging in deep tissues using single-molecule hybridization chain reaction (smHCR). Using this approach, single transcripts can be imaged using epifluorescence, confocal or selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) depending on the imaging depth required. We show that smHCR has high sensitivity in detecting mRNAs in cell culture and whole-mount zebrafish embryos, and that combined with SPIM and PACT (passive CLARITY technique) tissue hydrogel embedding and clearing, smHCR can detect single mRNAs deep within thick (0.5 mm) brain slices. By simultaneously achieving ∼20-fold signal amplification and diffraction-limited spatial resolution, smHCR offers a robust and versatile approach for detecting single mRNAs in situ, including in thick tissues where high background undermines the performance of unamplified smFISH. PMID:27342713

  16. 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. PMID:26202202

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:20953048

  19. 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.

  20. Selection and Characterization of Small Molecules That Bind the HIV-1 Frameshift Site RNA

    PubMed Central

    Marcheschi, Ryan J.; Mouzakis, Kathryn D.; Butcher, Samuel E.

    2009-01-01

    HIV-1 requires a −1 translational frameshift to properly synthesize the viral enzymes required for replication. The frameshift mechanism is dependent upon two RNA elements, a seven-nucleotide slippery sequence (UUUUUUA) and a downstream RNA structure. Frameshifting occurs with a frequency of ~5%, and increasing or decreasing this frequency may result in a decrease in viral replication. Here, we report the results of a high-throughput screen designed to find small molecules that bind to the HIV-1 frameshift site RNA. Out of 34,500 compounds screened, 202 were identified as positive hits. We show that one of these compounds, doxorubicin, binds the HIV-1 RNA with low micromolar affinity (Kd = 2.8 μM). This binding was confirmed and localized to the RNA using NMR. Further analysis revealed that this compound increased the RNA stability by approximately 5 °C and decreased translational frameshifting by 28% (±14%), as measured in vitro. PMID:19673541

  1. Applications of Two-Photon Absorption in Medicine and Biology Enabled by Specially Designed Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drobizhev, M.

    2008-05-01

    We quantitatively study how the two-photon absorption (2PA) properties of biological molecules depend on their structure. 2PA is advantageous over regular one-photon absorption because of deeper penetration and more localized excitation in biological tissues. However, 2PA cross sections of biological chromophores are usually rather small to be useful in real life applications. Using quantum-mechanical few-level description of molecular electronic states, we interpret our data and predict new structures with considerably increased 2PA cross sections. These new materials either synthesized or genetically engineered make 2PA-based techniques applicable in medicine and biology. We show how our new porphyrin photosensitizers with drastically enhanced 2PA (˜1000 times compared to regular porphyrins) can be used for in vivo two-photon-induced closing of blood vessels in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The second example describes the application of fluorescent proteins in two-photon laser microscopy of biological cells. We demonstrate how the 2PA properties of fluorescent proteins can be considerably improved by smart mutations of the environment of chromophore inside the protein.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-16

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Single Fluorescent Molecules as Nano-Illuminators for Biological Structure and Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moerner, W. E.

    2011-03-01

    Since the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in a solid (Phys. Rev. Lett. {62}, 2535 (1989)), much has been learned about the ability of single molecules to probe local nanoenvironments and individual behavior in biological and nonbiological materials in the absence of ensemble averaging that can obscure heterogeneity. Because each single fluorophore acts a light source roughly 1 nm in size, microscopic imaging of individual fluorophores leads naturally to superlocalization, or determination of the position of the molecule with precision beyond the optical diffraction limit, simply by digitization of the point-spread function from the single emitter. For example, the shape of single filaments in a living cell can be extracted simply by allowing a single molecule to move through the filament (PNAS {103}, 10929 (2006)). The addition of photoinduced control of single-molecule emission allows imaging beyond the diffraction limit (super-resolution) and a new array of acronyms (PALM, STORM, F-PALM etc.) and advances have appeared. We have used the native blinking and switching of a common yellow-emitting variant of green fluorescent protein (EYFP) reported more than a decade ago (Nature {388}, 355 (1997)) to achieve sub-40 nm super-resolution imaging of several protein structures in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus: the quasi-helix of the actin-like protein MreB (Nat. Meth. {5}, 947 (2008)), the cellular distribution of the DNA binding protein HU (submitted), and the recently discovered division spindle composed of ParA filaments (Nat. Cell Biol. {12}, 791 (2010)). Even with these advances, better emitters would provide more photons and improved resolution, and a new photoactivatable small-molecule emitter has recently been synthesized and targeted to specific structures in living cells to provide super-resolution images (JACS {132}, 15099 (2010)). Finally, a new optical method for extracting three-dimensional position information based on

  9. TOPICAL REVIEW: Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritort, F.

    2006-08-01

    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.

  10. Small molecules targeting microRNA for cancer therapy: Promises and obstacles.

    PubMed

    Wen, Di; Danquah, Michael; Chaudhary, Amit Kumar; Mahato, Ram I

    2015-12-10

    Aberrant expression of miRNAs is critically implicated in cancer initiation and progression. Therapeutic approaches focused on regulating miRNAs are therefore a promising approach for treating cancer. Antisense oligonucleotides, miRNA sponges, and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing systems are being investigated as tools for regulating miRNAs. Despite the accruing insights in the use of these tools, delivery concerns have mitigated clinical application of such systems. In contrast, little attention has been given to the potential of small molecules to modulate miRNA expression for cancer therapy. In these years, many researches proved that small molecules targeting cancer-related miRNAs might have greater potential for cancer treatment. Small molecules targeting cancer related miRNAs showed significantly promising results in different cancer models. However, there are still several obstacles hindering the progress and clinical application in this area. This review discusses the development, mechanisms and application of small molecules for modulating oncogenic miRNAs (oncomiRs). Attention has also been given to screening technologies and perspectives aimed to facilitate clinical translation for small molecule-based miRNA therapeutics.

  11. Comparison of CAGE and RNA-seq transcriptome profiling using clonally amplified and single-molecule next-generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Kawaji, Hideya; Lizio, Marina; Itoh, Masayoshi; Kanamori-Katayama, Mutsumi; Kaiho, Ai; Nishiyori-Sueki, Hiromi; Shin, Jay W; Kojima-Ishiyama, Miki; Kawano, Mitsuoki; Murata, Mitsuyoshi; Ninomiya-Fukuda, Noriko; Ishikawa-Kato, Sachi; Nagao-Sato, Sayaka; Noma, Shohei; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Forrest, Alistair R R; Carninci, Piero

    2014-04-01

    CAGE (cap analysis gene expression) and RNA-seq are two major technologies used to identify transcript abundances as well as structures. They measure expression by sequencing from either the 5' end of capped molecules (CAGE) or tags randomly distributed along the length of a transcript (RNA-seq). Library protocols for clonally amplified (Illumina, SOLiD, 454 Life Sciences [Roche], Ion Torrent), second-generation sequencing platforms typically employ PCR preamplification prior to clonal amplification, while third-generation, single-molecule sequencers can sequence unamplified libraries. Although these transcriptome profiling platforms have been demonstrated to be individually reproducible, no systematic comparison has been carried out between them. Here we compare CAGE, using both second- and third-generation sequencers, and RNA-seq, using a second-generation sequencer based on a panel of RNA mixtures from two human cell lines to examine power in the discrimination of biological states, detection of differentially expressed genes, linearity of measurements, and quantification reproducibility. We found that the quantified levels of gene expression are largely comparable across platforms and conclude that CAGE and RNA-seq are complementary technologies that can be used to improve incomplete gene models. We also found systematic bias in the second- and third-generation platforms, which is likely due to steps such as linker ligation, cleavage by restriction enzymes, and PCR amplification. This study provides a perspective on the performance of these platforms, which will be a baseline in the design of further experiments to tackle complex transcriptomes uncovered in a wide range of cell types.

  12. The aims of systems biology: between molecules and organisms.

    PubMed

    Noble, D

    2011-05-01

    The systems approach to biology has a long history. Its recent rapid resurgence at the turn of the century reflects the problems encountered in interpreting the sequencing of the genome and the failure of that immense achievement to provide rapid and direct solutions to major multi-factorial diseases. This paper argues that systems biology is necessarily multilevel and that there is no privileged level of causality in biological systems. It is an approach rather than a separate discipline. Functionality arises from biological networks that interact with the genome, the environment and the phenotype. This view of biology is very different from the gene-centred views of neo-Darwinism and molecular biology. In neuroscience, the systems approach leads naturally to 2 important conclusions: first, that the idea of 'programs' in the brain is confusing, and second, that the self is better interpreted as a process than as an object.

  13. Silencing stromal interaction molecule 1 by RNA interference inhibits the proliferation and migration of endothelial progenitor cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kuang, Chun-yan; Yu, Yang; Guo, Rui-wei; Qian, De-hui; Wang, Kui; Den, Meng-yang; Shi, Yan-kun; Huang, Lan

    2010-07-23

    Research highlights: {yields} STIM1 and TRPC1 are expressed in EPCs. {yields} Knockdown of STIM1 inhibits the proliferation, migration and SOCE of EPCs. {yields} TRPC1-SOC cooperates with STIM1 to mediate the SOCE of EPCs. -- Abstract: Knockdown of stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) significantly suppresses neointima hyperplasia after vascular injury. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are the major source of cells that respond to endothelium repair and contribute to re-endothelialization by reducing neointima formation after vascular injury. We hypothesized that the effect of STIM1 on neointima hyperplasia inhibition is mediated through its effect on the biological properties of EPCs. In this study, we investigated the effects of STIM1 on the proliferation and migration of EPCs and examined the effect of STIM1 knockdown using cultured rat bone marrow-derived EPCs. STIM1 was expressed in EPCs, and knockdown of STIM1 by adenoviral delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly suppressed the proliferation and migration of EPCs. Furthermore, STIM1 knockdown decreased store-operated channel entry 48 h after transfection. Replenishment with recombinant human STIM1 reversed the effects of STIM1 knockdown. Our data suggest that the store-operated transient receptor potential canonical 1 channel is involved in regulating the biological properties of EPCs through STIM1. STIM1 is a potent regulator of cell proliferation and migration in rat EPCs and may play an important role in the biological properties of EPCs.

  14. High-throughput purification of double-stranded RNA molecules using convective interaction media monolithic anion exchange columns.

    PubMed

    Romanovskaya, Alesia; Sarin, L Peter; Bamford, Dennis H; Poranen, Minna M

    2013-02-22

    Recent advances in the field of RNA interference and new cost-effective approaches for large-scale double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) synthesis have fuelled the demand for robust high-performance purification techniques suitable for dsRNA molecules of various lengths. To address this issue, we developed an improved dsRNA purification method based on anion exchange chromatography utilizing convective interaction media (CIM) monolithic columns. To evaluate column performance we synthesized a selection of dsRNA molecules (58-1810 bp) in a one-step enzymatic reaction involving bacteriophage T7 DNA-dependent RNA polymerase and phi6 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. In addition, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) of 25-27 bp were generated by Dicer digestion of the genomic dsRNA of bacteriophage phi6. We demonstrated that linearly scalable CIM monolithic quaternary amine (QA) columns can be used as a fast and superior alternative to standard purification methods (e.g. LiCl precipitation) to obtain highly pure dsRNA preparations. The impurities following Dicer treatment were quickly and efficiently removed with the QA CIM monolithic column, yielding siRNA molecules of high purity suitable for potential therapeutic applications. Moreover, baseline separation of dsRNA molecules up to 1 kb in non-denaturing conditions was achieved.

  15. Potent Host-Directed Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Myxovirus RNA-Dependent RNA-Polymerases

    PubMed Central

    Krumm, Stefanie A.; Ndungu, J. Maina; Yoon, Jeong-Joong; Dochow, Melanie; Sun, Aiming; Natchus, Michael; Snyder, James P.; Plemper, Richard K.

    2011-01-01

    Therapeutic targeting of host cell factors required for virus replication rather than of pathogen components opens new perspectives to counteract virus infections. Anticipated advantages of this approach include a heightened barrier against the development of viral resistance and a broadened pathogen target spectrum. Myxoviruses are predominantly associated with acute disease and thus are particularly attractive for this approach since treatment time can be kept limited. To identify inhibitor candidates, we have analyzed hit compounds that emerged from a large-scale high-throughput screen for their ability to block replication of members of both the orthomyxovirus and paramyxovirus families. This has returned a compound class with broad anti-viral activity including potent inhibition of different influenza virus and paramyxovirus strains. After hit-to-lead chemistry, inhibitory concentrations are in the nanomolar range in the context of immortalized cell lines and human PBMCs. The compound shows high metabolic stability when exposed to human S-9 hepatocyte subcellular fractions. Antiviral activity is host-cell species specific and most pronounced in cells of higher mammalian origin, supporting a host-cell target. While the compound induces a temporary cell cycle arrest, host mRNA and protein biosynthesis are largely unaffected and treated cells maintain full metabolic activity. Viral replication is blocked at a post-entry step and resembles the inhibition profile of a known inhibitor of viral RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase (RdRp) activity. Direct assessment of RdRp activity in the presence of the reagent reveals strong inhibition both in the context of viral infection and in reporter-based minireplicon assays. In toto, we have identified a compound class with broad viral target range that blocks host factors required for viral RdRp activity. Viral adaptation attempts did not induce resistance after prolonged exposure, in contrast to rapid adaptation to a pathogen

  16. 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. PMID:25225596

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Investigation of RNA Polymerase I Transcription under Force-Free Condition by Single Molecule Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ucuncuoglu, Suleyman; Schneider, David A.; Dunlap, David; Finzi, Laura

    2014-03-01

    RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) conducts more than 60% of all the transcriptional activity in cells and also is responsible for synthesizing the RNA structure of the ribosome in eukaryotic cells. It is evident in many studies that Pol I transcription is affected by tumor suppressors and oncogenes which makes Pol I as a target for the anticancer therapeutics. The mechanistic pathways and kinetics of the Pol I transcription needs to be understood more precisely. Even though previous bulk studies measured the kinetics of the Pol I transcription, the results may hinder the intermediate states such as processivity and pausing during elongation. Here we used the single molecule approach to show that Pol I pauses more than Pol II during elongation step by using a novel single molecule instrument, multiplexed tethered particle motion microscopy (TPM). Our in-house developed TPM equipment is able to concurrently observe hundreds of single molecules. TPM technique has a major advantage to observe pausing under force-free condition unlike other single molecule techniques such as magnetic tweezers and optical tweezers. We also report that the processivity of Pol I is very low where only one out of fifteen transcription event reached the run-off site. We anticipate that our single molecule assays paved the way for observing more sophisticated aspects of Pol I transcription and it's relation with initiation and transcriptional factors.

  1. Single-Molecule Study of Proteins by Biological Nanopore Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Dongmei; Bi, Sheng; Zhang, Liyu; Yang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Nanopore technology has been developed for detecting properties of proteins through monitoring of ionic current modulations as protein passes via a nanosize pore. As a real-time, sensitive, selective and stable technology, biological nanopores are of widespread concern. Here, we introduce the background of nanopore researches in the area of α-hemolysin (α-HL) nanopores in protein conformation detections and protein–ligand interactions. Moreover, several original biological nanopores are also introduced with various features and functions. PMID:25268917

  2. 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.

  3. Elucidation of the Mechanism of Gene Silencing using Small Interferin RNA: DNA Hybrid Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Dugan, L

    2006-02-08

    The recent discovery that short hybrid RNA:DNA molecules (siHybrids) induce long-term silencing of gene expression in mammalian cells conflicts with the currently hypothesized mechanisms explaining the action of small, interfering RNA (siRNA). As a first step to elucidating the mechanism for this effect, we set out to quantify the delivery of siHybrids and determine their cellular localization in mammalian cells. We then tracked the segregation of the siHybrids into daughter cells after cell division. Markers for siHybrid delivery were shown to enter cells with and without the use of a transfection agent. Furthermore, delivery without transfection agent only occurred after a delay of 2-4 hours, suggesting a degradation process occurring in the cell culture media. Therefore, we studied the effects of nucleases and backbone modifications on the stability of siHybrids under cell culture conditions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Single molecule fluorescence microscopy for ultra-sensitive RNA expression profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesse, Jan; Jacak, Jaroslaw; Regl, Gerhard; Eichberger, Thomas; Aberger, Fritz; Schlapak, Robert; Howorka, Stefan; Muresan, Leila; Frischauf, Anna-Maria; Schütz, Gerhard J.

    2007-02-01

    We developed a microarray analysis platform for ultra-sensitive RNA expression profiling of minute samples. It utilizes a novel scanning system for single molecule fluorescence detection on cm2 size samples in combination with specialized biochips, optimized for low autofluorescence and weak unspecific adsorption. 20 μg total RNA was extracted from 10 6 cells of a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) and reversely transcribed in the presence of Alexa647-aha-dUTP. 1% of the resulting labeled cDNA was used for complex hybridization to a custom-made oligonucleotide microarray representing a set of 125 different genes. For low abundant genes, individual cDNA molecules hybridized to the microarray spots could be resolved. Single cDNA molecules hybridized to the chip surface appeared as diffraction limited features in the fluorescence images. The à trous wavelet method was utilized for localization and counting of the separated cDNA signals. Subsequently, the degree of labeling of the localized cDNA molecules was determined by brightness analysis for the different genes. Variations by factors up to 6 were found, which in conventional microarray analysis would result in a misrepresentation of the relative abundance of mRNAs.

  7. Hydration of biological molecules: lipids versus nucleic acids.

    PubMed

    Pohle, W; Gauger, D R; Dornberger, U; Birch-Hirschfeld, E; Selle, C; Rupprecht, A; Bohl, M

    2002-01-01

    We used FTIR spectroscopy to comparatively study the hydration of films prepared from nucleic acids (DNA and double-stranded RNA) and lipids (phosphatidylcholines and phosphatidylethanolamines chosen as the most abundant ones) at room temperature by varying the ambient relative humidity in terms of solvent-induced structural changes. The nucleic acids and phospholipids both display examples of polymorphism on the one hand and structural conservatism on the other; even closely related representatives behave differently in this respect. DNA undergoes a hydration-driven A-B conformational transition, but RNA maintains an A-like structure independently of the water activity. Similarly, a main transition between the solid and liquid-crystalline phases can be induced lyotropically in certain phosphatidylcholines, while their phosphatidylethanolamine counterparts do not exhibit chain melting under the same conditions. A principal difference concerning the structural changes that occur in the studied biomolecules is given by the relevant water-substrate stoichiometries. These are rather high in DNA and often low in phospholipids, suggesting different mechanisms of action of the hydration water that appears to induce structural changes on global- and local-mode levels, respectively.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. RNA-acting antibiotics: in-vitro selection of RNA aptamers for the design of new bioactive molecules less susceptible to bacterial resistance.

    PubMed

    Maurel, M C; Biard, B; Moulinier, C; Braz, D; Nugier, J; Chaumas, I; Reboud-Ravaux, M; Décout, J L

    2002-08-01

    During the last few years, antibiotic multiresistance has been increasing, not only in hospitals, but also, more worryingly, in general medicine. Different ways are being explored to bypass this problem. RNA-acting antibiotics such as aminosides (aminoglycosides) bind to bacterial RNA causing premature termination of proteins and mistranslation in bacteria. It is now possible to study the interactions of such antibiotics with their target by in-vitro selection of RNA molecules that recognize these antibiotics (RNA aptamers, SELEX method). The knowledge of the antibiotic-RNA interactions represents a promising way for the rational design of new bioactive compounds less susceptible to bacterial resistance.

  11. 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

  12. Collection of trace amounts of DNA/mRNA molecules using genomagnetic nanocapturers.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaojun; Tapec-Dytioco, Rovelyn; Wang, Kemin; Tan, Weihong

    2003-07-15

    The collection and then the separation of rare DNA/mRNA targets with single-base mismatches in a complex matrix is critically important in human disease diagnostics, gene expression studies, and gene profiling. The major result of this work is the development and application of a novel genomagnetic nanocapturer (GMNC) for the collection, separation, and detection of trace amounts of DNA/RNA molecules with one single-base difference. The GMNC is constructed by bioconjugating molecular beacon DNA probes onto magnetic nanoparticle surfaces. We have successfully applied the GMNC in artificial buffer solution samples and in cancer cell samples, both containing different proteins and random DNA sequences. Our method has three distinctly useful features: highly efficient collection of trace amount of DNA/mRNA samples down to femtomolar (10(-15) M) concentrations; excellent ability to differentiate single-base-mismatched DNA/mRNA samples by combining the exceptional specificity of molecular beacons and the separation power of magnetic nanoparticles; and real-time monitoring and confirmation of the collected gene products. The newly developed genomagnetic nanocapturers will be highly useful for the collection of trace amounts of DNA/mRNA targets in a variety of sample sources in forensic, medical, and biotechnological fields.

  13. 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

  14. Spatial simulations in systems biology: from molecules to cells.

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Advancing small-molecule-based chemical biology with next-generation sequencing technologies.

    PubMed

    Anandhakumar, Chandran; Kizaki, Seiichiro; Bando, Toshikazu; Pandian, Ganesh N; Sugiyama, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Next-generation-sequencing (NGS) technologies enable us to obtain extensive information by deciphering millions of individual DNA sequencing reactions simultaneously. The new DNA-sequencing strategies exceed their precursors in output by many orders of magnitude, resulting in a quantitative increase in valuable sequence information that could be harnessed for qualitative analysis. Sequencing on this scale has facilitated significant advances in diverse disciplines, ranging from the discovery, design, and evaluation of many small molecules and relevant biological mechanisms to maturation of personalized therapies. NGS technologies that have recently become affordable allow us to gain in-depth insight into small-molecule-triggered biological phenomena and empower researchers to develop advanced versions of small molecules. In this review we focus on the overlooked implications of NGS technologies in chemical biology, with a special emphasis on small-molecule development and screening.

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

    PubMed

    Yin, H; Landick, R; Gelles, J

    1994-12-01

    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. 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

  19. Aryl amide small-molecule inhibitors of microRNA miR-21 function.

    PubMed

    Naro, Yuta; Thomas, Meryl; Stephens, Matthew D; Connelly, Colleen M; Deiters, Alexander

    2015-11-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single stranded RNA molecules of ∼22 nucleotides that negatively regulate gene expression. MiRNAs are involved in fundamental cellular processes, such as development, differentiation, proliferation, and survival. MiRNA misregulation has been linked to various human diseases, most notably cancer. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21), a well-established oncomiR, is significantly overexpressed in many types of human cancers, thus rendering miR-21 a potential therapeutic target. Using a luciferase-based reporter assay under the control of miR-21 expression, a high-throughput screen of >300,000 compounds led to the discovery of a new aryl amide class of small-molecule miR-21 inhibitors. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies resulted in the development of four aryl amide derivatives as potent and selective miR-21 inhibitors. The intracellular levels of various miRNAs in HeLa cells were analyzed by qRT-PCR revealing specificity for miR-21 inhibition over other miRNAs. Additionally, preliminary mechanism of action studies propose a different mode of action compared to previously reported miR-21 inhibitors, thus affording a new chemical probe for future studies.

  20. Single molecule microscopy reveals mechanistic insight into RNA polymerase II preinitiation complex assembly and transcriptional activity

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Abigail E.; Kugel, Jennifer F.; Goodrich, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is a complex process that requires general transcription factors and Pol II to assemble on DNA into preinitiation complexes that can begin RNA synthesis upon binding of NTPs (nucleoside triphosphate). The pathways by which preinitiation complexes form, and how this impacts transcriptional activity are not completely clear. To address these issues, we developed a single molecule system using TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) microscopy and purified human transcription factors, which allows us to visualize transcriptional activity at individual template molecules. We see that stable interactions between polymerase II (Pol II) and a heteroduplex DNA template do not depend on general transcription factors; however, transcriptional activity is highly dependent upon TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF. We also found that subsets of general transcription factors and Pol II can form stable complexes that are precursors for functional transcription complexes upon addition of the remaining factors and DNA. Ultimately we found that Pol II, TATA-binding protein, TFIIB and TFIIF can form a quaternary complex in the absence of promoter DNA, indicating that a stable network of interactions exists between these proteins independent of promoter DNA. Single molecule studies can be used to learn how different modes of preinitiation complex assembly impact transcriptional activity. PMID:27112574

  1. Vibrational Dynamics of Biological Molecules: Multi-quantum Contributions

    PubMed Central

    Leu, Bogdan M.; Timothy Sage, J.; Zgierski, Marek Z.; Wyllie, Graeme R. A.; Ellison, Mary K.; Robert Scheidt, W.; Sturhahn, Wolfgang; Ercan Alp, E.; Durbin, Stephen M.

    2006-01-01

    High-resolution X-ray measurements near a nuclear resonance reveal the complete vibrational spectrum of the probe nucleus. Because of this, nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS) is a uniquely quantitative probe of the vibrational dynamics of reactive iron sites in proteins and other complex molecules. Our measurements of vibrational fundamentals have revealed both frequencies and amplitudes of 57Fe vibrations in proteins and model compounds. Information on the direction of Fe motion has also been obtained from measurements on oriented single crystals, and provides an essential test of normal mode predictions. Here, we report the observation of weaker two-quantum vibrational excitations (overtones and combinations) for compounds that mimic the active site of heme proteins. The predicted intensities depend strongly on the direction of Fe motion. We compare the observed features with predictions based on the observed fundamentals, using information on the direction of Fe motion obtained either from DFT predictions or from single crystal measurements. Two-quantum excitations may become a useful tool to identify the directions of the Fe oscillations when single crystals are not available. PMID:16894397

  2. Manipulating lipid bilayer material properties using biologically active amphipathic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashrafuzzaman, Md; Lampson, M. A.; Greathouse, D. V.; Koeppe, R. E., II; Andersen, O. S.

    2006-07-01

    Lipid bilayers are elastic bodies with properties that can be manipulated/controlled by the adsorption of amphipathic molecules. The resulting changes in bilayer elasticity have been shown to regulate integral membrane protein function. To further understand the amphiphile-induced modulation of bilayer material properties (thickness, intrinsic monolayer curvature and elastic moduli), we examined how an enantiomeric pair of viral anti-fusion peptides (AFPs)—Z-Gly-D-Phe and Z-Gly-Phe, where Z denotes a benzyloxycarbonyl group, as well as Z-Phe-Tyr and Z-D-Phe-Phe-Gly—alters the function of enantiomeric pairs of gramicidin channels of different lengths in planar bilayers. For both short and long channels, the channel lifetimes and appearance frequencies increase as linear functions of the aqueous AFP concentration, with no apparent effect on the single-channel conductance. These changes in channel function do not depend on the chirality of the channels or the AFPs. At pH 7.0, the relative changes in channel lifetimes do not vary when the channel length is varied, indicating that these compounds exert their effects primarily by causing a positive-going change in the intrinsic monolayer curvature. At pH 4.0, the AFPs are more potent than at pH 7.0 and have greater effects on the shorter channels, indicating that these compounds now change the bilayer elastic moduli. When AFPs of different anti-fusion potencies are compared, the rank order of the anti-fusion activity and the channel-modifying activity is similar, but the relative changes in anti-fusion potency are larger than the changes in channel-modifying activity. We conclude that gramicidin channels are useful as molecular force transducers to probe the influence of small amphiphiles upon lipid bilayer material properties.

  3. 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.

  4. On microRNA and the need for exploratory experimentation in post-genomic molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Burian, Richard M

    2007-01-01

    This paper is devoted to an examination of the discovery, characterization, and analysis of the functions of microRNAs, which also serves as a vehicle for demonstrating the importance of exploratory experimentation in current (post-genomic) molecular biology. The material on microRNAs is important in its own right: it provides important insight into the extreme complexity of regulatory networks involving components made of DNA, RNA, and protein. These networks play a central role in regulating development of multicellular organisms and illustrate the importance of epigenetic as well as genetic systems in evolution and development. The examination of these matters yields principled arguments for the historicity of the functions of key biological molecules and for the indispensability of exploratory experimentation in contemporary molecular biology as well as some insight into the complex interplay between exploratory experimentation and hypothesis-driven science. This latter result is not only important for philosophy of science, but also of practical importance for the evaluation of grant proposals, although the elaboration of this latter claim must be left for another occasion.

  5. RNA released from necrotic keratinocytes upregulates intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression in melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shujie; Liu, Shuangchun; Yu, Ning; Xiang, Leihong

    2011-12-01

    Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression has been detected in melanocytes around active vitiligo patches as well as in surgically transplanted melanocytes. However, it is unclear whether and how skin injury induces the inappropriate expression of ICAM-1 and other proinflammatory genes in melanocytes. We previously reported that human melanocytes expressed TLR3. We hypothesized that the TLR3 expressed in melanocytes may recognize skin injury by binding to the endogenous ligands secreted by the damaged keratinocytes. Here we showed that RNA released from necrotic keratinocytes induced the upregulation of ICAM-1 protein and mRNA, as shown by FACS and real-time RT-PCR. Use of NF-κB inhibitor prevents upregulation of ICAM-1 in melanocytes indicating a direct role of NF-κB in necrotic keratinocyte-mediated upregulation of ICAM-1. Using a shRNA-expressing lentivirus, we demonstrated that in human melanocytes, TLR3 seems to be necessary for the upregulation of ICAM-1. Using oligonucleotide microarray, we demonstrated a dramatic increase in proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine transcripts (CXCL10, CXCL11, TNFSF10, CCL5, CCL4, CCL2, IFNB1, CCL20, IL-8, and CCL11). These observations suggested that RNA released from necrotic keratinocytes might act as an endogenous TLR3 ligand for the stimulation of ICAM-1 and other proinflammatory gene expression in human melanocytes, which might be involved in the pathogenesis of vitiligo following skin physical trauma.

  6. Identification and validation of novel small molecule disruptors of HuR-mRNA interaction.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaoqing; Lan, Lan; Wilson, David Michael; Marquez, Rebecca T; Tsao, Wei-Chung; Gao, Philip; Roy, Anuradha; Turner, Benjamin Andrew; McDonald, Peter; Tunge, Jon A; Rogers, Steven A; Dixon, Dan A; Aubé, Jeffrey; Xu, Liang

    2015-06-19

    HuR, an RNA binding protein, binds to adenine- and uridine-rich elements (ARE) in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of target mRNAs, regulating their stability and translation. HuR is highly abundant in many types of cancer, and it promotes tumorigenesis by interacting with cancer-associated mRNAs, which encode proteins that are implicated in different tumor processes including cell proliferation, cell survival, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Drugs that disrupt the stabilizing effect of HuR upon mRNA targets could have dramatic effects on inhibiting cancer growth and persistence. In order to identify small molecules that directly disrupt the HuR-ARE interaction, we established a fluorescence polarization (FP) assay optimized for high throughput screening (HTS) using HuR protein and an ARE oligo from Musashi RNA-binding protein 1 (Msi1) mRNA, a HuR target. Following the performance of an HTS of ∼6000 compounds, we discovered a cluster of potential disruptors, which were then validated by AlphaLISA (Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation (RNP IP) assay, and luciferase reporter functional studies. These compounds disrupted HuR-ARE interactions at the nanomolar level and blocked HuR function by competitive binding to HuR. These results support future studies toward chemical probes for a HuR function study and possibly a novel therapy for HuR-overexpressing cancers.

  7. Identification and Validation of Novel Small Molecule Disruptors of HuR-mRNA Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaoqing; Lan, Lan; Wilson, David Michael; Marquez, Rebecca T.; Tsao, Wei-chung; Gao, Philip; Roy, Anuradha; Turner, Benjamin Andrew; McDonald, Peter; Tunge, Jon A; Rogers, Steven A; Dixon, Dan A.; Aubé, Jeffrey; Xu, Liang

    2015-01-01

    HuR, an RNA binding protein, binds to adenine- and uridine-rich elements (ARE) in the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of target mRNAs, regulating their stability and translation. HuR is highly abundant in many types of cancer, and it promotes tumorigenesis by interacting with cancer-associated mRNAs, which encode proteins that are implicated in different tumor processes including cell proliferation, cell survival, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Drugs that disrupt the stabilizing effect of HuR upon mRNA targets could have dramatic effects on inhibiting cancer growth and persistence. In order to identify small molecules that directly disrupt the HuR–ARE interaction, we established a fluorescence polarization (FP) assay optimized for high throughput screening (HTS) using HuR protein and an ARE oligo from Musashi RNA-binding protein 1 (Msi1) mRNA, a HuR target. Following the performance of an HTS of ~6000 compounds, we discovered a cluster of potential disruptors, which were then validated by AlphaLISA (Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation (RNP IP) assay, and luciferase reporter functional studies. These compounds disrupted HuR–ARE interactions at the nanomolar level and blocked HuR function by competitive binding to HuR. These results support future studies toward chemical probes for a HuR function study and possibly a novel therapy for HuR-overexpressing cancers. PMID:25750985

  8. Connecting synthetic chemistry decisions to cell and genome biology using small-molecule phenotypic profiling

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Bridget K.; Clemons, Paul A.

    2009-01-01

    Discovering small-molecule modulators for thousands of gene products requires multiple stages of biological testing, specificity evaluation, and chemical optimization. Many cellular profiling methods, including cellular sensitivity, gene-expression, and cellular imaging, have emerged as methods to assess the functional consequences of biological perturbations. Cellular profiling methods applied to small-molecule science provide opportunities to use complex phenotypic information to prioritize and optimize small-molecule structures simultaneously against multiple biological endpoints. As throughput increases and cost decreases for such technologies, we see an emerging paradigm of using more information earlier in probe- and drug-discovery efforts. Moreover, increasing access to public datasets makes possible the construction of “virtual” profiles of small-molecule performance, even when multiplexed measurements were not performed or when multidimensional profiling was not the original intent. We review some key conceptual advances in small-molecule phenotypic profiling, emphasizing connections to other information, such as protein-binding measurements, genetic perturbations, and cell states. We argue that to maximally leverage these measurements in probe and drug discovery requires a fundamental connection to synthetic chemistry, allowing the consequences of synthetic decisions to be described in terms of changes in small-molecule profiles. Mining such data in the context of chemical structure and synthesis strategies can inform decisions about chemistry procurement and library development, leading to optimal small-molecule screening collections. PMID:19825513

  9. 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.

  10. An aptazyme-based molecular device that converts a small-molecule input into an RNA output.

    PubMed

    Ayukawa, Shotaro; Sakai, Yoko; Kiga, Daisuke

    2012-08-01

    We describe the construction of an aptazyme-based molecular device that converts, through a cascade of reactions, a small-molecule input into output RNA strands. This device is applicable as an interface between a small molecule and a molecular system that accepts only nucleic acid input.

  11. Target deconvolution of bioactive small molecules: the heart of chemical biology and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2015-09-01

    Identification of the target proteins of bioactive small molecules isolated from phenotypic screens plays an important role in chemical biology and drug discovery. However, discovering the targets of small molecules is often the most challenging and time-consuming step for chemical biology researchers. To overcome the bottlenecks in target identification, many new approaches based on genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics technologies have been developed. Here, we provide an overview of the current major methodologies for target deconvolution of bioactive small molecules. To obtain an integrated view of the mechanisms of action of small molecules, we propose a systematic approach that involves the combination of multi-omics-based target identification and validation and preclinical target validation.

  12. Identification of a Pyridoxine-Derived Small-Molecule Inhibitor Targeting Dengue Virus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hong-Tao; Colby-Germinario, Susan P.; Hassounah, Said; Quashie, Peter K.; Han, Yingshan; Oliveira, Maureen; Stranix, Brent R.

    2015-01-01

    The viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) activity of the dengue virus (DENV) NS5 protein is an attractive target for drug design. Here, we report the identification of a novel class of inhibitor (i.e., an active-site metal ion chelator) that acts against DENV RdRp activity. DENV RdRp utilizes a two-metal-ion mechanism of catalysis; therefore, we constructed a small library of compounds, through mechanism-based drug design, aimed at chelating divalent metal ions in the catalytic site of DENV RdRp. We now describe a pyridoxine-derived small-molecule inhibitor that targets DENV RdRp and show that 5-benzenesulfonylmethyl-3-hydroxy-4-hydroxymethyl-pyridine-2-carboxylic acid hydroxyamide (termed DMB220) inhibited the RdRp activity of DENV serotypes 1 to 4 at low micromolar 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s of 5 to 6.7 μM) in an enzymatic assay. The antiviral activity of DMB220 against DENV infection was also verified in a cell-based assay and showed a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of <3 μM. Enzyme assays proved that DMB220 was competitive with nucleotide incorporation. DMB220 did not inhibit the enzymatic activity of recombinant HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and showed only weak inhibition of HIV-1 integrase strand transfer activity, indicating high specificity for DENV RdRp. S600T substitution in the DENV RdRp, which was previously shown to confer resistance to nucleoside analogue inhibitors (NI), conferred 3-fold hypersusceptibility to DMB220, and enzymatic analyses showed that this hypersusceptibility may arise from the decreased binding/incorporation efficiency of the natural NTP substrate without significantly impacting inhibitor binding. Thus, metal ion chelation at the active site of DENV RdRp represents a viable anti-DENV strategy, and DMB220 is the first of a new class of DENV inhibitor. PMID:26574011

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

    PubMed Central

    Lenn, Tchern; Leake, Mark C.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22773951

  14. Small molecule BMH-compounds that inhibit RNA polymerase I and cause nucleolar stress.

    PubMed

    Peltonen, Karita; Colis, Laureen; Liu, Hester; Jäämaa, Sari; Zhang, Zhewei; Af Hällström, Taija; Moore, Henna M; Sirajuddin, Paul; Laiho, Marikki

    2014-11-01

    Activation of the p53 pathway has been considered a therapeutic strategy to target cancers. We have previously identified several p53-activating small molecules in a cell-based screen. Two of the compounds activated p53 by causing DNA damage, but this modality was absent in the other four. We recently showed that one of these, BMH-21, inhibits RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription, causes the degradation of Pol I catalytic subunit RPA194, and has potent anticancer activity. We show here that three remaining compounds in this screen, BMH-9, BMH-22, and BMH-23, cause reorganization of nucleolar marker proteins consistent with segregation of the nucleolus, a hallmark of Pol I transcription stress. Further, the compounds destabilize RPA194 in a proteasome-dependent manner and inhibit nascent rRNA synthesis and expression of the 45S rRNA precursor. BMH-9- and BMH-22-mediated nucleolar stress was detected in ex vivo-cultured human prostate tissues indicating good tissue bioactivity. Testing of closely related analogues showed that their activities were chemically constrained. Viability screen for BMH-9, BMH-22, and BMH-23 in the NCI60 cancer cell lines showed potent anticancer activity across many tumor types. Finally, we show that the Pol I transcription stress by BMH-9, BMH-22, and BMH-23 is independent of p53 function. These results highlight the dominant impact of Pol I transcription stress on p53 pathway activation and bring forward chemically novel lead molecules for Pol I inhibition, and, potentially, cancer targeting.

  15. Small Molecule BMH-compounds that Inhibit RNA Polymerase I and Cause Nucleolar Stress

    PubMed Central

    Peltonen, Karita; Colis, Laureen; Liu, Hester; Jäämaa, Sari; Zhang, Zhewei; Hällström, Taija af; Moore, Henna M.; Sirajuddin, Paul; Laiho, Marikki

    2014-01-01

    Activation of the p53 pathway has been considered a therapeutic strategy to target cancers. We have previously identified several p53 activating small molecules in a cell-based screen. Two of the compounds activated p53 by causing DNA damage, but this modality was absent in the other four. We recently showed that one of these, BMH-21, inhibits RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription, causes the degradation of Pol I catalytic subunit RPA194 and has potent anticancer activity. We show here that three remaining compounds in this screen, BMH-9, BMH-22 and BMH-23, cause reorganization of nucleolar marker proteins consistent with segregation of the nucleolus, a hallmark of Pol I transcription stress. Further, the compounds destabilize RPA194 in a proteasome-dependent manner and inhibit nascent rRNA synthesis and expression of the 45S rRNA precursor. BMH-9 and BMH-22 –mediated nucleolar stress was detected in ex vivo-cultured human prostate tissues indicating good tissue bioactivity. Testing of closely related analogs showed that their activities were chemically constrained. Viability screen for BMH-9, BMH-22 and BMH-23 in the NCI60 cancer cell lines showed potent anticancer activity across many tumor types. Finally we show that the Pol I transcription stress by BMH-9, BMH-22 and BMH-23 is independent of p53 function. These results highlight the dominant impact of Pol I transcription stress on p53 pathway activation and bring forward chemically novel lead molecules for Pol I inhibition, and potentially, cancer targeting. PMID:25277384

  16. Imaging of single mRNA molecules moving within a living cell nucleus

    SciTech Connect

    Tadakuma, Hisashi; Ishihama, Yo; Shibuya, Toshiharu; Tani, Tokio; Funatsu, Takashi . E-mail: funatsu@mail.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    2006-06-09

    In eukaryotic cells, pre-mRNAs are transcribed in the nucleus, processed by 5' capping, 3'-polyadenylation, and splicing, and exported to the cytoplasm for translation. To examine the nuclear mRNA transport mechanism, intron-deficient mRNAs of truncated {beta}-globin and EGFP were synthesized, fluorescently labeled in vitro, and injected into the nucleus of living Xenopus A6 cells. The trajectories of single mRNA molecules in the nucleus were visualized using video-rate confocal microscopy. Approximately half the mRNAs moved by Brownian motion in the nucleoplasm, except the nucleoli, with an apparent diffusion coefficient of 0.2 {mu}m{sup 2}/s, about 1/150 of that in water. The slow diffusion could not be explained by simple diffusion obeying the Stokes-Einstein equation, suggesting interactions of the mRNAs with nuclear components. The remaining mRNAs were stationary with an average residence time of about 30 s, comparable to the time required for mRNA diffusion from the site of synthesis to nuclear pores.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26792955

  20. 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. PMID:26792955

  1. 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.

  2. Methods to Study Long Noncoding RNA Biology in Cancer.

    PubMed

    Luo, Man-Li

    2016-01-01

    Thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been discovered in recent years. The functions of lncRNAs range broadly from regulating chromatin structure and gene expression in the nucleus to controlling messenger RNA (mRNA) processing, mRNA posttranscriptional regulation, cellular signaling, and protein activity in the cytoplasm. Experimental and computational techniques have been developed to characterize lncRNAs in high-throughput scale, to study the lncRNA function in vitro and in vivo, to map lncRNA binding sites on the genome, and to capture lncRNA-protein interactions with the identification of lncRNA-binding partners, binding sites, and interaction determinants. In this chapter, we will discuss these technologies and their applications in decoding the functions of lncRNAs. Understanding these techniques including their advantages and disadvantages and developing them in the future will be essential to elaborate the roles of lncRNAs in cancer and other diseases. PMID:27376732

  3. Models of single-molecule experiments with periodic perturbations reveal hidden dynamics in RNA folding.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Qu, Xiaohui; Ma, Ao; Smith, Glenna J; Scherer, Norbert F; Dinner, Aaron R

    2009-05-28

    Traditionally, microscopic fluctuations of molecules have been probed by measuring responses of an ensemble to perturbations. Now, single-molecule experiments are capable of following fluctuations without introducing perturbations. However, dynamics not readily sampled at equilibrium should be accessible to nonequilibrium single-molecule measurements. In a recent study [Qu, X. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2008, 105, 6602-6607], the efficiency of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between probes on the L18 loop and 3' terminus of the 260 nucleotide RNase P RNA from Bacillus stearothermophilus was found to exhibit complex kinetics that depended on the (periodically alternating) concentration of magnesium ions ([Mg2+]) in solution. Specifically, this time series was found to exhibit a quasi-periodic response to a square-wave pattern of [Mg2+] changes. Because these experiments directly probe only one of the many degrees of freedom in the macromolecule, models are needed to interpret these data. We find that Hidden Markov Models are inadequate for describing the nonequilibrium dynamics, but they serve as starting points for the construction of models in which a discrete observable degree of freedom is coupled to a continuously evolving (hidden) variable. Consideration of several models of this general form indicates that the quasi-periodic response in the nonequilibrium experiments results from the switching (back and forth) in positions of the minima of the effective potential for the hidden variable. This switching drives oscillation of that variable and synchronizes the population to the changing [Mg2+]. We set the models in the context of earlier theoretical and experimental studies and conclude that single-molecule experiments with periodic peturbations can indeed yield qualitatively new information beyond that obtained at equilibrium. PMID:19415919

  4. Experimental and Computational Characterization of Biological Liquid Crystals: A Review of Single-Molecule Bioassays

    PubMed Central

    Eom, Kilho; Yang, Jaemoon; Park, Jinsung; Yoon, Gwonchan; Soo Sohn, Young; Park, Shinsuk; Yoon, Dae Sung; Na, Sungsoo; Kwon, Taeyun

    2009-01-01

    Quantitative understanding of the mechanical behavior of biological liquid crystals such as proteins is essential for gaining insight into their biological functions, since some proteins perform notable mechanical functions. Recently, single-molecule experiments have allowed not only the quantitative characterization of the mechanical behavior of proteins such as protein unfolding mechanics, but also the exploration of the free energy landscape for protein folding. In this work, we have reviewed the current state-of-art in single-molecule bioassays that enable quantitative studies on protein unfolding mechanics and/or various molecular interactions. Specifically, single-molecule pulling experiments based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) have been overviewed. In addition, the computational simulations on single-molecule pulling experiments have been reviewed. We have also reviewed the AFM cantilever-based bioassay that provides insight into various molecular interactions. Our review highlights the AFM-based single-molecule bioassay for quantitative characterization of biological liquid crystals such as proteins. PMID:19865530

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:15849689

  7. A renaissance in RNA synthetic biology: new mechanisms, applications and tools for the future.

    PubMed

    Chappell, James; Watters, Kyle E; Takahashi, Melissa K; Lucks, Julius B

    2015-10-01

    Since our ability to engineer biological systems is directly related to our ability to control gene expression, a central focus of synthetic biology has been to develop programmable genetic regulatory systems. Researchers are increasingly turning to RNA regulators for this task because of their versatility, and the emergence of new powerful RNA design principles. Here we review advances that are transforming the way we use RNAs to engineer biological systems. First, we examine new designable RNA mechanisms that are enabling large libraries of regulators with protein-like dynamic ranges. Next, we review emerging applications, from RNA genetic circuits to molecular diagnostics. Finally, we describe new experimental and computational tools that promise to accelerate our understanding of RNA folding, function and design. PMID:26093826

  8. Analyzing abundance of mRNA molecules with a near-infrared fluorescence technique.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ying; Pan, Yan; Zhang, Beibei; Wang, Jinke

    2014-01-01

    This study describes a simple method for analyzing the abundance of mRNA molecules in a total DNA sample. Due to the dependence on the near-infrared fluorescence technique, this method is named near-infrared fluorescence gene expression detection (NIRF-GED). The procedure has three steps: (1) isolating total RNA from detected samples and reverse-transcription into cDNA with a biotin-labeled oligo dT; (2) hybridizing cDNA to oligonucleotide probes coupled to a 96-well microplate; and (3) detecting biotins with NIRF-labeled streptavidin. The method was evaluated by performing proof-in-concept detections of absolute and relative expressions of housekeeping and NF-κB target genes in HeLa cells. As a result, the absolute expression of three genes, Ccl20, Cxcl2, and Gapdh, in TNF-α-uninduced HeLa cells was determined with a standard curve constructed on the same microplate, and the relative expression of five genes, Ccl20, Cxcl2, Il-6, STAT5A, and Gapdh, in TNF-α-induced and -uninduced HeLa cells was measured by using NIRF-GED. The results were verified by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and DNA microarray detections. The biggest advantage of NIRF-GED over the current techniques lies in its independence of exponential or linear amplification of nucleic acids. Moreover, NIRF-GED also has several other benefits, including high sensitivity as low as several fmols, absolute quantification in the range of 9 to 147 fmols, low cDNA consumption similar to qPCR template, and the current medium throughput in 96-well microplate format and future high throughput in DNA microarray format. NIRF-GED thus provides a new tool for analyzing gene transcripts and other nucleic acid molecules. PMID:24317515

  9. Sensors and Biosensors for the Determination of Small Molecule Biological Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiang-Hong; Wang, Shuo

    2008-01-01

    The following review of sensors and biosensors focuses on the determination of commonly studied small molecule biological toxins, including mycotoxins and small molecule neurotoxins. Because of the high toxicity of small molecule toxins, an effective analysis technique for determining their toxicity is indispensable. Sensors and biosensors have emerged as sensitive and rapid techniques for toxicity analysis in the past decade. Several different sensors for the determination of mycotoxins and other small molecule neurotoxins have been reported in the literature, and many of these sensors such as tissue biosensors, enzyme sensors, optical immunosensors, electrochemical sensors, quartz crystal sensors, and surface plasmon resonance biosensors are reviewed in this paper. Sensors are a practical and convenient monitoring tool in the area of routine analysis, and their specificity, sensitivity, reproducibility and analysis stability should all be improved in future work. In addition, accuracy field portable sensing devices and multiplexing analysis devices will be important requirement for the future.

  10. Single-molecule tracking of the transcription cycle by sub-second RNA detection

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhengjian; Revyakin, Andrey; Grimm, Jonathan B; Lavis, Luke D; Tjian, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Transcription is an inherently stochastic, noisy, and multi-step process, in which fluctuations at every step can cause variations in RNA synthesis, and affect physiology and differentiation decisions in otherwise identical cells. However, it has been an experimental challenge to directly link the stochastic events at the promoter to transcript production. Here we established a fast fluorescence in situ hybridization (fastFISH) method that takes advantage of intrinsically unstructured nucleic acid sequences to achieve exceptionally fast rates of specific hybridization (∼10e7 M−1s−1), and allows deterministic detection of single nascent transcripts. Using a prototypical RNA polymerase, we demonstrated the use of fastFISH to measure the kinetic rates of promoter escape, elongation, and termination in one assay at the single-molecule level, at sub-second temporal resolution. The principles of fastFISH design can be used to study stochasticity in gene regulation, to select targets for gene silencing, and to design nucleic acid nanostructures. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01775.001 PMID:24473079

  11. 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.

  12. Emergence of chemical biology approaches to the RNAi/miRNA pathway.

    PubMed

    Li, Yujing; He, Chuan; Jin, Peng

    2010-06-25

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a well-conserved mechanism that uses small noncoding RNAs to silence gene expression posttranscriptionally. Gene regulation by RNAi is now recognized as one of the major regulatory pathways in eukaryotic cells. Although the main components of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have been identified, the molecular mechanisms regulating the activity of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have only begun to emerge within the last couple of years. Recently, high-throughput reporter assays to monitor the activity of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have been developed and used for proof-of-concept pilot screens. Both inhibitors and activators of the RNAi/miRNA pathway have been found. Although still in its infancy, a chemical biology approach using high-throughput chemical screens should open up a new avenue for dissecting the RNAi/miRNA pathway, as well as developing novel RNAi- or miRNA-based therapeutic interventions.

  13. 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.

  14. Following the very initial growth of biological RNA viral clones.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, José M; Moya, Andrés; Sanjuán, Rafael

    2005-02-01

    Due to their extremely high genetic diversity, which is a direct consequence of high mutation rates, RNA viruses are often described as molecular quasispecies. According to this theory, RNA virus populations cannot be understood in terms of individual viral clones, as they are clouds of interconnected mutants, but this prediction has not yet been demonstrated experimentally. The goal of this study was to determine the fitness of individual clones sampled from a given RNA virus population, a necessary previous step to test the above prediction. To do so, limiting dilutions of a vesicular stomatitis virus population were employed to isolate single viral clones and their initial growth dynamics were followed, corresponding to the release of the first few hundred viral particles. This technique is useful for estimating basic fitness parameters, such as intracellular growth rate, viral yield per cell, rate at which cells are infected and time spent in cell-to-cell transmission. A combination of these parameters allows estimation of the fitness of individual clones, which seems to be determined mainly by their ability to complete infection cycles more quickly. Interestingly, fitness was systematically higher for initial clones than for their derived populations. In addition to environmental changes, such as cellular defence mechanisms, these differences are attributable to high RNA virus mutation rates.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Small molecule enoxacin is a cancer-specific growth inhibitor that acts by enhancing TAR RNA-binding protein 2-mediated microRNA processing.

    PubMed

    Melo, Sonia; Villanueva, Alberto; Moutinho, Catia; Davalos, Veronica; Spizzo, Riccardo; Ivan, Cristina; Rossi, Simona; Setien, Fernando; Casanovas, Oriol; Simo-Riudalbas, Laia; Carmona, Javier; Carrere, Jordi; Vidal, August; Aytes, Alvaro; Puertas, Sara; Ropero, Santiago; Kalluri, Raghu; Croce, Carlo M; Calin, George A; Esteller, Manel

    2011-03-15

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level and are critical for many cellular pathways. The disruption of miRNAs and their processing machineries also contributes to the development of human tumors. A common scenario for miRNA expression in carcinogenesis is emerging that shows that impaired miRNA production and/or down-regulation of these transcripts occurs in many neoplasms. Several of these lost miRNAs have tumor-suppressor features, so strategies to restore their expression globally in malignancies would be a welcome addition to the current therapeutic arsenal against cancer. Herein, we show that the small molecule enoxacin, a fluoroquinolone used as an antibacterial compound, enhances the production of miRNAs with tumor suppressor functions by binding to the miRNA biosynthesis protein TAR RNA-binding protein 2 (TRBP). The use of enoxacin in human cell cultures and xenografted, orthotopic, and metastatic mouse models reveals a TRBP-dependent and cancer-specific growth-inhibitory effect of the drug. These results highlight the key role of disrupted miRNA expression patterns in tumorigenesis, and suggest a unique strategy for restoring the distorted microRNAome of cancer cells to a more physiological setting.

  18. Hunting the Needle in the Haystack: A Guide to Obtain Biologically Meaningful MicroRNA Targets

    PubMed Central

    Karbiener, Michael; Glantschnig, Christina; Scheideler, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small non-coding RNAs of ~23 nucleotides in length that form up a novel class of regulatory determinants, with a large set of target mRNAs postulated for every single miRNA. Thousands of miRNAs have been discovered so far, with hundreds of them shown to govern biological processes with impact on disease. However, very little is known about how they specifically interfere with biological pathways and disease mechanisms. To investigate this interaction, the hunt for direct miRNA targets that mediate the miRNA effects—the “needle in the haystack”—is an essential step. In this review we provide a comprehensive workflow of successfully applied methods starting from the identification of putative miRNA-target pairs, followed by validation of direct miRNA–mRNA interactions, and finally presenting methods that dissect the impact of particular miRNA-target pairs on a biological process or disease. This guide allows the way to be paved for obtaining biologically meaningful miRNA targets. PMID:25383673

  19. 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.

  20. Multiple Layers of Stress-Induced Regulation in tRNA Biology

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hsiao-Yun; Hopper, Anita K.

    2016-01-01

    tRNAs are the fundamental components of the translation machinery as they deliver amino acids to the ribosomes during protein synthesis. Beyond their essential function in translation, tRNAs also function in regulating gene expression, modulating apoptosis and several other biological processes. There are multiple layers of regulatory mechanisms in each step of tRNA biogenesis. For example, tRNA 3′ trailer processing is altered upon nutrient stress; tRNA modification is reprogrammed under various stresses; nuclear accumulation of tRNAs occurs upon nutrient deprivation; tRNA halves accumulate upon oxidative stress. Here we address how environmental stresses can affect nearly every step of tRNA biology and we describe the possible regulatory mechanisms that influence the function or expression of tRNAs under stress conditions. PMID:27023616

  1. Associations of mRNA:microRNA for the Shared Downstream Molecules of EGFR and Alternative Tyrosine Kinase Receptors in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Fengfeng; Meng, Fei; Wang, Lili; Wong, S. C. Cesar; Cho, William C. S.; Chan, Lawrence W. C.

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is the top cancer killer worldwide with high mortality rate. Majority belong to non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been broadly explored as a drug target for therapy. However, the drug responses are not durable due to the acquired resistance. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding and endogenous molecules that can inhibit mRNA translation initiation and degrade mRNAs. We wonder if some downstream molecules shared by EGFR and the other tyrosine kinase receptors (TKRs) further transduce the signals alternatively, and some miRNAs play the key roles in affecting the expression of these downstream molecules. In this study, we investigated the mRNA:miRNA associations for the direct EGFR downstream molecules in the EGFR signaling pathway shared with the other TKRs, including c-MET (hepatocyte growth factor receptor), Ron (a protein tyrosine kinase related to c-MET), PDGFR (platelet-derived growth factor receptor), and IGF-1R (insulin-like growth factor receptor-1). The multiple linear regression and support vector regression (SVR) models were used to discover the statistically significant and the best weighted miRNAs regulating the mRNAs of these downstream molecules. These two models revealed the similar mRNA:miRNA associations. It was found that the miRNAs significantly affecting the mRNA expressions in the multiple regression model were also those with the largest weights in the SVR model. To conclude, we effectively identified a list of meaningful mRNA:miRNA associations: phospholipase C, gamma 1 (PLCG1) with miR-34a, phosphoinositide-3-kinase, regulatory subunit 2 (PIK3R2) with miR-30a-5p, growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (GRB2) with miR-27a, and Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) with miR-302b and miR-520e. These associations could make great contributions to explore new mechanism in NSCLCs. These candidate miRNAs may be regarded as the potential drug targets for treating NSCLCs with acquired drug resistance

  2. Directly measuring single molecule heterogeneity in proteins and RNA using force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinczewski, Michael; Hyeon, Changbong; Thirumalai, Devarajan

    One of the most intriguing results of single molecule experiments on proteins and nucleic acids is the discovery of functional heterogeneity: the observation that complex cellular machines exhibit multiple, biologically active conformations. The structural differences between these conformations may be subtle, but each distinct state can be remarkably long-lived, with stochastic interconversions occurring only at macroscopic timescales, fractions of a second or longer. Though we now have proof of functional heterogeneity in a handful of systems--enzymes, motors, adhesion complexes--identifying and measuring it remains a formidable challenge. We show that evidence of this phenomenon is more widespread than previously known, encoded in data collected from some of the most well-established single molecule techniques: AFM or optical tweezer pulling experiments. We present a theoretical procedure for analyzing distributions of rupture/unfolding forces recorded at different pulling speeds. This results in a single parameter, quantifying the degree of heterogeneity, and also leads to bounds on the equilibration and conformational interconversion timescales. Our work suggests experimental approaches for estimating the timescales of these fluctuations with unprecedented accuracy.

  3. Self-Assembled Fluorescent Nanoparticles from π-Conjugated Small Molecules: En Route to Biological Applications.

    PubMed

    Schill, Jurgen; Schenning, Albertus P H J; Brunsveld, Luc

    2015-07-01

    Since the development of supramolecular chemical biology, self-organised nano-architectures have been widely explored in a variety of biomedical applications. Functionalized synthetic molecules with the ability of non-covalent assembly in an aqueous environment are typically able to interact with biological systems and are therefore especially interesting for their use in theranostics. Nanostructures based on π-conjugated oligomers are particularly promising as theranostic platforms as they bear outstanding photophysical properties as well as drug loading capabilities. This Feature Article provides an overview on the recent advances in the self-assembly of intrinsically fluorescent nanoparticles from π-conjugated small molecules such as fluorene or perylene based chromophores for biomedical applications.

  4. Towards next generation CHO cell biology: Bioinformatics methods for RNA-Seq-based expression profiling.

    PubMed

    Monger, Craig; Kelly, Paul S; Gallagher, Clair; Clynes, Martin; Barron, Niall; Clarke, Colin

    2015-07-01

    High throughput, cost effective next generation sequencing (NGS) has enabled the publication of genome sequences for Cricetulus griseus and several Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. RNA-Seq, the utilization of NGS technology to study the transcriptome, is expanding our understanding of the CHO cell biological system in areas ranging from the analysis of transcription start sites to the discovery of small noncoding RNAs. The analysis of RNA-Seq data, often comprised of several million short reads, presents a considerable challenge. If the CHO cell biology field is to fully exploit the potential of RNA-Seq, the development of robust data analysis pipelines is critical. In this manuscript, we outline bioinformatics approaches for the stages of a typical RNA-Seq expression profiling experiment including quality control, pre-processing, alignment and de novo transcriptome assembly. Algorithms for the analysis of mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) expression as well as methods for the detection of alternative splicing from RNA-Seq data are also presented. At this relatively early stage of Cricetulus griseus genome assembly and annotation, it is likely that a combination of isoform deconvolution and raw count based methods will provide the most complete picture of transcript expression patterns in CHO cell RNA-Seq experiments. PMID:26058739

  5. Towards next generation CHO cell biology: Bioinformatics methods for RNA-Seq-based expression profiling.

    PubMed

    Monger, Craig; Kelly, Paul S; Gallagher, Clair; Clynes, Martin; Barron, Niall; Clarke, Colin

    2015-07-01

    High throughput, cost effective next generation sequencing (NGS) has enabled the publication of genome sequences for Cricetulus griseus and several Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. RNA-Seq, the utilization of NGS technology to study the transcriptome, is expanding our understanding of the CHO cell biological system in areas ranging from the analysis of transcription start sites to the discovery of small noncoding RNAs. The analysis of RNA-Seq data, often comprised of several million short reads, presents a considerable challenge. If the CHO cell biology field is to fully exploit the potential of RNA-Seq, the development of robust data analysis pipelines is critical. In this manuscript, we outline bioinformatics approaches for the stages of a typical RNA-Seq expression profiling experiment including quality control, pre-processing, alignment and de novo transcriptome assembly. Algorithms for the analysis of mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) expression as well as methods for the detection of alternative splicing from RNA-Seq data are also presented. At this relatively early stage of Cricetulus griseus genome assembly and annotation, it is likely that a combination of isoform deconvolution and raw count based methods will provide the most complete picture of transcript expression patterns in CHO cell RNA-Seq experiments.

  6. Identification of distinct biological functions for four 3'-5' RNA polymerases.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-30

    The superfamily of 3'-5' polymerases synthesize RNA in the opposite direction to all other DNA/RNA polymerases, and its members include eukaryotic tRNA(His) 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 tRNA(His) maturation reaction, which is distinct from the tRNA(His) 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Enhanced cellular uptake and gene silencing activity of siRNA molecules mediated by chitosan-derivative nanocomplexes.

    PubMed

    Guzman-Villanueva, Diana; El-Sherbiny, Ibrahim M; Vlassov, Alexander V; Herrera-Ruiz, Dea; Smyth, Hugh D C

    2014-10-01

    The RNA interference (RNAi) constitutes a conservative mechanism in eukaryotic cells that induces silencing of target genes. In mammalians, the RNAi is triggered by siRNA (small interfering RNA) molecules. Due to its potential in silencing specific genes, the siRNA has been considered a potential alternative for the treatment of genetic and acquired diseases. However, the siRNA therapy has been limited by its low stability and rapid degradation in presence of nucleases, low cellular uptake, and immune response activation. In order to overcome these drawbacks, we propose the synthesis and characterization of non-viral delivery systems using chitosan derivatives to obtain siRNA complexes (polyplexes). The non-viral delivery systems synthesized included PEG-g-OCs (oligochitosan) and PEG-g-Cs (chitosan medium molecular weight). Both systems allowed the formation of siRNA polyplexes, increased the stability of siRNA in the presence of nucleases, enhanced cellular internalization, and showed low toxicity in the A549 cell line. Finally, the complexes obtained with the PEG-g-OCs system showed silencing activity in a GFP model in the cell line A549 in comparison with naked siRNA. PMID:25063077

  10. Small molecule activators of pre-mRNA 3′ cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Kevin; Khleborodova, Asya; Pan, Jingyi; Ryan, Xiaozhou P.

    2009-01-01

    3′ Cleavage and polyadenylation are obligatory steps in the biogenesis of most mammalian pre-mRNAs. In vitro reconstitution of the 3′ cleavage reaction from human cleavage factors requires high concentrations of creatine phosphate (CP), though how CP activates cleavage is not known. Previously, we proposed that CP might work by competitively inhibiting a cleavage-suppressing serine/threonine (S/T) phosphatase. Here we show that fluoride/EDTA, a general S/T phosphatase inhibitor, activates in vitro cleavage in place of CP. Subsequent testing of inhibitors specific for different S/T phosphatases showed that inhibitors of the PPM family of S/T phosphatases, which includes PP2C, but not the PPP family, which includes PP1, PP2A, and PP2B, activated 3′ cleavage in vitro. In particular, NCI 83633, an inhibitor of PP2C, activated extensive 3′ cleavage at a concentration 50-fold below that required by fluoride or CP. The testing of structural analogs led to the identification of a more potent compound that activated 3′ cleavage at 200 μM. While testing CP analogs to understand the origin of its cleavage activation effect, we found phosphocholine to be a more effective activator than CP. The minimal structural determinants of 3′ cleavage activation by phosphocholine were identified. Our results describe a much improved small molecule activator of in vitro pre-mRNA cleavage, identify the molecular determinants of cleavage activation by phosphoamines such as phosphocholine, and suggest that a PPM family phosphatase is involved in the negative regulation of mammalian pre-mRNA 3′ cleavage. PMID:19155323

  11. Increased neutrophil adherence and adhesion molecule mRNA expression in endothelial cells during selenium deficiency.

    PubMed

    Maddox, J F; Aherne, K M; Reddy, C C; Sordillo, L M

    1999-05-01

    Leukocyte aggregation and activation on endothelial cells (EC) are important preliminary events in leukocyte migration into tissue and subsequent inflammation. Thus, an increase in leukocyte adherence has the potential to affect inflammatory disease outcome. Selenium (Se) is an integral part of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and plays an important role in the maintenance of the redox state of a cell. Se supplementation in the bovine has been shown to improve the outcome of acute mastitis caused by coliform bacteria, in part by enhancing the speed of neutrophil migration into the affected mammary gland. However, the mechanisms by which Se modulates neutrophil migration have not been elucidated. Therefore, an in vitro model of Se deficiency in primary bovine mammary artery EC was used to examine the impact of Se status on the adhesive properties of EC. The effect of Se on functional activities was examined by measuring neutrophil adherence to Se-deficient and Se-supplemented EC. Se-deficient EC showed significantly enhanced neutrophil adherence when stimulated with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) for 4 or 24 h, interleukin-1 for 12 h, or H2O2 for 20 min (P < 0.05). To determine the mechanisms underlying these changes in neutrophil adherence, the expression of EC adhesion molecules, ICAM-1, E-selectin, and P-selectin were examined at the molecular level by a competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Results revealed higher mRNA expression for E-selectin and ICAM-1 in Se-deficient EC stimulated with TNF-alpha for 3 and 6 h, and greater expression of P-selectin mRNA in Se-supplemented EC with 3-h TNF-alpha stimulation. These studies provide new information to establish the role of Se nutrition in the initiation of leukocyte adherence to endothelium. PMID:10331495

  12. 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.

  13. Potential siRNA Molecules for Nucleoprotein and M2/L Overlapping Region of Respiratory Syncytial Virus: In Silico Design

    PubMed Central

    Shatizadeh Malekshahi, Somayeh; Arefian, Ehsan; Salimi, Vahid; Mokhtari Azad, Talat; Yavarian, Jila

    2016-01-01

    Background Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in the pediatric population, elderly and in immunosuppressed individuals. Respiratory syncytial virus is also responsible for bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary infections in all age groups. With this high disease burden and the lack of an effective RSV treatment and vaccine, there is a clear need for discovery and development of novel, effective and safe drugs to prevent and treat RSV disease. The most innovative approach is the use of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) which represent a revolutionary new concept in human therapeutics. The nucleoprotein gene of RSV which is known as the most conserved gene and the M2/L mRNA, which encompass sixty-eight overlapping nucleotides, were selected as suitable targets for siRNA design. Objectives The present study is aimed to design potential siRNAs for silencing nucleoprotein and an overlapping region of M2-L coding mRNAs by computational analysis. Materials and Methods Various computational methods (target alignment, similarity search, secondary structure prediction, and RNA interaction calculation) have been used for siRNA designing against different strains of RSV. Results In this study, seven siRNA molecules were rationally designed against the nucleoprotein gene and validated using various computational methods for silencing different strains of RSV. Additionally, three effective siRNA molecules targeting the overlapping region of M2/L mRNA were designed. Conclusions This approach provides insight and a validated strategy for chemical synthesis of an antiviral RNA molecule which meets many sequence features for efficient silencing and treatment at the genomic level. PMID:27303618

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27462126

  16. Two-dimensional reaction of biological molecules studied by Weighted-Ensemble Brownian dynamics.

    PubMed

    Shkel, I A; Kim, S

    1999-01-01

    Computer simulations offer critical insights into the reaction of biological macromolecules, especially when the molecular shapes are too complex to be amenable to analytical solution. In this work, the Weighted-Ensemble Brownian (WEB) Dynamics simulation algorithm is adapted to a reaction of two unlike biological molecules, with the interaction modeled by a two-parameter system: a spherical molecular depositing on a target region of an infinite cylinder with a periodic boundary conditions. The original algorithm of Huber and Kim is streamlined for this class of reactive models. The reaction rate constant is calculated as a function of relative sizes of the reactive to non-reactive regions of the cylindrical molecule. An analytical expression for the rate constant is also obtained from the solution of the diffusion equation for the special case of a constant-flux boundary condition. Good agreement between analytical and simulation results validates the applicability of WEB Dynamics to a reaction of molecules of complicated shape. On the other hand, the simple form of our analytical expression is useful as a testing case for other simulation and numerical techniques.

  17. Screening for Small-Molecule Modulators of Long Noncoding RNA-Protein Interactions Using AlphaScreen

    PubMed Central

    Pedram Fatemi, Roya; Salah-Uddin, Sultan; Modarresi, Farzaneh; Khoury, Nathalie; Wahlestedt, Claes

    2015-01-01

    Long non–protein coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are an important class of molecules that help orchestrate key cellular events. Although their functional roles in cells are not well understood, thousands of lncRNAs and a number of possible mechanisms by which they act have been reported. LncRNAs can exert their regulatory function in cells by interacting with epigenetic enzymes. In this study, we developed a tool to study lncRNA-protein interactions for high-throughput screening of small-molecule modulators using AlphaScreen technology. We tested the interaction of two lncRNAs: brain-derived neurotrophic factor antisense (BDNF-AS) and Hox transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR), with Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a histone methyltransferase against a phytochemical library, to look for small-molecule inhibitors that can alter the expression of downstream target genes. We identified ellipticine, a compound that up-regulates BDNF transcription. Our study shows the feasibility of using high-throughput screening to identify modulators of lncRNA-protein interactions and paves the road for targeting lncRNAs that are dysregulated in human disorders using small-molecule therapies. PMID:26173710

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Tien, Shin-Ming; Hsu, Chih-Yuan; 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Versatile site-specific conjugation of small molecules to siRNA using click chemistry.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Takeshi; Peng, Chang Geng; Matsuda, Shigeo; Addepalli, Haripriya; Jayaprakash, K Narayanannair; Alam, Md Rowshon; Mills, Kathy; Maier, Martin A; Charisse, Klaus; Sekine, Mitsuo; Manoharan, Muthiah; Rajeev, Kallanthottathil G

    2011-03-01

    We have previously demonstrated that conjugation of small molecule ligands to small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and anti-microRNAs results in functional siRNAs and antagomirs in vivo. Here we report on the development of an efficient chemical strategy to make oligoribonucleotide-ligand conjugates using the copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) or click reaction. Three click reaction approaches were evaluated for their feasibility and suitability for high-throughput synthesis: the CuAAC reaction at the monomer level prior to oligonucleotide synthesis, the solution-phase postsynthetic "click conjugation", and the "click conjugation" on an immobilized and completely protected alkyne-oligonucleotide scaffold. Nucleosides bearing 5'-alkyne moieties were used for conjugation to the 5'-end of the oligonucleotide. Previously described 2'- and 3'-O-propargylated nucleosides were prepared to introduce the alkyne moiety to the 3' and 5' termini and to the internal positions of the scaffold. Azido-functionalized ligands bearing lipophilic long chain alkyls, cholesterol, oligoamine, and carbohydrate were utilized to study the effect of physicochemical characteristics of the incoming azide on click conjugation to the alkyne-oligonucleotide scaffold in solution and on immobilized solid support. We found that microwave-assisted click conjugation of azido-functionalized ligands to a fully protected solid-support bound alkyne-oligonucleotide prior to deprotection was the most efficient "click conjugation" strategy for site-specific, high-throughput oligonucleotide conjugate synthesis tested. The siRNA conjugates synthesized using this approach effectively silenced expression of a luciferase gene in a stably transformed HeLa cell line.

  5. microRNA, seeds, and Darwin?: diverse function of miRNA in seed biology and plant responses to stress.

    PubMed

    Martin, Ruth C; Liu, Po-Pu; Goloviznina, Natalya A; Nonogaki, Hiroyuki

    2010-05-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are small, single-stranded RNAs that down-regulate target genes at the post-transcriptional level. miRNAs regulate target genes by guiding mRNA cleavage or by repressing translation. miRNAs play crucial roles in a broad range of developmental processes in plants. Multiple miRNAs are present in germinating seeds and seedlings of Arabidopsis, some of which are involved in the regulation of germination and seedling growth by plant hormones such as abscisic acid (ABA) and auxin. The involvement of miRNAs in ABA responses is not limited to the early stages of plant development but seems to be important for general stress responses throughout the plant life cycle. This Darwin review summarizes recent progress in miRNA research focusing on seed and stress biology, two topics which were of interest to Charles Darwin.

  6. MS-based metabolomics facilitates the discovery of in vivo functional small molecules with a diversity of biological contexts.

    PubMed

    Yan, Leyu; Nie, Wenna; Parker, Tony; Upton, Zee; Lu, Haitao

    2013-10-01

    In vivo small molecules as necessary intermediates are involved in numerous critical metabolic pathways and biological processes associated with many essential biological functions and events. There is growing evidence that MS-based metabolomics is emerging as a powerful tool to facilitate the discovery of functional small molecules that can better our understanding of development, infection, nutrition, disease, toxicity, drug therapeutics, gene modifications and host-pathogen interaction from metabolic perspectives. However, further progress must still be made in MS-based metabolomics because of the shortcomings in the current technologies and knowledge. This technique-driven review aims to explore the discovery of in vivo functional small molecules facilitated by MS-based metabolomics and to highlight the analytic capabilities and promising applications of this discovery strategy. Moreover, the biological significance of the discovery of in vivo functional small molecules with different biological contexts is also interrogated at a metabolic perspective. PMID:24175746

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Template-directed synthesis of a small molecule-antisense conjugate targeting an mRNA structure

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yang; Rodriguez, Lilia; Wolfe, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    The targeting of structural features in mRNA with specificity remains a great chemical challenge. A hairpin structure near exon 10 in the pre-mRNA encoding the tau protein controls its splicing, and dementia-causing mutations that disrupt this structure increase exon 10 splicing. We previously reported the discovery of small molecules, mitoxantrone (MTX) and analogs, which bind to the tau RNA hairpin structure and the design of bipartite antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) that simultaneously bind to the discontinuous sequences that flank this hairpin. Herein we report the synthesis of a bipartite ASO conjugated to MTX using the tau RNA hairpin and flanking sequences as a template. A set of six MTX analogs, each containing a linker-azide, and a set of ten bipartite ASOs, each containing a branched linker-alkyne, were synthesized and tested in combinatorial fashion for their ability to conjugate in the presence or absence of template RNA. A single template-dependent MTX–ASO conjugate was identified from among the 60 reaction mixtures, demonstrating that the MTX and ASO precursors could simultaneously bind the RNA template and allow proper positioning of azide and alkyne for 1,3-cycloaddition. While the MTX–ASO conjugate proved too cytotoxic for cell-based assays, the conjugate inhibited tau exon 10 splicing under cell-free conditions more effectively than MTX or bipartite ASO alone. PMID:24691171

  12. 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

  13. Incorporation and characterization of biological molecules in droplet-interface bilayer networks for novel active systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarles, Stephen A.; Ghanbari Bavarsad, Pegah; Leo, Donald J.

    2009-03-01

    Biological molecules including phospholipids and proteins offer scientists and engineers a diverse selection of materials to develop new types of active materials and smart systems based on ion conduction. The inherent energy-coupling abilities of these components create novel kinds of transduction elements. Networks formed from droplet-interface bilayers (DIB) are a promising construct for creating cell mimics that allow for the assembly and study of these active biological molecules. The current-voltage relationship of symmetric, "lipid-in" dropletinterface bilayers are characterized using electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). "Lipid-in" diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPhPC) droplet-interface bilayers have specific resistances of nearly 10MΩ•cm2 and rupture at applied potentials greater than 300mV, indicating the "lipid-in" approach produces higher quality interfacial membranes than created using the original "lipid-out" method. The incorporation of phospholipids into the droplet interior allows for faster monolayer formation but does not inhibit the selfinsertion of transmembrane proteins into bilayer interfaces that separate adjacent droplets. Alamethicin proteins inserted into single and multi-DIB networks produce a voltage-dependent membrane conductance and current measurements on bilayers containing this type of protein exhibit a reversible, 3-4 order-of-magnitude conductance increase upon application of voltage.

  14. Franck-Condon-like Progressions in Infrared Spectra of Biological Molecules.

    PubMed

    Zabuga, Aleksandra V; Kamrath, Michael Z; Rizzo, Thomas R

    2015-10-22

    Infrared spectra in the NH stretch region are often used for structure determination of gas-phase biological molecules. Vibrational couplings complicate the structure determination process by giving rise to additional vibrational bands along with the expected fundamental transitions. We present an example of a strong anharmonic coupling in a biological molecule, Ac-Phe-Ala-LysH(+), which causes the appearance of long vibrational progressions in the infrared spectrum. By analyzing the spectra of the ground and the electronically excited state, we determined that the coupling occurs between the NH stretch (ωNH) and a low-frequency torsion of the phenyl ring (ωτ). We describe the vibrational progressions using a Born-Oppenheimer-like separation of the high-frequency stretch and low-frequency torsion with a quartic Taylor expansion for the potential energy surface that accounts for the equilibrium distance and frequency change of the torsional vibration upon the NH stretch excitation. We also demonstrate that small conformational changes in the peptide are sufficient to break this coupling.

  15. Cellular delivery of small interfering RNA by a non-covalently attached cell-penetrating peptide: quantitative analysis of uptake and biological effect

    PubMed Central

    Veldhoen, Sandra; Laufer, Sandra D.; Trampe, Alexander; Restle, Tobias

    2006-01-01

    Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have evolved as promising new tools to deliver nucleic acids into cells. So far, the majority of these delivery systems require a covalent linkage between carrier and cargo. To exploit the higher flexibility of a non-covalent strategy, we focused on the characterisation of a novel carrier peptide termed MPGα, which spontaneously forms complexes with nucleic acids. Using a luciferase-targeted small interfering RNA (siRNA) as cargo, we optimised the conditions for MPGα-mediated transfection of mammalian cells. In this system, reporter gene activity could be inhibited up to 90% with an IC50 value in the sub-nanomolar range. As a key issue, we addressed the cellular uptake mechanism of MPGα/siRNA complexes applying various approaches. First, transfection of HeLa cells with MPGα/siRNA complexes in the presence of several inhibitors of endocytosis showed a significant reduction of the RNA interference (RNAi) effect. Second, confocal laser microscopy revealed a punctual intracellular pattern rather than a diffuse distribution of fluorescently labelled RNA-cargo. These data provide strong evidence of an endocytotic pathway contributing significantly to the uptake of MPGα/siRNA complexes. Finally, we quantified the intracellular number of siRNA molecules after MPGα-mediated transfection. The amount of siRNA required to induce half maximal RNAi was 10 000 molecules per cell. Together, the combination of methods provided allows for a detailed side by side quantitative analysis of cargo internalisation and related biological effects. Thus, the overall efficiency of a given delivery technique as well as the mechanism of uptake can be assessed. PMID:17135188

  16. Molecules in interstellar clouds. [physical and chemical conditions of star formation and biological evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, W. M.; Hjalmarson, A.; Rydbeck, O. E. H.

    1981-01-01

    The physical conditions and chemical compositions of the gas in interstellar clouds are reviewed in light of the importance of interstellar clouds for star formation and the origin of life. The Orion A region is discussed as an example of a giant molecular cloud where massive stars are being formed, and it is pointed out that conditions in the core of the cloud, with a kinetic temperature of about 75 K and a density of 100,000-1,000,000 molecules/cu cm, may support gas phase ion-molecule chemistry. The Taurus Molecular Clouds are then considered as examples of cold, dark, relatively dense interstellar clouds which may be the birthplaces of solar-type stars and which have been found to contain the heaviest interstellar molecules yet discovered. The molecular species identified in each of these regions are tabulated, including such building blocks of biological monomers as H2O, NH3, H2CO, CO, H2S, CH3CN and H2, and more complex species such as HCOOCH3 and CH3CH2CN.

  17. Next generation techniques in the high resolution spectroscopy of biologically relevant molecules.

    PubMed

    Neill, Justin L; Douglass, Kevin O; Pate, Brooks H; Pratt, David W

    2011-04-28

    Recent advances in the technology of test and measurement equipment driven by the computer and telecommunications industries have made possible the development of a new broadband, Fourier-transform microwave spectrometer that operates on principles similar to FTNMR. This technique uses a high sample-rate arbitrary waveform generator to construct a phase-locked chirped microwave pulse that gives a linear frequency sweep over a wide frequency range in 1 μs. The chirped pulse efficiently polarizes the molecular sample at all frequencies lying within this band. The subsequent free induction decay of this polarization is measured with a high-speed digitizer and then fast Fourier-transformed to yield a broadband, frequency-resolved rotational spectrum, spanning up to 11.5 GHz and containing lines that are as narrow as 100 kHz. This new technique is called chirped-pulse Fourier transform microwave (CP-FTMW) spectroscopy. The technique offers the potential to determine the structural and dynamical properties of very large molecules solely from fully resolved pure rotational spectra. FTMW double resonance techniques employing a low-resolution UV laser facilitate an easy assignment of overlapping spectra produced by different conformers in the sample. Of particular interest are the energy landscapes of conformationally flexible molecules of biological importance, including studies of their interaction with solvent and/or other weakly bound molecules. An example is provided from the authors' work on p-methoxyphenethylamine, a neurotransmitter, and its complexes with water. PMID:21394332

  18. Application of Fourier transform infrared ellipsometry to assess the concentration of biological molecules.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Caurel, Enric; Drévillon, Bernard; De Martino, Antonello; Schwartz, Laurent

    2002-12-01

    Spectroscopic ellipsometry is a noninvasive optical characterization technique mainly used in the semiconductor field to characterize bare substrates and thin films. In particular, it allows the gathering of information concerning the physical structure of the sample, such as roughness and film thickness, as well as its optical response. In the mid-infrared (IR) range each molecule exhibits a characteristic absorption fingerprint, which makes this technique chemically selective. Phase-modulated IR ellipsometry does not require a baseline correction procedure or suppression of atmospheric CO2 and water-vapor absorption bands, thus greatly reducing the subjectivity in data analysis. We have found that ellipsometric measurements of thin films, such as the solid residuals left on a plane surface after evaporation of a liquid drop containing a given compound in solution, are particularly favorable for dosing purposes because the intensity of IR absorptions shows a linear behavior along a wide range of solution concentrations of the given compound. Our aim is to illustrate with a concrete example and to justify theoretically the linearity experimentally found between radiation absorption and molecule concentration. For the example, we prepared aqueous solutions of glycogen, a molecule of huge biological importance currently tested in biochemical analyses, at concentrations ranging from 1 mg/l to 1 g/l which correspond to those found in physiological conditions. The results of this example are promising for the application of ellipsometry for dosing purposes in biochemistry and biomedicine. PMID:12477127

  19. Probing Solvation Dynamics around Aromatic and Biological Molecules at the Single-Molecular Level.

    PubMed

    Dopfer, Otto; Fujii, Masaaki

    2016-05-11

    Solvation processes play a crucial role in chemical reactions and biomolecular recognition phenomena. Although solvation dynamics of interfacial or biological water has been studied extensively in aqueous solution, the results are generally averaged over several solvation layers and the motion of individual solvent molecules is difficult to capture. This review describes the development and application of a new experimental approach, namely, picosecond time-resolved pump-probe infrared spectroscopy of size- and isomer-selected aromatic clusters, in which for the first time the dynamics of a single individual solvent molecule can be followed in real time. The intermolecular isomerization reaction is triggered by resonant photoionization (pump), and infrared photodissociation (probe) at variable delay generates the spectroscopic signature of salient properties of the reaction, including rates, yields, pathways, branching ratios of competing reactions, existence of reaction intermediates, occurrence of back reactions, and time scales of energy relaxation processes. It is shown that this relevant information can reliably be decoded from the experimental spectra by sophisticated molecular dynamics simulations. This review covers a description of the experimental strategies and spectroscopic methods along with all applications to date, which range from aromatic clusters with nonpolar solvent molecules to aromatic monohydrated biomolecules. PMID:27054835

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. Electron transfer behaviour of biological macromolecules towards the single-molecule level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jingdong; Grubb, Mikala; Hansen, Allan G.; Kuznetsov, Alexander M.; Boisen, Anja; Wackerbarth, Hainer; Ulstrup, Jens

    2003-05-01

    Redox metalloproteins immobilized on metallic surfaces in contact with aqueous biological media are important in many areas of pure and applied sciences. Redox metalloprotein films are currently being addressed by new approaches where biotechnology including modified and synthetic proteins is combined with state-of-the-art physical electrochemistry with emphasis on single-crystal, atomically planar electrode surfaces, in situ scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and other surface techniques. These approaches have brought bioelectrochemistry important steps forward towards the nanoscale and single-molecule levels. We discuss here these advances with reference to two specific redox metalloproteins, the blue single-copper protein Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin and the single-haem protein Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cytochrome c, and a short oligonucleotide. Both proteins can be immobilized on Au(111) by chemisorption via exposed sulfur-containing residues. Voltammetric, interfacial capacitance, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and microcantilever sensor data, together with in situ STM with single-molecule resolution, all point to a coherent view of monolayer organization with protein electron transfer (ET) function retained. In situ STM can also address the microscopic mechanisms for electron tunnelling through the biomolecules and offers novel notions such as coherent multi-ET between the substrate and tip via the molecular redox levels. This differs in important respects from electrochemical ET at a single metal/electrolyte interface. Similar data for a short oligonucleotide immobilized on Au(111) show that oligonucleotides can be characterized with comparable detail, with novel perspectives for addressing DNA electronic conduction mechanisms and for biological screening towards the single-molecule level.

  3. 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.

  4. [Studies on construction of artificial mutants of Cucumber mosaic virus satellite RNA and their biological activity].

    PubMed

    Jin, Bo; Chen, Ji-Shuang; Zhang, Hua-Rong

    2005-08-01

    Based on the full length cDNA clone of a Cucumber mosaic virus satellite RNA, which was 369nt in size, artificial mutants were developed by the method of error-prone PCR and DNA shuffling. The new satellite cDNAs were transcribed in vitro into ssRNA and pseudo-recombined with a helper Cucumber mosaic virus, which contains no satellite RNA. Sequence analysis showed that A to T/G or G to A replacement all the four mutants, named MS1, MS5, MS6 and MS11 respectively, and there is no C to G or G to C replacement, but amongst, only the mutants MS11 could replicated when recombined with the helper virus strain. No satellite RNA could be detected by RT-PCR amplification and double-stranded RNA analysis for those pseudo-recombination constitution of Cucumber mosaic virus strain with mutants MS1, MS5 and MS6.Sequence homological comparison showed that the single replacement of mutants MS1, MS5 and MS6 occurred in the highly conservative regions and the T to A replacement of mutant MS11 was located in the normal-variation region. This is the first artificial mutation of satellite RNA of plant RNA viruses. The results indicated that single base in the region of satellite RNA maybe important to maintaining the biological activity of satellite RNA for its replication and stability. The variation and evolution of satellite RNA could be hopefully studied through combination directed evolution by DNA shuffling with pseudo-recombination in vitro.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:27152146

  8. Human polynucleotide phosphorylase (hPNPase old-35): an RNA degradation enzyme with pleiotrophic biological effects.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Devanand; Fisher, Paul B

    2006-05-01

    Identification of small inhibitory RNAs and microRNA established that regulation of RNA metabolism plays an essential role in controlling intracellular biochemical processes. Interferons induce a number of RNA degradation enzymes involved in innate immunity by degrading viral RNAs. We cloned human polynucleotide phosphorylase (hPNPase(old-35)), a type I interferon-inducible 3'-5' exoribonuclease, as a transcript induced during terminal differentiation and senescence, two physiological processes marked by irreversible growth arrest. Our studies in the last four years show that hPNPase(old-35) plays an essential role in mediating IFN-mediated growth inhibition and its upregulation might mediate chronic inflammatory pathological processes during aging. The present review recaps these findings and provides a framework for the future understanding of the versatile functions of this interesting molecule. PMID:16687933

  9. When nano meets bio: Biological molecule detection based on silicon two-dimensional photonic crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Mindy Ren

    Over the past few years, techniques for early detection and identification of biological substances have been pursued with great interest in wide-ranging fields. One of the fast growing areas in biosensing research involves developing label-free optical biosensors. Theses biosensors do not use radioactive or fluorescent labels, hence not only reduce the complexity in sample preparation and possible contamination to biological materials in vivo but allow measurement in real-time. Recently photonic crystals (PhCs) have shown great promise as a novel sensing platform because of their strong light confinement. By introducing a localized defect (e.g. point-like defect, line-like defect) inside a PhC, an electromagnetic microcavity can be created which gives rise to defect states inside photonic bandgaps. The transmission spectrum of the microcavity shows resonance peaks. The capture of material inside the microcavity is monitored by observing resonance peak shifts. Such cavities can be designed to have ultra-high quality factor (Q > 106) and hence are extremely sensitive to the refractive index change due to biological molecule capture. Our device has a small sensing area (1 microm2 ˜ 40 microm2) which requires only a very small amount of sample analyte (˜ fg). Moreover, a small sensing area would also allow dense integration of multiple sensors on a single chip. The device can be potentially used for quantitively measuring protein monolayer thickness and detecting single viruses.

  10. Designing Microarray and RNA-seq Experiments for Greater Systems Biology Discovery in Modern Plant Genomics.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chuanping; Wei, Hairong

    2014-11-01

    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) generate two or more groups of comparable data for identifying differentially expressed genes, gene families, biological processes, or metabolic pathways under experimental condition. (2) 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 discussed the major issues that researchers commonly face when embarking on a microarray or RNA-seq experiments and summarized important aspects of experimental design, which aim to help researchers deliberate how to generate gene expression profiles with low background noise but more interaction to facilitate novel biological knowledge discoveries in modern plant genomics.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:27662767

  14. 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

  15. Detection of double-stranded RNA molecules and virus-like particles in different Mucor species.

    PubMed

    Vágvölgyi, C; Magyar, K; Papp, T; Vastag, M; Ferenczy, L; Hornok, L; Fekete, C

    1998-02-01

    The presence of double-stranded RNA elements was examined in 123 strains representing 18 Mucor species. These genetic elements were found to be present in 6 strains: 1 M. aligarensis, 1 M. hiemalis, 2 M. corticolus, 1 M. mucedo and 1 M. ramannianus. Electrophoretic separation of the nucleic acids revealed 4 different RNA patterns, with 1 to 5 discrete dsRNA bands. The molecular weights corresponding to these bands were 1.42-4.15 x 10(6) D. Using electronmicroscopy, for the first time the presence of virus like particles in Mucor species has been revealed.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26900709

  18. Accelerating the Discovery of Biologically Active Small Molecules Using a High-Throughput Yeast Halo Assay#

    PubMed Central

    Gassner, Nadine C.; Tamble, Craig M.; Bock, Jonathan E.; Cotton, Naomi; White, Kimberly N.; Tenney, Karen; St. Onge, Robert P.; Proctor, Michael J.; Giaever, Guri; Davis, Ronald W.; Crews, Phillip; Holman, Theodore R.; Lokey, R. Scott

    2008-01-01

    The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a powerful model system for the study of basic eukaryotic cell biology, has been used increasingly as a screening tool for the identification of bioactive small molecules. We have developed a novel yeast toxicity screen that is easily automated and compatible with high-throughput screening robotics. The new screen is quantitative and allows inhibitory potencies to be determined, since the diffusion of the sample provides a concentration gradient and a corresponding toxicity halo. The efficacy of this new screen was illustrated by testing materials including 3,104 compounds from the NCI libraries, 167 marine sponge crude extracts, and 149 crude marine-derived fungal extracts. There were 46 active compounds among the NCI set. One very active extract was selected for bioactivity-guided fractionation resulting in the identification of crambescidin 800 as a potent antifungal agent. PMID:17291044

  19. 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.

  20. Developing novel organocatalyzed aldol reactions for the enantioselective synthesis of biologically active molecules

    PubMed Central

    Bhanushali, Mayur; Zhao, Cong-Gui

    2011-01-01

    Aldol reaction is one of the most important methods for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. Because of its significance and usefulness, asymmetric versions of this reaction have been realized with different approaches in the past. Over the last decade, the area of organocatalysis has made significant progresses. As one of most studied reactions in organocatalyses, organocatalyzed aldol reaction has emerged as a powerful tool for the synthesis of a large number of useful products in optically enriched forms. In this review, we summarize our efforts on the development of novel organocatalyzed aldol reactions for the enantioselective synthesis of biological active molecules. Literatures closely related to our studies are also covered. PMID:21918584

  1. 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

  2. Cloning, in vitro transcription, and biological activity of Escherichia coli 23S ribosomal RNA.

    PubMed

    Weitzmann, C J; Cunningham, P R; Ofengand, J

    1990-06-25

    The 23S rRNA gene was excised from the rrnB operon of pKK3535 and ligated into pUC19 behind the strong class III T7 promoter so that the correct 5' end of mature 23S RNA was produced upon transcription by T7 RNA polymerase. At the 3' end, generation of a restriction site for linearization required the addition of 2 adenosine residues to the mature 23S sequence. In vitro runoff transcripts were indistinguishable from natural 23S RNA in size on denaturing gels and in 5'-terminal sequence. The length and sequence of the 3' terminal T1 fragment was also as expected from the DNA sequence, except that an additional C, A, or U residue was added to 21%, 18%, or 5% of the molecules, respectively. Typical transcription reactions yielded 500-700 moles RNA per mole template. This transcript was used as a substrate for methyl transfer from S-adenosyl methionine catalyzed by Escherichia coli cell extracts. The majority (50-65%) of activity observed in a crude (S30) extract appeared in the post-ribosomal supernatant (S100). Activities catalyzing formation of m5C, m5U, m2G, and m6A residues in the synthetic transcript were observed. PMID:2194163

  3. Determination of Secondary and Tertiary Structural Features of Transfer RNA Molecules in Solution by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Shulman, R. G.; Hilbers, C. W.; Wong, Yeng P.; Wong, K. Lim; Lightfoot, Donald R.; Reid, Brian R.; Kearns, David R.

    1973-01-01

    High-resolution 300-MHz proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of the hydrogen-bounded protons in three different purified tRNA molecules are presented. The resonances in the region between -11 and -15 ppm from 2,2-dimethyl-2-silapentane-5-sulfonate (DSS) are assigned to the ring NH protons of specific base pairs by two approaches. First, intrinsic positions of -14.8 ppm and -13.7 ppm are taken for the AU and GC ring NH protons, respectively, and the spectra are calculated by including ring current shifts from the nearest neighbors. The spectra calculated in this way on the basis of the cloverleaf are in good agreement with the observed. Second, fragments of yeast tRNAPhe were obtained, which helped in assignments of the spectrum of intact molecules. The close agreement strongly supports the cloverleaf model. Tertiary structural features were determined in a few cases where the ring currents at the terminal base pairs of helical regions depended upon stacking of the helices. In this way, we were able to show that in Escherichia coli tRNAGlu the CCA stem forms a continuous helix with the TΨC stem, which is in accord with the preliminary x-ray structure of yeast tRNAPhe, suggesting that this stacking is observed in solution and may be a general property of different tRNA molecules. Similar reasoning suggests that in E. coli tRNAfMet G-27 is stacked upon the dihydrouridine helix. PMID:4579011

  4. The Subcellular Distribution of Small Molecules: from Pharmacokinetics to Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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 article, we surveyed 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 pointed to many opportunities to advance the rational design of organelle-targeted chemical agents. These opportunities include: 1) development of quantitative, nonfluorescence-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. PMID:21805990

  5. 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.

  6. Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay: novel mechanistic insights and biological impact.

    PubMed

    Karousis, Evangelos D; Nasif, Sofia; Mühlemann, Oliver

    2016-09-01

    Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) was originally coined to define a quality control mechanism that targets mRNAs with truncated open reading frames due to the presence of a premature termination codon. Meanwhile, it became clear that NMD has a much broader impact on gene expression and additional biological functions beyond quality control are continuously being discovered. We review here the current views regarding the molecular mechanisms of NMD, according to which NMD ensues on mRNAs that fail to terminate translation properly, and point out the gaps in our understanding. We further summarize the recent literature on an ever-rising spectrum of biological processes in which NMD appears to be involved, including homeostatic control of gene expression, development and differentiation, as well as viral defense. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:661-682. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1357 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27173476

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Key labeling technologies to tackle sizeable problems in RNA structural biology.

    PubMed

    Dayie, Kwaku T

    2008-06-01

    The ability to adopt complex three-dimensional (3D) structures that can rapidly interconvert between multiple functional states (folding and dynamics) is vital for the proper functioning of RNAs. Consequently, RNA structure and dynamics necessarily determine their biological function. In the post-genomic era, it is clear that RNAs comprise a larger proportion (>50%) of the transcribed genome compared to proteins (< or =2%). Yet the determination of the 3D structures of RNAs lags considerably behind those of proteins and to date there are even fewer investigations of dynamics in RNAs compared to proteins. Site specific incorporation of various structural and dynamic probes into nucleic acids would likely transform RNA structural biology. Therefore, various methods for introducing probes for structural, functional, and biotechnological applications are critically assessed here. These probes include stable isotopes such as (2)H, (13)C, (15)N, and (19)F. Incorporation of these probes using improved RNA ligation strategies promises to change the landscape of structural biology of supramacromolecules probed by biophysical tools such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and Raman spectroscopy. Finally, some of the structural and dynamic problems that can be addressed using these technological advances are outlined.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Fluorescent sensors for specific RNA: a general paradigm using chemistry and combinatorial biology.

    PubMed

    Sparano, Brian A; Koide, Kazunori

    2007-04-18

    Here, we describe a new paradigm for the development of small molecule-based RNA sensors. We prepared a series of potential PET (photoinduced electron transfer) sensors on the basis of 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein (DCF) fluorophore conjugated with two aniline derivatives as electron donors (quenchers). NMR and fluorescent spectroscopic analyses of these DCF derivatives revealed the correlation between the conformations, the PET, and the fluorescent intensities of these DCF derivatives, enabling us to select a sensor candidate. RNA aptamers were raised against the aniline-based quencher via in vitro selection (SELEX). One of these aptamers enhanced the fluorescence intensity of the DCF-aniline conjugate in a concentration-dependent manner. To demonstrate the power and generality of this approach, additional in vitro selection was performed and aptamers from this selection were found to have similar activities. These results show that one can develop fluorescence-inducing reporter RNA and morph it into remotely related sequences without prior structural insight into RNA-ligand binding.

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

    PubMed

    Fujita, Toshitsugu; Fujii, Hodaka

    2015-09-24

    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.

  16. The origin of the 5S ribosomal RNA molecule could have been caused by a single inverse duplication: strong evidence from its sequences.

    PubMed

    Branciamore, Sergio; Di Giulio, Massimo

    2012-04-01

    The secondary structure of the 5S ribosomal RNA (5S rRNA) molecule shows a high degree of symmetry. In order to explain the origin of this symmetry, it has been conjectured that one half of the 5S rRNA molecule was its precursor and that an indirect duplication of this precursor created the other half and thus the current symmetry of the molecule. Here, we have subjected to an empirical test both the indirect duplication model, analysing a total of 684 5S rRNA sequences for complementarity between the two halves of the 5S rRNA, and the direct duplication model analysing in this case the similarity between the two halves of this molecule. In intra- and inter-molecule and intra- and inter-domain comparisons, we find a high statistical support to the hypothesis of a complementarity relationship between the two halves of the 5S rRNA molecule, denying vice versa the hypothesis of similarity between these halves. Therefore, these observations corroborate the indirect duplication model at the expense of the direct duplication model, as reason of the origin of the 5S rRNA molecule. More generally, we discuss and favour the hypothesis that all RNAs and proteins, which present symmetry, did so through gene duplication and not by gradualistic accumulation of few monomers or segments of molecule into a gradualistic growth process. This would be the consequence of the very high propensity that nucleic acids have to be subjected to duplications.

  17. Conceptual Modeling in Systems Biology Fosters Empirical Findings: The mRNA Lifecycle

    PubMed Central

    Dori, Dov; Choder, Mordechai

    2007-01-01

    One of the main obstacles to understanding complex biological systems is the extent and rapid evolution of information, way beyond the capacity individuals to manage and comprehend. Current modeling approaches and tools lack adequate capacity to model concurrently structure and behavior of biological systems. Here we propose Object-Process Methodology (OPM), a holistic conceptual modeling paradigm, as a means to model both diagrammatically and textually biological systems formally and intuitively at any desired number of levels of detail. OPM combines objects, e.g., proteins, and processes, e.g., transcription, in a way that is simple and easily comprehensible to researchers and scholars. As a case in point, we modeled the yeast mRNA lifecycle. The mRNA lifecycle involves mRNA synthesis in the nucleus, mRNA transport to the cytoplasm, and its subsequent translation and degradation therein. Recent studies have identified specific cytoplasmic foci, termed processing bodies that contain large complexes of mRNAs and decay factors. Our OPM model of this cellular subsystem, presented here, led to the discovery of a new constituent of these complexes, the translation termination factor eRF3. Association of eRF3 with processing bodies is observed after a long-term starvation period. We suggest that OPM can eventually serve as a comprehensive evolvable model of the entire living cell system. The model would serve as a research and communication platform, highlighting unknown and uncertain aspects that can be addressed empirically and updated consequently while maintaining consistency. PMID:17849002

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Visualising single molecules of HIV-1 and miRNA nucleic acids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The scarcity of certain nucleic acid species and the small size of target sequences such as miRNA, impose a significant barrier to subcellular visualization and present a major challenge to cell biologists. Here, we offer a generic and highly sensitive visualization approach (oligo fluorescent in situ hybridization, O-FISH) that can be used to detect such nucleic acids using a single-oligonucleotide probe of 19–26 nucleotides in length. Results We used O-FISH to visualize miR146a in human and avian cells. Furthermore, we reveal the sensitivity of O-FISH detection by using a HIV-1 model system to show that as little as 1–2 copies of nucleic acids can be detected in a single cell. We were able to discern newly synthesized viral cDNA and, moreover, observed that certain HIV RNA sequences are only transiently available for O-FISH detection. Conclusions Taken together, these results suggest that the O-FISH method can potentially be used for in situ probing of, as few as, 1–2 copies of nucleic acid and, additionally, to visualize small RNA such as miRNA. We further propose that the O-FISH method could be extended to understand viral function by probing newly transcribed viral intermediates; and discern the localisation of nucleic acids of interest. Additionally, interrogating the conformation and structure of a particular nucleic acid in situ might also be possible, based on the accessibility of a target sequence. PMID:23590669

  1. Equilibrium Properties and Force-Driven Unfolding Pathways of RNA Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imparato, A.; Pelizzola, A.; Zamparo, M.

    2009-10-01

    The mechanical unfolding of a simple RNA hairpin and of a 236-base portion of the Tetrahymena thermophila ribozyme is studied by means of an Ising-like model. Phase diagrams and free energy landscapes are computed exactly and suggest a simple two-state behavior for the hairpin and the presence of intermediate states for the ribozyme. Nonequilibrium simulations give the possible unfolding pathways for the ribozyme, and the dominant pathway corresponds to the experimentally observed one.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-26

    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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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…

  8. Solid-supported cross-metathesis and a formal alkane metathesis for the generation of biologically relevant molecules.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Luciana; Mata, Ernesto G

    2015-02-01

    Solid-phase synthetic strategies toward the generation of libraries of biologically relevant molecules were developed using olefin cross-metathesis as a key step. It is remarkably the formal alkane metathesis based on a one-pot, microwave-assisted, ruthenium-catalyzed cross-metathesis and reduction to obtain Csp3-Csp3 linkages.

  9. Molecular-scale quantitative charge density measurement of biological molecule by frequency modulation atomic force microscopy in aqueous solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Kenichi; Kobayashi, Kei; Oyabu, Noriaki; Matsushige, Kazumi; Yamada, Hirofumi

    2015-07-01

    Surface charge distributions on biological molecules in aqueous solutions are essential for the interactions between biomolecules, such as DNA condensation, antibody-antigen interactions, and enzyme reactions. There has been a significant demand for a molecular-scale charge density measurement technique for better understanding such interactions. In this paper, we present the local electric double layer (EDL) force measurements on DNA molecules in aqueous solutions using frequency modulation atomic force microscopy (FM-AFM) with a three-dimensional force mapping technique. The EDL forces measured in a 100 mM KCl solution well agreed with the theoretical EDL forces calculated using reasonable parameters, suggesting that FM-AFM can be used for molecular-scale quantitative charge density measurements on biological molecules especially in a highly concentrated electrolyte.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Oxidative stress-responsive microRNA-320 regulates glycolysis in diverse biological systems

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Huibin; Lee, Myung; Sharpe, Orr; Salamone, Louis; Noonan, Emily J.; Hoang, Chuong D.; Levine, Sanford; Robinson, William H.; Shrager, Joseph B.

    2012-01-01

    Glycolysis is the initial step of glucose catabolism and is up-regulated in cancer cells (the Warburg Effect). Such shifts toward a glycolytic phenotype have not been explored widely in other biological systems, and the molecular mechanisms underlying the shifts remain unknown. With proteomics, we observed increased glycolysis in disused human diaphragm muscle. In disused muscle, lung cancer, and H2O2-treated myotubes, we show up-regulation of the rate-limiting glycolytic enzyme muscle-type phosphofructokinase (PFKm, >2 fold, P<0.05) and accumulation of lactate (>150%, P<0.05). Using microRNA profiling, we identify miR-320a as a regulator of PFKm expression. Reduced miR-320a levels (to ∼50% of control, P<0.05) are associated with the increased PFKm in each of these diverse systems. Manipulation of miR-320a levels both in vitro and in vivo alters PFKm and lactate levels in the expected directions. Further, miR-320a appears to regulate oxidative stress-induced PFKm expression, and reduced miR-320a allows greater induction of glycolysis in response to H2O2 treatment. We show that this microRNA-mediated regulation occurs through PFKm's 3′ untranslated region and that Ets proteins are involved in the regulation of PFKm via miR-320a. These findings suggest that oxidative stress-responsive microRNA-320a may regulate glycolysis broadly within nature.—Tang, H., Lee, M., Sharpe, O., Salamone, L., Noonan, E. J., Hoang, C. D., Levine, S., Robinson, W. H., Shrager, J. B. Oxidative stress-responsive microRNA-320 regulates glycolysis in diverse biological systems. PMID:22767230

  13. FRET Enabled Real Time Detection of RNA-Small Molecule Binding

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yun; Dix, Andrew V.; Tor, Yitzhak

    2011-01-01

    A robust analysis and discovery platform for antibiotics targeting the bacterial rRNA A-site has been developed by incorporating a new emissive U surrogate into the RNA and labeling the aminoglycosides with an appropriate fluorescence acceptor. Specifically, a 5-methoxyquinazoline-2,4(1H,3H)-dione-based emissive uracil analogue was identified to be an ideal donor for 7-diethylaminocoumarin-3-carboxylic acid. This donor/acceptor pair displays a critical Förster radius (R0) of 27 Å, a value suitable for an A-site-aminoglycoside assembly. Titrating the coumarin labeled aminoglycosides into the emissive A-site construct, labeled at position U1406, shows a decrease in donor emission (at 395 nm) and concurrent increase of the acceptor emission (at 473 nm). Titration curves, obtained by fitting the donor’s emission quenching or the augmentation of the acceptor’s sensitized emission, faithfully generate EC50 values. Titration of unlabeled ligands into the preformed FRET complex showed a continuous increase of the donor emission, with a concurrent decrease of the acceptor emission, yielding valuable data regarding competitive displacement of aminoglycosides by A-site binders. Detection of antibiotic binding is therefore not dependent on changes in the environment of a single fluorophore, but rather on the responsive interaction between two chromophores acting as a FRET pair, facilitating the determination of direct binding and competitive displacement events with FRET accuracy. PMID:19908830

  14. 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.

  15. Structure-activity studies on the fluorescent indicator in a displacement assay for the screening of small molecules binding to RNA.

    PubMed

    Umemoto, Shiori; Im, Seongwang; Zhang, Jinhua; Hagihara, Masaki; Murata, Asako; Harada, Yasue; Fukuzumi, Takeo; Wazaki, Takahiro; Sasaoka, Shin-ichi; Nakatani, Kazuhiko

    2012-08-01

    A series of xanthone and thioxanthone derivatives with aminoalkoxy substituents were synthesized as fluorescent indicators for a displacement assay in the study of small-molecule-RNA interactions. The RNA-binding properties of these molecules were investigated in terms of the improved binding selectivity to the loop region in the RNA secondary structure relative to 2,7-bis(2-aminoethoxy)xanthone (X2S) by fluorimetric titration and displacement assay. An 11-mer double-stranded RNA and a hairpin RNA mimicking the stem loop IIB of Rev response element (RRE) RNA of HIV-1 mRNA were used. The X2S derivatives with longer aminoalkyl substituents showed a higher affinity to the double-stranded RNA than the parent molecule. Introduction of a methyl group on the aminoethoxy moiety of X2S effectively modulated the selectivity to the RNA secondary structure. Methyl group substitution at the C1' position suppressed the binding to the loop regions. Substitution with two methyl groups on the amino nitrogen atom resulted in reducing the affinity to the double-stranded region by a factor of 40%. The effect of methyl substitution on the amino nitrogen atom was also observed for a thioxanthone derivative. Titration experiments, however, suggested that thioxanthone derivatives showed a more prominent tendency of multiple binding to RNA than xanthone derivatives. The selectivity index calculated from the affinity to the double-stranded and loop regions suggested that the N,N-dimethyl derivative of X2S would be suitable for the screening of small molecules binding to RRE.

  16. Max Delbruck Biological Physics Prize Talk: The Biophysics of Gene Regulation, Studied One Molecule at a Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Block, Steven

    2008-03-01

    Advances have led to a new field, dubbed single molecule biophysics. Prominent among the new technologies is the optical trap, or `optical tweezers.' Sensitive systems for measuring force and displacement in optical traps permit the nanomechanical properties of individual macromolecules to be explored with unprecedented precision, revealing behaviors heretofore obscured by ensemble-based approaches. This talk will focus on some of our current work with single-molecule systems, including transcription by RNA polymerase and structural transitions in nucleic acids. We developed high-resolution instrumentation that has broken the nanometer barrier and is thereby able to detect displacements down to the atomic level, in aqueous buffer at room temperature. Consequently, we can monitor the motions of RNA polymerase molecules in real time as these step from base to base along DNA. On the practical side, base-pair resolution makes it possible to sequence DNA in a new way, based on enzyme motions, and points to new directions in nanoscience. The improved stability afforded by the current generation of optical trapping apparatus has allowed us to reconstruct the complete energy landscapes for folding transitions in nucleic-acid hairpins. Recently, we have turned our attention to the problem of co-transcriptional folding, aptamers, and riboswitches formed in nascent mRNAs, and to the DNA or RNA sequence elements that regulate expression.

  17. 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…

  18. Biological significance of 5S rRNA import into human mitochondria: role of ribosomal protein MRP-L18.

    PubMed

    Smirnov, Alexandre; Entelis, Nina; Martin, Robert P; Tarassov, Ivan

    2011-06-15

    5S rRNA is an essential component of ribosomes of all living organisms, the only known exceptions being mitochondrial ribosomes of fungi, animals, and some protists. An intriguing situation distinguishes mammalian cells: Although the mitochondrial genome contains no 5S rRNA genes, abundant import of the nuclear DNA-encoded 5S rRNA into mitochondria was reported. Neither the detailed mechanism of this pathway nor its rationale was clarified to date. In this study, we describe an elegant molecular conveyor composed of a previously identified human 5S rRNA import factor, rhodanese, and mitochondrial ribosomal protein L18, thanks to which 5S rRNA molecules can be specifically withdrawn from the cytosolic pool and redirected to mitochondria, bypassing the classic nucleolar reimport pathway. Inside mitochondria, the cytosolic 5S rRNA is shown to be associated with mitochondrial ribosomes.

  19. Affinity of Drugs and Small Biologically Active Molecules to Carbon Nanotubes: A Pharmacodynamics and Nanotoxicity Factor?

    PubMed Central

    Liu, John; Yang, Liu; Hopfinger, Anton J.

    2009-01-01

    The MM-PBSA MD method was used to estimate the affinity, as represented by log kb, of each of a variety of biologically active molecules to a carbon nanotube in an aqueous environment. These ligand-receptor binding simulations were calibrated by first estimating the log kb values for eight ligands to human serum albumin, HSA, whose log kb values have been observed. A validation linear correlation equation was established [R2 = 0.888 Q2 = 0.603] between the observed and estimated log kb values to HSA. This correlation equation was then used to re-scale all MM-PBSA MD log kb values using a carbon nanotube as the receptor. The log kb of the eight HSA ligands, nine polar and/or rigid ligands and six nonpolar and/or flexible ligands to a carbon nanotube were estimated. The range in re-scaled log kb values across this set of 23 ligands is 0.25 to 7.14, essentially seven orders of magnitude. Some ligands, like PGI2, bind in the log kb = 7 range which corresponds to the lower limits of known drugs. Thus, such significant levels of binding of biologically relevant compounds to carbon nanotubes might lead to alterations in the normal pharmacodynamic profiles of these compounds and be a source of toxicity. Ligand binding potency to a carbon nanotube is largely controlled by the shape, polarity/nonpolarity distribution and flexibility of the ligand. HSA ligands exhibit the most limited binding to a carbon nanotube, and they are relatively rigid and of generally spherical shape. Polar and/or rigid ligands bind less strongly to the carbon nanotube, on average, than nonpolar and/or flexible ligands even though the chosen members of both classes of ligands in this study have chain-like shapes that facilitate binding. The introduction of only a few strategically spaced single bonds in the polar and/or rigid ligands markedly increases their binding to a carbon nanotube. PMID:19281188

  20. [Study of biological molecules in water by using the resonance raman spectra in liquid-core optical fiber].

    PubMed

    Jia, Li-Hua; Wang, Yi-Ding; Sun, Cheng-Lin; Li, Zhan-Long; Li, Zuo-Wei; Wang, Li-Jun

    2009-10-01

    Raman spectrum is an important and effective method for the study of biological molecules in water. Measuring the Raman spectra for biological molecules in water, however, is very difficult because of the small Raman scattering cross section and the high electronic excitation energy of water molecules. In the present paper, the authors applied both technologies of liquid-core optical fiber and the resonance Raman spectra, then the intensity of Raman spectra was enhanced to a great extent. In this experiment, we chose the laser wavelength 514.5 of Ar+ ion laser as excitation laser, because we could obtain the maximal intensity of resonance Raman spectra at this wavelength. The experiment results show that, for the trace inspecting study of beta-carotene biological molecules in water, the concentration in the range of 10(-7)-10(-9) mol x L(-1) can be detected by quartz liquid-core optical fiber and the concentration in the range of 10(-9)-10(-10) mol x L(-1) by Teflon liquid-core optical fiber. The detecting utmost will be further reduced if improving the quality of optical fiber. PMID:20038038

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2015-04-01

    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. PMID:25679326

  3. Small-Angle Neutron Scattering for Structural Biology of Protein-RNA Complexes.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Frank

    2015-01-01

    This chapter deals with the applications of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) for the structural study of protein-RNA complexes in solution. After a brief historical introduction, the basic theory and practical requirements (e.g., sample state) for SANS experiments will be treated. Next, model-free parameters, such as the molecular mass and the radius of gyration, which can be obtained without a priori structural information, will be introduced. A more detailed section on the specific properties of SANS (with respect to its sister technique, small-angle X-ray scattering), and their implications on possibilities and limits of model building and interpretation will be discussed with a focus on protein-RNA systems. A practical illustration of the information content of SANS data will be given by applying ab initio modeling to a tRNA-synthetase system of known high-resolution structure. Finally, two present state-of-the-art examples that combine SANS data with complementary structural biology techniques (NMR and crystallography) will be presented and possible future developments and applications will be discussed.

  4. Widespread Polycistronic Transcripts in Fungi Revealed by Single-Molecule mRNA Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Salamov, Asaf; Zhang, Jiwei; Meng, Xiandong; Zhao, Zhiying; Kang, Dongwan; Underwood, Jason; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Figueroa, Melania; Schilling, Jonathan S.; Chen, Feng; Wang, Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Genes in prokaryotic genomes are often arranged into clusters and co-transcribed into polycistronic RNAs. Isolated examples of polycistronic RNAs were also reported in some higher eukaryotes but their presence was generally considered rare. Here we developed a long-read sequencing strategy to identify polycistronic transcripts in several mushroom forming fungal species including Plicaturopsis crispa, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Trametes versicolor, and Gloeophyllum trabeum. We found genome-wide prevalence of polycistronic transcription in these Agaricomycetes, involving up to 8% of the transcribed genes. Unlike polycistronic mRNAs in prokaryotes, these co-transcribed genes are also independently transcribed. We show that polycistronic transcription may interfere with expression of the downstream tandem gene. Further comparative genomic analysis indicates that polycistronic transcription is conserved among a wide range of mushroom forming fungi. In summary, our study revealed, for the first time, the genome prevalence of polycistronic transcription in a phylogenetic range of higher fungi. Furthermore, we systematically show that our long-read sequencing approach and combined bioinformatics pipeline is a generic powerful tool for precise characterization of complex transcriptomes that enables identification of mRNA isoforms not recovered via short-read assembly. PMID:26177194

  5. Dynamic regulation of HIV-1 mRNA populations analyzed by single-molecule enrichment and long-read sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Ocwieja, Karen E.; Sherrill-Mix, Scott; Mukherjee, Rithun; Custers-Allen, Rebecca; David, Patricia; Brown, Michael; Wang, Susana; Link, Darren R.; Olson, Jeff; Travers, Kevin; Schadt, Eric; Bushman, Frederic D.

    2012-01-01

    Alternative RNA splicing greatly expands the repertoire of proteins encoded by genomes. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is attractive for studying alternative splicing because of the efficiency and low cost per base, but short reads typical of NGS only report mRNA fragments containing one or few splice junctions. Here, we used single-molecule amplification and long-read sequencing to study the HIV-1 provirus, which is only 9700 bp in length, but encodes nine major proteins via alternative splicing. Our data showed that the clinical isolate HIV-189.6 produces at least 109 different spliced RNAs, including a previously unappreciated ∼1 kb class of messages, two of which encode new proteins. HIV-1 message populations differed between cell types, longitudinally during infection, and among T cells from different human donors. These findings open a new window on a little studied aspect of HIV-1 replication, suggest therapeutic opportunities and provide advanced tools for the study of alternative splicing. PMID:22923523

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-27

    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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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.

  10. RNA mango aptamer-fluorophore: a bright, high-affinity complex for RNA labeling and tracking.

    PubMed

    Dolgosheina, Elena V; Jeng, Sunny C Y; Panchapakesan, Shanker Shyam S; Cojocaru, Razvan; Chen, Patrick S K; Wilson, Peter D; Hawkins, Nancy; Wiggins, Paul A; Unrau, Peter J

    2014-10-17

    Because RNA lacks strong intrinsic fluorescence, it has proven challenging to track RNA molecules in real time. To address this problem and to allow the purification of fluorescently tagged RNA complexes, we have selected a high affinity RNA aptamer called RNA Mango. This aptamer binds a series of thiazole orange (fluorophore) derivatives with nanomolar affinity, while increasing fluorophore fluorescence by up to 1,100-fold. Visualization of RNA Mango by single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, together with injection and imaging of RNA Mango/fluorophore complex in C. elegans gonads demonstrates the potential for live-cell RNA imaging with this system. By inserting RNA Mango into a stem loop of the bacterial 6S RNA and biotinylating the fluorophore, we demonstrate that the aptamer can be used to simultaneously fluorescently label and purify biologically important RNAs. The high affinity and fluorescent properties of RNA Mango are therefore expected to simplify the study of RNA complexes. PMID:25101481

  11. Novel pathogenic mechanism of microbial metalloproteinases: liberation of membrane-anchored molecules in biologically active form exemplified by studies with the human interleukin-6 receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Vollmer, P; Walev, I; Rose-John, S; Bhakdi, S

    1996-01-01

    Certain membrane-anchored proteins, including several cytokines and cytokine receptors, can be released into cell supernatants through the action of endogenous membrane-bound metalloproteinases. The shed molecules are then able to fulfill various biological functions; for example, soluble interleukin-6 receptor (sIL-6R) can bind to bystander cells, rendering these cells sensitive to the action of IL-6. Using IL-6R as a model substrate, we report that the metalloproteinase from Serratia marcescens mimics the action of the endogenous shedding proteinase. Treatment of human monocytes with the bacterial protease led to a rapid release of sIL-6R into the supernatant. This effect was inhibitable with TAPI [N-(D,L-[2-(hydroxyaminocarbonyl)methyl]-4-methylpentanoyl) L-3-(2' naphthyl)-alanyl-L-alanine, 2-aminoethyl amide], a specific inhibitor of the membrane-bound intrinsic metalloproteinase, but not with other conventional proteinase inhibitors. sIL-6R-liberating activity was also detected in culture supernatants of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Listeria monocytogenes, organisms that are known to produce metalloproteinases. sIL-6R released through the action of S. marcescens metalloproteinase retained biological activity and rendered IL-6-unresponsive human hepatoma cells sensitive to stimulation with IL-6. This was shown by Northern (RNA) blot detection of haptoglobin mRNA and by quantitative measurements of de novo-synthesized haptoglobin in cell supernatants. Analysis of immunoprecipitated, radiolabeled sIL-6R revealed that the bacterial protease cleaved IL-6R at a site distinct from that utilized by the endogenous protease. These studies show that membrane-anchored proteins can be released in active form through cleavage at multiple sites, and they uncover a novel mechanism via which microbial proteases possibly provoke long-range biological effects in the host organism. PMID:8751912

  12. 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. PMID:21930586

  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. 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

  15. Structural and Energetic Impact of Non-Natural 7-Deaza-8-Azaadenine and Its 7-Substituted Derivatives on H-Bonding Potential with Uracil in RNA Molecules.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Mohit; Credendino, Raffaele; Oliva, Romina; Cavallo, Luigi

    2015-10-15

    Non-natural (synthetic) nucleobases, including 7-ethynyl- and 7-triazolyl-8-aza-7-deazaadenine, have been introduced in RNA molecules for targeted applications, and have been characterized experimentally. However, no theoretical characterization of the impact of these modifications on the structure and energetics of the corresponding H-bonded base pair is available. To fill this gap, we performed quantum mechanics calculations, starting with the analysis of the impact of the 8-aza-7-deaza modification of the adenine skeleton, and we moved then to analyze the impact of the specific substituents on the modified 8-aza-7-deazaadenine. Our analysis indicates that, despite of these severe structural modifications, the H-bonding properties of the modified base pair gratifyingly replicate those of the unmodified base pair. Similar behavior is predicted when the same skeleton modifications are applied to guanine when paired to cytosine. To stress further the H-bonding pairing in the modified adenine-uracil base pair, we explored the impact of strong electron donor and electron withdrawing substituents on the C7 position. Also in this case we found minimal impact on the base pair geometry and energy, confirming the validity of this modification strategy to functionalize RNAs without perturbing its stability and biological functionality.

  16. Structural and Energetic Impact of Non-Natural 7-Deaza-8-Azaadenine and Its 7-Substituted Derivatives on H-Bonding Potential with Uracil in RNA Molecules.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Mohit; Credendino, Raffaele; Oliva, Romina; Cavallo, Luigi

    2015-10-15

    Non-natural (synthetic) nucleobases, including 7-ethynyl- and 7-triazolyl-8-aza-7-deazaadenine, have been introduced in RNA molecules for targeted applications, and have been characterized experimentally. However, no theoretical characterization of the impact of these modifications on the structure and energetics of the corresponding H-bonded base pair is available. To fill this gap, we performed quantum mechanics calculations, starting with the analysis of the impact of the 8-aza-7-deaza modification of the adenine skeleton, and we moved then to analyze the impact of the specific substituents on the modified 8-aza-7-deazaadenine. Our analysis indicates that, despite of these severe structural modifications, the H-bonding properties of the modified base pair gratifyingly replicate those of the unmodified base pair. Similar behavior is predicted when the same skeleton modifications are applied to guanine when paired to cytosine. To stress further the H-bonding pairing in the modified adenine-uracil base pair, we explored the impact of strong electron donor and electron withdrawing substituents on the C7 position. Also in this case we found minimal impact on the base pair geometry and energy, confirming the validity of this modification strategy to functionalize RNAs without perturbing its stability and biological functionality. PMID:26389789

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Solid-State ¹⁷O NMR studies of organic and biological molecules: Recent advances and future directions.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gang

    2016-02-01

    This Trends article highlights the recent advances published between 2012 and 2015 in solid-state (17)O NMR for organic and biological molecules. New developments in the following areas are described: (1) new oxygen-containing functional groups, (2) metal organic frameworks, (3) pharmaceuticals, (4) probing molecular motion in organic solids, (5) dynamic nuclear polarization, and (6) paramagnetic coordination compounds. For each of these areas, the author offers his personal views on important problems to be solved and possible future directions.

  1. 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

    2014-11-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. Non-canonical roles of tRNAs and tRNA mimics in bacterial cell biology.

    PubMed

    Katz, Assaf; Elgamal, Sara; Rajkovic, Andrei; Ibba, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are the macromolecules that transfer activated amino acids from aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases to the ribosome, where they are used for the mRNA guided synthesis of proteins. Transfer RNAs are ancient molecules, perhaps even predating the existence of the translation machinery. Albeit old, these molecules are tremendously conserved, a characteristic that is well illustrated by the fact that some bacterial tRNAs are efficient and specific substrates of eukaryotic aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and ribosomes. Considering their ancient origin and high structural conservation, it is not surprising that tRNAs have been hijacked during evolution for functions outside of translation. These roles beyond translation include synthetic, regulatory and information functions within the cell. Here we provide an overview of the non-canonical roles of tRNAs and their mimics in bacteria, and discuss some of the common themes that arise when comparing these different functions.

  4. Super-resolution imaging with stochastic single-molecule localization: concepts, technical developments, and biological applications.

    PubMed

    Oddone, Anna; Vilanova, Ione Verdeny; Tam, Johnny; Lakadamyali, Melike

    2014-07-01

    Light microscopy has undergone a revolution with the advent of super-resolution microscopy methods that can surpass the diffraction limit. These methods have generated much enthusiasm, in particular with regards to the new possibilities they offer for biological imaging. The recent years have seen a great advancement both in terms of new technological developments and exciting biological applications. Here, we review some of the important milestones in the field and highlight some recent biological applications.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. In situ expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) mRNA in calves with acute Pasteurella haemolytica pneumonia.

    PubMed

    Radi, Z A; Register, K B; Lee, E K; Kehrli, M E; Brogden, K A; Gallup, J M; Ackermann, M R

    1999-09-01

    The in situ expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) mRNA in normal and pneumonic lung tissues of Holstein calves with bovine leukocyte adhesion deficiency (BLAD) was compared with that of age-matched non-BLAD Holstein calves by in situ hybridization. Twenty-four Holstein calves (both BLAD and non-BLAD) were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups and inoculated intrabronchially with Pasteurella haemolytica or pyrogen-free saline. Lung tissues were collected and fixed in 10% neutral formalin at 2 or 4 hours postinoculation (PI). The expression and distribution of ICAM-1 mRNA in the different cell types of the lung tissue was detected by in situ hybridization with a 307-base-pair bovine ICAM-1 riboprobe. In lungs of both non-BLAD and BLAD saline-inoculated calves, ICAM-1 expression was present in epithelial cells but occurred in <30% of cells in bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. ICAM-1 expression in vascular endothelial cells was present in <30% of cells in pulmonary arteries and veins. The expression of ICAM-1 was significantly greater (>60% of cells) in bronchiolar and alveolar epithelial cells and pulmonary endothelial cells of arteries and veins in both BLAD and non-BLAD calves inoculated with P. haemolytica. Bronchiolar epithelium had the highest intensity of mRNA expression and highest percentage of cells that were stained, whereas bronchial epithelium had the lowest intensity and percentage of cells stained. Most alveolar macrophages and neutrophils in infected lungs also expressed ICAM-1. ICAM-1 expression was generally increased in infected BLAD calves at 2 hours PI as compared with non-BLAD calves but not at 4 hours PI. The increased expression of ICAM-1 during acute P. haemolytica pneumonia in calves suggests that ICAM-1 is upregulated and may play a role in leukocyte infiltration. The extent of ICAM-1 expression in P. haemolytica-inoculated calves with BLAD was initially enhanced but otherwise similar to that in non

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Nanometric Gap Structure with a Fluid Lipid Bilayer for the Selective Transport and Detection of Biological Molecules.

    PubMed

    Ando, Koji; Tanabe, Masashi; Morigaki, Kenichi

    2016-08-01

    The biological membrane is a natural biosensing platform that can detect specific molecules with extremely high sensitivity. We developed a biosensing methodology by combining a model biological membrane and a nanometer-sized gap structure on a glass substrate. The model membrane comprised lithographically patterned polymeric and fluid lipid bilayers. The polymeric bilayer was bonded to a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) sheet by using an adhesion layer with a defined thickness (lipid vesicles). Extruded lipid vesicles having a biotin moiety on the surface were used as the adhesion layer in conjunction with the biotin-streptavidin linkage. A gap structure was formed between the fluid bilayer and PDMS (nanogap junction). The thickness of the gap structure was several tens of nanometers, as determined by the thickness of the adhesion layer. The nanogap junction acted as a sensitive biosensing platform. From a mixture of proteins (cholera toxin and albumin), the target protein (cholera toxin) was selectively transported into the gap by the specific binding to a glycolipid (GM1) in the fluid bilayer and lateral diffusion. The target protein molecules were then detected with an elevated signal-to-noise ratio due to the reduced background noise in the nanometric gap. The combination of selective transport and reduced background noise drastically enhanced the sensitivity toward the target protein. The nanogap junction should have broad biomedical applications by realizing highly selective and sensitive biosensing in samples having diverse coexisting molecules. PMID:27427950

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:24769445

  2. 1,N6-etheno deoxy and ribo adenosine and 3,N4-etheno deoxy and ribo cytidine phosphoramidites. Strongly fluorescent structures for selective introduction in defined sequence DNA and RNA molecules.

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, S C; Raza, S K; Misra, R

    1994-01-01

    Synthesis of 1,N6-etheno-2'-deoxyadenosine, 3,N4-etheno-2'-deoxycytidine, and further chemistry on both deoxy and ribo series etheno nucleosides produces the corresponding phosphoramidites. These novel phosphoramidites are introduced selectively, quantitatively, and at specific positions at single or multiple sites into DNA or RNA sequences. The purification and chemistry involved in the synthesis of these products has been optimized to achieve the purity in excess of 99%. The resulting phosphoramidites were tested for their ability to couple and produce poly deoxy and ribonucleotides by solid phase chemistry. The coupling efficiency achieved was greater than 99% per step. Due to the instability of these etheno compounds in acidic and basic medium, various criteria to obtain pure oligomers have been established. The selective introduction of these fluorescent nucleosides into defined sequence DNA and RNA molecule will greatly facilitate the structure-function studies of various RNAs, protein-RNA structures, and DNA-RNA based diagnostics applications. The characteristic and high fluorescent intensity (detection below 1 x 10(-9) M for adenosine sites and below 1 x 10(-7) M for cytidine sites) is particularly suited for the biochemical and biological research and product development applications. The usefulness of these etheno containing modified sequences as sequencing and amplification primers is demonstrated by their full participation in polymerase chain reaction experiments. Images PMID:7513082

  3. 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.

  4. Interfacial electrochemical electron transfer in biology - towards the level of the single molecule.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jingdong; Chi, Qijin; Hansen, Allan G; Jensen, Palle S; Salvatore, Princia; Ulstrup, Jens

    2012-03-01

    Physical electrochemistry has undergone a remarkable evolution over the last few decades, integrating advanced techniques and theory from solid state and surface physics. Single-crystal electrode surfaces have been a core notion, opening for scanning tunnelling microscopy directly in aqueous electrolyte (in situ STM). Interfacial electrochemistry of metalloproteins is presently going through a similar transition. Electrochemical surfaces with thiol-based promoter molecular monolayers (SAMs) as biomolecular electrochemical environments and the biomolecules themselves have been mapped with unprecedented resolution, opening a new area of single-molecule bioelectrochemistry. We consider first in situ STM of small redox molecules, followed by in situ STM of thiol-based SAMs as molecular views of bioelectrochemical environments. We then address electron transfer metalloproteins, and multi-centre metalloenzymes including applied single-biomolecular perspectives based on metalloprotein/metallic nanoparticle hybrids.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Use of molybdenum telluride as a substrate for the imaging of biological molecules during scanning tunnelling microscopy.

    PubMed

    Campbell, S A; Müller, D J; Jungblut, H; Giersig, M; Tomm, Y; Lewerenz, H J

    1994-05-01

    Scanning tunnelling microscopy was used to image biological molecules including supercoiled deoxyribonacetic acid and specific retrovirus enzymes, the reverse transcriptases of the avian myeloblastosis virus, the moloney murine leukaemia virus and the human immunodeficiency virus. Measurements were carried out on graphite and Group VI transition metal dichalcogenide layered crystals. Images obtained with graphite could not be unequivocally interpreted and attachment appears to occur solely at surface defect sites. The layered crystal MoTe2 shows different imaging properties. The bimolecules are clearly visible, distributed over the semiconductor surface, and the molecular shapes and dimensions show good correlation with structure predictions. PMID:7520674

  8. Disregarded Effect of Biological Fluids in siRNA Delivery: Human Ascites Fluid Severely Restricts Cellular Uptake of Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Dakwar, George R; Braeckmans, Kevin; Demeester, Joseph; Ceelen, Wim; De Smedt, Stefaan C; Remaut, Katrien

    2015-11-01

    Small interfering RNA (siRNA) offers a great potential for the treatment of various diseases and disorders. Nevertheless, inefficient in vivo siRNA delivery hampers its translation into the clinic. While numerous successful in vitro siRNA delivery stories exist in reduced-protein conditions, most studies so far overlook the influence of the biological fluids present in the in vivo environment. In this study, we compared the transfection efficiency of liposomal formulations in Opti-MEM (low protein content, routinely used for in vitro screening) and human undiluted ascites fluid obtained from a peritoneal carcinomatosis patient (high protein content, representing the in vivo situation). In Opti-MEM, all formulations are biologically active. In ascites fluid, however, the biological activity of all lipoplexes is lost except for lipofectamine RNAiMAX. The drop in transfection efficiency was not correlated to the physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles, such as premature siRNA release and aggregation of the nanoparticles in the human ascites fluid. Remarkably, however, all of the formulations except for lipofectamine RNAiMAX lost their ability to be taken up by cells following incubation in ascites fluid. To take into account the possible effects of a protein corona formed around the nanoparticles, we recommend always using undiluted biological fluids for the in vitro optimization of nanosized siRNA formulations next to conventional screening in low-protein content media. This should tighten the gap between in vitro and in vivo performance of nanoparticles and ensure the optimal selection of nanoparticles for further in vivo studies.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Binding of small interfering RNA molecules is crucial for RNA interference suppressor activity of rice hoja blanca virus NS3 in plants.

    PubMed

    Hemmes, Hans; Kaaij, Lucas; Lohuis, Dick; Prins, Marcel; Goldbach, Rob; Schnettler, Esther

    2009-07-01

    The NS3 protein of rice hoja blanca virus represents a viral suppressor of RNA interference (RNAi) that sequesters small interfering (si)RNAs in vitro. To determine whether this siRNA binding property is the critical determinant for the suppressor activity of NS3, NS3 was altered by alanine point mutations and the resulting mutant proteins were tested for both siRNA binding ability and RNAi suppressor activity in plants. Alanine substitutions of lysine residues at positions 173-175 resulted in mutant proteins that lost both their affinity for siRNAs and their RNAi suppressor activity in planta. This indicates that siRNA binding of NS3 is indeed essential for the suppressor function of NS3 and that residues at positions 173-175 are involved in the siRNA binding and suppressor activities. PMID:19282433

  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. 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. PMID:25942442

  14. 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

  15. Regulation of platelet biology by platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1.

    PubMed

    Jones, Chris I; Moraes, Leonardo A; Gibbins, Jonathan M

    2012-01-01

    Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif containing receptor, plays diverse and apparently contradictory roles in regulating the response of platelets to stimuli; inhibiting platelet response to immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif and G protein-coupled receptor signalling following stimulation with collagen, adenosine diphosphate, and thrombin, as well as enhancing integrin outside-in signalling. These dual, and opposing, roles suggest an important and complex role for PECAM-1 in orchestrating platelet response to vascular damage. Indeed, during thrombus formation, the influence of PECAM-1 on the multiple signalling pathways combines leading to a relatively large inhibitory effect on thrombus formation. PMID:22035359

  16. 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)

  17. bcl::Cluster : A method for clustering biological molecules coupled with visualization in the Pymol Molecular Graphics System

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Nathan; Woetzel, Nils; Meiler, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Clustering algorithms are used as data analysis tools in a wide variety of applications in Biology. Clustering has become especially important in protein structure prediction and virtual high throughput screening methods. In protein structure prediction, clustering is used to structure the conformational space of thousands of protein models. In virtual high throughput screening, databases with millions of drug-like molecules are organized by structural similarity, e.g. common scaffolds. The tree-like dendrogram structure obtained from hierarchical clustering can provide a qualitative overview of the results, which is important for focusing detailed analysis. However, in practice it is difficult to relate specific components of the dendrogram directly back to the objects of which it is comprised and to display all desired information within the two dimensions of the dendrogram. The current work presents a hierarchical agglomerative clustering method termed bcl::Cluster. bcl::Cluster utilizes the Pymol Molecular Graphics System to graphically depict dendrograms in three dimensions. This allows simultaneous display of relevant biological molecules as well as additional information about the clusters and the members comprising them.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics Lecture: Single-molecule protein folding and transition paths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, William

    2012-02-01

    The transition path is the tiny fraction of an equilibrium molecular trajectory when a transition occurs by crossing the free energy barrier between two states. It is a uniquely single-molecule property, and has not yet been observed experimentally for any system in the condensed phase. The importance of the transition path in protein folding is that it contains all of the mechanistic information on how a protein folds. As a major step toward observing transition paths, we have determined the average transition-path time for a fast and a slow-folding protein from a photon-by-photon analysis of fluorescence trajectories in single-molecule FRET experiments. While the folding rate coefficients differ by 10,000-fold, surprisingly, the transition-path times differ by less than 5-fold, showing that a successful barrier crossing event takes almost the same time for a fast- and a slow-folding protein, i.e. almost the same time to fold when it actually happens.

  1. Animal lectins as self/non-self recognition molecules. Biochemical and genetic approaches to understanding their biological roles and evolution.

    PubMed

    Vasta, G R; Ahmed, H; Fink, N E; Elola, M T; Marsh, A G; Snowden, A; Odom, E W

    1994-04-15

    In recent years, the significant contributions from molecular research studies on animal lectins have elucidated structural aspects and provided clues not only to their evolution but also to their multiple biological functions. The experimental evidence has suggested that distinct, and probably unrelated, groups of molecules are included under the term "lectin." Within the invertebrate taxa, major groups of lectins can be identified: One group would include lectins that show significant homology to membrane-integrated or soluble vertebrate C-type lectins. The second would include those beta-galactosyl-specific lectins homologous to the S-type vertebrate lectins. The third group would be constituted by lectins that show homology to vertebrate pentraxins that exhibit lectin-like properties, such as C-reactive protein and serum amyloid P. Finally, there are examples that do not exhibit similarities to any of the aforementioned categories. Moreover, the vast majority of invertebrate lectins described so far cannot yet be placed in one or another group because of the lack of information regarding their primary structure. (See Table 1.) Animal lectins do not express a recombinatorial diversity like that of antibodies, but a limited diversity in recognition capabilities would be accomplished by the occurrence of multiple lectins with distinct specificities, the presence of more than one binding site, specific for different carbohydrates in a single molecule, and by certain "flexibility" of the binding sites that would allow the recognition of a range of structurally related carbohydrates. In order to identify the lectins' "natural" ligands, we have investigated the interactions between those proteins and the putative endogenous or exogenous glycosylated substances or cells that may be relevant to their biological function. Results from these studies, together with information on the biochemical properties of invertebrate and vertebrate lectins, including their structural

  2. A new strategy for introducing photoactivatable 4-thiouridine ((4S)U) into specific positions in a long RNA molecule.

    PubMed

    Yu, Y T; Steitz, J A

    1997-07-01

    We describe a new protocol, which does not require (4S)UpG, for introducing (4S)U into specific sites in a pre-mRNA substrate. A 5'-half and a full-length RNA are first synthesized by phage RNA polymerase. p(4S)Up, which is derived from (4S)UpU and can therefore be 32P-labeled, is then ligated to the 3' end of the 5'-half RNA with T4 RNA ligase. The 3' phosphate of the ligated product is removed subsequently by CIP (calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase) to produce a 3'-OH group. The 3'-half RNA with a 5' phosphate is produced by site-specific RNase H cleavage of the full-length pre-mRNA directed by a 2'-O-methyl RNA-DNA chimera. The two half RNAs are then aligned with a bridging oligonucleotide and ligated with T4 DNA ligase. Our results show that 32P-p(4S)Up ligation to the 3' end of the 5'-half RNA is comparable to 32P-pCp ligation. Also, the efficiency of the bridging oligonucleotide-mediated two-piece ligation is quite high, approximately 30-50%. This strategy has been applied to the P120 pre-mRNA containing an AT-AC intron, but should be applicable to many other RNAs. PMID:9214662

  3. ToppMiR: ranking microRNAs and their mRNA targets based on biological functions and context

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chao; Bardes, Eric E.; Jegga, Anil G.; Aronow, Bruce J.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying functionally significant microRNAs (miRs) and their correspondingly most important messenger RNA targets (mRNAs) in specific biological contexts is a critical task to improve our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying organismal development, physiology and disease. However, current miR–mRNA target prediction platforms rank miR targets based on estimated strength of physical interactions and lack the ability to rank interactants as a function of their potential to impact a given biological system. To address this, we have developed ToppMiR (http://toppmir.cchmc.org), a web-based analytical workbench that allows miRs and mRNAs to be co-analyzed via biologically centered approaches in which gene function associated annotations are used to train a machine learning-based analysis engine. ToppMiR learns about biological contexts based on gene associated information from expression data or from a user-specified set of genes that relate to context-relevant knowledge or hypotheses. Within the biological framework established by the genes in the training set, its associated information content is then used to calculate a features association matrix composed of biological functions, protein interactions and other features. This scoring matrix is then used to jointly rank both the test/candidate miRs and mRNAs. Results of these analyses are provided as downloadable tables or network file formats usable in Cytoscape. PMID:24829448

  4. 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.

  5. Genome-Wide Analysis of Protein and mRNA Copy Numbers in Single Escherichia coli Cells with Single-Molecule Sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Yuichi

    2015-01-01

    Single-cell proteomic and transcriptomic analysis is an emerging approach for providing quantitative and comprehensive characterization of gene functions in individual cells. This analysis, however, is often hampered by insufficient sensitivity for detecting low copy gene expression products such as transcription factors and regulators. Here I describe a method for the quantitative genome-wide analysis of single-cell protein and mRNA copy numbers with single molecule sensitivity for the model organism Escherichia coli.

  6. Clinicopathological significance of microRNA-214 in gastric cancer and its effect on cell biological behaviour.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ya-Wen; Shi, Duan-Bo; Chen, Xu; Gao, Chao; Gao, Peng

    2014-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that numerous microRNAs are involved in the tumorigenesis and progression of gastric cancer, while the clinical significance of microRNA-214 in gastric cancer is poorly understood and the exact role of microRNA-214 in gastric cancer remains obscure. In the present study, expression levels of microRNA-214 in 80 gastric carcinoma tissues, 18 nontumourous gastric tissues, and 4 types of gastric cancer cell lines were quantified by reverse transcription followed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and the relationship between microRNA-214 expression and cliniopathological characteristics including prognosis was explored. To investigate the potential role of microRNA-214 in gastric cancer cell biological behaviour, we performed cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion assays in four gastric cancer cell lines and an immortalized gastric cell line in vitro. Our results showed that microRNA-214 was dramatically downregulated in gastric cancer tissues and gastric cancer cell lines, compared with nontumourous gastric tissues. Stepwise downregulation of microRNA-214 expression was observed among nontumourous gastric mucosa, nonmetastasis gastric cancer tissues, and metastasis gastric cancer tissues. The expression of microRNA-214 was significantly inversely correlated with lymph node metastasis and tumour size but had no correlation with the patient's prognosis. Ectopic expression of microRNA-214 could inhibit cell migration and invasion ability in SGC7901 and MKN45 gastric cancer cells. And knockdown of microRNA-214 significantly facilitated cell proliferation, migration and invasion in a cell-specific manner in MKN28, BGC823 and GES-1 cells. Colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) was identified as a target gene of microRNA-214. In summary, our data demonstrated that microRNA-214 is a promising novel biomarker for lymph node metastasis in patients with gastric cancer. And we identified that downregulation of

  7. 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.

  8. Detection of mRNA molecules coding for neuropeptide hormones of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis by radioactive and non-radioactive in situ hybridization: a model study for mRNA detection

    SciTech Connect

    Dirks, R.W.; Raap, A.K.; Van Minnen, J.; Vreugdenhil, E.; Smit, A.B.; Van der Ploeg, M.

    1989-01-01

    To develop and optimize non-radioactive in situ hybridization techniques for mRNA detection, we used the neuropeptidergic system of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis as a biological model system. First, we investigated the in situ hybridization procedure using radioactive-labeled cDNA and synthetic oligonucleotide probes specific for egg-laying hormone (ELH) mRNA and molluscan insulin-like peptide (MIP) mRNA. The results show an intense grain deposit above the caudodorsal cells and light-green cells expressing, respectively, ELH mRNA and MIP mRNA. Good results with relation to signal strength and tissue morphology were obtained with freeze-dry paraformaldehyde vapor fixation. The necessity to perform tissue pre-treatment appeared to be dependent on the cell type of interest. The optimized in situ hybridization protocol proved to be applicable using probes that are either sulfonated/transaminated or labeled with acetylaminofluorene (AAF). In situ hybridization of such haptenized probes led to intense and specific staining of the cytoplasm of the caudodorsal cells. Egg-laying hormone mRNA appeared not to be homogeneously distributed in the cytoplasm but showed a patch-like pattern. Nuclear and axoplasmic staining for mRNA was also observed.

  9. Impact of exogenous lipase supplementation on growth, intestinal function, mucosal immune and physical barrier, and related signaling molecules mRNA expression of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella).

    PubMed

    Liu, Sen; Feng, Lin; Jiang, Wei-Dan; Liu, Yang; Jiang, Jun; Wu, Pei; Zeng, Yun-Yun; Xu, Shu-De; Kuang, Sheng-Yao; Tang, Ling; Tang, Wu-Neng; Zhang, Yong-An; Zhou, Xiao-Qiu

    2016-08-01

    This study investigated the effects of exogenous lipase supplementation on the growth performance, intestinal growth and function, immune response and physical barrier function, and related signaling molecules mRNA expression of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 450 grass carp (255.02 ± 0.34 g) were fed five diets for 60 days. There were 5 dietary treatments that included a normal protein and lipid diet containing 30% crude protein (CP) with 5% ether extract (EE), and the low-protein and high-lipid diets (28% CP, 6% EE) supplemented with graded levels of exogenous lipase supplementation activity at 0, 1193, 2560 and 3730 U/kg diet. The results indicated that compared with a normal protein and lipid diet (30% CP, 5% EE), a low-protein and high-lipid diet (28% CP, 6% EE) (un-supplemented lipase) improved lysozyme activities and complement component 3 contents in the distal intestine (DI), interleukin 10 mRNA expression in the proximal intestine (PI), and glutathione S-transferases activity and glutathione content in the intestine of young grass carp. In addition, in low-protein and high-lipid diets, optimal exogenous lipase supplementation significantly increased acid phosphatase (ACP) activities and complement component 3 (C3) contents (P < 0.05), up-regulated the relative mRNA levels of antimicrobial peptides (liver expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 and hepcidin) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 10 and transforming growth factor β1) and signaling molecules inhibitor protein-κBα (IκBα) and target of rapamycin (TOR) (P < 0.05), down-regulated the mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 8, interferon γ2, and interleukin 1β), and signaling molecules (nuclear factor kappa B p65, IκB kinase β, IκB kinase γ) (P < 0.05) in the intestine of young grass carp. Moreover, optimal exogenous lipase supplementation significantly decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde

  10. Virus-based surface patterning of biological molecules, probes, and inorganic materials.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Suji; Jeon, Seongho; Kwak, Eun-A; Kim, Jong-Man; Jaworski, Justyn

    2014-10-01

    An essential requirement for continued technological advancement in many areas of biology, physics, chemistry, and materials science is the growing need to generate custom patterned materials. Building from recent achievements in the site-specific modification of virus for covalent surface tethering, we show in this work that stable 2D virus patterns can be generated in custom geometries over large area glass surfaces to yield templates of biological, biochemical, and inorganic materials in high density. As a nanomaterial building block, filamentous viruses have been extensively used in recent years to produce materials with interesting properties, owing to their ease of genetic and chemical modification. By utilizing un-natural amino acids generated at specific locations on the filamentous fd bacteriophage protein coat, surface immobilization is carried out on APTES patterned glass resulting in precise geometries of covalently linked virus material. This technique facilitated the surface display of a high density of virus that were labeled with biomolecules, fluorescent probes, and gold nanoparticles, thereby opening the possibility of integrating virus as functional components for surface engineering.

  11. “Turn-on” fluorescence probe integrated polymer nanoparticles for sensing biological thiol molecules

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Chung Yen; Tan, Si Yu; Lu, Yunpeng; Bai, Linyi; Li, Menghuan; Li, Peizhou; Zhang, Quan; Selvan, Subramanian Tamil; Zhao, Yanli

    2014-01-01

    A “turn-on” thiol-responsive fluorescence probe was synthesized and integrated into polymeric nanoparticles for sensing intracellular thiols. There is a photo-induced electron transfer process in the off state of the probe, and this process is terminated upon the reaction with thiol compounds. Configuration interaction singles (CIS) calculation was performed to confirm the mechanism of this process. A series of sensing studies were carried out, showing that the probe-integrated nanoparticles were highly selective towards biological thiol compounds over non-thiolated amino acids. Kinetic studies were also performed to investigate the relative reaction rate between the probe and the thiolated amino acids. Subsequently, the Gibbs free energy of the reactions was explored by means of the electrochemical method. Finally, the detection system was employed for sensing intracellular thiols in cancer cells, and the sensing selectivity could be further enhanced with the use of a cancer cell-targeting ligand in the nanoparticles. This development paves a path for the sensing and detection of biological thiols, serving as a potential diagnostic tool in the future. PMID:25394758

  12. Single molecule studies of the folding of C-domain P RNA: Bacillus subtilis Rnase and the multi-domain autofluorescent protein Nitric Oxide Synthase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Zheng; Yang, Liu; Scherer, Norbert; Pan, Tao; Sosnick, Tobin

    2002-03-01

    The results of a single molecule study of folding thermodynamics and kinetics of a 255-nucleotide ribozyme, the catalytic domain of Bacillus subtilis RNase P RNA[1,2] are presented here. Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is used to address the folding of this ribozyme with new prospects: 1) to obtain kinetic constants from individual C-domain P RNA molecules equilibrating between unfolded, intermediate and native states; 2) to identify folding/unfolding pathways at sub-population levels. We are establishing the subpopulation distributions by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), a method that is sensitive to the diffusion dynamics of molecules inside the laser focal volume[4]. Since folded and unfolded ribozyme molecules must have different hydrodynamic radii, thus different diffusion times, the idea is to use the autocorrelation analyzed fluorescence fluctuations to establish the distribution of molecules in the ensemble with hydrodynamic radii consistent with the folded or unfolded form. An epi-fluorescence confocal microscopy configuration with 3-dimensional sample scanning capability is employed. Next steps include the use of dual-labeled RNA to facilitate fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) studies of the dynamics of association of specific regions of the macromolecule[3]. The ribozyme molecules, labeled with Alexa488 (or fluorescein) (donor) and Cy3 (acceptor), are either immobilized on the coverslip surface or allowed to freely diffuse depending on the methods. A second line of investigation focuses on the structure-function relationship of redox active enzymes. Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS) is responsible for the generation of nitric oxide (NO), a cellular signaling molecule [5]. In order to function, NOS must undergo significant conformational changes that are effected by camodulin (CaM) binding (6). NOS itself is a good FRET system containing donor FAD, FMN and quencher (heme) chromophores[7]. FCS is employed to probe the diffusion

  13. 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

  14. Analyzing free zinc(II) ion concentrations in cell biology with fluorescent chelating molecules.

    PubMed

    Maret, Wolfgang

    2015-02-01

    Essential metal ions are tightly controlled in biological systems. An understanding of metal metabolism and homeostasis is being developed from quantitative information of the sizes, concentrations, and dynamics of cellular and subcellular metal ion pools. In the case of human zinc metabolism, minimally 24 proteins of two zinc transporter families and a dozen metallothioneins participate in cellular uptake, extrusion, and re-distribution among cellular compartments. Significantly, zinc(ii) ions are now considered signaling ions in intra- and intercellular communication. Such functions require transients of free zinc ions. It is experimentally quite challenging to distinguish zinc that is protein-bound from zinc that is not bound to proteins. Measurement of total zinc is relatively straightforward with analytical techniques such as atomic absorption/emission spectroscopy or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Total zinc concentrations of human cells are 200-300 μM. In contrast, the pool of non-protein bound zinc is mostly examined with fluorescence microscopy/spectroscopy. There are two widely applied fluorescence approaches, one employing low molecular weight chelating agents ("probes") and the other metal-binding proteins ("sensors"). The protein sensors, such as the CALWY, Zap/ZifCY, and carbonic anhydrase-based sensors, can be genetically encoded and have certain advantages in terms of controlling intracellular concentration, localization, and calibration. When employed correctly, both probes and sensors can establish qualitative differences in free zinc ion concentrations. However, when quantitative information is sought, the assumptions underlying the applications of probes and sensors must be carefully examined and even then measured pools of free zinc ions remain methodologically defined. A consensus is building that the steady-state free zinc ion concentrations in the cytosol are in the picomolar range but there is no consensus on their

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Rotational dynamics of water molecules near biological surfaces with implications for nuclear quadrupole relaxation.

    PubMed

    Braun, Daniel; Schmollngruber, Michael; Steinhauser, Othmar

    2016-09-21

    Based on Molecular Dynamics simulations of two different systems, the protein ubiquitin dissolved in water and an AOT reverse micelle, we present a broad analysis of the single particle rotational dynamics of water. A comprehensive connection to NQR, which is a prominent experimental method in this field, is developed, based on a reformulation of its theoretical framework. Interpretation of experimental NQR results requires a model which usually assumes that the NQR experiences retardation only in the first hydration shell. Indeed, the present study shows that this first-shell model is correct. Moreover, previous experimental retardation factors are quantitatively reproduced. All of this is seemingly contradicted by results of other methods, e.g., dielectric spectroscopy, responsible for a long-standing debate in this field. Our detailed analysis shows that NQR omits important information contained in overall water dynamics, most notably, the retardation of the water dipole axis in the electric field exerted by a biological surface. PMID:27546227

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sing, Charles; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo

    2010-03-01

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

  19. Electron flow through biological molecules: Does hole hopping protect proteins from oxidative damage?

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, Jay R.; Gray, Harry B.

    2016-01-01

    Biological electron transfers often occur between metal-containing cofactors that are separated by very large molecular distances. Employing photosensitizer-modified iron and copper proteins, we have shown that single-step electron tunneling can occur on nanosecond to microsecond timescales at distances between 15 and 20 angstroms. We also have shown that charge transport can occur over even longer distances by hole hopping (multistep tunneling) through intervening tyrosines and tryptophans. In this Perspective, we advance the hypothesis that such hole hopping through Tyr/Trp chains could protect oxygenase, dioxygenase, and peroxidase enzymes from oxidative damage. In support of this view, by examining the structures of P450 (CYP102A) and 2OG-Fe (TauD) enzymes, we have identified candidate Tyr/Trp chains that could transfer holes from uncoupled high-potential intermediates to reductants in contact with protein surface sites. PMID:26537399

  20. Rotational dynamics of water molecules near biological surfaces with implications for nuclear quadrupole relaxation.

    PubMed

    Braun, Daniel; Schmollngruber, Michael; Steinhauser, Othmar

    2016-09-21

    Based on Molecular Dynamics simulations of two different systems, the protein ubiquitin dissolved in water and an AOT reverse micelle, we present a broad analysis of the single particle rotational dynamics of water. A comprehensive connection to NQR, which is a prominent experimental method in this field, is developed, based on a reformulation of its theoretical framework. Interpretation of experimental NQR results requires a model which usually assumes that the NQR experiences retardation only in the first hydration shell. Indeed, the present study shows that this first-shell model is correct. Moreover, previous experimental retardation factors are quantitatively reproduced. All of this is seemingly contradicted by results of other methods, e.g., dielectric spectroscopy, responsible for a long-standing debate in this field. Our detailed analysis shows that NQR omits important information contained in overall water dynamics, most notably, the retardation of the water dipole axis in the electric field exerted by a biological surface.

  1. Detecting and Identifying Organic Molecules in Space - The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2001-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 micron (4000-625/cm) range is a principle means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX (Medium-class Explorer) mission concept currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) the evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) the chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to H II regions and dense clouds, (3) the distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) the nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) the nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. Both the scientific goals of the mission and how they would be achieved will be discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandford, S. A.; Allamandola, L. J.; Bregman, J.; Ennico, K.; Greene, T.; Hudgins, D.; Strecker, D.

    2001-05-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 micron range is a principle means by which organic compounds can be detected and identified in space via their vibrational transitions. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX mission concept currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) the evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) the chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to HII regions and dense clouds, (3) the distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) the nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) the nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. The technical considerations of achieving these science objectives in a MIDEX-sized mission will be presented.

  3. Screening and characterization of molecules that modulate the biological activity of IFNs-I.

    PubMed

    Bürgi, Milagros; Zapol'skii, Viktor A; Hinkelmann, Bettina; Köster, Mario; Kaufmann, Dieter E; Sasse, Florenz; Hauser, Hansjörg; Etcheverrigaray, Marina; Kratje, Ricardo; Bollati-Fogolín, Mariela; Oggero, Marcos

    2016-09-10

    Type I Interferons (IFNs-I) are species-specific glycoproteins which play an important role as primary defence against viral infections and that can also modulate the adaptive immune system. In some autoimmune diseases, interferons (IFNs) are over-produced. IFNs are widely used as biopharmaceuticals for a variety of cancer indications, chronic viral diseases, and for their immuno-modulatory action in patients with multiple sclerosis; therefore, increasing their therapeutic efficiency and decreasing their side effects is of high clinical value. In this sense, it is interesting to find molecules that can modulate the activity of IFNs. In order to achieve that, it was necessary to establish a simple, fast and robust assay to analyze numerous compounds simultaneously. We developed four reporter gene assays (RGAs) to identify IFN activity modulator compounds by using WISH-Mx2/EGFP, HeLa-Mx2/EGFP, A549-Mx2/EGFP, and HEp2-Mx2/EGFP reporter cell lines (RCLs). All of them present a Z' factor higher than 0.7. By using these RGAs, natural and synthetic compounds were analyzed simultaneously. A total of 442 compounds were studied by the Low Throughput Screening (LTS) assay using the four RCLs to discriminate between their inhibitory or enhancing effects on IFN activity. Some of them were characterized and 15 leads were identified. Finally, one promising candidate with enhancing effect on IFN-α/-β activity and five compounds with inhibitory effect were described.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sandford, Scott A.; Allamandola, Louis; Bregman, Jesse; Ennico, Kimberly; Greene, Thomas; Hudgins, Douglas; Strecker, Donald; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 micron range is a principle means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX mission concept currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) the evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) the chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to H II regions and dense clouds, (3) the distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) the nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) the nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. The technical considerations of achieving these science objectives in a MIDEX-sized mission will be described.

  5. Detecting and Identifying Organic Molecules in Space: The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) MIDEX Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 microns (4000-625/cm) range is a principle means by which organic compounds are detected and identified in space. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX (Medium-class Explorer) mission concept currently under study at NASA's Ames Research Center in collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) the evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) the chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to H II regions and dense clouds, (3) the distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) the nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) the nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. Both the scientific goals of the mission and how they would be achieved will be discussed.

  6. Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Novel Selenium (Se-NSAID) Molecules as Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Plano, Daniel; Karelia, Deepkamal N; Pandey, Manoj K; Spallholz, Julian E; Amin, Shantu; Sharma, Arun K

    2016-03-10

    The synthesis and anticancer evaluation of novel selenium-nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Se-NSAID) hybrid molecules are reported. The Se-aspirin analogue 8 was identified as the most effective agent in reducing the viability of different cancer cell lines, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, was more selective toward cancer cells than normal cells, and was >10 times more potent than 5-FU, the current therapy for CRC. Compound 8 inhibits CRC growth via the inhibition of the cell cycle in G1 and G2/M phases and reduces the cell cycle markers like cyclin E1 and B1 in a dose dependent manner; the inhibition of the cell cycle may be dependent on the ability of 8 to induce p21 expression. Furthermore, 8 induces apoptosis by activating caspase 3/7 and PARP cleavage, and its longer exposure causes increase in intracellular ROS levels in CRC cells. Taken together, 8 has the potential to be developed further as a chemotherapeutic agent for CRC. PMID:26750401

  7. mRNA on the move: the road to its biological destiny.

    PubMed

    Eliscovich, Carolina; Buxbaum, Adina R; Katz, Zachary B; Singer, Robert H

    2013-07-12

    Cells have evolved to regulate the asymmetric distribution of specific mRNA targets to institute spatial and temporal control over gene expression. Over the last few decades, evidence has mounted as to the importance of localization elements in the mRNA sequence and their respective RNA-binding proteins. Live imaging methodologies have shown mechanistic details of this phenomenon. In this minireview, we focus on the advanced biochemical and cell imaging techniques used to tweeze out the finer aspects of mechanisms of mRNA movement.

  8. Evidence that 16S RNA from E. coli can assume two different biologically active conformations.

    PubMed Central

    Hochkeppel, H K; Craven, G R

    1976-01-01

    We have recently shown that 16S RNA can be extracted from 30S ribosomes by an acetic acid-urea precipitation procedure which yields RNA capable of binding 13 individual ribosomal proteins. This is in contrast to phenol extracted 16S RNA which can specifically associate with only 7 proteins2-7. In the experiments reported here, we demonstrate that the difference in protein binding capacities is due to a relatiely more "open" configuration possessed by the acetic acid-urea 16S RNA. Under identical conditions, acetic acid-urea 16S RNA is more susceptible to limited T1-RNase digestion than is phenol-16S RNA. In addition, acetic acid-urea RNA shows a relatively slower electrophoretic mobility. The observable difference in conformation between the two types of RNA is lost by storage at-70 degrees C. This loss is accompanied by a reduction in protein binding capacity of the acetic acid-urea 16S RNA. Images PMID:787927

  9. Slicing tRNAs to boost functional ncRNA diversity

    PubMed Central

    Gebetsberger, Jennifer; Polacek, Norbert

    2013-01-01

    Post-transcriptional cleavage of RNA molecules to generate smaller fragments is a widespread mechanism that enlarges the structural and functional complexity of cellular RNomes. Substrates for such RNA fragmentations are coding as well as non-protein-coding RNAs. In particular, fragments derived from both precursor and mature tRNAs represent one of the rapidly growing classes of post-transcriptional RNA pieces. Importantly, these tRNA fragments possess distinct expression patterns, abundance, cellular localizations, or biological roles compared with their parental tRNA molecules. Here we review recent reports on tRNA cleavage and attempt to categorize tRNA pieces according to their origin and cellular function. The biological scope of tRNA-derived fragments ranges from translation control, over RNA silencing, to regulating apoptosis, and thus clearly enlarges the functional repertoire of ncRNA biology. PMID:24351723

  10. How data analysis affects power, reproducibility and biological insight of RNA-seq studies in complex datasets

    PubMed Central

    Peixoto, Lucia; Risso, Davide; Poplawski, Shane G.; Wimmer, Mathieu E.; Speed, Terence P.; Wood, Marcelo A.; Abel, Ted

    2015-01-01

    The sequencing of the full transcriptome (RNA-seq) has become the preferred choice for the measurement of genome-wide gene expression. Despite its widespread use, challenges remain in RNA-seq data analysis. One often-overlooked aspect is normalization. Despite the fact that a variety of factors or ‘batch effects’ can contribute unwanted variation to the data, commonly used RNA-seq normalization methods only correct for sequencing depth. The study of gene expression is particularly problematic when it is influenced simultaneously by a variety of biological factors in addition to the one of interest. Using examples from experimental neuroscience, we show that batch effects can dominate the signal of interest; and that the choice of normalization method affects the power and reproducibility of the results. While commonly used global normalization methods are not able to adequately normalize the data, more recently developed RNA-seq normalization can. We focus on one particular method, RUVSeq and show that it is able to increase power and biological insight of the results. Finally, we provide a tutorial outlining the implementation of RUVSeq normalization that is applicable to a broad range of studies as well as meta-analysis of publicly available data. PMID:26202970

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:17066182

  13. 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

    2011-08-01

    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.

  14. In vivo biochemistry: applications for small molecule biosensors in plant biology.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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, to use GFP reporters for obtaining insights into cellular and subcellular localization, and tp measure ion and metabolite levels with unprecedented precision using mass spectrometry. However, we lack key information on the 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Nuclear accessibility of β-actin mRNA is measured by 3D single-molecule real-time tracking.

    PubMed

    Smith, Carlas S; Preibisch, Stephan; Joseph, Aviva; Abrahamsson, Sara; Rieger, Bernd; Myers, Eugene; Singer, Robert H; Grunwald, David

    2015-05-25

    Imaging single proteins or RNAs allows direct visualization of the inner workings of the cell. Typically, three-dimensional (3D) images are acquired by sequentially capturing a series of 2D sections. The time required to step through the sample often impedes imaging of large numbers of rapidly moving molecules. Here we applied multifocus microscopy (MFM) to instantaneously capture 3D single-molecule real-time images in live cells, visualizing cell nuclei at 10 volumes per second. We developed image analysis techniques to analyze messenger RNA (mRNA) diffusion in the entire volume of the nucleus. Combining MFM with precise registration between fluorescently labeled mRNA, nuclear pore complexes, and chromatin, we obtained globally optimal image alignment within 80-nm precision using transformation models. We show that β-actin mRNAs freely access the entire nucleus and fewer than 60% of mRNAs are more than 0.5 µm away from a nuclear pore, and we do so for the first time accounting for spatial inhomogeneity of nuclear organization. PMID:26008747

  1. Nuclear accessibility of β-actin mRNA is measured by 3D single-molecule real-time tracking

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Carlas S.; Preibisch, Stephan; Joseph, Aviva; Abrahamsson, Sara; Rieger, Bernd; Myers, Eugene; Singer, Robert H.

    2015-01-01

    Imaging single proteins or RNAs allows direct visualization of the inner workings of the cell. Typically, three-dimensional (3D) images are acquired by sequentially capturing a series of 2D sections. The time required to step through the sample often impedes imaging of large numbers of rapidly moving molecules. Here we applied multifocus microscopy (MFM) to instantaneously capture 3D single-molecule real-time images in live cells, visualizing cell nuclei at 10 volumes per second. We developed image analysis techniques to analyze messenger RNA (mRNA) diffusion in the entire volume of the nucleus. Combining MFM with precise registration between fluorescently labeled mRNA, nuclear pore complexes, and chromatin, we obtained globally optimal image alignment within 80-nm precision using transformation models. We show that β-actin mRNAs freely access the entire nucleus and fewer than 60% of mRNAs are more than 0.5 µm away from a nuclear pore, and we do so for the first time accounting for spatial inhomogeneity of nuclear organization. PMID:26008747

  2. Peptide-coated semiconductor quantum dots and their applications in biological imaging of single molecules in live cells and organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinaud, Fabien Florent

    2007-12-01

    A new surface chemistry has been developed for the solubilization and biofunctionalization of inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals fluorescent probes, also known as quantum dots. This chemistry is based on the surface coating of quantum dots with custom-designed polycysteine peptides and yields water-soluble, small, monodispersed and colloidally stable probes that remain bright and photostable in complex biological milieus. This peptide coating strategy was successfully tested on several types of core and core-shell quantum dots emitting from the visible (e.g. CdSe/ZnS) to the NIR spectrum range (e.g. CdTe/CdSe/ZnS). By taking advantage of the versatile physico-chemical properties of peptides, a peptide "toolkit" was designed and employed to impart several biological functions to individual quantum dots and control their biochemical activity at the nanometer scale. These biofunctionalized peptide-coated quantum dots were exploited in very diverse biological applications. Near-infrared emitting quantum dot probes were engineered with optimized blood circulation and biodistribution properties for in vivo animal imaging. Visible emitting quantum dots were used for single molecule tracking of raft-associated GPI-anchored proteins in live cells. This last application revealed the presence of discrete and non-caveolar lipid microdomains capable of impeding free lateral diffusions in the plasma membrane of Hela cells. Imaging and tracking of peptide-coated quantum dots provided the first direct evidence that microdomains having the composition and behavior expected for lipid rafts can induce molecular compartmentalization in the membrane of living cells.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. Effects of Hypoxanthine Substitution in Peptide Nucleic Acids Targeting KRAS2 Oncogenic mRNA Molecules: Theory and Experiment

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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 multi-mutant specificity could be achieved with a PNA dodecamer incorporating hypoxanthine, which can form Watson-Crick basepairs 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. PMID:23972113

  8. Co-expression of RNA–protein complexes in Escherichia coli and applications to RNA biology

    PubMed Central

    Ponchon, Luc; Catala, Marjorie; Seijo, Bili; El Khouri, Marguerite; Dardel, Frédéric; Nonin-Lecomte, Sylvie; Tisné, Carine

    2013-01-01

    RNA has emerged as a major player in many cellular processes. Understanding these processes at the molecular level requires homogeneous RNA samples for structural, biochemical and pharmacological studies. We previously devised a generic approach that allows efficient in vivo expression of recombinant RNA in Escherichia coli. In this work, we have extended this method to RNA/protein co-expression. We have engineered several plasmids that allow overexpression of RNA–protein complexes in E. coli. We have investigated the potential of these tools in many applications, including the production of nuclease-sensitive RNAs encapsulated in viral protein pseudo-particles, the co-production of non-coding RNAs with chaperone proteins, the incorporation of a post-transcriptional RNA modification by co-production with the appropriate modifying enzyme and finally the production and purification of an RNA–His-tagged protein complex by nickel affinity chromatography. We show that this last application easily provides pure material for crystallographic studies. The new tools we report will pave the way to large-scale structural and molecular investigations of RNA function and interactions with proteins. PMID:23804766

  9. Small molecule-mediated up-regulation of microRNA targeting a key cell death modulator BNIP3 improves cardiac function following ischemic injury

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Se-Yeon; Lee, Seahyoung; Choi, Eunhyun; Ham, Onju; Lee, Chang Youn; Lee, Jiyun; Seo, Hyang-Hee; Cha, Min-Ji; Mun, Bohyun; Lee, Yunmi; Yoon, Cheesoon; Hwang, Ki-Chul

    2016-01-01

    Genetic ablation of BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), an essential regulator of cardiac cell death, is an effective way to prevent cardiac cell death triggered by pathologic conditions. However, currently there exists no known means, such as inhibitors, to down-regulate BNIP3 in mature heart. Here, we report that a small molecule inducer of microRNA-182 (miR-182) suppressed ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced cardiac cell death by down-regulating BNIP3. We first selected miR-182 as a potent BNIP3-targeting miRNA based on miRNA-target prediction databases and empirical data. The subsequent screening of small molecules for inducing miR-182 expression identified Kenpaullone as a hit compound. Both exogenous miR-182 and Kenpaullone significantly suppressed hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte death in vitro. To investigate the effect of changing substituents of Kenpaullone on miR-182 expression, we synthesized 9 derivatives of Kenpaullone. Among these derivatives, compound 5 showed significantly improved ability to induce miR-182 expression. The results of the in vivo study showed that compound 5 significantly improved heart function following I/R-injury in rats. Our study provides strong evidence that the small molecule-mediated up-regulation of miRNAs is a viable strategy to down-regulate target proteins with no known chemical inhibitor and that compound 5 may have potential to prevent I/R-inflicted cardiac cell death. PMID:27008992

  10. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Studies of the Human Telomerase RNA Pseudoknot: Temperature-/Urea-Dependent Folding Kinetics and Thermodynamics

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:24617561

  11. Mutational Analysis of Vaccinia Virus E3 Protein: the Biological Functions Do Not Correlate with Its Biochemical Capacity To Bind Double-Stranded RNA

    PubMed Central

    Dueck, Kevin J.; Hu, YuanShen (Sandy); Chen, Peter; Deschambault, Yvon; Lee, Jocelyn; Varga, Jessie

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Vaccinia E3 protein has the biochemical capacity of binding to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The best characterized biological functions of the E3 protein include its host range function, suppression of cytokine expression, and inhibition of interferon (IFN)-induced antiviral activity. Currently, the role of the dsRNA binding capacity in the biological functions of the E3 protein is not clear. To further understand the mechanism of the E3 protein biological functions, we performed alanine scanning of the entire dsRNA binding domain of the E3 protein to examine the link between its biochemical capacity of dsRNA binding and biological functions. Of the 115 mutants examined, 20 were defective in dsRNA binding. Although the majority of the mutants defective in dsRNA binding also showed defective replication in HeLa cells, nine mutants (I105A, Y125A, E138A, F148A, F159A, K171A, L182A, L183A, and I187/188A) retained the host range function to various degrees. Further examination of a set of representative E3L mutants showed that residues essential for dsRNA binding are not essential for the biological functions of E3 protein, such as inhibition of protein kinase R (PKR) activation, suppression of cytokine expression, and apoptosis. Thus, data described in this communication strongly indicate the E3 protein performs its biological functions via a novel mechanism which does not correlate with its dsRNA binding activity. IMPORTANCE dsRNAs produced during virus replication are important pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) for inducing antiviral immune responses. One of the strategies used by many viruses to counteract such antiviral immune responses is achieved by producing dsRNA binding proteins, such as poxvirus E3 family proteins, influenza virus NS1, and Ebola virus V35 proteins. The most widely accepted model for the biological functions of this class of viral dsRNA binding proteins is that they bind to and sequester viral dsRNA PAMPs; thus, they

  12. 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

  13. Effects of siRNA-Mediated Knockdown of HDAC1 on the Biological Behavior of Esophageal Carcinoma Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xing; Guo, Haisheng; Liu, Weixin; Yang, Chunmei; Yang, Lei; Wang, Dongguan; Wang, Xunguo

    2016-01-01

    Background HDAC1 has been shown to be closely associated with the occurrence of tumors. We aimed to investigate the effects of siRNA-mediated HDAC1 knockdown on the biological behavior of esophageal carcinoma cell lines. Material/Methods HDAC1 expression in esophageal cancer cell lines TE-1, Eca109, and EC9706 was compared by Western blot analysis. These cells were transfected with siRNA-HDAC1 and cell proliferation was evaluated by MTT assay to select the optimum cell line for subsequent experiments. The effects of siRNA-HDAC1 on the migration and invasion of the selected cell line were assessed by transwell assay. The expression of cell cycle-related proteins cyclinD1, p21 and p27, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), E-cadherin and vimentin was determined by Western blot analysis. Results HDAC1 expression in TE-1, Eca109 and EC9706 cells was significantly higher compared with normal esophageal cell line HEEC (P<0.01). MTT assay, Western blot and RT-PCR analyses demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of siRNA on HDAC1 expression and cell viability in TE-1 cells were the highest among all cell lines, which was therefore used in subsequent experiments. After TE-1 cells were transfected with siRNA-HDAC1, their migration and invasion were significantly lower compared with the controls (P<0.01). CyclinD1 and vimentin expression was significantly lower compared with the controls (P<0.01), whereas the expression of p21, p27, ZO-1 and E-cadherin was significantly higher (P<0.01). Conclusions The siRNA-mediated HDAC1 knockdown significantly inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion of TE-1 cells probably by regulating the expression of cell cycle- and EMT-related proteins. PMID:27086779

  14. Drug delivery trends in clinical trials and translational medicine: growth in biologic molecule development and impact on rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and colitis.

    PubMed

    Ho, Rodney J Y; Chien, Jenny Y

    2012-08-01

    There are 94,709 clinical trials across 179 countries. Approximately half (47,467) are related to the three categories within the scope of the free online resource "Drug Delivery Trends in Clinical Trials and Translational Medicine," which are (1) drug delivery technology and systems, (2) biological molecule platforms, and (3) pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions. In this commentary, trends in biological molecule platforms and their impacts are discussed. The sales of top 15 biologic drugs have reached over $63 billion in 2010. In the past 10 years, major pharmaceutical companies have acquired biological molecule platforms and have become integrated biopharmaceutical companies, highlighting the role of biotechnology in driving new therapeutic product development. The top three products--Remicade, Enbrel, and Humira--indicated for arthritis and colitis and targeted to tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), each generated over $6 billion in annual sales. In addition to TNF-α, biologic candidates targeted to other inflammatory molecules are in clinical development, partly driven by commercial interests and medical need. Although clinical experience indicates that all the anti-TNF-α molecular platforms are effective for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and colitis, whether the new agents can provide additional relief or cures remains to be seen.

  15. 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.

  16. Quantitative Proteomics Reveals Factors Regulating RNA Biology as Dynamic Targets of Stress-induced SUMOylation in Arabidopsis *

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Marcus J.; Scalf, Mark; Rytz, Thérèse C.; Hubler, Shane L.; Smith, Lloyd M.; Vierstra, Richard D.

    2013-01-01

    The stress-induced attachment of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) to a diverse collection of nuclear proteins regulating chromatin architecture, transcription, and RNA biology has been implicated in protecting plants and animals against numerous environmental challenges. In order to better understand stress-induced SUMOylation, we combined stringent purification of SUMO conjugates with isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification mass spectrometry and an advanced method to adjust for sample-to-sample variation so as to study quantitatively the SUMOylation dynamics of intact Arabidopsis seedlings subjected to stress. Inspection of 172 SUMO substrates during and after heat shock (37 °C) revealed that stress mostly increases the abundance of existing conjugates, as opposed to modifying new targets. Some of the most robustly up-regulated targets participate in RNA processing and turnover and RNA-directed DNA modification, thus implicating SUMO as a regulator of the transcriptome during stress. Many of these targets were also strongly SUMOylated during ethanol and oxidative stress, suggesting that their modification is crucial for general stress tolerance. Collectively, our quantitative data emphasize the importance of SUMO to RNA-related processes protecting plants from adverse environments. PMID:23197790

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25576913

  18. Conceptual Model-based Systems Biology: mapping knowledge and discovering gaps in the mRNA transcription cycle.

    PubMed

    Somekh, Judith; Choder, Mordechai; Dori, Dov

    2012-12-20

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. The microRNA-200 family: small molecules with novel roles in cancer development, progression and therapy

    PubMed Central

    Humphries, Brock; Yang, Chengfeng

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a large family of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate protein-coding gene expression post-transcriptionally via base pairing between the 5′ seed region of a miRNA and the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of a messenger RNA (mRNA). Recent evidence has supported the critical role that miRNAs play in many diseases including cancer. The miR-200 family consisting of 5 members (miR-200a, -200b, -200c, -141, -429) is an emerging miRNA family that has been shown to play crucial roles in cancer initiation and metastasis, and potentially be important for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. While miR-200s were found to be critically involved in the metastatic colonization to the lungs in mouse mammary xenograft tumor models, a large number of studies demonstrated their strong suppressive effects on cell transformation, cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, tumor growth and metastasis. This review aims to discuss research findings about the role of the miR-200 family in cancer initiation, each step of cancer metastatic cascade, cancer diagnosis and treatment. A comprehensive summary of currently validated miR-200 targets is also presented. It is concluded that miR-200 family may serve as novel targets for the therapy of multiple types of cancer. PMID:25762624

  2. Structure and Biological Function of the RNA Pyrophosphohydrolase BdRppH from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

    SciTech Connect

    Messing, S.; Gabelli, S; Liu, Q; Celesnik, H; Belasco, J; Pineiro, S; Amzel, L

    2009-01-01

    Until recently, the mechanism of mRNA decay in bacteria was thought to be different from that of eukaryotes. This paradigm changed with the discovery that RppH (ORF176/NudH/YgdP), an Escherichia coli enzyme that belongs to the Nudix superfamily, is an RNA pyrophosphohydrolase that initiates mRNA decay by cleaving pyrophosphate from the 5?-triphosphate. Here we report the 1.9 A resolution structure of the Nudix hydrolase BdRppH from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, a bacterium that feeds on other Gram-negative bacteria. Based on the structure of the enzyme alone and in complex with GTP-Mg2+, we propose a mode of RNA binding similar to that of the nuclear decapping enzyme from Xenopus laevis, X29. In additional experiments, we show that BdRppH can indeed function in vitro and in vivo as an RNA pyrophosphohydrolase. These findings set the basis for the identification of possible decapping enzymes in other bacteria.

  3. Structure and Biological Function of the RNA Pyrophosphohydrolase BdRppH from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

    PubMed Central

    Messing, Simon A.J.; Gabelli, Sandra B.; Liu, Quansheng; Celesnik, Helena; Belasco, Joel G.; Piñeiro, Silvia A.; Amzel, L. Mario

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Until recently, the mechanism of mRNA decay in bacteria was thought to be different from that of eukaryotes. This paradigm changed with the discovery that RppH (ORF176/NudH/YgdP), an Escherichia coli enzyme that belongs to the Nudix superfamily, is an RNA resolution pyrophosphohydrolase that initiates mRNA decay by cleaving pyrophosphate from the 5′-triphosphate. Here we report the 1.9 Å structure of the Nudix hydrolase BdRppH from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, a bacterium that feeds on other Gram-negative bacteria. Based on the structure of the enzyme alone and in complex with GTP-Mg2+, we propose a mode of RNA binding similar to that of the nuclear decapping enzyme from Xenopus laevis, X29. In additional experiments, we show that BdRppH can indeed function in vitro and in vivo as an RNA pyrophosphohydrolase. These findings set the basis for the identification of possible decapping enzymes in other bacteria. PMID:19278661

  4. In vitro substrate specificities of 3'-5' polymerases correlate with biological outcomes of tRNA 5'-editing reactions.

    PubMed

    Long, Yicheng; Jackman, Jane E

    2015-07-22

    Protozoan mitochondrial tRNAs (mt-tRNAs) are repaired by a process known as 5'-editing. Mt-tRNA sequencing revealed organism-specific patterns of editing G-U base pairs, wherein some species remove G-U base pairs during 5'-editing, while others retain G-U pairs in the edited tRNA. We tested whether 3'-5' polymerases that catalyze the repair step of 5'-editing exhibit organism-specific preferences that explain the treatment of G-U base pairs. Biochemical and kinetic approaches revealed that a 3'-5' polymerase from Acanthamoeba castellanii tolerates G-U wobble pairs in editing substrates much more readily than several other enzymes, consistent with its biological pattern of editing.

  5. In vitro substrate specificities of 3'-5' polymerases correlate with biological outcomes of tRNA 5'-editing reactions

    PubMed Central

    Long, Yicheng; Jackman, Jane E.

    2015-01-01

    Protozoan mitochondrial tRNAs (mt-tRNAs) are repaired by a process known as 5'-editing. Mt-tRNA sequencing revealed organism-specific patterns of editing G-U base pairs, wherein some species remove G-U base pairs during 5'-editing, while others retain G-U pairs in the edited tRNA. We tested whether 3'-5' polymerases that catalyze the repair step of 5'-editing exhibit organism-specific preferences that explain the treatment of G-U base pairs. Biochemical and kinetic approaches revealed that a 3'-5' polymerase from A. castellanii tolerates G-U wobble pairs in editing substrates much more readily than several other enzymes, consistent with its biological pattern of editing. PMID:26143376

  6. NMR structure of a biologically active peptide containing the RNA-binding domain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Tat.

    PubMed Central

    Mujeeb, A; Bishop, K; Peterlin, B M; Turck, C; Parslow, T G; James, T L

    1994-01-01

    The Tat protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 enhances transcription by binding to a specific RNA element on nascent viral transcripts. Binding is mediated by a 10-amino acid basic domain that is rich in arginines and lysines. Here we report the three-dimensional peptide backbone structure of a biologically active 25-mer peptide that contains the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Tat basic domain linked to the core regulatory domain of another lentiviral Tat--i.e., that from equine infectious anemia virus. Circular dichroism and two-dimensional proton NMR studies of this hybrid peptide indicate that the Tat basic domain forms a stable alpha-helix, whereas the adjacent regulatory sequence is mostly in extended form. These findings suggest that the tendency to form stable alpha-helices may be a common property of arginine- and lysine-rich RNA-binding domains. Images PMID:8058789

  7. Omics of Brucella: Species-Specific sRNA-Mediated Gene Ontology Regulatory Networks Identified by Computational Biology.

    PubMed

    Vishnu, Udayakumar S; Sankarasubramanian, Jagadesan; Gunasekaran, Paramasamy; Sridhar, Jayavel; Rajendhran, Jeyaprakash

    2016-06-01

    Brucella is an intracellular bacterium that causes the zoonotic infectious disease, brucellosis. Brucella species are currently intensively studied with a view to developing novel global health diagnostics and therapeutics. In this context, small RNAs (sRNAs) are one of the emerging topical areas; they play significant roles in regulating gene expression and cellular processes in bacteria. In the present study, we forecast sRNAs in three Brucella species that infect humans, namely Brucella melitensis, Brucella abortus, and Brucella suis, using a computational biology analysis. We combined two bioinformatic algorithms, SIPHT and sRNAscanner. In B. melitensis 16M, 21 sRNA candidates were identified, of which 14 were novel. Similarly, 14 sRNAs were identified in B. abortus, of which four were novel. In B. suis, 16 sRNAs were identified, and five of them were novel. TargetRNA2 software predicted the putative target genes that could be regulated by the identified sRNAs. The identified mRNA targets are involved in carbohydrate, amino acid, lipid, nucleotide, and coenzyme metabolism and transport, energy production and conversion, replication, recombination, repair, and transcription. Additionally, the Gene Ontology (GO) network analysis revealed the species-specific, sRNA-based regulatory networks in B. melitensis, B. abortus, and B. suis. Taken together, although sRNAs are veritable modulators of gene expression in prokaryotes, there are few reports on the significance of sRNAs in Brucella. This report begins to address this literature gap by offering a series of initial observations based on computational biology to pave the way for future experimental analysis of sRNAs and their targets to explain the complex pathogenesis of Brucella.

  8. Chemical synthesis of a biologically active natural tRNA with its minor bases.

    PubMed Central

    Gasparutto, D; Livache, T; Bazin, H; Duplaa, A M; Guy, A; Khorlin, A; Molko, D; Roget, A; Téoule, R

    1992-01-01

    The complete chemical synthesis of an E. coli tRNA(Ala) with its specific minor nucleosides, dihydrouridine, ribothymidine and pseudouridine, is reported. The method makes use of protected 2'-O-tertiobutyldimethylsilyl-ribonucleoside-3'-O-(2-cyanoethyl-N- ethyl-N- methyl)phosphoramidites. The exocyclic amino functions of the bases were protected by the phenoxyacetyl group for purines and acetyl for cytosine. The assembling has been performed on a silica support with coupling yield better than 98% within 2 min of condensation. Triethylamine tris-hydrofluoride allowed a clean and complete deprotection of the tBDMS groups. The synthetic tRNA(Ala) has been transcribed into cDNA by reverse transcriptase and sequenced. With E. coli alanyl-tRNA synthetase the alanyl acceptance activity and kcat/Km were 672 pmol/A260 and 6 x 10(4)M-1s-1, respectively. Images PMID:1383941

  9. RNA in evolution.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Niles

    2010-01-01

    RNA has played a variety of roles in the evolutionary history of life on the Earth. While this molecule was once considered a poor cousin of the more influential polymers in the cell, namely DNA and proteins, a string of important discoveries over the last 50 years has revealed that RNA may in fact be the cornerstone of biological function. In particular, the finding that RNA can be catalytic, and thus possess both a genotype and a phenotype, has forced us to consider the possibility that life's origins began with RNA, and that the subsequent diversification of life is aptly described as a string of innovations by RNA to adapt to a changing environment. Some of these adaptations include riboswitches, ribonucleoproteins (RNPs), RNA editing, and RNA interference (RNAi). Although many of these functions may seem at first glance to be recent evolutionary developments, it may be the case that all of their catalytic activities trace their roots back to a primordial 'RNA World' some four billion years ago, and that RNA's diversity has a continuous thread that pervades life from its very origins. PMID:21935885

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Small molecules that interact with RNA: riboswitch-based gene control and its involvement in metabolic regulation in plants and algae.

    PubMed

    Bocobza, Samuel E; Aharoni, Asaph

    2014-08-01

    Riboswitches are RNA elements that bind small molecules and in turn regulate gene expression. This mechanism allows the cell to sense the intracellular concentration of these small molecules. A particular riboswitch typically regulates its adjacent gene by altering the transcription, the translation or the splicing of this gene. Recently, a riboswitch that binds thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP) was characterized and found to regulate thiamin biosynthesis in plants and algae. Furthermore, it appears that this element is an essential regulator of primary metabolism in plants. Manipulation of endogenous riboswitch activity resulted in metabolic phenotypes that underlined the role of these elements and their ligands in preserving metabolic homeostasis. This situation supports the hypothesis that riboswitches could be remnants of the most ancient metabolic regulators. Here, we review the mode of action of the plant and algal TPP riboswitch and its relevance to the metabolic network. We also discuss the potential engineering of riboswitches as metabolite sensors in plants and platforms for gene control. Whether additional such RNA-based mechanisms exist in plants and in algae is still an open question, yet, the importance of these elements to metabolic regulation is beyond doubt. PMID:24773387

  13. Small molecules that interact with RNA: riboswitch-based gene control and its involvement in metabolic regulation in plants and algae.

    PubMed

    Bocobza, Samuel E; Aharoni, Asaph

    2014-08-01

    Riboswitches are RNA elements that bind small molecules and in turn regulate gene expression. This mechanism allows the cell to sense the intracellular concentration of these small molecules. A particular riboswitch typically regulates its adjacent gene by altering the transcription, the translation or the splicing of this gene. Recently, a riboswitch that binds thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP) was characterized and found to regulate thiamin biosynthesis in plants and algae. Furthermore, it appears that this element is an essential regulator of primary metabolism in plants. Manipulation of endogenous riboswitch activity resulted in metabolic phenotypes that underlined the role of these elements and their ligands in preserving metabolic homeostasis. This situation supports the hypothesis that riboswitches could be remnants of the most ancient metabolic regulators. Here, we review the mode of action of the plant and algal TPP riboswitch and its relevance to the metabolic network. We also discuss the potential engineering of riboswitches as metabolite sensors in plants and platforms for gene control. Whether additional such RNA-based mechanisms exist in plants and in algae is still an open question, yet, the importance of these elements to metabolic regulation is beyond doubt.

  14. Transport of the highly charged myo-inositol hexakisphosphate molecule across the red blood cell membrane: a phase transfer and biological study.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Stéphane P; Lehn, Jean-Marie; Lazarte, Jaime; Nicolau, Claude

    2002-09-01

    To address the problem of delivering highly charged small molecules, such as phytic acid (InsP(6) or IHP), across biological membranes, we investigated an approach based on a non-covalent interaction between transport molecule(s) and IHP. Thus, we synthesized a collection of compounds containing IHP ionically bound to lipophilic (but non-lipidic) ammonium or poly-ammonium cations. First, we assessed the ability of these water-soluble salts to cross a biological membrane by measuring the partition coefficients between human serum and 1-octanol. In view of the ability of IHP to act as potent effector for oxygen release, the O(2)-hemoglobin dissociation curves were then measured for the most efficient salts on whole blood. From both the biological and the physical properties of IHP-ammonium salts we determined that cycloalkylamines (or poly-amines) were the best transport molecules, especially cycloheptyl- and cyclooctylamine. Indeed, the octanol/serum partition coefficient of IHP undecacyclooctylammonium salt, is superior to 1, which is very favorable for potential uptake into the red blood cell membrane. A qualitative correlation was found between the partitioning experiments and the biological evaluations performed on whole blood. PMID:12110302

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. A small molecule probe induces a conformation in HIV TAR RNA capable of binding drug-like fragments

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Amy; Begley, Darren W.; Lau, Carmen; Varani, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    The HIV-1 TAR/Tat interaction is a potentially valuable target for treating HIV infection, but efforts to develop TAR-binding antiviral drugs have not yet yielded a successful candidate for clinical development. In this work, we describe a novel approach towards screening fragments against RNA that uses a chemical probe to target the Tat binding region of TAR. This probe fulfills two critical roles in the screen: by locking the RNA into a conformation capable of binding other fragments, it simultaneously allows the identification of proximal binding fragments by ligand-based NMR. Using this approach, we have discovered six novel TAR-binding fragments, three of which were docked relative to the probe/RNA structure using experimental NMR restraints. The consistent orientations of functional groups in our data-driven docked structures and common electrostatic properties across all fragment leads reveal a surprising level of selectivity by our fragment-sized screening hits. These models further suggest linking strategies for the development of higher affinity lead compounds for the inhibition of the TAR/Tat interaction. PMID:21763501

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26280226

  20. Dissecting non-coding RNA mechanisms in cellulo by Single-molecule High-Resolution Localization and Counting.

    PubMed

    Pitchiaya, Sethuramasundaram; Krishnan, Vishalakshi; Custer, Thomas C; Walter, Nils G

    2013-09-15

    Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) recently were discovered to outnumber their protein-coding counterparts, yet their diverse functions are still poorly understood. Here we report on a method for the intracellular Single-molecule High-Resolution Localization and Counting (iSHiRLoC) of microRNAs (miRNAs), a conserved, ubiquitous class of regulatory ncRNAs that controls the expression of over 60% of all mammalian protein coding genes post-transcriptionally, by a mechanism shrouded by seemingly contradictory observations. We present protocols to execute single particle tracking (SPT) and single-molecule counting of functional microinjected, fluorophore-labeled miRNAs and thereby extract diffusion coefficients and molecular stoichiometries of micro-ribonucleoprotein (miRNP) complexes from living and fixed cells, respectively. This probing of miRNAs at the single molecule level sheds new light on the intracellular assembly/disassembly of miRNPs, thus beginning to unravel the dynamic nature of this important gene regulatory pathway and facilitating the development of a parsimonious model for their obscured mechanism of action.

  1. lncRNA-RNA Interactions across the Human Transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Szcześniak, Michał Wojciech; Makałowska, Izabela

    2016-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent a numerous class of non-protein coding transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides. There is possibility that a fraction of lncRNAs are not functional and represent mere transcriptional noise but a growing body of evidence shows they are engaged in a plethora of molecular functions and contribute considerably to the observed diversification of eukaryotic transcriptomes and proteomes. Still, however, only ca. 1% of lncRNAs have well established functions and much remains to be done towards decipherment of their biological roles. One of the least studied aspects of lncRNAs biology is their engagement in gene expression regulation through RNA-RNA interactions. By hybridizing with mate RNA molecules, lncRNAs could potentially participate in modulation of pre-mRNA splicing, RNA editing, mRNA stability control, translation activation, or abrogation of miRNA-induced repression. Here, we implemented a similarity-search based method for transcriptome-wide identification of RNA-RNA interactions, which enabled us to find 18,871,097 lncRNA-RNA base-pairings in human. Further analyses showed that the interactions could be involved in processing, stability control and functions of 57,303 transcripts. An extensive use of RNA-Seq data provided support for approximately one third of the interactions, at least in terms of the two RNA components being co-expressed. The results suggest that lncRNA-RNA interactions are broadly used to regulate and diversify the human transcriptome.

  2. lncRNA-RNA Interactions across the Human Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Szcześniak, Michał Wojciech; Makałowska, Izabela

    2016-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent a numerous class of non-protein coding transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides. There is possibility that a fraction of lncRNAs are not functional and represent mere transcriptional noise but a growing body of evidence shows they are engaged in a plethora of molecular functions and contribute considerably to the observed diversification of eukaryotic transcriptomes and proteomes. Still, however, only ca. 1% of lncRNAs have well established functions and much remains to be done towards decipherment of their biological roles. One of the least studied aspects of lncRNAs biology is their engagement in gene expression regulation through RNA-RNA interactions. By hybridizing with mate RNA molecules, lncRNAs could potentially participate in modulation of pre-mRNA splicing, RNA editing, mRNA stability control, translation activation, or abrogation of miRNA-induced repression. Here, we implemented a similarity-search based method for transcriptome-wide identification of RNA-RNA interactions, which enabled us to find 18,871,097 lncRNA-RNA base-pairings in human. Further analyses showed that the interactions could be involved in processing, stability control and functions of 57,303 transcripts. An extensive use of RNA-Seq data provided support for approximately one third of the interactions, at least in terms of the two RNA components being co-expressed. The results suggest that lncRNA-RNA interactions are broadly used to regulate and diversify the human transcriptome. PMID:26930590

  3. Combinatorial screening and rational optimization for hybridization to folded hepatitis C virus RNA of oligonucleotides with biological antisense activity.

    PubMed

    Lima, W F; Brown-Driver, V; Fox, M; Hanecak, R; Bruice, T W

    1997-01-01

    corresponded to antisense mechanism inhibition activities in an in vitro translation assay and in a human cell-based HCV core protein expression assay, respectively. These results validate our strategy for the selection of hybridization-optimized and biologically active antisense oligonucleotides targeting HCV RNA and support the potential for utility in further applications. PMID:8995306

  4. Chemical modification of chitosan with pH-sensitive molecules and specific ligands for efficient DNA transfection and siRNA silencing.

    PubMed

    Singh, Bijay; Choi, Yun-Jaie; Park, In-Kyu; Akaike, Toshihiro; Cho, Chong-Su

    2014-01-01

    Successful gene therapy depends on the development of efficient and cell-specific gene delivery systems. Currently, animal viral vectors have been mostly used for in vivo and in clinical trials owing to their high transduction efficiency. However, they suffer from numerous limitations such as biosafety, immunogenicity, gene packaging capacity, complicated production and cell specificity. Therefore non-viral vectors are attractive alternatives to viral gene delivery systems due to their low toxicity, relatively easy production and greater diversity. Among non-viral vectors, chitosan and chitosan derivatives have been extensively utilized as gene carriers owing to their low immunogenicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity and ease of chemical modifications. However, low transfection efficiency of DNA (or low gene silencing of siRNA) and low cell specificity of chitosan should be overcome before clinical trials. The objective of this review is to summarize several parameters affecting the transfection efficiency of DNA (or gene silencing of siRNA) for the promising use of chitosan as gene carriers. Besides, chemical modifications of chitosan with pH-sensitive molecules and specific ligands so as to enhance the transfection efficiency of DNA (or gene silencing of siRNA) and cell specificity will be covered. PMID:24730283

  5. 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.

  6. Transcription elongation. Heterogeneous tracking of RNA polymerase and its biological implications.

    PubMed

    Imashimizu, Masahiko; Shimamoto, Nobuo; Oshima, Taku; Kashlev, Mikhail

    2014-01-01

    Regulation of transcription elongation via pausing of RNA polymerase has multiple physiological roles. The pausing mechanism depends on the sequence heterogeneity of the DNA being transcribed, as well as on certain interactions of polymerase with specific DNA sequences. In order to describe the mechanism of regulation, we introduce the concept of heterogeneity into the previously proposed alternative models of elongation, power stroke and Brownian ratchet. We also discuss molecular origins and physiological significances of the heterogeneity.

  7. RNA biology and the adaptation of Cryptococcus neoformans to host temperature and stress.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Amanda L M; Panepinto, John C

    2014-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is an environmental fungus that can cause severe disease in humans. C. neoformans encounters a multitude of stresses within the human host to which it must adapt in order to survive and proliferate. Upon stressful changes in the external milieu, C. neoformans must reprogram its gene expression to properly respond to and combat stress in order to maintain homeostasis. Several studies have investigated the changes that occur in response to these stresses to begin to unravel the mechanisms of adaptation in this organism. Here, we review studies that have explored stress-induced changes in gene expression with a focus on host temperature adaptation. We compare global messenger RNA (mRNA) expression data compiled from several studies and identify patterns that suggest that orchestrated, transient responses occur. We also utilize the available expression data to explore the possibility of a common stress response that may contribute to cellular protection against a variety of stresses in C. neoformans. In addition, we review studies that have revealed the significance of post-transcriptional mechanisms of mRNA regulation in response to stress, and discuss how these processes may contribute to adaptation and virulence.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Local Kinetic Measures of Macromolecular Structure Reveal Partitioning Among Multiple Parallel Pathways from the Earliest Steps in the Folding of a Large RNA Molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Laederach,A.; Shcherbakova, I.; Liang, M.; Brenowitz, M.; Altman, R.

    2006-01-01

    At the heart of the RNA folding problem is the number, structures, and relationships among the intermediates that populate the folding pathways of most large RNA molecules. Unique insight into the structural dynamics of these intermediates can be gleaned from the time-dependent changes in local probes of macromolecular conformation (e.g. reports on individual nucleotide solvent accessibility offered by hydroxyl radical ({center_dot}OH) footprinting). Local measures distributed around a macromolecule individually illuminate the ensemble of separate changes that constitute a folding reaction. Folding pathway reconstruction from a multitude of these individual measures is daunting due to the combinatorial explosion of possible kinetic models as the number of independent local measures increases. Fortunately, clustering of time progress curves sufficiently reduces the dimensionality of the data so as to make reconstruction computationally tractable. The most likely folding topology and intermediates can then be identified by exhaustively enumerating all possible kinetic models on a super-computer grid. The folding pathways and measures of the relative flux through them were determined for Mg{sup 2+} and Na{sup +}-mediated folding of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron using this combined experimental and computational approach. The flux during Mg{sup 2+}-mediated folding is divided among numerous parallel pathways. In contrast, the flux during the Na{sup +}-mediated reaction is predominantly restricted through three pathways, one of which is without detectable passage through intermediates. Under both conditions, the folding reaction is highly parallel with no single pathway accounting for more than 50% of the molecular flux. This suggests that RNA folding is non-sequential under a variety of different experimental conditions even at the earliest stages of folding. This study provides a template for the systematic analysis of the time-evolution of RNA structure

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Many of the gene mutations found in genetic disorders, including cancer, result in premature termination codons (PTCs) and the rapid degradation of their mRNAs by nonsense mediated RNA decay (NMD). We used virtual library screening (VLS) 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, pharmacological NMD inhibition disrupted SMG7-UPF1 interactions. When used in cells with PTC mutated p53, pharmacological 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 pharmacological NMD inhibitors can restore mRNA integrity in the presence of PTC and be used as part of a strategy to restore full length protein in a variety of genetic diseases. PMID:24662918

  12. Enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs): evaluation of biological activity in relation to their structure.

    PubMed

    Romanski, S; Stamellou, E; Jaraba, J T; Storz, D; Krämer, B K; Hafner, M; Amslinger, S; Schmalz, H G; Yard, B A

    2013-12-01

    Acyloxydiene-Fe(CO)3 complexes act as enzyme-triggered CO-releasing molecules (ET-CORMs) and can deliver CO intracellularly via esterase-mediated hydrolysis. The protective properties of structurally different ET-CORMs on hypothermic preservation damage and their ability to inhibit VCAM-1 expression were tested on cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTEC) using a structure-activity approach. Cytotoxicity of ET-CORMs, protection against hypothermic preservation damage, and inhibition of VCAM-1 expression were assessed. Cytotoxicity of 2-cyclohexenone and 1,3-cyclohexanedione-derived ET-CORMs was more pronounced in HUVEC compared to PTEC and was dependent on the position and type of the ester (acyloxy) substituent(s) (acetate>pivalate>palmitate). Protection against hypothermic preservation injury was only observed for 2-cyclohexenone-derived ET-CORMs and was not mediated by the ET-CORM decomposition product 2-cyclohexenone itself. Structural requirements for protection by these ET-CORMs were different for HUVEC and PTEC. Protection was affected by the nature of the ester functionality in both cell lines. VCAM-1 expression was inhibited by both 2-cyclohexenone- and 1,3-cyclohexanedione-derived ET-CORMs. 2-Cyclohexenone, but not 1,3-cyclohexanedione, also inhibited VCAM-1 expression. We demonstrate that structural alterations of ET-CORMs significantly affect their biological activity. Our data also indicate that different ET-CORMs behave differently in various cell types (epithelial vs endothelial). These findings warrant further studies not only to elucidate the structure-activity relation of ET-CORMs in mechanistic terms but also to assess if structural optimization will yield ET-CORMs with restricted cell specificity.

  13. U1 snRNA as an effective vector for stable expression of antisense molecules and for the inhibition of the splicing reaction.

    PubMed

    Martone, Julie; De Angelis, Fernanda Gabriella; Bozzoni, Irene

    2012-01-01

    We report the use of the U1 snRNA as a vector for the stable expression of antisense molecules against the splice junctions of specific dystrophin exons. The single-stranded 5' terminus of U1 can be replaced by unrelated sequences as long as 50 nucleotides without affecting both the stability and the ability to assemble into snRNP particles. Effective exon skipping has been obtained for different dystrophin exons by antisense sequences against 5' and 3' splice sites alone or in combination with ESE sequences. The efficacy of these molecules has been studied both in in vitro systems and in animals. In both cases the chimeric molecules, delivered as part of lentiviral or AAV vectors (De Angelis et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:9456-9461, 2002; Denti et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 3758-3763, 2006; Denti et al. Hum Gene Ther 17: 565-743, 2006; Denti et al. Hum Gene Ther 19: 601-608, 2008; Incitti et al. Mol Ther 18: 1675-1682, 2010), provided high skipping activity and efficient rescue of dystrophin synthesis. Moreover, the U1-antisense molecules, delivered to mice via systemic injection of recombinant AAV viruses, displayed body wide transduction, long-term expression, dystrophin rescue as well as morphological and functional benefit (Denti et al. Hum Gene Ther 19: 601-608, 2008). In this Chapter we report methods for producing U1-antisense expression cassettes in the backbone of lentiviral constructs and for testing their activity both in patients' derived myoblasts as well as in fibroblasts reprogrammed to muscle differentiation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Staniforth, Michael; Stavros, Vasilios G.

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

    Staniforth, Michael; Stavros, Vasilios G

    2013-11-01

    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.

  16. RNA self-processing towards changed topology and sequence oligomerization.

    PubMed

    Pieper, Stefan; Vauléon, Stéphanie; Müller, Sabine

    2007-07-01

    Reversible chemistry, allowing for chain-forming as well as chain-breaking steps, is important for biological self-organization. In this context, ribozymes, catalyzing both RNA cleavage and ligation, may have significantly contributed to extending the sequence space and length of RNA molecules in early life forms. Here we present an engineered RNA that self-processes by passing through a number of cleavage and ligation steps. Intermolecular reactions compete with intramolecular reactions, resulting in a variety of products. Our results demonstrate that RNA can undergo self-oligomerization, which may have been important for extending the RNA genome size in RNA world scenarios.

  17. RNA based evolutionary optimization.

    PubMed

    Schuster, P

    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

  18. 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

  19. antaRNA: ant colony-based RNA sequence design

    PubMed Central

    Kleinkauf, Robert; Mann, Martin; Backofen, Rolf

    2015-01-01

    Motivation: RNA sequence design is studied at least as long as the classical folding problem. Although for the latter the functional fold of an RNA molecule is to be found, inverse folding tries to identify RNA sequences that fold into a function-specific target structure. In combination with RNA-based biotechnology and synthetic biology, reliable RNA sequence design becomes a crucial step to generate novel biochemical components. Results: In this article, the computational tool antaRNA is presented. It is capable of compiling RNA sequences for a given structure that comply in addition with an adjustable full range objective GC-content distribution, specific sequence constraints and additional fuzzy structure constraints. antaRNA applies ant colony optimization meta-heuristics and its superior performance is shown on a biological datasets. Availability and implementation: http://www.bioinf.uni-freiburg.de/Software/antaRNA Contact: backofen@informatik.uni-freiburg.de Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:26023105

  20. [< Catch me if you can >: how the structural and functional integrity of eukaryotic RNA molecules is monitored by surveillance mechanisms].

    PubMed

    Leporé, Nathalie; Lafontaine, Denis L J

    2010-03-01

    Cellular RNAs are invariably organized in ribonucleoprotein particles, or RNPs, regardless of their size, structure or function. RNPs are monitored by active surveillance mechanisms for their structural and functional integrity at every single step of their "life". A limited number of key endoRNase and/or exoRNase activities are recruited to multiple metabolic pathways by specific adaptors. These trans-acting factors are often endowed with synthesis activities in the formation of mature RNA termini, as well as degradation and surveillance activities. Quality control mechanisms are robust because they are partially redundant. The actual mechanisms that discriminate aberrant RNAs from normal RNAs are still loosely defined. Surveillance is essential to cellular homeostasis and has been linked to several human diseases.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jie; Du, Xuewen; Xu, Bing

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:25738892

  3. RNA as an Enzyme.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cech, Thomas R.

    1986-01-01

    Reviews current findings that explain RNA's function as an enzyme in addition to being an informational molecule. Highlights recent research efforts and notes changes in the information base on RNA activity. Includes models and diagrams of RNA activity. (ML)

  4. Domain movements of the enhancer-dependent sigma factor drive DNA delivery into the RNA polymerase active site: insights from single molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Amit; Leach, Robert N; Gell, Christopher; Zhang, Nan; Burrows, Patricia C; Shepherd, Dale A; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh; Smith, David Alastair; Zhang, Xiaodong; Buck, Martin; Stockley, Peter G; Tuma, Roman

    2014-04-01

    Recognition of bacterial promoters is regulated by two distinct classes of sequence-specific sigma factors, σ(70) or σ(54), that differ both in their primary sequence and in the requirement of the latter for activation via enhancer-bound upstream activators. The σ(54) version controls gene expression in response to stress, often mediating pathogenicity. Its activator proteins are members of the AAA+ superfamily and use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to remodel initially auto-inhibited holoenzyme promoter complexes. We have mapped this remodeling using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. Initial remodeling is nucleotide-independent and driven by binding both ssDNA during promoter melting and activator. However, DNA loading into the RNA polymerase active site depends on co-operative ATP hydrolysis by the activator. Although the coupled promoter recognition and melting steps may be conserved between σ(70) and σ(54), the domain movements of the latter have evolved to require an activator ATPase. PMID:24553251

  5. Domain movements of the enhancer-dependent sigma factor drive DNA delivery into the RNA polymerase active site: insights from single molecule studies

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Amit; Leach, Robert N.; Gell, Christopher; Zhang, Nan; Burrows, Patricia C.; Shepherd, Dale A.; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh; Smith, David Alastair; Zhang, Xiaodong; Buck, Martin; Stockley, Peter G.; Tuma, Roman

    2014-01-01

    Recognition of bacterial promoters is regulated by two distinct classes of sequence-specific sigma factors, σ70 or σ54, that differ both in their primary sequence and in the requirement of the latter for activation via enhancer-bound upstream activators. The σ54 version controls gene expression in response to stress, often mediating pathogenicity. Its activator proteins are members of the AAA+ superfamily and use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to remodel initially auto-inhibited holoenzyme promoter complexes. We have mapped this remodeling using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. Initial remodeling is nucleotide-independent and driven by binding both ssDNA during promoter melting and activator. However, DNA loading into the RNA polymerase active site depends on co-operative ATP hydrolysis by the activator. Although the coupled promoter recognition and melting steps may be conserved between σ70 and σ54, the domain movements of the latter have evolved to require an activator ATPase. PMID:24553251

  6. Domain movements of the enhancer-dependent sigma factor drive DNA delivery into the RNA polymerase active site: insights from single molecule studies.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Amit; Leach, Robert N; Gell, Christopher; Zhang, Nan; Burrows, Patricia C; Shepherd, Dale A; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh; Smith, David Alastair; Zhang, Xiaodong; Buck, Martin; Stockley, Peter G; Tuma, Roman

    2014-04-01

    Recognition of bacterial promoters is regulated by two distinct classes of sequence-specific sigma factors, σ(70) or σ(54), that differ both in their primary sequence and in the requirement of the latter for activation via enhancer-bound upstream activators. The σ(54) version controls gene expression in response to stress, often mediating pathogenicity. Its activator proteins are members of the AAA+ superfamily and use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to remodel initially auto-inhibited holoenzyme promoter complexes. We have mapped this remodeling using single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. Initial remodeling is nucleotide-independent and driven by binding both ssDNA during promoter melting and activator. However, DNA loading into the RNA polymerase active site depends on co-operative ATP hydrolysis by the activator. Although the coupled promoter recognition and melting steps may be conserved between σ(70) and σ(54), the domain movements of the latter have evolved to require an activator ATPase.

  7. 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.

  8. Question 5: On the Chemical Reality of the RNA World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lucrezia, Davide; Anella, Fabrizio; Chiarabelli, Cristiano

    2007-10-01

    The discovery of catalytic RNA has revolutionised modern molecular biology and bears important implications for the origin of Life research. Catalytic RNA, in particular self-replicating RNA, prompted the hypothesis of an early “RNA world” where RNA molecules played all major roles such information storage and catalysis. The actual role of RNA as primary actor in the origin of life has been under debate for a long time, with a particular emphasis on possible pathways to the prebiotic synthesis of mononucleotides; their polymerization and the possibility of spontaneous emergence of catalytic RNAs synthesised under plausible prebiotic conditions. However, little emphasis has been put on the chemical reality of an RNA world; in particular concerning the chemical constrains that such scenario should have met to be feasible. This paper intends to address those concerns with regard to the achievement of high local RNA molecules concentration and the aetiology of unique sequence under plausible prebiotic conditions.

  9. RNA-Mediated Epigenetic Programming of Genome Rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    Nowacki, Mariusz; Shetty, Keerthi; Landweber, Laura F.

    2012-01-01

    RNA, normally thought of as a conduit in gene expression, has a novel mode of action in ciliated protozoa. Maternal RNA templates provide both an organizing guide for DNA rearrangements and a template that can transport somatic mutations to the next generation. This opportunity for RNA-mediated genome rearrangement and DNA repair is profound in the ciliate Oxytricha, which deletes 95% of its germline genome during development in a process that severely fragments its chromosomes and then sorts and reorders the hundreds of thousands of pieces remaining. Oxytricha’s somatic nuclear genome is therefore an epigenome formed through RNA templates and signals arising from the previous generation. Furthermore, this mechanism of RNA-mediated epigenetic inheritance can function across multiple generations, and the discovery of maternal template RNA molecules has revealed new biological roles for RNA and has hinted at the power of RNA molecules to sculpt genomic information in cells. PMID:21801022

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-30

    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

  12. A universal model for the secondary structure of 5.8S ribosomal RNA molecules, their contact sites with 28S ribosomal RNAs, and their prokaryotic equivalent.

    PubMed Central

    Vaughn, J C; Sperbeck, S J; Ramsey, W J; Lawrence, C B

    1984-01-01

    The phylogenetic approach (ref. 1) has been utilized in construction of a universal 5.8S rRNA secondary structure model, in which about 65% of the residues exist in paired structures. Conserved nucleotides primarily occupy unpaired regions. Multiple compensating base changes are demonstrated to be present in each of the five postulated helices, thereby forming a major basis for their proof. The results of chemical and enzymatic probing of 5.8S rRNAs (ref. 13, 32) are fully consistent with, and support, our model. This model differs in several ways from recently proposed 5.8S rRNA models (ref. 3, 4), which are discussed. Each of the helices in our model has been extended to the corresponding bacterial, chloroplast and mitochondrial sequences, which are demonstrated to be positionally conserved by alignment with their eukaryotic counterparts. This extension is also made for the base paired 5.8S/28S contact points, and their prokaryotic and organelle counterparts. The demonstrated identity of secondary structure in these diverse molecules strongly suggests that they perform equivalent functions in prokaryotic and eukaryotic ribosomes. PMID:6208532

  13. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Distinctive expression of extracellular matrix molecules at mRNA and protein levels during formation of cellular and acellular cementum in the rat.

    PubMed

    Sasano, Y; Maruya, Y; Sato, H; Zhu, J X; Takahashi, I; Mizoguchi, I; Kagayama, M

    2001-02-01

    Little is known about differential expression of extracellular matrices secreted by cementoblasts between cellular and acellular cementum. We hypothesize that cementoblasts lining acellular cementum express extracellular matrix genes differently from those lining cellular cementum, thereby forming two distinct types of extracellular matrices. To test this hypothesis, we investigated spatial and temporal gene expression of selected extracellular matrix molecules, that is type I collagen, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin and osteopontin, during formation of both cellular and acellular cementum using in situ hybridization. In addition, their extracellularly deposited and accumulated proteins were examined immunohistochemically. The mRNA transcripts of pro-alpha1 (I) collagen were primarily localized in cementoblasts of cellular cementum and cementocytes, while those of bone sialoprotein were predominantly seen in cementoblasts lining acellular cementum. In contrast, osteocalcin was expressed by both types of cementoblasts and cementocytes and so was osteopontin but only transiently. Our immunohistochemical examination revealed that translated proteins were localized extracellularly where the genes had been expressed intracellularly. The present study demonstrated the distinctive expression of genes and proteins of the extracellular matrix molecules between cellular and acellular cementum. PMID:11432645

  15. Biosynthesis of the Fluorinated Natural Product Nucleocidin in Streptomyces calvus Is Dependent on the bldA-Specified Leu-tRNA(UUA) Molecule.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xi Ming; Hackl, Stefanie; Thaker, Maulik N; Kalan, Lindsay; Weber, Claudia; Urgast, Dagmar S; Krupp, Eva M; Brewer, Alyssa; Vanner, Stephanie; Szawiola, Anjuli; Yim, Grace; Feldmann, Jörg; Bechthold, Andreas; Wright, Gerard D; Zechel, David L

    2015-11-01

    Nucleocidin is one of the very few natural products known to contain fluorine. Mysteriously, the nucleocidin producer Streptomyces calvus ATCC 13382 has not been observed to synthesize the compound since its discovery in 1956. Here, we report that complementation of S. calvus ATCC 13382 with a functional bldA-encoded Leu-tRNA(UUA) molecule restores the production of nucleocidin. Nucleocidin was detected in culture extracts by (19) F NMR spectroscopy, HPLC-ESI-MS, and HPLC-continuum source molecular absorption spectroscopy for fluorine-specific detection. The molecule was purified from a large-scale culture and definitively characterized by NMR spectroscopy and high-resolution MS. The nucleocidin biosynthetic gene cluster was identified by the presence of genes encoding the 5'-O-sulfamate moiety and confirmed by gene disruption. Two of the genes within the nucleocidin biosynthetic gene cluster contain TTA codons, thus explaining the dependence on bldA and resolving a 60-year-old mystery.

  16. Molecular characterization and in situ mRNA localization of the neural recognition molecule J1-160/180: a modular structure similar to tenascin

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    The oligodendrocyte-derived extracellular matrix glycoprotein J1- 160/180 is a recognition molecule expressed exclusively in the central nervous system. J1-160/180 has been shown to be adhesive for astrocytes and repellent towards neurons and growth cones. We report here the complete nucleotide sequence of J1-160/180 in the rat. The predicted amino acid sequence showed a structural architecture very similar to tenascin: a cysteine-rich amino terminal region is followed by 4.5 epidermal growth factor-like repeats, 9 fibronectin type III homologous repeats and a domain homologous to fibrinogen. Sequence comparison analysis revealed highest homology of rat J1-160/180 to mouse tenascin and chicken restrictin with a similarity of 66% and 85%, respectively. The J1-160/180-coding mRNA is derived from a single copy gene. Using the polymerase chain reaction we could show that two J1-160/180 isoforms are generated by alternative splicing of the sixth fibronectin type III homologous repeat. Localization of J1-160/180 mRNA by in situ hybridization in the cerebellum, hippocampus and olfactory bulb confirmed the expression of J1-160/180 by oligodendrocytes with a peak of transcription at 7-14 d after birth, indicating a functional role during myelination. In addition, J1-160/180-specific RNA was found in a small subset of neurons in all three structures of the CNS analyzed. These neurons continue to express J1-160/180 in the adult. PMID:7679676

  17. Current progress of siRNA/shRNA therapeutics in clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Burnett, John C; Rossi, John J; Tiemann, Katrin

    2011-09-01

    Through a mechanism known as RNA interference (RNAi), small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules can target complementary mRNA strands for degradation, thus specifically inhibiting gene expression. The ability of siRNAs to inhibit gene expression offers a mechanism that can be exploited for novel therapeutics. Indeed, over the past decade, at least 21 siRNA therapeutics have been developed for more than a dozen diseases, including various cancers, viruses, and genetic disorders. Like other biological drugs, RNAi-based therapeutics often require a delivery vehicle to transport them to the targeted cells. Thus, the clinical advancement of numerous siRNA drugs has relied on the development of siRNA carriers, including biodegradable nanoparticles, lipids, bacteria, and attenuated viruses. Most therapies permit systemic delivery of the siRNA drug, while others use ex vivo delivery by autologous cell therapy. Advancements in bioengineering and nanotechnology have led to improved control of delivery and release of some siRNA therapeutics. Likewise, progress in molecular biology has allowed for improved design of the siRNA molecules. Here, we provide an overview of siRNA therapeutics in clinical trials, including their clinical progress, the challenges they have encountered, and the future they hold in the treatment of human diseases.

  18. An RNA motif that binds ATP

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sassanfar, M.; Szostak, J. W.

    1993-01-01

    RNAs that contain specific high-affinity binding sites for small molecule ligands immobilized on a solid support are present at a frequency of roughly one in 10(10)-10(11) in pools of random sequence RNA molecules. Here we describe a new in vitro selection procedure designed to ensure the isolation of RNAs that bind the ligand of interest in solution as well as on a solid support. We have used this method to isolate a remarkably small RNA motif that binds ATP, a substrate in numerous biological reactions and the universal biological high-energy intermediate. The selected ATP-binding RNAs contain a consensus sequence, embedded in a common secondary structure. The binding properties of ATP analogues and modified RNAs show that the binding interaction is characterized by a large number of close contacts between the ATP and RNA, and by a change in the conformation of the RNA.

  19. Small-Molecule Probes Targeting the Viral PPxY-Host Nedd4 Interface Block Egress of a Broad Range of RNA Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Han, Ziying; Lu, Jianhong; Liu, Yuliang; Davis, Benjamin; Lee, Michael S.; Olson, Mark A.; Ruthel, Gordon; Freedman, Bruce D.; Schnell, Matthias J.; Wrobel, Jay E.; Reitz, Allen B.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Budding of filoviruses, arenaviruses, and rhabdoviruses is facilitated by subversion of host proteins, such as Nedd4 E3 ubiquitin ligase, by viral PPxY late (L) budding domains expressed within the matrix proteins of these RNA viruses. As L domains are important for budding and are highly conserved in a wide array of RNA viruses, they represent potential broad-spectrum targets for the development of antiviral drugs. To identify potential competitive blockers, we used the known Nedd4 WW domain-PPxY interaction interface as the basis of an in silico screen. Using PPxY-dependent budding of Marburg (MARV) VP40 virus-like particles (VLPs) as our model system, we identified small-molecule hit 1 that inhibited Nedd4-PPxY interaction and PPxY-dependent budding. This lead candidate was subsequently improved with additional structure-activity relationship (SAR) analog testing which enhanced antibudding activity into the nanomolar range. Current lead compounds 4 and 5 exhibit on-target effects by specifically blocking the MARV VP40 PPxY-host Nedd4 interaction and subsequent PPxY-dependent egress of MARV VP40 VLPs. In addition, lead compounds 4 and 5 exhibited antibudding activity against Ebola and Lassa fever VLPs, as well as vesicular stomatitis and rabies viruses (VSV and RABV, respectively). These data provide target validation and suggest that inhibition of the PPxY-Nedd4 interaction can serve as the basis for the development of a novel class of broad-spectrum, host-oriented antivirals targeting viruses that depend on a functional PPxY L domain for efficient egress. IMPORTANCE There is an urgent and unmet need for the development of safe and effective therapeutics against biodefense and high-priority pathogens, including filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg) and arenaviruses (e.g., Lassa and Junin) which cause severe hemorrhagic fever syndromes with high mortality rates. We along with others have established that efficient budding of filoviruses, arenaviruses, and

  20. RNA helicases

    PubMed Central

    Owttrim, George W.

    2013-01-01

    Similar to proteins, RNA molecules must fold into the correct conformation and associate with protein complexes in order to be functional within a cell. RNA helicases rearrange RNA secondary structure and RNA-protein interactions in an ATP-dependent reaction, performing crucial functions in all aspects of RNA metabolism. In prokaryotes, RNA helicase activity is associated with roles in housekeeping functions including RNA turnover, ribosome biogenesis, translation and small RNA metabolism. In addition, RNA helicase expression and/or activity are frequently altered during cellular response to abiotic stress, implying they perform defined roles during cellular adaptation to changes in the growth environment. Specifically, RNA helicases contribute to the formation of cold-adapted ribosomes and RNA degradosomes, implying a role in alleviation of RNA secondary structure stabilization at low temperature. A common emerging theme involves RNA helicases acting as scaffolds for protein-protein interaction and functioning as molecular clamps, holding RNA-protein complexes in specific conformations. This review highlights recent advances in DEAD-box RNA helicase association with cellular response to abiotic stress in prokaryotes. PMID:23093803

  1. Phenotypic MicroRNA Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Yong-Jun; Heo, Jin Yeong; Kim, Hi Chul; Kim, Jin Yeop; Liuzzi, Michel; Soloveva, Veronica

    2013-01-01

    Microarray technology has become a very popular approach in cases where multiple experiments need to be conducted repeatedly or done with a variety of samples. In our lab, we are applying our high density spots microarray approach to microscopy visualization of the effects of transiently introduced siRNA or cDNA on cellular morphology or phenotype. In this publication, we are discussing the possibility of using this micro-scale high throughput process to study the role of microRNAs in the biology of selected cellular models. After reverse-transfection of microRNAs and siRNA, the cellular phenotype generated by microRNAs regulated NF-κB expression comparably to the siRNA. The ability to print microRNA molecules for reverse transfection into cells is opening up the wide horizon for the phenotypic high content screening of microRNA libraries using cellular disease models.

  2. Cartography of neurexin alternative splicing mapped by single-molecule long-read mRNA sequencing.

    PubMed

    Treutlein, Barbara; Gokce, Ozgun; Quake, Stephen R; Südhof, Thomas C

    2014-04-01

    Neurexins are evolutionarily conserved presynaptic cell-adhesion molecules that are essential for normal synapse formation and synaptic transmission. Indirect evidence has indicated that extensive alternative splicing of neurexin mRNAs may produce hundreds if not thousands of neurexin isoforms, but no direct evidence for such diversity has been available. Here we use unbiased long-read sequencing of full-length neurexin (Nrxn)1α, Nrxn1β, Nrxn2β, Nrxn3α, and Nrxn3β mRNAs to systematically assess how many sites of alternative splicing are used in neurexins with a significant frequency, and whether alternative splicing events at these sites are independent of each other. In sequencing more than 25,000 full-length mRNAs, we identified a novel, abundantly used alternatively spliced exon of Nrxn1α and Nrxn3α (referred to as alternatively spliced sequence 6) that encodes a 9-residue insertion in the flexible hinge region between the fifth LNS (laminin-α, neurexin, sex hormone-binding globulin) domain and the third EGF-like sequence. In addition, we observed several larger-scale events of alternative splicing that deleted multiple domains and were much less frequent than the canonical six sites of alternative splicing in neurexins. All of the six canonical events of alternative splicing appear to be independent of each other, suggesting that neurexins may exhibit an even larger isoform diversity than previously envisioned and comprise thousands of variants. Our data are consistent with the notion that α-neurexins represent extracellular protein-interaction scaffolds in which different LNS and EGF domains mediate distinct interactions that affect diverse functions and are independently regulated by independent events of alternative splicing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-15

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

  4. A quick, efficient, and cost-effective method for isolating high-quality total RNA from tomato fruits, suitable for molecular biology studies.

    PubMed

    Sabzevari, Alireza Ghannad; Hosseini, Ramin

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is the primary model for the study of fleshy fruits, and research on this species has elucidated many aspects of fruit physiology, development, and metabolism. However, for advancing such studies at molecular biology levels, the RNA isolation from fruit tissues is often essential. The RNA isolation from tomato fruits is complicated because of the presence of high levels of polysaccharides, polyphenolics, pigments, and secondary metabolites and also the varying water content during development. Here, we present an optimized protocol for the isolation of total RNA from the fruit tissues at different developmental stages. In comparison to the previous methods described for the RNA isolation from tomato fruit, this method has the advantages that it does not involve the use of guanidine salts, lyophilizers, and commercial reagents, reduces the time and cost of extraction, overcomes the high water content problem, and promotes RNA quality by inhibiting RNA degradation and minimizing the gDNA, polyphenolic and polysaccharide contaminations. Using this method, high yields of high-purity and intact RNA samples were obtained as confirmed by the spectrophotometric readings and the electrophoresis on denaturing agarose gels. The isolated RNA was employed as a robust template for cDNA synthesis, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and temporal gene expression analysis. The functionality of the isolated RNA was further demonstrated through cloning full-length cDNAs encoding β-galactosidase proteins by RT-PCR and sequencing.

  5. Effects of silencing RIP1 with siRNA on the biological behavior of the LoVo human colon cancer cell line.

    PubMed

    You, Hong-Xia; Zhou, Yan-Hong; Tan, Shi-Yun; She, Tong-Hui

    2014-06-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effects of silencing RIP1 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) on the biological behavior of the LoVo human colorectal carcinoma cell line and to provide evidence for the feasibility of colorectal cancer gene therapy. LoVo cells were divided into the RIP1 siRNA group, the blank control group and the negative control group. Chemically synthesized siRNA targeting RIP1 (RIP1 siRNA) was transfected into LoVo cells. Following transfection of the RIP1-targeted siRNA into the LoVo cells, the expression of the RIP1 gene was effectively inhibited. The results demonstrated that RIP1 effectively regulated the malignant biological behavior of the LoVo colon cancer cell line. Furthermore, the proliferation, motility and invasiveness of LoVo cells were inhibited by siRNA knockdown of RIP1. The results revealed that the RIP1 gene has an important role in the regulation of proliferation and apoptosis in colorectal carcinoma cells.

  6. Systems biology approach to identify transcriptome reprogramming and candidate microRNA targets during the progression of polycystic kidney disease

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is characterized by cyst formation throughout the kidney parenchyma. It is caused by mutations in either of two genes, PKD1 and PKD2. Mice that lack functional Pkd1 (Pkd1-/-), develop rapidly progressive cystic disease during embryogenesis, and serve as a model to study human ADPKD. Genome wide transcriptome reprogramming and the possible roles of micro-RNAs (miRNAs) that affect the initiation and progression of cyst formation in the Pkd1-/- have yet to be studied. miRNAs are small, regulatory non-coding RNAs, implicated in a wide spectrum of biological processes. Their expression levels are altered in several diseases including kidney cancer, diabetic nephropathy and PKD. Results We examined the molecular pathways that modulate renal cyst formation and growth in the Pkd1-/- model by performing global gene-expression profiling in embryonic kidneys at days 14.5 and 17.5. Gene Ontology and gene set enrichment analysis were used to identify overrepresented signaling pathways in Pkd1-/- kidneys. We found dysregulation of developmental, metabolic, and signaling pathways (e.g. Wnt, calcium, TGF-β and MAPK) in Pkd1-/- kidneys. Using a comparative transcriptomics approach, we determined similarities and differences with human ADPKD: ~50% overlap at the pathway level among the mis-regulated pathways was observed. By using computational approaches (TargetScan, miRanda, microT and miRDB), we then predicted miRNAs that were suggested to target the differentially expressed mRNAs. Differential expressions of 9 candidate miRNAs, miRs-10a, -30a-5p, -96, -126-5p, -182, -200a, -204, -429 and -488, and 16 genes were confirmed by qPCR. In addition, 14 candidate miRNA:mRNA reciprocal interactions were predicted. Several of the highly regulated genes and pathways were predicted as targets of miRNAs. Conclusions We have described global transcriptional reprogramming during the progression of PKD in the Pkd1-/- model. We

  7. RNA Accessibility in cubic time

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The accessibility of RNA binding motifs controls the efficacy of many biological processes. Examples are the binding of miRNA, siRNA or bacterial sRNA to their respective targets. Similarly, the accessibility of the Shine-Dalgarno sequence is essential for translation to start in prokaryotes. Furthermore, many classes of RNA binding proteins require the binding site to be single-stranded. Results We introduce a way to compute the accessibility of all intervals within an RNA sequence in (n3) time. This improves on previous implementations where only intervals of one defined length were computed in the same time. While the algorithm is in the same efficiency class as sampling approaches, the results, especially if the probabilities get small, are much more exact. Conclusions Our algorithm significantly speeds up methods for the prediction of RNA-RNA interactions and other applications that require the accessibility of RNA molecules. The algorithm is already available in the program RNAplfold of the ViennaRNA package. PMID:21388531

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ke, Haochen; Lisy, James

    2015-03-01

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

  9. Nanoscale imaging of RNA with expansion microscopy.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fei; Wassie, Asmamaw T; Cote, Allison J; Sinha, Anubhav; Alon, Shahar; Asano, Shoh; Daugharthy, Evan R; Chang, Jae-Byum; Marblestone, Adam; Church, George M; Raj, Arjun; Boyden, Edward S

    2016-08-01

    The ability to image RNA identity and location with nanoscale precision in intact tissues is of great interest for defining cell types and states in normal and pathological biological settings. Here, we present a strategy for expansion microscopy of RNA. We developed a small-molecule linker that enables RNA to be covalently attached to a swellable polyelectrolyte gel synthesized throughout a biological specimen. Then, postexpansion, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) imaging of RNA can be performed with high yield and specificity as well as single-molecule precision in both cultured cells and intact brain tissue. Expansion FISH (ExFISH) separates RNAs and supports amplification of single-molecule signals (i.e., via hybridization chain reaction) as well as multiplexed RNA FISH readout. ExFISH thus enables super-resolution imaging of RNA structure and location with diffraction-limited microscopes in thick specimens, such as intact brain tissue and other tissues of importance to biology and medicine. PMID:27376770

  10. Prognostic and Biological Significance of MicroRNA-127 Expression in Human Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shaohua; Li, Hanjun; Wang,